The Next Level Newsletter - December 2004

Greetings and welcome to The Next Level Newsletter, Volume I, Issue XII. We made it through another year. Someone pass the egg nog.

In athlete news, Paul Duckett had a strong race a couple weeks ago and took 4th overall at the Paul Debruyn 15k, while Matt Thibodeau took 1st in his age group at a five miler on Thanksgiving morning. Both these gents are in base-training mode for some long distance racing in 2005, and weíre starting off on the right foot!

Meanwhile, Coach Marty showed up at the local Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving morning, and it went over like a Zeppelin in a thunderstorm. In other words, about a mile into it I exploded like a ripe grapefruit in the hot sun. Or like a guy who hadnít ran in a few weeks. Iíve already blocked it out. ;-)

Lots of interesting things going on. The OUC Orlando Half-marathon was held last weekend and the course passed in front of our home. That was a lot of fun. Cheering for folks, that is. I am back into base training mode in preparation for Ironman Arizona in April 2005, but not quite ready for a fast half. Maybe in a few more weeks.

Christmas and New Years are right around the corner, so of course I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all Happy Holidays and request you send me nothing but stock certificates and municipal bonds for my ďstockingĒ this year. Ha ha. Groan. Thanks so much. Iíll be here all week. ;-)

Recovery foods and drinks:
It is important to take in calories after workouts lasting more than 45 minutes or so. The longer the workout, the more calories you need. The ideal window is within one hour after you stop exercising. A balanced meal or recovery drink containing primarily carbohydrates with some protein and a small or negligible amount of fat is best. Endurox works fairly well in my opinion. So would something like a chicken wrap. Or a stack of blueberry pancakes and a chicken breast. Or a smoothie with protein powder. You need the calories for two reasons Ė to replace your glycogen stores (carbs) and to begin the muscle rebuilding process (protein).

Glycogen is essentially energy stored directly in the muscles and liver for immediate access. (Fat is long-term stored energy.) If you donít take calories in, you may start your next workout with depleted glycogen stores and your muscles may not be as well repaired as they should be. In other words, to continue to train and race at your highest levels over the long term, paying attention to your post-workout meals is critical.

Marathon training:
We have a few folks who are targeting marathons in 2005. My philosophy on marathon training continues to evolve as I learn more on the subject, but my fundamental thoughts havenít changed much. Here are a few key points:

Three good books that you may want to read for more in-depth analysis of run training and marathon specific training are:

Running to the Top by Arthur Lydiard

Danielsí Running Formula by Jack Daniels

Lore of Running by Timothy Noakes

The first author, Arthur Lydiard, passed away this weekend at the age of 87. He was still doing what he loved, traveling the world teaching people how to train and run well, and is off to the great big road race in the sky. RIP, Arthur.

Now thatís not meant to be sad! I will be tickled pink if I make it to 87. Heck, Iím happy to have made it to 29 or however old I am now. ;P

A few more general tips:

Winter Camp:
There are only a few spots left for the Winter Break Training Camp held in Clermont, FL on February 25-27, hosted by OSB Multisport and BodyZen Multi Sport Coaching. The camp will have three coaches on hand in order to accommodate various training abilities and goals and will conclude with the Great Escape Triathlon. Click here for all the details.

Thatís all for now, and I look forward to seeing you next year!

Enjoy Your Sport,
Marty Gaal
One Step Beyond Multisport Coaching