3 month Performance Nutrition Project with the 

Young Norfolk Sports Academy (YNSA) 

The athletes compete in a variety of different sporting disciplines. The aim of the project was to measure dietary intake (across different days) to set targets that would promote and develop the nutritional knowledge and practices of the elite young athletes.

Over the 3 months, multiple 1-2-1 consultations were conducted for monitoring and evaluation purposes. Other methods were used along side consultations. 

The athletes' parents were included in all correspondence to help embed targets set and to promote the efficacy of the project. This was the first time this project has been offered to elite young athletes at the YNSA.

It was a real pleasure to work with such dedicated and enthusiastic young athletes at the YNSA and see them really engage with the project. Here’s what some the athletes had to say...

Performance Nutritionist for Young Norfolk Sports Academy
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Pole Vault Athlete

'I have learnt a lot about my nutrition from Jason. This project has taught me to take a large step away from eating to not be hungry, to eating foods that are nutritious, and that fuel me for training and competition much better than my previous diet did. Having my mum involved in the project and seeing the regular communication via the whatsapp group really helped me stay on track. I feel like I definitely understand how important my nutrition is, as it has really helped me with my energy levels. I’d rate the experience a 9/10. I really appreciated all of the health and energy benefits. Thank you very much for helping me these last 3 months Jason!''

Cross Country Endurance Runner

''Drinking more water has made me feel healthier, stronger and more energetic when I run. Eating more sources of vitamin D have also made me feel healthier. My mum cooks the majority of my food, who also held me accountable for my goals, and also made sure to incorporate lots of vegetables/ sources of vitamin D into my meals – this made it more achievable to meet the targets Jason set. I am more interested in my food choices, particularly the pre and post workout snacks and meals, as I want to be able to get the most out of my training by eating well before and after.

 

My favourite suggestion was the increase in water intake, because it was my weakest point and has had the biggest impact on how I feel while training and during everyday life. The project helped kickstart me into actually doing something about this. I would rate the project 10/10 as it has been very useful in allowing me to track my progress, making sure I was being held accountable for my goals. Thank you for your help Jason!''

Triple Jump Athlete

''I definitely feel more awake and more alert since following Jason recommendations. I especially found that increasing my water intake has significantly increased my concentration levels and decreased feelings of tiredness. I now appreciate how much effort it takes to change old habits to new ones. Being held accountable by Jason has helped a lot with keeping me focussed. I am now more interested in the link between food intake and its impact on health & performance. I can now use my knowledge for training and more importantly competitions to ensure I am competing at my optimum capacity. I now want to make sure that I continue my three goals that were set by Jason, so that the habits are definitely set into my lifestyle. With the efforts I have made the last 3 months, I will make sure I do not go back to old habits. Im scoring the project an 8.5/10. Sometimes it was challenging but overall it has been a very valuable and engaging experience. Thank you so much Jason for this experience.''

Hurdles Sprinter 

''I would say I’m more energised physically and mentally due to the healthier eating. Especially with the higher intake of water, I have felt more awake and refreshed for training or competing. I’ve also found myself getting stronger due to a higher fruit and veg intake and better post workout snacks. I’ve been working with the targets Jason set for a while now and it is quickly becoming part of my everyday life and is a routine to me, so it definitely won’t be difficult carrying it on as I now know the benefits it brings.

 

Having Jason encourage me and check in on me helped a lot as I saw it as more focused goal. I’m definitely more interested in nutrition now because I hadn’t realised before how much of an impact it can have on how I feel and how it impacted my performance. Now I know what impact it can have I find myself wanting to look more into it and how I can fully improve my lifestyle and performance just by eating healthier.

 

I have really liked the protein yoghurts Jason recommended as my post workout snack. They’re actually very filling - I’m not low in energy or extremely hungry if I am between sessions, so these are a great option. I also love yoghurt, so I’ll definitely be continuing this - thanks Jason! I am scoring the project a 9.5/10. I have found it extremely beneficial and informative. 

Thank you again for all your help and support the last 3 months Jason!''

300m Hurdles Runner 

''Taking part in the project has helped me to reduce snacking on less nutritious foods and instead eat something more nutritious, for example fruit or vegetables. I also am more hydrated as I am drinking more water, which is helping me to feel healthier in general. I had my mum helping and encouraging me to complete the targets that Jason set me. I also sent photo evidence to Jason every Sunday to show him what I was doing throughout the week to improve my dietary intake. This helped hold me to account with my targets. I am now more interested in eating food that will promote my athletic performance and will help me train to the best of my ability. I have particularly liked eating more vegetables as it mentally and physically made me feel healthier and it was also nice to try a variety of different vegetables. I am scoring the project an 8/10 - thank you very much Jason for the help you have given me over the last couple of months!!''

200 Round Norfolk Epic

On June 13th 2021 I had the pleasure of supporting 3 AMAZING ladies with their performance nutrition, as they embarked on completing their first 200mile ride as part of the 200 mile Round Norfolk Epic event. 

Caroline, Lisa and Sharon had an incredible journey leading up to this event, spending their winter and spring months training hard to ensure they were in the best condition possible to complete this event, and complete it well!

This amazing achievement was a multidisciplinary team effort, receiving cycle coaching from James Walsgrove, Founder and CEO of RideHarder; Personal Training and Massage therapy from personal trainer 'Tall Paul' and Performance Nutrition from myself, Jason.

I am immensely proud of these three ladies and what they have achieved! Congratulations!!
(P.S. same again next year ladies!? ;-))

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Here's what the ladies had to say:

Caroline - ''Having Jason on board for our big event was beyond my wildest dreams – surely this was something that only the pros would do!  It was a perfect solution and definitely the springboard to our success. Having Jason positioned with our individual feed packs at pre-agreed meeting points, enabled us to focus on the job in hand and enabled him to monitor our well-being throughout. He provided invaluable advice on mid-ride feed adjustments where the hot weather and unforeseen issues affected performance, as well as reassurance and encouragement when the challenge became real. The pre-event coaching and support was second to none and I would do it again in a heartbeat.''

Lisa - ''Riding 200 miles is no small undertaking for your averagely fit, middle-aged, weekend warrior. Success is not just the 200 miles you ride on the day; it is also the 3000 miles you rode in training and the all the things you learnt from the people you pulled in around you to support you.  In over 18 months: Jason, James & Paul transformed my riding skills from managing a weekly 12-mile ride to the garden centre coffee shop to a solid endurance athlete training 6 days per week; supporting me with my strength and conditioning, correcting my posture, improving my flexibility and building up my hip and lower back strength. 

Jason’s coaching has helped me think differently about food.  Instead of rewarding my activity with mid-ride coffee and cake at café stops, he has encouraged me to fuel my performance by “fuelling for the work required”. Now I take a food-first approach and fuel like a professional athlete.  Jason’s weekly nutrition notes on the build to the 200 Epic kept me on track, so I’m properly fuelled for my long rides on a Sunday and recovered enough to go again on Monday. I have made some long-term changes in my diet and as bonus found my weight has stabilized after many years of yo-yo dieting.

Jason’s event day support was critical to our success. On event day Jason delivered incredible professional Soigneur services (physical, psychological, emotional support for us cyclists). He provided us with six dedicated pop-up rest stations, handed out endless ready mixed and chilled carbohydrate drinks, jelly babies and rice cakes.  He kept us focused on the job-at-hand, helped us dig deep when the going got tough and kept us on our tight schedule. Importantly he reminded me to eat when I could no longer think for myself.  Many an endurance athlete has failed because they forgot to eat! Without Jason’s support no doubt the Epic would have mentally worn me down and I would have crawled across the finish line close or worse failed to make the event time cut-off. Instead, we finished strongly as a team in 13 ½ hours at an average of 15.2 mph.  We celebrated with the team – Jason, Paul, James; and our families were all there to greet us.  Jason made sure we recovered our effort with chocolate milk, his homemade pizza, and his chocolate brownies.  We have to keep focused on our nutrition and training because the Lap of Anglia 4 x 100 event is only a few weeks away!
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