No tricks, just treats to fuel your Halloween – with a healthy twist to boost your training.
From sugar free drinks to healthy snacks that will help keep you hydrated and energised across the spooky season, these award-winning and delicious HIGH5 treats are the perfect partner for your killer Halloween workouts.
ZERO Cherry Orange
Hydrate this Halloween with the UK’s leading electrolyte sports drink. The cherry orange is wickedly tasty. Each tube contains 20 tabs packed with electrolytes which help to replace important nutrients as you sweat. Simply choose your flavour, drop a tablet into water and and watch as your drink transforms.
• Light & refreshing electrolyte drink with natural fruit flavours
• Sugar free with zero calories
• Reduces tiredness and fatigue
• Suitable for a wide range of sporting activities
• Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
Protein Hit Cacao & Orange
If you’re going to be wickedly busy this Halloween season, Protein Hit is your tasty, healthy snack, perfect for when you’re on the go.
• Healthy snack with whey protein
• Fruits and nuts for both fast and slow releasing energy
• Natural Ingredients: No artificial colours, preservatives or sweeteners
• Gluten Free, suitable for vegetarians
• No added sugar
Energy Source Orange
A 2:1 fructose and electrolyte sports drink, perfect to keep your carbohydrate stores topped up for endurance sessions across the Halloween period. As well as orange (it’s Halloween of course!) you can choose from a range of fruity flavours including summer fruits, tropical and citrus.
• Consume up to 90g of carbohydrate per hour
• Maintains your endurance performance
• Helps maintain hydration during exercise
• Race proven in the World’s toughest events
• Light tasting and refreshing
• Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
Our natural Protein Snack is packed with goji berries, chia seeds and brazil nuts. A great tasting snack for a healthy Halloween.
• 12g protein per bar
• Contains Goji Berries, Chia Seeds and Brazil Nuts
• Gluten and Lactose Free
• Vegetarian Society Approved
• Natural bar. No artificial colours, preservatives or sweeteners
Click here to see the full range of HIGH5 sports nutrition.
Are you someone who has an iron-will all year round without taking a proper break from structured training?
Learning to know when to take a break and for how long, is key, before it damages your performance.
Particularly if you’re someone who follows a steady training regime for 3-4 months of the year or longer, it’s a tactic in your training arsenal that you probably can’t afford to skip.
Rather than launch yourself straight into a winter’s hard graft as if it’s unthinkable to lose even a shred of your summer fitness, a good training break, executed properly, will allow both your body and mind to return refreshed and enthusiastic.
If you’re someone who finds that training motivation wains in the winter, it can also help you commit to a period of ‘off-time’, rather than sliding into a never-ending cycle of bad training habits and poor quality training without any goals.
Time away from a strict training pattern offers a well-timed opportunity to review the season, identify your strengths and weaknesses, towards making a solid plan for the year ahead.
Typically, athletes take 3-4 weeks off at the end of the season in October, with a view to begin rebuilding their training base in the early weeks of November, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
We asked some of our #HIGH5fuelled elite athletes, who know how to train hard and rest hard, how they choose to re-charge the batteries after a season’s training and racing.
Gemma Steel – British long distance runner & European cross country champion
With the winter cross country running season just around the corner, British long distance runner and cross country champion, Gemma Steel, doesn’t typically have an off-season, so only has a small window of downtime which allows her to refocus on her new targets. Following this year’s Great North Run, Gemma went with her sponsors, New Balance, to a summit weekend in Wales to relax and try outdoor pursuits including abseiling and trekking in the mountains.
“It was great to let my hair down a bit,” she explains.
“It’s important not to burn out mentally and physically. A rest is crucial as a reward for all the hard training to refresh and refocus on the season ahead. We are only human after all.
“I think it’s important to do these types of activities as you can get so caught up in your own little bubble of training and recovering. It makes us the athletes that we are, but we can forget to enjoy ourselves sometimes. It really helped me to regroup with fellow athletes and realise that despite our dedication towards our sport, we can also have fun.”
Vicky Holland – GB Olympic triathlete
Despite being injured this year, Olympic triathlete Vicky Holland says time off is very important to re-charge and helps to avoid un-necessary risk of injury or illness. The triathlete typically takes three to four weeks, sometimes longer, to rest and relax after a full racing season, and only begins again when she feels ready.
Vicky limits physical activity and avoids anything structured, to allow her body and mind to refresh as much as possible. She’ll use this time to visit friends and family, take a holiday, or make appearances for her sponsors, even visiting schools. To beat any physical activity cravings, she plays tennis, takes walks and has even tried hitting the waves and learning to surf.
“It’s good to take a break from it every year so that when I start again, I’m excited to get going and push myself once more.
“It’s strange going from your fittest – which we often are at the end of the season – to our most unfit within the space of about two weeks, but it’s all part of allowing myself to completely switch off and recharge. I often find after the first week my appetite changes and it’s the only time of year I ever really forget about food,” she says.
Vicky also uses this period to sit down with her coach and review her racing season. At the end of her downtime, she likes to ease back into training with 1 -2 sessions a week before starting to increase her training volume.
“My only training commitment is to develop a plan for the next season which includes the races I want to target and the key areas we are going to try to improve upon in training. My coach then writes an overview of my plan for the coming year and we take it block by block, usually four weeks at a time, and adapt after each block if necessary.”
Kenta Gallagher – World Cup DH mountain bike rider – Polygon UR team
After a string of good results in the world of professional XC and cyclocross, Kenta followed his heart and made the switch to downhill competition in 2015. With a long racing season and competitions every weekend, he finds that travelling and prepping for races can make him physically and mentally drained after the season.
He takes 2-3 weeks to unwind, but emphasizes that it’s important not to feel like you’re throwing away all the fitness gains you’ve made in the season. Instead, he likes to limit any structure and focus on having fun.
“I like to play on my hardtail and do some trips. I’ll also hang out and have a laugh with my friends and family. I think that’s really important because you barely see them when you’re training and racing every weekend,” he explains.
“I also use the time to look at what my strong points were through the season and what I need to plan for the season ahead. This year I’ve been injured, so I know I need to concentrate on doing some work in the winter to regain my fitness. I’ll look at what’s worked for me and what hasn’t, and come up with a plan so I don’t go into the unknown. I’ve got a set routine that I can just go straight into. I don’t tend to stress about food – I like a few beers, and as long as you’ve got a smile on your face, it’s going to be doing you good.
“The key is to make sure you’re going into the season fresh, with all the structure you need laid out. Get a good support network around you and let everyone know what your plans are. A couple of weeks before I know I’m going to get back training, I’ll do a couple of rides in the week to make sure it’s not a shock to the system. The last thing you want is to be feeling rubbish after a break, so it’s important to make a steady transition.”
To get the best from your ‘off-time’, it’s still important to stay properly hydrated and to optimise your recovery after training, even if you plan to take a break or you’re staying active for long periods for fun. HIGH5 uses high quality why protein isolate for optimal recovery after hard exercise. Check out the benefits and browse our range of delicious tasting sports nutrition to help you recover better, faster, here: https://highfive.co.uk/product-category/recovery/
The running experts share 10 essential tips to ensure your last 24 hours deliver you confidently to the start line.
The last few days before your big running race, and your fate is sealed.
Any fitness gains you make now are most likely going to be marginal. It’s the final workouts, meals, mental preparations and logistical plans in the 24-hour window before your race, that will help transform all that hard graft into a fantastic performance.
In fact, what you do now could make or break how well you perform.
Tom Cragg, UK Head Coach at Running with Us – the experts in endurance coaching – understands the importance of those final hours, even when you’re wracked with nerves!
From behaving like a cow, to summoning your inner hero, Tom has 10 fun, but essential guidelines, to help you relax and ensure your final countdown places you in the best possible form, so you can enjoy your race.
1. Perfect practice
These final hours are about routine. What have you done the day before your best long runs? Stick with what you know.
Try this: Keep a training diary noting down your nutrition, hydration, rest and training patterns before goal races and long runs. Check the correlation with your best performances….and replicate! Get your kit ready early and know you logistics for the race start.
2. Shake it out
A combination of nerves and cutting back your training can leave your legs feeling quite rusty on race day. Maintain some frequency in your running in race week, to keep your legs ticking over.
Try this: Consider a very short, easy 20 minute run 24 hours before the race. The more experienced might even add 2-3 sets of ‘strides’ picking up your pace to about 80% of maximum for around 80 metres.
3. Tame the beast inside
We all manage our nerves and excitement differently. Some of us internalise and reflect; some of us are bouncing off the walls and telling everyone! Your job in the final 24 hours is to manage your emotions and save some adrenaline for race day.
Try this: Warn your family, friends or racing partners that you might be a little irrational and that you will be looking for a bit of time and space in those final 24 hours to be with your own thoughts, and race plan. Even if you’re a talker, do take some time to be with your own thoughts that will help you focus – the race is about you, after all.
4. Horizontal gains
Caught up in the excitement and fever of a new city, or a race expo, it’s very easy to spend hours and hours on your feet the day before a race. Imagine your legs after a full day of Christmas shopping, and genuinely ask yourself if you want that feeling come race day!
Try this: If you possibly can get yourself to the race expo on a Thursday or Friday. Failing that, get in and out on the Saturday so there’s time to put your feet up as much as possible. Relax and leave the sightseeing to your family…you’re the elite athlete for the next 24 hours…or so…
5. Affirm yourself
The gremlin will be firmly climbing up your back to sit on your shoulder today, but you must ignore it. Have you done enough training? Are you being too ambitious on your race plan? The bloke on the train said he was taking one gel and you have planned for five!!! Ignore them, be confident in your plan. It’s time to get your mind ready for your peak performance.
Try this: Look back over your training dairy and remind yourself of those top 3-4 sessions or races that you nailed. We all miss training at times and sessions don’t always go to plan. Remind yourself of what you HAVE in the bank, not what you’ve missed. You’re as ready as you ever will be.
6. Load the tank
Get your nutrition right in those final 24 hours. We cannot stress this enough. If you under eat now through distraction or nerves, and dig an energy hole, it’s game over tomorrow before you start.
Try this: After taking in 10-12g of carbohydrate per kg of body weight over the last 2 days, the final 24 hours is about maintenance. Snack and graze throughout the day and don’t go more than 3 hours without topping up with something small. Don’t leave yourself empty and stuff yourself with pasta in the evening – you’ll feel heavy and bloated tomorrow. Snacking on HIGH5 Energy Bars or sipping Energy Source are perfect options – not too much fibre and not too heavy.
7. Dream of success
Here’s some news you might already know….this might not be the best night of sleep of your life. Nerves, perhaps a hotel bed, and new city or race route can all add up to the night before the race sometimes feeling a little broken. Don’t worry!
Try this: Focus on getting a bit more sleep during the week in the build up. If you’re struggling to sleep the night before the race, stay in bed with your feet up resting…don’t get tempted to move about…
8. Be more cow
When the alarm goes on race morning it can be tempting to sit bolt upright and then attempt to do everything at a million miles an hour. Then you end up cramming in a minimal breakfast in the naïve hope of not getting any digestive discomfort in the race……slow down! The secret here is to graze.
Try this: Set the alarm early enough to allow you to get to the start with at least 60 mins to spare, travel and eat your normal pre-long run breakfast. Crucially, aim to eat well, but grazing slowly over about 20-30 minutes rather than cramming it in quickly. Take a snack with your such as a HIGH5 Energy Bar and sip on Energy Source until about 45-60 minutes before the gun goes.
9. Sip don’t gulp
Getting your hydration right in the final 24 hours is critical to race success. Too many runners start their race already a little dehydrated, and either have to gulp down fluid in the race, or see their performance drop as a result. Instead, consciously think about your hydration strategy.
Try this: Aim for 2-3 litres of fluids the day before the race, ideally water with electrolytes such as HIGH5 Zero. Avoid alcohol until after your race and aim to sip throughout the day. Don’t leave it to last minute and gulp it all down before bed.
10. Your inner Clint Eastwood
As you make your way to the start, the hard work is done. Your mental approach from now is what will make or break your race. It’s time to find your inner Clint Eastwood, your Lara Croft, ride confidently into the village, and get the job done. You’re ready!
Try this:Find a bubble and shield yourself from the negative voices of other runners, their training and their race day plans. Write your splits on your hand or use a pace band. Have 2-3 key affirmations, and remember to dedicate some of those final miles to someone special in your life. Now bring it home!
About the authors:
Running with Us offers bespoke endurance coaching, training camps, sports consultancy, as well as personal and group training to runners, cyclists and triathletes. Experts in endurance coaching, the team has over 40 years’ coaching experience, they have been coaching editors for both Runner’s World and Men’s and Women’s Running Magazines, and coaching consultants to the UK’s foremost online running community – The Running Bug (www.therunningbug.co.uk). For more information visit www.runningwithus.com