My 10th Marathon

…and then some. I might be in the minority, but I thoroughly enjoy watching marathons on television. I love listening to the commentators tell the stories of the athletes and the history of the event. On Monday, I watched as over 30,000 runners in Boston achieved their goals of completing the 2015 Boston Marathon. I thought of all that each runner had to overcome to make it to the start line and then, of course, to finish strong, BOSTON STRONG. My first marathon was as a “bandit” in the 1990 Boston Marathon. This means I didn’t have a number but was “allowed” to run. I was 24 years old. Half a lifetime ago. Little did I know that when I donned my running shoes that April morning that 24 years later I’d still be running and racing and setting goals. In August 2014, I ran my 10th marathon…only this marathon was in the final leg of my first Iron-distance triathlon. To keep me honest, I blogged about my experience, the highs and the very low, lows. If you’re thinking of challenging yourself this year, start by reading my blog called, My Iron Year. You can click the title to read it online, but it starts at the end. If you’d like to read it in chronological order, download my first ever e-book (for the low price of $.99…Amazon wouldn’t let me give it away, I...

The snow is my friend

For the past few weeks, I’ve  been questioning why I live in the Northeast. Snow days are not what they used to be when I was a kid growing up in Massachusetts.  I have fond memories of the Blizzard of ’78 (I know, I’m dating myself) where we missed at least 2 weeks of school! Now, when school is cancelled hours before the first flake falls, I cringe.  Running outside will be treacherous, biking outside…forget about it!  And getting myself to the pool is an emotional challenge as I’m so cold just driving to the pool. Before the last storm, or what they were calling, the Blizzard of 2015, I decided I needed a shift in my attitude. I could hole up in my house and hibernate or I could figure out a way to make the snow my friend. I headed over to REI and impulsively purchased new cross country skis, poles and boots.  I did it quickly before I changed my mind.  The boots were very comfortable (much more than downhill ski boots) and the skis were so light and easy to maneuver.  I am not a novice cross country skier, but it has been at least a decade since I’ve ventured out. For the past week I’ve been out a few times and I’m having a blast. I can pretty much ski anywhere (unlike downhill skiing) and it’s immediately an aerobic workout. I encourage you to head out this winter and make friends with the snow. Grab your boots and snow pants and just trudge through your neighborhood. If you’re feeling ambitious, get some snowshoes, cross...

How to attach lace locks to your sneakers

You may have learned how to tie your shoelaces when you were kindergarten.  But, tying your shoelaces during a transition from bike to run in a triathlon is very inefficient.  Lace Locks are an inexpensive and effective way to shave precious time off of your transition. Watch this quick video with step by step instructions in how to easily attach your lace locks to your running...

Our Physical Therapist

Physical Therapist Eric Kopp talks to our training group every season.  Read some highlights from past talks. Actively listen to your body. Anticipate injuries before they are produced. When you have an injury  switch gears to a different exercise that is not provocative. All tissues in the body react to stress and load differently. When the tissue load  demand is greater than the capacity of the tissue, injury occurs, it is that simple. You can choose to rest and wait to get better or continue to train at the same level. The symptoms that are generated by an injured tissue should have a pattern or expected pain pattern that reinforces this. If you can understand this concept, it makes sense to continue to actively condition just with less tissue load/demand/volume. We are all very often guilty of not continuing with active conditioning. REST  is very important for recuperation, but active  rest, meaning small doses of restitution exercise to facility tissue recovery, noursishment  and ultimately healing is how we want our patients and athletes to think. In other words, if I hurt my arm doing arm curls with a 50 lbs dumbbell and then wait two days to do the same weight and exercise again, it makes sense that I will re-injure the tissue. HOWEVER, If I chose simple exercises that condition the arm (for example, triceps pushdowns, lat pulldowns, seated rows, biceps curls with 10lbs pain free) with lighter weights and very high reps ( like 3 sets of 30-40), I will not re-injure my arm and I won’t lose any conditioning. DO NOT under estimate the spine to...

You’re Never To OLD to try something NEW

Twenty years ago, I did first sprint triathlon as a part of a relay team.  This was so long ago, I don’t remember the names of my teammates.  I volunteered to do the bike portion.  Running and biking weren’t a problem for me, but I doubted I could survive (or even master) the open water swim. It took me three years to decide that I’d like to try doing a sprint distance triathlon alone. I signed up for swimming lessons, figuring I could use a refresher course. My goal was to survive the triathlon’s swim portion so I could get onto the biking and running.  The coach announced he was offering a triathlon training weekend.   Desperate to feel more comfortable swimming in open water, I signed up. I remember getting in the lake for the first time, knowing I was going to swim and not just splash around.  It was so dark and murky.  What was I thinking?  I swam very nervously, slowly picking up one arm and moving it forward over my head.  I was moving, but barely. And then something clicked.  During our pool workouts, our coach said, “Do not look down at the bottom of the pool.  Tilt your head up and keep your eyes looking forward at your hands.”  Until this moment, I never understood the point of this instruction.  In this cold, dark lake, the only thing I could see were my hands. Suddenly, his advice made perfect sense.  My hands were something I could see through the pea soup, something I could focus on and my anxiety level dropped.  I took another stroke,...

It’s easy being green

As an athlete and an adult, I know the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables. Though it is hard to get all the daily servings into my day.  A little known secret is that I am a pretty basic, bland eater. When I go out to eat, I often pick the item on the menu that is the least objectionable.  And if I don’t like it, which happens often, my husband usually switches with me.  Whatta guy!  I’m not allergic to anything, I eat gluten, I eat red-meat (although not that often) and while I have an aversion to fennel and many types of nuts, I always find something to eat anywhere I go. However, I do think that I could eat more fruits and vegetables. So, on a recent visit to Cleveland, my cousin Jill introduced me to the Green Smoothie.  At first I was a bit hesitant.  I didn’t know what to expect. I thought since it looked like grass, that it would probably taste like it too.  But, she was so excited to share this with me that I just said, “Sure, I’ll give it shot.”  For my inaugural green smoothie, Jill added a bit more sweetener for my benefit.  The color was a bright, fluorescent green and I was a bit hesitant before taking my first sip. But…much to my surprise I loved it!  While it looked green, it didn’t taste green.  With my eyes closed, it just tasted like bananas and pineapple, not carrots, celery and kale.  Every morning during my visit, Jill blended me another delicious green smoothie and my day was...

Body of Evidence: 11 Things I Learned About Training While I Was Injured

Body of Evidence:  11 Things I Learned About Training While I Was Injured. A coach’s confession When I hurt my back in August 2010 (my most recent back injury), my husband told me that I had to write about it.  Mostly, because it seemed like the finale of a cruel episode of “E.R.” starring my body. I’d been plagued with various nagging injuries that summer.  First, I had a terrible case of carpal tunnel in both wrists, resulting in painful numbness. Second, I found myself battling plantar fasciitis in my left foot.  Lastly, I fell off my bike during an Olympic distance triathlon where I was going nearly 20 miles an hour.  I got up, finished the last half-mile of the ride and ran the 10k.  Only once I’d finished did I discover how badly the entire left side of my body was swollen and torn up. Two weeks later, my back “went out.”  I was unable to move due to major nerve pain going down the right leg all the way to my right foot.  It turns out that I had herniated two disks (L5/S1) that were pressing on my sciatic nerve. Some of you may be thinking I’m a little (or a lot) nuts.  Maybe you would have thrown in the towel somewhere between carpal tunnel and fasciitis.  But, I also know that many of you reading this would have kept going, just like I did.  Kept going, until you couldn’t go any more. I now realize that I was not going to stop until, eventually, I had no choice.  Despite the many signs telling me to...

An Aha Moment

For the past six months I have had the opportunity to switch places with the hundreds of women that have trained with Team Training New England over the past five years and now I REALLY get it!  I have been lucky enough that my fitness level has enabled me to compete in both Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons without a tried and true training plan.  My life as a mother of a three teenagers, a daughter of aging parents, my involvment in my family business as well as my coaching business didn’t leave me much time to train systematically. When I completed my first triathlon in 2004, I was overjoyed. I felt that I finally found my calling as an athlete.  As I thought about the challenge of a longer distance triathlon, I knew that I couldn’t rely on my current training regime to get me to the finish line.   Like many of our athletes, I was experiencing first hand, the challenge and exhilaration of setting my sights on an event that I had previously thought of as unattainable.  My challenge was a 70.3 (half iron distance). I needed to find the time to follow a training plan.  As Lynne would say, I needed to figure out how put myself on the top of my “to-do” list. For the past five years, my training focus has been on our athletes – the women that we have had the privilege and honor to work with year after year – our “TRI-ladies”.  When I decided to attempt a 70.3, having never run or biked more than 10 or 40 miles respectively,...

The Power of the Popsicle

Group dynamics, self-confidence and frozen juice on a stick A few mothers and I (all triathletes) decided it would be fun to get our 9-10 year-old daughters to attempt their first open water swim. All five girls are confident swimmers and three of them were on a local swim team this past season. We knew they could swim the distance (approximately a ¼ of a mile). But could they swim that distance in a lake; where there were no lines on the ground, or a wall to rest on between laps? I explained the difference between swimming in a pool versus a lake, most notably the limited visibility and lake “stuff” of unknown origin. I told them that it didn’t have to be pretty, but finishing was all that mattered. As is common in any group experience, one girl just took off immediately. While the other girls were just dipping their feet in the water, she was already in the water asking, “Can I go now?” She was fearless. Her confidence in the pool seemed to translate well to the open water. If she was nervous, she didn’t show it. It was tremendous to see her just start swimming and never look back or to one of the mothers for reassurance. The other four girls did their share of screeching and whining. “Ick, something touched me!” or “The water is so brown, it smells really bad.” The mothers swam alongside them, encouraging the girls to focus on their stroke or look ahead at the buoy that they needed to reach. At one point, the girls were bunched together and...

How To Make Your Training Plan Stick

Recently I was talking with a writer from Runner’s World about finding more time to run. As we talked, the conversation evolved into planning more efficient workouts and building them into your weekly schedule, despite all of the activities fighting for your time.  The “just one more thing” syndrome can be deadly to a regular workout routine.  If you find yourself saying “just one more call, email or load of laundry before I go for that run, ride or swim” and then find that run, ride or swim never happens then this article is for you.  
 
These tips will help you stay on track, literally and figuratively, despite the daily challenges and distractions most of us face. Coach Lynne’s Top 10 Tips on how to keep your training on track. 1. Set a race goal If you sign up for a race and have that date on your calendar, you’re more apt to stick to your training program.  With no goal in mind, your morning workout time will be easier to skip (“it’s not like I’m running a 5k in a month!”) and instead get filled up with dozens of other activities. 2. Find a training partner or group Find a friend or make a friend who has a similar schedule to yours.  Planning to meet someone at 6:00 in the morning, puts you both on the “I don’t want them to be standing out there alone” motivation train.  You won’t want to let them down and vice versa.  Two people’s motivation solved in one swoop.  It’s funny that we’re willing to let ourselves down by hitting the snooze...

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Nothing from August 23, 2017 to August 29, 2017.