Wednesday, December 3, 2014

SLS3 accepts applications for the 2015 Team SLS3.



You don`t have to be the fastest athlete to be the best for us. 
SLS3 is currently accepting applications for U.S. based athletes who would like to be considered for Team SLS3.
Team SLS3 is a community of triathletes, from beginners to pros, supported by SLS3 as they accomplish their goals and compete in the sport they love.

Team SLS3 info:
Selected athletes will receive the following:
  • Custom Team SLS3 race outfit 
  • SLS3 compression socks and race sleeves
  • SLS3 performance visor
  • SLS3 race belt
  • SLS3 swim cap
  • SLS3 running socks (2prs)
  • SLS3 run tech tee
  • SLS3 cycle jersey - available in the $149 option
  • SLS3 cycle bib shorts - available in the $149 option
Obligations of Team SLS3 athletes:
  • Team dues of $99 or $149
  • Must wear team uniform during all races (minimum of 6-8 Triathlon races in one year)
  • Upload photos from races and training to social media outlets on a weekly bases
  • Submit race results within a week after race date
  • Be a strong brand ambassador in local racing/training community, promoting the SLS3 brand.
Athletes who are interested in becoming a member of Team SLS3 are asked to contact Vanessa at Vanessa@slstri.com. Please include a race resume with past results, a digital race photo and a 2015 tentative race schedule.





Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Truth About Compression Socks

Lately, there has been a lot of hype in the athletic community about compression gear, such as socks. But, there has also been a lot of confusion. What everyone wants to know is simply, “do compression socks really work?” The answer - Yes.

While studies thus far have offered many contradictions as to the details surrounding the benefits, by and large what has become clear is that athletes feel a difference when they use compression apparel. Many have cited advantages such as speedy post-workout recoveries and maximized performance thanks to compression socks. Bonus, they look really professional.

This might be enough to convince you, but for the skeptics - let’s have a look at the facts.


Compression Socks in Action

Rather than relying on the perplexing and scarce information available, Elmarie Terblanche, a professor of Sports and Physiology at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, recently decided to go forth with her own first-hand research. What she found was enough to convince her.

Terblanche studied athletes running in South Africa’s Two Oceans ultra-race. Some of the runners wore regular knee-high socks, others wore nothing, and some wore their trusty compression socks. What she observed was a significant difference in performance between those wearing the gear, and those who were not. The participants  wearing compression socks outran their competitors, averaging at 12 minutes faster!

Moreover, they reported much less muscle damage and saw quicker recoveries.


The Science is There

That compression socks can enhance your athletic performance is far from delusion. Despite the fact that the research can often seem unreliable, the science is indisputable. 

Here are some straight-forward facts to consider.

1. That compression increases blood-flow is a validated medical theory that has been in practice for decades. In this time, doctors have been using graduated compression socks to combat deep vein thrombosis, and the formation of blood clots. The gear has been proven highly-effective with immobile patients, especially. By the same token, using compression gear post-exercise can accelerate the removal of metabolic waste while replenishing substances required to rebuild the muscle.

2. By optimizing blood-flow and oxygen intake, as compression gear does, symptoms of fatigue can have a slower onset. This means an athlete should be able to go harder, for longer, without becoming sluggish. This hypothesis has been supported by some studies.


Pro-Athletes Are All In

Compression gear is the best kind of trend - it’s practical, and beneficial.

Champion distance-runner Chris Solinksy broke records while wearing compression socks two seasons ago. For him, its all about the post-workout benefits: “I found I was able to come off the workouts much, much quicker.”

Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin III has said that he simply “feels faster” in his compression gear.

It all comes down to how compression gear can make an athlete feel.


Ultimately, the allegations that the benefits may not be fully-proven can be largely brushed off by the anecdotal evidence and the supporting science. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What to Know About Compression Shorts

By now it seems everyone is getting increasingly curious about compression gear. Encountering bikers, runners, and other athletes on the street, it’s fair to assume at least one will be sporting a pair of skin tight compression shorts, and there is a reason for that. Actually, there are a few.

Although research has been sparse, and at times inconsistent, many professionals agree that there are indeed a great number of benefits to wearing compression gear. The design is founded on indisputable science. In a nutshell, compression gear works to counteract the vibration of muscles during heavy exercise and keep blood flow at an optimal level. The effects of this, however, have been recorded differently for different athletes - but they are always positive.

The well-regarded theory is that compression gear will speed up post-workout recovery. How? Simple. With less vibration and better blood flow, the risk of swelling and soreness is greatly reduced.

For the quads, glutes, and hips, compression shorts can work wonders by squeezing blood back to the heart, which should slow the symptoms of fatigue. For a competitive athlete, fatigue is the difference between winning, and losing; achieving your goals or not.  Some athletes even believe that compression gear enables better performance. Some studies support this theory, suggesting that by slowing the impending threat of fatigue, one can go harder, faster, for longer. Even Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin III agrees that in his compression gear, he “feels faster.”

A recent Australian study showed that male rugby players wearing compression shorts maintained lower heart rates and developed less lactic acid while running on a treadmill. Another suggested that even oxygen consumption was improved in runners wearing compression gear.

Besides all of the athletic benefits compression apparel boasts, there is also the question of comfort to consider. It’s no secret that people perform better when they are comfortable. While they may not look particularly pleasant to squeeze into, the truth is that many athletes find that the compression shorts cause less friction and chafing - an automatic bonus.

Of course, it makes sense that there are many athletes out there who swear by compression gear. The reported benefits of compression shorts include quick recovery due to stabilized muscles, improved cardiovascular efficiency, increased oxygen flow, breathability, and comfort.


If you are looking to improve your athletic performance, especially at the levels of endurance and recovery, compression apparel is highly recommended. Compression shorts can easily be worn under regular shorts, and will help you physically and mentally prepare for the long-haul.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

SLS3 Triathlon Team 2014


Check out this presentation of the 2014 SLS3 Triathlon Team. Thanks to all the Team members who supported us this year and helped us spread the SLS3 love.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Benefits of Compression Wear & Our High Quality Compression Sport Socks

Many athletes swear by compression socks and sleeves. Here’s why. Compression wear has been developed according to the validated medical theory that compression increases blood flow. What this means for athletes is that compression wear can allow for an improved performance, reduced soreness, and an expedited recovery post-event. Essentially, compression garments put outside pressure on the muscle, causing better blood flow inside the muscles and surrounding connective tissue. This also helps to maintain even blood flow, which is especially difficult to achieve while standing upright and while exercising. The added pressure brought about by compression wear causes a volume redistribution, allowing for the increased flow rate.
           
Research conducted by the University of Newcastle finds that wearing compression socks during high-intensity running should improve performance. While this does not necessarily mean that the runner will be faster, it does speak to the potential of compression wear. Moreover, research further supports the notion that compression wear can reduce soreness post-workout, a problem athletes are well acquainted with. What is believed to cause the pain is the shaking of muscles upon the impact of the foot connecting with the ground. However, the external pressure gained through compression apparel keeps the muscle secure. This prevents muscle breakdown, thus reducing soreness. This has been validated by research conducted at Massey University. Their research found that 93% of subjects running without compression socks experienced pain within the following 24 hours. Meanwhile, only 14% of those wearing compression apparel reported similar soreness.

By the same token, compression wear can expedite the recovery period after an intense workout.  Using compression gear post-exercise can accelerate the removal of metabolic waste while replenishing substances required to rebuild the muscle. This is a main source of excitement among athletes, and even air travelers, who insist their legs feel fresher after wearing such apparel. During recovery, the compression gear encourages lactation concentration to go away quicker, for muscle pain and swelling to be reduced, and for complete performance to recover at a faster pace.

Based on 37 international sport compression studies, SLS3 is confident in saying compression wear is beneficial to an athletes overall capabilities. It has proven effective in 3 key areas:

1. Improving maximal strength, sprint performance and jumping height.
2. Influencing oxygen intake and endurance
3. Increasing stamina


SLS3 is proud to not only manufacture high quality lower-body compression wear, but to present our unique Compression Sport Socks which are designed to keep you cool as well. Made from special material, these socks will not only work to keep your blood-flow optimal, but will also work to keep your temperature down for improved performance all around. The Compression Sport Socks will be especially useful when exercising or competing in hot climates. The material is also safe in the sun, and features an impressive 50+ UV ray protection. Our compression wear is available online, starting as low as $44.90.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Compression socks vs compression sleeves - what is the difference and how do they work?

Compression socks and sleeves are becoming very popular with all kind of athletes, like runners, cyclist and triathletes. Their purpose can be two fold: to keep muscles warm and improve blood flow to the lower legs, and to aid in recovery after a race or harder workout. 
But, what is the difference between a compression sock and sleeve, and which would be the best choice for you?

A compression sock is full length from the toe to knee. This is a great choice if you're a runner that isn't particular about wearing a certain style sock. If your intent is to wear the compression garment for recovery, then the full length sock is the better choice. The sleeve may cause some mild swelling in the feet when your body is a little more sedentary. This won't be the case wearing the full length sock because of the constant compression from toe to knee.

A compression sleeve runs from the ankle to knee. When wearing a sleeve, you can wear your preferred socks and shoes.  For a triathlete, the sleeves are superior because they can be worn during the swim under the wetsuit and it saves time in transition. But if you race anything longer than a Half Ironman / 70.3, we always recommend the socks because you are including the foot part which is critical for longer races.



Summary:

Compression Socks:
  • recovery
  • longer runs
  • longer triathlon races (from Half Ironman upwards)


Compression Sleeves:
  • to be used with your preferred running socks/shoes
  • shorter runs
  • shorter triathlon races


There are pros and cons for sure to both the sock and sleeve. It all comes down to personal preference and what your intended use will be. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bike Shorts vs. Triathlon Shorts - the surprising truth.

The gear list for triathlon seems endless, so it's natural to wonder if you can skip the triathlon short and just use your bike shorts for race day. But who wants to run in a diaper?
Of course bike shorts have some extra padding for the ride, but that padding takes extra time to dry out after the swim. By the time you hit the run you'll be contending with diaper rash.



Here are some pros and cons - see for yourself.

Bike Shorts: Pros


  1. More comfort over longer bike legs
  2. Good grip for non-slip on legs
  3. Extra padding
  4. Specifically designed for biking

Bike Shorts: Cons

  1. Extra padding collects extra moisture
  2. Not designed for running and swimming
  3. Extra padding can cause extra chaffing even when dry
Triathlon Shorts: Pros


  1. Designed with all three sports in mind
  2. Less chaffing on runs
  3. Reduced padding allows for easier running and swimming
  4. Less fluid retention in pad

Triathlon Shorts: Cons

  1. Less padding and comfort for longer bike rides
  2. Thinner materials may result in lesser product life. But remember, these are triathlon race shorts. You will only wear them a couple of times a year.


The Bottom Line


You'll want to do a few training rides in tri shorts (just to get used to it), however, 95%  the time you should train in bike shorts and race in tri shorts.
You can endure triathlons in bike shorts, but the more competitive you get, triathlon-specific shorts are the way to go. Especially on longer distances. You may sacrifice some comfort on the bike, but it will pay for itself over the run when you aren't chafing your way to the finish line.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

8 unbelievable reasons to go faster at your next race

So you want to know what it takes to go faster at your next race? Well, the most important aspect is the training, but we came out with a tool that might help you cross the finish line just a little bit faster. It has been taken almost 8 month from the first prototype to the end product. But this week they finally came in. I am talking about compression sleeves. On closer observation you will notice that today more and more athletes are crossing the finish line wearing compression socks or compression sleeves. But not every sock or sleeve with compression pressure offers the same effective support. 
These sleeves are especially suitable for runners, cyclists, triathletes (the sleeves can be worn under the wetsuit, which saves time in transition) and all those who would like compression in combination with traditional sport socks or even bare feet. 
So why 8 reasons to go faster you might ask? Well the compression sleeves come in 8 amazing colors: blue, pink, orange, red, yellow, black, white and lime green. The choice is yours. Get your favorite color or get them all...


Thursday, April 24, 2014

What to wear during a triathlon race.

Summer is just around the corner and you want to do a Triathlon. A sprint, Olympic, half Ironman or even an Ironman.
Triathlon is a multisport event that consist of swimming, cycling and running. One important key to a great race is to have the right triathlon gear. Here's an overview of what to consider for your next race.

Triathlons come in varying distances ranging from 1-8 hours for world class athletes. If this is your first triathlon, it's usually best to start with a Sprint Triathlon and then work your way up to longer events.

What to wear:

You can choose to change into clothes specific to each leg of the race—or not.
Some triathletes choose to do the whole race in a swimsuit, while other swimmers simply pull on a pair of shorts before jumping on their bike. Still others change at each transition, especially in long races such as an Ironman, where seconds don't mean as much as comfort.




A very popular option is a  triathlon-specific shorts ("tri shorts").
These Triathlon shorts work well for all 3 stages of a triathlon. The special material wicks away moisture and dries quickly. Many offer enhanced ultraviolet (UV) sun protection or even coldblack®- a sun reflector and UV protector. 




The Tri shorts have a pad that is thinner than a regular bike-short chamois so it is more comfortable for the running stage. (It offers you enough support on the bike but does not hinder you on the run) In general, triathlon clothing should have a tight fit.

Check out our latest selection of men's triathlon shorts and women's triathlon shorts. We offer shorts from beginner to pro.
If you have any questions, please don`t hesitate to contact us at contact@slstri.com.

Friday, March 28, 2014

SLS3 Grand Opening on 4.5.2014 from 12-5 PM

Come and celebrate with us at our NEW location - eat, drink and be merry. We will have some great specials for everyone and the first 50 customers will receive a FREE SLS3 Tech Tee.

SLS3
2613 Temple Heights Dr - Ste G
Oceanside, CA 92056 









Ca Stateparks Team takes 7th at Baker to Vegas Relay

"The race itself was an exciting one to watch.  We were in third place at the half-way point trailing only perennial champions LAPD and LA Sheriff’s and creating quite a stir among             the other teams, many of whom wanted to know more about the hard working lifeguards and rangers in the bright blue socks.  What a feeling of pride!  In the latter half of the race, we engaged in an exciting back and forth duel with the CHP team which eventually edged us out for sixth place.  As our final runner came across the finish line, the race  announcer too commented on the socks, so the team presented him with a pair.  In his opening statement at the awards ceremony he held the socks up and gave State Parks a shout out in front of 4,000 law enforcement  personnel and their supporters.  Our goals for this year were ambitious but we met them and next year,  we believe we can be  even stronger as a team."



Monday, March 24, 2014

Do endurance athletes need weight training?

When done correctly, weight training will increase strength without building muscle mass.
One of the biggest misconceptions about endurance training is that there is no need for strength work. While triathlon is very much a sport that rewards slight frames, you still need to have the best possible power-to-weight ratio if you’re hoping to finish faster.
Let’s start to define what changes we can create in the muscle by separating them into two main components – metabolic and neural. Metabolic changes are those that change the muscle itself – the simplest way to think of this is that metabolic changes are likely to lead to muscle growth. Neural changes on the other hand change the muscle software. The goal of neural-focused strength training is to create a stronger link from the mind to the muscle so that it can contract faster and more forcefully.
You need three factors for muscle growth. You need a calorie surplus. A kilogram of muscle requires a surplus intake of 4,000 cals of protein – that’s one kilogram of protein, which equates to about five kilograms of steak. When was the last time you ate an extra five kilograms of steak in a week? Secondly, you need each set to last somewhere between 45 seconds and 90 seconds. If you’re doing sets of eight to 12 repetitions per set, you’re probably in this realm and it would do you some good to rethink the way you’re lifting. Finally, you need to minimize rest between sets so that total recovery is never achieved between sets. 
If you’re not doing all three of these, you won’t have to worry too much about bulking up just because you’ve started lifting weights.



The keys to developing useful strength, the kind that won’t add unnecessary bulk to your frame, are as follows:

Keep the reps low. True strength training doesn’t involve lifting higher than five reps per set. Even at that range you can start to see some metabolic changes occurring.
Keep total reps in a session low. In any given session you will probably only have about 10 good reps in you for a given exercise when training for strength. Good choices include – 2 sets of 5, 3 sets of 3, 5 sets of 2, and 6 sets of 1.
Rest a lot. As an athlete, you can feel when your muscles are tired. But there’s no way to judge neural fatigue and it can take up to five to six times longer than muscular recovery. That means that despite you only doing three reps and feeling fine 30 seconds later, you’re going to need to rest more. Additionally, the resupply of the energy system that fuels this type of training takes about three minutes too. So aim for rest periods somewhere around the three-minute mark.
 Use multi-joint lifts. The more joints involved in a lift, the better it is. The more you have to load bare, the better it is, too. From a function viewpoint, standing exercises trump all others. And steer clear of all machine exercises.

Training like this doesn’t take long. You can get incredibly productive sessions in like this in under an hour. The benefits are that they leave you fresh – because of the low number of total reps performed during a session there is little if any muscle soreness associated with true strength training.
Strength training is beneficial for hormone production and bone density among other things – but those two alone should be enough reason for people to get in the gym and start lifting for real. Don`t forget your compression socks for recovery :-)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Three great Treadmill workouts for the winter

For some of us, the cold and snow of winter signal the return to the treadmill. Treadmill training doesn't have to be mind-numbing, though. A repertoire of creative workouts can allow you to both have fun and significantly increase your fitness through the winter. Here are three of my favorite workout routines. You can do one per week for the next three weeks to spice up your winter training. Just make sure to recover properly as the body is not used to hard workouts throughout the winter - compression socks are a great recovery tool.




Workout #1: The Pyramid
Warm up for 15-20 minutes at an easy run pace then begin the incline pyramid.
Step 1 (climbing):
Run 3 minutes total at steady state pace but adjust the incline every minute (1 minute at 4 percent incline, 1 minute at 5 percent and 1 minute at 6 percent) then 
Recover for 2-3 minutes at 0 percent incline and recovery run pace

Step 2 (climbing): 

Run 4 minutes total at steady state pace (1 minute at 5 percent incline, 1 minute at 6 percent and 2 minute at 7 percent) then

Recover for 2-3 minutes at 0 percent incline and recovery run pace

Step 3 (the peak!): 

Run 4 minutes total at steady state pace (1 minute at 6 percent incline, 1 minute at 7 percent and 2 minute at 8 percent) then

Recover for 2-3 minutes at 0 percent incline and recovery run pace

Step 4 (descending): 
Run 4 minutes total at steady state pace (1 minute at 7 percent incline, 1 minute at 6 percent and 2 minute at 5 percent) then
Recover for 2-3 minutes at 0 percent incline and recovery run pace

Step 5 (descending): 

Run 4 minutes total at steady state pace (1 minute at 6 percent incline, 1 minute at 5 percent and 2 minute at 4 percent) then
Recover for 2-3 minutes at 0 percent incline and recovery run pace
  
Cool down for 10-15 minutes at an easy run pace. 
Workout #2: Six / Sevens

Warm up for 15-20 minutes at an easy run pace then begin the six/sevens.

Run 90 seconds at 6 percent incline and marathon pace
Recover for 1 minute at 0 percent incline and recovery run pace
Run 60 seconds at 7 percent incline and marathon pace
Recover for 2 minutes at 0 percent incline and recovery run pace

Repeat this 6 to 10 times then cool down for 10-20 minutes at an easy run pace.

Workout #3: Faster, Faster

Warm up for 15-20 minutes at an easy run pace then begin the faster, faster repeats.
Run 400m (or a quarter mile) at easy run pace then increase the speed and
Run 400m at tempo run pace then increase the speed again and
Run 400m 5K race pace
Recover for 2 minutes at recovery run pace

Repeat this 4 times then cool down for 15-30 minutes at an easy run pace. You can set the incline anywhere between 0 and 1 percent based on your preference.
Enjoy your workouts :-)


Monday, February 10, 2014

Shin Splints and Running

Shin splints occur when stiff or overworked muscles and tendons in the lower leg begin to pull on the tibia bone and the connective tissues around the bone. Many athletes, particularly runners, experience this painful injury. You can heal most cases of shin splints with rest and other simple remedies. If you do not treat shin splints properly, the condition can get worse.
TIPS:

  • Increase your mileage gradually and run in moderation. Shin splints frequently occur from overuse. Do not become a "weekend warrior" and run a long run of more than six miles only once a week. Instead, break up your mileage over the course of the week to avoid injury.

  • Run on softer surfaces, such as grass and trails. The pounding and shock to your legs from running on harder surfaces like concrete or asphalt is a common cause of shin splints. Alternate your runs to include some trail or sand running.
  • Warm up for a few minutes before a run. Stretch for 8-10 minutes, focusing on your calf muscles. Warm-ups and stretching will improve blood flow to your leg muscles, which can help prevent injury. Implement a short stretch routine after your runs as well.
  • Discontinue running if you feel any shin pain. Rest and elevate your legs. Cease from running for a few days and continue the RICE treatment. Icing the injured shins can relieve the pain and help them to heal, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Place ice packs wrapped in paper towels over your shins for 20-minute periods. Ice your shins four to eight times every day until shin pain dissipates. Reduce swelling in your shins by elevating your lower legs. Elevate your legs while you sleep for one or two nights. While your shins heal, you can relieve pain with over-the-counter medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
          If the shin pain stops, you can continue running, but remember to increase your mileage gradually.

  • Replace your running shoes. Running shoes lose their cushion and support with wear, resulting in more shock to your legs with each foot strike. Replace your shoes about every 600 miles.

Important:



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cycling indoors : Four high intensity cycle workouts

Short, high intensity interval workouts are the scientifically-proven best way to lose weight and increase fitness in less time. Here we show you four HIIT workouts. Don't try them all at once... and make sure to recover properly with compression socks.


                                                           picture courtesy of Trijuice.com

Workout 1

Perform a three-minute warm-up at 65% maximum heart rate.
Cycle for 1km as fast as possible. Then continue to cycle at a comfortable pace until your heart rate reaches 125 RPM and repeat for five rounds.
Perform a three-minute cool down at a comfortable pace.

Workout 2

Perform a three-minute warm-up at 65% maximum heart rate.
Bring your RPM up to 110. Every thirty seconds increase the resistance one notch until you can no longer maintain a 110 RPM pace.
Rest for three minutes and then repeat for three rounds. Perform a three-minute cool down at a comfortable pace.

Workout 3

Perform a three-minute warm-up at 65% maximum heart rate.
Explode hard and fast for twenty seconds, recover for ten seconds and repeat for eight rounds.
Perform a three-minute cool down at a comfortable pace.

Workout 4

Perform a three-minute warm-up at 65% maximum heart rate.
Pedal hard as possible for thirty seconds, recover for thirty seconds and repeat. Your RPM during work sets should exceed 120.
Perform three-minute cool down.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

SLS3 accepts applications for the 2014 Team SLS3



You don`t have to be the fastest athlete to be the best for us. SLS3 is currently accepting applications for U.S. based athletes who would like to be considered for Team SLS3.
The Team is a community of Triathletes, from beginners to pros, supported by SLS3 as they accomplish their goals and compete in the sport they love.

Team SLS3 info:
Selected athletes will receive the following:
  • Team SLS3 race outfit 
  • SLS3 compression socks and race sleeves
  • SLS3 performance visor
  • SLS3 race belt
  • SLS3 swim cap
  • SLS3 running socks
  • SLS3 run shirt
  • SLS3 cycle jersey - available in the $149 option
  • SLS3 cycle bib shorts - available in the $149 option
Obligations of Team SLS3 athletes:
  • Team due of $99 or $149
  • must wear Team uniform during all races (minimum of 6-8 Triathlon races)
  • upload photos from races and training to social media outlets on a weekly bases
  • submit race results within a week after race date
  • be a strong brand ambassador in local racing/training community, promoting the SLS3 brand.
Athletes who are interested in becoming a member of Team SLS3 are asked to contact Sebastian Linke at sebastian@slstri.com. Please include a race resume with past results, a digital race photo and a 2014 tentative race schedule.


Friday, January 3, 2014

Top Winter Training Tips to Gain the Edge in 2014

People think that it is easy to run and natural… yes, it is! However, as we begin to get older, we spend more time sitting than we are designed too; it shortens muscles, weakens out buttocks and core, all causing us to run in a less effective and efficient way – and become prone to injury…

 So, as January rapidly approaches, we have summarized a few top tips, let me know your thoughts…

 * Progressive Training and Quality Rest Days: adding no more than 10% to your training volume and speed per week, ideally with every 6th week (and at least 1 day per week as a quality rest day) as easy week to allow the muscles to adapt and recover. 

 * Start Slowly & Build from a Strong Base to Avoid Injury: enhance performance and enjoyment – break your big goal down into small manageable steps. Do the same if you are changing from road races to off road cross country season, remember stability and core training.

 * Mix the Sessions Up! Make sure you do long and steady, easy, short and quick, hills and intervals to challenge your body, vary your training and improve your overall pace! Joining a club or agreeing a training day will really help with motivation, especially if it is dark & wet. Once you are outside, you will feel revitalized and refreshed.

 * Listen to Your Body: never run through an injury or flu/chest infections – it will only get worse and it is there as a warning. A couple of easy sessions, extra stretching and a good sports massage will limit long term injury or recurring illness. Boost immunity and recovery with quality nutrition and avoid refined sugars and carbohydrates which will drain your immune system.

 * Include Core Sessions: the more your run, the more core sessions you need to do – the stronger your core muscles, the less likely you will be injured, the stronger you will run and you will be more efficient. All too often athletes do less core when the training increases – however, it is vital that you do more Core sessions. Core sessions should be varied and include lots different exercises using cables, medicine balls, bosu and swiss ball – working the front, side and back muscles.

 * Stop at the First Sign: most running injuries are caused through repetitive use, (not sudden impact such as rugby) so it will have been caused over a number of weeks and possibly months. So the day you get ‘the niggle’ is not the first day of its appearance – so make sure you do listen to your body to prevent the niggle becoming a limiting factor to your training and racing!

 * Have regular quality sports massage sessions: if you stretch and do core sessions you will need one about every 2-4 weeks … Possibly more depending on your goals and bio mechanics. If you find a good sports therapist they will get used to how your muscles feel, pick up on injuries before they become a problem, reduce fatigue, speed up recovery time and enhance your training sessions. When Olympic athletes were asked what compliments and benefits their training, 97% responded with sports massage as number 1 as well as compression socks.

 * And Finally ENJOY Running: set some clear winter goals from now until March 2014, and have FUN – the more your relax, breathe and listen to your body the most effective and fun your training will be!