Riding with the wind. When I'm sad, she comes to me.
With the thousand smiles, she gives to me...

Fly on my little wing.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Somewhat Eccentric Practices and Gear

If there's one thing true about triathletes it's that we all have our personal and unique quirks when it comes to training as well as come race day. In no particular order I would like to share some of mine. A few of these might have some scientific basis/rational, some are obvious and most are just interesting. In no particular order...

1) Pancakes (or Waffles) and Michigan Maple Syrup- This is my standard breakfast four or five days a week. Homemade of course (Recipe here). Pancakes are filling and have quality carbs. Maple syrup provides some added minerals and tastes infinitely better than Aunt Jemima. 

2) B-Nuts Trail Mix- If you're unfamiliar, this is my business I started two years ago. I must say I eat it by the handful on a daily basis. My go to snack any time of day (especially after second dinner). Packed with varied and quality nutrition on top of being delicious. It's hard to go wrong.

3) Sufferfest Videos- Hands down the best cycling videos I've encountered. Between Michigan and Colorado seasons there's lots of time on the trainer. I typically just watch movies, but Sufferfest vids keep it interesting and keep the motivation for the harder workouts. I must say that "Local Hero" is my favorite, but "Hell Hath No Fury" is a close second and Extra Shot: "The Long Scream" is a good motivator.

4) Naps- No cutting edge genius here. Naps are good for you. Nothing like a 20-35 minute powernap to recharge the battery before or after a workout. Sleeping 8-9 hours a night on a regular basis is also helpful. Getting HGH the natural way (Google it if you don't believe me).

5) Music/ Ipod Shuffle- Just see my previous post. One of the best motivators out there for me. I mean if every album in the world got destroyed except for Licensed to Ill, I wouldn't be happy. But I'd survive.

6) Talladega Nights and Top Gun-Face it the list of movies I could put on here is exhaustive. In fact neither of these make my "Top 3" movie list. But they do make my "Best movies to watch on the trainer" list. If you don't automatically put out 500W watching either of the above videos, there's something wrong with you.

7) Ensure Plus, Strawberry Pop Tarts and one No-Doze- My standard Pre-Race breakfast. Quality? No. Simple, portable, calorie dense and easy to digest? Yes.

8) Workout Log- Chalk this one under obvious and essential. You can't see your improvements and make adjustments to your training if you don't have a history.

9) Thermal Underwear- Either side of the spectrum on this one. You either completely expected it or it wasn't even on the radar. Maybe you really didn't even want to know. But if you're going to be doing outside activities in the winter, then a pair or two is your best friend. I'll let you imagine the details.

10) Maltodextrin-What you ask? Basically sugar, but in a slightly different form than your standard table sugar. Why you ask? It's cheap calories, less expensive than any other commercial drink out there. Granted you don't get the electrolytes, etc. You can add to any other drink base (or water) for long rides, up to 1000 calories in a bottle. Plus people ask why you have gallon bags of white powder around your house. Where you ask? Iowa. 50# Bag. Google Maltrin QD 500.

11) Chocolate Milk- You may be sensing some of my priorities lie in the food department. That is a true statement. Most of us have heard chocolate milk is a good post-workout option. I was on that bandwagon long ago. Not because it is a good recovery drink. Just because it is delicious.

12) Short Shorts and plenty of socks- Anything less than 6" inseam is my preference, depending on the weather and how many "thigh" comments I want from my sisters. Split on the side is optional. Inner liner is a must and to be honest the best thing about running shorts. Freedom! You can't have enough socks. Synthetic or wool are the only reasonable options. I bring four or five pairs to any given race.

I'm sure that there are a few things missing from this list. Next week I'll probably think of one or two. But that's it for now.

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