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Jessi Stensland - Adventures in Endurance Performance

3 Posts tagged with the multisport tag

It wasn't hard to come up with this year's list.  The smarter the world is getting in the world of human performance, the more options that are being created to facilitate all the right stuff! More options has made for quite a long list. Enjoy!





Before hydration, nutrition and movement strategies should come great sleep strategies. My favorite definition: "The suspension of consciousness when the powers of the body are restored."


Gear to go for: The Zeo Sleep Manager



What gets measured gets improved.  Think of it as a power meter for your  recovery.   Like a power meter for the bike, the tool itself it won't make you sleep more or better, but by having quantitative data to measure, track and analyze, you can get to know more about your sleep habits and implement strategies to make quantitative improvements in your sleep and ultimately your performance.



I first heard about the Zeo Sleep Manager from Dr. Allen Lim who was using it as a training tool with the riders he was working with.  He spoke about how on  any given day, the squad might have an A, B or C ride (differing in  distance and intensity.) Which ride the riders were allowed to do on a particular day was dependent on their quality of sleep the night before as indicated by their Zeo Sleep Score.   Something else he mentioned that stood out: if one gets one more hour  of sleep per day in the week before a race, they will perform better in the race.   How great is that.  Sleep to perform better? I love learning things like this.


Zeo Sleep Manager has both a bedside unit (above) and the new mobile version (below right.) On the left is a sample of a graph you'll get every morning of your sleep patterns along with an overall sleep score.  My PR is 155! I love sleep.








Work IT | Happy, strong feet!

The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering + a work of art. - Leo da Vinci

So true IF you let them be themselves.


"Phalangeal Freedom + Phalangeal Fitness = Phalangeal Fun"

...says Mark Verstegen of Athletes' Performance.


Gear to go for: Vibram 5 Finger Shoes


Forget about running in them for a moment.  Forget about fashion and think function. There are so many  things your foot, all of it, would love to do with you:  walk, strength train, skip, hike.  There are numerous muscles of the foot and they want to be loved and put to work.  Most shoes force the foot into an unnatural shape (similar to a cast.)  They can limit mobility of the certain joints necessary for natural motion and they often soften the forces the foot has to withstand during activities thereby allowing some muscles to weaken and others to have to compensate, often unhappily.  Just like bigger muscles you can see and feel like glutes, quads, biceps and triceps, the muscles of the foot must be strengthed gradually to handle increased loads.  Depending on your level of phalangeal fitness, Vibram Five Fingers may be an even better option than simply going barefoot as they also help spread the toes.


I'm amazed I have seen only one, ONE, other person doing their movement/strength training in my local gym in Five Fingers.  Running shoes, cycling shoes, casual shoes more the norm.  Let's move it!


Your feet are a huge part of your performance.  You wouldn't wear mitts when swinging a bat, club or racket would you?  Have fun with them this year.



Get IT | Smooth, supple muscles.

How?  By hydrating, eating right, massaging tight tissues and activating, strengthening and stabilizing other muscles.


Gear to go for:  Self-Massage Tools




Self-massage tools should be just that: tools. Not crutches. Trigger Point Performance has lead the way with their tools and concurrent education.  I go no where without my GRID, Quadballer and Massage Ball.


A new kid on the block that I immediately put to use and is now a permanent addition to my gear bag is the Myorope.  Although I maintain my movement so well I rarely need to spend much time with the tools, they are an important part of my pre-covery and recovery strategies.



Move IT | Whenever, wherever.

Wherever you are, be there.

Gear to go for:  Gaiam's Travel Yoga Mat


Why I love it: It takes up virtually no space.  Great for adding to a gear bag so you don't have an additional item to carry.  Also perfect for the frequent traveler who doesn't mind others turning their heads while he or she indulges in some pre-flight movement preparation (or post-flight when waiting for a ride while everyone else is in line at Dunkin' Donuts OR when one misses a flight and has to spend a night in the airport in which case it pairs well with the TP Therapy GRID as a head rest.)



Reduce and Reuse IT | For yum on the run.

Gear to go for:  To-Go Ware RePEat Utensil Set


I have saved the lives of more plastic forks, spoons, knives and even chopsticks than I can count since I started carrying these with me.  Not only great for the environment but for convenience as well.  They are incredibly handy, wash easily and are just plain bamboo cool.




Create IT | Au Natural Beauty

If you wouldn't want to eat it, why would want to smear it on your face?"

...says Supermodel Sunny Griffin in this video from The Cool Vegetarian.

Gear to go for:  Organic Body Care Recipes

Organic Body Care Recipes


Stephanie Tourles offers a better solution to  everyone frustrated with  the endless cycle of expensive, synthetic,  famous-name cosmetics that  often fall short of expectations. With Organic Body Care Recipes you  can take control of beauty treatments  with homemade products that use  safe, nourishing ingredients to pamper  the body and soothe the senses. Click on the book to read more about  Organic Body Care Recipes.



Prepare IT | Athlete Food Fast

"Skills in the kitchen, rather than skills on the bike,  were such a limiting factor for so many of the athletes I was working  with.” - Biju Thomas

Gear to go for: The Feed Zone by Allen Lim and Biju Thomas



I'm a huge fan of Biju and Allen's work.


Get a glimpse of their genius in the videos below:


Dr. Allen Lim's Beet Juice


Dr. Allen Lim's Rice Cakes





Get After IT | Be great. Train great. Race great.

Get after it with...

A week of individualized performance training + nutrition with Jessi


A week of training at Athletes' Performance in PHX, Dallas, LA or Gulf Breeze


A race entry


A mountain bike skills clinic


A Functional Movement Screen


A massage






Jessi Stensland | Elite Multisport Athlete | MovementU

1,809 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: running, cycling, swimming, triathlon, nutrition, endurance, performance, multisport, holiday, jessi_stensland, jessi, stensland, functional_training, movement, self-massage

I'd heard about it years ago...but now I've got my own and I'm loving it.  Have you stand up paddleboarded yet?


For the record, I'm not a surfer and have  never done any paddling.  I have always been a swimmer - sans equipment -  in the water. I lived 12 years by the ocean in San Diego and the most I  did was bodysurf for my triathlon training a few times. I will say I do love bodysurfing.


Stand up paddling caught my attention immediately when I first heard about it. It seems that from the moment it was born it was cool.  Over the years I've hopped on a board once or twice but in April I got my own. The Surftech Laird 11'6" as you can see to the  left.


There have been times when I've SUP'd in the ocean, fought the waves, had to fight for my balance - and then settle in and enjoy being surrounded by the entire ocean while just standing there.  Paddling hard for a few strokes, easy a for few  strokes. Watching the stingrays and sand sharks underneath me.  Getting to cruise over, and appreciate, the beautiful flowing kelp beds, without having to swim through them.  All while the sun's setting...


There have been other times when we had a few boards and did short little impromptu races between two of us at a time around a nearby bouy. THAT was fun.  Competitive little buggers we  all are.


In June at the Teva Mountain Games I was AMAZED to see people on their SUPs in the raging river, making it look easy to balance, just cruising along.  There they held a surf cross competition 2 on 2, like the snowboard cross in the  Olympic Games.  Wild!  That is something I can imagine doing - once I  get my skillz down.


I've seen Greg Welch surfing waves with it.  And I've seen people using the unstable surface to challenge their stability and strength by doing overhead squats, planks, among other things, including yoga! What a view for a core workout.


Of course there's  always the long slow distance you can put on it too.  Friends of mine go  out for hours at a time.




It's a perfect piece of equipment that combines the best of a both  worlds.  For one its a total body workout that challenges body awareness, balance, coordination, stability and strength all of which come into play big time in swim, bike and run power production.  Great power transfer from the paddle to the more ways than one.


For another, being out on the water, away from cars, computers and all the other craziness, simply feeds the soul.  It's peaceful, relaxing, social if you want it to be, serene and re-energizing.


Choose your own adventure.


Yesterday I took the board out with a couple of friends, Ryann Fraser and my roommate Morgan.  It was Morgan's first time on an SUP.  She was a  champ!  Take a peek inside our evening at the Boulder Reservoir during  sunset in the video below.  LOVIN' IT - THANKS SURFTECH SUP for inspiring new adventures!






3,320 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: strength, multisport, up, paddle, stand

Venturing Off-Road

Posted by Jessi Stensland Apr 2, 2010

I would  have considered myself an off-road virgin…until last year.  For 10 years  I’d been racing triathlon on the road with the odd trail running race  mixed in. It was about two years ago that I started to get curious about  off-road multisport, went to watch a race and then borrowed a mountain  bike and did the 2007 XTERRA World Championships in Maui.  Still, 2008  passed by, and it wasn’t until January 2009 that I got my own mountain  bike, hopped into an extreme trail running race, did a 12-hour MTB race  on a 4-person team, and finally did an awesome off-road sprint triathlon  in a pristine park just outside of the craziness of Los Angeles, CA,  that I was fully hooked, almost immediately to the point of no return  (to the road!) More importantly, I’ve been inspired to inspire others to  venture with me and enliven their typical multisport experiences.


I  raced off-road more than I trained off-road in the beginning.  I  quickly realized I had to seek out new people and places for these new  adventures and in doing so, I ended up finding a whole new world, and I  love that I have so many more years to enjoy it!


I  continue to be amazed by the endless options I now have to enjoy  training, racing and challenge myself as a person and an athlete.  In  July last year I raced an on-road sprint triathlon near the ocean in  Carlsbad, CA, the following weekend I was up in the mountains in Big  Bear, CA racing an off-road duathlon and after that I did Muddy Buddy  Boulder with family on our vacation! In August I did the King of the  Rockies mountain bike race in Winterpark, CO and the SkirtChaser 5k in  Denver the same evening.  And in September I did an 8 mile trail run  called, Race to the Top of Mt. Baldy, just outside of Los Angeles, CA,  all uphill, with 4000’ of climbing up to the summit at 10000’.  The  terrain and views were absolutely heavenly and super hard all that the  same time.  I had no idea what I was in for, and I loved it!  That was  followed up that same month by an off-road duathlon (run-MTB-run) in  Comfort, TX and an on-road sprint triathlon in Connecticut for charity.  I’m having a blast meeting all types of people who love to do what I do  and seeing new parts of this beautiful planet we live on.


One  key thing that made my transition to off-road so easy and allows me to  be so diverse in my activities, is my performance training.  Before  sport-specfic training like swim, bike, run, I focus on training my body  to be athletic, powerful, injury resistant and therefore capable of  doing whatever my mind asks it to do.  This gives me the confidence in  myself and my body to jump into new challenges with two feet and without  worry of injury.  My key workouts (3-4 times per week for 60-90  minutes) include a joint focus on all the elements the body needs to get  the job done.  These include mobility, flexibility, stability,  strength, elasticity and cardio capacity followed up with sport-specific  drills for proper mechanics and movement efficiency.  Doing these  workouts makes me a better swimmer, cyclist and runner.  So with the  rest of the time I have, I go out an have a blast in my training any  which way I want. It all works together.  A body that moves well, is  more capable of coordinating movements in new sports, like mountain  biking and trail running for example.  Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t  made learning mountain bike skills a piece of cake!  I’ve taken quite a  few spills, but my body has handled it well and my progress has been  fast and fun.  The best part is my training on the trails, which tends  to include much more climbing, has transferred greatly to my power ON  the road.  It’s a win-win situation.


Props to the race  organizers committed to putting on these off-road races.  They put a lot  of passion, sweat and time into putting them on and often don’t see the  numbers of participants that their on-road attract.  I’m on a mission  to help them flourish and continue to be able to offer them!


Stay  tuned for more experiences, both on and off-road this year, along with  more of what I’ve learned and continue to learn.  If you haven’t gone  off-road yet, hope you’ll join me!

3,889 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: triathlon, performance, multisport, off-road, jessi_stensland