Am I training to hard...am I not training enough...how do I get faster? Three questions I remember reading right back at the start of my SUP Training...well mainly the last one..I mean thats what we are all aiming for in SUP Racing "How do I get faster" or "Fitter". A lot of people are usually surprised by some of the answers...structured training and learning to slow it down at certain points so you can push harder at other times. Going hard and fast every session doesn't guarantee you will get faster, in fact it can actually slow you down in the long run due to something called accumulative fatigue...or over training.
So why is a good structured training program so important to getting faster or fitter?...its called the Law of Progressive Overload if you train at the same intensity for the same duration of time your less likely to get faster than if you progressively overload your system...BUT yep there is always a but...you can't keep stressing your body without adverse effects fatigue being one of them. So a good structured program should incorporate a few things....firstly a "Shock Phase" it does what it says, shocks the system. When you are starting out exercising, especially a new sport or exercise this can be the worst part...remember the leg soreness after your first squats....ouch!! The fitter or more athletic you are the more you need to do to stress the system. If you shock the system well you should enter the "Adaptation Phase" you can tolerate the workload...shock it too much and you hit the "Exhaustion Phase", which doesn't feel great at all, and you will want to avoid ever being in this phase, it means you've pushed to fast or for to long and your body can't tolerate the stress. In order to make sure we don't slip into the exhaustion phase we need to make sure we add in the word that seems to terrify a lot of athletes and recreational paddlers....Recovery! The dreaded "R" word...I know from my own training this is the training week I struggle the most with "but wont my hard work disappear?"...No..in fact while you are resting and reducing the workload your body is adapting there are is so much biological magic happening to your hormones, nervous system, muscles and a whole host of other changes designed to make you stronger, fitter and faster!
This is why a good structured program is so important...coaches, trainers even yourself if you write your own plan should incorporate progressive overload and recovery into it...a great quote I love from "Arndt-Shulzrule, 1888".....For every substance (exercise)...small doses stimulate...moderate doses inhibit...large doses kill...apply this to your training and see what gains you can make.