Take it Slow

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Sometimes, all you need to do is take things one step at a time. Breathe. Separate the training into little pieces. Allow your body and your mind to work together to create something amazing.

More tomorrow.

Tri Hard,

Caity

 

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Training Trails: Seen Around Cambridge

Here are some beautiful (and funny) sights I’ve seen this week while training around Cambridge. What are your favorite beautiful spots to admire or train by in your neighborhood?

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The Charles River at sunrise

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funny sign on JFK street

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Harvard Yard on the way to practice

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The Charles

Tri Hard,

Caity

In the News: ER Doctor (and Ironman) William Begg Featured on CNN Speaking Out About Gun Violence in the Wake of Newtown Tragedy

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Click the picture to watch. Bill Begg, ER doctor at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut and longtime Newtown resident, will also be speaking out on Capitol Hill about this issue. Regardless of political beliefs, I think we can all agree that mass shootings like Newtown need to stop.

For Dr. Begg’s original speech, click here.

Choosing an Ironman: Videos, Videos, and More Videos

Thinking about doing an Ironman event but not sure which one to choose (or just looking for some inspiration)? Race videos are a great way to get you motivated and to help you choose the event that’s right for you. To get started, check out the Ironman YouTube Channel here. At the channel, you can watch “Race-Day” videos featuring the course and participants, as well as “full-circle” featuring participants more in depth and the area as a whole. Other Pro Interviews and different video categories are also available at this site.

Completing an Ironman is a huge triathlon accomplishment - be sure to choose the event that's right for you!

Completing an Ironman is a huge triathlon accomplishment – be sure to choose the event that’s right for you!

To get you started, here are a few great picks:

Another favorite is of the Ironman Lake Placid 2012 Video.

Tri Hard!

Caity

[YUM.] Some New Favorite Foods to Mix into Your Daily Routine

We all have our favorite foods – even in the “healthy food” realm. Whether it’s your go-to sweet treat or you favorite healthy bar or fruit, it can be tough to think outside the box and to try new things. Below are some of my favorite new healthy foods I have come across at Whole Foods. Give them a try!

THE BAR: Just Great Stuff – Organic Superberry Açai

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Bars are great for quick nutrition and easy snacks. I love the Just Great Stuff bar because it packs in a TON of antioxidants and fruit and also tastes sweet, moist and satisfying. The brand also has a cocoa variation (among others), so check it out!

THE MILK ALTERNATIVE: Unsweetened Original Almond Milk

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Whether you are lactose intolerant or just looking for a change from regular milk, Almond milk is a great alternative. It’s low in calories and fat, and still holds a similar consistency and flavor of milk. I prefer the unsweetened original variation, but there are sweetened, chocolate and vanilla versions available also.

THE HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE TO BAKED BREADS AND CAKES: Flax and Honey Banana Bread

The other day while I was shopping at Whole Foods, I passed by a sample table with this Flax and Honey Banana Bread. Upon tasting it and looking at how healthy the recipe was (no added sugar, no butter, no eggs), I was hooked. Next time you are looking for a yummy baked food, try the Flax and Honey Banana Bread. It’s easy to make and SO tasty.

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They had cute little mini loaves for sale at Whole Foods the other day!

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THE FAVORITE FRUIT: Sweet Apples – Braeburn, Piñata

This one seems like an obvious choice. We all eat apples, right? Well, maybe. If you haven’t been adhering to the “apple a day keeps the doctor away” mantra lately or if you’re just trying to eat some more fruit, apples are the way to go. They’re quick, easy and can satisfy your sweet tooth – if you buy the right kind. The sweeter, crisp, juicy apple variations I find  to be the most satisfying. Look for these keywords on the label card by the apples next time your food shopping – and also look our for Braeburn and Piñata variations! They are so sweet and satisfying.

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HEALTHY GRANOLA: Purely Elizabeth

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Granola sounds healthy, so it must be… right? Not always. Be sure to look at the ingredients in the granola you’re choosing to make sure it isn’t processed or filled with fake sugars. Purely Elizabeth is a superb granola brand with whole ingredients and great taste. My favorite flavor is Cranberry Pecan, although there are other variations including blueberry. These granolas are gluten free, vegan, and filled with wholesome ingredients like quinoa. Yum!

More healthy yummy foods soon.

Tri Hard,

Caity

Swim, Bike, Run… and Pin?

Pinterest has become a go-to website for people all around to share… well, pretty much anything. From pretty pictures to recipes to training tips [for us triathletes] to inspirational quotes, Pinterest has it all. And although it has a reputation for being a “girly” website, it has benefits for both males and females. Through Pinterest, you can not only pin pictures of your favorite travel destinations, outfits, or quotes. You can also pin workouts, as well as a great deal of other triathlon-related information.

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The boards from Ironman, Ben Greenfield, Inside Triathlon, and various other triathletes provide go-to resources for ideas for workouts, gear, training destinations and more. Ironman recently pinned a recipe for pre-workout energizing bars, found under their nutrition and recipe board. Some of my favorite parts of triathlon Pinterest boards are the gear suggestions, as well as the inspirational quotes.

a view of the YoungTri pinterest - take a look at some of the boards! many triathlon-related people and entities now have Pinterest pages.

a view of the YoungTri pinterest – take a look at some of the boards! many triathlon-related people and entities now have Pinterest pages.

What are your thoughts on Pinterest? Have you used it as a means through which you find new workouts and triathlon-related information? See below for some triathletes and triathlon-related organizations to follow! As you pin, you’ll find more and more pinners related to your interests to start following.

Triathlon-related boards to follow on Pinterest:

USA Triathlon

Ben Greenfield

Ironman

Inside Triathlon

Beyond Transition

Swim for Smiles

My Triathlon Journey

“Blonde Runner”

Triathlon Lab

Swim Bike Run NYC

Happy Pinning!
Caity

Ride Better: 5 Tips to Incorporate More Speed and Enjoyment into Your Cycling

 
1. Find a group – Riding by yourself can be nice, but there’s really nothing like riding with a group for both safety and fitness reasons. It’s a lot easier to change a flat if a friend is helping you; as well as to find extra motivation to go faster up that monster hill.
2. Change up your routes –  Yes, your favorite Sunday route is scenic. Yes, it’s familiar. But after a certain point, riding the same route every weekend can become both boring and less challenging than it was the first time you attempted it. Ask friends for favorite routes, or check outbikemap.net or bikely.com for new routes for your weekly exhibitions.
3. Train indoors – Sometimes, winter weather or your personal training schedule can prevent outside rides. Invest in a personal trainer, like a Cycleops, and keep your biked hooked up in your home, dorm, garage… wherever it may be where you can get in some quality indoor mileage. The most important thing is to get your legs used to the riding movement to prep for race day, and indoor trainers can help with this.

4. Incorporate Bricks – This one seems like a no-brainer. Of course, we should get our legs used to the bike-run transition before race day, right? But it is easy to let prioritizing brick workouts fall to the wayside during a hectic month. If you find yourself going a long period of time without a brick workout, schedule them in advance. Set goals for mileage and time. Mapping out when to fit in these vital workouts can help fit them into your schedule.

5. Log and Analyze – Whether it’s a traditional paper and pen method, an app, a website, or a spreadsheet, logging and tracking your workouts is an integral part of gaining speed and learning from your workouts over the year. Through this recording of workouts, you can look at what routes were tough for you, where you gained speed, how you can improve and more. I like the notebook method, but apps like myFitnessPal and websites like dailymile.com and workoutlog.com work also!

Tri Hard,

Caity

Like this article? It was included in the February edition of The YoungTri Times Newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter here

Is Hunger a Bad thing? [by ben greenfield]

A few days ago, I was spinning inside and  watching the 1993 replay of the Hawaii Ironman triathlon. A portion of the video was devoted to “Chuckie V“, the crazy 1990′s bad boy of triathlon who sported a mohawk and actually got banned from racing in Ironman Hawaii due to some controversial race antics.

As Chuckie is standing on the road stuffing his face post-workout, he jokes through mouthfuls, “The only thing that sucks about eating…is having to take the time to “breathe.”

How about you… Do you finish one meal and immediately begin thinking about or planning your next meal?

And is being hungry all the time like this bad or mean something is wrong with you or your physiology?

Is Hunger A Bad Thing?

Starting from the time when you were a baby, if you never got hungry, you’d have very little incentive to eat. No eating would mean no nutrients or calories, which severely limits your growth and survival.

But if there is no physiological need for hunger, and you have ample energy stores from food or own fat stores, then there’s probably something wrong if you’re constantly hungry, and here’s what I’d recommend you do:

Food cravings are normal... but there are ways to curb them

Food cravings are normal… but there are ways to curb them

1) Re-sensitize yourself to leptin (aka satiety signals). Try 4-8 weeks of completely changing your lifestyle and eating patterns that may be contributing to leptin resistance. Here are some top ways to do it:

-Avoid fructose sugars – they tend to be a real trigger for leptin resistance…

-Exercise in moderation (no stressful marathon workouts) – try this workout instead…

-Control stress and cortisol – I recommend a mix of Chinese adaptogenic herbs and a stress-relieving activity like regular nature walks or Yoga…

-Try cold exposure – check out this podcast episode to learn more about how cold exposure may help with leptin sensitivity, and read some practical cold exposure tips here.

2) Avoid Hunger Triggers. Certain eating patterns and foods have been proven to be correlated with higher amounts of hunger. Here are some tips for controlling those triggers:

-Keep sweets and snacks out of the house or hidden in opaque containers…

-When you’re eating, keep any extra food on the countertop, or put it away (i.e. into the fridge) before you begin your meal…

-Avoid higher carbohydrate or fast sugar release foods that spike the blood sugar and cause a hunger response very soon after a meal…

-Limit your options by having small amounts of simple, real, raw foods around the house – no big Costco variety packs or easy to grab cans and bags.

3) Know What You Ate. As mentioned earlier, food memory and knowledge of calories consumed is enormously helpful in controlling hunger. Try:

-Keeping a food log. I personally log all my food for my clients. The way I do it is I have a free, private blog on Posterous.com – then I just send a daily e-mail with what I ate, and it auto-posts to that blog.

-Using photos. DietSnaps is a great app for taking food photos and recording what you ate, if writing isn’t your thing.

-Not snacking too frequently. It’s almost impossible to keep track of food and calories if you’re snacking 5-10 times a day (as many  nutritionists sadly suggest). Instead, just eat 2-3 square meals, and then, if you have a workout, only eat either before or after the workout.

-Making your own food. The less you eat out at restaurants, have other people prepare your food, or eat out of packages and containers, the easier it will be to keep track of and know what you ate.

Summary:

Being hungry is not a bad thing if it is because you have a biological need for more calories or nutrients. But if not, it usually indicates a hormonal imbalance or psychological trigger that may need to be addressed.

Additional resources:

5 Powerful Calorie Control Tricks To Help You Eat Less Food (article/video)

12 Dietary Supplements That Can Massively Control Your Most Intense Carbohydrate Cravings (article)

How To Stop Carbohydrate Cravings In Their Tracks (audio)

5 Ways To Suppress Your Appetite Without Taking Any Special Pills or Capsules (video)

Mud, Wires, Obstacles, and More: Tough Mudders

As endurance athletes, most of us are used to a challenge. We’re used to people saying “why would you ever want to do that?” when talking about our next racing venture. But even to many endurance athletes, getting covered in mud and taking part in countless difficult obstacles may sound like a bit much. However, a growing number of individuals have been flocking to Tough Mudder events all across the world to do exactly that… and participants seem to love the races.

The Tough Mudder events involve a 10-12 mile obstacle course (including elements involving fire, electric shock, climbing walls, running through mud and more) and were developed by British Special Forces.

Still not convinced? You can go to the Tough Mudder website and take a quiz (questions that include everything from your age to favorite type of mustache…) to generate a score from 1-100 that indicates how prepared/willing you may be to do the race. I was a bit skeptical when I received a 94. (I love swimming, biking, and running, but I’m still not completely sold on the whole “go under a wire fence” thing). But hey, maybe I’ll try one one day. (You can try the quiz on the homepage of the Tough Mudder website)

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What are your thoughts on the Tough Mudder craze?

Many participants find the events both thrilling and a fun alternative to traditional workouts. So if you’re looking for a fun mid-season triathlon break, a new challenge or even a new event to train for with friends consider the Tough Mudder. You can find events in your area here

Tri Hard,

Caity