We often talk about consistency and capacity as coaches. What does this mean for you as athletes?
One of the key building blocks to improving as a runner is achieving consistency in your training. For many athletes this requires careful consideration around stress and recovery as well as an understanding of one’s current capacity. Capacity can be thought of as what amount of training your body can absorb, adapt and improve from. For every individual this will be different but the principles underlying how to build capacity can be applied to anyone.
At the Run Project we like to attack the problem from two different lenses. On the one hand we look to build training programs that lay a foundation of general endurance as well as general speed (think anything under mile pace). We then try to progress athletes closer towards the specific requirements of their goal races, all the while balancing training stress with lifestyle stress. Building the capacity to handle this training load while continuing to progress and improve is part science and part art, every person will respond differently and blindly following an online program or what a fellow athlete is doing is not a strategy we would ever advocate.
The second way we look to build capacity is through improving movement quality. How well and efficiently you move has transfer into how economically you will run. Movement quality is not simply strength or mobility work, but also encompasses improving breathing dynamics and learning to relax both body and mind. We encourage all of our athletes to have a daily movement practice that they can refine and adapt to the way their bodies are feeling and moving. We can’t expect to move poorly all day and then perform like an Olympian in training. By moving better we become more efficient, able to handle greater training loads and most importantly have a higher quality of life because we are in less chronic pain.
The bottom line is that anyone can get fitter, design a hard workout or attempt to hold an infinite plank. The skill in coaching is in laying the foundation that the athlete can continually build and improve from.