Charles Darwin states in his Theory of Evolution that “the species that survives is not necessarily the strongest, or the most intelligent, but the one that adapts better to the environment.”
This undeniable truth does not apply solely to animals, but to each of us in our own personal challenges. It stand true in all areas of our lives, from professional, day to day chores or as it will be in this case, sports training. Adapting to the environment is what makes an “everyday athlete” qualify to a world championship, represent their country or gets them to the Olympics.
Every Triathlon enthusiast should know about Ironman Kona in 1995. Paula Newby Fraser, one of the best Triathletes in the history of the sport, was living through one of the most excruciating days in her life. After leading the women’s race for 225km, and keeping a lead of 10 mins over the second athlete, she found herself in an image that can be described as bizarre, to say the least. With under 1km to go to the finish line, the 10 times Ironman Champion suddenly stopped, and eventually fell, struggling to move every metre as if she was dragging rocks behind. The struggle she went through cost her the Ironman 1995 World Championship.
After the agonising end of this Triathlon, Paula admitted that the race was lost from even before it had started. By relying on a training method no longer used and that went against the physiological model of endurance sports performance, she knew that an athlete cannot improve except by changing their relationship with perceived effort. Some athletes tend to lose perspective and ignore the limit at which hard work stops being beneficial for them. Since this incident, she decided to follow the training methodology of “less is more”. She adapted her training efforts to a more focused model which brought her back to the top of her sport only one year later.
This short story highlights for the everyday athlete how important it is to question everything. Ask as many questions as possible from your best personal trainer Melbourne or coach, and do our own research when needed. Training content and methodology is every changing as science moves and improves. As fitness consumers, we need to keep track of these changes and adapt ourselves to how science, and our own environment change. We need to contemplate and understand each exercise, method and session with scientific eyes. We need to be adapting to the different ways it can be used, seeing the benefits, and possible risks, and understanding the best way to use them to our advantage. We need the best gym membership deals to be coupled with the best gym trainers and coaches. The more knowledge and tools we have, the better chance we have to achieve our personal fitness goals.
Only through adaptation will we find better results.