Wednesday, February 24, 2010

1st Cooking video ever! Mixed green salad + dressing

We are trying to add video clips of all kinds
of things to our newwebsite (launching March 1st).
So our first crack at was thisrecipe that relates to
this recent post on salads. Now, keep inmind that
this a very rough copy, but we need some feedback.

Tell us what you think!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Making the Jump. A beginners tale of preparation, panic and accomplishment

No parachute! Sometimes that is how it feels to jump out the comfort of our predictable planes into the newness of the expansive sky. A change of course, a big adventure, a challenging commitment can disarm the most protected individuals. And so it goes with Chris Odekirk, one of SLRC's fine employees. Last year was his first dive into a whole new sport. Thankfully, he landed on his feet and really did live to tell about it.

Making the Jump. A Beginners tale of preparation, panic and accomplishment.

By Chris Odekirk

It was a balmy 120 degrees outside and I was getting ready to go for a run, when I received an email from my brother-in-law. I knew that he was big into triathlons, and the thought had crossed my mind, that I would like to do them as well. The only problem was that he was emailing me to convince me to do the new Ironman in St George. Not only was I not willing to commit to something of that scale, I was also half way through a deployment to the Middle East. Needless to say there were no places for me to swim or bike. The only thing that I did have going for me was that I had been a distance runner my whole life. After reading my brother-in-laws email, I decided that I was going to sign up for a triathlon that would take place several months after I returned home. My first race would be an Olympic distance at the Stansburry Triathlon…or so I thought. Six months had passed, and I was on my way home. Luckily, I was able to get my legs in decent cycling shape by finding some spin bikes on our post and I was able to log plenty of miles on the road (or treadmill, when the sandstorms would hit.) Now all I had to do was work on the swim.

As soon as I got home I went to the local pool, bought a membership and recruited a friend, who had been a competitive swimmer, to give me some swim lessons. Everything was coming together perfectly. I remember my first swim lesson like it was yesterday. My swim coaches first set of instructions was to swim an easy 200 yards to warm up. 200 yards? How hard could that be? I run 50 plus miles a week, I can swim 200 yards. With this unfounded confidence, I jumped in the water and set off to swim my “easy” 200 yard warm-up. I made it 50 yards (down and back in a 25 yard pool) before I started to flail in the water and grabbed the side of the pool. My friend laughed at me and said “You have a lot of work to do if you want to swim 1500 meters.” Later that night I emailed the race director and asked if I could change from the Olympic distance to the Sprint. My pride was shot and so was my goal of someday competing in an Ironman with my brother-in-law.

Thanks to the race director, I was able to switch distances and with a little help from my triathlon instructor at the University of Utah, I was feeling more confident in the water. Although I was feeling more confident, I had yet to swim the 750 meter distance without stopping. My coach assured me and told me that I would be just fine. I didn’t believe her.

Race day finally came, I had my wet suit, which I had yet to swim in (just one of many mistakes in my triathlon prep), and I was as ready as I was ever going to be. With all of the male competitors for the Sprint in the water, my nerves were on edge and the only thing I could think about was getting out of this water. The gun went off and it was “do or die” time, and hopefully there would be non of the latter. I was feeling great! For the first 100 meters, after that it all went downhill and a few minutes later I completely stopped swimming looked around for something to grab on to and was ready to call the whole thing off. I had been kicked, slapped and I am fairly certain that I swallowed half of the water in that lake. Nothing was going right, my form went out the window and my breathing pattern was all over the place. In that moment of doubt I saw a fellow competitor swim past me doing the breast stroke with a smile on his face. At that moment, nothing could have infuriated me more, and that was what I needed. I dropped my head back in the water, focused on my form and drug myself to the water exit. With a strong bike and run I actually did a lot better than I anticipated, but I still was not where I wanted to be. I knew that I wanted to compete on the Olympic level and someday the Ironman.

With my first triathlon under my belt I was ready to set a date for my first Olympic distance. I knew where I had gone wrong with my prep (or lack thereof) for the Sprint, and I was not going to let that happen with the Olympic. I focused on my swim, logged some serious rides on my bike and pounded myself into oblivion on the road and track. I had received some great advice from BJ and Guy, and Debbie helped me forge my legs for the run while I was in high school, so in my opinion I was ready to go.

Race day had finally arrived and I was ready this time, really ready. The gun went off and the good swimmers flew by me, but that was okay. I was going to swim my own race. I kept referring to something that I had heard from TJ Tollakson, “99 percent of life boils down to this one principal, DON’T PANIC!” With those wise words, and taking it one stroke at a time I was able to feel comfortable in the water and maintain a pace that I was fairly happy with. Aside from losing sight of the buoys on several occasions in the sun, I was happy with my performance. The bike went amazingly well, I was on schedule with my nutrition and hydration and I was just about to start my favorite event, the run. The heat had continued to climb throughout the day and by the time we got to the run; it was much hotter than I had anticipated. Thankfully, I was feeling fine and taking water as needed. Not wanting to get behind on my water intake, I forced myself to stop, yes stop, at all the water stops to take in water. I don’t care who you are, it is not easy to drink a cup of water while you are running. Even with those water stops, I posted a time in the 10K that I was very happy with. All-in-all, it was a great race. Thanks to proper preparation, advice and a lack of water in my lungs I was able to cross the finish line with a smile on my face.

Even though, I just briefly touched on the fact that I sought advice from experienced triathletes, I cannot stress the positive impact their advice had on my race enough. Simply asking someone what I should expect in the swim would have saved me a lot of strife during my first triathlon. Ask questions about anything and everything. If there is one thing that triathletes like more than the triathlon its self (and that includes their beloved bikes) it is talking about triathlon. Asking questions about what to expect, proper nutrition, hydration, equipment, etc will only help fill in any gaps you may have in your training regiment and not to mention the peace of mind that comes after picking an experienced triathletes brain for a few minutes.

Making the jump from Sprint to Olympic was not easy, it required a lot more time and a lot more focus, but it was totally worth it. Tune in next time to read about either my successful jump from the Olympic distance to the ½ Ironman or my obituary. Either way, it will be good reading.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Salad-the perfect carbohydrate


Salad? A perfect carbohydrate? When I first considered that idea, I though it was crazy! But, as time has passed and more knowledge has come my way, I realize the validity of that statement. Now, lets first set the record straight. The assumption here is that, as an endurance athlete, you are making BIG efforts in refueling post workout with recovery drinks, shakes and carbohydrate dense foods like fruit, potatoes and the occasional whole grain. As long as you do a good job at eating at least half your bodyweight in grams of carb within 30 minutes post workout in liquid form and that amount again(for workouts longer than 75 minutes) in a solid meal within another 60-90 minutes, then you won't be starving later. Then you can progress to the idea that salad is a perfect carbohydrate later in the day.

Most of us think of a salad as a green lettuce type of creature. While this is mostly what I am referring to, in many places in the world, salad is actually any combination of raw cut up vegetables tossed in some type of dressing. So, there are times when I make a tomato and cucumber salad with a yogurt dressing or shredded carrot salad with nuts, Craisens and a lemon/orange olive oil dressing. But, it still is an essential part of an athletes diet to eat DARK GREEN salads with HOMEMADE dressings. A great salad will supply many needed undamaged and raw phytonutrients and enzymes as well as aid in alkalizing the body (See blog post on Ph). It will also not overwhelm the body with any high glycemic sugars that will disrupt your anabolic, health promoting hormone patterns. How perfect is that? So perfect that you should find a way to include 1 or 2 BIG salads a day! And when I say big, I mean carry it with a fork lift, spilling off your plate big. That is how much you need to build a better body.

Perry’s Popular Mixed Green Salad – Feeds 8-10.

20 oz. mixed baby greens,

2 cups diced cucumber,

2 cups sliced strawberries or grapes,

1 cup chopped or halved walnuts,

4 oz crumbled feta cheese.

Extra Virgin Olive oil,

Balsamic vinegar

Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

In a BIG salad bowl, combine first 5 ingredients. Sprinkle the top of the salad with the Olive oil and then the balsamic vinegar. Start with too little if you are nervous and then sprinkle more on if needed. The goal is to lightly coat the salad evenly without drenching it and making it soggy. Then add the salt and pepper.

This salad should take up about half of your plate and can be served with any lean meat, a steamed vegetable and if needed, some baked yam or sweet potato.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Running Barefoot--Who should?

It is safe to say that right now the hot topic in the running world is Barefoot Running. This could be due to the Vibram 5 Fingers, or Newton shoe releases. Or maybe because the book BORN TO RUN, is a good read and talks a lot about the Tarahumara Indians running barefoot. Either way, the question remains, who is it for? Will it fix your injury? Should you run barefoot/minimalist everyday? Will you be better off long term with our without shoes?

Since this blog is sponsored by a running shoe store, I thought it best that we look outward to someone who is more 3rd party. While Salt Lake Running Co does, in reality, do our very best to be absolutely honest and not push a bad product on someone, it just seems best to outsource this answer.

The objective opinion is going to come from Bobby McGee, a world class running coach for the last 25 years. No really, this guy is one of the sport’s best. Having coached world record holders, world champions, Olympians, professional triathletes and everyday normal Joe runners like ourselves, he knows his stuff and the BEST part is that he is sponsored by NO ONE! He has no allegiance to any product whatsoever with the exception of his greatest product…his athletes...US!

Here are some excerpts from a recent post by Bobby on the barefoot running scoop. To check out the full article, click here. Feel free to comment here and/or there on what you think or have experienced.

Can we all run barefoot?

If we all grew up rurally in regions where there was no concrete or asphalt, or broken glass & shards of various metals lying about, then maybe…


If we all started life using running as a primary mode of transport (together with walking) for EVERYTHING we did & EVERYWHERE we needed to get to, then maybe


If we all lived in climates where footwear was never a prerequisite demand of our environment, then maybe


If we all grew up never having the posterior side of our legs shortened by footwear with heels, then maybe


If we all weigh under 110 pounds if we are female & 130 pounds if we are male, then maybe


If we all had the time, the structural integrity, the youth, the willingness, the mechanics, the soft tissue, the environment, the guidance, the patience, the support & the understanding, then maybe:

Who can run benefit from running barefoot some of the time?

I work with the individual running quirks of many world-class athletes & regular athletes. I address each one according to need. Some actually NEED less orthotic, less support, less cushioning. Many have feet that have atrophied & lost critical motion capabilities because of overly restrictive or ill-advised footwear or orthotics. Many can benefit from time spent walking or even some small amount of running barefoot on well cushioned surfaces like grass or synthetic grass surfaces – this will return neuromuscular feel & function; this will teach true elastic-loading & unloading. This will also strengthen critical muscles & tendons in the foot & lower leg. It is a very gradual process & prescribed not because the athlete desires to run barefoot full time, but to heal & enhance their running experience.

Do the fastest runners in the world run barefoot?

Only one man has ever won an Olympic marathon barefoot & his name is Abebe Bikile, an Ethiopian who ran 2:15 barefoot because he was such a late entry into the Ethiopian team, Adidas could not find him a pair of shoes that fit – he had trained barefoot however. It is interesting to note that his father was a shepherd, so clearly he grew up exactly fulfilling ALL of the above Ifs. He won the next Olympics in 2:12 in Puma shoes. Both the 1st sub 4min South African miler, DeVilliers Lamprecht & Zola Budd ran barefoot & they both told me that eventually their feet gave them so much trouble that they could no longer run (DeVilliers) & that they had to resort to wearing shoes for training & eventually racing as well (Zola).

The forefoot, midfoot, healstrike argument

The greatest runner of all, Haile Gebrselassie, realized after being badly beaten in the London Marathon with a time of 2:06, that he would have to forego his habit of running on his forefeet, he would have to lower his heel to the surface to compete against the world’s best. He now runs the marathon 3 minutes faster! He has run in Adidas shoes his entire career.Many of the world’s greatest runners are heel strikers (look at above picture of Haile) – having these athletes switch to barefoot running would no doubt destroy them –

As a whole, we need shoes to survive the hostility of running


THANK.YOU. BOBBY!! We appreciate people like Bobby McGee sharing their opinion that is formed in their quest to not only keep us all running, but to help us run faster!

Here is a great closing quotation emailed to our staff by Travis. It is from the book Born to Run where YES! Even Christopher McDougal confesses that it is not complete heresy to run WITH shoes.

“Check out their feet," said Eric. Even though Scott [Jurek] was in the Brooks trail shoe he'd helped design and Caballo was in sandals, they both skimmed their feet over the ground just the way [Barefoot] Ted did in his bare feet, their foot strikes in perfect sync. It was like watching a team of Lipizzaner stallions circle the show ring." - Born to Run p. 190.