'It's been a tough week so far, loads of clients. Some really busy, hectic classes, and having to take time out to see family hasn't helped my head any! With all that my body's feeling it. I've got a crick in my neck that runs down into my scapula. My dodgy hip has decided it wants to say hello (ffs!) and my knees are creaking like an ancient oak forest in a storm!
To top it all off it's peak week in my four weekly training cycle so I've got to give all I've got and get an improvement over my previous cycle's max efforts. This week is going to get even tougher'
Does any of this ring true? If you're an age grouper (i.e. non-professional athlete) some version of this internal dialogue will ring bells with you. This is my description of one of the most insidious traps that afflicts those of us who take training seriously. It's called short-sighted thinking. And I'll bet if you're not doing it now, you've done it before and there's a very good chance you'll do it in the future.
Here's what usually happens in this scenario: training plan (or ancient biblical text, the deviation from which means immediate gains in bodyfat, loss of speed, strength, flexibility etc for eternity) sayeth 'I command you to jump'. And you respond 'how high?'
You're feeling old and done in, you know you're not at your peak but the holy creed says peak, so peak you must. Stimulants may be consumed, and warm ups are completed. If you're lucky you get away with an initial improvement followed by a rapid loss in performance.
If you're unlucky, you deflate as soon as you start, lose your mojo and slink home kicking any stray dogs that you see in a foul humour that you take home and proceed to wreck the whole weekend for the family. 'Cause training is life (or some such twee cack).
And if you're really unlucky you injure something that sets you back in real terms about 6 months. Clever.
Short-sightedness and slavish adherence to the plan broke you. With age should (one would think) come wisdom. When life throws you a googly and the sh1t's hitting the fan - that's not the time to be trying to break personal records. The only thing likely to break in those situations is a hamstring (or other sport appropriate bodypart!).
The next time this happens to you, get flexible - go easy for a week and go for your peak week at week 5 for a change. You won't wither away, your gains won't disappear and you might, just might astound yourself.
Train to stimulate not annihilate.