My new chapter……

So its all been quiet for a long time now. I have been very busy working on new and exciting parts of my life including re-training and setting up a business now I am a qualified personal trainer.

Because my business is not taking up a large part of my time, I am using the blog on my business site for keeping people up to date.

Please like my Facebook page on;

https://www.facebook.com/redalertpersonaltraining/?ref=hl

Please let me know what you think of my updates.

Allie

 

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Milton keynes festival of running and another PB!

I went, I had a plan, I stuck to the plan – it hurt!

It had been a very up and down week for me post La Santa and wasn’t at all sure how I would do at this race – I really wanted to improve on my 1:45 from Bedford but being as I had thrashed myself for a week in Lanzarote I wasn’t sure how fresh I would feel, but to be fair, my legs were feeling good again by mid week so I was hopeful of a PB. This was a bit of a last minute race as I was gutted that Wokingham half got cancelled due to flooding last month. I definitely wasn’t feeling as ‘race ready’ as I did pre-Wokingham, I was genuinely gutted that race was canceled as I have never felt fitter and stronger than the couple of days leading up to Wokingham, but hey ho!

I stuck to my race plan 100% and I gave it all I had on the day – straight after the race I thought I had given it 100%, now, i’m doing that umming and ahhing thing, what if I could have pushed a little more here and there… well thats human nature isn’t it? I’m very self critical so i’ll never have a ‘perfect race’… theres always something to learn;

Lesson 1 – a sports bra makes a great place to place to stash your shot blocks even if you do look a bit uneven ;o)

Lesson 2 – when its bottles of water at aid station rather than cups, don’t go over the top – I nearly puked twice because I was guzzling it to greedily

Lesson 3 – prepare for the worst when removing socks after a hard run – I had blood blisters the size of 10pence pieces in several places on both feet!

Other than that – amazing day to be running, great race, fairly flat with a couple of hills and a damn evil long hill at the end that I wasn’t expecting, everyone groaned when saw that one looming around a corner!

Got my PB – 1:42:08, a PB by 3+ minutes. Not bad for 2 months work since Bedford!

Happy? Yes, very! And thank you to Musty who coaches me and helps me on a daily basis! I couldn’t make improvements like this on my own, Musty’s advice and training plans are helping me – a lot!

8 of 145 in category

50 of 860 female, that’s top 5% :o)

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The fourth discipline of triathlon….

The Fourth Discipline of Triathlon

I have heard many times as recovery being termed the fourth discipline of triathlon.  Many people talk about recovery runs, swims, rides, stretching, consumption of protein shakes etc. as recovery but what i’m going to discuss here is just plain recovery – i.e., rest and things we can do to speed up the recovery process (although obviously low intensity recovery training does that also).

I decided to write this blog whilst sitting in my cold bath cooling my legs after my long run on Saturday morning. I haven’t partaken in ice baths for about a year, but did so a lot during training for my first marathon and for some reason stopped it during the peak of my ironman training last year and i cant fathom why?  So anyway, after a couple of very hard run sessions in the last week and a couple of very poor sessions on the bike due to unrecovered leg muscles, I decided on Friday night I was going to give ice baths a try again for a couple months and see how it helps my recovery.

What Happens to your Body During Recovery?

Most coaches would say that building recovery time into a training program is crucial because it is in this time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect takes place. Recovery can also allow the body to replenish energy stores and thus repair some tissue damage. Any form of exercise can causes changes in the body such as muscle tissue breakdown and the depletion of energy stores in the muscle as well as fluid loss. For these stores to be replenished sufficiently and to allow tissue repair to occur, the body must be allowed to recover. Problems from overtraining can often occur from a lack of recovery time. Signs of overtraining which most of us will have experiences at some point can also include an increased risk of injury, among others.  For me personally, reducing this risk of injury is or prime importance – hence my new found interest in speeding up recovery in any way possible.

So the question / focus of this blog;

Does a post-exercise ice bath help recovery?

I'm sure this is good for us!!

I’m sure this is good for us!!

 

My latest ‘google’ research shows that;

Taking an after exercise plunge in an ice water bath (12 to 15 degrees ice water) is a common practice among many elite athletes as a way to recover faster, and reduce muscle pain and soreness after intense training sessions or competitions. From elite runners like Paula Radcliff to nearly all professional rugby players, the ice bath is a standard routine. In addition to the ice bath, some athletes use and contrast water therapy (alternating between cold water and warmer water) to get the same effect.

So, what’s behind the ice bath and does it really work?

The Science Bit! 

The theory behind ice baths is related the fact that intense exercise actually causes microtrauma, or tiny tears in muscle fibres. This muscle damage not only stimulates muscle cell activity and helps repair the damage and strengthen the muscles but it is also linked with DOMS (delayed onset muscle pain and soreness) which occurs between 24 and 72 hours after exercise.

The ice bath is thought to:

• Constrict blood vessels and flush waste products, like lactic acid out of the muscles

• Decrease metabolic activity and slow down physiological processes

• Reduce swelling/inflammation and tissue breakdown

Although there is no current protocol regarding the ideal time and temperature for cold immersion routines, most athletes or trainers who use them recommend a water temperature between 12 to 15 degrees Celsius and immersion times of 5 to 10 and sometimes up to 20 minutes.  Again – my personal preference is cold water – not iced water (although I did try using old 2 litre milk bottles of frozen water to chill the bath prior to getting in, I found this was so cold I could barely stay in 2 mins, so my own protocol involves water closer to 8-12degrees (depending on time of year, its pretty chilly at the mo!), and i stay in for 10 minutes (after having a hot shower first to wash)

The Scientific Research

There are loads of peer reviewed studies out there that have tried and tested the hypotheses, a few are listed below in references but I’m not going to bog this blog down in the details – for me, it seems to work, and the evidence shows it does work for a lot of people, some it doesn’t.  The evidence un-equivocally shows there is certainly no negative effects from using cold water therapy, so even if there is only a placebo effect – it it works for me, it works!

Cold Water Therapy – How to Do It

Cold Water Immersion

If you are going to try cool or cold water immersion after exercise, don’t overdo it. Ten minutes immersed in 15 degree Celsius water should be enough time to get the benefit and avoid the risks. I find that getting showered first then wrapping your upper body in a very arm fleece you can sit in a cold bath covering your legs quite comfortably for 10mins. I usually take a hot coffee in with me and my iPhone and before you’ve even finished a couple of emails and looking at twitter, bingo, 10 mins is up!

Whether the science supports the ice bath theory or not, many athletes swear that an ice bath after intense training helps them recover faster, prevent injury and just feel better – and I’m one of them (if you can cal me an athlete) so I’m going to give it the the next few months and see how I get on!

cold-therapy_main

 

References

Vaile, J.; Halson, S.; Gill, N.; Dawson, B., Effect of Hydrotherapy on Recovery from Fatigue. Int’l J. Sports Medicine, July 2008.

Kylie Louise Sellwood, et al. Ice-water immersion and delayed-onset muscle soreness: a randomized controlled trial Br. J. Sports Med., Jun 2007.

Vaile JM, Gill ND, Blazevich AJ. The effect of contrast water therapy on symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2007 Aug;21(3):697-702.

Bedford Half marathon 2013

My ‘first’ half marathon experience was back in 2000 (had to find my GNR medal to work out when it was) when I was 23, unfit, fat and didn’t think you had to train for such events! Having taken me a ridiculous time to complete – around 3 hours i’ve decided to erase it from my race results section of my brain and treat this weekend as my first half!

So having looked for something to do after my pelvis locked up and shoulder impingement injuries of late summer were sorted, I saw a member from my Triathlon club (Shires Triers) post this race and thought it would be a good idea to give myself a base half marathon time to work with heading into next season.  Nice and local and the bonus of a cheap entry so seemed perfect.

My primary race goal was simply to get a PB, if I failed that one I would have gone and have hidden in a very dark corner…… my secondary race goal was to go sub 1:50. On Saturday I felt quite ill – sneezing and feeling full of cold, wasn’t sure if it was a cold or dust allergies from doing DiY all day so by 7pm sat night I was thinking this might end up being a training run only and not a race at all, however,  went to bed super early with a lemsip and olbas oil and thankfully woke up on race morning feeling fine.

My race partner for the day was a friend from the Tri club, Robin, for the second time this year, we were both flying the ‘shires triers’ flag at a running event!  We got there nice and early so had ages to put the world to rights and critique the weird and wonderful stretches and poses some people seem to do for warm ups – I even spotted one guy with his foam roller out on the floor of the registration area!

POWERING UP ON ADVANCED TRI FUEL

POWERING UP ON ADVANCED TRI FUEL

My race morning prep simply involved my usual bowl of porridge 3 hours before race and a bottle of Advanced TRI Fuel, slowly sipped during the lead up to the race. As I experienced stomach issues last year I have a new strategy for this coming race season which involves using nothing wheat based as I have a slight intolerance to wheat and discovered that nearly all sports energy sources use wheat based ingredients. For solid energy products this year I am using a combination of Clif products as they use rice and tapioca based sugar syrup rather than wheat derived. They are also much less sweet than the gels and bars I used last year.  For pre-race and during the bike leg of ironman I also needed to find an easily absorbed liquid energy source that was gentle on my stomach and different from I what I have used previously. This is where Advanced TRI Fuel comes into the equation. My friend Tom has been raving about this fuel since we trained together for ironman bolton in the summer but I had already been using certain products over the spring training sessions I didn’t want to swap mid season and try something new, with hindsight I wish I had…….Advanced Tri Fuel delivers a slow release of energy and contains no sugar; instead the HDA starch complex is slowly digested to release a steady stream of energy into the blood giving no stomach distress.

Anyway, back to the race – we both set off nice and easy but I drifted back from Robin almost straight away as knew I had to pace slow and crank up over the event so get a good strong negative split and work out my pacing without crashing and burning early on.

READY TO RACE!

READY TO RACE!

First hour was really comfortable, perhaps a little too comfortable, it felt no different to being out for a normal weekday run, then after 60mins I cranked the pace up, and after 1:30 went all out full steam! I passed the halfway point where they have a big clock and it said 56mins at that point so I knew I had to do a good negative split or I would be over 1:50 and disappointed with myself.  The last 45 mins I was really pushing and that felt great as I do so much low heart rate training its great to get an excuse to go full power!  Finished in 1:45:13 – yes, gutted it was 14secs shy of a sub 1:45 but also happy that I achieved my two race goals of PB’ing and going sub 1:50.  Don’t think ill ever be happy with a race result – I always know there is more I could have done or a few second/minutes faster if I have had done this……

THE FINAL SPRINT TO THE FINISH

THE FINAL SPRINT TO THE FINISH

I came 460 out of 1232 and was 63rd female.  Not bad I guess for me first crack at a half marathon!