Minimalist Guide to Tri Gear

The Minimalist Guide to your first sprint triathlon Congratulations!  You have decided to join the exciting world of triathlons and triathlon training.  This sport is both exciting and scary.  In addition to feeling overwhelmed, you might even be thinking if you can afford all of the tri gear that goes along with this crazy sport.  I’m here to tell you that in your first sprint triathlon you don’t need to break the bank.  Just remember, less is more! Here is a basic list of you will need to get you through your first triathlon season. The hope is that you’ll discover how much you love this sport and lifestyle.  Only then should you slowly start to increase your gear purchases. But for now, let’s get you through your inaugural tri season while leaving enough money to pay your mortgage or fill your car with gas. A bag. This can be a fancy triathlon bag is designed to carry every item in a specific pocket or pouch.  Or it can be a back pack that you find at Marshalls or Target.  But, I would highly recommend that you use a backpack.  It’s possible that you will need to ride your bike from your parking area to the transition area.  Carrying an L.L. Bean bag weighted with gear, water and food will most definitely insure you fall off of your bike before the event even begins. Swim: All you really need is a basic swim cap, regular racing swimsuit and goggles. Bike: You must have a helmet.  You should own bike gloves for when you’re doing your training rides.  However, you...

Let’s Get Moving

When I moved from New York City to West Hartford over six years ago, I was thrilled to be out of Manhattan and living in a less urban environment. I was moving to a home on a lake where I envisioned rolling out of bed for a morning swim, grabbing my bike from the garage and donning my sneakers where I could immediately hit the road.  It was a triathlete’s dream.  The reality is that living here has far exceeded my expectations when it comes to my training life. But recently I realized that while I train even more than while I was living in New York City, I MOVE much less.  In the course of my days in New York City, I walked two to three miles a day, without even noticing.  I don’t do that here. I could walk to the Stop & Shop, it’s only a little over a mile away, but I don’t.  I could walk to the pool for a swim, it’s less than a mile away, but I don’t. Why? Because “I don’t have time.”  At least that’s the story I’ve been telling myself for six years.  

Now, however, I’m starting to do a little re-writing. This fall, two seemingly unrelated events occurred.  The first was that I had surgery in November.  I plan everything, so this surgery was planned at a convenient time for me, my family and mostly my training. It was the off-season; thus I could accept the amount of time off necessary to recover.  Maybe physically I could use the time off, but mentally I thought I would go...

Complete Strangers

A coach asks her athletes a question and answers it herself. This season, Team Training New England ran a contest that encouraged our athletes to answer the question “Why I Tri?”  The prizes were  a brand new road bike, a triathlon suit and a new pair of running shoes (courtesy of national and local companies). Our goal was to learn a little more about our athletes, challenge them creatively and do some research, all at the same time.   Surprisingly, as I read the entries for “Why I Tri” I discovered why I coach. After five years of coaching groups of women to train for and complete their first sprint distance triathlon, it seemed that I had lost sight of why I coached. As a professional organizer, I had become very efficient at organizing the marketing, the training and the race preparation I needed to make TTNE successful. It had all become automatic and somewhat predictable. Every season, there was a new group of women filled with fears, hesitations, and excitement.  A new group of women with obstacles and challenges that would stand in their way of getting to that starting line.  A new group of women whose lives would be forever changed by this experience.  A new group of women that had no idea what new challenges awaited them once they crossed that finish line.  And this year was no different.  I expected the athlete’s lives to change.  I was no longer surprised by it. Then, as our training session was coming to an end, I received a note from one of my athletes that changed my perspective.. She...

Just (Foam) Roll with it baby

Are you sore after a long workout or a challenging race?  Does your significant other run for the hills when you ask them to rub your [insert random body part here]?  Is it too hard to find time to meet with your favorite massage therapist?  Perhaps, it’s late and you just…need…to…reach…that…spot. But seriously, the foam roller should be your best friend.  I have two, one for each floor of my home just so I can literally have one at my fingertips.  I even travel with it (only when I’m driving somewhere).  I haven’t tried to check it through baggage yet, but don’t tempt me. Many personal trainers have tossed around phrases like “myofascial release”, “breaking up muscular adhesions” and “self-massage”.  And while I do know what those phrases mean, I also know that if you are in training, you need to have one of these in your home. Personally, after a grueling workout, I use the foam roller to massage my quads, calves, ITB, upper and lower back as well as my glutes (butt!).  I am even able to get at my really tight hip flexors too!  I am able to control the duration and intensity of the massage by adjusting my position and weight balance.  It’s a nice way to loosen up after a workout or even before bed. Click the foam roller photo below to place your order from Perform Better!  Find a few friends that might want one too and save on shipping. Roll your heart...

TRI-al by Coach: Spinervals

Since it’s been too cold to bike until recently, I spent the winter inside taking spinning classes and using an indoor spin bike I have at home.  I was curious to compare the workout I get in a spinning class versus a home workout.  Plus, I had always wanted to try out a Spinerval DVD.  Here are the results of my very unscientific survey. Spinning Classes: Pro:  Under the guidance of a talented instructor, a spinning class can be a great workout and a great time.  Between the music and the spin buddies, I have no issues with spinning classes. Con:  Those poor spin bikes!  No matter how much my club maintains the bikes (maintenance which might be open to debate), the spin bikes take a major beating.  Between the constant adjustments and all the sweat, most of the bikes are showing signs of age.  Toss in having to get there early to grab a bike, and a spin class could be a major bummer if your bike is a lemon. Spinervals: Pro: There is nothing like picking your own time for your workout.  The coach on the Spinverals DVD is very motivating, tells you exactly what cadence/RPM you should shoot for and there are no annoying or sweaty people riding next to you.  The workouts are very efficient and if you don’t cheat, highly effective!  You don’t need a spin bike, you can purchase a bike trainer and use your own road bike.  Most of the people in the DVD are using road bikes on trainers. Con: I won’t lie to you, it can be tough to motivate...

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Nothing from November 18, 2017 to November 24, 2017.