Sunday, 19 April 2015

How Can We Train Longer and Get Better Results?

(Cherry Blossoms, Kikuchi, 2015)

Spring is the time of re-birth and, in Japan, the start of the fiscal year. This is yet another example of the strong connection with nature that can be found in Asia. What does this season offer us with regards to our training? For the senior high school division (Koutai-ren) of the Japan Karate-do Federation , Spring is the beginning of the competitive Season! With qualification tournaments all across the country for the most prestigious high school championships, the Inter-High, students all across Japan are bringing their training up to the next level. But, with such a short break between the end of the school year in March and the beginning of the school year in April, some students having as little as only a couple of days break, burn-out is a very serious concern. While addressing this concern I began thinking about how can we continue to increase the intensity of our training sessions and avoid burn-out. I would like to begin to address this concern in this post.

Perhaps one of the most important components of our training that often gets overlooked by those who are not athletes competing at a fairly highly competitive level is diet. I strongly believe that diet is the key component that enables us to continue to train at a high calibre even into later years after finishing competitive careers. There is no doubt that diet affects our quality of life, but it would seem that most of what we know about healthy eating may not be as accurate as we've been lead to believe.

As an athlete competing in Canada I often cut weight before National competitions in order to make my weight category. I could drop weight fairly easily then, but I was never thin. The closer I get to 40 the harder it is becoming to stay 'not fat'; I am not overly fat, but I am not thin either. I like Dr. Peter Attia's description and have started using it to describe my body type "fit but fat." As you can see from the pictures below taken in Canada while training intensely in 1998 and January of this year, I am not out of shape, but I could totally afford to lose some fat from around my midsection. Recently, friends of mine have started a diet that is really rocking the nutrition boat. They are getting results and suggested that I check out Attia's website I am taken by the similarities in Dr. Peter Attia's story and my own and have decided to re-assess my eating habits as a result.