Category Archive: Uncategorized

Mack Cycle Escape to Miami Triathlon Cancelled

After great deliberation, and exhausting all options in search of an alternate weekend, it is with great disappointment that we announce the cancellation of the 2017 Mack Cycle Escape to Miami Triathlon.

The decision to cancel was made in consideration of the continued recovery efforts across Miami, South Florida, and the entire Southeastern United States.

While uncharacteristically resilient, we Miamians are still presented with a variety of challenges, including power outages, school closures, unsafe water conditions, and excessive storm debris. Our team continues to monitor needs of local agencies, and firmly believes that using valuable city services to produce a triathlon is not in the community’s best interest.

Therefore, at this time, Life Time Tri is unable to commit to providing a safe, secure, and premiere racing experience in Miami on September 24. We appreciate your patience, your understanding, and your support of our local community.

 

Registration Implications
As it relates to currently registered 2017 Mack Cycle Escape to Miami Triathlon participants, we offer the following options in regards to your registration:

  1. Defer your 2017 entry to the 2018 Mack Cycle Escape to Miami Triathlon (date TBD), free of charge.
  2. Transfer your entry to another 2017/2018 Life Time Tri Series events (any distance, individual or relay), free of charge:
    • Life Time Tri San Diego (10/15/17)
    • South Beach Triathlon (4/15/18)
    • Life Time Tri CapTex (5/28/2018)
    • Life Time Tri Minneapolis (7/14/2018)
    • Transamerica Chicago Triathlon (8/26/2018)
    • Life Time Tri Tempe (9/16/2018)
  3. Donate your 2017 registration fee to Save the Children’s Hurricane Irma Relief efforts.

Participants have until Friday, October 20 at 11:59 pm EST to indicate their deferral or donation selection. Click here to log into your Chronotrack account to make your selection.

For deferral or transfer options, login and pick “Defer My Registration For Another Event”. You will then receive an email with a promo code, which you will use to register for the upcoming Life Time Tri event of your choosing. Registration for San Diego is currently available.  All other Life Time Tri Series events will open registration on November 1, 2017.  When you enter your code, your registration cost will be $0.00.

To donate your 2017 Mack Cycle Escape to Miami registration fee to Save the Children’s Hurricane Irma Relief efforts, login and pick “Change to Another Race”. At that time, you will be able to choose the “Donate to Save the Children” option.

 

Support Miami’s Recovery Efforts
We strongly encourage you to support Life Time Tri’s official charity partner, Save the Children, who has been on the ground in the Miami community since Irma struck. Please click here to learn more about their incredible efforts. For athletes looking to put their training to work, and make those miles matter, consider enrolling in the Save the Children Run for Relief Virtual 10K.

 

Packet Pick Up Opportunity
Registered participants will be able to pick-up their t-shirt, goodie bags and race medals at Mack Cycle & Fitness in Miami. Exact dates and times are to be determined, as the store is still recovering from storm damage. Details will be emailed and posted once confirmed.

 

Miami Challenge Implications
Participants who originally registered for the 2017 Escape to Miami Triathlon, and completed the 2017 South Beach Triathlon, will still earn their 2017 Miami Challenge Medals. Qualifiers will be able to pick-up their medals at Mack Cycle on a future date (to be determined, once reopened). For questions regarding the 2017-2018 Perfect Storm Challenge, please check for updates at the Florida Storm Series web site.

 

Life Time Tri Championship Implications
In consideration of those vying for entry into the new Life Time Tri Championship (July 1, New York City), we will honor the top 6 overall finishers in each competitive, International distance division at the 2018 South Beach Tri (April 15). Click here for more details.

For any other questions, contact us at events@lifetimefitness.com

Hurricane Irma Notice

Hurricane Irma Update: 9/12

Athletes, Sponsors, Volunteers & Friends –

With the full extent of Hurricane Irma’s damage yet to be identified, we are currently unable to provide a definite answer about the state of our Escape to Miami event on September 24. Over the next few days, we will reopen conversations and gather more facts with local authorities and agencies, when they are available to move beyond emergency response. 

Currently Miami has more urgent priorities than hosting a triathlon, which we fully agree and respect. Residents need to return to their homes. Schools need to reopen. Streets need to be cleaned. Normal life needs to resume. We wish the city the speediest of recoveries and are reaching out to help where we can.    

If the city, the residents, and you (our athletes) determine it to be in the community’s best interest to host the race, we will certainly make it happen. We plan to make a final determination by Friday of this week. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding.

More to come.

Hidden Ingredients: Sugar

By Brooke Schohl, MS, RD, CSSD

Does sugar monopolize your day?

Breakfast: Vanilla creamer in your coffee, oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins.

Morning Snack: Standard meal replacement bar.

Lunch: Turkey sandwich on wheat bread, banana

Afternoon Snack: Strawberry Greek Yogurt, granola.

Dinner: Glass of Chardonnay, sweet potato, grilled chicken, green beans.

Dessert: 1-cup ice cream.

The above menu seems pretty decent at first glance. Three meals, three snacks and no fast food. No crazy, unhealthy choices or gigantic portions. While there are some healthy components to this day, the major drawback is the sugar content, a whopping 139 grams!

Over 100 grams of sugar per day has become a commonplace, due to the nutrient’s presence in almost all processed foods. In the example above, the processed food items include: creamer, brown sugar, meal replacement bar, bread, yogurt, granola, wine, and ice cream. All items containing sugar. In addition, many foods naturally contain sugar as well. Raisins, bananas, and the sweet potatoes are all guilty.

It’s gotten to the point that when intentionally “cheating” and having something sweet like a cupcake or candy it isn’t entirely accurate anymore because so many foods contain added sugar. We are cheating all day long, and often don’t even realize it.

The Problem

I shop at my local grocery store frequently and recently picked up a couple food items that really disappointed me when I got home and realized sugar was on the ingredient list. One of the items was a tomato soup. Now tomatoes are technically fruit, and already contain natural sugar. Why in the world add sugar to this product?  I knew immediately after taking the first sip that it contained sugar. It tasted awful. The other product was salsa. Again, the fruits and veggies added to make the salsa are already sugar containing, yet the manufacturer felt the need to add more refined sugar.

Food manufacturers sneak sugar into many products like soup, tomato sauce, salad dressings, salsa, lasagna, lunch meat, crackers, bars, protein powder, condiments, and the list goes on and on. Why is it present in almost all packaged items these days? To improve flavor or make us more addicted?

This is a big problem. And all processed food manufacturers have jumped on board. The popular brand specialty health food stores aren’t any better than your traditional grocery stores. They also add unnecessary sugar, it’s just masquerading under a fancy name.

The Types of Sugar

Don’t let the type of sugar fool you. Whether it’s agave, beet sugar, cane juice, coconut sugar, corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, fructose, glucose, honey, maple syrup, raw sugar, turbinado, or organic sugar, it’s still sugar.  All sugar spikes your blood glucose when consumed alone and will lead to health issues (and addiction) if over-consumed.

The Associated Health Issues

Here’s the really scary part about sugar, the more you eat it, the more you crave it.   Sugar stimulates the hedonic pathway, which leads to habit and dependence, similar to the ethanol in alcohol. The cycle must be broken. Reducing daily sugar intake can truly be a battle as the mind must be re-trained and reminded that you don’t need those foods. Old habits must be broken and new ones established. There is a detox component of sugar unloading. Headaches, energy fluctuations, and irritability seem to be the most common side effects. But these only last a few weeks, and it is well worth the investment.

Sugar is linked to Metabolic Syndrome, of which the markers include weight gain, abdominal obesity, high LDL/low HDL, increased blood sugar, increased triglycerides, and increased blood pressure. It can also cause high uric acid levels, which is linked to heart and kidney disease. In addition, sugar consumed in excess is taxing on the liver, just like alcohol. Fructose-containing foods feed cancer cells and are also linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

The Solution

 1) Awareness. Be aware of everything contributing sugar to your daily fuel plan. Remember the sample intake day above? By making some simple changes, you can cut over half the sugar and feel a lot better.

Breakfast: Half & half creamer in your coffee, oatmeal with coconut oil and walnuts.

Morning Snack: Unprocessed bar made out of whole foods/ingredients.

Lunch: Turkey sandwich on wheat bread, hummus/carrots.

Afternoon Snack: Plain Greek Yogurt, berries, pecans.

Dinner: Glass of Chardonnay, sweet potato, grilled chicken, green beans

Dessert: ½ apple, almond butter.

66 grams of total sugar for the day.

 How much sugar is reasonable per day? Well, the American Heart Association recommends no more than 24 grams for women and 36 grams for men. But keep in mind that as an athlete, there are certain times of the training season where you are consuming more carbohydrates to meet training demands so there is some flexibility in these numbers. Regardless, keeping daily sugar intake under 50 grams is a good goal. Foods containing natural sugar are always a better option than refined sugar.

2) Label Reading. Assume that all packaged items contain sugar, and force the label to prove you wrong.

3) Find Better Substitutions. Granola is a food that is usually very high in carbs and sugar, often having 3-5 different types of sugar added for flavoring. A client of mine recently enlightened me to a better brand, which contains only 4 grams of sugar from a single source. The point is, there’s almost always a better option, it just may take some searching.

4) Make Your Own. When you make your own granola, cookies, bars, etc. you are able to fully control the ingredient list and make adjustments that you are comfortable with. It takes some extra time, but it’s well worth the investment.

In Summary

The good news is that you CAN cut back on sugar and feel much better! Know what foods contain sugar, and avoid those that contain it unnecessarily. Then you can save your sugar intake for those special occasions where you want that delicious slice of birthday cake or some of your favorite wine. Recruit the help of a sports dietitian if you need more guidance. Sugar detox happens to be near and dear to my heart.

Brooke Schohl, MS, RD, CSSD 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 3 Ironman races. She integrates that personal experience and knowledge into developing customized, sport-specific fueling plans for her clients as well as sweat sodium concentration testing.  For more information on services and offerings, visit her website at www.fueltothefinish.com.

How to Plan & Prep Meals

By Brooke Schohl, MS, RD, CSSD

I’m going to level with you. There is no magical, effortless solution to planning and prepping meals. Unless you have a personal chef, eating well requires a good amount of planning, time, and plain using your noggin. Every. Single. Day. Eating well also takes work, which is why so many throw in the towel and resort to convenience, packaged foods chock full of not-so-healthy ingredients.

But this isn’t meant to discourage you. It can be done! And it’s not as complicated as you might think. This year, challenge yourself to really do it right. Eat whole foods with minimal chemicals and additives.

There are lots of strategies around meal planning. There is no right or wrong. It just comes down to what works for you, your family and your schedule. I’ve included some tips below to help you get started:

Pick A Day for the Week’s Meal Prep

This strategy works for many people. It gained popularity in recent years and includes doing all of the week’s grocery shopping, meal prep, and meal assembly on a designated day of the week (usually Sunday). You can then pull meals out of the fridge throughout the week, and save yourself time on the busy weekdays.

Advantages:

  • Spend less time in the kitchen during the week.
  • Have the satisfaction of home prepared meals that are conveniently packaged and ready to go.

Disadvantages:

  • Meals/food items can spoil or go to waste due to changes in plans (aka life getting in the way).
  • Time-consuming: This prep/assembly can take the better part of a day, depending on the types of meals being assembled.

Use a Meal/Ingredients Delivery Company

No, this isn’t cheating. You work hard all week and it’s hard to come up with creative (and healthy) meal ideas 7 nights a week. You’ve probably seen the ads for meal kit delivery services or other companies popping up with similar offerings. There is a variety of options to choose from, including number of meals per week, serving size of meals, prepared entrée or the raw ingredients, gluten free or paleo, conventional or organic ingredients, and price point. The choices are endless. We tried one of the services recently and received dinners for 3 nights of the week. Even Dietitians appreciate someone else taking the reins and providing the recipe ideas from time to time.

Advantages:

  • Convenience: Ingredients and/or prepared meals are delivered to your door.
  • Quality: The entrees are really good!

Disadvantages:

  • Cost: These programs can be pricey, especially ones that include local or organic, farm to table high quality ingredients.
  • Time to Prepare Meals: You still have to factor this in for the plans that include raw ingredients and a recipe.

Take Advantage of Healthy Convenience Foods

There are some health conscious time-savers out there when it comes to dinner prep. Rotisserie chickens are a great example, ready to go and extremely versatile.  But check that label and make sure you’re only getting chicken, salt, and pepper. Sometimes stores try to sneak junky filler ingredients in, like preservatives. Another great example is washed and cut produce. Already cubed butternut squash? Genius!  I’ll never buy the whole squash again. Simple time saving solutions like these will free up time in your day.  

Use a Weekly Meal Planning Template 

Think of it as a weekly menu or meal schedule which you can easily create yourself. It forces you to think through the week, and at the minimum, plan out your 7 dinners. It also helps to have a list of your family’s favorite foods and recipes broken down by category (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks). Then you can rotate through these items when you’re not feeling creative or motivated enough to try out a new recipe. It’s easy to forget favorite foods when they aren’t all kept in the same place for reference.

In Summary

There is no magical solution to meal planning. You’ve got to put in the work. But make it easier on yourself and use some of the suggestions above as well as recruiting suggestions from family members and your own quick research. You can do this! Contact a Dietitian if you need further help.

Brooke Schohl, MS, RD, CSSD 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 3 Ironman races. She integrates that personal experience and knowledge into developing customized, sport-specific fueling plans for her clients as well as sweat sodium concentration testing.  For more information on services and offerings, visit her website at www.fueltothefinish.com.

Give the Gift of Triathlon this Holiday Season

Looking for the perfect gift for the triathlete in your life? Order a Life Time Tri gift card!

We are now offering physical gift cards for the following Life Time Tri events:

  • South Beach Triathlon
  • Life Time Tri Marquee
  • Life Time Tri CapTex
  • Life Time Tri Minneapolis presented by Just Bare Chicken
  • Transamerica Chicago Triathlon Mack Cycle
  • Escape to Miami Triathlon presented by Voler

Order your gift cards by 12/20 12:00pm CST to receive them before the holidays!

Click here to ORDER NOW!

*Gift cards will come with unique code on the back for redemption.

Must be redeemed on the corresponding event website that it was originally purchased for.

If you have additional questions, please email us at chicagoregistration@lifetimefitness.com.

2016 Mack Cycle Escape to Miami Triathlon Athlete Guide Now Available

With the summer months coming to a hot and humid close, we welcome September with great excitement and vigor because it could only mean one thing: our annual Mack Cycle Escape to Miami Triathlon presented by Voler is right around the corner!

Whether you are braving the waters just off of Margaret Pace Park or heading inland from the infamous Escape Island, there is no denying the scenic beauty that will accompany you from start to glorious finish. If you are a first timer, we extend to you the warmest of welcomes. For our returning participants, we thank you for your continued interest and support of the event. Make sure you check out the 2016 Athlete Guide for detailed schedules, course information and more.

> 2016 Escape to Miami Triathlon Athlete Guide

Many have tried, but the question remains: WILL YOU ESCAPE?