Seared Tuna With Watercress Salad

Jannine Myers

This week’s fast, fresh, and easy dinner is from Laura King. 

11072402_10155366351470440_1342772168_n

Seared Tuna

Laura gets her tuna from her local San A supermarket; she buys a large, whole piece and slices it up. The tuna is quickly seared on the grill; you don’t want to sear it for too long or it will taste dry.

Watercress Salad

For the salad: use equal parts spinach and watercress, half an orange, 100g feta, 1 avocado, 1/4 cup walnuts. Add your favorite light dressing; Laura uses Yuzu Pon for a light dressing, with a little bit of reduced balsamic vinegar drizzled over. You can buy Yuzu Pon from any Japanese supermarket.

yuzu ponzu

Tips:

  • Since watercress is grown in water, you can soak it in water, store in the fridge for a couple of days, and then rinse well before eating (to remove any pollutants)
  • Laura also served garlic bread with the tuna and salad; she rubbed olive oil and garlic into pita bread and toasted it under the grill.

#wootcharmruns!

Well, hadn’t thought of that! 

Ways to get your kids or friends out running trails with you

#wootcharmruns!

If you missed our kick off of The WOOT10 back in January, it was our first shot at doing a trail series on Okinawa. The Event is still on WOOT’s page and is a charm bracelet with 9 charms representing each trail and a tenth charm for the finishers. It has been so much fun and very popular, selling out the first set of bracelets in early February. The original intent was to get women out on every trail, and to offer the challenge of small goals to get to the final goal of finishing the series in 2015.

And it’s gone in directions I never would have thought of:

1) The Mom/Daughter Challenge. My daughter became keen on the idea of running trails soon after she saw the charms come in. At first, I told her no as I couldn’t both run the trail events and run with her. Luckily, our friend and her Japanese tutor, Megumi offered to run with my daughter so that she could get a charm and her own charm bracelet, just like we have. And so I was introduced to the idea of the WOOT10 as a Mom/Daughter challenge.

laura gettin charm

Use it as a way to get your daughters out running with you or to make sure you get up and run too. Do it as a combined effort, or each get one. When you think back on your best family memories, or the ones you can laugh about now, maybe they have something to do with a combined struggle: getting out of bed on a Saturday morning, sharing in the completion of a goal you didn’t believe you could complete, setting aside time to be together unplugged and outside. Years from now, you’ll look back and have the memories of Okinawa and the charms you earned together.

2) Girlfriends’ Challenge. Another great way to get your friends out with you, is to do like Nancy did. Nancy is an adventurous WOOTr who has charted out her own trails around Yomitan and led other women out with her. For this challenge, she bought 2 extra bracelets, for 2 of her friends to join her in the fun. Now they get to meet, do the trails and snap their selfies together and always share those memories.

3) Share your adventure with your family. Kelly has a super energetic kid and she took the challenge and made it a family affair. She shared, “I get home and Riley runs up and says, “What charm did you get today? Can I see it?” I let him guess which one is new and he sits with the bracelet intently studying it. When I come back from a run without a charm he is extremely disappointed!”

Some time later, Kelly takes her family on the same route, hiking it to show them where we ran and what the charm represents. What a cool way to extend your Okinawa trails to your family.

family at yamada

This has been so much fun doing together and seeing each of the WOOT10’s participant’s success. Although we set it for the year of 2015 to complete the series, many are near done and Mary had completed the series in about 8 weeks.

More challenges and adventure await!

Chicken and Brown Rice Burger With Artichoke Sauce

Jannine Myers

As runners who are conscious about what we eat, and what we feed ourselves and families, I want to try and make meal times a little easier by providing regular posts of some of the meals I make at home that are fresh, fast, and easy.

Tonight’s meal comprises of a ground chicken and brown rice burger, topped with an artichoke sauce, and served with roasted carrots and zucchini, and a small salad.

P1060613

Ground Chicken and Brown Rice Burgers with Artichoke Sauce

  • 2 (6-ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts (reserve 4 tbsps of marinade and drain the rest)
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. To make the artichoke sauce, place artichoke hearts in a food processor, plus the reserved 4 tbsps marinade, and pulse until chopped. Add capers, garlic, chile flakes, 1/2 cup of the parsley and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt and pulse until finely chopped. Set the sauce aside.
  2. Place ground chicken in a large bowl and add 1/2 cup of the cooked rice, black pepper and onion. Finely chop remaining 1/4 cup parsley and add it to the bowl along with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using moist hands to prevent sticking, form mixture into 4 or 5 patties, each about 3/4 inch thick and 4 inches in diameter. Place remaining 1/2 cup rice on a small plate. Coat each patty with rice; the rice should stick nicely to the patties.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add patties and lower heat to medium-high. Cook, turning once, until they are browned and crisp on the outside and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Serve patties topped with artichoke sauce.

Roasted Carrots and Zucchini

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Clean and slice the carrots and zucchini (thick slices are good). Add to a baking tray and season with salt and pepper. Pour a little olive oil over the vegetables and make sure they are all coated. Bake for approximately 25 mins (or longer, depending on how well done you like your vegetables).

Side Salad

To save time, I buy pre-packaged bags of salads from our local San A supermarket; you can find a variety of leaves and cut vegetables. I’ve added some feta cheese and sliced red onion for flavor and topped with a light salad dressing.

Yukiko Delatte – Running Strong After A Major Injury Setback

Jannine Myers

This week I want to introduce you to 51 year old triathlete, Yukiko Delatte.

Yukiko is a distinguished masters athlete (here in Okinawa) who is making a comeback after being forced to take time off due to a lower back injury. I was astounded by her recent PR victory on the Okinawa marathon course, not just because of her impressive 3:29 finish, but because she managed to run so well after struggling so long with terrible back pain. Curious to know more, I asked Yukiko if she would be willing to share with us her training and racing journey over the past three years.

11041420_10205176907636816_791824040_n 11051600_10205176907756819_272307890_n

What was your previous best time on the Okinawa Marathon course, and how long ago was it?

About 3 years ago – 3:37:43

Describe your injuries (before this year’s Okinawa Marathon), and what you did to treat them.

Progression Of Events Leading Up To Injuries:

  • Tour De Okinawa Nov 2011
  • Naha MarathonDec 2011
    Finished in 3:28; back pain started
  • Miyako Ultra 100KJan 2012
    Finished in around 11 hrs, but experienced back pain
  • Okinawa MarathonFeb 2012
    Finished in 3:37, back pain getting worse
  • Miyako Strongman TriathlonApr 2012
    1st place, but this race really took a toll on lower back
  • All-Japan Road Bike Race in IwateMay 2012
    Opportunity to ride with female Olympic level athletes; didn’t want to pass up. Back pain is now crippling.
  • Ayahashi TriathlonJun 2012
    Final race before back pain became too severe to continue training and racing.

My back problems probably began before I ran the Naha marathon in December 2011. I had been training pretty intensely for the Tour de Okinawa (weekends consisted of a 275km bike ride at 28km/hr pace, followed by a 6 mile run, and swim training too), and two weeks after the race I ran the Naha marathon (finishing in 3:28) without having trained for it. It was during the Naha marathon that my lower back began to hurt.

While training for the Miyako Strongman a few months later, my back pain began to get worse and my running pace got slower and slower. It was depressing to look at my watch, so I stopped wearing it and used a heart rate monitor instead. I gave myself a goal of keeping my HR between 158 and 163 beats per/min, and if it dropped to 140 I would force myself to pick up the pace.

Finally, by the time I finished the Ayahashi Triathlon in June of 2012, my back was done; I could no longer continue training or racing like I had been. It was at this point that I began to visit various sports doctors to try and get a firm diagnosis and the proper medical care. My performance had deteriorated so much that I could no longer keep up with the faster male cyclists, and at my lowest point I could not even keep up with the beginner females.

I went for MRIs at both the Naval Hospital on base and Rokuto Hospital off base, but the MRIs did not reveal the problem. After that I started a rehabilitation program which consisted of physical therapy, and at the same time I went for regular chiropractic treatments, as well as massage. I also went to another hospital to receive a cortisone shot to help relieve some of the pain.

Once you had recovered enough to resume your training, what changes did you need to make? And can you provide an example of what a typical week of training looks like for you?

The main difference is that I used to run and ride long distances all the time; now my overall training time is much less but it is intense. I get up every day at 4:30am, make breakfast and lunch for my kids (I am a single parent and I work long shifts at a hospital, so time management is very important), then I get on my bike trainer and ride anywhere from 90 minutes to 2.5 hours. Later in the morning (or evening if I work a day shift), I go for a run but I don’t give myself a set time or distance; I just run as long as I feel like it, but usually between 3 and 6 miles. I like to do some type of fartlek free play; if I see someone running ahead of me I will try to catch them. Or, if I feel good, I try my best to run the last 3 to 5 miles at a 7:20 min/mile pace, and run as hard as I can during the last mile.

11015771_10205176907796820_28733292_n

I also pay more attention now to my running form; if I feel pain in my knee while running then I try to change my form to see if it makes a difference. It has also helped that I switched from lightweight to cushioned shoes.

One more thing; I never allow myself to take more than two consecutive rest days.

Do you have a coach?

No. I use a Nike running application, but I have to adjust the distance due to my schedule. My runs are much shorter than they used to be but much more intense, yet my performance has been getting better and better.

What was your goal time for this year’s Okinawa Marathon?

I was hoping for 3:19:59, and was sure I could make at least 3:25, but during the last miles my pace dropped and I ended up finishing in 3:29:09. I think though, that considering my back pain, my actual finish time was probably more realistic.

What is your next goal?

My next goal is the Ayahashi 10k. I wanted to do the Half Marathon and try to PR, but I missed out on registering before the race closed. So now I will try and run the 10k at between 4:20 to 4:30km/min pace (approx. 6:46 to 7:05min/mile pace).

I am also running the Tsutsuji (Azalea Flower Run) 20k race this weekend. My goal is to ride to the race (60km), and then attempt to run the race at 4:45km/min pace (7:10min/mile pace). I’d like to place among the top 3 females. After the race I’ll ride back home, another 60km.

Finally, do you have any advice or tips for those recovering from injuries?

If you are dealing with some type of sports injury, try various types of treatments; don’t limit yourself to just one diagnosis and recommendation. Also, try to maintain a certain level of fitness by doing whatever your body is capable of doing (without aggravating the injury). And if you need to take medication at times to control the pain, then do that too.

When I couldn’t run at my usual pace, I felt kind of depressed. So to take my focus off my pace, I started focusing on my heart rate instead – that helped a lot. I couldn’t see how fast or slow I was running, but I could see by my heart rate if I was working hard enough, and that helped to distract me and keep me motivated.

The main thing is to listen to your body and do what feels comfortable and enjoyable; you’ll be a much happier runner!

11040803_10205176913476962_1392017980_n

 

 

Baking With Hemp Seeds

Seeds offer so many nutritional benefits; they’re high in fiber, as well as various minerals and vitamins, and they’re a reasonably good source of protein. Pumpkin, sunflower, chia, and flax seeds are often seen in recipes, but you don’t often see recipes that call for hemp seeds.

Hemp seeds are produced from the plant Cannabis Sativa, and while it might be easy to confuse hemp with marijuana (which belongs to the same plant family), hemp actually contains less than 1% of the psychoactive drug THC (delta-9-tetrahydro-cannabinol). It’s close relationship to marijuana however might be the reason we don’t hear so much about it, and yet it’s nutritional benefits are super impressive:

Hemp contains:

- All 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce.
- A high protein percentage of the simple proteins that strengthen immunity and fend off toxins.
- Eating hemp seeds in any form could aid, if not heal, people suffering from immune deficiency diseases. This conclusion is supported by the fact that hemp seed has been used to treat nutritional deficiencies brought on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition blocking disease that causes the body to waste away.3
- Nature’s highest botanical source of essential fatty acid, with more essential fatty acid than flax or any other nut or seed oil.
- A perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid — for cardiovascular health and general strengthening of the immune system.
- A superior vegetarian source of protein considered easily digestible.
- A rich source of phytonutrients, the disease-protective element of plants with benefits protecting your immunity, bloodstream, tissues, cells, skin, organs and mitochondria.
- The richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids.

http://preventdisease.com/news/13/021913_The-Top-10-Healthiest-Seeds-on-Earth.shtml

Ready to try some hemp seeds? If so, order them online and sprinkle them on salads, add them to smoothies or yogurt, or enjoy them with your oatmeal. Or, try these Apple Hemp Seed Muffins; I made them recently for the WOOT Higashi Retreat, knowing that the ladies would need something wholesome to snack on after their runs.

P1060472

Ingredients

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

1 cup oats

¾ cup hemp seeds

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp sea salt

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 grated apple

½ cup pure maple syrup

¾ cup almond milk

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup organic raisins

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients, sifting in the baking powder and baking soda. Stir until well combined. In another bowl, combine apple, maple syrup, almond milk, and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, and gently fold and mix through until just combined. Add the raisins and gently fold through. Fill a sprayed muffin pan with large spoonfuls of the mixture. Bake for approximately 21 to 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.

Adapted from http://plantpoweredkitchen.com/apple-hemp-muffins-vegan-wheat-free-oil-free/

 

Essential Runs For Busy Runners

Jannine Myers

It’s a borrowed post this week, one from Coach Jay Johnson. His advice on how to make the most of your training when you lead a hectic and busy life seems somehow very appropriate at this time. But first, I have a confession to make; I’ve been so inspired lately by some of the long and intense workouts some of my friends have been doing, but if the truth be told, a little discouraged as well.

Have you ever felt like you are one hundred percent committed to achieving your training goals, but you know you can’t commit because you just don’t have the time? That’s me – at least for now. I want to train, and I want to train hard, like all my friends, but time is not on my side and my priorities are ordered such that training is not at the top of my list. It’s on my list, just not at the top of my list.

So when I see friends posting about their double workouts, brick workouts, cross-training classes, and even coffee breaks between workouts, I’m excited for them and most definitely inspired by them, but also a little discouraged because their progress unintentionally draws attention to my lack of progress.

With that said, Coach Jay Johnson posted some practical advice for runners like me, who through current uncontrollable circumstances, cannot commit to a greater level of training. If you’re in the same boat, read what he has to say:

juggler-1

By Coach Jay Johnson

Most of my online coaching clients have busy, hectic lives.  Running is not and cannot be their first priority.  I’ve had to adapt my coaching over the past few years as I spent my first 15 years coaching primarily collegiate and professional athletes.  What works for collegiate 1,500m runners may not necessarily work for a mom who works full-time.

Here are a few things a busy person should consider when they look at their training.

First, you need to do a long run each week.  The aerobic fitness you gain from a long run is tremendous, even if you’re running shorter races like the 5k.  If you’re running a marathon this run is obviously the most important run of the week.

You need to get in one workout a week.  Most of the year this will be a workout that develops the aerobic metabolism.  A few weeks out of the year this needs to be a workout where you run race pace, i.e. the pace you’ll want to run in an upcoming race.  The race pace workout will develop your aerobic system as well as the anaerobic metabolism.

Don’t worry about running seven days a week.  You don’t need to.  Yes, you will run faster if you are active seven days a week, but this is where you need to embrace the principle of consistency.  If you stay injury-free you will be consistent in your training; a consistent runner will race well after they put weeks and weeks of work together.  You can cross-train one or two days a week or you can go on a brisk walk the day after your long run.  Be active seven days a week but don’t think you have to run every day.

Be willing to take days off when life stress is high. The obvious example is when you’re sick.  Simple rule of thumb is that you can’t go back to training until you are 85-90% well.  It’s the same with work travel or big deadlines at work.  If you normally do a 45 minute run but don’t have time, just do some general strength and mobility (GSM) for 10 minutes and call it a day.  If you try to train through life stress, you run a higher risk of getting sick a few days later. You have a finite amount of energy and you need to be honest about how much energy you can devote to training when life is busy.

That’s a short list.  There is much more we can cover…and I will keep coming back to this concept of how people with busy lives should train.

Review Of The Buddy Pouch

Jannine Myers

Several weeks ago one of my former clients asked me about the possibility of reviewing a product that she had seen at a race expo, a product called the Buddy Pouch. My first thought, when I saw pictures of it, was that it was similar to the various types of running belts that are sold with zip-up pouches, and since I am not a fan of running belts I wasn’t impressed. Upon closer inspection however, I realized that the pouch had no belt attached, and so I agreed to test the product and write up a review on it.

I contacted the company that sells the Buddy Pouches – therunningbuddy.com – and they generously agreed to send me their medium size pouch to test and review (thank you Katey Warren). Below is a summary of the pouch specifications, and my thoughts after running with it:

  • Dimensions: 6” L x 4” W
  • Water-resistant inner pocket
  • Made with dri-fit material; keeps everything dry and sweat-free
  • Made to fit most popular phones, including the iPhone 6™ and Samsung Galaxy S V™
  • Available in Black, Black/Yellow, and Black/Pink

The Buddy Pouch has a back flap, which slides down the backside of your waistband, while the pouch sits on the front side and secures itself with powerful magnets that are built into the material. Since it has no belt or band, it should, in theory, not bounce.

P1060474

The morning I ran with my pouch, I decided to load it up with my phone (yes, that is an old-school flip phone you see; I’ll upgrade one day………), two Hammer gels, my ID card, and my house key.

P1060460

The pouch, stocked with several items, felt a little heavy and bulky at first, and my immediate assumption was that even if it didn’t bounce it would still feel uncomfortable. To be honest, it did feel uncomfortable when I first started running, but that was because I realized that the magnets were not aligned on one side of the pouch. Once I readjusted the pouch so that all the magnets were aligned, it felt much more secure – though still not entirely comfortable.

I started my run downhill and although there was no bouncing, I was initially bothered by the bulky feeling – that is, until I settled into a steady pace and actually forgot that I was wearing it at all. A couple of miles into my run, I reached a hill and proceeded to do a series of hill repeats, all the while still unbothered by the pouch sitting on my waistband.

After completing my hill repeats I made my way back home, and ironically, my cellphone started ringing. I never take my phone with me on runs (since I have no way of carrying it), and even though I only took it with me that morning for the sole purpose of testing my new Buddy Pouch, I did not anticipate anyone calling me at 7am in the morning. As it turned out, the call was relatively urgent, so my Buddy Pouch earned itself a bonus rating point!

All in all, I’d say the Buddy Pouch is a reasonable product that would suit runners who don’t want to carry their items in a belt bag, but who would prefer a storage option that’s larger than clothing and other accessory-type pockets. The Buddy Pouch is also very versatile, in that it can be adapted to other non-running functions and activities (cycling, walking, gardening, shopping, traveling, etc.), and it comes in two other sizes. Compared to other similar products, the price is competitive and shipping to Stateside addresses is fast and free.

Check out all of the Running Buddy’s products here, and leave a comment if you already own a Buddy Pouch.

Do You Start Your Races Too Fast?

Jannine Myers

We’re told over and over again that a negative split is preferable when it comes to racing, and yet, over and over again we start out too fast – and, finish too slow. So why, when we know it’s better to keep a conservative pace at the start of a race, do we often run our first miles faster than our last?

I think there are several reasons actually:

1. Performance Anxiety – leads to a rush of adrenaline and in worst-case scenarios, seriously impaired performance. If the anxiety is minimal, an athlete might still be capable of running well but he or she may make a few minor mistakes, one of which is losing focus and taking off from the start line at too fast a pace.

So, how do runners control feelings of anxiety? A few strategies include:

  • Visualization – sometimes it can help to spend a few minutes actually visualizing yourself running your race and keeping a well-controlled pace from start to finish. I often practice this the day before and the day of the race; it helps me to stay calm.
  • Deep Breathing – this is crucial for anxious runners. It works best when you momentarily remove yourself from the “stressful” environment, so if you’re at the race grounds already, try and find a solitary spot, or if that’s not possible just close your eyes. Take calm, deep breaths, inhaling at a count of 4 or 5 seconds, and then holding for a few seconds before slowly exhaling at a count of approximately 7 seconds (repeat 10 times). http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/treatment/breathing-exercises
  • Focus on the things within your control – forget about all the stuff that you can’t control, for example, the weather, or the performance of other runners. Get your mind focused on “you,” and remind yourself that no matter how nervous or anxious you are feeling, you have trained hard and your body is physically prepared to run a good race.

2. Fear of not being able to pick up the pace later on; I admit that I am guilty of this one. I often convince myself that if I take it too slow to start with, I won’t have what it takes to pick up the speed later on. It seems more logical to start out at a fast but controllable pace, and then try to hold that pace for the remainder of the race (which, by the way, is not a bad strategy either; even-pacing can get good results too). But if you start with a pace that’s too fast, you’re likely to either end up with stomach cramps that will slow you down, or you’ll eventually “hit the wall” and finish miserably.

There’s really only one way to convince yourself that you don’t need to take off like a bat out of hell, and that’s by simulating your pacing strategy during training runs. A lot of runners for example, incorporate progression runs into their long runs; a progression run is where you deliberately start our your run at a comfortable pace but finish the last miles at a faster pace. If you already know what it feels like to start out conservatively and finish strong, then you’ll go into your race with enough confidence to know that you don’t need to reach your peak pace within the first few miles.

3.You’re just wired to always be one of the “rabbits” – you just can’t help yourself. The race environment gets you so pumped up that you can almost see the adrenaline bursting through your veins; as soon as you hear the starter gun there is no holding you back. The problem though, is that the rabbit almost always burns himself out before reaching the finish line.

If you’re a rabbit, here’s what you should do:

  • Move back to a slower starting corral, if that’s possible. Or, if there are no corrals, just move to the middle or back of the crowd. You’ll be less tempted to fly across the starting line if you’re not lined up with all the other rabbits (plus, it’s hard to run fast when you’re sandwiched between hundreds of other runners)
  • Set a pace alert on your garmin, and make a pact with yourself to slow down every time you hear your garmin beeping. Or, check your time after the first mile and if you need to adjust your pace, then do so.
  • Don’t negotiate with yourself; one of the reasons that rabbits often hit the wall is because they mistakenly assume (while running their early miles faster than planned), that since they feel really strong, that they’ll continue to feel that way throughout the entire race.

Those are all the tips I have, but one final piece of advice – picture in your mind the image below and determine not to be that guy (or girl).

cartoon

A Smoothie Recipe To Prevent Post-Race Illness

Jannine Myers

Last week I ran a half marathon, and knowing how cold it would be – for me, at least – I was worried that the combination of feeling cold before and after the race, and the intensity at which I would run, would result in post-race illness. It’s not uncommon for the body’s immune system to take a beating after a high-intensity endurance race, and since I’ve experienced that outcome more than once, I was determined to take some preventative measures this time.

Nutrition has always been my key priority beyond training itself, and so for the purpose of strengthening my immune system, I searched online for “Immunity Booster Smoothie” recipes, and chose the one that I felt would deliver the most effective results. I chose this recipe from minimalistbaker.com, and I believe it may have helped my recovery.

If any of you had seen me the morning of the run (and I know several of you did, and can attest to this), my lips were a dark blue/purple color, and my teeth were literally chattering uncontrollably. By the time I got home later that afternoon and finished soaking in a warm bath, the cold symptoms had already started: the runny nose, head congestion, watery eyes, and general muscle aches. I had to take a decongestant before I went to bed to make sure I’d sleep okay. But guess what? The next morning – no more cold symptoms. The only symptoms that remained were sore leg muscles from running a hard race.

So getting back to the smoothie – I drank a full glass daily for seven days prior to the race. And here’s why I believe it helped:

  • Sweet potato – One medium sweet potato will provide well over 100% of your daily needs for vitamin A, as well as 37% of vitamin C, 16% of vitamin B-6, 10% of pantothenic acid, 15% of potassium and 28% of manganese. You’ll also find small amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin and folate. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/281438.php
  • Orange juice – Vitamins A and C, Folate, and Copper – all help to promote a healthy immune system
  • Ginger, Cinnamon, and Turmeric – all great anti-inflammatory agents, and excellent for warding off colds
  • Flaxseed – contains ALA and lignans, both of which decrease inflammatory reactions and boost immunity http://www.flaxcouncil.ca/english/pdf/FF_Immune_R4.pdf
  • Almond Butter – contains Vitamin E, a crucial immune booster

Ready to try it? Here’s the recipe:

Immune Booster Orange Smoothie (modified from original version)

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 small cooked sweet potato (I kept the skin on, to preserve more nutrients)
  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1/4 tsp each ground turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger (if using fresh ginger, use 1 tsp chopped)
  • 1/2 Tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • Large handful ice (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. To bake your sweet potato, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and split in half lengthwise. Lightly oil and place face down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until soft – 25-30 minutes. (Or, buy one that’s already cooked, from San A)
  2. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
  3. Pour into a glass and garnish with extra cinnamon if desired.

Enjoy!

P1060415

You’re a Speedy 5k/10k Runner, But Are You A Speedy Double Race Runner?

Jannine Myers

Ever heard of double racing? Some of you have probably heard about double races, but if you haven’t then keep reading.

Bob Anderson, the founder of Runners World magazine, is also known for his running, photography, publishing, and film producing skills, but beyond those, he can also be credited for creating what is now officially known as Double Racing.

2014 San Jose Double Febv

While some people think that Double Racing is basically just running two races in one day, there are a couple of key rules that distinguish it as something quite different. First, it is technically one race, done in two segments – the first a 10k, the second a 5k – with a timed recovery break in between. The 5k race begins exactly 105 minutes after the start of the 10k, so the length of each person’s recovery break will differ depending on how fast or slow they complete the 10k.

The Double Race is all about strategy – knowing how to pace yourself through the 10k and then learning how to make the most of your recovery time – these are both important factors to consider. In fact, to show just how seriously the race organizers are about race strategy and optimizing recovery periods, each race has a Recovery Zone that includes nutrition, hydration, exercise equipment (for those who want to stay loose and keep moving), massage, and several other forms of physical therapy.

6D6T5965

One other distinguishing factor about Double Races, is that winning is based on a runner’s total race time; that means that a win in the 10k or 5k will not necessarily result in an overall win. The best Double Race competitors are those who have learned how to run both race segments with equal or near-equal pacing and stamina.

Interested yet? If so, click here to find a list of upcoming events (sorry Okinawa WOOTrs, you’ll have to make your way to the States if you wish to participate, or maybe Bali might grab your attention). There are Double Races held in California, Florida, Illinois, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, and as far abroad as Africa, Greece, Mexico, and Indonesia (Bali). For more information, check out their website, and let us know if you have completed a Double Race before – we’d love to hear your feedback.

For tips on how to train for a Double Race, click here.

Current Records:

Men’s World Record Holder: 31 year old Julius Koskei from Kenya – Time: 44:24 (10k time 29:45 / 5k time 14:39)

Women’s World Record Holder: 25 year old Risper Gesabwa from Kenya – Time: 48:45 (10k time 32:55/5k time 15:49)