Gear- What do I need?

One of the biggest questions I often get asked is “What gear do I need as a triathlete DSCF4290getting started?”. This is a great question to ask as our sport has a lot of gear that you can buy, but do you really need it to get started?  You’ll need a few basic items such as goggles, tri clothes ( you can’t race naked, the raced directions frown upon that idea) and a bike. Once you have those, you’ll want to look into a few other basics to make your training and racing more enjoyable and successful.

Continue reading

Luckiest Coach

IMG_1587I’m the luckiest coach ever.  I don’t mean to brag, but I do have the best group of athletes! Whenever I think about the athletes I have the privilege to coach, all I can do is smile and beam with pride. This past weekend, at Ironman Chattanooga, I watched three of my athletes reach a milestone as they each became a first time Ironman. I had other athletes who volunteered and cheered at the race in support of their teammates.  The same weekend, I had another athlete who completed her first 70.3 and qualified for the USAT World Long Course Championship.  2015 has been a great season of PR’s and accomplishments, but it’s the camaraderie and dedication to the sport that makes me the proudest!

We are a team.  We support each other during workouts and races.  Our cowbells ring loud and our Facebook posts celebrate each other’s accomplishments. While as coach, I don’t always know every conversation that happens on a run or while on a long bike ride, I do know my athletes are there for each other. My athletes are awesome at finding the best in each other. They help each other reach their goals and find the balance between training and life.

The 2015 season has been amazing! I can’t wait to see how a late season race will turn IMG_1609into a PR for one athlete (No pressure KL!). Now is a time of celebration and to look forward to the 2016 season.  I am looking forward the incredible journey two more athletes will take as they work towards becoming Ironwomen. I am looking forward to seeing athletes set new PR’s.  Most importantly, I am looking forward to a great season where my team is supporting each other as they reach their goals in a balanced approach.

Group Training

Training with a group can make your workouts more fun, just make sure to have a plan.  Most group training rides are focused on building aerobic capacity and camaraderie. IMG_0767 Working on aerobic capacity is an important part of a balanced training program.  When riding with a group, try finding other triathletes who are similar in ability.  If you’re in a group with mixed abilities, discipline is very important.  You’ll want to know your training level and ride to that level.  Don’t let the group push you too hard or hold you back too much.   Continue reading

Get up and get that workout done before the day gets in the way!

It is so hard for athletes to get up early and get their workouts in the morning. The biggest reason I encourage my athletes to get their workouts done early in the morning is that by getting them done early in the day, nothing else gets in the way of the workout. I know sunrise_cartoonhow easy it is to put off a workout, thinking you’re going to get it done later in the day, only to have other life commitments get in the way. A couple of tips for committing to waking up early to get your workout done: 1. Go to bed at a reasonable time every night. Staying up late won’t help you get up early. 2. Start your new early morning routine on the weekend, rather than Monday. You can always take a nap later if you’re feeling tired so go ahead and get up early! 3. Consistency. Plan to get up the same time every day, even when you’re not working out. You might even try waking up early (early enough to workout) for an entire week before you add in the workouts. 4. Find a buddy. It really helps finding another brave soul who is willing to commit to those early morning workouts. You will feel more committed when you know someone else is counting on you to be up that early too. 5. Last resort…. put that alarm clock or phone across the room so you have to get up to turn it off. While your at it, put those workout clothes next to your alarm so you won’t be tempted to go back to sleep.

Mental Recovery After Your Goal Race

The last several months have been all about training for your goal race.  You’ve spent so much time in the pool, that you’ve started to think chlorine makes a pretty good perfume.  A goal race, especially an Ironman or 70.3 race takes a lot of training and planning.   You focused on that goal race and crossed that finish line.  Suddenly it’s over… Once race day comes and goes, have you thought about once it’s over what’s next?

mentalHere are 5 suggestions to help you develop your post race plans.

1.  First of all recover.  Both your body and your mind need time to bounce back, but don’t let recovery turn into apathy.
2.  Set a realistic recovery timeline, 4, 6, 8 weeks, and use that time to begin planning your next goal race.
3.  Ease back into training by doing some really easy workouts.
4.  Go out with friends and family you might not have seen much of during training.
5.  Write your race report.  Writing everything down helps you process not only your race, but your training.  This can be extremely helpful when looking ahead to setting your next season’s goals.


Training in Hot Weather

hotweatherNow that Summer is finally here and it’s HOT, are you hydrating properly?  Here are a few tips for training in hot weather.

1. Know your sweat rate.  This will help you estimate how much fluid you’re losing during a workout or race.  If you have a high sweat rate, you might need to replace electrolytes more often than you need to take in carbohydrates.  This will help your overall performance and keep cramping away.  To determine your sweat rate, weigh yourself (in your birthday suit) before and after workouts.  The weight loss experienced will give you an estimate of how your sweat rate and provide a goal for both re-hydration post workout and for how much fluids to take in during your next workout.

2.  Hydrate before your race.  Don’t wait until the night before your race to start your hydration plan.  Start about three days before the event.  As you taper for a race, your body will store more water and electrolytes, but you will still need to drink both water and fluids with electrolytes.  Salty snacks can also help your body store water if you’re wanting to drink less sports drinks. Also, if you’re feeling thirsty or your urine has a moderate to strong yellow color at any point during the days before your race, you’re too dehydrated.

3.  Know the signs of dehydration.  Hammer Nutrition has a great article on hydration and includes a chart that shows the symptoms of what your body experiences by percent of body weight water loss.

Getting ready for the 2014 season

 It’s time to start thinking about getting your gear ready for the 2014 season. Training gearproperly and having your gear in good working order will help you be successful in your upcoming races.  Here’s 5 things you can do to get your gear ready for the season:


1.  Get a bike tune up.  You rode miles and miles last year and probably just put it away at the end of last season.  Take your bike to your local bike shop and have them give it a basic tune up.  It’s amazing how a good cleaning and some lubrication can make your bike ride so much better.  This is especially important if you rode your bike this past winter.  Road salt and grime can collect on your chain, brakes, and cables making your bike work harder.  Also think about replacing your bike’s chain and tires.  Changing your bike’s chain will help it to shift better and most bike experts suggest changing it every 5,000 miles or once a year.  Check your tires for any holes, gashes or worn tread.  New tires are a great investment to a great season.

2.  Get a bike fit.  This can be one of the best ways to improve your riding other than riding.  It can decrease your risk of injury and make you more comfortable on the bike, which will in turn encourage you to get out and ride!

Continue reading

It all adds up!

penny jar

It can be sometimes be hard to find the motivation to train.  You might be tired, the weather just won’t cooperate, or your race seems so far off in the distance that missing that workout won’t matter.  We all know that putting in the training pays off on race day, but here’s a neat way to visualize your training and reward yourself for finding the motivation to start that workout.

All you’ll need is a jar and some pennies.  For each workout, no matter how it goes, put one penny in the jar.  The key will be to fill the jar while reaching your peak fitness day in and day out.   Continue reading