Articles

  1. AMSport UK builds its athletics support with new KitBrix partnership

    Reading, UK - September 8th, 2017 - AMSport UK today announced it has partnered with KitBrix to supply their Obstacle Course Race (OCR) team. This partnership will provide all members of Team KitBrix with supplements, ergogenic aids, and nutritional support to further improve the efficacy of the KitBrix training program.

    Within OCR, athlete needs are multifaceted and diverse, with differing endurance and strength priorities depending upon the race or event. AMSport’s support will help Team KitBrix to continue to fight for victories on the Elite OCR circuit while also providing Elite UK OCR Champion Conor Hancock with a professional nutrition and training plan, which will be delivered by Glen Thurgood and The Training Shed.

    Robert Aldous, KitBrix Founder & Director, said:
    "We are delighted to welcome AMSport into the OCR world and it is a decision that was based on the right products for the right team at the right time. Team KitBrix have wide ranging needs with so many different types of events planned for 2018. The training program and elite level of support for Conor (Hancock) was a key consideration as we try and support his onward career."

    Charlie Newbould, UK Director of AMSport, said:
    “AMSport have a strong track record of supporting elite level athletes across multiple disciplines and we’re delighted to be able to continue that work with KitBrix. This partnership is the ideal way for us to get involved in the OCR scene and will help us to tailor our product range to ensure we are able to bring something really special to support the Team KitBrix athletes and all of the other competitors relying on our products to help them achieve their goals.”

    About AMSport
    AMSPORT® supplies some of the world’s most impressive and successful athletes with premium sports nutrition and consults with leading clubs, athletes, coaches and national teams, all of whom benefit from the company's extensive expertise in both sports and medical science.
    Each AMSPORT® product was designed and developed by German medical doctor and Atlanta ’96 Olympic bronze medalist Mark Warnecke. In 2005, Mark made history at the age of 35 when he came out of retirement and became the oldest swimming world champion in history by winning the 50m breaststroke against a field of competitors at least a decade his junior.

    About KitBrix
    KitBrix provide innovative and robust kit storage for professional cyclists, triathletes and outdoor adventurers. Their unique, military-inspired bags won the 2017 ‘Innovation by a Newcomer’ award from BikeBiz, among many other nominations.
    KitBrix also support an Elite OCR team in the Toughest Tour, competing in events across Europe.


    *ENDS*

    Notes to editors
    More information on Conor’s first day of testing can be found at http://www.thekitbrixstories.com/conor-hancock
    Photos are available on request

    For further information, please contact
    Team KitBrix Manager Grant@kitbrix.com
    AMSport UK Media Liaison jamie@amsportuk.com

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  2. How Pamela Dutkiewicz Overcame Her Insecurities

    “I never thought you’d be able to see abs on my body” - How Olympic Hurdler Pamela Dutkiewicz Overcame Her Insecurities

    With multiple medals at national championships as a junior athlete, Pamela Dutkiewicz had always been a prodigious talent. Super fast and always in the running for podium finishes, in 2010 she was the third fastest U20 hurdler in the world. Behind the scenes though, she felt insecure and uncomfortable about her appearance. “I once overheard one of the coaching staff describe me as ‘the chubby one.’” she told WortAthleten. “The thought of a photo of me appearing in a newspaper would scare the living daylight out of me. It was all I could think about in the days following a competition.”

    International sporting events are a microcosm of the world that we live in. They’re full of stories of determination and courage, of people overcoming overwhelming odds to achieve their dreams. We see the same choices we make every day play themselves out, their consequences amplified on giant screens. Success or failure, elation or disappointment. But the problems we see in society are also on show, including body image issues. A combination of revealing outfits, coaching pressure, and internal pressure to try and conform to the ‘ideal’ shape for their sport can cause even people who have physiques that the rest of us aspire to to develop a negative body image.

    While still in competition Pamela started to eat inconsistently, eating nothing all day and hardly drinking anything when she knew she was going to be weighed the next day. The advice she received from coaching staff and nutritionists was conflicting and sometimes downright dangerous - “Once one of the staff told me: ‘Just have an apple and drink tea for the rest of the day.’ Knowing what I do today, I can’t believe anyone would pass on this kind of advice to an athlete. Back then I would do exactly as told: eat one apple a day and stick with tea for the rest of the day. I wasn’t questioning it. In the sprints, every extra kilo will show in tenths and hundredths of a second.” Sometime after that, she was given a meal plan to follow that included three main meals and two lighter meals each day. “That meant I’d sometimes be eating when I wasn’t even hungry. The first six months looked promising, then my weight stalled again. I came to the conclusion that if not even nutritionists could help me, I’d never be able to lose weight.”

    A painful injury in 2015 turned out to be a blessing in disguise when the doctor who was treating her at the Bochum clinic referred her to Mark Warnecke, founder of AMSport and former swimming world champion. Together with another nutritionist they began to work on a plan that would help her stay in top shape while also trying to address her insecurities about food. Pamela was to keep eating similarly to how she had been, but cut back from five meals a day to three. Breakfast was a freebie, where she was encouraged to eat whatever she felt like that day. The results were impressive, and the pressure that she felt under - both on track and off - began to lift.

    “I could see changes in my body every week. I never thought you’d be able to see abs on my body. Now I am confident when I am standing on the track. Back in the day my focus was on anything but the track – 1000 distractions. I’ve lost 10 kilograms since I made those changes without starving myself or dieting. Meanwhile, I gained an incredible amount of knowledge, confidence in and understanding of my body.”

    Two years later, Pamela Dutkiewicz lined up in the finals of the 100m hurdles at the 2017 World Championships in London focused on nothing but the hurdles ahead of her. 12.71 seconds later she looked up at the screen to see her name next to the number three. She had been in fifth place going over the final hurdle, but a strong finish saw her take home the bronze medal. “I dreamed of this moment, but I can’t believe it - it’s just crazy” she said, once the tears had dried after her celebrations. “This is like in a movie.”

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  3. Fuelling Your Second Wind

    At some point during training we’ve all had moments where we’re ready to throw in the towel and give up for the day. Sometimes stopping early is a good thing as it can help us avoid injuring ourselves from over exertion but at other times we need to push past the fatigue and the aching muscles and push ourselves further than feels possible. If you’ve ever done that, you’ve probably experienced the phenomenon known as the second wind.

    This new burst of energy, right when your body is feeling at its weakest, can be as confusing as it is welcome to athletes who aren’t sure what causes it. For a lot of people it’s unpredictable, it might come at the second kilometer of a half marathon or it might be the last push that carries you over the finish line. Sometimes it might not come at all. Understanding what powers your second wind and how to fuel it can help you get the most out of your training sessions, or give you an edge when it’s time to compete.

    When you first start exercising your body uses its most readily available source of fuel - carbohydrates - and burns them without oxygen. This is known as anaerobic metabolism and its great at powering short bursts of high intensity exercise, like breaking out into a sprint, but isn’t sufficient to keep our muscles going for long periods of time. When you’re working without oxygen your body can’t break down glucose and glutamine into carbon dioxide and water like it wants to, instead it all becomes lactic acid. As lactate builds up in the muscles it creates the burning sensation you’ll be familiar with, whilst also making you feel generally fatigued. At this point, especially if you’re just starting to work out or if you’ve had a break for a while, you might start to question the wisdom of going to the gym. You might want to quit altogether!

    Whilst all of this is happening however, your aerobic metabolism has been warming up and getting ready to take over. Your body will increasingly turn to fat stores for energy, so you’re no longer producing lactic acid. Exercise starts to feel better - sometimes even euphoric - as your muscles start to flush with the oxygen they’ve been needing. This is the key to getting you second wind. As long as you keep going at a similar intensity and you have the stores of energy to fuel it, your metabolism will keep going in its aerobic state and exercise will feel easy. If you suddenly ramp things up then you’ll need to utilise fuel from anaerobic sources and the lactic acid buildup starts again.

    That’s how it works. But how can we learn to count on our second wind? It’s not possible to control it directly, but there are ways to make it more predictable.

    First of all, the fitter you are the sooner you’ll get your second wind. The switch from anaerobic to aerobic metabolism happens faster in people who exercise regularly and maintain high levels of physical fitness. If you leave your car in the garage over the winter and don’t drive it at all, then when you come to take it out the engine might cough and splutter and need to be warmed up a bit before it can get going, whereas if you drive it every day it’s primed and ready to go.

    Another way to help fuel your second wind is through the use of certain supplements. L-carnitine and Omega 3 fatty acids both help to stimulate your aerobic metabolism and both will improve you cardiovascular health. L-carnitine in particular has been shown to stimulate red blood cell production, resulting in improved oxygen supply to the muscles during exercise.

    Particularly for those of us who prefer sustained, endurance style workouts, learning the mechanics of how our body fuels exercise can help us to train healthier and perform better. Once you know how to properly fuel your second wind then those first 10-15 minutes of exercise won’t feel so rough anymore, as you’ll know that the best is still to come.

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