Monday, April 30, 2012

Team Captain Hailey Manning Tearing It Up This Year

Hailey Manning, 3rd Amateur Female Overall at NOLA 70.3

Hailey Manning is from Ohio, now lives in Mountain View, CA. She works for Silicon Valley Bank, overseeing three branch/customer support location.  She couldn’t do this sport without her amazing sister, parents, and totally supportive husband, who also happens to be her coach. 

How She Got Started?
Got started with my sister after she had done her first one in Colorado…cut to a sprint tri later and I was hooked! Future hopes would be to keep having success and maybe take a stab at the pro ranks next year…

First Race of the Season…
NOLA 70.3.  She was SUPER excited going into the race.  “I felt good and rested, ready to tear it up! Disappointed that there was no swim, but tried to just go with the flow.”  

Check out Hailey’s Blog and her NOLA Race Report.
Oh, and btw, she was 3rd OA Amateur Female.  We Are So Proud!

Her first race of the season was earlier this month an Olympic in Napa, but NOLA was the first BIG race of the season. After Kona, she took a well deserved 6 weeks off from running and just kept workouts fun to keep from gaining too much weight!

Next up
Ironman TX on May 19th

Why do you love SOAS?
Because I don’t even notice the kit when it’s on, it’s just me and the race. AND they’re HOT!

Ironman St. George... How a SOAS Girl Trains for an Early (TOUGH) Race!

SOAS Ambassador Willow Harrington!
This Saturday, she will take on the toughest Ironman course to date... Ironman St. George.  Willow explains the proper training and preparation it takes to go into this amazing race.  In Willow's words...  What does it take???
Saint George has a reputation for being brutal. The combination of weather and topography break even the toughest and experienced athletes. The bike is hilly, with two main long climbs, totally about 25% of the 112 mile ride. The run course was changed this year, flattening it some, but there is still a gradual two mile hill that you climb three times in the looped course. The fact that it still has not sold out speaks to the fact that there is a certain fear of this race.
Last year of the 4 seasoned racer-friends that started the race, 3 DNFed (SOAS friend Jess Smith crushed it for the overall armature win). So when I signed up, I knew exactly what I was getting into, and in part it was the reason I chose this race. I know I am not the fastest, but I can be tough.  If I play my cards right, this course will play to my strengths as an athlete: Will and Patience. 
Training smart: I am extremely lucky to train under the wing of Matt Dixon and purplepatch fitnessPurplepatch always provides insightful low-volume, specific-intensity roadmaps that continue to push my ability, while not wearing me down. Given that this is the first big race of what will hopefully be a very long season, purplepatch didn’t make huge race specific adjustments to my training program. Being “game ready” for Saint George was build into my overall yearly progression, with some very intentional focuses to ensure I was ready for the long, hilly day.
Remember why you love it:  As my fall marathon focus rolled right into Tri season, the “refreshed” factor was essential for prepping for an early Ironman.  I took few weeks of completely unstructured activity. I didn’t call it training on purpose. I left the watch, scripts, and intervals by the wayside to focus on my LOVE for sport.  I hit my favorite trail runs, went on social rides with friends, or whatever inspired me that day. When it was time to get serious at the end of January, I was both mentally and physically refreshed, while not giving up much of my hard earned fitness.
Building Strength: If I had to summarize the emphasis on my early season training, it would have to be STRENGTH.  Living in San Francisco, I have no shortage of hills to push my training. However, purplepatch was very intentional how I use these hills. On the bike I did lots of low cadence, big-ring muscle tension work, focusing on perfect form. I also did a lot of hilly trail running, trading in the mileage for terrain that was sure to get legs and hips firing. I also found local hills that were about the same distance/% grade as the race course and made sure that I ended my long runs on that hill.
The other essential aspect was that I made strength training a priority with standing weekly session with “functional strength guru,” Ryan Stockton.  Everything Ryan had me doing was directly tied to building a solid core, hip mobility, and form for swimming, biking, and running, allowing me to “do more with less.” My structural difference and sustained strength (as compared to even a year ago) is significant, especially late in the race when biomechanics would typically start to breakdown. If you ever get a chance to work with Ryan, take it. It will change the way you approach training.
Race Day: Above all, my race plan is build on respecting the course. I know I’m in for a long, hard, hot day. I also think that it’s pretty special that I get to race a course that was short-lived, but legendary. When announced last Thursday that, starting in 2013, Saint George will be a 70.3 distance, I was a little sad, but also grateful that I get a chance to experience it. I think that its courses like this that get to the true spirit of Ironman: A test of endurance, fitness, mental flexibility, and in the end, attrition. Coming from San Francisco, the 90 degree weather will be something I have to pay special attention to, respond carefully, and require that I stay very very smart. I think I'm up to the challenge!
I will be looking for all the SOAS ladies out on the course! Be strong. Be smart. Be fearless.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Great Grains!! A Delicious Recipe for the Endurance Athlete

I know how it is… Train, eat, sleep, train, eat, eat, EAT!!!  We get hungry as endurance athletes and it’s so hard to find time to cook delicious and healthy items for ourselves, let alone our families.  As an Ironman athlete myself, I know.  And as a professional chef, I’ve discovered easy and healthy ways to get the goods out of eating. 
One great way of time managing the week is to plan your weekly meals over the weekend.  Put aside a few minutes, go through that pile of recipes you have torn out from magazines and make a list of what’s for dinner, even if it’s the same thing every day.
Cook for the week!  Cook on one day for the rest, or the majority, of the week.  Cut up your chicken and salmon portions, cook potatoes and rice, par-boil your veggies, make your pasta sauce.  It’s an easy way to make sure you always have something ready to heat up when you get home late after a training session.
I’ve created a delicious and easy recipe that stands up to your Tupperware for a few days, is deliciously healthy, and very simple to make.  I like to call it my Mixed Grain and Lentil Salad.  For me it’s the perfect side dish to any protein like Salmon, Chicken or Beef.  Another great thing about it is that you can eat it hot or cold.  I’m always on the go in my work so it’s easy to bring with me in my cooler bag and eat in my car (not while driving, of course). 
Let’s talk about the ingredients!
QuinoaQuinoa (pronounced keen-wah)  the “super grain”. When cooked, quinoa is light, fluffy, slightly crunchy and subtly flavored. Some of the nutrients in quinoa include: Complete protein- Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles. Magnesium helps relax your muscles and blood vessels and effects blood pressure. Quinoa contains high levels of this vital nutrient. Fiber- Quinoa is a wonderful way to ensure that you consume valuable fiber that eases elimination and tones your colon. Manganese and copper- Quinoa is a good source of these minerals that act as antioxidants in your body to get rid of dangerous cancer and disease-causing substances.(Source:

I love the pop-like texture of quinoa.  The perfect palate teaser. 

Wheat Berries: Wheat berries are short, plump whole-wheat kernels loaded with nutrients. They can be cooked for sweet or savory preparations and have a chewy texture and nutty flavor. They can also be ground to make flours to bake into bread for a more nutritious whole-grain option.
Another incredible crunch to this salad.  I also love it’s vibrant reddish color

Lentils: Lentils, a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family, are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they are of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. But this is far from all lentils have to offer. Lentils also provide good to excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat.
So many colors of lentils to choose from. I like to use the brown ones as they are easiest to cook and not overcook, without losing their shape.

The following recipe is for just over 2 servings (depending on how much you like or are able to eat)   The ingredients are all cooked separately and then assembled together.  It can be kept for up to 5 days in your refrigerator so feel free to make lots for prepared meals.  Enjoy!!

The finished product

Mixed Grain and Lentil Salad by Chef Karleen Dirmantas
1 c Cooked Quinoa (I like to use Brown and Red Mixed)
½ c Cooked Brown Lentils (you could also use any bean you like: white beans, black beans, etc.)
1 c Cooked Wheat Berries
Salt and Pepper to taste
Add any of you favorite veggies (I like Edamame, Organic Tomatoes, Chopped Raw Kale)

Quinoa: (makes about 2 c cooked)
1 c dry quinoa
2 c water
Bring water to boil with a pinch of salt.  Add quinoa and bring to boil again.  Reduce to simmer stirring occasionally, about 11 minutes.  When most of the liquid is cooked up turn off heat and cover with a lid for 5 minutes.
Lentils: (Makes about 2.5 c cooked)
1 c Brown Lentils
2 c Water
Sort through the lentils to remove and stones or debris.  Rinse them in cold water and drain. Bring water to boil. Add lentils and bring to a boil again.  Return to medium-low heat and cook for another 15 minutes.
Wheat Berries: (Makes 2 ¼ c cooked)
1 c Wheat Berries
3 c Water
½ t salt
Sort through wheat berries carefully, discarding any stones. Rinse well under cold water. Add water and salt in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse.

Meet SOAS Ambassador Alice McClure

Alice McClure born June 23, 1974, currently lives in Bondi, Sydney but grew up in outback NSW on a Sheep and Cattle station with 4 sisters.  She started triathlon because she was getting bored with the usual gym workouts and decided to give a little biathlon a try.  After that she surged into triathlon and began taking on more and more distance.  She has now done 8 full Ironmans, including 3 Kona World Championships.  Alice says she’s, “not sure what happened, but I just kept wanting to get faster and faster and I kept qualifying for Kona, so I couldn’t say no.”  How’s that for inspiration, ladies?
Alice has an awesome boyfriend who just did his first Ironman in Melbourne and totally smashed it, and 2 younger sisters who also raced and did amazing.
Her most amazing triathlon moments?  Qualifying for Kona 3 times, of course.  She was also 1st female in Desaru long course in Malaysia 2007, 3rd place at Ironman Port Macquarie (2006 & 2007), 2nd place at Busselton Ironman 2009, 19th in my age group at Hawaii 2010. Awesome, Alice!!

Why she loves SOAS?
“I love SOAS because it's super comfortable, very flattering and I get lots of comments :) Everyone loves a bit of attention....haha...”
Thanks, Alice!  We look forward to seeing you race soon!!

For those of you who follow us on Facebook, don’t forget to check out our SOAS Racing Australia page!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Recover Right with an Ice Cold Smoothie

Ahhh, smoothies!  We’ve moved on from the ready-to-go Jamba days and have put some more thought into delicious ways to refuel, snack, and simply enjoy the power of smoothies.   SOAS team member and Registered Dietician, Beth Shutt, adds an insight of what we can get out of our tasty treats. 

Recipes created by Hailey Manning and Karleen Dirmantas.

Beth suggests to refuel with about 10-20 grams of high quality protein after a good long ride.  If you are using the smoothies as a means of recovery, the key components are protein, carbs and electrolyte replacement. All these smoothies have a protein component with either Greek yogurt, Muscle Milk, or regular milk. The benefit of using yogurt or regular milk is that you will get some good calcium and vitamin D in addition to the protein. The benefit of using something like Muscle Milk is that you get the added electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc...) that you've lost during training. A major plus on all sides!

Karleen’s Chocolate Berry Smoothie
1 “Ready to Drink” Cookies and Cream Muscle Milk
6 Frozen Strawberries (or mixed berries of blue, raspberry, strawberry)
So simple and perfect for recovery! The fruit in the smoothies adds both carbohydrates and electrolytes (most notably potassium) in addition to a lot of other vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients! :) Plus the fruit just makes the drinks taste good.

Karleen’s PB Banana Smoothie with Kale
1 C Almond Milk
6 oz Greek Yogurt
1 T Agave Syrup
1 T Peanut Butter (Or Almond Butter)
1 Frozen Banana
1 Handful of Kale
You could also use spinach or regular milk or soy milk. Adding kale, spinach, etc... is an excellent idea that Beth ALWAYS recommend. Essentially this is an easy way to get in more nutrient packed vegetables without having to taste them! Many people don't like vegetables and have trouble meeting their daily veggie goals so this is a good way to do it. Although the greens may turn your smoothie green, the smoothie still tastes a lot more like fruit than spinach! :)

Hailey’s Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
1/2 C pumpkin puree (not pie filler...full of sugar!)
1 C Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
2 Scoops Muscle Milk Vanilla Light Protein Powder
dash of cinammon
1 frozen banana.
If I am feeling uber healthy, I will add as much spinach as the blender can handle. Regular milk would be OK as well. And you could always do one scoop of protein for a lighter smoothie.

Hailey’s Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie
2 Scoops Muscle Milk Light Chocolate Protein
1 frozen banana
1 C Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1 C frozen strawberries.
Same as above with the spinach but it rarely happens! Regular milk would be perfect as well but I don't drink it anymore.

Beth also recommends adding ground flaxseed - a great way to get more fiber and healthy fats!
With the summer heat creeping in it’s time to cool down with these delicious creations.  Let us know what you think!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Meet SOAS Ambassador, Andrea Astudillo

About Andrea
She’s from Tulsa, Oklahoma and Arlington Texas.  Born in Tulsa, but moved to Arlington when she was 15, so they are both “home”.  But now she resides in Carlsbad, CA with her husband Eddie and 4 year old English Bulldog, Lincoln. She works as a wedding and event planner and is a full time business student, and is excited to finally be done in August.
Outside of triathlon she enjoys photography, traveling, and wine.  Sounds good to us!!
How She Started
Andrea started as a runner, her husband an avid cyclist, but neither of them swimmers.  They decided to enter their first triathlon in Mission Bay in September 2007.  She was hooked, like the rest of us, and signed up for another before the season ended.
Andrea says her favorite triathlon moment was finishing her first Ironman in Florida 2010.  It was also her first marathon. “The first thing I said to my husband, when I finished, was ‘I don’t think I ever need to do that again.’ Of course, 3 weeks later, I was hitting the “register” button for IMAZ 2011.”
She also finished in the top 3 at SuperFrog half iron distance, last September.
What’s Next
Look out for Andrea in her first race of the season at the San Diego International in June. “I haven’t done well the two times I’ve done this race, but I’m going to give it another try. Third times a charm!” She’s also doing Vineman 70.3, SuperFrog, and IM Florida and is really looking forward to racing this year. 
After racing she loves a good Epson salt bath and lavender oil to treat her tired muscles.  Great tip!!
Why Triathlon?
“Triathlon has changed my life in a lot of really great ways. It has made me stronger by teaching me to have faith and confidence in myself. It has taught me about patience and drive and what hard work can achieve. I love being able to see how far I can push myself both physically and mentally in this sport. I also love the tri community and have made a lot of great friendships from it.”
For the Love of SOAS!
I love representing SOAS because:
1.      I love the product! The style and colors are awesome and the kits are made to fit a woman and not a 12 year old boy! Hallelujah!
2.      I love what they are about- two women making the sport of triathlon better for women.
3.      Kebby and Steph J
We are so glad to have Andrea as a SOAS Team member!! Have a great race season!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Meet Professional Triathlete Beth Shutt!

Hey everybody!  It's time for you all to start meeting our awesome brand ambassadors.  This year we've established an awesome team made up of 20 amazingly talented women.  With such huge range of ages and abilities each one has a fantastic story of their own and we'd like to share them with you. 
This week, SOAS would like you to meet Beth Shutt, a first year professional triathlete from Pittsburgh, PA.  Beth's most recent race and professional debut was at Oceanside 70.3 on March 31st where she came in 11th place.  She spent some time building for this race at her family's home in South Carolina, where she was able to actually train outside in the winter.  And then continued on to an elite/pro training camp with Melissa Mantak in Denver.
The choice to become pro was an idea she had been toying with for quite sometime.  As a high school and collegiate runner at Penn State, Beth progressed into marathon running.  Plagued by a Plantar Faciitis injury, she began spinning and swimming as a means of recovery and cross training.  She did her first triathlon in 2006 and fell in love with the sport!  She had many successes in the sport, including Kona qualifying in 2010 and saw going pro as her way of progressing in the sport.  Beth says, "I do think racing with the best in the sport will help me elevate my game and help me achieve the potential that I have in swim/bike/run." We can't wait to see her continue to race. 
Outside of triathlon, she enjoys spending time with her husband Oscar and her dog Roxy.  She also works full time as a registered dietician at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. 
Check out Beth's most recent race report from Oceanside here:
Look for Beth racing at IM NOLA and at IMCdA in the next few months.  Good luck!!