Dr. Miczak's X-Training BLOG
Saturday, 16 October 2010
Cool Weather Workouts
Now Playing: Cool X-Training
Fall is a fantastic time for a brisk walk or ride out in the cooler temps. Be sure to layer your clothing so that as the day, (and you), warm up, you can adapt to the changes. One of my favorite picks for jogging or cycling is this full zippered 100% cotton hoodie.
Go-Lite Women's Thermal Zip Cycling Jersey Good for 50+ Degrees
Usually for a short ride or run, my favorite zippered cotton hoodie as shown above would be fine. However when I need more "technical support", my Go-Lite Thermal Zip Cycling Jersey is the way to go.
Warm alone or layered up, the GoLite Vermillion Thermal Zip Top for Women is the ideal active cool weather piece. Built with moisture wicking Minerale™ fabric, the Vermillion features a 1/4 length front zip, rear stash pocket and a super plush, soft fleece interior. The pink is a high visibility factor when riding, not just a fashion statement.
Make a Fresh Start this Fall!
Give your cool weather cycling clothes a fresh start for the fall! You old, coolweather cycling kit may just need a thorough cleaning to be roadworthy again.
TIP: Wash your cycling tops and bottoms in Sport Wash to restore them to their former glory. Sport Wash leaves no scent or soapy residue and is perfect for removing odors from polyesther, synthetics and natural fabric blends.
Transitional Pieces - Start at the Bottom
As the weather gets cooler, you can extend your jopgging / cycling season by investing in the right clothing. If you insist on wearing your Lycra shorts into the season, you can purchase leg warmers or wear thin tights underneath. Keep in mind that multiple layers on the bottom can be uncomfortable and chaft when walking or pedaling. It is best to invest in just the right amount of bottom coverage for the season.
Terry Scooter Capris: Best for 65+ Degrees
These are perhaps my favorite because they come with a removable Terry Flex Chamois liner which is made of a cooler sheer mesh material. They are loose around the legs and allow you to store necessities in the pouch pockets. Keep in mind that the "baggy" design is not the most efficient in the wind but these look great on and off the bike. Ditch the removable chamois and they are your new walking capris. Perfect for a quick or long commute when you don't want to look as if you arrived by bicycle!
Terry Precision Cycling
Terry Bella Knicker - Best for 55+ Degrees
These Bella Knickers come down pretty far to cover most of your calves. They are not lined but come with a built in chamois which is very light and fexible. These are the traditional Lycra style cycling pants but with up to date accents such as the reflective bars on the bottom. The wider waistband is very comfortable and stays put while riding. These are very fited to cut through the wind while offering just the right amount of coverage for slightly cooler weather.
Pearl Izumi Women's ELITE Thermal Cycling Tight - 45+ Degrees
These are the ultimate weather-beaters! Design
ed for comfort and full coverage, these tights will take you pretty far into the season until it snows! These have great moisture transfer and the lining is VERY soft. A wide waistband and 8 panel construction means these tights move with you on the bike.
The W's ELITE Thermal Cycling Tight offers great cold weather protection with a soft and comfortable brushed interior combined with the comfort of Pearl Izumi's Women's ELITE 3D Chamois® Pearl IzumiGet in on the X-Training BLOG's Polar Bottle - Eat Clean Diet Cookbook Give-Away! Hurry!!! Deadline for entry is MIDNIGHT October 24th, 2010!
Sunday, 10 October 2010
Topricin & Totally Calcium Revews
Now Playing: Pain Relief for X-Trainers
Photo: Topricin products, Pain Relief Cream in Pump Bottle & Travel Sizes, Glucosamine Supplement & Totally Calcium Brand absorbable calcium supplements.
As the days grow cooler you may begin to notice aches and pains previously masked by the warm summer sun. One of the best things to do during the fall x-training season is to layer your clothing. Early morning walks or cycling start off cool and may add to muscle discomfort later on.
Topricin Anti-Infammatory & Healing Cream
Another thing that can help is to use a good pain relief lotion before starting your workout. The physical rubbing helps to improve blood flow to the muscles and an Arnica based lotion will help ward off aches later on. I've used Topricin throughout the summer and can say that I wouldn't leave home without it now. Not only do my joints function better on the road but there is no soreness afterward. I am able to push myself a little more each time which is great especially when you don't have to pay for it later!
I have really appreciated the super pump bottle Topricin for quick and easy one handed applications. Likewise the travel size body and foot creams are great for trips, tours and should be included in the Adventure Medical Kit featured here last week.
Topricin's Healthy Joint Function Glucosamine
I demand a lot of my body so I've been doing Glucosamine supplementation for quite some time. I have traditionally used liquid supplements because really they are the most absorbable. Still they had to be measured, poured and mixed each morning. They also have to be refrigerated. I began using Topricin Healthy Joint Function as a complement to the Topricin Cream applications over the season and have to say that I don't miss the liquid glucosamine at all.
The synergistic combination of the topically applied cream and this dietary supplement has helped my joints immensely allowing more freedom of movement and less stiffness. I would like to add that implementing an alkaline diet is also helpful in dealing with inflammation which is often the source of arthritis and muscle pain. Topricin is available at many drugstores and retailers such as Wegman's & Whole Foods. See the Polar Bottle - Eat Clean Diet Cookbook Give-Away post to enter and learn how important this is.
Totally Calcium Absorbable Calcium
Totally Calcium is formulated to be 100% soluble and 100% absorbable. This is really a break through calcium supplement. One of the problems with most calcium carbonate, citrate and lactate products is that they are not readily broken down. These cheaper forms may end up in soft tissue, showing up as kidney stones and even worse, calcification build up in the arteries of the heart.
Totally Calcium is completely tasteless and can be added to either hot or cold beverages, soups or dishes. 120 mgs of Calcium in each packet means you'll be able to use all of the elemental calcium which is best taken in small doses. What I especially like is the little travel pack included with the one month supply. If you are traveling or taking a bike tour, you can take a few packets along and add them to your water bottle. Your muscles will certainly thank you for it after a long day on the road!
TIP: Calcium is best taken at night before bed. This means more of the calcium will be absorbed into the bones because the muscles are not competing for it for active lactic acid displacement. You'll also sleep SO much better!
Monday, 4 October 2010
Adventure Medical Kits
Now Playing: SOL-Stay Alive Longer
If you are cross training, commuting, camping or taking a cycling tour this fall, you should consider having a medical kit on board. I keep a full on medical emergency bag with me in my car so what about the times I'm out cycling? Adventure Medical Kits offers specialized medical supplies and gear repair sets that fit easily in my Trek Trunk!
S.O.L. 3 Survival, Medical, & Gear Aid
Distributed by Tender Corporation, the S.O.L. 3 Adventure Medical Kit shown here is actually three kits in one. Survival-Medical-Gear Repair. This kit goes well beyond traditional bandages and first-aid cream!
We were especially impressed with the inclusion of Tinder-Quik which is waterproof and burns for 2-3 minutes. If you are stranded and need to keep warm with a wood fire, you'll be very happy to have this along. Also included is a whistle which can be heard for over a mile, a signal mirror, a 20MM magnetic compass and a 3 ft. sheet of aluminum foil for cooking or to reflect heat from the fire you just started with the Tinder-Quick.
The medical tools included in the SOL 3 Adventure Medical Kit are impressive and include moleskin dressings, assorted sizes/shapes of bandages, gauze, tape, forceps, gloves and more. Especially useful, you'll find they have even included a mini- medicine chest replete with Ibuprophen, Antihistamine, topical applications of triple antibiotic ointment, tincture of benzoin and providone iodine which can also be used for emergency water purification. They have even included their own After Bite Sting and Itch Wipes as well as After Cuts & Scrapes Anesthetic/Antiseptic Wipes in with the medical supplies. We also tested their Natrapel Insect Repellant Wipes and found them to be long lasting and highly effective. Below is a photo of it and travel sizes of the After-Bite Outdoor Combo.
This is what really sets the SOL 3 Adventure Medical Kit apart from the crowd. They have thought to include an assortment of UL-rated cable ties that can be used to quickly repair broken gear, clothing or even improvise temporary shelter. Also included is 40 inches of nylon cord which is tested to hold over 150 lbs, EMT shears which as you know will cut through anything and a set of nickel plated safety pins.
All of these items fit neatly in this waterproof case with a detachable inner pouch. Each side is clearly marked "Medical Supplies" or "Survival Tools & Gear Repair" and the see through windows let you get a quick visual on the contents. You can even sign up for Easy Refills and Registration with a bonus discount code at Adventure Medical Kits
This Ultralight Watertight .3 Adventure Medical Kit is what I keep on my touring bicycle at all times. This mighty-mini contains just the medical emergency essentials you'll need for the road. These supplies will also work for 1 person out for 1-2 days. Very well thought out and packed.
|Bandage, Adhesive, Fabric, 1" x 3"
|Bandage, Adhesive, Fabric, Knuckle
|Bandage, Butterfly Closure
|Dressing, Gauze, Sterile, 2" x 2", Pkg./2
Blister / Burn
|Moleskin, Pre-Cut & Shaped
|Splinter Picker/Tick Remover Forceps
|After Bite Wipe
|Antihistamine (Diphenhydramine 25 mg)
|Ibuprofen (200 mg), Pkg./2
|After Cuts & Scrapes Anethestic/Antiseptic Wipe
|Tape, 1/2" x 10 Yards
|Triple Antibiotic Ointment, Single Use
REMEMBER to ENTER our Polar Bottle - Eat Clean Diet Cookbook Give-Away going on NOW. Hurry! Deadline is 12 midnight, October 24th, 2010.
Thursday, 30 September 2010
CatEye Strada & Kestrel 4500 BT Reviews
Now Playing: Computers for Commuters
There are some essentials you just HAVE to have if you are serious about cross training. If you are cycling, you need to have a computer to keep you up on basics such as speed, distance, elapsed time and cadence. If you use your bicycle for commuting, you'll what to know your speed and travel distance is to estimate your time of arrival.
I have had other wireless bicycle computers that were very difficult to program and gaining access to the various screens was a chore. CatEye changed all of that for me with their Double Wireless Strada.
The Strada and its components are easy to mount and adjust although the included ties could have been a little better for anchoring. You'll also need to make sure there is the right distance between the unit and the sensors but distance and calibration charts are included.
That having been said, this is a very straighforward unit and quite small but the large digits allow for easy reading. It offers:
- Current Speed
- Elapsed Time
- Distance #1
- Distance #2
- Average Speed
- Maximum Speed
- Total Distance-Odometer
These functions are easy to access by simply pressing the whole computer while in the bracket. The split screen allows you to see two readings at once and clearing the screen is easy. Just hold the unit down until the screen goes blank. The Sleep Mode helps prolong battery life, (batteries are included), and the unit itself can be removed from the brace for safe keeping.
Kestrel 4500 Pocket Weather Tracker with Bluetooth
If you are planning any time out on the road, you'll want to have one of these along with you. The Kestrel 4500 by Nielsen Kellerman. This unit tracks temperature, wind speed, dew point, humidity and barometric pressure plus MUCH more. However, I think the greatest help to X-Trainers is the Heat Index reading. This can help to prevent overheating or even hypothermia, (frost bite) when such conditions are present.
Even more important is knowing the present weather conditions, where you are as opposed to relying on a report focused on another area. I've had storms rise up quickly, not even mentioned in the forecast. With wind speed, a digital compass,(so it can calculate headwinds and crosswinds) and the barometric readings on the Pocket Weather Tracker, I've been able to avoid getting caught in many a unpredicted downpour.
Kestrel 4500 on a Mini Tripod Transferring Data
The Wireless Bluetooth feature allows uploading of data from the unit to my laptop allowing me to track trends in the weather over a period of time. This can give you accurate readings that will help predict future trends for the season. Storing this information is easy and the wireless tranfer a snap.
Both the CatEye Strada and the Kestrel 4500 fit neatly in the front pouch on my Terry road bike below. Compact, easy to use, there is no reason not to have these essential computers with you as you venture out for your workout or commute!
Monday, 20 September 2010
New Fall Bicycle Lights
Now Playing: Bright Ideas for Commuters
CatEye's NEW Hybrid gives you clean, renewable solar power with a rechargable battery back-up. Plenty bright enough for dark streets and roads with a flashing feature for riding at dusk or dawn. 400 candlepower. See the CatEye Hybrid Video for more details.
Whether you want to extend your cycling season or simply the times you choose to ride, it is important to see and be seen as the days grow shorter. Many states require lights on bicycles ridden after dark in addition to reflectors. That's why I had to check in to see what was new with CatEye Cycle Electronics!
Founded in 1946 in Osaka Japan, CatEye
was my first choice years ago when I needed the BRIGHTEST most powerful, headlight possible. They have since upgraded their flagship light to the current HL-EL530
which is 50% brighter
than the previous
model, producing over 2200 candlepower from a single white LED.
This is possible due to CatEye’s exclusive OptiCube™ technology. The HL-EL530 offers up to 90 hours of runtime on 4 AA batteries. It features an innovative magnetic switch, side visibility, a FlexTight™ bracket, and is highly water resistant. Important because you WILL get caught in the rain at some point while cycling.
This is the light I use on my Nishiki Touring Bicycle, otherwise known as my second car! It even has a slide release feature that allows it to become a hand held flashlight off the bike. This thing throws a ton of light plus its swivel bracket allows you to aim the center beam where you need it.
This is a sleek, MagLite like light for a handlebar with limited space. Here it is at night perched between my Aero Clip Ons and Bell on my Terry Symmetry. Don't let the small size fool you though. This little light has big time features such as:
OptiCube™ lens technology
Flashing and constant modes
60 hours run time in flashing mode
15 hours run time in constant mode
Runs on 1 AA battery (included)
FlexTight™ Mounting bracket
This light is great for a quick commute or if you get caught out after dark. The flashing mode is especially useful for riding at dawn and dusk. You can actually see it more than a mile away.
Now you're looking at tail lights! The slimmer, brighter TL-LD610 offers 5 LEDs and three modes! The FlexTight™ Universal Mounting Bracket can be mounted horizontally, (as shown), or vertically. Highly visible even during the day. A must have for urban riders!
PHOTO below: Reflex-Auto mounted on my touring bike with panniers.
The Reflex Auto tail light has both optic and motion sensors to determine when to automatically activate the light. When darkness and motion are detected the light turns on instantly! This is great because now like my car, I don't have to think about turning my lights on at night. This light even activates in my dark garage allowing me enough light to guide the bike out.
The 5 super-bright modes, over 180 degrees of visibility, and various mount options make this the most versatile tail light ever! Here I have it mounted in place of my rear reflector. This light is really bright and actually looks like flashing police lights. I see how these lights help keep the distance between myself and traffic so they are worth it for the safety perks alone.
- One high power center LED + four 5mm LEDs
- 5 super-bright modes
- Runs on 2 AAA batteries
- Weight: 44 grams / 82.5 with batteries & bracket
- Rear rack bracket included (Reflex Auto Rear)
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