contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.

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: "event"

Homemade energy balls (from Oakley Women/SHAPE event)

Marni Sumbal

As promised, my delicious, yummy energy "ball" recipe. Originally I had made bars but the Oakley Women catering company re-created my bar creation into balls for easier packaging and consuming. Same ingredients, same great taste! Enjoy!



For the VIP Oakley Women Fitness Progression Session.attendees at Denver and Dallas, you will get an opportunity to try my delicious balls (with recipe card and healthy living tips) in May and I can't wait to meet you!

Any questions or concerns about the recipe (or substitutions or modifications) just send me an email or comment. Thanks!

                                                        Trimarni raw energy balls


1/3 cup each of pecans, almonds, cashews, walnuts (non salted)
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
1/3 cup (or 10 apricots - dried)
10 dates (pitted, whole)
1/2 tsp ginger (powder) and 1/2 tsp cloves (powder)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tsp espresso coffee (finely ground - or any strong coffee)
1 tbsp dried coconut shavings (unsweetened)
25 prunes (whole)
1 cup rice krispies (I used gluten free rice krispies)

1) In ninja food processor I blended pecans, almonds, cashews and walnuts for 10 quick pulses until almost ground (a few little thicker pieces)
2) In large bowl I placed ground nuts and added whole (not blended or ground) pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
3) In ninja I blended dates, apricots and spices down to coconut until finely ground. I combined in large bowel with other ingredients.
4) In Ninja, I blended 6-7 prunes at a time until mushy and added to bowl. I did this 2-3 times until they were all mushy in bowl to help with sticking of the other ingredients.
5) I added rice krispies to bowl and combined with my hands (sprayed with a little non stick spray) to combine until sticky - this gets very sticky! Be sure hands are clean or wear gloves.
6) on a non stick cookie sheet (sprayed with a little non stick spray), I pressed bar ingredients into tray until I covered 13 x 10 on the tray (Almost the entire tray).
7) I placed in freezer for 30 min and then sliced with a plastic knife.

I made 30 servings (2inch x 2 inch squares) - you can roll into balls if that is easier (plan for 30 balls)
Each square/ball (serving) has the following nutrition facts:
83 calories
5g fat
9g carbs
1.4g fiber
4.5g sugar
2g protein

Finally warming up again

Marni Sumbal

Two weeks ago I braved 20 degree temps in Utah at an altitude of 8000-11000 feet. I stayed extremely active in the snow, both on my board and a few times on my butt. The Oakley Women product testing summit was amazing and I had such a great time stepping outside of my comfort zone.
The following weekend (1/11-1/14) I braved even colder temperatures and traveled to Iowa to speak to the Missouri River Runners group for their yearly banquet. Despite living in Kentucky for the first 21 years of my life, I have become quite soft in the cold..or as we like to say in Florida - when it gets "down to 40 degrees outside".
An average temperature of around 10 degrees each day, with a few flurries and a few gusts of wind making the wind chill drop below zero.


My talk was on "Common mistakes made by runners: train smarter to reach success faster."
I met so many new people and got to know some of my Trimarni Nutrition athletes (from the web) even better in person. My hosts - Patty, Stacy and Therese were amazing and we had so much fun together. I think the most fun was working out together, cooking together and eating together. I was all for them picking my brain all weekend on all things training, nutrition, diet, fitness and health and I just loved being able to cook for everyone and have others enjoy my creations.
After arriving around 9pm Iowa time, it was a rather long day and around 11 am EST, I was ready for bed. It was an early morning wake-up call at 5am for we had a full triathlon on the schedule for our training.
6am swim - 2000 yards (indoor)
7am spin class - 50 min
8 am treadmill run - 50 min (I included a few fartlek intervals)
Afterward, a well-needed shower. I almost forgot how cold it was outside until I stepped outside and was quickly reminded I was not in Florida anymore.
I was super excited to make the girls some breakfast. I figured our catered dinner would be fairly carb heavy but with our morning workout, I didn't want everyone to feel depleted all day. The perfect creation was a veggie stuffed omelet (stuffed w/ sautéed in olive oil, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, green peppers and spinach) all topped w/ homemade salsa and shredded cheese. We enjoyed homemade muffins on the side (thanks to Therese) and a side of fruit w/ mixed nuts.

After breakfast and chatting for a bit we bundled up to head to Hy Vee. This was my first trip to this grocery store and the girls (and Michele) picked my brain on their own private grocery store tour, asking me about all the products that they were interested in adding to their diet. It was a lot of fun but by the time we were finished, we were ready for another meal. Since I rarely call meals "breakfast, lunch and dinner" on the weekend due to timing of workouts, I will call this creation #2 for the day.

I'm pretty sure we put everything in the kitchen out on the counter and we each created our own salad from this buffet of food. We also cooked bulgur and quinoa to top on the salad. My creation had mixed greens, pineapple, mango, avocado, dried cherries, pistachios, homemade salsa for dressing, quinoa, bulgur, cottage cheese, onion, pepper, cucumber, carrots and tomato. It was delicious!
I spent a little of the later part of the afternoon preparing a little more for my power point presentation. The venue was super cute - a log cabin that is rented out for functions. There was a fire inside to keep us warm but I think I needed a few more of them as I was a bit on the chilly side all evening. Luckily, the catering company prepared a delicious meal that warmed my belly. Vegetarian lasagna (for a few of us), roasted veggies and salad. There was a dessert of brownie or cheesecake but my tummy had no room for it so I decided to pass.

My talk went well and the group was very attentive and asked great questions. My focus was to open the minds of new and veteran runners (and a few triathletes) to the many ways that you can enhance training besides just focusing on the miles. I look forward to seeing some great results from the athletes in my talk as I know they were able to walk away with a few tips on how to train smarter to reach success faster.

I took my own advice on Sunday and woke up without an alarm to ensure a restful night of sleep. But as soon as I woke up around 7am, I put on layers of clothes to prep for my first icy trail run. It was less than 10 degrees out and a wind chill of -6. Let's just say that thankfully, Nike (below) kept me happy the whole ride to the trail.
No, I am not frozen. This was after my first ever trail run on ice/snow in snow spikes. Almost 7 miles and an enjoyable change from the normal sweaty, hot Florida run-routine. However, I'm not saying I'd trade Florida for this weather...I'm just accepting of a change every now and then.

As I was running, I just couldn't help but think how lucky I am to have a body that is able to travel, workout and stay extremely busy and active and still function at full capacity when I need it to perform. My brain is healthy enough to remember information so that I can speak publicly, my body is healthy enough to move whenever I ask it to perform and my heart is healthy enough to keep on beating so that every day I can try new things and try new opportunities and experiences. I can't think of any other reason than my daily habits that allow me to live a very active, busy lifestyle. I recognize what I want to do in life but I can't expect it to all happen without taking care of my body. It is with good sleep, good food and a deep respect for my body that I am able to live this amazing lifestyle. I only hope you are able to do the same for it is no fun to feel uggh, and to see days pass on by and to feel like you are not able to join in on your imaginary fun and active life. To make those dreams come true, be sure to start with your body as that is the only place you have to live for the rest of your life.

Thanks Stacy for letting me run with your snow spikes! I would have never made it without them! I also want to thank Oakley Women for the base layer top and soft shell jacket for keeping me warm during this run.

Our running group + 2 fast doggies :)

Post-run french toast smeared w/ crunchy natural peanut butter and topped with cinnamon and greek yogurt. A side of eggs w/ spinach and fruit w/ nuts. Oh and a cup of coffee consumed with the making of this creation.
Well - I am finally warm again and I will not be complaining about our "cold" Florida weather any longer. The shorts and sandals are on again and Campy and I are loving our time outdoors. Life is still busy and active but I can't complain.
"If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you."


Ladies Tri Night event recap - fuel efficiently

Marni Sumbal

2011 Ironman World Championship    Kona, Hawaii

The world of endurance sports continues to grow. This is wonderful for the ordinary individual who wants to do something extraordinary with his/her life. From a 5K to marathon to a sprint triathlon to the Ironman, from ultra distance swimming to century rides, there's a sport and a distance to challenge the mind and body, no matter the age or fitness level.

One major problem that is occurring frequently over the past few years is the struggle that many athletes face w/ sport nutrition. I do not feel I need to go into the specific struggles that athletes are experiencing but to mind; bloating, GI distress, rapid decrease in energy, brain fog, cramping, injury, bonking, weight gain, dehydration, ongoing fatigue, lethary and burnout. Nothing that can be pinpointed to one cause but rather, the remarkable connection w/ sport nutrition to training is far too often overlooked either due to lack of education/knowledge, confusion or lack of emphasis/importance.

A decade ago there were less endurance events for athletes to choose from and less athletes competing in endurance event.... thus less tendency for athletes to over train and compare training to others. Certainly the prices were cheaper and the selection of reputable sport nutrition products was slim compared to today.

Now a day, the westernized diet is not supportive of athletic performance gains and because of that, I see a direct connection w/ athletes struggling with sport nutrition. For if the daily diet is not under control, it is extremely difficult to believe that a "perfect" sport nutrition plan or product will allow for performance gains, quick recovery and body composition changes. Sport nutrition companies have confused athletes as to what they need or don't need during training, despite fairly consistent scientific research for athletes, over the past few decades.

But with new science comes more confusion and with excitement for a new distance or event, comes the stress of wondering "why isn't my sport nutrition working for me?"

At Ladies Tri Night, I saved my favorite subject for last....SPORT NUTRITION

As an endurance athlete, living with an endurance athlete and as a coach to endurance athletes.....this is one area when I can proudly say "I know what you are feeling when...."

For if it hasn't happened to me, it likely has happened to Karel or my athletes. Therefore, I find it very important that I provide help to others in the area of sport nutrition.  There's nothing worse than seeing the dreams of an athlete unravel because of not understanding the fundamentals of personalized sport nutrition.

Before I post the following tips for sport nutrition, I will be firm in saying that I truly believe that if you are struggling with your training, struggling with your nutrition (daily or sport) OR doing an event or distance for the first time, I HIGHLY recommend working with a qualified professional to help you create a sport nutrition strategy that will work for you at this point in your athletic career. Realizing that most of us are not professionals, we are doing all this crazy training all for fun, a medal and a t-shirt. We pay money to put our body through a lot of stress on race day and we sacrifice a lot to prepare the body and mind for months and months, all for that single race. Never forget that you are constantly fueling and refueling for your workouts during the day but it is around those 30 minute to 2+ hour workouts that your sport nutrition will enhance training so that you can be consistent on a daily basis.

Before you consider sport nutrition, athlete or not, be sure you are always focusing on your relationship with food.

 1. Forget about diets and calories – eat for fuel and for health

 2. Honor
hunger, control blood sugar, nourish your body

 3. Inspire, don’t lecture

 4. Savor food, don’t devour

 5. Food doesn’t solve
problems - temporary emotional numbness

 6. Eat for nutritional
quality, density and value

 7. Good, better, best
system - progress

 8. Think before you
act – hunger scale

 9. Balance – 365 days in a year

10. Create your positive food environment

What is Sport Nutrition?

     ØNutrition around your workout - pre, during, post
Why do you need to prioritize Sport Nutrition?
Øboost immune system, speed up recovery, provide energy, reduce fatigue, metabolize fuel

ØThe quicker you recover ...... the harder you can work.....the more consistently you can train.

How to NOT be confused by Sport Nutrition - keep it simple. What does your body need based on intensity and volume?
ØFoundation of fueling:
Fluids – 20-28 ounces/hour
Electrolytes – Na, K, Cl, Mg, Ca, NaHCO3
Carbohydrates – 1-1.5g/minute, 30-90g/hour maltodextrin or maltodextrin + fructose
Calories - varies

What you need to consider with Sport Nutrition:
1) All products are designed to match the needs of athletes.
-NO PERFECT PRODUCT but rather products with similar ingredients + that extra something to make it "better than the rest".
2) Laboratory setting, controlled environment, trained or untrained subjects.
-RESEARCH SELLS PRODUCTS. YOUR life is not a research study. Take research into the real world and find what works best for you.
3) Fitness level, terrain, weather, intensity, volume, body size, sweat rate, daily diet.
-CAN’T BLAME EVERYTHING ON NUTRITION. If you didn't train your body to run 7 minute miles off the bike, no amount of nutrition will help you do so in your race.

General Guidelines:
*1-2 hour workout:
1.One bottle fluids per 60-70 min of training (20-28 ounces)
2.Electrolytes (full spectrum) - magnesium, chloride, sodium, potassium, as well as calcium (pills, powders, gels, chews)
3.30-60g of carbohydrates (maltodextrin based) per bottle
carbs (maltodextrin + fructose based)
-water + sport drink

water + gel
-Water + sport drink + gel
-Water + sport drink + gel + solid/chews

4.Fuel frequently and consistently for calories - every 10-15 minutes (regardless of sport, intensity or duration). As tolerated!

If you can't digest the product sitting in your stomach, it won't be absorbed and the body will struggle.
*PRE (~30-60g carbs + a little protein/fat) – as tolerated!
-Examples: Cheerios, shredded wheat, oatmeal + milk
-Grains (bread, rice, pita, waffle, wrap, crackers) + nut butter
-Banana +
hard boiled egg
-8-16 ounces of water (a must to help with digestion!) + coffee
(or tea).
*POST** (recovery snack or meal, protein or protein + carbs) – as tolerated!
-8-12 ounces low fat chocolate milk
-Non fat/low fat milk or protein smoothie (whey or vegan (brown rice/pea)
-Omelet + toast
-Cereal + milk
-Cottage cheese + fruit
-16-24 ounces
water (FIZZ) to replace water/electrolyte loss + coffee

Recovery window is open for 24 hours!

**2:1 or 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein post workout.
on intensity and volume of activity)
*Your nutrition before, during & after training is only as good as your ability to tolerate, digest and absorb nutrition around your workouts.
*Always work your way up in nutrition to discover what works/doesn't work. It is not suggested to make yourself bonk during training, allow yourself to progress slowly, overtime (have back-up).
*For a recovery/off day, the only thing that should change in your diet should be the removal of your “sport nutrition” and macronutrient distribution.
*A well designed, balanced diet keeps you well-fueled, nourished and encourages quick recovery.
*Concerned about sport nutrition calories and weight loss? You are always fueling to prep for another week of quality, consistent training.

Ladies Tri Night event recap - Train Smarter

Marni Sumbal

(pic taken from Branson race report)

In 10 days I will be participating in my 7th half ironman event - Branson 70.3. I am beyond excited that I will be sharing the course with Karel, for his first ever half ironman. We are both ready and feeling strong and we are out to race our competition with our current level of fitness. The goal is to race smart. We are not out for a specific finishing time but instead to be challenged by what the day will bring. In endurance racing it's not about being fast but rather about who slows down the least. No need to make up time or put any time in the bank. 70.3 miles (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) is a long way for the body and whether you like it or not, fatigue is bound to occur. I can only speak about the event based on the course profile and from other reports but it will be a very challenging bike course so the mind and body will need to work well together.....just like we have trained them to do.
(with good nutrition, of course).
This week is a FULL recovery week. As I mentioned before, all the work is done (as of last weekend). We aren't using the word "taper" for "taper" in my opinion, involves intensity. Right now, we are allowing the body to rest, rejuvenate and repair so volume is really low (typical training week for us has been ~13-15 hours a week, this week is around 7 hours). We both took Monday completely off from training and woke up feeling rested (although a bit sore in the legs from the weekend). By Tues, I was feeling really good so I went for an easy 1 hour spin and Karel took another day off. There's a lot of stretching going on and massages are scheduled for Sun (Karel) and Tues (me). Next week we leave on Fri so before then we will be waking up the body with the same type of low volume "training" but adding in a little intensity w/ adequate recovery. This will give the body a little taste as to what will come on Sept 23rd but without the residual fatigue that comes with periodized training.

At the Ladies Tri Night event on Monday, I dedicated the middle third of my talk to a topic that I have learned to embrace this year. In having my best season ever, I can contribute most of my athletic success this year (which in turn, translates to my athletes having individual success as well) coming from training smart.
For many people, there's the basic understanding that if you want to get faster or reach  PR, you just have to train more. It's all about volume.
After removing my stubborn hat a few years ago (pre IMWI '10), I started to recognize the balance, fun and consistent progression that comes from training smart. Or as I like to say, quality training.

So, do you train smart?

ØDo you know the difference between training and an active lifestyle?
ØIs your training/exercise schedule flexible to fit your lifestyle?
ØDo you respect your body when you are injured or fatigued?
ØIs counting miles the only way you feel accomplished?
ØDo you feel guilty if you miss a workout? Are you able to schedule intentional rest/recovery days?
ØDoes a number on a scale or food intake determine your daily training volume and intensity?
ØDo you find yourself comparing your training/exercise routine to others?
ØIs your current training and diet routine working for you?
ØHave you ever raced injured, just for a t-shirt and medal?
ØDo you feel it is normal to experience severe cramps, dehydration, extreme fatigue, lack of appetite, extreme weight loss (or gain) and brain fog, just because you are training for a race, exercising for fitness or racing to a finish line?

ØAre you having fun?

It's not necessary to fit into every category but hopefully the questions (and your responses) will make you think about your current training (and perhaps, diet) regime and if it is working for your body, your personal life and your athletic goals. You may think that your current training routine is working for you but take my word, it is possible to gain fitness and improve performance by focusing more on quality over quantity. It's not just about the miles and burning calories.

If there was one word I could suggest for athletic individuals, the word would be: CONSISTENCY
You do not achieve goals in life on one day. Goals require hard work, dedication, patience and time. If they don't, they likely aren't seen as major life accomplishments.
oLife changes frequently. Your eating and training routine should also change to allow you to be as consistent as possible at this point in your life. In order to receive the most prominent physiological adaptations to the body with the least amount of training stress, train smart by focusing on consistency.
To help you out, I've created several tips for both fitness enthusiasts and athletes to start training smarter and more consistently. It's not rocket science but it does take a lot of strength. Understanding that athletes improve by putting stress on the body and then recovering, it doesn't surprise me that athletes get so caught up in the training and the miles with the rapid increase in endurance events. Whether it is fear of the distance and you feel you need to prove something to yourself in training (? - what if you can't do that 20 mile run that you squeezed into training 2 weeks out from race day, because you got too tired last weekend during your 16 mile run....what then?) or worry that you will gain weight during taper, athletic events (like tri's and running races) require a body that is trained, recovered and well-fueled. You can only beat the system for so long until you end up with an overtrained body or an injury. Additionally, it isn't a contest as to how little you can consume nutritionally, in training. What you may feel is normal or OK, perhaps should be addressed with a qualified professional, specializing in sport nutrition and/or exercise physiology.

1) Get a massage and stretch before you badly need it.

2) Fuel consistently during
workouts, before you feel tired and fatigued.

3) Prioritize nutrition before and after workouts, before you find yourself struggling with recovery.

4) Prioritize your nutrition throughout the day to compliment your intense/long daily training regime rather than obsessing about your intake on your "off" or lighter days.

5) Don't strive for a race weight but rather a strong body that will perform optimally by x-day.

6) Don't wait until taper (or rest week/day) to feel "normal" again. Find balance now.

7) Don't "rest" an injury/pain
after a workout. Address normal vs. not-normal aches on a daily basis and seek help before it gets worse.

8) Don't
just train hard and "rest" unintentionally – when you badly need it. Consider intentional rest days long before you actually need them.

9) Respect and thank your body for what it
allows you to do on a daily basis.

10) Have
fun, trust yourself and be confident. Don’t rush the journey.
Always keep in mind that if you are an athlete, training for an event finishing line, you will always need to appreciate daily exercise, just like the "normal" people in this world.
You don't have to train for an Ironman or run marathons to be healthy, fit and well. Daily exercise can do wonders for the mind, body and soul and best of all, most of the time, it is free!! Ever tried that thing called walking??? You can find it right outside your front door or office and it doesn't require a membership fee.
1.Think like a kid - have fun!
Have you ever seen a child with a garmin while playing tag?? Isn't it funny how so many athletes have to get to x-miles or x-time before the workout is officially complete. I challenge you to run or bike to a destination or to just stop when it feels right.
2.Focus on the little things – skills, sleep, strength, nutrition
3.Step outside your comfort zone
4.Set goals and track progress
5.Start slow, have a plan
6.New stuff – clothing, gadgets, location
7.Involve others for motivation
8.Time-focused or break it up
9.Use perceived exertion and/or effective tools
10.Make it a priority – when is the right time for you?
*BONUS TIP*: Daily prescription and long term health investment

Ladies Tri Night event - Perform Beautifully

Marni Sumbal

I could not have asked for a better crowd.....a bike shop PACKED with active women who all aspire to train smart, fuel efficiently and perform beautifully. Familiar and new faces filled the room and without enough chairs for the 60+ women in attendance - I'd say that's a great turnout for the first ever Trimarni Ladies Tri Night! An event not exclusive to triathletes but rather, an open invitation to anyone who lives an active lifestyle. And a huge thank you to those who changed schedules to be at the event, who came early and offered to help and to our amazing friends in Waycross, GA who made the drive just for this event. Thank you!

After changing out of my scrubs from a busy day at Baptist Medical Center Beaches, I dressed "up" in my Oakley shine support tank and had all my Oakley Women shades out for display.

The first 40 women who arrived by 5:50pm received a PACKED goodie bag thanks to Hammer Nutrition. Hammer Nutrition has been wonderful in terms of fueling my active lifestyle and I am thankful that they also help me out in many of my speaking events. I've been a loyal Hammer user for at least 5 years and with 5 IM's (2 IM World Championships) and 6 Half Ironman's behind my name, I couldn't ask for a better company to provide quality products to help me fuel my endurance lifestyle. If I had to pick my favorite products they would be Strawberry Heed, Grape Fizz and Huckleberry Gel (+ gel flask). And for supplements, hands down tissue rejuvinator is the best because it takes the place of ibuprofen and keeps me functioning well during my peak training. I have not used an anti-inflammatory pill since 1 week post Kona last October (I never use any type of anti inflammatory during or immediately before any race). Also to thank, 110% Play Harder helps the recovery process thanks to their genius mobile-ice bath + compression.

Without a doubt, everyone LOVED Veronica's Health Crunch. Not a seed or nut left in sight at the end of the event. I'm so proud of Veronica for having a vision and a goal and for making her dreams come true. A few years ago she approached me at one of Karel's cycling races, telling me about her idea for granola. Now, several years later her product is ending up on shelves at Fresh Market (can't wait for it to get to Jacksonville) and she is selling her product online. It is absolutely delicious and the ingredients are so simple, yet perfectly blended. YUM!!
Another big thanks to Chobani for donating Greek yogurt for the event. To introduce the ladies to other types of yogurts, I picked up my favorite plain yogurt, Dannon nonfat which sits very nicely in my tummy and is the perfect compliment to any fruit or smoothie. Both yogurts are packed with calcium and protein and went nicely with the health crunch. Oh, and the pink napkins are super cute.
(don't worry - the dietitian in me made sure all the yogurts were on ice before the event. No need for anyone to get sick)

I'm sure no one forgot about the amazing giveaways.....Hammer, Oakley, Veronica's Health Crunch, 110% and Nootca really hooked us up with some amazing swag. Also, president of the HammerHead Triathlon Club, super star IM triathlete Susan Wallis also provided lace locks to two newbie triathletes, doing their first triathlons this month.
  • Oakley donated the Drizzle and Overtime shades as well as the adorable Carver bags.
  • Hammer went above and beyond with Recoverite and Gel jugs + flask + fizz.
  • Veronica's Health Crunch donated a HUGE bag of her delicious crunch.
  • Nootca donated their amazing anti-fog 207 goggles (which I have been using for the past few weeks and will be wearing at Branson 70.3 next weekend).
  • 110% Play Harder donated the Mercury sock as well as one of their TOP sellers, the calf sleeves. They also provided a visor which is super comfy (Karel and I both have one for the hot summer training).
  • And last but not least, I have to give a HUGE thanks to Trek Jax for opening the shop after hours for the event. Karel is the GM of the San Jose location but his boss Jeff Kopp and his wife Alycia have been super supportive of all my career endeavours. They didn't even hesitate when I asked if I could hold a Ladies Tri Night event, after my friend Sky wanted to have an "informal" nutrition and training talk to 5 of the ladies who she is training for their first triathlon. Who knew it would end up being such a fabulous event with such great support of some amazing companies who embrace an active and healthy lifestyle. I also want to thank Trek employee Nicole for taking time out of her evening to be at the event to answer any female bike-related questions. Courtney P. also works at Trek but she just finished the Las Vegas 70.3 World Championships.

The presentation lasted around 40 minutes so I'd like to recap a little of the first part of the talk....saving the rest for another blog.


I read a study not too long ago which triggered me to begin my talk on the topic of Perform Beautifully, as part of the Oakley Women campaign.

-Gender and Body Image Study:
ØFemales 50+ years of age, 1,800 U.S. Women
Ø27% obese, 29% overweight, 42% normal weight, 2% underweight
Ø4% binge eat
Ø8% purge
Ø70% diet to lose weight
Ø36% dieted ~50% of the time in last 5 years
Ø41% check body size daily
Ø40% weigh themselves at least twice a week
Ø62% report body weight negatively impacts their life
Ø79% report body weight affects self-image
Ø64% think about their weight daily
Environmental Nutrition Sept 2012, Vol 35, No 9.

I struggled making it through my Dear Body letter as I read it allowed but I felt it tied so nicely with the study which shows how women can spend so much of their life focused (and obsessed) on body image - almost wasting life away just to achieve this "perfect" vision of what they feel is "healthy". There's no point in a lean body if you can't do anything with it and certainly, as an athlete, the body is going to change throughout the year and season.
I wrote this letter to myself just a few days before my 4th IM. I found it a life-changing experience and I encourage others to spend the time thinking about what you would say to your body - hopefully positive and perhaps apologetic at times.

 I always try to leave my audience with take-aways rather than just lecturing on what to do. I like to give advice that everyone can use based on their own lifestyle needs. I don't like to lecture, but rather inspire.
Here are a few tips if you are striving to perform beautifully:
*Aim for progress not perfection.
*Love your body not for a number on a scale, but for allowing you to cross finish lines by being healthy and strong.
*Don’t rush life. Every day is worth living.
*Every body is special. Embrace your body and individual needs. Don’t live a strict lifestyle but one of balance, consistency and enjoyment.
*Give yourself a reason to wake up every morning with a can-do attitude.
*Set short and long term realistic goals rather than living a life of regret, failure and obsession. Goals require dedication, energy and passion.
*Recognize your own individual needs based on your current training and lifestyle requirements.
*Be kind to your body so it doesn’t fail you. Thank your body, daily.
*Recognize the rewards of consistent daily exercise. Eat for fuel and for health.
*To perform beautifully, one must be patient. Take pride in the steps that are required to achieve goals in life and find ways to overcome obstacles with beauty, passion and grace.

More to come on how to train smarter......

Ladies Tri Night - 9/10/12 @ 6pm

Marni Sumbal

I'm SO excited for tomorrow!

Not because Karel and I will be entering our "official" -less than 2 weeks until race day - countdown but because tomorrow is LADIES TRI NIGHT!

I was asked by a friend of mine to speak to a few new triathletes on the topics of training and nutrition. With weekly emails from blog and facebook friends requesting info as to how to train and fuel better, I decided it would be appropriate to dedicate an evening to women-only, who live an active lifestyle.

If your are in the area, I welcome you to this FREE event. I have a fun and informative power point presentation discussing the topics of "Train smarter, fuel efficiently and perform beautifully".

Besides walking away with motivation, inspiration and education on those topics, I have snacks provided by Chobani Yogurt and Veronica's Health Crunch to keep tummies happy during the event, which starts at 6pm.

And if that wasn't enough, I have goodie bags to give out to the first 40 ladies who RSVP to the event (by this evening), all thanks to Hammer Nutrition. top that, I have some amazing companies who have donated items for this event, in order to give out as raffle items.

A BIG thanks to:
Hammer Nutrition.
Veronica's Health Crunch
Chobani Yogurt
Daisy brand
110%Play Harder
Oakley Women

The flyer for the event can be found on my website under the events section (
or on the Facebook page for the event:
Where: Trek Bicycles of Jacksonville 1313 Beach Blvd Jacksonville Beach 32250
Time: 6pm - 7:15pm
Want to get faster, stronger, more confident and more skilled (and have a lot of fun along the way)? Don’t miss this event….and the chance to win some FREE gifts from Oakley Women, Hammer Nutrition, Veronica's Health Crunch, Nootca and 110% Play Harder.
Marni Sumbal, MS, RD, LD/N , owner of Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition, LLC will provide a fun and informative presentation to answer all your questions (and concerns) about training for a triathlon, how to eat for fuel and how to live a more balanced lifestyle.
*Runners, cyclists and fitness enthusiasts are welcome— but NO boys allowed!
(GM Karel Sumbal and/or Owner Jeff Kopp will be available during the event to answer all your bike-related questions)

If you are interested in me speaking to your corporation (lunch n' learn), training groups or athletes, send me an email to discuss details and request for topics. 

Trek event recap- Sport Nutrition in Today's Society

Marni Sumbal

The look of confidence

A-mazing swag!!!

So, why is sport nutrition so confusing??? You'd think with how much Ironman athletes, marathon runners and every other "athlete" trains, there must be a major calorie deficit to encourage major weight loss. Sadly, I find athletes struggling with weight despite training 10, 15, 20 hours a week and often, sport nutrition is overlooked. I find it absolutely amazing that athletes will excuse 200, 300, 500+ calories in the late evening hours due to working out earlier in the day yet when it comes to supporting ALL the metabolic processes that are needed to encourage gradual performance gains during training, athletes will often compromise performance by being fearful of pre, during and post training sport nutrition. Certainly, by prioritizing liquid calories (electrolytes, fluids and carbohydrates) during workouts, you will put yoursel in a better situation to reach your short and long term training goals and if you want to "save" calories, you can find 100-200 calories to "save" in your 1500+ calorie a day, diet.

Because sport nutrition is so individualized, I absolutely LOVE working my Trimarni coaching and nutrition athletes on developing an efficient and practical training and racing fueling plan to reach both performance and body composition goals. Although it can be scary at first for athletes to try something new, it often pays off in more energy during workouts, less fatigue during workouts, quicker recovery, an increase in lean muscle mass and performance gains.

Because what works for one person doesn't always work for another person, we must understand that sport nutrition depends on:

-Weather, terrain, duration, intensity, nerves, body size, fitness, efficiency, choice of fuels, fueling strategy, previous meals and daily diet.

Additionally, your sport nutrition will likely vary on a day to day basis, as well as throughout your training routine- with the hope that your body is becoming more metabolically efficient with each workout. To sum up the purpose of sport nutrition: your goal is to regulate body temperature, ensure proper gastric emptying and absorption of electroyltes, carbs and fluids, ensure proper muscle contractions and relaxations, postpone fatigue, support cardiac and respiratory functioning and of course, support all metabolic processes.  
The purpose of my talk was to give some insight as to why sport nutrition is so confusing in today's society. The reason why I picked this topic is because on race day, your race day performance is simply based on how you trained. Therefore, your goal is to train your body to execute a plan on race day and to be well-fueled throughout the course of training. Perfecting race day nutrition starts WAY before race day and of course, if you didn't train your body to run sub 7 min miles off the bike in a triathlon, no amount of sport nutrition will help you out on race day.
The first part of my talk was spent on the factors contributing to the confusion with sport nutrition:
1) Research - every sport nutrition company has research showing that their product is better than the rest.
2) Celebrities (aka "professionals" and sponsored athletes)
3) The current food industry

As you can imagine, I spent some time talking about the current food industry.

As you all know, we live in an obesity-promoting environment.. Today, our society is eating much differently than it did 10, 20, 30 years ago.  Today, we aren't consuming food, we are consuming products. We are consuming chemical concotions, created by science, that appear more healthful than the real option. Because of the choices athletes and fitness enthusiasts are making within the daily diet, often sport nutrition puts to the backstide. Not sure where the viscous cycle starts but athletes, overeat/undereat post workout due to poor fueling during (and before) the workout. Improper nutrition post workout often leads to feeling of guilt (or control) which can ultimately sabatoge a workout. Athletes are tired from poor nutrient density as well as from overtraining or training for quantity, not quality (often the overtraining comes from the desire to burn more calories or the obsession of burning calories to be able to eat certain foods). Althetes are then so tired during the day, that the rely on energy drink products and pick-me-ups (coffee, sugary treats, sport items, etc.) to give them "short term" energy that can also be obtained with a balanced training plan and more sleep. I find that for many athletes, the blood sugar is completely out of whack and luck for me, I learn a lot about diabetes from being a clinical dietitian - different yet oh so similar. It's a tough cycle to break - luckily, I have the tool set to help athletes learn how to fuel both the lifestyle and the workout routine.

Oh, not to mention that people are eating in the cars, behind the computers, during a 5-minute "break" between meetings and wherever else athletes choose to eat...or not eat/restrict. Oh darn it, forgot to mention poor stress and sleep management as well as emotional eating, anxiety, depression and feelings of being overwhelmed.

The western diet is nothing close to natural and because of that, athletes are confused as to how to eat - both for fuel and for health. My advice, eat real food, be mindful of how food makes you feel, honor your hunger and prioritize sport nutrition before, during and post workout. Yes, it can be a bit complicated for some people so be sure to contact your favorite sport nutritionist/RD to help guide you along the way.

Showing how much sugar is added to products like oatmeal packets, cereals, chocolate milk, granola bars, juices, yogurt, etc. (the list goes on and on and on)

Be aware of claims. Always read the ingredients and nutrition fact label. Often "healthy" options are no better/worse than the other "unhealthy" option. Remember, no bad or off-limit foods - just de-emphasize. This will allow you to appreciate what you do have in the diet. My favorite tip for cereal, make a veggie, fruit and protein smoothie (mixed with a healthy fat like chia seeds or flax oil) and top with a handful of your favorite cereal. I always have cheerios and a shredded wheat-type cereal in our place, as well as oatmeal (instant, plain) and crisp/wasa crackers for a nice crunch (especially with peanut butter or cheese). 

If you want chocolate, eat chocolate!! But make it the good stuff (>75% cacao) and pass on the granola bars, sugar free candies/goodies and anything else that is modified to be almost as good as the real thing. We LOVE sea salt chocolate dark chocolate in our house....yum.

Mango juice? How about eating a mango! fruit which is low glycemix and empties from the stomach slowly. I don't encourage a high fructose consumption (sport drinks) during training which may increase risk of bloating, cramping or diarrhea. No need to fear fruit for the "sugar". Keep in mind that you need to give food a nutritional value for what it provides to your body as well as how it makes you when you eat it (and after you eat it). Fruit has electrolytes, vitamins, minerals and fiber...go on and eat the rainbow!

Natural. Such a misleading word. now a day. In my right hand, I have an almond, in the shell. When Karel was growing up, he couldn't get enough walnuts from all the walnut trees in Czech Republic. Once a nut is picked, companies think you desire more so they add seasonings, salt, preservatives, artificial flavors, etc. to "natural" nuts. Grab yourself a nut cracker, save some money, and buy the real thing. I think you will really appreciate nuts a lot more after cracking them yourself. There's something so beautiful about food in its real form.
Oh, my thoughts on organic? We don't do organic because I like to shop around and shop seasonal. Last time I was sick was in 2006 - still going strong as no virus has stopped my active lifestyle. I don't get flu shots, I don't take antiobiotics, I don't take daily supplements....I just eat real food, get good sleep, try to manage stress and exercise just enough to receive optiomal performance gains (but not put me over the edge). Certainly, everyone is different and we must always respect the body and focus on what is best for us at this time in our life and to protect us from the future. I am not against anything and for those who have worked with me, they know I don't have "rules" for my athletes but rather suggestions and tips - with research in mind, but practical for real world settings. I encourage others to shop what is in season and to aim for a variety of color in the diet. Certainly, choosing an organic food from california would not be as fresh and nutrient dense as local strawberries from a farmer down the road. And although I like to say that food without a food label is not processed, anything that is handled by someone else and travels, is likely "processed" in some form (cut, washed, chopped, etc.) As for fear of pesticides, approximately .04% individuals over 20 years of age were exposed to pestides in 2011. More than 140,000 people die from stroke, which is the third leading cause of death in America. Eat your fruits and veggies people!

As for the rest of my talk...I got into the fun stuff, that all athletes want to know about: how to improve performance with sport nutrition! I spent a bit of time talking about what factors affect gastric emptying and absorption (ex. intensity, type of carbs, osmolality, fluid intake before and during training, electrolytes, etc.) as well as how to recognize factors that may be affecting performance besides just sport nutrition:
-Training tools/gadgets (ex. power meters, garmin/GPS, HR monitor, training peaks, etc.)
-Stress and sleep management
-Periodized training
-Proper pacing during training and racing/intervals
-Daily diet

. Want to learn more??? Contact me and I'd be happy to arrange a talk at your local triathlon or running club...I always try to come with goodies...and a yummy Trimarni creation.....

Yogurt dip:
Non fat Dannon yogurt (about 2 cups)
Chili pepper (pinch or two shakes)
Lemon pepper (pinch or two shakes)
Dried chopped onions (1 tbsp)
Parsley (1/2 tbsp)
Feta cheese (1 tbsp)
Cumin (optional - start with a pinch, then add more to your liking)

                                                          1. Mix together in a bowl.
2. Refrigerate.
3. Serve with veggies - carrots, celery, broccoli, etc.

To conclude the evening, I had a fantastic group of individuals donate items for the raffle. I am so fortunate to be an ambassador for so many great companies. I don't believe in calling myself a sponsored athlete because I embrace the brands that I support. They aren't paying me to use their products. As a loooong time Hammer and Oakley, I love the brands that help me succeed (like CEP compression) in my athletic career. Over the past year and a half, I have created a fantastic relationship with 110% Play Harder and love their fantastic products and gear. Although not an ambassador of Trek, I love being part of the Trek family and I am proud to support local small businesses. I want to give a special thanks to the following for helping out with my event:
Carla - CEP, I totally believe in compression. It has helped me out in so many ways. I don't train without calf sleeves or socks. As a helpful reminder, only socks or tights covering the feet (not sleeves) should be used for recovery for graduated compression.
Steve - Vibewired (currently website under construction - check out vibewired on facebook and on twitter). Great invention Steve - short wires for your nano so you don't have to battle with dangling wires while you are working out! Just attach to your hat or helmet (ride safe please, use music only on quiet roads and not on group rides or in races) and you are good to go!
Hammer Nutrition - Please support local tri or running stores but if you want to order online, use my customer code 97495 for a 15% discount on your first order. My favorite products - huckleberry gel and Strawberry Heed. I've heard from many that Hammer sends lots of free samples with your first order :)
Trek Bicycle Store of Jacksonville - Thank you Jeff, Karel and the other guys who stayed after hours to listen to me speak...and drink your beers behind the service counter :)
110% Play Harder -    Have you seen the new quad sleeves? Need to boost your recovery post workout
Oakley women - for the NEW radar edge sunglasses. I am so proud to be part of the Oakley women ambassador team and to be able to call Oakley women, my family. I invite you to check out the website as well as on facebook, as Oakley is gearing up for the olympics with a lot of inspirational campaigns (Beyond reason) and information on the latest with Oakley USA olympic athletes. If you have any questions regarding Oakley sunglasses or gear, just let me know. BTW - you don't need polarized unless you like them better than polarized. I hear it all the time and Erik (Jax Oakley rep) discussed the importance of Oakley testing, lenses, style, cut of lenses, etc. and explained that polarized shades reduce glare - like on snow and water. They make it hard to see computer screens but many people like it better. So do you have to have it? No, it is an individual decision. My fav racing/training shades: Radar edge and commit.
**And a SPECIAL BIG thanks to my friend Tyler S. for taking these wonderful pics during the event. If you'd like to have Tyler take pics at your upcoming event (or family pics, active, or anythingn you need), just send me an email.

Showing how my Drizzle active eyewear do not fall off my face. You can even run in them - no slipping!

Congrats to the Oakley shade winners!!

My biggest take-home message for the evening was to remind everyone that triathlons are our lifestyle, not our life. It is a hobby that makes us feel good and that should certainly enhance our lifestyle. We don't have to train for an Ironman or marathon to "lose" weight and the goal of any diet or training routine should never be for the goal to be skinny. I believe we should eat and train to gain strength, both in body and mind.
Secondly, we only have one chance at life. I don't believe that we can prevent disease, simply reduce the risk. Lifestyle factors have a significant impact on what gets "turned" on in your body as well as how the organs will continue to function, 10,20,40, 50 years down the road. By taking care of yourself now, you are more likely to create fantastic memories as you continue to age. If you are one of the many who experience an illness or disease later in life, hopefully you will be reminded of all the amazing steps you took to reduce your risk and you will be one of many who will come out a winner.

Life isn't about being perfect. Just do the best you can - don't waste energy on things out of your control and set goals for yourself to feel just as good, if not better, tomorrow, as you were today. I'm not one for making excuses but rather for making things happen.

I know you can do the same.

What an EVENT at Trek Bicycle Store of Jacksonville!!

Marni Sumbal

Free samples, free food, free "secret" tips from Pro triathlete Dirk Bockel (4th at the 2011 Ironman World Championship), free fun and the kick off to the Trek Nationwide Trek Sale! (April 12-16).

Dirk lives in St. Augustine when he and his wife are not traveling the world as he trains and races as a professional athlete. Dirk is a respectable, down-to-earth guy who is honest, funny and incredibly talented. Dirk answered lots of questions, from everything to his race tactics at the Ironman World Championships, his plan of action (and thoughts) of Lance Armstrong racing as a professional triathlete in 70.3 and Ironman distances, his structure with training, his typical pre race foods and the biggest take-home message....the best advice he was ever given....
(to the best of my memory as stated by Dirk)

"Always have fun. If I was just in it for the money, I wouldn't last long in this sport. This is my profession but I turned my hobby into a job. I still struggle with motivation and getting out the door sometimes, just like everyone else. That is why I find it important to train with others and to change up the routine like traveling or going to training camps. I can train at 9am but for most people, this is your hobby. You get up at 4:30, work 8 or 10 hours a day and still squeeze in another workout and time with family. You have to always have fun."

Totally agree, Dirk! Focus on the now, don't compare yourself to what you were in years past or how you use to train. Make the most of your life now, find the balance and the fun will come and drive you to reach your goals.

Karel stayed busy in the late afternoon, prior to the event, as he has a new job....

....make sure Dirk's bike is always safe and tuned-up when he is in Jacksonville and of course, race-ready when he is about leave for a race. Just like many of you all, Dirk may likely need Karel's number on speed-dial as we all love our bike mechanics, especially for a last-minute question or tune-up.
Although I may be a bit biased, Dirk picked the BEST bike mechanic in Florida to work on this bike!

No pressure, Karel!

Winn Dixie Grocery Store Event - with RECIPES!

Marni Sumbal

What a fantastic event at Winn Dixie. I was totally in my element, with my table being positioned right in the middle of the fruit and veggie section....heaven.

Winn Dixie has been wonderful for allowing me to share my creations and love for wholesome eating. What better than to close National Nutrition Month with a colorful display, my stuffed veggie and fruit friends (from IKEA - thank you CINDY!), having my friend Amie help me out - who is an amazing photographer (see pics below or check out her website here. She is also TRX certified if you want an amazing workout! I highly recommend using her services - she's a mom of 3 and a runner - she can help you reach your goals!) and of course, speaking to open-minded customers about making a few swaps in the diet and welcoming a new way of eating and living life.

I hope you enjoy a few of my creations from my Winn Dixie event. If you are part of a group, company, club or individual who would like me to make some creations for your next event (or article), let me know by sending me an email.

For more helpful info, check out my website and click on MEDIA - you will find my Winn Dixie event info, followed by some helpful documents.

Lettuce - bulk up any "meal" with lots of nutrients and only 15-30 calories per cup!
Red leaf
Leaf lettuce
Swiss chard

My favorite peanut butter...Smuckers All Natural.
Which goes perfect with WASA Crackers (especially pre-workout)

Popcorn - a "whole" lotta goodness in this grain!

1 tbsp cocoa powder (unsweet)
1 tbsp butter (ex. Olivio)
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
1 tbsp canola oil

1. In large pot, toss kernels in oil. Cover.
2. Turn heat to medium heat. Let cook for 4-5 minutes before needing to attend to kernals.
3. When kernels start to pop, give a shake (off burner) and continue to let kernels pop for 15-30 sec, shake and then pop again on burner.
4. When kernels begin popping quickly, tilt lid to allow a little heat to escape.
5. Turn heat a tad lower and let kernels continue popping until they finish. If you think they are burning, turn off heat, shake and set aside.
6. In large container, pour popcorn. Add butter and cocoa powder and shake until combined.
*Trick - you can pop 2 tbsp kernels in brown papper lunch bag for 90 seconds for quick popcorn (cooking time may vary) without oil. Fold bag over 2-3 times until sealed and then pop away!

Nutrition facts:
Makes ~5-6 cups
Serving size: 1 cup

Calories: 67
Fat: 4g
Carbs: 7g
Protein: 1.2g
Sodium: 17mg
Fiber: 1.5g

Tahini and chive couscous

1 cup couscous + 1 1/4 cup boiling water (Prepare according to package)
1/2 cup chopped chives
1/8 cup tahini paste
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
Pepper, parsley, salt and curry - to taste
Recommend: serve with dark greens

1. Prepare couscous according to package (5 minute "cooking" time)
2. In large bowl, combine all ingredients as couscous is "fluffing".
3. Add couscous and combine with fork.
4. Refrigerate or serve warm.

Nutrition info:
Serves 4
Serving size 1/4 cup

229 calories
6.5g fat
36g carbs
2g fiber
7g protein

Fruity breakfast barley

1 cup barley + 3 cups water (Prepare according to package)
1 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup slices pears
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp brown or white sugar

1. Prepare barley according to package (allow 1-1.25hr for cooking).
2. Combine fruit, cinnamon and sugar in container (or bowl). Stir to combine.
3. Add warm barley and mix well.
4. Refrigerate and serve cool or heat in microwave for a warm breakfast.
*recommend to serve with 1/2 - 1 ounce your choice of nuts or seeds

Nutrition info:
Serves 8
Serving size 1/2 cup

112 calories
0g fat
26g carbs
2.75g protein
3g fiber
4g sugar

*Interested in one-on-one consulting at Spa ME (904-824-9804)
or have a comment, question or concern?
Email me @ and visit

Thank you again to Amie for the wonderful pictures!

And to my wonderful clinical dietitian friends at Baptist Medical Center Beaches for letting me use the helpful display board.