No excuse=Feel Good

For a lot of people this may not sound good, but the reality is: Everything that happens in your life, bad and good, it’s because of you….Yeah sounds hard, and mean but it’s a reality. And this it’s what I want to talk about in this post, it’s more a motivational post than anything. Most of those things I learned, not only as an athlete but as human as well.

1) Best thing you can do it’s take responsibility, once you do that your life will change 180 degrees (always 180 and not 360, cause 360 you will end up in the same place). Let’s face it, we are our own worst enemy for everything in life. Nobody is here with a mission to make your life miserable, everyone it’s facing their own battle. So take charge of your own life!

2) Get a calender and on today’s date write: The change, set up a plan and follow no matter what. Rain, shine, cold or hot follow your plan. That doesn’t mean you should go out training like a maniac, cause this way you won’t perform the way you want, so you won’t feel good. Be smart, set up a plan that is possible and follow with no excuses. Remember easy training days are easy for a reason. So go easy when you need and hard when you need.

3) Make a commitment with yourself, and honestly, before you react the old way stop and think, is that what I really want? Don’t let your subconscious guide you. For example, have you ever drove somewhere, and it’s so automatic that you don’t even know how you end up there? That is when your subconscious it’s in charge. So in order to change you will need to think (be aware) before you react. It will feel uncomfortable at first but once you do feel and see the changes you will feel really good.

4) Every action has a reaction (3rd law of newton). For me there is good choices and bad choices (not a matter of right or wrong). So good choices will lead you to your goal, bad choices will distance you for your goal. For example, you want to lose weight, and you got hungry and did not plan ahead your food (bad choice), and instead you will go to a place to eat and choose the least of the evils another bad choice that will distance you from your goal. Instead, let’s say you didn’t plan ahead and got hungry, instead of reacting the old way and choosing the least of the evils ( witch it’s a bad excuse, cause bad it’s bad there is no more or less evil) you can go and buy a fruit, to get thru your hunger and plan better next. We live in a world that we make choices all the time and fortunate enough we can always, I mean always have a good choice, you can buy a banana in any 7-11 at any time!!! So honestly there is no excuse! And yes, living of fruit for a few hours of the day won’t kill you or let you depleted, in fact we can go 40 days we just water before your body start eating itself.

5) Make a schedule. There is plenty time on the day to fit all in, trust me! If you make a schedule, and that includes adding recovery time, you will see how much time left you will have. For example, have you notice how much time you loose in front of the TV, or internet looking for useless stuff? Plus most of this useless stuff will make you in a bad mood, bad vibe and negative, so instead of turning on the TV, get a workout in, get family time, cook a healthy meal, sleep earlier, play with the dogs, kids time etc…If you like TV set up a time to watch the shows you want. My personal opinion is that TV is worthless, most news are distorted from the reality, but it does have some funny shows. So if you want set up the time, and turn off when the show end…stick to the plan. No excuse!

6) Be honest with yourself. Set up the goals from your heart, be honest with your goals but make sure they are for you! You don’t need to prove anything for anyone, you only need to prove to YOURSELF, nothing else!

7) Stay in the moment. Honestly let go your pass, and don’t worry about the future, do what you can and have to do now. Let’s be honest, life it’s now, you don’t even know if you will be alive tomorrow! So what are you waiting for?

Like I post on my facebook page yesterday, “life it’s just a ride, and you have to cross the finish line like: It was an awesome freaking ride! If you can’t say that now, rethink your choices and your attitude”. Start now, no excuse. If you do that you will FEEL GOOD!

Feel Good,

RW

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Label? Read it!

A lot of people ask me, is this food good for you? So today I am explaining a simple thing you can (and should) do every time you go shopping or buy a product.

I am a big promoter to eating clean, and healthy, regardless of type of diet you follow. I do suggest high plants and low animal products, but that it’s another story. The main thing you can do to avoid any complications it’s get used to reading labels of what you buy. Get to know the brands, and where they come from. So here are some tips:

1) Forget the front package. This is the key, the front part of every product will try to catch your attention, saying that it’s healthy etc etc, so avoid that, it’s marketing.

2) After avoiding the front package turn the back, and read the ingredients, you want to see whole foods, nothing else. The reason I say that it’s because many of the products look healthy but in the back the first ingredient can be a processed sugar (such as maltodextrin, corn syrup etc) or a chemical. Always look for whole foods ingredients.

3) Get to know the brand. It’s a reality a lot of the preservatives used by the food industries does not have to be claimed on the ingredients list, and yes this it’s even FDA approved. So get to know your brands, and see if they are in any controversy news in the market. We live in the information era, so there is no excuse.

4) Knowing all that make sense to use what I call raw ingredients, by that means, instead of buying a product get the food itself and create own product. That means, put the apron on and get to work. There is plenty of healthy and fast recipes out there!

5) This one follows number 4. Let’s say you don’t have time to prepare anything? Not an issue, fruit its the fastest snack ever and it sells in any 7-11 or any corner. So before hitting the glow in the dark hot dog or chemical lab burrito eat a fruit.

6) When going out choose restaurants that you know and trust. If you don’t know the ingredients, where it came from, or how is made, ask the server. It’s your right to know.

Remember those chemicals, and bad products only exist because there is a demand. So if you get to the habit of asking and demanding good food it won’t have space for the bad stuff. Always look for WHOLE FOOD INGREDIENTS, that is the key for eating clean and healthy.

Feel Good,

RW

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Tips from our sponsor SelectRehab

Hello Everyone! My name is Mae Yahara and I am a physical therapist and owner of Select Rehab in Lake Worth. I am a new sponsor of your training team. A former triathlete, I worked extensively with triathletes, runners, cyclists and swimmers in Northern Virginia before moving to Florida. I hope to provide information which will help you avoid injury during your training. I am also available to consult on any particular problem you may be having. The clinic phone number is 561-296-6202 but feel free to message me on Facebook as well; I am a member of your group.

Listening to your body is imperative when training for a triathlon. Symptoms that you might feel during training could either indicate joint stiffness, muscular tightness, muscle soreness or pain from a previous or existing injury. Stiffness, soreness and tightness are normal symptoms encountered during training, especially in a warm-up.

These symptoms should subside after approximately 10 minutes of an easy warm-up. However, sharp pain or severe tightness that persists during the workout could indicate a serious injury.

If you experience severe tightness or pain which persists during the workout, decrease the intensity, decrease the distance and stretch mid-workout. If your symptoms subside, return to your normal workout the next day and listen to your body during the warm-up and workout.

However, if the symptoms continue, rest from the sport in which the symptoms occurred for approximately 48 hours. Ice the area of concern for 15 minutes every two hours and assess the symptoms. If you feel symptoms at rest, the injured area is still inflamed and the athlete should continue to rest or perform pain-free cross training. If the symptoms persist at rest and last longer than two to four days, the athlete should seek professional advice from a qualified physician or physical therapist.

A physical therapist will examine for the root cause of the symptoms and prescribe specific exercises or treatment to alleviate that root cause. Frequently encountered causes are muscle imbalance in strength and/or flexibility, postural or structural issues.

Stay Healthy!!!

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Develop your inner GPS

Nowadays there is a lot of ways to check training data, such as GPS for pace, Power meter (power on the bike), Heart rate, RPM etc. All those tools are excellent and you should use them, but you must remember, those things can go down or not work. I did several races where my heart rate didn’t catch, and my power meter stop working. For that it’s very important to not completely rely on technology and develop your inner GPS.

My point is, be so tuned with your body that you know what pace, speed, effort, cadence, heart rate % you are without any equipment. Here is a few tricks you can do:

-Train with no watch. Go out some days with no watch just by feel. Start with easy workouts. For example, if you can breath thru your nose the entire time most likely your are in zone 2, your aerobic zone (65 to 75%).

-Use a scale form 1-10 to track your effort:

-Use your watch but cover with electric tape, this way you will still have the data and you can compare with your effort.

-Pick a few small training races and do with no watch.

-Develop your intuition, learn how to listen to your body. That is why I suggest training with no music most of the time.

-Eat clean. Believe or not, a clean nutrition help you have a better feel for your body. A toxic diet will make your “cells” go crazy, therefor making hard to listening to your body or just getting the wrong message. For example: High corn fructose syrup shuts down your sense of fullness, that’s why lots of people overeat.

-Be honest with yourself and feelings. For example: if you went super hard like a 9, be honest. If it feels like a 9 its a 9. Don’t try to say (or show of to your training friends) it was a 7 when in fact was really a 9.

The main reason I say that, it’s deep in the end those things are just a number to give you and idea of effort, but the fact is: every single person who ever broke a record went above and beyond their limits. Another interesting fact on limits is: Nobody knows what the human body is really capable of doing. There is no machine that can track the real human limit.

My best races so far were races that I raced with nothing or with very little “technology”. Our mind and heart (There is a few studies showing that the heart its a thinking muscle) its the most powerful tool we have as humans and it can be your best friend and your worst enemy. For example, imagine you are having your own breaking record day and you look down and see that you are a little above your limit and you back down, after you cross the finish line you think: “I could kept the pace that I was before” I am sure it’s not the best thought after a race. But in order to do that YOU MUST TRAINING and DEVELOP YOUR INNER GPS, and have a little bit of EXPERIENCE. Train with your toys and train without them, compare and see how you feel.

Feel Good,

RW

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Altra Running shoes review

The last 4 weeks I have been running with the Sum3 Altra shoes, so I decided to do a quick review.
My favorite things about them:
-Light weight
-Zero drop therefor that promote a better/natural running form
-Moderate to light cushion
-Great toe box size, allowing you to have a better grip
-Quick entrance, so its good for a fast transition

I put about 90 miles with them already and it’s really comfortable. I just didn’t run without socks yet, but feels like it’s a good shoes to run with no socks.

I also did a video of my review: Altra shoes review

FEEL GOOD,
RW

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Interval Training

It’s funny, but a lot of the times when I talk to some athletes about running or cycling interval training they automatically think, speed work. The reality is that you can use interval training for training all body energy systems including stamina, threshold, strength and speed.

There are a few reasons why I like interval training, here a some of them:

1) Better quality workouts. By doing interval training allows you to have better quality workout by keeping a higher intensity, not only for speed work but for tempo intervals as well.

2) Add more volume. Doing what I like to call foundation interval training allows you to add more training volume, for example doing zone 2 intervals you can log more miles rather than just a pure run (specially if you are a beginner), plus it shakes up your training a little bit.

3)Better recovery time. By adding more interval training allows you to stay hydrated and fuel up during your training, therefore your recovery time will be faster since your “tank” wont be too low.

FEEL GOOD,

RW

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Cranks

The last few weeks, I changed my crankset arms size from 175mm to 170mm, and I lot of people asked me why. Riding with a smaller crankset can bring you several benefits, such as:
-For example in my case, I changed a 175mm crank for shorter 170 crank: my pedal end up being 5mm closer to the saddle when it’s at the bottom of the pedal stroke, compared to before. The key benefit is that now when your pedal is at the top of the pedal stroke it is 5mm further away than before, plus your saddle is already 5mm (yes you need to adjust saddle) higher. This gives you 10mm more space between your knees and your upper-body at the top of the pedal stroke. In other words, you can now ride with a more open hip angle, without your knees coming so close to your chest. That will make you ride more open hip angle and you can lower the front end of the bike making more aero and more comfortable.
-Since about 70% of the effort when you are riding its against the wind, having a better aerodynamic will make you faster.
-Riding with a more open hip angle can help you have more power in your pedal stroke.
-Riding with a more open hip angle will benefit you run as well. This is because your hip flexors won’t be so tight and stiff when you start running.
Hope that clarify a little bit of the benefits of a smaller crankset. Of course everybody its different, but regardless of your choice of crank size, get a bike fit, and in case you change make another refit.

Feel Good,
RW

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Ironman Florida

Today the post its coming from Panama City, stage of Ironman Florida, so this post its dedicated to all people racing, but can be applied to any race.

First, when you get to a big race like, Ironman, 70.3, Marathon, etc, the environment it’s unreal. Most of the time the entire city it’s breathing sports. The energy going around its incredible, and you get really motivated, and it’s very easy to want to go out and train hard. That is when you need to control your anxiety, specially cause you are full of energy.So when you do your light workout before the race, remember to control your energy, trust me, you will need later on. I recommend 1 day off 2 days before the race and the day before do a light workout just to get some circulation.

Second, when you go to the expo you will see a lot of cool new stuff. Try to take the least amount of time in the expo and go rest. Look what you need to look, buy whatever you need to buy and rest, avoid walking around for to long. Also carry water wherever you go. Stay hydrated.

Third, stay positive and stay around calm people. Avoid getting near the crowds. The best thing you can do its to have a schedule, get your stuff ready as soon as possible to avoid any problems, and if something come up you will have plenty time to fix. Meditation and visualization can help you, remember if you can visualize you can materialize.

Fourth, stick with the plan, specially on race day. Before the race there is a lot of talking, time prediction, training paces etc, and your competitive side can get in the way, and you can start thinking about beating others, having a better time etc. Avoid that, stick with your plan, cause you are racing against yourself. Trust me, in an Ironman you will confront all your demons so you are racing against yourself all the time. You will have the angel telling you to run and the devil telling you to walk. The race its 90% mental.

Fifth, control yourself. When the gun goes off, control your pace and nutrition. Its a long day, and going a little above your intensity can cause you some precious energy in the end of the race. It’s a long day. My best tip is: Mile 80 in the bike you have to be feeling good. Remember that, mile 80 its when the race begins and the mental game start. So its very important to be feeling good on mile 80.

Good luck everyone. Enjoy your race, and remember you are an Ironman already because the training it’s a lot harder than the race.

FEEL GOOD,
RW

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Music or no music?

This is one thing I always talk about it, and its training with music or not?
Well there is a few advantage of training with music, such as motivation, and the fact that music can take your mind of the exercise and allow you to do more.
There is a few disadvantage of training with music, specially for endurance events, for example:
- All triathlons your are not allowed to race with music, anyways, so you should training your mind to deal with the discomfort without music
- Specially on the bike you don’t hear the cars around you and that can be really dangerous, you must be aware of what its going on around you
- The beauty of endurance training its to training your concentration, in fact, there are a few studies that shows that people that run long distance can get into a trance due to the rhythm of the steps are similar to brain waves, therefor having music on it might make you lose this benefit
-With music you might not be aware of your body and what its going on, and that for me its really important. The more you know yourself and what’s its going on in your body the better athlete you will be
-With music you might go faster than you should, and that can lead to overtraining later on

So avoid music as much as possible or use binaural music those music can help with concentration and focus. They are not really music (most of the time just beats), those beats help with your brain waves, they are several different ones. Learning to meditate and focus on your breathing will help you concentrate, and relax, therefor you will have a better form during your workout.
Try to use music only in emergency situations where its either use music or not training, then option to train and music :) , other than that, go music free and get in a trance. By the way getting into a trance during long workouts might help you solve a lot of your problems due the brain stimulation, and you might get a few “ah-ha” moments.

Feel Good,
RW

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Race

So I decided to do this post in together with my race report from Augusta 70.3. Well when I did my first triathlon ever (2004- Half Ironman) I promise I would never stop in a race unless it was medical. Last year I had few bad race that I stopped, to be honest I didn’t feel like myself. The feeling of calling my wife in the middle of the race and saying that I was out, sick and I DNF it’s not good at all.

So I went to Augusta feeling really strong and my goal was to do my best race. Everything went well until mile 31 when my chain broke (and I was having my best race). After using all the bad words that I know in Portuguese and English, I waited 45 min and the race support team arrived, when they said the could fix my chain and keep going I didn’t think twice, the only issue was that I only had a few gears to play with on a challenging course. So I did the last 25 miles of the bike (hilly course) on a heavy gear and with the gears jumping. But in my mind the goal changed from a PR to a fun game of breaking 5 hours. The run was challenging because of my last 25 miles on the bike, that I pushed heavy gear, but I did my best and did 5 07.  For me the time  didn’t matter anymore, what it matter is that I didn’t give up.

Bottom line is: On a long distance race you must be prepared for all, physically and mentally. My bike was tuned up, chain and cassette was 2 months old, and that still happen. Half Ironman and full ironmans are long days and anything can happen, but if you adapt and work with the circumstances the taste of crossing the finish line will be much better than calling the day earlier. The longer the race the more you will have to deal with different things, such as weather, mechanical problems, your demons, your angels, etc. Best way to prepare for that is, training in different weather, in different moods. Sometimes training in hard conditions such as heat or rain for example, it helps to get mentally prepared. Remember if you give up on training, or loose the grip, you will give up on race day. Whatever your goal in life is, don’t give up!

Always look for the good side (yes there is always something good or a lesson to learn), Augusta 70.3 was almost a rebirth, I felt like myself again, with the never give up attitude again. The taste of crossing that finish line was better than a PR, why? Because I won my own demons and limitations.

I want to say a big thanks to Wheels of Wellington and Sram Customer services, they help me out and provided me with 2 new chains and a brand new cassette.

Feel Good,

RW

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