Purposeful Running!

Finding a purpose to get out for a run or workout is often challenging more times than not. How do you find the motivation to start your workout? You can certainly create a habit whether it be healthy or not healthy, but if there's no underlying purpose, the habit will quickly dissolve. The feeling of burnout will come with anything that is challenging. Finding a purpose to do it can help sustain your motivation and passion.

The last several years people often ask me how or why I keep training and racing. The answer for me may not be a simple one, because when I ask myself this question, several answers came to mind. 

Here are my top TEN reasons to get out the door every day and try to find the comfort in the uncomfortable!

  1. Experiencing the reward of accomplishing the uncomfortable.
  2. Staying young and looking good for high school reunions.
  3. Putting my name on race entry.
  4. Pleasing the person waiting for me at the workout.
  5. Not having to buy new clothes since middle school.
  6. Having my kids think I'm stronger than they are.
  7. Getting to eat two turkey burgers, not 1.
  8. To run away from my phone.
  9. To test out workouts and eliminate client "feedback."
  10. Because my coach told me to.

Stay Hydrated!

The temperatures are rising so it's time to raise our hydration and nutrition game! Not only does hydration come from drinking, but also from eating healthy. In these higher temperatures and humidity levels, it is very important for us to eat right and take in additional antioxidants and electrolytes. Foods that are rich in antioxidants and electrolytes are also foods that carry extra water. In a sense, we can drink while we eat.

Electrolytes will allow our bodies to stay hydrated, operating correctly during these hot workouts. The fluid is stored and used in different areas of the body, while sodium is the electrolyte that will keep us in balance. Water tends to chase sodium, so if our levels drop, water will leave its designated area. This scary condition is called hyponatremia or "water intoxication" and can cause us to feel weak and be very dangerous in extreme cases. Let's everyone start eating those healthy fruits and vegetables and avoid burnout and injury. Here's a quick list of some of my favorites power foods:

  1. All Berries!
  2. Other fruits (bananas, plums, oranges, apricots, and grapes)
  3. Colorful Veggies (tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach, sweet potato)
  4. Whole Grains (quinoa, oats, rice)
  5. Nuts and Seeds (sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, chia seeds)
  6. Himalayan Salt and Seasoning!

The Benefits of Cinnamon!

Did you know that many spices have health benefits? Well it is great to know that one of our favorites is a power house! Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the bark of an Asian tree. It tastes great and is a good addition to recipes, coffee, and even desserts!

When choosing the right type of cinnamon, make sure to buy Ceylon cinnamon. Other inexpensive choices can be damaging to the liver in high dosages (Greater than 1/2 tsp per day). Ceylon cinnamon is the true champion of its kind. Here are some health benefits from adding this spice into your daily diet.

  • Rich with antioxidants which protects from free radicals
  • Fights inflammation throughout your body
  • Helps lower cholesterol and high blood pressure
  • Protects brain function helping to prevent Parkinson's and Alzheimer's
  • Fights diabetes by slowing the amount of glucose released into the blood.
  • Fights infection and viruses
  • Benefits skin health
  • Helps fight allergies

These are just some of the benefits of cinnamon as the list goes on. I personally use Ceylon cinnamon in recipes at home for the sweetness, without having to add sugar. I also use it in the TRiYON ENDURE Performance Nutrition Bites that I am producing for athletes. So enjoy your cinnamon today and know that you are eating something that is good for you!

Running Hill Repeats

Running hill repeats is a tough, challenging workout physically and mentally. I have to say it's one of the hardest workouts to face head-on in a training program. However, running hill repeats is, by far, the best fitness booster for runners. It is also the perfect cross-training for cyclists.

Our goal as runners, cyclists, and triathletes is to cover the pavement as quickly and efficiently as possible. As your body becomes fitter, it will move you over the asphalt farther with each stride and farther with each pedal stroke. Running fast on an uphill grade puts a greater stress on the glutes, hamstrings, calves, and core. This increased resistance is adding strength work to your run workout. By changing the angle of the road and allowing gravity to take its effect, you are stressing the total body and asking the heart to pump more blood per beat. I love the feeling of running hills because it has an even effect on the muscular and cardiovascular systems.

In training, we do not make big changes in our run turnover or pedal cadence, but we do in our ability to go farther per stride or pedal stroke. Hill repeats will produce strength in your run push-off and power in your cycling pedal stroke. The goal is more distance per stride and bigger gears, all at the same turnover or cadence... Getting fitter as an athlete is simply going farther at the same effort level in the same amount of time.

My coaching goal is to make you stronger, fitter, and faster. Grow stronger to be fitter, and fitter to be faster. Your efforts will not change, just the distance you cover.

Building Food for Endurance!

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The last few months I have been experimenting with a new endurance food product. With the onset of energy and recovery bars, it is very challenging to find a product that is best suited for fueling performance. Your goal in a bar should be one that provides sustained energy and a continuing recovery from training and daily activities. Common questions people ask are: 

• How many carbs should I take in? 

• How much protein does my body need? 

• How much fat should I eat?

All these questions need to be answered correctly if you want to grow stronger, recover faster, and become healthier. After 30 years of training and racing, the answer for me has been to maintain a diet that is, what I call, 50-25-25 nutrition. A diet that is lower in carbohydrates at 50%, rich in protein at 25%, and rich in healthy fats at 25%. Through this macro breakdown you can teach your body to be an endurance, fat burning machine and experience lean muscle gains while losing unwanted body fat. 

My mission is to provide you a healthy “on the go” snack that will steadily fuel your workouts and help you recover throughout the day. It’s an hourly boost before, during, and after workouts and is the perfect energy boost between meals. 

The Benefits: 

• Helps you maintain high levels of mental clarity and focus. 

• Provides preventive ingredients which fight inflammation and disease. 

• Improves endurance and teaches your body to use fat for fuel. 

• Speeds recovery by optimizing ongoing muscle restoration. 

Look forward to your feedback!

Five Tips for Fast Recovery

If you’re going to train hard then you need to recover hard! Here are my favorite 5 things to do to ensure a fast recovery after intense training workouts and races.

  1. Re-hydrate with water after a workout. You will soon add nutrition to your belly but first drink a tall glass of H2O. This will adsorb quickly into your blood stream and keep metabolism cranking and toxins moving!
  2. Eat a light snack within 30 minutes after your race or workout. Don't miss this window! Your body is like a sponge during the first 30 minutes. I prefer a snack that contains 10-15 grams of protein and 20-30 grams of carbohydrates.
  3. Stretch lightly and then add 3-5 minutes of core work. Your core is essential to keep everything glued together when tired. Your body is a bit broken down and by increasing your core strength, we can make sure to stay injury free.
  4. Eat a second time 1-2 hours post workout or race. Start with colorful fruit and vegetables rich in vitamins, nutrients, and carbohydrates. Include a palm size portion of lean protein and finish off with a handful of nuts and seeds for healthy fat.
  5. Finally, include active recovery in the 1-2 day(s) after. Easy efforts at conversation pace for at least 36-48 hours. If you raced then a good rule of thumb for runners is to take 1 day easy for every mile raced. After a 1/2 marathon this would mean 2 weeks of active recovery! A marathon then a month easy!!

Why should I incorporate speedwork into my weekly runs?

If you are like most people who run for exercise, then you likely run the same, comfortable pace for every run. But if you'd like to see some improvements, you will have to experience a little discomfort. To increase your speed and strength you have to add extra "stress" on your muscular and cardiovascular systems. Introducing speedwork once a week is a great way to become a stronger, fitter, and faster runner. It is going to take you out of your physical and mental comfort zones. The good news is, however, that you'll begin to run faster, look stronger, and feel better.

You're going to start burning more body fat and gaining lean muscle tissue while you rest and recover. It's like a shot of caffeine for your metabolism! With proper nutrition, your muscular system will recover and grow stronger from the extra stress you put on your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Your running pace will soon become faster at the same effort level as before you added speedwork. Your cardiovascular system will also recover and grow stronger from the greater demand put on your lungs. Your heart muscle will become larger and more efficient at pumping oxygen and vital nutrients through your blood. All good news for optimal health, wellness and for fighting disease! 

So if you currently run all your weekly miles in an aerobic "comfortable" state, you can benefit greatly from adding 10-15% of your weekly total mileage in speedwork. Introducing anaerobic "uncomfortable" running is best accomplished with a running partner or group. Somehow challenging runs or even challenging life situations are made easier with the support of others. Join TRiYON for a workout anytime and experience some hard work followed by the joy of accomplishment. See you soon!

Protein for Performance

Protein is a highly marketed nutrient with a bombardment of nutritional information available for athletes today. After all, it is the building block for making your body stronger and healthier. Protein repairs and grows muscle tissue after participating in any type of training activity that breaks down muscle tissue. When you are training hard toward your goals, you must pay special attention to protein for recovery. I'm often asked, "what kind of protein do I eat and how much?" If you read online, you will likely get ten different opinions from ten different articles. From my experience, here are a couple tips to keep your recovery quick, efficient, and complete.

  • I recommend eating protein from a variety of sources. Protein comes from many different sources with varying health benefits and absorption rates. Protein variety is always best! Lean meats, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds are some of my favorites. If you are choosing a protein powder, simply choose a product that contains the fewest "extra" ingredients. Less is more in protein powders. My favorite protein source is the egg. The protein from egg whites have a medium digestion rate and provide essential amino acids that your body cannot produce.
  • The amount of protein needed by an individual is debatable. In my opinion the range of 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight is ideal. I do emphasize to try and avoid dipping below the 1 gram/lb of body weight. Typically, I see athletes' diets lacking an average of 50-75 grams of protein per day. The most common mistake is they are substituting 50-75 extra grams of carbohydrates to compensate for the calorie deficit. Simply make a conscious effort to replace 200-300 calories of your daily carbohydrates with 200-300 calories of protein. You will notice a difference immediately with recovery and lean muscle gains. It's a great way to trim excess body fat and compete stronger and faster! Spread your protein intake evenly throughout the day for best results because your body can absorb and utilize protein in smaller increments more efficiently. Take in 20-30 grams every few hours for optimal effectiveness!