Endurance Event Training Tips

Endurance Event Training Tips

Have you recently taken up outdoor exercise activities like running or biking?

Many people are choosing to get out of their comfort zone, increase their exercise levels, and even challenge themselves with bucket list endurance-focused fitness events.

With the annual triathlon and marathon events coming up in Cayman, our team asked ten-time ironman and Regenexx Cayman visiting physician, Dr. Ben Newton, to share his secret for success.

Here are four strategies to help you prevent injury and get the most out of your outdoor exercise.

Woman Warming Up for a Run

Training

From physical exertion to mental focus, training is an essential part of any endurance event. This varies depending on the type of event you’re training for, and while there is no one-size-fits-all approach, there are certain guidelines we can all follow. Including cross-train days into your schedule not only reduces mental fatigue but also increases muscular strength and endurance.

Dr. Newton’s endurance training routine is minimalist. He trains for a maximum of nine to ten hours a week. He plans five, 45-minute to 2-hour sessions a week, early in the morning, or once his kids are asleep in the evening. He incorporates strength training, running, cycling, and swimming, making sure to vary his activities throughout the week.

Nutrition

The saying, “food is fuel,” is especially true when you are participating in endurance activities. Nutrition can play a huge role in your success, and in the days leading up to the event, it’s important to fuel your body correctly. Including carbohydrates (particularly important for longer events), healthy fats, and lean protein will ensure your body has what it needs to get you across the finish line.

Dr. Newton recommends maintaining a well-balanced diet with properly portioned meals of vegetables, fruits, protein, and carbohydrates. His go-to snacks for staying fueled between meals are fig bars, plant-based protein shakes, or good old-fashioned vegetables.

Hydration

Did you know the human body is made up of approximately 60% water? In general, most of us could do a better job keeping ourselves hydrated, but this becomes especially important when you are exercising more. Replenishing lost fluids, before, during, and after exercise reduces the risk of dehydration, regulates body temperature, and aids muscular recovery. You can also increase your water intake by eating foods, such as watermelon, pineapple, orange, cucumber, lettuce, and tomato. Remember to hydrate in the days leading up to your endurance event!

Dr. Newton can’t emphasize this enough - drink plenty of water. A good rule of thumb is to drink roughly 600ml per hour during intense exercise. Try to avoid soda, caffeine, and alcohol, as they will dehydrate you.

Balance

There are risks with overtraining, and Dr. Newton sees this with his patients firsthand. Athletes training for a competition often experience nutrition and hydration deficiencies, mental fatigue, and musculoskeletal injuries from overuse, even before they cross the starting line.

Incorporating rest days, yoga sessions, and gentle stretching into your routine gives your body much-needed recovery time in between training sessions. Nutritional balance and training in moderation are key components to avoiding injury and burnout, helping to ensure that your new exercise regime will become a lasting habit.

We hope these tips help you maintain your new fitness hobbies or even help when training for your next big event. For more orthopedic health tips, please visit the Regenexx Cayman blog, or if you would like to speak to one of our physicians about an orthopedic concern, please contact our patient care team.

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