Sleep Deprivation Coping Strategies for Athletes

Greg Potter

Losing sleep sucks, and it’s true that regularly not getting enough sleep probably ultimately affects all aspects of health and performance. But there are times when sleep deprivation is unavoidable, and less time sleeping means more time for what you really want to do, which in some instances (e.g., ultra running) leads to better performance. So, wouldn’t it be helpful to have some strategies that help you succeed when you’re short on shuteye?   In the last few years, we’ve worked with a range of competitors who simply have to perform despite debilitating sleep disruption, and in this blog, we’ll cover some of the more effective sleep deprivation coping methods for athletes. We won’t focus on any one sport, for the strategies below should be helpful whether you’re an ocean rower, an ultra cyclist, or...

Read more

Ocean Sheroes take on the Great Pacific Race

Charlotte Halkyard

After 18 months of training and preparations, the time has finally arrived for Ocean Sheroes, a team of four ambitious women, to row across the Pacific Ocean. Since its launch in 2014, only 22 teams have completed the Great Pacific Race, rowing 2,400nm from San Francisco to Hawaii, with only two four-person all females teams reaching the finish line. Bella Collins, Purusha Gordon, Mary Sutherland and Lily Lower are aiming to break the current female-four World Record of 50 days, 8 hours and 14 minutes, set in 2014. OceanSheroes have had more than their fair share of pandemic hiccups! Gyms...

Read more

In Defense of Caffeine

Greg Potter

Have you ever felt confused about whether caffeine is good or bad for you? I certainly have, and because of this, my caffeine intake has fluctuated between total abstinence and weeks of consuming over 600 mg caffeine each day (that’s a lot). When I was doing my PhD on the relationship between nutrition and sleep, I read study after study about caffeine, and this process helped me understand how to use caffeine to get more out of life. I’ve since seen many nutrition companies maligning caffeine and, honestly, I think most of this propaganda reflects the fact they don’t read scientific publications. I’m therefore keen to clear up what we actually know about this substance. Most important, I want to share how you...

Read more

Chris Gaskin takes on the Wainwrights 214 challenge, unsupported.

Charlotte Halkyard

With restrictions beginning to ease across the UK, most people are starting to make plans for weekends involving more people. Not Chris Gaskin, he is off to the hills for the next few weeks, completely solo. Starting on the 18th May, Chris is looking to set the record for the Fastest Known Time (FKT) for the unsupported Wainwrights 214. The Wainwrights 214 is a challenge which sees competitors complete all 214 of the original English Lake District fells listed in A. Wainwright's classic 'Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells', in a continuous, non-stop round. Linking all 214 fells will see...

Read more

The effect of the menstrual cycle on training and performance

Emily Jevons

Photo Credit: Presca Sportswear Ten minutes into your session and you feel low in energy, a bit lethargic. You did the same session the week before at ease and felt like you were flying! You had the same amount of sleep, the same breakfast, felt hydrated, have no changes in your mental health… so what’s the difference? It may simply lie with your unique female physiology. As a woman your hormones fluctuate throughout your menstrual cycle. During the first two weeks, the follicular phase of your cycle, oestrogen dominates. Whilst during the second two weeks, the luteal phase of your...

Read more

Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) in Female Athletes: Let’s Talk About Our Energy Levels, Performance, and Periods!

Emily Jevons

Photo Credit: Presca Sportswear “No excuses!” As athletes, that’s what we hear repeatedly. Push yourself. Push your body. Push your mind. Going to our limits is often recognised as good thing, an attribute to be praised and celebrated. But where is the line drawn? This mindset, alongside the increasing number of metrics available to all athletes (e.g., activity and sleep data from sports watches, or body fat and muscle mass from smart scales), can lead to fixation on performance and body composition, leading us to focus on the here and now rather than considering our long-term mental and physical health....

Read more