Are you ready to train?
Identifying your training readiness is important for multiple reasons;
1) Training Quality – It can improve the quality of your training sessions, whether it’s in the gym or on the track. If you think about going into a session, and your body’s feeling really fresh and you feel recovered, you’re going to be able to attack that session hard and get a lot out of that training session. If a lot of your sessions start like this you’re going to be able to get much better quality work done in each and every session. On the flip side, if you’re going into every session, dog tired, feeling trash, super sore, your not going to be getting the absolute most out of your training session. How you train is how you play. If you’re training poorly, you’re going to play poorly.
2) Reduces injury risk – It also reduces the risk of getting injured. Being tired and sluggish in training sessions, may lead to a mishap because you’re not concentrating or you just not keeping up and you’re pushing your body, too hard.
3) It also says something about your preparedness to train and all your ability to recover from training. It can give you a pretty good idea of whether the training volume is actually appropriate for you right now. If you’re struggling to recover from training sessions and you are doing some extra recovery, then it will indicate that the training you’re doing is too much, for you right now. You need to reduce the volume, freshen up and then slowly start to build back up.
One strategy to help monitor readiness for training is a Wellness Questionnaire (click the link for a FREE wellness questionnaire). A wellness questionnaire can be something as simple as a series of questions with a 1 to 5 scale. Questions may include but are nor limited to fatigue, sleep, soreness, stress and mood. For example, A five out of five for fatigue means you are feeling completely fresh, ready to go, ready to train hard. A one might mean, you’re super tired, and not ready to go. It’s good to do a wellness questionnaire before every training session. Even just once a week, can be a good indicator of how you’re tracking and whether you are ready to train or not. It’s a good tool to help you track your traini9ng pre-paredness over time. You might start a training cycle feeling really good, but then as you train harder it starts to decline. Because the training volume is increasing, your wellness is slowly declining, which is not necessarily a bad thing. That means that your training hard and getting the most out of your sessions. Although there might come a point when your deep into a fatigue state, or reduced wellness, and you identify it’s time to have a recovery week or deload week.
You can use your wellness scores from your wellness questionnaire to implement strategies into your training to help improve your performance. One area it can help you review is your recovery. If your soreness and sleep scores are poor you may want to work on these areas to bolster your recovery. Another area it can identify is your preparation prior to the training. What are you doing prior to the training? What are you eating? How do you feel? Are you warming up properly? Are you doing everything you can do to prepare better for your training session? Is your training too much? Is your training too little? You can use this information to determine what training you should be doing. For example, if your fatigue, stress and mood scores are quite poor, you can make a decision about whether you should train at all. Maybe reduce the training session a little bit. Or maybe just switch it out for something else. You may need to modify the session, so it’s a little bit different to what you had planned. You obviously don’t want to be doing this all the time. But it can be quite helpful in those acute sessions. Because maybe taking a slight, step back in one session will be enough to still get some work in, freshen you up, so that in the next session, you’re good to go again. Remember, the idea is to, prevent injury because if you can’t train you can’t get better.