The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…

I was recently interviewed for a magazine and one of the questions I was asked was:

Q: What are the biggest mistakes people make with their overall endurance training?

As this is clearly such an important topic I thought I would share my answers with you here 🙂

A: People make so many mistakes when left to their own devices but here are the main three that are the most common, and the most serious.

1) Ignoring S&C!
I speak to so many triathletes who just run, bike and swim and think that time doing S&C work is time wasted. Or, they do it but they don’t take it seriously. They do it to just tick the box.

Smart S&C can be the thing that truly elevates someone’s endurance performance as there are so many benefits: Better running economy, better posture, better form, improved speed and power, better muscle fibre recruitment, faster reflexes… to name just a few 🙂

You will never be the best endurance athlete you can be if you are not doing really good S&C… and the ‘C’ is important. A lot of people focus on the Strength and not the Conditioning.

Plus S&C is the biggest prehab tool for injury prevention. It’s how you become a bulletproof racer.

2) Repetitive training.
I see people share their run/cycle/tri training plans and they include the same sort of session week in, week out. The same sort of runs, the same rides etc.
The SAID principle is so important in both Endurance and S&C.
Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands.
You need to force your body to adapt to different stimulus to ensure progression. If you only ever run at a similar pace, lift a certain weight or bike for a certain time or distance you are blunting your progress because there is nothing for your body to adapt to.

3) Thinking more is more, and wanting to do way too much.
I know so many athletes that think deload weeks are wasted weeks and that tapering means just not doing anything for a couple of days before the race. It can be a real struggle to help someone truly understand, appreciate and most importantly execute a strategic and meaningful deload or taper period.

Too many endurance athletes either break themselves, burn out or hold themselves back simply by doing too much.

Personally I am a fan of the minimal dose response – using the minimum amount of good, targeted, specific work, to gain the maximum amount of benefit. I have honed this technique over my years of coaching and my athletes really benefit. One of the common pieces of feedback I get is ‘I cant believe how much I’ve improved. I thought I would have to do way more to achieve these results.’

About Liza Smith

Liza: The Endurance Expert – Unlock Your Peak Athletic Potential!

Dedicated to endurance, particularly in extreme events like Ironman, OCR and Ultras, Liza stands out not just as a coach but as an emblem of determination and tenacity.

With a reputation for moulding winners and transforming raw potential into prowess, Liza is the top pick for those aspiring to reign supreme in their sport.

Liza’s coaching philosophy centres on the power of the mind. Her five pillars – Control the Controllable, Find the Positive, Focus on You, 100% Effort, and Extreme Ownership – guide athletes to both mental and physical excellence.

Whether you're just starting out or vying for the gold, Liza ensures your hard work delivers results. Train with Liza and unleash the ultimate athlete within you.