Monday, August 18, 2014

SCM Week 2

Check! While not to diminish Marathon training, it is by comparison to triathlon training, well a bit of a doddle! Becca will hate me for this, I get reminded many times a week how jealous she is of my training as she battles to keep balanced and coming back from her bike crash in preparation for Ironman Arizona. Gone (for me) is the struggle of pool times, car drivers when cycling and the general faff (faph?) of kit. So with that said my week shook out like this:

  • Monday. 6 miles Recovery. Nice and easy on the Treadmill. The joy of the treadmill is consistency, and these splits just reinforced that; 8:12, 8:12, 8:11,8:08, 8:05 and 8:09
  • Tuesday. Should have been off, but went out with Becca for a nice 6 miler.
  • Wednesday. Tuesday’s off day
  • Thursday. Back on my local trail 6 mile run. With a rest day the day before I had a spring in my step and was able to run the entire circuit, including the 40% incline!
  • Friday. 5 miles nice, steady in the afternoon heat. Was aiming for a 8:30 average, came in at 8:31
  • Saturday. Off.

Sunday. Hot and hilly 14.5 miles on the Backbone Trail. I need to get my ass in gear earlier on the weekend to avoid running in the midday sun. I know it was going to be hot and paced myself accordingly. I still ran out of water with a couple of miles to go. A fair bit of walking for sure! Very happy to have an “at-home” massage booked for later in the day!

So the weekly numbers tally up as so; 5 run, 6:42:23 and 38.11 miles. 4734’ of gain 

  • Road: 11.52 (30%)
  • T’mill: 6.1 (16%)
  • Trail: 20.51 (54%)

Happy to keep the trail running to >50% although it’s been pointed out that I should do some long runs on the road.

Here are the best of the photo stops from the weekend;

IMG_9784IMG_9821IMG_9844 IMG_9842    IMG_9823 IMG_9837IMG_9834 IMG_9849   IMG_9848 IMG_9824

Onwards to Week 3. Bulldog 25km on Saturday and cold coming on…perfect timing!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Review; RecoverEase (#tbt)

I have been writing a blog long enough that I can dig through some of my posts and pull out a post for a “throw back Thursday”. Additionally I have reviewed a ton of stuff during this time and while some things wear out or are versioned and retired (clothes and shoes) or were a bust and are never used again (EnergyBits) Others just keep going and are used over and over (ProWash). With that in mind I was drawn back to something I had used a lot of in the past and had just forgotten about; RecoverEase!

So rather than rewrite here is the post I posted in July 2008…over 6 years ago! As a disclaimer, back then I applied for some free samples. This time around I purchased them. Do they still work…yes they do!

Note Where possible I have updated links from the original post as they were broken, this is the link to the original review. Also this post has a new photo.

I first came across RECOVER-ease through; pitched as used by Michelle Barton and Keira Henninger two Southern California ultra runners who are tearing up the local 50k and 50 mile trail races and Rob Cowan who had a monster 2007 race season completing 27 races of marathon distance or longer (in fact most were longer!). As well as the eternally attractive offer of "Free Samples",(Marcy!) I fired off a quick email. Within a week my freebies were delivered and I was good to go. I received from memory about forty tablets split into blisters of four.

IMG_9744So first here’s the sciencey stuff. RecoverEase is a proprietary blend of L-glutamine, L-leucine, L-valine, L-isoleucine, papain,bromelain, beta-sitosterol and bioflavonoids, the serving size is 4 tablets and equals 2900mg. And here’s the marketing blurb: Accelerates tissue repair, Reduces muscle soreness, Reduces muscle breakdown, Improves hormone function. Also it contains no stimulants hormones or USOC/IOC/NCAA banned substances. Of course as a supplement none of this has been evaluated by the FDA.

Here's the science pitch:

BCAAs & Glutamine: The proper 3:1:1 patent-pending balance of BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) with Glutamine (in a patent-pending research-proven 3:2 total AA ratio) benefits athletes by maintaining immune function and reducing URTIs (upper respiratory tract infections).

Beta-sitosterol: Normalizes the ratio of cortisol (a stress hormone) with DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), to reduce muscle breakdown & accelerate connective tissue repair (muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage).

Proteolytic Enzymes & Flavonoids:Reduce inflammation and oxidative free radical damage, resulting in less exercise-induced tissue damage, accelerated rates of tissue repair, and reduced post-exercise pain & stiffness.

Ok so this is my translation based on some web research:

  • L-glutamine is a non-essential amino acid it has for the last 10-15 years been associated with muscle growth and development
  • L-leucine is an essential amino acid which has been shown to slow the degradation of muscle tissue by increasing the synthesis of muscle proteins
  • L-Valine is considered critical to glucose metabolism, protein synthesis, and regulation of the immune system. It is needed for muscle metabolism and tissue repair
  • L-Isoleucine is important in hemoglobulin synthesis and in the regulation of blood sugar and energy levels. It also increases endurance.
  • Papain is a protein-cleaving enzyme derived from papaya and certain other plants, it has multiple uses but for our purposes it effect on inflammatory processes are the more pertinent
  • Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes found naturally in the juice and stems of pineapples. Called a proteolytic enzyme, bromelain is believed to help with the digestion of protein
  • Beta-sitosterol appears to reduce cholesterol levels by blocking absorption of cholesterol, the purported benefits of Beta-sitosterol include boosting immunity and normalizing blood sugar, relieving inflammation, healing ulcers, enhancing uterine tone, and alleviating cramps. However, these health benefits of beta-sitosterol have not been substantiated by scientific evidence.
  • Bioflavonoids are a class of water-soluble plant pigments. While they are not considered essential, they do support health as anti-inflammatory, antihistaminic, and anti-viral agents

Some other information: there are 8 essential amino acids + 14 non-essential amino acids that can be fabricated by the human body from the eight essential amino acids. From these 22 amino acids, being combined & arranged into varying specific chains, all amino acids are fabricated by the human body. Simplistically the distinction between essential and non-essential amino acids is that the human body can produce some amino acids from other amino acids. There are also conditionally essential amino acids that under certain conditions (hard exercise) that cannot be fabricated in sufficient quantities from other aminos. All essential amino acids may be obtained from plant sources.

So if you read through the list of ingredients there is an emphasis on amino acids; good for muscle development and recovery, protein digestion, boosted immunity and anti inflammatory properties.

My usage: I have slowly used up my free batch. I took 8 tablets after my century (read 88 miles) bike ride and the next day had zero aches and pains the same for several 50 mile bike rides. I have typically taken 4 tablets after long runs (which in fairness aren’t that long) ranging from 1015 miles and have had little or no soreness etc the next day, having said that I do make an effort to stretch before and after a run and have been giving my foam roller some summer lovin’.

My conclusion: I have to say I am impressed, while there is no golden bullet for recovery; this seems to come pretty close, minimized soreness, aches and pains after long runs/rides is always a benefit allowing you to turnaround quickly and get out training again. Previously I was taking Recoverite from Hammer Nutrition which I think is a great product with the exception that its taste is really, well to be honest, not good, additionally there several other advantages of tablets; easy transportation, no need for refrigeration and quickness. I definitely recommend that you check them out, at a minimum to see if they are still sending out samples, to see if they will work for you.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

SCM Week 1

Week 1 in the bag, nothing much to report to be honest. It follows two weeks spent transitioning to a running based program. Wetsuits and bikes are now gathering dust in the closet which is more than can be said for my trail running shoes. Given that long term I am targeting an ultra in the Spring, (yes the Spring) , I am trying to get as many miles as I can on the trails along with elevation and decent!

So this week broke down as follows

  • Monday; off. Sofa so good!
  • Tuesday; Road. 5 miles recovery…yeah that 7:56 pace, not so recovery!
  • Wednesday; Trail. 6 miles 1125’ gain. Nice local run which has 4 miles on a local ridge trail, yeah I wasn’t quite a STRAVAsshole but I pushed hard for the KOM and that’s fair, right?!
  • Thursday. Treadmill. 6 miles easy, my Garmin and TM miles always disagree so I tend to go a bit long on the ‘mill and it’s set to 2% incline
  • Friday. Road. 6 miles. Hot and slow, mad dogs and Englishman and all that, started around 4:30pm and had to stop several times to get my HR down!
  • Saturday; off. 2 rest days in a week…marathon training is easy! 
  • Sunday; Trail. 12.14 miles long and slow(ish) local trail with some solid climbing over a 3-4 miles, another 2293’ of gain in the bank

Totals; 5 run, 5:41:37 and 35.25 miles. 4074’ of gain 

  • Road: 11.02 (31%)
  • T’mill: 6.01 (17%)
  • Trail: 18.15 (52%)

I’ll be happy if I can keep the trails above 50% of the miles on a per week basis.

Here are a couple of the best photos from the weekend;


IMG_9675  IMG_9691 IMG_9692

Week 2…coming up!