Spring 2013 Fitness Berks Magazine

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GOT SUMMIT FEVER? World-class mountaineer Tom Lynam talks adventure & mountaineering ямБtness


REAL DIETING FOR ATHLETES Separate the gimmicks from the diets that actually work


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The results of our Facebook reader poll.

talks adventure & fitness.




The Love of Mud:

Mud runs, obstacle courses & extreme challenges.


Separate the gimmicks from the diets that actually work.


in everY issUe

4 Calendar

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Motivational Words From the Editor Caroline Hill.....................................................2 Get Off the Couch Litter Clean-up.............................................................................. ...18 The Gear Girls: Top Ten Trail Essentials.............................................................................25 Training & Fitness Seasoned Spokes Bike Club..............................................................20 Catching Up with Neko Logan.............................................................21 Fitness at Home...............................................................................26 High Altitude Travel (mountain climbing)................................................29 Local Athlete Profile

Todd Lubas...............................................................................32

mo tivational words f rom the editor

I can’t help but laugh and wonder what my mother will think when she reads this issue and sees pictures of women running through mud pits, crawling under barbwire, and jumping through flames.


Publisher Tracy Hoffmann Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc Editor Caroline Hill Creative Dave Hessen

Advertising Heather Brady Brad Hess AdSales@FitnessBerks.com

Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, female athletes were not as common as they are today. My brother played basketball and other sports but mom put a musical instrument in my hands. She preferred I wore frilly dresses and not break a sweat. Fast forward to today, I am surrounded by many exceptional athletes (many of them female) and don’t want to miss any opportunity to hear their stories, learn from their experiences, and of course, join in when possible.

Website FitnessBerks.com

2921 Windmill Rd. Reading, PA 19608 610.685.0914 tracy@hoffmannpublishing.com hoffmannpublishing.com/media Editorial Review Board Joe Mariglio, MD Joe@FitnessBerks.com

It was a true pleasure to interview Tom Lynam. The stories of his adventures left me wanting to hear more! As he shared the beauty and awesomeness of nature, I was visualizing myself standing at the peak of a majestic mountain.

Michael Yoder Asst. Track & Cross Country Coach Mike@FitnessBerks.com Jennifer Seale Jennifer@FitnessBerks.com Christin Kelley Christin@FitnessBerks.com

© 2013 Fitness Berks All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced; mechanically, electronically, or by any other means, including photocopying without written permission of the publisher.

In September, I completed the Spartan Beast in Killington Vermont. Although it was a race, there was a true spirit of us (the competitors) against the beast! The competitors were there to get down and dirty and that they did. The Spartan is just one of many races that are emerging where the challenge is greater than just a run. Entrants are confronted with military style obstacles and are pushed to their physical limits. I was surrounded by not only Rambo style athletes, but moms and weekend warriors as well. Jessica had an opportunity to interview competitors from different races and has shared their experiences. Sometimes, it's hard for me to break old habits. While running in a group, and conditioned to jump over and around sloppy puddles by all the years of moms training, someone shouted to me, “she that avoids getting dirty, won’t win the race.” From that moment on, I’ve embraced the fact that I will get wet, and I will get very muddy- sometimes from head to toe. But it's fun and invigorating...so get out there, get dirty and have some fun.

C a ro line Hil l Personal Trainer, ISSA Black Belt, Tae Kwon Do Cover photo by Donn Shires Photography, Reading, PA. All rights reserved.

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Fitness Events in Berks All events below are open to the public. Some events may require registration, and some may have recommendations or requirements for participant fitness and skill levels. Events are posted under associated organizations. For more information about posted events contact the respective organization.


Thursday, April 18

Saturday, May 4 ■


Tuesday, May 14

Sunday, June 9

■ Feceras – 19 miles Children’s Dyslexia Ctr. – 5k Route 422, Sinking Spring-9:00 AM Reading, PA-10:30 AM Thursday, April 4 Third Thirsty Thursday Sunday, June 2 ■ ■ Country Fare Ride – 19 miles Thursday, May 9 Race #1 5k Route 422 Myerstown-9:00 AM ■ Gary W. Redner Memorial Race Ephrata Community Pool – 22 miles Reading, PA-7:00 PM Group lunch after ride Reading, PA-9:00 AM Cocalico Street, Ephrata-9:00 AM

Saturday, April 6

Saturday, April 20

■ Center City – 5k ■ Fools Run 10 mile & 5k ■ Rustic Rage Off Road Duathlon Reading, PA-9:00 AM Trottin’ Tim’s Kutztown, PA-9:00 AM Birdsboro, PA -9:00 AM 5k Series Race #2 Spring Chicken 5k Birdsboro, PA -7:00 PM Salvation Army Tuesday, June 11 Kutztown, PA -9:00 AM Run for the Kids 5k Thursday, May 16 ■ ■ Trottin’ Tim’s 5k Race #3 Lebanon, PA -8:00 AM Saturday, April 20 Birdsboro, PA-7:00 PM ■ Third Thirsty Thursday

Sunday, April 7

Race #2 ■ Center City – 5k Reading, PA -7:00 PM Classic Harley-Davidson ■ Brighter Than The Sun 5k Cushion Peak Adventure Race Reading, PA-10:00 AM Thursday, May 16 South Mountain, YMCA ■ State Hospital / 20 miles Warwick 5k Trail Run ■ Spring Fever 5k Sportman Road Lot A, Pottstown, PA -9:00 AM Boyertown, PA -10:00 AM Wernersville-9:00AM Tuesday, April 9 Cushion Peak Adventure Saturday, May 18 Trottin’ Tim’s Wernersville, PA-9:00 AM 5k Series Race #1 Brandywine Community Library Birdsboro, PA -7:00 PM 5k Run Topton, PA-9:00 AM Thursday, April 11

Cocalico High School – 21 miles 4th Street Denver-9:00 AM

Saturday, April 13 ■ Rumspringa Half Marathon Adamstown, PA-8:00 AM Yuengling Light Lager Jogger 5k Pottsville, PA-8:00 AM Run for One 5k Fleetwood, PA-9:00 AM Thursday, April 25

Oley Athletic Field – 20 miles Bertolet Mill Road, Oley-9:00 AM

Beat Beethoven 10k Race & 5k Race/Walk Reading, PA-10:00 AM

Sunday, May 19

Saturday, June 15

Pottstown Dog Run and Walk ■■ Memorial Lake State Park Pottstown, PA Grantville, PA-7:00 AM Triathlon/Duathlon Tuesday, May 21

■ Hawk Mountain Hill Climb 5k Tuesday’s in the Park 5k Kempton, PA-10:00 AM Pottstown, PA -7:00 PM

■ ½ Sauer ½ Kraut Marathon & Half Marathon ■ Fleetwood Community Pool – 21 miles Philadelphia, PA-7:30 AM Vine Street, Fleetwood-9:00 AM

Thursday, May 23

Sunday, June 16

Saturday, May 25

Fit Family Challenge Daniel Boone Dash 5k 5k/10k Run Birdsboro, PA-8:30 AM Hamburg, PA -8:30 AM Sunday, April 28

MAY Sunday, April 14

Sunday, May 26

Tuesday, June 18

Berks Distance Festival Tuesday’s in the Park 5k 800M, 1600M, 3200M, 5k Pottstown, PA-7:00 PM Birdsboro, PA-7:00 PM

Thursday, June 20

Thursday, May 30

■ Third Thirsty Thursday Race #3 ■ ■■ Leola Community Park – 23 miles Reading, PA-7:00 PM Maple Avenue, Leola- 9:00 AM

Thursday, May 2

John Bartram – trail ride – 18 miles ■ Reading Area Community College 3rd St. and Maple St., Hamburg Reading, PA Group lunch after ride


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race bruised and bleeding, as do many racers. On the other hand, she describes the party atmosphere at the race and how racers helped each other through obstacles. “Next time I will have more fun, be more prepared for the climbs and not be worried about what’s next or how hard it will be,” explains Keown whose twin sons are waiting to be old enough to race in a Warrior Dash.

© Donn S

hires Pho


Richard McMurrich, who travelled from Brooklyn, New York, for the 2012 Warrior Dash in the Poconos, found an adrenaline surge from not knowing what obstacle – mud, water or fire - was waiting around each corner of the race. “I love the obstacles. The more walls

The Love of Mud::

Mud Runs, Obstacle Courses and Extreme Challenges By Jessica Whitmore


arrett Place of Shillington and his 15-year-old daughter, Olivia, stood at the start line dressed like SpongeBob. They were used to running and looking for adventure as they stood ready for the morning heat of the 2011 Warrior Dash in the Poconos. This mud run consists of 3 to 5 miles with obstacles of climbing walls, crossing rope bridges, climbing rope ladders, running through fire and crawling through mud under barbed wire. “Jumping over fire pits. Going through knee-deep mud. Running 100 to 150 yards through a pond. Those are things you don’t normally do on an everyday basis. You won’t find walls to climb on a trail run,” 6

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says Place, who explains you don’t have to be a runner to race the Warrior Dash as you can walk between obstacles. Olivia not only raced with her father that day. She also cheered on her mom, Holly Keown, who raced the same Warrior Dash in the afternoon heat with her husband, Ryan. “It was brutal. I was not as agile as Olivia. Where she leaped, I climbed,” explains Keown, who is from Sinking Springs. On one hand, she describes how she picked gravel out of her knees for a week and exited the

to climb and balance beams, the better the race is for me. What can be better than running through a river or rolling around in the mud? It reminds me of

Vikki Hannahoe-Roeder of Bechtelsville took the idea of completing a mud race a little bit further when she completed the 2012 Tough Mudder in Elysburg with her husband, Brad. A Tough Mudder race comprises of 10 to 12 miles with obstacles unique to the terrain. These obstacles can include crossing water with a rope over you to hold and one under you to walk, jumping into water, climbing 12-foot walls, running through fields of live wires, mud and hay bales, sliding through water and mud with live wires above you and moving across monkey bars over water. HannahoeRoeder used this race and its obstacles as motivation to prove to

playing in the mud as a kid. Now I can race in the mud,” shares McMurrich who emphasizes that the mud race adds new elements of upper body strength and agility to a runner’s endurance and mental strength.

herself that her former athletic-self was

more than just her current role as a mom and wife.

“I thought I was going to die. It was

hard. There was so much running. And

when you thought you were done, there just kept on being more obstacles,” shares Hannahoe-Roeder. She further explains she slowed her pace to walking at times and credits her husband for staying with her throughout the race to help her physically and mentality. “I came out of the race with bloody hands and knees. I was exhausted, but I felt so good. I was more than a mom and a wife. I had completed something for me,” shares Hannahoe-Roeder who said her training included eating healthier, completing workout videos and running. Cassie Lizza, of Lancaster, was used to running a Warrior Dash as well as smaller mud run events such as the ones she hears through word-of-mouth from runners as well as through postings by Pretzel City Sports of Reading, which provides timing for races. She raced in the 2010 Tough Mudder Tri State in New Jersey where she says she had “visions of grandeur on the monkey bar [obstacle] across the water.” She describes that the obstacle, however,

was at mile 11 and included the bars going up and then down at inclines like a roof shape. She wasn’t able to complete the obstacle, which is permitted in many races as long as you are not competing for a winner’s prize. Fitness Berks


“It’s the thrill of doing crazy stuff you know you wouldn’t do in nature. There is also the personal accomplishment where you push the envelope of yourself. As a small woman, there is something about out-racing guys who look like they could outdo you in a race,” shares Lizza who encourages racers to use smaller races as training ground for bigger races and for learning how to work through race-day nerves. Kim Gray, from Southern New Jersey, started running with the group, BAM “Bad Ass Mothers.” This group of 12 moms, who ranged in ages from 35 to 45, initially ran to lose weight. They then set the goal to become Spartans and raced in the 2012 Spartan Sprint at Blue Mountain Ski Area in Palmerton. It was Kim’s first mud-related race. The Spartan races are divided into three basic types of races. A Spartan Sprint is around 3 miles with

approximately 15 obstacles; Super Spartan has around 8 miles and 20 obstacles, and the Spartan Beast comes in around 12 miles and approximately 25 obstacles. The Spartan website clearly states “There is fire, mud, water, barbed wire, and occasionally Hell on Earth.” “You can train all you want, but things can go wrong. Mud puddles can be shallow, but you don’t know that jumping into them. If you are the first group to an obstacle, you don’t know what to expect,” shares Gray who suggests racers focus on being stronger rather than faster. Bruce Cox, of Wilmington, Delaware, and his wife, Pamela, train specifically for Spartan races as part of the Garlic Rooster team, which includes their 14-year-old son, Bruce, friends and Pamela’s brother. Their race list now includes Warrior Dashes, Mud runs, Spartan Sprints, Super Spartans, Spartan Beasts and even a Spartan Hurricane Heat, which is a team-based night run. “My son, Bruce, is out to prove he can accomplish something big. Patricia likes to overcome the obstacles in each of the races and then sets a new goal for herself to improve. The greatest thrill for me is being able to complete the obstacles and help the rest of the team be successful,” explains Cox


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He further describes the obstacles as “really cool” such as climbing ropes, traversing water on ropes, carrying sandbags and scaling 8-foot walls as well as swimming in cold water and crossing ice-filled sled dumpsters. “For most of our team, it's getting over the ‘I can't do this’ that runs through their heads. I try to get everyone at least thinking they could do it!” shares Cox who suggest racers at this level should find a team and just have fun instead of focusing on time.

Eric Delahaye, who is originally from France and now lives in Pottstown, takes things even further in completing races with Extreme Challenges. “I was always hiking in Southern France and jumping like a madman between rocks. I was always looking for the next adventure and never stopped,”

Winter Spartan Death Race in Vermont, which is held in February. This endurance race consists of mud runs, obstacles, trails and challenges completed on continual loops over a 24-hour time frame in the winter race and a 48-to-72-hour time frame in the summer race. “The death race is more than just running and the obstacles. It’s the continuous repetitions that get to you. The death race is more about the mental aspects. They want to break you. They push you hard because they want you to fail,” explains Delahaye.

explains Delahaye who was part of the French Navy’s equivalent of the Navy Seals until a parachute accident ended his military career. Delahaye has competed in races such as the 2011 World’s Toughest Mudder in Englishtown, New Jersey. This race is a 10-mile loop of 28 to 32 obstacles repeated over a 24-hour time frame. These obstacles can involve cold water, full immersion and even breaking ice to get through water in the early morning hours.

“It’s not a matter of finishing these races but performing as long and as best as you can. If you can’t finish the challenges, you are done and your goal becomes preparing yourself for the next race,” shares Delahaye who will admit he sometimes isn’t able to finish all the challenges, which can happen to many because of physical injuries and lack of resolve. Delahaye has also completed in the

hours and 13 miles of natural challenges including full immersion. “Anybody can do these types of races, but you have to be physically prepared. Start with a mud run or a Warrior Dash to see if you like it. Get some people together as a team and just go out and do them for fun. The goal is to either finish or go as far, and as best as you can,” encourages Delahaye.

His race started with an hour of Bikram yoga in a 110-degree room. It then moved outside into 20-degree weather and included obstacles such as staying under water, chopping wood for five hours, doing 3,000 burpees, carrying a 60-pound ' If you aren’t ready to participate in a Love for Mud log for 2 miles and race, you can attend as a spectator FIrst. Here is a then rolling it in the listing of races closest to Berks County. woods from his knees. Delahaye further May 18 Rebel Race in Furlong, PA / rebelrace.com explains the racers did June 1 & 2 Tough Mudder in Schnecksville, PA / this without sleep and toughmudder.com barely any food. He July 13 & 14 Spartan Sprint in Palmerton, PA / finally dropped out of spartanrace.com the race after 29 hours. July 14 Only seven of the Merrell's Down & Dirty in Phila./ downanddirtymudrun.com original 47 racers Aug. 24 Warrior Dash in Long Pond, PA / warriordash.com finished the race when it ended after 33 hours.

Aug. 31

Spartan Sprint in Phila. / spartanrace.com Delahaye has now brought an Extreme Challenge race to the March Philadelphia area Wissahickon 12 Hours Challenge in Phila. / through the patrailschallenge.com Wissahickon 12 February & June Hours Challenge held Spartan Death Race in Vermont / youmaydie.com each March in Ongoing Race Schedules Fairmount Park. This PA Trails Challenge / patrailschallenge.com race consists of 12 Pretzel City Sports / pretzelcitysports.com

Annual Races

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World-class mountaineer Tom Lynam talks adventure & fitness


By Caroline Hill

or Tom Lynam, it all started when he climbed Petit Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps, Western Europe, and the European Union. He had never felt so struck by the beauty of the wilderness and the sheer peacefulness of being on a majestic mountain with nothing man made. From this experience, he got the bug, and began seeking other destinations.

Five years ago, Tom successfully reached the summit of Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro. While the climb itself was physically challenging, for Tom, it was more mentally demanding. There were many obstacles, including leaving the US and his family behind, and overcoming and conquering the unknown. Naturaly, he did not know what to expect. With all his climbs he hired a guide. The guide provides the majority of equipment, the tent and food. In the Kilimanjaro Park they also require porters who are responsible for carrying the gear and food. For his climb he had 6 porters and didn’t have to carry very much. On average they would hike for five hours a day and then set up camp. Camps are established places to stay which are more prevalent as you ascend to higher portions of the mountain. At these higher elevations, the air is thinner, the terrain more treacherous and climbers encounter more incidences of rock slides and avalanches. The camps are designated safe places to shelter climbers from the elements and have access to water.� Tom travelled to Mt. McKinley (also known as Denali) three years in a row. The first year was a ten day training course which covered traversing a glacier, repelling and 10

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To reach the

a generall overview of what to expect during the climb. The second year, a combination of weather and equipment malfunctions prevented him from reaching the summit. He was roughly 2,500 feet (really?) from the top but realized he was not moving fast enough for the conditions and pushing forward became life threatening. The third year, he returned and successfully reached summit. Of all the mountains he climbed, Denali was by far the most difficult. “You fly in aboard a small plane and land on a glacier which is the base camp. You are on snow and ice the entire time and have no porters. You start the climb with your 50 to 60 pound back pack, while dragging additional tools and supplies on a sled� Tom says. (L) Tom poses at the top of Kilimanjaro. To stay in shape, Tom trains anywhere from 12 to 20 hours per week. His training consists of running, biking and swimming-all of which keep him triathlon ready. This mix also keeps his body tuned and in shape for his climb training.

Aconcagua, of the Andes mountain range in the Argentine Republic, is the highest mountain in the Americas. Toms first attempt at Aconcagua was in January of 2012, but he was unable to reach the summit. However, one year later in January of 2013, he returned, and was able to climb the 22,837 feet to the top.

Training and physical readiness To stay in shape, Tom trains anywhere from 12 to 20 hours per week. His training consists of running, biking and swimming-all of which keep him triathlon ready. This mix also keeps his body tuned and in shape for his climb training. About three months prior to a scheduled climb, Tom will start hiking and carrying a backpack with 50 to 60 pounds Fitness Berks


of weight. These climbs last about five hours, and cover hills of varying grades, elevations and terrains. One of his favorite training spots is the old ski slope at Blue Marsh, where he will climb the steepest part five-to-six times a session. Unlike a marathon or ultra-marathon where runners are on their feet for durations ranging from several hours, to one-to-two days, climbers are hiking for up to three weeks. Tom makes the simplest task of putting socks on into a strict and precise regimen. There can’t be even the slightest crease or bump in the fabric as this can cause blistering. Further preventative care includes treating his feet with ointment, duct tapeing his heels, and thoroughly cleaning his feet with soap and water to remove sweat and prevent any bacteria from forming. Tom says, “every ounce of weight you carry is critical. As you climb higher, you will struggle to breathe because the air is thinner. You have to decide what are ‘must-have’ items and leave anything you can do without.” Another critical component is hydration. Tom stores a camelback inside of his backpack and sips as often as possible. The water helps with acclimatizing to altitude. He also measures his input and output to make sure he is replenishing what his body is losing. Tom is a fit 155 pounds, and on average, he will usually lose between eight-to-ten pounds during 12

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the climbs. Right now, Tom is training for his first full iron man triathlon in August in Mont Tremblant QC Canada. Until now, 48-year-old Tom has done half ironman competitions; usually finishes in the top 25% to 35% in his age group.

Tall tales The mountains Tom has climbed are some of the the highest in the world, they are also some of most storied; with many tales of adventure, bravery, strength, and daring. Tom has a few he likes to add when discussing his climbing experiences. While more of a testament to his grit than a tale, Tom chillingly recalls his climb on Mt McKinley where the temperatures he had to endure were -15 degrees below zero, not accounting for wind chill. His scariest incident occurred in Alaska. They were at 14,000 feet and made the decision to move on to the next camp which was at 17,000 feet-a one day trip. It was difficult terrain and bad weather was approaching, bringing 60 mph winds and blizzard conditions. They were walking on a ridge with a 3,000 foot drop on each side and a 60 degree slope. There was two feet of snow on the ground and the winds were creating a wave of snow as they walked along the ridge. Tom was tethered to another climber with a twenty-five foot rope

between them. The visability was so bad, he could only see the rope directly in front of him-but not his partner. They pushed through under these conditions for about nine hours. Suddenly his partner (to whom he was still tethered) went off the ridge. All his training, quick thinking and guts came into play when he had to counteract this by falling to the opposite side to break the fall. He said he was scared to death but it was an exhilarating and incredible adventure. FACTS ABOUT MOUNT KILAMANJARO • Kilimanjaro is an inactive stratovolcano in north eastern Tanzania and at 19,340 feet, is the highest mountain in Africa and fourth highest of the Seven Summits. • Kilimanjaro contains an example of virtually every ecosystem on earth – glacier, snowfields, deserts, alpine moorland, savannah, and tropical jungle. • While Kilimanjaro doesn’t have the highest elevation in the world, it is the tallest freestanding mountain rise in the world, rising 15,100 feet from its base. • Around 10 people die each year attempting to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro.

FACTS ABOUT DENALI • At over 20,000 feet, Denali is the highest peak in North America. • About 50% of climbers fail to reach summit. • Denali Park is home to Mt. McKinley, North America’s highest mountain at over 20,300 feet.

FACTS ABOUT ACONCAQUA • Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Americas at 22,837.3 ft. • It is located in the Andes mountain range, in the province of Mendoza, Argentina. • Aconcagua is the highest peak in both the Western and Southern Hemispheres and is one of the Seven Summits. • The Provincial Park reports a success rate of about 60% of climbers who attempt the mountain.

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DIETING FOR ATHLETES Separate the gimmicks from the diets that actually work By Callie Exas


ecently, you may have come across a headline announcing NY Knicks All-Star, Amare Stoudemire’s decision to follow an all-vegan diet during mid season. This of course was received with a sort of shock and awe from many New York sports fans. A vegan diet! What!? How will this affect his energy levels, his game, and his stamina without animal protein in his diet? Being a health and fitness professional myself, I was certainly intrigued by this choice. There are a ton of diets out there for the typical American who is interested in losing a few pounds. Many are gimmicks but some work if you do them right. However, if you’re looking to become an athlete in some sense of the word, “dieting” may require more diligent changes than just following a quick fad. In fact, I wouldn’t call it dieting at all; I’d call it a lifestyle. I’m a personal trainer and in my daily work, I am constantly answering these questions, “what should I be eating,” “what shouldn’t I be eating?” “I want to lose 5 lbs., I need an eating plan.” There is no quick answer to these questions and when thinking about changing your diet, it’s important to keep in mind that being an athlete is a lifestyle and therefore, your diet must match it. If you want to lose weight, it’s calories in vs. calories out. If you want to be an athlete, it’s about making sure you’re getting enough calories from the right foods. So, lets first air out some dirty laundry and talk about what doesn’t work.

14 Fitness Berks

once you start eating again, you’ll gain

builder’s diet, it’s in no way balanced or

water. The cleanse is probably the worst

who are training for high intensity or

it right back since what you lost was all

offender when it comes to dieting fads and as an aspiring nutritionist, it’s really upsetting that people buy

into this gimmick. It’s extremely

unhealthy and unsustainable, so

steer clear, especially if you’re in training for an athletic event. If

you’re really looking to

cleanse your

body in a

healthy way, try

incorporating more fiber into your diet.

Low Carb Diet(s)

The Cleanse Every single year in January, I have

It seems that the

craze on low carb has gone down

considered healthy, especially for athletes endurance sports. If you are training for

a bodybuilding event, glycogen depletion is recommended for a short period of

time in order to maximize muscle load

but this cannot be sustained. On another note, most high protein diets mean

taking in higher amounts of saturated

fats, which are linked to cardiovascular disease.

1 Food Wonder Diet If you’re a serious athlete or looking

to become a serious athlete, I think

these would be no-brainers to stay away from. Just like I said before, diets like the cabbage soup diet are in no way

sustainable or healthy for anyone, let

alone athletes. These diets are just on the side of ridiculous.

The HCG Diet Here’s a new one for you. The HCG

a slew of clients announce to me that

considerably in the last few years since

Some of them are more ridiculous than

touch on this. A lot of my male clients

ingesting or rubbing a cream of the

doing a cleanse; I’ll give you a huge

to decrease their carb intake while

hormone is taken from human placenta

to know about cleanses. You think that

some of this might be true, for most

the body to burn more fat. While studies

you’re just taxing it. It’s the job of your

of diets don’t provide lasting energy in

weight loss, its most likely because of the

and they don’t need help. Cleanses act

Carbs are an integral part of replenishing

go into starvation mode. Again, this

will cause your body to lose valuable

While glycogen depletion is a huge


they’re starting a cleanse of some sort.

the Atkins craze, however I did want to

diet consists of taking shots, and/or

others, but across the board, if you’re

want to “get huge” and think they need

HCG hormone onto your body. The

thumbs down. Here’s what you need

increasing their protein intake. While

and claims to open up fat cells, allowing

you’re detoxing your body, but really

people trying to be athletic, these kinds

do show that followers do experience

liver and pancreas to detox your body

order to perform at your optimal level.

800 calorie restriction, making the body

to pretty much induce diarrhea, which

the body’s energy stores with glycogen.

not a diet athletes or anyone else should

nutrients that it needs to function

part of a body

properly. Moreover, there is the risk that it will clear out the good bacteria in your gut and

intestines and cause your body to be unable to

absorb any nutrients at all.

Typically during a cleanse,

your body will lose weight but

The more I keep writing about

these dangerous fad diets, the more I

become annoyed, so lets discuss what really works. I keep

putting the word “diet” in quotations because a real diet is a lifestyle. When

choosing a diet that’s

best for you, it’s important Fitness Berks


sustainability of it. Your diet, even an

athlete’s, should incorporate all different kinds of foods. Eating is a good thing and should be enjoyed. I’m constantly

telling my clients to not feel guilty about an indulgence here and there, however, the key phrase is “here and there.” One cookie–that’s okay; five cookies–you

might want to think on that one. Never the less, it’s rare that you come across

The Mediterranean Diet A recent medical study just found

that following the mediterrean diet

helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and a host of other

chronic illnesses. The diet itself does not

restrict food groups but focuses on intake of unsaturated fats from fish and lean meat, olives, nuts,

trans fats by using olive oil, eating nuts,

and as a reward the occasional french fry.

avocados, and fatty fish instead. About 20%-35% of your daily intake should

Diets that can work.

recommend that athletes follow a strict

vegetarian/vegan diet, it’s not something

that’s a definitive “no.” Being a vegetarian or vegan means getting your protein

from different sources and paying close attention to intake of saturated fat.

Vegetarian athletes just need to ensure

that they are eating a well balanced diet of carbs, fats, and protein, which may include taking more supplements to

ensure adequate vitamin and mineral

intake such as nitrogen and iron. This is one where you just have to see how you feel and listen to your body. 16 Fitness Berks

If you’re an athlete training for an

extreme event, it’s important to fuel up

Try to stay away from saturated and

veggies, yogurts, lean meat, nuts, beans,

nutritionists probably wouldn’t overtly

Lets Break It Down

carbs, you can use fat as a back up fuel.

EVERYTHING! They eat carbs, fruits,

food to help stay satiated. While many

athletes this is great.

products. After you’ve burned off your

of what Olympians eat, it’s basically

their diets. It’s also a great source of

protein intake from poultry and fish...for

as fruits, vegetables, and whole grain

specialized diets, but if you take stock

concentrated way to get protein in

mediterranean diet, it supports lean

your daily intake is carbohydrates, such

their meals. The best athletes may have

from animals is the most efficient and

from vegetables and fruits. Like the

It’s recommended that 55%-65% of

groups, doesn’t eat carbs, or is drinking

For most athletes, lean protein

It’s low in salt and fat, and high in fiber

on carbs so your body has enough energy.

an athlete that restricts entire food

Vegetarian/Vegan Diets

whole host of other chronic diseases.

consist of fats. Your body needs fat for energy and to restore itself so don’t be afraid of it. After your workout, you

need to replenish your body with protein as well as healthy consumption of

vegetables and fruit. This is a healthy

diet because it avoids refined sugar and heavily processed foods; and it helps athletes in their training by keeping

them energized and feeling light. Even better, moderate red wine intake is

recommended, which has restorative powers and keeps the heart healthy.

The DASH Diet The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches

to Stop Hypertension) was originally

introduced to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, but has also been

ranked the top diet for the past three years. This is because it consists of a

balance of healthy foods and actually

and carbs in order to help rebuild your

muscles and recover. Try a whey protein shake that has both carbs and protein, or a meal with chicken or fish and

vegetables. Another 10%-35% of your intake should be from lean proteins. So, there is no single formula for

dieting, but there is a recipe of sorts. All things considered, it’s especially

important for athletes to consume a

varied and balanced diet that includes all

of the macronutrients, i.e. proteins, carbs, and fats. It’s also important to remember that just as being an athlete is part of

your lifestyle, so is your diet. If you want to be your best, you have to make it a daily habit to live well and eat well.


does work in preventing disease related

USDA RDA breakdowns of

cholesterol, high blood pressure and a

for Athletes,” “Worst Diets.”

to hypertension, stroke, diabetes,

macronutrients. Livestrong.com “Diets


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ere in Berks County we have the most beautiful and scenic trail systems and natural areas. They are full of wildlife and offer a host of activities like hiking, running, biking, birding, hunting, boating, and more. Unfortunately not everyone appreciates Berks' natural beauty and an unsightly array of trash accumulates in these areas. And unfortunately, it does not magically disappear on its own. Most parks and managed areas have regular organized clean ups or groups who clean up; however some do not . A great way to get out and off the couch is to grab a pair of gloves or long handled pinchers, pick an area, and pick up litter. Some areas are heavily littered, others are pretty clean. But any amount you can cleanup is great. You can participate on a organized level or go on your own. Be aware of poison ivy and any curious critters you may encounter during your cleanup. Be cautious reaching into small or covered spaces, and make sure you are wearing the proper protection (gloves, long sleecves, etc). Check with the managing park office to see if they have organized clean up days, and/or you are permitted to go on your own. They might have regulations and guidelines on what to do with the trash after it s collected, and there may be certain areas that need more attention than others. They may even have special bags and other items available to collect litter. You may encounter items that are too large (or dangerous) to handle; in this case, notify the office and they will handle the removal. Some of these organizations record the names of


Fitness Berks

people who help, and recognize their contributions. Every little bit that is collected makes these areas better for everyone, and is a very rewarding activity. Just think how great it would be if everybody got off the couch and picked up a grocery bag of litter? So no matter where you live, in the city or in the country, we can all make our small part of the world a little more beautiful.

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Seasoned spokes By Don Pawlowski


ave you ever had a morning where you know everything is just going to “click?” The morning coffee has a wonderful aroma, the fresh air has a slight tinge of sweetness and the rising sun is inviting? I have these mornings just about every Thursday when I’m getting ready for my weekly ride with the Seasoned Spokes road biking group.

The nice thing about the Seasoned Spokes is it is a “social”, “stay-together” riding group. We don’t leave anyone behind. Though we do like to keep rolling, there are occasions when hills slow some of us down, but the group will wait at the top for those who need the time. Generally our rides are 20 to 25 miles and may take up to 2 hours dependant on the ride.

The Seasoned Spokes is part of the Berks County Bicycle Club ( www.berksbicycle.com) made up generally of folks over 55, though the only real requirement is “you must wear a helmet” and of course be interested in road biking on a Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m. The Seasoned Spokes have over thirty rides from April through November, sprinkled mostly around Berks County. Some of my favorite rides include the Oley Valley where the gently rolling farmland is enhanced with historic properties, the New Holland Valley where the air just seems cleaner and everything greener (I saw an Amish farm there which had five camels), and the trail from Oaks to Manayunk where there are no cars and we stop for a group lunch.

The emphasis of our rides is camaraderie and road safety. We are always open for new people to join us, we do ask that your equipment be in good order, you ride safely...with the intention to have fun. Feel free tp visit our ride schedule on the BCBC website, and join at one of the ride locations at least 15 minutes before the start and be ready to “roll!”

Over the last couple of years I’ve shared the drive to the ride location with a nearby fellow biker. We do a little chatting on the way, and upon arrival, greet our fellow bikers. The conversations roll on throughout the ride, catching up on family, conversing about the beautiful countryside, or where might we like to go for lunch. Briskly at 9:00 a.m. the group leader announces “ready to roll” and off we go, in single file or side by side! Our group usually averages a modest 12 mph. Dependant on the terrain, we slow down up some of the hills and conversely fly down the other side with the air rushing into our faces. The group rates its rides pretty simply 1, 2, or 3. One is flat, the easiest and a favorite for many; two is gently rolling with easy hills which almost anyone can handle; and three has “some” hills, is moderately challenging, but within the limits of most riders. 20 Fitness Berks

Catching up with

Neko Logan

By Caroline Hill


ecently, Fitness Berks Editor Caroline Hill caught up with nationally-

ranked mountain bike racer Neko Logan, who was featured in the Spring 2012 Fitness Berks issue.

What are your current rankings? I am currently ranked 25th in the world, despite missing several races due to injury in 2012.

Where have you competed in this past year? It was a busy year. I raced In South Africa, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, United States, Scotland, Italy, Canada, France, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Indonesia, New Zealand and Chile.

What is next? Any new goals you would like to share? April is the start of racing for me, leading up to the first world cup in june. My goals are to stay healthy and in the ideal state of mind this season. I see myself in the top 15 this year with a few top 10 race results and breaking onto the podium when I have my best races.

Any changes to your workout or dietary Routine? Yes, I'm trying to apply more skill-based training this season, on top of my regimented strength/fitness program. I am fit enough to sustain my max pace, so now I just need to pick up the pace!

what would you loke to share about the new Bike Club? It is called BAMBA Berks Area Mountain Bike Association. The club is doing great things for all local mountain biking. Mount Penn, Neversink, Blue Marsh and French Creek trail systems have already seen improvement. I am the head of the Downhill committee, which oversees all downhill trail construction and maintenance.

What is your best advice advice for new downhill riders? Go ride your bike. Love riding it. It is that passion that drives you to improve! Here are some of the downhill trail videos at Mount Penn: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXd-RcaUTRA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZjgmNNyrHU

Fitness Berks


Readers Review


The results of our Facebook reader poll


ecently, after sorting through the dozens of exercise apps available on the market, we decided to post a question on the Fitness Berks Facebook page (facebook.com/ FitnessBerks) asking readers to rate their favorite exercise apps; and what they like most about them. We received an overwheming number of insightful responses, so we wanted to publish a few for our readers.

“I have two apps I use most often. Beginner Triathlete has an app associated with their website that links to my workout logs so I can keep my logs up to date (especially useful after swimming so I can enter the data right after swimming), and Zombies, Run-a running app that has a story line and links to the music on my phone and uses the GPS of the phone. What I like about it is that it has builtin fartleks, when the zombies are closing in and you have to pick up the pace to elude them. It is the only app I have ever paid for, and is well worth the $8 or so that I spent. You set it for ’missions’ of either about 30 or 60 minutes, and it keeps me entertained on the runs.” Douglas Berne “I use Electric Miles. It’s an app that goes with the web site DailyMile which is, basically, a FaceBook for posting workouts! It’s easy to use, but you also 22

Fitness Berks

have to have an account with Daily Mile. It is free to sign up, but they have a Pro option you can pay for.” Erik Ammon “I want to provide input to your question about apps that we use. I use Cyclemeter that came to me by way of a friend. It is a great app for individuals who are into multi sport activities. It records distance, elevations, (ascent & descent) pace, (fastest and slowest) calories burned, heart rate, etc. It maintains a history of previous activities and routes so you can try to beat your best time. There is a mapping component and so much more that I haven’t mentioned. Don’t allow the name to mislead you because this app will record hiking, running, cycling, down hill skiing, cross country skiiing and so much more! Definitely worth the investment!” Michelle Fry “I have only used three running apps. I use the Garmin GPS system watch, which I feel is the best, but I know we arent talking about gps watches. I use DailyMile, Its a great app, but


you have to input your own information. There is no sync involved with your phone or watch. It is a great app if you need motivation from people. Because people will help motivate you by posting on the workouts you have accomplished. With DailyMile you can map from runs to sit ups to swimming. Its pretty nice if you don’t mind putting in your information. For just running the Nike + is fantastic. You can either use the watch to sync your information or your iPhone with the app to do it which already comes on the phone when you purchase it. They have improved the program and it is very accurate at calculating the distance calories and elevation of your runs. What I think is fun about it is you can join challenges and you even get your own little running character you can create. Last was mapmyrun. I think this is nice... very basic. You just put it in your pocket and go running. It will be added to your page online and calculates all the features. I feel that the Nike + is my favorite. A lot of them have similar features like they all post to facebook, they all track miles, calories, and speed. You can find local friends on all of them, but not everybody uses these so its really how many of your friends use them. If you have any other questions about them let me know.”

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“I’ve used Runmeter for almost two years now and I love it. When I bought it it was $5 and I used it every time I run and I turn it on when I ride too.” Stephanie Myers


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Fitness Berks


“Hey Friends! In response to Caroline’s post on the Pacer FB site about running apps; I really like using MapMyRun. com to map my road runs. It doesnt require anything other than knowledge of what your course is/was. No fancy smartphone or GPS watch. Although i do sometimes carry a small ipod, i dont like to be encumbered with unecassary gadgets. Half the time i dont even remember to check my watch before i start. But i can go online afterwards and input my course and it tells me my mileage and elevation profile. It has alot of other features, but I dont use them. To be honest, I dont use it very often. Only when i do a new route over 6+ miles and I’m curious about the distance. But its a great resource when i do use it. I dont like the FB version of MapMyRun because it posts every run to your FB page. It also isnt the greatest for trail runs, unless you can precisely draw your exact course, which isnt easy due to all the twist and turns encounterd on most trails.” “Hope this helps. I love Fitness Berks and enjoy reading your articles!” Brian Moll “I use Runkeeper on my phone and love it. I listen to music while recording my progress. It shows my pace, calories burned, miles and a chart of my pace per minute, and a number of other details. I can also see an overhead view or map of the trail or roads I’ve done. Oh yeah, and its free too! Hope this helps in some way.” Mike Reddy

24 Fitness Berks

“If Runkeeper had a gear tracker to track the amount of miles on a pair of sneakers it would be nearly perfect. I have used Runkeeper, and Nike+ to map my run. If there are specifics or pros and cons on each, I would gladly provide my two cents.” Matt Arner “I like the software that goes with my Garmin 405- it tracks elevation, course GPS detail, pace of course, and trends/graphs over time. The only downside may be that it takes a minute to synch the watch to the software after each run, and I need access to a computer for the download.” Krista Bragg “If you are using Runkeeper you should link it with GymPact. You get paid to run, its a great app.” Nathan Mares

“I used running apps like Runkeeper and Endomondo with my smart phone, liked both of them, but short battery life and sometimes failure to pick up GPS or dropping GPS were a big problems. I switched to Motorola MotoACTVand am very happy with it.” Patrick Muldowney

The Gear Girls: Top Ten Trail Essentials

By Christin Kelley and Caroline Hill

hat keeps the Gear Girls running? Check out our top ten for a terrific time on the W trails, each and every time. We put these items to the test so you don’t have to. Available locally or online, these essentials are trail runner tested, and mileage approved.

1. Nathan Hydration Pack Put to the test by all my trail running friends, Nathan hydration packs take the lead. When hitting the trails for a long run, in any season, you’ll find our Nathan packs in tow. Durable and comfortable with enough room for our favorite snacks and a cell phone, Nathan is the best trail buddy. Available at: Chester County Running Store, runccrs.com and Nathan Sports, nathansports.com/our-products/hydrationnutrition/race-vests

2. Super Feet

While I love to try out new shoes on the trail one thing remains the same – I always replace my insoles with Super Feet. With different style for different feet (I go green!), get fitted at a Running Start and see what style suits your stride. I never run without them! Available at: A Running Start, arunningstart.biz, and Super Feet, superfeet.com

3. Burt’s Bees

A hydrated smile is of the utmost importance when spending the day out in the elements, and a little color never hurt anyone either. I put the girl in Gear Girls with Burt’s Bees Tinted l ip moisturizer.

Available at: Vanity Fair, Burt’s Bees, burtsbees.com

4. lulu lemon

I tame my mane with this versatile Lulu Lemon Bang Buster

headband (in black of course). It goesfrom yoga to trail training and everywhere in between (bad hair day l ifesaver); perfect for wicking away sweat and looking fly at the same time.

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5. Road ID When you’re running wild it’s always a good idea to stay safe, just in case, and make your “in case of emergency” accessible. The RoadID is the perfect companion to let everyone know your name, age, allergies etc., in case you can’t. Available at: roadid.com Fitness Berks


6. SPIBelt

The runner’s version of the “fanny pack.” It's small and lightweight; and can easily handle your keys, a pack of gum and can be attached to your bib number for a race.

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7. Reflective wear

I have a reflective, fluorescent vest in my car or bag at all times. The orange model works for running in the woods during hunting season and the reflective panels are great for night runs.

Jennifer Chieffo

8. Neck Gator (Tube)

My "go to" comfort gear is a neck tube I bought in a Harley Davidson Motorcycle shop. It's a light cotton weight designed to block wind while on a motorcycle; but crosses over to road and mountain biking as well as skiing and running. It can be a neck warmer, head band, beanie and a pony tail tie.

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9. Compression Socks

Intense cardio activity places incredible strain on the muscles and ligaments of the lower leg. Compression Socks improve your performance with increased blood flow and reduced muscle vibration. Visit the staff at Running Start to be fitted for these.

10. E pulse heart rate monitor

I like wearing the E pulse heart rate monitor with me because you don't need to wear a chest strap; so it's more comfortable to use because the strap doesn't rub and create friction. It's good to have for interval training.


Fitness Berks

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FITNESS at HOME: Does a home gym add value to your home? By Sharon Kehres


s more people are working from home, or find busy schedules keep them from going to a commercial gym, we’ve had homeowners and fitness enthusiasts ask if converting an extra room, or part of the basement into a gym or workout area makes sense.

for that space, and could be a nice complement to an expanded entertainment room which would add resale value if done correctly. Most newer basements provide the size and height clearance as well as weight-bearing flooring that can withstand the stress of the weights or pounding physical activity. A spare bedroom may not be the best location for weight training or floor-pounding regimens. Next, you should determine whether your space has sufficient electrical outlets and additional space to create ambiance or a media center, thereby making the workout experience more enjoyable. You may also wish to consider whether it has adequate ventilation. Consider adding a fan if you have no windows, or the existing windows are not large enough to provide adequate ventilation. Good ventilation is important for providing fresh air and preventing mold, especially in basements. Hopefully, the walls would provide ample space for mirrors which would contribute to proper exercise form or just to get a good look at the results from all that exercise. If you’re creating complementary space, you’ll want to include shelving or suitable storage areas for accessories such as appliances, towels and small equipment. You may also wish to add a small refrigerator to keep water and energy drinks cold. So, does a home gym add value

to a home? If you create a new physical renovation to your

Before you can draw any conclusions, there are many things you’ll need to consider, including the types of fitness or workout regimens you desire, the space and power requirements for your equipment needs, and the most suitable location within your home to accommodate this equipment. Serious planning and consideration should be given to this project before committing to any home renovation project.

home to add extra livable space, such as a gym and attached

First, you should identify the best location for the gym based on your space requirements- basement or the spare bedroom? Planning a gym in the basement could provide a useful purpose

In closing, whether you exercise at home, at work or at your favorite fitness centers, your commitment to fitness will increase the value of your self-esteem!

entertainment area, the answer is most certainly, yes. If you are claiming existing livable space to expand your exercise opportunities, the answer is no on resale value but yes on

quality of life value. You’ll save travel time, you’ll increase

your ability to exercise around your schedule, and you’ll gain a renewed commitment to staying fit.

Fitness Berks



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The wilderness medical society recommends against a oneday ascent to 2800 meters (9100 feet). While many skiing areas have peak elevations far above this height, what is most important is the altitude at which you sleep, and most resorts in the US have bases below that height. If you have a history of difficulty at altitude, and are headed to one of higher altitude resorts, it is worth considering spending a day in Denver. A day at the intermediate altitude will initiate acclimatization while preventing many of the unpleasant symptoms of acute mountain sickness (see below). If you are on a climbing trip and are planning on sleeping at progressively higher altitudes, you should not increase your sleeping altitude by more than 500 meters (1600 feet) a day. Above an altitude of 3500 meters (11480 feet), this rate of ascents should probably decrease to 500 meters every other day.


t’s spring in Berks County and while most of the snow is off the hills of Jack Frost and Big Boulder, there are opportunities to ski or ride well into the Spring if you are willing to travel. Late spring and summer are also a good time for adventure travel with opportunities to trek or climb the high peaks of the US, Europe and Asia. So whether your plans include spring skiing in Telluride or a trek in the Annapurna range, here are some tips to keep you safe at altitude.

BE INFORMED Exposure to altitude without proper acclimatization increases the risk of developing altitude illness and also results in dehydration, poor sleep, and limited exercise capacity. Whatever your plans, it is important to understand the signs of altitude illness, set your own schedule, and pace your ascent. If traveling on a guided trek or climb abroad, inquire in advance about the schedule for ascent; the guide to client ratio; the guide’s plans for tailoring ascent to the travelers; and the guide’s capacity to recognize and treat altitude illness. Additionally, if you plan on spending significant time at altitude, take a high altitude class from REI or other local companies to better inform yourself.

HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE Exposure to altitude results in hyperventilation (fast breathing) and fluid shifts, both of which result in dehydration. Air at altitude has decreased humidity, further exacerbating water loss. Dehydration can cause headaches and symptoms that are similar to those of mountain sickness. Be mindful of water intake at altitude, and stay hydrated. Stay away from alcohol for the first day or two after ascending to a new altitude. If a headache develops, take a break from further climbing, drink a liter of water and take a mild analgesic (acetaminophen or ibuprofen). If the headache resolves completely, it is most likely related to dehydration and not mountain sickness. Fitness Berks


the occurrence of dehydration. Therefore, if you are using this medication, it becomes even more important that you stay ahead on your water intake. The added benefit to acetazolamide is that is generally well tolerated and can also help with sleep difficulties that occur at altitude. It has some cross reactivity with other sulfa drugs, which you should discuss with your physician if you have a history of a serious allergy to sulfa drugs.

RECOGNIZE WHAT SYMPTOMS TO WATCH OUT FOR High altitude illness encompasses a spectrum of different diseases that occur to travelers at or above an altitude of 2500 meters (8200 feet). The most serious sequela of high altitude illness are acute mountain sickness (AMS) and high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE). Acute mountain sickness presents as a headache in addition to GI upset, weakness, dizziness and inability to sleep. In its most severe form, it can progress to high altitude cerebral edema (HACE), which manifest as brain swelling with altered mental status, difficulty with balance and, ultimately, coma. HAPE causes fluids to shift to the lungs and results in shortness of breath, cough and low oxygen levels. The best treatment for these diseases is descent to lower altitudes, supplemental oxygen and, when rapid descent is not possible, medical therapies including the drugs listed below.

CONSIDER DRUGS THAT PREVENT AND TREAT ALTITUDE ILLNESS Risk Category A number of medications that have been shown to help prevent and treat high altitude illness. Experts recommend that individuals with a moderate or high risk of high altitude illness consider some form of prophylaxis (see table 1). Acetazolamide (also called diamox) prevents and treats AMS, HACE and HAPE. It works by speeding up acclimatization through clearance of anti-acidic compounds in the urine. It is a diuretic, meaning it can increase 30 Fitness Berks

There is some evidence that Ginko biloba may be effective in preventing acute mountain sickness, although this data is more mixed than that for acetazolamide. In addition, there are a number of other drugs, including dexamethasone (a steroid), and certain asthma and cardiac medications have been shown to prevent and treat HACE and HAPE in high-risk individuals, but at the expense of more side effects. If your travel will put you in the highest risk groups, or if you will be at altitudes for an extended period of time, you should discuss these drugs with your physician. For many people, a trek to higher altitudes is a once in a lifetime trip, often with a lot of climbing packed into a limited time frame. For others a trip to high altitude for a ski trip can put you at the mercy of others schedule for altitude gain and activity at altitude. Unfortunately, no level of fitness will prevent altitude illness. I have seen many individuals who have traveled to some of the most beautiful mountain ranges of the world and only remember their headaches and AMS symptoms. The best advice I can give to a would be traveler to high altitude is to take your time ascending, recognize the signs of high altitude illness, pay attention to your body, and be sure to enjoy the views!



Individuals with no prior history of altitude illness and ascending to 2800 m Individuals taking >2 days to arrive at 2500-3000 m with subsequent increases in sleeping elevation <500m/d


Individuals with prior history of AMS and ascending to 2500-2800 m in 1 day No history of AMS and ascending to >2800 m in 1 day All individuals ascending >500 m/d (increase in sleeping elevation) at altitudes above 3000 m


History of AMS and ascending to >2800 m in 1 day All individuals with a prior history of HAPE or HACE All individuals ascending to >3500 m in 1 day All individuals ascending > 500 m/d (increase in sleep elevation) above 3500 m very rapid ascents (e.g. Mt. Kilimanjaro)

Table 1: Risk categories for acute mountain sickness. Adapted from Luks, et. al, Wilderness & Environmental Medicine 2010. Prophylaxis is recommended for moderate and high-risk travelers.


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Local Athlete Profile By Fitness Berks staff

Todd Lubas

Age: 29 Occupation: Regional Sales

Manager at Jones Stephens Corp. Hometown: Reading, PA


t's training season, and the people in Todd Lubas' neighborhood aren't alarmed to see a crazy man running their streets at night and odd hours of the morning. His routes include Shillington Park, Wyomissing Trail, Blue Marsh and all around the streets of Mohnton, Shillington, West Reading and Wyomissing. The only question they ask is, "what marathon is he training for now?" Todd has been running competitively since his teens, and was a consecutive threetime All-Berks/AllDivision Cross Country for Governor Mifflin from1999 through 2001. But currently, his neighbors are watching him train for is his second Boston Marathon; and he's hoping the weather is a little cooler than last years race. "The temperature at race level was 102 degrees-one of the hottest recorded temperatures for that race. Even though I collapsed twice from cramping/heat exhaustion, I finished the marathon in 3 hours and 23 minutes. It was my worst marathon time ever, but all things considered, I was happy to finish." reflects Todd. Something else made that particular race day important to Todd. "Last years Marathon fell on the exact date of the Virginia Tech shooting 5 years earlier. As a Virginia Tech alumni, the tragedy hit very close to home and to honor the victims, I wore a Virginia Tech jersey with "neVer forgeT" on the back. The course wound through Chestnut Hill which takes runners through the Boston College campus (fellow ACC school), and I was amazed and grateful to see the support from students who recognized my shirt and knew it was the anniversary of the tragedy."

32 Fitness Berks

Todd continues, "Boston next month will be my 5th marathon, having previously run the Philadelphia, Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, Boston and Columbus. My personal best was Columbus in the Fall of 2012 with a time of 2 hours and 53 minutes. My goal next month is to run a personal best, but I will consider anything under 3 hours a success. I'm heading to Boston with a little dirt in my mouth from last year's disappointing finish and I'm ready for some redemption." And we're sure you'll get it, have a great 2013 season Todd!

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