After a long successful race season, most athletes welcome the offseason as a time to rest and recover. Structured training sessions are over; therefore it becomes more difficult to navigate the post race season nutrition plan with less training structure. With training volume and intensity decreased along with a slacker diet, weight gain becomes inevitable. And, to a point this is okay as the psychological break from being “on” all the time is a welcome change. The problem comes in when weight gain gets out of hand.
Every Christmas one of my absolute favorite holiday parties is “The Cupcake Girls” (my running group) annual cookie exchange and gift stealing party. We tend to bring our favorites, mine being Oatmeal Scotchies. But, several of my friends like White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies – so I try to make those too, but this year I tried something new with a twist – and it was a big hit. The preparation is a two step process but it isn’t difficult – be patient and give it a try. I will say that the rolo centers were as popular as the caramel centers and were softer once cooled. Let me know how you like these!
Yep, here I am in Mexico open water swimming with a pull buoy – which I named “Wilson” – after the movie Castaway. You ask, why am I open water swimming with a pull buoy? Good question!
As triathletes, we’re constantly looking for that extra edge. A world of products promise to make us faster, fitter, stronger — and compression socks, recovery boots, race wheels and aero helmets certainly help. But there’s a limit to what these pricey accessories can do for us. Fortunately, you already have a secret weapon that’s both cost effective and easy to implement. Used properly, it will work its magic overnight. What is it? Real food.
After a long successful race season, most athletes welcome the offseason as a time to rest and recover. With structured training sessions in our rearview mirror it becomes more difficult to navigate the post race season eating with less training structure. As volume and intensity decrease along with a slacker diet, weight gain becomes inevitable. And, to a point this is okay as the psychological break from being “on” all the time is a welcome change – and one we need. The problem comes in when weight gain gets out of hand.
While in Kona, Hawaii for the Ironman World Championship, one of my favorite treats was the Hawaiian Acai Bowls. There was a shop in my hotel that made the most delicious açaí bowls and the owner was kind enough to share her tips with me. As it turns out, Sambazon Açaí packs are not always sold in the neighborhood grocery stores, so it took me awhile to get my hands on this superfruit. Finally, I went to my tried and true – amazon.com and – the package, still frozen, was delivered at my door within a few days.
First, let me share a little about this potent purple berry. It grows in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest and is considered the king of the superfruit jungle, providing a big punch of antioxidants (specifically anthocyanins-like those found in red wine) and healthy fats similar to olive oil, plus it has no sugar.
One Açaí Superfruit pack (pure unsweetened)
Total Fat: 5g
Sat fat: 1.5g
Omega 3: 50mg
Omega 6: 625mg
Omega 9: 3060mg
Total CHO: 4g
Dietary Fiber: 3g
How to make this:
Take one pack out of freezer, run under hot water for 5-10 seconds, cut off top to open, break apart and put in blender. Add milk or Greek yogurt (about a half to one cup – depending on desired consistency), a handful of frozen melon, blueberries and 1 banana (not frozen). Blend to a smooth consistency, and pour into a bowl or glass. Top with homemade granola, fresh strawberries, blueberries and drizzle a little honey over the top.
Other variations: add coconut shavings to the mixture and on top.
Enjoy this nutritional powerhouse treat!
Several months ago the Chapel Hill Magazine invited me to share my personal story and Race Smart for the November issue spotlighting Extraordinary Women. Wow, what an honor to be invited alongside truly remarkable women! My guidelines were simple; share why I train/race. The November magazine just hit the stands and my page was titled, The Fitness Fanatic. I guess that pretty much sums it up! Read below for more detail.
Post-season, or off-season, has arrived. This is the training cycle following your last race of the year. Temps are getting cooler, the days are getting shorter, and many triathletes are turning to the bike trainer, a great tool to execute a solid workout, free of traffic lights, cars, and worrisome weather. With a trainer, it’s just you, your bike, and a healthy dose of motivation. Rather than viewing your trainer workouts as a dreaded chore in the pain cave, think quality over quantity to make the most of your trainer time. In the off-season, training stress is low, but it’s important to remember that quality winter training sessions establish the foundation for your next season. Focus on developing cardiovascular endurance, improving pedal stroke efficiency, and building up bike-specific strength, and you’ll come into spring strong—and ready for a great season!