NUTRITION – HOW IMPORTANT IS IT AS PART OF YOUR TRAINING PLAN

Knowing about nutrition and what to eat is an extremely integral part of endurance sports.  What you eat can have a dramatic effect on your mood and running performance, so it is worthwhile to take some time and thought to what you put in your body when you want to perform well.  The most well planned and executed training plans can end quickly on race day if the athlete neglects any and all aspects of nutrition. That being said one can also get lost in the amount of information that is currently present in regards to what you should eat and how much.  Athletes can by overwhelmed with the amount of  information on television, magazines, race expos, training camps and the internet of so called healthy energy foods that over the years have become a multi-million dollar industry.

The simple truth is that the  foods that work best for most ahletes are the same ones our hunter-gatherer ancestors ingested: lean meats and fish from wild sources, vegetable protein sources, fresh fruits and vegetables that provide whole carbohydrates and natural unsaturated fats found in nuts, fish and vegetables. Not only are these foods not processed but they are mainly alkaline in nature thus help fight inflammation in the body.

Once you are able to improve your lifestyle diet you can start incorporating training specific or race specific nutritional products such as sports drinks, gels, bars and other powders that provide training/racing benefits. The number of products in the market in this category is too many to mention in this article but CK SPORTS supplies a majority of the industry leaders. The key is to experiment with these products during training so you know they agree with your system and when it is necessary to take them.

In general you should incorporate the following points to help improve your nutritional habits:

  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables as they will provide you with most of your daily carbohydrates and they help keep body inflammation at a minimum.

  • Eat smaller meals more frequently which aids in proper digestion, doesn’t shock your insulin levels and stops you from over-eating.

  • Avoid saturated and trans fats as they increase inflammation in the body and are one of the causes of cardiovascular disease.

  • Eat lean protein as this will help you recover from harder workouts, promote lean muscle mass which burns the most calories and balances out blood sugar levels.

  • Avoid high-glycemic foods and drinks other than when your body needs them which is immediately before, during and after workouts.

  • Stay hydrated with water your main drink of choice.

  • Monosaturated fats such as olive oil, flax seed oil, canola oil and avocados are the healthiest fats to consume.

With all the information out there, if nutrition is a main concern for you, it is important to search out a qualified sports nutritionist who can help you make informed choices and limit those choices that are hampering your performance.

Some of the information in this article was provided by Dr. Jake Oergel; an accomplished Ironman triathlete who has competed in over 75 endurance events.

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To Our Grand Old Flag –

Saturday evening I went for a walk and while I was out I noticed our flag.  It was breezy so the flag was sticking out in the wind just enough to see the distinct stars lined up against the blue background, the red stripes and the white  stripes.  I took a picture…one day before the 10 year anniversary of 9/11.

This morning on 9/11 I got up, put on my shoes and running clothes  and went for a run.  It was peaceful and quiet outside.   No headphones – just the sound of me breathing and my feet.  I looked up and saw the same  flag today at half mass.  Silently hugging the flag pole…no wind.  …and it made me think….

Ten years ago, I went for a run the day after 9/11.  It wasn’t peaceful.  It was the evening after the morning of the 9/11 tragedy.   The sun was still out but everything was dead quiet.  Few people were outside.  No planes were in the sky.  Some houses had flags outside.  Some did not.  It was a eerie day.  A very sad day.  A day full of questions and uncertainity. It was a day that made me think of my family, my friends and made me call them. 

Throughout this past week,  the news has been commenerating the ten year anniversary of 9/11.  The children of the fallen have spoken this week.   A look back on that day has been played and replayed.  It makes me sad.  It makes me think of those who lost their husband, wife, Mom, Dad, daughter, son, sister , or brother.   9/11 is historic beyond imaginable….In a day of cameras and technology the pictures of the actual attack, the destruction, the grief and the aftermath year after year will be with us forever; in every form of media.  Interviews, film, pictures, etc.  It won’t every be buried in a history book on the 11th chapter.  It will always be vivid and part of America.  So yes it makes me sad. 

But what I also realized when looking at our flag is that it  never fades.  It will always be bold.  It will always be blue, the stars will always be precise.  The stripes exact.  The United States Flag resembles so much for all of us.  It’s where people want to come that don’t live in the United States.  The land of freedom, opportunity and growth.  America the Beautiful.

That flag might have made me sad thinking about 9/11 but it also made me grateful because it speaks to each of us every day when we wake up in the morning able to get out of bed and go for a run, pick our jobs, choose our careers, build our businesses, raise our families,  pick our schools, voice our opinions, and so much more…  So today, I thank all of those that have made the ultimate sacrifice that has made this country what it is.   A country different than all others just like our flag. 

 And when looking at our flag always remember  the firefighters, the soldiers, and all others who serve and protect us allowing us to live in such a great country.   No one will ever forget the flag  held proudly at ground zero on the day of the attack.   So I move forward quietly tonight never forgetting but also always remembering our Flag….and our Country.   And I pray for each of the families that  lost loved ones on 9/11 and hope they see how America (each of us) will never forget.

My Feet were made for Running

My Feet Were Made for Running… I long for the days that looking at someone’s feet was just looking at someone’s feet. But a foot just isn’t a foot for me. Whether I find myself in Kroger in the check out lane or at the dentist office, I can spot a flat foot, a bunion or a caved ankle a mile away! I have to refrain from saying something! So I keep my mouth shut and instead type up this article.

Many do not understand the importance of shoes for their specific feet. Sure, it’s true that you can pick any shoe from any store and “get away” with wearing it but there is no guarantee that you aren’t going to have issues down the road.  And if the shoe is not the right match more than likely  issues will arise.  It always surprises me when I hear a runner/walker tell me that their feet always hurt but they just deal with it. You don’t have to deal with it. Don’t deal with it!  You are entitiled to be comfortable and you should LOVE your shoes. Everyone is different but there are shoes for everyone….

Kind of like the Oscar Mayer hot dog. Some people are neutral, some supinate, some pronate, some have flat feet, some have high arches, some have no arches. Feet are different and believe it or not, there is a shoe out there that will work for your feet!  We hope you come to CK SPORTS to let us interview your feet but if you don’t make sure that you go some place that will spend time with you to figure out what your issues are and what shoe is best for your foot.

Are you injured? Now what to do?

CK SPORTS, Inc. located in McKinney Texas is always asked about injuries and what to do, well, statistics show that during any given year 2/3 of all runners will have to take at least one week off from running due to some variation of injury. While all of us don’t want to be a statistic and fall into this dreaded category its actually what you do once your  injured that can decide how fast you will be back or how much extra damage you will do to yourself.

First ask yourself how you got to this injury so that you can prevent the same injury from happening in the future. I have described ways people get injured in previous articles but most runners fall into one of the following categories: Errors in training such as too much speed work, increasing mileage too quickly, not enough rest in-between physiologically demanding sessions or running on the wrong terrain, runners who wear inappropriate shoes which is an easy fix by visiting CK Sports and lastly runners whose biomechanics are off due to pelvic misalignments and muscle imbalances.

While someone who is injured should always seek medical advice first there are some easy questions to ask yourself in order to figure out if you should stop running: Does your pain alter your natural gait pattern? Is the area in question red or swollen? Is there weakness associated with the injury? Is there an injury to your back? Answering yes to any of these deserves time off until healed from the injury of further evaluation.

If you end up injured to the point of not being able to run there are numerous activities that you can engage in so that your fitness/aerobics levels do not drop too much. The pool is sometimes the first place to start as both swimming and aqua jogging are great at stressing the cardiovascular system without placing a great load into the body as dry land running does. Cycling is another activity that is low impact but at the same time delivers that cardiovascular stress needed along with strengthening the legs. If on the other hand you can run make sure that your getting regular massage therapy, reducing the number of miles you run in a given week until healthy again, that your running on softer surfaces and most of all listening to your body as your body will be the first to tell you if an injury is about to happen.

Dr. Jake Oergel

say’s focusing on sports injuries and biomechanical corrections. Dr. Oergel is Full-Body Certified in Active Release Technique and is an experienced kinesiotaping practitioner. Dr. Oergel is also an accomplished Ironman triathlete who has competed in over 75 endurance events.

 CK SPORTS, Inc. is a full service Dallas area based triathlon store that focuses on swimming, running, and cycling.  Check out our website for information including an online store.

 

Why Drink so Much Water?

CK SPORTS wants to remind all of you triathlon folks that water is critical!

What’s the first thing that comes to our minds, the moment we think of summer? Sweat. And lots of sweat! While we may opt to wear loose cotton clothing to keep the heat from getting to us during the summers, there is no denying the perspiration or sweat as most of us call it.

Sure, sweating is good and it does help to rid the body of its toxins. But at the same time it results in the body losing precious water as sweat mainly contains water and other vital minerals such as potassium, sodium, copper, calcium and so on, which are needed by the body for its normal functioning.  So, as you can see that while sweating has its pro’s, it has its cons too!

Summers see a spike in the temperatures, meaning the air gets hotter around us. To combat this heat and maintain its core temperature, the body begins to sweat in an effort to cool down. In short the body begins to sweat excessively during summers, resulting in a much larger loss of water which can lead to dehydration in many cases.

While sweating and the subsequent loss of water from the body are inevitable during the summer season, we can counter it by simply increasing our water intake! The food that we consume helps our body to fulfill about 30% of its required water quota. Hence a great way to increase our water intake during summer would be via eating foods that are high in water content.

  • Leafy green vegetables – Lettuce, spinach, cabbage and radish.
  • Watermelons are a huge favorite during the summers and rightly so, as they contain a high water content owing to the fact that almost 90% of the watermelon is water! Melons too are a great source of high water content food, during summer.
  • Tomatoes are also an excellent choice when it comes to foods with high water content.
  • Fruits too are an excellent high water content food choice, especially apples and citrus fruits (sweet lemon, orange).
  • Coconut water is another excellent summer beverage, as it is isotonic in nature. In layman’s term it means that coconut water contains
    similar vital minerals, which are lost due to sweat and urine.

All this while we have been discussing how our body loses water to sweating and how we can counter it by increasing our water intake, but haven’t touched up on the topic of the effects that limited consumption of water can have on the body.

Dehydration: Dehydration refers to the state in which the body suffers from a major loss of its water content. Moreover with the human body being about 60-70% water (depending on its size and shape), a state of dehydration affects its ability to function normally. Common symptoms of dehydration setting in are a dry mouth, dizziness, muscle cramps and heart palpitations.

Sluggish
Metabolism:
 Lack of adequate water intake is one of the top reasons for sluggish metabolism in many people. A surprising fact about our body is that it mainly consists of water; our blood in fact is about 90% water! An inadequate intake of water during summer where our body loses a lot of water, results in a slow metabolism, as water is essentially a carrier of vital nutrients, proteins and minerals within our body.

Common symptoms indicating the onset of sluggish metabolism are a change in one’s posture i.e. a hunched back or a protruding belly. Other symptom is feeling cold, despite the hot weather of summer, this is mainly due to the body lacking the energy to maintain its core temperature.

pH Imbalance: As mentioned earlier, water is a carrier of vital nutrients within the body. Along with this, water also helps in maintaining the right viscosity (thickness) of blood and plasma, helping the cause of a good blood flow in our body, thereby helping to protect
the body against many diseases and conditions such as dehydration.

Lack of adequate water intake during the summer season results in pH imbalance, making us susceptible to many diseases in the process, especially those of the gastric variety and also to flu and colds.

The above mentioned are only some of the many problems that can happen if one does not take care to ensure that an adequate amount of water is drunk during summer. However summer can also be enjoyed, given that we take care of our diet and fluid intake.

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How Compressed are You??

Cold Winters or Hot Summers, CK SPORTS, a full service triathlon store located in the north Dallas area, is always getting questions on compression. So, what’s the big deal? Is compression what it is cracked up to be? Does compression really help athletic performance and improve recovery? Should I wear it before I exercise, while I am exercising or after I exercise?

First, yes, compression works. Today, you see your novice athlete to elite athletes wearing the compression tights, arm sleeves, socks and more. “The average Joe now says ‘Hey I’m working out and I’m spending my time, if I can feel a little bit better, why wouldn’t I?'” said Gregg Hemphill, VP of Marketing for SKINSAmerica. “This will help them get through that initial soreness stage as they’re trying to get themselves back into shape. They’re going to be a little less sore and feel a little fresher the next day and want to get back in the gym,” said Hemphill. Compression gear is designed to increase blood flow, which flushes out lactic acid and gets more oxygen and nutrients back to muscles.

The end result is speedy recovery time. “We call it ‘Venus return:’ increasing the blood flow back to the heart so you can get fresh clean oxygen in the blood back to those muscles faster, keep those muscles firing and performing much more efficiently than they normally would,” said Johnny West, sales director for 2XU’s compression line. Also, muscles normally vibrate during exercise, but compression wear keeps them contained which helps in turn to reduce injury. “Our muscles in general are designed to fire up and down. As soon as we start doing any sort of activity, they’ll start sliding side to side, so now that muscle is much less efficient,” said West.

CK SPORTS is a triathlon store that can help you with compression gear. We carry various brands including 2XU, SKINS, CEP, ZOOT and Vital Socks. Stop by and let us help you with your questions.

Come out and see us at CK SPORTS today at our tri store located at8880 State Highway121,McKinney,Texas75070. Located at the corner ofCuster Roadand 121 in the Target shopping center.

Phone: 214-383-0088

Website: http://www.cksports.com

Yes! Socks are important

Are you an athlete but still wear cotton socks?  So why is cotton an enemey to your feet?
Cotton feels soft and is soft.  There is your pro to cotton socks.  The cons?  Well cotton absorbs sweat.  This makes your feet wet.  Cotton Wet cotton against moist skin is likely to cause blisters.  Another con?  Cotton socks normally do not fit as tight as moisture wicking socks.  So there are times where you / your feet will slip around in your shoes.
If you are going to take the time to find the right shoe for your foot, why not complete the process and get the right sock for your foot as well. This can eliminate a multitude of possible problems when exercising. Blisters, calluses, and athlete’s foot to mention a few!
Sweat plus friction can cause foot blisters, and cotton socks are the worst choice because cotton absorbs instead of wicking. This was confirmed by a study at the University of Missouri-Columbia of athletic socks. “We found that 100% cotton socks were usually the worst especially when a person started to sweat,” said Robert Mooney, MU biological engineering student in a press release. Cotton holds moisture next to the skin which is how problems start with feet. Synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester draw the moisture away from the skin so it can be evaporated eliminating possible issues. Also when purchasing your socks make sure that you buy the sock size of your “foot” and not the size of your shoe. You do not want to have  the socks bunching up in your shoe which can also cause blisters as well as discomfort.
So remember “taking care of your feet” doesn’t just mean your shoes.
Available socks at CK SPORTS include: Balaga, Feetures, DeFeet, DryMax, Experia,  Mention this article for 15% off these socks.  Offer good through July.