Blog

Søndag d. 16. februar 2014

 

Triathlete Love: A Thousand Words

By Susan Lacke

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we bring back our most popular “Triathlete Love” column ever.

Whoever said triathlon is a solitary sport got it all wrong.

Yes, it’s true that only one person dons the wetsuit, rides the bike, or pounds the pavement. In the race photos, there’s one person featured. But those race photos don’t show the whole picture.

Race photos don’t show the athlete waking up at 4 a.m. to discover her boyfriend set the coffee pot to “auto-brew” the night before.

There’s no evidence of family vacations or date nights postponed until the off-season.

You’ll never see a photo of a dishwasher full of clean bottles, or a drawer full of laundered bike jerseys that magically appear each week.

They don’t show a wife driving 40 miles to pick up her husband after he flatted three times and ran out of spare tubes in the middle of nowhere.

You don’t view the pep talks after a bad training day, or the shared smiles after a breakthrough.

Race photos don’t show the drained cell phone batteries from tracking the athlete on race day, or the even more drained voices from cheering.

Yes, triathletes are individuals, but they’re certainly not solitary. Every act on race day is buoyed by love, and lots of it. Behind each triathlete is someone who makes every finish line worth crossing.

Take some time to thank your “someone” today. 

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Lørdag d. 1. februar 2014

Tri Swim - Run Q&A

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Tirsdag d. 3. december 2013

Joe Beer: "Nurture your body this winter, don't hammer it"

Award-winning triathlon coach and long-standing 220 contributor Joe Beer shares his best advice for the off-season.

Joe will be speaking at The Triathlon Show 2014, taking place at Sandown Park, Surrey on 28 February to 2 March.

What is your top advice for the off-season?

In November and December look to stay healthy and well, training less than you could if pushed.

Take an extra non-training day, focus on skill and the beginnings of strength work, but do not try to get ahead of your competition. 

What are your favourite swimming drills?

It depends on the swimmer's bad habits but I do like: minimal splash 50s, getting in a wetsuit once a month (minimum) to practice sighting, catch-up drills holding a float in front of you, and kicking longer distances – say 200m, not just 50 metres.

What do you recommend prioritising for bike training?

Time in the saddle, learning to spin efficiently in the 80 to 100rpm range. Ensure that time in race position is done on the turbo once a week, minimum.

Few people are really efficient on the bike, so rollers are a great tool to focus the balance and smoothen the pedal action of those who stomp and swerve too much.

How should running sessions change in winter?

You need to realise that top-end speed will drop, as will your aerobic threshold.

This means taking it easy, and perhaps inserting short bursts of six to 12secs to liven up runs. But keep away from super-high intensity running.

Nurture your body this winter, don't hammer it.

What is the number one mistake that triathletes make in the off-season?

Trying to get more done and become faster too quickly. You're training your body to adapt slowly and muscles/ligaments to deal with increasing loads.

This will take time and is not found in a six-week interval plan or a new "I'm going to train seriously now" attitude. Build slow, recover well. Relax. 

Is there any winter-specific training gear you cannot do without?

My four, no five, must-have items are:

Firstly, cycle caps to put under your helmet, even if you have a skull cap, to keep rain off your specs and reduce glare from the low sun.

Secondly, a DryRobe Advanced: its just silly to get cold before or after any session. Worth its weight in gold.

Thirdly, a Lumie Bodyclock to wake you gradually on early and dark mornings. If you can add a lightbox on your desk then even better still.

Fourthly, Neovite colostrum. It helps keep you healthy, and is used by many top performers and health-conscious age groupers.

And finally, Compressport compression socks are great not just for training but also walking with the kids, travelling…

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Onsdag d. 9. oktober 2013

Triathlete Love: Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

By Susan Lacke 

A little remorse goes a long way, writes Susan Lacke.

“I’m sorry.”

Two words that are so simple to utter, yet so hard to say.

Triathletes tend to be stubborn. That works in our favor during our sport, especially if we call this trait something else – like tenacity, resolve, or drive. But at the end of the day, we’re just a bunch of obstinate bullheads who are always (always!) right.

But relationships are not triathlons. As I’ve learned, being stubborn only works against me in my relationship with my partner, Neil. As much as I’d love to insist that I am a perfect specimen, the truth is that I screw up a lot. My blunder count seems to be highest around this time of the season, when the majority of my brain cells have been chlorinated and wind-whipped into submission.

But lately, I seem to be on an especially idiotic streak. Neil has to put up with enough of my crap as it is (and for this, he should be sainted) so when I cause a bad situation with my own training-induced stupidity, I put my pride aside and try to rectify the problem immediately.

So, honey, if you’re reading this:

I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry. Besides, I don’t think it’s anatomically possible for anyone to even do that with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I apologize for the unsolicited feedback on your swim stroke at the pool. In hindsight, “drunken labrador retriever” was probably a poor choice of words.

I did not realize you bought those cookies for the kid’s birthday party. I truly thought you were celebrating my taper in a very festive way! Really, that I ate a dozen of them in one sitting is a compliment to your cookie-selection prowess.

In the future, I will inquire about you and your limbs before I ask how your bike fared in a crash. Though a knee-jerk reaction, it was the wrong thing to say.

You shouldn’t have had to smell that. Who knew those nutrition bar samples would give me such bad gas?

I now understand that mirrored sunglasses do not hide my eyes completely, and I apologize for ogling the pro triathletes while we were watching the race. Your butt is much nicer-looking. I swear.

I’m sorry I ruined our towels while washing my bike.

I’m sorry I ruined our replacement towels at the open water swim.

I’m sorry I ruined our replacements for the replacement towels by…you know what, I’m just going to go open a credit account with the department store now.

Though you’ve long talked about getting a new scale with all the body-fat and water content bells and whistles, perhaps giving you one for our anniversary was bad timing on my part. I promise you, there was no hidden message there.

I’m sorry for asking you to look at my saddle sore. Next time, I’ll wait at least an hour before trying to initiate sexy time. Lesson learned.

I’m sorry for all the stupid things I did this season.

While I’m at it, honey:

I apologize in advance for all the stupid things I will do next season, too.

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Søndag d. 30. juni 2013

Ironman i København

heroimage new kopenhagen 760x445

WTC (IRONMAN) aquires 
YWC Sports, Copenhagen

We've got great news for you: World Triathlon Corporation (d/b/a IRONMANR) today announced the acquisition of YWC Sports, Copenhagen. The privately held company organizes several triathlons and edurance sport events throughout Denmark including the popular KMD Challenge Copenhagen and KMD Challenge Aarhus. We believe YWC's events are a strong addition to our global race calendar. Details on the event schedule will be released over the next two weeks. Read below what our CEO and our new partners in Denmark have to say about it. 

Andrew Messick, CEO, IRONMAN: "We are committed to growth in Europe as there is great passion for the sport of triathlon here. YWC Sports has a strong line-up of triathlons and we are excited to help advance the sport in Denmark."

Jeppe Rindom, Chairman of the Board, YWC Sports: "The two triathlon events in Copenhagen and Aarhus are both one of a kind with huge international potential. Our ambition has always been to create events of international and world-class scale. We believe that the experience and capabilities of IRONMAN will help us to achieve that." 

Pia Allerslev, Mayor of Culture and Leisure City of Copenhagen: "Copenhagen is an excellent and progressive scene for major events and IRONMAN helps brand us as an active city with an international perspective. We are looking forward to hosting and supporting all the international participants and sports fans."  

Karen Nielsen, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, KMD: "It has been an absolute pleasure to support YWC Sports as title sponsor for the triathlon events since 2011. We have experienced a very positive development on both the professional and amateur triathlon scene in Denmark, and triathlon has been booming in Denmark since the first Challenge Copenhagen in 2010. We look forward to see what the future brings working with IRONMAN." 

Lars Bernhard Jorgensen, CEO, Wonderful Copenhagen: "Since day one, KMD Challenge Copenhagen, placed itself as a strong, well produced and unique sporting event, in the middle of Copenhagen. Todays news marks a significant accomplishment for the entire organization behind the event, the sponsors and the city of Copenhagen."

Lars Lundov, CEO Sport Event Denmark: "We have been very pleased with the presence of the KMD Challenge events in Copenhagen and Aarhus since 2010. YWC Sports has worked hard to build successful triathlons in Denmark and we see this new collaboration with IRONMAN as a great way to further develop major sport events here in Copenhagen while attracting more international participants and bringing attention to our city."  

Your IRONMAN Europe Team

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Lørdag d. 4. maj 2013

How to train your swim start !

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Søndag d. 6. april 2013

Total Immersion - simply swim your best

If anyone of you is looking for a way to improve their potential as a swimmer there is no better way to start than with Total Immersion (TI) tools. It is only with this method that you are allowed the freedom of discovering your truest potential. Because as human beings we have to realise that traditional methods will not work. They will only reinforce our own pre-determined habits of wasting energy and becoming inefficient.

Equiped with this knowledge what we need to do is to turn around our work out strategy from the one that emphasizes hard work and large mileage to a more thoughtful one that is catered for us humans and that gives priority to a better shape that our bodies are going to take. This better shape is all that we need to create a harmonious connection with water thus allowing the body to move at a higher velocity or if that is not the case to move further with less loss of energy.

So if you are a triathlete, distance swimmer or a promising sprinter you are going to achieve your best by applying the TI approach into your training. Start simply by verifying where you are right now, what your goal is and the time frame to get there.

Think for a minute what it is you are doing when you go to the pool, ask yourself if what I am doing is making me a better swimmer. By better I mean the one who is always in control of what happens while you are in the water and more importantly in control of the energy expenditure just by switching on the moments in the stroke when the energy is needed and turning it off when we can save it. The energy we have at our disposal is by all means not renewable so be wise when you use it. Just need to learn certain drills (from the DVDs or from your TI Coach) that will show you best way of directing your available energy where you want to go and how to tap into a renewable source of energy that is gravity and body mass. Go for it, do not hasitate to sign up for one of those classes!

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Søndag d. 17. marts 2013

How Compression Apparel Works



Photo: Scott Draper

What’s with all the spandex?

You’ve probably seen fellow racers wearing tall compression socks, calf sleeves, thigh highs and full tights, wondered what they’re all about and whether you should get some, too. These garments are based on a concept medicine validated long ago: that compression clothing increases blood and lymphatic flow. In sports, compression garments are meant to improve performance and expedite recovery. Although there isn’t yet a consensus among experts if compression apparel really works, research has shown that it just might do what manufacturers say it does.

Running Performance

How it works: Squeezing blood vessels causes them to open forcefully, which allows more blood and oxygen into the compressed muscle and helps shunt waste. This in-with-the-good-out-with-the-bad increases the working muscles’ capacity to produce energy and allows the wearer to run faster.

Does it really happen?

Research conducted by the University of Newcastle found that lower body compression garments increase blood flow and reduce heart rate during high-intensity endurance running, supporting the theory that compression socks should improve performance. But that same study didn’t find that compression clothing actually made runners faster. And other researchers have also found that compression socks don’t improve 10K running performance. Three things could cause this contradiction: The original finding could be wrong, the runners’ performance might be improved by an amount too small for the study to find significant or the weight of the socks could counteract their physiological benefit. It sounds crazy, but carrying the socks—they weigh roughly three ounces—hampers performance. For some perspective, three ounces is the same weight difference between Asics’ supportive, gel-cushioned Kayano trainers and their lightweight road-racing shoe, the Speedstar. Three ounces is not trivial.

Reduced Soreness

How it works: The foot striking the ground sends vibration up the runner’s leg and causes muscles to shake. This is thought to damage muscles and add to post-exercise soreness. Compression apparel secures the muscles in place to prevent muscular breakdown.

Does it really happen?

Research conducted by Massey University in Auckland found that there was a reduction in delayed-onset muscle soreness 24 hours after exercise when wearing graduated compression stockings after a fast-paced 10K road run. Interestingly, this study found that soreness was reduced specifically in the compressed muscle region. Ninety-three percent of subjects who ran without compression socks experienced lower leg soreness a day after the run, but only 14 percent of the subjects who ran with the socks had similar soreness.

Expedited Recovery

How it works: By creating extra blood flow, wearing compression after exercise is purported to expedite the removal of metabolic waste and re-introduce the substances muscles require to rebuild.

Does it really happen?

There is some research to support countless anecdotes from athletes and air travelers who claim their legs feel fresher after wearing compression. Scientists at the University of Exeter measured recovery with three strength exercises conducted one, two, three and four days after soreness-inducing plyometric exercise. They found that wearing compression for 24 hours following exercise improved performance in all three strength tests and reduced the soreness perceived by the subjects.

By Aaron Hersh (competitor, your online source for running)

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Søndag d. 24. februar 2013

Exercising With a Cold? Feeling Sick But Guilty for not Training ?!

There’s a lot of people suffering colds or flu now.The challenge remains for athletes to decide when to re-start exercise and training after an illness.

A good starting point is to do a self-check on where your symptoms lie. If your cold symptoms are relatively mild and from the neck up, you can probably go for it. If your symptoms extend below the neck and include chest discomfort or deep cough, general aches and pains, and fever, hit the bed instead of the treadmill.

When you do feel well enough to do something and it’s cold outside, begin with some light indoor exercise, such as a walk or light run on a treadmill at the gym, sipping regularly from your water bottle (a sports drink can help protect your immune system). You don’t want the cold air outside to dry and irritate your throat. Nor do you want to do heavy exercise that will deplete your immune system.

Scientists have boldly and deliberately infected people with rhinovirus (which causes the common cold) to test the effect of moderate and maximal exercise on the severity and duration of the illness. This study reported that moderate exercise training during a rhinovirus-caused upper respiratory illness (URI)… does not alter the severity and duration of the illness.

And this study concluded that physiological responses to pulmonary function testing… and maximal exercise do not appear to be altered by an URI.

So if you get a common cold, take a day or two off to start with. Then re-start training slowly and gradually build up a little each day, deciding how much to do depending on how you feel each day. A good objective measure of your health can be obtained by checking your resting heart rate each morning. If it’s 10 bpm above normal, your body is really buggered and you need a day off. If it’s 5 bpm up, it may be ok and you should review your other symptoms to decide whether to train or not.

Training with a cold will make the training feel harder, so continue to limit the duration and intensity until back to full health.

However, if you have the flu and symptoms are more serious - like heavy chest discomfort, achy muscles, chills, fatigue, etc. - you need to be even more sedate with your return to exercise. Make sure you get plenty of sleep, your nutrition is good and your resting heart rate is barely elevated above normal before re-starting moderate or heavy exercise.

SportsTraining Blog

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Søndag d. 17. februar 2013

Fueling Your Winter Workouts

  • By Chris Carmichael
  • Published Nov 16, 2012

Stay lean this winter to be faster next year.

Let’s face it—the stretch from Halloween through New Year’s is a minefield of dietary indiscretions. It’s hard to avoid packing on a few extra pounds with everyone shoving high-sugar, high-fat foods in your face. And to make matters worse, most triathletes significantly decrease their training volume in these same months—what I call the “soft season,” the exercise space that falls between full-fledged training and being a couch potato.

It’s during this season that our coaches often scale back their triathletes’ training sessions to one workout per day, with a goal of two to three sessions per sport per week. In most cases, especially for time-crunched athletes and those not preparing for iron-distance goals, weekday workouts run about 45–90 minutes with longer sessions on the weekends.

With the overall reduction in energy expenditure and shorter workouts, you can help thwart gradual weight gain by following this easy tip: Don’t take in any calories during workouts lasting up to 75 minutes. You start these workouts with enough stored carbohydrate energy (glycogen) to achieve high-quality training efforts. At easy-to-moderate intensities, this no-extra-fuel window can even stretch to 90 minutes.

Carbohydrates from sports drinks or energy gels during longer workouts and races are necessary because you’re doing what you can to make your muscle glycogen stores last longer. During shorter (60–75-minute) workouts—even a really hard interval session—you’re not going to burn through all of your glycogen stores. And what you did burn you will completely replenish within 24 hours through post-workout nutrition and your normal diet. When your training frequency was higher, it may have been harder to fully replenish glycogen stores between workouts, but that’s less of a concern during the soft season.

What’s more, you’re not likely to reduce your out-of-training consumption to compensate for what you consumed during short workouts. So, if you don’t really need it during training and won’t account for that energy later in the day, all it’s doing is increasing your total caloric intake for the day and not improving your performance.

Don’t get me wrong: You still need to take in fluids to help manage core temperature. I really like low-calorie, electrolyte-rich drinks for hydration during short workouts. Effervescent tabs such as Gu Brew Electrolyte Tablets provide electrolytes and flavor—both driving factors for increasing fluid consumption during exercise.

In this type of nutrition approach, you’re relying on high-quality foods before and after shorter workouts to provide the energy for training and adaptation. Some of the most frequent questions I get are about adjusting nutrition for workouts at various times of day. At the bottom of this article, I’ve laid out a simple strategy for morning, mid-afternoon or evening workouts.

This may not completely eliminate all weight gain between Halloween and New Year’s. After all, the 1,000-calorie pumpkin spice latte you slurped up in the afternoon is more of a problem than the 150 calories you might have consumed during your workout. Don’t obsess over it; just keep an eye on it. Weight fluctuations by a few pounds are normal and healthy for athletes. What you want to avoid is packing on more than 5 pounds from the end of your competition season to the end of your soft season. Minimize the weight you gain now, and you’ll have less work to do getting to optimal race weight in 2013!

Carmichael Training Systems coach Nick White co-wrote this article. Chris Carmichael is the founder and head coach of CTS, the official coaching and camps partner of Ironman. Visit
Trainright.com.

Morning workout

Before:
1 bottle of water right when you get up. Have a small (100–200-calorie) snack to regulate blood sugar, and maybe a small cup of coffee if you need some caffeine to adequately focus.

During: 1 water bottle of a low-calorie electrolyte drink.

Recovery: At least 24 ounces of water and a high-quality breakfast. If you’re short on time, a recovery drink and a smaller, on-the-go breakfast is a good compromise.

Mid-day workout

Before:
1 bottle of water throughout the morning. Low-glycemic index bar, such as a PR Bar, within an hour before your workout.

During: 1–2 water bottles of low-calorie electrolyte drink and/or water.

Recovery: At least 24 ounces of water immediately after. High-quality lunch within 30–45 minutes.

Evening workout

Before:
24-ounce bottle of water in the hour before workout; many athletes gradually become more dehydrated as the day goes on. 150–200-calorie snack about 30–60 minutes before your workout.

During: 1–2 bottles of low-calorie electrolyte drink and/or water.

Recovery: High-quality dinner within 60 minutes of the end of your workout. Drink at least 24 ounces of water before or with dinner.

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Lørdag d. 26. januar 2013

Don't be that triathlete

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Onsdag d. 23. januar 2013

Start the new year weight loss

By Matt Fitzgerald. 28/12/12

Reverse your December weight gain with a January Racing Weight quick start.

There are two kinds of triathletes: Those who gain little or no weight in the off-season and those who gain several pounds or more. Six-time Ironman champion Dave Scott belongs to the former category. He maintains the same super-clean diet year-round like some kind of robot that is impervious to all temptation. Two-time Ironman champion Chris McCormack represents the second kind. Macca typically comes out of his off-season break weighing 10 pounds more than he does on the start line of the Ironman World Championship in Kona.

You see lots of articles about how to avoid weight gain at this time of year by eating rice cakes for Thanksgiving dinner and bowls of steam on Christmas. I never read them. I don’t see anything wrong with going a bit crazy with one’s diet in December, knowingly putting on a bit of flab, and then shedding it after the New Year when it’s time to get serious about preparing for the next triathlon season. In fact, unless you’re Dave Scott, I think that a month of almost-anything-goes eating makes it easier to eat strictly through the other 11 months of the year. Eleven months of clean eating cause a kind of psychological pressure to build; holiday feasting releases that pressure.

This system only works if it is, in fact, systematic. I recommend that triathletes make their winter weight fluctuations systematic by imposing an 8-percent rule on themselves and by executing a formal “Racing Weight quick start” in the New Year. The 8-percent rule states that at no time during the year is a triathlete allowed to tip the scales at more than 8 percent above his or her ideal racing weight. So if your perfect triathlon competition weight is 150 lbs, you cannot weight more than 162 pounds immediately after Thanksgiving dinner. The 8-percent rule keeps one from completely letting himself or herself go.

A Racing Weight quick start is a four- to eight-week period of programmatic weight loss that immediately follows the off-season break and precedes the start of race-focused training. In a quick start you pursue weight loss more aggressively than you can during a major build-up to racing, when you need to ensure that your body is always well fueled for performance and recovery. The idea is to literally get a quick start on reversing your off-season weight gain and returning to your ideal racing weight.

There are five components of the quick start system that is presented in full, hand-holding detail in my 

1. Moderate calorie deficit

During a quick start you should aim to consume 300 to 500 fewer calories per day than your body would need to maintain its current weight. This deficit is sufficient to yield fairly quick weight loss, but it would be too large within the race-focused training process, when you need your diet to support heavy training for an upcoming race.

2. Strength training

A quick start is also a good time to make a greater commitment to strength training than you do at any other time. It’s hard to find a lot of time and energy to lift weights during the training cycle. But in a quick start period it’s not so hard, and doing so will help you lose weight by adding muscle mass to your frame and thereby increasing your metabolism, so you burn more fat at rest. Building strength during a quick start will also help you perform better and stay injury free during the subsequent race-focused training process.

Try to do three full-body strength sessions per week during a quick start.

3. Increased protein intake

I recommend that triathletes aim to get roughly 30 percent of their daily calories from protein during a quick start. There are two reasons for this recommendation. First, high-protein diets are more filling than moderate- and low-protein diets. So increasing your protein intake during a quick start will help you maintain your daily calorie deficit without hunger. Second, increased protein intake will help you build muscle through strength training.

Within the training cycle your protein intake needs to be lower to make room for increased consumption of carbohydrate, your most important endurance fuel.

4. Sprint intervals

A quick start is not the time for high-volume endurance training. That should wait until you’re within the race-focused training process. Of course, high-volume endurance training does promote fat loss. So if you’re not going to do it during a quick start, you have to promote fat loss through training in other ways. As we’ve seen, strength training is one way. Another is sprint interval workouts. Training sessions consisting of large numbers of very short (10-30 seconds) sprints are proven to promote significant fat loss, especially between workouts. They also develop power that will help you get off to a good start when you move into race-focused training.

This is not a type of training that you can do much of within the race-focused training period, when more race-specific types of workouts (longer intervals, tempo workouts, etc.) must be prioritized.

5. Fasting workouts

A fasting workout is a long, easy ride or run undertaken in a glycogen-deprived state. This means you don’t eat before you start and you don’t take in any carbs along the way. This forces your body to rely on fat to fuel the workout, making it a great fat-burning session. I advise triathletes to perform one fasting workout per week—alternating between rides and runs—during a quick start. Later, when you’re actively training toward a race, you should consume carbs before and during most of your long rides and runs to maximize your performance in those workouts.

Circle January 1

Back in the 1980s, Scott Tinley and other members of San Diego’s elite triathlon set used to do an informal group bike ride called the Hangover 100 on New Year’s Day. It requires no further explanation. I mention it because I think it shows there’s something to be said for slacking off as a triathlete when appropriate and then suddenly getting very serious again when it’s time.

What do you say? Let’s all get serious about leaning out on January 1, 2013.

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Torsdag d. 10. januar 2013

” Let me take that road, for on it I shall prove my strength and find out whether there is in me already enough courage to call myself a knight” 

– Sir Melyvant, from The quest for the Holy Grail


” Let me take that road, for on it I shall prove my strength and find out whether there is in me already enough courage to call myself an Ironman” 

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Torsdag d. 20. december 2012

Da Pernille henvente sig til Activesense kunne hun ikke svømme crawl.
På videoen ses Pernille efter 6 timers undervisning efter TotalImmersion teknikken.

Niveau 1 TI - ubesværet udholdenhed gennem balance og strømlinet svømning.
Niveau 2 TI - hvor vi kombinerer balance og strømlinethed med kroppens naturlige fremdrift i en samlet koreografi. 

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Mandag d. 10. december 2012 

220Triathlon magazine december 2012

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Tirsdag d. 4. december 2012

Chrissie Wellington retires

Contributor profile Chrissie Wellington

Four-time Ironman World Champion
Chrissie Wellington, Updated 3rd December 2012
Four-time Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington has announced her retirement from Ironman racing

The four-time Ironman World Champion, Chrissie Wellington, has announced her retirement from professional Ironman racing. We'll have more in our issue 282 from our columnist but here's an statement from Chrissie on her difficult decision and what lies next from the Ironman Hawaii course record holder...

Chrissie Wellington Statement:
“Over the past 12 months I have had time to reflect and think, about my past and, of course, also of my future. Being a professional Ironman athlete has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have achieved more than I could have ever imagined, and been so fortunate to travel to some beautiful places, compete against the best in the world, and forge many lasting friendships. Those life-changing experiences and memories will stay with me forever. 

As an athlete I sought ‘the perfect race’. That race within myself where I dug to the depths mentally and physically, and that hard-fought race with my competitors. The Ironman World Championships in 2011 was the icing on the cake for me as an athlete. It was my ‘perfect race’ and it ‘completed’ me.

My passion for the sport hasn’t waned, but my passion for new experiences and new challenges is what is now burning the most brightly. Hence, I have got to the point where I know that it is right for me to retire from professional Ironman racing. Needless to say this decision has not come easy, but deep in my heart I know it is the right thing for me to do. My future will, of course, involve sport and triathlon – but it will no longer be the axis around which my entire life revolves.

In the past year, since I won the Ironman World Championships, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being able to dedicate myself to other aspects of my life, including charity work, public speaking, policy development, and of course publishing and promoting my autobiography, ‘A Life Without Limits’. I will keep everyone updated on my future plans via my website – www.chrissiewellington.org and twitter - @chrissiesmiles.

Of course I could not have achieved what I have without the unwavering support of so many people – my family and friends, my manager Ben and the Wasserman team, my amazing coaches, my wonderful, wonderful sponsors who have enabled me to make my passion my career, the race organisers, my fellow pro athletes, the media who have given me such an amazing platform, the volunteers and all the thousands of age groupers around the world.

I will continue to act as an ambassador for a number of my sponsors.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank every single person that has been part of my Ironman journey, and wish you all the very best for the 2013 season and beyond.”

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Lørdag d. 24. november 2012

Triatlon og åbent vand-stævner har gjort crawl mere populært blandt voksne. Men også børn opfordres til at begynde med crawl i stedet for brystsvømning. Foto: Thomas Freitag

Ny dille: Danskerne er vilde med crawl

Både børn og voksne skifter brystsvømning ud med crawl. Den svømmeteknik er hurtigere og lettere at lære

Brystsvømning med hovedet over vandet – eller crawl med hurtige arme og hovedet under vandet det meste af tiden. Der er ingen tvivl om, hvad der ser smartest ud. Eller er hurtigst. Og det er danskerne for alvor ved at få øjnene op for.

Den store interesse for triatlon, hvor man både svømmer, løber og cykler, er en del af forklaringen, og det samme er et stigende antal deltagere i åbent vand-stævner. Fra 2006-2012 er antallet af deltagere i stævnerne steget fra 522 til 3.542. Det oplyser udviklingskonsulent Lars Bo Larsen fra Dansk Svømmeunion, der repræsenterer svømmeklubberne.

»Trenden med triatlon og åbent vand-konkurrencer har kastet en øget interesse for crawl af sig. Hvis man skal svømme i havet, bliver man nødt til at kunne crawle, og det har skabt en dille, som jo bare er fantastisk,« siger Lars Bo Larsen.

Crawl for voksne

Dansk Svømmeunion er i år begyndt på projektet 'Start to crawl', og forventningen er, at det på grund af efterspørgslen bliver bredt ud til svømmeklubber over hele landet i løbet af 2013. Tilbuddet er til voksne, der gerne vil gå på et svømmehold for at blive bedre til crawl.

Men det er ikke kun de voksne, der kaster sig ud i den populære stilart. Også børnene bliver anbefalet at lære crawl som det første, fordi det er meget lettere.

»Brystsvømning er sværere rent motorisk end crawl, fordi det kræver så stor koordination mellem arme og ben. Crawl-teknikken er nemmere at fange for børn og derfor den letteste måde at lære at svømme på. Derfor anbefaler vi, at det er den stilart, børnene lærer først,« siger udviklingskonsulent Anna Jørgensen i Dansk Svømmeunion.

Sikkert og hurtigt

Men crawl er ikke bare lettere at lære for børn – den er også brystsvømning overlegen på andre områder. Hvis man kan teknikken, er den mindre anstrengende og derfor også mere sikker, hvis man skulle falde over bord. Og så er den frem for alt hurtigere.

Hos Dansk Skoleidræt overvejer de nu også, om crawl skal fylde mere i forbindelse med svømmemærkerne. Med dem kan børn tage mærker i forskellige distancer, og overvejelsen går nu også på at formulere krav til svømmestilen.

»Udviklingen går mod at motivere børn til crawl frem for brystsvømning, og ver er selvgølgelig kun interesserede i, at den nyeste viden og erfaring kommer skolerne og børnene til gavn. Derfor overvejer vi også at skele mere til crawl i de nye skolemærker,« siger generalsekretør Steen Hjorth i Dansk Skoleidræt.

metroXpress d. 22. november 2012
Journalist Gitte Bank

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Onsdag d. 14. november 2012

You Were Right All Along: Massage Works

  • By Matt Fitzgerald

After decades of scientific dismissals, a new study suggests that massage not only enhances recovery but may also boost fitness.

This article was originally published in the Sept/Oct 2012 issue of Inside Triathlon magazine.

Many triathletes swear by massage. They may not have the slightest idea how it works, but they are unshakably certain that it works. They can feel it. A good massage seems to take post-workout soreness and stiffness out of the muscles. A regular regimen of weekly massage seems to keep the body loose and supple and enhance freedom of movement.

Scientific attempts to validate these perceptions have almost always failed, however. Jason Brumitt, Ph.D., an assistant professor of physical therapy at Pacific University, summed up the situation in a 2008 review of the scientific literature on the use of massage therapy in sports. “Massage is a popular treatment choice of athletes, coaches, and sports physical therapists,” he wrote. “Despite its purported benefits and frequent use, evidence demonstrating its efficacy is scarce.”

Not anymore. A new study published in Science Translational Medicine provides the first physiological evidence that massage actually does something—and perhaps something more than even its most enthusiastic devotees thought it did.

The lead author of the study, Mark Tarnopolsky, is a professor of neurology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and—crucially—also an accomplished trail runner. When Tarnopolsky tore a hamstring in a water-skiing accident, he received massage treatments as part of his physical therapy. Not convinced by his therapist’s explanation of how massage worked, Tarnopolsky decided to find out for himself.

A specialist in cellular biology, Tarnopolsky designed the first study using muscle biopsies to investigate the effects of massage on a cellular level with the aid of gene expression profiling. This technique enables researchers to see whether particular genes are “turned on” or “turned off” by a specific intervention such as massage.

There are several hundred genes whose expression is known to be affected by exercise. Subjects in the study received a massage on one leg after exercising with both legs, then a muscle biopsy was taken from each leg and analyzed for differences in gene expression. Tarnopolsky found that genes that regulate inflammation, which are normally turned on by exercise, were less active after massage. Surprisingly, he also found that genes responsible for synthesizing new mitochondria—the part of a cell responsible for generating energy—in muscle cells were more active after massage. Mitochondrial creation is one of the key responses to endurance training that increases aerobic fitness.

These findings are unquestionably important and exciting, but Tarnopolsky cautions that they are not the end of the story. “At the end of the day,” he says, “athletes want to know: ‘If I exercise and get a massage, am I going to get fitter because I have more mitochondria? Am I going to recover faster because I have less inflammation?’”

Tarnopolsky is preparing a study to answer these very questions now. In the meantime, he’s a full convert to sports massage.

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