As athletes, we are constantly looking for an extra edge when it comes to training, racing, winning and simply improving ourselves to become fitter, faster, stronger and healthier! However, how much is too much of a good thing when a healthy obsession turns into self-destruction from a nutrition perspective?
Jacinta Roberts is new to the sports of triathlon and cycling. After leading a relatively inactive lifestyle whilst growing up, Jacinta made the shift to sport when the pandemic arrived. She decided to buy a bike and capitalised on every opportunity to get out of the house and go for a ride. As with most endurance sport enthusiasts, she soon became addicted!
Sometimes having a rest is undoubtedly the best thing you can do. But often as athletes we fight doing so and don’t give our bodies the long rest and recovery they are Whatever sport or type of activity you do, it is always important to take a break from it physically, mentally and emotionally. Doing so will leave you fresh and fighting to go, and can often reignite that competitive spirit within you, which can easily be lost when putting in the hours day in, day out, sometimes unquestioningly.
I recently took the time to chat with Marley-Jo (MJ), who is a female police offer, triathlete and mother of two children, one of whom has severe learning difficulties and epilepsy. MJ works long hours in Highway Patrol and often survives off two to three hours’ sleep, as her son, Denver, struggles to sleep. Yet she still makes time to train and values it all the more as a result of her circumstances. Sport is a luxury, which many in other countries cannot afford. Marley-Jo certainly does not waste a moment and understands the importance of health, fitness and nutrition in not only performance, but also productivity and maintaining quality of life.
We all think our bodies are invincible, but there’s always a chance we could break. Trainers and athletes especially need to stay cautious of what they’re doing in order to be successful; every session counts! We just want to make the most out of it so we can feel satisfied with ourselves at the end of the day – no matter how hard we pushed. However, it’s tricky to know when you’re pushing yourself too hard without taking care of yourself properly- so here’s some tips on how to tell whether you’re going too far one way or another (and when you should back off)!
Jackson Byrne is 17 years old, in his final year of school and working as a lifeguard, competing for an AFL club and racing at state level for Enduro mountain biking! All of this combined with his somewhat surreal passion for freediving and spear fishing keeps Jackon’s feet firmly on the ground and helps him stay calm. There is never dull moment in Jackson’s life and he has learnt so much about looking after himself and life generally through sport.
Alex is an Ironman triathlete and nurse from Western Australia. She lived and breathed triathlon for several years whilst training and racing for Ironman. Her reason for racing was not to be the best in the field, but to conquer the demons in her head. Her thoughts told her she couldn’t on countless occasions, yet she told herself, she could. Alex then went on to finish two of the most gruelling Ironman races in Australia!
Asha Hickford is a National and International in-line speed skater from Western Australia who is only 17 years old and already a National Record Holder for both the marathon and 500m speed skating events! Her training not only involves skating, but also gym work, stability and strength training, explosive as well as endurance sessions and the patience and dedication of champion.
Every athlete wants to be and do their best. But the challenge with being one’s best is that it is like walking along a cliff edge. We are constantly curious to look over yet can’t afford to fall. I always say that we are slightly better off underdone than overdone. Once it’s too late, it’s too late. However, we still need to satisfy our curiosity for exploring our potential.
Sam Harris is new to the sport of triathlon and already securing his spot at the top in all of the races he has touched down on the start line of. Determined as ever, and despite several injury setbacks, Sam plans on qualifying for the Sprint Distance Age Group World Championships to represent Australia.