Why race season is the wrong time to "diet"… but the right time to prioritize nutrition!

The Bolder Boulder 10K – one race where fueling with cupcakes is encouraged!

I remember my first year training with a triathlon coach. I had done a few races on my own, but wanted to move up to the 70.3 distance. I decided to join a group because I enjoyed training with other people. When I started in the sport I was very overweight, so by adding in some activity I naturally lost weight. But as I continued training, I noticed my weight wasn’t shifting, so I started cutting back on calories. Well, that’s when I learned the hard way why cutting calories and heavy training aren’t a good match!

My workouts started to suffer. I could no longer hit the power numbers or paces that had been easy, just weeks prior. I was tired all of the time. My muscles ached simply from walking up stairs. I went to my coach to figure out what was going on and the first question she asked was, had I changed any of my fueling? I proudly told her that I had cut back to slim down to a better “race weight” – a term I kept hearing – and was startled by her strong reaction. “Now is not the time!” She was right. Your body needs fuel to get you through hard training sessions, to repair afterwards, to give you what you need in order to perform at your very best. And fueling doesn’t only matter during sessions – paying attention to proper nutrition all day is what is needed to gain fitness.

Now, does that mean that losing weight during training won’t happen or that it is a bad thing? Not necessarily. Everyone is different. You may find that it is natural to lose some body fat or add some muscle as training progresses. But it would be a mistake to rely on a number on the scale to measure your health. Instead, measure your successes in watts gained on the bike, weight lifted in the gym, or seconds gained in the pool and on the run. Those are the goals you should be chasing while you’re training for a race!

Does this mean you shouldn’t pay attention to the quality of the food that you eat while training? No, of course not. In heavy training, it’s often wise to avoid an excess of sugar/alcohol/processed foods – although you don’t need to avoid these things all together! Just consider your day as making sure that you are getting in a good balance of food that is fantastic fuel. Choose wisely when you’re going to indulge in food that might lead to less than stellar workouts the next day.

Nutrition can be all about balance. There are times in the year when you’re not chasing goals or working out crazy hours where you can work on your body composition in a different way. But while training, it’s essential to make sure that you are getting in enough calories, and the right kinds at the right time, to support your training. Fuel well, train hard, and race fast!

Race Results October 2019-January 2020

Team Amazing Day athletes finished off 2019 strong and are starting 2020 with a bang. Happy New Year!

October 13th

Steve H raced Ironman Louisville in 9:03:37 (32 minute IM marathon PR)

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October 19th

Lauren K raced the aqua bike at the North Carolina 70.3

October 26th

Jennifer C raced her first 70.3 at the Cal Tri LA in 6:17 (AG win!)

Melissa G paced the 2:35 group in the Colony Half Marathon

Emma G, Hope H and Coach Kaitlyn raced the Eerie Erie 5K

November 2nd

Erin D raced the Race to Resources 5K (1st Overall)

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December 7th

Emma G raced the Santa Stampede 5K in 29:56

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December 8th

Jennifer C raced the Indian Wells 70.3 in 6:04 (bike, run, and overall PR!)

Coach Katie raced the Indian Wells 70.3 in 5:46

December 15th

Melissa G raced the Candy Cane 5K in 27:27

Hope H (33:15), Russ K (32:38) and Coach Kaitlyn raced the Superior Stocking Run 5K

December 22nd

Melissa G raced 2 5Ks in a row! The Candy Cane 5K in 27:27 and the Jingle all the way 5K in 27:57

January 1st

Emma G (31:12), Hope H (34:05), Coach Katie and Coach Kaitlyn raced the Resolute Runner 5K in icy conditions!

January 5th

Erin D raced the Dirty Bird 15K (AG win!)

January 19th

Melissa G raced the Cocoa 5K in 29:29

Debra D raced the Houston Marathon in 4:53 (first marathon!)

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January 25th

Emma G raced Frosty’s Frozen Five Miler in 49:53

Image may contain: Emma Garrison, smiling, standing, shoes, child and outdoor

January 26th

Erin D raced the Chilly Cheeks Trail Race 11K in 1:17:10 (2nd AG!)

Alexandria C raced the rainy and cold Chicago Half Marathon in 2:02

Hope H (1:06) and Coach Kaitlyn raced the super hilly Yeti Chase 10K

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Coach Kaitlyn and Setting Goals for 2020

This January, I went through creating 2020 goals at work and in training. It has me thinking a lot about how similar the goal setting process is in both arenas. 

While you’re planning your race calendar for 2020, it is also a great time of year to decide on your goals for the year.  Races are part of those goals, but what you want to do in those races or outside of racing is still something you might be figuring out.  When we talk about goals, it’s easy to throw out the standard “get faster” or “get stronger”.  While great goals, they are way too vague and hard to measure at the end of the year.  In my office we talk about “SMART” goals and I think that concept should be applied to your season goals. 

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound.  Specific goes back to what I said before.  It needs to be something that isn’t vague, that can follow the rest of the parameters.  When you’re sending your goals to your coach, think about how you’re going to measure the success of the goal.  For instance, if your A goal is a ½ marathon, do you have a specific time to go for?  Or maybe it’s your first, so the measurable goal is a finish, or keeping to your race plan. 

I think achievable is a little looser for me in training.  A pie-in-the-sky goal isn’t a bad thing, but I think having at least one goal where you know that if you put in the work, it’s achievable can be a good confidence boost.

Relevant I think is fairly simple in sport.  If your A race is a bike race, you probably don’t want all of your goals to be around running or swimming.  Although, if your A race next year is already scheduled and is a run, then maybe one of your goals is around running. 

Time bound gives us a finite amount of time to finish the goal.  Although goals can always be moved due to life or health challenges, I think it’s good to have a time that you want the goal to be competed.  Obviously race based goals have a specific time frame already established, but if you’re looking for something different like a power test goal or a lifting goal, try to set a day where you want to have that achieved. 

Hopefully you can take some of this to sit down and brainstorm your 2020 goals.  Your coach is always here to help you fine tune your thoughts and decide on some great goals.

Here’s to an amazing 2020!!!

-Coach Kaitlyn

Green Box Challenge

In January, Team Amazing Day celebrates the new year with the Green Box Challenge. The goal: make every box in training peaks turn green for the whole month. This is accomplished by doing the workout for the planned duration or distance. However, this challenge is not only about putting in the time. It’s also about completing the workout as intended. The goal of the Green Box Challenge is this:

Setting yourself up for success – January 1st marks the time many people start a New Year’s resolution. Within a few weeks, most have failed. Instead of focusing on a big goal, focus on setting good practices which will help you reach that goal.  The Green Box Challenge helps you create a practice of doing the work daily that is needed to reach your goals. It teaches you to bring good intentions and be present for each workout. It takes 30 days to create a new habit. By the end, if you successfully complete the Challenge, you have created good habits which will carry into rest of the year.

Balance – At TAD, we believe in having a balance between training and everything else in life. We create training plans based on the time available to train – taking into account work, family, travel, etc. The goal is to respect the stress life brings by carefully fitting training into your life versus overcommitting and causing unwanted stress. For an athlete to successfully complete all their workouts, they must be upfront and honest about the time they have available to train. If it’s difficult to complete the workouts based on the time you committed to, it shows that it’s time to reevaluate your time management. Are you over committing? Are there unnecessary, unfulfilling areas of your day that can be removed?   

Doing the work – At times the work just needs to be done. Do the work. Plain and simple. Yes, balance is important but an imbalance in life is not always the reason why workouts are skipped. Sometimes after work you’d rather Netflix and chill. We all have those days. However, if you have a goal, you need to be willing to put in the work every day even if it means dragging yourself off the sofa. If you sign up for a race, you made a commitment. By checking every box green, doing the workout as intended, and putting in post workout comments, you are doing what is necessary to reach that goal. 

It’s a new year and time to chase big goals by putting in the work. Happy 2020 athletes!

-Coach Lauren

Race Results: July – September 2019

A great end to summer racing for Team Amazing Day athletes!

July 4th

Coach Katie, Coach Kaitlyn and Russ K raced the Superior Mile.

Image may contain: Russ Klein and Kaitlyn Hawkins, people smiling, people standing, sky, shorts, cloud, shoes and outdoor

Jill A raced the Myrtle Beach Independence Day 5k in 26:07 (1st AG)

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Allison S raced the Myrtle Beach Independence Day 5k in 26:21 (2nd AG)

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July 7th

Shannon M raced the Muskoka 70.3 in 6:22

July 13th

Steve H raced the Double Mussel Sprint Triathlon in 1:16 (1st AG)

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Jennifer C raced the June Lake Triathlon in 3:50.

Mike K raced the Muncie 70.3 in 6:12

Kelly D raced the Lake Zurich Triathlon in 2:35 (3rd AG)

July 14th

Sarah L raced the Boulder Peak Triathlon in 2:44

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Steve H raced the Musselman 70.3 in 4:47 (for the double – 1st AG and 5th Overall)

July 21

Erin D Raced the Double Trouble 15k in 2:24

Emma G raced the Black Hawk Trail 10k in 1:31

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July 28

Jenny B raced the Ohio 70.3 in 7:15

Coach Chrissy raced the Ohio 70.3 in 6:50

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Staci H raced the Traverse City Triathlon

August 4

Lauren K raced the Lake Logan Olympic Triathlon in 2:37 (2nd AG)

August 10

Melissa G raced the Hot Trot 5K in 28:27

Coach Kaitlyn raced the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon

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August 11

Steve H raced the Steamboat Sprint Triathlon in 1:13 (1st Overall)

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August 12

Staci H raced the 2 Mile Swim for Grand Traverse Bay (PR)

August 25

Staci H raced the Traverse City 70.3 in 7:19

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Jennifer C raced the Lake Tahoe Olympic Triathlon in 3:58

September 1

Erin D ran the marathon at the Labor Pains Endurance Run in 6:04

September 8

Monica C raced the swim leg of the Pumpkinman Half Ironman

Jennifer C rode the Tour de Tahoe

Sarah L raced Ironman Wisconsin in 11:42 (30+ minute PR & 7th AG)

September 13

Steve H raced the Littlefoot Triathlon in 58:30 (2nd Overall)

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September 21

Melissa G raced the 10 mile Tough Mudder in 2:43

September 22

Melissa G raced the Plano Half in 2:30

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Race Results – May-June 2019

A great spring for Team Amazing Day!

April 3

Steve H raced the Cherry Creek Time Trial in 20:44 (Win!).

April 13

Lauren K raced the Ville to Ville Relay Run.

April 14

Steve H raced Ironman 70.3 Florida in 4:55:38.

April 24

Steve H raced the Cherry Creek Time Trial in 20:08.

April 28

Erin D raced the New Jersey Half Marathon in 1:42 (PR).

Beth F raced the New Jersey Half Marathon in 2:11 (PR).

Allison S raced a 10k (PR & 4th AG).

May 4

Emma G raced the Furry Scurry.

May 4

Sarah L raced Ironman 70.3 St. George in 5:39 (10th AG).

May 11

Karin O completed the Skagit Classic.

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Jennifer C raced the Paiute Meadows Trail Half Marathon.

May 16

Steve H raced the Cherry Creek Time Trial in 19:46 (PR).

May 25

Staci H raced the Bayshore Half Marathon in 2:10 (course PR).

Shannon M raced the Fort Ritchie Swim Fest (2nd place in mile & 3rd in the 2,250)

May 27

Lauren K, Emma G, Kaitlyn H, Russell K, Sarah L, Steve H and Coach Katie raced the Bolder Boulder 10k.

June 2

Beth F raced the Independence Triathlon.

June 15

Jennifer C raced the Rock Tahoe Half Marathon in 2:16.

Monica C raced the Swim in the Patriot Half in 43:50.

June 21

Allison S raced a 5k (2nd AG).

June 23

Kelly D raced the Pleasant Prairie Sprint Triathlon (2nd AG).

Steve H raced the Boulder Sunrise Sprint Triathlon (3rd Overall).

Coach Katie raced the Boulder Sunrise Sprint Triathlon (1st AG).

June 29

Steph C raced her first 70.3 – Steelhead in 5:51.

Emma G raced the Lookout Mountain Sprint Triathlon.

Sick & tired of being sick & tired? You have more control than you think…

This post comes from a recent conversation I had with Coach Katie. I’ve been struggling with some health issues that have affected my training and one of my workout notes went like this: “I feel like my body is giving me the middle finger right now.” Her reply was something along the lines of, “if that’s the conversation you’re having with your body, then that’s what your body is going to do.” I interpreted that to mean, I am creating a self-fulfilling prophecy instead of managing what I can and being kind to my body so that it can heal and maintain health. I’ve bounced back from injuries and sickness many times in my life, so I needed to realize that I will bounce back again. As athletes, we demand a lot of our bodies, and we need to reciprocate with kindness for that which allows us to tackle all of these amazing events.

We’re getting close to racing season; for many, it has already begun. That means we are ramping up workouts as we prepare to smash ourselves as we chase our goals. Alongside of that ramp sometimes bring little niggles or sickness from travel and stress. There are a lot of posts on our team page about when to shut down training in regards to being sick, but are we always 100% honest about this with our coaches? Have you ever had “just a little cold” and trained through it and then it turns into a not-so-little cold? Are you always honest about strains and tweaks that you feel during or after workouts? Have those ever turned into something more?

Illness, injury and stress can majorly derail our training, which means missed workouts. So how do we successfully navigate our training season through these road blocks that may pop up?

With illness, the most important thing is to give your body what it needs – rest. For the most part, it is not a good idea to train while sick. Shut down hefty training, get more sleep, eat more plants, cut out the crap. Your body will thank you by healing faster. Workouts done with low energy and unsuccessful execution will not help build your fitness. It’s challenging to be patient here…but critical.

Injury can sneak up on you. You get off the bike and with a small ache in your knee. Is it from tripping the day before, is it the bike fit, or is there something else going on? It’s important to keep track of those niggles to see if there is a pattern or if it’s getting worse. If you think it might be related to the bike, get a professional to look at your bike fit. If it’s happening during the run, check your shoes or your run form. There are things you can adjust to prevent a niggle from becoming an injury.

And then, stress. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all quit our jobs and just sleep and train? I play the lottery in hopes that some day I can, but while I’m still living in the real world, there are ways to manage it. That’s a huge benefit to having a coach vs. a training plan. We help you manage life around training. Another tool in your box is self-care. Foam roll. Stretch. Prioritize recovery after workouts.

The bottom line is be honest with your coach AND yourself about everything going on in life. Help us help you. It’s our job! And be kind to yourself when things do derail your training. Life happens. It’s how we respond to it that matters.