As the aging process occurs, we often accept that slowing down is part of the process. We accept decreases in performance and mull along talking about the glory days. Why does performance have to stop in our 20s? I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
You have much more control over the process of slowing down compared to what you think.
Yep, I said it! You have more control over your performance than you think. There’s still time for you to pop an amazing PR. There’s still time for people to ask, “You’re how old?!”. The changes you need to make are not as drastic as you would think and are attainable in a multitude of training environments.
Now, how do you unlock this performance? How do you school your 20-year-old self at the age of 35+?
Well, first of all read this blog. Second, attend our live webinar on Thursday!
Attend the Live Webinar on Beating Your Under 30-Year-Old Self!
The competition is just getting started! Learn how to unlock your potential as a masters athlete!
Alright, listen up! School is in session. Let’s dive on on. We need to start with the fundamentals.
Performance School: Fundamentals 101
What are the fundamentals? A better question, what are the foundational pillars of performance?
Let’s strip it down to the minimum!
- Basic Body Care (Nutrition and Sleep)
- Injury prevention
- Sport technique
These are the four keys to a simple, sound performance program. Notice I didn’t spit out anything about the hottest new equipment on the market. Notice I didn’t say you had to do “x” amount of sessions everyday.
I often get the follow-up question of the order listed above. Let’s dive a little further into this aspect of performance.
First and foremost, you need to take care of your body. Try to get a good night of sleep. Eat your vegetables. The basics! I’m all for that well deserved beer at the end of a long day (or a candy bar). I’m all for sitting on a Texas ranch and listening to tunes late into the night. However, as Chris said to me a few years ago, “BE SAVAGE ABOUT THE BAISCS.” If you can complete the basics more than not, you’re going to win in the short and long game.
Second is injury prevention! After completing your basic body care, not getting injured is an awesome way to increase performance. Less time injured results in more uninterrupted training time. More training time without modification will stack up in your favor!
We have a full section of our training sessions dedicated to working on your problem areas and reducing the chance of injury. Each training session starts with a Function section that takes into account your personal assessment. This section helps get the joints back to a proper range of motion, strengthen areas that are in need of a boost, and priming the body for strength work.
The next is the scary word of strength! This word often makes people curl up. The people that curl up at this word probably need more of it. Now, I’m not talking about being an elite level weightlifter or bodybuilder. I’m talking about having the necessary strength and power needed for the sport. Strength helps with injury prevention. Strength helps you have that next level gear to go to. Strength helps with technique.
Finally, we focus on sport technique. Sport technique and strength are intertwined and happen alongside each other. Lacking strength? Good luck holding that beautiful streamline or mastering a new body position in the water. Only strength train, and lose out on how to apply your strength to the water.
Performance School: Dryland 101
As you age, your dryland or resistance training becomes even more important to performance. Strength will quickly leave the body if not managed and given the proper love. However, the research points in your favor if you continue to resistance train as you age. The drop off in strength/power is much more minimal. Add in improved technique due to more time in the sport, and you’re breathing down the neck of your younger self.
You might even be .8 or less away from your DI college days! Do I have your attention now?
What most people fail to realize while aging is that more swimming is not always the answer. Sure, if you’re new to the sport, swim your little heart out and learn the technique. However, swimming more is not a prerequisite to swimming faster. We actually find the opposite. Less swimming and more dryland/resistance training equals better performance and a happier body! The overall volume is way less compared to what most seasoned swimmers are used to.
Wait a minute!
“You mean that I can get faster while doing less. This is great! I already struggle with time!”
You’re learning young grasshopper.
Now you have to be strategic about what you do for dryland/resistance training. Start by not sitting at machines. Let’s be honest, you sit enough.
Try a few of my favorite moves for swimmers!
Performance School: Goal Setting 101
This could be easily change to be called “Having a Plan 101.” With the chaos of day-to-day life, having a plan is important. Understanding the plan is important. Adapting when things do not go to plan is important.
Masters athletes have a major advantage over their 20-something self in this regard. It’s that beautiful thing called wisdom. Don’t worry, 20-somthings, there’s still hope for you.
Let’s talk about two different examples. The first one is with one of our RITTER Masters members, Juan. Juan had been training his tail off for FINA Masters Worlds. About a month and a half before the meet, he had his final tune up. It didn’t go quite as well as he had hoped for. He rarely missed a strength session and swam with intent. His coach opted to not taper him at all for is tune up meet. This messed with his confidence a bit. However, he stuck to what he could control and kept training.
Then he arrived in Budapest for worlds and got slammed with the flu. Game over right? Wrong.
Juan battled through the first few days of the meet, taking a very respectable 8th place in the 800 FR.
He continued to work his way through the meet the best he could. Then it was time for the 400. Juan put his head down and smashed his way to a 4th place finish!
Have a plan. Understand the plan. Adapt when things don’t go to plan!
The next example is Melissa! Melissa was headed into USMS Nationals and wasn’t quite feeling up to par. Her coach even made a comment about how he had no idea what to expect due to the little amount she had been swimming. She felt nervous and unsure if her goals were even attainable. Melissa stuck to the plan and went to USMS Nationals. She crushed two personal bests, two top five finishes, one local record, a seven second drop in an event, and all goals met.
Have a plan. Understand the plan. Adapt when things don’t go to plan.
The biggest thing I see is that people have a big goal. However, they forget the stepping stone goals to get there. Also, what are you willing to do to reach your goals? More importantly, what are you not willing to do? These are questions that are often forgotten.
Performance School: Your Plan 101
Congratulations! You made it to the final class of your first series of subjects.
What is your plan?
Maybe you’re tired of being sidelined with injuries. Maybe you want another shot at performance glory. Maybe you just love swimming and want to do it better. We are here to help! Your first step in starting with us is filling out your athlete assessment!
This is where we learn about you and your goals and start your handcrafted performance plan. Then we dive further into how to reach your goals. Pull yourself out of the dark and let us help you reach the light. Optimizing your performance is right around the corner.
Oh yeah! I almost forgot. By completing your assessment this week, you’ll get a FREE performance consultation call included! Don’t miss this awesome opportunity!
Start Your Performance Plan
Click here to begin your performance assessment!
P.S. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Our prices are going up on September 1st. If you sign up this week, you’ll be locked in at the current price. Let’s stop going slower and start going faster!
Remember, you also get a FREE performance phone consultation included!
Performance School: Extra Credit
Let’s take the discussion a little bit further on how you can beat your 30-U self! Attend our live webinar on Thursday to learn more about how to outperform your younger years.
Attend The Live Webinar On Beating Your Under-30 Self!
The competition is just getting started! Learn how to unlock your potential as a masters athlete.
Want to dive deeper into the pillar of injury prevention? We are kicking off a Movement Challenge in September and would love for you to come join. As we discussed in last week’s blog, good movement is critical to your performance success. Let’s reduce injuries, mobilize, and stabilize!
Join Our Movement Challenge
The Movement Challenge will go live in September! Get notified when it does!
Did you know that RITTERSP athletes have:
-Won 8 USMS Nationals Titles
-Set 5 USMS National Records
-Finished USMS National Runner Up 5 Times
-Won 5 Silver Medals at FINA World Masters Championships
-Finished Top-10 at FINA World Masters Championships 12 Times
-Completed 1 English Channel Swim
Oh..That’s just for the year of 2017.