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

Nutritionist

oharty@dynamichealthandperformance.ca

 

Food and Mood!

eat-happy

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

Nutritionist

oharty@dynamichealthandperformance.ca

Ironman Texas 2017 – Blog Premiere

steph-running

I am truly not one for sharing any details regarding myself, especially when it comes to my race objectives, time goals, race strategy, etc.  I am very confidential regarding those details, and that will not change.  However, inquiring minds will always ask those deep rooted questions about why you race Ironman, what it entails and how you overcome the pain, exhaustion and relentless desire to simply stop.  They are definitely not easy questions to answer.  Every athlete has a different purpose, different ways of overcoming the pain and exhaustion to overcoming and persevering.  That is what all-inquiring minds find contagious.  Your story of overcoming is one that everyone wants to hear.  It’s the story told around the campfire that captivates and grips everyone attention.  I have always said, ‘everyone is capable, Ironman, Half Ironman, Sprint…whatever the goal.  Everyone is capable of achieving.  The only think you have to learn to overcome, is yourself’.  And the story of self-triumph is the motivation that others want to hear and draw from.  The energy you portray, the motivation and positivity you embody is the driving force that can empower anyone.

On April 22nd, 2017, I will be competing in my seventh Ironman triathlon.  Why do I tell you this? Because I want to show you how anything is truly possible.  Over the next six months I will be posting a biweekly blog taking you as the reader through my training towards Ironman # 7.  Through this journey, you will read about the ups and downs of training.  There will be tips and pointers on nutrition, training program structure, strength building, the importance of establishing a strong foundation, how to overcome pain, and break through the mental and physical exhaustion.  As with any endurance training, there will likely be some minor injuries that will ensue (it comes with the territory).  I will outline the strategies and treatment plans taken to overcome these and how to further prevent injury while maintain your training.  I am also happy to speak on any other topics you would like to read about.  Who knows, maybe I will explain what happened in Ironman # 3, and how that completely changed my training and my outlook on pain.

I have a lot to share.  And I want to share it.  I am hoping through this I can help answer some questions, shed some light on a topic, or maybe help someone overcome their own road blocks.  Training for any goal however big or small, is not easy.  But then again anything worth fighting for is not easy.  I am just another person who has raced Ironman that simply wants to share the journey in a hope of helping someone, or empowering another.  So I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I.

I just finished racing the Scotiabank Toronto Marathon on Sunday October 16th.  So, I am currently on recovery week.  To follow will be a slow progressive return to base training of my swim and bike, and a maintenance phase for my run.  So, I open up the floor to you guys, let me know in the comments below if there is something in particular you want me to touch base on.  I would love to hear your stories as well.

Safe training,

 

Stephanie Nogueira

Registered Physiotherapist

Dynamic Health and Performance

  

“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take”