In a new column, Stevie Gee tells you how to separate the blog from the blag in online sports advice for athletes and coaches.
WE’VE all endured it.
That moment on the way to the track on race day, during the pre-race warm up or squatting into the blocks. That one quiet moment when your mind is overrun by one simple, terrifying question: Have I done enough?
As athletes, we derive our confidence from knowing that we have left no stone unturned during the preparation phase – that every box has been ticked, every variable considered, every modality, specific to our event, has been identified and applied. But when you’re faced with a dizzying array of factors to consider – Nutrition, Supplementation, Functional Strength and Conditioning, Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation, Training Specificity, Mode, Frequency Volume and Intensity, Rest and Recovery as well as the technical elements relevant to your chosen event- where do you begin to look online for the right information? And, more importantly, where do you stop?
I still have the same passion for Track and Field I had as a youth. I still voraciously read magazines, including Athletics Weekly, from cover to cover, I still watch videos of athletes performing, I enjoy discussing and sharing relevant information to mutually expand knowledge with fellow coaches and athletes and stay on track with the latest trends and developments in sport science and performance, so that when all is said and done I can perform at my best, win lose or draw. But I know that, in an information-addicted world, it takes more than that.
Gathering training tips and information, relevant to our chosen event, has rapidly evolved and improved over the years since I first competed. The days of simply consulting like-minded athletic friends, coaches, local libraries, magazine and bookstores to improve athletic performance has been transformed into a Google-driven monster where every morsel of information is available with the click of a mouse or a drag of a screen on a smart phone.
Amidst the proliferation of online sites related to Health and Fitness, it’s all-too easy to be swept away by the deluge of information when it comes to personal research and locating relevant material to help us in our chosen sport. Even the most respected sites can contain misinformation and bias when it comes to Health, Weight loss and Training Advice. Market-led, profit-driven pragmatism invariably contributes to this. It can be frustrating at times differentiating between fact and fiction: blag and blog- the spurious and the genuine.
As someone who has recently returned to Athletics this year – to compete at Masters level in the 400m- I was all too aware of the need for top-quality information and advice to get me back on track. I had to ensure I minimised the risk of injury, followed a healthier diet and generally maintained my fitness as I get older.
NOTE: All articles on this blog specific to Masters are filed under the Masters Category.
But how do we use the bottomless well of information that exists online to educate, empower and inspire our training? How do we filter the jewels from the junk and discern the blogs from the blag? How do we filter our search results into an easy-to-use reference guide that supports our development rather than frying our brains?
We do it the same way athletes always do. Find a great coach, focus on the end result, and then get to work.
To help with this, over the coming months, I’ll be reviewing top-trending blogs on subjects relating to Health and Fitness, Nutrition, Sports Supplements,Strength and Conditioning, Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation as well great sporting moments via You Tube. My aim is to create a forum for discussion and learning on this site, to ensure that fellow athletes and those interested in sport and fitness can find the practical, valuable advice, information and resources they need. So please feel free to share any blogs you may feel are useful.
Yours in Sport,
About the Author
Stevie Gee is a personal trainer, fitness coach and a GB Master Athlete at 400m. He competed for Northern Ireland in the early 1990s, and aims to run at the European Vets Athletic Championships, next year’s world masters championships in Lyon M45 over 400m
Stevie Gee’s articles will be filed under the Stevie Gee tag.