#360fit: Countdown to Cape Town training diary

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Stuart talks through his recovery process.

A fracture of my middle metatarsal, the main load-bearing part of the foot, has realistically shattered my ambition to run a sub-3 marathon for the first time and made it unlikely I can even run in Cape Town on September 18.

I’m two weeks into a recovery programme that usually lasts six weeks minimum and my scheduled fourth marathon of 2016 is a similar length of time away. I’m not going to completely rule myself out yet and I will make a final decision on my participation around the end of August.

I feel like I’ve made some good progress in the early stages of getting back to full fitness and if I relinquished all hopes of competing now, it would deflate my motivation to return again quickly.

Whilst I’ve been trying to ensure my foot gets the rest it needs, it can be difficult given the fast-paced nature of working life in Dubai and everything else going on day-to-day.

My left foot is still strapped up in an Airboot and will be until I feel I can put more pressure on it and visit a specialist again.

Read my two previous diary entries, click on the links below:

1. #360fit: Countdown to Cape Town training diary – Chasing the sub-3 hour marathon running dream

2. #360fit: Countdown to Cape Town Marathon diary – Stress fracture of Metatarsal in left foot, start of recovery process

I’ve been trying a few interesting practices to help boost my recovery.

A friend of mine, Bryce Alford, who is a Dubai-based mind and body coach, motivational speaker and experienced runner, has been taking me through a series of mental visualization and stimulation techniques.

One of these is called ‘Tapping’ – which is known as a psychological acupuncture, without needles.

It uses acupressure points on the body by tapping on for example, the top of the head or collarbone area focusing on ‘the problem’, through the use of positive phrases and ridding yourself of the injury critics in your head. This helps to overcome physical, mental and emotional issues. In a way, it’s a kind of rewiring for the brain, sending shock waves, helping the body to speed up the recovery process.

Helping to alleviate thoughts of any anxiety around an injury can help you mentally stay fresh and although positive thoughts aren’t going to necessarily speed up the healing process, tapping has helped me to address the injury clearly.

It’s still early days for me and ‘Tapping’ but you will find more information on it, click here.

Nutritionally, I eat well generally but have tried to boost my fibre and protein intake with whole wheat, more fruit and vegetables. It’s more or less common sense but making that a greater effort can give me an extra few per cent.

Fluid-wise, keeping hydrated has been my main focus and my craving for sugar and energy drinks, which I tend to drink a lot of especially when training in the UAE summer, is not there because I’ve not been able to complete my normal level of cardio activity.

But on recommendation from Bryce again – my caffeine boost if you like has come from Ganoderma, which is the nutritional supplement known as the number one superfood and has been shown in studies to aid recovery – it can be found in Organo Gold Gourmet Black Coffee Cafe Noir along with other drinks. It’s obviously too early to say whether it has had any effect yet or will in the future, but it is definitely worth pursuing due to some of the nutritional and biological molecule advantages making up the coffee. I will provide an update on its effectiveness in the coming weeks but the chart below clearly reveals its benefits, with it containing ingredient the Ganoderma:

Ganoderma-Coffee

Moreover, with any injury, it creates a good excuse to maybe neglect exercise completely. And while I’ve continued to go for upper body strength sessions in the gym and light swimming, it’s obviously not easy for me to get around and as a result has made me realise that if you’re a bit creative you can work out almost just as well from the comfort of your own bedroom or living area.

It’s easy to work the core muscle groups with various sit-up exercises, involving bicycle crunches, leg raises, cross punch sit ups and planks – from just lying down on the floor.

Press-ups, tricep dips (literally on any small counter or window ledge you have in your home) and pull-ups can provide a great, free easy workout. Post-workout, I’ve been drinking a protein shake to aid recovery and build muscle, and I also spend time in the sauna to help flush the toxins from my body and eliminate fatigue.

As you can see from the headline picture, foam rollers and hard balls for the joints are also an important aid in my recovery plan – they are crucial to help free up the muscles and reduce any strain.

I’ve covered a breadth of processes I’m going through to boost my recovery, and although most are trial and error, I’ve enjoyed the challenge of staying pro-active and not letting my injury get the best of me.

Mind and body coach Bryce Alford is a two-time Guinness World Record Holder for completing 50 miles and 100kms on a treadmill, has completed a mega run for charity which saw him run 200kms non-stop in 24 hours and he was a finalist in BBC3’s ultra endurance competition Hercules. You can visit his ‘Running Genius’ Facebook Page.

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#360fit: Talise Fitness puts a new spin on cycling with high altitude classes

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Talise Fitness is the only facility in the Middle East with a high altitude training studio.

Talise Fitness is the only fitness facility in the Middle East with a high altitude training studio.

Cedric Betis, Group Director of Talise Wellness, said the benefits of training at a high altitude are far greater than normal training: “Not only does it elevate the level of innovation and quality in our industry but allows our members to push the boundaries of their training and achieve the very best results possible. We are delighted to be the first to bring this standard of training to the Middle East.”

Former pro-cyclist David Millar, one of Britain’s most successful professional cyclists who’s set to hold an ‘Ultimate Cycling Weekend’ for guests at Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel and Spa in Mallorca this October, says training at high altitude offers ‘more bang for your buck.’

“High altitude training is back in fashion, it’s what all the best endurance athletes in the world are relying upon to ready themselves for their big objectives, from Chris Froome to Mo Farah. Why are they using it? Well, to put it simply, because it works,” he said.

“By training at altitude you put your body under more stress because of the lack of oxygen and force it to work harder, do a one hour training session at sea level, then replicate exactly the same session at altitude and you’ll feel how much harder your body has to work. It’s not fun, but as they say, no pain, no gain.”

Within the state-of-the-art studio, the amount of oxygen in the room is reduced to stimulate the same environment as being at high altitude. Training at high altitude is proven to be ideal preparation for increasing personal performance through increasing endurance, speed and recovery time. Each 45 minute cycling class in the altitude studio works the cardiovascular system in the same way as a 90 minute class with no altitude, providing increased benefits in weight loss, overall fitness, blood circulation and energy levels.

The group altitude cycling classes at Talise Fitness will be open to both members and non-members, with up to 13 classes a week to ensure the programme is accessible to all. The class is suitable for those of all fitness levels and goals, from seasoned cyclists preparing for a race to those new to sport seeking to add an edge to their training programme.

David Millar will hold an ‘Ultimate Cycling Weekend’ at Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel and Spa from 20-24 October 2016, priced at £3,500 per person.

The group altitude cycling class will be available in Talise Fitness, Madinat Jumeriah from 1 August, 2016. The programme costs AED 60 for members and AED120 for non-members. Packages are available on request. For queries on class timetables and for booking please visit www.TaliseFitness.com or call +971 4 3666821.

Talise is the flagship wellness and lifestyle brand of Jumeirah Group, a member of Dubai Holding. It incorporates three brand pillars: Talise Fitness, Talise Spa and Talise Nutrition which together offer a holistic collection of premium integrated solutions that cater towards health and wellness. The brand operates within a world-class portfolio of hotels and resorts, including the flagship Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.

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#360fit: Three helpful tips to cure a hangover

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There is nothing better than unwinding at the end of a busy working week. And why not? We all work hard so isn’t it nice to spend time with friends and family and enjoy a cold drink.

In spite of the fun we have, it’s always the day after that we feel unproductive and have that body-aching regret from drinking too much. But, why do we get hangovers? It’s down to a number of reasons, varying from drinking too much, drinking on an empty stomach, and the big one being dehydrated.

What can we do to prevent this? Here’s our best tips.

WATER OR HYDRATION TABLETS

When you arrive home after a night-out, aim to drink one litre of water or use a sachet of hydration salts with 500ml of water. Repeat this process in the morning too.

Another option is to alternate between an alcoholic drink and a glass of water on your night out. Your friends might raise an eye-brow when they see a bottle of water in your hand but at least you won’t be the one with the headache the following morning!

GET MOVING!

The best way to cure a hangover is to get up and get moving! Alcohol acts as a depressant so why sit around all day and eat pizza when you can get up and shake off that negative feeling with a walk or a short session in the gym.

Any form of exercise will increase the release of endorphins to help the hormones in the body. If you’re really feeling low then use the sauna as it will sweat out the drink fast resulting in a fresher mood.

EAT WELL

Don’t make a hangover an excuse to ring your favourite takeaway and pig out on unhealthy foods like pizza and chips. High fat and high sugar foods will contribute to weight gain!

Wake up and cook a healthy breakfast and continue to feed on some healthy foods throughout the day. If you’re feeling slow and tired then have a coffee with your food.

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