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

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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.

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! 

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.

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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

Our registered dietitian, Stephanie Boville, is in the process of being certified to accurately measure body fat percentage using the skin fold calliper technique (this is the gold standard- no more electrodes, no more guessing)!

As part of completing her program, she will conducting the test on 20 athletes free of charge ($60/ session normally).  This will provide a great baseline to see if you are making the gains you are aiming for.  If you are interested in learning more about Steph’s weight loss program to complement this, click here. 

Call (519)885-4930 or info@drdelanghe.com if you are interested

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What is the certification?

It is through the International society for the advancement of kinanthropometry.
This certification has developed standards for practice in the area of measuring body composition and body measurements. This allows practitioners to compare and have equal athlete testing, thus decreasing the differences between different techniques. This course is designed for sport scientists, researchers and nutrition and health professionals to be able to accurately and precisely measure and interoperate body measures and skin folds.

What about my electronic scale?

Many places will have Bioimpedance analysis where you stand on and or hold electrodes and which will then estimate body composition. This works off of how quick the electric current goes through the body from electrode to electrode.  As a result, there is a high probability of error.  For instance, water content/ hydration status can cause fluctuations in readings.  Im addition, these systems back calculate the body fat percent which is riddled with assumptions and error.

Skin fold testing can precisely measure your overall body fat percent and is the gold standard for looking at body fat.

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Why is this helpful to know?

Knowing your body fat percentage is a great way to quantitatively determine if your nutrition plan is helping to reduce your body fat as you approach your race season.

This information also help us to determine if you are adequately fed.  For instance, if you have gone through a period of severe energy deficit, this information is crucial for guiding good, healthy weight gain.   No more guessing if that weight you are gaining is muscle or fat!

However, this it not for everybody!  If you are struggling with body image and disordered eating this is not a test for you at this time. We test body composition to make sure you are in a healthy range and do not promote unhealthy restrictive dieting to achieve below average body fat percent. Body fat is necessary for a healthy body!

Call (519)885-4930 or info@drdelanghe.com if you are interested

Caffeine is one of the better researched and most effective ergogenic aides (performance enhancing) out there. Research shows that caffeine can be beneficial in many sports, from sprints or power events to team sports and endurance activities. Interestingly enough, a lot of sport nutrition principles originally were studied in military personnel due to their high activity level and training intensity and then applied to sports. Caffeinated gum has been researched for military purposes in order keep the solders awake and alert in the field. In this article, we will be looking at the use of caffeinated gum to boost sport performance.  

What does caffeine do? 

There are many different theories of how caffeine exerts its affects on athletic performance. Firstly, caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors in the central nervous system. This makes us feel more alert, decreases our perception of how hard we are working and can even decrease our perception of pain. Research also shows that caffeine can have a direct effect on the muscle, where it can enhance the motor unit recruitment and coupling reactions which increases the force produced by the muscle units. It may also have an effect on the calcium release in the muscle which is needed for muscle contraction. 

 Dose

A caffeine dose of 3-6mg/kg body mass is effective for most athletes t
o see a boost in performance. Therefore, a 60kg individual would need 180-360mg of caffeine. It is theorized that regular caffeine users (coffee/tea drinker) may need the higher end of that range as they may be less sensitive to the effects of caffeine. 

Benefits of caffeine gum?

Most research studies look at the effect of caffeine capsules taken before exercise. The caffeine levels from the capsules peak within 45-60 minutes of ingestion. Chewing the gum will allow for quicker absorption (5-10 minutes) compared to a capsule, as it is partially absorbed in the mouth. If you were to try and get 300mg of caffeine through drinking a coffee, you would have to consume a Grande (16oz) Starbucks Pikes Place close to your race. That much coffee right before a race or event may not sit well with some people or may lead to some unplanned pit stops along the way. Therefore, it may be beneficial to chew gum verses drink a coffee to get your caffeine fix! 

What Does the Research Say? 

Let’s take a look at some new research! I have reviewed two studies published this year where investigators looked at the efficacy of caffeinated gum in rugby and endurance runners. 

Rugby Players

Ranchordas et al. (2019) recruited 17 university level male rugby players to participate in the study. This group was instructed to consume 200mg of caffeinated gum, providing 2.3mg/kg on average. After a warm up, they performed a battery of rugby specific testing which included countermovement jump test for power, Illinois agility test which measured the athlete’s ability to change direction in a 6x30m repeated sprint and a yoyo IR2 test which is like the beep test where they increase running speed to complete 2x20m runs. They found that the caffeinated gum improved jump height by 3.6%, and significantly lowered fatigue index compared to placebo. They also found that the caffeine group had prolonged preservation of energy levels during sprinting, allowing them to cover significantly more distance in the endurance sprint test (426m vs 372m or 14.5% improvement). They did not observe any improvements in agility. One last interesting note was that there were no adverse effects of the caffeinated gum. This is a positive because it may be an easier option for caffeine intake for those who have negative GI effects from coffee before a game or athletic event.

Endurance Runners 

A study by Dittrich et al. (2019) looked at the effect of caffeinated gum on the performance of 12 trained male endurance runners. Runners chewed 3 pieces of gum equaling 300mg of caffeine (~4mg/kg) after their warm up. Participants were asked to run until exhaustion at a predetermined speed of half way between their VO2max  and their first lactate threshold. After their run, they tested their maximum voluntary muscle contraction. Caffeine intake resulted in significantly increased time to exhaustion (or exercise tolerance) by 18% resulting in significantly larger distance covered (1.9km). The maximum voluntary muscle contraction and peak twitch both decreased from the pre-run measures, however they did not find any significant benefit of the caffeine compared to the placebo. The fact that the caffeine trial ran a further distance may have resulted in no differences in the neuromuscular function, as their muscles would have been more fatigued from the longer run. However, this is just speculation and more research should be done in this area to confirm this theory. 


Recap 

  • Caffeine intake can help increase alertness, decrease perceived exertion, possibly help with muscle force production and contraction  
  • Dose of 3-6mg/kg body mass is enough to produce effects on performance 
  • Caffeine can increase exercise tolerance, running distance and jump height 
  • Chewing caffeinated gum is an easy way to quickly get a caffeine boost prior to your race without chugging a few cups of coffee 
  • Caffeinated gum doesn’t seem to have adverse effects, so it’s great for people who cannot tolerate coffee before a game or race 

References

Ranchordas MK, Pratt H, Parsons M, Parry A, Boyd C, Lynn A. Effect of caffeinated gum on a battery of rugby-specific tests in trained university-standard male rugby union players. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2019;16(17). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-019-0286-7.  

Dittrich N, Serpa MC, Lemos EC, De Lucas RD, Guglielmo LGA. Effects of caffeine chewing gym on exercise tolerance and neuromuscular responses in well trained runners. Journal of Strenght and Conditioning Research. 2019. 00(00)1-7. 

If you haven’t seen it, here it is- Canada’s NEW food guide.   So what exactly are the differences, and has it really changed that much?  Our registered dietitian, Steph Boville, has some thoughts!

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What I think of the new Canada’s Food Guide

To be perfectly honest, I rarely pulled out the old rainbow Food Guide when talking to my patients. If you don’t remember the old guide, it was a rainbow representing the 4 different food groups which were arranged in order of foods you needed the most servings from to the least. The main focus of the diet was on vegetables and fruit, followed by whole grains, milk and alternatives and finally the food group you needed the least servings of was meat and alternatives. From there they gave guidelines such as eat more vegetables than fruit, eat at least half your grains as whole grains, choose beans and lentils often etc. They then prescribed a number of servings for each food group based on age and gender.

The reason I didn’t use the guide was because it was meant to be an education tool to learn about different food groups and their purpose rather than provide practical steps to get someone to follow the prescribed servings.  Plus, people generally know the focus of their diet should be on vegetables and fruit but this needed to be more visual, practical and user friendly. For these reasons I found easier and more effective ways to communicate the information in the guide in my own way, not to mention nutrition is not a one-size fits all and therefore did not use the guide in my practice.

The New Guide

The new Canada’s Food Guide encompasses many important aspects of eating and also provides consumers with more specific guidelines about foods to choose more or less often in a very visual way. There has been a lot of hype about the new food guide, both good and bad (like everything… everyone has their own opinion!). I honestly think that the information has not changed, rather how it has been communicated has.  These changes in communication have been extremely positive.  The new Food Guide is very similar to values that guide my counselling style and advice.

The visual of the plate, with half the plate covered in a variety of deep colourful vegetables and fruit, a quarter of your plate as your whole, unprocessed grains and starches and a quarter of your plate as your plant or animal protein sources. This communicates very easily and simply how you want your plate to look compared to the prescription like recommended servings of the past Food Guide. The new guide still promotes the same values as before: eat real foods, include lentils and plant proteins, lean proteins, whole grain carbohydrates and more vegetables, with less sodium, saturated fats, processed foods and sugar. All of these values line up with my own personal beliefs and what the evidence shows.

There are a few things I really like about the new guidelines. It is more interactive and web-based rather than a physical pamphlet which may be better for our tech-savvy population. Not only is the visual of the plate very easy to see, understand and apply, but it also acknowledges the social aspect of food and promotes building a healthy relationship with food. This is also a foundational value of Bodzii (personalized nutrition and lifestyle coaching), where we think it is important to have both good food quality and a good food mentality. For example, viewing food in a positive light such as thinking of what a food can do for you, not to you. There is a wide range of information for consumers on practical ways to be mindful of your eating habits, benefits of cooking more often, ways to enjoy your food, benefits of when you eat meals with others, how to use food labels, and how to be aware of food marketing along with much more.

What about the dairy? Everyone is freaking out that dairy is no longer a “food group”. One thing I think the Food Guide needed to do was separate themselves from organizations and give an unbiased, easy to use guide for consumers in which takes “food politics” or influences out of the equation. Dairy is still in the guide, just as the other food groups such as grains and meat and vegetables are. However, there is a shift from food groups to a “macronutrient” like approach. This means that the dairy products are now represented in the protein portion of the plate. This DOES NOT mean that milk is considered unhealthy. As always, milk (soy, pea and cow milk) still provides us with protein, vitamin D and calcium for strong bones, teeth and muscle function.

Overall, the new changes to the Canada’s Food Guide are more in line with I have been teaching and promoting all along. The guide may not satisfy everyone depending on what “nutrition camp” you belong to such as keto, paleo or even elite athletes. It is not meant to be a one size fits all model, rather what the best evidence shows a balanced diet looks like for a healthy normal human. The bottom line is to not over complicate your nutrition. Focus on getting your vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins to meet your needs. Also remember to find ways to enjoy your food and to be mindful of what and how you eat along with striving to enjoy home cooked meals when possible.

I hope this helps to clear up some confusion you may have been experiencing with regards to this new guide.  If you have any additional questions, don’t be afraid to contact me at the clinic! 

Oh hey, I’m back! It’s been a while. My hiatus from writing didn’t coincide with a break from reading though, and I have accumulated a number of tidbits and interesting thoughts on training and performance to bring to you in 2019!  No promises on the frequency of the articles, but I shall do my best.

Today, we’re starting with one we all need to know about: the warmup.

It’s something I’ve written about before- both in terms of cool additions that you really shouldn’t implement (such as here), how a warmup doesn’t literally mean warming up and what we’re actually after (glycogen mobilization and increase in blood flow to our running muscles), and even how it relates to carbohydrate ingestion (here).

Warmup Duration

One thing I get asked about often enough at H+P is why my warmup protocols vary so drastically from distance to distance. For instance, for 5K and under, the warmup is longer with drills. For the marathon, the warmup is just long enough to make sure your shoes won’t come untied and to keep the mind relaxed.

CLICK HERE to read the rest in the WRS Magazine 

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Let us help you take control of your health!  Stephanie has 6 years of post-secondary education at her disposal.  Learn more about her HERE.  Along with adapting to each individual’s needs, each session will include the following topics (and more):

First visit: Initial assessment and diet optimization

Second visit: Science and role of carbohydrates and carbohydrate quality

Third visit: Quality fats, micronutrients and sleep optimization

Fourth visit: Intuitive eating and responding to hunger

Fifth visit: Planning and goal setting for transitioning out of dieting

Sixth visit: Wrap up and measurements

This plan will arm you with what the most up-to-date research shows works.  No fad diets, fasting, cleanses, or cutting out foods you love.  Stephanie will help you conquer your challenges not only from a dietary standpoint, but a biopyschosocial standpoint- your mind and behavior matters if this is going to work!

If you are interested for yourself or a loved one, please contact us at (519)885-4930 or info@drdelanghe.com.

Our clinic had a great time at the 2018 Fall 5K Classic!  We had a huge group of runners out with our learn to run group who started from ground zero going all the way to running their first 5K ever (or at least first 5K in a long time).

It was amazing to see all of our teammates cross the finish line with a mix of smiles and exhaustion on their faces!  Running a race for a beginner can be super daunting and intimidating task, but this crew banded together and conquered the challenge with hard work and positive attitudes from start-finish.  For those who signed up with the team, our crew ended up averaging a very impressive time of 29:59!   Not all of you appeared on this list for various reasons, sorry about that!  Check out the full results HERE.

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Here are some of our favourite pictures of the team from the event.  You can check out our full album here.

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OH and HUGE bonus points goes to Mark for winning the coveted Run Waterloo quilt in his first race ever!

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Our learn to run group runners weren’t the only ones active that day!  Our practitioners and front desk crew all participated as well!

Our CPR instructor, Emily Hunter was in 1st for the team with a great time of 20:12!

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Physio Kayla was in next for the team with a solid new personal best of 20:46!

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Amanda had an awesome race!  The only Olympic medalist to ever wear an H+P singlet, she ran a strong 25:45 in her first race of any type since her Olympic career and having two kids!

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Sean ran with his mom, Gail, and she ran a new personal best of 26:04!

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Our registered dietitian, Steph, had an awesome race running 31:24 despite being stopped by the traffic at Westmount/Erb!

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Karen had a great time with the squad as well and will be back for more next time!

Combined our employee team finished 3rd in the corporate competition with an average time of just over 22 minutes!

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Thank you everybody for joining us on this journey, it was so much fun to do this as a team.  See you out on the roads sometime soon!

 

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