Training for all sports takes a lot of time. In archery, training for me is more than just shooting arrows all day – even though I shoot a lot of arrows all day.
Jerry Rice is the greatest wide receiver of all time and possibly the greatest all round football player ever. He was not the fastest or the biggest to play his position. He was the best at running patterns and he stayed healthy for nearly his entire career. Part of his success in football can be attributed to his off-season training.
All athletes have sports ability. One of the key abilities is “availability” – being healthy enough to train and showing up for training. At the London Olympics 7% of all athletes suffered an illness while at the Games. A sick or hurt athlete won’t perform at their maximum.
Part of my training for archery does include cardio work and weight lifting. My training also includes rest and diet.
I make an effort to hit the bed at the same time every night and awake at the same time everyday. I’d like to sleep more at night but 7.5 hours is all I can handle. I do take a short nap every day, about 30 minutes, after lunch between training sessions.
When it comes to diet one of the top priorities on my list is not eating at restaurants. There are times when that is impossible. Food that my wife or I haven’t prepared is always questionable. It’s not that we worry about germs; we are more concerned with the quality of the food.
My wife, also an athlete, and I eat well. We don’t follow any specific diet, like vegan, and eat what we enjoy. However, we eat food we’ve cooked and we don’t overeat. We consume very little processed food.
Neither of us drinks a lot of soft drinks or alcohol. She has a small glass of wine everyday. I made have a couple shots of whiskey (the good stuff) once every week to 10 days. If either of us has a beer, it is rare. Not that we don’t enjoy an occasional beer, it’s simple we don’t drink often.
Nutritional supplements also are low on our list of dietary intake. I take a multiple vitamin, but I doubt it does much to support health. I will add iron when I’ve been training really hard, say for a long road race or triathlon. I occasionally experience exercise-induced anemia and an over the counter iron supplement gets me back on track.
The only other supplement I take is a product from BRL Sports Nutrition. The product is EPO-Boost®. Before I added EPO-Boost® to my diet I studied it. In that study I first checked to be certain it was not a banned substance – it is not banned. Then, I turned to the scientific data on the primary active ingredient Echinacea purpurea.
Echinacea purpurea comes from a North American plant and was used in Native American medicine. There is research to support that it reduces colds and may shorten recovery time.
What I found is that while taking EPO-Boost®, I was able to train, race the Ironman 70.3 New Orleans, a few weeks later race the Ironman Eagleman 70.3 and a week later race the Mt. Evans Ascent in Colorado. The very next day I raced a 5K in Boulder. What I am saying is that my recovery time seemed enhanced. It didn’t dawn how much the association with the EPO-Boost® may have helped until I reviewed my training and race notes. After that I published two papers on that association of EPO-Boost and performance.
What I find as important is that since I began taking it in 2012 I have not been ill. To be fair, I rarely ever got an illness. But, occasionally, I would catch a cold. I have not had a cold in four years and I do not take flu shots.
How does this help me in archery – availability and recover. Staying healthy means I have more time available to train. Having a fast recovery means I can take a greater advantage of the time I have available.
Disclaimer: My comments are purely anecdotal. BRL Sports Nutrition is one of my sponsors. They did not ask me to write this post. They do provide me with TriFuel® and EPO- Boost®. TriFuel® is their sports drink. (Sports drinks are an important consideration during long tournaments and training)