Monday, February 22, 2016

It's All In the Details (Part II)

            Lately I’ve had an even more intentional focus on nutrition in regards to refueling.  Mondays have become a crazy, long day filled with workouts and being active.  As a result, I quickly learned just how big of a difference properly refueling makes.  My “pre-fuel” for breakfast includes oatmeal with milk, crunchy peanut butter, and raisins.  This leaves me feeling full for a while and also gives me a bit of a protein boost with my carbs. 
Mondays look a bit like the following… I get a swim and run in at the Y and try to be done by 10:30 so I have some recovery time.  As soon as I get home, I have my first snack.  I get playtime with the kiddos, lunch, and then I hop on my bike on the trainer during naptime.  Once I am done biking, I have another snack.  Then I head into school to lift with my student athletes from 3:30-4:30.  Even though it’s getting close to suppertime when I get home, I often will have a third snack at this time.  I make supper, and then sometime between 6-9pm, we play in a volleyball league for 45 minutes to 1.5 hours if it’s a double-header.  And yes, after I get home I often have yet another snack.
            Let me first clarify – these snacks rarely take the form of crackers, chips, cookies, etc.  I know Mondays are a really long day, and I need to be intentional about what I put into my body because I KNOW it WILL affect the way that I feel and perform later in the day and even the days afterward.  My first long Monday, I didn’t hardly snack, and I felt my body slow down and become sluggish as the day progressed.  Another time, my snacks didn’t consist of the best choices, and it was evident that my body suffered from that as well. 
When it comes to refueling, I try to take in the 3-4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein that science has shown to be the optimal ratio.  Carbs are to replenish the depleted glycogen stores that your body uses as energy, and protein is for repairing and rebuilding the muscles that were taxed.  The simplest way to get this ideal ratio is of course through chocolate milk, which is why it is the ideal recovery beverage.  Other foods that I have also incorporated into my snacking are the following: Greek yogurt (adding granola will up the carb amount), banana with crunchy peanut butter, and apple slices with crunchy peanut butter.  I have a “thing” for crunchy peanut butter lately. ;)  Fortunately, just 2 TBSP of it has 7 grams of protein.  As soon as I added in all of the healthy snacks with carbs and protein in them, my body felt better faster and my performance didn’t take such a beating.
I could simply tell you what science has been saying all along when it comes to refueling, carbs and protein, chocolate milk, etc, or I could tell you my personal experience.  Don’t minimize the affect that nutrition and refueling has on your body because it is most likely bigger than you realize!  Refuel properly so you can keep on playing!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

It's All In the Details (Part I)

            There have been things besides the typical swim, bike, and run workouts that have been making a big difference, and will contribute to making this season a game-changer.  Lately I’ve been focusing a lot more on the following: lifting, chiropractic care, hip exercises, sleep, and refueling.  I’ll address all but the last one here.  Next week I’ll talk about my personal experiences with nutrition and refueling lately.
            I got into lifting weights while competing in Track & Field in college.  I wish I had pushed myself even more back then though.  I was timid when I did cleans and some lifts, and I feel like I could have improved a lot more than what I did.  After college, Andy and I still liked to lift, and then we got into P90x with the crazy amount of pull-ups and push-ups.  Now I do an off-season weight room program with my student-athletes 3 days/week, and I also do P90x at the end of the sessions with a few of them.  It takes me about an hour each time.  Our favorite week is max week of course, and we are continuously pushing ourselves, and each other, to keep getting better and stronger.  I quit doing back squat since I’ve been dealing with back pain, but here are my current maxes….
  • Front Squat: 4x135
  • Bench: 2x120
  • Clean: 110
  • Snatch: 2x85
  • Incline Bench: 3x95  
  • Chin-ups: 29 
As a result, I’m feeling way stronger in the pool and putting down times that I haven’t seen in years!
            Getting regular chiropractic care has been huge!  I’ve had a lot more back pain (compressed spine, pinched nerve, etc) lately than what I care for, but Dr. Wendy and Dr. Scott have been tremendous in keeping me going.  They have also been working on my feet regularly so I can keep running without pain from bunions, and I am ever so thankful for that!  Dr. Wendy also gave me different exercises to be doing in order to combat my issues with my hip flexor (which has been tight for years and then in turn I end up with a stressed hamstring).  I’ve been doing basic kettle bell swings when I’m in the weight room in order to work on the motion with my hip flexors and strengthen them.  At night I also do a few different hip exercises that focus on lateral movement (fire hydrants, side lunges with a kick, and side leg raises) in order to better strengthen my hips and give me a stronger base for a stronger performance.
            In part of Alan Webb’s session at the Track Coaches’ Clinic in Madison, he talked about the value of his attention to the details.  For example, he believed he needed 9 hours of sleep to perform his best.  So he diligently made sure he went to bed early so he could get enough sleep.  If he fell short, he would try to make up for it with a nap.  He explained that there are a lot of similarly talented people out there, but doing the little things is what puts you over the edge and ahead of your competition.  If you have the same capabilities as the person toeing the line next to you, done all of the same workouts, but one has been more attentive to taking care of the other stuff (the mental, the food, the sleep, the recovery), then that one will be the one who pulls ahead.  Speaking of sleep, boy what a difference it is on the days that I have gotten good sleep the night before!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Madison Weekend Recap

At the WMMB office - sponsor for 2016!!
            The past several days have been almost a bit of a whirlwind and overload!  On Thursday, Andy and I headed down to Madison, where a whole lot of awesomeness happened.  I’ll highlight the big moments.  First, we met with the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board for a 2016 sponsorship meeting.  I’m ecstatic to announce that the WMMB (Chocolate Milk) will continue its sponsorship partnership with me for 2016!  One of the number one things when it comes to a sponsor, is being able to stand behind their product or message.  With the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, I stand behind their message of Chocolate Milk being the ultimate recovery beverage 100%.  We also received surprise tickets for awesome seats at the Badger Men’s Basketball Game vs Ohio from them, so we were able to watch the Badgers beat the Buckeyes.
Alan Webb and I
            Friday and Saturday were long days spent at the WISTCA Track Coaching Clinic, where we got to hear from Olympians, UW coaches, and other great speakers.  I was looking forward to hearing from and meeting Alan Webb, who is a 2004 Olympian and American Record Holder in the Mile (3:46.91).  He was the first (and only until this weekend) to break 4-minutes in the mile indoors in high school.  He competed as a Pro for Nike until he retired in 2014, where he had a short stint with triathlon until he had a bike crash during a race in 2015.
            The big surprise treat was meeting Alan’s awesome wife, Julia Webb!  Julia just had her 2nd daughter 4 months ago.  She has her own World Record for her 10K time pushing a stroller (38:15, beating the old record by almost 5 minutes).  She’s a speedy woman hoping to qualify for the Olympic Trials in the Steeplechase.  Andy and I headed out for a run on Saturday morning and ended up running with Julia for her warm-up.  Unfortunately we had no chance of keeping up with her in her workout of 4x2 mile repeats at a 5:45 pace!  She’s an amazing woman that I feel so blessed to have been able to meet!  I officially now think she’s the coolest lady ever.
Julia Webb and I!
            I attended some sessions on the High Jump, as I would really like to focus on coaching that more this season, and I learned a ton.  MIND. BLOWN.  Great information from UW Coach Nate Davis.  I’m excited about coaching the high jump this season now and now I’m anxious to get going with it and see some big PR’s from my student-athletes!
            We attended the WISTCA Hall of Fame Luncheon this year, because a standout Clear Lake native (who graduated with my oldest sister), was inducted into the Hall of Fame this year!  Kate (Juedes) Sharinger is a bit of a legend, as she was a 4-time State Champion in the High Jump, with a PR of 5’10” in high school.  It was moving hearing her talk about the influence her high school coach had on her, who was actually Andy’s mom.  That is the type of positive impact I would like to have on all of my student-athletes.  While I continue to strive to be a better athlete, I also strive to be the best coach I can be.  We ended the trip being able to see old friends and faith family.  I couldn’t have asked for anything better!