We are not alone ...
Well worth a look. I'm trying to see if getting her to give us a talk is feasible.
Jayne found a good book
How does doping start? It's cultural
Everyone wants to go faster, either in sprints, or boost their thresholds for those long, tedious bits before a sprint finish in an endurance race. One way to do this is to cheat, doping works. It's a fact. It works.
Culturally, how do we try and prevent it? For starters, we don't do what the Peaks coaching group have just done, they're now loudly flogging some magic concentrated beet juice as a miracle performance enhancer, but it's ok because it's natural or something. It's a supplement and it's not banned (yet, who knows if, like caffeine, it'll be a threshold thing, too much NO and you're busted), that's true, but it's the wrong thing to be doing (hey, I guess they want to make a buck, and they are the exclusive US distributor of one particular blend, all's fair, right?). No. Wrong. Wrong message.
"The nitrates in Beet It beet concentrate offer the athlete a competitive advantage, some studies showing up to 16% improvement in endurance! I noticed the difference with Beet It shots after my first use! It's a subtle ability to push harder for longer. Who doesn't want this!?!"
This is right when the fuss about Lance and doping is front page news. Seriously?!
25 uberbollas, 1 BBQ, and we're done!
Some stats :
150kg of mince beef
25kg of tomato paste
1.5kg of oregano(!)
50kg of canned tomatos!
That's a lot of bolla sauce!
Our busiest night had 27 people training at the clubrooms.
The hardest enduro session was the last one (it' a buildup)
It gets quiet once September starts, sprinters come en-mass, but enduros go road riding.
Very cold, wet nights seem to see attendance down a little, which is odd, because you didn't go riding that day, it was awful!
We went through a lot of deck tape on the Kurts with the sprint group using the big flywheels.
We'll be back for more in 2013, thank you to everyone that came, if you do it regularly, performance improves considerably.
Ranting on food, again
No significant differences were detected between VLCKD and WD in all strength tests. Significant differences were found in body weight and body composition: after VLCKD there was a decrease in body weight (from 69.6 ± 7.3 Kg to 68.0 ± 7.5 Kg) and fat mass (from 5.3 ± 1.3 Kg to 3.4 ± 0.8 Kg p < 0.001) with a non-significant increase in muscle mass.
Despite concerns of coaches and doctors about the possible detrimental effects of low carbohydrate diets on athletic performance and the well known importance of carbohydrates there are no data about VLCKD and strength performance. The undeniable and sudden effect of VLCKD on fat loss may be useful for those athletes who compete in sports based on weight class. We have demonstrated that using VLCKD for a relatively short time period (i.e. 30 days) can decrease body weight and body fat without negative effects on strength performance in high level athletes.
A long doco from the BBC on obesity and sugar
Well worth the 60 minutes it will take to watch all of it, or, just don't eat sugary stuff!
You are not alone
Check this out :
worth a poke around at least.
This article in The Age talks about sugar, and the "Australian paradox", which might just be a load of rubbish.
Preaching to the converted again ...
Momentum is growing ...
Relevant quotes :
Processed carbohydrates, which many Americans eat today in place of fat, may increase the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease more than fat does—a finding that has serious implications for new dietary guidelines expected this year.
A 1997 study he co-authored in the Journal of the American Medical Association evaluated 65,000 women and found that the quintile of women who ate the most easily digestible and readily absorbed carbohydrates—that is, those with the highest glycemic index—were 47 percent more likely to acquire type 2 diabetes than those in the quintile with the lowest average glycemic-index score. (The amount of fat the women ate did not affect diabetes risk.)
and for giggles ...
“the sugared beverage industry is lobbying very hard and trying to cast doubt on all these studies.”
There's a surprize!
Fat doesn't make you fat
From this article :
Says Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health: "If Americans could eliminate sugary beverages, potatoes, white bread, pasta, white rice and sugary snacks, we would wipe out almost all the problems we have with weight and diabetes and other metabolic diseases."
Works for me!
Taubes, again, is asking good questions
As sprinters, we risk getting fat a lot more than our chronically undernourished enduro cousins. I've banged on about this a lot over the last few months and have some success at dropping weight (fat!) over the last 12 months. As I've mentioned, I did it by basically following the logical conclusion of reading Gary Taube's Good Calories Bad Calories (ie: ditch the simple carbs).
Gary's just written a new blog entry that I enjoyed (thankyou Lisa for the heads up!). The vacuously true 'we get fat because we overeat' observation (true, but useless!) gets looked at in the article. Have a read, it's good stuff.
Hehehehe "more on"
Today my copy of Robb Wolf's new book arrived in the mail. It's another book on Paleo eating (and a little on exercise etc). His style of writing grates on me, but the content is excellent. Many months ago I read Gary Taube's Good Calories Bad Calories, and the whole 'paleo thing' is really an offshoot of, or an implementation of, much of the material collected in Gary's book.
I'm not pure paleo at the moment, but on the whole (80-90% at a guess) I probably am, and it's certainly working for me as it does for many others. I think, as an eating philosophy for sprinters, it's ideal. Unlike our enduro cousins who need lots of carbs, we're not chronically glycogen depleted and we don't need mountains of pasta, jelly lollies and the like. Quite a few of my sprint squad people are going down this path with some significant body-composition changes happening to them. They might call it "low carb", or say "you've turned me into a carnivore!", but it's working for them too.
And after all is said and done, steak .. it's just plain yummy!
Round 1 in 2 days. I'm getting excited! My new tyre is glued up and will be ready, tomorrow we're painting the lines on the track and doing some very short efforts to get our gearing sorted and lines 100% set. It's all good!
Or how I dropped 13 kg and never felt hungry!
Last winter I'd ballooned out to around 113kg (I was pretty strong, I ground out a 205kg squat, but I was way too heavy ...)
Then I read Taube's Good Calories Bad Calories and Joe Friel's paleo food book. I'd been eating like an enduro but training sprint, and the animals are different. Enduros need junk carbs because they're (if they're training enough!) burning them off and are chronically glycogen depleted. Sprinters aren't (quality, not quantity, we have to train fresh), and therefore don't need anything like as much junk carbs as enduros. The food you eat as a sprinter must be different or you get fat, very fat ... As I found out through personal experience!
So, out goes pasta, potatoes, grains (bread) and rice. In goes more eggs, meat and green veggies. I'm aiming for ~2g/kg of protein, so for me that's around 210 or so grams of protein a day (4 chicken forequarters, a load of bacon and eggs, lots of steak, chops etc).
It's worked. I'm now ~100kg and still reasonably strong. Due to an ongoing shoulder injury I can't squat but I can deadlift and front squat and my numbers for that aren't down too much and I'm down about 50 watts on the ergo but 13kg lighter. This should translate into better acceleration, and I'll get that 50 watts back once my shoulder's working properly.
Lucie and I cook the sauce for Spin on Monday
One of the reasons aboc Spin is successful is that we provide dinner afterwards. For a tenner you get your legs and lungs smashed to pieces and a solid feed in the company of like-minded fools. No-one has better value than us! Enough of the one-eyed advertising... I don't promise you 45.985% improvements or a shower and some mysticism, I promise you a good feed and a solid session over winter when it's cold, wet and disgusting outside.
The enduros load up on pasta, the sprinters eat more sauce.
I'm in Adelaide, looking after a bunch of NTID sprinters
For the last two days I've been over here in Adelaide, at the Superdrome and some motel close by, looking after the Victorian NTID sprint squad as part of the NTID sprint camp that's running here for four days.
I've been lucky enough to work with Sean Eadie (who regular readers will know of) and Bryce Mitchell who's one of the WA NTID coaches, running a couple of training sessions on the track and also generally looking after the squad. I've got 10 riders in my direct care, and while we have support from Josh (NTID co-ordinator) it's a daunting task. To put it in context, we'll have to do two days of racing (sprinting, which is very coach-intensive) with my squad having just me to look after them, after two days of training sessions and other 'camp stuff'. The state squad, which isn't that much bigger, has three coaches and two mechanics and a host of family people to help out. And they reckon they're over-worked! Heh!
This is not a complaint, I'm loving the opportunity to learn from these kids and also the other coaches, I roomed with Sean last night and we had some really good talks on sprint training philosophy and so on which I hope will end up with Sean and I co-authoring "the" book on sprint training ("the" book because there isn't one at the moment). I've got Gary West's (national sprint coach) list of sprint drills to add in to our standardisation project that you can see a glimpse of here. We have to dispel the old ways (no, sprinters do NOT need to do lots of road miles and race road in winter, that SLOWS THEM DOWN! FFS!). I'm thrilled to be on the same page as Sean on this and we'll be able to work together to drag a lot of the current coaching practices for sprint out of the dark ages.
I'm incredibly fortunate to have been given this opportunity by Hilton and the guys at the NTID. Today I got to assist (in a very minor way, I was just a start-line holder for a drill) the AIS team training, getting to work with champions like Anna and Kaarle is just brilliant.
We're going to be seriously under the pump tomorrow, the racing starts and there's a full afternoon-evening's sprinting for all my guys and also research to carry out on how the other guys are racing and so on. The kids have to manage their food for the afternoon/evening on their own, we're taking them on a 'guided shopping trip' tomorrow to help them choose foods that they can race on during a long block of track time, then lunch, then in to the track at ~1pm. We don't expect to get out of there 'till 10pm or so, then a very late dinner and back at 8am on Sunday for more.
It's my job to look after them all, get them in the right state of mind, manage any incidents, provide pre-race tactical support and post-race debriefing. I'm very excited by the opportunity and the pressure and it's going to be a blast. I have a great team of riders to work with and we're all going to work together. Don't call me, I'll be busy! Bring it on.
Who do you trust?
A coach isn't supposed to know everything. We're supposed to be able to refer people to experts or chase up things ourselves for our riders though, so when we get stuck we can find out from the experts on a particular subject. For example strength training or diet etc.
When I was at Uni (waaaayyy back in 1989 or so) I studied Engineering (chemical) - I was a DNF, but I did still learn a few things. They had us do a unit of materials science, not because we were going to be civil or mechanical engineers, but because they wanted us to be able to ask the right questions and to spot the obvious stuff-ups that happen all the time. One of the things we learned (if we were paying attention) from that was how to choose your team, how to pick the right experts.
This is a tricky thing, it's hard enough in the hard sciences but in the wishy-washy worlds of exercise science and nutrition and strength training where it's generous to even call them sciences in some cases, how do you pick your team? Who do you refer to when there's no clear truths?
An example, strength training. There's as many ways to do it as you can think of. What do the top teams do? Is what the top squads do relevant to novice or intermediate development? Remember that at the top level the athletes are already bloody strong or they wouldn't be at that level. I know of at least three different schools of thought with regards to strength work for sprinters. There's the Craig Colduck "match the training in the gym to the bike riding as much as possible" approach where they use a lot of ballistic leg presses to try and duplicate the joint angles used in a pedal stroke, there's the John Beasley/Apollo's Gym "build strength and power in the gym, then train the body to use it on the bike" where they use a lot of the Westside gym methods (excluding the doping that Westside is using) and there's other approaches that say just use the gym for hypertrophy and do all power work on the bike (for example Paul Parker from Cycle Finesse is of this school of thought). There's others, there's many other schools of thought and that's just at the high level. Once you get into the details of rep ranges, exercise selections and timing and so on it gets amazingly fractured. There really isn't a one best way to do it, although there probably is, but there's no concensus even amongst the experts as to what it is.
So how do you pick your strength coach?
I'd suggest going through an interview process. Before you sign up to anything, have a sit down with the coach and ask them a lot of hard questions. Ask them about the different ways of training, ask them about the effects of different rep and rest combinations, ask them about isolation and full body exercises and why they recommend one against the other. Ask them about injury risks and injury management, ask about progression from novice to intermediate and advanced strength training. Ask about integration of strength work with your sport. Always ask why and how for everything. If they can't give you a well-reasoned argument that they can explain to you in terms you can understand, move on ... Be especially wary of coaches that are certain of things. There's always doubt and uncertainty in athletic training, anyone who claims otherwise has stopped learning.
Do the same with dieticians. Ask them about what their take is on the food pyramid, on the material presented by Gary Taubes, Atkins and so on. Just because someone spent a few years at university and has a bit of paper doesn't mean that they're competent and up to date. I've done enough technical interviews with graduates in my IT career to know that a qualification is only one small part of the puzzle.
Do the same with cycling coaches too! If you want a coach to help you ride and race, don't just go and sign up with the first one you find. Interview us, find out our training philosophies and ask us hard questions. Always ask lots of hard questions and don't be satisfied with "that's just how we do it" answers. Be skeptical, demand high quality answers. There's only one of you and you want to get the best you can find to be part of your team.
I've hammered on about fructose and sucrose already, but here's some context, a glass of OJ. Good for you, so they say ....
There's been a stir up amongst dieticians and endocrinologists etc of late, concerning fructose and sugar and the whole food pyramid (see Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes in particular). In a previous blog entry I've quoted Prof Lustig where he talks about the evils of fructose. There's a number of rebuttals popping up about his talk, mostly the rebuttals talk about context - which is to say that in appropriate doses fructose is ok, and of benefit. Sure, it is. Fructose has a benefit, in the liver (which is the only place it's metabolised) it replenishes liver glycogen stores, which is very handy if you're glycogen depleted, eg after a hard training session. Once those supplies are replenished, excess fructose is then released into the blood stream or stored in the liver as triglicerides (fat). I'm going to write more later on the subject of choosing your experts (or, who do you believe?), but that's a topic for another blog entry ....
So, let's look at context for a few minutes and try and clear away a tiny bit of the hand waving.
Let's take a real-world example. A 250ml glass of orange juice. I went to the local shop this morning and got a bottle of orange juice. No added sugar. Ok, that's the best case scenario. Let's be conservative and assume that it's drunk by the metric cup, which is 250ml (no-one drinks 250ml cups, but again, being conservative ...).
Orange juice as provided by The Original Juice Co in Melbourne, Australia contains, for every 100ml, 9 grams of carbohydrate which is 8 grams of 'sugar'. I don't know what the other 1 gram is. They don't specify the sugar, but I expect, being orange juice, that that's pretty close to 100% fructose. I don't know for sure, it's not clear on the wikipedia entry for oranges.
Ok, so 250ml of orange juice, no 'added' sugar, what's in it? 20 grams of sugar, that's 4 teaspoons. If that's just sucrose, that's roughly 10 grams of fructose and 10 grams of glucose, but I think, from this page, that it's 100% fructose. That's quite a lot. 4 teaspoons of fructose in 250ml of orange juice. No-one would put that much in a cup of coffee or tea! It's only 7 grams less sugar than 250ml of Coca Cola. (Coke is 39 grams of sugar per 355ml, ~11% sugar, orange juice is ~8% sugar). Coca Cola in Australia uses sucrose as a sweetener, which is 50% glucose and 50% fructose. Coke is 5.5% fructose, OJ is 8% fructose. Interesting, eh?
Let's look at a little more context. Let's see how many oranges there are in a glass (again, our ficticious 250ml glass) of OJ. The average orange has about 2 ounces of OJ in it. According to this site anyway. An 8 ounce glass is about 240ml (1 US fluid Oz ~ 29.6 ml), so there's 4 and a bit's worth of oranges in a glass of OJ. so if we've got 20 grams of fructose in 250ml, and that's about 4 oranges worth, each orange has about 5 grams of fructose in it. 5 grams is one teaspoon. That's not too bad. An individual orange has about 70 mg of Vitamin C in it. That's plenty. The RDA according to the WHO is 45 mg/day. So, one orange is fine, it's only 5g of fructose and it's got all the Vit C you need. A glass of orange juice on the other hand ... In context, is almost as bad as a glass of coke, or possibly worse if you take into account that coke is using sucrose in Australia, which is only 50% fructose. Although OJ does have some good stuff in it (vit c etc) it's got WAY too much sugar in it unless you're doing a lot of heavy exercise. And this is the best case scenario! Most of the cups in my house are 300ml or more. I expect they are in your house too.
We use, in our sports drinks (Staminade) 2-3, maybe 4 at most teaspoons (mostly sugar, a bit of salt) per 750ml bidon, you'd think that was a lot of sugar, until you compare it to OJ, which is 3 times as sugar-full as our sports drink mixture. And we feed OJ to our kids telling them it's good for them and then wonder why they're all getting fat.