Concepts such as the ‘core’ and ‘core training’ to many people, are like algebra to me. I know of it but have no idea about any of the specifics or what the hell it does in the real world. I hope this article can elucidate what the core is, but I know I may also cloudy the water a little further, which is typically my way.
So what is the core?
The core is basically a ‘team’ of muscles and connective tissue located around the pelvis, lower back and abdominals. The primary functions of this team are:
- To provide stability and protection for the lower back, and the all important spinal cord which is housed inside the spine.
- Connect the lower body to the upper body to allow us to move in the complex, coordinated fashion that we do.
Who are the big players in this team? (more…)
Having recently completed my first official ‘mini ultra’ 50km marathon, one of the most common queries I received was about when I was going to do my carb loading, so I thought I would put forward my opinion on this concept!
Carbohydrates are stored in the body, and unlike fat, storage space is limited. Our muscles are the primary storage site, however our liver has a small capacity to draw upon for various functions. Upon requirement of energy, stored carbohydrate (in the form of glycogen) is converted into glucose and utilised as fuel.
Now, the body uses two primary fuel sources – carbohydrates and fats. For rapid production of energy, carbohydrates provide the bulk of the fuel. This occurs predominantly during high intensity exercise. At low and moderate intensities, fats contribute a greater proportion of fuel as the process for breakdown is more complex and requires oxygen. At any given time the body is using a mix of these two sources but the contribution of each is dependant upon what we are doing.
The average human body can hold somewhere between 1600-2400 calories of energy from glycogen.
Eat to live, or live to eat?
The latter resonates very strongly with me. For as long as I can remember, my life has revolved around food. Nourishment. The social experience. Comfort. The sensory buzz. The abundance of quality and exciting ingredients in so many different locations…food has never been a boring commodity as far as I am concerned.
I unashamedly proclaim that I love food and I live to eat! (more…)