I have always believed in the saying, “Healthy body healthy mind.” This year I have been really focused on “Mind over body” as it relates to endurance sports. So why not combine the two so you get the biggest bang for your buck?
Every year that passes it seems like the world has more demands on us. The stress becomes overwhelming at times and when that occurs it can take a toll on so many aspects of your life. I found myself starting to become mentally exhausted from 55+ hour work weeks with the Bank, working on social networking/business plans/marketing strategies for my next life, figuring out how to make longer training days shorter but still impactful due to time limitations and dealing with everyday life demands as well. I am sure ALL of you know what I am taking about.
If you are an endurance athlete that falls into this category you find out quickly that mental exhaustion impacts your physical well being (training) 500% more than just being physically tired. IT STINKS! SOOOO, I started to do little things that just made me feel better mentally and it helped turn around my training (thank goodness!).
When things get busy you fall into the rut of not eating as healthy. No time to cook and when you are hungry you just grab something to get you through the hunger while you are sitting on endless conference calls. For me that was jelly beans and peanut butter – lots of peanut butter! So a few things that I stated to do:
1) Vita Coco – I started to drink 100% coconut water. If this sounds odd then so be it BUT check out its benefits:
* Helps keep the body cool and at the proper temperature
* Helps carry nutrients and oxygen to cells and boosts poor circulation
* Helps replenish your body’s fluids after exercising
* Helps detoxify your body and boost your immune system
* Helps ease stomach pains
* 5 essential electrolytes: potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous
* more potassium than a banana (don’t tell the monkeys) & 15 times more potassium than the leading sports drink
* potassium which helps regulate blood pressure, heart function and enhances the hydration process
* properties which promote smoother more hydrated skin
Blueberries: I have been eating so may blueberries that I am turning into a smurf! Why do I eat so many? As an athlete I love the fact that blueberries have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. BUT, since we are on the topic of metal exhaustion I read about Blueberries and Aging – “In a USDA Human Nutrition Research Center laboratory, neuroscientists discovered that feeding blueberries to laboratory rats slowed age-related loss in their mental capacity, a finding that has important implications for humans. In one study, Jim Joseph, director of the neuroscience laboratory in the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center (HNRC), fed blueberry extractions-the equivalent of a human eating one cup of blueberries a day-to mice and then ran them through a series of motor skills tests. He found that the blueberry-fed mice performed better than their control group counterparts in motor behavioral learning and memory, and he noticed an increase in exploratory behavior. When he examined their brains, he found a marked decrease in oxidative stress in two regions of the brain and better retention of signal-transmitting neurons compared with the control mice.” That is what I am talking about peeps! Call me a lab rat, I don’t care…I love blueberries!
The Sunfood Diet: A friend suggested I read The Sunfood Diet Success System and learn more about raw-food nutrition. The book describes how to adopt, maintain, and stay centered on an 80, 90, or 100% raw-food diet by balancing different types of foods. It is on its way and I will keep you posted.
Mental training: My sister sent a link to specific techniques to mental training. It states that, “Mental training alone will not produce great athletic performance . However, when combined with proper physical training and racing strategy, mental training can make a difference. Additionally, regular and structured mental skills practice is needed to reach peak performance.” Good read.
I saved the best for last — feeding off those that inspire you AND keep you mentally sane. To my tri girls that I train with and call me to check up on me, you rock the house. My family (Cate, Dad and my sisters), you always inspire me to be a better person all around. Mike who has always been a great friend to me and when I am about to pop I call and you listen, you don’t say a word, just listen. To my twitter buddies (@JamesonBull, @jg_65, @metamarshall, @Ironrav, @TheTriRunner, @Mangorunner) that always send words of encouragement/competitiveness, awesome! To @jasonlester, NO is NOT an option — NEVER STOP. To Tanya, you will change the face of triathlons for woman, your hard work has inspired more than you can imagine.
MIND OVER BODY OVER MIND…it is a beautiful thing. Be healthy and keep inspiring!
Until next time — Midget OUT!