While I was training for a half iron distance triathlon - I had a pretty one-track mind for 14 weeks. Other than my job, most of my mental energy was consumed by working out, recovering, eating and sleeping.
Here are the things that got me through and were my favorite things during 70.3 training!
I ate a lot of dates. I took 3 on every long bike ride, I ate one dunked in peanut butter before many morning workouts (be it swims, runs or strength) and I would occasionally eat them for dessert too.
One of my goals was not to rely on Gu’s or gels, which tend to be tough on my stomach - and to instead eat real food as much as possible. Dates were wonderful. When you consider that my go-to bars of choice are RXBARS and Lara Bars (both made mainly of dates) - I consumed a lot of these bad boys.
Now that training is over, I’m trying to cut back since dates are high in calories and sugar as far as fruit is concerned, but I plan on using them for fueling long runs, races and bike rides again next time around!
(I also tried the Coconut & Citrus flavor of these guys as a quick easy source of energy for early mornings and really liked them!)
This was a game changer - I went from forcing myself to foam roll once every couple of weeks for maybe 4 minutes, to religiously foam rolling 10-20 minutes every day. Part of this was my renewed commitment to staying strong and healthy to make it to the start line, but another big part of is was this vibrating foam roller that made the process seem a lot easier.
Because the foam roller is vibrating, there’s not as much effort required by the user to get into knots and aches and pains. But my favorite part was that once you turn it on, it vibrates for 10 minutes before turning off. Having a timer made me commit to foam rolling until the end of the cycle, or even two cycles, which meant I was giving my muscles a lot more TLC!
This particular vibrating foam roller has 4 different speed settings - though I really only ever use setting two. My roommates may not have appreciated the loud vibrating at 6:00 AM before a run, but my shins held up surprisingly well for 14 weeks!
I’m beyond obsessed with these tortillas. I looked forward to every Saturday long ride not because I was particularly excited to sit on a bike for 3-4 hours, but because my pre-ride meal was always a Joseph’s tortilla with RX Nut Butter and a banana. PB Banana Tacos - motivating me to wake up 14 Saturday mornings in a row <3
When Po Campo sent me their Kinga Handlebar Bag to try - I was over the moon. Prior to that I had been biking with my Spi belt so that I could have my phone and keys, etc.
This bag was a game changer - it holds my Metrocard, credit card, ID, money, phone, sunglasses, keys, handpump, snacks, gloves - and there’s still room. Yet it’s not at all bulky. I love that I can easily access my phone now without stopping. It’s weatherproof so I don’t have to worry about everything inside getting drenched. I even kept it on for my race!
Most importantly, it’s super cute and colorful and matches my bike.
This peanut butter fiend has a new NUMBER ONE favorite peanut butter and it’s RX Nut Butter. I don’t know what it is about this stuff - but it’s crack. And it’s impossible to eat just half a pack.
The texture is heaven. The flavors are out of this world. I might even love the vanilla almond butter best- ME, team peanut butter above all! RX Nut Butter is made with egg whites (yay protein) and sweetened with dates and comes in 5 flavors (I still need to try the maple almond butter which I’ve heard is crazy good). I’ve already gone through 2 variety packs…it’s not a problem…
I can only hope that one day RX sells this stuff by the jar.
I’ve gone to hundreds of group fitness classes, but none have hooked me like F45 training did when I went to my first class last spring.
Since then, I’ve been to over a dozen classes and I still love it as much, if not more, than the first time.
I love that every class is so different, yet in a lot of ways you always know what to expect. Time absolutely flies, you WILL sweat, you WILL feel sore the next day, you WILL learn new exercises, instructors WILL correct your form and you WILL feel like a bad ass at the end of class.
And if you’re like me, you’ll take at least one dance break per class.
Throughout training, I made it a point to go to one F45 class per week - it doubled as strength training which was super important to me to keep in my schedule, and it was also such a welcomed mental break from the constant swim, bike, run cycle.
F45 Training began in Australia and like Orangetheory, the idea is that every F45 studio throughout the world is doing the same workout on any given day. F45 classes use different intervals for every class - one day you might be doing 60 second intervals with 15 seconds rest with 10 different exercises and the next day you might be doing 30 second intervals with 10 seconds rest at 20 different stations.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday is focused on cardio, while Tuesday and Thursday classes are more strength-based. Saturday is an hour long mix of cardio and strength with a LIVE DJ in the studio. There are always two instructors in the class which means everyone is getting some personal attention and form is corrected frequently.
There are two locations in Manhattan (LEW and Flatiron) and one opening in Brooklyn soon and I cannot recommend it enough.
I sampled this at the NYC Tri expo and it was actually very delicious. So I bought some on Amazon! And now I’m one of those people who drinks tart cherry juice to aid in recovery.
Okay - so I would have a few sips every night before bed. I don’t actually think it could have done much to help with inflammation and recovery - but it tasted good and I told myself it was good for me.
If anyone has any recommendations for things that I should be obsessed with the next training cycle - leave them in the comments!