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Train smarter to reach success faster

Back in September 2012, I spoke to a group of active women on the topics of eating and nutrition and performing beautifully. The focus of the talk wasn't to tell people what to do to reach performance goals or to lose weight but rather how to be smarter in the action steps or thought process to reach personal goals. If you are interested in checking out my recap of the event, here is the first of a series of blogs on the lecture. 

Not too long ago, I went to Iowa to talk to a group of runners at their annual banquet on the topic of "common mistakes made by runners - "how to train smarter to reach success faster." The event went better than I thought because I had no idea how many runners struggled with understanding topics such as designing a personalized training plan, how to understand and use training gadgets and how to focus on other aspects in life that can positively impact training/fitness gains beyond just focusing on the training miles. 

So, now that I am recognizing that triathletes and runners are becoming more and more overwhelmed, confused and exhausted by the sport....and everything that comes with it (training gadgets, gear, plans, sport nutrition, daily nutrition, stretching, strength training, sleep, mile-obsessed, periodized training)....I am trying to do my best to help others better understand how to train smarter to reach success faster. 

I am SO excited to  have the opportunity to speak at the upcoming Hammerhead Triathlon Club monthly meeting which has been connected with Trek Bicycles for a great, entertaining and educational evening. Trek Travel will be speaking about their upcoming travel trips and training camps and I will be talking about "Triathlon boredom - how to train smarter to train harder." If you can make it - we'd love to have you there! The event is free to the public and as always, come to meet other like-minded individuals who share a similar lifestyle and passion. You do not have to be a triathlete to attend - just someone who has fitness goals and a desire to reach them. 

For a little preview of some of the topics I will be discussing at my talk on Wednesday, I dedicated my latest Iron Girl article to the topic. I hope you enjoy it and thanks for reading! 

Train Smarter to Reach Success FasterBy Marni Sumbal MS, RD, LD/N

Are you an active individual who feels confused as to the smartest sway to train for your upcoming event?
Participating in a race requires more than just putting in the miles and finishing a workout with sweaty clothes. You should always feel deserving of your “athlete-in-training” status as you are no longer an “exerciser”. Instead of trying to be like everyone else, take into consideration a few simple suggestions of how you can train smarter to reach success faster.

1. It’s not just about the miles – Consider the many variables in your life that can positively affect your training consistency and health. Among the top priorities: Sport nutrition before, during and after training to assist in intentional physiological stress. Strength training to enhance your cardio-focused routine. Stretching to encourage proper range of motion and injury prevention. A restful sleeping routine to help control appetite, quicken recovery, assist in stress and attitude management and to encourage stable energy throughout the day. Intentional active recovery and rest to prevent overtraining and to encourage consistency in training. Purchase, use and a basic understanding of training gadgets (ex. GPS and HR-enabled devices) to avoid haphazard training.

2. Developing a healthy relationship with food and the body – Eat a wholesome and balanced diet for fuel and for health. When it comes to changing body composition to encourage performance gains, your body will take care of itself when you are performance-focused, not scale obsessed. Avoid words like “off-limit, bad, guilty, chubby, fat and ugly” to guarantee that you are appreciative of what your body is allowing you to do on a daily basis and that you fuel and nourish your body adequately. Always thank your body for giving you a tomorrow and for crossing finish lines.

3. Don’t rush the journey- To make the most physiological training adaptations with the least amount of training stress, focus on your individual response to training. Training adaptations vary between individuals and there is no perfect training (or diet) plan. A properly planned training routine and well-planned racing schedule will ensure well-timed, peak performances due to progressive, individualized overload. Your training routine should take into account your current level of fitness, frequency, intensity and duration of workouts, past successes and regrets, available hours of daily training, number of weeks until your A-races, short and long term goals, past or potential injuries/health issues and ability to recover properly between workouts.

Marni Sumbal, MS, RD, LD/N

Marni works as a Clinical Dietitian at Baptist Medical Center Beaches, is the owner of Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition, LLC and provides one-on-one consulting in the Jacksonville, FL area. Marni is a Registered Dietitian, holding a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and is a Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN). As an elite endurance athlete, she is also a Level-1 USAT Coach and a 5x Ironman finisher. Marni is a 110% play harder, Hammer Nutrition and Oakley Women brand ambassador. Marni enjoys public speaking and writing, and she has several published articles in Fitness Magazine, Bicycling Magazine, The Florida Times-Union Shorelines, Lava Magazine, Hammer Endurance News, CosmoGirl magazine and Triathlete Magazine, and contributes to, USAT multisport zone and Lava online.