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Showing posts from August 30, 2020

Performance focused: Are you exercising or training?

  I think it's safe to say that most endurance athletes love physical activity. Certainly it would be difficult to train for a long-distance event if there wasn't a strong passion for working out. But with great enthusiasm to exercise comes a caveat - just because you are exercising, this doesn't mean you are becoming race ready.  Exercise (or physical activity)  is commonly defined as anything that requires you to move your body and burn calories. Training is viewed as working toward adequate levels of strength, endurance, speed and/or power for successful participation (and completion) of an athletic event.  To make the difference easier to understand, exercising satisfies an immediate need and is done for the effect is produces today. Exercise is done for its own sake - either during or immediately after. But when you have a specific performance objective in mind (ex. preparing for an event), you must change your physiology to prepare for the demands of your event.  Alt

The perfect diet - does it exist?

If you are on a quest to change your body composition or boost your health, you may find yourself overwhelmed by all the different dietary approaches.  Traditionally, the word "diet" describes how you eat. However, over time it has evolved to mean "restriction" or "elimination" - often in attempt to lose weight.  To help you out, I want you know that the perfect diet doesn't exist. There is no one "best" diet that works for every person around the world. Every human being is different - different genes, lifestyle habits, nutritional needs, emotions, activity regimes.....and so much more.  While there are several universal nutrition principles that have consistently shown to improve health, reduce risk for disease, maximize longevity and to help with weight maintenance, I'd like to offer a different way of thinking about food. In other words, if you are on a quest to improve your health or change your body composition, there's much mor

Practical training without racing

In my previous blog post , I discussed the struggles that many athletes and coaches are facing during this time of cancelled races.  Before I offer these tips, I want to remind you of a critical component of sport longevity and achieving athletic excellence.  I've been a competitive endurance athlete for the past 14 years. I've had my share of setbacks but I have never lost my love for training. I contribute this to one thing: maintaining joy for the process and letting the outcome take care of itself.   Many athletes experience burnout when preparing for an endurance event. The training journey rarely starts this way but when an athlete feels tremendous pressure on an outcome (race day success), the training becomes stressful, monotonous and tiresome. Although not every workout will be inherently enjoyable (improvements require hard work and stretching the comfort zone) and there are struggles in every athletic journey, maintaining joy for training is an important element of a

Should you train when you can't race?

                    This pandemic has required coaches to think a bit differently about how to best train athletes during a time of cancelled races. Although coaches often wear more than one hat, selecting which hat to wear at what moment has been tricky. Now more than ever before, we have had to be incredibly creative and flexible to keep our athletes engaged, motivated, emotionally well and physically healthy. In lieu of races, our athletes have completed several different types of challenges since March. We started with a 10-day spring challenge and then a mini challenge in the early summer. Over the past few weeks (and into September), many of our athletes/team members are completing a 2-day summer challenge. We created a document for our athletes to select two of seven workout combinations (or they could create their own 2-day challenge) and to pick the dates for their challenge. We then provided the specific workouts within each set of workout challenges. For example, some athlet