Ultra-Runner Shares How She Wins at Everything!

Ultra-Runner Shares How She Wins at Everything!

meredith-dolhare-badwaterAfter a stellar career in high school and college tennis, a busy married life with two young children, a newspaper column on fitness and a career in PR and advertising, a business as a certified personal trainer, and extensive volunteer work, Meredith Dolhare found herself sidelined with a second badly broken foot in 2007. Her husband Walter suggested she set a goal, and she picked Iron Man – although she didn’t own a bicycle. Dolhare started spinning classes while she was still wearing a cast and competed in her first Iron Man in 2008.

Finding Her Outlet

“I realized I had the bandwidth for it,” she says. “I ran a marathon right before it in Prague. I realized that I liked the long stuff and I had a real knack for the bike. I found my outlet for competitiveness.” She ran 12 Iron Mans in three years, Ironman colored logoincluding three on consecutive weekends in the Alps followed a month later by an Ultraman in the United Kingdom – 6.2 miles swimming, 261.4 miles biking, and 52.4 miles running.

After spinal surgery in 2012, Dolhare returned to run a 100-kilometer race and a 135-mile race. She struggled with nausea – vomiting frequently during races when she ate solid food or too many calories.

The Right Stuff has made a huge, huge difference. The first race I used, it I won

“I have a lot of trouble with electrolyte imbalance,” she says. “The Right Stuff has made a huge, huge difference. The first race I used it, I won” – two hours ahead of the second-place woman in a 50-mile race that was training for the 135-Badwater 135mile Badwater in Death Valley, with temperatures up to 130 degrees. The next weekend, she finished a double marathon in San Francisco even faster, and she placed third among women in Badwater, where she took a bottle of The Right Stuff every 2½ hours. Months later, she finished the companion 508-mile Death Valley Cup – the sixth woman ever to complete both races in the same calendar year.

“I used The Right Stuff also during the bike race,” she says. “I couldn’t have done it without it. That product really works for me. I use it sometimes before I run, during the run, after the run. I drink it during the day.” Her 14-year-old son and some others on his cross-country team that she coaches also use The Right Stuff.

Athletic Participation is a Longtime Focus

Athletic participation is a longtime focus for Dolhare, who grew up in Memphis and was the 9th-ranked U.S. tennis player when she graduated from high school. She went to UCLA on a scholarship but transferred after her freshman year to Vanderbilt University, where she was captain of a team that rose from 72nd in the country to eighth by the time she graduated with honors. “It was a great experience,” she says. “I loved it.” But her extensive play – singles and doubles, fall and spring – left her overused shoulder too damaged to pursue a professional tennis career.

Non-Profit Engages People Through Running

After the NCAA tournament her senior year, she married Walter, a star tennis player at the University of Notre Dame who had gone into banking. She started work in advertising and public relations, as well as her “Get off the couch” newspaper column. The couple moved from Memphis to Charlotte soon after their first son was born, and she started volunteering and fundraising. In 2012, she founded RunningWorks, a non-profit running program that engages people in running to foster teamwork, discipline, confidence, self-respect, and respect for others.

Ultrarunner/Clinical Nutritionist Offers His Take on High Fat Diet for Endurance Athletes

Ultrarunner/Clinical Nutritionist Offers His Take on High Fat Diet for Endurance Athletes

Carwin LIDr. Carwyn Sharp traces his interest in nutrition to his undergraduate days when he earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Movement Studies at the University of Queensland. He also holds a Master of Science in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from Ball State University and a Ph.D. in Clinical Nutrition/ Nutritionist from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.  He also has 14 years of coaching experience including as the Head Performance Coach at Elite Training 4 Athletes. In addition, he is an accomplished athlete with a marathon PR of 2:46 and is a competitor in ultra-distance running races.

Today, Sharp is Chief Science Officer for the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). NSCA LogoHis interest in nutrition is personal as well as professional.

“I got into endurance sports and more recently have been dabbling in a high-fat diet,” Sharp says. “There are a lot of endurance athletes using high-fat diets. You’re training your body to utilize fat.” This approach avoids the problem of carbohydrate-dependency for athletes whose workouts or events, such as marathons or Iron Mans that last three or more hours and require replenishing of the carbohydrates.

“If you’re dependent on a high-carb diet, which most athletes are, you can have a problem,” Sharp says. “You’ve got enough fat to last for days. It intrigued me. The benefits of the high-fat diet opposed to the high-carb diet are pretty evident.” The downside to high-fats diets, he says, is that it leads the body to excrete sodium at a higher rate than carbohydrate users.

I felt better once I had taken the extra sodium. Since then, I always have it around just in case.

“You need to replace a lot of fluids and a lot of electrolytes,” he says, especially in the high-altitude area like Colorado Springs where I live.

I was looking for a product I could take during longer workouts. When you go out on these long training bouts or race events, having something palatable is very helpful. A lot of times when you’re running, you don’t have access to soup along the way. You want something tasty as opposed to water and tablets. For me, I was having some GI problems. I have a fairly sensitive stomach. You want something in liquid form.”

Sharp met David Belaga of The Right Stuff at an NSCA conference and tried the product during the 2013 Leadville Trail 100 (mile) race in Colorado.Leadville Series

“I was really dehydrated,” Sharp recalls. “I felt better once I had taken The Right Stuff. Since then, I always have it around just in case. I recommend it to athletes. I recommend it to anybody who’s interested in trying a higher-fat diet. It certainly something worth trying. One of the keys is that it is a no-calorie product. I think some people consume too many calories.”

[Editor’s Note: The Right Stuff® is NSF Certified for SportCertified for Sport Mark_Blue 633KB which means every batch is tested and cleared not to contain any banned substances, heavy metals or any other adulterants; learn more: http://nsfsport.com/listings/certified_products_results.asp ]

Decades of Competing in Endurance Races Equals Many Years of Success

Decades of Competing in Endurance Races Equals Many Years of Success

greer 2Mike Greer, who grew up running track and playing football near Lubbock, Tex., was a heavy-sweating athlete long before anyone invented electrolyte-replacement sports drinks. “I wonder how any of us even lived,” he says. “They wouldn’t allow us to hydrate during workouts or after workouts sometimes.”

Today, at age 76, with 44 marathons and 369 triathlons (so far) on his resume

Greer has adopted The Right Stuff to keep himself hydrated, and he recommends the product to others who come to him for motivation and participate in his events. His BSLT Triathlon Inc., which organizes 10 triathlons and other races each year, held its BSLT Logo26th annual Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake east of Lubbock in June.

Greer’s long story, with chapters still being written, has health at the heart and touches a host of family, education, business, and hobby experiences.

After high school, he won a full athletic scholarship to the University of Houston, U of Houstontransferred to the University of Texas at Arlington in both sports, and served in the Army for nearly three years, keeping up his fitness and his competitive drive in his career as a sales representative and business owner. Without a UT Arlingtonhigh school or college coach to motivate him, he motivated himself.

Going the Distance

“I maintained my fitness over the years by doing things I could do,” he says. “In the Army, I took up the game of handball. After 12 years of that – sometimes you’ve got to recognize things going on in your body – I decided to go for more aerobic stuff.” He broke a foot during a handball tournament and was suffering frequent pain in both elbows.

Greer’s track events had been the 100-, 200-, and the 400-meter relay in college, and he had stayed away from distance running. But he decided to run a mile one day, and after two weeks, he was running 10 miles. “I wasn’t running very fast, but I was running,” he says. “I liked the feel of it. I started running with the local running club.”

In the mid-1970s, Greer entered his first marathon, near Lubbock, and finished in 4:52 – through a wind chill of 40 below zero and 20 water crossings – placing second when he let a bundled-up competitor pass him in the last quarter-mile. “That was my introduction to endurance running,” he says. “It really charged me. I had the bug.” He cut his time to 4 hours in the next marathon and broke 4 hours in the third. With that start in 1977, he’s run 44 marathons and 65,000 miles. Since he turned to triathlons in 1983, Greer has run 369 and counting. “I want my body to stay in shape,” he says. “The main thing I believe in exercising is the heart muscle.”

The main thing I believe in exercising is the heart muscle.

Greer met David Belaga at the USA Triathlon expo in Colorado and became a representative for The Right Stuff soon after trying the product.

“Being an endurance athlete, I’m always looking for something that’s going to help with leg cramps, help me prevent dehydration,” he says. ‘It was designed to do that for very important people – when you go in a spaceship and you go off the planet, you’re going to be naturally dehydrated. They designed it for them, but endurance athletes dehydrate a lot too. 4 flavors V_comp wh bkgrndThe Right Stuff is so far ahead of what’s out there from a hydration standpoint. Rather than dehydrate and do something about it, it gives you the ability to hydrate and stay hydrated and not go into this deficit.”

Greer drinks The Right Stuff in 16 ounces of water when he works up a sweat, such as a few minutes on the bike after swimming in a triathlon. “When you feel a sweat, you start drinking,” he says. “That’s my rule of thumb. Don’t try to slam it.

Your body’s more open to receive The Right Stuff once you’d worked up that sweat in the heat of the workout or the heat of competition. That’s basically how I use the product and recommend people use the product.”

Concentration is Key

The Right Stuff, like dependable bicycle tires and well-stocked water and food stations on the triathlon route, leave him free to concentrate on competing, Greer says. “I know my hydration’s good,” he says. “I don’t have to worry about that. I don’t have to worry about anything but competing. That’s the ultimate for an athlete.”

While pursuing his demanding fitness regime, Greer has also earned the equivalent of a master’s degree in military science and a Ph.D. in psychology; organized eight businesses, including a material handling firm for the cotton industry; stayed in the active reserves for the Army, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel; written two books; and raised six children. Greer has 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He and his wife Marti are in the USA Triathlon Federation South Midwest Hall of Fame, and she is in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame for gymnastics.

greer imageGreer advises endurance athletes and others as a certified life coach (greercoach.com), more motivational than technical. “I motivate people to do the sports if they’re interested in being motivated. I’ve motivated lots of athletes who came to me and said ‘what do I do to get started?’” he says. “I give them my formula. It’s not even written down. I tell them, ‘here’s the three stages you’re going to be involved with me. Then get a good coach.’” One woman who took his advice became one of the top ultra-endurance athletes in the world, winning double Ironmans five times in eight years.

In his spare time, Greer rides a Harley-Davidson and studies U.S. presidents. Recently, a remark about Jimmy Carter’s goal-setting inspired him to make a long-range list that will take him to 91. That includes at least 10 events, including three half-marathons, a year, and probably some more Ironman races.

“That’s the way I do my life,” he says. “It’s been a full life up to here, and you know what? It’s not over. During the years, I’ve tried to stay right on the cutting edge. I’ve been able to have a very diversified life.”

Drew Cole – Motocross – The Right Stuff Athlete Advocate

I have had the opportunity to evaluate the free samples, received through Hookit…and was very happy with the results. My evaluation consisted of 4 days of 4-6 hours of single track and motocross riding in 94-96 degree heat (Durhamtown, GA), in full motocross racing gear. Needless to say, heavy sweating, dehydration and overheating is the norm. On day one, I drank pure coconut water in my hydration pack and suffered from dehydration towards the end of my ride (primarily fatigue & overheating with minor chills). Over the next 2 days, I mixed two pouches of the citrus blend with 3-4, 16 oz bottles of water in my hydration pack. After the exact same rides in nearly identical conditions, I experienced a significant decrease in symptoms. My endurance was sustainable and core temps seemed manageable.

Drew Cole - MotoCross Athlete Advocate
Drew Cole – MotoCross Athlete Advocate

5 Tips To Maximize Your Training

With the arrival of spring, you can see them all over. In brightly-colored clothes in suburban areas, weaving in and out of pedestrians under the watchful gaze of skyscrapers or on solitary bike trails early in the morning. Spring heralds the time of year when endurance athletes comes out of the winter months to begin training for the long-awaited races.

The Country Music Marathon, The Badwater Ultramarathon, The Race Across America and your local 10K or half-marathon race for charity in your neck of the woods all mean one thing to the endurance athlete – training.
Whether for the fun of it or the competition, maximizing your experience in event training is of utmost importance. Proper training will benefit the endurance athlete to help avoid physical injury either before, during or after the competition.

Here are a some well-recognized tips to consider when training:

1. Do not overtrain – although this may seem like a good idea, overtraining can actually damage your body faster. Oftentimes, endurance athletes feel as though their training regimen is not effective enough and so they train harder. This can be the root of overtraining. Although training or exercise is the root to strong competition. It is the proper rest after the exercise that makes an endurance athlete fit. A great aid for balanced training is to keep a log. Your log should show elevated training periods over a long period of time as your body begins to strengthen and adjust to your regimen.

2.  Pay attention to Injuries, especially seemingly minor injuries – nearly every athlete will injure themselves to some degree, either during training or during the competition. The relative impact of how that injury effects you during competition is determined by your responding quickly. This requires that you understand how your body responds to certain stimuli. Know your gait, your stride, your breathing patterns. Understanding your body on this level will allow you to catch injuries as early as possible and can help protect you from exacerbating the injury.

3. Cross Train – Although many athletes believe that total focus on their single sport (e.g., running) may be the best course of action, The American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine encourages cross training as the ‘total body tune-up, something that can not be achieved if an athlete concentrates on just one type of activity.’ And it is notable that it goes on to say that cross training may help the athlete “experience fewer overuse injuries”.

4.  Train Carefully and Thoughtfully – An athletes training for an endurance race, be it cycling, a marathon or a triathlon – needs to begin months in advance. This will begin to prepare your body for the task it will undertake. This training is not only a physical effort but, as importantly, a mental one. Endurance competition begins before the proverbial rubber ever meets the road. It begins in the mind. Set goals for yourself and fully develop the mental aspect of how you will, and did, accomplish that goal.   As you train, listen to your body to determine what works best for you. Keep a log of how long you trained, which types of exercise you did, what you ate and don’t forget to also log your fluid intake.

5.  Nutrition and Hydration – If you speak with the most every elite athlete, they will quickly let you know that it is not only critical to train your body through exercise but it is equally important to take care of yourself on the inside too.  The foods you eat (macro-nutrients; carbs, protein and fat) are essential to a successful training program.  Be sure to eat a healthy and varied diet (cross-train your digestion system too)!  And, especially as we head into the warmer months, be sure to hydrate.  But remember, water alone may not be enough.  When you train in excess of an hour your body can excrete grams of electrolytes (e.g. sodium and chloride) through your sweat.  You need to replenish those too.  Doing so will provide you the best recipe for success for your body.