Waterloo Chiropractor, Physiotherapist, Massage Therapist (RMT) and Registered Dietitian

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2020

training and performance

To start things off, I just want to say I hope everybody is staying healthy and happy during this COVID-19 situation!

One of the biggest issues we have been tackling with athletes at H+P is just how hard should we be training right now. With no clear races in the foreseeable future, and the risk of burnout and injury going up when you are training at your FULL capacity over long periods of time, it definitely makes sense to decrease your training load for the time being. However, at what point are you decreasing things TOO much?

Where do you fit? 

Race-Training Ready 

All of the decisions about how to change your training comes down to a person’s individual circumstances and goals. For instance, somebody who is thinking about PB’ing a marathon the second we have finalized race dates will probably want to stay fit enough at a strategically decreased volume so that they are only a few weeks removed from a 12-16week marathon build.

Race Ready

On the other hand, somebody who tends to be exceptionally injury resistant and just enjoys high-level training might choose to keep training at a high level regardless.

Recovery Time 

Then, there might be the person who is prone to injury and burnout and may take this opportunity to detrain to a more significant degree, perhaps even including some major time off, saving their training weeks for when we have a definite set of races scheduled.

With whatever category or hybrid of categories above that you fall into, I am going to take a look at just how much you can expect to detrain at different levels of activity.  Before we get into the effects of training at a decreased volume, we must first look at how detraining actually happens when we do nothing. Understanding the basics of the physiology is not only super interesting (just me?), but it’ll help guide your decision making for how you manage your decreased volume and help you understand why you feel the way you do when you’re coming back!

 

CLICK HERE to read the rest on the Run Waterloo blog.

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In light of the COVID-19 situation, we have some time until we know when our next A-race will be.  As a result, some athletes I work with have been analyzing their winter performances and workouts in an attempt to gauge their current fitness and make training plans moving forward.

As I have written about in the past, there are many things other than just your VO2max and running economy that impact what the clock shows on race day.  For instance, I’ve explored how heat slows you down, light shoes make you go faster, stretching slows you down, carbs make you run faster, courses with corners slow you down, how beat juice might speed you up… The list goes on!

With all of those factors, I think practicing a balanced, evidence-based implementation of their principles is important.  We want to have an educated idea of just how much each can slow you down, but also keep in mind the studies are limited in how accurately they apply to us.

With all this, let’s see what researchers show about how running in the cold impacts performance.  The interesting thing to me is that there just isn’t as much research out there as I thought!  Additionally, a key variable to consider is that a cold environment does not necessarily mean the individual is cold (actually often we can overheat by dressing too warmly).  On the other side of the coin, there seems to be more research on performing in the heat, and consistently we know that when it’s hot out, you’re actually going to be hot.  There are also other variables such as traction and weight of clothing that we have to take into consideration in real-world circumstances when running in the cold.   All that being said, let’s see what some of the studies out there show!

Click HERE to read the rest in the Run Waterloo magazine! 

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Hello everybody! It’s been a while! With H+P and the clinic getting so busy, time has been lacking, but I’m hoping to carve out more space in 2020 to contribute regularly to my Training and Performance column.

For this article, I want to address a question that I have been getting from a few athletes in relation to the upcoming Re-Fridgee-8er: How much slower does running a loop course vs. a straight course make you?

Over the years, I’ve always tried to analyze athletes’ results in an evidence-based way, especially when it’s related to factors out of one’s control.

training and performance

Whether it be how much heat slows you down, or how heavy your shoes are, it’s good to be as precise as possible. This is crucial because for an athlete to improve by 5% (i.e. going from a 20 to a 19minute 5K), it requires a lot of training and dedication. As I’ve written about HERE, running in hot and humid weather can easily decrease performance by 5%. So if an athlete works hard to improve by 5%, races on a hot day, and runs the same time as they previously did on a cool day without an exact awareness of how much that heat impacted their performance, that can become a very demoralizing day when it should be seen as a positive sign of improvement.

How much do corners hurt?

Specifically, when it comes to corners, I’ve always safely assumed they are slower, but until now I have never actually looked into the exact impact they have. This is especially because I tend to lean toward recommending straight courses when my athletes are going for PBs, BQ’s etc.

There’s a lot of research out there on the topic, but here is the best summary I’ve come across, published in 2019.

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READ THE REST IN THE RW MAGAZINE HERE

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