As a self-proclaimed master of analogies, I am always on the lookout for new ways to concisely explain complex training concepts. To be successful as a coach you have to be able to say the same thing several different ways. A single analogy will rarely be grasped by all the members of a given group, so having a quiver full of them for each and every topic is a necessity. In the past, most of us coaches learned our analogies from the coaches who mentored us or with whom we associated. With the proliferation of social media, however, we now have a huge database to draw from. As a regular Twitterverse peruser, I often happen upon some very useful analogies...and I recently came across one that is perfect to share at this time of year. It comes from a sports performance training center in Wales and it paints an awesome picture of how to have a successful season. Keep you bucket full!
Endurance athletes are notorious for burning the candle at both ends. We strive to be successful in all aspects of life and are willing to put in the work to get there. As a result, however, we often neglect parts of the puzzle that don't appear to contribute directly to our success. The important training aspects of Sleep, Nutrition, and Recovery tend to get overlooked. We push, push, and push. The idea of relaxing and recovering is foreign to us. If all we do is push - and we neglect the supplemental stuff that lets our body adapt to that training - injuries and poor performance are likely not far behind.
Now, to the analogy. Imagine you are a bucket filled with water. Everything you do draws a little bit of water out of the bucket. The bigger the stressor the more water you lose. For example, a long run will take out more water than a short run; a stressful day at work will take out more water than a relaxed day at home. Our goal each day is to refill the water we lost so we always keep our bucket full. The three ways to refill our bucket are Sleep, Nutrition, Recovery.
By keeping your bucket full,you'll see better performances, have more energy, and suffer fewer injuries. The better job you do in consistently keeping your bucket full, the happier and healthier you'll be.
Good Luck and Happy Racing!