Essential Sports Nutrition

8/23/19

Your best run tips for beginners!




Running, like any other individual sport, teaches you many life lessons. It's simple, and yet deceptively complex.

People run for different reasons, such as weight loss, health or stress relief. Running doesn't discriminate. With every run, you're presented with a new challenge, a time to reflect and an opportunity to problem-solve. It's your cherished "me time," a way to run from, for or to something. It connects you with your community, helps you explore nature, inspires you to travel the world, and temporarily removes you from the stresses of life.

The confidence and feeling of accomplishment from any type of run will carry over into your daily life, reminding you that you have the strength to conquer anything that comes your way. Running is the ultimate badge of perseverance.

More than just a blank space to document your training miles, the 365-day Running Journal is designed to teach you more about yourself as you give meaning to your life as a runner.

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Thank you to everyone who entered my last giveaway on Facebook. What GREAT tips!! Here are your best running tips for beginners.
  • Enjoy the process! Embrace every improvement and celebrate each one! 
  • Don’t get so bogged down in perfection that you miss the progression! Your body is a beautiful gift ❤️full of potential and ability! Have fun!
  • It’s ok to walk, or to stop and recover during a workout, or take a whole day off. It’s starting again and moving forward that matters.
  • Increase weekly mileage slowly to minimize injury and wear the right shoes! 
  • Slow down, higher cadence.
  • First, invest in quality running shoes, preferably fitted by a knowledgeable and experienced runner!
  • The first mile is always a lie. Do what you can to get through it. The motivation will follow!
  • Consistency is key. If we only run on days we feel good we will never make progress. 😎
  • Run the Mile You are In.πŸ˜ƒ 
  • Take it slow! Making sudden changes are a recipe for failure.
  • Comparison is the thief of joy. Run your own race and don’t compare your journey to others. Find your running tribe and embrace them!
  • Walk if you need to. Short stride, fast feet.
  • Don’t stress over pace, heart rate, etc...just get out and have fun!
  • Find yourself a good group of like minded people and train together as you can motivate each other as you will not all have a tough day at the same time! Running with friends is so much fun! Also you can challenge each other to slowly increase your mileage and help each other get out of your comfort zone a little bit more every run. And believe that “yes, you can run little farther and harder every time”... run happy ❤️πŸƒπŸΌ‍♀️❤️
  • Focusing on a distance can be really overwhelming, especially if you've never run before. Instead break it down further. Try starting out with two minutes or five minutes, whichever sounds more doable, and then every couple runs try to bump it up by thirty seconds.
  • Don’t rush the process. The shiny things will come. Focus on nailing the basics
  • Just get moving! If you’re training for an event like a 5K or a 10K or half marathon and are following a plan, remember that something is always better than nothing when getting out for your workout! If your day gets hectic or you run short on time it’s always better to do something Compared to just throwing in the towel on that days work out.
  • Buy a good pair of running shoes and good socks that fit well and it may take a few times to figure out which pair are the best for you.
  • Have fun and don’t take things to seriously. 
  • Run and walk easy enough so you'll want to run again the next day. 
  • Strength training is as important as the miles you put in. 
  • Make your Easy Runs “EASY”!
  • 1. 😊Pick a goal and a coaching program (couch to 5k, couch to 10K, etc.) and STAY CONSISTENT. Don’t get ahead of yourself, don’t make up workouts, just follow the program. 2. Create sustainable habits: warm up, cool down, stretching.
  • Consistency is key. 
  • Less is more. Focus on strength and fundamentals before distance.
  • If you remember the “why”—the “how” is easy. πŸ™πŸ»
  • Every run is not a race! It's ok to be slower today than you were yesterday. With consistency over the long term you will get faster and suffering will become optional.
  • You CAN run for “fun,” or just the simple joy of moving your body. And you are a runner if you run, even if you’re slow or just want to go for an easy run.
  • Enjoy being outside and relish it as your “me” time. Focus on the adventure/path you’ve chosen for the day and take in all the beautiful sights, sounds, and feelings.
  • You don’t need fancy gear or gadgets to start running - just a good pair of shoes and enjoy each step of the process.
  • Run well before you try to run fast.


For more running tips, motivation and education, don't forget to reserve your copy for the September 24th release of my next bookThe 365-day Running Journal. Click HERE to pre-order.

8/20/19

Fine-tune your sport nutrition strategies for your next race


Preparing for a triathlon is much more than checking off workout to improve fitness and booking travel accommodations. Nutrition plays an important role in race day readiness. Whether you are training for an Ironman or a local sprint triathlon, nutritional preparation is key.

How you fuel during a race primarily depends on the duration of the event and your racing intensity (which is based on your fitness level). Nevertheless, proper fueling will help you maximize recovery, fuel your workouts appropriately, boost your immune system and to maintain a healthy body composition, alongside building confidence for race day. While triathletes can get away with a haphazard sport nutrition strategies (or not fueling at all) during short workouts, competing at your best requires you to constantly fine-tune sport nutrition strategies to help minimize the fluid, electrolyte and fuel depletion that may compromise your performance and health on race day.

Because proper sport nutrition should be part of your ongoing training - and not something you only do during your long workouts, in the few weeks before your race - here are several useful tips to help you immediately dial in your fueling and hydration for your upcoming race(s).

  1. Start training well-hydrated – Consume 12-16 fluid ounces in the one to two hours before training and an additional eight to 12 fluid ounces in the 10-20 minutes before training. Because the emptying of liquids from the stomach is influenced by the volume of fluid in the stomach, an increase in volume will increase emptying – helping you optimize hydration during your workout.
  2. Begin drinking early in your training session – Within the first 10-15 minutes of exercise, start hydrating with a sport drink and drink on a regular schedule. Aim to consume 5-8 ounce fluid every 10-15 minutes. One ounce usually equals one large gulp. You may need to set a timer to remind yourself to drink. Big gulps will encourage a large volume of fluid to empty from the stomach more quickly. Because dehydration causes fluids to empty from the stomach more slowly, falling behind on your fluid intake may lead to GI distress (ex. bloating or a sloshy stomach) in the later miles of your workout (especially when running off the bike).
  3. Use a well-formulated sport drink – The ideal sport drink should contain 10-14g carbohydrate (glucose, sucrose, fructose and/or maltodextrin) and at least 120 mg of sodium per every 8 ounce of water. This will help stimulate drinking, facilitate intestinal absorption and maintain body fluids. To avoid taste bud fatigue, learn to develop a taste for different sport drinks (flavors and textures). As you train your gut to tolerate sport nutrition during exercise, you can gradually work your way up in calories, carbohydrates and fluids to find the sweet spot of fueling enough to support your energy/fluid needs for a given intensity, but not too much that you risk GI distress.
  4. Monitor signs of dehydration – Most fluid-related issues are related to poor understanding of fluids needs, lack or limited drinking opportunities, aversion to sport drinks (ex. “too much sugar), mismanaged drinking strategies and an inability to match excessive sweat rates with fluid intake. Reduced performance, headache, fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness, loss of appetite, chills and increased thirst are common signs of dehydration. Practice drinking while you are biking and running and have a plan as to how to carry your nutrition and to replenish your fluid/calorie supply appropriately.
  5. Stock your muscle and liver glycogen stores before demanding training sessions – To fuel your upcoming training session, replenish fuel stores from an overnight fast and restore depleted fuel from a previous session, consume a small to moderate size pre-training meal – similar to the foods and fluids that you will consume on race day. As a general rule, allow 3-4 hours to digest a large meal (450-800 calories, 1.5-3 hours to digest a medium-size meal (250-450 calories) and 30 -90 minutes to digest a mini meal or snack (100-250 calories). Eating in the 1-3 hours before a long workout has consistently shown by research to enhance the quality of your training session and will bring confidence when planning (and consuming) your pre-race meal. 

Extensive scientific research has focused on nutrient timing – what and when you eat/drink before and during exercise. Unfortunately, nutrient timing is a confusing topic because most strategies conflict with the nutrition advice that targets weight loss and healthy eating. Although the above sport nutrition advice may appear “unhealthy” because of the recommended amounts of calories, carbohydrates/sugar and sodium, implementing smart and well-practiced fueling strategies around and during your workouts is critical for your health and builds confidence for your upcoming race. By following the above guidelines, you can reduce your risk for sickness, fatigue and injury so you can achieve race day readiness by staying consistent with training and perform at your best on race day.

For more information on sport nutrition, check out my book: Essential Sports Nutrition.
You may also be interested in my latest book: The 365-day Running Journal

8/18/19

8 week IM Kona countdown update



It felt great to get back into structured training last week. I was a bit nervous for my long ride on Friday (4.5 hours) as it was my first outdoor ride since IM Canada so I recruited my friend/athlete Al to join me for company since Karel is out of town. Karel was in Mont Tremblant supporting our athletes who were racing there (both did amazingly great!). I've also been recruiting my swim partner Kristen for my swims - on Thursday we had a toughy of a workout. The main set was 4000 (after a 500 warm-up) and the workout was a lot of building, pacing and specific intervals to hit. Our arms were super tired at the end!

Although I'm still not run training yet, I did my first run (on the treadmill) this morning - yay! Celebrating the small milestones.

While I've never had a bone related injury, I'm well familiar with soft-tissue injuries and the biggest thing stopping me from running over the past few weeks was the tugging and tightness that I was feeling. While not true pain, it was not comfortable so I didn't want to risk running through it. And I'm not talking about normal muscle soreness uncomfortable but the uncomfortable where I would have to change my gait and put all my attention into my leg/back instead of truly enjoying the run. However, over the past few weeks, I am spending time in the pool with deep water jogging with an aquabelt. I find it helpful to maintain my run fitness but also for neuromuscular control to keep the running movement going. Thankfully I can still bear weight so I am still loading my bones with walking. I feel like I'm making some great progress with me weaknesses - which involve turning off my hamstrings and lower back and learning how to better active my glutes. I've been working with a movement specialist and it's tough stuff! My glutes have been on fire! Although I've wanted to give up on my return to running many times over the past few weeks, I know this is part of being an athlete. Rather than thinking about this process as a return back to running, I see it as a great opportunity to learn more about my body.

Total workout stats last week:
Swim: 19500 yards
Bike: 9:57 hours
Run (water jogging): 2:17
Strength: 90 minutes (not include PT sessions)

It can be tough to stay dedicated to training when you are dealing with a setback but time is going to pass by anyways so you may as well focus on what you can do in the moment so you maintain fitness and strength and build confidence for race day. Plus, training is also exercise (and stress relief) for me and I still find great joy in moving and using my body so I want to dedicate time to myself everyday, doing what I love with my body.

Since it's just been me and the Campster since Wednesday, we have been spending some quality time outside each day. Alongside marketing my second book, I have my next book (third book) deadline approaching so much of my day has been spent writing, writing and writing. I feel like writing a book is a lot like training for an Ironman. It has its highs and lows, there are moments when you can't wait to do another and then you never want to do it again. But someone, you keep going back for more. Yep, that's a lot like writing a book.

This has been a busy time for me with coaching and nutrition consultations. Athletes need a lot more attention and care toward the end of the season and with key races approaching, there's a lot more attention to detail around this time of the year. I've had to cut back my nutrition consultation work load because of this third book that I'm finishing up but the athletes I am currently working with are working hard to make great things happen for race day. I truly love nutrition consulting so I can't wait to get back to my full work load in several weeks.

My scratch cornea is finally healed and I've made up for lost time by taking Campy for lots of walks and doing lots of snuggling (careful as to not scratch my eye again :)