Training Tips for the Average Athlete

July 19, 2013 Katie Burrell

It is mid-summer, and at some point soon (not right away), us average athletes will have to start thinking about our training regimens that will lead us into winter. In a town like Revelstoke, people get after it, and sometimes, I feel as if I need to be taking performance enhancing drugs just to keep up with my friends. So I have compiled a list of training tips to get the ball rolling for those of us who are never going to find ourselves competing in the Olympics, but are committed to taking our fitness to the next level to ensure a moderately successful winter.

Gettin' After It. Photo: Caton Garvie
Gettin’ after it. Photo: Caton Garvie

Get a Mentor

Figure out who the fittest person in town is. Maybe they are a rock climber or marathon runner. Perhaps they own a hot yoga studio and practice death torture poses three times a day.

Immediately stop comparing yourself to them. It’s discouraging and  unnecessary.

You know that guy that says things like, “I want people to look at me and think to themselves: ‘that guy really enjoys his life’.” He loves to drink beers and barbecue, but has a lifestyle-defying six pack? That’s who to model yourself after. Nothing in life should cause you too much stress, especially not your training program.

Hone Your Daydreaming Skills

You’re not exactly a “great” runner. During some runs you want to cry, during others, laugh (point being: you’re generally inconsistent). The single most effective way to improve as a runner is to improve your daydreaming skills. To pull those extra kilometres out, ask yourself:

What would it look like if everything I have ever wanted happened in slow motion, while the Chariots of Fire soundtrack played in the background?

Allow the dream to unfold. Don’t think about breathing, pacing, or anything to do with running (you’ll end up walking). With solid daydreaming ability, you can do moderate impact exercise, forever.

Whether You're Tenacious Or Stubborn, Pull Those Extra Km's Out. Photo: Dawn Morrow
Whether you’re tenacious or stubborn, pull those extra km’s out. Photo: Dawn Morrow

Ride Your Bike With No Hands

I like to call this “cross-training.” It engages your core while also being a life skill that will impress people in passing vehicles.

Blended Green Drinks

The biggest health food rage right now are green smoothies. Here’s my favourite green smoothie recipe:



1/2 shot of Triple Sec

2 shots of Tequila

Lime Juice (for colour)

Classic Green Smoothie
Classic Green Smoothie


Don’t worry if you can’t just JUMP out of bed and get to your workout right off the rattle in the morning. Stalling can burn extra calories (unless your stalling tactic is to eat so much that you can’t move). Also, doing all the things that you really hate (dishes, vacuuming, answering emails) will make you appreciate how much less you hate exercising.

Take Up Restorative Yoga

This is your classic hour and a half of not moving that classifies as exercise. Perfect.

Discover Twister

Twister is great for agility, strength, focus and balance. Buy or steal it from your local children’s toy store. Remember to stay hydrated while playing. Beer or wine is a good option.

Join A Beer League Co-Ed Softball Team

Any average athlete should be participating in a softball beer league. It is the only way to improve short distance running and develop reasonable hand-eye coordination. Whatever you do, do not hurt yourself playing co-ed beer league softball. There is nothing more shameful.

Many New Skills. Reinvigorated Competitive Drive. Very Serious. Photo: Katie Burrell
Many new skills. Reinvigorated competitive drive. Very serious. Photo: Katie Burrell

Dance Walk

I think it was one of the characters from The Babysitter’s Club who first coined the phrase, “why walk, when you could dance?” She was spot-on.  Throw your iPod in and hit the streets. Nothing will make you sweat more (from both exertion and embarrassment).

**I read on a poster in a bathroom stall that sweating rejuvenates your skin.  I have found that most of life’s tough questions can be answered in bathroom stalls.

High Kicks

Any flexibility that you cannot gain from a regular Twister practice, you can get from consistently doing high kicks. Fifteen reps, three times a week, will really loosen the hip joints and bring renewed vigour to your fitness regimen.