6/9/17

Athlete Spotlight: Bryan & Rebecca Milling - A couple's inspiring story of overcoming the odds with an active lifestyle


Name: Bryan and Rebecca Milling

Age: 42

City/State: Greenville, SC

Primary sport: Triathlon (Bryan),  Running (Rebecca)

How many years in the sport: 6 years

What Trimarni services have you used: Nutrition consult. RETUL. Group training camp. Coaching.
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Describe your athletic background and how you discovered your current sport?

Bryan: I played baseball in elementary school and football in middle school but fell out of organized athletics around the 8th grade. I skateboarded pretty hard after that, but never thought of that as being athletic. In high school, I starting smoking and became an alcoholic in college. It runs in my family so it wasn’t hard to pick up those habits. It became the thing I was “good at”. Party? No problem - I was always the last one standing. Funny how I was still competitive during that time in my life. I drank pretty hard through college and my first few years as a professional. About 20 years ago, a family member had an accident involving alcohol and two people were killed. That was the last day I drank any alcohol. I started working out and running to fill the void. I eventually worked up to a marathon (which sucked), but it was an accomplishment.. A friend sold me a Cannondale CAAD8 so I started riding. Naturally, that led to triathlon. I finished my first sprint and felt like a rockstar. I knew nothing about the sport other than it was big enough to keep me interested in it for a very long time. That’s still true today!

Rebecca: I was diagnosed at birth with congenital heart disease, and had my first heart surgery in 1984, at the age of eight. Because of my heart condition I was restricted in my activities - walking was about the only exercise that I was “allowed” to do. In 2009, my cardiologist told me it was time for my aortic valve to be replaced and with advances in medical technology, it was also revealed that I had an atrial septal defect (or a hole in my heart). I had my aortic valve replaced and the hole repaired in October 14, 2009. I had always felt like I could be more active than I was told so after recovering from open heart surgery I began running. The same weekend I was in the hospital recovering from surgery, the hospital held its annual 5k running race. I was determined to run in the race one day rather than hearing about the race from my hospital bed. My goal was achieved exactly one year later when I proudly ran the 5k (the Hopebuilders 5k) as my first race ever!


What keeps you training and racing in your current sport?


Bryan:
I have an addictive personality so I have to do something or I’ll go crazy. Triathlon is a great way to stay healthy and active. It’s so diverse that it keeps me engaged, which is important because if I lose interest, I’m usually gone. I have yet to find anyone who’s mastered all three disciplines so triathlon is the sport that keeps me going, knowing that I can keep getting better.   

Rebecca:
I have been unhealthy and healthy.......healthy is much better! I don’t want to take for granted how great I have felt the past seven years since my surgery and I certainly don't want to take for granted all of the doctors and caregivers that helped me get to where I am today.



What do you do for work?
Bryan:
I have one of the greatest jobs! I work for OOBE (oo-be), we’re an apparel design firm here in Greenville, SC. We custom make uniforms for companies like Chick-fil-a, Hendrick Automotive Group, and BMW Manufacturing. I oversee half of the company’s business as well as oversee the management of all but one of our accounts. It’s stressful but fun and exciting and allows me the flexibility to get my workouts in. 

Rebecca: I have recently “retired” as a preschool teacher and I am now a stay-at-home mom.

How does your work life affect training and how do you balance work and training?
Bryan: I get up between 4:00-4:30 AM every work day to get my first workout in. If I have a second, I try to do it at lunch. I’m blessed to have the flexibility to do this because it allows me to workout and be productive at work and still have family time when I get home. Travel is tough but I try to stick to the same schedule. There are days when I just can’t get it in and that’s OK. I just try to keep everything in balance and perspective. 

Rebecca:
When I was working I was fortunate to work part-time. This allowed me the flexibility I needed to get my workouts in.


Any tips/tricks as to how to balance work and training?


1) Do the tough work in the dark. Getting up early lets you accomplish something before you even leave the house!

 2) Work pays for triathlon so make sure the priorities are in order. Having priorities doesn’t justify skipping workouts, it just means we have to make time to get them done.



Do you have kids?
Yes! Martha (12) and Sam (7). We are very proud of them both - they’re great kids. Martha plays soccer and Sam is in a running club. Sam actually ran 26.2 miles over the course of the school year! This year will also be Martha’s third year of triathlon camp at the YMCA and Sam’s first. They chose to do it on their own and it’s awesome to see them pursue an active lifestyle.



How does having kids affect your training? How do you balance a family and training? 

Bryan: Again, balance and priorities. As I mentioned above, I workout in the dark before anyone gets up. This way, I’m making time on the back-end of the day for the family. I couldn’t do it without Rebecca. While I’m finishing the workout, she’s getting the kids up and ready. Then I take one to school and she takes the other. Divide and conquer! If work smashes my morning and the kids have an activity in the evening, that’s the priority. But I’ll work hard to find time to get something in - something is better than nothing! I do try to involve the kids so if I have a short brick, I’ll ask them to ride a bike beside me. I also try to take them to the pool and we swim together after my workout. We’ll also try to do family bike rides on the trail. It’s never perfect but making the effort is what counts.

Rebecca: As a wife and mom, I not only have to consider my schedule on any given day but the schedules of my family. If getting my workout in on certain days is only going to add stress to our already crazy day, I try to not be too hard on myself if I have to skip a workout here or there. I always tell myself "tomorrow is a new day."



What tips and tricks do you have for other athletes who struggle to balance training with family? 

Bryan: COMMUNICATE! As moms and dads, there are just certain family obligations that we have to commit too and those are not excuses. But for everything else in life, talk with your spouse, talk about your workouts and together, talk about your goals. If Rebecca wants to train for a road race, she comes first so together we make a plan that works for both of us. Do your best to manage life and don’t let life manage you!

Rebecca: If at all possible, get it done first thing in the morning - or as early as you can.
Seems simple, but this helps a lot!



How do you balance your training with your partner? Any tips or tricks for keeping your partner happy while you train to reach your personal goals?


Bryan: Rebecca is a special woman. She motivates me just by living. So many people with her condition live life as little as possible out of fear. Rebecca’s not like that. She is active and works extremely hard to live a healthy lifestyle and also to provide for her family. I want to support that and honor her so she always comes first. My advice is try to give more than you take. We try to talk about the year and what we want to do and then try to set expectations so we don’t disappoint one another. We also try to make time for us - alone so that we can stay connected. It’s REALLY hard to do this at this stage in life but we try. I also try to help with things like clean up after supper, help clean the house and other daily things so that she doesn’t have to worry about them. Again, I try to give more than I take. I fail a lot but I try. 

Rebecca:
Bryan and I both lead active lives....communication is key. Often, we discuss the day before what our goals are for the next day. We talk about things like what time he needs to leave for work or what time will he be on the bike trainer or what time I'll be leaving for my workout. Although we try to plan the best that we can, its the spur of the moment things in life that we forget to talk about or want to add in that can throw us for a loop.

Do you have a recent race result, notable performance or lesson
learned that you'd like to share?Bryan: Finishing Ironman Wisconsin last year tops the list. Most people don't want to invest into something that takes time and effort - like training for and completing an Ironman triathlon. It requires a lot of time out of life but when you cross that finish line and realize what you’ve accomplished, there’s nothing like that feeling. I remember finding Rebecca and leaning over the railing onto her shoulder and just crying. There were no tears because, well, I’d just finished sweating for 12 hours, but I was so emotional. She invested in me and allowed me to invest into this adventure. It was euphoric and one of the best days of my life.

Rebecca:
I had hoped to run the GHS half marathon in February of this year but was not feeling well for several weeks and my training suffered. I am just now gaining my momentum back with my running and thanks to the reminder from my husband, I am focusing on my small daily achievements as I build back rather than focusing on the set back.



What are your top tips for athletes, as it relates to staying happy, healthy and performing well?
Bryan:

  1. Remember why you started triathlon. Let’s face it, triathletes are a cool bunch of people and are very driven. Enjoy being cool and being driven - two great qualities to have in life!
  2. Involve those around you and share the experience with others. Your kids and spouses don’t have to be triathletes but they might enjoy running, biking or swimming. Do active things with them!
  3. Be involved and grow the community because it’s a great community! Don’t operate on the fringes but instead, introduce yourself and make friends. Then, introduce your family to their family. The really cool thing about Greenville is the run-bike-swim (not exclusively triathlon) community is very interwoven and it’s awesome!
  4. Eat your veggies. Enjoy all food but have some discipline to eat health because it’s very important. Take care of your body/mind, outside of the sport of triathlon.
  5. Understand the difference between drive and addiction. One is healthy, the other is not. Make the right sacrifices because you’re driven and moving toward something. Don’t make the wrong sacrifices because you have an addiction. Triathlon is fun but it is not life.
Rebecca:
  1. I have learned the importance of paying attention to the seemingly smaller things the last year or so.....stretching, warm-ups, and cool downs have helped me stay injury free. Unfortunately its easy for me to ignore these things when I am feeling good.
  2. When I am paying attention to what I am putting in my body (food), my body responds better. This is even helpful for an “exerciser” like me.
  3. I am not just an athlete....I am a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, etc. Take time for other things in your life and sleep in once in a while.

How would you define athletic success as it relates to your personal journey?
Bryan:
Going from being an overweight-cigarette smoking-alcoholic to an Ironman triathlete pretty much defines my success. I’ve been very blessed by God’s grace, not mine but His. I’ve been blessed by with a wonderful wife, great kids, the means and physical ability to play triathlon and enjoy it. It doesn’t get better than what I got it and I just want it to stay this good. 

Rebecca:
Athletic success is being able to stay fit and doing something that I enjoy. I am not cut from the same cloth as Bryan and will never have Ironman-sized goals and that's ok. But being able to run 5-6 miles for exercise while enjoy the outdoors, and setting a good example for my children is well worth it!


What's your favorite post-race meal, drink or food?

Bryan: I’m a pizza guy. Black olives, mushrooms, arugula and I’m good. 

Rebecca:
Oatmeal with fruit, walnuts, cinnamon and a little maple syrup.

What key races do you have planned in 2017?Bryan: Lake Logan half and Ironman Chattanooga - I can’t wait to race with my Trimarni teammates! 

Rebecca:
Ironman Chattanooga - just kidding! But my job for the next few months is to help Bryan achieve that goal. I will likely do some smaller local races and possibly the Spinx half marathon in the fall.

What are your athletic goals for the next 5 years?
Bryan: I'll be real
honest - I can’t really think that far. I’m enjoying my new road bike and I'll be doing Hincapie’s Grand Fondo in October. Who knows where that may lead but maybe some bike racing. I also want to take the family on a race-cation, maybe Texas (Martha was born in Austin) or Hawaii.

Anything else?

Rebecca: I support a wonderful organization called The Ironheart Foundation. It has been so beneficial for me to have the support and to learn from other cardiac athletes. You can also watch their documentary “Flatline to Finishline” on Amazon prime and follow cardiac athletes as they set goals to compete in Ironman Arizona. Very inspiring!

 From Ironheart Foundation “We use physical movement and sport to transform, empower and positively impact lives that have been affected by heart disease.”

6/8/17

Tips for adjusting to warm weather workouts



The warm weather is finally here!

While it's great that we no longer have to bundle-up in layers of clothing before an outdoor workout, there is great physiological strain imposed by training in hot conditions.

In a recent interview with the Epson Salt Council, I provided my 5 tips for adjusting to warm weather workouts.

Since this topic is one that I discuss quite often with my nutrition and coaching athlete, here are a few blog posts specifically discussing the topic of hot weather training/racing:

Acclimatization - 8/09

Perfect Cooling Towel Review - 9/15


Challenge Williamsburg Race Report - Temp Real Feel 124 degrees - 6/15

Simple Sport Nutrition tweaks - Swim 8/16

Simple Sport Nutrition tweaks - Bike 8/16

Simple Sport Nutrition tweaks - 8/16






6/7/17

Celebrate Global Running Day with these important running tips



6 minutes or 14 minutes. It doesn't matter how long it takes you to cover a mile, a mile is still a mile.
Today is Global Running Day - a day for people around the world to celebrate the joys of running. Share your passion for the sport of running and inspire others to get moving.

For all fitness levels, running is a great sport to challenge your mind and body. But even better, running does not require a gym membership, it's fairly inexpensive and you can do it almost anywhere (and anytime) and it comes with a list of benefits including body composition changes, fitness gains, stress relief and self-confidence.

While running can provide you with a great endorphin-rush, making you feel like you are capable of tackling everything on your to-do list after you finish a run workout, running does come with a few downfalls.

Running is very corrosive on the body and in order to reduce the risk for injuries and health issues, longevity in the sport of running requires a careful balance of consistent training, good economy, proper recovery, excellent nutrition and listening to the body.

Running is rather hard on the body and not every human body is designed to be a runner. Running requires good flexibility and range of motion as well as exceptional cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular strength. Injuries due to overtraining, poor biomechanics and improper shoes or increasing mileage too quickly are very common in runners of all fitness levels.

If you are looking to extend your running career or you are hoping to improve your running fitness, I have a few important tips to help make the most out of your running journey.


Build a strong body 
– As great as it feels to check-off an hour run from your training plan, it’s important that you build a strong and resilient body before you try to increase your speed and distance. Strength training is an important part of a balanced running routine for a weak body increases the risk for injury. It’s recommended to include 2-3 x 20-40 minute sessions of functional (ex. run-specific) strength training each week into your running routine alongside strength based running (ex. incline walking and hill strides).  One of your strength workouts should include power-based strength. Runners should aim to improve strength in the hips, glutes, lower back and core to ensure good pelvis strength but don't neglect the arms and feet. Bottom line, don't try to run yourself to a stronger body. Incorporate strength training and strength-based running to become a more resilient runner with better economy.

Consistency is key
 – When you start your run training, you will either feel amazing and the miles will tick away naturally OR you will struggle with recovery after runs and you will find yourself sore, tired and unmotivated to continue. Based on research, the magic number of runs per week is between three and five. Less runs can place just as much stress on your body as running too much. Frequency training improves endurance, speed and stamina but you need consistent training to help you adapt to training stress with proper recovery. Also, frequent running allows you to focus on your economy and cadence, without having each run be a "key" workout designed to improve your lactate threshold or aerobic endurance. Develop a smart training plan that gives you several times to run per week,with different intensities and duration's, with no run workout being too exhausting that you can't recover from it before your next run workout. When you aren't running, consider cross training like swimming or cycling to bridge you from one run workout to the next.

It’s not just about miles completed
 – Nothing can replace hard work so if you want to be a better runner, you have to pay your physical dues. But being a "better runner" requires so much more than running x-miles a week or running x-pace. Take a look at your lifestyle and recognize that good restful sleep (7-8 hours), a positive attitude, good stress management, attention to sport nutrition, balanced daily nutrition, a healthy immune system, good mobility, proper pacing, using RPE instead of being a slave to your gadget and a good warm-up will help you improve your running fitness. In other words, think about what you are doing when you are not running if you want to become a better, stronger and faster runner. Be an active participant in your run training so you are constantly making smart choices. Going into a run with tension, stress and tight muscles will cause you to run with tension, stress and tight muscles.

Running is not punishment - 
You do not need to earn your food by running. If you find yourself running to earn a treat or to burn off food that you feel guilty about eating or because you hate your body, you are running for the wrong reasons. Running allows you to enjoy the fresh air, it takes you to different places, it helps you socialize with like-minded individuals and it helps you de-stress. Running should make you feel good. If you find yourself using your run training as a way to feel more in control over your eating choices or to reward yourself with "off limit" food, you may be forming a dysfunctional relationship with exercise, which may lead to disordered eating or excessive exercising. Make sure your reasons for exercising or training for an event are for the right reasons. Run to get stronger, to relieve stress, to feel confident about your body and to challenge your limits. Do not run for punishment, to earn food, to reward yourself, to justify eating certain foods or because you shame your body. Running should not control your life, your food choices or your thoughts about your body but instead, should add value to your life. Be grateful that you can use your body to run for there are many people in this world who are unable to enjoy the benefits of running.

Optimize the energy cost of running - 
 Specifically for athletes (triathletes/runners), you must be being able to sustain a high rate of energy production for a prolonged amount of time.  Your ability to run well is not determined by how fast you can run but how efficient you are at using oxygen in order to resist fatigue throughout your entire training session or event. By improving your running economy, or how well your body uses oxygen for whatever duration and intensity you are running, you can actually get you running faster with less work. Imagine that – if you want to run faster, just run more efficiently! The winning formula is: Good posture/form = Improved efficiency = resistance to fatigue = faster running.

Cross Train - 
Cycling, swimming and strength training can all help improve your running mechanics. Running does not necessarily make you a better swimmer or cyclist but swimming and cycling can make you a better runner as you can work on mobility, balance, posture control and speed without placing weight on the body. Knowing that running is an injury-producing sport, cross training offers a healthy amount of stress and literally "takes the load off." 

RUNNING T
ECHNIQUE TIPS
  • Establish good posture before you start running. Typically marching into power walking will help.
  • Avoid forcefully swinging your arms in front of your body. Thumbs toward armpits, elbows behind you. Any forward arm movement should be a counter movement to your arms swinging behind you. 
  • Relax your shoulders and hold no tension in your neck/arms/ 
  • Head looks ahead of you toward the ground, not to the horizon, straight up or straight down.
  • Forward lean - hips in front of knees, in front of ankles. Don’t lean back or upright.
  • Avoid bouncing up and down and instead, propel yourself forward. 
  • Don’t overstride or try to land on your toes. Focus on landing your feet under your hips.
  • Minimize your time on the ground to help you run light, to minimize fatigue.
  • Use your warm-up and any time before your run main set to work on posture and form. 
  • To help run downhill, hold your arms closer to your body to feel more control. 
  • Incorporate walk breaks to help you reset form. 
  • Fuel and hydrate to help delay fatigue and to keep good form. 
  • Always run with good form. If you can't keep good form, your risk for injury increases
In honor of Global Running Day, my friends at StrideBox are offering you 50% off the first box for a new monthly subscription to StrideBox.

StrideBox is a fun and exciting way to discover new running products. It makes for a special surprise gift for a running friend or gift yourself a monthly box of running nutrition, accessories and essentials.


The coupon code is RunningDay17
Learn more HERE.                                      


Happy Running!

6/6/17

Confused by nutrition??? Here's why.....


Nutrition plays a very important role in health and performance. But I don't have to tell you what you already know.

You are well aware that if your body doesn't get the nutrients/energy that it needs, your risk of illness, injury and sickness increases as your body struggles to adapt to intentional training and life stressors. With proper nutrition, you are rewarded with performance gains and a strong, healthy and fit body. 

As a Board Certified Sport Dietitian, I have an important role as it relates to the performances by athletes. For countless reasons, many athletes are invested into improving "nutrition" with the help of a sport dietitian. At the most basic level, improving nutrition will lead to better strength, resilience, endurance and recovery but nutrition also plays an important contributing role in the development, management and prevention of mental health problems as well as in achieving and sustaining a healthy body composition. 

Thanks to social media, we now communicate, share information, connect with people, receive news, promote products/brands and debate topics much differently than in the past. With so much nutrition information available to the public, nutrition overload leads to confusion and misleading information.
This reminds me of the telephone game where you hear from one person "American's are eating more processed carbs than ever before" and a few people later, the message reads "carbs are bad, avoid gluten."

We live in a society that is obsessed with healthy eating yet many people admit that it is very difficult to live a healthy lifestyle. With so many health and diet products, books, articles, TV shows, experts and meal plans, it can be difficult to tell the difference between false, half-truth and practical nutrition advice.

It's unfortunate but far too many individuals are being taken advantage of by so-called "experts" that sell you a strategy or product to encourage you to buy into a life changing weight loss or performance method. Science and research is often twisted and fabricated to make you believe that you are getting the best advice from a trusted authority on nutrition. Many uneducated experts know that you are vulnerable and desperate for a change and recognize that you lack the knowledge to identify truth from quackery.

I take my job very seriously as I care about the health and performance of my athlete. Over the years, I have learned that many athletes are just straight-up confused by nutrition. This confusion may lead to disordered eating, health issues or an unhealthy relationship with food. This needs to change. My best advice is to reach out to the real experts on nutrition - a Registered Dietitian specializing in YOUR needs (ex. weight loss, performance, sport nutrition, health issues, etc.)

Why are so many athletes confused by nutrition? Here's why.....
  1. You are being taken advantage of by unqualified "experts" with little to no formal nutrition education. 
  2. Food and the physiology of the body is very complex. 
  3. Genetics and the environment play a role in the interaction of food and body composition. 
  4. Nutrition science continues to evolve.  
  5. You believe everything that you read on the internet/TV. 
  6. You live by a good food/bad food list to gain control over your diet. 
  7. You want big results with little effort. 
  8. You are easily distracted/sabotaged. 
  9. You blame nutrition for everything - trouble sleeping, digestive issues, stress, etc. 
  10. The food/diet industry thrives off confusion and fads/trends. 
  11. You go to the extreme when making diet changes and this causes you to "fail" with your nutrition methods. 
  12. You follow a restrictive diet or 30-day plan to lose weight/clean up the diet but you never learn to change your lifestyle. 
  13. Your lifestyle does not support healthy eating. 
  14. You focus too much on your body image than health. 
  15. You let yourself get too busy, rushed, stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted and healthy eating becomes an afterthought. 
  16. You are letting personal stories/experiences from someone else guide your individual nutrition journey. 
  17. The media poorly communicates nutrition information. 
  18. You sift through mixed nutrition messages on a daily basis and jump from one nutrition plan to the next.
  19. Research studies have a great chance of getting published (and be talked about) if they demonstrate positive results. Research studies are often funded by food/supplement manufactures to promote products. 
  20. You are surrounded by tempting food that is socially welcoming, convenient, processed and calorically dense. 
  21. Everyone is different but you follow mainstream nutrition advice. 
  22. You are easily influenced by food trends. 
  23. You believe opinions and not science. 
  24. You don't rely on trustworthy resources but instead seek free or sexy-marketed advice.
  25. You don't like to cook, meal prep or eat healthy food. You want a quick fix. 
  26. Diets are cult-like - you are either in or you are out. 
  27. You see nutrition as black or white instead of keeping an open mind and being flexible with your thoughts. 
  28. You eat based on fear, guilt, anxiety, uncertainty and doubt. 
  29. Nutrition is not one-size-fits all. 
  30. You blame willpower and discipline instead of focusing on small changes. 
  31. You want quick results right now. 
  32. Nutrition is not something that you can "track" or "measure" and experience quick, long-lasting results. 
  33. The nutrition industry has failed to establish reliable experts and information and instead, anyone can be a called a nutrition 'expert'. 
  34. In the field of nutrition, it's very difficult and expensive to produce research studies that offer meaningful and applicable results. 
  35. You categorize food as good or bad and this creates a dysfunctional relationship with food. 
  36. You only believe nutrition advice when it is backed by a research study. 
  37. It's easier to be motivated to eat a certain way in order to treat a current issue than to stay motivated to eat a certain way for a long time in order to prevent a future issue. 
  38. Nutrition is an emotional and personal subject. 
  39. It's very difficult to isolate nutrition/food from other factors that affect your health/body composition/performance. 
  40. You rely too much on tips, tools, gadgets, trackers and apps than learning the basics of mindful and intuitive eating. 
  41. What you eat doesn't affect your health right away. 
  42. No one controls nutrition advice/information that you read/hear. 
  43. Nutrition is one of the very few fields that you can become an expert in, if you are passionate about it, you have a success story or you have helped other people achieve results. 
  44. People won't stop talking about nutrition/food and it can be difficult to stay on your path. 
  45. Everyone has an opinion, thought, story. 
  46. Our food industry has changed and factories are becoming more important than farmers. 
  47. Basic, effective nutrition advice has remained the same for decades but the media, food industry and experts want you to believe otherwise. 

6/5/17

Private training camp/weekend recap - stretching the comfort zone


I remember when I was in graduate school, working towards my Master's in Exercise Physiology, and I just loved studying the information that I already knew. In other words, if there was a topic that I understood really well, I would often find myself re-reading it or testing myself over and over again because it made me feel confident that I really understood the information. But then when it came to topics that were difficult and unfamiliar, I would often find myself pushing those aside so that I could go back to reading what I already knew.

Does this sound familiar?

It's very normal for athletes to enjoy doing what is easy and familiar. This is often referred to a comfort zone. If something is unnatural or scary, it is not welcomed and typically, it's not as fun as what is well-known and comfortable.

Whether it's a fear of the unknown, worries of messing up, concerns of making mistakes or fear of trying something new, staying within the comfort zone is an obstacle that keeps many athletes from reaching their full potential. Similar to my enjoyment of studying what I already know, I eventually had to force myself to step outside of my comfort zone to learn new information ....and this is where the growth happens.

If you keep doing the same things over and over, you can expect the same results. 

Although it's never easy or comfortable to stretch a comfort zone, if you don't step outside, you will never discover new things about yourself that you never knew existed.

In an attempt to stretch your comfort zone, you may find yourself stepping too far outside, which then creates unnecessary anxiety. The optimal zone of stretching the comfort zone is to discover a place where you are just slightly uncomfortable but you can still perform well and be productive with learning new skills. 

"In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety." -Abraham Maslow 

The cool thing about a comfort zone is that it is always moving. There's a good chance that you are doing something now with your body that was once uncomfortable, scary or unfamiliar. But now you feel strong and confident with your at-one-time anxiety-provoking skill.

To grow, develop and learn as an athlete, it's important to always put yourself into a place where you are slightly uncomfortable. To reach your goals, it's important to always find new ways to challenge yourself to a new slightly new level of discomfort. Success is not limited to the athlete who is genetically gifted but instead, the athlete who is on a constant pursuit to push outside of the comfort zone. 



From Friday until Sunday late morning, we spent our time with Trimarni athlete Adam Granoff (who also happens to host the Intelligent Racer Podcast - highly recommend listening to this great podcast) for his private training camp here in Greenville, SC.

Adam is currently training for IM 70.3 Syracuse and Ironman Lake Placid after completing Ironman 70.3 St. George. Adam is on a constant pursuit of self-improvement and that is why he wanted to stretch his comfort zone with us for over 10 hours of training in 2.5 days.

Adam worked hard for every workout and he learned a lot. We made sure to address his strengths to build his confidence and to help him work through bad habits as he continued to improve his swim-bike-run skills. It was a productive, educational and challenging 2.5 days of training but we could not be more pleased with what we were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time.

Friday: 
AM
2.5 hour skill focused ride working on managing variable terrain
20- minute hilly brick run

PM:
1 hour skill focused swim w/ race simulation efforts and sighting



Saturday: 
AM
4.5 hour ride, including a climb up (and down) Caesar's Head mountain
15 min brick run on the Swamp Rabbit Trail

PM
RETUL bike fit
Pizza dinner in downtown Greenville

(So great to be joined with Veronica of Veronica's Health Crunch for dinner)



Sunday
AM
1:10 hr easy spin on the swamp rabbit trail
~90 minute long run, finishing with hill sprints