Spring is in full bloom throughout most of the county and more and more people will be ramping up their training for upcoming races. Along with the increase in training, comes the potential for over use injuries if the athlete is not mindful of their bodies signals. Here are 3 parts to pretty much any workout that if done properly will give you the best chance of success.
Warm up - Make sure you take time to let your body come online for the workout. A combination of aerobic activity gradually building intensity along with some sport specific, dynamic exercises is a great way to prepare the body for the session.
During workout - This is where you really need to pay attention. Some days you are going to feel great, so take advantage of that. Other days you are just not going to have it. Kind of like Captain Kirk's request for more power and Scotty says "captain I'm given her all she's got". These days are best spent working on technique and basic endurance skills. So, when the body is feeling good, you have the good biomechanics in place to when you crank things up.
Cool down - As the training session comes to a close, take the time to GRADUALLY cool down. Some post exercise flexibility in areas of tension would be most beneficial along with some myofacial release work with "The Stick", foam roller, or any combination of tools that will help you loosen up
Two orher big things you can do when not training would be adequate sleep & balanced nutrition. Lets keep this real simple: We are all different on our own individual sleep needs so find what is best for you and get to bed. The same goes for the foods you give your body. Find what works for you and not the latest fad or what a professional athlete may be eating who is training 20+ hours a week.
Exercising and training for a race is a privaledge and such a great way to spend some free time. So, make sure you take the time to do the little things so your training and racing can be at their best.
Train Smart, Race Fast!