While I attend USAT Level 1 Coaching Clinic, I took a class taught by Bob Seebohar in Metabolic Efficiency Training: Teaching the body to burn more fat.

I left this class with a completely new view on daily and training nutrition.

Before attending Bob's class, I was the typical "carb junky". I ate cereal for breakfast, snacked on crackers and sports bars throughout the day, ate sandwiches for lunch and normally had some pasta or pizza for dinner. I did this because I thought I had to replenish my carbohydrate stores from high intensity training while preparing for Ironman.

What if I were to tell you, that is unnecessary? You are probably thinking, she's crazy. And that was my initial response to Bob. But over the last two weeks I have started on Bob's idea of metabolic efficiency and I have noticed changes in my body composition, my energy, my attitude, and soon I hope to see these results in my training and racing.

Just like preparing a periodization plan for racing, a nutrition periodization plan is just as important. Without this your best training plan can fail, you can have bonking issues, not be properly prepare for before, during and after exercise, and also experience GI distress (this was my BIG issue!) It is important to understand what nutrients are needed during the different phases of training.

The purpose of Metabolic Efficiency Training is to teach your body to use carbohydrates and fats more efficiently. To do this it is very important to train your body to use fat as fuel.

How do you train your body to use fat as fuel? The best time to do this is during the preparatory or early season base building while exercises are done at a lower intensity.

  1. Start with daily nutrition. Minimize the amount of carbohydrates you take in by concentrating on eating lean protein, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, and minimal "healthy" carbs (whole grains).
  2. Before, during and after exercise do not use any sports nutrition products that contain calories when exercise is less than 2-3 hours. Consume only water and electrolytes (if needed) during exercise. This will train and improve your body to oxidize fat.
  3. It is not important to "eat" for recovery during most training sessions during this cycle. Rehydrating with water and electrolytes can be done and a healthy lite snack of lean protein and fruits and veggies is okay. Avoid sports nutrition products and high carb rich foods.
Once you have trained your body to become metabolically efficient you will not crave large amounts of food post workout. Having the right amount and sources of protein, fiber, and fat you will maintain fullness longer lasting for about 3 to 4 hours. If you haven't achieved this in 2-4 weeks your nutrition may have been a bit off.

Again this step is only to become metabolically efficient. As your training plan changes and you move into more intense and higher volume workouts your nutrition changes. But there are ways to make sure you are still staying metabolically efficient.

Here is a link to Bob's website:
and his blog:

You can also contact me, Coach Sandy at for more information.

5K Run Test

One of the most effective ways to gage your current 5K ability is to do a 5K run test. This test should be done on a measured track and performed on 'fresh' legs, recording heart rate during the test (without looking at it or using it as a guide) can also be very beneficial.

5K run test:
4 X 1600 with :90 seconds of rest in between each mile.

The average pace for all 4 X 1600 is used to determine 5K pace.

Doing field tests are a great way to identify strengths and weaknesses, set realistic goals, and adapt training plans to achieve optimal performance. Swim/bike/run field test should be performed on a 4-6 week basis.

I performed this test on Charlie at Leon Track on Monday. His results were much better than he expected. I took a side shot video of his running stride to help him improve on running form. We can pan through freeze frames and analyse his, foot strike, body lean, arm swing, etc. Form, technique, and learning proper bio-mechanics will help Charlie improve his run without gaining any physical ability.

If you have any questions about swim/bike/run testing please contact me.

New Beginnings

Let go of the past and go for the future. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.  - Henry David Thoreau

Today is the first step to changing my future to a dream I have imagined. It all starts with a drive north to Memphis, TN. I will be participating in a weekend clinic to get my certification as a USAT Level I Coach.

During the past seven years I have grown as an athlete, I have learned countless tips from fellow friends, family, and athletes. Over that time, I have developed a true love and passion for the sport of Triathlon.

My first race was Madeira Beach Triathlon in 2005, this race was also my first open water swim and my first 5K. From the moment I crossed the finish line, I was hooked. The next semester at FSU I signed up for a Triathlon P.E. elective and spent the Fall semester learning the rules of the sport, learning what it takes to train and how much dedication it takes to succeed.

From then on, it turned into a new challenge each season. From sprint races, to trying an Olympic, to getting up the nerve to doing a half iron (which was a big deal, I had never run 13.1 in my life before that day), next came a marathon, and then tackling the infamous Ironman.

I've learned so much from so many amazing people I've met along the way. Chuck Davis was the first person in Tallahassee to take me under his wing, show me the ropes, introduce me to many of my now dear friends. George Palmer and Bob Keller have been a true inspiration to watch and learn from, Mike Boll and the FL Ironman 2009 crew all played a part in bringing me to the finish line of my first Ironman. The list goes on and on with who has touched my life, influenced my love for the sport, and taught me what I know about the sport. Along with GWTC and all of the wonderful people apart of it, my family and Charlie Johnson deserve a BIG thanks too! I couldn't not have done all of this without the help and support from my family. My brother Mike got me into triathlons and I am in debt to him forever for that! Charlie has been my backbone, training partner, daily motivator, and support through what is only the beginning.

I look forward to the challenges ahead.