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3 ways to optimize your summer training
June 23, 2017 | by Jermaine John-Archer

July is upon us, and with the end of spring weather comes the ever so familiar time to start enjoying beautiful British Columbia – sunnier days, hotter weather, and the overzealous need to spend every waking hour outside.

As we emerge from our hibernation, the sedentary routines that we’ve become accustomed to this past winter and spring may have wreaked havoc on our bodies and lifestyles.

At the Training Centre, we pledge to help you clean up those habits – here are 3 ways to optimize your summer training!

 

1. PREPARE AHEAD! 

Summer brings beautiful sunny weather.  Take advantage of it. Even in just little doses. However, we need to ensure that we are mindful in our outdoor play. Some important questions to consider are:

Where are you going to be?
Will you be in the forest/water/road/track/court/field and what do you need to be safe in that environment? Think about things like footwear, safety gear and a first aid kit.

What are the current weather conditions?
The weather is an unpredictable beast. Check the weather before you head out and always be prepared with skin and eye protection, and appropriate clothing in-case it changes on a dime.

What are you asking your body to do?
A well planned training session begins with some form of movement preparation. This preliminary work is reflective of the training goal.  Outdoor activities should be prepared for with the same forethought.  Think about the movements that your body will be doing and reflect on what needs to be warmed up/released/engaged to make those movements successful.

After you complete your outdoor activity, what information is your body giving you?
What feels great and what feels like it needs to be brought back into a state of ease and balance? Reflecting on your experience should give you an indication of what your recovery practice should look like. If you are simply tired and happy, great! Take rest and nourishment so that you are ready for next time.  If there are parts of you that need a little bit more attention, give it to them!  Recovery practices such as gentle stretching, self-myofascial release, mobility work, manual therapy and hydrotherapy can be helpful when combined with well-planned nutrition, hydration and sleep.

 

2. INTENSITY MATTERS

Please keep in mind that the environment plays a key role in your ability to sustain bouts of moderate to intense exercise. In addition to your external environment, listen to your internal environment.  Some important questions to consider are:

How long are you going to be enjoying your activity, and are you properly fueled for it?
Joanna Irvine, Registered Dietitian at Fortius Sport and Health recommends bringing a carbohydrate rich snack to have during intensive training sessions lasting longer than 60-90 minutes. When thinking through your nutrition needs, transit time is another important piece to consider; it will determine how much time passes from your last meal to the start of your activity, and how quickly you are able to replenish your energy stores when you are finished. Joanna suggests having a pre-training meal in 1-4 hrs before exercise.

Larger meals require more time for optimal digestion. For example, a whole wheat wrap with chicken and mixed veg + yogurt and fruit could be consumed in the 2-3 hour window before training. Joanna also recommends bringing a small pre-training top off snack to have within the hour before exercise (think banana or granola bar) to help keep your energy levels high. After your workout, she recommends that your refueling meal or snack be consumed within the hour to best support your recovery process.

What are your hydration needs?
Staying hydrated while enjoying outside activities is essential to performance and health. Joanna recommends that you bring a water bottle (reusable!) with you to each session, especially when exercising in the heat. Everyone’s fluid needs will be different depending on how much they sweat. As a guideline, try for 2 cups of water in the 60 min before exercising, 2-3 gulps of water every 10-15 min during training, and 2 cups fluids right after exercise.

We are excited to welcome Melissa Kazan to our Sports Nutrition Team! Make sure you book an appointment with one of our Registered Dietitians if you have any further questions or concerns about your nutrition needs.

 

3. WORK S.M.A.R.T.E.R. NOT HARDER

Back in January we talked about the “S.M.A.R.T. ways to plan for 2017”.  As we’re halfway through the year, now’s the time to revisit those points to see how well we’re doing with our goal setting.

  • How flexible has our Strategy been, and have we been able to make adjustments to our plan along the way for the best possible outcome?
  • Are our goals still Meaningful? How can we adjust our objectives to keep on top of our progress?  Can we find new ways to motivate ourselves?
  • Have we made ourselves Accountable? How have we grown with our goals, and have we asked for help when we needed it?
  • Has our feedback been Results-based?
  • Have we been objectively and subjectively Tracking our progress, while making appropriate and realistic changes to our goals based on the results we’ve seen thus far?
  • How have we Evaluated our objective(s) and action plan(s)?
  • When last did we Review the big picture, and when last did we challenge ourselves with a new approach to tackling our goals?

 

FORTIUS SUMMER TRAINING PROGRAMS START SOON!

With vacations, lounging in the outdoors, and the temptress “Happy Hour” on our favourite patio, falling out of our training routines can be easy.  To help you stay on track, we’re offering a modified 8-week training schedule for most of our summer programs.

Programs kick off the first week of July! Don’t wait. Visit our Summer Program Guide to find out if one of our classes can help you reach your summer goals.

 

REFERENCES

  1. Doran, G. T. (1981). “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives”. Management Review. AMA FORUM. 70 (11): 35–36.