We’ve all had a bad race — or one where we finished just off the podium — and come into the final stretch already feeling defeated. Most of us can admit to shedding a tear or two in frustration as a result. After all, we can’t win every single race. When it comes to dealing with failure like a boss, Simon Marshall, PhD, and co-author of the recently released sports psychology book “The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion,” offers some words of wisdom.
TAKE TIME TO GRIEVE
It’s not that you should smile and move on after your race didn’t go according to plan, Marshall says. It’s completely reasonable to take time to wallow. “When it just happened, it’s very raw, and the worst thing to hear is ‘there are plenty of other races,’ that kind of thing,” he says. “Understand your feelings, and don’t judge yourself for them.” If you feel like you let yourself down, explore that — with a sports psychologist, a friend or in a journal. “You can be in a funk, you can have some time to grieve that perceived failure,” he adds. So wallow away — then, get over it.
DON’T IMMEDIATELY TRY TO FIX THINGS
It’s our tendency to start planning our next race, or deconstruct what went wrong in this race, when we have a bad day. Taking a minute to jot down notes for things like gut issues with sports drinks, or a pain in your pinky toe is absolutely fine, but don’t let failure cloud your perception of your training and next races on the calendar. Think of it like being a little tipsy after a party: It’s not the time to call your ex, just like post-race isn’t time to completely overhaul your training or sign up for a race the next day. Take some time until you can be objective about your training and calendar before making changes.
READ MORE > YOU RAN YOUR GOAL RACE, NOW WHAT?
DEFINE WHAT “FAILURE” MEANS FOR YOU
“We have a lot of different voices about what failure is, and we need to figure out where they’re coming from,” Marshall says. That might mean we’ve grown up with a parent who told us second place was the first loser or maybe it’s from just missing that Boston Marathon qualifier by seconds. Maybe we used to finish on the podium at every race, and now, we’re finishing outside the top 10. The problem with any of these versions of failure is simple: We can’t control what the other people are doing any given day. Marshall reminds clients that their competitors are outside of the realm of control and because of this, setting goals like “podium in my age group” are unfairly weighted, depending on the strength of the field.
NOW, REDEFINE IT
“You had a bad run. That doesn’t mean that you as a person are a failure,” Marshall says. We tend to internalize outward failures, and that damages our psyche and sporting career. Marshall measures success with a simple question: Did you go out there and race to the best of your ability on that given day? This doesn’t mean hitting your PR, it means giving your all, which may not be PR level that day. It’s a lot more fun to consider all of your races successful than it is to consider all but a select few as failures, right?
READ MORE > WHAT’S A PR? AND WHY YOU NEED ONE
FORCE YOURSELF TO CHILL
Marshall has a client who he actually forces to ‘fail.’ He sends her to races and instructs her to start a minute or so back from the pack — i.e she waits 60 seconds after the race start of a 10K — and then to start and finish as hard as she can. This way, he’s removed her expectations about winning (and, really, her ability to do so), and she can be freer in her run, taking risks and relearning the joy of simply racing and passing through other people in the field. So, if you find you can’t enjoy the competition because you go crazy at the prospect of failing or you’re freaking out about not making it to the podium, consider starting from the back and not allowing yourself the chance to win, just to remember the feeling of simply “racing.”
Whether you succeed or fail, the biggest thing you’re probably not doing is taking the time post-race to really feel those feelings and embrace that race day, rather than planning what’s next. “As humans, we’re seekers,” Marshall says. “No sooner is something over, we’re looking over the horizon at what’s next, how we can go better, go faster. But we need to wallow in our successes and our failures. That’s what mindfulness means: looking at what you’ve accomplished, and taking the time to appreciate it and enjoy it.”
How to Use Failure to Your Advantage was originally posted at <a href="https://blog.underarmour.com/use-failure-advantage/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://blog.underarmour.com/use-failure-advantage/</a> by Molly Hurford
5 Eating Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Workout
As the saying goes: Abs are made in the kitchen. Of course, time in the gym helps, too. “I think nutrition for optimal performance and recovery has gained recent attention because some high-profile athletes have been public about their nutrition strategies. But the science behind this has been around for years,” says Cynthia Sass, MPH, a board-certified sports dietitian who has been a consultant to five professional teams and counsels professional athletes in her private practice.
Chef Lindsey Becker founded Tone House FUEL, a clean-eating program designed to help maximize recovery and boost results for people who work out at Tone House, an athletic-based group fitness studio in New York City. “A balanced, healthy diet with the right key nutrients can help your body become more efficient and enhance your athletic performance [in and out of the gym],” she says. “Consuming the necessary nutrients before and after exerting your body can help replenish energy stores, build muscle, decrease soreness, burn fat and repair damage or inflammation.”
Below Becker shares her tips for eating to get the most out of your workouts, with additional expert insights from Sass. Use their advice to ensure what you’re eating is supporting your exercise.
We often focus on calories, but nutrients also matter, Sass says. “Certain nutrients help your brain and muscles perform more efficiently, and others are crucial for recovering from the wear and tear exercise puts on your body,” she explains. The best macronutrients pre- and post-workout depend on the type of workout you’re doing, as well as the length and intensity.
“Eating the right foods will prevent you from crashing, boost your performance and help your muscles recover and grow stronger,” Becker says. “On the other hand, choosing the wrong foods could cause cramping, nausea, lack of energy and improper muscle recovery.”
Becker recommends beets, sweet potatoes, oats, spinach and eggs for their varied benefits. “Beets increase blood flow to working muscles, which can improve your workout and boost stamina, and are rich in antioxidants, which help fight the oxidative stress that can come with intense workouts,” she says.
She likes sweet potatoes for carbs, antioxidants and potassium; oats for steady energy and B vitamins, which help convert carbohydrates into energy; and spinach because a study found that it may help muscles use less oxygen, which improves muscle performance. And of course the incredible edible egg is a source of easily digestible protein to help rebuild muscles.
Aim to eat something that’s high in carbs, moderate in protein and low in fat, sugar and fiber 2–4 hours before a workout. Some macros aren’t ideal before the gym. “Eating too much protein or fat close to the start of a workout can lead to cramps or a brick sitting in your stomach because protein and fat take longer to digest,” Sass says. “Also, the goal of a pre-workout snack is to fuel the workout. If the food is trapped in the digestive system, it’s not available to working muscles when they need it.”
That’s why carbs are great — they’re generally easy to digest and provide readily available, easily burned fuel. Becker recommends oatmeal with a sprinkling of hemp seeds (for protein) and sliced banana or a smoothie.
Sass recommends eating 30–60 minutes after a particularly tough workout. However, although improper recovery can make you go into your next workout weaker and increase the risk of injury, you only need to refuel within an hour after hard-core workouts. This isn’t so crucial after a walk or moderate-intensity group fitness class, particularly if you’ll be eating a meal soon after, Sass says.
“Consuming the necessary nutrients after exerting your body can help replenish energy stores, build muscle, decrease soreness, burn fat and repair any damage or inflammation,” Becker says.
Good advice for anyone, this is even more important for active people because “nutrients are key to performance and recovery, and unprocessed foods are naturally nutrient-rich,” Sass says.
Becker and Sass agree that refined sugars have zero nutritional benefit and fried and greasy foods can be difficult to digest and cause cramping during a workout. So skip that leftover pizza before your morning indoor cycling class.
Great as they are, you shouldn’t only consume these five foods. “Eat them strategically,” Sass recommends. For example, fuel up with oatmeal, sweet potato, beets or green juices pre-workout, and enjoy eggs with veggies and avocado after a morning workout.
GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
5 Eating Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Workout was originally posted at <a href="https://blog.underarmour.com/5-eating-tips-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-workout/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://blog.underarmour.com/5-eating-tips-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-workout/</a> by Brittany Risher
What Your Workout Playlist Says About You
Your workout playlist is so much more than a collection of high-BPM songs. It’s a much-needed source of focus. It’s extra motivation when you need it. And, of course, it’s a window into your soul.
OK, maybe not your soul. But if you gave us a look at it, we could tell you a few things about yourself. Specifically, these things:
Your playlist: Demi Lovato’s “Confident.” Katy Perry’s “Roar.”
What it says about you: You are a) A strong-as-hell female; b) A man who is extremely comfortable with his masculinity; c) Somewhere in-between. Whatever the case, you have our fullest support.
Your playlist: Enough EDM to power several Electric Daisy Carnivals.
What it says about you: You’re getting in shape for an important networking event, by which we mean Burning Man.
Your playlist: Jay-Z. Eminem. Biggie.
What it says about you: You are a hip-hop aficionado of a certain age, and you are more than capable of outworking hip-hop aficionados of a younger age.
Your playlist: “Thunderstruck.” “Start Me Up.” “Immigrant Song.”
What it says about you: Your fitness icon is Mick Jagger. Dude’s 74 years old. How the hell does he still look like that — and still move like that?
Your playlist: James Brown. Curtis Mayfield. Earth, Wind & Fire.
What it says about you: You like your workouts a little funky. A little soulful. And you’re getting fit because it helps you have the energy to do great things. (Including dominating a wedding-night dance floor.)
Your playlist: Shakira. Pitbull. J-Lo.
What it says about you: Your moves in the gym are only bested by your moves in the club.
Your playlist: The Clash. The Ramones. Blondie.
What it says about you: You’re working hard to make sure you can still fit into your vintage band T-shirts. Also, you want to stay strong for the #resistance.
Your playlist: The “Rocky” soundtrack.
What it says about you: You are unafraid of cliches, which is why you’re throwing punches in a meat locker.
Your playlist: Brooks & Dunn. Brad Paisley. Sara Evans.
What it says about you: You were born country, so while you might enjoy spending your evenings on a front porch with good bourbon and a sleeping dog, you also enjoy feeling like you’ve earned said pleasures.
Your playlist: Classical music. Or jazz. Or showtunes.
What it says about you: … We honestly don’t know. But we’re curious to learn more.
Your playlist: “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Family Trip.”
What it says about you: You have kids and you accidentally put on one of their playlists instead of yours. Because you have kids, and this is the kind of thing hurried parents do. Hey, at least it’s uplifting! If you need to go potty, stop! And go right away…
GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
What Your Workout Playlist Says About You was originally posted at <a href="https://blog.underarmour.com/workout-playlist-says/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://blog.underarmour.com/workout-playlist-says/</a> by Paul L. Underwood