Every time I travel and go on training camps where I have to prepare all my own meals I always pick up new tips and discover new things. I was recently down in very sunny Tucson Arizona for a three week, intense training camp. The things that elite athletes always need to watch out for during these crazy training blocks is enough healthy nutrition to keep them fuelled up to recovery properly and get ready for the next workout. Well this training camp I discovered coconut oil! Yes you may think that it’s high in fat and wouldn’t strike you as “healthy” but it actually has many health benefits and tastes amazing. I am not really a person who uses a lot of butter, margarine or even olive oil but I think coconut oil is worth adding to stir-fry’s and eggs simply because of the great taste. I don’t use a lot and the flavour really adds to my meals, enough I would suggest buying some at an organic food store. I also used it for my skin because I got so dry when I was training in the desert.
Long, Hard fight.
As training becomes more intense leading into race season I am on a constant battle with my body to stay healthy and injury free. I have tried many things to avoid a reoccurring injury and the secret is massage, stretching, physiotherapy and rest… all the time. Love your body and treat it with respect is the basic motto I stick by. Even if you are not an elite athlete, your body can get over-tired and you can get injured. Doing that extra ten minutes of running or those extra two push ups might not be worth it, believe me, I would know. I felt a little pain in my hip and kept running, and running and running and then had to take 6 week s off. Had I stopped when I first felt pain maybe would’ve only had to take a week off and I have learned from that mistake.
I have been told my famous coaching from across the country that recovery is just as important as training hard. No normal person can be on and training hard all the time, it is impossible! Good sleep, nutrition (elevate me bars!) and proper recovery for your body (stretching) is key.
First race is in a month in Mexico…I’m sticking by my coconut oil, elevate me bars and recovery regimens!
Alison Hooper, Athlete Ambassador
I wrote a blog a while ago about how to stay motivated during the dark winter months. Today, I will talk about all the amazing things you can do OUTSIDE! Really, nothing is better than getting some exercise in the fresh air, rain or shine (it’s still Vancouver after all).
I have found myself more motivated than ever and perhaps that is because it isn’t dark out when I wake up and when I get off work. I feel like I have more energy as well as time. There are a lot of activities you can do outdoors, for example, hiking, biking, running, walking, skipping, roller blading, and the numerous team sports that exist out there (soccer, ultimate Frisbee, basketball, tennis).
For those of you who want to strength train but have been hesitant because you don’t like being inside, take your workout to the streets. Here is a simple beginner workout which can be done in less than 45 minutes. All you need is yourself, a band, and the great outdoors. Always warm-up/cool-down with some light cardio (5 min) and dynamic (before) and static (after) stretching.
Circuit 1: repeat 2-3 times
- Push-ups (modified- bench push-up), as many as you can or 10-15 reps
- Tubing row (wrap tubing around a pole, fence post etc), 10-15 reps
- High Knee’s, 30 seconds
- Front bridge (modified on bench), hold as long as possible
Circuit 2: repeat 2-3 times
- Squats, 10-15 reps
- Tubing shoulder press, 10-15 reps
- Step up’s on bench or high step side walk, 10-15 reps
- Side bridge (modified from bench), 10-45 sec/side
- Walking lunges, 10-15 reps
- Tricep push-ups (modified: on bench) narrow arms, 10-15 reps
- Stair run or sprint, 30 sec-1 min
- Bird Dog, quadruped opposing limb raise, 1 minute.
Working out can be fun, especially when you are in your natural environment.
Until next time,
Nicola Gildersleeve, athlete ambassador