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Showing posts from December 11, 2022

Stress, Depression and Mental Health - Tips for coping

I have spent much of my career focusing on the many ways to help athletes optimize physical health. But it wasn't until my life was turned upside down by the passing of my dad to cancer in May of 2014, followed shortly by a diagnosis of PMDD , that my mental health became just as important as my physical health.  Mental illnesses often come with the stigmatized belief that those who struggle with depression or anxiety are weak and fragile. Many people hide mental health struggles due to shame. To improve quality of life, it's important to work through any barriers that are preventing you from addressing your mental health in a positive and productive way.  Anxiety and depression are interesting. It's wild how certain words, pictures, videos, people or noises can be very triggering some days and I can be immune to the same things on another day. Over the years (with the help of medication ) I've learned valuable coping skills for working through the emotions, thoughts an

Workout of the week - The long "strength based" tempo run

  Over the past few weeks I've been progressing gradually with my run fitness. I'm not training with a specific race day pace goal in mind but instead, I'm training to become a stronger runner. A lot of variables contribute to running well off the bike and frankily, it really comes down to not getting injured. Running is corrosive and it brings a great risk for injury. I've been thankful that my body has not had a setback since August 2019 and for me - someone who has had a rocky relationship with running - that is a big deal. When I eased back into running after my short off-season break, I focused primarily on easy running with good form. I incorporated a lot of walk breaks in my runs to help reset form and neuromuscular firing (communication with the brain and muscles) and finished some of my runs with hill strides (10-15 seconds uphill w/ walk down) to activate the posterior chain and for leg turnover. After a few weeks of frequent running, I continued with easy run

When should you perform fasted workouts?

  Proponents of training in a fasted (or carbohydrate-depleted state) claim that exercising when your body's glycogen stores are low (or depleted), will improve fat metabolism.  Teaching the body to rely on the massive energy supply that fat provides as a fuel source is often referred to as "metablic efficiency" or "fat adapted." These sexy terms are frequently used among endurance athletes and can be intriguing when associated with phrases like; Burn more fat.  Minimize the risk of bonking. Reduced relience on sport nutrition (ex. exogenous fuel sources) during training.  Minimize the incidence of GI issues.  Body composition changes.  Steady energy.  Sparing glycogen. It's understandable how the above claims of fasted training can be appealing to endurance athletes. But with much of the available literature studying the effects of fasted workouts and carbohydrate-restricted diets concluding that there is no correlation with enhanced performances in enduran