May 21, 2013 on 2:14 pm | In Uncategorized | No Comments
This is a post by coach Scott Beesley, USAT, RYT that is brought to you by our friends at CoachFitter.com
Let’s be honest – there exists more training and recovery modalities and philosophies than there is time to try them all. One that is tried and true with my athletes is yoga. One triathlete credits yoga with her ability to stay in aero for hours on end while a 60-something marathoner I coach has gone so for as to call yoga his “personal fountain of youth.” There are many reasons to add yoga to your triathlon training plan. Here are seven:
- Pelvic and Shoulder Stability - Yoga builds strength throughout each practice, without the need to dedicate specific time to abdominals, low back and shoulders. Continued practice brings a greater bodily awareness that helps keep the body in check during other disciplines.
- Bike Fit – As a yoga instructor, my biggest referral sources are professional bike fitters who cannot properly fit an athlete because of tight hips and low back.
- Aerodynamics – Forget the $2,000 wheel set and fancy bike helmet. A year of yoga and you’ll add centimeters of drop, reducing drag and making life in the saddle more comfortable.
- Run Stride – The faster you get, the important it is to have open hips to allow for a steeper forward lean and longer stride length.
- Recovery - Muscles are laid down in our body like row after row of perfectly aligned railroad tracks at a microscopic level. That soreness you feel the day after a hard workout is tiny tears in the muscle. We get “knots” in the muscles when they grow back in random order. By taking a Yin/Restorative, Gentle or Slow Flow class after your hard workout days your muscles stand a better chance to grow back in those nice perfect rows (although perhaps not as effective as that massage you’ve been putting off).
- Recovery, Part II - By moving through a gentle yoga progression the evening of or the morning after a hard work out you can help prevent blood from pooling in over-worked muscles.
- Dang, it feels good. Period.
Scott Beesley is a triathlon coach and yoga instructor. In 2012 his clients landed 18 podium spots and 4 USAT National Championship qualifying spots. He holds certifications/registrations from USA Triathlon, The Yoga Alliance, and Slowtwitch’s F.I.S.T bike fit school. More free advice at www.solesinspired.com, www.facebook.com/solesinspired, www.youtube.com/solesinspired, and www.coachfitter.com.
May 8, 2013 on 10:20 am | In Training, Training | No Comments
Today’s post is brought to you by TriSports Champ Greg Vanichkachorn, MD.
Triathletes are an assorted bunch. Our swim styles are as uniform as the weather at St. George. Our choice in bikes is as predictable as the Kona lottery. We do, however, share one common trait: we love to punish our bodies. Back aches, ITB pain, and anything-tendonitis: these are common maladies for the masochistic multi-sporter. The constant barrage on our bodies can take its toll, and it’s easy to reach for a pill when the pains persist.
As a physician, I have seen the unfortunate ramifications of equating “over the counter” with a notion of “not a real medicine.” Over the counter drugs, with their dangers hidden beneath familiarity, are most certainly real medications that can have significant side effects, even when used properly. Here are a few tips that can keep meds from being a prescription for disaster.
Nothing new on race day
One of the wisest adages of triathlon is that nothing new should be tried on race day. No matter how enticing those new wheels are at the expo, you don’t change your bike setup the day before an Ironman. The same philosophy should go for medications.
I know the feeling. That moment when you’re standing in Target, buying that travel toothbrush with that cap as a handle before leaving for Ironman, when you see it – the brand-spanking-new, clinically proven pill that cures aches, prevents sunburns, raises your power output, and unites North and South Korea. The shiny and new can be difficult to resist, but you must persevere.
Race day is not the time to realize that new med also causes explosive diarrhea. If you have medication requirements on race day, stick to what you know works for your body. Also, make sure you get your medications filled in a timely manner. You don’t want to show up on race morning without your blood pressure medicine. All the training won’t matter if you suffer a stroke.
NSAIDS, Exercise, and Gastritis Oh My!
Some of the most common medications used by athletes are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil and Aleve. While they are effective pain relievers, they can have several significant side effects, one of the most serious being irritation of the GI tract. This irritation can be so severe that it may result in bleeding or even perforation. The risk is even greater with the extra sensitivity of the GI tract during strenuous exercise. Gastritis is not a fun way to recovery post race!
You can help avoid the bathroom podium finish first by practicing moderation: only use NSAIDS, especially before a really tough workout, if you really need it. If you do have to pop a few tablets, stick to the instructions on the bottle or your doctor’s orders. Unlike bicycles in the garage, more pills are not necessarily better! Also, take the medicine with food and allow plenty of time for it to settle in, say an hour, before pounding the pavement. If you do have post-workout GI issues from taking NSAIDS, speak with your medical provider to make sure nothing more serious is amiss.
Allergic to Being Awake
While we cherish the spring blooming of flowers (or the July thawing of lakes here in Montana), all of that glorious pollen blowing in our faces at 20 mph can have less than ideal results. The sore throat, itchy eyes, and runny nose of seasonal allergies can turn the most perfect of days into mucous mayhem.
“I love spring rides”
Fortunately, there are plenty of medications available to help prevent you from turning into a snot rocket. However, while some of the newer medications, such as Loratadine, are relatively safe, there are a couple out there that you should be wary of.
Benadryl, or diphenhydramine HCL, can definitely stop allergy symptoms in their tracks. The only problem is that Benadryl can also stop a horse in its tracks due to its sedative side effects. The drowsiness potential should not be underestimated; sometimes Benadryl is prescribed purely to help with sleep and anxiety. It is also one of the most commonly abused and impairing medications used in the work place. If Benadryl can make photocopying in the office dangerous, it’s the last thing you want in your system while descending at Coeur d’Alene or using a porta-potty.
Another allergy medicine that deserves special caution is good old Sudafed, or pseudoephedrine. Sudafed is a powerful nasal decongestant, and it works by constricting blood vessels in the nasal passages. The problem is that the medicine works like the TriSports Team; it gets the job done everywhere. The widespread vasoconstriction through out the body can lead to increased blood pressure, dry mouth, reduced sweat ability, and troubles urinating. These are the exact things you would like to avoid on the way to the Energy Lab in Kona.
In a time when there is a pill or supplement for everything, it is tempting to take a visit to the local drugstore for the next great cure when aches and pains arise. The indiscriminate use of meds, however, may do more harm for your triathlon career than a bottle of EPO in your fridge. Careful consideration and planning well ahead of race day will keep your medications a prescription for safety and success.
May 1, 2013 on 9:31 am | In Training, Training | No Comments
This post is brought to you by professional triathlete and Team TriSports member Thomas Gerlach.
One of the reasons that I choose to partner with TriSports is their unique desire for sustainability. In case you haven’t visited the TriSports retail store/distribution warehouse in Tucson, they have a number of sustainability initiatives including, but not limited to: water harvesting, solar harvesting, and a first-rate bike commuter program for their employees. Just the bike commuter program alone has me in awe and is something I wish all companies took seriously. Imagine a world where everyone biked to work. That is my dream, but this post is about commuting your way to a faster Ironman, so I’ll save my dreams for another day.
As a professional triathlete, I have learned to get the majority of my easy, base miles (ie. building endurance) through simple commuting by bike. At different times of the year the percentage will fluctuate from anywhere from 35% of miles to 100% of my total bike miles, and the activities for me can be endless. Although I work out of my home, I do my grocery shopping by bike; bike to and from the pool, gym, and track practice; and even show up for my weekly massage/scrape session by bike. Although the miles and sessions may seem small compared to that cruel 8-hour ride that your coach put on your schedule, just like pennies in a penny jar, the miles really add up commuting.
Now, I am not suggesting you shouldn’t go out for the long rides that your coach has planned for you. It is important to go out and sit in the saddle and be prepared for just how long 112 miles is. However, I am suggesting that you talk with your coach about working in some commuting miles if you can. Over the course of an Ironman build, maybe you can replace one or two really long rides with commuting miles.
Truth be told, training for an Ironman is incredibly time consuming and can leave people exhausted and socially removed. Between all the work, family, and friend commitments, sometimes training is just getting in the way. Wouldn’t it be nice if biking to and from work was your only activity for the day? Think about how long it really takes you to drive to work or do that regular errand? What is preventing you from accomplishing it via bike? For me I can drive to my weekly scrapping/massage session at Proactive Therapy in Tucson and it takes me 40 minutes (14 miles). I can bike there in 45 minutes, and that is with 45lb commuter bike with 42mm tires and baskets hanging off the side.
Commuting by bike has been part of my DNA since I was a kid. However, it wasn’t until 3 years ago that I started to get serious about it again when I lived in Chicago. For the record, this will be my 7th season in triathlon. Looking at my training log from last week I can see that I sat in the saddle for a total of 9 hours and 17 minutes. However, only 50 minutes of that time was spent doing “real” work on my TT bike. Yet, all around me I am bombarded with social media updates about the latest pro triathlete’s “epic” training day of 8 hours and 140 miles. Truthfully, there is nothing sexy about all my dinky rides of 10 miles here and 20 miles there. However, I have confidence in my methods and a 4:15:57 Ironman bike split (3rd fastest split by any athlete in 2012) to back it up. Needless to say, I won’t be changing my DNA anytime soon.
Even if you don’t want to commute by bike, humor me, and next time you set out for a day of errands, just reset the trip odometer. Look at the odometer at the end of the day. I think you will be surprised by the number of miles you cover in your car when you likely could have used your bike and got in some significant base mileage. One of these days you might even been able to skip that early Saturday morning ride and sleep in for a change.
Thomas Gerlach is a 3rd year triathlete on Team TriSports. He is in his second full year as a professional triathlete and recently took 7th at the inaugural Ironman Los Cabos along with numerous podium spots in 2012 including 3rd at Ironman Louisville, Leadman Las Vegas, and Leadman Bend. He writes a weekly training update every week at www.thomasgerlach.com where he publishes his weekly training numbers. Follow him at www.facebook.com/thomasgerlach and https://twitter.com/thomasgerlach.
April 18, 2013 on 10:54 am | In Races, Sponsorship | No Comments
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend USAT Collegiate Nationals in Tempe, AZ. I haven’t been to a college national championship in over a decade – back when it was held in conjunction with Wildflower. Back in the day, the college kids would just be lumped in with the rest of the Wildflower Olympic race. The race and venue were great, heck, we didn’t know the difference. Actually, the naked run we would do was a bigger highlight than the race itself.
Fast forward to now: USAT has full control of the race – a move by our national governing body that has many race directors up in arms (they don’t feel USAT should be producing races). I am here to tell you that USAT has made the right move by taking over the race; they are providing an experience for collegiate triathletes that no one else can consistently deliver. What an incredible experience for all of the college athletes that make the annual pilgrimage to this great event (the race site moves around the country every two years). This year they had a total of three races over two days: on Friday there was the first ever ITU Draft Legal Collegiate race, on Saturday morning was the Olympic non-drafting race and on Saturday afternoon was the Super Sprint Relay.
If you have never seen an ITU Draft Legal race, I can tell you as a veteran of 25+ years in the sport that they are really exciting to watch – especially when it comes to college racing. It’s like March Madness all rolled into a one hour race in April, with kids who aren’t getting huge scholarships to compete. As cool as the ITU race was, the Super Sprint Relay was incredibly fun to watch. The relay teams are comprised of two women and two men; each athlete does a very short triathlon of 250m swim, 5km bike and 1.2km run – about 15 min of anaerobic amusement.
I haven’t seen this much pure fun in the sport for many years; it was the most enjoyable time I have had watching the sport I have grown up with. Of course, it’s even better when you sponsor the team (my alma mater) with the men’s winner of the ITU and Olympic race (University of Arizona TriCat – Ben Kanute) as well as sponsor the women’s Olympic winner (Colorado – Michelle Mehnert) .
April 1, 2013 on 1:24 pm | In Training | No Comments
It’s that time of year when there’s something in the air, and it’s not exactly spring. There’s a bug that’s been going around. How do you know when you should push through it and when should you stay home?
Today I have had the rare opportunity of staying home and working on my computer. It’s been a day of doing things I’ve been trying to get to but haven’t had the time. Really, I was forced to stay home because I’m sick. Yesterday I felt great and had a fabulous high intensity interval workout in the morning. After that I swam, trained clients and then ran errands. It was just another typical day for me. I am proud to say that I am strict with my clients about taking care of themselves – staying hydrated, fueling properly and taking time for recovery. I do my best to practice what I preach. No one wants to feel run down and if we don’t look out for number one, we won’t be at our best. We also won’t be able to get the most out of our training or perform at our optimum level.
One of the many great things about exercise is that it boosts immunity. As a coach, I have noticed that my athletes are rarely sick compared to my friends who are not as athletic. Exercising while you have the sniffles can speed up recovery. However, it’s not always the best thing to do if you’ve got something more than the common cold. Exercising with a viral infection can increase your likelihood of suffering from dehydration and heat stroke. There’s also a chance that even worse could happen. As you exercise, your blood is continuously being pumped through your heart. According to experts, if you have a virus, it might concentrate in your heart muscle, leading to a condition called myocarditis.
I’ll admit, I usually try to be ‘tough’ and push through it when I have a cold or I’m not feeling quite right. However, feeling like this, there’s no way I could go for a run today; I have a fever, a red face, and my head is pounding. There are times when we really need to just stay home, rest and eat chicken soup…and drink a Fluid Recovery Drink. As we all know, this works great for post workout recovery as well as recovering when you’re sick. For my party-going friends, Fluid has also been known to be a great cure for occasional hang-over.
Here is a simple rule that I like to follow: Don’t shy away from your regular training if you have the sniffles, feel a little tired, or even have a touch of a scratchy throat. Do stay home and rest when you feel the following symptoms:
So, if you have a little cold, I would suggest taking it easier on the workout, but there is no need to skip training altogether. If you have something more serious and you do have to skip training, you should get back up to speed gradually. Listen to your body and pay extra attention to your nutrition. After a week of being symptom free you should be back to giving your training the 100% that it deserves.
Dani Bahnsen – Natural Running Coach and Personal Trainer
February 21, 2013 on 9:53 am | In Athlete Profile | No Comments
Here’s a blog entry from Steve Elliott, a member of the 2013 TriSports.com Champions Team.
I ran 11 minutes on a treadmill last week.
Before you snicker, the treadmill was inside the Adult Congenital Cardiology Clinic at Stanford Hospital and it’s designed to be a 10-minute maximal test. After I did this test two years ago, they cut me open and stitched various breakfast meats into my heart.
That, actually, is what got me started in triathlon.
Quick back story: I was born with four strange heart defects including a mostly-blocked pulmonary artery and a hole between the ventricles that allowed unoxygenated blood coming back from my body to go right back out again without ever visiting my lungs. I gasped for breath a lot, turned blue even more, and couldn’t walk across a room without having to stop, rest and catch my breath. A little before my fifth birthday, in 1970, they opened me up and fixed my heart with a nice Dacron patch.
Turns out, you get about 40 years out of that repair and a couple of summers ago, after the treadmill test and a cardiac MRI, they told me I needed my pulmonary valve replaced with a pig valve. While he was at it, the surgeon also used some tissue from a cow heart to repair the original patch, giving me a three-species (plus synthetic) heart. I’d been home from the hospital about five days, still sleeping in a chair because of the pain (rib-splitting hurts!) when I saw a broadcast of Leon’s Triathlon from Indiana and everything changed.
I knew this was a sport my wife and I could do together. I knew it was a sport I’d enjoy. And the timing was perfect – from that moment, I was no longer recovering from open-heart surgery…I was training.
I got online and started learning. I ordered books, read TriSports U articles and started looking for an appropriate first race. Even though I’d be on activity restrictions for another seven weeks, I walked and did what I could do to get some fitness back and I competed in a super-sprint just three months after my surgery, then a late-season traditional sprint a month after that. I wasn’t fast in either race, but my goals were just to compete and finish.
After a full season last year, my goals are higher for 2013. I have swim times I want to hit and a running pace I’m building toward. I want to improve in my home events and hit the podium a few times. I don’t know if it will happen this year, but I want to qualify for the Xterra National Championships and test myself in that race. I look forward to scanning race results, hoping my name is listed toward the top of the page.
That’s why the treadmill test was such a good reminder. Without the surgery, my name could just as easily show up on a heart transplant waiting list or in a coroner’s report. So no matter how my races go this year, I’ve already won.
You have, too. If you do this sport, if you have races on the calendar and a training plan on your desk, you are fitter, faster, healthier, and, I suspect, happier than most people out there. So good luck with your 2013 season and your goals, but my friends, we’ve already won.
Steve Elliott is a member of the 2013 TriSports.com Champions Team. If you like his approach and want to support him – and get 15% off gear for yourself at TriSports.com – enter discount code SELLIOTT during checkout.
January 23, 2013 on 8:50 am | In Nutrition Tips, Races | No Comments
What easy triathlon tips can you use to become a faster triathlete? What unusual triathlon tips do pro triathletes give to beginners? There are lots of lists of triathlon tips out there (eat your Wheaties, be sure to stay hydrated, take your bike helmet off for the run – don’t laugh, I’ve seen people forget that one), but most of those triathlon tips you can think of yourself, or are pretty obvious.
This is a list of triathlon tips I have assembled, focusing on actually useful tips to being a faster triathlete, but ones that I am confident you have not heard before. On each one of the triathlon tips you can click the links for more detail.
Added Bonus- There are actually 13 triathlon tips for the price of 10!
1.Carb-load properly the day before the race:
- This is one of those things that everyone thinks they know how to do but very few people get right
- The day before the race focus on eating a LOT of easy to digest (and pass through) carbohydrates!
- Eat them early in the day (pancakes and syrup?)
- Your target is 15 grams of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight- this is a LOT. Think ~2 lb of pasta.
- Eliminate non-carb foods the day before the race so you are not overwhelmed by calories
- You can read more details on how to carb load properly for a triathlon.
Swimming: Triathlon Tips for a Faster Swim
2. Learn how to draft on the swim!
- It’s not that hard to do, its 100% legal, and it saves a ton of energy.
- One great spot to draft while swimming is right behind someone- everyone knows this one.
- The secret great spot for drafting is next to the lead swimmer, but half a body length back.
- You can see a lot more detail on this triathlon tip here: draft while swimming in a triathlon.
Biking: Triathlon Tips for a Faster Bike
3. Ride faster in a triathlon by riding on the white line when you are riding alone.
- On bad pavement it will surprise you how much faster you can bike!
4. Ride on the fast pavement whenever you can!
- Sometimes just six inches to the left or right can be worth 1mph
- You can see details on this triathlon tip in this article: how to ride faster in a triathlon on the faster pavement without causing a crash.
5. Evaluate your triathlon bike fit
- If you can’t ride for the whole bike leg (however long it takes you to ride whatever distance you are training for) in your aero-bars, you need a better triathlon bike fit.
- It’s far more important to ride in your aero position for the entire bike leg than it is to buy an aero helmet or even to pedal really hard.
- You can do an online triathlon bike fit, or go to a good local tri shop,
- You can even do a DIY triathlon bike fit yourself with a video camera
6. Learn how to pass other triathletes on the bike efficiently via slingshot passing
- You will pass a ton of people out there- if you can save 1 second per pass by doing it smartly, it’s worth doing!
- Ride right up behind the athlete you are passing, then swing around at the last minute, having gotten a good rest while catching up behind the lead rider
- You have 15 seconds to go from 3 bike lengths behind to “your wheel passing the front wheel of the other athlete” -there is no reason not to use at least 10 of those 15 seconds!
7. Conversely, you should also learn how to be passed efficiently
- This is just a reverse slingshot pass
- Remember you have to drop out of the 3 bike length draft zone in 15 seconds
- But you might as well do it while directly behind the faster rider so you can rest while dropping back
8. Use the correct triathlon race tires to have a faster bike split with no added effort.
- While all tires may look the same (round? Check. Black? Check) there are huge differences.
- Some are crazy fast. Some are slow as riding in mud.
- A lot of research has been done on tires, and the result is a complete file of rolling resistance data (get it from the link below).
- There is a bit of a tradeoff with puncture resistance and tire speed, so read this article on how to choose the right triathlon tire for the specific race you are training for.
9. Use the correct tire sealant in your race tires so you can run fast (and slightly puncture prone) race tires without getting flats.
- There are a lot of good choices for tire sealants. My personal preference is “flat attack.”
- You can read an insane amount of detail about your tri tire sealant choices.
Running: Triathlon Tips for a Faster Run
10. Do most of your training runs SLOWER
- Most people do almost all of their runs “at the edge of discomfort.”
- This is too fast for your day-to-day run training.
- The much better method is to do almost all of your runs at a very easy, comfortable speed, and finish feeling like you could do a lot more.
- Then once a week, do a really hard speed workout.
- This will actually make you a lot faster for races, and GREATLY reduce your recovery time and risk of injury.
11. Aid station water is NOT for DRINKING
- Gatorade (or whatever with carbs and salt that they are handing out) is for drinking
- Water is for pouring on your head and keeping your hat, hair and clothes wet
- Water is not for drinking and is not for getting into your shoes (harder)
- Ice makes a huge difference, but its hard to figure out where to put it when running
- Wear one surgical/latex glove (yes you look kind of silly) and fill it with ice at the aid stations
13. Develop an efficient aid station routine
- There are 12 running aid stations in a half ironman.
- Save a few seconds at each one and it’s 4 minutes off your race time!
- Keep moving! If you stop moving you lose time and your legs get cramps. At least walk, or jog through it
- Develop a routine and stick to it- this way as you get dumb towards the end you don’t forget something
- The key thing to keep in mind is to do as little as possible in the aid station itself and to move on and do as much as you can while running.
- Here are suggestions on a routine that works,
About the author: Coach Noah is the head coach at T1 Triathlon LLC, a coaching company dedicated to meeting the needs of all triathletes, specifically including beginner triathletes, and often working with athletes training for their first Ironman. We had 3 first-time Ironman athletes this year, and one athlete race at Kona 18 months after starting triathlon. You can read about our success stories, and the services we offer.
- If you want to ask the coach a question, send him an email!
- This “Top 10 Tips” list was developed from our popular “Triathlon Tips of The Day” service
- You should also like us on facebook!
This blog entry was brought to you by coachfitter.com, a great service that helps athletes connect with the coaches they fit with in many different sports.
December 18, 2012 on 4:32 pm | In Nutrition Tips, Training, Uncategorized | No Comments
By: (guest blogger) Joanna Chodorowska via our friends at CoachFitter.com
No extra pounds around my middle, hips and thighs, or guilt from stuffing myself more than the turkey! Here are some tips on how to get your holiday treats while keeping it all in perspective And keeping you closer to race weight:
Eat your greens and vegetables. The phyto-nutrients in green veggies combat stress and free radicals caused by stress. The antioxidants in vegetables and fruits help counteract those free radicals. Dark green vegetables help with stress relief naturally because of the high calcium and magnesium content. Calcium and magnesium help muscles relax, so get your greens every day! They will also help keep the calories down.
Get your sleep during the holiday season. Every additional hour of sleep you lose each night will make you crave more sweets, treats and simple carbohydrates during the course of the following day. The blood sugar spikes cause more stress! Studies show you gain 4% more weight just with 1 less hour of sleep per night, so get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. You’ll feel lighter and less bloated and you won’t feel like those bike shorts or Speedo shrunk.
Make time for exercise! You may not be able to get your 3 hour ride in, or a 2 hour swim or run, but getting 30-60 minutes of high intensity interval training will help keep your stress levels down and your fitness intact. It will also help burn some of those calories you did or will consume. You can also consider hiring a coach who can help you manage fitting a training routine into your busy schedule. For more information on the right coach for you, check out CoachFitter.com.
Double-fist it for the holidays!! Drink one alcoholic beverage, then one glass of water (mineral or seltzer with lime works great!). You will keep yourself hydrated and you can wake up refreshed rather than tired, nauseous and irritable from that hangover. Have several parties? Choose to drink at only one of them. Training sucks when you are hung-over!
Do not skip meals to save up for the big feast! Skipping meals will just make you overeat at that next meal. Eat smaller and lighter meals throughout the day by limiting the starches and increase the vegetables. Don’t forget to save room for dessert! Do you try them all? Um, yes! Take only a bite size portion of each dessert onto your plate so you can try each one. Don’t worry, they won’t all go to your waist and hang over the bike shorts – promise!
You can’t avoid the Holidays, but you can learn to keep the weight gain to a minimum while still enjoying your family, treats and parties. For this and more sports nutrition tips you can live with, go to www.n-im.net or everydaynutritioninmotion.wordpress.com as well as CoachFitter.com
About the author: Joanna Chodorowska, Nutrition in Motion, LLC is triathlete and sports nutrition coach working with elite and endurance athletes improving their performance using real food principles and meal plans you can live with and do everyday.
You can also find Joanna Chodorowska listed in CoachFitter.com
December 7, 2012 on 2:01 pm | In Nutrition Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments
It’s time to start thinking about resolutions for next year. If yours have anything to do with nutrition or losing weight, you’ll appreciate this blog from Rick Cohen, M.D. of Core 4 Nutrition. Our friends at Coachfitter sent it our way. If your resolutions include finding a coach and improving your performance, you should definitely check them out!
One of the most powerful things you can do to maximize your long-term health and athletic performance gains is to become a metabolic fat burner.
When fat-adapted, your body’s metabolic engine begins to work more like a fire burning logs instead of twigs or paper. Fueled by fat, your energy system will run longer, stronger and cleaner; every system in your body will benefit from having a more consistent, reliable source of energy that is generated with a minimal amount of metabolic waste (similar to the ash created by burning paper). Less metabolic waste means lower levels of internal inflammation (the underlying cause of almost every modern, chronic disease), less recovery time, and an improved capacity for both physical and mental fitness.
How you can you tell if you’re a fat-burner?
Based on the metabolic analysis of hundreds of competitive athletes—the majority of whom were physically but not necessarily physiologically fit—we have created a brief questionnaire that should provide some insight into your body’s ability to burn fat for fuel.
1. Can I go four to five hours without eating, or does skipping a meal cause me to suffer from ravenous hunger, anxiety, headaches, brain fog or other common symptoms of low blood sugar?
2. Do I enjoy steady, even energy throughout the day, or do I experience peaks and valleys that leave me longing for a nap?
3. Can I exercise in a fasted state (in the morning prior to eating), or exercise for an hour or more without relying on the use of carbohydrate-based foods or drinks?
4. Am I relatively unconcerned about my body fat content, or do I need to maintain high and constant levels of exercise in order to stay lean?
5. Are my blood sugar, blood pressure and/or cholesterol levels within an optimal range, without the use of any medication?
If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, congratulations, your body is being fueled by fat! If you answered “no” to most of them, don’t despair. Your inner engine can become optimally fuel efficient by implementing some simple, dietary changes and taking a more strategic approach to nutritional supplementation. Having a solid training program is also essential for optimal metabolic health, if you have thought about looking for a coach and don’t know where to begin, check out Coachfitter.com.
Want to dig deeper?
Consider doing an at-home, metabolic assessment profile that will allow you to quantify your body’s metabolic proficiency. It can be repeated at regular intervals to scientifically monitor how your dietary and supplemental routines are contributing to your metabolic efficiency. All that’s required is a painless finger stick and a few drops of blood. From this small, serum sample, the four physiological factors contributing most significantly to your fat burning status can be accurately evaluated. These four factors include:
This marker is typically used to evaluate your risk of heart disease. It compares the levels of HDL (a protective lipoprotein) to those of triglycerides (a transitional fat made from excess sugars ear-marked for long-term storage) found in your blood.
The goal is to establish and maintain an HDL level higher than that of your triglycerides. Most fat burners have at least a 1:1 ratio of HDL to Triclycerides. Some fat burners have achieved an impressive 2:1 ratio, while that of the typical American is an unhealthy 1:3.
Insulin is an important hormone that regulates how efficiently your cells utilize glucose (sugar) for energy. A fat burner with healthy cells rich in vitamin D3 and omega 3 fatty acids will be very sensitive to insulin and, therefore, require very little of it. Higher levels of insulin are, of course, toxic to the body. They also promote the production and storage of excess body fat.
As a fat burner, your insulin level marker should be no greater than 3.0. Those with excellent fat burning engines often measure in at less than 2.0. The typical American, on the other hand, is frequently more than 5.0.
This is a marker of your average blood sugar levels over the past three months. As a fat burner, your goal is to score no higher than 5.3. Those who are completely fat adapted will be under 5.0 while the typical American is often over 5.7. Those with an average glycohemoglobin level of 6.0 are considered diabetic.
This is a marker of inflammation that is high for those who eat a carbohydrate-based diet and are low in vitamin D3 and omega3 fatty acids. Most fat burners have a C-reactive protein level of no more than 1.0. Those who have become completely fat adapted will be under 0.5. The typical American, over 5.0.
What are YOUR numbers?
Get this metabolic profile and find out! Order before December 31st and you’ll receive a $25.00 holiday discount. Just enter FatBurner25 during checkout.
Use your results to establish a metabolic baseline, then make a game-changing plan. With some dietary guidance and targeted, nutritional support from Core 4 Nutrition, you can become a lean, mean, fat-burning machine! You’ll enjoy more consistent energy, fewer swings in both mood and motivation, and a heightened sense of overall health and well-being. In the long run, you’ll become leaner (without dieting or counting calories), stronger, and look years younger than your age!
Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com.
November 28, 2012 on 9:25 am | In Athlete Profile, Giving Back, Sponsorship | No Comments
We recently partnered with a new charity, Team Ariana, and I was curious about the amazing girl spearheading the foundation. I was able to send her some questions so we could get a better feel for the organization and the girl behind it. To learn more or to give to a great cause, visit the website or Facebook page.
How did you get started in triathlon?
When I was younger (Age 7 in Second Grade), I had tried sports like soccer, basketball and softball. I just could not find the right fit for me. Then, two of my friends’ (boys) dads told my dad about these kid triathlons they were participating in. My dad asked me if I wanted to give it a try. I did and the rest is history. I was hooked! My earlier years were spent learning about all three sports, nutrition, gear and competing in many local and national championship races. Two years ago, I decided that I wanted to start racing in adult triathlons, but only if my dad would do it with me. Now we do them all together! This year I competed in approximately 15 duathlons and triathlons, including two Olympic distance races.
What made you decide to start racing for charity?
As I progressed into the adult triathlons, a lot of attention was being placed on me. I was usually one of the only kids racing and I was beating most of the adults. I decided that I wanted to shift this attention away from me and onto a cause that was more worthwhile. I created Team Ariana last year and kicked it off at the beginning of the 2012 racing season. I united my sponsors and created a web site, a full Team Ariana race wear line with my awesome sponsor Champion System, and provided a way to raise more awareness and badly needed funds for the Vogel Alcove. The story on the Vogel Alcove also goes way back as my younger sister, Gabrielle, deserves all the credit for introducing it to our family. The Vogel Alcove is a special place which gives young homeless children and their parents a start at a second chance in life. They provide schooling and healthcare for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old and case management for the parents, which helps them prepare and find work, and ultimately a real place to call home. Twenty one different local homeless shelters, domestic violence facilities, etc. feed into the Vogel Alcove.
We started helping Vogel by donating all our birthday presents to them, creating donation drives and visiting the children to bake cookies, do art projects and play. But that just did not seem like enough. I wanted to do more. Once my sister and I realized that these sweet children don’t even have a bed to call their own, not even their own pillow, I knew I could make a difference. Team Ariana was the answer. When I am racing and pushing as hard as I can, I find a way to push harder knowing I am doing it for these children. I have so much and they have so little. I can endure a few hours of pain for them. This year alone, Team Ariana has raised over $37,000 and we are not slowing down one bit!
Do you participate in other sports outside of swim/bike/run?
Yes, I participate in volleyball at my school!
Have you inspired any friends or family to participate in triathlon?
Definitely! My dad was my number one equipment manager before I started doing adult triathlons. Now, he does all my races with me and even completed his first Ironman this summer! More importantly, I think I have opened up other kid’s eyes to the reality that they, too, can make a difference. I have heard and seen other kids finding a way to give back to their communities by finding something they believe in and going after it. Some do it through triathlons, and others through sports they love. The main thing I want to get across to other kids is that I am proof that one kid CAN make a difference.
What does a typical training week look like for you?
Well, I typically have 3-4 hours of homework every night so a typical training week during the school year is a little different than a training week during the summer. Also, my training changed when I began focusing in Olympic distance tris versus sprints. First off, my coach is awesome. Coach Steen Rose has always made sure that my training is balanced with my other obligations. More importantly, he makes sure I am always having fun. After all, I am still a kid! During the school year, each week I will typically balance 2 runs, 2 swims, 2 bikes, resistance training and yoga. My coach changes up my schedule, but the weekends usually involve longer bricks and more endurance work. We also use Training Peaks which really helps me in my weekly and monthly planning.
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? ,
Looking at your results, it’s easy to see that you’re a fierce competitor. Do you have any dreams of racing as a professional some day?
Absolutely! I would like to (1) complete my first Ironman before I finish high school and (2) become a professional triathlete sometime in my career.
Who is your favorite triathlete (both male and female)?
Hunter Kemper and Sarah Haskins. I got to race with them both in the Toyota US Open Championships!
What is the toughest subject in school?
What is your favorite subject?
English, Spanish, Math, and Science
How do you decide what your goal is for how much money you want to raise for Vogel Alcove, and does that goal change from year to year?
This is my first year of raising money for the Vogel Alcove. When I started earlier this year, my goal was $10,000. We hit that so quickly that I raised it to $20,000. Once we passed that I raised it to $50,000! It has been so great to see so many people and companies help support me, Team Ariana, and the Vogel Alcove. This really is an awesome sport with a phenomenal support group.
How do you spend your down time (what’s your favorite non-athletic thing to do)?
Playing with my friends (sleepovers, movies, fun sports) and doing fun activities with my family (traveling, cooking, etc.).
What’s the hardest part about triathlon training?
The hardest part about triathlon training is usually not the training itself, but finding a way to structure my schedule so I can fit it in. I have found that taking breaks from my homework to train really allows me to recharge and focus more on my studying.
Are your friends into triathlon as well, or do they think you’re crazy?
I met my best friend (who lives an hour away) through triathlon racing. She is my BFF and I wish I could see her more. My other friends don’t race, but are supportive. Some have come to see races, but many don’t like getting up that early and they generally think I am crazy!