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“I am” Guided Breath Practice

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This short guided breath practice is designed to help you reduce stress and go into your day with a calm/confident mind.  As you listen to this recording follow these tips:

  • keep your eyes closed and relaxed
  • breathe at your own comfortable pace
  • exhale fully on each breath, drawing your belly in towards your spine to stimulate your calm “rest and digest” nervous system

Static Dumbbell Hold

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****Be sure to bring the dumbbells back to starting position, elbows in front of shoulders, at the end of each set and lower from that position to avoid potential shoulder injury****

This is a great addition to your strength workout to build both strength and endurance in your shoulders, arms and posterior chain.
—-
Begin with 2-3 sets of 60 seconds, building to 90-120seconds over time
Rest equal time as you are under tension, so if your set lasts 60sec, your recovery will be 60sec up to 90sec

If you have any questions about this or any other strength movement, email coach Mo at mo@linkendurance.com

Race Review- Coach Samantha Friedel- XTERRA Rock Dallas Trail Run Aug 20, 2016

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Sam run

All week there had been on and off rain. The temperature was staying in the 80-90s and it was looking like there might be perfect running conditions for this race. I was praying for an overcast day with no rain on race day. Well I sure got my overcast day but lightening and torrential on and off downpours came with it. What was the trail going to be like? The race was supposed to start at 7AM but due to the weather the start time was delayed three hours. Not ideal but better safe than sorry, right? I checked in and then went back home to get dry and stay moving vs. sitting in my car for a few hours. Once I got back to the race site, went through the racers meeting and headed to the start line, I looked around and picked out a few people that I felt I could stay with or to make sure I stayed ahead of them. My goal was to be the first female finisher so I needed to check out who was racing. Competitive a little? Haha. I have done this since I was in high school running cross country. It has always helped get my mind in the right place. You could say it is me putting on my game face.

At 10AM the gun went off and off we went into the woods. I was feeling good and close to the front. I had a few guys around me and I felt very comfortable with the pace that was being kept. As we made our way through the trails I was filled with so much adrenalin. I love racing. This was a 2-loop race and I wasn’t familiar with the course. The first loop felt great. Along the way a few people around me broke off to finish their shorter distance race. Now it was just me and another guy. We keeping each other going. It was so awesome to have someone with me to push me a little. The first loop came and went rather quickly and back into the woods we went. This time my legs were beginning to feel the effects of the rocks, mudslides, creeks and roots that I had been running over and through. The guy I was running with began to break away, but I kept on going. A volunteer at one of the aid stations told me I was the first female and that small thing kept me moving forward. Don’t get me wrong, my body was feeling it. There were points were I wanted to stop. My goal stayed in focus. The trail was a bit more rough after everyone had run through it. The downhills and rocks were more slippery. I knew I needed to focus on the terrain more this second time through. All I could think was, “Keep on moving. You got this.”. I came out of the woods for the final time and I saw the finish line, to my disappointment there wasn’t anyone there cheering on the finishers. What?! I crossed the finish line and heard a distant “good job” from the lady who was keeping the time. That was it; I was done. I was a little bummed but then I realized I had reached my goal. I was the first female to cross the finish line and 5th overall in the race. That was a pretty good feeling.

As I reflect back on my entire experience, I am filled with so many thoughts and feelings. I’m proud of myself, yet focused on what I need and want to do next to be stronger & faster for the next race. To get across the finish line better. To go farther. My race prep has already changed. A solid strength plan, running more on trails or in the grass, working on mobility and ensuring that I am getting the proper recovery is going to be key. One of the biggest lessons that I learned was that by keeping my mind in the right place, I was able to keep moving forward. I was aware of what was happening in my body and listening to it but visualizing myself crossing that finish line. When I felt like I needed to walk up a more technical, rocky, root laden hill, I did. The last thing I wanted was to get hurt. I was also glad that I did not run with music. I listen to music during my training but knew that with trail running, more attention needs to be paid to the terrain and other racers moving around you. The trails can be narrow and people can come up on you very fast and want to get around you. If you are not careful you can get hurt. The sound of the woods, my breath, and the sound of your feet hitting the ground was music enough.

Time to focus on the next race in 3 weeks and then my 50k in November. Follow my journey to doubling the distance that I am racing on Facebook (Samantha Loveland Friedel),

www.linkendurance.com & Instagram @samanthafriedel . I will be running the Rough Creek Half

Marathon September 17th and the Big Cedar Endurance Trail Run 50k November 5th. Let the training commence 🙂

If you need help with your trail run, obstacle course, nutrition, or fitness goals, shoot me an email at sam@linkendurance.com

Episode 75 Lindsay Webster talks about Long Course vs. Short Course Racing, Pre-Race Jitters, The Obstacles she Fears the Most, Craft Beer and Ice Cream, Her Favorite Workout and Much More

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In this episode we chat with Battle Frog Pro Team racer and Leader in the Spartan race series Lindsay Webster. This was such a fun episode to record. We talk about her time on the Battle Frog Team Challenge,  pre-race jitters, that damn spear throw, beer :-), and much more!  Lindsay is an incredible person and I am excited to share this episode with you.  Click HERE to listen or download on iTunes for later.

Episode 74: How Squats & Deadlifts Conquered the Leadville 100Trail Run, Future of Battle Frog,The Best Travel Food Bar

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In this Episode We discuss:

Click here to listen or download on iTunes for later.  Also, please rate us on iTunes and share with a friend that could benefit from this information.

Episode 73: How to Make Training Seem Easier, How to Train for a Hilly Race Without Hills, Benefits of Watermelon

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Have you ever wondered how to make running seem/feel easier? Or how to magically make weights not seem so heavy when lifting? Miles and I will tell you how in this episode. We discuss how to prepare for a hilly race when you don’t have any hills near you, and finally we get into the amazing health benefits of watermelon and tell you how to incorporate it into your daily nutrition plan. CLICK HERE to listen or download from iTunes by searching EatRealandMove Podcast.

 

To read more about the amazing benefits of Watermelon click here.

 

To check out Alix’s latest recipe from www.justeatthefood.com click here.

Episode 70: Introducing MILES KELLER, How to Handle a Bad Training Day, How to Handle an Injury

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In this episode I introduce my new co-host Miles Keller. Miles and I discuss how to handle a bad training day. You know, those days you just feel weak, tired, not strong, etc. Is that a bad thing? Is your training not working, or are you simply having a tough day?  Find out the answer to these questions plus if you have ever suffered an injury during training or racing we will discuss strategies to quickly get you back in the game!  Click HERE to listen or download on iTunes for later.

Check out my article here on how to quickly recover from an injury.

The Power of Play

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Do you remember a time when you were young when you would go outside and play? Maybe you ran through the forest, climbed trees, traversed monkey bars like your favorite cartoon hero or swung as high in a swing imagining that you were flying like your favorite super hero? Well I sure do. During those times nothing else mattered and we were totally 100% immersed in the present moment. We noticed the smell of the tree we were climbing and the rustling of the leaves in the tree. We squinted our eyes and smiled as the wind whisked over our face on the swing set. In those moments we were free and in those moments we were completely happy. We didn’t need music to motivate us to run, we didn’t have a watch to monitor our heart rate on the swing or pace us as we ran around parks or through the woods. We simply desired to go outside and play. It was fun and that is why we loved it.

 

Unfortunately, as we grew up, we became busy with work, family, deadlines, bills, etc. etc. Our daily play transformed into sitting in meetings, not sleeping enough, eating a pour diet, and a life filled with stress, A LOT of caffeine, and “no time” for much else. All of a sudden our desire to play turned into our need to “workout”. However we didn’t workout because it was fun, we worked out because we were overweight and unhealthy. Now our play has turned into a job/chore. Something we need to do for our health, not so much because we want to. We forgot how to play.

 

Or maybe you were an athlete all of your life. Still, your once free and happy play was transformed into constant performance goals and competition. You ate, breathed, and slept competition, goal times, races, etc. You are still very active but you too have traded in your free happy play for endless strava updates, run split times, obsession on hitting a certain pace, or finishing in the top of your age group. Every workout is goal focused and you dare not attempt a training session without your “Get It” play list jamming. You wake up hours before dawn, exhausted, to get your training in before heading off for 12+ hours of work. You miss out on social gatherings or dates with your spouse and/or children because you “have to get your training session in”. You too have forgotten how to play. I am not saying there is anything wrong with being competitive or wanting to do your best in a workout or race. Quite the contrary. I LOVE competition. However, I know that too much of this type of training can lead to burnout, injury, and a complete lack of desire to do what we once loved. We have become too obsessed/focused on numbers and goals. We have forgotten how to play.

 

I noticed this in myself a while back and I have noticed it in my athletes and non-athlete clients over the years. For me, my race training workouts started feeling more like a job than something I enjoyed. I trained because I had a race goal ahead but I didn’t enjoy the training. I was obsessed with power and heart rate numbers on my bike sessions. I constantly checked my watch during my runs for pace and heart rate data. I was completely oblivious to my surroundings. I trained like it was a job and I began to dread the workouts. I felt the need to do something fun. Something that I enjoyed doing simply for the sake of doing it. So I decided I would set my GPS watch to the side, go outside, pick an activity that I wanted to do just for fun and go play. So one morning I packed my kayak on the top of my jeep, drove to a local lake as the sun was rising, hopped in and paddled up the creek that fed the lake and just explored. I was careful to listen to my paddle brush across the water. I watched the swirls as each stroke passed from the bow to the stern of the kayak. I looked at the deep green and bright green variations of the leaves on the trees that I passed under and by. I listened to the birds and to the breeze. I immersed myself in my play and was totally lost in my play. Before I knew it an hour and a half had passed and I didn’t even realize it.

Now before you get the impression that I have now turned into a nature loving meditation dude that get’s lost in his thoughts let me assure you, I still train hard, I still put on my headphones and jam some loud ass music to motivate me through a hard session or set. I yell, sweat like hell and sometimes limp away from sessions. The difference is now I balance my hard sessions with play. Maybe it’s a fun mountain bike, maybe it was a run through the neighborhood observing the sound and rhythm of my steps and checking out the architecture and landscaping of the houses. I will also go ride my skateboard at a local skate park. It’s whatever I FEEL drawn to do. No watches to monitor my pace, power, vertical osscilation, etc. Just me going out to play. This brings me balance and it helps me keep the drive to train hard for my races. Remember, we have enough going on in life. We don’t need another “job” of training. What we need is the ability to release from our stress, and troubles. We need to smile and remember what it was like to be that happy kid on the swing set with wind whipping through our hair.

How does this benefit you? Glad you asked ☺. When we are active at play, are happy, smiling, and immersed in our activity our brains and nervous system release hormones known as endorphins. Endorphins give us a feeling/sensation of pleasure. This helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Playing and being happy has also been shown in studies to not only reduce stress but it can also strengthen immune function and help fight off disease.

So here’s your assignment.
1- Think of some activity you love or loved to do
2- If it requires buying equipment i.e. a skateboard ☺, go do that. However your activity could be just going for a walk or wandering through a park.
3- Schedule a time when you are not rushed to either start or finish
4- GO PLAY. While your playing take note and observe your surroundings. Absolutely immerse yourself in your activity.
5- While you are at play, smile, be happy, and think of 3 things in your life that you are grateful for. This will have a huge impact on your enjoyment of your activity.
***Note: Remember there is ZERO pressure or need to perform. If you want to run, ride, etc. hard and get your heart rate up and sweat, then go for it. If you want to just chill and be outside, that is perfect as well***

 

That’s it! Pick one activity a week and do it for 4 weeks. I guarantee you will be happier for it ☺.

Episode 67: Why You Need to Go Play

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When is the last time you played?? I mean truly just went outside and did something with no performance goals, no coach or trainer barking at you, no pressure at all. You simply did it because you wanted to and it made you happy. If you can’t remember when, then maybe it’s time to make time to make it happen. In today’s podcast my wife Alix and I talk about the importance of adding a “play day” into your routine and how it can keep you motivated to train and even keep you healthy and make you happier.

Click HERE to listen or download on iTunes for later.

You can check out my article on “The Power of Play” at www.linkendurance.com

I would love to hear from you! What’s your play? What activity/activities do you enjoy that truly make you happy? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Episode 68 Escape from Alcatraz & Spartan Sprint Recap, How to Train/Race “Free”, Why You Should Throw Your Scale Away

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In this episode I give a brief race recap from Escape from Alcatraz triathlon & Spartan Dallas Stadium Sprint. Plus how do you rate your fitness success? Is it a number on a scale? A certain pace/power or heart rate zone? If so learn what you may be missing by confining your training to a number or a device and learn the importance of racing and training by feel. It is an exciting fun episode! CLICK HERE to listen or download on iTunes for later.

Listen to Stuart Brown’s Ted Talk on the importance of play here.