<![CDATA[ReadySetSweat! - Blog]]>Tue, 23 Jan 2018 13:18:48 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Location, Location,... convenience?]]>Tue, 23 Jan 2018 19:56:41 GMThttp://readysetsweat.net/blog/location-location-convenience
This is Part 4 of our series on Dan Empfield's (www.slowtwitch.com)  commentaries on a cool straw poll he conducted of ~1,400 athletes, asking "Which attribute is the most important, most often, for most people (pros and Age Groupers), for success in triathlon at the 70.3 distance and up?" We're posting Dan's link and then OUR commentary on HIS excellent commentaries! The link to Dan's notes for this week is here, and our thoughts are below. We encourage you to read Dan's commentary first so that our words below will make the most sense!

This week's chatter comes from Coach Ali:

In Dan's commentary this week, he explored the importance of "Where You Train," which he would rank 5 out of 8 in terms of most important attribute to long course triathlon success. His poll respondents ranked it 6th. What do you think? I'm going to discuss below why I personally think it's scooching lower and lower on the importance chart these days.

I have always been one who trains closer to where I live than where I work. I think that part of that is because when I'm training for something long, the weekends are prime exercise time. I know that a lot of people like having their gym close to work so that they can go before or after work, so that's another good way to go. 

The main reason I think that "where you train" is losing relevance in 2018 is that lately, I've been seeing a trend in triathlete training that really has nothing to do with location and has everything to do with internet speed! Case in point: these days, a lot of our athletes are using smart trainers, which are bike trainer devices that you can set up with a computer/tablet and can follow workouts with prescribed power, paces, and distance. Several great platforms are available for these workouts, and range from structured indoor workouts (e.g. TrainerRoad), videos (e.g. SufferFest), to entire virtual worlds connected to friends and professional athletes (e.g. Zwift).

As the technology advances, and the tracking and social aspects of these programs grow, there is an almost wholesale movement away from day-to-day outdoor training and a movement toward indoor home-based training in large part because of its convenience and availability when one has other pressing matters or is tight on time. It's pretty groovy to be able to jump on the bike or treadmill (some call it, yes, the dreadmill) at your convenience at 10 pm or 4 am or whatever hour you deem appropriate while the baby naps or you take a conference call or whatever happens to be going on at your house.

These are great tools, and as coaches, we are grateful for them. We can prescribe workouts on a very detailed level that are easy to follow and can get terrific trackable data from them. Not worrying about weather or traffic is a bonus for our athletes, who can focus on their body and the feedback they are getting for the majority of their workouts. Outdoor workouts will always have their place, but more and more, elite athletes as well as amateur ones are looking harder at the benefits of training in the great indoors.

Of course, not many folks can afford an Endless Pool for the backyard, so home-based training hasn't quite caught on for swimming in the way that running and biking have. 

But in general, people are training more and more during the week in locations that work for them... like the den.

What about you? Where do you train?

Part 1 of Dan's commentary on "Specific Training Regime" can be found here, and our blog commentary it is here.
Part 2 of Dan's commentary on "Cost of Sport" can be found here, and our blog commentary it is here.
   
Part 3 of Dan's commentary on "Technical Grasp of Sport" can be found here, and our blog commentary is here.
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<![CDATA[Something To Be Grasped...]]>Thu, 18 Jan 2018 19:50:18 GMThttp://readysetsweat.net/blog/something-to-be-grasped
This is Part 3 of our series on Dan Empfield's (www.slowtwitch.com)  commentaries on a cool straw poll he conducted of ~1,400 athletes, asking "Which attribute is the most important, most often, for most people (pros and Age Groupers), for success in triathlon at the 70.3 distance and up?" We're posting Dan's link and then OUR commentary on HIS excellent commentaries! The link to Dan's notes for this week is here, and our thoughts are below. We encourage you to read Dan's commentary first so that our words below will make the most sense!

This one comes from Coach Tom:


For this week's blog we are continuing to follow Dan Empfield of Slowtwitch.com as he continues to explore results of a poll he took asking what triathletes believe is the key element to success in a 70.3 or longer. According to his results, a "Technical Grasp of the Sport" was not rated highly.

In his words,
               "I wouldn’t have chosen it either as the most important, but I do rank the Technical Grasp of Sport more highly than either Financial Means or the Specific Training Regime you employ. Those two elements were selected as most important by more of you than Technical Grasp of Sport."

So, to be clear by Technical Grasp of the Sport, Mr. Empfield is not implying knowing how to use properly the latest Garmin gadgets or Zwift software. He is hitting upon something much more important: the actual Technical Grasp of how to execute the 3 sports - and the 4th and 5th if you include transition and fueling.
 
Mr. Empfield is referring to how to technically employ your bike correctly, hold proper running form, and swim with enough knowledge of and execution of technique as to not blow your race. You see, even if you have the financial means to acquire the latest tech, most expensive bike, latest running shoes that practically guarantee to run for you, or latest trendy training plan it does you NO good if you don't have enough Technical Grasp and you will fall short on race day.

He cites specific examples such as:
              "How do I justify ranking Technical Grasp of Sport above, say, Specific Training Regime? Let us say you prefer power-based training over heart rate-based training for your cycling. I believe a technical knowledge of cycling is; how to adjust your derailleur's  and change your tires; being properly positioned aboard your bike; how to negotiate descents; add up to being more important than the metric you use to gauge your effort (power versus heart rate)".

I agree with his analogy and statement, have you seen how most Triathletes descend on their bikes or change a tire? LOL! Using myself as an example: while I descend well, my swim needs tweaking and my run form needs help. Do I technically know how to do these things? Yes. Are they 'muscle memorized' enough that I can exercise them fully on race day? Not yet. This is why in the off season I've done things in my training to have a better Technical Grasp before I spend more money on gadgets or start my new and improved most regimented training plan.

In my mind I want to have the best Technical Grasp so that I can maximize the others to reach my best performance.

So, audience, what have you done this off season to gain a better Technical Grasp of Triathlon? 

Part 1 of Dan's commentary on "Specific Training Regime" can be found here, and our blog commentary it is here.
Part 2 of Dan's commentary on "Cost of Sport" can be found here, and our blog commentary it is here.
   
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<![CDATA[Most Important Attributes For Success in Triathlon: Part 2: The Cost of Sport]]>Tue, 12 Dec 2017 19:00:42 GMThttp://readysetsweat.net/blog/most-important-attributes-for-success-in-triathlon-part-2-the-cost-of-sport
This neat graphic was created by and belongs to www.slowtwitch.com
This is Part 2 of our series on Dan Empfield's (www.slowtwitch.com)  commentaries on a cool straw poll he conducted of ~1,400 athletes, asking "Which attribute is the most important, most often, for most people (pros and Age Groupers), for success in triathlon at the 70.3 distance and up?" We're posting Dan's link and then OUR commentary on HIS excellent commentaries! The link to Dan's notes for this week is here, and our thoughts are below. We encourage you to read Dan's commentary first so that our words below will make the most sense!.

Coach Ali's thoughts:

Dan asked people to vote on cost categories that they found most annoying in triathlon, and the top two were race entries (57% of respondents voted this #1) and travel expenses (19%). We'll comment on the first one. On race entries, it's important to remember that Dan's initial question on the most important training attributes was asking about 70.3 (half ironman) and Ironman endurance race distances. You may know this already, but the words "70.3" were essentially unknown to the tri world prior to Ironman's absorption of many half iron races into their brand (the story of which should probably be another whole blog and then some). Love them or hate them, Ironman coined the 70.3 phrase, and they should be credited with a huge growth in interest and races of this distance. Before that, people by and large considered a half ironman as a junior training race on the journey to a full Ironman someday.

Now, there is a 70.3 World Championships in which athletes travel all the way around the world to compete. Be that as it may, many races outside the Ironman brand give a majority of their race proceeds to charity, and their race entry fees reflect a need to pay bills as well as donate a nice check to those in need. Our local tri club, Team Rocket, gives quite literally everything that doesn't go to the bills to the race charity. That begs a first question of - what is everybody else doing? And second - could we host a race that charged less? To answer that second question, yes, we could. But would we be able to give much to charity? No, we would not. And would we be running on a thin (e.g. scary) margin that would make all of us race directors' hair go gray? Yes, we would.

But to the first begged question my answer is this: my guess is that the nonprofits who are not Ironman corporation are doing something similar to Team Rocket, or are paying themselves a reasonable sum for the work they do on their races. Our Team Rocket race directors, including myself, are all volunteer and spend many (many many many many) hours doing this work pro bono. I'm not grousing, I'm just saying that if other nonprofit race directors want to set an hourly rate and get paid for their fully gainful employment by their nonprofit, then I believe they have the right to do that. My husband always reminds me that nonprofit does not mean no profit. It's just a matter of whether we as race entrants want to pay for that up to a reasonable point. Myself, I'm happy to pay for someone's hard work. But that might just be because I'm a race director and I can see the point and the attraction!

Ironman, however, is a for-profit business and they also have the right in a capitalist market to charge their "hourly rate," as it were, for their races to a point as high as they think the market will bear. I think their race marketing and scheduling methods have been genius, actually, as they kept raising the number of races until the market was saturated and they ceased selling out races. Up until then, I could not figure out why they were leaving money on the table by selling out races to a ridiculous point where they had to do crazy lotteries that cost even more money to administrate! Now that they've seen the light and started adding race venues, they keep raising the race costs despite the greater number of races, which is something we've all noticed but probably figured would go the other direction. Hilariously, generally except for a few conscientious objectors, WE AS A TRI COMMUNITY CONTINUE TO PAY WHATEVER THEY CHARGE! Ha ha! I find this delightfully amusing. Ya gotta hand it to 'em. :)

Now, in their defense, it's possible that the cost of Ironman race production is skyrocketing. It's possible, and indeed likely that they are spending a lot of money in race development and staff training or outsourcing to consultants, and that costs money to do. It's also possible that they probably have a complicated algorithm in a spreadsheet somewhere that is looking for a leveling off of race entries at a certain price point that we haven't hit yet. This is one way to find out what your market will bear.

The truth is, if we don't want Ironman to continue to develop and/or absorb really cool Ironman destination races and races closer and closer to our neck of the woods, we are free to stop racing Ironman brand races. But who wants to do that? They are awesome races and they're a heck of a lot of fun. I'm a huge fan.

Bottom line - and this is the same conclusion that Dan reaches in his commentary - for most of us, racing is a hobby, and hobbies cost money. There will always be some element of cost that will be a difficulty, unfortunately. For pros, there is sponsorship. For the rest of us, better keep up the capitalism and start a second job! :D

Part 1 of Dan's commentary on "Specific Training Regime" can be found here, and our blog commentary it is here.
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<![CDATA[Most Important Attributes For Success in Triathlon, Part 1. Specific Training Regime]]>Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:32:34 GMThttp://readysetsweat.net/blog/most-important-attributes-for-success-in-triathlon-part-1-specific-training-regimePicture

This neat graphic was created by and belongs to www.slowtwitch.com
This week, upon opening our email, we were thrilled to find that Dan Empfield of www.slowtwitch.com has started a series of commentaries on a neat straw poll he conducted. His question was, "Which attribute is the most important, most often, for most people (pros and Age Groupers), for success in triathlon at the 70.3 distance and up?" We thought it would be fun to post Dan's link and then OUR commentary on HIS excellent commentaries! The link to Dan's first commentary is here, and this week Coach Tom Longino comments below. We encourage you to read Dan's commentary first so that Tom's words below will make the most sense!

Coach Tom's thoughts:

Everyone is different, so the choice of training philosophy is important. I feel the athlete's buy-in to a chosen philosophy is even more important than the 9% or so importance that is represented in the pie chart on Dan's comment link. If you don't believe in the training philosophy you are using, then the chosen philosophy will not be effective, It’s a mental thing as much as physical. 

Also, it's just my observation and, yes, I'm stereo typing to an extent here, but women endurance athletes tend to commit to a training philosophy better than men. YES, you read that correctly. In my experience, once women process what's expected in the particular change, they commit. Men, let's just say we have bigger commitment issues (although I've gotten better, I include myself in this group, LOL. My frame of reference is not necessarily just triathlon, but also 10 years of speed skating on a national level where our coach introduced different things into our training like plyometrics. The girls took to it much faster and saw results sooner than we boys did.

Next, most changes in training philosophy take more than a session or two. For instance, if you chose to do low heart rate (HR) training to try and improve your long course performance after years of High Intensity Training (HIT), it can take a few months to get your body to adapt. Since I use the low heart rate training method, I tend to get asked about it a lot. Typically most people quit it after a week or two as they can't stand the fact their paces are 1-2 mins slower (using running as an example), that they are not seeing results immediately, and that their time compressed schedule just got blown up because now their runs take twice as long. Hint: if you are really time constrained, low HR training might not be your ticket, so make sure you and or your coach do the research to find what works for you best.

In addition, major changes across your whole program at one time will probably lead to frustration and disappointment. My recommendation is this: if you are still looking for the holy training grail (I still am, but realize it doesn't exist), try and make a couple of changes at a time and give them time to play out. If you don't get the results you are looking for, then you can always go back to what you were doing before or check into a different philosophy. Before someone asks what ample time is, let me answer that: ample time in Coach Tom's book (unless the change is resulting in injury or extreme fatigue, etc) is trying a philosophy for a season, including starting in the off season.

Lastly, and I'm guilty of this myself, it is a fact that most age group triathletes do not incorporate/integrate a recovery philosophy into their overall program. BIG MISTAKE!!! 

See you next week for a fun commentary on the success attribute: The Cost of Sport!
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<![CDATA[Goodbye New Years Resolutions, Hello Mustard Seed Plans]]>Wed, 06 Dec 2017 16:14:27 GMThttp://readysetsweat.net/blog/goodbye-new-years-resolutions-hello-mustard-seed-plans
It's almost that New Years Resolutions time of year. Does that thought make you gag? If so, chill. I'm not gonna feed you some smug motivational Instagram quote. This is real life. I don't want to talk about some huge to-do list. I want to talk about the power of small mustard seed plans. 

First, some honesty time. When it comes down to my New Years Resolutions, I usually fizzle out in terms of interest and enthusiasm by February (oh who am I kidding, mid-January!). So I'm not going to sit here and tell you that you're a bad dog for not following through on your resolutions or big fat hairy goals from last year. What I am going to do is suggest that maybe 2018 could be the year of the little things.

What if this is the year when you make little changes that become cumulative big changes over the year? You may have heard of the humble mustard seed... it's really super tiny and it grows to be a big plant? There's power in that little seed, and there's power in the time it takes for it to grow.

It's not that we can't have or don't need big goals, but sometimes they are so big that they seem far off and ephemeral. They're not grounded in the day-to-day. We know how to get started, but we don't know how to keep going once we're in it. In this case, the little things become the glue that holds the big things together.

Anyway, I got this "little big things" idea from a great newsletter email that I get every week from Olivier Poirer-Leroy, an elite swimmer and writer from Canada. Some time ago he sent an email that had some really great ideas for small changes you could make that lead to big progress. (By the way, you should totally sign up for his newsletter because even if you aren't a swimmer, he's a fantastic motivator for sport and life). 

So, without further delay, here are his ideas for some little goals that have great power. After his (bolded) ideas, I've given some ways I want to implement these: 

1. A ten minute goal. What if I chose something I want to improve this year and gave ten minutes a day to it? What if I gave 10 minutes to taking a break when I need it instead of plowing through my day and demanding so much from myself? What about 10 minutes of abs?

2. A lifestyle goal. What if I picked something little that I want to do better in my lifestyle? What if I took the time to pet my horses once a day and bring them a carrot? What if I chose kind words for my first words in the morning to my husband?

3. A mental training goal. What if I trained my mind to capture negative thoughts and replace them with truths? What about training my mind to slow down, not rush, and take the time to do things right?

4. A team building goal. What about encouraging people I see every day - the pool lifeguards, the grocery store checkers? What if I fostered an environment of thanks and letting them know that I see them and appreciate them?

5. A technique goal. What if I committed to working on one technique item a day - like faster cadence in my swims, or strong finishes for every stroke?

So now you know what I'm going to be up to this year. Little things add up to big things. It's just inevitable. And I'm excited to start planting.

What about you?

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<![CDATA[Shoe Fly, Don't Bother Me (?)]]>Thu, 30 Nov 2017 14:32:53 GMThttp://readysetsweat.net/blog/shoe-fly-dont-bother-me
Whoa. Who doesn't want a shoe like this... wings, light up sole!!?? I saw these kicks this online on retailer alibaba.com and decided I totes need these. Who cares if they have velcro and that hasn't been cool since I was a 5th grader? I stopped trying to be cool a long time ago. I want these shoes. Meanwhile, it made me wonder... what are the criteria that we are using nowadays for running shoes anyway?

I remember the first time back in 1999 that I heard about a shoe store that fitted you for running shoes. It is in Seattle and it is called Super Jock 'n' Jill. I loved this store and the idea that they took their time helping you find the perfect shoe fit for you. We have a great local store here too, Fleet Feet Sports Huntsville, that does the same thing. It's such a great help and service, so thank you guys for doing this! 

Imagine my dismay when I recently read a newsletter talking about a review article from the British Journal of Sports Medicine that said that there is little to suggest that correcting foot pronation prevents running injuries, or that changing cushioning influenced injury. This made me a little sad, because my experience was that wearing the shoes that I've gotten in the past based on these aspects have made for very nice running and durable legs all my life (Thank you Hoka One One!) .

My sadness was shortlived. My happiness returned when the very next sentence said the Dr. Benno Nigg, described as " the lead author of the study and one of the world's leading experts in running biomechanics" believes that shoe choice should simply come down to how it feels. He said, "The most important aspect is comfort. Never buy a shoe that is not comfortable." 

VINDICATION!! 

It also went on to say that you should also consider "ride," or the smooth forward roll feeling of the foot during running. His research showed that military personnel using these criteria to pick shoes had fewer injuries than those in a standard issue shoe. 

I guess I'll just have to order the alibaba shoes and see. Maybe I can still have my wings and lights after all.
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<![CDATA[Stretch Armstrong, Right or Wrong?]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 19:08:01 GMThttp://readysetsweat.net/blog/stretch-armstrong-right-or-wrong
Ok, ok, ok, I'll admit, I was a child of the 70s. Love it or leave it, it was a wonderful time to be a kid. Case in point: the Stretch Armstrong toy, above. Who wouldn't want this wonder of modern science to stretch to oblivion before thwacking the boys in the face? That thing was ridiculous. It kind of makes me wish I was really as stretchy as that guy. Got me to thinking though, as we've progressed from the 70s to today...someone update me... is stretching in or out of vogue these days? 

The reason I ask is that it seems like every year there is some new research stating the benefits of stretching. Then, the next year, something groundbreaking comes out saying that stretching is the worst thing in the world for your performance. In my 30ish year athletic career, I have heard things like: "You should stretch before working out." "You should stretch after working out." "YOU SHOULD NEVER EVER STRETCH IF YOU ARE EVER WORKING OUT EVER IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE, AND YOU ARE A COTTON HEADED NINNY MUGGINS FOR EVEN THINKING ABOUT STRETCHING."  

So what does the science say? As recently as 2014, a review of the literature on stretching and injury potential reported that while evidence was not definitive either way, a sports-specific stretch and warmup protocol was a good approach for prevention of injuries. In 2017, another similar summary of static (stretch and hold) stretching from Research in Sports Medicine concluded that there is little evidence for a beneficial role for stretching in injury prevention in endurance athletics altogether.  Ohhhhhhkayyyyyyyyy.....

What's an endurance girl to do?

If you've been following this blog for long, you know that I usually end up in the common-sense middle of the road on a lot of things. I avoid extremes for the most part, unless something is really, really, stupid (see Time-Restricted Eating). I tend to think that there is room for disagreement and believe that every time some new study comes out, we can't be camping on it and tossing out what we've learned up until then, for the simple reason that we don't know everything about everything yet. We are all still learning as scientific research is still ongoing. In fact, if we may go back to our high school science classes, we may recall that in science, we can't actually prove anything in science. All we can do is say that there is little to no evidence yet against something.

Anyway - scientific philosophy aside - on this topic, I'm going to pitch my tent with Karl Riecken, Coordinator of Performance Testing and Exercise Physiologist at the USA Triathlon Performance Training Center in Clermont, FL... (of course I'm going to agree with ol' Karl - look at the capital letters there!)... Level-headed, awesome Karl says that every training session should begin with some kind of aerobic activity for 3-5 minutes, and then static stretching should have its place for about 5-10 minutes for the muscle groups that you're about to use. Then, you should do some sport-specific drills for a short time, then press go on your workout. He recommends incorporating static stretching for the benefits that do have evidence in their favor, which include tissue hydration and increased range of motion, and not worrying about the fact that decreased injury prevention is still on the debate table.

When I read that, I thought, "Hmm. That protocol actually sounds a lot like the start of my soccer practices in the 70s."

Maybe Coach knew what he was talking about, or maybe he just got lucky.

Either way, I haven't thwacked any boys in the face recently, so at least I'm learning.

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<![CDATA[Time-Restricted Eating - Bunk or Bible?!]]>Fri, 03 Nov 2017 16:34:47 GMThttp://readysetsweat.net/blog/time-restricted-eating-bunk-or-bible
Image credit: from this cool NYT blog
I recently came across a thought-provoking short interview and lots of interesting research (example here) about a sort of new dietary concept called time-restricted eating, wherein science is showing that compressing eating into an 8-12 hour window can lead to weight loss, lowered blood sugar, and more muscle. Is this bunk or bible? Well, that depends on what you are after.  

Do you want to lose weight and keep it off? 

Do you want to restrict yourself for the rest of your life? 

If you think these two things go together, consider this: these two things are actually mutually exclusive, despite what our diet culture is trying to convince us. They are trying to convince us that it is only in restriction that we can lose weight and keep it off. I'm calling bunk on that, and here's why: 

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, the answer is not in restriction, in any form. It is in freedom. 

If you are free to eat when you are hungry, and free to stop eating when you are no longer hungry,  knowing you can eat again when you are again hungry, you will come to a healthy body weight as your smart natural animal body intended. People do not become fat from eating the wrong kinds of foods, but rather from eating too much of any kind of food when they are not hungry. Eating when not hungry is the problem, not what we are eating, and not when.

Sure, we can tweak the times we eat for temporary weight loss that leads to improvement of metabolic factors as these studies have shown, but is this really sustainable, and does the research point to this being a viable long-term lifestyle change that leads to lower body weight and great mental health over time?

Take this, for example: some of the fat loss study appears to have used mice to form conclusions about eating and diet types, assuming that captive mice are good models for humans. In most other studies, this is the case, but here we are dealing with humans and eating! Release a captive mouse from a night of fasting, and it is going to eat what it is going to eat because of this: animals pretty much eat based on their biological needs. Humans, however? Just try putting a fasted person in front of food and see how that goes. Plus, while humans are capable of eating based on our biological needs, we sometimes do not. We even have a whole language about it: "stress eater," "comfort foods," "impulse buy." These words did not create themselves. These are words that we use to describe how we often eat based not on what we need but what we want.

What I mean by this is that all of these great results that come from time-restricted eating are just fantastic if you are (a) an ex-Marine and have a huge amount of discipline, and (b) if time-restricted eating is really how you want to live your life. For me, it still includes the word "restricted," which for me is a great big stop sign. I am not going do do anything with the word restricted in it long term because (a) it does not sound like fun and (b) not only that, but it sounds absolutely horrible. And I do not think I am by myself here. Dinner parties, Halloween candy, spontaneous dinners, Christmas morning cinnamon rolls, midnight snacks? All these are part of the joy of life and no one should have to give these up. And no one has to, if they eat these things when they are hungry and stop eating when no longer hungry.

In fact, studies have shown that the greatest predictive factor in long term weight gain is DIETING. True story (and I can't believe I'm linking the Huffington Post here, but this article succinctly gives a few good recent examples of that science).

Anyway, with this time-restricted eating thing, there's still the ex-Marine factor. Can anyone besides these great American patriots really, realistically, do things like this for the rest of their lives? 

Stop and think: when was the last time you honestly, FULLY did something in which you restricted yourself, that you KEPT DOING FOR A LONG TIME AND IT REALLY WORKED OUT GREAT AND YOU STILL DO IT TODAY. Restricted, as in, it took discipline to do it. I'm not talking about starting something, like running or whatnot. And I'm not talking about addictions - those are a whole different thing. I mean, restricted yourself FROM something that normal healthy humans have. Not allowed yourself to have it AT ALL. Did you keep doing it for 8, 10, 15 years? Uh, no. 

And that is not because you are a terrible person who has no discipline.

It is because you are a human being and you are normal. People are not made for restriction. People are made for freedom. It is for freedom that we have been set free.

And that is why I am going to call time-restricted eating bunk, not in terms of whether it DOES work for people in a scientific study, but in terms of whether it CAN work for humans that want to have life and have it to the full. 

BUNKY McBUNKERSON! BUNKTATO CHIP! BUNKARAMA! COWABUNKA!

If you have a fat pet mouse, though, it might be worth a try.
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<![CDATA[How To Be Nonchalant And A Total ButtKicker]]>Fri, 03 Nov 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://readysetsweat.net/blog/how-to-be-totally-nonchalant-and-a-total-buttkicker
I recently learned of Courtney Dauwalter who has lately demolished record after record on the ultra trail running scene, who uses no training plan, no special foods, and kicks butt every time. This sounded crazy and a little bit weird, so I set out to learn more about her.

Here's what I found out: Courtney started trail racing in 2011 with a 50k - that she won, by the way. In the last 7 years, she's won the largest purse in trail ultras ($12,000) and has won 17 of her 34 total trail races, with 10 other finishes that were on the podium. At a 100k race, she broke both the women's AND MEN's course records, women's by an hour, and men's by 20 minutes. Oh, and this was a race that she had reportedly deemed a "training run" in prep for another race. At the race where she won the large purse, she had finished 75 minutes ahead of the next finisher. But that's not all: she just finished the Moab 240 (that's two hundred and forty miles of running in the hotter than Hades Utah desert) in around 2 days, beating all the men, and beating the second place finisher (a guy named Sean) by more than TEN HOURS.  Lastly, in an interview after the Moab race, (which you should totally watch by the way), she said that in a 100 mile race she did just before the Moab race, she WENT 97ish percent BLIND for the last 10 miles of the run due to a condition called corneal edema, that she said she "just knew" wasn't permanent, and that she WASN'T WORRIED about. She just kept running to the finish despite NOT REALLY BEING ABLE TO SEE.

Whoa.

Is this lady human or is she some kind of running alien?

Rest assured, she is human.

Her life prior to trail running included high school cross country running and skiing, earning All-State and All-American honors on teams that won 2 national championships. She was the state champion four times herself. As a college student, she competed in nordic skiing and her team won NCAAs. 

In summary, this is a person who is used to winning. 

So what is her secret? This led me to ask the typical questions an athlete wants to know. What does she eat? How does she train? 

Eating: In her interview, she said she eats normal American food, doesn't eat anything unusual, doesn't even try to eat particularly healthy. Just eats what she wants. At races, she doesn't eat any special nutrition, just eats whatever candy-like stuff they are giving out at aid stations. In the interview, she said that she didn't want "to have to count the number of kale pieces" that she eats.  She also revealed that she had never heard of the Normatec recovery boots that are and have been taking the endurance world by storm for the past couple of years. SERIOUSLY? 

Seriously. 

Training: At the first of the year, she lists her key races out and then adds some filler races as training races. She runs just about every day, sometimes doing two-a-days, and does a long run on the weekend. She lives in Colorado and runs almost solely on trails. 

Now, up until the Colorado part, this eating and training life could have sounded like anyone I know. Except the part where she consistenly wins ultra marathons by hours and hours and beats men's records. 

Doesn't this just make you sit in a daze wondering what is so special about this person that she (a) doesn't get hurt, (b) doesn't obsess over nutrition, (c) has no coach or plan, and is able to (d) win so much? I hope in coming years we will find out all of this as we watch this so-far dazzling career unfold.

Here is where I am going to step out on a limb. I am not going the skeptic route and saying, "Oh, she will learn. She will get injured or she will have to start watching what she eats because x, y, z is going to happen." Truthfully, I'm just excited to see her doing her thing using her body how she likes and how she prefers, and not listening to any babble or hype.  I for one am inspired that she simply likes running for the "getting outside and adventuring," as she so awesomely puts it.

I personally don't know what's making her so successful, but I love her for it.

Go Courtney! Bring it.
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<![CDATA[Trick Or Treat: Enigma or Model For Life?]]>Mon, 30 Oct 2017 18:57:32 GMThttp://readysetsweat.net/blog/trick-or-treat-enigma-or-model-for-life
Have you ever thought about what we are really doing when we are trick or treating? Get this: We are going around in our communities VISITING EACH OTHER at home, people we sometimes know but MOST TIMES WE DON'T EVEN KNOW!? What an enigma in modern life.

We tend to think of the Christmas holidays as the ones in which we share cheer and goodwill to complete strangers, but did you ever think of Halloween that way? 

I know, I know, there are all kinds of historical contexts about Halloween that I could get from my favorite highly scientific research site, Wikipedia, but just for a second here, toss all that smart people stuff aside and just think of how really different this is from how life normally is day to day.

In NORMAL LIFE, we send email instantly, so we don't have to even wait to hear from people from far away. Even more so, instant messaging and social media makes it so we can connect with people from around the globe that we know, have known, or MAY NEVER EVEN KNOW.

In NORMAL LIFE, we don't have time to get together with our best friend, we don't have time to write our grandparents a letter, we can't find time to visit that person recovering from surgery or make a casserole. We just can't. We're just too dang busy.

BUT! ...

​In HALLOWEEN LIFE, we visit each other and the HOST gives the VISITOR a present?!! Even at Christmas, it's often polite for the VISITOR to give the HOST a hostess gift (especially in the South), not the other way around. Not only that, but in Halloween life, the gift the host gives the visitor is a sweet - a total non-necessity - something the visitor would more than likely would not buy for themselves most days. 

In HALLOWEEN LIFE, we walk STRAIGHT UP to houses in our community (or even outside our community, if your neighborhood is like my sister's, which enthusiastically and happily hosts onslaughts of minivans from families that don't even live there) and visit briefly with people we often have no relationship with (yet). In Halloween life it is completely acceptable and desired to show up at our neighbors' houses unannounced just for the sole purpose of getting a free unnecessary gift while smiling and making happy conversation. 

Modern living threatens to distance us more and more from each other, but in the middle of all of this - THERE IS HALLOWEEN. There it is, in all its glory, inviting us to get out and meet and greet and trick or treat.

Christmas gets all the attention, but in my book we should be campaigning for it to be Halloween all year long!

Happy Halloween! God bless us every one!
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