Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Training Through A Sickness

It seems that this time of year everyone gets sick and it can impact their training for one to two weeks sometimes longer! I have several clients that have recently had to take time off or call in sick to their training sessions. Working out is great for your health. It does however lower your immune system slightly. I see it time and again when people begin a training. It seems a few weeks into training they get sick. You need to make sure you are protecting your immune system to prevent this common problem.

Once clients get sick the are not sure if they should push through it and continue training or take time off. They also miss that critical time (the first symptoms) to take natural supplements to prevent or minimize the severity of the cold or flu. I am not a doctor or professional in the medical field but I have some advice and tips on what you should do and what has worked for me.

The first symptoms of a sickness like a cold or flu may not be what you would expect. Typically,the first sign is fatigue or a weak feeling. People usually don't think that they may be getting sick if they are just more tired than normal. Sometimes you might find that the amount of weight you normally lift in the gym seems extra heavy. These can be signs you are coming down with something. The other signs may be a scratchy throat (not a sore throat), something more like a minor annoyance. If you notice any of these things then that is when you should start taking some of the following natural supplements:

  1. Oil Of Oregano - this is the best supplement I have found to prevent or minimize a cold or flu. It needs to be taken at the first signs. You can take this in liquid or pill form. It can be bought at most health food stores. I like to go to the Vitamin Shoppe because they seem to have the best prices and biggest selection. Make sure when you take Oil of Oregano you also take Acidophiles. Acidophiles replaces good bacteria that Oil of Oregano may kill. Take Oil of Oregano with breakfast and lunch and Acidophiles with dinner.

  2. Emergen C - This is my favorite way to take Vitamin C. It also contains some electrolytes and you can mix it with your bottled water. By doing that you not only hydrate but you are getting extra Vitamin C. Vitamin C is great for immune system. I will usually take 2-3 packets a day if I feel like I am coming down with something.

  3. Zinc Lozenges are another thing to take if you feel like your coming down with something. Try not to take more than 100mg a day. Zinc boosts immune system and may prevent you from getting more severe symptoms of cold and flu.

  4. If you always tend to get sick in the winter then take Source Naturals Wellness Formula. This is a great formula and you can take it for several months during the cold and flu season.

  5. To keep yourself healthy and keep immune system strong always eat lots of vegetables on a regular basis. Limit processed foods that can cause inflammation. Drink plenty of water everyday. Take a good multiple vitamin daily and COQ10. I talk about foundation supplements in one of my first blog posts.

If you do get sick then use the following guideline to decide if you should workout:

  1. If you have a fever don't workout. If you are throwing up don't workout. If you have a respiratory infection or bad cough then you probably should not workout.

  2. If you have a minor head cold then modify your workout to an easier workout. If you were going to take a spin class then rather than do that, ride the lifecycle at an easier intensity. If you were going to run then do a mix of walk/easy jog.

  3. You need to listen to your body. In most cases an easy workout is good. Getting out and moving is not a bad thing. If you try to push yourself really hard when your sick it could make you worse.

Most of the times I workout when I am not feeling 100%. If I have a minor cold I will do an easier workout. If I have a little bit of a headache then I will workout and at times it has helped and I was glad I did it.

The best advice I can give is to use preventative measures to NOT get sick. Take your vitamins regularly. Get enough sleep to recover and keep your immune system healthy. Eat a healthy diet. Wash your hands after you workout! The gym is full of germs!

The worst thing that can happen is to get sick when your training is going really good. It can set you back several weeks. Follow these easy tips and you will be able to stay strong and in the gym!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Give up a run/bike/swim for Yoga? Sounds crazy but maybe not!

I can't believe I have not posted anything all month. I guess that shows you how busy I have been! Yesterday was the third weekly run for the Rockin Runners group that I am coaching in Henderson. It is a lot of fun so if you want to join a running group then go to When I was running with Nancy one of my clients and another trainer, we were talking about training and staying healthy and injury free. I always tell people to stretch, ice, get enough sleep, recover, eat healthy, take vitamins, and listen to their body. As a coach I design training for runners and triathletes. I give them very detailed workouts to prepare them for races. I don't include yoga, stretching, good sleep in the actual plan but maybe I should. I tell people to do all of these things but do they really? I don't think most of us (myself included) do it nearly enough. We get so focused on making sure we get that bike, swim, or run workout in. When it is all said and done we don't have time to dedicate to the equally important things like flexibility. To be competitive at Ironman St. George this aspect of my training will be essential. I have started doing Bikrams Yoga once a week. I did this when training for the last two Ironman races that I did. Bikrams is hot yoga for 90 minutes. This is not an easy yoga, it is very intense. It has really helped in my training. Nancy who I was running with specialized in flexibility for athletes. She is going to stretch me several times a month during my training for Ironman St. George. Another thing I am committed to is massage. Jessica is a client of mine that does massage. I have had a lot of massage therapists in my life and she is by far the best. Massage is another aspect of your training that will help you perform better. I was always a sceptic when it came to chiropractic care until I met Josh Satterlee. He is another one of my clients and he has helped me continue my training when I was sure I would be sidelined by an injury. He has helped me look at the human body and injuries in a whole different light. He does ART (Active Release Therapy) and it has been very helpful. So let me summarize my plan for staying healthy and improving my performance:

1. Flexibility - Doing Yoga (I like Bikrams) once a week, hire someone to stretch you for up to 30 minutes - Nancy Dickenson is my recommendation. I can give you her contact or you can read all about her at
2. Massage - If you can afford getting a massage once a week then do it. It will help you in your training. Jessica Wheeler is the best massage therapist and specializes working on athletes. I can provide you her contact information. She also works for
3. Chiropractic Care - I recommend Josh Satterlee at BioMechanics of Las Vegas. He is a triathlete and runner and understands the mechanics of athletes and the human body. You can contact him at
4. Another critical aspect to training is getting enough sleep. Turn off the TV and go to bed to get 8 hours of sleep! Your body needs to recover and sleep will help with this. If you are not sleeping well, then try Tranquil Sleep by Natural Factors.
5. I have a few of my personal tips for muscle/ligament/tendon soreness. Essential oils have helped me a lot. I am not sure of how much scientific proof they have but people have used them for years and they seem to help me. I am a distributor for Young Living Essential Oils. When buying essential oils it is important to by quality products. These are the purest you can get. Sometimes I get sore across the top of my foot which may be ligaments/tendons. I combine a few drops of lemongrass, basil, and peppermint and rub it on my foot. Basil and Lemongrass are supposed to help with ligaments and tendons. Peppermint is good for muscle soreness. This really seems to help me. I may smell a little funny but if it helps who cares. Young Living also makes a great product called PanAway for pain. This is a combination of essential oils that works great.
6. Ice after workouts is great. The hard, long workouts an ice bath is great. I know it does not sound pleasant but it is very helpful to decrease inflammation which training causes.
7. What you eat plays a huge roll in the amount of inflammation in your body. Eating lots of vegetables keeps your body less acidic. If you are too acidic you may have inflammation. Foods like coffee, pasta, and coke are very acidic and can make your body too acidic. Use these in moderation and eat more green veggies!

So rather than just focus on training put as much effort into staying healthy and recovery! Maybe you have to cut out one of your other workouts to make time for stretching or yoga but at times it is the best option!

Here are a few quick notes:
  1. I am coaching the Henderson group for Rockin Runners. You can go to to find out more information about this run group. We meet weekly and are training for various half and full marathons.
  2. Biomechanics of Las Vegas is putting on their first triathlon in May. It will be on May 8th and you can register by going to It is going to be the best race in Vegas!
  3. Great bike fitting at
  4. Help with your swim stroke go to

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Workout To Remember!

Today I was in desperate need of a good workout. The last few weeks have just been OK as far as working out. I wanted to start the year off great and really kick it into high gear today. I sent Corey a text to see if he was up for a ride after I taught my spin class. I figured a 2 hour ride after teaching spin and then a quick swim would feed the need for a good workout. Corey and Lynda are two former clients that I trained. Corey said he was running 8 miles and then going to Chucke Cheese so he couldn't do it. My other riding partner Mark is still out of town, so this meant I was on my own. Most times I don't my riding alone but for some reason today I didn't want to do it. I opted for workout option number 2.
Years ago me and my friend Christian (pictured with me) did these great workouts together. We usually did them at 24hour Fitness in Summerlin. We would ride on the lifecycle like maniacs, run like crazy and then swim. We would total out times of each the bike, run, and swim and see who was faster. It was always a good workout. Here is a picture of us after one of our workouts! Even though I was alone I figured I would do a similar workout. This is how the workout went:

I taught a really tough spin class (at least I thought it was tough)

Ran 45 minutes steadily increasing incline on the treadmill

Back to spin bike 30 minutes pretty hard intensity

Back to treadmill 15 minutes 1% incline

In the pool for a quick 1200 meter swim................done hard workout completed!
After my workout I sent my friend Christian a text and told him I did one of his favorite workouts. He has recently had a bum knee so hasn't been able to run. He sent me a text back and said he wanted to cry! Christian is the ONLY person I know that has done 3 Ironman triathlons and only worked out in the gym not outside at all! He did all his biking on the lifecycle or spin bike and all his running on the treadmill! If you have ever trained for an Ironman you know this is insane!

There is only a few other things that are better than the feeling of being done with a really hard workout. I will let you guess what few other things I am talking about! The feeling of working out and giving it your all is a great feeling.

As I was sweating like crazy, breathing hard, working hard, and rocking out to my ipod, I noticed other people in the gym working out. I would say 90% of the people doing cardio on the machines at the gym were just going through the motions. These are the people that go to the gym probably everyday, don't really sweat much, and most likely don't see any results. Unfortunately, they may not really know what to do. So if you are going through the motions in the gym when you are doing cardio then listen to me and stop it!
You need to have a plan when you go to the gym. If you are just walking into the gym with your book or magazine and get on the bike and read your book for an hour then you are the person I saw today. First of all don't read when you do cardo. You should be focused on your workout. If you can read then you likely are not working hard enough. When I say have a plan, doing the bike for an hour is not a plan. Do intervals, hills, mix it up. Today on the treadmill my plan was to keep my same pace and increase the incline every 1/2 mile. On the spin bike I did hills one minute and stand and run one minute. If you need specific workouts the Internet is full of them. Always have something planned out for your workout. You can do this on any machine like stairs, treadmill, rowing machine or elliptical. Change up the length of your intervals from short 30 seconds one day to longer 3 minutes another. You should always wear a heart rate monitor and know your training zones. So quit going through the motions and go to the gym with your plan!