Staying motivated in the Winter

Pro Triathlete, Brittany Warly of Blue Competition Cycles

I get asked the question “how do you stay motivated in the winter?” quite often really. I am human, like everyone else, and the cold, dark mornings make it that much more difficult to get out of my warm bed in the morning. I have a number of tricks/ideas that I use in the winter months especially to stay motivated and maintain consistency in my daily training.

  1. Find yourself some training partners.
    Having training partners is a great way not only to hold yourself accountable, but also to keep the sport fun and fresh. A training camp can also be a great way to change your perspective and environment, while motivating you to work hard on the daily. Surround yourself with like-minded people and it’s amazing what you can do together.
  2. Plan out your season goals.
    Before the next season begins, I like to write out specific outcome-based goals, and then process-related goals of how I will get there. I also like to plan my early season races, which gives me incentive to build fitness in the off-season. A goal on the horizon, can make a significant difference when it comes to finding motivation to train.
  3. Music.
    Music has been a great friend of mine in the winter, especially to keep me motivated and entertained while on the trainer with my Blue AC1 Limited Road Bike or running on the dreadmill (yes I spelled that correctly). I also like to have different genres of music based on the purpose of each workout. Even when the body doesn’t feel great, music has a way of inspiring.
  4. Go outside
    Even when it is cold outside, sometimes it can be beneficial and give you a fresh perspective to bundle up and run outside. Think of the snow on the ground as a change of scenery and fresh perspective on your typical running routes. Every Wednesday, I run a 6 am sunrise run with my roommate, Caryn. We both bundle up and hit the roads with our headlamps. It’s a nice morning adventure that motivates me to wake up early 🙂
  5. Yoga.
    Practicing mindfulness in the form of yoga or meditation can be very helpful in defining your purpose, letting go of your past, and channeling your energy to future goals. Given I have a body-type that struggles in the cold, the heated sessions especially are beneficial to my overall recovery and ability to relax.
  6. Get in the gym and hit it hard!
    In the summer season, it’s typically race season so gym training is usually a supplement to training and not the core part of training/racing. In the winter time, change it up by hitting the gym hard three times per week. Gym has become one of my workouts in the winter. Building strength will translate to a stronger, healthier body when the season comes around.

Colorado has mountain lions, Texans must contend with a coyote

From Runner’s World
By Jordan Smith



Photo credit: Getty Images/David C Stephens

Coyote That Attacks Runners Has Once Again Emerged in Frisco

Six people have been injured since October on the same two-mile path

In Frisco, Texas, police have issued yet another alert for an aggressive coyote following another attack on a runner.

On January 29, a man was running in the area of Eldorado Parkway and Tangerine Lane at approximately 6:40 a.m. when a coyote emerged from vegetation and bit him.

The victim was able to fend off the coyote, and was transported by a family member to an area hospital where he was treated for minor injuries, according to the alert.

Between October 26 and December 17, there were five other coyote attacks, all along the same two-mile stretch of Frisco’s Eldorado Parkway. Similar to the most recent attack, they all involved a single coyote aggressively approaching a single person or pair in the early morning hours.

This attack is thought to be connected to previous attacks. Though police don’t know if it’s the same coyote, the incident happened in the same area, around the same time, and with the same details, a Frisco Police spokesperson told Runner’s World.

Police have implemented a website where people can report coyote sightings and also see a map where other sightings have been reported. This site will hopefully help law enforcement track down the coyote or coyotes that have been attacking runners and other people using the parkway.

A private contractor was hired to track down the coyote believed to be responsible for the attacks, according to an earlier press release. Additionally, the department continues to collaborate with Texas Parks and Wildlife to determine which practices should be employed to best manage the situation.

Read the full article here

Safe Snow Running

With the recent snow storms in the Front Range, here are a few key tips for running safely in the snow (and avoiding the dreadmill)…

From Triathlete.com

You may think snow on the ground means you’re relegated to the treadmill or the track. But snowy conditions don’t prevent coach Terrence Mahon’s athletes–who live and train in Mammoth, Calif.–from hitting the trails. Besides getting them outside, snow running provides his runners with an added cardiovascular benefit and it works stabilization muscles, all the way from ankles to to hips, he says.

One of his athletes, marathoner and Olympic bronze medalist Deena Kastor, shares her tips for running in the snow:

For light snow conditions I have a pair of the Asics Gel-Arctic shoes, which have little studs on the bottom for better grip and are water resistant. If I need extra traction, I add Yak Trax (yaktrax.com). As the snow deepens I will use Kahtoola Microspikes (kahtoola.com) or crampons over my shoes. If there is a huge storm that is dumping multiple feet of fresh powder, I use snowshoes with a narrow back so I can run in them. Sometimes these are difficult workouts, but that is when we often feel the most gratification.

I wear form-fitting, water-resistant clothing. If the conditions are on the harsher side, I wear a thin layer of Vaseline on my face to protect from the wind and snow. (Do not use Vaseline if it is sunny—you will burn!)

Read the full article here

Young Cancer Survivor Inspires Local Athletes

Eight-year-old Connor was diagnosed with leukemia when he was just 1.5-years-old. He underwent chemo for 3 years and 3 months and celebrated his last dose with a family party. For the next couple of years Connor endured several finger pokes for routine blood tests. Sadly, his family learned in February 2017 that his leukemia came back.

Connor’s mom, Jen, shared, “He didn’t even feel sick but the doctors said he had to fight the bad guys in his blood and start taking chemo again. This second time the chemo was a lot harder- it made him really sick and he had to stay in the hospital a lot.”

Connor had a bone marrow transplant on August 1, 2017, from his sister Chloe. His health continued to improve but he couldn’t be around people or go to public places because of germs. He spent most of his time at home and was homeschooled to stay on track with his school work. Connor was able to FaceTime with his class.

One year after his bone marrow transplant, a biopsy revealed that his leukemia was back for a third time. He spent over a month at Children’s Hospital Colorado getting chemo in preparation for CAR T-cell immunotherapy.

CAR-T personalized cellular therapy is a revolutionary approach to treating cancer by using genetic engineering to reprogram the patient’s own immune T cells to find and kill cancer cells. It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For the past two decades, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has invested more than $40 million in CAR-T research and development. Connor was the sixth person at Children’s Hospital Colorado to receive CAR-T.

Connor had a check-up 34 days after his CAR-T infusion and again most recently during the holiday season at 61 days post-treatment. The results were positive, showing no signs of leukemia. Jen shared, “This was the BEST Christmas present ever for our family!!! His fight isn’t over but this is a huge victory and we are soooo very thankful!”

You can click here to learn more about CAR T-cell immunotherapy.

Connor has been an inspiration to Denver-area teammates training for the Wildflower Experience and other endurance events through The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training, the world’s largest and most successful endurance sports fundraising and training program. Team In Training (TNT) 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.

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 such as CAR T-cell immunotherapy.

“We all come to TNT with different our own personal stories and reasons for being involved with LLS,” shared Heather Collins, Team Captain for Team In Training Fundraising Team Connor McStrong. “Coming together to support our Honored Hero is what makes us a team. You realize that what you are a part of is bigger than just you, and your goals and your training. Watching Connor and his family go through the different stages of his treatment really brings the LLS mission to life and continually inspires me to keep doing this kind of work.”

Training for the Wildflower Experience begins on February 2, 2019. Team In Training will get you to the finish line with experienced coaches, training resources and a supportive community of athletes of all skill levels. Teammates also have access to world-class fundraising tools to help them reach their goal to fund blood cancer research.

“Before I joined Team in Training, all of my training was ‘solo’,” shared Heather. “I was hesitant about running with a team. Now I can’t imagine anything else! The encouragement and support from day one of training through event weekend helps me stay motivated. Instead of going into the event weekend nervous and uncertain, I now know I’ll have TNT Staff, coaches, supporters and teammates there to help me through. I find as much joy in cheering on my teammates as I do crossing that finish line myself!”

Join the team for the Wildflower Experience. To learn more, click here. Use code 303TRI for free Team In Training registration ($100 value, expires 1/31/19).

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

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




TCT – Dave Scott’s 5 Tips for Better Indoor Cycling

As winter approaches in the Northern Hemisphere some athletes will spend most of their cycling time indoors. Often indoor cycling workouts turn into hammer sessions where athletes push themselves so hard that they forget about the importance of technique and form.

Here are my top 5 tips to ensure that you’re making the most of your indoor sessions.

Read the rest of the article here

 

Why Endurance Athletes Should Watch a High Heart Rate

From TrainingPeaks
By George Ganoung

Last winter I was on a long base training ride, and I felt generally awful. At first, I blamed my much higher-than-normal heart rate on fatigue, or perhaps a dying HRM battery. But after a couple of days off the bike, and more closely monitoring my heart rate in general, I decided something still didn’t seem right.

A visit to my primary car doctor and a quick EKG resulted in a speedy referral to a cardiologist. Long story short, the diagnosis was Persistent Lone (or Idiopathic) Atrial Fibrillation or AFib. “Persistent” meaning my heart was in a state of AFib all the time; “Lone” or “Idiopathic” meaning that (with no commonly recognized risk factors) the cause was unknown.

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a heart condition characterized by an irregular and often rapid heart rate. It’s not lethal on its own, but it can increase your risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. The American Heart Association estimates that at least 2.7 million Americans are living with the disorder. Traditional risk factors include what most would expect for heart conditions: congenital defects, age, heart disease, excessive stress, and stimulant use. However recent evidence suggests that long-term endurance sports training might also be a significant factor.

I am not a doctor, and my intent is not to contribute to the debate around AFib and endurance athletes. The purpose of this article is instead to raise awareness, and to provide some lessons learned through my firsthand experience with AFib, in hopes of helping athletes better-identify and deal with the issue if it arises.

Know What’s Normal
In my case, the doctors cited my quick identification of a potential problem (and seeking of medical attention) as critical factors in what would ultimately be a successful correction procedure. Like many athletes, I have a good understanding of what I “should“ be seeing with my heart rate relative to power and perceived effort, and was able to quickly identify that something was wrong. For performance, monitoring HR is becoming less prevalent, but there is a lot of value in consistently using it for insights into your overall health. (Here’s how to get started with a Heart Rate Monitor).

Read the full article

Tim Don IS going to Kona after all…

From Tri247.com

From tri247.com
By Josh Levison

‘The Don’ does qualify for Hawaii 2018

It’s not the first time that Tim Don has been written off!

After we (and indeed, Tim himself), assumed that his attempt to qualify for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship in Hawaii was over after his DNF at Sunday’s IRONMAN Copenhagen left him just outside the automatic qualifying slots in the Kona Pro Rankings (KPR), news here from Tim himself that the dream is still alive.

The past weekend represented the final weekend of qualifying, and from Tim’s Instagram post (below), with athletes ahead of him not taking up their option, he has indeed earned his place on the start line at Dig Me Beach on Saturday 13th October.

We expect the full details of the final Kona start list will be published relatively soon.

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Blind Triathletes to Attend 3 Day Camp at US Olympic Training Center

By USA Triathlon

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon and the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) have partnered to host the first-ever paratriathlon camp in Colorado Springs dedicated to athletes with visual impairments. Ten triathletes and ten guides from across the U.S. will travel to the U.S. Olympic Training Center to participate in the three-day camp, set for Thursday, August 23, through Saturday, August 25.

The camp will focus on the para-specific dynamics of swimming, biking and running, as well as other aspects of triathlon performance (basic nutrition, transitions, goal-setting, etc.). Coaches will include seven-time ITU Paratriathlon World Champion Aaron Scheidies (Seattle, Wash.), 2017 USA Paratriathlon Coach of the Year and Paralympic Head Coach for Team USA, Mark Sortino (Boise, Idaho), and USA Triathlon certified coach, tandem pilot and triathlete Amanda Leibovitz (Bellingham, Wash.).

Visual impairment is one of six paratriathlon categories recognized by the International Paralympic Committee and includes athletes who are totally blind and athletes who are partially sighted but legally blind. Triathletes with visual impairments compete alongside a guide. During the swim, the guide and athlete are tethered together — usually at the thigh or hip. The athlete then rides behind his or her guide, or pilot, on a tandem bike before finishing the race on foot with a tether connecting athlete and guide.

The following athletes, among others, will be available for media interviews:

Lindsay Ball (Benton, Maine) represented the U.S. at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in alpine skiing. She is a two-time U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing national champion and was the 2012 Winter Park IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup bronze medalist. Ball completed her first triathlon in 2010, and is now beginning to pursue the sport competitively.

Kyle Coon (Carbondale, Colo.) has been a triathlete since 2015. He has completed three long-course (IRONMAN 70.3) and two ultra-distance (IRONMAN) triathlons, in addition to several sprint and Olympic-distance events. Coon’s best long-course finish came at IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder last year, when he won the men’s physically challenged division covering the 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run in 5 hours, 11 minutes, 9 seconds.

Michael Somsan (Gilbert, Ariz.) is a retired U.S. Army First Lieutenant who lost his vision to a gunshot wound in 1995. Somsan was the top finisher in the men’s physically changed division at the 2016 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. He has also completed IRONMAN Arizona (2015), IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside (2016) and several sprint and Olympic-distance triathlons.

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES: 
Media representatives are invited to capture coverage of the camp and/or conduct interviews with participants to help raise awareness about the sporting opportunities available to individuals who are blind and visually impaired, and how these athletes’ lives are being positively impacted through sport.

A tentative list of opportunities is outlined below. Training sessions may be altered depending on weather and scheduling. Please contact Caryn Maconi (USA Triathlon) or Courtney Patterson (USABA) if you would like to attend any of the training sessions.

Thursday, Aug. 23:
4-6 p.m. Run Session (Roads TBD)

Friday, Aug. 24:
8-11 a.m. Bike Skills/Ride (Roads TBD)
1-3 p.m. Swim Session – Outdoor Pool at U.S. Olympic Training Center*

Saturday, Aug. 25:

8-11 a.m. Bike Skills/Ride (Roads TBD)
1-3 p.m. Swim Session – Outdoor Pool at U.S. Olympic Training Center*
3-4 p.m. Transition Skills (Roads/OTC)

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