Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013... That's a Wrap! Thank you Giveaway!

This year truly has been an awesome experience starting this blog and meeting so many of you around the country/world.  I honestly didn't know what to expect when I started this blog but grateful for the support and interest you have given me.  This blog is grass roots, promotes all and doesn't have much of an angle beyond that.  Thank you for your continued readership, even with a few posts a week, this blog has exceeded my expectations.

To thank you, wanted to offer a giveaway as a thank you!!
There will be two winners.  
First to respond gets their pick. (Went w giftcards as cheap to mail :) 
$10 Starbucks Giftcard
$15 Ms. Fields Giftcard

Make sure all entries are done via Rafflecopter.  Thanks and happy new year!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 27, 2013

Tri-Pro: Gina Crawford

From their twitters, blogs, instagrams... all pro-triathletes have been so kind to me when I have reached out for an interview.  SO EXCITED that Gina Crawford agreed to answer some questions and appreciative of her thoughtful responses. She is an avid blogger (since 2009) and is one to follow. Men, I did ask two questions on motherhood which I know does not apply to you but I felt these were questions women wanted to know. Thanks again for your comments Gina and looking forward to seeing you on lots of podiums in 2014!

What was your most enjoyable race (not necessarily best performance) last year? and why
I got to do some great races in some great locations this year. Probably my favorite race experience was the Half Ironman in Samoa I did in August. This was a first time race and I had such a great time. Being a half ironman it was a great preparation for a race such as Kona as it is hotter and more humid but it doesn't take it out of you like a full distance would. In the lead up to the half ironman they also had a swim series and I took part in the 5k swim alongside pure ocean swimmers, a great test for the non wetsuit swim in Kona as well. The bike ride of the race took us through many villages. Each village had been given a country to support and so as you passed through there were the countries flags and the village people all dressed up. For example when we passed through the "Australian" village there were children all dressed up in Aboriginal dress. It was the first time many of the people had seen a triathlon and they were so excited as we passed through. I am nearly always completely focused on my race but this race I just enjoyed myself so much, waving to everyone as I went by. It was a great race to be a part of and I hope I can return there to race again maybe next year.
As a mother who has taken time off to start a family and come back so strongly, do you have advice for other mothers out there that might be in their comeback process?
Probably my best advice is just to take the time to come back slowly and not to rush it. In the early months you can easily get back on the wind trainer during the times your son or daughter is sleeping. I didn't get back into running for over 3 months as I ended up having to have an emergency c section, so it was the doctors orders. And as I didn't run past about 4 months into my pregnancy it meant when I did start running again I was about 8 months off running. So I went about things completely wrong. When I started running I knew my muscles would not be used to it and I intended to run only 5 minutes but once I started running I felt so free and happy I ran for a whole hour. The next day I was much more sore than after any of my ironman races. I continued to train too much and got a running injury after 2 weeks and then had to take off another 2 weeks off running. When I started again I started the sensible way and the way I would recommend, building up slowly by adding a bit of running into my walks. So my first run back was 5 minutes. I then ran every second day, the next day was only 7 minutes etc until I built up those muscles again in my legs. The last thing you want is an injury to contend with. If you are sensible your fitness comes back easily and my worry of never having the fitness I had before birth never eventuated. Doing a lot of walking with your baby in a front pack is also a great way to build up the muscles in your legs and fitness slowly.
My biggest worry I think was the breast feeding issue. I had a midwife that was very old fashioned who said I shouldn't run for a whole year! There wasn't a lot of research I could search out on the internet about elite sports people and breast feeding. So I was careful with adding the intensity and the length as I wanted to assess the effects it was having. For me I ended up finding out it had zero effect on me, so I was really lucky and I was able to get back into racing ironman, I nursed my son for 16 months and I never had any issues but I think everyone is very different so you have to find the right balance for you.

The other piece of advice would be to get back into doing the core strength work early. I didn't as I had ad vice from my midwife that I shouldn't do anything of the sort, and with the c section I was unsure what to do so I did no core work. When my son started crawling at 5 months and I was continually bending down and picking him up I got a back injury from incorrect posture and only then did I get this core work back on track which has helped a lot, but it is something you have to continue working at forever, I'm definitely not as strong in the core as I used to be.

I have been lucky in that we have structured family life so that I am able to train about 20 hours a week while my husband is around to care for Benji, but I hear from a lot of women who are trying to get back into fitness who don't have that support. There are still many ways you can train for a triathlon, biking on the trainer while your baby sleeps, running with the buggy once they are old enough to handle the bumps, and carriages you can put on the back of your bike if you want to cycle outdoors. The hardest part is the swimming, you need to find the time to structure that into your week.

What has been your biggest challenge balancing motherhood and triathlon?
Physically I didn't find it challenging coming back into the sport. I definitely changed my training a lot and did a lot less hours and made the most of any time I had to train. What I found really difficult was actually leaving the house at all to train as I felt and still feel guilty when I leave my son. I know this isn't the 1950's and women are expected now to work as well as be Mothers but it is something I can't help, feeling guilty every time I train. Even now with a 2 year old I do most of my training when he is asleep. I get up really early and train before he wakes and then train during his afternoon nap. This year I also had to do a few trips away from Benji which I found really, really hard and didn't enjoy it at all, but we couldn't always afford to travel together and also with a few trips it would have been detrimental for him. For example I traveled to Indonesia which involved an 8 hour flight and then only there for 5 days before coming back on another 8 hour flight. I thought it would not be fair to put him through that. But I have to keep reminding myself that if I wasn't doing triathlon as a career which is incredibly flexible I would see him a lot less if I was working as a teacher, and I am doing the best I can to be the best Mom.

What is one of your MUST HAVE pieces of equipment?
My Ceepo Katana bike for sure. I have been riding Ceepo since the 2nd year of my career in 2008 and I have won 10 ironman races with Ceepo. I think it is really important to find a bike that is a great fit to you as it is not only the 180k bike ride, but being able to run well after that that is important. I think I have that with Ceepo. Each year they change the model slightly and it keeps getting better and better.

Have you set your goals for 2014? If so, willing to share a few with us?
Not set in stone yet. This year I am much more focused on the Ironman World Champs in October and want to have a good race. I have never really given myself the best chance to perform there as I always have done an ironman in either late August or September before the race. I have 3 finishes (7th, 8th and 9th placing) but this year I would like to crack the top 5. So I will race heavily in the first half of the year and then will give myse lf a good build up (all going well) into Kona. I will start the year off racing Challenge Wanaka in January (I have never been beaten on this course, have 5 victories and it would be super if I could continue that trend), then I will most likely race Ironman New Zealand in March. Each year I like to try and find a new and exciting destination I haven't been to and I think this year I might try Challenge Taiwan in April, then I will most likely do Ironman Cairns or 70.3 in June (a super family friendly destination). I would have liked to have traveled to race a bit in the States, but having done a budget we just can't afford it this year as well as doing the World Champs in Kona.

Follow Gina at:

Monday, December 23, 2013

New Blogs!

Elizabeth C. McCourt - (New York)- Writer, Triathlete & Foodie sponsored by http://Trisports.com - 15% off promo code: EMCCOURT

Mile 24- (New York, NY) Eye Candy for Endurance Athletes
http://miletwenty4.tumblr.com/ TriWives (All over the country)- A Place For All Triathlete Supporters. 3 wives of triathletes, moms (to kids & pups), runners, & so much more, taking you behind the scenes of this lifestyle. 

Brad Williams  (Fort Forth Texas) - Proud member of Team RWB, HoneyStinger Hive '13 and USMilitaryES.

Bobby Craig (FL)-Firefighter/Triathlete

TriBoomer (Dallas, TX)-Husband, father of four, endurance sports writer, 6x Ironman triathlete for charity, ultra-marathoner.

Friday, December 20, 2013

12 Days of Christmas Workout by Katelyn Michaud

I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season and wanted to share a "holiday themed" post with you from one of the tri-coaches I have come to know through this blog!  Katelyn Michaud, USAT Coach and founder of http://bigskymultisportcoaching.com posted this festive workout and thought it was perfect to share especially as the holidays can mean downtime during training.  I am on the third day with my son and it was a fun way to encorporate him since I lured him in with a 30 sec plank to start :)  ENJOY! 
(non-sponsored post)


It’s that time of year… we’re too busy drinking eggnog and munching on gingerbread men cookies, shopping for presents, getting drunk at the annual company holiday party, and/or attempting to hang Christmas lights on the house without breaking our necks to hit up the gym!
In honor of the season, I have created a fun circuit-based workout based on the classic 12 Days of Christmas Song.
You start with the first day of Christmas and go through 12 rounds of each set of exercise just like you would sing the song (which you can do while you go through the circuit if you wish!).
Take at least 30-60 seconds rest between each interval round depending on your fitness level.
The exercises:
  1. Plank - The plank is one of the best core exercises you can do! Please choose a plank variety that fits your fitness levels. Beginners can start on their knees and progress onto their toes. Advanced “plankers” can go into a yoga high plank, lift one leg, or use balance boards or the TRX to add difficulty. For more information on how to do a plank, please see this post. Remember to really suck the belly button into your spine to engage your core and keep a flat back.
  2. Pull-ups – Not everyone can do a strict pull-up. I am one of these people. Completing a strict pull-up is one of my main goals for 2014. If you don’t have the upper body strength to complete a strict pull-up then you can use the pull-up machine at the gym, use a band to assist you (this is my preference), or do negative pulls. I love this blog post from the BodyTribe on pull-ups! Or, just substitute pull-ups for a different exercise, such as 30 sec of mountain climbers.
  3. Wall sits - Wall sits are a great way to tone your legs. I remember having to do minutes of these during swim dry lands in high school. So not fun! Place your butt and back against a wall. Slide your butt down the wall so you are now “sitting” in an invisible chair. You want to work towards getting your thighs parallel to the floor. Keep your knees directly over your toes. Do 3 rounds of 20 sec holds with 5-10 sec rest between or if you’re feeling like a glutton for punishment then go for a 60 sec continuous hold!
  4. Burpees – Everyone’s favorite exercise! Start in a high plank position. Jump your feet to your hands and stand up. Depending on your fitness level, you can either just stand up or jump in place. Then put your hand back on the ground and jump your feet back into plank position. Again, depending on your fitness level, you can do a push-up or just stay in a plank. Here is a good video of how to do a proper burpee.
  5. Push-ups - Push-ups are one of my favorite exercise and not to mention very effective one too. Push-ups primarily work the pectoral muscles, triceps, and anterior deltoids. I’ve worked with many women who have told me they can’t do a push-up. By time I’m done with them, they can do push-ups. Most people do push-ups incorrectly. Stay away from military style push-ups, unless you’re in the military and have to pass your PT test. Bring your hand position in so your hands are slightly wider than shoulder width. Make sure as you lower your body down into the push-up, your shoulders are over your hands. I find most people will have the hands slightly in front of their shoulder adding more stress to their shoulder joint. Keep the core engaged and think plank position (straight back!). Lower to at least 90 degrees. Here is an excellent video on correct push-up positioning.
  6. Triceps Dip - Find a bench or chair to use. Face away from the bench and place your hands behind you. Your butt will slide off the bench and you will lower your butt down like you were to sit in a chair. Your arms will bend to 90 degrees. Your feet can either bend at the knees (easier) or be straight out (harder). Here is an article with some helpful pictures.
  7. Hip Bridges - Hip bridges are an excellent glute activation exercise! Lay on your back with you feet on the ground. Move your heels as close to your butt as possible and place arms by your side. Push through your heels and lift your hips up to the sky. Squeeze the glutes and hold for 3-5 secs. Lower down and repeat. Here is a step-by-step guide to hip bridges. Remember to suck the belly button into your spine to engage the core at all times!
  8. Squats - You can do squats multiple different ways, but in this instance I suggest just plain ole’ bodyweight squats. Focus on proper form and keeping a nice straight lower back. This Huff Post how-to is a good little article if you’re not familiar with squats, but don’t focus so much on the little picture. Make sure your knees don’t go over your toes and only go down as far as your comfortable. If you feel your balance is off, place a chair or bench behind you or hold onto a table as you squat down. I find that clients who have had head injuries (or just poor body awareness) in the past need a little extra support when first learning to squat.
  9. Shoulder Presses - These can be completed either sitting or standing. I recommend starting in a seated position unless you have a strong core and good, solid balance. A shoulder press can be done with dumbbells (recommended!), a barbell, or even kettlebells. Start with arms at 90 degrees and slowly press dumbbells up to straight arms. A more detailed step-by-step can be found here.
  10. Reverse Lunges – Lunges are great exercises for the butt and legs. Reverse lunges are especially good at targeting the quadriceps, which are important muscles in cycling. Personally, I find it easier to teach reverse lunges to clients and then progress to forward and finally walking lunges. Remember to keep your core engaged and keep shoulders above the hips at all times. If you have good balance and looking for more of a challenge then you could hold dumbbells by your side or add biceps curls as you lunge your foot backwards. Here is a good article on reverse lunges.
  11. Medicine Ball Wood Chops – If you don’t have a medicine ball then you can use a dumbbell, kettlebell, or even a cable machine at the gym. Stand in an athletic stance with left arms raised with medicine ball above head to the left. “Swing” the arms down to the right side by the right hip as you would chop wood. “Swing” back to the top position. Don’t allow gravity to do all the work by engaging your core. ACE has a decent step-by-step guide here, but I don’t recommend starting with a split stance foot position.
  12. Bent-Over Rows – A strong back is important for health and athletic performance. Too many people have weak backs due to our current lifestyle choices and professions. Sitting at a computer for 8-hours a day can do a number to the body! Bent-over rows can help bring the shoulders back by strengthening the middle back, lats, and biceps muscles. These can be done with dumbbells or a barbell. I suggest dumbbells. Stand with your legs at hip width distance. Hinge at the hip and really suck in the belly button to the spine to create a nice, flat back. If you have dumbbells, palms can face into each other or away from you. If you have a barbell, then palms face away from you. Keep your core still and move your arms up until you can squeeze your shoulder blades together. Pause, and lower in a controlled manner. A good step-by-step can be found here.
And there you have it, the 12 Days of Christmas. As a disclaimer, ALWAYS check with your health care provider before you start any new exercise routine to ensure you are healthy enough to exercise. Not all these exercises may be suited for your current fitness level, please use commonsense and don’t do anything that causes pain or injury to your body.

Thanks again to Katelyn for her willingness to share this article and wishing all of you a wonderful holiday!

You can contact Katelyn Michaud at: 
IMLP 2013


Coaching/Personal Training Resume

USAT Certified Level I Triathlon Coach

USA Cycling Level III Coach

National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-cPT)

National Academy of Sports Medicine Corrective Exercise Specialist (NASM-CES)

Functional Movement Screen Specialist

TRX Trainer/Instructor

Formal Education

University of Maine Farmington, 2008 – BA in Biology/Chemistry

University of New England, 2012 – Master in Public Health

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Normally try to stay in the background of this site (and will continue to keep it that way as I have my own blog to be "all about me") but something to exciting not to share... I made the Rev3 AG Team!  I have applied for many years and really pumped about this opportunity.   If you make it to any of their awesome events, reach out and we can meet up!  I also appreciate all of the congrats I have received from people about making the team... many things to be thankful for this holiday season.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tri-Life: Tri Wives Club

I believe I have a very supportive husband when it comes to my racing however as the planner in the relationship, his preparation for races normally includes the following and nothing else.

His version of preparing for a race normally goes like this. 
Scott:  "Nic, where is the race start?" 
Me: "High Cliffs State Park"
Scott then googles "golf courses near High Cliffs State Park"

For us, that works but if i was the supporter, i would probably be a lot more methodical and plan a lot more.  This is where TRI-WIVES CLUB comes in. 

Straight from their "about us section":
We are Dana, Jodi, and Sherry – three wives of triathletes.  For those not as familiar with this sport, it involves 3 disciplines –swimming, biking, and running; a variety of distances from Sprints to a full Ironman; and in-seasons and off-seasons.  Had it not been for our desperation to find enough activities to occupy an 15 hour race day (that had its beginning at 4 AM mind you), our friendship never would have flourished. Part of what kept us occupied included sharing stories about our guys. We soon realized we had so many and couldn’t possibly be alone.  

Loved what they were about and their dedication to their triathlete.  They have spectating tips, considerations for travel and 'Life with a triathlete' posts.  

Anyways, I thought this site could be useful for any family/couple/dedicated friends that support their endurance athletes.  Here is a re-publish of an article about Tri-Camps from a family perspective.  Enjoy!!


by jbswdz on September 27, 2013
photo 2-1
Midcoast Triathlon Club Camp looking very happy

Is a Tricamp a good idea for a family vacation? While your triathlete may be enamored of the idea, is it the best choice for your family?  Well, it’s an excellent question and can be a resounding yes, IF it’s the right Tricamp.  As part of our Kids In Tow series, we are taking a look at Tricamps to help you decide if they are right for your family. 

There are actually several different types of camps. There are Tricamps geared for triathletes to train or perfect technique and then there are Tricamps geared for the family to share in.  And, in our opinion, Tricamps are a much better vacation than one where your triathlete tries to train on his/her own.  If an athlete is going to be out training for 4-6 hours a day, wouldn’t you rather be around like-minded families than doing it on your own?

This short series will feature a few specific Tricamps over the coming weeks, but until then, here are the basics.

Tricamps geared for the athlete.
These are camps that go morning until night and are usually held at a race site or training area.  They are also generally run specifically for training and improving technique as a triathlete, so can be quite training-intensive. 

They are often run by race organizations or coaches.  While they may be great for the athlete, they can be more limiting for the family.  Just be sure to research what activities are available in the area to keep the family occupied.
Time to perfect the swim technique.....

Tricamps geared for the family.
These camps are designed specifically for the family.  Usually, they are run by a Triclub or a race site.  They allow for and encourage family time and have events specifically designed around families.
The camps we love offer:
  • 2-3 workouts/meetings a day for a total of no more than 6 hours
  • are at a location that offers a lot to do for the WHOLE family
  • have scheduled family time and activities for kids of all ages
  • have meetings for trisupporters to join in when talking about nutrition
  • offer great healthy food
Tricamps on your own.
This is where you decide to vacation at a race site and your athlete says he/she will train while you are there. As you can imagine, it certainly cuts into family time and being unstructured, can cause stress and strain for all.  It would be a great idea to discuss details ahead of time in terms of how to achieve a balance between athlete and family time.
So, there you have the basics.  It is up to you to decide if the Tricamp is right for your family.  Remember, we will be giving some examples of Tricamps in the coming weeks.
The TriWives

Check them out!  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tri-life: Tri Properties: Swim.Bike.Run.Stay

Was recently contacted by a blogger Matt Landau at Vacation Rental Marketing Blog.  He recently wrote about a new company that specializes in rentals for large tri-races, Tri Properties.   He passed along the info as he is not only a Marketing blogger but a triathlete who follows our site and thought readers could potential benefit from this resource.  I was intrigued and i know some of the bigger races have such demand for housing, I wanted to share.  As usual, this is NOT a sponsored post. 

To read Matt's full article, click HERE but here are some excerpts from the article. 

Owner Darrin with his son
Darrin originally started renting out his property in Penticton, British Colombia for the Ironman Canada triathlon event roughly 9 years ago.
Since the Ironman event brought 3000 athletes to the Penticton area, the demand for Darrin’s property was high and everyone was busy during that time (and for other triathlon events in the area).
 As many of us have experienced with our own personal success, Darrin began receiving the obligatory “Can you please rent our property for us?” requests from family and friends.

Darrin had no problem recommending other local properties to his overflow triathletes. But it was only about two years ago that Darrin did some research and found that there was no website for triathletes to book properties: neither in Penticton nor elsewhere in the world.

That was when Tri Properties was born with the slogan, Swim. Bike. Run. STAY.
Screen Shot 2013-11-30 at 12.55.51 PM
This is designed as a vacation rental listing site exclusively for the very concentrated and serious demographic of triathletes. I am particularly in love with Darrin’s idea because I am a triathlete myself. But for those that don’t know much about triathlons:
- The industry is one of the fastest growing sport segments in the world
- The average spend-per-capita (between air travel, gear, lodging…etc.) is amongst the highest of any sport
- The average participant is an adult between the ages of 32-55
- Summary: Most triathletes bring their families along for support, turning events into group vacations making rental properties the ideal spot for them to hole up for a few days before and after a race.

Why is Darrin’s Tri Properties such a great niche?
Because it’s complimenting the budding vacation rental industry with a similarly booming trend that Darrin knows intimately: triathlons.  And about his (albeit early) success, Darrin says the response has been fantastic amongst the triathlete community: “Almost everyone that we speak to loves our idea.  We already have triathletes waiting to book properties from us.  With that said we have a limited supply of properties.  We are currently working as hard as we can to try and build our supply of properties around the world (in triathlon locations).”

And as if his main idea wasn’t good enough, Darrin wanted to put a philanthropic twist on his business and so he came up with the idea that if property owners listed their property with Tri Properties, his company could, in return, build houses for people in the developing countries!

Tri Properties donates a portion of their profits to help build houses for people in desperate need of shelter. And inspired by the TOMS business model, Darrin allows anyone to come on their mission trips to help build the properties themselves!!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

New Blogs and Headsweats winners!

Aimee N and Ben J
They already have been contacted and hat/visor will be shipped shortly.  Thanks to all who participated.  Looking forward to having more giveaways in the future!


Also, have some new blogs to add!   Where my ladies at?!?!  ... oh, they are right here!

Jenn Graham (Pass Christian, MS)- playing by the rules, with a smile on my face (most days)....trying to figure out how to string together 140.6 fabulous miles ....I'll try again at IMTX 2015

Sarah Schreiber (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rachel Matyasse (Central IL)- Speech-Language Pathologist and lover of music, learning, running, triathlon and travel.

Kimberly Shah- (Chicago) TRAVEL, RACE, PAINT & REPEAT

Maggs Morris - (Alabama) I love dogs, large bodies of salt water, sunrises & sunsets. I do not grease the squeaky wheel. Triathlete. Economist.

Jacklyn Garris - (Florida) Triathlete, Runner, CrossFit athlete who loves dogs and iced coffee. Owner of @KickStartEndur

Colleen Kingery (Suwanee, GA) - I'm just an every day girl who loves what I do - business owner, triathlete, @FitFluential Ambassador, Brooks ID member and momma to a sweet little girl!!!

Stephanie Burke (Allentown, PA)- Surviving my training for a full distance Ironman as a full time Paramedic and parent.

Meghan Campagna (Florida) - blogger, runner, 10x 13.1, 1x 26.2, triathlete, 1x 70.3, learner,#fitfluential ambassador

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tri-Friend: Courtney Fields (Geneva, NY)

Courtney is from NY and our next tri-friend.  She has been supportive of this site via twitter and excited to feature her.  She recently made the jump from running to triathlons with a full in her sites in 2015!  For anyone thinking about giving a tri a tri, she is a great blog for inspiration!
1. Tell us a little about yourself in a few questions
I first started running at age 12 when I joined my school's modified track team. I ran track as a short distance hurdler for many years. After high school I was an on-again off-again runner until 2011 when I really settled into permanent training mode. Because I was trained as a sprinter I never though I could be an endurance athlete, but I took a stab at it and here I am. I'm a health educator, New York State certified health education teacher, and a nationally Certified Health Education Specialist. Health, wellness, and fitness truly are a passion for me as well as my career.

2. What about triathlon intrigued you and scared you the most?
The challenge. I'm good at running and I needed something else to push my limits. I saw a number of people I went to high school and college with participate in a local Iron Girl triathlon in 2011 and that was when I decided I would run that race the following season as my new challenge. The challenge of it all is also what's scary about it. It's such an extreme sport and requires you to be well versed in three separate disciplines. This adds such a demand on training and on the body. But the little bit of scary is what makes it so exciting.

3. What has been your biggest learning experience in the transition of becoming a triathlete?
That I am capable. I never thought I was capable of running more than 3 miles and I definitely never thought I could do everything that triathlon requires. Triathlon has taught me that I can push my own limits, both physically and mentally, and accomplish anything I want. So many people say to me "I could never do that" but really the answer is yes you can. Anyone can and I believe that with all my heart. Everyone is capable and triathlon can prove that to you, as it did for me.

4. What gear was your MUST HAVE when you first started?
A decent bike and a good tri kit. I bought a brand new entry level road bike right off the bat. I had zero bikes, so I had to buy one regardless. I also immediately got clipless pedals and shoes and I would recommend them beyond anything else starting out. Also, a well fitting tri kit that suits your needs means being comfortable during the race, which is so crucial.

5. What is your goal race for your next year?
For 2014 I am currently registered for The Rat Snake Reverse Triathlon, IRONMAN 70.3 Syracuse, Musselman Mini Mussel Triathlon, and the Empire State Half Marathon. I'm hoping to place top ten in my age group at Iron Girl Syracuse, run a total of six triathlons, and hopefully run my first full marathon in preparation for IRONMAN Chattanooga in 2015.

Check out Courtney!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

2 New Triathlons for 2014 (West Viriginia and Chicagoland)

I had plans to do this post on Cyber Monday but I am in the midst of buying a home and it has taken over a large part of my life! I might need to put a rant on my personal blog one of these days as this process has been crazy.  A billionaire needs to come up with a HouseMax .. like Carmax.  No fuss, no games, no secrets.. just let me buy a house! We have lost 3 houses and we are bidding over list! (and yes, we are well qualified with good credit) Ok, mini rant over.  Anyways, back to triathlons...

Wanted to feature two new triathlons/dualthons for 2014... both of which happen to be August 3, 2014.  They are in different regions of the country and really like that they provide options for individuals to race in many different ways.  I have many friends that aren't quite ready to commit to swim.bike.run and these events provide ways for everyone to be part of the action.   
(Post is NOT sponsored :)

Crush Winthrop Harbor

45 Minutes N of Chicago (accessible by Metra)
  • Elite Race Division
  • Team Racing 
  • Part of the Chicago Tri Series
  • Options to race under a Charity (More than Sport, Medals4Mettle, Hope2Give, BackPacks4Class)
  • AG Triathlon 
  • AG Relay
  • Stand Up Paddleboard for those who want to change it up in the water  ("Presented by the Chicago Paddle Company, participants will be offered the unique opportunity to participate in Triathlon via Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP)")
  • In conjunction with Harbor Days with lots of family events!
  • For me information about this race and an interview with the RD, click HERE

Rev3 Morgantown, WV 
  • Weekend of festivities
  • Elite Racing (purse prize TBD)
  • AG Triathlon
  • AG Relay
  • AG Aquabike (no run)
  • Part of Rev3's AG series
  • 5K Glow Run Friday -USARA sanctioned national championship qualifying sprint adventure race
  • Family Fun Run Saturday
  • Triathlons will go Sunday
  • Family friendly venue as all Rev3 events are
  • To read more in a press release, click HERE

Sunday, December 1, 2013

New Blogs & Headsweats Giveaway!

Hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving whether you were trotting, eating or watching some crazy college football games on Saturday (OH... IO!)

Had some great blogs to add to the list and wanted to do a giveaway in the spirit of belated Thanksgiving!  Love Headsweats as all triathletes should and was provided some free gear perfect for training and racing.
Enter via Rafflecopter

Cort the Sport (VA) - 45-49er, USA Triathlon Team USA, Boston Marathoner, Working Mom

Elyse Gallegos (TN)- nurse, triathlete, and nutrition junkie. Fueled by and sponsored by ,

Summer Ohlendorf - (WI) Amateur triathlete and semi-pro volcano nerd at Wisconsin. Former Cal rower. President. Ecstatic to join Team 2013!!!

Triathlete Chronicles (Brisbane, Australia) BOP ironman triathlete and soon to be ultra-runner. 

Wornout Soles Region (upstate NY)  Because nothing beats wearing out a pair of pretty pink running shoes 

Ron Searle- (Chicagoland) a dad, business owner, ex-fatman, ironman, and Rev3 Teammate
@pcs_ronbo on twitter 

Andrew Weaver (PA) - Fat man turned triathlete turned ketogenic machine aka doughboytoironman
Co-founder of Ironman: Year One Podcast (with John from  FatSlowTriathlete.com) where i was recently featured!  (ignore how horrible 80's movie trivia ability... got stage fright!  http://doughboytoironman.com/2013/11/27/ironman-year-one-episode-seven-guest-nicole-kesten-from-the-tri-blogger-network/

Monday, November 25, 2013

Tri-Coach: Should you do group rides? By: Tony Zamora

As admin for this blog, one of things i have enjoyed is being able to ask tri coaches questions I personally have and then share the answers with you.  Group rides have never been a priority to me and I have been thinking if I am going to consider a full next year, i need to start considering them... so, i asked a local coach if this is something I should consider.  The short answer is: YES but you can read Tony Zamora's full article below!

Should you do group rides? 
By: Tony Zamora (USA Triathlon & USA Cycling Certified Coach)

I get asked this question at least a few times a week.
There’s typicaly 2 ways this question is asked.
1) Should I add group rides into my weekly training?  This question typically comes from triathletes.
2) I ride all the time with the group, but never get any stronger?  This is typically asked by club riders or cycling racers.

So whats the right answer?
I always recommend people should include group rides in their schedule, but should always focus on the long term.  It really all depends on what the athletes’ goal are, and that will ultimately determine how many times you should include group rides and how to ride with those groups.
I personally try to include group rides at least once a week, and usually because of the nature of group rides which I’ll get into in a bit, I usually do them when I have no planned structure for my workout of that day.
Here are 2 workouts that I did in September, both rides lasting about 2:30 hours.  At first glance the rides appear to be similar, but it’s the makeup of the rides that changes.   The rides were on different routes, but I wanted to compare recent rides so the comparison would take into account my fitness level at the time.

Solo Ride Group Ride
Time 2:34:00 2:30:00
Distance 42.6 44.8
Avg. Speed 16.5 17.9
Avg. Power 158 160
Normalized Power 179 204
Peak Power 699 755
Peak 10 Seconds 468 544
Peak 60 Seconds 302 387

Time spent not-pedaling 19 min 29 min

Solo Ride <click to open in TrainingPeaks viewer
Group Ride <click to open in TrainingPeaks viewer

If you click on the link to take you to the TrainingPeaks viewer it gives you a lot more info then Strava, and the ability to highlight certain sections and analyze them.  One of the reasons I enjoy using Trainingpeaks so much with my athletes!

Now looking at the above table, you can see both rides are pretty similar as far as time, distance, and even average power.  Now where you can tell things change a bit, is looking at normalize power (how smooth was the ride), and then looking at the power breakdown at different time intervals.  I kept it short here, just looking at peak power and peak power for 10 & 60 seconds.

You can see that those efforts change quite a bit when riding solo versus riding with a group.  Group rides tend to be sporadic, and predictable at the same time.  That’s the reason why I’ll usually go riding with the group when I have no plans of doing any structured workout.  It’s too hard to do any structure with the group, unless everyone in the group is aware and willing to do the same structured workout.  The last thing you want to be is try and be the “hero” of the group and “be that guy”.

So to answer the question if you should ride with a group.  YES, you should.  I think it’s great to build camaraderie, get to talk to other riders about training, racing, life, etc. And its especially useful to ride with other riders that are stronger then you to challenge you!

I would strongly recommend that you don’t make every ride a group ride, and that you maybe only do 1 or 2 group rides a week.  If you look at the last line in the above table, I spent almost 30 minutes, of a 2.5 hour ride NOT-PEDALING!  It’s one of the interesting things of riding in a group and drafting, you get to not have to do a lot of work.

If you goal is to get stronger, whether you are a cyclist or triathlete, you need to be comfortable pushing yourself and not getting the advantage of drafting, and you need to be able to structure your rides where you can get in some quality training (re: structured workouts & intervals) without having the group there.  This is especially important for triathletes since you aren’t allowed to draft during races!

So go out, find a group or two that challenges you, and enjoy riding with them.  You’ll get to practice riding close to other riders, which will help if you plan on any cycling races.  It will also push you at times, but will let you sit in and recovery while drafting if needed.  But plan on most of your rides to be solo miles, unless you find a group that will all be willing to do the same interval sessions.

Read Tony's full bio HERE.  He also humored me with some interview questions:

Tony1. Tell us a little about yourself and what got you into coaching,
I've been coaching for about 6 years now. I started doing triathlons as a teenager, and really enjoyed getting others into the sport. I knew that this is what I wanted to do so got my coaching license and continue to help people out. Whether it's their first race or experienced athletes looking to improve, I just really enjoy being in their corner!

2. You hold a training camp for your athletes once a year.. what kind of experiences do people have that attend camps that can't be replicated. 
The feedback we get from people who attend the camp, is "focused and fun training". It gives the athlete the opportunity to focus on their training, while having fun. There's a strong sense of camaraderie of being able to train with other athletes during the day, talk race stories and discuss with the coach.

3. When/what is your next race?
My racing season is done for this year, and my first big race of the year is always the Sea Otter Classic cycling races out in California. This then kick starts the training camp out in California!

4. Must have triathlon piece of gear?
Tough question. Having the basics of course is first; workout cloths, bike, helmet and running shoes are a must. After that, a must have piece of equipment is a training log! Everyone thinks about the technology makes you better, but it comes down to the consistency and accountability in training.

To learn more about Tony and TZ Coaching

Friday, November 22, 2013

Tri-Friend: Mike Hebert - Chicagoland, IL

Mike has been a friend of mine for a few years long before ListofTriathlonBlogs was formed.  He helped me lauch ListofTriathlonBlogs twitter and facebook and we have raced a few events together which has been fun. (him finishing long before me btw).  Anyways, after 8 months of the site going I finally asked him for an interview.. mostly b/c he just started blogging when we launched and I wanted him to have more than a few posts when I interviewed him (keeping it real :)  So, without further adieu, Mike's interview.   

1. Tell us a little about yourself in a few sentences
Well, I'm a Staff Sergeant in the Army. I've spent 3 years in Anchorage, AK jumping from planes with one tour to Afghanistan in 2009 and I'm coming up on 3 years in Chicagoland, so it's about time for me to move on to the next adventure. I'm married to my best friend, Marnie and we have a wonderful 10 month old little girl, Genevieve. I started racing in 2011 and would eventually like to get placed with the Army Triathlon team and to be an age group contender at 70.3 and 140.6 distances.

2. What was your A-Race this year and how did it go?
Kinda funny. I went into 2013 with the goal of a sub-5 hour 70.3 at Michigan Titanium. I'd been riding my bike a lot more and had been running more regularly so I could start into a training plan. The Army told me that I was going to be at a 7-week training in Fort Sill, OK during the summer, so all of my heavy training was basically stopped. I did get out and do some bike racing, a sprint tri and a 5k while I was there, but nothing near what I wanted for the 70.3. All in all I was happy with how I did on the swim and bike, especially considering that I didn't swim but a handful of times in 2013. The run I blew up on. Plain and simply blew up. So, I turned the run into a social event and got to know some of the other runners. That's kind of what I do when I race, I'm a pretty social guy.
3. What is your biggest challenge about being an active duty soldier and balancing triathlon.. any hidden perks?
I'm kind of in a different situation right now, being a recruiter. I typically have more control over my workout schedule since I'm not with a regular Army unit. Where I find difficulties are the last minute "hey you..." things that come up. They typically are bringing an applicant somewhere at 6am or needing to do a uniralysis for our company. Right now for the most part the biggest balance is family and training. Having a 10-month old who can vary her wake-up time from 630 to 800 is the biggest thing. I like to let my wife sleep in, so when she wakes up at 630 it makes it difficult to get out for a morning session, but my wife has been pretty gracious to let me go for 1-2 hours in the evening with my coach, Jason Restuccia, at the YMCA.
As for perks, the Army places a huge value on Soldiers who perform well physically. It's nice to be ackowledged by my leadership and peers after doing well on a PT test, some units will give more leeway to Soldiers who are training for and performing at different levels, so I may be able to get a day or two a week at a regular unit to go for a long run or a long ride instead of what everyone else is doing.

4. For some of us that are newbies to the trainer, what training methods do you use indoors and why?
The winter is some of the best time to get hard intervals done and to increase your cycling (And running!) performance. There are a few different options depending on your budget abilities. Hands-down, the best way to train indoors is in conjunction with TrainerRoad(www.trainerroad.com). and The Sufferfest(www.thesufferfest.com). TrainerRoad is software that takes the power curve of your trainer (fluid trainer i.e. CycleOps Jetfluid Pro, etc) and reads your speed using a Garmin speed/cadence sensor, then it translates that speed matched with the power curve and some crazy math that I don't understand and gives you a virtual power output. You can also work with a powermeter, but those are a lot pricier. TrainerRoad will have you do a threshold test and then you can choose one of their free training plans and work through it. I also use The Sufferfest when I truly want to get my butt kicked. Using their motto "I will beat my ass today to kick yours tomorrow" they truly beat you. The intervals are incredible and you'll get a great workout. You can use The Sufferfest with or without TrainerRoad, but when used with it can bring your targeted training to a whole new level. The equipment does cost a bit, TrainerRoad is on either a monthly ($10/mo) or yearly ($99/year), a trainer can cost you anywhere from $100 to $500+ and the Sufferfest videos are generally $12.99 each, but you can get deals if you purchase all of them together. I was able to get my equipment before my daughter came, so that was nice.

5. You are moving to california soon, for what? how will this change your endurance sports routine?
I am! I was able to transfer my job in the army from Field Artillery to Military Intelligence, and with that I need to learn Arabic. I'll be there for about a 1.5 years learning 8 hours a day, a total of about 5 years of college in all. I'll be focusing on qualifying for the 2015 and 2016 Boston Marathons while I'm attending the school. Focusing on one sport will make the stress of learning the whole new language and having a 1 year old a whole less stressful. I also find that I am a lot more clear headed after a hard run, so I think it'll help me learning as well.
From Mike: I would just like to thank ChiTriBloggers for the opportunity. I'd also like to thank my family and friends for supporting me and EnduroPacks for helping me to reach new levels in my performance without all the fatigue.  
Follow Mike at http://hebertmike.com/