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Training with Patrick Sassoli III: seasonal asthenia

The arrival of winter affects us in the emotional and functional, altering our attitude towards physical activities and intensive training. How to cope with it?

By  Patrick Sassoli 

In the digital magazine  Ciclismo XXI  we offered a complementary introduction to the current one, mentioning the ability to reverse the adverse effects of confinement.

In addition to the  quarantine , another autumn effect began, which intensifies with the arrival of the current winter. Generating a feeling of general asthenia that affects 50% of humanity in 90% of its behavior, and even affects all living beings. The medical community classifies these effects as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) not considered it a disease, rather a seasonal temporary disorder is a form of  depression  associated with seasonality annual. SAD affects more people suffering from symptoms of depression and neglect as winter approaches and light hours decrease. When spring returns and days become longer, symptoms relief is experienced by normalizing mood and energy.
Here we will focus on the effects it generates on physical activity and planned  training  . The good news is that this is totally normal for us to happen. We can access tactics to reduce its effects and fight it in a healthy way.

Another good news is that, in the case of sportsmen, we suffer to a lesser extent than sedentary people.Autumn and winter asthenia is associated with symptoms of constant fatigue, some weakness and general neglect .
Difficult or prevent doing what we commonly face in another period and time. Willpower and positive attitude are key to success.
It is identified as the main cause of the effect of solar rays. While the Earth is closer to the Sun in this period, its greater inclination occurs in the northern hemisphere. Therefore, when the rays are too inclined to the rest of the Earth's surface, they make the day shorter for those of us who live from the Equator line to parallels close to the South Pole. This results in a decrease in daylight time in the day. Like the increase in the hours of darkness extending the night.Research shows that these two specific chemicals in the  brain , melatonin and serotonin, could be involved in the APR. These two hormones help regulate sleep cycles and alertness, such as mood and energy. Shorter days and longer hours of darkness in autumn and winter can cause an increase in melatonin levels and a decrease in serotonin levels, which could create ideal biological conditions for a kind of depression. It has its purpose of survival in the animal kingdom and in the genetic history of the human being. Avoiding the loss of extra energy in very cold conditions, protecting ourselves from diseases generating lethargy to save energy due to lack of food in the conventional and natural ecological system.
Exposure to sunlight, increases our levels of the hormone serotonin. This hormone is considered by the medical and health community as the hormone of “happiness”. The high level of serotonin generates a sense of  well-being , good mood and general satiety, affecting our behaviors with more vitality and thoughts in a positive way. When this hormonal level is low, it generates decay of mood, irritability, drowsiness, with a tendency to negative thoughts, raising anxiety, among other disorders.
Likewise, solar radiation is weaker, with the consequent alteration of air cooling, generating low winter temperatures.These events generate various responses to the usual bio rhythm. The causes and effects are temporary in the behavior and functionality of all living beings. Adaptation effects or symptoms vary from person to person. They can be experienced by periods and dissimilar durations.Common sensations
include general fatigue, apathy, selflessness, irritability, bad mood, sadness, depression, anxiety, boredom, laziness, drowsiness during the day and insomnia at night, demotivation, difficulty concentrating, lack of attention, memory disorders, decrease and decrease.oacute; n of libido, headache, herpes, itching, hair loss and brittle nails and even some physical pains that manifest or intensify.

How does it affect us sportsmen?

How can we get over it?

In the previous note, we proposed to perform personal intellectual exercises that are inescapable in the high performance center of Live Biking. They are intended for athletes looking for results and people with high commitment to ensuring the achievement of their own vision of dreams or desires. Even in cases where there is a medical recommendation for physical and mental health.The results obtained to date were outstanding in many athletes and  athletes  who have worked systematically, aligning the action with the targeted goals. Even in the provinces where sports practice was released, we have found above-expected yields, both in cyclists, marathonists and triathletes.

Exposures to the sun both during training and outside (with proper skin care, sunscreen if it is around noon or in case of exposure for many hours under radiation).Thirty minute continuous
sunbaths per day (or you can do it in several shots with exposure of five to ten minutes, accumulating the suggested thirty minutes per day, preferably in the first hours of the day)
Physically inactive: start your physical activity daily or 3 times a week on a regular basis. It is positive regardless of the type of activity or physical exercise. Ideally, planned sessions of progressive intensity are planned.

Modify the training schedule adapting it to our new reality. If it's better in daylight.
Suggestion to ensure the  exercises in the morning  or at noon. If it is not possible to train before the evening. In case you have no choice but to enter the night, moderate activities of low intensity and short duration should be to avoid overexcitation of the Central nervous system and lower metabolism. Being able to guarantee better rest.
Make a check list of items and procedures that automate the preparation of the training. Place it somewhere visible and replicate it on the cell phone. Avoid forgetting elements if you go outside. This will avoid cutting or stopping the training session once it is started.
Consider the preparation as a self-help ritual dedicated to yourself and if possible with music that inspires you.

Plan your activity and session beforehand, both group and individual. If you have a trainer, converse and reconcile the activity beforehand and record the content of the session
Make a commitment to fulfill the entire session without trimming it
Be flexible to modify the training plan in advance. Depending on the quality of rest, level of work or family stress, climate, and proper nutrition. We must have several alternatives to avoid getting sick avoiding excessive cold, strong winds, storms and rains.
Even triathletes or runners if you want to do without the running on foot and only do exercise bike or roller and heated swimming, will give rest in this period to the joint impact being able to develop energy systems common to all disciplines. Cyclists can also include jogging at this time of year.
 Suggestion for athletes:  Alternatively, take two shifts shorter than a single extended shift during the working week. These shorter shifts can be muscle and gym workouts, such as intense and short passes in the first turn and leave workouts prone to endurance with longer intervals of run, water and bike for the second shift.
The first shifts should not exceed forty-five (45') minutes. Because there is enough research that in that time the hormonal curve is intact before it starts to decay and that will leave you plenty of energy to perform the second training session during the day.
Leave the background long for weekends. Due to the fact that on Saturday and Sunday there are fewer work commitments, you can better choose the departure time around noon and be more rested to get the maximum performance from them.
Recognize your effort by congratulating yourself. You can treat yourself to a personal treat at the end of the session. Celebrate the realization of the same. Applauding yourself, dedicating yourself some allowed, whether edible or drink, and sharing the achievement by telling family, friends and of course in returning to your coach.
Check your body while stretching, enjoy physical changes by observing your body posture musculature etc.
Look in the mirror with clothes and without it, observe what you like and what you want to modify about your body. Distinguish the changes inherent to the effect of exercise. There will always be positive changes to the extent that they are active. And negative if you abandon it.

Food and Nutrition

It is known how it influences mood and sports performance. We know that it positively affects the production of serotonin. Being an excellent tactic to reduce the effects of winter, increasing our defenses
A good diet includes fruits, vegetables, legumes containing carbohydrates and proteins.
Within the intake, try to include foods rich in tryptophan, such as nuts, tofu, eggs, pumpkin seeds. This amino acid helps regulate sleep and also raises serotonin levels. Nuts are rich in vitamin B6 and magnesium.

Ensure the intake of 4 meals a day being the ideal 6 intakes a day. Feeding two hours before training with foods rich in carbohydrates and protein
If I could decrease or avoid the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, caffeine and various sugars. These weaken the immune system, because they are immunosuppressive substances.


Sleeping speeds up cell renewal and repair suffered during the day. It is advisable to follow correct sleep guidelines by dedicating approximately 8 hours a day.


Voluntarily replenish fluids during workouts by drinking one sip every fifteen minutes (15').Always
have at hand availability to replenish water to be hydrated outside the workouts. This water balance will help to remove toxins more efficiently.
Soon we will publish in this same medium, aspects that we will expand on topics related to sports nutrition and hydration.

 Patrick Sassoli is
Certified Physical Trainer by Orthos Barcelona Spain Olympic
Trainer specialized in cycling, triathlon, marathon and endurance sports,
coach and team technician, sports
Founder of the first training center specialized in cycling in Latin America, located in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.
Director and Founder of Stage One Cycling School.
Director of Live Biking Pro Race.
Creator of the Insite, first professional method of stationary cycling.Current
technician of Team Stage One Live Biking
Founder of the Metropolitan Cycling Association CABA.
Founder of the Bike Park Center in CABA.
Vice President of the RWBike
Director of the company LIVE BIKING (Method of planning and training in cycling and high performance triathlon),

 E mail:
E mail:
Insider: @livebikingpro
Insider: @patrickcoachsassoli

Photos: Pablo Cersósimo

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