Welcome to my first blog post. I hope to use this each week to talk about different aspects of training, nutrition or whatever else pops into my head on any given week. Check back on the site or Facebook each week for updates.
I began today trawling through topics to discuss and fell on a few interesting articles about recovery. In coaching and the fitness industry in the last ten years an underlying theme of ‘more is better’ seems to be commonplace. In fact most amateur clubs and athletes wont apply any kind of recovery into their programming at all. Before we discuss this any further lets discuss what is ‘recovery’ and what it means for the leisurely gym goer to the top end sports people. According to Kellman “Recovery is an inter- and
intra-individual multilevel process in
time for the re-establishment of performance
abilities”. To break this down it seems recovery is a multi-system process. A simpler definition exists that fatigue exists when
any exercise induced reduction in
the maximal capacity to generate
force or muscle output occurs.
Lets consider the types of fatigues that an athlete can experience in no particular order: metabolic,
neural, psychological, and emotional fatigue. So to distance ourselves from the science of it for a second and bring in back down to everyday terms the athlete needs to be viewed as a whole. Conditions outside the gym, track or pitch may have an effect and contribute to the training load not physically but psychologically. A prime example in my experience is footballers completing college exams and being expected to perform at a high level both on the pitch and in college tests.
So down to practical application, what can be done to reduce recovery time. The first I like to use is a training diary which will include sleep quality, training intensity, weight, resting heart rate in mornings and general mood. This approach is simple but it will help you become self-aware of physical and psychological factors which effect your training. If something is changing drastically it will allow you to pin-point whatever factors are effecting performance. Another simple principle is the hard easy principle. It works on the basis that a training session or competition perceived as high intensity by the athlete is followed by a low intensity activity designed to aid in recovery. An example of which would be a light aerobic activity followed by a full stretching session a short period after a high intensity bout of training.
Another area I need to touch on here is nutrition. The statement you are what you eat couldn’t be more applicable to this article. About two hours before exercise a medium protein carbohydrate meal should be consumed to fuel the exercise session. Low gi carbs work best at the time to keep blood sugar steady and provide a constant energy source. Simpler carbohydrates in the form of sports drink may be consumed during the session but is not totally necessary unless the session is lasting considerably longer than one hour. Post game refuel of muscle glycogen through intake of carbohydrates is vitally important as soon as possible after the exercise bout. A 4:1 carbohydrate to protein is ideal to replace glycogen and amino acids for protein synthesis.
The last area I’ll touch on and the most important in my opinion is sleep sleep sleep sleep. I’m often asked by clients what supplements to be taking or what kind of training will help me achieve my goals. In my experience sleep and a solid nutritional plan including the proper ratio of macro nutrients creates a solid platform to achieve any goal a client may have. Hudson states in the strength and conditioning journal in 2004 that athletes should aim for 8 to 9.5 hours sleep a night with athletes aiming for the top number being an ideal situation.
Rem (rapid eye movement) sleep being the most important for physiological growth and repair occurs during the end of the sleep cycle. This means that missing out on this vital segment leads to a reduction in recovery time and a delayed fatigue period. Three tips that work for optimal sleep are drink water, keep your bedroom ventilated and keep your facebooking, instagramming, yik yakking and whatever else you do on your phone until the following day. Also avoid caffeine and large meal before bedtime.
I hope this article helps some people. I’ll try keep this updated as much as I can so hopefully everyone can learn something they can apply to their own training.
Even though a trip to Ireland was planned, it is unknown if Patsy actually took the trip. In 1937, unrest in Europe was well under-weigh. The article snippet posted yesterday was also wrong in stating that sister Bridget had nine children. In actuality, she had six: Martin, Mary, Edward (called Ned), Paddy, Bridget, and James. Two of Patsy’s Irish nieces and nephews, Ned and Mary stayed in the County, while the others immigrated to the Chicago area. Bridget’s oldest son, Martin, was memorialized by his son, Marty Fahey, in an article at the Historical Ballinrobe website: http://www.historicalballinrobe.com/page_id__351_path__0p26p.aspx
According to a Great Niece of Patsy’s (one of Bridget’s granddaughters who posted on a blog), Patsy and Bridget did not meet until 1969, when they were much older. If the date is correct, that would have put Patsy at 59 (not 69, as she states) and Bridget at 75. Regardless of age, it would be so strange to meet a sibling after always having been aware of one another, but raised apart, never having shared in one another’s lives. I also remember reading a newspaper snippet about Patsy welcoming a sister she’d never met from the late 60’s-early 70’s to the U.S. For some reason, I didn’t save the information. If I can find it again, I will post it.
One mystery, however, is solved. Based on this blog comment, Bridget and one other of Patsy’s sisters did stay behind to be raised by their Uncle Henry Kelly, a noted horse trainer in Ballygarris. There is a photo of Uncle Henry as well as Bridget (although very small) included in the Historical Ballinrobe article.