Who's Thirsty? August 8, 2016 17:58
The ins and outs of proper hydration
Keeping hydrated throughout the hot summer months is critical to enjoying your activities and improving your performance. For endurance sports it can be the difference between finishing strong and a DNF.
As little as a 2% body weight loss during activity can set off a chain reaction in your body that wreaks havoc on your system. The more dehydrated you get, the worse the symptoms can be. If you lose 5% of your body weight, you can expect a headache, fatigue, irritability, and that "spaced-out" feeling.
Proper hydration during athletic activity allows for efficient delivery of vital fluids and electrolytes that prevent muscle cramping, exhaustion, heat stroke, and a full-on medical emergency. To check your hydration, remember the simple “pee test”! Your urine should be very light yellow. Dark yellow can mean you are dehydrated and dark yellow/brown means you are severely dehydrated and need medical attention.
Tips to keep hydrated:
- Drink when slightly thirty!
- Drink Early!
- Drink at regular intervals!
- Know your sweat rate!
Sweat Rate = (A + B) ÷ C, where
A = Pre-exercise body weight – Post-exercise body weight, recorded in ounces. (1 lb. = 16 oz.)
B = Fluid Consumed During Exercise, recorded in ounces. (1 cup = 8 oz; 1 gulp = about 1 oz)
C = Exercise Duration, recorded in hours. (40 min = .66 hr)
Like nutrition the right balance of hydration is unique to the individual. It is important to note that individual sweat rates are highly variable and sweat rates should be calculated on like activities and efforts. Understanding your sweat rate is critical so you have an accurate perception of your fluid loss and therefore how much you need to drink to replenish your body’s stores.
Hydration needs to be a constant effort because it becomes impossible to replenish the amount of fluid you lose during efforts greater than 90 minutes. At this time, your sweat rate approaches 3 liters per hour and your body can only process about one liter per hour. At this rate the best you can hope for is to postpone the fatigue. The expected dehydration after longer efforts will balance out over a short period with fluids and food.
Don’t underestimate the importance of sodium and electrolytes in hydrating. Consume sports drinks to replenish those vital minerals. If you only drink water before an event, you actually deplete the sodium in your system and are taking a step backwards. Absorption of fluids, is maximized by osmolality of the fluids, which is determined by the temperature in which you are exercising. If it is hot, your sports drink should be more diluted so it will be absorbed into your system. If it is cold, your drink can have a higher concentration of electrolytes (less diluted) and it will still be absorbed.
As we finish off the summer in some of the hottest temperatures of the year, don’t downplay the importance of hydration in your activity. Drink up!
You're Foam Rolling Wrong March 14, 2016 11:30
By now we all know that a good recovery is just as important as the workout itself. When you work your muscles hard, it’s only fair to treat them to a little TLC post-workout. But while getting a massage every time your muscles need some attention would be amazing, for most of us it’s not really affordable or realistic.
Enter: self-myofascial release (SMFR), or massage on demand. SMFR most commonly involves using foam rollers to rub out knotted areas in the fascia, a tissue that surrounds all muscles. SMFR is both convenient and effective, but traditional products apply the same pressure regardless of the tissue type or body part, which can end up hurting your bones or tender areas.
That’s where the ensō roller comes in. It’s so different from other foam rollers that it almost can’t be classified as one. It has eight discs that you can adjust on demand to apply more pressure to deep muscle tissue while keeping pressure off of the places you don’t want it, like your spine, IT band and hip bone.
LOW BACK MUSCLES:
Let’s face it: lower back muscles are some of the toughest to roll out. PT’s and athletic trainers will tell you not to load your spine, but if you don’t, it’s impossible to really get into those muscles. That is, unless you use ensō and configure the discs to create a spine channel. This allows the spine to pass through the roller untouched and places the massage on the muscles.
In the past, rolling directly on the IT band to help alleviate pain was the suggested technique. However, current therapy practices suggest staying off the IT Band directly and instead targeting the surrounding muscles. Again, ensō is unique in providing a channel for the IT band to pass through while massaging the TFL and glute regions from the hip bone to just above the knee.
Rolling on your hip can be excruciating. Since our goal is to stay flexible, you need the hip flexors and surrounding muscles to be mobile. Rolling up on the hip will invariably cause you to react in pain and tense up — working against our goal. With ensō, you can apply variable forces to muscles and you can unload boney prominences. You can also increase pressure in hard-to-reach areas like the psoas, the piriformis and the TFL. So stop sacrificing your hip bone to get to your hip flexors!
A Weekend with Under Armour November 3, 2015 04:00
By Megan Machen
What do you say when one of the most respected companies in the fitness world asks you to partner at an event? If you’re us, it’s a big fat ‘YES IN ALL CAPS.’
EvoFit was thrilled to be included in the VIP Under Armour Recovery Tent at the Baltimore Marathon this past week. And it turns out we weren’t the only ones who were pumped up. Participants loved ensō, calling it a “game changer". We loved the chance to introduce athletes and fitness enthusiasts to the most innovative fitness tool on the market and show them how ensō can make a difference in their training and lives.
As a forerunner to the marathon, the good people at Under Armour used ensō at the Under Amour gym for their Wounded Warrior event on Friday. It was a thrill to be included and an honor to be employed in helping our warriors!
We are very grateful for the opportunity to not only introduce ensō to so many people, but also really make a difference in their recoveries. Because that’s what EvoFit is all about: better recovery for better performance. And there was no better place to demonstrate that than at the Baltimore Marathon with Under Armour.
Take Your Training To The Next Level October 1, 2015 04:00
By Lora Erickson, BlondeRunner.com
So you have dabbled in triathlon long enough to decide you really like it and you're ready to take your training to the next level; How do you do it? Here are some suggestions, in no particular order:
Upgrade Your Equipment
- Add aero bars to your road bike, this will improve your aerodynamics and help you utilize larger muscle groups on the bike to help keep you fresher for the run.
- Upgrade to a carbon fiber frame. These frames are lighter and make for a more comfortable "less-bumpy" ride.
- Invest in a more aerodynamic race helmet.
- Get a set of race wheels, they are lighter and more aerodynamic, not to mention offer a smoother ride.
- Upgrade to a TT or time-trial bike. Keep in mind that in triathlon, aerodynamics usually trumps weight.
- Purchase and learn how to use a GPS watch with a heart rate monitor. Feedback while exercising can often change your effort levels and help you get the most from your training.
- Invest in a power meter and train with power. For me this has been very beneficial to see numbers as I am going and change my effort based on what I am seeing.
- Get a proper bike fit. A more comfortable and efficient position will help you maximize your effort and improve performance as well as prevent injury.
Commit To Healthy Living
- Eat better. Adapt new eating habits and keep a food log for more accountability. MyFitnessPal is a great portable app.
- Lean-up. One thing that will make you faster is leaning up your body up. Obviously if you are lighter it's easier to "carry" your body from the start to the finish over many miles.
Up Your Level of Commitment
- Spend more time training.
- Set harder goals. Goals should encourage you to reach outside of your comfort zone to become a better athlete and person.
- Discipline yourself to prioritize training and don't skip workouts.
- Push yourself harder during hard workouts.
- Enlist support from others. This can be as simple as sharing your goals and asking for support.
Hire A Coach
- Having a coach creates more accountability and support.
- Knowledge is power; "You don't know what you don't know." A coach can educate you.
- Coaches often have more insight and experience to share.
- A coach can help you stay motivated. They often have a deep passion and are enthusiastic about the sport.
- Coaches offer an outside perspective that can be help you make better training decisions.
- Let me know if you need help. I am a coach with a passion for this sport. I would love to help you reach your health goals.
About the author: Coach Lora Erickson is a USA triathlon & USAT&F certified run coach. She has been coaching for over 18 years and works with all level of athletes. She is also a seasoned athlete with over 30 years of experience. To learn more visit BlondeRunner.com
Coach Lora Erickson, B.Sc., CES
USA Triathlon Certified Coach
US Masters Level 1&2 Swim Coach
USATF certified running coach
owner, Blonde Runner Health, LLC
The 5 Best Trail Runs in Park City, Utah September 22, 2015 10:24
By Cole Lehman
Park City is known for its 400+ miles of mountain biking trails, but every runner should have these 5 trail runs on their bucket list These are options for every runner, from beginners to advanced runners. You can choose between a 3.1-mile lunch break run to a singletrack marathon above 8,000 feet. Whatever your choice, a pristine single track run (complete with occasional moose sightings) is in your future. Oh, and don’t forget to stop at High West Distillery or No Name Saloon afterward for a burger and a beer.
With so many trails it’s easy to get lost if you don’t plan your run. Remember to use this online route builder to map out your Park City trail run before you go.
Here are our picks for 5 of the best trail runs in Park City. Have fun!
1. Mid-Mountain Trail
Mid-mountain trail offers some of the most enjoyable trail running in Park City—all of it sitting around 8,000 feet above sea level. The entire trail is high-alpine singletrack heaven. You can plan a 5-mile out-and-back from the Montage at Deer Valley or go for a 20+ mile grindfest and descend at Canyons. We recommend somewhere in between.
One of the best mid-range options is an 11.1-mile run starting at the Montage and descending Armstrong into town at the base of Park City Resort. Plan a shuttle for this run. Leave one car at the trailhead just past the Montage and another at Park City Resort. Starting at Montage, the Mid-Mountain trail climbs through majestic aspens filled with moose and sweeping views. Once you reach the bottom of Armstrong, consider heading to High West for a celebratory burger and beer.
2. Armstrong Trail
Armstrong is one of the newer trails in the Park City trail system and it’s a beautifully graded 4-mile climb. There are rolling sections of up and down, but the general flow of this trail is up—way up. It climbs all the way to the Mid-Mountain trail and makes a perfect entry point to a longer run. If you make it to the top, it’s an 8-mile out-and-back that will take about 1.5-2.5 hours.
Beginning at 6,963 feet, you’ll make your way through loamy pine forests and high-desert rock gardens as you climb. Thanks to the attention put into the grade of the trail, the 1,259 feet of climbing is quite enjoyable. Armstrong is a directional trail for mountain bikers—they can only climb—but you’re able to descend. Combined with the smooth and shady climb, the lack of downhill traffic makes it one of the best trail runs in town.
3. Glenwild Blackhawk Loop
The Glenwild trail system offers many options and is one of the most popular sections of trail in Park City. It holds the first trails to dry out in the spring and the fastest to clear after the first snowfalls. Mostly south facing, the 3.1-mile Blackhawk loop makes for an easy return to training or the perfect lunchtime escape.
From the trailhead, it’s a 300-foot climb up some high-desert switchbacks to a road-crossing. This is a busy trail, so watch out for downhill mountain bikers on your way up. Once you cross the road it’s a gradual climb before you drop into a fun downhill section that you’ll have all to yourself. After the downhill, there’s a gradual climb past a fascinating rocky spine before you descend to your car and get back to work.
4. Round Valley Rambler Loop
Round Valley holds myriad trails with a number of different connection options—giving you choices from a few miles out-and-back to a half-marathon. This makes it one of the most popular areas for trail runners in Park City. Starting at Quinn’s Junction, try the 6.2-mile loop that circles the valley and connects with the Rambler Trail. It’s filled with flowy singletrack and some mellow climbs.
This singletrack loop only has about 300-feet of climbing, making it easier on the legs than many of the Park City trails. But, the Round Valley terrain keeps you entertained by changing back and forth between sand and rocks to loamy forest floors. You’ll love the way this trail rolls up and down throughout the loop, letting you get fully into your zone.
5. Rob’s Trail
You can use Rob’s Trail to connect to Mid-Mountain for a burly adventure or stick to a satisfying 5.2-mile out-and-back with 1,000 feet of climbing. With the ascent spread over only 2.6 miles, it’s not an easy run, but it’s perfect for anyone who loves the uphill or is looking for a new challenge.
Rob’s Trail spends most of the climb switchbacking its way through shady north-facing woods. With sections of soft, piney earth and others that get rocky, the climb doesn’t get boring. Keep an ear open for downhill bikers around every corner as you climb. Eventually you’ll hit a plateau and the trail opens up to the sun. From here it’s a short way to Ambush Trail and Mid-Mountain before you turn around and enjoy the descent.
Body Awareness -Yoga for Runners September 8, 2015 22:30
By: Cole Lehman
Photo Credit: Jackie Hutchings
Yoga is an important part of any runner’s training arsenal. It helps you reduce chronic pain, gain flexibility and strength, and build new physical and mental awareness to improve your running technique.
Knee and back pain, tight hamstrings, and general soreness come with running, but you can balance them out and even prevent them with a regular yoga practice. And by regular, we mean one day a week. You can practice more than that, but overworking yourself can also defeat the purpose.
Yoga doesn’t only solve for tightness and chronic pain—it increases strength, builds body awareness, and improves oxygen intake over time. The subtle parts of the practice, breath exercises and meditation, even help you find your zone faster and stay in it longer.
While many think that the physical practice of yoga is all about stretching, it’s not. One of the biggest benefits of yoga is developing balanced strength throughout the whole body by consciously engaging muscles you didn’t know you had or forget to use—like your rhomboid muscles and your iliopsoas muscle group.
Here are some of the important benefits runners can get from a regular yoga practice.
1. Increased Flexibility & Strength
Yoga is known as a practice that increases flexibility over time and it certainly does. But, it’s not just because you’re stretching and lengthening muscles.
A crucial factor behind flexibility is properly distributing the workload between muscle groups. For example, you could be straining your legs to do work that your core was designed for. When you consciously move that effort into your core, your quads, hamstrings, and glutes can take a break and open up.
Shifts like these cause chain reactions. As your core strengthens and your hamstrings unwind, it makes loosening your hips more accessible.
2. Heightened Body Awareness & Balance
Do you know that one of the main muscles we use for running is called the Psoas Major? It’s a part of the iliopsoas muscle group buried deep under our core and it can wreak havoc when it’s out of balance or injured.
In alignment-focused yoga styles like Iyengar and Anusara®, you’ll learn how to make these crucial muscles happy. Learning about the optimal way to line up your body will also boost your sense of balance, which is vital for trail runners and obstacle racers.
As you become aware of muscles you didn’t know you had, and new ways to use the muscles you already knew about, you build heightened body awareness that naturally improves your stride.
3. Decreased Recovery Time
Whether you’re recovering from an injury or trying to get back on your feet faster after a marathon, yoga can help.
Outside of the many therapeutic physical benefits, yoga can help you lower your resting heart rate and increase oxygen uptake through the development of your breath.
There’s a whole branch of yoga called pranayama devoted to breathwork, and runners who practice these consistently will develop a serious recovery advantage over those who don’t.
4. Reduced Chronic Pain
Lower back pain, chronically sore muscles, and joint pain plague many in the modern world and running can aggravate these conditions.
Remember the psoas muscles? They connect to your lumbar spine and become a common cause of lower back pain when out of balance. Chronic muscle soreness and joint pain could be injuries that yoga helps you discover the root cause of and these can be relieved as you strengthen other muscles.
Whatever chronic pain you have, if you practice yoga with therapeutic physical alignment in mind, there’s a good chance you can heal it yourself through dedication and awareness.
5. Improved Stress Reaction & Clarity of Mind
Our nervous system isn’t something we think we have any control over, but it is. Many of us spend time in our sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) with adrenaline and cortisol pumping through our body and keeping us stressed out.
Yoga helps us switch back to our parasympathetic nervous system (lower heart rate and blood pressure) by stimulating the vagus nerve through the deep breathing and meditation techniques built into the practice.
Over time our stress levels go down and our ability to respond skillfully to stressful situations goes up. This comes in handy for trail runners who are faced with challenging terrain and road runners who want to learn how to handle the stress of their next race.
Finding the right kind of yoga for you is the first challenge. It depends on what you’re looking for. Power classes can help you develop strength faster, but if you don’t find one that teaches alignment, you could exacerbate existing problems.
Hatha, Iynegar, and Anusara yoga are all more focused on incorporating breath and physical alignment and offer a great starting point. Shop around. Take some beginners’ classes at different studios and find a teacher you like.
How To Make Your Own Energy Gel September 1, 2015 17:52
When you’re going the distance, you’re going to hit a wall at some point. Rather than face planting on the trail because your blood sugar is dangerously low, try the following recipe for homemade energy gel. Its makeup of complex carbohydrates, protein, and fat surpasses that of your standard mass-market, simple-sugar gel, and it eliminates the need to throw out packaging after every run, bike, ride, or hike.
Our Energy Gel Recipe
- 1 cup brown rice syrup (try Lundberg’s Organic Sweet Dreams Brown Rice Syrup)
- 1/2 cup barley malt (try Eden’s Organic Barley Malt Syrup)
- 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
- 1/4 cup organic creamy peanut butter, all natural variety (without hydrogenated oils or sugar added)
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 cup hot water
Create a makeshift double boiler by placing a glass jar inside a saucepan. Fill the saucepan with water so the jar is a little more than half immersed.
Combine all ingredients, except for the hot water, in the jar. Warm over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until it’s runny and well combined, about 10 minutes.
Add the hot water to the jar, stir, and shake vigorously until well combined and no separation occurs. Let cool.
Fill gel containers as needed for workouts. Store extra gel in the jar with a lid in a cool, dry place.
Yields 18 fluid ounces
If the gel becomes too thick during cold winter months, you can add a little water to thin it or simply store it next to your body. The heat from your body will cause the coconut oil to liquefy and will change the overall consistency of the gel.
Lowdown on Nutrition:
One ounce of this gel contains 150 calories, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 1.8 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fat—a ratio of approximately 64% carbohydrates, 5% protein, and 30% fat. While mostly carbohydrates, there’s enough protein and fat to balance your blood sugar and keep it from spiking or dropping during a workout or race, which is crucial to maintaining your energy.
Brown Rice and Barley Malt Syrups:
Brown rice syrup, the main ingredient in the gel, is 46% complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides), 29% maltose (a disaccharide), and 25% glucose (a simple sugar). Brown rice syrup also provides .46g of protein in 2tbsp. The barley malt syrup is 76% maltose, 16% glucose, 6% sucrose (a disaccharide), and 2% fructose (a simple sugar). Barley malt syrup also provides nearly 3g of protein in 2tbsp. Both of these syrups are slow and easy to digest and provide the body with an immediate burst of necessary energy (due to the simple sugars) and then lasting carbohydrates (the poly and disaccharides) to refuel your cells. These syrups are about half as sweet as sugar to the taste.
Unrefined Coconut Oil:
Coconut oil belongs to a special class of fats called medium-chain fatty acids. These fats are not normally stored in your body as fat, but are instead quickly converted to energy. They also boost your metabolism. This makes unrefined coconut oil excellent for weight loss and athletic performance, as it helps produce lean body mass.
Organic Peanut Butter:
Peanut butter supplies the energy gel with valuable monounsaturated fats, protein, and flavor. Choose an all-natural variety that only contains organic peanuts and salt. Avoid peanut butters with added sugars and hydrogenated oils (trans fat).
Sea salt provides valuable minerals for electrolyte balance. A high-quality sea salt is rich in potassium, magnesium, sodium chloride, and trace minerals.
Fit To Be July Spotlight - Jennilyn Eaton! July 18, 2014 16:23
Motivation is drawn from all over. Sometimes it’s the line and the peak, sometimes it’s the time I’d like to do on it. Sometimes I’m motivated by my family and friends or from external support. Having several sources of motivation is helpful, there is always a reason to go out and push!
The happiness and freedom of motion are great parts of being outside. Peace and solitude in such a busy world are difficult to find, but in the mountains all the really important parts of life stand out and everything else seems to fade away.
What essentials are you bringing with you for the Utah 13ers?
I’ll bring my Petzl NAO headlamp, which will be useful to spotlight hill sides in the dark. Extra clothing, plenty of food, a bivy, a spot tracker and GPS, and a knife bare minimal first aid supplies. I’ll be wearing my La Sportiva Bushidos, the only shoe with enough traction to handle that kind of difficult terrain with a body that’s worn down after 30 hours of travel.
What’s the size of your crew?
There will be 3 of us as a team to do this. Since at any given point the closest trail head will be 10 miles or further, we won’t be receiving any support or additional assistance. Everything we’ll use for the entire trip will be taken with us.
What inspired you to conquer all 21 peaks in one single push? What do you hope to gain from this experience?
The line was initially thought of and drawn by Craig Lloyd, and is his dream. This will be his third attempt at the line. I was invited to join this year, and have since latched onto the idea of this line. As far as gains, well, I’ve been on enough mountains to know they don’t offer anything. But mountains always do teach me new lessons on life, and on the 13ers I expect to learn a lot.
Is there a peak that frightens you the most? How will you encourage yourself to reach the top?What’s your biggest concern about summiting all 21 peaks in FKT?
There are a few places that are a concern! Some of these ridges have seen little to no traffic, and some of the routes we’ll be taking to link these peaks are less than desirable. The ridgeline between Powell Peak and Henry’s Fork peak, for example, looks pretty scary, and we’ll be hitting that in the dark hours of early morning.
What are you doing to train for the Utah 13ers?
I’ve been tracking my weekly elevation gain instead of miles, which has been the single biggest training change I’ve made. As runners we like to track numbers, and switching to tracking elevation was an easy enough transition. I’ve also looked at and completed many other local ridgelines for applicable training and experiences.
After a high-endurance effort like this one, how do you like to unwind, chill out, and recover?
My husband is the best part of my recovery! He helps take care of me. As a family we’ll go for bike rides and walks, and I’ll watch movies with my kids. Foam rolling and Epsom salt baths are crucial for my recovery!
What are you looking most forward to when you hike all 21 peaks of the Utah 13ers? What are you nervous for?
I am looking forward to each summit, each ridge and mini goal within a goal. The views, the stars, the adventure of it all are enough to capture me! I am nervous for the typical mountain thunderstorms and for some of the required down scrambling in the dark.
What athletes did you admire most growing up, and who do you look up to now?
Growing up I was a rock climber, and I looked to Lyn Hill, Chris Sharma, Beth Rodden, and Tommy Caldwell. I also spent time researching climbers like John Salathe, Warren Harding, Royal Robbins, Yvon Choinard, and others who impacted the growth of climbing in Yosemite. Right now I look up to Emelie Forsberg, Anna Frost, Kilian Jornet, Joe Grant, Timmy Olsen, and others. Locally there are many talented athletes in the Wasatch, pioneers in creating ridge link-ups like Jared Campbell and Jason and Andy Dorais.
What has been your most memorable moment in hiking so far?
One of my favorite hikes I’ve done was a 3 day backpacking trip with my husband in the Tetons, I was pregnant, we saw bears, we spent days above 10,000ft, and just really enjoyed the peaceful adventure together.
I think climbers view climbing as a religion. I think runners view running as a drug. Hikers on the other hand seem to be out there for more meditative reasons. As someone who does all three, I guess I’m just indecisive!
What's the longest distance you've ran? What’s your fastest time?
The furthest I’ve run are 100 mile races. My PR is 20:18.
What motivates and inspires you to keep going?
Typical the beauty and energy around me is motivating. My family is also supportive and motivates to continue on when things are hard.
What's your favorite motivational/inspirational quote?
“What it is to give light must endure burning” –Viktor Frankl
What are your favorite pre/post training snack, treat, or beverage?
I love burritos! A nice carne asada burrito with guacamole post run is incredible. For treats I have a sweet tooth and I love frozen yogurt.
How many years have you been running, and what motivated you to start?
I ran cross country off an on from 7th grade through the end of high school. I knew I liked the motion but I didn’t like the rigidity of the training or the races and spent more time out of the practices and meets for climbing than in them. In college I started running longer distances, and really took off in the sport once I discovered trail and ultra running.
What is your dream race, event, or trip?
I think my “big 3” dream races are Hardrock, Barkley, and Nolan’s 14. Conceptually and aesthetically Nolan’s is a line for me, and is calling my name.
What do you believe is the first step to achieving life/fitness goals?
Believing that it is possible. Too many people see only limitations. Remove them. Our bodies are capable of so much if we only help take them to that level.
Which mountain peak are you looking forward to conquer next?
This weekend I’ll be attempting WURL, a very long and technical local link-up with well over 20 named peaks.
What is your advice to new runners and hikers?
Enjoy your adventure! The opportunities we have each day are a blessing, be grateful. Our sport is so full of life, live it!
Do you hope your children learn to love running and hiking as well?
I hope my kids find peace and happiness in the mountains away from the hustle and bustle of city life. They’ve taken time to live with us out of a mini-van on extended climbing trips or in a 5th wheel trailer to accommodate a nomadic lifestyle. I just hope they learn what’s important in life, and that life and joy can’t be bought with a price.
Summer or Winter? summer
Salt or Sugar? sugar
Poached or Scrambled? scrambled
Twitter or Instagram? instagram
Cat or Dog? …chicken?
Beach of Mountain? mountain
Sunset or Sunrise? sunrise
You can follow Jennilyn on her Blog!
Ready, Set, Ragnar: Catching up With Team Nuunjas July 11, 2014 16:27
We are having a blast supporting Ragnar Relay Series participants across the USA and have met some amazing runners along the way. We are pleased to showcase our next runner, Tiffany Henness. Tiffany (aka Hutch) recently raced in the Wasatch Back Ragner series with Team Nuunjas and used our ensō roller to help with training and recovery. We caught up with Tiffany and her team. Read below to hear all about her Ragnar experience, tips for Ragnar newbies, and
Before Ragnar, we wanted to know...
What inspired you to sign up for Ragnar Wasatch Back?
I have ran 3 other Ragnars, plus to other long distance relays. This will be my first Ragnar outside of California. I’ve always thought it would be great to do the original Ragnar and heard how beautiful it was to run.
Tell us about your team!
Our team is made up of runners from all over the US and I don’t think anyone knows everyone! The one thing that ties us together is that we’re all ambassador for Nuun Hydration (or are friends with someone who is) and we all run. We have Boston Marathoners and midpackers. Some of us are running bloggers.
Steve - New Jersey
Sanita Smith - New Jersey
Cameron Smith - New Jersey
Carmen - New Jersey
Meggan Roth - New Jersey
Katie Key - Greenville, South Carolina
Lisa - Colorado
Katie - Oregon
Tiffany - California
Megan Fay - Seattle, Washington
George Okinaka - Las Vegas
How is your team approaching the race - are you taking it seriously OR just running for fun?
I think we’re running for fun. I hope we are! Ha. I know we have some very competitive runners on the team. A few of us are using the relay as part of training for marathons later in the year. Some are recently recovered from injures and just planning on taking it easy and enjoying the run.
What’s your training like- describe a typical week.
We all have our own race schedules and I believe most of us are race ready year round because we all run a lot. That being said, I have been recovering from a foot injury so my training was definitely with this race in mind. I’m a flatlander who is going to die in the altitude no matter what, so I just tried to run several times a week, use a treadmill at an incline, and pray for the best!
What are some essential must-have items that you will be taking with you as a team and as an individual?
As a team, of course we must have our Nuun tablets to drink. Those will be provided of course. We’ll also bring our headlamps and other safety gear. Someone is bringing their GoPro camera so we can get some video. I’m bringing my LightGUIDE LED Armbands for extra night visibility and my favorite red buff, which I often use to cover my ears on cold runs or soak with water to keep me cool on hot runs.
Sanita - Must have Garmin
Steve - Must have Garmin and music
Katie - Must have music
Lisa - Phone
Tell us about your team outfit choices.
Our “costume” is fairly simple - ninja headbands and a few ninja like accessories. The rest of it will be our typical running clothes. Running comfort is a bit more important to us than costume.
After Ragnar, we asked...
If you could sum up this past Ragnar Relay in 2 words, what would they be? Exhaustingly Beautiful!
What did you and your learn about yourselves and each other by doing Ragnar?
I feel like every time I do one of these I realize that I have a mental battle to fight and I have to learn how to be better at fighting that mental battle. I always come away thinking how glad I am for indoor plumbing, a bed I can stretch out on, and real food I can sink my teeth. I learned my team members are badasses and smart runners. They know when to call it quits if they’re hurting and they know when it’s time to fly by everyone else.
What is your favorite Ragnar memory?
I think flying down Park City hill on twisty single track was my favorite memory. It just felt good to be RUNNING and confident that I could navigate the roots and rocks on the trail. I passed 9 runners coming down that hill and that is when I felt strongest and most free. It reminded me why I love trail running so much.
What was your overall impression of the ensō muscle roller?
Incredibly versatile! In fact, I think there are too many options that I sometimes get a little stuck wondering what I should do with it next. I think it is a great design, like a multi-purpose recovery tool.
Knowing that all of your team gave the EvoFit ensō roller try, do you think it helped with recovery, stiff muscles during the relay? How else did it help?
The ensō roller definitely helped. I personally didn’t get as stiff/sore during this relay as in ones past. However, AFTER the relay I definitely tightened up. It’s nice that the ensō is portable so I could have it post relay as well. Just because you’re done with the relay doesn’t mean you are home free yet!
Would you continue to use the ensō roller in your day-to-day running practice? How do you think it could help with your performance and recovery?
I’ll definitely keep using the ensoō roller, probably primarily for my feet! I have flat feet and the arches get sore very easily. Makes running a lot less comfortable. Being able to roll them out on the bar with two discs elevating the bar is great. So much better than trying to roll my arches on a glass bottle or trying to get my husband to give me a foot rub.
What was the hardest part about Ragnar? The easiest? The most fun?
The hardest part about this Ragnar was the altitude and my general loss of running fitness since I got injured. It was my first in over a year and I’m still building my base back. I could feel that. The easiest part was running with almost all strangers. I actually really enjoy relay teams where you don’t know everyone. It makes the journey more fun. So yeah, the most fun part was seeing my new friends run hard and sharing the experience with them.
What advice/tips do you have for the team members who are running the Ragnar for the first time?
If you’re running Ragnar for the first time, be prepared to be flexible and make fun priority number. You may or may not run the exact mileage advertised. Your legs may or may not be at the time of day you anticipated. You can plan for these things, but if they change, and they probably will, you can’t let it steal the joy of the experience from you.
After completing the Ragnar Relay, how would you recommend training for it?
It really depends on your legs for any relay. However, it is obvious that if you don’t live at 6,000 feet you would benefit from doing some runs at 6,000 to 8,000 feet. I know one of my teammates is going to get an altitude mask to train with and simulate having less oxygen while she runs.
When comparing a Ragnar Relay with a 10K or half marathon, for instance, how would you suggest another runner pace him/herself and what would you suggest they do for recovery during their legs?
If they are experienced runners, I’d say they can approach each leg like a 10k. Physically and mentally they should be able to push through each leg and have enough time to recover to be ready to do it again and again. For beginner runners, I’d tell them to approach it like a half marathon. Don’t run too hard in the beginning and save something for the second half of the race. It’s better to finish your last leg feeling like you were strong than to struggle through it and have that be the last run you remember the relay by. As for recovery, it is important that you force yourself to eat something solid when your van is resting and when it’s about 2 to 3 hours before your next run. Sometimes that means you have to stuff down solid food at 3 AM and you really don’t feel like it. However, you’ll be glad you did when you’re starting your 8 mile leg at 5 AM because you’ll have energy in your body.
What running mantra, if any, did you use to keep you going, keep you motivated?
On my longest leg I was struggling about half way through. So, silly as it sounds, I thought of my puppy, Moxie. She’s just under 4 months old and she’s our first dog as a married couple. So she’s like a fur kid. I sang a little made-up song to her, telling her that I was on my way home. It made me laugh but gave me something to think about so I could keep pushing forward.
Ready, Set, Ragnar: Q & A with "Ragnar Rob" June 27, 2014 16:29
As runners ourselves, we love getting involved with different running events and supporting runners that are pushing themselves on the roads and trails. From local 5ks to relay races to marathons and beyond, there is no shortage of great events! One series we've been intrigued by is the Ragnar Relay Series. In 2004, the first ever "Ragnar" relay took place in our backyard - the beautiful mountains of Utah - when 3 locals, looking for a new challenge, ran 188 miles from Logan to Park City. The rest is Ragnar history (which you can read more of here!). This year, to help support Ragnar participants across the country, we are pleased to announce our Ready, Set, Ragnar campaign.
What is the Ragnar Relay?
Ragnar is the overnight running relay race that occurs across the country throughout the year - it makes testing your limits a team sport.
The Ragnar Relay Series has teams of 12 run a 200-mile relay over two days and one night. The teams of 8 run a 120-mile trail relay over the same time span. Often called a slumber party without sleep, pillows or deodorant, this unique relay turns out crazy costumes, inside jokes, close quarters and unforgettable stories. Each Ragnar brings thousands of people together to create deeper connections and celebrate together as they conquer a challenge they couldn’t accomplish alone.
Ready, Set, Ragnar!
To help Ragnar participants acheive their individual and team goals, we're offering select individuals/teams a complimentary ensō roller to help with their training. It's also a great opportunity for us to receive product feedback and testimonials from a group of individuals this product was designed for: runners! It has been a blast getting to know so many Ragnar participants and we are excited to share their stories with you.
This weekend is the Ragnar Wasatch Back in Park City, Utah. Our friend Rob Estell, (aka Ragnar Rob), will be running with the Away Team. Here's our Q&A with Rob and the team!
What inspired you to sign up for Ragnar Wasatch Back? I ran with the Away team in Las Vegas 2013 and found them to be a very organized team, mostly because of the captain Heather Osborn. This is my 11th Ragnar. I was initially inspired to try Ragnar to help me be around more runners.
Tell us about your team. Our team is "bi-coastal." Members hail from LA & San Diego, California and Ft Lauderdale, Florida and include marathon runners, triathletes, middle distance runners, and idiots (note: I am the only person on our team to fit into the last category! Our team captain is Heather Osborn, who is based in the Los Angeles area.
What inspired the name of your team? The Away Team is based upon Star Trek. The Away team always wore the red shirts and when deployed to a new planet, they would never return (they would die).
What are you most looking forward to in Utah? I am looking forward to running Ragnar Hill. I’m nervous about the altitude difference from sea level “Miami”.
Anything you’re nervous about/not looking forward to? Yes, one teammate is a crazy ex girlfriend. I’m glad she is in another van. (Editor's note: good luck with that Rob!)
How is your team approaching the race - are you taking it seriously (going for a specific time/place) OR just running for fun? We are definitely running for FUN. Ragnar is the most fun you can have while running, so this shouldn't be too hard.
What’s your training like- describe a typical week! I train on my own, and occasionally train with a person of lesser ability to inspire them. I am the captain of my own running group called the “Dirty Running Scoundrels” and we run anything from 5k’s, to adventure races, to marathons, to Ragnar Relays. I am a single father; my ex wife and I share equal custody 50/50. Saturday from 4pm thru Wednesday 4pm, I am kid free and run at any time of the day that I want to. However Wednesday at 4pm, I break out the ‘race car” (that’s what my 3 year old daughter Faith and my 6 year old son Luke call the double running stroller) and I run 2 miles to my daughters daycare, pick her up, run another mile to my sons summer camp then run another 1-1.5 miles home depending on my path. I repeat this Thursday and Friday morning and evening, weather permitting.
Do you train together as a team (either virtually or physically together)? We live so far from each other it is hard to train together, even for the LA team members. We only try to run races together.
What are you favorite pre and post training meals and beverages? Pre and post meals include endurox, Aquafina water (its the best). I have been eating DeliverLean prepared meals to help with my diet. A lot of white meat and fish, and I stay away from red meat, alcohol and sweets. What types energy snacks/fuel do you take with you on some of your longer runs? Sport Beans seem to work the best for me. I take Nuun tablets in my drinking water.
How have you incorporated the ensō roller into your training? Has rolling out with your ensō helped your recovery? Do you plan on bringing the ensō with you to Ragnar? I definitely plan on bringing my ensō to Ragnar. I stretch, rehydrate and then roll my legs and my hips after every run. I enjoy it so much, that I lay on the floor and watch TV while rolling my back, hamstrings, back, calves and quads.
What are some essential must-have items that you will be taking with you as a team and as an individual? Pillow, ensō roller, 1 gallon Ziploc bags for stinky clothes after a run. Dry goods anti-chafe spray, water belt, clean towel, a change of clothes for every run and my crazy costumes.
Tell us about your team outfit choices. It will be a suprise- everyone will be wearing a different costume or theme.
How did your team decide which legs to run? Who is running which leg and why? I begged for the “Ragnar Leg” because it was the hardest leg in all of Ragnar. Most people chose to be in Van 1 because the harder legs are in the beginning. Van 2 had the harder legs at the end of the race.
We know that the Guardsman Pass is the toughest leg, and usually most racers have to walk it. To the team member(s) brave enough to run this leg - are you nervous or excited to run it? How are you preparing/anticipating conquering the Guardsman Pass? I shopped around looking for a team that would guarantee me to run this leg. I will pace myself with run/walks and conquer the hill. The altitude, difficulty and incline of this leg are one of a kind. Just like me.
We see that you go by the name “Ragnar Rob.” How did this nickname come about, and what is it about Ragnar that you love so much that you are named after it? I got the nickname from my chiropractor Darren Kreitman (Pinnacle Health and Fitness), who was my first Ragnar captain for Florida Keys 2012. I then went on to run 2 more Ragnars that year: Southern California and Napa Valley on an Ultra Team “The Dirty Running Scoundrels”. I ran 5 Ragnars in 2013, 3 of which were Ultras and I have scheduled 5 Ragnars in 2014.
Last year you dressed up in a Burger King costume for the Ragnar Relay. Are you planning on dressing up in any crazy costumes this year? I have run 6 Ragnars in the Burger King costume. Because of the heat, I will be wearing a new costume showing off my body after using the EvoFit ensō roller. It is a body suit with all of the muscles in the body exposed.
Foam Rollers- "Ain't Nobody Got Time For That!" June 25, 2014 16:31
We're cracking up! This video made our week. We love our fans and LOVE seeing content from them like this.
Shout out to Rob Estell for posting this hilarious video, and good luck to him at the #RagnarWasatchBack this weekend!
Ensō Roller Giveaway with The Faux Runner June 20, 2014 16:32
Here at EvoFit, we are committed to getting (and sharing) authentic product feedback/testimonials from amazing athletes. We love reaching out to athletes who share the same passion for fitness, performance, and recovery as much as we do, and we truly appreciate how our ensō roller affects their active lifestyles.
This information is a confirmation of what EvoFit belives in – helping athletes to perform better, recover properly, and enhance their longevity as an athlete throughout their lifetime. Thanks to all of you for using the ensō to heighten your performance and experience as an athlete, and giving us some wonderful feedback in order to help encourage all athletes out there to keep accomplishing their fitness goals!
Click here to see more reviews from last month.
We are psyched to see a review from Smitha Barki, aka The Faux Runner.
Smitha says, “My journey into running started rather abruptly – a spur of the moment decision took me from being a couch potato to a half marathon runner in a matter of months. In the early days, all I knew was I had to run and I had to “stretch” after the run. Inspite of this “stretching”, I had “issues” every time I crossed mile 9-10. On recommendation from my local running store, I went to see a sports chiropractor who introduced me to the pleasures and pains of foam rolling. I came home armed with a $20 roller and instructions on how to use it. Ever since then, I’ve tried to incorporate foam rolling as part of my recovery process. I have used the above mentioned 4yo foam roller, the grid roller, the trigger point, the stick and plenty more! And then this gadget junkie got her hands on an Ensō roller!”
Smitha explains how the ensō targets specific important muscles - the back, glutes, hamstrings, and calfs, and how important it is as an athlete to nurture these muscles.
And better yet – Smitha is giving away an ensō roller on her blog!
Head here to enter for a chance to win an ensō of your own!
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