Sunday, January 8, 2017

11 Recovery Tips for your Marathon Run

First off, huge congrats on your Marathon finish!! Pat yourself on the back for your tremendous accomplishment - you should be very proud of yourself!!

The Marathon is an absolutely grueling run that is extremely taxing on the body. Now that you are finished it is time to focus on recovery. Taking recovery seriously will help your body recover faster and better. Here are 11 tips to help you do so.

#1 - Drink a protein shake as soon as possible after the race. This will start the recovery process as soon as possible. You will get plenty of carbs at the food tent, but there are usually no easily digestible protein options so have a family member bring one of these to you shortly after the race. You can stop at the local drug store and get a six pack of Ensure or bars work well too. I prefer to put some whey protein isolate in a Blender Bottle as I drink protein shakes everyday. It doesn't really matter as long as there are some quick absorbing proteins in it. Whey is very quick absorbing and easily digestible. You should take another shake midday and another at night right before bed. Continue this pattern for the next 2-3 days.
A must post race for DIY protein drinks

#2 - Keep moving - although you might be exhausted, keep moving. It is ok to take a nap but don't sit for extended periods of time. Take frequent short walks to keep the blood moving thru the legs. This will help the body delivery the necessary nutrients to the body while allowing toxins to be expelled.

#3 - Avoid caffeine - caffeine is going to add further stress to the system. Avoid it if you can as it will delay the recovery process. I understand there may be situations where you need caffeine, like for a long drive home post-race.

#4 - Sit in recovery boots. If you are fortunate enough to own a pair of recovery boots then sit in them for 30 minutes post race, mid-day, and before going to bed. If you have no experience in recovery boots then here is a short comparison on the two units I have and use daily: Normatec Vs Air Relax
Compression Recovery Boots
 A great, easy, and relaxing way to actively flush the legs

#5 - Drink lots of water - your body has a lot of repairing to do and you are going to need a lot of carbs and protein to help the recovery process. But it takes a lot of water to process carbs, protein, and flush the body of toxins. Drinking lots of water will help expedite the recovery process. You don't need to go crazy, but have a greater conscious awareness about staying adequately hydrated. If you urine is darker at all then you need to be drinking more fluids.

#6 - Take a nap. If you have the time then take a nap. The more naps the better. Don't think of naps as being lazy, think of them as aiding the recovery process.


Bromelain ie Pineapple Enzyme -
 Natural anti-inflammatory + Breaks down proteins
#7 - Avoid NSAIDs and other painkillers. Anti-inflammatories are going to be hard on your system. If you need something for pain look to natural anti-inflammatories like Bromelain, the enzyme in Pineapple that is a natural anti-inflammatory. You can buy Bromelain itself which is extracted from Pineapple and is very affordable. It also aids in the breakdown of proteins which will also help the recovery process. My recommendation is this Source Naturals 2-pack. 240 tablets in total.

#8 - No running - You probably won't want to run, but refrain from running unless you absolutely feel capable of it in the days following your marathon. If you swim, get to the pool and do light swimming in the days following your marathon. Swimming and walking are the best activities to do.

#9 - Take Epsom Salt Baths - Epsom salt can help relieve general soreness with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) - this is what you are feeling when you feel that pain in your quads or calves. Epsom salt can help relieve that pain naturally. Poor a generous amount of Epsom salt into a warm bath and soak for 15-20 minutes

Epsom salt baths can promote bloodflow and helps with DOMS.


#10 - Be cognizant of germs - Marathons are very hard on the body and can knock out your immune system. If you are traveling home by air or returning to work be extra cognizant of germs. Wash the hands or use hand sanitizer on the go.

#11 - Use the foam roller. You might be too sore immediately post race or even the following day, but use the foam roller as soon as you feel comfortable doing so. Use the foam roller to break up adhesions, scar tissue, and to continue to promote blood flow.

If you don't have a foam roller, you might consider making the investment. My favorite one is the original Rumble Roller. They come in a long version for home use, and a short version for travel. Both come in two different firmness levels. I have a black one (firm, long, home use) and blue one (soft, short, travel use)

Rumble Roller - The best 'torture device' / foam roller in the world.


Lastly if you are triathlete, endurance athlete, or marathoner, I have set up a FREE Q&A group on Facebook. It will always be FREE. As a long-time age-grouper I spent way too long determining what information I could trust and what I couldn't. As a TRUE student of the sport I have learned a lot, remain open-minded, and realize that so many people disseminate information blindly and then bad myths become lore. Hoping to shed some light and simplify things for people.

Monday, December 26, 2016

2016 Pro Triathlete Training Log - Swim, Bike, Run Miles for 2016 Season

This is my fourth year of tallying up my training for the year and making it public. Although, I didn't do this post in 2015, here are 2012, 2013, and 2014 for those that are interested.

2015 was another solid year of racing for me that included:

- 11x 70.3 Ironman races
- 2x Aquathons
- 2x Olympics
- 1 Wisconsin State Time Trial
- I also swam, biked, and ran 9 miles at Ironman Arizona but wasn't able to finish due to some nagging injuries.,

The sheer number of races was quite impressive since I broke my foot in 2 places in the beginning of June. The breaking of the foot was an acute accidental injury that greatly affected my ability to bike/run in June and July but never brought me to a grinding halt.

Here are my yearly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 12,373 Miles / 1,054 hours

Swim: 684 miles (1,203,840 yards)  / 297 hours
Bike: 8,758 miles / 503 hours
Run: 1,816 miles /  258 hours
Walking: 21 miles / 8 hours

Those numbers come out to an average of 87.33 hours per month, and 20.26 hours per week. Weekly mileage is 13.15 miles (23,144 yards) swimming, 168 miles biking, and 35 miles running or broken down hourly as 5.7 hours swimming, 9.67 hours biking, and 4.96 hours running.
For those looking for a little more granular data of Hours Per Month then here you go:

Monthly Training Hours - Total







Monthly Training Hours - Run



Monthly Training Hours - Swim
Monthly Training Hours - Bike

































Lastly if you are triathlete or endurance athlete, I am setting up a FREE Q&A group on Facebook. It will always be FREE. As a long-time age-grouper I spent way too long determining what information I could trust and what I couldn't. As a TRUE student of the sport I have learned a lot, remain open-minded, and realize that so many people disseminate information blindly and then myths become lore. Hoping to shed some light and simplify things for people.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Best Food Scales for Weight and Measuring - Cheap and Expensive


What gets measured gets managed - It is one of my all time favorite quotes. We are approaching the New Year and that means plenty of people will embark on a New Year's resolutions to exercise more and eat better. They are both part of a strategy focused on the goal of losing weight.

As a professional triathlete I have to be very meticulous about what I eat and how much I eat. A common mistake that triathletes face, whether amateur or professional, is that we think we can simply eat whatever we want. However, this couldn't be further from the truth.

Triathletes are notorious for over-indulging, and when I mean indulging, I mean eating too much junk food, and then going one step further and not understanding portions. One of my favorite quotes is: "What gets measured, gets managed", and while triathletes might be great at recording and measuring workouts, we often stink at doing this for nutrition.

If you already track your nutrition great. Keep it up!!! For the rest of us, know that it is not easy. It is also not convenient, however I challenge you to track your food for 1 week!! By committing just 7 days, I can promise that you will learn SO much more about your habits. If you quit after 7 days, fine, you will still have a better conscious awareness about your eating in the New Year.

Here is a 7 day food log I did back in 2012 for reference. I still use the program "Lose It" to track all my calories. And no, I don't keep a journal all year, just at certain times. However, I am really big in to weighing food. This is especially important for high-caloric foods like nuts, but is also really easy for me in say counting up the calories in a self-made smoothie. I just toss items one-by-one in the blender, and I record the weight, then I re-tare the scale, add the next item, and records its weight.

Which brings me to scales. What food scale do I use. It is crazy to say this as I am minimalist who can fit everything I own in my car, but food scales are so important that I actually have two. I use one as a primary scale and a second for when I travel or as backup.

WH-B05 "No-Name" Food Scale
Backup Scale - No-Name Scale - WH-B05 (~$6)
- Super cheap, it is a "no-name" scale, but you will see some sellers rebrand it with their own logo name and increase the price.
- It is super small, light, and extremely accurate.
- It has a tare button and can measure up to 5kg in 1g increments.
- Outputs include grams, ounces, and lbs.
- Batteries last forever and has auto shut-off feature. Takes 2xAAA.
- I have actually had a couple of these scales as I tend to leave them places. Each one I have had has been dead-on accurate against my primary scale and has been reliable.
- Negatives, it is smaller, it is harder to read the scale with large bowls, plastic containers


My Weigh KD8000 Food Scale
Primary Scale - My Weigh KD8000 (~$35)
- Awesome scale with removable measuring top plate that can be tossed in the dishwasher
- Batteries last forever with auto shut-off. Takes 3xAA.
- Large LCD display with big numbers and is illuminated.
- Outputs include grams, kilograms, lbs + ounces, just ounces
- Display can be read with big bowls on it because of large, tall base + angled screen.
- Nice big & stable platform.
- 8kg capacity (~17.63lbs) and has a tare button - I am a huge watermelon fan and I often weigh half a watermelon at a time, eat the half, and then reweigh the leftover and subtract the difference. Others scale usually can't handle this task.
- Can buy a AC Adapter if you need it plugged in. I don't use it that way.
 - Negatives: This scale is definitely a bit bulky and takes up counter space.

Either one of these scales will work great. If you are shopping for other scales, be weary of the ones that take 9v batteries, that measure in 2g increments, or only measure in metric or lbs.

I will be writing a lot of good stuff in the next year. If you haven't followed me please do so. Links on the right side of the page include: Follow by Email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube



Links:

My Weigh KD8000 on Amazon, eBay
"No-Name" WH-B05 on Amazon, eBay

Lastly if you are triathlete or endurance athlete, I am setting up a FREE Q&A group on Facebook. It will always be FREE. As a long-time age-grouper I spent way too long determining what information I could trust and what I couldn't. As a TRUE student of the sport I have learned a lot, remain open-minded, and realize that so many people disseminate information blindly and then myths become lore. Hoping to shed some light and simplify things for people.