Cross Country

Clatters Chatter: A New Approach On Training

‘Beep, Beep’. The alarm goes at 4:30am. “Time to hit the pool”, my mind excitedly rings. After 2 hours of intense swimming, I head 20km to school on my bike. Never a break, no rest as this is what the pros do.

“I want to be the best!”

I was so dedicated and wanting to make it pro, I forgot about my body and my Hauroa and was slowly wasting away. My body was crying for help inside, but I never listened. After having multiple coaches and never listening, I decided I needed someone who can help my parents and myself monitor me. This is when I met Coach Ray.

I loved to train. I trained six to seven days each week, with no rest days and training at least twice a day or more. I wanted to become pro so bad. I thought if I started training hard now it would be easier when I get older. I didn’t realize how hard it would be for my body, as I felt fine almost all the time, though I did get very tired. Never listening to my body I advanced forward, not having any real short term goals. Some weeks I was clocking up over 20 hours of extreme training, making my body suffer and go through torture to endure the tough work. I admired athletes such as Lionel Sanders and Mo Farah, as I wanted to be just like them and this is what kept me going, kept me pushing on and working to be as good as those athletes and someday beat their records. I was so obsessed with how much they were training and I believed this is what I needed to do. My parents, coaches, friends and teachers were getting very worried about me as I would make them tired just explaining my training to them.

Diet was another major factor that contributed alongside my training. I watched what the pros would eat and it would sound scrumptious and healthy. I tried to mimic and eat diets like them with no added sugar and little amounts, or even no processed foods. What I didn’t realise was the calories I was getting from these foods were significantly less than what I used to be eating, even though I was eating more quantity. I just wanted
to do the best for my body and for my future!

I was burning out like a dying fire, turning to ash.

Me at lake Taupo after swimming the Iron man course

I finally met the wall. I had overdone done it, cracked like an egg. I was out of action for three months, being ill and then didn’t come back to full training for another three months. I had to bring it back slowly which frustrated the heck out of me, but I had to understand what I had put my body through.

My mum and dad had always been there for me and they really helped me with my recovery. My mum let me come back slowly with a more balanced approach. At first I was only allowed to go for small bike rides and walks with my mum, so she could keep an eye on me. I really enjoyed this as I was able to do some things I hadn’t be able to do in ages, whilst spending more time with my family.

When I was allowed to come back to full training, mum was taking me and making sure I was not doing too much and keeping a good balance still. I did a few races and was surprised at how well I had done at them, getting 2nd in South Island athletics in March in 3000m and a PB of 34.17 in 10km a little bit later. However I was still self coached and still didn’t know a vast amount of what I should be doing. This is when I first met Coach Ray.

Me and my brother fishing

Coach Ray gave me a new perspective on training by telling me it is not the quantity you do, it is how well you recover from the work you have done. I got my first week of training from him and can’t believe how detailed it was from what I had when I was previously coached and what I had done when self coached. I love how much little things like HR can incorporate into your training and cadence of your legs when running as well. I have now finally found a great coach who understands me, and can’t wait for next week’s training and what the future holds for me!

-Luke Clatworthy (Clatters Chatter)

Luke is a talented junior athlete who is currently training for a series of cross country races. He has performed pretty well in them the last few years and wants to be the best athlete he can be. Follow his progress this year as he strives for success.

Check out Luke’s article from last week here:

All Luke’s previous articles can be found here:

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