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Showing posts from February 21, 2016

Broccoli and cheese spaghetti squash casserole

In my last blog post , I talked about the importance of meal planning for athletes with a few of my helpful meal prep tips. It's important that you do not overwhelm yourself with food prep and meal planning but instead, make the effort to plan ahead instead of always making it an afterthought. Sometimes good intentions backfire when you try to do too much at once or have this vision of "healthy eating" that isn't practical for you right now in your nutritional journey. Every athlete is going to have a unique starting point when it comes to meal prepping. Perhaps you are trying to move away from always having an English muffin, egg, piece of ham and chips for dinner or you trying to break a habit of always having pasta or fast food, or eating out or a frozen meal for dinner most nights per week. Or maybe you are in a meal prep rut and need to challenge yourself with a more complicated meal or recipe as you have been resorting to quick and easy, despite having the tim

No more excuses - meal planning

Sitting down to a home-cooked meal in the evening is not an everyday occurrence for many people in our society for a variety of reasons; being too tired or hungry, wanting something easy, needing something quick and convenient, feeling too busy, not knowing what to eat or not liking to cook. As an athlete, you already have so much to squeeze into the day that it’s easy to see why dinner may be an afterthought, especially if you have been up since 5am or you are finishing an evening workout around 6:30 or 7pm.  But, that's not a good excuse.  Let's get serious... You aren't too busy to train so it's all about priorities when you say you are too busy to cook.  As an athlete myself, I can empathize with how overwhelming it can be to plan nutritious meals, every day of the week and still squeeze in workouts. And this is in addition to work, family and everything else on a never-ending to-do list.  I realize that I do not share many of my meal creations o

Mobility tips for athletes

Tips for improving mobility 1)        Make dynamic stretching part of your DAILY routine. Dedicate up to 15-20 minutes before  every  swim, bike and run workout to warming up your body, before you “warm-up” and an additional mobility session before bed (or after long periods of sitting). This means before you jump into the pool, get on your bike or start a run, you need to perform dynamic stretching. Do not neglect this important habit of being a mobile athlete. With our coaching, we are always looking for ways to help our athletes train smarter with the least amount of training stress possible. Improving mobility can help! Dynamically stretching moves your body through different movement patterns to actively stimulate muscles, tendons, ligaments, fibers, tissues and joints. You will also notice that dynamic warm-ups increases blood flow to the working muscles which gives you energy  before  you start working out. This will help you improve your range of motion, which will

Mobility for athletes

Good mobility and great performances are closely tied to one another. As it relates to performance declines and/or injuries, lack of mobility can be a culprit. I'm a huge proponent of mobility work and I often spend up to 15 minutes before a swim, bike or run workout slowly working my body through a range of dynamic and mobility exercises to warm-up, before I warm-up. Going on almost 3 years without an injury, routine mobility work (I never stretch, trigger point or foam roll) is one of a few key improvements that I have made in my training regime to help reduce the risk for injury. Why is mobility important? If you cannot move your muscles, limbs and joints through their full range of motion and you are limited to one plane of movement, your body is not being used to its full potential. When mobility suffers, performance suffers because you can no longer generate the power and speed that you are capable of producing. What happens with poor mobility? Aside fro

A well-fueled body on the weekend

It takes a lot of food to fuel an endurance athlete. But not every food is well tolerated before and after a long workout. I'm constantly aware of the food that I eat around long workouts for two reasons. First off, food is my fuel. I do not use food as reward or to control emotions. Seeing that long distance training is very stressful on the human body, I do not want to self-sabotage myself by under on my longest workout days nor do I want to throw away a great workout by eating (or not eating) food that will not help me recover and refuel.  Secondly, I know what foods work and do not work for my body.  This has little to do with body image and a lot to do with performance. Ironically, my body stays in good health, despite not counting calories, eating carbohydrates at every meal, every day of the week, using sport nutrition during workouts, eating before all workouts and not having a "bad" food list. This isn't because I'm lucky, this is because I