Triathletes, Here to Help You Out in 2016 – Vlog #18

1.5 weeks from Ironman Texas. This is what you need to do before you hit “Send,” to sign up for an Ironman Triathlon:


Interested in next week’s Ironman Texas Webinar? Sign up TODAY. Click the photo below. Space is very limited!

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Less than 2 Weeks to IMTX!

Sometimes training for an Ironman Triathlon is AWESOME. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes, you just want it to be over. Sometimes you just want to sleep until race day. Today was that day!

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The Importance of Strength Training for Endurance Athletes

Note from Coach Jen: Ryan reached out to me about 4 months ago and I am FINALLY getting around to reaching back out to him for a guest post. I really liked the titles that he put together for my blog. Of course, I took the one about strength training for endurance athletes. I know you all are sick hearing it from me, so let’s hear the importance of strength for endurance athletes from another source! #BAM 

Endurance athletes take the notion of diet and exercise to a whole new level. Aside from maintaining their bodies, it’s their goal to build themselves up to achieve the highest level of capability possible. In order to achieve this, strength training is essential, and you must be able to incorporate it properly into your schedule while modifying your diet to accommodate it.

Protecting Bone Health and Muscle Mass

Endurance athletes put a lot of strain on their bodies, and it’s not uncommon for them to sustain injuries. Unfortunately, this can put them out of commission, preventing them from continual training. In order to avoid this type of setback, adding regular strength training to your regimen protects bone health and muscle mass. Considering that, after puberty, both men and women lose about one percent of their bone and muscle strength every year, strength training is highly important.

Building Lean Muscle

Endurance athletes must push their bodies to the limit. That’s why the development of lean muscle is highly important. It allows you to take on the additional strain and continue to build upon your goals. By the age of 50, most people have already lost ten percent of their muscle according to the American College of Sports Medicine. During their 60’s and 70’s, most people continue to decline by around 15 percent per decade. However, when you incorporate strength training, you can triple your strength in as little as just two or three months. This ensures you’ll be able to enjoy your athleticism and overall quality of life as long as possible.


Keep Your Routine Varied

Gaining muscle through strength training can typically be achieved by performing 8 to 12 reps of a given exercise. However, your body is adaptive, and it’s important to keep your training varied in order to challenge yourself. Therefore, in order to make the most of your strength training, make sure you do things such as lower your reps for a period of three to four weeks, followed by increasing to 20-30 rep sets.

Keeping Nutrition in Mind

Just as car enthusiasts take time to develop their engine and performance parts, they must also take time to identify the best fuel to ensure the vehicle is able to perform optimally. This is no different when it comes to the development of the body of an endurance athlete. With busy schedules and fast food around every corner, it can be easy to cheat. However, for optimal results, it’s important to remain disciplined when it comes to your culinary habits. Some of the essentials that should be included in your diet are:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Antioxidants
  • Lean Protein
  • Healthy Fats
  • Carbohydrates

What to Include in Your Diet

With so many components necessary to reach your nutritional goals, it can be difficult to plan your meals accordingly. However, there are foods you can put on your next shopping list that will deliver just what you need. Just a few include:

  • Oatmeal- high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, and a great source of protein
  • Cherries- rich in antioxidants
  • Kale- high in vitamins A, K, B6, calcium, and iron
  • Milk- rich in carbohydrates and protein, and a great source of post-workout nutrition
  • Bananas- perfect pre- or post-workout food source
  • Chia seeds- contain three times the amount of antioxidants compared to blueberries, and also contain a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Walnuts- rich in fiber, B-vitamins, and antioxidants
  • Salmon- one of the most nutrient-dense proteins
  • Sweet potatoes- rich in vitamins A and C which help clear the body of free radicals

Many have the false impression that eating these types of foods will take a toll on their budget. However, these foods tend to be more filling and leave you feeling more satiated than highly processed alternatives. Not only that, but you’ll feel healthier and will likely not find yourself sick as often. A good rule of thumb for endurance athletes to follow while shopping is to stay on the outside perimeter of the store and avoid shopping down the aisles.


A New Level of Endurance

Whether you have long been participating in endurance training or are interested in getting started, it’s important to understand the strains you’ll be putting on your body. Healthy individuals capable of participating in this level of training can achieve great things, but it all starts with your mind. When you incorporate these tips into your daily routine, you can enter into a new level of endurance you’ve likely never experienced.

A little bit about Ryan Blair: image

Nearly 10 years as a personal trainer have given Ryan a vast amount of knowledge and expertise in health, fitness, and nutrition. His love of writing, combined with his passion for helping others,
guarantees the delivery of helpful and challenging information. He loves interacting with his readers and is dedicated to helping them live healthier, more fulfilling lives. If you are interested in more information about Ryan, contact him HERE!


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Triathletes, Here to Help You Out in 2016 – Vlog #17

Today, I am 2.5 weeks away from Ironman Texas. I talked about how I am feeling and how you may be feeling if you are doing it as well, along with the breakdown of nutrition on the bike, and how I take care of my 112 miles!

Sign up below by hitting my hat to get the  Ironman Triathlon Process Goals and Positive Self Talk Tips!

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Triathletes, Bike Parts, Running Shoes – Earth Day

Last week, I chatted about how we can take care of Mother Earth. Not ONLY on April 22nd BUT every day of the year. As triathletes, we have so much equipment, clothing, etc., that we can re-use and recycle, that we truly need to think of what we are doing to help our Mother Earth. Check out the April 4th Blog Post about Water Bottles, about how to cut back on buying water bottles, and recycling your old water bottles! Check out the April 18th blog about ReUse, Donate, or Sell Your Bikes.

This week, let’s talk about about “Recycling Bike Parts and Running Shoes.”

Recycling Bike Parts:

  • Aluminum Parts: Check out Bike Furniture Designs. Seriously AMAZING work. Maybe you can get a “bike chair” for the Man Cave?
  • Inner tubes: Use them for your swim. Cut them up and tie a small portion around your ankles. Swim without your legs and paddles for 25. See how you do? It is GREAT strength work!
  • Tires: Usually you can take old tires to bike stores or recycle them just like a car tire. Just make sure your city recycles those. Sometimes they have pick ups too.
  • Chains and Chain Rings: Have you seen some GREAT art with chains? Put your chain information on Craigslist and offer to donate them to artists. Check out some jewelry as well.

upcycled bicycle chain

Donate Running Shoes:

Our Mother Earth TRULY needs our help. As I was at the park yesterday, I was saddened by all the plastic bottles that were NOT in the recycle bin. Sometimes I truly don’t think people care. While we may not be around for more than 60 more years, we have family members that will have a family, etc.  I saw this article the other day, and I am not going to add photos to this blog about the 13 Sperm Whales that died off the coast of Germany. Their stomachs were full of plastic. I will say that in the article, the necropsy showed what was in the whales’ stomachs, but that it wasn’t thought to have contributed to their death. The scientists stated that the whales starved to death due to lack of food and to winter storms. But why would an intelligent animal like a Sperm Whale “eat” plastic? To think they are full since they couldn’t find any plankton to eat? I don’t know. It’s like the chicken or the egg story. Just makes me sad.  #offsoapbox

Let’s do something to help Mother Earth! She is pretty amazing. Let’s keep it that way.


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