When it comes to endurance events, everyone prepares a little differently, has their favorite recovery products and unique twists and turns. Here are some universal truths.

1. Prepare for the event. This one is obvious. . . for most but not all. I am amazed when I hear that someone is doing a major event like a half marathon or greater and is ill prepared or take a whole month or 2 to get ready. This is the ultimate act of both foolishness and selfishness.

If you are not prepared, don’t go. Even if you do make it, the toll that is will have on your body in terms of inflammation is tremendous. If you are young, you may get away with it . . . for a while. If you are a little older, it will catch up to you soon. In EVERY event, the bill will eventually be due.

If you are going with a friend or a group, show some respect for them. If you don’t finish you not only ruin it for yourself, but for others as well. Endurance events are a tremendous teaching tool. One of the lessons is “Respect others. Don’t be selfish.”

Another one is even more clear. . . .Be Prepared!

2. Recover. It is easy to skip this one, particularly after an event. The adrenaline is flowing and it is hard to calm down. You finish and immediately (alright maybe a day later) want to jump back on the bike or hit the road and go longer, faster, quicker etc. Don’t. Recover first.

Fatigue in the legs is fairly easy to recover from. Cardiovascular fatigue is not. You can easily tell the difference.

“My legs are so sore and have no zip to them.” This is muscular fatigue.

“My legs feel fine but I have no (overall) energy.” This is cardio fatigue.

Almost all of the time, it is cardio fatigue. This is where over training (which is really under resting) and injuries make their appearance. When the body, particularly the heart is overworked, it is highly susceptible to illness and injury.

3. Eat properly before event. For most people, a 70/30 split is ideal; that is, 70% of the food intake should be carbohydrates and 30% should be proteins and fats. There should be very little fiber, particularly if the endurance event last longer than 2 hours.

Carbohydrates will provide the fuel for the body. Protein assists the body in repair and fats are a long term energy source.

4. Eat properly after the event. This is when the ratio should be switched. Proteins are needed to rebuild and regenerate. Ideally, fish is the best post-event food and it contains anti-inflammatory oil to assist the body to clear the massive inflammation that is present cellularly, due to hour of constant pounding.

How you eat after the event often dictates how the NEXT event or next blocks of training will go. Eat poorly and recovery will be slow. Eat ideally and the body knows how to bounce back, given the proper fuel.

5. Strength training is a must. If you just do endurance training (Ex/ running, biking, swimming) a multitude of issue can occur. Injuries due to repetitive motion and/or muscular imbalance is at the top of the list. Poor performance is a close second.

For women, it gets even more serious. Due to inherent hormonal complications, women must be aware of osteoporosis risks. The bad news is that it is difficult to treat. The great news is that is it easily preventable. The best prevention method is weight bearing exercise. (Reducing sugar is number 2, while increasing mineral intake is third.)

The method that I have found most effective is the 3/5 method; that is, do 3-5 types of exercise, 3-5 repetitions of each, 3-5 sets with 3-5 minutes of rest in between. Your total workout is never more than 45 minutes and usually wraps up around the half hour mark.

The key is that one must use heavy weights. Doing 5 pounds, 20 times of any exercise is a waste of energy. In fact, it leads to a bloated look and feel. (Glucose goes to the muscle that is being used. Water follows glucose. Thus the bloated look and feel.)

Using heavy weights will add to strength, reduce injury and all but eliminate osteoporosis risks.

6. Reduce inflammation. This is the star. If you do only one of the 9, do this one. (Do them all however!)

Even standard medicine is recognizing the dangers of systemic inflammation (meaning inflammation that occurs throughout the whole body). Horrible diseases such as Alzheimer’s is now being viewed as an inflammatory-based disease.

Movement creates inflammation and movement that lasts for hours such as a marathon or IronMan, creates massive inflammation. The body views this as “heat” which causes cellular, muscular and joint damage if left untreated so to speak.

Arguably the best natural anti inflammatory substance is pharmaceutical grade fish oil*. More than any other substance, fish oil being cool in nature, assists the body in removing the “heat” or inflammatory. Add L-Glutamine and Hgh Plus to the mix and your recovery time will be reduced dramatically.

7. Be Truthful. If you are unwilling to put the time in and you know it, skip the event. If you are committed to both training and completion, lace up your shoes and go for it.

Treat these events and associated training as a “truth detector.” Learn to be painfully, 100% accurately truthful with you, your coach(es), training partners and all others. Commitment is the key. Can you juggle work, relationship, children, school, bills etc., with the time need for training? Be truthful and act accordingly.

For me, events are not just simple events. They are sacred journeys. Each event has taught me so much about self and dealing with others. I find them deeply inspirational, motivational and humbling. Most of all they are opportunities to find the better version of myself.

Follow the aforementioned guidelines and take the journey. You may be deeply surprised at what you will find.

* = To determine if fish oil is toxin free, place in freezer for 20 minutes. If at the end of this time, the gel is still pliable, you are fine. If frozen, toxins (probably metals) are present.

Author's Bio: 

David Orman is a Wellness Entrepreneur, Expert and Educator.