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Heraclitus and the Purple Tiger

There’s an ancient quote from a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher that (roughly translated) states, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”  (Heraclitus of Ephesus).  It alludes to ever-present change as being the fundamental essence of the universe. You’re probably wondering, “Why would Feedback Sports start waxing poetic in a blog post?” Well, let us tell you. It seems a fitting quote to an athlete who is dubbed, “The Purple Tiger”. Rachel McBride is one of our supported pro triathletes . She’s one of the strongest cyclists on the world circuit and below she writes about a recent special win…in her hometown. As athletes we often run the same trails, race the same courses and often compare our past life vs. current while doing so.  Rachel may not be stepping in the same river twice, but she’s certainly swam there more than a few times.  Find out what it was like to take the podium in her hometown for her 3rd IRONMAN 70.3 win in Victoria.

Ironman 70.3 Victoria CHAMPION!

I have to admit, I was really surprised to run myself onto the top step of the podium at IRONMAN 70.3 Victoria, as my main focus right now is on full distance IRONMAN racing this year, and I headed into this local favourite on tired, un-tapered legs. This is a very special race for me: 2 years ago I hit this pretty much “hometown” start line as my return to racing after 13 months off from injury. My family, including young niece and nephew, were on the sidelines cheering then and of course again this year. Getting a high-5 from my 4 year old nephew was definitely the highlight of the day. 

This race was a fun experiment in seeing what I can do with some fatigue and some risk taking in a strong women’s field. I have been bested in other races over the years by the top contenders on this start line. My race strategy was to go out strong and consistent to try and best those speedy women.

I started the day off with another game-changing swim, coming out of the water only 8 seconds down from speedy swimmer Spieldenner whose feet I’d lost about halfway through. On the bike I quickly took the lead, but world record holder Annett caught me 50km in, and I just couldn’t keep on her. She’s a beast on that bike! She put three and a half minutes on me heading into T2. So I put my head down and went out at that just-so uncomfortable half marathon pace for 2 gorgeous 10.5 km laps on the Elk Lake trails.

I was stoked to see my pace staying strong and consistent. Coming around after loop 1, I got an incredible boost from the crowd support (and my precious high-5!). In fact, I’d taken 90 seconds out of Annett’s lead and powered on to narrow that gap even more. I built confidence as I saw my km splits getting faster on the 2nd round and finally took the lead with 3 km to go. Once again it was an emotional run down that finish shoot, 2 years later in such different circumstances, to take my 3rd IRONMAN 70.3 win.

What’s Rachel’s favorite Feedback Sports product? The Omnium of course.

“My Feedback Sports Omnium Portable Trainer saved me while travelling to race on the other side of the planet. In my lead-up to Ironman South Africa, Cape Town’s notorious winds started gusting at 100 kmh – too dangerous to ride outside. I am so thankful for the Omnium as it allowed me to get my workout in, despite the inclement weather. No matter the weather, traffic, road conditions, etc. the Omnium Portable Trainer is easy to travel with and ready in seconds so you can get your training in on the road without any worry or disruption. I’m never leaving home without it again!”

Find out more about Rachel at www.rachelmcbride.com.

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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!