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Train healthily

-By: Tomas Swift-Metcalfe

Last modified: May 10, 2014

Some tips on how to train healthily.

Sport is generally seen as something healthy. This isn’t quite true. Sport done with any seriousness can have a negative effect on your health and it’s important to watch out and learn how to train healthily. Here are some tips:

sports doctor

Find a doctor that understands sport. There are many peculiarities to athletes that mean that a normal doctor might fail to understand certain problems. A sports doctor is also best placed to advice you on how to train healthily for your specific case (e.g. if you have any particular condition).

sports medical

Have your sports doctor conduct regular test that include ECG and blood test, a ramp test and whatever else deemed necessary. These must be done at least once a year.

VO2max (ramp test)
VO2max test -ramp test


Sport is just as much about rest as it is about training. While training is good fun and practically and addiction for many athletes it’s important to train in a sustainable manner.


Over use problems wont occur with correct technique and equipment set up. In this situation you need a mixture of science and common sense.

For example: with bare foot running: if you’re using minimal footwear or are bare foot you should not slam your heel into the ground as you would in a pair of running shoes.

I would suggest seeking a professional bike or shoe fit if possible.

pre-conditioning (pre-season)

Pre-conditioning is tricky, it’s a tough one to explain as a coach. Pre-conditioning is the process of preparing your body for exercise. Ambulatory sports (walking, running), gym and even some contact sports (with due care) are all great ways to prepare for proper training. As with everything: Start easy and build up.

fads and quackery

There is a lot of quackery about training and sport, like ‘balance bracelets’, training with loads of clothing in hot weather, extreme diets, overloading on supplements. If you’re in doubt about something just don’t do it. Beyond genetics, training, lifestyle and diet there’s not much to be improved.

listing to your body.

One very important point: You do the training, you know what’s best. What a coach is doing is advising. Even a full training program might have some error in it (e.g. training zones that don’t add up perfectly) and it’s important for you to recognise when you are over doing it or training incorrectly.

adequate nutrition

Food is the first thing people get peculiar about when they start a fitness routine… Don’t cut food down, don’t go hungry, you’ll be depriving your body of important nutrients for recovery and fuel for training.

if in doubt…

Find someone that has a better idea of your situation and can advice you or tell you who can advice you.

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