If you’re an endurance athlete, supplementing your diet with 1.2-1.4grams/kilogram of protein can help repair muscle damage that occurs during training, as well as maintain lean muscle mass, and even spare glycogen stores (to some extent).  So if you’re not able to maintain your strength and lean muscle mass, or not consistently able to recover from your training, this may be something to consider when analyzing all of your training and nutritional data.  Fish, skinless chicken breasts, lean red meats, legumes, Greek Yogurt, and whey protein powders are some simple ways to increase your protein intake.  If you ever have questions on intake amounts or timelines, don’t hesitate to talk to your coach for specific guidance.  Train smart, but recover even smarter!

Best of Luck!  Coach

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I just had a great question from an athlete on obtaining adequate levels of protein from non-animal sources.  An easy and delicious way is to make a banana peanut butter smoothie with soy milk or water, banana, a couple of scoops of vanilla or banana whey protein powder, and a tablespoon or two of peanut butter.  This packs 65-75 grams of protein easily.  This of course should be taken after a long and/or hard training session, or as a meal replacement since it’s packed with about 700-800 calories.  Stay tuned for more nutritional, training, and racing tips right here.  In fact, get the dialog going with a great question you’ve been dying to ask, but haven’t found the answer to.  You can get it all here – whether it’s nutritional tips for extended endurance training and racing, mental training and preparation, injury/rehab, or good ol’ training and racing itself.  Talk to you soon!

Todd

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Barefoot Running

February 25, 2012

Barefoot Running  by Todd Parker, M.A., M.S.

Running barefoot may lead to benefits such as strengthening the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the feet.  However, one should never start right off with hard surfaces such as sidewalks, roads, or even harder less forgiving treadmills.  If you would like to try barefoot running to see if your musculoskeletal system will support it, you must take a slow, patient, and methodical approach.  First, start off by walking around the home for increasing periods of time barefoot.  As with every progressive stage that follows, you must assess bodily feedback, and be honest with pain no matter how subtle.  Some initial Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is normal, and is a common soreness experienced the following day – for up to 5 or 6 days.  One will usually experience DOMS whenever the musculature and fibrous tissues experience a workload or range of motion that you hadn’t previously done or performed for some time.  That being said, the soreness should subside as days pass.  After a week or so of pain-free barefoot walking around the house, then progress to sand and natural grass, ultimately working towards the treadmill and even the road if desired.  Just as with my recommendation to ease into firmer surfaces, I’d recommend the same for the volume or period of time at this type of training (i.e. start with 5 minutes and work towards a half hour).  For most individuals, I would not recommend running barefoot beyond grass or the treadmill.  Certainly barefoot running can lead to some strengthening and “resiliency” of the tendons and muscles of the foot, but I’d highly recommend you start slowly and cautiously so as not to cause long-term damage to your feet.

 

Coach Todd Parker, M.A., M.S.

Todd Parker is a former Professional Triathlete and holds
a Masters in Exercise Physiology from San Jose State University. 
Todd is an exercise physiologist, certified cycling and endurance
sports coach, and personal trainer.  You can reach Todd at:
TP2Coaching@gmail.com or 215.80.Coach (215.802.6224). 
Also reach Todd at http://www.toddparkertrainingprograms.com/

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As the saying goes, “the mind is a powerful tool”; however, if you never incorporate mental imagery and visualization training into your training regimen, you’ll never fully reach your optimal performance potential!  So yes, training your mind to immediately block negative thoughts and replace with positive affirmations, working on form & technique, reviewing race courses, and visualizing successful performances and outcomes…, is critical to truly achieving your goals and expectations.  Do it, and you’ll realize the awesome power; don’t do it, and you’ll get to 90% at best!!!  Coach Parker

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