Preparation for any athletic endeavor should include a good conditioning program. Stretching, strength training, elasticity exercises, endurance training, and nutrition are all components of good conditioning.
All athletes need to prepare themselves physically and mentally. The body needs proper nutrition, the right amount of hydration, and — most importantly —conditioning. Eating the right foods and creating the right diet consists of eating a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals, even fats. A balanced, nutritious diet is key for any athlete and has tremendous effects on performance. Some athletes think they can eat anything they want because of the high calories they expend during exercise. This is a myth; proper nutrition is critical.
It is important to choose supplements that have been scientifically shown to improve performance or assist with recovery post-exercise. Many athletes choose to use TriFuel, the 3-in-1 endurance, hydration and recovery drink that has more ingredients than any other performance drink on the market.
Athletes also need the proper balance of hydration to perform at their best — not too much and not to little.
In order to stimulate an aerobic conditioning effect, research has indicated that you must keep your heart rate at approximately 70% to 85% of your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) for 10 to 30 minutes. (MHR = 220 – your age). If you train at a higher level you may experience lactic acid buildup, which will make you want to stop and rest. Aerobic conditioning is defined as one’s ability to take in, deliver and use oxygen. Improvement in aerobic conditioning occurs when your body is exposed to a prolonged increase in oxygen uptake and metabolism. One must work at a certain level of effort in order to stimulate the body.
Lastly, an athlete needs to be mentally prepared to helps you focus on what you want to accomplish. Though physical training and conditioning are obviously important to performance, mental-skills training can often help athletes improve performance as well. Athletes often use visualization, goal-setting and refocusing to help them mentally prepare for important events.