5 Ways to Make Sure You Fit in Your Workout

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Avoiding delaying your workout too much can help you feel more motivated!

We all have those days. Those days when you’d rather do ANYTHING than work out. Sleep. Go to the beach. Hide under the covers. And sometimes, it’s okay to let yourself to take a day off or to listen to your body and skip your workout.

However, to avoid this from becoming a pattern, here are five steps that we can take to make sure we fit in our workouts:

1. Switch it up. Bored of your usual routine? Find a way to mix it up. Instead of running on the treadmill in your basement or the same old route, find new trails near you or make your route up as you go. It’ll make things a little bit more interesting!

2. Make plans for later. If you have dinner plans with friends or have to be somewhere later in the morning or afternoon, it forces you to work around your schedule and fit in your workout. I find that sometimes I end up putting off my workouts the most when I have a free day versus a full one (like one day this week when I started biking at 9:30 PM. Whoops).

3. Allow yourself wiggle room. If your body is saying “no way” to a ten mile run or a century, break the workout into pieces. Tell yourself that you’re going our for a shorter ride or run (or swim), and cut it short if you’re still tired, and do the full workout if you’re feeling good once you’ve gotten started. This way, you are still able to squeeze in some type of workout.

4. Schedule the workout with a friend. You’re probably less likely to skip out on a workout if you’ve already planned to go with a family member or friend. If you know that you’ll have trouble getting out of your bed in the morning to work out, plan to exercise with someone else at a set time {so that you can set your alarm and get out of bed on time}!

5. Reward yourself. If you’re really feeling de-motivated and out of “training mode”, you can try bribing yourself to workout. Nothing crazy — but little things to look forward to afterwards like long naps, a few hours on the couch watching movies, a quick dinner out with friends, or otherwise can help you to get motivated to finish the workout that much more.

I almost always feel better after I squeeze in a workout versus skipping it. Even if it has to be a quick 30 minute bike instead of a complete, planned out workout, something is always better than nothing.

What do you do to make sure you fit in your workout?

Tri Hard,

Caity

Unplanned Runs.

Sometimes, there’s nothing better than just running. Than taking random turns — running down unexpected paths, and discovering new parts about the patches of Earth around you.

This weekend I did just that.

After sleeping through the 4th of July race in CT (whoops), I decided to go for a long-ish run after I woke up. It was around 6-7 miles (actually ran without a Garmin! haha). Instead of going into the run with a perfectly calculated route and such, I decided to just run through the windy, hilly roads of Newtown. To see where the road took me.

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Holcombe Hill in Newtown, CT

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So beautiful!

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Path up the hill

With the sun beating down, my legs pounding the pavement, and sweat dripping down my face, I had no plan. No set distance to run. No specific route. And it was fun. Refreshing. Felt more like exploring than a regular run workout (except for some of those hills! Connecticut is hilly).

Where have your unplanned workouts taken you recently? Let us know.

Tri Hard,

Caity

Eating Clean: A Triathlete’s Guide to a Dairy & Gluten Free Diet

Diet is a huge part of ensuring peak performance come race day. Whether we like it or not, the foods we eat each day helps shape our body, our mind, our mood — you get the idea.

In high school, I was having really bad stomach problems. My family and I have never really eaten processed or junky foods (like Doritos, processed snacks, etc.) — we have always bought organic and have eaten relatively healthy — so I didn’t think what I was eating could be what was making my stomach hurt. But one day, I was proven otherwise — after eating Annie’s mac and cheese after a workout, my stomach pain became so intense that I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. I was also feeling sick during a lot of my workouts, and I wanted to get to the root of what was wrong.

After a few days in the hospital and a few weeks of various tests, a “mild lactose intolerance” was the only thing that came up. The doctor explained that sometimes my stomach was fine with dairy, but that other times I reacted extremely to it. Happy that (so we thought) the culprit for my stomach pain was gone, I now had to get used to the idea that I had to cut dairy out of my diet.

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Incorporating greens into your diet is important – whether it’s through juice, homemade kale chips (yum!), salad, or otherwise.

After a few months of trying to continue to eat dairy with Lactaids (bad idea), I decided to cut it out of my diet completely. It was definitely a big change — a lot more foods have dairy in them than I thought — but I was feeling a lot better.

A few years later, I forget that I used to miss eating dairy. Since then, I’ve been diagnosed with IBS, a stomach condition that also forces you to restrict what types of foods you eat. I cut gluten completely out of my diet (I have a gluten sensitivity, not celiac disease) about two and a half months ago, and I’ve felt a huge difference.

Some of my favorite snacks - gluten free cereal, almond milk, fat-free hummus, strawberries, and pure organic blueberry bars

Some of my favorite snacks – gluten free cereal, almond milk, fat-free hummus, strawberries, and pure organic blueberry bars

If you’re thinking about dairy and gluten free, here are a few tips:

  • Coordinate with your family or school to make sure options will be available for you. Let others know (politely, of course!) of your dietary needs before eating out or eating with company if need be.
  • Find “Safe” Foods One of the biggest adjustments of going GF and/or Dairy free is learning to find “safe” foods while eating out or with company. It IS possible, though! As a backup, clean foods like salads are usually always available.
  • Educate yourself! Some foods that may seem “safe” can prove to be otherwise (for example – many soy sauces have gluten!) There are myriad websites and food stores that carry information and products suited to GF/dairy free lifestyle. Try Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s (or your local supermarket’s GF section — many are starting to pop up) and blogs like http://glutenfreeegirl.tumblr.com/
  • STICK TO IT! Cheating can make you feel sick or derail your new dietary lifestyle.
  • Plan ahead – If you know you’ll be going out with friends for the day or on a trip where some GF/dairy free snacks may not be available, plan ahead! Pack some bars, juices, or other snacks! (one of my favorites are pistachios)
  • Find Favorites – It’s important to find some “go-to”s in your diet that work well with your stomach (especially while training). Some of my favorites are below!

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    Filling a reusable water bottle (like a nalgene) and keeping it handy can remind you to drink water more often! Lots of water is an important part of a healthy diet!

Stick to it! Eating clean makes you feel a lot better — with added energy, boosted mood, and overall better health. It helps a lot with training, too — no more stomach aches and diet-related fatigue during workouts.

More on this soon (and on GF/dairy free race nutrition).

Have you ever considered a GF/dairy free diet? Do you already eat this way?

Tri Hard,

Caity

The Final Countdown.

26 days until Ironman Lake Placid.

I’ve been counting down the days, and putting in the proper training — but it’s still nerve wracking. Do you have any big races coming up? How are you dealing with the nerves? Let us know.

{Check out the video below for more on IMLP. My cousin Erin is featured in the video!}

Tri Hard,

Caity

NYC Adventures: Squeeze in a Quick Workout and Take a Day Trip!

New York City.

It’s only about a half hour from my house, and I definitely should go in more — I don’t make the trip as often as I should.

However, this weekend I spent the day in the city with three friends (two of which I technically met through YoungTri). Kaitlin was visiting from Florida and loves the city — and my friend Connor is a part of Enstitue and lives in NYC — check it out here.

We walked through Riverside Park, Central Park, got brunch at Sarabeth’swent to the Guggenheim museum (which was awesome — the brushwork in Van Gogh’s “Montagnes à Saint-Rémy” was stunning), ate Tapas for dinner, and headed home later that evening.

More than anything, it was quite fun to spend the day with three friends and explore the city. I woke up early that morning, squeezed in a quick run, and had an enjoyable rest of the day off from training.

Looking for something fun to do this upcoming weekend? Schedule it around training! If you live in a suburb of a major city, try a bike or run in the city rather than in your hometown! (Maybe even go as far as to plan a training weekend with friends or family in a nearby destination!) If you’re looking for something a little bit more low-key but don’t want to sacrifice an entire training day or weekend, plan out your short trips in advance. What time will you have to get up to squeeze in a bike? A run? An open water swim? You get the idea.

Plan it, make it happen, and have fun.

There’s a whole world out there to explore!

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heading into NYC!

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beautiful flowers!

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Sarabeth’s for brunch!

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Riverside park

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Riverside park

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Guggenheim museum

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Brooklyn bridge

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YoungTri friends! Haha

Thanks to Kaitlin for a lot of the pics 🙂

Tri Hard,

Caity

Before the Sun Rises: Three Quick Tips for Early Workouts

My dad always says that he enjoys morning workouts most — even if it means committing to waking up at the crack of dawn. Although the same isn’t always true for me — (I do love my evening runs!) it can be tempting to cancel morning workouts when you’re tired from the weekend, have a lack of motivation, or are just not in the mood. Here are a few quick, simple tips for conquering workouts before the sun rises.

1. Make a Plan. Decide at what time your workout will take place before bed, and make sure any friends or family members who may be participating with you are aware. A loose plan like “I think I’ll run in the morning” is less likely to happen than a concrete plan like “I’m running such and such a route at 6:15 AM”.

2. Stick to it. When your alarm inevitably rings, don’t be tempted to hit snooze and forget about your planned workout. Even if it takes setting your alarm for a half hour earlier because you just know you’ll hit snooze, use your alarm as a tool — not as a means through which to delay or cancel planned, scheduled workouts.

3. Take it all in. And Enjoy. Swimming, biking or running at 5 AM before the sun rises is quite different than a workout at 3 PM. Things are more serene — the sun is yet to have risen, the temperature is cooler, not as many people are buzzing about — and definitely less hectic. Take a moment to enjoy the peacefulness that comes with a before-the-crack-of-dawn workout — whether that means appreciating crawling back to bed afterwards (if you’re lucky enough to do so) that much more or stopping to watch the sun rise before or after an intense run. Morning workouts also bring with them a sense of accomplishment — (you’re done for the day!) — so enjoy that as well.

Do you like working out early? How do you make sure you stick to a plan and don’t sleep through your alarm or postpone the workout?

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Tri Hard,
Caity

Thought for the Day: What You Think is What You Are

tumblr_mowx46Gy2Q1qb13xjo1_400Lately, I’ve been trying to give myself more of a break with my thoughts. To not obsess as much over the past, what could’ve been. To focus on the present.

And you know what? It makes a world of a difference.

Happiness may be a sort of a choice — but it’s not an easy one. It takes time, and is a foundation that is built upon and developed each day.

Sometimes, we need to go through periods of sadness so that when we come out on the other side, happiness and consistent thoughts can be appreciated much more. Roadblocks color the edges of our lives at times; affecting the quality of life not only through the arduous task of overcoming these circumstances, but also through consistently keeping our thoughts positive. If you’re going through a rough patch, remind yourself that it’s okay to be sad for a short period of time. Mourn what’s lost. What could’ve been. Scream. Cry. Run out your feelings. Whatever it takes. But I think that the key to long-term happiness — to not letting short-term sadness become long term — is to monitor your own thoughts.

Forgive yourself. What’s done is done. You have tomorrow. You have today. You have the rest of your life. Whether you’ve seriously been slacking on training, had a horrible race — or are dealing with recent personal struggles (which can definitely affect training), forgiveness is key. Obsessing over situations and trying to fix what’s done isn’t always best. Move on. Live.

Obsessive and negative thoughts can negatively affect training quite seriously. Living by the sentiment that “the happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts” is something for which we should all strive — because your thoughts run you. Remind yourself through your thoughts that you deserve happiness. Happiness brings with it a better life {and better training results}! Monitor your thoughts. For what you think is what you are.

How have you been trying to think positively lately? Has it been working?

Tri Hard,

Caity

My Experience with the BluePrint Cleanse: Update (and advice for the post-cleanse!)

For part one, check out this article: https://youngtri.com/2013/06/17/3-day-blueprint-juice-cleanse-worth-it-a-triathletes-perspective/

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Kaitlin and I love our juices! haha

I did the BluePrint cleanse (3 day) again this past week — and it went a lot better than the first time! This was becase I followed the post cleanse advice than the first time.

My advice for tackling the BluePrint cleanse: for awesome results that stick, make sure you eat lightly for 1-2 days before and after the cleanse. Especially afterwards, pay attention to your body and learn what the cleanse taught you — that you don’t need to be eating 24/7 to survive! My recommendation is to stick to mostly fruit & salads & juice for the post-cleanse to really work.

Have you tried a juice cleanse? What’s your experience with the days immediately after a cleanse?

Tri Hard,

Caity

Sunny Runs & Sunset Swims

Today was a perfect training day (and also perfect for getting back into things after a week of being sick)! It was suuuuuper sunny and hot this morning, and extremely humid — I was dying a bit during my run! Luckily my iPod shuffle (and my new favorite songs like “The Way it Used to Be” by Mike Posner, “Money and the Power” by Kid Ink, and “Best I Ever Had” by Gavin DeGraw) saved me!

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sunny, humid day in New Jersey!

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neon & my iPod shuffle: my must-haves for running.

A couple hours after my run, my dad and I drove up to my grandma’s lake nearby (Pines Lake) and did a 2.2 mile open water swim. The water was beautiful and placid, and the humidity had died down — so the evening was a perfect temperature!

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bridge over to pines lake

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the lake

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post-swim… in my monogrammed bathing suit and wetsuit. lol

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post-swim selfie…hahah

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so gorgeous!

Overall, a successful Ironman training day! Only 38 days left!

For what races are you training? What workouts did you do today?

Tri Hard,

Caity