Have you ever swum upriver in a strong current? There is one rule – keep swimming. The second you stop, you lose ground. Persistence and consistency are king. I was reminded of this as I coached our junior team this morning. As we finished a 1,000-meter loop swimming upstream, weaker swimmers who never stopped swimming pulled ahead of their stronger teammates who took breaks due to fatigue, feeling like they are not going anywhere, or simply because they simply want to.
I witness a similar phenomenon with training where persistence and consistency are also king. Less gifted athletes who are more consistent week to week, month to month, year to year achieve far greater than those are more gifted but less consistent. In my opinion, consistency is the most important element of any training program. There is no magic workout, diet, or equipment that is going to get you the results you want except consistency. This is the only way to your long-term potential.
Some people think that higher loads of volume and intensity are what cause injuries, but I am confident inconsistency is at the root of most injuries. The body relies on patterns – constantly throw it off guard, and you are asking for problems. Unfortunately, injuries cause more inconsistency creating a viscous cycle.
Stop looking for that magic pill that is going to transform your abilities overnight. Instead, get out the door and get your workout in. If you want to get better, commit to consistency.