Recovery in Sport: Better nutrition but forgot compression clothing

This week we had a home football match to play and I had tennis to play immediately afterwards.

During the week I ate well and alkalised my body. I bought three OTE carbohydrate bars ready for Saturday.

In the match I played centre back. There was less running in this position but more tackling and fast sprints. There were two forwards with speed, so the game had pace.

At half time I sipped my electrolyte drink. I felt good during the match and no calf tightness. After the match I drank my recovery drink and ate 1.75 carbohydrate bars. I did not feel as hungry compared to previous week.

I went straight to tennis and played one set. My partner and I won, with the end score being 7-5. It was a hot day and I could feel fatigue in my body. I started to cramp in my toes and calf. I realised I had not drank enough electrolyte.

At change of ends on the court I drank electrolyte. It took a little while to work, but my cramp did recede, and after the tennis I did not suffer further cramping.

I got home and realised I left my compression leggings at work. I was disappointed as I always look forward to wearing them to help my recovery.

I decided to have a hot shower and then have a 10min cold water bath. I like the cold water baths. After the initial shock of the cold, my legs feel good in the cold water. When I get out of the bath I feel like my legs are fresher and a little numb, I like it.

For the rest of day we were at a BBQ and playing with my children. My legs felt good.

I am not able to play football this coming weekend. My plan is to continue alkalising, buy a thermometer to test the temperature of the bath and drink alkalising salts (have not done so on a regular basis yet).

I must remember to prepare my compression clothing for recovery. In fact, I could get into a routine of checking I have everything in place for recovery pre match.

I also want to start ice baths. Once I test the temperature of the water I can adjust it with the ice.

Last week I avoided mid week training, as my legs needed more recovery time. This week I can feel my legs will need training, but towards the end of the week. Getting the balance between rest and flexibility, and training will be important.

I have a weekend of no football. Next game in two weeks.

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Recovery in Sport: Food good but forgot the compression clothing

This week we had a home football match to play and I had tennis immediately after.

During the week I ate well and alkalised my body. I bought three OTE carbohydrate bars ready for Saturday.

In the match I played centre back. There was less running in this position but more tackling and fast sprints. There were two forwards with speed, so the game had pace.

At half time I sipped my electrolyte drink. I felt good during the match and no calf tightness. After the match I drank my recovery drink and ate 1.75 carbohydrate bars. I did not feel as hungry compared to previous week.

I went straight to tennis and played one set. My partner and I won, with the end score being 7-5. It was a hot day and I could feel fatigue in my body. I started to cramp in my toes and calf. I realised I had not drank enough electrolyte.

At change of ends on the court I drank electrolyte. It took a little while to work, but my cramp did recede, and after the tennis I did not suffer further cramping.

I got home and realised I left my compression leggings at work. I was disappointed as I always look forward to wearing them to help my recovery.

I decided to have a hot shower and then have a 10min cold water bath. I like the cold water baths. After the initial shock of the cold, my legs feel good in the cold water. When I get out of the bath I feel like my legs are fresher and a little numb, I like it.

For the rest of day we were at a BBQ and playing with my children. My legs felt good.

I am not able to play football this coming weekend. My plan is to continue alkalising, buy a thermometer to test the temperature of the bath and drink alkalising salts (have not done so on a regular basis yet).

I must remember to prepare my compression clothing for recovery. In fact, I could get into a routine of checking I have everything in place for recovery pre match.

I also want to start ice baths. Once I test the temperature of the water I can adjust it with the ice.

Last week I avoided mid week training, as my legs needed more recovery time. This week I can feel my legs will need training, but towards the end of the week. Getting the balance between rest and flexibility, and training will be important.

I have a weekend of no football. Next game in two weeks.

Recovery in Sport: Brendan Brazer, Alkalising, ice baths coming

A fortnight ago I was looking forward to playing football after alkalising my body during the week.

It maybe placebo, but I felt less tension in my body drinking alkalised water (pH drops and Greens powder) during the week. The tension in my Achilles was less. My thigh muscles felt lighter with less tiredness during the day.

We did fitness training and had a 60 min squad game. I had more desire to run faster with the new feeling in my legs. I could play faster in the game and recover quicker. I did tire after 45minutes, but I put that down to fitness.

I continued my nutrition regime of Nuun electrolyte drink, SIS recovery shake, and OTE carbohydrate bar.

I also wore my 2XU MCS compression leggings during training and 2XU recovery leggings for 24 hours after training.

Post football training I went directly to tennis and played for 1 hour. I did feel slight fatigue during the tennis. I may need to increase my carbohydrates intake between football and tennis, and during tennis. I plan to have a bite of carbohydrate bar every 20 minutes, after 60 mins of training. I also must continue to drink electrolyte drink during tennis.

I realise my fitness levels are not match level yet. This may be the main reason for my fatigue levels during tennis. Listening to my body, I think there was an element of both fitness and nutrition. I will continue to play with my nutrition to optimise my performance.

On element of recovery I have yet to implement is the Ice Bath. I will read into this more and test Ice Baths in the near future.

In my gym training I am not doing leg strengthening. I don’t want to slow my running speed down with heavy big muscles (very different to cycle training). Once I feel my leg speed is better, I will introduce a measured amount of leg strength in my gym training.

I have been reading a book called Thrive by Brendan Brazier. He is an Ironman athlete who alkalises his body and is a Vegan. He talks about Cortisol and what the foods we eat can do to our bodies. His performance vastly improved by alkalising his body. He has great shakes, energy bars and meals in his book. He has also produced recipe books.

I plan to follow the principles of Thrive and assess what I am eating after sport and between sporting events. Eating the best foods most of the time will add to my goal of consistently performing at my best.

This weekend I was away and could not attend normal football training. Instead, I did some fitness training with another player (manager) in the team. We decided to do 15 minutes of interval training.

I wore my 2XU MCS compression leggings and drank alkalised water with a Nuun (electrolyte) tablet in it. I do not recommend mixing a Nuun tablet in with Alkalised water. It tasted terrible. I would separate the two drinks in the future.

This was the first time I had performed 10meter sprints interspersed with jogging. The more I did, the better my legs felt. I could lift my knees and quickly plant them down for quick acceleration. I felt I could go faster and my legs felt light. Sprinting does not replicate how a player moves in football training. I want to assess football drills and fitness, and change my interval training to make them more sport specific. I feel some research on the web is needed.

The Manager has asked me to run the fitness element of training. I look forward to sharing some new football specific fitness drills and some of the information on nutrition. If the whole team benefits from better nutrition, the entire teams performance will improve.

Recovery in Sport: Second 90 mins of football, better hydration, mid week training, and alkalising

Last week I played my second 90 minutes of football. I decided to drink more electrolyte during the match. I finished off my entire bottle of electrolyte at half time. Compared the the previous week, I did not cramp in my calves at the end of the match, and I did not feel so thirsty. After the match I drank my recovery (SIS) shake and ate a recovery (OTE) bar. I ate lunch within 1 hour of finishing the match. I felt good after the match and did not get the tiredness I felt in my body after the first 90 minute match of football I played.

I wore  my 2XU recovery leggings in the evening after the match. I wore them all night and through the following day. My legs felt good when I was wearing them, and I did not have pain, or as much tightness when I took them off. This week I did a mid week interval training session. I did not use my recovery leggings after the session, and my legs have felt sore and tight for the last two days. My hamstrings feel particularly tight. I must wear my leggings when I train midweek.

I will be testing my MCS performance leggings in training tomorrow. It could be raining so it will be interesting to see how they perform.

I have realised I must use my electrolye drink and recovery shake after my mid week interval training sessions. This may reduce my post session pain and tightness, and prevent injury, in the same way it does for match day. I will be training tomorrow with tightness in my hamstrings and I hope to avoid an injury.

This week I have started alkalising my body. I bought an alkalising pack from Energise for Life. The pack included Greens, Alkalsing Salts, Udos oil and PH drops. I have used the Greens, PH drops and Udos oil for the past three days. I will start the salts tomorrow. I must admit, my body feels less stiffness in my legs and I can sprint with less tiredness. My Achilles, Injured 4  weeks ago, has less twinge to it. I know I will get fitter in the following weeks but there is a difference in how my body feels. I will explain more as the weeks go by.

I am now looking at alkaline breakfasts. In the past, eating well has required lots of preparation and forward thinking. I want to find simple breakfasts I can prepare easily and I like to eat. I have found a few on the Energise for life website and will test them in the following weeks.

I am interested to see if my body is alkalised (tested with PH test strips), I have good hydration and recovery plan, and I use compression clothing what happens to my performance. At the same time, I will be working on fitness, flexibility, strength, speed, and eating post workout and dinners. Of course there are the ice baths to trial.

More to come in the following weeks.

Repair of wetsuit and speed sessions

This week Fran, coach, had me start speed sessions and interval training. The run was for 1.45hours and my legs felt strong thoughout. The swim involved 20x 100m fast repeats. This was a killer and the one thing I kept reminding myself was to maintian my technique. I did slow down towards the end of the 20 reps but it was good to practice technique when tired.

I was concerned I was not kicking enough when I was swimming in my wetsuit. I noticed swimming in the pool without a wetsuit I was kicking comfortably and appropriately. I am happy my kicking is unconcscious and correct so I can focus on my arms and body rotation in training and in the race.

If I reflect on the information given to me about swimming before I started training I can see everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. I know my own and it is rewarding to see my improvement and progress in swim speed and distance.

My wetsuit ripped last week and I was going to buy a new one. I went to see Ed in Sigma sports and he said he could no gurantee another wetsuit would not cause the same rubbing. Ed repaired the wetsuit with a glue that filled the ripped space and it took 2 hours to dry and harden. I will try babyoil, bodyglide and even glue with tape to protect my neck. I might even put on vaseline which can break down the wetsuit material but I will use this only be on race day.

The bike was a 3 hour bike with a 1 hour period in aero bar position. I was worried my back would get sore being in this position. I have been having treatment to correct the position of my rib cage and it has helped immensly with pain in my low back with riding and again with the aero position.  I got through the hour of aero position riding   with minimal discomfort.  You can go do www.physical-edge.com to find out more if you get back pain on the bike. I was bike fitted but the problem was my body not being comfortable in a good bike position. If you get set up well on the bike then it can not be the bike set up that is causing the pain. The body needs to have freedom of movement in the rib cage to unload the low back. I managed to ride to Windsor and back in 3.15 hours so I did go a little further than instructed.

I am feeling good in my body and now I feel I need to plan my rest, get alkalised, get massaged, stretch and start mental focus as I wind down the distances in training.

I have checked the Swiss Ironman course and I can see there is about 40km’s of hill riding with a total of 1.2 km of hills in total. The run is flat and the swim is two laps. I want to chat to my coach about the hills and if I need to do some hill training before race day.

I have also bought the energy (Powrebar energise) drink they use on the course and I am now using powerbar gels as well as bars for nutrition as this is what is provided on the course.  They also have pretzels, bananas and dried fruits. I think I will try bananas on my long rides to see how my body responds and copes with this solid food. I learnt from the Cornwall middle distance triathlon that my body does like variety to eat on  race day.

I am getting my bike serviced next week and if my friends wheels are tubular and not clincher he will let me use  his Zipp 404 and 808 wheels. This could shave of 6 minutes for every 40kms I ride. I am wondering if I try race tires as well, something I will talk to my bike mechanic Dave about on Thursday.

3 weeks to go now.

Getting over the pain of training

This week was horrible at the start and then got better. The swim was almost 2km and the long run was 2hours, both at race pace. I pushed myself along and in both training sessions I felt awful. I exhausted myself and the thought of doubling these times in the Ironman seemed a long way off.

After the 2 hour run I spoke to my coach Fran as I finished it at a turtles pace. My hamstrings felt like they did after the Cornwall Middle Distance triathlon. I was concerned and I wanted to rest for the next run. Fran said NO. These were the important weeks if my training and every session had to be done.

I asked him about race pace and after listening to his explanation I realised I was going too fast. Race pace meant at the speed I would swim 4km, cycle 180km and run a marathon. This was a whole lot slower than I was doing and it explained why I felt so awful after the first two training sessions.

I massaged and stretched my legs and continued on with the training plan. Thank goodness my body felt better as I continued to train. The interval run was comfortable because I slowed my race pace down. The 3.15 hour bike ride followed by a 30min run also was comfortable for my body.

Understanding my own race pace was a huge distinction for me to make this week. Fran says when doing an Ironman if you push too hard too early you will not have a good run. This means riding smoothly and easy on the bike and then running at my own race pace. He said many competitors will pass me early in the race but at the end of the race they will drop off and struggle. He knows my weakness is my run and therefore stresses race pace training.

The next two weeks are my longest distance training sessions. I will be swimming 4km, running 2.5 hours and swimming 5 hours next week. I am still enjoying the training and feel my body is adapting well. Having mineral solution has eased the tightness in my legs. Alkalising my body allows me to push harder and my heart rate can go higher.

Let see how next week goes…

Week before Middle Distance Race: Alkalising my body, visualisation and carbohydrate loading

I did a 1.5 hour easy ride today in high cadence and high gears. It felt relaxing and the hill climbs were comfortable. I have definitely adapted well over the last few months of training and the speed work and hill climbs have made a difference  to my bike riding.

I know my change in nutrition supplementation has definitely made my legs and body feel stronger on the rides and I can breathe easier. I had a medical examination by a doctor and he explained our bodies have a surplus of alkaline minerals which act as a buffer to counter the acid formed when we exercise, eat acidic foods, breathe pollution, get stressed etc. The buffer aims to keep our bodies at an optimal PH of 7.365.

I had a blood test and my blood Ph was 6.5 which is acidic. I found walking upstairs made me breathless and I was told this is my heart rate increasing due to the acidic environment.

Over the last two weeks I have been adding Mega Greens to my water and adding an ion booster (magnesium and chlorides). I have been eating more green foods and reducing the heavy carbohydrates. I now eat wholegrains for my carbohydrate intake.

I remeasured my Ph this morning and it was between 7.25 and 7.5 which is optimal according to the test strip colour chart. I am noticing the difference in how my legs are feeling during racing and after racing. I get much less tightness in  my right hamstring and, unless I am pushing hard, the left calf feels good.

This week I am starting to carbohydrate load. My coach has given me instructions to eat slightly more carbohydrates than normal. In three days time he will tell me what to do before the race.

My medical examination also showed I had an increase in Creatine Kinase (CK) which is an enzyme which breaks down muscle. This is normal in muscular training and I have was told to take an antioxidant. I started Monavie again and this has a powerful naturally occurring antioxidant called the acai berry. If you want to find out more about this product go to my website or email me at http://www.physical-edge.com.

This week I am starting visualisation. I am creating the pictures, sounds and feelings I will have for the rest of the week, travelling to the event, registration, race day and post race. I have to get my brain out of thinking reality and into dreaming and imaging how I want everything to go. I have used it before and it was very effective for competition.

This week I plan to sleep well and prepare early for travel. I drop my bike off to my friends house in three days as he is driving down to cornwall.

I practiced changing my bike tire yesterday and the gas cylinder with fitting device did not  inflate the tire. I blew two canisters trying to work it out so I went into Putney cycles and they got it working by pushing the tire valve hard into the fitting device. I bought 4 new canisters but will only take two with me on race day.

There is a lot to organise before a race so leave plenty of time incase emergencies occur. I have left it one week so far and having all my jobs written down on paper helps get it clear in my head.

Three days of training before I travel to Cornwall. Still excitingly nervous.