Marni Sumbal, MS, RD, CSSD, is a Board Certified Sport Dietitian who owns and runs Trimarni Coaching with her husband, IRONMAN Karel Sumbal. The successful athlete (she’s finished 11 IRONMAN races) specializes in coaching endurance triathletes, but also works with athletes of all fitness levels from around the world. With Kona just a few weeks away, Marni shares her personal experiences and why she believes HOTSHOT is key for success on the Big Island:
You qualified for Kona at your first IRONMAN. How did you first get into Triathlon?
In 2006, I ran the Boston Marathon, and then finished my first half IRONMAN that May. That November, I finished my first IRONMAN at IMFL, where I won the 18-24 age group and qualified for Kona. I knew from the very beginning that my body and mind were made for endurance triathlon training and racing. Since then I have finished 11 Ironman distance triathlons, including four IRONMAN World Championships. I hold an IM PR of 10:06, which I achieved at IRONMAN Austria this year.
Can you talk about HOTSHOT and why you would recommend it to endurance athletes?
I recommend HOTSHOT to any athlete who suffers from cramping. My husband, triathlete Karel Sumbal, was immediately interested in the product from the start as he has suffered from exercise-induced cramping for a long time, well before he started triathlons. He started using HOTSHOT at Kona in 2015, and hasn’t cramped in a race since!
What do you personally incorporate into every IRONMAN journey?
- Good daily nutrition and best supplements for muscle recovery: As a longtime vegetarian (23 years), it's true that I abide by a plant-strong diet. However, the foods that I eat are not just "healthy" but they serve a purpose as they keep me healthy and help to fuel my active lifestyle. I don't change up my diet too much throughout the season and I never follow fad diets (or restrictive diets). The main component that changes when I train for an Ironman is the extra emphasis in sport nutrition, before, during and after workouts.
- Sport nutrition: Whereas my daily diet helps to keep me healthy and gives me energy, I am a firm believer in sport nutrition to help with hydration and to delay fatigue. To me, sport nutrition is functional; and as a board certified sport dietitian, I am constantly aware of how sport nutrition products can enhance performance and what products work best for me.
- Good sleep: I value my good health as it helps me train consistently. Sleep is so important to me and I aim for between 7-8 hours a night, every day of the week.
- Being grateful: With this being my 10th year as an endurance athlete, I am grateful for every opportunity to train for an event. I continually thank my body for what it allows me to do and I never take a workout for granted. Even when I think I am having a bad workout, I try to look to the positive in that I am healthy and able to do something incredible with my body every day.
- Metrics: I don't obsess over metrics anymore. I constantly found myself wanting to get faster but a key to my fitness improvements as an endurance athlete was not in "trying" to swim/bike/run faster but, instead, learning how to train smarter. Improving my skills has taken my cycling to a new level and running hills has improved my running resilience. I no longer race with a metric-driven plan but, instead, I focus on staying in the moment and adjusting efforts as I go.
What’s up for you next and will you be in Kona?
My racing season has concluded for 2016, except for the Hincapie Gran Fondo as a fun cycling event to finish off my season. Next season, I plan to focus my attention on half Ironman distance triathlons in an effort to get faster before returning to IM racing in 2018. I’m looking forward to a vacation to Hawaii at the end of the month, as I’ll be supporting Karel, two of our coaching athletes, and a few Trimarni nutrition athletes at the 2016 IM World Championship in Kona!
MORE ON THE HOTSHOT BLOG
5 Best Stretches for Swimmers: Add these to your regimen.
Carbs and Protein: 7 tips for proper intake for optimal fuel.
Crowie Alexander: Tips on training for IRONMAN, how to conquer obstacles and why he trusts HOTSHOT to keep cramps – and limitations – out of the picture. Click here.
6X Ironman Finisher Karel Sumbal: Read about his training mantra, goals for the World Championships and more. Click here.