When watching sport, whether live at the stadiums or arenas, or back at home in front of the television screen, we often take for granted just how impressive the players are. Not only do they have the stamina to run around for an extended period of time, but doing so doesn’t seem to completely tire them out, and they can still score a goal/basket/touchdown without seemingly breaking sweat. The average person would have dropped to the ground, whereas professional athletes can just keep going and going, making the impossible look easy.
We can watch a game of ice hockey, be on our phones searching for free sports picks on our sports betting sites of choice, and marvel that the players are not only world-class skaters, but also are sublime hockey players too. It must be incredibly difficult to perfect these two skills at the same time.
Of course, it is their job to stay in shape, so it would almost look bad on the average NFL, MLS or NBA superstar if they couldn’t last an entire game without having to be substituted through fatigue, or injuring themselves through over-exertion. The average career for an athlete is probably not much more than 15 years, so they need to utilize their time as much as possible, by staying fit and working hard on their performance levels.
While the rest of us have jobs and other commitments, meaning we can’t regularly train to an athlete’s level every day of the week, there are still ways for us to improve our athletic performance. Of course hiring a personal trainer is the best way to go about it, as they can set you a plan suited to your own personal needs, get you working on specific exercises, and alter your diet accordingly. However, this is not an affordable option for many people. Therefore, let’s take a look at some of the simple ways of improving your athletic performance, without having to break the bank.
Vary up your exercises
Say it is a marathon that you are training for, that natural instinct will be just to run a few times each week, and slowly build up the distances you’re doing. While that will help, there are much better ways of training.
The best way is to do a mix of exercise, doing different lengths and types of run each day, to improve different areas, but at the same time. For instance, one run a week might be a slow and steady one, going at a pace that almost feels like walking. The next day, you should find a nearby hill, and run up and down that 10 or 15 times, building that kind of stamina. Then after that, a tempo run can be very helpful, going at the pace you’ll want to go at on race day. Another helpful training run is a fartlek, where you’ll gently warm up, sprint for 2 minutes, then recover, before repeating the process 5 or 6 times.
By doing different types of run, you’ll quickly see the benefits in your performance, as opposed to going the same pace and distance each time.
Concentrate on nutrition
It seems like an obvious thing to mention, but it is incredibly important. Your diet will have a direct impact on your athletic performance. You could be an incredible tennis player, or regularly play games of rugby, but if what you’re eating isn’t very healthy, you’ll never be able to unlock your true potential.
Cutting out overly fatty or sugary foods is a great place to start, as is cutting down on alcohol. But to really see an improvement in your athletic performance, it is a good idea to also start taking supplements, as well as protein shakes. These will help to maintain muscle growth, which will quickly help your stamina and performance levels.
Cross training and rest days not to be forgotten
If you are training for a mile swim, it obviously is very important to spend a lot of time in the pool, practising your stroke technique. At the same time, one or two days out of the water, doing some yoga or going for a bike ride, can also help your performance. It means you are working out different muscle groups, and not over training the same parts of your body.
Another thing to bear in mind is that taking a break is absolutely crucial for building athletic performance. Rest days need to be factored into your training plan, at least once, if not twice a week. Our bodies are not machines, and can get overworked, which can lead to injury. That will then mean a few weeks off, which could completely scupper your training plan. Therefore, be kind to yourself, and rest up every now and then.
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