When it comes to the sport of triathlons, I absolutely keep myself updated on the latest supplements, nutrition products and training philosophy's. However, if you asked me what group set, shifters and rear derailleur I have on my bike, I'd probably have to ask Karel.
I'm not the type of person who desires the latest and greatest accessories for my sport. I do love a good pair of running shoes (Mizuno's) and goggles (speedo) but when it comes to NEW items in the triathlon-world, I guess I am a little behind on the current trends.
Karel is always up with the NEW stuff in the bike world. He knows everything and anything about cycling and triathlon bike gear. Most importantly, he has tried everything when it comes to bikes and in my opinion, he is the go-to person to find out what the "best" parts and accessories are for triathlons/cycling. He has worked on every type of bike and as the guys say in the Trek store "Karel builds Campagnolo Shifters blindfolded in the dark".
I do feel very fortunate that I have Karel in my life...for many other reasons that just cleaning and tuning-up my bike...and taking care of all of my friends' bikes :)
Although I still don't feel like I "need" anything special for my bike, Karel always excites me with he surprises me with something new for my bike. Just like me, he knows that I don't need the latest-and-greatest shifters and chainring. Karel always told me that if I want to be a good cyclist I have to train harder and smarter. Not only do I need a bike that will allow me to reach my potential and help me work hard during workouts but I need to know how to change my gears, have good bike handling skills, feel confident on the bike and most of all, feel safe on my bike. Karel, on the other hand, loves to stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest so I let him enjoy all of the bike toys...and oh, does he love them :)
So, as I train hard on my bike with my 4-year old FM radio, 3-year old Look pedals and 2-year old cycling shoes, my secret to success in your sport is proper recovery nutrition.
I won't argue that there are great swim suits, bikes and wheels out there, designed and tested to make you "go faster and further" but for me, I give myself the best nutrition possible in an effort to get stronger and faster.
In my opinion, if you want to be a successful athlete or want to get fitter with your exercise routine, it doesn't matter if you have the latest and greatest gear. If you don't learn how to swim efficiently, what's a $500 wetsuit good for in an IM swim? If you are constantly sore and fatigued after your weekly interval workout, what's preventing you from getting stronger and faster?
My mom exercises at the Y on a daily basis. She loves her aerobics, zumba and pilates class and she loves doing the circuit/strength training routine that I wrote for her. Every Tues and Thurs (her "long" workout days) she recovers with a hard boiled egg or yogurt. Before I told her to add in that protein snack post-workout, she always told me how tired and fatigued she felt with her workouts. Now, she feels more energy during and after her workouts and she finds herself getting stronger in her pilates class. Way to go mom!
I put together a healthy, recovery breakfast. There's nothing expensive, ground-breaking or top-of-the-line in this meal. Just something yummy and easy to make after your intense or long workouts. No workout is complete until you recover with the best food possible (specifically quality protein and a portioned-controlled and balanced post-workout snack and/or meal).
As far as this recipe goes, it's up to you if you want both the smoothie and pancakes, just the smoothie or just the pancakes. However, if you don't have time to make both, I recommend the smoothie and a bowl of oatmeal. If you just want the pancakes, I recommend combining a lean/low fat protein-source (cottage cheese, eggs, tofu, veggie burger, lean meat) with the pancakes.
You really can't go wrong with this breakfast, no matter what the volume or intensity.
Enjoy my latest creation!
1 scoop Whey protein (I recommend Body Fortress from Wal-mart/Target or Hammer Nutrition Whey protein
1/3 ripe banana (best if frozen)
Small piece of dark chocolate (or 1 tsp chocolate chips)
6 ice cubes
1/8 cup water
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tbsp flax seeds
1 tbsp cinnamon
4 ounces low-fat yogurt
1/2 small apple
1 tbsp peanuts (or 2 tsp natural peanut butter)
1. Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
May need to add more water depending on your consistency needs. I like mine like a milkshake :)
*I like to pour my smoothie into a small and large glass if I am having something besides my smoothie for my post-workout snack/meal. If I am having a meal after a workout (ex. sat or sun workout) I will have the large glass of smoothie immediately when I make it and put the other small glass in the freezer and have it for a snack w/ fruit later in the day. If I am having a smoothie during the workout and my workout is not long but I am feeling the need for a smoothie, I will have the small glass with oatmeal and give the larger glass to Karel.
*I probably make these pancakes 2 times a week. I just love them for a snack or when I want a change from my normal oatmeal and/or smoothie.
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp extract (almond or vanilla)
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tsp flax seeds
1/8 cup trail mix + raisins
1/2 apple (chopped)
1/2 tbsp honey
1. Mix everything together in a bowl.
2. Add a few spoonfuls of water until mixture is easy to stir and drips off your fork.
3. On a non-stick skillet on medium-low heat, sprayed with a little non-stick spray, pour 1/8-1/4 cup batter (be sure to get some nuts, apples and raisins in each serving) on skillet and cook until edges begin to round up (about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes).
*Optional-prepare 1 egg white w/ a little skim milk to serve with pancakes. Top pancakes with banana and a little (1-2 tsp) natural PB.