A Little Bit More on Rest…

Competitor answers the question: How much rest between training cycles is enough?

Shorter article:

Generally, the greater your training load is within a training cycle, the longer you should rest afterward. Also, the longer your peak race is, the longer you should rest. A runner who peaks at 45 miles per week for a 10K might need only 10 days of rest to “reset” his body and be ready for the next ramp-up. A runner who peaks at 120 miles per week for a marathon is more likely to need at least three weeks of rest.

Rest is relative, and does not refer strictly to complete cessation of running. A transition period between training cycles should begin with at least a day or two of running avoidance. When and how you resume running depends on how much recovery your body needs coming off the last peak and how soon you’d like to peak again. If you really pushed your body hard in the last training cycle, you should not rush your return to running and should start very gently when you do resume running.

On the other hand, you don’t want to wait too long, lest you sacrifice too much running fitness and give up all of those hard-earned tissue adaptations to repetitive impact that keep you from getting injured.

Posted in Recovery, Running.

6 Portable Protein-Packed Meals (snacks) from Ironman

Ironman.com has ideas for six quick portable meals for busy training days. Easy to make. Easy to take. And, of course, healthy.

Short version:

1) Protein Bento Box of hard-boiled eggs, hummus and veggies

2) Greek yogurt parfait

3) Paleo Wraps (sweet potato & chicken wrapped in lettuce leaves)

4) Peanut Butter Protein Bites

5) Cheese & Fruit Skewers (plus, then you can jab a co-worker with the skewer…always a fun thing to do)

6) Quinoa Bowls

Check out the recipes and ideas at the above link.

Posted in Nutrition.

So much goodness…

During my century ride last weekend I fueled with some cookies. Yup, cookies. They were great tasting and had all sorts of goodness to get me through the ride. It isn’t my recipe; I grabbed it from the back of the oatmeal package and made a slight modification (replaced nuts with raisins).

I had another two cookies yesterday during my 17.2 mile run and I felt better during the back half of the run than I did the front half. I think these are going to be my new “go-to” fuel.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookie Recipe*

1/4c butter
1 1/4tsp baking soda
3/4c sugar
3/4c brown sugar
3c rolled oats
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla
1C peanut butter
6 oz chocolate chips
1/2c raisins (or nuts like sunflower seeds or walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, combine sugars and butter and beat until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla and baking soda and mix well. Add peanut butter and mix.

Stir in oats, chocolate chips and raisins (nuts).

Place teaspoon full of dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly brown around the edges.

True story: Since this makes more than my family would eat, my wife took a tin to work for her colleagues. She actually liked the cookies so much she didn’t put out the tin and saved them for herself.

Here is why I like them as training fuel. They have it all. Quick carbs by the cupful. Brown sugar, white sugar. Boost! Slower carbs like oatmeal to provide a drip. Peanut butter for some protein/fat to keep me from feeling hungry. Baking soda to help neutralize stomach acid. Chocolate chips because who doesn’t like chocolate chips.

They taste great and they provide what I need on a long bike/run.

*I am not gluten free nor would I ever plan on being. That’s the name of the recipe on the Trader Joe’s oatmeal bag so that’s the name that will stick. I’d just call them Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies, but that’s a bit long.

Posted in Nutrition, Recipe.

Rest, Part 1

Coincidentally to some post ideas floating in my head, Outside answered the question: how long should I lay off exercise after an endurance event.

I’m working on a “rest IS training” post, but for now, short version, rest is an essential part of training not the absence of training.

Posted in Recovery, Running.

Advanced Bike Maintenance Tips from Ironman

This article has a lot of useful information for triathletes who want to make some adjustments on their bike. I usually recommend that cyclists and/or triathletes check out local bike maintenance classes in their towns. Often a local bike shop will have a class (usually free) where they teach riders to change flats and lube their bikes. Very useful stuff to know!

Those with more interest can check on line for a Park Tool class near them. The are held at local bike shops using The Park Tool classes are a bit more intense and scale up to pretty advances bike maintenance.

If you can’t find a local shop that has classes, you could always ask. One Bad Dog recently approached their favorite LBS to see if they’d teach her and a few friends to fix flats and lube the bike and they loved the idea. They’ll go about an hour before the shop opens on a Sunday, bring coffee and donuts and have their wrench teach about 4-5 people. Perfect. (and I’m sure the shop will be happy when they wind up buying spare tubes, CO2, tire levers and a bag to hold it in).

Posted in Uncategorized.

9 Nutrition Mistakes from Outside Magazine

Yeah, you should probably just put Outside on your twitter feed because it is filled with good information. Recently they had this post on 9 Nutrition Mistakes Beginning Runners Make. I think they are mistakes many runners make, beginner or not.

Give it a read.

Posted in Nutrition, Running.

Hal Koerner’s Top 10 Do and Do Not’s for Ultramarathon Race Day

Outside recently published this article. Definitely worth a read for you Ultra-runners.

Posted in Running, Uncategorized.

The New Rules of Fitness – Outside Magazine

YES to all of these!

#1: Stop Overdosing on Vitamins and Supplements
#2: Go the F*ck to Sleep
#3: Get Away from Your Chair
#4: Train Specific to Your Sport
#5: Quit Flexing in the Mirror
#6: Be a Little Salty
#7: Stop Playing the Age Card
#8: Minimize the Junk Miles
#9: Experiment on Yourself
#10: Embrace a New Era of Hydration
#11: Workout Before Breakfast
#12: Train Your Brain

Read the details here!

Posted in Health. Tagged with , , .

Beer me!

The Beer Runner has discovered the scientific reason you should drink beer after your run (or bike or swim or brick or strength or anything!).

The long and short of it is that ending any experience on an up note strongly influences the feeling and meaning of that experience. So, have a nice cold glass of beer after a run and the whole thing feels better.

Now THAT is science I can get behind!

Posted in Humor. Tagged with , , .

Getting the right saddle height…

Bicycling has a quick and simple method for determining the right saddle height for your setup. Here it is:

1) With your cycling shoes on, sit on the saddle (have someone stand in front of you and hold the bike upright) and grab the handlebar. Let your legs hang straight down.

2) Rotate the right crank to its lowest position.

3) Without rocking your hips, place your right heel onto the pedal. Your heel should barely reach the pedal.

4) If your knee is bent, raise the saddle. If your heel doesn’t reach the pedal, lower the saddle until your heel makes contact.

5) Be sure the saddle is parallel to the ground (not the top tube) and the correct distance behind the bottom bracket—your shop will have to calculate this.

6) Record your saddle height.

Pretty easy. Thanks, Bicycling!

Posted in Cycling. Tagged with , , , .