Endurance athletes pride themselves on pushing through the most challenging, gut-busting workouts. Anyone who is on Facebook sees those "inspirational" memes where the message is always to push-push-push! We like to think of ourselves as tough and willing to push hard and do that little bit extra, even if that "extra" results in some pain that just might be an impending injury.
We love to share our toughness on social media too. Hell, thinking about it - isn't this really why Strava and Facebook exist? So we could prove to those athletes around us that we're a little tougher (and faster) than they are!? Come on, admit it! 🙂
Hey, listen...I get it. I've been there. 🙂 Improving and racing long aren't easy. Sometimes you gotta dig deep, push yourself harder, put in that extra effort if you want to get better, right?
But let me ask you a question. Is there a point where that never-ever-quit mindset can be detrimental?
The answer to all of these questions is a resounding YES.
You've got to put in some extra work and be willing to do some things that most wouldn't. But at the same time, the mindset of "never-quit-no-matter-what" can sometimes do a lot more harm than good.
Let me just come right out and say it straight: You're never going to be as sorry for the workouts or sets you didn't do, as much as the ones you DID do that you shouldn't have.
In other words, if in doubt, leave it out.
A few weeks ago I sent an email to my mailing list, discussing what I believe might possibly be the world's dumbest exercise? (In case you missed that email and post and you'd like to read it, hit me up via email and I'll send it on to you).
My friend Amy replied (as did a lot of folks with similar stories) sharing with me her story that speaks to this very same idea. I clipped a portion of her email and underlined some of it. Check it out:
Unfortunately, Amy's email says it all. If only she had stopped one set earlier or when she started to really feel her form falling apart.
The Best Kept Secret To Avoiding Injury and Improving Consistently
Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I'm passionate about helping athletes improve, get faster and stronger, and of course avoid injury along the way. What many people don't know, is that the secret to improving and avoiding injury aren't those mobility or stability exercises I continually program.
So what is?
Most injuries occur, not because your core is unstable or you're tight. They happen most often, because of dumb training mistakes. You know, the mistakes you make that at the outset, look like you're being "tough." Going the extra mile. Doing that extra rep or set or workout.
Just like Amy did.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do to ensure you'll keep improving is to leave something OUT or stop short, just when it might seem like you could go on forever.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I've said, "it's at the moment in time when we feel the most bulletproof, that we're actually the most vulnerable." Not popular to hear, I know. Because hey...we love our toughness and never-say-quit mentality.
So, a couple of months ago I did a talk for some locals here on the sun-coast that was titled "Train Smart: What Is It? How To Do It!" Goes right along with this theme, ya know?
I've got 24 slides from the talk that I'd be happy to share with you.
I guarantee there's some TIPS in there that just might help down the road to avoiding all of the mistakes I have personally made over the years! That's the thing, I think, that makes me a good coach. I've made ALL of the mistakes so you don't have to! 🙂
To Your Success!