Friday, August 29, 2008

Three Friends for Fall Training

Pictured are three friends every nordic skier should have in fall training. In order, they are the Salomon XT Wing (men's pictured), the Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra (women's pictured) and the Salomon Speed Cross 2 (unisex shoe). All three shoes provide ample stability without sacrficing cushion. Gear West's own Brodie Rau will run nothing but the XT Wing on trails. He claims, "It's the Hum-Vee of trail shoes providing great stability on the most uneven of terrain. This thing is the Michael Phelps of the trail running world. It conquers anything you put infront of it!"

Not quite ready for a full on assualt of roots, rocks and the occasional frog? Opt for the lighter XA Pro 3D Ultra. Made for attacking the trails with vigor and meaness. Light, fast, and stable. This shoe offers a bit more stability, but there is still great cushioning.

Want a minimalists approach to your running? Try the Speed Cross 2. It's Salomon's answer to the trail runner who loves nothing more than beating his/her's personal running interval bests. This shoe will climb the hills and mountains you put in front of it. It eats up the hills and turns them into a pile of gravel. Light weight, great cushion, and non-stoppable. The Speed Cross 2 is the lightest trail shoe Salomon has.

All three shoes are designed for most types of runners, but does favor those needing a shoe to help with pronation issues.

Stop by Gear West, or check 'em out at, to try these shoes out. Your feet will be glad you did. On quiet days, you can almost hear the shoes begging to be taken to the limits of mud, climbing, and poor critters in the way.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What's this PSI rollerski?

Gear West has recently added rollerskis by PSI a company in France. At a whopping $179.99, it's a very affordable way to purchase a pair of rollerskis. Its aluminum shaft and wheels make this ski a light weight training tool. Very much comparable to Elpex's F1 for speed and snow ski feel. To learn more about PSI, check out their website at

How to drink Starbucks and still be an Elite Skier

Dear StarbucksYour expensive coffee ROCKS!! I drink you in the morning to get me going. It sustains me on those long rides or runs. You’re there to push me through the hard days, as well as the easy ones. I love you O Cup of the Caffeine.

In all seriousness though…

Caffeine can improve endurance performance and recovery. If taken before extended periods of training or racing, caffeine can help to stimulate the brain, increase blood pressure, pulse, and acid production. It also helps to break down fat stores and distribute fatty acids into the bloods stream. This in turn allows your body to burn fat, while maintaining stores of glycogen (muscle sugar). According to Wikipedia:

Long-distance athletes such as marathon runners, cross-country skiers, and cyclists go into glycogen debt, where almost all of the athlete's glycogen stores are depleted after long periods of exertion without enough energy consumption. This phenomenon is referred to as "hitting the wall". In marathon runners it normally happens around the 20 mile (32 km) point of a marathon, where around 100 kcal are spent per mile,[citation needed] depending on the size of the runner and the race course. However, it can be delayed by a carbohydrate loading before the task.

When experiencing glycogen debt, athletes often experience extreme fatigue to the point that it is difficult to move.

Likewise, caffeine can also have a positive effect on recovery. A recent study, which was published by The American Physiological Society in the Journal of Applied Physiology, stated that, the body will retain 66% of its glycogen stores after extended exercise, when consumed with protein.[1] The body benefits from this because it does not deplete its glycogen reserves between workouts. The athlete starts subsequent workouts with a higher level of glycogen, then if they had not taken caffeine.

As a last note! Like many other substances, the body will build a tolerance for caffeine. Because of this, it is suggested that an athlete abstain from large amount of caffeine between workouts because it can loose its impact on performance.

With that, I encourage everyone to drink a Cup o’ the Starbucks before and after their workouts. No more bland sports drink for this skier!

[1] "High rates of muscle glycogen resynthesis after exhaustive exercise when carbohydrate is coingested with caffeine." (May 8). J Appl Physiol. PMID 18467543