February 19, 2009

Its sunny in Victoria, and Im looking forward to even more Vitamin D in AZ...

We are heading to Arizona on Saturday morning... I have been waiting to head to a sunny location for a while now, and as a bit of a preview, the weather in Victoria has been AWESOME this week! So sunny and beautiful...

My dad was visiting this week, and I dropped him off at the ferry this morning (his flight leaves from Vancouver). On my way back into town I stopped by Trek Pro City Cycle to say hi to the boys and pick up some new bar tape. I swap my bar tape often not because it needs to be swapped, but because I get bored with the color pretty fast... Haha. I know, kind of random... but I figured it might motivate me to get back at it after taking a long break from my beloved bike. What do you know, IT WORKED! As soon as I got home, I swapped the bar tape, and headed out for a spin. I now have bright blue bar tape on my bike... I love the Fizik bar tape... it is so awesome and it comes in some GREAT colors. It was tight between bright green and bright blue... and blue won (maybe I'll get the green one next time!).

The ride was pretty awesome. Just a light spin along the water front... Felt pretty good even though I am no where near proper riding shape. I guess that is all relative though... My legs and lungs will get used to being on the bike again, and by the time I get back from riding in sunny Arizona, I am sure things will feel much better.

Well, time to get back at it... things to do and athletes to coach!


February 18, 2009

Cool stuff! Click HERE

I stumbled across the blog post linked in the titled line earlier today. I think its a pretty cool idea... Unfortunately that is all I have time for on the blog front right now.


February 12, 2009

I miss NZ!

One of my friends is flying to New Zealand for some biking around the South Island in a little bit over a week. Since the South island of New Zealand was my stomping ground for about 3.5 years, I helped her map out some routes after swimming on Sunday. The problem is, I have been NZ sick all week long!

I mainly miss the Port hills around Christchurch... so awesome for training! The best part was that I used to live less than a 10 min jog from the base of the hills. In Victoria, I have to drive to the trails. Maybe I should just move closer to some trails, that will fix it :) I am starting to think that I might just have to plan a trip to NZ. This time, not as a poor student... I guess I will have to wait at least until November, when I am done with my post grad course work. It will actually work really well, because it will be spring/summer in NZ then!!

In the mean time - here are a couple picture taken from Rapaki trail (the one closest to where I lived), overlooking the city. I really need to scan some pictures... almost all of them were taken using one of those non digital camera! WOW! Hahaha :)

February 5, 2009

Bike fits in Vancouver anyone?

Due to demand, I will be heading to Vancouver to do some bike fits during the month of March, and possibly for a day or two between Feb 10th and Feb 14th. I will bring the Retul 3D dynamic bike fitting tool (which I have been using for over a year) and my experience fitting hundreds of athletes, from recreation cyclists to Olympic level athletes. All you have to do is bring your bike :)

If you would like to work me to dial in your bike fit, or to get more information about me and/or my approach to bike fitting, send me an email (pt_performancetraining@yahoo.ca).


February 2, 2009

OMG... Compression garments!

Ah, compression garments. A must have in every running/multisport/bike store around. Apparently they are great for the clearance of "lactic acid". That right there has put me off the idea of those said garments. My athletes keep using the term "lactic acid" now just because they know it is such a pet peeve of mine... even though they know better than that... (its not "lactic acid", its lactate... I have written enough about that topic, so I won't get into that whole debate right now. If you haven't read what I have to say on the matter, and you would like to, either browse through this blog, or just drop me a line. I will be more than happy to provide information!). But I digress... I have always had a hard time focusing on just one thing at a time!

I have seen so many athletes racing and training in compression tights and socks: it seems to be THE piece of equipment to get right now. The main reasons include comfort, increased recovery and injury prevention. This research area is relatively new, and most research related to athletic performance was done on sprinting, throwing and jumping performance, with very few studies were done on the effectiveness of compression garments on endurance performance. Early reports from the medical field indicate that compression socks and tights improved venous circulation, reduced blood pooling and enhanced fluid transfer within the lymphatic system.

Compression tights may help athletes in the propulsive phases of sprinting and may be effective at reducing some impact forces, which is important for contact sports like Rugby (I miss watching good rugby games! I'm definitely in the wrong country for that. Again, I digress...). It seems to be common thinking that compression garment (socks, sleeves...) will aid in post exercise recovery. However, very little evidence is available to support this hypothesis. There is some evidence to support that recovery after eccentric exercise (e.g. excessive downhill running) may be improved when wearing compression sleeves for 5 days post exercise, in addition to reduced swelling, and decreased perceived soreness. This pretty much means that maybe it does, maybe it does not... take your pick! It appears however, that ice baths are the most effective recovery modality. Not the most pleasant, but who said proper recovery is easy?! ;)

Studies done on endurance performance show that performance over 1 hour TT may improve with the use of compression tights, with VO2max not affected (surprise, surprise there...). Without getting into all the nitty gritty details (I am worried you might fall asleep), this may be due to increased circulation to the working muscles.

After doing a lot of reading about dehydration, weight loss during endurance events and cramps (school stuff....), I have come to the conclusion that there may be some anecdotal evidence suggesting that compression garments may have an effect on “dehydration exhaustion” during ultra-endurance events, such as Ironman. The cardiovascular effects of dehydration are apparent only during exercise in upright position. This helps to explain why the effects of “dehydration exhaustion” are rapidly reversed by lying down and are due to an inadequate peripheral circulation – impaired venous return in the standing position. This might suggest that lower body compression garments may be effective in the prevention of this condition. Please note that there is no formal research to back up this statement – just a thought.

So your next step is to way the pros and cons. Is it worth sporting those goofy looking socks? Apparently, according to Dave, if they have argyles on them in the Garmin-Chipotle colors - they are way cooler than any other kind... ;) The bottom line, in my humble opinion, is (wait for it... ) IT DEPENDS. The phrase 'it depends' was our answer to pretty much every single question we were asked by the time we reached our final semester at uni... and even though that was over 3 years ago - that is still the way I look at things. Things always depend on many factors, and nothing is black or white (see previous post...). But, once again, I seem to get off topic!

I have used the words 'may' or 'might' 8 times in this post, and that wasn't exactly by accident... Its pretty simple - compression garments MAY or MAY NOT do all those things they are claimed to do. They are certainly not going to cause any harm (other than making your wallet lighter...), and if you believe they are helping you - they probably are. After all, the placebo affect can not be overlooked...

In addition to excessively using (abusing?) the word 'may', I have also side tracked about 3 times. ADD?! Me?! NO WAY... Hahaha.