How to become a better athlete – Part I

I’m really fascinated to find out how much better an athlete I can become if training is my main “focus” and I’m living in a place with such a wonderful training environment that Javea offers. I really am in a very lucky position that many would be envious of, and it’s time I start taking advantage of my advantages.

I’ve been pondering my weaknesses (everything!) and what I can do to remedy them. I have divided them into two groups, this post will cover non sport specific, my next post will be about the changes in training for each individual discipline.

Weakness 1 Health

My run of colds and coughs recently highlighted that no matter what I try to do, it can all easily be derailed by a weak immune system. Despite training hard since Autumn, my level actually went down over the last few months and I can put that down to not being able to get the most out of training due to being constantly being off colour and off peak.

Less stressful travelling

Remedy. The most obvious answer is to live a settled life. My travel schedule became ridiculous last year with a maximum of 2-3 weeks stay in any one place for months on end. For example the last 3 weeks has seen me take 7 different planes, staying in 6 different places in 4 different countries. Last month was 5 planes, staying 6 places in 3 countries. Constant travel means constant exposure to germ laden air on planes and a host of different bugs in a host of different countries, plus general malaise caused by lack of sleep, changing sleep patterns, different foods, different time zones, different ways of life and different stresses.

Simply staying in one place with regular schedule, same food, same routine and same weather will be a massive help to staying fit and healthy, and Im very happy that’s exactly what’ve I’ve got planned for next couple of months.

Weakness 2. Weight.

I have been slowly putting on the pounds again and my weight is a good 4-5kg over what it should be. This slows me down, tires me out and, most importantly, makes me look terrible with my Lycra clad love handles and pathetic podgy pecs.

Less cake and coffee

Remedy. Consume less or exercise more. Actually I can add to that eating healthier, which means more fruits and veg, more fresh fish, less sugar and salt in my food (equals less processed food) and no late night snacks. And I’m in the perfect place, the Mediterranean diet is considered the healthiest in the world and Javea is about as Mediterranean as it gets! And the food not only tastes good, it’s locally produced/caught and it’s pretty damn cheap too!

Weakness 3.Slow progress.

I suffer like many other athletes from two steps forward, one step back. The main perpetrator for this is lack of consistency, which is a real issue for any sporting endeavour, but even more so when trying to juggle three separate disciplines.

Less English weather.. and less English roads

Remedy. Well if the problem is lack of consistency than the obvious answer is to be more consistent. I have already mention general health and how being in one place will instantly improve this issue. Another improvement will be setting fixed goals with fixed training schedule, and then making sure I have the time to complete what is planned. This is mostly about organization and planning, although more discipline to not waste the me prevaricating would help

Finally the mental motivation that get out and train, and this is where location will help me so much. Javea is beautiful, with wonderful mix of terrain and scenery, the roads are quiet and well maintained, the sea is warm and protected, and the weather is perfect. Rather than making excuses not to train it’s about controlling the urge to train too much.

Ok, this is what I’ve got for today. Next one will be about the individual sports and how and what I can do to improve on each. I really would like to hear other people’s thoughts, will be interesting to share ideas and strategies.

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