One of the most important things I've learned as an athlete is to fuel right at the right times. When I finish a set of skate intervals or a long distance run, for example, I want to help my body start its recovery process as soon as it can. If I do this well I feel better, am ready to go for the day's next training session, and am helping prevent injury and fatigue. For example, when I have cereal and soy milk after training I am benefiting from the carbohydrates that help restore my muscle glycogen stores and the protein that helps repair and build my muscles. The combination of these two and a lot of water help replenish my energy stores, re-hyrdate, and re-build so that I can come back stronger. But, I got in the rut of eating the same cereal and the same soy milk each time, and it was time to find something new to mix it up.
Video taken during a threshold combo session at our new range at the Mckenzie-Intervale Ski Jumping and Aerial Complex in Lake Placid. As I head up "flag pole hill" towards the upper range I pass by the freestylist warming up on the tramps before practicing their jumps at the pole. It is pretty unique and neat to have this multi-purpose training facility up and running. Some of our country's best skiers are training here, like Ryan St. Onge, aerialist, Hannah Kearny, freestyle mogul skier, and scores of other young skiers, jumpers and biathletes.
Last week I put Mix1 to the test with my biggest training week of the year (and of my life actually) and it was perfect! I am happy to have something that works well for me, is convenient, tastes really good (not like other chalky protein drinks) and comes from one of my favorite (and birth) states - Colorado. Created from pretty simple ingredients like olive oil, whye protein and cane juice, for this is an easy option. And since I have a tendency to make things more complicated than necessary, finding this simplicity was key.
Mix1 covers post-training nutrition, but for fuel during training I've experimented with a few options other than the standard power bar that keep me satiated and satisfied. Below is a recipe for a rice-krispy-like bar that offers both immediate and sustained energy with the combination of honey, currants and marshmallow. And the puffed kashi and rice are simple carbohydrates that are easy to digest and provide the needed carbohydrates for energy.
Lemon and Honey Bars (basically glorified Rice Krispy Treats)
10 oz marshmallows
3 Tbls honey
2 Tbls butter
1 Tsp Lemon extract
6 cups Kashi puffed rice (or Rice Krispies)
Desired amount of currants and almonds
Combine and melt marshmallows, honey, and butter. (I use a double boiler, but a regular saucepan will work too.) Mix with dry ingredients and spread out in a 9x13" cake pan. Let cool over night, then cut into desired square sizes. Keep in a tupperware container in the freezer or fridge and enjoy when needed. At first I individually wrapped some, but realized it was just a waste of plastic and that in this summer's muggy heat they became quite soft. So - keep your stock in the fridge.
Lake Placid hosted the Ironman last week, and one of my favorite reasons why I like it here in Placid is that one my other sponsors, Cassidy and Trigger Point Technologies [ www.tpmassageball.com ]is a part of it. He and his company are from Austin, TX - a place I probably won't make it to with biathlon. So, when he is here working the Ironman Expo I get a chance to catch up, chat, check out new products or give feedback. Also on the topic of recovery, I use his massage rollers and balls to work out kinks, help massage my legs or any sore points that need attention or just plain get the circulation going before training.
I am just finishing up the third and final week of this training block, with one more interval session to go. (Maeve - I'm on Scheafer Hill tomorrow!) On Monday I head into a low training week that ends with competitions in Jericho, VT. The following week I head to Ostersund, Sweden and Ruhpolding, Germany for this year's third National Team Camp.