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Yesterday a column I wrote titled “What Went Wrong at the 2010 FINA World Cup”.


I decided to do a bit more follow-up in today’s blog because I found out more swimmers went to the emergency room. I also wanted to provide a few more links and make a request to researchers.


First, several people sent me the Washington Post link noting that Fran was not the only swimmer to suffer heat illness. Two other USA swimmers went to the emergency room. Who knows how many swimmers from other countries suffered heat illness? If anyone knows, please drop me a note.


I read a comment by a top-ranked swimmer commenting that she thought no swimming event should be canceled for conditions that are too hot. She said something like “…the New York marathon isn’t canceled because it’s too hot…”


Yes, it’s true that running events are not canceled due to heat; however, the consequences of heat-related illness during the event are not the same in swimming as in running. If a runner gets overheated and faints on the course, the runner hits the sidewalk or pavement. More than likely someone will see them and offer aid. If someone faints in hot water, unless each swimmer has a boat assigned to them, the risk of drowning is significant.


In short, I disagree with her.


A few people asked about the link to the ABC interview – it can be found here.


The Race Rules and Regulations document for 2010 to 2013 can be found here  - note this is a different document than the “FINA website rules” link.


To the researchers out there ~ can someone do a study on the affects of water temperatures above 82 degrees Fahrenheit on swimmers traveling at various intensities? I could not find any research on “hot” water swimming.

704 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: world_cup, fran_crippen, hot_water_swimming, fina

In order to cover all of your endurance and general health nutrition bases, may I suggest the following rotation:


Monday: Kenyan Diet (small amounts of roasted meat, cooked greens, fruit, milk and, always, ugali, a thick, polenta-style cornmeal porridge. Made from water and maize (corn), which is traditionally ground by hand into flour, ugali serves as the national dish of East Africa)


Tuesday: Paleo Diet (avoid all grains and dairy products, focus on meats, fruits and vegetables)


Wednesday: Tarahumara Indian Diet (mainstay of the diet is corn and chia seeds are used as endurance fuel for long-distance hunting – “running their prey to exhaustion”)


Thursday: Sherpa Diet (a typical dinner includes stew (shakpa) made of balls of dough, potatoes and vegetables - of course tea goes with all meals (tea is served with salt and butter))


Friday: Gluten-free Diet (part of wheat, rye, barley and related grains, gluten is eliminated by people with celiac disease – some believe gluten should be eliminated by everyone)


Saturday: Vegan Diet (consume no foods made of animal products of any kind – this includes butter, eggs, milk and of course flesh)


Sunday: Atkins Diet (a multi-phase diet designed for health, weight loss and promoting “fat burning” – phase one is very low carbohydrate)


If you think a daily rotation is too much for your system to handle, you could rotate monthly instead.


Making it this far in the blog, you may be thinking that I’ve written with tongue-in-cheek. You’re right.


I know it is very frustrating for people to know which plan is the “best” diet plan and the list above barely scratches the surface of available diet plans. Because we all have different genetic fingerprints, lifestyles, personal preferences, activity levels and athletic goals – there is no single diet and nutrition plan that is best for 100 percent of the population.


You need to do what’s best for YOU. Enjoy yourself, you only have one shot at this – and I mean that literally. You diet and nutrition plan should not be punishment, rather an enjoyable part of a healthy, active and happy life.

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Last week I traveled to the U.S. Olympic Training Center to present at, and attend, the USA Cycling Coaching Summit. It was a great summit and I met several high quality coaches. Additionally, the other presenters provided me with plenty of items to ponder. Look for these in the upcoming Active Cyclist and Active Triathelte Newsletters. (My Twitter and Facebook friends always get pre-newsletter column release.)


In the past two weeks, the subject of long boarders careening themselves down mountain roads has come up in group conversations at least three times. (Twice at the coaching summit.) I told people I would post links to the longboarder columns I've written:


Loveland Pass

Video and Rist Canyon (He did over 70mph on a skateboard.)

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Last year I wrote a column about body hair removal for athletes. The column investigation got me interested in the techniques because I’ve had a recurring saddle sore every season for years and years. After writing the column I decided to have the laser hair removal treatment, beginning last fall.  Because my saddle sore was always in the body-leg intersection area that receives pressure from the saddle, I decided on a hair removal pattern closest to a “bikini”.


The good news is that my annual saddle sore that reappeared in the same location every season, did not occur this season. It seems the laser treatment did work.


As the column notes, the treatments should be done over the course of several weeks, each treatment separated by four to six weeks. This means if you plan to have this treatment done for next cycling season, you need to begin now.


Did anyone else try a hair removal technique and experience success?

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Bicycles and bugling elk

Posted by Gale Bernhardt Oct 11, 2010

Did you know that elk bugle? Their bugling noise is part of rut or mating season.  Someone else took this video showing an elk bugling. It is one of the videos available online that shows the bugle within the first few seconds of the video.


Three of us rode to Estes Park, at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, and we were lucky enough to get within 50 yards of a bull elk and his harem. Lucky and cautious.




Certainly we were lucky to see them; however all of us know how aggressive bull elk can be during rut. You can do an internet search on elk during rut and find them tangling horns with each other as well as attacking cars that they deem as a threat to their harem.


Watching the herd across the river from us dining on lush golf course grass, river grasses and drinking water from the Big Thompson River, we were filled with awe and respect.


It wasn’t long after I took the photo above that we heard the bugle of another bull on a hillside about 300 or 400 yards away. That bugle made the bull nearest to us exit the water, circle his cows and take a protective stance on the side of his harem closest to the potential intruder.


Once in position, he returned a bugle as if saying, “I’m ready for you buddy. Just try to come close to my harem and I’ll show you what I’ve got.”


We decided that while the bull was distracted watching the other bull in the distance, we would make our way down the bike path and back towards Loveland. A cyclist would be no match for an angry, protective bull elk.


(Below are a couple of shots of Scott Ellis and Bruce Runnels on the ride up to Estes. The Estes trip was Bruce’s longest ride in eight weeks, after his emergency surgery to remove 45 inches of small intestine. That’s another story…)



Scott Ellis above, on the approach to the second set of switchbacks above the town of Glen Haven. Below, Bruce Runnels makes the climb look easy.


705 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: estes_park, rocky_mountain_national_park, loveland_colorado, bull_elk, rut, glen_haven

Last weekend a few of us went mountain biking in Summit County, Colorado. Luckily, we had a couple of experienced riders with us to show us some good trails. One such rider was former Summit resident Bill Frielingsdorf. (Thanks Bill!)




This post isn't so much about the great trails Bill showed us over the weekend, rather it is about data collection. For those of you that haven’t played with a GPS device, such as the Garmin 705, I’ll show you a few cool things you can do with a data file.


You don’t need to download anything to see the basic file link here. At this link you will find moving time of 3:36, elapsed time of 4:53, distance of 28.33, elevation gain of 4,109 as well as a course profile, speeds and heart rate data. The display map shows you the course on a basic flat map.The only thing you’ll need to download (and it’s free) to see some of the features is Google Earth.


Below the map (not above) you’ll notice a tab titled “Google Earth” – click on that selection. (Remember, you must have already installed “Google Earth” from the download above.) A box will come up asking you if you want to open the activity with Google Earth (which is typically the default selection) and select “OK”.


That should bring up a satellite view of earth, the route traced on the map and public photos of the area that other people have posted.  Of course you can select any of the photos to see pictures of that area. There is a vertical bar on the right side of the map (move your cursor over there) that allows you to zoom in and zoom out on the map. I suggest you have the map fill most of your screen.


Once you’ve got the map where you want it, notice there is a player feature at the top left corner (move your cursor over there) of the map. If you select the second tab from the left, the player shows you a fast motion view of the ride. You can see points where we stopped, the point where I went backwards to check on a possible mechanical problem, and the entire thing is time-stamped. Selecting the tool on the right side of the player bar allows you to select the speed of the animation (slower, faster).


If you want to see the map in 3-D, notice the circle that has an “N” on it. If you click on the arrow just below the “N”, it tips the map toward the north. You can move away from the tipping tool and use the “hand” to resituate the map. To do this just move your curser to the middle of the map, left click the mouse and drag the map to see what you want to see.


You can further play with the tipping and zooming features just to experiment.



778 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: mountain_biking, colorado_trail, summit_county_colorado, keystone

Speed bump run

Posted by Gale Bernhardt Oct 1, 2010

For those of you looking to add variety to your training with a new run workout , try this one:


Warm-up for 15-20 minutes at Zone 1-2 intensity (or pace). After the warm-up run 5 minutes at a faster pace (roughly 5k pace) followed by 5 minutes Zone 1 pace (easy). Go right into 4 minutes at a slightly faster pace followed by 4 minutes Zone 1, run 3 minutes at a faster pace followed by 3 minutes Zone 1, run 2 minutes at a faster pace followed by 2 minutes Zone 1, run 1 minute at a faster pace followed by an easy cool down at Zone 1 pace.


The goal is to make each speed bump run slightly faster than the previous bump in speed. The workout begins with 5k pace; but, you can begin at 10k, half-marathon, marathon pace or a pace faster than 5k depending on your goals.

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