Author Archive for James Eacott

How to keep motivated during the off season

The ‘Off season’ is exactly that. It’s a time to switch off, a time to leg go of the season that’s passed and enjoy a little break away from the usual regular routine.

This is more appropriate for the longer endurance athletes amongst you, but it applies to everyone who’s competitively involved in sports also. The demands placed on the bodies of those who compete in endurance-type sports such as running, cycling and triahtlons is great, and the hours of training and racing over the season is mentally draining. It takes it’s toll, hence why an off-season is really important.

It is highly recommended to give yourself a good couple of weeks (between 2 and 4 normally optimal) of complete rest after the season finishes. And I mean complete rest! Not a little jog here and there or a dip in the pool. Absolutely zero exercise. Now this may scare some of you – the thought of zero exercise and the feeling of doubt as to whether you will return to those ‘peak’ form days. But not only will this help reset your body, it’ll also get you fired up and motivated to get the head down and back in that “pain cave” ready to start a new block of training for the next season.

During the off season, it’s totally fine – and expected – to lose some fitness and put a little weight on too. It’s normal, natural, healthy and genuinely good for your longevity within sport. You shouldn’t expect to be in peak condition – both fitness and weight – year round. Try and you’ll burnout fast.

Omitting this rest is a recipe for distaster and the likelihood is you will either pick up an injury or permanently lose your mojo in due course!

However, once that rest is done and you’re eager to get back on the horse, ease yourself back into general exercise. This is a great time to try new sports because you don’t need to dive straight back into structured workouts. Triathletes spend a lot of time swimming, biking and running and don’t have a great deal of time for much else – the off-season is a perfect time to mix things up a little.

What about investing in a cheap mountain bike and hitting the trails with some mates? Or visit your local rock climbing centre and spending a few hours doing that? These are both great ways to expend that energy you’ve amassed but also allowing you and your mind to focus on something different.

If you take the rest seriously and give yourself that separation, I can guarantee your motivation levels will rise through the roof and you will be ready for a fresh new block of training.

Recover like a pro post-run

Whether you’re a professional or a couch to 5k runner, it doesn’t matter: recovering from your run sessions is vital regardless of the level you are at. Not only will it help aid muscle soreness or injuries and niggles occurring, but recovering properly will enhance your performance next time and that’s something ALL of us want right?

Here are some tips to help you nail that recovery!

Warm down. This is just as important as warming up. Just a gentle jog and 10mins of light stretching at the end is all that’s required to kick-start that recovery phase. Adding this into your regime, although may feel like a bit of a burden and pointless but it will help you a lot long-term.

Refuel. Aiming to consume some nutrition post-run should be high on the list. Research suggests to take full advantage of that key window (20-30min) post session to get some food in. This is to help repair, build and replace what was lost throughout.

Rehydrate. Again, another priority on the ‘recovery list’ is hydration. Not only should it be an essential post session or race, this should also take place pre-run too! This helps reduce the chances of cramping or dehydration creeping in mid-session, especially if you are running longer distances such as half, full and ultra marathons. Rehydrating after is very important and helps to replace what was lost through sweating throughout the run.

Sleep. Everyone knows the importance and benefits sleeping has on our bodies. Aim for 7-8hrs each night – this enables the body time to rest and repair and its especially important after a big session or race.

Listen to your body. If you’ve had a hard training session or race and are no doubt feeling the effects of it, such as fatigue and muscle soreness, be sure to take it steady for the next few days before jumping back into training. A suggestion would be to implement some cross-training such as swimming or spinning into your week to help the body moving and flush out that lattice with little to no impact on the body.

Give your body the respect it deserves.

COMPETITOR STORY – LUCY DAWKINS

A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Lucy Dawkins who took part in the Portishead Triathlon with us.

The reason why I took part in this triathalon is because I love a challenge and I’ve never done a triathlon before. I have a fascination in health and fitness because my occupation is a Sport Massage Therapist and I believe it is important to take part variety of different sports so as we use a variety of different muscles as injuries can occur due to muscle overuse.
I am raising money for The Terrence Higgins Trust because I have been volunteering for The Terrence Higgins Trust as a Massage Therapist since 2013 and I’ve seen the decline of services for people with HIV due to lack of funding over the years and I’ve observed personally how physically harrowing having this disease can be.

 

COMPETITOR STORY – NICOLA PRING

A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Nicola Pring who took part in the Portishead Triathlon with us.

In 2018 I set out to complete various New Year resolutions: to complete a 10km run, to take part in a long distance bike ride, to attempt enjoying a Tough Mudder and, finally, to take on a sprint triathlon. All with the aim of raising money for Maggie’s and Crisis. Maggie’s supported my Mum in 2017 when she was in remission from cervical cancer; they provided her with emotional, practical and social support to get back in to day-to-day life. We are all aware that we have a serious homelessness problem in the UK; it’s something we see every day. Crisis offer education, training and support with housing, employment and health. I wasn’t able to complete my “2018 Challenge” as my Mum sadly passed away shortly before I was due to take part in the triathlon last year. However, I am sticking to my word with the hope of raising even more money for these two great charities!

Nicola’s justgiving page is: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/Nicola-Pring1

 

COMPETITOR STORY – MARTIN PEARCE

A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Martin Pearce who took part in the Westonbirt 10k with us.

I first began fundraising for Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) in 2017, the year I turned 50. I raise funds for a charity most years and the year I turned 50 I wanted a charity that was local, would benefit children and also where I could really see the effect the money raised was having. I have a colleague who has benefited from the support at CHSW’s Charlton Farm and following a tour of the hospice I could really see that the fantastic work carried out for the whole family of children who stay there.

www.virginmoneygiving.com/shoeperman

COMPETITOR STORY – BRIDIE DUDFIELD

A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Bridie Dudfield who took part in the Westonbirt 10k with us.

In March 2012 my good friend Helen met Dan and they fell in love. They married in the April of 2017, which I was lucky enough to attend, and welcomed George into the world in the September. All was perfect. But as life has a way of doing, things took a turn for the worst.

Dan was diagnosed with a brain tumour and after a brave fight, sadly died in July 2018, aged just 34.

The reason of my Just Giving page is to raise money for Sue Ryder, namely the Leckhampton Hospice, that cared for Dan in his final 11 days“.

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bridie-dudfield1

COMPETITOR STORY – HUGH SMITH

A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Hugh Smith who took part in the Westonbirt 10k with us.

I suffered a severe Traumatic Brain Injury in 2005, having fought back from my deathbed I made a promise to myself that all the time I could, I would run. After a long recovery, at 21 I had to learn to walk again and spent a little over 5 months in hospital. Once in the ‘real’ world again I built my ability up to complete a 5km then 10km run. Never one to look back I now complete multiple 10km runs each year (18 to date in the last 2 years). It’s with the fantastic organisation from DBMax that this is continually possible. I wrote about my experience to help others that good can come from bad….anything is possible. The New Me; My Journey Back From a Traumatic Brain Injury by Hugh Smith

Injury prevention

We are well into the competitive season now and our bodies are starting to feel the effects of all that hard training and racing. So now, more than ever, we’re at risk of niggles and injuries occurring and it’s important to keep an eye on early warning signs.

If you’ve been racing since the beginning of the year, your body is naturally going to start to feeling the effects of this. Racing is a draining experience and the risk of injuries is much higher post-race due to a number of factors, the main one being the time you take to recover.

So we’ve 4 tips to help you identify early warning niggles and nip them in the bud before they develop into a full blown injury.

  1. Take notice of any warning signs. If you start to feel a few niggles occurring, keep a check on them. Monitor them and note down changes in pain or severity. If these niggles persist, be sure to seek medical help from a physio or health profressional. Most niggles can be easily treated if caught early enough, so don’t risk it.
  2. Always warm up. A lot of us are guilty of neglecting this one. We’re all tight on time and the training session is usually all the time we have due to working commitments, so an additional 20-30mins warming up a luxury most can’t afford. However, not only will warming up help you perform better but will also reduce the chances of injury.
  3. Listen to your physio. We all think we know better! But if you’re paid for a physio, you may as well listen to them too! If your physio has pre-warned you that training with this niggle/injury could make it worse by continuing to “push” through it, listen to them. They are qualified and know what they are doing. Don’t risk putting yourself out for longer than you need to be.
  4. Do your strength training. Again, it’s an area many are guilty of neglecting, especially triathletes. We have 3 sports to train for and finding additional time for 1-2 strength sessions per week is not easy. However, it’s proven to reduce injury occurence so get to it!

How to prepare for a duathlon

Here’s a few essentials you need to know before you lace up for you run-bike-run!

Duathlons are a perfect way to get race fit for a triathlon and provide a great hit-out throughout the year (particularly the winter) to keep the competitive spirit alive.

Here’s 4 tips to prepare you for your next duathlon:

  1. Don’t start too hard. This can be a real problem for some, the gun goes and it’s only natural to go off like a raging bull. Remember, you’ve still got a bike and another run to go. Find your rhythm and listen to your body – if you feel you can push a little more, do.
  2. Practice your transitions. Set up a transition area somewhere and practice the two transitions: run in, put on your helmet, switch shoes, take the helmet off, change into your trainers, running off the bike and so on. It will ease nerves and prepare you so you complete transitions on autopilot on race day.
  3. Use two pairs or trainers. A little trick a lot of duathletes use to shave time is having two pairs of trainers for each transition. If you’ve done a duathlon before you will recall coming into T1, chucking your trainers off in a hurry and getting out into the bike…only to return for run #2 to spend a few minutes searching for that chucked trainer you pulled off in a hurry! Have two pairs and you know one of them will be there sitting pretty waiting for you!
  4. Practice running before a bike ride. It’s common to do a run after a bike session – especially if you’ve been training for a triathlon – however not many go for a run before. By replicating what you will be doing in the race can only be a good thing.

Don’t forget to have a look at DB Max duathlons on our race pages.

Competitor Story – Charlie Paradise

A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Charlie Paradise who took part in the Chippenham 10k with us.

Since September 2018 I have been undergoing a challenge to raise awareness of mental health in the hope to help normalise it. This is an important subject for me, one that is very close to my heart for a number of reasons including my own experience of struggling with clinical depression in my mid 20s.

One of the biggest barrier to people gaining support is the stigma around the topic, you can feel like your different and no one would understand, but actually mental health is something we all have and at least 1 in 4 of us will struggle with mental health issues. Our mental health is a spectrum and we are continuously moving around on that spectrum, lives events really affect us and therefore it isn’t a sign of weakness to struggle, its completely understandable and normal.

I picked a challenge of completing 1000km in 400 days to represent those 1 in 4 people and I am using physical activity to complete this – run, walk and three bike rides – as physical activity has always helped my mental well being and I believe it can help others too.

The Chippenham 10k was the 4th DB Max event that I am taken on for this challenge, the events have been excellent and really enjoyable. My 1000km is all being completed through events, so its about finding the right ones where the participants are nice, the events are well managed and there is no pressure to be the best- DB Max tick all these boxes.

I have a link if anyone would like to find out more- https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/1in4