Is Your Schedule Sabotaging Your Performance?
It seems we are all short on time now – increasingly busy schedules and juggling multiple commitments often means squeezing in exercise whenever you can.
But have you thought about the possible implications of this on your overall performance?
If you find yourself wishing you had more time for a ‘meaningful’ workout, here are some common scenarios where your eating habits could be the thing sabotaging your training performance.
1. You’re training with the sparrows
Scenario: You’re awake before the sun and have your routine from PJs to the start of training down to a finely tuned 15 minutes max.
Sabotage training by… Not eating or drinking before training.
Why this affects performance… Most early morning trainers commonly don’t have time (or the appetite) to eat or drink before they start training. This isn’t a major issue if it’s a short (under 60 minutes) or low intensity session, but if you’re looking for quality or intensity it’s important to top up your body’s fuel supplies (which will have been somewhat depleted overnight) before you start.
Fix it by… Add in a quick and easy to digest carbohydrate rich snack to your morning routine. Something simple like a banana or toast with peanut butter will do the job. If it’s going to be a long session (more than 90 minutes), something more substantial like a smoothie is a great option.
2. You like a sneaky lunch time session
Scenario: As soon as the clock strikes 12pm you head out for a short and sharp training session before racing back for a quick outfit change and an afternoon of meetings.
Sabotage training by… Sacrificing lunch for a training session.
Why this affects performance… Not taking the opportunity to eat and drink after your training session will hamper your body’s ability to recover from the session. In doing so, you’re more likely to feel tired and sore in the hours after your session.
Fix it by… BYO. If you know it’s going to be a quick turn around between training and your next commitment, have lunch ready to go so that you don’t have to also try to squeeze in a trip to the local café to grab lunch. A turkey, avocado and salad wrap, some sweet potato quiche or a thermos of chicken and veggie soup are tasty options that also tick your recovery nutrition needs.
3. You’re training while the kids train
Scenario: After a hectic day at work you dash off to grab the kids and drop them at their sports session. Taking advantage of them being occupied for an hour, you use the time to squeeze in your own training session.
Sabotage training by… Forgetting to eat since lunchtime.
Why this affects performance… Similar to skimping on something to eat before an early morning session, forgetting a snack in the afternoon can leave you feeling sluggish when you head out to train and you’re more likely to fatigue quickly during the session.
Fix it by… Plan ahead and pack a portable snack to eat in the car on the drive from work to training. Homemade energy balls, dried fruit & nut mix or a hot chocolate in a travel mug will top up your energy stores ready setting you up for a great training session.
4. You’re forgetting how active your job is
Scenario: You’re a carpenter, bricklayer, removalist, builder, personal trainer, childcare worker, dance instructor, nurse, landscaper…you get the idea – you’re on your feet all day and moving a lot!
Sabotage training by… Not eating enough!
Why this affects performance… People with physically active jobs have higher overall energy and carbohydrate needs than people who have sedentary jobs. Add the demands of training on top of this and you can see how important it is to be eating and drinking enough over the day – especially if you’re trying to put on some extra muscle.
Fix it by… Add in quality nutritious snacks. It’s likely that if you’re very active during the day that 3-square meals just won’t cut it. Fruit, yoghurt, cheese & crackers or homemade banana bread are all good ways to top up your body’s needs, leaving you feeling energised all day long.