Have you heard about that ‘sweet spot’ in sport, the age where physical, technical and strategic abilities combine perfectly together for performance success?
It’s typically in the mid-20s to early-30s, particularly for endurance sports.
But there are always exceptions – and two-time Olympic and triple Commonwealth Games athlete Eloise Wellings is one of them.
At 36, the mum-of-one still competes in middle-distance events and sticks to a gruelling training regimen, with her next goal the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Eloise shares her secrets to performance success:
1. The right mix of training
In the lead-up to an event Eloise trains two to three times a day, six days a week, giving her just one day off a week to recover.
As mum to a five-year-old, that takes organisation and planning.
“I definitely have days when I’d rather stay in bed, but I push through those thoughts because at the end of the day I’m really passionate about what I do. The support of my family helps a lot and allows me to get rest when I need it,” she says.
“I mix altitude training with regular runs of up to 140km every week to help improve my endurance, especially in the lead-up to an event.
“During those times, I also include three weight-lifting sessions and two core workouts every week, along with physio, cryotherapy, stretching and massage.”
2. Cover all the nutritional bases
All that wouldn’t be possible if Eloise’s diet wasn’t on point.
An intentional, clean-eating program focusing on carbohydrates for fuel and protein to help with muscle recovery helps her prepare for every workout and race.
“I complement my diet with supplements such as ubiquinol, which works at a cellular level to help me get the most energy from the food I eat and helps support recovery after workouts,” the Aussie sports star reveals.
3. Ubiquinol for energy and recovery
A powerful antioxidant, ubiquinol is the active form of Coenzyme Q10, which is found naturally in the cells in our bodies and is responsible for supporting energy production.
Studies, including from Sweden’s Stockholm University, have found the ageing process and lifestyle factors means the level of ubiquinol in our cells starts to decline from about the age of 30.
As our bodies produce less and less, we may end up feeling less energetic and more fatigued.
From a sports performance perspective, that’s even less welcome news than for the rest of us.
But a 2016 study by Spanish researchers demonstrated that supplementing ubiquinol may benefit people experiencing increased oxidative stress after exertion and intense physical exercise, which may support recovery.
The active ubiquinol form can help maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and healthy LDL cholesterol levels, is readily absorbed and does not need to be further converted by our bodies.
And while we might leave Olympic-level endurance sports to Eloise, we’ll take any advice to help us ease into mid and later life while still enjoying everything that sports and activity have to offer.