Sports Training

A holistic sport(s) training program encompasses the above principles.

It is no longer uncommon to hear someone sharing their race experiences in conversations or on the social media platforms, or being excited about their upcoming sporting endeavors. Participating in a race event is becoming more commonplace.

So what makes a whole athlete? What makes a holistic sport(s) training program?

I would say many athletes are typically motivated to do "S/P/O" and very quickly miss out "R/T" in their training program(s), unless specifically planned by their coaches to engage in such activities to provide variation and some form of stretch and rest.

Although most part of the periodization cycle of an athlete's training involves building up endurance and working towards a peak, cross training and rest form an equally important element to eliminate boredom and deter injuries, or perhaps even recover from one.

I had my share of a freak accident 2 years back resulting in a 2nd metatarsal (toe) fracture. It was one of the most horrid time of my life because for one, my job requires me to move about, and the other quite obviously, I am one who can't keep still. I had my whole calendar year charted out with plans to re-establish my endurance base (after a 3-year hiatus), and to build up for strength and race-specific conditions- Vietnam Mountain Marathon (my first mountain trail event).

Getting injured during the first meso-cycle didn't help because I can no longer progress from my base-line, and in fact have to scale back training till the x-ray showed signs of bone recovery. I recall being really frustrated with myself- I was almost crying my brains out after the first week.

I blamed myself a lot, I grumbled because I can't move, I felt bad because I can't train together with my partner. I sneaked cheat times to get out of my boot because as a Pilates teacher, I knew that was going to cause quite an imbalance in my pelvis...

I harbored thoughts of still being able to participate in the Aquathlon at the last minute (although clearly I knew 2 months is not going to do the work) and continued to train in the pool (matching hour for hour I would do on my feet up the trails). I beat the weather (rain or shine) and swam up to 7 hours per week. That was my motivation to get better.

This phase played back in my head last weekend as I started to swim again after a few months off training due to work. My coach's voice spoke beside my ear, "patient leading arm". Swimming helped me get past injury. The learning process helped me appreciate sports biomechanics and the recovery phase, sports psychology. I wouldn't have recovered so quickly if not for the cross training I did in the pool with the opposite impact on the plantar side of the foot that formed a uniform callus shown in the x-ray.

That being said, I have been a firm believer of cross training after my first marathon. Even more so now with knowledge in Sports training (/Sports Science), I am certainly for "Pilates for Sports" because a large part of Pilates has its emphasis on eccentric training and deceleration, and creating balance that are largely disregarded during the sporting season. Off season is the best opportunity for us to work INTO our bodies to find balance and deter overuse injuries, explore other training strategies to keep training fun and enjoyable.

Pilates is surely getting in the limelight with athletes who seek ways to prevent training injuries. I am really fortunate to be able to share more of what I truly believe in the past (and more) weeks ahead.

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