I’m always bummed when the Olympics end, it’s like all your new best friends just left you. I’m already looking forward to summer 2016, but until then I can get back on my earlier to bed schedule.
Part of what makes the Olympics so much fun to watch is learning more about the athletes on a personal level, hearing the stories of how long they have been training to get to this level and the adversities they have faced and overcome throughout the years. Not to mention how exciting it is to see all of these hard working people make some really difficult stuff look so easy. It helps build the dream for other young athletes out there and many of their stories reflect on when they decided that they wanted to be an Olympian.
As much as we all would love to have been Olympians, we are not. And because we are not, we shouldn’t expect that we can eat or train like them.
1. Most Olympians are moving their bodies for up to 10 hours a day.
Most of us spend half of our days sitting in a chair. Not enough people have an accurate assessment of how much or how little they move in a day, which impacts how much and what they think they should eat. Don’t believe me? Start tracking it and see what you discover.
Be like an Olympian: Carefully structure your nutrition based on your activity levels, every day! Plan ahead for meals just like you do for your workouts.
2. They have trained their bodies day in and day out for years.
Even though most of the serious masters athletes have been doing sports since a very young age, it’s a vastly different level than full time athletes. The adaptations are very different for athletes of that caliber, which means their bodies respond differently to their training tactics than yours would. Additionally, the average age grouper doesn’t have the time necessary to properly execute this type of training.
Be like an Olympian: Map out a training plan that fits into YOUR life. What are realistic goals and workouts for you? Understand that it’s a plan and every workout should have a specific objective.
3. They have teams of people managing every aspect of their training and nutrition.
Most amateur athletes that I know, don’t make it a priority to get regular massages, learn how to keep their muscles loose, or even recover properly through their routine and nutrition. They wait until they are injured to start taking actions toward their health.
Be like an Olympian: Be proactive about your health. Take the time to warm-up and warm-down, put together a practice that keeps you feeling agile and mobile, and most importantly learn how to rest and recover.
Hopefully I haven’t depressed you about not being a professional athlete, but instead inspired you to find the methods that work best for you and what is happening in your life right now.
Feel good, do what you love,