Now that she’s an Ironman, we asked Sarah to reflect on her experiences and share what she learnt from the day. Here are her top 5 tips for anyone out there embarking on their own first Ironman journey.
Intermittent Fasting; the latest in diet trends. Claiming health benefits from weight loss to prevention of chronic disease. Is it really the answer to the world’s health problems? We take a look at the evidence…
Intermittent fasting encompasses several different dietary behaviours, all of which focus on controlling the period in which food is consumed. These behaviours dictate a fasting and feeding schedule of various lengths. However, there isn’t a restriction placed on the TYPES of foods consumed during feeding times.
The three most popular methods that are circulating the health and fitness industry are:
Sleep is essential for general health and wellbeing.
The more we learn, the more we realise that increased sleep duration and quality is associated with better performance in sport and life. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep each day for optimal health (1). But it’s not clear exactly how much sleep athletes need. It’s been suggested athletes require more – closer to 9-10 hours (2). But duration is not the only factor – sleep quality is also important. Getting the right amount of good quality sleep has some incredible benefits for athletic performance. Let’s take a deeper look…
For an athlete, sleep is the ultimate form of recovery. It’s like a big sponge that soaks up fatigue overnight. This sponge assists with the recovery process so we can adapt from and absorb hard training. The bigger the sponge (sleep duration), the more water (fatigue) it can soak up.
Sarah came to see us in August 2017 with the primary goal to get off the couch and keep Hubby happy on the weekends after big training sessions. She’s gone from strength to strength and is gearing up for her Ironman debut at Port Macq in a few weeks time. We’re excited to share her story with you and can’t wait to see her become an IronWoman next month.
Name: Sarah Leuenberger
Current home location (where you live): Brisvegas
Profession background: Assistant bean counter studying to be an official bean counter (accounting)
Sport of Choice: Triathlon
How many years have you been training and competing in your sport? 3 years since my first triathlon
What got you into it in the first place?
I have always been interested in triathlon but was never brave enough to try one (plus I couldn’t run down the street even if a pack of wolves were chasing me :). My work offered free entry to a friendly...
It was the night before my first ever Olympic Distance Triathlon. After 10 months of preparation, I was ready, albeit incredibly nervous. Sitting down to a home-cooked dinner with my support crew, I felt like the biggest kid eating my large bowl of pasta, side of garlic bread, all washed down with pasito (dietitians orders). As I forced it down (nerves!) I looked enviously at my friends casually enjoying their pizza and wine without a care in the world. All I wanted to do was grab the Shiraz and neck it myself! I called it an early night and before I knew it, the alarm was going off. With a blink, it was race day. Ahhhh!!!
My first thought that morning was, “I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and not feel so nervous”. I knew I was prepared and I knew I would finish, but that didn’t stop the pre-race butterflies. I got myself ready, feeling like livestock being marked up; right arm tattoo, left calf tattoo, left ankle tag… It was soon time to leave for...
I stumbled across triathlon a little differently to most…
Last November my partner at the time encouraged me to sign up for Noosa Triathlon with him. You’re kidding right?! I couldn’t run 5km let alone 10km, could barely swim 1.5km, had never swum in the open water, am a little (OK a lot) afraid of bluebottles AND had only ridden a bike maybe 3 times since I was a kid. He persisted though and promised to help me with training so I thought, why not? Maybe it was time to try something new and with someone to help, how hard could it be? Half nervous and half excited, I signed up.
Three weeks later, he broke up with me. Not only was I completely heartbroken, I now had a $300 Noosa registration with no skills to use it. I deliberated for a few months about what to do. Some of my friends were incredibly encouraging whilst others disappointingly discouraging with comments like “Triathlon?! You can’t do that, you don’t even own a bike!” Gee...
Fruits and vegetables naturally grow in cycles and ripen during a certain season each year. Purchasing your fruits and vegetables when they naturally ripen is called ‘eating seasonally’, and eating with the seasons has some serious perks to it.
Choosing seasonal produce can help you get the most value out of your dollar. Fruits and vegetables picked during their season are in peak supply and this means the cost of growing, harvesting and transporting produce is much lower. If your produce is sourced locally from Australian farmers, the cost of transporting and storing the crops is reduced too. All of these savings are passed on to you, the consumer. For example, buying berries when they are in season is much friendlier on the wallet than buying in their offseason when prices can double or even triple!
Non-seasonal produce typically must be harvested before it is ripe, cooled to stall ripening, stored and transported...
As part of our Healthy Lifestyle Challenge, participants strive to include 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables each day. So what exactly is a serve?
These should not constitute your fruit serves of a daily basis but are OK to include occasionally.
We challenge you to use at...
We talk about periodising nutrition all the time, but WHAT the heck is it?
And HOW do you do it?
Nutrition Periodisation is the use of planned nutritional strategies aimed at maximising the results from specific training sessions to improve performance (1). It is just like having a training plan but for your nutrition, where your nutrition is planned around your training to get the most bang for your buck out of it.
Periodising nutrition primarily manipulates our glycogen stores, or our carbohydrate fuel tank.
There are a few ways dietary periodisation can be used:
This is where you train with low glycogen stores. For example, you train first thing in the morning on an empty stomach or you don’t quite top your glycogen stores back up between sessions. This allows your body to learn to run more efficiently on a lower fuel tank. For athletes that train twice or even three to four times a day, chances are they are probably running on lower...
Feeling sad, moody or a bit low? We all do from time to time. Did you know your gut can have a role in your mental health?
A number of studies have confirmed a close link between our gut bacteria and our brain; ever heard of the gut-brain axis? The gut microbiota (bacteria) greatly impacts our brains physiology, influencing our behaviour and response to stress. Research shows that a plant-rich diet high in probiotics and prebiotics helps to increase the richness and diversity of our gut microbiota and aids in our stress response and mental health. So cool!
To promote balanced moods and feelings of well-being: