“Rulon Rules” of Macronutrient Counting

If there is one thing that is absolutely vital to ourselves, it’s eating healthy. We also know that exercise is important and we, as triathletes do that pretty well. BUT what happens when life happens, there is an injury or we are just not motivated to train, maybe like we have in the past?

Eating healthy is the most basic foundation of good health. Without good eating habits, every aspect of your body and mind will be impaired or damaged. For example, you don’t have to eat 8,000 grams of fiber a day, or run away screaming from the word sugar. It is all about practicing moderation and following some very general guidelines, which can go a very long way towards improving your overall health. Finding the proper balance of nutrition for your own body can be difficult, but there are many tools available to help you analyze your own eating habits.

Everyone is Different

First of all, everyone’s body is different. That means everyone’s optimal balance of nutrition is going to be different. Just because your triathlon friend LOVES Bulletproof Coffee, does not mean that it will work well for you!  Nutrition is one of the great balancing acts of our lives on and off the race course.  You have to be prepared to take time to find the best combination,  make mistakes along the way, possibly even gain weight as one option or another doesn’t work out. It will take time for you to figure what works for you!

For example: I do LOVE the Paleo diet and when I was on it, I felt amazing, dropped the weight, cut the gluten and really leaned up. When I got back to Ironman Triathlon training, I couldn’t do it. While I didn’t go CRAZY on the breads, I added rice, GF pasta, Protein Pancakes, sweet potatoes, GF breads because I needed a lot more CHO the what I was getting in the Paleo Diet. That is what worked for me. Right?

Different areas of nutrition interact with your body in different ways, so don’t let yourself feel down if you can’t bullseye the answer immediately.

Second of all, you have heard me talk about this before looking at the basic areas of nutrition:

  • Carbohydrates (CHO)
  • Fats
  • Protein
  • Water
  • Vitamins/Minerals (another day)

There are two tools that have helped me with “Counting my Macros” and starting to take the weight off from the “Season of Improvement:”

  1. My Fitness Pal
  2. Macronutrients Calculator

My Fitness Pal App

If you want help tracking your progress and what you eat, My Fitness Pal can produce helpful charts for you to see how much you are eating, overeating, and what you need to cut back on or reinforce to improve your body’s nutrition.

It will take a while to start using My Fitness Pal, BUT MFP makes it so easy for you, that you can scan the barcode for most foods. This is the thing about triathletes, we are creatures of habits. You probably tend to do the same breakfast or lunch, because you know it works for you and you enjoy it. Right?

If you are trying to drop weight during the month of January, to feel a little bit better, heading into your triathlon training, you truly need to track what you eat, along with tracking your exercise. It’s great to see how you’ve been eating and working out, but anybody can understand that cutting back and working out more will help them lose weight.

My Fitness Pal guides you to see what you are taking in and whether you are taking in too much CHO, fat and protein or too little!! I see this a lot with triathletes, if you cut back too much, you could actually be harming your body, as it will go into starvation mode (basically, your metabolism dies and your body’s functions crawl to a halt). Cut back too little, and you’re not cashing in on weight loss potential.

For example, I remember working with a triathlete, who was working out twice a day but super low energy. I suggest to start tracking how many calories she was consuming. Come to find out she was ONLY taking in 800 calories!!! No wonder she was struggling on her workouts and always tired!

Macronutrients Calculator

Athlete: Wait? Coach Jen…How the heck do you figure out how many macronutrients you take in?

Coach Jen: Don’t you worry! Click HERE to head to the Macronutrient Calculator on my website!

It is actually a VERY simple calculator and I think you will find it easy to use. Remember, you have to fuel your body to be able to train the way we do. I understand that people want to cut weight but I also know that you will cut the weight when the training increases!

Let me break my “Rulon Rules of Macronutrient Counting” for you:

  1. Get on My Fitness Pal ASAP
  2. Fill out my Macronutrients Calculator and get your numbers
  3. Put those numbers into My Fitness Pal (You have to pay a yearly fee to be able to plug in your numbers, but it is well worth it.)
  4. Weigh yourself on a weekly basis AND if you are “ballsy” take a selfie of you in your bra/unders or just unders men :)
  5. Start counting your calories and plug EVERY little ounce of food in there.
  6. You will start seeing a difference once you keep yourself accountable and notice results.

I hope today’s blog helps you all out as we are Mid-January already. Maybe you didn’t start the year off right but remember, you don’t need to have a “resolution” to start. You just need to motivation to get you there…

Interested in jumping on 30 minute Consult Call with me and helping you break down your macros and throwing them into My Fitness Pal? Click HERE for my calendar!


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#RulonTriTip of the Day | Week #2

This week we chat about nutrition, more nutrition, how to plan your triathlon training, life AFTER an injury and being OK with breaking down…

Interested in getting more of these #RulonTriTips earlier than Monday? Head over to Jen’s FAVORITE social media, Instagram!

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#RulonTriTip of the Day | Week #1

As you know, I have been a huge fan of Instagram and Instagram Stories for the last 5 years or so. I got on Instagram pretty early in my business and I have really grown my brand and my business through Instagram. I have met some AMAZING athletes, friends and influencers on there.

What I have really enjoyed are the Instagram Stories and I have fun with it. It is pretty much the “Day in the Life of Coach Jen Rulon.”

On the Instagram Stories, I will chat about my everyday life, challenges that I may face as an athlete, a coach and a business owner, along with being goofy, talking about my people that I work with (Dr. JOHNNNNYYYY) and everything in between.

As I started looking at my survey, “What do Triathletes Need for 2018?”, (still open BTW), this is what I saw when I asked Question 11…

“What would you like to see more of on blog?”

Holy crap! That is a TON about “Every Day Nutrition” along with Strength Training AND Mindset but I thought to myself, “How can I help triathletes and their own journey, when I ONLY do weekly blogs?” I reached out to my Instagram Community as I wanted to figure out how to put together different tips throughout the week. We all chatted about two posts a day, stories but how do you keep them as they expire after 24 hours and then…a light bulb turned on for me that day and this is what I came up with:

  1. Bring back #RulonTriTip of the Day (365 tips by the end of the year. BAM!)
  2. Place the #RulonTriTip of the Day in the “Highlight” real on Instagram.
  3. Download the weekly #RulonTriTip of the Day on my YouTube Channel.
  4. Embedded that YouTube video on Monday for the following week!
  5. BAM!

Yes, I know it is Wednesday but I present to you, the first week of #RulonTriTips of the Day!

IF you don’t want to wait on a weekly basis to get my “Rulon Tri Tips of the Day,” head on over to my Instagram Stories NOW!

I hope the “Rulon Tri Tips of the Day” will help you with your journey for 2018!



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Updated 2018 “Top Five Strength Exercises for Triathletes”

Over the last few years, I come up with the “Top Five Strength Exercises for ______” but I figure we need to start the year with a  FRESH “Top Five Strength Exercises for Triathletes.”

Why? I have learned so much over the last couple of years going from lifting a TON to not lifting much before major races. It is a delicate balance for sure but it is all about what your goals are for YOU!

Here are the 2018 FRESH “Top 5 Strength Exercises for Triathletes:”

  1. Squats
  2. Romanian Deadlift
  3. Shoulder to Overhead Movements
  4. Push Ups
  5. Ab Wheel (Advanced Athlete) or Chin Ups for Core Work

Why do I suggest these 5 exercises for a triathlete? A triathlete has a good cardio foundation, but building a solid foundation in the legs, upper back, and core will be the key to YOUR success. Triathletes want to get faster, prevent injury, and improve their endurance. These lifts or body weight movements are what I feel is essential to a triathlete athlete’s success. Here is my reasoning why I LOVE these exercises:


If you want more details about how to do a squat, head to “Rulon Rules to a Back Squat.

What’s not to love about the squat? Squats are essentials to everyday life. You squat to sit on a chair/couch, the throne and you should squat to pick up objects versus bending at your waist.

There are so many different options and way to do a squat:

  • Air squats
  • Goblet Squats (With a kettlebell)
  • Dumbbell squats
  • Back squats
  • Overhead Squats
  • Front Squats

Squats is a full lower body exercise working the hip and knee joints, along with the numerous muscles on the anterior (front) and posterior (back) part of the leg and the butt. We have quadriceps, which consist of 4 muscles, along with the hamstring, which consist of 3 muscles and the Gluteus Maximus and Minimus.

Charles Poliquin, who writes a lot about strength training, actually encourages runners and endurance athletes to lift. Poliquin, in addition to research, states that “including full squats in a lower body program can improve muscular endurance and prevent the early onset of fatigue.” Check out his link about “Include Full Squats in Your Training to Run Faster and Improve Endurance.”

Romanian Deadlift (RDL’s):

If you want more details about how to do a RDL  head to “Rulon Rules to a Romanian Deadlift.”

We probably have heard of the deadlift, which is starting from the ground with the barbell and coming up to the hips, and lowering it back down. What I love to do with my athletes is the Romanian Deadlift, which is taking the barbell from the hips and lowering the barbell down slightly past your knees. We don’t want to lower it all the way to the ground; this would be considered a stiff-legged deadlift.

Romanian Deadlifts will work the trunk, hip and knee joint. The RDL’s will work the gluteus maximus, hamstring muscles (3 muscles), along with lower back (erector spinae) and quadratus lumborum and will also strengthen our quadriceps (4 muscles).

As triathletes, we tend to have a weaker posterior chain, so we need to work that in the gym versus in the pool, bike or run.

Shoulder to Overhead (STO) Movements:

I have not written a specific blog about STO but look for it in February!

There are many different options for a shoulder to overhead movement in the gym with a bar, dumbell and kettlebells. Here are some to name a few:

  • Strict Press
  • Push Press
  • Push Jerk
  • Split Jerk

When I work with triathletes, I will look at the strict press and push press as an overall lift that will work the upper body for a triathlete.

A strict press or military press is being used for the upper body only, with no leg movement. The muscles being used for the strict press are the deltoid, triceps, pectorals, and serratus anterior. Look familiar to the swim stroke muscles? Strict Press is great for improving your long-term shoulder health, as it is also for the lower back and core muscles, which are needed for cycling correct! (Poliquin, T-Nation).

Check out the Strict Press of me at The Tribe Strength and Conditioning Gym:

A push press uses the shoulders and deltoids just like the strict press, but since you are using your legs for the push press, the hamstrings, quadriceps, and gluteus are being used as well. A triathlete will use all of these muscles during the swim, bike, and run.

Check out Nick from The Tribe Strength and Conditioning Gym:

Push Ups:

If you want more details about push ups, head to “Rulon Rules to Push Up.

Push Ups can be tough for a lot of athletes and people in general. Push ups are a GREAT exercise for overall upper body and core work, as it can help you in the pool with your swim and having strong core with adding some “planks” to it.

Push ups will strengthen will utilize muscles of the chest (pectoralis major and minor), shoulder/elbow joint (serratus anterior, anterior deltoid, bicep, and triceps) and many muscles in the wrist and hand joint.

The great bonus for push ups is that it will also engage the cervical and lumbar spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet to stabilize the primary muscles mention above.

Even if you are on your knees for a push up, you are still doing the movement. Check out the details in my other blog.

Core Work:

I have not written a specific blog about core work but look for it in March!

Core work is a tricky subject because sit ups are not the end all be all for every athlete. I have an athlete that can not do sit ups due to her back, so I have to come up with new workouts and such to help her with her core. The same may apply to you.

So, I have to be very mindful for all athletes on which ab work that I like. You may or may not be able to do these movements BUT I would like to see you work your way up to these.

First of all, I should say about ab and core work, abs begin in the kitchen. For you to get that 6 pack stomach, eating crap won’t help. Second of all, if you are highly stress, cortisol will likely be a cause of gaining weight in the abdomen region as well. Maybe “Abs are not made in the kitchen” maybe it is “Abs are made on vacation.”

Here are two exercises that I like to do for core work for myself:

Ab Wheel (Wheel of Death):

Remember the ab wheel? It became very popular in the 70’s and then people started getting injured with it. If you are weaker in the core, then I would focus on working on plank workouts.

If you want to attempt the ab wheel, then I would start off with being on your knees. I have attached a video below, as I have not put one together but I will by March for you all:

Chin Ups:

Huh? Yes, chin ups are all about using your core and your own body weight.

What if you can do a chin up? Not a problem, I have started athletes with negative chin ups. For example, jump on to hold yourself and then gradually come down in 20 – 30 seconds movement. You want to lower yourself as slowly as possible. You can do 3 rounds of 5 in a row with a 1:00 in between.

Those are my FRESH “Top Five Strength Exercises for Triathletes” for 2018. By adding strength to your program 2x a week/an hour a day, you will get faster, have a better final kick at the end of your race, prevent injuries, and decrease your body fat.

Starting TODAY, you will be able to grab my ebook, “Rulon Rules: STrength Training & the Triathlete” for only .99 cents and then it will increase over the next three days! Make sure you grab your ebook TODAY! Click on my “Amazing” lululemon athletica tank top! 

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Top 5 Blogs/Vlogs of 2017

Last week, we saw what an amazing year it has been for and Rulon Racing.

Last month, when I was doing a Facebook Live, I figured out that I coached almost 3,000 miles to the finish line for my athletes for 2017. That is just my athletes that are racing and not all the training that they did!!  I am just floored at this number and it truly warms my heart!

This week, I wanted to share with you the “Top 5 Blogs/Vlogs of 2017!” It is interesting. After I checked my Google Analytics, a little bit was on the triathlon side, the business side and the nutrition side.

Here are YOUR Top Five Blogs of 2017:

Changes for 2018

(Thoughts: Change can be hard for a lot of us. So when I shared to the Rulon Racers, that I was going to make some changes in 2018, it was hard for me to tell them. What I realized though, I had to do it. After it was out there, people talked to me about things, I felt relieved. I am truly looking forward to 2018 and working with athletes that will represent Rulon Racing and my coaching. My cup runneth over…)

Should I do a Marathon before an Ironman Triathlon?

(Thoughts: I don’t know how many times I have heard triathletes, who are getting ready to do an Ironman Triathlon feel the need to do a marathon! NO. NO. NO. Just the recovery alone should make you not to do it. You don’t need to do a damn marathon to do an Ironman Triathlon. Trust me. Read below for more reasons why!)

The “Old/New/Old Way of Race Day Nutrition

(Thoughts: After racing 13 Ironman Triathlons, you tend to try everything and anything that is out there for your nutrition. You hear about the newest trend, the “Next Best Thing,” or your friend is doing it. Ironman Race Day Nutrition will make or break you. Plain and simple. Find out more below!)

Data Driven or Heart Driven 

(Thoughts: This has to be one of my favorites from this year. Why? As a coach, I see a TON of information coming my way. Whether it is an athlete excited about what they just accomplished (data) or an athlete that is about to break down in tears because things are not working out for them (heart). I think a solid athlete has to be heart driven but also look at the numbers. That athlete also needs to tell their coach, WTF is going on. Read more below).

Ironman Triathlon Race Day Nutrition

(Thoughts: Like I said above, race day nutrition in an Ironman Triathlon, will truly make or break you. Check out how I explained things and how I looked at Ironman Race Day Nutrition!)

I hope you enjoyed the last  blog of 2017 and found some good information heading to start your triathlon season! Happy New Year Friends and see you in 2018!!


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