Are you finding it difficult to recover between training days now that summer has arrived?
Those gruelling training sessions you’re enduring to earn yourself a place in the ADF don’t ease off even though the temperature gauge is bumping the mid 30’s. So what can you do during the 24 hours between sessions to ensure you’re ready to take on the next day of brutal training?
Yep that’s right, no secrets here, just plain old water. The most important time of the day to hydrate is first thing in the morning. Especially if you’re someone who trains in the first part of the day. You don’t want to be playing catch up with your hydration, you want to start the day ready. Try replacing your morning coffee with drinking 1lt of water during the first 30 minutes of being awake. You’ll be surprised at how refreshed you feel. I personally add a slice of lemon to a large glass of water, leave it in the fridge over night then drink it as soon as I wake up. Instantly hydrated and refreshed, plus lemon is great for gut health.
2. Be aware of your salt levels!
During exercise, depending on time, intensity and temperature you may excrete fluids and essential electrolytes. Electrolytes play a role in regulating your body’s water levels, blood pressure and supports the function of muscles. So you could imagine the effects if you went into a training session low on sodium (electrolyte). This doesn’t mean go out and eat a bucket of maccas chips because they are covered in salt this means consulting your health practitioner about relevant electrolyte replacements post and pre-exercise. Don’t get caught in the trap of consuming “sports drinks”. They are high in sugar which may cause other health concerns. I personally drink a broth or chicken or beef stock drink on high intensity exercise days in summer.
Don’t step into the gym after a long shift at work without consuming any food. That ill and faint feeling you get after 10 minutes of exercise can sometimes be related to a lack of glycogen in your body (low blood sugars). The exact thing your muscles need to perform, so why deprive them? Check with your health practitioner if you’re constantly feeling faint during and post exercise.
I personally eat a serving of fruit, such as an orange or banana, half an hour before training. This provides me with sufficient glycogen stores to take on the workout ahead of me.
4. Lay off the booze!
Summer is the perfect time of year to be outside at the beach enjoying the offerings of the awesome weather. Don’t mistake this for the perfect time to be enjoying a million beers between training sessions as well. Sun + Beers + Training Hard = Drop in Performance! Enjoy the summer days but be sure to know your priorities. There will be thousands more summer days for you to enjoy so prioritize your training to get into the ADF. A small sacrifice to make for the golden egg of earning yourself a place in the Australian military.
Staying up late between training days only delays your recovery. Getting 7 to 8 hours rest each night is essential to recovery. Your muscles are damaged in the gym and mended while you sleep. Remember this next time you’re out partying all night and wondering why you’re so lethargic the next day at training then complaining to your coach that you failed your PFA….again!
If you would like more advice on improving your fitness for the ADF then please feel free to get in touch with The Barracks Gym.
Michael and Carly both have walked the path you are about to take and are commited to help you get started with your training for a successful enlistment with free tips and articles.