Epic Riders, IronMan Competitors, Comrades runners and anyone else wading through Training Fatigue: Here are some tips to getting back to being the Racing Snake.
Extremely long or very frequent training sessions, together with high levels of work stress, can make the body slightly acidic. This in turn, can result in sluggish recovery from your training. Slow recovery is the primary factor that negatively impacts upon athletic performance: If you’re not recovering fast enough, the body is less able to perform optimally and it may become susceptible to colds and flu, as well as some joint niggles.
If you’re struggling with excessive training fatigue, you’ll notice the following:
· Waking heart rate is elevated by 8 beats per minute when compared to the average of the preceding week.
· Waking bodyweight is 1.5 - 2 kgs lower from a previously stable bodyweight.
· Restless sleep; or insomnia.
· A slightly compromised immunity – A scratchy throat, feeling slightly fluey/ off-colour.
· Aching muscles, general stiffness.
· Difficulty waking up in the morning, yawning throughout the day, wanting to fall asleep at your desk – Feeling the need to drink coffee, tea or other stimulant drinks for energy during the day.
· Lack of motivation to train, despite a looming event.
· A far quicker rise in lactic acid with a small change in intensity.
· A higher rate of perceived exertion – Your heart rate feels higher than it actually is.
· A general over-all rapid fatigue in response to (even mild) physical activity - Climbing a flight of stairs can leave you breathless, with tired, heavy, achy legs.
· Inflammation of the eyes – dry, red and scratchy eyes.
· More than usual muscle cramping.
Here are some tips to optimise your recovery and your athletic performance by reducing these symptoms:
1. Get enough sleep. Increase your sleep up to 9 hours per night for a week. As an athlete, aim for 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Eight hours is optimal. Read more on getting a deep restful sleep at night.
2. Because the above symptoms are all more likely to occur when the body's pH is slightly acidic, it makes sense to eat a diet that is rich in alkalising foods. So, eat from the "Garden on Eden" at least twice a day. Eat as many different coloured veggies as you can, and eat them as raw as possible. Increase your intake and portion size of good-quality starches - those starches that come from the earth, such as potato, rice, squash, pumpkin, oats etc. The typical Western diet which comprises mostly refined, acid-forming foods – such as cereals, sugars, pasta, breads and alcohol does not support fast and efficient recovery.
· Good sources of carbohydrate include: Lentils, sweetcorn, oats, potato, brown rice, Quinoa, gem squash, pumpkin, butternut, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, green, red, yellow peppers, cabbage, peas, cauliflower, turnips, beetroot, olives, sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, marrows, artichokes, baby marrow, leeks, spring onions, green beans, been spouts, cucumber, celery.
· One should aim at eating approximately 80% alkaline foods along with only about 20% acidifying foods. Note that a food's acid or alkaline-forming tendency in the body has nothing to do with the actual pH of the food itself. For example, the pH of lemons is acidic; however after digestion and assimilation, lemons are alkaline in the body. Processed stimulants like instant coffee, non-herbal teas and alcohol are also extremely acidifying. Green tea and herbal teas are alkaline.
· As a rule of thumb, avoid most foods that are processed, and rather eat from the “Garden of Eden”. Unprocessed (and raw) foods are generally less acidic than man-made overly-refined goodies (or is that baddies?)
· Eat fruits: The best fruits for low acidity include: Dates, blackcurrants, grapes, paw-paws, kiwi-fruit, berries (blueberries, cranberries, strawberries), apples, pears, figs, cherries, tomatoes, oranges, pineapples, peaches, avocados, grapefruit, mangoes, lemons, limes, watermelons, bananas and plums.
· Eliminate unhealthy fats from your diet – these include transfats, hydrogenated vegetable oils – such as margarines etc. Rather include healthy fats such as EPA, DHA, olive oil, coconut and flax seed oil. Nuts and seeds are great source of essential fats: Raw almonds, coconut, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower and sesame seeds are the best for higher alkalinity.
3. Stop training entirely for a few days – or, if you absolutely cannot afford that, then discontinue interval training for at least a week to ten days: Keep your heart rate below 60-70% bpm
4. Increase your water intake: This will help reduce acidity. To work out how much water you need, take your bodyweight in kilograms and multiply by 30mls. So if you weigh 70kgs, multiply by 30 mls, so you’d need 2100 mls per day. On top of that, you also need to drink the standard 750mls fluid per hour that you train. Try to consume most of your fluids before 17h00 – as you need to get a night of uninterrupted sleep: It’s not great for recovery if you’re up in the night, visiting the bathroom.
5. Use EnduraPower every day when you train - even for your shorter sessions. This will support your body’s recovery and lessen the fatigue by giving your body low GI carbohydrate together with electrolytes.
6. Take Glutamine everyday after every training session. Glutamine is the most important amino acid (building block of protein) for muscle repair and recovery. Under physical stress, the demand for glutamine exceeds the body's ability to synthesize it. Most glutamine is stored in skeletal muscle, ready for repair. Glutamine is also important for removing excess ammonia (a common waste product in the body) and plays a significant role in the production of the powerful antioxidant glutathione.
7. Without glutamine, the immune system becomes slightly impaired. Glutamine also appears to be necessary for a healthy lining of the intestinal tract, which is important for the assimilation of nutrients.
8. I usually suggest that taking a serving of EnduraShake after training. One serving will give you the whole spectrum of amino acids needed for muscle repair and recovery, including 4500mg of L-Glutamine. It also contains the ideal ratio of carb-to-protein for recovery, plus healthy fats from coconut oils.
9. No alcohol, no sugar, no exception. Both sugar and alcohol – especially beer made from hops, wipes out your testosterone. The resulting imbalance of higher oestrogen will make you fat (and weak) (and useless) too.
10. Reduce coffee and tea intake – One cup of pure coffee (not instant coffee) per day is great - as both pure coffee and tea are rich in antioxidants. It is the excessive intake of these drinks that may increase your acidity. (Herbal teas – such as Rooibos and Green tea are not acid-forming)
11. Take a good quality probiotic – I personally use and stock the best Solgar probiotic. This will help support your immune system. It is more effective than most other immune-boosters
An aside, one of the best supplements you can use if you are an endurance athlete is Glucosamine Sulphate. Please note that Glucosamine Sulphate does not reduce acidity, but it does improve joint integrity and the heal connective tissue that is taking a pounding from your high mileage. In any sport, where the repetitive load on the joint is significant, Glucosamine Sulphate at a dose of 1500mg per day is an absolute winner!
|( Pace & Power )
EnduraPower is a fluid replacement drink containing a blend of of carbohydrates to ensure efficient delivery of fuel to working muscles. It contains primarily maltodextrin and fructose in a 6%-7% concentration that promotes both fast fluid uptake whilst maintaining stable blood glucose levels. Maltodextrin is a complex grid of chains of glucose molecules which split into smaller carbohydrate units, providing a fast but stable supply of carbohydrates to working the muscles.
EnduraPower achieves the fine balance between effective hydration, energy delivery, rapid gastric emptying and the maintenance of stable blood glucose levels, without causing gastric upset.
EnduraPower Neutral Quench has no added flavour and no colourants! It is ideal for all athletes!
It tastes like drinking a tall glass of ice cold water with a piece lemon! (The hint of lemon is from the Vitamin C that is naturally present in the formulation).
Neutral Quench is deliciously REFRESHING hour after hour!
PLUS, it available in a larger container! 2 kgs – which makes 30 litres
Rapid and efficient hydration
Maintains stable blood glucose levels
Replaces essential electrolytes lost through sweat
Contains lactic buffers
Great light taste, low sweetness!
No colours - so it won't stain your Tripper / Camel Bak
No artificial sweetners, no added flavours - so no mucous buildup associated with those ingredients
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