Optimize your physical preparation before a competition

Physical preparation: The foundation for achieving your goals.

Good physical and mental preparation is fundamental to achieving your sporting goals, whether you are training for a competition or a personal challenge. The key to success lies in well-structured training that takes both your current physical condition and your objectives into account.

Jérémy Krystkowiak, a sports coach at Le Molitor, Nelly Simon, Sports Manager at the Sofitel Quiberon, and Jessica Dufour, a professional athlete representing France in the 400-meter sprint, share their secrets for effective physical preparation.

Creating a bespoke training program

Whether you have a specific goal in mind, such as a competition or a race, or simply want to get back in shape , the first step of any form of physical preparation is to develop a training program.

The best way to do this is to start with a detailed initial assessment of your current physical condition, ideally with a sports professional such as Jérémy Krystkowiak, sports coach at the Molitor Hotel & Spa Paris MGallery Collection***** . This will help you to understand your current capabilities and set realistic goals.

After this initial assessment, the coach will propose a training program to be followed independently or as part of private coaching sessions. It should ideally be based on several pillars:

●   Stamina: Exercises designed to improve cardiovascular capacity are essential, as they increase overall stamina and prepare the body to work hard for extended periods of time. Stamina training is particularly useful in sports such as running and cycling.

●   Resistance training: This is key to improving overall strength while preventing the risk of injury. Resistance training includes exercises using specific equipment combined with bodyweight routines, all adapted to the needs and fitness level of each athlete.

●   Flexibility and balance: Exercises targeting flexibility and balance are integrated to improve mobility and stability – crucial for all athletes, especially those involved in sports such as gymnastics or skiing.

Nelly Simon says: “At the Sofitel Quiberon Thalassa Sea & Spa, we have also developed the ‘Goût du Sport’ program, featuring running, swimming, and physical preparation options. These can be followed in individual or group sessions, and are ideal for people looking for targeted preparation and optimized recovery.”

The varied workouts – along with their frequency and intensity – will be tailored to your objectives. The most important thing is approaching each athlete’s overall physical preparation as a virtuous, holistic circle.

Skiing, handball, basketball, tennis, surfing, hiking, or soccer: Do specific sports require specific preparation?

“There are as many possible physical preparations as there are sports and objectives. The idea is to tailor each program to the athlete,” says Jérémy Krystkowiak.

That being said, some sports require special physical preparation:

●   Skiing: Physical preparation for skiing places a particular focus on lower limb strength and balance. Athletes must master exercises targeting leg and hip stability to effectively manage rapid descents and sudden changes of direction on the slopes.

●   Handball and basketball: These sports demand enormous agility, remarkable speed, and explosive power. Training programs include drills to improve lateral movements, short sprints, and the ability to perform fast actions under pressure. Programs such as CrossFit can be comprehensive enough to aid physical preparation for these sports.

●   Tennis: Stamina, reaction time, and hand-eye coordination are crucial. Training sessions are designed to improve the ability to maintain a high quality of play throughout long matches, while also honing reflexes for quickfire rallies.

●   Surfing: Surfing requires excellent balance, core stability, and flexibility. Surfers work on exercises that strengthen their abdominal muscles, such as isometric holds, which also improve their agility on the board. At the Sofitel Quiberon Thalassa Sea & Spa*****, the “Surfin’ Quiberon” program offers specific physical preparation for surfing, with classes held at famous spots along the wild coast and the Penthièvre beaches, all rounded off with seawater recovery treatments and massages.

●   Soccer: Stamina, speed, and technique are all essential. Training focuses on the ability to maintain a high level of comprehensive muscular performance throughout the match, with specific exercises to improve ball control and technical skills.

Every sport requires specific preparation, and the coach’s role is to develop a program that meets the unique requirements of both the activity and the athlete’s ambitions.

Nutrition: The importance of an adapted diet

Good physical preparation involves more than just strengthening muscles. Nutrition and hydration are two other essential pillars, yet they are often overlooked.

A properly balanced diet is essential for good physical preparation, as it plays a direct role in both performance and recovery. Macronutrient balance, adequate hydration, and meal timing are critical factors which should be taken into account to maximize the effectiveness of your training and accelerate the post-exercise recovery process.

●   Balancing macronutrients: A balanced intake of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats is essential. Proteins are needed for muscle repair and growth, carbohydrates provide energy during exercise, and fats play an important role in hormonal health and recovery. It is therefore important to have a good balance of all three at every meal.

●   Hydration: Water is an essential component of sports nutrition. Maintaining adequate hydration is vital for overall physical preparation and helps prevent injury, cramp, and fatigue. Dehydration can also severely affect physical performance and concentration.

●   Meal timing: When you eat can also affect your sporting ability. Eating well-balanced meals before and after training can help maximize energy levels, promote muscle recovery, and reduce fatigue.

Jessica Dufour highlights the importance of nutrition in her pre-competition preparation:

“I pay attention to what I eat, balancing my meals and avoiding excessively fatty foods in the run-up to competitions. The week before a competition, I avoid foods that might upset my digestion so that I feel light and ready on the big day.”

At the Molitor, you can also ask to be monitored by a nutritionist alongside your sports coaching. Their role is to work with athletes to create bespoke eating plans based on individual objectives and preferences.

Recovery: An indispensable part of physical preparation

Recovery is a crucial phase in any sports preparation, and is essential not only for improving physical ability but also for preventing injury.

Nelly Simon is quick to emphasize the importance of this phase: “Generally speaking, recovery is made up of high-quality sleep and nutrition, which both enable athletes to rebuild their bodies and therefore respond to the stress caused by physical exertion.”

Planning recovery days ensures that athletes can continue to train at the highest level, without compromising their physical health.

Jérémy Krystkowiak agrees: “Rest is actually as important as training itself. Without adequate rest days, the risk of overtraining and injury increases significantly.”

There are several recovery techniques:

●   Sleep: Often neglected, sleep is fundamental to effective recovery and attaining an optimal physical condition. A good night’s rest of at least 7 hours (depending on individual needs; this is an average) helps repair muscle tissue and regenerate mental abilities.

●   Stretching: Regular stretching sessions help to keep all parts of the body supple while reducing muscular tension and improving circulation.

Jessica Dufour also stresses the importance of stretching: “You need to stretch as often as you train to maintain mobility and avoid injury.”

●   Massages: Sports massages are another essential recovery method, promoting muscle relaxation and the elimination of toxins. At the Molitor, the spa offers massages tailored to athletes’ specific needs, carefully designed by top sportsmen and women.

●   Cryotherapy and other modern techniques: Cryotherapy, in which participants are exposed to extremely low temperatures, is used to reduce inflammation and accelerate muscle recovery. The Molitor provides advanced technology such as cryotherapy cabins to help athletes recover faster after physical exertion.

Psychological preparation: Boosting resilience and focus

Mental preparation is as crucial as physical activity for athletes looking to optimize their performance. It plays a central role in building resilience, improving focus and effectively managing stress and anxiety.

Whether you are a professional athlete or not, everyone can benefit from effective mental preparation techniques such as visualization and meditation . Practiced for centuries, these exercises help athletes to visualize successful performances and improve stress management before and during competitions. Working on breathing and general mental well-being also lowers heart rate, improves sleep, and promotes better physical preparation.

Additionally, as an athlete, you can learn about deep breathing and yoga techniques, and take advantage of guided relaxation sessions to help control stress and anxiety to promote a calm, focused mental state.

Extra equipment and technology

A good fitness coach should also guide you towards effective equipment to boost your performance and minimize the risk of injury.

For example, it is essential to invest in quality, functional equipment if you want to achieve your sporting goals. Whatever the price, it is best to have clothing and footwear adapted to your physical activity, both for comfort and to maximize your performance. Appropriate footwear can improve your ability to execute precise movements while reducing the risk of physical stress-related injuries.

You can also use modern technology such as smart watches, motion sensors, or mobile apps to help improve your sporting ability. These tools help to measure different performance metrics in real time and help you to adjust your training to get the best results.

By integrating cutting-edge equipment and technology into your physical preparation, you can benefit from the latest innovations to enhance your performance while making your sporting practice safer.

Track your progress and adjust your training schedule with a physical preparation coach

To get the most out of your training and guarantee continuous progress, the best thing is to monitor your progress and adjust your training plan accordingly.

There are several techniques you can use, including:

●   Keeping a training journal: This is a very practical tool for tracking your progress. It enables you to record not only the exercises you perform, but also how you feel along with any successes or difficulties encountered.

●   Regularly testing your performance: Regular performance evaluations help to measure the effectiveness of your training. These tests can include tests of strength, stamina, flexibility, or other parameters specific to your sport.

If you feel like your progress has hit a wall, or that you are not achieving the results you want, it might be a good idea to modify the intensity, frequency, or even the type of exercise that you do. A sports coach can help you identify the best adjustments to make to keep improving.

Maximize your training with our experts

Integrating the expert knowledge of professional coaches into your physical preparation can radically transform both your approach and your results.

As Jérémy Krystkowiak explains: “At the Molitor, our programs are entirely tailored to suit each person’s objectives and ability, enabling effective and measurable progress.”

In fact, our hotels and spas offer so much more than just gyms. State-of-the-art facilities, relaxation and wellness areas, as well as athlete-friendly catering options, all contribute to an overall holistic experience that fosters excellence and well-being – also essential for achieving top-level performance goals.

These exclusive offerings include the “Goût du Sport” program at the Sofitel Quiberon Thalasso Sea & Spa***** . Designed for athletes of all abilities looking to get back into a sport or improve their physical capabilities, this six-day program incorporates recovery treatments such as remineralizing seaweed wraps, hydromassage sea baths, and cryotherapy sessions. Combining consultations in naturopathy and nutrition with physical activities such as yoga and stretching, “Le Goût du Sport” offers a personalized, comprehensive approach, led by experts to maximize your physical preparation.

The Sofitel Quiberon Thalasso Sea & Spa ***** excels not only in sports preparation, but also in offering a unique setting for recovery and well-being. Nelly Simon adds: “The exceptional setting of the Quiberon peninsula encourages relaxation and recuperation with its calm, natural surroundings and proximity to the ocean. This natural backdrop is complemented by cutting-edge Thalasso facilities, making every recovery session as enjoyable as it is beneficial.”

Bespoke, holistic physical preparation is a must for achieving your sporting goals.

Discover our establishments and get ready to make your sporting dreams come true !