Taking Time Off

October 7, 2014

Written by Shannon Simmons Across the country, autumn means that marathon season is at its peak, and notably, near 90 percent of all runners who are training for a marathon incur some type of sports-related injury. Women are most likely to have knee injuries related to improper movement patterns that are exacerbated by repetitive movements while men usually have pulled hamstrings from a lack of flexibility. Our bodies are in desperate need of rest. Without …more »

Preventing Overtraining – When Less Is More

August 6, 2014

Athletes often feel compelled to exercise longer and harder in order to improve. A problem arises, however, when you exercise beyond what your body tells you is acceptable, and you still feel as though you need to do more. Performance enhancement requires a balance between overload and recovery. Too much overload and/or too little rest results in overtraining. This causes a state of physical, chemical and mental imbalance. Recognizing Potential Problems The first sign of …more »

Proper Hydration – A Delicate Balance

July 23, 2014

Now that the summer racing season is well upon us, we are inundated with admonitions to drink copious amounts of fluids. But is it possible to drink too much? Or drink the wrong thing? The answer to both is sometimes. The key is to maintain a proper fluid balance, which I’ll explain shortly. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we do not have the heat and humidity that much of the rest of the country endures …more »

Smart Nutrition Can Enhance Muscle Strength

May 21, 2014

“I’d like to gain a little muscle.” “More muscle, hmm…, that would be good,” I agreed with the voice, and turned to find a male runner by my side. “Aren’t you that sports dietitian?” he asked, unsure of whether or not to intrude on my post-race retreat into solitude. We begin to talk about nutrition. More strength sounded good to me right then as well, thinking of those painful climbs. “Yes,” I answered him. “Nutrition …more »

Best and Worst Abdominal Exercises

May 12, 2014

How to get six-pack abs A study lead by Peter Francis, PhD, director of the Biomechanics Lab at San Diego State University, looked at a variety of common abdominal exercises in order to determine what really works. The study looked at 13 abdominal exercises, ranging from the traditional crunch to more complicated activities, using at-home and gym equipment. Each of the 13 exercises was ranked for muscle stimulation (measured with EMG) in the rectus abdominus …more »

Physiology Behind Nutrition

April 3, 2014

When it comes to eating for exercise there are several things to consider while meal planning. Carbohydrate, fat, and protein all contribute to the fuel

How fast do I lose fitness if I stop exercising?

March 18, 2014

Deconditioning, or losing fitness, when you stop training due to illness or injury is one of the six principles of conditioning (listed below). The principle of use/disuse refers to the ‘use it or lose it’ concept. However, how quickly you lose fitness depends on how fit you are, how long you have been exercising and on how long you stop. Deconditioning theories are becoming more clear thanks to several research studies focused on aerobic fitness. …more »

The Truth About Carbs: How Low Should You Go?

March 4, 2014

Spring is traditionally the time of year for endurance athletes to up their training intensity and do some serious calorie burning workouts. Ironically, it’s also the time of year many athletes want to lose some winter weight. That’s when carbohydrate recommendations can really get confusing. High carb or high protein? Is it possible to lose weight and still get in shape for racing? Carbohydrates: The Maximum Requirements To answer this question, let’s start by looking …more »

Get Ready For Winter: High Performance Cold Weather Foods

February 11, 2014

Winter is here. Diana Krall sings those words with a touch of nostalgia for good times gone. Many people feel a bit of sadness with the passing of the sunny, easy season of summer. Even though distance athletes generally aren’t the hibernating type, cold weather requires them to face the fact that activity and diet need to be adjusted. Power endurance athletes train year round—no season is completely “off.” But if summer was the peak …more »