Saturday, June 07, 2008
I'm doing the sprint with two other girls. My Team is Kellen she is my swimmer, I will be doing the bike and Andrea will be doing the run. It's going to be awesome.
My work out for today- a swim with my Great Uncle Todd http://spandexking.blogspot.com/ and a Fast bike ride with Garry. Just a warm up for tomorrow.
There is over 350 people in this event, it's going to be so fun doing something new - which is doing a sprint with a team.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Real Thought for Food for Long Workouts
DR. MARK TARNOPOLSKY, a muscle physiology researcher at McMaster University in Canada and a physician, knows all about the exhortations by supplement makers and many nutritionists on what to eat and when to eat it for optimal performance.
The idea is that you are supposed to consume carbohydrates and proteins in a magical four-to-one ratio during endurance events like a long run or bike ride, and right after. The belief is that such nutritional diligence will improve your performance and speed your recovery.
Dr. Tarnopolsky, a 45-year-old trail runner and adventure racer, might be expected to seize upon the nutritional advice. (He won the Ontario trail running series in 2004, 2005 and 2006.)
So might his colleague, Stuart Phillips, a 41-year-old associate professor of kinesiology at McMaster who played rugby for Canada’s national team and now plays it for fun. He also runs, lifts weights and studies nutrition and performance.
In fact, neither researcher regularly uses energy drinks or energy bars. They just drink water, and eat real food. Dr. Tarnopolsky drinks fruit juice; Dr. Phillips eats fruit. And neither one feels a need to ingest a special combination of protein and carbohydrates within a short window of time, a few hours after exercising.
There are grains of truth to the nutrition advice, they and other experts say. But, as so often happens in sports, those grains of truth have been expanded into dictums and have formed the basis for an entire industry in “recovery” products.
They line the shelves of specialty sports stores and supermarkets with names like Accelerade drink, Endurox R4 powder, PowerBar Recovery bar.
“It does seem to me that as a group, athletes are particularly gullible,” said Michael Rennie, a physiologist at the University of Nottingham in England who studies muscle metabolism.
The idea that what you eat and when you eat it will make a big difference in your performance and recovery “is wishful thinking,” said Dr. Rennie, a 61-year-old who was a competitive swimmer and also used to play water polo and rugby.
Here is what is known about proteins, carbohydrates and performance.
During exercise, muscles stop the biochemical reactions used to maintain themselves such as replacing and resynthesizing the proteins needed for day to day activities. It’s not that exercise is damaging your muscles; it’s that they halt the maintenance process until exercise is over.
To do this maintenance, muscles must make protein, and to do so they need to absorb amino acids, the constituent parts of proteins, from the blood. Just after exercise, perhaps for a period no longer than a couple of hours, the protein-building processes of muscle cells are especially receptive to amino acids. That means that if you consume protein, your muscles will use it to quickly replenish proteins that were not made during exercise.
But muscles don’t need much protein, researchers say. Twenty grams is as much as a 176-pound man’s muscles can take. Women, who are smaller and have smaller muscles even compared to their body sizes, need less.
Dr. Rennie said that 10 to 15 grams of protein is probably adequate for any adult. And you don’t need a special drink or energy bar to get it. One egg has 6 grams of protein. Two ounces of chicken has more than 12 grams.
Muscles also need to replenish glycogen, their fuel supply, after a long exercise session — two hours of running, for example. For that they need carbohydrates. Muscle cells are especially efficient in absorbing carbohydrates from the blood just after exercise.
Once again, muscles don’t need much; about one gram of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight is plenty, Dr. Tarnopolsky said. He weighs 70 kilograms, or 154 pounds, which means he would need 70 grams of carbohydrates, or say, 27 ounces of fruit juice, he said.
Asker Jeukendrup, a 38-year-old 14-time Ironman-distance finisher who is an exercise physiologist and nutritionist at the University of Birmingham in England said the fastest glycogen replacement takes place in the four hours after exercise. Even so, most athletes need not worry.
“Most athletes will have at least 24 hours to recover,” Dr. Jeukendrup said. “We really are talking about a group of extremely elite sports people who train twice a day.” For them, he said, it can be necessary to rapidly replenish muscle glycogen.
The American College of Sports Medicine, in a position paper written by leading experts, reported that athletes who take a day or two to rest or do less-intense workouts between vigorous sessions can pretty much ignore the carbohydrate-timing advice.
The group wrote that for these athletes, “when sufficient carbohydrate is provided over a 24-hour period, the timing of intake does not appear to affect the amount of glycogen stored.”
For protein, it is not clear what the window is. Some studies concluded it was less than two hours, others said three hours, and some failed to find a window at all.
Dr. Rennie and his colleagues, writing in Annual Reviews of Physiology, concluded that “a possible ‘golden period’ ” for getting amino acids into muscles “remains a speculative, no matter how attractive, the concept.”
Although studies by Dr. Jeukendrup and several others have shown that consuming protein after exercise speeds up muscle protein synthesis, no one has shown that that translates into improved performance. The reason, Dr. Jeukendrup said, is that effects on performance, if they occur, won’t happen immediately. They can take 6 to 10 weeks of training. That makes it very hard to design and carry out studies to see if athletes really do improve if they consume protein after they exercise.
“You’d have to control everything, what they do, how they train, and also their carbohydrate and protein intake,” Dr. Jeukendrup said. “Those studies become almost impossible to do.”
As for the special four-to-one ratio of carbohydrates to protein, that, too, is not well established, researchers said. The idea was that you need both carbohydrates and protein consumed together because carbohydrates not only help muscles restore their glycogen but they also elicit the release of insulin. Insulin, the theory goes, helps muscles absorb amino acids.
Insulin may stimulate muscle protein synthesis in young rodents and in human cells grown in petri dishes, Dr. Rennie said. But studies in people have shown convincingly that insulin is not required for protein synthesis in adult human beings; it is amino acids that drive protein synthesis. As yet no convincing evidence exists that a special carbohydrate-to-protein ratio makes a noticeable difference in muscle protein maintenance after exercise. “There is no magic ratio,” Dr. Jeukendrup said.
The American College of Sports Medicine is equally skeptical. “Adding protein does not appreciably enhance glycogen repletion,” its paper states.
“Some studies suggested that adding proteins to carbohydrates during exercise can enhance performance,” Dr. Tarnopolsky said. “Many other studies suggested it didn’t do any good.”
Even if there are effects of protein and carbohydrates, they are not important to most exercisers, these researchers say. Serious triathletes and elite runners, who work out in the morning and at night, need to eat between training sessions. But people who are running a few miles a few days a week don’t need to worry about replenishing their muscles, Dr. Phillips said.
Dr. Rennie agreed. “If you are a superathlete, hundredths of a second matter,” he said. “But most Joes and Janes are just kidding themselves,” he said.
Some, like Dr. Jeukendrup, say they use a commercial protein-energy drink after training hard, for convenience.
Other researchers take their own nutritional advice. Dr. Tarnopolsky has a huge glass of juice, a bagel and a small piece of meat after a two- or three-hour run. Or he might have two large pieces of toast with butter and jam and a couple of scrambled eggs. But no energy bars, no energy drinks.
Dr. Phillips might have an energy bar during a long workout. But ordinarily he does not worry about getting a special carbohydrate-to-protein mix or timing his nutrition when he exercises. Instead, Dr. Phillips said, he simply eats real food at regular meals.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
How to Tell When You're Over-reaching or Over-training
At some point during your athletic career you will experience fatigue—either for a few days or, possibly, for several months. Fatigue in otherwise healthy triathletes is typically the result of emotional, psychological or physical overload—or a combination of all three—and, ultimately, it takes a toll on your ability to perform.
Endurance athletes are particularly vulnerable to physical overload. Too much progressive training combined with incomplete recovery can create an over-reached athlete and an over-trained body.
The term over-reaching was adopted by exercise scientists to describe the short-term overload that can be managed within a few days. However, over-reaching can develop into over-training (from which it can be more difficult to recover) if the athlete does not mitigate the factors that caused the over-reaching or fails to allocate proper recovery time.
First, it's important to recognize that an athlete who repeatedly overloads his or her body without allowing adequate recovery time will eventually reach a state that requires rest. The length of the required rest period is one difference between over-reaching and over-training.
Secondly, over-reaching symptoms can sometimes be masked by an overzealous, type-A athlete. An athlete and/or a coach must objectively recognize the patterns and fluctuations in a training year to prevent the compromised results that accompany chronic over-training.
To begin, let's take a look at the characteristics that produce over-reaching. It is important to remember that individuals may demonstrate a broad range of causes. However, over-reaching is most commonly caused by:
1. Too much too soon, such as a 10 to 20 percent increase in training volume over a three- to four-week period
2. Frequently combining two harder variables in one training session (i.e. combining a long run with challenging hills or a tempo session with speed work)
3. Two or three high-intensity (i.e. near or above lactic threshold) workouts in one week on either the bike or run
4. Not allowing two days of easier sessions between the challenging workouts described in 2 and 3 above
5. Overload in psychological or emotional stress in other facets of your life
7. Poor nutritional habits before, during or immediately after workouts
8. Loading up your racing season with too many events
If only one of these statements matched your training style, then you might be able to get through the year. However, if you nodded your head to two or more then you are likely destined to experience over-reaching and possibly slide into over-training.
Walking a Fine Line
The three training parameters that dictate success for an endurance athlete are progression, overload and recovery. Without repeated days, weeks and months of workloads that break down and rebuild you, physiological progress would come to a standstill.
And, indeed, there are times throughout the year during which you need to train in a fatigued state. Your muscles may, at times, feel sore and heavy, but there is a fine line between preserving your body's ability to repair and rebound and pushing yourself into a spiral. In fact, rebound is the key word that differentiates a tired athlete from one who has gone too far and has crossed the line separating over-reaching from over-training.
As with the above causes of over-reaching, the symptoms of the condition demonstrated by each athlete may vary. Still, many commonalities exist:
1. Physiologists, coaches and athletes have looked at morning pulse rate as an indicator of over-reaching, and studies have confirmed that a pulse rate of four to six beats above your baseline normal can be an initial indication that you are fatigued but not necessarily over-reached. An easy day or a day off will usually bring your resting pulse back to normal. A more accurate indication of over-reaching is an inability to elevate your pulse rate and sustain it at a sub-threshold level. The body seemingly has a set governor that acts as a protective mechanism. When you are over-reached your muscles cannot and will not allow you to drive up the workload.
2. This inability to increase the pulse goes hand-in-hand with a muscular heaviness or overloaded feeling. Quite often there is a simultaneous tightness and stiffness in the joints. Regardless of the length of your warm-up, the muscles remain lethargic and heavy.
3. After a hard session the muscles can experience millions of micro-tears that can cause tenderness and soreness. The delayed onset of muscle soreness is a common symptom post-exercise (24 to 60 hours). However, if the muscles are sore for an extended period, even with light exercise, this can be a sign of over-reaching. In an effort to repair and rebuild the muscle damage, the muscle fills with water to flush out the by-products of exercise. This swelling can add to the heaviness described above.
4. A lack of sharpness during workouts as heart rate falls off for more than two days.
5. Eating habits are disrupted or compromised.
6. There is a decrease in your body weight.
If you have identified several of the above symptoms, and they last for three to five days or more, and if you ignore these symptoms, then you can push your body into a more severe state of fatigue called over-training.
Scheduling R & R to Avoid Over-training
Recognize that if over-reaching crops up several times during the year this is OK. However, if you experience a bout of over-reaching and the symptoms reoccur fewer than two weeks later (or linger, as described above), you need to modify your training workload.
Recovering from over-reaching requires four steps:
- Identify the symptoms.
- Take two full days of rest with no exercise.
- Take the following three days easy. No more than 50 minutes of exercise in one session. Do not attempt more than two of these easy sessions in one day.
- After this five-day period you can resume your normal training program.
However, note that the symptoms of over-reaching should dramatically reduce during the three easy days. If they do not, then you may be on the verge of over-training. If your sleep pattern, exercise load, or frequency of racing all dramatically increase and the ability to rebound diminishes, look out for over-training.
The symptoms of over-training can closely parallel over-reaching; however, without adequate recovery an over-trained athlete will quite often advance to a much deeper valley of fatigue. Over-trained athletes quite often have signs of improper hormone function, such as persistent colds, lack of sleep and muscular aches for several weeks.
In addition, repeated hard sessions with little or no rest can lead to chronic low levels of amino acids in the blood. As intensity increases amino acids are released to control muscle breakdown. Additionally, if the intake of carbohydrates and protein is low, particularly after exercise, then the rate of repair and protein synthesis can be delayed. This delay can, in turn, prevent the body from rebounding. Quite simply, the body never catches up to the ongoing demands placed upon it.
Over-training requires an extended recovery period of six to 12 weeks, and, in some cases, it may take several months to regain your prior fitness level. Here are the four key steps to help you recover from a bout of over-training:
- See a sports-medicine specialist. The protocol for evaluation will be determined by the specialist and should include a complete blood panel, muscle enzyme and hormone review.
- Rest. This may be total rest for several weeks or light activity as determined by your specialist, coach and yourself.
- Sleep. Increase the amount of sleep you get each night to ensure you rest for between seven and nine hours.
- Plot out a logical step-by-step increase in your training routine after a second evaluation. This gradual increase in your desired fitness level may take anywhere from six weeks to six months.
Over-reaching and over-training can be controlled by recognizing the early symptoms and required patterns of recovery. During a recovery day or week, you need to ensure your body is given enough time to rebuild. Never compromise proper recovery for another hard training session.
The key to improving is progression, overload and recovery. Use all three forms of training to maximize your training and racing potential. Recovery is not an excuse; it is a necessity.Thanks,
By Dave Scott
Monday, June 02, 2008
Sunday road bike for 95 miles, I was feeling awesome a little slow but I finished what I wanted to do.
My running I have to say really none, ok maybe 3 miles however, I do work with some of my friends in Hixton Forest most of the day we're not running but we are sure doing some fast walking.
This weekend is the Got Energy Triathlon, I have trained 13 people for it I can't wait to see them finish their goals...
"The human body can do so much. Then the heart and spirit must take over."