Tag Archives: bike

Spring Training: How to Get Ready to Get More Active

The longer daylight hours and warmer temps of spring mean you want to get outside and play. Trust us, we know the feeling. But we also know the feeling of having done too much too soon after being less active during the winter.

“It’s important to have a good foundation of the necessary flexibility, mobility, strength, and stability prior to beginning or increasing any level of activity,” says Daniel Frey, a physical therapist and avid trail runner in Portland, Maine. “Proper pre-training conditioning will minimize your risk of injury and decrease intial soreness.”

As Frey point out, when your body isn’t ready for a big increase in activity, that initial soreness can turn into an injury that might sideline you for weeks or months. He and physiotherapist Phil Wharton, who has worked on Olympic and recreational athletes in a wide range of sports, agree that too-rapid increases in activity most often lead to tendinitis. That injury, in turn, can then cause more serious, compensatory injuries such as runner’s knee, ligament damage and stress fractures.

Here are some simple exercises Frey and Wharton recommend to be better prepared for four activities Nuun athletes love: running, cycling, golf and hiking.

cycling300

RUNNING

One Leg Squat
Why: For quad and glute strength as well as control of the lower extremity in single-limb stance, which is essential for minimizing excessive pressure on the feet, knees, hips, and back.

How: Stand with one foot on the edge of a stair, with the foot parallel to the long end of the stair. Stabilize yourself by engaging your core muscles. Keeping the other leg straight, lower the heel of that foot toward the ground, then come back up. Go down only as far as you can while keeping your pelvis level. Do two sets of 10 on each leg.

Mini Squat Forward Band Walks
Why: Build hip and core stability. These areas are notoriously weak in runners due to the repetitive forward motion involved while running, as well as lots of sitting during non-running hours.

How: Place a TheraBand around your ankles. Go into a slight squat; imagine a baseball player getting into position to field. While keeping your feet pointing straight ahead and shoulder-width apart, walk from one end of a room to the other with short steps. Turn around and walk back. As the exercise becomes easier, do it holding a small weight in front of you with both hands.

Hamstring Stretch
Why: Tight hamstrings are also common in runners. Lack of hamstring flexibility prevents you from full extension of your stride and overworks other muscles.

How: Lie on your back with one knee bent and that foot on the floor. Keep the other leg straight, and wrap a rope or towel around the ball of that foot. Contract the thigh muscles of your straight leg to raise that foot toward the ceiling. Use the rope or towel only to gently guide the motion. Exhale as you raise the leg, and hold the stretch at the top for only a couple seconds. Return the leg to the floor and do ten stretches for each leg.

CYCLING

Bike Fit
Why: This isn’t an exercise, but it’s one of the most important things a cyclist can do to stay healthy. “Having a cycle assessment and fitting by a qualified individual is essential to making sure that a poor-fitting bike doesn’t force you into poor alignment, which can lead to a myriad of injuries,” says Frey.

How: Go to a good bike shop!

One Leg Bridge
Why: Increase glute strength and core stability to improve pelvic control and balance while cycling. It also helps with hip flexor mobility, an area commonly restricted from lots of time in the saddle.

How: Lie on your back with your hands by your sides, your knees bent, and your feet on the floor. While contracting your abs and butt, raise your hips to create a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Extend one leg while keeping your hips raised and level. Return to the start position. Do 10 repeats on each leg.

Neck Strengthening
Why: Because of the forward position in cycling, the neck muscles can become weak, strained and misaligned.

How: Lie face down on your bed with your arms straight at your side and your head unsupported by the mattress. Moving slowly and with care, tuck your chin toward your chest, then raise your head to look slightly up. Repeat 10 times.

GOLF

Stork Turns
Why: Increase trunk control and balance, helping to improve mobility necessary for golf swing.

How: Stand with both hands on top of a golf club in front of you. Lift one leg and hook your foot behind your other knee. While keeping your shoulders still, rotate the knee of your lifted leg across the supported leg. Do 10 repeats on each leg.

Pectoral Stretch
Why: Increase range of motion during your backswing to lessen the strain on your spine.

How: Stand with your arms straight in front of you, palms together, hands at waist level. Use your shoulder muscles to slowly bring your arms apart as far as they’ll comfortably go. Repeat the stretch five times, each time starting with your hands a little higher, so that on the fifth stretch your hands are parallel with your shoulders. Do two sets of five.

Clams
Why: Increase glute stability to decrease the chances of sliding or swaying during a swing.

How: Lie on your side with your legs together at a 90-degree angle and your arms together straight in front of you. Slide the top knee just a little bit over the bottom knee; this will keep you from using your back to perform the exercise. Use you’re the hip and butt muscles of the top leg to raise that knee toward the ceiling. Do 15 repeats on each leg.

HIKING

Calf Stretch
Why: Increase flexibility to minimize risk of plantar fascia and Achilles tendon-related overuse injuries.

How: Sit with both legs straight in front of you. Wrap a towel or rope around the ball of one foot. Use your shin muscles to bring the toes of that foot toward you. Use the rope or towel only to extend the stretch at the end of the movement. Hold the end of the stretch for 1 or 2 seconds. Repeat 10 times on each foot.

Single Leg Balance
Why: Improve proprioception to minimize the risk of ankle sprains or falls while on unstable surfaces.

How: From a standing position, raise one leg so that the thigh is parallel to the ground. Hold for 30 seconds. Do twice on each leg. When this becomes too easy, do the exercise with your eyes closed.

Step-Ups
Why: Improve leg strength and control necessary for hiking up and down hills.

How: Place one foot on a bench or chair. Use the hip and knee of that leg to bring your other foot on the raised surface. Lower your second foot by extending the hip and knee of the leg that’s still on the raised surface. Lower your other foot to return to the starting position. Repeat the sequence starting with your other leg. Do for 1 minute.

Nuun Team Spotlight – QT2 Systems

Our athletes, ambassadors, and teams are a large part of what makes being in sports hydration  so exciting and fulfilling for the Nuun family. Without being properly hydrated these groups couldn’t achieve their best results, and we’re humbled and proud that they choose to use Nuun as their hydration product of choice!

TEAM SPOTLIGHT

Team Name: QT2 Systems

Team Description: QT2 Systems is one of the world’s most successful and recognized triathlon racing teams with its Elite, Age Group Elite, and Advanced group athletes.  Due to the consistent and top performances of its age group and professional athletes, and strong industry partnerships the QT2 team is expected to be 180 strong in 2014. The QT2 Team is for any athlete who would like to take their racing to the next level with QT2′s dynamic coaches, and have the highest level of support, by staff dedicated to sponsorship, team events, and athlete representation. QT2 looks for dedicated athletes, willing to make the sacrifices necessary to be the best that they can be, regardless of ability level.

QT2 Systems Team Photo

Location: US Based – National

Sport: Triathlon

Favorite Nuun Flavor: Citrus Fruit

Number of Members: 160

Website/Facebook/Twitterwww.qt2systems.com – www.facebook .com/qt2systems – www.twitter.com/qt2systems

Why does the team like Nuun? It is low carb and high electrolyte, so is great for our athletes following training sessions where they may feel acutely dehydrated.  Plus, it makes plain water taste delicious!

Team Accomplishments: QT2 qualified 30 athletes to the 2013 Ironman World Championship including 5 professionals!  This contingent includes a very wide demographic of athlete ages and genders.

Nuun Ambassador Program is Open for a Limited Time

We’re happy to announce to all of our fans and friends that the Nuun Ambassador Program application is now open for a limited time.

UPDATE March 1st: The Ambassador application is now closed for 2013 membership. The application will be open for 2014 membership in November. Please check back then.

The application process will generally open at the end of November each year, but we’re opening it temporarily through February 28 for 2013 membership based on a high demand from hydrators like you!

If you’re interested in representing Nuun and sharing Nuun Love take a look at the program requirements and apply. We look forward to meeting you and making new well hydrated friends.

Nuun Ambassador Program

Do you use Nuun regularly during training, daily activities or to stay hydrated as part of a healthy lifestyle? The Nuun Ambassador program may be for you!

The Nuun Ambassador program is designed for people who are passionate about staying hydrated, no matter what activity or sport they play. They are motivated, enthusiastic, and are willing to spread what we call “NuunLove” to others within their daily lives, sport, and community.

If this sounds like you, we invite you to apply for the Nuun Ambassador program.

FAQs:

Do I have to be a professional athlete to apply for the Ambassador Program?
No. The Ambassador program consists of both professional and non-professional athletes alike.

What will I get as an Ambassador?
As a Nuun Ambassador, you will get the following:

-Discount on Nuun products
-Profile on Nuun.com
-Hear about new and exciting news before anyone else does
-Opportunities to race with Nuun
-Opportunity to participate in special projects with Nuun

What if I’m an elite/professional athlete looking for a partnership?
Currently we are not able to support full product or cash sponsorships, but there are many ways we can work with elite and professional athletes so we hope to see your application soon.

What are my duties as an Ambassador?
As an Ambassador, we ask you do a few things for us, which include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Post Nuun logo on website or blog
  • Interact with Nuun via various social media channels
  • Wear the Nuun logo on your person when competing. (Singlet, hat, visor, shirt, kit, tattoo, water bottle)
  • Provide photos of yourself hydrating with Nuun
  • Promote Nuun as your sole hydration product

When can I apply for the Ambassador program?
The application window is open at the end of November each year. *Special exception for 2013: application process will open from February 5-28th*

How long does a membership in the Ambassador program last?
One calendar year. All Ambassadorships end on December 31st regardless of when you are accepted.

Does Nuun offer monetary or full product sponsorships?
At this time, Nuun does not offer monetary or full product sponsorships.

June Events

This June we’re proud to support the following events.

Be sure to stop by and sample flavors you’ve been dying to try, and hydrate up for a great summer season!

Teva Mountain Games – Vail, CO

June 1-3

Come hydrate and stock up at the expo.

 

San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon and Half – San Diego, CA

June 1-2

Come hydrate and stock up at the expo.

 

North Face Challenge – Washington, DC

June 2-3

Providing on course hydration during the Challenge event!

 

Evergreen Mountain Bike Festival – Issaquah, WA

June 9

Providing on course hydration to mountain bikers.

 

Muddy Buddy – Atlanta, GA

June 8-9

Hydrate with us at packet pick up and on race day pre and post mud.

 

Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon and Half – Seattle, WA

June 21-22

Come hydrate and stock up at the expo in our hometown!

 

Muddy Buddy – Nashville, TN

June 22-23

Hydrate with us at packet pick up and on race day pre and post mud.

 

World Bicycle Relief Red Bell 100 – Redmond to Bellingham, WA

June 30

Providing on course hydration to all Red Bell cyclists!