It wasn't hard to come up with this year's list. The smarter the world is getting in the world of human performance, the more options that are being created to facilitate all the right stuff! More options has made for quite a long list. Enjoy!
Get IT | SLEEP!
Before hydration, nutrition and movement strategies should come great sleep strategies. My favorite definition: "The suspension of consciousness when the powers of the body are restored."
Gear to go for: The Zeo Sleep Manager
What gets measured gets improved. Think of it as a power meter for your recovery. Like a power meter for the bike, the tool itself it won't make you sleep more or better, but by having quantitative data to measure, track and analyze, you can get to know more about your sleep habits and implement strategies to make quantitative improvements in your sleep and ultimately your performance.
I first heard about the Zeo Sleep Manager from Dr. Allen Lim who was using it as a training tool with the riders he was working with. He spoke about how on any given day, the squad might have an A, B or C ride (differing in distance and intensity.) Which ride the riders were allowed to do on a particular day was dependent on their quality of sleep the night before as indicated by their Zeo Sleep Score. Something else he mentioned that stood out: if one gets one more hour of sleep per day in the week before a race, they will perform better in the race. How great is that. Sleep to perform better? I love learning things like this.
Zeo Sleep Manager has both a bedside unit (above) and the new mobile version (below right.) On the left is a sample of a graph you'll get every morning of your sleep patterns along with an overall sleep score. My PR is 155! I love sleep.
Work IT | Happy, strong feet!
The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering + a work of art. - Leo da Vinci
So true IF you let them be themselves.
"Phalangeal Freedom + Phalangeal Fitness = Phalangeal Fun"
...says Mark Verstegen of Athletes' Performance.
Gear to go for: Vibram 5 Finger Shoes
Forget about running in them for a moment. Forget about fashion and think function. There are so many things your foot, all of it, would love to do with you: walk, strength train, skip, hike. There are numerous muscles of the foot and they want to be loved and put to work. Most shoes force the foot into an unnatural shape (similar to a cast.) They can limit mobility of the certain joints necessary for natural motion and they often soften the forces the foot has to withstand during activities thereby allowing some muscles to weaken and others to have to compensate, often unhappily. Just like bigger muscles you can see and feel like glutes, quads, biceps and triceps, the muscles of the foot must be strengthed gradually to handle increased loads. Depending on your level of phalangeal fitness, Vibram Five Fingers may be an even better option than simply going barefoot as they also help spread the toes.
I'm amazed I have seen only one, ONE, other person doing their movement/strength training in my local gym in Five Fingers. Running shoes, cycling shoes, casual shoes more the norm. Let's move it!
Your feet are a huge part of your performance. You wouldn't wear mitts when swinging a bat, club or racket would you? Have fun with them this year.
Get IT | Smooth, supple muscles.
How? By hydrating, eating right, massaging tight tissues and activating, strengthening and stabilizing other muscles.
Gear to go for: Self-Massage Tools
Self-massage tools should be just that: tools. Not crutches. Trigger Point Performance has lead the way with their tools and concurrent education. I go no where without my GRID, Quadballer and Massage Ball.
A new kid on the block that I immediately put to use and is now a permanent addition to my gear bag is the Myorope. Although I maintain my movement so well I rarely need to spend much time with the tools, they are an important part of my pre-covery and recovery strategies.
Move IT | Whenever, wherever.
Wherever you are, be there.
Gear to go for: Gaiam's Travel Yoga Mat
Why I love it: It takes up virtually no space. Great for adding to a gear bag so you don't have an additional item to carry. Also perfect for the frequent traveler who doesn't mind others turning their heads while he or she indulges in some pre-flight movement preparation (or post-flight when waiting for a ride while everyone else is in line at Dunkin' Donuts OR when one misses a flight and has to spend a night in the airport in which case it pairs well with the TP Therapy GRID as a head rest.)
Reduce and Reuse IT | For yum on the run.
Gear to go for: To-Go Ware RePEat Utensil Set
I have saved the lives of more plastic forks, spoons, knives and even chopsticks than I can count since I started carrying these with me. Not only great for the environment but for convenience as well. They are incredibly handy, wash easily and are just plain bamboo cool.
Create IT | Au Natural Beauty
If you wouldn't want to eat it, why would want to smear it on your face?"
Gear to go for: Organic Body Care Recipes
Stephanie Tourles offers a better solution to everyone frustrated with the endless cycle of expensive, synthetic, famous-name cosmetics that often fall short of expectations. With Organic Body Care Recipes you can take control of beauty treatments with homemade products that use safe, nourishing ingredients to pamper the body and soothe the senses. Click on the book to read more about Organic Body Care Recipes.
Prepare IT | Athlete Food Fast
"Skills in the kitchen, rather than skills on the bike, were such a limiting factor for so many of the athletes I was working with.” - Biju Thomas
Gear to go for: The Feed Zone by Allen Lim and Biju Thomas
I'm a huge fan of Biju and Allen's work.
Get a glimpse of their genius in the videos below:
Get After IT | Be great. Train great. Race great.
Get after it with...
A week of training at Athletes' Performance in PHX, Dallas, LA or Gulf Breeze
A race entry
A mountain bike skills clinic
WHATEVER YOU DO...GO GET AFTER IT.
BE YOUR BEST YOU!!!
Jessi Stensland | Elite Multisport Athlete | MovementU