Friday, October 29, 2010
By Paige Dunn
Cyclists are always on the lookout for ways to eat healthy and stay lean without compromising their performance. This week we sat down with health and fitness expert, Mark Sisson, who is known for his creative fitness and nutrition plans, which he terms “Primal”. Combining modern genetic science with the immutable principles of human evolution, Mark, a former elite marathoner/triathlete, and author of best-selling book, Primal Blueprint, advocates a revolutionary, easy-to-follow program based on ten Primal Blueprint laws that he says will change your life forever:
What is the primal blueprint diet and why should athletes/cyclists be primal?
The Primal Blueprint diet is one that seeks to promote optimal gene expression (and optimal performance) by turning on genes that build muscle, mobilize fatty acids, and improve aerobic capacity and power, while turning off genes that promote systemic inflammation, cannibalize muscle or suppress the immune system. Unfortunately, the traditional endurance athlete eating programs have focused on a predominance of carbohydrates, which tend to increase inflammation and fat storage as well as reinforce a sugar-burning model and dependence in muscle instead of a more efficient fat-burning strategy. When you reprogram you genes to preferentially build fat-burning enzyme systems, you can perform at a higher aerobic output without exhausting glycogen reserves. Much of this happens via signaling from the particular foods we eat.
What is the best way for cyclists to keep their weight down but still remain healthy and not starve themselves?
Limit carbohydrates to only those you need to replenish glycogen from workout to workout, or only those you require immediately as fuel in long hard workouts or races. Fats and protein should be the major factors in maintaining muscle mass, while burning off stored body fat and remaining healthy.
We hear a lot about eating “good” fats - why is this important, how much, and what kinds?
The main thing missing from many cyclists' diets are Omega 3 fats (found mostly in fish). These are the anti-inflammatory fats. But many cyclists are also deficient in certain saturated fats, because they have been told erroneously to avoid them outright (coconut, most grass fed meat, macadamia nuts) as well as the healthy monounsaturated fats (avocados, olive oil). The Primal Blueprint diet for athletes is often more than 50% fat by calories. We just avoid the man-made trans fats, and hydrogenated oils (safflower, canola, soybean oils, etc).
I’ve heard it is important for athletes to keep their insulin levels down. Is this true?
High insulin levels are a huge risk factor for many diseases of civilization (metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer to name a few). Insulin isn't as big a problem with athletes as it is in the general population because most athletes are fairly insulin sensitive (meaning it takes less insulin to do its job) if they do any amount of interval training. We still recommend that athletes keep carbs as low as feasible to reduce the tendency of excess carbohydrates to be stored in fat cells once glycogen stores are full. Insulin is a primary driver of that storage, while simultaneously locking stored fat inside the cell. When you keep insulin low, that fat is allowed to exit the fat cell and be burned in muscle as fuel, especially at rest.
What is the #1 mistake cyclists make with regard to their nutrition?
Over-compensating carbohydrate intake on a daily basis.
To learn more about Mark Sisson and The Primal Blueprint, visit: www.marksdailyapple.com
To learn more about Peloton Magazine please click on the title link.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
By Adventure Lab
Not that you need to be thinking about this before your holiday party stretch, but the American College of Sports Medicine has released The Top 20 Fitness Trends of 2011. What's hot? Strength training and core training. Surprise. Six packs and a healthy back scored points. What's not? Stability balls, balance training, and Pilates.
“It appears from this survey that Pilates may not have been a trend at all but may be considered a fad in the health and fitness industry,” said Thompson. “Next year’s survey will either embrace Pilates as a trend or will answer this question.”
We're guessing fad. Sorry Daisy Fuentes.
The other trends aren't going to surprise or revolutionize the fitness world the way that say, super chunky knits or boxy handbags caused guffaws on the fall runways. In fact, some of the entries are a little boring—physician referrals, educated and experienced fitness professionals. Still, here are the Top 10 trends in case you want to start in on your New Year's Resolution a little early. Boot camp anyone?
10. Physician referrals. Physician referrals, a key component of the Exercise is Medicine initiative, partner medical professionals with heath and fitness professionals to seamlessly integrate exercise into their patients’ lives.
9. Functional fitness. This is a trend toward using strength training to improve balance and ease of daily living. Functional fitness and special fitness programs for older adults are closely related.
8. Boot camp. Boot camp is a high-intensity structured activity program modeled after military style training and led by an instructor. Boot camp incorporates cardiovascular, strength, endurance and flexibility drills in both indoor and outdoor settings.
7. Exercise and weight loss. In addition to nutrition, exercise is a key component of a proper weight loss program. Health and fitness professionals who provide weight loss programs are increasingly incorporating regular exercise and caloric restriction for better weight control in their clients.
6. Core training. Distinct from strength training, core training specifically emphasizes conditioning of the middle-body muscles, including the pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen – all of which provide needed support for the spine.
5. Personal training. More and more students are majoring in kinesiology, which indicates that students are preparing themselves for careers in allied health fields such as personal training. Education, training and proper credentialing for personal trainers have become increasingly important to the health and fitness facilities that employ them.
4. Children and obesity. With childhood obesity growing at an alarming rate, health and fitness professionals see the epidemic as an opportunity to create programs tailored to overweight and obese children. Solving the problem of childhood obesity will have an impact on the health care industry today and for years to come.
3. Strength training. Strength training remains a central emphasis for many health clubs. Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete physical activity program for all physical activity levels and genders.
2. Fitness programs for older adults. As the baby boom generation ages into retirement, some of these people have more discretionary money than their younger counterparts. Therefore, many health and fitness professionals are taking the time to create age-appropriate fitness programs to keep older adults healthy and active.
1. Educated and experienced fitness professionals. Due to increases in the number of organizations offering health and fitness certifications, it’s important that consumers choose professionals certified through programs that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, such as those offered by ACSM.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
What is saturated fat? What's trans fat? Should I be using butter or margarine?
Oh, fat. What would we do without it?
Probably a whole lot more!
But seriously, what we're talking about is the fat you eat, whether for health, flavor or habit. Not all fats have the same effects, and it's important to use the best kinds in your cooking. Today we're going to look at the wonderful world of fat.
There are saturated fats, which come from animal sources like dairy, meat and eggs. These fats are so bad for the heart and arteries - and we love 'em. This is a large part of why Americans struggle so much with heart disease, obesity, and strokes.
Unsaturated fats are a better bet. They go by polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and plain old unsaturated. All of them are better by far than saturated fat. In fact, a little in the diet is a good thing. Examples include nuts, vegetable oils, avocados, and fish.
We do need fats, after all. Fat gives us energy, and it nourishes our cells and muscles. Fats keep our skin and hair looking supple and healthy.
Fats also do something else: they help us absorb vitamins and nutrients. Without fat, a lot of us would be crippled by vitamin deficiencies.
So fat is a friend - but you have to choose your friends wisely.
The best fats are Omega-3's. These fatty acids fight bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol, and stimulate the brain. They've become very well-known in the health community and anyone interested in a good diet or becoming healthier has probably heard of them. Hundreds of studies in the last year or two have shown that Omega-3's are really lacking in the American diet. That's a shame, because these fats actually help you think clearly. They play a role in things like memory and cognition, and they influence our moods, too. Examples include nuts, salmon, red tuna, avocados, flaxseeds, and olive oil.
I like olive oil. Is canola oil more or less healthy for you than olive oil?
Canola oil is fine. It is a rapeseed derivative, which makes some people oppose it because they're misinformed about the rapeseed plant. A common myth is that mustard gas is made from the same plant canola oil is made from. That's baloney.
Let's talk about the worst fats of all.
Isn't saturated fat the worst?
It's got nothing on trans fats. Trans fats are also called hydrogenated fats. These are chemically-treated, heat-blasted unsaturated fats. We say "trans fats," because they were transferred from one type of fat to another. They become structurally similar to saturated fat, but worse. Most prepared and packaged foods contain trans fats, which are linked to all the problems saturated fat is known for, in addition to diabetes, depression and mood swings. Examples include most packaged foods (especially ones with crusts, crackers, cakes, cookies or croutons), shortenings, margarines and spreads.
I know the safety level for saturated fat is just a few grams a day. What about trans-fat?
The U.S. government says no one should ever eat trans fats. Period. The safety level is zero. And yet, that's all that you see in just about every food imaginable!
I thought margarine was better than butter.
Absolutely not. Most margarine is just a blend of different hydrogenated fats. It's terrible for your body. But margarine was popular for decades because people thought butter was the bad guy.
Since it doesn't have cholesterol or saturated fat, it became an American staple. It was a good idea to find a substitute for saturated fat, but butter is actually less harmful than margarine.
So what do I use?
There are some great butter and margarine substitutes out there. One great example is Earth Balance, which is a delicious Omega-3 spread that is far healthier and tastier than margarine.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Pictures from the LIVESTRONG Challenge Austin. Team RadioShack cancer survivors Lance Armstrong and Markel Irizar were joined by supportive teammates Levi Leipheimer, Yaroslav Popovych, Jani Brajkovic, Jason McCartney, Bjorn Selander and newcomer Ben King. The weekend, now in its 14th year, raised more than $3.1 million for the global fight against cancer. Team RadioShack will continue to ride in support of the 28 million people living with cancer today.
Lee Applbaum, RadioShack's CMO with actor and cancer advocate Patrick Dempsey presented Armstrong a $1 million check for LIVESTRONG from RadioShack. Dempsey participated in the ride with Team RadioShack.
Yaroslav "Popo" Popovych signs the iconic "28" Team RadioShack jersey worn at the Tour de France.
Lee Applbaum, RadioShack's CMO with actor and cancer advocate Patrick Dempsey presented Armstrong a $1 million check for LIVESTRONG from RadioShack. Dempsey participated in the ride with Team RadioShack.
Yaroslav "Popo" Popovych signs the iconic "28" Team RadioShack jersey worn at the Tour de France.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Coconut milk is a new to the health food arena, but it is causing quite a stir. Although many of us enjoy toasted coconut in cookies, in a creamy pie, or as flavoring for other desserts, few are aware of the fact that coconuts generally, and coconut milk in particular, offer an exciting array of hidden benefits to the human body. Scientists are working eagerly to study the possible medical treatments and cures that coconut milk might be able to produce. In the near future we might be seeing more coconut milk products at the grocery store, cosmetic counter and even pharmacy.
How is coconut milk made?
Most people do not know how to make coconut milk the proper way—you can’t just poke a hole through the tough skin and pour it out. Squeezed from the moist, white flesh of mature coconuts, the milk comes in two forms: thin and thick. The thin form of coconut milk is taken directly from the flesh via a first-squeeze process. Then the flesh is grated or sliced thin, soaked in hot water, and squeezed through cheesecloth or a thin mesh strainer a second time to produce the thicker version. This may be done two or three times to get increasingly diluted coconut milk that is still usable in a number of ways. The pre-existing liquid inside the fruit is usually referred to as coconut water and has its own claims to health-related fame.
What’s so great about coconut milk?
Although experts condemned the use of coconut milk a few decades ago due to its high-fat content, recent studies have uncovered valuable aspects of this fluid that can be used in a number of ways to improve people’s health.
Although high in saturated fat and calories, coconut milk is similar to human milk in key ways and contains important nutrients and fiber content.
You can make your own coconut milk at home. But for convenience, you can buy it in prepared form in a can or bottle at health food stores or Asian grocery supply shops. Be sure to refrigerate a container that has been opened, or it will go sour. Some stores sell coconut milk powder so you can mix it yourself to make several fresh servings over a period of time. It appears that coconut milk nutrition adds a valuable component to good health. Here are three key ways to make use of this intriguing natural substance.
Use Coconut Milk as a Health Aid
Benefits of coconut milk include possible anti-viral and anti-carcinogenic properties. In fact, it is currently being tested as a supplemental treatment for various chronic ailments with no known cure such as HIV. Check with your doctor first, and then try drinking coconut milk on a regular basis to safeguard your body from viral infections and to strengthen your immune system. If you suffer from a chronic viral condition like herpes, you can ask the doctor to check your blood levels before you start drinking coconut milk, and then check again every few weeks to measure any impact from the milk.
Keep an eye on the calories, though. A full cup (8 ounces) of thick coconut milk can have over 500 calories. Start with one-half cup per day to see how you like it and whether it affects your body in positive or negative ways. Most people like the taste of coconut milk, but if you don’t, you can add it to drink recipes, like a virgin colada (if you prefer nonalcoholic beverages) or a tropical smoothie.
Coconut Milk in Various Cooking Recipes
People around the world enjoy tasty Asian recipes that utilize coconut milk; for example, Thai food and certain kinds of Indian dishes use coconut milk and coconut oil for their unique contribution to many recipes. If adding coconut milk to your food seems distasteful, visit restaurants that specialize in Thai or Indian cuisine, as well as African or Hawaiian food, to sample various uses of coconut flavoring in prepared dishes. Many Oriental eateries offer coconut chicken or shrimp on the menu, and coconut milk soup is a gourmet treat. Items like these will give you an idea of their taste and texture and determine whether you want to try the recipe at home. In addition to beverages and appetizers, coconut milk can be added to main dishes, side dishes, and desserts. Some creative chefs substitute coconut milk for almost any recipe calling for other kinds of milk, but you will need to adjust these for texture and taste.
Another popular use is as a creamer or sweetener for coffee and tea. Powdered coconut milk can be packed in lunches or taken on camping trips, and is allegedly safe for kids and seniors. It could be a great substitute for those who don’t like the taste of regular powdered milk.
Condition Your Skin With Coconut Milk
Cosmetic experts report improved skin condition from topical use. Outside the body, coconut milk can provide numerous healthy uses to make your skin clean and moist.
Sephora.com offers a coconut milk salt scrub that gently exfoliates the body’s top skin layer while leaving the next layer smooth and supple. Many high-quality cosmetic manufacturers sell an assortment of beauty supplies that are made of or include coconut milk. These include body lotion, facial cream, body wash or soap, hair shampoo, hair conditioner, shower gel, foaming shower wash, body bath, and body butter.
As when purchasing coconut milk at the store, look for skin care products that contain no chemicals like artificial colors or scents, and preferably no preservatives. Read the ingredients to see what benefits, if any, are offered by the product. For example, some coconut milk cosmetic cleansers may offer anti-bacterial and anti-viral benefits to your skin, especially when used on a regular basis. Most if not all will help to moisturize and soften the skin. Make sure the product uses real coconut milk, not an artificial substitute. Check for the inclusion of sun screen that is SPF 15 or higher.
When shopping for coconut milk, avoid the “light” or diluted variety; it contains less of the lauric acid, which the body turns to monolaurin. an essential health aid. Don’t buy coconut milk with additives or chemicals, which can negatively impact its nutritional value. Lastly, look for credible health food sources when you go shopping.
Who would have thought that an exotic tropical fruit like the coconut could offer so much support to the human body? As a newer health food option, coconut milk continues to undergo testing and experiments to measure its advantages. Natural, tasty and accessible, coconut milk might have more untapped resources to be revealed in the future if it turns out to be usable as a treatment for viral or chronic diseases or as a cancer preventative. For now, explore the full range of health and nutrition options available in coconut milk as an interesting new addition to the health food industry.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Matt Damon is set to play Lance Armstrong in a long-gestating biopic about the Tour de France champion that may never get made.
But he'll be connected to the star athlete in another filmic way: Damon will narrate the new documentary about Armstrong from Oscar-winner Alex Gibney.
Gibney, whose Eliot Spitzer nonfiction film "Client 9" is coming out next month (more on that in a later post), centers his Armstrong movie on the cyclist's much-touted comeback at the 2009 Tour de France.
Gibney sees in Armstrong a figure both complex and polarizing. "There is, at least from the public perspective, a big disparity of opinion on him. Some people hold him up to be a saint. Particularly if you're a cancer survivor or cancer patient, he provides enormous hope," Gibney says. "Other people see in him a kind of hypocrisy, and hypocrisy drives people crazy, particularly if they make money off it."
Gibney is pulling a bit of a switch with the comeback tale. The director has often been preoccupied with powerful people brought low, as he was in the Oscar-nominated "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" and the Spitzer doc. He also directed the Afghanistan torture movie "Taxi to the Dark Side," which won the Academy Award for best documentary.
With a recognizable voice and a clear (and at times itself polarizing) interest in current events, Damon has been moonlighting as a documentary narrator quite a bit lately. He narrates the current financial-crisis doc "Inside Job" and did the same on the 2008 water-crisis doc "Running the Sahara."
Gibney says he chose the actor because he knew many cycling fans were aware of Damon's attachment to the Armstrong feature and wanted to give them another point of connection to the story. The movie, incidentally, has been in development for more than six years, with veteran producer Frank Marshall ("Back to the Future," the Bourne movies) set to direct, but at this moment the film doesn't have much, er, forward momentum.
Meanwhile, the Armstrong doc, which is set to come out next year, becomes more timely as doping scandals grow — disgraced Tour de France 2006 champion Floyd Landis has accused Armstrong and others of doping, and three-time and current champion Alberto Contador risks being stripped of his title because of a failed drug test — developments that also make Gibney's movie a moving target.
The filmmaker, who is mostly done shooting but is still talking to some subjects, says this makes for hard but necessary choices. "At some point, the only thing you can do is make up your mind on when the story ends," he says. "If you try to put in too much, the film will just go on forever."
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
By: Chuck Salter
On a Sunday night in late July, a trio of bouncers stand outside a chic club near the Champs-Élysées, in Paris, checking guests for a special bracelet with a black plastic charm of a No. 28 cycling jersey. Inside, a red and white logo-festooned racing bike is on display like a sculpture. The absence of a rider is appropriate: This is the post-race celebration for Lance Armstrong's last Tour de France.
He's just finished a humbling 23rd in a race he's won seven times. But the mood at the Team RadioShack party is upbeat. Longtime Hollywood producer Frank Marshall is there. So is surfing superstar Rob Machado. CNN's Sanjay Gupta. Twitter investor and entrepreneur Chris Sacca. Executives from Google and Sony. A U.S. ambassador. The Champagne flows.
In the midst of the VIPs, working the room furiously, is Doug Ulman, the 33-year-old president and CEO of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, better known as Livestrong. It was Livestrong that was the real winner at the Tour. Nike had lined the course with Livestrong banners and covered it with supporters' messages in bright yellow paint ("Lost my leg but not my courage"). Yellow rubber bracelets were everywhere. A controversial stunt that morning, in which Armstrong and his RadioShack teammates broke Tour rules by donning black jerseys to honor the 28 million people worldwide living with cancer, had become big news on the biggest day of the Tour.
"Where's Lance?" guests shout to Ulman over Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean."
Armstrong arrives around 11. Dressed in an elegant dark suit and white shirt, he's the last rider to take the small stage and address the crowd. All those years when the leader's yellow jersey was his personal uniform, he mostly avoided crashes. Not this time: "It all caught up to us this year," he says, perspiring under the lights. But he smiles, takes a few photos with the team, and talks about what the Tour did for his cancer campaign. "I wanted to take the Livestrong message around the world," he says. "You could not have brought more attention to the issue today."
Then he disappears into a curtained-off area. "I was thinking, I can't wait to get out of here," he tells me later. He was headed to the Bahamas on vacation with his family.
What no one at the party mentions is the legal shadow lingering over Armstrong. Since May, federal investigators have been exploring whether he used performance-enhancing drugs while winning his Tour titles. He proclaims his innocence, as he has in the past. But the special agent in hot pursuit is the man who put Olympian Marion Jones behind bars and made a name for himself by exposing baseball's steroids scandal.
Unlike the cases involving Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens, there's more at stake here than one athlete's reputation. Armstrong is not only "the most famous cancer survivor in the world," in the words of John Seffrin, CEO of the American Cancer Society. He is also the inspirational figure behind the most entrepreneurial foundation in cancer, a critically important health-care movement that helped win $3 billion in new funds for cancer research and prevention in Texas alone.
While its $50.4 million in annual revenue is less than what the 97-year-old American Cancer Society raises in a month, Livestrong has been a catalyst for better cancer care and education across the globe. "It's a force to be reckoned with," says Leslie Lenkowsky, a professor at Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy. Livestrong's help line, guidebooks, and website helped more than 400,000 people last year. Its social-media efforts reach about 3 million supporters. It has pioneered programs here and abroad for survivors; worked to unify the fractured cancer community; and instigated a worldwide crusade, which includes the United Nations and the Clinton Global Initiative, to make the world's No. 1 killer a health-care priority. "I can't think of an organization with the breadth of activity that the foundation has," says Dr. Larry Shulman, chief medical officer at the renowned Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, "and that includes the American Cancer Society."
Which puts Armstrong, and CEO Ulman, in an uncomfortable position. The two are "soul brothers," as one Livestrong sponsor puts it: both cancer survivors, both highly competitive and disciplined athletes, both bright, passionate, and charismatic activists. "If we want to talk about cancer or go out and have beers at happy hour, that's fine with me," Armstrong says. Together they have built something remarkable. Armstrong attracts attention and supporters; Ulman melds them into a powerful community.
click on the title link to read on.....
Thursday, October 14, 2010
By Chris Lieto, Special for USA TODAY
The day is done, the fight is over, some would say I lost, but the battle was won. I fought hard out there all day, took the risks to try and win and the day did not go as planned. I may have lost the ultimate prize of becoming world champion, but I pushed through some of the most difficult times in my professional career and came home with the prize of top American.
I arrived here to win this race, not to finish 2nd or 3rd so I took the risk early on the 112-mile bike portion and pulled away from the rest of the field. Riding under my own pace and energy in the gusty and hot conditions, I separated myself from the main group of contenders by almost 8 minutes as I began the 26.2-mile run. I was in the perfect place and feeling great, or at least as good as you can feel after riding 112 miles.
Through the first 8 miles of the run I was feeling great rolling along and holding my lead. At that point my body started to tighten up and I went from running smooth and free to locking down and my legs were not responding to what my mind was asking for. The heat started to increase my core temperature and I felt like I had entered an oven. The radiant heat on the road was reaching 120 degrees and my body started to shut down. I remember running on the highway at around mile 13 and having to stop at an aid station as I felt my body about to completely shut down.
Once I stopped, my body could not balance itself as I wobbled from side to side; I was shaking my head trying to wake up my body. My eyes and focus started to get very narrow and dark and I felt as if I was about to fall over and pass out. I stood there in front of a table full of water, Coke, and Ironman Perform and started drinking as much as I could. I must have put down a Big Gulp amount of fluid. I stood there taking ice-cold sponges and drenched my body trying to get my core temperature to drop.
After a few minutes of doing this, I finally felt my body responding and I had to try and push through. At this point I lost my lead and was looking at the new leader in front of me. All I could tell myself is that it is not over yet and never give up. I made myself push on and push hard, anything can happen and there is still a long way to the finish. I was running well and holding my place, but that painful cycle kept creeping in as I fought through the marathon. Dealing with the repetitive routine of keeping my body awake and moving I finished the day in 11th place and top American.
I lost the victory I was searching for, but I fought through some of the most difficult times in my career. I pushed through the challenges and stretched my body beyond what I thought I could pick myself up from and still finished well. Chris McCormack took the 2010 Ford Ironman World Championship title and battled well as always. He is an amazing talent and I congratulate him.
I am doing well now and my body is starting to come around. My legs are still sore and it is difficult at times to even step down off a curb or bend down to pick something up off the ground. In the next day or so my legs and body will feel back to normal, but it takes many weeks for the body to fully recover from that kind of effort. When you put everything out there and ask so much of the body it takes a long time for it to rebuild. You have to repair the muscle damage and get your mineral balance and body reserves back up.
I have been eating whatever I have a craving for. At first I was craving sugars, eating cinnamon rolls, ice cream, and pizza. Your muscles use sugar for fuel and energy all day and they were all used up, so I try not to limit my cravings and enjoy them. The important thing is to get calories in your body, especially carbohydrates, as this is what is completely drained out of you. The cravings then shift to proteins, of which I have had at least 4 cheeseburgers in the last 2 days.
Another part of the recovery process is to get some movement in the first week after the race, but nothing more than 30-40 minutes worth and the efforts are very easy. For example, I like swimming/playing in the lagoon with my son here at the hotel. It is more about getting the blood to move through the body and getting movement in the muscles to encourage healing. It is not about exercise, just about healing.
I am now taking the time to relax and enjoy the last few day here in Hawaii with my family. It is time to make up for some of the time I lost with the family as I was preparing for the event. I would not have the ability to contend for the Ford Ironman World Championship if it was not for the support and love of my family.
At first I was disappointed that I was unable to have the day I know I could have and didn't win; as soon as I crossed that finish line on Saturday I knew how lucky I have been, how much I have, and how blessed I am. I will give myself a week or so before I dive deep into reflection of my race and try to figure where and how the day went wrong and how we can limit that, as I will be back again to try and bring the World Championship back to the USA. Thanks again for all your support, and be sure to watch the race on December 18th at 4:00 PM on NBC!
Keep trying and never give up!
Here is a look at the results of the top finishers from both the professional and age-group races from the 2010 Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
Ironman World Championship
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii – Oct. 9, 2010
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Chris McCormack (AUS) 8:10:37
2. Andreas Raelert (GER) 8:12:17
3. Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL) 8:13:14
1. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 8:58:36
2. Caroline Steffen (SUI) 9:06:00
3. Julie Dibens (GBR) 9:10:04
Overall Amateur – Men
1. Trevor Delsaut (FRA) 8:40:43
2. Ciro Violin 8:54:13
3. Stefan Schmid (GER) 8:55:26
Overall Amateur – Women
1. Belinda Harper 9:44:19
2. Susanne Davis 9:50:27
3. Nina Pekerman 9:55:19
18-24 Age Group – Men
1. Stefan Schmid (GER) 8:55:26
2. Logan Franks (USA) 9:02:19
3. Sebastian Kufner (GER) 9:11:46
18-24 Age Group – Women
1. Tatiana Vertiz (MEX) 10:24:18
2. Cristina Mata (PAN) 10:52:47
3. Caitlin Bridgland (AUS) 10:54:52
25-29 Age Group – Men
1. Trevor Delsaut (FRA) 8:40:43
2. Mads Vittrup-Pedersen (DEN) 8:55:53
3. Michael Wetzel (GER) 8:57:35
25-29 Age Group – Women
1. Louise Collins (GBR) 10:07:16
2. Jackie Arendt (USA) 10:16:47
3. Kristin Andrews (USA) 10:21:38
30-34 Age Group – Men
1. Ciro Violin (BRA) 8:54:13
2. Karl Belzik (AUT) 8:59:02
3. Andrew Mullenix (USA) 9:00:21
30-34 Age Group – Women
1. Nina Pekerman (ISR) 9:55:19
2. Silvia Felt (GER) 9:55:30
3. Shiao Yu Li (TWN) 9:59:33
35-39 Age Group – Men
1. Damien Angus (AUS) 9:04:14
2. Fabrice Houzelle (FRA) 9:05:31
3. Mark Jansen (AUS) 9:05:58
35-39 Age Group – Women
1. Belinda Harper (AUS) 9:44:19
2. Susanne Davis (USA) 9:50:27
3. Claudia Johnston (CAN) 9:55:35
40-44 Age Group – Men
1. Curt Chesney (USA) 9:07:50
2. Anthony Philippe (FRA) 9:13:17
3. Frank Horlacher (GER) 9:15:44
40-44 Age Group – Women
1. Beate Goertz (GER) 10:02:35
2. Amy McGrath (USA) 10:08:43
3. Karen Smith (BER) 10:16:06
45-49 Age Group – Men
1. Fernando Aja (ESP) 9:18:21
2. Peter Haidenek (AUT) 9:24:48
3. Pierre Lavoie (CAN) 9:26:03
45-49 Age Group – Women
1. Lisbeth Kenyon (USA) 10:01:30
2. Cordula Gruber (GER)
3. Donna Kay-Ness (USA) 10:09:06
50-54 Age Group – Men
1. Michael Blue (USA) 9:48:48
2. Peter Buehlow (CAN) 9:52:41
3. Patrice Kretz (CAN) 9:53:44
50-54 Age Group – Women
1. Ellen Hart (USA) 10:36:19
2. Teresa Rider (USA) 10:51:24
3. Kathy Alfino (USA) 11:08:56
55-59 Age Group – Men
1. Joe Bonness (USA) 9:53:38
2. Jean-Marc Bertolo (FRA) 10:10:11
3. Gregory Taylor (USA) 10:15:55
55-59 Age Group – Women
1. Laura Sophiea (USA) 10:51:43
2. Kimberlee Rouse (USA) 11:34:15
3. Rose Wilson (USA) 11:38:22
60-64 Age Group – Men
1. Yves Tabarant (FRA) 10:08:15
2. Arthur Halttunen (USA) 10:59:19
3. Christopher Domoney (GBR) 11:12:24
60-64 Age Group – Women
1. Carol Peters (CAN) 12:17:24
2. Diane Ridgway (USA) 12:37:58
3. Mary Houbolt (USA) 12:45:32
65-69 Age Group – Men
1. Gotthard Winkler (GER) 11:37:25
2. Peter Wood (NZL) 12:04:43
3. Massimo Casoli 12:17:50
65-69 Age Group – Women
1. Cherie Gruenfeld (USA) 13:16:32
2. Natalie Grabow (USA) 13:24:10
3. Elisabeth OniBeit (GER) 14:20:33
70-74 Age Group – Men
1. Dean Paxson (USA) 12:41:33
2. Guenter Pressler (GER) 12:50:16
3. Toyomi Taki (JPN) 13:22:34
75-79 Age Group – Men
1. Yutaka Kojima (JPN) 13:59:26
2. Roger Brockenbrough (USA) 14:19:23
3. Sumio Endoh (JPN) 14:52:20
75-79 Age Group – Women
1. Harriet Anderson (USA) 16:20:30
80+ Age Group – Men
1. Lew Hollander (USA) 15:48:40
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
By Kara Goucher
Last Saturday was the kind of day that only comes along once in a great while. I woke up to a beautiful fall Portland day–rare indeed. I nursed my son, and then ate breakfast with him as he watched the world around him from his bouncy chair. I waited until 11:10am, so that I could enjoy the moment when he turned one week old, and then I passed him off to my mom. I told her I was going for a walk.
But I didn’t put on my pants and sweatshirt that I normally wear when I walk. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew I was ready to run. I put on some running capris and a long-sleeve shirt. I put on my running shoes and walked out the door. I walked briskly for a good five minutes. I kept thinking about what a great day it was and how perfect my son is. I got excited as I started into a slow jog, then a run. It was slow, and it was painful. But it was one of the best runs, if not the greatest run, of my life. I have never been so happy, running in the sunshine, thinking about Colt waiting for me at home. It was amazing.
That’s the thing about running: your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is. Sappy, I know. But it will go down as one of the greatest runs of my life. I have never loved running more, and I have never loved so deeply before.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Jens Voigt signing autographs at the 2010 Interbike show
Show to remain in Las Vegas for 2011, 2012
Organisers of cycling’s main North American trade show, Interbike, have announced the show will remain in Las Vegas, USA, for a further two years. The announcement follows an underwhelming response to its August announcement that the show would move forward to August and to Anaheim in California.
In addition to remaining in Nevada the show will also retain its usual position in September, rather than the attempted August date which would have put it before Germany’s Eurobike.
Interbike director Andy Tompkins said the back-flip came after a ‘very real response’ from the industry.
“We are hearing loud and clear that, at this time, the industry prefers September dates and the convenience of Las Vegas," said Tompkins. "The announcement that we were moving the show dates and location elicited a very real response that surveys and discussions alone couldn't accomplish.
"Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to this year's show and the countless conversations we've personally had with exhibitors and retailers regarding the future dates and location of Interbike, we are reversing our earlier decision to move the 2011 show to Anaheim in August,” he added.
Next year’s OutDoor Demo will remain in Bootleg Canyon, Boulder City, on September 12-13 while the indoor show will remain at Sands Convention Center on September 14-16. The dates for 2012 have also been confirmed, with the Outdoor Demo on September 17-18 and the indoor show on September 19-21, 2012.
"Interbike has always been and will continue to be the industry's show," continued Tompkins. "We have heard the market's passion and commitment to this event and we want you to know that we are listening. We believe the new direction will best serve the current needs of the marketplace."
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Monday, October 11, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
It was an Australian sweep at today’s Ford Ironman World Championship when Chris “Macca” McCormack and Mirinda Carfrae claimed titles in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i. McCormack, who won the event in 2007, added a second World Championship title to his resume when he finished in 8:10:37. Carfrae secured her first-ever Ironman title when she crossed the line in 8:58:36, the fourth-fastest women’s time ever set in Kona.
McCormack excelled over an impressive men’s field including two-time defending champion, Craig Alexander (AUS), Chris Lieto (USA), Andreas Raelert (DEU), Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL) and Raynard Tissink (ZAF). Andy Potts (USA) exited the water first, but Lieto, Andreas Bocherer (DEU) and Maik Twelsiek (DEU) pushed ahead early on the bike to build a gap on the men’s faster runners. McCormack took the lead 11-and-a-half miles into the run, and although Raelert caught up from miles 22 to 25, a last-minute surge awarded McCormack the win. Alexander posted the second-fastest run split of the day, but could not make up his deficit from the bike.
1. Chris McCormack, AUS, 8:10:37
2. Andreas Raelert, DEU, 8:12:17
3. Marino Vanhoenacker, BEL, 8:13:14
4. Craig Alexander, AUS, 8:16:53
5. Raynard Tissink, ZAF, 8:20:11
Last year’s runner-up, Carfrae dominated a women’s field that included Ironman 70.3 World Champion, Julie Dibens, Virginia Berasategui (ESP), Caroline Steffen (AUS) and Rachel Joyce (GBR). While Joyce was first out of the water, Dibens made her way to the front within the first 12 miles of the bike and maintained the lead throughout the 112-mile course. Carfrae was 11 minutes down when she entered T2, but ran her way to the lead by mile 16 and set a new run-course record of 2:53:32 in the process. Switzerland’s Karin Thuerig, the 49th woman out of the water, finished the bike in 4:48:22, breaking Paula Newby-Fraser’s 1993 record by eight seconds and finishing sixth overall.
1. Mirinda Carfrae, AUS, 8:58:36
2. Caroline Steffen, AUS, 9:06:00
3. Julie Dibens, GBR, 9:10:04
4. Virginia Berasategui, ESP, 9:16:47
5. Rachel Joyce, GBR, 9:18:48
Nearly 1,800 athletes representing more than 45 countries and almost all 50 states officially started the Ford Ironman World Championship, which consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run on the Big Island of Hawai’i.
Competitors ranged in age from 19 to 80 years old. The Emmy Award-winning Ford Ironman World Championship broadcast will air on NBC on Dec. 18, 2010, from 4 – 6 p.m. EST. Check local listings and ironman.com for details.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Aldo Sassi has claimed that he can guarantee that the seven riders he coaches are not doping. The Italian, who oversees the training of Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) and Cadel Evans (BMC), was speaking in response to comments made by CONI anti-doping investigator Ettore Torri on the pervasiveness of doping in cycling.
“In the bible, the prophet Jonah speaks to God of the city of Nineveh, which is overrun with criminals. ‘How many just men are there?’ they ask. Maybe five. ‘Then I won’t destroy it,’ said God. In my cycling Nineveh, I can count on seven just men,” Sassi told Gazzetta dello Sport.
Sassi’s magnificent seven are Evans, Basso, Dario Cioni (Sky), Cameron Wurf (Androni), Kjell Carlström (Sky), Charlie Wegelius (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Eros Capecchi (Footon-Servetto). A mix, he says, of “champions, near-champions and domestiques.”
Sassi is currently fighting cancer but he insisted that the idea of his riders being doped would be more troubling than his illness. “If they were doping, it would be an even stronger mortal blow than the tumour in my head,” Sassi said.
“Torri maintains that nobody is clean, but I say that’s not true,” Sassi explained. “It’s for this reason that I continue to work in cycling. You can ride and win a Giro even without doping.”
Sassi is head of the Mapei training centre in Castellanza, which was initially set up as the dominant Mapei squad’s training facility in 1996 and has been opened to all since the team disbanded in 2002. Currently, Katusha use the centre for testing, while Lampre will also avail of the set-up in 2011.
“We create programmes to help the team doctors with their analysis of haemoglobin mass,” Sassi said. “By checking this data against the biological passport, you can see if someone is stepping out of line. It’s not anti-doping but we can obtain suspect data and relay it to the team.”
The centre also offers training programmes, “but only for those who show themselves to be truly convinced, otherwise it’s not worth the bother.” Cadel Evans has been under Sassi’s stewardship since his days at Mapei, while Ivan Basso began training with him in 2008 as he began his comeback from suspension for his involvement in Operacion Puerto. After initially denying his links to the affair, Basso eventually admitted that he had been in contact with Dr. Eufemio Fuentes but continues to claim that he had merely "attempted doping." He won the Giro d'Italia in May.
Sassi recently stated that he would even be willing to work with Riccardo Riccò (Vacansoleil), but only if he submitted to the Mapei centre’s way of operating.
Sassi also spoke to Gazzetta dello Sport of his involvement with Francesco Moser’s successful but controversial world hour record attempt in Mexico in 1984, where autologous transfusions formed part of the preparation. Professor Francesco Conconi was Moser’s trainer, while Sassi was part of his backroom team, along with Dr. Michele Ferrari.
“According to the codes and procedures of the time, that wasn’t doping but it did modify fair play and could have been a health risk,” Sassi admitted, before attempting to offer a justification. “We knew that it was a short cut, a trick. At the time, the autotransfusion was considered an application of science in sport. Then it also came to be exploited as a means of power.”
Levi's GranFondo is fast becoming one of North America's most popular cycling events. As one of the USA's first rides in the 'gran fondo' format, we wrote the book on challenging terrain, gorgeous scenery, spectacular support, and most of all, fun. Come ride with Levi as we grow this event to include even more participants in 2010! This ride is a fundraiser for the City of Santa Rosa's Keep the Tour Campaign and for the Humane Society's Forget Me Not Farm.
Simply put, Levi's GranFondo seeks to offer the best ride that our participants have ever experienced. Period. That we're able to disperse almost $100,000 to local charities as part of the event is pretty cool too.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
By Nicole DeBoom
We are very excited for this weekend. Why you ask? This Saturday is the 2010 Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. In case you didn’t know – our founder and CEO is an Ironman champion herself - and also happens to be married to 2-time Ironman World Champion Tim DeBoom.
On the eve of the big day, Nicole sat her hubby down for a little Q&A session. Click here to read it and be sure to cheer him on this Saturday!
Click on the title link to read the interview....
Following weeks of speculation and anticipation, the Host Cities for the record-setting Amgen Tour of California professional cycling road race were announced this morning by race presenter AEG. Consistently considered cycling’s most important and successful road race held in the United States, the sixth annual event will cover more than 800 miles over the epic eight days.
The 2011 Amgen Tour of California will travel to and through 15 Host Cities throughout the state over the course of eight days from May 15-22, 2011. Last year’s date change from February to May allowed the Tour de France-style road race to visit locations that would not have been possible previously, including a visit to Big Bear Lake. Due to the incredible success, the race will remain in May to provide fans with the most action-packed, exciting race possible.
The race will wind through miles of beautiful California terrain, beginning with the first-ever visit to Lake Tahoe, a well known cycling destination and home of “America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride.” The eight-day race will travel through some of the state’s most scenic landmarks, with the overall finish taking place in title-sponsor Amgen’s hometown community of Thousand Oaks.
The 15 official stage start and finish communities that have been selected for the 2011 race include: South Lake Tahoe (new for 2011), North Lake Tahoe-Northstar at Tahoe Resort (new for 2011), North Lake Tahoe-Squaw Valley USA (new for 2011), Sacramento, Auburn (new for 2011), Modesto, Livermore (new for 2011), San Jose, Seaside, Paso Robles, Solvang, Claremont (new for 2011), Mt. Baldy (new for 2011), Santa Clarita and Thousand Oaks.
“Last year we witnessed the benefits of moving the Amgen Tour of California to May – better weather, a new, challenging route and more intense competition,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports. “In 2011 we plan to continue to showcase the beautiful features the state of California has to offer, while also continuing to raise the bar for what it means to be the largest, most important cycling race in America.”
Highlights of the 2011 route include the race’s first visit to Lake Tahoe, with the first day of racing featuring a more than a lap and a half around the lake. The riders also will summit famous Donner Pass on the way to Sacramento. On the way to San Jose, America’s largest cycling event will venture into the Diablo Mountains for the first of two challenging mountain stages for the world-class cyclists. The riders will once again take the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway down the coast through Big Sur. Another exciting addition to the 2011 race is the final climb up to the Mt. Baldy ski area, whose steepness and switchbacks are legendary in the Southern California cycling community.
“The 2011 Amgen Tour of California route is going to result in an exciting and compelling race,” said Lance Armstrong of Team Radioshack. “All of us at Team Radioshack are looking forward to it.”
Beginning with the inaugural year in 2006, the Amgen Tour of Californiaquickly became the most successful race in the United States with regards to economic benefits to the state, global recognition and the level of competition. The race also continues to set records in attendance for a single sporting event in the state of California, as well as any cycling event ever held on U.S. soil, with more than 2 million spectators in previous years.
“From the world-class riders and challenging competition, to the tremendous amount of support from the fans and Host Cities, the Amgen Tour of California has grown to become one of the most anticipated events within the international cycling community,” continued Messick. “Making the final selection of Host Cities for the race becomes an increasingly challenging task each year.”
With the 2011 Amgen Tour of California once again taking place in May, the cyclists will have more time to train, and the competition promises to be even tougher. In previous years, the race has drawn some of the world's most renowned and respected riders, such as top Tour de France competitors, World Champions and Olympic medalists that include Lance Armstrong, Tom Boonen, Oscar Freire, Paolo Bettini, Fabian Cancellara, Carlos Sastre, Ivan Basso, George Hincapie, Mark Cavendish and Andy Schleck.
“I was in as good of shape the past three years [when I won the Amgen Tour of California] as I am now,” said Levi Leipheimer, race winner from 2007-2009, after the 2010 race. “The difference this year is that you see a couple of riders on the same level. The competition has definitely risen.”
“For our team, there’s only one race more important to us than the Amgen Tour of California, and that’s the Tour de France. This is a huge result for us. We can really walk away from the 2010 Amgen Tour of California with big smiles on our faces,” said Australian Michael Rogers of Team HTC-Columbia after winning the 2010 race.
Returning as the title sponsor for the sixth consecutive year, Amgen will continue to leverage the race to raise awareness and support for people affected by cancer through its Breakaway from Cancer® initiative. A leading global biotechnology company with headquarters in Thousand Oaks, Calif., one of the 2011 race Host Cities, Amgen's invaluable support has helped to ensure the continued success of the race and impact beyond the sporting arena.
“The 2011 Amgen Tour of California route will deliver new challenges for the professional cyclists and also give Amgen an opportunity to introduce our company and our Breakaway from Cancer initiative® to California communities that are getting involved in the race for the first time,” said Stuart Arbuckle, vice president and general manager, Amgen Oncology. “We look forward to collaborating with all of this year’s Host Cities to spread awareness about Amgen, our mission to serve patients through using biotechnology to create medicines for people with grievous illness, and the incredible support services that are available free of charge to people affected by cancer through Amgen’s non-profit Breakaway from Cancer® partner organizations.”
The only American race listed on the international professional cycling calendar with a 2. HC ranking, the Amgen Tour of California has drawn the attention of both cycling enthusiasts and first-time spectators, solidifying its position as one of the most anticipated cycling events of the year.
The 2011 Amgen Tour of California will visit 15 Host Cities for official stage starts and finishes, while other cities along the route also will have the opportunity to witness the excitement of elite professional cycling. Stages for the 2011 Amgen Tour of California include:
* South Lake Tahoe to North Lake Tahoe-Northstar at Tahoe Resort
* Stage 2: Monday, May 16 – North Lake Tahoe-Squaw Valley USA to Sacramento
* Stage 3: Tuesday, May 17 – Auburn to Modesto
* Stage 4: Wednesday, May 18 – Livermore to San Jose
* Stage 5: Thursday, May 19 – Seaside to Paso Robles
* Stage 6: Friday, May 20 – Solvang Individual Time Trial
* Stage 7: Saturday, May 21 – Claremont to Mt. Baldy
* Stage 8: Sunday, May 22 – Santa Clarita to Thousand Oaks
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
One man synonymous with fast riding in Kona is US athlete Chris Lieto. Last year Chris reached T2 with a margin of 12 minutes over his chasers, and only defending champion Craig Alexander was able to catch the hard-riding American on the marathon. Last year Chris was riding a prototype version of the now released-to-market Trek Speed Concept triathlon bike, and this year once again will be on the latest and greatest that Trek can provide to the man who once again is expected to be leading the field on the Queen K Highway.
Lance Armstrong started his day off in Aspen with a one hour run and then hit the local bakery for some coffee and NONE Primal treats before boarding his private jet. He then took off to Atlanta to be the guest speaker at the NACS show. After speaking at the show he took off for home, but this time in Austin. All a days work for Lance!
Endurance Conspiracy founder, Tony DeBoom, chats with brother Tim on the Big Island of Hawaii about one week out from the Hawaiian Ironman.
Tim shows off the uniform he will be wearing at the 2010 Hawaiian Ironman World Championships. Not many things appear to tower over the great Mount Fuji, but the Great Wave of Kanagawa appears to do just that in this famous painting by Hokusai. Pearl Izumi once again sets the standard.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Tour de France champion Alberto Contador could very well wiggle free from a brand new anti-doping test that detected metabolites of plastic in his urine, a sign he may have received banned blood transfusions.
But the fact that the test exists probably spells even bigger trouble for Contador's rival and predecessor on the top step of the Tour de France podium, Lance Armstrong, who is the subject of a federal grand jury investigation into doping conspiracies on his teams.
Armstrong has left blood and urine samples in laboratories all around the world, often announcing the tests in his Twitter feed. Many of those specimens are in storage, where they are fair game not only to anti-doping agencies but to the federal law enforcement agents who have zealously pursued Armstrong since May, when his former teammate, Floyd Landis, accused Armstrong of organizing systematic doping on the U.S. Postal Service cycling team.
Armstrong has strenuously denied Landis' claims that he and his teammates won races by reinfusing their own blood. The method is thought to have gained popularity in cycling since 2000, when anti-doping authorities developed a urine test for the endurance-boosting anemia drug erythropoetin, or EPO.
Which man is lying, Landis or Armstrong, is a mystery that could be settled by the new test, which detects traces of plastics from blood bags. Anti-doping experts say the test could work on preserved samples.
"Nothing that I've seen suggests that (the metabolites) would break down during frozen storage," said an anti-doping expert familiar with the new test. "I can't see any reason why they would break down. They're not a biological molecule, like EPO or testosterone, they're a completely stable, synthetic molecule."
The federal grand jurors investigating Armstrong would need only a subpoena to apply the new test to the cyclist's old urine; the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has tested Armstrong at least 15 times in the last three years. To get samples overseas, prosecutors would merely have to file paperwork known as "letters rogatory," according to former federal prosecutor Bradley Simon.
"We have no concerns at all about it," said Armstrong's spokesperson Mark Fabiani.
The new test, which was developed in some secrecy over the past two years, measures three different metabolites of di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, or DHEP, a chemical that leaches out of plastic containers into the fluids they contain.
In recent months, the test was performed on samples provided by Contador, and scientists found a sudden spike in the metabolites, a person familiar with Contador's case told the Daily News.
"There's enough samples to show a clear pattern," the person told the News. "They increased and they decreased afterwards in a way that you would expect if a transfusion occurred. . . . It's nothing like the levels that you would get from day-to-day exposure."
Because the plasticizer test is not yet validated by the World Anti-Doping Agency, there is not an official threshold set for how much of the metabolites are allowed in an athlete's system. According to the person familiar with Contador's case, his tests revealed fluctuating levels, and more than could be explained away by heavy exposure to water bottles or other plastic products.
The presence of plasticizers in Contador's samples was first reported last week by Hajo Seppelt of German broadcaster ARD and Damien Ressiot of the French sports daily L'Equipe. Tuesday, The New York Times reported Contador's suspicious plasticizer readings came in a sample submitted July 20, a day before Contador tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol.
Contador, a three-time winner of the Tour de France, has denied using performance-enhancing drugs and methods, and has blamed the Clenbuterol test on contaminated meat. Unless he can successfully challenge the evidence, he's facing a two-year ban for the Clenbuterol test, and the plasticizer readings could complicate his legal strategy.
The test for plasticizers was developed by a group of anti-doping scientists in Spain, Germany and Australia. The test was publicized at a conference in Tokyo in November of 2009, when a group of scientists representing the World Anti-Doping Agency's accredited laboratories were told that an exciting new test was coming down the scientific pipeline.
When some of the scientists developing the test published a report on their findings in the January 2010 edition of the journal Transfusion, some people in the anti-doping world were upset, thinking the labs would lose the element of surprise. (Intravenous infusions have been banned by WADA only since 2005, so the presence of plasticizers in samples older than that would be legal from an anti-doping perspective.)
"We fully intended to have this test up and running before publicizing it," said the person familiar with Contador's case. "We had feared that once that article was published, athletes would start finding work-arounds."
There is a vast amount of research out in the world about DHEP and other compounds that leach out of plastic containers and into the food and medicine people consume on a daily basis. Much of the research is driven by concerns that the plasticizers might be carcinogenic or cause birth defects.
The federal probe into Armstrong is based in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The agent driving it is BALCO-busting Food and Drug Administration investigator Jeff Novitzky, who has worked closely with anti-doping agencies in the past.
Armstrong and his defenders have pointed to Landis' own admissions that he had no evidence of the cheating he claims to have witnessed and participated in.
But the new plasticizer test might mean that Landis, Armstrong and other cyclists have been building an evidence list all along, one beaker at a time, in refrigerators all around the world.
By Chris McCormack
How do you interpret a fall in performance during training? Your criteria for to little training, the criteria for too much.
Very much by feel. Fatigue is something you know you are suffering and over the years I have been able to become very honest with myself and know when I am being just plane lazy or when my body is screaming out for rest. I think this honestly has been the primary reason for my longevity in career. By knowing what your body needs and then understanding how it responds, you get to, slowly over time, get a feel for your body rhythms and determine when you are starting to push the envelop too much. This becomes critical as you age as your body does not recover as quickly as it did when it were younger. Being confident enough to let it go and say, that is enough for today, and then not question that decision is the key. Guilt is what can hurt you more if you can’t learn to have this ability to say enough is enough when your training.
So giving you an exact criteria s difficult. I guess the signs are pretty obvious when you have done too much. Heavy legs, body aches and sleep issues, lost appetite etc, but this being said just because you suffer anyone of these symptoms doesn’t mean you immediately call off the training. Training is about testing your body, allowing it to recover and then doing it again. It is a fine line we walk and for this reason your own body awareness is key. You can suffer any one of these symptoms and continue to train hard and many times I do. It is just being aware when enough is enough and for me it is totally a feel. My body then does not want to respond to sessions and I am super fatigued.
What does the feeling of heavy legs mean to you? Do you change anything in your actual training?
It means many things. It means I have done a lot of work, it means I am on track and it can also mean that I may need to rest. It is a very broad comment this, heavy legs because as a triathlete you can have heavy legs for many reasons. I usually assess just how fatigued and heavy the legs are and if it is for a prolonged period of time I start to really reduce my workload and pile on the recovery. Your training volumes are reduced and more so the intensity of your workloads are reduced. I begin to focus on more active recovery workloads until I feel that the body is returning to a level where we can work out hard again. Now a period of heavy legs if it lasts more than 5 days, then you start to make this dramatic adjustments. If it is only lasting for 1 or two days then this can often be considered as normal for the type of workloads we are enduring. Ironman and endurance athletes are pushing the envelop of training all the time, and the difference between the good athletes and the great athletes is this body awareness I believe. Being able to make calls on just when you have done too much and then make the adjustments to rectify the issue so you can continue to push on.
When was the last time you experienced heavy legs or a drop in performance despite a good training blog?
It has been a while primarily because I tend to err on the side of cautious training as I have moved into my late 30’s. I am a much more confident athlete now when it comes to training plans and volumes and just what needs to be done and what I can handle. I always err on the side of less now primarily because I have noticed that my recovery is a lot slower than it was when i was in my 20’s. You need to be confident enough to be able to let go of your set training parameters that you have drawn up from years of training and realize that you can’t always replicate exactly what you did when you were 25. You can still do it, you just need to make sure that the workloads either side of your big sessions are adjusted so you can absorb that work. I think for this reason I have been able to really control my performances and remain injury free which is key. The last time I think I honestly blew my training and completely overtrained was in 2003 preparing for the Ironman. I got married in August and left myself very little room for preparation for the race. I really pushed the envelop of training and did some incredible workloads. I then when I came time to taper my body was simply cooked and the drop in volume just shut my body down. I was totally destroyed that year. I did 12 weeks training in 7 weeks. I look back now and shake my head but I can see how people get caught up in a system of too much and not pay attention to the signs. It is fear and panic that pushes people here and you fail to look around and slow down and assess when you are driven by these two emotions.
What was your initial thought – did you recognize it as overtraining right away?
No, I did not realize it was overtraining until it was too late. I think you have this perception that you are doing a lot, but as Endurance athletes we border crazy training volumes anyway, so putting a point on what is too much or not enough is the hardest thing. I think I knew I had cooked myself when halfway through my taper all I wanted to do was sleep. My body was not responding to the rest and I was not bouncing back and starting to feel fresher, I was actually really starting to feel worse. It is normal to feel a little lethargic in a taper but after 5 or 7 days this starts to go away and your body really starts to feel healthy and pumped again. In 2003 I never had this feeling at all. I started to feel better sure, but my desire to sleep was huge, my appetite really never returned which was strange and an immediate indicator for me that things were not right. It was too much to quickly and the body being resilient will try and hold together but when it breaks it breaks hard and it is too late.
How much recovery time did it take you to come back and how did you spend it (easy running, swimming, entirely off training?)
It did my season. I took off after Kona until early december and did nothing. I really tried to give my body a solid rest. I always worry about the heart muscle and try to give the heart a break from those high intensive workloads that we put it under when we are training hard. The heart can fatigue I am sure of it, and I always really focus on end of season on giving my heart a rest from those types of exercise that elevate it too much. I try to do yoga and softer stuff like surfing just to keep the body in good shape but give my heart a break. In 2003 I gave my body a solid rest and didn’t start to get into any structured workloads until the new year. From mid October until December 31. Thats a big break and my body was happy for it.
Did you feel any difference in performance after allowing sufficient recovery?
Of course, coming back from prolonged periods of rest is always difficult because building your fitness base again is tough. When I rest I seriously rest properly. I don’t do much aerobic work at all, so I take my time into building my fitness. I was doing an Ironman in early April and dominated this event so I guess I can say that the recovery was great for my body and the comeback after this was very solid. I had a very impressive year in 2004, so things went well post this 2003 training mistake.
How and what nutrition to you use to support recovery in such a case?
I am naturally an 85kg man. My body tends to move very quickly to this weight when I have a break. I race at 77kg which is as light as I can get without breaking down. I honestly think the body does not like to run this light for long periods of time and giving your body a chance to sit at this proper weight for a period of the year is important. When I take a break I try to let my body gravitate back to its natural weight, but I eat very well so it is my natural weight. I am not caught up in this weight focus that I have to be as a larger athlete racing these endurance events. Sport Scientists told me I was too big to ever race Ironman events. I was a power athlete and the Ironman races were built for the smaller athlete. Well, now I have won more Ironman races than any other male and won the World Championships when they said it would never be possible. I did this through closely watching my nutrition during a season and understanding my body’s weight limitations when it comes to training workloads and strength. As for supplements the key for me is supporting my immune system to allow me to do the volumes I require and slowly bring my weight down without getting sick. The only product I use is Biestmilch and that is the truth. The rest of the time I eat very well, I enjoy a very Mediterranean palate and extra spicy foods especially chillies. When ever I am looking at recovery I am focused on eating well, hydrating well and balancing my diet.
Mario Cipollini has led criticism of the Italian team’s performance in Sunday’s world championships road race and questioned Filippo Pozzato’s credentials to lead the team. He also reiterated his belief that manager Paolo Bettini should have brought a sprinter to Australia.
Cipollini was perplexed by the Italian tactics and wondered whether it was in Pozzato’s best interests for his teammates to ride on the front and make the race difficult.
“I wouldn’t have started making the race hard from so far out, because the route didn’t allow it and because Pozzato was leader,” Cipollini told Gazzetta dello Sport. “What tough races has Pippo won in the last four years? And if he had cramps in the finale, as I read, who was Bruseghin riding for on the last lap?
“This isn’t a personal criticism of Pozzato, but I repeat, let’s look at what he has won in the last four years.”
The 2002 world champion was one of a number of former Italian rainbow jersey winners who offered their analysis of the race to Gazzetta dello Sport after the dust settled on the squadra azzurra’s Australian campaign.
Opinion on Pozzato’s performance among the former champions was divided. For Gianni Bugno, Pozzato “did what he could” while Francesco Moser felt that “he could have done better.”
Meanwhile, both Felice Gimondi and Giuseppe Saronni believed that Pozzato should have followed Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) when he attacked on the last lap. “Pozzato said that Gilbert was the favourite,” Saronni said. “Therefore he should have gone with him. I think they could have gone to the finish together and decided the title between them.”
The thorny issue of whether the Italian line-up should have included a sprinter continues to fester. Cipollini had been vocal in his criticism of Bettini’s exclusion of Daniele Bennati (Liquigas-Doimo) from the party that travelled to Geelong and he felt vindicated by the outcome of Sunday’s race, won by Thor Hushovd (Cervélo) in the sprint.
“I would even have brought both Bennati and Alessandro Petacchi,” Cipollini explained. “Is it such an absurd scenario to imagine, for instance, Bennati leading out the sprint and Petacchi winning the Worlds? The podium speaks for itself.”
Felice Gimondi also felt that Petacchi was the the man to beat Thor Hushovd in the finishing straight, while both Saronni and Moser felt that Bennati could have had his say.
Bugno, however, felt that Hushovd’s victory was proof that the course was too tough for the pure sprinters. “Hushovd isn’t a sprinter like Cavendish or Farrar, he’s a rider who’s come close to winning a classic like Paris-Roubaix,” Bugno told Gazzetta. “Having a sprinter would have meant risking having a man less in the finale.”
Indeed, of the five former champions canvassed by Gazzetta, Bugno was by far the least critical of the Italians’ race, praising Bettini’s tactics. However, Francesco Moser felt that when the race broke up with two laps to go, the five Italians who made the split should have pressed on the make sure the sprinters didn’t get back on: “That was they error. They needed to have belief.”
Moser’s eternal rival Saronni disagreed with that assessment, feeling that if anything, the Italians had done too much work on the front. “If Pozzato had cramps, I’d wonder if making the race so hard didn’t harm him in the end,” Saronni said. “Do the riders talk to each other during the race?”
In the build-up to the race Paolo Bettini pinned an interview Cipollini gave on the wall of Marzio Brusegin's room as a motivational tool, and if the initial reaction to Sunday's race is anything to go by, the double world champion may well have a stockpile of such material to employ ahead of next year's race in Copenhagen.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Each day from now through the start of the Ford Ironman World Championship race, Matt will provide thought provoking insight and commentary about the purplepatch athletes being sent to the event. He'll give you a brief summary of their background, challenges, training approach, adjustments and predictions at Kona! Stay tuned and come back each day for another athlete feature.
Click on the title link to hear Matt's view...
Race week during the Ironman World Championships in Kona bustles with activity of nervous athletes, triathlon brands showcasing their hottest products and traditional pre-race meetings and logistics. This year, famed solo ‘pop’ artist Howie Day will break up the customary week activities by performing at the 1st Annual GU Kona Concert Series, hosted by the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa along with a group of leading industry triathlon companies. The event will be held Wednesday, Oct 6, from 6-9pm at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay’s private, outdoor Hawaii Lawn overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Mitch Thrower, Co-Founder of Active.com and former Co-Owner of Triathlete Magazine, will emcee the evening at which many pro athletes will also be in attendance, in particular two-time Ironman World Champion, Craig Alexander, who has traditionally called the Sheraton ‘home’ for him and his sponsors.
“I am hoping that the Kona Concert Series becomes an annual event, providing a unique and fun atmosphere for Ironman attendees, competitors, and industry leaders – BUT we also realize that it’s race week and we respect the need for the competitors to get to sleep at a reasonable time, thus the music will only go until 9pm,” said Franko Vatterott, of the Human Interest Group and one of the event organizers.
While the concert is billed as a free event, the organizers request that tickets are reserved in advance. Tickets are available through a select group of industry companies and media sources: GU, Tri Grand Prix, Saucony TYR, Scott Bikes, Athlete’s Honey Milk, TriSports.com and BUMP.com.
There are still tickets available. You can contact the GU Kona Concert Series partners via their on-island locations.
The booth out front 78-6622 Alii Drive
Tri Grand Prix:
75-5954 Alii Drive
Scott Bicycles: via Lava Java coffee house off Alii Dr
Athletes Honey Milk
BUMP.com – BUMP.com
Human Interest Group: The Human Interest Group The Human Interest Group
About Sheraton Keuhou Bay Resort & Spa
The Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa is no stranger to servicing its unique demographic of guests during the busiest week of the year in Kailua-Kona; Ironman World Championships week. Home to the two-time and reigning Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander as well as his team of sponsors, the Sheraton Keauhou Bay has been actively engaging Ironman competitors to stay at the 521 room, 22 acre luxury resort the past few years and is sold out for the latter part of race week for the 2nd year in a row.
Friday, October 1, 2010
This hotel is getting pretty old at this point so we have to venture out. Tonight the men’s team is going out for dinner in the small town of Tourqay where we are staying. By small, I mean really small. Tourqay is smaller than any small town I’ve ever seen, even in Wyoming. This morning we stopped for coffee and I ordered some hash browns. The lesson I’ve learned here is that the food is not what it seems. Those weren’t hash browns by any definition, it was instead a deep fried shit brick. Oh well.
The first race over here was the U-23 men ITT and it was pretty exciting day, especially as Taylor Phinney pulled off the W. The US women also put in strong rides with a 4th place and a 6th, I believe. The following day was my TT. We went to the start and it was pretty cold in the warm up tents, so I got on the trainer and started to spin to heat up and get ready for the race. I rolled over to the start ramp with plenty of time before my start. Had to take off my helmet when I got there as they were checking to make sure we didn’t have radios. Then the mechanics had to secure a GPS to my seatpost. The officials looked me and said get up on the ramp you start in 20 seconds. I said, I need that bike and got it up there with 10 seconds before my start and off I went. I didn’t feel bad, for sure I had the eye of the tiger. I didn’t really want to come all this way for an ass whupping, but in the end that’s pretty much what I got. I took 8th place and Fabian won his 4th world title. David Millar had an impressive ride to get 2nd on the day.
The drive home was fun as there was a loud speaker attached to the hood of the car. I had a good time shouting things to the locals on the way home. Only one woman gave us the finger but it wasn’t anything I said as we were passing cars but she just wasn’t happy about that. I guess there are just as many angry people here as there are anywhere else. I tried to smooth things out with her over the loud speaker but she wouldn’t even crack a smile.
Now just one more day of resting up and not doing too much and then we do our Road Race. We watched the U23 road race today and it actually came down to a decent sized group for a sprint so maybe there will be a sprint in our race. However it ends, I’m looking forward to being finished with this season.
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