Recovery Zone Ice and Breath Experience

Have you trained hard enough?

Not long now until your next Spartan event. There is no more training you can put ''in the bank'' to make you any stronger. What you can do between now and then is only damage if you try and over do it, last minute training will not work. 

As a 28 minute 10km former international athlete myself, I'm all too familiar with getting this right, and wrong. Listen to your body, it's important to get to the start line with no corners cut. Ready to give 100% physically but also mentally. 

''You can be 100% Fit and 80% healthy and you'll perform badly. You can be 80% fit and 100% healthy and perform well'' - George Gandy (Olympic Endurance Coach, Seb Coe, Paula Radcliffe and many more)

Here's some tips to get to the start line race ready.

First and most important is now is not the time to try new things. Stick to what you have tried and tested in training. I have seen how this goes badly wrong involving beetroot juice and an unavoidable toilet stop mid race, it wasn't pretty! 

  • Sleep - minimise screen time at bedtime. Blue light affects your bodies natural sleep cycle (circadian rhythm) and reduce caffeine intake late in the day. Good, deep sleep = recovery.

  • Hydration - ensure you're getting your required intake each day gradually, getting to race day and trying to rehydrate all at once will have detrimental impact on your performance. Race day itself research suggests 500ml - 600ml 2 hours before the start with a top up of 170-220ml with 20 mins to go. You may add gels too. Again work with what you have tried and tested in training. 

  • Use of Cold - Science suggests the use of cold early in the day. Cold has many benefits one is enhancing the bodies metabolic rhythm linked to sleep cycles. Cold in the evening will disrupt your body's thermo-regulation, possibly making sleep harder for some. Cold also supports deep tissue recovery and enhancing circulation. Better circulation = better flow of nutrients, energy and oxygen to the muscles.

  • Diet - everyone is different but again do what you now is best and be honest with your self. Will those Yum Yums from Greggs really be good for your Ferrari body fuel tank or some fruit instead ? Give yourself a chance and save the treats for afterwards. 

  • Pre-race Jitters - you're feeling nervous, maybe some butterflies in the stomach, wobbly legs, raised heart rate ? They may feel bad but these are signs your body is mobilising all systems to go go go ! The fight or flight response is kicking in with the mild stress perceived in your mind of the approaching start. Tips for calming the nerves can be the Physiological Sigh, breathe in through the nose for 4 seconds, filling your lungs as much as possible. Once full , see if you can top up the breath a little more. Then slowly exhale through the mouth for 8 seconds. Repeat 10 times. 

  • Visualisation - For those that meditate, try including some visualisation. It has been found to be effective in reducing anxiety and improving overall mental health in athletes. This can lead to better decision-making, coping skills, and overall performance. Particularly important with Spartan events which require endurance but also cognitive and motor skills with obstacles. Visualise you actually running the race and how you would tackle each obstacle. 

  • And finally ...have your pre-race checklist ready.... The 6 Ps. ''Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance''were the indelible words left on me from my coach. Race day kit, race shoes, towels, food and so on. If you're travelling overseas always carry your race kit in your hand luggage, especially your shoes! 

Want to know more about recovery, performance and mental resilience protocols?

Come meet me (Andy Caine) on race day at each of the UK events and try out the In The Now How 'Cold Water Immersion Experience' powered by Nirvana in the event village

Pre-book your Ice and Breath Experience at the upcoming London South East Trifecta Weekend now. Good Luck ! 


SPARTAN EDITORS help people develop the systems, psychology and game plan they need to get their minds and bodies into peak condition.

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