Curious as to what other endurance athletes eat? Find out what elite distance runner, Olympic Trialist, and EnduroPacks ambassador, Tina Muir eats in a regular day!

Read More

Runners Guide To Electrolytes

Multi-electrolyte replacement is critical for sports enthusiasts. High volume oxygen intake during athletic exertion oxidizes blood cells faster than normal and increases the change of anemia. Electrolytes are the ultimate oxygenator of all living cells through a process known as bio-oxygenation. The building of muscle and the production of energy draws on chromium, acting as a cofactor to insulin. It also promotes the entrance of glucose and amino acids into the cells to make muscle. A loss of potassium can cause dizzy spells or lightheadedness, especially during exertion in hot weather.

Read More

The following is a blog post from Team Run Eugene athlete, Xterra Trail Run and Warrior Dash World Champion, Kimber Mattox.

Whether it’s with training, racing, treatment modalities, or nutrition, the physiologist in me always likes to experiment. With the ever changing ideas about optimal training, health, and nutrition and the fact that EVERY BODY IS UNIQUE, finding the best way to keep yourself healthy and fit should be an evolving process.

I’ve learned from the smart people around me that knowing your numbers when you’re feeling good and racing well can give you a reference point for when things aren’t going as well. These numbers can include body weight, training volume, training intensity, heart rate, ferritin, hematocrit, and a variety of other blood markers.

Building off a great Fall of 2014, and hoping to make 2015 another fun and successful year, I’ve been working on developing a picture of a healthy, fit Kimber. Every athlete wants their body to be functioning like a well-oiled machine, so the first step is creating a user manual for how to keep that body firing on all cylinders and how to troubleshoot when it isn’t. With workouts we need to know how to play to our strengths, but also strengthen our weaknesses. The same is true of our nutrition, recovery, and the other hours of our day we don’t spend training. Thanks to my friend Julia Webb, I was introduced to the program InsideTracker, which measures many biomarkers in the blood and uses a special system of making nutritional recommendations to optimize these different markers for each individual. You can check out Julia’s blog post about her results here.

instruction-manual

So in the past several weeks, I’ve used a few tools to work toward creating my athlete user manual. 1) Inside Tracker Biomarker Analysis, 2) Body composition testing, 3) Heart rate monitored test effort, 4) Keeping a training log, and 5) Identifying my physical strengths, weaknesses, and imbalances. You may not have the desire or resources to track all of these things, but they all provide different pieces of information. I’ll go into a little more depth about each of these over the next couple weeks, but in today’s post let’s focus on biomarkers and nutrition.

With Inside Tracker, you can test up to twenty biomarkers that give information about energy and metabolism, bone and muscle health, inflammation, strength and endurance, oxygen delivery, and liver health. Every individual will have different markers that are important for them to focus on, so we’ll just use a few of my results as an example. Remember that my optimized zones may not be the same as your optimized zones.

As an endurance athlete, oxygen delivery via the protein hemoglobin in red blood cells is important. Hematocrit is the percentage of blood volume that is red blood cells, while ferritin is the body’s storage of iron, which is used when making new red blood cells. As I get ready to go train at higher altitude for a few weeks, it’s important to make sure I have adequate iron storage to support red blood cell production.

IronFerritin

Although I do eat fish and a little chicken and turkey, I don’t really eat red meat. So the month or two leading up to this test I had started supplementing with iron. The fact that my blood iron levels are high and my ferritin is low, despite taking iron supplements, indicates to me that my body may not be effectively absorbing this iron. There could be several reasons for this. The questions to ask when taking an iron supplement are: 1) Are you taking the right supplement, 2) Are you taking the right dosage, and 3) Is the timing or what you’re consuming with the iron supplement interfering with absorption? In terms of timing, you should consider that iron supplements should be taken on an empty stomach, but with vitamin C and not with other vitamins and supplements, as these can block the absorption of iron. You should also consider that iron supplements can cause upset stomach in some people. There are also a variety of types of iron supplements, from basic iron pills to liquid iron to liver capsules. If you’re a meat eater, consuming red meat can be one of the best sources of iron. It may take some experimenting to figure out what works best for your body. The changes I plan to make include using a liquid iron supplement, establishing a schedule that ensures I’m taking my iron on an empty stomach, and taking it with a little juice (vitamin C) to support effective absorption. When you monitor your ferritin, hematocrit, and hemoglobin, make sure you consider the questions above to optimize absorption.

My Vitamin D levels were also low, despite taking Vitamin D supplements. As most of you know, Eugene, Oregon doesn’t get a whole lot of sunshine in the Winter and early Spring. Vitamin D is important for bone health and energy. There are two ways to increase Vitamin D, get more sunshine and take in more Vitamin D through diet and supplementation. My solution…head to Flagstaff for some sunshine. I’ll also try to consume more tuna and salmon, as
recommended by Inside Tracker.

Contrary to my low Ferritin and Vitamin D, my cortisol levels were high. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is important for energy and metabolism. Cortisol levels fluctuate throughout a twenty-four hour cycle and in response to things like exercise, eating, and caffeine. When cortisol is not well-regulated it can affect health, energy levels, and sleep. Some ways that I plan to reduce cortisol include: more yoga, black tea, and fish, and minimizing processed foods and simple carbohydrates.

Cortisol               Cortisol cycle

So far I’ve focused on the biomarkers that need improvement, but overall my body is pretty healthy. The majority of my biomarkers fell in the “optimized” range. I credit this to a healthy diet and a fantastic system of vitamins called EnduroPacks that support my health, performance, and recovery. Despite a high level of training, my C-Reactive Protein and Creatine Kinase levels were in the optimal range.This indicates inflammation in my body is low and my body is recovering well. Additionally, as reflected by my white blood cell count and the fact that I’ve stayed pretty healthy the last few months, my immune system is functioning well. Most basic minerals, including sodium, potassium, calcium, chromium, and magnesium were in the optimal range.

The EnduroPacks system consists of a daily liquid multi-vitamin taken in the morning, a concentrated electrolyte spray for hydration, an essential amino acid trans-dermal patch used after workouts to aid in muscle building and recovery, and a glutamine recovery complex taken before bed to also help with muscle repair and recovery. And it’s delivered right to your door! I do my best to use real food to provide me with the nutrients I need, but EnduroPacks helps make sure I’m getting all the micronutrients I need to optimize my health, recovery, and performance.

Based on the InsideTracker recommendations, the foods I plan to eat more of include: fish, nuts, seeds, kale, broccoli, edamame, olive oil, avocado, and black tea. Some of my newly discovered favorite snacks that hit several of these are Wondefully Raw’s Brussel Bytes, Snip Chips, and Dipperz. I highly recommend giving them a try! I also plan to make my next batch of kombucha using black tea.

Feel free to contact me to find out more about InsideTracker or EnduroPacks! And check back for my next post about the other tools I’m using to create my athlete user’s manual to keep myself firing on all cylinders this year.

What are some of your favorite recipes that keep your body healthy and happy? How do you optimize your own health and performance?

EnduroPacks To Become Vitamin & Mineral Nutrition Sponsor of Harryman Triathlon for 2015

Going on it's 11th year the Harryman Triathlon takes place at New York's Harriman State Park offering participants Half and Olympic distance options. Lake Welch serves as the backdrop for this early season race. Only 30 miles from New York City, Harriman State Park's scenic beauty and hilly terrain will make you feel like you're in the Adirondacks. Another draw for athletes to compete in this event is the start time, 9am for Half-ironman and 10:30am for Olympic distance participants.

Register today to race one of New York's most scenic and challenging races of the season.  Race participants that sign up for the Harryman Triathlon event will have the option of adding EnduroPacks daily nutrition system to their training in preparation for their upcoming race. Athletes of all levels have experienced benefits to their endurance training and recovery when consistently adding essential, all-natural, pre-, during-, and post-workout nutrients into their training diets. 

Half-iron Distance Bike Elevation

Olympic Distance Bike Elevation

Genesis Adventures' Harryman Triathlon takes place on May 16th.  Be sure to register for this amazing race with spectacular scenery, and a day filled with fun, for athletes of all ages and abilities.

Kris Lawrence is an elite marathoner with a goal of qualifying for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.  On her blog, http://kris-lawrence.com, she writes, "...I’ve made a promise to myself to give it my all, accept the good and hard times, appreciate all those who support me, and enjoy every moment along the way..."  Her positive attitude, perseverance and dedication to her training have helped her cut her marathon time from 3:16:24 to 2:47:09 in just a few short years.  

Learning To Listen To Your Body

If you run/train long enough you've probably had your fair share of "niggles" (pains) or injuries.  It's a part of training, an unfortunate byproduct of the sport that we love (and hate) so much.  Unfortunately, Kristin suffered a slight tibia (shinbone) fracture, which set her training back 9 weeks.  If you've ever had a fracture you know how painful, and annoying, this injury can be.  

When it comes to marathon training Kristin says, "Marathon training is like putting together a 1000 piece puzzle. You know what you want the end result to look like but when you dump the pieces out of the box, it’s entirely overwhelming.  You keep working anyway and every once in awhile you look and realize you have a part of that picture made and it starts to make sense..."  

Having a plan and listening to your body are two key components when it comes to training.  Kristin is healthy again and back on her training program for the Boston Marathon.  Kristin's training program consists of stretching, core work, strength training, tempo runs, easy mileage building runs and recovery.

Focusing On Recovery

Running fast workouts and putting in hard efforts is a key part of the training process. However, one of the most often neglected aspects of training, especially since runners are almost always obsessed with pushing harder each day, is the recovery process.

What sets elites apart from amateurs is the amount of time and effort invested in recovering properly. As an elite runner, Kristin knows that hydrating properly, before and after her runs, is a key component to her recovery.  

You lose a lot of fluid during exercise and ideally, you should be replacing it during exercise, but filling up after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery. Water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body and having plenty of water will improve every bodily function. Consuming an electrolyte substance post-workout is even more important for endurance athletes who lose large amounts of water during hours of sweating.

After depleting your energy stores with exercise, you need to refuel if you expect your body to recover, repair tissues, get stronger and be ready for the next challenge. This is even more important if you are performing endurance exercises day after day or trying to build muscle. Ideally, you should try to eat within 30-60 minutes of the end of your workout and make sure you include some high-quality protein and complex carbohydrates. A diet of essential proteins and amino acids can help repair muscle tissue and help avoid injury and reduce muscle soreness. There are 8 essential amino acids that are not produced naturally in the body, but need to be replaced by foods or through daily supplements. Here is an article by active.com on nutrition recovery for endurance athletes http://bit.ly/1lSeOtm .

Kristin, and other elites will tell you the most important thing you can do to recover quickly is to listen to your body. If you are feeling tired, sore or notice decreased performance you may need more recovery time or a break from training altogether. If you are feeling strong the day after a hard workout, you don't have to force yourself to go slow.

If you pay attention, in most cases, your body will let you know what it needs when it needs it.

Bree Wee, Winner of Ironman Canada

Professional Triathlete, Bree Wee, Winner of Ironman Canada Looks to Continue Her Success in 2015 as a Member of EnduroPacks Elite Team

Bree had a breakout season in 2014 with a number of top 10 and podium finishes including an overall win at Ironman Canade-Whistler, Ironman New Zealand (4th place), Ironman Texas (4th Place), Ironman Hawaii 70.3 (2nd place), Ironman World Championship (16th place), and Ironman Western Australia (6th place) to cap off her season.  To stay healthy and race at a high level, Bree implemented a strict program which includes a healthy diet, proper rest, and EnduroPacks daily system of vitamins and minerals, to keep her healthy and performing at peak levels.

Life Before Triathlon

She’s the very girl that finished college with a job offer to teach in Hawaii and another to teach in Costa Rica.  With a coin in her hand, heads Hawaii and tails Costa Rica, she gave it a flip.  Two weeks later she landed in Hawaii and never looked back.  She writes down goals & dreams, then chases them heart first until she lands amongst them, often falling on her face, somewhere between waiting patiently and determination.  Bree's dad once told her (before she won Ironman Louisville), “Country girls are made the strongest, remember that”.  

In Hawaii she was encouraged to take up running, which soon led her to join Kona Aquatics, buy a bike, and triathlon.  Watching the 2003 Hawaii Ironman run through her back yard, another dream was written, “I have to do Ironman."  And so she did.  In her first Ironman (2007) she not only won her 25-29 age-group, she set the amateur record!  That very day changed her entire life.  The mother of 2 year old Kainoa and 3rd grade teacher, would be trading in all her chalk and stickers for the opportunity to live out a dream.  2008 began Bree’s journey as Hawaii’s female professional triathlete.

Bree Looks to Continue Her Pursuit of Being The First Woman, From The State of Hawaii, to Finish Top 10 at The Ironman World Championships

Currently Bree is taking a one-month break, prescribed by her coach, James Cotter, to help her recover before ramping back up for the 2015 season.  Bree plans to incorporate EnduroPacks daily system of sports nutrition into her offseason training regimen to help her recover properly from her training and keep her healthy.  

We're very pleased and honored to have Bree joining our team in 2015!  You can read more about Bree on her personal blog at http://www.hibreewee.com

 

   

Pro triathlete Thomas Gerlach, EnduroPacks athlete

Thomas Gerlach, Professional Triathlete With A Number Of Podium Finishes In 2014, Joins EnduroPacks Athletes During Upcoming 2015 Season

In 2014 Thomas raced in over 20 events, ranging from duathlons to full-ironman distance races.  Thomas stays healthy by implementing a strict program which includes a healthy diet, proper rest, and EnduroPacks daily system of vitamins and minerals, to keep him healthy and performing at peak levels.  

Thomas Gerlach grew up in Madison, Wisconsin playing team sports and running circles around the other kids when it came to aerobic activity.  He found the sport of triathlon after suffering an overuse injury due to his heavy focus on running marathons during college.  His first triathlon race was in 2006 and every year since then he has been one of the most active racers and always try to have some fun and smile while I am out there competing. Since turning pro in 2011, he has a total of 7 professional podium finishes, including fifth overall in the Challenge Atlantic City Ironman, second overall in the 2014 Ironman Louisville, and third overall in the 2014 Ironman Silverman 70.3, among others.

Thomas Gerlach, Pro Triathlete

Thomas Returns For The 2015 Season In Top Condition Following an Injury That Side-Lined Him At Ironman Arizona

Thomas plans to incorporate EnduroPacks daily system of sports nutrition into his offseason training regimen to help him recover properly from his training and stay healthy. 

We're very pleased and honored to have Thomas joining our team in 2015!  You can read more about Thomas on his personal blog at www.thomasgerlach.com

As a runner it's important to eat foods that will properly fuel your training. Here's a list of some delicious foods that will offer you the greatest health benefits in the long run!

Read More

There Was Just One Major Change To Her Training

When Christine Yu decided to run the Philadelphia Half Marathon, she pulled out the training plan that her friend created for her to prepare for the San Francisco Half Marathon and started running.  She didn’t change the plan at all – 3 runs per week, strength training, yoga and rest. 

The one major change to her training regime during the last month leading up to race days was she started adding a daily routine of vitamin and mineral supplements to her training routine.

Hear Christine Tell It...

Christine set the record straight in her blog www.lovelifesurf.com.  We shared her comments here:

Let me be upfront. I don’t take supplements. I don’t even take a multivitamin (I know, I know. I should.) I occasionally use protein powder in my smoothies. That’s it.

The main reason I don’t take supplements is because I’ve never felt that it was necessary. I should be able to get the nutrients I need from a well-rounded diet. Plus, it wasn’t like I was a serious athlete and that my dietary intake wouldn’t be able to keep up with my body’s needs. And I would always forget to take whatever vitamin/supplement I was supposed to when I was supposed to.

So it took some convincing to decide to try Enduropacks. Knowing that I was training for Philly, I thought it was a good opportunity to test it out.

Vitamin and mineral replacement is key for endurance athletes to stay healthy and recover faster. But how do you ensure that you're giving your body what it needs? EnduroPacks has created a convenient system designed to do just that. From someone who is skeptical of supplements and vitamins, I was surprised at my results.

Stay Healthy Recover FasterWhat is it?  EnduroPacks is a daily pre-, during- and post-workout system of vitamins and minerals. Since depleted vitamin and mineral levels mean sub-par performance, an increased potential for injury, and reduced recovery rate, EnduroPacks is designed to replaces essential vitamins and minerals so that your body can maintain immune system health and proper nutrition as well as improve muscle recovery while reducing soreness.

I used the system as recommended, minus a few days where I forgot to take one part of the system or didn’t apply the amino patch right after working out. Since I don’t carry water with me on most of my runs, I used the spray in my post-run water immediately upon returning home.
I was concerned about using the patch since I have sensitive skin. While it didn’t irritate me a lot, I did have to rotate the location where I applied the patch so that my skin wouldn’t become itchy. The patch can also leave behind a little residue (like a price sticker that you can’t quite peel off cleanly).

After taking a 30-day course, here are the benefits I noticed:

  1. Good runs: I run three days a week because as I’ve gotten older, I’ve recognized that my body needs a little extra rest. Even with the extra downtime, many of my runs often feel labored, and it takes a while for my legs to come to life. Like 5 out of 6 miles. While taking EnduroPacks, I can honestly say that I had many more good runs than bad. My legs never really had that dead feeling.
  2. Faster recovery: Because my legs didn’t feel dead during my runs, I also recovered faster. I’m a champion napper and often need a quick nap in the afternoon. During the month, I noticed that I wasn’t as tired during the day and I didn’t need my daily nap.
  3. Less aches and pains: I’m the queen of feeling sore and achy as my past injury history reveals. Leading up to the SF Half and Reach the Beach Relay, I was dealing with some pain in my plantar fascia and my left ankle / shin area. While the aches didn’t disappear completely, they were significantly less bothersome and didn’t inhibit my training. In fact, there were long stretches of days when I didn’t feel sore or achey.
  4. 7-minute PR at the Philadelphia Half Marathon: OK, I can’t attribute my PR entirely to EnduroPacks. Yes, I ran strong and consistently over the past year and honestly, I expected to start falling apart by the fall. That’s part of the reason why I didn’t register for the half until 3 weeks before race day. I do think that EnduroPacks played a role in allowing me to continue to run and to have one of the best races in Philly.

Vitamin and mineral replacement is key for endurance athletes to stay healthy and recover faster. But how do you ensure that you're giving your body what it needs? EnduroPacks has created a convenient system designed to do just that. From someone who is skeptical of supplements and vitamins, I was surprised at my results. 

For more details on Christine's training and to visit her blog http://www.lovelifesurf.com/enduropacks-review/

As endurance athletes, we push ourselves to the edge of our abilities to make small improvements each time we workout in hopes of becoming stronger and faster.  During our training sessions we strain ourselves to go longer or faster than is comfortable.  In the process, we cause microscopic tears in our muscle tissue.  Stimulated by the damage, our bodies react by adapting to the stress.  Our fuel stores open for maximum refueling, and our veins deliver white blood cells to repair the micro tears.

So the question is, are we becoming better athletes during our workouts, or is it the time in between them?  Neglecting to take sufficient rest or replenish our depleted bodies' needs not only limits our improvements, but can start a negative downward spiral. "It happens at least once a year," says Lauren Fleshman, who finished 7th in the World Championships 5k in 2011 (highest American finish in history). "I get busy or impatient and I justify it, saying, 'I'm getting in the workouts, I'm checking the boxes, that's what's important.' I let the recovery aspects go, and I wind up sick or injured. I realize then that it's time to get focused and do the little things right.  Sometimes I just need a kick in the butt."

Recovery Window

Justin Whittaker, D.C., a Portland, Ore.-based chiropractor who works on some of the world's top track athletes, stresses the importance of refueling as a key component to recovery. "You have a predictable timeline," he says. "For two hours post-workout your body is trying to restock what it's just bfurnt. For those two hours it's metabolizing, breaking down, synthesizing to the liver everything that's available. If you wait 'til you've driven home and showered you won't be absorbing the nutrients as well as you could." For that reason it's his advice to keep a recovery product (food, drink or supplement) on hand, either in your car or gym bag.

Recovery Techniques

Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan floats. "For me, hydrotherapy is an absolute must," she says. "During my heavy training I don't go more than once a week, but that weightless time just helps flush everything out." If you can't make it to the pool, take a cool bath. Ice is nice, but not necessary–just run cool water from the tap deep enough to cover your legs for a recovery boost.

Schedule a massage two or more hours post-race.  Massages too soon to finishing the race can create more soreness. Massage can have a dramatic effect on recovery times, and they are a wonderful reward.  You can also perform your own massage with some of the products on the market like "the Stick" and foam rollers.  They are great for deep tissue massage for hamstrings, calves, thighs and hips.

Ian Dobson, 2008 Olympian at 5,000m, views each of his runs as part stress, part recovery.  Dobson moves. "Even if I'm feeling tired, I make sure to take a walk and move all my joints," he says.  Recovery is heavily dependent on blood flow.  Make a point of getting up from your desk or out of your car for a few minutes every hour.

Dobson also does dynamic stretches.  Get more bang for your buck with high-energy, fullbody movements that stretch muscles and increase joint mobility.  High knee marches, standing leg swings or full squats all do the trick.

Making The Most of Your Training

Although muscle breakdown is needed in order to improve overall muscle fitness, it is important to remember that too much muscle trauma can have a negative effect, especially early in your training program.  

Mix Carbs and Protein: Studies show that the addition of protein to a carbohydrate-rich recovery supplement enhances insulin release in the blood, leading to an increased carbohydrate uptake by your muscle cells and a subsequent increase in glycogen manufacturing.

Taking a daily regimen of high-quality vitamin and mineral supplements will ensure your body stays healthy during training and speeds up the recovery process.  

1 2 3 6 Next »