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Under Training is Better Than Overtraining with Michellie Jones

Jul 20, 2023

Get ready to dive into the world of triathlon with none other than Michellie Jones, a household name in the sport. With an impressive track record and a wealth of experience, Coach Michellie shared her wisdom on the importance of rest and recovery in training.


Michellie Jones: A Down-to-Earth Legend

Let's take a moment to appreciate the fact that we get to learn from the iconic Michellie Jones!

Michellie started her tri career in 1990 and won two ITU Triathlon World Championships (in 1992 and 1993).  She won the and won an Olympic silver medal in the Sydney Olympic Games.  

She became Ironman World Champion in just her 4th full distance Ironman in 2006. In addition to coaching age groupers, she is also the head coach of UC San Diego's collegiate program.


The Perils of Overtraining and the Need for Rest

Triathletes are notorious for their relentless pursuit of intensity and pushing themselves to the limits. 

However, Michellie stresses the importance of adopting a periodised approach to training and nutrition. It's crucial to incorporate easy, light rest and recovery days into your training schedule to avoid overtraining. 

As a Type A personality, Michellie understands the temptation to constantly push for more. 

However, she emphasises the wisdom of being slightly undertrained rather than overtrained. It's all about finding the right balance.


Staying on Your Path

One of the biggest challenges for triathletes is comparing themselves to others and feeling pressured to follow the same training regimen. 

Michellie encourages athletes to stay true to their own path, focus on their own journey, and not worry about what others are doing. 

As she puts it, "You can't control what other people are doing. You can only control what you do."



The Art of Rest and Recovery

Michellie's philosophy on rest and recovery is simple yet profound.

She believes that rest is a form of training itself. It's essential to have a purpose for every training session and not just train for the sake of training. Easy sessions and recovery days are crucial for allowing your body to recover and progress to the next level. 

She also emphasises the need to listen to your body and slow down when necessary. In the offseason, she recommends taking a step back and focusing on areas of weakness, such as functional strength training.


Finding the Right Balance

When it comes to strength training, Michellie advises against lifting heavy weights, especially for triathletes. 

Instead, she advocates for functional strength training that helps build stability and prevent injuries. Two strength training sessions per week, along with swim, bike, and run workouts, provide a well-rounded approach to overall fitness. 

The key is to find the right balance and avoid excessive strain on your body.


Fueling Your High-Performance Machine

Nutrition plays a crucial role in an athlete's performance and recovery. 

Michellie highlights the importance of replenishing your body after intense workouts. 

Carbohydrates, often feared by some athletes, are a vital part of the recovery process. Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth. Michellie compares your body to a high-performance machine that requires proper fuel to function optimally.

Ignoring your body's nutritional needs can have detrimental effects on your performance and overall well-being.



Recognising Overtraining

Identifying the signs of overtraining is crucial for maintaining a healthy training routine. Michellie highlights some key indicators, such as loss of appetite, night sweats, and muscle soreness. Cramping, particularly during sleep, can also be a sign of overtraining. 

Listening to your body and being aware of these signs allows you to make necessary adjustments and avoid long-term injuries.


Wrapping Up

The conversation with Michellie Jones has shed light on the importance of rest, recovery, and avoiding overtraining. 

As a triathlete, it's vital to find the right balance between training intensity and allowing your body to recover. Michellie's expertise and experience serve as a valuable guide to help triathletes reach their full potential while maintaining their well-being.

So remember, you are a high-performance machine, and treating yourself as such is the key to unlocking your triathlon potential. Take the time to recover, fuel your body with proper nutrition, and always listen to what your body is telling you. You can achieve greatness while staying injury-free and enjoying the sport you love.


To dive deeper, listen to the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Podcast, EP 103 - Under Training is Better Than Overtraining with Michellie Jones  

If you are interested in learning more about the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Program and what it can do for you, head HERE to learn more.



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