Monday, 23 September 2013

Training Area: Diet - ex.D1 [WEEKS FOOD]

Thought i'd put down an example of the food I have for lunch/dinner. When training full-time the goal is to eat 5,000 GOOD calories (thats GOOD calories, not just 5 big mac burgers!?!?).

Breakfast everyday: Spanish Tortilla
Breakfast: Spanish tortilla with some tomato salad

Breakfast: Chorizo & Asparagus Scrambled Eggs | Homemade apricot jam
Breakfast: Apple Tart
Lunch: Spicy meatballs with rice
Lunch: Rice, potato and vegetable tambor with breaded turkey.
Lunch: Sausage pasta bake
Lunch: Chicken, Spinach,  Sweetcorn & Ricotta Lasagne
Lunch: Fish Cakes with rice and salad
Dinner: Salmon, Asparagus, Pea & Green Bean Lasagne
Dinner: Above recipes with salad and rice
Dinner: Mushroom Soup with parmesan & rice

Dinner: Cod fillets in tomato and white wine sauce rice and salad
Dinner: Turkey Croquetas with tuna salad and rice
Dinner: Tomato Soup with rice
Dinner: Preparation for Butternut Squash, Bacon & Mushroom Lasagne

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Training Area: Recuperation - ex.R2 [PHYSIO/OSTEOPATH]

Hey there, in this post i'm going to build on the previous blogpost where I briefly talked about some physio and osteopath treatment I had.

As the previous post states I had some peculiar injuries that my coach and I were trying to cure ourselves with stretching, ice, heat, massages, Pilates and joint mobilisation. Unfortunately none of these completely cured the injury (but they did help) so first we went to a physio recommended to me
Adductor (groin) strengthening exercises
by a family friend. The physio, Carole McAthey, was fantastic. She found that my adductor strain had been caused by stiffness of the lumbar spine and Sacro-iliac joint. She gave my coach and I clear exercises to perform on the adductor and lumbar and to iniate Pilates, preferably based on the APPI course (this is the Australian Pilates organisation which is a kind of hybrid physio/pilates course). All of this helped considerably and cured all of my pains except the back which needed further treatment from an osteopath as it was skeletal rather than muscular (where a physio is better).

The osteopath, Nick Tuckley, I have used for many years and I haven't met a better osteopath. He confirmed the pelvis alignment was out due to the fall when I broke my ankle ligament in July. He stretched my L4 disc of the lumbar spine and instructed me to rest for at least 24 hours. For 40 minutes after the treatment I chose to lie down to let the body accustom to the new position of the skeleton before driving home. I personally believe this is vital after an osteopath session - you are paying £45 for 30-40 minutes of treatment, for that cost you should have the patience to let the body rest so the skeleton doesn't return to its previous position! I have a follow-up session 5 days after the first to see how the alignment in the pelvis is and hopefully if all goes smoothly I should be back training 3-5 days after that!

I wanted to write about my experience as I think sometimes one has to bite the bullet and pay the price to have experts look at your body and then cure you. Without these two professionals I would still be injured and no closer to being cured. Now I'm more than half cured and within the week I should be back training touch-wood. It was more than worth spending the money and in the future I will be quicker to go to a top physio/osteopath after an injury.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Training Area: Recuperation - ex.R1 [ICE MASSAGE]

Its been more than 2 months since my ankle ligament tear but the accident continues to haunt me! After a grade 2 tear in my groin and pains in my calve, hamstring, back and glute I decided to take a trip to the physio and then to an osteopath (im going to talk a little bit about these in my next blogpost). The result is that the impact of the fall when I tore my ligament had dislodged the alignment of my pelvis and caused the L4 (one of the discs of the lumbar [lower back]) to become highly stressed thus commencing a break-down of my entire body...I guess it was a good decision to seek professional advice!

What I wanted to write about in this blogpost was what we did (my coach and I) wrong and then what we did right. 

The mistake we made was that we continued to train for a week after the groin strain - we should have stopped immediately and sought professional advice as to why it had occurred. I hadn't strained a muscle like that for over a year (especially during stretching which is how I strained the groin!?!?) and we probably should have been more worried as to why I had strained it. Instead we continued to train until it got too bad and other parts of the body started to break down.

What we did right is we massaged the groin strain with ice which brought out a blue bruise which then continued to reduce to red then pink and finally disappear. Icing a torn or strained muscle is very beneficial to me (some say icing doesn't help but for me it does 100%) for the first 3 days or until the bruising disappears - after that it is more necessary to put heat on the area rather than ice (but I will talk about heat in another blogpost). The photo to the right shows the blocks of ice we used for the massage - this is a really cheap and quick alternative to an ice bath. The moulds are for muffins/cup-cakes (a good size for handling during the massage) and are made of silicon so its really easy to get the ice out!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Training Area: Mental - exercise.M1 [ANTICIPATION]

Today I've been working on anticipation exercises. During the first few weeks after my injury I kept myself from going crazy in my bed by working on my anticipation. Roger Federer has been studied to react faster than is possible with the human brain - this is because he anticipates where his opponent is going to hit the ball. The difference that distinguishes the top pro's is their ability to anticipate and therefore seem as if they are lightning fast and have so much time on the ball. This ability is normally developed from playing hours and hours!However, I haven't had the luxury of playing 6 days a week from 4 years old and now at 23 I don't have the time. So I developed an exercise to improve my anticipation in dramatically short time although incredibly boring! [i have played points since this work and i can honestly say it has made me be so much quicker on the court and really improved my game]

Basically the exercise is to use a tennis match video (e.g. from youtube) and take snapshots/photos (min. 10) of a players shot. The earlier that you can 'anticipate' where they are going to play the shot (cross-court, down-the-line etc… before they make contact the better [see slideshow]. Once you get better at this (success > 80%) move to a live video slowed to 25%. Once better at this move to 50%, then 70%, then 90% and finally 100%.

And of course please send me your comments as to where you think he's playing the shot!?!?