Posted: 07/03/2014 at 14:19
Thought Id report on my marathon training session last night. The guy was head of Sports Medicine and Science at BHAFC, previously head of HTC cycling team looking after Mark Cavendish on TdF. And then he threw in he has also run a 2hr 47 marathon.
He was unbelievably positive, nothing is impossible, very very motivational. I went out believing I could fly!!
He started with hydration, imperative, we remain, at all times, correctly hydrated. Not just when we are about to race or train but always. They test the players daily, to see their hydration levels and he shared with us a graph of the players hydration from the previous day. Two players were unable to train fully due to being in the “danger zone” The risk to muscle tears, cramps etc was too much. So any form of training when not properly hydrated will increase the chance of injury.
He also discussed the benefits of caffeine not just directly (ie tea/coffee) but also within gels, power bars etc. He recommended minimal or zero coffee intake in the 14 days leading up to the event to gain fully from any caffeine on the day via tea,coffee,gels etc. Carb loading was really no different to what Ruth has been teaching us. His main preach here was to have whatever weight of carbs needed for race day breakfast in the form of pasta.
He spoke of how much heat leaves the body during and after training and recommended if you don’t wear a hat running put one on straight after to retain the heat, plus extra layers asap. Make sure you have correct sun protection if needed but use the alcohol based sun protection not cream based, far more effective. He encouraged as much sleep as you can possibly get to aid recovery. Great if you are a footballer with bags of time on your hand I am sure, but especially now, during the toughest part of the training, sleep sleep sleep whenever you can.
The training plans he discussed with us were broadly the same as ours, the benefits of LSR, interval, tempo training so nothing new learnt there or to report, he enforced and backed up everything Steve & Sam have ever said.
No surprise he recommended ice baths if possible, if not, due to showering say, go hot, go cold, go hot over the legs. They also ban players from showering until 30 minutes after exercise due to issues with inhaling water particles which can have an issue although that got quite technical.
He urged 3 core body strengthening sessions a week if only 15 minutes at a time. Nothing new in terms of the exercises to be undertaken just to do it, do it regularly with some impressive slides about how much more energy you expend carrying a body with poor core and how done properly can result in x minutes reduction in your goal time.
Interestingly Malcs he spoke about isometric stretching, without naming it as such. The players well do light gentle stretching at the start, but the rest, after warming up, will be isometric. Gave demo on how to use foam rollers, wanting us to pay particular attention to the glutes, commonly left by most but key in our running, reverting back to core slide. Warming down is, in his view, as important as warming up and like glute rolling, most commonly missed. Encouraged us to always do the gentlest of jogging with some gentle strides and again, isometric stretching.
And he recommended eating cake
Okay he didn't.