What are your top training tips?
- Management is important. Management is EVERYTHING that happens between training sessions –stretching, using a foam roller, rest days, pre and post workout nutrition, getting enough sleep, and having regular osteopathic and massage sessions.
- Cross training is AWESOME. I love mixing up my training activities. It gives variety to my week, helps me avoid physical and mental burnout, conditions different muscle groups, develops new skills and keeps me active and interested in my exercise.
- Enjoy yourself! We exercise in our ‘down time’ so make sure you are spending this time doing something that you love! Or at least take a friend to make the session bearable!
- Good performance is a mix of strength, speed and technique. Concentrate on improving all 3 elements for best results.
What are the most common mistakes you see people making with regards to training?
- Falling off the horse. It’s hard to get back into training after injury or taking time off, but the sooner you re-commit, the sooner you will regain form and start feeling great!
- People get disheartened when they don’t see results from one training session a week. I believe that a little bit is better than nothing, but just remember that you get out what you put in.
- I see a lot of people who hate exercise because they haven’t chosen an activity they like. If you’re interested in your sport, you are more likely to enjoy yourself, stay committed, and strive to improve; all really important training principles.
- Poor technique. My form isn’t perfect but I’m always striving for improvement by watching online videos and reading blogs and articles, I also constantly monitor my technique while running – not only does it make me faster but it presents intrinsic challenges and prevents injury.
What are your tips on how best to avoid injury?
- Start with slow, light, short sessions. Allow your body to get used to the new movements and the increases in demand. Build things up steadily from there.
- GOOD TECHNIQUE! It pays to take it slow, drop the weight a bit, shorten the distances and do a few technique drills, concentrate on posture and form, or even get advice from a coach/PT. Not only will it decrease your risk of injury but it also improves results.
- If it hurts, STOP! Usually a good stretch and a session on a foam roller will alleviate soft tissue strains. If that doesn’t work it’s easier and more effective to seek help early rather than waiting till that niggles becomes unbearably painful.
- Injury occurs when the physical stress of training outweighs your management efforts. Keep in control with stretching, foam rolling, healthy lifestyle choices, and osteopathy.
What do you do if you get a training injury?
- Rest for 24 hours (maybe with a few light stretches, a bit of ice and absolutely no loading the injury) and go visit which ever osteopath is in clinic the next day!
- Mix it up – cross training breaks the monotony of exercise and gives the chance to improve performance in unexpected ways. It also provides rest for overworked muscle groups while strengthening weaker areas. Try something different to your usual routine; think netball, swimming, yoga, hiking or touch football.
- Set a goal – This gives you something to push towards. Commit to an event that you really want to do, a certain exercise you want to master or join a club sport you enjoy. This gives a purpose to your training, a timeline to work towards and a reason to get to the gym in the morning!
- To propel yourself to the next level, get some professional advice- there is an art and science to a good training program and a lot of effort involved in perfecting technique. Both of these things are much easier with the help of someone who knows what they are talking about and does it regularly.
Dr Kieran – Osteopath