The Confidence to Go Easy

a triathlete sitting on the edge of the water
January 30, 2017

D3 Staff


tagged in:

The most common mistake I observe among athletes, whether they are beginners or seasoned veterans, is pushing too hard on their easy training days. As an athlete myself, I've struggled with this issue, understanding the importance of maintaining a proper effort level on recovery days. Failing to do so impedes true recovery, hindering the ability to excel in workouts that demand maximal effort. Consequently, all workouts end up being performed at a moderate intensity, depriving athletes of the opportunity to achieve breakthrough training sessions.

Here are my five tips to help you maintain an appropriate effort level on your active recovery days as prescribed by your coach:

1. **Solo Sessions:** Perform easy workouts alone to maintain control over your pace. Group workouts often breed competition, which is beneficial for pushing hard but counterproductive for recovery. Renowned triathlete Mark Allen attributed part of his success to executing easy days solo.

2. **Monitor Metrics:** Utilize tools such as heart rate monitors, GPS devices, and power meters to gauge intensity. Set an upper limit for your effort and ensure you stay within that range throughout the workout.

3. **Ego Check:** Leave your ego at home and embrace the purpose of your easy day. Your coach may prescribe these sessions with the directive, "Old women should pass you," to emphasize the need for a relaxed effort level.

4. **Focus on Purpose:** Recognize the significance of rest in your training regimen. Consider easy days as opportunities to recharge and prepare your body for more demanding workouts. Trust in the process and the wisdom of your coach's programming.

5. **Trust Your Coach:** Remember that your coach includes easy sessions in your schedule for a reason. Trust their expertise and adhere to their guidance regarding effort levels on recovery days.

While it may be challenging to dial back your intensity, fully committing to easy days demonstrates the effectiveness of the hard/easy training approach. Embracing these sessions with the right mindset will contribute to your growth and development as an athlete.

As a coach, I relish the opportunity to work with individuals, each presenting a unique puzzle of abilities, motivations, lifestyles, and potential. Guiding athletes to integrate these pieces and achieve their desired results is immensely fulfilling because when everything aligns, the outcomes are truly remarkable!

schedule a call