The Next Level Newsletter - July 2005


Welcome to the Next Level Newsletter, brought to you 11 days late by Roadrunner Networks!


The last few weeks have been pretty busy ones here at One Step Beyond Worldwide Headquarters.  We (that’s the royal We, as in, “We approve this message”) co-hosted the Summer Splash Triathlon Training Camp with Coach Lee Zohlman of BodyZen Multi Sport on July 8-10.  Eight athletes from around the Southeast attended and we all had a great time.  Several athletes concluded with the Central Florida Triathon Sprint #2, including first time triathlete William Poertner.  Welcome to the club, William!  Camper Lynn Holland competed in her first triathlon at the Reebok Women’s Triathlon the following weekend, also having a great race.  Thanks to you all and to Coach Lee for his excellent work. 


In Athlete News:

  • John Summers conquers Ironman Couer d’Alene, his first Ironman
  • Jack Scott also conquers Ironman Couer d’Alene, his first Ironman
  • Tim Gensler nails the New York City Triathlon, his first Olympic distance
  • Matt Thibodeau takes 4th overall at the Musselman Half-Iron Triathlon
  • Brianne Gaal takes 2nd overall at the Reebok’s Women Triathlon
  • Kathleen Larkin takes 2nd AG at Sunrise Tri #3
  • Alex Jones takes 7th overall at the Olympic Day 10k
  • Paul Duckett goes 10:46 in his first Ironman at IM Switzerland
  • Coach Marty gets off the couch!


OSB Athlete Sean McFadden, known in some circles as an Orthopedic Surgeon, has graciously offered to contribute articles on some preventive steps and treatments of common athletic injuries.  Thanks, Dr. McFadden! This month, one of the nastiest: Patellar Tendonitis.



Patellar Tendonitis

Patellar tendonitis is inflamation of Patellar tendon.  The patellar tendon is the band of tissue that connects the patella (knee cap) to the tibia (shin bone). 


The most common causes of patellar tendonitis are repetitive activities such as running, walking, and cycling.  These activities put repeated stress on the tendon which can cause the tendon to become inflamed.  This inflammation can occur for a variety of reasons. 

·      Training errors - Sudden increases in intensity or volume (mileage) can be the cause.

·      Poor equipment - For cyclist, an improper bike fit may be problematic.  Review of saddle position by an experienced coach may be helpful. 

·      Malalignment of body structures - Biomechanical issues can also be a cause and should be ruled out.

·      Muscle imbalance

·      Lack of flexibility

·      Over training

·      Poor foot mechanics (over pronation)


What are the symptoms of patellar tendonitis? The symptoms of patellar tendonitis include:  pain and tenderness on or around the patellar tendon, swelling where the patellar tendon attaches to the knee cap and/or tibia (shin bone), pain with running, cycling, and jumping, pain with bending and straightening the leg. 


How is patellar tendonitis diagnosed?  Your doctor will examine your knee for tenderness and swelling of the patellar tendon.   He will ask you to perform functional activities like squatting and jumping to see if symptoms are produced.  He may examine your feet for any structural problems such as over pronation.  He will also review x-rays of the knee.


How is patellar tendonitis treated? Treatment of patellar tendonitis in the early stages is the application of ice for 20 minutes 3-4 times per day for the first couple of weeks.  Your physician may prescribe medication to reduce the inflammation (celebrex or motrin) and modify your activity level till symptoms subside.  In cases where symptoms linger your physician may refer you to physical therapy for more extensive evaluation and treatment.  The goal of rehabilitation is to return you to activity as soon as safely possible.  Continuing to train through an overuse injury can lead to more debilitating injury and a longer absence from your sport.  The focus of your therapy should be to reduce inflammation including ice, reduced activity, eccentric muscle strengthening, increased flexibility of the hamstring and hip extensors and perhaps a counter strain strap.


The treatment of choice for overuse injuries such as patellar tendonitis is to prevent them before they occur.  The best way to avoid this type of injury is to follow some simple rules.


·    A Slow progression in training

·    Increase training overload no more than  10% per week

·    Improve flexibility

·    Improve muscle strength in agonist vs. antagonist muscles (quadriceps and hamstrings)

·    Evaluate your equipment regularly and look for worn out equipment/shoes


If you think you have patellar tendonitis or other sport related issues and need to be seen, call Dr. Sean McFadden at 407 381 8441.


Downtown YMCA Swimming:

Continues to go well.  Want some stroke instruction?  Need some motivation to get in the pool?  Want to have some fun with other area triathletes?  We swim Tuesday and Friday mornings at 6AM.  Click here for more details.


Summer Heat:

We’ve officially entered the dog days of summer.  Even those of you in the Northen latitudes (US) are feeling the heat.  And you know what that means.  Slower run times, cramps, headaches, and general fatigue.  And that’s just for starters!  But there are a few tried and true methods you can use to beat the heat.  They include:

·    Stay well hydrated at all times.  This includes before, during, and after training

·    Run early or late to avoid the extreme heat during mid-day

·    Supplement with electrolytes if you know you’ve had issues with cramping

·    Avoid drinking too much caffeine or alcohol.  Both are diuretics and will exacerbate any dehydration issues.  Alcohol has also been shown to impede the body’s ability to deal with hot weather.

·    Run and ride on perceived exertion/heart rate instead of pace.  Hot weather generally makes it tougher to go fast.

·    Wear your sunscreen!  Your skin is your biggest organ.  Take care of it for a long and healthy lifestyle of outdoor activities.


On Motivation:

I highly suggest you all take the time to take a look at www.bobbrubaker.com.  Bob is a local Ironman athlete and all around great guy who has gone through some tough times recently.  But he’s not the type to let that get him down.  That’s because Bob knows how to ‘always look on the bright side of life.’ 


Orlando Sentinel Articles:

I’ve been writing 1 or 2 guest articles every month for our local newspaper, the Orlando Sentinel.  The latest was on local legend and fellow triathlon coach Jeff Cuddeback.  You can read that article here.  Those of you who live in other parts of the world can check the Sentinel every Friday and search on “triathlon” or “Gaal” to find them.  The site doesn’t archive articles so you have to read them within a few days.  This Friday’s article is about adventure racing.  Now that’s a crazy sport.


As usual, there’s plenty more for me to discuss, but it’ll have to wait until next time!


Enjoy your sport,

Marty Gaal

One Step Beyond Multisport Coaching



newsletter archive

        To unsubscribe from this newsletter, dance like there’s no tomorrow.