Time for a change
Autumn training very rarely hits the headlines. In the New Year, there is a frenzied rush for new gym memberships and the latest fitness crazes. And at the start of summer, there are endless articles on how to attain the perfect beach body.
But as the leaves start to drop at an ever-increasing rate, and the evenings and mornings become noticeably cooler; perhaps it is time for a re-think. The way to get the most out of your fitness is to be consistent in your training over time. Rather than partaking in an endless cycle of boom and bust fitness, it’s far more advisable to have a longer-term outlook.
So how can you make the most of your fitness in the autumn?
Autumn training – a time to replenish?
It depends on your sport of choice of course, but for many, summer is a more frantic time for training. Boot camp and park run attendances soar – and the tennis courts and golf courses are packed. And of course, there are scores of middle-aged men in lycra (mamils) terrorising motorists at the weekend.
A mixture of pushing the body to the max aiming for personal bests or being overzealous on the tennis court or driving range can leave your body with an array of niggling injuries.
Autumn can be a good time to ease off slightly and address any issues that might have developed over the summer.
Treating yourself like a professional athlete
Although top athletes obviously train hard, they have a deep appreciation for the need for proper rest and recovery.
So much so that their training plans specifically factor in lighter training and recovery. Their training intensity will vary across different time cycles, and it all builds up to an optimum level of fitness for crucial events. This system for scheduling training is known as periodization.
And whilst the specific benefits of the ins and outs of periodisation are open for debate, one thing is clear. The body cannot sustain high levels of intensity for long periods without eventually breaking down.
You don’t need to be a professional athlete to appreciate the value in reigning back your training from time to time.
So what next
The point of all this background is to suggest that autumn is a great time to build up your base of fitness again.
If you are someone who is dictated to by the clock on runs or cycle rides, consider dispensing with your watch for a while. Allow yourself just to enjoy the activity without always pushing things to the max.
Also, if you are someone who tends to focus on one particular activity, consider looking into cross training. It can be a great way to give joints a rest.
In essence, what you should be looking to do is re-balance your fitness and consider your overall health. Perhaps look to schedule in some rehabilitation too.
Factoring in some Massage, Pilates, Physiotherapy or Osteopathy can help be very restorative and give you the impetus to tackle the New Year’s fitness challenges head-on.
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