Where will Next Season Take You? Ready to Change your Routine? Get Healthy and Take Control of Your Goals
The First Step to Balancing Health and Performance
Refine your skills at any ability From First Time Cyclist to Elite
Simple Answers to Tough Questions
The Best Bike Fit and The Best FaCT Testing Through Crossfit Orangeville
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
What are Amino Acids? Basically, the building Blocks of Proteins, there are 22 and 8 are essential because the body can not make them, including the 3 BCAAs.
What are BCAA? Branched Chain Amino Acids are 3 amino acids (isoleucine, leucine and valine) that are predominately used in skeletal muscle so have been studied for years for potential benefits in exercise.
So what ? It has been theorized, with debatable success, that taking BCAA before, during and after exercise may increase or support performance in a few ways. By maintaining BCAA supply to the brain (limit central fatigue?) and help to fulfill any protein derived energy requirements (link suggests not really ). Most supported seems to be the anabolic (muscle repair/recovery/immunity) potential that BCAA may offer post-workout (although maybe not?).
What am I doing with it? I have been playing around with it for sleep benefits (based loosely on these studies on sleep in Liver Cirrosis) and to replace soy/whey protein in and after endurance ride fuels (BCAA+Hammer HEED) in hopes of preventing muscle breakdown. I have been sleeping pretty well recently (but have changed pre-sleep habits a bit too) and recovering decent too, but not sure I would endorse, without seeing a client with all their sleep/stress/training in A+ shape.
Should You buy it?
- For most people it is not worth it. Until you are taking care of your sleep/stress and basic nutrition you have many other cheap ways to greatly increase your performance and recovery. Further most people are not training at a level that BCAA would make a significant difference. Remember that a good diet with quality lean protein (like eggs) contains a LOT of BCAA (see paleo cliff notes)
If you try it, remember to do it smart and track performance, perhaps with some double blind bottles on a few rides, and how you feel on-off the bike and set a deadline to decide rationally if it is worth spending money on.
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Friday, February 4, 2011
1) We should run (exercise) as a group ... not alone
2) Getting 'Old' is not a big deal, performance erodes SLOWLY if we take care of ourselves
3) Get Moving!
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Thursday, February 3, 2011
A few ideas to include in your 'TRAINING':
1) Self Myofacial Release and Stretching (check out resources page for more links)
- Key things here
1) find out your trouble areas and address at least daily if not twice daily ... its free and its easy, do it.
B) Take your time, move slow, don't push to the point of tears but find a low level tension. Hold the point of tension and breath into it for several cycles of breath while waiting for a release in the tension. It should take 2-3min to stretch each muscle/position and 2-3 min to do any given SMR/Foam Roll movement (per side) working from one end to the other 1 inch at a time, taking time to breath.
C) Make sure you are not balancing during stretches or SMR (foam roll)
- Aim for 4 points of contact on most of the SMR movements, except when standing.
*** most people do some sort of balancing/core movement, especially on the 'IT BAND' ... this isn't doing a lot, especially if you are rolling quickly up and down the length of the muscle ****
2) Icing - Its well studied. Even if you don't have an injury spend some time with an ice pack massaging or use a cold bath/shower.
** for injury/trouble areas I use 15min on every 2-3 hrs but find your sweet spot.
3) Check your shoes/cleats ... if stuff is making noise or jiggling around you are stabilizing that. Best case you are loosing friends to the noise and some energy stabilizing. Worst case you are getting tight/injured and screwing up your coordination/pedal stroke.
4) Don't guess your bike fit - spend some time ... you shouldn't get numb, or rubbed excessively, or have any injury get worse.
- in extreme cases/big rides/ pushing your limits your going to get a sore butt, and perhaps some muscular fatigue/soreness but we get back to the smart progression of training and risk vs. reward discussion from earlier in the post.
- If you are in doubt a Professional Bike Fit for $200 dollars might be a good investment when considering weeks of Rehab post injury without it. Ask around and find a respected 'Fitter' in your area, who is knowledgeable about functional assessment and anatomy in addition to proper bike bio-mechanics. I recommend Steve Neal but please do look around if you go this route, and see what you can accomplish tinkering on your own first.
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Please follow up and please keep following the blog.
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011
It might be time to go through and look at your goals again (or for the first time!). A big issue I see in athletes who are struggling for motivation or to improve is a lack of goals and/or a lack of goals that are fun/motivating. If we think about each day as part of a journey towards the top of a mountain (a goal) then the problem with having no ideal mountain to work towards becomes an obvious problem. We end up just walking around with no purpose/motivation/progress. Each day we are presented with many diverging paths (choices in training, nutrition, rest, stress). Any given path could take us closer to or further from a given Mountain. While two people may share the same 'mountain' no one can take the exact same path to get there.
So choosing/using the Mountain/path idea to Goal Setting:
1) Look At The Horizon: What Mountain(s) are you aiming for ?
So are your daily actions moving towards something? Do you enjoy what you are are doing? Try writing down what you want to happen in your life in the next 3 months, 6 months, 12 months ... what will make you happy ? Make sure you know when you reach the top, people don't always hand you a trophy at the top.
2) Then do some rough planning on the paths you think will help you get there.
What does your event/goal require?
-Do you need to be fast for 5 hours ? or just 3min ? do you need to be leaner/less lean ? stronger ? More recovered ? More food/less food ?
What are your limitations right now in this event and what do you think will improve them?
- Do you need to get better at shorter durations? build a better muscular endurance capacity? reduce injuries? Improve recovery ? Eat better ? sleep more ?
- Plan out a rough direction you think you need to go to move towards your goal on paper
3) Learn to Use a Compass often: Plan out how/when you will assess if your progress
If you are a health based Athlete then you are more in the feeling good and optimizing health factors like Blood Pressure, weight, blood profile, weight etc.
Athletes will be more into performance metrics like a Lab Test like FaCt Testing + a handful of 'field' tests they can cycle through every couple weeks on their own. I like to include a Ramp Test (see this post), a 3 Min Time Trial, a 20min Time Trial and a MaF Test (30min at a HR around LBP depending on a few factors = watch for change in performance over the 30min at stable HR). Obviously the tests you do will depend on your goal event/outcome but they will give you a measure on whether you are moving towards the right mountain and whether you need to change paths before you end up on the wrong mountain!
Most of all enjoy the journey ... its the best part regardless of what path you are on!
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