Spartan1

Beyond the Current 1 – Review

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Last weekend saw the launch of the first ever Beyond the Current camp. So what’s it all about, what did we do? Well the concept for this started about 12 months ago when I went to meet Svein Tuft at his home in Andorra. First thing we did was have a coffee out his back garden in the sunshine and then we went off and climbed up a rocky cliff face barefoot. So that set the tone. Over the year and various mini training camps of our own, we discussed everything we’ve both learnt and practiced over the years. It’s only now that the both of us are coming to the same realization.

Being an athlete, training full time, racing etc…. doesn’t necessarily mean you are healthy. Nor does it mean you are happy and more importantly, it doesn’t set you on a long term path of well-being for the rest of your life. In fact, the current set-up for all runners, cyclists, triathletes, ironman etc is to run yourself into the ground with 100mile/week runs, 30hr/week rides, and 40hr/week ironman training. Coupled with this high volume is the advice to “load up” on every type of carbohydrate you can get your hands on. Next comes the additive approach of gear, gadgets and supplements. Then there are apps, trackers and monitors. This is then mixed with the technology world of social media, websites, blogs and Bluetooth devices. Not to mention the stresses of modern day work life and family life.

An example:

So you set your alarm on your Bluetooth radio to go off at 6am, down your smoothie and pre work out energy drink, set your Garmin, hrm or gps, do your session which at the end you realized you needed an extra 2km, so you go around the block 4 times, get in and down a recovery shake to replenish glycogen, rush off to work to sit at your desk, update your blog and tag your photo’s on facebook, upload your training data, drive home, go the gym to work your core, come home and down another recovery shake, eat your delivered paleo meal, respond to emails, get into a discussion on your groups whatsapp, take your nighttime recovery shake, set your app on your phone for the sleep tracker, fall asleep looking at instagram photos. And this was an “easy” day. What does this produce ? Maybe…. Maybe a body that can complete the event and even do somewhat well.

But what about a body that is weak and fragile. What about a body that is dysfunctional and immobile. You can barely walk up and down the stairs. You can’t tie your shoelace on one foot without falling over. Your face is pale and gaunt. Your muscle mass has disappeared. Your immune system in worn down. Your sleep is crap. Your mind is racing, you’re thinking ahead but wallowing in the past. You just never feel happy or content as there is always a new diet, a new training method and a new pair of shoes. Where’s the health gone ? Where’s the overall strength gone ? Where’s your flexibility and mobility gone ? Where’s your happiness gone ?

All for what…… a marathon or triathlon that you do, once a year, to shave a minute off your PB. Then suffer injury in the lead up to it, stress about losing weight,  spend stupid money on gear and kit, then spend the month after it in “recovery” Or you’re a competitive athlete, training full time, clocking every mile, weighing yourself every day, tracking your TSS score or your HRV, using the latest supplements, …. But never really enjoy yourself, stress out if you miss a training session or go over weight by a kilo, wake up sore every day, can’t move much after your training session, plateau in performance or keel over and retire early.

Maybe I’m exaggerating or maybe there are many that feel like this. Myself and Svein have been down all those rabbit holes too. You don’t learn without suffering. And what we have learned is that there are ways of training, eating, performing, recovering, thinking and living that can make you not only a better athlete but a better happy person. Our camp then is an attempt to address all these problems and to understand the solutions by doing. We’re not sitting in a conference room all day with fancy presentations, apps and booklets. Nor are we getting you to feel your cosmic energies and chant mantras.

What we do is breakdown all the complex stuff and make it simple to do in practice. For example, we some of the topics we covered:

-Anabolic v Catabolic Training

-Sympathetic v Parasympathetic stimuli

-Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition

-Fat Adaptation

-Functional Movement

-Circadian Rhythm

-Periodized training

-Neuromuscular training

-Cyclical Ketotic States And  more.

This is 10yrs of my own study and practice with Sveins 12yrs of learning and experiencing as a pro cyclist. But we cover them without going into the technical details and scientific explanations. That info is there and available if wanted. However, we feel the best way to learn is to do, and the best way to understand is to feel. We want to grow this awareness without packaging what we have. It needs a community driven focus. We’re not going to start making “Beyond the Current” longevity capsules and we’re not going to start selling “Beyond the Current” training plans. In fact, we don’t even fully understand ourselves what is needed and how far beyond we should go. We’re not saying we know it all and we’re not promising you will turn into a superhuman. All we are simply saying is this – there are better ways of doing all this shit and it can make life good.

Plans are in place for future camps.

Details will be announced shortly. For further info, contact Barry direct – barry@optimumnutrition4sport.com

We had 7 athletes for the first camp, here are a few reports:

Thomas, Ultrarunner: http://rubbishrunner.blogspot.ie/2016/04/some-weekend.html#comment-form

Gav, Road Cyclist

Hi Guys Just a note of real thanks about the weekend. As someone who’s recently suffered with sickness stomach problems and seeking & realising there’s got to be another way to preserve my health mentally & physically for my future self. I guess I didn’t no what to expect from “beyond the current” open mindedness has always been a great trait, nervous, excited, guessing am I good enough for it, from a northerner aspect a lot of the info was totally alien. I spoke with my girlfriend when I came home explaining that are southern friends are miles ahead… even the other athletes were already dabbling with new more holistic ideas for better health stuff I’d no idea about I was brought up breakfast (cereal&toast) lunch(sandwich&crisps) dinner and you didn’t leave the table until your plate was cleaned and every night was a ‘particular food night’ Monday spud sausage veg Tuesday burger chip night and so on. So as you imagine I found some of it hard to take I’ve lost weight in the past but everyday nutrition I no helps with function connection to mood, sleep, mental state and when ones outa sync it stresses everything else. I do hope we can stay in touch. I just purchased Pro. Tim Noakes real meal revolution to get ideas of food to fit my lifestyle and my squats holding to breakfast table (small steps!) making a cup of coffee, I to live beside the beach but never realised how important it was to connect with it….the sea & the beautiful mourne mountains, that feeling in your courtyard on Saturday evening was one I can only describe as been totally chillaxed and my pressures had subsided and I was with people who believed that we were for that day beyond the current lifestyle! Really appreciate both your time and your knowledge it might seem simple to both of you however for me I believe life changing can’t thank you enough. Keep you updated Very best regards Gav

Eoin, Road Cyclist

Cheers Barry,

 
I know you said it takes time to adapt to all of this but I reckon that I have had a few benefits already..
 
I have a bit of a hip imbalance that was causing me to get saddle sores a lot and meant I was missing training every so often because of a saddle sore.. It is/was a big worry for the Rás too. 
 
I  have gone to a couple of physios, was doing a fair bit of core work and getting pissed off that it wasnt really helping the problem. Doing a few squats under no pressure the last few mornings has me walking straighter and using muscles I wasnt using on the bike before.. Small change, big difference!
 
When I was young I was a fussy eater (pain in the arse child probably) as I got older I got an interest in where food came from, got the attitude of not feeling alright eating unnatural stuff but still had the odd mars bar and that. Started cycling, learned about how it affects how you perform but had hassle putting it into practise and not really being sure what I could eat. 
 
Reading your articles clears lots of stuff up and I really like your attitude of getting back to the natural way. 
 
Another big thing I realised from when Svein was talking about his team mates was that in the last few weeks I have been off the bike more than I would like due to parts breaking and being busy in college. I was trying to adapt to fat as much as I could based on what I know but was just starving myself and not getting enough energy. Since Sunday I’ve tried to change this by eating more (I know its not rocket science) and feel way better. 
 
Without sounding too cringy. The cliche of you shouldnt meet your heroes is bullshit. Really cool for me to have the opportunity to speak and learn from Svein, a lad thats doing what I aspire to and in a way that I really admire.
I rarely post on facebook but I want to share the word about your approach and your articles so will do so on facebook. 
 
All the best, hopefully see you around and thanks for the weekend.
Even if we learned nothing it was a really enjoable time, so with learning soo much its a massive bonus.
Eoin.

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