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!

TRIYON Fartlek on the Treadmill

Run an easy 12-15 minutes on incline 2. At the end of the warm up add 3-4 15 second pickups to increase your heart rate and to get more blood flow to the working muscles. Run easy :45 between each pickup. Stop for some light stretching and get ready for the workout!

Main Set: Run all pace efforts at a 5k race pace effort. Complete the 1st set on incline 3. Follow up with a second set on incline 2 at the same effort. Complete a final set done on incline 1. Your pace should increase each set as your incline decreases.

  • Run 2:00 at pace, 1:00 easy run recovery
  • Run 1:40 at pace, 1:00 recovery
  • Run 1:20 at pace, 1:00 recovery
  • Run 1:00 at pace, 1:00 recovery
  • Run :40 at pace, 1:00 recovery
  • Run :20 at pace, 1:00 recovery

Take an additional 1:00-2:00 recovery before beginning next set. Always maintain good posture and do not exceed 5k effort. Maintain a foot plant underneath your body and practice good hip extension and finish kick!

1/2 - 1 mile easy cool down!

Run Hills For Speed

Hill workouts are one of the best ways to build run strength and speed for any race distance race. When we use gravity to increase the challenge of a run workout, we improve the efficiency of our run stride and eliminate wasted energy from poor form. Benefits of running hills are:

  • Improved run strength and endurance.
  • Less injury and faster recovery by reducing the force of impact.
  • Increased power in the pushoff, which increases your stride length without the dangers of over striding.

These are just 3 of the many benefits of running hills at a fast effort. If you are new to running hills, start by incorporating five 60 second 10k efforts up a moderate hill. Recover down the hill with short easy strides before starting the next repeat. Make sure to maintain a run cadence of 180 steps / minute for best results!  Hope to see you at Freedom Park tomorrow for hill repeats!

Fighting Injury with TRIYON!

For most triathletes and runners, injury is inevitable. Battling back from injury is both physically and mentally challenging . Always remember that the road to recovery is shortened by eliminating the specific movements that cause your pain or discomfort. Training through the pain of an injury is very risky and can lengthen your recovery period. Patience is a virtue but we can be proactive! Pain free movement is good and will increase blood flow to the healing injury. Find a cross training activity that causes no pain and then complete the TRIYON workout listed below.  You will get back into action quickly and have added strength when you're healed. Allow a day of rest between attempts. Eliminate any exercise that causes pain initially. Once you can complete the entire set without pain you are on your way!  TRIYON athletes always learn from their mistakes and come back stronger!

TY Workout

Carry 20% of your body weight in 2 dumbbells

  • 24 Walking Lunges
  • 24 Bench Step ups
  • 24 Deep Squat Thrusters
  • 24 Single leg bench lunges (12 each leg)
  • 1:00 Wall Sit with weights in lap
  • 24 Good Mornings
  • 24 Single Leg Dead Lifts (12 each leg)
  • Drop weights
  • 12-24 Pushups (pause 3 secs at top of pushup)
  • 12-24 Tricep bench dips (pause 3 secs at top)
  • 24 Single leg pelvic bridges (12 each leg)