Category Archive: Personal Training Experiences

When a Workout Moves Indoors

It’s been an unforgiving winter of hand numbing sub zero temperatures, windburn-inducing wind chill, and often ice rink-like conditions. Mother Winter has many of us ready for spring. I certainly have had my share of treadmill workouts this winter.

Water bottle and shoes

Hydration during winter outdoor training is fairly forgiving. While we still sweat under multiple layers of clothes, we are less likely to sweat as we would outdoors in warm weather conditions. We don’t require quite the volume of fluid and electrolyte replacement as we would at other times of the year.

On the contrary, when I move my workout indoors it’s quite a different story. After many bone chilling runs outdoors, a workout in warm indoor conditions easily turns into a sweat pool. I often wonder what others make of my sweat-saturated body after a long, hard workout on the treadmill.

I head to the gym prepared for my standard sweat bath. I’m always sure to bring an extra change of clothes, hat for my wet head, and a water bottle to support hydration before, during, and after such sweat soaking workouts. I feel the water bottle is key to having indoor workout and winter weight management success.


The bottle is full…

Purse, car key… water bottle – I consider it a necessity as I head out the door. I can drink from the water bottle as I’m dropping the kids off at school, meeting with clients, or running everyday errands. This allows me to go into a workout well hydrated and ready to work hard.


Refill the bottle…

The water bottle allows me to drink in accordance to my indoor, treadmill running sweat rate and supports the potential to perform at my best. I don’t want to overdrink, that’s where an indoor sweat rate can be useful; however, it would be silly to let dehydration hinder performance when it couldn’t be more convenient to drink during a workout. Most often my water bottle is filled with water. Occasionally I fill it with an electrolyte-only beverage for very heavy sweating workouts that do not require carbohydrates. For a tougher long run that includes challenging segments, such as 5-10 miles at marathon goal pace, sports drink and/or a combination of water with an electrolyte and carbohydrate containing fuel source, such as sports gel, does the trick.


Refill the bottle…again.

Long, hard treadmill workouts that involve high sweat loss also have electrolyte loss. Here is where I feel weight management comes into play. It is important to replace fluids and electrolytes soon after heavy sweating, high electrolyte loss workouts not only for proper fluid and electrolyte balance, but to support weight management. We are less likely to keep reaching for unnecessary extras when the body is well balanced with fluids and electrolytes. Those who carry extra weight and are not conditioned for potential increases in exercise are more likely to have greater fluid and electrolyte losses compared a well trained, normal weight individual. One may poorly identify that an excess of food or hunger occurs related to a need to replace lost fluids and electrolytes, countering weight loss efforts.

Cereal and Milk

I try not to limit myself to the salt shaker in replacing sodium. Calcium, magnesium, and potassium are all important minerals that support my exercising body and overall health. First, I reach for water. I will drink at least 16-20 ounces of water, which supports replacing about 1 pound of lost sweat. I like to complement my water by reaching for foods that support rehydration and offer a variety of minerals and nutrients. Spinach or other dark green leafy smoothies, broth based soups loaded with fresh vegetables, cereal and milk, kefir, vegetables tossed with vinegar and a pinch of salt, vegetable juice, and cottage cheese are some of my favorite post sweat drenching snacks that support hydration and health.

Smart fueling supports winter training success!

Monumental Marathon Nutrition Breakdown

The days leading up to a big event like a marathon can be nerve racking. Thoughts can endlessly spin through the mind. Am I eating enough? Am I eating too much? Should I have gotten a last minute massage? Should I have purchased new shoes? Should I stretch more? What will the weather be like? What should I wear?

Race week confidence can be reinforced with applying sports nutrition concepts. When I toe the line I combine concepts I have learned in my nutrition training with personal experiences and apply them to my individual food preferences. Race day fueling doubts no longer flood my mind. Race day excitement, strategy, and follow through become the focus.

I offer a small glimpse of my pre-race and race-day fueling for the Monumental Marathon. This is just an example of how my marathon nutrition plays out. Endurance nutrition concepts can be customized based on individual body weight, food preferences, fluid needs, and more.

Take a look at my carboloading breakfast!

I didn’t want to go without my staple bowl of oatmeal. For carboloading I made one small adjustment of cooking my oatmeal in apple cider instead of water. I then add a tablespoon of teff flour followed by cashew milk to thin it out. I load it up with Medjool dates and top it with vanilla Greek yogurt. This bowl of oatmeal packs an awesome carboloading punch with over 100 grams of carbohydrate. This is one of my favorite, delicious meals for breakfast, lunch or a quick dinner.

Monumental Marathon Carboload Breakfast

I enjoyed a mid-morning snack of beet juice and dry cereal! Yes, beet juice. Research suggests it may support race day stamina. If not, it’s a wonderful, healthy addition to my diet.

Monumental Marathon Beet juice

For this particular marathon I decided to whip up pumpkin corn bread as an easy go-to supply of carbohydrates leading up the race. I had a couple pieces Thursday night with dinner (photo available on Twitter ) and 3 more pieces Friday, the day before the race. It’s low fat with a touch of protein and packed with great carbohydrates. I smoother my cornbread with honey to maximize my carbohydrate intake without feeling overly full. Adding a large apple and cup of vanilla milk to my cornbread meal makes for a low fat carbohydrate loaded lunch. This meal stocked over 150 grams of carbohydrate!

Monumental Marathon Carbo Lunch

After a visit to the expo I snacked on a performance bar. I was hoping to enjoy the banana as well, but a hungry 4 year managed to win the battle for the banana.

Monumental Marathon Snack

In feeding 7 children before a fun night of trick-or-treat, a standard pasta dinner was the easiest way to go. I ate about 1.5-2 times the amount in the photo of pasta and 3 slices of bread, no butter.

Monumental Marathon Pasta Dinner

At 3am my husband had to answer a work related phone call. Lying in bed unable to fall back to sleep I felt a sense of hunger. Hungry? How can I possibly be hungry? Maybe I was thirsty. The problem was the day was so busy preparing the house for visitors, gearing up for the marathon, and an evening trick-or-treat trek that I decided it was possible I could use more. I decided to drink 2 servings of Ironman Perform sports drink as a middle of the night glycogen stocking boost. I didn’t want to eat anything heavy and load myself down, but I did want to ensure my glycogen stores were topped off.

Monumental Marathon Middle of the Night

I went very heavy handed with the honey for my pre-race breakfast. I ate a large bagel topped with a mashed banana, a touch of vanilla Greek yogurt, and a lot of honey. With this I drank sports drink and broke the beet juice back out. I drank plenty of water with the meal and just before leaving the house I drank a cup of strong black coffee.

Monumental Marathon Breakfast

The race went fantastic!

I turned in my race fuel at the expo the day before. Normally I fill my bottles with sports drink. For this cool weather race, I decided to place less emphasis on sports drink and more on taking gels with water. I started the race with 2 gels and attached a gel to each bottle.

In the past I would have one gel per hour and sports drink at the other aid stations. I decided to place less emphasis on sports drink because I have experienced quite diluted sports drink at times when racing. I know I respond very well to certain steady dose of carbohydrates. During this marathon I took caffeinated gels with water at 6.2 miles, 12.4 miles, 18.6 miles, and at nearly 22 miles. Between gels I took sports drink and occasionally water in meeting my goal fluid intake. That’s right – 4 gels for my 2:48 marathon.

Monumental Marathon Race Fuel

It worked perfect!

I felt great the entire race. I was running with an amazing pack, but realized I needed to make a move and pull away as the finish grew near. After that last gel around 22 miles I put in a surge. I felt so good that surge continued through the finish line. Mile 25-26 was my fastest mile of the race with a 6:12. I managed to pull away from the great group of ladies and earn a 6th place female finish with a 2:48:19. I had a blast doing it!

After the race I made sure to refuel. I drank a large, race provided chocolate milk as well as 2 small smoothies. Within a couple hours I was enjoying pizza at the local favorite pizza hot spot, Bazbeaux’s.

Monumental Marathon Recovery Fuel

I can honestly say recovery has been as smooth as ever. I may even run a trail marathon next month!

Would you like to give my carboloading pumpkin corn bread a try?

Stay-tuned, the recipe is soon to follow!

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