Team Novo Nordisk and Nuun Hydration Announce New Partnership

July 10, 2014 – Seattle, Washington – Nuun, the top-selling electrolyte sports drink in bike, run and outdoor specialty stores announced a new partnership with Team Novo Nordisk, a global all-diabetes sports team of cyclists, triathletes and runners, spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team. As the Official Hydration Sponsor, Nuun is providing hydration products for all Team Novo Nordisk athletes in their training, racing and recovery.

Team Novo Nordisk is comprised of nearly 100 athletes from over 20 countries, who will compete in more than 500 events worldwide this year. In 2012, Phil Southerland, co-founder and CEO of the team, and global healthcare company Novo Nordisk, came together to create Team Novo Nordisk, based on a shared vision to inspire, educate and empower people around the world affected by diabetes.

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“Everyone at Team Novo Nordisk is excited to be partnering with Nuun,” commented Southerland. “We’ve been fans of Nuun for a long time and our athletes love to use their products.”

“Sponsoring and partnering with Team Novo Nordisk is truly a privilege for us at Nuun,” said Kevin Rutherford President and CEO of Nuun. “When the team approached us and shared they are avid Nuun fans, we immediately said yes to working together. We admire their dedication to the sport and their inspiration to many that are affected by diabetes.”

The Team Novo Nordisk professional team began racing with Nuun tablets at its first Amgen Tour of California in May of this year. “I use Nuun for both training and racing,” said Team Novo Nordisk professional cyclist Martijn Verschoor (NED), who was an integral part of the teams’ historic success at the Amgen Tour of California. “The fact that it doesn’t have any sugar and is loaded with electrolytes really appeals to me.”

Nuun has established itself as the premier sports hydration drink of choice for endurance athletes. Nuun continues to revolutionize the sports drink market by offering simple and self-dissolving electrolyte enhanced drink tabs without sugar. Ongoing research, testing, and consultation with elite athletes, coaches, and customers is integral to the brand’s innovative approach.

Team Novo Nordisk will be using the full line of Nuun products including Active Hydration, All Day and the new Energy, a clean, no-sugar alternative enhanced with five B vitamins and 40mg of caffeine.

What is (real, actual) Adventure Racing?

Written by Sean Clancy of Team Dart-Nuun

Lately there has been confusion about what “Adventure Racing” IS and IS NOT. The popular sport of Obstacle Course Racing (OCR), where up to 10,000 individuals run through a 3 to 20 mile obstacle course in waves of 500+, on clearly marked clearly trails at ski resorts, has grown larger than even marathon running in the USA. It is mistakenly categorized as “Adventure Racing” by some in the media. While these OCR events can be quite an adventure for most folks, calling OCR an “Adventure Race” is a misnomer.

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Adventure Racing is actually a completely different sport, pre-dating by decades today’s OCR events as England’s “Tough Guy” or the USA’s “Spartan Race” and “Tough Mudder”.  Adventure Races attract a very different, highly-skilled ultra-endurance crowd obsessed with pushing the limits of human performance, on the most grueling terrain imaginable, while navigating with map and compass…as a team. Adventure Races are actually more similar to a top secret special operations mission than an XTERRA triathlon or OCR, and they count their entrants by the dozens, typically. Adventure Races make OCR events seem quite short, tame and even “cute” by comparison.  OCR finishers can explain their race to their co-workers at the office on Monday morning. Adventure Racers, on the other hand, might not even bother. The story would be hard for the average person to believe; it would sound like a wild exaggeration, far beyond what most consider even possible. in “just” 24 hours.

So, what is “real” Adventure Racing?

The sport of Adventure Racing (or “AR”) was born in New Zealand in the 1980s. Traditional Adventure Racing is a multi-sport off-road endurance race, with teams of 3 or 4 (including at least one woman) navigating across a race course using only a map and compass to reach sequential checkpoints (usually placed in difficult to reach spots) on and off-trails in wilderness-type areas. Race courses vary, and can range from less than 100 miles to 600+ miles in length, or 24 hours to 10 days. Typical Adventure Race courses send competitors across mountain ranges, deserts, jungles, rivers, lakes and the ocean. Racers transition along the way between running/trekking, mountain biking, paddling, mountaineering, and sometimes riding animals such as horses or camels. Race courses are kept secret until maps are only revealed the night before a race at pre-race meetings with the race director.

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At the pre-race meeting, teams are given maps and a list of coordinates (the checkpoints teams must visit from start to finish) to plot using their map-reading skills. Racers might also receive a briefing on hazardous flora and fauna (local stinging plants, poisonous snakes, bears, crocodiles, etc.). While plotting the checkpoints and intended routes, teams must decide the fastest path between checkpoints A-Z.  Savvy race directors design courses to challenge teams to “gamble” on the best navigation choices. Is it quicker to bush-wack through shoulder-high dense manzanita up a steep slope, shredding clothing and skin, and possibly damaging bikes…or should we take the flat & fast fire road for 5 extra miles?  The fastest teams do not always win;  it is the team that picks the smartest route between the checkpoints, avoids wrong turns AND moves well as a team that usually wins.

Each member of an adventure racing team is highly trained and proficient in the disciplines of mountain biking, trail running, kayak/canoe paddling, rafting, climbing/technical ropes, and most important: land and sea navigation with map and compass. Teams typically have a “lead navigator” but route-finding is best done while communicating as a team. 4 pair of eyes is better than one, when looking for difficult terrain features or un-manned Checkpoints, which are typically just tiny orange flags in the woods.

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Due to the multi-sport nature of Adventure Racing, fast transitions are absolutely critical.  During a 24 hour Adventure Race, teams might transition between sports 5 or 10 times. The team that can transition in ~5 minutes vs ~25 minutes will save two or three hours!  Two or three hours can easily be the difference between 1st place and 5th.

Unlike many relay events, in AR teams must stick together from start to finish. Even while searching for checkpoints in the deep woods, teammates must stay together or risk disqualification. If a team member can not continue, due to injury for instance, the remaining teammates may continue “unranked”.

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Every team member has relative strengths or weaknesses, so smart teams share their loads to keep the team moving as quickly as possible across the course. Common tactics include stronger runners wearing a teammate’s backpack on top of their own while climbing up a mountain, or a stronger cyclist towing a teammate uphill using a retractable dog leash. The team is only as fast as it’s “weakest” member at any point in the course.

The teammate struggling during an early 40 mile mountain bike leg in the mountains might very well tow his or her teammates on a 20 mile river paddle later in the race.  Energy highs and lows are common, and overcome with proper hydration and fueling. Teammates constantly remind each other to drink and eat, and typically share food on the trail. Anyone who has “bonked” knows that you not only slow down physically, but also mentally when this happens. In an Adventure Race, you need a strong body and mind to make good strategic decisions along the way.

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In the sport of Adventure Racing, communication and teamwork are paramount. There is no room for machismo or ego. Every team member will have highs and lows over the course of a 24 hour to week-long non-stop adventure race. Races are often held in the wildest places on earth, where conditions can range from below freezing to well over 100 degrees fahrenheit. Proper fueling and hydration are absolutely critical for racers to complete – let alone compete -in an Adventure Race.

Dehydration is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when racing for 24 hours non-stop.  Many teams either forget to bring electrolyte tablets, or they over-do it, using inappropriate extreme doses that throw the body out of equilibrium. In either case, their bodies shut down with cramps, nausea and even the dreaded “projectile vomiting”.

Professional Adventure Racing teams such as DART-Nuun eliminate that risk by using Nuun in their water bottles. As an extra “perk”, Nuun also masks the flavor of iodine purification tablets. Racers in expedition adventure races typically are required to find their own natural water sources on the course, which require purification treatment to avoid giardia. These tablets kill the bacteria, but leave an awful taste. Adding Nuun to purified water improves the flavor dramatically.

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Team DART-Nuun has used Nuun tablets in their water bottles and hydration packs successfully since the product was first launched, with great success.  They have won dozens of races, while competing on several continents, including a USA National Championship.  Now in the team’s 2nd decade of racing together, much of the team’s success has been attributed to learning from mistakes, and taking advantage of “the little details that make big differences”.  Dehydration is an Adventure Racer’s worst enemy, and one that DART-Nuun doesn’t have to worry about any more.

For more information on Team DART-Nuun, check out their web page at DART Adventure Racing and their Facebook page Team DART Adventure Racing and Twitter @dartadventure

Friday 5: Unusual Core Strength Exercises

In recent years, athletes from a wide variety of sports have accepted the importance of good core strength. Maintaining a stable base from your hips to your torso allows more efficient movement and lessens your risk of injury. Working to build a strong core is especially important for people who are mostly sedentary when not working out.

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When most people think core strength training, they think crunches, sit-ups and planks. Those standard exercises are better than nothing, and good to have in your regular routine. But your core encompasses so much more than your abs. Many core exercises more effectively target a broader range of core muscles, and help you develop the ability to work your core muscles in sync rather than in isolation. Try adding one or more of these five unusual core exercises to your program.

#1: Farmer’s Carry

What: This exercise entails walking with a relatively heavy weight in one hand, so that your abs, lower back and glutes have to work to stabilize your pelvis.

How: Find a weight that’s challenging to carry with one hand but not so heavy that you can’t keep your shoulders level. A kettlebell or a large jug of water are good choices. Walk holding the weight for 30 seconds; repeat with your other arm. Do three sets per side three times a week.

#2: Australian Crawl

What: This exercise simulates swimming to strengthen your lower back muscles.

How: Lie on your stomach with your arms straight out in front of you. Slightly lift your head, upper chest and lower legs so that your weight is balanced on your midsection. Pretend that you’re swimming by sliding your arms back and forth while kicking your feet. Do for one minute three times a week.

#3: Bicycle Abs

What: This exercise challenges you to maintain a stable pelvis while working your outer abs.

How: Lie on the ground with your hands behind your head. Keep your thighs perpendicular to the ground and your knees at a 90-degree angle. Bring your left elbow to your right knee and straighten your left leg, holding it just above the ground. Then alternate. Do for one minute three times a week.

#4: Axe Chop

What: This exercise is great at improving your ability to stabilize yourself when your balance is challenged, as happens frequently in many sports.

How: Hold a heavy book beside your left ear. Take a step forward with your right foot and quickly draw the book to the outside of your right hip. Stop the object abruptly while staying tall and not flexing your spine. Repeat going from right to left. Do two sets of 10 repetitions per side three times a week.

#5: Swiss Ball Roll Out

What: This exercise works your abs at least as well as crunches do, but in concert with other core muscles, making it more applicable to the real world.

Position yourself on your knees with your forearms and fists on a Swiss ball (also known as a stability ball). While keeping a straight line from your midsection to your lower chest, slowly roll the ball forward by straightening your arms. Go only as far as you can while maintaining good bodily alignment. Pull the ball back to the starting position with your abs more than your arms to complete one repetition. Do 10 repetitions three times a week.

 

What’s your favorite core exercise? Share in the comments below!

Heat Acclimation

With summer officially in full swing, and as training starts to ramp up, it’s important to keep proper hydration strategies top of mind. Staying hydrated throughout the day cannot only help you increase your sport performance, but it can also help you stay safe.

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HEAT ACCLIMATION

One of the most important steps to take before exercising in the summer is to let your body get use to the heat and humidity. Heat acclimation is crucial to help your body adapt to the different environmental conditions that may be present. It can help prevent many heat related illness that have detrimental effects on the body. Start by taking walks or spending more time outdoors just to let your body begins the initial stages of adjusting to higher humidity and temperatures. When moving on to exercising in warmer conditions remember to take it easy the first few sessions.

Slow Down & Monitor Heart Rate

If your normal easy run pace is 7:30 per mile, ease up to 8:30-9:00 per mile for the first few runs. You’ll notice that you may feel the effects of the heat even at a much slower pace, perhaps an increased heart rate or perspiration. Do at least 3-4 of these easy runs before resuming normal training paces and efforts.

Plan Your Route

Be sure to carry fluids with you, or run a loop where a water fountain is accessible. Staying properly hydration throughout the day is the easiest way to help prevent dehydration and other illness that may occur when exercising in warmer conditions. Note: IOM recommendation for daily fluid intake; Men: 3.1 liters, Women: 2.7 liter, and a mere 2-3% in total body water loss can lead to a decrease in exercise performance.

Replenish Electrolytes

In the warmer conditions it’s important to replenish electrolytes as your sweat rate will increase dramatically, and your need for these nutrients will also increase. Drinking plain water over and over again can lead to hyponatremia (low blood sodium), which is a very serious condition that has severe impacts on the normal body functions. Hyponatremia occurs during longer sessions where the athletes drink nothing but plain water, and end up flushing out critical electrolytes that are needed to maintain many internal functions (For example; Sodium/Potassium pump).  During hyponatremia the body starts searching internally for sodium, when your stores are depleted the body will then turn to your kidneys for sodium in order to maintain vital functions. Taking sodium away from key organs can lead to kidney failure, which can lead to cardiac arrest. So for those longer runs, or sessions where it’s a bit warmer carry a bottle with you, and make you throw in a tablet or two of Nuun.

Be aware of these signs and symptoms of dehydration and heat related illness:

  • Headache                                                                  
  • Muscle cramping                                                      
  • Fatigue                                                                      
  • Excessive thirst                                                        
  • Excessive sweating (post workout)
  • Dry mouth                
  • Dry skin
  • Chills/goosebumps                                                  
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Increased heart rate
  • Low blood pressure

 

Additional Resources:
1. Brochure on proper fluid intake by ACSM:  http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/selecting-and-effectively-using-hydration-for-fitness.pdf
2. Noakes, T. (2012). Waterlogged. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics
3. Institute of Medicine: DRI’s for Electrolytes and Water
Photo credit: Nuunbassador Jessica