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Recover Like a Pro – Alicia Kaye

How to Recover Like a Pro

Every athlete, at any level at some point should think about recovery.  It’s an easy topic to ignore as taking breaks and resting can be counter-intuitive when you’re pushing your body to get faster and stronger.  But any coach or top-level athlete will attest that it’s one of the MOST important things you can do to improve your performance.  We thought we’d turn to one of our supported pro triathletes for some practical, but often over-looked advice on recovery.  Having just taken 2nd at Ironman 70.3 Coquimbo, Alicia Kaye is most likely taking her own advice so she can be refreshed and ready for her next challenge.

*And when we say “pro”, we mean it. Here are but a few of Alicia’s accomplishments: 2 x Lifetime Series Champion, 2 x St. Anthony’s Champion, 2 x Kona World Championship qualifier and 5 x 70.3 Champion. 


I often get asked for racing and training tips. While those are very important, equally key are recovery tips. Here are my “PERTs”“Performance Enhancing Recovery Tips”! Get fitter and faster by resting!

Sleeping and Napping
Try to make sure you are getting adequate sleep for the amount of training you are doing. As a pro athlete, it is my job to make this a priority. However, this became much harder when I was a student or working a job and training at the same time. Everyone’s sleep needs are different.

We all sort of know the ideal amount we need to feel good that day. My feel-good amount is 8.  If I get 7 hours, I just feel okay, but I feel down right sick if I sleep less than 7 hours. My ideal amount is 9+. Ironically, I am terrible at napping. My body just doesn’t want to do it, except at altitude! So I will just lie there – no electronics near me – and rest quietly. Someone once told me that laying there free from distraction is 50% the value of actual sleep. Whether or not this is true doesn’t matter to me since the theory really helped curb my sleep anxiety as a kid when I struggled with falling asleep.

Food
Make sure you are eating enough for the amount of training you are doing. Our sport is hard and demanding so it’s important to make sure you are fueling it adequately.  Thinking about food purely from a recovery perspective, make sure you get in a recovery drink or food within 15 minutes of a hard workout.  I always aim for the 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. If I’m training in a particularly warm environment, I’ll sip on Base Rocket Fuel to help replenish my electrolytes. Then within 60 minutes, I follow it up with a proper meal. After particularly hard sessions, I can feel nauseous so I really have to be disciplined about this time line. I also simply listen to my body. If I’m craving lots of salt and fat then I will have a meal that is a reflection of that.

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day so here are two my favorite big session recovery meals:

  • Fat cakes

I use Pamela’s gluten free pancake mix but I don’t follow the recipe at all. I add 3 eggs, milk or almond milk, honey, vanilla and olive oil.  I make the batter on the thin side since I prefer a crepe style pancake. I cook each one in coconut oil.  I top these beauties with fresh berries, full fat Greek yogurt and real maple syrup.

  • Yogurt, berry and granola bowl 

This one is fast and easy to make. I have this EVERY DAY.  I cannot live without this meal for my second breakfast. I have as much full fat yogurt as I like (usually around a cup), tons of fresh berries, a huge helping of Bungalow Munch granola and then top with honey, dark chocolate or pretzels if I am craving salt.

Are you an Extrovert or Introvert? 
Let your recovery time reflect that personality trait. If you aren’t sure if you are an extrovert or introvert, ask yourself a simple question. Would you rather “charge your batteries” by yourself or with a select few people or would you rather go out in a more public setting with a larger group of friends?

I was pretty extroverted when I was in high school and college but now as an adult I am definitely more introverted. So when I need to recover, I make sure my downtime is a reflection of this.  I like to write, read, bake, or watch a movie to mentally recover.

Body Work
I firmly believe in body work that includes modalities such as massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, MAT, laser, etc. These require an investment of time and money but if you have both, then these will assist in your recovery and general health and well-being. My secret weapon is AMP Performance Lotion to help buffer lactic acid before and after all my big training sessions. It works!!

NormaTec (you know…those big puffy-leg-things you see people using)
My husband started working with NormaTec almost 10 years ago. I remember the first time I used them. I was a little skeptical. But sure enough, my legs did feel better. Then we had them at a masters swim meet and anyone that has been a competitive swimmer knows how the lactic acid can really accumulate over a 2-3 day meet. I, along with the rest of our team, was using the NormaTec system in between events and that’s what solidified my belief.

My legs didn’t feel heavy.  I was recovering faster in between events and swimming consistently instead of feeling completely exhausted by day 3. Now I use them every day as a pro triathlete to flush my legs and get ready for the next day.


While we aren’t all pro’s, we can all certainly strive to rest and recover like one.  To get more training and racing tips, Follow Alicia on Instagram. Alicia and her husband, Jarrod are also featured in our latest “Tri Essentials” video, putting our products to good use!

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Pros v. Amos Tri-Style: Featuring Gwen Jorgensen Alicia Kaye and Katie Macarelli

                            Photo: Pro Velo Passion

 

A little back-history of Pro’s vs Amo’s…

These events go back to the summer of 2014 when we had the 1st “Pro’s vs “Amos” contest (“amos” is just a rhyming abbreviation for “amateurs”). There was a chocolate chip cookie bake-off followed by a dodge ball tournament. There was laughter and tears. *It was mostly the laughing and the cookies that inspired us to keep this “challenge” going.

Since then we’ve invited many strong, fun women to join in on the shenanigans. While the cast of women is ever changing (life happens), the spirit of this event never will. This will always be a somewhat silly celebration of the pure joy we all have for our sport.

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Pros & Amos: Tri-Style

In a digital-cyber-y version of 303’s famous Pros v. Amos challenges, we pit famous local “Amo” Katie Macarelli opposite a couple “Pro” athletes you may have heard of… Olympic World Champion Gwen Jorgensen & Professional Triathlete Alicia Kaye! And we’re talking about how Pros live their athletic lives and learn their lessons, compared to Amos… What it’s like as a female role model, mistakes they’ve made, and how they’ve overcome obstacles along the path to stardom… Read on to find out who’s a brainiac with multiple degrees… who hurdles barbed wire fences with ease… and who’s favorite prize ever was 20 pounds of steak.

Here’s some background:

GWEN JORGENSEN
Gwen Jorgensen is a professional triathlete from St Paul, MN. Gwen is a 2x Olympian, 2x World Champion (2014, 2015), and 17x ITU World Triathlon Series race winner. She also likes to read, try new foods, and hang out with friends and family.

Career Highlights:

  • 2016 Olympic Champion
  • 2015 World Champion
  • 2014 World Champion
  • 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Member
  • 2013 USA Triathlon’s Triathlete of the Year
  • 2014 USA Triathlon’s Triathlete of the Year
  • 2015 USA Elite National Champion
  • 2014 USA Elite National Champion
  • 2013 USAT Elite National Champion (Sprint and Olympic Distance)
  • First USA Woman to win a World Triathlon Series race
  • 15-time ITU World Triathlon Series Winner
  • 2010 USAT Rookie of the Year
  • 2010 USAT Elite Duathlete of the Year

ALICIA KAYE
Alicia grew up in Canada and began participating in triathlon when she was 11 years old; she became a professional triathlete at the age of 14. Alicia spent her teen years racing triathlon while juggling her academic studies. While completing her undergraduate degree in Sport Psychology she met fellow triathlete and now husband, Jarrod Shoemaker. Since meeting Jarrod she has began racing for the United States and also completed her masters degree in Athletic Counseling. Some of Alicia’s proudest moments include winning Canadian Junior National Championships in 2001, and winning the St. Anthony’s Triathlon in 2013. In her spare time Alicia works as a mental trainer and runs a skincare company with her husband Jarrod, called Endurance Shield.

Photo: Mountain Moon Photography

And our “Amo,” KATIE MACARELLI
Katie is a Colorado native who grew up on a dairy farm on the Eastern Plains. She got her start in the Colorado cycling scene competing in triathlons for about five years until she realized that running is the worst. She’s a mom of two teenage girls, a year-round bike commuter who hates driving but loves cyclocross. She is currently the marketing manager for Feedback Sports.

Here we go!
1. Have you ever googled yourself? Any oft-repeated MISconceptions out there that you’d like to clear up? Any rumor or tall tale that just keeps popping up on Wikipedia? Here’s your chance to set the record straight. And if not, give us your best pretend fake fact.

GJ:  I’ve googled my husband, Patrick Lemieux, but don’t google myself. I think one thing people may assume is that I come from a running background, however I actually come from a swimming background and didn’t start running until I was a junior in college.

AK: Yes, I’ve googled myself. It almost always just to find an image or to find articles written about a recent race. Maybe once every few years I’ll look to see if anyone is saying something mean or false, but I’ve never found anything truly negative.

KM: ​I work in the digital marketing realm, so of COURSE I have. The only misconception I’ve ever found was an article that listed me as living in Portland. I’ve never actually been to Portland, but it sounds lovely. *I generally disregard everything past page 5 on google, because it’s like reading the comments on Pinkbike. It will just make you mad and/or confused.

2. How has your rise to fame affected your performances? Has there ever been a time when the spotlight really helped you? Or worked against you?

GJ: I am an introvert, so it took some time to get used to the media attention and fans walking up to me. I now enjoy being able to share my experiences, but still need my alone time to recharge.
In 2012, after I qualified for the Olympics I had a bunch of media engagements lined up for the week of a WTS race in San Diego. I did an all day photo shoot along with other media the week leading into the race and I believe this contributed to my poor performance. I think I almost finished dead last.

                Photo: Finisher Pix

AK: I had my breakout year in 2013 winning the Lifetime Series and Toyota Triple Crown. I thought it would be this ultra grand moment where everything would change. But life went on as normal, the money and/ or result didn’t change any of my relationships- we were just able to make a big fat mortgage payment instead;) What was interesting was in 2014 I really struggled to find purpose and meaning after achieving all my goals in 2013, trying to replicate them again in 2014 was an entirely different experience.

KM: I’m not famous, but I do find it hard to get to the start line to any race because I often stop to hug, heckle and/or say hello to friends. As it turns out, missing the start of a race directly impacts your performance.

Click here to read the rest of the article.  A huge thanks to Gwen Jorgensen and Alicia Kaye for playing along with us and of course to Dana Willett of 303triathlon.com for putting this together!