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!

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Elite runner, Tina Muir, a member of the Saucony Hurricanes and EnduroPacks Elite Team, ran in her first marathon of 2015 in London this past weekend.
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Bryan Morton ran in the 118th running of the Boston Marathon, finishing in a time of 2:31:23, setting a new PR and placing 93rd overall.  Bryan is an elite marathoner with the Skechers Performance, Rogue Running, and EnduroPacks Teams.  He has his sights set on qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in 2016.    
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Food provides a range of different nutrients. Some nutrients provide energy, while others are essential for growth and maintenance of the body. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are macronutrients that we need to eat in relatively large amounts in the diet as they provide our bodies with energy and also the building blocks for growth and maintenance of a healthy body. Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients which are only needed in small amounts, but are essential to keep us healthy. 

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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.

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Jaymee Marty is an elite marathoner, and coach, with an impressive running resume.  In 2012 she qualified for the US Olympic marathon trials and followed up with a 1st place finish, for the female division, at the 2013 Eugene Marathon.  

Coach Marty considers herself a student of the sport of running -- especially the science of running. She is a scientist by training and uses the skills she's developed professionally and academically on a daily basis to improve her training. 

As a coach and athlete (in her mid 40's) Jaymee knows the importance of getting the proper nutrients to train and perform at her best.  She recently put the EnduroPacks daily system of vitamins and minerals to the test as she trains for the Napa Valley marathon, where she hopes to earn another qualifying spot at the Olympic trials.  

Coach Marty had this to say about her experience, "... I have been feeling amazing and obviously recovering really well from some very tough workouts including a lot of extra strength and mobility work...If it is contributing to how good I feel, it is absolutely worth the cost and extra effort." 

You can follow Jaymee's journey on her blog as she trains for the Napa Valley Marathon in hopes of qualifying for the Olympic trials.  

 

Elite Marathoner Places 2nd Overall and Set New PR

Bryan Morton is an elite marathoner and member of the Rogue Running and Skechers Performance Teams.  Recently Bryan finished 2nd place overall, in a time of 1:07:16 (5:07/mile), setting a new PR, at the 3M Half Marathon in Austin, TX.  

When it comes to nutrition, Bryan was never one to take in vitamins, supplements or anything of that nature.  He said, "...Not because I was against it in any way. I simply didn’t know what to take and was getting by just fine with what I’d been doing thus far."  But as he bumped up his weekly mileage to 100 miles over the past 8 months, in preparation for qualifying for the Olympic Trials, he noticed his body taking longer to recover from workouts/races.  "That heavy feeling in my legs lingers for a tad longer than it did when I was averaging 20-25% less miles the year prior."  To keep up with his bodies needs to replenish the vitamins and minerals lost during training he sought help from fellow athletes, coaches and doctors for recommendations.  

Supplementing Vitamins and Minerals To Speed Recovery

This past November Bryan was introduced to EnduroPacks by one of his Skechers teammates and Team Rogue training partners, professional triathlete Gray Skinner.  "I started adding in EnduroPacks to my daily routine back in November. In that short period of time I’ve already become a huge believer...Since starting this regimen my legs have recovered far quicker from key races and workouts. This has enabled less time recovering between workouts and legs that are far poppier within those workouts."  Bryan found that supplementing his daily nutrition with EnduroPacks was easy and beneficial to his training regimen.  

Be sure to follow Bryan on his journey as he trains for the Boston Marathon and a qualifying spot at the US Olympic Trials.  You can read more of Bryan's experience with EnduroPacks on his blog or follow him on Instagram.

 

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.

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!

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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.  

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