Coach Robb

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About Coach Robb

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    TT Health & Fitness Expert

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    Male
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    Florida
  • Interests
    Motorcycles have been my passion since 1978. I enjoy helping riders of all ages and abilities no matter what type of riding they enjoy. Please feel free to ask any question about nutrition, hydration, strength, endurance, flexibility or sports psychology relevant to riding! I look forward to answering all of your questions.

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  1. The key to maximizing your productivity within your workouts is to be hitting the exact duration and intensity levels necessary to address your identified weaknesses. Each workout’s elements (duration and intensity) are created to stress the body in a manner that creates a stimulation at the hormonal (aka human growth hormone), the aerobic (larger oxygen uptake) and muscular level (development of new muscle) resulting in faster speed and enhanced endurance in a shorter period of time. Please keep in mind that if you push beyond the necessary duration and/or intensity levels, you are pushing the body into a zone that can become counterproductive and negatively affect your speed and endurance – this fine line is the difference between being fit & razor sharp or being over trained, fatigued, sick and/or injuried. Also, by keeping a close eye on your resting heart rate and your body weight in the morning (utilize the Body Analysis spreadsheet – email me), you have two of the key indicators to evaluate how your body is adapting to stress of training on a daily basis. By keeping detailed logs of your food & body analysis information, you are able to adjust your training & eating habits to turn the body from a catabolic (tear down mode) to an anabolic mode (growth and improvement). It cannot be emphasized enough the impact your eating and sleeping habits have to your health, wellness and ultimately your performance results. Finally, if logistically possible, please set up an appointment with your physician and have your blood drawn (request a full panel) so that your physician can review the health of your blood chemistry. By reviewing your blood panel every 12 weeks, we can evaluate the effectiveness of your training, eating and sleeping patterns. If any of these three variables become out of balance, you run the risk of becoming over-trained and the associated side effects: fatigue, decreased speed & endurance, irritability, depression, etc. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me! Remember, Work Smart, Not Hard! Yours in sport & health, -Coach Robb, Coaches and Staff
  2. fitness

    Bryan, Thank you for your comment, and I apologize for the delay getting back to your question. CLICK HERE to watch a short video that I put together a few years back about what contrast therapy is as well as how to implement correctly. Please drop me a message if you have any questions or need anything clarified. -Coach Robb
  3. 5 Top Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

    Although you know good nutrition is like quality fuel for your car, spending a few extra dollars for high quality fruits and vegetables can be a difficult habit to adopt.  These 5 tips can help meet the needs of both your body & your budget.

    1. Understand & Prioritize Nutrition

    How important is good nutrition to your health & performance? Answering these questions will help you determine how much money you are willing to invest in your food on a weekly basis. As athletes, there are many places to spend money: equipment, massage therapy, etc; however, where you spend your money is based on your priorities. Once you decide that your health & performance are worth investing in, you’re buying and eating habits will change accordingly. 

    2. Purchase, Prep & Store Your Food

    Set your weekly schedule so that you visit the grocery store on specific days: ideally Tuesday and Friday.  Block out time in your personal schedule to wash, dice and package your food into Tupperware or baggies. Write the specific day and whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner on each package and store in your freezer or refrigerator.  The convenience of grab and go packages will increase your intake of high quality fruits and vegetables by 100%.  It is rarely the lack of desire to eat healthy, but rather convenience that drives you to fast food. 

    3. Eat your Food  

    You have taken the time to purchase & prep your food, now you have to sit down and eat the food!  Just like the time that you carved out of your schedule to purchase and prepare your food, you now need to block out time to sit down and consume your food.  Digestion begins inside your mouth.  By sitting down and avoiding any distractions (TV, iPhone, computer, etc.) you will chew your food more completely making digestion easier inside your stomach which results in higher absorption of nutrients and water in a shorter period of time (because the food pieces are smaller and easier to break down).  

    3. Avoid Fast Food

    You have been lead to believe that the dollar menu at a fast food chain is “cheap” eating.  Well the marketing is both right and wrong.  The food is cheap when you look at the quality – some fast food restaurants use meat quality that is so low, it literally says “Safe for human consumption on the boxes”.  However, it is NOT cheap when you add up all the add on features to a combo meal, on average you spend nearly five ($5.00) dollars per person every time you run through the fast through line and what you purchased is gone in ten minutes or less.  If you headed to your grocery store and purchased $5.00 worth of fruits and/or vegetables, you will be consuming both a high-quality food item along with purchasing a lot more food.  Now when you spend $5.00, you are getting both “good food” and “good quality” for the same $5.00 that can last you through two or more meals. 

    4. Learn to Read Labels

    There’s nothing frustrating than finding out that you’ve been spending your money on high quality fruits and vegetables that you thought were healthy, only to find out that they are not. Many labels use terms like natural, raw, and whole wheat; however, they are not regulated and can be used to sell products at a higher price. By reading labels you can determine which foods live up to their labels and which are just clever marketing.   

    5. Don’t Shop Hungry & Without a List

    When your blood sugar is low (i.e. hungry), your ability to make rational decisions is gone.  When you shop in this mental state, you are more likely to purchase items you normally wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) resulting in a higher food bill with lower quality.  While shopping with a full stomach of high quality fruits, vegetables and low fat protein while purchasing ONLY the items on your shopping list will result in a lower food bill at the checkout register.  When you get home, your refrigerator is stocked with exactly what you need to prepare your high-quality meals and snacks. 

    -Coach Robb

     

     

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  4. Between riders riding and racing every weekend, a frequent question is how to recover properly. If you have followed me for any period of time, you know that I am an advocate for one day of rest per week and to pull back the overall volume and intensity every six weeks to allow your body to rejuvenate both mentally and physically (at a blood chemistry level). What does that look like? 1. Rest Means Rest: this is not the day to go to a theme park,run errands that have you outside and in the heat and humidity, etc. Anything that is stressful on your body should be avoided. Note doing a sport specific event “easy” is not the idea of a rest day. Instead schedule a massage, read a book, go to a movie or go to lunch with an old friend. 2. Take a Nap: when your body gets into REM (rapid eye movement) level 3, it releases hGH (human growth hormone) which make you both lean and facilitates recovery. Make the room dark and cold, eat a quality snack and consume 5-8 ounces of cold water prior to lying down. 3. Contrast Therapy: the goal here is to expose the muscle tissue to the largest temperature deviation that you can tolerate; the bigger the temperature spread between hot and cold the better. If you complete in the shower, strive for 2 minutes hot – 30 seconds cold. If you utilize a bath, strive for 4 minutes hot, 1 minute cold). Repeat 2 to 4 times. 4. Loosen your muscles up: go for a therapeutic massage or take a yoga class the night prior to your rest day. Spend 20 minutes both in the morning and the evening foam rolling and working on trigger points. Gotta' slow down sometimes to go fast! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestion for a future article, hit me up on the comments section below. I enjoy hearing from you. Oh, and don't forget to tap that "Follow" button so that you're notified when I post new tips on reaching your highest potential. Coach Robb Beams Complete Racing Solutions About Coach Robb
  5. Before we review the five most common mistake that a rider needs to avoid, let’s take a brief look at the physiological demands put on a rider during riding and racing. First, a rider has to “teach” the body to conserve glycogen and burn fatty acids as a primary fuel source. Note, the higher the riding intensity level, the more glycogen (aka stored carbohydrates) your body burns. The downside to higher intensity and the utilization of stored glycogen, is that your body only stores about 60-80 minutes of glycogen within the muscles – not enough to finish strong, hence the need to prepare and train properly (which will be outlined below). With this in mind, it is imperative that the racer focus on maximizing his or her aerobic capacity, both on and off of the motorcycle. When this is implemented properly, the following physiological adaptations take place (which results in better endurance and overall speed): - Improved delivery of oxygen to the working muscles - Lower overall heart rate due to the increased stroke volume of the heart - Improved elimination of lactic acid (a by product of burning carbohydrates) - Increased number of mitochondria (remember in school: “The power house of the cell” In my opinion, one of the most beneficial by-products of endurance training is that it prepares the rider for the psychological demands of racing – especially late in the race when mental focus can make the difference between 1st and 5th place. When you teach yourself to stay mentally sharp, you the rider will be able to make the necessary decisions that will build upon themselves throughout the race. Here’s how. When you don’t mentally drift off, you will consistently consume the necessary fluids and calories (ideally every 15-20 minutes) which will result in stabilized blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar levels are optimized, your brain has the necessary “fuel” to implement the proper techniques that you have worked hard to incorporate into your riding. These proper techniques lead to faster speeds which your brain has to process efficiently throughout the entire race. If your brain runs out of fuel, you will find yourself missing your important lines, resulting in slower average speeds and ultimately more work and fatigue on your body as it fights the non-optimal lines. You can see how this becomes a problem quite quickly. Here are few things you want to avoid to enjoy your riding and/or improve your race results: Mistake #1: Deviating from your regular routine When it comes to getting the body warmed up sufficiently and properly, it needs to be subjected to the same exercise protocols that are used in training when away from the track. For example, it doesn't make any sense to expect a bicycle to be a sufficient warm-up tool if you're using something like the Concept 2 rower in your every day workouts. You also need to consider intensity levels. We don't want the intensity to be so high during the warm-up that is that it ends up leaving the body tired, but we also don't want the heart rate to not rise to a level that starts to produce and activate the lactic acid shuffle. What we see is either riders are using the wrong tools to warm up or they're warming up at too high of an intensity. Mistake #2: Coming to the starting line dehydrated or under nourished When you sleep at night; your body pulls the necessary glycogen (which is sugar) from your liver to sustain your brain functions during the night. Then when you wake up in the morning and put demands on the muscles, the energy necessary comes from the glycogen that's been stored within the belly of the muscle tissue. The challenge that we have on race day is the duration of time since your last meal - sometimes between 12 to 15 hours. Think about race weekends: you're going to be racing on Sunday morning and practice or racing begins at 7:00 am. Let’s say that you ate dinner at 6:00pm Saturday night and you wake up at 6:00am Sunday morning, that's 12 hours since your last meal. To put it in perspective, imagine that if you ate your morning breakfast at 8:00 in the morning, but then you didn't eat dinner until 8:00 pm and you had no snacks or any meals in between that timeframe, you'd be extremely hungry. But for some reason (whether we chalk it up to a nervous stomach or we're afraid that we're going to get cramps) we don't take the time to eat a good-sized meal early enough so the muscle glycogen is already at a deficit before the gate drops. When you add high intensity racing, which tends to drain the glycogen from the tissue very quickly, and you can see why riders have a tendency to fade quickly or miss simple lines – all because the blood sugar levels within the rider is too low. Frequently this fade or silly mistake syndrome is blamed on a lack of fitness, but rather, should be attributed to low blood sugar levels. Mistake #3: Lack of a post-race recovery routine When you come off the race track, there's an enzyme that helps you replenish glycogen within the muscle and the liver called the Glycogen Synthase Enzyme. You've got about 20 to 30 minutes where that enzyme is at its highest level, so when a riders comes off the track, the first thing they need to be focusing on is the replenishment of depleted glycogen. For example, if you took a bit of oil out of the engine after each lap, you wouldn’t expect the engine to still be running strong at the end of the race. The idea here is that every lap depletes some level of glycogen (the exact amount is based on the duration and intensity level) and it's the athlete's responsibility to get the body replenished to perform at an optimum level. Whether its 20 minutes later, 30 minutes later, whenever your next race is, you have to understand that as soon as you come off the track, priority number one is to get that body replenished and to get it rehydrated. Failure to do so is going to manifest itself out on the track as you start to fade and go backwards. Again, we're right back to an empty gas tank within the muscle. If you want to be able to perform optimally, moto after moto, day after day, it starts after each race or workout – so plan ahead and implement consistently. Mistake #4: Racing at an intensity that is not familiar to your body This mistake is not a misprint – many racers fail to race to their full potential by riding too hard - too early in a race! It is obvious that on race day you're going to be pushing a pace that's difficult to emulate during training, but training at an intensity level that's much less than the demands of race day leads to a culture shock to the body. It produces more lactic acid than the body has been acclimated to and the physiologic process of absorbing and diffusing lactic acid shuts the muscles down. The end result is that the contractions of the muscles are slowed down, you begin to focus on how bad your body is hurting and instead of focusing on racing the course, and you begin to make errors on the course that begins to negatively affect your confidence. To offset this negative effect of lactic acid, you want to try to incorporate a couple of workouts a week that is held at an intensity level on the motorcycle that will accurately emulate race intensity. Additionally, you need to make sure you are testing and training at the same intensity levels off the motorcycle with various forms of cross-training. If you want to race at a higher level on the race weekend, incorporate similar conditions and intensities when you're practicing on the motorcycle along with your cross training off of the motorcycle. Mistake #5: Not racing the track The final and biggest problem that we see on the race day is racers shifting their focus from preparation and implementation of a normal routine to who is on the gate. The rider begins to size themselves up against somebody else and then pulls in a past performance of the other rider, and then immediately dumps that information into the race at hand. Your goal is to make the least number of mistakes, carry as much momentum as possible and charge the course. If somebody else is jumping something, they think they need to jump it. My question is why you don’t just focus on racing your race; race every section as hard and as fast as you can, try to optimize every single section of the course and your goal is that you would do it faster and better than everybody else. It's not that you can't learn something from somebody else, but when the gate drops, the only thing that you can take control of is yourself. So, what I want you to be thinking about is how I can get through this section faster than anybody else. Frequently, this requires thinking outside the box. When another rider is doing something through a section that nobody else has thought about, and probably not even willing to try, the results speak for themselves. Be smart, but creative and you will be surprised at the outcome. If you really want to optimize your fitness and preparation, you want to create the mindset that you are racing the course - minute after minute with your pace falling off as minimal as possible. We don't want you to come around the course on the opening lap with a time of 2:00 and then fall off to a 2:15. Ideally we are looking for less than a 2 second deviation from your first to last lap - you've seen this emulated by the best racers. The only way you can do this, is to race the course, minimize mistakes and make the best of something when it goes wrong. Allowing frustration and anger to sidetrack your focus, doesn’t fix the fact that you've messed up a section. Re-establish your timing; get back to charge mode and carry as much momentum as possible to create the fastest lap times on the course. Remember, practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect! If you have any questions or are interested in a customized nutrition and performance program, please feel free to contact me directly at Robb@CoachRobb.com. Also, don't forget to hit that "follow" button! Yours in sport and health, -Coach Robb
  6. Turbo Dan-thanks for posting your situation, though I am bummed you took such a digger! I wouldn't mess around with a consussion - we are talking about the health of your brain. A couple of quick questions: 1. Do you have ringing in your ears? 2. Does it hurt to be in the sun or bright light? 3. Do you have a low level headache? 4. How is your appetite? Please post back here when you get a quick moment. -Coach Robb
  7. @Scott Meshey 141 When it comes to preparing for a new season of training and racing, there are several tricks to performing at your full potential. When it comes to the human body, you must realize that you are only as fast as your weakest link! Let’s take a look at a few tricks that you can implement today: Test Your Fitness Regularly Your season needs to be broken up into four definitive seasons: Pre-Season, Pre-Competitive, Competitive (with several peak performances) and the Off Season. During each of these training cycles, you want to begin each cycle with a series of base line assessments to establish a quantified measurement of your sport specific speed, strength, endurance and lactate tolerance. During each training cycle, the focus of your efforts changes according to your race schedule – you don’t want to be working on your endurance too much when your race schedule requires short, explosive efforts. Know Your Sweat Rate It is imperative that you know how much and when you should be drinking to avoid either dehydration (not enough water) or hyponatremia (too much water). Your goal is to stay within 2-3% loss during each workout. Research has shown that if you lose more than 3% of your body weight in sweat, the strength of your muscle contractions can diminish by 10-12% robbing you of both speed & endurance. To receive a copy of MotoE’s Sweat Rate Calculation Spreadsheet, email me directly. This simple resource will ensure that you are not drinking too much or too little which will help you train and race to your full potential. Maintain a Food Log Your daily food log should have three pieces of information for each day: what time, how much & what you ate. This data will provide you a clear snap shot of the quality and quantity of food you are consuming on a daily basis. Many times, the lack of muscular endurance is a result of inadequate amounts of food (i.e. fuel) coming into the body resulting in low blood sugar. Low blood sugar can lead to a lack of mental concentration, weaker muscle contractions and lack of consistent speed. To receive a copy of MotoE’s Food/Energy Spreadsheet, email me directly. This simple resource will ensure that you are getting the right amount and type of foods to sustain your duration and intensity levels. Reduce Your Body Fat It is not a surprise that lighter racers have a lower overall core body temperature than heavier athletes; this is a result of body fat to lean muscle ratios. The same principle applies to speed & endurance – the stronger and lighter the body, the easier it is to produce and maintain a fast rate of speed. To accurately measure your body fat/lean muscle ratios, utilize a combination of tape & caliper measurements. These two forms of measurement are the cheapest & most accurate (second only to submersion which is difficult to find and cost prohibitive) way of seeing how your body composition is changing specific to your food, hydration and workout/performance logs (relevant to volume & intensity). By evaluating your body measurements and skin fold measurements every six weeks, you will get an accurate snapshot of your program and determine if your training efforts are delivering the incremental progression that you outlined in your goal profile. To receive a copy of our MotoE’s Body Measurements Spreadsheet, please email me directly. Establish a Warm-up Routine Nearly every new athlete we have worked with says the same thing “I always feel better at the end of the race than I do at the beginning of the race”. This is because the rider has used the first half of the race to “warm up” - the scientific term is called the Lactic Acid Shuffle. When the body burns stored carbohydrates (i.e. glycogen) it releases a hydrogen atom that acidic in nature – hence the feeling of burning in the muscles. As the body becomes more acclimated to the presence of this hydrogen, your circulatory system increases its efficiency and rids itself (actually reabsorbs) of this burning sensation. In order to improve both your opening speed along with maintaining that speed throughout the race, a warm up that is specific in duration, intensity and time before your actual race is imperative to performing at an optimal level. Visit a Chiropractor and Massage Therapist When you recognize that muscles stay tight when bones are out of alignment and that bones get pulled out of place when muscles are tight, you recognize that these two modalities are synergistic – you shouldn’t have one without the other. A qualified massage therapist will help you identify what muscle(s) that are chronically tight which will help direct your stretching efforts to eliminate any future muscle strains and/or tears. An in-line spine and flexible muscles will allow for proper biomechanics which will produce faster speeds & improved endurance. Please email me directly for more information about what to look for regarding a qualified massage therapist and chiropractor. Get Some Blood Work When you have your blood drawn, 99% of the time, they draw and evaluate a partial panel; however, a full panel will provide you better insight regarding your overall health – especially the health of your blood cells. For example, when you train and race hard, you break down your red blood cells, which are necessary to carry fresh oxygen to the working muscles. If you’re RBC (red blood count) is down, you will feel sluggish and fatigued for long periods of time and not know why – you have a low red blood count. By having your blood drawn every 12 weeks (once a quarter), you can evaluate the effects of your food, hydration and training schedule as it relates to your overall health. Please note the ranges that are established on your blood panel reports are established based on the absence of disease verses a more important range referred to in the human performance world as functional health. Your optimal health and performance ranges are nowhere near what is outlined on your blood results data sheets, hence the need for a qualified physician who understands the nature of your sport and its demands on your body. At MotoE, we have a staff of physicians that can read and evaluate your full blood panel results and make recommendations to improve your health and ultimately performance. Please email me directly for more information about this service. Listen to Your Body One of the worst things that you can do to your body is to stop listening to the external signs that your body is either hurt or fatigued. By tracking your morning heart rate, you will be provided specific feedback on how your body is responding to stress (virus, training, hungry, dehydrated, etc.) and whether or not you should workout today (in any way) – our rule of thumb is that if your resting heart rate is up by more than 5 beats, you don’t train but rather eat cleanly and go back to bed. The signs of injury are pretty obvious: the injured area is swollen, hot to the touch, tender to the touch, discolored, and has limited range of motion. These self defense mechanisms are designed to provide you feedback so that you can make adjustments that will turn these conditions around. If you take pain medication, this only masks your body’s natural receptors of pain, which increases your risk of further injury or illness. At MotoE, we have numerous cross reference tools to keep our riders from getting burned out, overly fatigued which helps them avoid injury or illness. It is imperative that you pay close attention to your body’s external signs: elevated morning heart rate, a normal workout effort is harder than normal, suppressed appetite, low motivation and excessive muscle soreness are examples that are easy to identify. Establish Goals and Training Objectives to Achieve To maximize your productivity and ensure that you are achieving your personal racing goals you must establish three sets of goals: 3 months out, 6 months out and 12 months out. The reason for the three sets of goals is associated with how long it takes the body to develop the necessary physiological elements (i.e. strength, endurance, lactate tolerance, flexibility, etc.). The objectives that are established for each goal are based on the results of your baseline assessments – nothing will keep you on the straight line of success like honest evaluation of your assessments. Either your endurance is getting better or it isn’t – what you choose to do with this information is the difference between a champion and a good racer. To receive a copy of MotoE’s Goal & Objective Spreadsheet, email me directly. Have Fun! Don’t lose sight of the fact that you took on racing for the fun and the challenge. No matter what happens on race day, be thankful that you had the opportunity to go out and race (at whatever level) and that no one can ever take that experience away from you – ever! ***** Thank you for taking the time to read! If you have any current frustrations that you would like some help breaking down, please don’t hesitate to drop me and my team an email. We would enjoy answering your questions and getting you on the path to success immediately. Yours in health and sport, Robb Beams Owner-Founder of MotoE’s Complete Racing Solutions
  8. Kenpo1-thank you for reading and the kind words. I have utilized the HRV monitoring system and have found it to be very helpful. The key is getting the athlete to "listen" to the biofeedback that they are receiving. Over the last decade there have been numerous devices to evaluate biofeedback (i.e. Basis sleep watch) that provides incredible feedback; however, the information is only beneficial if the athlete adjusts accordingly. In my opinion, any evaluation device is valuable for athletes if three things are implemented: 1. The device has to be used consistently. 2. The device has to be understood. Do you really understand the fancy reports that the device produces? 3. The athlete adjusts training volume and intensity based on the biofeedback. If you have a specific report that you need interpreting, please don't hesitate to drop me an email and I would be happy to review for you and provide you my feedback. -Coach Robb
  9. TIME TO REST - Pay attention to these 10 body indicators to gauge when to work out and when to back off! If you don’t take time to rest and recovery, your body wont adapt to the stress of training and racing – and as a result you won’t get stronger or faster. If you neglect recovery for too long, you will start to lose strength and speed. Here are some symptoms to look for: First your sleep patterns will be off (tired and you can’t sleep, restless sleep, etc.). Second your energy levels will be negatively affected. Third, you will begin to get sick more frequently (and take longer to heal from the virus). Fourth, your appetite will become suppressed. Remember, over training is not applicable only to elite athletes and professionals, recreational athletes have to balance, personal, professional, bills, children, inadequate sleep, etc. which is what makes recovering from your workouts and racing even more difficult. Symptom Evaluation See if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms: Symptom #1-Body Mass A 2% drop in weight from day to day indicates a body-fluid fluctuation. More than likely, you didn’t hydrate enough to offset heat, humidity, intensity and duration. Dehydration negatively impacts both physical and mental performance and could compromise the quality of your next workout or race. Symptom 2-Elevated Resting Heart An elevated resting heart rate is a significant indicator of stress within the body. An elevated HR indicates that your nervous system is in that “fight or flight” mode which results in elevated hormone levels to provide more oxygen to the muscles and brain. Your body doesn’t know the difference between and physical and psychological stress. A hard day at work and/or a hard workout or race both require additional recovery protocols. Symptom 3-Sleep Quality: you wake up and don’t feel fresh. Quality sleep: falling asleep quickly, deeply and staying there for a long period of time will allow your body to release the much needed growth hormone (hGH) necessary for rebuilding muscle and burning body fat. Several low quality nights of sleep will decrease your reaction time, immune system, can cognitive functions – not a good scenario when it comes to quality workout or high end performance on race day. Symptom 4-Hydration: your urine is dark yellow Unless you are taking B vitamins, a dark colored urine can be an indicator of dehydration. Your urine is an easy indicator of your water levels throughout your body. Symptom5-Energy Levels are Low Honesty is the key here. You know the difference between being tired and having low energy. Being tired is about recovering from yesterday’s workload. Being low on energy is a at a completely different level. Athletes think they can block out signs of fatigue and push to the next level of fitness, performance just doesn’t develop in this environment. Symptom 6-Mood State: your moody (and even cranky). When your body is overwhelmed by stress (training, racing, work, family, etc.), it produces the stress hormone cortisol that can cause irritability and/or anxiety. Stress also halts chemicals like dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that has a big bummer effect on mood when depleted. Crankiness means not enough recovery. Symptom7-Sick Frequently Any illness or even a woman’s menstrual cycle, will increase your need for energy to refuel your immune system, which is having to work overtime. This translates into fewer resources available for recovery from training. Symptom 8-Pain: your excessively sore or have a nabbing injury. Whether you are sore from over worked muscles or have an injury that continues to linger is an indicator that your body needs more energy to put towards the repair, which extends your total recovery time. Symptom 9-Performance is sub-par. This is a subjective measure of workout quality, not quantity nor intensity. If you perform well on a particular workout, you would rate that workout as “good”. If you have a sub-par performance or feel like you are struggling to complete that same workout, you would rate that workout as “poor”. Trending workout quality – multiple poor workouts in a row – is one of the easiest ways to identify the need for more recovery. Symptom 10-Oxygen Saturation: low oxygen levels. The amount of oxygen in the hemoglobin of the red blood cells can be measured and is thought to be an accurate assessment of recovery because of the association of high oxygen saturation levels and higher energy levels. Evaluation Time: count how many of the above symptoms you have experienced over the last week and then compare this against the following: 0-1: Green Light: you are recovering adequately and can maintain your normal volume and intensity 2-4: Caution: You can complete your hard workouts; however, cut the workout short if you are struggling to complete the first couple of intervals after a long warm up 5-6: Warning: This is the zone where you are close to tipping the scales and becoming over-worked, sick and injury prone. You need to add a second rest day to your week 7-10: Danger: You are IN the danger zone and need to take one week completely off (no sport specific training); increase your high quality food intake and take 2 hour naps each day. If you want me an my staff to review if you should take a break from training and racing, please feel free to contact us at Contact@CoachRobb.com.
  10. For the weekend warrior who has limited time to train, here are 5 things you can implement tomorrow to improve your racing results. Step 1: Establishing a Weekly Routine Take your personal calendar and schedule the following elements for the next seven days (in this specific order): § Hours of sleep you plan to get – daily! § When you are going to eat your meals and snacks § Hours you will be working § Time you will be exercising (include intensity levels) § When you will prep your motorcycle and you’re your transportation § What days you will compete Your goal is to complete at least 75% to 80% of your scheduled elements on a weekly basis. Don't complicate things by trying to add a bunch of sophisticated elements to it. Just keep it basic and easy to follow. By focusing on all of the small elements, they add up to a very solid program. So, if you get your program moving to the next level immediately, establish a routine and stick to it! Step 2: Establishing a Practice Routine One of the most common mistakes we see is that riders will go to the track to practice and they just run laps without any evaluation of lap times. To make the most of your time on the track, capturing lap times will determine your consistency, along with the deviation between your fastest and slowest laps. Practicing starts and working sections of the track is imperative to finding new found speed; however, you need to put all of the elements together to emulate actual race conditions as often as possible. As we have discussed in previous articles, what ends up happening on race day is that the body is exposed to high levels of speed and associated lactic acid that is produced as a by-product of burning glycogen. As the lactic acid accumulates within the blood, it begins to “burn” and mentally throws you off. Depending on the nature of your track and its practice schedule, it is important to implement practice segments that include such physiological challenges such as negative split intervals, pacing intervals, pacing pyramids and sprint intervals. These types of intervals will challenge all of the various energy systems necessary to perform optimally during the race weekend. Remember, practice doesn’t make perfect, specific and perfect practice makes perfect. Step 3: Consuming sufficient calories for optimum performance and maintaining proper hydration The challenge that you have when the intensity goes up is that it drains the stored muscle and liver glycogen very quickly. So what ends up happening is by the time you get to the end of the moto, your gas tank (of glycogen) is essentially on empty. To give you a good analogy of that, it is kind of like building a very strong motor, and then just not putting sufficient gas in it to finish the moto. If you think about all of the strength training and all of the cardiovascular cross-training that you do, if you don’t give your body enough fuel, it will not have the necessary amount of energy to finish the moto strong. Many times we see late moto fatigue and heat related sickness, due to the lack of necessary calories. For you, the racer, looking to get the most out of your body you need to approach food from a functional stand point. Carbohydrates provide the necessary glycogen to your liver and muscles for exercise. Protein provides the necessary building blocks to repair torn down muscle tissue and fat provides the macro nutrient necessary for proper neurological functions and bodily needs (i.e. oil for skin and hair quality). The second component that you can address to improve your speed is to avoid coming to the starting gate under-hydrated. Just as a rule of thumb, we are looking for around 40 to 50 ounces of water to be consumed on a daily basis - and that does not factor in the needs of what is lost in the form of sweat from exercise. To help offset this situation, you need to make sure that you are starting your day with a good eight to sixteen ounces of clear water to jump start your hydration levels. If you go to the starting line under-hydrated, let’s say by 2-3%, it won't take long before the contractile strength of your muscle tissue is adversely affected (in some instances as much as 20-30%). The key here is to determine how much weight you are losing during a race (or intense practice session) to determine what your perspiration rate is for the duration of your session. Add in your total consumption of fluids consumed during the last hour of before your moto or practice and you will get an accurate idea of how fast you lose fluids in a given environment of temperature, humidity and race intensity. This information becomes priceless in regards to preparing your body to handle the demands of high intensity racing. Step 4: Establishing a body that is resilient to stress through fresh fruits and vegetables along with sufficient amounts of quality rest Though this step appears to be similar to Step 3 in regards to food, it is different from the stand point that we are discussing the body’s ability to adapt to stress associated with training. When it comes to establishing a body that is resilient to stress, the two things that you need to pay attention to are: Eating raw fresh fruits and vegetables How much rest you are getting each evening In regards to your fruits and vegetables, if you can afford and can find organic, this is ideal. However, at the very least, you want to lean towards raw and fresh food items whenever possible. Without getting into a dissertation about nutrition, you need to understand that there are three macronutrients: Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fat. You hear about them often and know what they are; however, the thing that makes them work at an optimum level is the integration of micronutrients (sourced from fresh fruits and vegetables). Whenever possible, you need be looking for a way to introduce raw and fresh fruits and vegetables (i.e. salad, vegetable & fruit salad or steamed vegetables). The bottom line is to avoid anything that comes out of a can along with trying to get as many servings throughout the day that we can without causing any gastrointestinal issues. In regards to your sleep, you need to be striving to get eight to nine hours per evening. Please keep in mind that sleep is not how long you are lying in bed, but rather hours that you are in the state of sleep. When you get into REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Pattern Three, you are at a state of relaxation where your body releases hormones that are instrumental to getting stronger. To help facilitate quality sleep try the following: § Eat a small amount of high quality protein and complex carbohydrates 30 minutes before going to bed § Drink 8 to 10 ounces of cold water § Don’t watch any television in your bedroom § Keep the room as dark as possible § Set the room as cool as you are comfortable with Remember, you don’t get stronger from your workouts, but from quality eating and sleeping! If you don’t eat and rest, your body will never elevate itself to the next level of performance. Step 5: Improve your speed by improving your range of motion through flexibility Within your performance program, flexibility is probably one of the most boring yet most productive uses of your “extra” time. Most racers don't like to stretch because they don't see the direct benefits associated with it. Stretching is somewhat a nebulous concept. What are the benefits of stretching as it relates to a racer? First, by increasing your range of motion (i.e. working on your flexibility), you are working towards re-establishing your normal range of motion within each muscle group and associated joints. Let’s take a look at the shoulder for example. The shoulder is designed to have 360 degrees of range of motion. There are muscles surrounding the entire head of the shoulder joint on the front, side and back. As a racer, when you encounter a high speed get off, the impact on all of the supporting muscles is high. As a racer, you need to be prepared for any contact with the ground (whether it's a high speed get off or whether it's a slow speed tip over), by having as close to 100% range of motion as possible. If the muscles that protect each joint are tight (hence limiting your range of motion) the impact of each fall has a much more negative effect (i.e. greater damage). Let's take another look at your shoulder. When you fall and put your arm out in front of you, the head shoulder gets jammed back into that capsule extremely quickly. If the muscles are tight and the range of motion is limited, the net result is usually a torn muscle. If this injury isn’t handled properly, scar tissue begins to form within the capsule of the injured shoulder joint and your range of motion is further limited due to the in-elasticity of scar tissue. Though scar tissue doesn’t sound like a big deal, as a racer it is very detrimental to your positioning on the bike due to the limited range of motion and the compromising you do with your body on the motorcycle. For example, if you've had a lower back injury, which has resulted in limited range of motion, you wont be able to keep the bike stable going through the whoop section because you're having difficulty getting into the proper attack position and the bike will swap all over the place. Another example is getting your elbows up into a corner. You may not be able to accomplish this important skill because you've got restrictions in your muscles surrounding your shoulder joint. It isn’t a lack of desire or discipline, it is a physical limiter! By focusing on your flexibility, you will be able to get into the proper position on the bike without self induced restrictions. The better your range of motion, the better your position on the motorcycle the faster your lap times will become. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to post a question here on TT! Yours in sport and health, -Coach Robb
  11. Stationary trainers are awesome because you can use what ever bike you have and make it work both at the races (as a warm up) and at home (interval training). Ask some triathletes or cyclists in your area if they have an old trainer they are not using (or free spinning rollers). Good models are Kinetic, Cycleops and if you are good with technology, Compu-Trainer. Once you purchase a trainer, please email me at Robb@CoachRobb.com - I will send you some trainer workouts to improve your speed and endurance. - Coach Robb
  12. Thanks for posting the question! The key is to allow two hours for your body to digest and purge before the event. Also, experimentation is going to eliminate any frustrations - especially if you match the duration and the intensity levels. My experience with riders is that they don't eat and time their riding sessions to emulate racing (duration and intensity levels). Since most of us are not able to ride every day, on a day when you are cross training cardio - eat a meal and then allow two hours and then hit similar intensity levels that you will during the race. After a little documentation and experimentation, you will create a customized meal plan that works for you (consistent energy, good mental focus, etc.). Please let me know if you have any questions or need anything clarified. -Coach Robb
  13. First, go see a Doc and let them take a picture to make sure there isn't any damage to the cartilage under the knee cap (or the attachments around the knee). Second, have you had a chance to try contrast therapy (hot and cold)? Please tap back when you get a quick moment. -Coach Robb
  14. Are there any consistent patterns of when the pain escalates - cold, tired, doing anything in particular? A good starting point (in addition to going to the doctor) would be to foam roll your calves and see if the increased circulation into the muscle tissue will help reduce the pain. I have seen it help (in conjunction with massage therapy work). Click on my video link below on how to use a foam roller or a tennis ball. Please keep me posted and let me know if you notice a difference. -Coach Robb Foam Rolling - Click Here Tennis Ball - Click Here
  15. Follow the physical therapy to the T! You will have plenty of time to strengthen and improve your flexibility; however, if you rush back without being healed correctly, you will only extend your recovery time and increase your scar tissue (due to micro trauma tearing from doing too much too soon). Please keep me posted. -Coach Robb