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Greenville, SC

Trimarni is place where athletes and fitness enthusiasts receive motivation, inspiration, education, counseling and coaching in the areas of nutrition, fitness, health, sport nutrition, training and life.

We emphasize a real food diet and our coaching philosophy is simple: Train hard, recover harder. No junk miles but instead, respect for your amazing body. Every time you move your body you do so with a purpose. Our services are designed with your goals in mind so that you can live an active and healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Trimarni Blog

A blog dedicated to exercise, nutrition and my life

100 mile ride + Blueberry Strawberry pancakes

Marni Sumbal

There's something special about the last few weeks before an important race. Actually, thinking about all things in life, how neat is it to reflect on where you were 3, 6 maybe even 12 months ago and then stop to think where you are today. I really love when things come together and despite obstacles, set-backs and low moments, keeping focused on the journey can be the defining reason as to why some individuals succeed in life. As for success, you can't always define that and for many athletes, it means a PR, age group place or beating competition. For others, it is just the satisfaction that they are somewhere where they never thought they'd be several weeks or months ago. 

Nearing race day, I can only reflect on the work that was done with Karel as my teammate, coach and biggest supporter. I'd like to believe that he thinks the same way about me for we have really enjoyed sharing this journey together. It's awesome when we both have amazing workouts and after the work is done, drenched in sweat we can share thoughts from our workout. But it is still entertaining when one of us has a great workout and the other, well, not so much. Thankfully this happened only  a few times but two athletes in the same house with similar training plans means a lot of highs and lows, not always at the same time. But I guess in a good way, it is great to hear about a high with someone when your workout didn't go as planned. There's no reason to beat yourself up for your "off" feeling when a loved one is having a great day. I really enjoy this part of training because being able to share all moments with Karel has kept me enjoying this journey more than my past 5 IM experiences. As usual, I have never felt burnout, questioned "why" am I doing this, felt fatigued or exhausted. I have woken up excited for every workout and I feel progress was made in every workout. I owe a lot of this to sharing the workouts with someone as it is amazing how we all can use a little pep talk (or sound advice) when things don't go as planned as many times, it only takes one negative thought to ruin a workout but one positive thought to keep on going. 

Nearing our taper, these last few weeks are very race specific in terms of training. This means no more group rides to ensure we both enter the race with skin on our body (not risking group-ride crashes). We have been extra careful on rest and rather than having 1 day of rest or active recovery, we have been taking 2 days, with race specific workouts falling every 2-3 days  + 1 day active recovery. Because many athletes do too much too soon (or too long) in training, taper often becomes a time of "necessity" - I finally get  to rest or I need to keep going hard. Realizing that no more significant performance gains can be made and endurance has already been built over the last 10 weeks of IM specific training, the elements we are trying to balance include resisting fatigue, maintaining fitness, staying healthy, staying mentally strong/focused and keeping good form. All of this can be done with the right type of training plan in the weeks leading up to a race and for many athletes, the taper can be the time when previous weeks/months of training are either put together for a peaking performance on race day....or fear-based training (at any point in training) takes over the athletes' mind and come taper, too much "I need to rest" ruins the athlete's race day performance. It is a tough combination to balance but it can be done..you just have to trust yourself that it will all come together on race day. 

Every athlete will peak differently, primarily based on previous training, current fitness and racing/season goals. Obviously, Karel and I want nothing more than to peak on July 28th so we are maintaining fitness while doing everything possible to reduce fatigue. We entered this week with a rested body thanks to a day off on Monday, an active recovery swim on Tues and an EZ endurance (2 hour) bike on Wed. We both did an intense brick (3 hour ride + 8 mile run) on Thurs (Karel ran 4 miles upfront before the bike) and then Fri was an endurance swim. Saturday was our "long run" with fresh legs again (for Karel, he split it up into 4 miles upfront, 3.5 hour ride, 10 mile run...then off to work for the day - what a trooper! For me, 2 hour ride + 15 mile run)  and Sunday was our 2nd and last 100+ mile ride with our 10 week IM specific training. I don't believe  in junk miles and none have been wasted on this training. With most of our "long" rides being around 3-4 hours with higher intensity intervals we are able to put the pieces nicely for these longer rides without feeling drained or burnout and with a lot of confidence and endurance in the tank. It's a beautiful thing when fitness comes together over a period of time but what's not so fun is when fatigue happens quickly and lingers around.

Although athletes struggle with resting (some more than others), I must say that without a doubt, you have to put in the work to progress with fitness and to train for endurance events. But without the right balance of training, your risk for poor form increases (and motivation declines) because the body is unable to adapt properly. If you are currently training for an endurance event or seek fitness gains with your exercise routine, be mindful that the body needs to rest in a way that is beneficial to you making gains with your fitness. Not too much, just enough and when I say rest, this means not wasting time on doing miles/time that don't contribute to your race day fitness. Get the workout done, rest and do it again tomorrow. 


Because I only believe in doing 1-2 workouts in endurance training based on miles (and not time), this workout happened to be a 5 hour ride (not a designated 100-mile ride), despite Karel pulling me along for over 100 miles at his pace (but still my appropriate power zone for the IM by drafting on his wheel). I don't believe in going by miles as you never know what the day will bring and I find it more beneficial for an athlete to accomplish a strong 5 hour ride than to suffer in the wind for 6+ hours just to ride x-miles. Riding 112 miles or 56 miles for an endurance triathlon gives you confidence (sometimes - if done at the right time when you can actually "test" your fitness) but you should not be expected to ride by miles for every long workout. Focus on your main set and then be smart in your training conditions and with your body and how it is responding for that day. 

Our 2nd, 100+ mile ride over 20 mph is in the books thanks to Karel holding a strong pace for our 3 x 25 min intervals at just above IM pace. It was hot and super windy and our route included a lot of rollers which really made things fun and passed the time quickly. We did the intervals after a 1 hour warm-up and included 5 min EZ spin in between each interval. After the 3 intervals, Karel rode steady for the rest of the ride home. Having head-wind all the way home was no fun but it gave us great practice for pacing, nutrition and mental strength to be used on race day. 

Karel went right to his 110% Play Harder  gear to recover and I headed out for a 2 mile run. I actually felt quite good on the run and I use these short runs (up to 30 minutes) off the long bikes as confidence builders. I do not focus on pace but keep an eye on my HR and form. I just run happy knowing that from Feb - April, I was unable to run a step or even walk without pain.  

After I returned from my run, it was time to make my homemade pancakes......enjoy!!
Talk about a fair trade...Karel pulls me around for 100 miles and watches the TDF while I make us pancakes :) 

Blueberry Strawberry pancakes


1/2 cup rye flour (you can use any flour)
1/4 cup instant oats
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg + 1 egg white
1/4 cup Fage 0% Greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp honey
Small handful (about 1/8  cup or so) raisins or currants (optional small handful of dried cranberries)
2-3 tbsp chopped walnuts
1/2 cup blueberries 
1 cup strawberries (sliced)
Water to help with mixing (if needed - maybe a tbsp or two)

1. Preheat two large skillets to low-medium heat. 
2. Mix together above ingredients in large bowl until "creamy" consistency (may need to add water so batter is gently dripping off mixing spoon/fork). 
3. Drizzle a little olive oil on pans and use ~1/3 cup for each pancake. 
4. Let each pancake cook for 2-3 minutes on one side and then flip when firm. Let other side cook for ~1.5-2 minutes (or until golden brown). 

Makes ~8-10 pancakes depending on serving size (I generally press my pancakes down a bit so they are more flat and wide than thick)