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Sport Health & Fitness News

Keeping you up-to-date with the latest sporting health and fitness news in Australia and across the globe.

HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING WHY HARDER ISNT ALWAYS BETTER

ATHLETIC NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Michael Meredith – Athletic Coach:

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Photo Credit: Transformation Video, 2017 – High-Intensity Training – 

The Trend of HIIT training dates back further than the current FAD we see circulating in modern circles, most notably dating back to 1996 when professor Izumi TABATA conducted research on Olympic Speed skaters with a training method of 20 seconds Ultra Intense exercise followed by 10 secs of rest. The research proved successful in its ability to obtain strong results in such a short period. The trend then caught on and we see many varying versions of the same style using short periods of intense exercise followed by short periods of rest.

The reality of the results is enough to attract any individual to want to do HIIT at every session. But Ultimately this type of training although successful initially will eventually catch up with you. I am a huge advocate for adding this type of programming into any training regime but when I speak to individuals that tell me that this is the only type of training they do, I can’t help but feel they are setting themselves up for disaster.  There are many reasons why HIIT is a great addition to any training program, but you also need to understand why you need to balance your training with other methods.

#1 WHEN DONE RIGHT – HIIT IS HARD. Let’s be honest, if you go into any interval training session with the desire to give it your all, It’s going to be tough, both physically and mentally. And sometimes the anxiety of knowing a tough session is looming can be enough to give any athlete anxiety for days. Tough Sessions require mental focus and preparation and that’s difficult to give 100% if there is little time between those sessions.

#2 ADAPTION: Extremely hard training is fantastic and some of the best results will come from these sessions. But you also need to give your body the time to adapt. To respond to the effort it was forced to give and repair to come back stronger. Training harder and harder even when you are sore and tired is not smart. Your body needs to be nurtured and given time to respond to training. Training stimulus is crucial to progressive results but if you are constantly battling fatigue and muscle soreness are you really able to give 100%.

#3 REST: This goes hand in hand with adaption but in any training program you need rest. Both mentally and physically. HIIT will put stress on your CNS (Central Nervous System). This is what regulates your hormones and your response to stress. When the body is continually under high levels of stress, your CNS will start to lose efficiency. In fact, it will respond oppositely to how you want it to. Your fight or flight response will take over, and the results you desire will, in fact, become difficult to obtain. Factor in a rest day or two, an easy day or something less stressful.

#4 BALANCE: For every athlete, balance is vital for any program. Just because training is perceived as HARD doesn’t not necessarily means it’s productive. There are many other forms of training that can be added into a training program to provide challenging sessions without overloading your CNS and requiring a maximal effort every time you train. Try YOGA, swimming, a long slow run, or even play some sport.

Every coach and Athlete understands the need for tough training sessions in any training program, they are the foundation of both physical fitness and mental toughness. But they also understand the human body is not indispensable. That for every hard session there needs to be an acknowledgement of recovery. That for everything you take, you must give back plus interest if you want to see long term sustainable results.

We all love training hard, but be smart about how you treat your body and remember my number one rule in training, train smarter not harder for better results!

About Our Athletic News and Review Columnist – Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith, Master Personal Trainer, Elite Obstacle Racer, Former Sydney A-grade rugby league player, Runner, and all-round health enthusiast, is the Founder of Aussie Athletes Health and Performance. As a coach, Michael’s philosophy is to focus on health and performance. His 12-week training programs for men and women, include strength and fitness, OCR (or obstacle course racing) and recreational running. Micheal aims to narrow the gap between strength training and aerobic endurance so that his clients’ can balance the two effectively to create the fittest, healthiest version of themselves.

“After more than 5-years as a Personal Trainer, I have helped celebrities, recreational athletes make it all the way to an élite level of fitness. In addition, I have annually sponsored two ‘everyday athletes’ as a mentor. This give one male and one female the opportunity to take on certain events throughout the year under the guidance of the #teamaussieathletes community.”

“My major focus as a trainer is to complete an exercise science degree and turn my Aussie Athletes business into a community based-group that operates out of its own head-quarters. Aussie Athletes Health and Performance is now operated via two of Australia’s premier Fitness First Platinum Clubs in Sydney Australia, these being in Park Street Platinum and Bondi Platinum.

Disclaimer: The author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion form the basis of this column. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

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Dealing with Pre-Race Nerves

CYCLING NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Genevieve Whitson – Professional Cyclist 

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Photo CreditAuðunn Níelsson, 2006 – Cycling – 

Feeling nervous before a race is absolutely normal and actually healthy and should not be feared. The body needs a certain amount of adrenaline to get it going and turning up to the start line with no butterflies in the stomach will probably make you a bit lethargic in the race.

However, the issue that many cyclists/athletes face is too many overconsuming nerves and not being able to relax in order to get on with the job at hand – having fun and placing well. There are lots of things you can do to deal with ‘pre-race nerves’ to ensure you can keep your cool (but not too cool) on your race.

There are lots of things you can do to deal with ‘pre-race nerves’ to ensure you can keep your cool (but not too cool) on your race.

No 1: Get yourself organised before the race – a lot of worry about how you are going to get on in a race can be minimised by just getting a bit more organised for the day. If you are worried about getting ‘dropped’ on the course, go do a pre-ride and get to know the course well. Ride it with someone experienced whose advice you trust. Find out where the best wind shelter is, the best and safest lines.

No 2: Get your bike serviced and clean it – knowing your bike is in running order on race day will settle a lot of mechanical worries. And did you know you can usually get around an extra 10 watts by just giving your chain a good clean?

No 3: Have a good breakfast before you head off – It’s easier to stay calm and feel focused with a full stomach. Ensure you eat properly on race morning and have some gels for the race so you don’t  blow up.

No 4: Take 3 deep breaths on the start line and remind yourself that you have done all you can up to this point – now you just have to ride and let the race unfold No 5: If you struggle.

No 5: If you struggle sleeping the night before racing try a 10 minute guided meditation – There are loads available on Youtube, or do some light yoga to help keep the worry niggles at bay.

No 6: Treat the week before the race as normal as possible – No need to over stress yourself out by living your life around one race. If you usually meet friends for a wine during the week, go as you normally would. The body loves routine and the more you keep to its standard routine, the calmer it will be.

No 7: Visualise having a great race and then let it go and chill out, relax – Visualising will help you to feel less nervous and it will boost your confidence.

Thanks to my sponsors at www.genwhitson.com. You can now find me on twitter @GenWhitson https://twitter.com/GenWhitson.

About Our Cycling News and Review Columnist

Jarlath-Cross-20131-960x576_GenevieveGenevieve Whitson is a NZ born, British/Scottish cyclist, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Gen has a raced at the highest level for Road, Cyclocross and Mountain biking, have competed in four World Championships, multiple World Cups as well as riding professionally on the road. Gen has raced all around the globe on the road bike and is currently riding for a Belgium team, Isorex competing in all the major spring classics.

Highlights of her career include gaining a top 30 finish at the World Cyclocross Championships, a stage win in a major USA road tour, and winning the 2015 Scottish National Hill Climb Champs. Gen also loves to ride a rickshaw in Edinburgh for strength training on the side and is heavily involved in supporting/mentoring up and coming female/male athletes to ride to their potential. Her mantra on the bike is: Eat the pain…

Disclaimer: The information published in this column is the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

MASTER CLIMBING ON A BIKE

CYCLING NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Genevieve Whitson – Professional Cyclist 

Up Hill Cycling

Photo Credit: Paul Dobson, 2010 – Fred Whitton Challenge 2010

You do not need to be a natural to master climb. The biggest myth out there is that you are either a ‘natural’ or ‘no hope’ on hills – and its just not true. Learning to climb takes a bit of patience, but anyone can take their climbing ability to a new level.

How to Climb

The first step is to actually train on hills, or if you don’t have access to hills to replicate hills on a turbo trainer or gym. Climbing well requires strength and endurance and that is something that not all riders are born with.

So, if you’re currently struggling with hills, then I would suggest getting some good endurance rides in. Therefore, increasing your practice stamina and strength together. For instance ride for at least 1.5-2 hours over mixed terrain, which requires you to change your gears a lot and get in and out of the saddle. This makes your muscles more adaptive to changing power output and will make it easier when you target specific hills in a few weeks time.

Hills Sessions

Once you have some stamina in your legs, then it’s time to some specific sessions on hills. I would suggest, over the winter, doing some low cadence strength work on hills. This includes repeat efforts going up at around 60-70rpm for 5-minutes at a time and then spinning back down the hill around 90-100 to flush the legs out. This is quite an old school way of building strength in the legs and has been commonly used by Tour de France riders for the alpine stages.

Gym Sessions

The key is to not do this session all-year-round as it’s really taxing on the legs, but over the winter it’s perfect for lifting the power. If you don’t have access to good hills, then head straight to the gym for squats and deadlifts. Squats, in particular, done properly (I suggest getting supervision for anyone new to lifting weights), will also build up the muscles in your quads, while the deadlifts will focus on the calves.

After a few months in the gym, you’ll notice a considerable difference climbing. To get the ‘jump’ for climbing, for example, when the bunch goes up and someone attacks or cracks up the gears, you need to practice pure speed on hills. Find a hill which you can tear up at max effort for anywhere between 1-3 mins which will help prepare your body for the pace changes in groups. You can even incorporate 30-seconds on/30-seconds off amongst this or in alternative reps to help your lungs and muscles adapt to the changing pace of group rides.

Climbing should not be feared! Go find a hill and go forth!

About Our Cycling News and Review Columnist

Jarlath-Cross-20131-960x576_GenevieveGenevieve Whitson is a NZ born, British/Scottish cyclist, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Gen has a raced at the highest level for Road, Cyclocross and Mountain biking, have competed in four World Championships, multiple World Cups as well as riding professionally on the road. Gen has raced all around the globe on the road bike and is currently riding for a Belgium team, Isorex competing in all the major spring classics.

Highlights of her career include gaining a top 30 finish at the World Cyclocross Championships, a stage win in a major USA road tour, and winning the 2015 Scottish National Hill Climb Champs. Gen also loves to ride a rickshaw in Edinburgh for strength training on the side and is heavily involved in supporting/mentoring up and coming female/male athletes to ride to their potential. Her mantra on the bike is: Eat the pain…

Disclaimer: The information published in this column is the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

WHY TURBO SESSIONS AND CYCLING MIX

CYCLING NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Genevieve Whitson – Professional Cyclist 

Turbo riding

Photo Credit: New England Fitness District, 2009: Spin Bikes

The majority of athletes I know, ride and train with – HATE THY TURBO and will do almost anything they can to avoid it.

But let’s face it, come winter time, you are going to have to find a way to embrace turbo, or endure riding for hours on end in the cold, rain, snow and sleet. While this is tolerated for a few weeks, most of us won’t ride over the whole winter. That is unless you decide to take a holiday with your bike and head for somewhere tropical. We can dream, I know. So, for the rest of us without unlimited resources – you need to learn to LOVE THY TURBO.

Turbo is Beneficial

Riding on a turbo is just as valuable as riding outdoors. Of course, this is providing you do it properly.

Another benefit of turbo riding is the ride is better controlled, especially when training by power. It is not easy to stay within 10-15 watts on a bunch ride. The reason most people loathe turbo is because it’s believed to be boring. You aren’t going anywhere, and you can’t measure your progress if you don’t seem to be moving beyond the rug under the turbo.

The Biggest Turbo Mistake

One of the biggest mistakes people make using a turbo or rollers is pedalling away with no variation. So, while you tell yourself you are going to do 1 hour steady on the turbo – just riding away with a healthy heart rate, to compensate for not being on the road – then at the 20-minute mark, you’re already looking at aborting.

Turbo Tricks and Tips

The trick to using the turbo is to try and replicate what you would usually when riding outdoors. Therefore, set-up your environment to stimulate and motivate yourself.

Here are seven tips to get you started:

• Setting up your turbo in front of a blank wall – staring at a wall for 30 minutes to 1 hour is sure to make you crazy. I don’t know who suggested this – but it’s a terrible idea.

• If you are going to turbo in front of a TV, at least pick an uplifting DVD or TV program to watch

• Get your music dialled in before you start. Make a unique turbo compilation that will encourage you to pedal

• Do not set up the turbo in the living room unless you have complete space. Trying to turbo as your wife, husband or flatmates come home will most likely see the whole session derailed or you will be banned from ever bringing a bike in there again

• Turn off your phone, or have it on silent mode. It’s very tricky to speak on the phone or send a text while you’re sitting at maximum heart rate!

• Have something to measure time. I once lost my watch, had no mobile and was turbo-ing in a room with no clock. It was the most horrid hour ever. I had to wait for someone to tell me it was time to stop.

• Avoid doing sessions on your own. Get a friend over and turbo together – time passes a lot faster with someone else there.

 Turbo Sessions to Try

If you need to do a say 30-minute to 1-hour session or even worse, 2-hours on a turbo, or the dreaded, 4-hours. Then, I’d suggest the following exercises to make it worthwhile.

Simply riding at a leisurely pace on a turbo for any period of time, will not do much for you. Not unless you’re having a super easy recovery ride and simply want to get the legs moving and the blood flowing. So instead, try riding a little faster and doing the 30-minute session.

The Town Ride Session

• 30-minute session – Warm up for 5 minutes, to get your cadence up to at least 85 rpm, and then spend every 2-minutes at a slightly different pace. Let’s say the first 2-minutes in a higher gear – 2 speeds up. Then, over the next 2-minutes – 1 speed down. The next 2-minutes – 1 speed up. Next 2-minutes – 2 gears down. This will be similar to a town ride with constant changes in pace and speed. So, before you know it, 25-minutes would’ve passed, and it will be time for the cool down.

• 45-minute session – Get some leg speed going. Warm up for 10-minutes and then alternate your cadence. Speed for 3-minutes at 90 rpm. Follow this with 3-minutes at 95, and then 3-minutes at 100, 3-minutes at 105 and 3-minutes at 110. Then, roll backwards through the rpm speeds until your reach 90 rpm. Recover for 5-minutes and then do it again. But, make sure you up the cadence a little. This session is excellent for building leg speed and can also be done as a recovery session, provided you keep the power or heart rate low and just work on the rpm.

Step Ups and Downs Session

• 1-hour session – Warm up for 10-minutes. Then, every 5-minutes move up a gear. After 4 gear changes, reverse the order and move back down. Lastly, cool down for 10-minutess. That’s it, session done.

Time Trials and Hills Session

• 1.5 – 2hours – Warm up for 10-15 minutes then it’s time to hit some hills. If you have resistance on the turbo, put it up and get into some low cadence hill sessions, or put a few books under the front wheel of the bike. Then pedal for 5-minutes at 70 rpm, 5-minutes at 60rpm and then 3 -minutes at 50rpm. Follow this with an easy 5-minute spin. Then it’s time for some high cadence repeats – 5-minutes at 85rpm, 5-minutes at 95 rpm, and then 5-minutes at 105 rpm. Ride easy for a bit, then hit some time trial efforts – 5-minutes on and 5-minutes off – repeat three times. Lastly, cool down 10-15 minutes.

If you or your coach has set you a 3-4 hour road session, and you feel you must do this on the turbo, then break this into chunks and shortening it a little. Why? Well, it’s important to remember that 3-hours on a turbo are more like 3.5 on the road as you never get to stop pedalling. So, it’s important to break up the session – ride for 1.5 hours in the morning and then 1.5 in the evening.

There are literally a zillion sessions you can do on the indoor bike to mix-it-up. Be creative, think about riding outdoors and our constant changes in speed, then apply this to the turbo. Also, remember the value of being able to totally control the speed, cadence, heart rate and/or power. You never know, you might actually start to enjoy the turbo.

About Our Cycling News and Review Columnist

Jarlath-Cross-20131-960x576_GenevieveGenevieve Whitson is a NZ born, British/Scottish cyclist, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Gen has a raced at the highest level for Road, Cyclocross and Mountain biking, have competed in four World Championships, multiple World Cups as well as riding professionally on the road. Gen has raced all around the globe on the road bike and is currently riding for a Belgium team, Isorex competing in all the major spring classics.

Highlights of her career include gaining a top 30 finish at the World Cyclocross Championships, a stage win in a major USA road tour, and winning the 2015 Scottish National Hill Climb Champs. Gen also loves to ride a rickshaw in Edinburgh for strength training on the side and is heavily involved in supporting/mentoring up and coming female/male athletes to ride to their potential. Her mantra on the bike is: Eat the pain…

Disclaimer: The information published in this column is the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

INTERVAL TRAINING AND BIKE FITNESS

CYCLING NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Genevieve Whitson – Professional Cyclist 

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Photo Credit: Tejvan Pettinger, 2010: Cycling

Most people think that in the winter months, you don’t need to do any interval training – it’s all about the base miles apparently with just a little bit of top end. But, you still need to keep the engine ticking over and keep your mindset in the off-season and throwing in some time trial efforts, and some short interval bursts into your endurance ride can make all the difference.

What Type of Interval Training is Ideal?

Generally, I recommend getting some intervals into your winter training regime at the end of Autumn onwards. These training sessions do not need to be at your max heart rate (it’s definitely too early for those). But, get in some functional threshold power (FTP). For example, train at around 70-80% of your FTP power output for 5 mins at a time. Do this a few times in a week. This regime will help keep your anaerobic engine ticking over so that your body and muscles don’t forget how to fire. Plus, this training will make it easier when you start racing again – your body will be more conditioned to the racing environment. Also, combining this training with an endurance base through the off-season, will give you a recipe for success and possible podium finishes.

Other Types of Interval Training

Another interval I’d recommend trying over winter includes a few efforts when you are climbing. You can do this in the bunch. Just move yourself to the front of the peloton when it’s time to go up a hill and dig a little deeper. It will give the rest of the bunch a workout, and after a few repeat efforts of this, your legs will be ready for the harder more intense intervals as the season starts. It’s also an excellent way to remind your ‘head’ that hills are your friend. Many cyclists loath climbing, but it really is just a matter of getting conditioned – maybe you are the next mountain goat waiting to be unleashed 🙂

Lastly, you can also have fun around town if you are limited time wise – sprinting to traffic lights is excellent, just remember to be safe and sensible about this! You can also sprint to markers around your local block, this will help to keep that anaerobic engine ticking over in the down time months.

About Our Cycling News and Review Columnist

Jarlath-Cross-20131-960x576_GenevieveGenevieve Whitson is a NZ born, British/Scottish cyclist, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Gen has a raced at the highest level for Road, Cyclocross and Mountain biking, have competed in four World Championships, multiple World Cups as well as riding professionally on the road. Gen has raced all around the globe on the road bike and is currently riding for a Belgium team, Isorex competing in all the major spring classics.

Highlights of her career include gaining a top 30 finish at the World Cyclocross Championships, a stage win in a major USA road tour, and winning the 2015 Scottish National Hill Climb Champs. Gen also loves to ride a rickshaw in Edinburgh for strength training on the side and is heavily involved in supporting/mentoring up and coming female/male athletes to ride to their potential. Her mantra on the bike is: Eat the pain…

Disclaimer: The information published in this column is the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

SUPPLEMENTS: ARE THEY REALLY NECESSARY?

 

ATHLETIC NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Michael Meredith – Athletic Coach:

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In short my answer to the question, “Are supplements really necessary?” Is YES, they are. But there are few things we need to think about before going out and spending your fortune on the latest “Body Building stack.”

First of all, supplements need is based on the requirements of athletic performance, so you get the most out of your body and your training. Secondly, you need to understand what the word supplement means, what you are taking and why you are taking it.

Supplements

The word supplements means “to add an element to something else to complete or enhance it.” But generally speaking, all the energy, nutrients and minerals we need for our body to function will come from our food. Ensuring not only we eat enough energy to perform, but that we eat the best quality and type of energy to get the best results from our training. The world of supplementation is a profound and diverse one, therefore we will take a look at the best supplements to help improve performance.

Considering that we get all of our nutrition from the food we eat, then we will only look at taking supplements if we cannot fulfil our nutritional requirements from our daily intake of food or if our body is producing inadequate amounts of a particular hormone. For example, many individuals will struggle to maintain their desired daily intake of protein through their food. Therefore, a protein supplement would be necessary to ensure they reach their required daily goal.

Below are my recommendations on supplements that support general physical performance, and increase results in all forms of training to improve your fitness.

Fish Oil

We all hear about this supplement, but do we really know why we need it? Our bodies are able to make most of the fats that we need, but this is not true for Omega 3 fatty acids (DHA – EPA).We need to supplement these fats through our diet (eg.eating fish) or a good quality Fish oil supplement. The studies are broad and varied on this supplement, but the benefits include improved brain function, increased weight loss, as well as better joint health, and the list goes on. Knowing we must supplement our Omega 3s, then it is highly advisable to obtain a good quality supplement and start using it as soon as possible.

BCAA

BCAA stands for Branch Chain Amino Acids, which are essential for all athletes who wish to preserve valuable lean muscle tissue, especially when working in high-intensity environments or endurance events where muscle breakdown is a huge factor. BCAAs are the building blocks of lean muscle tissue (L-Leucine, L-Glutamine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine) so taking a quality BCAA supplement both INTRA-WORKOUT and POST WORKOUT can assist in preserving muscle and improving recovery for all your workouts.

Protein

Protein is an essential part of our Macros daily caloric intake, and it is proven that many individuals struggle to meet the daily intake required to both sustain strong, healthy muscles and continue to grow stronger. Although there are many protein-rich foods on the market, it is sometimes difficult to obtain the required amount. Therefore, a wholesome good quality organic protein supplement can be vital in your supplement plan. This product ensures you maximise results in your training, specifically relating to strength and building strong, healthy muscles.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a supplement that we don’t usually regard highly in supplement plans. But, it is critical in the maintenance of strong, healthy bones. As an athlete, this supplement is vital to maintaining a healthy bone structure and ensures you grow stronger. Plus, Vitamin D ensures your skeletal makeup can sustain muscle mass, it is also very useful for injury prevention and to reduce your risk of serious injury (broken bones).

Magnesium

Magnesium is another supplement with various benefits including stress relief, improving muscle and nerve function and improves relaxation, i.e., better quality sleep. Magnesium is crucial in regulating electrolytes which can be affected by large training volumes through sweating etc. A good quality magnesium supplement can be essential in any athlete’s supplement plan.

Electrolytes

Electrolytes include sodium, potassium, and calcium. Muscle contractions require these three essential electrolytes to function. Therefore, low electrolyte levels will lead to weak muscles and rapid fatigue. Using an electrolyte tablet in your fluids during and after exercise can ensure adequate replenishment and hydration during and post workout.

So there you have it, some of the foundation supplements that can assist you in your training to improve performance. Remember these are only recommendations due to deficiency or inadequate amounts consumed through your diet. Always prioritise your nutrition to be of the highest quality to get what you need. Also, consult your local doctor if you believe that you may be deficient in any of the above minerals or electrolytes. A simple blood test can determine just exactly what that looks like.

Lastly, remember health comes first, and to train smarter, not harder for better results.

About Our Athletic News and Review Columnist – Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith, Master Personal Trainer, Elite Obstacle Racer, Former Sydney A-grade rugby league player, Runner, and all-round health enthusiast, is the Founder of Aussie Athletes Health and Performance. As a coach, Michael’s philosophy is to focus on health and performance. His 12-week training programs for men and women, include strength and fitness, OCR (or obstacle course racing) and recreational running. Micheal aims to narrow the gap between strength training and aerobic endurance so that his clients’ can balance the two effectively to create the fittest, healthiest version of themselves.

“After more than 5-years as a Personal Trainer, I have helped celebrities, recreational athletes make it all the way to an élite level of fitness. In addition, I have annually sponsored two ‘everyday athletes’ as a mentor. This give one male and one female the opportunity to take on certain events throughout the year under the guidance of the #teamaussieathletes community.”

“My major focus as a trainer is to complete an exercise science degree and turn my Aussie Athletes business into a community based-group that operates out of its own head-quarters. Aussie Athletes Health and Performance is now operated via two of Australia’s premier Fitness First Platinum Clubs in Sydney Australia, these being in Park Street Platinum and Bondi Platinum.

Disclaimer: The author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion form the basis of this column. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

WHY CYLISTS SHOULD DO YOGA AND MEDITATION

CYCLING NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Genevieve Whitson – Professional Cyclist:

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If you want to become a better cyclist, then do yoga and meditation.

This is still a relatively ‘new’ concept to a lot of cyclists, but I can assure you that your legs/body/mind will feel the goodness that both can bring to the organs, cells and nerve system within just a month of practice.

The Benefits of Yoga for a Cyclist

I started doing regular yoga in 2009. This time was in my early years of bike racing, and I was curious as to what yoga could potentially do for my mental state, my well being and my body. It was subtle changes I noticed that over the years have resulted in dramatic changes on the bike. The weekly routine of yoga, including deep breathing and stretching the body out aids the body. Firstly, the organs are aligned and used to their full capacity. Plus, yoga quietens the brain from the ‘chit chat’. Yoga has done wonders for my general state of well-being on a bike and has increased my body’s ability to recover off the bike.

Increased Cycling Flexibility

Cyclists are notorious for their lack of flexibility through the hips and yoga/stretching is an excellent way to unlock the hidden resources of your hips. I regularly do a ‘Hatha’ yoga sessions, that involve holding deep hip openers for up to 8 mins at a time. Opening the hips supports better blood flow and that, in turn, helps the legs push the pedals. It is not uncommon to rocket up hills the day after a yoga session as the body has a renewed sense of energy.

Strengthening of a Cyclist’s Immune System

Yoga and meditation also strengthen the immune system. A 20-minute meditation a day has been proven to support health in the body. Why? Because when we sit still, breathe deeply and let the body relax it quietens the sympathetic nervous system (often referred to as the fight or flight mode). This practice, in turn, can help support better blood flow to the brain, indicating less constriction of blood vessels & lower respiration rates and heart rates.

So go look up your local yoga/meditation studio or do a class on YouTube for free. Chances are you might like it. Plus, you’ll begin to understand that all those hippies/bohemian types are actually on to something pretty good.

About Our Cycling News and Review Columnist

Jarlath-Cross-20131-960x576_GenevieveGenevieve Whitson is a NZ born, British/Scottish cyclist, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Gen has a raced at the highest level for Road, Cyclocross and Mountain biking, have competed in four World Championships, multiple World Cups as well as riding professionally on the road. Gen has raced all around the globe on the road bike and is currently riding for a Belgium team, Isorex competing in all the major spring classics.

Highlights of her career include gaining a top 30 finish at the World Cyclocross Championships, a stage win in a major USA road tour, and winning the 2015 Scottish National Hill Climb Champs. Gen also loves to ride a rickshaw in Edinburgh for strength training on the side and is heavily involved in supporting/mentoring up and coming female/male athletes to ride to their potential. Her mantra on the bike is: Eat the pain…

Disclaimer: The information published in this column is the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

Follow us on Twitter for more news, tips and inspiration.

Explore our Pinterest boards.

Don’t forget to leave us a comment.

We like to hear what you have to say🙂

WHAT IS FITNESS?

ATHLETIC NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Michael Meredith – Athletic Coach:

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We all have varying levels of fitness. Plus, fitness has varying meanings to different people.

Working in the health and fitness industry, I hear the question, “What is Fitness?” asked often. But, many people struggle to define fitness.

Aerobic Capacity and Fitness

The most common association with the word fitness is that of an aerobic capacity. An athlete with greater aerobic capacity seems to have a higher level of fitness than anyone else. But is this necessarily true? The term FITNESS can defined by more than just the efficiency of an athlete’s aerobic endurance. The dictionary defines fitness as the state of or condition of being fit through exercise and proper nutrition. While this is true, it does not clarify FITNESS itself.

Crossfit’s Definition of Fitness

Crossfit defines FITNESS with ten essential elements of recognised general physical skills from which the focus of an athlete is competency in each. These are as follows:

  1. Cardiovascular / respiratory endurance – The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.
  2. Stamina– The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilise energy.
  3. Strength– The ability of a muscular unit, or a combination of muscular units, to apply force.
  4. Flexibility– The ability to maximise the range of motion at a given joint.
  5. Power– The ability of a muscular unit, or a combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
  6. Speed– The ability to minimise the time cycle of a repeated movement.
  7. Coordination– The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
  8. Agility– The ability to minimise transition time from one movement pattern to another.
  9. Balance– The ability to control the placement of the body’s centre of gravity about its support base.
  10. Accuracy– The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.

The Complexity of Fitness

Fitness is a highly complex term to solely define because for most athletes training specificity in their given sport is the most crucial element as to be the best. Your training must be extremely disciplined and specific. For example, a marathon runner doesn’t need to focus on power when their sport does not require such skills to be the best.

For the everyday individual, though, an emphasis on these ten areas will allow you to increase your fitness. A varied training regime allows you to cover many of the ten defined skills. Plus, it will help to keep you focused on the enjoyment of your lifestyle.

Many of these elements cross over, and a well-rounded athlete should have a competency in all areas. I firmly believe that for the everyday individual, FITNESS can be defined by balancing your lifestyle and focusing on developing skills in all ten elements of FITNESS. Overall, balance your training program around both aerobic and anaerobic capacity.

Thus, defining FITNESS is about improving areas of weakness. In an industry saturated by high expectations, training for everyday athletes should be ability focused. Benchmarking your capability and focusing on consistent training and improvement with continual re-assessment is an ideal approach to improving your fitness.

Micheal Meredith’s Definition of Fitness

FITNESS, for me as a coach, is about improving overall capacity and competency over a broad spectrum of abilities. I don’t like to define one individual to be FITTER than another.

When determining FITNESS by focusing on a balance of the KEY PHYSICAL SKILLS already stated, you improve your competency in each area. However, it’s also important that you don’t compare your ability to some else, but rather that you focus on your continual improvement.

Train smarter, not harder, for better results.

About Our Athletic News and Review Columnist – Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith, Master Personal Trainer, Elite Obstacle Racer, Former Sydney A-grade rugby league player, Runner, and all-round health enthusiast, is the Founder of Aussie Athletes Health and Performance. As a coach, Michael’s philosophy is to focus on health and performance. His 12-week training programs for men and women, include strength and fitness, OCR (or obstacle course racing) and recreational running. Micheal aims to narrow the gap between strength training and aerobic endurance so that his clients’ can balance the two effectively to create the fittest, healthiest version of themselves.

“After more than 5-years as a Personal Trainer, I have helped celebrities, recreational athletes make it all the way to an élite level of fitness. In addition, I have annually sponsored two ‘everyday athletes’ as a mentor. This give one male and one female the opportunity to take on certain events throughout the year under the guidance of the #teamaussieathletes community.”

“My major focus as a trainer is to complete an exercise science degree and turn my Aussie Athletes business into a community based-group that operates out of its own head-quarters. Aussie Athletes Health and Performance is now operated via two of Australia’s premier Fitness First Platinum Clubs in Sydney Australia, these being in Park Street Platinum and Bondi Platinum.

Disclaimer: The author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion form the basis of this column. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

Follow us on Twitter for more news, tips and inspiration.

Explore our Pinterest boards.

Don’t forget to leave us a comment.

We like to hear what you have to say🙂

TOP TEN RUNNING MISTAKES TO AVOID

MARATHON NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Ron Byland – USATF, RRCA and Lydiard certified Running Coach:

shutterstock_101301319

Photo Credit: iStock Images: Running at Your Best Form –

Happy November. While a lot of us here in the middle part of the United States are closing out our racing season, there are plenty of you out there just beginning your training for your goal race in 2017.

Over my coaching career, I’ve worked with runners ranging from beginners to Olympic calibre athletes. Over this time, there are certain issues which always come up regardless of the race distance or the runners’ ability. In the past, I’ve written about doing the little things for big personal records (PRs). I firmly believe that when you work to eliminate or reduce mistakes in your training, then you’ll have a much better chance of setting yourself up for success and PRs in your upcoming races.

10 Mistakes To Eliminate From Your Running

#1 Be honest with yourself about your ability and goals. Do you want to run a 5:00 mile or a 4:00 marathon? Do you have the leg speed to run:75 400’s or 26.2 miles at 9:10 pace? Also, do you have the time to commit to the training needed to accomplish these goals? Be honest with yourself, it might take you six months to several years, break the training into manageable goals. You’ll get there.

#2 Doing the training you need vs. the training you like to do. Too many runners won’t vary their workouts and then expect to race faster. You still need to do a longer run training for the 5K, and you need to do speed work training for the marathon.

#3 Pick a training program and stick with it. Or better yet, hire a coach, and stick with the plan through to your goal race. Then, go back and review what worked and what didn’t. The runners that come to me for coaching say that one of the biggest reasons and challenges, why they sought out a coach, is trying to figure out what to do and when to do it over the course of training. Don’t incorporate several different plans and try to combine them, it rarely ever works.

#4 Slow down and you’ll get faster. I’ve said this to every runner I’ve ever worked with, “To get faster you need to slow down!” So many athletes never recover from their fast workouts, and probably don’t run them fast enough because they run their recovery runs too fast. This approach leads to overall fatigue, frustration and possible injury. The majority of your training should be recovery runs.

#5 Work on your endurance. Day in/day out, week in/week out and month after month focus on building a better you. As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” nor is your endurance. Spend weeks, months and even years to work on your endurance; you’ve got to have a big V8 engine under the hood to help carry your speed through your entire race.

#6 Cross Train. I encourage every one of my runners to strength training and least once a week, and this is full body strength training. Yes, we run with our legs, but it’s important to work ALL the muscles to ensure we don’t break down and get hurt. Remember there is sport specific cross training and non-specific; don’t be afraid to incorporate both into your training.

#7 Massage work. I highly recommend that if and when possible you include a deep tissue massage into your training to help with circulation, recovery and break up any scar tissue caused by training.

#8 Running Shoes. I’m constantly reminding my runners that running shoes today last for approx. 300-400 miles for most people. When I read their workout logs and see comments about knees, ankles, backs, etc. hurting the 1st thing I ask is how old are their shoes. And my suggestion is to always go to a Run Specialty store for a gait analyst. Just because you read in a magazine or online that the “best” model running shoe on the market is XYZ brand, doesn’t mean that it will work for you.

#9 Eat healthy foods. While I am not a licensed nutritionist, over the years I’ve worked with people that ate junk every meal or on the flip side eat great food, but neither were eating for the training they were doing. Without keeping the tank full, you’ll never run to the best of your ability solely off of just your training.

#10 Be patient. One of my favourite saying is, “Patience Grasshopper!” So many runners are in such a hurry with their training, it’s not an overnight process. While 12-16 weeks might be enough time to make it across the finish line, it is the months and years of work that will help you achieve your biggest goals. I’ve only been running for 50+ years, but I believe that 2017 will be one of my best!

I hope you have a great month of training and I’m looking forward to discussing your running with you in next month’s article. And as always, if I can be of any help with your training goals, please don’t hesitate to contact me and we’ll put together a plan to make 2017 the best of your career.

See you on the roads

Coach Ron

About Our Marathon News and Review Columnist

Ron Byland HeadShotBackground

  • USATF, RRCA & Lydiard Certifications
  • 25+ Years coaching experience
  • 30+ Years of Competitive racing
  • Coached runners of all levels from beginner to Olympic caliber runners
  • Founder & coach of Minneapolis based Mile To Marathon Run Club

Mile To Marathon Coaching Options

  • Mile To Marathon Coaching Options
  • Customized Personal Training Program
  • Personal One-on-One Training Sessions
  • Virtual Training
  • Corporate Run Programs for 5 -500 runners
  • Couch To 5K Programs
  • Corporate Speaker

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Disclaimer: The information published in this column is the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

Follow us on Twitter for more news, tips and inspiration.

Explore our Pinterest boards.

Don’t forget to leave us a comment.

We like to hear what you have to say🙂

MENTAL PREPARATION IS YOUR STRONGEST TOOL

ATHLETIC NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Michael Meredith – Athletic Coach:

Sound Mind Sound Body

Photo Credit: Kyle Lane 2010 – Sound Mind Sound Body

 

We have all heard the term mind over matter before. But, when it comes to athletic performance your strongest asset is your mental strength.

I have read many studies on mental strength. I’ve found that élite level athletes train their mental capacity to succeed under high levels of stress and in some of the most testing conditions. Now when It comes to preparing your mental state, meditation is a highly effective way to gain control over both you conscious and sub-conscious mind. Many élite athletes will meditate daily. They do this for short periods and experts even suggest that at this level of sport, most athletes have a dual personality.

Let’s call this dual personality “Athlete Mode” Vs “Everyday mode.” Success lies in the separation of the two modes. Thus, an athlete can switch into “ATHLETE MODE” when it’s time to perform. Let’s look at this mode in greater detail.

Athletic Mode

This mode covers few key areas. These are as follows:

  • Discipline;
  • Focus;
  • Control;
  • Calmness;
  • Desire; and
  • Resilience.

These attributes are all required to control your “fight or flight” response. I find most recreational athletes will spend months preparing for an event. Then by the time the event arrives they feel confident and ready to go. That is, until the night before. This time is when the nerves kick in and doubt takes over. When this happens, you will find that you can’t sleep. So, when you turn out to your event, you’re so nervous that your entire preparation falls apart. Sound like you?

Tips to Take You to the Next Level

if you’re constant fighting your nerves before an event, then try these remedies:

  • Relax;
  • Breathe;
  • Visualise; and
  • Control your response.

Being nervous is natural. You can even use this as an asset. But, nerves need control. To do this, see your outcome. Be confident in your mind. See yourself winning or crossing the line strongly. If you continue to do this, then in time you will achieve what you wish.

Understanding Control

Control is essential to your success. For example, you’re on the start line of your event, and you’re extremely nervous. You look at the other competitors, and you think, “OMG they look so much fitter than me.” Then, the gun goes off. Everyone sprints off. You freak out, and just about give up because – in the first 500m – everyone is so far in front of you that you are a now the slowest in the field. Reality sets in. After the first 1km, the field sorts itself out. The nerves are gone. The body is warm, and all the drama that was going through your minds means absolutely nothing anymore. All you are now focusing on is your ability and how you feel. Plus, you just want to get to the end of your race and finish as strong as you can.

Controlling Your Fight or Flight Mechanism

The most successful athletes have control over their “FIGHT OR FLIGHT” Mechanism. So when it comes to your performance, and changing your mindset, you need to focus on being calm, in control and having a strong desire. Be confident in your training and your ability. So, take a deep breath and switch into “ATHLETE MODE”.

In your head be confident as you like, so visualise success and your training outcome. Once you are in an event, let calmness and resilience become your primary focus. Be strong and tough; really tough. This time is where your mental capacity shines. Remember when times get tough, you get tougher. Know that your mind will endure more than your body, so if the body can keep going, then you must be mentally strong enough to keep up.

Your job now is to build your “ATHLETE MODE”. There is a superstar inside of us all mentally. Therefore, it’s your job to train as tough as possible. So when next it comes to competition, switch on “ATHLETE MODE” and unleash the superstar within.

About Our Athletic News and Review Columnist – Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith, Master Personal Trainer, Elite Obstacle Racer, Former Sydney A-grade rugby league player, Runner, and all-round health enthusiast, is the Founder of Aussie Athletes Health and Performance. As a coach, Michael’s philosophy is to focus on health and performance. His 12-week training programs for men and women, include strength and fitness, OCR (or obstacle course racing) and recreational running. Micheal aims to narrow the gap between strength training and aerobic endurance so that his clients’ can balance the two effectively to create the fittest, healthiest version of themselves.

“After more than 5-years as a Personal Trainer, I have helped celebrities, recreational athletes make it all the way to an élite level of fitness. In addition, I have annually sponsored two ‘everyday athletes’ as a mentor. This give one male and one female the opportunity to take on certain events throughout the year under the guidance of the #teamaussieathletes community.”

“My major focus as a trainer is to complete an exercise science degree and turn my Aussie Athletes business into a community based-group that operates out of its own head-quarters. Aussie Athletes Health and Performance is now operated via two of Australia’s premier Fitness First Platinum Clubs in Sydney Australia, these being in Park Street Platinum and Bondi Platinum.

Disclaimer: The author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion form the basis of this column. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

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