Matcha Green Tea

This month we celebrate the wonderful Saint Patrick and that means we’ll be seeing a lot of the color GREEN! The color green is one of the most important to incorporate into the diet as the actual pigment itself holds a ton of nutrition. I’d like to put the spotlight on one of my favourite green foods and that is MATCHA GREEN TEA.

Match green tea is:

  • Packed with antioxidants including the powerful EGCg
  • Boosts metabolism and burns calories
  • Detoxifies effectively and naturally
  • Calms the mind and relaxes the body
  • Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins
  • Enhances mood and aids in concentration
  • Provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
  • Prevents disease
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar

Try swapping one of your loose leaf teas this month for a Match Green Tea instead!

Check out this link for more information on the tea:

Health Benefits of Matcha Tea

The month of March means spring break travel!

The month of March means March break travel, and if you’ve been sticking to your new year’s resolutions thus far with the idea of “summer body” in the back of your head, you probably want to avoid throwing all your hard work and progress out the window. Let me offer you a few tips and tricks to travel and stay on track without sacrificing the fun, care-free vacation vibes.


Being on the road doesn’t mean you have to eat out and all the chain restaurants that pop up on the side of the highway. The best thing to do is purchase a cooler that you can plug into the cigarette lighter outlet to keep food cool inside the whole trip. Pack things like sandwiches, fresh fruit, individual hummus packets, pre-cut vegetable sticks, Greek yogurt cups, pre-cooked chicken breasts etc. You can also pack some dry foods as well such as protein bars and whole grain crackers to keep you satisfied and away from fast food. It would be wise to take a case of water bottles to stay hydrated, stay away from pop and fruit juices which could lead to you having over-energized kids in the backseat.  Packing your own is not only healthier, but way more cost-efficient. It’s a win-win!


Most people start their vacation diet in the airport, simply because food availability is seemingly slim.  The Starbucks or Tim Horton’s restaurants don’t always have their full menu, and the convenience food is well, convenient! Since it’s hard to bring your own food with you through security the best advice I can give is eat a meal with protein at home before you get to the airport in order to know you’ve had a good meal and you are satisfied for the time being. Once you are through security and at the gates, you could always find a place that sells a salad with fresh grilled chicken you can bring on the plane with you or some healthy snacks to bring along! From my experience you can usually find some fruit here and there or some greek yogurt cups that wouldn’t be a bad choice! I also ALWAYS suggest grabbing yourself a massive water bottle for two reasons: having your own water you can say no to the complimentary pop and juice on the plane, and staying hydrated in the air helps to prevent feelings of jet-lag!


There is nothing better than showing up to your destination and having to plan or pay for nothing extra since it’s all already included! BUT, “free” food doesn’t mean you have to over-indulge. With the buffets or all-day snack bars, make sure you are listening to your body and understanding if you are truly hungry or eating because it’s social, emotional or simply because it’s there. If you aren’t quite sure how much to be consuming of one thing at a time, I always use the “eat by FIST” rule. One serving of anything should never be bigger than the size of your fist. Make sure to be eating adequate amounts of vegetables to ensure you are filling up on nutrient dense foods as well as incorporating some roughage to avoid that traveller’s constipation. Alcohol can be the biggest source of empty extra calories in someone’s day. One beverage can clock in anywhere from 150-300 calories, so if you are consuming up to six beverages a day you are adding in almost 900-2000 extra calories! If you are going to enjoy a few cocktails, always stick to the clearest alcohol you can find as it will be lowest in sugar, syrups and carbohydrates. Examples are vodka, white rum, gin, tequila etc. Speaking of beverages, again water will be your best friend especially if vacationing somewhere hot! Staying hydrated will not only keep you from experiencing head-aches, but will also keep you regular!

Lastly, but not least I’d like to touch on what everyone will probably be avoiding on their nice, relaxing vacation… EXERCISE! The extra calories and less healthy choices are inevitable, but if you could add in at least 1- minutes of intentional exercise a day, your body will LOVE YOU! This could be swimming, walking on the beach, hitting the hotel gym, hiking etc.

Happy Travels to all you vacationers!


Olivia Harty



Enter the 13 weeks.

With no further ado, I introduce you to the 13 weeks of Ironman specific training.  It has arrived!  The last three months were designed to build a strong base of fitness so as to survive the demands on the next 13 weeks of race specific training.  During this time the duration and intensity of my workouts will sky rocket.  The structure of each week is designed to get the most out of each session.  No garbage mileage, no meaningless workouts, everything has a purpose and is designed to maximize my efforts and ‘destroy’ my weaknesses.  To help you understand what that looks like, I believe it is best to outline what a base training week compared to a week during the race specific build looks like.

Training week comparison:

December training week in the middle of base training:

Swim                       2x / week              Weekly Average 3800m

Bike                          3-4x / week         Weekly Average 110-175km

Run                           3x / week              Weekly Average 42km

Strength                 2x / week              Weekly Average 30min

TOTAL: ~8 hours /week


Week 1 of 13 of my race specific build (1:13weeks)

Swim                       2x / week              Weekly Average 5200m

(Sustained Time Trial efforts)

Bike                          3x / week              Weekly Average 205km

(~5 hours of intervals and sustained efforts)

Run                           3x / week              Weekly Average 60km

(Sustained tempo.  AKA ‘hurt for as long as you can’)

Strength                 2x / week              Weekly Average 1 hour

(Therapy based exercises and treatment)

TOTAL: ~12 hours /week

The above schedule will continue to build over the next 3 months.  It is individualized and carefully designed by my coach to suit me.  My coach and I have been working together for six years now, and he is the main reason I am able to do what I do. He understands my personality and how to maximize my training efforts.  He knows what works well for me and what doesn’t. This relationship is extremely important to ensure proper build and recovery when needed, when to peak and when you are simply too ‘burnt out’ to keep pushing.  Our relationship is based on open communication, constant collaboration, honesty, and trust.  My sole responsibility as an athlete is to do the training and take care of my body in the process.  That’s the only way it works!

The last point is about recovery.  After every three week build I have one week of recovery where the volume decreases by ~40% but the intensity remains high.  If I didn’t have a coach I would be training myself into the ground, constantly.  Having Erik coach me has really helped me understand the importance of making every workout count.  Garbage miles, extra bike session or run intervals can actually hinder your progress if done improperly, at the wrong time, within the wrong week, or too often.  Doing more is not always best.  Your success will be greater if you work 100% at what you are required to do, rather then tacking on extra session or intervals at random.   Adding a recovery week allows your body to rebuild, repair and re-energize in preparation to push more and harder for the next build phase.

Train Smarter!

WELCOME to the 13 weeks… I should say 12 weeks now, of Ironman build.


Stephanie Nogueira

Registered Physiotherapist


Let love be your lifestyle!

Sources: As stated, vitamin L is found in a great variety of sources but must be developed and nurtured to be available. Fear, anger, worry,
and many other human emotions can destroy vitamin L. It is found readily in most mums and dads, and is very highly concentrated in grandmothers and grandpas. Vitamin L is also found in cats, dogs, and horses, in flowers and birds; and in trees and plants. In food, it is especially found in home-cooked or other meals where vitamin L is used consciously as an ingredient. It is digested and absorbed easily and used by the body in its pure state, being eliminated almost unchanged; in this, it is unique among the vitamins.

Functions: This vitamin acts as the “universal” vitalizing energy. Vitamin L helps to catalyze all human functions and is particularly important to heart function and the circulation of warmth and joy. Digestion is very dependent on appropriate doses of vitamin L, as is the function of the nervou system. Adrenaline, the brain endorphins, natural tranquillizers and other hormones are enhanced by vitamin L as well.

valentines-day-1947567-stock image

Uses: The list of uses is even longer than that of the functions. Vitamin L is an important nutrient in all human relations, domestic to international. We should definitely put it in the drinking supply! It is a vital ingredient in all health practitioners, doctors, clinics, and hospitals. Besides being referred to as the “universal” vitamin, Love is also known as the “vitamin of healing.”

Deficiency and Toxicity: There are rarely any serious problems from excess intake of vitamin L. Side effects, however, may include swooning, a strange
feeling in the chest, goose pimples, and staring blankly into space. Usually, though, amounts many times the minimum requirements offer no difficulty and are often helpful. Abrupt withdrawal from regular vitamin L use could be hazardous, as the love vitamin is somewhat addicting. Most people more easily tolerate increased amounts of vitamin L though huge increases should be taken slowly to prevent the side effects mentioned previously.

Requirements: The requirements may vary from person to person according to a wide range of factors. There are no specific RDA’s (Recommended Daily Allowances) for vitamin L, although infants and small children usually require fairly large doses. The suggested minimum from the Chinese culture is four hugs per day to maintain health. Recently though, the International Hug Association (IHA) has changed its guidelines and suggests that a minimum of four hugs daily is needed to prevent vitamin L deficiency, six hugs a day for maintenance and ten hugs per day for growth.


Olivia Harty



Food and Mood!


A new year begins and January rushes by as we start to get busy with all the new tasks, goals, plans, and resolutions. By the time February rolls around, we begin to settle into our new routine, but so do feelings of seasonal depression. We blame the weather, but have you ever thought about how what you eat can change the way you feel, the way you think, improve your energy levels and help you cope with stress? Here’s how:

  1. Blood Sugar Control

How often are you eating through-out the day, and what do those meals/snacks look like? When our blood sugars are spiked up high due to a high Glycemic Index food or foods that have a quick release of sugar into our bloodstream, our sugars then will drop even lower than they should.  The higher the blood sugars go, the lowers they drop. When we get ourselves into a blood sugar dip, we become irritable, get headaches, become cranky, can’t focus as well and crave even more sugar! Once we indulge in our next quick fix of sugar and repeat this cycle over and over, you go from cranky to monster! Some tips to avoid this blood sugar roller coaster are:

  • Choose whole foods- whole grains, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, low GI fruits and veggies
  • Eat 5 or more servings of fruits and veggies per day and choose leafy, dark green and root veggies to ensure vitamin, minerals and fibre intake is adequate
  • Avoid fruit juice, sugar, processed foods and foods containing refined sugar
  • Eat protein with each meal and snack
  • Eat 5-6 balanced mini-meals per day including breakfast


  1. Nutrient Deficiencies and Neurotransmitter Production

Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that allow us to relay messages all over our body. Some of us may not have optimal levels of neurotransmitters and our diet could be the cause. When we are lacking or are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals our neurotransmitter production becomes sub-optimal. The two neurotransmitters I would like to discuss are serotonin, and dopamine.

Serotonin is responsible for our mood, memory, and sleep. When we find this neurotransmitter to be low we start to see signs of seasonal disorder/depression and possibly insomnia. How to boost this neurotransmitter through diet: vitamin D, chocolate, leafy greens, and bananas are a few examples. You can also increase this neurotransmitter through sleep, spending time in nature, smiling, and exercise!

Dopamine is responsible for giving your brain energy. It is a reward neurotransmitter that gives us motivation, pleasure and euphoria. If this neurotransmitter gets too low we can experience lack of motivation and have problems staying focused or holding our attention to a task. Ways to improve dopamine levels are: fish, eggs, spirulina, red beets, apples, kale, oregano oil, bananas, and berries.


  1. The Sunshine Vitamin

It’s no secret that living in Canada can get a little depressing in the winter months, but did you know a vitamin deficiency is actually the cause of these feelings, and the lack of sun is causing it! Vitamin D is a vitamin that becomes activated in our system through sunlight. As the gloomy winter days roll around, our stores of vitamin D begin to deplete, and we have no way of filling them back up. This is when supplementation comes into play. Food, vitamins and minerals are medicine! By increasing your vitamin D intake through supplementation in the winter months can improve your mood and way of thinking drastically. The good thing about this vitamin is that it is fat soluble so it will build up nicely in your system and keep you feeling wonderful all winter long!


  1. Cortisol Control

STRESSSSSSS! We all experience it, we all blame it, but who does anything about it? Stress is nothing more than a reaction. Once you begin to think about it as that, you can gain more control over it. By reaction I mean simply that. We experience stress, our body goes into fight or flight mode, our cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems become engaged, sugar is released into our blood and our cortisol levels go through the roof. This is ok to be occurring once and a while as this survival mechanism is meant for short, rare occurrences. For most of us, we live in a state of chronic stress, which means our body systems, our blood sugars and our hormones are constantly being put to work and at higher levels then they need to be. Since we’ve already discussed blood sugar control, I’d like to focus on how to control cortisol levels. Cortisol interferes with immunity, sex drive, sleep, weight control, and other aspects of health like our bones! Good news is there is a long list of vitamins, minerals and botanicals that can help reduce these levels of cortisol.

  • Vitamin C
  • B-Complex (especially vitamin B6)
  • Calcium + Magnesium
  • Green tea (Theanine content)
  • Magnolia Bark
  • Licorice Root

Are you starting to feel like 2017 is already got the best of you? Maybe it’s your nutrition! Making sure we control blood sugars, avoid nutrient deficiencies, and work to control our stress, an incredible improvement in mood can be accomplished!


Olivia Harty


Pre-Race Schedule


We all want to improve on our past performance, continue to grow as athletes and achieve greater things.  I recognized quite a long time ago that if I want to improve my performance as an Ironman I must identify three things; 1) my weaknesses and how I am going to improve them, 2) what pre races I will be doing in order to assess my progress, and 3) how to structure my training so as to gain the most out of every effort.  In my last blog post, I defined my weaknesses and the plans to overcome them.  Today I wanted to outline my pre-race structure.

Pre-Race Schedule – This is tricky because triathlon and winter do not mix well!  But the current race prep schedule is as follows:

  1. I will schedule a simulation Olympic distance race in February. The Olympic distance is 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run.  I will be in Florida for a week as I manage a crew of 4 people supporting one out of 50 athletes through Ultraman Florida.  Afterwards, I will take one morning to myself and do a simulation Olympic triathlon.  You have to maximize every moment you have!
  2. Track Cycling Provincial Championships in February – This will give me an opportunity to test my bike fitness, speed, confidence and focus. I will be racing in several individual and group events.
  3. I plan on racing Around the Bay 30km in March to test out my nutrition and pacing on the run. This run will likely be done after a hard bike ride the day before.

That is pretty much it!  The plan might change slightly in order to accommodate any unforeseen incidents or to capture some opportunities should they arise.  In an ideal situation, I would complete a half ironman race 6-8 weeks before my Ironman.  But traveling down south yet again this spring is possible.  While it is not ideal to schedule a spring Ironman living so far north, it is completely possible.  You must learn to love the treadmill and indoor bike training.  Lucky for me, I love riding on the velodrome.  I will continue to do so, but it will not be my own form of bike training in preparation for Ironman.

Some of you may be wondering; considering the length of the winters we have will I even be able to get outsides and do a long ride before April 22nd.  Likely, I will not.  Which means I will be doing 4-5hour bike rides on my trainer, and sandwich it between rides on the track in order to give me some variety.  I came to terms with this when I first registered for Ironman Texas.  I knew what I was getting myself into and accepted it.  That is very important when deciding which Ironman to do.  I choose Texas because it has the exact race profile that I desire and that I am the strongest at.  As a result, I have to conform to the demands of the training associated with a spring Ironman.  I want this, so I am going to push through hell for it.


Stephanie Nogueira,

Registered Physiotherapist

Dynamic Health and Performance


Amp up your brain health!

Have you ever had a huge exam you weren’t prepared for, and you thought that maybe eating a square of dark chocolate, or having a piece of salmon would help your brain to recall and retain information? Well, you’re not TOO far off with that thought. The way we fuel our body is the way we fuel our brains. Brain food is a real thing! Not only will the way you eat improve memory, clear thinking, brain energy, brain mood but it also proven to improve mental health and decrease psychiatric disorders. Food production and manufacturing techniques, coupled with changing lifestyles and increasing access to processed foods, mean that our intake of fresh, nutritious, local produce is much lower, at the same time as our intake of fat, sugar, alcohol and additives being much higher. It is no wonder that 1/5 Canadians will suffer from a mental illness, and children’s mental disorders such as ADD/ADHD, OCD, anxiety etc. are more prominent.


It’s not only what you eat that will have an effect on your brain health but the health of your gut! For example, serotonin a major brain neurotransmitter that is responsible for regulating sleep and appetite, mediate your mood and inhibit pain is produced in your gastrointestinal tract. Your gastrointestinal tract is lined with a hundred million nerve cells, or neurons, it makes sense that the inner workings of your digestive system don’t just help you digest food, but also guide your emotions.

Foods to consider incorporating into your daily diet to improve your gut health and amp up your brain health:

  1. Fatty Fish
  2. Whole Grains
  3. Lean Protein, Avoid red meat
  4. Leafy Greens
  5. Yogurt with active probiotics


Olivia Harty

Identify Your Weaknesses


“Identify Your Weaknesses”

This is what I thought to myself last week during one of my long runs.  What do I need to do differently, or better this time around in order to achieve what I want to achieve at Ironman Texas.  This is my seventh Ironman after all, and with that comes experience in success and more importantly, experience in failure.  I continue to fine-tune my approach to racing and my training plan based on past successes and failures; identifying what worked and what didn’t and analyzing how I can improve.  In order to do so I have to identify three simple yet complex issues, 1) what weaknesses are hindering me from achieving my goal at IM Texas; 2) What pre-race races will I insert into the next five months of training to test out my progress; and 3) how do I need to structure my training to get the most out of every effort I make?  Let us focus on point #1 for today.

  • Weaknesses:


I am not fast at all!  But, I am steady.  In 2014, while training for Ironman Mont Tremblant, I swam consistently three days a week.  These swims would consist of a mixture of drills, intervals, and endurance sets, and no swim workout was less then 2200m.  I was fully invested in improving my stroke and no matter what; I would never skip a swim workout.  I was in the zone!

The same was done in 2015 for IM Mont Tremblant and IM Florida.  My swimming was strong and I was pleased.  In 2016, my focus was lacking and I found myself swimming twice a month at best.  I didn’t have a race goal and it resulted in a loss of motivation and focus.  A combination of health issues and injuries made it even harder to even want to get back in the pool.  With no direction my swimming eventually began to suffer.  Big time!

By committing to improve I am focused on consistent investment and dedication that will re-establish my swimming skill to 2014/15 levels.  Identifying that we all need help from time to time has led me to join a masters swim team once a week to help me stay focused on my form, and I have scheduled two weekly solo swims to build my speed and stamina.


As I discussed in my previous blog, maintaining a consistent pace and effort in my run is a big goal for me.  I was able to achieve that at the marathon I raced in October.  However, keeping a steady pace during the run of an Ironman is an entirely different beast than it is during a marathon.  The fatigue in your legs and mind becomes exponentially larger.  Quieting thoughts and feelings of fatigue and struggle requires you to look deep into yourself to find strength you never thought was there.  As a result, I will schedule some difficult brick workouts within my training plan that will consist of a long negative split bike ride, followed by a mid distance tempo run.  Basically, running near threshold for 12-15km immediately after doing a 130-150km bike ride where the back half is faster then the front half.  If you are wondering…yes, I do consider this to be fun!  ☺


Many athletes will say that your nutrition strategy is the most important part of a triathlon.  For me, my run nutrition needs to be fine-tuned.  By practicing what type of nutrition to take in and at what intervals, I will establish a system that won’t wreak havoc on my GI system as I am trying to run the marathon.  For me, this has always been the greatest issue in Ironman.  I have difficulties taking in my run nutrition without becoming nauseated.  Due to the hours of constant physical effort, your GI system is not working at its greatest capacity.  A great majority of your blood supply is shunted towards your extremities and away from your stomach.  As a result, digestion becomes impaired.  Considering the very weak stomach I have, ingestion of anything besides fluid leads to an overwhelming stomach upset that stops me dead in my tracks.  When you are in the middle of a race…stopping is not an option and anything that makes you do so must be solved.

The nutrition strategy I used during the October Marathon worked incredibly well.  I will aim at doing the same for Ironman Texas marathon.  However, because I will already be depleted to a degree once I come off the bike, I will tweak this strategy slighting in order to accommodate.

Run nutrition will be as follows:  Diluted gatorade (50/50 mix) throughout the race, I will not carry my fuel belt and solely rely on the aid stations throughout the run course to provide me with my fluids.  The additional pressure of the fuel belt around my waist will only worsen the nausea should it manifest.  I will supplement with GU Salted Caramel and Chocolate flavours, taking 1/2 a gel every 5-7km (I give myself a little bit of wiggle room hear depending on how I feel).  I will further supplement with 1 Eload salt pill at x5 strength, every half hour.  I sweat a lot, as this is needed considering the strength of the Texas heat.  As with everything else, this nutrition strategy will be practiced and fine tuned.

I will speak further about my entire race nutrition strategy in a later blog, but considering this is a weakness area for me that I must plan and prepare for, I wanted to touch on it slightly today.

Though difficult to admit at time, we all have our weaknesses and hurdles to overcome at any stage of the race.  Its how you plan and prepare for it that will determine if you overcome or succumb to the end result.

I choose to overcome!

Stephanie Nogueira

Registered Physiotherapist

MYTH BUSTER: Margarine or butter?


There is a lot of misinformation out there on the internet, TV commercials and even some magazines. The food industry likes to plant these ideas of “health foods” into our heads in order to sell their products, but in reality most of the time the products they’ve created are actually harmful to our bodies. There comes a time when we need to trust the cow over the chemist and comparing butter to margarine is one of those times.

Margarine is a man-made, highly processed product that uses vegetable oils, colorants, emulsifiers and a myriad of other artificial ingredients. Let’s focus on the vegetable oil. Vegetable oil is usually liquid at room temperature, so in order to get it into that nice spreadable soft margarine, we need to actually hydrogenate this oil. Hydrogenation also allows the product to have an extended shelf-life. But, when we hydrogenate this oil we are actually turning the fat from the oil into trans fat which our bodies don’t recognize! Also this involves exposing the oils to high heat, high pressure, hydrogen gas and a metal catalyst. YUCK!

Butter however is made by churning the fatty portion of cow’s milk until its butter. THAT’S IT! Now you may be saying, but I heard butter has a high amount of saturated fat and cholesterol which are bad for my heart health. Over the past few years there have been many studies that actually show no association between saturated fat, cholesterol and heart disease.

Eating saturated fats actually improves the blood lipid profile. It raises HDL (the “good”) cholesterol and changes the LDL from small, dense LDL (very bad) to large LDL, which is benign.

Lastly, butter actually offers us a lot of our fat soluble vitamins! These are vitamins A, E and a special one called K2. If we are eating a well balanced diet of plant and animal foods, you are probably getting enough vitamin A and E, but vitamin K2 is fairly rare in the modern diet and many people don’t know about it! Vitamin K2 is involved in calcium metabolism and a low intake has been associated with diseases such as CVD, cancer, and osteoporosis!

In summary, when looking for something to spread on your toast or use in your baking, opt for butter over margarine every time!

Olivia Harty – Nutritionist at Dynamic Health and Performance

“Quiet the mind, quiet the breathing, and this will pass”


The responses I have received over the past two weeks from my Blog Premier have been absolutely heart warming and positive.  I won’t lie, my stomach dropped to my feet when my initial post hit social media.  I still find it scary opening myself up this way.  Vulnerability is not an easy thing to stomach.  So thank you to everyone who approached me with your positive feedback and your words of empowerment and encouragement.  Requests to address certain topics have been abundant.  I have realized this blog might actually turn into a weekly post, fuelled by the passion to share and the interest to learn.

So, as I sit here, sandwiched between this mornings swim and the extremely painful track interval bike ride to come, I am trying find the motivation to get up and go.  I am searching for the motivation that will help keep me focused on the objective of the painful bike ride to come.  We must persistently be establishing our objectives before embarking on any training session.  This is a constant search and a constant effort. That key objective or purpose, is our driving force to moving forward in training.  Without it I firmly believe failure will be at journeys end.  Let me explain what I mean by this.

Leading up to the marathon I raced two weeks ago, training consisted of three to four runs per week; two to three swim sessions and one recovery bike session.  It was a progressive build from running 45km per week, to 80-85km per week. Every training session before heading out the door I outlined my specific goal for that particular session.  I reminded myself of why I was doing this, what my objective was, and why I have decided to push my body to this degree.

In the early stages of training, when you are well rested, you do not rely on your ‘objectives’ as much as you do when you have 40 km of running in your legs, 6 km of swimming in your arms, and you have a back to back 25km followed by a 30km run the following day.  It becomes daunting, as you know there is more building to come.  You are exhausted from the physically demanding workday, your body aches, and your mind and body are simply drained of its stamina.  But you made a choice.

Fatigue resistance is ultimately the name of the game.  This is what you signed up for!  Being able to push yourself through the times you are exhausted, drained and simply want to give in.  But you can’t.  You will not.  Therefore, having that objective becomes the keystone to how you are going to push through it.

In every race, you will face that same moment.  The moment pain becomes too much to bear.  Exhaustion overcomes you and all your brain can hear is the screaming of your consciousness saying, “STOP, for goodness sake, please STOP”!  At that moment your purpose, that objective you established before heading out the door, before signing up for the race is the only thing you have to carry your next steps forward.

During the marathon, my objective was to stay constant from beginning to end.  No matter what presented itself, no matter how sore I became, or what nagging ache may have ensured, it would pass and I would still be standing.  So during the run, I would say to myself “quiet your mind, quiet your breathing”.  I know very well that a talkative mind can easily talk you out of any painful experience.  It is easier to give in to the pain of a marathon and walk for a bit.  But that was not my objective.  My objective was to stay constant and ‘constant’ did not entail walking or giving in.  The body is stronger then the mind thinks…so “quiet the mind, quiet the breathing and this will pass”.  Saying that over and over again reminded me of my objective.  And no matter what, I was not going to give in.

Now think of it the other way.  Going into a race without clearly stating your purpose and goals, and you may find it difficult to get from it what you want.  If you have an objective, and the guts to fight for it, I firmly believe you will never fail.  Apply this to every day, training or not.  Wake up and say to the world your objective for the day.  Establish that driving force that will push you through the difficulties to come, because you know they will appear.  As simple or complex as your goal may be, it does not matter.  Have one, because successfully achieving your goals feels really good.

Stephanie Nogueira

Registered Physiotherapist

No matter what happens, I will still be standing.