There has been a swirl of focus around new planning, baselines, and a path for training focus over the coming weeks for the Purple Patch Squad, so let’s tackle something a little different this week -- the most important habits for energy and health. With no real racing being foremost in mind for most athletes, and continued uncertainty around schedules, schools and life, how should we anchor in positive habits to help us, well, feel good. To make it simple, I am going to outline my top five essentials that each athlete should lean into, and nail every week.
- Leave space for some soul-filling training. I always highlight the fact that performance in sessions bubbles out of being present in training. Without distractions, you can extract optimal yield and results from immersion into the training session. While this is absolutely true, I think that the times we find ourselves in support the notion that some training should be relatively unstructured and free. If you are wondering when, the prime times to be less focused on metrics would be some of the endurance rides and supporting runs. Give yourself license to view these as an adventure, mental floss, and as an escape. Explore, have fun, and retain the spirit of these easier sessions, but don’t feel quite so bound to specificity as you would in a lead up to a race in a normal season.
- Go all anabolic. For postural and tissue health, strength training is a very good thing. It is really important now. If you are under a lot of life stress, about the healthiest thing you can do is commit to consistent strength work. Follow the strength videos, get involved in Sarah Piampiano’s core club sessions, or whatever method you choose -- just don’t let it fall away now.
- Fuel after exercise. I know, you have heard me say it before, but there is nothing more important. Protein will suppress elevated cortisol and carbohydrates will restore energy for future sessions. This simple habit not only maximizes your adaptations and performance consistency, but it is also a gateway to more stable energy during your day. Something we all need!
- Hydration is your energy water. Daily hydration should be a premium focus for all of us. I like to utilize the hydration tablets from Precision Hydration as they optimize hydration with a neutral but appealing taste. It keeps me ‘on it’ more than simply sipping water. Whatever your tipple, make daily hydration a focus, as it helps with cellular health, mental focus, energy management, and tissue restoration.
- Micro Naps. I am sure you have experienced an uptake in phases of broken sleep over the last months, most have. It is no good me just telling you to prioritize sleep if you get into bed and are wide awake three hours later. One thing you can do is integrate 15-20 minutes of quiet time every day. It doesn’t need to be sleep, but just downtime to rest the system and recharge. It will be calming, help with afternoon productivity, and likely improve sleep profiles.
There are five simple habits that can help. Something to begin to focus on this week.
Let’s charge ahead with the week of training. We are into our cycles of work and you will begin to notice a shift in emphasis and focus as we begin to march forward. We are still waiting for final details on the IRONMAN Kona and 70.3 challenges, but we know what we need to know, namely that we will charge toward fall challenges. Thanks for your patience as we wait for more information on the grander pieces of the puzzle.
Have a super week.
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