(Cover and bicycle photo below credit: FinisherPix)
Every week, the Louisville Women’s Sports Network highlights a local woman by asking her six questions about her health and fitness routine. Sponsored by Baptist Health Sports Medicine, this week’s guest is Chelsea Grover. If there is a woman you’d like us to feature, email suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My name is Chelsea and I am a certified personal trainer at Baptist Health Milestone Wellness Center. I graduated from Western Kentucky with my Bachelor’s in Exercise Science and Recreation Administration and have a passion for sports, health/wellness, and helping people reach their goals.
Soccer had been a part of my life since I was three and a half years old all the way through college. When I graduated, I knew I wanted to continue achieving goals while I helped my clients achieve theirs. I started running marathons in 2011, and it has taken off since then, even though my famous words were “I would never do that again!” Since then, I have now done five marathons including Boston in 2015, two half Ironmans, the Dopey Challenge in Disney World, and my latest accomplishment is Ironman Louisville!
Other than training others and myself, I love spending time with my boyfriend, family, and friends, trying new things and just enjoying life.
Six Questions About Your Fitness & Health
1) What is your weekly training/exercise routine?
It really depends on what I am training for. My marathon, half ironman and Ironman training plans had me working out six days a week with one off day. During half Ironman and Ironman training, three out of those days had double workouts. Ironman training eventually built from 8-10 hours of exercise a week to my peak week of 22-24 hours! Along with the cardio, I also strength trained two times a week to stay strong and help prevent injury.
Currently, we are in “offseason” since I just got done with Ironman. I plan to keep a swim/bike/run base through winter by doing each 1-2 times a week, but nothing structured. I enjoy spin class and running shorter races. I will add more strength and plyometric training to build back my strength and speed as well. Working at Milestone also allows me access to our amazing group exercise schedule that offers over 200 classes a week! I know I will add a few to my weekly schedule to vary up my routine.
2) How do you prepare for a workout?
I am a planner. I believe that you have to have the right mindset to get the most out of your workout. For any workout, but especially all throughout Ironman, I would lay out all my equipment, nutrition, and hydration the night before. I would write in my planner the time I could do my workout around my clients and other obligations. I made no excuses, I just got it done (even if that meant getting up at 4:30 am to go run or get on my bike trainer).
I typically listen to fast music when I run to mentally keep me going, but the more I got into my Ironman season the more I went without it. I would have my workout printed out from TrainingPeaks (from my coaches), so I knew what I needed to execute that day whether it was a tempo swim bike or run or an interval workout.
3) What do you eat, drink or do for quick energy?
I love Clif bars to snack on if I am going to get in the pool, on my bike, or go run in about an hour, as well as bananas, oranges or fruit squeezes. I typically eat most of that also on my bike. I like Snickers Bites when I run long training runs. Before an early morning workout, I will also do whole grain waffles with honey.
My daily schedule differed throughout the week based on my clients needs, so I would eat accordingly to make sure I would have enough energy to work and workout. I would have 5-6 smaller meals a day, with every meal having a carb, protein, and fat. Around my workouts, though, it was mostly carbs.
I met with a sports nutritionist to help me figure out my nutritional needs for Ironman. It was a lot of calories, especially when having two training days plus the long rides and long runs on the weekends. I needed a breakfast of at least 350 calories before my workout in the morning. Any workout lasting over an hour, I needed 90 grams of carbs and 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes after. I crave my low fat organic chocolate milk as soon as I am done, and I will add a piece of fresh or dried fruit to Greek yogurt, then I would eat an actual meal about 90 minutes later. Possibly my favorite long-ride recovery treat is either an Oreo or Blizzard. Everything in moderation.
If I was hungry, I ate. During peak training, it was absolutely unreal how hungry I was. I had to also up my “good fats” intake as my endurance training got longer in order to stay full and fueled.
Eating during a long bike or long run is also different than normal day nutrition. I would take in 30-60 grams of carbs per hour, typically closer to the 60 mark with hydration and nutrition.
5) What do you snack on between meals when training?
In between meals when training I would snack on Greek yogurt with granola, or pistachios, maybe with a piece of fruit. My mid-afternoon snack would sometimes be pretzels, carrots, and humus. I also enjoy an English muffin toasted with cheese, turkey, and tomatoes, and my favorite would be a peanut butter and jelly.
6) What are your fitness & health goals?
My health and fitness goals are to continue to see what I can achieve. Ironman to me was to prove to myself and to everyone else that you really can do anything with hard work and determination. I already have written out my races I want to do in 2016. I plan to race a half marathon in February to try to get a personal record. Ironman really slowed my running and I want to get some speed back!
I am running the Derby Full Marathon in April and a half ironman in Muncie, Indiana again (third time) in July. I absolutely just love endurance racing and pushing myself beyond what I think are my limits. My other goals are to be able to help others achieve their own goals and teach them to goal set. I always have a goal in mind. It keeps me motivated and striving for something as well as keeping a balanced schedule.
I am also going on a four-day, 25-30 mile hike with my boyfriend and some of our good friends on the John Muir Trail at Yosemite National Park next August! Never stop exploring and living your dreams 🙂