Sponsor News

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!


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


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.

 


Pumping Iron: Strength Training for Endurance Runners

October 28th, 2019 by JoAnn Cranson

By:  Erin Young

“I’m a runner, why should I strength train?” I get this question often and honestly there is no single, easy answer. But I do believe there is a time for strength training in every athlete’s year. It will look different for every runner. It may be an off season activity while the snow flies, it could be three days a week up until the competition or just 20 minutes a day to work on core, balance or weaknesses.

In the last decade, new research is showing that strength training can benefit many kinds of endurance runners–if the right types of it are done in the right doses. This newer research suggests that strength training can enhance endurance-running performance by improving running economy, delaying the onset of fatigue, improving maximal speed, and increasing anaerobic capacity.

When broken down to its components, strength training temporarily overloads the neuromuscular system, which allows for an improved ability to recruit individual muscular units, an increase in muscle-firing frequency, increased muscle-tendon stiffness (allowing you to have more stored energy with each step), and improved muscular coordination over time. These are all minor physiological changes but together and over time equal running-economy improvement which allows you to run a given pace with a little less effort. 

“But Won’t I Bulk Up?”: Addressing Strength-Training Fears

The most common concern I hear from endurance runners is the fear of putting on bulk from strength training. Now there is something to be said for individual genetic predispositions, but science shows almost a complete lack of muscle growth with strength and endurance training–in correct dosing. Why is this? Muscle growth with concurrent strength and endurance training seems to be blocked on a molecular level.

As we’ve alluded to a couple times in this article so far, there appears to be a dosing ratio at play. When athletes maintain a 3:1 ratio in the number of endurance sessions to the number of strength sessions they perform, muscle growth doesn’t occur. So if an athlete wanted to gain mass while still getting some of the benefits of concurrent strength and endurance training, they would need to increase the number of strength sessions or decrease the number of endurance sessions.

Strength Training and Injury Prevention

A lot of athletes will tell you that strength training helps them feel more durable. There is research suggesting that traditional strength training can reduce sports injuries significantly. This is done by increasing your tissue’s ability to manage load while modifying endurance-training volume and frequency.

For example, one study that replaced 30% of an athlete’s weekly running volume with strength training found that athletes remained injury free while improving their five-kilometer performances. Additionally, hard strength training has positive effects on circulating levels of testosterone and human growth hormone which can help the body repair muscular damage at faster rates post-hard-endurance and post-hard-strength-training efforts.

Maybe that’s what durability feels like? That is, creating enough physical change to more than manage your niggles and instead create more significant physiological adaptations that keep fatigue at bay longer and hold your form together longer because you increased your running economy. That is, you became physically stronger. I’m not certain we will ever have a perfect metric to measure durability, but if being stronger keeps you on the trail more consistently, that might be as close as we get to an answer.

Strength Training for the Aging Endurance Runner

When it comes to aging and declining endurance-running performance, naturally decreasing muscle mass seems to be the main culprit. This is because there is a direct link between the age-related decrease in VO2max and muscle-mass loss. This age-related muscle-mass loss starts somewhere just north of age 40 and accelerates rapidly after 70. Between the ages of 40 and 80 and with no intervention, you should expect to naturally lose approximately 40% of your muscle tissue. Also note that muscle loss in the aging woman appears to happen at a slightly increased rate than men.

What this means for our aging athletes is that strength training to maintain and build muscle mass is incredibly important. The current, best treatment for muscle loss is strength training. The general recommendation is that if you are over the age of 40 and not currently strength training, we should probably change that.

Need help with a strength training regimine for your next endurance event? Fall and winter is a great time to reduce your running load and hit the gym! Visit www.athleticmentors.com to see how we can make you better, faster and stronger on the trail!


Thinking About Buying a Bike? Here are 5 Reasons you SHOULD!

September 7th, 2019 by JoAnn Cranson

By Erin Young

1.Cycling decreases stress

Do not underestimate the power of nature and green spaces to change your mood and general health. The environment around you has a huge impact on how you perceive the world and how you feel on any given day. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city, you may feel overwhelmed, stressed and hurried. Once you hit the trails, and immerse yourself in a forest or natural landscape, studies have shown that stress levels are reduced, blood pressure decreases and your overall well-being increases. Don’t believe it? Compare your body’s reaction when biking in the city vs. biking through the forest.

2. Biking is easy on your joints

If you have bad knees or hips, biking can offer great exercise, while having minimal impact on your joints. Running can often be a difficult sport to start and some of us may have past injuries that make it hard on the body, but biking is much easier on your body.

3. Mountain Biking encourages you to live in the moment

Mountain bikers are great yogis. It’s hard to think about anything else but biking when you’re hopping over logs, riding through streams and around tight corners with trees on either side. You have to be focused on riding, be in the moment to avoid injuries and get the most out of the experience. You will forget about doing your taxes, your annoying boss or recent troubles – and instead, release loads of happy endorphins that will have you smiling from ear to ear.

4. Biking makes for a healthy heart

Biking will get your heart pumping. Steep climbs will challenge your cardiovascular strength and over time your heart will become stronger. The recovery period for those climbs will decrease and you will find it easier to accomplish longer and more challenging rides.

5. Biking encourages social connections

I recently watched a TED Talk by Harvard researcher Robert Waldringer, entitled “What Makes a Good Life? Lessons From The Longest Study on Happiness” – want to know the secret to a good life? According to Robert’s study it’s high quality social relationships. The closer you are with friends and family, the happier you will be in the long run. So, what does this have to do with biking? EVERYTHING. Mountain biking encourages trailside chats with bike buddies and post-ride hang-outs to debrief the ride and talk about life. Biking brings people together, to teach each other new skills, learn from others and create memorable experiences in beautiful places.

Want to give group rides a try? Check out the Kalamazoo Bike Club. They have group ride locations and times listed on their website. Most cities have bicycle clubs that are warm and welcoming to all riding abilities, especially new cyclists. All you need are two wheels and a helmet! Visit Pedal in Kalamazoo for all of your cycling needs and Custer Cyclery if you are in the market for a mountain bike experience.

 


Breakout Season

July 18th, 2019 by Marie Dershem

By Kellen Caldwell

I have a great passion for riding bikes no matter what discipline. I began mountain biking three years ago, and only started road biking a year ago. My first experience racing mountain bikes was in 2017, and my first road race was last year. The first member of Athletic Mentors I met after joining the team was Terry Ritter. Terry has been a huge help with team related questions and he has also provided me with a lot of opportunities to improve my skills.  I met my teammate Dan Yankus last summer. I still remember the first ride we did through Kensington Metropark. During that ride, I learned a lot other cyclists as well as about Team Athletic Mentors’ long history. These rides last summer with Dan made me a better rider both physically and mentally.

Toward the end of last summer, Dan offered to train me. I can’t even explain how much of a difference this has made in my fitness and riding ability. On one of our last training rides together before the cross country season started, Dan and I talked about my goals for the coming season. In the early season, I raced the Barry Roubaix gravel road race. I finished third in my age group. I wanted to make it my goal to win that race in my age group and maybe even over all.

As fall turned to winter, I realized I would have to make the Zwift program my best friend for the next four months if I wanted to achieve my goals at Barry Roubaix. Luckily, I was also blessed with the opportunity to go to North Carolina for the annual team camp. Down in NC, I met Ross DiFalco, Jared Dunham, Bobby Munro, Elaine Sheikh, and a former team member, Scott Hoffner. It was great to go to NC not only because it’s beautiful, but it offered team bonding, quality training, and was much better than sitting on a bike in my basement.

The countdown to Barry Roubaix flew by… and before I knew it, I was at the peak of my training load… at around one hundred and twenty hours of for the off season. After hours of Dan’s workouts and online races, it was finally here: Race week! This week was very stressful for me. I was losing sleep over questions about my competition. When I asked Dan about the race and especially about my contenders, he simply reassured me saying, “You will be fine.” This kind of brought me back down to Earth, and I started thinking about really how much work I had done to get to this point. I thought, if anything bad happens to me at this point, then it is out of my hands.

Then came race day. Me and my family arrived in the beautiful Hastings countryside in the early morning. There was a slight chill and a breeze. I got my number plate, warmed up, and met up with a couple of my teammates. Before I knew it, start time was here. I hurried to the start to get the best spot possible, tried to eye up my competition, but then remembered that it was irrelevant. From here to the end of my race it was just me and my bike, a bond that couldn’t be broken. After standing and waiting for about five minutes I knew who was there and who wasn’t. Thirty seconds till start I said my goodbyes. Then, we were off!

My main focus within the race was to keep track of my competitors and make sure that I didn’t make the same mistake as last year and let one slip away into the cluster of people as they passed by. This time I kept track of them. I tried to stay up front to make sure I would be the first into Sager Road (the gnarly two track section of the course), and luckily I was. A kid my age by the name of Max, a renowned cyclocross rider, got onto Sager right behind me. We came out of there together with our battle scars. Eventually we formed a group of six riders breaking away from the main group. We stayed away for the rest of the race.

Max was still in the break and he was my only competition left for the top podium spot. We entered the last pavement strip before making our way into town. I sat up front and kept looking back to see if anyone was going to make a move early on, we came up the last hill and we could see the stop light from there. Still up front, and knowing I’m not much of a sprinter, I decided to make the move once we hit the stoplight. We made our way into the final turn “guns a’ blazin’”.  I was mashing my pedals into the ground. In this brief moment before the finish, I thought about how disappointed I’d be to come this far to lose. I poured all my might into that sprint, and at the end of the day, I accomplished my goal. I finished first in the juniors and tenth overall. This was so rewarding.   

An important lesson we can all learn from this is that it’s important to believe in yourself, but it’s also important to have faith in others. For example, not once did I doubt that the work Dan was having me do was absolutely necessary. Who knows what shape or disadvantage I could have been in if I had not listened to his instruction.

I would like to thank everyone on or off of this team for their contributions to this success: My mom and dad for driving me to these special places beyond southeast Michigan, my teammates for showing me the ropes, Terry for his support, and a special thanks to Dan Yankus for being an awesome coach, mentor, and teammate. I’m excited to see how he can possibly shape me into a better athlete in the future! Also, a big thanks to Cheryl Sherwood for organizing all of the team’s wonderful events! I look forward to the rest of the 2019 season with Athletic Mentors!


Top 5 Things Learned at This Year’s Training Camp

June 6th, 2019 by Marie Dershem

Written by Terry Ritter

This season’s North Carolina Training Camp had great weather and terrific riding. There was a newer rider flare to this edition, with ’19 team additions Ross DiFalco and Jared Dunham joining myself and fellow seasoned Team Athletic Mentor riders Elaine Sheikh, Bobby Munro, and Kellen Caldwell. Dan Caldwell, Kellen’s father, also spent part of the week with us, and Scott Hoffner made his usually trip up from Winston Salem to ride for a few days.  Second year team rider Tim Coffey attends Brevard College and got a chance to log about an hour with a few of us before some bad luck changed his preseason.

Though this marked the 19th time in the last 21 years I’ve put together a cycling excursion to jump start the season, I am always entertained by the new things I learn (or relearned) each year. Here’s my top five list from this year.

Tubeless tires require different attention in the off-season…

 Last season I mounted up some tubeless tires and sealant and enjoy the benefits of that set up for training. However, I didn’t give much thought to how I’d store these hoops over the winter, just hanging them like my tubed arrangements of the past. The first road ride of the trip happened to be the Mt. Mitchell ascent, an 87 mile day with over 9000 feet of climbing. The first time the bike rolled over 25 mph I noted an imbalance in the front wheel. After checking the bead and seeing it was seated appropriately, my brain started working on what the issue could be. That’s when I remembered I had to pump the tire up as I noticed it had deflated to the degree the bead had lost the airtight seal over the winter. I quickly speculated the air had dried out the sealant, which had collected in the bottom of the tire as it hung, and was now a solid, non-movable mass throwing things off. This was confirmed once I got the tire off and had an 8 cm strip of solid sealant affixed to one side of the tire. Removing this and remounting the tire with new sealant solved the hop. From here on out I’ll be removing sealant from my tires before I mount them for off season storage (though you could just keep them aired up to stay sealed as well).

Simple Math…

 After hitting the Parkway and descending down 215, we came to a stop and discovered Jared’s crank was coming loose. It had been creaking for 2 hours. Unfortunately, his crank bolt was a 10mm, and none of our multi-tools had anything bigger than an 8mm. That’s when I remember a trick Dan Yankus taught me at the ’16 camp. We took one of the multi-tools apart to get the 6 and 4mm allen wrenches free, then placed them side-by-side in the bolt head (6 + 4 = 10mm). We then used one of the other tools 8mm to fit into the loop of the paired allens and twisted it till the bolt was sufficiently tight to get us home.

Technology is great if you know how to use it…

 At our ’17 camp, Kaitlyn Patterson was able to construct a route within DuPont State Forest from a friend’s map, and then download that to her Garmin. She shared that route with me last year when she wasn’t able to attend and we followed the 3 hour tour without issue. This year was not as successful, as I led us around for about 90 mins before we ended up back near the finish. Seems I didn’t realize the Garmin has a turn-by-turn arrow that will let me know where I’m supposed to be heading when my screen shows route crossing over themselves. Later in the week I figured this out and we tried the route again, with it working flawlessly.

 Would you like that spoke straight or curved…

 As we rode up Mt. Mitchell, my rear Giant wheel broke its first spoke (4 years of riding on it). The DT Swiss rim stayed pretty true and I didn’t have any issues finish the ride. However, I didn’t have any of the straight pull replacements (nor did any of the local shops). A little brainstorming had Ross, Jared and I using the gas stove to warm the spoke (actually, it had to glow) and then used a couple of pairs of needle-nose pliers to straighten a J bend from a conventional spoke I did have. Unfortunately, the spoke was still too short to use, but it gave me a potential emergency option if I have this challenge in the future.

Being prepared means less stress…

 I’ve preached this to all my camp attendees each year. However, this season things got away from me as I was getting ready for camp (Jared, Ross and I took my vehicle) and so decided I’d need to do a little work when I got down to NC. This could well have been fine until some unexpected things happened (spoke, tire sealant), and also unexpected time to help others. I ended up being a bit too busy to really relax as much and recover as much as I should have. My teammates were gracious with their patience, but this was my own fault and something I would have helped entirely if I’d gotten everything done on my equipment at home before I pointed my van south.

These trips are always a lot of fun. We get some great training in, enjoy some relaxation, learn about our new teammates, and pick up some additional wisdom. It makes me wonder what I’ll learn next year.

 

 

 

 

 


Yes UCAN Recipes

May 13th, 2019 by JoAnn Cranson

By Kathy Braginton

Two years ago, prior to my first half distance triathlon, I began to utilize UCAN as my workout and race day fuel. UCAN is the only energy food powered by SuperStarch®, a patented ingredient that delivers steady energy without sugar or stimulants. UCAN has quickly become my supplement of choice in my drink bottle. I also love to change things up when it comes to my diet, so I went in search of creative ways to utilize UCAN as more than just a drink. After a quick Google search, I found several recipes to try.

My favorite recipe from http://www.generationucan.com is the Chocolate Almond Fudge cookies. After making a few modifications from the original recipe, I have found the taste similar to a Samoa Girl Scout cookie. I have used these cookies for pre, during, or post workout nutrition. They even make a good healthy snack.

Chocolate Almond Fudge Cookies (Kathy’s version)                        

  • 2 scoops Chocolate UCAN with Protein
  • ½ Cup almond butter
  • ½ Cup peanut butter
  • ¼ Cup oats
  • ½ Cup coconut oil
  • ½ Cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ Cup honey
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Mix it all up. Add more or less of each ingredient, depending on your taste. Roll the mixture into small balls. Put in the freezer and let chill for several hours. Or, put in a baking dish, freeze and cut into small squares. These cookies are best kept in the freezer. Just let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes prior to eating.

In an attempt to utilize these cookies during a workout or a race, I have experimented with different methods of transport. Placing several cookies in a snack size ziploc bag, I put them in the back pocket of my bike jersey. Mid-ride, the cookies turned to mush and I had to squeeze them out of the corner of the ziploc like a goo or gel. While it serviced its purpose, it was a bit messy. However, the next method worked a bit better. I purchased a liquid ice pack that was divided into 1” individual sections and cut the pack down to size to fit in the snack box on my tri bike. I placed the snack size ziploc in the snack box on top of the ice pack. While this did not keep the cookies frozen, it did keep them from turning to mush. This is now my go-to nutrition on the bike during a half distance race.

My second favorite recipe from http://www.generationucan.com is the Mexican Riviera Smoothie. This is a very refreshing smoothie on a hot summer day. The original recipe called for peaches. Not being a very big fan of peaches, I have tried raspberries and cherries. Both of these are tasty substitutes.

Mexican Riviera Smoothie

  • 1 scoop Lemonade UCAN
  • 1 Cup frozen raspberries or cherries
  • ¼ Cup frozen pineapple.
  • 4 oz of orange juice

Blend all together in a blender.

This last recipe, recently found on http://www.jessrunsblessed.com, is 4 Ingredient UCAN Brownies. This has quickly turned into my favorite early morning, pre-swim fuel. I use these in place of the UCAN Snack bars. These brownies offer similar nutrition to the snack bars at a cheaper price and the taste is not bad!

4 Ingredient UCAN Brownies

  • 2 scoops Chocolate UCAN with Protein
  • 2 medium bananas (mashed well)
  • ¼ Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ Cup peanut butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Spray large rectangle pan with baking spray. In a large bowl, combine 4 ingredients with a spatula. Use a mixer to mix until well mixed. It will be very thick. Spread into pan and flatten with spatula. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Optional ingredients: unsweetened shredded coconut, oats, or chopped almonds.

Find additional recipes on Facebook at Generation UCAN. Fuel good. Feel Good. UCAN!



SPONSORSView All


 
Team Athletic Mentors
© 2020 - Team Athletic Mentors