No matter the sport or distance, athletes strategically train their body to become a fit, race-ready machine. And we learn, sometimes the hard way, that pushing our body beyond its ability to recover has irreversible repercussions. With the numerous at-home recovery modalities on the market, athletes are fully accessorized with foam rollers, add-a-day sticks, compression gear, and at-home massage gadgets, but what about our joint health? A joint is a connection between two bones. Cartilage (smooth tissue), and synovial fluid (joint lubricant) cushion the joints, so the bones don’t rub together. Pain happens when the joint becomes injured, damaged, or worn out from an imbalance in body movement patterns over time.[Read more…]
Fasted training sessions and intermittent fasting are creating quite the buzz with the promise of weight loss and performance benefits. And, seemingly everyone is doing it, so what could be the harm? If you’ve ever jumped out of bed for an early morning workout without eating and didn’t grab a banana or bar, then you’ve done a fasted workout. Some athletes consciously forgo eating since they feel better training on an empty stomach, while others claim pre-fueling isn’t high on their priority list.[Read more…]
Whether you are a seasoned athlete or fitness enthusiast seeking to attain a work/life balance, at the end of the day, we all strive for health, happiness, and longevity. And to that end, establishing and maintaining healthy habits is a great start. However, we may not realize that some habits repeated over time lead to accumulated inflammation and poor gut health.[Read more…]
Are you skimping on sleep, waking up tired and plodding through your workouts with the well-intended goal of hitting the hay earlier tonight? If so, welcome to the club! A recent blog I wrote, The Secret Recipe to Athletic Performance Enhancement, discusses why blindly following a training plan without first mastering physiological, dietary and lifestyle essentials is ill-advised.
While there are many recovery modalities available to athletes, sleep is the most important and impactful. And, unsurprisingly, it’s the one essential that is most commonly underestimated and compromised by busy people on-the-go. I get it, there’s nothing sexy about sleep; It doesn’t come in a shiny package marketed with endless promises of increased strength and energy, but it should. So, grab your pillow and get comfy while I explain why sleep should be at the forefront of your training plan.[Read more…]
Recently, I gave a sports nutrition talk to a local triathlon club. As an ice breaker, I started by asking a few basic questions to gauge their knowledge about proper hydration while training. Their answers and misconceptions mirrored those that I have heard from hundreds of athletes over the past three decades. Athletes, specifically runners, when asked about their hydration practices, most frequently respond by saying such things as, “I don’t need to hydrate while running, and will drink after my workout.”
Other athletes have no hydration plan at all, saying such things as “If I become thirsty, I will stop and sip from a water fountain along the route.” While others will make excuses about why they don’t drink while training, including not willing to carry fluids and sport
Trust me, I have heard every excuse why athletes do not hydrate during their workouts.[Read more…]
The other day I overheard a conversation between two runners discussing training plans and weekly mileage as it related to their performance in an upcoming race. I’m not one to eavesdrop, but the conversation was eerily similar to a discussion I had recently with one of my coached athletes. Both conversations circled around “cutting-edge run workouts alongside becoming leaner to reach optimal race weight.”
Goodness… where do I start debunking? I’ll begin with the foundation–where I started with my athlete. This is a jam-packed topic that seems complicated but is actually quite simple. I’m cutting to the chase, so listen up.[Read more…]
Athletes come in all shapes and sizes. Just like books, they shouldn’t be judged by their cover. Still, whether it’s to shed a few unwanted pounds or improve performance, striving for leaner body composition is an ongoing process for many athletes. But, how to achieve this ideal physique is like a fork in the road, and the weight loss GPS may guide you on an off-road journey leading to a dead end. Follow the tried and true path, and heed advice from this guide to burning calories and a balanced macronutrient ratio before you get started.
With the numerous health and fitness apps at our fingertips, such as MyFitnessPal, MyPlate, and Lose It!, counting calories consumed minus calories burned has become an easy and convenient way to fit weight loss into a busy day using a simple math equation. Most assume that if the consumption of 3,500 calories equals one pound of body weight, reducing your intake by 3,500 calories via a combination of eating less and exercising more will result in one pound of weight loss, right? No, it’s not quite that simple.[Read more…]
In the athletic world, regardless of talent or end goal, athletes and non-athletes alike can easily be swept up by the latest performance and body-composition enhancing diets with the hope of transforming into faster, leaner running machines. Fad diet trends are nothing new and have come full circle, from Atkins to Paleo, to Whole 30 to Keto (short for Ketogenic). All of these diets either eliminate a whole food group or have a starring villain, namely sugar.[Read more…]