High 5 Thursday Endurance Athlete Danniela Neher

Posted on 04 November 2010

Todays RaceTwitch (RT) High 5 Thursday athlete is Danniela Neher 2x Cancer survivor and Endurance Athlete!

Each week we highlight a specific endurance sports athlete and profile their background, specific race performances and offer insights on training ideas and sport dicipline expertise.

RT: Tell us a little about yourself, where do you live and train?

DN: I’m Danniela Neher this is a short journey of my life as a 2 x Cancer survivor and Endurance Sports! Having to battle with Cancer two times, I love to show people there’s life after Cancer, and you can still do things you love to do “Endurance Sports”. My quest is to achieve serenity and peak athletic performance. I do not see a conflict between the two goals. It is my nature to be driven and gentle; proud and humble; silly and serious. “You can achieve anything if you put your mind to”. I live in La Crosse, WI ~ The majority of my training is here where I live and with different friends or solo (Depending on how hard I want to go).

 RT: What do you do for a living?  and what is your average training hours per week?

DN: I am a Personal Trainer, Coach, Instructor and Mother of 3 plus one on the way.  Average training per week is approx. 20 -30 hrs/wk depending on what I’m training for.

 RT: Give us an example of one of your favorite workouts?

DN: For IM Training ~1 hour open water swim followed by a century ride w/hills followed by a 45 minute T-run. My goal was to hold a steady zone 2 heart rate, but every 30 minutes, throw in some zone 3 or power work for a few minutes and then bring the tempo back down to zone 2.

This is great not only for the endurance, but for the mental training acquired after a long day in the saddle. It provides additional opportunity to fine tune my nutrition, and figure out what’s palatable and more importantly, what is not. (I do this alone so there is no drafting).  

RT: What do you enjoy the most with racing and training in endurance sports?

ND: Training ~I enjoy going out and riding long by myself pushing myself to the limits. There’s something incredible about riding your bike through scenic back roads of La Crosse WI, the sense of accomplishment, and feeling the miles tick off – growing stronger with each passing minute. Pushing your body to the limits! I do like to train with friends but I really push myself more when I’m alone.

Racing- The journey, the competition and being with my family and friends for all of it! It’s awesome to meet and talk to athletes that have the same interest.

 RT: Do you have written race goals and keep a training diary and if so, please describe?

ND: I do have race goals and I do write them down. I did kept a training log for Chicago Marathon I included my weight, measurements, eating habits, weights, running workouts, cross training workouts, more nutrition, and sleep, I kept track of everything I was on top of it!

 RT: How long have you been racing in endurance sports?

ND: I would have to say my whole life however, I started doing Ironmans in 2004

RT: What is your specific discipline focus?

ND: This year it’s going to be my run I can swim and bike I just need to get faster on my run.

 RT: What is your favorite race, location?

DN: Ironman KY

RT: How many races do you participate in during the year?

 DN: 10-20 all different kinds of races!

 RT: How many races do you “peak” for during the year?

DN: I would have to say 1~ When I make my list at the beginning of the year I have an A race and everything else is b races.

 RT: What was your all time best race performance?

DN: I’m going to have to say Ironman WI 2005, it wasn’t all about the time it was finishing an Ironman 6 months after having my last round of radiation. Especially when you have 3 Doctors telling me I wouldn’t be able to finish it because of the muscle break down and my endurance However, I proved them wrong “in a nice positive way!” finished it and beat my previous Ironman time by 34 min. My mind was set (mental focus.)

 RT: What are your thoughts regarding mental performance training?

DN: Mental Performance ~ Extremely important. I tell my clients once you say I’m done your done! Always stay positive, think about what you’re going to accomplish, how you’re going to accomplish it and finish it. Meditation will help with this.

 RT: What races are on your dream list?

DN: Double Ironman anywhere and American Triple-t Triathlon  in Ohio

 RT: Any personal Mantra or famous quote?

RT: “That which does not kill me makes me stronger”, Nietzsche “Beware of what you want for you will get it”, Emerson “The pain while competing is temporary, however the pain of not finishing lasts a lifetime” Lance Armstrong

 RT: What is your most recent or favorite book that you have read, any subject and  related to endurance sports?

DN: I would have to say Chicken Noodle Soup for Runners so much inspirational stories

 RT: What magazines/publications related to your sport discipline that you subscribe?

DN: Runners world, Running Times, Inside Triathlete, Biking and Endurance Magazine

 RT: What is your greatest strength during a race?

DN: Swim and Bike

 RT: What topics are of greatest interest for you that we might include in a future RaceTwitch Club Meetup, ex: race nutrition, functional training, specific race reviews, etc.

DN: I love functional training athletes don’t think they need this, but if they want to be a better athlete and get faster functional training is what you want to do. So more functional training!

 RT: What training and race nutrition products do you use regularly?

DN: Gummy Bears, Licorice, Power Bars, Gatorade Lemonade and Recovery RX

 RT: What do you do to maintain your fitness post race season?

DN: Being a fitness professional, I work with clients and train with clients so I train all year just different styles.

 RT: Have you planned your race calendar for next year? If so, what are some of the races and your goals?

DN: This year being pregnant, I’m going to see how many half marathons I can do before we deliver In June. July I will do a full Marathon, followed my Ironman Louisville, Kentucky • August 28, 2011

 RT: Any words of wisdom or advice you would offer to improve quality of training and race performance?

DN: Words of wisdom~ “You can achieve anything you put your mind to!” Perseverance I would have to agree with George on this 100% It is good to vary training (volume and intensity as well as different types of exercises) the key (or one of the keys) to endurance racing is learning and training the body and mind to train fatigued – doubling up workouts such as long run in the am and ½ the distance in the PM. As well as mixing up brick workouts – run then bike (teaches your body to ride fatigued) etc.

 RT: How can people get connect with you further?

DN: facebook~  Danniela Neher or Email:swimbikerun06@yahoo.com

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