Friday, September 28, 2007

Trail Running

Trail running is to running like mountain biking is to road cycling. There is nothing like running somewhere different, where the cars can't go and where you can have a one-on-one with

Mother Nature.
Trail running improves balance, coordination, strength, and keeps you in the moment. You really need to focus on where you're going to put your foot on the next stride and how you're going to tackle the next hill. That’s what makes it so interesting. Your risk for overuse injuries are much lower than road running because the terrain is more forgiving on your muscles, tendons and joints.

When heading out to the trails, make sure to run with your buddies or dog, tell someone where you're going and which trail, and take a cell phone with you for safety. If possible, take a trail map with you and keep track of where you are along the trail.

While trail running, it helps to keep your arms (elbows) a little wider for balance. Your stride is a little different than road running because you will need to clear rocks and tree roots and lift your feet a little higher off the ground. You also may need to hop left or right to bypass things on the path like tree branches. Some trails are paved with limestone and are therefore more predictable, while other trails are single track trails with rolling hills, rocks and tree roots.

Eyes on the Trail
The key is to keep your eyes on the trail and focus on where you’re going to take your next step. It can be tempting to look at the nature around you. If you want to look around--walk or stop--but avoid looking up while running. Look ahead about three feet on the trail and then find a line or a spot where you're going to step for the next four to six strides. This keeps you focused and in the moment--I find this to be the gift of trail running. You will begin to instinctively know where that line is as you become more comfortable.

Slow Down and Smell the Roses
Don't expect to run the same pace as on the roads. The terrain alone will be more challenging, in addition to the rocks and other objects on the trail. Slow your pace and develop a tempo within the trail. Sometimes that may mean walking the hills and running the downhills and flats. Find a pace where you can enjoy the terrain.

Hill Techniques
Take short, quick steps or power walk when running up hills, if needed. It’s just like changing gears on your bike when you ride up hills. Use your gears, shorten your strides and soon you will find yourself on top of the hill. Conserve your energy on the uphill so you can take advantage of the downhill. On the down hills, lengthen your stride, keep your weight slightly forward and arms wide, find your line, and relax into it. Take quick steps, never landing fully on each foot.

Most importantly--have fun on the trails. It’s a serene place and a great way to mix up your regular running routine, get stronger and see new sites along the way.

Ten tips for running

1. Ring fence your exercise time. You won't get to the finish line without protecting your time to train. You've made a personal commitment to your health and well-being so it's important to you. Prioritize your time and stick to it.

2. Create incentives. Set goals and reward yourself when you reach them. These will provide you with drive and commitment towards the 5k and help you gauge how your fitness is progressing.

3. Plan your attack. Know what you are going to do in your week and when. Your plan should be progressive, structured and appropriate to your exercise history, level of fitness and 5k goals.

4. Variation is the spice of running life. Doing the same type of running can make your routine boring. Don't just do the same run every day. Mix it up and try different things like varying the pace, terrain and time you run for.

5. It shouldn't be all hard work. Avoid packing all your runs together. As a rule of thumb, for every day of 'hard' running, take two days rest or easy running.

6. Fuel yourself. Running is a great calorie burner but you still need to replace the energy you've used. Carbohydrate is the body's fuel for exercise so eat a healthy, balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids.

7. Get some support. Running with friends is social and builds togetherness. Getting a coach can help you get the right advice from an experienced specialist and keep you motivated.

8. Get the right kit. Specialist running shoes are a must for injury prevention. Choose running kit that is functional and comfortable.

9. Be patient. Don't expect immediate results. Successful running takes time, but you'll love the benefits of looking and feeling great when they arrive. The more you do the easier it gets.

10. Enjoy it and have fun! Running shouldn't be a chore. It's something you do to boost your health, wellness and vitality. Just being out there doing it is a brilliant achievement and you should remind yourself how well you've done.

Friday, September 21, 2007

How Nutrition and Diet affect bone health

Protecting our bones is obviously important, but figuring out exactly how to do that in terms of our diet can be confusing. With that in mind, I contacted a few bone experts to give us the highlights and answer some of the more frequently asked questions. This is the first of a two-part series about the impact of nutrition and diet on bone health. The first part deals with general bone health and the role played by calcium. The second part will focus on other foods and nutrients that help or hurt bone health.
What is osteoporosis, and what does it do to our bones?
According to Tejaswini Rao, Ph.D., R.D., a professor of nutrition at State University of New York at Buffalo, “Osteoporosis or porous bones is a disease characterized by low bone mass leading to fragile bones and resulting in an increased susceptibility to fractures of the hip, spine and wrist.”
At what age do our bones start to deteriorate?
Our bones reach their peak level of density (or mass) in the mid-20s (on average), says Dorothy Teegarden, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at Purdue University. “Roughly after age 35, both men and women start to lose bone at a slow rate of one to two percent per year. This bone loss is accelerated in women around and after menopause to about five percent per year for five to seven years, and then the bone loss in women returns to a baseline of one to two percent per year. Men don’t go through the accelerated menopausal bone loss but continue to lose bone at the rate of one to two percent per year,” says Primal Kaur, M.D., director of the Osteoporosis Clinic at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia.
Is osteoporosis mostly a female problem?
It’s true that osteoporosis is less common in men than women, because men start out with more bone density than women and do not go through menopause, which accelerates bone loss, says Rao. But after age 65, men and women lose bone at the same rate. By age 75, one-third of men have osteoporosis as do a third of women.
What is the bone-calcium connection?
“Calcium [which is, incidentally, the most abundant mineral in the body] is the material that gives bone strength, much as bricks do for a building, but the bones need an underlying structure of proteins that are special for bone to hold on to the calcium,” according to Ruth Freeman, M.D., professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine Montefiore Medical Center. “Basically, there are two types of cells active in bone--one, the osteoclast, makes pockets in the bone, chewing it up so that good bone can replace any damaged bone. The second type, the osteoblast, comes in and fills in the bone pockets that the osteoclast created. Over about 10 years’ time all bone is replaced to remove little damaged areas. But after age 40 the osteoblasts don't adequately refill the pockets created by the osteoclast, so there is a net loss of bone. Anything, therefore, that speeds up turnover of bone, like loss of estrogen, will increase the loss of bone in people who are over age 40.” What is the link between estrogen and bone health?
Estrogen is important in maintaining bone mass in adult women; in part it slows bone remodeling (replacing old bone with new bone). And while bone remodeling is normally a good thing, it takes place over weeks and months. Therefore, it leaves a woman more susceptible to bone fracture—estrogen helps to slow this process down. So basically, the estrogen maintains the proper balance between the activity of bone-forming cells (i.e., osteoblasts) and bone-resorbing cells (i.e., osteoclasts). Are low-fat dairy products much higher in calcium than whole-milk products? Not significantly so. There is slightly more calcium in skim milk because the fat has been removed, leaving more room for other components of the milk and, therefore, more calcium. How much calcium do I need? 1-3 years of age: 500 mg4-8 years: 800 mg9-18 years: 1,300 mgDuring pregnancy & lactation: 1,000–1,200 mgAdults: 1,000 mgPost-menopausal women on hormones: 1,200 mgPost-menopause without hormones: 1,500 mg
What are the main sources of calcium in our diet?
Certainly dairy, but make sure to go with low-fat or fat-free versions of yogurt, cheese and milk. Nondairy sources include soybeans and tofu, bok choy (Chinese cabbage), broccoli and green, leafy vegetables such as collards, kale, mustard greens and turnip greens. Salmon and sardines canned with their soft bones are good sources, as well as shellfish, almonds, Brazil nuts and dried beans. Milk, nonfat, 1 cup, 302 mg calcium Yogurt, plain, low-fat, 1 cup, 300 mg calcium
Baked beans, 1 cup, 142 mg calcium Cottage cheese, 1 percent milk fat, 1 cup, 138 mg calcium
Broccoli, raw, 1 cup, 90 mg calcium Tofu, (processed with a calcium salt solution), ½ cup, 138 mg calcium Check out this source, which provides a helpful calcium calculator:
Do spinach and peanut butter deplete calcium absorption?
They do not “deplete” calcium absorption; however, they contain oxalate or oxalic acid, both of which combine with calcium to form calcium oxalate and thus prevent its absorption, says Kaur. In fact, “Calcium in spinach is absorbed at a very low efficiency (about five percent) compared to 30-60 percent absorption of calcium from other sources,” adds Teegarden.
What about the link between soft drinks (diet and regular) and poor bone health?
One of the biggest problems is that soft drinks replace intake of milk, which is a good source of calcium. Additionally, carbonated drinks have a high phosphate content, “which binds calcium in the bowel and reduces the absorption,” says Freeman. Phosphate also forms acid in the bloodstream. “Calcium is then released from the bone to maintain the calcium-phosphate balance and to counteract the acid in the bloodstream," says Kaur.

By Charles Stuart Platkin For

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This is so cool!


I am contacting you today with an exciting opportunity! Each month throughout the season we are going to feature 1 male and 1 female athlete on our team website. We are selecting these “Featured Athletes” based on participation, quality of results, responsiveness to emails and other vital characteristics which make you stand out.

You are clearly a leader on our team when it comes to these areas and we have selected you as 1 of 2 “Featured Athletes” for the month of October. In order to get as much information as possible to put together in an interesting feature on the team website, I would appreciate you filling out our online questionnaire.


My two boys gosh are they getting so big!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Strengthen your core

Try something new this week!

For a waist worthy of a painted-on Versace sheath, work your core from every angle, hitting all abdominal muscles (including obliques) and primary back muscles (erector spinae)

Sun Salute with Cross

Stand with legs slightly more than shoulder-width apart, arms extended overhead with hands just touching. Bending forward at the waist, reach down and touch your right foot, keeping your torso straight and moving as one unit. Straighten back to start. Repeat on the opposite side to complete one rep.

Ankle Reach

Lie on your belly with legs straight and toes touching the floor. Bend your arms with palms on the floor in line with your ears. Reaching both arms back and up, bend your right leg, reaching your heel toward your butt as you touch your hands to your right ankle. Slowly lower your arms and leg to start. Repeat with your left leg to complete one rep.

Double-Side Jackknife

Lie on your left side, your legs stacked and straight. Wrap your left arm in front of your torso, placing it on your right hip, and put your right hand behind your head. Simultaneously raise your torso and legs, bringing your head toward your hips. Return to start in a controlled motion and repeat for all reps, then switch sides and repeat reps to complete one set. Too hard? Start by lifting just your legs.

Dynamic V-Crunch

Lie face up with your legs straight — in line with your hips and perpendicular to your torso. Extend your arms in front of you, keeping them in line with your shoulders. Contract your abs and lower your legs so they're at a 45-degree angle with your hips. Then reach toward your left leg, simultaneously raising it and bringing it in line with your hips. Lower your left leg. Repeat with the right leg to complete one rep.

Raised-Hips Crunch

Lie face up with knees bent and feet flat on floor, hands behind head, and fingers unclasped. Press your hips off the floor into a bridge position, keeping your hips level. Maintaining the bridge, contract your abs and then raise your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor as one unit. Pause, then lower, and repeat. For more of a challenge, lift one foot slightly while you perform half of your reps, then lift the other foot off the floor for the other half.

Side Double Crunch

Lie balanced on your right buttock, with legs straight but not locked, arms straight, palms up. Simultaneously crunch your legs and torso together, bending your knees toward your chest while still balancing on your right buttock. Return to start and repeat for all reps, then switch sides and repeat to complete one set.

Bosu Reverse Hyperextensions

Lie face down with your belly on a Bosu and legs fully extended, palms flat on the floor. Squeeze your lower back and glutes to raise your legs, holding the contraction for as long as you can at the top of the movement. Lower your legs until they lightly touch the floor. Repeat.

The Perfect Crunch--Circle Crunch

These crunches work your abs from every direction, and the continuous motion forces you to isometrically hold your core tight, adding extra burn. The best part: They're totally doable — and you get a complete abs workout with one move.Lie face up with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hands behind your head with light fingers. Lift your shoulders off the floor until you feel a tight contraction, and curl your torso around in a small, clockwise circular motion (starting from 6 to 9 to 12 to 3 and back down to 6). For the next rep, repeat in the opposite, counterclockwise direction. Make 'em Harder Raise your legs with knees bent at 90 degrees, calves parallel to floor, as you perform each set.

Have fun and work those abs!

Something to think about!

Q: I'm training for a marathon. How do I keep my muscle mass up without compromising my speed?

Strength training can increase your endurance and strengthen the muscles around your knee and ankle joints to protect you from injury. If you're serious about the race, you should be running four or five times a week, including one long run (up to 20 miles late in your training). Two to three days of easy lifting each week is plenty. Focus on larger muscle groups with lunges, squats, and pushups. And stretch every day to stay limber.

I just wanted to put this on my site!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Don't miss Ironman on TV

Seven Ironman events will appear on the Versus network this fall. Included in the fall series are six full distance Ironman events along with the St. Croix Ironman 70.3 race.The series begins this Sunday with the exciting coverage of Ford Ironman Arizona, a race that has provided a sneak preview of future Ironman champions in the past.
Check local listings for the exact times in your region:

2007 Versus schedule of Ironman events includes:

Ford Ironman Arizona
9/16 4PM
Repeat 9/19 4:30PM

Ford Ironman Coeur d’Alene
10/7 4:00 PM
Repeat 10/9 4:00 PM

Ford Ironman USA Lake Placid
10/28 4:00 PM
Repeat 10/31 4:00 PM

Ford Ironman Louisville Whooohooo I can't wait!
11/18 4:00 PM
Repeat 11/21 4:00 PM

Ford Ironman Wisconsin
12/2 5:00 PM
Repeat 12/5 3:00 PM

Ford Ironman Florida
12/16 4:00 PM
Repeat 12/29 3:00 PM

St. Croix Ironman 70.3
12/23 4:00 PM
Repeat 12/26 4:00 PM

I love this video!

Uncle Todd, Jenni and Michelle get ready, this is what it's all about! You will finish I know it!

Jenni is signing up for Ironman WI

Jenni is in she is going to do her first Ironman 2008 we are going to train together and finish together... This is going to be a fun year from the La Crosse area there is 25 or more people signed up... another athlete to watch will be my Uncle Todd he had signed up for 2006 however he couldn't do it because of his neck he is doing so much better and he has also signed up I can't wait!

Here is some photo's of us waiting in line we were there at 5:15 am to wait for the doors to open at 9:00 but they did open up at 8:30 because there were over 300 people in line to sign up gosh there was more then that I bet Ironman closed in 23 min.

Volunteering at Ironman WI 2007

This was so fun if you ever have the chance to volunteer at an Ironman you have to. It was great to be on the other side and see how things are run..

Photo's of the swim:

photo of the Swim to bike:

Photo of the bike to the run and the start of the run

Jenni and I waisting time while we wait for our time to Volunteer...

Jenni and I were at the finish line all night long we started at 7:45 and we put metals on until 12:00 am. It was great to put them on Ironman athletes we seen happy, crying and deer in head light faces! Ron, Tracie and Dan were catchers they did a great job they also seen athletes that were sweating, cold, read to puke, and ready to pass out they help them get to their family's or to the medic tent.. Great job guys!
The best part was putting metals around people we knew! If was great we waited and waited and waited and when you heard their names being called out we got ready to put their metals on them it was Amazing!!!!! We were part of their finish! Another Part of Ironman 2007 was watching Frank finish Ironman if you don't know frank read here..
This was amazing he didn't finish Ironman 2005 and 2006 however he finished 2007. They asked me if I would put the metal on him I said no I think that Mike the announcer should, but then his wife came down with two huge, HUGE MEN! and I said I think his wife should put on his metal they agreed the crowed was wild Frank came around the corner and we all yelled Frank, Frank and we all cried.. He was the last athlete to finish 2007 Ironman WI we counted down the time with him under the clock and it was unbelievable! WHOOOHOOO Frank Here is a photo of Frank starting his Marathon.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Ironman Kentucky Photo's

This was a Time Trial Start we jumped off the dock and we started our 2.4 mile Swim so much fun!

This was a great finish!
The Bike was even better the more hills the better!

The run wasn't bad at all it was a two loop and mostly flats!

Landen and I coming in for the finish 12:58:51, Just what I wanted! Tyler couldn't make it he had to work! DARN!!

My finishing Photo with my little Buddy!

This is Peter Hennaing I spent a lot of time with him he did most of my interviews- What a great guy! He had lost his wife to cancer..

Andy, (which you can't see), Jeff, Michael and I at the Press Conference this was amazing just like you see it on TV... People asking you the question and you trying to keep it together.

Another great guy! Keven he was the lucky one to interview me first... Keven is also the one you sent your awesome e-mails to thanks again!

Out of the car and to an interview and this is what I was wearing what a YAHOOOOOOOO!

Just looking at the Ironman site and this is what I found!

Ironmanlife: One last send off for Jon

Kevin Mackinnon catches up on some e-mails and files a race report from Raynard Tissink
Email This Story Print This Story Published on Friday, Aug 31, 2007 at 07:21 PM.
I can’t be there this evening, but I sure can’t let this go without a request to you all that you remember Jon Blais with a thought and a prayer tonight. This column is going to go up at exactly the time that the Blazeman warriors will be doing a last “send off” for Jon in Rhode Island. Here’s a note I received from Mary Ann Blais (Jon’s mother) earlier today:Just asking if you would think of Jon on Friday, August 31st at 7:21PM EST and call out - FREEDOM!!!! That will coincide with our Braveheart sendoff as the Duffy men pull the William Wallace sword from the ground and we shall all be calling FREEDOM for Jon.
I know that we’ll be celebrating race number 179 at many Ironman events to come.

Speaking of inspiring people:
I’ve had a number of e-mails about Danniela Nichols this week, confirming what I gleaned in my interview with her last week. She’s a pretty amazing woman – it was great to see her finish in Kentucky last week. Here are a few of the notes that came in:
I read your article on about Danniela Nichols. I just wanted to reconfirm everything that you experienced and everything that she said ... It is because of her that I competed in my first triathlon this past July. As she put it, a fire has been lit inside of me to do more. Before I met Danni, I was very content with just cruising along at my steady pace in life. She has given me the confidence and the support to push myself to the next level and to achieve goals that before I would have never thought were possible. Her positive outlook on life and constant energy have allowed me to stop concentrating on the negative aspects of life and look at the positive of what I can achieve. I owe more to Danni than she will ever know …
Libby Harty

Nice interview Kevin! The story that you miss the most about “who” Danni is…is the fact that she has that positive life lifting spirit about her all the time. She is awesome. There is a true meaning of the love for life with every whooper-n-holler-n “whooooooohooooooo” from her inspiring voice! I think IronMan for her is just a symbol of her belief that she can accomplish anything she puts her heart to ... and NOTHING is going to prove her different! FYI…Danni is my personal trainer!
John Benson

Excellent article on Danniela Nichols!! Danniela is my trainer and she is an inspiration to everybody. You can’t help but be in a good mood when Danniela meets you at the Y at 5 AM with a cheerful “Good morning sunshine.” Her story is very inspirational and I’m happy to see others learn about a positive person. Thanks again for sharing the story. I will be sharing it with others!!
Karla Eppler
Thank you so very much that is so sweet!