Jamba Juice Ambassador!!!

A little brightness in these dark days of the Springs Fire…I am thrilled to announce I have been selected as an Ambassador for Jamba Juice!!! If you know me, you know I hit Jamba Juice after every endurance run. It is my preferred recovery drink. Keep an eye out for my next sponsored event. Come by to say hi and sample some products. See a list of new Fruit & Veggie smoothies at www.jambajuice.com My favorite is Orange Carrot Karma!!!
If you have an upcoming event and would like Jamba Juice to join in the fun, send me a message. Cheers to living healthy! http://cmp.ly/2/eWfLn2See More
Photo: A little brightness in these dark days of the Springs Fire...I am thrilled to announce I have been selected as an Ambassador for Jamba Juice!!! If you know me, you know I hit Jamba Juice after every endurance run. It is my preferred recovery drink. Keep an eye out for my next sponsored event. Come by to say hi and sample some products. See a list of new Fruit & Veggie smoothies at www.jambajuice.com My favorite is Orange Carrot Karma!!!
If you have an upcoming event and would like Jamba Juice to join in the fun, send me a message. Cheers to living healthy! http://cmp.ly/2/eWfLn2

New Year~New Trails~New Inspirations

Happy New Year!!! 2013!!!

A cliche day to say the least, but if today is that day you decide to start a new then I am your biggest fan. Wherever you find inspiration; a date on the calendar, an undiscovered trail, your children…I do not judge. I embrace.

Lots to talk about.

Together with a few friends, I am starting a member only trail running club in the Conejo Valley. Our season kick off run will be Sunday, January 13 at Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks, Ca. Come check us out and see what all the buzz is about. Visit our Facebook page CV Trail Runnners to join and get more details.

My photography passion is slowly turning into a small business…keep an eye out for new pictures posted on this site and my Facebook page~Erica Gratton Photography.

I recently had my race report from North Face Endurance Challenge published at Runners Illustrated. Runners Illustrated is on line publication for all things running; great articles, product reviews and happenings. If you haven’t gotten a chance to read my report, follow the link below. Grab a drink, settle in, read and then stay a while. It’s a great site. http://www.runnersillustrated.com/2012/12/slog-dark-north-face-endurance-challenge-2012/

As one year closes and a new begins, I leave you with this quote from Mary Pipher ~

“Maturity involves being honest and true to oneself, making decisions based on a conscious internal process, assuming responsibility for one’s decisions, having healthy relationships with others and developing one’s own true gifts. It involves thinking about one’s environment and deciding what one will and won’t accept.”

Always be true to yourself…now get out there, hit the trails and discover what it is that makes you you!




Last month Erica concluded a 5 month project for Los Angeles Sports and Fitness Magazine (LAS&F). She was hired as a journalist and photographer to chronicle twenty athlete’s progressions, set backs and ultimate triumphs under the regimen of an elite training program. As an athlete and writer, this project was a marriage of her two greatest passions. Please visit the links below to read her stories following TEAM LAS&F.


May/June 2012 issue – Invitation to join TEAM LAS&F – page10 http://digital.publicationprinters.com/publication/?i=110719

July/August 2012 issue – Faces of LA (spotlighting 4 members of the TEAM) – page 9 and the Introduction to TEAM LAS&F – pages 22-23 http://digital.publicationprinters.com/publication/?i=116632

September 2012 issue – TEAM LAS&F – Cover and pages 10-12 http://digital.publicationprinters.com/publication/?i=127828



Coaching services


Custom online coaching available – Have a race date in mind and need assistance preparing? If not, I will pick a race and we’ll work backwards in designing a program specifically for you. Training log provided and reviewed on a weekly basis.

Personalized training programs – Individualized running programs specific to your goals. Training log provided and reviewed on a weekly basis. Redesigned, if necessary, to adjust to lifestyle or fitness changes at no additional charge.

One on One running sessions – One on one running sessions. Video analysis and form critique. Individual assessments and/or weekly accompanied training runs available.

Guided trail runs – New to the trails? Guided one on one or group trail runs. Fun for groups that want to spend an afternoon on the trails, but don’t know where to begin. No expiration date. Transferable. No equipment required. Water provided.

Kid specific trail runs – Have an adventurous kid? Let’s hit the trails. I will guide your child and friends, because it’s always more fun with friends…on a fun, educational trail run/walk. Designed specifically for your child.

Need help finding a race in your area? Looking for a local running store? Want to go faster, further, or run injury free? Ask me how I can help.

Network of health and fitness professionals. Recommendations available upon request.

Email me directly at ericagratton@gmail.com or call (805) 807-8022 

to discuss your future in running.

Prices vary depending on services rendered.

Video analysis – $60/session

One on one personalized training sessions – $60/session

Personalized training programs start at $350/8 weeks

Running at Altitude

I recently gathered some information for a client I am training for the Tough Mudder race July, 8 in Running Springs, California. The race is held at 6800 feet above sea level…not too high, but for us SoCal folks it may pose a challenge. Thought I would

Altitude Acclimatization and Running

Here is what happens when you travel to an area of higher altitude:

The plasma volume in your blood (the watery part) decreases and the red blood cell concentration increases. This natural compensation occurs because your body is trying to get more oxygen to your active muscles. Your heart kicks into overdrive to deliver more blood, so your breathing becomes more rapid to get more oxygen. Keep in mind when you are feeling out of breath that the percentage of oxygen in the air at altitude is
exactly the same – 20.93%. So do not panic, you will not die from lack of oxygen! It’s actually the atmospheric pressure that decreases as you ascend, therefore decreasing the partial pressure of oxygen in your blood…if that makes sense.

Some people suffer from acute altitude, or mountain, sickness (AMS) when traveling above 6000 feet. Symptoms may include headache, difficulty breathing, general weakness, nausea, loss of appetite and/or sleeplessness. Your body adjusts best to altitude if you are able to travel to your race destination for a stay longer than 10-14 days. If that is not possible, experts recommend arriving within 24 hours of your race to
minimize the effects of AMS.

The two biggest challenges athletes face at higher elevations are dehydration and glycogen depletion. The air holds little water which increases the amount of water you lose through respiration and perspiration. You may not even be aware of it. So be sure to drink plenty of water even when you are not feeling thirsty. Simply carry a bottle with you and take a sip every 15 minutes. This will ensure your muscles are fully
hydrated. Try to avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks as well. These tend to dehydrate people or drink more water to balance the loss. In addition to keeping your hydration balanced, your basal metabolic rate increases as the elevation increases. Which means your body needs more calories to maintain its basic life functions. This is especially common at altitudes above 9000 feet. The higher the altitude, the greater the impact. A shift in how your muscles rely on energy sources while exercising occurs as well. Instead of your muscles relying on fat for energy, they tend to use more carbohydrates (glucose) for fuel. This is great news, since our bodies use carbohydrates more readily for fuel than fats. So keep your diet higher in healthy carbohydrates to keep your glycogen stores topped off.

If you really want to have an edge over your competition, take advantage of your body’s desire to build new red blood cells. As I mentioned before, red blood cells are the oxygen carrying part of our blood; specifically hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the part of the red blood cell that transports oxygen to working muscles. Iron is a crucial component of
hemoglobin, so eating a diet rich in iron prior to your race will help adapt your body’s natural process. Some iron rich foods are meat, fortified breakfast cereals, dark leafy greens, dried beans, peas, dried fruits and prunes.

The most important key to all of this is being mindful of your body. You now have a
better understanding of the effects of altitude on your body, so just listen to what your body is telling you while at altitude. Stay ahead of the game by drinking plenty of fluids. Water is best, but also drink fluids with electrolytes. You do not want to flush them out of your system. Sodium and Chloride are most crucial. Remember that food is fuel. Even if you have no appetite you need to eat. Don’t forget to take advantage of that carbohydrate window and begin refueling as soon as possible after your event. Chocolate milk is a great alternative if consuming solid foods right away doesn’t seem

Childhood Obesity-No More Excuses

Childhood Obesity – No more excuses

Whether you are a parent, a teacher or simply a neighbor to young children, we as a society need to end childhood obesity. No more excuses. No more wasted time. We need to act now. Knowledge is our greatest asset in this fight against childhood obesity. As adults, we are responsible for providing a healthy future for our youth. It is our duty to make good choices on their behalf and to assist them in building the foundation for a healthy lifestyle. Let’s start by taking a look at the facts. Then we’ll look at ways to keep our youth moving. Knowledge is power.

Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, water, muscle, bone or any combination of these factors. Obesity is defined as having excess body fat and childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.

The hard facts are disturbing, but shouldn’t come as a surprise when you look around your community. Childhood obesity is a serious concern to our future as a nation. Children who are obese face immediate health risks that can cause long term health effects. So even if you are not directly affected by this concern, you should be. The cost for treatment of these conditions may bankrupt our health care system.

Obese children are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease. 70% of obese youth age 5-17 had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease. These same children are more likely to have pre-diabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels indicate a high risk for development of diabetes. In addition, obese youth are at a greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea and social and psychological
problems such as stigmatization and poor self esteem. Children who are obese are also more likely to be obese adults and therefore more at risk for health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and several types of cancer.

As a concerned parent or community member we can prevent most of these conditions by creating healthy lifestyle habits. Genetics play a role in some cases, but getting up and getting out is our best prevention. Ask yourself, when was the last time my child or neighborhood kid played outside till dusk? It rarely happens anymore. Gone are the days of running around, catching fireflies, and adventuring till dark. Safety seems to be a greater concern more than it was 30 years ago, but handheld electronics, computers and TV gaming are equally to blame for sedentary children.

Children need to be physically active. Regular physical exercise helps build and maintain healthy bones and muscles. It also helps prevent the health concerns mentioned earlier. Physical activity also reduces the feelings of depression and anxiety. Creating a more focused mind and promoting a sense of psychological well being.

It’s simple. A healthy lifestyle is a choice. You would not allow your child, niece/nephew or neighbor child to cross the street if a car was approaching. Nor would you choose to send that same child to school with a temperature. Choose to be healthy. Choose to live a long, prosperous life. It’s contagious and it starts now.

Get outside and get moving. Grab the bikes, go for a hike, skip to the lou my darling…just get moving. Parents, neighbors, aunts and uncles – we need to tip the “caloric scale” in the opposite direction. Since children rely on our knowledge, we need to take back control. We need to increase their calories expended versus their calories consumed. To do that, we need to involve them in more physical activities. It is an easy concept, but needs to be made fun for children to stay engaged. Below are a few examples of some simple activities with a fun twist:

(1)    Make it an adventure. Set the alarm. Rise before dawn and drive to a hiking trail. Strap on the headlamps and listen to the sounds of nature. If that’s too adventurous for your youth, then…

(2)    Simply hike after dawn and make a scavenger hunt list. Kids love to hunt for and find things. Need more incentive, give a token prize for the winning child or team.

(3)    Ride the bikes to a local park for
some free play time. Invite some playmates to meet you.

(4)    Create a kids “boot camp” in your backyard. Make an obstacle course with stuff from around the house. Kids love to crawl and tunnel through things and jump and climb on obstacles. Keep it fun and safe.

(5)    Go for a run on the hard sand at the beach. Keep an eye out for dolphins or whales. Play “I spy” for other ocean animals, birds, seashells or silly sunbathers.

(6)     Keep it simple. Jump rope and play the name game or a good old fashioned game of freeze tag. Kids love to run.



For more information and ideas to get moving, please visit www.ericagratton.com/about

For information on creating and maintaining a healthy diet, please visit www.choosemyplate.gov




Statistics provided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-NPAO-Obesity Facts