Essential Sports Nutrition



The alarm went off at 4:35am. I was a bit tired but it was good that I taped idol and made myself get into bed at 9:15am. It didn't take Karel too long to get into bed and hit the sack. I use to think it was pathetic that we went to bed so early but I think sleep is so important to training that is should never be overlooked. Ok, so maybe 9:15pm is a bit early but usually I'm in bed before 10pm. I got myself ready for my spin class while my coffee was warming and I was out the door at 4:55am. My spin class was phenomenol today..not because of me teaching it but because my students were absolutely on fire today. We were sweating by warm-up and even with the two fans going we looked like we had just biked outside in mid-afternoon..we were toasted! After a 5-6 minute warm-up of spinning the legs and getting out of the saddle for some running in position 2 (hands on the bar right in front of you with your body over the saddle, position three hands on the side handlebars with chest over the front of the bike) we were ready for our main set. I give my class a main set and we do the same set for 5 weeks straight. The only thing is that we add anothe interval. I don't treat my class like an "aerobic type" class. I treat them like athletes. Since we only have 45 minutes I give them plenty of intervals to keep the heart rate up. Since most of the people have taken my class for over the past year and everyone in there is usually a regular, there are so suprises when I give them the main sets. I do get a few looks before (crazy looks) and many tongues hanging out after (exhausted) but other than that it is a quality workout that goes by very quickly. The main set is a sprint set. I don't like to sprint for a long time (anything more than 45 seconds) on a spin bike because I think people tend to lose form and if the resistance is too low (the bike should have a little resistance with sprinting) people tend to bounce with their hips or point their toes. I don't want any injuries so I try to break up the sprinting sets. We start with 5 sets of intervals for the first time we do something and the build to 10. It is fun to see people suffer on the first week of a new interval set because it is hard to imagine doing the same set, with 10 intervals. However, it is all about training and I like my students to see themselves progressing and that they CAN improve their cardio endurance. So we are on 7 (3rd week) intervals right now and the set goes like this: 25 seconds sprinting sitting down, 3-4 turns to the right (increase resistance) and up out of the saddle to position three and sprint climb. I won't let my students touch the knob when they are up and climbing so I tell them it is tough luck if they turned too much. Of course they see me smiling and I am not mean to my class but I like them to see that they CAN get out of their comfort zone. Of course at 5:30 in the morning I am energetic, talkative and ready to push my class hard...and because of it I get a really good workout. We only rest for 15-20 seconds between intervals so that is where the heart rate starts to really climb. We do a 2 minute recovery after the sprint set and then we are ready for the next set. I like to do jumps (quick up and down on the saddle with hands in position 2) and climbs but I always do sets and nothing lasts more than 2 minutes. We may do a set which takes 10 minutes but I give my class time to recover even if it is 5-10 seconds. Same with triathlon training, if you give yourself a little recovery, you get that "umph" to push hard again without feeling exausted after only a few minutes. The body can only handle so much hard intensity at one time. After the sprint set we did the following 4 times: 20 seconds of quick jumps (barely sit down or stand up, I call them 2 and 2's), then sit down, turn the knob 3-5 times and climb for 20 sec. Then turn the knob to the left to go downhill (yes, I talk like we are on real bikes, we race, we climb, we see finish lines, we go aero and we do rollers). We descend for 10 sec. and then do another seated climb with 3-5 turns for another 20 seconds. We rested for 15 seconds by running out of the saddle in position 2 before doing the jumps again. We had about 5 min left before the warm-down so we did some push-ups while pedaling and then hoovering (holding the upper body still and pedal just with the hips down) in position two.
The class looked beat at the end and so was I. I even got a cramp in the middle of the class which has never happened before. I finished my 20 ounce water bottle and I couldn't even think straight. I had my class there with me and everyone had a really good workout. I'm so lucky to have such great athletes in there..even if they don't do races.
So then it was time for the treadmill. Since today is the brick workout, I (for the first time) started running as soon as I hit the treadmill. No 5 min. walking for me. Oh the legs wished I was walking for the first mile. I had to make a quick stop to the bathroom (probably all the water drinking from before, during and after spin) and then I was back on the treadmill. For the brick workout I do tempo running and I was happy that I am running comfortably at 7.5 mph. Finally I am feeling like myself again. i had my medical terminology book to keep me occupied but that only lasted another mile. Then I read redbook and diabetes forecast magazines. I don't really read, just kinda flip through the pages and look up at the TV as well. Yes Jen H., I finished two magazines :) So the last 10 minutes I was really bored so I did 10 min. of intervals. I did 1 min at 8.1 mph, 30 sec at 8.8 mph and then ran for 1 min at 7.8 mph. After a few of those, I was finished with a 51 min. run and 6.2 miles. I was exhausted when I got off the treadmill. I was moving slow, covered in sweat and my face was ready. I wasn't about to complain and I am loving working hard again. I love pushing myself and seeing what my body is capable early in the morning that is :) I did a bit of lifting (don't think I actually lifted). one or two sets of some arm stuff and a couple sets of abs on the ball. I was done, the shower felt great and so did the oatmeal, MOJO bar and many many many drinks of water w/ amino's in it. I had to rush out the door after my oatmeal to run some errands before class but I did get in a smoothie during lunch. Probably a bit too late and now I am really feeling it. I feel so exausted! I know I worked hard but I wish I would have had my protein powder right after the workout. I know..even I mess up! I will be sure to have some more eggs tonight so in addition to a tofu and egg sandwich for lunch, I will hopefully repair before tomorrow. I also took a 20 min. power nap today (which I hardly ever do) since i have a bit of time before my evening class, and I am feeling much better. :) I think 9pm might be the bedtime tonight..oh, I am exhausted!


Interval Tuesdays!!

For the last two years i have been doing brick interval workouts on tuesdays. When I was training for IMFL in 06 I took a 45 min spin class and then jumped on the treadmill for a speed workout (usually 45 min-1 hour). Last year when I was training for Kona I did an hour swim and then ran either outside or on the treadmill. Now it is 2008 and I am still doing intervals but I have decided to run first, then swim. Now that I am back and enjoying the process of getting back speed (I love to push myself and feel the burn!) I live for Interval Tuesdays. One thing I like about doing intervals on tuesday is that I feel fresh after having Monday as my "recovery day". I usually do something active on mondays (swim, bike or running) but I just do whatever I feel like. If I want to just rest and not do anything, then I just do nothing. I don't like to say "off" day but rather an active "recovery" day is what works best for me. I'm sure others can understand but after having a day off from hard training, it is nice to start off the week with something not boring and something intense. Not training for one day can kinda take a toll on your mentality (especially if you are training for an event) and doing intervals on tuesday (day after recovery day) gives me the push that I need to start off the week feeling ready to give it my all for 6 more days. Also, I find that if I know I am doing something intense on tuesday morning (early tuesday morning) I don't want to eat crappy on monday. Of course after two days of long training (sat and sun are most people's long workout days) you are probably like me and emphasize a bit more carbs to replace what was burned. I'm sure everyone knows how big I am with protein (now I am eating tofu at least once a day for even more protein in my vegetarian diet, in addition to my 4-6 egg whites a day) but after a long brick on the weekend, I'm totally enjoying my french toast or pancakes (portioned controlled of course). So when it gets to monday and I'm not really doing anything which would upset my GI system or make me worry about having a bad workout (since I am not training that day) I want to be sure I am back into a solid diet of high protein, good sources of complex carbs. I watch my snacks on monday (since I tend to eat several mini meals on sat and sun since I am getting home around 10 or 11am from my training) and I am sure to not overeat on monday night. I think a lot of people tend to do well in the morning through lunch on their day off but then in the evening it is almost like you feel you haven't eaten all day. Well, I try to focus on what I am eating on sat and sun to replace the used fuel and repair the muscles and tissues I damaged so that when it comes to mon I am not starving for food and ultimately I avoid overeating on mon evening. So, those are the two big reasons why I love doing intervals on tuesday. Here's the morning's workout, which started at 6am on the treadmill:
5 min walk, 5 min at 7.2 mph. First set: 5 x 30 sec at 7.8 mph, 30 sec at 7.4 mph. Next set: 10 x 1 min at 8.5 mph, 30 sec at 7.6 mph Next set: 5 x 2 min at 8.1 mph, 1 min. at 7.6 mph Last set: 5 x 45 sec. at 8.7 mph, 15 sec. straddle the treadmill. Total: 6.5 miles, 51 min.
Then to the pool. 800 warm-up swim, 200 pull Big set: 4 x 125 on 1:50 (made the first one on 1:38!!), 4 x 100 on 1:25 (made the first one on 1:14!!!), 4 x 75 on 1:05 (made the first one on 54!), 4 x 50 on :45 (made the first one on 37!), 4 x 25 cool-down. Total: 2500

I was sweaty, tired, a little out of it..but loving every minute of it!!!


The lucky shorts

On Friday morning I did my long swim of the week (A new part of my training) and swam a 4000. I felt great and it went by fast because I was accompanied by a group of fast guys for the first hour and therefore I was pushed for the first 3100. On saturday morning I was up around 6am and decided to run/swim for my sat. morning workout. In order to be sure I swam after the run I needed to be at the Y so I wouldn't skip out. It's tough to finish a workout at home and then drive somewhere else to do another workout...I have discipline but not that much on a sat after a long run. I jumped on the treadmill and 7 and the plan was 10 miles (yes Jen H. all on the treadmill and I only read 1 magazine!!). I walked the first 5 minutes and then started running. I had my lucky shorts on (always have good workouts in them) and the entire run felt great. I wouldn't say effortless but I felt really strong and I was doing a few interval sets at 8mph. Again, I felt like I could pick up the pace pretty comfortably and I am running at an average of around 7.4-7.6 mph pretty easy. It is great to finally run pain free again but I think about November when I couldn't even walk for .5 miles. Part of my self-rehab plan was just walking on the treadmill for 20-30 minutes and gripping hard on the side handles so that I could train myself to walk without a limp. OH the pain then from an injury was awful and now I am loving the hard effort workouts and the "earned" pain after working hard. I ran for 1 hour and 30 minutes and covered 11.2 miles. I broke down the workout into 3x30 minute runs and I didn't lose focus once. I had many looks from the Y members that I was on the treadmill for a very long time, but I like that...I like those "she is crazy" kinda makes me want to run even longer. I finished my gym workout with a few sets of abs on the ball and the captain chair and then it was into the pool for a quick dip. On sat. morning the little kiddies are learning how to swim so I can't help myself to stop every now and then and check out the happy and oh so not happy kidos in the water. I did a 500 swim, 400 pull, 300 swim, 200 fly kick and 100 swim to give me a 1500 and I left the Y for a yummy french toast and eggs breakfast (Marni style...healthy and yummy!). This morning I didn't have the lucky shorts on but the energy of saturday's workout got me pumped for this morning. The plan was a 3 hour ride and a 3 mile run. My first brick since before Kona!!!! I am getting close to Disney (Ironman Florida 70.3) and since I am feeling competitive once again, I am ready to step up the training...and actually start training! The wind changed a lot this morning so I kinda felt it at my side during the whole ride. I finished the ride with 56 miles and quickly put on the running shoes and IM visor and I was out the door. Smudla was a bit upset that i didn't stay home and pet her but I think she will forgive me :) The first mile was a little tough cause I was running a bit slow to try to find a rhythm but then I got into a groove and ended up running 4 miles at an average of 8 min and 30 sec. And after a yummy breakfast I am about to start studying for my two exams tomorrow :(
So the running shorts worked out well for me this weekend and I am really happy that I am back into the groove. Karel is out in Perry, GA and he raced twice yesterday. Instead of doing the 10-mile TT he decided to race in the Masters Crit (30+) as a warm-up before the Pro 1,2 race a few hours later. I'm super happy for Karel because he earned a spot on the podium for his 3rd place finish in the masters race....great job Karel!!!! And after a quick recovery drink and lunch he was back again for the Pro 1,2 race. Karel's teammate Curtis placed 5th and Karel was 16th. A few of the other Linder Capital guys were in the mix as well but after over 100 miles of racing (between 2 races) for Karel I think he should be happy for a 3rd and 16th place finish. Right now he is racing another 100 miles for the road race. Now this isn't any normal road race...this race is on red dirt and clay and is totally a suffer fest for 100 miles. I will take a pic of his bike when he gets back late this evening. This race is similar to the Roubaix race in Paris, France but instead this is the Perry Ga Roubaix :)