With so many recent – and not so recent – reports of top endurance sport athletes around the globe getting caught abusing drugs you would think that someone of the stature of Andre Agassi would know better.
The tennis great has a memoir, Open, coming out soon and during an interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes program, he admitted to taking crystal methamphetamine, among other illegal substances. While he may be considered brave for coming out with this startling admission, it begs the question of “why”?
Agassi insists that he began taking crystal meth in response to severe depression. After a number of repeated wins in tennis matches around the world, he is now eligible to enter the International Tennis Hall of Fame; however this confession might ruin his chances of achieving this honor.
Perhaps what is even sadder is that Agassi claims that for most of his athlete career he had no love for the sport that made him famous, and the one at which he demonstrated superior skills. He was forced to play at an early age but it was not until the number of his fans grew that he decided to accept his fate, and embrace the sport. This is not a good situation for any endurance sport athlete, no matter whether it is tennis or triathlon.
This may be the best explanation for Agassi’s drug use but it certainly does not excuse it. Just as other famous athletes have admitted to substance abuse, Agassi’s weakness results in a loss of respect from the many who had previously admired him and his career.
There is no reason to take drugs, especially when there are natural athletic performance supplements like Extreme Endurance on the market. Why risk being ousted from your sport or going down in history as the athlete who used drugs? It simply does not make sense.
As we approach the close of the first decade of the 21st century, it may be appropriate to start thinking about which endurance athletes around the globe made the biggest impact on the
world of endurance sports with their performance over the past 10 years. Although it is quite subjective and certainly up for debate, here are some of those many believe are deserving of special recognition.
Track and Field magazine lists these endurance athletes as the top picks for each year of the decade:
- 2000: Virgilijus Alekna and Stacy Dragila
- 2001: Hicham El Guerrouj and Stacy Dragila
- 2002: Hicham El Guerrouj and Paula Radcliffe
- 2003: Felix Sánchez and Maria Mutola
- 2004: Kenenisa Bekele and Yelena Isinbayeva
- 2005: Kenenisa Bekele and Yelena Isinbayeva
- 2006: Asafa Powell and Sanya Richards
- 2007: Tyson Gay and Meseret Defar
- 2008: Usain Bolt and Tirunesh Dibaba
UK-based BBC Sports claims Yelena Isinbayeva and Kenenisa Bekele are the top contenders for the title of Athletes of the Decade. Their world records, gold medals, and Olympic achievements certainly make these two good picks. BBC’s choices for British Athlete of the Decade include marathon and cross-country runner Paula Radcliffe, middle distance athlete Dame Kelly Holmes, sprint runner and hurdling champ Colin Jackson, and decathlon competitor Dean Macey.
It’s a pretty tough choice. Since 2000, there have been a number of amazing endurance athletes who have won multiple world championships, have set new world records, and won acclaim at Olympics games during both summer and winter events.
We at Extreme Endurance are interested in learning who your top picks for Endurance Athlete of the Decade might be based on overall performance, endurance, and placing in competitive events. Undoubtedly it’s a tough choice.
Todd Crandell, endurance athlete, author, and executive founder of Racing for Recovery, appeared for a week this month in Portsmouth, Rhode Island to deliver a series of
speeches. The reason for his trip? To establish a support group for athletes who are substance abusers.
His appearance was sponsored by the local Dare Mighty Things organization and included participation in a half marathon and community event designed to provide information to the community of Portsmouth. Afterward, the official Portsmouth Racing for Recovery Support Group was launched.
Substance abuse is an important and timely issue that affects many athletes. Too often on the road to victory, athletes turn to illegal substances to enhance their performance. Crandell himself was once addicted to alcohol and drugs but overcame his addiction to become world renowned in the field of endurance sports. The issue clearly must be close to his heart.
Worldwide regulations governing such important events as the annual Ironman Triathlon and the Olympics require that competitors are drug-free. Obviously, there should be no artificial edge making one athlete’s performance better than the next. Sportsmanship is not based on the quality of chemicals introduced into the athlete’s body, but on his or her own performance and endurance honed by hours of physical training.
This is why it is so important to be extremely careful regarding the supplements you take when training and competing. Extreme Endurance is one athletic drug free supplement that has been rigorously tested and has received ISO/17025 drug-free certification. It contains only naturally occurring ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
We applaud Todd Crandell for increasing awareness of substance abuse and having the courage to make his personal story known in the hopes he can help other athletes with addictions.
World record holder Paula Radcliffe recently completed the New York City Marathon only two weeks after sustaining an injury to her knee. Although she started out strong,
tendinitis in her left knee brought Paula Radcliffe’s plans to capture a third victory in the race to screeching halt; she ended in fourth place behind her nemesis, Derartu Tulu, from Ethiopia.
This was not the first time Paula Radcliffe pushed her body beyond its limits. In 2004 she was forced to drop out of the Athens Olympic marathon due to dehydration and in 2008 a stress fracture of her femur produced the same results at the Olympic summer games in Beijing.
The British endurance athlete is used to competing under extreme duress and working on increasing her endurance capability. While training, she runs 140 miles each work. According to Paula Radcliffe, she takes pride in the ability to recognize signals from her body that she is overdoing it.
But this time she obviously went too far – and misjudged her 35-year old body’s ability to recover from injury. The extra damage that has now been done may well take her much longer to finally overcome.
Was Paula Radcliff Wrong?
So was Radcliffe right in deciding to compete and exacerbate an existing condition? It is certainly an individual decision on the part of the endurance athlete. Paula Radcliffe was not necessarily wrong, but she certainly could have taken some precautions to ensure that her injury was not made worse by competing in the race.
For one, the proper drug free supplement to overcome weakness and stress to the already stressed muscles and tendons would have been appropriate. A drug free supplement like Extreme Endurance would have benefited the British runner in two ways: reducing the lactic acid build-up that causes the tendon to seize up, and improving red blood cell production to aid expedited recovery before the marathon.
Professional endurance athletes often go to extremes yet they must be careful not to overextend themselves and become unavailable for future events. Extreme Endurance should be taken throughout the athlete’s career: before injury, during recovery, and prior to competition.
Is Football an Endurance Athlete Sport?
With football season well underway, it seems only natural to focus on why some of the oldest quarterbacks are the best players in the league. After a couple years of claiming he was going to retire, Minnesota Viking’s quarterback Brett Favre is now enjoying one of the best game records in his career. Arizona Cardinal’s quarterback Kurt Warner is no spring chicken, either. These older athletes endure pounding on their bodies every game and vigorous weekly training yet they are still in the prime of their physical fitness.
There is no getting past the fact that our bodies age, however it has also been proven that those who keep fit and conditioned greatly reduce the physiologic effects of growing older. This does not mean that older athletes do not have their share of problems. What it does mean is that there is no reason to quit competing as long as care is taken to avoid the most common injuries in older athletes (usually tendinitis and muscle strain). Drug Free Supplements can also be a great boon to both endurance and performance.
When an injury occurs in an aging body, it can take much longer for full recovery to occur. Muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments begin to lose full functioning and are much more apt to suffer due to persistent wear and tear. Potassium, magnesium, trace minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants, like those found in Extreme Endurance, are all very beneficial for helping red blood cells function as they should. These key nutrients are also an important part of achieving quick and full recovery to over-stressed muscles and bones.
If you are past the age of 40 but still want to compete in any sport, take heart in the fact that it is very possible – and you just may find your performance is as good, if not better, as in your younger years. Just ask Brett Favre!
As any endurance athlete knows, competing in extreme heat is a whole different challenge. It changes the competitive platform, adding another component that stresses an already stressed body and its systems.
Many triathlon events, such as the Ironman challenges Timo Bracht and Heleen Bij de Vaate participate in annually, take place in Arizona and Hawaii. Lack of major storms and weather-related conditions make these the ideal places to hold sporting events yet even in the wintertime, Arizona and Hawaii can be quite hot. So how does the professional athlete cope?
First, being in optimal physical shape is important. Without built-up endurance, the body is unable to cope with the stress of extreme heat. Second, adequate hydration is vital. Excess perspiration results in the loss of fluids, minerals, and enzymes. Although high temperatures are not conducive to a good appetite, it is essential that the athlete replenish not only fluids, but the vitamins and minerals found in healthy foods eaten in small portions throughout the day.
Sports Supplements aid the body in quick recovery from heat stress, too. Extreme Endurance contains magnesium, potassium, antioxidants, trace minerals, and enzymes in amounts developed to increase the endurance and performance of the athlete, but these substances also help to keep the body functioning at its optimum in high temperatures.
If you are planning on competing in an event in a hot locale, build up to exercising in these conditions gradually. Try to recreate the heat levels in your workout room, being sure to keep yourself hydrated. Start taking supplements well in advance of the event so that your body is already performing at its fittest. Don’t forget to follow the same rules when swimming. Even though submersion in water cools the body, it is does not negate the need for nutrients and fluids.
Competing in the heat is an extreme challenge even for professional endurance athletes but with the proper preparation and constant maintenance, it need not result in injury.