By Coach Felipe Loureiro of www.breakaway-training.com
You just finished your last race of the season and the only thing on your mind is a well-deserved week off doing what you have been dreaming of: NOTHING. Watching Netflix, catching up with your sleep, eating ice cream and cookies, finally fixing the house door that’s been broken since March.
Every endurance athlete needs a physical and mental break at least once every season. It is absolutely essential for your body and mind!
As soon as you are done with your break, it becomes time for the famous “off-season”. However, many athletes can often misunderstand what it means to be in the off-season. It can be interpreted as a time of checking out, skipping workouts, and basically in a vacation mode. Off-Season is actually a time when all of the foundation work is done… a great endurance athlete is made during the off-season months.
Follow these “Off-Season” guidelines to make sure you will have a killer season:
Along with an intense training program and proper fueling, a diet rich in organic nutrients can help athletes avoid illness and injury and perform up to their peak come race day.
Multivitamin/multimineral supplements are typically recommended as “insurance” against dietary gaps in the provision of essential nutrients. Believe it or not, your diet may not provide you with all the vitamins and minerals you need to help with the bodily processes including helping convert food into energy. Minerals are dissolved in liquid and quickly excreted from the body during intense exercise.
Vitamins and minerals (such as vitamins D3, E, and B6) are critical for bodily functions, and without replacement, an athlete's body can break down. For example, vitamin B-12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body's nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. B-12 also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak.
Taking amino acids post workout can help stimulate protein synthesis. Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are used by the body to help repair muscles and help them grow. As a result, many athletes supplement with essential amino acids (those not produced within the body) post workout.
When you exercise, you perspire. Even in winter months. Lost in the perspiration of the body and all other bodily secretions is not just H2O, but electrolytes and essential minerals.
Electrolytes are electrically charged ions necessary for all muscle, brain, and bodily functions. According to RunnersConnect's "Electrolytes For Runners: A Definitive Guide, mineral replacement is essential to helping restore proper blood volume and blood sugar levels, and is necessary for enzymatic reactions that promote proper blood volume. Without them the quality of performance during long-term or explosive short-term exercise decreases.
Most athletes think that hydrating with sodium or potassium are the only minerals we need to replace during exercise. That's wrong.
According to specialist in sports nutrition, Nina Anderson, there are a host of essential minerals which are necessary for the entire body and brain to function properly. These should include the trace minerals such as: copper, magnesium, zinc, chromium, cobalt, selenium, iodine and others. Choose an electrolyte replacement that replenishes all the minerals that are lost during training.
Follow these off-season tips, focus on improving your weaknesses, and stick to the plan to ensure your season is a success!
Coach Felipe Loureiro of Breakaway Training describes his top tips for the best off season training. Felipe has been successful in triathlon at all levels – from amateur to pro – accumulating over 30 years of experience in the sport and coaching. His athletic success came as he coached others and grew a business. He knows what it takes for you to succeed in any multisport discipline despite your busy schedule.
Remember the “Food Pyramid”? It was the triangular guide from the USDA with levels or sections of food groups and suggested amounts of daily servings for each. For 19 years, health practitioners, teachers, parents and others used this as a guide to teach and ensure healthy eating. Even athletes were known to follow these guidelines.
Dehydration Results In Lower Blood Pressure And Slows Bodily Processes. Active individuals should be aware of the acute effects of dehydration on performance. With just a 2% loss of water in the body, heat regulation becomes impacted. With a 3% drop in body weight from water loss, muscle cell contraction is impacted. And at 4% loss, there is 5-10% reduction in overall performance that can last up to 4 hours.