Olympic inspiration

If you're like me you've spent much of your free time over the last couple of weeks watching the Olympics. It's been an interesting time seeing the world's best go at it in a variety of sports. My personal highlights have to be the sports that I've competed in, which had some thrilling finishes.

The sailing women's match racing gold medal round was an absolute classic between Australia and Spain, aided by the windy conditions. The Australian skipper actually fell overboard in race three of their best-of-five series, and yet bounced back to win the fourth race and take it to a decider. A single tactical error by the Aussies in the final race handed the win to the Spanish, but it was a great competition to watch. My other highlight was the men's mountain biking - the race was decided in a sprint finish with Czech rider Yaroslav Kulhavy taking the win by a single second from Nino Schurter of Switzerland.

A lot has been made of Australia's perceived underperformance in these games. Debates about funding aside, one comment that struck me was about how the individual sports manage their high performance programs. In Australia the vast majority of these programs centre around the head coach, who has the final say in what support staff they use to help their athletes. And this got me thinking about the relationships I've had with coaches over the years.

Whilst I've heard a few horror stories from clients about certain coaches who try and implement some weird and wonderful nutrition ideas, and a few that think sports dietitians only help with weight loss in athletes they judge to be overweight, for the most part I've found coaches to be great to work with. My goal with Next Level Nutrition is to help athletes implement a plan that matches their nutrition to their training schedule and overall goals. And judging from the feedback from coaches and clients, this is usually achieved.

If you have a training plan in place but need some assistance to get the most out of that program (or to complement it through the right sports nutrition), click on the Contact Us link at the top of the page to make an enquiry. I'd be happy to help.

seach2retain Cycling Team just miss the podium at the Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland

The search2retain cycling team came into the Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland last week with an aim of taking out the sprinters jersey. Led by Neil van der Ploeg, the team worked hard to take out as many intermediate sprints as possible in both the crit and road race stages.

On Saturday I had the pleasure of heading down to Bairnsdale to watch the guys in action, and found myself in the front seat of the team car for the afternoon's road stage from Lakes Entrance to Metung. And what a great stage it was - Neil managed to get into the breakaway which stole a minute on the top 3 riders in the General Classification. This put van der Ploeg into 3rd in the General Classification and only 3 points off the sprint jersey that the team had set itself for.

Unfortunately the final crit stage on the Sunday didn't go to plan for search2retain, as the might of Drapac and Geneys Wealth Advisors worked hard for the intermediate sprint points to sure up their own results. In the end Neil finished 4th overall and 2nd in the fight for the sprinters jersey. This is still a great result for the team, and shows that they are clearly amongst the best of the smaller teams behind the three Australian Continental squads (Drapac, Budget Forklifts and Genesys Wealth Advisors).

Next up for the team is the Tour of the Great South Coast this week, where the boys will again take the fight to the bigger teams. But in the meantime you can check out a video review of the Tour of Gippsland (including a feature on search2retain) on SBS's Cycling Central website.




Richard Bowles - less than 1000km to go! 

A couple of weeks ago I caught up with ultra runner Richard Bowles over the phone from his Maui campervan in country Queensland. Richard's nutrition is going perfectly to plan, his weight has been stable since he set off from Healesville in March. And that's despite running a marathon a day for 4 months! Energy levels are good and he's recovering well from one day to the next.


Thanks to his supermarket sponsors and the recipes in the AIS cookbooks I provided there's no shortage of variety out on the road either. But all good things must come to an end - Richard will make history on the 15th September by arriving in Cooktown as the first person ever to Run the Bicentennial National Trail from end to end. For more information check out Richard's website, blog and Facebook page


Weight Loss for Athletes

It's that time of year when many athletes are starting to think about the spring and summer season ahead. And for many people it's also the time they start to think about trying to shed some excess winter kilos in preparation. Here's an article I wrote last spring for Cycling Tips (but just as relevant to other sports) which looks at the fundamental principles of weight loss for athletes. 

Read More


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Alan McCubbin
B. Nutr Diet, AN, APD, Accredited Sports Dietitian
Next Level Nutrition





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