How many times have you been at training whatever it may be, and a coach or a team mate yells it out… “Let’s go! Money in the bank” Maybe you know what it means, maybe you don’t, but it always seems to be said with a purpose that indicates its importance yeah? Right! As a physiology nerd I LOVE the term and what it stands for, intelligently and robustly building up and investing in your psychological and physiological athletic profile!

In the distance running and triathlon world it’s imperative, within the team sports I work with predominately Australian Rules Footy but it could easily be soccer or most field based sports, its crucial. The distance world knows how long it takes to extract your ultimate performance, Legendary New Zealand coach Arthur Lydiard was the king of the term and the practice, he would heap “lump sums” of aerobicwork in to his athletes in the foundation phase before sharpening them up and have them perfectly peaked when it was time to “withdraw” all their hard investing (training) - most notably when he led Peter Snell to the 800m gold at both the 1960 and ‘64 Olympics as well Murray Halberg to the 5000m Gold in 1960 at Rome and at the same games Barry Magee to a marathon Bronze. Talk about the ultimate payday hey!!!

In field based sports it is often referred to in the preseason where athletes will be working for 3-4 months prior to the season commencing- but it doesn’t end there it should be a 12 month deposit strategy- think strength work, in season conditioning , recovery , nutrition ,  etc., etc.,  everything we do affects the way our next session or most importantly next race/game will be.

The analogy is so apt because the two topics at hand fitness and saving money have so many parallels.

 A common mistake people who may be training for weightless or body fat loss make is they may “check in or their savings” 3 times a day!! They weigh themselves A LOT or they may be checking in the mirror to  see if they look “different’  to yesterday- which causes some highs and some lows – the lows can then spiral and you end up on an emotional roller coaster that could ultimately lead you back to a vice be it food or the like, not to mention the mental anguish and stress hormones release from this process which alsoinhibit fat loss. Training like investing is NOT A LINEAR CURVE.

I suggest to recheck your progress monthly, or quarterly or even annually, It may be on the scales or in the form of a fitness test eg. 3 km run, or 1 km row – something objective and tangible or something similar.  Those who compete have regular objective measurements in the forms of their races or games. Do not fixate on daily improvements, but do “invest” wisely and intelligently daily it may not be a large investment of a long run or a quality fartlek , it may be a correct nutritional choice that your future self will thank you for later, or foam rolling and some mobility work for 10 mins at night- everything you do is an investment in your future self.

If your beginning your fitness journey it is easy to get carried away if you see some big changes early, congratulate yourself but never underestimate the long term nature of your task and the fact that we all should be training for life, for mental health for physical vibrancy, to achieve things we never thought possible and yes to feel great about ourselves , it may not be sexy or be made into a commercial television show and it certainly will not be explained to you in yet another of those generic  12 week challenges, but THIS investment is a long term thing.

It has to be sustainable, enjoyable , intelligent and tailored to you !

Another similarity with the investing metaphor in the principle of diversity, think about it, you won’t “put all your eggs in one basket” so they say, well training is similar take an average runners week – they won’t be running the same distance at the same pace day-in day-out, because they will get nowhere and they will more than likely get injured. Instead their week may have the following diversity – note only an example-

Monday– AM recovery run 30 min, - PM Strength session
Tuesday – Quality hill repeats – 20 min foam roller/stretch
Wednesday – AM easy run 70 min PM - Yoga
Thursday – AM Quality fartlekPM Strength session
Friday – rest day– massage
Saturday – tempo run
Sunday – long run 90 min hills

The above is only an example but shows how the athlete is investing in so many ways and it should include sleep and nutrition and hydration of course,  which play major roles in our end “withdrawal” 

The number one takeaway from this should be this- like investing, be it in an bank, the stocks or property it will always be a long term thing, you may withdraw big time (a PB Race for example) but there we always want to keep moving forward (invest in more property ), pick another race or a totally new challenge. If you train intelligently no workout will ever be wasted I promise you that,  and if this is our attitude then training will be never be a chore.

So go away, SMS your running or training mate or your coach and get out and invest in the future YOU legends!!