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The Role of Myofascial Slings in Triathlon: Part 1 – Understanding Our Sling System

- Adam Storey, PhD

 

How “easily” we can perform a specific movement or task is a critical determinant of  Long Distance Triathlon (LDT). For example, to run a 3-hour marathon (an excellent running time in an Ironman Distance Triathlon) the average pace is  4:16 min/km. There are many athletes who can run 4:16 for 1 km; the issue most athletes face is that they simply can’t do it easily enough to do it 42 times back-to-back. In their online course LDT 102: Training Program Fundamentals for Long Distance Triathlon, Dan and the team at Endure IQ go through the rationale regarding how, for LDT, it’s likely better to focus on “specific strength” rather than lifting heavy weights in the gym. However, gym-based exercises where the main focus is to improve movement efficiency are still likely to be very beneficial, and, moreover, can be completed is less than 20 minutes; a key consideration for the time-poor long distance triathlete!...

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Exogenous ketones: Something to add to your recovery drink?

We all love a good "pain face" and we all know how much those high intensity interval sessions hurt! Such big sessions, require big recovery; and recovery optimization is always a key question for athletes, sports scientists and coaches looking for a performance advantage. With media reports circulating that many elite road cycling teams are investing huge sums of money in exogenous ketone supplements for their athletes (7), many of us in endurance sport – including the scientists – are asking if exogenous ketones are the next magic bullet in sports nutrition (4). We blogged about exogenous ketones recently, specifically using some of our own data and a recently published review (8) to survey the evidence for supplementing with exogenous ketones during a long-distance triathlon. In this blog, we are going to focus instead on the possible benefits of exogenous ketone supplementation for recovery.

 

Background

Before diving into specific original studies assessing the...

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Plyometrics: Free speed for endurance athletes

 

Most people can generally understand training specificity, run more, and I’ll get better at running. Simple, at least until you can’t go running as much as you’d like - maybe because you have a busy work week, family commitments or there’s a global pandemic. Then you must get more creative. One of the more under-utilized concepts of training specificity is training for the adaptations beneficial to the event, rather than just training the event itself. Essentially, if I want to get better at long-distance triathlon (LDT) performance, what metabolic, structural, and neural adaptations do I need to make me stronger, last longer, and ultimately perform better? While you don’t need to start squatting 400 lbs (in fact please don’t!), plyometric training falls into this specific strength category (i.e. hill running, big gear cycling, core training, posture, etc.), which can be valuable to target adaptations directly beneficial to endurance...

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Should we take exogenous ketones during a long-distance triathlon?

- Dr Dan Plews and Ed Maunder

 

A review of the review by David M. Shaw et al. Sports Medicine 50(4): 641-656, 2020

In this blog, we are going to summarize a recently published review by former AUT PhD student Dave Shaw on the evidence for and against exogenous ketone ingestion (11), as well as some of our own personal experiences. Dave’s PhD included studies on both the ingestion of exogenous ketones in a sports drink and longer-term adaptation to a very low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet (10, 12), with on of the main purposes of this review being to highlight the stark differences between these two interventions. In this blog however, we are going to focus on studies of exogenous ketone supplementation for endurance performance. Ed (PhD student & LDT102 guest instructor) was fortunate enough to be part of the team of authors writing the review.

  

Exogenous ketones 

A point here to note is that when we discuss exogenous ketones, we are not referring to...

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Training Ironman triathletes in the real-world: Case study of a heat stress training camp

In LDT102: Training Program Fundamentals for Long Distance Triathlon, we explore the best training methods used by long-distance triathletes that facilitate optimal performance, and in LDT103: Heat and Long Distance Triathlon, we focus on something all long-distance triathletes seeking to cross the finish line at the World Championships will encounter, heat. In this blog, we are going to touch the surface of both of these crucial topics by describing a case study that we published this year on a three-week heat stress training camp in Kona, Hawaii undertaken by two elite Ironman triathletes (10). This case study gives strong practical insight into how a very successful three-week block of training can be performed by two elite Ironman triathletes, and the additional considerations that are encountered when temperatures rise.

 Heat stress training camps: What are they? Why do endurance athletes do them?

The first things to ask, then, are what exactly is a ‘heat...

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CHO Supplementation for High Intensity Training in LCHF Long-Distance Triathletes: When and How

-Dr Dan Plews

By now, I hope all of our current and past LDT101 course enrolees are convinced of how important it is to maximise your capacity to make use of your effectively unlimited fat energy stores during long distance triathlon. As Prof. Grant nicely puts it during the course introduction in LDT101: The Practical Application of Low Carbohydrate Performance for Long Distance Triathlon, “the devil is in the detail!”.  In this blog post, I am going to describe specific training situations in which using a small “carbohydrate booster” might be a useful tool in getting the best adaptive bang for your buck.

 

Background

As we have discussed previously, one of the main anxieties endurance athletes have before making the move to LCHF, is the possibility of suffering a loss of high-intensity performance. The strategy we set out in LDT101 should go some way to alleviating these anxieties but it is no secret that being able to access...

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Why low intensity training needs to be of low intensity

If any of you have listened to Dan’s chat with Triathlon Taren on his podcast recently, you would have heard him talk about the importance of getting your zone 2 intensity right and ensuring that level 2 endurance training is at the correct physiological stress, i.e. below the first ventilatory (or aerobic) threshold. The reasons that this is so important are both from an adaptation perspective (i.e. ensuring we are making the correct physiological adaptations), but also from an overall physiological stress, which effects our ability to train consistently well. This blog discusses why ensuring that your level 2 training is actually at level 2 could be the key to unlocking your ability to train consistently as you pursue your Long Distance Triathlon goals.

Indeed, one of the most important factors impacting the success of training for long-distance triathlon is intensity distribution and discipline, concepts we will cover in great detail in LDT102: Training Program...

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“Big” Vegan, and Finding the Real “Game Changer” for Your Endurance Performance

- Professor Grant Schofield and Dr Daniel Plews 

 

We’ve watched  the battleground in diet shift recently from debates around saturated fat, and eating more healthy whole grains, to a largely vegan agenda. The ideology of the Garden of Eden diet, is close to the vegan ideals driven primarily through the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and touted as a recruitment strategy (or “health ministry”). Recently, it's gone to greater levels. The Netflix doco “Game Changers” has seen widespread discussion around this topic, and we’ve been fielding a lot of questions around this of late. This blog is our attempt to sum up our thoughts.

We’ve listed the pros, neutrals, and cons of adopting such a diet for general health and when in the context of sports performance. There are many ways that you can approach this topic, from health, sustainability, moral and personal perspectives to a sports performance perspective. We'll be tackling a few...

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Why a Ketogenic Diet is Probably NOT Optimal for Performance in Endurance Athletes

Uncategorized Nov 27, 2019

Given that we have put together an extensive course on how low carbohydrate diets optimise performance in long-distance triathlon at Endure IQ, we’re sure that title got your attention!

Throughout our LDT 101 online course, we outline the reasons why adopting a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet to become ‘fat adapted’ may help us to perform at our best in an Ironman triathlon. This dietary approach drives adaptations that allow us to tap in to our effectively unlimited fat energy stores at a much higher rate than ingesting a traditional mixed diet would, in order to support energy expenditure during exercise.

This effectively reduces the energetic burden placed on our body’s finite endogenous carbohydrate fuel stores, which become depleted to very low concentrations after long-duration vigorous exercise, a phenomenon linked to the dreaded bonk. However, when talking about fat-adaptation, we receive a lot of questions about whether we should be in ketosis for...

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Should I Train With My Race Supplements?

- By Jeff Rothschild 

 

Sports supplements are everywhere. Most don’t live up to their claims, but there are a few that actually do! When it comes to enhancing endurance performance, some of the most well-studied are sodium bicarbonate, beta-alanine, beetroot juice, and caffeine, each of which can typically offer ~1-3% improvements across a variety of endurance-related measures. Unfortunately, they typically don’t synergize and offer compounding benefits, but they can all help in different ways and at different times.

 

If supplements are good for helping you go faster on race day, what happens if you take them all the time? 

Do they wear off and lose their effect? Can they continue to offer the same benefit? Can they actually help your training? I recently published a review paper on this topic (1) and wanted to share some of the key takeaways.After reviewing 100+ papers testing the effects of supplements on endurance training...

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