Usually you have a training plan and you think you just need to follow it.
Your coach was putting thoughts into this plan, that it will guide you the desired direction. When it comes to each single session, it is up to you, what you are making out of it. Two athlets can have the same training but totally different resurlts.
To get the most out of a session, at first you want to know the goal of your scheduled training practice.
Yes, in the end you want to improve in your sport. But no one can work on everything at the same time. That's why you have different sessions, which are supposed to develop different skills. The better each of those skills are developed, the better you will perform when it counts bringing all of those together.
Here are some examples what those focus points might be:
- general strength
- specific strength
- lactate tolerance
Just those seven categories already show that it is not possible to cover all of them in every session. For example, lactate tolerance and recovery are on totally different ends of the training spectrum. Trying to mix some of those, will send your body mixed information, it will be confused and not adapt to any of those. It's like learning German and Russian at the same time.
What you can mix in this example is endurance and specific strength, if this specific strength session is aiming for endurance training. Specific strength can also be done with a focus on speed.
I hope by now it makes sense, that knowing the goal of the session makes it easier to actually accomplish this goal. If you are not exactly sure what your upcoming session is aiming for, don´t hesitate asking your coach. When you are going for an hour recovery run, this is a different hour run, than one in which you want to implement your threshold zone.
The examples above show that this focus can sound very simple and sometimes be described with just one word. So please don't make it complicated. But if there is an hour run on your schedule, you want to know the purpose of this session to get the most out of this hour.
Having practice goals not just makes your session most effective, it's also more fun and with fun, comes motivation.
Check out your next session, look up the purpose of it and see what happens - it's such simple :)
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