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caffeine, nutrition, physiology, racing, training -

To caffeinate or not to caffeinate, that is the question! Studies have shown that drinking caffeine about an hour before racing (or training) can help boost endurance, energy and performance. Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system, blocking the adenosine receptors (responsible for fatigue), in turn, making you feel less tired. In addition, some studies have shown that caffeine increases activation of muscle fibers, leading you to feel faster and stronger, and enhanced mood, which makes long-term repetitive efforts less daunting. But people react differently to caffeine. For some, it’s a performance enhancer; others can be over-stimulated and see their performance...

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interview, nutrition, physiology, racing, trail running, training -

The Tailwind Nutrition origin story begins in a rubbish bin, in which company co-founder Jeff Vierling had his head after finishing the famous Leadville Trail 100 MTB mountain bike race. Jeff's muesli came up, and he thought, "There's gotta be a better way." After extensive research, he realized that most sports nutrition products contain ingredients that are hard to digest, and began experimenting with batches of powder formulated to match the way the body absorbs fuel. Lots of experimentation on himself, his wife and co-founder Jenny, and their local Thursday Bike n’ Beer group in Durango eventually produced a product that people...

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Back when I was young and fast, I built my training program around my racing goals, and I ran an unhealthy proportion of my workouts much too quickly. These days my best hope in a race is an age group win, and I run for fitness and fun much more than trophies (and free shoes … which I do miss!). I also spend much less time looking at my watch and thinking about my splits. In fact, often I stop dozens of times during a run, to pick up a PET bottle or a candy bar wrapper or – sign of...

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Back in the day (as a high school and university athlete), I met my coach down at the track, or out at the golf course or trailhead, and we did workouts (often with the coach holding the stopwatch, calling out split times, just like in the movies), talked about them afterwards, and made plans for the next session. Later, as a club athlete, I was a “runner/coach” and decided the sessions for my training group. This was a time before Strava, so when I recorded workout data (which was very rarely), I did so with a pen, in a notebook....

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Postural control and dynamic stability require the integration of four input systems – visual, vestibular, joint proprioceptors and plantar foot skin. Of these four, one of the most important but often overlooked systems is the skin on the bottom of your feet. The skin on the bottom of your feet contains thousands of small nerve proprioceptors, all of which are sensitive to different stimuli. One of the most important stimuli coming into the foot is vibration. We use vibration not only to know how hard our feet are striking the ground but also in the maintenance of dynamic balance. But...

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