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.

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Recovery in Sport: From Compression clothing to ice baths

Recovery is the 4th discipline in Triathlon, and it is the secret to building muscle mass. Knowledge about Recovery is growing in amateur sport. There is readily available information in Endurance Sport magazines and websites.

I am changing my Sport participation from Ironman training to playing Football, Tennis and Cycling all in a weekend. These sports are explosive, and power based, rather than pure endurance training.

I know my body will go through a period of readjustment to these sports. Avoiding injury will be important. My goal is to use my knowledge and experience of recovery to enable me to compete in three sports over one weekend, on a regular basis. I want to have enough energy to play each sport, but also get stronger and prevent injury.

Recovery is a key to this plan. I want to recover faster, be stronger and perform at my best. I want to avoid cramp and muscle injuries.

I have divided Recovery in areas; 1. Compression clothing 2. Rehydration 3. Recovery nutrition 4. Ice baths 5. Cool Down

  1. Compression Clothing

My interest in Recovery has started with Compression clothing. I used these in Ironman training and found them very beneficial. I wore them overnight and when I woke up in the morning my legs felt “fresher” and less painful.

I did an online search of compression clothing. There is a large range of brands to consider. I decided to look at the original compression garment Skins and, a brand I used in Ironman, 2XU. Website reviews of compression garments showed these two brands rated highly.

 

Best Compression Gear Review – Triathlon Plus | TriRadar.com

http://www.triradar.com/gear/best-compression-gear-review/
Best Compression Gear Review – Triathlon Plus | TriRadar…

We test some of the best compression gear on the market in our best compression gear review – 25/10/2012

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Product Review: 2XU Compression Gear

http://breakingmuscle.com/clothing-shoes/product-review-2xu-compression-gear
Product Review: 2XU Compression Gear

The world of compression gear has become filled with numerous brands, but 2XU stands out as a quality brand that actually makes a difference in performance and re…

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2XU Compression Tights review | road.cc

2XU Compression Tights review | road.cc

road.cc – the website for pedal powered people. Road cycling news, Bike reviews, Commuting, Leisure riding, Sportives and more

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2XU Elite compression tights review – BikeRadar

http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/clothing/tights-longs-and-leggings/product/review-elite-elite-compression-tights-10-35682/
2XU Elite compression tights review – BikeRadar

There’s a common edict in cycling: don’t stand when you can sit, don’t sit when you can lie down, and if you lie down put your legs up

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The 2XU brand of compression leggings had been researched by the Australian Institute of Sport.

http://www.2xu.co.uk/compression/

I decided to test 2XU. 2XU had several models to choose from; performance (MCS), recovery and hybrid models. Each model differed by the compression quality of the material each used. The performance leggings were designed to reduce muscle vibration and damage.

I decided to test the performance and recovery leggings.

  1. Rehydration

The body requires electrolytes for normal body function. Read below for facts on recovery by Australian Institute of Sport on Nutrition

http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition/factsheets/competition_and_training/recovery_nutrition

The key electrolyte is Sodium

http://www.ausport.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/594173/CORP_33413_SSF_Electrolyte_FS.PDF

Other important electrolytes are Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium. When we sweat we lose these electrolytes in our body. Sweat cools our body down. When we lose Sodium we retain less water and lose our feeling of thirst. Hence, dehydration is a serious problem. Drinking water is not enough.

When we sweat we lose these electrolytes in our body. Sweat cools our body down. When we lose Sodium we retain less water and lose our feeling of thirst. Hence, dehydration is a serious problem. Drinking water is not enough.

It appears that some electrolyte products do not contain enough Sodium. Coconut water is currently trending as a natural electrolyte replacement. However, It appears commercially sold coconut water is too low in Sodium to be used as an electrolyte replacement drink.

http://healthandwellness.kaplan.edu/articles/nutrition/Coconut%20water%20-%20Is%20it%20really%20natures%20sport%20drink.html

I searched online for the best electrolyte replacement drink for my needs. I came across Nuun (pronounced Noon). Nuun has excellent concentrations of Sodium, K, Mg, and Ca. It also contained Sodium Bicarbonate. Sodium Bicarbonate can, apparently, neutralise some of the effects of Lactic acid. It is low calorie and contains only electrolytes (allowing me to choose my own source of carbohydrate). There are no artificial additives and has natural flavouring.

https://nuun.com/blog/electrolytes-hydration

Another electrolyte product I discovered in my local bike shop (Wild Bikes) was OTE (original owners of SIS nutritional products). OTE also has no artificial flavours and is low in calories, but does not have the Sodium Bicarbonate content, when compared to Nuun.

  1. Recovery Nutrition

Interms of recovery drink I have used SIS recovery drink in the past. Current versions have 50% more protein, carbohydrates and electrolytes. I compared this product to Sun Warrior protein powder (Vegan). Sun Warrior has significant amounts of protein and very small amounts of carbohydrates. I can see this as a great source of protein I could use after gym training, but not a recovery drink.

My nutritional needs in recovery are 75-105g carbohydrate 15-25g protein

I can see SIS repid recovery drink does not have enough protein. I will therefore look to supplement this drink with a carbohydrate bar/ shot and eat wholefoods at a later date.

http://www.scienceinsport.com/sis-rego-range/sis-rego-rapid-recovery/sis-rego-recovery-protein-1-6kg/#prod-tab-2

4. Ice Baths

There seems to be a debate about the benefits of ice baths. I have seen ice baths used at Wimbledon, professional football and in the Tour De France

There was an interesting article in cyclenews – “cold baths key to Etixx-QuickStep’s Tour de France success”

The bath temperature used by cyclists was 10-12 degrees. They could sit comfortably in them and even fell asleep. Other benefits listed included pain relief, improved lymphatic drainage and cooling of the body.

Andy Murray (professional tennis player) described his routine after his Wimbledon matches. He rehydrated, ate whole foods, got a massage and then had an ice bath.

  1. Cool down

The other elements of recovery would be active recovery (cooling down with exercise), and stretching. I do light general stretches post match and do more serious stretching 2-3 days after performance. Ballistic stretches before a match is best. I cool down with gradual reduction in activity in the sport I am playing. I could do a light run or cycle.

Personal Training Series: Coaching your way to a healthy lifestyle

Health is an area in many people’s lives which is neglected. To live a healthy life requires taking action, as with other areas of your life, to get results. There is a wealth of information from professionals and websites offering the know-how to live a healthy life. So why are we not all healthy?

I have found – as with other areas of my life – that you need coaches. Coaches not only motivate you and keep you on track; they also provide you with the most recent information about living a healthy lifestyle. A coach can put a plan in place which is easy to follow, adaptable to your lifestyle, and is measurable over time.

In today’s world, you can approach many different types of professionals to get this help, but I have found that it works best if just one person takes overriding responsibility for you achieving your results. Generally the coach who can help you is the one who lives the life they teach. In health there is a holistic approach and there is a Western medical approach, and I think a combination of the two is needed. The areas that may be included in assessment of your health are: your medical history; your lifestyle habits; your physical training habits; and your mental approach.

I am a physiotherapist and I work closely with personal trainers developing healthy lifestyles for clients. I am able to draw on the help of medical professionals, such as doctors and surgeons, and also holistic professionals, such as Pilates instructors, homeopaths and counsellors. Personal trainers have a wealth of skills which they can use with their clients including lifestyle coaching, physical training, nutrition and exercise goal setting.

This series of blogs is designed to give my perspective, as a physiotherapist and someone who lives a healthy lifestyle, on how you can avoid injury when working with a trainer. The blogs are separated into common scenarios I see as a physiotherapist in my clinic. The aim is to assess those clients we see and to learn more about injury prevention when working with a personal trainer.

In the following weeks there will be 20 blogs which will give a comprehensive outline of how you can work best with a personal trainer and a physiotherapist. Please call or contact us via email with any questions you may have about these blogs.

Getting it right

This last week has been a real challenge as I have not been preparing the food myself. I have run out of supplies e.g quinoa, Udos oil. I have eaten what has been given to me and this has included some toxifying foods and meat. I noticed after having risotto and pumpkin I became irritable and had to go to bed earlier than normal. It was the extreme fatigue which really irritated me.

I have mastered my lunches which are prepared the night before. I have salads with humous and cottage cheese and vary it with various non wheat breads. I get enormous energy, do not get the post lunch slump, and feel full for at least 5 hours. These are forming the staple of my food for the day and I enjoy eating them regularly.

On weekends lunches are different and I have been eating more eggs than normal. I need more variety in my diet and this is the very next step I must take. I want to find meals I enjoy eating, support my lifestyle and give me lots of variety. It is up to me to make this happen and then follow through with it, even when other people are not eating the same foods around me.

I will now look for the recipes and meals I lilke. It might take a while but I see this as the corner stone to my whole ambition to change my nutrition for good.

Observing my eating habits over the week

This week on the diet I have been observing what happens as I go through the week. I eat best when the food is prepared in advance. An example of this is having lunch made for work. I save time buying food and I know I am eating green foods with a good mix of carbohydrates and protein. I eat dinners late as this is when I get home. Some nights it is as late as 9.30- 10pm. This is not ideal and I must find a way to improve in this area. When I eat late at night there is a social element to it so it is more difficult not to eat. In the mornings I am waking up tired from eating late and going to bed late. The result of doing this is rushing to work and eating toast in the morning instead of whole grains.

I notice I am dehydrated during the day. I am not training regularly anymore and not drinking as much. To help this I will buy bottled water again and observe how much I am drinking.

I will take my pH measurement this week and test how acidic or alkaline my body is at the moment. My big test will be to change this over the next 2 weeks.

I want to get Omega oils and multivitamins as I know these have helped me in the past.

Starting again with nutrition and building motivation

I had planned on starting the thrive diet but work got so busy and I have found getting the food I need and having it available at the right times was a block to building momentum. I also found there was a lack of variety in my diet and to learn more recipes took time and energy.

I have done blood analysis almost 8 years ago and now I am seeing brochures of people bringing this into mainstream commercialism. I know poor nutrition, stress, and exercise will reduce cellular function in my body. The idea of attempting to stick to this thrive diet was to see how I got more energy from it and looked healthier.

I have to admit vegetarians look skinny and their skin does not always glow with vibrancy. Some I know seem to compensate the missing variety in their diet with chocolate and cheese. They seem to eat more than is healthy for them and I wonder if this is the body saying it needs more of a food group vegetarians are not giving their body’s.

When I have tried eating vegetarian in the past I have lost a lot of weight. My body has a high metabolism and working as a physiotherapist increases this throughout the day. As an Ironman my physiological testing showed high fat burning at the heart rate I sustain when I am working. Whenever I add exercise  to my work I lose even more fat and can look too thin.  No two people have the same fat burning capabilities and I have found what my body does to help shape what I will do with my nutrition.

My purpose for getting back on track with alkalising my body is to see what happens to my weight, energy levels, how I look, and building an athletic body by training in the gym. I am about to have a baby in 2 weeks and my long distance training days are over at the moment. I have decided to switch to developing a good looking body (body I am happy to have) which has energy and is sustainable. The training I will do is gym training with a small amount of cardio training to enter a team triathlon this year on the 27 May (Nuffield Triathlon).

I will endeavour to document weekly but with a baby this may vary from time to time.

I want to help people by describing what happens to me as I go through the next 30 days. This has been difficult for me to do in the past and I know a lot of my clients have the same blocks to achieving the bodies they desire. Some people have personal trainers to motivate them and keep them on track. I want to learn how to make this create this change in my life even though I work full-time and am about to become a father.

Massive day of hill climbing in Portugal

I was wondering how my legs would feel after yesterday’s ride (4hours). My coach Gary said today was going to be real cycling and we would take on big mountains.

I woke up and could feel my calves a little tight. I used his massage machine on my calves and soles of my feet and they  felt much better.  I took my Mannatech sports products, multivit., Udo’s oil and Salt solution. I have to admit the mannatech products make my legs feel strong and I am more alert. In the past if I hill climb a lot and push hard I get hamstring cramping. My quads fatigue and I slow down because they are painful to push on the ride.

We started the ride and took it easy until 50mins in when we started the assents. These were hour long assents where I had to get out of my seat and max my heart rate. Gary pushed me to see when I almost started to hyperventilate and then asked me what my heart rate was. It sat around 172-173. Even though I was gasping for air my legs felt strong. I did not cramp and I recovered very quickly.

There was a time in the ride where I was at breaking point. Gary taught me to get out of the saddle, pedal slowly and quiet my breathing down. I was climbing a steep hill but at the same time reduced my heart rate by 10 beats. This enabled me to recover and still be climbing. This is a skill I will definitely use in the Etape.

On the final hill home, which still required 45 mins of steep climbing with destructive gradients, we went up a new part of the hill. I was the first of his riders to climb it and he has rightly called it Mount Rhysey. I leave my mark after 5 hours of mountain climbing in absolutely stunning scenery and weather.

I learnt a lot on this ride. Garys chain came off while riding and he was able to put it back on without touching the chain and still riding. He gently feathered the gear changer which shifts the chain from the small cog to big cog on the front chainset. He gently pedaled and the chain relocated itself back onto the cogs. I have never seen this before and logged this as a valuable skill to master.

I am getting better on the descents. He taught me to keep weight down on the handle bars and lean with the bike. My line going into the corners is improving and at times I did not have to brake and could feel the bike accelerate out of the bends. I was keeping up with my coach much better than the first day.

I am beginning to know how to pace myself up steep hills. I combine getting out of the seat and seated riding and can push hard or control my heartrate. I could feel my upper body being used in the assents when riding out of the seat.

Gary noticed I wobble on my bike when taking one hand off the handle bars or looking around. I put too much weight on the handle bar with one hand and where I look the handle bars turn. He taught me to always look forward where I am going and don’t look back. Keep even balance on the handle bars. If I wobble in the Etape I could hit other cyclists and I would fall and cause a crash. I would be on the bottom of the pile and the handle bars of other riders would hit me. This is very dangerous. Gary recommended I look out for other dangerous riders and stay wide and away from them in the race. Another great tip is to never ride with my front wheel overlapping the cyclist back wheel ahead. If our wheels touch I am the who will fall as my front wheel will twist.

Gary thinks I have got good strength and good potential to climb well. When I get back to London I must maintain my riding so he is going to introduce me to riders who will show me more hills to climb in Surrey.

In two days I have learnt very valuable skills. I have two days left to condition myself and continue to hone my cycling technique. Tomorrow is a 7 hour hilly ride. I am not looking forward to the final hill climb home as this is really steep but how else do we get home.

I want to further progress my hill climbing and descent skills. I want to pace myself and know the strategies I can pull on for the Etape. Gary explained that in the race my strategy will be determined by how I feel at certain stages in the race and where the hills are placed in the course. The steepest hill is in the middle of the race so he recommended I pace myself slowly up this to conserve enery for the final hill and end of the race.

I sit here after today’s training impressed how strong my legs feel. I have never been able to do this before and not feel pain in my quads. The training and nutrition is working.

Tomorrows riding awaits. Speak to you all then.