The 4 Secrets To Success As A Masters Athlete
Remember first off, you are a masters athlete. If you’re not sure if you’re a masters athlete you can read this post I covered awhile back.
As a masters athlete, you aren’t a spring chicken anymore. You can’t just wing it with your training, have a few beers and sleep it off and be good to go the next day. You need a plan and you need to be smart. You don’t have to have an entourage following you around everywhere seeing that every little detail happens. I’m going to give you the 4 Secrets to Success to keep you performing at the top of your game, career, and staying injury-free.
Secret #1: Don’t Stop During Competition Time
Life has it’s ebbs and flows. Sometimes it’s easier than others. When your life/work/family gets hectic, don’t stop training or conditioning. This is your competition time. It may not be the same as your sport competition time, but it works the same on your body. Just like an athlete changes their training volume, intensity, duration during the ‘in-season’, so do you.
Something that makes professional athletes what they are is their consistency to training. That doesn’t that they are always doing some insanely hard workout consistently. They put in the necessary work to keep them performing optimally, sometimes that’s a really low-key easy training day. You never see it, because that doesn’t sell the merchandise they are selling. 🙂
Do you think an accountant is going to be able to train as hard in the gym or for his sport Jan-April as he does the rest of the year? Of course not. That’s his ‘in-season’.
To be sucessfull you’ve got to identify your ‘in-season’ times and adjust your training accordingly.
Secret #2: Planned and Synced Periodization
Periodization is a fancy term to mean you vary your training to help you hit your peak performance when it matters most. Simply put, this is your plan. Most masters athletes are really good at mapping out their mileage and intensity leading up to their event, but completely ignore all the other factors of life. What about the huge work deadline you’re also working on? What about the kids soccer games you agreed to coach? Without a comprehensive plan you’ll end up doing way more than you can realistically manage without getting sick, injured, or both.
Secret #3: Give Yourself Some Breaks
Professional athletes have an off-season. Granted they are usually training for the next year during this time, but they still have some time to completely hang it up. It’s healthy. You should do it too. That’s what vacations are for-to completely relax and enjoy all the hard work you’ve put in.
It’s also critical to give yourself breaks in your training. You’ve got to have some real recovery days. This doesn’t mean you just sit on the couch binging on sports or Netflix. Recovery days are so much more than that. The older you get, the more important recovery and rest is compared to just training and conditioning. Recovering the right way will enhance your life and sport performance and help you stay injury-free.
Secret #4: Work Around And With Issues
Working blindly through an injury because you’re tough is stupid and a recipe for further disaster. If you are nursing an injury, be smart-get some professional help to get healed. Just because you’ve got 1 joint or bone that is messing with you doesn’t mean you take the rest of the body off. If you’ve got a knee issue, find ways to work the rest of your body, or find ways to work the knee that doesn’t cause pain or make it worse. Doing this will help you maintain your fitness level throughout and keep you from going crazy because you aren’t training due to injury.
Case in point, this is my client John. He’s worked with me for several years. He developed some knee pain that made it almost impossible to deadlift from the ground like he used to do. So instead of hanging up the bar never to deadlift again, we found the rack pulls worked great and didn’t hamper his knee.
Update, John is back to deadlifting from the floor. He hasn’t lost much of any of this strength and his knee is feeling better than ever.