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The self-aware athlete

Introduction

A key part of coaching is to help people become aware.  Let me give an example.  I thought I was a reasonable age group swimmer until I asked someone to video me swimming in a private swimming pool.  Suddenly I became aware of how I swam.  This didn’t mean I knew how to swim better but it did show me there was potential for massive improvement.

Before you all rush out to get a video analysis of your swimming, running or biking there is a lot more to becoming a self-aware athlete.  We do so much on auto pilot.  Life just happens, we get up in the morning, go through our busy day and eventually our head hits the pillow and the day is over as we drift into restful sleep.  If you want to be fit, healthy, active, and do whatever training and racing you want then becoming self-aware athlete starts by really noticing your lifestyle.

Just do this test.  Right now.  Don’t move a muscle.  How are you sat?  What is your posture like?  Where is the tension in your body?  How long have you been in this position?  If you are slumped in front of a computer screen and have been in this position for 30 minutes then you haven’t been self-aware.

Have you ever been tired when you did a training session?  Rather than shrugging this off you need to ask what you’ve been doing to get into this state.    It may be your second session of the day so some fatigue is to be expected.  Or it could be you have recently done a lot of training and you are not giving yourself enough recovery time which means doing more training might not be the wisest course of action.

Follow the old adage ‘know thyself first’.  Start to become life aware. ...back to run

The self aware athlete - introduction