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Showing posts from August 23, 2015

Thoughts on training at elevation - Boulder train-cation

The stats are in from our 8-day train-cation in Boulder, CO!

Swimming: 8800 yards
Cycling: ~231 miles, ~24,000 elevation gain (Marni) 
Cyling: ~310 miles, ~30,000 elevation gain (Karel)
Running: 42 miles (Marni and Karel)

Wow - that's A LOT of training at elevation!
There are many benefits of training at altitude.  Acclimating to altitude produces more red blood cells which means more oxygen to deliver to the muscles. Altitude also creates more capillaries which gives the blood more pathways for delivery to the muscles. Lastly, there is an increase in mitochondria (powerhouse of cells) as they convert oxygen to energy.

As you can see, there are many performance benefits to training at altitude that can bring on better endurance, power and speed....and they are all natural and legal!!!
However, it's not all as "magical" as it seems. 
Exercising in "thinner" air means less oxygen per volume of air. Less oxygen molecules means the muscles have a harder time to work …

Inspired salad

It's nice to be back in Greenville, SC after our 9 day, Boulder train-cation and it's even better to have a few days of low volume/low intensity training to recover from all that training stress. 
We did a lot of eating out while we were in Boulder. So you know what that means, right?

Diet? 
Not us!

Cleanse/Fast?
Never!

Go low carb?
Absolutely not. We love bread!

Be inspired?YEP!!!

In Boulder, there was no shortage of restaurants that offered a variety of vegetarian options for me but also kept us well-fueled with all of our training. 
With all that eating out, there were many opportunities to be inspired. I firmly believe that we should always feel great when we eat - no matter where we eat or what we eat. It is your choice as to what you choose to put inside your body that you may as well choose food that makes you yum (yumming out loud is totally acceptable). 
For our last dinner in Boulder, we went to Pizzeria Locale with our friend/athlete Trent (his wife Kristen was traveling f…

Boulder train-cation: day 7 and 8

On Sunday morning, Karel and I drove down to the park and headed out for a 40 minute run before getting on our bikes with Adam and Bill to cycle to Golden, CO to watch stage 7 of the USA Pro cycling challenge. 
I was really looking forward to this ride but after the run, my body was feeling incredibly tired (I wonder why!). Adam, Karel and Bill (the rest of our group drove their bikes to Golden) were riding from Boulder to Golden on semi busy roads (to get out of Boulder) and I was just not comfortable on those roads. So after about 30 minutes of riding, I decided to head back to the car. It was a bummer to not continue on and join the guys to climb Lookout mountain to watch the tour but my body had enough.....and when I got back to the cabin I just laid on the couch (and watched the race on NBC) for a few hours.

But Karel had a lot of fun and he felt strong riding. I was happy for him. It's great in our athlete-relationship that if one of us has an off day, we can still be happ…

Boulder train-cation: day 6

After 4 days of climbing, descending and doing more climbing and descending, we were seeking a "flatter" ride to open-up our legs. We reached out to our friend Laura (who is also training for Kona) who lives in Boulder to see if we could link-up with her for her long ride. She was happy to have us tag along and we were happy to have such a great (and strong) tour-guide. 

The ride was exactly what we needed. Flat with a few rolling hills and one climb to see Carter Lake.....every train-cation ride should include a beautiful view after a climb. 

It was super windy with a lot of headwind and cross wind. Perfect Kona training!! Karel and I have not trained on flat roads in over 1.5 years so it felt so great to settle into a rhythm and steady cadence.
And when I say great, it was far from easy as I was sitting on Karel's wheel...and he was feeling really good...and riding super strong. 
We finished with 70 miles in around 3.5 hours which made for one fast ride in very windy …