Infinit Nutrition – A custom formula just for YOU!

May 26th, 2020 by JoAnn Cranson

By:  Brian Reynolds

Triathletes will tell you that there are four disciplines in the sport which are swimming, biking, running, and fueling.  The fueling becomes especially important when doing a half or full Ironman distance.  You want to have a nutrition strategy that will provide you with enough carbohydrates, electrolytes, and hydration to keep you fueled so you don’t slow down.  In addition, your nutrition should be easy to digest and favorable because let’s face it if it doesn’t taste good you’re not going to keep taking it.

You don’t have to know about nutrition, that is the beauty of Infinit Nutrition.  You will receive free nutrition advice with a custom formula made specifically for YOU.  You will work one on one with a highly trained nutritionist to create your formula.  They also have ready made, tried and true formulas available too.  On top of that, they give a 100% satisfaction guarantee!

I want to share my experience with Infinit.  When I did my first Ironman back in 2016 I used the following race nutrition plan:

  • 1st half of bike – 2 mix bottles (330 cals of Ucan, 20 cals of Ribose, Vespra, 1/2 tablet of Hammer extreme electrolyte per bottle)  Total: 700 Calories

  • 2nd half of bike** – 1 mix bottle and 200 cals of EFS Liquid shot  Total:  550 calories

  • Marathon run – Soda, grapes, redbull, and water

**I was supposed to consume another mix bottle but my stomach got bloated and the flavor of the mix drink wasn’t tasting as good towards the end.

Some improvements that I wanted to make to my fueling plan for my next Ironman were the following:

  • Use an all-in-one nutrition product that had all the carbs, electrolytes, and caffeine that I needed.

  • Use a high calorie drink that is not over flavored.  My taste buds become more sensitive towards the end of the race so I prefer a slightly less flavored drink.

  • Use an all liquid nutrition product that satisfies my calorie needs so I don’t need to carry gels.

The best product that could meet my fueling needs was Infinit Nutrition.  I reached out to Infinit and contacted their formulation specialist to determine the best fueling strategy for me.  The person I spoke with was Colin Riley who is a pro triathlete and a RDN registered dietitian. He had me fill out a questionnaire which included questions like body composition, sweat rate, hunger levels during a race, upcoming races, caffeine use, and etc.  Based on my answers Colin recommended what my nutritional needs were for the bike and run.  The process was very easy and I trusted the service knowing that he’s a certified nutritionist and a veteran triathlete himself.

The bike blend he recommended contained 58g of carbs, 442mg of electrolytes, 3.7g of protein which totaled 250 calories per serving. The blend had everything I needed in it so I didn’t have to add anything else. You mix one serving in a 20 oz bottle or you can also concentrate two servings in a bottle since it mixes with water real easy.  The goal is to consume at least one serving per hour.  The blend also contained protein to help satisfy hunger during long distance races. My run blend contained 54g of carbs, 580mg of electrolytes which totaled 217 calories per serving.  There is no protein in the run blend due to the risk of stomach bloating from the up and down motion of running.  In addition, the flavor level of the run blend is much lower than the bike because I would be mixing it in 6 oz flasks.

When I began using my Infinit blends in training I noticed that it was easier to stomach and it made it much easier to keep track of the caloric intake on the bike.  I just had to remember to drink at least one bottle every hour so it doesn’t get much easier than that!  Another benefit of using Infinit is you can continue to customize your blend over time.  Over the past 3 years I’ve gradually tweaked my bike blend as my taste buds changed and my caloric intake needs have changed.  Infinit has fueled me to two kona qualifications!

If you’re looking for an all liquid nutrition product that is high calorie but easily digestible and flavorful that will lead you to the Win — I highly recommend Infinit!


Rockford Bike Shop – “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”

May 19th, 2020 by JoAnn Cranson

By:  Bob Schultz

Remember the TV show Cheers “Where Everybody Knows Your Name?” This could describe Rockford Bike Shop / Speed Merchants.

They are the shop where you know everyone and they know you because they are part of the biking community organizing rides, racing, meeting on a trail and of course sponsoring bike clubs.

Let me first describe the new name of Rockford Bike Shop. Speed Merchants has been a long-time sponsor of Athletic Mentors. Tragically, the owner, Kim Wood, died almost two years ago. His manager, George Swanzy, kept the shop open until he bought the assets and opened the shop in a new location as Rockford Bike Shop. Different name but same people serving our biking community.

George has sold and serviced bikes almost thirty years for some of the best cyclists in the area, including many of the Athletic Mentor riders. Craig Geitzen, who is well known for his gravel road and cyclocross racing, is working on bikes while George’s wife Katie is at the front desk. When you walk in, they know your name, level of riding and what bikes you own. It is not unusual to put a bike on a rack right there to diagnose it or make a repair while you wait. It isn’t just our circle of cyclists they treat this way. I have seen families come in to get a child their first bike and they still get the same attention.

With their knowledge and experience in cycling, they are on the leading edge with the newest in bikes, components, tires/wheels and accessories. Rockford Bike Shop is the dealer for Trek, but they service any brand of bike you own.  I have had George tell me he would be happy to take my money, but I don’t need that level of a component, and other times don’t be so cheap, because I won’t be happy in the long run.

They are not only a bike shop but they have a number of group rides that leave from the shop.   The most famous is the “Leg Wrecker” weeknight ride/race.  Check out more details about this ride that has grabbed national attention in this recent Velo news article

Unfortunately, just two weeks after reopening, the government shut them down as Non-Essential, just at the busiest time of the year. Now that they are back open it is important we support them. Visit www.rockfordbikeshop.com or call (616) 951-7181. Their address is 169 Marcell Dr NE, Rockford, MI 49341.

It is not Rockford Bike Shop but rather George, Katie, Craig and Jackson (their basset hound).  We know them, ride with them and enjoy a beverage with them. Amazon does not know how I ride nor can they make a quick adjustment on my way for a ride. Let’s make sure we support George and the rest of the crew at Speed Merchants / Rockford Bike Shop just like they support the cycling community!


7 Tips to Stay 100% Motivated

May 14th, 2020 by JoAnn Cranson

By Raquel Torres

1. Have Clear Goals – Always have long and short term goals. Having goals motivates us to work hard and including short term goals ensures that victory can be savored regularly. This provides a greater motivation to push hard to achieve long term goals. For example, writing goals on an agenda or whiteboard and looking at them every day has a positive effect since this constant visualization keeps you motivated and 100% focused on achieving each goal. Setting clearly defined goals will help you monitor your progress and give you constant motivation.

2. Divide your goals into small goals – An article in Forbes magazine recommends dividing your goals into smaller steps, more task-oriented goals, and setting a time frame for each. If your goal is to “organize your closet”, you can begin by saying: “First I’m going to organize the shoes, then the belts, then the winter coats,” etc. This method can make even the biggest task feel more manageable.

3. Be extremely optimistic – When you are consistently optimistic, you focus only on the positive, which helps you stay motivated.  The moment you start bringing negative thoughts to your mind is the moment when your drive forward will stop. Is there a chance that something negative will happen? Of course, but you don’t want to think that way. Entrepreneurs and winners need to think like elite athletes. Do you think for a minute LeBron James was thinking of losing during the NBA finals? We can bet that the possibility of losing and not giving Cleveland a title never occurred to him. His optimism dominated his thoughts, blocking all negative thoughts.

4. Visualize the Results – It is important to visualize the final result and how you will feel when you have reached your goal. If you want to increase the likelihood of reaching your goals and dreams, goal visualization is where it all begins. When you visualize your goals, you do a few important things:

– It teaches your brain to recognize what resources it will need to help you succeed.

                  – It creates an inner motivation to strive for your goals and dreams. 

                  – It promotes positive thinking, which will help you to stay on track to be successful in the long run.

5. Search and enter positive information into your mind – Experts recommend reading or listening to positive information every day. If you fill your mind with inspiring and positive information, you’ll stay much more motivated. Use social media such as Youtube, FB or online books with themes, authors or groups, like Athletic Mentors Team, that shares blogs and positive information that will give you the momentum you need and constant reminders telling you that you are able to achieve whatever you want.

6. Be Consistent – You must take consistent actions or measures every day. This means that even if you’re not totally in the mood, do a small productive thing that will lead you to your ultimate goal, even if it’s only 10 minutes. Remember, keeping yourself motivated is absolutely within your reach, often it’s just about keeping your ultimate goal in mind, and doing it every day, little by little.  Be mentally flexible.

7. If you are too busy to workout or just don’t feel in the mood, take a day or two off, be kind to yourself if you need a break. The important thing is to be active again as soon as possible. When you regain your enthusiasm, move! Listen to music, enjoy the moment and pat yourself on the back from time to time. Remember, physical activity is a life-long positive habit and it’s scientifically proven that it increases and calibrates the hormones of happiness and motivation like endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. You don’t need to do much, by doing a small 20 minute routine is more than enough to keep you healthy and in a good mood. We now have the Internet where we can find countless simple and short routines that we can do even in small places.

Motivation is like the habit of bathing, you have to do it frequently. To stay motivated we all need to do the exercises first from the mind every day. Remember absolutely no one is always 100% motivated. We have to learn how to be disciplined.  Insist, persist, resist and never desist. 

 


World Renowned Giordana Cycling Apparel

May 11th, 2020 by JoAnn Cranson

By:  Todd Anthes

I am a snob when it comes to my gear.  Giordana Snob (/jee-or-dahn-oh snäb/)    

  • a cyclist who believes that their tastes in cycling apparel are superior to those of other cyclists.

Girordana is hands down the best cycling clothing I have ever worn. For me, a cycling kit comes down to the chamois and seams. If either of these are not right, the whole thing is off; as evidenced by kits and other gear I have that I have only worn once.

I am also a bibs guy.  I like everything high and tight.  I wear Giordana Scatto Pro bibs. These bibs use a Cirro Omniform pad. The upper layer utilizes a nylon microfiber that incorporates aloe vera. Below that layer is a waffled memory foam that aids in ventilation and perspiration management by moving moisture to the outside of the short where it can evaporate quickly.  Under all that is highly ventilated open-cell padding that is handsewn to the materials above and cut to a unique smaller shape that “protects and supports the rider at crucial points against the saddle.”  And that verbiage simply means to knowledgeable cyclists that your taint doesn’t hurt after a ride.

The leg opening of the bibs do not have any rubber gripping products.  I can’t stand that type of tech as it ends up rubbing my generous leg hair (yeah, I’m not a roadie); and while I can stand to lose some leg hair, losing it in that manner doesn’t feel the best.  These bibs instantly make your muscles feel instantly fresher by the compressive support and cut of the fabric.

I also wear a Giordana jersey. It is not the “tightest” fit Giordana offers, it is the second most form-fitting cut.  For me, it is the perfect blend of aerodynamic and technical fabrics. The shoulder offer an all-way stretch with sleeve panels with just the right amount of spandex for an aerodynamic, yet extremely breathable, fit. The jersey offers seamless laser cut cuffs and mesh inserts under the arms. And what’s better than seams that don’t rub or irritate?  No seams!  

The front and back panels of the jersey wrap the torso with their side-panel-free design which is woven to move moisture away from the body to the exterior of the fabric where it can evaporate quickly. The jersey has three back pockets with pocket lip and a fourth zip pocket for valuables. The construction of these pockets keeps all my gear inside, yet getting items out is a snap and doesn’t require a stop.

Both the bibs and jersey, as well as other Giordana cycling gear, incorporate reflective tabs on all sides. A nice safety feature that is tastefully done.  They also have a UPF rating of 50+, which means 97+% of UV radiation blockage.

If you want to wear what the pros wear, then put on Giordana cycling wear and join many of the top cycling teams in the World!

Giordana started in the 1970s in Italy. And while Italy is certainly known for fashion, sometimes fashion is not synonymous with fit or performance.  However, this is not the case with Giordana gear. It is significant to note that the product development that to this day still occurs in Italy produces what Giordana says is “apparel that works in perfect concert with the human body, giving riders the ability to perform at their highest possible level.”  In other words, the gear fits great, adds to performance, and is stylish to boot.  Want to hear more about the company from the owner of Giordana, check out this video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbctWMy35hk


The Sport of Stair Racing

May 5th, 2020 by JoAnn Cranson

By:  Ross DiFalco

To start things off, I am no runner. I have tried my hand at running in the past and it usually ends in injury. Like many of you out there, your friends include endurance athletes. These people, just like most friends, tend to try and convince you to do something stupid from time to time. Racing up buildings is not something I normally choose to do for “fun”! We started this adventure off with some good old fashioned peer pressure.

First off, let’s talk about stair racing. This is a sport (I had no idea it existed) that involves running up sky scrapers and other venues with long staircases. Like other endurance sports, most events offer different length races. The race I participated in had two distances, a single ascent and a power hour. The single time is definitely a sprint. The building is a 28 story structure in Southfield, MI so a single effort is hard, but not crazy. Things get interesting when you contemplate the power hour. The way this race works is that you try and run up the building as many times as you can in an hour. The catch is that you are only timed on your way up and you ride the elevator on the way down. I didn’t fully understand this until afterwards. This piece of information is critical if you want to be competitive. It’s a balancing act of conserving energy between climbs, and not wasting the hour.

So let’s talk about how I got in this situation in the first place. I work with a great guy named David Garcia. David runs a weight loss blog called www.keepitupdavid.com and he is super into stair racing. David had the terrible great idea to make it a work event and get the group I am on to participate. David held a few stair specific workouts to teach us the best technique and to help us prepare. The best tips were to double step (skip a stair with each step) and to use the hand rail when you are exhausted. Come race day, most people opted for the one climb, doing the power hour was completely my fault. Also, considering this was a work event, I had to wear a work t-shirt so I represented Athletic Mentors by wearing one of our hats.

When the race started I learned quickly that stairs are not forgiving to pacing flaws. My heartrate quickly went above 170bpm and I started breathing hard. For those of you that don’t know me, I am a very competitive person and will never enter a race purely to finish. To avoid congestion in the stairwells, racers start about 10 seconds after one another. This means you can hear the person ahead and it makes you chase. Chasing is not what you want to be doing in the beginning. When I reached the top for the first time I had passed numerous people but I also knew this level of exertion wasn’t sustainable. I hopped in an elevator and collapsed to the floor to get 30 seconds of rest. For the next 9 ascents I was able to keep myself more or less together. My heart rate was sky high each time and I longed for the elevator rides. The eleventh time entering the the stairwell, I see the guy in first place. In my head, I am wondering why he is just standing at the bottom chatting with the race organizer. It’s time to make my move and go! I charge as hard as I can up the stairwell and hear him follow after me. I am able to keep him from catching me about half way up the building. By the time he catches me, I am absolutely destroyed and he knows it. We make eye contact as he passes and we both know it’s over. I am not ready to give up so I dig in and go with everything I have. I figured that if I started after him, I might be able to win on time. Cresting the top step was bitter sweet, I took a deep breath and up comes my gels and water. Not the way I wanted to finish this race but I gave it my all.

After the race you realize the real mistakes that were made! Lots of stairs without training equal very painful knees. Overall, The Gift of Adoption Stair Race is a race with a great cause. It’s fun to push your boundaries and try new things. Best of all, it was with some great people. I may be done with stair racing but you should get out and give it a try! I was able to come in 2nd or 3rd place? They gave me 2nd but  the timing was weird and it says 3rd online so who knows where I placed. Two of my co-workers also were able to do very well.  If I were to sum up this experience, I would say this:  “Stair racing hurts and it hurts real bad!”


Recovering from Burnout in Cycling

May 1st, 2020 by JoAnn Cranson

By:  Jared Dunham

There are some workouts that we don’t want to finish or even start, however when this happens more often than not, it may be clear that you’re suffering from burnout or overtraining. Burnout is especially detrimental to training because it is not something like sickness where resting for a few days or taking medication can fix, it’s something that must be mentally worked through and has no quick fixe. It’s not a matter of lacking the strength or endurance to finish a workout but instead the motivation, which can be much worse. Personally, I’ve had fleeting experiences with burnout but none to the degree I experienced near the end of this past off-season. That being said, here are some things I learned recovering from overtraining.

Diversify: My first suggestion, especially during the winter months, would be to find multiple forms of exercise. Indoor cycling can remain the primary concern but doing another sport that cross-trains well is incredibly beneficial when biking-in-place gets mentally taxing. All my time spent training this past season revolved around two options; strength/weight workouts and indoor cycling. I did two strength workouts per week and six cycling. The issue was a lack of variety. Therefore, strength training had always seemed like a breath of fresh air to me each week. When I initially “cracked” there weren’t other forms of exercise to fall back on. Even if you don’t do these sports on a regular basis having them in your armory will be beneficial to keep your training on tract when you get sick of indoor cycling. Some sports/disciplines that would be beneficial are: cross-country skiing and fatbiking (if you have the trails), indoor track cycling (if you’ve got the track), weight lifting/strength training, snowshoeing, running, or swimming. Other activities that will at least get you outside would be: downhill skiing/snowboarding or snowmobiling.

Reach Out: If you are being coached make sure you’re in communication with them about the situation and express honestly what your feeling currently. If you’re self-coached then talking to a racer in your cycling community who has a few years of experience may help. Other than a coach or veteran cyclist, talking or spending time with family or friends can also improve the situation and allow you to chillout. After reaching out to my coach and explaining the situation we decided to switch a lot of my training to fatbiking as base miles near the end of the offseason.

Baby Steps: In order to fully return to the bike it may take time. Having another sport to stay active with will help, but for a good recovery, you may also need to reduce your time spent training per week or your training volume. If you’ve got time sensitive goals that you’re working towards then this concept may seem especially difficult, but I would recommend not taking huge leaps and bounds during this period. Continue working on your goals while you’re working through this and don’t beat yourself up over not getting to a specific FTP or weight by a certain date. Making these goals flexible will allow you to stay more optimistic while recovering. Something that helped me was looking at each day and seeing how I was improving or following my training plan. Each time I finished my stretching routine or stuck to my nutrition plan it was a good day.

Relax: Possibly the most important piece to this process is to chill out. This situation will pass and won’t ruin your entire race season. Make sure to take some time and get the occasional RnR by doing another hobby, spending time with yourself or others, or whatever it is that you enjoy doing (off the bike). One of the issues with my recovery was that I was overthinking the issue. I’m a pretty big numbers person and they weren’t aligning the way I wanted them to for a few weeks. Sometimes you just need to take a step back and look at the big picture.

So to bring it all together, here are the things I would recommend getting around to sooner or later so that when you hit a phase of burnout you’ll be able to shrug it off faster:

  • Find other hobbies you enjoy
  • Find other sports that cross-train well (especially for winter)
  • Invest in things that will make indoor riding more comfortable/easier (a new fan, Zwift, more towels, a better saddle, etc…)
  • Take note when the workouts start to become mentally harder to complete. In my experience by the time I realized I was in a rut, it was already too late.
  • Understand that every workout isn’t life or death. You can occasionally take it easy  if you are very sore or mentally taxed.

Total Plastics Int’l Protecting The Frontline

April 29th, 2020 by JoAnn Cranson

By:  Dawn Hinz

Athletes view physical training as a means to sharpen mental fortitude; to see obstacles as challenges to be overcome. This applies to workouts and to life.  Total Plastics Int’l rose to the recent challenge of a worldwide pandemic by creating and producing protective equipment on a large scale. While they might not be interacting face to face with confirmed COVID patients they are doing their utmost to protect those who are.

Overall, TPI’s collective focus has been on getting face shields made and out the door as quick as possible.They started to see serious demand after March 13th, when many states implemented the “Stay At Home” mandate, including school closures. They’ve shipped more than 2 million face shields in the past month, a number that’s continuing to grow. They credit their production teams for getting the face shields into the hands of medical professionals as quickly as they did.

TPI’s sales teams have done an incredible job working with and taking care of customers. In the past month they’ve created more than 600 new accounts in 45 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. In New York and New Jersey alone, they’ve added more than 100 new accounts. They’ve also been working with many long-time customers to supply them with face shields. In addition to hospitals, they’ve supplied face shields to correction institutions, assisted living facilities, medical labs, urgent care facilities and physician offices.

 As the name, Total Plastics, Int’l, implies TPI has produced a broad spectrum of plastic products since 1978. TPI has been in the personal protective equipment (PPE) market for years, so this fell well within their core competencies. They had the capabilities in house and manufacturing partnerships (material suppliers) to quickly respond to the rapidly growing demand. 

 

In addition to the face shields, they’ve also worked on several other products. They’ve supplied clear plastic partitions used at check-out lanes at grocery stores, providing the store employee an added level of protection. Many hospitals have requested “aerosol boxes” to place over patients during the intubation process. The Javits Convention Center in New York was transformed into an overflow hospital and TPI provided the material (white foamed PVC board) that was used to create different rooms.

They’re continuing to work with customers on a daily basis on different applications in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The COVID pandemic is an obstacle many thought we’d never face in our lifetime. TPI utilized their experience to protect others overcoming this obstacle so we may come out stronger. COVID will likely change the world we live in. We will be more cautious about infections and how we interact with others. Total Plastics Int’l will be there to supply many of the essential protections required by our changed environment.


Virtual Care by Armor Physical Therapy

April 29th, 2020 by JoAnn Cranson

By Kathy Braginton

Armor Physical Therapy is a comprehensive orthopedic and sports physical therapy clinic serving the greater Kalamazoo area.  Armor has the only Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy in the Southwest Michigan Area, Scott Miller.  Scott and his team at Armor have been helping patients reach their full potential for over 13 years. Armor is also an active sponsor of Team Athletic Mentors.

During this unprecedented time, it is important to support our local businesses.  Armor is still open and currently seeing patients. Their primary concern is the health and safety of their staff and patients.  Therefore, they have been actively monitoring and following the CDC guidelines in order to refine their procedures and provide safeguards in response to the coronavirus outbreak.  They have modified safety policies regarding patient screenings, as well as, sanitizing policies for patients and equipment. They have limited the number of patients allowed in the clinic and are requiring their staff to wear masks.

One of the great advantages of Armor Physical Therapy is their Direct Access. Most insurances will allow you direct access to Armor, which means you do not need a referral from your primary care physician. This is extremely advantageous today.  Armor is highly recommending you stay away from Urgent Care facilities or ER’s and come straight to them. After completing the GR Half distance triathlon last year, I was able to take advantage of Armor’s Direct Access option. I was experiencing knee pain and knew I needed to have it evaluated before continuing my training.  By not having to see my primary care physician first, I was able to save time and money. Scott and his team at Armor had me back on track with my training schedule in no time.  

Armor is now offering Virtual Care featuring one-on-one video call appointments as an alternative to in-clinic visits. They achieve the virtual connection through the HIPAA-compliant BetterPT platform.  BetterPT is a secure video communication platform designed with virtual physical therapy services in mind. The use of BetterPT, gives their therapists the ability to guide you through live therapeutic exercises and stretches while monitoring your progress.  Most major insurance carriers cover virtual physical therapy the same way they cover an in-person visit, without the need for a referral. For more information, visit the Armor Virtual Care web page https://armorpt.com/virtualcare/.

In addition to the Virtual Care PT, Scott is rolling out a new program that will allow virtual video running gait analysis via their TeleHealth format.  This service will provide the athlete with all the instructions to submit their video for review allowing Armor to provide recommendations on form, footwear, exercises, and more.  See flyer below for additional information.

There are hundreds of reasons patients require physical therapy, but the one place to turn to for quality care is Armor Physical Therapy.  Visit https://armorpt.com/ today to request an appointment.

 


No Pool? No Problem!

April 22nd, 2020 by JoAnn Cranson

By: Dawn Hinz

What’s the weakest link for triathletes? … Most would say “Swimming”. Which is why Athletic Mentors encourages athletes to swim 3 times a week. But that isn’t always possible. Pools are not readily available. Plus if you work, travel or have children just finding the time to get to the pool is real work. Or perhaps your pool is closed for maintenance or… Let’s just cut to the chase; there’s a world wide pandemic forcing you to stay home for weeks on end. 

Long ago we figured out how to bike and run from home, lots of indoor and outdoor options there. But how can you keep your swim fitness up without a pool? I admit that I have spent some time daydreaming about an endless pool. It always ends the same way; no money in the bank. So I return to reality where there really is a way to maintain your swim fitness and for only about $30 bucks of resistance bands.

I encourage you to purchase two types of bands. One small flat circle resistance band, about 20” around and one tubular resistance band with handles on the ends. You want light to moderate resistance as we’re building muscular endurance not bulk. With these two bands and some general strength work you can keep your swim muscles engaged and ready to go when the pools re-open or water is warm enough for open water swimming.

Perform the following workout at least 2 times a week or as much as every other day. You can add it on to an existing strength training workout or use it separately. Start with a brief warm up of jumping jacks or other dynamic move and lightly stretch your shoulders and arms. Then perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise. 

Shoulder Band 4-ways: Using the flat resistance band around your wrists you’re going to pull your arms apart a few inches and then bring them back to start in 4 positions. Use slow controlled motions. (I use this shoulder series to avoid “swimmer’s shoulder” even when I am hitting the pool.)

  • Position 1: Elbows by your waist, hands straight out from your elbows, parallel to the floor.
  • Position 2: Arms straight out in front parallel to the floor; roll your shoulders down and lock them into place.
  • Position 3: Arms in front of your shoulders bending your lower arm up to the ceiling forming an “L”    Position 4: Arms straight directly overhead.   Swim Sets: Attach your tubular band with handles around a solid object; I use the leg of my treadmill. A door handle will also work; just make sure the band can’t slip off. You don’t want it hitting you.Catch: Bend over with a flat back hold your arms straight along your head as though they have just entered the water; hands holding on the handles. Have both arms simultaneously perform the “catch” of the swim. Pull your fingertips towards the floor while maintaining a high elbow. Return to start and repeat.
  • Push: Bend over with a flat back and hold your arms in the catch position (Fingertips to floor and elbow high); hands holding the handles. Push your hands straight back to your thighs. Return to start and repeat.
  • Push: Bend over with a flat back and hold your arms in the catch position (Fingertips to floor and elbow high); hands holding the handles.
  • Push your hands straight back to your thighs. Return to start and repeat.
  • Swim: Bend over with a flat back hold your arms straight along your head; hands holding the handles. Swim with alternating arms. Perform the Catch and the Push with one arm and then repeat on the other side.

 

In addition to these swim specific exercises be sure to include core work and lower body strength work such as planks and dryland flutter kicking. I’d also suggest finding a yoga video to focus on controlled breathing. This workout will keep your swimming muscles primed so you’re ready to dive back into swimming.


Overcoming the Three “D’s”

April 14th, 2020 by JoAnn Cranson

By:  JoAnn Cranson

Disappointment, Discouragement and Depression.  In these trying times, it’s pretty normal to be feeling the 3 D’s.

Many of us are experiencing disappointment right now, whether its a canceled trip, all races stopped, graduation, weddings, parties, work layoffs, and get togethers halted.  In my thoughts I think to myself it’s silly to be so disappointed over a race or my plans that have been changed, but we need to let ourselves feel the disappointment so we can get beyond it.  Give someone a call that you know who understands how sad you are about a race canceled or another activity that you practiced for all year that isn’t going to happen, we need to express ourselves and let our sadness out.  Once that is done, then it’s time to move upward and onward.

But then discouragement seeps in.   Why should I continue to train hard or practice for a goal that may never happen this year?  What do I have to work toward?  I don’t even know when this is going to end.  It’s the unknown that can lead us to be discouraged to move forward.  I think it’s a normal feeling, but we need to look for other ways to stay motivated.  I’ve always wanted more time to work on my techniques and improve my form on the bike and running.  Really the best time to focus on this is when you are alone and can really think about what you are doing.  Well…. that time is now.

I’m planning to have one of my family members video me on my stationary bike or outside in the front, side and back of me so I can see my position, look at my form, pedal stroke,etc.  Then I’ll send the video to my coach or if you have an experienced rider or mentor to view and see if they have suggestions for you.  The same with running form. Click here to check out Athletic Mentors remote run coaching program.

There is also a remote training program that you can sign up for on the Athletic Mentors website to feel the motivation of live training right now, click here to check it out.

Maybe you always wanted to learn to play a different instrument or language.  There are so many online lessons now to take advantage of.  Give yourself some fresh things to look forward to.

Last, as time goes on and you are more alone, depression can creep up on you.  Well Fight It!  Get outside and take in the fresh air.  Be active in walking, hiking, biking, running, skipping, jumping, whatever you want to do.  Get off your phone or computer or out from in front of your TV to stimulate your brain by doing puzzles, cleaning closets, painting something you’ve been meaning to spruce up.  Better yet, think of something you can do to encourage your neighbor, friend or family member without coming in contact with them.  Set up new routines that keep you moving and stimulated.

The unknown can be scary and unsettling, but don’t let it get the best of you.  We all have so many things to be thankful for.  This is just a moment in time that we all need to be patient and work through in our own way.  Give yourself a break to feel the 3 D’s, just don’t live in them.

 



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