How to Reach and Maintain Peak Form

Managing Illness and Injury Through Training and Competition

Do you train hard and have big ambitions? Or do you train sporadically because your time is limited? Whatever your routine is, there’s one thing that every athlete struggles with. It’s the frustration of dealing with an illness or injury that prevents you from training at all!

The truth is that it happens to everyone – even the most professional athletes.
We decided to get some guidance on what we can do to minimize the impact that illness and injury have on our form and what we can do to keep it from derailing our training. We gained some insight and expertise from highly respected industry leaders like EvoPro Racing cyclist Cyrus Monk, Exercise Physiologist Jennifer Smallridge, CEO Trevor Connor, and more.

Here are a few common questions that pop up whenever illness and injury threaten to derail training and destroy an athlete’s whole season:

  • Why does going too hard often lead to illness?
  • How do I know when to back off?
  • When sick, how do I know when it's OK to start training again?
  • Is there a difference between training and race nutrition? Or should they always be managed the same way? 

Download the full guide, CLICK HERE

Athletes are notoriously bad for not knowing when to back off and take a break. However, studies on this have found that there is an optimal level of training to maximize immune function and prevent illness. Do nothing, and you put yourself at the same risk as someone driving themselves into the ground.

There are three markers generally used to assess the total load on an athlete during training and competition. 

1. Intensity (how hard each session is)
2. Frequency (how often an athlete is training)
3. Duration (the length of each session)

Planning your Race Fuel
Will not fuelling right today have flow-on effects tomorrow?
The answer to that question depends on several factors:
• the individual’s unique physiological makeup (how much sweat they lose and the sodium concentration of that sweat)
• the intensity at which the session was performed (light, moderate or high)
• the environmental conditions (cold, mild or hot, low humidity, average or high humidity)

Both calorie expenditure and sweat loss impact how well your muscles function and how well you manage your calorie and fluid intake determines how well you manage fatigue. If you have not consumed enough in an attempt to meet your expenditure, at some point, you will run out of fuel, regardless of how ‘fat adapted’ you are.

Managing hydration (fluid and electrolyte loss) varies depending on the temperature and humidity you experience, as the environmental conditions dictate the amount of sweat you lose.

It’s unlikely that any of your training sessions will be at race intensity; in fact, it’s almost impossible to mimic race intensity during training, no matter how hard you try. However, knowing the weather conditions you are likely to experience on race day will give you an indication of how much fluid to consume based on how much you are likely to lose.

In cooler conditions, your sweat rate will be lower, and so will the amount you need to drink. Conversely, in warmer conditions, your sweat rate will be greater, and you will need a higher volume of fluid in an attempt to minimize the percentage of loss.

Download the full guide, CLICK HERE

Your Overall Nutrition Strategy
Are there nutrition strategies to help prevent illness?

When trying to achieve a healthy immune system, it is essential to consume the right balance of carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. This can be achieved by following some easy steps:
• Include foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
• Eat enough good quality protein
• Choose whole grain carbohydrates
• Include healthy fats
• Reduce intake of processed foods high in fat and sugar
• Include foods rich in probiotics and prebiotics daily
• Keep up your fluids, particularly around training

Remember, it’s not just all about diet; your immune system is affected by several factors such as:
• Managing physical training loans and daily physical activity associated with work and other routine activities
• Managing psychological stress including the stress associated with work, family, training, and competition
• Incorporating sufficient rest
• Minimizing exposure to germs and bugs by practicing good hygiene
• Adequate sleep – the hours before midnight are crucial
• Ensure body fat levels do not get too low.

Eating well is an essential part of preparation, and a balanced intake can help boost the immune system to keep you fit and healthy. However, with a strong focus on body composition and leanness for endurance activity, it’s vital that energy intake is still adequate to support training and health needs.

Reducing energy intake is a common strategy used to support body composition change and reduction in body fat levels. However, if energy intake drops too low, this can have an impact on health and the ability to train and perform well.

Download the full guide, CLICK HERE

Dealing with Illness when it Inevitably Occurs
What’s best to eat when you do get sick?

Getting sick is often unavoidable, particularly if it’s caused by a virus. If it’s a mild illness, you can train through it. However, there are times when there are benefits to taking it easy and letting your body rest and recover. When getting over an upper respiratory tract illness like a cold, the key practices are rest, hydration, and nourishment.

In the full version of 'Managing Illness and Injury Through Training and Competition', each of our experts share insights and guidance to help you find the right balance, manage illness better, and take the right steps to minimize the impact of that downtime on your form. We talk also address overtraining and what that does to the immune system.
Our contributors of respected, qualified industry leaders go deeper to address illness, injury, prevention, and recovery from their respective areas of expertise. We ask them all of the questions that might run through your mind when you're sipping tea on the couch instead of training. We talk about how to manage and avoid overtraining and suppressing immune function.

Want to know what the experts have to say about gluten and whether it’s a friend or foe to your gut? Curious to know what industry experts have to say about stretching and how important yoga is to athletic performance?

Sign up to receive the full article where we also discuss why mental training is more important than physical training.

Download the full guide, CLICK HERE

  • Jul 20, 2019
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
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