Announcing a brand new training opportunity for triathletes taking place this spring, in Santa Monica, CA. Lead by professional triathlete (Yours Truly) Jessi Stensland along with a team of performance specialists at the Core Performance Center, the 12 Weeks to Tri Program will prepare you for your best ever performance, whether you are doing your first triathlon, want to get to the start line strong and injury-free or are commited to taking your performance to the next level, or all of the above, of course! The program integrates the fundamental components of performance including training for efficiency of movement, proper form, power and cardio capacity, as well as nutrition and recovery.
Join me this Thursday for a complimentary workshop on triathlon training that will outline these fundamentals and discuss the details of the 12 Weeks to Tri Program which will begin in early February and be based at the Core Performance Center and integrate resources of the LA Tri Club as well as triathlon events in and around the local Southern California area.
Details of the workshop:
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Core Performance Center * 2020 Santa Monica Blvd * Santa Monica, CA 90404
And my answer nowadays is: "Do want me to tell you how I eat or do you just want me to tell you what you want to hear?"
Haha...That's because it started to feel like every single time I gave my pretty simple, concise, no fluff (and ok, probably boring, but its nutrition, not nunchucks) answer, it just would NOT be enough, and the conversation that ensued always seemed to be trying so hard to justify other nutritional habits albeit with a slight grin or knowing tone that says "AH I know, but...!!" Prefacing my answer with the question above has seemed to help. A bit.
Yes there are guidelines, see below, that are not rocket science; they are not trends; and we've all heard them before.
My number one rule of thumb is to first:
EAT LIKE A HEALTHY PERSON SHOULD EAT...then add on nutrition as needed for workouts/races and overall training load.
Too often I've seen people spending too much time worrying about supplementing, yet not giving their body a great springboard with a simple healthy diet. Check out PhenomeNall Nutrition for just this kind of approach from Olympic Swimmer (and someone i adore) Anita Nall Richesson.
I'll discuss my sports nutrition in an upcoming blog that will feed off this one (no pun intended!)
More often what is more important are the SOLUTIONS that help stick to the guidelines. For example here's one that worked for me:
Pick one rule to stick to first. That's what I needed to do when I was getting back on the wagon after my two year hiatus during which, i'll admit, I allowed myself to have no rules (that said, lucky for me, I was raised with some basic principles - thanks to Mom - that I could never fall TOO far off of good nutrition.) For my first rule I decided on this: "Whatever you eat, eat clean." I didn't care how much I put in my body or when or what, as long as it was always clean food (minimally processed, minimal ingredients, local, fresh, raw when possible.) That alone changed my shopping habits to a degree: It made me explore new products and had me frequenting the smaller, local, healthful grocers, all the time, instead of the big chain grocery stores, which I now utilize only in emergencies, though I realize i'm lucky and have a few great options very close to my home. There is just SO little in those bigger stores that is unprocessed or even minimally processed.
__________________THE B - A - S - I - C - S__________________
HYDRATE, THEN EAT...
the fewer steps energy has taken to get from the sun to your body, the better.
colors represent vitamins and minerals in whole foods. Make it multi!
brown rice, quinoa or couscous instead of packaged side dishes.
Practically speaking, here are a couple of BREAKFAST FAVS:
1 cup non-fat plain yogurt Mixed_Berries
whole oats OR Ezekiel Sprouted Grains Cereal
banana or berries
honey or agave syrup to taste
2 slices whole grain (local when possible...its SO good!)
1 Tbsp almond butter on the toast
1/4 avocado if i've got it
1/2 cup whole oats (1 cup cooked)
1 Tbsp peanut butter
honey to taste
And one LUNCH FAV for now:
Super Satisfying Sandwich
2 slices local bread...for example...look at these ingredients...SO GOOD!
Julian Bakery's Wonderful Bread: Fresh ground whole grains of golden *wheat, oats, *rye, *corn, brown rice, *millet, seeds of sunflower, flax, sesame, poppy, pumpkin, pinto beans, honey, yeast & sea salt.
Lots of hummus
and anything else you've got like...
roasted red peppers, sprouts, cucumbers, lettuce, tomato, carrots
More to come - but for now - happy eats!!
**I've learned a bit about ayurvedic practices that focus on eating 3 larger meals vs. 6 smaller meals based upon the idea that the body needs the time to fully digest each meal before eating more. Which makes sense. I think as athletes, especially with training sessions throughout a day, eating more often is a necessity. So find a balance or switch it up from time to time and see how your energy level is.
It is pretty well known these days (finally!) that:
THERE IS MORE TO RUNNING THAN JUST RUNNING
Like flexibility, joint mobility, strength, stability, elasticity and overall power. Tack on efficient running form (drills and such) and
now we're talking.
It's been great to see a more integrated approach being taken when it comes to endurance sports training. To me, it's about working on the overall athleticism and injury resistance of the body, so that we've got the best body to DO our sport of choice with. This of course underlies much of my blogging...if you haven't already noticed...it's certainly changed my career and my life!
Getting back to running shoes...
As you know, running shoes are built for a very specific purpose: running. They are meant to support your foot as it moves in a linear direction while experiencing the ground reaction forces of the running gait. The better the running shoe, the more precise the support is, and I'm assuming you've done your homework to find the right shoe for you.
Like most people, when I started to train in the gym, my running shoes are all I had, so that's what I used. Just as when running, great foot contact during these types of specific exercises is just as important and yet very different than during the running stride. It is important to get a shoe that suits your specific training needs both for efficiency of movement AND safety. It took me a while to realize it but once I did, back in 2004 I believe, I made the switch to more of a court shoe with a more neutral, stable base, which gave my foot a much better base of support when working on everything from linear, lateral, stationary, and power movements. I also do a lot of my work barefoot when possible, but this is the next best thing.
Speaking of SAFETY: Back in high school I attended a tennis camp and wore the only sneakers I had at the time which were running shoes. At one point we were doing lateral suicide drills on the court, and I rolled an ankle BAD. I tore all the ligaments off the bone. Little did I know how much of an effect that injury would have on my future running career. It's been a challenge, but its now under control. A running shoe is DEFINITELY not meant to support side-to-side movements as you can easily see from the way the side of the shoe is taller than wider like a cross-trainer or court shoe (among many other reasons.)
My suggestion is to have at least one pair of cross-training or neutral support shoes to do your non-running activities in, whether it be your functional training workouts, or other sports like basketball, soccer, running around after the kids, or whatever other multidirectional activities you do!
It was awesome to see Under Armour take this idea to a whole other level with their training shoes: Proto Power, Proto Speed and Proto Evade. POWER for stationary movements like strength (squats). SPEED for linear movements like linear plyometrics and short bursts of running power or drills. EVADE for lateral movements or any other multidirectional dynamic movements. I wear the Speed shoes when I'm doing my short interval work on the treadmill, or on my linear movement days where I might be pulling sleds or other short bursts of speed or running drills. I wear the Evades for my strength and my lateral or multidirectional movements (i.e. running ladder drills or other elasticity drills.)
You will typically see me with 2, if not 3 pairs of shoes at my workouts. At the gym I will wear my Evades, then switch to Speeds or running shoes before I hop on the treadmill. At the track, I'll do my movement prep in my training shoes. I'll run in my racing flats. And I have my running shoes in case I run a little as part of a warm-up or warm-down.
That's the scoop...
I highly recommend giving that gift to yourself and your bod!
About a year ago I kicked off my training after 2 years completely off. I don't mean off as in triathlete off -- I mean off as in very normal, don't work out for a month at a time, then maybe hit the gym 2 days in a row, then repeat. That kind of off. To give you an idea in terms of endurance performance, at that time, my body tested out to be only 68% as efficient compared to what I was used to operating at for the first 29 years of my life. That's based on my V02 max numbers which, for those of you who are interested were at 48mL/kg/min vs 70+. When I went to run on the treadmill, I swore it felt like Tempe, AZ and San Diego, CA were all of a sudden at 6000 feet altitude. I was outta shape in every way. This year was about climbing back up the mountain and putting all the pieces, big and small, into place so that come Jan 1, 2009 I'd be ready to roll, for real this time. And it was all that and then some...and yet...
...recently I've been feeling behind the 8 ball.
I took a break after the marathon and next thing i knew, it's been almost 2 months. Anyone else have that experience? Yes I've been enjoying epic adventures here and there, as planned, without much rhyme or reason, for the sole purpose of staying fit-ish while having fun, and feeling great about it. But how about those Facebook status updates...seeing "so and so just got back from a 10 mile run and so and so is going out to climb Mt. Tam and so and so just finished 100 x 100 at the pool..." etc. etc. Ah! It's not that I think I should be doing the training they are doing; I can focus on what I need. But it's the whole: someone-somewhere-is-training-when-you're-not-and-when-you-meet-them-they'll-beat-you thing. It can be a little bit intimidating, but definitely more motivating. Everyone's having so much darn fun and energy when talking about their training I can't help but wanna do what I gotta do to have
that same awesome feeling and accomplish what I'd like to!
Today I realized I'm not as far behind the 8 ball as I thought.
I must've been thinking that I was once again as unfit today as I was a year ago. Turns out I'm not! I found that out thanks to an impromptu treadmill session today at the gym. A year ago, it took a lot for me to run at 9 to 10 min/mi pace on the treadmill, and as for intervals, I remember setting the speed to 6min/mi pace just to see what it felt like, and I could barely keep up my leg turnover that fast AND by 30 seconds my heartrate was through the roof. I worked myself up to 3-4min at that pace on the treadmill in my workouts. Amazing to feel my body get more efficient. I love it. Fast forward to today...and after a great movement prep session, I was inspired to hop on the treadmill for some intervals (ESPECIALLY after I found out the gym I'd stopped into here on my holiday travels had Woodways!) I set out to do a set of 10 x (1min @ 10mph + 1min off) yet I got to the first interval at 1min and felt easy! So I ran for 90sec total and instead of needing 60-90 sec of rest (ratio 1:1) I needed only 30sec to recover. Here's how I did the workout (made it up as I went):
10min warm up @ 7-8mph
4 x (90sec @ 10mph + 30sec rest)
4 x (30sec @ 11mph + 15sec rest)
4 x (90sec @ 10mph + 30sec rest)
Pretty typical treadmill session for me: 12-24min worth of work. Goals of the workout: cardio response and leg speed. Over time the goal is to make the hard intervals longer and faster, while maintaining or dropping the rest ratio. Today I hopped off the treadmill for my rest. Next time I might do the same intervals, but try to run easy through the rest (at 6mph for example.)
Still lots of work to do - but this made me happy.
That said, it's midnight here, and I'd like to get another workout in before family festivities get rolling here in the AM...so I'm shutting it
down. Hope you too have had some active adventures admist your holiday celebrations!