Monday, April 27, 2009

What races should you do this year?

Once the month of May comes, the race schedule gets pretty packed with all kinds of road races, triathlons, bike racing and off road events. Already, there has been the Moab Half-Marathon, Salt Lake Marathon, a handful of sprint triathlons and bike races. At this point in the year, the biggest mistake I see people make is doing too many races/events. Not only is this expensive, but it is also very draining mentally and physically, not to mention the stress on the family. Oftentimes, by the time late summer rolls around, I hear many complaints of being tired all the time, a lack of enthusiasm for the next race and/or the most dreaded of all, INJURY! Seriously though, if you want to take all the fun out of training and racing, then racing too often will do the trick. Here are some tips to think about as you decide what you are going to do this year whether it is running, triathlon or both.

  • If you have run a marathon or a half marathon longer than 2 hours, wait 3-4 weeks before doing any other event of any kind.

  • Putting 2 marathons within 8 weeks of each other is not advisable, more info here.

  • 5K’s and 10K’s can be done twice in a month as long as there is good recovery in between.

  • After an Ironman, no events for at least 5-6 weeks and then only a short one that lasts less than 2.5 hours as long as the run portion is no longer than a 10K.

  • A Half Ironman requires about 3-4 weeks with no event.

  • It is okay to do an Olympic distance tri once a month even if you do a sprint during that month as well.

  • In general, try not ever line up event that occur 3 out of 4 weeks or 4 out of 6 weeks or 5 out of 7 weeks.

  • PLAN AHEAD Write the events you are interested in on a calendar in PENCIL. Pick 2 of them that are your most important races (“A” races) and sign up for those (as long as they don’t conflict with above.) Then pick 2 or 3 more “B” races that won’t interfere with your performance at your “A” races. After that, seriously plan on doing only those unless you know for sure that it is far enough removed, short enough, and/or low key enough to be added. However, most of these kinds of races are more easily and cheaply done at home

  • Remember that your racing schedule is your own and not your friend’s, so don’t feel pressured to do something you are not excited about or ready for.

  • Even if you are performing well, stick to your guns! Getting overexcited too soon will have you racing too hard and too often at races that are not your “A” race and therefore don’t matter.

  • It is okay to change plans midstream if the one you have isn’t working. For example, it is okay to switch to a half marathon from a marathon or to a sprint tri from an Olympic if that is what works better for you.

  • Remember that when comparing your schedule to an elite or professional, they are capable of handling a higher workload and quicker recovery times so it is not wise to model your schedule after theirs.

  • Some years you may feel like racing more than others and that is normal and advisable.

Above all else: Remember that you are doing these things for the fun and/or challenge of it. Too much ruins the experience. One excellent race experience is better than 5 mediocre ones. No matter where you are at fitness wise, getting out and doing what you are ready for is what should make you happy. Other peoples' or society's expectations should be disregarded. They are not in your shoes and don’t know what brings you joy or makes you tick. You are still a runner if you do only 5K’s and 10K’s and you are still a triathlete if you do sprint tri’s and not Ironmans. So, as always, pick race and events that will help you to RUN FOR YOUR LIFE AND KEEP ON TRIING !

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Picking a Multi Vitamin

Decisions, Decisions. Nothing can seem more daunting than picking a multi-vitamin. Every vitamin company has one. So what’s a person to do? Well, there are some really good options out there so let’s take a look at some of them so you can get an idea of what kind of daily Multi may meet your needs.

Let get one thing straight before we start. A ONE –A-DAY MULTI VITAMIN IS NOT ENOUGH! Seriously here, a single capsule only holds enough micronutrients to prevent serious diseases like scurvy. The RDA quota that is met by these One-A-Days is a daily allowance necessary for basic survival…not thriving, or training, or racing or looking and feeling younger. If you want to give your body all the micronutrients necessary for many years of vivacious living and training, then you have to back up that desire with the right daily nutrition routine. So here are some multivitamin options to consider. Review the info, links and price points and decide what might work for you.

Nature’s Way ALIVE! Multi
This 3 a day multi is a basic starter multi. I ask people to get the form without iron so that you can take more of them in a day if you need to on high training days. You would have to add iron and a full bone mineral matrix with at least calcium, magnesium, silica, and boron. Nature's way is a Utah based company.

Cory Holly’s Essential pack
A great daily pack of about 7 capsules. Specifically formulated for active people wanting optimal health and performance. The essentials pack is part of a daily system for athletes and can be purchased alone or with other products like Whey Protein, Sport oil, and C7, a carb/electrolyte drink. Formulated by Dr. Cory Holly of CHI institute.

Life Extension Foundation’s multi
Life extension is the first organization to really do independent non government funded or non pharmacuetical research on health, nutrition and hormones. This is a 9 a day multi based upon over 30 years of their research. You must become a member to get the best price and they have really good yearly sales when they go to update the multi. Need to add iron to this.

Master Control Formula
With 6 capsules per pack, you get 12 a day when you take one morning and night. Another comprehensive active person’s multi formulated by Dr. Mark Sisson a former elite triathlete. Need to add iron to this.

So there are some good ideas to look at and start with. Are there other good ones? Yes! Just compare the facts panels and prices to what is listed above to get an idea if you are paying a fair price. I do feel that all examples above are fairly priced for what you get.

Do you need to add anything to these? I have listed those without iron, however, you still need to add your Fish oils and calcium/magnesium. Also, everyone needs to add more vitamin C, hopefully to your protein shakes. And yes, there are many more adjunctive nutrients for brain, joint, hormonal and cellular health. But, start with a high quality multi vitamin at the very least and you will begin to build a foundation that you can add to later.

The parting message is…if you take your health seriously, you will need to take a broad spectrum multivitamin! Take it morning and night to feed your body constantly. You will recover faster, feel better and age slower if you do.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Your Story--Cindy Faust

My name is Cindy Faust(with full white hat,) I’m 37 years old and mother of 3 adorable kids. I’ve always loved playing sports, being active and had hit the road on an occasional run. It had always been a dream of mine to run the St. George Marathon. After my third child, I was mildly depressed and extremely out of shape. I couldn’t even run 10 minutes without breathing heavy and being exhausted. I decided to “run” to the grocery store (1.5 miles away down hill…) little did I think it through, I’d have to run back up with groceries…but that started me off thinking I needed to get into shape again and I needed a goal. I decided to train for that marathon I’ve always wanted to run. I got online and printed out a schedule and had faithfully followed it to the end. It was a lot of treadmill miles since I had little kids. But during the training months I looked forward to the hour or so I had scheduled for myself. I was happier with my self because I felt better. I was a better mother to my kids because my mind wasn’t constantly in mope mode and I was just overall feeling better body and mind. I truly feel like running had saved me from a deep dark hole I was heading toward.

In 2006 I finished my first marathon in 4:57:00 it felt so good and was such an accomplishment I could only think of how this has helped make me a better person. I love running; it has been my “me” time that I look forward to everyday. The following year, I recruited some other moms and we trained for the 2007 St. George Marathon and I discovered the joy of running with a group of women and gained strength from each of them and also built some strong relationships. This past 2008 St. George Marathon I ran with my husband. This was his first and it was a whole new experience to have trained with him all those hours and early morning runs and the race day was one we will always cherish together. My goal now is to qualify for the Boston Marathon before I hit the big 40. I’ve picked up the pace and shed some pounds and have never felt better in my life! I see the ladies on the road that are in their 60’s and 70’s and think, “That is going to be me!!” I want to keep running so I can enjoy life and enjoy my kids.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Marathon, Half marathon,10K or 5K taper

You have done the work, run the long runs, got your shoes and gels ready, and are ready to rock come race day. But, what do you do to get ready for the big day when you are 5-7 days out? Do you rest? Run a little? Stretch? Well, how your legs feel on race day will partially depend on how you have tapered the week of. Here is an example of what a rest week might look like for a Saturday marathon or half marathon race

Saturday: 60 minutes
Sunday: Off
Monday: 45 minute run with *8 X 200 meters fast followed by a 200 jog*
Tuesday: 30 minute run and stretch well and moderately do *Trigger Point or Massage*
30 minute run with *6 X 200 meters fast followed by a 200 jog*
Friday: Jog for 30 minutes and stretch lightly
Saturday: Marathon or Half Marathon

**only do the activities marked in the astrix if you have already been doing them. Otherwise skip it.

Overall, here are some tips to keep in mind during this taper week.

  • Do active recovery
  • The best day to take off is two days away from race.
  • Do the 200 meter strides to keep blood volume up so you don’t arrive to the start feeling
  • lethargic.
  • Stretch
  • Get extra sleep
  • Relax emotionally
  • Get clothes, shoes, and food ready 2-3 days out so you have time to get something you thought you had but didn’t. Read marathon nutrition article
  • Pick up race number
  • Double check race start and bus shuttle times.
  • Drink extra water and eat wisely. Read Carbo Load article
  • Get excited! Relaxed, but excited!

Any event you do will be icing on the cake for all the work you have put in. For some people it is a chance to publically express their innermost goals, pursuits and passions. Sometimes, events are just celebrations of being alive and actively living. Either way, rest up, run smart and good luck!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Trigger Point Therapy Kit-help at home

No matter what time of year it is, runners and triathletes all have the same problem to deal with. Muscles that get tight and cause problems! But, since there are some big events coming up in the next 6-8 weeks, it is time to start getting rid of some of these problem areas. Wouldn't it be great if we all could go to a sport massage therapist a couple of times a week? If we could, I would recommend it. But, since life happens and there are other bills to pay, then investing in something like the Trigger Point Therapy kit is a great idea.

You can do this self therapy at home and no matter which kit you buy, it is much cheaper than seeing that therapist all the time. Although, I do urge everyone to see one once or even twice a month when your training load is high even if you have this kit. The main purpose of trigger point therapy is to be able to work on problem areas yourself as often as needed. And they really do help a ton! The Trigger Point website has lots of great info,trigger point charts and video clips on there about how to use the massage kit. Here are some other tips about using them.
  • Buy a Trigger point kit
  • Stay tuned to your body and use what you bought at least once a week on at least trouble spots
  • Learn and use different techniques and angles in addition to what is in the booklet or website.
  • Learn specifically about trigger points and how to release them
  • Trigger points can take a litte while to release so be patient. Relax, stay on one spot for upto 5-10 minutes, breathe, and stay with it until you feel the knot release.
  • Roll mostly in the direction of the muscle fiber strands except when you have some stubborn areas and then you can experiment with a 90 degree or "cross fiber" rolling. This can help break up stubborn adhesions.
  • Regarding how fast to roll, roll on the slower side since we are not pizza dough.
  • Use tools at a relaxing time like after a hot shower, before bed or mid day break
    I have found that relaxed stretching and self massage work followed by 5 minutes of laying down does wonders to calm the nerves and other muscles not being worked
  • Use everyother day or every couple of days if you are using the tools aggresively. There is a lot of muscle damage occuring if you have a lot of nice that have been rolled out. Just like a hard workout, your damaged tissues do need to recover and rebuild from aggresive self massage treatment.
  • Trigger point can be done more frequently if it is used solely to relax stubborn knots and there is no rolling motion.

So, now is the time to give this a go if you have been wondering what to do about those aching knees, shins, hips, shoulders and back. The store sells a couple different sizes of the kit so choose the one that is right for you. I will say, however, that I am really glad I got the one with the ball and two different size rollers. I have used all the pieces to keep up and RUNNING!