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To Train or Not to Train While Sick...

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By Mackenzie Madison (usatriathlon.org)

 

If you’re an athlete, becoming sick while training can be frustrating. Deciding whether to keep training or even to stop training is equally frustrating. Your decision should be based upon the benefits and risks of training during the illness and the severity of the illness. We are balancing compromises between detraining but hastening recovery, maintaining fitness but potentially prolonging the illness or disease.

In your favor, athletes are generally less susceptible to common viral illness, have better immune competency and recover quicker.(1, 2) Studies have shown that exercise at low to moderate intensities boosts the immune system activity, temporarily. Not in your favor, the immune system weakens following highly stressful training or racing. The perfect storm for crippling the immune system includes cumulative high-intensity and long-duration training to exhaustion, sleep deprivation, severe caloric restriction, strong psychological stress and having more than a single illness. Gremlins aside, just doing a longer race typically suppresses the immune system for up to 72 hours. ...

Performance Hurdles...139...

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There appears to be certain "Performance Hurdles" that ambitious amateur triathletes need to clear if they hope to eventually be ranked among the best in their state or region. In long distance racing, amatuer men need to crack 10-hours, hopefully by a lot, if they hope to someday be competitive with their elite peers at 140.6. For 70.3, they need to dip under 4:30 before they really know they are on the right track.

At Olympic distance, these guys are going in the right direction when they clear the 2:05 hurdle. After that, they can focus on cracking the 2-hour mark, which really thins the herd.

Now, let's talk about women's Performance Hurdles. At IM distance, a sub-11 is a major hurdle. A sub-5 opens the door to becoming a competitive female amateur at 70.3.

And at Olympic distance the magic number seems to be 139. That is, once a woman has broken the 2:20 mark, she has demonstrated competitive aptitude, and can work her way to 2:15, then 2:10, which appears to be in the national class strata.  Then a select few will dip under 2:10, which makes them competitive on the world stage. Minnesota's Olympic distance world class women include CATHY YNDESTAD (2:07 - PR), HEATHER LENDWAY (2:05:06 amateur PR), KORTNEY HAAG (2:09 personal best), and now GABY BUNTEN, whose 2:08 at a slightly short Minneapolis race translates, perhaps, to a sub-2:10....

Binge-Watching on the Trainer...

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As Netflix binge-watchers, the MTN Guys enjoyed Allie Burdick's article on usatriathlon.org about her five favorite shows to OD on during her trainer workouts. We have seen two of her recommened series---"Shameless" and "Ozark"--and agree that they are totally binge-worthy, especially Ozark because it features two of our favorite actors, Jason Bateman and Laura Linnie.

Burdick's other choices are "Mindhunter," "Master of None" and "Manhunt: Unabomber." We haven't seen those shows yet, but are anxious to check them out.

We have our binge-watching recommendations. Here's our current top 4 in alpha order:

- BREAKING BAD - We're going to come right out and say it: In our opinion, Breaking Bad is the greatest series ever. Outstanding premise, lots of moral and psychological grissle to chew on, outstanding writing, and finally, incredible acting, especially from Bryan Cranston (Walter White) and Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman). It's only flaw is that it only ran for five seasons. Trudles and I are still in withdrawal. Also: the spin-off "Better Call Saul," starring the amazing Bob Odenkirk, is also a great series that we highly recommend to fellow bingers....

Should The Term "Age Grouper" Die?

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Look for a new “Salty Triathlete” from Kelly O’Mara every month in Triathlete magazine.

 

By Kelly O'Mara (triathlete.com)

 

“Have any age-groupers come through?” I asked the spectators on the side of the Ironman 70.3 World Championship course in Australia in 2016.

“Eh, any what?”

“Age-groupers?”

“Who?”

“Has everyone so far been a professional?”

“Oh, aye, yeah, no amateurs yet, mate.”  ...

Making "White Space"....

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By Erin Klegstad (sweetsweatlife.com_

At some point last year, the edge – where I usually thrive – started to feel a bit too sharp. It cut into my training and more often than I care to admit, the easy route (read: quitting) sounded was more appealing. The long runs where I stopped to pull it together so I didn’t just walk home. And the bike rides where I stopped mid-interval because it felt impossible, my mind totally unable to bear it for another second. 

Balancing on that edge is tricky. Too far in one direction and you fall off and lose yourself in a sea of this (triathlon) is the only thing that matters and the only thing that defines me. Too far the other way – bam! You’re complacent and totally ok with just getting by, or maybe even throwing in the towel. 

I’ve been on both sides of that edge – neither one’s great. Last year, I started to realize that triathlon wasn’t everything – and wow, was that eye-opening. And while it made for an uncomfortable-in-a-bad-way training block and a pretty shitty race at IRONMAN Canada, it also made me wake up and realize that while I absolutely do want to train and race at a high level – and will continue to (more on that in a minute) – I need to make white space for non-triathlon things....

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