Monday, February 22, 2010

Training Days, Fueling During Training and Much More

My training for Ironman St. George is in full motion! A few weekends ago I went back to Utah to train on the course. A few friends/clients from Florida and Georgia came to train with me. They will be doing the race on May 1st too. Jimmy got in first and Christians flight was delayed. He missed out on Saturday's training with me and Jimmy. We drove up to St. George and rode one loop of the Gunlock portion of the course. Then we ran one loop of the run course (about 90 minutes so not the whole thing). I felt really great during the ride and run. The only way to survive this course is to not kill yourself on the bike course. I took it pretty easy and focused on taking it slow on the hills. During the run my legs felt great even on the hilly run course. The next day we planned on riding two loops of the bike course which was 90 miles of hills! Christian got in late so we got a late start. It killed me to wait around but we did! I am a get up and go kind of girl and was ready to go by 7am! We didn't get started till around 10! They were both in vacation/training mode and I was (like always) in lets go mode! It always amazes me people who seem so organized and together are always forgetting stuff! I have a friend Bill in New Jersey and he is so organized. Type A triathlete personality. When he packs his suitcase it is ridiculous how organized everything is. I have traveled to several races with him and he always, always, ALWAYS, seems to lose or forgets things! This was the case with Jimmy and Christian. Jimmy forgot his heart rate strap so I let him use my Garmin. I thought it was more important for him to train with it than me.
When he was leaving he left my Garmin on my counter with the strap. When I went to charge it......guess what? He forgot to leave me the charger! Just an example of the craziness. Now you can understand why we didn't get started till 10! They had to go back to the room several times getting stuff they forgot for the ride. They had to pussyfoot around and I was anxious and just want to go ride! We finished one loop and stopped back at the car for more water bottles. After what seemed like forever we started up again for our second loop. We were about 4 minutes into the second loop when Jimmy had to go back to the car because he forgot his salt sticks! Christian may not be as forgetful as Jimmy but he makes up for it by the amount of complaining he does. I have never heard someone complain about training more than him. He is hilarious! If its not his seat, its his helmet, or sunglasses, something always is wrong! OMG let's just go already quit complaining and train! We finished around 4:30 and I had to get back to Vegas. I actually had a great time training with both Jimmy and Christian, I just have to give them grief. They are great friends and alot of fun. It is so great that this Ironman course is so close to home. It is the first time I can actually train on the course for an Ironman event. Hopefully it will pay off come race day.

In a few weeks I am going to go get re-fit on my bike. I feel pretty good on my new P3 but know how important a proper bike fit is. There is a local guy that people come to use from all over the country. He uses the RE-TUL system and he is pro cyclist. I have had several clients go to him and the feedback is amazing. His website is Nancy Dickenson went to him and he said she was only engaging 10% of the muscles she could be using on her bike. She got re-fit and is now crushing her previous times and feeling better. I would suggest everyone get a proper bike fit.

One of the reasons Jimmy and Christian came to train on the course was to be familiar with the course. Another reason was to practice their nutrition on the race course. It is so important to test your nutrition during training. I use Hammer Nutrition products and find they work great for me. Everyone is different and you need to test out what works for you. For the 90 mile ride we did on Sunday I had three water bottles on my bike. One had just plain water. Another had Heed. The third had Hammer's Sustained Energy Drink. The Sustained Energy Drink is a higher calorie drink that I use for longer rides. When doing a half or full Ironman you should try and take in most of your calories on the bike. I drink the Sustained Energy Drink during the full Ironman. It does not have simple sugars is uses maltodextrin for its carbs. For me this works great. It tastes horrible so I add crystal light to flavor it a little. The Heed is a lower calorie drink that has some electrolytes. If you are a heavy sweater you may need to use the Endurolytes as well as the Heed. The Heed is a good drink to use for shorter training days too. There are so many different gels to choose from. I prefer the Hammer Gel or Gu. Both have fewer simple sugars then some other gels. The power gel offers one version with double sodium for those of you that sweat a lot. I personally like the old style power bars. Yes I know almost everybody hates them and I think I am the only person that buys them but they work for me. Most people I know like Cliff bars. I suggest you try a few different ones. I suggest you eat only half of any bar at one time. Most people consume way too much during training. I tell people less is better. You don't need to overload your gut with a bunch of sugary gels, bars and drinks. That is what training is see what will work for you. On my very long rides and half way through an Ironman bike course I find for me a muscle milk protein shake is a good way to get some calories. This is not what any book or professional coach or nutritionist would ever say is a good idea but guess works for me. It is something my stomach can tolerate and a great way for me to get some calories on the bike. I did it when we were in Utah training. When we finished the 45 mile bike I drank a muscle milk light and did my 90 minute run without problems. I also drank one during the 90 mile ride. Find out what works for you and talk to a coach to see if what you are doing makes sense.

I have had two hard weeks of training and today is finally a day off. I really worked hard the last two weeks and feel great about this upcoming Ironman in May. There is still a lot more training in front of me but I am (as usual:) up for the challenge!

Here is a picture Christian sent me in a text message when he got back. His message was
my new aero helmet. I just set a PR going from the couch to the fridge! I replied that he was a real dork!
I rode yesterday with a client Brett. I taught spin at 8am and then we were gonna ride 50 miles after. It was kind of windy but it didn't seem too bad. That is until we got to the loop at Red Rock. When we got to about mile 5 on the loop the cross wind gusts were the worst I have experienced. I have been in some situations when training that scared me but I think this tops the list. I swam Alcatraz (can you say sharks), rode the gaps in Dalonoga Georgia (major decents), rode through thunder and lightening in Atlanta with Mike and Scott (saw a bolt hit right by my friend Scott's bike), rode through the winds in Hawi, but yesterday was the worst. I got blown so hard I had to lean into the wind. The problem is when you get a gust that hits you the only thing you can do is hold on tighter. I slowed down on the decents with the thought if I crashed from a gust it would hurt less going 20mph than it would going 35mph. It was pretty scary. We finshed the loop and went to spring mountain ranch then finished our 50 in Summerlin where it wasn't so windy. Those gusts are so scary to ride in because they are so sudden and unpredictable. Be very careful when riding in the wind!

Have a great week of training and be healthy and most important HAVE FUN!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Guest post by Dr. Satterlee

Hello Athletes! I wanted to take an opportunity to talk about injury prevention while we are still early in the year. My goal is to give you tools to make this your best race season ever. I have met many of you, but to give you a little background, I am Cyndee's personal performance doctor, and she and I often talk about injuries and how to prevent them. When prevention doesn't work, I usually perform Active Release, which is able to get rid of endurance sport injuries very fast. People come in complaining of tendinitis, bursitis, plantar fascitis, and swimmer's shoulder and within a few treatment are back training!

Back to the purpose of this post. A few early tweaks in your training (and in your mindset) will pay dividends while you are racing this year. I want to address the most important factors that affect endurance athletes:

1. Perform a Dynamic Warm-Up! This is due to research done by the military. They found that the best way to prevent injuries in athletes is to perform a dynamic warm-up (leg swings, lunges, step-ups), and save the static stretching for after your workout. Turns out our 5th grade gym teacher was wrong- you shouldn't stretch before exercise. Whenever you get ready for a workout, whether its a run or a swim, take 4-8 minutes to loosen up actively. Ask Cyndee for some suggested exercises.

2. Perform Flexibility Training! Cyndee touched on this a few weeks ago. Take time to go to a yoga class, stretch after your workouts, and keep yourself limber. This is like brushing your teeth (and I hope you do that!); it takes time every day, but once you get used to it you won't know how you lived without it. Again, 5-10 minutes of concerted effort is all you need. You could also have someone stretch you out (like the amazing Nancy Dickinson), go to a yoga class, or play Twister with some friends. Just make sure you address the areas that need it, not the areas that are easy and comfortable.

Side note- there are 2 "miracle stretches" that I think all endurance athletes should perform. The first is the pigeon stretch for the piriformis. the other is the kneeling runner's stretch for the soleus and posterior tibialis muscles. Cyndee is a fantastic resource for all stretches, including these, so please ask her.

3. Get some sleep! Many of my clients ask about various supplements to increase their performance. I always tell them that the greatest supplement on this Earth is additional sleep! Remember that training breaks down tissues and causes microtrauma. This is repaired during sleep, and you re-build stronger, better, and faster. Without adequate sleep your performance can easily stall out. Supplement with an extra hour of sleep for 5 days and see how you feel. Or work in a 20 minute nap every day. If you don't sleep soundly, black out your room, cover the windows and get rid of any light source (including the alarm clock). This has been shown to help lots of folks with their soundness of sleep, and it was originally studied with post-menopausal women. Many of you may argue about not being able to get sleep- keep messing with Mother Nature and see how far it gets you!

4. Address you injuries! My final recommendation is to take care of injuries sooner rather than later. So many people come in my office dealing with some issue that was an easy fix 3 weeks ago. But they were determined to "wait it out", hoping it would go away. Now instead of a 2 week course of care, it will take 6 weeks. You would never use a toothbrush to address a cavity, so what makes you think simple stretching will work here. Admit the issue is a big deal and get help. This especially goes for guys- most men won't admit they need care until their wife/girlfriend/ significant other pushes them to do so. Early treatment is faster. Of course I think Active Release is the cat's meow, but that's because I have worked on a bunch of athletes at Ironmans, local triathlons, and the Rock and Roll Marathon, and I have seen its power. So many athletes absolutely love it that its demanded at all Ironman races. Those athletes wouldn't race without it. Neither should you.

These tips will help you have a great race year. I am always available for questions at or you can call my office at 702-579-9876. The fact that your are training with Cyndee (my personal Tri Coach) means that your program is sound, safe, yet tough, and all aspects will be addressed. So always ask her about any issues you have.

Have a fast and fun 2010!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Surf City Half Marathon Race Recap

Sunday 2/7/10 was not only Super Bowl Sunday but it was the Huntington Beach Surf City Half Marathon. I drove down with Anne on Saturday to run it on Sunday. It was a beautiful day on Sunday for the run! We drove down Saturday through torrential down pouring rain! Thank goodness Sunday the weather was beautiful!
I did not plan to run this race hard because I have not been running fast since my foot and knee were acting up. The last few runs I have felt great so I just wanted to run the entire thing pain free! I told Anne if she ran faster than me that she could talk about on my blog! Thankfully she did not because lord knows what she would say!
I have completed alot of races but only a few half marathons. The last half marathon I ran, was when I lived in Atlanta almost 4 years ago. They have a full and half marathon on Thanksgiving Day. I ran with my friends in Atlanta. I was determined to beat my friend Mike Lenhart founder of Getting2tri I ran a 1:37 and beat Mike that day! I must admit there were a few other races we ran together where he might have finished before me.
I ran the half Sunday in 1hr 51 minutes. I ran without any pain and felt great. It was a great race and I suggest it to anyone who wants to run a half or full marathon in sunny California. Anne went with me and she finished 2 minutes faster than her other half she ran in December. Below is a picture of her with her surfboard medal. Adan and Michele went and they both did great. Adan said he had a PR and finished in 1:56. There is also a picture of me and Adan after the race. Michele beat her time of her last half marathon. All in all it was a good day for everyone!

In my last blog post I talked about how all my clients were getting sick and what you can do to prevent or limit the severity of a cold or flu. As we were driving back I said to Anne that I felt like I was coming down with something. Sure enough this morning I felt sick. I am actually at home right now because I canceled my evening appointments. I have aches, chilled and stuffed up! It never fails that when you tell people you NEVER get sick, you will most likely get sick! Fortunately, I think the worst is over and I am already starting to feel better. I worked this morning and decided to come home take lots of vitamins (and NyQuil) and get rid of whatever I have. It is so funny the reaction of my clients when they realize that I am not superwoman! I told Anne yesterday that she didn't have to workout today since she ran yesterday. I said if she was feeling good to come in but if not then take the day off. I figured we would do an easy workout if she did come in. I thought for sure since I gave her an OUT she wouldn't come! I sent her a text and said that if she was thinking about coming, not to come because I wasn't feeling well. This is her text back to me word for word:

Wow and I was coming in, this is a first. Now what would Cyndee say......take some oil of Oregano, a nap and see how you feel, you can work through your sickness! How was that? No need for a response!

Roberts text back was:

Wow you must be dying.....feel better take lots of antibiotics and drink some caffeinated soda!

Most of the others were along the lines of, I hope you feel better type of response. I hope all my clients tonight (Anne, Heather, Jamie, Robert, Lyzie, Sandra) get in the gym and do some sort of workout tonight! I try to teach them well and they all work really hard when they come!
I guess I deserve the smart a$# comments. I do try every angle to get them into the gym. Pam called me today and had to cancel because she broke her big toe and I told her we would do upper body only! She said she was in pain and was going to the doctor. I felt bad and said OK. I really hate for people to miss workouts it really does bother me! I feel like I really need to do everything I can to get them to move!
Hopefully I will be feeling better by this weekend because I have a planned trip to St. George Utah to ride and run on the Ironman course. Jimmy and Christian are two friends from Atlanta that are doing the race. They will be getting here Friday and we will be going there on Saturday. I hope to ride at least 90 miles of the course Saturday. Sunday I want to do one loop of the bike course and one loop of the run course. It should be a great weekend of training! BTW Christian was another one I beat in the Half Marathon in Atlanta:) I am slightly competitive!

So here I am feeling crappy taking Oil of Oregano, EmergenC, Zinc, and Nyquil. Tomorrow is a new day and I am sure I will be recovered!