Dedicated Olympians Strive for Excellence!
The Olympic Games are considered the world’s foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Summer and Winter Games alternate every four years but are two years apart. Their creation was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games, which were held in Olympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894.
Athletes are the essence of dedication to their craft. They train for years, to the exclusion of what many might consider, ‘a normal life’. They work for hours 6-7 days per week, often move to training facilities away from their families and create new ‘sport-families’. They are frequently injured, and in some sports, regularly put their lives at risk. Though I find a more moderate balance, these athletes are striving for the elite prize; the gold Olympic metal. You have to be in awe of what they give up to achieve this.
The other elements of their training must match their dedication to the physical aspect of training. FitnessMagazine.com explains, “One of the best things you can do to better your performance is to stay healthy, which means that you need a good amount of antioxidants and superfoods in your diet. Beth Duryea, head soigneur for the Specialized-lululemon women’s cycling team, says she encourages all of the riders, including Olympic contenders Evelyn Stevens and Amber Neben, to incorporate whole-grain carbs, lean proteins, and colorful fruits and veggies into their snacks and meals every day. The more color on your plate, the better, she says. Duryea recommends.” This is a similar theme that we encourage at Paula’s Healthy Living. Drink plenty of water, eat a balanced diet of whole foods over processed at regular increments throughout your day.
The average diet for an Olympic cyclist in training is to consume 3300 calories. An example food day-plan might be:
Breakfast: Muesli or Oats with bananas and milk
Training: Eating 30-60g of carbs per hour, plus drinking one bottle of water or electrolyte drink per hour
Post-training: Carb-filled meal with some protein, such as brown rice with tuna, or a whole-grain sandwich with lean meat and lettuce, tomato, etc.
Snacks: Fresh fruit, fresh vegetable juice, nuts
Dinner: Lean red meat, chicken, or fish, with lots of vegetables or salad, and some brown rice or quinoa
Unless you are burning as many calories as they do with training, you wouldn’t need that many calories, but it does show how athletes eat ‘energy-foods’.
They also schedule rest, massage, stretching, and yoga into their training. The body needs to be cared for if you want it to perform at its best in training and in regular life. Respect that process and provide quality fuel, laughter, love, and rest.
A personal thank you to the families behind the scenes of these amazing athletes. They also exhibit amazing dedication to support these athletes in their dream. You all are appreciated for their participation!