The Olympics pits the best of the world’s professional athletes against each other, in virtually every field of sport known to mankind. The world’s fascination with the Olympics has not waned over the years. It is safe to say that athletes around the world will still train for the Olympics and inspire non-athletes to train as if they were going to the Olympics. Though Olympic training is essentially different from one sport to the next, below are some useful tips in training for the Olympics:
- Regular training. Olympic athletes before did not train daily because of the mistaken notion that they may get “burned out” before the main event. But scientific studies over the decades and Olympic records have shown otherwise. Leading scientist say that improved Olympic records are affected by factors such as culture (not necessarily genetics), regular and in-depth training, and modern medical care affect athletic performance. Regular exercise builds strength and endurance, and minimizes injuries and soreness.
- Sports meets science. Who says jocks and geeks don’t mix? Training for the Olympics has become a scientific enterprise. Aside from winning, athletes are concerned about beating world records and have turned to the modern sciences to help in their training. Premier athletes train in "macrocycles" or programs designed to help them reach their peak on their event. Depending on the event the athlete participates in, the underlying idea in a macrocycle is to increase the intensity of the training progressively to the end that the athlete will reach his peak form on D-day or around the week of his event. This is a complicated scientific process which incorporates the balancing of proper training, diet and rest. They rely on the help of professionally trained doctors and trainers to keep them in top form for the Olympics.
- Specialized training. Strength, endurance and speed are important to marathon runner but not to a heavy weight lifter. Each sport requires something different from each athlete hence training tends to be specialized.
- The right food. Unlike dieting mortals merely concerned of their caloric intake, Olympic athletes are more concerned about taking in the right nutrients and calories they need for training and for the real thing. In addition to the proper diet, they have also turned to dietary supplements which can improve their performance. However, laws and Olympic rules draw the line on steroids and other like drugs.
- Proper rest. Because training is regular, proper rest should be included in the athlete’s regimen. Sleep lets the body repair itself and allows it to recuperate. Any fitness specialist or sports specialist will tell you that rest periods are key to muscle growth and development. Without proper rest, an athlete runs the risk of training injuries, overtraining and even losing the competition because of these.
- Proper form. Have you ever observed runners or gymnasts at work? Form is very important because an athlete in proper form is doing his thing right and helps distract him from pain and other discomforts.
- Proper attitude. The Olympics is a test of the human spirit. An Olympic athlete is a champion in his own right as one of the best athletes in his country and he is motivated by factors like personal success and national pride.
You need not be an Olympic contender to train for the Olympics. Olympic athletes do not have the monopoly of the benefits of proper exercise, food, rest and attitude though they are living proof that the impossible is possible when you have the heart.