Win an Entry in the Splash N Sprint Triathlon

I just love the local triathlons…it’s how I got started in the sport.  Check out this local race and enter to win a free entry.  Good luck!  Let me know if you need help with training.  Also, for those registered I will be offering a clinic and route preview the Wednesday before.  Message me to RSVP and learn more.
Can’t wait to sign-up? Use the code BLONDESPLASH2018 to get $5 off! 

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Coach Lora Erickson Cycling Utah Article: Push, But Not Too Hard

March 21, 2018 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Prevention & Safety

Check out Coach Lora’s latest article in Cycling Utah.  Click to read:  http://www.cyclingutah.com/fitness/coaching/triathlons-push-but-not-too-hard/

Enjoy. Are there other articles/blog posts you’d like to see?  If so, leave a comment below or send an email to theblonderunner@gmail.com and I’d love to address a topic you are interested in.  Need help with training?  If so, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Coach Lora Erickson

theblonderunner@gmail.com

BlondeRunner.com

Who is “Blonde Runner” Click to read more

Product Review: Goodr Running Sunglasses

Being a high school and college distance runner and now Ironman athlete I have run a lot of miles in the hot bright sun and even winter sun reflecting off the snow (so bright)!  Sadly when I was young I rarely wore sunglasses when I was running. While visiting the eye doctor after college I learned I had developed Pinguecula in my eyes from sun damage.  Pingueculae are non-cancerous bumps on the eyeball usually caused from ultraviolet radiation from the sun, wind, dust and dry air.  Growing up in a dessert area in Colorado probably didn’t help. Luckily the pingueculae did not grow over my cornea’s so I was still able to have Lasik some time ago.  Since I have learned about them, I make it a point to always wear sunglasses when I workout outside and drive.  I always suggest sunglasses to other runners and triathletes in my classes and clinics.  I was excited to see these fun and affordable Goodr running sunglasses at a local shop and had to check them out.  I am a big fan of polarized lenses because you can see better with them. The lens have UV400 protection and the frames have grip coating.  They are super light-weight at 22 grams, so won’t bounce around when you run.  These classic black ones are perfect and I kinda think I look cool (gotta be a cool Mom when I drop off or pick up my kids from school right?).  The name of this color/style is Whiskey Shots from Satan with Amber lens.  Doesn’t that just fit the Mom vibe LOL 😉 The affordability sure does!   I just love that they are all under $30.  They have lot of fun other prints too.  Check them out and get yourself a pair:  https://www.playgoodr.com/

Happy Running,

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Pinguecula – Click the links to learn more:

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/pinguecula.htm

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/pinguecula-pterygium

Learn more:  Who is Blonde Runner – Coach Lora Erickson? 

 

Funny Video Clip: Bird Jamming to Guy Playing Guitar and Singing

This is such a cute clip, I had to share.  Laughter is the best medicine!
Live Happy,

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

 

Q & A with Coach Lora:  Heart Rate Training Zones – What do they mean?

January 30, 2018 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Prevention & Safety, Product Reviews

Here’s a recent question I answered from one of my beginner athletes:

Question:  Hi, I have some questions regarding the training zones I see in Training Peaks.  I see the two columns for the heart rate and pace.  I don’t know how to read these and what the different zones mean.  Can you help me understand?

Answer:   Sure, heart rate zones are used to prescribe a certain intensity for segments of the workouts I provide for you.  The higher the number and zone the more intense the workout.  Often I will use LZ2 (Low Zone 2) meaning use the lower end of this zone range as seen under your Training Peaks zones under settings.   For example the range might be 121-130…keep your heart rate close to 121 for that segment.  HZ4 means High Zone 4…which would be a hard intensity.  Generally you will see zones 1-5 like this:

Zone 1 = Recovery

Zone 2 = Aerobic

Zone 3 = Tempo

Zone 4 = Subthreshold

Zone 5 a, b, c  = Super Threshold, aerobic and anaerobic capacity

Each zone will have a number range associated with it.  It’s important to keep in mind that heart rate zones are very particular to a person, for instance while one athletes Zone 2 is 121-130, another athlete might be 150-161…every athlete is different and the numbers are based on their particular threshold number.  For those that don’t have a heart rate monitor I suggest RPE. RPE or Rate of Perceived Exertion is based more on a 1-10 scale and a good way to “rate” a level of output.  Sometimes you will see this on your workouts too. Here’s some more information is you want to read up on it:   https://www.active.com/triathlon/articles/training-zones-explained-2979

Each article you read has a bit different twist on it but generally know it just a measure of intensity. Heart Rate zones for running and cycling will be different.  There are no heart rate zones for swimming unless you have a special chest strap that reads accurately (the newer Garmin 935 watch has it).  You will also notice there is a pace chart too.  As your training progresses we will utilize this more but for now let’s go for push efforts through using heart rate zones. Also, Zones are usually determined by testing, I like to use a recent race or workouts as people get started.  Once athletes are able to run 1 to 3 miles strong we do a test to determine zones.  Zones will change as the fitness changes.  Obviously a heart rate strap needs to be worn to get this data.  Let me know if you have any other questions. Good stuff!

Happy Training,

Coach Lora

Related articles:

Heart Rate Training Zone

How to Calculate Your Training Heart Rate Zones

Need help with training or have a question?  Contact Coach Lora Erickson at theblonderunner@gmail.com

Learn more about Coach Lora aka Blonde Runner http://blonderunner.com/about/who-is-blonde-runner/

Fitness: Running and Triathlon Races Goal Setting Tips

December 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness, Nutrition, Prevention & Safety

Goal setting is so important because it gives you focus to your training.  Check out these video clips for tips to set Fitness: Running and Triathlon Races Goal Setting Tips.

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Goal Setting for Races Watch on YouTube

S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting: Watch on YouTube (periscope rebroadcast)

Utah Race Discount Codes

December 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Prevention & Safety, Product Reviews, Races

I just love local races and do my best to secure discount codes for my website visitors (thanks for visiting!).  I am always adding new discounts and keep an updated list on this page:  Blonde Runner Race Product Discount Codes

Let me know if you need help with training, I’d love to coach you!  Mention this post and get $50 off your first month of custom coaching.

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Winter Running Class with Coach Lora

December 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Prevention & Safety

Come join us and learn about winter running from clothes, nutrition, shoes and best workouts to treadmills do’s and don’t. RSVP by messaging Coach Lora Erickson, theblonderunner@gmail.com Prizes and fun!
No cost to those registered for the South Davis Sweethearts 5K. $10 for others.

Learn more

Push, But Not Too Hard on the Bike

November 3, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Prevention & Safety

Coach Lora Erickson
Ironman All-World Athlete
Certified Triathlon & Running Coach
BlondeRunner.com

Push, But Not Too Hard

By Lora Erickson, BlondeRunner.com

Cycling and traveling for me usually also involves swimming and running since I am a triathlete. Earlier this year I traveled to Boulder Colorado to attend a coaching summit as well as compete in the Ironman Boulder 70.3 event.  What’s interesting about triathlon racing is trying to go hard but not too hard on the bike.  It’s often a trade-off, if you go too hard on the bike you will most likely suffer on the run but if you push the bike and still can run okay in the end your overall time and placement is better even with a little slower pace on the run.  That is what I choose to do in Boulder.  I came into the race tired from racing an Olympic Distance event one- week before, traveled and had 4 days of mind numbing classes.  I rode efficient with a higher cadence and clean pedal strokes patiently keeping an eye on my heart rate and power numbers and taking my nutrition as planned.  I decided to push it to my higher numbers and see if I could hold it.  I was the last wave of swimmers in the water and knew if I could finish the ride sooner I would have less time in the heat on the run so that is what I did.  My legs struggled a bit on the run but overall not bad all things considered.  This was a training race for me as I have the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in September.   It worked.  My run time was a bit slower but my ride time made up for it and more.  I knew the effort on the bike yielded more benefit than that same increased effort on the run.  I find this same principle of knowing when to push and when not to can be a struggle for many athletes.  Some athletes simple push every workout every day and get frustrated when they get injured or don’t see progress.  Just like in my race, some portions of workouts or races are things we can push, other times we need to lay off the throttle and allow some easy coasting.  Evaluate what is best for your effort for the most wanted outcome.  As we are coming into winter it’s important to keep this in mind. Simply, flowers do not bloom all year.  It’s good to scale back training and allow rest so when the race season comes you are fresh for it.

About the Author: Coach Lora Erickson is an Ironman All-World athlete and USAT certified triathlon coach.  She is also a certified Slow Twitch Triathlon Cycling Coach with many years of experience coaching beginner to intermediate athletes. She offers on-line as well as in-person custom coaching.  To learn more visit BlondeRunner.com or contact her directly at theblonderunner@gmail.com  

Aging: Changes That Impact Performance

October 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness, Health Classes, News, Nutrition, Prevention & Safety

Aging Athlete Coach Lora Erickson Blonde RunnerAging: Changes that Impact Performance

There is no question that age has an impact on performance. If you compare the Boston Marathon Qualification times for an athlete in their 20’s and an athlete in their late 40’s you will see a 20 minute difference meaning that an athlete over 45 can qualify with a time 20 minutes slower than an athlete in their 20’s. That is a significant difference. As an athlete over 45 years of age that has competed for over 30’s years I can tell you that I have seen the effects of aging on my training.  Just this year my body has showed signs of early menopause.  The symptoms have had a big impact on my training and it has shown in my under-par performances.  For instance, hot flashes and night sweats have disrupted my sleep, weight gain has made the impact of running more difficult to recover from and the change in hormones have resulted in moods swings and hampered my ability to focus.  I often have to stop in the middle of a workout, because my heart is racing or a headache becomes too much to push through.  I know I am not alone and many women who are also athletes have been coping with these symptoms.  It is difficult to know that these changes often take many years before periods go away (the only good thing about menopause) but there are some things we can do to help.

Men also are impacted by changes with age. With a decrease in growth hormone and testosterone they often experience loss of muscle & strength and weight gain. The body can undergo vision, hearing and digestion changes.  The bodies’ ability to adapt to temperature changes and stay hydrated is also affected. A lack of focus is also reported in men.  As I have coached athletes of all ages over the years there are many things I do differently with older athletes.  The fact is, we are all aging and we need to be mindful as our bodies’ needs change.  Here are some suggestions to help cope with aging changes:

  • Allow more time for warming-up before exercise. Many of my more youthful athletes can skip a warm-up all together and not be affected too much, however older athletes need the warm-up. As we age our muscles lose elasticity and can be torn more easily, the joints are stiffer and the body needs time to prepare of exercise. I recommend older athletes warm-up 10-20 minutes on the elliptical before a run, weight training or ride. Or use the rowing machine before swimming.
  • Incorporate yoga into your exercise routine. Because the muscles do lose some elasticity as we age, it’s important to maintain flexibility and balance. I recommend adding yoga to your exercise routine 1-2 times a week.
  • Do weight training weekly. With the decrease in muscle tissue that accompanies aging I suggest doing more weight training. This will also promote bone density and prevent osteoporosis. Gaining muscle can also help keep the metabolism up and control weight gain. I recommend weight training 2-3 times a week.
  • Be mindful of your eating. Most people gain weight as they age due to hormone changes so it becomes more important to be mindful of what goes into your mouth. I recommend using the MyFitnessPal app to track your food and assist with making better food choices.
  • Take time for meditation. As we are older we have more experiences to reflect on. Take the time to allow for meaningful meditation and reflection. This can help keep us centered and cope with the mood swings. Meditation before bed can also help with sleep.
  • Exercise regularly. With the increased challenges aging poses it often becomes more difficult to keep up a good routine but exercise can help us cope with symptoms. Even 10-20 minutes of exercise counts on difficult days.
  • Allow more time for recovery from races and hard workouts. This has probably been the most difficult thing for me this race season. But my body simply doesn’t recover as quickly from hard workouts and races as it used to. How much time you need to recover really depends on your background and experience but I suggest listening to your body. Don’t be afraid to change a hard workout into an easy one if the body says so. It’s best to stay injury-free.
  • Be gentle with yourself. As a competitive athlete I know how difficult it can be to let go of slow performances. I try to remind myself that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone and I have years of race results to illustrate my hard work over the years. A friend reminded me recently that not all flowers bloom all of the time; it’s okay to just finish a race having done your best for that day because that is what the body will allow. I have recognized things get harder as we age and I have even more respect for older athletes. It reminds me to do the best I can for me. Wishing you healthy and happy training. Coach Lora Erickson

_____

Coach Lora Erickson is an Ironman All-World athlete (top 5% in the world in her division) that recently competed in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. She is a long-time running and triathlon coach offering in-person as well as online coaching programs and community classes. She loves to work with beginners. To learn more contact her at theblonderunner@gmail.com or visit BlondeRunner.com

Read More:

The Aging Body

Menopause Symptoms

The Real Reason Old Olympians are Still Fit

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