Exercise of the Week: Bird Dog

Coach Kristie demonstrates this week’s exercise of the week, Bird Dog.  This exercise targets all of the abdominal muscles and lower back. On your knees looking at the floor, have hands on the floor beneath the shoulders, neck and spine should be relaxed.  Extend opposing arm and leg, your arm should not be seen in your peripheral vision. Hold for 4 sets of 30 seconds (each side), working up to one minute.  Once you are are able to master the timed bird dog, for increased difficulty, laterally move the extended limbs 10 degrees to the side. This is a small, controlled, movement. Return to start.  Work up to 4 sets of 20 reps each side.... read more

Exercise of the Week: Monster Walks

Coach Kristie demonstrates the exercise of the week, Monster Walks. Using tubes (as shown), or with a resistance band around the ankles stand with feet shoulder width apart, then step to the side, then return to start position.   Repeat for 4 sets of 10-15 repetitions on one side, then switch to the other. You can monster walk to the side, the front and back or even in a “box” where you step front, side, back, then the other side.   You can also continue to move in the direction of the walk vs returning to the start. This exercise is one every runner and cyclist should have in their arsenal.  Great for glute and hip strength to prevent imbalances due to the repetitive nature of running and... read more

Letting Go

I started as a runner. I had a treadmill for walking, and one day I ran for about 5 minutes. 5 minutes became 10, then 20 and so on until I was able to run 60 minutes non-stop. I thought this was pretty fun so one day I laced up my old New Balance shoes, put my UW sweatshirt and some shorts, grabbed my yellow Sony Walkman and decided to run outside for the first time. No watch, this was way before gps was common and affordable. It was about 9 miles. At some point I ran my first half. A little more than a year later my first full. My first full I had no idea what I was doing. I just went out an ran a lot and ended up at 3:47. I knew I could improve on that and I did. But slowly marathoning became shaving not just tens of minutes off my time but just one or two minutes. It was pretty grueling and I wasn’t really having all that much fun anymore. Enter triathlon. I did my first Olympic in 2011 and it was so much fun. I didn’t stress and the run, my strongest leg, is last! I did well and it was a huge relief from the pressure of shaving off just a little bit of time from my half and full marathons. Triathlon was a new world, where every new distance was a PR and I truly did not care what anyone else thought of me. Fast forward to 2017. 3 IMs later and a ton of experience in all different... read more

Exercise of the Week: Lawnmowers

Coach Kristie demonstrates this week’s exercise of the week, Lawnmowers.  The exercise is shown using hand weights, it can also be performed using resistance bands as well as a cable machine.  Another variation of this workout can be done with one knee on a bench, today’s demonstration is standing. This exercise uses back and arm muscles to pull the weight up, while the legs work as stabilizers. The back muscles that are activated in this exercise are your latissimus dorsi, the largest back muscle, as well as the rhomboid major and minor, teres major, rear deltoid and trapezius. Stand with legs apart, the deeper into a lunge position you go will add difficulty to this exercise.  Front leg bent, body hinged forward at the waist, opposing arm from front leg holding your weight.  Pull the dumbbell up to your shoulder while rotating the upper body.  Return to the starting position, that is one repetition. Work up to 4 sets of 12 reps.      ... read more

Exercise of the Week: Hydration

This one bears repeating- guest blog from Dina Griffin on hydration: A couple of hot topics in the sport nutrition world lately relate to fluid and electrolyte needs for athletic individuals (no matter whether recreational or more elite in abilities). I want to address a few issues related to hydration in this article, some of which have also been questions previously posed by KRE teammates. Fluid and water recommendations for athletes have run the gamut in the context of daily needs and needs during exercise. As an example of this, check out the following list of recommendations that have circulated in recent years: 8 x 8-ounce glasses of water daily Drink 1/2 of your body weight in water daily Drink fluids until your pee is clear in color Drink fluids until your pee is pale in color Males: 15.5 cups of fluids; Females: 11 cups of fluids (Adequate Intake as set by the Institute of Medicine for healthy 19-70+ year-olds) 0.154 to 0.185 ounces of water per pound of body weight during exercise 3 to 8 oz of fluid every 15 minutes during exercise Drink ahead of thirst Drink to thirst Which one is right? The short answer is: none of them have been proven scientifically to be the “one and only way” for all healthy athletic individuals. What it really gets down to is figuring out what YOU need. Like most things when it comes to being an athlete, right? Before I present some hydration tips, let’s review some of the important benefits of hydration: 1. Aids in digestion and absorption of nutrients from the food we eat... read more

Exercise of the Week: Back Hyperextensions

Coach Kristie demonstrates this week’s Exercise of the Week:  Back Hyperextensions Having a strong lower back and core muscles will aid in the prevention of back pain and injury.  As your muscles get stronger, they are able to offer more support to your spine, which improves your posture, running form, and relieves pain. In the starting position, the body is face down, arms in the shape of a goal post.   Activate core muscles and lower back to lift the upper body and hold for a count of 2-5, then return to starting position.  That is one repetition.  The neck and shoulders should be relaxed, lower back and core muscles should be doing the lifting. Work up to 4 sets of 20 reps. Please feel to ask anyone on our coaching staff if you have any questions about this exercise of the... read more

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