Tom Dumoulin commits to a long-term future with Team Sunweb

Giro d’Italia winner Tom Dumoulin has signed a contract extension with Team Sunweb which ensures he rides with the team until the end of 2022.

Tom Dumoulin, the winner of the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia, has signed a contract extension with Team Sunweb.

The Dutchman was under contract until 2019 but after his sensational Giro win last month, he and his team have negotiated a new contract which takes him through until the 2022 season.

Both parties have been in discussions about a contract for several months and an agreement has been reached.

Dumoulin, 26, is currently in his sixth year at the team, having joined in 2011 when they were a Pro-Continental team under the guise of Argos-Shimano.

“I am really happy in the team so renewing my contract comes as a natural decision to me,” Dumoulin commented.

“The philosophy of the team suits me really well, although demanding I know it continues to develop me as a rider and together we make each other stronger.”

>>> Tom Dumoulin: ‘I never expected to win the Giro d’Italia. Maybe in the future with a lot of luck, but not now’

It is likely that Sunweb have provided assurances to Dumoulin that they will strengthen their squad to provide him with greater support in the mountains and in Grand Tours where he is now expected to be a leading contender for many years.

He added: “Every year we’ve made huge progression and continue to make steps to find ways to improve as a result of the teams expertise.

“I have grown alongside the team for the past six years and I am confident that we will continue this upwards process for the coming years.”

An outstanding time triallist – his win in the Giro was owed to his testing prowess on the final day when he overturned Nairo Quintana’s lead – Dumoulin shot to prominence at the 2015 Vuelta a España when he, unexpectedly, held the leader’s jersey until the end of stage 19.

Iwan Spekenbrink, Sunweb’s CEO, said: “Together we have already had many successes and we are extremely pleased to extend his contract so that we may continue to have many more together.”


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Final Preparations Begin With Conclusion of Santa Clara arena Pro Swim

Photo Courtesy: Robert Stanton/USA Today Sports Images

Editorial content for the 2017 Arena Pro Swim Series Santa Clara is sponsored by Arena. Visit ArenaUSA.com for more information on our sponsor. For full Swimming World coverage, check out our event coverage page.

CLICK HERE FOR LIVE RESULTS

Commentary by Kevin Gill, Swimming World College Intern.

With the U.S. Nationals just a short three weeks away, many swimmers used this weekend’s arena Pro Swim in Santa Clara as a final tune up for the all important qualification meet coming up at  the end of the month. This meet in Santa Clara provided many top-10 world ranking times as well some excellent racing from some of the nation’s top athletes.

Pro Swim Series regulars like Katie Ledecky, Chase Kalisz and Simone Manuel posted solid swims in their respective events. With Ledecky’ world-leading 200 free and Kalisz’s close win over teammate Pace Clark, the two continued the great swimming that they have displayed all season.

chase-kalisz-200IM-2017-apss-mesa

Photo Courtesy: Brooke Wright

In addition to the frequent stand-outs at the Arena Pro Swim Series, Santa Clara offered an opportunity for those swimmers who have not raced long course as often this season a chance for a final tune-up. Swimmers like Katie McLaughlin, Will Licon, Caeleb Dressel, Kathleen Baker and several others were the main focus for many swim fans.

Through her three major events this weekend, McLaughlin proved again why she is one to watch closely during World Championship Trials in Indy. With a solid third place 59.17 in the 100 fly and a 1.59.11 in the 200 free, McLaughlin threw her name in contention for two fairly wide open events for the US women.

But it was her final race where McLaughlin held off a charging Lauren Case the last 50 to grab the win in her signature race, the 200 butterfly. Although not a particularly fast time, the Cal standout made a strong case to be considered a co-favorite with Hali Flinkinger come nationals at the end of June.

katie-mclaughlin-

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Sprint sensation Caeleb Dressel captured two second place finishes on night two in Santa Clara. Dressel will attempt to translate is unforgettable short-course season to the world stage this summer in Budapest and with a 49.26 and 52.29 in the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly, respectively, so the Florida Gator seems well on his way to continuing his success.

In what may have been the most anticipated return to the pool this weekend, two-time Olympian Elizabeth Beisel made her presence known in the 400 IM. After taking nine months out of the pool, Beisel finished second in the event in Santa Clara behind Madisyn Cox with a time of 4.40.00. She showed that she will be a threat in the long distance medley come Trials, as she has been for the last decade.

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

With the 400 IM being another wide open event for the U.S. women, Cox and Allie Szekely also posted solid times which now set the scene for an epic showdown between these three and several others for just two spots on this summer’s World’s Team.

The meet concluded with the some fantastic distance races from several Olympians.

Cierra Runge ran away with the win the 800 freestyle finishing in a time of 8:29.27, good enough for No. 12 in the world this year. Based of Runge’s reaction after the race, this swim may have been a little unexpected. Nonetheless, Runge has to be pleased with the time as she looks to potentially grab an individual spot at this summer’s Nationals, especially after she did not score individually at this year’s NCAA championships.

Coming off a historic NCAA championships in March, Clark Smith left Santa Clara with several confidence boosting swims heading into trials. His 3:49.40 win in the 400 freestyle was a great improvement from his last meet on the arena Pro Swim Series in Atlanta, where he finished seventh in that event.

Having already indicated that he will not compete in the 1500 in Indy, Smith participated in the event this weekend with the intention of getting an 800 split. Although he would later get DQed for not completing the race, Smith’s 8:02.51 split shows he is ready for a potential break-out summer in his fist season as a professional.

townley-haas-

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

With this weekend being the conclusion of racing for most Americans before World Championship Trials, the potential National Team has begun to take shape.

Although nothing is set in stone until racing concludes in Indy, this final preparation meet gave us an idea of what new faces may take on the world in Budapest later this summer.

The 2016 U.S. Olympic Team mixed the youth of American swimming and the experienced veterans. With many of those veterans not competing this summer, there is opportunity for some new faces in USA swimming to fill in their spots.

Those motivated by Trials disappointments, like Cox, Licon, and Ella Eastin, seem to be some of the favorites this time around in their respective events.

2016.03.17 2016 Womens NCAA Swimming Championships Madisyn Cox Texas

Photo Courtesy: Reagan Lunn/Georgia Tech Athletics

Additionally, youngsters such as Regan Smith and Michael Jensen will look to take advantage of retirements and begin their potentially remarkable senior level careers.

With just three short weeks until the nation’s best meet in Indianapolis, swimmers will take what they have learned this past weekend to aid their final preparations. If the 2017 Santa Clara arena Pro Swim was any indication of what is to come at this year’s nationals, it is evident that the United States will be in great hands when they face the rest of the world at the World Championships in Hungary.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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Sprinters foiled as breakaway stays away on Critérium du Dauphiné stage three

Koen Bouwman won the sprint from the breakaway to take the victory on stage three of the Dauphiné

The sprinters at the 2017 Critérium du Dauphiné missed out on a valuable opportunity on stage three of the race, as a six-man breakaway was able to stay up the road and contest the victory.

Koen Bouwman (LottoNL-Jumbo) was the man able to sprint ahead to cross the line first, celebrating clad in the king of the mountains jersey which he wore due to Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) still holding the race lead.

A very fast day at the Dauphiné saw Bouwman and Alexey Vermeulen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Bryan Nauleau (Direct Energie), Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Quentin Pacher and Edvaldas Siskevicius (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) get away after just two kilometres of racing in the 184km stage.

They built up a maximum gap of seven minutes at one point, but that was down to 3-50 by 65km to go.

The pace continued to stay high at an average of 44kph for the most part, and with the gap still at 1-40 with 15km to go, the likes of FDJ, Katusha and Dimension Data were all starting to work hard on the front to bring the six riders back.

The twisty run-in to town played into the hands of the break, and they looked increasingly likely to hold on to contest the win with 40 seconds at just over 3km to the line.

FDJ, who were looking for a second stage win after leading Arnaud Démare to victory on stage two, were becoming increasingly frustrated as the gap steadied and the GC teams like Sky began to control the front of the bunch to protect their leaders.

The break continued to work well together even in the final kilometre, and it was Dutchman Bouwman who launched his sprint first and managed to hold his speed ahead of his pursuing breakaway rivals.

Edvaldas Siskevicius was able to latch onto his wheel but didn’t ever look like overtaking 23-year-old Bouwman, who crossed the line to take his first pro win.

Behind, Dérmare was able to win the sprint from the bunch ahead of compatriot Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe).

Thomas De Gendt retained his overall lead of the race ahead of Frenchman Axel Domont (Ag2r La Mondiale), but will face his first real challenge in holding onto it with the a 23.5km time trial awaiting the riders on stage four on Wednesday.

Results

Critérium du Dauphiné 2017 stage three, Le Chambon-sur-Lignon – Tullins (184km)

1 Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo, in 4-06-06
2 Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
3 Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
4 Bryan Nauleau (Fra) Direct Energie
5 Alexey Vermeulen (USA) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
6 Quentin Pacher (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
7 Arnaud Démare (Fra) FDJ, at 11 seconds
8 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie
9 Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
10 Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb, all same time

Thomas De Gendt in the leader’s jersey at the 2017 Critérium du Dauphiné (ASO/A.Broadway)

General classification after stage three

1 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal, 12-37-04
2 Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale, 48s
3 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Team UAE Emirates, at 1:03
4 Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale, at 1:07
5 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
6 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida, at 1:09
7 Ben Swift (GBr) Team UAE Emirates
8 Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar Team
9 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal
10 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty – Groupe Gobert, all same time


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6 Everyday Struggles of a Retired Breaststroker

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Diana Pimer, Swimming World Contributor

About two years ago in my senior year of college, I wrote the following article: 6 Everyday Struggles of a Breaststroker. After going for a (short, by the way) run yesterday and hopping in for an IM set today, I was quickly bombarded with sore abductors.

With this came an influx of horrid yet wonderful memories. Headaches from lack of oxygen, the most painful hamstring workouts imaginable and getting two seconds rest on freestyle intervals quickly came to mind.

It was in this moment, where I was hobbling around the pool deck trying to coach a club practice, that I remembered my original article. Except this time, the struggles are not only worse, but entirely different.

Photo Courtesy: acintosh)

Photo Courtesy: acintosh)

1. Getting out of bed

This may be true for all athletes, current and retired. But there are specific difficulties that come with a breaststroker body. If your knees and ankles do not crack simultaneously in agony the moment your feet hit the floor, I envy you. Usually, the hips follow along shortly and I need to confirm that I was a 200 breaststroker and not a marathon runner in college. Less pounding, yet somehow these joints just aren’t what they used to be.

2. Squatting and running

Back to the inspiration for this article, over the last nine months I have learned that I can run, lift, or swim. But combine them? That is a pulled groin waiting to happen. Not only am I limited to front squatting because these muscles are so worn and beat down that back squatting puts too much pressure on them, (seriously, can anyone else relate to this?) but then trying to do a breaststroke set afterward is nearly impossible. And the day after a run is no better. Oh you ran a 5k yesterday? Looks like our breaststroke yardage today is limited to 5…hundred? laps? yards? Yards.

3. No, your traps do not go back down to a normal size

Every once in a while in our swimming careers we dress up. Prom, a yearly banquet, high school and college graduations. On the other 360+ days of the year, I was proud of these muscles. We shrug, it is what we do, and we have the glorious traps to show for it. And this proves true for other muscles as well, but for some reason I am pretty sure my ability to wear a strapless dress will be limited for the rest of my life. Could this just be due to my obsession with power snatching and cleaning? Possibly, but the results of that study are currently unofficial.

4. Driving slowly and waiting in lines

Look, I spent 16 years waiting for my turn in the back of lane and getting run over by All-American freestylers. I’m retired – this is my time to live with no limits in the fast lane! So every time I find myself stuck behind someone driving 20mph I get uncontrollably anxious and antsy. The same goes for waiting in lines, predominantly for food (some struggles never change). While I think breaststrokers excel at these tasks based on our long-term practice of patience being the slowest swimmers in the pool, it does not make it fun. We will not, we can not be held back! Well…aside from maybe speed limits, those are pretty important.

5. Searching everywhere for your timing

All breaststrokers know how hard it is to keep the timing of your stroke, even when you are in shape. It is very easy to lose and if it is off it is off, there isn’t really “okay, in-between breaststroke.” From experience anyway, you are either on or off. You can’t throw in a couple of extra dolphin kicks or change up your breathing pattern to get by on an off day. You send out a search party for your timing. And when you are not swimming for four hours a day or swimming consistent breaststroke, this timing disappears. I can usually hear it laughing at me somewhere in the distance. It could take weeks or months for it to come back, and by that point I usually just put my snorkel on and freestyle pull for 20 minutes anyway.

6. Getting made fun of for your feet

Okay so this struggle has not changed over the last two years. Except now, there’s not even a unique, somewhat cool excuse for it. “Oh these feet? Yeah I was given a gift at birth and was basically born to a be breaststroker.” And you said it with pride because at the end of the day you know you have a deep appreciation for your outwardly positioned feet. But now anytime someone asks me about this I fall into some sort of identity crisis…”Oh, um, well, they helped me win nine conference titles because I’m, uh well I was a breaststroker…yes, that’s the frog stroke.”

And while these are just the highlights, the struggles come with a side of pride. (There it is again, another food reference). While I may struggle to get a personal best back squat or wait in a line, it was all worth it. For that medley relay spot, for that unique bond between us all, being constantly reminded of your time as a breaststroker is actually a blessing, with just a dollop of struggle.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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Creatine: Beyond The Confusion!

If you haven’t heard of creatine before this, you’ve been living under a damn large rock. Since creatine was first introduced in the early 90s, it has been the “poster boy” for the athletic community, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Creatine has been in the news, on the cover of almost every health magazine imaginable and even on TV. Ask strength coaches and trainers to name the best supplement for increasing size and strength, and they will cite creatine.

Despite the hype, many are confused as to what it does, how it works, its safety, and why they should use it. Take partial or inaccurate information, add some half-baked, misrepresented statements that get plastered in the news, and you have people scratching their heads. One guy asked me, “Is that steroid, creatine, any good?” Creatine, of course, is not a steroid. I could fill a book about creatine’s effects, but I prefer to present this product to you in an understandable manner. Most people know creatine only as a supplement that athletes use, but as you will see later in this article, there are numerous other uses for this breakthrough product.

Creatine: What Is It?

Creatine, also known as methyl guanidine-acetic acid [NH2 – C(NH) – NCH2(COOH) – CH3], is an amino acid used by the body to provide energy. Phosphocreatine and free creatine, which are stored in the body, make up what is known as your total creatine pool.(5) Those who increase their total creatine pool are able to increase available energy. Scientists discovered in 1932 that the body retained some ingested creatine,(5) but it was not until the early 1990s that creatine began to gain recognition with the athletic community.

Creatine helps volumize muscle (makes muscles larger), increases strength and power, provides energy to the muscles and buffers lactic acid. Oh yeah – creatine may also prevent mental fatigue, help with genital herpes, lower the risk of coronary heart or cerebrovascular disease, and has been linked with a decreased risk in some neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Yes, those are a lot of claims, and yes, creatine fulfills all of them.

Creatine is a naturally occurring substance in our bodies; the average person stores over 100 grams of it. Ninety-five percent of creatine is stored in the skeletal muscles, with the other five percent in the brain, heart and testes. (Sorry guys, it won’t make your boys bigger.)(5) Creatine is formed when our kidneys, liver and pancreas convert three amino acids – Arginine, Glycine and Methionine – into creatine. We can get additional (albeit miniscule amounts) of creatine from our diets through such foods as red meat and salmon. Since you would need to eat almost 18 steaks to get 20 grams of creatine, the more effective way to increase its presence is to use a high-quality commercial supplement.

Strength & Power

When you consume creatine, it combines with phosphate in your body to create phosphocreatine, which in turn is stored in your muscle cells, waiting to be called upon for energy. When your muscles are exposed to short but intense exercise (0-30 seconds), you call upon your alactic system (otherwise known as phosphogen, or ATP-PC system) to complete the work. When you expose your muscles to this short, intense exercise, your muscles require a chemical energy called ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), the quickest and best source of energy for your muscles.(6) Unfortunately, ATP is in very short supply in your muscles.(7) When you run out of ATP, you run out of gas. This is where creatine comes in.

When your body uses ATP for energy, it creates a by-product called ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate), which is useless to our body. Fortunately, the phosphocreatine stored in your muscles allows your body to convert the ADP back into ATP and be used for energy.(6,7) So, to make a long story short, by increasing the amount of creatine you consume, you increase the amount of phosphocreatine in your muscles, which elevates the amount of ATP you have available for muscular energy. The increased level of ATP, in turn, allows you to increase your workload and sustain it over a longer period of time. (6,8)

Essentially, creatine helps you lift heavier weight, complete more reps, or both. This elevated work capacity results in an increased ability to develop lean muscle tissue. Because creatine offers an increased capacity for short bursts of energy, athletes in football, hockey, baseball, sprinting, bodybuilding, basketball, or any other sport that requires quick but substantial bursts of energy, benefit from this supplement.

As virtually every sport (except maybe lawn bowling) requires athletes to have high levels of strength and muscularity, creatine becomes a viable supplement. I recommend making creatine part of your supplement routine throughout the year. At the least, use it during the off-season, when building strength is a priority.

  1. ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) is your best source of muscular energy.
  2. When you exercise, your body uses ATP for energy, leaving behind a useless byproduct ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate). Your body has a limited supply of ATP; when it runs out, it leaves your muscles with no available energy.
  3. Creatine combines with phosphate in your body to create phosphocreatine.
  4. Phosphocreatine converts the useless ADP back into useful ATP.
  5. Your muscles have more available energy.

There you have it. If you want to grow up big and strong, eat your wheaties and your creatine!

Pump Up The Volume

Creatine attracts water, so as your muscles absorb and store creatine, it brings additional water with it. This process super-saturates the muscle tissue with water and creatine, thus enlarging the actual muscle tissue. This super-saturation results in your muscles having that “just trained feeling” all day long. Many refer to this as the “perpetual pump” from creatine. Larger muscles in a matter of days: Can you believe some people refer to this phenomenon as a “side effect” of creatine? Indeed, many people take creatine for this “side effect” alone!

When you first start to take this supplement, it is common to gain a few pounds of muscle. Typical gains are 3-5 pounds, up to 10 being possible, all in a week to ten days – thanks to this super-saturation. The additional weight gain in your muscles is good news, because every extra pound of functional muscle means you will burn additional calories?even while you are resting.

Make no mistake. Even though some of the weight increase is water in your muscles, it still acts as functional muscle. Some creatine opponents have gone on record stating that it just causes your muscles to retain water and is of no real value. Let’s put things in perspective. Your muscles are already about 70 percent water without creatine. So is that seventy percent of your muscle useless to begin with? I don’t think so. If you suck the water out of your muscles, you are left with a wrinkly little corpse.

But the question remains, are the gains you receive only muscular water retention, or are they actually lean muscle? According to a study done on a bunch of little piggies at Texas A&M University, the gain is lean muscle.(9) Before they were slaughtered, some pigs were fed 25g of creatine for five days, while the other little piggies got none. The pigs that were fed creatine gained almost five pounds more than the ones that did not receive creatine. When cooked, the muscle-bound little pigs that fed creatine showed less meat loss than the pigs not fed creatine. Bacon, anyone? So what can we learn from our squeaky little friends (besides how much fun rolling around naked in mud is, of course)?

From this study, one can conclude that while creatine results in inter-muscular water retention, it may also increase lean muscle. In yet another Belgium study, 25 healthy males were placed on a 42-day controlled strength-training program. Eight were fed creatine, 10 a placebo, and seven formed a control group. The body mass of the creatine group went up two kilograms, while the other two groups showed no increase. The researchers concluded that “the relative volumes of the body water compartments remained constant and therefore the gain in body mass cannot be attributed to water retention, but probably to dry matter growth accompanied with a normal water volume.” (10)

Pssst … Got Any Acid?

Lactic acid. I guarantee for those of you who don’t know what lactic acid is, you have felt it before. The easiest way to describe lactic acid is the unbelievable burning you get in your muscle when completing a task over a longer period of time. Still not sure? Stand up and raise and lower yourself on your toes (calf raise). Do this exercise as fast as you can over and over until it feels like somebody is injecting boiling water into your calf muscles … that’s lactic acid. When performing tasks longer in duration you call upon the lactic system (also called the glycolytic system) for energy.

Performing this type of task increases the amount of lactate (hydrogen ions) in the muscle. When lactate levels become too high, the pH of the cells drops to the point where you cannot achieve muscle contraction. (2) As stored phosphocreatine is broken down it combines with ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate) and hydrogen ions to replenish ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This reaction decreases the pH in the cells, thereby buffering the burning sensation known as lactic acid. (2) I think you would agree that a product that could help prevent this pain would of significant value. Furthermore, by buffering lactic acid, you are essentially increasing work capacity by prolonging the point of physical failure.

Use Your Head

Getting knocked in the melon is never fun, trust me; I have had my share of crushing blows to the head. Every year 1.5 million people in the United States experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result of motor vehicle accidents, violence (mostly angry girlfriends … just kidding!), falls, and sports-related activities. (17) Out of the 1.5 million brain injuries, a staggering 300,000 injuries are a result of sports or physical activity. Furthermore, 50,000 people will die and 80,000 people will experience long-term disabilities as a result of TBI. (18)

Athletes are more likely to receive TBI from sports such as, football, hockey, boxing and other contact sports (i.e. Jell-O-wrestling). However, you are less likely to experience TBI while lawn bowling. The most common TBI experienced in sports is a concussion, resulting from your brain bouncing around inside your skull. Initial symptoms of concussion include headache, dizziness, and nausea. Postponed symptoms of concussion, which may occur several days after the initial incident, include headache, ringing in the ears, memory problems, lightheadedness, and irritability.

In a study conducted at Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, researchers looked at the possibility that creatine may assist in the protection of brain tissue after TBI. Creatine was fed to rats for four weeks prior to researchers cracking them on their little noggins, inducing TBI. The result of creatine supplementation was that brain damage was reduced by 50% when compared to rats fed a regular diet. Researchers concluded that creatine has the ability to protect against TBI by maintaining proper ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) in the brain cells. (19)

With 300,000 TBI per year resulting from sports or physical activity, athletes may greatly reduce their risk of long-term brain damage from regular supplementation of creatine. Athletes such as, boxers, football players, and hockey players all repeatedly put themselves in the direct path of a concussion. Reducing the brain damage of these concussions by 50% may have profound effects, including: extending careers and allowing athletes lead a “normal” life (I.e. No drooling, chronic shaking, or memory loss) after having their head smacked around. If you are currently involved in sports that put you at risk of TBI, I strongly recommend supplementing your diet with a high quality creatine supplement.

Although creatine can reduce long-term brain damage from TBI if somebody dares you to put your head through a wall, trust me, you are going to the hospital, creatine or no creatine.

Brain Drain

There is no doubt that creatine is good for building bigger, stronger muscles. However, it’s apparently equally as good for one of your most important organs as well. Yeah, I know that organ’s important too, but I’m talking about your brain. In a study at the University of Tokyo researchers found that eight grams of creatine per day over five days reduced mental fatigue. (7) Maybe that’s why all of those superstar college athletes get such good grades. Then again, maybe it’s not.

Did You Say Herpes?

What can you say about herpes? It’s kind of like one of those girls that are fun to pick up and party with until she moves in with you, becomes a disgusting living nightmare, and never, ever leaves … ever. If you were in this situation and someone told you how to keep the little “lady” under control, I think you would want to hear about it, wouldn’t you? Apparently creatine can help inhibit the replication of herpes simplex 1 and 2 (HVS-1, HVS-2), and may reduce morbidity and mortality of those who suffer from HVS-2.

A practitioner at Camp Pendleton Marine Base who was treating several cases of herpes noticed that several of his patients failed to return for periodic acyclovir therapy. After inquiring, it was revealed that these patients had all commenced supplemental creatine after their last outbreak and had experienced no further outbreaks. 8 Apparently cyclocreatine, a synthetic compound structurally and functionally homogolous to creatine, has the ability to inhibit HVS-1 and HVS-2. Because creatine and cyclocreatine have shown neuroprotective and cancer-retardant effects in rodents, the speculation exists that creatine shares the anti-viral ability of cyclocreatine. (8)

In the United States approximately 45 million individuals (about one in five people over age 12) are infected with HVS-2. (20) Furthermore, there will be up to 1 million new HVS-2 infections transmitted each year. (21) With 45 million people in the United States suffering form herpes I believe that anything that can prevent these unfortunate people from future outbreaks should be looked at very seriously.

If only you could prevent your mother-in-law from coming back by giving her a little creatine …

Gittin’ Loaded, Yeeha!

The common practice for taking creatine is to “load” creatine for five to seven days, and then continue to take a “maintenance” amount indefinitely. For example, most supplement manufacturers recommend 20 grams of creatine be taken in five-gram servings for five to seven days followed by five grams per day after that. The idea is that by taking a larger amount of creatine, you can super-saturate the muscle and increase the total creatine pool. Then all you need is a maintenance serving to keep an elevated level of creatine in the muscle. Loading creatine with 20 grams and maintaining with five grams is the most common recommended protocol and the one that has been deemed safe through longer-term studies. (11,12)

Another option for gittin’ loaded was presented by Dr. Eric Serrano. Rather than making a “blanket recommendation,” Dr. Serrano bases his method on the body weight of the individual taking the creatine:

Week 1

.35g of creatine per kg of bodyweight

Week 2-4

.15g of creatine per kg of bodyweight

Week 5

Off

Week 6

.35g of creatine per kg of bodyweight

Week 7

.15g of creatine per kg of bodyweight

Week 8-10

Off

Although I have no scientific evidence to prove Dr. Serrano’s system is better, I believe that using body weight and cycling creatine is more beneficial than the standard 20g-load/5g maintenance protocol. Obviously, a 250-pound muscle-head requires more creatine than a 105-pound bikini model. Another reason I prefer Dr. Serrano’s system is that you cycle off and re-load creatine periodically. I can only speak from experience when I say that cycling creatine works better than a simple maintenance of 5g per day. Every time I cycled off, then re-loaded, I noticed an accelerated improvement in performance.

Some people say that loading creatine is just another way for supplement companies to eat out of your wallet. However, studies have shown that supplementing with 3g of creatine for 14 and 30 days provide less muscular retention of creatine than 20g for only five days. (5,13)

The bottom line is, don’t be ashamed to get loaded now and again.

Choices

Purchasing commercial creatine involves three basic choices:


1

100 Percent Pure Creatine Monohydrate

It’s a white powder (not unlike baking soda) that is basically tasteless and odorless. You can mix it in water, juice, protein shake, etc. Do not, however, mix creatine with a citrus drink. The combination of creatine and a citrus drink may result in some breakdown of the product, converting creatine into creatinine, which is useless to your body.


2

Creatine And Sugar (Premixed)

What’s the deal with mixing creatine with sugar? A 1996 study showed that ingesting a carbohydrate solution with creatine promoted a 60 percent greater increase in total creatine concentrations in the muscle, compared with taking creatine alone.(14) Sixty percent is a big difference. However, the subjects who took the creatine and carbohydrates were pounding back 93g of carbs four times per day for five days. 93g of carbohydrates are an additional 1,488 calories per day, or 7,440 calories for the five-day experiment. Any way you look at it that is a good way to get fat.

So, if you are going to follow the protocol of this study and suck back four sugar shakes per day for five days, that’s where I would leave it. In other words, if you are not concerned about how big your gut gets in a week’s time, and you want to load creatine, this is a proven method. After the loading period is over, if you wanted to continue with this type of drink, I would reserve the 93g of sugary goodness for your post-workout meal only. Post-workout is when your muscles are begging for sugar like a crack addict looking for a fix. If one were to critically compare this study to commercial creatine premixes, most supplement manufacturers would fall short on the amount of sugar in one serving. Does this make a difference?

It’s a good question with no clear answers. The sugar increases insulin, which transports creatine into the muscles. Do you need that much sugar to get the same response? I’ll share with you what I consider a much better alternative later in this section. For now, suffice it to say I have tried many premixed creatine drinks and can say with a great degree of certainty that they do work better than creatine alone. Like I said, though, if you want to follow this protocol, reserve this drink reserved for a post-workout shake, and you won’t have to worry about busting’ your gut.


3

Creatine And Insulin Mimicking Agents

Agents that mimic insulin, such as Alpha-lipoic acid, have an effect similar to sugar on your body. When you consume high levels of simple sugars, your insulin goes through the roof. The insulin is responsible for getting nutrients (i.e. creatine) to the muscles. So these products theoretically punch up your insulin without the 93g of gut-busting sugar. The concept is fantastic, and I believe they work. A 1998 study confirmed, “insulin can enhance muscle creatine accumulation in humans, but only when present at physiologically high or supraphysiological concentrations.”(15) What this means is high insulin levels need to exist to enhance creatine’s effects. Using insulin mimickers instead of sugar is an area moving to the forefront of “making creatine better.”

So the choice is yours. If you want my opinion (I’m going to give it to you even if you don’t), I would load with a creatine product that has insulin-mimicking agents and maintain with a creatine/protein/carbohydrate drink post-workout. Why? As I said earlier, I will share a better alternative with you. In another recent study researchers showed that consuming a drink containing protein (50g) and carbohydrates (47g) had an equal effect on creatine absorption and retention as a drink containing 96g of carbohydrates alone. (16) So you get the same results with half the sugar and additional protein when your muscles need it. As far as buying premixed creatine sugar drinks, I would save some money and pick up a kilo of 100 percent pure creatine and mix it with something like Gatorade and Whey protein powder. It’s simple and it works. That said, your choices might be different based on whether your priorities involve fat loss, muscle gain, etc. With the above information, you should have no trouble putting together an optimal plan.

The Creatine Scare

Scare tactics, I love to hate them. In January 2001 some very unfounded headlines splashed across newspapers, newsmagazines, and television. They read, “creatine, a dietary supplement used by many athletes to increase bulk, could lead to cancer” (Reuters, January 24, 2001). What I find funny how the press gets a hold of a catchy little story about a popular sports supplement and cancer and consider it front-page news. However, you don’t hear about the fact that it can help Alzheimer’s patients. Anyway, the French Agency of Medical Security based the story on a study for Food (AFSSA). The study made three points:

  • Creatine could be involved in the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines, under conditions of high concentrations of sugars and amino acids.

  • According to the U.S. Council for Responsible Nutrition “These conditions do not apply to oral intake of creatine, and thus allegations of lack of safety for oral creatine cannot be based on this issue.”

  • Creatine could be involved in the formation of carcinogenic agents known as heterocyclic amines from creatine during the charbroiling of meat.
  • The Council of Responsible Nutrition responded by saying “The possibility is supported by a large body of scientific data, but is not relevant to oral creatine supplementation … Allegations of lack of safety for oral creatine cannot be based on this issue.”

  • Creatine itself might be a carcinogenic.
  • This is interesting because the quacks (I mean scientists) cited absolutely zero studies of any kind to substantiate this claim. Nothing, zero, ziltch, zippo. In other words they made it up. If you haven’t caught on yet, THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST THAT CREATINE IS A CARCINOGENIC.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition summed it up by saying, “The recent press reports on creatine safety were wrong and misleading. The AFSSA report that prompted this negative publicity does not contain any scientific evidence to support a contention that oral creatine might cause cancer.”

The bottom line is that creatine has never been proven in any way to cause cancer. But let me ask you this: how many newspapers, newsmagazines, and television news broadcasts ran the facts about creatine? Hmmm? What can I say; scare tactics must make good news.

The Safety & Side Effects

There are surprisingly few side effects with creatine. If you take too much, it may cause an upset stomach, or you may blow a hole in the back of your new track pants. Taking too much creatine may also result in a little extra quality time with your toilet. If you notice an upset stomach, reduce the quantity you are taking and slowly introduce higher levels. Some people have reported cramping while taking creatine. Preventing cramping is simple: Drink more water. You can’t blame creatine for people’s ignorance. Read the label. If it says drink more water, then drink more water.

Creatine is considered a safe supplement, even under the scrutiny of some longer-term studies. Studies have shown that athletes who took creatine did not experience a greater incidence of injuries, dehydration, cramping, musculoskeletal injuries or gastrointestinal disturbances.(17) Nor did subjects taking creatine experience additional renal stress.(18) That about wraps up the side effects for creatine. When it comes to creatine and safety, don’t pinch your pennies by purchasing the lowest priced product.

As with any supplement, impurities can be an issue. That is why I recommend purchasing creatine from a reputable supplement company.

Conclusion

As I said earlier, I could go on and on about creatine. I could tell you about how it’s equally useful for women as men. (13) I could tell you about the potential benefits for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzeihmer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease. (14,15) I could also tell you how creatine could potentially be beneficial to attenuate age-related muscle atrophy and strength loss. (15) Creatine may also lower the risk of coronary heart disease or cerebrovascular disease. (16) However, I didn’t set out to write a book, just a “short” article. Furthermore, most people who are reading this article are more interested in how creatine is going to make them a stronger, faster, more muscular sex machine (I mean athlete).

I hope that this article was able to answer some, most, or all of your questions regarding creatine. In reality, however, I have just scratched the surface regarding this incredible supplement. As I said at the beginning of this article, for obvious reasons, creatine “isn’t going away any time soon.” I think it’s plain to see that I am a big proponent of creatine, and it’s a supplement that I confidently recommend. If you are a serious athlete, or even a weekend warrior, it is safe to say that creatine will improve your performance. It will make you stronger, bigger, more powerful, and hey, it just might clear up those herpes that you have been squawking about.

For those of you who contend that creatine is only good for bloated muscles, I hope you get used to losing … and that funky rash.

As with any supplement you should always consult with your doctor prior to consuming.

Disclaimer

The contents of this publication reflect the author’s views acquired through his experience in the field under discussion. The information contained herein is strictly for informational purposes. This information in this publication is not intended to replace, countermand, or conflict with the advice given to your by your physician, and is offered with no guarantees, implied, real or otherwise, on the part of Curtis Koch, or assignee. The publishers and authors disclaim any and all liability in connection with the use of this publication. Please consult a qualified physician before beginning or altering any diet and/or exercise program. Use of any information-contained herin is at the sole risk of the reader.

Copyright 2002 Club Hard Body. This book is copyright. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written consent of the publisher.

References

  • (5) Balsom, P.D., Soderlund, K. & Ekblom, B. (1994) Creatine in Humans with Special Reference to Creatine Supplementation, Sports Medicine, Vol. 18, 4, pp.268-280.
  • (6) McArdle, W.D., Katch, F.I. & Katch, V.L. (1991) Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition & Human Performance, (3rd ed), pp. 102-103, 123, 428, Lea & Febiger: Malvern, Pennsylvania
  • (7) Maughan, R.J. (1995) Creatine supplementation and exercise performance. International Journal of Sport Nutrition, Vol. 5, 2, pp. 94-101.
  • (8) Wilmore, J.H. & Costill, D.L. (1994) Physiology of Sport & Exercise, pp. 97-98, 114 & 117. Human Kinetics: Champaign, Illinois.
  • (9) Maddock R.J., Binder B.S., Carr S.N., Mckeith F.K., Berg E.P, Savell J.W. Department of Animal Sciences, Texas A & M University.
  • (10) Francaux M, Poortmans J.R., Effects of training and creatine supplement on muscle strength and body mass. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 1999 Jul;80(2):165-168
  • (2) McArdle, W.D., Katch, F.I. & Katch, V.L. (1991) Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition & Human Performance, (3rd ed), pp. 102-103, 123, 428, Lea & Febiger: Malvern, Pennsylvania
  • (17) Sosin D.M., Sniezek J.E., Thurman D.J.. Incidence of mild and moderate brain injury in the united states, 1991. Brain Inj 1996 Jan;10(1):47-54.
  • (18) Centers for Disease Control. “Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: A Report to Congress.” www: Centers for Disease Control, (January 16, 2001) http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/pub-res/tbicongress.htm
  • (19) Sullivan P.G., Geiger J.D., Mattson M.P., Scheff S.W. Dietary supplement creatine protects against traumatic brain injury. Ann Neurol 2000 Nov;48(5):723-9
  • (7) Watanabe A, Kato N, Kato T. Effects of creatine on mental fatigue and cerebral hemoglobin oxygenation. Neurosci Res 2002 Apr;42(4):279-85 Department of Neuropsychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo.
  • (8) Ness S.R., McCarty M.F., Does supplemental creatine prevent herpes recurrences? Med Hypotheses 2001 Sep;57(3):310-2. Pantox Laboratories, San Diego, California.
  • (8) Ness S.R., McCarty M.F., Does supplemental creatine prevent herpes recurrences? Med Hypotheses 2001 Sep;57(3):310-2. Pantox Laboratories, San Diego, California.
  • (11) Kreider, R, Melton, C, Hunt J, Rasmussen, Ransom J, Stroud T, Cantler E, Milnor P. Creatine does not increase incidnce of cramping or injury during pre-season college football training I. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 31(5): S355, 1999.
  • (12) Rasmussen C, Kreider R, Melton C, Ransom J, Stroud T, Cantler E, Greenwood M, Milnor P. Long-term creatine supplementation during football training does not affect markers of renal stress. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 13:431, 1999.
  • (13) Nuttall, F. (1994) Creatine Supplementation, Athletics Coach, Vol. 28, 3, pp. 12-13.
  • (14) Green A.L., Hultman E, Macdonald I.A, Sewell D.A., Greenhaff P.L. Carbohydrate ingestion augments skeletal muscle creatine accumulation during creatine supplementation in humans. Am J Physiol 1996 Nov;271(5 pt 1):E821-6.
  • (15) Steenge G.R., Lambourne J, Casey A, Macdonald I.A., Greenhaff P.L. Stimulatory effect of insulin on creatine accumulation in human skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol 1998 Dec;275(6 pt 1):E974-9.
  • (16) Steenge G.R., et al., Protein and carbohydrate-induced augmentation of whole body creatine retention in humans,” J Appl Physiol 2000 Sept., 89 (3): 1165-1171.
  • (17) Kreider, R, Melton, C, Hunt J, Rasmussen, Ransom J, Stroud T, Cantler E, Milnor P. Creatine does not increase incidnce of cramping or injury during pre-season college football training I. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 31(5): S355, 1999.
  • (18) Rasmussen C, Kreider R, Melton C, Ransom J, Stroud T, Cantler E, Greenwood M, Milnor P. Long-term creatine supplementation during football training does not affect markers of renal stress. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 13:431, 1999.
  • (13) Tarnopolsky M.A., MacLennan D.P., Creatine monohydrate supplementation enhances high-intensity exercise performance in males and females. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2000 Dec;10(4):452-63.
  • (14) Wyss M, Schulze A, Health implications of creatine: can oral creatine supplementation protect against neurological and atherosclerotic disease? Neuroscience 2002;112(2):243-60
  • (15) Tarnopolsky M.A., Potential benefits of creatine monohydrate supplementation in the elderly. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 2000 Nov;3(6):497-502
  • (16) Wyss M, Schulze A., Health implications of creatine: can oral creatine supplementation protect against neurological and atherosclerotic disease? Neuroscience 2002;112(2):243-60
  • (17) Sosin D.M., Sniezek J.E., Thurman D.J.. Incidence of mild and moderate brain injury in the united states, 1991. Brain Inj 1996 Jan;10(1):47-54.
  • (18) Centers for Disease Control. “Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: A Report to Congress.” www: Centers for Disease Control, (January 16, 2001) http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/pub-res/tbicongress.htm
  • (19) Sullivan P.G., Geiger J.D., Mattson M.P., Scheff S.W. Dietary supplement creatine protects against traumatic brain injury. Ann Neurol 2000 Nov;48(5):723-9
  • (20) Fleming DT, et al. Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 in the United States, 1976 to 1994. NEJM 1997;337:1105-11.
  • (21) American Social Health Association. Sexually Transmitted Diseases in America: How Many Cases and at What Cost? Menlo Park, CA: Kaiser Family Foundation, 1998.

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Are the roads more dangerous than they used to be?

Data reveals an interesting insight into how safe it is to cycle on UK roads

After the recent high-profile deaths of former Giro d’Italia champion Michele Scarponi and former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden, along with Chris Froome being knocked off his bike by a motorist, the obvious conclusion is that the roads are becoming more dangerous for cyclists.

>>> Cyclists’ safety at risk from drivers who escape the law, finds ‘truly shocking’ inquiry

The above incidents all happened abroad and according to Chris Boardman, policy adviser with British Cycling, the figures in the UK are “statistically pretty flat.

“There has been a slight rise in casualties and killed and seriously injured riders. The most important point is that people don’t feel it is as safe as it was,” he said.

According to government figures the number of cyclists being killed or seriously injured in Britain has not changed much since 2010, though the 3,430 incidents recorded during the first eight months of 2016 was 35 per cent up on the annual average between 2005-2009.

Over a similar period the number of people cycling hasn’t risen much, but the total distance cycled has increased around 23 per cent between 2006 and 2016.

These statistics would seem to indicate that, broadly speaking, cycling is as safe as it was a decade ago.


Watch: How to ride at night


Roger Geffen, policy director at Cycling UK, says the figures aren’t conclusive as there has been a lot of fluctuation in the last decade, but that before this there was a consistent improvement that we’re no longer seeing.

This gives him cause for concern.

“Generally road safety has not been improving for all road users since around 2008-9,” he said.

Both Boardman and Geffen pointed to a decline in road policing — it has almost halved between 2004-05 and 2015-16 — as a factor that may result in cyclists feeling less safe.

“There is more traffic on the roads than ever before so you will inevitably get more friction,” Boardman said. “You can certainly see it in London.

It’s quite something to watch when you don’t live in a major city. That lack of road policing is only going to go one way… cyclists run through red lights because they can.”

CW readers have their say

We asked CW readers on Facebook for their views on this ongoing safety debate

Mark Micallef: “Thank the mass-media for manufacturing the ‘cyclist versus motorist’ mentality that has led to greater intolerance and more dangerous roads; all so they can sell a few papers.”

David Hill: “I’m not convinced roads are more dangerous for cycling and don’t see any stats to support that. There are more cyclists on the road and perhaps other road users are more intolerant of cyclists. What there is, is more coverage and hype surrounding the dangers of cycling and accidents/near misses — perhaps we are now just more aware of the dangers.”

Rob Stewart: “Roads are so much busier now in the UK, cars tend to be bigger and there is a constant tension between cyclists and motorists which seems to be growing worse each year.”

Giles Begley: “As an HGV driver and an instructor I feel there is a huge lack of education for any road user to help them understand and respect each other’s space and what it means to each of us on a personal level.

I cycle frequently on all road types and have witnessed first-hand the good and bad in all road users, from pedestrians to HGV drivers. Until we can educate people through training or even starting in schools to raise awareness of the importance of respect and space for everyone on the road then things will only continue to get worse.”


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Kim Oddo's Figure And Bikini 101: Lesson One – Nutrition

Main Page | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

If you’re serious about preparing for a figure or bikini competition, you need to begin by figuring out what works best for you. What does your body need? What foods do you need to eat? It is your figure after all, and your competition.

Kim Oddo’s The Perfect Figure & Bikini Stage Physique: Nutrition
Watch The Video – 6:27

Nutrition

Begin by assessing how much weight you have to lose. Oddo suggests using a combination of body weight and body fat to create a starting point. If you have to lose 12 pounds in 12 weeks for example, then create a calorie structure based on that. Most people fit into a 12-to-14 week period for contest preparation, as long as they are within 15-20 pounds of their desired weight goal.

You should eat 6-7 small meals per day; spread them evenly throughout the day. If your goal is 1,800 calories per day, then you should eat about 300 calories per meal. Oddo suggests setting your calorie-intake slightly below your calorie expenditure.

Keep a balanced meal plan. Eat a good balance of carbs, fats, and protein: a little more protein than carbs, and a little more carbs than fats.

Keep a balanced meal plan. Eat a good balance of carbs, fats, and protein: a little more protein than carbs, and a little more carbs than fats.

Make sure you nibble away at calories each week; you don’t want to do anything drastic because you might start to lose some lean body tissue. If you find you are losing weight too quickly or too slowly, make the proper caloric adjustment each week.

Beware of those sneaky hidden calories like Pam, sugar alcohols and salad dressings. These have more calories than you think and some of them cause chemical reactions in your body that might cause you to retain water. Read food labels carefully!

Cheat meals can be a tricky area. Oddo thinks some women can have them sparingly and do well; but for others, cheat meals just set off cravings that send them tumbling off the wagon. He also thinks that, for the most part, it’s smart to stay away from sugar because it’s bad for insulin levels.

Supplements

Adding supplements can help the quality of your nutrition. They add balance and help you get the nutrients you might not get on a restrictive-calorie diet.

Oddo Suggests:

Total Macronutrients For The Day:

Calories: 1596.9   |  Fat: 38.34g  |  Carbs: 138.87g  |  Protein: 172.08g

Meal 1

Raw Blueberries 1/2 cup


Egg Whites 4


Oatmeal 1/3 cup


Meal 2

Peanut Butter 1 tbsp


Multi-Grain Rice Cakes 2


Whey Protein 1 scoop


Meal 3
Meal 4

Peanut Butter 1 tbsp


Whey Protein 1 scoop


Plain, Low-Fat Yogurt 1/2 cup


Meal 5
Meal 6

Flax Seeds 1 tbsp


Strawberries 1/2 cup


Whey Protein 1 scoop


Main Page | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

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Missy Franklin: Back, Better and Happier Than Ever

Photo Courtesy: Annie Grevers

At the end of March, six-time Olympic Medalist Missy Franklin announced her double-shoulder surgery and indefinite break from competition. After being diagnosed with bursitis in January, Franklin got the necessary surgeries and began the recovery process.

Now, the energetic, bubbly teenager from the 2012 Olympics is back in the water – and perhaps with more of this happy energy than ever.

“It’s been great going to practice, not to train for an event, but just because I want to be there,” Franklin said. “That’s something really special that I haven’t experienced in quite a while.”

Franklin has been public with her return to the pool, returning once more to the Cal men’s team under the direction of Dave Durden. And following this new mindset in natural Missy Franklin form, the gold medalist is taking each opportunity as a fun experience:

“I’ll always love swimming but what it means changes with you as you grow,” Franklin said.  As for her return to competition, Franklin said this will be determined on her own terms. 

“When I return competitively it’s going to be for me and no one else,” she said. “It’s hard when you get to a certain level because other people start putting their goals and aspirations on you. But I have an incredible situation right now, and when it’s time I’ll sit down and go over what I want to accomplish and what it’s going to take.”

In the meantime, she has spent her time working with the USA Swimming “Make a Splash” Foundation among other charities.

She is also working on bettering herself out of the pool, as she described 22 as the age where young adults discover who they are and who they want to be. Back in the pool, with two better and recovering shoulders, Missy Franklin has found her happiness in the water once again.

Reuters contributed to this report. 

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Cyclists are attached to their bikes and form strong bonds with them, study finds

Cyclists form emotional bonds with their surroundings and are attached to their bike because of memorable moments, researcher finds

A researcher from a Canadian university has found that cyclists found strong, emotional attachments with their bikes

In findings that won’t come as a shock to most readers of this article, Karly Coleman of the University of Alberta interviewed 28 cyclists to gauge on how their identities are linked to their cycling and their bikes.

Coleman – who owns a not-so-measly 15 bikes herself – found that because cyclists ride in cities and towns on a frequent basis, they become unconsciously aware of a number of minute details and thus form a closer attachment with their surroundings than car drivers do.

>>> 11 types of cyclist we all know

“They all really loved their way of getting around and how they can interact with the world as a consequence of the way they’re moving through it,” Coleman told the Metro News.

“You know your neighbourhood intimately; you know the stop signs, the potholes, your neighbours, the dog that will brush the fence. It creates a way of knowing a place that is really, really strong.”

One of the main positive effects of riding a bike is the friendships created and the memorable experiences that cyclists have.

“It does create a desire to ride it more frequently,” Coleman said. “You experience pleasurable memories of going out with your friends. I think that’s why people are so devastated when they are stolen.”

Coleman added that, unlike a car driver who rarely interacts with other vehicles, a cyclist frequently communicates with other cyclists and car drivers which increases the emotional attachment.

“Mostly, cars provide the skeleton that doesn’t connect you as intimately or as tangibly with your environment,” Coleman went on. “In your car, it’s very unlikely that if you see your neighbour, you’ll stop your car and roll down your window and hold up a great deal of traffic to chat with them about their flowers.

“You’re not going to have those conversations.”


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