Monday, 24 December 2007

Lifestyle part deux...

Well, I didn’t quite manage the 56 hours but with the help of a 90 minute power-nap yesterday afternoon I got to 53 for the week. Sleep is prime recovery time from all those hard sessions and you see all kinds of strategies advocated by different coaches, magazines and books. Paula Radcliffe is reputed to get something like 12 hours sleep in every 24 and an article I read the other day recommended an extra hour for every hour spent training… for the working athlete however this would be an impossible task. I’ve never really thought seriously about my sleep but as the quest for Kona continues and the training intensifies, survival becomes one of the biggest challenges. I figure that if I could average eight hours a night I’d be ahead of most of my rivals so for the last four weeks have been keeping a record and aiming for 56 hours a week. I’ve only managed this one-week out of the four but just keeping a record has helped me to become more conscious of my sleep levels and my natural competitiveness gets me cramming in the odd hours here and there. In week three, where I hit 56.5, I definitely felt the benefit.

So far I’ve listed the three key areas of lifestyle that I believe are vital for an ‘age-group’ athlete to maximise their athletic performance… minimal alcohol consumption, a healthy diet consisting of natural foods free from artificial additives and consistent achievement of adequate sleep.
Several other lifestyle factors are key to successful performance and with many of my thoughts coming from the writings of Gordo Byrne I’ll provide you with this quote from his latest post and direct you to his blog for further reading...

“To achieve our true athletic potential, we need to be operating from a position of harmony and stability. We also need to be willing to change.”

How’s my lifestyle? Well, although I’d consider myself a fair way along the journey I’m still learning every single day and am far from ‘optimal’. I’ve conquered the booze and am pretty much there with the diet (although my refined sugar intake, albeit largely organic, is probably a little high). Sleep is a work in progress as is personal planning, time management and financial stability. With great support from friends and family this area is 100% and obviously H contributes significantly to my athletic dreams.
The photograph that I've used this week is of Mark Moxon and I (I'm on the right) just as we got in to the water prior to the start of Ironman Switzerland 2007 and is a reminder to me as to what this is all about ;)

The biggest challenge for me however will come when my Ironman journey comes to an end.

Have a fantastic Christmas,

p.s. my training diary is done for week 4 but i can't upload it from this computer... it will follow tomorrow.

1 comment:

Jevon said...

Wise words mate. I shall ruminate on them as I shovel down a hot dog and pint whilst watching Saracens this afternoon.

Hope you had a good xmas, love to H.