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Order of Ikkos medal awarded to KX3 Head Coach - Kristin Armstrong

"This weekend was a special one to say the least. I was presented with the Order of Ikkos medal by @teamusa Olympic Silver Medalist @emmawhite7 — one of the greatest honors in my career. It’s been an incredible journey coaching such an amazing athlete and person over the last decade. Thank you for bringing so joy to my life over these years. I look forward to the next chapter of our friendship." - Kristin Armstrong
 
The Order of Ikkos is a medallion award symbolizing excellence in coaching made available to all individual U.S. Olympic and Paralympic medalists as representing the athletes' achievement as an Olympic or Paralympic Medalist, in recognition of countless hours training America’s athletes to achieve the dream of an Olympic medal. Each U.S. medal-winning team receives one Order of Ikkos medal to present to a single coach. The medalists can present the award to one coach or mentor. The award is presented as part of each U.S. Olympic medalist's...
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Would You Rather

It all started with a game of “Would You Rather.” We’d had our fill of screen-time, yet we still needed some form of entertainment on the night before the 2022 USATF Cross Country National Championships. Having eaten a giant bowl of carbs smothered in creamy pesto sauce, served with a side of buttered carbs and a salad (a pre-race meal more suited to running a marathon than a measly six kilometers), I felt too sluggish to even stand up. Sprawled diagonally across San Diego Mission Bay Resort’s bed and nestled amongst four pillows, I turned to Jenny.

“One kind of chips for the rest of your life: would you rather have potato chips or tortilla chips?”

“Hmmmm….I dunno…” she said.

“Potato chips,” said Jack, her son. He didn’t even hesitate.

“Only vanilla or only chocolate for the rest of your life: which would you rather?” 

“CHOCOLATE!” We all agreed on this one.

The Would You...

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QUICK + DELICIOUS RECOVERY TIP

KX3 athlete Shayna Powless shares one of her recovery tips.  "I have been racing for many years and I absolutely love being able to share my knowledge of the sport with others."

My first tip is focused on recovery. Recovery is an essential part of maximizing performance and is just as important as the training itself! One thing that everyone should incorporate into their recovery routine is to drink a protein shake within 20 minutes after a workout. Whether it is an easy or hard workout, a protein shake gives your body the amino acids it needs to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. The 20-minute time window is important because you want to begin the recovery process as quickly as possible after exercising. I personally love to use the Clif Chocolate Recovery protein mix (but any chocolate recovery powder works, or even chocolate milk ) with either water or almond milk. If you are at home you can mix it up a bit and add raspberries or your favorite...

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Benefits of Record Keeping

Guest Blog Author: Sarah Vargas, Team TWENTY24 Junior Development Team, Age 11

It is always good to know when you have bad and good days. After my rides, I used to write down my experience of the ride in my journal. Doing this, I would know the reasons on days that I didn’t perform as well as others. Keeping my data managed in TrainingPeaks is helping me improve my progress on and off the bike. 

TrainingPeaks has allowed me to share my metrics and my comments with my coach. When I finish my rides, I like to keep track of how I was feeling and how I performed. Keeping track of my data from ride to ride can tell me what I might do or have done differently to improve the result of the ride. Certain foods or amount of training prior to the activity can affect my fatigue on the ride. Keeping track of how I feel doesn’t seem like a big deal, but in the long run it can have a major impact. I schedule my events in the TrainingPeaks calendar so my coach can see what I am...

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Reaping the rewards of indoor bike training

Every Tuesday morning at 7:10 a.m. I head into my "gain cave" in the garage wondering what Coach Kristin Armstrong has in store for all of us who join the KX3 Weekly Freestyle Group Ride on Zwift. I know one thing. I'll feel the somehow-wonderfully enjoyable suffering during the structured group workout, and then I'll transform into a superhero when I climb off my bike 60 minutes later. 

I've engaged in training with a coach in the past, and I am definitely one who thrives on structure when it comes to exercise. I appreciate the tangibles—working with the data to see my improvement, know when I can push harder, or understand when I need to back off and rest. I've always loved a bit of competition—sometimes amongst others yet even more so with myself—just seeing how I can realize my greatest strength and potential.

But like with anything, my energy and commitment can ebb and flow. Just like some days you eat every fruit, veggie, and lean protein...

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It all starts with what's on your fork!

 

"It all starts with what's on your fork!"

This is how Karen Malkin, National Board-certified Health & Wellness Coach and founder of Karen Malkin Health Counseling, opened our first KX3 AM Coffee Chat this morning. We were ready to take in every bit of healthy inspiration we could in our 45 minutes with Karen, and boy did she deliver a plethora of goodness and insightful guidance in response to everyone's questions. Also a Certified Eating Psychology Coach and Teacher, and a Certified Brain Health Coach (among her many other credentials), Karen emphasized the importance of establishing a healthy relationship with food, and then elaborated on the importance of phytonutrients, seasonal produce, and so much more.

I've wrapped up some of the key takeaways below, and included a few links to resources recommended by Karen. I encourage you to watch the video if you can—there are tasty little nuggets (pun intended)...

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Homemade electrolytes to up your daily hydration game

Several years ago I was introduced to the "morning margarita," and I haven't looked back! It's easy peasy, and may soon become your best friend to jumpstart your hydration.

32 oz cold water + juice of 1/2 lime + 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt*

I usually make it a point to drink mine on the way to work, or before I dive into my coffee for the day. Using a 32 oz Nalgene bottle or similar makes it quick and easy to fill, squeeze, measure, shake and go! I've found that it promotes further hydration throughout the day, I know it's providing me with key electrolytes like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, along with vitamins A, B, C and D. Oh, and antioxidants.

And did I mention it's refreshingly tasty? So tasty in fact, that I sometimes put it in my water bottles for shorter rides when I don't want the sugar, and the electrolytes serve their purpose in helping keep me hydrated. It's a win-win! 

Note: the first few times you drink this, you may taste the salt a...

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Keeping it real along the 100-mile White Rim Trail

As for just about everyone, it had gotten to the point where I put plans on our calendar in pencil versus pen. 2020 was dealing all the wrong cards, until a small yet mighty posse of friends and family partnered up with Mother Nature and we were dealt the perfect hand.

The full harvest moon rose over the La Sal Mountains as we sat perched over the notorious Shafer Trail, so precariously carved into the cliffs of Canyonlands. The next morning we would roll out and down, down, down — seven tight switchbacks descending roughly 1,500 feet over five or so miles to greet the White Rim Trail. Seventy-two of the 100-ish miles ahead of us in the next two days would follow the aptly named sandstone trail looping around and below the Island in the Sky mesa.

Morning greeted us with the glory of a desert sunrise, strong coffee in my camp mug, and the anticipation of what the day would hold. We knew how far we would pedal, yet not how long it would take us. We knew we...

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The easiest, most versatile, most yummiest kale salad

Isn't it the best when you land on a recipe that becomes an easy part of a weekly routine, yet never seems to get old? When it comes to healthy greens packed with vitamins AND flavor, this kale salad delivers on all fronts. And it's even a hit with the two teenage boys in the house! I think it's the subtle play between the red pepper flakes and the dried currants - that slightly hot and slightly sweet - oh, yes please.

Personally, I make as much of this salad as I can because it "holds up" well and then I can pack it for lunches during the week. It becomes a great foundation for other meals.

All you need are the following ingredients:

  • Kale (the curly green kind) - I make 2 bunches minimum
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice (1 whole lemon)
  • Flaky sea salt (I use Maldon because I love the consistency and texture)
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Finely grated parmesan cheese
  • Dried currents (the little Zante ones are the best I've found)
  • Optional: Shaved parmesan 
  • Optional: Toasted pine nuts or...
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