Endurance athletes, like marathoners or cyclists, are often told that supplements for endurance athletes are the one golden ticket for peak performance in their sport.
While we have found plenty of evidence to support that certain supplements for endurance athletes can enhance performance, we also know that all athletes already possess most of what they need to reach peak human performance.
We’re going to break down our top training secrets for reaching peak human performance, including our recommended supplements for endurance athletes to support nutritional needs during training.
6 training secrets & supplements for endurance athletes to reach peak human performance
Endurance athletes are most successful with a personalized training plan. To help you build a holistic training plan to reach peak endurance performance, apply the following training secrets & supplements for endurance athletes.
1. Cross training
You can get stuck in a groove and plateau if you do the same type of training over and over again. Only performing your targeted activity during training can lead to injury or burnout. To prevent both, cross training is highly recommended.
Cross training is recommended for almost all athletes, not just endurance athletes. The goal is to help strengthen opposing muscles and prevent overworking certain areas of your body.
Cross training reduces the amount of stress you put on your joints and bones in one area of your body, and can have just as many mental benefits as physical benefits.
For high intensity activities, like running, high mileage can be both physically and mentally exhausting. Cross training gives your body a break from those high levels of stress, gives your mind a new activity to engage with, and still helps build strength and endurance.
If you are a runner, perhaps you could do yoga, swimming, or cycling to cross train. If you are a swimmer, you may do some running or rowing to cross train. Strength training is also a great way to cross train for any activity.
If you are already injured, cross training activities, like pool running if you’re a runner, can help you maintain strength while you heal. Cross training should also include stretching.
2. Being mindful
All endurance sports require an amount of mental rigor and stamina that goes far beyond discipline and grit. Having the mental fortitude to push past hard days or hard moments, especially during a race, is a practice that only comes with time and application.
You may have heard many ultra runners say “the first half of the race is your legs and the second half is your mind.”
In a sense, this idea means that even if your body is up to the task, if your mind is not also prepared, you have a high likelihood of giving up altogether.
How do you push past those mental blocks to reach that ever coveted feeling of “flow”?
For many athletes, this starts with mindfulness in their daily life and begins to work its way into their training. It could come from practicing meditation and visualization.
Meditation is most often defined as the act or practice of mindfulness to train your attention and awareness. You should do this to achieve a sort of calm mental state and clear your mind emotionally.
Visualization should then be thought of as the act of visualizing yourself during an activity like a competition or a workout. Everyone tends to use visualization a little bit differently, and that’s fine, but the things you visualize should be achievable and realistic.
For instance, if you are just starting out as a runner, it may not be realistic to visualize yourself running 10 miles at a 6 minute per mile clip. However, you can visualize yourself running a full mile without stopping to walk. What you visualize is specific to your journey and your goals.
Visualizing success and progress helps to point your mind in a positive direction, and in a sense can be similar to manifesting success. As you continue to improve physically as an endurance athlete, your mental stamina is bound to improve as well.
Over time, you may also reach a state of flow. Flow is not to be confused with a “runner’s high.” A runner’s high is essentially endorphins, but flow is more of a trance or state your mind goes into for more efficient processing of your subconscious.
Runners can get into a flow, swimmers can get into a flow, musicians can get into a flow, and even chefs can flow. Achieving flow is about allowing your body and mind to deactivate any negativity and pursue the pure joy of participating in that activity.
3. Taking a break
Taking a break seems somewhat counterintuitive when it comes to endurance training, but to reach peak performance, you need to let your body heal and recover.
It can be tempting to push harder and harder, but if you don’t give yourself necessary rest and recovery days, you can push your body beyond its limitations.
The good news is, rest days do not need to mean no activity at all. They can simply be lower impact, more relaxing activities. For instance, you can choose to do some restorative yoga and go on a walk.
Implementing regular rest days helps your muscles recover, prevents fatigue, and can improve your overall performance as an athlete. Even if you schedule regular rest days throughout your week, be sure to also listen to your body.
For instance, if you did two hard workouts back-to-back and are sore to the point of being in pain, experiencing fatigue, or are having trouble sleeping, a rest day or two may be necessary.
Remember to listen to your body and what it is telling you. Most of the time, a day or two off can put you far ahead because your muscles are rested and prepared for peak human performance.
4. Sleep hygiene
Sleep helps keep your mind and body in a condition for optimal performance no matter the activity, but it’s especially important for endurance athletes.
When we are not getting enough sleep, we aren’t giving our brain time to rest and it becomes increasingly difficult to stay present and mindful.
The good news is that regular exercise can help you sleep, so you are already on the right path to help your brain and muscles rest and recover as they prepare for the next day.
Life can often become hectic and get in the way of sleep though. That’s why sleep hygiene is so important.
Sleep hygiene refers to your bedtime and morning routines to support healthy and restful sleep. This will look different for everyone, but routines and habits surrounding sleep will help you regulate your circadian rhythm.
5. Collagen supplements for endurance athletes
We discussed before that supplements for endurance athletes should not be the ONLY part of your training routine, but they are certainly a key piece of it.
Supplements for endurance athletes can ensure you are getting all of the nutrition you need and keep you on track for your goals.
Bodybuilders are often the athletes that focus on integrating protein into their diets, but protein supplements for endurance athletes can be just as beneficial.
The thing is, not all protein supplements for endurance athletes are created equal. Many supplements for endurance athletes contain fillers or large protein molecules that are difficult to digest and cause stomach upset.
When looking for a protein supplement for endurance athletes, we recommend a hydrolyzed collagen protein supplement.
Hydrolyzed collagen supplements are the perfect supplements for endurance athletes because they are easy to integrate before, during, or after a workout. Liquid collagen supplements in particular are great because the packets are easy to transport, and you don’t need to mix them with anything.
Because the protein has gone through hydrolysis, the molecules have been broken down into easy to digest pieces, making them quick to absorb and receive all the performance benefits.
6. Targeted nutrition
Along with integrating supplements for endurance athletes, general nutrition is extremely important for performance and overall health.
Everyone’s body has different needs. For instance, nutrition tips for runners may look different than nutrition for swimmers. That’s why finding a targeted nutrition plan that works for you and fuels your goals is essential.
Although everyone’s specific diet may vary, there are some general nutritional guidelines that all endurance athletes can follow. You should focus on:
Reach peak performance as an endurance athlete
In addition to taking supplements for endurance athletes, it’s important to create a holistic training plan for your specific needs and goals.
Try to focus on your physical and mental health and wellness, as well as your overall nutrition. If you’re not getting enough from your diet alone, then that is where supplements for endurance athletes can help.
Supplements for endurance athletes can certainly help you reach peak human performance, but only when combined with a targeted training program, and only if your supplements for endurance athletes are high quality.
Want more information on reaching your peak performance with liquid collagen protein? Make sure you read our athlete’s guide here.
To ensure you are taking the very best supplements for endurance athletes, make sure to look for hydrolyzed collagen protein - also known as collagen peptide protein.
One example of this is our Frog Fuel nano hydrolyzed collagen protein supplement. Because Frog Fuel is nano-hydrolyzed, it digests in 15 minutes, making it easy on the stomach. Best yet, it comes in single serve pouches, making it easy to carry on a run or bike ride.
You can use Frog Fuel during competition, to fuel training sessions, and as a post workout recovery supplement. So much versatility when it comes to adding Frog Fuel to your workout to reach your peak human performance.