Hate the Treadmill Less! [Part 2 of the Treadmill Episode]

We’ve heard from many people who enjoyed our Q&A episode about the treadmill.

In this episode we bring you part two of our amazing treadmill series and share tips and on how to maximize its effectiveness, run stronger, and learn to hate the treadmill less!

2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the treadmill (but I don’t think anyone we be celebrating). An article from Mental Floss gives the inglorious history of the treadmill.

In 1818, an English civil engineer named Sir William Cubitt devised a machine called the “tread-wheel” to reform stubborn and idle convicts. Prisoners would step on the 24 spokes of a large paddle wheel, climbing it like a modern StairMaster. As the spokes turned, the gears were used to pump water or crush grain. (Hence the eventual name treadmill.)

In grueling eight-hour shifts, prisoners would climb the equivalent of 7,200 feet. The exertion, combined with poor diets, often led to injury and illness (as well as rock-hard glutes), but that didn’t stop penitentiaries all over Britain and the United States from buying the machines. In 1824, prison guard James Hardie credited the device with taming New York’s more defiant inmates. He wrote that it was the treadmill’s “monotonous steadiness, and not its severity, which constitutes its terror.” 

Over the years, American wardens gradually stopped using the treadmill in favor of other backbreaking tasks, such as picking cotton, breaking rocks, or laying bricks. In England, the treadmill persisted until the late 19th century, when it was abandoned for being too cruel. The machine was all but lost to history. But when Dr. Kenneth Cooper demonstrated the health benefits of aerobic exercise in the 1960s, the treadmill made a triumphant return. Today, well-paid personal trainers have happily taken the place of prison wardens.”

Oh the Lengths We Will Go To Avoid the Dreadmill!

photo creditQuinn Schneider @TheQSchneider

I’m sure that running on the treadmill has felt like punishment to many runners at some point or the other. I have to admit that it’s not my favorite mode of getting my miles in.
So, maybe you go out of your way to avoid running on the treadmill, like a high school runner who recently shoveled an entire track lane after a major snowstorm to avoid doing his miles on the TM.

It Makes Mice Healthy, So Why Not Give it a Try!

But, there is evidence that running (even on a treadmill) is good for you. Ottawa researchers found that a molecule triggered by running helps repair some brain damage in mice. The molecule, called VGF nerve growth factor, had previously been discovered to promote an anti-depressant response. It also assists with the healing of the protective coating that insulates nerve fibres promoting better motor coordination and balance. This might be especially applicable to people with conditions like multiple sclerosis and Parkinsons which show nerve degeneration.

The mice who ran on a tiny mousy treadmill lived longer than their sedentary siblings. The research also showed that when mice stopped exercising they began to notice debilitating symptoms again.

So, remember that getting those miles in, even on the treadmill, is good for you and hopefully after listening to this episode you’ll have a more positive attitude about treadmill training.

Don’t Try This At Home

How to Choose a Treadmill:

There are a dizzying array of treadmills to choose from.  I’d encourage you to do a few things before you decide to buy.

  1. Figure out what you can realistically spend.
  2. Go to a sporting goods store that has several treadmills in stock or try out different treadmill options at local gyms.  Wear your running shoes and try a variety of models to see which features you like and those you don’t really need.  For example, make sure that the length and width of the platform and belt are comfortable for your running stride.  Some models run a little short and small and you feel like you’re going to be ejected any minute.  Make sure that the controls are easy to understand and use.  Sometimes a treadmill with a plethora of programing options is something you probably won’t use.  Try the treadmill at a variety of speeds from walking to your fastest run and try the incline.  Make sure the machine doesn’t shake, clunk, or sounds like it can’t handle your speed or weight.

  3. Write down the model you like best and what you liked about it.  Start doing some research online and read reviews for that particular treadmill.  Often a wealth of information can be gleaned from others who have purchased a similar model.  Usually the cheapest and most expensive TM’s are ones you should avoid.
  4. Once you have a good idea of what you want, start checking for specials in local stores, online, ebay, and Craig’s List.  People often buy nice TM’s, use them a couple times, and then they become a clothes hanger.  You can often get a great deal just by knowing what you want, checking around, and waiting for a good deal.  I’m sure that by the time winter rolls around again you’ll have found something that will suit you well. A coaching client of mine said that if you choose to buy from Costco they will deliver it and help set it up.
  5. Some brands that come highly recommended include Woodway, Landice, Precor, Proform Official Boston Marathon Training Treadmill, and Matrix Fitness Treadmills from Johnson Tech.

Treadmill Tips from Academy Members . . .

I cover up the screen and try not to pay attention to how far I have or haven’t gone. That let’s me not only not see the distance or minutes but I put the speed based on where my effort feels right and not where “I think I should be running”. Then I play with that up and down. I also play with the incline to entertain myself and mix it up. Every .10 I’ll bump it a level and go up half a mile and back down the other half for a hill mile. Happy treadmill running my friend! You CAN do this! -Traci

Treadmill is a huge mind game since it is boring and you only see the room you are in. Movies help. -Lou

I have no problem running on a treadmill and have done a number of 20+ mile runs over the years with my longest being 25 miles. The secret is to learn to run on the treadmill, don’t wait until you are forced inside and then expect an easy transition. The treadmill can be a great training tool! Here are my hints.
-Try every treadmill in the gym. They will all feel a little different. Find your favorites. This helps you establish consistent treadmill running paces.

-Don’t expect an 8 min mile on the treadmill to feel like an 8 min mile outside. Establish your own conversion table.

-Find what will keep your mind occupied. I listen to audio books but TV or podcasts might work as well.

-Never do a 16 mile run, do 4×4 miles or 15 min x 10, for me breaking it down makes it more manegable.

-I drink and fuel on the treadmill exactly like I will for my next race. Gives me a little practice and again it breaks up the run by looking ahead to my next water or fuel break.

-Have a change of clothes for a long run, after 10 miles I’m pretty sweaty so fresh shorts and shirt really help.

-Have intervals of varying pace and incline during your run. Only slight changes are necessary to give some variety.

-Sometimes we are our own worst enemy on treadmill runs. We’re supposed to hate treadmill running right? Attitude is important. -Marty

I like watching sports documentaries or sometimes sports movies while on the mill. It motivates me. The Barkley Marathons, From Fat to Finish Line, Touch the Wall, Prefontaine, Finding Traction – they are all on Netflix and I always have some saved in my list for bad weather. For shorter workouts, a friend suggested the Sufferfest videos – mostly cycling but there are three running ones too. Intervals you don’t have to think about make the time fly by. -Katie

Also Mentioned in This Episode

Health IQ -The only place where runners can get lower rates on life insurance from A+ carriers.

The Drury Hotel Company. They have 140 hotels in 21 states (we have stayed at dozens of their locations). Exceptional service, great treadmills, free wifi, huge breakfast and free evening food and drinks! Get 15% off your stay and a free gift from us.

Matrix Fitness Treadmills -Right now, you can save up to $400 on treadmills, bikes or ellipticals from Matrix Fitness plus we’ll ship it for free. We stand behind our products with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Head over to www.johnsonfit.com/matrix to see the lineup and change the way you think about home fitness.

The Runner’s Toolbox -Free downloadable pdf reveals eight essential items to help fight injury. In order to get a copy of The Runner’s Toolbox all we need is your name and email and we’ll send it right over. We’ll also keep you informed about the best injury prevent strategies and practices. –>Yes! Send it.

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Seven things to look out for at Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico

We take a look at some the key prospects from the upcoming stage races Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico

The sun

Known as the ‘Race to the Sun’, Paris-Nice is meant to herald the beginning of spring, marking the transition from pre-season across the globe to a return to the sport’s heartlands in Europe now that the sun has come back out.

>>> Paris-Nice 2017 route – Everything you need to know

At least that’s the theory – we know full well how temperamental the weather can be in Europe at this time of the year.

But the passage from colder climates to warm sunshine is built into the race’s DNA, which begins in the north (near, but not in, as the name suggests, Paris) and heads southwards until arriving in the sunny Mediterranean city of Nice.

If the forecasts are to be believed, the weather might just follow this pattern, with rainy conditions predicted for this weekend in the race’s start in Bois-d’Arcy, and sunshine for the weekend after in Nice.

The highest peak ever used at Paris-Nice

Geraint Thomas (Sky) and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) fight for the line of the summit finish on the penultimate day of the 2016 Paris-Nice. (Sunada)

This year’s Paris-Nice is definitely one for the climbers, with a trio of back-to-back mountain stages making up the final three stages of the race, between them containing fourteen climbs categorised two or higher.

Even the final 3km of stage four’s 14.5km individual time trial take the riders up the steep, 7.7 per cent averaging Mont Brouilly.

The highlight of all these ascents will be the Col de la Couillole, an Alpine climb making its first appearance in the race, which, standing at a huge 1,678 metres, makes history for being the highest peak ever featured in Paris-Nice.

Although stage six packs five climbs in the final 80km, and stage eight ends with an ascent and descent of the familiarity decisive Col d’Eze, it’s stage seven’s finish atop the Col de la Couillole that’s likely to decide the race.

Richie Porte’s quest for a third Paris-Nice title

Richie Porte wins stage five of the 2017 Tour Down Under

Following a first ever overall victory at the Tour Down Under in January, and his promotion to outright Tour de France leader for BMC, 2017 feels like it’s going to be a coming-of-age year for Richie Porte.

He’ll be hoping to continue that momentum with an overall victory at Paris-Nice, to add to the titles he won back in 2013 and 2015, and which would also extend his lead in the WorldTour.

His form and track record certainly make him a favourite, although the lack of time trialling kilometres – which played a big part in both his previous victories – will encourage many of his rivals, who include Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Ireland’s Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) and Britain’s Simon Yates (Orica-Scott).

Milan-San Remo contenders at Paris-Nice

Arnaud Demare wins, Ben Swift Second in the 2016 Milan-San Remo

Given that five of the last six winners of Milan-San Remo all used Paris-Nice as preparation, it’s perhaps no surprise that this year’s start list is full of sprinters eyeing up ‘La Primavera’.

Previous winners Arnaud Demare (FDJ), Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) and John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo), last year’s runner-up Ben Swift (UAE Emirates) and other top candidates like Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis), Michael Matthews (Sunweb), Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) and Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) will all be present.

They will be testing their form in the first three stages, all of which are flat and look tailor made for bunch finishes.

Each will be hoping for tangible evidence of strong form with a stage win, although they will all have a hard time getting the better of Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors).

Giro d’Italia contenders at Tirreno-Adriatico

As the only WorldTour stage race held in Italy in the run-up to the Giro d’Italia, Tirreno-Adriatico is a key meeting point for those hoping to win the pink jersey in May.

Of the 12 bookies’ favourites for the Giro, nine are lining up here – most notable former winners Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), but also Mikel Landa and Geraint Thomas (Sky), Fabio Aru (Astana), Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC).

Recent years suggest a strong ride here is necessary for winning the Giro in two month’s time – each of the last four winners of the pink jersey all finished in the top-six of the Tirreno-Adriatico beforehand – so expect a competitive race.

Monte Terminillo

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) takes a stage win at 2015’s Tirreno in brutal conditions. Photo: Graham Watson

There’s a pleasingly symmetrical look to the Tirreno-Adriatico route, with starts and finishes with a time trial (a 22.7km team time trial up first, a 10km individual time trial rounding things off), and has its key mountain stage smack bang in the middle.

That stage finishes atop 16km-long Monte Terminillo, an alpine climb with a steep average gradient of over 7%, guaranteed to set fireworks off among the GC riders.

Gino Bartali, Luis Herrera and Stefano Garzelli are among the winners when the climb has been used in the Giro, while Nairo Quintana memorably triumphed here amid snowy conditions at the 2015 Tirreno.

Opportunities for puncheurs

Greg Van Avermaet wins 2016 Tirreno-Adriatico

Tirreno has been kind to puncheurs and Classics riders in recent years, to the extent that Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) managed to win the overall last year after the queen stage was cancelled.

That’s unlikely to happen again this time around, but there’s still ample opportunity for Van Avermaet and the like to land stage wins on days too flat for climbers and too bumpy for sprinters – specifically, stages two and five, which both feature rolling terrain throughout the day and an uphill finish.

These stages should play into the hands of the likes of Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal), who already has three wins to his name this season; Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo), who appears to have his eye on the Classics this spring; and Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky), who has enjoyed success before in this race (having held the leader’s jersey in 2014) and is overdue a big win.

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World Golf Championships: Westwood shares lead in Mexico

Lee Westwood

WGC Mexico Championships, first-round leaderboard:
-4 L Westwood (Eng), R Fisher (Eng), P Mickelson (US), R Moore (US), J Walker (US), J Rahm (Spa); -3 R McIlroy (NI), C Wood (Eng), S Garcia (Spa), F Zanotti (Par), M Kuchar (US), P Perez (US)
Selected others: -2 T Fleetwood (Eng), R Fowler (US); -1 T Hatton (Eng), J Rose (Eng), D Johnson (US), M Kaymer (Ger); Level J Spieth (US), +5 P Reed (US)
Full leaderboard (external site)

Lee Westwood is in a six-way tie for the lead after round one of the World Golf Championships event in Mexico.

The Englishman, 43, was on course to be the sole overnight leader but bogeyed the final two holes to finish with a round of 67 in Mexico City.

Westwood is joined on four under by compatriot Ross Fisher, Americans Phil Mickelson, Ryan Moore and Jimmy Walker and Spain’s Jon Rahm.

World number three Rory McIlroy is a shot further back after a 68.

The 27-year-old Northern Irishman is playing his first tournament after seven weeks out with a rib injury.

McIlroy made par on 14 holes, hitting one eagle, two birdies and one bogey in a solid round.

Westwood was more uneven in his scoring, making eight birdies in his first 16 holes before ending with back-to-back bogeys to add to two others earlier in his round.

England’s Chris Wood and Spain’s Sergio Garcia are part of a six-man group tied for seventh, a shot behind the leaders.

Tommy Fleetwood carded a two-under-par 69, a shot ahead of fellow Englishmen Tyrrell Hatton and Justin Rose, with world number one Dustin Johnson also on one under.

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Missouri State Takes Narrow Lead At Men’s MAC Championships

Photo Courtesy: Missouri State Athletics

Exciting action took place during day two of the 2017 Men’s MAC Swimming and Diving Championships. Missouri State currently has the lead, but only 18 points separate the top three teams.

2017 Men’s MAC Championships Day 2 Finals – Results

Missouri State’s Antonio Thomas dominated the 500 free to begin day two finals. The freshman won his first individual MAC Championship title with a time of 4:19.97, nearly four seconds faster than his swim this morning. His time set a new pool record.

His teammate Minki Kang placed second in 4:23.28 to give the Bears a one-two finish while Eastern Michigan’s Kyle Lichtenberg finished third in 4:23.28.

Buffalo’s Charles Barry (4:26.15), Miami-Ohio’s Iago Moussalem do Amaral (4:27.27), Eastern Michigan’s Alexander Arrieta (4:28.49), Buffalo’s Reid Zyniecki (4:28.65), and Southern Illinois’ Michael Wolfe (4:31.59) completed the top eight.

Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 8.22.52 PM

Missouri State took the top two spots yet again, this time in the 200 IM. Sophomore Artur Osvath led the field, posting a time of 1:46.24. The four-time MAC Swimmer of the Week, who finished second in this event last year, dropped over one second off his morning swim.

Osvath’s teammate Kacper Cwiek finished half a second behind in 1:46.71 and Southern Illinois’ Filippo Dell’Olio took third in 1:47.05.

Eastern Michigan’s Jake Tyson (1:47.09), Missouri State’s Phillip Willett (1:47.69), Missouri State’s Christopher Heye (1:48.27), Miami-Ohio’s Justin Andrews (1:49.19), and Missouri State’s Nicholas Theunissen (1:49.35) also swam in the A-Final.

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Buffalo’s Mason Miller was the only swimmer under the 20-second barrier in the 50 free. The sophomore won his second-consecutive MAC title in this event, posting a time of 19.91.

Southern Illinois’ Andre Luiz Brilhante touched the wall second in 20.15 and Miami-Ohio’s Lucas Brock finished third in 20.38.

Miami-Ohio’s Jack Strauss (20.52), Bobby Wood (20.56), Miami-Ohio’s Hutch Blackstone (20.76), Buffalo’s Eric Jensen (20.79), and Miami-Ohio’s Nick Ward (20.79) rounded out the top eight.

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Eastern Michigan’s Alex Chan won the 1m diving event for the second-straight year. The senior bettered his score from last year, finishing with 362.85 points.

Buffalo’s Nick Rodriguez placed second with a score of 344.40 and Eastern Michigan’s Thomas Gillis took third with 313.05 points.

Buffalo’s Kristian Santos (309.55), Eastern Michigan’s Daniel Gironza (303.90), Eastern Michigan’s Peter Rusenas (279.25), Miami-Ohio’s Sean Sargent (277.00), and Southern Illinois’ Kai Hffmann-Dussome (264.90) also dove in the A-Final.

Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 9.52.00 PM

After putting four swimmers in the 50 free A-Final, it’s not surprise that Miami-Ohio won the 200 free relay. The team of Brock (20.36), Ward (20.17), Blackstone (20.04), and Strauss (19.92) won the final event of the evening in 1:20.49.

Buffalo’s Miller (20.01), Jensen (20.08), Itai De La Vega (20.18), and Hudson Carroll (20.63) took second in 1:20.90 and Missouri State’s Michael Mollack (20.79), Samuel Senn (19.95), Jake Schultz (20.09), and Brand (20.37) finished third in 1:21.20.

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Team Scores:

1. Missouri State-248
2. Buffalo-237.5
3. Eastern Michigan-230
4. Miami-Ohio-217.5
5. Southern Illinois-178
6. Ball State-76
7. Evansville-75

Prelims will begin tomorrow at 11 a.m. CST.

All results can be found on Meet Mobile-2017 MAC Men’s Swim and Dive Championship.

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Everything you need to know about the British Cycling/Sky mystery package saga

Timeline of events relating to the jiffy bag taken from British Cycling HQ in Manchester to Team Sky at the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné and subsequent investigation

Recent revelations surrounding the delivery of a medicine package from British Cycling to Team Sky during the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné race in France has caused a great deal of controversy.

The incident has brought both British Cycling and Team Sky into widespread media focus, and both organisations have been the subject of a UK Anti-Doping investigation and an inquiry into doping in UK sport run by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee in Parliament.

The investigation and inquiry are trying to ascertain what was in the package, and whether it was within the rules.

Here we present a concise summary of the people and organisations involved in the inquiries, and a timeline of events so far.

Who’s who and what’s what

British Cycling (BC) – national governing body for cycle sport in the UK. Run the national cycling teams, including the Olympic cycling squad.

Team Sky – British registered WorldTour-level professional cycling team, created in 2010. Bradley Wiggins rode for Team Sky from 2010 to April 2015.

UKAD – UK Anti-Doping, the ‘national organisation dedicated to protecting a culture of clean sport’. UKAD are conducting an on-going investigation into British Cycling and Team Sky, which has not yet been given an end date.

Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) select committee – a group of British MPs that are currently conducting an inquiry into doping in UK sport. No end date has been set.

Dave Brailsford – team principal of Team Sky.

Simon Cope – former British Cycling women’s road and endurance academy coach.

Dr Richard Freeman – British Cycling medic, formerly Team Sky medic.

Nicole Sapstead – chief executive of UKAD.

Shane Sutton – former technical director of BC and Team Sky coach.

Bradley Wiggins – former Team Sky pro rider between 2010-2015. Won the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné and reportedly received Fluimucil at the race.

Fluimucil – a decongestant medicine. Reportedly what was in the package taken from England to France. It is not on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances. Fluimucil is available over-the-counter in France.

Timeline of events

June 8 2011: British Cycling employee Simon Cope picks up a jiffy bag from BC’s headquarters in Manchester that has been left on his desk. It is addressed to Dr Richard Freeman, and Cope has been asked by Shane Sutton to deliver it to Team Sky and Freeman at the Critérium du Dauphiné race in France.

June 11 2011: Cope stops off in London to attend a race, and stays overnight before travelling to Gatwick to catch his flight to Geneva.

June 12 2011: Cope arrives at Geneva airport and then drives to the Dauphiné in La Toussuire, France. He delivers the package to Freeman, as instructed, and later flies back to Britain, giving Shane Sutton a lift to the airport. Wiggins wins the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné. Wiggins is given decongestant medicine Fluimucil via a nebuliser after the race. Wiggins told UKAD during its 2016/17 investigation that he did not know whether the medicine came from the package or not.

Bradley Wiggins during the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné. Photo: Graham Watson

June 28 2011: Wiggins given a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) certificate for Triamcinolone acetonide ahead of the 2011 Tour de France. He withdrew from the 2011 Tour on July 8 after crashing and breaking his collarbone.

July 22 2012: Wiggins wins 2012 Tour de France.

Unspecified date 2014: Dr Richard Freeman told UKAD in March 2017 that his laptop containing medical records was stolen while he was on holiday in Greece during 2014.

September 8 2015: First oral evidence session of CMS select committee inquiry into doping in UK sport, originally covering doping in athletics.

April 27 2016: Shane Sutton resigns from his post as technical director in BC after allegations of sexism and bullying.

June 14 2016: ‘Whistleblower’ Dan Stevens provides oral evidence to CMS select committee regarding doping in UK cycling.

September 15 2016: A hacking group calling themselves Fancy Bears publish Therapeutic Use Exemption certificates for British cyclists Wiggins and Chris Froome. Fancy Bears obtained the TUEs after illegally accessing World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) files held for Rio 2016 Olympic Games athletes. Wiggins’ has three TUEs for Triamcinolone acetonide, administered via injection, on June 29 2011, June 26 2012 and April 22 2013, as well as for asthma medication.

>>> WADA explains how Fancy Bears hackers got into athletes’ confidential medical files

September 25 2016: Wiggins appears on BBC’s Andrew Marr show, and says he was not trying to gain an “unfair advantage” by using Triamcinolone acetonide.

October 6 2016: The Daily Mail publishes an article saying that UKAD are investigating allegations that a medical package was delivered to Wiggins at the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné. At that point, the contents of the package are unknown. Separately, former GB and Team Sky rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke tells the BBC that controversial painkiller Tramadol was ‘offered freely’ to riders during the 2012 World Championships.

October 21 2016: Ian Drake confirms his intention to step down as BC CEO. The announcement is unconnected to recent events. He subsequently leaves the post on January 20 2017.

December 19 2016: Dave Brailsford and Shane Sutton appear before CMS select committee in Parliament. Brailsford reveals that he has been told by Freeman that the package contained Fluimucil for Wiggins. It’s the first time that the public have been made aware of the package’s contents.

January 24 2017: Former pro and Great Britain rider Nicole Cooke gives oral evidence to CMS select committee. She says that cycling’s anti-doping efforts are “the wrong people fighting the wrong war, in the wrong way, with the wrong tools”.

February 9 2016: Jonathan Browning announced as new BC chairman, replacing Bob Howden.

March 1 2017: Evidence given to CMS select committee by Simon Cope and Nicole Sapstead. Cope says that he was unaware of the contents of the package he was asked to deliver. Sapstead gives information of UKAD’s investigation into BC and Team Sky, saying that UKAD could not ‘confirm or refute’ that Fluimucil was in the package as no medical records were kept. Freeman was originally scheduled to appear at the hearing, but withdrew due to illness – it is likely that he will have to answer MPs’ questions at a later date.

March 2 2017: BC admits that there are ‘serious failings’ in its keeping of medical records. Damian Collins MP, the chair of the CMS select committee, says that Wiggins will not be called as a witness.

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Murray wins after saving seven match points in 31-minute tie-break

andy murray

Andy Murray saved seven match points in a 31-minute second-set tie-break before beating Philipp Kohlschreiber in the Dubai Championships quarter-finals.

The world number one needed eight set points to edge the German 20-18 in the tie-break and level the match.

No men’s tour-level match has featured a tie-break with more than 38 points since 1991 – six have finished 20-18.

Murray then raced to victory in only 30 minutes in the final set to win 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (20-18) 6-1.

The Briton, who said he had “never played a tie-break like that in my life”, will face Lucas Pouille or Roger Federer’s conqueror Evgeny Donskoy in the semi-final.

Fernando Verdasco and Robin Haase will meet in the other last-four tie.

A marathon tie-break

Murray, who is playing his first tournament since his fourth-round defeat at the Australian Open in January, looked out of sorts in the first set and served two double faults as he lost the tie-break 7-4.

The 29-year-old broke early in the second and seemed to be cruising, but Kohlschreiber, who was scoring consistently with his forehand, had other ideas and broke back as the Scot served for the set.

It was the German who faltered first in the tie-break and Murray had four set points before Kohlschreiber went ahead at 9-8.

A stubborn Murray played some inspired tennis to stay in the match, including a stunning cross-court drop shot to save the first match point, while the German sent numerous groundstrokes wide on further chances to secure the match.

In the end Murray was able to capitalise on Kohlschreiber’s wastefulness to level.

Kohlschreiber capitulated in the final set as Murray broke twice to race to victory in a set that lasted a minute less than the second set tie-break.

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The Swimming Zone

Photo Courtesy: Jen Cournoyer

The Swimming Zone.

By Wayne Goldsmith

You’re traveling through another swimming dimension—a dimension not only of muscles and tendons, but of mind…a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s a signpost up ahead—your next stop: the Swimming Zone! (with apologies to Rod Serling, creator of the “Twilight Zone”).

Do you want to improve your swimming?

If you’re reading this article, the answer is a very loud, clear, emphatic “yes!”

But how? How can you find a few valuable fractions of a second and turn your personal potential into the perfect performances?

Do you do more training?

Should you buy some better training equipment?

Could you find a new coach?

Perhaps you should purchase a new super-fast swimsuit?

Or maybe you need to become committed to maintaining a healthier diet?

Or what about getting more rest and having better quality sleep every night?

Sure. All these things may help. They might give you an advantage. They could even help you to swim a little faster.

But there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to work—one thing you can do to ensure your swimming performance improves.

And it’s free…and it’s easy…and it’s closer than you think.

It’s the way you approach your training.

You are now entering…the Swimming Zone.

The Swimming Zone.

There’s five “zones” in swimming, and each one of them plays an important role in your swimming success story:

The Preparation Swimming Zone;
The Power Swimming Zone;
The Practice Swimming Zone;
The Performance Swimming Zone;
The Post-Pool Swimming Zone.

Each Swimming Zone can give you an edge in your preparation and an advantage in your racing performances.

Zone 1: The Preparation Swimming Zone

As soon as you arrive at the pool, you enter swimming zone 1—the preparation zone. This is the zone where you and your swim team meet immediately before training—for example, the locker rooms, the end of the pool, a specific place in the “stands,” etc. This zone is where you start to think about swimming and where you turn on your swimming mind and begin to focus on your swimming and training.

There’s a great saying that goes, “start the way you want to finish.” The preparation zone is the time and the place where you deliberately make the conscious decision that today—right here and right now—will be a great workout.

It’s also the zone where you get your swimming “tool-kit” ready for the session ahead, including your kickboard, pull buoy and band, fins, paddles, water bottle and all the practical things you need to ensure that this workout will be outstanding.

Zone 2: The Power Swimming Zone

Zone 2 is all about power—the area from the walls to the backstroke flags (i.e., the zone where you are either leaving or swimming to the ends of the pool). This swimming zone is called the power zone because it is here—from the walls to the flags—that you can make some remarkable improvements in your swimming performance.

A great way to think of the power zone is to think, “first three, last three” (i.e. make sure the first three strokes you take coming off a wall as well as the last three strokes you take as you approach a wall are powerful, lightning-fast and, in free and fly, done without breathing.

In swimming zone 2, every dive is a race-quality dive; every start is a race-quality start; every turn is a race-quality turn; and every finish is a race-quality finish.

Zone 3: The Practice Swimming Zone

The area of the pool between the flags is zone 3—the practice zone.

Here, the focus is on technique, skills and learning.

A great training habit to develop is to practice your skills, kick and technique work between the flags (zone 3), but when you hit zone 2, swim at maximum speed in and out of every wall.

For example, if you are completing a lap of single-arm fly drill, streamline from the wall to the backstroke flag (zone 2), complete the single-arm fly drill between the backstroke flags (zone 3), then swim full stroke butterfly to the wall (zone 2), including finishing with a race-quality finish (i.e. head forward, hips high, arms fully extended and legs still pumping).

Zone 4: The Performance Swimming Zone

Think of the pool as a stage and imagine yourself to be an actor.

The pool is where you come to perform. It is your stage. It is the place where you come to demonstrate your skills—your art—as a swimmer.

From the moment you arrive at the pool, imagine you are on the swimming stage, and it is here where you perform the skills and techniques of swimming that you have mastered through years of hard practice and dedicated training.

What you do at the pool is more than just swimming laps or kicking or doing drills. It is the place where you demonstrate your capacity for excellence and your commitment to success.

Swimming Zone four is the pool – and everything in it and around it. It is the place where excuses end, where commitment rules and where dreams become reality.

Zone 5: The Post-Pool Swimming Zone

Zone 5, even though it is outside the pool area, is just as important as all the other zones. This is where you help your body to repair, regenerate and recover from the hard work you’ve done in zones 1, 2, 3 and 4.

In fact, the better you are in zone 5 (i.e. the better you are at managing your sleep, rest, recovery, hydration, nutrition and injury treatment), the better you can perform in the other swimming zones.


1. Everyone who swims has access to the same “zones.” They are the same in every pool…in every city…in every nation. It’s your choice as to how you use the “zones”—and it’s your choice as to how successful you will be.

2. Try tapping into each “zone” at a time. Instead of thinking, “I’m going to practice,” think, “Today, I’ll get the most out of the ‘practice zone,’” or “Today, I’ll make sure everything I do in the ‘power zone’ will be outstanding.”

3. By understanding the “zones,” you can systematically and progressively improve every aspect of your swimming: fitness, power, skills, technique, your mental skills and your recovery. All it takes is for you to “zone-in: on the swimming zones.

Wayne Goldsmith

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No return date yet for Nizzolo after knee issues – News shorts

Giacomo Nizzolo has yet to mark a date to start his season after being diagnosed with tendinitis at the Trek-Segafredo camp in Mallorca in January. Despite weeks of physical therapy and a return to limited training, the Italian is still recuperating from his injury.

“I am back on the bike,” Nizzolo said, according to his team. “I can ride but not much yet, around 2- 2.5 hours a day. I still feel some ‘noise’, but I cannot really call it pain. I feel that the best way to be back is to ride, building muscle again and improving their flexibility because the muscles around the knee were getting stiff from wanting to protect my knee.

“Right now, I am also working very intensively with a physiotherapist who looks at my body as a whole and is working primarily to get my total body back to functioning normally again. It’s like my body still acts as if it must protect the knee, so we have to reset my body’s memory. My muscles still think there’s a problem; they work like they have to defend themselves from the pain. So my first goal right now is to teach the muscles to function again as they did before.”

Today, Nizzolo was scheduled for a three-hour ride, the longest since his diagnosis, before he will find out if he can increase his training load.

“I really feel the improvement, so I am confident that I am on a good way, even though I know it is still a long way back,” he said. “Because first I have to become a normal rider again. With two hours of riding a day, I still cannot say that I am really training.”

Because of the reduced training schedule, Nizzolo did not want to set a date on his return to competition. “I want to focus on getting back to my old level and becoming even a better rider.”

Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) wins stage 1 at 2016 Abu Dhabi Tour

Haas, Boasson Hagen lead Dimension Data in Strade Bianche

Dimension Data will head into the next WorldTour race, Strade Bianche, with Nathan Haas and Edvald Boasson Hagen as co-leaders in the team.

Haas has been one of the most consistent performers of the season, and was expecting to take a five-week break after the Tour of Oman to prepare for the Ardennes Classics.

“For me, Strade Bianche is easily the most spectacular race on the calendar. The finish in Siena is absolutely magical, and the challenge of riding on the gravel roads is just too good. We have a pretty awesome team here with a few big cards to play, and I think we are going to put on a super exciting race,” Haas said in a press release.

“We have a few guys who are already fit for the cobbles classics so they will be fit for this race too. Edvald [Boasson Hagen] seems to be in good shape now, and Nathan has done well in this race before. We start out very ambitious,” directeur sportif Alex Sans Vega said.

Dimension Data for Strade Bianche: Nathan Haas, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Daniel Teklehaimanot, Mark Renshaw, Jay Thomson, Johann Van Zyl, Bernhard Eisel and Scott Thwaites.

Nathan Haas (Dimension Data)

New dates and venues confirmed for Tour Series 2017

The Tour Series has announced the 10 rounds for the 2017 edition in an event at Wembley Park. The ninth season of the series will take place over three weeks in May, featuring Saturday night events for the first time.

New hosts will include Wembley Park in London, Northwich and Aberdeen. The roman city of Bath will be the scene of one of the night races on May 20, as will Durham a week later. Redditch is where it will all kick off on May 9, and the grand finale will be in Stevenage on May 29.

There will also be eight women’s competitions with the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series expanding to 13 teams.

The Tour Series is based on a team format with the overall victory going to the best team rather than an individual rider.

The races

Round 1 – Tuesday, May 9 – Redditch*
Round 2 – Thursday, May 11 – Stoke-on-Trent*
Round 3 – Friday, May 12 – Northwich*
Round 4 – Tuesday, May 16 – Wembley*
Round 5 – Thursday, May 18 – Croydon*
Round 6 – Saturday, May 20 – Bath*
Round 7 – Tuesday, May 23 – Motherwell*
Round 8 – Thursday, May 25 – Aberdeen
Round 9 – Saturday, May 27 – Durham
Round 10 – Monday, May 29 – Stevenage*

Those marked with an asterisk are where the women’s races will take place.

The ninth round of the Halfords Tour Series gets underway in Chester.

Stage 4 of Tropicale Amissa Bongo cancelled due to logistical issues

A technical problem with an aircraft has forced the organisers of the Gabon race Tropicale Amissa Bongo to cancel the fourth stage. The plane was due to take riders out to the Haut-Ogooué Province, but because of unspecified technical problems it was unable to.

“Despite all the measures taken to ensure the flights as soon as possible to allow the riders to be at the start this afternoon, the organizers decided to cancel the stage in consultation with the president of the jury and the teams’ sport directors,” a statement read. “The organisers wanted to focus on the comfort and safety of the riders and are counting on the last three stages to offer the big final battle for the overall classification where positions are still very tight.”

Stanislau Bazhkou of the Minsk Cycling Club is the race leader after winning stage 3 to Koulamoutou. Tony Hurel (Direct Energie) and Mikel Aristi (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) have also won stages of this year’s race. Stage 5 will take the riders from Lambaréné, where stage 4 was due to finish, to Kango.

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Journalists doorstepping Bradley Wiggins receive angry response on social media

BBC reporters accused of “gutter journalism” after waiting outside Wiggins’s house

The day after the chief executive of UK Anti-Doping confirmed that there was “no paper trail” to track the contents of the package delivered to Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins at the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné, Wiggins faced questions from journalists waiting outside his house in Lancashire.

Videos and photos of the exchange were shared on Twitter by BBC Sport editor Dan Roan and BBC Sports News Correspondent Richard Conway, and showed Wiggins coming out of his front door to tell the journalists that they were on private property and threatening to call the police.

>>> MPs will not question Bradley Wiggins over medical package and TUEs

According to BBC editorial guidelines, doorstepping is a “last resort” needing approval of a senior editorial figure, with approval only given if there is evidence of “significant wrongdoing” and the subject of the doorstepping has failed to respond to multiple requests for interview.

Reaction to the the journalists’ approach was mixed on Twitter, with a significant number of users criticising the doorstepping.

However Conway defended the approach, saying that legitimate questions needed to be asked, which was echoed by former BBC presenter Jake Humphrey who also retweeted Roan’s video.

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Off Deck, March 2, 2017: Stanford’s Ally Howe, Lia Neal & Greg Meehan Recap Pac-12 Title

Stanford’s women were dominant at the women’s Pac-12 championships over the weekend, winning all but four swimming events as they cruised to the team’s first Pac-12 championship in five years.

On the final night of the meet, Off Deck host David Rieder spoke with standout swimmers Ally Howe and Lia Neal, along with head coach Greg Meehan, to break down the team’s performances in Federal Way, Wash., and to look ahead to the NCAA championships. You can watch all of those interviews on today’s episode.

Howe spoke about the moment when she broke Natalie Coughlin’s 15-year-old American record in the women’s 100 back, while Neal discussed how it felt to anchor her final relay at Pac-12s and win her first team championship.

Finally, Meehan explained how this year’s conference championship felt different than his first, back in 2013, and he explained what his athletes might have left in the tank for the NCAA meet, beginning March 15 in Indianapolis.

Watch the full episode below.

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