This week, I had to clear my mind of last week, and essentially “reboot” to get focused and back on track. The good news is that it was a good training week, and a good week all around. I’m ¾ of the way through Base 2, and looking forward to finishing out another training block. I’ve got 11 weeks to go at this point, which seems like it’s just around the corner.
I had a great training week, managing to get all my workouts in. Nutrition was balanced, but I’m struggling with some gastro-intestinal issues on my swims. Might be a nutrition thing, or it’s possible that I’m gulping too much air. Not sure, but I’ll be relating my specific nutrition with those sessions to see if there’s a correlation. I was up late on Saturday night, having an awesome dinner with a good friend. It make it more difficult to get up on Sunday morning (I was up way past my bedtime) but that’s ok. We can’t get so focused on training that we don’t enjoy life.
My friend Kristi did Ironman Texas on Sunday (congratulations Kristi!!! Great job!!!). Very inspirational to see someone you know go through it. It wasn’t her first one, but none of them are easy. Can’t wait to hear the gory details…
As promised, let’s talk about some new things I’ve learned lately. From a nutrition perspective, let’s talk about vitamins, minerals and supplements. First on the list: vitamin D. I learned that proper levels of this critical vitamin help prevent stress fractures, which are pretty common in our sport, and happen as a result of regularly increasing mileage. It’s even more effective when combined with calcium, which seems more like common knowledge. Good sources of vitamin D are salmon and sunlight, but can also be taken as a supplement. Many calcium supplements also have vitamin D as an addition. It’s interesting to note that calcium/vitamin D supplements work best when taken at night, just before going to sleep. I take gummy chewable ones just before bed. Vitamin D deficiency has also been show to create stress and anxiety, so daily doses may help in this area, too.
The other supplement I learned more about is glucosamine. I take a dose every morning, with breakfast, with the simple knowledge that it helps my joints, but I never knew why. Recently, my not-so-little-anymore Saint Bernard puppy, Huckleberry, crossed the 160 pound mark, just having turned 1 year old.
As a big dog, he has tremendous pressure on his young joints, so I give him glucosamine, too. He developed a limp last week, which had me worried that his elbow or shoulder was injured (turned out to just be growing pains: panosteitis), and while talking to the veterinary surgeon, he told me about how glucosamine is actually an anti-inflammatory. It works by increasing the production of a specific enzyme that reduces joint inflammation and encourages healing. Because this is how it works, the effect is cumulative, and requires both an initial ramp-up period, and consistent dosing, to ensure the enzyme is present. Over a period of months, the enzyme builds up, but if there is a significant break during which it isn’t taken, you have to start over. The enzyme dissipates, and must be slowly regenerated over another time period, perhaps as long as 24 weeks. Don’t expect to feel the effects of glucosamine, as it’s really a preventative treatment. Absorption of glucosamine is helped by the addition of chondroitin, so when purchasing it, make sure to look for this. Also, since there’s no regulation around supplements (by the FDA), it’s important to look for quality brands. Although the specific amount of glucosamine can’t be assured, going the cheap route here isn’t a good thing. You’ll get what you pay for. Look for glucosamine sulfate, if possible, instead of glucosamine hydrochloride. Finally, start by taking 1,500mg of glucosamine with 1,250mg of chondroitin.
More next week on new, cool things. Until then…