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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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.

The sports drink market includes a flurry of bottled drinks, mixes, and electrolyte supplements. The marketing goals appear to be focused on rehydration and increased sports performance. While most companies producing the products seem to embrace the value of electrolytes, they may not have delivered the proper complement of ingredients for maximum electrolyte formation and absorption.

Are Sports Drinks Necessary?

While Gatorade was invented in 1965 by the medical team for the University of Florida Gators, it wasn't until 1991 when sports drinks really launched in popularity. 

Today, Gatorade has plenty of competition, but do you really need any of them to enhance your workout? Yes, if you're exercising longer than 60 minutes — or less than that but very intensely.  "Water provides no sodium, which helps the body hold onto water and helps fluid get to the right places in the body, like muscles and blood," says nutritionist Heidi Skolnik, M.S., CDN, FACSM, who advises both the New York Giants and the New York Knicks on healthy eating as well as drinking. 

Risks Associated With Sports Drinks

Many sports drinks on the market claim to be healthy for you but contain certain preservatives, artificial flavors and colored dyes, aspartame and sugar that add to the visual or taste appeal of the drink, but may not be user-friendly to the body.  

In addition to its usefulness after exercise to replenish glycogen stores, sugar (fructose, dextrose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin) is usually added as a carbohydrate to boost energy levels.  "While this may stimulate the body momentarily, minutes later the glycemic roller coaster sets in with associated compromise in body function. Muscle-testing (Kinesiology), used by chiropractors and natural medicine practitioners, reveals that sugar actually diffuses the body’s ability to maintain muscle strength; therefore, it does not seem wise to use it when periods of strength are required", says sports nutritionist, Nina Anderson (SPN) of Safe Goods Publishing.

Alternative To Sports Drinks

For any sports workout lasting more than 60 minutes, athletes are recommend to consume pure electrolyte drinks with the proper complement of minerals.  If you need a boost for short term energy or glycogen replacement, you may want to choose a drink containing less than 8 percent carbohydrates or take an ATP booster like rhodiola.  As a general rule, the higher the carbohydrate content, the slower the absorption rate of electrolytes and nutrients. 

For additional information on this topic, visit our website to reference a full publication.

 

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 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.  

 

You know the feeling you get, when you’re flying down the highway at 80mph and you pass a cop?  A momentary flash that began when you saw the car, and ended when the car didn’t pursue.  For me, that same sensation carved out a temporary residence in my core and didn’t check out for months when I was diagnosed with Non-Hogkins Lymphoma in 2005.  And yet, that fear would come to pass.

Cancer has always been my body’s way of pushing me around.  Triathlon has become my way of pushing back

Six years later- after a few health scares, multiple Ironman finishes, 2 Ironman World Championship qualifications, I started PAINCAVE. And here we are-two years later.  Our subscription numbers continue to grow, our library of episodes is expanding, Race Directors are partnering with us, and we’ve created a brand that we are all proud of.  We are becoming Life’s Change Agent.  The challenges I face now are easily drowned out by my belief in what I am doing.  The difficulty when starting a business is that often times you are so insulated, each decision occurring in a vacuum, it’s easy to lose sight of this belief.

“Promote Health and proper nutrition for athletes… reduce soreness and aid recovery… provide the Nutrients Athletes Need to Train more effectively.”

EnduroPacks aren’t just a product you buy, they are an essential tool built on a foundation of principles, principles that have inspired many of our lives.

After my diagnosis, my oncologist basically said “if you want to stay ahead of this, be as healthy as you can be… people get tired walking up a flight of stairs because they’re out of shape, you don’t have that luxury. Stay as fit as possible so that symptoms that would be ignored by others raise huge red flags for you.”

And that’s what I’ve done. EnduroPacks daily system is exactly what is required for me to maintain as sharp an edge as possible in pursuit of Good Health. A pursuit we all endeavor to make. The better I feel, the greater the delta between “normal” and “sick.” For many of you, improvement may be the sole motivation. We can all live with that.

Visit PAINCAVE at www.paincave.com and try a full free episode.  Take PAINCAVE for a test ride and experience "Life's Change Agent".  Use promo code: "ENDUROPACKS" to receive 20% off of an annual membership. 

Here are some helpful tips for every new triathlete to keep in mind for their big race!

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Lauren Colvin a marathoner and triathlete trains with EnduroPacks and has "barely noticeable" soreness. She has big plans for her 2014-racing season and wants to make sure she gives her body what it needs to fuel and recover from workouts. That being said, she chooses to use EnduroPacks for her training and recovery supplements!

 

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Knowing how to train properly and safely is crucial to staying injury-free! Here are some tips to help prevent injuries from ruining your training from fitfluential ambassador and active.com contributor, Ashley Crossman.

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