How Sports Men and Women Can Stay More Alert During Long Training Sessions

Fatigue sets in both physically and mentally during prolonged exercise, which can diminish performance.

Representational image; Credit: Pixabay
By Karthik Raman | Apr 22, 2024 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Athletes need to maintain focus and alertness during long training sessions to get the most out of their workouts. Fatigue sets in both physically and mentally during prolonged exercise, which can diminish performance. Here are some tips to help sports men and women stay sharp when training for extended periods.

Hydrate and Refuel Regularly

Dehydration and low energy levels are common causes of mental fatigue during exercise. It’s essential to drink enough fluids and consume proper nutrition to stay mentally engaged.

  • Drink 5-10 oz of water every 15-20 minutes to replace fluids lost through sweating. Sports drinks can also help replenish electrolytes.
  • Eat snacks like energy bars, gels, bananas or raisins every 45-60 minutes to maintain blood sugar and fuel muscles. Time the intake of carbs to a lull in intensity.
  • Avoid heavy, high fat or high fiber foods which can cause indigestion and lethargy when working out for long periods.

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Listen to Music

Listening to upbeat music while training can provide a powerful neurocognitive boost. Music helps stimulate the areas of the brain involved in attention, motivation and endurance.

Create motivating playlists with faster tempos ranging from 140-170 bpm. Favor energetic songs you enjoy. Switch up playlists or genres every 45-60 minutes to introduce novelty which can renew interest and alertness, and also make a session more fun!

Always wear wireless headphones if possible so the music doesn’t interfere with the instructions from your coaches. In-ear or bone-conducting headphones are best, but it depends on personal preferences.

Train with Others

Working out alongside teammates or training partners can increase energy and engagement. Social interaction helps release endorphins and neurotransmitters that enhance mood and alertness.

Arrange group training sessions instead of solo workouts whenever possible. Talk, joke and motivate each other during slow intervals or rest periods because positive chatter strengthens camaraderie. Remember to offer encouragement and support when fatigue sets in to reinforce solidarity.

Practice Mental Skills and Visualization

Cognitive methods like visualization, meditation and goal setting can combat mental weariness. Imagining success and repeating motivational cues keeps the mind actively engaged.

Visualize perfect technique, positive outcomes or past wins during monotonous activities like distance runs. You can meditate by focusing on breathing and blocking external distractions during rest periods. It’s useful to repeat trigger words or phrases like “strong” or “push through” to reinforce your resilience when your energy drops.

Take Planned Breaks

Short breaks at regular intervals are essential to help the mind rest and renew focus. Avoid letting exhaustion build up unrelieved for too long.

  • Schedule brief 2-5 minute breaks every 45-60 minutes to interrupt fatigue.
  • Do an active shakeout during breaks rather than total rest. Try light jogging, stretching or foam rolling.
  • Use break time to quickly refuel and rehydrate as needed.

By utilizing techniques like strategic nutrition, motivational music and mental stimulation, sports competitors can overcome lulls and avoid distractions even during grueling long sessions. Proper preparation allows athletes to maintain mental stamina and get optimal returns from hard training.