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Train better - Part I (Your training philosophy)
Train better - Part I (Your training philosophy)
Jami Tikkanen avatar
Written by Jami Tikkanen
Updated over a week ago

What comes to your mind when you think about “training better”?

As a coach, I’m interested in knowing what you are training for (your purpose), how you think about training (your training philosophy) and how you actually train (your process). Understanding these three (3) allows me to see where you are coming from, where you are headed and which course corrections would be of most value to you.

Since this is a rather long article, we’ve broken it down into three parts. Today’s article is on your training philosophy. On Friday, we’ll talk about the purpose of your training (what are you training for?) and on Sunday we’ll focus on your process (how you train). 

I have a training philosophy?

You might have never consciously thought about having a training philosophy, but you do have one. It is a practical philosophy based on what you do (even if you haven’t thought about it, yet). A few common philosophies I see in our sport are “always go all out”, “intensity is all that matters”, and “more is better”. Your inner beliefs about how training should be, largely determine your approach to it. 


Consistency is a solid foundation on which to build your philosophy. It implies showing up patiently, day after day and doing the work as planned. It is through this consistent, disciplined effort that you get the results and make progress over long periods of time. This is not to say that intensity is not important (it is). After all, “Hard training is smart training”. The key though, to productive intensity, is to have it in right proportions at the right times.

By going too hard on the easy days you will go too easy on the hard days. If you come in too tired (or hurt) to do the work at the appropriate intensity, you won’t meet the purpose of the training session, and won’t be making much progress in the long term. When intensity leads to inconsistency, it becomes the enemy of your success.

Make no mistake, your training certainly won’t be easy on The Training Plan. We expect your full effort each day. Some days, this means bringing the intensity and going all out in a workout. On others, it’s paying attention to the technical details of a movement or pacing yourself through a set of intervals to meet the purpose of the  session. 


Patience is a close friend of consistency. It allows you to look at the big picture and place each training session in its context. With patience, we can realise that reaching our goals takes time and no single session is more important than the series of sessions we link together.  

Unfortunately, it is easier to be impatient than patient, especially when we’ve set big goals for ourselves. Impatience leads us to unrealistic expectations (“I should be able to lift this today, why can’t I? There must be something wrong with me.”), fixed mindset (“if I cannot lift this today, then I will never be able to lift it”), and other non-productive thought patterns (“I must go all out/get a personal best every day or I’m just lazy and will never make it”). 

By developing patience, we can set more realistic expectations and take a constructive approach to our training.

Your turn

  1. Take a moment to think about (and maybe write down) your training philosophy. How do you believe you must train to make progress (and achieve your best results)? Are consistency and patience part of your philosophy? If not, what are they replaced by? Be honest as you explore this for yourself.

  2. What is the difference between “full effort” and “high intensity”? Are they the same or different? If so, how? Hint. We are implying that they are not quite the same and the distinction between the two is important.

Thank you

This is the third of our new series of articles on Living better, Training better and Competing better. You can find the previous ones here:

A short introduction to baseline wellness.

We are looking forward to hearing your feedback and keeping the discussion going.

Our next article, coming this Friday, will ask the question "what are you training for?".

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