I've been an elite athlete my entire life so I should know the ins and outs of everything right? Yah...nope.
I seem to have missed the boat on a couple things and thought I'd share them with you so you don't make the same mistakes :)
1) Running Shoes
Whomever said "all you need to do is show up and be ready to work" lied: most of us do not workout naked. Our equipment - be that shoes, shorts, helmet, sunglasses, etc - is just as important as showing up to practice on time and ready to go.
I learned this the hard way - I just assumed I could run on any shoe out there so I ran on my Nike Frees (which I love) that I got for free 4 years ago. Well, as my running distance increased, I suddenly started feeling some pain in my shin again. My parents, god bless them, finally convinced me to go get new shoes.
When I entered Running Warehouse jaws dropped: "You're running in THOSE?!??!"...."ummm...yah?" Needless to say I walked out with three new pairs of running shoes (Salming and Saucony - recommended by Sarah Piampiano) and no more pain in my shins. If only everything were fixed so easily!
Easy means EASY. Hard means hard. Easy days are JUST as crucial as hard days. Enough said.
Along the same lines as recovery - sleep is your body's chance to recover so that you are at your best in the following days.
After the Kona pro camp I had a three week slump - I was highly unmotivated, lethargic, slow, and just not myself. During these three weeks I had time to reflect and realized that 4 times a week I was commuting 240 miles a day just to save money on rent. At times I would get home at 10:30 pm only to wake up at 3:30am to get back into the city. I wonder why I was so tired?
Matt and I decided that in order to reach the next level I would have to move to San Francisco (which really was a no brainer). I am now proudly living in the Presidio with 4 extra hours a day. Yep, I am one happy camper :)
Pro tip: If you've had a tough training day eat extra protein right before bed (a scoop of Fluid protein powder with almond milk for me) - it will keep you sleeping through the night and aid in muscle recovery.
4) Eating Right
It is easy to get "food" wrong when you are an endurance athlete.
At the Pro Camp I was lucky enough to stay in a house with Pros Sarah Piampiano (Poo), Emma-Kate Lidbury (Eccles), Anna Russell (Trekkie), Laura Siddall (Poppy), and Holly Lawrence (Knuckles). Watching what they ate and discussing with Matt the importance of eating right really allowed me to understand the complexities of nutrition/fueling.
Suffice it to say I had been doing it all wrong and have learned a tremendous amount - more to come on eating right in my next blog post :)