5/29/10

Training with power

Over the past year and a half my cycling training has improved dramatically. Although I am finding myself more and more comfortable and confident on my bike I am also training more efficiently and making the most out of my time on the bike. I am able to push hard when riding with others and I am able to stay consistent when I train alone. Sure, I have good and bad days on the bike but overall, I find myself improving on a weekly basis.
I am a firm believer in HR training but for cycling, nothing has been more beneficial and valuable with my training, than training with power.
I have to be honest, I was a little hesitant to convert from HR training to power training but after a week or so of training with power, I was hooked.
Karel sent me a great explanation of training with power and I thought I would post it for your viewing. If you have any questions, please let me know. Karel has been training with power for several years now and knows a lot about power training.

A power meter is the single best training tool you can invest in. The power meter is to cycling today what the Heart Rate Monitor was in the 1990s.

A power meter measures the exact cycling intensity giving you instant feedback. Heart Rate is your body’s response to not only your cycling intensity, but a host of other variables as well. Heart rate at a given power level can vary based on recent training load, health, sleep, temperature, humidity, anxiety/nerves, diet, and of course the time riding that intensity. The inaccuracies of using heart rate as a measuring tool for cycling intensity become crystal clear when you start training with power.

The power meter doesn’t care about hills, wind, temperature, indoors, outdoors, or any environment you’re riding in. It will always measure the actual power you’re producing on the bike regardless of the conditions. Most power meters will include heart rate straps so you can watch your heart rate response compared to power. Go out and ride at a constant power level for 20 minutes and heart rate can climb nearly the entire time. Harder intervals such as threee minute intervals at VO2max power will see heart rate climbing quickly the entire interval and never leveling off. Once an athlete starts training with a power meter, heart rate simply becomes another metric that’s monitored and recorded. You’ll still look at heart rate to learn a little about how your body is responding to a power level, but you’ll no longer uses it to measure and adjust intensity.

In addition to accurate intensity measurement, a power meter has many other benefits that you won’t find in a heart rate monitor:

* Pacing tool on race day - Gone are the days of riding too hard too early in the bike leg. Stick your target power right out of transition and you’ll be surprised how easy it can feel with all the race day adrenaline. You’ll bike faster during the bike leg because of more even pacing. You’ll likely run faster off the bike as well from more even pacing.
* Workouts recorded automatically - Power meter files can be downloaded and workouts can be analyzed for days and years after they’re completed.
* Track fitness changes - There’s no more guessing about how much stronger you are after a period of training. You’ll also know where your fitness is compared to the same time the year before.
* Goal setting – Testing allows an athlete to baseline their current fitness and can plan realistic short and long term power goals.
* Coaching feedback – If you’re working with a coach, power files can easily be emailed and a good coach will be able to provide feedback and plan workouts accordingly.
Answer by Dean Phillips
Lead Fitter FitWerx


If you’re looking for the best training tool available to a cyclist or triathlete, then look no further than a power meter.




I realize that power meters are very expensive. It is a big investment but I have to be honest...it is worth it! As you know, I am not a tech-savvy person nor do I believe that a person needs the latest and greatest in order to be fast, strong and powerful...and healthy. I am very fortunate that I have an amazing hubby who loves spoiling me with great components on my amazing bike but both Karel and myself believe that having great gear does not make you a great athlete. Bottom line, if you have a safe, reliable and well-tuned bike w/ practical components, you will be able to train at an optimal level...regardless if you train with power.
Keep in mind, if you invest in a power tap, you are likely getting a wheel, computer, chest strap and power meter in the hub. This wheel will be used as your "race" and training rear wheel since you can not remove the hub (which measures your watts) from the wheel. The quark (which Karel uses) is another type of power meter that is fully integrated into the crankset. Therefore, if you decide to purchase a quark power meter, you will be able to change your wheels for training and racing.

5/28/10

Zucchini casserole and pineapple spinach salad

I LOVE summer time food! But as much as I love the variety of fruits and veggies at great prices..... my grocery bill has gone up!!! Of course, rather than spending money on ice cream, soda's, chips, frozen pizza, lemonade and other popular summer time treats, Karel and I are going through our produce like crazy!!! In addition to going through a gallon of skim milk every 4-5 days and at least 10 low-fat yogurts a week, it's not cheap feeding two endurance athletes in the summer. However, I wouldn't think twice about buying fruits and veggies because based on how we feel on a daily basis, I love our diet of wholesome and nutrient-rich foods.
Of course, I still buy on sale (finally...a carton of blueberries at wal-mart are less than $3!) and try to shop in season.
I hope you enjoy my latest creation...talk about loads of nutrition in a casserole!!!

Zucchini casserole
1 zucchini (shredded)
1/2 medium onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 large carrots (peeled and shredded)
1/4 cup fresh mozzarella cheese
1 egg + 1 egg white
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup white beans
3 roma tomatoes (chopped)
1/4 cup instant oats

Pepper, basil and cumin spices

1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a little nonstick spray on a casserole dish.
2. Combine all ingredients and stir well.
3. Spoon into casserole dish and press down with spatula.
4. Cook for 25-35 min or until casserole is crispy brown on top.






Pineapple Spinach Salad
Spinach
Fresh Pineapple
Fresh Strawberries
Fresh Chives
Carrots
Cucumbers

5/27/10

Media and obesity

I enjoy watching TV in the evenings....well, more like watching recordings on my DVR.
I just don't have time to watch 2 hours of the Apprentice or American Idol so I record the shows I want to watch, wait 'til I have a little free time (typically I am multi-tasking while watching TV) and fast forward through the commercials.
I think we'd all agree that a big growing problem with the American culture is the daily number of hours that people are sedentary. More so, with 7-8 hr work days behind a desk or computer, many people are so exhausted from working that exercise is the last thing on the mind when there is a nice comfy couch at home and lots of entertaining shows on the television.
I would be a hypocrite if I told people to not watch TV but I believe that watching TV, in place of staying active or cooking, is a major contributor to an unhealthy lifestyle. Certainly there are many people who are not at a healthy weight and don't make the time to exercise due to work and life commitments and not because they are watching to much TV.
As you know we have a growing number of obese and overweight children and adults in the US and this statistic is not exclusive to low-income families or specific cultures. From recreational athletes and CEO's to musicians and straight-A students, maintaining a healthy body weight is a great struggle in our society.
To no surprise there are many environmental factors that are likely to contribute to obesity:
1)Accessibility and affordability of Fast food
2)Too much sugar (simple carbohydrates)
3) Not enough milk consumption and too much soda and fruit juice (not the 100% fruit, no sugar added kind) consumption
4) Large portion sizes
5) Not enough proper education/too many diets and misleading info
6) Not enough emphasis on childhood exercise/nutrition (ex. lack of PE and nutrition classes)
7) Lack of exercise
8) Sedentary lifestyles
9) Not enough whole foods, fruits and vegetables.
10) THE MEDIA!!

To no surprise, over $10 billion a year is spend on food advertising...specifically geared towards children. So, even if children (or adults) are only watching 30-60 min. of TV a day, much of what is seen on TV (in the form of commercials) is likely FOOD RELATED.

Have you seen this commercial?


Let's compare the nutrition facts of Cinnamon toast crunch (WITH CALCIUM) to Skim milk...



In order to get the 30% DV (Daily value based on a 2000 calorie diet) of Calcium in the skim milk you would need to eat 3 servings of cinnamon toast crunch (without milk). Certainly, you would have no trouble enjoying 3 x 3/4 cup of cinnamon toast crunch in the morning or after an evening workout but at 130 calories per serving and 10g of added sugar per serving (not to mention 220 mg of sodium per serving) you would need to consume 390 calories, 30g of added sugar (remember, women should consume no more than 25g/d of added sugar and men no more than 35g/d) and 660mg of sodium! Not sure about you, but I'd rather have an 8oz glass of cold skim milk (in addition to a wholesome and balanced meal) at 80 calories, with 8g of protein.
Are you confused/concerned about the 11g of sugar on the food label in the milk? The sugar is not added sugar but rather it is from lactose which is a type of sugar. Anything that ends in -ose is a sugar...glucose, fructose, galactose, maltose, sucrose, etc. If you are an athlete, check out your "energy" drinks and gels to see how much added sugar you are consuming during workouts? Sure your body depletes sugars (when you are working out at a high HR, >80-85% max HR) as a quick and effective fuel source but maltodextrin-based gels and drinks that are low in added sugar still provide the body with a usable and efficient form of energy (often without GI distress due to the body being able to properly digest and absorb those sugars).

After doing a little browsing on YOUTUBE.com here is what I'd like to see on TV...




Perhaps we need to combat obesity like we did (are) with smoking??? I am not the person who encourages "scare" tactics because I believe in education. But in order to prevent people from dying in their 40's and to allow people to live a quality-filled life...something has got to change.

What do you think about this video (watch the whole video)??


How about this one?

5/26/10

Guess who???

First we have to celebrate my birthday on MONDAY at the beach.... and then Campy will be signing autographs all next week.


(Thanks Kent L. for scanning Page 31 of Hammer Endurance News, May 2010 Issue #69)
Look at my furry little one.....he is such a celebrity!

BTW-The new line of Hammer clothing is amazing! Of course, I personally LOVE the cute gear designed for women. All of the clothing is SO comfortable! I have 3 hoodies from Hammer and I can't get enough of them! It's obvious that I love the line of nutrition products (which have kept me racing/training without GI problems for the past 3 years!) but I LOVE LOVE LOVE my hammer clothing.
If you'd like to purchase some Hammer products/gear be sure to mention my name and customer number for a discount!! Customer number 97495

5/25/10

Oatmeal Chicken Parmesan & Veggie Omelet

I receive a lot of emails regarding diets. I'm not talking about the Low carb diet, South beach diet or Paleo diet but rather diets within a household.
For example, "Marni, my husband is a meat and potato eater and exercises 15 hrs a week and I'm trying to lose 10 lbs and I can only squeeze in 5 hrs of exercise a week...how do I cook for him and eat to lose weight?" Another comment I receive a lot is "I'm a parent and I find it so hard to resist all the sweets and snacks that my kids are eating. How can I stop snacking on their food all the time?"

If you are embarking on a new lifestyle of increased activity and healthy eating, I strongly recommend to encourage others to "try" or "appreciate" your new or improved eating habits. Regardless if your friends are or aren't on board, it's important that you have support from your family members/relatives. Considering that most of us either care for someone blood-related younger than use or older than us, it's important that we take care of our body to help provide, take care and be there for others. If you are trying to figure out what works best for you at this point in your life, let others know that you are trying to make new changes that will allow you to live a long and healthy life.

When was the last time you made cookies or brownies for someone but refused to eat any? When was the last time you bought something for your kids or husband/wife/gf/bf but felt restricted to eat it yourself?

In an effort to build a healthy relationship with food, try to avoid cooking/providing your friends and family with food which you are avoiding. Rather than thinking that you can't buy bread for your family because you are avoiding "carbs" take some time to ask yourself whether or not is is "healthy" to avoid bread that is rich in whole grains? On the same note, if you are buying Cheetos, frozen cheese sticks and candy because your children ask for it, ask yourself if you are providing others with heart-unhealthy food that you know is not necessary in the daily diet? By evaluating the foods in your diet and the diet of others you can begin to think more clearly about what it means to have a healthy and balanced diet.
If there is something that others are eating and you know you “shouldn’t” eat, ask yourself what nutrients your body will receive from eating that food. Sometimes we have to change our thinking of "good and bad" food and embrace the idea of "emphasize and de-emphasize". Certainly whole grain bread is not a bad food but if you are about to have a healthy bowl of whole grain pasta and veggies, perhaps you may want to pass on the bread basket.

In my opinion, we all have our own "diet plan" that provides our body with the right amount of nutrients to support our lifestyle and activity routine. Although many people have trouble finding the ideal diet, I believe that we should all have a balanced diet rich in complex carbs, healthy fats, lean/low fat protein and lots of veggies and fruit. Depending on your lifestyle and activity routine, the proportion of carbs, fat and protein in your diet may be different than your friends. However, just because we eat different portions or distribute our macronutrients differently, we should all include similar foods in our diet. I don't believe that the person who exercises 15 hrs a week "deserves" to eat fatty foods and sugary treats whereas the person who works out 5 hrs a week should avoid carbs and fats.
There are an abundance of vitamins and minerals that are required to life a long and active life and I believe that everyone should have a variety of wholesome foods in the diet in order to meet daily recommendations.


When you experience a craving, especially when eating around others, ask yourself; are those foods high in sugar, do they have a lot of fat, are they processed, do they include good sources of whole grains, does this food have a long ingredient list, are they rich in vitamins and minerals...and most importantly, how will this food help or hurt my performance as an athlete AND my quest to living a long an active life? After you honestly answer these questions, consider choosing a healthy alternative (remember, replace don't eliminate) and invite your family and friends to enjoy (or try) that food with you.

Eating healthy is a group effort, involving friends, family and training partners.

Even though I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian and Karel eats meat (although his diet is about 70-80% vegetarian) I always prepare a vegetarian meal for us to both enjoy. A few days out of the week I will provide Karel with a non-vegetarian protein (ex. fish, chicken or tuna) but I don't believe that just because Karel is not a vegetarian that he shouldn't eat the same foods that I consume. There's only 2 things that differ between Karel's diet and my own - meat and fish. :)


Oatmeal Chicken Parmesan(for the meat-eaters)

1 serving chicken breast per person (about 3 oz. per person)
1 tsp flax seed
1 tsp wheat germ
1/2 cup instant oats
1 egg white + 1 tbsp water
Pepper, basil, cayenne
Marinara sauce
Parmesan cheese
Garlic clove (chopped)
Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Onion (sliced/chopped)
Olive oil (1-2 tsp)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a shallow bowl, lightly whisk egg white and water.
3. In another shallow bowl, combine oats, seasonings, flax and wheat germ.
4. In a non-stick skillet with a little olive oil, heat to medium heat.
5. Dip chicken in egg white and then cover in oat mixture (both sides).
6. Place chicken in skillet and cook for 3-4 min. on both sides (or until oats begin to brown).
7. While chicken is cooking, spoon a few spoonfuls marinara in a shallow casserole dish until the bottom is covered. Place onions and garlic on marinara and sprinkle with Parmesan.
8. When chicken is slightly done, remove from skillet and place on marinara. Sprinkle with cheese.
9. Place casserole dish in oven and bake for 15-20 min. or until chicken is completely done.





Veggie Omelet (for the vegetarians)
2 eggs (1 whole egg, 1 egg white)
1 tbsp greek yogurt (or 2 tbsp skim milk for a less fluffy egg)
2 tbsp fresh mozzarella cheese
Veggies: broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic
1-2 tsp olive oil

1. Preheat skillet to medium heat and add olive oil.
2. Cook veggies for a 4-5 min. Remove from skillet.
3. After scrambling eggs w/ yogurt (or milk) pour into skillet (may need to add a little cooking spray or olive oil). Give a quick scramble with your spatula and then spread out eggs to create an even mixture on pan.
4. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then flip.
5. Add 1/2 of veggies (be sure to prepare lots of veggies, some for you and some for your non-vegetarian dish if necessary) to the omelet and top w/ a little cheese.
6. Close omelet and remove from skillet.


5/24/10

Monday...recovery day!

As much as I enjoy the weekend, I really look forward to Monday.
Since I have been an athlete for much of my life (I started swimming when I was 12) I really don't know what it is like to not workout. Sure, swimming at least 15 hrs a week wasn't "exercise" for me but rather my "sport" I absolutely LOVED swimming and would throw a FIT to my parents if I had to miss a workout. I'm sure I looked forward to the boys in speedo's and the locker room gossip, rather than the main sets like 8 x 400's IM or 20 x 100's butterfly, but I loved my lifestyle of swim, school, swim, piano, homework.
From the age of 12 until I graduated from college I swam 6 days a week and had off on Sunday (unless we had a swim meet). I absolutely LOVED Sunday's..I was able to sleep in, get some homework done before midnight and hang out with my non-swimming friends.
When I was in college, I never once considered that a day off from swimming (Sunday) would reduce my fitness. If you can imagine, swimming 7,000-10,000 yrds a day (I specialized in butterfly so much of that was stroke work) on top of studying, going to classes, attending meetings (I was president of the Exercise Science club) and doing homework/projects was exhausting. I could barely keep my eyes open in class, I was always run-down and I had an inconsistent sleeping and eating routine. Somehow I made it all work by the time I graduated with my bachelor's in exercise science and a minor in psychology as well as 4 years of college swimming..however, I have no idea how I could have done it all if I hadn't had at least 1 day to let my body rest and relax from swimming.

Many athletes don't believe in rest days. Or perhaps they believe in them but it is hard to take advantage (or plan) them. I have no trouble planning rest days, especially when I consistently work out hard Tues - Sunday.
I could probably contribute my consistency of working out to quality over quantity training, as well as a balanced vegetarian diet but I firmly believe that giving my body a day to relax works as an advantage, rather as a disadvantage to my training and eating routine.
I have worked with countless athletes and I find that many people feel guilty when they don't work out. I think everyone could agree that the body does need rest every now and then but depending on your weekly workouts and training goals, not every week requires a complete day off.
For me and my athletes, Monday's are recovery/rest days. Depending on many factors (sleep, stress, weekend workouts, weekday workouts, races, etc.) it is up to you to decide when you need a complete day off (no exercise) or an active recovery day. I don't see any benefit in running 3 miles on an active recovery day. I believe that non-weight bearing exercises such as light bike riding, swimming or walking, all at around 30-60 min. are acceptable forms of active recovery. As for an off day, yoga and stretching are perfectly fine so long as you are relaxing the mind and body.
So how do you decide if you need to take the day off or if you need an active recovery day?
Active recovery day
*You want to loosen-up the body
*You are motivated to work out
*You have friends that will join you
*You just had a race and you want to prevent stiffness
*You have a busy day and you want to de-stress
*You don't need to set an alarm to wake up
*Your resting HR is normal, compared to other days
*You are hydrated (urine is pale yellow to clear)
*You aren't focused on "burning calories"
*You feel in control of your diet and aren't thinking about rewarding yourself with food for the day because of your workout

Rest day
*You are tired and sore when you wake up (likely with an alarm)
*You are typically exhausted on Monday's
*You are moody, sore and cranky on Monday's
*You have a long to-do list (I LOVE grocery shopping at 7am - NO LINES!)
*You tend to experience extreme cravings on Monday's and tend to overeat on Monday
*You are trying to work on your daily diet in an effort to support your training routine
*You just had a race and need to rest your mind and body
*You need to rest your mind
*You have a hard week of training coming up (or a race)
*You are tired of training and feel burnt-out
*You compare yourself to other athletes and have a tendency to push yourself too hard, too fast and aren't seeing any results
*You tend to experience injuries

Most of my Ironman events have been in the late summer/early fall (IMFL, Kona, IMKY and now IMWI). When I train for an IM, I do everything I can to avoid overtraining. I likely get to the point of overreaching but I know when to back off when I get to a healthy level of pushing my body. When a typical "peak" IM weekend workout includes around 7-9 hrs of training (in addition to weekly workouts) you better believe I crave MONDAY to REST REST REST!
Because I usually do a half ironman distance event in the early summer, I tend to use Monday's as my recovery day. My weekly volume is not as high as with IM training and I am able to balance my life with my training. IM training (specifically the weekend workouts) does make it a bit more tricky to fit in everything during the week.
As you know, I do not exercise to burn calories and I do not eat to meet specific calorie goals. I am not focused on burning calories during that workout because my workouts are never "calorie burning" opportunities. I am there to train. There was a time in my life when I was concerned about my calories in and calories out and because of that, I was less focused with what I was getting out of my workouts andm more focused on how many calories I was burning and what I could (or couldn't eat) in return. However, that was several years ago (well before I had IM finisher behind my name) and now my focus is on a heart-healthy vegetarian diet to help me live a quality-filled life and an active life.
But, regardless if you are an individual who exercises for the caloric-burn (there's nothing wrong with that, so long as the exercise and eating routine do not become obsessive) or you are training to be the best athlete you can be, one day of no activity (or an easy 30 min swim) will not sabotage your performance or your weight loss routine. Considering that the body needs to rest and recover in order to get stronger, recovery is one of the most important parts of a successful weight loss/maintenance and training routine.

It's kinda funny because triathletes seem to have no trouble working out whereas much of the population wishes they had our motivation, discipline and enjoyment of "working out" every day of the week. I absolutely LOVE to exercise but I know many athletes who just want to train and without a training and racing schedule, there would be no motivation to workout.
Here's how I see it:
A triathlete tells a friend that she/he is tired and the friend says "just take a day off...you need a rest". In contrast, a friend who is just getting into a workout routine tells the triathlete that she/he is tired and the triathlete encourages him/her to try to workout in an effort to de-stress or clear his/her mind. One of my favorite quotes:
"Triathlons - from the outside looking in you can't understand it. From the inside looking out, you can't explain it"

To reap the benefits of your workout, eating and weight loss/maintenance routine, take one day a week to remind yourself of why you are doing what you are doing.
Are you having fun? Are you overly tired? Are you meeting your realistic goals? Are you making yourself do something that is not maintainable or enjoyable?
I am not going to tell you to take a day off from exercise or to go and work out 6-7 days a week. But I will ask you to work on that guilt feeling that is often associated with not doing x-workout, x-miles or eating x-amount of calories. If you find yourself failing at your unrealistic and unreasonable expectations, it is time to start making the most out of life and creating a schedule that allows you to live a healthy and active life.

This morning I went to the Y with Karel. We did about 10 min. of core exercises and I showed Karel some plyometric exercises that he can do on his own. Afterward I went to the pool and chatted with my friend Laura for a few minutes and then chatted with my friend Sara. 10 min. later I got in the pool and swam a 500. Karel jumped in the pool and swam 200 yrds (first time swimming in at least 2 years! I was smiling from ear to ear. I completely forgot about my "planned" 30 min swim and just played in the water as I watched Karel swim with perfect form. I finished the morning with 1200 yrds and it was the best "workout" ever :)

Campy LOVES recovery day:

5/23/10

The work is done....

What a weekend of training...more like 3 quality days of training.
I had to switch around a few workouts this week to make time/have energy for many meetings, apt's and assignments. Things are coming together for my internship but there are so many little details to get squared away before I start on July 5th. Finding preceptors has been on the less-stressful side because Donna, my mentor, knows every dietitian in Jacksonville. The stressful part has been and continues to be all of the paperwork, logistics and liability issues that come into play with an intern.
From orientations and background checks to orientations and paperwork, my life has been very busy lately. I am trying to take things day by day but I know things are going to get a bit interesting as I embark on my first rotation for my internship (community - 272 hrs) all while training for IMWI. Although July and August will be my "peak" months for IM training (IMWI is the 2nd weekend in Sept) I seem to have better time management and structure in my life when I can train and learn at the same time. Sure, it is exhausting at times but I couldn't imagine my life any other way. It's kinda funny...my "worst" IM was the World Championships in Kona. I was not in school, I was working for myself (which was nothing compared to how busy I am now with sports nutrition/coaching) and I went into the race injured. Considering 3 out of my 4 Ironmans (IMWI will be my 4th-that blows my mind!) have taken place with me either in school or working full-time as a wellness coordinator (YMCA), I couldn't ever imagine myself waking up and training and not staying busy the rest of the day.
Funny how things work out sometimes. I do love my life.

Anyways-With 2 weeks of active recovery after our Speed Week trip at the end of April, and several rest days, my leg has not affected me for any part of my training in the last 2 weeks. I smile for every workout and I feel really great. I feel strong but I also feel blessed that I can actually train and not "get through" workouts. I am so excited for my upcoming race on June 5th in Macon GA! I've worked really hard for this day, not only with my training but with my recovery. Stretching, rolling on the tennis ball and icing are part of my "training" routine on a daily basis, in addition to proper recovery nutrition (and daily) and strength training. Sure, it is great to swim-bike-run but if I can't improve, what's the use of trying to get through painful workouts.

With quality training as my theme this year (and years to come) I am very conscious to not add too much mileage or intensity too quickly. I spent several months this winter working on my base and teaching my body to be as efficient as possible during training. I rely on very little nutrition during training partly due to intervals (w/ ample recovery) and gradually building mileage with my longer workouts.
Based on my current fitness level, Karel and I decided with 2 weekends left until Macon, there really isn't any benefit of me doing a "long" run on the weekend (in addition to a long bike+run on the other day). I spent all of Feb, March and April building my mileage on the weekends (in addition to intervals on Wed. and tempo on Fri) so as far as my running is concerned, 13-15 miles is my comfort zone. Whereas in the fall of 2009 I was comfortable running 6-7 miles/or 45-50 min., now I can easily run 13-15 miles with only 150ish calories.
I believe that any athlete can learn to become metabolically efficient (as Bob Seebohar would say) through proper training. Of course, no training plan is complete without proper daily nutrition so I guess you can say that pushing yourself during training sessions isn't the magic key to becoming a more efficient athlete.
Since I work with primarily newbie athletes (athletes wanting to accomplish a new racing distance or athletes seeking weight loss/fitness gains), alongside a few top age groupers, I really enjoy helping my athletes learn to use fat for fuel. Once the start realizing that they don't need 280+ calories per hour of gels, bars, gummies and powders, workouts become more productive, less money is spent on "training fuels" and there are very few GI problems.

On Fri Karel had me to a short, yet intense workout on my bike, followed by a short run.
I did a 30 mile bike w/ 3 x 7 min intervals w/ 3 min recovery. I had specific power zones (LT) for the 7 min intervals and I could do whatever for the recovery. The catch was that I had to do the 7 min intervals in my small chain ring which nearly killed my fast twitch fibers. Well, I survived and it felt great to be home.
After the bike came a short run. I held tempo for most of the run and added 5 x .1 fast sprint (well, I wouldn't call me a sprinter so let's say fast-er running) w/ .1 recovery.
Run stats for Fri:
2.6 miles, Average pace: 7:19, Total time: 18:59
Mile 1: 7:15
Mile 2: 7:17
.5 mile: 4:26 (7:30 pace)

Sat was a great day. Probably one of my most fav. days of the training season thus far.
Karel and I headed to the beach to meet up with the Lodge Group ride. I was looking forward to riding with the boys, running with the ocean in my sight and hitting the beach after my workout for some quality girl-time with my tri girls.
Karel and I warmed up for 45 min. in Nocatee and met up with Libby and Kellie for a few miles. We finally saw the group and off we went.....
I was looking forward to this ride and getting a little push from the other guys (I was the only girl). Based on the comments by the other riders, I am now known as "girl". At least that is what I was going by when I was told to jump in on a rotation or bridge a gap in the group. Who knew that the other guys would be staying on my wheel. Well, as I was enjoying myself during the ride, Karel and a few other strong guys took off and they were unable to be caught. I just love "racing" for a workout. Although a little tough at times, this ride was totally doable for me and with lots of hard work, I am happy that I can actually take part in the ride rather than hang on for dear life.
Stats for the ride:
Total: 1:45
Miles: 37.62
Time with group: 54 min.
Miles with group: 22.6
Speed with group: 25mph

After the ride came the run. As much as I was looking forward to a pain-free run, the 90-degree weather was not very appetizing.
Let's just say I was suffering out there. I had to take a few walk breaks because my 2-flask, pink fuel belt did not cut it for my post-ride run. I know Macon is going to be HOT HOT HOT so I'm planning on wearing my fuel belt to sip on my Hammer heed (and store my Hammer endurance amino's and probably a gel or two) but using the aid stations for cooling.
Stats for the brick run:
Total time: 1 hr
Miles: 7.69
Pace: 7:55 min/mile
Mile 1: 7:43
Mile 2: 7:42
Mile 3: 7:42
Mile 4: 7:45 (time to turn around...SOOOO hot!!!)
Mile 5: 7:57
Mile 6: 8:08
Mile 7: 8:11
Mile .69: 5:46 (8:20 pace)

I don't mind walking in training or in a race. I give my all in every workouts and that includes reminding myself how lucky I am that I can do this day in, day out and still have balance in my life. Injuries certainly destroy a balanced life of training and all other life commitments, so I'd rather be on the cautious side than push through any sort of pain (or take a chance).
I'm happy to say that despite a hard week of training, I had zero hip/butt pain/weakness and I felt strong. But oh the heat......

The ocean felt amazing....
Did I mention how much I LOVE my friend??? :)




The rest of Sat included a little resting...after stretching, rolling on the ball and icing. The resting included cuddling with Campy, watching Cycling with Karel (as he worked from home - the new TREK SPEED CONCEPT was just released! Check out Trekbikes.com) and enjoying my recovery foods.

So onto Sun...what a tough tough ride. My body was a bit tired from Fri and Sat but not sore. Karel joined me for a 3 1/2 hr ride and once again, my ride included specific intervals.
As part of my half ironman training, I have not done more than 4 hrs of riding or more than 15 miles of running. Rather, I have worked on getting faster and more powerful on the bike and getting mentally tough to race 56 miles. This included a lot of tempo and interval rides during the week (tues and thurs respectively) as well as brick workouts. As you can tell from this weekend, bricks are key right now with my training and I am teaching my body to run faster off the bike.
The ride today was beautiful....Nocatee, over the bridge, A1A, over the bridge, St. Augustine, US 1, back home.
The ride today included:
Karel warming up (w/ me on his wheel) for 45 min.
My main set 3x's:
(my power zones are based on my weight and my 20 min. time trial power test)
10 min @ 140ish watts
5 min @ 160-165 watts
10 min @ 140ish watts
5 min @ 160-165 watts
10 min recovery - and repeat

I was not making my watts at all. I had tail wind for some of the first 2 sets but then the wind was picking up for my last set. My body was not cooperating with my mind but with Karel keeping me motivated and mentally tough (riding behind me) I was able to stay in some kind of power and HR zone for all of my sets. I was averaging around 21mph for the first 2 sets (for the entire 30 min) and the last 30 min. I was just trying to finish the set strong.
Overall, it was a really really tough workout but I am so happy that Karel was there with me. I think I could have easily done the first set and just rode easy at 110 watts for 2 1/2 hrs but with Karel as my coach and riding partner, there are no excuses during my workout.
I have to say, the best part of the weekend was riding home with Karel and having him tell me "your work is done...now you need to recover".
Stats for the ride:
3hrs and 37min.
72 miles

I scratched my 3 mile run after the bike. That was a silly idea for me to even think I needed to run after a weekend like this. However, my favorite running partner looked at me with his cute brown eyes and I couldn't resist a 1-mile campy run.
Clearly, running with Campy isn't training....I couldn't think of any other way to finish off my weekend.





Thanks for reading about my weekend...hope you had a great one!

A big thanks to karel for letting me rest (although he did tell me at least 5 times to SIT DOWN, just REST!), doing a little grocery shopping and for being a supportive and loving hubby. With both Karel and I squeezing in morning training every day of the week (mon - active recovery day or off) I really cherish the times that we can train/bike together..and that I can finally stay on his wheel! :)