MMM: Train like an Olympic athlete

More and more Americans are on a quest to get fit through biking, running and swimming.

For many, their goals often have them competing in marathons or a triathlon.

But, most athletes don't know the limits of their abilities. A new program hopes to change that by giving you the advice and workouts of professional athletes.

With the help of a program at the University of Colorado, 25-year-old Julian Kyer, a serious cyclist, undergoes a battery of tests. It's usually only available to elite athletes, but now they are being used to improve his performance while preventing serious injury and overtraining.

"The mask we wear when we're in the lab is the same thing as an emissions test on your car," said Kyer.

A machine measures the gas exchange in Julian's body and shows how efficiently carbs and fat are being burned while he bikes.

"The majority of people that are entering these sports, they don't know how to train. They don't know how to eat, how to recover. They are all over the map," said Inigo San Millan, PhD.

The cost of training like an Olympian is not cheap. The initial test is $450. One specific workout is called "lactate clearance interval ride". It is designed to test lactic acid in cyclists.

The sports performance program is also a good tool for anyone gearing up for a 5k or 10k.

RESEARCH SUMMARY:

ADVICE FROM AN OLYMPIC DOCTOR: Although many people still enjoy the weekend golf tournament or neighborhood basketball game, weekend warriors seem to be stepping up their game. More and more people are turning to extreme workouts like running marathons and cycling. So for the not-so-average weekend warrior, Gloria Beim, MD, the Team USA chief medical officer for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia, offers some advice. She tells Olympians not to change anything. She says not to start a new diet or take any new supplements. The Olympic Games is not a time to start something new. "I have had athletes tell me about someone from another country who is using this or doing that and ask whether they should try it. And I say, 'No, not now.' During the Olympic Games is one of the worst times to change anything in your routine," Dr. Beim was quoted as saying. While the upcoming "color run" you may have this weekend isn't as intense as the Olympics, consider taking her advice and not changing up your routine too much right before your big event. (Source: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20140204/avoid-sports-injuires-advice-tips-olympic-doctor?page=3)

NEW PROGRAM: Student athletes at the University of Colorado Boulder are honing their athletic performance with help from experts at CU's Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. Athletes from CU's football team and men's and women's basketball teams are participating in leading-edge testing and monitoring allowing them to get the most out of their training and perform at their best while preventing injury. The program offers a combination of blood tests proven effective in improving the performance of top athletes from around the world. "We will monitor approximately 140 athletes, creating performance programs that work for each individual," Iñigo San Millán, PhD, director of the sports performance program at AHWC, was quoted as saying. "We can look at the cells in a blood sample and assess whether an athlete is fatigued or overtraining. The sample also tells us if there is muscle damage that may make an athlete more prone to injury." Dr. San Millán says that it is important to consider the recovery period part of the workout. "That represents a shift in thinking but if an athlete doesn't have the proper food and time to give their bodies a chance to recover, these grueling workouts can do more harm than good." Doctor San Millán has worked with professional teams and elite athletes in soccer, hockey, baseball, cycling, and rowing. However, the program is available for the average athlete. (Source: http://www.anschutzwellness.com/news/cu-athletes-work-smarter-build-athletic-success)

For More Information, Contact:

Erika Matich
Media relations specialist
University of Colorado Cancer Center
Erika.Matich@ucdenver.edu


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