As you can imagine, I often get asked by athletes what are the best ways to improve performance. In fact, no question gets asked more, especially this time of year as the new year brings an opportunity for athletes to assess what they’ve done in the past and where they should be going in the future, all with the hopes of improving performance. It’s a very complex question to answer and obviously depends upon the athlete, but I thought I’d share some thoughts that any athlete can take and apply immediately to not only improve, but revolutionize their performance:
- Include power-based principles in your training. High intensity training makes a lot of sense for any athlete, including endurance athletes, and will help boost performance more than logging additional miles at a slower pace will. In a previous post entitled Four Power-Based Principles for Endurance Training, I outlined how endurance athletes can incorporate high intensity, constantly varied, functional movement along with interval training, technique drills and mobility to improve performance. Incorporate these ideas into your training in 2013 and watch your performance not just improve, but improve dramatically.
- Eat a Paleo diet. Nutrition is the foundation for any athlete. You can have the best training program in the world, but if you eat like crap, you’ll perform like crap. Starting a diet is a common New Year’s resolution, so make eating lots of lean meats, lots of vegetables, some fruit, little starch and no refined sugars not just your resolution, but your lifestyle. Perhaps nothing will revolutionize your performance as much in 2013.
- Train your mind. Training your mind should be taken as seriously as training your body. Sharpen your mental skills on a daily basis, practicing relaxation, visualization and positive thinking. Familiarize yourself with mental exercises you can do or work with a coach that can help you. A big part of mental training is goal setting, so make sure you set achievable goals not just an annual basis, but monthly, weekly and even daily. This will let you celebrate your progress and correct areas where you can improve.
As you sit down to map out your goals (and hopes) for 2013, incorporate these principles into the foundation of your approach. 2013 should and can be the year that you revolutionize your athletic performance.