Essential Sports Nutrition


2016 Trimarni coaching - last day to apply!

-Do you have a big racing goal for 2016? 
-Do you have a long distance race on your schedule for next season but feel you need some guidance to avoid overtraining or to maximize fitness without compromising your health? 
-Are you looking to be part of a team that you can socialize with at key races and camps?
-Are you focused on short course racing and want to get faster and stronger and improve your confidence and skills with triathlon racing?
-Are you training for a triathlon race next season and are looking for two experienced coaches to provide you with education on how to train and fuel smarter - not just give you a training plan?
-Are you seeking a better understanding of nutrition, sport nutrition, training, performance, recovery, swim/bike/run skills and the ability to perform better on race day?

If you said YES to any of the above, you can now apply to be part of the 2016 Trimarni Team.
We realize that no two athletes are alike. We all have different health and fitness goals, we live different lifestyles and we all come from different athletic backgrounds.
There are athletes who have a lot of experience and strengths and other athletes who have weaknesses and need a lot of guidance.

Some athletes have more to balance on their daily plate but we know that every athlete who seeks a coach, wants to make improvements and desires personal athletic development.

But every athlete that we work with should have a dream, a goal and a plan.

We believe in a TEAM structure with our coaching in that every athlete supports one another. We also believe in long-term relationships with our athletes. As coaches, we treat every one of our coaching athletes as individuals, each with a training plan which is designed to challenge you, prepare you and develop you as an athlete.  Overtime, we can get to know you as an athlete and person which allows us to coach you better.

It is our goal to progress your fitness and to help you train smart so that by race day, you have the skills, fitness and mental strength to execute with a healthy body. 

We never want you to feel as if training takes over your life but instead, it is an integral part of your lifestyle.

As recent 2015 Ironman World Championship finishers, we have a combined 14 Ironman finishes between us, over 15 half IM races and years of experience specific to (but not limited to) sport nutrition (Marni), understanding how to perform on race (Marni and Karel) and cycling skills/fitness (which are all common weak areas for triathletes of all levels).

We understand what is required to maximize fitness and to be able to execute with a healthy body on race day.
 No matter what fitness level athlete you are, we want to be part of your training and racing journey and help you reach your season goals!




Ironman post-race indulging

It's just as important to have a healthy relationship with food going into your endurance races as it is to have a healthy relationship with food after your races. 

I've never been one to restrict the occasional indulgence in training and I certainly don't have rules for post-race indulgences. cream, french fries, pizza and doughnut holes.

The most obvious reason for indulging is to compensate for the glycogen depletion, dehydration, brain fatigue and the massive amount of calories that were expended . Despite the gels, sport drinks, cola and solid food that you consumed during your race, your body is so famished post race that your choice of post-race food is likely a mix between "reward" food and whatever appeals to your taste buds and tummy.
And from my experience, every athlete craves something different post race. 

As a general guideline (as a coach, board certified sport dietitian and 10x Ironman finisher):

Pancake breakfast w/ eggs and fruit from Splasher's Grill 

In the 24 hours post race: 
Whatever you crave, eat it! Just be mindful that some foods may appeal to you but when eating them, your tummy may not tolerate them. Eat slow and don't feel pressure to finish your plate. It's likely that small meals are eater to digest than one large meal. Focus on hydration (with water/electrolytes) and eating every few hours. Depending on how your body performed at the race, this will likely dictate how you eat, what you eat and when you eat. But no guilty feelings about what you put into your body!

Good Karma burger and fries from Annie's Island Fresh Burgers

2 days post race:

Enjoy one or two meals as reward food/indulgences. For many athletes, it is likely that in the 24 hours post race, your appetite was a little off and you really didn't take full advantage of your many post race indulgence options. Treat yourself to a burger, wings, chips, fries, pizza, a big cinnamon roll - whatever sounds good at this point in your recovery. As for the other parts of the day, start "cleaning up" the diet by incorporating some healthy food options into your diet like oatmeal, soup, a salad, fresh fruit. Continue to focus on hydration/fluids.

Quinoa salad from Da Poke Shack

3 days post race:
At this point, your body should be feeling a little more normal and a lot less depleted. Consider that sleep deprivation can affect your appetite. It's time to start cleaning up the diet a bit more so reward food/indulgences should be kept to a minimum as this is the time when the body is starting to kick-start the recovery process. The foods you eat throughout the day should be nutrient dense and should make you feel "clean" inside when you eat them. It's time to start incorporating more fiber/plants into the diet to help with your immune system suppression post race so that you do not get sick during your recovery.

At this point, you want to start thinking about your post race diet and how it will help you maximize performance and health as you gear up for your next race.

If it's the start of the off-season for you, it's time to think about your off-season diet and body composition goals. .

If you struggle with your diet going into your races or recovery, contact a sport RD to help maximize your recovery and race week fueling.


IM Kona ''15 - reflections

After crossing 10 Ironman finish lines, I have learned something from each one of them.
On Saturday, I learned how strong my mind can be even when my body does not cooperate.
I also reminded myself why Kona is the sight of the Ironman World Championship - racing here is a  a humbling experience to race with the best athletes in the world on a very challenging race course.
IM Kona can crush dreams or can make dreams come true. 

Over the past 9 years, I have had great races where I could do what I love to do on race day -  race with only my mind as my only limiter on race day and perform with a healthy and strong body.
But then I've had races where my body didn't perform well.
No matter the race, I have found myself crossing the finish line and wanting to do better. 
There was always a next time as I have never given up even when races didn't go as planned. 

I've been in this position before. Actually, the situation is so similar that it's almost scary. 

Back in 2010 I qualified for the 2011 Ironman World Championship.
Just last year, I qualified for the Ironman World Championship. 

In 2010 and 2014, I qualified for the 2011 and 2015 IM World Championship at the same race - Ironman Wisconsin. 

In 2010 and 2011 - Karel watched me race in Wisconsin and Kona.
In 2014 and 2015 - Karel raced with me in Wisconsin and Kona.
In 2011, I went into Kona with a very healthy body and mind, felt confident in my fitness. But, the race didn't go as planned. I struggled on the run and found myself wanting to quit early on Ali'i drive. It was a very tough day.
It was a challenge to say the least but I managed to cross my 2nd IM Kona finish line. 

Fast forward 3 years later and I found myself in the same situation. Certainly, I didn't think about it on a race day as I was in a world of hurt on the run and my only focus was on finishing.
With almost exactly the same scenario but nothing significant to blame (not nutrition, previous training or race day pacing) - I just felt off all day in Kona.

I never let that feeling get to me as I knew my day was not coming together as I liked after the swim and after the bike. Even when I set foot on the run, my body didn't feel good but I didn't let that get to me. 

Now that I have had a few days to reflect, recover and think about my 4th Ironman World Championship finish, I can confidently say that I would not have done anything differently with my training leading up to the race or how I raced this race. I honestly did the best I could and funny enough, I felt really strong (endurance wise) on the swim and the bike but my times were not what I had anticipated. I didn't have any significant low moments on the swim or the bike (well - the last 32 miles of headwind on the bike was a big mental battle) and even while feeling off on the run, I was still able to run from aid station to aid station with a fairly relative good pace in the very hot temps.
I wasn't out to chase times but then again, how I perceived the effort didn't match with how I perceived my times. 

I find great joy in racing, especially at the longer distances, but it is a challenge to be "on" for 10+ hours. Training is fun and I feel that as athletes, we often take it for granted how tough it is on race day compared to training. 
In training, we check off workouts. We can stop, we can modify, we can adjust. Athletes and coaches often say that race day is the "easiest" training day because of the volunteers, aid stations, spectators and the fact that you get to race with a tapered body and months of training behind you but ask any competitive endurance athlete and he/she will tell you how mentally and physically exhausting it is to "race" in an endurance event.

On Ironman race day, the performance counts. For 140.6 miles, you are faced with challenges to overcome and many mind/body arguments.  There are no guarantees for race day. 
After months and months of training, you have only one day to perform at your best. Even if we feel great on race day or the weather is ideal for a "fast" race, race day is never easy. 

I never want to make excuses for a race. I will not put blame on outside variables or myself. I could not have done anything different on or before race day for a different outcome. Over the course of 140.6 miles in Kona, I did what I could, on a challenging day, on a very challenging course. I owe a big thank you to my body that I finished but I now carry a slight ache in my heart that it wasn't my day.

But as I said before, I've been in this position before. And with being presented with this scenario just a few years ago, I know my choices. 

Give up or give it another try.

Right now, I will give up on getting back to Kona for a while but I don't want to give up on triathlon racing. 

I have never given up on race day in my 10 Ironman races as I have finished every Ironman that I have started.
I won't let one Ironman race to define me as an athlete. It wasn't about my IM Kona finish time but the hardest take-away for me is that my body won over my mind.

I will not forget the great season that I have had this year as well as my many accomplishments, wins, PR's and Kona qualifications over the past three years.
I will not give up on wanting to better myself on race day.

Last time I found myself in this position in 2011, I had my best season the following year. I was training and racing faster than ever all thanks to a mental and physical break from the Ironman distance. I was able to race more and I worked on many weaknesses. After 2012, despite a hiatus from running due to another hip/back injury, I have done some amazing things with my body over the past 3 years including 5 Ironman finishes (and 2 IM World Championship finishes, a 10:17 IM PR at IM Austria with a 3:39 IM run), winning the amateur female title at 3 half IM events and training/racing injury free. 

I'm disappointed in how the race went on Saturday but I am proud that I never gave up.
When you are walking with several miles to go and it is impossible to run, a bicycle, car or moped looks very inviting. I'd be lying if the thought didn't cross my mind that there was an "easier" way to get to the finish area - however, that way would mean not crossing the finish line and not receiving a finisher medal. 

And even though things were not going my way throughout the day, I never convinced myself during the race that I was having a bad day. It was only when I could no longer race with my mind in the last 7 miles of the run, that I felt defeated.

As I leave the island today knowing that on race day, I could not have done anything different for a different result, I will eventually find closure in my IM Kona performance.
And with a few Campy kisses tomorrow and the excitement for a well needed off-season, I will move on knowing that this is not my life but my lifestyle.
Life is still awesome and I still love triathlon racing.
I love the highs, the lows and everything in between and the many life lessons that I learn with racing long distance triathlons.

I am incredibly grateful to my body for allowing me to compete in this extreme endurance triathlon sport, I feel so lucky for all that I have accomplished in the past and I love being able to share this awesome lifestyle with Karel.

Thank you for your support and for letting me be honest and candid with my racing experiences.
My IM Kona race recaps will be coming soon....


Ironman World Championship finishers!

Thank you everyone for the support yesterday. We needed it!

We are so proud to now be 2015 Ironman World Championship finishers!!
It was a very hot, challenging day with a lot to overcome in order for us to get to the finish line. 

With now 10 Ironman races behind me, including 4 Ironman World Championship finishes, I can honestly say that there has never been a race when I felt great from start to finish, everything went perfect or I felt like I was able to execute my plan....and that the thought of never doing another Ironman didn't cross my mind.
When it comes to racing for 140.6 miles, there is always something to challenge us on race day.
THIS is what makes the Ironman so extreme in that you never ever know what race day will bring or what your body will do on race day. 

I never overlook an Ironman finish and every medal is earned - not given.
It was an extremely tough day for both of us (but mostly for me as Karel was able to race so strong from start to finish for his first Kona) but I am incredibly grateful that Karel was on the course with me as it was a very special experience to compete in the Ironman World Championship together. Absolutely, a dream come true for both of us. 

Race results:

2.4 mile swim: 1:13:47
112 mile bike: 5:06:50
26.2 mile run: 3:27:12
Total: 9:55.29

2.4 mile swim: 1:08:06
112 mile bike: 5:44:08
26.2 mile run: 4:29:26
(many miles of walking from the energy lab back to town due to pain in my neck, ribs and side - I felt defeated but not hopeless - if I can't run, I can walk). 

Total: 11:30.37

Quick video race recap of my race. 

Stay tuned for my IM Kona 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run blog race recaps later this week.