In today’s digest we bring you articles on This Bloody Mary Mocktail is a Great Way to Recover Post-Run, The COVID-19 Crisis: Recalculating a Running Career – Women’s Running, How much water weight do you gain from creatine? and Rheumatoid Arthritis and Exercise: Dispelling the Myths. Hope you enjoy them…
This Bloody Mary Mocktail is a Great Way to Recover Post-Run
This Bloody Mary mocktail is downright chuggable after a hot summer run. “Typically people think of tomato juice for savory drinks, but I like to hone in on the fruity side of the tomato. The coconut water makes this drink light and vegetal with just a breeze of tropicality,” says Julia Momose, owner of Kumiko […]
This Bloody Mary mocktail is downright chuggable after a hot summer run. “Typically people think of tomato juice for savory drinks, but I like to hone in on the fruity side of the tomato. The coconut water makes this drink light and vegetal with just a breeze of tropicality,” says Julia Momose, owner of Kumiko and recipe creator. Studies have shown that coconut water can have the same hydrating benefits as traditional sports drinks, but with less sugar. The addition of strawberries adds high levels of anti-inflammatory antioxidants to help your post-run muscles.
This Bloody Mary Mocktail is a Great Way to Recover Post-Run was originally published at LINK
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The COVID-19 Crisis: Recalculating a Running Career – Women’s Running
Editor’s note: This is part five of a six-part series about how the running industry is coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re investigating several aspects of the sport through the experiences of the women who are navigating and leading the industry. Part One: How Racing Will ReboundPart Two: Helping Running Clubs Get Back on TrackPart […]
Editor’s note: This is part five of a six-part series about how the running industry is coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re investigating several aspects of the sport through the experiences of the women who are navigating and leading the industry.
Part One: How Racing Will Rebound
Part Two: Helping Running Clubs Get Back on Track
Part Three: A Running Brand Leans on Community Building
Park Four: Diljeet Taylor on Coping as a Coach
Every pro track and field athlete took the Tokyo Olympics postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic a little differently. Those who needed more time to build fitness greeted it as good news. Others decided to take a training break. Colleen Quigley, however, had a delayed reaction.
At first, Quigley, a 2016 Olympian in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, maintained a positive attitude after the official word came out that the Games would be moved to July 2021. She was coming off a successful indoor track season, which she capped by running 8:28.71 in the 3,000 meters. Her training group, the Bowerman Track Club, was making plans to move from its Portland, Oregon, base to an altitude camp in Park City, Utah, where it would be easier to run together safely, with more space and less-crowded terrain.
For the first time, Quigley’s boyfriend, Kevin Conroy, and their Bernese Mountain dog, Pie, were able to join her during the stint in the mountains. If the pandemic had an upside, it was the ability to spend more time together, she thought.
“Then, halfway through altitude camp, that’s when it hit me. I was tired all the time. My hip was hurting, and I was like, ‘This sucks. I’m not happy right now,’” Quigley, 27, says. “I was having bad workouts and I was grumpy. I was talking to my mom and she pointed out that it was the week we were supposed to be at the Olympic Trials. Just recognizing that and sitting with it and knowing that it’s something heavy helped me stress less and accept it.”
Pro track runners have short careers in the grand scheme. Most are lucky to get one legitimate chance at making an Olympic team, which is still widely considered the pinnacle of achievement in the sport. They work toward the Games in four-year increments, basing nearly all decisions on what gives them the best shot at making that dream come true.
When the Olympic Trials, the Tokyo Olympics, and most other races were off the table for 2020, it threw the sport and its stars into the unknown. What does it mean to be a pro runner without any measurement of your talent? How are contracts honored? Where will bonuses and appearance fees come from? Is maintaining health and fitness for another year feasible? For women, plans for pregnancy can be put on hold. Older athletes, have had to consider delayed retirement.
A lost Olympic year is significant. And one lost to a public health crisis is unique. COVID-19 has wide-ranging effects, but notably can leave damage to the heart and lungs for many survivors, as well as trigger chronic fatigue syndrome. The virus itself has the potential to end an athletic career.
In a sport that isn’t known for much unity and activism when it comes to athlete rights, the pandemic seemed to bring track and field contenders together, letting officials at U.S.A. Track & Field and World Athletics know their concerns regarding safety, fairness, access to training, anti-doping measures, and competition.
The Athletics Association, an organization created by two-time Olympic gold medalist Christian Taylor—with world champion steeplechaser Emma Coburn serving as vice president—helped give voice to its members. The group surveyed more than 4,000 track and field athletes and found that 78 percent wanted the Tokyo Games postponed. As a result, USATF joined other Olympic sport governing bodies in urging the International Olympic Committee to make the call.
And although the postponement was what they wanted, the official news still left a lot of professional uncertainty on the table. Contracts with shoe brands, which serve as the primary income for many pro runners, often include reduction clauses when athletes are unable to compete. Other forms of income, like performance bonuses for setting records or meeting other objectives also initially seemed impossible.
But when it became clear that an entire season could go uncontested, especially with travel restrictions around the world, training groups started getting creative, including the Bowerman Track Club. Head coach Jerry Schumacher kept the group in Park City for an additional week while the organization nailed down details for a series of intrasquad meets at a high school track in Portland.
“They were trying to see if we could get our meets sanctioned and we had to meet all these rules from USATF about COVID testing, temperature checks, and the number of people who could be there,” Quigley says. “We also had to find a facility that would even allow us to do it. We were flying by the seat of our pants, taking it one week, one month at a time.”
But when all those details came together, a series of meets during the summer produced some big results, including an American record in the 5,000 meters for Shelby Houlihan (14:23.92) and a 4 x 1500-meter relay world record (16:27.04) for Houlihan, Quigley, Karissa Schweizer, and Elise Cranny.
For Quigley, the chance to compete felt crucial. Her contract with Nike is up at the end of 2020 and she, like most athletes, she didn’t want to enter a renegotiation without having met her end of the deal.
“We didn’t want to put ourselves in a situation where the legal team at Nike could say, ‘Well, technically you didn’t meet your contractual obligations for the year, so you’re subject to penalties for that,’” she says. “Everyone has been dealing with that. As athletes, we do have to protect ourselves. We’re going through unprecedented times and we don’t know what our sponsors have to do at the end of the year for their bottom lines.”
Still, the personal bests and racing were also fun—and an opportunity to feel a little “normal” during a time that’s anything but.
“Hey, we worked our butts off at altitude and we want to get something out of that,” Quigley says. “I feel like it was the smartest thing to do to protect ourselves and make sure that we meet our obligations in any way possible, even in a global pandemic.”
For female athletes in all sports, it could be particularly important to stay in the public eye during the COVID-19 crisis, according to a report released by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).
“With slashed revenues across the entire ecosystem of sport, clubs, teams and other organizations may fall back to prioritize investments in ‘traditional’ sports—meaning men’s sports,” the policy brief warns. “Arguments about this being more profitable in terms of audience, media coverage and sponsorships may rule the decision-making, leading women athletes to face even more precarious contracts and conditions of training and, in some cases, to the extinction of women’s teams and leagues altogether.”
Quigley, who was a model in high school, has always maintained a heavy social media presence, often branching out beyond the typical track-and-field athlete’s content. During the pandemic, she’s used Instagram to lead at-home strength workouts, she’s shared recipes and cooking demos, hair-braiding tutorials (long-time followers are familiar with her #FastBraidFriday campaign), and she also competed in an ESPN Peloton competition, which she won. She’s used her platform to draw attention to voting and racial justice issues, too. And in conjunction with the intrasquad race series, the Bowerman Track Club also raised $23,000 for the Equal Justice Initiative, an organization that provides legal representation to prisoners who may have been wrongly convicted and poor prisoners who can’t afford it.
The tendency to get involved in a wide array of interests is not just good business sense for Quigley. Depression is a big problem for high-performing athletes, many of whom deal with mental health challenges when their careers come to an end. Michael Phelps and other Olympians recently documented their struggles in the film, “The Weight of Gold.”
“Some athletes don’t know who they are outside of the Olympics. They’ve been training for it sometimes their whole lives and when it’s over, they don’t know what they like outside of their sport,” Quigley says. “I don’t want to end up there. A huge part of my identity is obviously as a runner, but I do like to do so many things…my coach and my old agent used to always get on me about staying focused and not taking on too much, but for me it’s part of my recipe for success and happiness.”
It’s difficult to predict how 2021 will unfold, but athletes like Quigley are proceeding as though the Olympics will go on as scheduled in Tokyo and adjusting their plans into the future. Some people are moving up projects that they usually reserve for the “down year” after the Games, because the condensed time between 2021 and the 2024 Paris Olympics will keep them busy (and tired).
Quigley, for example, is taking time this fall to create a training journal she’s been thinking about publishing for a while.
“I was going to do this after Tokyo, but instead of putting things off, I’ll do it in this extra year,” she says.
Whether another Olympics is in her future or not, Quigley’s desire to continue competing still runs deep. She says that if she can remain sponsored, she sees herself running professionally through 2024.
“This time can be an opportunity if you let it,” she says. “I’m just trying not to let any moments pass me by, because if I can stay healthy, I have a lot more in me that I haven’t tapped into yet. It’s going to be a wild ride between now and Paris.”
How much water weight do you gain from creatine?
Have you ever wondered what creatine added to your weight? Was it water or muscle, or maybe something else? This is a common question in the fitness and bodybuilding circles and it has a very complicated answer. For example, when you start consuming extra creatine for the first time (because creatine is found in food […]
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Exercise: Dispelling the Myths
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Exercise: What to Consider When many people hear the term arthritis, they may associate it with pain, inflammation, lack of mobility and movement. While these definitions are true, lack of movement is not always the case. In fact, for some people, rheumatoid arthritis and exercise can pose many benefits. It can be […]
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Exercise: What to Consider
When many people hear the term arthritis, they may associate it with pain, inflammation, lack of mobility and movement. While these definitions are true, lack of movement is not always the case. In fact, for some people, rheumatoid arthritis and exercise can pose many benefits.
It can be hard for those living with any type of arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis, to move a part of their body in its full range of motion if there is pain and inflammation. Despite this, movement is still a key element in disease management.
Exercising with rheumatoid arthritis has been a topic of discussion for years. The misconceptions that exercising is not good for arthritis has led to many patients not being aware of the positive benefits it can have. For some who find that the physical activities they once loved are no longer as easy, they can fall short with alternative ideas that bring them joy. Others simply give up entirely because they feel they can never get fit or strong again, which is a false perception.
Common Myths About Exercising with RA
Activity Worsens Joint Pain and Inflammation
One of the biggest myths when it comes to exercising and rheumatoid arthritis is that it can worsen joint pain and inflammation. As with any form of exercise, overdoing it and pushing past your known limit can set you back. Aside from conventional medications prescribed to slow the progression of the disease, one of the best complementary and natural treatments one can do for themselves is to exercise.
You Shouldn’t Exercise if You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
Many people assume this because of the myth addressed above. Rheumatoid arthritis is not just your typical wear and tear arthritis, it has further reaching effects that go beyond muscles, bones and joints. For a small percentage of patients organ involvement can occur in places such as the heart, lungs and eyes. Since people with rheumatoid arthritis are twice as likely to develop heart disease compared to the general population whom do not have the condition, it is especially crucial to exercise for this reason.
Just like the muscles that connect to our bones and joints, the heart is also a muscle that needs to be exercised. This can only be done through physical activity. Exercise can also help the lymphatic system function better by encouraging muscle contractions, pumping fluid all over your body. The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs whose primary job is to help the body rid itself of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. They produce cells that fight viruses, bacteria and disease, along with strengthening the immune system.
Pain Is a Bad Sign
If you have rheumatoid arthritis you may experience pain on and off, or constantly. When working out, trying to differentiate between rheumatoid arthritis pain or exercise pain can be tricky for some.
Typically, pain gives our bodies a sign that something may be wrong or it is a signal to pay attention. Burning discomfort in and around the muscles is a good type of pain. This is a signal that muscles are being worked. However, if you stop a particular exercise and find that you are having pain or discomfort that lasts more than 10 minutes, then that is not a good sign. This is a signal from your body to slow down, take a break, or stop all together.
Exercise Can Cause Joint Damage
Actually, the opposite is true, as no exercise can increase your chances of joint damage. Movement is a natural part of our human evolution and always has been. We are not meant to be sedentary beings and even if you have found yourself needing to be sedentary for a period of time due to surgery recovery or severe flares, that does not mean you cannot begin exercising again once you feel better to do so. Moving your body helps lubricate those creaky and squeaky joints, strengthen muscles and increases flexibility. When your muscles are stronger, they help support your joints better, which then protects you from damage.
People Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Only Do Certain Exercises
Those with RA are all impacted differently. Disease, activity, surgeries and the severity of the condition all come into play when creating an exercise routine. What works for one person, could land another in pain. While low-impact exercises tend to be the norm for all arthritis sufferers, high-impact activities can be beneficial and done safely.
Best Exercises for RA
One of the best exercises a person can do that will not require a gym, personal trainer or much effort, is stretching. It’s the number one way to reduce stiffness, especially in the morning or evening when it occurs the most.
The second-best exercise is walking. This activity can be done almost anywhere and is beneficial for all your organs, joints, bones, muscles and surrounding musculoskeletal tissues, along with your mood.
Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates
Yoga, tai chi and Pilates are a popular third among rheumatoid arthritis patients. These exercises have been used dating back to ancient times to help people feel more relaxed and alert by the way of deep breathing techniques. The gentle flowing movements and poses aid in strengthening the bones, joints, muscles and improves balance and flexibility.
Another gentle exercise that can be beneficial for painful joints is swimming. There are various types of aquatic exercises one can do to reduce stiffness, pain and inflammation. For those who find working out on land more difficult for certain exercises, water provides a natural resistance that takes the pressure off of joints.
This allows for more options when it comes to aerobic or strength-training workouts in the water that can be done with weights for an added benefit. Don’t underestimate water’s gentle nature though. Since it provides a protective barrier to do workouts with ease, patients may have a tendency to feel better and overdo it. Being mindful while doing water exercises; it is important to help ward off any pain or flares afterwards.
High-impact workouts provide great benefits for those looking for more aerobic conditioning ideas. Bike riding is an option that reduces your cardiovascular risk by exercising the heart muscle. Weight and strength training can help the bones get stronger, which helps the muscles and joints.
It is good to focus on the smaller picture, by not neglecting the smaller bones and muscles in your body, as seen in the hands and feet. These two areas are usually the first targets of attack in rheumatoid arthritis. Taking the time to exercise these areas by yourself or with a trained medical professional, such as an occupational therapist, can be helpful.
Meeting Your Needs and Goals
Individuals may benefit from having goals that are geared towards lower-impact exercises, while some may need a mixture of low impact and high impact. The overall goal, no matter what form of exercise regime you choose, is to reduce joint pain and maintain and improve joint function.
The important thing to remember, is to not push yourself past your limit. One of the best goals is to try learning what your body likes or does not like, and most importantly, what you enjoy doing. Exercising when looked at as a chore is not fun and can increase a person’s chances of not being motivated or enthusiastic enough to go forward with an exercise plan.
Goals and needs are personal, but a trainer, physical therapist or rheumatologist can help guide you towards where you want to be. The most important thing is to begin. Start slowly and over time your needs and goals will evolve.
Exercise and Disease Management
One of the biggest triggers in developing a chronic disease is lack of exercise. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in many countries and exercising can lower this risk.
With any exercise you choose to do, it is important to remember to stay hydrated. If you are able, investing in proper shoes and breathable clothing can make you feel more secure, comfortable and confident.
Want to learn more? Check out our tips for exercising with rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Exercise: Dispelling the Myths was originally published at LINK