PEIL magazine

Winter 2012

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Page 32 of 71

ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT national Athlete Development Academy By Daithí McCabe ThRee eSSenTiAl STRATeGieS TO PRe-SeASOn WinTeR TRAininG The KEY to overcoming the challenges of a Pre-Season training regime in Winter is based on the 'Essentials', these are mentioned here briefly and then described within the article below: • • • Recovery – Sleep more, eat well and drink more. Give your body the fuel it needs for training Hit the gym – work on how well you move, learn to produce and dissipate force better (jumping & landing), become stronger (not bigger); focus on body weight exercises and PROGRESS. Prepare!! – Wear adequate clothing, hats and gloves. Try to plan in advance – pack your bag the night before, check the weather forecast.Remember; "Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail" GeTTinG STARTeD There are not many things more daunting to an athlete than the thought of pre-season training. However for many GAA players, their fears are only magnified by the fact their pre-season begins within the cold, dark and wintery months. Nothing screams dedication more than a bitterly cold nights training in near total darkness, it separates the best from the rest! What we must understand is that Pre-Season training alone is a hugely demanding time, and with such a taxing period of training occurring in a particularly cold and wet time of year, there are many added precautions to be taken in order to ensure that we progress and become fitter, whilst remaining free from both injury and illness. ReCOVeRY Recovery is the very first thing that usually "falls through the cracks" in Pre-Season training. Recovery is the 'whole' term Winter 2012 GETTING THE MOST OUT OF PRE-SEASON WINTER TRAINING for the process directly following a training session and a training week. Our gains and improvements from training are not made on the pitch, nor are they made in the gym, they are made afterwards, and if we receive adequate recovery we will maximize our training gains. As mentioned previously, the cold winter days/nights put added stress on our body, this totalled with the stresses of a vigorous training session can push our body to a dangerous limit. Within the winter months it is of primary concern that we put a direct emphasis onto our 'Recovery Strategies'. One key part to an athlete's training regime is his/her hydration and nutrition – pre, during & post training. Planning ahead is always best – "a stitch in time saves nine". By ensuring we have eaten and drank adequate amounts before, during and after training will allow our bodies to be better able for the training session ahead, but also it will ensure that our body is better able to fight off infection and illness. A malnourished or poorlyhydrated body is immediately at a disadvantage when fighting infections and performing (2 and 3% of dehydration impacts on performance). It is common for many athletes to pick up coughs and colds from a combination of hard training and cold weather. Let's keep ourselves healthy and give ourselves the best opportunity to improve! Best practice involves a readily available water (not sports drinks – water is best!) to be taken before/during and after training. A packed lunch is ideal, and it should be taken within the first 30 minutes post-training; this is our window of opportunity. Any sort of recovery meal which ideally includes a combination of carbohydrates and proteins is essential for recovery. Preparation is key! Plan ahead! Have your pre-training and post-training packs ready with your gym or kit bag! With such a large workload placed upon the body, one thing to consider is that the heavier the workload placed upon us in a training session/week the more rest we need; the importance of this cannot be ignored. The very first point of call regarding 31

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