It hardly seems like it’s been seven days, but it has! It’s time for Coach Tip Tuesday.
Though some of the northern United States has experienced a bit of a mid-winter thaw over the last few days, the reality is that we’re still in the middle of winter. And with winter comes a longing to stay warm and cozy in our homes and to reduce movement as much as possible.
I’m here to encourage you to do just the opposite of that. Movement is SO important for all of us, and this is especially true for endurance athletes. I know, I know. You complete your workouts, and that should “count” as your only movement. I’m sorry to tell you that while it certainly counts, you’ll never reach your best if your workouts are the only way that you are moving your body.
Reaching athletic goals, especially for long-course athletes, requires durability and resistance to injury. Both of these things are accomplished by exposing the body to movement, forces, and loading that help develop and strengthen the body’s muscles, connective tissues, and cardio-respiratory systems. While it might not be what you want to hear, it's also the truth: workouts alone are not enough to accomplish this.
If you work out for one hour per day, that’s awesome! But if you’re spending the rest of that day sitting at a desk, commuting in your vehicle, or Netflixing and chilling on the couch after that one-hour workout, you’re not helping your body as much as you could be. This comes back to one of the Three Pillars of Training - Consistency. The body needs to consistently be moving in order to maximize the gains it can get from specific workouts.
Walking is one of the easiest ways to incorporate movement into our lives, and yet it’s something that so few of us do anymore. We’ve evolved to live in a world of convenience (especially in the United States of America) - one where a majority of us drive almost everywhere and rarely even consider walking as an option for transportation.
Getting the body moving, your heart rate slightly elevated, and your brain in a different space can truly do wonders for your overall wellness. In a season when so many people find things to be bleak, depressing, and gray, mixing up how you approach your day might very well be the catalyst of change you need to help shift your perspective on the season. Get outside for a walk and feel that crisp, clear air entering your lungs and refreshing you from the inside out. If you live in a region where it snows, have a look around at how snow can provide a fresh, clean, and bright perspective on familiar landscapes. You’ll miss all of this if you stay inside.
This week, I encourage you to move more beyond your workouts. Move through this world and soak in all of the wonderful things it has to offer! :)
Coach Laura Henry
Laura Henry is a Syracuse, NY-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Long Course and Level II Paratriathlon Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, VFS Certified Bike Fitter, and has successfully completed NASM's Certified Personal Trainer course. Coach Laura is passionate about helping athletes of all ability levels reach their goals and has coached many athletes to success.