SISU:RADIO:14 Johnny Waite – How to beat endurance races.

A friend to all that know him, Johnny Waite has been both racer and director of endurance races including the infamous Death Race.

Having seen and experienced pretty much everything there is to offer, he not only knows how to do endurance racing, but how to win them too. Team SISU caught up with him and discussed not sleeping, how to do tests, and bear hugs in Jurassic Park.

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Kristena Barnes - When Endurance and OCR is more than just a hobby

Kristina Barnes has been quietly destroying OCR and endurance events with ease for a number of years now. So much so, that she recently designed and led her own rucking event. Harnessing her first hand knowledge, Kristina is now looking at the community in a broader scope, looking to bring that same excitement she feels […]

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Zac Cromwell - Gratitude is everything

Zac Cromwell has quietly gone about his journey in endurance, making many friends along the way. Harnessing his love and skills in rock climbing towards that of endurance events, he understands what it means to keep going. Catching up with Cookie from Team SISU recently, he discussed experiencing “the dark place” and how a couple […]

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Jon Townsend - Running is a reward, not a punishment.

Jon is a long-serving writer for These Football Times and the Original Coach and is the author of the upcoming book “It’s Just a Ball: Exploring the Complexities of a Simple Game”.   Jon, a supporter of Liverpool Football Club and AFC Ajax, is based in the U.S. and is involved in promoting grassroots football […]

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Nick Waddell - When military training is used for "fun".

Nick Waddell has a lengthy and impressive background in the military. For fun, he crawls through sand and mud, hikes long distances and carries heavy things for no apparent reason. Nick is an endurance athlete. But what makes him tick and why would someone want to do these kinds of things when they don’t need […]

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Picking Your Truths

Maybe you have a goal that you’re totally psyched about — you’re inspired, super focused, and it’s on your mind all the time. That’s fantastic! It’s a satisfying and productive headspace to be in.

 

But, maybe that’s not the case for you right now. Maybe you’re at a low point, and, although you had this big goal (whether in sport, academia, career, [life] etc), you’ve gotten a little off track, made a few mistakes, or simply lost your drive. For whatever reason, you’re doubting yourself.

 

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Right now, you’re not sure if you can do that big scary thing you want to do.
This isn’t a fun place to be, and it can be hard to come out of.

 

But here’s the cool thing I’ve realized:
You get to pick your truths.

 

The other day, Dr. Jessica Grahn gave a presentation at Western about bias. There is bias all around us. These biases come from our surroundings and they perpetuate our own self doubt. Often, these biases/doubts are subconscious — they’re so ingrained in our psyche, that we don’t even realize that they’re guiding our thoughts and dictating our actions. For example: when I think of a successful person, the image that pops into my head is a well-groomed, well-dressed, white male. I’m not alone in this (just Google search images of ‘successful person’ and this will become clear), and it’s not a choice I’ve consciously made. Twenty-three years of living in the Western world have made this choice for me. That’s just one example.

 

A bias is based on something we perceive, so it is not false, but it’s also not necessarily true. Recognize this. We’re empowerful when we can recognize our own biases. When we recognize our biases, we can locate the origin our self doubts and see that these doubts are based on information that is neither true nor false (for example, even though I picture the aforementioned man as the figurehead of ‘success,’ it does not mean that I can’t be successful, and it does not mean that you, regardless of gender, race, knowledge, etc can’t be successful).

 

Then the best part: we get to pick what we want to be true (ie: I can be successful; I can be strong; I can be fast; I can be creative; I can be intelligent. Better yet: I am successful).

 

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Since nothing is truly true in this world (everything is coloured by perception), we pick our own truths. Often, we choose to go with the bias because it’s our knee-jerk reaction. But remember that there is always another option. We get to pick what we believe and which thoughts we nurture.


The thoughts we nurture and the stories we tell ourselves are the truest truths out there because they dictate whether or not we persevere; we have to choose which thoughts to nurture because those are the ones that will bloom. We have to be aware of our own biases so that we don’t limit ourselves (or others).

 

So if you’re doubting yourself, question your bias, and pick a new truth.
You are good enough.
You can do that thing you want to do.
You can be that thing you want to be.

 

 

Challenge: Notice negative self-talk and stop it in its tracks! Pick a new truth. Choose to believe that you can do that terrifying, exciting, wonderful thing. Perception is the only thing that’s stopping you. Change your lens. Welcome your fears, acknowledge their origin, embrace them… but then set them to the side, get excited, and dive into your new truth.

 

STSS 4: VO2 Max

 

“If I breathe deeper and faster, I’m using more oxygen, right?”

 

Wellllll….

SISU IRON: Review and teaser.

The 2015 Sisu Iron had all the makings of an amazing endurance event. Athlete On Fire was there to cover it.  The sounds, the athletes, and finally, an interview with Daren de Heras on what to expect in 2016.

Enjoy the review.  Listen:

 

Watch this video from 2015:

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Kristena Barnes - When Endurance and OCR is more than just a hobby

Kristina Barnes has been quietly destroying OCR and endurance events with ease for a number of years now. So much so, that she recently designed and led her own rucking event. Harnessing her first hand knowledge, Kristina is now looking at the community in a broader scope, looking to bring that same excitement she feels […]

Read More

Zac Cromwell - Gratitude is everything

Zac Cromwell has quietly gone about his journey in endurance, making many friends along the way. Harnessing his love and skills in rock climbing towards that of endurance events, he understands what it means to keep going. Catching up with Cookie from Team SISU recently, he discussed experiencing “the dark place” and how a couple […]

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Jon Townsend - Running is a reward, not a punishment.

Jon is a long-serving writer for These Football Times and the Original Coach and is the author of the upcoming book “It’s Just a Ball: Exploring the Complexities of a Simple Game”.   Jon, a supporter of Liverpool Football Club and AFC Ajax, is based in the U.S. and is involved in promoting grassroots football […]

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Nick Waddell - When military training is used for "fun".

Nick Waddell has a lengthy and impressive background in the military. For fun, he crawls through sand and mud, hikes long distances and carries heavy things for no apparent reason. Nick is an endurance athlete. But what makes him tick and why would someone want to do these kinds of things when they don’t need […]

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Have You Ever Been Hangry?

I certainly have. If I don’t get food when I need it, it can be a rough time for the people around me! Food and nutrition are so interesting to me — the idea that we have to constantly consume in order to function; the fact that our bodies are made of what we put into them; the fact that this necessary ‘chore’ is an enjoyable, often social event — it’s all just so wonderful, strange, and fascinating to me.

 

Anywho, I love food.
But… I’m writing this on a Wednesday, and today (and tomorrow, and Friday morning) I can’t have any food!


Let me first say that I am not dieting. I’m participating in a 6-week protein requirement study for endurance athletes. Leading up to the study, we took measurements of my weight, height, body composition, VO2 max, and resting metabolic rate. Then the study itself began!

 

The study only affects me 3 days of the week: Wednesday and Thursday (‘Adaptation Days’) as well as Friday (‘Test Day’). My diet on the adaptation days is based on my individual needs and is 100% controlled.

 

Like I said, I can’t eat… so what am I consuming?
Well, my diet on Wednesdays and Thursdays is 100% liquid.

 

I’m given a number of milkshake-type meal replacements based on my caloric needs (which factor in the amount of training I typically do on those days), as well as additional fibre, glucose, protein, and a multivitamin. I can drink as much water as I want, and I can have black coffee and/or tea. MMMMM!

 

(Note: when I say diet, I’m simply referring to what I’m putting into my body — this is not a “diet to lose/gain weight. The adaptation days simply prepare my body for the test day.)


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The first Wednesday morning! It’s basically bacon and eggs.

I was excited to start the study! As much as I love food, I like experimenting with nutrition to see how different foods/diets affect my body.

 

I will admit, I was also a little nervous going in. I’ve tried liquid diets before. One summer, my dad and I did a 10 day juicing challenge to see how we’d feel. I remember how I felt.
I. Felt. Hangry.
I specifically remember returning home from work on the 5th day, beyond grumpy, and promptly making myself a sandwich.

 

So you can imagine my hint of hesitation going into this study. Will I be hungry? Will I be hangry? Certainly I’ll have cravings. What if I can’t do it? It’s only 2.5 days a week for 6 weeks. I can do that… right? 

 

 
As it turns out, I didn’t have to worry! Although I’m only taking in liquids, my body’s caloric and nutritional needs are being met. I don’t have cravings, and I’m genuinely not hungry. It feels a little strange not having meals (I just sip consistently throughout the day) and not taking in solid food, but I actually feel incredible.

 

While I eat quite healthy on normal days, I found out that I’m actually not eating enough of what my body needs. I can feel the difference in my energy during the adaptation days — I feel light, happy, and healthy. I’ve noticed a few other things too. Situations that would normally frustrate or annoy me don’t seem to bother me as much. My mind is sharper and I listen more intently. I spent last Thursday night at a friend’s house making adorable Valentine’s cookies, and (although I would have liked to have tried one), I had no problem just cutting out the hearts. (You have to know… this isn’t normal for me! When I make cookies, I’m typically one to eat half the batter and then some of the finished product. But I was completely content with my shake!)

 

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Pretty cute, right?

 

I’m not suggesting we all switch to liquid diets. Definitely, definitely not! Food is fun, and it can do so much for our bodies! This study is really helping to remind me of the difference it makes when I make the choice to give my body what it needs.

 

Challenge: Think about your diet this week! Are you getting what you need? Do you know what you need? It can be so confusing! Maybe you’ll decide to do some research, try a new cookbook, experiment with lentils, introduce more water into your diet, or put some time into prepping balanced meals. Try making small changes and pay attention to how they make you feel! 

 

Happy Eating!

UltraDirt:02 Adam Takacs and the “Zen Badass” approach to running and life.

Adam Takacs is a Toronto based ultramarathon runner who has a ‘Zen Badass’ approach to running and life. We met Adam last fall in the Netherlands at 100km World Championships. We immediately admired his fat adapted lifestyle and laid back aura. He loves his cat Fisher and his hot wife Julie. Aside from running in the outdoors, he is an avid hunter and fisher who prefers eating wild game. (Sometimes peanut M&Ms during 100 milers).

 

Tory and Arielle in front of Adam.

Tory and Arielle in front of Adam.

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Listen to the first episode of UltraDirt

AOF:151 Debbie Clarke Moderow A woman, her dogs, and the Iditarod.

Mark Webb – No leg? No problem. How British grit and humor saw him through.

Mark Webb was already a well established endurance athlete before his motorcycle accident.

A familiar face in the Goruck and Death Race communities, his relentless energy baffled many. How can so much “go” be contained in just one person? Mark continued to push and drag and carry with relative ease through many events.

Has life changed drastically since the accident? If so, how?

Listen here to the man that won’t lay down.

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Kristena Barnes - When Endurance and OCR is more than just a hobby

Kristina Barnes has been quietly destroying OCR and endurance events with ease for a number of years now. So much so, that she recently designed and led her own rucking event. Harnessing her first hand knowledge, Kristina is now looking at the community in a broader scope, looking to bring that same excitement she feels […]

Read More

Zac Cromwell - Gratitude is everything

Zac Cromwell has quietly gone about his journey in endurance, making many friends along the way. Harnessing his love and skills in rock climbing towards that of endurance events, he understands what it means to keep going. Catching up with Cookie from Team SISU recently, he discussed experiencing “the dark place” and how a couple […]

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Jon Townsend - Running is a reward, not a punishment.

Jon is a long-serving writer for These Football Times and the Original Coach and is the author of the upcoming book “It’s Just a Ball: Exploring the Complexities of a Simple Game”.   Jon, a supporter of Liverpool Football Club and AFC Ajax, is based in the U.S. and is involved in promoting grassroots football […]

Read More

Nick Waddell - When military training is used for "fun".

Nick Waddell has a lengthy and impressive background in the military. For fun, he crawls through sand and mud, hikes long distances and carries heavy things for no apparent reason. Nick is an endurance athlete. But what makes him tick and why would someone want to do these kinds of things when they don’t need […]

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When Was The Last Time You Did Something For The First Time?

University life is pretty wonderful. As a student, I have access to so many free and low-cost resources that aren’t necessarily easy to come by outside of the university bubble. Health services, academic counselling, career workshops, and the occasional free midnight breakfast during exam season are a few of these perks.

 

Throughout my undergrad, I’ve also had the opportunity to meet and hear the stories of so many inspiring people. This past Tuesday, Clara Hughes visited Western’s campus — an event that was free for all students and faculty to attend.

 

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For those of you who don’t know who Clara Hughes is, here’s the quick version:

 

Clara is a Canadian athlete who has won 6 Olympic medals:

 

Two in the Summer Olympics for cycling, and four in the Winter Olympics for speed skating.
(I know, I know… you’re fan-girling aren’t you? Excelling at just one thing is extraordinary enough!)

 

But Clara’s story is so much bigger than her athletic achievements. Speaking openly about her struggles with depression and disordered eating, Clara is the spokesperson for the Bell Let’s Talk campaign — a Canadian campaign that aims to shift mental health conversations to a state in which they’re comfortable, common, and stigma-free. Clara is also an Athlete Ambassador for Right To Play, and a member of RTP’s International Board of Directors.

 

Image from: http://www.righttoplay.ca/Learn/keyplayers/Pages/Athlete-Ambassadors.aspx?ItemId=420

Image from: http://www.righttoplay.ca/Learn/keyplayers/Pages/Athlete-Ambassadors.aspx?ItemId=420

 

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes catch myself subscribing to the notion that elite athletes have it all together. My Instagram feed is filled with incredible snapshots of incredible athletes doing incredible things, day in, day out. Their lives as I know them through TV screens, Instagram filters and other social media channels are entirely focused on and dedicated to their craft. From my couch, it’s easy to forget that these people are, in fact, people, and (like you and me) they are not immune to pressure, stress, illness, insecurity, masochism, injury, and self-doubt.

 

Image from: http://www.canada.com/olympics/news/canadas-olympians-not-exempt-from-depression-and-anxiety-even-with-success

 

While Clara’s book Open Heart, Open Mind, does share the triumphs of her athletic career, more importantly, it provides insight into what was really going on off the screen and inside Clara’s head throughout her career. (If you haven’t read the book, I can’t recommend it enough. Plus, all the money raised by the book goes straight to charities like Right To Play and Take a Hike!)

 

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Anywho… back to the event. The Q&A portion of the event was small and intimate — we all cozied up in a circle and Clara took off her microphone. After reading her book, I had so many questions for her, but I opted for one that had been running through my mind consistently. In Open Heart, Open Mind, Clara wrote that

 

“… as a pro athlete… narcissism was defined as ‘commitment.’ It became an invisible cloak I was encouraged to wear.”
I think there’s a fine line here for anyone that’s trying to pursue something at a high level — athletic or otherwise. Whatever your passion, it takes time, energy, and focus to become your own version of ‘great.’ For example, as athletes, we need sleep, proper fuel, and time for both workouts and recovery. Where is the balance between healthy commitment and unhealthy narcissism? How can we remain committed to continuous improvement without becoming self-absorbed?

 

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Image from: http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=639196

 

I don’t know what I was expecting Clara to say — maybe something about meditation, consciously grounding ourselves, or not taking ourselves too seriously — all of which make sense in theory, but aren’t entirely tangible and are much easier said than done.

 

Her advice was not what I was expecting. It was simple and practical. If you want to maintain your humanity, try something new. Get outside of your comfort zone —  your daily grind — and try something new: something difficult; something that will kick your butt; something that will remind you of your own humanity, and will bring lightness and perspective into your life. Humble yourself. For Clara, this was achieved through hiking the Appalachian Trail, but for you or me it might be through rock climbing, learning how to oil paint, or taking up yoga.

 

Simple, yes, but a great reminder to keep ourselves human. There comes a point where we might begin to treat ourselves as machines, forgetting that variety is, indeed, the spice of life!

 

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Challenge: You already know… This week, try something new! Recognize that joy can be found in places that you haven’t looked yet. In the process, be kind and light with yourself — remind yourself that you are human — you are not defined by your sport or your ‘skill;’ you are more.
Earth is a big place. Go explore! 

STSS 3: Cardiac Output & Stroke Volume

 

Want to run stronger, longer? Time to give that ticker of yours some TLC!