Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Introducing the TYR Freak Of Nature Wetsuit from Kompetitive Edge!

I'm extremely excited to sport the new TYR Hurricane Freak of Nature wetsuit this year, and partner again with Kompetitive Edge triathlon shop in Denver.  There's never been a suit like it.
I came home with the suit extremely excited. So excited, in fact, that my wife said I should document the unveiling of the suit on video!

To learn more about the technology of the suit, visit the TYR site here:
http://www.tyr.com/limitswillfall/, or better yet, go check one out in person at Kompetitive Edge.

Daily Fueling: What I Put in my Body

The packaging from 1997
               I am fortunate to once again be part of Powerbar Team Elite this season. It's great to have access to the best sports nutrition products on the market. There is a reason why I sought out Powerbar again this year - their products are simply the best training and race day sport nutrition products out there for. I've used Powerbar products since high school, and have a lot of "Powerbar memories", which include winning a pair of Powerbar running socks at the Boulder Boulder 10k race expo sometime around 1995. (side note: I wore these socks at every dance and formal occasion from middle school, all through high school and college, and yes, even at my wedding. They were the only black socks I had, so I went with them, and had to keep the Powerbar sock tradition alive. And yes, I still have them).
       The first time I saw (Powerbar) Power Gel, later to be called Powerbar Gel, and now named Powerbar Energy gel, in use was at the Colorado state high school cross country championships at Kent Denver high school in 1997.  I vividly remember my sister sucking down vanilla flavor gel a half an hour before her 5k race. At that point, I'd never tried the stuff, only the bars. My sister was a star high school runner, so I figured what she was doing was right.  Obviously I don't believe in the products because she used them in high school. Rather, after years of testing, Powerbar has come up with the most effective formulas for their products. The top endurance athletes in the world, who have access to many different brands, are using Powerbar products - for a reason.
Today's packaging
              I want to take you through a few top quality products that I use on a daily basis. For long runs as well as during the 2nd half of hard bike workouts when I have a run immediately off the bike, I use a few gels to keep calories stored up. The gels are a great way to get in calories, along with electrolytes, in a gel form so the stomach can handle it, unlike solids. I can eat solids on the bike ok, but no way can I handle solid foods on the run.  Powerbar energy gels are thinner than a lot of other energy gels, like Gu, Accel gel, and Clif Shot.  The gels go down quickly and smoothly without sticking to the roof of your mouth like other gels which force you to nearly choke them down.  Powerbar energy gels are also great for before early morning runs on days you need to sleep in as much as possible to get valuable sleep, and don't have to wake up 2 hours before running to get in breakfast.
            After all my hard workouts I make a protein shake consisting of Powerbar ProteinPlus powder, fruit and milk. It provides the amino acids that you need in order to repair and build lean muscle tissue after your workouts. In all honesty, this powder is hands down the best tasting protein powder I've ever tried. Try it! The chocolate is my favorite. It tastes amazing, and blends smoothly without lumps after 15 seconds of stirring.  It's got 20 grams of protein per serving, and has the PowerBar TriSource protein blend, which combines whey, soy, and casein. These protein sources are absorbed by the body at different rates, so they can deliver a steady supply of amino acids to help reduce muscle breakdown after exercise, help with the repair of muscle tissue, and build lean muscle tissue in response to your resistance exercise.
          For all my cycling workouts I go through several bottles of Powerbar Ironman Perform drink. It's the drink that's served on-course for all Ironman events.  The mix has electrolytes and is a carbohydrate source that has a 2:1 ratio of glucose to fructose. This blend promotes a faster delivery of carbohydrate fuel to working muscles than glucose alone, which a lot of other products have. PowerBar C2MAX dual source energy blend features this research-tested 2:1 ratio and is in several PowerBar products designed to be taken during exercise. C2MAX carbs can be consumed at 45–90 grams per hour during exercise — in smaller amounts taken frequently.  The lemon-line flavor tastes great also, and I have no sloshing or stomach cramping issues with it, as I have in the past with syrupy drinks like Gatorade.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Keeping the Body Tuned Up

               One thing that I have surely learned (the hard way) is that with the amount of training time many of us athletes are putting in, we simply cannot stay perfectly healthy if we neglect the small things we need to do in addition to logging the hours of training. I'm referring to eating healthy, stretching, sleeping enough, and getting regular body work done (which includes things like chiropractic care, massage, and ART - active release technique therapy). If you are unfamiliar with ART, read about it HERE.  Keeping the body in alignment and the muscles loose, balanced, and firing properly, allows us to perform on race day at our best, but it also allows us to train efficiently daily. Many triathletes neglect getting body work done throughout their training cycles, and visit a massage therapist or chiropractor right before a race - and that's it.  Similar to car maintenance, the body needs frequent upkeep. We need to keep everything running well and our bodies aligned so that we don't suddenly, one day, find ourselves with an extreme imbalance or nagging injury that could have been prevented.  We fill up our gas tanks, change our oil, clean air filters in our cars, and should do so on a regular basis. When we don't, things gunk up and don't run as smoothly. It's a simple analogy, but a very fitting one as well. Our bodies, in my opinion, are much more important than our cars. Cars last for a few years. Bodies last for more than just a few years.  Triathletes often put thousands of dollars into aerodynamic bikes, top of the line equipment, and flights to travel to races, when really they are not willing to invest in a big area that will make a real difference on race day. Equipment can only take one so far; we all know that true results come from hard work day in and day out, how well the body can recover from those efforts, and how hard we can push when the gun goes off.

Dr. Justin Houck, D.C, ART   
                  Today I visited my go to chiropractor and ART specialist Dr. Justin Houck at Accelerate Health in Denver, where I received a few back and neck adjustments, as well as ART work deep in the glutes, psoas, hip, and shoulder areas. The past few weeks I have been dealing with a slight right hip flexor pain, an area which I believe got inflamed due to a lot of high cadence work and single-leg drills on the bike trainer. Yesterday during my swim workout, I had a lot of pain while kicking on both my back and stomach. After the ART session on the right hip flexor, it is feeling good so far.  It's clear that staying on top of things is necessary. I first felt the pain three weeks ago on the bike, yet chose to ignore it for a while before coming in. It went away for a week, and then crept back up recently. Neglect will simply make it worse, while frequent visits will prevent these types of small issues from turning into anything. Prevention is just as big of a part of this as dealing with minor issues when they arise.
       Dr. Houck is on-board in his support of my racing efforts this year, which I am very grateful for.  If you are looking for a Denver-area chiropractor, who also full body certified in Active Release Technique, check out Accelerate Health near Lincoln and 5th Avenue just south of downtown Denver. One of his big areas of focus is treating sports-related injuries.  One thing I like about the philosophy of Dr. Houck is that he understands that athletes are athletes, and they still need to train and compete when possible. His goal is to work on athletes and keep them doing what they are doing - to get them back to 100% as quickly as possible. Too often doctors give the "take 2-3 weeks off" prescription before truly assessing an issue or injury, which may not require us to completely stop training, and therefore cause us to lose fitness which took us months to obtain. In addition, Dr. Houck will actually 'see' you, work on you, and talk with you about what is going on. A few other chiropractors I have been to in the past have treated me nothing more than another item in the assembly line - in and out in less than 2 minutes, after being passed along by a number of other office staff before getting my 30 seconds in with the doctor, who you can tell is so rushed to answer any questions that you feel you can't even ask them.
The new office of Accelerate Health - Denver, CO

      Take care of your body with regular chiropractic and massage maintenance visits, and take care of yourself before things become an serious issue.