Yoga Pose Fails, So Funny!

November 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Blonde Jokes, Fitness, News, Prevention & Safety

If you need a laugh, this Yoga Pose Fails video “We’ve Not All Flexible” is hilarious!  I hope nobody really gets hurt doing these poses!  I am sure if I tried some of them I would be in this video!  You know what they say, laughter is the best medicine. Enjoy!

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Five Steps to Cope With Marathon Boredom

October 25, 2018 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Prevention & Safety, Weight Loss

As a long time coach and marathon runner, I can tell you that there are times when running seems boring. When this boredom happens during a marathon race, this can really be detrimental to performance. With careful planning and some coping techniques in place, boredom can be prevented. Here are some things that I use to help cope with Marathon boredom:

  1. Break the Marathon Into Smaller Distances
  2. Focus on Running Form
  3. Be Distracted by Nature
  4. Create Some Effective Mantras
  5. Dedicate Miles

STEP 1: Break the Marathon Into Smaller Distances

It can often be daunting to toe the line of a marathon and tell yourself you now need to run 26.2 miles.  I find that it is much simpler to tackle one 5K at a time or even pull yourself through each mile individually.  I love to do this because it helps me to stay in the moment and concentrate on the goal pace or heart rate average I am aiming for for that particular mile.

Another thing I like to do to cope with marathon boredom is to have preset intervals in which I “reset” myself.  By this I mean that I pretend that I just started the race over and clear my mind; I often shake out my arms and check my form head-to-toe. This is often done every 5K or 5 miles for me.

STEP 2: Focus on Running Form

This focus on running form really helps to take my mind off the pain and allows me to focus on one thing at a time.  I like to start with my head and work down by asking myself these questions:

  • Is my neck stiff?
  • Do I need to relax my shoulders or loosen my tights fists?
  • Are my arms floating back and forth with ease?
  • Are my elbows tucked in eliminating torso rotation?
  • Am I running tall with a good lean from the ankle?
  • Am I keeping my muscles engaged when I push off the ground?
  • Are my feet landing gently and not clomping on the ground? Etc.

You can develop your own series of questions to help.  If you’ve never had your running form analyses done by a coach I highly suggest it. To learn more visit BlondeRunner.com

STEP 3: Be Distracted By Nature

As with any marathon you are going to see a lot of terrain and generally it’s not all the same.  Allow yourself to get distracted by the trees, birds, pavement, trials and enjoy the scenery.  I also like to feel the wind on my skin or heat on my shoulders.  Being a nature-lover I often find this refuels me and gets me excited about running.  There is nothing boring about nature to me. If you are looking for a race with great views check out the Ogden Marathon in Utah.  This race offers amazing scenery.

STEP 4: Create Some Effective Mantas

Another thing that I really like to do to keep myself in the game and preventing my mind from wondering and getting bored in a marathon is to repeat some effective mantras in my mind I like to use words like; “strong”, “focused”, “motivated” or even motivating phrases like; “You’ve got this girl!” “You are capable.  This is your day!”

STEP 5: Dedicate Miles 

To complete a marathon for many may be a monumental feat and something they will always cherish and remember.  As the miles wear on it might be hard to stay focused on why you signed up in the first place.  Low blood sugar might not allow your mind to focus so clearly. I have found that dedicating the last 6 or 8 miles, when it gets really tough, to a person that has inspired me can really help.  It helps to think about that person for that full mile and run it for them.  I often will write names or initials on my forearms to help me remember and focus on them for that mile.  You can also wear their name on your shirt or back (as pictured at the Race For Grief event on Memorial Day).

In conclusion, as you plod along the marathon route allow yourself to break it up into segments to help you stay focused on a small portion of the race at a time.  Set intervals where you can do a reset. Keep your mind entertained by focusing on your form.  Also remember it is okay to be distracted by nature and enjoy your surroundings. Finally utilize mantras and dedicated miles to inspire you to continue when the going gets tough.

Happy Racing,

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Coach Lora is a certified running and triathlon coach and top-level All-World triathlete recently competing in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Africa.  She works will all level of athletes.  On-line training programs are available.  To learn more visit BlondeRunner.com

Conquering the World’s Toughest Triathlon

October 24, 2018 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Prevention & Safety

This is such an inspiring triathlon story about a disabled women named Minda Detler who was crippled from polio and conquer the Ironman World Championships in Kona. This is quite an inspiring story. When you think life is tough, keep going because you just might succeed like she did. Listen in!
Coach Lora Erickson
BlondeRunner.com

Beginner Triathletes Guide to the Off Season

It’s that time of year when you have completed your final and/or big race for the season and are ready to “take a break”. To some beginner triathletes this may seem like I am saying to “do nothing” but really it means doing something different or mixing-it-up. As a coach, I have learned that this “off season training” is vital to the success of an athlete’s next season so it’s important to understand what to do. Here’s what you can expect to learn from this article:
– Why triathletes need an off season
– Track and measure your food consumption
– Have on-the-go portable nutrition handy
– Hydration is key
– Planning for the upcoming triathlon season

Why Triathletes Need an Off Season

The important thing to remember for the off-season is that you don’t want to completely get out-of-shape, lose muscle or gain fat tissue. But you do want to allow time for your muscles to fully recover as well as your mind. The day-after-day training grind can cause burn-out over time, so a yearly off season is important for athletes to keep them fresh and ready to compete the next season. It is still important to maintain some fitness and muscle tissue by continuing with daily exercise and eating regularly. Usually after the last big race of the year I take about 6-8 weeks “off” from traditional swim-bike-run type training and do “easy” training. These are not hardcore workouts, but more of a loose structure, like “what do I feel like doing today?” This is the time of year not to worry about pacing, speed or pushing yourself. It’s about just enjoying movement. I encourage my athletes to do other sports they enjoy most days of the week (5 to 6 days, 45 – 60 minutes each day). What they do usually includes things that can’t normally fit in during the race season while doing specific triathlon training; Possibilities may include rock climbing/bouldering, soccer, hiking, karate, pickle ball, Zumba, aerobics class, shooting hoops or just go for a nice walk or an easy jog. Yoga is also a great thing to do a lot of in the off season and helps aide recovery and maintain flexibility. Mix-it-up and have fun! It’s important to enjoy what you are doing.

Track and Measure Your Food Consumption

As mentioned, it’s important to maintain lean muscle tissue. This can be done through continued movement, basic core strength training and watching what you eat. Proper nutrition is actually a really big focus for me in the off season since I am not exercising as much or as long (no 3-plus hour Ironman workouts). It helps me to track my food consumption and eat nutrient dense foods which help my body recover. If you follow me on Instagram (@theblonderunner  or @coachloraerickson) you will see I recently posted info about a food tracking app which can keep you accountable. Proper nutrition is often neglected by athletes because they already look “thin” and “fit” but the body will breakdown without consumption and absorption of proper nutrients and this will eventually hinder performance.

A common mistake made by triathletes in the off season is to simply eat too much, especially empty carbohydrates. With lower exercise volume, calories need to be reduced, but many triathletes continue to eat the same amount. It’s time to start reading labels and break out the measuring tools. This way you can ensure you have the information to eat the proper amounts and make healthier choices. It also helps you identify hidden sugars and unhealthy foods. Many of my athletes are often surprised to see high levels of sugar or fat in foods they consume regularly. Another thing that can help is to start your day with a fruit or vegetable and make sure you incorporate 6-8 serving in each day. Those fruits and vegetables will give you the nutrients needed to repair muscle tissue and help your body get ready for the upcoming season.

Have On-the-Go Portable Nutrition Handy

While my race season is super busy with training, working, family and traveling; my off season is just as busy getting caught up on things I missed and prepping for the upcoming season so I find I am on-the-go a lot. This on-the-go life is often where athletes get into trouble and end up eating fast-food or other junk, so it’s important to have portable foods handy.
Some time ago I did several book reviews and I just fell in love with the nutrition concepts in these books, The Feedzone Cookbook for Athletes and Feed Zone Portables. The author simply nailed my thoughts on hydration and absorption as well as eating real foods or quick products made from real foods. The book teaches you how to make your own “portable foods”. Realistically I didn’t make as many of the recipes as I planned to but that even made me more excited when I learned about the meal bars they came out with. I have found it a good idea to pack foods to take with me on busy days. These bars are easy to stash in a gym bag or purse. They are also great to take on hikes and are super soft and moist as well as nutritious. Many are gluten free as well. My recent favorite is the savory miso. It’s so good! They also have other tasty flavors.

Hydration is Key

Hydration is the key to staying healthy and recovering in the off season. Often during the offseason triathletes don’t think about staying hydrated, but they need to consume water regularly to keep up with the body’s demands. We lose most of our moisture from breathing and winter air can be dry, sapping moisture from our bodies. A good rule of thumb for water consumption is half your body weight in ounces (about 8 cups for most people is a good rule of thumb). Depending on your exercise level and body composition you may need more. Sadly, on average, many people don’t consume enough and experience signs of dehydration like; nausea, dizziness, cramps, achiness, soreness, general sluggishness, sleepiness, etc . It’s important to get enough water and electrolytes, so you might consider tracking that as well.

I particularly like the light flavor of the Skratch portable sports drink mix (read my product review) is well balanced and makes boring water palatable. Recently I am getting creative and have loved mixing flavors like lemon & limes with oranges or strawberries with mango. #mixitup

One thing you might have noticed is the color. It’s not heavily pigmented, they simple use natural products, no fake colors. Plus they are low calorie to help keep things in check.

Planning For the Upcoming Triathlon Season

The off season is a good time to start mapping out what races you want to do for the upcoming season and evaluate how the previous training worked for you and how closely you met your goals. Identify areas that you would like to see more improvement in and set new goals. It is important to reevaluate progress and review your goals regularly through the season. Get your mind ready to start your training again with a base phase if you like to periodize your training. You may even want to set a “start” date, when you will start implementing more structured training. Training Peaks is a great tool for this. If you are not sure how to do this, you can hire a coach to help (let me know if I can help, I’d love to work with you) You will also want to check over your gear and make sure everything is in working order. Replace old, outdated equipment and upgrade things as necessary to set yourself up for a great upcoming season.
In conclusion, it’s important to focus on rest and recovery but still remain active in the off season mixing in new activities as well as eat properly with on-the-go nutrition handy and plan for the upcoming season and setting new goals.

Happy Training,
Coach Lora Erickson
BlondeRunner.com

Coach Lora is a certified running and triathlon coach and top-level AWA triathlete recently competing in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Africa. She works will all level of athletes. To learn more visit BlondeRunner.com or contact her directly at theblonderunner@gmail.com
Who is Blonde Runner? 

Win a Spot in the Thanksgiving Day Races

October 23, 2018 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Races

I just love local races.  Check out this local family favorite and enter to win a free spot. Let me know if you need help with training.

Coach Lora Erickson

Summer Fun with Xterra Paddle Boards

Summer is time to splash around and have fun at the lake.  Join the fun with Xterra Paddleboards!  Don’t miss out on these great deals!  Click to learn more

Wishing You a Summer Full of Fun!

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

How to Pump-up a Road Bicycle Tire with Coach Lora Erickson

It may seem simple but when I started riding I didn’t know how to pump up my tires on a road bike so I thought I would explain it for the beginner.  It’s simple once you know but may be different than your bike when you grew up like me.

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

 

Don’t miss a race discount code!

June 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Fitness

If you are like me and love to race be sure and check out this discount code list for your favorite races…you may just save yourself some money to spend on other things 🙂

Check it out here:

Blonde Runner Discount Codes

(updated frequently so check back)

Happy Racing,

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

The Goliath Full Distance Triathlon Utah

June 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Prevention & Safety, Product Reviews

Saturday September 15, 2018

Options: 140.6 team relay or solo event, 5K race event

Race Website:  TheGoliathRace

Registration Link: 

(use the code BLONDE for 20% off before July 1, 10% after) 

The Goliath triathlon is a one-of-a-kind full-distance (140.6) iron triathlon relay event in Northern Utah in September.  It is done as a relay and all participants are encouraged to welcome friends and family to spectate and be their support crew.  The distance can be conquered solo or with up to 10 people.  The event starts at the Still Water Lake Estates in Syracuse, Utah and tours Antelope Island for the ride and run.  What is great about this 2.4 mile wetsuit swim is that it can be done by up to 3 people and is broken into a 2 & ½ lap effort in a shallow lake.  So, if you are nervous about the swim, don’t be, because you can stand up on a majority of it with the deepest parts only 8 feet deep.  The paved berm along the edge of the water allows friends and family to cheer the entire swim. The last swimmer will then head to transition where they will tag the first cyclist.  The 112 mile cycling leg starts by winding through the farmland of Syracuse then proceeding across the Causeway and exploring Antelope Island.  You can expect rolling terrain on the ride and run.  Athlete swaps can be made at designated exchange zones. This is also a self-supported event so athletes need to be sure and have the support they need at zones.  This is a great opportunity for friends and family to get involved. Check out the Exchange Zone Specifics

The run will also proceed to Antelope Island and the first runner will be able to participate in the “King of the Mountain (KOM) challenge.  This is a 1.1 out-and-back route going up a 23% grade, so you will want your strongest climber here.  The first half of the run is more challenging with some climbing and rolling hills while the second half is more flat. Again this is self-supported with no aide stations so pick-up what you need at exchange zones or carry it with you.   The race finished up at the Jensen Nature Park in Syracuse.

RACE DISCOUNT CODE: “BLONDE” saves you 20% before July 1st!

So gather your friends and join the fun!  Get registered today; use the code BLONDE to save 20% before July 1st and 10% after:  https://www.raceentry.com/race-reviews/the-goliath-race

This is the 4th year of the event and another cool thing about this race is that it helps raise funds for the DE NOVO PROJECT allowing Adolescents and Young Adults who struggle with addiction and mental health issues like severe depression, anxiety, PTSD and other mental health concerns to get need mental health services. They can also help individuals and families caught in the wake of suicide and traumatic death.

THE DE NOVO PROJECT

Mental health concerns cannot be fought on our own. It takes family, friends, community and skill building to overcome these Goliaths in our lives. Typically organized charitable events support great causes like financial support to families battling cancer, cancer research, and Diabetes research etc. But, the mental health impact is often overlooked, and quite frankly, ignored. The De Novo Project was created to help meet a need in our community. We all know someone or have a family member that suffers from mental health concerns and can see the impact this has on marriage, family, and community.  Learn more:  http://thegoliathrace.org/something-to-think-about/

What are people saying about the race?

“Great race!

My husband and I loved doing this with our friends! Laid back enough to have fun and friendly competition. Mark and Amy do a great job of putting this together and everything is very professional. Would highly recommend trying this one out! ~ Rebecca R.”

Get Social with Goliath!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thegoliathrace/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/race_goliath

#FindYourGoliath #GoliathTriathlon

Need a Coach?

As an added benefit I will be offering discounted coaching programs to help you prepare for the event.  Interested?  From $49 and up. If so, message me at theblonderunner@gmail.com

Note:  You have 14 weeks from June 9th to great ready for the September 15 event.

Not a triathlete?  No problem, the race also offers a 5K event for the whole family.   You can still spectate for your friends/family and join in the fun at 11 a.m.

Happy Training,

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com  

Race Report: Beaverhead Marathon

What a fun adventure it was at the Beaverhead Marathon in Montana over this last weekend. There was mud, head winds (mostly the whole time), with rain the night before, we had some mud   🌧 too.  The temps ranged from 37-49 from start to end of this marathon. ostriches, road kill, mountains, a bison statue, ducks, creek, gravel, cows, birds, clouds, a river, bridges, mile markers, hills, friends, trails, porta potties 😊, hay, horses, barns, parks etc…
It really was an adventure! I love races like this with so much great scenery and terrain change. This year it was extra challenging starting at 8 am at 39° and 20 mph winds. In addition to this it was high altitude as Dillon Montana is about 5200-5500 feet.  I am used to high altitude but I know a few participants weren’t.
This was a first year event so it wasn’t very big but they really did so many things right! There was free camping in the starting area but they bussed us to the start from the park near the finish as this was a point to point route. I loved the old-fashioned black power Musket gun shot start and the well marked route. They had green buckets each mile marking the full marathon on this point to point course. (photo credit: Jeremy Crawford)
Yellow for the half marathon. They had great photography on the route as well as great support with a cyclist “rabbit” leading the race as well as many of the organizers in vehicles checking up on runners.
There were many cool landmarks, including;
  • The Beaverhead River, which is a blue ribbon trout stream and famous all over the world (should have brought my fishing pole! I love to fish!)
  • Around mile three we passed the 45th parallel at Clark Canyon Reservoir.
  • Pipe Organ Rock – this massive rock formation looks just like the pipes of an organ! It was fun to stop at a hydration station here.
I was happy to place 2nd in my age group, even with tired legs from Ironman Texas just two weeks before! It was fun to celebrate a friend’s birthday with a race. If you are looking for a doing a marathon in all 50 states, this would be one to look into. Check it out! As always, if you need help with training don’t hesitate to contact me.
Train Happy,
Coach Lora Erickson
theblonderunner@gmail.com
BlondeRunner.com 
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