June has always traditionally been an easier month for those athletes based in Oz. Much enjoyed down time in the cold, dark, and often wet days.
But for many who are racing a mid year Ironman, it's been the biggest volume
month of the year (lucky them)
We've had athletes tackling a variety of races including Ironman and 70.3 Cairns, Honu 70.3, Victoria 70.3, Japan 70.3, Comrades and Ultra Marathon events, ITU Asian Championships, Tri Factor Series Races, Bintan Sprint and Olympic, Plus a hand full of other sprint and Olympic distance races around the globe. (WOW that's a lot, there certainly are some busy athletes )
Maximising Quality Sleep
In recent weeks we have talked about recovery, training, motivation and sickness. Today we thought we'd cover something that all us coaches harp on about and that's SLEEP. We all have VERY busy lives and most people simply don't get enough sleep or if they do the quality of that sleep isn't great. So below is a short article by Dan Golding on how to improve your sleep... Hopefully this will help you get some quality sleep, and we can live in hope that you start getting some more too :)
"Sleep is by far the most important tool in fast recovery. Most people do not get enough. As an athlete, you need more sleep, not less. There is sometimes a “macho fad” in business and sport about not requiring much sleep. This is false and you will perform far better if you can get good quality sleep- and enough of it.
If you can carve out 30 minutes on a weekend to get your head down and take a power nap- this will do wonders for recovery, allow you to train harder and fit more into each day. Make the setting as seductive to good sleep as possible. I found black out blinds helped a lot for quick naps during the day as does having a constant temperature, deep breathing and learning to switch the mind off.
Recovery, repair and rebuilding tissues occur during sleep. Your hormones are extremely busy during this time repairing tissues and trying to reduce inflammation.
Light sleep is not enough to ensure adequate recovery. Deep sleep is where the magic occurs. It may take 1-2 hours to get to this stage. During deep sleep, your body releases large amounts of growth hormone for repair and recovery, and initiates cellular turnover that can speed up removal of “junk” from a taxed musculoskeletal system."
To get to deep sleep quicker:
Try to keep regular times- go to bed at the same time each night and have a night-time winding down routine that signals to your body you are preparing for sleep The hours before midnight are more important for quality sleep than after
Avoid intense exercise 4 hours prior to sleep
Shut down computer and screen use 1-2 hours prior to sleep
Reduce caffeine and alcohol
Do deep breathing techniques or meditation
Fresh air and cooler temperatures improve quality of sleep.
All of the above, you have probably heard from your coaches!! But here it is again. Do we sound like broken records yet? Sorry, not sorry!!
Sleep more and deeper = a better version of you, whether that be in the office or out training.
SOCIAL MEDIA We Want to Feature You
Please feel free to tag us in your social media posts. We would love to repost Images of you out exercising or being your awesome selves. INSTAGRAM : @gkendurance FACEBOOK : https://www.facebook.com/GkEndurance/
Any and all pictures are welcome, I'll even take cartoon versions of yourself.
We still have some coached group sessions run by Janine for those of you looking for company over the cooler months. Reach out to Coach Janine for more info. !! YAY
SWIM: - Monday/ Wednesday and Friday morning from 5.30-7am at Arena Joondalup. If you are interested in attending these, please contact Janine and she'll be able to give you the low down.
BIKE: - Tuesday Trainer session - 5.30-7am - Carpark #9 underneath Coles at Whitfords shopping centre. Enter off Banks Street. BYO trainer, towel and water! Janine will bring the "fun" and the tunes!
RUN: - Thursday evening - 5.30-6.30pm - Whitfords nodes, working on strength and speed. Meeting at the picnic bench near the toilet block. Suitable for all levels
This week in Tips N Tricks we talk about the Nike Vaporfly 4% and if it's worth the $350AUD price tag? It's a 3min read or you can jump to the last sentence where I give my opinion on purchasing these shoes!
Wearing the shoes makes runners more efficient than wearing other shoes, although not for the reasons many runners might expect.
Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line at the 2018 Berlin Marathon on Sept. 16 wearing his Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit ‘Bright Crimson’ running shoes.
The distinctive and controversial Nike Vaporfly 4% running shoe is supposed to improve running ease and speed by as much as 4 percent, as its name suggests. Two new laboratory studies of the shoes suggest that those claims are credible.
The new studies, which were not funded by Nike, find that wearing the shoes makes runners more efficient than wearing other shoes, although probably not for the reasons that many runners might expect. Together, the experiments help to explain what can make one runner swifter than another and also raise interesting questions about whether it is cheating if part of the answer is their shoes.
Since its introduction about a year ago as an aspect of Nike’s ambitious project to breach the two-hour barrier for the men’s marathon, the neon-salmon hued Vaporfly 4% has become a common sight at major road races, despite its hefty $250 USD price.
They were on the feet of Eliud Kipchoge and Abraham Kiptum when the men set world records this year in, respectively, the marathon and half-marathon.
Eliud Kipchoge and fellow runners train in Tiergarten in Berlin in the week leading up to the marathon.
The shoes, which contain a curved, carbon-fiber plate embedded in a thick layer of a unique, lightweight foam, gained their name and reputation after research, funded by Nike, showed that they improved experienced male runners’ metabolic efficiency by about 4 percent. In other words, the men used less energy to run at a given pace, which should allow them to run faster with less effort.
Those results were met with calls from some people to ban the shoes, since the carbon-fiber plate was thought to be acting like a spring, creating extra propulsion and an unfair advantage compared to other shoes.
But that original research had not examined just how the shoes improved efficiency or whether the plate was the key element. They also had not included women runners or compared the 4% models to more-specialized racing shoes, such as spiked, speedy racing flats.
The two new studies set out to fill those gaps.
Thefirst, which was published in October in Sports Medicine, involved both male and female runners, all of them experienced competitors. It was paid for by grants at Grand Valley State University. The researchers asked these runners to wear the 4% shoe, a minimalist, spiked track-racing flat (also made by Nike) and a different marathon running shoe (made by Adidas). The runners then strode on a treadmill for five minutes at a time, at speeds ranging from about 5.5 minutes per mile to about 7 minutes per mile, a pace that represented easy running for this group.
They turned out to be most efficient in the 4% shoe, even when compared to the skinny track spikes and even after the researchers used lead pellets to add weight to the 4% shoe so that its mass equaled that of the other, slightly heavier marathon shoe.
The men and women had benefited equally from the 4% shoe and their efficiency gains had been unrelated, it seems, to that shoe’s featherweight.
But which elements of the 4% shoe did, then, most matter was still unclear.
So for the other new study, which was published in November in Sports Medicine, the same researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder who had conducted the original study of the shoe invited 10 fast, male runners to their lab, fitted them with motion-capture sensors, and filmed them as they wore the 4% shoe, a different Nike marathon shoe, and a similar Adidas model. (The work was paid for through the lab.)
They also employed specialized equipment to bend and manipulate the shoes, to see how they responded to forces and which portions of the shoes were most affected.
Finally, they used the motion-capture data and complicated mathematical formulas to determine that the 4% shoe had slightly changed how the men ran, reducing the amount of muscular activity around their ankles and within their feet, lessening the amount of energy they burned with each step and making them more efficient.
But those benefits were not due primarily to the carbon-fiber plate, their calculations showed. It stiffened and supported parts of the foot, allowing runners to push off hard with less muscular effort, but did not provide much thrust of its own. In effect, it acted like a lever, not a spring, says Rodger Kram, an emeritus professor at the University of Colorado who conducted the study with a research associate, Wouter Hoogkamer, and others.
There also are no calls to ban the particular type of foam used in the shoes, although it was the most consequential element of the shoes, the new study showed. Lightweight and soft without being squishy, it absorbed and returned a portion of the energy the men generated with each step, doing more than the plate to reduce the energy costs of their running.
Whether shoes with the same foam but no carbon-fiber plate would be as fast is still in question, Dr. Kram says, although they almost certainly would be less pricey.
There also is little evidence yet that the shoes can substantially improve the efficiency and pace of those of us who are older, slower or inexperienced runners, although we can, of course, dream.
“The shoes might help” to shave a minute or five from a plodding runner’s 10K or half-marathon finishing time, Dr. Kram says. But, realistically, he says, “many people will get much more than a 4 percent improvement from more training and maybe a little weight loss.”
Still confused? Well they are not for everyone as every athletes body is different, BUT if you have disposable income, they are worth a try!! (Bare in mine that these are NOT a volume shoe, you might get 200KM out of them if your lucky)
In short, they do work, but they are expensive and they don't last long. Positives and negatives!!
As a coach, I don't mind what shoe you wear, as long as that shoes allows you to train consistent and stay injury free. Those things will make you faster than the 4%.
GKE ATHLETES OUT & ABOUT!
A few pictures of winter training, racing and general GK fun. Feel free to send your pictures to Guy if you want to be featured!!
THINGS THAT CAUGHT OUR ATTENTION
Most of us are guilty of running the same routes over and over again. Here are two lists of top runs around the Perth area. (there are a few double up's) Maybe it's time to branch out and run somewhere new?
The first 2 weeks of May seemed like it was the busiest of the year. There was so many GK Athletes racing around the world and we were LOVING IT!!
ITU Long Course Worlds, Busselton 70.3, St George 70.3, Mallorca 70.3, Vietnam 70.3, State Schools Championships. Ultraman Australia
And there is no slowing you down :-)
Make sure you follow the Facebook page for weekly updates
The art of switching off but still paying attention? No I'm not trying to confuse you with riddles. I'm saying there is a a time and a place for everything.
We have become quite reliant on gadgets to gauge effort, Power Meters, Heart rate Monitors, HRV, Training Stress Scores, foot pods and many many other tools to measure our daily stress. To be clear this isn't a post saying we should step away from all gadgets and data to perform better. This is a post to say sometimes the simple way is the best way. Listening to your body and racing or training on perceived effort can go a long way.
So don't be alarmed if you see a session in your program that says "no set watts today OR "forget the Heart Rate Monitor" and just ride! (OR Run)
The targets you receive are only ever a guide. Some days you will feel better or stronger. Other days you may struggle to hit those targets and this is normal. Those are the days where you should "switch off" Rather than stopping and not doing the session at all, forget the gadgets, go by feel and do the best you can. That is still a successful training session.
Earlier this year I raced an Olympic Distance and I had targets in mind for Power on the bike and pace on the run. I struggled...and had an average day (compared to what I had been doing in training) and my numbers on both were well below what I was hoping for. I was racing a Half Ironman the next weekend and mentally I was now doubting my ability and preparation. But Captain Awesome came to the rescue :-) "Forget the gadgets! No power, no pace! (They were still recording but I didn't see any of the numbers of splits) Just go out there and enjoy what you love doing. Challenge yourself mentally and physically and Go For It...nothing to lose"! And I did!
The rest is history! I went on to win the race taking the lead with roughly 2km to go. The power for the 90km bike was higher than my power for 40km the weekend before ... and my run was the best I had run in the last 12 months (heading in the right direction)
So if you Coach gives you a race plan that says "Switch Off" Have a little faith - because you never know what might happen!
SOCIAL MEDIA We Want to Feature You
Please feel free to tag us in your social media posts. We would love to repost Images of you out exercising or being your awesome selfs. INSTAGRAM : @gkendurance FACEBOOK : https://www.facebook.com/GkEndurance/
A few changes here, As we venture into the cooler months. Thursday morning TT's will be postponed until the light and warmth start to return.
That doesn't mean you can't hammer the hard sessions on the trainer though!! YAY
SWIM: - Monday/ Wednesday and Friday morning from 5.30-7am at Arena Joondalup. If you are interested in attending these, please contact Janine and she'll be able to give you the low down. You will have lots of company at these sessions!!
RUN: - Thursday PM : Run session at James Cook Reserve, off Banks St behind Whitfords shopping centre. 6pm. Suitable for all levels and working on your speed and VO2 max
BABY SHAMPOO For the clearest swim you'll ever have
Yes we are talking about baby Shampoo. In January this year Troy (one of our athletes) introduced me to baby shampoo to clear my goggles and stop the fogging. Having tried nearly everything from tooth paste, spit and fresh water in the goggles I was a skeptic. But I put a very small amount in each lens, cleaned it with fresh water and had goggles that performed better than new ones. I was so impressed the next day I went out and bought some baby shampoo and have been using it ever since. This is way cheaper than buying new goggles. The baby shampoo clean last about 4 swims. (Which I think is pretty good )
So if you want clear goggles, next time your at the shop pick up some baby shampoo and leave it in your swim bag. It will change your life!! (And thank Troy next time you see him)
Compared to other SMR/ massage balls, the HYPERSPHERE helps to pinpoint and release trigger points faster, deeper, and less painfully using high-intensity vibration. The HYPERSPHERE is portable and only 5" in diameter, which helps to release tension in targeted areas better than any roller.
Don't forget to send Guy your photo's, he wants to feature you on the GK Instagram page firstname.lastname@example.org
GEAR THAT CAUGHT OUR ATTENTION
1X Drive Chains
Gear that Caught Our Attention-
1x drivetrains (single chainring in the front) have fully consumed the mountain bike world and for good reason: 1x systems are simple, light, and reliable. With the release of the SRAM AXS (pronounced "access") group sets for mountain, gravel, cyclocross, road, and even triathlon we will no doubt see more 1x drivetrains in the near future.
With that said, Velonews recently published an interesting article showing increased mechanical resistance on 1x drivetrains compared to the classic 2x. The extra resistance is most pronounced in the highest (fast) gear. This may not be a concern for the dirt riders in which the benefits of 1x would offset a 1-5 watt mechanical resistance loss. But for the road cyclist and triathlete the benefits are less pronounced and this may be enough to offset any gains the 1x drivetrain otherwise provides.
How can you limit mechanic resistance as much as possible when riding your 2x drivetrain system? Use your front derailleur to limit cross chaining as much as possible and try to keep a relatively straight chain line.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
10 Quick Questions with Haythem El-Ansary
How did you first get involved in Triathlon?
I was just running initially and then I started riding to work and my colleague/boss at the time was Peter Rash (TWA President at the time). He said to me I should start swimming and see how it goes. That was 12 years ago, and has been an addiction ever since, it also seemed to coincide with the birth of our eldest son!! Coincidence? not sure!
What are your goals for the coming year?
First main race is Cebu 70.3 in August, aiming to qualify for Taupo 70.3 WC 2020. It is one of the first qualification races. 70.3 WC in Nice in September, then IMWA in December.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you at a Triathlon, running, swimming or cycling event?
Apart from the usual losing my bike in transition and standing there cursing, not a good look in Singapore. I also managed to run out of T1 with my swim skins still on!, realised at the last minute and took them off and shoved them down my trisuit before getting on the bike.
What is your favourite movie?
No particular one comes to mind, but have always liked the Shawshank Redemption
Where is your favourite place to relax?
Define Relax hahahaha!! just chilling out at home
What is your best characteristic?
Haythem couldn't answer this one. So I'll answer it for him: Modesty.
What is your worst habit?
I have many, cannot choose one!
What is your favourite "go to" post race/event meal?
A burger or a pizza.
Do you have any pre-race rituals?
Several but they involve bowl movements so will stop there
What are you most afraid of?
Haythem couldn't answer this one either, so I will answer for him:
He's not afraid, if you google the words afraid, scared, frightened or terrified it simply comes up with a picture of his face.
He's the only man in living history that Chuck Norris will not fight.