Recovery in Sport: First cold bath, increasing carbohydrates

This week was a different intensity of sport. I ran a 30 min fitness session, which was followed by drills and then 6 aside game. I went straight to tennis and had easy set of doubles and played single games for about 30minutes.

I ate two additional OTE carbohydrate bars immediately after football and just before tennis. I did not feel so hungry or tired. The football training was not as taxing this week, so this may have made a difference.

I drank Electrolyte during tennis and wore compression garments throughout all sport.

This week I read more on ice baths. The suggested time in the bath is 10 mins at 10-15 degrees. It has been raised that a cold bath may be just as effective.

This week I had a 10 min cold bath after sport. It was freezing getting in but after 3minutes my body adapted to the temperature and it felt nice. I could imagine putting ice in to keep it a little colder. My feet got slightly tingly towards the end of the bath. I actually over stayed in the bath by another 4-5 minutes. When I got out of the bath my legs felt cold, light and semi refreshed. I put my 2XU recovery leggings on until 11am the following morning. My legs felt slightly tired and tight because I played more tennis than normal. But, they did not feel heavy and cumbersome.

It was a good test doing the cold bath. I will try ice in the bath next time. I need to buy a thermometer to test the water temperature.

Our first game of the season is next weekend. In the team there are two injuries. A player strained his calf during training and another has low back pain after 45 minutes of football. I am treating them both and deciding how best to advise them on recovery. Ice baths maybe a good start after the match.

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.

Meeting with nutritionist for health phase of training

Fran and I met with nutritionist,  Justin Roberts for dinner who helps endurance athletes with their nutrition.

He kindly agreed to meet with us and talk about ironman training and the key component of a good nutritional regime. The main elements of the discussion have been caught on video and will be posted on the Physical Edge youtube site.

I realised after talking to Justin that it is important to come up with my own strategy. I can get the most important principles from him but then it is a trial and error method of testing to see what suits my body over longer training sessions. The more I practice and test different nutritional options when exercising for 6-8 hours the better I can find out what my body can tolerate on the day of the ironman.

If I avoid testing my bodies ability to digest different food sources I can end up in trouble on race day. On race day I am exercising alot longer than I would in training and it is a slight unknown as to how my body will actually fear over that time.  Ultimately, no matter how much food I eat on the day I will end up depleted of carbohydrates and will be dehydrated.  This is because it is difficult to eat and drink the amount of food and fluid as I race. Justin recalled the two ironman events he has done and in both he has ended on a drip because he was  dehydrated despite drinking regularly.

Justin divided my nutrition into stages. The first is the health stage and it is the time when I am to get into good habits to maximise my health. I am to eat small meals 6-10 times a day and avoid eating carbohydrates after 3pm. I am to eat dense strong coloured vegetables and get in whole foods. When I asked him about protein he recalled how difficult it was for him to eat the correct the amount of protein his body needed and sometimes protein shakes can help. I asked if I needed to measure and be exact with the amount of carbohydrates and protein I was eating. He said I needed to listen to my body and over time work it out.

Justin mentioned supplementation was additional. He recommended I get myself into a good diet with whole foods at the moment. He wanted me to get my sleep patterns correct and make sure I drink up to 3 litres of water day. Apparently my body must get used to consuming more water. I will pee alot at the start but then I will get used to storing water in my body. If I drink more I will have better concentration and energy and my body will perform better.

The health phase is to take the next 2-3 months and then we start looking at nutrition for training. I am to go and try three brands of carbohydrate and electrolyte products before the base training phase. He suggested I drink every 20 minutes at work and see how my stomach handles which the product the best over a whole day.

A strategy he uses on race day is to have a bottle of concentrated carbohydrate and then two bottles of water. He knows how much he wants to drink from the concentrated carbohydrate bottle each 20 minutes and then how much water he must take in to maintain a concentration of 4%. He recommended a lower concentration rather than higher concentration of carbohydrate as the body can have problems digesting higher concentrations in Ironman events. On hot days he advised taking on more water.

I am to take a diary of what I eat in one day over the next month and then we will be meeting again to discuss how I am doing. If I summarise what I am going to do in my health phase it would be; buy a new mattress to help me sleep better, take Monavie for antioxidants (I will get Justins advise on this), take Udos oild for Omega 3,6,9, take multivitamins, eat every 2 hours and avoid carbs after 3pm, get a better sleep pattern, eat whole foods, cut out alcohol and chocolate and unhealthy foods, drink 3 litres of water a day with lemon in it, try nutritional supplements.

Justin did say stick to healthy eating 90% of the time. 10% of the time I can eat what I like. He is realistic about eating and thinks the body can cope with some unhealthy food with no effect on performance. Putting this into practice now takes discipline. I am interested to see how my body likes the change. My objective is to find what I like and what supports me in my training. This will take time out of my day to prepare food but it is the commitment I make in taking on this ironman.

Thanks to Justin for his advice as without good nutrition the Ironman would be much harder. Justin said I would get around the Ironman course it is how well do I want to do it?