If you have been following me for a while, you probably realize how much I LOVE STRENGTH and what it does for the human body. As a coach, when I have given my athletes a strength program specific for triathletes, I have seen such AMAZING results. I see that they have better body awareness. I see fewer injuries. I see CONFIDENCE with these athletes that takes them to a different level.
So, we see athletes build their strength physically through swimming, biking, running, and lifting. How often do we see athletes build strength MENTALLY?
As a coach, I think a lot of athletes lose their “strength” from a mental standpoint.
For example, you may hear athletes talk about themselves and their training:
“I suck at swimming. Will I make the cutoff in the Ironman?”
“My run is so slow; I am a turtle.”
“My race was TERRIBLE. Now I need to train more.”
As an athlete, what do you think happens to athletes when they actually think that? It’s true. They will NOT make the cutoff on the Ironman. Their run will be slow. Now this athlete may overtrain since they don’t think they are “good” or “fast” enough. What happens when you overtrain? Injury. (more…)
Over the last couple of weeks, I wanted to let you all know that I have been working with a good friend of mine, Simone Lovell, who started “Fuel for Fat Loss.” I was a bit hesitate because I wanted to make sure that I was eating enough for my training but then making sure I was eating the right things. Boy, oh boy, did this take my training to a different level.
Why? It is all about counting your macro (CHO, Protein and Fats), which I am a HUGE advocate for but also about meal prepping, keeping me accountable and having meal planning ready for the week.
The biggest win for me with doing the “Fuel for Fat Loss” Program was really showing me how much food, I WASN’T eating and how much protein I wasn’t eating.
Today, I wanted to chat with you about meal planning and give you a couple of recipes that I have used a lot over the last few weeks. I have ALWAYS talked to you all about saving time…well, here you go, on the nutrition side!
Meal planning saves a lot of time throughout the week, from not having to rush around the supermarket thinking about what’s for dinner, to not having to eat out at lunch or not eating at all. It also means rather than spending time rushing around, you can use this time to get some extra work done, train, of course, hang out with your family or spend some time focusing on yourself. I have put together a list to show you how you’ll really save your time.
Shopping trips made quicker with a list:
By simply writing a list of the meals you are going to have each evening that week and what ingredients you will need will mean you will have time to knock out your workouts for the week. Don’t you hate being at the grocery store going up and down the aisle? But knowing what you need means you can go down the aisles you actually need things from and avoid the ones you don’t. Hence the cereal aisle…HA! Rather than walking down every aisle wondering what you should have for dinner, what you may or may not have in the cupboards will definitely cut down your time in the supermarket.
One trip to the supermarket weekly:
Keeping a meal plan and writing a list of all the ingredients which you will need for the week means you’ll only need to shop once. Just make sure you double check your list and the ingredients you’ll need before heading off. This is a tricky one for us, as we do a good job of going once a week but lately, it has been every other day due to the amount of fresh food we are eating.
Knowing what you’re having for dinner means no last minute panics:
Though for some, waking up and knowing what you are having for dinner may seem a little bit of a bore, when you live a CRAZY busy triathlon lifestyle this will be a bliss. Whether you decide to wake up and put all of your ingredients into your slow cooker so your dinner is ready to serve as soon as you walk through the door or if you have a quick, fresh stir fry to whip up it will mean you don’t have to go through rush hour traffic (on the roads and the supermarkets) stressing about what to create with leftovers in the aisles. Instead, you’ll have a delicious meal that took you a matter of minutes to create.
Having essentials in your cupboard means you’ll always have a meal in your cupboards:
If you’re at the end of the week or you didn’t get the chance to run to the shops when you usually would, having some basic essentials in your cupboards will mean you will always to whip up a quick and easy meal for you and your family to enjoy. Don’t be afraid to have frozen berries, and frozen vegetables. These are really quick to cook, great at bulking up meals and still full of healthy benefits. It also means if you have unexpected guests you won’t have to rush off to the shops to grab some extra food, you’ll be prepared for every situation.
The Sunday Night Before:
If you can prep your food the Sunday night before your week begins, this will give you some extra time in the morning and throughout the next few days. I think the biggest learning that I have done with meal prepping is knowing that I can grab a cup of already cooked quinoa, cook some eggs (or hard boiled eggs) and throw my little quinoa bowl together quick! See recipe below.
Meal prepping means the 20 extra minutes that would take you in the morning, that extra sleep or completely your swim or your run. I see so many athletes “cut” their workouts due to not having enough time and trying to get to work. Another suggestion that I have for you is we really want to get that CHO/Protein combination in after a hard workout. With that said, when you make your smoothies, double the recipe, and split it up. Freeze them both, then you have access to a quick breakfast or a quick recovery drink after your workout and not worry about making it while you are getting ready for work!
Here are two recipes that I are my go to the last couple of week working with “Fuel for Fat Loss” with Simone Lovell.
Interested in learning more about Simone’s “Fuel for Fat Loss” Program? Click here to check it out because her next program starts on August 13th and I know space is limited.
Over the 15+ years of coaching, I started learning early on how to work with sponsorships. Over the last few years, I have noticed that sponsorships are changing due to social media. But I have also noticed that brands are changing the way that they work with an athlete, a coach and/or a team.
Back in 2001, when I started my triathlon coaching career and I was becoming a triathlete, I would put together a race resume, along with photos, put it in a binder and either do one of two things.
Send the report to the company that I wanted to work with
Head to Las Vegas, Interbike Convention and take my race resume to companies and start having a discussion with them.
I don’t know which way was the best but I do believe getting in front of companies tend to be more successful than just send another piece of mail. For example, when I started working with TYR, I developed an amazing relationship with the people who were at Interbike, Wendy Ingraham and Ryan Dolan. As most of us parted ways from TYR, we always stayed in touch over the years. (More later…)
As I am sitting here writing this, I started to think. Has the years changed with working with sponsorship and brands? On one end of the spectrum, I think it has changed a little as companies are working with brand ambassadors and influencers. One the other end of the spectrum, it has changed a lot and that is social media! Social media has truly changed the way of athletes, coaches and teams.
I chatted with my “Coaching the Coach (CTC)” Clients about this. I can tell you this. There is one thing that is crucial in the success of working with brands and companies:
“Build a relationship with the brand that you want to work with.”
Plain and simple. In my CTC program, I talk a little bit more detailed about how to do it but I cannot emphasize this enough for you, as an athlete, a coach and maybe building a triathlon team.
There are a couple of stories that I would like to share about working with brands from today and from 2002:
It was December 2017 and I had a great opportunity to head up to Austin for “The Run Event.” I really enjoy going up there and checking out new companies, companies that I have had a relationship with and just learning more about the business side of retail.
As I was walking around, I saw the company, “Stretch Athleisure Wash” and was very taken back at the branding for the laundry detergent. It was black and white with very “clean” wording, which I thought was GENIUS for a laundry detergent. Think about it…you have darks and whites for your laundry.
I started chatting with Emma Struwe from Stretch Athleisure Wash/Forever New and we just hit it off. I loved what their company represented and what they promoted WHICH is exactly what I need for my lululemon clothing and my race day clothing from Epix Gear.
This detergent gets that STINK out of my clothing. Come on. You all know we have it. Right? And it doesn’t trash my clothing and keeps it’s elasticity. I thought to myself this is genius. Emma gave me a whole bunch of samples and I was truly hooked.
Over the holidays and beyond, we stayed in touched. I plugged them on Instagram Stories and Twitter and then I wondered if I could be an Influencer for them. I sent Emma an email and asked. She asked me to send her options and they picked one of my options.
Here is the thing about working with Stretch: I believe in them. They believe in me. It is a Win/Win for both of us!
Emma and I build that relationship and I didn’t expect ANYTHING from them. I didn’t say, “I am a 13x Ironman Triathlete, coach and business owner, you need to sponsor me.” HA!
Huge SHOUT out to Stretch Athleisure Wash for believing in me to share their message because it is something I truly believe in!
Being Sponsored Not Based on Your Time….
Here is a story for you from 2002 and it really shows you that sponsorships are NOT about how fast you go, it is about building a relationship with a brand, being real and authentic and being YOU.
I did my first Ironman Triathlon in Wisconsin that September 2002. I had sponsors with TYR, Power Bar, Rudy Project Sunglass, Sea World and connect with Sugoi at the Ironman and worked with Sugoi in 2013 – 2014.
I was at a dinner for a coaching clinic in Boulder and chatting with a now well known coach (no name needs to be mention). He and I were chatting about my sponsors. He asked me what my time was at Ironman Wisconsin. I proudly said, “12:59.” It was my first Ironman and I was elated!
He informed me, I kid you not, that I was “too slow to have sponsors.” I squeezed my girlfriends hand that I was sitting next too and she saw my look of pissed off! I have never been so demoralized or shot down as an athlete.
What I realized: That comment was all about his ego and if you are going to be a dick like that to an athlete (me) and a coach (me), then I don’t even want to know how you will be towards your own athletes, coaches and sponsors.
Yes, you can be sponsored based on YOUR AMAZINGNESS of being a raw and real athlete, not off of time!
From 2001, to heading to Interbike for sponsor to now, I am surrounded by some AMAZING sponsors for myself and the Rulon Racing Team. Why? Because I built a relationship with them, as an athlete because I use the products and their services and a coach who believes in these companies, just as they believe in me! Here they are:
Do you all remember the show, “Scrubs?” Probably one of my favorite shows and love watching it on Netflix, when I don’t want to think.
If you have watched the show Scrubs, do you remember the musical production of, “Everything Comes Down to Poo?” If you have never watched Scrubs, let me introduce you to this show…
Okay, yes, this is a weird subject to be talking about, I get it. However, it’s very important to know what your poop says about you and your health, especially since it’s always the symptom of something bigger. By ignoring the obvious signs, you might be ignoring the message your body is trying to send, asking for help.
When it comes to our poop, there’s no globally accepted standards for what is normal, since normal is different for an individual. The frequency, texture, size, consistency, as well as the smell of it is normal for you, if that’s how it regularly comes out.
Also, in regards to how often is normal, it seems like we’ve all adopted the belief that we should be doing it once a day, which couldn’t be further from the truth. For some people, three times a day is normal and for others three times a week is normal, as long as there’s no digestive problems or complaints – that’s all okay. Normal also means that you’re not constipated or suffering from diarrhea, since those are two key signs pointing out that something is wrong on the inside.
Everybody’s bowel movements are different, and they depend on various factors, such as genetics, dietary habits, proper hydration, medication used and potential ongoing and underlying health problems.
Let’s use logic here for a second. Sometimes you eat foods that just don’t agree with you very well and sometimes you simply don’t drink enough water. Sometimes you eat lots of vegetables, rich in fiber, and sometimes you eat a lot of cake, rich in nothing beneficial for our health. Sometimes you’re under a lot of stress, while sometimes you’re very close to nirvana. The factors change all the time, so it’s completely normal that your stool changes from time to time too.
As a triathlete, we know that pooping is a very natural thing. But what happens when you start pooping when you least expect it. Here are a couple of scenarios that you may or may not have encountered pooping as an athlete: during a training run and during a race!
What Actually Is Poop?
This question might have crossed your mind, or you might be a genuinely not curios person. Human feces, or poop, are basically the remains of the food that could not be digested or absorbed by the small intestine but has been rotted down by the bacteria in the large intestine.
It contains bacteria and a small amount of metabolic waste products. That being said, it’s commonly mistaken that feces are actually mostly food our body failed to digest, when in actuality, up to 80 percent of our poop is bacteria! We all know where it’s discharged from and what happens with it afterwards, so we’re not going to talk a lot about that.
Another interesting thing is that men and women poop completely differently! Wonder why? Well, women’s colons hang a little bit lower than men’s. It’s also a fact that women are much more prone to bloating, since it’s way more challenging for them to make the passage of the stool, as it takes longer to transit through their bodies. These differences are so interesting and significant, that the scientists say they could perform the colonoscopy and guess the patients gender based on them!
Doctors all around the world use a little something called the Bristol Stool Chart to classify the types of stools, and there are exactly seven categories. What they basically tell us is how long was the stool in your bowel, before heading out. Let’s take a closer look at what these categories are. Check out this great post from Precision Nutrition:
Number four is considered the healthiest, although number three isn’t very far away from it. Anyhow, falling right in the middle of the scale means the healthiest digestion. Going further away from the middle means there are some underlying issues, so let’s take a closer look at what those might be.
If your stool is hard or in a form of separated lumps, it indicates the constipation. The reason for this is that the large intestine tries to remove water from the stool while it’s passing through the gut. In cases of decreased motility, the stool stays in the large intestine longer, which means more water is drawn, making the stool harder.
Luckily, a hard stool is easy to avoid by intaking more fiber through your diet. Fibers act like a sponge and they are definitely going to help your stool preserve more water. Foods that are rich in fibers include fruits, veggies, as well as legumes and if that’s not enough, there are always supplemental solutions, such as psyllium. In most severe cases of constipation, you can use an oral laxative, to help your stool pass through the large intestine with ease.
Another reason for constipation could be dehydration, since the lack of liquids in the stool doesn’t have to mean that there’s something wrong with motility of the bowels. The reason for this could simply be the lack of water. There is only so many potential reasons for dehydration, starting with not intaking enough water, to intaking too much of alcohol or vomiting.
On the other hand, many people suffer from diarrhea, and often way more often than they realize, since it doesn’t have to be completely shapeless or completely liquid, as we already learned from the chart above. The diarrhea can be really unpleasant, especially if it has completely liquid consistency, and can often lead to dehydration and the loss of many important nutrients. As with constipation, fibers play an important role in diarrhea cases as well. Just like they can soften the hard stool, they can help harden the stool that is too soft or the one that lacks consistency.
Why Are We Talking About This?
Now, you may be wondering great, we just got a lesson about poop but why are you bringing this up. You know me and my raw and realness, so here it goes…
I have done many runs and many races barely making it to the bathroom and let’s be real. Sometimes, I didn’t make it to the bathroom.
It was quite embarrassing and SUPER frustrated. Over the last couple of years, I have learned the importance of a few things:
Eat a Low Fiber Diet heading into my races. More about that later.
Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.
Start eating MORE food and tracking it all my Fitness Pal and working with Simone Lovell and her “Fuel for Fat Loss” Program.
Why did I jump on board with Simone getting ready for Ironman Florida? It was quite simple. I wanted to drop a little bit of weight to be prepared for my race weight and I wanted to keep myself accountable with my food and let me tell you this…
I was NOT eating enough calories and not enough protein.
Since I started doing the above over the last 4 weeks, I am feeling better, going to the bathroom consistently, eating to perform and not STARVING heading into my workouts and guess what, I am not having GI issues on my training runs.
I know it is an issue for a lot of triathletes and I think it is very hush hush until we bring it up and all start laughing about it. I have talked to SO MANY athletes who deal with this. I remember hearing from a woman, who took 6 Imodium AD before a 10K!! Folks, this isn’t right!
Jump on to my Facebook page TODAY as I am doing a Facebook Live with Simone and yes, we are going to chat about poop and three solid foods that can help the digestive system! I will post it below when it is up!