You’ve Scratched the RTO Off Your Bucket List. Now What?

By Julie Young

As the official training partner for the Race 178, running series, we provide, among other things, a series of training articles. Below is an article to help runners better prepare for the upcoming Reno-Tahoe Odyssey. Enjoy the read…

When I was asked to write an article on what to do three days leading up to the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey (RTO), I bristled, thinking, “We’ve missed the point.” In my opinion, this what-should-I-do-three-days-out mentality sends the wrong message and robs us of opportunities. It’s the training to the starting line that presents golden opportunities for lifestyle changes of improved fitness, nutrition, hydration and sleep. These changes will improve your RTO running experience and create traction toward a lasting lifetime of health.

I think too many participants approach the RTO with the bucket list mentality, just grinding and gritting their teeth through it, to simply tick it off the list. But the bucket list training mentality often leads to injury and in many cases, the participant misses out on the great learning opportunities that training properly for events, can afford.


Having an athletic goal, like the RTO, can be a great motivator to nudge you out the door to move more and eat, drink and sleep better. As we have discussed in previous articles, you can successfully achieve these goals in a healthy manner, when you commit to and consistently follow a well-developed training plan.

We are almost a month out from toeing the start line at RTO, so how about a call to action – for the next 30 days make a full commitment to a comprehensive training plan.

In my experience as an athlete and coach, achieving athletic goals is similar to achieving any other goal: it requires consistent commitment, patience and focused purposeful work. As we have noted in our RTO training articles and training tips – an effective training plan improves running-specific strength, power, endurance and efficient mechanics. The training plan also replicates the specific demands of the specific event. Training is essentially a mental and physical dress rehearsal for race day. So as you toe the line on race day, your homework is done, and the fun has just begun.

The physical training also facilitates mental conditioning. Through training, you experience the challenging mental and physical sensations and train to run through these sometimes uncomfortable sensations. As a result of this ability to mentally confront and overcome physical discomfort, you gain confidence and empowerment which fuels you on race day.

Through consistent commitment to a training plan, you learn mentally and physically just what to expect. This knowing what to expect, reduces anxiety and improves the ability to relax. When you are relaxed you thrive and have a more positive experience.

The training period is also the golden opportunity to dial in all the elements that support the optimal race day experience – including nutrition, hydration, sleep, recovery strategies. This is a 24/7 opportunity, not just hours before, and during, running.


Eat Right

Good nutrition is about making good, mindful choices. These include:

  • Selecting the least processed ingredients possible
  • Preparing an appropriate mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats (there is no absolute on these ratios, ie carbs 60%, protein 20%, etc., but they should be individually determined)
  • Focusing caloric concentration before and after the activity
  • Exercising portion control
  • Staying hydrated

The training sessions are the time to also determine the types of food that work best for you individually. So start experimenting during the training runs and dialing in your foods and drinks of choice.

Recovery is also a key element in the RTO event, and nutrition is a key aspect of recovery. Use your training as an opportunity to fine-tune your post-run nutrition recovery strategy. Hint: chocolate milk is the recovery drink of champions.

Regeneration, including sleep, stretching and soft tissue work, is also vital to athletic performance and overall health. Use your training time to consistently institute these supporting health habits too.

Maximize your RTO experience, and consider it a kick-start toward a lasting lifestyle of health instead of just a bucket-list event. This will enable the new and improved you to go after even more bucket list items!


Julie Young spent the majority of her 12-year career racing in Europe with the US National A-Team where she thrived in stage racing, taking GC victories at the prestigious Tour de L’Aude and Tour d’Aquitaine, as well as numerous individual stage wins and podium places at Molenheike, Tour of the European Economic Communities, Tour d’Epinal and Grand Prix de Quebec. She is now the Director of Silver Sage Sports & Fitness Lab, where she helps athletes of all levels reach their goals. If you would like more information on a training plan specific to your needs, give her  a call at (530)-448-0498. You can also find more information at

Half the Road to Benefit Bike Like A Girl Cycling Camps

Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab and The Reno Wheelmen Present: HALF THE ROAD

Wednesday, May 6th 6:00PM to 10:00PM
The Peppermill, Tuscan Ballroom
Suggested donation of $10 at the door and silent auction Light food to be provided.  Cash bar.
Please join us for a celebration of women’s cycling in conjunction with the women’s AMGEN Tour of California stage race, which takes place in South Lake Tahoe the weekend of May 9th

HALF THE ROAD This documentary film explores the world of women’s professional cycling, focusing on the love of sport and the pressing issues of inequality that modern-day female riders face in a male dominated sport. The voices and advocates of women’s pro cycling take the audience on a journey of enlightenment, depth, strength, love, humor and best of all, change & growth.

Check out the trailer here-


WOMEN’S CYCLING PANEL DISCUSSION Featuring current and past pro racers:

  • Inga Thompson is a Reno native, Olympian, winner of the Coors Classic, multiple US National Champion and multiple World Championship medalist.
  • Julie Young spent the majority of her 12 year career racing in Europe with the US National A-Team where she thrived in stage racing, taking GC victories at the prestigious Tour de L’Aude and Tour d’Aquitaine, as well as numerous individual stage wins and podiums at Molenheike, Tour of the European Economic Communities, Tour d’Epinal and Grand Prix de Quebec. Currently Julie is the owner and head coach at o2fitness and Director of Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab.
  • Robin Farina currently races for the BMW p/b Happy Tooth Dental Care cycling team.  She is a founding member and current CEO of the Women’s Cycling Association, which supports the growth of women’s cycling worldwide by advancing policies with governing bodies and creating opportunities to develop new riders and grow the sport.

100% OF PROCEEDS BENEFIT BIKE LIKE A GIRL CYCLING CAMPS All door receipts and silent auction proceeds will be used to help get more girls out on bikes.

This collaborative Reno Wheelmen and Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab sponsored, showing of the inspirational Half the Road, benefits the Bike Like A Girl cycling camps.

This camp concept has been my long-time vision as a way to share the rich life lessons that my cycling life has taught me. These camps will focus on the challenging pre-early teen years, and introduce these girls to the sport of cycling as a vehicle for character development, interpersonal skills and improved mental and physical confidence and empowerment. This program also provides the stepping stone for those girls who express interest in competitive cycling. The ultimate goal of the camp program is to provide the opportunity to ride a bike, to those girls who do not have the financial means. For these girls, scholarships will be provided for these eight-week camps to cover tuition as well as equipment.

The Bike Like A Girl Cycling camps gained momentum and a trajectory course when the stars aligned and like-minds met and partnered. The Bike Like A Girl Team tri-fecta includes – the Bike Like A Girl RAAM 2015 team, an eight-women relay team racing across America, gunning for the course record, while raising money for the Bike Like A Girl camps; and the Women’s Cycling Association, a world-wide organization working toward equality of opportunity for women in cycling.

I hope you can join us for the showing of the inspiring film, Half the Road.

Race 178, Reno-Tahoe Odyssey Training Chalk Talk

As the official training partner for the Race 178, running series, we provide, among other things, a series of training articles. Below is an article to help runners better prepare for the upcoming Reno-Tahoe Odyssey. Enjoy the read…

While the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey is, for some, an opportunity to partake in a progressive pajama party with BFFs and a little running thrown in along the way, that experience will be enhanced and injuries avoided if consistent preparation is in place. Below is food for thought as you embark on this memorable all-night adventure.

The key to improving your experience is having an overall training plan to reach your RTO goals. One priority needs to be avoiding injury.  In our experience, as runners, you insure against injury by investing in consistent purposeful hip and trunk stability exercises, global mobility (joints, muscle length, soft tissues), quality work and quality rest, and a gradually progressive training program.

There should be a clear objective to each and every day’s training session and an understanding of how that relates to your RTO goal. Empowered with this understanding, you will train more purposefully and more effectively.

Here are a few suggestions to improve your RTO preparation and race experience:



  • Training Tips
    • Individualize your training and make it relative to your individual circumstances
      • A training plan needs to be based on your current fitness/past training goals, and then gradually progress as you adapt to the training
    • Toe the start line mentally and physically fit, injury free and hungry for action
      • The key to improving fitness and avoiding injury is a gradually progressed training plan
    • Balance sport-specific training with supplemental cross-training for improved performance and injury prevention
      • Focus on consistent hip and trunk stability, and general mobility
      • Cycling, swimming and hiking are good supplemental cross-endurance training tools that will provide mental and physical variety
    • Vary your training, which provides the opportunity to continue to challenge and improve
      • Once a solid endurance base is in place, systematically and consistently include speed and higher tempo workouts in your training plan
      • Train hard and rest hard – rest should be of equal importance to the running workouts
      • Quality workouts trump quantity
    • Train to meet the specific demands of the RTO
      • Run in the morning, at lunch and in the evening
      • Build up your endurance – include long endurance days and gradually build to the distance you will cover over three legs
      • Train the intensity and terrain of your segment
        • Train at the intensity you hope to hold during the event
        • If you have the opportunity, run the sections you will run in the RTO
        • Simulate this terrain in your training – uphills, downhills and flats all present different challenges
      • Use training to implement your recovery strategies for RTO
        • Use the recovery lessons learned during preparation and incorporate them between your RTO run segments. These might include:
          • Post-run segment recovery drink
            • Believe it not, chocolate milk tops the list
          • Compression socks
          • Stretching and rolling after your segment
          • Movement preparation exercises before your segments
        • Dial in your race-day nutrition strategies during your preparation, not the week or day before
    • Build your bank account of sleep leading into the race


A successful training plan often needs to be custom fit to incorporate all the training components while balancing your life’s work, family schedule and your own physiology. Whether you’re looking to complete the RTO injury-free or you want to set your own personal record, Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab helps people at all levels of ability. If you have questions about any of these workouts or are just looking for advice, email us at

Better Understanding the Mystery of the Injured Runner, Part II

This series is based on the Science of Running Symposium I recently attended in San Francisco. To read part I, click here.

Every running magazine contains at least one article on running injuries and prevention. And a website search on these topics will result in a life-time of reading. Frustrated by the apparent void of a science-substantiated, systematic approach to help the injured runner return to sport and the uninjured runner avoid injury, I was determined to find a research-based, clinic tested program that dug in to the underlying, root causes driving injuries.

right stride flight

As a result of this search, I found and attended a six month fellowship with Dr. Chris Powers, at his USC-affiliated Movement Performance Institute, and attend update courses with him, including this year’s Science of Running Symposium.

Dr. Powers opened the symposium by posing the question, Why are injuries so prevalent among runners? The answer may start with the sheer number of runners.

Why do so many Americans, approximately 36 million, chose running as their activity of choice?

  • Easily accessible
  • Low cost
  • Time efficient workout

Injury rates, amongst the running populatiobn, range anywhere from 20-80%. And of those injuries, 50% occur at the knee.

What are some key factors that contribute to a high incidence of running injuries?

  • Frequency of loading
  • Magnitude of loading
  • Ground reaction forces two to three times body weight
  • Abnormal mechanics

With these factors in mind, then consider a majority of the running population turns to running to lose weight. So to piece the scenario together, we have an overweight person, who lacks muscular strength, stability, mobility and motor skills to effectively dampen and direct forces (two to three times body weight) that impact their joints. In many cases too, this population lacks a systematic progression to their training volume.

Dr. Powers then presented the concept of Envelope of Function, developed by Dr. Dye. The Envelope of Function states

  • There is an area called homeostasis where the runner operates optimally
  • Factors affecting the width of the homeostasis window include
    • Magnitude of loading
    • Frequency of loading
    • Abnormal mechanics
      • Increases in one or all of these factors, narrows the window of homeostasis, pushing the runner toward overuse injuries

Now let’s take the above factors and consider, for example, the demands on runners training for a marathon. These runners will foot strike over one million times while training for the marathon, and strike 26,000/mile/foot during the marathon. So how can we stay in that optimally operating zone of homeostasis?

Consistently and Purposefully Practiced Stability, Activation and Mobility Program

When we effectively train the stabilizers to kick in before the prime movers fire, the stabilizers set a foundation so the prime movers can direct the force in the intended direction. Visualize a canon floating in a canoe and firing its shots – this is analogous to a prime mover firing without stabilizers in place. Get the picture?

Hip activation, is the first step to develop brain to glute communication and the ability to properly fire muscles during movement. Proper recruitment of glutes, during running, allows safe and effective deceleration and shock absorption of those pesky ground reaction forces, through more reliance on the glutes and less over-reliance on the quads and hamstrings.

Finally a practice of global mobility with respect to joints, muscular length and soft tissues helps to facilitate proper neuromuscular firing/recruitment and structural alignment.


Less is More Training with Quality Taking Precedence of Quantity

Those years of Western States runners training, for example, by slogging away, eight hour day after hour day are gone. This training led to mental and physical break-down and slow, mechanically inefficient running.

The training goal is to get fit to run efficiently, not run to get fit. And this requires variety based on quality work and quality rest. The training week consistently includes intervals, speed and power, endurance, rest and non-aerobic activation, stability and mobility. It is the consistent practice of all these parts that provides injury prevention and performance.

One of the main goals of the interval work, shorter speed and longer tempo, is to improve running specific strength, power and economy of movement. This interval work assumes the supporting activation, stability and mobility program is in place. The goal is not how hard we can go at the expense of controlled movement, but how fast can we go with the objective of holding good mechanics, and fluidly moving with control and purpose.

Training programs based solely on slow miles, allow you to go long and slow. But endurance events are a game of efficiency, quality structured workouts develop specific running strength and economy of movement, reduce injury potential and improve performance.

Get the most out of every workout, by understanding why you are doing it. Be mentally and physically engaged in your running vs slogging away more and more mindless miles.

Stay tuned for part III, understanding normal running mechanics.

The Straight Talk on Silver Sage Services, Part III

In two previous posts we discussed who can benefit from testing and what tests are available and what they deliver. To read part I, click here, to read part II, click here. Today we offer our thoughts on the value of testing.

Part III – Why Test?

Physiologic testing provides invaluable understanding to empower athletes and improve their training.  Often, we find that it’s the person relatively new to exercise who often benefits the most from testing. Through the testing process, athletes gain a deeper understanding of how the resulting individualized training zones connect to their unique fitness goals. This information can take an athlete from unproductively and mindlessly going through the motions to purposeful, motivated daily workouts.


Testing helps the athlete, from recreation to elite, avoid common training pitfalls and optimally focus each day’s workout toward achieving the ultimate goal. As a result of testing, individuals learn and understand the importance of quality intensity and quality rest, and incorporating variety in to the weekly training plan.

Many recreational and master athletes have a limited time frame for exercise and do the same activity at the same intensity, every day. We all know that person who diligently runs for 30 minutes and is mystified why he/she is not experiencing fitness gains and results.

Successful training plans – at every level – are based on gradual progression and systematic variety of elements relative to each individual’s current fitness and future goals.  A well-structured training plan utilizes an individual’s training zones to develop a program that progressively stresses/challenges the body’s central (heart and lungs) and peripheral (skeletal muscle) components, while countering the work load with rest and recovery. This plan reduces plateaus and achieves continual fitness gains.

Physiologic testing provides the tools to help us educate our clients on the importance of quality intensity (at varying intensity levels) and quality rest, guided by the testing derived heart rate/power zones to deliver effective results.

Andy Pasternak established and owns Silver Sage Center for Family Medicine, as well as Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab. Julie Young is the Director of Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab and owner/head coach-performance trainer at o2fitness Coaching and Training.

Better Understanding the Mystery of the Injured Runner, Part I

The injured runner and running injuries – what a conundrum! A while back I had become increasingly frustrated by what seemed, a lack of science-based treatment plans for the injured runner. There also seemed a void on how to systematically return runners to sport, and prevent injuries. Running magazines, blogs and books seemed to exacerbate the confusion, by presenting the flavor-of-the-day solutions, leading readers on a zig-zag course based on quick fixes and sweeping technique changes.


In my frustration, I started researching programs that offered science-based solutions to assessing, evaluating and returning runners to sport, as well as strategies to prevent injuries. As a result, I decided to commit to a six month fellowship on Advanced Lower Extremity Biomechanics with Dr. Chris Powers, at his USC-affiliated Movement Performance Institute in Los Angeles.

In short, Dr. Powers had his ah-ha, research-changing moment when the MRI became dynamic in its capability, and able to capture movement. Powers captured the movement of a single leg squat, and proved, in very simple terms, that hip stability dictates the hip, knee, toe alignment. This turned physical therapy regarding treatment of knee issues upside down. Up to this point much of the treatment had been focused on strengthening the muscles directly surrounding the knee in order to improve knee alignment relative to the hip and toe.

Fifteen years of research, focused on better defining the hip-lower extremity relationship, later, Dr. Powers has derived a research proven assessment, dynamic (video) evaluation, treatment and return to sport protocol.

Powers’ systematic, progressive protocol contrasts with the prevalent treatment which seems often based on a shot-gun, guess-work approach in attempting to solve the mystery of the injured runner.

Recently, now a few years after completing the Power’s fellowship, I attended a research symposium, entitled the Science of Running. This was a unique opportunity to hear three of the leading researchers and clinicians present on normal and abnormal running biomechanics, assessment, evaluation, and treatment of the injured runner. While all three agreed on most of the points presented, with slight degrees of variation in assessment and evaluation, they were oceans apart in their treatment strategies for the injured runner. Hmmmmm, Interesting.

The presenters included…

Dr. Irene Davis, on faculty at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Spaulding National Running Center, who treats runners by transitioning them to a forefoot strike, in minimalist shoes or barefoot.

Dr. Brian Heiderscheit, Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Director of the Runner’s Clinic at UW Sports Medicine Center and Director of Badger Athletic Performance Research, treats injured runners through cadence manipulation, shortened stride and moderate heel strike.

Dr. Chris Powers, Co-Director of the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Lab at USC, and Director of the Movement Performance Institute, treats with improved hip activation/recruitment and stability with a heel strike pattern.

This was a unique opportunity to glean from three leading researchers, who implement what they have proven in their research in to practice with patience in their clinics. So these are research proven, patient tested protocols and strategies.

I was motivated and interested to attend the symposium to hear and understand all sides of the foot-strike story. We all know there is not a one-size fits all, technique. But I wanted to deepen and widen my understanding of the underlying issues in order to help runners, run pain free, and avoid injury.

This post will be the first in a series, sharing the 30,000 foot view (avoiding too much detail to bore you to delirium) of the Science of Running symposium.

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to contact me with questions, Julie Young

The Straight Talk on Silver Sage Services, Part II

In our last post we discussed who can benefit from testing, today we provide a brief overview of the tests available and what they deliver. To read part I, click here

Part II – Which Tests are Available?

  • Resting metabolic rate (RMR)
  • Lactate threshold (LT)
  • Vo2max
  • Metabolic efficiency



What are the Beneficial Take-Aways of Testing

The RMR determines an individual’s basic daily caloric requirements. It also indicates how your body uses fats and carbohydrates for fuel at rest.   RMR testing is especially relevant for individuals interested in maintaining or losing weight.

Lactate threshold testing is done by obtaining a small sample of blood while exercising at increasing intensity.   Once we graph your individual data, we can then help you determine your heart rate zones and speed as you train to meet your goals.   This test is also our favorite way to demonstrate the effectiveness of your exercise program in improving your fitness.


We have just recently installed the gold standard in VO2 machines, the ParvoMedic True One, currently used at US and Canadian Olympic training centers. A VO2 test measures

  • the body’s ability at maximum efforts to deliver and utilize oxygen during exercise
  • cardio-respiratory fitness and aerobic performance potential
  • how the body uses fats and carbohydrates at various heart rate levels

While the LT and Vo2 tests can be administered individually we believe it is often beneficial to couple these tests to provide the most definitive data.

The performance and lifestyle metabolic efficiency assessments are also conducted on the ParvoMedic. An important predictor of your ability to finish strong in longer races is how well your body utilizes fat as a fuel source.    During a race or even a long training session, it’s impossible to ingest as many calories as you are burning.  As a result, your body depends on breaking down fat to get more energy.    If you find yourself bonking during an event and /or having gastrointestinal distress during races, our performance metabolic efficiency assessment will give you the information you need to improve your fat utilization.  At the end of this test, you’ll precisely know

  • caloric expenditure at various heart rates and intensities
  • how to preserve carb stores in order to decrease the amount of fuel replenishment required
  • how to increase fat as fuel, so you can perform workloads faster, longer
  • lactate levels for your various metabolic zones

For those looking to drop a few pounds, or maybe more than a just a few pounds, we suggest the lifestyle metabolic efficiency assessment. Watching what you eat and exercising are obviously critical for weight loss success.   However, we see too many people either working out aerobically, too hard or too easy.  This test is an abbreviated protocol of our performance metabolic efficiency assessment and is ideal for people who want to maximize their body’s fat burning potential. This test provides the following take-aways

  • caloric expenditure at various heart rates and intensities
  • how to preserve carb stores in order to decrease the amount of fuel replenishment required
  • how to increase fat as fuel, so you can help to burn more fat


Andy Pasternak established and owns Silver Sage Center for Family Medicine, as well as Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab. Julie Young is the Director of Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab and owner/head coach-performance trainer at o2fitness Coaching and Training.


Lactate Vs Power to Determine Threshold

Below is a collaborative piece based on an ongoing project between Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab and the developers of TrainerRoad software. We wanted to see how deriving threshold via lactate and power compared, contrasted and ultimately how the numbers stacked up.

Recently, Chad and Reid from TrainerRoad performed lactate tests at Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab. All of our TrainerRoad workouts are based upon Functional Threshold Power. While this value is ideal for power-based training, we wanted to dive in deeper and explore this value a bit more. What causes it? What can we learn from it? What does it really mean? While many things may factor into these answers, one of the biggest is lactate.

Lactate is the cause behind your pain when you’re grinding away at or above FTP. It is an acidic substance produced by skeletal muscles when they are no longer operating aerobically. It’s a very common product of endurance exercise, but when you’re really pushing your limits, the accumulation of lactate in your body is what forces you to slow down and fatigue.

To begin our experiment, we had both guys undergo a lactate threshold test in the lab. The first step was an EKG. After that came back normal they hopped on the bikes which were on a Computrainer for a 10 minute warmup.

The test was a ramp test which was conducted as follows:

  1. Start at 60 watts
  2. Increase by 40 watts every 4 minutes
  3. Measure blood lactate, heart rate, and RPE at the end of each segment

Blood lactate measurements were done via a prick on the ear and the results were as followed:


 Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 9.53.27 AMScreen Shot 2014-12-09 at 9.53.27 AM




Lactate Threshold Heart Rate

Looking at the data, there’s a couple interesting things that stand out. The first is in regards to heart rate. You can test LTHR using TrainerRoad, which sometime leads to confusion due to the uniqueness and plethora of variables that affect this value from athlete to athlete.

In this case, we see that Reid reached a significantly higher max heart rate despite putting out less power. While this can be attributed to many things, including current fitness level, recovery, amount of sleep they got the night before, diet, etc. it’s important to remember that heart rate cannot be looked at like power. More watts are always good, but a higher heart rate does not mean more power. Even more, sometimes LTHR can decrease as you go through a training plan and become more fit, even though FTP is increasing.

Muscle Types

Another interesting thing the lab test pointed out was in regards to the types of muscle fibers both Reid and Chad have. As endurance athletes, it’s safe to say both of them have a good amount of slow twitch fibers. These are the red, oxygen-dense muscle fibers that function aerobically.

However, notice how high Chad’s lactate shot up once he reached threshold. This large and rapid accumulation shows that he has a great deal of fast twitch fibers as well. These are white, anaerobic fibers that are utilized for things like weight lifting or sprinting. These fibers are also big lactate producers, so as soon as Chad went anaerobic with his effort, these fibers were recruited and the large lactate value we see here was produced.

By understanding this, both Reid and Chad can gear their training and racing to their strengths. For example, these results would lead us to believe that Chad has a pretty mean sprint and ability to really bury himself with an effort much over his FTP. However, due to his amount of fast twitch muscle fibers, if he were to jump right into an ultra-endurance event, he may struggle due to the extra lactate that his body has to remove from his muscles. In order to prepare for an event like this, he’d need to spend a lot of time training in Zone 2 in order to adapt and convert more muscles to slow twitch.

FTP Testing

Just a few days after the lab testing, both guys jumped on TrainerRoad to do a standard FTP test to compare and contrast the results. While the lab tests show where the curve regarding lactate production really starts turning upwards, indicating threshold, TR provides the exact number for FTP. For Both Reid and Chad, these numbers were right in the middle of the steepest part of the curve, indicating lactate is in fact the limiting factor.


Reid’s plot shows the greatest slope at approx. 260 watts, and his FTP was 265.


Chad’s graph shows the greatest slope at 315 watts and his FTP was 322.

In Conclusion

Perhaps the biggest thing we took away from the experiment, was that the FTP values were spot on with the laboratory-derived zones. However, actually seeing the physiology at work that was creating both Chad and Reid’s FTP’s was fascinating. Seeing the lactate accumulate provided an additional layer of insight into each athlete’s fitness, something that a single numerical value (FTP) cannot do. Beyond a definitive threshold number, lactate testing also provides

  • A window in to the underlying metabolic systems and responses
  • Data resulting in a lactate slope that provides clear indications of training effectiveness
  • The ability to determine each athletes individual muscle-fiber make up and propensity for shorter explosive or longer endurance events
  • A precise starting point for the threshold zone by indicating when the body is starting to accumulate lactate
  • A clear ceiling of the pure aerobic zone
  • A clear distinction where the aerobic zone ends and the threshold zone begins

The more you know and understand about your fitness, the better you can fine tune and perfect it.


The Straight Talk on Silver Sage Services

Physiologic testing provides the tools to maximize your training time investment. Below starts a three part series including – Who Can Benefit, Tests Available and Tools to Take Away, and finally Why Test. Please give a holler if we can answer additional questions.

Part I – Who Can Benefit?

We at Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab realize the term sports performance center can be intimidating – our services primarily serve those busy individuals determined to optimize their limited workout time and achieve results.


We offer a complete menu of physiological tests to support individuals pursuing a range of fitness goals, from weight loss and general fitness to master athletes and elite competitors looking to peak for their next event. Testing and the resulting training tools can be effectively applied to athletes of all abilities and interests, across a variety of disciplines. We work with a range of aerobic, endurance-inclined clients, including

  • Triathletes, road and Xterra
  • Runners, road and trail
  • Cyclists, road and mountain
  • Hikers
  • Snowshoers
  • Nordic skiers

Testing can also be helpful to those more anaerobically-inclined athletes such as track runners and Alpine skiers.

Andy Pasternak established and owns Silver Sage Center for Family Medicine, as well as Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab. Julie Young is the Director of Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab and owner/head coach-performance trainer at o2fitness Coaching and Training.


“Rainy” day workout coaching tips

Below is an article we wrote to assist Girls on The Run (GOTR) coaches create a workout plan when confronted with circumstances curtailing normal activity, ie rainy or smokey days, or injuries.


Photo: Smithridge STEM Academy student and GOTR participant with her coach, Sara Holm, (pictured on right), presented a thank you poster to Julie on behalf of Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab. Silver Sage Family Medicine and Sports Lab sponsored a team of low income girls at her Title 1 school this year.  Julie provided the coaching tips below for “rainy” day workouts:

These apparently inopportune circumstances, whether rain, smoke or injury are actually just the opportunities we need to force us to mentally and physically mix it up. And as a result of this variety we become stronger, are less prone to injury, and have more fun with all the different aspects of activity and fitness.

These “rainy” day schedules are also an opportunity  to help girls learn better body awareness and movement mechanics to prevent injury. We should all be incorporating “rainy” day activities more consistently in to our fitness plans.

In girls, the lack lack of hip stability and consequently the inability to use it in movement and athletics coupled with over reliance on quads is greatest culprit and contributor to traumatic knee injury. So “rainy” day activities are the ideal to help the girls avoid this pitfall.

The overriding theme to these sessions,  is quality over quantity, so emphasize attention to detail by consistently cueing the girls.

Start with an activation circuit, these develop better brain to butt awareness, you have to feel it, before you can use it. I suggest doing these exercises, initially without mini-bands.

  • Clams
  • Fire hydrant
  • Side lying abductor
  • Captain Morgan

Movement prep will engage the girls mentally and physically, as well as heighten body awareness and balance, and fire the nervous system. Basically this prepares them for safe, effective movement. The key is to do these well, with stable balanced moves, neutral pelvis and spine, and good hip stability producing hip, knee toe alignment.

  • Knee hug to lunge
  • Standing hip twist
  • Standing quad stretch
  • Foos ball
  • Lateral lunges

In these timed circuits – the girls could team up in groups of four, each on one exercise of the circuit. They earn points as a team for number completed well with emphasis on quality over quantity.

Circuit #1

  • Crunch
  • Push ups
  • Bridge
  • Hula hoop

Circuit #2

  • Bicycles
  • Dips
  • Static squat – with good form, knees over second toe, knees at toes, sitting in to butt, femur to horizontal 30 degrees, and torso tilt with neutral pelvis and spine
  • Jump rope

Agility-aerobic circuits as tag team, scored on quality and completion time.

  • Hop scotch
  • Slalom course
  • Run backward, 10 meters ( or whatever available)
  • Balance beam
  • High skips
  • Dribble and shoot
  • Answer a question re health, nutrition, etc

Complete the “rainy” day with a stretching session, while chatting over “what was your favorite thing about the rainy day schedule.”

We should all, even uninjured on the clearest of days, include more “rainy day schedule” days consistently in our week. These types of workouts are invaluable to teach proper and safe ways to use muscles and hold body positions while moving in our activities!