HAS YOUR COACH CHECKED FOR THIS?
So you’ve just found an amazing new coach! You’re pumped to get started with your new program, it’s time to shake things up with a new approach and a fresh set of eyes.
But how much does your new coach actually know about you? Have they taken the time to screen and evaluate how you move? Do they know your imbalances? Do they know that your left leg is considerably weaker than your right? Or are they just looking back at your previous training data and basing their new programming off what you’ve done (or not done) in the past?
Regardless of your sport, every coach, new or old, should at some point pause to look at how you and your body is functioning outside your training sessions.
Whether it’s an online program or face-to-face sessions, a screening process should be a priority when working with athletes. More and more athletes are on training programs, with numerous sessions a day, punching out big numbers, yet they have never been assessed physically, with regards to their strengths, weaknesses, imbalances or compensations. Should your coach prescribe any type of intensity or volume (whether it’s on the bike, run or swim) before they have looked into whether your body is actually ready to cope with the demands? NO!
"Don't accept the fact that your mobility is poor or your hip starts to hurt towards the end of long runs."
Those little hidden imbalances or weaknesses that cause you to sit awkwardly in the saddle or how your hip drops in the run could become bigger issues if they aren't address in the early stages. It's quite likely that you aren’t even aware of these yourself - they have become habitual and "it’s just the way you move".
TIME TO TAKE ACTION
First things first, is it's as much your responsibility as your coaches. Take the time to have the conversation. If you have any concerns about old injuries or ongoing niggles, let them know before they crop up (unsurprisingly) down the track.
This screening will highlight whether you're both capable and comfortable in performing movements such as a basic body weight squat or standing up off a chair using one leg? or bending down to touch your toes. If you can’t perform these basic fundamental movements then that should a big red flag to you and your coach, as it could be an indication that you have weaknesses or a tightness that needs to be addressed.
Online coaching is more common than ever, removing the barrier of distance and giving us the ability to fit training into our everyday lives as and when suits us. So what if your coach never gets the opportunity to see you face to face to do this so called ‘screening?’ Outsourcing is the answer. By consulting a local and experienced strength training professional you can evaluate the current state of your body and relay that information to your coach. There are so many elements to consider in endurance performance that it;s a great idea to support yourself with a team who can work together to get the most out of your performance, however serious you may be. You may think this sounds extreme and expensive but we're not saying you need to see them everyday. Most will be happy to have a consultation and give you some things to go away and work on. Remember prevention is a lot cheaper and less painful than cure!
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Whatever you do, be pro-active. Don't accept the fact that your mobility is poor or your hip starts to hurt towards the end of long runs. The chances are, not only will these things crop up later on, but you'll be wishing you had done something about it sooner. So start to look after your body, it's the only one you've got!
Want to get started and addressing those issues, check out the StrengthForEnduranceKIT, which helps guide you in the first steps to creating a stronger, more efficient and healthier body.
If you're a coach who would like guidance on how to start assessing your athletes, get in contact so we can point you in the right direction or organise a Strength For Endurance Clinic for you and your athletes.