February Training Recap

The Y Pool

The Y Pool

February was a good training month. I found my groove in the pool again and my power on the bike is slowly returning. I finished the month off with completing 26:47 hours of quality training time.

As a side note, I have decided to separate out my personal writings from this blog and created another blog … Diaries of a Wandering Lobster, so I can keep this one more focused on my triathlon life. I will be writing about life, travel, personal finance, etc. on Diaries of a Wandering Lobster so don’t forget to check it out! 🙂

Now back to my monthly training recap! There were a few days I took off due to not feeling well. Remarkably I have not been seriously sick, especially compared to last year. Knock on wood of course! The weather was terrible a few days in February and by a few days I mean it snowed a lot and was just down right cold!

I managed to bundle up and run outside for a majority of my runs, but there were a few times that I aired on the side of caution and ran on the dreadmill. The pool closed early a few times on me due to snowstorms and I had to shift my training days around a bit.

I started taking a pilates class the end of January and it kicks my butt every time! Unfortunately, we didn’t have class 3 out of the 4 weeks in February because of a snow day, school vacation week, and the instructor took a vacation. I’ve already noticed a big different in my core and hip strength, which is exactly what my hips need.

Speaking of my hips, they have been behaving themselves lately. They were quite sore a couple weeks ago due to my recent long run on hilly terrain. I saw my chiropractor the next day and informed her that I may or may not have strained my piriformis since it was super tight and sore. She stretched me out and said my hips were actually really good, but my hamstrings were still very tight. Story of my life!

I’ve spent a lot of time on Azul and also making friends again with the spin bike as I teach spinning on a regular basis now and love it! I completed my first FTP test of the year last week. My results were better than I expected, but still not anywhere near my 2012 bike fitness levels. I’m working hard to get back to that fitness level so I can crush the Timberman bike course in August!

March Goals:

  1. Continue perfecting my flip-turns! I have finally decided to flip-turn all my workouts after 4 years of intermittingly doing so. I know how to flip-turn since I swam in high school, but was too lazy to do so in triathlon training.
  2. Continue to build my power. Now that I know where my current bike fitness is at, I can work to build up my power through my workouts. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to ride on the road soon because I’m getting antsy on the trainer these days!
  3. Continue to strength train to ensure my hip issues are not a problem this race season!
  4. Dial in on my nutrition to reach race weight in the appropriate timeframe.

Do you set monthly training goals?

 ~ Happy Training!

2014 Goals: A Year of Adventure, Stability, and Growth


This year I decided to pick three words that I hope will describe the upcoming 365 days in 2014. Adventure. Stability. Growth. These three words have multiple meanings to me, but in summary the words are synonymous to the goals that I will work towards achieving this year.

2013 started off a bit rough, but as the months passed on, I started to move my life in the right direction – where I wanted to go. You can read my 2013 recaps HERE and HERE if you missed them last week.

2014 Goals:


  • Grow in my job – I have been in my current job for just over 3 months now and I really love it thus far. Throughout my public health graduate studies, I would have never thought that I would find a job in healthcare technology. It was a topic that never really interested me; however, now that I work in the field, I love it. Not only is healthcare technology important in the United States, but globally, where my heart lies in global health and international development. My job is challenging and rewarding. Each week I am learning new skills that will only improve my work quality and also aid in my future career development. In 2014 I look forward to working hard, learning new skills, and furthering my future career path.
  • Grow my business – If you have read my blog for a while you have probably noticed the changes over the past couple of months. I plan to officially launch my new business in a couple of weeks. I started my own coaching and personal training business because it is my passion and I find great satisfaction in helping people achieve their goals. I don’t plan to make a million dollars in my business, but a few extra dollars to help pay my student loans would be nice. I have some interesting plans and opportunities in the future so stay tuned for future developments! 🙂
  • Learn French – This has been one of my goals from early fall 2013. I want a future career in global public health and international development, thus I need to become bilingual, or at least competent at a second language. I’ve been slowly practicing my language skills via software programs, but I will continue in 2014 with french lessons at The Language Exchange in Portland. I don’t naturally pick up language quickly, so this is going to be a tough goal, but it is necessary and important for my future career goals.


  • Become more financially stable – The last couple of years have been a bit tough financially. Last year I took a risk with my career and it did not pan out as well as I hoped. The last couple of years were also riddled with unexpected purchases, i.e. lots of car repairs and health bills. My graduate student loans also kicked in and I quickly realized that about a third of my monthly income goes directly to SallieMae and Nelnet. Awesome. With my new job I received an increase in pay from my old one. I need to buy a new car some point this coming year and thus I have begun to put some cash away for that big-ticket item. I’m still driving my little car until it dies for good (or is going to cost me a zillion dollars to fix). I also plan to stash some money away again into my emergency fund since it became low due to said expensive car repairs. For the past few months I have created budgets and reviewed my spending habits to determine where I can cut back. Going into 2014 I feel pretty comfortable with my monthly budget and I have been researching ways to live more frugally. Stay tuned for that journey.
  • Travel – It’s ironic that one of my main goals is to save more money and live frugally, but I also seek adventure outside the US. I haven’t been to a new country in a couple of years and thus, 2014 is the year I discover a new part of the world. My mind has gone crazy with ideas, but I yet to commit to anything yet. I may travel to South America with a friend, go on a medical mission to a developing country, or take a solo trip to Southeast Asia or Europe. I love daydreaming about traveling the world and I know this year will be the year of an adventure. Anyone looking for a travel buddy? 🙂
  • Volunteer more – This past fall I joined the Junior League of Portland, Maine and have met some pretty fabulous and inspiring women. The organization is built on giving back to the community, which is one of the main reasons I joined. I look forward to volunteering around the community with the JLP, but I also hope to give back to my community in other ways. I have been researching various organizations related to my career interests and will be making contact soon so hopefully I can help in any way needed.
  • Read a book once a month (or more) – I love to read and you periodically will have book reviews on my blog. For a collection of old book reviews click HERE. I’m an avid reader and I usually read daily, whether job related papers or pleasure reading. My goal in 2014 is to finish a book at least once a month; however, I would like to read more than just 12 books a month. Heck, in the past 5 days I have almost finished all three Hunger Games books. 🙂 I have a stack of half-finished books so I will start my reading list there.


Health & Athletic:


  • Injury Prevention – I plan to focus a lot this year on injury prevention and prehab. I was struck with a lot of hip/knee/IT-band issues last triathlon season and I don’t want a repeat this year. Now that I’m confident that my chiropractor and I have identified the underlying cause of my chronic right hip issue, I know where to target my prehab exercises. Much of my issues are fascia-related, which often take 12-18 months to fully heal and thus it will be a long-term goal to return to normal human movement patterns.
  • Weight – I’ve mentioned before that I’ve struggled with disorder eating in the past. I still have relapses often and thus I need to focus on living healthy and forgive myself when I make mistakes. I’m so use to negative talk about my body image that sometimes it is often tough to shake a stick at it. I’m slowly accepting my body and learning to create a healthy body image through exercise and a “diet” that works for my body. I’ve played with different “diets” (note: I use the term diet to refer to food in general, not your typical diet to lose wieght) over the past couple of years and have discovered what works and doesn’t work for me. I will continue on this journey over the next 12 months.
  • Triathlon – I announced my tentative 2014 race schedule about a month ago. You can view it HERE. My “A” race is Timberman 70.3 in August with a few local races spattered in between. I tried to keep my race schedule light this year to save money (racing is expensive!), making sure I keep my body healthy, and also to enjoy other fun things in Maine, like hiking, rock climbing, and go to the beach with friends just for fun (apparently brining your wetsuit to swim is frown upon with “normal” people). I would love to qualify for Age Group Nationals. If I qualify for this coming season then I won’t go because Timberman is so close, but I would consider 2015 depending on the locale. My very, very far-reaching goal who be to qualify for 70.3 Worlds at Timberman but the chances of that happening would be that of me winning the lottery (and I would actually have to purchase a lottery ticket to do so)!


So what are your 2014 goals? Anything fun and exciting? Want to travel together?

~ Happy Training!


The Ups and Downs of January


Today marks the beginning of the 4th week of January and luckily January has 5 weeks this year. Okay, maybe I’m just excited that January is a 3 paycheck month at work. 🙂 So far January has had some ups and downs. Trying to balance Ironman base training plus 3-jobs and attempting to have a social life has been a bit tricky. But I’m managing, or at least trying to figure it all out by trial and error.


Let’s discuss the downs first:


Down#1: Sickness. Yup, most of you know (unless you live in a bubble and if you do may I please move in too?) that it is cold and flu season. And this year the flu has been the worst in a while. This does have a bit of an upswing for me in a way because the biotech company I work for produces a quality control for a flu assay that most hospitals have been using and it has been flying off the shelf this year! Yay for sick people! But, boo for me for catching a cold this past week. I’ve been a bit stressed this past week due to the weather changes (hot, cold, make up your damn mind Mother Nature!) and the fact we were just informed at work that we would be having a surprise FDA audit at work tomorrow! Thursday I had a half-way decent run on the treadmill followed by a quality strength training workout with a couple of the boys at the gym. That night I woke up sweating and then I would get the chills and then I felt nausea. I had a feeling that it may be the flu. SHIT! But, it just turned out to be a nasty little cold. Of course, Friday I had to work a 15-hour day too. Go figure. I ended up taking rest days both Friday and Saturday to kick the cold. I managed to survive and have a solid bike workout Sunday night. I still have a bit of the sniffles, but I’m starting to feel better already. (Knock on wood)

This how I felt Friday minus the whole birthday thing...

This how I felt Friday minus the whole birthday thing…


Down#2: I’m pretty sure that I have over-powered my trainer. Obviously I’m a total badass because of this! Ha! Either that or my Functional Threshold Power (FTP) dropped like 40-50 watts. Last year I did a power test on a computrainer (if you ever have a chance to ride one… take it! It’s such a glorious experience!) so I know where my FTP should be. I know it probably has gone down some due to my mini 3 month vacation from my bicycle this fall, but I know my fitness isn’t THAT bad… Earlier last week I was supposed to do intervals in my lowest gear, which would put me in my zone 4 power range. However, I maxed out in my upper zone 3 range in my lowest gear with the highest cadence I could maintain for the 2.5 minutes. Now, if I was on the road then I know I could have hit my zones. That’s why I’m thinking I need a new trainer. It doesn’t really surprise me because my trainer isn’t the best out there and it only cost me $50 on Craigslist three years ago so I’m thinking I got my moneys worth. I just don’t really want to go out and drop $400 for a new one. I was kind of hoping to save some money and eventually afford a computrainer. Who am I kidding, I have student loans to be pay off…


Down#3: Working a billion hours a week! I’ve always been pretty darn good at time management, but this month has definitely put my mad skills to the test and I must say, I think I give myself a C+ for effort. I’ve missed a few of my workouts and I’m not happy about it. I know my big hours don’t start till later in the spring, but I know I can manage the 8-9 hours a week of base training at the moment! The biggest problem I have is finding pool time that fits within my schedule. Of course, pool time is rather limited at the moment due to high school swim season, but I’m going to make it work! Tomorrow night I have clients till 7pm and then a large gap till the next one at 8:30 pm so I’m going to bring in my bike and trainer and face the wall for an hour to get my workout in! The past couple of weeks I have been really good about preparing food on Sunday afternoons for the week. That has certainly helped with time management and also I have lost about 1-1.5 pounds so my journey to race weight begins!


Down#4: Operation 6-pack has completely dropped off the planet the past couple of months, but have no fear she is back with a vengeance! Now that swim, bike, run has once again returned to the forefront of my life, strength training and yoga has taken a bit of the backseat, but I’m going to make them a priority again. Saturday mornings I’m going to teach a core fitness class at the gym, targeting core strength, mobility and flexibility and then at least 2-3 strength workouts a week varying from a quickie (15-minutes max) to 45-minutes with the boys.

winter one


Now for the ups:


Up#1: I got into the USAT Level 1 coaching course in NJ in April!! Yay! I’ve been trying to get into one of the triathlon coaching courses to become a certified coach, but I must say they are tough to get into. I tried last fall to get into the Providence course, but I was not quick enough and it sold out as I was typing in my credit card information. The USAT has since changed its application process so now it is an actual application you must submit to get into a course now making it more fair.

Coming April 2013!!

Coming April 2013!!


Up#2: I made my own bike thong! Instead of paying $25+ for a piece of cloth to cover up my bike to protect it from my buckets of sweat produced while on the trainer, I decided to rummaged through my mom’s old sewing room for supplies and make my own. It’s not the prettiest thing and doesn’t have the fancy remote holder, but it gets the job done and it’s FREE!

My masterpiece!

My masterpiece!


Up#3: I was feeling better yesterday so I took my dog with me to the gym while I worked with a client and then hit up Scarborough beach for a run. I didn’t run, but Reagan sure as hell did. Thank God she didn’t try to go swimming! She did enjoy chasing a few seagulls and get some energy out. Hopefully in the spring I can do some more beach running and actually take her running with me because she loves it.

Happy puppy!

Happy puppy!


Up#4: For the past couple of weeks I have been doing one of my strength workouts with another trainer at the gym and one of the other guys. I’ve been using them both as guinea pigs to try out some new exercises. Both of them are pretty fit, one more than the other, and my main goal is to make them puke. My fellow trainer doesn’t think I can, but he hasn’t since nothing yet. 🙂 Just wait till the snow melts and we can work out outside. (Insert evil laugh) I’ve been doing a circuit style workout involving my TRX and other mainly bodyweight exercises. It’s been effective thus far, but I don’t think any of us have been super sore from it so I need to step up my game this week!


Up#5: I’m writing a bunch of blog posts today to be posted in the next couple of weeks. I have this HUGE list of blog post ideas, but I just haven’t gotten them written down yet. Half of them are all written in my head, but of course, I just can’t just transfer the data from my head to my computer. Wouldn’t that be cool though if I could just hook a USB cable to my brain and transfer it to my computer? Ok, maybe I’m a little weird…

~ Happy Training!













Lessons from Camp

While at Ironman Lake Placid training camp this past weekend I learned A LOT about what it takes to train for and finish an Ironman. For those who are not familiar with Ironman, it’s a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run that must all be completed under 17:00 hours. It’s no small feat. It takes a lot of training and heart for the better part of a year to complete an Ironman. Most “normal” people think your crazy. See video below:

Here are a few of the lessons that I have learned. I should warn you that one of them may or may not be gross.

1. 100+ mile rides on the bike is not for the weak crotch. My previous longest ride ever was 70 miles with lots of stopping on my road bike. This past weekend I rode 101 miles of Friday and then another 40 on Saturday. My crotch was NOT happy with me. I’m not one to use Chamois Butter or HooHa Ride Glide, although I know women who swear by the stuff. Secretly, I think they all get off on the tingling sensation. Not my style. Of course, being triathletes discussing such things as a sore crotch at dinner was normal. I think we all concluded that women have it worse than men. My advice, make sure you invest in a good saddle and a quality pair of bike shorts and spend some quality bonding time on that saddle. Who said becoming an Ironman was easy and pain free? If it was then we would all be Ironmen. See this wonderful post from The Mediocre Athlete about her crotch problems while training for an Ironman!

2. Training for an Ironman is a year long process. It’s not something that you can get out of bed one day and decide I’m going to do an Ironman in 5 months. Well, you can, but it won’t be pretty! While at camp I remember hearing Kurt saying something along the lines as 80% of people out on course during IMLP will either be undertrained or overtrained with injuries. The remaining 20% will be in good shape (probably because they work with a coach and listen to their bodies!). I found this article by Lindsay Hyman a Pro Triathlon coach for Carmichael Training Systems very interesting and very similar to my beliefs on training. Last fall I was asked by a couple people if I wanted to do the REV3 Cedar Point Full (140.6) race this coming September. Of course, I wanted too. And I wanted too badly. But, I knew my body wasn’t ready. I know I could have completed the distance, but I actually want to be competitive when I do an Ironman. I know I won’t win my age group or anything, but I would like to at least place in the top half of age group. I also knew that I need to get another year of base training under my belt to ensure my body was ready for the time and work committment that it takes to train for an Ironman. It was one of the main reasons I choice to hire a coach for this race season. I wanted to improve and build a strong base for the future and my coach has guided me in doing just that. It was the best decision I have made thus far in my triathlon “career.” I look at my Ironman training as a two-year plan. I’m currently working on building my endurance and strength for next year when I will actually do the Ironman race. Most people only focus on their short-term goals, but it’s really the long-term goals that matter.

3. Lighter is better. I hate to say it, but IMLP is a course that you want to be lighter. If you have a few extra pounds then you may want to consider a flatter course such as Florida or Arizona. I’m not saying that if your heavy that you can’t do IMLP, but it is a tough and hilly course.

IMLP Bike Course has close to 5000 feet of climbing over the course of 112 miles

Of course, being triathletes we did a lot of talking about body composition and race weight. Kurt mentioned at one point that for about every pound of weight you drop you can gain 3 seconds per mile during the run. According to Runner’s World, a five pound weight loss can lead to two-minutes off your half-marathon time. That’s free time! Also, less weight can reduce injury and improve your biomechanics. I’m 20 pounds lighter than I was last year and I definitely notice the difference in my running and cycling. I definitely hope to be a little lighter for IMLP next year too.

4. Recover is key! I’ve always known this, but it was definitely reinforced at camp. After workouts everyone was either taking an ice bath and/or wearing some sort of compression tights/sleeves/socks. There is some research and people out there who don’t think that compression wear works, but I believe they do. Perhaps it’s the placebo effect, but I like my various compression tights, sleeves, and socks. Remember, recovery and rest is the time when your body adapts and repairs itself from workouts. It’s not the workouts that make you stronger, it’s the recovery time! Train hard and recovery harder!

~ Happy Training! 

Weight Lost, Race Weight, and Body Image

So… I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a long time, but I’ve kind of been living in denial.

I was fat.

Since November-ish I have lost 20 pounds. I’m 5’4″. I have weighed 145-ish pretty steadily since middle of college and have always kind of considered it to be my “happy weight” since I could never really lose any pounds. According to my height’s BMI, I should weigh between 108-145 pounds. Anything over 145 pounds was getting into the overweight zone. I did not want to be there. Of course, BMI isn’t the best tool to measure one’s body weight and health especially if your an athlete. I’ve always been pretty muscular. My junior year of high school I weighed 130 pounds and had 17% body fat. I skied, played lacrosse almost year around and rode horses competitively. My horses were boarded a half mile down the street from us so most nights I would walk down there to take care of them. I was lucky that my mom did all the morning chores, but I still did my fair share of mucking stalls, throwing hale bales, carrying 50 pound grain bags up a hill to the barn. It was work. I had muscles from all that work and sports. However, I’ve always had issues with body image. I have two younger sisters that are both tall, long legged, and naturally thin. I’m built more like my mother. Short with very short legs and a long torso. Because I am not tall and skinny like mys sisters, my father use to tell me I was fat and I shouldn’t eat something almost on a daily basis. It sucked! I mostly ignored his comments, but secretly they hurt. No one wants to be told they are fat, especially from one of their parents. In retrospect, I realized that it was bullying. A couple years ago I completely blew up at him about it and told him in not so many nice words that it wasn’t cool. No parents (or anyone for that matter) should tell their child that they are fat on a daily basis, especially if they really weren’t at the time. If your child does have some weight issues then it’s best to address them in more appropriate way.

Fast forward to my college years. I actually lost some weight my first year of college because I wasn’t eating as much as I should have been. Then sophomore year was when I started making some good friends and we did some partying. I always ate fairly healthy (or what I thought was healthy at the time) at the cafe, mostly sandwiches, salads and soups. And, of course, cookies. I have yet to meet a cookie I didn’t like (well, that’s not completely true since I don’t like caramel or butterscotch). I would go to the gym, but my workouts would consist of the stationary bike and the elliptical. I always read too during my workouts since I had a ton of homework as a science major. I hardly ever did any strength work and sometimes I would go to a yoga class once a week. I gained a few pounds in college, but I was pretty consistent around 135-ish. Then I graduated in December 2008 and my mother my diagnosed with a very rare and fatal neurological disease that killed her within 10 weeks of diagnosis. Obviously, when your body is under an immense amount of stress, you gain weight. Stress coupled with the constant flow of delicious food friends and family kept dropping off for us, I gained a few pounds. Later that fall I did a 4 week long bootcamp class that had 3 sessions a week at 5:30am. It was a ton of fun and I got into good shape, but I never really lost any weight. Then I started competing in triathlons in 2010 and trained (and won my AG) in my first half-ironman last year. Again, with all the training I was doing I never really lost any weight.

I never considered myself overweight, but I could tell that my body wanted to lose weight. Last fall I ordered a scale with body fat percentage. I honestly could care less what my actual weight in pounds is, but I do care about my body fat percentage since that is a better indicator of a healthy weight. My body fat percentage was around 25%. Not overweight, but leaning towards that. Last year I got a taste of podium finishes and I decided that I wanted to become more of a competitive athlete vs. a recreational one. I also decided that I prefer long course triathlons and I knew that an Ironman would be in my near future very soon. I decided to hire a triathlon coach and also a personal trainer to help me reach my goals. Both were the best decisions I have made in a very long time and I have both of them to thank for helping me get where I am today! So, thanks Mary and Kelsey! You ladies rock!

Anyway, last week I weighed myself and my scale read 125 lbs and 19.9% body fat! That is about 20 pounds since December-ish. I’m still not at my goal, but I’m very happy. Many people have been noticing lately too, probably because none of my clothes fit and I look a bit like a hot mess since I hate buying new clothes. The two new pairs of jeans I purchased at the end of April are now getting too big again too. Grr… I know I shouldn’t complain since most women would kill to have this problem.

But all this weight loss has got me to really thinking about the issue of weight and health. I have three prospectives on the issue:

  1. As a Woman – I think we’re all aware of the constant bombardment society, especially young girls, get from the media about being stick thin. It’s rather sad that our society focuses so much time and money to look like models and celebrities. The British Association of Model Agents looks for female models to be at least 5’8″ tall with the measurements of 34-24-24(1). The average BMI for top fashion models is 16.3. The healthy range is between 18 and 25. Fifty years ago the average woman was 5’3-4″ with a waist of 24-25″, and weighed about 120 lbs and wore a size 8(2). Today, the typical American woman is 5’4″, has a waist of 34-35″, weighs between 140-150 pounds and wears a size 12-14(2). Back when Marilyn Monroe was hott stuff, she wore a size 8. Today’s models generally wear a size 0. For most modelling agencies around the world, size 6 is now considered plus-size(3). Interestingly enough too, in order to cater women’s vanity, fashion designers have manipulated clothing sizes so truly larger sizes are marked small. A size 8 in the 1950s is now marketed as a size 4, although clothing sizes and fit vary according to designer(2). Then we have the issue of magazines and tv advertisements that air brush models to make them look more “beautiful.” We currently live in a society that strives for perfection. But what is perfection? In the United States, more than 10 million women and 1 million men are fighting a battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia(4). In the recent years I believe we have witnessed a push towards accepting and educating ourselves and young girls (and boys) that it’s okay (and healthy) to not look like Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Aniston. Our bodies do amazing things on a daily basis and we should love our bodies no matter what size, shape or color. 
  2. As a Public Health Student/Professional – There is no question that our country is on the verge of a major epidemic of obesity. Obesity is a common, serious, and expensive condition. More than one-third of American adults are currently obese in the United States(5). Between 2009-2010, almost 17% of US children ages 2-19 years old were obese(6). Obesity can lead to the development of other serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer(5). In 2008 the associated medical costs of obesity were estimated to be over $147 billion dollars(5). Current predictions for obesity trends, predict that more than 42% of American will be obese by 2030 if nothing is done to prevent it(7). It is also estimated that another third of Americans are overweight(8). Overweight is defined as having a BMI of 25-29.9 and obese is defined as having a BMI greater than 30. As most of us can decipher, the United States is in a serious health and economic crisis with the ever rising number of overweight and obese population. As individuals, we need to focus of keeping ourselves and our families (especially our children) active and healthy. As individuals, we can work towards creating a healthy community environment that will hopefully encourage more people to strive to live a healthy lifestyle. We must act now to change our future.
  3. As an Endurance Athlete – As an endurance athlete we are taught that being lean leads to better sports performance. We all work hard to reduce our body fat percentage, increase our lean body mass, and strive to achieve our optimal race weight. This past week I watched a USAT webinar on Body Composition Management presented by QT2 Systems founder and head coach, Jesse Kropelnicki. Kropelnicki is a very well respected coach in the sport and coaches some of the most elite athletes in the sport. I found this seminar interesting. Some things I agreed with him about and a few things I did not. On thing that I completely agreed with him about was the fact that athletes should eat to support their training and racing and not the other way around. The one thing that I didn’t really agree on was the body fat percentage of athletes for optimal performance. He believes that the optimal body fat should be between 5-18% depending on length of goal race, age, gender, race level and a few other factors. Now, various coaches, sports nutritionists and registered dietitians will give you different body fat measurements. Every person needs a certain percentage of essential body fat to our bodies can survive on a daily basis. According to Nancy Clark, men need about 3-5% essential fat whereas women need 11-14%(9). Very low fat range for men is between 7-10% and for women is between 14-17%. Anything below 15% for women become dangerous due to hormonal changes and lost of menstruation among other possible health risks. Personally, I believe that as athletes we should not necessarily chase the optimal number on the scale or percentage of body fat, but strive to achieve a healthy and “happy” weight for our bodies and remain injury free. 
I think that as we all travel through our own weight loss and/or fitness goals, that we remember that it isn’t necessarily the number on the scale that we should strive for, but a healthy and fit body that allows us to do the things we love. 
So, what do you think about the issue of weight, race weight, body fat, and body image?

1. http://www.associationofmodelagents.org/become-a-model/getting-started-as-a-model.html
2. http://blogs.webmd.com/pamela-peeke-md/2010/01/just-what-is-an-average-womans-size-anymore.html
3. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/01/most-models-meet-criteria-for-anorexia-size-6-is-plus-size-magazine/
4. http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/information-resources/general-information.php
5. http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
6. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db82.pdf
7. http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-05-07/obesity-projections-adults/54791430/1
8. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/overwt.htm
9. Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 4th Ed. 
~ Happy Training!