Sunday, January 22, 2012

Post Marathon Recovery

Recovery is a word that the hard core triathlete and distance runner can often bristle at. It evokes concerns over time, aging, performance and preparation toward the next event. Working with all levels of accomplishment in running and triathlon gives me a window into seeing how recovery occurs for many athletes across a wide variety of ages and competitive levels. Below is a quick primer and some thoughts on recovery for your next race or athletic event.

1. Think about recovery before the race or event: Since recovery begins as soon as you cross the finish line of a race or as soon as the clock time expires, your plan for recovery has to be in place prior to your event.

2. When you finish a race or triathlon do not stop moving for at least 10 minutes. This can include walking, stretching, slow jogging etc. This gradual decrease of activity toward a rest state allows blood pressure and heart rate to normalize gradually and also allows the body to also begin the process of removing lactic acid and other "debris" of aerobic and anaerobic cellular function.

A liquid drink combining protein, carbohydrates, and electrolytes (including salt) should be consumed within the first 30 minutes post race. There is great debate on ratios of these components in the drink, but I will not deal with that here. For now the key is getting a drink in with these contents into the digestive system inside 30 after finish. Liquid is greatly preferred over solid intake because of transit time in digestion and speed at which it crosses the wall of small intestine.

3. Light stretching of the entire lower extremity and torso musculature within the first 60 minutes post race.

4. Continuing to move, anywhere from 10-15 minutes per hour for the rest of that waking day. Laying down, in complete immobility, for hours at a time will significantly impair inflammation reduction and recovery times.

5. Restore intracellular and extracellular hydration by taking a full mouthful of water every five minutes -10 minutes throughout next 2 days while monitoring urine clarity for indications of proper hydration.

6. Schedule massage and/or chiropractic visit on day 2-3 post race, unless injury was suffered, to balance and restore normal bio mechanical function. This helps athlete get back to training more quickly following intense physical stress. If an injury was suffered, scheduling sooner would be indicated. I don't believe that you have to do this but I see in the athletes that I treat that they recover faster with this pattern of care.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Year and New Adventures

Many of my patients and friends know that I began training for Triathlon exactly one year ago. I have learned quite a bit about training for the three disciplines of swim, bike and run. I have now run 2 half marathons, 1 marathon, 2 sprint triathlons, one half Ironman distance triathlon, a five mile race and a 5k or two. This will be the first of a weekly post that I will write as I train up to my first Full Ironman race in May of this year.

If you are new to triathlon I hope you will come back and read again. I will be posting things in my blog that will be helpful to beginner and expert triathletes. These postings will sometimes come from my personal learning's from my own training. Sometimes the blog posts will come from my experience of treating runners and triathletes for 12 years, from struggling adults and age groupers to professional triathletes/distance runners and elite high school and college 5 and 10ker's.

This post today will be about trusting your training plan.

Many of my friends and patients that are being trained by a coach, mentor or even themselves, often have questions or doubts that arise during the training or competition season about their training plan. I have even seen this myself with my occasional doubt about my training plan. I find that with most of that doubt or questioning, the underlying emotion is fear. Yes fear of whatever. Fear of failure, fear of injury, fear of over training/under training, fear of not progressing as fast as expectations, fear of others opinions about training plans, fears resulting from comparisons to others training plans etc etc etc.

In my line of work, when I work with endurance athletes, I work with them holistically. This piece falls squarely in the mental/emotional aspects of endurance training. I have found that when we experience and entertain any of the fears/worries that I mentioned, that energy/emotional drain does the following:

1. It reduces the disposable amount of energy that we have to put into our training plan or competition.
2. It keeps us, as athletes, from being fully present with what we are doing TODAY with our training etc.
3. Regular fear or worry taxes the adrenal glands and can lead to adrenal fatigue and increased cortisol levels. With the adrenals fatigued and cortisol levels high the body will retain systemic inflammation, excess weight and fat % and will break down easier under stress. Also recovery will be slowed because inflammation cannot be extinguished readily.
4. It decreases our trust in the person or people, whose sole goal is to help us accomplish our desired result during that training year.

There are many other things that could be listed above, but to me these are the most important. Now by writing what I have above, I am not advocating sticking your head in the sand and simply blindly following a training plan without discussing it with your coach or mentor. You and your selected coach or mentor are a team that experiences success together.

As you ramp up your training schedule consider staying more present, which in turn reduces worry and fear. If that doesn't do it alone there are many in office sports psychology tools we can use to get you there.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Getting back to the basics of health

The longer I am in practice the more I realize that many have lost their way when it comes to their health. What was just part of our way of life in the 1930's and 1940's now seems so foreign to us. Grandma's old wisdom is now scoffed at to our own health demise. This will be a very short post as I return to blogging world again. If you are having trouble with your health, as with any other issues, go back to the basics:

1. More fresh clean water: 1 quart of water for every 50 lbs of body weight

2. Fresh Air: Open the windows in the house and get outside more in the fresh air

3. Exercise: Get moving again 30 minutes of exercise 4 times per week, (walking is fine)

4. Eat a balanced, whole food, organic diet (in smaller portions then you do now if you are overweight and on smaller plates)

5. Get more sleep: Many health conditions are fixed by getting proper sleep

6. Build community in your town, workplace, church and family.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Socialized medicine won't solve healthcare problems

It's amazing that health care insurance companies are asking the government to review their practices and behaviors. There behaviors and costs have been escalating out of control for years with no check or balance. The only problem for me with the health care insurance companies asking for this is that they are doing it out of fear that they will no longer exist. Why have they not policed themselves and stopped the extreme abuses in premiums and elsewhere that have existed for years ? It's simple, because they have not had too. They have not had to answer to anyone for years of abuses to those who pay the premiums that keep these companies afloat.

Unfortunately, I would love to see private insurers get their hands slapped and slapped big time BUT, not if the solution is to spank our health care system into socialized medicine. Talk to anyone who lives in Canada and England and ask them how effective this socialized health care system is. They will tell you what I have heard from patients who have lived there. Simple physio for injuries can take months to be accepted into. Medical procedures are determined on a worst case scenario basis. What this means is that someone, whom you don't want to, is deciding who gets treatment first and who is on the wait list.

I have a simple suggestion for private insurance companies. Reduce premiums and gradually put yourselves out of business and allow the health care system to head toward fee for service. It will be a gradual winding down of your life cycle but not as painful as Obama's quick death plan.

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Culture of Negativity in The US

This current Swine flu hysteria has shown me a few trends in the consciousness of the American people that have me concerned.

1. We as a people seem to be obsessed with negatives. We see a media that is focused on reporting the most negative and depressing aspects of our society. Whether it be crime, social or health related news the picture is always negative and bleak. This consciousness is troublesome when we talk about the "Laws of Attraction". Those who hold to these tenets would say that the more we focus on violence, crime, illness, disease and natural disaster, the more of those things we get.

2. There seems to by a hysteria surrounding negative events that does not follow positive ones. When we have a huge medical or social breakthrough, the information is in the news/media for a day or two at most and then quickly falls out of public view. If there is a negative happening, such as the Swine Flu, it is spread, talked about, dissected and analyzed to the point of absurdity, all the while creating high levels of stress to those who buy into this culture.

3. We don't share the positive information anywhere near the level or frequency that we will share a negative piece of information. I think this is probably not unique to the US but to mankind in general due to are human nature.

Please evaluate your communication over the next few days and weeks and see if you are in some way contributing to a culture of negativity. If we can increase the number of people that are contributing positive information and energy into our society the effect will grow and spread exponentially and move our society to another place.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

Certainty in uncertain times

I haven't posted in a long time and thought I would break the silence with a post to encourage any readers there still may be. There is a ton of bad news out there right now and if you haven't heard any of it just take your time the MSM will make sure you never forget the latest: the economy is shot, America is doomed, the banks will fail, etc etc. If you believe in the laws of attraction we are in trouble unless individually we change what we are focusing on and thinking about.

There will always be tough times but amidst difficult times there are always things to be positive and happy about. Take the time over the next few months and weeks to focus on what is great about our country, state, city, village, community, family and church or other social group. I am hoping if more of us do this we will be able to turn the tide of negativity that has gained hold in our society. Start today, and make your discussion and interaction with others loaded with happiness and positivity rather then fear and worry. We can do this people, let's get to it and change the world one person and one interaction at a time.

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Depressed...try something without damaging side effects

This study should turn heads. If you are depressed or tend towards depression you need to look at these facts and read the damaging side effects of the drugs you are taking. There are effects that Prozac has that are far reaching and severe in their consequence.

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