• Alexa

Life Load and Training Balance

There is a concept in the world of physiotherapy called “psychosocial factors”; which basically means everything that’s going on in your life. These factors may help or hinder your recovery from the injury/area that you went to see the physio about this is why they track them. These factors impact your running too! Let me explain…


A strong example to start with is if you have a new baby arriving in the next 3 months now isn’t a great time to start training for a marathon - for either parent! As a coach I need to look across your whole life to plan how much running training load your body will be able to cope with and adapt to.

Outline of a runner filled with words describing what else is going on in their life

Here are some of the areas I’d look at with an aim to find the right training balance for a runner of mine;

  • Do they have dependants, and how old are they, or are they a carer

  • What are their hobbies and other sports or activities they do

  • What do they do to relax and when

  • How much and how well do they sleep

  • What sort of job do they do. Is it an active job and how long are the hours. What’s the routine at work and what hours do they work - e.g. shifts

  • Do you have any big life events coming up; having children, moving home, getting married etc

  • Do you have any medical conditions or illnesses, or do those close to you have any

This gives you a picture of the sort of things that can impact how much you can train around the other stressors in your life. There is a reason that elite athletes spend a large amount of time resting; truly resting - not doing anything - as well as prioritising sleep and what they eat etc. It really does make a difference! There are stories that the footballer Ronaldo doesn’t absolutely nothing around the house or with his children as it impacts his training and match performance.


Now most of us “mere mortals” can’t do that, running is a hobby that has to fit around everything else in line. But it’s still important to look at the big picture of each runners life overall so running can fit in to it in a complimentary way. This makes for better running performance and less stress and worry!

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