Monday, September 29, 2014

It's That Time Again...Who's Going to Hawaii?!

Many of you have mentioned that you would like to try a triathlon or check out Team in Training.  Now is the BEST time to commit to those things!  Why?  We're about a month away from kicking off our Lavaman Triathlon training season.  What does that entail?

1.  Team in Training (TNT) will get you ready for the Lavaman Triathlon.   The race is an Olympic distance on March 29, 2015 in Kona, HI.   This is a great race for beginners or more advanced athletes.  The race is already sold out except through TNT.  The season starts November 8.

2.  Training will include a complete schedule so you will know exactly what to do every day to get ready.    You will have access to an online schedule that you can check anywhere, anytime.  Beginners, intermediate and advanced athletes will have options to help everyone achieve their goals.

3.  Group workouts will include coached runs on Tuesday evenings, coached swim workouts on Wednesday evenings and coached bikes/runs/combo workouts on Saturday mornings.   Gain new skills, receive encouragement and have fun training with your teammates.

4.  In addition to coaching by certified coaches, a great training schedule, three group workouts each week and a LOT of fun, you will also receive:
  • 3 night hotel stay at this ridiculously awesome hotel.
  • Bike shipping to and from Hawaii.
  • Race entry.
  • Inspiration dinner the night before the race.
  • Triathlon singlet to race in.
So, what do you have to do?   Come join our awesome team, work hard, achieve your goals and raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  You will have a team mentor who will walk you through the fundraising part of this program.  And, it's easier than you think.  We have taken dozens of people to the Lavaman Triathlon in the past few years, and all of them raised the money and completed the program.   So, you can, too!  Plus you can rest easy knowing that almost 80% of every dollar raised goes directly to the mission of curing blood cancers.  That's incredible if you compare us to other health organizations.  The fundraising commitment is $4500 for this event.  And, if you want to get registered NOW, you can start fundraising right away, so that gives you about 6 months to get it done.  TNT alumni - you get a discount on the fundraising commitment, so be sure to ask about that!  We'd love to see you back!  The season officially starts November 8.  

If you have questions, please let me know.  I cannot say enough great things about this program and about this race.   I will be coaching again this year, but in 2012, I was a fundraising participant and completed the race.  It was amazing!  Don't miss this.

I don't want to hear about how you would love to do a triathlon but you can't swim.  Do you know how many people have come into this program as terrible swimmers?   A lot.  And many of them have gone on to race Ironman triathlons with 2.4 mile swims.  So, you can do it!  We can teach you!

I don't want to hear about how you would love to do it, but you can't raise the money.   Brian and I have raised money for 8 different events.   It can be done!

This is a great cause.  I've met some amazing families who have struggled with blood cancers.  And, our family has been touched as well.  We can each do something to help.  Pursue your passion, achieve your goals, but most of all…do it with TNT so we can continue to make a difference in cancer patients' lives.  Join us!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Time to think about 2015….wait…what?!

I know.  Its only September!  You just finished (or are finishing up) your 2014 race season!  Why start thinking about 2015?  Here are just a few reasons…

1.  Races sell out.   In fact, many of the races in the first 9 months of 2015 are probably already sold out.  Now is the time to decide what you want to do next year so you don't get shut out!

2.  Prevent post-race depression.  It's a thing, people!  You work hard all season, race hard and have a great race (or a sucky one), and then you sit on the couch eating Cheetos and gaining 10 pounds.  You lose your motivation to do pretty much anything that involves swimming, biking and running.  And, it's totally normal!  But, setting some new goals will get you up and moving.  Besides, your triathlon friends are missing you!

3.  The holidays are coming!  Yes, Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday by far) and other holidays are coming.  Candy corn anyone?!  Holiday cookies?  Having a plan in place will help you avoid the holiday weight gain!

4.  You need an off-season plan.  This can be working on technique a single sport, losing some unwanted pounds, even doing some non-triathlon related activities.  But, I think it's important to stay active so you are not starting at square one in January.

5.  If you are planning to use a coach in 2015, do not wait until January to start talking to your local coaches.  For the 2014 season, many of us were filled up by October or November of 2013.   Why hire a coach?   If you need the accountability, hire a coach.  If you have a pretty significant weakness in one or more sports, hire a coach.  If you are moving up to the half Ironman or full Ironman distance, definitely, definitely hire a coach!   There are so many great coaches in the Denver area.  It's pretty easy to find one that matches your style.  I am currently taking athletes myself for 2015 and would love to work with you to reach your goals - whether that's taking on your first triathlon or fastest one.  Or, moving up in distance.   Contact me for more information!

I haven't even finished the 2014 race season and I'm already looking forward to 2015.  Hope you are, too!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

How Do I Know if I'm Ready?

This is a question I hear a lot as a triathlon coach.  I hear it in all kinds of contexts, but below are the ones I hear the most.  The hot topics seem to be masters swimming, hiring a coach, and racing full or half Ironman distances.  Hopefully this might help some of you to decide if you are "ready"!

How do I know if I'm ready for masters swimming?
This depends a lot on your swim background, your comfort in the water and the type of masters group you are looking at.  If you have a swimming background - go for it!  It will probably bring back some of your competitive fire from back in your swimming days!   If you do not come from a swim background, how comfortable are you in the water?  Do you currently swim workouts on your own with sets, a variety of paces, drills, etc?  If so - go for it!  You will likely be able to push yourself further out of your comfort zone, and it might make swimming more fun!   Just be sure to save at least one swim day each week to swim on your own to further work on your drills, technique, etc in a non-competitive environment.

Now, for the newbies in the crowd…masters swimming can be intimidating, right?!  All these swimmers cruising through lap after lap at crazy fast paces, swimming all four strokes, flip turning!  The key for a beginner is to find the right type of masters group.  Some groups are crazy competitive and are filled with "real swimmers".  But, there are PLENTY of groups who are more beginner friendly, or at least have a beginner-friendly lane or two.  You might also find out how hands-on the coach is on deck.  Are they just running a workout or will they work with you on technique?   A coach on deck can help you improve, and meeting up with a masters group will hold you accountable to get your swimming in each week.

Check your local rec center/gym to see what they offer.  Or, visit for more info or to find a group.

If you are truly a beginner just starting to string some laps together, I would suggest continuing to work on your own (or ideally with a coach) on technique and building endurance until you can swim longer sets with no problem.

How do I know if I'm ready to race a half or full Ironman distance?
Everyone seems to be jumping on the Ironman band wagon.   But, are you ready for the long stuff?  First let me say that there is nothing wrong with racing sprint and olympic distance races only.  Racing those shorter distances can be HARD for sure!  I personally love racing long.  But, there are a lot of factors in looking to make that jump.

First - what is your background in each of the sports and in triathlon?  I would advise spending a season or two racing shorter distances to become familiar with all things triathlon and to work on your skills in all three sports.    Next - what are your strengths and weaknesses?  If you have a lot of work to do in one or more of the sports, consider giving yourself another season to put in the work to become stronger in those.

Then, consider your work/family life.  Does your schedule allow you to train as much as would be required for the longer races?  Keep in mind that not everyone can or should train 15-20 hours a week for Ironman.  It can be done on less.  But, you will still have to put in the time to train.  Really look at your family schedule, your work schedule, your social schedule to see if the time is right to go long.

Last, really, really think about whether you WANT to race an Ironman.  Just because your friends are doing it, or everyone in your triathlon club is doing it, doesn't mean you have to do it.  You will make sacrifices - sleep, social engagements, etc.  Do you really want to be out there riding your bike for 4-6 hours on Saturday while your friends are having brunch and going to a movie?  Week after week after week.  Ironman training is not always glamorous.  But, it's rewarding and can be a lot of fun!

How do I know if I'm ready to hire a coach?
Some people are great at training on their own.  They can read a book or find an online schedule and make it work for them.  They are self-motivated and have a good sense of what they want to get out of the sport.  But, others seem to need a little more direction.  Some people need the accountability of a coach.  Others just can't find the time or mind-space to sit down and piece together a training schedule.

In my opinion, the biggest value in using a coach is that your schedule will be for YOU.  Online schedules can be great, but they do not take into account your strengths and weaknesses.  Often, they are just trying to get in 3 swims, 3 bikes and 3 runs each week.  If you have a busy schedule, fitting in 9 workouts a week can be daunting if not impossible.  So, which workouts should you cut?  When you use a coach, they will take the time you have to train and give you the workouts that give you the most bang for your buck.  A coach can also make changes on the fly for illness, travel, work, etc.   A coach can push you harder than you would work on your own.  Or, a coach can reign you in if you tend to overtrain and do too much.  Coaches take the guess work out of training.

If you decide you are ready for a coach, you can find a coach at or by asking around in your triathlon community.  Or, you can train with a group like Team in Training ( that provides coaching as part of the package.