As an athlete (yes that's you...see definition)
one of the most critical ways you can support your body is by providing fuel during long workouts.
Often new athletes will do a long run or ride, drink plenty of water and then be baffled at why they are tired, out of energy or even dizzy at the end. Simply fueling the body during the effort can provide the energy it needs to power you forward. Teaching clients to do this with whole foods often leads to "ah ha" moments, which are the most rewarding part of training moms.
You don’t need to fuel during an hour of gentle yoga or a 30 min run, eating well before and after are perfect here. Fueling during exercise comes into play with a workout over an hour or a shorter but very intense workout.
Finding a fueling system that works for you takes trial, error and time. That’s why it should be part of your workouts and certainly part of your event training process. When looking for fuel, we want easily digested carbohydrates that will absorb quickly and give you a nearly immediate boost.
The fuel market is full of gels, gu's, bars, chews, you name it. Flip it over, read the ingredients and see if you know what you’re putting into your body. I do this with everything I eat already so there’s no sense in throwing that practice out the window with training. Athletes trained with whole foods long before the gu market exploded and there’s a great way to find balance here.
Whole food fuel options:
Stingers – on one particular run, I discovered I’d dropped my fuel zip lock and changed my route to pass the local running store. They had these honey stingers which met my need to have something on the go, while still being mostly whole food ingredients. My nod to living in the real world and not being psycho with my whole food quest.
Zip lock bags are perfect with fuel. An open honey stick is not your friend at mile 8 when you discover it is oozing out of your pocket. The snack size small enough to fit in a pocket, or easy to store in a race belt (fanny pack who are we kidding here). Repac makes a great quality reuse-able bag worth checking out.
Buy a few options or raid your pantry for some foods you have already. Start by eating a small something every 30 min. then play with that. Is every 20 min better or 45? If you are training for an event, find out how often there are water stations available and try matching that interval during your training. A sip of water with any fuel is ideal. Again, training for an event has to include practicing fuel options. Over time you’ll discover you really can fuel with whole foods for your strongest finish.
Do what you would tell your kids to do. Wear clean underwear and eat good food.
Keep Moving Mama
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Oh yes, you know the song. And believe me it’s a favorite tune in our house, cause this mama cooks with beans all-the-time.
Beans are actually one of my favorite places to save on the grocery bill and to channel my need to control the quality of ingredients. A can of beans is great in a hurry, but cooking dry beans is so satisfying and makes the house smell fabulous! They tend to hold together better and have a brighter color too.
In fact, I cook them so often that my friend Elizabeth and I started going in on a humongous bag of pinto beans every so often. Then we get to have a girls trip to Costco, it’s much more fun Costco shopping with her than on my own.
This week I cooked 2 pounds of black beans while we were at the house watching play off football. Football season gives me lots of time to cook.
Super easy recipe, you got this.
Toss the beans into a colander and rinse
I have yet to find a rock in my beans, but always look anyhow.
Toss the beans into the biggest stock pot you have, fill it with water to cover the beans by a few inches.
Bring to a rolling boil for 2 min, then cover and let sit for an hour.
Yes you can soak them overnight, but I rarely remember.
Drain the beans in the colander, toss back in the pot, cover with water and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to a slow simmer for about 2 hours. The time varies on the type of bean, the age of the beans so taste one periodically to see if they are done. Smashing one with the back of a spoon will let you know how soft they are too if you don’t want to eat a zillion unseasoned beans.
Once they are finished, I let them cool. Then scoop 2 cups into a freezer bag. Then I have a stock pile of beans in my freezer.
15 oz can of black beans at Raleys is $1.49
1 pound of dry black beans at Raleys is $1.99
1 pound of dry cooked = 53 ounces of cooked beans or 3.5 cans
Savings on 3.5 cans vs a pound dry = $2.48
That’s less than half price for a better product. Typically I find dry beans for even less in the bulk section, on sale or at Costco since they have a long shelf life.
Tonight I’m using a crockpot burrito bowl recipe with the black beans. Stay tuned to find out how that turns out. Recipe. http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-slow-cooker-chicken-burrito-bowls-207333
Love to hear your favorite bean and how you use them. Keep moving mama!
Sweet! The kids are off to school, I’m up, the good socks are clean and my phone is charged. I’m going for a long overdue solo run.
If I had only remembered to put on my Glide, I wouldn't have had chafe spots to hurt so bad in the shower! What’s Glide you ask?
It’s MAGIC, plain and simple.
In 1998 I trained for my first marathon with a group and the leader told us to buy a huge tub of Vaseline. We soon figured out why, you put that stuff anywhere clothes will rub, on your feet, under your sports bra, you name it. But even if you put handfuls on it would wear off after several hours, your feet would be raisins and who wants to carry Vaseline during an event much less sit down take off your shoes and put on more?
Fast forward to 2008 I’m leading Moms In Motion running and walking teams and discover Glide....the clouds opened up to blue sky and the sun shined right through…really it did. This stuff is in a stick like deodorant, so you can smear it on without getting it all over your hands. AND it stays-for-hours. Bra line, arm where your arm band is, ends of your toes, inner thighs, booty when you cycle, anywhere fabric may rub across your skin or you tend to get blisters.
Glide is MAGIC I tell ya. If you are a heavy sweater, ahem, do any endurance sports, hike, cycle or mountain bike you're likely to be familiar with the extremely uncomfortable chafe of which I speak. Order some Glide on amazon right now!
Keep moving tip: You can also buy an adorable pink Glide container. It’s the same exact product, just more expensive cause it's cute.
Silly as it sounds, I absolutely love this stuff. If you must know I actually keep a sample size stick in my purse. Have you used Glide? Or do you have another magic item for workouts?
Keep moving mama
Realizing I was no longer in control was my first lesson in motherhood. Babies do not come till they are ready and they never read the detailed birth plan. Turns out teenagers do things on their own time too.
It has taken years of practice, but I have found that if I focus on the few things that I can control, my whole family is better for it.
Running a group fitness program and a personal training business from home give me the exercise outlet. Each day I am inspired to learn new things about fitness and all its many topics, I just love it! Weird to some, but completely true.
Food is honestly on my mind even more than exercise. Baking, cooking, meal planning, visiting farmers markets...drooling over food blogs. Keeping the focus on real food for my family is my goal, doing that while living in our modern world is the daily challenge.
Attitude is a daily choice, I choose to do the best I can with what I've got.
So come along with me on this journey, I’ll share as I go if you will too…. keep moving mama!
For the past 3 years, I have decided that I would complete a half marathon…as a runner. In what seems at times like another life, the one before kids, I walked 2 marathons and one half. Those experiences certainly shaped my approach to challenge and had a huge part in what I do now as a trainer and coach.
However, no matter what anyone else says, pretty much everything, yes everything changes when you have children. That change has never been a negative for me, I relish every part good and bad of parenthood. What a wild ride!
As it relates to fitness, becoming a mom has changed how I approach fitness and my own health. It has driven me to get more effective workouts done in little time, it has made the “pain” of workouts seem minimal, it has driven me to focus fitness for health above how I look and it has taught me to cherish my workout time as my own time.
During and after my long distance walking, what I thought was a knee problem became a factor and in my mind determined that I would not be a runner or do long distances.
In what seems at times like another life, the one before kids, I walked 2 marathons and one half. After taking a break from my own fitness goals and focusing on my kids, I eventually came back around to exercise. I became a group fitness instructor, running coach and personal trainer, operating a fitness business from my home.
However, soon after I started to run an old knee problem reappeared keeping me from running and barely allowing me to walk more than a few miles without pain. Or what I “assumed” was a knee problem.
Once I took the time (aren’t moms notorious for putting themselves last?) to make appointments, research and talk to physical therapists, I discovered an overuse injury called IT band syndrome was causing my pain, not a knee problem.
In order to continue to be active and to continue my fitness career as a personal training and coach, I had to learn some pro-active recovery tools and make a plan. And so my mantra became Keep Moving Mama.
These action items gave my mind and my body something to focus on and helped both recover. It’s my hope that these will help you to pro-actively recover too.
This torture, I mean treatment device helps enormously in recovery of many injuries. Especially overuse injuries. It’s a type of self massage that lengthens muscles by releasing adhesions along the muscle length. Muscles are wrapped in a sort of saran wrap called fascia. Often this sticks to the muscle itself due to a constant rubbing (overuse) or an injury like a fall or simply running into the corner of a coffee table. Foam rolling releases these sticky spots, called adhesions, allowing the muscle to lengthen and move freely. After that release, the whole muscle can move freely again. It can be done before exercise or after or even both.
I wasn’t joking earlier about the torture, this is really not fun. You’ll most likely find adhesions that you didn’t know you had. When you roll over one, you’ll need to stop with pressure on the tender area and practice your breathing till it releases. Then roll over it, come back and do it again. Then continue to another spot. Over time you’ll notice you have less adhesions. Foam rolling also releases delayed onset muscle soreness from tough workouts when done after the exercise. http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/sore-muscles-dont-stop-exercising?page=1
Balance out the weakness
Often injuries are due to an area of weakness. For example, a knee injury called runners knee often improves when the larger leg muscles that support the knee are strengthened. Doing low impact exercises like bridges and leg extensions won’t bother the knee but will build muscle in the legs. Stronger leg muscles in turn support the knee, eliminating runners knee pain.
As a personal trainer, I’ve had many opportunities to help clients recover from injury with this strategy. Your personal trainer, physical therapist or doctor may be able to help you determine muscles you can strengthen to support the injured are you have.
Find the exercise you can do. If you can’t run due to an injury, walk, if that’s not happening, ride a bike, do pilates, learn yoga, try a bootcamp, swim.
You hurt your shoulder? Focus on strengthening your lower body while it heals.
You twisted your ankle? When your yoga instructor is doing a balance pose, keep both feet on the ground and just do the arm movement….whatever you do just keep moving.
This not only creates balance in body strength and burns calories, there is no doubt it keeps the mind focused and strong. Keep your mind on the positive, not on what you cannot do.
It may never go away
Some injuries heal and go away, others we learn to live with and we adjust to accommodate. I know I’ll have aching in my hip and leg when I run long distances or run three days a week. So I stick to shorter runs and only run 2 days a week…to avoid this overuse injury flaring up again. If yours is one that’s not going away, determine what activities will not cause further damage. Then decide what you are willing to live with, or if you need to change your activity. And be ok with that.
Taping the area for enough support to allow you to keep moving is mood and activity altering. There are a few different kinesiology therapeutic tape brands out there, I’ve have the best luck with the KT tape brand. It is used with tension and placement to support a variety of injuries. It’s use with plantar fasciitis is covered is shown in my post Home remedies for plantar fasciitis. Visit their website, kttape.com/instructions to watch videos on how to use it for other injuries.
Stopping all exercise due to one injury is simply not an option. Health, weight management and basic self-confidence are so much higher with active recovery than stopping. You will never again be as young as you are today, so embrace what you CAN do.
Last week I completed a 12 mile training run….my longest run ever in preparation for my first half marathon as a runner. The path here has included 7 years of leaning and practicing the tools I’ve described. 3 half marathon tries, training up to 9 miles then finding the pain too difficult.
If I’d quit, not done the foam rolling or walking, not cross trained and stayed positive the outcome would have been quite different. I would still be walking shorter distances and cross training, which is good. But looking forward to tomorrows half marathon, knowing I stuck with it, learned so much about my own body and can help others do the same is just plain AWESOME.
Please share your stories of injury and proactive recovery. I’d love to hear and help if I can.
Keep moving mama
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