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Showing posts from April 19, 2015

A healthy immune system starts in the gut

(picture source here)
As athletes, proper gut health is imperative for digestion and a healthy immune system keeps the body well. So what do the two have in common?

As athletes, we know that in order to boost performance we need to train hard. We aim for a balanced training plan that places a significant amount of training stress on the body to elicit performance gains but adequate rest to keep the body in good health.

When an athlete trains too much (intensity or volume), the immune system is suppressed. Often, the athlete will feel he/she needs a few extra days of rest to recover from a dampened immune system but  most of the time, it's not that easy to just rest, get more sleep and feel "normal" again.  Many athletes train too much relative to their ability to fuel properly support that added training stress, like getting enough sleep, warming up and cooling down properly, getting stronger with strength training, using sport nutrition properly and eating a healthy diet.…

6-month training check-in

Right now at this moment, how would you describe how you feel about your body in relation to your training/workout regime?

Do you use the words exhausted, fatigued, overwhelmed, mentally checked-out, drained, injured, frustrated, unhealthy, unhappy or weak?

Or do you use the words strong, healthy, clean, energized, fit or happy?

Now think back 2,3 or 6 months ago? Do you feel that you are now in a better place nutritionally, physically, mentally and emotionally with your active lifestyle compared to the past?

Between 2013-2014, my body completed 4 Ironman distance triathlons in 15 months. I am extremely grateful to my body for being so healthy and strong to allow me to live such an extreme active lifestyle. And in 6 months, I am so excited to be racing in my 4th Ironman World Championship and 10th Ironman with Karel in Kona, Hawaii.
After taking 6 weeks completely off training during my off-season from Sept - November, I knew that in order to keep my body healthy and make performance gain…

Speedy interval run - feeling strong

This morning we had a great workout at the Caine Halter YMCA. I felt strong, healthy and super fast as I was running with Karel....well more like running with Karel's strong and fast body in my view on the treadmill in front of me.
It's total motivation to watch my hubby train!
Our workout included around 25-30 minutes of dynamic warm-ups, followed by strength training followed by plyometrics and then our interval treadmill run workout. We can easily spend 20-40 minutes before a workout to warm-up and do proper strength training for neuromuscular firing. 
MS: 3 x 5 min desc 1-3 to strong w/ 4 min EZ in between (jog/rest) 3 x 3.5 min desc 1-3 (starting from last strong effort from previous set) w/ 3 min EZ in between (jog/rest) 4 x 2 min best effort (starting from best effort of previous set and holding same effort) w/ 2 min rest in between (straddle treadmill)
Total for me: 10.1 miles, 77 minutes

After our workout, we headed to our favorite French Bakery  to get a loaf of fr…

Happy tummy, post long-run fueling

Saltines post run? Yes please!
Many runners experience GI issues or have a low appetite post run due to a variety of reasons. According to research, many elite runners experience diarrhea after long races and stomach issues are often the number one reason as to why runners are not comfortable fueling before and during workouts and on race day. Athletes would rather run slower or risk bonking over an upset tummy but if this is you, please don't feel that you will never be able to tolerate nutrition before and during workouts. Consult a sport RD who can help. 

Although there are a few tricks to fueling smarter before and during run workouts and pacing better to minimize GI issues, we all know its critical to refuel with carbohydrates post workout to replenish glycogen stores.

So how do you maximize recovery without making your tummy upset post workout?


Recommended foods post workout should be high glycemic and easy to digest along with your favorite protein-rich drink (recommend up to 2…

Bike-friendly Greenville, SC

About a week ago, a teenager in Traveler's Rest, SC (less than 10 miles from downtown Greenville) was arrested and is now facing multiple charges, including six counts of attempted murder, after he repeatedly targeted bicyclists as revenge for the deaths of two friends, even though cyclists had no role in the accident.  
When I heard this story from a friend (who is a pro cyclist living in the area), he told me that the two kids that died were speeding over 100 mph on Roe Ford Road and lost control of the car and crashed. Around the time of the crash, a cyclist passed the scene. Wrongfully, the teenager charged, which appears to be a neighbor friend of the two teenagers that passed away, is blaming all cyclists for being the cause of this accident.

Karel and I have had no issues with cars since moving to Greenville. Sure there is the very occasional honk of a bad mood driver but rarely does this happen. Most of the time, drivers will wait behind us and wait until a stop sign to p…