Up Close with GB Heptathlete Devon Byrne

Up Close with GB Heptathlete Devon Byrne

Sport: Heptathlon (100m Hurdles, High jump, Shot putt, 200m, Long jump, Javelin & 800m) Occupation: Mathematical Sciences Student @ Loughborough University Age: 20 Height: 1.74m Weight:  63kg What inspired you to take up Heptathlon? I’ve always dabbled in many sports, playing netball and hockey up to regional standard. When I was younger I also did triathlon, which I loved, but as the distances increased as I got older I figured it wasn’t for me. Now the furthest I have to run is 800m- result! My mother was a GB triathlete so I figured I had to go one better and take up heptathlon which entails seven events as opposed to three. Please describe a typical week’s training? This varies week on week depending on what time of the year it is, whether I have a competition at the weekend or often just down to how I feel. For example, at times when University work is particularly heavy I will have a slightly easier week. An average training week is usually 20+ hours, with additional time spent with massage, physios, podiatrists you name it. Here is a glance at last weeks training: Monday- Shot, Hurdles, Weights Tuesday- High jump, sprints session e.g. 4x 60m, 3x 90m, 2x 120m Wednesday- Hurdles, Javelin, aqua jogging or swim recovery Thursday- Shot, Long jump, 800m based running session e.g Split 800 (600/200) with 60 second recovery Friday- Weights, Yoga Saturday- 400m based running session e.g. 3x 300m , Javelin Sunday- Rest day often spent sleeping and eating Rest and recovery is crucial but not something I often enjoy doing, I like to be busy...
Food as Fuel…Preparing for the London Marathon

Food as Fuel…Preparing for the London Marathon

The London Marathon is just 2 weeks away. These 2 weeks are crucial for putting all the right fuel into all the right places, priming the machine that is your body for that 26-mile run. We take a look at the essentials… Make sense of carbohydrates Carbohydrates are essential to any endurance training programme, but it is equally essential to understand how to use them. If you have the time before a run (approx 2 hours), eating a meal containing low-GL carbohydrates gives your body the time to convert that meal into usable energy. Consider oatmeal or whole grain toast with nut butter or scrambled eggs. If you don’t have the luxury of time before a run, higher-GL carbohydrates come into play, providing a quicker fuel source. 30 minutes before training opt for a smoothie, white rice or white pasta. On a long run (1hr+) you’ll also need easily digestible, high-carb foods to take in during activity, such as energy gels or sports drinks. Know when you are insulin sensitive Your body will stay at its most insulin-sensitive for about 30 minutes after training, meaning your cells will be most responsive to the uptake of glucose during this time. High-GL carbs have a role to play here, as they help start the re-saturation process of your liver and muscle glucose stores (glycogen). Pump up the protein. Protein is essential for the repair of muscles and tendons after all that impact. Consume high-quality, lean, grass-fed animal sources. Protein powders can be used pre and post training without lowering the GL of your meals. Factor in fats Omega 3 fatty acids...
Sam Briggs 5 Top Training Tips for Crossfit

Sam Briggs 5 Top Training Tips for Crossfit

5 Top Training Tips from 2013 World Crossfit Champion Samantha Briggs Looking for some tips to increase your performance during the WOD? 1. Train Smart – do not let your ego get in the way. Only lift weights that you know you’re capable of lifting. Do not push yourself too hard. Know your limitations. 2. Tape Up – I don’t train without tape. My right knee is injured so I tend to overcompensate with my left side. During regionals last year I got tendonitis in my left knee. This is where I first discovered Rocktape. I couldn’t have competed without it. It certainly helped for those 100 pistols and walking lunges! 3.Listen – Your coach is your coach for a reason. If they tell you you’re not meant to be doing something, or that you should be doing something in a different way, they’re telling you this for a reason. They know best! 4. Knee Caps – These are key, particularly if like me, you struggle with your knees. Their sealed seams help to keep the knees warm whilst giving them extra support. Really helpful when your exercise involves loads of reps. My favourites are from Rocktape.   5. Enjoy It – Us Crossfitters spend a LOT of time in the gym so if you’re not enjoying it… what’s the point?! Relax, focus, and enjoy yourself, you’ll get much more out of it that way....
Marathon Training Tips by Paul Coker

Marathon Training Tips by Paul Coker

The 2014 London Marathon is fast approaching so those of you taking part should be well underway with your training regimes. As a long distance runner I know that training for a marathon is no mean feat! It’s incredibly intense and pushes your body to the limit. Here are my top tips to help you improve your regime and avoid those pesky training injuries. DON’T JUST RUN Introduce some variety into your training! There’s nothing more tedious than running miles and miles every day and I find that a lot of training programs recommend more miles per week than are really necessary. Drop 1 or 2 easy/recovery runs and do something different – mix it up and different physical challenges into your training program. Easy miles aren’t achieving a lot in terms of having a training effect on your body, the extra variety helps reduce your chance of overuse injuries, it also leaves you fresh to train with more intensity and effort when you do run. WORK ON LEG STRENGTH Whichever way you cut it running to your maximum potential has got a lot to do with how strong your legs are. Running will train your legs to have good endurance but won’t necessarily improve your actual power and top end strength.  Try a couple of 30-40 minute strength sessions including some body weight exercises – bridging, squatting, lunging, and hopping are all ideal.  Whatever exercises you choose, push yourself and do them to the point where you can barely complete the last few reps. You’ll fine this really maximises the bang you get for your buck. You’ll be...
Paul Stewart Interview

Paul Stewart Interview

ROCKTAPE were incredibly proud last summer to support Paul Stewart, an ex-England Hockey Under-18 player who sustained an L1 spinal cord injury in December 2008 when an avalanche swept him 200ft off a cliff while skiing. He was instantly paralysed from the waist down and was told, aged just 27, that he would not walk again.  Still paralysed below the knee, Paul trained for 6 months to complete a truly awesome challenge that none of us here could even imagine undertaking. Despite the initial prognosis being nothing short of desperate regarding his chances of walking, Paul did regain enough limited muscle use to walk with the aid of leg braces and sticks and by using entirely different muscle groups to those normally employed in walking. Over 15 days, Paul would attempt his IronSpine Challenge, which would see him swim 2.4 miles, cycle 112 miles, walk 26.2 miles and then climb the cliff over which he was swept in 2008.  During a show of phenomenal determination and resilience, Paul completed the challenge and, in doing so, raise £400,000 for Spinal Research. Here, Paul talks us through the nuts and bolts of his epic journey. How quickly did you progress to walking again after the accident? It took 4 months of intensive physiotherapy and rehab before I managed my first steps.  It was a further 5 months before I was able to do anything that could be considered as walking and 1.5 years before I could walk as far as 500m in one go.  To this day my walking is slow, inefficient and cumbersome. Were you back to being active or...
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