This is why you always watch where you're going on the track. Ouch! If you're squeamish you may want to avoid the below video, but you will miss a great learning opportunity. My favorite part: the guys face on the lower left-hand side of the screen as he is watching the impending disaster.

Let this be a lesson to us all.



I keep toying with the idea of posting some end of the year thoughts (of which I have many), but refuse to do it in one sitting or even at all. However, if i were to start it I would start it with this:

We can complain about the weather. but at least we never saw this! Make sure you wait until at least 1:30 in for everything to get up to speed. Pretty amazing!



Big Day in the High Jump

At today's state meet our two, that's right 2, girls represented very well with a 5th place finish for Paige Follett and an 8th place finish for Katrina Bacovcin. They jumped 5'3" and 5'1" respectively. In a field so stacked with great competitors (the winner jumped 5'8"--insane!) these ladies should be very proud of themselves, and how they finished a very good season.

The high jumpers were not the only ones seeing great successes to this point in the weekend. Here is a short list of those who have placed so far:
  • Julia C., 2nd place, discus
  • Brendon A., 4th place, discus (PR of 163'+)
  • Keegan V., 8th place, 3200m (PR and new school record)
  • Caroline H, 3200m (did not make the podium, but a very impressive race that was both a PR and new school record)
  • Boys 4x800m, 8th place (to my understanding a new PR for the foursome)
  • Girls 4x200m, 8th place (New PR for this foursome as well, and an awesome, awesome, awesome race by all 4 runners)
And there is still one more day to come! Look out for:
  • Julia C. in the ladies shot put at 9:30am. Julia is ranked 2nd and is still peaking off of some awesome performances in the last two weeks.
  • Paige F. in the ladies triple jump at 12:00pm. Paige is ranked 4th in this event and is primed to move up.
  • Keegan V. in the boys 1600m. Keegan has run some awesome races so far, and is set-up for another great one.
So everyone, come on out and watch Chap T&F compete for the last time this season, along with many of the other top competitors from around the state. The weather will be beautiful, and the competition strong.

Well it is almost over, and it is that time of year where I have to decide on whether I'm sad it's over, or if I should be happy that it happened. Whatever the case, it has been a great year. Thank you to everyone that has been a part of it.



State Qualifiers

Congratulations to the two young ladies that made the cut in the high jump for the state track meet. It will be great to watch an athlete that has competed so well at Chaparral for 4 years go against the state's best right alongside an athlete that is just beginning her career which is obviously off to a very successful start.

Good luck Paige and Katrina!!!


What should an athlete eat? part 4

An athlete should eat fat, and plenty of it with no worry that they will get fat!!!

Coach Nack is about to say something borderline controversial: fat doesn't make you fat, sugar from carbohydrates does (or too much fat with too much carbohydrate will also make you fat). That said, eat fat and enjoy it. Fatty foods often taste delicious, but just make sure you are eating the right fats.

Here are some fatty foods I recommend you eat:

Almonds, pecans, walnuts and other nuts and seeds- (a peanut is not a nut, by the way, so remove it from this conversation) The great thing about nuts is that they are easy to have around. Anyone can carry a bag of almonds with them, and can benefit from the awesome energy boost they can provide. All athletes should have these in their "Go Bag" when they are competing at a meet.

Almond butter- this is the creamed form of the nut mentioned above. This is a preferred option to peanut butter, because of the better health contents within the spread. Find some almond butter, and bring it to meets to put on fruits, vegetables, or even some bread (that last one pains me to say).

Olive Oil- Always try to go with extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO as we used to call it in the restaurant biz, because it is less refined then its counterparts. The one thing about EVOO is that it is hard to carry around, and hard to decide which foods to eat it with, so bringing it to meets may be unrealistic. I would simply suggest replacing the dressings on your salad with this (try a mix of EVOO, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper; it might not have the taste of your ranch dressing, but you will feel better and your performance will improve). EVOO is great not just on salads but on any vegetable. Let yourself get used to it for a couple weeks, and I can almost guarantee you will love it. Like nuts, this is another great energy booster, as well as an appetite suppressant. In fact, ultramarathoners (100+ Miles) carry tubes of olive oil on them and pound down shots of olive oil as the only means to get them through their events.

Coconut milk- Yummy, yummy, yummy! A million things to do with this, but I would recommend adding around 4oz of it to our post workout protein shakes.

Avocados- you might have hated these things as a kid, but make a return to it and you might just love it (I speak from personal experience). What self-respecting adult doesn't enjoy some delicious guacamole every now and again?!?

Meat- This should primarily be considered a protein source, but it can be a good source of fat, when the source is fish. Fish contains a healthy amount of Omega-3 fatty acids that are essential to our well being as people.

Avoid these things when looking for good fat sources- French fries, things cooked with vegetable oil, donuts, potato chips (my weakness), lard, butter, dairy fats(I question this for young athletes), margarine, and shortening.

To wrap it up I would tell you to learn what good sources of fat are, get some in your kitchen pantries, add some to your "Go Bags", and see what fat can do for you. Fat is probably the most misunderstood macro-nutrient we consume. Almost everyone presumes that fat is bad, because "it makes you gain weight" or "it causes heart attacks" , but I assure you that fat is fine when you take it from good sources, and eat it in moderation along with carbohydrates.


Note: if you are interested in the debate of the effects of fat compared to carbohydrates in the human diet I would recommend Gary Taubes' book Good Calories, Bad Calories. It is a book that will make your head spin with its thoroughness, and ability to make you say "wow! I never knew that." I definitely recommend this book for those of us over 30 wanting to know a little (rather a lot) about diets. Here is a good interview with Taubes where he talks about many things, including his findings over fat consumption and the poor science that has gone into labeling it as a killer.


League Relay Line-Ups and Athlete Goals

Follett 5'4" Bacovcin 5'1" Grimm 4'10"

Reasoner 5'9" Bills 5'9" Brandes 5'6"

The end of this week holds the culminating event for many of our athletes. Some will move on to state, and some will end there track season. Whatever the end it has been a great season (I know I have had a lot of fun), and thank you for all your hard work.

If you haven't done so yet set your goals, write them down, and think about what it takes to ger there them. Many of us set our goals in terms of numbers (e.g. "I want to jump 6 feet" or "I want to run a sub 12.5sec 100m"). These goals are fine and good, but I would more define them as "missions". Goals should be more focused, such as (high jump specific) "I will run my best curve of the season", or "I will have my top speed when I reach my takeoff point", or "I will look off the back corner of the pad with my hips up", etc... These may not seem like traditional goals, but when you think about it these thoughts are what will get you to the numbers you've worked so hard to achieve.



A Great Showing today at Cherry Creek-Grandview Invitational

Congratulations to the girls track team for winning first place at today's meet at the Stutler Bowl! The girls had some great performances by many athletes. I know that at least one school record was set, we had a good number of first placers in individual events, and improved times/heights/distances on the way to victory. Considering the teams we were up against--Cherry Creek, ThunderRidge, Arapahoe, Heritage, Smoky Hill,etc...--this is huge.

Not to be overlooked is the boys team. We have no idea at this point where the boys finished, but the coaching staff is optimistic about having a 4th place finish. Who knows?!? Caught some bad breaks in some areas, but overall there were some great performances! I know that there were 2 school records pushed nearly to the limit today (Discus, 3200m), and that there were improvements seen in the 4x100m; a great race for this boys team.

Fellas: hold it together! There has been a bit of stress lately, but you are a strong bunch of athletes. In my years here at the school the boys are always at their strongest at the end of the year, and are able to surprise a lot of people.

Well, all of this after a week full of activity. Many of the athletes competed 2 daysin a row in multiple events. Huge showings from some hard working kids.

Rest becomes so important at this time of the year. You guys involved in so much should be getting 9+hours of sleep this weekend (each night, not combined!). If you can continue that into the week you will be all the better off. If you're sleeping too long, and your parents yell at you to get up, tell them it's okay...your coach told you to stay in bed :)



What should an athlete eat? part 3


This post comes on the heels of our last pasta dinner, a meal stuffed with all kinds of carbohydrates. I would like to start by thanking all those in charge of the pasta dinners, especially Darin and Linda Lake--it takes an amazing amount of set-up and they can never be thanked enough for it.

I am going to keep this short, because this could be a HUGE post. Here goes...

First off, remember that all carbohydrates turn into the same thing: sugar. Please realize, unlike the majority of Americans, that too much sugar is a bad thing. You must regulate your sugar intake, or bad things happen. If you consider something a sugary food then it would be considered a carb-dominant food.

Why Avoid Sugar? (This section is an edited piece that comes from Mark's Daily Apple)

  • Sugar stimulates a physiological stressor-reaction cascade that provokes adrenaline and cortisol release and thickens the blood.
  • Sugar effectively disables your immune system by impairing white blood cells’ functioning.
  • Sugar decreases your body’s production of leptin, a hormone critical for appetite regulation.
  • Sugar induces significant oxidative stress in the body.
  • Sugar appears to fuel cancer cells.
  • Sugar promotes fat storage and weight gain.
  • Sugar disrupts the effective transfer of amino acids to muscle tissue.
  • Sugar intake over time spurs insulin resistance, subsequent Type II diabetes and the entire host of related health issues like nerve damage and cardiovascular disease.

How many carbohydrates am I eating?
I'm willing to bet a lot. I would check the labels on everything to see the amount of carbohydrates just for a good learning activity. If you looked at all the food you ate in the span of a day I am fairly confident (because I ask you guys what you eat) that you would have a great imbalance of carbohydrates compared to fat and protein. For those of you willing to measure, carbohydrates should be about 40% of your daily intake.

What foods are full of carbohydrates?
Well, in our country that would be most every food. But these would include breads, pastas, vegetables, fruits, candy, and most snack foods (amongst many many others).

What should I eat?
Remember I am not a fan of eating grains, especially wheat. I think we could all do with limiting the amount of wheat we eat in a day at the minimum. That aside I recommend you eat...
  • Limited breads, especially white bread
  • Some rice and other grains
  • Extremely limited candy
  • Very limited snacks
  • Great amounts of vegetables; especially broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, but hey any of them will do (the advice I like the most "eat a rainbow" of vegetables as often as you can)
  • Oh yea, because I know you guys...eating your vegetables with a bucket of ranch dressing is not what I have in mind. Sort of defeats the purpose. Maybe try an olive oil based dressing.
  • Eat a lot of fruit; especially berries. Do not rely on bananas or oranges for long term energy, those are very quick burners. This means that they will give you quick energy (10-20 min after eating) but will not help you in the long run.
After a workout, what should I eat?
  • Protein: Remember from part 2 of this series protein should be consumed within 15-30min of a workout. For instance, a protein shake would be perfect.
  • Carbohydrates: The emphasis of "Car" is not a mistake. Carbohydrates are basically a vehicle for protein to get to your muscles. Without them protein is provided to muscles much less efficiently. Make it easy on your body!
  • Easy carbohydrates for you: heat up a sweet potato in the microwave (instructions); eat a cup (or two!) of unsweetened apple sauce; mix together a sweet potato + applesauce (yum!); dried figs (can replace those Fig Newtons and the breading they have that we all love so much); fruit; and when in a pinch a sandwich (love your body and do not use whitebread); I have never used it, but you could by a Glucose supplement that is carb loaded.
  • And follow Sep's advice and try not to eat things that you cannot pronounce. I would also add that you should limit foods that have more than 5 ingredients.
After a race, what should I eat?
That depends. If you are done competing I would recommend what I have typed directly above. However, most of you do more than one event and need sustenance between events. I have never seen a failure with Goo. Ask Sep for one, he is more than generous in handing them out when it will support an athletes or the teams performance. Many athletes complain about the taste and refuse them. My advice: suck it up! I would prefer the nasty taste of those things than the nasty taste of not being ready to compete, and getting destroyed by the competition, and then wondering what happened. That is a bad taste all athletes should avoid. If you have a long time between events, have a Goo, and then about 15 minutes later eat a meal that has carbohydrates, fat, and protein (try to make sure you eat 1-2 hours before your event). If you have a short time between events, or are going back and forth between events, have a Goo ten minutes before you are to begin top performance.

Please post comments, questions, or criticisms. I would love to talk to any of you about your diet. Please just ask.


And now the obligatory disclaimer:
I am not a registered dietician, I am a high school SPED teacher, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. Also, I am not a medical doctor, so never pretend that what I say will cure what ales ya'.
A point of potential bias: I have Celiac disease, which means I cannot, and do not, consume gluten which is in wheat, rye and barley. I must say that since I have adopted a gluten free diet, I feel much better, have lost weight, am much healthier, am now "missing" some strange health problems I once had, and, well again, I feel much much better. Honestly, if I could I would remove it from most everyones die.However, I realize the impossibility of that. So I recommend we all try to eat just a little (or a lot) less of it, i.e. from the 6-11 (!!!) recommended daily servings of grains to perhaps 2-3 daily. For high school athletes, eat it, but make sure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables also.


Strongest American Teenager....EVER!

I don't know what to highlight about the below video: the fact that he is doing the lifts that I am sure make you a better athlete than any other lift (Squat, Snatch, and Clean&Jerk), or the fact that he is the Strongest American Teenager ever. I think I will go with the second, because anyone that has spent time with me in the weightroom knows how important I think the above mentioned lifts are to power/strength/speed athletes.

Imagine the hard work that this young man has put into this interest of his. I will not say that "anyone can do this", because that would be stupid; but there is no way he would have a 500+# clean&jerk (!!!) or a 440# snatch (!!!x10). The fact that he achieved these numbers means that he, most likely, had a good amount of coaching, but did a lot of work independently; ate a lot, but ate very well; did uncommon things, but did them uncommonly well; sacrificed "fun-time" for "work-time", but tell me he hasn't created his own fun in the process; and experienced a bunch of pain, but loved every minute of it. Never talked to the guy, but I bet he has bucket-loads of passion. Passion will take you a long way.

Remember the Nike commercial post from a couple of weeks ago? If so, great! If not, check in more often. Anyway, that commercial had the quote"Passion has a funny way of trumping logic." The logic before young Mr. Mendes was that the Americans could not have strong young weightlifters; the laughing stock of world Olympic Lifting--fodder of jokes for Germans, Chinese, and Bulgarians. This young man's passion has proven their "logic" wrong.

I hope, hope, hope you can draw a correlation from this young man's situation to that of your own. What do you think you have to do to reach levels that seem out of reach, but are humanly obtainable?


P.S., I might be coming off as somewhat of a music snob, but sorry again for the music in the video. I love cheesy 80s music, but come on! Here? Really?!?