Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Food Myths Athletes Believe

As a Nutrition Specialist (certified through LMA), I have the opportunity to work with some of the greatest Sports Dietitians and Nutritionist in the field.
We often have conference calls where we share useful information and updated research in regards sports nutrition, etc. One of the R.D's and nutrition specialist (she's the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Sports Nutrition) passed along a great article that I know every athlete can benefit from. I put a few of my own tips in there as well.
Note: These facts apply to all types of athletes.
Top Five Nutritional Myths Among Athletes
Fact or Myth?
Myth #1
To gain weight, simply increase the amount of food you eat.
Fact: Proper nutrition is a combination of eating the right amount of certain foods for your body. Working with a Dietitian who specializes in Sports Nutrition to calculate how many calories and nutrients your body needs to achieve will produce optimal results.
Myth #2
All fats are the same; All fats are bad!
Fact: Some fats are vital for a healthy life. There are several types of fats and they are not all bad. Fats which are solid at room temperature, such as: butter, sour cream, mayonnaise, and margarine, also known as saturated and trans fats, are unhealthy and will likely be stored as fat in the body. However, fats which are liquid at room temperature, such as oils, are known as unsaturated fats. These come in two forms: polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. Unsaturated fats can be found in foods such as: olives, avocados, oil based dressings,and peanut butter. Certain amounts of unsaturated fats are essential for a healthy body. You can lower your fat
intake by just choosing the majority of your fat calories from unsaturated fats!
Myth #3
To build muscle mass, eat a 12oz steak and buy a jug of protein powder!
Fact: The body can only utilize so much protein in a certain time frame.
Excess protein will be stored as body fat. Whether an athlete is attempting to gain weight or not, protein intake recommendations are different for male and female athletes. Male athletes should consume 20-30 grams of protein every 2-4 hours (this is equal to 3-5 oz. of meat). Female athletes should consume 14-20 grams of protein every 3-4 hours (this is equal to 2-3 oz. of meat).
Myth #4
Before the big race, I should bulk up on carbs.
Fact: Eating the right amount of certain foods at the right time can enhance athletic performance up to 15%! Where would your statistics be if that performance change occurred? Endurance athletes are a whole other breed so in order to find the right combination of quantity, type, and timing of foods, work with a Dietitian who specializes in Sports Nutrition. A sports nutritionist can calculate how much protein, fat, and carbohydrates you need to increase your performance!
Myth #5
During the game or race, only drink when you are thirsty.
Fact: If you are as little as 1% dehydrated your performance can decline as much as 10%! A properly hydrated athlete will have increased energy levels and concentration, more resistance to injury, reduced fatigue, and will be able to build muscle and lose body fat more easily. Do you know the signs of a well hydrated athlete?
Eat To Win-Athletes that believe their performance is related only to practice and
training are not maximizing their potential for success. Don’t let your lack of knowledge be your downfall.

copyright of Sports Nutrition 2Go- WWW.SN2G.com

I have several other articles and tips in regards to sports nutrition so feel free to email if you'd like me to send them your way or post more!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Double is done

I arrived in Racine on Thursday afternoon again after some very close calls with flights! Picked up my vehicle which was bright orange rice rocket and took off into town. Ended up at my home stay 30 minutes late because my darn GPS unit failed on me three times and I was not in the greatest of moods.

My home stay family, Jeff and Mary Pellegrom, had a great place within walking distance of the race site! Jeff put in a PR by 14 minutes on race day! I had a little area familiarization before putting together the bike and settling in for the night. Slept for about 10 hours and woke to a beautiful Friday morning in Racine. I joined Jeff in the afternoon to go swim the course and see the best lines to swim on race day. The moment I stepped in the water I knew I was in trouble. It was so cold that I could barely tolerate the pain my feet were in due to the temperature. It takes me long enough to jump into my warm outdoor pool here in Austin, so you can imagine how long it took my to fully submerge myself in the lake. Once I did, it felt like I was being stabbed over and over with knifes. I could only swim 200 yards before having to stand up. I left a little worried and wanting to be in a neoprene swim cap.

Race morning came and I was excited! I sorted out all my stuff and then headed back to my home stay. The lake was not in good condition with visibility about 100 yards. Everyone sat and waited as the swim start was delayed but 60 minutes. Once we received the permission to start we had three minutes to get ready. The swim was very slow and nobody was pushing the pace. I went hoping Luke Bell would follow and he did not. We came out of the water with athletes we can normal put 2 minutes on! I did come out of the water first but was not first over the timing pad :)

Came out of T1 with the pack and was feeling pretty flat but we were all together and I was not too worried. All the sudden the gap started to open and I did not chase! I'm still furious I did not go with Bell and Gambles at the time. I came around at about mile 15 and just decided to go for it. I rode strong until about mile 35 and then was joined by Aussies, Gavin Scott and Daniel. I just hung on back (legally) as best as i could until we reached T2.

Once I laced up the K-Swiss in T2 I was ready to go! I quickly established a lead over Gavin and Daniel and felt really good. I took out a minute on Joe Gambles and actually thought I would run my way into the podium at mile 5! At the turn around I noticed that fifth and sixth were a little too close so I pushed for about a mile and settled back into a nice rhythm. We ran by my home stays place and the encouragement was awesome! I looked back and saw that my lead was back to the same on one corner as it had been the first. At mile 9 I was starting to hurt some but knew I could push hard the last four miles. Next thing I know I was passed and put into fifth place! I tried to go as I knew i had a strong kick, but my body shutdown fast. My back, quads, and calves all started cramping. Mile 12 came and I was again passed and put into sixth. I was freaking out and only just managed to cross in sixth place.

Finished in 3:58 making the past 2 weeks back to back sub 4 hour Half Ironmans. Was not too pleased that body was not firing at times I wanted it to! I do think it was a great trip though in getting my mind and body stronger. The process is coming along very well now and I can't wait to see how thing go for the rest of the season. Really can't wait to see how the consistency will pay off next year.

After the race I was able to tour a very popular Frank Lyod building in Racine. SC Johnson is based out of Racine and the building was very impressive. Jeff and Mary (home stay) both work there and I received the "better" tour. When Frank designed the building, he also was contracted to make everything else. The chairs he designed had a flaw to them. They had three legs plus the two feet of the person occupying the seat. What was happening was the women kept of falling from the chair if they bend down to pick an object off the floor. Mr. Johnson called Frank up and his ego did not give way, and told Mr. Johnson nobody knew how to sit. Mr. Johnson then invited Frank to a meeting a few weeks down the road and stuck it to Frank. During the meeting Mr. Johnson droppped a pen and Frank went to pick it up :) he fell flat on his face. Not a word was mentioned. A week later a truck arrived, took all the chairs away and replaced them with new ones that were build with four legs!

Next up is Chicago triathlon on August 24th.

Thanks again to support who makes this all happen.
Source Endurance
Hammer Nutrition
Phase One

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Out with old in with the New!

First of all, I love my Kona asics. I wear them all the time on my trail runs and at town lake, but a time has come to move on and move up! Lucky for me, my loving husband is sponsored by K-Swiss and I get mates rates! After an easy hour run yesterday, my knee was a little tweaked and I knew that my good ol' pair of shoes were done. I came home to find a large package on the front door and inside were 6 pairs of K-Swiss shoes. They wanted James to test out some new samples (which he can show off later) and then they sent me 2 new pair. WHOO HOO!! I have another green pair of the ultra natural running but I don't ever wear them on the trails because they look so good nice and clean. Yes I am dork, not mention a neat freak! I would only wear them running around our neighborhood. Anyway, the K-Swiss natural running and Keahou are the only other shoes that I can wear that don't tear up my feet. I have small heels and a high arch so good running shoes are hard to find. The Keahou are a great trainer for longer distances and the natural running (the orange ones above) are super light for those Olympic triathlons! The Konejo are also coming out soon which are supposed to rock as well.
Thanks for reading and stayed tuned for Spirit of Racine race results coming tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Rhode Island Report

I finally put together a race I was pleased with and I gained some much needed confidence with my ability.

Thank you K-Swiss, CATZ, Phase One, Hammer, Base Performance, Source Endurance

I departed Thursday afternoon, standby, as usual! All the flights looked wide open on Wednesday evening with 25 seats open on each flight up to Providence. I arrived at the gate to see way too many people on my FLIGHT! I went and inquired about the loads and it was not pretty at all. It would be down to the wire. Traveling standby is one awesome hell of a rush when things workout your way.
"COTTER...JAMES COTTER!!" yelled the fella behind the counter.
"You made it."
I went from hating myself, wondering why on earth I would train so hard and risk not making it to my final destination because I didn't buy a ticket. Then once I heard my name it went to this awesome rush! YES! I screamed inside and wondered why I would even think about purchasing a ticket.
I arrived in North Carolina only to find out again that the next flight into Providence was looking tight also. I became worried because my training partner, Tim Marr, was arriving in Providence before but had no confirmation codes to get the vehicle of hotel. Tim had also told me that he was on another airline so it became kind of funny when out of nowhere Tim appeared.
One thing that irritates the hell out of me is when airline travelers show up to the gate within 5 minutes of push back time. Especially when they come from restaurants after stuffing themselves and think it is comical arriving at the gate because they not only made it to the gate by the hair of their chinny-chin-chin, they also did so while managing to cram 2,000 calories down there throat beforehand. Why do I hate this, because I have hope that I will make it, and every 5 minutes that hope is shattered. So can you guess how I felt when Tim Marr arrived? That bloody wanker almost stole my seat! haha but Tim was hustling from his flight that just landed so it was not too bad. I ended up getting on and having a good laugh with Tim on the plane.

Race morning was rough. Wake up at 2:55am, leave hotel at 3:20, arrive at bus station at 3:50am, depart Providence at 4:00am, arrive race site 5:30am, gun goes off at 6:00am! Everything was very rushed and the coffee I drank at 2:55am had not come into affect and that worried me :)
Swim was a bit of a shocker. Kicked in the face and the moments hesitation cost me some fast feet. I ended up getting my way back to the front of the second pack and pulled us in to the finish about a minute down on the main pack. Jumped on the bike and decided to just go for it. If I blow up I blow up. I could see Leon Griffin just ahead of me and kept on charging. Oscar Galendez came from behind and we took turns pulling to get on the main train. Once we caught the leaders a small gap formed and I had to go with it. I lost focus and popped off the back and rode into T2 about 20 seconds behind Richie.
The run course was brutal! Tim and I decided not to drive it since we were so tired. About 3/4 of a mile into the run we encountered a massive hill that killed me! I stayed close to Richie and was closing some and then it happened! From out of nowhere a car came and took Richie out from the side. He hit the hood, smashed the windshield, and then slid off and started running again! I was screaming medic, medic!! and realized he was good when medical started running after him and they were later dropped!
I was running well until about mile 9 and then started to fall off the pace. I could see Paul Ambrose in the distance and just could not close the gap. I started freaking out that 5th place would catch me but in the end I manged to hold him off.
First solid race I have put together and i was happy. I saw the race lead and think I am capable of seeing it again.

Off to Spirit of Racine tomorrow for another Half this weekend.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

4th Place WIN!!

Race Update from LCOTTER!

4th place Finish at Rhode Island. Fantastic Bike Split and a solid Run. FINISH time was 3:59. More to come from JPC later. Thank you all for the support!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sporting the Vest

So this was actually my first photo shoot, not James'. That's why he looks so natural and I look very dorky. So ignoring that, he hyper-vest is a great tool for athletes. So here's the low-down:
Hyper Wear Technology utilizes Hyper-Mass evenly distributed over the body to create Hyper-Resistance. By adding weight to the body itself, not only is the leg working against the natural resistance of the body's own average mass, but it is also working against the added resistance of the weights.

In order to build strength, power and speed, one must learn how to use their muscles effectively and efficiently. Yet, in today’s busy culture, fitness is not natural; it’s cultivated through dedicated practice. Recently, a resurgent emphasis on body weight training – as opposed to gym equipment which isolates muscle movements – has fueled a demand for comfortable additional weight loading.

I often this during our trail run or speed work on the track. Just 6 pounds added to my body weight is actually quite challenging and it definitely has helped increase my leg strength. Hyper-Wear is also coming out with a cooling vest that help athletes cool their core before training or competition. Its still the in the works right now but James and I got to try it out for a couple weeks. He used it before and after long rides as well as on the trainer. Its helped him keep his body temperature down which is a tremendous help considering the guy sweat a gallon a minute. :) Anyway, check it out for yourself.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Off tomorrow

I have put in the time and I'm very ready to race now. I always think it is perfect timing when it comes time to taper because your sick of seeing your bike, running shoes, and swim wear. I was at that point on Monday and now I'm slowly ready to be united with my other lady (P3C).

Not going to lie, I'm very nervous about the races coming up because I don't want to fail. I will be gutted if I don't place top 10 in the races because I really have put a lot into this season so far. That being said, I also have confidence because the SRM and GPS don't lie. I just really want to lay down a solid race very soon.

Will be meeting up with my partner in crime, Tim Marr, tomorrow night in Rhode Island and we always have a great time. Nothing beats a training partner you can get along with without the ego getting in the way.

Hope every one has a great next two weeks and i hope to post again with some good results.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sugar Buster!

My husband trains hard and it finally caught up to him. The past couple weeks James' training has been increasing in volume and so has his appetite for COLA! This is not a great supplement for calories in my opinion, but when training in extreme heat and sweating a WHOLE LOT, its a good fix for during or after a ride/run. I understand having a coke here or there just to get in these calories but when he goes through a pack in 2 days, the wife steps aside and the nutritionist steps in! I started buying him lemonade instead or even the natural fruit carbonated drinks from Whole Foods, but his need for coke still persisted UNTIL...... Yes, he has come to a state of constant fatigue and stomach problems. Now, coke wasn't the only thing that caused these problems. It was a combination of small sugar snacks here and there, COKE, lack of sound sleep, increase intensity and volume of training in extreme heat, etc. But we figure the main culprit was all the refined sugar that was hidden in his diet. Here's a few facts about this devilish ingredient.
1. Sugar tends to change the way the blood-brain barrier selects appropriate amino-acid building blocks of brain chemicals. Refined carbohydrate consumption increases the level of the amino acid tryptophan (you know the one in found in turkey that makes you tired), and which also is the building block of the brain chemical serotonin.
2. The average can of soda pop contains eight to nine teaspoons of sugar. If a person drinks a can of pop, the blood is hit with a hefty dose of sugar that is eight to nine times more than that of normal. In response, the body must mobilize large amounts of adrenalin and insulin to clear the sugar from the bloodstream.Which takes a lot of energy and WILL make you TIRED! Repeated day after day, this scenario can lead to significant health problems as well as blood sugar disorders.
3.Poor diet or excess dietary sugar can cause abnormally low levels of glucose in the blood that affect the brain, nerves, digestive system, and muscles. If the body is not receiving proper nutrition the very fundamental mechanisms of the body begin to crumble.

SO that being said....For more info on Nutritional Therapy to Restore Energy check out a great health website. www.naturalways.com

Signing out.

Cola is now limited to my equivalent Kombucha addiction- 3 a week!! ha ha!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Defeated today

My training week goes Monday through Sunday and I just finished a very difficult two week block. Last week went like this:

Monday: EZ swim 2000m, EZ Bike 1.5 hr
Tuesday: 3000 hard swim, 3 hr bike with 1.5hr at LT, 10 mile run with repeats (hard)
Wednesday: 3000m swim, 2hr ride
Thursday: 3000m swim, 3.5hr ride with 1.5hr at LT, hill repeats
Friday: 3000m swim, 8 mile run
Sat: 4.5hr ride, 8 mile run hard
Sun: 17mile run

Come today I had longer sets on the bike and I was looking forward to nailing the wattage as it turn out Rhode Island is not going to be a weak field. I felt tired, but we all do right? I kept on having to recalibrate the SRM because my power was very sh*tty. Turns out the SRM was fine and the legs were not. I ended up turning around and calling it so I can nail my sets on Thursday. This is the last hard week before the taper and I hope it gets better. Taco Tuesday still goes on but I just dont feel as deserving tonight. The tacos were bloody delicious tonight!

Big shout to

Luke McKenzie for winning Ironman Japan
Bree Wee for placing second at Ironman Japan
Brandon Marsh for placing 5th at BSLT
Grant Glauser for winning his AG and getting a slot to Kona
Rachel Ross for being able to run again!. Rachel has a great blog if you have not checked it out yet. Very funny.