Monday, February 27, 2012

Cyndee’s Supplement Recommendations

I spent many years (17) working in the vitamin industry before working full-time as a trainer.  I would like to give you some of my top recommendations for supplements.
Foundational Supplements
·         Multiple Vitamin
o   General – for women and men I like a few brands
§  Nature’s Way Alive multiple (take 3 a day) or if you don’t want to take pills you can get the liquid
§  Alive multiple vitamin has specialty formulas for women, men, seniors.  These are good options
§  If you want a one a day try Natrol’s One A Day formula called My Favorite Multiple.  Check packages carefully because they make several and they all look very similar.
§  GNC also makes a few good multiple vitamins.  One a day the Ultra Mega is good.   Women’s and Men’s specific formulas are good too but you will be required to take 2 pills a day.
§  Life Extension has some really great formulas.  The best formula they have is Life Extension Mix.  This is one of the most comprehensive multiple vitamins you can buy.  You will need to take 9 a day!  I tell people to take 3 pills with each meal.  It is great but expensive and you need to take a lot of pills.  You may be able to eliminate some of the other nutrients you take separately if you take this vitamin. 
·         Keep these things in mind when taking a multiple vitamin
o   Most times multiple vitamins come with or without iron.  Men and seniors most times do not need a multiple vitamin with iron. 
o   If the multiple vitamin you take requires you to take more than one a day you should take them separately. 
o   Always take them with food.
·         Ubiquinol – CoQ10
o   When taking CoQ10 always buy the form called Ubiquinol and you can find this on the back label. 
o   Take between 100-300mg a day.
·         Fish Oils
o   Make sure you buy a reputable brand.  AVOID buying these at the grocery store, WallMart, Costco, or Sams Club.  Buy these at a health food store.
o   Good brands are Carlson, Nordic Naturals, Natures Way, New Chapter. 
o   If you repeat (burp) fish oil after taking it then buy one that is enteric coated.  I use Fisol by Natures Way.  I take 2-3 a day. 
Supplements for specific needs:
·         Zyflammend by New Chapter for inflammation
o   Take this 2 times a day for maintenance
o   If you have pain or inflammation then you can take up to 6 a day (two with each meal).
·         Multi-Mineral – There are many of these available.  Men can get these without iron.  One that I use is called Mezo-trace.  This does have a minimal amount of iron. 
·         Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM for joints
o   Always look for a product that has Glucosamine Hydrochloride NOT Sulfate.  Most Glucosamine is sulfate. Natrol makes Hydrochloride.
o   1500mg of Glucosamine and 1200 mg of Chondroitin
o   These are good to take if you have been diagnosed with degeneration in the joints or arthritis.  You will need to take this for at least 4-6 months before you may notice any difference. 
·         Phosphatidylserine (PS) – this has a few different reasons why I recommend it.
o   It is great for brain health  - probably the best supplement out there for brain health
o   It is also good for reducing cortisol levels.  Cortisol is a hormone that we all have in our body in small quantities.  If you work out a lot or are under a lot of stress you may have too much cortisol in your body.  You can actually get blood tests to check for sure.  Too much cortisol can cause many negative things to happen in your body.  It can cause muscle breakdown, sleeplessness, weight gain around the mid section, and fatigue.  PS will help reduce your cortisol levels.
o   Take between 300-500mg a day
·         Branched Chain Amino Acids
o   Great for recovery
o   Best taken on empty stomach
·         Glutamine
o   Great for recovery
o   Best taken on empty stomach
o   Take powder form 5 grams a day and you can mix with a little bit of juice or Gatorade
·         Tranquil Sleep by Natural Factors
o   If you have trouble sleeping this is a great product
·         Women’s Specific Needs
o  Calcium – Take in the form of Calcium Citrate and take with magnesium and Vitamin D
o   Iron – if you are prone to anemia.  I take Gentle Iron by Twinlab
·         Men’s Specific
o   For prostrate health Saw Palmetto
o   New Chapter’s formula called Prostrate 5x is a good formula
·         Season Specific
o   If you always get sick then take Source Natural Wellness Formula seasonally
o   If you feel like you are getting sick – the first signs
§  Emergenc powder mixed with your water
§  Zicam
§  Oil of Oregano
·         Skin Health
o   Acne-
§  Zinc but don’t take more than 100 mg a day.  Usually a 50mg supplement in addition to what is in your multiple vitamin is sufficient
§  Vitamin A – take 10,000-30,000 IU for about one month then only take 10,000 IU daily
o   Hyaluronic Acid – great for responsible for the skin's moisture, suppleness, and elasticity
Supplements During Exercise
·         Heed is by Hammer Nutrition and is a good supplement for shorter workouts.  This has some carbohydrates but not much simple sugar. It also contains some electrolytes.
·         Perpetum by Hammer Nutrition is great for workouts over 90 minutes. It has more calories than the Heed.
·         Carbo Pro – They have two products that I use
o   The regular product called Carbo Pro. This is just maltodextrin which is a complex carbohydrate.  This has no flavor so I add a little bit of powdered Gatorade.  I don’t want too much sugar from the Gatorade so I don’t add too much.  I also add endurolyte powder to get my electrolytes.
o   The other product they offer Hydra C5.  This is a combination of maltodextrin and dextrose.  I have only used this product a few times but so far I like it.
·         Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Drink by GU
o   I have not used this product but some people find it works well for them.  It does contain caffeine which I don’t like to take in my drink during exercise.  I will do a gel with caffeine but not more than 2 of those for a long event.  You need to be careful not to take in too many different products that contain caffeine.
·         Know what you like then make it yourself through a great product called Infinit Nutrition –
·         Short workouts – you can use electrolyte fizz products.  Many companies make these.  Hammer and NUUN are two of the popular brands.  You add a tablet to your water.
·         Additional products –
o   As mentioned before to get additional electrolytes I use endurolytes. They come in pill or powder form and should be taken during exercise.
·         Gels, Blocks and Chomps are all great ways to get quick carbohydrates.  Make sure you take all of these with water.  Also check labels to make sure you are not getting too much caffeine.  As I mentioned before I don’t do more than two caffeinated gels for a long workout over 5 hours.  Too much caffeine can cause stomach distress and dehydration. 
When deciding what drink, bar or gel to have during your workout it is important to experiment during training.  Don’t ever try anything new race day.  You will find something that works best for you.  Everyone is different so what works for me may not be the ideal thing for you.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Some days you have it and some days you don't

Today we planned a long workout.  We were going to ride 50 miles, run 50 minutes and swim 50 lengths of the pool.  Why you may ask would you do that on a perfectly good Sunday?  Well today was my boyfriends 50th birthday so that is why we decided to do it.  We are crazy triathletes so what better way to celebrate.....right?  Well today I would say wrong to that.  I knew from the beginning of the ride that today was not a going to be a great day for a ride.  As soon as I knew my body was not into the ride I decided to keep an easy pace. That is what I did for most of the ride.  My hips were feeling pain today and then halfway into the ride I developed a throbbing headache.  But like any strong minded triathlete I was not going to give up.  It may be slow but I was going to get it done.  That is what I did. I  didn't try and break any records.  I took it easy on the bike, my run was pretty slow and the swim.....well it actually felt good to get in the pool and do any easy swim after all that. 

Everybody has days like I had today.  The important thing is to listen to your body. Sometimes you may need to turn a scheduled tempo run into an easy run.  It is not the end of the world if you have to do this.  You should think about what you have been doing that may have resulted in feeling this way.  Your performance could be a reflection of your diet, sleep patterns, stress, or many other factors.  I am not sure why I felt like I did today.  I think I have bursitis in my hips but have not had a formal diagnosis yet.  I have no idea why I got a headache during my ride but maybe I have not been drinking enough water.  The good news is that I have a day off from training tomorrow. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Race Adventure in Panama!

Picking up my 2nd place award at Ironman 70.3 Panama!
It came up  so fast.  My second race of the year was here and I didn't feel 100% prepared.  It was Thursday 2/09/12 and we were off to the airport headed for Panama to race the 70.3 Ironman event.  I was confident Daisy, Tigger and Spec were in good hands with my client Jeff G.  I felt pangs of guilt as I said goodbye to all of them and headed out the door for my next adventure.  We already completed one race for the year in January, we ran the Phoenix marathon.  I felt my run was strong but didn't put nearly enough time on the bike training for this race.  The swim is 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run 13.1.  The weather was going to be HOT and this is coming from a Vegas girl.  Hot and humid is much worse than what we have in Vegas, the heat in Panama was mid 90's and the humidity was in the 60-70% range!  This is apparently the low humidity season for them and their dry season...clearly this was long day at the office on Sunday.  We thought we signed up for a fairly flat, simple race with a pretty easy bike course.  That is until we drove the course and saw lots of these:

Not only was the course hilly, there were some technical turns.  At this point I am just hoping to finish with a respectable time and not die! 

We found out that Lance Armstrong was racing this race, this would be  his entry back into triathlons.  Maybe we would get to see him...and we did!
There were many pro's doing the race and staying at the same hotel that we were at.  I am not too familiar with their names but my boyfriend seems to know many of them.  Whenever he spotted one he would fill me in on who it was.  We ran into one several times and her name was Yvone van Vlerken from the Netherlands, she was really cool and it seems like everywhere we went throughout the weekend we ran into her .  She is blond and told me to be careful running or riding around alone with my blond hair!  I guess we stand out in Panama. She said she was hoping to finish top 3, she ended up coming in 6th but she mentioned for the amount of training she had for this race she was happy with that finish. 

Friday we went to pick up our packets, here is a photo of us at packet pick-up.  I was excited about swimming in the mouth to the Panama Canal and riding across the bridge that separates North America and South cool is that?  Back at the hotel we saw many other pro's like Chris Lieto, Matt Reid, Leanda Cave, and Magali Tisseyre.  Friday we decided to do a little swim at the hotel pool, we got out and were sitting around the pool and saw Leanda and Magali doing a pre race workout.  Saturday we went for a short 2 mile run mid-day, it was exceptional hot and humid. After two miles I was thinking to myself, what have I gotten myself into, this was going to be a hard 13 mile run!  When back at the hotel I wanted to go for a quick swim in the pool to cool down, getting into the pool to swim a few laps I realize Matt Reid is swimming next to me!  He is one of the only pro men that I can identify, mainly because he is really tall and really good looking!  I have to admit that on my rotation under water I was trying to sneak a glance at him swimming next me.  I may have been over rotating slightly on this swim!  My boyfriend was upstairs on the 27th floor, looking down and watching me swim and said that I looked like a guppy swimming next to a whale shark because he is so big! 

Race Day
I once again used www.endurancesportstravel for this event. They are the best company when traveling to an event like this out of the country. Ken and the crew are very professional and understand the needs of a triathlete and planned to leave 2 hours early for the race! (we on the other hand were only planning on getting up much later, luckily they didn't leave without us , we were rushing a few minutes late).  We heard the swim was really fast and the current that day was moving pretty good.  The fastest pro got out of the water in something like 18 minutes!  At least I knew my swim was going to be a personal best, I got out of the water in a record time for me of 25 minutes!  Great so far now I just have to ride 56 miles of hills and wind and run in a sauna for 13.1 miles.  The bike was no joke!  It was not only hilly but there was a lot of wind, I finished in 3 hours.  Then comes the hard part the run.  At that point its about the hottest part of the day and most of this run was in the direct sun.  I had some trouble in transition with my Garmin watch but I finally got it working, it cost me about a minute.  I had the volunteers slather sunscreen on my face and hands and I was wearing my favorite Skin Cooler shirt by Desoto.  The volunteers were yelling at us as we ran through the aid stations.  They were yelling heilo as we ran by. I thought hielo (pronounced yellow) meant Gatorade but the Gatorade was orange so I was slightly confused.  I found out later that hielo means ice.  My Spanish is not good or should I say non-existent. I started to feel better once I got to about mile 7 or 8.  I was able to pick up my pace.  I was really hot and tired.  I must say the aid stations and people yelling are what got me through to the finish.  The local men shouted VAMANO BEBE.   Kids put their hands out for high fives as we ran by.  I crossed the finish in 5 hours and 30 minutes.  This was not my fastest time but all things considered I was pretty happy with my performance.  I didn't come close to Lance Armstrongs time of 3:50 but then again not many average people can beat or come close to that.  He finished 2nd overall in his first comeback triathlon against top pro triathletes! 

I wasn't sure of my placing so we went to check the results.  It showed that I was 3rd in my age group.  There are two spots in my age group for the 70.3 Championships in Las Vegas.  I thought I had just missed it by one.  I figured I would go to the roll down in case one of the other athletes did not want the spot.  I would also go to pick up my first Ironman award because I thought I got third.  Come to find out the first place girl in my age group got disqualified for drafting.  That put me in second and gave me a spot to the Championships in Vegas.  I was pretty happy and took the spot immediately!  So here I am on a plane back from Panama with a really strange sunburn and a nice trophy!
My sunburn! The picture does not really show how bad it is!
I had calf sleeves on so just the back of my knees and front of thighs got it.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Race Day Preparation Again and Some of My Favorite Things!

Yes it is only February and I already have my second big race of the year coming up next week. I am racing the Half Ironman in Panama.  In October when I decided to do it I thought that it was a good idea.  Now that it is here and I just did a marathon a few weeks ago I am thinking it was not such a great idea.  But here we are and we have invested enough money we can't back out now!  Some of my challenges with this race are:
  • I just ran the Phoenix marathon January 15th so much of my training was focused on running. I have had limited time on my bike.  My swim is solid but I would have liked to have been on my bike more.
  • Panama is about 90 degrees and very humid right now.  Vegas is cold and dry.  I am hoping the heat doesn't get to me.
I traveled last year to Costa Rica in February to do the REV 3 Half Ironman.  I traveled with a company called Endurance Travel.  We will be using them for my race in Panama.  It was the best way to race in a foreign place. They picked me up from the airport.  Took us to and from the race. They took us to dinner each night. It was great.  I would highly recommend them if you are traveling in a place that you are not familiar with.  Their website is

I am slightly concerned about the heat. I have not been training in heat at all recently.  In fact it has been a little chilly here in Vegas.  Both me and my boyfriend use the skin cooler clothing by Desto Sports.  I used the skin cooler cool wings product when I did Ironman Texas this past year.  I will be using it again in Texas and in Panama next week.  I also use the cooler top which has a place to put ice in.  I use the arm cooler in training during the summer in Vegas.  When training in the  heat these products are lifesavers!  You can find all of the skin cooler clothing by Desoto on their website at  I also race in the Desoto speed suit when I am not able to wear a wetsuit. I don't think we will be able to wear a wetsuit in Panama.  It is very possible I will not be able to wear a wetsuit in Ironman Texas and will have to wear a speed suit also. 

I mentioned in my previous post what my nutrition will be. I just received my new shipment of CarboPro products.  I will be using those as I outlined in my previous post.  One thing I failed to mention in my previous post is that I will use the mini cliff bars for some nutrition as well. During a half I usually eat one of those. In a full I will have 2 or 3. 

I took my bike in to my favorite mechanic Eric at McGee's here in Vegas.  He tuned it up, put on much needed new chain and brakes.  I rode today for a short 25 miles to make sure everything was working good. It rode great! 

I hope to schedule a massage before I leave for Panama.  I also will try and get some ART (active release therapy) done on my hip before I leave.  I will try and get stretched by the expert Nancy Dickenson

When I fly and when I race I wear my favorite compression socks! CEP socks are awesome. The full socks are great to wear when you fly.  For racing I wear the calf sleeve because you can swim in it.   If you want these socks contact me because I sell them! 

I honestly don't have high expectations for my performance in this race but I do want to have fun.  Racing in a different place is always a great experience.  I am excited for the adventure!