There has already been snow falling at Whistler and on the locals. The temperature is dropping, and I’ve already donned a toque and my winter gloves to bike to work! It’s time to start thinking about the winter snowboard/skiing season, and to start getting the gear ready for backcountry touring. The last few years I’ve spent more time gaining confidence, skills and knowledge about touring in the backcountry. It’s not something to take lightly. But, when all goes well, it can be a great workout and a beautiful experience.
To make it most enjoyable, knowledge and safety are key. I highly recommend, at minimum, taking an Avalanche Safety Course. I took one provided by Canada West Mountain School 3 years ago and learned a lot.
Dave Norona, local world-renown adventure athlete, has posted a great video about backcountry gear and safety. It’s a great intro if your new, or refresher if you’re seasoned.
Hiking up past Red Heather Hut, Squamish with my bro
And who doesn’t want to be faster? Mike McIvor, owner of Peak Centre for Human Performance in Burnaby, gives us the facts on why we all should have a recovery drink ready to go after a workout.
Recovery drinks are one of the easiest things you can do to dramatically improve the speed of adaptation from training. My favourite example of a study that demonstrates the importance was done on a group of athletes that were doing the same training. Group A took a carb/protein drink at the beginning and end of the day and Group B took it before and after every workout. At the end of the 16 week of the study Group A (beginning and end of day) made a 2% improvement and Group B (before and after workout) made a 20% improvement – yep – that’s right 20%. The reason is that when we complete a workout, we are carb depleted. Under normal circumstances, the body uses just fat and carb as energy. When we’re carb depleted, the body needs something else to help burn the fat so it turns towards protein – we store our protein in our muscles. The reason why Group A made such small improvements is because when they finished their workouts they were carb depleted so they were actively breaking down muscle fibre to fuel their daily processes and they didn’t reverse that until they had their next meal. The period of time they were in that catabolic state was enough to almost fully negate the effects of their training. By taking that recovery drink immediately after the session Group B reversed the process and began their recovery and as a result saw dramatically better results through the same period of training. Which group would you rather be in?
You’re looking for about 10-12g of a whey protein (depending on your size), 20 or more grams of carb, and 300-500ml of water and it should be taken within 15 minutes of finishing training. Mike recommends the Cytosport Recovery Drink but Endurox R4, Gu Recovery or even chocolate milk will do in a pinch.
You’re already putting in the training. With one small change to your routine you can dramatically improve the effectiveness of what you’re doing. Train smarter, race faster.
Thanks Mike! If you have any more questions about nutrition or training, contact Peak Centre for Human Performance at 604-299-7959. Now fill your bottles with “Go Juice” and get back out there!
Posted in Fuel (Food & Drink), Health, Nutrition, Training, Uncategorized
Tagged Cycling, Nutrition, Peak Centre for Human Performance, Recovery drinks, Running, Sports drinks, Training
View of Squamish Valley from Credit Line
Kelly, a fellow mountain biker, and myself headed up to Squamish yesterday to go for a long cross-country mountain bike ride and to enjoy the sunshine. Kelly had downloaded the Squamish Trail Map app (discussed in last blog post) to her iPhone so we could test it out. We road up through Wunderland, White Rabbit, Cheshire Kitten, then crossed over to the Brohm Lake trails. After that, we headed back across the road and up to Cat Lake. We pulled out the iPhone on the climb up to Cat Lake and it showed us exactly where we were on the trail map. We then bombed down Cheshire Cat, a super fun and fast downhill xc trail. After the Cat Lake loop, we headed into the Alice Lake trails on our way to Credit Line. We again pulled out the iPhone at the end of Tracks from Hell where there are a few trails linking together, causing a bit of confusion if you don’t know the trails that well. The app pegged us again exactly where we were on the map, and helped us find our way up to Credit Line. After Credit Line, another fast downhill xc trail, we turned left onto Jacks Trail which took us down to Brakentrail and back to the Bean and Republic Bicycles in Brakendale. It was a great day, and after playing around with the app some more, I’d highly recommend it if you are not that familiar with trails in Squamish and carry a smartphone.
Kelly & KJ - All smiles on Credit Line, Squamish
As I try to work through some hamstring issues these days, my physiotherapist at Active Life Physiotherapy in North Vancouver directed me to a new interesting document on the Prevention of Running Injuries by Blaise Dubois. This is a great read if you are a runner, or thinking about getting into running. It explains biomechanics, running myths, useful tips for picking shoes and even provides some discussion on the currently popular minimalist shoe. Don’t skip out on the Appendix either, it’s full of additional useful information such as interval training and stretching.
If you’re looking for more information on running stretches and exercises, check out the Active Life Physio website for more articles. ALP also does Video Gait Analysis which will provide you with visual feedback on running or walking gait. This will help identify any anomalies that may predispose one to injury and allow your physio to provide recommendations on gait correction, preventative exercise and footwear.
Good luck staying injury free and have fun on the trails!
Sophia Sauter, physio and owner of Active Life Physiotherapy - Iron Knee trail run, 2009
Run the North Shore still has two trail running races left on the schedule for 2010 in North Vancouver. The Hallow’s Eve race is October 24th and has two distances, 10 and 21 km. The last race, the Phantom Run, is on November 13th and has 3 distances – 12, 19 and 24 km. Both look like really fun events to end the season with!
Different Bikes in West Vancouver has opened a new cycling and training studio in West Vancouver above their bike shop. There are new state-of-the-art spin bikes and trainers, a skookum sound system, and lots of natural light. Some of BC’s best cyclists and coaches are leading weekly workouts and the schedules are filling fast! Check out Different Bikes website for more details.
And it has brought some dark and chilly wet weather! This time of year I start to think about what I’m going to do during the dark fall and winter days so I can maintain fitness and sanity.
Also, when commuting home after work in darkness, it is definitely hard to get motivated to go to the gym, hop on the trainer or run in the rain. Here are a few ideas to help keep you motivated and moving:
- Join the Peak Winter Race Series. Peak Centre for Human Performance in Burnaby has a weekly cycling race series during the fall and winter. Racing in winter you wonder? YES! Bring your road bike or a mountain bike with a slick, hook it up to their computrainers and line up against other riders in their gym and give’r! Each week is a different course, around an hour in length. It’s an awesome way to get a hard workout in during the winter and a lot of fun! It’s definitely not hard to get your heartrate going during these races! Visit www.peakcentrevancouver.ca for more info.
- Get some lights and hit the trails with some friends. Most bike shops sell high end lights for night riding, and a decent headlamp that you can get at Mountain Equipment Co-op or you might already have for camping, will do great for trail running. It’s a good idea to start on a trail that isn’t too rooty or rocky at the beginning, and go with friends for safety and enjoyment. You definitely need to go a lot slower than during daylight, but it’s a lot of fun and sure beats the treadmill.
- Buy a trainer or join a spin class. Depending on your work/life schedule, joining a spin class might be a great option, or even buying a trainer so you can hop on your bike whenever you have time. Throw in a movie or some good tunes and ride!
- Get a personal trainer/coach. Having a program set up for you might help you keep motivated to stick to your training schedule, run or get on the bike and ride after work even when you’re too tired. Or, if you can afford to, hit the gym with a personal trainer once a week who can help you work on your strength, fitness, and help prevent injuries. Most gyms also offer discounts if you go for a friend or two.
- Join a training group – running or cycling. There are local groups and stores that lead weekly runs after work and on the weekends, even during the fall/winter. For run training contact North Shore Athletics.
- Last but not least, make sure you’re doing something that is fun! If it’s not fun, why are you doing it?!? Also, make sure you take rest days and rest weeks so you don’t burn out before next summer. The last thing you want to do is be sick of your sport before you get to the best time of year to do it. Been there, done that … not so fun.
If you have some more ideas, let us know!