It’s 12:24am and I can not sleep but I can blog. My mind is moving a mile a minute and that tends to happen when I take a day off from training. I have my first event coming up in less than 6 days and the only thing I am nervous about is the bike (surprise…surprise) . For some reason, when I get on my road bike, I feel like I am standing on the edge of a cliff! My left foot locks into the clips too soon and I nearly tip over every time. But, practice makes perfect, so as the days get warmer, I will get more practice.
The running portion, I am prepared for. Again, surprise…surprise. I feel like I have put in enough miles and did pretty well in the last 5K I participated in. So, let’s see what happens. Now, all I have to do is stay hydrated, eat right and make sure my next few workouts are somewhat chill. Somewhat. LOL!
In order to perform well, you have to train smart, you have to workout in phases. The first phase is stabilization. The second phase is strength and the third phase is power. Depending on what sport you are in, it will vary and having a professional fitness trainer will definitely help.
Right now, I am in phase two. I will be moving into phase three in about 2 weeks and I am excited to see what these old bones can do.
Check out my March/April workout schedule (I’m a 5:30AM Club Member):
Monday - Recovery Workout 10 minute run | Full body resistance training | 10 min run | stretch
Tuesday - 3 mile run | core
Wednesday - 30 min HIIT Bike workout w/hills-run | full-body strength training
Thursday - 2.5 mile run w/speed
Friday - 4 Mile Friday
Saturday - 1.5 hour Bike w/hills
Sunday - Long run (6-10 miles)
Ok, I am finally getting sleepy and my computer power is getting low. Good night!…maybe….
Functional training integrates the entire body in multiple planes of motion that reflect a person's daily physical activities. Whether you are the local mailman or a competitive basketball player, specific functional training can improve the following:
As stated above, functional training should be specific to an individual's needs. If you love to hike 2-3 times a week, your training plan will not be the same as someone who loves to play golf or kick a soccer ball around. Functional training is a training plan customized to fit your lifestyle and prevent unnecessary injuries. Proper assessments and questions need to be addressed in order to achieve optimal results. Below are a few examples that need to happen before starting your functional training program.
Review and discuss body alignment
List stress levels (physical and mental)
What is your current fitness level? Fitness assessment.
Discuss your daily movement patterns and fitness goals
Functional training challenges a person's proprioceptive system by using unstable, yet controllable equipment. Working out with stationary machines and doing traditional repetitive movements have been proven not to be as effective as testing the body in environments similar to every day life activities. Popular equipment used in functional training:
The equipment listed above can mimic real-life physical challenges that stationary machines can not.
Remember, find a trainer who will include the assessments listed above, work with you in stages (from beginner to advanced-according to your fitness level) and will train you with the proper equipment that will lead to a successful outcome. Good luck and Keep Moving!
How to Workout and Run Symptom-free Outdoors
Before reading this…please consult with your doctor first. What works for me will not work for the next person. OH and I’m not a doctor!
If you’re like me and suffer from seasonal allergies_hay fever or asthma, sometimes training outdoors can be daunting. For me, my allergies hit when I least expect it but now I know how to take better care of myself after visiting the doctor one too many times and doing a little more research.
Check out these great tips!
Plan Workouts when the Pollen Counts are Low
Pollen concentrations are usually at their highest from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology association, so make sure you plan your workouts at another time during the day.
Know your Personal Pollen Count (pollen.com)
For many of us, we develop symptoms when the pollen count is 20 to 100 grains per cubic meter while others can tolerate much higher counts. Pay attention to the pollen counts in your area, keep track of your allergy symptoms and when they occur. I suggest running/working out outside when the pollen count is below your personal tolerance level.
Avoid Watery & Itchy Eyes with the Right Shades!
If you suffer from itchy, watery eyes during allergy season, try wearing wraparound sunglasses when outside. I know it may not be all that fashionable, but make it work. “You better WORK IT GURL!”…sorry…I get a little excited. If wraparounds are not your thing, use eyedrops an hour before you head out the door.
Hit the Treadmill on a Windy Day
I KNOOOOW, treadmills can be boring but your health is more important. The wind spreads pollen throughout the air, so running indoors when it's windy can help. Here’s another tip, you may even want to avoid running outdoors the day after high winds as well. I know!
Cover Your Nose and Mouth
If you think wraparound sunglasses are uncool, looking like a bank robber may not help either BUT you might want to consider wearing a mask or bandana to cover your mouth and nose. It will decrease the amount of pollen that gets into your nose and lungs.
Run after a Rainstorm . . . The BEST
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE running after it rains. After a nice wet storm, the pollen count drops drastically because the rain washes pollen away and you are less likely to experience symptoms after it rains.
Clean that a$$, a$ soon a$ possible, after an Outdoor Workout
The worst allergy symptoms usually don't occur until about an hour after you come in contact with the pollen, so you may actually be able to run outdoors without experiencing symptoms. But to reduce your risk of symptoms after your outdoor workout, make sure you take a shower and put on clean clothes as soon as you get back.
Follow the Doctor’s order and Take Your Medication!
In the past, I was the WORST at taking my allergy and asthma medicine but now, I hate to miss out on the fun of being outdoors, so I am ahead of the game. Again, follow your doctor’s instructions. If you have asthma, use your inhaler approximately 15-30 minutes before you start any physical activity, and make sure you warm up SLOWLY. Always have your inhaler with you when working out or on the go. When it comes to allergy medicine, consult your doctor, drink lots of water and BLOW THAT NOSE!
GOOD LUCK and DO NOT SNEEZE ON ME!
I am not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions, mainly because I can’t keep them. I have these great ideas and then they fizzle after the first couple of weeks of the new year. Having typed that, 2018 showed me something new. It showed me that staying focused, staying on top of what’s important and being a little proactive will make for a great year full of great stuff! In 2018, goals were made along the way. Professionally, personally and athletically…mainly to handle my anxiety but it turns out, my goals handled my life!
This year, I decided to really think about who I want to be, where I want to go and how in the heck am I going to do it? I didn’t want to just write down and study a list a year, I wanted a realistic plan. I found a pretty cool tool on LinkedIn from the pages of Tony Robbins called Goal Mapping. You may have heard of it. You not only write down your goals_you answer two major questions, WHY is this goal important to you and WHAT STEPS do you need to take to get there?
This is a great tool to be alone with. Try and fill it out when you are alone, there are no outside influences and really try to make your dreams become reality. Goal Mapping is also an awesome tool for athletes, a sales office, a small business owner, even an active mom/wife who’s busy within her community. Goal Mapping puts things into perspective and sets you up for success.
Each year, my daughter and I have a “goal mapping” conversation, at least twice a year. She looks at accomplishments and mishaps in the past year, I tell her to write them down. Then we go through the “should-of, could-of, would-of” conversation to get all the gunk out of her system. Then I ask her, “What do you want? What do you want to accomplish? and How bad do you want it?”. I tell her to WRITE IT DOWN. Then, we come up with a plan on how she’s going to get there. It’s very effective. Again, student, parent, working-joe…you can use this tool!
For me, 2019 is the year of BUILDing. Each month, I want to build something new. Whether it’s organic, financial, relationships…SOMETHING. I don’t care, as long as I am builder great things in my life, that’s the theme for 2019 for me!
What is your word of he year? STRENGTH? FIGHT? WORK? GUIDE? FAITH? HOPE?…Before starting my Goal Map, I wrote the word BUILD at the top of the page. I have a new life right now. I am on my own, I am not looking back and I am excited! What’s going on with you? Write it down? Why is it important to meet that goal? Write it down…etc etc.
Even though I’ve been running for years, it’s like starting a brand new race. I am not familiar with the course, the people or the area the event is being held in but I’m ready. It’s scary and exciting all at the same time. My heart is beating fast, the gun goes off and I am out there with hundreds of thousands of people who are also trying to make it to the finish line. You know what? We will all get there in our own unique way and when we do, it will be fantastic!
So, if you are looking to start something new, start writing it down, ask yourself why and what are you going to do to get closer to your 2019 goals!
HAPPY NEW YEAR
For me and many other multi-sport athletes, the 2018 duathlon/triathlon season is over, so now what? It’s time for plan B. Did you know the “off-season” is just as important as the season itself? Burn-out and getting the post-race blues are real, so I have listed 5 things that will keep you motivated and excited for the upcoming season.
Here are 5 things you can do during the “OFF-SEASON”
REST. No, wait…S L E E P! If you are serious about your sport then you are serious about your training. As soon as the season ends C H I L L for a bit. If you can stand it, rest for one full week, maybe two. Give your body time to rest, recover and recharge. Sleep is perfect for that. Add a couple of hours a night if you can and let your body like you again.
REFUEL with REAL FOOD. I know when I am in training and preparing for an event, I am watching EVERYTHING I put in my little body. So, when I take a break, I eat what I want, pretty much, when I want. Unless you are under strict orders from your doctor, allow yourself to let go and EAT!
CROSS TRAIN. I know some of you just CAN NOT sit down and chill. I get it! So, cross train. Hit the gym, take up another sport that is not too hard on your body. I have a girlfriend who runs 5Ks each month until tri season starts again. Another takes up yoga and strength training. Me? I follow a strength and flexibility program to help prep me for next season.
WRITE DOWN NEXT SEASONS GOALS. This is a great way to stay motivated and provide a clear path for your upcoming season. Write down the things you want to improve (time, technique and/or overall performance). I believe when you actually write down your goals there is a real connection of what you want and how you’re going to get it. So, start writing and start doing!
STRETCH and “YOGI IT OUT”. Yoga and pilates are a great way to stretch out tight muscles, realign your body and mentally relax. In season, I can bet money many of my fellow-athletes do not stretch enough. How do I know? They are the ones who are always injured or limping. Yoga/stretching increases flexibility, improves athletic performance and prevent injuries.
What a surprise tonight! I was named the “Most Inspirational Athlete of 2018” by Koz Events and San Diego Triathlon Series. I am in shock and honored.
If you know me, you know I had a rough couple of years_personally. At the beginning of this year I decided I needed a good distraction, so I committed myself to train for AT LEAST 3 duathlons and couple of running events. I surrounded myself with other multi-sport athletes ended up doing 7 duathlons, 3 5K runs and 2 half marathons this year!
Yep, I desperately needed strength and positivity in my life and I got it. As each month flew by this year, I was getting stronger mentally and physically. I was not going to be stopped.
I want to thank all my parents, daughters and close friends for their support and motivation to keep going this year. Thank you KOZ events and the San Diego Tri Series from the bottom of my heart and "sole" for pushing this old-girl forward and making 2018 a fantastic year! So grateful.
Did you know a good workout can…
make you happier
improve your sex life
slow down the aging process
make you feel stronger
Would you go to the gym for those reasons? Would you workout more often because you know that exercise can improve other areas of your life and not just decrease your waistline?
Well, I know for some, working out can be a burden but for me everything listed above holds true. Also, working out sets the tone for the day and gets me ready for any challenges I might face. Check out more fun facts below!
Fun facts that will make you see fitness in a different way and get you moving!
Turn that frown upside DOWN. Regular exercise can enhance mood and overall well-being. When you increase your heart rate, challenge your body and get out of your comfort zone. . .not only did you complete a workout, you have proved to yourself that you CAN do anything that you put your mind to. That alone can make you feel really good inside and prepare you for your next challenge!
You don't have to run ALL THE TIME to lose weight. Wait. What? Yes, you read it correctly. Did you know that when you run long distances frequently you can actually prevent fat loss because your body will start to burn muscle and not fat. Studies have shown that when you consistently strength train and add possibly less cardio, you will burn more calories for a longer period time than just running or doing cardio exercise. So, make sure that you don't confuse more cardio to lose more weight.
Visualization can improve your workout. Like anything else, if you visualize completely your workout, not only will you finish the workout, you will improve the way you worked out. Knowing what's ahead, understanding why you are doing what you are doing and focus on the end results will get you through a workout much more effectively vs. not knowing what you plan on doing once you hit the gym. So plan, prepare and complete!
Now that you have these fun little tips, let's get MOVING.
FOUR THINGS TO HELP YOU STAY MOTIVATED
What’s the theme of the month for a lot of my friends?..."I just don't feel like it...I am not motivated to do anything". What's funny about hearing this...I feel the same way too and I am the person who motivates others!! YIKES!
Look, I get it. The year is coming to a close A L R E A D Y and we have that last leg of the year to finish. Thanksgiving, Christmas and you know it’s true…FAMILY…URGGGG! So, starting a workout is probably the last thing on your mind. Well, I put together 4 things that MIGHT motivate you to keep going and start your day off on the right foot! Just like the quote above, “Awe SH!T, they’re UP!”…get up, piss off the negative people, spread some good around the world (we need it) and let’s finish this year strong.
1. Surround yourself with positive people. Sometimes it is hard to be positive when the people around you are not so positive. You may think you are helping by listening to all of their problems but you’re not…it’s just bringing you down. That's not healthy. Stay away and change it up, even if you have to "go it alone" for a little while. #selfcare
2. Post pictures and quotes that really make your heart JuMp! It’s time to be “Being Mary Jane” and add a few post-its to your mirrors and doors. There are so many inspirational quotes and motivational sayings out there. Grab about 5 of them and post them, share them on social media and really soak in all those positive words and phrases.
3. Sign up for a local, small event. Wait? I haven’t started training yet, Nicol! Relax, it’s OK. Find an event you enjoy doing that is small and local. You don’t have to fully participate but being around others who are doing what you love might spark a little motivation to get back into the game! That’s what happened to me this year. I was surrounded by so many duathletes, runners and triathletes, their energy was so infectious, I started training consistently and preparing for a new event every month!
4. Meditate and Pray. I truly believe in prayer and meditation. Why? It's my quiet time to relax, recharge and get ready for a new day. Take 10-15 minutes to pray, breathe and be thankful for the things you have RIGHT NOW. If you start to think about the good things that are happening in your life (no matter how big or small), you will forget about the bad stuff and start to put things in perspective.
Alright...let's get out there and do this!
If you are looking for your next challenging run why not try a few trail runs? Trail running is a great way to increase leg strength and build endurance. Every trail is different because of the hills, rocky terrain and unbalanced trails.
SEASICK SPORTS has an awesome series of trail runs right here in the San Diego area. If you are new to trail running start with one of their 5K trail runs and work your way up to a half marathon. What makes each run unique is that each run has it’s own challenges. Don’t worry, the race crew does a great job of directing the runners and helping everyone have a successful event.
Check out the upcoming races below. For more information, click on the photos and sign up with raceroster.com OR come out to registration, sign up and say “HI” to me and the volunteer crew! We would love to see you out there.
SEPTEMBER 19TH. Welcome to San Diego's only trail race through beautiful Gonzales Canyon Open Space and Torrey Highlands Community Park.
Participants at the 4th annual Carmel Valley trail race, regards of distance, will experience one of the hillier courses you will find without heading to the mountains. Elevation gains are only between 300'-700" depending on the course, ans some of the hils you may encounter are short, but steep. raceroster.com
DECEMBER 9TH. Welcome to the 4th Annual Del Dios Trail Half Marathon, 10k, and 5k at beautiful Lake Hodges in Escondido, Ca.
Join us for San Diego's fastest growing trail race. Take in the picturesque views of one of San Diego's most beautiful lakes, as all courses will feature dirt service roads or single track trails, with elevation gains between 100'-500'. When hills are present they are short but steep. raceroster.com
MARCH 9TH. Welcome to the 4th Annual Coast to Crest 10K and 5K trail race in Del Mar, Ca.
This very flat, very fast trail is considered a SPRINT COURSE by most, and if you are a runner looking for a new PR, then look no further. Both the 10K and 5K courses feature spectacular views of the lagoon, and a DOWN HILL finish. The trail is beautifully groomed and 100% dirt trail. raceroster.com
NOVEMBER 24TH. Welcome to The 2nd Annual Black Mountain Trail Half Marathon, 10K and 5K (new distance)! The most technical race on the ERS" Sunshine Series schedule.
Join us and burn off all that Thanksgiving food, as we race up to Black Mountain Peak in the beautiful Rancho Penesquitos area of San Diego County.
The race location has moved over to Black Mountain Park, to give the event a more relaxed and spacious feel, but don't worry runners... you are still going to hit the top of Black Mountain.
The courses are both 100% double wide trail, with a small mix of single track. Half Marathon elevation gains will be around 2100'. raceroster.com
FEBRUARY 16TH. Welcome to the 2nd Annual San Pasqual Valley Half Marathon and 10K, this race is as scenic as it gets in San Diego County. Regardless of which distance you choose, runners will be treated to epic views as they race along the vineyards and orange groves of San Pasqual Valley.
The 10K is considered to be a relatively flat course, while the Half Marathon will summit the mountain, not once but TWICE, in this out and back course. There is a chance this race will make you hate running, but fall in love at the same time. The views are definitely worth the effort, and are second to none once you reach the top.
Wine at the finish line!! That's right... You read that correctly! We have partnered up with Old Survey Vineyards, to do a FREE wine tasting at the finish line. Each runner over the age of 21, will receive a custom branded wine glass at the finish line. raceroster.com