Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Crossfit Experiment

There's a huge element missing in the world of triathletes:  strength training.  We all KNOW we should do it, but it seems to get pushed to the back burner in favor of longer bike rides, mammoth training runs and hours and hours in the pool.

Which is why I'm crowning 2012 The Year Of Strength.   I've piddled around in the gym here and there for....well, forever.  I've done personal training and body pump classes.  But I've never put strength training as a priority.  January 1st I'm going to change all that with Crossfit Endurance.

This is an experiment for myself.  I know I can run 26.2 after riding my bike for 112 and swimming 2.4.  I've done it four times.  But not being able to do a decent push up?  There's something wrong with this picture.

So I'll be documenting my six-month journey here on ye ole' blog.  I'm going to try and take my longer-is-better training strategy and do a 180, focusing on shorter, more intense training sessions.  I met with Crossfit trainer Dave Eaton yesterday for my fitness evaluation -- and let me tell you, I can barely walk today. 

With no Ironmans scheduled this next year, it's a perfect time to give this new philosophy a whirl.  Escape From Alcatraz is in six months.  Let's see if Crossfit Endurance will turn me into a better, stronger athlete.  Bring it on 2012!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Biggest Loser To Run Phoenix Marathon

Do you..
want to run...
with this guy?  
I do!  
Introducing John Rhode, the latest winner of 
 
NBC's The Biggest Loser.  

Rhode began his journey on the Biggest Loser Ranch at a whopping 445 pounds.  A coach and high school teacher from Mesa, Arizona, Rhode beat out the top three contestants at his final weigh-in of 220 pounds.  That's 225 pounds of weight loss, folks.  

Along with his new found physique is a healthier, more active lifestyle.  That includes RUNNING!  John has committed to race the Phoenix (half) Marathon on March 3, 2012.  We are excited that he is joining our growing list of competitors.  

So become a loser, who is really a winner, and sign up today.  Thephoenixmarathon.com is the website.  This inaugural race is an event for the record books -- downhill, cool temps and a super fast PR course.  And, the chance to run from the paparazzi, who will most surely be out to check on the new celebrity runner.   

See you at the race!



Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Swap Outs

In these weeks of perhaps less training hours and more calorie intake, food choices can make or break the triathlon or marathon plan.  A 2007 Runner's World article had some smart "swap outs" in the food department.  After all, it is a lot easier to skip the 25-calorie Hershey's kisses than it is to run them off (a quarter mile).  Or is it... you decide.

Here are a few of my favorite suggestions:


Choose olive-oil based dressing instead of cream dressing.  Top your salad with an olive-oil dressing and save about 90 calories per two tablespoons over creamy blue cheese or ranch.   A reduced-fat olive-oil dressing saves a whopping 120 calories per serving.

Choose Kefir over yogurt.  Yogurt is a great source of calcium but often comes with lots of sugar and without healthy live bacteria.  Try Kefir, a low-fat liquid yogurt with extra live cultures to boost immunity. 

Choose natural peanut butter instead of standard peanut butter.  When you pair natural peanut butter with a real fruit spread that lists fruit as the first ingredient, you eliminate added sugar, corn syrup, sucrose, and high-fructose corn syrup from your diet.


Choose whole-grain past instead of refined pasta.  Fresh whole-grain past contains more health-boosting anti-oxidants and fiber (to fill you up) than refined versions. 

Choose ground turkey over ground beef. Cut 10 to 20 grams of fat per three-ounce serving by substituting ground turkey for ground beef. 

Choose baby romaine and spinach over iceberg lettuce.  Iceberg lettuce offers little nutrition, while young romaine and spinach leaves are rich in carotene and other phytochemicals.

Choose snow peas, peppers, radishes over carrots and celery.  Carrots and celery are a good start, but add peppers for vitamin C, snow peas for the electrolyte potassium, and radishes, which contain compounds that protect muscles.  

Choose low-carb tortillas for white-flour tortillas.  White-flour tortillas pack 150 calories and zero fiber.  Low-carb versions offer eight grams of fiber for just 90 calories.   


Choose pomegranate or cranberry juice and club soda over sugary fruit drinks.  Try club soda mixed 1:1 with 100-percent fruit juice like pomegranate or cranberry - both of which are loaded with the powerful cancer fighter anthocyanidins - to save 50 calories per serving over a sugary fruit drink.  

Choose Omega-3 eggs instead of standard eggs.  The Omega-3 fats in these enhanced eggs boost immunity, protect against Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, and cancer, and may lesson symptoms of depression. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Best Kept Secret, Times Two

I KNOW it sounds crazy to swim outside in the morning in the winter.  Baby, it's cold out there, even in Arizona!  Wearing a quarter yard of Lycra fabric when the temp reads 38 degrees just doesn't seem right. 

Here's the best kept secret in the triathlon world:  morning swims are the greatest when it's cold outside.  As the pool tarps roll back and the steam rises up off the water that's been heated and reheated all night long, there's not a much more comfortable place to be. Cycling and running can chill you to the bone on a cold winter's morn -- frozen fingers and drippy noses -- you know what I'm talking about.  Swimming however, is the womb-like sanctuary for all climate types.  You can swim while it's snowing, you can swim when it's windy -- if the water temperature is sufficiently heated, you're good to go!

And here's another swimming secret you should know about:  the swimmer's snorkel.   The swimmer's snorkel was designed for competitive swimmers to specifically train better form and larger lung capacity. 

According to Finis: The Swimmer's Snorkel allows swimmers the ability to focus on stroke technique without the interruption of turning your head to breath. Allowing for a full range of motion this tool can be used for all strokes. Relax in the water and maintain body alignment to improve stroke efficiency. 

There's a bit of a learning curve to this apparatus.  You'll need to start out slow and remember not to turn to the side and breathe.  But the steady focus you get while using it allows complete concentration on body position, arm rotation and kick efficiency.  The coaches at Mesa Aquatics Club call it the single most effective piece of equipment a swimmer can own.  And for less than $40 retail, that's a pretty great deal. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Calgon, Take Me Away

Take heed all you candy cane lovers, there's more to peppermint than just Christmas treats and breath mints.

Recently I was introduced to peppermint oil.  My first encounter was at yoga, where the instructor lightly misted her students with peppermint water while we were in savasanah.  It was delightful and added a nice fresh mist to the stinky yoga participants.  I had such a complete love for this spray that I had to know more -- why was that mist so refreshing and why did my body seem to crave it?

Lucky I have a friend in the biz.  And she happens to be family.  Joni Lang is a cousin and also a rep for doTerra Essential Oils.  Joni and I had a little sit down and I ordered a few oils of my own just to keep them handy around mi casa.

So last night, feeling all achy and tired, I tapped a few drops of peppermint oil into my hot bath.  And, oh-me-oh-mi, my bathtub instantly transformed into a luxurious stay-cation in the fountain of perfection.  The oils soothed my aching joints and the aroma opened my airways and filled my lungs with heavenly goodness. 

I don't know too much about essential oils.  But I do think they have healing properties and health benefits.  I'm looking into them.  (I've heard lavender oil rubbed onto the feet is a peaceful sleep remedy.)

Stay tuned.  I've still got lemon to try.  And if you don't want to wait around for me, contact Joni for all your doTerra Essential Oil questions and advice. 

And if you DO know more about all these magical elixirs, leave a comment and school me.  I would love to know more.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"I AM a Runner"

Sacha joined Gorilla Multisport just three months ago.  She ran her first 10k this Thanksgiving.  And she will be running her first half marathon in January at the PF Chang's race.  I was so proud when she crossed the finish line at the Turkey Trot.  This is what makes coaching so worthwhile.  
 
This was the first year I have participated in the Turkey Trot. I would have probably considered it in the past as an event I would participate in with friends and family but would most likely have walked most of the way. This time I ran, because I could, which made it much more fun. 

I asked a friend of mine, Kristi, to join me and she did. We had a great time struggling to find a bathroom to use before the race... NOT!  The lines were incredibly long and so as most others were doing, we found a bush and went.  

During the race, the crowds all seemed to stay together so it was pretty hard to pass at times, but we figured it out. I made it in under one hour and four minutes which is so far the fastest I have ran. I could not have imagined running the entire six miles before.  If  you would have asked me a year ago if I could do it... my response would have been "No, I am not a runner."  

But what exactly makes a runner? If you ask me it takes dedication and commitment, for me almost to the point of obsession.  You are a runner if you are willing to, and want to, run rain or shine, hot or cold, tired or not, pain or not -- no excuses .  I have been running since the middle of September without any excuses stopping me. I have taken a vacation and ran.  I have worked over 40 hrs during the week and ran.  I have been sick and ran and I have ran during the busy holidays. 

If I can do it, anyone can!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Spicing Up The Treadmill Run

It's inevitable that as the weather gets colder, the treadmill seems a little more friendly.  But if you can't stand the sight of that big machine of pain, try these simple workouts, courtesy of David Schipper of Men's Health magazine. 

You may not know it, but every treadmill comes factory equipped with a "faster results" button. Push it and you'll burn more fat, build stronger legs, and boost your fitness level to an all-time high—without adding a second to your workout. There's just one problem: This magical interface is labeled "incline" on the control panel. And that means hardly anyone touches it.

It's easy to understand why: Running on a grade is harder, even though your pace is slower than on a flat surface. But that extra effort is the driving force of a more efficient workout. Researchers at the University of Georgia found that uphill running activates 9 percent more muscle each stride compared with exercising at the same relative intensity on level ground. And if you're not dialing up the incline, you're practically running downhill: English scientists determined that a 1 percent treadmill elevation is needed just to replicate the energy requirements of running on an outdoor track.

Of course, that hill up the road can accomplish the same thing. Feel free to attack it—just follow our advice. Hills deliver an exhilarating workout and great results for racers, from a PR in your weekend 5K to Meb Keflezighi's silver medal in the Athens Olympic Marathon, which came after he added extra hill work to his training. Either way, moving your workout to higher ground yields greater dividends from the same time investment.

Because you can control the degree of incline, treadmills provide an added benefit beyond protection from the elements. "Exercising on a machine allows you to structure hill work that is very specific to your goals and level of fitness," says Rick Morris, author of Treadmill Training for Runners. Ramp up your workout and tap the full potential of your treadmill with our guide to indoor hill training—it's as easy as pushing a button.  

The Workouts
Choose the workout that best fits your goals, or rotate workouts. Varying your approach each session is a great way to reap the benefits of each type of training while banishing boredom. Before each workout, warm up for 5 to 10 minutes by walking or jogging at an easy pace.  

The Gut Buster Your goal: Fat loss
Carrying extra pounds makes running harder and increases your risk of overuse injuries, particularly to the knees. But a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that an uphill grade of just 3 degrees reduces leg shock by 24 percent. That's why this workout from Men's Health contributing editor Michael Mejia, C.S.C.S., intensifies by incline, not speed. "It not only eases the stress on your knees, but also increases the involvement of your hips and hamstrings, which quickly elevates heart rate and calorie burn," says Mejia. Warm up, then increase the belt speed to 4 mph for 3 minutes. That's enough for a fast walk. (Most people don't need to break into a run on a flat surface until at least 4.5 mph.) Maintain that speed for the duration of the workout and simply adjust the incline according to the chart below. You'll notice that the session grows more difficult as you pro-gress, so be prepared to push harder as you go. If it's too hard: Lower the grade to 0 percent for each 2-minute segment, while keeping the 1-minute intervals as shown in the chart.
Time Grade
1 min 2%
2 min 0%
1 min 4%
2 min 2%
1 min 6%
2 min 4%
1 min 8%
2 min 6

If it's too easy:
Set your speed to 4.5 mph for the duration, or simply continue the wavelike progression as long as possible. (So your next step would be a 10 percent grade for 1 minute, followed by an 8 percent grade for 2 minutes.)

The Champion Builder
Your goal: Maximum endurance
Swedish researchers found that marathoners who ran hills for 12 weeks improved their running economy by 3 percent. This translates to a 2-minute reduction in your 10-mile time and 6 minutes off a marathon— without exerting any more effort in the race. To put that in perspective, consider that 6 minutes was the difference between a medal and 26th place in the 2004 Olympic Marathon. For you, it might mean breaking 4 hours in your first marathon or setting a personal best in your next 10K.
"This workout features steep, gradual, and rolling hills, bringing all the aspects of hill training into one session," says Morris. You'll be able to recover energy on the short hills in order to charge the long climbs. Set the treadmill to a speed that's about 90 seconds slower than your normal mile pace. So if you usually run 8-minute miles (7.5 mph), set the treadmill to 6.3 mph, the speed equivalent of a 9-minute mile. Then change the incline of the treadmill at the indicated mile marker.
Mile marker Elevation
0 to 1 1%
1 to 2 2%
2 to 2.5 5%
2.5 to 3 2%
3 to 3.5 8%
3.5 to 4 2%
4 to 4.5 5%
4.5 to 5 2%

If it's too hard:
Stop when you've had enough, and progress by trying to run 10 seconds longer in your next workout.
If it's too easy: Repeat as many segments as you can, starting at the first mile marker.

The Mountain Challenge
Your goal: Sports conditioning
Over the years, professional athletes have used hill training to prepare. And no venue is better known than "the Hill"—a steep 5-mile trail in San Carlos, California's Edgewood Park. It was the site of the legendary off-season training program of former San Francisco 49er and Oakland Raider Jerry Rice for more than 20 years. The rigors of the perpetual ascent simultaneously improve physical conditioning and mental toughness, the X factor of athletic performance.  Use this mountain workout from Morris and you can train there, too—even if you live in Wichita.

After your warmup, raise the treadmill grade to 5 to 8 percent (lower for beginners, higher if you're a seasoned vet). Then set the speed to a pace that's about 3 minutes slower than your best mile time.
So if you can run a mile in seven minutes (8.5 mph), you'll set the speed to the equivalent of a 10-minute mile pace, which is 6 mph. Run at that speed and grade for as long as you can maintain conversation in short spurts (three or four words at time). Once you're breathing too hard to talk, shut it down and record your distance.
You should strive to run a little farther—even if it's just 1/10 of a mile—each time you repeat the workout. One to two miles is good for starters; make it to 5 and you're ready for the hall of fame.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Keeping Up The Motivation

Brrr.... it's getting mighty cold out there.  And if you're anything like me, the motivation to get up and out for a run in the dark, frigid temperatures wanes in favor of the toasty warm comforter and soft sheets that hug your body in your bed. 

What gets you up and out in the morning?  I'd love to know.

As for me, I really enjoy visual motivation.  And the Runner's World calendar helps keep me excited about running, even as the weather does not.


The RW Calendar is an optional purchase to all Runner's World subscribers.  I have ordered the calendar every year because I love it.  It's a great visual reminder to keep on running in all kinds of places and it all kinds of weather.  The calendar has beautifully inpiring photos of fabulous running routes around the world.  The biggest and best marathons are marked in the date boxes.  And on the sidelines, the RW editors pack in tidbits of advice and inspiration to improve running performance, stay injury free and dedicate your days to this fabulous sport.  The back page of the calendar has a pace chart, so you can predict your next marathon time or plan your strategy to set a new PR.

You can order the calendar separate from the Runner's World magazine.  But if you have a runner on your Christmas list, or want to become one yourself, I suggest a RW subscription AND the calendar to start the year off on the right runner's foot!  Go ahead and pick your races and plan your year.  A race on the calendar is one of the BEST ways to Just Keep Running! 


Saturday, December 3, 2011

I Lyke These

I get a lot of jabs for the watches I wear -- and by jabs I am mean laughs behind my back for lack of fashion sense.  Most of my watches are digital, have a face the size of a small computer, take my pulse rate, chart my elevation,  and come with an attractive chest strap.  Which is why I like to switch things up a bit -- be a little more funky and fresh.

Here's my latest find:  Lyke watches at lyketime.com.  Lyke is a fun alternative to the sports watches athletes wear on a daily basis.  These timepieces come with one basic face, and up to 10 different wrist bands to mix, match and personalize any one's style. 



Lyke watches are perfect for the older set like me, who lived and loved the Swatch watch craze of the eighties.  And teenagers love them because they "go" with everything.  Plus, at $60 for one watch and five different colored wristbands, they're affordable and stylish too!

Best of all for me, da da da dah! they're WATERPROOF.  No more concern about jumping into the Master's pool with your "good" watch again.  Leave the Cartier at home, it's Lyke time, baby.


Check out lyketime.com to see what this new craze is all about.  Christmas is only twenty something days away -- and I can't think of a better gift for anyone on your list than this happy, new, fun watch! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Swim Cap Accoutrements

As the final registration and medical tents were being taken down at Ironman Arizona and all the swag and paraphernalia was being jammed back into the 18 wheelers, one of the paid staff handed me three boxes of leftover goodness: inside, stacks and stacks of Ironman swim caps.

"I hate to see these get thrown into the trash" she said.  "If you could find a swim club that could use them, we would be so appreciative." 

So without further ado, may I present the fabulous Mesa Aquatics Club modeling some of their finest swim cap creations.  Thanks for making this fun, Coach Laura.  A swim cap design contest was a splendid idea.




Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Don't Waste Your Money


.
Livestrong.com has a lot of great info on nutrition, strength training programs and basic health concerns, myths and facts.  Here's one I thought was interesting:

Sports Jelly Beans


The Claim: Sports jelly beans (also called sports beans) are touted to enhancing endurance performance. 


The Facts: Sports beans are not more effective than carbohydrate-based sports beverages or a carbohydrate-based sports gel [50]. However, sports beans were recently compared with raisins (Sunmaid brand), which performed equally to sports beans for enhancing endurance performance [51]. But subjects rated the raisins more pleasurable to consume. So raisins might be the better choice as they are 3-4 times cheaper, and contain more health-promoting phytonutrition.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/550744-the-20-most-overrated supplements/#ixzz1f8DfflwM

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Make It A Habit To Imagine

rhonnadesigns
When Lee Evans trained for the 400-meter race in the 1968 Olympics, he did more than run revolution after revolution around the track with the stopwatch ticking.  He also spent many hours quietly visualizing the race as he would perform from beginning to end.  He imagined every stride he would take, one after another.  As he did, his actual running form gradually improved, and so did his times.  In Mexico City, he not only won a gold medal, but he set both an Olympic and a world record (43.8 seconds) that lasted twenty-three years before it was finally broken.

What are you imagining?  How will you accomplish it?

-- The Mental Edge, by Kenneth Baum

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"If you light a lamp for somebody else it will also brighten your path."

--Buddha

Maybe your next race doesn't have to be about your personal best or improving your time.  Maybe your next run can be with your sister, or daughter, or grandchild.  Perhaps you can run with someone slower than you to talk them through the hard parts.  And cross the line with someone you love.  Because maybe, this one can be about somebody else.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wait Training

picturedepot.com
Runners who over train and become subject to overuse injuries as a result of thinking that more training is better and will help one meet goals more rapidly. The problem can manifest as either a serious of recurring overuse injuries or chronic fatigue syndrome, affecting the entire system. The bottom line is that with chronic injuries due to over training, you will never achieve sufficient training loads to produce prolong improvement.
 
Therefore, the journey of mastery asks that you enter into a new time zone in which you slow down to go faster. Running creates numerous opportunities for you to slow down, develop, and practice the virtue of patience. We recommend that you develop strength in this area through wait training: notice the natural flow of events and then act accordingly. This requires constant vigilance as you monitor your progress with regard to levels of energy, fatigue, soreness, staleness, slumps, plateaus, spurts, enthusiasm, and burnout. Too much too soon, that familiar hurry-up sickness, invariably leads to injury or illness -- nature’s way of telling you to slow down, reevaluate and take a break. Learn to read your body, and initiate small adjustments in your training to avoid excess overload and injury.

Don’t think of mastery as the capacity to endure, but as an act of perseverance. See it, instead as the willingness to be at peace and give yourself time to develop as an athlete without placing limits on how long it will take to reach mastery. 
   
Think for a moment about the race between the tortoise and the hare. Through the inner qualities of consistent, deliberate, steady, slow movement, the tortoise arrived sooner than the quicker yet spastic, inconsistent and fatigued hare. Haste does, indeed, make waste. And remember, if your running life is a good one, a life of mastery, most of it will be spent on a plateau.

Running Within by Jerry Lynch and Warren Scott

Sunday, November 20, 2011

DISCOUNT CODE

Happy Thanksgiving this week.  And as a little gift to you, here is a discount code for $10 off the inaugural Phoenix Half Marathon, which will take place March 3, 2012.


Code: phx10



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

rhonnadesigns.blogspot.com

Why Fitness Is Essential For Kids...And The Brain

The fascinating correlation between fitness and the brain continues to amaze me.  The book Spark has solid proof that physical exercise not only improves the body, it improves brain function and activity.  Here's what I've learned from just the first chapter:

On the outskirts of Chicago, Naperville Central High school and its faculty have adapted a fitness-based approach at their school.   While only 6 percent of the U.S. high schools offer a daily physical education class, P.E. is required at this school and in fact, Illinois is the only state that requires daily phys ed. 

As this school has come under a microscope for its practices, Naperville students have excelled.  Some 30 percent of the U.S. schoolchildren are overweight -- six times more than in 1980 - and another 30 percent are on the cusp.  In Naperville's district, an astonishing 97 percent of freshmen (in 2001 and 2002) were at a healthy weight according to body mass index guidelines.  These same students scored consistenly higher on test scores than their unfit friends.   There is no doubt fitness and brain use go hand in hand. 

And, the kids at Naperville have taken what they were taught in high school and continue to use these skills in their lives today.  One student, Jessie, went on to college and pushed herself academically as well as physically.  During her freshman year at Embry-Riddle, whenever anything stressful would come up, she and her roommate would run laps on the stairs in her dorms.  "These days, every hour is sucked up with something," she says.  "Every time I know that a whole bunch of tests are coming up - when I'm really stressed out - I think, OK, you know how to handle this.  It's definitely a relief to know that I have something to fall back on.  If I didn't have that, I'd probably just go eat or something.  But I know that exercise will spike up my brain activity, and so I think, Just go do it.  I wouldn't know that if it weren't for my gym class." 

Stay tuned for more Spark.  I am loving this book....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Are You A Suburban Or a Prius?



Loved this post from therunningfront.com on how to run a marathon versus a 10k.  How's day two of your challenge coming, by the way?

As you enter the week prior to the race here are a few visualizations to help you set your plan.  Running your bestmarathon is part art, science, guts, faith in what you can do, and a little luck.  Running your best 10k is mostly about fitness. The best analogy I can think of is this: if you have trained your body properly with the right mix of aerobic level training and some up tempo stuff in recent weeks, you have built your efficient hybrid engine ready to race the marathon.  Many of you have driven in a Prius and watch the subtle shifts between gas and electric on the screen.  You do not perceive these shifts. Your engine runs on gas, electric, or a mix- depending on the effort.

You are starting the race with one gallon in the tank- assuming you have eaten a nice meal the night before with a breakfast top off.

If you are in all gas mode, your engine will run about 1.5 hours at a strong pace….then you are out of gas.
If you are mostly electric you can run all day, but maybe maybe not so quickly.
If you are using the proper mix you will go quick and efficient for duration of your event, and you can even do some topping off along the way.
The glucose utilizing pathway is the gas. This is your stored glycogen and blood glucose (pasta meal and breakfast) – easy to access for ready energy.  The fat utilizing pathway is the electric.  In marathons you must be in hybrid until the last few miles.  Hybrid is where your energy  is coming from both sources.

Many runners are in great “10k shape” (an all gas event), then run their marathon in the gas mode- and usually crash.  Glycogen sparing strategy need not apply in races of less than an hour as long as you had a good pre-event meal to fill the tank. In marathons and ultras- top end fitness matters little and can only be applied very near the finish. Glucose gives 36 ATP per molecule, fat 460 ATP per molecule.  You must tap into the fat burning tank. Now you know how a bird can migrate 7000 miles without an energy bar.

So how do you know you are running in your best hybrid mode?

This is difficult because the sense is not as profound as aerobic/anaerobic.  A slight increase from your optimal pace will switch you from hybrid to all gas without you realizing it, and the effects are felt miles later. Charging up hills early will tap your gas quickly.  If you want to speed up early…don’t. Relax and maintain effort, not speed.

You must rehearse a bit in training.  I focus on relaxation and breathing.  If I’m breathing one cycle to 5 steps, then I’m hybrid.  If I’m breathing faster I’m using mostly glucose as fuel.  Belly breathe- allow lower belly to blow up like a beach ball on inhalation and pull your belly button back to your spine on exhalation.  Then you will fill the lower lung areas where oxygen exchange occurs. Notice the breathing efforts of those around you and many are rapid breathing- they tend to suffer somewhere past half way.  Rehearse complete relaxation from the top down- eyes, jaw, shoulders, allow your legs to relax and extend behind you, relax and soften your knees and ankles.  Find you own cue for this.  If you use the Heart Rate Monitor in training strongly consider one during the event.

In a marathon, the last 3-4 miles you will be all gas to maintain the same speed as fatigue sets in.  The breathing is usually on a 3 to 4 steps per breath cycle- that is OK.  Still stay relaxed and use the cues that you have rehearsed to keep your form. Your heart rate is higher now.  Speed up only when you can “smell the barn”, maybe after 20 miles.

Land softly, especially on the early downhills.  I run with a forefoot/midfoot landing harnessing elastic recoil. Focus on posture and hip extension. Use a slight forward lean from the ankles.  I’m never sore after marathons now and feel I can keep doing them until I enter the retirement home. I won the Air Force Marathon in 2:38 four weeks ago and feel fine now for another effort.  With good form it is “No pain…thank you”.

Your shoes matter too.  I will be running in the zero-drop Newton MV2, which I wore with comfort and success at the Air force Marathon. Not that you are going to change your shoes in the next day based on my advice, but make strong consideration to not running in minimalist racing flats, unless you have trained substantially in them and adapted to a natural barefoot style gait. I advocate gradually adapting all of your training in the more minimal and level shoes.   If you relax your lower legs and load the springy tendons in your feet and Achilles, then these shoes with no heel elevation put you in perfect position to allow natural elastic recoil of plantar fascia, Achilles, calf muscles, and hip flexors.

New research and runner’s experience is now making the case for running with a more efficient stride and questions modern running footwear. The evolving world of modern sports medicine is going back to the future too and rediscovering what evolution has taught us.

Now a few extra ways to get from start to finish quicker on the same gallon.

If you can add a little gas along the way then you can go more into gas mode.  This works a little at best.  If running too fast you shunt all blood to working muscles and nothing digests.  If you are in hybrid the early going you can continually add fuel- the key is not only the correct fuel, but the right pace.  An energy gel  every 25 minutes is easy to digest and tops off the tank.  Carry them with you at the start.  The weight is nothing compared to the benefit you will get.  If you do the gels then you can drink water instead of the energy drinks which are often less predictable on the run. Marine Corps has a gel station at Mile 9, 13, and 23.  Carry 2 gels at the start (one every 3-4 miles or so) and top-off  along the way.
Maintain effort on uphill.  Your pace will slow. You can easily use all your gas here if your effort increases.  Shorten your stride, relax, and use your arms.  Then allow gravity to take you down. The first hills in Arlington and Georgetown can feel “easy” but if run too hard can drain your gas quickly; so go easy up them.

If it is windy get behind a group.  This can save lots of physical and mental energy.

If you are having a “bad patch” – try to refocus on relaxing, fuel a bit (sometimes a blood glucose drop triggers the sense of doom), and have faith in your training and race plan.  Another nice trick is when you hit mile 21 it is not 5 miles to go, it is 4 and change. Mile 22 is 3 and change to go.  Just run to the next mile marker and count them down one by one. Smile and enjoy the party in Crystal City. This gives you some mental refreshment after crossing the lonely bridge from 20-22 miles.
Do not over drink water. This can lead to a dangerous condition called hypontremia and severe electrolyte imbalance.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Twenty One Day Challenge

My sweet friend Rhonna over at rhonnadesigns.com issues a 21 day challenge every year to help make a new habit or break an old one.   Here is her blog post and now I'm extending her challenge to you and doing it myself!

Remember:
1. Pick ONE habit to make or break.
It can be a physical, emotional, spiritual, mental goal...something that YOU feel you want to improve in your life.
**I chose to focus on core exercises everyday. I've got the running down, but I always forget the core for some reason. And when I DO exercise it daily, my other ailments seem to be better. A strong core= a happy Rhonna.

2. Pick a way to document it. You can scrapbook it. art journal it. photograph it. write it down in a notebook. whatever will help to solidify this new habit. for YOU. tailor it to YOU.
**In past rounds, I did art journals, and I loved it!!!! But, right now, I've got lots on my plate & sadly, it's not realistic. But, I CAN be creative AND document with my phone..so, this is my 'LITE' version. I will be taking pictures on my phone & adding the quotes for my creativity exercises.  All on my phone. love that.

3. Commit to it for 21 days straight.  This is when the success comes in. It takes 21 days or 3 weeks for your body, muscles, brain to all come together & make or break this habit.
It can be done.
**I've done round after round & not only do I feel better about myself, gain more confidence, see the changes I want to see, but I get more creative!!!! seriously...it works hand in hand with the 100 Creativity Exercises...I LOVE it!

I'm committed. Are you?

Welcome new-comers, & welcome old-timers....let's do this!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

ERG And The Unfortunate Incident of the Volunteer

My running career did not actually begin with me running.  I started out as a water girl -- handing those paper cups to runners clear back in the early 1970s.  My father, Herm, ran the local chapter of the Parks and Recreation.  He organized everything from dodge ball tournaments to softball round robins.  If you participated in any team or individual sport in the City of Mesa, you knew my dad.  And following the trickle down effect, the Funk kids were first in line to volunteer at the charity races and events around town. 

I can't remember which race we first had to hand out those cups --  maybe it was the annual Turkey Trot.  But what I do remember, were the thousands of (mostly men) and women who charged past us in their Dolphin shorts and singlet tees with their arms outstretched in need of refreshment.  Our system was simple:  hole 'em high, hands near the bottom, and let the runners grab the drinks easily and be on their way. 

Back in the day there was a VERY new drink trying to break into the runner's market called ERG. ( I had to google it just to make sure my memory served me correctly.)  ERG was a lesser-known electrolyte replacement drink similar to Gatorade, but without the commercialism-- or taste.  ERG was nasty.  Even as a kid I couldn't swig down the sour stuff.  But it was that very drink that we had to hand to the runners as they passed our tables one year.

"ERG at this table!  Water straight ahead!" we yelled.  But without fail, some unknowing runners would take the cup from our hands, chug down a gulp of the pee pee drink, and throw it down in disgust.  "I wanted WATER!" they would yell to my brother and I as they ran past us.  "Why did you give me THAT?!" 

Vivid, vivid memories (or nightmares?) I have of panicking and stressing over those mishandled cups of ERG.  I had given the wrong drink to the wrong runner and they were MEAN about it.  There's nothing worse than being yelled at by a stranger for doing what you thought was a good deed. 

So why do I share this little tidbit from my childhood?  Well, it all comes down to thanking the volunteers.  Local running races, no matter what the size, could never come to pass without  volunteers.  As the Ironman Arizona registration captain, I have an unpaid staff of almost 200 just to check in the 3,100 athletes that require race-day wrist bands and number packets.   In fact, Iroman AZ has nearly 4,000 volunteers that help with the event.  That's more volunteers than racers. 

And most of these people spend hours of their time serving strangers, without a single thank you from any athlete. 

If you're a racer, an athlete, a novice, or a pro, make sure you take the time to smile or say thanks to one of those kind souls at your next race.  Give a high five to a supporter, hug a course pointer or a wet suit peeler, yell a big "thank you" to one of those aid station managers. 

"Tis, after all, the thanksgiving season.  

And there will be one less child scarred for life whenever she hears the word ERG!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

TricksToEatLess

In the above video, it is shown how the size of the bowl, plate, or spoon that you use can significantly influence how much food and how many calories you consume. In the study Ice cream illusions: bowls, spoons, and self-served portion sizes, 85 nutrition experts at an ice cream social were randomly given either a smaller (17 oz) or a larger (34 oz) bowl and either a smaller (2 oz) or larger (3 oz) ice cream scoop. After serving themselves, they completed a brief survey as their ice cream was weighed. The researchers found that when nutrition experts were given a larger bowl, they served themselves 31% more without being aware of it. In addition, their servings increased by over 14% when they were given a larger serving spoon.

In a study from the University of Pennsylvania, psychologists conducted an experiment in an upscale apartment building in which they left out a bowl of chocolate candies with a small scoop. The next day they refilled the bowl with M&M's, but left out a much larger scoop. When the scoop size was increased, people took 66 percent more M&M's!

The conclusion: use smaller plates, bowls and utensils, even if somebody laughs at you for eating your soup with a teaspoon.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Off Season Success

There's a great article in this month's TRIATHLETE magazine that clarifies some specific off-season rules.  I'm going to incorporate these into my own client's training plans.  Here a list of what the coaches from the magazine Shaw recommend:

1.  Do not run a marathon in January.  Doing a long-distance event during your prime recovery time is a sure-fire way to wind up injured or burned out.

2.  Focus on short, intense workouts.  Do short runs and bikes that will boost your lactate threshold and power output.

3.  Gain Weight (on purpose).  By training at a heavier weight, you're teaching your body to recruit more motor neurons and muscle fibers, like of like recruiting more people to work on the assembly line.  When you lose that weight, you don't need as much oxygen and can get more miles to the gallon.

4.  Swim.  A lot.  The best time to crank up the swim is in the months when it's not great for cycling.

5.  Hit the gym - but not for the elliptical.  Weight lifting can help improve running and cycling economy.  You've spent the season breaking down your house, now you have to repair it.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Trottin' Time

With T minus two weeks until Turkey day, it's time to start thinking about all the festivities that come along with this great family weekend -- including running in your local Turkey Trot 10k!

In my little corner of the world, The Turkey Trot has been just as much a part of our Thanksgiving Day as stuffing and pumpkin pie.  The Mesa event has been hosted by the Sertoma Club for 42 years.  It's a pretty low key event that starts and ends at the local Red Mountain Park.  And with a nine a.m. start, there's no excuse to NOT participate.  Throw the turkey in the oven and grab your running shoes and start banking those fat burning calories.  You'll be glad you did!

I like these three strategies for performing your best in your next 10K.  Thank you Runner's World.

-- Schedule a Tune Up:  Run a 5K two weeks (that would mean this next week) before your 10K.  Then decrease training intensity and taper three to four days prior to the 10K .  Recover with two days of rest or cross training or until any soreness subsides.  --Ryan Shay

-- Do Speedwork:  Perform fartleks (brief periods of faster running) - run fast for one to three minutes, then go easy for about half the time you spent running hard.  Fartleks improve your running efficiency.

-- Learn Goal Pace:  Run each mile 15 seconds faster until you're running the final mile at the past you're aiming for in your target event.  This will help teach your body and mind what your goal speed feels like.

--  Finish Fast:  Cover three-quarters of the race at a pace that's 45 second per mile slower than you'll run on your big day.  In the final quarter, pick it up until you're running slightly faster than goal pace.   

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Just Keep Swimming, Literally

Some of us have small dreams, run a 5k, start a walking program.  Others dream a little bigger.  My friend Kent is one of THOSE guys.  He recently swam from Catalina Island to Long Beach, California, a grueling 21-mile swim through the rough waters of the Pacific Ocean.

To become an official member of this exclusive club, you must swim continuously, without holding onto a boat for support, and without wearing a wetsuit.  You are allowed pace swimmers and a GPS guided boat for navigation.  Unfortunately, some of Kent's pace swimmers got sick on the boat ride and had to bow out of their duties.  According to the Catalina Facebook page, Kent Nicholas, of Mesa Arizona, made the Catalina Channel look relatively simple. Smooth and strong swimming all night long, despite getting seasick on the boat ride out to the island, got him across in 10 hours 46 minutes. When he arrived in Palos Verdes (Friday Sept 9th), his parents, sister, and two young children were at the beach to greet him. His wife was part of the support team on the boat, featuring 2 kayakers and 4 companion swimmers.


Kent, before THE SWIM!

Here's Kent's modest account of his adventure:

My mom would challenge me to swim around sailboats moored in Mission Bay. It was scary. What monsters lurked below the bow of a sailboat or buoy? As I got older, swimming from Catalina Island to shore was something I wanted to do.

After training for months, I was all in with a support crew of six people. We started in the pitch dark from the island. I was sea sick on the way out. Minutes after entering the cold dark water, I could hear sounds that I never anticipated. I was keenly aware of my surroundings. I could see nothing except the glow stick of my pace swimmer.

I was told at one point that three of my crew members could no longer swim due to illness. I planned to swim the next two hours alone. Then three dolphin appeared. I could hear them. It was a friendly sound. I could see them. They swam below and in front of me. It was a wordless but meaningful and reassuring exchange. Things were alright. I finished and I was thankful.

Wow!  Congratulations, Kent!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ann And The Rest Of Us

Late posting photo of the hikers.  Ann, in front, is my new inspiration.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ann's Secret Spark

Yesterday I hiked Camelback mountain with a group of five friends.  The terrain was steep and rocky.  The trails were crowded, and the views were spectacular.

But perhaps the best part of the day was hiking along side 73-year-old Ann.  Ann told us to "Go on ahead! I'll be right behind you, just going at my own pace."  And indeed she was.  About five minutes after we had reached the summit of Camelback, Ann came striding up to us with a smile on her face, just barely breaking a sweat.  She had tackled the cliffs and the climbing and the aerobic workout as if it were a walk in the park.  And I wanted to know her secret.

Ann has been hiking Camelback for over 30 years.  Hiking the mountain has been part of her exercise regime that keeps her fit, alert, spunky and ageless.   She hikes the trails at least three times a week when the weather is nice, and usually starts from the more challenging Echo Canyon trailhead.  Since she's been around so long she has seen the trails fall into disrepair over the years.  "But no one would probably realize that except for me," she says.

As we continued to chat, Ann stressed the important of aerobic exercise.  She had just read the book called SPARK.  (I ordered mine from Amazon on my ride home.)  According to this book, she said, there is scientific evidence that aerobic exercise will stimulate and benefit your mind and brain.

"I could go do crossword puzzles to improve my memory, she said, "but exercise actually helps grow new cells in the brain!"

According to John Ratey, author of Spark, adding exercise to your lifestyle sparks your brain function to improve learning on three levels:  First, it optimizes your mind-set to improve alertness, attention,  mood, and motivation;  Second, it prepares and encourages nerve cells to bind to one another, which is the cellular basis for logging in new information; and Third, it spurs the development of new nerve cells from stem cells in the hippocampus.

No wonder Ann looked so great!

I'm off to keep that spark going inside myself, so I can look and feel like Ann in 30 years.  Now I'm off for a run!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Becoming

If you draw a timeline of your life -- from birth to, say, 85 years old -- a dot at age 45 is only halfway down the journey.  There's a lot of life still to live.  A lot of things to start and a lot of things to finish on the second half of that timeline.   A lot of time to... BECOME. 

Which is why I love this:
My dear friend Liz Eaton** designed this bracelet.  She found the quote on my blog a few days ago and whipped this up for me in her spare time.  (With three kids under four her time is, indeed, precious).

I like that this bracelet reminds me to try every day to become a better person.   I like that it reminds me to to try harder and make time for the things I think are important in life. 

So what is it that you want to become?  It's never too late.   A one-hundred-year-old man just finished a marathon in India.  My father became a competitive cyclist at at 70.  Diana Nyad attempted to swim from Cuba to Florida.  She was 62.  

It's time to seize the day, friends.  It's time to take the first step.  Decide today what YOU you want to be.  'Cause there is a lot of life to live.  And excuses just aren't gonna fly with me. 

Ready.  Set.  Go!


**Liz is a professional jewelry designer with a degree in metal arts.  Check out her etsy shop here and browse through her amazing collection.  And if you have a mantra of your own, let her know.  She does custom stuff as well. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall In Love


Fall has hit it's peak in the Utah mountains last week.  The trees were on fire and the Aspen leaves covered the ground with their golden petals.  From a distance the mountains looked as if they were covered in a wooly orange and brown blanket.  But inside the trees, the trails were thick with golden sunlight and soft with cushions of leaves.  I felt like Dorothy following the path of the yellow brick road....  
Can't stop smiling on the Mid Mountain Trail  
Abandoned Mine 
Breaking through the dense trails to spectacular views
Spiro Mine Trail -- There are mines throughout the mountains in Park City

Alpine Loop
More from Alpine Loop
I got lucky to hit the foliage in such a glowing and magnificent state.  It won't last long.  Winter is coming.  But for today, I was thankful to witness God's artistic handiwork.  









Monday, October 17, 2011

R2R(2R) In Review

If a picture's worth a thousand words, let me sum up my experience this weekend with this:

I mean, really.  Take a minute.   

This shot is a view of the starting point for our Rim to Rim hike last weekend.  The Bright Angel Trailhead weaves its way from the South Rim, (think high desert, touristy and spectacular views), down the canyon, past campgrounds, the mighty Colorado River, and Phantom Ranch, and up to the North Rim, with majestic pines, aspens and oaks. It's 24 miles from one starting point to the other, and there are just as many ways to hike this amazing trail.

Our adventure was a culmination of planning and preparation by a friend in Utah, who had organized a posse of 20.  Some were hiking from North to South on Friday only to turn around and hike back to the North Rim the next day.  Others were starting from South and going to North on Saturday, bringing fresh legs and happy attitudes to join their weary friends. The beauty of this plan meant there were options for everyone to drive or hike depending on how they felt, as there were cars at both ends of the canyon.

To finish the hike in a respectable hour, we left at 5 a.m. with layers and headlamps.  The darkness below us was dotted with tiny moving lights of other hikers who had left even earlier than us.  And so it began.  Down, down, down, we went.  By first light, we hit Indian Gardens campground where campers were just waking.  We then pushed further along until we hit the expansive and mighty Colorado River.  The water was churning and frothing a river of chocolate, reminding us of the power that this river possessed.  

We crossed the canyon on the first of several suspension bridges that spanned the mighty water.  And as the trail bottomed out, we picked up our pace to a run, taking advantage of the flatter terrain.  About 10 miles into our journey we reached Phantom Ranch.  Here is where North hikers cross paths with South hikers for a sit, a stretch, a bite to eat, or a glass of "Lemmy" lemonade (delicious).  There were many groups and individuals passing through, including a group wearing R2R TonyFest 2011 t-shirts.  Had we miss Tony Robbins along our journey?  A quick foot dip into the icy off stream and we were off.  

A few more miles of slightly uphill terrain led us to Cottonwood rest area, or the last of our low-heart-rate miles.  From here on out it would be uphill climbing for the next several hours. And here is where we learned a few things about hiking R2R.

Hiking Poles:  Yes!  We all agreed that the poles helped engage the arms for momentum and took pressure off the knees.  Unless you are going to run more than you walk in the canyon, poles are worth it.

GPS:  Unnecessary.  My 310XT lost satellite frequently when I was in the depths of the canyon, giving me the wrong mileage while I was on the trail.  When I was actually at mile 18, my Garmin was reading 22, which put a mental funk in my spirits.  I kept thinking we were close to being done and it WAS NOT SO.  *At this point is it mentally taxing to ask those coming the other way how far it was to the top.  Nobody has any accurate gauge and it only messes with your mind when people give you the wrong information.

Camelback or Hand Held Water Bottles:  Both.  Our group had all levels of participants.  The fast and the furious took only gels in their pockets and water bottles in each hand.  One bottle was for liquids and was refilled at water stations along the way.  The other was filled with pre-measured amounts of Perpetuem sports drink to add to the other bottle as necessary.  This strategy worked for most of the hike until the last stretch of the climb, where one fellow hiker ran out of water and had to be saved by his friend who was wearing a Camelback.  And as for Camelbacks, we agreed that the best hydration systems were the ones that had mesh pockets on the front of the pack, where bars and nutrition were easily accessible.  It was a pain to take off your pack every time you needed something to eat.   

Nutrition:  Our group used only sports bars, gels, blocks and drinks to get us through the day.  We did not stop for sandwiches or food at Phantom Ranch.  This seemed to work well, though I would advise taking extra gels for the uphill section of the hike as this was a quick and easy way to ingest calories. AND, more than one of us smelled the citrus scent of a hiker who had stopped along the way to peel and eat an orange.  Believe me when I say that biting into an orange has never sounded so sweet.  I will be packing fruit next time I go.

Run vs. Hike:  Both.  It was fun to speed our way through the canyon.  And it was nice to finish the hike in the mid-afternoon, leaving time to shower and have a hearty dinner at the Jacob's Lake Inn that night.  But on the flip-side, it would be very fun to mosey -- take your time, breathe in the canyon air, spend the night at a campground or at Phantom Ranch.  I would suggest making your first attempt at R2R with an experienced hiker.  Our friend, or King of the Canyon as we called him, was an experienced Rim To Rimmer.  He gave us all the information we needed to know before we started the adventure, including nutrition and hydration requirements, packing lists, hike suggestions and routes and final meeting and hotel reservations.  

Up, up, up we went.  Just when you couldn't step one more foot forward, you'd turn and see another switchback and a tiny hiker way in the distance inching his way  up an even higher spot on the trail.  Hour after hour, the trail narrowed the and rugged scenery began change.  Amid towering forest pine trees bold blasts of color awakened the senses -- red, orange and yellow oak trees splashed across the mountainsides.  Aspens and evergreens clung to the edges of last mile of the trail.  What an extreme change from the high desert sagebrush on the South Rim to the cool temperatures and pines of the North.  

Around the last bend, our friends greeted each other with high fives and shouts of joy.  We had conquered the canyon -- some of us twice.  And walking like a cripple the following day was worth every ounce of energy it took to make it out of that spectacularly grand canyon.  There's a reason it's been named one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.  This place is special.  It has a deeply spiritual and peaceful atmosphere around it.  It challenges the human spirit and leaves us wanting more.  This is not a one-and-done hike.  We will return and conquer you again.  

But for today, I'm just gonna try and make it down the stairs in my house.  
Our trusy leader Brandon, aka King of the Canyon

The beginning
Regroup and refuel
Never ending uphill

And... no photos at the end.  My arms were too tired to hold up a camera.  Imagine many happy hikers with sweat on their brows and smiles on their faces, ready for a hot shower a hot meal and hot slice of Jacob's Lake apple pie.  










Sunday, October 16, 2011

A New Look

So how do you like the new look of Lorie's Dream Big?  What's your vote, ya-way or no-way?  I'm liking it and have to thank the very talented Adam Record for his artistic touch in sprucing things up for the fall season.

In other news, I just returned from the magnificent Grand Canyon, where 20 pals and I hiked rim to rim, (and some went for a third rim) this weekend.  More details to come, but I'm telling you now, this hike should be on your Bucket List.  It is an amazing, spiritual, spectacular, dazzing spot on the map.  I will never be the same.

Stay tuned for tomorrow....

Monday, October 10, 2011

Gorilla Athletes -- Do This!


Even if you're not an athlete with Gorilla Multisport, this article provides some great advice for everyone.  Keep a journal or take note of what works or what doesn't in your training.  Make your past work for your future.  Thank you trainingpeaks.com for this article:  


What Your Coach Really Wants to Know...

If you are reading this, there is a good chance you use TrainingPeaks or some other piece of software to track your workouts. You may even have a coach that is looking at the information. But let’s be honest, when you fill in all that information (or decide not to) are you being honest with yourself? And with your coach? While each coach will likely request slightly different information depending on your goals and their methodology (and they should let you know up front what they want to see), there are some basic things that you should record. If you are your own coach, this is just as important so you have information when you review your workout history.

1) Your data! If you use one of the hundred different data capturing devices on the market (HR monitor, GPS, power meter), upload the data. While summary information can be helpful, the actual data file is going to be the most useful for your coach, especially with the data analysis functionality of TrainingPeaks and software like WKO+. It should be as easy as the click of a button to get your data uploaded. If you don’t use “high-tech gadgets” you should at least be using a watch.

2) How you felt during the workout. There are many different ways to capture this (Rate of Perceived Exertion, either on a 1-10 or 6-20 scale), or you can be more creative with your choice of terms- “legs felt like they could go for hours.” Or “really struggled with the last interval - legs felt very heavy.”  It’s best to avoid the overused phrase “workout was good” and the more information you can provide, the better. It’s fine to say a workout didn’t go well because you stayed up too late the night before (honesty!). Also, if you are doing intervals, rate each interval and recovery interval. This information along with any data you uploaded will help your coach see how you are responding to the training. Then they can make appropriate adjustments.

3) Your nutrition/hydration for the workout. This information will help you and/or your coach nail your nutrition and hydration plan. This information is helpful to interpret #1 and #2. If you didn’t drink anything and your power dropped off in your last interval, perhaps it was dehydration. Or they see your average speed and heart rate dropped off the last 40 minutes of a long ride but you had your last gel 90 minutes before the end of the ride. In TrainingPeaks you can track your meals along with the time of day it was consumed. If you aren’t tracking your meals that way, you can just write the information in the Post-Activity comments.

4) Any modifications you made to the workout and why. If you miss a workout, cut something short, extend it out, or change what was planned, tell your coach. And more importantly, tell them why! It can be as simple as “I was tired so I slept in,” or “one of my kids was sick so I couldn’t get to the pool.” Workouts are in a training plan for a reason, so when you deviate, your coach needs to know why. Even if you are your own coach, track this information, as it will help you realize your actual training commitment and other obligations that can interfere.



Be honest with yourself and your coach. Don’t be shy, as coaches are people too and understand that life happens. Err on the side of too much information - they’ll let you know when it’s too much. The above information will help you and your coach piece together what works and what doesn’t in your training so that you can move towards your performance goals as quickly as possible! Because that’s why you track your workouts, right?
Que lindo es sonar despierto.
How lovely it is to dream while you are awake.

Dreams That Have Come True