After a brief hiatus, Workout Wednesday is back! And this time I am and featuring one of my all time favorite athlete- (I will totally play it cool here and make believe I am not a super fan) – Colleen Quigley! Colleen represented USA at the Olympics in 2016 for the steeplechase along with my good friend Emma Coburn and Colleen’s teammate, Courtney Frerichs (she is kind of a big deal). Colleen runs for Nike and trains with the “Bowerman Babes” in Portland, Oregon. At just 24, Colleen has a pretty impressive resume. I am really excited to share a little bit of her day and give you some insight into what it’s like to train and fuel like an Olympian.
My normal day changes a lot based on what time of the year it is. In the spring and summer I spend the majority of my time training at altitude with the Bowerman Babes in locations like Flagstaff, AZ, Park City, UT, and St. Moritz, Switzerland. Those training days are more regimented since we have a set schedule and are in full training mode. The fall is our off-season, so things are a little more flexible and I have a lot more variables going on. During the fall I try to participate in as many community events as possible and work on side projects that I don’t have the time to focus on during the season. I also spend a lot of time in the fall in San Francisco visiting my boyfriend who lives there. He travels to see me during my season since I’m not really allowed to leave the group, so I try to do the traveling to see him in the fall. Maybe I should include some tips to doing a long distance relationship! Kevin and I have been dating for almost 8 years now (since my junior year of high school) and about 7 of those years we have been living in different cities. We are pretty much pros at long distance by this point!
7:30am My alarm goes off and I roll over to drink water. I usually get up right away because I have to go to pee!
I almost always have oatmeal for breakfast. Now before you keep scrolling because you “hate oatmeal” listen up. This is the way you gotta do oats so that they aren’t gross and actually keep you full all morning.
I have a bunch of jars that I keep filled with nuts and seeds both for oatmeal and for making granola.
While the oats are cooking, scoop a couple tablespoons of any of the following into your bowl:
almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, pecans, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, or any other nuts/seeds you like! Then add a scoop of protein powder (any brand of whey protein without added sugars is great).
By the time I get done putting my toppings together and making my coffee, my oats are done cooking and I add them to the bowl and stir it all up.
8:00 Coffee and Oats. While I ate breakfast I checked my emails, read some news (love the Skimm updates every morning), and got my plans for the day set. I also updated my journal which I do every morning. This past year I started bullet journaling and fell in love (what is bullet journaling?). I keep track of my schedule, write to do lists, track my habits and my moods, write gratitudes, and jot down notes about ideas for my website or newsletter. I love it because it’s completely blank and I can create each page exactly how I want. In a separate journal (Believe I Am Journal) I keep track of all my training. I love journals!
8:30 I drove out to the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton around 8:30 to meet up with the Bowerman Babes for a morning run. We always start on a grass field outside of the gym that is about 3 laps to a mile. On any given day if you head out to Ronaldo Field around 9am you will run into various BTC pros. We run around the grass, around the Hollister trail, and on the sidewalks around campus. On today’s menu: 9 miles with 4 strides after to get the legs moving.
Pro tip: If you have long hair that gets easily matted (especially if you are running in the rain like we do all fall/winter), put some hair oil or conditioner in it then braid it up! You’ll thank me later.
10/10:30 After my run I took a few minutes to stretch/roll out and I grabbed two homemade date balls from my locker for recovery fuel. Check out the recipe here: www.colleenquigley.org/date-balls
Then I changed into my swimsuit and headed to the pool to swim laps for 30 min. Before my swim I drink a Hotshot, which is one of my sponsors. Hotshot ensures that I won’t cramp up and it also gives me a little boost of energy and focus for the second part of my workout (I have gotten foot and calf cramps from swimming laps). I have an underwater iPod shuffle with underwater headphones that I clip to swim cap so that I can listen to podcasts (my favorites) and music (some jams) during my swims. I also use my Nike Apple Watch for swimming as it is completely waterproof and even counts my laps for me!
Note on swimming: At the end of my season in 2015 (ran the entire NCAA season, then made the world team and had to keep competing through August on a hamstring injury) I had beaten myself up so much that I couldn’t run for a few months that fall. I got to a point where I couldn’t even bike or elliptical without some degree of pain. The only thing I could do pain-free was swim. The trouble was I didn’t really know how to swim! Shalane gave me some pointers and I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone. Now even when I’m healthy I swim 2-3 hours per week in addition to my running miles. Swimming gets my heart rate up and has me breathing hard, but keeps my legs feeling fresh for running and helps me avoid injury. I know a lot of people think they don’t like it or aren’t good at it, but I definitely was that person a couple of years ago and now I love swimming and find it completely therapeutic. Okay, done with my rant about how great swimming is, but I officially recommend it.
11:00 After my swim I grabbed 2 more date balls before hitting the shower and driving home.
12:00 I was pretty hungry by the time I got home (date balls are just enough to get me home, but not enough to fill me up.) I made what I call a “power quinoa bowl” for lunch, but this requires some prep ahead of time if I’m going to eat right away. For example, the quinoa is cooked ahead of time, so is the chicken, and I roast my vegetables the day before too. When I got home I pulled everything ready to go out of the fridge and tossed it together in a wide, shallow bowl and topped it with Shalane’s lemon miso dressing from her cookbook, Run Fast Eat Slow. Shalane and her coauthor Elyse showed me how incredibly easy it is to make your own salad dressings and avoid the added sugars and other bad-for-you stuff you find in the supermarket ones. The power quinoa bowl is different every time, but the guidelines are on my website.
Today’s power bowl: mixed baby greens, quinoa, roasted beets, onions, and butternut squash (the day before I had chopped, mixed, and covered in olive oil, salt, and pepper then roasted all the veggies together in a pan), black beans, cilantro, parmesan cheese, Shalane’s lemon miso dressing
2:00-3:00 Met up with the BTC babes and our weights coach, Pascal Dobert, for what we call “core.” We don’t sit around doing crunches for an hour though, we just call it core because in every exercise that we do we want to always be engaging our core muscles. On my website I have videos of some of the exercises we do and will be sending out more in my newsletter this fall (sign up here). Pascal separates core out between men and women now that we have such a robust women’s group and we can’t all fit in the gym at the same time! Such a great problem to have 🙂
Here are some more examples of exercises we do:
Show your hammies some ❤️ today! Spent 5 days in Phoenix last week with @getmaxmobility finding ways I can get stronger and avoid injury. Part of the fix: strengthening my hamstrings, hip flexors, and feet💪🏻🏃🏼♀️ Dare you to try this one out! #hammies #trx #eccentric #slowandsteady #feeltheburn #mondaymotivation #justdoit #workout #maximummobility #harderthanitlooks
3:30 I stopped by Trader Joe’s on my way home. I live just blocks away which is awesome because I end up going almost every day and getting just what I need for the day. I picked up a kombucha and some pretzels for my afternoon snack. I love the salt and crush of the pretzels. This fall I want to make my own kombucha, but I haven’t started yet… it’s on the list. I also pickup up some granola ingredients…
4:00 Steeple Squigs Granola time! I make homemade granola about once a week. My favorite way to eat it is with plain greek yogurt and some berries. I have this for breakfast, a post-run snack, or even dessert during the season when I’m trying not to have sweets. It doesn’t even last a week when my boyfriend is around because I swear the guy inhales it when I’m not looking. I call it “Steeple Squigs Granola” and have started to package it up and give it away. It’s the perfect little present for so many occasions. The granola giveaways have been so popular that I’ve started to consider making it a side hustle. Because every pro athlete needs a side hustle!
5:30-6:30 Time to make some dinner! My boyfriend, Kevin, and I are craving a big juicy burger. We like planning the menu together, and this is what we came up with: burgers made of ground turkey with quinoa (leftover from the power bowl at lunch), an egg, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper served on a whole wheat bun with melted gouda cheese, avocado slices and baby greens; sweet potato fries with salt and pepper (and bbq sauce for dipping); side salad with baby greens, tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette. This satisfies the “big juicy burger” craving with less guilt which makes us both feel good.
For dessert, I pull out the “Peanut Buster Parfait Bars” from the freezer. This is a recipe I got from Bri Eaton, a Canadian Olympic medalist who has an awesome website with tons of good recipes and articles (who also happen to be featured on workout wednesday here) . Kevin is allergic to peanuts so I just substituted almonds for peanuts and almond butter for peanut butter- it worked great! This recipe uses no processed sugar, the sweetener comes from dates (one of my all-time favorite foods). It takes a little bit of prep work ahead of time and has to be frozen, but then keeps in the fridge and you can pull it out a serving at a time. SO YUMMY! Thanks, Bri!
After dessert, we clean up my mess in the kitchen then flip on some TV (some favorites are New Girl, Modern Family, and Master of None) and I slid into my Normatch recovery sleeves. These bad boys help my legs feel better the next day by improving circulation and flushing the junk of out my muscles.
10:00- Crawled into bed with the book I’m currently reading, The Wolf of Wall Street, and read about a chapter before my eyelids are too heavy and it’s lights out.