The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea are almost upon us and the athletes will be making final preparations for their individual events, from skiing and bobsleighing through to hockey, ice skating and curling. Millions of people will be watching on television marvelling at their athleticism and wishing they too could be as disciplined with their fitness.
There is a lot that we can learn from the mindset of an Olympic athlete as they have to commit themselves 100% to their training on a daily basis to achieve their goals. They must have mental toughness to compete at such an elite level, this is not something people are born with but is only developed over time.
If you would like to train more like an Olympic athlete here are some tips:
Whilst having an extremely high level of fitness and a passion for their sport is obviously essential, it is just as important for athletes to psychologically prepare themselves for the big day by rehearsing, reading inspirational books and quotes and having a plan of how they will achieve their goal to be the best.
Diet and hydration
Athletes competing at altitude need to make sure they are properly hydrated and should aim to consume half their body weight in fluid ounces of water and drink sports drinks to give them extra energy.
Don’t skip breakfast as you need to refuel after sleep to get your blood sugar levels back up. A high-carb, low-protein breakfast, like a bowl of cereal with a little milk or half a bagel is ideal. Try to eat every 3-4 hours and within 90 minutes of working out.
8-10 hours of sleep a night is essential if you are training hard and quality sleep is very important, so get to bed before 11pm, don’t watch TV or look at your mobile within 30 minutes of sleeping and keep your room as dark as you can.
Proper warm-up and recovery
Before any training session it is essential to warm up to avoid injuries. This could be a light jog or jump rope session followed by 10-15 minutes of reverse lunges or skipping. To recover after exercising, make sure you cool down with stretching/flexibility exercises to reduce pain or soreness. Foam rollers and massage are great additional recovery alternatives.
Mix up your training exercises
Instead of your usual workout at the gym, try mixing it up with alternative equipment like medicine balls and practice techniques like throwing, running and jumping to wake up different muscle groups. Try lifting heavier weights and build pull ups into your workout as they work your lower back muscles, help improve posture and increase your metabolism because the back is made up of large muscles.
Train early in the day and with a partner or in a group
It is a good feeling to get up early and get on with your workout in the morning as that great feeling after exercise will stay with you all day. Olympic athletes also know the importance of training with a partner or in a group to motivate yourself and there’s no better sport to do with a partner or friends than skiing or snowboarding! Enjoy your exercise!
Utilise a coach
Sometimes you just need that extra motivation to get moving and athletes know the importance of having a coach to help motivate them as well as maximising their exercise session to increase their results.
Whilst we would all like to improve our fitness and perform like an elite athlete it is not all about the training as nutrition is equally important and as the saying goes ‘you are what you eat’ so ensure you eat a sensible varied diet and hydrate regularly to get you healthier and fitter.
If you are looking to learn, book yourself skiing or snowboarding lessons at Snozone in Milton Keynes or Castleford with a range of individual, group or family lesson options available.
If you live near to Basingstoke, visit Skizone for an intense ski or snowboard workout and learn as an individual or as a family. Check out the Skizone website here.
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