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Results for category "Triathlon Training"

HYDRATION – SOME TWISTS ON A COMMON THEME

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HYDRATION – SOME TWISTS ON A COMMON THEME
by Rod Cedaro (M. App. Sc.)
Consultant Exercise Physiologist ACC Accredited Level III Triathlon Coach

Successfully competing in endurance sports such as triathlon – which is mostly completed in hot environments requires close attention to adequately fuelling and refuelling your body with appropriate fluids and foods consistently.

Rod Cedaro

Fluids: Stay Adequately Hydrated

As an endurance athlete, especially a triathlete who trains and competes in hot and humid weather conditions, your biggest potential problem is the constant risk of dehydration. This risk becomes greater the longer you train or compete and/or when you train more than once a day – which for most triathletes is commonplace.

Some points to consider:
• If you lose too much fluid in sweat without replacing what’s been lost (in both fluids and electrolytes like sodium and potassium), you risk becoming dehydrated, plain and simple. Research has shown that even partial dehydration (2% loss of body weight) can decrease performance significantly (e.g. By 2% even at this marginal rate of dehydration).

• The best way of battling this fluid loss is by using a “sports drink” (e.g. Gatorade) which will help by replacing both fluid and electrolytes. “Energy drinks” on the other hand (e.g. Red Bull) have the potential to do more harm than good.

• When you consider (even at an age-group level) that the difference between top finishers is often less than a minute, you can’t afford to lose time due to dehydration.

There’s a right and wrong way to hydrate:

You can “over-hydrate” so have a hydration plan in place before training and competing.

• Remain hydrated throughout the day, be sure to turn up to training/competitions well hydrated. If you start even partially dehydrated you’re already behind the 8 ball. Make sure you’re urinating clearly throughout the day BEFORE you start training/competing. To achieve this start the day by grabbing a sports drink, then using water bubblers, drinking fountains, office coolers, and other beverages/dispensers regularly throughout the day.

• Hydrate 2 to 3 hours before training and competitions. Aim for 2 cups (500ml) of fluid at this time and an additional 250ml 10 to 20 minutes before you start training/competing.

• Drink to replace sweat; don’t over-drink. In-experienced triathletes, particularly those who are a little slower in competition can have a tendency to drink too much and run the risk over-hydrating, which can lead to “hyponatremia” – particularly if they are drinking low sodium beverages like water or flat Coke. The easiest way to offset the chance of suffering from hyponatremia is by knowing how much fluid your body requires (see sweat rate chart below).

Knowing your sweat rate is pretty simple. To determine your fluid requirements simply monitor your sweat rates. These can vary for each person and for the same person depending on weather, exercise intensity of exercise, acclimatization status, etc.

So be sure to measure:

How much weight you lose during exercise (in mg) + How much fluid you consume during exercise (in ml) = The amount they SHOULD drink to replace sweat losses

Rod Cedaro: 5 Healthy Snacks to eat on the go!

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There are often times in our daily lives when we are so busy we struggle to find something healthy to eat. It can be all too easy to buy an unhealthy takeaway lunch or reach for the biscuits in the afternoon. Also, it can get easy to get stuck in a food rut where you eat the same set foods each day and you start to get bored – which again can have you reaching for the wrong types of food.

As a trainer and coach, I have found some excellent and nutritious snacks that work to fuel your body and provide you with stamina and energy to get through the day:Greek yogurt and fruit

Greek yogurt and fruit

Berries

Berries

Nuts

Nuts

Avocado on wholemeal toast

Avocado on wholemeal toast

Sushi

Sushi

I hope these foods give you some great ideas to add variety to your diet and keep you from eating those unhealthy snacks!

Rod Cedaro

Rod Cedaro: 10 tips a week to keep you injury free when running- part 4

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31. Be seen be safe. When running in the dark make sure to wear reflective apparel so you can be seen. Leave your Ipod at home and carry your mobile. Don’t forget to let someone know your going out for a run and where you’re going just in case there’s an emergency.

Wear reflective clothing when running at night

Wear reflective clothing when running at night

32. Protect your skin. You don’t want to look weather beaten and 50 when your 30! The sun, wind, heat and cold can all damage to your skin. Make sure you protect it. Use products like sunscreen, chapstick and moisturizers to take care of it.

Use SPF

 

33. Lower back pain is preventable. To prevent lower-back pain, take time to stretch on a daily basis particularly through your lumbar and hamstring region. If the pain is especially acute, stretch, ice the area for 10 minutes, and stretch again.

 

Lower back stretch

Lower back stretch

34. To treat windburn try using a one-percent hydrocortisone cream. You can find this at most chemists and it will calm the irritation and burning.

 

35. Eat the “rainbow” – the more colour in your diet the better. Antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamins C and E are most common in fruit and vegetables they are said to offset the effect of free radicals which speed the aging process. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants will help keep you looking and feeling younger for longer.

 

Eat a colourful diet rich in fruit & veggies

Eat a colourful diet rich in fruit & veggies

36. Training and racing in polluted areas can increase your exposure to free radicals. The free radicals that you need to worry about are the ones that infiltrate your body via environmental pollutants, such as ozone and cigarette smoke. If you’re forced to train in polluted areas (e.g. Travelling on business) try to get out early in the morning before the morning peak hour when there are less cars, trucks, etc. on the road.

Run early in built up areas

Run early in built up areas

37. Free radicals are central to the process of training adaptation known as the “training effect.”Free radicals produced after a hard training session provide a signal to muscle cells that it is time to make adaptive changes to exercise.

 

38. Learn to be objective with your training. There’s a fine line between training hard and “over-training”. Try not to cross it! To avoid injury, draw the line between hard workouts and overtraining.

 

Foam rolling is great for hip flexors

Foam rolling is great for hip flexors

39. For running your hip flexors, in particular your psoas is very important, strengthen it and keep it flexible. Your psoas basically connects your legs to your body. It runs from the base of your thigh bone to your lumbar spine. If it is weak or tightens up your running suffers. Work on it with appropriate stretches and strengthening exercises.

 

40. You can’t train a tired body! Look for the signs and symptoms of over-training. Take yourself to the edge but don’t go over it.

 

For more of Rod Cedaro’s tips, see part 5

Rod Cedaro’s 10 Tips a Week to Keep You Injury Free When Running : Part 1

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 Rod Cedaro (M. App. Sc.) Consultant Exercise Physiologist ACC Accredited Level III Triathlon Coach

Launching into a heavy run training program can tear your legs apart if you aren’t adequately prepared. I’ve prepared 52 top tips to help you make running a lot easier on your body.

Rod Cedaro running1. The impact of running can be lessened by having strong joints You can lessen the impact of running if you have strong joints. How do you develop strong joints? By slowly and progressively building up to your running. Start with progressively longer walks of you have to until your body adapts.

 

2. To prevent running injuries increase strength and stability The three most common joint areas that are injured by running are the hips, knees and ankles. Improve your strength, flexibility and stability through these regions and you’ll lower the incidence of injury.

 

3. When you start a running program it is common to be sore through your calf muscles. You can lessen this discomfort by warming up, cooling down and stretching thoroughly through the lower leg region.

 

4. Where possible, don’t pierce blisters, allow them to heal of their own accord. If they are really painful, dip a needle in some form of an antiseptic fluid, pierce the blister, drain it and then cover the area with a band-aid or something similar. Blisters are caused by friction between the shoe and skin which creates “hot spots” and areas that rub. Identify these areas early and cover them with some vasolene. Good quality, purpose made running socks can also be helpful.

 

5. Use moisturizing lotion and lip balms. Use moisturizing lotion and lip balms to treat areas of your skin exposed to windburn during the winter. This will help stop your skin and lips from drying out and cracking which can be extremely painful.

 

6. Sunburn can still be an issue during winter. We live in Australia, the country with the highest incidence of skin cancer anywhere in the world. Even during winter sunburn can still be an issue. Regardless of the time of year protect your skin with sunscreen.

 

7. Look after your feet and prevent athlete’s foot. “Athlete’s foot” (tinea), can be extremely uncomfortable and in extreme cases debilitating to the point it can stop you from running. To prevent this ailment change wet socks immediately and dry your shoes and inner soles as quickly as possible to remove all traces of moisture. Rotating two pairs of training shoes and stuff the damp ones with newspaper is a good way to achieve this.

 

8. Strength-training helps your running. Stronger legs help you absorb training more effectively and offset the chance of overuse injuries. Completing some appropriately designed strength training exercises will help you run stronger for longer by staying injury-free.

 

9. Excessive training can compromise your immune system so know your limits. Some training improves immune function, take it too far, too fast, before your body has the chance to adapt and your body will fall into mal-adaption. If you find yourself continually coming down with colds, flues and other such infections, chances are you’ve given your immune system a hammering, back off the training volume but more importantly, back off the intensity which is the major cause of lowered immune function.

 

10. Don’t run in a vacuum. Running can almost be hypnotic, it can be a great escape as you day dream or chat to training partners, but don’t ignore your surroundings. This is a really easy way of wiping yourself out by tripping over gutters, running into low lying tree branches, or getting hit by cars. Enjoy the escape of running but stay aware to avoid potential disasters.

Find out more tips  from Rod Cedaro in Part 2

VIVA ITALIA – THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET

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Text by Rod Cedaro (M. App. Sc.)

Consultant Exercise Physiologist ACC Accredited Level III Triathlon Coach

On a recent trip to Italy my partner (who is a dietician) and I found it fascinating to look at the manner in which typical Italians eat, compared to Aussies and Americans (we travelled back to Australia via the States – what a contrast in food habits to Italy!).

Whilst Italy has its smattering of Fast Food restaurants with the Golden Arches rearing its ugly head among the beautiful monuments and the like, it seems, in majority of the cases at least, that the only people in these establishments are the Anglo-Saxon tourists that don’t know any better!

The Italians on the other hand are chowing down on a derivation of what has commonly become known as the “Mediterranean Diet”.

For the last 20 years public health eating guidelines in places like Australia and the USA have emphasised a balance between groups of foods intended to meet the basic nutritional requirements of the population. The emphasis has been on carbohydrate rich foods with a low fat intake. The problem is – at least in industrialised countries – that the emphasis has shifted from nutritional adequacy to “over” nutrition and the consumption of excessive amounts of foods closely linked to cardiovascular disease and certain forms of cancer.

These guidelines have been typically displayed in the “food pyramid” and lump certain foods together (e.g. Red meat is lumped together with chicken, fish, poultry, beans and nuts and called “protein” foods) making no distinction between vegetable oils and animal fats and not really distinguishing between full fat and low fat diary options.

Relatively recent studies however have documented the benefits of the “classic” Mediterranean diets in fostering longer and healthier lives for those who adhere to them. Given that the Mediterranean Sea is bordered by some 16 different countries there is no “one” Mediterranean Diet per se, but rather food habits that appear to be common throughout this region and which promote health and longevity in those eating in this manner.

So what are the common denominators?

All versions of the Mediterranean diet appear to have:

  •  High consumption of fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds, nuts and other cereals.
  • Olive oil is used extensively in cooking and as a dressing.
  • There are moderate amounts of fish – particularly those that are oily in nature – and only limited amounts of red meat.
  • There is a low to moderate consumption of full fat diary products such as cheese and yoghurt.
  • Alcohol – particularly red wine – is consumed in moderation and usually in conjunction with meals.
  • They rely on local, seasonal and fresh produce – not a lot of processed/packaged food is consumed.
  • They lead an active and relaxed lifestyle.

Rod Cedaro dietGiven that the benefits of the Mediterranean diet has now been documented to enhance health and longevity (see reference listed below), this style of eating has promoted researchers to ask, “why” and “which foods” have these protective properties.

Their findings can be summarised as follows:

(i) Olive oil is used instead of butter. margarine and other fats for cooking. It is a rich source of monounsaturated fat which protects against heart disease possibly because it displaces saturated fat in the diet. It is also a source of antioxidants such as vitamin E, but equally important, Olive oil is used extensively as a dressing in various vegetable based dishes, salads and to fry fish.

(ii) Fruit and veg. Study after study have found these foods to have protective qualities against both heart disease and cancer, probably as a consequence of their antioxidant properties. Tomatoes in particular have come under closer scrutiny because they are used so extensively in the Mediterranean diet in sauces and the like. In fact the process of heating and cooking tomatoes increases the availability of the compound lycopene which is richly available in tomatoes and is a powerful antioxidant.

(iii) Fish, such as sardines, are regularly consumed and they are rich in Omega 3 oils which have been found to be beneficial to cardiac function. Those partaking in the Mediterranean diet, that live close to the sea rely on the bounty of the sea for much of their meat intake.

(iv) Wine in moderation. Red wine is drunk throughout the Mediterranean region, particularly at meal time and in moderation. Red wine in particular is rich in certain health promoting compounds (flavonoids and phytonutrients) which are powerful antioxidants and have a role to play in lowering cardiovascular disease states.

(v) A combined effect. In the paper sited below, the researchers found that no single component or food group singularly provided any significant health protection and the authors concluded that it is in-fact the combination of all the different elements of the diet coupled with the more relaxed approach to life, plenty of sunshine and more physical activity that contributes to the improved health status of those lucky enough to live in this beautiful part of the world.

The take home message for you, the triathlete – forget the nonsensical high protein, low carb dietary regimens, forget trying to eat like Nathan Pritikin – all carbs and no fats – eat like the traditional Italians (particularly from the south) and Greeks. If you’re training hard, up the volume of food from all food groups but in particular the cereal, fruit, vegetable and legume component of the diet – they are rich in energy giving carbohydrates. Above all, enjoy your food, train smart and enjoy life, or as the Italians say, “La Dolca Vita” (the sweet life) – after all the research is in and your life depends on it.

http://oldwayspt.org/resources/heritage-pyramids/mediterranean-diet-pyramid

The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid

Reference:

  1. Trichopoulou A. et al: Adherence to a Mediterranean diet and survival in a Greek population. New England Journal of Medicine 348: 2599-2608, 2003.