EnduroPacks is excited to welcome professional triathlete, Nick Brodnicki to our elite team!  After a number of years in the age group ranks Nick began his pro triathlon career in 2013. Coming from a swimming background it was just a matter of learning to ride and run, and lots of hard work! With a few top-15 finishes in his first two seasons as a pro, Nick is looking for a break-through year in 2015.

Along with his training and racing he works hard to share his passion for the sport of triathlon with others through his coaching. Working as a USAT and USAC certified coach Nick coaches many levels of athletes and masters swim. Nick is a coach with Endorphin Fitness and a member of the US Pro Tri Team.

You can follow Nick on Twitter @piratenick and on Instagram @nickbrodnicki.

Food provides a range of different nutrients. Some nutrients provide energy, while others are essential for growth and maintenance of the body. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are macronutrients that we need to eat in relatively large amounts in the diet as they provide our bodies with energy and also the building blocks for growth and maintenance of a healthy body. Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients which are only needed in small amounts, but are essential to keep us healthy. 

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We Know Electrolytes Are Important for Hydration, But Why? 

Your body is a complex and carefully-balanced superhighway of cells, tissues, and fluids that, almost every second, directs an incomprehensible array of electrical impulses. This is only possible because those cells, tissues, and fluids thrive in a homeostatic environment where they conduct electricity well enough to carry the signals to their intended destinations.

What Are Electrolytes?

Electrolyte is a “medical/scientific” term for mineral salts, specifically ions. Electrolytes are the spark that keeps our body running. They are necessary for life. They are important because they are what your cells (especially nerve, heart, muscle) use to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (nerve impulses, muscle contractions) across them- selves and to other cells.

Deficiencies Cause Bodily Functions To Slow Down And Eventually Stop

These electro-chemicals influence the body’s pH — a chemical balance that determines how effectively the biological systems run. When there is a deficiency of body electricity, body functions slow down and eventually stop. Micronutrients play an important role in energy production, hemoglobin synthesis, maintenance of bone health, adequate immune function, and the protection of body tissues from oxidative damage. They are also required to help build and repair muscle tissue following exercise.

Electrolytes facilitate delivery of oxygen to achieve and maintain peak brain function and proper nervous system response. The constant firing of micro-electric impulses across the synapses of the brain requires a great deal of energy. Only electrolytes can supply this. If, because of electrolyte imbalance, there isn’t enough oxygen available for the nerve cells to fire when needed, the brain functions less effectively. The body uses oxygen to turn nutrients into energy through the process of primary oxygenation. This simply means that electrolytes help the oxygen create a chemical reaction that ultimately allows the body to “burn” the nutrients as fuel.

Electrolytes Help Maintain Balance Of Fluids For Hydration, Nerve Impulses, Muscle Function, and pH Levels During Exercise

There are several common electrolytes found in the body, each serving a specific and important role, but most are in some part responsible for maintaining the balance of fluids between the intracellular (inside the cell) and extracellular (outside the cell) environments. This balance is critically important for things like hydration, nerve impulses, muscle function, and pH level.

Approximately 4% of the human body mass is composed of 21 macro and trace minerals that are essential for life. When mineral levels are insufficient to meet the demands of the body under emotional, physiological, and psychological stresses (such as during physical activity), the result will most likely be a substandard level of performance. For athletes or weekend exercisers, this increases the risk of serious injury and reduces the recovery rate after strenuous work or exercise.

Are More Electrolytes Better Than Less?

Sports drinks and supplement manufacturers who claim their electrolyte-forming minerals facilitate proper rehydration may be only partially correct. Macro and trace minerals work in combination to provide the proper environment for electrolyte formation and maximum absorption. According Dr. Gerald Olarsch, N.D., if there are too few trace-minerals in a drink they will be unable to form the proper electrolyte balance to enter the cell and maximize rehydration. 

To find out which trace minerals are important for proper balance during exercise, read the publication titled: "Analyzing Sports Drinks: Carbohydrate or Electrolyte Replacement", by sports nutritionist, Nina Anderson (SPN) of Safe Goods Publishing. The full version PDF is available here: http://www.enduropacks.com/pages/electrolyte-and-carbohydrate-replacement-for-endurance-athletes

 

Pro triathlete, Bree Wee

What is an Ironman?

Triathlon consists of swimming, biking and running - sounds simple if you put it like that.  There are generally four different categories (distances) of triathlons: sprint, olympic, half-ironman and full-ironman.  Arguably the toughest endurance race is the full-ironman; consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile (marathon) run, back-to-back-to-back, in one day.  

The term "Ironman" was actually coined back in the 70s from a dispute between military officers over which athlete—the swimmer, biker, or runner—was toughest. The first Ironman race took place on the island of O'ahu and saw fifteen men start the race with twelve of them completing the inaugural event.  Since then, it has grown into a nationally televised event with 3500 participants, and dubbed the IRONMAN World Championship, held annually in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint

For an event that takes nearly a whole day to complete (the swim kicks off at 7 a.m. with a midnight last call to finish the run), training for the Ironman requires a strict regimen and serious time commitment.  It takes a minimum of 13 hours of training per week to get in shape for an Ironman race.  That means you'll be training almost every day of the week.  

After all, you not only have to swim, bike and run during the race, but you have to beat the cutoff times (swim: 2hrs 20mins, bike: 10hrs 30mins, run: course closes at midnight), and finish in 17 hours.  

It's recommended to begin your training as early as possible, generally 6-7 months ahead of your race date.  Hiring a coach who can tailor a specific training program to your fitness level is best but many standard training programs can be found online.

 

The Fourth Discipline Of Triathlon Training: Nutrition

You know that a triathlon of any length consists of a swim, bike and run, but in order to succeed at the full-Ironman distance you'll have to learn a fourth discipline: nutrition.  

To say an Ironman triathlon takes a lot of energy is an understatement.  In fact, athletes burn around 7,000 to 10,000 calories during those grueling 140.6 miles.  

Unlike the sprint or Olympic distance triathlon, the half- and full-ironman becomes not only about how fast you can swim, bike and run, but just as importantly, how you can take in enough calories to keep from bonking or hitting the wall.  

Training While Practicing Proper Fueling and Hydration

Practicing your fueling and hydration strategy is equally as important as training for the swim, bike and run legs of the race.  To ensure you have an enjoyable race and cross the finish line, it's important for endurance athletes to focus on consuming the proper amounts of calories and replenish electrolytes that contains essential trace minerals that help regulate blood volume and maintain proper brain function during endurance training and racing. 

 

As a runner it's important to eat foods that will properly fuel your training. Here's a list of some delicious foods that will offer you the greatest health benefits in the long run!

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As endurance athletes, we push ourselves to the edge of our abilities to make small improvements each time we workout in hopes of becoming stronger and faster.  During our training sessions we strain ourselves to go longer or faster than is comfortable.  In the process, we cause microscopic tears in our muscle tissue.  Stimulated by the damage, our bodies react by adapting to the stress.  Our fuel stores open for maximum refueling, and our veins deliver white blood cells to repair the micro tears.

So the question is, are we becoming better athletes during our workouts, or is it the time in between them?  Neglecting to take sufficient rest or replenish our depleted bodies' needs not only limits our improvements, but can start a negative downward spiral. "It happens at least once a year," says Lauren Fleshman, who finished 7th in the World Championships 5k in 2011 (highest American finish in history). "I get busy or impatient and I justify it, saying, 'I'm getting in the workouts, I'm checking the boxes, that's what's important.' I let the recovery aspects go, and I wind up sick or injured. I realize then that it's time to get focused and do the little things right.  Sometimes I just need a kick in the butt."

Recovery Window

Justin Whittaker, D.C., a Portland, Ore.-based chiropractor who works on some of the world's top track athletes, stresses the importance of refueling as a key component to recovery. "You have a predictable timeline," he says. "For two hours post-workout your body is trying to restock what it's just bfurnt. For those two hours it's metabolizing, breaking down, synthesizing to the liver everything that's available. If you wait 'til you've driven home and showered you won't be absorbing the nutrients as well as you could." For that reason it's his advice to keep a recovery product (food, drink or supplement) on hand, either in your car or gym bag.

Recovery Techniques

Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan floats. "For me, hydrotherapy is an absolute must," she says. "During my heavy training I don't go more than once a week, but that weightless time just helps flush everything out." If you can't make it to the pool, take a cool bath. Ice is nice, but not necessary–just run cool water from the tap deep enough to cover your legs for a recovery boost.

Schedule a massage two or more hours post-race.  Massages too soon to finishing the race can create more soreness. Massage can have a dramatic effect on recovery times, and they are a wonderful reward.  You can also perform your own massage with some of the products on the market like "the Stick" and foam rollers.  They are great for deep tissue massage for hamstrings, calves, thighs and hips.

Ian Dobson, 2008 Olympian at 5,000m, views each of his runs as part stress, part recovery.  Dobson moves. "Even if I'm feeling tired, I make sure to take a walk and move all my joints," he says.  Recovery is heavily dependent on blood flow.  Make a point of getting up from your desk or out of your car for a few minutes every hour.

Dobson also does dynamic stretches.  Get more bang for your buck with high-energy, fullbody movements that stretch muscles and increase joint mobility.  High knee marches, standing leg swings or full squats all do the trick.

Making The Most of Your Training

Although muscle breakdown is needed in order to improve overall muscle fitness, it is important to remember that too much muscle trauma can have a negative effect, especially early in your training program.  

Mix Carbs and Protein: Studies show that the addition of protein to a carbohydrate-rich recovery supplement enhances insulin release in the blood, leading to an increased carbohydrate uptake by your muscle cells and a subsequent increase in glycogen manufacturing.

Taking a daily regimen of high-quality vitamin and mineral supplements will ensure your body stays healthy during training and speeds up the recovery process.  

 

You know the feeling you get, when you’re flying down the highway at 80mph and you pass a cop?  A momentary flash that began when you saw the car, and ended when the car didn’t pursue.  For me, that same sensation carved out a temporary residence in my core and didn’t check out for months when I was diagnosed with Non-Hogkins Lymphoma in 2005.  And yet, that fear would come to pass.

Cancer has always been my body’s way of pushing me around.  Triathlon has become my way of pushing back

Six years later- after a few health scares, multiple Ironman finishes, 2 Ironman World Championship qualifications, I started PAINCAVE. And here we are-two years later.  Our subscription numbers continue to grow, our library of episodes is expanding, Race Directors are partnering with us, and we’ve created a brand that we are all proud of.  We are becoming Life’s Change Agent.  The challenges I face now are easily drowned out by my belief in what I am doing.  The difficulty when starting a business is that often times you are so insulated, each decision occurring in a vacuum, it’s easy to lose sight of this belief.

“Promote Health and proper nutrition for athletes… reduce soreness and aid recovery… provide the Nutrients Athletes Need to Train more effectively.”

EnduroPacks aren’t just a product you buy, they are an essential tool built on a foundation of principles, principles that have inspired many of our lives.

After my diagnosis, my oncologist basically said “if you want to stay ahead of this, be as healthy as you can be… people get tired walking up a flight of stairs because they’re out of shape, you don’t have that luxury. Stay as fit as possible so that symptoms that would be ignored by others raise huge red flags for you.”

And that’s what I’ve done. EnduroPacks daily system is exactly what is required for me to maintain as sharp an edge as possible in pursuit of Good Health. A pursuit we all endeavor to make. The better I feel, the greater the delta between “normal” and “sick.” For many of you, improvement may be the sole motivation. We can all live with that.

Visit PAINCAVE at www.paincave.com and try a full free episode.  Take PAINCAVE for a test ride and experience "Life's Change Agent".  Use promo code: "ENDUROPACKS" to receive 20% off of an annual membership. 

Nick Logan, EnduroPacks Ambassador, At The Ultraman World Championships

Like most of us, Nick decided to travel far distances this thanksgiving weekend. 320 miles to be precise.  But unlike, most of us, Nick decided to do this swimming, biking, and running his way to his goal of finishing the 320 mile Ultraman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

Nick Logan

Nick Finished First American and 6th Place Overall

Ultraman athletes set out to complete 320 miles in 3 days of competition. On Day 1, athletes swam 6.2 miles and biked 90 miles under mostly sunny skis.  On Day 2 those conditions took a turn for the worse, as the athletes rode 271.4 miles along the east side of the island under continuous rain and gusty winds , which made for some treacherous roads and difficult headway.  And on Day 3, athletes had to complete a DOUBLE marathon 52.4 miles to conclude this most demanding physical challenge.

Nick Logan , Ultraman World Championship 2014

Nick Logan, of Norwalk, Connecticut finished the race in 25 hours 40 minutes, over the 3 days, for 6th overall and 1st american finisher.  Congratulations to Nick on this incredible race and personal achievement. Time for some well deserved relaxation and recovery.

http://ultramanlive.com/2014-race-daily-race-reports/2014-day-3/

Ultraman World Championships 2014 

Watch Up-And-Coming Team Fusion Cycles' Triathlete, Anna Peterson, Discuss Her Daily Nutrition System

Anna said, "Before I took EnduroPacks, I was always tired, didn't want to workout and was at a low point. Since taking EnduroPacks it's boosted my mood and helped me get over that hump in the morning...the amino acid patches have really helped me recover quickly and prepare me for my second workout of the day...before I couldn't do a second workout but now I can!" 

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Here are some helpful tips for every new triathlete to keep in mind for their big race!

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