How to build "stamina"

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Scone
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How to build "stamina"

Post by Scone » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:12 pm

I recently had the opportunity to play in MN state (congrats Wayzata A), which was a 12 team round robin with 6 games in the morning and 5 games in the afternoon. While that might not seem out of the ordinary, I'm used to only playing stretches of about 3-4 games and having a break afterward. So, I found the experience very exhausting, and I played awfully for many of my rounds. I simply didn't have the intellectual stamina to play that many rounds back-to-back.

I think that one possible contributor was my food consumption, more namely my lack of it. I forgot to bring any snacks, and at the end of the morning rounds I felt stomach pains - after pizza, though, I felt great.

To extend the question more generally, what are some tricks for maintaining focus for prolonged game time, and what can I do to prepare for similar events in the future?
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Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by connor.mayers » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:00 pm

Staying well-hydrated and well fed are the two most important things IMO. I always bring lots of water and snacks to munch on throughout the day to tournaments. Make sure not to over stuff yourself though, which can lead to fatigue.

A good night's sleep is always helpful, I try to always go to bed by at least 10 or 11 the night before a tournament and will sometimes nap on the way there as well to make sure I'm well rested.

Some quiz bowlers, myself included, have benefit from stimulants such as caffeine, but that certainly won't work for everyone.

At the end of the day, you are always going to be tired. Quiz bowl is hard and taxing work! But doing these things more and more often will help and get your body used to the rigor that a quiz bowl Saturday entails.
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Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by The Stately Rhododendron » Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:45 am

physical activity such as push-ups, core exercises, and runs during lunch break will do you just fine.
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Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by Jangar » Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:57 pm

On the note of lunch in terms of energy, the content of lunch can also be quite important. Many players (myself included) find that ingesting a lot of carbohydrates or sugars, or large quantities of food in general, can lead to sleepiness and fatigue in the afternoon. I know of some teams who will collectively pack lunches for tournaments in order to avoid having to eat at bread-heavy restaurants like Subway for lunch, and it seems to work quite well for them. It would appear that protein- and fiber-rich meals are most conducive to preventing the post-lunch slump, although there's only so much of a team's performance that can be attributed to their nutrition.

Also, as with most things, quizbowl stamina can usually be gained by practice. Although it's very rarely feasible to run a whole-day practice at which the experience of playing quizbowl for nine hours straight can be simulated, just going to more tournaments and trying your best to stay active and alert at each one will definitely help you down the road.
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Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by whatamidoinghere » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:48 pm

Going off of diet advice, I have seen that a breakfast with more fats and protein would last me longer in the morning than a sugary cereal breakfast. In addition, eat something like cheese or a snack with protein and fat in order to keep the energy much more long-lasting compared to carbs and sugars
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Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by Scone » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:11 pm

What would be a good thing to bring for lunch that's high in protein and fiber? I'm not that skilled in preparation nor nutrition.
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Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by Jangar » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:41 pm

Scone wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:11 pm
What would be a good thing to bring for lunch that's high in protein and fiber? I'm not that skilled in preparation nor nutrition.
This can be a little hard to work around for lunch since many meals rely on carbs as a base (such as sandwiches), but I've seen instances of players bringing thermoses of soup (such as chili, which has a lot of protein due to meat and beans), although this is probably a little bit cumbersome to bring around. For what it's worth, I've also seen somebody eat strips of steak straight out of a plastic bag. To each their own, I guess.

Snacks and breakfast are easier to work with. You can bring some vegetables in a bag to snack on, or one of those snack packets that has containers of cheese, meat, and nuts, all of which contain a solid amount of fats or protein. For breakfast, eggs are always a good option for a lot of protein.

Of course, all of this should be viewed through the lens of one's own personal dietary restrictions, and there are plenty of options that omit meat or animal-based foods.
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Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by Subotai the Valiant, Final Dog of War » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:02 pm

As usual, I have methods opposite to everyone else...but I might as well post about them.

I usually consume an insane amount of sugar through candy and sweet coffee drinks, and I rarely run out of gas unless I'm recovering from a concussion, don't get enough sleep to begin with, or am playing the final afternoon of NHBB nationals (which is especially exhausting for me since I play literally every history and geography event and make deep playoff runs in most of them and is not indicative of what 99% of people will deal with in 99% of tournaments). It's worked for a while.

I suppose you do crash from eating sugar, but not if you're eating more sugar during the crash.
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Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by Scone » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:49 am

As usual, I have methods opposite to everyone else...but I might as well post about them.

I usually consume an insane amount of sugar through candy and sweet coffee drinks, and I rarely run out of gas unless I'm recovering from a concussion, don't get enough sleep to begin with, or am playing the final afternoon of NHBB nationals (which is especially exhausting for me since I play literally every history and geography event and make deep playoff runs in most of them and is not indicative of what 99% of people will deal with in 99% of tournaments). It's worked for a while.

I suppose you do crash from eating sugar, but not if you're eating more sugar during the crash.
This makes me wonder how many other quizbowlers rely on sugar crunching in order to get them throughout tournaments, and how sustainable that is long-term.
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Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by iarehavethestupid » Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:53 pm

Scone wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:49 am
As usual, I have methods opposite to everyone else...but I might as well post about them.

I usually consume an insane amount of sugar through candy and sweet coffee drinks, and I rarely run out of gas unless I'm recovering from a concussion, don't get enough sleep to begin with, or am playing the final afternoon of NHBB nationals (which is especially exhausting for me since I play literally every history and geography event and make deep playoff runs in most of them and is not indicative of what 99% of people will deal with in 99% of tournaments). It's worked for a while.

I suppose you do crash from eating sugar, but not if you're eating more sugar during the crash.
This makes me wonder how many other quizbowlers rely on sugar crunching in order to get them throughout tournaments, and how sustainable that is long-term.
As someone who has drunken 5 cans of Coke at lunch during a tourney, it doesn't work.
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Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by Subotai the Valiant, Final Dog of War » Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:56 am

Well yeah...that means you probably had a huge crash a few rounds later. Eating small amounts of sugar over time works a lot better than eating a huge amount at once. And I don't go too crazy with it, which might be why it works for me better than other people have said.

Regarding whether it's sustainable health-wise, I only eat an actually problematic amount of sugar at nats, which don't happen often, and if anything, the stress of playing nats is significantly worse for my health than whatever results from the sugar.
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Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:07 am

I often take a power nap during lunch. A nap combined with a Dr Pepper and/or some Skittles works wonders. Players often think of the lunch break as a time to eat and chat, but if you think you'll be playing past, say, 6PM, you may be better off taking a nap and snacking at lunch.
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Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by meebles127 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:44 pm

One thing I've found particularly helpful is abstaining from caffeine until after lunch. Normally around round 6 or 7 I'll drink a caffeinated pop and it'll be enough to get me through the rest of the tournament.
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Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by jnelson » Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:36 pm

The best things you can do are eat a good breakfast and bring solid snacks (trail mix, granola, those cheese/nut/jerky packets someone mentioned earlier).

When it comes to lunch, just try to eat only til you're satisfied. A lot of teams make the mistake of not eating breakfast or snacking, so when lunch arrives, they're starving and they overload on carbs.

All in all, try a few different things and see what works for you.
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Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by Bloomington » Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:27 pm

At the Barrington invitational, my team brought some donuts on the ride there, and some light snacks, but we didn't eat much. After the first five rounds, we all ate some pizza, and we felt a lot better afterward. But we never really felt that hungry.
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