Rest Days & Recovery

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All coaches have different approaches to rest and recovery, but they are united in agreement that recovery is essential to training. Athletes – it’s part of the reason to have a coach that is watching over you. It is our job to get you to the starting line of your races as prepared and as healthy as possible! If you do nothing but smash yourself with workouts, at some point, your body will let you know with an illness or an injury. One of the biggest responsibilities as a coach is to watch out for training stress, work stress, life stress, relationship stress, even fun stress – to help you plan around it so your training can continue without interruption. And the key is: BALANCE.

We are not here to be the No Fun Police when you sign up for three marathons in five weeks, having never run further than four miles in your life. We don’t like it when we have to harsh your social media brag style by letting you know that it’s not always a great idea to run 50 miles the day before your first ironman. We’re here to help you chase the things that you want – whether that is fun with friends, racing new distances, or shooting for a big PR. And we are always going to be watching out for the amount of stress that your training and racing schedule is applying.

Does that mean that your coach is always going to shake their head when you want to do a crazy event with your friends, or try piling up new distances? Of course not! But aligning race-day-expectations with training-and-life-stress realities is part of the ongoing conversation between any athlete and any coach. We love us some smashfests! Bring on the 50 mile run, or the 100×100, or the marathon mania. But let’s work together to make sure that you are prepared going in and recover properly coming back out.

What’s the best way to help your body prepare and recover? Embrace the rest days and the recovery workouts. Give your body the time and space to refill. Let your easy runs be SO VERY EASY! Rock that 45 watt easy spin or that 30 minute flop swim. These workouts are actually when you are giving your body time and space to recover, which directly contributes towards building your fitness forward.

Bottom line: you hire a coach because you have goals that you want to reach, and your coach wants them too! Take your recovery and your rest seriously, and you’re one step closer to reaching those goals.

The Swim Challenge

Every year in February, Team Amazing Day hosts a swim challenge. The rules are simple: whomever swims the most distance in the month wins.

Although swimming is the shortest distance of a triathlon, it is definitely not the least important. Each discipline feeds into the next. The fitness you build in swimming carries over into cycling and running – you only have one engine! Swimming allows an athlete to build low-impact fitness without the pounding of running, it can be an excellent recovery workout from tougher sessions of the week, and for run- or cycling-focused athletes, swimming is a terrific cross-training exercise.

Want to become a faster swimmer? It’s time to focus on form. Inefficient technique makes you tire faster in the water and can even lead to injury long-term. Improvements in form = faster swimming, but also less energy expenditure prior to the bike and run legs of a triathlon. And the best way to focus on form is to swim as often as possible. For some athletes, a short block of swimming with as little as 15-20 minutes per day can have a huge impact on their swim times.

When is the best time of the year to schedule a hefty swim block? Early in the season, when the bike and run workouts are shorter and fitness is in early stages. Mix it up to keep it interesting in the water: challenge yourself to swim bands-only for a stronger core, to add sculling and drills to your warm-up as form focus, to add paddles for strength development, and fins because going fast is FUN! If swimming is your weakest discipline, now’s the time to tackle it. You will be rewarded all year long.

Happy swimming!

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

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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.

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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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