Gluten Free For A Month – Or Longer?

They beautiful thing when it comes to an athletes nutrition is – there is just as many different opinions on it as there is on what the right training approach is. Sometimes you have to wonder – what of that stuff is scientifically proven? Is living dairy free just a fashion? What’s up with raw food living?

Well, those of you who have followed this blog a little know – What do I care about science, studies and other stuff! I stopped believing in a lot of it a long time ago when struggling with glandular fever. ”I am much more of a hands on and let’s try it kinda guy” I went down the path of the what I call it ‘Ohne-Kuh-Kur’ (‘Without-Cow-Cure’) last year and I have to say: With great success. The idea behind the ‘Ohne-Kuh-Kur’ has nothing to do with lactose intolerance or anything like it – it is the alternative practitioner’s approach that cow protein is effecting the bowel in a negative way thus taking away a lot of surface for nutrients to be absorbed and for toxins to be kept out of the body. According to their idea the long term ingestion of cow protein is producing little cracks in the bowel area allowing toxins to enter your body. The bowel requires a period of roughly 4 weeks to recover – so that is the minimum time you should stay away from cow protein. Well, long story short: I had some serious success with it – if you wanna know more about it I will write a separate post.

Todays post is much more about the idea of gluten free living – another approach to a supposedly healthier way of living. The most common reason is the Celiac Disease in which the body produces an autoimmune reaction to gluten. Something I don’t have – my reasons are different. The idea behind this test is that gluten heavy products in general are rumored to be very tough on the digestion, help viruses and germs grow and feed in your body and thus is limiting the overall function of your body! According to reports gluten free living can help you feel fitter, stronger, mentally more alert, boost the bodies function to burn fat and much more!

Therefore the idea for me is – a 4 week gluten free diet. I am sure my coach is happy to hear that 2.5 weeks out of the first highlighted race of the season 🙂 – but hey, we don’t wanna make it too easy on the coach, do we now 🙂

In the next 4 weeks I’ll keep you up to date on how I am progressing, changes in my body, alternative ways of cooking, I’ll be looking into gluten free alternatives for sports nutrition such as Picky Bars and so on! So stay tuned!

No more of that stuff for breakfast!

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Challenge TriCamp 1 – Impressions

Those are the impressions from the first Challenge Roth Camp with Hannes Hawaii Tours on Fuerteventura. A little over a week and you’ll find us over there together with the gang from the Professional Endurance Team for Camp number 2!!!

Top 15 Triathletes of all Times

Did you read the recent article on Triathlon Competitor about the ”Top 15 male Triathletes of all Times”.

Is it just us? We really can’t agree on the list – where are guys like Lothar Leder, Peter Reid, Luke van Lierde, Norman Stadler and so on. Do you really think a young kid like Alistair Brownlee has earned his place in this list already? and if so – where is Michael Raelert. You could go with the argument that it is a list put together by an US writer and a lot of the missing names are European. Peter Reid isn’t – Michael Raelert has been blowing apart 70.3 distance races in the US for the last 2 years!Where is Scott Tinley?

The list could go on like this – we just wanna know your opinion – accurate list or bad research?

Coach or No Coach for Training

When it comes to training and the desire to improve your performance most athlete inevitably have to face a certain question at some point: Train with a coach or train myself??!!

Our answer is simple – Train with a coach – but the way to get there is not an easy one and you have to watch out for certain pitfalls.

Over the last couple of years I’ve tried it both and at the beginning training for yourself without a coach worked pretty fine. When getting into a new sport it is fairly easy to improve but it’s also very easy to make mistakes. The result was an overall improvement in performance while sacrificing numerous races and season highlights due too colds, injuries and overtraining.

I finally decided to work with a coach but soon had to realize – I might just be impossible to coach me. I always knew better cause hey: I read my stuff. Right? I read magazines and books and without trying had made up my mind about certain ways of training already. Sound familiar? I moved on to the next coach in the hope to find somebody who works better for me. Yet I hadn’t realized that the coach wasn’t the issue – it was my mindset. I slowly started to understand this and decided: With coach number 3 it’s all going to be different. I am going to follow the plan and listen 100%. Well, that didn’t work either. The coach didn’t really get me and my health background and when I finally got to the point to tell him, that I my body was not able to hold up with his regimen, it was already too late. I had to quit a half marathon about 5k into the race because my pace drastically dropped below the slowest training sessions I ever ran. After telling him he agreed to take it easier only to send me out for a 10mile interval run 2 days after the miserable drop-out in the half marathon. Well, that was the end of our partnership.

The Coach in Action - Foto by Flemming Gernyx

Coach number 4 and my current coach Susanne Buckenlei from Professional Endurance Team finally got me – and I finally got the point of what it means to be working with a coach. She’s the kinda coach that is tough enough so you don’t even dare just messing around and doing your own thing but she’s also the kind of coach that is interested in and understands each athletes personal background, work schedule, history of health related issues and so on. At the same time she teaches you and encourages you to listen to your body and cut short a session when needed. There is no good reason to push through a session when your feeling like sh…

After working with her for a good solid 6 months I’ve learned many things but one of the most important lessons is: A coach who’s interested in the sport and the athlete and actually holds a degree in what he’s doing is worth gold. No matter how much you read, learn and think to know – a good coach is a professional in his line of work and get’s you a lot better than you think.

Just as a little example: After a really good and solid week of training during which I felt good in every single training session I felt like hammering it out the following week and her only comment was. That was a great week – you definitely need an easy week next week. I was like: Hold it coach – i said I felt fantastic in every session and even now I am full of energy. Let’s rock it. What can I say 2 days into the easy week I really felt my body working and adjusting to the good week of training I just had and I know from experience now: Had I put in another day or two with the volume I felt like doing – I would have ended up in sick in bed and would have missed 7-9 days of good training. Sound familiar? 🙂

Think about it if a coach might just be the right thing for you to take your training and racing to the next level.

Rock on,

Tillster

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The Importance of Mid-Season Core Strength

We had this post up a long time ago but it’s still very important to get used to the idea of incorporating more core strength workouts into your routine – especially once the race season is upon us! So get used to the idea early in the season! Put your mind to it!

Mid/Late-Season Core Strength Training

Most of us know the benefits of strength training.  Not only does this contribute to over all strength, it improves joint stability by increasing the strength of the tendons, ligaments and smaller muscles around the joint.  Strength training can also improve performance and movement efficiency and aids you by supporting longer work intervals, which can translate to faster times.

In endurance training, there are three stages of strength training: a 8-10 week phase focusing on flexibility and stability that lays the foundation for all the training to come; a slightly longer 10-12 week strength and power phase; and a maintenance phase supporting sport specific training and competition that usually lasts about 20 weeks or through your competitive season

Because of the time demands of mid-season training and racing, many of us begin to neglect the maintenance phase of strength training later in our seasons.  This can result in a de-training effect.  Coupled with the affects of the repetitive sport specific movements of competition (degenerative posture, injuries and loss of range of movement), you could be experiencing poorer performance.

To combat this mid-season phenomenon with an eye to the demands on a mid-season schedule, re-focus on your core.  By adding a few core exercises back into your routine you can reverse the negative de-training effect.  2-3 workouts of 20-30 minutes a week is all it takes.  Here are a few exercises you can do:

•    Standard Crunches
•    Knee-up Crunches
•    Hip Lifts
•    Oblique Crunches
•    Side Plank Dips
•    Oblique Leg Extensions
•    Supermans
•    Bridged Leg Lifts
•    Push-ups
•    Heel Touches
•    Bicycle Crunches
•    Half-up twists

Here’s a link to a website that has a series of photos that demonstrate each of these exercises http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/Article-detail.asp?Articleid=486.

6 Post Workout Steps to Great Recovery

We’ve all “know” what to do to recover after a good training session. We’ve read it somewhere, a friend told us something about it or that annoying dude who keeps catching up with you on your favorite training run and just can’t shut up and enjoy the beauty of the run…

…still so many of us struggle to incorporate it into our routine. Quick refuel, stretching, icing, resting, eating, drinking – we all know it but when, in which order and how quickly after a run is the often overwhelming question.

If you are like me, you will most likely be be annoyed with all the options and especially after a training session you don’t want to “think”. Overwhelmed as we are we instead opt for not doing any of the things or maybe one and just forget about the others…until the next training session for which we feel tired, sluggish, stiff – it just doesn’t feel right.

Reality though is – it is really simple, doesn’t take a lot of time and it takes 2-3 training sessions and you’ll have the rhythm down.

It is only 6 steps to great recovery, better training benefits and greater motivation for the next session.

The 1 hour after run time table:

5-7 minutes after – Hydration and Quick Food: about 12 ounces Electrolyte or Sports Drink and a hand full of raisins for quick sugar if there aren’t any in your sports drink
5-10 minutes after – Clothes: Get out of your wet training clothes and put something fresh on to prevent your body from cooling down too much
15-20 minutes after – Food: Provide your body with a mix of protein and carbs to reload and to help muscle recover
30-45 minutes after – Stretching: Stretch your body gently to boost recovery, muscle growth and flexibility thus preventing muscle soreness and injuries.
45-60 minutes after – Ice baby Ice: This is the time for the infamous ice bath to prevent soreness. About 5 minutes should do the trick.
60- 90 minutes after – Relaxation: If possible take 15 minutes to lay down and relax your body a little

Try to incorporate this routine into your after training schedule and you will see great improvement in your recovery.

Good training!

Treating Sore Achilles Tendon

When surfing the net and several endurance forums it becomes very apparent that there is a lot of issues out there with achilles tendon problems.

There are many different ways of approaching treatment and there are several potential causes for the problem. Causes can range from prior injuries to muscular dysbalances, from overtraining to wrong footwear and so on. In today’s blog we want to focus a little more on what to do once you find the cause. What to do in order to get back into running, cycling or even just walking again asap.

The Personal Experience
This blog is based on personal experience I had with a severely sore achilles after crashing my bike and yanking my hip (which at this point I wasn’t aware off). After the crash I went back into running and cycling and only when cycling I could tell that something was off. It felt like I was leaning a little to the left on the bike. Then within 2 days I went from not feeling anything to not being able to walk properly anymore.

The ‘You wanna kill me?’ treatment
I went to see a doctor and walked out with a prescription for Voltaren to treat inflammation. After 3 weeks popping the pills and no improvement at all I went to see the physio who prescribed 20 sessions of physio therapy – according to him that was the minimum we needed to get me back on track. Another doctor visit and more Voltaren but still no help. Luckily my insurance couldn’t quite decided if they would cover the physio or not and that’s how I came across the Core Endurance book by Mark Versteegen.

Treating the cause
I simply followed the stretching rules of this book and after about 2-3 weeks my body started to feel ‘straight’ and upright again. Even the achilles got a little better – so obviously I had found and treated the cause. Yet, after putting a lot of stress on the achilles for so long it had gotten so sore – Voltaren didn’t help jack! Not even after taking it for over a month now (and let me tell you – the docs in the US had already prescribed me 3x the daily dose you would get from a German doctor – my stomach did not like it at all).

Here is how I finally treated the symptoms and got back into running
I stopped taking the Voltaren and went on for another 2 weeks – by now I had the achilles problem for over 2 months now – no running, no cycling and I even had to stop working for a week or so when a friend recommended a holistic doctor – Dr. Joshi who conveniently spends 2 weeks a month in New York – to me. I went to see the doc and he started treating me with cupping and acupuncture as well as a few massages and within sessions I started massaging at home with the help of The Stick. Within 3 sessions and roughly 2-3 weeks all problems had disappeared and I was back into running. No more than 2 weeks after getting back into training with the New York Road Runners I ran a personal half marathon best by almost 3 minutes!

(For our German readers – you can find The Stick here: THE STICK )

There are several ways to treat achilles tendon problems – stretching sessions, home massages, massages, cupping, acupuncture, natural remedies such colostrum based products, common horsetail and so on.

What I am trying to say is – don’t be afraid to find your own solution – don’t be afraid to try something different that western medicine. One of the main reasons achilles tendon problems are so hard to treat is the extremely low blood flow around the achilles tendon. This is stopping the ‘little helpers’ and nutrients to properly reach the achilles but also makes it much harder for the body to get rid of the toxins, etc in the achilles area. Accupuncture, cupping and massages all increase the blood flow in this area – supplement with some natural remedies to reduce inflammation and you’ll be back within a blink!

Have own experience with achilles tendon problems and great ways to treat it – let us and our readers know about it. You might just help another fellow athlete to get back on track!

Feel free to comment away!

Rock on!

Compression Socks – Do or Don’t

We had the great pleasure of testing several different compression socks from different manufacturers ranging from SLS3 to CEP and after months of testing in all kinds of different climates and conditions, here is what compression socks can really do for you.

Here is the summary – ask us for individual reports on 2XU, CEP, BV Sport, Bauerfeind, SLS3, X-Socks, The Mobile Society, Skins

It sure took a little time to find the right compression socks for us but overall we have to say: We love’em. No matter if you are travelling long distance by car or plane, if you are running endless miles and want to fatigue later or if you are running short distance and want to gain some added power. Compression socks can help.

We have divided this test into long distance, short distance, travel and recovery. For any further questions you may have about them – shoot us an email to info@trinited.com

We are not going to throw stuff like ‘better blood circulation’ or ‘higher oxygen levels’ at you as this has been a real life test and not a laboratory test. It is all about what you feel and experience whilst and after wearing compression socks.

LONG DISTANCE – probably the most effect here

Compression Socks are definitely a great tool for any endurance athlete going the longer distance. Increased performance through better and more powerful stride, significantly delayed fatigue on long runs, fast recovery after workout resulting in higher ‘quality’ mileage during training and less to no more Achilles issues even after long mileage on hard surfaces are the main effects we’ve experienced.

SHORT DISTANCE – less about recovery and more about performance feel

In comparison to the general opinion, compression socks are also great for shorter distances such as 10k races.  A more powerful and effective stride will benefit your running and results. Use a version with foot to add support to your ankles on uneven surfaces.

TRAVEL – no more feeling sluggish after long flights and rides

No matter if you are driving or flying. The sluggish feeling you used to have after departing the plane – GONE. Even after 12 hour flights we felt fresh and ready for the next workout. Uh and as a side note – they have a really nice warming effect on overly air conditioned planes.

RECOVERY – At work, at home, when out and dancing

If you feel like dancing in the evening, chance is you didn’t train enough during the day. However, if you have a job that requires a lot of standing.: Compression socks really take the pain out of your legs and wearing them for 2 hours after a tough workout will help your legs to be fresh for the next session.

SUMMARY

We have tested all socks in temperatures ranging from 110 Fahrenheit in the dessert to 15 Fahrenheit in snowy mountain terrain and yet there was not a single situation in which we did not appreciate wearing them. No matter what the distance is – compression socks are legal performance enhancers. However, it is important to find the right pair and size for you and depending on the sport it might be better to get a pair of sleeves or calf guards rather than socks (for example for triathlons). The one negative point you have to deal with in cold climates is that extensive wear of compression socks leads to added drying out of the skin. Nothing a little body lotion can’t solve though.

Product Test – BV Sport Compression Sleeves

As promised on Slowtwitch – here is a review of the BV Sport Compression Sleeves.We’ve taken this test a while back and ever since the BV Sport Booster has established itself as one of our favorite Compression Socks / Sleeves for sport and travel.

Brand: BV Sport

Produkt: Booster, Prorecup, Confort.

Website: http://www.bvsport.ch

Price:  75 Swiss Franks for Booster and Confort, 102 Swiss Franks for Prorecup

Miles Tested: app. 187

Test Conditions: From sunny dessert in 110 Fahrenheit to snowy mountains in 15 Fahrenheit. Run through the dessert, rivers, snow, in high and low altitude. Both in racing and training.

Ordering process: A little more complicated through leg measurements required when ordering but therefore you get a testers favorite. Sizing turned out to be perfect.

Sock Feel: The material appears a little rougher than other socks. However, after putting them on it turned out to be a good feeling on the skin.

Seams: Not an issue on the Booster as it doesn’t have a foot. As for the Prorecup and Confort they are situated in front of your toes where you don’t feel them during exercise.

Compression: Great, tight compression. Very nice compact feeling on the calf which made for a very ‘athletic’ feel.

Cushion: No cushion due to no foot on the Booster, nice and thin feel on Confort and Prorecup

Use: Easy use and fast to put on thanks to the missing foot.

Performance: The socks perform under any condition. There was no overheating (BV SPORT recommends to drench them in water in hot climates) and we felt positive effects regardless to the climate.

Durability: So far they survived a lot of running and washing. We tried both machine and hand wash, dragged them through the dirt and freezing cold water – short: we really weren’t gentle but they are keeping up great.

Regeneration: Great effect after the workout. Even after tough hill workouts, regeneration was a lot faster and during workouts our legs definitely kept up a lot longer. Great thing: Even if you don’t want to spend the money on 3 different pairs of socks and decide to go with the Booster alone: It is doing the trick. Top in terms of recovery.

Look: We love the look of all 3 styles. The Booster looks very athletic and powerful, the Prorecup comes in a clean white and the Confort in a simple black which allows to wear them with a suit as well.

Comments: Great choice for triathletes as it can be worn under the wetsuit during the swim already, which saves time in transition. The fact that BV Sport is testing its products a lot and even offers suggestions for proper use makes this product even more desirable. Test winner together with Bauerfeind, CEP and SLS3. It is up to you if you want one pair that offers it all, or 3 specific pairs.

With the Prorecup and Confort, BV Sport offers a compression ‘alternative’ for every hour of the day. The Prorecup has a very specific compression for the most effective regeneration 2 hours after the work out. For the rest of the day, travel and work, Confort is your choice.

Product Test – Yankz Triathlonbags Transition Bag

Yankz Triathlonbags decided not to enter their top product into the test but rather their classig, the T2. Yet, the bag managed to impress.

The T2 had to suffer a lot during testing but it kept up well and managed to impress with ist unusal volume for a back pack. A ittle more minimalistic than some other top model, the T2 offers anything you would expect from a beginner pack..

Compartments/Pockets: One main compartment with two huge mash pockets, each holding a pair of shoes, an additional smaller mash pocket for wallet and triathlon pass, a cell phone pocket on the outside as well as a mesh compartment big enough to hold wetsuit and helmet. There is a removable second smaller bag on the inside to hold a full wetsuit, a pair of shoes or all your beauty care. It can easily be put on the outside of the main bag. Great solution to cary everything you need. Not to forget: 2 mesh pockets for bottles on the outside.

Comfort: Great cushion along the straps and your back. Could be a little more ventilated in the back area. Great to wear before and after the race as well. (also our favorite bag for traveling and shopping as it holds more than any other back pack we have tested.

Quality: Very solid quality with minor flaws on the mash bottle pockets. They seem to dmenad a little more care than other mash pockets we have come across. Otherwise very robust and enjoys being kicked around.

Summary: Suprisingly much space for a back pack with a minimum on extra pockets. One ort wo extra pockets would be great. Ist a top beginner bag to indermediate bag. With the T2 you have anything handy at any time when racing and training. Produced the least motions with our testers in terms of look and design.

Trinited Multi Purpose Tip

De Soto Transition Bag Test

Zipp Transition Bag Test

Rocket Science Sport Transition Bag Test