Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wolrd Level Half Ironman here in Boise, this weekend!

What "physical fitness" means depends upon whom one asks!

(Physical fitness is the capacity to meet successfully the present and potential physical challenges of life)

Kevin Evert is one of our local guys from Boise, ID and his life includes swimming, running, and cycling!

He still has a full time job!

We have been on the open road with Kevin using the Dartfish to refine his pedal stroke and remain aero! Kevin holds the "brains" to learn! Wow!

In sport, a person might make it to a certain level, then they close the door to learning. Even Tiger Woods keeps learning. Perhaps their teachers don't know anymore? In cycling, the people who get to a certain level seem to stop learning..Not so with Kevin Evert!

Here is a shot of him working on his "vasodilation" - widening of the opening of blood vessels caused by a relaxation of the smooth muscle cells in the walls of the vessels."

In an Ironman event, you have to be good at three events: swimming, cycling, and running. Kevin has the focus for all three and has learned how important it is to maintain his personal homeostasis.

The air does not have the same density of water, but the same "mind set" is required. You have to use your total body to get through it!

A number of people should learn about water density because then they would learn how to work through it! It takes great focus on the whole body. Perhaps they would learn about plane angle units, linear velocity units, force, energy, work, and frequency (e.g. the frequency of a periodic process with the period equal to one second).

If you have spent any time in the water, you know it is essential when in a kayak, or running rivers, to learn the correct stroke!!!

It is good to learn other sports as they can offer more insight. Too many times, we find people who only do one sport. Sad! They get very narrow in their thinking! It would improve their understanding of how to cycle better.

Negative aspects within cycling (politics, fitting, doping, etc...)

It is like a civil war in the cycling sport. Why?

To start, you have a sport that requires hard exercise! So, how do you educate or describe and explain the bouts of physical exercise? We have a ton of "good ole boys & gals" that have done it with only blood & guts for 20 years and they know?

We are consistently dealing with the many myths that fuel the war. There are offenders everywhere, from organizations and alleged experts that cite data and those that make vague statements. Sadly, too many athletes do it their way. What is proper?

For the endurance exercise, it is important to postpone fatigue, maintaining the best concert of muscles working together. You don't want one group of muscles interfere with another. For the tt, it's making horsepower and for the mtb, it's finding the torque to get up the hill. They are all not the same game! So, how can you take one fit and use it for all? We don't and that is what makes a difference!

How does someone predict improved performance levels in a given sport? No question, required learning is needed for major complex skills (like an event).

The fastest sprinters and those who can go the distance before the season begins are also likely to be the fastest sprinters and distance performers, respectively, at the end of the season...Provided they don't get hurt!

We just had the head of BSU physiology come in for a fit. She had been the professor of one of our World Champions MTB Sally Warner in Bromont, CA who is now a also a PhD in physiology. She loved the bike she got from Sally and they are close to the same size.

Then she got a new bike and was placed on the wrong size bike with the wrong size cranks, etc... When she came in, we could not even fit her to that bike due to it being the incorrect size. The bike came from a smaller bike store and we all know that they need to turn over the bikes before July in order to pay their bill in order to purchase new inventory in October. She even said she felt bad about her not knowing the correct size to get. Buyer beware!!!

So you have lots of stores attempting to stay in business and they all have their own M.O. Concepts are discussed, conclusive statements are made about the phenomena of exercise and the correct bike you need...and off to the races. They might even have their own team and they are going to do it their way! Take it to the races gents! We will show them!

You get negatives from the start, you don't even have two stores on the same page! Many times, you don't have two people within one store or one team thinking the same way. One will say "that" and the other will say "this".

We even get athletes that are on a team that has used x,y,z fit and they come to us and pay, after being fitted free by the "official" fitter.

Then you have the retail stores running with whatever the major bikes reps say is the trend because they designed the bike that way. Understand, you don't have to sell their brand, because the guy down the road would love to be the new dealer of that major brand and if you don't buy into their marketing. For years, they did not have even a basic fitting, now they have mass marketing fitting at the basic level. You can go to their school.

Then you have others that can predict your performance, using their politics, doping or what ever to get your ear! There seems to be good money in coaching, so if you obtain a basic level of understanding and a way of recording watts, you too can be the pro of prediction. Only time will tell, as the results only come with time, perhaps take a whole year or more. If you don't get the performance you wanted you can always move to the next guy for predicting your performance. They can always say "We didn't pick your parents! See Ya!"

Then we have the internet, with the reviews and contributions of (x, y, z), plus the chat rooms and self proclaimed professionals. Let the negativity start! I guess they missed the class at their University on the subject (It appears that one is more likely to be successful in certain athletic events, especially distance running and sprinting, if the athlete is blessed with a certain muscle fiber composition.)

However, "ideal" fiber types do not guarantee championships; in some cases it is still possible to be successful with less than optimal fiber composition. There are many other factors that are at least as important, if not more so. Muscle don't push, they pull and if we can't place the fibers in a zone of the best line of pull, you at least have some possible hope of being successful in your cycling game.

So do characteristics of muscle fiber types make a difference? Do you have Slow (I), Fast (IIA), or Fast (IIB)? Perhaps you still have hope to change the a Fast (IIB) to a Fast (IIA)?

If you can answer the below questions, perhaps you still have HOPE!

1. Explain how nerve stimulation to muscle leads to contraction. What is the role of calcium in this process?

2.What are (A bands, Z lines, thin filaments, thick filaments, H zones. Explain the difference in appearance between relaxed and contracted myofibrils on the basis of the sliding filament theory of contraction.

3. Describe the difference between a muscle fiber, a myofibril, and a myofilament.

4. Explain how the sarcoplasmic reticulum is involved in both contraction and relaxation.

5. Explain the role of tropomyosin and troponin in muscle contraction and relaxation.

6. How does cross bridge cycling account for a progressive shortening of muscle during contraction?

7. What is the function of the T-tubules in contraction?

8. How is ATP involved in both contraction and relaxation of skeletal muscle?

9. What is the relationship between myosin ATPase activity and contractile speed of a muscle fiber.

10. What are the two main fiber types in human skeletal muscle, and how do they differ?

11. Describe the recruitment pattern of fast & slow fibers in distance running, sprinting, and jumping. Is one fiber type always recruited first?

12. What anatomical and biochemical characteristics make slow twitch fiber well-adapted to endurance activities?

13. Describe some of the different characteristics for the two subdivisions of fast twitch fibers.

14. What influence does the motor nerve have on fiber recruitment for different activities?

15. What is an approximate % of slow fibers in the vastus lateralis of the thigh in untrained cycling subjects, sprinters, and elite distance runners?

16. What is the relationship between fiber type distribution and performance in athletics? Can one accurately predict performance on the basis of fiber type. Do sEMG records make a difference?

17. What arguments could you raise against the use of muscle biopsies to determine fiber types in junior high school athletes? What does this do to their head?

18. On the basis of the of lack of evidence presented in so many articles, how does one find the answer to questions raised.? Can a youngster change their muscle fibers type distribution by training vigorously?

The truth is this: The arguments are going to be as varied as the grades of people who attempt the above questions! Only those who do their homework will perform better. There is no free ride!

Increase you knowledge and you improve your results!

Another truth is muscles only pull and if we can find the best range of motion and the best line of pull of your total body muscles, you have a better chance to predict your performance level, what ever that might be!

It is very unwise to base major decisions about an athlete's career on the basis of muscle type and recording his/her watts only. Just the same, it is unwise to use doping to improve your game over another. We all want to be good at something even if it is predicting your bike game. Measurements work!

By having a good fit on your bike (pending the game) you have a better chance of physiological capacity to be a good performer. Some athletes are cut out for endurance and others nonendurance events/sports and that is the way it is always going to be!

That doesn't mean you can't ride a bike for exercise and health, plus save a little money due to the gas prices!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Canada mtb Cup #2 "Emily Batty" Victory Again!

Steve Neil has been a Wobble-naught CAD user for a number of years now!  He has also been providing Wobble-naught CAD for Emily through the years!  

Emily Batty might be Canada's next  mtb star?  I am very sure Steve Neil is very pleased, as he should be!  Steve takes his game very serious and doesn't just buy into myths! He also uses Dartfish and is always wanting to learn more and it is paying off!

Congrats to Emily and her coach/fitter Dartfish user Steve Neil on her 2nd victory at Mont Tremblant, Ouebec, Canada.

They have both been working hard on their game and know there is no free ride, you earn your keep in this game!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Canada Cup "1st Place" Emily Batty!

Canada Cup
Bromont, Quebec, Canada, May 17-18, 2008
Bromont round opens Canada Cup season

At the opening round of the Canada Cup in Bromont, Quebec, Emily Batty (Trek Bicycle Store Team) coached by our fitter Steve Neal took top honors in the women's race ahead of Amanda Sin (3 Rox Racing) and Jean Ann McKirdy (Rocky Mountain/Pro-Cycle).

Cross country

Elite women
1 Emily Batty (Trek Bicycle Store Team) 1.42.10 WN & Myo-facts by Steve Neal!
2 Amanda Sin (3 Rox Racing) 1.24
3 Jean Ann McKirdy (Rocky Mountain/Pro-Cycle) 2.35
4 Jaqueline Mourao (RedBull-Scott-Exceed) 5.38
5 Caroline Villeneuve (Opus/OGC) 7.30

O'Deas Dominate Granny Gear 24!

2008 -O5-22
O'Deas dominate first two Granny Gear 24 Hour races!
The husband and wife combo of Eddie and Namrita O'Dea are spending their summer chasing points in the Granny Gear 24 Hour Points Series.

Racing solo, they each have shown that the off season work using Wobble-naught CAD & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish is paying off for these early season events in California and Georgia.

Even with all the results, our proven techniques have again and again prevailed!

It has been said, that what we do doesn't work? Don't tell that to these two!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

The longest winning streak in NORBA history comes to a close!

We can't control the weather! But we all should pay attention to what can happen to the racers!
This is no game when you race at 100-degrees!  It can take you out!

Georgia Gould just had her first DNF in Santa Ynez, California.

I have been sick for a week, I am not a virologist, but it is from one of the many 200 viruses in Idaho this spring. We are having weather swings in the west and that means 50 plus temp I was camping, looking at white mts, , snowing, 27F-degrees with high winds not even a week ago in Duck Valley, NV elv. 5'400 ft., and now its 97-degrees with pollutants from all the new growth irritating the lungs, eyes,! The body has a hard time with the temp change! The west can change in a few days or even in one week and not allow you time to adapt to the heat. It can mess up your life or your game!

Georgia Gould led for three quarters of the race but off in the weeds from heat exhaustion and to be taken to the hospital.

We care about our racers and understand what they have to undergo! We are not indifference, when our top mtb gal gets heat exhaustion in 103F temps. We are glad she did not get heat stroke, the worst form of heat illnesses; even victims of heat stroke often die.  As we understand it, one of our other gals, stopped racing to be of help!

Georgia Gould has done every thing right! She has won every major mtb race in the US for the past few years. Done well on the World Cup, etc... The only thing that could change is her adaptation time, in which she has little or none! Her job is hard!

Even under conditions of rest, prolonged exposures to hot environments can lead to profound disruptions in the body's ability to maintain a stable internal environment for its cells and tissues. Especially endurance exercise can accelerate the harmful effects, not only because working muscles produce heat and thereby add to the heat load of the organism.

We don't view Georgia Gould as just an organism, rather a very smart person with a very real "motor." We understand why her motor over heated. Georgia's muscles make so much power, that they don't help decrease the body's ability to rid itself of excess heat, and that was the case this last weekend in 103 F temp.

Georgia did her normal thing and raced her heart out, left the field behind, until the last lap. She is a racer and races herself, and gives it her all no matter the temp. Pushing it to her limits! Doing this the whole season in a wide range of temps.  

This time, on the last lap, she was seen off trail, laying in the weeds by Pua who was sitting in 2nd place, another WN fitted racer.  From what we know, Pua and another gal Heather gave up their race to help Georgia. Good thing, as Georgia could not even stand!

Good sportsmanship by them both!

Understand that certain types of athletic performance are not apt to be hindered by heat. However, the repetition during a prolonged session in hot conditions can easily lead to a failure of the temperature regulating ability of the athlete. Even clothing can hinder heat loss.

Motivation has never been one of Georgia's factors, as she maintains a high level of performance. Since the heart's capacity to pump blood is less than the maximal rate of blood flow to working muscles, plus skin, and since the total blood volume is less than maximal volume capacity of the muscles and skin, either the muscles must be short-changed in their blood supply so that the muscles become fatigued or the skin receives less than the optimal amount of blood needed to cool the organism (Georgia's motor.)

Now she know! Going out too hot can over cook the motor! After being on the World Cup, racing across the pond, the race is hot from the start. Then you have tons of time on planes, you get run down. With all her races, Georgia has learned to attack from the gun. Excess body heat will then cause discomfort and, perhaps, neurological malfunction. In either case, performance suffers.

Does sex make a difference? Yes! Studies have shown, women have lower maximal oxygen uptakes. Women seem to maintain their core temperatures as well as men, but with less sweat loss. Females might be view better suited for exercise in the heat because the sweat less and thus conserve more body water than males while maintaining the same body temperature.

In prolonged exercise a reduction in maximal oxygen uptake is observed. The reduction may be caused by a fall in cardiac output as (venous) return to the heart is reduced by a pooling of blood in dilated skin vessels. The fall in maximal oxygen uptake after prolonged exercise could also be the result of a decreased (arterio-venous) difference in oxygen content of blood. Such a decrease occurs when blood is shifted from working muscles to the skin, where less oxygen uptake occurs.

It does you well to keep the body fluids full, rather than replenished too late. a loss of 2-3 liters of body fluids per hours can be experienced. That is a large per cent of a body that only contains about 40 liters of fluid, only about 5 liters are in the form of blood. True, most of the fluid lost in is sweat from tissue fluids.

Greater losses of plasma volume by females than males have been made. That means a fall in plasma volume contributes to the reduction in stroke volume, cardiac output, and blood pressure during prolonged, vigorous exercise in the heat.

Bottom line - the endurance athlete should learn to drink fluids even before he/she feels thirsty in order to delay dehydration as long as possible.

That is hard to do when you are racing full speed ahead! A good quart of water before competition and a cup of water every 10 minutes can make a difference when exercising in hot.

It is not easy!!!

Then when you travel the world, and you are headed to a race from cold to hot can take you out. Sweating adaptation is very real. It can take up to 14 days of training in the heat to allow the body to adapt, even at sub maximal work to lower skin temperature.

The sweating adaptation is brought about by both an exercise effect and a heat effect. Heat acclimatization causes the brain to begin sending signals to the sweat glands more rapidly to lower the body temperatures.

When you race the World Cup, you don't have time to adapt and that is why it is such a test of the body.

The season is changing, so being aware can be helpful. There are different levels to think about due to the rising temps!

Simple heat exhaustion (heat syncope) hits by a feeling of dizziness or actual fainting.

Heat cramps where the victim condition may be alleviated by commercial electrolyte drinks or taking several glasses of water, each needs 1/2 teaspoon of dissolved table salt.

Heat stroke happens rarely, but we still need to be aware! Hot dry, mental confusion, convulsions, or loss of consciousness. The brain can't control the nerve cells.

There is a lot to the sport and many don't even know what goes on within it.

Thanks gals for the help with Georgia!

We wish Georgia a speedy recovery!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Chadwick gets GC at Tour of Arkansas!

Once again teams change from year to year! Sure it makes us sad with so many changes!
Again, we can't claim anything except show you the results.

We know this, with all the work we have done, plus if we can keep a gal or guy on the fit, they seem to do very well!

Chadwick takes two on key climb.

Glen Chadwick (Team Type 1) continued his strong form with a second consecutive stage at the Tour of Arkansas today. This time the New Zealander took a gratifying victory atop the queen stage's Mount Nebo ahead of Predrag Prokic (Toshiba-Santo) and Michael Lang (Jelly Belly).

Chadwick furthered his overall lead in the Tour with an additional five seconds in time bonuses picked up on the line.

Tour of Arkansas
May 15-18, 2008

Stage 1 - May 15: EPIC Road Race,

Chadwick wins Arkansas' epic opener
Fit 2640
Fit Name: Glen ChadwickGender:
MFit Type: road
Height: 5' 11"Weight: 165 lbs.

Account: Performance Labs, fitted by (Craig Upton.) a fellow mate from New Zealand

FIT VALUES:trochtofloor = 975mmrtankle = 82mmankleknee = 425mmbaseknee = 84mmkneetotroch = 495mmneutral = 250mmtrochtowall = 100mmcrest = 225mmacrelax = 700mmacup = 770mmacdown = 660mmactoac = 370mmactoelbow = 370mmknuckle = 375mmshoulder = 1140mmtop_tube = 565mmseat_tube = 560mmsangle = 73.8 degreescrank = 175mmltsesamoid = 137mmrtsesamoid = 137mmltcenter = 41mmrtcenter = 41mmltheel = 186mmrtheel = 186mm

FIT Computations: Results!

Thank you for using the Wobble-naught® system for fitting your bike. Some of you will have made drastic adjustments to your bike. It may take you several months to fully adjust to the new fit. Give your body time to adjust to the fit before you try to get peak performance.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Does a fit matter? You Bet!

Bennati’s long road to a custom Super Six
By Matt Pacocha Velonews
Posted May. 15, 2008

Daniele Bennati turns a custom Cannondale into a sprint victory.

Bike fit is no joking matter for a professional racer. Fit is the single most important aspect of the bike. If the bike doesn’t fit, it really doesn’t matter how light or technologically advanced it is — it’s not going to be very fast.

Take the case of Liquigas rider Daniele Bennati. He has short legs, long arms and a long torso. So the team’s bike sponsor, Cannondale, built him a custom SuperSix carbon bike, which he has been racing for two and a half months.

The original was clad in team paint, but for this year’s Giro d’Italia he received a second, more conspicuous, all green, custom SuperSix. It came last Sunday night and he promptly won Monday’s stage 3 with it.

Racers do well at Mt. Hood!

To move ahead in a chosen sport, you will need to hone skills and that requires both hard work and the mental drive that goes along with it. You won't become an expert overnight. But don't give up and success comes from those who have put in their time.

There is a ton of information on technique and strategy on how to move ahead of the pack. Coming from the multi-sports background, and with many years in sports, what matters is quality training and quality concepts from a scientific approach.

It has been said, you can't break down the pedal stroke? How else can one explain or teach?
To know the underlying mechanism, that is to know as much as possible about the physical and chemical laws responsible for the change in function is key! The simple desire or natural curiosity or belief, or to predict is not enough!

Strength without technique is "impotent."

That looks like the case in Mt. Hood as we see more seasoned racers ahead of the pack. So intelligence with mental imagery (strength - speed - technique) very much part of the larger picture of success. Conditioning the mind through mental imagery improves the quickness and makes for a stronger nwuropsychological bond of mind and body.

How do you know what makes a difference from a biomechanical analysis for one person to the next? There are basic mechanics of cycling and they can be broken down in areas: pedaling, gears, and riding strategy. To win, you have to master them all.

Pedaling is the major focus, as that is where the power comes from. We can only show them what their stroke should be, what muscle is doing what, how to hold the arms in a sprint. They still have to learn when to change gears to conserve energy. And lastly, they have to have a team strategy along with the desire to race and win. Time is perhaps the best teacher here!
It takes many races to learn what you need to do.

One of the hard things about the fitting service is you work with people in their homes, on the road, and share what we have that makes a difference for them and then the team changes. It is just information after all, so you can't claim anything, except you had a chance to show them what you know and what they are doing. The rest is up to them.

Like skiing, their are many types of skiing. Downhill, XC, Freestyle, etc... The road game is only one of the many different types of racing, it is not the only one, but it gets the most press.

It is so different than mtb, tt, etc... it is very much a team game and you might not even have a team that can work together to put you (your best sprinter) up front for a chance to win. It takes a ton of effort from all to work for their sprinter.

If you have followed our history you will know the names that we have worked with.

We are very happy with the Mt. Hood results. We would like to send congrats to the racers that we have worked with.

We want to send congrats to Jenn Halladay (USA) who placed 10th in the pro women. Why is this cool, well, she is a mother of 5 and holds her own against the pros.

We are pleased to see Tina Pic Colavita / Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light taking the crit. She is so nice off the bike, we wonder where she gets the mind set to out sprint so many in the many years she has been winning?

As for the men, many of the top racers are on our fit. They got fitted by Craig Upton.

Again, we have worked with so many and the results are super. Many times, due to the newer teams, the contracts, we can't blog about their success! But we know, and we have their fits in our data base.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Globalization of Maliciousness

A small voice from a far! You would think a professional website would be more professional?

Globalization leads to "Blog-a-lization" (is that a word?), a lot of hot air and it can lead to maliciousness, sometimes not very professional statements. Some of the malicious comments come from those that don't have a full understanding of the physiology of exercise and the responses & adaptations.

Many topics from physical education, athletics, and medical concepts are discussed across the many cycling web sites. Where appropriate, conclusive statements are made about phenomena in exercise physiology but, generally, no attempt is made to gloss over the abundant controversies in the field.

It is assumed that people at the college level should be told when problems are unresolved. Given the current interest in aerobic exercise, cycling has in the past been only "blood & guts."

I don't see the showers of glory here! We list our facts. Each and every week, we highlight the elite group of top riders that use our service. The race is where the pros are, mate! The racer is pushing technique! He/she has in every sport: cars, bikes, skiing, etc...

It was said, we can't "do what we do", that "is has failed". Try telling that to the many people who use it with great success. Georgia Gould, Shonny Vanlandingham, Rebecca Rusch, Pua Sawicki are just a few of them that have been in the news just this past week.
He list a number of facts or conclusive statements (without facts) and if you work closely with science, you can't claim anything.

Most of the time, we don't waste our time reading all the misleading information about fitting.
Our goal is not to improve their knowledge on our nickel for their MO to retard the world of science. The web has allowed voices to express their personal thoughts on what I view must be the "dream land."

"Steve H - I spend a large part of my working life getting results for people that the above style of thinking has failed."

Anyone who has used our Wobble-naught CAD & Myo-facts sEMG & Dartfish knows how it has made a difference in their game. He is correct that no two people are the same and that is why we take measurements. I guess he knows all of our constraints?
I guess our racers should stop winning! It's pissing people off! Even in the "Dream Land."

In this game with the many voices, the doping, and the internet, you have to learn to tolerate all the self proclaimed experts.

Here is someone who claims that he spends most of his time fixing Wobble-naught fitted riders and we don't even have anyone in his country.

Take it to the race, mate! List the success if you have it!

I guess the thousands of fits we perform by our many dealers are jumping on planes and flying across the world without us knowing? Seems like another dream!

I guess the increasing watts is not real and the success of our many racers is just a dream?

This person has no idea what we do, nor will we provide him with our methods. It is a good thing, he writes for as an international expert!

I am very sure the presidential candidates don't like political reporters, especially one who has a MO to improve their own business.

Can we perhaps say, "The last of the breed - before researched-based information takes over and becomes the trend over guess work." Experiential advice is a dime a dozen! I guess if you don't measure, the only thing you can do is claim that no two people are the same. Boy! Does he have that right!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Shonny Vanlandingham claims XTERRA in AZ!

Faster, younger, fresher-that's what the mags say!

Not so with Shonny Vanlandingham. She swims! She rides! She runs! And, she does it better than most!

Shonny had been pointed out as formidable foe and has already shown her speed using the Wobble-naught & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish. This gal is 7-time U.S. National Mountain Bike Team Member. With a commitment to the XTERRA America Tour her performances will get better and better.

Shonny Vanlandingham might be on her way to a XTERRA championships. We know she has the focus to get the job done! She is teachable and knows her way to victory: "Hard Work."

On another note, we are not pleased to hear the news about Jamie Whitmore, a multi-time XTERRA champion, being out of action. We are also the sponsor of her team Mona Vie/Cannondale. Jamie is getting treatment of a tumor on her left pelvis. We wish her well as she is in the race of her life.

How cool is it to work with such great people? Here is a note from our friend Shonny Vanlandingham!

Shonny V to Tom
show details 9:10 AM 4/6/08

Hi Tom,

How are
you? Was thinking about you and thought I would drop a line.

My decision
to race off road triathlon this year was a good one. I am more motivated then
I've been in a couple years. It was time for a change of pace. I raced my first
XTERRA in AZ last weekend and won. Sweet!

All the run and swim training
are paying off. It was a new mindset racing Fontana and Sea Otter just for
'training'. haha But I am excited that I am still riding in the top ten in
addition to all the running and swimming I've been doing. Nice!

I even
won my first road triathlon just before Sea Otter. I guess I really am a
triathlete now. ;-)


Elbow discomfort? Lateral Epicodylitis?

Epicondylitis is a painful and sometimes disabling inflammation of the muscle and surrounding tissues of the elbow, caused by repeated strain on the forearm near the lateral epicondyle of the humerus, such as from violent extension or supination of the wrist against a resiting force.

The strain may result from activities such as tennis or golf, twisting a screwdriver, carrying a heavy load with the arm extended, or even cycling with a bad bike fit.

If you play any sport enough, you learn of the irritations that can come from, what many in cycling view as, non-sports?

Most cycling folks don't view their game of striking the pedal each time. They don't view the hands & wrists as receiving the road vibrations as causing irritation on their tendons.

Read most of the ways of a better bike fit and they never bring up reasons for irritations. They just proclaim the pedal stroke only or view the fit by recording the watts.

In tennis, one such issue it is know as tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is due to irritation of the tendons of the forearm muscles. It can come from a bad wrist position or grip, along with the impact of striking the ball over and over. It can also be caused by too much tape on the grip in relation to your hand size and shape! In other words, the muscles are on all the time, can't release and that tension is sending more energy to the tendons, leading to too much strain from the road surface. In some cases, surgery is needed to release part of the muscle from the epicondyle.

It is very important to know a total body fit for cycling. What is your wrist angle? With many of the newer bars, people are having their bar tape placed over the larger flat area. This alone with the wrong bar angle can cause the irritation of the tendons of the forearm muscles. Your hoods could even be in the wrong place. Any time you have a muscle on, you are using energy!

Of course everyone has the same hand size, the same size upper body, so lets just hang a line and call it good.

When we do a fit, we measure from your toes to your fingers! Then we teach you how to address the bike, which is just as important.

To just jump on a trainer, view the watts, watch some morphed figure on a big screen is not the way to get your bike dialed.

There is a lot more going on in a correct fit than you know!

Get fit by a pro that knows the whole story!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Georgia Gould Gets Another 5th on the World Cup #3 in Spain.

Super results for our top USA mtb gal, Georgia Gould (Luna).

She pointed out that she had a few mistakes, but that is how you learn at the World Cup level.
This is the second time she has placed 5th and this was a very fast course, so with the speed, you can mess up a turn or two.

She has now lowered her time by about 3 minutes from the normal winning time. If she stays the course, Georgia looks like she might be going to the games.

If she can nail every turn and keep the pace, she can find the speed to be in the hunt, but she needs to be perfect on course without any mistakes.
Luna still holds the UCI Team lead.

1 Gunn-Rita Flesja (Nor) 1:48:14
2 Marie-Helene Premont (Can) same time
3 Margarita Fullana (Esp) 1:13
4 Sabine Spitz (Ger) 1:37
5 Georgia Gould (USA) Wobble-naught & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish 2:37

Pua Sawicki 1, Rebecca Rush 2, Carey Lowery 3 at Dirt Sweat & Gears!

Understand this! There are many teams that hold agreements with the racers and that means they are on our fit, but can't support us as a sponsor. That's OK! We know who they are!

There is also a lot of ideas about fitting and sure it takes a ton of money to do ads! We grow by word of mouth. In this game you will be found out if something works and that seems to be the case with so many racers. They don't read the hype, they read the results!

You read about the fit evolution and finding the right fitter. So if these fits are what they claim, why does Wobble-naught & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish take 1st, 2nd, 3rd, at Dirt, Sweat, and Gears in the Women's field alone?

It seems that many don't understand that we are not a universal formula for measuring limb length only. In fact they don't know what we have for our constraints, its in our CAD and CAD is Dynamic Bike Fitting.

Why are we the sponsor of Mona Vie/Cannondale and most of the gals on the Luna mtb team? Why is Georgia Gould is our top USA mtb racer? Because it works!

We don't romance you with mags and money, we grow because our methods work and the results are for real!

Our top "long haul" gals Pua Sawicki and Rebecca Rusch put down the most laps (9) in the pro women and with the fastest times. Racing in third was yet another Wobble-naught & Myo-facts racer Carey Lowery fit by Eddie O'Dea in Georgia.

Pua put about 15 min over Rebecca early in the race and that was he way it stayed. In a 12 hour race, being that close is a tight race in which anything can cause a change in the results.

Congrats to them all and thanks for using our Wobble-naught & Myo-facts Dartfish know how!

Results Elite solo men

1 Tinker Juarez 11 laps Mona Vie/Cannondale sponsored by Wobble-naught & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish!
2 Brandon Draugelis 11
3 Josh Tostado 10
4 Nat Ross 10 Wobble-naught & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish
5 Mark Hendershot 9
6 Ernesto Marenchin 9 Wobble-naught & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish
7 Dave Norton 9
8 Yuri Hauswald 8
9 Douglas Smith 8
10 Lee Unwin 8
11 Chris Janiszewski 6
12 Chris Baker 3
13 Taylor Sullivan 3

Elite solo women

1 Pua Sawicki 9 laps Wobble-naught & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish
2 Rebecca Rusch 9 Wobble-naught & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish
3 Carey Lowery 8 Wobble-naught & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish
4 Rebecca Tomawicki 7
5 Sandra Tomlinson 6
6 Janis Sandlin 6 Wobble-naught & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish

Friday, May 02, 2008

Back Pain on the bike - Why? Perhaps "Isometric Contraction."

The snow is going away and the westerners that have put many days on the skis are jumping on their bikes. The muscles of the back have been used a lot so they are not use to just being in one static length.

Some of these riders have not taken any time in between sports to give the lower back a rest.
They can't wait to get on their new bikes and can't wait to go fast, so they spend every day on the bike.
It seems like more and more people are getting into the bike fitting, especially for time trial and triathlon. They read and look at pictures and think that being more aero is better. However, being more aero can cause extra tension to develop in the muscles if there is a bad fit or really long hours in the saddle. Plus, the jarring caused by rough road surfaces can also lead to muscle pain. Trigger points become active in awkward postures aggravated by fatigue, cold spring temps, or mental tension.

Many times, a cyclist will have low back pain from a reflex from a stimulated part of the body. Even the racers have low back pain at times. The human spine is, for the most part, compressed while upright or sitting with maximum pressure at the base of the spine due to the upper body mass. There is no question in that most of what we do in our modern lifestyles involves sitting and slumping forward, and, yes that includes cycling! I think we are all aware that the vital stabilizing muscles of the lumbar spine are weakened in sitting and slumping postures.
Inadequate spinal movement causes stiffened segments and vertebral discs dry out. The joint then stops working effectively and the spine develops stiff links like those that develop in your bike chain! Sooner or later, stiff links will cause segmental dysfunction and most of the time it occurs in lumbar 5/ sacral 1. The stiff links can cause trouble by aching or even becoming serious, incapacitating pain. Disc dehydration is a failure of the disc which may protrude or rupture and irritate the adjacent sciatic nerve (sciatica).
Correct and active management doesn't have to affect your performance on the bicycle or your enjoyment. You can pull too hard on the handlebars in a hard effort, or rotate your hip too far forward, or sit on the saddle in the wrong place. Without the correct focus and without conscioulsly relaxing the upper body, you might have to get off the bike in a hurry!
Aerobars used for tt & tri bikes can increase tension in the muscles from being stretched too low or having too short of a reach. These issues are too common as many just do what they see from others.
Isometric contraction (L. contractio, a drawing together) is a muscular contraction without movement of the joint. The muscle is neither lengthed or shortened but TENSION can be measured. Again, there is no joint movement and the length of the muscle remains unchanged, but the the muscle can be contracting with increased tension.

Every rider should think of their muscles as he/she thinks about the heart, which is also a muscle. Muscles need to rest and can't be "on" the whole time. When in the heat of the race or the ride, the rider should take advantage of opportunities to sit straight up and get some blood back to certain muscles, to turn them "off" and hyperextend the back (slow and carefully bend a little backwards). Even long hours at a desk or a long car drive can cause too much tension.

Low back pain among cyclists is mostly caused from a chronic state of isometric contraction during a ride, or even switching from a road bike to a tt bike. A bad bike fit or bad information on how to "address" the saddle, or jumping onto a new tt or tri bike can all lead to lower back issues. Poor adjustment of a saddle, leg-length discrepancy, or bad cleat placement can also cause issues. It is always helpful to stretch and change position on the bicycle frequently and use lower gears, especially on long climbs. Off the bike, practice spinal stretching exercises and work on your core stability muscles e.g pilates.
Medical treatment such as muscle relaxants, prescribed bed rest, or manipulations by trained professional can be effective in treating stubborn muscle tension. But, understand this can be a conditon that lasts for a few months and you will likely not recover overnight.
A little understanding can allow you to go a long way!
Most cyclists are so focused on going fast that they forget that the upper body is a counter weight for which the lower body works under. The back is the link between the hips and the upper body. This is really important to understand, especially for those on tt & tri bikes.

Strengthening exercises will improve the performance of the lower back. But just a simple understanding that the muscle can lock up in a isometric contraction by the skin alone is worth knowing! The knowledge that comes from a professional fit instead of "eyeballing" and "guesstimates" might just keep you in the game longer.
"All I know is what I herd" does not work for everyone. Picture a herd of cows "nose to tail" and they are all bulls. You understand what I mean!
There is a lot more to our fit than meets the eye, and we don't just eye it!