I could have simply put the title of this piece as "moderation=success", but that could have been mistaken and left to thought from a subjective perspective. Therefore, because I wanted to be more concrete and objective with this piece, I'm tying in a percentage that you should always keep in the back of your mind. That percentage for your new year is 90%
How does 90% work when everyone has always told me 100%? Even my coach tells me to give 100% during my workouts.
I am here to tell you that yes, you should give 100% during your workout as long as it falls within that days planned session. If your coach tells you to run 4 miles but instead you run 5 because you are feeling good, then you just did 125% of the work. Yes you may feel fantastic with yourself, but the real question now becomes how do you feel that next day when you need to run 4 more. Can you hit the workout 100%? Are you only able to hit 85% today? See, this is a big problem with amateur athletes, they want to give 100%, but they don't understand what that really means. I'm here to tell you that 100% means to follow your program on a day-to-day basis so that you can become your best possible self down the road... even if that means 100% seems ridiculously easy.
So, if I should do 100% everyday then why should I be focused on 90%?
This is the fun part for me as a coach. As a coach I am programmed to see down the road to your big event and have you peaked for that occasion. Where 90% comes into play is that each week of training is only 90%(outside of recovery weeks) of what you'll be doing the next week. This leaves room for a 10% improvement each week to stress the body a little bit more and adapt over time. This 10% increase also tends to keep away injuries from over training and also isn't such a big jump that it causes psychological stress. For example, a runner starting at 20 miles week 1 would jump to 22 in week 2 and then 24.2 in week 3.
Can you relate this to diet as well?
I personally believe you can relate this to any aspect of your training and have found overwhelming success with it. The way I use this in a nutritional sense is by following my diet 90% of the time. This for me means I stick to what I'm doing for 9 meals and then get 1 cheat meal. To me the cheat meal is just as important as those other 9 meals. To me this is a recovery meal of sorts. It fulfills my cravings, re-energizes my mind, and most importantly acts as motivation during the hard times knowing I'm never so far away from getting a break.
So, during this first part of the year I hope you found this tip useful. Yes you could go give 100% right away with a big picture mind, but chances are you'll burn out within 2 months. Nobody can peak out 100% for a prolonged period of time and that is why 90% is so important in my perspective. Yes there will be times throughout the year when you need to be in peak form, but realistically you can only do this 2-3 times a year for short periods. So again, before you vow to change your life and training this year, know that it's a long term process and that 90% over the long haul is going to pay off big time.
If you have any thoughts or concerns, feel free to comment.