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Maximise the effect of your training

Making the correct decisions before, during and after each of your training sessions will help your body maximise the exercise that it has done. Fine tuning your strategies will also help your race day performances.




Keep your body hydrated with a rehydration strategy that works for you. Sounds simple but no matter how diligent you are, no matter how many slurps you take during exercise, you will nearly always need to top up your fluid intake after completion.  

Keep your bottles clean


Protein Intake

It doesn’t take much protein to recover from exercise or to maintain muscle mass. As a “ball park guide”, most endurance athletes will consume sufficient protein from a balanced, real-food, diet. This would be about 1.2-1.7g/kg of body weight/day. It is also advisable to spread the protein intake throughout the day rather than all in one meal or after training. 


Recovery drinks

Protein or carbohydrates? For endurance athletes, the focus would be on carbohydrates. The exact ratio between protein and carbohydrates is less important. Although protein may accelerate glycogen replenishment, the priority should be to find a drink that offers a bigger % of carbohydrates and works for you. 

I have seen athletes consume more energy drinks and gels than is necessary. Too much and the athletes, whilst thinking they we were helping their bodies, were in effect putting on weight.

Try some our suggested cold weather protein drinks


Shower and Change

I hated being around athletes how did change after their sessions. They would eat and drink in damp, smelly lycra. No showers? Improvise. Hand washing or waterless body wash and then put on dry clothing. Use a clean towel and one that isn’t damp from yesterday. 

Staying in damp kit will chill your body more and cause sores as well as unpleasant odours for your training partners. This is all part of creating new habits that will keep you safe from illness and infections.


Eat what you need during training

I have seen athletes who have not understood the basic rules of sports nutrition and “over-consume” between training sessions. You maybe hunger coming to end of a long session, but that doesn’t automatically mean you should be over-loading your meal plate. Over eating post-session doesn’t mean you will cut down on meal sizes later in the day. It will probably lead to over consuming for the day. 

In addition to this, over filling your stomach before hitting the next session may not sit in your stomach well and could be bad for those standing next to you. 


Rest doesn’t necessarily mean stagnate

Your day’s “activities” shouldn't stop after your exercise. Lying around, grazing, doing nothing, will make you feel stiff and lethargic. Stretching and just generally moving around will help your muscles feel good. Stuck in the car; stop for a loo or coffee break, or park up and take a stroll. Doing something like this once an hour will be sufficient. 

Taking rest is part of all successful training programs; whether through a Rest Day or just down time


Doing something regular doesn’t mean heavy lifting

Whilst I have previously said it is better not to stagnate, there is a balance to play between gentle movement and heavy lifting. It is best not to plan heavy reconstruction work of your home on heavy training days. Spread any heavy-duty chores over time as too much “alternative” exercise will hinder sports-specific recovery. 

During our peak training camp periods there would always be the athletes who had “saved up” their household chores to do immediately before they left for or returned from a 3 week camp. Net result was fatigue before they started their camp or lack of proper recovery when they got home. 


Useful tip: Have a piece of carpet or a spare car footwell carpet with you if you know that you are going to change outdoors. Very useful to keep your bare feet clean. 



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