The ‘Training Load v Load Capacity’ Balancing Act 19/02/2018

My 1st Infographs look at the balance between your training plan & recovery, for any event and sport. I’ve decided to use running as an example as it’s marathon season.

The factors towards us getting fit for an event are simple: create a training plan and stick to it. Get a running buddy or join a club, eat, sleep and drink running. But do we consider the impact the loads of training have on our bodies, compared to the factors allowing us to deal with the loads (load capacity)?

We sometimes do forget how much our jobs have an impact on our training. Such as working early/late, more demand, more physical/mental fatigue, travel & stress. Sometimes we don’t consider our responsibilities as an adult (why do we need to get older & be responsible?!) as having a big impact on our training. Because it’s normal and you have to deal with it.

And let’s admit it, peer pressure can be a positive and negative factor towards our training.

There are also many factors that allow us to deal with the loads forced onto our muscles & tendons when we run. And they aren’t specifically from running or our training plan. They include sleep, complete rest days, strength training, diet & being able to control our movements while running. These are factors which in my opinion are not valued highly enough or even prioritised.

Infographic 1

Infograph 1 – The Balanced Seesaw, the ideal training plan and scenario! Training, recovery and strength compliment each other nicely, in priority and time.

This is how we think the training should be throughout the plan when we begin. However…








Infographic 2

Infograph 2 – The Unhappy Seesaw. This shows what happens when you do more than your plan says and don’t look after yourself enough. A recipe for increased injury risk; recipe for disaster.

It’s very common to meet an injured runner who states that they felt they were fit enough to do more than their plan. They then enter the classic ‘Boom & Bust’ cycle, where there has been a big ‘Boom’ in training, pain or injury has occurred and they gone ‘Bust’.

If you don’t change the factors towards training load, you can only expect either more or no change in symptoms & pain, and a reduction in training. If you do change it, it will look like this…






Infograph 3

Infograph 3 – The Happy Seesaw, where you have made the necessary and favourable changes from the Unhappy Seesaw, so you can progress with your training. This allows you to adapt to your training. It let’s your muscles, ligaments and tendons become stronger and more conditioned…and mentally, you’ll probably feel better! Not a bad scenario to be in is it!








So, which seesaw best describes your training at the moment? I’ve adapted Tom Goom’s infographic from the Running Repairs Course I recently attended. What do you think?? Does it help you analyse your training better?

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