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  • Mike Paterson

Load – “Looking for the Goldilocks Zone”

Load is possibly the hottest, most researched topic in sports at present. So, what is load?

Load is the work, exercise (load you put your body through) in training and /or competing in your chosen sport. Load is protective of injury and increases your risk of injury. Confused yet?

The oldest example of load is the legend of Milo, a wrestler known for his superhuman strength, who carried a calf on his shoulders as a young man every day. As the calf grew so did Milo’s strength, until Milo was still able to carry the animal as a 4-year-old bull.

The example of Milo represents gradual loading and increasing the load in small increments. The human body is amazing in its ability to adapt to the forces/environment we subject it to. Whether its increasing your distance in running, lifting more in the gym or exercising at a higher intensity to improve your fitness; load is all important. When loading we look to find the “Goldilocks zone,” where you stress your body enough to cause adaption, but not enough that you cause overload and injury. The challenge with load is that there are many other variables such as, diet, sleep, work, lifestyle, current and/or previous injuries.

Studies have shown that the optimal increase in load when training for a marathon is to increase your distance by 10% every 2 weeks. This is just a guideline and doesn’t factor in lots of variables, but for a novice runner it’s a good starting point.

If you are looking to improve your performance, or have a new goal you are training for and are having troubles we can help! Mike has helped many athlete’s in many different disciplines as well as competed in many multi-sport, mountain runs and Ultra-marathon events himself.

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