“Performance Nutrition for Swimmers” – an eBook by Jenn O’Donnell-Giles

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A couple of months ago, I had the unique honor of being asked to read a preview of a book that one of my Team Rev3 teammates, Jennifer Giles, had written regarding optimal nutrition strategies for swimmers.

Jenn is a registered dietitian and board certified specialist in sports dietetics.  She has an impressive background – double masters in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Columbia University.  Additionally, as a majorly awesome athlete in her own right, she is, in my opinion, uniquely qualified to write a book advising proper nutrition strategies for athletes…in this case swimmers.

The book is a really good read.  It’s a relatively short read, packed full of good insights and information.  Jenn devotes a full chapter to water & hydration – elements that swimmers in particular often neglect to focus on.  I particularly enjoyed several other aspects about the book – I loved her discussion of both macro and micro nutrients and how we need each.  As a parent, I also really appreciated Jenn’s focus on the family dinner as a training table.

I’d encourage you to go download a copy of the eBook and read it.  I’m sure that you will walk away with the same conclusions that I did – that far too often we are self-imposing limitations on performance through improper diet and nutrition strategies.

The book retails for $19.99, but you can get a $10 off coupon on the eStore.  Click HERE to check out the book.

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Scientific Review of Triathlete (homo triathletus)

BOULDER, CO

Scientists from the University of Colorado in Boulder recently published their seminal research on a new species of human.  Their research was conducted throughout the world and was funded, in part, through sales of certain medicinal and recreational plants.

These scientists have called their new species a triathlete (homo triathletus).  The redacted review of research identifying this strange species was recently published in the Journal of Medical Fabrication Dynamics and is included below.

The triathlete (homo triathletus) is an endurance junkie whose native range lies largely within developed areas of the globe, concentrated in the Americas, Europe, Australia, but with smaller populations located in other parts of Asia, the Middle East, and extreme southern Africa.  The average male triathlete weighs around 68 – 90 kg, while the female is generally a third of that size.  Sexual dimorphism does not generally exist in this species, with the occasional exception of clothing styles.  This strange species of athlete has evolved to occupy a narrower niche than its sister species, the swimmer (homo waterwingus), the runner (homo mercurial hermes) and the cyclist (homo rapidus pedalus).  While triathlete has not developed body characteristics that differentiate itself from its sister species, research indicates that this species has developed an affinity for objects made from carbon fibres and neoprene.  Although most triathletes are born on land, they spend at least a third of their time in a variety of aquatic environments.  They are equally at home in saltwater environments, freshwater and free-flowing waterways.  They will often be found inhabiting chlorinated, rectangular ponds.  Triathletes hunt for their preferred food of gels, kale, electrolyte drinks, and soy-based energy bars, often living off of convenience food reserves of pretzels, de-fizzed sodas, bananas and chicken broth.

Naming & etymology

Don Shannahan and Jack Johnston, prominent researchers from the San Diego, CA area, were among the first to identify and classify the triathlete as a distinct species in 1974.  Additional research was conducted and published by John Collins in 1978.  The naming convention was based upon the three primary habitats of these creatures:  in water, upon bikes, and afoot.

Biology and Behavior

Physical Characteristics

Exteriorly, triathlete resembles its distant cousin homo sapiens in appearance.  Specimens are found with a myriad of skin and hair colorations.  A commonality found amongst triathlete is that they tend to clothe themselves in form-fitting brightly colored costumes.  One might question the skull structure of some members of this species, given the proclivity to cover their cranium with helmets.  Research has indicated that some, in fact, have evolved teardrop shaped craniums, which is believed to aid in the reduction of a concept known as drag.

Wide-scale observation has revealed that the male of the species may have an innate fear of body fur.  Observations of triathlete in groupings or conclaves within their natural habitat indicate that the males typically are hairless on their lower skeleton.  Additionally, this species often has strange numeric tattoos upon their arms and, oddly, on one leg.

Some specimens of triathlete have been observed with strange color schemes upon their skin – often alternating darker pigmented skin with areas of lighter pigmentation.  Notably, these color variations are found upon the ankle, thigh, and often upon the upper back (which usually presents in semi-circular pattern around the shoulder area).

Hunting and Diet

Triathlete appears to be an omnivore in general, although there are pockets within the species that abstain from certain foodgroups.  Some are apparently berrytarians, consuming a large amount of berries and fruit – often in mixed up beverages called “smoothies”.  Other specimen of triathlete eat nothing but meat (paleo), nothing but gluten products, and nothing with gluten (gluten free).  Research indicates that a high percentage of triathlete have no idea what gluten is, but they either consume it or they don’t.

Interestingly, triathlete tends to gravitate to thick liquids that come packaged in foil-like shells.  These “fruit” (sometimes called “gels” by triathlete) often come in a variety of flavorings, somewhat dependent upon the variety of plant producing the fruit.  Some of the favorite plants include Powerbar, Gu, Hammer, etc.  Curiously, these plants not only produce the foil-like fruit mentioned herein, but they also produce odd square-shaped vegetation that reportedly provides sustainable nutrition for hours.

Behavior

The most remarkable thing about this new species is the behavior that it displays.  H. triathletus is often found in strange gatherings ranging from around 100 to well over 2000.  It is during these gatherings that the true characteristics of this species are displayed.  These gatherings, however, do not represent the totality of the uniqueness this species brings to the ecosystem.  H. triathletus are often found in small packs in one of their preferred habitat, swimming merily, furiously pedaling, or running as if fleeing from their sole predator, Homo fatamusbottomus.

In culture

Indigenous folklore reflects that triathlete appears to enjoy suffering.  They have been seen stumbling, crawling, and otherwise struggling.  Some of the more developed of the species even has been witnessed completing their unique mating activity – called by some “the Blazeman Roll”.  Other species tend to view triathlete with suspicion, fear and concern.

You Know You’re a Slow Swimmer When…

photo:  Jeff Cable (blog.jeffcable.com)

photo: Jeff Cable (blog.jeffcable.com)

As triathletes, we swim.  Some of us swim really well.  Some not so well.  Enter any triathlon and you’ll see people who are seemingly as fast as Michael Phelps.  That said, you’re just about as likely to find someone who can make a dog paddle look fast.

So today, direct from the home office in Whitefish, MT, here are the top 10 ways that you know you’re a slow swimmer:

10.  The aqua joggers are faster than you are.

9.  The lifeguard watches you, and only you, like a hawk.

8.  A baby crawling on the pool deck covers 25 yards faster than you do when crawling in the water.

7.  You spend so much time in the pool that the pool boy doesn’t need to add chlorine to shock the pool; he just tells you to get back in.

6.  Instead of having a low strokes-per-length count, you have a low lengths-per-hour count.

5.  Your partner can read the entirety of War and Peace while you do a 2000 yard workout.

4.  Instead of gentle taps on your foot, the swimmer behind you gives you a full foot massage.

3.   The six year old newbie on the swim team laps you.

2.  When you finish your 250 yard interval, your lane mates pity clap for you.

And the number one way you can tell that you’re a slow swimmer:

When your 12 year old daughter beats you in a 25 yard freestyle race….and you’re wearing fins!  (which may, or may not, have actually happened to me last night)

🙂  Happy swimming, y’all.  I’m off to the pool to try and get faster now.  I’ve got a 12 year old to beat.

Product Review: Waves Gear Micro Towel

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I have a slight problem.  I am a towel snob.

I am very super picky about towels.  They can’t be too thick (because they start to smell bad fairly quickly).  They can’t be too thin (because they feel like cheap hotel towels then).  They need to be good-sized (because, let’s face it, I’m not the smallest guy on the planet).  I change my home shower towels way too frequently – resulting in a whole lot of laundry.

These quirks of mine also follow me to the pool.

I’m typically reluctant to try a new towel – especially a micro fiber towel.  My immediate reaction to non-cotton towels is that I connect the towel to the teeny towels that Olympic divers use.  Or to a Sham-Wow.  Typically, those micro-fiber towels are way too small, never really dry you off that well, become stiff as a board once you use them, and tend to hold on to odors no matter how frequently you wash them.

Imagine my trepidation about trying the Waves Micro Towel.

I suspected more of the same.  Stinky, hard, un-fulfilling towel experience.  I certainly did not go into testing this towel expecting that I’d like it.

But, you know what?  I was unexpectedly very (VERY) surprised!

The Waves Micro Towel is built 85% Polyester and 15% Polyamide.  No doubt you are familiar with Polyester.  I’d never heard of Polyamide before – but according to Google, Polyamide is a type of nylon fiber that is often used for mono-filaments and yarns.  This material is apparently extremely resistant to wear and tear.

As you can tell from the photo above, The Waves Micro Towel is not small.  In fact, the towel is down right large.  My “Regular” sized towel measures 27.5″ x 55″ (70 cm x 140 cm).  The “X-Large” is even bigger.  I found that this towel is large enough to really envelop me when I’m drying.  And, the towel is surprisingly light.  My towel tipped the scales at just 7 ounces (about 200 grams).

I was additionally surprised at how effective the towel was at actually drying me off.  Sometimes I’ve felt almost soaking wet after using other similar products.  Not so with the Waves Micro Towel.  My Waves towel soaks up water like a dry sponge.

As you might suspect, the Waves towel dries really quickly – much faster than a cotton towel.  Unlike some other micro fiber towels, the Waves towel does not get stiff.  You also don’t need to pack it into a plastic bag to retain moisture.  I hang my towel up just like any other pool towel and let it dry.  When I go to retrieve it the next time, it’s completely dry, soft, and perhaps best – DOES NOT SMELL!

There are two aspects about the Waves towel that I really like:  how small it packs and that it seriously works just like any old cotton towel.

I’ve used my towel extensively over the last six weeks or so, and I’ve honestly not been tempted to revert back to my old style cotton towels at all.

The Waves Micro Towel is not inexpensive – especially if you compare it to beach towel prices from a local surf shop or Wal Mart – but it won’t break the bank either.  The regular towel sells for $25 and the X-Large sells for $30.  You can purchase the towel through the Waves Gear online store (HERE).  Waves also sells some other products (sunglasses and some small duffle bags), so be sure to check those out too.  If you use the discount code Rev3-15off, you’ll save $15 on any order you place.

In short, I have been really pleased with my Waves Micro Towel – much more pleased than I expected.  This towel has become my go-to, and is honestly the only towel I take to the pool with me now.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Five Things NOT To Use TRISLIDE For

What TRISLIDE does for endurance sports-related chafing is what a hungry teenage boy does to a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos.  TRISLIDE makes chafing disappear!

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TRISLIDE is a continuous spray  anti-chafe skin lubricant that is all the rage in the multi-sport community.  This stuff seriously is bottled awesomeness.  This non-sticky all-day lubricant is used anywhere you might have chafing…wetsuit neck openings, saddle area, feet.  Basically – you spray and forget!  TRISLIDE isn’t like that gooey stick stuff that other competitors offer; it’s a spray-on silicone that works wonders!  Ever have a hard time getting out of a wetsuit?  Spray TRISLIDE on the outside of the cuffs and ankle openings, and you will literally fly right out of your suit!  You can share this (without fear of contracting some pesky critters or having someone else’s extra “hairs” latch on to your body).  TRISLIDE won’t stain your Tri-Kit, and it won’t melt in your transition bag either.

I’m not going to lie – TRISLIDE is SERIOUSLY slippery!  The product comes with a warning to not spray Tri-Slide on the floor as it will make the floor extremely slick and could lead to falls.

So, with this knowledge, here are the top five things that you COULD use TRISLIDE for – but you really SHOULDN’T use TRISLIDE for…

# 5:  Rusty bolt un-stopper

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Yes, you could use TRISLIDE to loosen up those rusty bolts – and this stuff would probably work as good, if not better, than your trusty can of WD-40 or a massive amount of elbow grease.

# 4:  Personal….ahem….lubricant

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Now, we all love some lovin’, but please…..don’t go there with TRISLIDE.  It’s for external use only.

# 3:  Saucer Sled Accelerant

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We’ve all watched the movie “Christmas Vacation” and seen what Clark Griswold can do to a saucer sled with his cereal varnish.  TRISLIDE would make Griswold’s varnish look like glue.  Beware if you do try TRISLIDE as an accelerator for your sled.  If you use too much at one time, land speed records could be broken.

# 2:  Hair Pomade

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Every triathlete wants to look great when they leave transition, and who doesn’t like the “slick” look in their hair?  But seriously…instead of TRISLIDE, go to the drugstore and purchase some Dippity-Do or some other hair gel.  Heck, even Vaseline would look good.  Just don’t use TRISLIDE….because if you do, instead of your girlfriend slowly running her fingers through your hair, her hands are likely to slip right off and hit you in the eyes.  And no one wants to get poked in the eye.

# 1:  Flamethrower

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Who hasn’t wanted to light some aerosol aflame and use as a firestarter?  Why not try your hand at a little welding?  Meet a pesky dog on your run?  OK.  There MIGHT be some potential good uses if you could use TRISLIDE as a flamethrower.  But, don’t do it.  Use a can of Aqua-Net Hairspray instead.  Besides, I’m not even sure if you can set TRISLIDE on fire.

OK.  It’s settled then.  Don’t use TRISLIDE for any of those five things.  Do use TRISLIDE to prevent chafing and hot spots.  Do use TRISLIDE to help get out of wetsuits in a jiffy.  Do share your TRISLIDE with others and not worry about some space-suit wearing dude from the Centers for Disease Control showing up to escort your lube away to some quarantined location.

 

Just so you know, TRISLIDE is one of the amazing sponsors of the Rev3 Triathlon AG team.  They periodically send me products to use.  I LOVE their products and would use them even if they didn’t send them to me…they are THAT GOOD.  To learn more about TRISLIDE and other products made and sold by SBR (namely Tri-Swim Anti Chlorine shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion) and Foggies (anti-fog towelettes), click on their website:  www.sbrsportsinc.com.