Whether you are a seasoned triathlete, a newbie who’s just started, or you’ve never done a race but are interested in learning more – Tri-Mania
is for you! This one day Boston-area triathlon conference on Saturday, March 23rd includes:
- Seminars on topics including nutrition, injury prevention, training science, first time triathletes, mental fitness, bike fit, and more!
- Keynote address by 2010 Ironman World Champion Mirinda Carfrae
- Full day expo showcasing the latest and greatest in triathlon gear, teams, training essentials, and more
- Swag bag filled with product samples, coupons, and discounts
- Competitive events including a 2.8 mile running race, bike time trial, relay swim, and team challenge.
Workshops and clinics giving you a more individualized hands-on experience, including swimming, running, and nutrition clinics (and yours truly is teaching one – read on for more details below).
The best part? Admission to the expo, access to all seminars, and your swag bag are all free
! The competitive events and clinics/workshops are an additional fee (but are quite inexpensive). The conference will be held at MIT's Zesiger Sport & Fitness Center in Cambridge, MA.
I’ll be teaching the 1st workshop of the day – “Eat to Peak: What You Need to Know to Create a Winning Nutrition Plan.”
In this hands-on presentation, I’ll address the ins and outs of triathlon nutrition. I will review basic components of healthy diets for athletes and reveal tried and true tips for pre-exercise, exercise and post-exercise nutrition. The workshop includes activities to help participants learn about the carbohydrate content of foods, a tasting session involving several commercial endurance nutrition products and an interactive Q&A session (come with questions!).
This is a great way to start off your day at TriMania. It’s particularly great for those of you have been wanting to meet with a sports dietitian but haven’t taken the leap yet. This is priced at just $50 for a 2 hour workshop! This will sell out
, so if you’re interested in attending be sure to register soon by visiting the registration page on Active
If you don't visit me at the workshop, definitely stop by our expo table. We will have a BRAND NEW triathlete nutrition workbook for sale! I've been working quite hard on this for a while and am confident you will love it too. More details to come in March!
And lastly, because we know some of you would probably love to try some other clinics – we are giving away a FREE Run or Swim Clinic
to one lucky blog reader! To enter this TriMania clinic giveaway, simply comment on this blog post letting me know what you are most excited about seeing/doing at Tri-Mania. You must enter by 3PM on Friday, 2/22/13 - we will randomly select 1 winner that evening. Good luck!
You must be at least 18 years old to win this giveaway. Upon winning, we will contact you via email and you must confirm your age and email address within 3 days or we will choose another winner. Free clinic entry applies to run or swim clinics only.
I love this photo that my husband took and edited for me!
A while back on Active Advantage, I scored a deal for a free race entry into the SheRox triathlon - and yesterday I competed in the race! This is apparently the fastest growing women’s only triathlon series in the country. The race was in Devens, Massachusetts.
On a side note, before my race recap - If you’re not familiar with Active Advantage, basically you pay a yearly fee and in exchange you don’t have to pay all those additional transaction fees for races that you register on active – plus you are eligible to score free race deals (like this one for SheRox), get discounts on other races, and get coupon codes for discounts at lots of fun sports-related websites. This is my second year as a member and I love it – and if you win one race, it pays for itself and more! They offer 30 day trials for $1.99, so if you're a frequent racer, click the link below to try it out!
OK, moving onto the race recap - overall, it was an awesome race. I did have just a few small pet peeves though, and one was right at the beginning – the parking was a mile from the start. I realize a mile is not that far to walk, and yes you could just hop on your bike for a quick ride. But when you have someone with you who doesn’t have a bike (like husbands, kids, friends, etc) – you’re obviously going to be walking over with them since they don’t have bikes. It’s not far, but it does take a little bit of time and when you’re trying to get ready before a race, you just want to be at the start getting everything set up just how you want it. I realize the stress caused by this was partially my fault, because if I’d left earlier I wouldn’t have had to worry as much. Although it’s still a tiny bit annoying that after you finish, you’ve got to walk back that mile to the car.
Check-in and packet pickup went smoothly, and then I got transition all set up and headed down to the area for the swim start. The swim was a 0.5 mile triangular course in Mirror Lake. It was a great morning for the swim – it was comfortable outside and the water was warm. My swim wave went off third, and it was fairly smooth with the exception that I got caught in a group of swimmers going just slightly too slow for me, but there were about 5 around me and I couldn’t break out for a few minutes. Also, I definitely should’ve had some tinted goggles, since the first 1/3 of the swim was directly facing the sun so you couldn’t sight anything! I just kept following the people in front of me until we got around that first buoy and I could actually sight again. Felt great once I could get some space on the swim – no problems with breathing and felt strong and steady the whole way.
Finishing the swim, you had to run up a pretty long bumpy concrete hill to get to transition (maybe 0.2 miles?). I should’ve left my flip flops over on the side, because that crap hurts your feet! Went pretty slow getting up that hill, so T1 was pretty long.
The bike course was a 10 mile course – two 5 mile loops. It was smoother than I thought it’d be with the number of women on the course – although my husband said he saw some close calls at a few points when he was watching bikers finishing, bikers going out for the second loop, and runners on the course – all in the same section at the same time. But for my pace, I didn’t have many problems with it being overly crowded.
I had gotten myself all anxious and nervous before this bike course because the elevation map looked like it had a pretty steep hill at one point. Turned out to be not bad at all! I actually really liked the bike course. Much easier course than the MWCC sprint course back in July. I felt great while riding.
Headed out for the last leg, the 2.9 mile run, and knew I was going to struggle. My legs were feeling a bit tired, and mile 0.5 to 1.5 was pretty much all uphill. I was insanely slow on that portion. After the 1.5 mark, then we got the nice downhill portion and I was able to pick up some speed again, but not enough to make up for that crappy run start.
I crossed the finish extremely happy with my performance that day, particularly for the swim and bike. The run could’ve been better, but oh well! I know I haven’t been running as much as I could the last 2 weeks, and there’s nothing I can do about it after the fact.
Here are my splits from the race:
0.5 mile Swim – 15:42
T1 – 5:52 (that stupid concrete hill!)
10 mile bike – 39:58
T2 – 1:25
2.9 mile run – 38:46 (ouch, haha!)
Overall time – 1:41:41
Overall place – 210/281
Age division place – 25/37
To all the ladies out there – which one of you is going to try to tackle a triathlon this year or next year?! Share in the comments if you're planning to do one. If you're thinking about one but are nervous, we can help you with training and nutrition so keep us in mind!
Getting my wetsuit on...a 10 minute process which always causes me to overheat and become very cranky, haha.
My swim wave start!
Heading out of T1 to start the bike.
Finishing up the 1st loop and heading out for the 2nd loop of the bike course.
Post-race watermelon - my favorite treat!
Ever been confused my fitness magazines or exercise articles? Here’s a quick refresher course on the terminology often used by personal trainers, exercise physiologists, and those who compete in endurance events. If you’re new to running or triathlon, these may be quite helpful!
Foot strike – This refers to how your foot lands during running. Ideally you should land on your mid-foot – not on your heels (more common) or toes (less common).
Overpronate – This is when your foot rolls inward when your foot strikes the ground in running. Overpronation can make you more vulnerable to injuries. Stability-type shoes can help to correct overpronation.
DOMS – Delayed onset muscle soreness. A soreness that can occur 24-48 hours after you exercise.
Cadence – Most commonly referred to when discussing cycling, this refers to rate at which you’re pedaling (or the number of times you pedal per minute). Ideally, athletes try to maintain a fairly steady cadence. If you find yourself slowing down pedaling, consider shifting down to a lower gear so you can maintain your cadence.
Glycogen – The form of carbohydrate stored in your muscles that gives your body energy for workouts. When glycogen stores run low in long events, athletes may feel themselves “hit the wall.” That’s why it’s important to take in carbohydrate through fuel sources during exercise lasting longer than 60-75 minutes.
Bib – This is your race number. You pin it to your shirt or wear it on a race belt. The photo below is my bib number from the North Shore Tour de Cure!
Body marking – In triathlon (not road races), your arms and legs will be marked with your race number using a marker.
Gun time – The time the clock says when you run across the finish line.
Chip time – Your actual time based on when you crossed the starting line and when you finished. In big races or triathlon, you’ll almost always have a timing chip (usually built into your race bib or that straps on your shoe or around your ankle). Smaller races where everyone crosses the start around the same time may not have a timing chip.
Transition – The 4th part of triathlon. This is the time between the swim and the bike and between the bike and the run when you must transition into the new sport. Between the swim and the bike, you’ll put on shoes, your helmet, your race number, and grab your bike. Between the bike and the run, you’ll re-rack your bike, change from bike to run shoes (if you have different ones for each), and take your helmet off.
Before the race, you'll set up your transition area with all your gear (see photo below).
Cross-training – This refers to a workout day where you’ll choose another exercise rather than the one on which you focus the majority of your time. For example, runners may cross train on the bike or elliptical. Fortunately for triathletes, the nature of having to train for 3 different disciplines means that you’re essentially cross training anyway.
Tempo run – This is a run done at a relatively tough pace, usually just a little slower than race pace. Some people call it “comfortably tough.” For example: you may do a warm up, run a few miles at tempo pace (the specific number of miles will vary based on your race distances and goals), and then do a cool down.
Speedwork – These are structured workouts that usually involve a warm-up, set distances where you’re working at fast speeds, and recovery time. They may involve hills, intervals, and/or track workouts.
Fartlek - This is a Swedish term meaning “speed play” – a form of interval training. Rather than set intervals though, a fartlek workout is more unstructured and spontaneous. Start out with a 10 minute warm up run, and then start adding some speed – run as fast as you can until the next stop sign or pick a speedy pace and maintain it for two minutes. After each speed burst, return to a comfortable running pace to recover. Add in multiple intervals and switch up the speed and distances throughout the workout.
5K = 3.1 miles
10K = 6.2 miles
Half marathon = 13.1 miles
Marathon = 26.2 miles
Sprint Tri = ¼ to ½ mile swim, 10-15 mile bike, 3-4 mile run (distances may vary based on the race)
Olympic Tri = 0.9 mile swim, 22-28 mile bike, 6.2 mile run (distances may vary based on the race)
Half Ironman = 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run
Ironman = 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run
DLF>DNF>DNS – This is a common phrase used by runners, cyclists, and triathletes. It stands for dead last finish triumphs did not finish which is still better than did not start. A great motto to use going into races – it doesn’t matter what place you come in, because you’re already doing more than everyone sitting on their couch at home.
This past weekend, I completed my first Olympic distance triathlon at Mass State! That’s right – a 0.9 mile swim, 22 mile bike ride, and 10K (6.2 mile) run. I had started to train for an Olympic distance tri last summer, but after my apartment fire I lost my bike and didn’t have anything to ride with. So I couldn’t wait to tackle that challenge this year.
The race took place out at Lake Dennsion in Winchendon, MA. It was about an hour and a half from Mansfield, but luckily it was a little later start at 9AM so we didn’t have to get up super early. I did the Saturday race which was a co-ed race, but there was also a Sunday race that was a women’s only one (great if you’re a female racer nervous about a tri and would rather race only with the other ladies).
The swim was great, aside from the slimy stuff on the bottom of the lake that we had to stand on while we were waiting for the gun to go off, haha (it was an in-water start). But obviously that's out of anyone's control. I felt awesome during this swim – much better than the MWCC sprint tri I did two weeks ago, where I felt like I was having trouble getting into a rhythm and breathing at the beginning.
This was also the first race I’ve used my wetsuit in. My wetsuit is like a second layer of skin – it takes me about 20 minutes to get that thing on, all the while I start overheating and sweating profusely. Apparently, the wetsuit people don’t understand that not all women are a size 2 with a flat behind. Getting that thing over my butt is quite a process. If any wetsuit manufacturers are reading this: please invent one that fits curvy women!
The plus side to the wetsuit is it definitely helps with swimming smoother and buoyancy, so it makes the swim feel a lot easier! Someone gave me the tip of standing off to the side in the water to get the wetsuit off. Most people run and take it off at transition, but it’s actually easier to slide off in the water when you still have a layer of water between your skin and the suit. It’d be tough if you’re trying to do it when masses are getting out of the water, but for a back-of-the-packer like me, I’ve got plenty of room to take it off in the water.
Next part was the 22 mile bike, which was great. It was a single loop course, and there were some great stretches of roads between turns where you could pick up speed. A few hilly parts that tested the legs, but overall I felt great on the bike. Ate my Stinger waffle (yum!!) and had a bunch of Gatorade during it to keep me fueled for the run.
The 10K run is where I started to get tired. By that time, the sun had come out and it was probably somewhere in the upper 80s or maybe even low 90s. It felt HOT. Luckily, along the run course they had some ice cold sponges to cool your body off with which felt great. And a few spectators from houses along the run had hoses out to spray us down which was nice too. I couldn’t wait to reach the turnaround point, because there’s such a mental satisfaction when you know you’re finally heading back in the direction of the finish line.
Along the last few miles of the course, I knew I was one of the last few racers (it’s pretty easy to figure that out when you don’t see anyone behind you after the turnaround, haha). There was a medic guy in a golf cart type thing with a stretcher that stopped alongside me three times during the run to make sure I was okay. Yes sir, I’m not injured or dying, I’m just slow, haha! (In all seriousness though, it’s good they had him stopping to check because it was hot and I could see how people might need help).
I crossed the finish line very proud of finishing my first Olympic distance race, and was greeted by volunteers with ice cold towels to drape around my neck and some watermelon – amazing!
I met up with my husband and we watched the awards ceremony. Now, I always race in the Athena category for triathlon – it’s a category for women 150+ pounds (there’s also a similar category for men called Clydesdales with a weight requirement). Sounds silly, but by the laws of physics it takes more effort to get your bike or body to move when you’re a heavier racer – so these categories give you a chance to compete against athletes with similar body weights as you; a leveling of the playing field in essence.
Normally, there are about 5 to 15 Athena racers at the different events that I’ve done. Imagine my surprise when I found out I was the ONLY Athena in this race – so I “took 1st place” in my division! Haha, I know – a bit of a default win (especially since I was one of the last few racers!) – but I’ve never won an award at any race or got to stand on the podium before, so I took the award with a huge smile on my face and was pretty excited about it.
Overall time: 3:37:57
Swim – 40:20
T1 – 3:27
Bike – 1:32:10
T2 – 1:19
Run – 1:20:42
Any of you competing in any triathlons or other races this summer? I’d love to hear about them! Leave a comment and let us know what you’re doing.
Signing up for two races with only a day of rest was a rather ambitious move for me. But both races turned out to be a great time and I’m very happy I did it!
The MWCC sprint tri took place in Gardner, MA last Sunday. We scored a great deal on it from Schwaggle, which made the hour and a half drive there a bit more tolerable at 5AM, haha. This was a small triathlon with only about a hundred people (definitely one of the smallest events I’ve been to) but it was nice because it was easy to find your way in transition. It was also a longer sprint tri, with a 0.5 mile swim, a 15.18 mile bike, and a 4.17 mile run.
Even though I’d stayed pretty active on our California vacation, not having much specific training leading up to this tri made it a tough race for me. The swim portion went well (aside from the gross weeds at the beginning of the pond, but who can control that), but the bike was a bit hillier than I was used to. There was a bit of a climb between miles 11 and 12, and it really tired me out. By the time I got to the run, I felt pretty exhausted but still put in my best effort. I ended up finishing in 02:32:58, with the following splits:
Swim - 24:15
T1 - 4:03
Bike – 1:10:17
T2 - 0:56
Run - 53:28
People always tell me they’re scared to do a tri because they’ll be one of the last people to finish. In this event, I was one of the last people to finish – 2nd to last actually, I believe. And even though it was a tough race for me, my times weren’t that bad compared to my normal standards. Coming in near last doesn’t diminish all the hard work you do, and honestly – I just love the sport of triathlon so much, who cares if I’m one of the last to run across that finish line!
Following that race was the Harvard Pilgrim 10K on Tuesday night at Gillette Stadium. I did this race last year and loved it, so I was happy to do it again this year. The race was huge – over 6,000 runners between the 5K and 10K races which both started at the same location and ran the same ¾ of a mile together before splitting. My husband and my good friend Katie were there to do this race with me too.
Here’s my biggest pet peeve with mass starts like this (and it’s to no fault of the race directors, because they do their best to push people to do it correctly): seed yourself properly. I’m a slow runner, I know this. I seed myself between the 10 min/mile pace and the walkers, because that’s where I’m at. But it’s pretty frustrating to start the race and for the first half mile be weaving in and out of people walking at 2 mph. I LOVE that races are walker-friendly – I’ve walked in the past too. I just wish people would put themselves in the right spot. Okay, enough ranting.
The 10K course went out on local roads in Foxboro before coming back to the Stadium. The finish was on the 50 yard line, which was awesome. It’s fun to see yourself on the big screen too. At the finish, they had Patriots player Jerod Mayo around to take photos.
I ended up finishing the 10K in 1:14, an 11:55 min/mile pace, which I was pretty happy with. Not near my 10K PR, but it was a race where I felt great running and finished without feeling like I was going to vomit at the end.
After the race, we stuck around Patriot Place to see the amazing fireworks. It was a great event!
And the Danskin Triathlon Giveaway winner is (drumroll please).... … Jennifer M!
Congratulations to Jennifer. She has won a free race entry into the Danskin Triathlon of her choice. We are so excited for Jennifer and wish her the best with her triathlon training!
Thanks to everyone else who entered our giveaway. Keep your eyes peeled for more giveaways soon!
And if I may make a polite request on the topic of giveaways: please don’t enter a giveaway on our site and not actually do the tasks you need to do to enter. I moderate these giveaways, so if you earn an entry on rafflecopter by saying you left a blog post, it’s pretty easy for me to glance at the blog to see who did not actually do this (and I do go in and remove these entries so it’s fair). Same goes for twitter posts, etc. Let’s play by the rules to make it an equal playing field for everyone! Thanks to those of you who already follow the rules!
You all know how passionate I am about endurance sports. Back in 2009, a friend of mine convinced me to sign up for a sprint distance triathlon with her. During training, she hurt herself and wasn’t able to continue. I decided to keep training on my own and tackle my very first endurance event. Up until this point, I’d never even run a 5K. Completing the sprint tri was one of the best moments of my life – I was so proud of myself and what I’d just accomplished. And from then on, I’ve been tackling endurance sport events every year, from marathons to cycling events to triathlons.
So I was super excited when Danskin approached me about getting the word out on their women’s only sprint triathlon series! Danskin strives to help women to get moving with a “women empowering other women” mentality. Never done a triathlon before? Don't worry, because their races are very first-timer friendly and you'll have tons of support and motivation along the way. Triathlon is definitely a sport with lots of encouragement, and there's no doubt you'll hear other women cheering you on during the course.
Their sprint distance triathlon races take place throughout the country. The sprint distance is comprised of a ½ mile swim, 12 mile bike, and a 3 mile run. And in addition to regular individual participants, there are relay options too – so if you never learned how to swim or hate cycling, grab a few friends and you can each take on your favorite part.
Plus, in the spirit of “paying it forward” the series supports the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Team Survivor nationally; as well as a local food bank and women’s shelter in each of their race cities.
I'd highly encourage you to checkout the Danskin Triathlon series
and their race schedule, and consider participating in a triathlon this year. If you're sitting there thinking "I could never do that" - then I especially would encourage you to challenge yourself this year. I know you can do it!
2012 Race Schedule:
May 13 – Clermont, FL (greater Orlando area)
June 3 – Austin, TX
July 22 – Webster, MA (greater Boston area)
August 5 – Howell, MI
August 19 – Seattle, WA
August 26 – Pleasant Prairie, WI
September 9 – Sandy Hook, NJ
October 7 – Palm Springs, CA
Now here's the really awesome part of this post - the Danskin Triathlon Series wants YOU to TRI something new. They are offering a complimentary entry to one winner of the Inspired Wellness Solutions giveaway! The Danskin Triathlon Series is a great first-timer friendly swim, bike, run event. Get your girl friends, sisters, daughters, and nieces involved by signing up to do this fabulous women’s fitness event together – and of course if you win, your entry will already be paid for!
Enter this giveaway using Rafflecopter below.
You can earn multiple entries by completing each task using Rafflecopter.
Terms and conditions: This giveaway is open to US residents only and you must be at least 18 years old to enter. Upon winning, we will contact you for your full name and specified race city. This information must be provided within 1 week of our email to you or we will choose another winner. Good luck!
*Disclosure: Danskin Triathlon has provided me with one triathlon entry to giveaway on our blog. I was not compensated for this post. As always, I only partner with organizations and products that I fully support and believe in!*
Have you heard about Triumph Triathlon
? It's a Boston-based triathlon group that I participate in. It's really a fantastic group - free to join, free group training sessions, and free meetings about topics of interest (in the past, we've had sessions about massage, injuries, nutrition, etc). You'll also meet a ton of people who are really knowledgeable about triathlon (think Ironmen/Ironwomen, national qualifiers, and seasoned pros). We're actually having a yearly kick-off meeting
on Monday, 2/6/12 at 7PM - if you are local and interested in triathlon, I'd encourage you to come. And you'll even get to hear me speak a bit! :)
Back in August 2010, I was interviewed by Ruben, the founder of Triumph. This was only about a year into my journey with endurance sports, so it's fun to see where I was and how far I've come. I am excited to be training for my first half Ironman this year, which will be a huge undertaking!
Take a look at the interview below to get to know a little more about me and my journey. Excuse my spastic head movements throughout the interview - I couldn't figure out whether I should be facing Ruben or the camera!