In all dietary and fitness pursuits, moderation is key. Socrates put the concept of practicing moderation into our consciousness 2,500 years ago when he proclaimed, “Everything in moderation, nothing in excess.”
One hundred years ago, Oscar Wilde blew the lid off the whole thing when he said, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”
But Socrates and Wilde didn’t live in a polarizing world of both obesity and extreme exercise. We live in a dangerously unhealthy society, and with the recent release of studies condemning grueling exercise, it’s important to strike a healthy balance.
Endurance athletes—the people who compete in triathlons, Ironman events, and marathons—are an intense bunch. They continually push their bodies to the brink of exhaustion, and then keep running. The small community of endurance athletes around the world are an understandably prideful group, and they feed off the narcotic high of extreme athletic accomplishment. So anyone who introduces a study claiming to have found damning evidence against radical fitness better have a hell of a case.
— Lacy Jaye Hansen (@lacyjhansen) May 28, 2013
— Kenton Hansen (@kentonh) May 28, 2013
Various new research shows that there is such a thing as “over exercise,” and it can lead to many external and internal damages. (more…)
Many endurance athletes, myself included, find ourselves stuck in ruts when it comes to recipes and meals. We tend to have our staples that provide the nutrients we need to sustain our training, but those staples can get boring and overdone. The challenge to seek out new recipes is good, but searching a foreign region’s menu, was an extra, albeit fun, challenge.
With the mission of choosing a recipe from a specific country in the Mediterranean, a small geography lesson was first required. I think many of us don’t realize that the Mediterranean is more than a portion of Italy and the country of Greece. There are 21 countries that comprise the region. They all share similar ingredients in their recipes, yet they all deliver a unique flair to the table. I got the joy of researching the recipes of Egypt.
The first step was just familiarizing myself with the cuisine of the country. True to Mediterranean food, there were many minced meats, shish kabobs with sides of tahini and pita. Some less common foods included grilled pigeon, fried perch and tuna, and stewed beans for breakfast. While runners need protein, pigeon was not a source I was opting for this time. (more…)
Running is a learning process. I’m far from the runner I was two years ago, and unrecognizable from the one I was when I first started. There are so many mistakes to learn from and so many trials and errors to experience. It’s been six years since I put on my first pair of running shoes and began my journey. As I prepare for my long run this weekend, I can certainly say I learned one lesson the hard way: The issue of refueling during runs. This took a lot of trials and even more errors on my part. But today, my pantry is stocked with my fuel of choice and I hope my days of struggling with mid-run fuel is over.
Recently, NPR’s food blog “The Salt” reported on the issue of using real food as athletic fuel. That is, real food instead of the many popular gels, chews, and drink mixes. The title alone made me laugh at my former self. I recalled my early days in training for my first marathons. I was so convinced that I needed all natural foods. On long runs, I toted around the most cumbersome bags loaded with fresh fruit, honey, or even nuts. I was trying so hard to live up to this uber-natural standard I placed on myself. Furthermore, all awkwardness aside, these methods weren’t working. I wasn’t feeling any energy from my fuel and even worse, I was having such a hard time digesting these foods while on the run. Come marathon day, there was no way I could run a strong, fast race with these issues and a pantry in my shorts. (more…)
If you’re a runner, you know that there is quite a hype over relay racing as of late. If you’re not a runner, you’re probably going to want to start after you learn what fun people are having with all the great relay events across the nation. One event in particular is really grabbing the attention of all types of runners. Elites and newbies alike are flocking to the Ragnar series of relay races.
Ragnar relay races are 200 mile overnight relay races completed by a team of 6-12 runners. The first Ragnar was hosted in Utah in 2004 with 280 participants. This year there are 15 events scheduled nationwide with more than 76,000 runners participating. Clearly, this race has something special if it keeps growing and selling out every year.
The races take their names from a ninth century Norse Viking named Ragnar. The founders, Dan Hill and Tanner Bell, named the races Ragnar due to the viking’s adventure-seeking and conquering personality. They simply state, “run one of our races, and you’ll understand.” (more…)
So, you think running is a little boring and you need some flair to spice it up? The incredibly popular Tough Mudder events do more than spice up running, they are definitively hardcore. You’ll see one of these increasingly popular endurance races on tonight’s Biggest Loser. The three remaining contestants for season 13 are joined by the winners from seasons 10, 11, and 12, Patrick, Olivia, and John.
All Tough Mudder events, billed as “the toughest event on the planet,” are 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces. The organization states that the courses are designed to test one’s “all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.” These events are a far cry from road racing, or even trail racing. Tough Mudder has three pillars that it stands upon:
1. Because running is boring.
2. Mudders (participants) do not take themselves too seriously.
3. You cannot complete a Tough Mudder course alone.
All participants have to agree to the Tough Mudder Pledge before entering the event.
As a Tough Mudder I Pledge That…