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
When I was a child I remember complaining to my parents about how “there was nothing to do”. A decade later and a little bit older and wiser, I am in awe at my words. How could I have spoken those words? I find myself overwhelmed most of time deciding what to do because there are so many options. We can only do so much in a day and sometimes I wish I could do it all. Here are my top 10 things to do in and around B.C:
1. Hike up Grouse Mountain: I often have people ask me if I have ever done the Grouse Grind. Yes, I have and it is part of my weekly training schedule. A lot of the time I will hike the BCMC which parallels the Grind. It takes about 10 minutes longer but it is less crowded and doesn’t resemble a giant Stairmaster. However, if I am looking for a quick ‘get it over and done with’ workout, I’ll hike the Grind. The view at the top will not disappoint.
2. Kayak in Deep Cove: Now, this may not be the right season to partake in this activity but in a few months time, the weather will be perfect to get out onto the ocean. You can rent kayaks for as little as an hour or as long as a week. They come in singles and doubles. Being on the ocean is a very liberating experience and it is one of the best ways to connect with yourself and your surroundings. For more information check out this website: www.deepcovekayak.com
3. Bike around Stanley Park: This is one of B.C’s largest tourist attractions and with good reason! The park is simply stunning and you get such a beautiful view of the ocean and mountains. Take a break and visit the Aquarium and have lunch at one of the many restaurants located in the park. If you are really feeling frisky, try renting a tandem bike, 2 is always better than 1!
4. Shop the local Market at Granville Island: This is one of my favorite places to shop for local delicious foods. They have everything including, fresh made Terra Breads, organic local produce, fresh seafood (live lobster), incredible deli’s, and local venders selling unique art work and fine foods. Besides food, there are dozens of shops to browse through. Bring your kids as they have one of the best toy shops around.
5. Grab a coffee on Commercial Street: Also known as “The Drive” , Commercial Drive has a large number of local ethnic stores and community groups, European-style cafes, bars, and alternative shops and entertainment venues. There are 93 restaurants on Commercial Drive, of which 19 are coffee bars. Come hungry and come thirsty to enjoy what this area has to offer.
6. Bungee jump in Whistler: Just over a year ago I accompanied some friends who were going to bungee jump. I came along without knowing whether or not I was going to jump but my fears got the best of me and I decided to cheer on from the sidelines. I regretted it immediately and decided that at some point in my life I was going to do that. Hopefully it will be sooner than later. For more information check out this website: http://www.whistlerbungee.com/home.php
7. Rock Climbing ‘The Chief’ in Squamish: Becoming a rock climber was almost mandatory when I started dating my boyfriend “climbing guru” Peter. Alright, that was a lie but once I started climbing, I got the bug. Squamish is one of the most popular places in the world to climb and for good reason. The Chief is located in the Stawamus Chief Provincial Park. This park has opportunities for camping, hiking, rock climbing and scenic viewing atop the Chief.
8. Mountain Bike Whistler/North Shore/ Squamish: There are many places to ride depending on where your interest lies. The North Shore Mountains are famous for their wicked downhill mountain bike trails, whereas in Whistler and Squamish you will find a wide variety of cross country trails. Whistler also has a pretty stellar mountain bike park. Check out this link to find out more about Mountain Biking in whistler: http://www.whistlerbike.com/index.htm.
9. Hop on the B.C Ferry over to the Sunshine Coast: I have always loved taking the ferry over to the island. Things to go: The Sunshine Coast is riddled with remote logging roads and trails that make for fantastic mountain biking. The view is always worth the effort it takes to get up those hills! Sechelt Inlet, also known as the Inland Sea, offers miles of protected sea kayaking including two large inlets reaching back into the BC mainland (Narrows and Salmon Inlets). There are four kayaking companies operating out of the inlet this year, offering rentals, excursions and great lessons for beginners. If you want to go further you can take another ferry over to Powell River.
10. Surfing in Tofino: The area around Tofino is fully exposed to the Pacific Ocean and believe it or not you can actually surf everyday year round. The water may be a little chilly, but in the last 10 years wetsuit technology has come a long way making surfing and other watersports a lot warmer and more comfortable. Tofino’s beaches and coves are balancing between majestic mountains and a very powerful body of water, making for a genuine wilderness surfing experience. Mix that with a laid back lifestyle and it’s no wonder this area has developed its own unique surf culture.
Have fun exploring!
Nicola Gildersleeve, Athlete Ambassador
I remember the day I heard that Vancouver was going to be hosting the 2010 Olympics. It was way back in High School and I was still in my teens. I remember thinking how crazy it was going to be because I was going to be 25 years old when the Olympics came to town!!!!! That was so old, I thought. I have to look back and laugh because being 25 years old feels incredibly young. I wish I could remember what I had imagined myself doing at 25 back when I was only 16 yrs old.
People keep asking me what I am going to do during the Olympics. I honestly have not put too much thought into it. I had pondered the idea of Volunteering, and then at least I could see some of the games. But, that involved time off work and I didn’t want to give that up. I fantasized about going away somewhere exotic and warm, but that also involved taking time off work. I concluded that I was just going to watch the Olympics live on my T.V with everyone else who could not afford to buy tickets!
I hiked up to Grouse Mountain this morning via the BCMC Trail. The BCMC parallels the grind and is approximately 10 minutes longer on average. I prefer this route because it doesn’t feel like a stair master and is less crowded. However, at this time of year, neither trail is crowded. Once I got to the top, I ate my Elevate Me Energy Bar and boarded the gondola to get down the mountain. On the way down, the gondola conductor (as I named him) told us about the plans Grouse Mountain has for during the Olympics. He told us that Grouse Mountain will be open 24/7 for the entire duration of the Olympic Games!!!!! That’s not all, NBC is going to be taping live from the top of the mountain (or the chalet area)
This means that you can literally ski everyday all day for 2 straight weeks! The gondola and restaurants will be open for 24 hours. You can snowshoe, hike, and even zip line at night. They have been planning this for 3 years and it sounds like it will be an amazing and entertaining adventure. I can’t wait to be a part of it.
My couch and television may remain empty during the games as I plan on hiking up the mountain to listen (to NBC reporters) and watch the games live (on big screens). Come try something different this year and experience something you will never forget!
This past month Elevate Me! donated some of our bars to the Power To Climb 2010 Mt. Kilimanjaro Expedition. We were very happy they chose to take our bar with them on this incredible journey:
Hope your 2010 is off to a fabulous start! We’re back safely from Africa, and I’m happy to say that our whole team made it to the summit of Kilimanjaro! I’m also happy to say we exceeded our $150k fundraising objective! These funds will directly drive the program expansion of Power To Be and reduce waitlists, helping hundreds more underprivileged youths and families in our communities.
I wanted to thank you for all your support and providing us with the Elevate Me bars. I can say with certainty now that nutrition played a critical role in helping us all get to the summit, and your bars provided us with the nutrients and protein we needed to get to the top! You may also be interested to know the porters seemed to enjoy them as well. With a few bars left over, we decided to donate them to an orphanage in Moshi, which we visited after the climb – the orphanage appreciated the bars very much. This journey was a major life experience for each of us, and we were glad that Elevate Me was there every step of the way.
We’ll be sure to keep you posted on our next adventure, and please feel free to continue to check our site for updates
Expedition Leader, Power To Climb 2010 Mt. Kilimanjaro Expedition
Vancouver’s own “Elevate Me!” protein and fruit bars (www.elevateme.com) is on a mission to meet Matt Lauer when he is in Vancouver to shoot the Today Show during the Olympics this February.
Says company founder Earl Ellingson, “We know Matt Lauer is an avid cyclist and the Today Show is shooting at Grouse Mountain. Since we make our bars at the base of the mountain we would be crazy not to try and meet Matt and get on the Today Show!”
Already “Elevate Me!” has sent a gift pack to Matt and offered him useful advice on how to avoid a repeat of his unfortunate run-in with a deer while cycling (click to see cartoon reenactment here: http://www.prosnack.com/mattlauer
They have also offered Matt a years’ supply of fresh bars and a matching years supply donated to his charity choice.
Starting February 1st “Elevate Me!” is running a twitter contest, rewarding our followers for Matt Lauer sightings and hiding limited edition gift packs throughout Vancouver stuffed with Elevate Me! bars and other goodies.
Each day starting Feb 1st through the Olympics they will send coded hint tweets to “Elevate Me!” followers.
During the Olympics “Elevate Me!” ambassadors will be handing out free bars and trying to meet Matt and welcome the rest of the Today Show team.
“Elevate Me!” energy bars are made fresh daily by a dedicated family business in North Vancouver and selling across Canada, and soon into Whole Foods Northwest USA. The success of Elevate Me bars is due to the 7 unique and delicious flavors, the high whey protein amount and whole fruits. The bars are called “the world’s simplest protein and fruit energy bars” because all they contain is real simple food. Gluten-free, soy-free, cold formed = Simple. Clean. Fruit. Protein.
For more information contact the company directly:
Trish and Earl Ellingson
Founders/Owners/Devoted Bar Makers
PROsnack Natural Foods Inc.
p 604 980 6160
f 604 980 6170
With a new year upon us, it is important to look back and acknowledge everything we did in 2009. We work hard, day in and day out, and time just seems to fly by. Accomplishments tend to get overlooked because were too busy moving on to the next big thing. Take some time this month to reflect upon all that you achieved in 2009.
As for myself, I will reflect upon the races I accomplished, my business I grew, and the new places I have travelled.
After all that reflection, I begin to direct my attention towards setting goals for 2010. What do I want to accomplish this year athletically, professionally, and personally? As an athlete or business professional, it is important to set goals because without them you have no direction. A goal is something you are constantly working towards. This is accomplished by setting short and long term goals. For example, a long term goal for me as an athlete would be completing the Western States 100 mile race at the end of June. A short term goal would be my weekly training schedule or perhaps a 50km training race in preparation for the big 100 mile event. The short terms goals keep you accountable to your long term goals and are just as important.
When setting a goal you want to refer to the S.M.A.R.T principle, I’ll use myself as an example:
S: Specific- I want to run the Western States 100 mile on June 26th, 2010.
M: Measurable- Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set.
A: Attainable- You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. As I sit right now, I am not fit enough to run 100 miles. However, through training over the next 5 months, I will be at that start line fit as a whistle and ready to rock.
R: Realistic- To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. Three years ago a 100 mile race might not have been realistic. I didn’t have enough experience and I did not have the appropriate time commitment available to train properly. This year however, I have the experience and the time available to train for such a long event.
T: Time Based- A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. I am already signed up and registered for the Western States 100. A date and time is set.
With those principles in mind, tell us, what is your goal for 2010?