As a passionate endurance athlete, you’ll be looking to continue to participate in your chosen sport – be that triathlon, cycling, running or perhaps adventure racing – for many years to come and to remain as competitive as possible. It’s worth noting that in the past 30 years, increased participation in events lasting 6 hours or more by masters athletes (those over 40) has been accompanied by improvements in their performances at a much faster rate than their younger counterparts.¹ But decline in physical function to some extent is sadly inevitable as you increase in age, so putting in place strategies to minimise those declines before they take significant effect is fundamental to giving yourself every chance to continue doing the sport you love and performing to the best of your ability.
Vegan diets have become noticeably more popular in recent years. Many people will choose to exclude all animal products from their diet for ethical reasons. Others may see it as a healthier way of eating. Or it may well be a combination of the two. I’ve certainly observed an increase in the number of endurance athletes who are turning to veganism. That’s great if it’s the right decision for you, and it is certainly possible to be both vegan and a high performer, but you do need to be aware of several potential risks to both your health and your performance if you follow a vegan diet which isn’t well balanced and doesn’t take account of potential nutrient deficiencies. Continue reading
While delayed onset muscle soreness – commonly known as DOMS – is perhaps associated more with body building, weight lifting and fitness sports like Cross Fit, it can also be a significant issue for many endurance athletes, particularly at times when there may be little recovery time between training sessions or when either volume or intensity are significantly increased. Multi-day endurance events may also be adversely affected by DOMS. Continue reading
If you are not currently including cherry juice as part of your nutrition plan to support your endurance training, it is well worth considering, in my opinion. In this blog post I take a look at the properties of cherries, specifically the tart Montmorency variety, which research suggests can be of value to people training for endurance sports events, and suggest a number of ways to incorporate cherry juice into your training and recovery routines. Continue reading
Vitamin D is a unique nutrient in that it is made in the body through the action of ultraviolet light, eg sunshine, on skin. It is also found in small amounts in a limited number of foods including oily fish, eggs, butter and mushrooms. In the last 10 years or so, a great deal of research has taken place into the physiological functions of vitamin D, and the evidence is mounting that vitamin D plays a far wider role than simply contributing to bone health through the part it plays in calcium absorption. Vitamin D insufficiency has been implicated in, to give just some examples, muscle weakness, upper respiratory tract infections, various auto-immune conditions including psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, cognitive decline, mood disorders, cardiovascular disease and even cancer.
But what are the implications of vitamin D insufficiency for those participating in endurance sports? Could it affect performance? And are runners, cyclist and triathletes, who tend to spend much of their time training outside, even at risk of having inadequate vitamin D? I’ve taken a look at the research. Continue reading
If you are training for and competing in endurance sports, such as running, cycling and triathlon, there’s a good chance that your personal characteristics include being determined, driven, purposeful, competitive and even perfectionist. You probably set high standards and targets for yourself, and challenge yourself to meet them. This is likely to be the case in your work life and personal life, as well as in relation to your chosen sport. These characteristics help to make you a winner! Continue reading
If you are training for an endurance sports event, eg marathon, cycle race or triathlon, there’s a good chance that you will be training in the early mornings at least once a week, and this means giving careful thought to when and what you eat for breakfast after training. Consuming a mix of carbohydrates and protein at this time plays an important part in restoration of muscle glycogen levels and muscle recovery. I hope this article will provide some helpful ideas. Continue reading
If you participate in endurance sports, you are probably well aware of the need to replenish your muscle glycogen stores soon after training by consuming carbohydrates, and may choose options like a sports drink, fruit juice, a cereal bar, a sandwich or bowl of cereal. But do you also give consideration to your post-exercise requirements for protein? Continue reading