I’ve been very fortunate over the years to work with a number of incredible athletic thought leaders in the Asheville community.  I always try to absorb as much knowledge as I can whenever I’m around them, and I’ve picked up a number of useful tips that I thought I would pay forward.  Here are a few of the most useful that can apply to any sport:

-It’s important to consume 12+ grams of protein within 30 minutes of a strenuous workout, so that the broken down muscle fibers begin rebuilding immediately.

*Yoohoo is actually an excellent post-workout drink.  My personal choice is Myoplex, which is apparently the most high-powered stuff that is still NCAA approved*

-Apple

-Think of your body as a holistic machine.  It’s usually best to train the whole body rather than focus on sport-specific muscles only.  Only strengthening certain parts of the body can lead to unbalance and make us injury-prone.

-Work out with a training partner.  It’s always good to be accountable to someone, and to have friendly competition to push yourself to the next level.

-Always keep a training log.  You want to have baselines upon which to gauge your progression as an athlete, and it’s rewarding to look back and see the hard work that went into your performance at a given event.

-Plan out your workouts for the week, and put them in your calendar.  The fast-paced nature of life these days often means that we are more forgetful about our athletic goals.

-Aerobic capacity is the most difficult to attain, and the easiest to lose.  This is the base of your pyramid, and should be the first thing that you focus on when gearing up for a big event.

-Focus on the tapering process!  A lot of athletes do not allow themselves to properly rest before a big event in fear of losing the capacity that they have gained through their training.

-Check out the PALEO diet.  Although I have never fully committed to this diet, I have seen incredible athletic results from other people who have done it.  It is still one of my goals to transition to this diet for a couple of months out of every year.

-Work out in the morning on weekdays.  This boosts your metabolism throughout the day, and the endorphin flood will put some extra energy into the rest of the day.  It also frees up the evening for family/social time.

Well, I hope that provides some good food for thought as you achieve your athletic goals in 2012!  Putting this down on paper reminds me that I need to realign my lifestyle in certain ways to continue reaching for my own athletic potential.

Work hard and I hope to see you on the river, trail, or slopes!