Sound Bites! Vol.1 #5
Fall 2012 was a super busy racing season: Six head races over 6 weeks, plus a sprint regatta! —Tail of the Lake (September 30), American Lake Fall Classic (Oct 14), Head of the Charles (Oct 20-21), Head of the Gorge (Oct 27), Head of the Elk (Oct 28), Greenlake Frostbite Regatta (Nov 3), and Head of the Lake (Nov 4). Funny how it seems so long ago, now that the darker days are here and Thanksgiving is already gone and more holidays are on the horizon.
For some people winter can be a difficult time–work/school and family/home obligations continue or increase as the holidays get closer, and the darkness may make it harder both mentally and physically to work up enthusiasm for working out. Below is a list of important ways to keep your energy level high and strengthen your body during the winter months.
1. Take Coach Richard’s workouts to heart and commit to doing those ball exercises and attending on-water practices. Keep a workout log to document your progress and help you see that you are making a difference in your strength and flexibility over the next several months.
2. If you like to keep a log on-line, try the Concept 2 Holiday Erg Challenge. The Challenge runs from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve. Talk to Richard before embarking on this much erging, since it’s a little late to start now.
3. Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Easier said than done, but research shows that sleep deprivation wreaks havoc with physical and mental health. Too little sleep can increase your risk of getting sick, gaining weight, poor memory and problem solving skills, depression, and accidents.
4. Be consistent with fueling your body. Obviously, it is impossible to eliminate all non-rowing demands on your time, but pre-planning can help ensure your body and mind are in the zone necessary to perform your best. Eating 3 nutritious meals and 2-3 healthy snacks spread throughout the day provides energy when you need it and adds important phytochemicals, antioxidants, protein, and complex carbs that enhance performance and aid recovery.
5. Drink 4-6 glasses (32-48 ounces) fluid each day. This helps your body better metabolize energy, maintain regularity, eliminate wastes, and regulate temperature, helping to enhance concentration, relaxation, and performance.
6. When traveling long distances, choose foods that are familiar and your body can tolerate. Don’t pick the night before your big race to try hot ‘n spicy deep fried chicken wings and 5-alarm chili!
Debby Jackson, MEd, RD, CD, CDE, is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator and masters rower with Vashon Island Rowing Club.