Image via Rosie Popa
Gearing up for pre-season as an athlete is no easy task. The purpose of pre-season is to reflect on what you’re doing well, work on what needs to be improved on and strive to achieve the goals you’ve set yourself.
The reality is, your body will be sore, hours are long, you are training behind closed doors where there is no crowd or spotlight. It is crucial to be intrinsically motivated, no cutting corners and focus in on the small improvements that can be made. What is so rewarding in a pre-season is taking on the challenge to push yourself to limits you did not know where possible and reaching personal benchmarks that will set you up for a ripper competition season.
Yes, physically working hard is necessary, but what is almost equally as important is fuelling your body to sustain the challenges and stress you put your body under, so you can recover faster and come back the next day a better version of yourself than the day before.
In regards to making choices around what I fuel my body with while in pre-season (this took me a long time to get right, so please be brave to take the opportunity to talk to nutrition professionals and commit to prioritising your optimal fuelling), I consider what I am going to eat and when I am going to eat so I never feel like my energy levels are too depleted that my body is burning the muscle I’ve worked so hard to develop. I want to feel as though I can stay present in the moment and really push myself each session, not get halfway through and start to see stars, wasting the rest of the session by wishing it away.
As a rower, early mornings and training for 4+ hours before lunchtime are the norm, so breakfast became a very welcome occasion. My go-to is different variations of overnight oatmeal topped with the Paris Creek Farms Organic Greek style Plain Yogurt, it’s super simple, has a great mix of protein, carbohydrates and fat, requires very little brain function and effort in the morning.
Rosie’s Overnight Oats Recipe
½ – 1 cup of oatmeal
2 teaspoons of chia seeds
½ cup boiling water
¼ green apple (diced or grated)
For extra deliciousness add some peanut butter (I’m a crunchy gal).
The night before: Add oatmeal, chia seeds, ½ cup milk and boiling water together, and microwave for a minute. Let sit uncovered for at least 10 minutes so it becomes firm and soaks up all the moisture (this actually makes a difference in the morning).
Pop in the fridge.
In the morning, add the remainder of the milk, whack the apple, strawberries and yogurt on top of the oatmeal. There’s something about the firm oats and sweetness of the fruit and yogurt that is just something that really does get me out on the right side of the bed in the morning!