Monday, February 16, 2009

Dog Days of Winter

Are we at that point in winter where much of the country is either in a deep freeze, snowed in, or being poured on. Is it the equivalent to those 100+, humid days of summer when you don't dare more just to stay cool?

Most of us hunker down this time of year; holidays are over, up to are knees at our work, and looking forward to the sunshine of spring. Its also the time when many lose that inspiration to work out, either to cold or wet to make it to the gym, go out for that ride or run, and possibly neglecting our calorie intake.

Motivation comes in many forms; I've mentioned in the past; circling those race dates, keeping a journal of the progress made in training, or taking a new fitness class that jogs that muscle memory and maybe gets things kick started.

As for the nutrition factor; if there is plans to compete this season; you should be in a build phase. Drinking at least 8 - 12 glasses of water a day; the winter can just as dry if not more then the summer; this also curbs the appetite. Maintain a food journal; right now whole foods should comprise the majority of your diet; greens, whole grains, plenty of citrus available in the winter, and water don't forget water. As for gels, bars, and energy drinks, take this time to see what works and taste right for you; time to experiment; better to find out now that something isn't doing it versus at mile 50 of a race.

As for me; work consumes much of my time; I work on devoting at least 30 minutes a day for working on a muscle group; core, upper, legs. I try and keep a realistic schedule, keeping to my goals, spend as much time on the bike either on the road or trainer. My bike time is also broken up into intervals; either hills, sprints, and playing in the mud on my mountain bike.

I'm also testing new components, gear, and shoes; again taking advantage of this time.

Took in stage one of the Tour of California in Santa Rosa; got poured on; didn't envy the riders; rang the cow bell, and talked with a bunch of cycling folks on the races for the year which excited me more.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Put Some Tape on It

In early December I developed tendinitis in my left Achilles tendon; leaving me on the shelf from running for almost two weeks. The first few runs and rides after I felt that it had healed were light; along with some extensive stretching and post icing ritual that followed.

I started to think what I could do to protect the tendon, maintain range of motion, along with continue with my training. I then recalled seeing a couple runners at the Beijing Olympics wearing tape on their knees and running along the back of the calf muscle; the light bulb went off and I realized this is what I was looking for.

Was it duct tape, normal athletic tape....a few searches later I figured out it was a special adhesive called Kinesio Tex Tape. This tape pulls up the skin slightly, increases circulation to the injured area, and best of all no limit to your range of motion.

You can find a roll of the tape in a number of colors; is water proof; and can last up to five days. I've started to use it on both the Achilles and under the patella with favorable results; I do recommend following the guidelines on the Kinesio website on how to apply the tape.

Runnerworld in the February issue had a small writeup about the tape and how to apply it to help with various injuries. The video below is a step through of how you apply it to assist with the Achilles tendon.

Source: Runnersworld