Tosca Reno


Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Hello All.

Great questions from all of you. I want to get to them all because I think the more we communicate the more we learn from each other. That and I am all revved up from a 40 minute freestyle swim and a heavy leg workout. Now I won't be able to sleep!

One question asks what I eat or ate before and after the 16 km run on Sunday. An hour before I ran on Sunday morning I ate 1/2 cup low fat plain yogurt and 1 banana. I also drank 500 ml of water mixed with 6 ounces wheat grass. While I drove to the trail I drank a 500 ml bottle of water mixed with HEED, an electrolyte mix. During the run all I had was more electrolyte drink – I had mixed up 4, 500 ml water bottles for this purpose. I also usually have two or three Cliff Shot Blocks while I run. They are like gummy bears but loaded with quick energy and electrolyte for this purpose. I really like them and used them during my triathlon and triathlon training too. After the run I had a banana and more HEED water. The funny thing is I always want coffee after a run so I had a black coffee after and that was that. At home and within one hour of completing the run I mixed up my favorite recovery drink: 1 banana, 1 scoop protein powder, 1 cup rice milk, 1 scoop TAG mix (taurine, arginine, glutamine) and a handful of ice cubes. This is recovery in a glass!! I love it.

Someone else asked about what I ate before the triathlon. I had read that protein and fibrous foods really mess up the system so I stayed away from the normal oats and eggs breakfast. Instead I had a banana and 2 slices of rye bread topped with natural peanut butter. I had no coffee that morning. I usually get a very upset stomach and digestive tract before contests of any kind so I didn’t want to make matters worse for myself. Before the race I had mixed up my HEED bottles and I had some Cliff Shot Blocks with me too. I discovered when your heart is pounding it is hard to eat these things – bits of it went up my nose as I was breathing hard (too much info I know!). That wasn’t nearly so bad as the woman who blew her nose in front of me – her junk landed on me as I overtook her. Yuk!

As for weight training:

When I say “ I trained biceps and triceps” I mean that I gave them a serious workout. That for me is performing 2 different exercises, 4 sets each, doing 10 – 12 repetitions in each set. A workout should make you feel as if you have trashed those particular muscles you intended to trash. Now when I train my abs it’s a different story. Abdominals in my opinion need a different kind of attack. I think they need to be worked more by doing more reps and by changing up the exercises often.

As for changes made to my nutrition:

I am trying to lose a few more pounds to come in lighter for the run. The training will accomplish this to some extent but I feel best when I avoid bread and eat more vegetables. With the weather being hotter this means eating loads of salad greens interspersed with things that add texture like nuts, seeds, chopped and shredded root and salad vegetables and so on. I am paying extra attention to eating more fish fat for fuel. This seems to help. I also like the idea of promoting more glutathione production in the body so I eat lots of spinach, asparagus (every day) and avocado. Glutathione is the mother antioxidant for keeping you disease free and younger looking.

As for functional training versus body part training:

It’s easy to see that when you train a body part with weights you are not just hitting that body part. Take for example triceps pressdowns. When you do them you are also working your core to the max. If you don’t feel this you are doing it wrong. Also when I do other cardiovascular training like swimming, cycling or trail running the core is being maximally recruited. Maybe I am an old fashioned weight trainer but so far I am not unhappy with how it is working out for me. When I cycle I find the heavy leg and glute training gives me an edge on the hills so I can overtake easily. Most people fail on hills. This is also true of running where I have more power to run hills than others do. However training is training. The fact that you are doing it is plenty good enough. Stick with what is working for you.



  1. Great post Tosca! Jam packed with excellent info. Thanks!

  2. Thank you thank you thank you so much for taking the time to answer all of these questions. I love that you love your fans enough to do so. You're a training guru!! :)

  3. Wow, Tosca, you've put together a marvelously helpful set of info.

    Amazing writing results from a swimmer's high ;-) Maybe I should write more when I am spiked after a workout. Good stuff! Pure energy for the soul.

    Thank you so much.

  4. Great information. Thank you for taking the time to share this with your fans. I felt a little sad as I read some of what you drink/eat and why because it make me realize that working all day leaves little time to fit the rest of it all in. Working out, eating right and knowing what to eat for the body to be disease free and young in performance shape. There is so much information out there, I for one, never know if I am doing the right thing. Thank you again for sharing so much with us.


  5. Fantastic post Tosca- really clear and with a ton of great examples- I always apprecaite you shairng what worked, and what did not work- in addition to yoru planning before your travel- thanks so much!!

  6. What a fabulous post!! It's so nice to see from others what there doing with training and nutrition!!
    You're so inspiring:)

  7. What a fabulous post!! It's so nice to see from others what there doing with training and nutrition!!
    You're so inspiring:)


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