Following the close of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, many Performance drug free supplement researchers are pondering whether it is physically possible to best any standing world records. In fact, in the past 20 years, world records set during Olympic events have drastically decreased. Have we created such strong athletes that the bar can be raised no further?
A study performed by the National Institute of Sport and Physical Education in Paris recently revealed that prior to 1988, world records were being set at a fast pace during every Olympics competition. Advances in technology and a better understanding of physiology and sports nutrition allowed trainers to use the information to produce ultimate performance in elite endurance athletes. What was once a gradual progression beginning in the early years of the Olympics accelerated to reach a peak in the 70s and 80s.
Back in the early days, Olympic competitors performed in their various events but rarely outside of the international arena. Modern endurance athletes go about training and competing as a full-time job. This continual stress on the body and mind results in a glass ceiling in terms of performance.
Another factor is the type of sport. Fast-twitch muscle fibers enable an athlete to respond with ultimate power for short-term activity. Conversely, endurance athletes rely on slow-twitch muscles that allow them to retain stamina over the long run. The most common ways to increase performance in the endurance athlete involve constant training or chemical manipulation. Note: the research cited here does not take into account the fantastic results experienced with a drug-free supplement like Extreme Endurance which was clearly not a factor in the British Medical Bulletin report relating these findings.
In years past, many elite athletes turned to artificial enhancements provided by performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). When the International Olympic Committee instituted anti-doping testing in the 1970s, several notable athletes attempted to beat the system, resulting in the revocation of their medals. This was also a period of a high rate of world records being set.
So without the ability to use PEDs can the performance of Olympic athletes ever hope to top those previous world record times? The makers of Extreme Endurance believe that modern, drug free supplements are the key to enhancing performance and increasing the ability to achieve newer, greater heights in endurance sports. Short of genetic manipulation, this is the only way to attain optimum performance levels that once again wow the world.
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While the majority of people are consistently being warned about the dangers of eating too many carbohydrates and the negative effect on a spreading waistline, endurance athletes are a different breed.
Carbs fuel the body’s muscles. They are a vital part of an athlete’s diet, no matter if he or she specializes in weightlifting, strength training, or marathon running. The key to making carbohydrates work with your performance goals instead of against them is choosing the right foods and the right time to ingest them.
Everyone is undoubtedly aware that there are good carbs, and there are bad carbs. Endurance athletes can’t choose donuts and potato chips before a competition and expect to perform optimally. Grains, rice, and pasta starches along with beans and fruits provide the best form of fuel for the body. But even yogurt, soy products, and milk contain some carbs.
After digestion these carbohydrates are turned into glucose and enter the bloodstream. The liver and muscles store any glucose not immediately needed, turning it into glycogen. Obviously this is important for an endurance athlete to maintain long-term performance levels during a sport. Without sufficient glycogen levels, a competitor is bound to lose dexterity, precision, and hand-eye coordination essential to optimal functioning. The longer an event, the higher the number of carbohydrates that must be consumed.
Timing is a critical component. Of course, eating a high number of carbs right before competing is never a good idea. Instead, a nutrient-rich meal needs the proper time to digest and provide the muscles with necessary glycogen throughout the event. This means that three to four hours prior to competition is best for a large meal, followed by a carb-rich snack in the hour or two preceding the event’s start.
After competition performance, an energy drink that provides protein and carbohydrates will help the body recover quickly. Wait for a half hour but no longer than 60 minutes after exertion to best refuel glycogen starved organs.
The proper diet in conjunction with Extreme Endurance drug free supplements will result in optimum performance levels by buffering acid. Don’t forget to add the appropriate amount of carbohydrates to your training day meals.
In a previous post, we mentioned that a particular gene variant has been identified that provides an endurance athlete with the unique ability to perform at optimum levels over long periods of time. This exciting development has now been taken one step further. Atlas Gene Sports, a genetic testing company, provides a test that can determine if a budding young sports fanatic or an established athlete has the ACTN3 variant in his DNA makeup.
Unlike the NRF2 which provides long-lasting energy and anti-inflammatory effects, the ACTN3 gene relates the presence of fast-twitch muscle fibers; the variant shows the opposite. Fast-twitch muscle fibers allow for the greatest speed and quicker reaction while slow-twitch muscle fibers allow an athlete to endure over the long run.
Consequently, the presence of the NRF2 variant in two copies of the gene means that someone who enjoys athletics is more likely to achieve success in endurance sports. Because long distance and long duration activities require less power but more stamina, slow-twitch muscle fibers are better suited to these types of competitive sports.
President of Atlas Gene Sports Kevin Reilly stresses that the test does not determine which youngster will turn into a great athlete. Slow-twitch muscle fibers are not enough to achieve success; desire and motivation play strong roles in the development of an elite endurance athlete. The purpose of genetic testing is currently geared more toward the professional who wants the information to build an appropriate training regimen.
DNA testing costs $169 and can be performed on an individual as young as a year old. Hopefully, over-eager parents won’t be tempted to use the test in order to push their children into endurance sports they have no desire to participate in. However, as an aid for the elite athlete who wants to take their training to the next level, it could provide extremely important information.
This year will be the first that the International Triathlon Union (ITU) has added two new events to the roster for its August 2010 race in Lausanne, Switzerland. The Elite Sprint Triathlon World Championship will join the Team Triathlon World Championship to replace the World Cup event which was a staple in previous years.
The differences are many. For one, a $100,000 purse will be divided between the winners in each category. There are also races planned for diverse age groups, young and old, adding categories for additional winners. Because the races include shorter legs of competition, it is hoped that these events will draw larger crowds of excited spectators to cheer the endurance athletes to the finish line.
This ITU event will be held throughout the weekend of August 21st and 22nd of this year. The elite sprint triathlon will consist of a 750 meter swim to kick things off, then a 20 kilometer cycling leg followed by a final five kilometer run.
The world championship event is a relay race of top male and female endurance athletes expected to complete a swim of 275 meters, a cycling leg of six kilometers, and finally a 1.5 kilometer run. Each team will consist of two men and two women who must trade off competing in each of the three sports.
The same type of mixed sex relay will also be introduced in the first Youth Olympic Games which are scheduled to be hosted by the city of Singapore throughout the middle of August.
Last year’s ITU Team Triathlon World Championship was held in Des Moines, Iowa along with the Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon Elite Cup. The team from Switzerland won the relay event with Australia coming in second place and Canada third.
The changes with this year’s new ITU Elite Sprint Triathlon World Championship and Team Triathlon World Championship races should make for an exciting event and will open the door to new teams of top endurance athletes of all ages who could just go home with top honors.
The Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) just announced a training program aimed at endurance athletes who have survived lung cancer or those with family members afflicted. The new team is named Team Lung Love. With a goal of raising awareness and support for the crippling disease of lung cancer, training of these endurance athletes will lead up to an inaugural race on May 2nd held in Providence, Rhode Island held annually and sponsored by Cox Rhode Races.
For Team Lung Love, it will be the first competition involving these brave marathon runners. The race will consist of a half marathon along with a 5k run. So far, the team has received tremendous support. They will be joined by walkers, runners, and marathoners of all levels throughout the country, all competing to help the goals of LCA. While many of them have been personally affected by lung cancer, there are others who are jumping on board because this is a great cause they wish to join.
The Cox Rhode Race in May is expected to be just the first of many marathons Team Lung Love marathon runners will participate. Although training and competing is difficult for even the healthiest of individuals, it presents particular problems for these gifted athletes who may still be adversely affected by lung cancer.
Registration for the May race and opportunities to volunteer at the event are currently open and LCA encourages anyone who wishes to provide support to sign up at their website.
This event promises to be a very special day for many endurance athletes and their families. We at Extreme Endurance applaud the efforts of the LCA and wish the best success to all members of Team Lung Love. We encourage anyone who is able to “make a difference, one mile at a time”.
Coming up fast is the annual Four Peaks Racing Ironcare Splash & Dash events. This USAT-sanctioned race is held on two dates at Tempe Town Lake in Arizona. Each race consists of a 1000 meter swim in the open water followed by a run of three kilometers.
This is a fun event, geared toward endurance athletes from beginning to professional. It’s a great way for the beginner to experience their first multisport event and perfect for the professional to get geared up for a future, bigger competition. According to Four Peaks Racing, Splash & Dash is a “unique training event with a relaxed atmosphere”.
The spring races will be held on the Saturdays of April 3rd and May 1st beginning at 7:30 a.m. Additionally, there are two Thursday night races scheduled for April 15th and May 13th which start at 6:00 p.m. The course begins at Tempe Town Lake’s Special Event Ramp, located on the north side between Mill Avenue and Rural Road. If the water temperature of the lake drops below 78 degree, wetsuits will be allowed.
Part of the proceeds from the event’s $30 or $40 registration fees (USAT members and nonmembers, respectively) will go toward The Gage Safer Streets Foundation. The foundation works toward promoting a positive image of cyclists. Their future goal is to distribute Public Service Announcements that educate motorists about sharing the road with cyclists.
To register, visit the Four Peaks Racing site and download a mail-in form or use the online form at Active.com. Registration on the day of the race is an additional $5.00. If you want to save $5 off the regular $30 or $40 fee, simply visit the IronCare Sports Facility in Scottsdale.
The weather in Tempe in April should be fabulous and the IronCare Splash & Dash is a great way to get your feet wet before competing in more rigorous events.
Steve Donaldson takes his cycling seriously. After suffering an injury to his hamstring during the 2004 Olympic trials that ended his track and field career, he had to find a way to rehabilitate his injured leg. Donaldson turned to cycling and he quickly became enamored of this new sport.
In response to his new passion, Donaldson founded Team CARD. Although this cycling club is based in Phoenix, Arizona, its members come from all parts of the United States. Membership in Team CARD is available to any elite endurance athlete who enjoys the sport of cycling. The team is strongly focused toward promoting women’s participation in the sport.
But Donaldson is concerned with more than just the fun and competition involved in cycling. He also founded Cyclists Against Reckless Drivers (CARD), a nonprofit organization that seeks to change legislation regarding bicycle laws in Arizona as well as instituting harsher penalties in the case of car/bicycle altercations. Too many accidents and injuries occur due to negligence on the part of drivers who refuse to share the road with cyclists. According to Donaldson’s website, only 14 states currently have laws on the books that protect riders through the three-foot law. The three-foot law refers to the distance that must be maintained by a vehicle and a bicycle on the roadway.
In addition to efforts that will change legislation, CARD also promotes education and training for cyclists and drivers alike in order to prevent future accidents.
We at Extreme Endurance applaud Donaldson’s concern for making the roads a safer place for cyclists and his efforts to bring more women into the sport of cycling. If you wish to become involved with Team CARD or Cyclists Against Reckless Drivers or just to make a donation, please visit his website.
The most successful endurance athletes use the concept of tapering to increase their performance levels during competition and there is scientific research to back this up. Various studies performed during the 1990s show that a gradual reduction in intensity, duration, and frequency in the weeks immediately preceding a competitive event has a very beneficial effect on performance.
Obviously it is necessary to intensely train in order to reach the top levels of any endurance sporting event. But take a cue from endurance athletes who have learned the hard way that a period of recovery is necessary for muscles and aerobic capacity to perform optimally; tapering is a vital part of the competitive athlete’s training routine. The key is reducing volume and frequency while maintaining or even increasing intensity.
A gradual decrease in volume is recommended for two weeks until a final lessening of zero is achieved in the two days prior to competition. Any more than 14 days and there is a negative effect on performance.
Intensity of training should increase slightly to make up for the volume decrease. This has found to be more beneficial than training in both low volume and low intensity during the taper period.
Finally, the frequency of training sessions should be reduced to approximately 30% of the previous levels and no less. The athlete’s body needs to feel and “remember” the activity it is being trained to perform.
Using the results of prior research, it is estimated that a 3% improvement in performance can be expected when using these guidelines to taper training before competition. According to the Fitness Black Book an “interval group doubled their endurance capacity” in two weeks with interval training.
Used in conjunction with a dietary, drug free supplement such as Extreme Endurance, this presents an opportunity to perform at the body’s optimum capacity.
Most people conceptualize endurance athletes as being a part of the general population that has no need to restrict their caloric intake. After all, they reason, these elite runners, swimmers, and cyclists burn through calories to the point where they need excesses of the normal RDA to fuel their bodies.
The reality is far different from this common misconception. According to a study of endurance athletes performed in 2009 and published by The Annals of Behavioral Medicine, a whopping 74% of them reported that they were “concerned” about their weight while 54% claimed to be “dissatisfied”.
While these results may be surprising to the average person, endurance athletes know that excess weight and body fat are the enemies when it comes to performance. In fact, aerobic capacity is at its optimum only when the body carries the lowest percentage of fat. This is due to muscles experiencing decreased competition from fat tissue for the precious fuel and oxygen supplied during extreme activity levels. Even an added five percent of overall body weight makes a difference; it can result in a correlating five percent decrease in performance. The more pounds a runner carries, for instance, the harder he or she must work to achieve the same speed as others of lower weight.
This does not mean that an endurance athlete should go on a diet; rather they should think about their caloric intake differently. A diet of lean proteins in low percentage, grains, fruits, and vegetables is vital for providing the body with necessary fuel while decreasing the amount of fat. As ETF Wellness Corp. states in their blog Pre and Post Workout Nutrition, “endurance athletes…whose primary concerns do not include increasing muscle mass” should be more concerned with protein ratio.
This is where the Extreme Endurance dietary supplement comes into play. By providing natural ingredients that help to prevent the buildup of acid during extreme activity, it works with a lean, mean body to increase performance. So just as food is fuel for the body, this drug free supplement is a fuel additive that helps diet work optimally.