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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

Filtering by Category: "Recipe"

Lately in the off-season - workouts and creations

Marni Sumbal

After a 3-week break from structure and giving my body the rest it needed from triathlon specific training, I am enjoying the transition to structured training. However, there will be no run-blocks in my training, no running races to train for and no extreme changes from "normal" tri training.

I am a triathlete and swim-bike-run is my lifestyle. There's a lot of work to be done this off-season and base period in order to ensure that my body is strong enough to withstand the training and racing load that I choose to put on myself in 2014. This is the time to work on imbalances and weaknesses with the body and to also maintain balance so that I do not peak too early and so I reduce risk for injury and burnout.

In the next week and a half, we will be launching our newest service which is a 5-week Transition Phase triathlon training plan. There will be more on this soon but Karel and I and our athletes will be following a very similar plan to address areas that can make for successful training performances and race day experiences.

The training plan is specific to lung capacity in the pool (and efficiency), power on the bike, form on the run and a heavy emphasis on core/hip/glute work (and plyometrics/cicuit training) as well as flexibility.

Here's a little peak at what my last week consisted of (not including Campy walks) with a few key workouts and yummy creations:

Mon: 6:30-7:45am: 2000 yard swim + 30 min hip/glute/core work
6:30-7:30pm: Yoga at the YMCA with Karel

Tues: 7:15am: 6 mile run (steady with short walking to reduce residual fatigue - first official run since Kona, aside from our run to and from swim start at IMFL. I didn't need to walk but choose to walk). 7:45 min/mile average pace

Wed: 6:30am - 8am - 2500 yard swim + 45 min hip/glute/core and circuit leg/upper body strength
Stretching throughout the day

Thurs: 7:00-8:30am: 1:30 bike (road bike)
Stretching throughout the day

Fri: 6am - 8am - 3000 yard swim + 40 min strength and hip/core work

Sat: 2 hour group ride (on my new Speed Concept)

Sun: 9.2 mile run. 1:11 (8 miles solo, walked every 2 miles to shake out the legs to reduce residual fatigue. The walking wasn't needed but choose to walk. 7:45 min/mile pace. 1 mile with Campy).
Stretching, foam roller, trigger point

Swim main set 2x's:
8 x 50's (25 as few breaths possible, open turn, 25 fast breath as much as you'd like) w/ 30 sec rest
300 steady swim
100 swim w/ pull buoy between ankles to work on core and upper body strength
(1600 main set, warm-up and cool down as needed)


Toasted quinoa and kamut, leftover baked eggplant, zucchini, onion and mushroom, fresh ginger, one scrambled egg, tempeh, spinach, asiago cheese, red pepper flakes and marinara sauce.
-For toasting cooked whole grains, heat skillet to medium heat and drizzle 1-2 tsp olive oil and toast grains until crunchy and golden. It gives them great flavor.
Veggies cooked in oven - 425 degrees for up to 35-45 minutes.
Tempeh - can be cooked in oven or skillet until golden brown

2 hour group ride - have fun and don't worry about numbers

For my 1:30 road bike workout on Thurs:
Main set 2x's:
5 x 1 min FAST cadence w/ 1 min EZ spin
Followed by 5 min steady effort
Recover 5 minutes then repeat
(40 min main set)

Oatmeal creation: raspberries, Bosc pears, chia seeds, raisins, almonds and oats.
-I recommend up to 1/2 cup oats (dry) and if you find that oatmeal does not leave you satisfied after 2-3 hours, add a bit more protein such as protein powder, milk or a side of yogurt.
-I recommend add at least 2-3 fruits to your oatmeal for more vitamins and minerals.
-I always add some kind of fat to my oatmeal to slow down digest. Enjoy any nuts or seeds for a little crunch too. 


Key hip/glute/core exercises:
Hip hikes
Clams
Bridge (w/ marching)
Planks
Planks on side w/ leg lift
Planks on side w/ hip thrust
V-ups or captain chair
Side crunches standing w/ weight
Bench step-ups

 Chocolate cherry sourdough bread (a gift from one of my nutrition athletes from NC) to compliment my plant strong meal of mixed greens, chives, tomatoes, grapes, avocado, sunflower seeds, raisins and cottage cheese (2% Daisy Brand) sprinkled with Parmesan.

As you probably know, I have a new bike in my life....

And I'm really happy about it!

Later next week I will be talking about the specifics of my new bike as well as an overlooked part of getting a new bike....getting a proper fit by an experienced bike fitter/mechanic.
Karel is the owner of the RETUL system and has over 20 years experience with bikes and in the bike industry. I like to call him the Bike Doctor. He knows his stuff and he has been really busy helping athletes around our area with their bikes so I will be talking about the RETUL technology soon which I highly recommend for any triathlete who is looking to reduce risk for injury, gain more power w/ a more comfortable ride and to help run more efficient off the bike. 


Oh, almost forgot.
My weeks are always filled with Campy love. 





Pomegranate, apple and hazelnut pancakes and ginger strawberry smoothie

Marni Sumbal

In the Trimarni house, we eat for fuel and for health. And most of all, eating is a happy time so we also eat for pleasure.

The same foods that fuel our active lifestyle, also keep our immune system healthy. Most of all, they are mostly whole and are found in a farm/garden so they also reduce our risk for disease.

There are no bad, off limit or temporary foods. We don't diet, cleanse, fast or do anything extreme wit the diet.

The only thing extreme about us is that we enjoy racing for 140.6 miles and Campy gets waaaaay too much love (but that will never stop).



We love whole foods that offer the nutrients that we need to support our healthy and active lifestyle.

We don't count calories, we count training hours. We enjoy the rewards of what a well-fueled, healthy and strong body allows us to do - year round - whether we are training for starting lines or moving for health gains.

We don't have a working scale. We eat for fuel, health and pleasure and after a few years of understanding our individual needs and best style of eating, we've discovered that it is possible for the body to take care of itself.

We don't believe in restricting food (especially whole foods) but instead, move the body more (ex. walking).

Whether we are enjoying the off-season, peaking for an Ironman or traveling the world, food enhances our life and doesn't control our life.

Why do you eat what you choose to eat? 



Ginger Strawberry Smoothie "meal"
10 ice cubes
30g protein powder (I used Solgar Whey To Go)
Dash of cinnamon
1 celery stick (chopped)
1/2 ripe banana
1 tsp fresh ginger (chopped or grated)
4 strawberries (stems removed)
10 baby carrots (mini)
1/2 cup Kale (Washed, chopped)
1/2 square 90% Dark chocolate
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup water

1. Blend ingredients in 6 cup blender for 90 seconds (this will make more volume and a more frothy smoothie.
I use the Oster Fusion blender. 
2. Pour 2.5 cups in large cup and enjoy.

Makes 2 servings (5 cups total)



Pomegranate, apple and hazelnut pancakes

1/2 cup apple (shredded) - I used gala
1/2 cup rye flour (you can use any flour)
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (I slice in half and then soak each half under cold water for a few minutes and then use a knife to cut pomegranate into segments and then pop out seeds with my hands into a bowl).
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 egg
1 tbsp hazelnuts
1 tbsp honey
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup 0% Fage Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Skim Milk
1/2 cup oats
2 tsp oil (for pan)

1. Heat large skillet to medium heat. Drizzle 1/2 - 1 tsp oil and spread around pan for even coating.
2. Mix ingredients in large bowl and stir until evenly combined.
3. Use 1/4 cup and pour batter onto heated pan and press down to make flat pancake.
4. Cook 4-5 minutes on one side (or until golden brown) and flip and cook other side for 3 minutes.

Makes 7 servings

I have not had time to figure out calories as I like to do for some of my creations where I actually measure ingredients for cooking purposes. I will notify everyone when I put nutrition facts on this blog. For now - enjoy mindful eating as I always do. 





Food Freedom: Anytime pancakes

Marni Sumbal



Not too long ago I overheard a conversation with a personal trainer and his client at the gym. The trainer had been away on vacation and the client asked her trainer where he went and if he went to any good restaurants when he was away. As I was working my core on the captain chair, I couldn’t help but listen to this conversation about food.

I remember when I was growing up in Lexington Kentucky, there was a place downtown that had the biggest, most scrumptious cinnamon rolls that would put any cinnabon to shame these days. A cinnamon roll the size of my head and a belly that would get sick if you ate the whole thing (of course, speaking from experience). But oh were those cinnamon rolls the best…when my mom and dad would take me to get them for a treat once a year.

                    

It wasn’t that the cinnamon rolls were off limit or “bad” food but instead, my parents would reward me after my piano recitals/competitions with a walk downtown to the cinnamon roll shop. I didn’t spend my entire year planning for the cinnamon roll or saving calories for the cinnamon roll but instead, we celebrated my piano recital (which was judged) with the cinnamon roll.  Relief that the hard work with my piano practicing was over and support from my parents as we all enjoyed the cinnamon roll.  If the cinnamon roll was consumed every day or even once a month, I just don’t think it would receive the same yum factor for it was extra special on a special day.


A few months ago, I took my first trip to Europe with Karel. With a bag packed of Marni friendly travel food for me and Karel, once we stepped foot in Czech Republic, the bag wasn’t opened until we flew home 10 days later. I welcomed my trip abroad with Karel to enjoy his country and we 100% lived like a local. Even as a vegetarian and Karel’s mom preparing some of the most long-awaited not-so-vegetarian foods for Karel, I didn’t consume a single food brought from the US the entire time when I was away…and I survived just fine. And because I don’t know Czech, I couldn’t read any food labels... and I survived just fine. All I needed was Karel’s “ok” that a food didn’t have meat in it and it was complete food freedom to put all that hard work to understanding how to eat mindfully to good use in another country and to be able to maintain my active and healthy lifestyle abroad.



Riding our bikes to Retz Austria 


Enjoying (real) coffee and pastries mid morning. 

When it comes to creating a diet that works for you, we shouldn’t forget that there is no diet “staple” that you have to follow but you do have to figure out what works best for you. Yes, all diets should be plant strong as the research strongly supports a real food, balanced, whole food, plant strong diet to improve longevity and reduce risk for disease, but in terms of figuring out your style of eating, that all relates back to your goals in life and how food can enhance your lifestyle. And for the extra stuff like treats, desserts, sweets, large portions, fattier options, etc. sometimes you have trust your diet enough to know that even with an occasional treat you are not going to become “unhealthy” or for many, “gain weight.”

Although Karel and I don’t have a working scale at home, we left Czech feeling clean, light and healthy and I confirmed to myself that my diet enhances my lifestyle. I love to train, travel and use my body to make memories and for me, that means understanding what foods work for me and my body. No time am I eating for calories or a body image….somehow it just all works better that way.


Prague, Czech Republic

So if you are someone who is currently working on the diet, remind yourself that food freedom is the ultimate goal. There will be a day when you can 100% enjoy something occasional and feel absolutely great about it. Hopefully that day is sooner than later. What you can also look forward to is the day when you start eating for fuel, for health and for pleasure but in a way that improves your quality of life. So right now, eating out with your co-workers every day for lunch may not be ideal if you are trying to figure out the best foods to help control your blood sugar, to fuel your workout routine and to meet your nutritional needs. In other words, right now you may need to be in control of your meals to figure everything out. But, what you don’t have to worry about is being in control forever. As scary as it sounds, food freedom means not having rules or a strict routine but instead, knowing what works and being able to apply that “style” any day, no matter where you are in the world. Eventually, there will be a time when you eat out, enjoy that meal of foods not typical in the daily diet and feel absolutely great about. Although now I can help others with learning how to eat for fuel, for health and for pleasure, I spent a good 2-3 years learning how to have a healthy relationship with food and my body and figuring out what works best for me as an active, health conscious individual, who loves to race for 140.6 miles, is a 20 year vegetarian, is married to a Czech cyclist turned triathlete who will eat anything and works as a clinical RD..oh and is also a doggy mommy.
Oh, so what did I hear from the personal trainer that inspired me to write this blog????

The trainer told his client that he didn’t eat out at all on his trip because he didn’t want to get fat and gain 10 lbs so he hired a personal chef to deliver 6 small meals a day of chicken and veggies to his hotel room and then when his wife and kids were playing at the pool, he would go upstairs, eat in the room and then head back outside to spend time with his family.

In honor of food freedom, how about we all enjoy pancakes for breakfast, lunch or dinner, anytime during the week without “deserving” them after a 3 hour bike ride, a 15 mile run, a hard spin class or because it is Sunday.

Happy eating in your happy kitchen!
Pear and carrot muffin-inspired pancakes

Makes 7 pancakes (1/3 cup serving) - So delicious, I wish this recipe made more!

½ cup rye flour (you can use any flour, I like the consistency of rye and soy flour – a bit lighter than whole wheat)
1 egg
½ cup skim milk
1/8 tsp iodized salt
1 tbsp honey
1 small pear shredded (about ½ cup packed)
1 large carrot (peeled first) shredded (about ½ cup packed)
1 tiny mini box of raisins (I keep these in the house for on-the-go snacks or traveling)
4 large strawberries – sliced (if frozen due to season, defrost for 30 -60 sec and then slice)
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp chia seeds
Olive oil (1 capful per 3-4 pancakes)

1. On large skillet, heat to medium heat (just above low). Drizzle with olive oil.
2. With all ingredients mixed in a bowl (I mixed with a fork), use 1/3 cup to portion each pancake and press down with bottom of the measuring cup for a flatter pancake.
3. Cook for 3-4 minutes on one side, flip when firm and cook additional 2-3 minutes on the other side.
4. Repeat until the batter is finished (I always make a mini pancake to taste while cooking  ;) 

In the Trimarni kitchen, we don't ever speak about bad or off limit food, fast, diet or cleanse. I eat to reduce risk for disease. I fuel the body and I love the food that I put into my body. The Trimarni kitchen is a happy place filled with food freedom and creativity.

Kona training update + Karel's weekend workouts

Marni Sumbal

8.5 quality, "train smarter to train harder" hours of Ironman World Championship training this weekend. My whole wheat pita bread pizza topped with marinara, cheese, BRAGG powder and oregano and olive oil, stir fried veggies (mushrooms, mixed frozen veggies, red and yellow sweet peper, garlic) with tempeh hit the spot tonight. Body and mind are feeling strong, healthy and happy.


Another week of training is behind me and I am excited to recover tomorrow. I am always amazed that with one recovery day per week (sometimes two) that my body can recover from 6 previous days of training and be strong for 6 more days of training and keep this cycle going for x-weeks. One thing that really helps me stay balanced is constantly changing up my routine and only limiting my "key race training" to around 10-12 weeks at a time. When I started endurance sports, I was like many athletes and had a specific schedule Mon - Sun and would repeat that same routine week after week, month after month. Over the past few years, Karel always changes up my workouts, often with Thurs - Sun being the key workouts and then using Mon - Wed as active recovery. I love how my body is always getting use to something new and I think that is why I don't get burnt out from training. There is a lot of flexibility and challenge so I never get bored and my body never feels run down (tired and sore at times but nothing I can't recover from). After my two week recovery from IM Placid, the first few weeks of my IM training for Kona had a routine of an intense brick or interval run on Tues but now I know that my body can't take the added stress after the weekend training with my training on the weekend being much more intense and specific to the IM (now that the building is overwith). As an athlete, it is always important to weigh the pros and cons with training. Ask yourself what you can accomplish each day and week to move closer to your goals for you don't want to have 3 weeks of great workouts and then find yourself 4,6,8 weeks away from race day feeling tired, on the verge of injury or burnout. Keep it fun and never lose sight of your goals and dreams. 

Self doubt can be a challenge for an athlete, let alone any individual trying to reach goals. My belief is how do you know you can't do it unless you try and give your best effort?
This morning I woke up excited to train but the typical thoughts of "can I do this?" were on my mind as I drove 6 miles down the road to Nocatee to train. I never let my mind win when it comes to controlling my body but I do have to use my mental skills to hush up those thoughts. I never want to miss an opportunity to give a good effort just because I think I don't have "it" for the day. Of course, this is not an appropriate thought for an athlete who is sick or injured and that is why I always focus on training smart for I respect my body too much to push it went it can not adapt to training stress. My ultimate goal is to always have my mind as my only limiter when I train and race. BTW - I can't tell you how excited I am to have my personal sport psychologist and friend Gloria with me in Kona from Oct 7th - Oct 15th.

Sunday training:
After a 1 hour warm-up on the bike (18 miles and oh did my body really benefit from that) I started my long run:
First 8 miles steady @ IM Pace w/ 30 sec walk in between
2-3 min break - bathroom/refill flasks w/ sport drink
Main set:
5 x 1 miles Descending from IM pace to whatever my body would give w/ 30 sec walk in between
Last mile cool down
1 hour EZ spin active recovery (16 miles - oh this felt sooooo good to loosen the legs and sip on Hammer FIZZ - so refreshing to replace electrolytes as it was a major sweat fest this morning running from 8:30-10:30am in the Florida heat). 

Stats from my run:
2:08 hours
Average pace 8:37 min/mile (including walking and cool down, not including break)
Total miles: 14.93 miles
Average HR 140 bpm
Mile 1: 8:27, 120 HR
30 sec walk: 112 HR
Mile 2: 8:18, 126 HR
30 sec walk: 120 HR
Mile 3: 8:22, 131 HR
30 sec walk: 125 HR
Mile 4: 8:29 (incline), 139 HR
30 sec walk: 135 HR
Mile 5: 8:23, 140 HR
30 sec walk: 133 HR
Mile 6: 8:30, 140 HR
30 sec walk: 134 HR
Mile 7: 8:35, 142 HR
30 sec walk: 140 HR
Mile 8: 8:28, 143 HR
Break
Mile 9: 8:20, 141 HR
30 sec walk: 139 HR
Mile 10: 8:12, 147 HR
30 sec walk: 141 HR
Mile 11: 8:10, 145 HR
30 sec walk: 141 HR
Mile 12: 8:10, 143 HR
30 sec walk: 153 HR (body was getting hot - look how my HR went up during the walk to try to cool my body)
Mile 13: 7:56, 153 HR (but I had just enough mental strength to convince my body that I could do this! And fueling was perfect so had plenty of energy for this run)
30 sec walk: 153 HR
Mile 14: 8:26, 150 (steady effort before cool down)
.57 miles: 9:07, 141 HR


Karel is currently training for the Miami 70.3 so his training is a lot more intense. It took him a few weeks to recover fully from Placid and a few more weeks to get his snap back into his legs. Here's his weekend training:

Saturday: 2 hour bike + 30 min run
Bike - first hour warm-up until steady "fast" pace (draft legal behind two of our athletes JM and Josh)
Main set: 10 x 6 minutes @ Z4 watts w/ 1 min recovery in between (about 1 hour of hard efforts)
Run off the bike: 30 min negative split run - 6:50, 6:40, 6:30, 6:13

Sunday: 13.1 mile run (1:30, 6:52 min/mile including walk breaks) + 1 hour social spin (active recovery)
2.5 miles - warm-up (7:17, 7:00)
Stopped and stretched for a few minutes
Main set 3x's:
3 miles descending w/ 1 min walk in between  (start at 6:50 min/miles and descend 10 sec each mile)
6:49, 6:39, 6:29
6:47, 6:39, 6:29
6:48, 6:40, 6:15 (with strong finish)
Walked 1 minute
Jogged cool down 1.4 miles - 6:50 min/mile

We train smarter to train harder and in order to do so, we recover even harder. 



Kona training update and food is fuel (yummy)

Marni Sumbal


This body is not disappointing me despite pushing it to higher limits and challenging workouts. Thanks coach Karel!

Today's workout was a breakthrough. I owe it to two great recovery days last week (Mon off, Tues 3000 recovery swim) and a balanced training plan since IM Lake Placid that has allowed my body to train hard but recover harder. I still don't forget that I didn't run for 90 days in Feb  - April but I thank my body constantly. Sometimes I even do it out loud. 

Wednesday - UNF masters swim team (joined Karel who has really benefited from this group and Coach Mel's assistance with his stroke)
Main set:
100 fast, 50 EZ
2 x 100 fast, 50 EZ
3 x 100 fast, 50 EZ
4 x 100 fast 50 EZ
The goal was to get faster with the fast as the set went on (2 minute cycle) but to be consistent. I really woke up my fast twitch fibers and oh boy was my body filled with lactic acid. I went from 1:16 to holding 1:14 on the last 4 and I was done after that. Whewww.

After the swim Karel and I went for a 90 minute bike, I included 8 x 2 min "fast" w/ 3 min EZ to wake up the body before Thursday's workout.

Thursday: Brick (bike + run)
Bike main set:
10 x 3 min Z4, 2 min Z3 low (Recover in IM watts) - loved this set!

Run off the bike
1 mile EZ (8:10), 1 min walk
Main set: 4 x 1 miles @ 7:30-7:40 min/mile pace w/ 1 min walk/rest in between
1 mile steady (8:10 min/mile)

Fri - 5000
Main set:
2 x 800's IM pace w/ 1 min rest
3 x 400's IM pace w/ 1 min rest
Hip/core work

Saturday: 3:37 bike (71 miles) + 1 hour run (7.2 miles)
Bike:
1 hour warm-up (building to 15 watts below IM pace)
Main set 4x's:
35 min at IM pace (my new pace is now 12 watts higher - yippe for training smarter, less is more) w/ 4 min EZ
(this set went by super fast and my body felt strong, no residual fatigue as the set went on. Sport nutrition liquid fueling was spot on (I don't do any solid foods in my training/racing) and haven't had any stomach distress with any of my IM training in many many years.)

Run off the bike:
6 x 1 miles @ interval of goal IM pace (the focus was to run faster than goal IM pace and then walk until the goal IM pace cycle was up. My goal IM pace is 8:30 so I was running comfortably 7:57-8 min/miles and then walking 30-35 sec in between. Great set, loved it! It got hard on the last mile as I was super hot and running out of my drinks in my two flasks.
10 min cool jog down (this felt sooo good to run 8:50 min/mile pace after that)


The other day while I was working in the hospital (I work PRN as an inpatient Clinical RD) I had a patient who was admitted for Jaundice and electrolyte imbalance. This patient was also diagnosed with anorexia and bulimia.

As we all know electrolytes are vital as our nerves, cardiac muscle and skeletal muscle all rely on them on a daily basis. They also help control pH balance in the blood and body fluids. Our electrolytes are best obtained from food but as we know as athletes, we also find them in sport drinks. Electrolytes are tightly controlled in body fluids (ex. plasma, blood and interstitial fluid) and must remain in specific concentrations or else serious medical conditions may arise.

Now as a clinical RD, it is appropriate for me to let everyone know that restricting food or purging food will lead to an electrolyte imbalance (among many other issues) and may cause further stress on the kidneys and heart. 

I'm sure we can all agree that restricting food for anyone is not recommended for we can put the body into a very serious situation of poor health as well as vitamin and mineral deficiencies. 

So why is it that so many athletes feel that they don't need sport nutrition during workouts? As if the body is just fine with water (or nothing) and that dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, organ failure and even cardiovascular issues are not likely because training for a sporting event means that you are immune from these issues. 

Seeing that the body can "shut" down to try to resume balance without adding exercising into the mix when a person voluntarily restricts food (for whatever reason), this is why I am very adamant about not only consuming a balanced diet for athletes and fitness enthusiasts and learning how to fuel the body for health and for fitness/performance but also supporting the body with sport nutrition during training- when the body is under the most physiological stress. Sure, you can argue with me about fat burning and that your body doesn't need it but how about training the body to need it and then training the body so that the body takes care of itself to get stronger and more efficient?

I've said it before but I fuel before every workout, during every workout and after every workout. I never sabotage my body by not fueling it properly, especially when I want it to perform as beautifully as possible during training in order to get stronger and to recover faster.

Here are a few of my recent creations to help you continue your quest of learning how to develop a healthy relationship with food as an athlete. Remember - food is for fuel, for health and for pleasure. 

Brown Rice
Frozen Veggies
Boca veggie "meat" crumbles
Frozen edamame
Marinara sauce
Mozzarella cheese
topping: Sesame seeds
1. Microwave ingredients in bowl and top with sesame seeds.

Breakfast bread (nuts and dried fruit - Publix grocery store, made fresh daily)
Fresh fruit - raspberries, bananas
Greek yogurt (daily eats - 0% Fage)
Scrambled eggs (1 whole egg + 1 egg white)
Kale w/ olive oil (sauteed)

Roasted veggies - peppers, eggplant, onions (purple), mushrooms
Millet
Asparagus w/ garlic
Sunflower seeds
Goat cheese
Olive oil
Salt to taste
Marinara sauce
1. In 425 degree oven place veggies in large casserole and toss lightly in olive oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
2. Steam asparagus and then place in small casserole dish and top with chopped garlic and bake until golden brown (15 minutes).
3. Prepare millet (1/2 cup dry prepares 3 cups cooked) - 25-30 minutes
4. Place 1/2 - 1 cup millet in bowl and stir in marinara. Top with roasted veggies and asparagus and top with cheese and seeds. Season to taste.


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Pre training snack: flat bread cracker + peanut butter, banana slices, cinnamon and honey

1/2 cup oatmeal (dry)
Apples
Peaches
Raspberries
1 tbsp chia seeds
~10g whey protein powder
Almonds
Water (to meet consistency needs)
Raisins

I love supporting small businesses especially the bakers and bread makers at the farmers market. I went to the Bartram Farmers market on Thursday and as I was browsing the breads, many tables where trying to pitch me their treats/breads by what was not in the ingredients (sugar, salt, fat, gluten, etc). I guess they don't know my personal philosophy and what I am all about when it comes to eating for fuel, for health and for pleasure.
I decided on Hugo's muffins because I could tell he was truly passionate about his food and he knew I would feel great eating it.... And I did, gluten and all. C
heck out Hugo's story HERE!
YAY - Campy walks are the best!! The most looked forward part of my day (for both of us).
(Pampered shades from Oakley Women)



A few of my favorite happy tummy eats

Marni Sumbal


When it comes to discovering the best diet and exercise routine for you body and lifestyle, you must remember that you are eating for you and exercising for your goals. Never be afraid of what others will think of you as you nourish and fuel and work your body to encourage a long, happy life. Although you should never feel isolated because of your eating and exercise routine, keep in mind that your balanced diet and exercise routine may inspire others. 

GINGER!
Why I love it? Natural anti-inflammatory and perfect for the tummy when fueling with sport nutrition products. Also a must for me on the days leading up to the race to help with pre-race nerves affecting digestion. Also helpful for nausea.

EDAMAME!
Why I love it? 1/2 cup + 13g of protein!!! Not only is it delicious but it also provides iron, vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium along with over 400 mg of potassium.


TRAIL MIX
Why I love it?  A perfect combo of protein, carbs and fat to keep my brain, body and tummy happy. I portion control to individual baggies for easy snacking, especially after work on my drive home. I love to add trail mix to my yogurt and fruit breakfast in the morning w/ granola. 


SALAD BARS!
Why I love it? Nothing better than having everything prepared for you and you can pick whatever you want, based on your workout routine or nutrient needs. But isn't it great when you don't have to pay by the pound? I always make sure I have a variety of fruits and veggies in my fridge at all times and I love shopping seasonally. I am loving the summer fruits while they last and there is no shortage of them in our house. I typically shop 2-3 days a week for produce as we go through it fast! Here's my Trimarni kitchen salad bar creation.. Spinach, arugula, onions, carrots, avocado, baby tomatoes, grapes, blueberries, pumpkin seeds, feta, mixed brown rice, cashews, cottage cheese and strawberries.

WASA CRACKERS
Why I love it? The key to the perfect pre training snack is finding food options that are energy dense (high carb) but low in volume. Depending on the intensity and volume, a little fat and protein may be useful. One of my favorite pre training snacks for 1-3 hour workouts is Wasa North America crackers (light rye 2-4 crackers) spread with a little PB and honey, topped with raisins, cinnamon and banana slices. Happy tummy, happy muscles, happy body.

CAMPY!
Why I love him? He never complains, provides unconditional loves, loves to run, treats every day like a lottery winning day, never tries to rush the day, loves road trips, loves to be outside and loves life.
(Love my Oakley Women Warm-up shades)

Trail run, beach and Tacos

Marni Sumbal

When you own your own business, the weekends often get squeezed together with the weekdays as every day is a work day.

Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition, LLC works great for Campy because in his world, every day is a weekend!!


I'm really looking forward to speaking at Speaking Of Women's Health in Jacksonville on August 24th on behalf of the HeartWise for Women prevention program. I can't wait for my talk on "Keeping eating healthy, easy and delicious" and doing a cooking demo with Mai Oui Gourmet catering my talk.

I also have a talk this Sunday with two other GI MD's at Baptist Medical Center Beaches where we will all be discussing GI related diseases and how they affect the fitness enthusiast. My portion will be on fueling the individual who has a GI-related disease (Crohn's, stomach cancer, IBS, celiac). 


I wonder what they are dreaming about?
It's been a very busy two weeks since returning from Lake Placid but I wouldn't want it any other way. 

                            

This morning (after my 2500 form focused swim + hip/core work) around 7:40am, I prepped the set for my 8am hour TV segment with News4Jax on "Healthy budge-friendly lunches for kids". I will share the link via Facebook and blog when it is on the website. 

So for my last weekend of unstructured training....

A little girl time on bikes with my friend Heidi




A little mountain biking in Hanna Park for Karel (Sunday - 1 hour) after we slept in with no alarm. 9 beautiful hours of sleep and not working out until 9am.


And on Sunday, my 2nd run since Ironman Lake Placid, a 40 minute run on the trails (10 min run, 2 min walk after each trail segment). I was drenched in sweat and covered in spider webs and looking forward to wearing my new swim suit from Oakley Women. 

Love my unstoppable Oakley bag - perfect for a beach day with Karel to enjoy unstructured exercise before easing back into structured training. 





So on to more delicious news.....

Plant strong tacos

1 wrap
Veggie meat
Mixed greens
Onions
Broccoli
Mushrooms
Garlic
Lentils
Salsa
Cheese
Greek yogurt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a casserole dish (small yet tall rectangle), spray lightly with non stick spray and place 1 cup (per person) veggie meat and 1 package sliced mushrooms (washed) w/ 2 cloves garlic chopped and 1/2 large onion chopped (thick slices) into the dish.
3. Steam broccoli and then cut into segments and place on top of mushroom mixture (the meat, mushrooms and onions will soak up a lot of flavor from the meat and the broccoli will be nicely roasted). Sprinkle with turmeric and a pinch of salt. See step #6.
4. After 20-25 minutes or until broccoli is a little brown, remove from oven (and turn off oven).
5. Remove broccoli from the top of the casserole dish and stir together meat with mushrooms, onions and garlic.
6. Prepare lentils according to package (I did a 1:3 ratio of lentils to water).
7. Place 1  warm wrap on a plate and spoon cooked lentils on the wrap. Add a little cheese (any kind - the real kind, not factory made cheese like fat-free) and a spoonful of salsa and then top with a big spoon of mushroom mixture and then with leafy greens. Close wrap and top with dallop of greek yogurt (not pictured as that would make my picture messy looking).
8. Serve with roasted broccoli and enjoy!



Homemade "chips" - toasted wrap at 375 degrees for 3-5 minutes each side (or until almost hard and slightly brown), then broken carefully into triangles (kinda) and drizzled with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt and black pepper. I bet cinnamon would be yummy on these too!

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)


Breakthrough IM swim and baked pasta casserole

Marni Sumbal


The funny thing about training, or fitness in general, is all the highs and lows that come with it. Of course, who doesn't love to have a good workout but then again, considering the complexity of the human body, perhaps we should be thanking the body more often for any workout for it is easy for the body to fail and I think many times, we take it for granted. All the muscles, organs and metabolic processes working perfectly just for us to swim, bike and run or zumba, yoga or jazzercise. 

As a long-time athlete, I recognize that great performances are not made in weeks or months but overtime. The key is consistency and always giving your best effort. I find that for many athletes, there's an expectation as to how the body is to perform each day and for others, just getting out the door is success...anything else that follows is a bonus. But no matter your reason for working out (or training), the most important component is making progress to reach your short and long term goals. There's no point of an action plan if you don't have a goal to reach. 

As usual, I have been enjoying my swim sets in the pool. I have designed swim sets to help both Karel and I improve in the water but also to improve our efficiency as triathletes. The past three weeks have been challenging and they were all leading up to the big set which was done yesterday (Friday). 

3 x 1000's @ IM pace

I have had mostly good days in the pool over the past few weeks but I did have a few days when I couldn't get into the groove. Although I found myself a bit frustrated based on my own fitness level at times, it's really hard to for me to regret any workout  for I love using my body and if I am not able to "train" I still love to exercise. Oh, and the fact that I have been swimming for about 20 years makes me a big lover of water....I'm a fish. It's not hard for me to get in but very hard for me to get out. 

After a 500 warm-up, I told Karel we would go right to the main set. Karel was having an off day (which is normal and expected due to 3 tough weeks of training so he was just being smart by backing off) so I kept to my side of the lane and Karel did his own thing.

Having the extra motivation of high school (and young) swimmers in the pool made it easy to push myself but I sure to wish I was young again! Those kids were just blowing by me in the other lanes!!
Not knowing what my body would give for this set, I made up  my mind that I would not count myself out until I tried...for all three of them. I didn't have the best swim (to my standards) on Thurs so I found myself getting into doubting thoughts during warm-up but I  knew if I wanted to have a good set, I would need to jump out of self-doubt and enter a place of "I can". 

1st 1000 - 1:26 pace per 100 yards

Wow, shocker. I could not believe it!! I was so thrilled considering I didn't think I had it in me as was just hoping for 1:30 pace.

After resting 2.5 minutes and sipping on my sport drink (I fuel before and during every  workout in endurance training), it was time for #2. 

2nd 1000- 1:23 pace per 100 yards. 

Holy cow! Again, another shocker! I started to get my groove on for #2 and I felt so smooth in the water and I was able to pace myself so well which was a great confidence booster. I use my Garmin 910xt in the pool and I am able to look at my watch to see my pace (and distance and time). As a long-time swimmer, I think this is just natural in that I can feel my pace, just like an experienced biker can control his/her watts and a runner kinda knows varying paces without looking at his/her watch. 

Ok - so time for #3. I figured I had surprised myself enough that anything around 1:25 would be great. BUT, I told myself, just try and see what happens. 

After 2.5 min rest....


After catching my breath on the wall and Karel telling me I was swimming way to fast in the water, I decided, time to call it a day for me. Scratch the 4500 yard workout planned on the schedule. I warmed down after this last 1000 and went for a recovery spin (90 min) with Karel. Training is a lot like gambling. Stop while you are ahead before you dig yourself into a hole. 

I must have looked at my Garmin 10x's in the morning after the swim because I seriously did not think I had it in me to do those times because I have not been able to execute like that in training. But then again, it only took my mind to help me step up to another level. Amazing how the mind can play an impact on our actions. Positive or negative......be careful with your thoughts. Thank you Gloria for continuing to help me realize the power in our/my thinking in all areas of my life. 




After a busy day, it was nearing meal prep time in the evening and I still had a few more emails to respond to. Karel and I have been eating similar foods before weekend training as we would/will before race day, for the past few weeks so for his Friday evening eats, I know he likes either rice or pasta. I have a few favorite pre-race foods but I know what always works best for me before an endurance event (sweet potato, egg, salad, bread/rice) so I am happy to enjoy Karel's pre race meal with him....sacrifices in marriage :) 

Rather than the standard pasta, I decided to do a pasta bake. What made this even better was that I could forget about it for a while and didn't need to "cook" while answering emails. Feel free to add your own veggie options and protein. Enjoy!


Baked Pasta Casserole
(ingredients to serve 2)
Pasta - 4 ounces dry (2 ounces equals about 1 cup cooked - plan for leftovers)
Marinara sauce (1/2 - 1 cup)
Veggies - spinach, corn, peas, onion
Bread crumbs (a few spoonfuls)
Cheese (I used asiago for a nice peppery taste)
Garlic (1 tbsp powder or 1 clove chopped)
Protein of your choice (for animal protein, ~3-4 ounces per person, for other protein, about 20-25g per person of protein)
*Preheat oven to 425 degrees

1. Cook pasta as normal. Drain. 
2. Lightly spray bottom of casserole dish with cooking spray. 
3. Place protein on bottom of dish. 
4. Layer veggies. 
5. Spoon pasta on veggies until covered (I used about 1.5 cups I think). 
6. Spoon marinara on pasta until covered. 
7. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on marinara (light covering). 
8. Top with garlic and a little cheese. 
9. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until pasta is a little crunchy on top. 


Tips for 4th of July "event/holidy" eating and recipes

Marni Sumbal

You name it - cook-outs, holidays, fund raiser, birthdays and weddings - food is often the central ingredient. Because of many food-centered events, it is extremely common for individuals seeking fitness, diet or body composition changes to stress about social functions due to the lack of control and unknown ingredients when it comes to eating food prepared by others.

To the disbelief of many, you can keep your body in good health and still enjoy the holiday eats. So when it comes to eating around the holiday's (ex. 4th of July) you should be able to enjoy the occasional treats without feeling guilty, restricted or frustrated but with your healthy relationship with food. That is - you should always feel better after you eat, than before. Be mindful to not overeat as we all know, it doesn't feel good and for many, when you overeat you say to yourself "I never want to do that again."
 
What to do if you are planning the event? A well-prepared event planner should always consider creating a healthy event atmosphere, being mindful that your "yuck" may be someone else's "yum."

Here are a few food tips for a great event:
  • Create a buffet of dark leafy greens with all toppings in individual dishes for guests to create their own plant-strong meals.
  • Place dressings, sauces and toppings on the side with easy-to-pour/spoon items for portion control.
  • Home-cooked desserts are often more appreciated than store-bought .
  • Use non/low-fat plain yogurt, fruit purees and applesauce to lower the fat and calorie content when baking with oil, butter, eggs or sour cream. Ex. replace 1 cup butter with ½ cup butter and ¼ cup non-fat yogurt or instead of 1 cup oil, use ½ cup oil and 3/8 cup non-fat yogurt (1).
  • Add veggies and fruit (ex. carrots, zucchinis, apples) to dips, sauces, baked goods and anything else that can become more powerful in nutrition.
  • For every starchy appetizer, double the number of fresh fruit and veggie selections. Ex. for a bowl of pita chips, have a dish of seasonal fruit and a veggie plate of bell peppers.
  • Use smaller utensils for serving higher-calorie options such as nuts/trail mix, casseroles, dips etc.
  • Limit the punch and soda and allow guests to make their own spritzers with sparkling water and 100% fruit juice varieties. Place water at every seating area for your guests to stay hydrated without the calories.
  • Although smaller plates certainly reduce portion size, it is hard to eat a plant strong meal on a 4" plate. Provide larger bowls close to the plant-strong options and use smaller plates near the more calorie-dense options.
  • Label food items by their name or ingredients, particularly for those who have dietary intolerances or any other restrictions.
  • Focus on variety (plant and animal proteins, healthy fats, whole grains and of course, lots of fruits and veggies).
  • Don't overwhelm your guests with too many new overwhelm your guests with too many new food options but at the same time, introduce others to a few new flavors by preparing a home-cooked dish inspired by your favorite blog or cookbook, rather than purchasing a dish at your local grocery store.
  1. Source: http://tgcmagazine.com/articles/74.shtml
 
(article written by me from a past Iron Girl article)
 
Looking for a few good recipes for the upcoming 4th of July holiday?
CLICK HERE for 3 of my delicious creations, including my watermelon salad, fresh bean salad and Red, White and Blue inspired shortcake.
 

    Swim set, podcast link and tri-colored quinoa w/ tempeh

    Marni Sumbal

    As I have mentioned several times, I just love the Ironman journey. This time around, sharing it with Karel has been extra special for we have both been able to see progress within each other and that is really neat to see. Karel continues to push me on the bike and in return I get the reply "great job, babe" as I smile every-so kindly to thank him for the suffering. But on the flip side, Karel has really worked hard on his swimming and I can't believe he just started swimming 1 year ago!! I have really enjoyed helping Karel learn to swim and to be there to witness his major swimming breakthroughs. Karel started very slow, working on form for he knew he had a year to train for the IM and there was no need to rush speed when form is the most important part of swimming efficiently. 

    The issue for many triathletes who struggle with swimming is the exhaustion that comes from swimming. No matter how fast or slow in the water, how long or short, it is just exhausting and it's not the same kind of exhaustion that you get from pushing yourself during a run or bike set. Although swimming is non weight bearing, one would think it would require less energy to perform. However, any form of exercise increases your breathing rate and as you know, when you swim you do not have a lot of opportunities to breath (or to take in a full inhale and exhale). Seeing that swimming (like any exercise) increases your heart rate and your blood circulation in response to your effort/intensity, your lung capacity, the efficiency in which you take in oxygen and transfer it to blood vessels as well as your form/strength in the water to push past the water's resistance, determine how fast and how far you can swim.

    Overtime, your respiratory system will get stronger and you will find your lungs working more efficiently to help you with exchange of gases (oxygen/carbon dioxide). Thus, before you get focused on being fast in the water, it is very important to work on your stroke and swimming effortlessly (as possible) so that you can train the body to perform with the least amount of energy expenditure. The speed will come, just be patient. 

    I have been giving Karel swim sets for the past few months and they are really paying off. It is amazing that he is so strong in the water although he does get tired which is to be expected. But, he refuses to give up so he is in the pool 3 times a week working on his form and just being as comfortable as possible in the water. 

    On Tuesday before our brick run (immediately after swim) we had a great swim set focusing on a little speed and then pacing. I am trying to help Karel learn how to tolerate lactic acid in the water but not exhausting him (which is what happened a few months ago when Karel would just do fast swims and we figured he wasn't doing any good with consistency for he was just exhausting himself for upcoming workouts). 

    Here's the set we did: 
    3000 yards

    500 warm-up
    Main set 3x's: 
    3 x 100's fast w/ 15 sec rest (I did them on 1:30, Karel did them on 1:45)
    300 steady IM pace (ideally, going the same pace as your cycle, about 15-20 seconds or so per 100 slower than your "fast" pace). 
    50 EZ recovery before repeating (or rest 2-3 minutes)

    500 pull stretching things out (w/ buoy/paddles)
    100 cool down


    On Wednesday I had the opportunity to do a podcast with Real Women on Health and Iron Girl and it was a lot of fun as I got to talk about my favorite topics......nutrition, fitness and health! Here is the 30 minute podcast for your listening pleasure if you want to hear my thoughts on eating for fuel, health and pleasure.




    I made the most delicious creation the other night and I am so excited to share it with you. I visited wholefoods the other day to explore some new foods to add to our diet and I picked up tri-colored quinoa. Prepared the same as regular quinoa with a nice nutty taste. Speaking of nutty, Karel and I just love tempeh for its taste but it is also packed with protein. It can taste a little bland so I recommend cooking it in a little olive oil (cubed) or you can try to find flavored tempeh (just watch the added sodium). 

    Enjoy!

    Tri-colored quinoa stir fry
    Asparagus
    Sweet Peppers
    Garlic
    Mushrooms
    Tempeh

    1. In cooking pot, prepare quinoa 
    2. In large skillet, turn to medium heat and add a little olive oil (~1-2 tsp per 3 ounces tempeh per person) and cook cubed tempeh until golden brown (toss occasionally). Season with a pinch of salt, turmeric and oregano (pepper optional). 
    3. While tempeh is cooking, prepare asparagus by chopping off ends (1 inch) and microwave in shallow dish for 3 minutes until tender (maybe 4 minutes if needed). Then chop. 
    4. When tempeh begins to turn golden, add ~1-2 tsp olive oil and add pepper and mushrooms. Toss and reduce heat to low and cover (may need to add a little cooking spray to prevent sticking) and toss occasionally. Let cook for 5-8 minutes or until soft but not browned. 
    5. Add asparagus to pan, toss and cook for 1-2 more minutes and then turn off heat. 
    6. Assemble plate with ~1/2 cup quinoa + veggie and tempeh mixture. Enjoy!

    Sweet and spicy wraps

    Marni Sumbal

    I guess I should follow up with my previous blog topic when I discussed Karel feeling "off" on Tues. Well, after a massage on Tues and a meeting with his sport nutritionist/chef (aka ME), Karel was physically feeling much better after he got off work on Tues as his mind was never "off" and he still had motivation but just couldn't find that extra gear in his legs. After a great night of sleeping on Tuesday, he was looking forward to a perceived exertion mid-week "long" ride on Wednesday, followed by a short run (his day off from work since he works Saturday's). 

    On Wednesday we left our place early in the morning for a 3 hour ride and as we neared 30 minutes, I knew something wasn't right.....Karel was feeling good. Actually, more than good. 

    Not even looking at his power meter and simply going by perceived exertion, Karel was "dancing" on his peddles as I was thinking to myself.....wow, if I could only have a RPE ride averaging 22-23mph!

    After ~3 hours and around 64-65 miles, we arrived back at home and he went for a 4 mile "go by feel" run...I walked Campy around the block.
    I, on the other hand, did not have the day off work (not sure I ever do as a small business owner), as I needed to get to work (home office) and I was glad to skip a run off the bike because my body was not expecting Karel's "steady" pace on Wed. I suppose I secretly like it when Karel has "off" days but then again, I can't get faster and stronger if I am not being pushed. Thanks Karel for bouncing back as if you never had an "off" day.....my legs thank you for that ride. 


    So to return the favor as I always do, I thanked Karel for letting me discover a new limit with my cycling by preparing a delicious "light" meal on Thursday evening. I took Thursday easy and only swam in the morning - although a 4800 and a great main set solo and then with Karel (I helped him pace 4 x 400's at his IM pace). 

    After Karel got home from an evening 1:20 run on Thursday, I decided he needed something light on the stomach to ensure that he could refuel but still get a good night of rest. I made a smoothie earlier that morning so I froze ~16 ounces of it for Karel for the evening knowing he would be doing an evening workout. 

    Dinner was super easy to prepare and deliciously tasty.

                              

     I loved the flavors of the spicy wrap and Karel yummed his way through the dessert wrap. I hope you enjoy and feel free to modify to create your own spicy and sweet wraps/ 




    Mexican wrap
    1 wrap
    Mixed greens
    Spreadable cheese (I used farmers cheese) - you can also use avocado, hummus or any spread
    1 egg +1 egg white (scrambled with a dallop of greek yogurt) - I did this in the microwave, on intervals of 45 seconds, scrambling every 45 seconds with a fork. 
    Black beans
    Tomatoes
    Green bell pepper

    Dessert wrap1 wrap
    Orange slices (you could do any fruit that you like to pair with chocolate - apples, pears, banana or pineapple would go great!)
    Yogurt
    2 dark chocolate hershey kisses (or any chocolate of your choosing) - melt chocolate (unwrapped) on wrap in microwave on plate for ~45-90 seconds until slightly melted. Quickly spread with knife before chocolate cools and gets clumpy.


    (You can use any wrap of your choosing OR you can make your own "wrap" by using your favorite pancake recipe/batter and making it a light consistency by adding extra water and then cooking on skillet to make a very large, thin pancake)








    IM "long" brick and PB&J french toast

    Marni Sumbal


    Karel and I are getting excited...wow, 42 days until race day! It feels like yesterday when we signed up for the IM (last July!).  For each Ironman I have trained for, I have considered it a blessing that my body can "race" and compete in an 140.6 mile event. No workout or day is taken for granted and continuously thank my body for what it allows me to do. Without a doubt, I love the feeling of being able to take my body and mind to new places as I get stronger, smarter and fitter as an endurance athlete. But with this being my 6th Ironman and I get to share it with Karel for his first IM, I guess you can say that Ironman Lake Placid on July 28th, 2013 is going to be a very special day for both of us. 

    After the morning pre-workout snack around 5:45am (alarm set for 5:15am which included doggy walk, start the coffee, feed the furry ones)  I was off to Nocattee (6 miles down the road) via car to get set for another key Ironman brick. We will be doing the "big" long ride of 112 miles next week (I think - I need to check with Coach Karel and Training Peaks on that one) but this weekend included another quality bike + run workout. Because the process of building endurance can not be rushed, I feel that you can still adequately prepare for Ironman races and learn a lot about yourself (and what to expect on race day) by focusing less on multiple centuries (100 mile rides) and "long, slow" workouts and instead, make your miles count by building endurance. I believe every athlete needs a confidence booster workout but in order to build confidence you also have to have a body that can withstand the stress of repeated training.  Nutrition before and during, pacing, mental focus, body toughness, clothing, gear, etc....There are a lot of little things that are often forgotten when athletes train for an Ironman and I love considering every possible area that I can work on before race day in order to have a great race day performance. 

    Today's workout for me:
    4 hour ride + 30 min run

    Karel's workout (He had to work around noon today):
    3.5 hour ride + 5 mile run

    My workout (super windy day today) which was mostly with Karel:
    25 minute warm-up (solo)
    Main set: 
    3 x 8 min @ Karel's pace (which was low Z4 for me for power) w/ 4 min EZ
    20 min @ Karel's pace (which was mid to upper Z3 for me for power) w/ 4 min EZ
    Group ride: ~49 minutes (which was mid Z3 for me for power)
    Regroup with Karel for his last interval: 25 min @ Karel's pace (which was mid Z3 for me for power) w/ 4 min EZ
    35 min Z3 low (solo) w/ 4 min EZ
    25 min Z3 low (solo) w/ 4 min EZ
    Cool down
    Total 4 hours, 83 miles

    4 mile run off the bike:
    Mile 1: 8:07 min/mile
    10 sec walk
    Mile 2: 7:59 min/mile
    10 sec walk
    Mile 3: 7:55 min/mile
    10 sec walk
    Mile 4: 7:56 min/mile

    I know it seems like a lot of intervals but it works because the body adapts quicker than doing long, slow rides or trying to do too much (too fast) at one time. There's a lot that needs to take place within the body to prepare for an Ironman and luckily, adaptations can be made with hard workout and you don't have to be an exercise physiologist to know why or how things are working. However, eliminating the "junk" and focusing on the quality will not only help you experience more consistent performance gains but it will also keep the training fun and exciting for you won't feel as if your Ironman journey is taking over your life. 

    After the workout, I cleaned myself up to make my way to the farmers market to buy a delicious-looking watermelon. After a recovery drink, FIZZ and some stretching, I made my way to Ponte Vedra to meet with one of my athletes who is doing his 2nd Ironman next weekend. I love helping my athletes (online/in person) with race day strategies for I feel the best way to go into a race is to know that you are able to race with your current level of fitness. 

    I finally got home in the early afternoon and someone was super excited to see me. On went the 110% Play Harder gear (ice  + compression = love it!) and I was excited to get a meal into my belly. I was really happy with how my nutrition went today as one thing I pay close attention to is any signs of my tummy being "off" which rarely happens before workouts. It is expected that the body can do some crazy things after a long workout with sport nutrition but the past few weeks have been ideal for my tummy post workout as the recovery meal is just as enjoyed (and welcomed) as the pre training snack.



    Although certain foods are ideal post workout (carbs and protein, minimal fat/fiber) it is important that you recognize what foods "work" the best for your body post workout. I feel that in the Ironman prep journey, you must make a lot of mental notes as to what works and doesn't work. The athletes who get wrapped up in the miles often overlook critical areas such as gear, nutrition, the mind, pacing as areas which can make or break your race day performance. The Ironman doesn't care how many 100+ mile rides or "long" runs you did in training if your tummy is hurting, your body is fatiguing, your mind is wandering and your muscles are aching on race day. It's very easy to be obsessed with how many miles you need to swim, bike and run to check-it off your training daily to-do list but you must ask yourself, what can I accomplished within those miles that will set me up for a good race day? Certainly, race day is being able to execute your training and race with your current level of fitness. If you don't have an effective nutrition and pacing plan, all those "long" training sessions will quickly be forgotten. Set yourself up for success by focusing on quality workouts. If you are confused as to how to do this for an Ironman, I strongly recommend getting a coach who can guide you through the process and to keep you motivated and excited to take part in this exciting journey. 


    So...on to more yummier topics. 
    I think I will call this PB&J French Toast - yummy in my belly creation. 

    2 slices rye bread (this sits well in my belly post workout)
    Peanut butter (smear)
    Fruit jam (no HFCS)
    Red currants (you can use raisins)
    Honey
    Banana (I try to consume some type of fruit post workout)
    2 egg whites + 1 whole egg + dallop greek yogurt
    Kale (I try to consume some type of veggie post workout)
    Olive oil
    Green yogurt
    Goat cheese (This sits  well in my belly post workout)

    1. Scramble eggs w/ dallop of greek yogurt (about 1 tbsp) and add a tbsp of water to help with mixing. (I love to use greek yogurt with my eggs - it makes them fluffy).
    2. Turn on pan to medium heat and saute kale in a little olive oil (~2 tsp) until slightly crispy.
    3. Remove kale from pan.
    4. With a little olive oil, drizzle pan for bread.
    5. Dip breads into egg mixture and cook bread on one side for 2 minutes until slightly firm and then flip to cook for 1 minute. See step 10 if you want to create your french toast as eggs are cooking.
    6. With a little olive oil, drizzle pan for omelet (you can use cooking spray if you just need a little).
    7. Pour leftover egg mixture onto pan and sprinkle a little cheese into the egg mixture before it gets firm.
    8. Flip after 2 minutes (or when eggs are firm).
    9. Place kale in center of cook egg mixture (turn off heat) and place some greek yogurt on kale and then close egg  as you use spatula to remove from pan and onto your plate.
    10. Smear a little nut butter on the bread as well as jam and then top with sliced bananas, red currants and a drizzle of honey.

    Enjoy!




    Remember - no workout is complete until you recover. Even if you stretch post workout and eat "well" - don't forget about keeping the body recovered throughout the day. We LOVE our trigger point set (+ foam roller/grid) which we use several times during the day (morning and night). I highly recommend investing in recovery tools for you can only train hard if you recover harder. 


    Pear-berry oatmeal, IM-prep swim set, Trimarni "summer" checklist

    Marni Sumbal


    Pear-berry oatmeal

    1/2 cup oats (dry)
    1/2 small pear (chopped)
    1/2 cup blueberries
    1 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds
    1 tbsp sunflower seeds
    1 tbsp (about) red currants (or raisins)
    ~10g protein powder (optional: whey, vegan, soy -to help slow down digestion and to promote satisfaction for a few hours)
    Water or milk to meet consistency needs

    1. Mix ingredients together in large tall bowl (Recommend a tall bowl as oppose to a wide bowl which will help prevent spilling over, although watch for rising oatmeal).
    2. Add water/milk (liquid) to almost cover the dry ingredients (leave about an inch or so not covered. if not using protein powder, cover 3/4ths dry ingredients)
    3.Stir well with a spoon (especially if adding protein powder)
    4. Microwave (uncovered) for 1 minute, then stir.
    5. Continue to microwave in 45 second intervals until oatmeal meets your consistency needs (it may get more thick the longer you microwave. I like my creamy so I typically microwave around 2:15). 


    This morning swim set was the perfect way to start my day before working at the hospital. I followed swim with hip strength which I do 3x's a week (Mon, Wed and Fri) as well as hip work daily (ex. clams, bridges, hip hikes, McKenzie moves). 
    This set was exactly what I needed for mind and body to finish another GREAT week of training (can't wait for the weekend!).
     I always feel a boost in swim confidence when I do repeating 100's on a cycle and I have always incorporated them into my IM training for the last 8 weeks or so of my peak training (typically on a Friday either as a short "intense" set or within a longer distance set.
    Doing repeating 100's is a great way to increase your anaerobic threshold without compromising form so long as you take advantage of recovery. Depending on your comfort in the water, you may need to lessen the number of 100's that you do. For example, rather than doing 4 x 100's on a cycle like I did, try 2 x 100's trying to keep the same cycle. Then work your way up to 3 and then 4. The key is to make sure you are only resting "just enough" so that you compromise your respiratory system just a bit to raise that threshold. You don't want to fatigue too early in the set so be sure you pace yourself. With this set, you are able to be more consistent as the workout goes on without letting fatigue destroy your form or exhaust you from finishing the set if you were to just swim "fast" for a 2000 or to swim steady and not make progress to getting faster in the water.  In an Ironman you do not have to be "fast", you have to be efficient so if you are new to swimming or uncomfortable in the water, keep on working on your form and endurance and limit the speed work to once a week and within a "short" workout. 

    5100 yard IM-prep workout
    4 x 500's warm-up (odd swim, even pull w/ paddles - try to be steady on these)
    100 backstroke recovery
    Main set: 20 x 100's
    Perform the main set like this: 4 x 100's with 10 seconds rest (keep the same cycle - for ex. I did these on 1:30 and was holding ~1:18-1:19 per 100), then do 1 x 100 EZ backstroke recovery (take a total of 3 minutes rest OR double your interval for the fast).
    Repeat this cycle of 4 x 100's fast, 1 x 100 EZ for four times for a total of 20 x 100's. 
    Optional: 500 pull  w/ paddles - work on stretching out the stroke
    Optional: 400 choice
    100 cool down


    Training, exercising or racing this weekend? 


    Don't forget your Trimarni checklist for outdoor activities in the heat: 
    -Water
    -Electrolytes
    -Sport drinks w/ carbohydrates (for workouts/exercising over an hour)
    -Sunscreen (SPF 30+, broad sp...ectrum)
    -Sunglasses
    -Wicking clothing 
    -Visor/hat
    -Recovery drink/food
    -Towel
    -A smart game plan (adjust intensity as needed)
    -Recovery compression/ice


    Body and mind stir-fry creation

    Marni Sumbal

    Fuel your body with real food because your body needs fuel to function, to thrive, to live, to be happy.

    Don't watch the clock.

    Don't say you're being bad.

    Don't regret what you choose to put into your body.

    Don't say you're cheating.

    Don't worry/stress about what other people are doing, what others may think or what others may assume. Own your actions.

    Feed your body throughout the day when your brain and body need energy.

    As I was seeing and charting on patients today in the hospital today, I couldn't help but think (as I always do) about how grateful I am to have a body that is well, happy and healthy.

    Every time you think about (or do) body bash or voluntarily restrict food that can be used for fuel or for health, consider reframing your thoughts.

    That same body that you think is fat, ugly or gross or just messed up or failed you, is the same body that you push to cross finishing lines, wakes you up in the morning to take care of your family, helps you have a productive day of work to pay the bills and is where you will live for the rest of your life.

     
    Body and mind stir fry
     
    Cubed pre-cooked potatoes (you can buy frozen, in bag or slice fresh and then microwave for 2-3 minutes until soft)
    Cubed firm tofu
    Red bell pepper
    Sliced mushrooms
    Garlic
    Peas
    Pistachios
    Peanuts
    Dark leafy greens
    Salsa
    Olive oil
    Herbs/spices

    1. In a large skillet, heat to medium heat and place potatoes, tofu, pepper, mushrooms, sliced garlic and peas in the skillet with 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Add 2 tbsp of water and cover for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking).
    2. When veggies are slightly brown and soft, add a spoonful or two of salsa and then ~1/8 cup mixed nuts (pistachios and peanuts).
    3. Season with your choice of seasonings - a pinch of salt, pepper, turmeric, oregano.
    4. Prepare a Tupperware container (if bringing to work for lunch) or shallow dish with a large handful of leafy greens and top with the veggie creation.

    Key Ironman bike workout + mental training

    Marni Sumbal

    I came across this article the other day and it really struck me with a big ?????

    I believe that any athlete who signs up for an Ironman should physically prepare the body to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles. As to the "best" approach to getting to race day, well there are many schools of thoughts to this so I thought I'd briefly share my approach.

    Karel has been coaching me for the past few years with my training. I have yet to be burnt out or not arrive to a race hungry to race. I feel I have progressed a lot in the past few years with speed and endurance and most importantly, I always have fun.

    I realize that my body has it's limiters with my hip issues relating to my spine and a lifetime of back-issues but I also recognize how to train smart. It doesn't always work out as I'd like since I am a competitor and love to push my body to higher limits but in the past few years, with every down moment that I have experienced with my body, I have only become a stronger and smarter athlete. Thus, my injuries have not been setbacks but rather enhancers.

    My approach to training myself and my athletes is simple. Keep things balance. Be patient, keep your mind focused on the journey and never lose sight of your goals. I understand sport nutrition so I feel my training is only enhanced in that aspect but no amount of nutrition will help me train consistently well if my training is not balanced and specific.

    I use a lot of tools when I train such as HR, garmin, power meter (910XT Garmin and Garmin 500 bike computer) but as we all know, it is only on race day that your trusted gadget will fail you...never in training!

    The whole focus of training is to make progress and to not let your end goal keep you from enjoying the journey. I have taught myself (as an age group athlete who has been fortunate enough to have a body that has gotten me to Kona twice and finishing 5 Ironman's) how to recognize great workouts and how to adjust any workout to ensure it will become a great workout. In other words - completing my assigned workouts means that I understand that what is ahead of me is within my limits. Although many variables such as stress, sleep and nutrition can affect my performance (controllables), I know that each workout on my plan has a purpose. A purpose that the workout is allowing me to make progress. Many athletes are so stuck on the end result that they lose sight of the journey, worry about things out of their control and also push too hard (or not enough) and often question if they are making performance gains. I suppose little progress gains are often hard to "see" but then again, who says that you have to use times/speed as the marker of improving fitness?

    My approach to Ironman training is that of quality. There are no Ironman days as I don't want to be training all day in the sun on the weekend and I want to save my best performance for race day. I don't need to prove to myself or on social media that I can swim, bike and run this many hours or miles each week but instead, prove to myself that I have made progress with the workout to set me up for a stronger and faster tomorrow.

    Many of my Ironman and half Ironman bike workouts (over the past 3 years) have been relatively "short". Most of my Ironman rides are around 3:5 - 5 hours and most of my half Ironman rides are around 2.5 - 3 hours. The key is the learning how to pace yourself on the bike to get "faster" as an Ironman athlete but also to become more efficient and to run steady off the bike. Thus - I do A LOT of brick runs with each run having a purpose.

    With 7 weeks left until Ironman Lake Placid, I really loved today's brick workout given to me by my hubby, coach, bike mechanic and training buddy.

    3.5 hour ride + 30 min run - 4 hour KEY Ironman workout

    Bike:
    15 minute warm-up
    5 x 2 min leg openers (100+ cadence rpm)  w/ 2 min EZ
    Main set: (I was drafting behind Karel so as he stuck to his zones, my zones were a tad higher than they needed to be but still doable - drafting behind Karel makes me stronger and it has really helped my cycling. I enjoy going "fast" behind Karel as I can't do his speeds alone but I understand that drafting properly keeps me in my proper zones as Karel is extremely consistent so I enjoy the bonus of covering more miles behind him as I prepare myself for my own race day effort. All zones are power based zones determined by a 2 x 20 min max sustainable power effort w/ 2 min EZ in between)

    10 min Z4 low w/ 2 min EZ
    15 min upper Z3 w/ 2 min EZ
    10 min Z4 low w/  2 min EZ
    20 min mid - upper Z3 w/ 2 min EZ
    5 min recovery
    35 min group ride (this effort was low to mid Z4)
    5 min EZ
    5 x 2 min (high cadence) w/ 2 min EZ
    5 min cool down, transition to run.
    Total: 73 miles, 3 hours and 31 minutes
    (If training with power and/or HR on the bike and you have your zones set-up in proper endurance zones, you should be racing your endurance race in upper Z2 - Mid Z3, typically low Z3 for most athletes. If you want to get faster, you have to train smarter so that by race day, your low Z3 is "faster" than where you were when you started your endurance specific training. As for running in an Ironman - don't get caught up in paces. Used perceived exertion as much as possible while monitoring the HR and walk to help keep good form and to be steady with pacing).

    Run:
    4 x 1 miles w/ 10 sec walk in between
    (I often walk with my IM training in most workouts as it helps me reduce gradual fatigue, it helps me better tolerate nutrition, it helps me control my HR the best I can and it helps me keep good form to reduce risk for injury. I may walk anywhere from 10-60 seconds depending on the workout and although 10 sec is brief and often I wish I could walk longer, it serves the purpose of helping me have a quality workout as I help simulate aid station walks for IM race day).
    Mile 1: 7:51
    Mile 2: 7:48
    Mile 3: 7:51
    Mile 4: 7:47
    (around 10-13 second walk in between)
    Total 4 miles, 32:28, average pace 8:07 min/mile (with ~40-60 seconds of walking)

    Should you still do a Key "LONG" workout like a 100 mile ride + 2 mile run or even a 112 mile ride + 10-15 minute run? Yes. Those will be coming for Karel and I in a few weeks. BUT, if you can't do 3.5-4 hours of quality riding + a steady "short" run off the bike, what makes you think that your body is "Trained" to ride 100 miles, weekend after weekend? Those short IM intensity focused bricks will pay off when it is time for the long workouts. Remember - save your best performance for race day. Don't waste your time with junk miles just getting the miles in..make those miles count. And if you can prove to yourself that you can do it in training, trust yourself that you can do it on race day. Don't be a super hero in training and not be able to execute on race day.

    After stretching and cooling off with Karel and enjoying a little watermelon and recovery drink (before Karel headed to work today), I had to stop by the Trek Beach store for Karel and when I finally arrived home, it was time to officially refuel!

     
    Do you enjoy thanking your body for a great workout with delicious food prepared from home?
    Today's creation:
    An Omelet with tomatoes, arugula and goat cheese with oregano and rosemary. Rye bread with fruit jam and plain Greek Fage yogurt with fresh cherries and a drizzle of honey.
     
     
    If you are wrapped up in the idea that Ironman (or endurance) training has to involve a lot and a lot of miles, how about thinking about other areas in your life that can make a positive impact on your training and racing. Certainly, we all know that even with the best preparation, there can be a variable or two on race day that can count you out from putting all that hard training to the test. Certainly - your mind and nutrition are two important components of training and racing that can help take your fitness to the next level..likely more so than in any long workout for without the right mental focus, pacing strategy and nutrition plan, there's really no point in putting your body through all that long and hard training if you are not equipped properly to handle that training stress (mentally and physically).
     
    As you know, I work with my friend, Licensed Psychologist Gloria (Psy. D) on my mental training as she is an experienced mental coach and sport psychologist.
     
    Here is a great video to show you the importance of mental training for fitness/performance. Even if you aren't racing or training, I recommend watching this video as it has a few helpful slides on how your mind can either enhance or limit you in terms of reaching your personal goals in life.
     

    Endurance swim set and tofu pistachio stir-fry

    Marni Sumbal



    What a beautiful meal to fuel my body last night!

    For the tofu, spritz your pan on medium heat with olive or sunflower oil. Cube firm tofu and cook until golden brown, tossing lightly occasionally to prevent sticking. Season with turmeric and rosemary and a pinch of salt.

    My meal creation also included arugula, mixed greens, red bell pepper, tomatoes, pistachios and brown rice.

    To make this your own creation:
    Choose your leafy greens
    Choose 2-4 types of veggies (or fruit/veggie)
    Choose your type of protein ~20 grams (you can have a mix of protein)
    Choose your type of whole grain or starch (ex. potatoes, noodles)
    Choose your type of nut/seed
    Top with your choice of dressing, oil or salsa


     
     
    Ironman-focused Endurance set:
    1650 warm-up - nice and steady.
    150 backstroke - EZ/recovery
    Pre-set: 10 x 100's w/ paddles and buoy w/ 10 seconds rest (I did them on 1:35) - 80% effort, focus on reaching and catching the water.
    150 backstroke - EZ/recovery
    Main set: 5 x 300's broken
    (150 @ IM pace, rest 5 seconds. 150 @ half IM pace - the focus is on pacing yourself) w/ 30 sec rest ( I did these on ~4:50)
    500 with paddles - breathing every 3 strokes, nice and steady.
    50 cool down backstroke
    Total: 5000 yards

    Fueling oatmeal creation, wild rice side dish and pre-race dinner

    Marni Sumbal

     
    While at our friends house (Stefanie and Kenny Swanger) from Thursday evening until Saturday (for our race - which I will be writing our race report soon), we enjoyed lots of delicious food creations. Seeing that Stefanie has been a long-time nutrition and coaching athlete, and Kenny is an amazing cook, we are always incredibly spoiled in our belly's when we go to visit them for a race in Georgia.
     
    To start off the morning before a pre-ride warm-up on the Rock N' Rollman race course, we both enjoyed a delicious oatmeal creation. Stefanie and Kenny set up their kitchen like an oatmeal buffet with all the fixings on the counter and us to create something delicious.
     
    I measured out 40grams of oatmeal on their scale (150 calories) to ensure I was getting enough to meet my needs for the morning. I then added 1/2 large banana (sliced) + 3 large strawberries (sliced) and a little each of cinnamon, PB2 (chocolate kind - delicious) and ground flax seeds. I mixed it with milk and just a tad of water and voila - a delicious Trimarni creation. I added some of my homemade trail mix granola (granola + peanuts and sunflower seeds) on top for a little cold crunch on the warm oatmeal. My belly was super happy and it did what it needed to do - it keep me satisfied and fueled for the morning activities.
     
    On Wednesday, I made a trip to Whole Foods to buy several items from bulk (nuts, seeds, granola) for our trip to Macon and as usual, I just love buying whole grains and coming up with a delicious creation for them. The wild rice really caught my eye as it was so beautiful in it's unrefined form. I LOVE wild rice because it has a great nutty taste to it and mixes well in stir fry's or on top of a salad.
     
     
    Since I was planning to fill our bodies with medicine (salad) that evening as the main part of our meal, I decided to do the rice as a side dish, combined with steamed  broccoli and veggie crumbles and after it was prepared, I topped it with a little asiago cheese. If you are trying to make dietary changes, I encourage you to not try to eliminate food...especially food that can be beneficial to your workout routine and overall health. Wild rice is a good source of carbohydrates to help keep your body energized and without added sodium or preservatives or food coloring, you can't go wrong with this type of carb. It contains protein and dietary fiber to help keep you satisfied. You will never find yourself "missing" out on anything while having a salad as the main part of your meal for having a side dish of whole grains is the best compliment to create a balanced meal - instead of making the "carb" or starch the main part of the meal, which often leads to people blaming "carbs" and starches for weight gain due to oversized portions.  Wild rice also contains vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B9 as well as iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and magnesium. No need to pop pills when you can get your vitamins and minerals from real food. Plus, I absolutely love cheese that is so tasteful that you only need a little to be satisfied. Asiago cheese does just that as you can't eat a lot of it at once for it has just enough salt taste to cure your cravings and it is so delicious that you have no choice but to savor a little of it.
    For cooking rice, you want to first rinse the rice. Generally, the ratio is 1 cup of rice + 3 cups of water. Boil the rice over high heat. Once the water level drops and the rice is visible, turn the heat to low and allow the rice to steam for 30 to 45 minutes. I usually keep my rice covered while cooking.

    For serving sizes as a side dish, I recommend 1/2 - 1 cup of rice + ~1/2 cup veggie crumbles (or around 2 ounces protein of your choice) + broccoli (your choice of amount)  + 2 thin slices of asiago cheese.
     
    For our pre race dinner at the Swangers, we kept it light and simple. Easy to digest, delicious and the right balance to keep us fueled for race day (Especially with a 4am wake up call).
     
     
    When I work with athletes on race week/day nutrition as well as sport nutrition for training, it's important that I recognize that every athlete is different. We all train for different events at different intensities and our bodies are unlike our training buddies. Nerves, stress and sleep can all affect appetite and your relationship with food and individual fitness needs can also affect your dietary choices. Therefore, although the science is there in terms of how to eat before a race, I don't believe that there is a cause and effect - one size fits all (especially when research is often in a controlled setting) with how you eat before a race and how you will perform on race day. There are things to reduce (fat/fiber) as well as emphasize (carbs with a little protein) but in terms of what you choose to eat, this will always vary. My pre-race, happy tummy meal always includes a sweet potato and veggies and a little protein. I do bread and rice as well on the day before the race if it is available.
     
    Kenny prepared chicken for Karel as well as all the other items on my plate. It was so absolutely delicious!

    -Sautéed asparagus and mushrooms with sesame seeds (thinking back, every time I Have had asparagus before a race, I have done very well - perhaps my new good-luck food :).
    -Hard boiled egg and cottage cheese - for protein.
    -Salad with bell peppers and avocado with a little shredded cheese - topped with balsamic and olive oil.
    -Sweet potato with cinnamon and a little butter.
    -Sliced potatoes (Karel isn't a sweet potato lover like me so he typically does white potato or rice pre-race but I am happy to enjoy both).
     
    I finished the dinner satisfied, around 6:30pm and felt energized and ready for a good night sleep before the race.
     

    VIP Oakley Progression session: DALLAS FORT WORTH

    Marni Sumbal

     
     
    Not even a week after returning from Czech Republic, it was time to do a light re-pack for a quick trip to Dallas for the last event with Oakley Women and Shape Magazine. San Diego and Boulder were amazing and I couldn't wait to meet 200 more inspiring women who are passionate about health and fitness. After coming back from Europe, I had a bit more material to add to my talk of my 7 top tips for healthy balanced living and couldn't wait to speak and hand out my delicious Trimarni balls.
    What I love so much about these events is a place for women of all ages and sizes to get together and to have one special thing in common - each lady loves to move and use her body. There has been so much positive energy at these events and I couldn't wait get one more dose of it in Dallas Fort Worth.
     
    But first, I was asked to teach a workout on the beach (Atlantic beach) behind Ocean One resort to a group of Lens Crafters employees on behalf of Oakley. The workout was great as I had everyone sweating at 8:15 in the morning with a beautiful view in sight to keep everyone happy that they were outside and not sitting in a conference room.
     




    Thanks Oakley Women and Lens Crafters for having me!
     
     

     

     
    After a great brick workout on Thursday morning, it was time to head to the JAX airport. Knowing that I was arriving to DFW around 1:30pm and getting picked up with a group at the massive airport, I had plenty of snacks and a PB&J sandwich to keep me satisfied and fueled for my direct flight to Dallas as well as until I arrived at the hotel. We finally arrived to the hotel around 3:30pm and we were all in need of a mini meal to hold us over until dinner which was at 7pm. We headed to the hotel restaurant and we all got delicious salads that we each modified with either egg (me) or avocado. It was delicious!

    (FYI - I always try to have yogurt on a daily basis, about 4-6 ounces a day, in addition to up to 1 cup skim milk. When I travel, I try to bring yogurt with me and I have never had trouble with security and having it in my carry-on. Just a FYI in case you are interested in traveling with yogurt. Just don't forget to get a spoon!)


    Soon enough, it was time to head to downtown Fort Worth to eat at a touristy restaurant with a group of 18 (Shape Magazine, Oakley Women and ambassadors). The restaurant was a steakhouse and I was hoping for some corn on the cob, brown rice and sweet potato but no options available and no vegetarian chef-inspired options. No worries - I enjoyed a delicious airy bread roll and then enjoyed a large filling salad and the most delicious baked potato with toppings on the side. I left the restaurant very satisfied and was excited to wake up in the morning for a 6.5 mile interval run on the treadmill and then a full day on my feet outside, speaking to 200 amazing ladies.
     









     
    After a delicious buffett breakfast of  milk, fruit, oatmeal, cottage cheese, and a veggie stuffed omelet it was time to head to the park/field for an amazing day of fun!!

    The event included yoga with Lacey, my nutrition workshop, social media learning, lunch from a food truck (YUM!) and interviews to be the next Oakley Women ambassador. The event kick-started with a tough bootcamp with Carrie and Cari. My friends Michelle Lovitt and Sarah Dussault were also attending the event to help others better understand fitness and social media.
     
    Here are a few pics from Instagram - I LOVE instagram and connecting with others, just like with facebook. It's so great to be inspired by others and to associate yourself with like-minded individuals. To stay connected, you can link with me #trimarni on Instagram or @Trimarnicoach on Twitter and Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition on facebook. For Oakley Women, use #Oakleywomen. Enjoy the pics from some amazing women!

    Congrats to Laila for being the next Oakley Women ambassador!!!
     
     
     



















    (Shape Magazine Diva dash)


















    What's my go-to traveling snack? Trail mix!

    Marni Sumbal

     
    While in Denver for the OPS Fitness event with Oakley Women and Shape Magazine, I was asked,
     
    "What's your favorite go-to, quick snack?"
    That was easy....TRAIL MIX!!!

    Although I put a little thought into every meal and then snack with a purpose, I know I can always count on trail mix to keep me energized, satisfied and happy. And all those things are important on a daily basis but very important while traveling. With delays and a schedule that is off from the normal routine, I always rely on homemade trail mix to keep me fueled while traveling.
     
    I prepared many goodies for our trip to keep us healthy and happy while traveling as I know we will be enjoying lots of indulgences in Czech....all prepared with love, of course and enjoying every bite!

    The good thing is that on Tues, we  are leaving around noon from Tampa International and will be flying through the night when we land in Prague on Wednesday around lunchtime. We have a stop at JFK (3 hour layover) first and then our long flight to the Netherlands to connect. However, I know that even with the best intentions to sleep on the plane, it won't be easy and likely our body will be off and we will need some snacks to help control blood sugar in between meals.

    I put together this delicious trail mix and portioned out to 8 bags. Four for the flight to Czech and four for traveling home (or to munch on in Czech - unlikely seeing that we are staying with Karel's family so we won't be without food but instead, filled with lots of yummy Czech food).  I divided my creation into 1 cup servings to make it easy to snack but to not overdo-it on calories as trail mix can be very calorie dense and I want to leave room for meals and for snacks like fruit and PB mini sandwiches.
     
    Trimarni (Going International) Trail mix
    (feel free to swap out any ingredients or add your own)
     
    Cheerios - 6 cups
    Trail mix (raisins, M&Ms, cashews, almonds, peanuts) - 3 cups
    Sunflower seeds (unsalted) - 1 cup
    Coconut Flakes (unsweetened) - 1 cup
    Trail mix (soy nuts, pumpkin seeds, dates, cranberries) - 1 bag
    Cinnamon - 1 tbsp
    Baggies
     
     
    I sprinkled with a little cinnamon and then tossed with my (clean) hands in a large bowl.

     
    Delicious!!! 

     
    8- 1 cup servings.
    I did not figure out calories and only estimated on measurements.
    If you are interested in calories for your own homemade trail mix, I recommend to make the trail mix "cereal" dense but using more cereal than nuts/raisins for more volume, less energy density. Keep in mind, many cereals are fortified (like Cheerios) to provide the body with vitamins and minerals which may be lacking while traveling or eating on the road (in other words, a yummy multi-vitamin). Combine your calories (total) from your cereal of choice with the total calories of each of your "additions" based on the serving size of the label on your bags. If using raw nuts/raisins/dates/cranberries from a bin at the store, you can look up nutrition facts online and portion control.
     
    Enjoy!
     
     
     
     
    One last Campy pic before we travel. He's worked really hard in the past week to use all of his cuteness in hopes that we are taking him with us wherever our suitcases are going. Little does he know, Campy and his two sisters get to stay at the "resort" (aka "my parents") for a amazing 11 night stay in New Port Richey, Florida.