Team Odom wants to congratulate everyone that participated in the Twin Cities Marathon and races this weekend. Whether this was your first race or your 52nd race, OHW is proud of you and proud to support you in your race prep and recovery.
As you plan out your training and workouts for this fall and winter, keep these pieces of encouragement in mind when you are struggling to get up and moving or to push a little harder in the months to come:
- It is only cold if you are standing still.
- Winter progress is better than no progress.
- The hardest part is actually starting to move after deciding you want to.
- You will feel worse from skipping a planned workout than from forcing yourself to get going.
- As long as you have the right clothing covering the right body parts, the cold can’t hurt you. (I have to tell myself this one constantly in January.)
Advanced Performance Training Tips
Beta Alanine Supplementation
Studies have shown beta alanine supplementation enhances high intensity performance among athletic populations, but we have not known the effects of beta alanine on tactical physical and cognitive performance until recently. A recent study looked at beta alanine supplementation for tactical athletes undergoing military training. (A tactical athlete is a person with the physical ability, stamina and strength to function on the battlefield. Beyond the requirements of many other sports, tactical athletes must work on their muscular endurance and cardiovascular stamina.)
They found beta alanine might improve tactical performance in some activities. (Think about sports that require an intense output, sustained for a longer period of time that requires focus and concentration.) The crossover could be that your cross-country ski and hockey performance or Tough Mudder training might improve.
I’d like to recognize Dr. Odom for calling out the major performance benefits of beetroot juice two years ago before it hit mainstream. But beetroot juice did hit mainstream because it truly is an amazing natural performance enhancer. More studies have proven the benefits on aerobic capacity, blood pressure, performance at altitude, and endurance. Beetroot juice concentrate has been Auburn’s secret weapon the past two seasons.
Next up is tart cherry juice concentrate. Montemorency tart cherries have been found to reduce inflammation, enhance post exercise recovery, repair muscles, reduce muscle soreness and improve sleep. You’d need to eat a lot of cherries so tart cherry juice concentrate can give you similar, more doable, results. Plus you can get it year round.
Write Out Your Recovery/Training Program Details
After your training peaks in the fall, your body might tell you it is time for recovery (dark mornings and freezing temperatures tend to send the same message), but this can lead into a series of skipped workouts, losing part of your base or rushed training for your spring event.
Take the time to write down your goals for your workouts/training this fall and winter and then hammer out the details: days, times, cross training activity, miles/time, etc. The plan will get you closer to your Spring goals, cut out the “what should I do today,” and if you happen to sleep in a few mornings, you will be more likely to jump back into your plan and not lose ground.
John Edwards, ATC, CSCS is great at designing training programs for any sport/activity customized to your goals and where you are at right now.
Maximize Protein Quantity and Timing for Muscle Building
We all know digesting protein after breaking down muscle fibers help them rebuild faster and stronger, but the details of how much, when, what, how often are constantly debated and researched.
New research is showing us that “intermediate” protein ingestion might be the way to go. After any type of resistance training, eating or drinking 20 grams of a high quality, rapidly digested protein source (whey protein isolate is a good place to start) every three hours seems to best stimulate myofibrillar protein synthesis and an overall greater protein turnover and recovery compared to a large amount of protein at one time.
Gut health and the lesser known microbiome have hit the media circuit in regards to digestive health, diabetes and weight loss. But the bacteria and individually unique microbiome we all carry influences so much more.
Improving or even just maintaining a healthy gut impacts your energy level, how you digest and absorb nutrients, how certain hormones signal and how robust your immune system can be. These all impact your training and athletic performance. You can meet with Dr. Odom and our new dietitian Val Schonberg, MS, CSSN, RDN to learn more about improving your gut health.