Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fox Pro launch knee guards

After donating some skin and now sporting a permanent dent in my right knee cap (all from last year’s fun) I decided to start using knee guards at least on some of the more technical XC trails. Here in the Connecticut - NY area at some point training or racing on these trails you’re going to hit some incredibly rocky, rooty, log covered trails...and come in contact with all the above, it's a given. After reading reviews on most of the leading knee guards on the market I went with the Fox pro launch guards. I put it off for a while because I felt knee pads would be a distraction due to the bulk or feeling but I was truly surprised.

These Fox pads are so comfortable I forget I'm even wearing them. The protection is excellent, they don't slip at all due to the ergo fit and silicone grips behind the knees. The lyrca Velcro straps are located at the very top and bottom and work well. They have a pre - curve that angles perfectly when riding and doesn’t bunch at all. In the high heat I do sweat a little but with the perforated neoprene they breathe pretty well. The fabric on the knee cup seems to be holding up well after a few impacts. The two things you want from a guard.... forget they're on and maximum protection. For the money, these pads are spot on. List price $60.

The last little mishap that made my decision 

Maybe I should spring for the elbow guards also

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Performance and Mitochondria

Mitochondria are the power source of your cells. Their primary role is to convert the nutrients we consume into energy and the production of adenosine triphosphate or ATP. ATP is then used by our cells to facilitate a range of functions from breathing to exercising. When the size and number of mitochondria is increased they can more efficiently convert energy into ATP which allows more energy to become available to the target muscular system. The more mitochondria an athlete possesses, the longer and faster they can train or compete. Also your system uses more fats and sugars around the clock which is paramount for weight management and preventing diabetes because mitochondria never rest.

Stimulating Mitochondrial growth
Mitochondrial growth is stimulated the same way we stress our bodies through exercise. Stress your body, recover and then it adapts or becomes a little stronger the next time. It’s pretty similar in the development of mitochondria. When current levels of mitochondria are inadequate to meet an imposed demand, our system responds by building mitochondria density. We have to give our system a reason to do it. We have to challenge our cells. And of course the drawback is when you stop training your body has no reason to maintain a high level of mitochondria so they eventually get broken down in the body.