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Friday, September 22, 2017

Venting and a (legal) product testimonial


Recently I have made several social media posts about the frustration that masters athletes, including myself, have with the rise of doping amongst older athletes. While legal in some respects, many prescribed anti-aging tools, such as testosterone and human growth hormone, are considered illegal by USATF/WADA and other athletic governing bodies because of their performance enhancing capabilities. I suspect that some who use these products and compete justify the use since it is 1) prescribed by a doctor or 2) the Rx is "just leveling the playing field" for them. And getting a TUE for competition...you know what you are doing is wrong and you are using the system to get around it.

Our health and abilities depreciate as we age (the health economist had to enter at some point), and pure athletes (for lack of a better term) must adjust training regimens. Currently I am running quite well for me and believe that I have several PRs left in me ranging from the 1500 meters to marathon. To get to those PRs, however, I must respect my age and body and modify my training accordingly. I cannot run over 100 miles a week as I did when I was in my 20s and 30s since it takes longer for me to recover at age 42. I can't hammer every run. (You are right to be suspicious of 40+ year old athletes posting ridiculous training regimens on Strava. If it sounds "incredible" it is probably not credible.)

This season, which is focused on road and cross country races 5K and 6K in distance, I am consistently running over 50 miles a week and will approach 60 a few times in the next 4-6 weeks. To replace the aerobic work from the decreased running mileage, I swim several times a week. Not only does swimming provide excellent aerobic (and anaerobic when I do speed sessions) benefits, but the water and its weight provides a massaging effect which helps with recovery. 

Additionally, as an older athlete my recovery days must truly be recovery days. I take one day off completely from running. Some of my easy run days are at a 9:00 minute per mile pace or slower (something the younger me would have been ashamed of, but now I embrace with pride.) The little things are also increasingly important as we age: deep tissue massage, stretching, strength training, icing, diet, etc.

Per the diet, I do take some legal (in all respects) supplements, many produced by my long-time sponsor Hammer Nutrition. (NOTE: This is a testimonial. I am not a trained physician or nutritionist so do not take my testimonial as such.) One that I starting taking in the last year to help with recovery is Essential Mg, which is a magnesium supplement. Magnesium, an electrolyte, aids in many things including metabolism, muscle contraction, blood sugar regulation, and blood pressure normalization. I get plenty of magnesium through cashews and other foods, but the supplement brings me up a level as I hit my heavy training volumes. I take Hammer's Essential Mg each evening (one serving is 200 mg of magnesium) before bed. Without scientific evidence, and relying solely on anecdotal evidence, I have fewer sugar crashes on training runs, feel more energetic when I wake up in the morning, and am training on an overall high level for a 40+ year old female. Magnesium is not the only thing potentially causing this (see the "little things" above and my weekly training), but I believe it is a contributor. Like all of Hammer's products, Essential Mg is easy on the stomach. If you are looking for more information on the product, check out their web page.

Before signing off, to make sure that you are not accidentally taking a product that is banned by your athletic governing body, use the Global DRO site to check any Rx or supplement. (HINT: Magnesium is not a banned substance by WADA but HGH is!)

Mg is all good

HGH is not good at all

Hammer on,

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Gap in consumer sentiment by party affiliation grows in Virginia

Each quarter I produce the Virginia Consumer Sentiment and Inflation Expectations Report for the Roanoke College Institute for Policy and Opinion Research.

In the current report I paid attention to the historical and current divide in sentiment by party affiliation. Sentiment is driven, not surprisingly, by politics and if "your team" is in power. The size of the gap, however, I find remarkable.

Consumer sentiment by party (blue=democrat, red=republican, dashed line=historical average)

It is also notable that sentiment in the Charlottesville area is no different from trend. Our calling for this poll began the day of the conflicts in the area. Sample sizes at the regional level are small, which is why I report it in context to the historical average and deviations from that average.

You can read the report in full here.

Keep you sentiments up,