One of the regular weapons in my pro-fitness/recovery armory is a CVAC (Cyclic Variations in Adaptive Conditioning) pod which I try and use at least once or twice a week.

Basically it works by me sitting in an enclosed CVAC pod which acts like an altitude simulator. While I’m sitting there the system simulates drastic changes in altitude. Working without chemicals or nitrogen/oxygen separators to manipulate the concentration of oxygen, the system works within the natural/breathable atmosphere to produce benefits like those you can get from conventional aerobic and anaerobic exercise.

Personally I feel there are a couple of big benefits for an athlete like myself who not only pushes her body to the edge almost every day in training, but has to also contend with unpredictable repercussions as a result of my ongoing Lyme’s Disease and other digestive problems.

The first benefit is that I feel it’s great for lymphatic drainage and toxin removal often associated with my Lyme’s Disease. Second, from an athlete’s perspective, it seems to really help with recovery for my battered body when I’m putting myself through hard training days back-to-back (which seems to be all days!). Last and definitely not least, when I’ve used the CVAC I feel stronger during subsequent high intensity sessions, like my athletic engine is bigger as a result.

The bottom line is that I see my use of a CVAC pod as another valuable weapon in my ongoing battle to maintain fitness and recover quickly in the face of relentless hard training days, coupled with any fallout from my well-publicized battle with Lyme’s Disease.

As I come back in to competition, the most common question I get from people is “Have you got rid of your Lyme’s Disease?”

Well, in truth, it’s not really something you ever get rid of, you just learn to understand your body, build up your immunity and manage the symptoms. After working with Doctor Minkoff in Florida this past November, I came to appreciate the benefits of Ozone Therapy. Again, there seems to be no consensus in the medical community about how to treat Lyme’s Disease but I certainly wanted to stick with the more natural and alternative approach rather than pump my body full with antibiotics.

Ozone is said to have anti-bacterial properties and can impact the body at a cellular level in many ways. My goal is to fight the bacterial infection of Lyme’s, control the toxicity in my body and increase my cellular health so that I can fight the disease myself!

So, if I wasn’t crazy enough with all the 4am starts, weird and wonderful eating habits, hanging upside down on an inversion table, lying on electro-magnetic mats, I now have my very own ozone sauna by Longevity Resources!

My life is so crazy, I need simple things to add in to my regime as an athlete looking for excellence and top notch health. I jump in my little ozone sauna pod, put the TV in front of me and sweat it out for 30 minutes 2-3 times per week after training! The ozone is pumped in to the sauna so that it enters through your open skin pores and thus penetrates the body.

I know my neighbors must think I’m mad but at the end of the day, marginal gains are where it’s at when looking to excel in life!ozone sauna March 14


One of a number of crucial weapons in my ongoing daily “body maintenance” armory is pulsed electromagnetic frequency therapy (PEMF). PEMF works by delivering a penetrating energy into the body in the form of pulsating magnetic frequencies which work with cellular metabolism to provide healing benefits.
Some of the benefits I’ve personally noticed are that it speeds recovery from tough workouts, helps reduce the pain of sore muscles, strengthens the immune system, improves blood circulation, and expedites the removal of toxins and increased tissue oxygenation.
I use the TruePulse A2000 PEMF system from Pulsed Harmonix. But with my insane schedule, I rarely find time to just sit down and use it on its own. So I have to get the benefits of PEMF while I’m doing other things as well.
Two of my favorite places to use the TruePulse A2000 are while I’m driving in the car with me sitting on the attached mat which is plugged in to the cigarette lighter via the company’s special inverter device, and lying on the mat in bed, asleep! I lie on the mat and have it switched on for 30 minutes when I go to bed at night. I seem to wake up revitalized and refreshed.
I use PEMF as part of my daily regimen of body maintenance tools, which as anyone who reads my blogs knows, includes ozone saunas and laser treatment. It seems to work, which is reason enough for me to continue using it in my ongoing war against injury and towards better general health!

Body maintenance is as important a part of triathlon training as a focused, well thought-out training schedule tailored for your personal abilities and athletic goals.

With my day-in, day-out regimen of seven hour training days it’s no wonder everything in my body, especially my muscles, tightens up and often becomes rock hard. For someone like me who trains hard every single day, leaving them in that condition is not an option. Because eventually it would lead to an injury.

And just like with training, where I know the pain of a current session will pay dividends with fitness in the longer term, so the immediacy of a pain-inducing post-training massage will lead to loosened-off muscles and less body pain later in the day.

But the massaged muscles themselves often end up sore as a result of the personal attention. So I frequently use a combination of post training treatments, such as a massage followed by a soothing deep tissue LiteCure Class IV laser. The deep heat from the laser not only soothes my battered muscles but helps with the rehabilitation process by improving blood circulation and accelerating the body’s own natural healing process.

So the next time you put in a long and punishing training day, think about treating yourself to a one-two rehab punch of a massage followed by a deep tissue laser, like I do!

Is it natural talent or hard work that makes a top pro triathlete? The age-old question as to what makes a champion never goes away and will likely never be fully resolved.

To be the “best of the best” in triathlon you certainly need a healthy dose of good athletic genes. If you haven’t picked up some great genes from someone in your family tree then no amount of training is going to win you a world champion top spot. Equally though, no amount of genes are going to make you a champion unless you’re prepared to add a daily dose of relentlessly hard training to the mix.

Sure, fine-tuned athletic technique can also carry you a long way, especially in swimming, and without it don’t even bother lining up at the start with realistic expectations of victory, but technique isn’t an end in itself. Far from it.

The gap between good triathlete and champion is a chasm as wide as the Grand Canyon. Most good triathletes don’t know how to push themselves in training – physically and mentally – to separate themselves from the also-ran pack. You would think that would change when a successful triathlete moves from being a good age grouper up into the pro ranks, but more often than not it doesn’t.

The harsh reality of trying to be a “best of the best” triathlete is that it takes great technique learnt from long hours under coaching instruction, a massive dose of superior athletic genes, and an every-day regimen of relentlessly hard, hard work in training.

There’s no denying that taking a sauna makes you feel good. But in the never-ending battle to contain, and hopefully overcome, athletic injury and illness, and help muscles damaged by a hard training day, a well-used weapon in my armory is my own even more specialized Clearlight infrared sauna. Long story short, from my perspective, it utilizes far infrared heat to improve my immune system, remove toxins, and relieve my endless muscle pains.

You sweat in a sauna. Of course you do. But not many people realize that when you sweat in an infrared sauna you get rid of built up toxins and toxic metals by increasing the blood circulation. The immune system also benefits from the increase in core body temperature, essentially inducing an artificial fever, which in turn accelerates the immune response. Overall health improves as a result.

My Clearlight infrared sauna also helps relieve muscle pain by increasing blood circulation, which both takes away waste and brings oxygen-rich blood to my tired muscles, which helps them recover. And I can’t tell you how much the warmth from my sauna helps my muscles relax.

In short, my Clearlight sauna works by utilizing the same far infrared heat produced by the sun in speeding up blood circulation and oxygen flow to my tired and damaged muscles, while at the same time removing toxins and cell impurities. That is something I definitely need after my usual hard eight-hour training day.

Rehab and treatment for injury march to the beat of their own drum. And sometimes, especially with athletic injuries, everything is far from being simply black and white. To make matters even more complex, often what seems to work best for one athlete, doesn’t work well at all for the next. One thing is sure though, mainstream medicine definitely doesn’t have all the answers.

Sometimes you have to encompass medical techniques and technologies that are not mainstream. For example, 30 years ago acupuncture, although a staple diet in the Far East for thousands of years, was barely on the radar in the West. Now though it is often seen as borderline mainstream in Western medicine.

In my painfully extensive rehab experience, one technology that keeps coming up is the use of ozone, which is an oxidizer. Apart from purifying water, ozone can also be used to destroy parasites and bacteria – two things that I’m unwittingly through personal experience becoming an expert on! Ozone is produced by a special medical-specific ozone generator. Not all ozone generators are created equal. And from a medical perspective, the ozone generated must be free from contaminants and can’t come into contact with metal, rubber, plastic or ceramics before use.

Why is the use of ozone relevant to me and my treatment? Because, in part, ozone makes my immune system work better, increases the delivery of oxygen to tissues and cells, and can kill bacteria on contact. I’m at the beginning of my ozone journey in using it to help treat my many maladies such as Lyme’s Disease and dangerous bacteria. The ozone generator I’m using comes from Longevity Resources ( I’ll provide an update with some thoughts in a few months after I’ve used it.

Les LiteCure August 11Life for a pro triathlete, or any serious triathlete for that matter, is generally one long series of battling tweaks, strains, muscle pulls, knocks and bruises. I know that first-hand as much as anyone! But I’ve found that, whenever possible when combating such incessant damage to your body, it’s best to be proactive rather than reactive. Ongoing body maintenance, as part of your everyday training regimen, is preferable to days and sometimes weeks in rehab if you don’t do it. As a result, I’m always looking for medical aids, tools and equipment that can help me in my ongoing battle to maintain fitness.

One of the best tools I’ve ever used is a LiteCure Class IV deep tissue laser. Pro sports teams use them for their athletes, no matter what the sport – from baseball to football, athletics to triathlon. The LiteCure laser is meant to speed up your own body’s natural healing process through something called “photo-bio-stimulation.” All I know is that I use it all the time! I often use it before a workout on problem areas, as well as after a workout in combination with a massage. Sometimes the feeling of relief from aches and pains is immediate! So the next time you’re looking for help in combating those damned tweaks and strains, think about having a LiteCure laser session!

The more I race, train and coach triathlon the more I realize it’s all about attitude. We’re talking about the “Get off your ass and get on with it” attitude. If you don’t have it, you need to find it.

There are always dozens of reasons why you shouldn’t get up at the ass-crack of dawn and get out and train, and usually only a few why you should. But part of your job as a triathlete is to focus on the positive, to embrace the few good reasons to participate, and to ignore the negative and the nay-sayers.

Don’t over-think it. Don’t blame equipment or scheduling. Make the time. Nothing worth having is easy. Focus on the positive and push everything else to the side.

Triathletes are doers, not watchers. With so much training necessary to excel in three different disciplines, triathletes don’t have the luxury or the time to pick and choose.

So stop over-thinking and adopt your own “Get off your Ass and do it” attitude.

Regular blogs and monthly Paterson Press newsletter are now the name of the game!

The new April Paterson Press newsletter is available! Among other things it features an “athlete of the month” and background on two of my sponsors – LiteCure LLC and CycleOps Power And it’s free! If you want a copy contact amanda@braveheartcoach.comBraveheart Coaching logo