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Showing posts from May 12, 2019

How to avoid GI issues on race day

Photo by Deuce Bradshaw.
Unwanted in training and competition, GI issues frequently impair performance and recovery. The three main causes of GI symptoms include physiological (reduced blood flow to the gut), mechanical (bouncing/jumping) or nutritional (diet/sport nutrition). For example, during exercise, blood flow to the digestive system is impaired so the stomach may reject ingested food or fluids, sending them out of the body - either up or down.

Common upper and lower GI issues include:


UPPER GI ISSUES LOWER GI ISSUES Nausea Intestinal cramping Vomiting Side stitch Stomach pain/cramps Gas Bloating Loose stools/diarrhea Belching Intestinal bleeding Heartburn/reflux Urgency to defecate
Severity differs depending on the athlete and sport.

For example, the high-impact nature of running may jostle the gastric system, contributing to lower GI issues. In cycling, posture on the bike may increase pressure on the abdomen causing upper GI issues. Among swimmers, swallowing air from short and rapid b…

Don't believe everything that you see on social media

Within the endurance sport world, it's not uncommon to see/hear of athletes manipulating training and the diet in an effort to change body composition, to improve health or to boost performance.

Although endurance sports welcome all body shapes and sizes and training approaches, many athletes accidentally fall into the mindset that to be successful, an extreme style of eating and a rigorous training plan is necessary This begs the question "is training for an athletic event just a socially acceptable way to disguise an obsession with exercise and disordered eating habits?"

Even if you are not obsessed with training miles, body image or the marginal gain approach, it's still rather easy to become extreme with your choices when training for an endurance event - especially if you are following the journey of another athlete. There are many athletes who have been forced away from the sport due to injury or health issue (mental or physical), only to spend years trying t…

Conquer your inner critic

Have you ever noticed that you are constantly talking to yourself? While you may not always be aware of what's going on in your mind, there's often a conversation or two going on in your head.  Don't worry - you are not alone in this. We all have an inner voice.

Interestingly, most people are incredibly hard on themselves and have a really harsh inner critic. For athletes, saying things like "You are too fat" or "You are so slow" or "You are not ready" or  "You should just give up" or "You will never be successful" are not productive thoughts - especially if you are approaching a workout or race.

You may not realize how much your inner critic is telling you that you are never good enough. These destructive thoughts may be difficult to identify, especially when you are stressed, nervous, overwhelmed or anxious.

One of the biggest mistakes of the inner critic is acting on your thoughts. If you hear that you are "too fat&qu…

Wetsuit Testing

As a lifelong swimmer, wearing a wetsuit is not something that I need when it comes to open water swimming. I actually would much rather swim without one. However, if a triathlon is wetsuit legal, I'll be sure to wear one as it does keep me warm in cold water and it gives me a little lift to make swimming faster a bit easier. Because I've spent over two decades mastering my body position, alignment and tautness in the pool, the wetsuit doesn't give me a huge advantage when I swim in the open water. Whereas for Karel - who just learned to swim in the summer of 2012 - the wetsuit gives him everything he needs to "speed up" his swim times. For me, I don't get the same significant advantage.

For the past five plus years, we had a great relationship with Xterra wetsuits. The Vengeance was our wetsuit of choice and it worked really well for us. My fastest wetsuit legal open water time in an Ironman was 57.04 - set in Ironman Austria in 2016. Karel also had several …