Saturday, December 25, 2010

I Run Because.......

I hope everyone is having a great Christmas Day! I am in Montana enjoying some time with my family. The weather is cold, foggy, and snowy but that did not stop me today going for a run. Yesterday I ran in the local gym on the treadmill and thanks to my iPod I made it through 10 miles on the treadmill. I hate running on the treadmill and I really don’t like the cold. Today it is about 20 degrees in Montana. I really didn’t have an option today except to run outside. Hesitantly, I begin the preparation process for the cold run that I plan on embarking on. My dad, mom, and sister all watch me put layers of clothes on. I have three shirts, a jacket, gloves, headband over ears, and full face hat (that I mostly use for riding but came in handy today). My dad comments that I have to go through a lot of work just to get ready to run. I wasn’t sure how long I was going to last in the cold but was hoping to go 6 miles. I was reluctant to step outside but forced myself out the door. As I began my run I didn’t feel the cold or dampness at all. I actually felt really good. Then about 10 minutes into my run I realized the beauty around me. It was amazing! Yes, this is why I run. I love running in unfamiliar places and I love taking in the beauty around me. As I kept running I was amazed by the beauty of the snow, the trees, the fog, the sound of the crunch of snow under my feet, the snow falling from the trees….it was all so beautiful. It reminds me why I love to run. Before my run I didn’t want to go and now I have pictures in my head that I will never forget. The beauty of my run today takes me back to a different kind of beauty at my first marathon. The Maui Marathon was the first marathon I completed. What a beautiful thing to run along the coast of Maui and see whales playing right off shore! How many people can say they have seen that beauty? The 50-mile run I did in San Francisco’s Headlands Park was amazing for its beauty. It was by far the hardest thing I have ever done but the things I saw on that run will never leave my memory. Running by the river with my dog Tigger in Atlanta was always beautiful and a great run. Running in New Jersey and seeing deer as we ran was another great sight to see. I have so many great memories of my runs throughout the years. I absolutely love to run and some of my best runs were when I really didn’t want to go at first like today!
Today was a short run but an Epic run because it reminded me why I run. I run because……….

I run because I see beautiful things most people NEVER get to see and enjoy like I do on a run.
I run because of the way it makes me feel when I am done.
I run because it keeps me healthy.
I run because it keeps me sane.
I run because it allows me to eat Twizzlers.
I run because it challenges me ON every run!
I run because it takes me to new places I would never see from a car.
I run because my dogs love to run.
I run because it helps me think clearly.
I run because I get to meet so many great people that also love to run.
I run because I LOVE TO RUN!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Run with a group, have fun, and achieve your goals

Rockin Runners Henderson Group

These are some emails I received from some of our Rockin Runners after they ran the marathon. If you ever considered running with a group The Rockin Runners Henderson group is the one you should run with! We have a great group of people and two great coaches! We start running together again in January so come run with us!

From Margaret:

My Dearest Torturer! I say that lovingly you know Words alone cannot express the feeling of accomplishment I felt when I crossed that finish line, I wanted to cry but held back. Six months ago I decided to try to run the marathon and in doing so I knew that I needed expert training to help me accomplish this huge goal, so I told my husband that I was going to join a training group to help me get through it. At first I sort of balked at the price, but the the price that I paid is nothing compared to the invaluable coaching I received from you and Cyndee. I know for a fact that if it weren't for all the time you two put into our little group I would not have finished the way I did. I'm walking today and I went to work, sore but a good sore! Annnddd to top it off, I finished in 4:15!!! I did have a little set back between miles 22 - 25 but I was determined to finish this race running and went back to all the little things that you had coached us on, (let gravity work for you!!!) BEST advise ever. I had 3 goals in mind when I decided I was going to do this: 1. Finish the race healthy 2. Not come in last 3. and finish under 4:50, WOW, THANKS to you ladies I accomplished all 3!!! I am still beaming with pride that I accomplished this and to think 25 years ago I would have never considered taking this on. I am so grateful for having come across some of the best people, I've made such good new friends and will continue on this running journey all thanks to the great coaching. Yes I am still considering a sprint! So many, many heartfelt thanks to you! Thank you Cyndee for showing up some where along the route, I am in my own little running world and I hear dogs barking and the first thing that came to my mind is where is Trigger??? LOL and there he is with his buddy, and Cyndee what a great lift, I think you need to cut them back on the pupiccinos (sp?) lol. Anyway, Here's a big heartfelt THANK YOU and look forward to training with you in the future!!


And yet another from Stacy


Thank you for all the hard work you have done to train us!! You will never know how much this has meant to me and Krista. I appreciate all your encouragement, and all your knowledge that you have tried to pass to us all!

Thank you for all your help at the gym, I believe that helped to make me stronger and cut that ten minutes off my time.

It has really been a pleasure getting to know you.

Luv, Kisses & Blessings,


Another from Katie

Dear Cyndee, Nancy and Josh,

Thank you so much for all of your training, support and stretching over the past few months. It was so amazing to go into my first 1/2 marathon feeling completely confident of my ability and finishing bang-on my anticipated time (2:06 - next year sub 1:59!). I can't wait to start training with you again in January and am already planning on my 1/2 marathon schedule for next year. This was such a fun experience and I'm so grateful to the three of you for making it so!

Thank you, thank you!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Leilani's first half marathon CAN do it and you did!

Three and a half years ago, I went through something traumatic…I became a
statistic. After 10 years of marriage, I found myself divorced. I read somewhere that when you are at your lowest point, you discover what you are made of…this holds true for me. Exercise and endurance sports was not only an instrumental part of my emotional recovery and healing, but it brought back energy and fitness I had not seen in years. Exercising is now a part of my life and I love it. Last year, I made the decision to move to Las Vegas to get a new start on life and be closer to family. It was here that I was blessed to meet my trainer and coach, Cyndee Platko. Working out with her has definitely brought out the best in me.

What attracted me to choosing her as my trainer was her love for endurance sports…something that I now have a deep interest in continuing to do. Her experience as an incredible triathlete was another big reason for wanting to work with her. I did my first Olympic distance triathlon in 2009, the Lavaman Triathlon in Kona. After this event, I experienced the beginning stages of plantar fasciitis. I could not run more than 10 minutes without my feet hurting. After months of physical therapy, proper stretching, and exercise I finally got better. I told her that I wanted to challenge myself and do the Las Vegas Half Marathon. Not only was my goal to finish, but my ultimate goal was to finish it pain free. The farthest distance I had ever run was six miles, so 13.1 was a huge goal for me. Without hesitation, Cyndee took me under her wing and conditioned me run the distance. Coupled with strength training, she stretched my abilities in ways I did not know were possible. I also became toned in areas I did not know were toned. In fact, it took looking at pictures of myself to realize that I now have muscles! What a beautiful thing! What I love and respect most about Cyndee is that she is a straight shooter and will always tell me how it is…no fluff (but with love her in her heart). Her honestly and dedication in helping me reach my goals has made me a better person.

As part of my training, she introduced me to Rockin’ Runners. By nature, I am a social butterfly, so this was a perfect fit! However, I have to admit, waking up before daylight to meet with the group at 5:30 am during the summer was sometimes a struggle because I am NOT a morning person. But, the reward and feeling of accomplishment was so worth it! Through this running group, I had the blessing of meeting so many amazing people such as Coach Nancy who is another incredible triathlete. Her energy, passion, and sincere love of helping people become better in all facets of life made it such a pleasure to work with her. The best part of working with Nancy was all of the stretch sessions she provided, which I believe to be instrumental in helping me to perform better during my runs. Thank you for stretching me, Nancy…it hurt so good!

The best part of training with Cyndee, Nancy, and the team was creating new friendships that I know will last for a life time. Through this experience, I met Dalia and Tiffany, two incredible women that I am blessed to call my friends. I was honored to cross the finish line with them at the half marathon.

I truly believe that things do happen for a reason. Though I am still part of the statistic, my journey has brought me many blessings in disguise. I am so proud of what I just accomplished….I crossed the finish line and completed my first half marathon! The best part is that I finished it pain free! I now know this is exactly where I am supposed to be…my life could not be any better.

Thank you, Coach Cyndee! Thank you, Coach Nancy! Thank you, Rockin’ Runners!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Nancy's Perspective

I have coached Nancy Dickenson for almost 2 years now. She is an amazing athlete. It has been great to coach an athlete as talented as her. This year she had a great year qualifying for and competing in The National Long Course Triathlon in October. At nationals she qualified for Worlds Long Course which will be held here in Vegas in 2011. Nancy happens to be a great personal trainer at LVAC Central location. About 6 months ago I asked her to help me coach a running group in Henderson called The Rockin Runners. Here is her perspective on the group, which is the best running group around...............
Last Summer I received a serious distress text message from my Coach/respected Colleague, Cyndee Platko..."I need your help."

Anything for you! I of course replied. Little did I know that my attempt to GIVE Cyndee help turned out to be one of the best coaching experiences I've ever RECEIVED. Cyndee asked me to co-coach the Henderson location Rockin Runners of the Athlete's Foot shoe store. The program, intended to be a beginner run/walk training group for the Las Vegas Marathon; was in reality a multidimensional wellness learning program full of camaraderie and the shared love for endurance. I was in heaven.

Upon entering the group as a new coach, I was so fortunate to walk right into Cyndee's exceptional structure and expertise in training for one's first Half/Full Marathon. Her extensive background in endurance training made me utterly confident that we would guide these brave new run/walkers in the right direction. I felt as though I hit the jackpot in a coaching partnership as Cyndee and I shared a similar vision for our loyal people, though we were able to give our own independent perspectives on endurance training.

Oh and our loyal people!....I may have been the coach, but boy did I learn a LOT from our runners in every facet. Everyone so hard working and so dedicated on a level so inspiring to say the least. Smiling faces at 5am every Saturday morning...voluntarily...that is good character. And everyone exhibited that love (except for when I stretched you). I feel so rich to have been chosen to guide such character in their endurance endeavors.

I want to thank Cyndee, the Athlete's Foot, Biomechanics of Las Vegas, and especially our runners for giving me this opportunity. Thank you for your faith in my coaching abilities. Thank you for your reciprocated hard work. Thank you for your love of running! Consider me endlessly dedicated to your wellness and endurance goals!

Much love,
Nancy Dickinson

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Race Day Done! Great Job Everyone!

About year ago Dr. Satterlee at BioMechanics of Las Vegas asked me if I wanted to coach a running group called the Rockin Runners in Henderson. I kept saying, "I really don't have time." He kept asking, and reluctantly I said yes. Today I am very grateful I did say yes. It is a great feeling to see the people from the group finish their first half and full marathon. In June we started training for the Las Vegas Marathon. I asked one of my elite athletes that I coach and a personal trainer, Nancy to help me coach the group. She has proven to be an asset to the group. Together we have coached the group to run the Rock and Roll Marathon that took place today. Nancy ran the half race today and was the first one from our group to finish. She finished in an unofficial time of 1:34. She did outstanding and now is training for the Rock and Roll Arizona full marathon in January.

I live about 3 miles from the race so I dropped a few people off in the morning and parked my car at the Mandalay Bay. Last year I have a very funny story of my marathon experience. If you know me, you know the story. I have an old blog post about it if you want to read it. Last year the course once again went directly in front of my house. I stopped at mile 23 and went home....I know that's lame but I did it. I decided I can never run this race since it goes in front of my house. The temptation is too much. This year I wanted to cheer on the full marathon people so I ran 3 miles from the Mandalay Bay to my house. Does that count for a full? I ran 23 last year and the 3 that I missed last year I got in this year........nice try!
As I was running from Mandalay Bay to my house I saw several people that I know. I saw Chris who was running a pretty good pace. He is a triathlete that I know that competes in Ironman races. I am guessing he had to have finished in 3:30 or so but not sure. Great job Chris!

Next I see Toshie who is an amazing runner. She did the 50 mile run last year in something like 9 hours! 26.2 is no problem for her.

Then Stacey who runs with our Henderson group. She wants to finish sub 4 hr and she did it finishing in 3:53. Great job Stacey!
I ran home and got my dogs Daisy and Tigger and went back out to the course to see if I could spot anyone else. Daisy wanted to run with everyone and was barking like crazy and Margaret noticed us! She runs with us in Henderson too. She was doing excellent. I think she finished in 4:15. By that time I had to take my mutts for a short run and head home.
Facebook is a wonderful thing. I saw pictures on their of Leilani, Dalia, Ronnie, and Tiffany after the race. They are all looking great after their 13.1 run! Their pictures are at the top of this. For most of the group this was their first half or full marathon. When you accomplish something like that the feeling is amazing.
I am so glad to be a small part of helping people accomplish their goals. It is so rewarding to see people achieve a goal they have worked so hard for.

We will start our running group back up after the New Year. If you want a group to run with then we have a great group of people! Here is a photo of our last run before the marathon!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Taking it easy, if you say so!

I decided for the month of November I would take it easy when it comes to training. I plan to start training for my races in 2011 at the beginning of December. I am doing the Half Ironman REV 3 in Costa Rica in February and then the Full Ironman in Texas in May. With 2 big races early in the year I wanted November to chill.......but how does a type A triathlete chill? Well I don't think I really do in comparison to most people. My way to take it easy is not having a plan for a month. I just do what workouts I feel like doing. I actually had a great workout Wednesday! What was the workout you ask? Well lets see it started like this:
7:30 - Client canceled so I have some time well maybe I will do some shoulders or something.

Start on the bosu ball flat side up and do 15 squats, bicep curl and shoulder press, then 20 quick hammer curls

Side plank rotation go from regular plank to side plank alternate sides 10x each side

Steps ups - stepping to side working more glutes

tricep extensions
repeat all 3x

single leg dead lifts 10x each side

chest press in bridge position 15 regular 15 hands together

Single arm rows in plank position 10x each arm

repeat all 3x

After I did the weight training I decided to run 3 miles as it turned out I did lots of stairs and ran 4 miles. I did 6 laps then stairs for about 5 minutes then repeated that 2 more times. After each mile I did side steps for 30 seconds on the track. I couldn't end with only 18 laps which would be somewhere between 3 and 4 miles so I had to make it an even 22 laps 4 miles. That is the type A in me.

I mentioned before I have my A and B races planned out for next year. If you race triathlons or marathons you should begin thinking about your race schedule next year. The people that are the most successful with racing have a great plan!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Live longer and be happy.....with a dog or two?

I recently heard that people that have pets tend to live longer than people who don't. I also read a study that said children who grow up with pets are more intelligent. I read another study claiming that petting a dog or cat releases good endorphins in humans. I am not sure how accurate these studies were but I do believe them. I have three dogs and let me tell you the laughs they bring me are endless. I know laughing is good for you. I live alone and am not dating anyone so most people would think I was lonely and in need of company.
Far from it! I have more company that most people on Earth. Here is just a few examples:
  • I never eat alone. I always have 3 pairs of eyes glued to every morsel I put in my mouth. They are so attentive when I eat it amazes me. They watch the food as it goes from my plate to my mouth over and over again.
  • I never sleep alone. Yes you got it all three of them sleep with me. Some say that is gross but I find it comfortable at times. Last night Daisy laying to the left of my head, spec in the crook of my leg bend, and Tiggers on the right side near my head. All cozy as a bug in a rug. I do have to wash my sheets more than other people but that's not a big deal.
  • I am always greeted with the most excitement imaginable. I could literally leave and get the same greeting I always get if I come in 5 minutes later. They are always so excited to see me. No human has ever expressed this amount of joy when they have seen me. Frankly, if they did I would find them kind of weird and probably not talk to them ever again.
  • I don't have to run or walk alone. They always want to exercise. I love exercise and I love to run and they will do it anytime, any day and any place! They will also do it in any weather. I think deep down Daisy likes it because she always finds food on our runs. It amazes me! The other day I was running with her and looked down and she had a chicken bone in her mouth. Before that it was a hamburger bun. Many times she chews whatever she gets before I can get her to spit it out.
  • I never take a shower, bath or pee without one of them right there. Between the three of them I don't recall a time that I did any of those things without one of them there. Some people say shut the door but then they are laying right outside the door when I open it and I feel kind of bad. So I leave it open.
  • I often feel bad because they follow me all over the house. If I am going upstairs for a few seconds to grab something I tell them I will be right back but it never fails. They all get up come upstairs only to find me coming right back down. I guess if someone followed me around like this as I said before it would be very weird and I would for sure have to put an end to it. For some reason I don't mind them at all!
  • If I spill something I don't have to clean it up they just eat it! Well I do wipe up after they clean the bulk of it but basically they cut the work in half! What more could I ask for?

Some people say I am crazy because I love my dogs so much. How could you not love faces like those? If you want the joy that I have in my life then I would highly suggest you adopt a dog or cat. Please adopt one and DON'T buy one from a pet store. You can check for adoptable pets in your area. If you are local to Las Vegas then go to the NSPCA

When I take my dogs out people just smile at the sight of them. You can tell they make people happy.

Adopt a pet and it will bring you joy, laughter and probably a longer healthier life!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Silverman Triathlon, Las Vegas Classic and Cardio with Daisy

I am so excited for all the athletes that are participating in the Silverman Triathlon tomorrow in Henderson. It is a half and full distance triathlon. So many people have worked so hard leading up to this big day. A totally different type of athlete and just as inspiring are all the people competing today at the Las Vegas Classic. Several trainers from LVAC are competing in Fitness and Figure and they have clients doing it also. I am sure everyone had a great day and I can't wait to hear about it! As a triathlete people always tell me they are impressed with what I do. I am here to tell you I am so impressed with what the competitors at the Las Vegas Classic can do! I could ride 100's of miles but I could not do what they do. To get up in front of all those people takes guts. Dieting for weeks and weeks takes willpower. Working out so hard daily takes discipline. I give everyone credit for challenging themselves. Several are doing their first show. It is amazing to get out of your comfort zone and try something new! Great job! A completely different type of challenge is the Half Ironman. Training for days on end to get ready for this event takes an extreme amount of dedication. People give up hanging out with friends and spending time with family to train for this type of race. The feeling they will have of finishing the half or full Ironman will be worth every missed party, beer, or movie! I can't explain the feeling of finishing a half or full Ironman you just have to do it to feel it!
Some people say us fitness nuts are crazy. I am so glad I have something to challenge me and something that I am passionate about! Lets face it not many people get excited about having a great workout with their dog, on what was a beautiful day in Vegas. I took Daisy to Get Fit With Fido and we did a great cardio workout at the Arbors Park in Summerlin. Now keep in mind Daisy's strength is cardio! She is awesome and could run forever. We warmed up with a mile run. Those people that don't run, walked half a mile. Then it was time to move our bodies up a grassy hill at the park. Me and Daisy went hard up the hill easy down it 10x. From there we proceeded to jog another half mile. Then came the step ups. Yes I did step ups then Daisy did them. Off to the basketball court for some side steps, knee hops, criss cross, lunges, side squats, backward jog, repeat all of it and finish off with 10 sprints. Do you think she's tired yet? Of course not lets do 10 more hill repeats, more step ups, then finish it off with another mile run. Now would you expect her to be tired? Maybe a little:) Remember if you want to come to GFWF I can alter the workouts for ANY level. If you come to GFWF you don't have to run but you can if you want. I am going to do the same workout we did today, next week on Saturday the 13th. You can do this workout without a dog if you don't have one. So if you want to come with or without a dog and workout please let me know!
Here is a picture of Daisy resting after her workout!

Arbors Park in Summerlin

9:30 am Saturday November 13th

Come workout with or without your MUTT!

See ya there!

Contact me if you want to come:

Friday, October 29, 2010

You are a personal trainer? Is that all you do?

I love when people ask me what I do for a living. I tell them I am a personal trainer and coach. Some of them reply "oh that's all you do?" Then they must realize the look of annoyance on my face and they say, "I mean you do that full-time? You don't have another job?" I bring this up because in the past week it has happened several times. In both recent cases it was a guy trying to pick me up and clearly it didn't work. When it first happened I found myself trying to explain to people that I used to work as a district manager and I choose to leave that job for personal training. It was almost like I was trying to tell people that I could have a really important job if I wanted. Then I realized what I was doing and now I tell people I am a personal trainer and triathlon coach full time and yes I do make pretty good money and its a great job. I don't need another job to pay my bills.

I understand some people do personal training in addition to working another job. It is a great way to make some extra money on the side. There are a lot of people that make a pretty good living doing it full-time too.

I am very fortunate that I can do what I love full-time. Not many people can do that. I help people live healthier lives and educated them about health and nutrition in the process. I get paid to workout (teaching spin). I run with my running group in Henderson (the Rockin Runners). Who wouldn't love this job? I recently started Get Fit With Fido and teach people how to workout with their dogs! I love dogs so that makes things even better!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

2 Races, 2 Days in 2 States

Last weekend was a unique challenge for me. I wanted to take on a new challenge and swim an 8K which is 4.97 miles. If you don't swim, you may not know but that is REALLY far to swim. The longest I have swam in a race is during the Ironman distance and that swim is 2.4 miles. To complete an 8K swim such as this one, you need your own kayak support. The swim that I chose was the inaugural Slam The Dam in Las Vegas. One of my clients had a friend that did kayak support for me. Desi was my kayak support and he was amazing. He kept me going and on track to the finish line. Without him I would not have been able to complete this. I felt great and really strong through mile 3. Then my body was telling me it was time to get out. I knew I had to keep going and was determined. My calves were cramping every so often. My shoulders were on fire but I still had two miles to go. I finished and it felt great. Here is a picture of me at the 2 hour point. The race took me just under 3 hours.
Taking on a new challenge always makes me slightly nervous. The fear of the unknown is always in your head when you do something new. It always make me nervous wondering if I will be able to do it. In the end, I am usually glad I did it. As I was swimming last Saturday, I was thinking of the small percentage of people that actually attempt crazy stuff like this. What percent of the population would ever try and swim 5 miles, run 50 miles or do an Ironman? I don't know the answer but I am sure it is pretty small. I heard a statistic (not sure if its true) that only 5% of the US population actually works out on a regular basis. This is shocking when I am surrounded by people who workout everyday. I couldn't imagine NOT working out because it is part of my life. If only 5% of the US population workout on a regular basis then I am sure the amount of people that would complete a 5 mile swim is pretty small.
After I finished this tediously long swim I didn't stop there. I was on a mission to get to California by 4pm. For some crazy reason I decided to do the LA triathlon on Sunday which meant I had to pick up my race packet by 4pm! So I get out of the water pour a gallon of clean water over my head and body, changed and got in my car and headed to LA. I made it to LA with one hour to spare. I met up with my friend Ryan from Atlanta. We chatted for a little bit after picking up our packets and then I had to take a much needed shower. Ryan is a really great triathlete I met while living in Atlanta. He currently is the race director for a triathlons known as 11Global . Their website is and they put races on in South Africa, Atlanta and Dubai. Ryan is a great triathlete and I was pretty sure he was going to have a great race.
I finally got to shower and went to dinner with a group of friends. I was pretty tired but felt if I got to bed by 9pm I could wake up rested and have a pretty good race. I was right. Although it was not my best time at LA I did OK. The swim was pretty tough with some good swells, bike felt strong and run was OK. I finished 5th in the Elite category and that was 5 out of 5! Hey I did do a 5 mile swim the day before AND I was racing against some great athletes. I should have raced age group and would have placed 2nd. My time was 6 minutes slower than my previous time at LA. I made sure that I told any other person that completed the race that I did the 8K swim the day before. I wanted it to be clear I could have done better! That is the competitive side in me coming out! Denny, Patrick, Ashley and Ryan all placed in their age groups. LA is a very competitive race. For everyone to place in their age group was outstanding.
I got in my car after another much needed shower and took off back to Vegas. Wow what a weekend. Two races in two states and I survived. It was a lot of fun and challenging. I would do it again in a heartbeat........well maybe not the 8K swim because that was (as Bobby would say) one and done!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Get Fit With Fido Starts October 16th Don't Miss Out!


Have you and your dog become too friendly with the couch? Do you both need to get moving and drop a few pounds?

GET FIT WITH FIDO is the program for you! Join Certified Personal Trainer, Coach Cyndee, for a workout for you and your dog. The program is for all levels of people and dogs! There will be workouts designed for the beginners and workouts for the advanced person and dog!

I will provide you with the safest, healthiest, and best workout for you and your dog!

I have been involved in health and fitness for over 20 years. I am currently a personal trainer and dog lover. I wanted to combine two of my passions and help people and dogs become fit and healthy! You and your dog will be on track to improving your health with ME! Obesity in the US population is at an all time high, obesity in pets is on the rise and becoming a serious problem. Don’t be part of the horrifying statistic and do something about you and your dog’s health.

The workouts will be one hour long. They are designed specifically for you and your dog. They will be outside in a park located near Rainbow and Flamingo. Prosperity Park is off of West Flamingo west of Rainbow. Water will be provided for people and pets.

Your dog will need to remain on the leash at all times. Your dog will need to be current on all vaccines. Dogs and owners will need to be friendly with other dogs and people. No aggressive dog or owner will be allowed to participate.

Get Fit With Fido training shirts will be available to purchase. All of the proceeds from the shirts will go to the local NSPCA. The NSPCA is a local no-kill animal shelter. They rescue thousands of pets a year and need all the help we can give them.

The cost of each session is $100. That is ONLY $4.16 per class. The first session will be two months long and run from October 16th-December 16th. The second session will

begin after Christmas. The first class will be Sunday October 16th at 8am. The class times will be Wednesday,

Friday and Sunday. Wednesday will be at 6:30pm, Friday is 6am, and Sunday is 8am. Single session will be available but will be limited to 5 for each session. Single session price will be $10.00.

Classes will be limited to 40 people and dogs so sign up now. Each person can only have one dog at a time. To sign up and reserve your spot just reply to this email and I will provide you with all the details.

Rules and Regulations for Get Fit With Fido

· Workout with your dog for one hour with Personal Trainer, Cyndee Platko.

· Time and Location: Prosperity Park off of Rainbow and Flamingo. Going South on Rainbow turn right on Flamingo then take your second right and continue on the road until you see the park which is about a quarter of a mile. Time is Wednesday 6:30pm, 6am Friday and 8am Sunday.

· Water will be supplied for people and pets.

· Workouts are for all levels. If you are just getting started don’t worry. Cyndee has trained clients of all fitness levels. Keep in mind the workout is for you and your dog! If your fitness is good and your dog is not then we need to start from the beginning getting Fido fit! It is about both you and your pet.

· Two seminars will be available for people to attend. At the seminars we will discuss diet and nutrition for humans and dogs. Seminar dates and times to be announced. The seminars are included in the cost of the program.

· Sponsor goodie bags and samples will be available on selected dates.


· Pet must be kept on a leash at all times

· Owner must pick up after their pet

· One dog per owner at a time

· Dogs must be current on their vaccines

· Dogs must be friendly with people

· Coach Cyndee reserves the right to request doctors or veterinary approval from the client and their pet for them to begin an exercise program.

Cyndee Platko
To Train With Cyndee:

To contact me:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Best Running Partner!

I have ran with a lot of different people throughout the years. Don't get me wrong I love running with other people but my best running partner is not human. I actually have two dogs that are great runners. Below is a picture of me with the best running dog you will find. Daisy will run forever, never complain, never talk, protect me at any cost, and absolutely loves it! She is the happiest dog when she is running and very tired when she is finished. Tigger my other dog will run and is a good running partner but he always has to poop and gets tired after 3 miles. That being said he is my second favorite running partner. Some days it is a challenge to fit in time to walk or run my dogs. I have to be at work at 5am most days. In Las Vegas morning or late night are the ONLY times you can take out your pets because of the heat. I usually get up at 3am so I can take them walking or running for 30 minutes before I leave. That sounds crazy but I have a commitment to them. So I do it just about everyday.
It may not be something you want to do but you have to make time to keep yourself fit and your pet fit. My dog Daisy is a mix if Doberman, Dalmatian, and Shetland Sheepdog. That combinations equals extreme amounts of energy! If I don't run or walk her everyday she gets bored and destructive and she is just not a happy dog! She is a dog bred to work. How unfair would it be if I made her sit home all day! She would be a miserable dog!

I am always amazed when I see very fit people with fat dogs. I don't understand why someone is so dedicated to their own fitness but they neglect their animals fitness. These people usually will go to the gym and walk on the treadmill for their own fitness while their dog is at home. They don't even consider walking outside with their pet because it may not be convenient for them. Obesity in dogs is just as much an epidemic as obesity in the human race. When I took on the responsibility of becoming a pet owner I knew it was a serious thing. It is a commitment for a long time. It is not easy but the joy they will bring you is well worth it. Your pets health is so important so please don't neglect it.

An obese pet can be an expensive one. Many other health related problems may occur because your pet is overweight. Then there are the pets that may not be overweight but they have behavioral problems. Most of these problems are because they are bored and need something to do. So many animals are euthanized each day because of behavioral problems related to the simple fact that they need something to do.

You might be wondering why I am talking about obesity in animals. I am not a dog trainer or vet but I am a dog lover. I am also a fitness enthusiast. I want people to get moving with their dogs and have fun in the process. That is why I am starting a program to do just that. It is called, Get Fit With Fido. It is for all levels of people and dogs. I guarantee your dog will be a tired dog by the end of the hour long workout. In the process you will have gotten a great workout! The program will be starting in about 2-weeks. We will have 3 sessions each week. The sessions will take place at Prosperity Park off of Flamingo/Rainbow. Your dog will need to be current on vaccinations and must be friendly. All dogs will be required to be on their leash.
You can contact me if you are interested in the program.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Adapting To Changes In Your Training

In the past few years I have taken on new challenges in my life. I have done endurance or ultra running and recently endurance or ultra swimming. They have required my body to adapt to a different type of training than I was accustomed to. When training for a triathlon (which I have done for almost 10 years) the schedule typically rotates between the three disciplines. That is the great thing about triathlon training. Rotating the disciplines gives your body a chance to somewhat recover from each training day. If you have a long run one day it is not too difficult to do a long swim the next day. My body became very comfortable with training for triathlons throughout the years. Last year and this year I decided to take on a few new challenges. I completed a 50 mile run last August. It required me to focus on running only for several months. I progressed my training and maxed it out with several weeks of 60 miles of running per week. This was a lot for me being a triathlete. The most I ran in any one week was about 40-45. I was very surprised to find out my body adapted really good to the increase in mileage. The first 60 mile week was tough there is no question. But once I got into the groove my body adapted remarkably. I noticed the same thing when I recently started training for a 8K swim. The most I swim in a week is usually 3 times a week when training for triathlons. In preparation for this 8K swim I have swam up to 6 days a week and about 20,000 meters a week! That is a lot for me being a triathlete and NOT a swimmer. Once again the first week that I increased my swimming my shoulders were really tired. I wondered what I was thinking signing up for this long swim. But once I got into the groove I starting feeling great. I now swim back to back days and don't have any fatigue in my shoulders. I swam 5,000 today and felt really strong and could have easily kept going. I am excited to compete in this upcoming swim because I feel my body has adapted very well to my increased swimming.
The Ultra Run and Swim events like the ones I am doing have become more and more popular. Not everyone adapts as well as I do. A lot of people are sidelined with injury, sickness, fatigue and mental road blocks that prevent them from getting to their goal. Here are some reasons why my training has worked and things you should consider before embarking on a new type of training:
  • I have a lot of base in swimming, biking and running. I have years and years of training under my belt. Some people start competing in triathlons and then one year later think they are super human and take on too much. I have been training for most of my life starting at the age of 15 with working out in a gym. I have been competing in endurance events for just over 10 years.
  • My training progressed slowly for each event. I developed a progressive training plan. I didn't just start running 60 miles a week. I slowly built up to this with recovery weeks incorporated into the plan. I have done the same thing with my swimming event that I am currently training for.
  • I listen to my body better than anyone I know. If something starts bothering me (even slightly) I take action immediately. I will either take a day off or go easy that day instead of hard. I will get a massage, focus more on stretching, or get ART (active release therapy).
  • I have a great support team. I get stretched once a week from Nancy Dickenson. She is a client I coach and a great asset for me and an expert in flexibility. I get massage from Jessica who is the best massage therapist and does great work for athletes. I get ART from Dr. Satterlee at BioMechanics of Las Vegas.
  • I have incorporated strength training in my schedule for over 20 years. Strength training is one area most endurance athletes overlook.
  • I make sure I get enough sleep when I have heavy training volume. I sacrifice going out with friends because I know I need a minimum of 8 hours of sleep. Lack of sleep means lack of good recovery. This will lead to lower immune system and injury. If your muscles don't recover then they can be more susceptible to injury.
  • I have always taken great supplements to help my body recover and keep my immune system strong.
  • I mentally plan my events in my head as I complete each training session. This gets me mentally ready for the event. To wrap my mind around running 50 miles or swimming 8K is tough. I think about the race during my training sessions and it helps me believe I can finish the event. For example today I swam for 90 minutes. When I was done with my swim I thought to myself that I could have easily kept going. This gives me more confidence as my race gets closer.

Remember when you make changes in your training you need to listen to your body. Your body will adapt well if you take care of it. Learn the difference between good fatigue or muscle soreness compared to something is wrong type of fatigue and muscle soreness. There is such a fine line between those that at times it is hard to distinguish. It is better to be safe then sorry. Being sorry can set you back for months at a time. Taking one day off to let your body recover is better than being forced to take months off because of a sickness or injury.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Goal Setting

I have always been a person who sets goals and works hard to achieve them. I think most people should live life like this but unfortunately they don't. I think because they don't really know how to set goals. People can get caught up in the day to day activities in life and plug along. By setting goals people can continue to improve their life and feel better about themselves.

In my job it is essential that my clients have goals to achieve. I train people that want to live healthier lives and improve their health and fitness. The best way to do this is through long term and short term goals. It is essential that your goals are something that you can achieve. It would not make sense for me to be out of shape and overweight and say, "My goal is to do a 50 mile run in 6 months." A better approach would be to give a 6 month goal to running a 10K or half marathon and progress my goal from that point. Sometimes it might seem like you can achieve a goal and then something sidelines you and you may need to modify it. Rather than just saying I can't do it, you should re-evaluate it and modify it. I have had to do this many times in my life. It is OK to change your goals if things are not going they way you planned. This is life and it happens. The important thing is that you don't forget about it and give up!

I am challenging all my clients that I train in the gym to set a short term health related goal. Each goal will be a goal that could progress into a lifestyle change. Each person has their own challenges with living a healthy life. Just giving up something for a month is great but what do you do after that? Losing 5 lbs is great but can you keep it off? Likely you can't if you have not made significant changes and continue to set goals. My clients will begin with a 30 day goal.

In talking to my clients about this monthly goal they will be working towards we discussed a variety of things they could do. Some clients are challenged with drinking wine several times a week. Giving up wine for a month seems like a good goal but I disagree to a point. It is a good goal if you can maintain it. But do you have to give it up forever? NO not at all. As an example I like to drink beer sometimes. I don't drink it weekly or daily. I may have a few in a month. So I don't limit myself totally but I do not drink it every weekend. If I did I am sure I would have a weight problem. Another client said her goal is to make it to all of her training sessions. This is a great start for her because she has had a hard time getting to them lately. Everyone has such different challenges toward their goal of living a healtheir life. I have many clients that come to EVERY training session but their challenge is food related or not getting enough cardio.

When setting a health related goal ask yourself the following questions:
  • Is it something I can achieve?
  • Do I have a timeline?
  • Is it something I can sustain overtime?
  • If I accomplish it how will I feel?
  • Do I have a good plan to help me achieve this goal?
  • Do I have a good support system to help me with this goal?
  • What is my long term goal related to this short term goal?

I am excited to hear some of the goals my clients will have. I will talk about them on an upcoming blog post. I will also talk about the success stories at the end of the 30 days. I am confident there will be many of them.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Triathletes - to spin or not to spin?

You would think being a spin instructor I would tell everyone to take spin classes. Well the triathlon coach side of me will tell you something different. Spin classes are great for some people but not triathletes. There are many different reasons why triathletes should not take spin classes to improve their bike endurance.

Some important reasons are listed below:

  • Most spin instructors NEVER ride outside and would not know how to design a workout specifically for a triathlete. Even if they did most people would find it really boring.
  • Spin classes are typically fast, high intensity, high aerobic effort. When you are just beginning to build your endurance on the bike you should do some training at a lower intensity. People flock to spin classes because they love the fast pace, group environment, specific music each instructor chooses, and they love to sweat.
  • You will get ZERO bike handling skills. How will you learn to maneuver your bike if you are never outside on it? You need to get this experience to be safe when riding outside around other cyclists.
  • Spin bikes are impossible to set up like a triathlon bike or your own bike. I see people that try and set up their spin bike with handlebars really low and they lean on them like a tri bike. This is NOT necessary in spin class. You have NO aerodynamics and don't need to add the stress on your back by leaning over like that for an hour. I ride outside and I set my spin bike so I am comfortable. I don't even try to simulate my tri bike because I could never do it.
  • Some instructors will do really crazy things like trying to get you to work your triceps, abs, or butt on the bike. If you want to work your abs then don't try and do it why you are doing your cardio! It should be done separately.

Triathletes need to be outside on their own bike. It is so important to learn bike handling skills on your own bike. If the weather does not permit you to ride outside then the best option is to get a trainer for your bike. You can find trainers between $150-$2,000. Most beginners will do great with a trainer in the price range of $200-$300. Kinetic is a great brand. The fluid trainer is less noisy then the wind trainer. The comutrainer is a great trainer but is much more expensive. If you are riding indoors on your own bike on your trainer you should look at getting Spinerval DVD's. These provide you with great workouts designed for cyclists and triathletes. You can find them at

Spin classes are great for the some people. They are great for runners or other athletes who want to do cross training on non-running days. They are also great for people looking to lose weight and add variety to their cardio.

I would avoid instructors that do the following:

  • Isolation's - holding specific movements for long periods of time with lots of tension. This puts unnecessary stress on joints.
  • Pedalling super fast with very little tension. I am not sure how people do this but they do it and seem to like it. It is so bad for your knees and does not really do anything beneficial.
  • Trying to isolate any specific muscle group while riding! This is really stupid. As I said before if you want to work abs then do abs, if you want to work triceps then work them with weights. You get the point. Spin class should be a form of cardio not strength training or a core workout.

Spin classes can fun but if you are training for a triathlon skip them and get outside on your bike! Don't forget to get properly fit on your own bike. If you are riding on your own bike and not fit properly then you could be doing more harm to your body then good. The investment of $300 to get fit properly will be well worth it. It will save you a lot of money that you may spend on doctors or physical therapists if you are not properly fit on your bike. If you live in Vegas you can use Gregg at He is the BEST!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Strength Training for Endurance Athletes

I am always amazed when I talk to potentially new clients that are training for triathlons or marathons and they tell me they have never done strength training. It is never too late to start strength training. If you currently don't lift weights, then it is not too late to start now! It has been a part of my training for at least 25 years! I have never thought about not doing it except once when I started training for my first marathon. If you have read past blog posts you can read how big of a mistake that was. I will always lift weights until I die or cant physically do it anymore. I am here to tell you I do it and NO it is not my favorite thing to do. I would much rather be running! I know the importance of it so I make time for it.
Endurance athletes think that all they have to do is swim, bike and run. I am here to tell you strength and flexibility will help you in all areas of your training. If you want to get faster on the run and you do speed work and don't do strength training, you are not going to get as fast as you could. If you want to be a faster swimmer, and only do short, fast intervals then you are not going to be as fast as you could be. Strength training is also good for bone health. This becomes especially important in women with an increase in osteoporosis in the United States. The best part of building muscle is that it is a fat burning furnace. So what are you waiting for?
So what do you do in the gym? Well I would love it if everyone came to train with me in the gym but I know that isn't going to happen! However if you have never lifted weights, you should hire a trainer to get comfortable doing the exercises right. You may only need to work with a trainer for a few months. Then you will have an idea of what to do and how to do it right. Most endurance athletes I have worked with are pretty self motivated to workout. They just don't know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. There are also lots of great resources out there. There are good books that cover sport specific strength training and the Internet is another good resource.
So don't wait another day! Get into the gym and start lifting weights. It may be sacrificing a run, bike, or swim but I guarantee it will be worth it in the end.
When doing strength training for endurance athletes you don't need to lift heavy weights. Lower weight and more repetitions is suggested for endurance athletes. If you have long runs or bike rides coming up then it is advisable to take it easier on the legs a few days before those workouts.
Areas to focus on are core, hips, hamstrings, and shoulders. Core strength is so essential in swimming, biking and running. It is very easy to identify someone running or swimming with a weak core. Strengthening shoulders becomes important in running and swimming. Typically cyclists have very strong quads. The hamstrings are the weaker of the two so they should be trained.
I will coach anyone training for a marathon or triathlon for FREE if you do strength training with me in the gym! See my website for the details.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Supplements and Training

The supplement world can be so confusing. Let me make it simple and easy for you. I worked in the supplement industry for almost 20 years. There are a few really important supplements you will want to take. There are hundreds of supplements that are worthless and a waste of money.
Fall is coming and a lot of you are in the peak of your race season. The last thing you want is to be sidelined by a cold or flu. The following supplements are a MUST all year around to keep you healthy and feeling good:

  • A good multiple vitamin. Not one that you can get at Costco, Wal-Mart or your local grocery store. I personally like the Alive by Natures Way. Another great one is Life Extensions Mix. The problem with Life Extension is that you have to take 9 pills a day. Most people will not do this. That is why Alive is the best choice for the average person. Men should buy the no-iron formula because they usually don't need additional iron. Too much iron in men can actually be harmful.
  • CoQ10 is the big daddy of antioxidants. In my opinion the best one to take. Make sure you buy a quality product. Don't buy it at Costco, Wal-Mart or your local grocery store. When it comes to supplements you need to get a quality product. You pay for what you get! There are several forms of COQ10. The best and most absorbable is the Ubiquinol form. I recommend for endurance athletes 100-200 mg a day. COQ10 is an antioxidant and it also helps with cellular energy. It makes you feel better and have sustained energy throughout the day. When you workout you create lots of free radicals in your body. I am sure you thought working out was good for you and believe me it is. However, it does cause a few negative things. You need to take action to protect your body. Antioxidants fight free radicals (free radicals cause cell damage) and that in turn will keep you healthier. That is a really simple explanation of a very complex process.
  • Vitamin C - yes the basic of basic supplements. As I said before working out does cause a few negative things to happen in your body. Sometimes it does lower your immune system. Have you ever noticed when you begin a new exercise program you suddenly become sick? It is so common. Your immune system is weakened by the additional stress of working out. This makes you more susceptible when you are exposed to viruses. Taking extra vitamin c will help boost your immune system and protect you from these viruses.
  • Iron for women can be important. I would only take iron if you know for sure you are anemic. You can get a blood test to check for sure. It is very common for women to have low iron levels. It is even more common in women athletes. I take an iron supplement everyday. Take your iron supplement with your Vitamin C. Vitamin C increases the amount of iron you will absorb. Calcium and Vitamin D are also important for women and bone health.
  • Oil Of Oregano is my go to product when I get the first symptoms of any kind of sickness. Keep in mind the first sign of a sickness may only be fatigue. Oil of Oregano is great to kill most anything! You may not eliminate your sickness but you can cut the duration of it by taking this supplement. What could have sidelined you for weeks might only stick around a few days if you start taking Oil of Oregano right away! Make sure when you take Oil of Oregano you also take Acidophilis.

There are some very important things to keep in mind when taking supplements. I have known women who are iron deficient and they were actually taking iron supplements. They were deficient because they were not absorbing the iron. Why? Well this can happen with any nutrient you take if your intestinal flora is not balanced. How do you know? You can test your PH with PH sticks everyday. Which is kind of a pain. I tell people to ensure they are absorbing their nutrients take a good probiotic everyday. I like Natures Way Kyodophilis. I would not recommend a liquid. I would get it in a shelf stable, heat resistant, capsule form.

Some other great supplements for endurance athletes:

  • Inflammation can be very problematic in athletes and non-athletes. It comes from repetitive training, poor diet, and injury. Eating partially hydrogenated oils can cause chronic inflammation. Training again as good as it is for you causes inflammation. Injury is usually accompanied by inflammation. My favorite product to help reduce inflammation (no its not Advil) is by New Chapter and called Zyflamend. I take 2 a day to stay healthy and feel good. If I notice something is hurting then I will take up to 6 a day.
  • Recovox or the new name Proliftin is a great product when you are training for a long event. I have told several people about this amazing product. Most people end up finding it to be very helpful in their training. I have said several other times, training is great for you but it does have some negative affects. It produced a "bad" hormone called cortisol. Cortisol does have a function in the body, but it is only needed in very small amounts. Too much cortisol can cause, fatigue, loss of muscle, increase belly fat, and difficulty sleeping. If you are training for an Ironman or Marathon this product is a MUST. It keeps cortisol levels down.
  • Mezotrace is a great multi mineral formula if you tend to cramp or sweat alot in training.

Keep in mind no supplement in the world can replace any of the following

  • not getting enough sleep
  • not eating a healthy well balanced diet
  • not drinking enough water everyday
  • not training enough or training too much

I could go on and on about supplements but I wanted to keep this one short and simple. You can hear more from me in an upcoming seminar.

I will be talking more about supplements on August 25th, 6pm at Biomechanics of Las Vegas. Everyone is welcome and The Vitamin Shoppe will be handing out goodie bags for everyone!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Triathlon Coaching - The Complete Package

Triathlon Coaching - The Complete Package

What does it involve?
The monthly training will consist of:
1. Strength training in the gym for one hour each week. The most neglected part of most endurance athletes program, is strength training. Coach Cyndee specialized in strength workouts specific for endurance athletes. Most endurance athletes don't know what to do in the gym and will do traditional workouts that are not helping them in their endurance training and actually may be hurting them and their performance.
2. Swim with Coach Cyndee once a week. You will meet with Coach Cyndee in the pool for one session each week. Each session will be one hour. I will work with you on technique and teach you how to become a better swimmer or learn to swim.
3. Triathlon Coaching will consist of daily emailed workouts. Each workout is detailed and specifically designed for you to get ready for your upcoming event. You will not have to think about anything in your training program because Coach Cyndee will have it all planned for you. All you have to do is do it!
You will also get a free Coach Cyndee T-shirt and visor!
Who can join?
I coach anyone who wants to train for any endurance event. It does not matter if you are a beginner or advanced. It does not matter if you want to lose weight or have a specific goal you want to achieve by completing the event. You have found someone who can help you with strength training, help you in the pool and design your daily training schedule to prepare you for your race! There will be nothing for you to think about in your training routine. I will have it all planned for you. You just have to do it!
How much does it cost?
The one month program will consist of 4 one hour sessions in the gym doing strength training, 4 one hour sessions in the pool with Coach Cyndee, and individualized workouts emailed to you each day for you to complete on your own. It is only $300 for the month! You will also get a FREE Coach Cyndee Training Shirt and Visor for a limited time!
What times and locations is training?
Strength Training
Flamingo/215 LVAC – 6am – 9 am, 5pm-7pm, Tuesday and Thursday
Rainbow LVAC – 5am – 9am, 4pm – 7pm, Monday and Wednesday, 12pm-1pm Saturday
Pool Workouts
Rainbow LVAC – 1:30pm Monday and Wednesday, Saturday 3pm
Flamingo/215 LVAC – 5am Tuesday and Thursday, 9am Tuesday and Thursday
Each session is limited to 4 people so hurry now to get your spot!

Here are some clients I have trained that completed their events

Coach Cyndee

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What motivates you?

As a trainer it is hard to find out what motivates others. I know what motivates me and keeps me going but trying to find out what motivates my clients is very challenging at times. Tough love may motivate one person but may send another away never to workout again. I think it is important for everyone to have a goal and reason to workout OTHER than weight loss. Most people who come to me want to lose weight. As I train them I talk about entering 5K's, 10K's, half or full marathons and triathlons. Those are not for everyone but do get some people going. I have a client named Anne pictured below with Pam. Last year Anne ran several half marathons and was on a roll. She was so motivated and excited about running. Then that died off and she continued to workout but lost some of the excitement. Anne struggles with a few pounds and I am sure everyone wishes they only had a few to lose. Pam pictured with her also has a few to lose. Anne started talking about losing these 7lbs and Pam said I want to lose 7 too. So they made a bet during the training session. This bet was a measly 20 bucks. That would not really motivate me but let me tell you it got them going. Pam trains with me 2 times a week and rarely does cardio. So just stepping up her cardio would most likely yield some results. Anne does cardio and trains with me 3 times a week but she loves food and wine a little too much. Some small modifications in her diet would also yield results. Last night I was sitting on the couch watching some TV when I get a text from Anne. It said something like this:
I will have you know I am now down 6lbs
About 20 minutes later I got a text from Pam:
If I lost 3lbs in 2 weeks will it slow down now if I don't step up the cardio? PS I did one hour on the eliptical tonight I am impressing myself!
I was laughing because these two never text me like this. Usually it is, "I can't make it today my dog is sick or I have a hair appointment" Check out my blog post on excuses and I am sure a few of theirs are on there. Anne has suddenly become a spin junkie too. She has been taking spin classes like crazy to increase the intensity of her cardio workouts!
Dalia and Leilani pictured with me below are suddenly motivated too. Dalia recently had a set back in her training. She hurt her ankle and then her back. Now she has recovered from that and is thinking about training for the Las Vegas Half Marathon. I hope she does. Her and Leilani came to the Rockin Runners group training run Saturday and they both did great. Leilani works out hard too. She kind of slacked off recently for a few weeks. I blamed it on the new boyfriend:) but she said it was her fault. As fun as relationships can be, couples can enable each other when it comes to fitness and diet! Now she seems to be back on track and fired up to train for the Las Vegas Half Marathon. She came to the group run Saturday. Then at noon she came and trained with me in the gym and did spin class.....go for it Leilani!
Brett my client that was training for Ironman Lake Placid which is today was motivated by his father. He wanted to raise money for Parkinson's while completing his first Ironman. He raised almost 8,000 and is doing the race today. Go BRETT!
Leah another client was motivated by a trip to France. She was going to France and wanted to lose weight. She is on her trip right now (hopefully not eating too much). She lost over 30 lbs in about 4 months training with me. She is going to Cabo in November so that will keep her on track! Great job Leah. She has been so dedicated to the diet and training!
Susie is another client that came to me to lose weight. She has lost about 13 pounds and her motivation was her daughter. She wanted to be a good example for her baby who is almost 1 year old. I think this is one of the best reasons to be healthy! There are so many obese children because of their parents and the lifestyle the parents are living. If there is ANY reason in the world to be healthy being a good example to your kids is a great one! If competition or trips don't motivate you to live a healthy life then let it be your kids if you have them. They will see you exercising and eating healthy and they will likely follow.
Competition is one thing that motivates me. I am pretty competitive and always have been. Having goals also motivate me. I find if I am not training for something my workouts seem lack luster. I seem to just go through the motions. Lastly being a fitness professional (triathlon coach, personal trainer) motivates me. I feel that I have to be a good example for the people I train. I see lots of trainers in the gym that are overweight and out of shape. They may be knowledgeable about training and have good credentials but they are not practicing what they are doing. It is like going to a hair dresser that has ugly hair. I would NOT have someone do my hair that had bad hair. So why do people hire trainers that are out of shape? I am not sure but I will tell you one thing as long as I am training people I will be in good shape.
Have a great week and stay cool if you are in Vegas!

Monday, July 19, 2010

I must confess......

In a few posts back I talked about missing a workout. I got quite a bit of slack from some of my clients after that blog post. Last week I went to the dermatologist and consequently couldn't swim for a few days. I had to cancel a swim that I usually do with Michael. We swim together periodically and I couldn't make it two times in a row. He says to me, "what about your blog about not missing workouts?" Well I don't want to get some crazy infection so I am not swimming, I DID however run that day. In my professional opinion I had a valid excuse! Another client Mark that I run and ride with sometimes called me out on this too. He said what about that time you canceled our run? He did not think my excuse was valid that time either. I will say that I did run later in the day and my excuse in my opinion WAS valid. What was my excuse you may ask? Well I can't mention what it was here but just take my word for it that it was valid! So when I do miss a workout, it does not mean that I am not working out at all. In most every case I did workout!

I also talked about the Ironman tattoo. That was another post that created a ton of talk! A few weeks later I went and got a tattoo. NO it was not the M-Dot. That is the one I HATE. It is unique and very cool. It does have a swimmer, biker and runner and the numbers 140.6 which is the distance of the Ironman. Some people gave me #$@! for getting it after I talked badly about the M-dot. But in my opinion it is totally different!

There are a few more things I need to get off my chest. I raced last weekend in California and it was such a great weekend to get away. It was so hot in Vegas and California was great. I raced in Oxnard California at the Strawberry Fields Triathlon. I was a little unsure how I was going to do at this race. I have not race Olympic distance for several years. I have been focused on longer distance events. This year (if you read my blog you know) I have done an Ironman and 50 mile run (attempt only made it to 38). So after Ironman in May I just focused on running and training for the 50 miler. Now it is time for this triathlon and I have not been on my bike since May 1st. Thankfully the bike is my strongest area of the three sports. I actually had to remove the sticker on my bike from the race on May 1st to put the new sticker on for this race last weeknd. Needless to say I did not know how I was going to do. Now I have taught ALOT of spin classes but we all know its not the same. Being outside on your bike is essential to improving your performance. As it turns out I did OK on the bike. Thanks to the guy who kept trying to pass me and made me work harder to not let him pass me! I finished the bike in 1:01 which was pretty fast thankfully it was a flat bike course. I finished the race in 2:21 for my total time and placed first in my age group and 6th overall for women. It was a great day for a race. The weather was perfect, very little wind, water was a cool 62 and I was excited to ONLY be doing a mile swim, 25 mile ride and 6 mile run! After two years of training for long distance events I was thrilled to be racing Sunday. I have not done this distance for a few years so I really didn't know what to expect. Originally there was a group of 5-6 that were going to do the race and as it turned out it was me at Michael a client of mine. The bike and run course were pretty flat so that was great. It was an ocean swim and I love those. The water had some swells but not too bad. I forgot how much I love racing in California. I plan on doing the LA Tri in October. That is one of my favorite Olympic distance races. Michael did great as well. He wanted to finish in 2:35 and he came in at 2:26! To all of you who were going to do that race and didn't (Hollie, Anne, Denny) you missed a great race!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Free Triathlon and Marathon Coaching!

Sign Up For Personal Training from Coach Cyndee and receive FREE Triathlon or Marathon Coaching
What does it involve?
Train with Cyndee each week for up to 3 one hour sessions of personal training. You will receive FREE Coaching to prepare you for your upcoming event. This is a $100 value and you will get it for FREE! Training sessions in the gym are group training with 2-4 other clients. You will also get a free Coach Cyndee T-shirt and visor!
Who can join?
I coach anyone who wants to train for any endurance event. It does not matter if you are a beginner or advanced. It does not matter if you want to lose weight or have a specific goal you want to achieve by completing the event. YOU still need to do strength training and now you have found someone who can help you with it all for a great value! Train with Cyndee in the gym and you will also receive daily emails detailing your other workouts to get ready for your race. There will be nothing for you to think about in your training routine. Coach Cyndee will have it all planned for you. You just have to do it!
How much does it cost?
The one month program will consist of 8 to 12-one hour sessions, and individualized workouts emailed to you for you to complete on your own and is only $300 for the month! You will also get a FREE Coach Cyndee Training Shirt and Visor for a limited time!
What times and locations is training?
Flamingo/215 LVAC – 6am – 9 am, 5pm-7pm, Tuesday and Thursday
Rainbow LVAC – 5am – 9am, 4pm – 7pm, Monday and Wednesday, 12pm-1pm Saturday

Coach Cyndee

Monday, July 12, 2010

Swim Coaching Clinics with Coach Cyndee

What does it involve?
One month of intense swim training. Learning technique and building endurance and learning to become a better swimmer. If you just want to learn to swim for fitness or want to complete your first triathlon I can help you! You will meet with Coach Cyndee for one hour two times a week. You will be provided 3-4 swim workouts to complete on days you do not meet with Coach Cyndee. If you follow the outlined program you are guaranteed to become a better swimmer in one month. You will also get a free Coach Cyndee t-shirt and visor!
Who can join?
I coach anyone who wants to be a better swimmer or learn to swim. If you want to improve your technique or learn technique I can help. I can also help if you don’t know how to swim at all. You don’t need any experience. Each session is limited to 4 people so you will get individualized attention.
How much does it cost?
The one month program will consist of 8-one hour sessions, and 12-16 individualized workouts to complete on your own and is only $300 for the month!
What do I need?
You will need the following:
 Swimsuit
 Goggles
 Fins – AquaSphere split fin or TYR split fin
 Pull Buoy
 Kick Board
You can buy all of these at most sporting good places like Sport Chalet or Big 5. The best selection and price is online. The websites that I prefer are and There is a local swim shop (actually it is the home of the website swim2000) and they are located on Flamingo and Maryland Parkway. Prices are cheaper online though.
What times and locations are the clinics?
Rainbow LVAC – 1:30pm Monday and Wednesday, Saturday 3pm
Flamingo/215 LVAC – 5am Tuesday and Thursday, 9am Tuesday and Thursday
Each session is limited to 4 people so hurry now to get your spot!
What can I expect?
You will learn the basic free style technique for swimming. You will learn how to breathe properly, how to kick properly and the stroke technique. You will learn swimming drills that will help you in your quest to become a better swimmer. You will learn what you are doing right and wrong. You will also learn what you need to do to build endurance and improve your form. The one month program will require you to dedicate 5-6 days a week to swimming 30-60 minutes each day for the first month. This dedication is required to see improvement and develop the technique and endurance needed to swim. After completing the one month program some clients prefer to meet with me once a month or once a week to refine any technique flaws.
You must complete all 8 sessions with Coach Cyndee in the months time. If you need to get 3 sessions in one week because of a missed session that is OK. You must be a member of LVAC.
Contact Coach Cyndee if you are interested.

Coach Cyndee

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Missing Your Workout.....What's Your Exuse?

As a trainer I have heard every excuse not to workout. Some may be valid excuses but in my book most are not. I recently have given this some thought and I felt the need to write about it. I rarely miss workouts but then again I am not NORMAL as my clients tell me on a regular basis. I have trained through migraine headaches, colds, blisters, a broken arm, extreme fatigue, mono (which I didn't know I had in college) and many more things. I know at times I should not have been working out but I am one extreme. Some of my clients are another end of the spectrum. They seem to be able to come up with any reason not to work out. Now I must say I love them all but I need to say the excuses need to go! In the last few months I have heard the following excuses (everyone will remain nameless:)
  • I forgot my sports bra and socks
  • I forgot my shoes
  • My toenails hurt (you runners know when your toenails get bruised at times)
  • I have a hair appointment
  • I had too much sex so I can't do legs today!
  • I got cramps
  • I took too much cold medicine
  • I went to bed too late
  • I was tired
  • I cut my toe
  • I didn't want to
  • I got a new puppy
  • I had to spend time with my boyfriend/husband
  • I am gym depressed
  • I have allergies
  • My dog is sick
  • The plumber is coming
  • I drank too much last night
  • I had to work late

I could keep going but you get the point. None of the things I listed above are good reasons in my book to miss a workout! I have had bruised toenails and yes they do hurt for a few days but I have always been able to continue to run. I have had cramps and I still manage to workout. I know I don't currently have a boyfriend but when I did, he would never expect me to miss a workout to be with him. If you forget something you need for your workout most times you can make due or run to Wal-Mart and by and cheap replacement. If you think your might be working late then get your workout done in the morning. I don't expect people to get a two hour run in with a migraine like I once did but a little headache? Sometimes an easy workout will help. Some of my best workouts were done when I really didn't want to do them and managed to get myself moving.

My point is don't let the excuses come too easy. If I sat here and really thought about it I could come up with several reasons why I shouldn't run tomorrow. But I don't do that I know I have to run and I do it. You should do the same. Stop the excuses and get out there and do it. You want to feel better, be healthy, lose weight, improve yourself and your performance. The only way you can do that is to stop coming up with reasons why you can't workout. Get moving and don't let your mind overpower your will. Plan your week and workouts and get them all in!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fueling During Training and Racing Part 2

The last blog post I talked about some basic aspects to fueling during training and racing for just about any race. In this post I will discuss more specific aspects of training for longer distance events.

The carbohydrate is your body’s most efficient fuel source. It plays a role in both low and high intensity endurance activities. A 150-pound triathlete can store approximately 1800 calories of glycogen as carbohydrate. This can help you through about two hours of high intensity training or four hours of moderate-intensity training. Our body can also utilize fat and protein as fuel (in very small amounts) to support the moderate-intensity workouts, but our stores of this are not nearly enough to support the energy of 4+ hour training days you need carbohydrates.

Consuming carbohydrates during training longer than one hour can help performance by maintaining adequate blood sugar levels. Blood glucose is the main fuel source for your brain, and a well-nourished brain may improve your training focus and possibly decrease your perceived effort. During the later stages of long training sessions, when the body’s carbohydrate reserves are running low, the greatest contribution to improved performance is achieved through maintaining steady blood glucose levels. Carbohydrate intake during training cannot prevent the inevitable fatigue associated with Ironman training, but it can prolong its onset. I recently experienced not having enough blood glucose at my run with the devil in Las Vegas. I will talk about this later in this post.

It is also important to remember that fueling during training throughout the week will play a role in your longer workouts on the weekend. If you constantly under fuel during workouts throughout the week you will likely have sub par training for your longer workouts on the weekend. If your weekly training workouts are longer than 60-90 minutes you should use something other than just water. You should consume an electrolyte drink or sustained energy drink and gels for workouts over 90 minutes. If you are training for an Ironman and will have a big weekend of training you may want to consume a gel 45 minutes into a 90 minute workouts.

Everyone always asks me how much carbohydrates are needed during training and racing. This really depends on your weight and can have a pretty wide range. Scientific studies estimate the range of dietary carbohydrate at 30 to 60 grams per hour. Research has shown that the human body can only burn (oxidized) carbohydrates at a rate of 0.5 to 1 gram per minute. From practical “real world” experience, many athletes can tolerate amounts higher than this. Some people as high 100 grams (or about 400 calories per hour). This is likely dependant on the person and size of the person. The larger the person the more calories they can tolerate. Also keep in mind for shorter workouts you should always plan ahead and eat a healthy snack a few hours before your workout.

For training sessions lasting longer than 60-90 minutes, I recommend athletes strive for 45 to 75 grams of carbohydrate per hour. This can be divided in to two to four doses (consumed every 15 to 30 minutes). Smaller athletes should start at the lower, and larger athletes at the higher, end of the range. You can consume these through drinks, gels, and bars. I tell some athletes to time their drinking to minimize dehydration. On hotter days drink more frequent about every 10 minutes warmer days should be 15 to 30 minutes. All of this should be practiced in training to see what works best for each individual.

Your ability to tolerate or absorb a particular amount of carbohydrate may depend on the type of carbohydrate consumed, the intensity of activity, and your hydration status. For instance, some athletes can tolerate a high-glycemic, sucrose-based sports drink, while other individuals may better tolerate a lower-glycemic, maltodextrin-based drink. Keep in mind as training intensity increases the stomach’s ability to handle high-carbohydrate loads decreases. I am one of the individuals who can't tolerate sucrose based drinks and need to rely on maltodextrin-based drinks such as Heeds Sustained Energy Drink. This product has mostly maltodextrin as a source of carbohydrates and a little amount of protein. I still consume some sucrose based carbohydrates just not in my energy drink. I get the simple carbohydrates in my gels and cliff blocks. I find it works best for me to have the majority of my carbohydrates for longer distance events from maltodextrin source. It is still important to have some from sucrose based products.

One very big factor that will come into play is the weather. The heat will for sure play a factor in what you can absorb because if you are dehydrated this can become an issue on what you can tolerate. One thing I would highly discourage in an Ironman race is to fall for the buffet of things available on the run! I have known people that get to the run a see all the food and drink at the aide stations and forget what they did in training. They start trying a little of this and that and by the time they are at mile 13 they are puking. Stick to your plan and don't indulge in the buffet. Have a back up plan if you feel sick to your stomach and stick to that back up plan

When training and racing Ironman events it is important to try and take in the majority of your calories on the bike. I would always lean toward the high end of the guidelines on the bike because it is likely you will not be able to take in as much on the run. Race morning for longer races you should get up extra early. I know that would mean get up at 3 or 4, but lets face it who sleeps well the night before races anyway? You should try and consume a breakfast that is mostly carbohydrates and something your have consumed during training before workouts. Oatmeal, fruit, eggs or egg whites are all good suggestions. If you cant eat oatmeal before a race a bagel with a very small amount of peanut butter, piece of fruit, and eggs is another option. Brown rice mixed with egg whites and some fruit might be another option. My choice is a bagel with peanut butter and jelly, and a muscle milk protein shake. As I have said before everyone finds something that works best for them through trial and error!


For some crazy reason I wanted to attempt the 50 mile run here in Las Vegas yesterday. Calico Racing puts on a race called Run With The Devil and they have a 5K, 10K, 1/2 Marathon, Full Marathon and a 50 miler for all those crazy people like myself. I planned on doing the 50 miler. We started at 7am and I was on track for most of the first half of the run. I was feeling pretty good with only a little bit of stomach cramps. I have a history of having trouble with longer events in the heat. Why I thought this was a good idea I don't know. From mile 30-38 I was feeling the heat (maybe because it was about 105) and slowing down to a snails pace! I once had heat exhaustion at Ironman Arizona and it is a very frustrating feeling. Physically my legs could do it and my legs wanted to run. The effort to just walk was making it hard to breathe and making me feel winded. I felt the heat and was not able to eat or drink much. I had 12 miles to go and didn't feel like dying so I decided to stop. I was not able to take in hardly any carbohydrates during the run because it was so hot and I am sure this contributed to the feeling of lethargy that I had at mile 38. So if you learn anything from my experience it should be don't run when it is over 100 degree especially 50 miles! Everyone said I was nuts and I think maybe I was. I am so glad I can focus on shorter distances right now. Most of my rides, runs, and swims for the next few months will be less that an hour long.....imagine that! After training for Ironman St. George then this run I don't know what I will do with all my spare time. I have not lost the bug for Ironman training. I recently saw that they have a new Ironman race for next year in Texas. I have given it lots of thought and think that I am going to sign up for it. Here we come TEXAS!