Throughout my 9 years in track, many people have asked for advice to give aspiring athletes trying to reach my level of success. They ask what are the most important traits to becoming successful?. All the questions are difficult to answer because there are so many quintessential keys for success in this sport.
Many don’t understand the dedication and worth ethic that goes into competing at an elite level. I train five days a week for about two to four hours each day, three of which include a weight lifting session. My training is mentally taxing as well physically draining at times. You must become a balanced athlete to compete in any sport by being physically and mentally tough. I feel that the little things matter the most, such as eating healthy, receiving treatment, and obtaining an adequate amount of sleep. Otherwise all your hard work may go to waste. I will give you insight on my Top 10 Training Tips for Elite Level Fitness. Most of these tips can work for any sport or training activity such as Track or even CrossFit.
Falesha’s Top 10 Training Tips for Elite Level Fitness
- Fuel Your Body– In order to train at your fullest potential you must fuel your body properly. Fueling doesn’t just mean eating the right foods but it means consuming the right amount of food and fluids to give you energy. Eating a solid breakfast is what gives me the energy to push through my hard workouts, it’s how I find my extra gear when I think I can’t go any further. I follow my workouts with a quick snack; it can be a protein bar, banana just something directly after a workout to assist with the recovery process. Fluids are important, many drink a lot energy drinks during their workout but forget to consume fluids throughout the day. You must replenish all the fluids you lost from sweating during you training session.
- Proper warm up and cool down– Some feel that getting in a lot of workouts is vital but the quality of those workouts is what matters. The warm up and cool down is just as important as the workout; a proper warm up gears your muscles and body to function at a higher level of intensity. The cool down can help with prevention of injuries but also prepares you for your next workout.
- Mental mindset– Every athlete must go into a workout with a sense of urgency and purpose. It’s easy to go through the motions and find yourself not giving it all you have, but you must find your motivation and keep it in your mind as you workout.
- Training partner– A training partner helps you stay competitive and keeps you driving after your goals. You will have those days when you don’t want to hit the gym or track, that’s when having a training partner helps. They can encourage to get to the gym and motivate you to put more effort in while you workout.
- Listening to your body– All of us want to finish a workout knowing we got better that day, but sometimes that exhausted feeling can mean you went too far. Knowing your limits is imperative to be able to get through a full session or even a week’s worth of training. Along with your body’s limit you must know the when you’re body is fatigued, injured or in pain. Listening to your body and being smart with your workout regimens can keep you healthy.
- Treatment and Rehabbing – You must take care of those aches and sore muscles once you complete your workout. Getting treatment after your workout can vary from stretching out your muscles to prevent tightness and muscle strains, ice baths to assist with lowering the amount of stiffness and soreness in muscles.
- Sleep and Rest– Proper amount of sleep and rest allow your muscles to recharge, when your body is at rest it releases growth hormones. Your body does all of its healing and recovering while you sleep. If you’ve had a hard day of training and only get 4 hours of sleep that night your body won’t be prepared to get after it the next day.
- Daily workout journal– Set your goals and put together a plan on how you will execute them to accomplish your goal. Write down your progress, not every day will be great but you need those days to get you refocused and let you understand what does and does not work.
- Pamper your body– You put your body through so much day in and day out it needs days off and special treatment. Massages are important for full body recovery, this can help your back, legs, hips, feet, and your MIND. Sometimes things aren’t going right and it can be a result of overtraining and all you need is a day off!
- HAVE FUN! You must be passionate and enjoy what you do in order to see SUCCESS.
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Falesha Ankton is in her second post collegiate season as a professional 100 meter hurdler, training out of Seattle, WA. Through countless hours of training she is striving to achieve her dream of competing at the USA Olympic Trials in Eugene, OR.