Tag Archives: Training

Nutrition tips for endurance athletes

Adam O'Meara - PURICA Ambassador
Adam O’Meara
PURICA Ambassador

Adam O’Meara, a Victoria-based professional triathlete, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors who are committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Here are some valuable suggestions from Adam on nutrition tips for endurance athletes.

You don’t need to be running a half marathon or cycling a Gran Fondo in order to be classified as an endurance athlete.  If you are training for a 5k running event or doing group fitness classes such as jazzercise that are pretty much continuous movement done with an elevated heart rate then you are doing endurance athletics.

I will offer some nutrition related suggestions for people engaging in endurance sport training.  These suggestions are based off my experience and self education over the past decade.  In the near future, upon completion of a program through the Cory Holy Institute, I will be able to provide advice as a Certified Sports Nutrition Advisor (CSNA).

Below I offer solutions for three common nutrition mistakes that people make when they engage in regular endurance training.

#1

Mistake: People don’t consume enough calories in the 60-90 minutes after their exercise session.
Problem: The body is starving for nutrition and in particular protein and carbohydrates post exercise as it is trying to replenish muscle glycogen and repair damaged muscles.
Solution: This is the time in the day that your body is best able to process and utilize all three macronutrients and if not enough food is consumed then your body will struggle on various levels including hormonal health.

#2

Mistake: People consume too many sugary carbohydrates during exercise.
Problem: Sports science has proven time and time again that when carbohydrates are taken during prolonged endurance exercise they increase performance.  But our body’s don’t need to be stuffed full of them each and every session, especially not sessions lasting shorter than ~75 minutes.
Solution: Find a brand that uses high quality ingredients for their products and then consume 20-60g / hour depending on session intensity and duration as well as personal needs.  Whole foods may be used if the intensity is low to moderate and your GI tract can handle the more complex carbohydrates and / or fibrous options.

#3

Mistake: People often eat too many refined foods because they feel that regular exercise warrants it.
Problem: Refined foods do not have the same nutrient density as whole foods, and in particular vegetables (and fruits).  When people start to eat fewer vegetables they are compromising their long-term health.
Solution: Eat a plethora of vegetables! Remember the calorie content is much lower in a cup of steamed broccoli than a cup of cookie dough, and therefore active people need to make sure they eat LOTS of vegetables!

Final Note: Remember your long-term health should be a priority and nutrition is paramount to your health.  One reason I want to stay healthy is so I can be running up the mountain with my son when I’m 75 years old!

For more information, check out www.adamomeara.com or email PURICA Ambassador Adam O’Meara at adamomeara@gmail.com.  And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness

*A note on vegan and vegetarian options: At PURICA, we’re committed to empowering you with the best in whole foods, supplements and positive lifestyle solutions. We support all athletes and active living people whatever your dietary preferences, although we will always do our part to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarian or vegan options.

Structuring your race week

Adam O'Meara - PURICA Ambassador
Adam O’Meara
PURICA Ambassador

Adam O’Meara, a Victoria-based professional triathlete, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors who are committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Here are some valuable suggestions from Adam on how to structure your training the week leading up to your race.

January saw many people joining running clinics or starting up their running routine again with the goal of completing a road running race. As some who has completed many running and triathlon events, I can tell you that structuring your training in the seven days prior to the event is very important.

Let’s assume your event is a 10k, your goal time is 1 hour and it takes place on a Sunday. Here’s the way I’d go in your final week of preparation:

Sunday (one week out):

  • 50:00-70:00 Total workout time
  • Perform a good warm up of at least 15 minutes, with 20-25 being ideal;
  • The intensity of the warm up should start off very easy. By the 15 minute mark, it is time to start to increase your effort and perhaps perform some strides;
  • The Workout: 3-5 rounds of 400m slightly faster than goal race pace/effort. Your recovery interval is twice as long as the duration of the 400m effort.  Then, if you are feeling good, you could insert 10 minutes right at your goal race pace;
  • If at anytime in the second half of the workout you feel sore and tired, then back off the intensity and complete the duration of the run at a relaxed pace.

Monday:

  • 20:00-25:00 Total workout time
  • All easy;
  • Just to get the blood flowing and speed recovery.

Tuesday:

  • Day off

Wednesday:

  • Day off or Easy 20:00-30:00
  • Include 6 x 15-20 second strides in the second half;
  • This workout does not impact the result on Sunday, it can be done if there is the desire and the time to do it;

Thursday:

  • 35:00-50:00 Total workout time
  • Perform a good warm up of 15 minutes;
  • The Workout: 3-5 rounds of 200m slightly faster than goal race pace/effort. Recovery interval is twice as long as the duration of the 200m effort.  Then, if you are feeling good you could insert 5 minutes right at your goal race pace;
  • If at anytime in the second half of the workout you feel sore and tired then back off the intensity and complete the duration of the run at a relaxed pace.

Friday:

  • Day off

Saturday:

  • 20:00-35:00 Total workout time
  • Start relaxed;
  • Build the effort as you feel is appropriate;
  • Insert 5 minutes right at your goal race pace / effort.

These suggested guidelines will work for most people, but if you have found a routine that works well for you, then stick with it.  The most important thing to remember is that race week is not the time to gain fitness…it is the time to rest up and sharpen up.  Doing nothing will leave you flat and in a position to underperform, keep your weekly workout frequency to where it usually is and make sure you break a sweat when it is appropriate!

Have a great race!

For more information, check out www.adamomeara.com or email PURICA Ambassador Adam O’Meara at adamomeara@gmail.com.  And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness

*A note on vegan and vegetarian options: At PURICA, we’re committed to empowering you with the best in whole foods, supplements and positive lifestyle solutions. We support all athletes and active living people whatever your dietary preferences, although we will always do our part to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarian or vegan options.

Staying Fit While Travelling

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Here are Melissa’s tips on how to keep fit even when you are travelling.

Jetting off somewhere? It’s never easy to keep the jet power in your workouts while you are on the road, but here’s how I’ve managed to do it over the years.

If you’re flight delayed, take a brisk walk around the airport. There will be plenty of time to sit once you board your airplane.

Once you get on the plane and it is safe to move around the flight, go to the back of the plane and stretch out for a few minutes. Don’t be shy! Touch your toes for thirty seconds and then get into a full squat for thirty seconds. Stand up and do some neck stretches. Rotate your neck forward and backward 10 times. Then bend your neck from side to side 10 times.

After that, raise your shoulders as high as you can and then let the drop 10 times. The stress from traveling is generally held in the neck, shoulders, and lower back. Taking a few minutes to stretch on the plane will have you more refreshed when you get to your destination.

Take another brisk walk around the airport before making your way to the baggage claim if you have checked luggage, you know you’ll have some time and it’s much more enjoyable than standing in anticipation for the baggage claim belt to shoot out your luggage.

If you only have a carry-on, be sure to get in a walk or cardio run in when you get settled. It doesn’t have to be a major workout…just enough to get the blood moving and to loosen up your body.

After a long trip, your muscles tend to be tighter than ever. You can ward off lower-back soreness with a forward fold: Bend at the hips and fall forward, hugging your knees and rocking side to side. Follow up with these two yoga moves:

Child’s Pose

This go-to rest pose opens hips and relieves low back tightness.

  1. Kneel on the floor with big toes touching and knees about hip-width apart. Sit on your heels.
  2. Lay your torso between the thighs and bring your forehead to the mat. Extend arms straight in front of you, palms on the floor. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Stay here for at least one minute.

Downward Facing Dog

Down-Dog stretches your spine, hamstrings, glutes, calves; strengthens deltoids, triceps making it a top-notch upper body-strengthener. And because your hips are higher than your heart, it increases circulation.

  1. Start on all fours with your feet and knees hip-width apart. Position hands about shoulder-width apart and spread your fingers wide.
  2. Pressing firmly through your hands, lift knees off the floor and straighten your legs. (If you have tight hamstrings, a gentle bend in the knees is fine).
  3. Walk your hands forward a few inches and walk your feet back a few inches to lengthen the pose. Squeeze thighs as you press them toward the back wall. Press your heels back and down toward the floor.
  4. Relax the head and neck and let your shoulder blades slide down your back toward your feet. Breathe deeply. Hold for at least one minute.

Namaste!

For more information, check out www.melissatucker.com or email PURICA Ambassador Melissa Tucker at melissa@melissatucker.com.  And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness

*A note on vegan and vegetarian options: At PURICA, we’re committed to empowering you with the best in whole foods, supplements and positive lifestyle solutions. We support all athletes and active living people whatever your dietary preferences, although we will always do our part to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarian or vegan options.

Progressive Resistance Training

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Here are Melissa’s tips on progressive resistance training.

When I see a woman at the gym using 20-pound dumbbells for arm curls, I think to myself, “Good for her. She’s figured out the secret to making progress.” Bodybuilding is accomplished through weight training with progressive resistance.

For men or women to make progress, you have to increase the resistance. That’s what tones up your muscles. You have to challenge them. Don’t baby them if you want them to grow in strength, size, endurance, power or all of the mentioned areas. Note to the ladies, you won’t get big and bulky by lifting heavy weights, If you eat the appropriate clean calories to support your workouts in most cases your clothing size will drop as you tone and tighten your physique!

So, how much weight should you be lifting? Begin with a weight that allows you to easily complete two sets of 15 as a warm-up then choose a weight that will allow you to perform between 8 and 12 repetitions.

If you can’t do eight reps, it’s too heavy. If you can do more than 12, it’s too light and you need to add a little. Add enough weight that will again allow you to only get eight reps.  That’s usually done by adding about five pounds.

Follow this progressive training method for all your body parts for a 10-12 week training program and you will see and feel great results!

For more information, check out www.melissatucker.com or email PURICA Ambassador Melissa Tucker at melissa@melissatucker.com.  And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness

*A note on vegan and vegetarian options: At PURICA, we’re committed to empowering you with the best in whole foods, supplements and positive lifestyle solutions. We support all athletes and active living people whatever your dietary preferences, although we will always do our part to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarian or vegan options.

Combining the demands of training and family

Adam O'Meara - PURICA Ambassador
Adam O’Meara
PURICA Ambassador

Adam O’Meara, a Victoria-based professional triathlete, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors who are committed to promoting positive lifestyle solutions, including healthy eating and training tips. Here are some of Adam’s suggestions – as a father and husband – on how to balance the demands of a training lifestyle with the responsibilities of family:

You don’t have to be a high performance athlete like myself to understand that it’s not easy to combine the rigours of working out and training with the responsibilities of family life.

A father of two recently told me that the fondest memories his children (now aged 12 and 8) have are of the times they’ve experienced together.

I understand that myself, having transitioned from living in my own little world as a professional triathlete to married life and now being a father of our four-year-old Max.

For me, the biggest challenge in the last 5 years has been finding the balance between family life and my long-distance triathlon career.  It’s not so much getting the training done, even though it is tough going. The hard part is making sure that my wife and Max get the time they deserve; especially when I have to head out and close the door behind me while Max is idling for attention.

Here’s how I’ve kept up with my training while not missing out on my family and the memories of our time together. I hope these tips help you make the most of your active lifestyle and your quality family time:

  • Communicate your plans and needs to your spouse / partner, children, other family members and friends;
  • Learn what works best for you as an individual when it comes to your training approach. We are all different, for example – you may not be a morning workout person, so be present and engaged with the family at that time of day;
  • Plan outings, events and other activities with your family and friends. And then make sure you stick to that plan;
  • Know your spouse / partner and respect their needs. This is vital.  It doesn’t happen very often but sometimes I have to make a decision to simply not do the 2nd or 3rd workout of the day because I see my family needs me;
  • Remember that a missed workout here or there does not affect your overall fitness, health and wellbeing. The most important thing when it comes to training and exercise is consistency over long periods of time;
  • Listen to your body: If you are feeling overly tired and not motivated to perform your planned workout then change it to the next day, put it out of your mind and make the most of your new found time and spend it with your family and/or friends;
  • Include family when you can. Max has run a few kids running races over the past few years and it has been an absolute blast for him;
  • Become time efficient. I save this point for last because it’s a skill that needs to be developed. It isn’t that tough to do; it just takes practice.  For example, combine the stops to the gas station, grocery store, library or chiropractor with when you are going to be travelling to and from the gym or pool or run location.  Every time you run an extra errand it takes time; time which you could be spending with your loved ones.

For more information, check out www.adamomeara.com or email PURICA Ambassador Adam O’Meara at adamomeara@gmail.com.  And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness.

Say No-No to the Yo-Yo

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips, such as this roadmap to avoiding the ups-and-downs of weight gain and loss:

Does this sound familiar to you: “I have tried every ‘diet’ out there and exercised, but nothing works”.

You’re not alone if it does. Thousands of people end the year with a New Year’s resolution of losing weight. Unfortunately, jumping in with New Year’s routines that are restrictive and extreme is overwhelming and ineffective. This is why resolutions are popular on December 31 and often abandoned by January 31.

The yo-yo pattern of going on and off restrictive diets or strenuous exercise routines is a no-no.

By adopting habits that you are willing to carry out for the rest of your life, you are focusing on making lifestyle changes. The small changes allow you to learn and incorporate new behaviors and habits to reach short-term goals along the way. Habits are the way to go.

You will feel happier and get better results with progressive and positive lifestyle changes such as: increasing movement and replacing unhealthy foods with more nutritious balanced foods on daily and weekly bases. Your confidence will grow with your sustained commitment and accomplishments of managing your weight and health. By the end of the year, you will have learned to make your life a healthy life for the long term instead of drastic short-term changes that you quit in less than a month.

As you work on the goals you have resolved to make come true this in 2015, be sure the new things you are doing are realistic. You want your new habits and routines to be things you can do day-in and day-out most days for the rest of your life.

If what you have started is too much and too overwhelming, reset and restart with smaller steps until your strides lengthen and consistency strengthens. Be sure breaks and vacation days are scheduled throughout the year to celebrate your success!

For more information, check out www.melissatucker.com or email PURICA Ambassador Melissa Tucker at melissa@melissatucker.com.. And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness.

Top Winter Workouts

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to promoting positive lifestyle solutions, including healthy eating and training tips. Here are Melissa’s suggestions on how to make the most of your winter workouts!

Winter may seem like the time to head indoors and bundle up against the cold; well here are my top picks to get your Canadian hearts pumping outside. Continue reading

Healthy Foods for Under a Buck

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to promoting positive lifestyle solutions, including healthy eating and training tips. Here are Melissa’s tips on how to eat healthy on a budget.

Food prices are climbing heading into 2015. So being able to eat healthy without overspending is a sensible resolution for the New Year.

Here are 10 healthy bites for under a buck per serving: Continue reading

Sick Training

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to promoting positive lifestyle solutions, including healthy eating and training tips. Here are Melissa’s tips on how to keep motivated, even when you’re not feeling well.

Nothing can bring your fitness progress to a halt more than feeling sick. So the question is: Should you continue training while you are sick?

Your body’s immune system is taxed much more by the flu than by the common cold. So training with a flu would not only be detrimental to muscle growth, but to your health. Continue reading

Are group fitness classes for you?

Melissa Tucker - PURICA Ambassador
Melissa Tucker
PURICA Ambassador

Melissa Tucker, a training coach and one of Canada’s foremost global fitness competitors, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors committed to promoting positive lifestyle solutions, including healthy eating and training tips. Here Melissa gives us her take on group fitness classes and whether they might be a fit for you!

Group fitness classes are a great way to add something new to your workouts and are offered at almost all gyms! The comradery of a group sweat session generates energy with the other participants. The instructor will help motivate you and assure proper form and tempo your session. Continue reading

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