Does Winter Running Burn More Calories?

From Triathlete.com
By Marty Munson

And other top myths and truths about running in the cold.

Winter running breeds some interesting misconceptions, so we decided to get the straight story. We enlisted the help of one of the key scientists studying cold-weather workouts: John Castellani, Ph.D., research physiologist at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, Mass. See if you can separate the truths from the lies below—and stay warm and fit all winter.

Winter running burns more calories. True or False. Sorry, put the French fries down. Unless you’re running through snow or mud, you’re not burning any more calories than when you run in any other season. Sure, research shows that shivering and very heavy clothes do cause you to burn more calories. But by “heavy clothes,” researchers are talking about army boots and hiking gear, not your winter shell with titanium thermo-regulating technology.

Cold makes you pee more, so you’re more likely to get dehydrated. True or false. Well, the first half is true: Cold can create what researchers call cold-induced diuresis (CID), meaning you pee more when your body meets cold air or water. When your skin gets cold, blood is shunted away from your skin and redirected to your core. “With more blood in the thorax, the heart says, ‘I have too much fluid on board and need to get rid of some of it,’” says Castellani. But exercise, even at a moderate intensity, prevents CID.

Moving the blood to the core also makes your body think you have enough fluids on board. You need to be smart about replacing what you’re losing, but don’t go crazy: Unless you’re overdressed, you won’t need as much water as you would on a 90-degree day with 80 percent humidity.

Read the full article here

Meet a new triathlon race company

Breakaway Athletic Events | www.BREAKAWAYATHLETICEVENTS.com

What led you to create Breakaway?
I’ve been a serial entrepreneur for nearly 15 years and a triathlete for ten. Throughout this time, I’ve completed multiple triathlons and run races including everything from a sprint to a full distance and 5k’s to a marathon – even some fun half-marathon trail races. I’ve been involved in the race world in a variety of roles, including as an athlete, a “pro” spectator (my wife gets much more credit there), a volunteer & as a staff member helping to organize and execute race days. There’s a high energy, such excitement and anticipation in the air and sense of accomplishment that comes with these races. But I felt there was a lack of multisport events in the northern Colorado area, specifically in and around Fort Collins. This realization, combined with my passion for these sports, led to the creation of Breakaway Athletic Events.

How is Breakaway different?
I think one characteristic that sets us apart is that we are athletes first. We’ve experienced race days, the adrenaline, the passion for and pursuit of a podium finish. I know what frustrates me on race morning and also what motivates me. Our goal is to use this insight and knowledge to enhance the overall athlete experience. We’re doing this by paying attention to the details and all the race aspects we’ve found bothersome over the years. For example, our events will be as eco-friendly as possible. This means occasionally ditching the traditional aid station model and having athletes focus on reusing their bike water bottles (vs hundreds of half used plastic water refill bottles). Another example, is that our athlete meals will be plant-based. Why? It’s super healthy, less harsh on the planet and much better in terms of food safety. In addition, our clearly marked and detailed course maps and layouts allow for awesome spectator fun and support for athletes as the athletes pass spectator areas multiple times throughout their race, not just once or twice all day. These are just a few of the many examples we are implementing. Our primary goals are strong community support through local businesses & sponsors and an awesome athlete experience with attention to race details, safety & spectator fun .

What specific races will you have?
We are working to shed the mold of traditional event creators by creating more unique races. We’re always working to create races that fill a space that might not have existed before. One example of this is our Epic Mini Triathlon in Fort Collins. We haven’t had any road triathlons in Fort Collins for years. This short distance race has a well laid out course, highly organized transition area & fun beginner-friendly pool swim. It’s intimate and inviting, something that can be tough to find at the larger scale events.

Our specific calendar is always available at breakawayathleticevents.com/races. But briefly, for 2019, we have seven events in the works including an off-road ride & run, the Epic Mini (mentioned above), and a great destination triathlon. We have also worked into the schedule a multisport race festival! It’s an awesome multi-race event happening at a great location. There will be music, a beer-garden and a youth series race as well so the whole family can get involved – ten races in total. We’ll announce more on new events as the details get confirmed. We’re excited about each and every one! 🙂

What is the multisport festival you mentioned above about?
The Boyd Lake Bash Multisport Festival takes place at a great venue and will include ten individual events all in one day. Sitting on the east side of Loveland and southeast of Fort Collins, this close-to-home multisport race event will have a festival feel that’s intimate, fun and mildly challenging. The course layouts make race morning packed with spectator cheering and multiple athlete flybys. Every race takes place within the park. This creates a safer and more exciting race for all of the athletes. We have a youth splash and dash series taking place that morning as well. Fun for the whole family! With ON-SITE camping options, make a weekend out of this event and plan some extra relaxation time.

Some race companies have a discounted entry or free entry program if you volunteer. Does Breakaway offer this as well?
Yes! Volunteers help make races happen. Not only can volunteers earn discounted race entry, they also get to experience a race event from a unique perspective and with much less pressure. This often leads to them having a great race of their own on that same course whenever they are ready to tackle it in future years to come.

What are the biggest challenges to organizing a new event especially in a new venue?
Any event, whether new or an annual recurrence, takes a lot of planning. I find the largest challenge to putting a new race event in place is navigating the permits process, as well as finding unique ways to promote the event on a large scale. Dreaming up a fast bike course or a wicked run challenge can be easy. But going through the permits process, which often requires a lot of paperwork and time spent waiting to hear back can be a challenge, though I do enjoy getting to connect with the local permitting agencies and area managers. After the hurdles of permitting and venue approval, it’s on to registration and thinking about ways to reach people who may be interested in our events. It’s all about getting the word out!

What do you think the future holds for Breakaway?
We’re excited for a strong first event season and plan on adding new races each year as we grow and connect with more athletes, staff & volunteers. We look forward to growing our audience and participant numbers, involving local businesses and getting youth involved in athletics and group physical activity. We hope to increase our contributions to local charity groups with each passing year and anticipate our events will help to promote our local parks and open spaces, as well.

Tri Coach Tuesday: Maximizing the Coach-Athlete Relationship

The Coach/Athlete Relationship
How to Get the Most out of Your Coach

by Peter S. Alfino

Whether you have already hired a coach or are thinking of hiring a coach there are certain steps you can take to foster the Coach/Athlete relationship. Each coach has their own style and philosophies, but there are certain expectations an athlete should have when they hire a coach. Setting your expectations upfront is crucial in establishing a mutually beneficial working relationship.

At minimum you should ask the following questions during the selection process. How and when will my training plan be provided? What type of review process do you have in place? If I need to ask you a question what is the best manner in which to reach you? What are your pre and post race notification requirements? A good coach will explain their processes up front but this doesn’t exclude you from communicating your preferences. Following are some suggestions on how to make the most of your relationship with your coach.

Goals: 
Establish goals and benchmark sessions to measure progress along the way. This is a “given” and I won’t spend a lot of time on goal establishment. Discuss your race plan and ask for your coaches input. Ask what tests and criteria they use to establish fitness gains. At the end of the season how will you and your coach evaluate progress and success?

Timely and Open Communication:
The cooperation of both the athlete and coach is required if there is to be effective communication.

Coaches should provide workouts that are clear and concise. What are the duration, intensity, terrain and desired outcomes of your workout? What phase of training are you in and what purpose does your current block of training play in the annual training plan? How will you receive your workouts and when can you expect to have your plan for the upcoming week or months of training?

The athlete can foster the relationship by providing meaningful feedback on how they absorbed the workouts provided. In short, fill out your training logs in a timely manner and be thorough. “Completed” “done” “that was hard” tells your coach very little. Provide information on how you felt before, during and after the session. How did your body feel during the main set of the workout? What was your wattage? Heart rate? Pacing? What successes or obstacles did you encounter during the session? What was your mental state of mind? How did you sleep the night before? How has your diet been? The more relevant information you share, the easier it becomes for your coach to develop a plan with your fitness gains in mind.

The first step towards quality communication with your coach is to realize that you play a key role in fostering the relationship. Many times, important factors which influence performance are left unmentioned. Remember this is a business relationship. Coaches don’t want to play counselor. Share only information that impacts your training but don’t expect your coach to give you advice outside of the sport.

Trust:
When you make the decision to hire a coach you are putting your faith in their hands. There are different methods which lead to the finish line of any race. If you hire someone to drive “your bus” for the season then let them drive the bus. The internet, training partners and magazine articles can all provide distractions and plant a seed of doubt in your mind. Don’t give up on your training program before giving it adequate time to be evaluated. Don’t be afraid to ask your coach about different philosophies and methods. A good coach will be fair, firm and honest with you.

What to Expect from your Coach:
Realize that not every coach has all the answers. If they don’t have an answer then they should provide assistance on where to find the answer. Your coach has a life and don’t expect them to be available 365/24/7. Respect your coach’s time and ask them when it is acceptable to call for questions and what a reasonable response time should be when you contact them.

What can you do to foster the relationship?
If you don’t know something then ask? Coaches love to teach about the sport and like when athletes become life long students. Work hard and be consistent day in and day out. Coaches will work harder for athletes who work hard to achieve the goals established up front.

The dept of the coach/athlete relationship is formed when both parties have pre established goals and expectations and two way communication is established. Make the most of your coach by taking an active role.

Read the full article here

What is de-training?

From Cycling Weekly

Detraining: The truth about losing fitness

The fitness mantra, you must ‘use it or lose it!’ might be a bit of a cliché, but it turns out that this saying perfectly sums up one of the key principles of fitness and exercise – reversibility. At a time of year when it’s tempting to leave the bike in the shed, it’s even more important to maintain fitness.

So long as you train, you can maintain and (hopefully) build your fitness levels. However, stop training and your fitness levels will steadily decline.

The obvious question that you might therefore ask is, “How much fitness will I lose if I decide to take a break, or if I’m forced to stop training because of injury or illness? And how rapidly will this fitness loss occur?” To answer this, it’s important to understand that there are several different components of fitness, including muscular strength, muscular endurance and cardiovascular – heart, lung and circulatory – endurance.

Stop training and the performance decline in each of these components will take place at different rates. So let’s take an imaginary well-trained cyclist and observe what happens to their body over a period of six months following the complete cessation of training.

Day 0 
This is your last training day for the next six months. After today’s ride, you store your bike away, hang up your cycling shoes and join the bulk of Britons who do no regular vigorous exercise whatsoever!

Day 3
After three days of inactivity, you might expect that your fitness has already begun to decline. In reality, however, the losses at this stage are very small. If you had been training hard prior to day 0, after three days of rest, your cycling fitness is now probably enhanced.

Illustration by www.chriswatson.cc

That’s because in those three days, your muscles have had time to fully recover; muscle carbohydrate stores (glycogen) have been topped up, muscle fibres damaged during hard training have been fully repaired, and favourable metabolic changes in the muscles have had time to occur.

Indeed, this peak in performance after a few days of rest is exactly the reason why tapering works, and why you shouldn’t train right up to the day of a big event.

Day 7 (Week 1)
After a week’s complete inactivity, changes begin to occur in the body that result in fitness losses. For example, after three days, your blood volume can be reduced by five to 12 per cent. This means a decrease in the amount of blood your heart can pump – both in terms of amount of blood pumped per beat and total blood volume per minute.

Read the full article




Depression is Not a Weakness: Olympian Sarah True, Other Athletes Open Up About Mental Health

From USA Triathlon
By Stephen Byers

This story originally appeared in the Fall 2018 edition of USA Triathlon Magazine. 

The low point for Sarah True came last summer. A year removed from being forced to bow out early in the race at the 2016 Rio Games, True fell into a dark, deep, depressive state.

True is no stranger to depression — the two-time Olympic triathlete had been battling the disease since she was a teenager. But this was a hole more cavernous, more dark and more hopeless than she had ever fallen into. 

She felt she was a failure. As an athlete. And as a wife, convinced she failed her husband Ben True, who missed qualification for the 2016 Olympic team. Triathlon wasn’t fun anymore. Life outside sport had no joy. Her training suffered. She couldn’t sleep. Suicidal thoughts ran through her mind.   

“Maybe I’ll just swerve into oncoming traffic,” she thought during training rides near her home in Hanover, New Hampshire. One head-on collision with a truck could just end it all. 

“Everything was a struggle. I was in a really, really dark place and I felt like it just wasn’t going to get better,” said True, 36. 

You can’t “out tough” depression 

A professional athlete, an Olympian, a competitor in IRONMAN, one of the most physically and mentally grueling endurance tests humans have created, and here is True contemplating her worth in this world. 

But depression knows no boundaries. 

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in any given year, an estimated 16.2 million adults in the U.S. experience a major depressive episode. And an estimated 40 million adults live with anxiety disorders. 

The incidence of those conditions, often linked, in the endurance sports population is probably similar, as a 2017 review of research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found no difference in depressive symptoms between what the researchers called “high-performance athletes” and nonathletes. Age-groupers or Olympic-caliber, all levels of athletes are affected. Michael Phelps, who has won more Olympic medals than anyone on this planet, has publicly spoken about his depression and thoughts of suicide. 

Read the full article

Check out the interview with Sarah True on Mile High Endurance Podcast here

Why train for a cause?

Team in Training Athlete Dr. Brett Kessler at the turnaround in Hawi

By Bill Plock

Dr. James DeGregori PhD
(Photo by Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado)

Those reasons often transition into causes and those causes are often taken on by a group of people working to help the same cause and obviously most of those causes involve medical conditions, awareness and advocacy.

Clearly many things motivate people to exercise, train and perhaps ultimately compete. We all know of someone inspired by unfortunate circumstances that might have impacted their life or of those they care about. The reasons are countless and often tear jerking and deeply personal.

This past week, 303radio sat down with Dr. James DeGregori PhD and Brett Kessler, DDS to talk about the community of like minded people they train with–Team and Training.

Team in Training is the largest charity endurance training program in the world. They have over 650,000 athletes that have raised over $1 billion to fight cancer, Leukemia and Lymphoma more specifically. Like many teams the connections and friends that are made ultimately make cause the greatest memories.

In this interview James and Brett talk about those connections, their own personal reasons and why’s, but more, they both know Leukemia and Lymphoma first hand as medical professionals that work directly with those effected and by doing research to help find a cure.

Not only will you learn how Team in Training helped them compete in century rides, marathons and even the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, but you will learn a little about the disease from people on the front lines and extremely driven advocates that will likely offer you some inspiration into your own why.

Age is Just a Number

Photo by Mark Grubb

70-Year-Old Sets World Age Group Record for Marathon

From Runner’s World
By Sarah Lorge Butler

Gene Dykes of Pennsylvania averages 6:39 pace and breaks Ed Whitlock’s famous mark.

Gene Dykes, a 70-year-old retired computer programmer who discovered a talent for distance running late in life, set a world record for his age group in the marathon on December 15 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Dykes ran 2:54:23, breaking the previous record—2:54:48—set by the great Canadian runner Ed Whitlock (when he was 73) by 25 seconds. Whitlock ran his record, thought by many to be untouchable, in 2004.

Dykes, who averaged 6:39 pace for the 26.2 miles, told Runner’s World after the race that he wasn’t sure that his achievement had sunk in yet.

“My first thought was that this really frees up my schedule for next year,” he said. He can sign up for the races he enjoys—ultramarathons and hard marathons on courses that aren’t record-eligible—instead of chasing Whitlock’s mark.

[Let Runcoach unleash your full potential with personalized training, expert coaching, and proven results.]

A frequent racer, Dykes has a knack for recovering quickly from difficult efforts. In October, he ran the Toronto Marathon in 2:55:17 to come within 30 seconds of the age-group record. Then just two weeks ago, he ran an ultra in San Francisco, the Vista Verde Skyline 50K (31 miles) with his daughter on December 1, and the California International Marathon on December 2. It’s a highly unusual racing schedule for an elite athlete.

Read the full article here

Surviving a Brutal Attack Left Her Lost. Then She Found Herself on the Trail

From Runner’s World
By Taylor Dutch

The precious time alone in the calm of nature became transformative in Rachel Sapp’s healing process.

Rachel Sapp

When every muscle in her body begins to feel like a weight pulling her down, and every ache urges her to quit, Rachel Sapp continues to run, pressing forward with every step on the trail.

This grit serves as an important reminder in every aspect of her life. Just as she survived a brutal attack, she can survive any grueling physical challenge that comes her way. And running has helped her summon that courage.

“The strength that running has provided, it’s almost unspeakable,” Sapp told Runner’s World.

“Running put that at the forefront for me to know that I got through these situations in life that are hard. It may be difficult right now, but it’s also beautiful, and it’s also vulnerable and I can be in this place and experience all of these things and it’s because my legs can propel me. There’s something so magical about that.”

It all started in the spring of 2017, when the Nederland, Colorado resident was leaving the Denver area hospital where she worked as a paramedic. Two people followed her to her car and attacked her, breaking her ribs and her cheekbone. From the parking lot, she was rushed back into the hospital.

Sapp ended up suffering post-traumatic stress from the attack. She felt helpless and lost, and she knew that she didn’t want to return to work at the hospital.

With the support of her husband Zack, Sapp decided to quit her job in emergency medicine and make the transition to becoming a full-time stay-at-home mom to her six-year-old twin girls. Unable to escape the painful memories, Sapp still felt anxious and trapped. And as a mother and wife, she couldn’t check out completely.

So when her husband encouraged her to get out of the house and take an entire day each week to taking care of herself, Sapp took him up on it. That precious time alone became transformative for Sapp, not just for her recovery, but for her overall wellbeing.

At first, though, she didn’t quite know what to do with all that free time. Still recovering from her injuries, Sapp would sit at park benches unsure of where to go or what to do. One thing she did know, though, was that she wanted to avoid large crowds. So she started to go for long walks. Soon after, she had the desire to explore further and see more of the breathtaking trails that surround her mountain town.

“I thought, ‘Why am I just walking? I could be making so much better use of my time and see so much more if I run,’” she recalled.

On April 11, 2017, Sapp went for her first run. A lifelong rock climber, Sapp always hated running, and her first attempt on the Flatirons Vista Trail was anything but easy. She got several side cramps, and could only make it half of a mile before she had to stop and walk.

“I was huffing and puffing by the end. I had no idea how to control speed or anything,” she said. “There wasn’t a time in my life that I had run other than those horrid middle school miles. It was so new, but I liked that no one was there.”

Rachel Sapp

Read the full article

Blind Colorado athlete sets Ironman record

From 9News
by Bryan Wendland

Kyle Coon has been totally blind since age 6. That hasn’t kept him from rock climbing at 9, climbing Kilimanjaro at 15, and, oh yeah, becoming the fastest totally blind person to ever finish an Ironman race.

KUSA — When Kyle Coon lost his sight at age 6, he says he got depressed.

But that didn’t last long.

“I actually became a competitive rock climber when I was 8 or 9-years-old,” he said.

He climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro when he was 15, captained his high school wrestling team for two years and started doing triathlons a few years ago.

“It’s definitely become a passion and a real lifestyle, and just because I’m doing it blind, it’s just, you know – I’m just any other, any other athlete out there trying to have fun and compete against myself and fellow athletes,” he said.

Then, in 2016, he did his first Ironman race: 2.4 miles swimming, 112 miles biking and 26.2 miles running. It all has to be finished under 17 hours.

“It took me just under 16 hours to complete the full thing, and I think I walked the entire marathon,” Coon said.

Read the full article

Racing for a Future Without Cancer

Brett Kessler

Brett Kessler was helping blood cancer patients long before it became personal. He did an oncology fellowship after dental school where his focus was on treating patients affected by blood cancer. Then, he moved to Colorado in 1999 and joined The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society‘s (LLS) Team In Training to meet new people, train and raise money for blood cancer research. He then went on to be a triathlon coach for the program.

Brett shared, “I did not treat this population anymore and still wanted to support them. I was hooked.”

Brett’s mom was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) eight years later. She took imatinib (Gleevac®) through clinical trials which were funded by LLS. Sadly, Brett’s mom passed away in 2016.

He shared, “I felt like I directly contributed to her care from the work I did with LLS. The universe works in amazing ways as Gleevec was not even approved when I started with Team In Training.”

The fundraising Brett has done for the LLS mission through Team In Training is in memory of his mom but is giving hope to future patients through the efforts of local researchers.

The work of Dr. Dan Pollyea and his team of clinical researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine is funded by grants such as those from LLS. Three years ago, the team began a clinical trial program for the first therapy that could effectively eradicate leukemia stem cell populations. Dr. Pollyea shared that if you can really eradicate the leukemia stem cells, then you can potentially cure this disease. The results so far have been described as “unbelievable” because they can get 80-90% of people into complete remission with their approach.

Dr. James DeGregori

The work of Dr. James DeGregori at the University of Colorado School of Medicine has also been funded by LLS. He is researching how the human body ages and its effects on how cancer cells find a way to take hold. He is looking at how can we mitigate those changes and interfere with cancer growth with clinical intervention. Dr. DeGregori’s team has done some work on mice to reduce cancer incidences but will they will be approaching their work with humans a bit differently when the time comes.

“As a practicing dentist in Denver, several of my patients have had various forms of blood cancers,” shared Brett. “Knowing that we have some of the best treatments available here in Denver due to the research of people like Dr. Pollyea and Dr. DeGregori makes me feel good that they have a chance to beat this awful disease. Twenty-five years ago, many of these diagnoses were a death sentence. Now they are manageable.”

The success of local researchers continues to inspire Brett. He earned a coveted spot in the 2018 IRONMAN® World Championship event in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, crossing the finish line this past October. He is still raising funds for this event and has raised $67,000 and counting in memory of his mom.

“This is an emotional journey for me,” shared Brett. “I am able to honor my mom by bringing awareness and raising money to help eradicate blood cancers. I am also able to honor the many people who are connected to the disease that I have met along the way.”

Team In Training is the world’s largest and most successful endurance sports fundraising and training program. Since its inception in 1988, Team In Training has raised more than $1.5 billion, trained more than 650,000 people and helped LLS invest more than $1.2 billion in blood cancer research.

Team In Training offers a lineup of innovative high caliber domestic and international events, and prepares teammates for marathons, half marathons, and triathlons, as well as cycling, climbing and hiking experiences, with experienced coaches, training resources, a supportive community and world-class fundraising tools.

Join the team for the Lavaman Waikoloa Triathlon or the Wildflower Experience. To learn more, click here. Use code TRI303 for free Team In Training registration ($100 value, expires 12/31/18).