Achieve Your Goals with Visualization and Focus

Most athletes spend thousands of dollars on equipment and training for an Ironman. Many fancy gadgets are purchased, nutrition tips and tricks are implemented, and much time is spent training for the event. However, two extremely important components of any training program that are often overlooked are visualization and focus.

When it pertains to endurance training and racing, I have athletes focus on two parts of visualization – crossing the finish line, and being strong on the hills or running strong with perfect form. These are two very important points of visualization to have during a race. You see, your mind is a VERY powerful tool. Keep reading to learn how visualization and focus can help you reach your goals. Continue reading

How to Survive an Ironman Triathlon Training Camp

If you have signed up for an Ironman Triathlon this year one of the best things you can do for both your fitness and mental readiness is get to a training camp. Along with increased knowledge and fitness, you will learn what is my opinion the most important part of high volume training: how to properly fuel.

That’s right, your FUEL is the most important component of your Ironman training for both high volume weeks as well as race day.  All the race wheels, “fast” bikes, GPS watches and shiny race kits won’t help you meet your training or race goal if you don’t have any fuel in the tank to push the engine.

There are several things to consider when planning your training camp nutrition…

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Start your kids healthy to keep them healthy

There is one phrase that I here from folks all the time that just drives me up the wall.  It is pertaining to children and their nutrition.  “Well they are kids, they can eat that and get away with eating whatever they want”.  People say this as if children are bullet proof and the only thing they have to be concerned with regarding food is weight gain once they are in their 30’s.  They pay no mind to the health and well being of the child and the lack of nutrients that are being provided.

Take a look back in time at your grandparents and parents generation when they were children.  Think about the foods they ate and how they behaved.  They ate THREE square meals a day usually at a table with family. The foods they ate were most likely locally farmed and relatively fresh unprocessed foods and  there were no cases of “early onset diabetes”, that 1 in 4 children these days will have by the time they are 8 years old.  I would have to look back in the record books but from what I know ADD/ADHD really didn’t exist then.   All of the aforementioned illnesses have a direct link to poor diet.  Now let’s fast forward to today and to the kids who can… “get away with it”…  Just because a child is skinny doesn’t mean he/she is healthy.   Children as young as first grade are being place on medication for hyperactivity.  First, THEY ARE KIDS!!! They are 40lbs of snot and energy!!! Don’t give them a sedative because you feed them 50+ grams of sugar first thing in the morning and then expect them to sit in a desk and pay attention to math problems.

The bigger issue, in my mind, lies in the child’s health.  As I mentioned before 1 in 4 U.S. children will be diagnosed with what is now called “early onset diabetes” by  the age of 8.  How in the world is this “getting away with it”?  I hear parents give excuses like, “they won’t eat healthy food”.  “All they will eat is cereal or processed foods”.  Guess what.. YOU are the parent.  YOU are the one buying the food.  YOU are in charge of your child’s health and well being.  If they won’t eat greens or healthy food and throw a fit so be it.  Send them to their room like my parents would have done to me.  I promise you that one night of sending them to bed hungry is better than letting them stuff themselves with highly processed junk that will ultimately cause long term health damage later in life.

I hear clients and parents say things like, “yeah I used to be able to eat anything I wanted”.  They say this as they are now 30+ lbs over weight.  My immediate response is always, “Then why are your doing the SAME thing to your child”?  You are setting them up for poor health later in life.  Teach them early how to eat healthy and the importance of healthy foods.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be dull, boring, and tasteless.  As a matter of fact healthy food can actually taste better than most junk foods.  Make healthy eating a family affair.  Take your child to a cooking lesson and let them help make the food.  Or teach them how to make a recipe at home.  Let them get their hands in the ingredients.  I know I would have loved that as a child, especially if I go to eat my creation at the end.  Food is so much more than how much we weigh, or if we can fit into a certain size garment.  Food is about health and life.

Teaching your kids early about the importance of proper nutrition will build a strong immune system, reduce risks/severity of cold and flu, and greatly reduce the risk of disease.  Ultimately though, teaching your child the importance of good nutrition will set them up for a lifetime of healthy living and knowledge that they can then pass on to their children.  That, in my opinion, is the most precious gift you could give your child


To Your Health,

Coach Mo

Fueling and Recovery Strategies for High Volume Weeks


Congratulations! You have signed up for an Ironman or Ironman 70.3.  In my opinion, one of the top priorities in your training schedule is getting to a camp.   Preferably a camp that is located at the particular event you are signed up for.  If the race you have signed up for doesn’t have a qualified coaching camp to accompany it, just get your butt to a camp with qualified coaches.  The information and fitness you will gain is invaluable.   As a full time triathlon coach and sports nutritionist my job is to get my clients ready not just physically, but also nutritionally, for the load they will endure during their high volume training week at whichever camp I have designated for them to attend.

Most triathlon training camps are 3 ½ -4 days in length.  During that time you will collectively swim, bike and run more than 20hrs.  For the average triathlete, that is a huge volume of training compressed into 4 days.  With that in mind, your nutrition leading up to, and during the camp, are of utmost importance in order to assure you recover properly from each days training.

Typically, I choose more of a high fat and low carbohydrate diet, but during a high volume week, and the days leading up to it, I advise more carbohydrates than fat due to the volume of training and the need to refuel the bodies glycogen stores.  Although you have virtually endless amounts of stored body fat that can be used for energy you must remember 2 things. 1) I like the saying “fat is the fuel that burns in a carbohydrate flame,” meaning you need carbohydrates present for the body to efficiently burn fat. 2) Given the intensity and volume you are about to take on and the fact that you have roughly 1500-2000 calories of stored muscle & liver glycogen, you will need ample amounts of carbohydrates in order to “refill you tank” for each days training.  Along with an increased carbohydrate intake you will want to reduce the amount of fat, fiber, and protein you eat in order to allow rapid absorption and assimilation of carbohydrates.  The aforementioned, all slow down carbohydrate digestion.

High volume weeks are not a time for variety and creativity with your nutrition.  I coach my athletes to find simple foods that work well with their bodies and stick to it.   That means breakfast is the same thing every day, as well as lunch and dinner.  Once the week or camp is over you can add variety back in, but during, it’s about putting high octane fuel in the machine (that’s you) and not introducing new things that could potentially create a lack of ease in your system.  I take a qualitative approach to nutrition, especially during high volume weeks.  I personally suck at math, so the LAST thing I want to do during a heavy week is count calories.  Rather, I monitor energy and power (watts) levels and sleep quality.  As long as those 3 are in check then I know I am getting ample fuel.  Below is a typical fueling day during a high volume week.  I will cover why I choose these foods and supplements in part 2 of this series.


Breakfast: 2hrs before starting exercise

1.5 cup Oatmeal made w/ unsweetened vanilla almond milk or Coconut milk, 1 banana, ½ cup strawberries, ¼ cup chopped pecans, 1-2Tsp Cinnamon, salt to taste, and 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil.


During training:

1-2 scoops ucan super starch w/ 8oz water and 1-2 NUUN tablets every 60-90min. Depending on the tempurature I will also supplement with more electrolytes.  I also take up to 5 MAP tablets per hour to prevent muscle catabolism.


Between training sessions I will eat a bowl of white rice, (I like Jasmine rice), mixed with 1/4 avocado, coconut oil, and steamed spinach or kale mixed in.  I season it with fresh rosemary.  I continue to take the MAP. I also drink coconut water during this time.


If I get hungry during a long ride I will have a baked sweet potato w/o the skin with a little coconut oil, raw honey and salt for “real food”.  I have found a way to puree this and put into a flask for easier eating during the ride.



Can of sardines, 6oz wild salmon, or 6oz chicken breast with more white rice, spinach, cherry tomatoes, and seasoned w/herbs de Provence for flavor. I also add a medium baked sweet potato or regular potato.


There you have it, simple and clean energy for maximum performance.  If you have an aversion to any of the foods I listed feel free to substitute for your favorite high carbohydrate food.  If you aren’t sure, then NOW is the time to find out what works and doesn’t work for your body. This way you get the most out of your high volume week with maximum recovery.  Again, in part 2 of this 3 part series I will go into more detail of how the foods and supplements I choose help performance and recovery. Until then…



Train Smart,

Coach Mo