Tag Archives: Triathlon Apparel

Visual Cues to Make You a Better Swimmer – By Jené Shaw

Avoid common swimming mistakes with help from these visual cues.

The experts at SwimLabs use creative analogies to illustrate and explain technique tweaks. Some of our favorites:

Problem: Not properly finishing the stroke.
Do this: Press the hand to the hips and think kayak paddling—the paddle finishes right next to the boat and it helps align and straighten it out. The same goes for swimming. Finish strong to help your other arm set up the top of the stroke.

Problem: Crossing over.
Do this: Picture “riding the rail”—keep hands following the side of the body to the hips like railroad tracks. And try the Elbow Pop Drill: Put one hand on a kickboard, preferably using a snorkel, then upon entry, track your arm from shoulder to hips. Pause at shoulder position to give yourself time to make sure fingertips are pointing down and elbow is lower than your shoulder.

RELATED: The Most Effective Way To Become A Better Swimmer

Problem: A flat hand entry. Many swimmers also lead with the thumb and their hands end up way outside the shoulder in an “outsweep” motion.
Do this: Adjust ever so slightly having the pinkie down so you start the stroke closer to the shoulder.

Problem: Rushing the stroke. Don’t flail your arms like an old-fashioned pinwheel, instead slow down to swim fast.
Do this: Reach Out Drill. Extend your arm forward, setting up the beginning of the stroke, with your hand below the elbow and elbow below shoulder. Do a two-count, then bend the elbow to start the catch.

Problem: “Riding the bike” as you kick.
Do this: Focus on a straight-leg kick, initiated from the hip not the knees. Think “crack the whip” and let the ankle flex to finish the kick.

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Add sprints into your training to round out your Fitness!!

Add sprints into you training to round out your Fitness!!

Runner becomes Triathlete!

10 Ways IRONMAN Prepares you for Parenthood

If you think all those hours of training are only preparing you for one thing, think again.

Ironman parenthood

 

If you think all those hours of training are only preparing you for one thing, think again.

by Lisa Barnes

The decision to start a family tends to put personal goals like finishing an endurance event on the backburner. Time and money get reallocated to everything that welcoming a new life brings. It’s easy to cast an IRONMAN race into the “someday” pile when it comes to priorities, but the experience of training for a 140.6-mile race can actually give you a leg up as a parent. 

How? After having been through both myself, and talking to others who have as well—including pros and new parents Jesse Thomas and Michael Lovato—here is a list of ways IRONMAN helped prepare me for parenthood, using my own “little man” as an example.  

1. You learn that there are good days and bad days.

IRONMAN: Some days, you’re headed into hour five on your bike marveling in the beauty of the countryside. Others, you’ve only pedaled a few miles before you’re thinking about all the places you’ll need Aquaphor later on.

Little man: Some days your baby is all smiles and belly laughs, others he’s an explosion of pureed squash and snot.

→ The leg up: You’re confident. Bad days don’t make you any less of a parent, just like crappy workouts didn’t make you any less of an athlete.

2. You’re an expert at researching and shopping for gear.

IRONMAN: Wheels, wetsuits, and watches. What are the must-haves?

Little man: Strollers, bottles, and toys. What’s best for baby?

→ The leg up: You’re resourceful. Learning the art of online research and tapping into trustworthy social circles is key, whether you’re gearing up for multisport or parenthood.

3. You know all about sacrifice.  

IRONMAN: Happy hour means more miles and less margaritas—the last time you heard the phrase, “Last call!” was in the transition area.

Little man: Happy hour means giving your kid a bath before bedtime followed by a drink on the couch, and going out means you’ll spend more money on the babysitter than you will at the bar.

→ The leg up: You’re comfortable. Getting used to a new lifestyle can be a tough adjustment, but it’s easier when you focus on what you’ll gain from the experience, rather than dwelling on what you’ve given up.

4. You’ve mastered the art of the daily plan-and-pack.

IRONMAN: A long brick workout tomorrow means laying all your gear out the night before, making sure your drinks are mixed, gels are packed and your watch is charged.

Little man: Play date at the zoo tomorrow means packing the diaper bag with a change of clothes, a bag of Cheerios, a sippee cup and a favorite toy.

→ The leg up: You’re efficient. Preparing ahead of time is key to good workouts and good play dates. Your habit of toting snacks with you wherever you go comes in handy with parenting, too. “Always have spare food on you. You never know when a meltdown is coming,” says professional triathlete and new dad Michael Lovato, pictured below.

5. You appreciate your body in new ways.

IRONMAN: Looking good in a bathing suit seems silly compared to feeling good at mile 20 of a long run. Strength and perseverance trump the attributes of superficial sex appeal.

Little man: Looking good in a bathing suit seems silly compared to a healthy pregnancy and recovery after birth. Strength and perseverance change the way we feel about our bodies and what they are capable of.

→ The leg up: Healthy self-esteem. Pushing the body’s limits—whether it’s to meet new goals, or create new life—causes you to redefine strength and beauty. It also help you feel comfortable talking about your body more openly. Lovato reminds us that the conversation can (and will) go anywhere: “You have no trouble whatsoever talking about vomit, poop, pee or sometimes all three.” And as is sometimes the case with triathlon, “you’re also okay with it getting pretty much everywhere.”

6. You’ll build the endurance you need to be a great parent.

IRONMAN: Long runs, miles of swimming and hours on the bike. Every weekend.

Little man: Long nights, round-the-clock feedings and hours of crying. Every day for a year.

→ The leg up: You can persevere. Functioning while sore and sleep-deprived, and planning essential moments of recovery, is key to covering 140.6 miles as an athlete and 365 days as a new parent. “You understand that being tired is part of life now,” says Lovato.  

7. Your playful side will flourish.

IRONMAN: Hammering your trainer and swimming laps around the same floating Band-Aid in the pool every morning gets old. You learn to stay motivated by using your imagination to keep the miles interesting (and ignore the Band-Aid).

Little man: Reading The Hungry Caterpillar every day, and playing 156 rounds of “Where’s daddy?” can be mind-numbing. Adding variation and flare to toddler time will help maintain your sanity.

→ The leg up: You’re creative. Repetition comes with the territory for triathletes and parents. An open mind gives you the power to revitalize the same-old routines.

8. You’ll form positive life-long habits.

IRONMAN: Training for an IRONMAN race means doing what it takes to be ready for race day. Discipline helps you listen to your body to avoid injury, feel fresh and stay focused on your goal.

Little man: Parenting means you do what it takes to be there for your family. Discipline helps you make smarter decisions for long-term health, find balance in your life and be a solid role model for your children.

→ The leg up: You’re committed. Meeting long-term goals requires ongoing attention to correct and define what’s best for the bigger picture.

9. You realize how little control you actually have.  

IRONMAN: Race day is a living, breathing thing with its own personality and energy. You cannot control who is in the field or what the weather will bring. You can only control the way you’ll handle it.

Little man: Very little about pregnancy or birth will be in your control. Sudden emergencies, hormonal tidal waves of emotion, and yes—the weather—can all influence the experience.

→ The leg up: You’re pragmatic. Preparing for children (like preparing for races) is an exercise in managing the factors you can count on and control, while having a great attitude about the things you cannot.

10. You will appreciate the reward more than you imagined.

IRONMAN: They say nothing compares to crossing an IRONMAN finish line.

Little man: They say you never know love until you become a parent.

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Sweat is fat crying! #makeithappen

Sweat is fat crying! #makeithappen

I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday..

The Gluten-Free Triathlete: Part I By Ian Stokell

If you have been thinking about going gluten-free or just cutting back, check out this article for important triathlon specific information.

Take a stroll down any high street grocery aisle and you’ll notice the term gluten-free on an ever-increasing number of products. Visit specialty grocery stores and you’ll see entire aisles dedicated to the products.

Gluten free is one of the biggest trends not only in sports nutrition, but in the health and fitness world in general. According to the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the United States gluten-free market rose 28 percent from 2004 to 2011 and now tops out at more than $2.5 billion a year.

Dr. Alexander Shikhman, rheumatologist and founder of the Institute for Specialized Medicine and Gluten-Free Remedies, describes gluten as “a protein found in certain grains, including wheat, barley and rye.” It’s found in many processed foods, including pizza, bread, pasta, and most cereals, and in unlikely culprits like beer, vinegar, jams, and soy sauce. Gluten-free foods include potatoes, rice, beans, nuts, oats, popcorn, and quinoa.

Photo by Au Kirk

Most people have no problem with gluten, but for some it can cause digestive problems. For a small number of people who have celiac disease, it can be life threatening.

Human digestive enzymes cannot completely digest gluten in the gastrointestinal tract,” explains Dr. Shikhman. “Consumption results in the formation of large protein fragments that typically are excreted along with other unusable parts of the food we eat. But in genetically susceptible individuals, these fragments launch an immunological chain reaction causing chronic inflammation and autoimmune responses.”

For those with celiac disease, the gluten protein contributes to an immune reaction in the digestive system, which can lead to permanent damage to the lining of the small intestine. This can lead to an inability of the intestine to absorb essential nutrients.

Lesley Paterson, a prominent IRONMAN 70.3 pro and two-time XTERRA world champion, went on to a gluten-free diet at the suggestion of her doctor. “I had a tolerance test done by my specialty doctor after complaining of digestive issues, bloating, and fatigue” she recalls. “My test came back positive and he recommended that I should give it a try.”

Though gluten intolerances or wheat allergies are different from having celiac disease, moving to a gluten-free diet may alleviate common symptoms such as cramps, diarrhea, and constipation.

“If people genetically predisposed to gluten intolerance do not ingest gluten, the illness will not manifest and their symptoms will subside,” says  Dr. Shikhman. “They will likely have increased energy, more focus and less gastrointestinal problems.”

Paterson at IRONMAN 70.3 Mooseman in 2012

Paterson says gluten affects her in a complex way. “Basically it compromises my immune system by impacting the flora and fauna (microorganisms) in my gut. I get bloating, gas, nausea, and severe flu-like symptoms, plus plenty of fatigue.”

While many of the benefits of a gluten-free diet are anecdotal for those without digestive problems, there is no lack of willing proponents, as the multi-billion dollar industry will attest. According to Dr. Shikhman, the benefits are real. “For someone who does not have digestive problems the benefits are improvement of endurance, improvement of ‘mental performance’ and energy increase.”

Anecdotal or not, what is undisputed is that eliminating gluten from your diet—for example, in breads and processed foods —means less sugar and fat, and a move towards fresher foods.

Many believe that going gluten-free also means weight loss because of the lowered carbohydrates. But this is not a guaranteed result. Any ensuing weight-loss may simply be a by product of eating a healthier diet—fewer processed foods and more fruits and vegetables.

When it comes to weight loss, the opposite might even be the case. Gluten-free products, although lower in starch and carbohydrates, are also lower in fiber, which helps to make you feel full. As a result, people on a gluten-free diet might actually eat more. People may also think that, because they are eating healthier foods, they can consume more. Gluten-free products also tend to be lower in vitamins B and D, fiber, folic acid, iron and calcium. This is because, unlike regular wheat flour, gluten-free wheat substitutes are very often unfortified with necessary nutrients.

Going gluten-free helps different people in different ways. Paterson says it has made her feel free and clear. “I feel like my energy systems are functioning a lot better, that I am much less fatigued from training and I recover quicker. It’s been a gradual process though and has taken a year to really feel the top benefits,” she says.

For anyone thinking of going gluten-free, the first step is getting tested. While medical testing, such as by blood or biopsy, requires that there is gluten in the body’s innards, another possibility is simply to try it and see if it has any affect. Dr. Shikhman then recommends trying an elimination diet. “Eliminate gluten for at least two-three months and pay attention to how you feel; then reintroduce gluten to see if your symptoms come back. If they do, chances are you have a sensitivity or intolerance. Alternatively, you can have blood tests focused on genetic markers associated with gluten intolerance.”

 

#Triathlonnutrition

 

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End of March, How is that New Year’s resolution coming??

End of March, how is that New Year's resolution coming

April Fools

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How do you think you look when you run?

How do you think you look when you run?

Only kidding,…..