Congratulations to everyone who competed at AKC Nationals 2013! There were so many great teams who went and I have been enjoying all of the videos posted to Facebook. Inspiring!!!
Hopefully everyone has made it home safely and is spending this week recovering from the weekend of spectacular agility. As you rest and reflect, it’s natural to start looking forward to the next big event. What is that for you? If you didn’t go to AKC Nationals this year, what is “your” big event you are working toward?
I think it is necessary to take a moment after an important event (whatever is important to you) and assess how well you did at being in peak physical condition at the right time. Were you spot on and feeling on fire at the event? Were you worn out and feeling sluggish? Maybe, THIS experience lit a fire in you to be even better next time. Whatever that assessment is, take note and think back to how you did (or didn’t) condition physically for the competition.
Now look to the future. When is the next event you wish to peak at and what will you do differently? Here are a few simple steps to help.
- REST! Anyone who was at an event as big as AKC Nationals should follow up with a rest period. If you are looking forward to another important event, this rest period may only be 1-2 weeks. If this was the big event that brought your competitive year to an end, you should take a longer rest (up to 2 months) in preparation for your next competitive season. Rest doesn’t mean sitting on the couch, though it’s not at all inappropriate to take a few days of complete rest at the end of YOUR agility year. Take part in other activities and focus your attention on recovery, rejuvenation and rehabilitation of any nagging injuries. This period of conditioning is crucial for preventing burnout in the following year.
- During your rest period, start planning. Identify the events that are important to you. Which one(s) is THE EVENT? Now consider what areas you want to improve at physically before that event. Do you want to develop speed? Do you want to improve your footwork? Do you have injury concerns to address?
- Now start getting more specific. There should be a general conditioning component to your plan as well as areas to focus on. Select only a couple of focus areas at a time. Keep it simple at first. I often find that it is easiest for clients to have a focus for each month. Keep it FUNCTIONAL to agility! Ask yourself if you are planning activities that will translate to your sport. Plan around your training/ trialing schedule. Be sure to add a rest day in each week and avoid heavy workouts the day before a competition.
- Do it! If you have a skilled and educated professional to work with, share your ideas and get help designing a conditioning plan. Be involved in the process and you will be more likely to follow through! You will also be more likely to listen to your body and adapt to it’s needs along the way. Sometimes, what is best isn’t working as hard as you can. WHAT you do and WHEN you do it is key to any conditioning program. Keep the process dynamic and be willing to adjust as you go. Use your time wisely and it will pay off richly!
Are you motivated to do the work, but need help putting it all together? Click HERE to get started and take advantage of a special offer.
If you are interested in group online classes, my next session of Functional Fitness for Agility Handlers in the Daisy Peel Online Classroom begins April 15th, 2013.
Be mindful and move with intention.
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