Exercise of the Week: Sun Safety and Training in the Heat

Fall racing season typically means one thing, training in the heat of summer.  I say often to the athletes I coach “Hot Summer = Fast Fall”. Summer is fast approaching, days getting longer, and temperatures will begin to rise. Training in the heat is inevitable and in some cases practically unavoidable (I live in Las Vegas where heat is “normal”). If you are faced with training in the heat there are a few things to consider keeping yourself cool and safe while training. The sun is at it highest point between the hours of 10am and 4pm. It is best to avoid these times. Always wear sunscreen and reapply. Rule of thumb, level of SPF = time of coverage.  30 SPF, reapply every 30 minutes.  Wear white or light UV protective clothing (the Coolibar cooling fitness shirt I am wearing in the photo below is a perfect example) to reflect the sun’s rays. Dark colors absorb the heat. Wear a hat and UV protective sunglasses. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Know your sweat loss rate. Weigh yourself before and after a workout to know how much sweat you lose and replenish with this amount as well as taking in electrolyte sports drink during activity. Cramping is a sign of mineral loss so make sure you are taking in an electrolyte sports drink to keep you hydrated and replenish minerals lost in sweat. Help keep the body cool by pouring cold water over pulse points in the wrist and back of the neck. Also pouring over the top of the head. A majority of the body’s heat is released through the top... read more

Exercise of the Week: Plank

Coach Kristie’s son, Ty, demonstrates this week’s exercise of the week:  Plank A plank is one of the best core exercises that targets all of the abdominal muscles.  This exercise can be done anywhere.  There are a few variations of plank.  Ty is demonstrating hands together, elbows on the mat.   You can also have arms parallel, elbows on the mat and shoulder width apart.  Another variation is called “high plank” where your palms are on the mat, shoulder width apart and arms are straight and under your shoulders (similar to push-up starting position). Very important to lock your core, keep your spine straight, neck neutral.  You want your core to hold and stabilize this exercise. Start with a 30 second hold and work your way from there gradually adding time in increments of 10-15 seconds.... read more

No Apologies

There can be a lot of uncertainty in running and multi-sport.  Athletes doubt their training.  Athletes doubt themselves.  Athletes look at other athletes and ask themselves, am I doing too much?  Am I doing too little?  This person is always posting about how they are out there killing every workout, am I doing the ok here? Social media can be great for bringing athletes together, around a shared race, experience, or talking about training.  One thing to always bear in mind, so much so that I made it my #2 rule (#1 being no politics or religion on Facebook) is that “things are not always what they seem on social media.”  A shiny, gleaming post with a bunch of fun hashtags does not always convey what exactly happened in any given workout or race.  Thus it is counterproductive for athletes to compare what they are doing to someone else’s social media posts regarding training and racing.  Which bring me to my main point in writing this.  Never apologize.  I don’t care what your running pace is.  We should all do a service to ourselves and throw out the words “fast” and “slow.”  My zone 2, conversational runs feel the same as anyone else’s.  My hard zone 4-5 efforts feel just as grueling as anyone else’s.  We’re all out there, putting in the effort, working relative to ourselves.  A social media post lamenting how “slow” you are only eats away at self-confidence and takes away from the wonderful, satisfying, hard work you are putting into your own training.  Never apologize for who you are.  If you are in this to... read more

Nutrition Pattern and the Importance During a Training Block

“Dieting” or significantly changing your daily nutrition patterns while in the midst of training for an endurance event can be a ‘tricky’ balance for many athletes. There are many important considerations such as meeting your daily energy needs, micronutrient needs, and giving attention to how you feel throughout your day and your workouts. If you are undertaking a dramatic shift in your daily nutrition pattern (such as a shift to lower carb, high fat) and/or you are training for a marathon, ultra run, or long course triathlon, I strongly recommend pursuing blood biomarker analysis, specific to the needs of athletes, so that you know whether your body is tolerating the training load (or will be able to) and what micronutrients need to be boosted for health and better athletic performance (e.g., iron, magnesium, B12, etc). If you have questions on the “why” and “how” of blood testing, feel free to message me at read more

Believe You Can

There’s a popular nutrition podcast I listen to. The host often says “there’s no free lunch in nature.” I love this saying, and I find that it goes for training as well. There is no free lunch in running and triathlon. What do I mean by this, exactly? Well, specifically this…races aren’t going to train for themselves. Signing up for races is fun. It gives athletes a little endorphin boost which feels good. Now what? Whether you’re a beginner or have been racing for years, you gotta train. Hiring a coach can help. Having guidance and accountability is useful during training. Someone is there to answer questions, and figure out the best plan for each athlete as an individual. Everyone is different. Each athlete is like a puzzle and the coach can help fit the pieces together, creating a picture of a successful, goal-meeting race day. Regardless of the distance, training for a race can seem a little daunting. For some, a 5k is that distance. For others, its a 70.3. Whatever “your” goal race distance, the first place to start is believing that you can do it. We live in a wonderful world full of all kind of gear, gadgets, GPS, heart rate monitors, power meters and sensors. All these things are useful in tracking metrics for training. But you know what is equally, if not more important? The athlete’s belief in themselves that they can train for and successfully complete the event. Humans can have a tendency to make things complicated and its important to occasionally take a step back, look at the fundamentals, and be sure... read more

Exercise of the Week: Fire Hydrants

Coach Rebecca demonstrates Fire hydrants. A classic exercise targeting the often overlooked glute medial. 20-30 reps each side. Start on hands and knees. Bring one leg up with a bent knee, as high as you can with good form, do not rotate as you lift. You should feel this in the glute. To increase difficulty raise the opposite arm straight out in front of... read more

Exercise of the Week: Standing Hurdles

Coach Rebecca demonstrates standing hurdles. Targets hip flexors and glutes. Good for range of motion and balance. Stand on one leg and bring the other up and across the body with a bent knee. Draw a counterclockwise circle. 15-20 reps on each leg, then do the same leg in the opposite direction (draw a clockwise circle). Focus on opening the hips and increasing ROM and flexibility. To increase difficulty, stand on a... read more

Exercise of the Week: Physical and Mental Challenge

This week, we challenge everyone to do something that is difficult. That is a little bit uncomfortable. Break out of the temperature controlled, regulated world. Take a cool/cold shower. Do your workout early morning. Run a new route without GPS. Start a conversation with another runner or somebody at the gym. By stretching out limits we show ourselves how strong and fearless we can... read more

Exercise of the Week: Skull Crushers

Coach Kristie demonstrates the exercise of the week, Skull Crushers. This exercise is sometimes also called lying tricep extensions.  This exercise specifically targets the triceps.  You can do them on a bench, BOSU (like shown), or stability ball. Lie down, arms extended straight up, bend arms slowly to a 90 degree angle, then return to starting position.  Start with 3 sets of 10-12... read more