Training Principles #4 – Principle of Individualisation

detective-152085_640We are taught from a young age that we have each been designed uniquely with fingerprints that match no one else’s in the whole whole world.

There are the tall ones, short ones, thin ones, fat ones, Runnersworld cover model ones…not too mention fast twitch muscles and slow twitch muscles and all the different combinations thereof. Plus, of course, the one unchangeable – our parent’s genes! All these factors physiologically play a big role in determining how we will respond to different training stimulus and therefore – what is the optimum training for someone else might not be the optimum training for you.

Together with our different physiological make ups we also have different personalities. Some runners thrive independently on a program which has military style detail and offers lots of in depth data analysis, others bore easily and need the workouts to be varied and interesting while yet others need constant affirmation that they are doing just great.

All very important factors that a coach needs to consider in designing the best plan for YOU. (and also reason why some plans work great for Mr. A but not Mr. B!)

Then we have the myriad of other variables:

How many years you have been training for? When last did you train? How much time does your life rhythm allow for training? What is your health status? What sort of training environment do you live in? The list goes on and on… and I have not even mentioned the unpredictables –  illness, injury, work travel, sudden family commitments etc. etc.

All in all, there is no magic formula that if you substitute X with You = Race Goal. The best results come from discovering ‘What is the optimum training for me, and for me, right now’.

Oh and by the way, even though we should know ourselves better than anyone else, we are often not our own best coaches – objectivity levels are normally way out!

In short – Find out YOUR best lane and stay in it!

Coach Kathleen



About Coach Kathleen

Coaching since 2004, I have coached both young and old athletes from those achieving provincial and national medals in track, biathlon and cross country to runners running their first ever half marathon or marathon. I am a specialist in youth coaching and my coaching philosophy is to not only help each athlete achieve their best with their athletic talent but to guide each athlete in developing character and transforming their lives beyond the track. As an athlete I have competed at high levels across all the running disciplines, track, road, cross country and trail running as well as internationally in triathlon. I have a personal best of 2 hours 45 min for the marathon and have twice been part of the winning ladies team in the AfricanX trail race. Qualifications IAAF Athletics Lecturer Level 3 Distance Running Coach SAQ Fundamental Movement Certificate Personal Running Performances
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