After 18 weeks of preparation, it all came down to 3 hours and 46 minutes. That’s the time it took me to find the finish line after 65 grueling miles at the Tour of the Battenkill. I was elated and exhausted by the end. Sure I was ecstatic over my performance, but I was also extremely proud of (and a bit surprised by) the athlete I had become over those four months. I knew when I signed up that I wasn’t going to half-ass it until April. I tend to do things in a big way and this was no different. I planned to carefully follow my training plan and to use my diet and recovery tactics to see just how great I could become. It turns out these strategies paid off big time. Continue reading
Remember when you couldn’t walk into a drugstore without spotting a zoo of Chia critters? Then we discovered that the same gooey seeds we stuck to our terra cotta-shaped turtles and bunnies are actually a superfood. Runners have been extolling their countless health benefits since the days when the Mayans and Aztecs relied on them to fuel their cross-country conquests.
So why should this tiny black dot be a staple in any endurance athlete’s diet? For starters, chia seeds are excellent for hydration. When left in water (or your stomach) these little buggers can absorb 10 times their weight in water. This means that as they’re digested, they slowly release water, helping to maintain proper hydration. They also help stabilize electrolytes. To get the maximum benefits, soak the seeds before ingesting them. Continue reading
When sport scientist Allen Lim discovered the prevalence of gut rot in the pro peloton, he enlisted the help of Stacy Simms, a sports physiologist and nutrition scientist, to help tackle the problem. They created a drink called “X” or Secret Drink Mix and shared it with friends and athletes. Fortunately the response was overwhelmingly positive and the product is now available online and through a storefront in Boulder, CO called Scratch Labs. Continue reading
The minute my front wheel rolled onto the steep climb, my mind began spewing out a slew of tips and tricks like a broken slot machine. First, assess the hill and divide it into segments. Start off slightly slower, allowing other riders to attack the hill and hopefully blow up before the top. Visualize a rope pulling you upward. Stay seated and spin if you can to conserve energy. Stand occasionally to engage other muscles. Try counting pedal strokes as you climb to reduce the pain. Open your suitcase of courage. Dance on the pedals! Continue reading
When it comes to food obsessions, waffles are pretty high on my list. They were partially responsible for my freshman 15 (hello, make-you-own Belgian waffle bar!) and when my grandma died, I gratefully inherited her trusty waffle maker. So when I heard that Honey Stinger had magically created a waffle for saddle-side consumption, I knew I had to try it.
Honey Stinger’s waffle easily slips into a jersey pocket. Consumption involves some forethought, however, as the package is tough to open without the leverage of two hands or a pair of scissors. But once it’s out of the package, the round golden honey disk tastes divine. It’s slightly moist with a syrupy honey center and a cross between a frozen waffle and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. Unlike many other energy bars I’ve tried, Honey Stinger Waffles taste more like a bakery treat than an anti-bonking agent. Continue reading