Posted on Wed, Aug 14, 2013

overheating MISSION Enduracool


We are solidly into August now, and for many athletes, that means they are enduring long, hot practices in the brutual sun and heat.  If you are the parent of an athlete, you are likely looking for some information on how to help keep your kid safe as he or she heads into pre-season practices.

At MISSION we work with leading scientists, trainers and athletes to help athletes protect their bodies and perform their best.  Cooling is top of mind among our partners, as they continue to work to help keep you cooler, so you can go harder.  This year we have introduced our Enduracool Instant Cooling Helmet Liner and the Enduracool Instant Cooling Hoodie, developed for Football and other team sports to specifically address the sideline and in game needs of players who experience overheating.

But, cooling the skin is one of several important prevention practices to combat overheating.  So,while we have been talking about staying cool during the summer in several blog articles; today we wanted to specifially address athletes and ways to help them stay cool at practice.  To that end, we wanted to share information that was published by the Korey Stringer Institute and Gatorade www.ksi.uconn.edu in the 2013 Gatorade Heat Safety Kit.  

They have given 10 tips for staying cool.  Check them out below and let us know if you have any other recommendations that have helped you or your kid out in the past.

Good luck with pre-season and stay cool!

 1.  ALLOW FOR ACCLIMATION - While it can take 10-14 days for an athlete's body to adapt to the heat, acclimation should  start  two  weeks  before  team  practices  begin. An  athlete  should  start  with 15-20 minutes of  continuous  exercise  outside in the  heat, and add  5-10 minutes each day.

2.  ADOPT REHYDRATION STRATEGY - Hydration helps reduce an athlete's risk of heat illness and can help the athlete maintain a high level of performance. Proactive steps athletes can take to avoid dehydrat ion include:

•             Weigh in and out before and after activity

•             Drink enough fluid to minimize weight loss -for each pound [16 oz.) that is lost , he or she may need to consume 20 ounces after athletic activity to fully rehydrate.

•             Check urine. If ifs li e pale lemonade, thafs a sign of good hydration.

3.            DRINK UP - Athletes should drink enough fluid to prevent dehydration without ove r-drinking. Flavored, cold, lightly salted sports drinks (ie Gatorade) are important because sodium helps maintain the physiological desire to drink and helps retain the fluid consumed.

4.            BUDDY UP AND KNOW THE SIGNS - Encourage athletes to buddy up with a teammate and watch out for each other when ifs hot and humid. They should know the signs and symptoms of heat illness which can include:

•             Nausea

•             Headache

•             Weakness

•             Poor concentration

•             Personality change

•             Flushed skin

•             Loss of muscle coordination

•             Fatigue

•             Fainting              

•             Light headedness           

•             Vomiting


5.            COOL THE BODY - If experiencing heat illness, an athlete should take steps to cool the body , including lying in a cool place with legs elevated , applying cool towels  (ie Enduracool!) to the body and drinking cool fluids.

6.            BE FLEXIBLE -An important step in avoiding heat illness is adjusting practice or game length and intensity to the environmental conditions. If possible , athletes should avoid strenuous and high intensity activities during the warmest time of day [10 am- 4 ptn).

7.            DRESS FOR THE WEATHER -Keeping cool in hot weather means being mindful of appropriate clothing and equipment that can help evaporate heat from the body:

•             Wear light-colored clothing

•             Wear t-shirts and shorts, not pads

•             Remove helmets when not active

•             Avoid wearing excess clothing

•             Change sweat-s oaked clothing frequently

8.            FIND TIME FOR RECOVERY - Rest and recovery are an essential part of avoiding heat illness. Athletes should work in times for breaks when active throughout the day, attempt to get six to eight hours of sleep a night and sleep in a cool environment, if possible.

9. MAINTAIN A HEALTHY DIET - Athletes need to think about fueling before, during and after physical activity. He or she should be fully hydrated with fluids and fueled with foods that contain electrolytes to maintain fluid levels. Fluids lost through sweat and breathing should be replaced by fluid consumption including during workouts,  practices and games  [physical activity).

10. HAVE AN EMERGENCY PLAN - Have a plan to contact medical professionals in an emergency. Also keep a  "cool pool, or ice bath nearby  so  medical personnel can choose  to  immerse  athletes suffering fro m heat stroke  if  necessary.

How to Avoid the Major Mistakes of New Runners

Posted on Fri, Mar 01, 2013




You want to get yourself in better shape and feel amazing. You’ve heard about the health benefits of running, and so you want to give it a try. Or maybe you used to run and want to get back into it. Whatever your reasons, running can be a great past-time that helps you strengthen your muscles, help your bones, get your heart working optimally, and feel great!

As part of your motivation, you also signed up for a race – goals can be good after all. But there’s more to training than simply running the distance. But with this mindset, many new runners make mistakes that ruin their first race experience. With the tips below, you can avoid these first marathon mistakes: 

  • Inadequate training time: To run any distance, you need to be able to cover the distance. If you’re running in a half marathon or a longer distance, then typically, you would run most of the distance, such as 11 miles, comfortably during training. The problem arises when you don’t run enough longer distances times during your training. This can cause problems on the actual race day because your body isn’t expecting such a workout. Make sure you get enough longer training runs in before the race date so that your body isn’t left in a state of shock on the actual day.
  • Ignoring your body: An important part of training is recovery. Though it may sound like a contradiction, you need to run, and you need to rest. This lets your body recover from the wear and tear that running causes. Insufficient recovery time will simply tire you out, making any subsequent runs more difficult than they need to be, and making you cranky too. Therefore, intersperse slow, short running days and no-run days in between your longer runs.
  • Lack of proper nutrients and hydration: You don’t want to weigh yourself down with water bottles or food, but when running longer distances, your body needs fuel. You need water because you will be sweating, and you need food to replace the calories that you are burning. If you don’t get enough of both, you will feel sluggish and slow. During training, try out different foods and drinks to see what you enjoy eating, what your body can handle, and what you are comfortable to carry to avoid first marathon mistakes that many make.
  • Not having comfy clothing: You may have a favorite race shirt, but is it comfortable? Your shoes are worn – time to get a new pair? You want to be as comfortable as possible on race day, but to know that, you have to wear your clothes on enough training runs to find out. If you need new shoes, wear them on enough training runs to ensure you don’t get blisters. If your clothes tend to chafe you during longer runs, consider anti-chafing cream. It can minimize the friction caused by the clothes rubbing together, prevent blisters, and even bleeding, while moisturizing your skin.

Learning to train properly for a race is a matter of trial and error – you need to know what works for you and your body, and tweak the areas that don’t. By following the tips above, you can prevent or minimize many of the first marathon mistakes that others make so that your first race can be an exhilarating accomplishment. Good luck!




Five Effective Tips to Achieve Your Fitness Resolutions

Posted on Thu, Feb 14, 2013

Sarah Haskins, Fitness, Resolutions


Everyone has a goal this year; whether saving money, spending more quality time with family/friends, quit smoking/drinking, or getting out of debt.  When some of those New Year’s resolutions start to fade, we want to help you keep you focused on what’s important. Getting into shape is, and should always be a priority. 

If you are looking to stay focused on your resolution to lead a healthier lifestyle here are just a few fitness tips to help you keep while managing your busy schedule:  


Engage in fitness activities that will simply keep you moving. Getting in good shape doesn’t mean you have to commit to an intense workout routine. Movement can take place indoors, outdoors and at different paces. Sometimes we underestimate the importance of walking to help get you in shape or even in lowering potential diseases like diabetes and hypertension. People who share the good habit of walking for at least 10 to 15 minutes per day, despite their busy routines, see how beneficial it can be. Check out this article on the secret to losing weight:



This gives you the momentum to reach your goals. Resolution runs give you something specific to plan for and to remain committed to.

If you stay focused on achieving smaller goals first, those will eventually lead to larger resolutions throughout the year. Your commitment will also have an effect on building a larger social circle and setting a good example for your family.  Take a look at why people are signing up for resolution runs: http://www.active.com/running/Articles/Top-5-Reasons-to-Sign-Up-for-a-Resolution-Race.htm . You can find a race that meets your goals throughout the country by using the following link: http://running.competitor.com/race-calendar


A third important tip to tackle your fitness resolutions is to find a workout that accommodates your budget.

After spending so much money on holiday gifts and trips, the last thing people want is to add another expense to the year’s budget.  Luckily, there are options to save cash while taking advantage of free offers, gym discounts, and nutrition tips.   If you are willing to spend a bit more on a personal trainer, you will have the privacy and comfort in your home by controlling the temperature, the music, cleanliness, equipment and having no audience around. But you can save money by motivating a friend or colleague to split the costs. There is also a cheaper and fun way to workout from home with DVDs that include fitness videos like Zumba for a variety of levels and interests. Zumba fitness is centered around dance and aerobics, heavily inspired by Latin music. The following links contain valuable information on how you can make the most out of your Zumba workouts :   

Tips for Beginners: http://www.livestrong.com/article/259924-zumba-for-beginners/

100 Zumba Workouts Online for Free: http://www.squidoo.com/100-zumba-workouts

Follow the instructor’s steps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rvJQUD5XwY


Mission sat down with company partner and Olympic Triathlete Sarah Haskins during a training session last year, and talked to her about setting goals and living a healthy lifestyle. She recommends you to get out there, follow your passion, eat healthy, and protect your body. What motivates her is to focus on what needs to be done to achieve a specific goal. Check out at what she had to say below:

Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QhrBVgSUzY

Accomplishing goals : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEybsKNAjc0

Motivation to Achieve Goals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYbkdsWDWYY


You don’t need to “over-gear” with expensive items to make working out a little more enjoyable and less painful experience. Nevertheless, you need to be aware that one of the most important pieces of equipment to any kind of exercise is choosing the right shoe. If you decide that running is your thing, you are better off with a shoe that provides a firm heel, good support, and lightweight. Also make sure you are using a shirt made of wicking fabric, wicking socks, comfortable tights, and for women, a comfortable sports bra. Check this article for more tips on essential equipment for new runners: http://www.active.com/running/Articles/3-Gear-Essentials-for-Newbie-Runners. Products like anti-chafe are must-haves, especially in humid weather, and now you have the option to prevent chafing using silicone-based creams or sticks that stay in place longer than waxed-based anti-chafing products.

Mission Athletecare has developed an Anti-Chafe formula that outlasts the competition:  http://www.missionathletecare.com/collections/anti-chafe

Additionally, having a muscle rehab product in hand will help you get back out there quicker:  http://www.missionathletecare.com/products/max-muscle-rehab.           

So, get your Mission on, and keep those resolutions going all year round!


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Here We Go! Train Like a Pro, Part I

Posted on Tue, Jan 31, 2012

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As the editor of Mission's blog, I have the job of figuring out what comes next. Given that the Olympics are around the corner, we at Mission will be checking in with some of our athletes to talk training - a topic that many of you are interested in. Via Facebook and Twitter, you've shared news of your latest race, upcoming season, and personal fitness goals. In fact, more often than not, one of your comments leads me to a workout of my own later on in the day... But back to the Mission athletes. I figure their secrets will benefit us all. Before we jump in with their favorite workouts and tricks of the trade, I wanted to write a post about the preparation needed before one even begins training. Baby steps, if you will.

Before considering which race to sign up for this spring, I spent some time searching the web for sources that deal with the importance of training and came across a wide variety of opinions. The articles that I have included here offered some of the best advice, in part because they spoke to the fundamentals of training as an everyday endeavor for the everyday athlete.

In an article for xtri.com, Brad Stulberg breaks World Champion triathlete, Jordan Rapp's quote, "train as much as possible" into two parts. He writes:

"1) Train as much: More volume and more intensity is good, so long as...
2) As Possible: The body and mind are in a position to successfully adapt to the applied load."

His article, available here, made me reconsider the feet to the fire approach I initially thought was necessary to start training. The idea isn't to ambush your body. It is to first, be thoughtful, and second, act accordingly. As Stulberg writes, we, the training athletes, need to consider the rest of our lives - the amount of time we spend at work, the amount of time we sleep, the amount of time we would have to recover after working out - before we can commit to a training regimen. I completely agree.

Tip 1: Be realistic.

I found more valuable insight at the New York Times and Tara Parker-Pope's blog on health and wellness (one of my go-tos for insight re: fitness, health, food and the intersection of the three) where Nicole Kolata was writing about the limits of personal workouts.

Kolata sat down with University of Indiana's sports psychologist, John Raglin, to talk about a recent trend and the focus of his studies, overtraining. Raglin's advice to the everyday athlete is to take notice of your body. "You should feel tired... but if you do too much with too little rest, your performance gets worse, not better. Serious athletes recognize these issues — whether they respond to them or not is another matter. A lot of recreational athletes really have no idea.”

If you're not sure how to keep your workouts in perspective, Kolata suggests writing in a diary or taking notes on how you feel after training. The act of recording will help you stay atune to what your body may be telling you.

Rule 2: Take time to recover.
Rule 2.5: Take notes.

A little late to the race, I stumbled across ESPN anchor, Sage Steele's blog about preparing for her first half-marathon. (You can follow her on Twitter by searching #RUNSAGE.) In the latest entry, two trainers - both marathon runners and moms - Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea, give her some "sage advice," beginning with:

1. Don't think, just go. (For their other tips, read the rest of the article here.)

Perhaps more than anything, you and I, just have to start. Lace up the old Nikes and get out there. Reading these articles was step one. Onto step two and the actual running!

Stay tuned in the coming months as I'll be writing about our athletes as many of them gear up for the Olympics. I'll let you in on their training secrets and the Mission products they're using to keep them in prime condition. I welcome any of your suggestions as to what comes next. To stay in touch, visit our Connect page here.

Now, back to training!