How to Work Olympic Athlete Training Techniques into Your Routine
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Are you cheering on your favorite Olympians this year? While countries and citizens are preparing to root for their beloved teams, Olympic athletes have been in preparation for years for the upcoming competitions.
Carla Sottovia, PhD, Cooper PT Mentorship Developer and Director and Professional Fitness Trainer at Cooper Fitness Center Dallas, has first hand experience when it comes to elite athletes—she is one! Carla has completed more than 50 triathlons including three Ironman distance triathlons as well as the famed Boston Marathon.
Athletes that compete or perform in the elite category often start their journeys at a young age. These individuals begin training as early as possible. For example, those who are competing in the 2012 Olympic Games have been planning and preparing for at least the last 10 to 12 years and especially the last four years. For Carla, her training depended on the intensity of the triathlon. Short triathlons required about four weeks to tune up, whereas Ironman distance triathlons required about one year of training and preparation.
Food for Fuel
Athletes always start their journey eating a healthy and wholesome diet. High quality nutrition can often make or break an athlete’s life goals. Athletes accustom their body to whole foods with the help of a dietitian. More often than not, elite athletes utilize a dietitian and meal plan to keep their diet on track.
You may have heard that elite athletes tend to eat much more than the average person. For many of them, that is true. Athletes in the elite category eat healthy foods, but they need many more calories because they burn more calories than the average person.
Daily training is what keeps elite athletes in the top category of fitness. Most elite athletes train at least six days a week for multiple hours a day. The general population might switch from cardio to strength training throughout the week. An elite athlete’s fitness routine depends on their sport. For example, a long distance swimmer practices distance more than anything along with specific swimming drills and intensity. They focus on aerobic conditioning and will add strength training to supplement their training routine. Power lifters will practice much more strength training than cardio, and a boxer will practice it all.
Injury is something that can plague elite athletes and possibly ruin their career. Most elite athletes utilize an entire team for their sport. This includes athletic trainers and massage therapists to help eliminate the risk of injury. These trainers will perform a functional assessment, as done at Cooper Fitness Center for members, to determine any weak points. Injury prevention is imperative for an athlete.
Not only do elite athletes have to be in the top fitness category of their sport, they also have to professionally train their mind. This is a major category that sets elite athletes or Olympians apart from the general public.
Many athletes have sports psychologists to help train their mind to handle stress during competition. While they get help professionally, many also have personal routines they practice before every competition.
When Carla was competing in marathons or triathlons, her mental technique was simple: she imagined herself crossing the finish line. This tip works with exercise for anyone. As soon as you start to drag and feel sluggish, image yourself finishing your goal and experiencing the euphoric sensation after a great workout.
Even if you’re not an elite athlete, your fitness and mental techniques can be easily transferred to everyday exercise. Enjoy the summer Olympics!
For more information about Cooper Fitness Center or to become a member, click here or call 972.233.4832.
Article provided by Cooper Aerobics, Marketing and Communications.