Blog

  • Eating real food

    Have you ever had such a strong food craving during or after a race or training session that you would have sold your soul for it? Our bodies send us strong signals and if we know the language they are speaking then we can come up with answers. Intense cravings are a sign that something is missing or going wrong with your food choices.



    How to dial in nutrition before your target Outrigger race


    1. Practice Eating
    Training is just that – training , even related to food. Even though you think ‘I don’t need to eat, i’ll be fine’ cause you are right, you will survive without eating, BUT – if you do eat you will be stronger to the finish, and be able to maintain mental focus through the race, AND recover faster so you can go out and do it all again! While your competitors are struggling to get out of bed having depleted every drop of stored energy during the race and not re-fueled after the race, you’ll be getting ahead of the game ready to go the next day. Always fuel your body, especially if you plan to hammer it.

    2. Learn what gives you sustained energy
    Have you ever bonked?  Had a hard time keeping focus? The most common reason for bonking is over consumption of carbohydrate (sugar – in different forms) before and during a race. It is becoming more and more well known that for some people, eating protein and fat during a race gets them to the finish line with better sustained energy. Are you one of those people? (find out by following the advise in number 1 above).

    3. Choose food that is appropriate for the distance and type of event.

    • Endurance race food guidelines (iron event longer than 2.5 hours)

    • Eat early - Eat Protein and fat first for sustained energy and before your stomach starts to shut down digestion.

    • Eat more simple but real carbs next (ie not gel shots)

    • Save pure sugar (gel shots) for the very very very end

    • Change races have escort boats, you could bring something that requires a fork and knife to eat. Really! pretty much anything goes. Chicken legs and potato salad? Go for it! Steak and beans? Great! Whatever works for you. Just eat the real food within the first 1-2 hours of the race, and move on to the gels and liquids later.

    • Solo and iron OC6 races however need more creativity.
Paddling is not a hands free sport, so eating requires extra thought

    • Zip lock bags work well. (you can Re-use them! Or multi purpose a bag from another item)

    • Make sure you have thought about bite-sized portions.

    • Find out what does not agree with you – ie repeats on you – if you try during training/shorter races. For example Salami is great for fat and protein, but may not work for everyone!

    • Accounting for greasy hands by following step 1 above and learn to deal with it.


    4. Make your own stuff
    Your refrigerator, assuming you go grocery shopping, should be able to provide better nutrition than a packaged bar. Packaged food is just hugely expensive cheap sugar – total rip off! Peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich – that would be carbohydrates, fat and protein. Or try chicken breast and avocado, higher in protein, lower in carbs and sugar and still has fat. Bars are cleverly marketed fast food. They make you think you have to eat them for some special reason. Nothing special - just real food will do.


    JUST EAT REAL FOOD



    – From Underground Wellness Sean Croxton

  • Vulnerability

    Ever have a welling up in your throat? Tight and fighting emotions? Were you taught to toughen up and get on with it? I relate and have experienced a life time of stuffing emotions and pretending to be totally in control and perfect. Brene Brown's work is a relief to me and full of hope. How does this Ted Talk that has more than 11.7 million views land for you?

  • Top 6 Life Coaching Questions

    Canadian journalist Shannon Webb-Campbell interviews life coach Anna Mathisen, and uncovers her personal journey, inspiration, and determines who can benefit from this process. She brings a deep love of the ocean, energy, keen intuition, passion, and insight for helping others flourish.

    • Q: What is Life Coaching?

    A: Life coaching is a collaborative relationship that raises awareness around self, identifies motivation and examines and removes blocks to take action towards the client’s dreams, and goals.

    • Q: What inspired you to become a life coach?

    A: For years I have had wonderfully supportive relationships with my friends, encouraging them to achieve more than they thought they could and asking them to look outside ‘the box’. It took me awhile to accept that I have an energy that inspires people around me, and that that is the foundation of who I am. I recognize that my life hums when I am contributing to the success and happiness of others. Coaching allows me to do this in powerful structured ways where I help my clients search for the heart of the matter. I treasure newness and change and to see my clients have ah-ha moments, break through successes, and joy is the most fulfilling work I could ever do. I love to inspire and it comes naturally to me to call out the power in a person.

    • Q: Have you worked with a life coach yourself?

    A: Definitely! I first went to see a life coach in 2007 when I decided it really was time to leave my then nearly 10 year career as a broker in shipping. I thought I would go into the coaches’ office, learn what steps to take to become a life coach, find out what school she went to, enroll, and become a life coach. Instead, I spent several sessions working with her to release a lifetime of self-judgement, and an “I’m not good enough/who do you think you are,” inner monologue. It took me several years of self-discovery in many different modalities, and lots of exploration to get to the heart of my purpose.

    I continue to work with a coach today. I have discovered it to be a piece that is integral to my life and keeping myself humming in the right direction. What I love about working with a coach, is that different coaches have different things to offer, so depending on where I am in my life, I can find someone to work with that suits my needs.

    • Q: Why would someone see a life coach?

    A: There are so many reasons. People see a friend who has changed their life while working with a coach. People are stuck and fed up with being stuck. Others have specific goals they are struggling with, and are looking for help to move around blocks. Others still need to simplify and prioritize. There are practically as many reasons to see a Life Coach as there are personalities in the world!


    • Q: What’s the difference between a life coach and a mentor?

    A: A mentor helps in the learning process, makes suggestions, and can take on a form of teaching. A life coach makes observations and helps clients tap into their own learning and wisdom. Life coaching works best for individuals that are willing and game to face their inner workings and find out what works and what doesn’t. Coaching works for people who want accountability as a means to help them achieve their goals, but who are motivated to make the changes already.

    • Q: How does being a competitive athlete influence your abilities as a life coach?

    A: Growing up a competitive swimmer I developed discipline and a growth mindset early, although I didn’t realize it at the time. I was constantly setting goals and challenging myself to achieve them. Developing skills with constant effort over time. As well, I prioritized what mattered to me, which was my swimming commitment to the team while making choices that allowed me to meet my responsibilities – graduating high school and getting into college.

    I was a natural leader and grew into a leadership roll on my swim team mentoring younger swimmers through the pressure of being a student a teenager and an athlete. I learned about failing, and how to improve by learning from mistakes. I learned one of the most important lessons of my life: I am responsible for my own choices. This is integral to life coaching.

    It’s really fun to reflect back on that time in my life and recognize natural qualities that came out with ease at that age. It took a few years to re-connect with them and step off the path or what I thought I ‘should’ be doing.

    Today, being an Open Ocean Athlete is the foundation of my life. Along with Life Coaching, my passion is paddling Outrigger Canoes and SurfSkis. Now, I get to apply what a learned growing up as a swimmer, what I learned as a ship broker in international business, with my passion for paddling Outrigger Canoes, Surf Skis with Life Coaching. I compete in marathon Ocean race and manage a year round competitive sports life with a coaching life that blends both Life Coaching and paddle coaching. I couldn’t be more excited about life!


    See more of what Anna is up to:
    Pacific Wahine pacificwahine.com
    Facebook - www.facebook.com/anna.mathisen.life.coach 


  • Give me a CAN OF COKE NOW!!!

    Give me a CAN OF COKE NOW!!!

    Have you ever had such a strong food craving during or after a race or training session that you would have sold your soul for it? Our bodies send us strong signals and if we know the language they are speaking then we can come up with answers. Intense cravings are a sign that something is missing or going wrong with your food choices.



    How to dial in nutrition before your target Outrigger race


    1. Practice Eating
    Training is just that – training , even related to food. Even though you think ‘I don’t need to eat, i’ll be fine’ cause you are right, you will survive without eating, BUT – if you do eat you will be stronger to the finish, and be able to maintain mental focus through the race, AND recover faster so you can go out and do it all again! While your competitors are struggling to get out of bed having depleted every drop of stored energy during the race and not re-fueled after the race, you’ll be getting ahead of the game ready to go the next day. Always fuel your body, especially if you plan to hammer it.

    2. Learn what gives you sustained energy
    Have you ever bonked?  Had a hard time keeping focus? The most common reason for bonking is over consumption of carbohydrate (sugar – in different forms) before and during a race. It is becoming more and more well known that for some people, eating protein and fat during a race gets them to the finish line with better sustained energy. Are you one of those people? (find out by following the advise in number 1 above).

    3. Choose food that is appropriate for the distance and type of event.

    • Endurance race food guidelines (iron event longer than 2.5 hours)

    • Eat early - Eat Protein and fat first for sustained energy and before your stomach starts to shut down digestion.

    • Eat more simple but real carbs next (ie not gel shots)

    • Save pure sugar (gel shots) for the very very very end

    • Change races have escort boats, you could bring something that requires a fork and knife to eat. Really! pretty much anything goes. Chicken legs and potato salad? Go for it! Steak and beans? Great! Whatever works for you. Just eat the real food within the first 1-2 hours of the race, and move on to the gels and liquids later.

    • Solo and iron OC6 races however need more creativity.
Paddling is not a hands free sport, so eating requires extra thought

    • Zip lock bags work well. (you can Re-use them! Or multi purpose a bag from another item)

    • Make sure you have thought about bite-sized portions.

    • Find out what does not agree with you – ie repeats on you – if you try during training/shorter races. For example Salami is great for fat and protein, but may not work for everyone!

    • Accounting for greasy hands by following step 1 above and learn to deal with it.


    4. Make your own stuff
    Your refrigerator, assuming you go grocery shopping, should be able to provide better nutrition than a packaged bar. Packaged food is just hugely expensive cheap sugar – total rip off! Peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich – that would be carbohydrates, fat and protein. Or try chicken breast and avocado, higher in protein, lower in carbs and sugar and still has fat. Bars are cleverly marketed fast food. They make you think you have to eat them for some special reason. Nothing special - just real food will do.


    JUST EAT REAL FOOD



    From Underground Wellness Sean Croxton

  • Surf Ski Molokai in the bag

    Early on in the season, I set my goal as ‘just do it’, without the pressure of a result based on time or overall placing or a best effort. Why was this mindset important in my training and racing experience?

    1. The goal was relevant and attainable. I travelled to New York 6 times in the 9 months before the race, adding an element of physical exhaustion and time pressure that was out of the norm for me. Expecting a ‘best’ performance would have left me feeling stressed during my training and disappointed with my result.

    2. I was able to experience what 32 miles on surf ski is all about and what specific issues might come up over that distance with that discipline. Now, I feel prepared to build a plan for the next time based on experience. Growth and learning.

    I feel confident in my ability to ‘do the distance’ in a Surf Ski and need to adjust my training to ‘do it competitively’ next time.

    2013 was a year of less than ideal wind. North and North West winds meant that when I looked over my left shoulder back towards the southern tip of Molokai I sure was wishing I could turn around and go back! 

    I am so excited to have completed my first Molokai Surf Ski solo – 32 miles from Molokai to Oahu. After 4 consecutive yearly OC1 crossings, I thoroughly enjoyed the new, challenge experience of Surf Ski. I'm hoping next time, it's a down wind screamer!

  • Coaching Solo Crossings

    Coaching Solo Crossings

    In April 2013 I coached Andy Cummings across the channel and was able to help him achieve the title of Molokai Solo Master World Champion status!

    Aside from being extremely proud of his achievement, I am also thrilled with my experience as his coach. This is the 3rd person I have coached across the channel and I love it nearly as much as racing myself. That’s a lot of love!

    I get a huge amount of energy from pulling ‘best performance capable of’ out of a paddler. This starts with mindset leading up to the race. Strategizing and reviewing each detail – the food that will be eaten race morning, trips to the bathroom, loading of the escort boat, warm up protocol, start piece strategy, breaking down the race into mentally manageable chunks, and planning what to eat, how and when to eat it.

    Andy had one main request, that I never use the motivational calls of ‘Good Job’ or ‘Awesome’. This was the best feedback a coach can ever have. I needed to know what would motivate him and keep his mentality sharp so he could perform.

    For Andy’s race, knowing where his competition was and judging accurately the pace that he was pulling away, as well as when he would catch and pass someone was a tactical necessity for his success.

    Andy set very specific and measurable parameters for this race:
    Start piece heart rate of maximum165
    Average heart rate through the race of 140
    Speed above 6 mph average (in flat/headwind conditions)

    Andy’s also used my ‘eat real food’ strategy adapted from Sean Croxtons JERF philosophy, and reserved sugars and gels for the very end of the race. Andy’s perceived energy levels were the most stable out of any racing he has done, especially compared with his previous channel crossings.

  • OC1 Surfing - ‘Natural Openings’

    OC1 Surfing - ‘Natural Openings’

    Would you love to master surfing your outrigger or surf ski? I would. Its thrilling and magical and pure joy. I have spent years trying way too hard to surf. No matter how strong I got, how much training I did, it never translated to catching more bumps. Frustrating! Enter exciting new concept: Stop working so hard. Instead, use just enough energy and look and wait and feel for things to open up. What?! This goes against all my programing that I just have to pound it out and work really hard all the time, non-stop.

    I finally had a breakthrough when I found a connection between ‘Natural Openings’ (a Life Coaching term)and what Kamanu Composites writes about in their blog post on surfing (hint - read it if you have not already!)

    “Every time you catch a wave you need to put all of your effort (mental and physical) into connecting into another wave. It doesn’t happen by chance, it happens by scouting your opening and getting to it.”

    Scouting your openings… exactly like allowing for Natural openings in my practice as a Life Coach;

    “Effective and transformative action arises from recognizing and responding to natural openings…Opportunities to inquire into a subtle change in the client’s (insert 'oceans') energy, often non-verbal” -CFT Text book

    OH! and get this- “Natural openings are an easy opportunity to make changes without struggling!”

    IT'S ALL ABOUT NOT WORKING SO HARD! Relax and let if flow.The subtle shifts in my Life Coaching clients are often non-verbal, which they definitely are when open ocean surfing and reading the energy of the waves!

    What does this mean to me, you and our surfing success?
    Watch for an easy clear next direction, be in the moment in tune with the energy of the ocean all the time. Scan gently all around you 180 degrees – what is forming, what is opening up? Go for it, then relax.

    The steps for surfing from Kamanu’s blog are:

    "1) Catch the wave 2) Put in just enough energy to stay on the wave, but avoid dropping into the trough 3) Scout for an opening in the wave ahead of you. It could be right in front of you or it could be twenty feet to the right 
4) Once you find it, get to it. Some openings might require five easy strokes and a slight turn of the rudder, while some will require an all out burst of speed. Your priority is to get through the opening and onto the bump ahead 5) Start again at #2."

    We are trained culturally to make everything harder than it is. Once you have acheived a base level of strenght and fitness, breath, relax and let the Ocean open up and show the way! 

    For Practical training tips on how to develop surfing skill – Contact me about coaching or enquire about my Surfing Clinics!