Refresh, Rejuvenate, Recover
This time of year can be a crossroads for most athletes. We’re about a month into our New Year’s Resolutions or we are starting to gear up for the beginning of our race season. The excitement of re-entering the training cycle has worn off and the reward of race season hasn’t begun yet. I am sure you did your research on what your workouts should entail, what your nutrition plan should look like, and what you need to have in regards to equipment and apparel to ensure you are comfortable while you are training and racing. One particular aspect many athletes and especially newbies overlook is the power of sleep. Sleep plays a critical role in the way we perform. The effects are huge both mentally and physically and sleep will allow your body to push through the doldrums of pre-season boredom.
With proper sleep it allows us to stay sharp and ready to go for each workout. If we start to lack sleep we start to feel sluggish and lethargic. With these feelings, it becomes very tempting for us to skip workouts and if we do choose to workout, lack of sleep will pressure us into slacking off and not putting in a good effort. You can almost think of the old adage of the devil and the angel on your shoulder. Lack of sleep will be that temptation voice saying “my body just isn’t up for it today”. Whereas the angelic state of a full night’s rest will encourage your body and mind to give it everything you have each and every time you train.” We don’t want to get in the habit of skipping workouts, each time we do this it becomes easier and easier to put it on the back burner.
From a physical standpoint, sleep is the time when our body repairs itself. This time is critical as our body prepares itself for the next day of workouts and our daily routines. We need to make sure we are allowing our body the time it needs to fully recover. Making sure we are fully rested also helps keep us healthy. Keeping our body fresh and energized helps keep our immune system strong, which in affect will allow us to stay healthy and produce better results in our training. It is all about balance and once we start to feel drained from all the hustle and bustle of the world around us, we need to take a step back and make our adjustments. Start with making your rest a priority and you will reap the benefits. Sleep works wonders for your body so take advantage of the easiest thing we can do – SLEEP. Sweet Dreams!
When training in the snow wether it is running or biking you need to take extra precautions. We all now the dangers of the cold tmperatures, so we need to make sure we dress warm enough to get through our workouts. Besides dressing warm enough you need to look a little deeper into the workout and into the conditions outsides. You want to make sure you keep your eyes ahead of you surveying your running surface but especially watching the vehicles you might be sharing the roadway with (remember to run towards traffic and not with it). If the temperatures are below freezing watch for icy patches, these are spots in your workout were you can easily get injured if you are not paying attention. Treat every wet spot on the roadway as black ice or an icy patch. Take your time and run under control over these areas. If there is a vehicle around you when approaching a questionable area stop, and let the car pass you then proceed with care.
When biking in cold conditions, it is very important to dress warm, don't forget to take wind chill into consideration when dressing to bike. Can get very chilly. Brrr!! So dress warm, very warm. If roadways are wet and is close to freezing Do Not go out. You do not want to risk wrecking your bike and potentially really hurting yourself from skidding on an ice patch. Pretty straight forward. One other major obstacle you might encounter while biking in the winter is road cinders and road debris. When it snows road crews hit our roads with salt and cinders. As the snow melts and cars use the roads the salt and cinders make their way to the shoulder of the road (our biking lane). These small pieces of road debris act as marbles, making it very hard to control your bike when trying to handle a corner/turn. So take your time and be aware of any areas that might present a problem. Constantly survey the road surface in front of you, to prepare yourself for what you might encounter.
Train hard but be smart and know when to be patient!! Enjoy the these winter training months!!
Now that New Year's is here and gone, I know a lot of people are really AMPED UP to start training again or get started for the first time. Some advice: Take your time and ease into it. You do not want to throw your body into fits by over doing it the first day or even first week. Take it easy and take your time, you won't get in the prime shape of your life the first day but you can definitely hurt yourself. Try and relax!! Concentrate your time on proper form and technique not on how much weight you are lifting, how many reps you might be pumping out, or how fast your legs are moving on the treadmill. Proper form and technique now will save you from injury later. .
5 Easy Tips when starting out:
- Focus on Technique
- Focus on Form
- Keep a workout log
- Make sure you are getting a good night sleep
- Stretch, Stretch and then Stretch one more time
Stay AMPED UP but make sure you funnel your time and energy into the right areas of your workout from the very start.
Kenrick Smith - Be a part of the K17Sport Lifestyle.
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