Commitment Day Festival Set to Inspire Improved Health in the New Year

As the battle of the bulge wages on in America, we’re seeing skyrocketing obesity rates and lower life expectancies among children. Life Time–The Healthy Way of Life Company aims to inspire positive change by opening its doors to the community and hosting one million workouts across the country during its Commitment Day Festival (January 1), Fun Run (January 1-4) and Indoor Triathlon Workout (January 4).

Set to take place at 113 Life Time destinations from coast to coast, the festival will feature healthy family events all weekend long. In addition, 52 Life Time destinations will host the annual Commitment Day 5K Fun Run on January 1 for all ages and abilities to join together in a symbolic commitment to lead healthier, more active lives in 2015. Adding on to the weekend of fitness fun includes the inaugural Indoor Triathlon Workout on January 4 in partnership with IRONMAN at 79 Life Time destinations to encourage and educate people of all athletic abilities on the sport of triathlon.

“The Commitment Festival is all about doing our part to inspire a healthier America,” said Bahram Akradi, founder, chairman, president and CEO of Life Time. “On the heels of successful Commitment Day 5K Fun Run events the last two years, we have expanded it this year to become a four-day festival that features a wide variety of educational workshops and invigorating classes that fit most interests. Ultimately, it is our goal to help individuals and families make 2015 their best yet in terms of taking charge of their health, wellness and happiness.”

The Commitment Festival is open to both members and non-members and will kick off on January 1, 2015 with the Commitment Day 5K Fun Run taking place in 52 cities around the country. The Commitment Day Festival offers a variety of educational and entertaining events, including:

  • Daily Fit Talks and Workout Workshops (January 1) – The FIT Talks series is designed to educate and empower participants with approachable, relevant and simple life-changing actions, such as breaking up with sugar, eating fat to burn fat and explaining why counting calories won’t lead to long term results. Participants also may attend a Workout Workshop in which they’ll have an opportunity to learn and burn with new workouts such as ViPR, LT Connect, Strength and Flexibility, Battling Ropes, Upper Body Strength & Tone and more.
  • Alpha Madness (January 2) – The Life Time Alpha program is designed for anyone looking to lose weight or enhance performance. Participants will start with a Get Connected Seminar to introduce heart rate training via LT Connect, which helps them train smarter not harder. From there, they’ll have the opportunity to compete against themselves in an Alpha Workout focused on functional movements suitable for all ages and fitness abilities.
  • Yoga Commitment Jam (January 3) – Yogis and beginners alike will de-stress from the holidays and kick off a commitment to yoga with 90-minute Vinyasa Flow class suitable for all ages and abilities.
  • Indoor Triathlon Hour powered by Life Time Tri and IRONMAN (January 4) – Redefine your 2015: commit to tri. If you’ve ever wanted to try a tri, this is where to start. Inspiration without intimidation, the 60-minute indoor workout will feature a 10-minute pool swim, 30-minute spin and 20-minute treadmill run. Athletes of all abilities from beginner to experienced are invited. All participants who register for and attend the Indoor Triathlon Hour ($25 fee) receive a lifestyle training shirt, swim cap, race bib, $20 off a $100 purchase at the ironmanstore.com, one free month of Masters swim lessons with Life Time Swim (new participants only) and $10 off a purchase of $50 or more at LifeSpa, plus, are eligible for a chance to win one of three slots to the 2015 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand, Austria or, one of five slots to a Life Time Tri Series race. Learn more about event locations and registration at www.indoortri.com. Limited spots available per club. BONUS: Anyone who goes to ironman.com/committotri, fills out the form and registers for a Life Time or IRONMAN 70.3 branded triathlon in the United States or Canada between November 20, 2014 and January 4, 2015 will be entered in for a chance to win one slot to the 2015 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii!

The Commitment Day Festival will also feature the Commitment Bowl, a football-focused activity where parents and kids alike will practice their passing, catching, agility drills and cheerleading skills, Poolapalooza and an indoor pool party featuring beach-inspired pool games and tropical tunes. Each day will wrap up with an evening celebration such as a healthy happy hour, social cycle class or LifePower Yoga class.

Registration is now open for Commitment Day 5K Fun Walk/Run events. Kids 12 and under are free. For more information about Commitment Day, or to register for the January 1 5K fun walk/run near you, visit commitmentday.com. Be sure to like Commitment Day on Facebook and follow the movement on Twitter for the latest updates and event news.

Ring in the new year with fitness and get on track for a fun, happy and healthy 2015. We hope to see you there!

Sarah Haskins and Cameron Dye Take First Place in the Life Time Tri CapTex in Austin, Texas

Athletes raise $10k for St. Jude Children’s Hospital

The Life Time Tri CapTex on Monday, May 26, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Nearly 2,000 professional, paratriathlon, elite, amateur and first-time triathletes participated in the race taking place at the Palmer Events Center. In its 24th year, the Life Time Tri CapTex has become a Memorial Day tradition.

2014-CapTex-Tri-results-225x300“It’s exciting to see thousands of athletes take advantage of this rare opportunity to run, swim and bike through the heart of the city,” said Kimo Seymour, Vice President, Life Time Athletic Events. “We are proud of the entire local athletic community, High Five Events and the Jack and Adams team who worked with us to carry on this Austin tradition in a safe, organized and fun way.”

Life Time Tri CapTex is the second in Life Time’s six-event pro series. Thirty-three professional triathletes participated in the event. Sarah Haskins (USA) won the female professional division with a time of 2:00:52:01 and currently leads the series. Alicia Kaye (USA), winner of the 2013 series and Toyota Triple Crown, finished second with a time of 02:01:30:86, followed by Helle Frederiksen (DEN) with a time of 02:01:46:69. Cameron Dye (USA) won the male professional division with a time of 01:51:41:01 and ranks first in the series. Ben Collins (USA) finished second with a time of 01:52:48:53, followed by third-place finisher Michael Poole (USA) with a time of 1:54:03:19.

The winners of the Life Time Tri CapTex took home part of a cash purse of $30,000 and earned points toward their overall standings going toward the series finale, Life Time Tri Oceanside in October. As the 2014 Life Time Tri Pro Series progresses, participant results and current point standings will be available at lifetimetri.com, the series’ official website.

Due to inclement weather, the course was shut down early to ensure the safety of all athletes, leaving some unable to complete the full race. Race timers will determine each athlete’s unique circumstances in order to post the most accurate results possible. Once complete, all results for the Life Time Tri CapTex will be listed at https://captextri.com/captex/results/.

For more information and updates on the Life Time Tri series, visit lifetimetri.com, “Like” the Life Time Tri Facebook page or follow @lifetimetri on Twitter. More information about Life Time Athletic Events is available at EventsByLifeTime.com and on Twitter @lifetimefitness.

How To Carb-Unload Your Favorite Pasta Dish

By Brooke Schohl, MS, RD

It’s the night before a big race. A giant bowl of pasta is just what the doctor ordered, right? No – the carb-loading ship has sailed. Use these tips to make your favorite pasta dish more metabolically efficient.  

While endurance athletes absolutely need carbs in their diet, too much of this macronutrient hinders the body’s ability to burn fat for fuel. Fat is the preferred substrate for everyday fueling as well as training/racing. Think about it: your carb stores top out at two or three hours; your fat stores can carry you through up to 10 long-distance races.

Many training foods are heavy in the carb department (easily digestible simple sugars), as athletes need quick energy during training/racing. But is this the best fueling strategy for your day-to-day life? Instead fill the body with foods that stabilize blood sugar, keep energy levels consistent and improve satiety. Counteract carbohydrate blood sugar spikes by adding a fat and protein source to meals and snacks. Include carbs in your daily diet but make them the sideshow (along with fat, protein and vegetables) instead of the main act.

If you’re a pasta junkie, don’t freak out. Use the following tips to carb-unload your favorite pasta recipe and make it more metabolically efficient.

1. Swap regular pasta for quinoa or brown rice pasta.
When you do eat grains, make sure they are quality choices. Enriched flour pastas have little nutritional value and are high in calories.

2. Reduce pasta amount by half or 3/4.
You don’t need an entire box of pasta for a dish to taste great. Cut the amount and see if you even miss it.

3. Add more veggies.
Increase the ratio of vegetables to pasta. The fiber in the veggies will fill you up more than the pasta ever could.

4. Easy on the milk, butter and cheese.
Don’t eliminate these ingredients – you’d miss out on the delicious sauce and consuming fat is ok. Simply scale back a little (try cutting these ingredients in half). Again, you won’t miss it.

Bottom line: Experiment with recipes – don’t feel locked into the ingredients and amounts. This also holds true for restaurant dining. Be comfortable with the meal you select at a restaurant or prepare at home. There’s no need to eliminate favorite meals, just modify them to fit your healthy, super-fit lifestyle. Enjoy guilt-free, that’s the way it should be.

Brooke Schohl, MS, RD, METS, is a registered sports dietitian and the owner of Fuel to the Finish Endurance Nutrition Coaching in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is an avid triathlete, having completed many triathlons of all distances including three Ironman races. She integrates that personal experience and knowledge into developing customized, sport-specific, metabolically efficient fueling plans for her clients. Brooke and her husband, John, own two Scottsdale, Arizona-based triathlon stores named Destination Kona. For more information on services and offerings, visit her website at www.fueltothefinish.com.

7 Simple Truths for a Faster Triathlon Swim

by Coach Troy Jacobson

Most people new to the sport of triathlon find that the swim leg is the most challenging. Images of arms flailing at iconic mass start events bring fear and loathing to many newbies as they struggle with the fundamentals. Putting oneself in the situation of having to navigate through rough waters while in hand to hand combat isn’t appealing to most folks, but the truth is, the triathlon swim is easier than you think and the following list of seven tips will help you get to that finish line faster, and in one piece.

1. Practice consistently and be dedicated to continual improvement.
If there’s one area where most triathletes struggle, it’s with consistency and getting adequate pool time. Triathletes learning the fundamentals of swimming should get into the water at least three days per week, if not four days. Only by putting in the time and energy will you improve and get more comfortable in the water.

2. Focus on the fundamentals of good stroke mechanics.
Swimming, by nature, is unnatural to people. We’re not built to ‘glide’ through the water effortlessly and must work to maximize our efficiency in the water as much as possible. This means focusing on developing proper swim mechanics by breaking down our stroke and practicing drills designed to improve our body position and various components of the freestyle stroke. And this focus never ends… even elite swimmers train and reinforce proper stroke mechanics with a steady diet of drills.

3. Get another set of eyes… use a coach.
As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” The way you think you look when you swim is often far from how you actually look. Working with a coach who can provide feedback and keep you on track and progressing is important. Frequent video analysis of your stroke will also help you gain a better understanding of what you’re doing correctly and where you can improve.

4. Develop your kick.
Although most triathletes will swim with a buoyant wetsuit on race day, somewhat negating the effectiveness of the kick, the development in training of a strong kick is still essential. Not only will kicking enhance your overall conditioning, it will also help to provide some propulsion, as well as help to stabilize your body position in the water.

5. Join a swim program.
Most areas will have a local masters or triathlon-focused swim program led by a qualified coach. Join the program and use it regularly as the coaching, structured swim training and competition will help drive your performance to the next level.

6. Practice swimming in the open water.
While pool swimming is great for working on the fundamentals of proper stroke mechanics and for conditioning, practicing in open water helps develop specific skills needed on race day. These include sighting, navigating current, swimming in close quarters to other athletes, drafting on fellow competitors and more. And if you intend to wear a wetsuit on race day, be sure to practice with it first in the open water! There’s nothing more uncomfortable than getting to your race, starting the swim and realizing that your wetsuit doesn’t fit properly.

7. Incorporate strength training into your routine.
A stronger athlete is a faster athlete, and get’s injured less often. Adding a strength routine to your swim program in the form of traditional ‘dry land’ modalities using elastic tubing, bodyweight exercises and other tools like medicine balls is a great way to boost your performance.

Incorporate these simple suggestions into your swim program and you’ll be on track to a successful triathlon swim!

Coach Troy Jacobson
Head Coach – Life Time Tri

Troy Jacobson is a former pro, creator of the Spinervals cycling video series and Head Tri-Coach for Life Time. Learn more at www.coachtroy.com.