GS Training

Your Online Personal Trainer

Train Smart, not Hard April 1, 2014

You want to start training for a triathlon, but you are not sure where and how to get started. Train Smart, not Hard workshop will answer your questions!

  • training golden commands
  • what to look for in a training plan
  • how to increase volume
  • training plan samples
  • how to taper
  • nutrition while training

Click on the picture below to see the workshop slides. Let me know if you need more info


Check out other some of my posts: spring training, time to give it a “tri,” how to choose running footwear, what to wear for a triathlon, open water swim, strength training, and race day for your tri!


Strength Training and Nutrition Workshop March 11, 2014

The Why’s and How’s of strength training and nutrition that will give you an edge in your first triathlon.

How can strength training help you out in triathlon training?

What are the guidelines for a well rounded strength training session?

Check out Training Videos for exercise samples

How can nutrition help you out in a triathlon?

Should I eat during training and racing?

Are sport drinks really important and better than just water?

Check out my delicious and healthy Recipes page

Click on the following link to see the workshop presentation: Strength Training and Nutrition Workshop

If you can’t find the answers, just ask the coach!




Fall Granola with Pumpkin Seeds, Millet & Dried Fruit November 15, 2013

I’m sure you have been cooking with pumpkin during the last weeks, and you will keep at it for a few more weeks too. Do not throw away those pumpkin seeds!! Save them for this delicious granola recipe. All you have to do is clean them, dry them and add them to the mixture. I really enjoy this recipe because of the special crunch that the millet adds, and because adding lots of dried fruits allows me to cut on added sweeteners and oils without compromising taste. Although the extra fruit adds natural sugars, it also packs in healthy fiber, minerals and vitamins lacking from other sweeteners.  I’ve found a half cup of millet works best for this recipe: I did try a full cup once, but felt that it was a bit too crunchy.

granola 5

Acorn squash seeds

Acorn squash seeds       granola 6


3 cups rolled oats

½ cup millet

½ cup slivered almonds

½ cup pumpkin seeds or pepitas

1 cup cashews

¾ cup shredded coconut

1 Tbsp. raw sugar

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 Tbsp. maple syrup

2 cups dried fruit (raisins, diced figs, dates, cranberries, etc.)


Preheat oven to 280 F. Combine all ingredients except the dried fruit in a large bowl and mix well. Place mixture in a sheet pan and cook for 60 min, stirring every 20 min. Remove from oven, let it cool and mix in a large bowl with the dried fruit until uniformly distributed. Store in an air tight container.

You can substitute the millet for quinoa, or use half and half. If you add red quinoa, the granola will look so cool! Another twist to this recipe is to add two tablespoon of either carob powder or unsweetened cocoa powder.  It tastes great! I also added spices and it gives the granola a great new taste. I grounded a stick of cinnamon, a cardamom pod and  a couple of cloves and added it to the toasted granola.

Check out the Recipes page for more healthy snacks, drinks, meals, and desserts!


Half Full Triathlon 70.0 2013 Review October 11, 2013

Location: Centennial Park, Ellicot City, Maryland, USA

Registration: Very good; easy-to-follow directions online

Communication: Good. Not much information (such as bike or run course description) on the web site, but when I asked for specific info, I got an immediate helpful response.

Getting to Start: Very good; easy to reach. Get there early to be able to leave your car in the park, This year there were around 1200 participants between the collegiate athletes, olympic and half full 70 participants.

Course: Very good. Swim = pretty good for being a small lake near a big city! One loop on Centennial lake. Bike = Two loops, hilly and technical (I loved it!); scenic; mostly low traffic, except near the park. The pavement was in pretty good conditions, it was rough only in two places . Run = Two loops on a mix of paved trails in the park, quiet suburban community roads and along a busy two line traffic road.  Mix of rolling hills, a couple of steep hard ones, and a couple of gradual climbs. Luckily there was enough shade to keep you cool.

Organization: Very good, organised by Revolution3 Triathlon.

Price: Reasonable ($173 with all fees and permits per person).

Weather: Great; My Garmin said that it was 60 F during the swim and 81 F during the run. Last year (2012) the temperatures were in the 40’s though!

I chose Half Full triathlon mostly for its terrain: I like hills! Also as the organizer’s put it “Our Half is not quite half. At a distance of 70.0 miles, this is more than just a race. The 70 represents 70,000 young adults that are diagnosed with cancer ever year,” I liked their platform.

Transition Area

Transition Area

Packet Pick up at Centennial Park (Fri: 3 pm – 7 pm and Sat: 10 am – 6 pm), located a few yards from the transition area. They had a mandatory bike racking on Saturday too from 10 am to 6 pm.

The morning of the race, we got to the park at about 5:20 am and the first parking lot was almost full. The park opened at 5 am.

Transition: There were lots of volunteers for body marking. The transition area was very well organized. The bike racks are exceptional! They can accommodate narrow (tri type) and a wider type of wheel. They also were numbered and personalized with your name (nice!).

Personal space in the transition area was perfect; the bikes were alternated facing in opposite directions so the bike next to yours (facing the other way) left space for your equipment. The two entrances to the transition area were very well marked, swim in and run out and one to the bike(“BIKE OUT”).


Waiting to get in the water

The swim was a one-loop (0.9 m) on Lake Centennial. There were three groups: Collegiate, Olympic, and Half. The swim (except the collegiate) was a time trial start and consisted of 2 participants entering the water every 5 seconds. The time trial was arranged by waves: Survivors, Team Fight, Men 40+, Women 40+, etc., which made the swim much easier and less crowded than most. The run from the water to the transition area was up a hill!

Transition 1 (T1) was pretty good; easy to navigate from the water to the bike course. The Oly area was on the right, the half on the left, and the relay teams and collegiate had their own separate area.

The bike portion of the race was challenging but very picturesque. It was a two loop course but the start of the second loop doesn’t make it all the way to the park (about 5 miles away). The route had a total ascent of 3,878. ft according to my Garmin, was very well signaled, and there were policeman or volunteers at each major intersection and turns.  The ride started flat followed by many, many rolling hills, with three major climbs (not too long but you had to grind them). Luckily, on one of them there was a team of Super Heroes at the top, who pulled you up the hill!  There were four bottle exchange stations (~Miles 10, 23, 31 and 45) with water and Gatorade, medical assistance, but not food.

Run Out

Coming out of T2

T2 was a breeze thanks to Rev3 bike racks! Everything was well organized and easy to navigate. Nice big “RUN OUT” sign and down hill!

The run started and ended on the park. Between mile 1 and two there were the short but steep hills that killed me!  According to my Garmin the total elevation gain was 856 ft. It was scenic and mostly shady, with many aid stations providing water, Gatorade, cola, ice, and food, along with awesomely helpful volunteers to cheer us on.  The times the course took us on busy roads near the end, the shoulders were wide enough to accommodate both cars and runners, and there were enough police officers and volunteers to keep us safe and help on the intersections. The rest of the running route followed quiet roads and paved trails.

The finish was very nice: up a hill though so save some energy for it!

The post-race party and food were good; there were hamburgers, veggie burgers, chips, and even beer!  There was plenty of room to spread around, and everybody was very nice to talk to.

Overall, my experience was very good, and I definitively recommend this race. The area is lovely, and atmosphere was friendly and welcoming. Even though there were 1250 participants, it never felt too crowded.

Centennial Lake

Centennial Lake


Quinoa & Veggie Salad August 13, 2013

Filed under: Nutrition,Recipes — gloriasafar @ 3:14 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Want to add some protein other than chicken or beans to your salad? Try Quinoa, an ancient grain-like food, known as a pseudo cereal because it is actually the seed of a plant closely related to spinach rather than the grain from a true grass family. This healthy food packs 14 g of protein and 7 g of fiber, among other nutrients, per 100 g (3.5 oz) serving. As you can see in the picture, the seeds can be red or white. There’s a black variety too, but I haven’t seen it in the market yet. This lets you add some colored protein diversity to your meals and get your fiber, too. Happy eating!   


1 cup quinoa, cold, previously cooked (prepare it as you would white rice)

1 carrot, shredded

2 small beets, previously cooked* and diced

1 bell pepper, cut into thin slices

1 can of artichokes hearts, cut into quarters (drained)

2 cups of baby mesclun lettuce (or chopped Romaine, baby spinach or arugula)

2 celery stalks, chopped (replace with fennel if available/preferable)

A handful of cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup olives (pitted)

2 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts

3 oz. feta cheese


1 Tbsp. olive oil,

1 Tbsp. mustard

1 tsp. vinegar, any kind (organic apple cider vinegar will do)

1 tsp. lemon juice

Mix well, make into an emulsion


Mix all ingredients; add parsley, mint, or chopped cilantro if you like.

*Place the well-washed beets in a semi-covered bowl with water  and microwave for 8-10 minutes. Be careful: when they are done, they are extremely hot. After cooling, cut the beets into bite-sized pieces.

Check out the Recipes page for more healthy snacks, drinks, meals, and desserts!


Race Day Jersey Girl 2013 July 23, 2013

Here is the slide-show from today’s “Jersey Girl Race Day” workshop.

Thank you so much for coming, and have a great race on Sunday 8/4!!!!

Race Day-Jersey Girl-2013

Transition Video


Eagle Man Triathlon swimtncard 561


Beat the Heat with Iced Green Tea with Mint July 18, 2013

Filed under: Nutrition,Recipes — gloriasafar @ 12:25 pm
Tags: , ,

Iced Green Tea with Mint

On a hot summer day, there’s nothing like a cool, refreshing beverage to revive your body and mind.  Here’s one that’s invigorating, tasty, and best of all, good for you!




Ingredients (makes 2 liters of iced tea):

8 Tsp of green tea or 8 green tea bags

5 sprigs of spearmint

1 l of hot water (between 160 and 175 F)*

4 cups ice


Heat water to 160-175 F, or, if you don’t have a thermometer (I don’t have one either), heat it until you see small bubbles rising to the surface. Make sure the water doesn’t boil: green tea leaves are very delicate and will lose their subtle flavor if you pour boiling water over them.  If you like your tea sweetened, add some sugar or honey to the hot water and mix well.  Next, place green tea leaves or bags in a heat-resistant recipient, along with 4 sprigs of mint.  Pour the hot water over the tea and mint.  Let it steep for 3-4 minutes (no longer, or it will take on the bitter flavor of over-brewed green tea).  After steeping, place 4 cups of ice and the remaining mint sprigs  in a serving pitcher.  Let the infusion chill, then kick back and enjoy!

Check out the Recipes page for more healthy snacks, drinks, meals, and desserts!


%d bloggers like this: