Tropical Tri Tours Puerto Rico IM 70.3 2020

So here we go again for TTT-TO 2020 and our first race of the season on March 15th in San Juan on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, a magnificent and unique island and smallest of the Greater Antilles. Add a great climate, friendly people, USD $$ currency and a spirited latin vibe with American like home amenities and you cannot go wrong. Early mornings from 6am people are out jogging, walking, swimming, riding bikes and smiling. This is the reason we keep coming back for TTT-TO. After the devastation from hurricane Maria in 2018 the islanders are slowly rebuilding with federal aid and a lot of can do attitude and generators and still there is much to be done. Visitors help the economy and bring some normalcy I think. We will base our race group TTT-TO at the Caribe Hilton, one of the race hotels and what a beautiful setting for a few days of relaxing and then recovery after a busy and fun race. Of course with the race all over by 3.30pm there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy the beaches, snorkeling and a visit to the Bacardi factory or a drive to the El Junque rain forest for an easy hike, I suggest the next day 🙂 We will have a great post race party as usual!! Depending on how long you plan to stay, the island has a lot to offer the adventure seekers with zip lines, hikes, boat trips, night time snorkels or just a quiet beach and a good book, Puerto Rico has it all. If you like food, good food then the old town of San Juan has great restaurants and bars and our personal tour guide Tony Mercado knows all the best places to eat and “hydrate” 😉

As we are now a few weeks out, looks like we have a great group, some racing some relaying and some as Sherpas. I hear there will be family and friends of Irene and Jose their and Lucero will be with mama Lucero and her aunt both amazing people. Whether Lucero races in the Laura-Charlotte RELAZY team will depend on how she is feeling so don’t be shy, step up to the plate if you want to run a relay leg! Meantime we have flight details and hotel details so are all set. We will be using primarily WHATSAPP to communicate around the group setting, it is really convenient to announce meetings, ask group questions about spare parts for bikes etc 🙂 and to arrange social events which of course are all optional. Do your own thing and enjoy yourselves, we plan to. See you soon.

We will keep it relaxed and you can do whatever you feel like, the TTT is mostly about having fun completing the 70.3 in the time limit. AAAAND if anyone needs a relay team partner let us know ASAP.


“One person’s meat is another’s poison”, Titus Lucretius Carus coined this expression in the first century BC, “quod ali cibus est aliis fuat acre venenum” (what is food for one man may be bitter poison to others). This is surely ancient wisdom that seems to fit the current dilemma, which could be called the “Dietary 80-80 Dilemma”. 

Do we need to make a choice between one “healthy” diet and another? Is that what you are trying to decide right now? Often food choices are made based on availability, cost, time availability and timing and we will look at these co-factors later. It may not be simply the choice of one or the other lifestyle defined by extremes ie 80% carbs or 80% fats, (#LCHF or #LFHC) health through nutrition, what if the beginnings of health through optimal nutrition was discovering your own personal needs, a so called personalised diet. 

For some people the moral aspect of food and drink choices might be paramount, and that can truly lead the person to limiting their choices and options, an example is veganism, a totally plant diet. Cruelty to animals or even just eating another living being might be the personal stimulus for specific dietary choices or maybe  specific religions mandate eating behaviours again which can mean adjustments from the optimal to a limited food basket! 

So let’s remind ourselves about the basic differences and then the commonalities with each of the expert recommended healthy eating patterns and lifestyles. LCHF implies a very high fat, low carbohydrate, low protein nutritional pattern, typically 80%/10%/10%. Sources of foods include saturated and unsaturated fats, whole meats and fish, full fat dairy, nuts, eggs, green vegetables, berries, and some fruits plus water, teas, coffee and some alcohol. Low processed whole food approach based on avoiding grains and focused on high quality fats. On the other side of the church is the LFHC approach also usually termed a “Plant Based” diet, where plant based means vegan or possibly vegetarian, the avoidance of any non vegetable nutrient sources; meats, fish, eggs, cheeses, milk or even algae. So what does this mean,  very low fats naturally from plant sources such as nuts, avocados, seeds, low plant sourced protein and the great majority of daily caloric intake and nutrients from carbohydrates including vegetables of all kinds, berries and fruits. Again we see a trend here towards least processed, sometimes raw vegetables, fruits, fats, nuts and water, but including wine, beer and other alcohol. So there we have it, two choices or are there? 

IN THE AISLES AND BETWEEN THE AISLES – our discussion has been mostly about the two sides of the nutrition church that seem at first completely opposed but on investigation we have found several points of agreement, our so called Common Grounds. Least processed, 10% protein, being the most important common ground even though sources will vary clearly between a plant based and animal focused diet. 

CO-FACTORS – Often food choices are made based on availability, cost, time availability and timing so let’s take a look at these co-factors for nutritional benefit and your own diet. How much of your weekly budget can be spent on foods? Higher quality usually means higher cost and lower volume. How often can you shop for fresh essential whole foods rather than canned or processed-packaged foods which last much longer? Which whole foods are available at what time of year? Is there an optimal time to eat an optimal diet or can dietary wholesomeness be occasional for the same health benefits? No matter the biggest factor here is probably cost for most people.

PROTEIN: I just read an article by Rich Roll and I’m happy to see he agrees with the 10% protein dietary advice and as he says all amino acids can be had from plant based foods and in any case we only need about 0.5 grams/kg so for a 150lb/70kg human we need 35 grams of protein (including all essential amino acids). One Chicken breast contains about 50 grams protein, so that’s our daily protein taken care of for the non veg based. For plant based humans an avocado, spinach, broccoli, beans and nuts easily provides the protein needed. So the question comes down to the fat vs carbs argument and it seems we have two very strong logical arguments.

If you choose one, lets say the LCHF and a plant based diet is it possible to get enough fats and remain happy, satisfied and satiated with the daily food volume? After all 1500-1800 KCal is not much food volume and is a sensible intake for the majority of sedentary people. If you choose the LFHC plant based diet , does it give you the nutrients needed? Plant based I think tends to be lighter on the body, easier to digest and with more fiber and I think when you focus on the micro-nutrients needed by the body you get a smarter diet. After all no-one ever says I am carb or fat deficient but we all say I’m magnesium or vitamin D, C, E or folate or iron etc deficient. So my point is always, which foods , drinks,  supplements and lifestyle choices provide the most micro-nutrients which after all are the essentials needed for optimal health. Considering that carbohydrate is absolutely not necessary for humans or is it? Ask experts on the LCHF side of the aisle!
A 2002 report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states, “The currently established human essential nutrients are water, energy, amino acids (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine), essential fatty acids (linoleic and α-linolenic acids), vitamins (ascorbic acid, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, folic acid, biotin, and vitamin B-12), minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron), trace minerals (zinc, copper, manganese, iodine, selenium, molybdenum, and chromium), electrolytes (sodium, potassium, and chloride), and ultratrace minerals. Note the absence of specific carbohydrates from this list. “ One aspect of carbohydrate need is fiber for a healthy gut which in turn leads to better overall health, so perhaps the only justification for carbohydrate is to supply the gut with fiber which does not contribute to calorie intake and can be had from such vegetables as broccoli which are also a high protein and also unsaturated fat source.

So what do we do? It seems to me that a whole foods dietary blend with a desire to ensure maximum intake of healthy micro-nutrients where satisfaction comes from fats from a variety of sources, your fiber comes from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, peas and beans, your micro-nutrients from a variety of nuts, fruits, berries, supplements and your protein from a variety of sources plant or animal depending on beliefs and personal stance. Supplements to such a healthful diet include caffeine from teas and coffees, wine, beer, a high quality micro-nutrient source like Green Vibrance. To complement this you absolutely need water, high quality water not contaminated with chemicals (un-purified tap water in most houses), sunlight and access to the earth’s magnetic field. Exercise and movement add to a growing sense and feeling of well-being, so be sure to move and exercise daily. Sleep, now dont get me started, just get enough for you!


If you read the previous paper on the dilemma for us normal people then you will appreciate that there are not only differences but also there is some common ground accepted by most if not all. Even within the common ground there are specific differences for example in the type of vegetables or the specific fruits, nuts, fats and proteins and we will investigate these today. I feel also that calorie intake should be a subject of great interest, to all of us! Essentially we eat too much and often do not count liquid calories such as beer, wine, spirits and soda. Although I do not drink soda as it contains nothing of value except possibly caffeine! 


There is I think some common ground. 

“However, a large body of evidence now shows that healthy eating patterns and regular physical activity can help people achieve and maintain good health and reduce the risk of chronic disease throughout all stages of the lifespan. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans reflects this evidence through its recommendations.”

CG1. Eat less processed foods and consume less processed drinks – but what does processed mean and we will address this specific topic later.

CG2. Avoid trans-fatsno disagreement there.

CG3. Less added sugarin the lifetime of an “average” western person, an industrial waste skip of added sugar will be consumed! 

CG4. Less alcoholalthough levels seem to differ depending on where you look.

CG5. Nutrient dense foods and drinksalthough the specific macro-nutrients cant be agreed, there is some common ground on micro-nutrients. 

CG7. Protein intakes seem to be similarsources clearly differ but the amount of protein seems consistent around 10% of caloric intake.

What do we need to understand about processed food and drinks? 

Almost everything we consume is processed even raw foods, some food such as some fruits, some vegetables and some sushi could be considered less processed! Of course you might consider water unprocessed but in reality for most of us, water is highly processed but essential for us. How much we need is again subject to experts opinion, best advice I have seen is to drink water when you feel thirsty! Amounts vary but that is not the question here, what is the question is defining “processed”. Clean tap water is highly processed for our benefit and it is cheap for us even though we drink a lot of flouride with it, well I dont as we filter it out. But you see the point, processed doesnt have to be canned and down the center aisles of grocery stores. Almost everything is processed to some extent for good or bad effects on our health. So choosing less processed foods is not an easy option. If you want to get clarity then using the caveat – “whole food & least processed” #WFLP might be a good shopping mantra. An apple picked from a tree, stored then eaten at home is very lightly processed, an apple that has travelled 5000 miles, been coated in a waxy substance is processed but perhaps necessarily so, still we then have to further process by washing or peeling. Apple sauce in a plastic jar I suggest is highly processed when you consider the ingredients (Apples, HFCS and some acid to keep it from going bad in the plastic package made from BPA  plastic). So perhaps the ideal is to make a “process measurement” and have this indicated on the label, so consumers can decide just how processed is this item I am about to eat or drink. I think this would certainly persuade people simply to pick healthier options.  How about PM 1-10 where 1 is the apple from a local farmers market and 10 the apple sauce? 

All drinks are processed, from freshly squeezed oranges to an aluminium can of soda or beer or coffee or tea, so how we do we decide what to drink? As we said earlier, even our water is highly processed unless you get pure mountain stream water from a non-polluted source and drink it there or bottle to take home perhaps. So which drinks should we opt for and I think there are good arguments that clean healthy or what we call “good water” is the most essential and should form the basis of our response to thirst. Including salts for the “body electric”  is most certainly essential for healthy body, heart, brain, muscle and nerve functions. But where do we get salts? More of that later, for now just make sure to get enough salts/electrolytes. 

Alcohol and health. We all have seen the effects of alcohol either first hand or by personal experience and as societies I suggest that the world is probably split down the middle on consumption of alcohol from fermented, distilled and brewed drinks. Are there any health benefits, well some claim there are to drinking red wines, dark beers for the bioflavanoids and other plant based micro-nutrients and bacterials found in these drinks. Ethyl alcohol doesn’t really do us physically any good so the one thing that is sure is we do over indulge and certainly in the western societies, the pub, bar, restaurant could be considered the centre of our social lives and that would be a BLOG all of it’s own later. 

Nutrient density and food groups

Possibly we can agree that nutrient dense foods are more beneficial than so called “empty calories” but what might be nutrient dense and allowed within #LCHF might not be allowed on #WFPB but on our #WFLP we can take the best from both dietary prescriptions. But what nutrients need to be dense to make food superior and that are common? Seeds are acceptable to both camps, green leafy vegetables are a common ground as are berries and that actually might be it. Dr Campbell suggested that meat(s) contain no vitamins, antioxidants or other useful micro-nutrients and if he is right then meats confer no nutrient dense benefits, especially considering a 10% protein intake which seems to be common to all good diets. So how about FATS, can fats be nutrient dense? Can we possibly come to agreement here, ha-ha unlikely as the animal vs plant based diets would seem to be diametrically opposed or are they? I think everyone agrees there should be some unsaturated fats but 10% – 80% is a big gap, in fact for the 1800 KCal folks that is either 20 grams or 160 grams, which is what in reality? It is 1 1/2 tbsp or 11 tbsp if you just use butter, but our fats are supposed to be primarily unsaturated types if you buy the cholesterol hypothesis which is increasingly coming under fire. But fats like #PUFA & #MUFA – avocados, nuts, seeds, olives, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, flax, soybeans. Coconut oil and #MCT oils are much loved of late, with ideas like adding them to coffee; hmmm! Tried that yet? I suggest that you do as it is deliciously fatty and satisfying but after a couple of morning mugs of #Illy espresso with added butter and MCT I am not so sure and think i will stick with my dark roast clean and unadulterated. So fats can be considered nutrient dense with different types of fat being essential to health and that is agreed even if the sources are not. 

Nutrients are often “washed out” of otherwise healthy foods, rendering them less densely nutritious! So one major aspect of nutrient density is SOURCE and handling and time spent packaged in transit. The affect of micro-nutrients, growth of mould, bacteria and other challengers to good health cannot be calculated so the advice is usually to eat local, grow your own, rear your own and this minimal processed, packaged, transported food does seem to be a common theme between all diets.  


Protein intake a common ground with it seems agreement of about 10% of calories from protein. So for an 1800 KCal intake daily, this would be 180 KCal or about 45 grams of pure protein. Lets check some examples of this from each side of the church:     All these foods contain about 20-25 grams of protein – 100grams  turkey breast  or salmon or pinto beans or almonds or cheese.   Surprisingly even a common food source such as vegetables can help here as even broccoli has protein about a 1/10th of that from the other sources but in any daily intake you might want to take it into account to avoid over eating or drinking protein. 

We have missed one vital type of intake and I hope that you picked up on this essential and common food type for health and vitality, yep it’s fibre from plants and  is considered essential to good health. But there is some controversy over how much and the source, but we all seem to agree that some is good! So let’s leave it there as our final common ground. 

Oh yes that brings me to more common grounds 😉 , yep coffee seems to be commonly accepted but one side of the church will take it without added dairy and the other with added butter but both sides and the aisle agrees, no added sugars or god forbid added sweeteners! #coffee #caffeine #flavanoids 

Ok here are some references: and as we head for our third and final BLOG on this topic where maybe we can piece together a way of eating that can provide the nutrients through lower processed, nutritionally dense, less packaged highly nutritious foods and drinks, you might see the term #VOGON or #Vogon and that we will explore later and let us hope so as it needs explaining.  Bis nächste zeit, schöne abend.


B. Your gut thanks you –

C. Dr Barnard –

D. Esselstyn

Post script: I saw an article today that talked about why the #LCHF diet was wrong and the basis of their argument was that eating deli meat, barbequed meats, sausages and other highly processed foods as you “need to on this diet”  people would probably get sick. I think that this is not the intent of the #LCHF recommended diet. Refer to the CG statements above. 


The dietary advice facts are ambiguous, clear as mud in fact and increasingly unhelpful! 

Simply put this is the dilemma and I don’t have an answer yet and I am not a dietitian or a doctor in case anyone was wondering. Many of the highest regarded scientists in the field of nutrition and health cannot agree with the basic principles of a healthy dietary intake. On one side of the church are the experts who advise a diet comprising 70/75% fats, 10% carbohydrates, 10-15% protein. On the other side of the church are the experts who advise a diet comprising 10% fats, 10% protein and 80% carbohydrates. In other words almost the complete opposite. So down the centre aisle are the areas which are essentially agreed, namely: less alcohol, less sugary drinks, less artificial sweeteners, less added sugar and less processed products. The high priests are the government groups such as the DGAC in USA who are there to advise on government policy and who therefore have large influence on the advice developed for populations. To a great extent the cause of our current nutritional mess led by heart attacks, strokes, obesity, cognitive dysfunction and T2DM.

But what are we mere citizens to do about our health and our waistlines as we speed towards potential oblivion and certain death. Nobody has suggested a nutritional fix for that inevitability yet! But many have tried and will continue to do so. So what are we to believe, which scientist is the best, delivering clear, proven unbiased advice to which all other scientists agree?  NONE so far. 

Although many are claiming to be that one and will tell you that their diet is clearly optimal for weight loss, good health, longevity and avoidance or recovery from disease. But can we be sure? No of course not as there are two scientifically proven diet types that categorically state their dietary advice is the optimal for healthy living. So how can they both be correct when the two are polar opposites? I talk of course about these two ways of eating: 

  • Low fat – high carb #WFPB   (Whole Food Plant Based)
  • High fat – low carb #LCHF (Low Carb High Fat)

Between these two dietary paradigms there exist of course a myriad of in-between ideas and theories, many with years of experience and success rates through the roof. We can consider Atkins, South Beach, Whole 30, Paleo, Modified Atkins and so many more. 

But does optimal depend on your personal activity level or will the same diet work for all except of course possibly in some genetic disorders or severe illnesses like epilepsy and autism which many although by far not all agree have specific dietary requirements for minimising effects of the illness or disease while promoting improved health. The scourge, even called “Black Plague” of our times in the “west” is diabetes (T2DM), altering the health and well-being of millions every year and most likely completely preventable and other forms of diabetes so called Type 3 (Alzheimers) and gestational diabetes (GDM). Being overweight has certain links proven and agreed by all to heart disease and to diabetes T2DM.


If a high fat diet solves so many problems such as obesity and the almost inevitable diabetes, then why not adopt such a diet? Because the plant based dietary group, who also believe they are right, will tell you that it is all wrong and we need to eat no added fat, very little protein (10%) and the remaining calorie needs from whole foods; grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes. Their argument is compelling and seemingly logical as well as backed up by many studies that prove their point, for them! On the other hand the high fat (good fats),low protein and low carbohydrate theorists will tell you that their results are better and clearly show the health benefits to huge numbers of cured diabetics and massive numbers of people losing vast numbers of kilograms of fat. 

So at this point we are no closer to determining the “truth” if there is one of course! 


As I said at the start there is a centre aisle of agreement, mostly. Many on both sides will argue for vegetables(most but not all types), fruits(possibly only berries), a low protein intake as a healthy whole food part of any diet. But are we designed and do we have the organs to absorb nutrients from fibrous veg and fruits, well yes it seems we are, so no disagreement there, or is there? On the LCHF side starchy vegetables are not supported whereas all vegetables in unlimited amounts – yes really – are considered beneficial to the WFPB group. Low protein intake is an area seemingly of agreement, but the sources are clearly at odds, one being any protein and one being only non-animal protein. A big difference in fact and not just from a moral perspective but from a content perspective or is there in fact any real nutritional difference? 

Vegetables contain fats, proteins and carbohydrates including fiber, plus an array of potentially beneficial phytochemicals whereas meats, fish do not contain these chemicals or carbohydrates. 

We will continue this blog next week when we discuss and present evidence from studies for and against each of the 2 hyper diets #LCHF #WFPB. For the weekend reading, check the links and also if your daily calorie intake is around 1800 KCal then calculate the amount of food and caloric drinks you should be consuming and compare to what you are taking in. For example a box containing 1lb (453gm) of caloric intake (drinks/solids) is about 1800 KCal depending on percentage of fat. 1lb is not much!! Maybe it is purely intake volume, food quality, water quality and empty calories that are the real problem. See you next week.

Types of Fat

Saturated or not: Does type of fat matter?

BEMER and Mark – a short history part 3

Mark you will recall is a USMC vet with service in the 70s and we last chatted with Mark on Wednesday, well since then he has BEMERed twice and one time we placed the B-PAD across his abdomen and all night his innards gurgled, a sure sign that the BEMER special signal is doing its magic by enhancing circulation. So today (Thursday 22 Feb) Mark is off to play golf, the stale cigarette smoke stench is leaving him, his hair is neat and despite life’s stresses he is calmer and smiling. Skin looks so much better and the psychological effects of better health means he is walking upright, once more a proud Marine!

Today, Saturday, Mark came in for his daily BEMER session and i nearly fell off my chair, upright, no smell of cigarettes and smiling. I asked him how much sleep he had on Friday and his response, over 7 hours and I feel great! Mark is on the BEMER Basic Program week 3 of 10 weeks and his change is absolutely amazing. After 20 minutes on the BEMER today he sat up, swivelled around and jumped off and this is a man with spinal stenosis among other discomfort issues. So I stand amazed at his remarkable progress and am so excited to see what next week brings.

Value of your health cannot be underestimated, do not take health for granted, with a majority of people overweight, unhealthy, stiff and in discomfort, isnt it time for you to make that change and try BEMER therapy, it’s FREE with us for a number of sessions as we truly believe that the health benefits need to be available to all and NOW!

Call/text us +1 757 389 2284 or email


Dai Roberts Group – Wellness

A story of Mark – Part 2 with BEMER

Mark reported in as usual on Monday for some chat and a BEMER session as he is now on B-BODY Intensity 4 all week. He looks healthier, skin cleaner, smile broader and even more positive than usual. The big “waste dump” seems to be over now but we expect more as BEMER gets deeper into Mark’s innards!

Today which is Wednesday, Mark dropped in for his 1:30 BEMER session and looked pale. He mentioned that he was under a lot of stress about finances and so is very anxious and not sleeping well. We suggested a good BEMER session on L4 and with the B-PAD across his middle to help the his system flourish. I could see his colour changed quickly to a normal skin with some reddening as oxygen flowed and his overall outlook brightened up. After 2 B-PAD sessions on his back and legs he reported that he was much more content, falling asleep on the BEMER luckily while we ate lunch! Much more relaxed he left to play some golf and return again tomorrow, so we shall see how Mark is doing then.

You too can check out how BEMER can massively improve your health and wellness no matter your age, fitness or health state. david-roberts, or check our other BEMER BLOGs like this one

listen to

A story about Mark – From sick to healthy

Mark introduced himself to us years ago at our favorite #Starbucks in Virginia Beach. Shaggy unkempt grey long hair and a big smile and always a joke usually at my expense, mostly, LOL ! but Mark cares genuinely about others and thought he was caring for himself also, with daily gym visits, telling us about how many yards he rowed or how many sets of weights he lifted, not boastfully, but because he has a strong mindset, willing to push himself. Kudos to Mark and Semper Fidelis, which as Mark explained means, always faithful !

A strong willed 72 year old, Mark was stubborn and repetitive so we talked about training for best effect for his body and mind. But, still Mark smoked and reeked of smoke, which even makes his son wretch!

So I wanted to help Mark become healthier and as he gets on-board with a healthier lifestyle built from daily BEMER use, more good water, optimal exercise and soon no more smoking, we will see a remarkable transformation.

I will keep posting about Mark and his changes in the coming 8 weeks as we go through the BEMER Basic Program. Visit us regularly for #Markupdates

If you simply want to improve your health call us +1 (757) 389 2284 or check a short 2 minute audio file to change your life for the better  our BEMER website explains how to improve your health and wealth !  – our Coaching website for your health

Care Needs Assessment via remote evaluation

Our goal is to have some clear guidelines for helping to evaluate elderly or other people who might require their care needs to be assessed prior to asking for a formal healthcare (NHS) “Care Needs Assessment”. Reasons for this may be the need or desire to take care of someone, a relative or a friend. But before a formal care needs assessment is done, there is a period of time when you might think that the person’s health is slowly changing for the worst, declining either physically, cognitively or both due to disease, inactivity or sickness. It is in this period that decline is slow but most likely measurable nonetheless. This measurability is why we developed this matrix, or series of matrices, so that a regular, measurable, quantifiable baseline and health decline slope can be calculated and a personal health care plan can be created. At first this plan is more about the assessment based on the criteria listed, than it is about what action to take as this lives in the realm primarily of the healthcare professionals. But the key is that we have a process to help us to help our friends and family and most importantly a way to identify when that person really does need a medical review. This is very important especially when the people you are concerned about have no local family to provide support.

CRITERIA Feb 18 Apr 18 Jun 18  
Sleeping appropriate length and quality        
Prepare and eat food and drink        
Maintain healthy daily routine        
Take medications as prescribed        
Maintain personal hygiene, such as being able to wash yourself and shower        
Maintain cleanliness of clothing        
Use the toilet        
Dress appropriately – for example, during cold weather        
Move around your home safely, including getting into it from outside        
Keep the home clean and safe        
Keep in touch with friends and family to avoid loneliness or isolation        
Caring for plants at home        
Caring for garden plants        
Access and engage in social events        
Safely use necessary facilities or services in the local community, including public transport and recreational facilities        
PERSONAL CRITERIA Feb 18 Apr 18 Jun 18  
Visit Waitrose daily (M-S)        
Attend Railway Club monthly on Fridays        
Attend weekly railway group video nights (Wednesdays)        
Keep in touch with Paul, David, Heather        
Keep in touch with old friends like best man, railway friends,        
Replacing the table flowers        
Caring for garden plants on balconies        
Visit local café weekly        
Attend all scheduled doctor appointments        
Attend consultant appointments        
Attend the barber monthly or so        
Visit chiropodist as needed        
Catch the bus to Gosport High Street      

The Women’s Endurance Summit

Wow! What a lot of great information by some excellent speakers. This seminar, put on by USATF as a level-3 Coaches seminar on women’s endurance running was a great success. Covering topics like biomechanics and form analysis, using latest tools like “Coaches Eye” to easily record video and quickly analyze. I will be trying this out to replace Kinovea that we currently use and will keep you posted. Dr Sarah Hickman – a mental toughness program for endurance athletes and who doesn’t need that during your Ironman or marathon, it’s what separates the winners from the finishers! Be in the present when racing don’t dwell on past and don’t try to predict the future, just be mindful – determine your own mantra and use it when the going gets tough. Suffering is part of the sport and maybe the reason we do this anyway! ( Thoughts on that?) Seeing pressure as something to embrace, gather-in and use to aid your performance against all others is very powerful. Check out this BBC short movie Encourage athletes to control the controllable, eliminate doubt and have conviction of your own belief – as Michael Johnson says he is about to go into battle! How about Nutrition as a topic for women in endurance sports? A huge subject and with 3 speakers talking on the topic obviously an important one – Nutrition and the latest topics on Eating Disorders and the female triad – Low Energy Availability (LEA) through disordered eating, Menstrual dysfunction and Low bone mineral density. Several tools exist for calculating LEA where energy balance is below normal or less than 30 Kcal/kg/FFM (Fat Free body Mass) and the problems associated with this low level of food intake. Risk assessment tools can be used if you suspect LEA but a simple way is to look at BMI <17.5kg/m² We focused the discussions on LEA or and the problems that diets with insufficient calories pose for anyone training for endurance events. The discussion on diets continued with Dr Damion Martins, Mary Finckenor CSSD and Sage Rowntree PhD all contributing to the discussion about types of diet and their value in endurance sports – bottom line is a quote from Michael Pollan – “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
Plenty of advice on eating carbohydrate – consensus at this seminar is please do but protein and good fats are also vital, well that’s nothing new! For those who just can’t get enough of the latest drink – Coconut Water – be aware that as an electrolyte drink it lacks salt, so add a pinch, simple eh! And Whey protein gets a big with valine, leucine and isoleucine an excellent source for recovery drinks, the leucine-cascade supports muscle synthesis faster than other protein sources. Designer Whey is one choice Fish oil got the other big thumbs up from all of the nutrition expertise 1000mg of Omega 3 from good sources like Solgar, Nature Made. So if you want to advise on supplements start with these 3 – Vitamin D3, Omega 3 1000mg (EPA+DHA) daily and Whey protein after a “hard” training session. You define hard and don’t be afraid of it. Wendy Winn Rhodes gave us 4 hours of her time to discuss rehabilitation and form, Wendy is a New York PT specializing in video running analysis and how to become a more efficient runner. Pain is not normal yet so many of the athletes who come to us have pain and need support from us and our network of therapists. Often just some Trigger Point Therapy can help and they can do this themselves or come to us. Simple massage or using The Stick or a TP Roller can help people manage their training stresses as manifested in the muscles and connective tissue. Hip and ankle joints dysfunction can easily derail any training program and lead to stress fractures and other debilitating injuries, when simple massage and trigger point therapy can help immediately. Core control is a BIG ONE and distance runners weak core combined with pelvic anterior tilt (butt sticking out – or “the bucket spilling forward”) leads to very inefficient running form and eventually to STOP and ARGH! Glutes are those lovely gluteals, maximus, medius and minimus and our dear piriformis so many problems with these 4 siblings. Run hills, do yoga, roll and release the hips and roll some more on a good foam roller. Strength and/or muscle activation as it is not always just lack of strength that causes problems, getting the darned things to FIRE-UP can be as much of a problem. So simple exercises to get glutes to work can be taught. Some interesting research on Olympic lifting for distance athletes is worth reading – Dr Brad Deweese physiologist at the USOC has had a lot of success with these techniques for development of power = speed. Finally the idea of running with a stiff leg <10ºof bend at the knee on landing to utilize the inherent energy stored in tendon like Plantar fascia and Achilles. The stiffer leg which means in my terms less “sag” on landing will improve efficiency by reducing energy cost per meter run. Drills like C-skips and double/single leg hops can really help people become efficient but also barefoot running on grass at fast speeds (10x100m for 4 weeks, 3 times each week). Running up and down steps (50-75 at a time) Keeping ground contact time to a minimum and this clip from NYC marathon shows what we mean – go to min 39:00 and watch – We finished with a lot of YOGA chat with Sage Rowntree who gave a free yoga class too early for me – I went running!! Getting the right type of yoga for the season is important: base – build – competition as the needs are different: recovery – strength – mobility. Just getting your athletes to balance on one leg and see if they have imbalances – can they even do this very simple drill. Yoga for runners – . The MYRTL routine is another great idea from Jay Johnson. It doesn’t  have to be difficult to be good for you! All said a really good two days of information, discussion and experts well worth the 14 hours driving!
It wasn’t all work!

NEW YEAR – Doing too much too soon

It’s the new year and a new you! Take care out there as we all set out on our quests to be better, stronger, faster and probably skinnier! I posted about the risks of under-eating and the risks for us all of RED-S (relative energy deficiency syndrome). Intake of sufficient nutrients is important for athlete performance so you should ensure that you are getting what you need to thrive not just survive. Check with a Registered Dietitian for specific advice and make sure to drink good water when thirsty.

TRAINING in the New year:

Consider where you are starting from and if you didn’t exercise much in 2017 then it’s clear that you are starting from a low level of aerobic fitness and probably strength.

Start by improving strength and mobility with simple classes at the gym or even just climbing stairs! It can be that simple. Strong muscles help protect the joints and enable more vigorous exercise. Build weekly on what you have achieved in the previous week by adding weights and moving more, 10-15% more each week is plenty.

If you train a lot already consider how much recovery time and sleep you need and make sure to get it. Adaption to training takes place during rest and recovery. Good nutrition makes it all possible.

Small increases in training load lead to more effective adaption and a lower injury risk so no matter your level of experience, small adjustments make for greater season’s gains.

Reach for the stars in 2018 and you will get to where you want to go. Just don’t try to get there by January 31. Have a great 2018, enjoy greater fitness and health.

Dai Roberts – IRONMAN Certified Coach

Independent BEMER Distributer