Seasons of Training
By: Christian Stricker
Having done some sort of physical training for the past decade, I have come to realize that there are “seasons” in training, just like there are throughout the year. They don’t follow a specific timeline as they do with the traditional seasons and they don’t have a more or less specific time frame in which they occur in but they do come. The seasons can be planned for in the case of formal athletics, where the year revolves around the competition season and certain parts of the year are filled with different activities to prepare an athlete to be at their peak when it matters the most, in competition on the field, on the ice, in the pool, on the court, on the mat, on the platform, on the track or in the gym. While there are specific dates for these events, the seasons that I would like to talk about are more of the emotional and motivational type, how a person feels about training and how interested they are in their training at that particular time.
I have experienced the full spectrum of motivational levels throughout my time training and competing and I’ve dealt with the emotions that go along with them. This has ranged from being hyper-motivated, making training a priority at all costs to dreading subjecting my retinas to the reception of visual stimuli located within the confines of a gym interior. The latter is what I would like to discuss as I think that it helps people know what to expect and know that they aren’t alone in their struggles when it comes to generating the will to train.
Recently, I have gone through a period where all training seemed like drudgery. It was hard to spend time on anything training related and I didn’t want to be at the gym for any longer than I had to be to get the work done. I have experienced several “seasons” like this and they typically seem to pass after a while so if you’re having a tough time mustering the willpower to train, it happens and it will pass.
When I’m going through one of these periods, I typically will do the minimal amount of work I can convince myself to do and get out of the gym. I’ll try out some new activities to keep myself from becoming a slob such as hiking, walking around town or working out with a new group of people. Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery for a bit. This is a good time to try out a new activity, something outdoors seems to do the trick for me but for you it could be trying out yoga, Jiu Jitsu, mountain biking or snowboarding/skiing. If you compete a lot, you may want to take a break from competition and do stuff for fun for awhile. If you never compete, signing up for a competition may be what you need to refuel your fire. Sometimes just making a small change to the focus of your training can work really well. If you do a lot of aerobic based training (cardio), try strength and power training for a bit or vice versa.
There are a near infinite number of ways to train and things to train for to keep it interesting. If you need help figuring out what to do, let me know and we can schedule a goal setting session to figure out a good direction to get you pointed in!
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