Thoughts of the week
We recently embarked on a pre-season track and field camp in Portugal and have put together some helpful guidelines for people thinking of or looking to do a similar thing…
Plan each day before you leave athletes, coaches and support staff no what is happening, when it is happening and where it is happening.
Prepare equipment, documentation, clothing and any additional items you may need before hand, don’t rely and being able to get it at your destination as this might not be possible.
Creating choice and having options is always a huge plus when keeping teams happy. Examples of this may be who athletes may be sharing a room with, buffet style meal set ups, recovery options after training and leisure activities in free time to relax and bond.
Being adaptable and being able to change from what was originally organised creates less stress and saves more time than risking against something that is no longer possible.
Avoid illness by doing simple things such as avoid drinking tap water, providing each person with their own bottle of hand sanitiser that can fit on a key ring, not sharing water bottles or having a probiotic daily to avoid and gastrointestinal issues.
Jet lag can impact people more than they release. Depending on the destination, length of flight and time difference some can be more affected than others. On the plane ensure you are well hydrated before and during the flight, wear compression clothing or at least flight socks, take a good quality travel pillow if you’re in economy class and walk around the cabin as much as possible when in the air.
Time zones can constantly cause the bod to play catch up. It is best to try and get in sync with the clock of your destination as quickly as possible. On the first day staying up later if your behind or go to bed earlier if your ahead of home time can help.
Sleep charging during the entire trip is very valuable, especially between training sessions and if the climate if warmer than at home. Power naps of 30-90mins can help reset the body. Avoiding caffeine (and alcohol) in the evening will help you sleep better at night.
Recovering well is key to keeping quality training sessions that follow high. Firstly when you finish ensure you hydrate and snack within 20mins. Secondly utilise cold and hot options in the form of ice baths and hot showers or, if that’s not possible, make the most of any form of water near buy (pool or sea).
Hydrate properly as often as possible. Monitor urine colour as a guide as well as pre/post session weight. Remember for every 1kg body weight lost needs to be replace with 1.5litres of fluid. In cases of high dehydration utilise isotonic sports drinks and/or electrolyte tablets with water.
Anti-doping risk applies more to higher level athletes and teams but is higher than people may think. When training abroad things tend to be more unfamiliar and more trust is put in people you may not know. Firstly keep all water bottles close and within view. Secondly make sure any supplements that people normally use are brought from home as the same brand in another country may contain different ingredients.
Hopefully this will come in useful next time you are training abroad…
Recipe of the week
Top European hotel, restaurant and supermarket choices
When abroad there is usually less choice available than when at home for various reasons. Below are breakdowns of simple but sufficient options when it comes to breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks…
- Fresh fruit juices
- Cereals, yoghurts & milks
- Toasts and preserves
- Varieties of eggs
- Lean meats
- Simple cheeses
Lunches / Snacks
- Warm or cold meats
- Tinned fish
- Wholegrain breads / rolls
- Sugar / salt reduced nuts
- Cereal bars / wholemeal biscuits
- Fresh fruit / vegetables
- Fresh soups
- Grilled meats (plus vegetarian substitutes)
- Fresh fish (plus vegetarian substitutes)
- Variety of vegetables cooked different ways
- Baked / boiled potato
- Wholemeal pasta / rice
- Side salads
- Fruit bowl