[http://active.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/06/12/imgp1573.jpg]I caught the only showing of the film, 24 Solo, at the historic La Paloma Theater in Encinitas, Calif. The film introduced me to the world of 24-hour mountain-bike racing as well as Chris Eatough, six-time 24-hour solo world champion. The story offered a behind-the-scenes view into the training and personal life of Eatough during his quest for his seventh consecutive title.
On average, Eatough rides six to seven days a week for three hours. Occasionally, he?ll step up to a seven-hour ride in the weeks preceding a major endurance event. He believes that the consistent training allows him to maintain a higher intensity than if he were to train with longer outings, which would prevent him from riding as frequently. This also allows him to stay competitive all season long, as he enters an average of two cross-country races per month in addition to the major endurance events.
I grew up an avid mountain biker on the east coast, riding a long network of trails that double as snowmobile trails in the winter. Thus, I have always respected the sport and I believe this film has expertly portrayed the ?endurance spirit? that I often reference. The mental and physical fortitude that Eatough displays during both training and competition reveals the extreme nature of the sport. 24-hour solo riders are competing against something more formidable than other riders -- themselves.
Although 24-hour racing is not for everyone, Roy Wallack from Dirt Rag Magazine breaks down 24-hour racing essentials in his article, 'Round the clock racing: How to ride a 24-hour race. Wallack details the sports accessibility to relay teams and provides pointers to get you geared-up properly.
[http://active.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/06/12/mynewbike.jpg]The two-wheeled beast rests dormant in the corner of my bedroom. It sits at bay, pedal-less, knowing that I can’t pass the human-powered vehicle without visions of high-speed spinning along the Pacific Coast Highway. It knows that every morning I arise and examine the pedal-less crank, hopeful that my clip-less pedals will arrive in the mail that day. Until then, the inaugural ride of my brand new road bicycle must wait another day.
In light of my most recent acquisition, I realize that shopping for a bicycle can be an overwhelming process. There are certainly many questions to consider along the way. Bruce Buckley from Windy City Sports has helped eliminate the guess-work in his article, Component Speak. Buckley explains which components are most valuable to the overall performance of your bike. This is very helpful information for newbies and for those who already own a bike and plan to upgrade individual components.
I initially discovered the run-walk-run technique when training for my first ultra-marathon in May. Before I registered for the 50K, I was doubtful of my abilities because I had only completed an 18-mile training run. Upon experimentation, I discovered that the run-walk-run technique enabled me to cover twice the distance that I was able to continuously run. When race day came, I broke the run up into walking intervals throughout the race, including walking up hills and covered the 31 miles only 15 minutes over my projected time. I was surprised to learn that despite its advantages, there are still critics who believe that walking is a sign of poor fitness and conditioning.
Jeff Galloway’s Run-walk-run to faster times, faster recovery article goes into greater detail, highlighting the benefits and strategy behind walking intervals. I’m a huge fan of this technique and will incorporate this into my training for my next ultra-running event. As of now, it looks like the Bulldog 50K is next on the list. We’ll see how the rehabilitation of my Achilles tendon goes over the next month when incorporating non-impact training on my brand new Novara Strada road bike
As you can see, my mind is on over-drive as I adjust to being done with 18 weeks of marathon training. Setting new goals is going to help me work towards overcoming this injury while staying aware of this vulnerable stage. I have learned a greater respect for my body and its limitations. My approach to future endeavors now incorporates a greater awareness that my “endurance spirit” is stronger than my body. Finding a balance is going to require healthier communication between my mind and body.
I’m going to leave you with a quote by Napoleon Hill, an American author of personal-success literature in the early 1900s and famous for the following hallmark saying:
Congratulations, the hardest part is over. Eighteen weeks of training and now only 26.2 miles separate you from your goal. Take a look at this pre-marathon checklist to make sure you don't start celebrating early.
Avoid any unusual foods -- eat the training meals that you?ve found work well before long runs. Be sure to eat more than 12 hours before the race.
Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Your water bottle should never leave your side the day before a marathon.
Stay off your feet, rest and relax. Try some light stretching.
Use visualization during the day while relaxing. Envision yourself on the course. Think positively about all the work you've put into your training.
Lay out all your clothing and gear for the race. Essential items are:
Running outfit, shoes and socks.
Wristwatch - For timing/pacing in event
Your race fuels
Body glide or Vaseline to prevent chaffing
Plan and prepare what you?ll eat for breakfast.
Set your alarm clock and double check it. Make sure you have ample time to warm up properly.Sleep. Two nights before your race is the most important night of rest. The night before tends to be less restful, so don?t worry about it.
First and foremost, I recognize that I am blessed with an amazing support-network of family, friends and co-workers who are always looking out for me. If those who feel alone in this world could be this fortunate, there would be less of a propensity to seek refuge in destructive activities that prolong the recovery process.
With that being said, it is important to recognize that overtraining for an event can be more harmful than not being adequately conditioned. If you aren’t properly trained, you can still walk, crawl, or skip your way to the finish line. If you’re injured, you can’t even cross the starting line.
During training, a relationship with your body will develop that requires the utmost attention. Not listening to your body’s signals is like not being there for a friend who is in need. Every athlete will respond uniquely to an over-the-counter training regimen so an adjustment of mileage and intensity to preserve this relationship is encouraged. The article “[Overuse injury is preventable|http://active.com/story.cfm?story_id=13869&sidebar=13&category=running],” by the American Running Association, offers suggestions that will keep you healthy and strong all the way to the finish line.
In part 1, the *U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) *accused *Floyd Landis *of using banned *synthetic testosterone *during his *2006 Tour de France *win. Landis’ *urinalysis, *conducted following his outstanding performance in Stage 17, showed an 11-to-1 testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio. According to the USADA, anything higher than 4-to-1 can be considered a positive test.
The nine-day arbitration case, which Landis demanded be open to the public, turned into an aggressive media campaign targeting the methodology used to process drug tests as well as the professional competence of scientists at the French laboratory where Landis tested positive for synthetic testosterone. Landis’ legal team made progress in this effort, although Landis may have shot himself in the foot during the proceedings.
USADA lead lawyer, Richard Young, highlighted the phone call made by Landis’ business manager, Will Geoghegan, to three-time Tour champion, Greg Lemond, late last Wednesday night. The call came from Geoghegan and threatened to expose Lemond’s early childhood history of being sexually abused if Lemond testified against Landis. Despite the threats, Lemond testified and Geoghegan was fired once the news was made public. It was then established that Landis was sitting at the same table as Geoghegan when the call was made. Landis denied all knowledge of the call, but admitted to finding out after the call was made. Young used the fact that Landis waited to fire Geoghegan until the news was made public to portray Landis as desperate and underhanded.
We can assume that this matter will not be solved anytime soon. It will be a month at the very least before the arbitrators release their ruling after which either side reserves the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. When that happens, a new trial will begin and you can check back here for updates.
(Photo provided by Gettyimages / Photographer Gabriel Bouys)
The following recipe is courtesy of Tara Coleman, a certified clinical nutritionist in San Diego. Tara has developed a practical approach to nutrition that offers our endurance community straightforward information to take performance to new levels. She can be reached at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information about individualized food and supplement health programs.
[email@example.com|http://active.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/05/22/quinoa.jpg]Quinoa (pronounced ?keen-wa?) is a nutritious grain that I integrate into all of my clients? meal plans. It originated in the Andes highlands and was revered as a sacred crop by the Incan civilization. During the European occupation of South America, the conquistadors overlooked quinoa and favored the potato as a staple of their diet ? and French fry lovers everywhere have rejoiced ever since! Today, however, quinoa has been embraced for its versatility and impressive nutritional profile.
Quinoa has a high level of protein (15 percent) and is one of the few non-animal sources of complete protein. It is also gluten-free and contains none of the allergens common to many grains. It is high in fiber and low-glycemic, providing sustained energy for both training and event day.
Quinoa has a texture similar to cous cous with a pleasant nutty flavor. It is found packaged or in bulk at most health food stores and can replace rice or cous cous in any recipe. Quinoa is cooked in a 2-to-1 water-to-quinoa ratio or in a rice cooker. It can also be toasted over low heat and added to granola or fruit for a quick snack. For those that are a little more adventurous try the recipe below:
Sweet and Spicy Toasted Quinoa
1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water
1 tbsp fresh ginger root, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves. chopped
1 quarter red onion, chopped
4 tbsp limejuice
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
Toast the dry quinoa in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Stir consistently for about five minutes making sure not to burn. In a separate pot, bring the water, ginger, jalapeno, and salt to a boil. Add the toasted quinoa and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and allow to cool. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well blended. Serve cool.
Total Prep Time ? 30 minutes
Servings ? 4
This dish makes an excellent side for chicken or grilled fish. You can also mix in canned tuna or chicken for a quick meal on the go.
Larson and her 51-year-old father, David, began climbing mountains when she was a middle-school student. The father-daughter team ascended South America's Aconcagua when she was 13 and Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro when she was 14. These peaks represent two of the seven summits, or highest peaks on each of the seven continents.
Conquering Mount Everest was the final step, for Larson, in completing the seven summits challenge. Her decision to finish the quest was made certain when she deferred her freshman year at Stanford University to train.
With this success, she broke the 2006 record set by then-20-year-old British climber Rhys Miles Jones to become the youngest person to ascend the highest peaks on each of the seven continents.
[http://active.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/05/15/woodbat.jpg]In response to Trish's post, the New York City Council banned metal bats in high school baseball because of a belief that such bats increase the risk of injury. The decision to change the rules for one geographical location has potential repercussions that may provide an unfair advantage to athletes elsewhere who aren’t forced to use wooden bats. It is paramount that consistency is restored throughout the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSH) in order to preserve the integrity of the sport.
In the endurance-sports world, competitors abide by the many rules and regulations set forth and enforced by larger governing bodies. The International Cycling Union (UCI), which sets industry standards governing the rules for competitive cycling, enforces a rule relevant to the metal-versus-wooden bat debate. The UCI does not have rules for which materials may be used for bicycles because there is minimum mass limit of no less than 6.8 kg (~15 lbs). With a baseline rule established for weight, a rider with greater financial resources will not have a significant advantage over a rider with inferior sponsorship. Thus the focus shifts to the individual rider’s level of fitness, skill and team strategy.
In baseball, the NFSH has an equivalent role to the UCI. And similar to bikes, bats have design restrictions too. In high school baseball in the United States, the bat is not allowed to be more than 2 5/8 inches in diameter and 42 inches in length. The difference between inches of length and ounces of weight must be no greater than 3. An example of this is that a 34-inch bat must weigh at least 31 ounces.
With these restrictions in place, there is predictability in performance allowing athletes to showcase their skills on a level playing field. Thus, the high school athlete that has what it takes will stand out to scouts and be recruited to play at the college level. It has already been determined, by the recent court ruling, that metal and composite bats produce faster, harder and longer hits than wooden bats. If New York or only a few places ban metal bats, then these players will be at a disadvantage. The resulting discrepancy in performance across the nation will skew statistics and the integrity of the sport will be diminished. There must be a uniform ruling -- if this is going to happen in New York, it must also hold true for all of high school baseball.
In part I, a group of climbers and scientists organized funding for a research documentary this spring on the superior performances of the sherpas. The film will follow an all-sherpa team to the summit of Mount Everest. These six-members share 50 Mount Everest summits between the group.
"We are on the summit. We are all on the summit."
These two sentences broke radio silence at Everest base camp at 8:44 a.m. Tuesday. The broadcast confirmed the arrival of the SuperSherpas Expedition at the top of the world.
Climbing more than 7,700 vertical feet in less than 24 hours, the strongest team in Everest-history safely and successfully reached the 29,035-foot summit. Highlights included a record-breaking performance by Apa Sherpa, the Guinness Book of Records-holder of 16 Mount Everest summits. Apa Sherpa broke his own record with his 17th ascent while teammate who holds the Everest speed-ascent record at 10 hours, 56 minutes, 46 seconds, completed his 13th ascent.
Reaching the top was only one of the goals for the SuperSherpas. The team hopes that the awareness raised by their expedition and the documentary, set to be released this spring, will generate greater respect, fair wages, and contribute to education and improving health care in the Khumbu region of Nepal.
The documentary follows the team every step of the way, from a laboratory in the U.S. to the summit of Mount Everest. Myths of genetic predisposition unravel as viewers see first-hand what enables these men to out-perform others in such extreme conditions.
[http://active.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/05/15/74144244.jpg]Today was the first day of arbitration for Floyd Landis and his team of defense attorneys at PepperdineUniversity in Malibu, Calif. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) accused Landis of using banned synthetic testosterone during his 2006 Tour de France win. Landis’ urinalysis, conducted following his outstanding performance in Stage 17, showed an 11-1 testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio. According to the USADA, anything higher than 4-1 can be considered a positive test.
Although the credibility of the science and ethics at the French national anti-doping lab has been questioned before, the USADA has never had a charge overturned in 35 cases since it was formed in 2000.
If Landis is found guilty, he will be the first cyclist in the 104-year history of the Tour de France to be stripped of his title and serve a two-year suspension from racing. If he loses this appeal, he has the chance to appeal one last time to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and their decision will be final.
Landis insisted on turning his arbitration hearing into a public process in an effort to expose what he believes is the fraudulent way the USADA and its industry partners do business. The case, which has been in and out of proceedings for 10 months, is set to conclude by next Wednesday. Stay tuned for more updates and be sure to check out: Martin Dugard on the Landis trail -- Day One.
(Photo provided by Gettyimages / Photographer Gabriel Bouys)
Triathletes who begin at the Sprint-distance level and aspire to race the Olympic distance remain confident during the small incremental increase in training and strategy needed to compete at the next level. The same gradual progression in difficulty holds true for Olympic-distance triathletes who advance to the Ironman 70.3 level. In stark contrast, there remains a 70.3-mile disparity between the Ironman 70.3 and full-length Ironman race that prevents scores of professional triathletes from advancing to the Ironman.
Triathletes will use competition at the Ironman 70.3 level as a base throughout the season before raising their training intensity for one specific Ironman event. In order to make this leap of faith, an athlete must be completely dedicated to training and race strategy while training twice as much as before. This may all change in the near future with the introduction of the Triathlon One O One series which launched last week in Bradenton, Fla.
Swim: 1.86mi (3km)
Bike: 80.6mi (130km)
Run: 18.6mi (30km)
Total: 101.06 miles (166km)
Although this distance is not new to the world of triathlon, the fact that the series is slated to expand next year and total 20 events worldwide by 2010 will have an impact on the industry. Offering a distance that bridges the gap between half and full Ironman will act as an incentive for Ironman 70.3 contestants to take another step forward. This may also create a level playing field for competition between Ironman and Ironman 70.3 specialists. The series is too young to predict which group will excel but it is certain that the $50,000 professional prize purse and the Triathlon One O One Championship featuring a $150,000 professional prize purse will lure plenty of contestants to the starting line.
I am proud to announce that I have begun week 15 of my 18-week training program for the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. I have covered roughly 400 miles of road, beach and trails, including My First Ultramarathon in the past three months. In order to maximize the benefits of my training, I have begun what the endurance world refers to as "tapering." Tapering is simply a reduction in training volume so the body can rebuild to peak strength. During this period, muscles have the chance to repair, glycogen energy stores replenish, the body re-hydrates, and joint and tendon inflammation subside.
Experts have debated over the exact number of days needed for a successful taper, but it is certain that the focus shifts from quantity to quality during this three to four-week process. Incorporating speed work, like the Fartlek Method, followed by a light day will help maintain confidence and prevent a common side effect, discussed by Active Expert, Gale Bernhardt in her article, "[The Taper Blues|http://www.active.com/story.cfm?story_id=13135&category=Triathlon&num=0]." The blues can easily discourage an athlete who has become accustomed to high-energy expenditure during training because he or she will have more energy and feel stronger than ever before. It is imperative not to act on these feelings which may sacrifice months of hard work. Also, it is quite common for an athlete to overlook the fact that they are burning fewer calories; therefore they most adjust their nutrition plan accordingly.
Stay positive during this stage of rest, and use your extra time and energy to practice visualization techniques and review race-course and race-day details. Most importantly, remember why you are doing this in the first place and consider how far you have come and how you have grown as a person over the past three months.
The 15-year-old paralympic swimmer, Jessica Long, is the first paralympic athlete to win the AAU James E. Sullivan Award. This prestigious award has been presented annually since 1930 and recognizes the best amateur athlete in the United States. Long, who produced 18 world record-breaking performances in 2006, was selected from a field of 15 finalists, including swimming superstar MichaelPhelps,Notre DamequarterbackBrady Quinn, speedskaterApoloOhno and figureskater Sasha Cohen.
Long was born in Siberia and adopted from a Russian orphanage at the age of 13 months by an American couple. Due to deformities, her legs were amputated below the knee when she was 18 months old. Long enjoyed many different sports during her childhood with prostheses, but found swimming to be her strength.
Since hitting the water, Long has set and re-set a multitude of paralympic swimming records. In addition to establishing herself as a role model and mentor for kids with physical disabilities, her recent Sullivan Award win reaches a great milestone for paralympic swimming and paralympic sports.
Click here, for more information about Jessica Long and her accomplishments.
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