Monthly Archives

January 2015

Meet the Athlete: Lou

By | Coaching, Fitness, Fuel, Meet the Athlete, Triathlon | No Comments

Two weeks ago, we met Ironwoman Jolene. Today, we get to meet the Ironman in her life: Lou, 5x Ironman finisher and BrittFit athlete since 2014.

Favorite non-triathlon-related pastime: camping
Favorite workout: long group ride
Favorite athletic accomplishment: completing my first Ironman in 2011 at St. George (IM-SG).
Dream race: IM Kona (by qualifying)
How many races do you participate in each year? 5
How many 70.3/Iron distance races have you completed? 3x 70.3 and 5x 140.6

Most memorable race mishap: dropping my fuel on the bike during IM-TX within the first 25 miles, and then dropping my BACKUP fuel within five more miles. I turned around to go pick it up, waiting for all the bikes to go by (for an opening), only having to leave it behind once I got to it because the container broke in the fall.

Most difficult race: IM Lake Tahoe 2013. The high altitude, a new bike with wrong gearing (for so much climbing) and only two months of training made it a very difficult race. And snow the day before race day didn’t help either.

Most memorable moment in triathlon: The first time I met the Rincon (Tri Club) Ironmen. It was at one of Shigy’s Duathlons and I was in awe of them all.

Who inspires you in triathlon? Two of the top qualifiers in my age group: Shigy Suzuki & Jim Avrea. They keep setting new standards.

When did you start doing triathlons? In 2010 I started training for the 2011 IM-SG. I purchased an online training plan and used that in preparation for the race. I also joined Rincon triathlon club which helped me.

Race mantra: just keep smiling 🙂
Favorite recovery treat: Double-Double from In-N-Out
Go-to pre-race breakfast: toasted bagel with Peanut butter and Gu
Any odd rituals: I always wear my pj’s & volunteer shirt from IM-SG 2010 to bike/gear drop off before race day.
Triathlon “idol”: Chris Lieto

Pick one:
ice cream or froyo? Ice cream
hat or visor? Hat
long runs or intervals? Long runs
hilly or flat? Hilly
coffee or tea? Coffee
watch on your left wrist or right? Right
summer or winter? Winter
chocolate or cheese? Chocolate
drive or fly? Drive

Anything else you want to share with the world? Just Tri

Want to see yourself featured in a future edition of M.T.A.? All BrittFit Athletes are eligible. You could be next!

Meet The Athlete: Jolene

By | Coaching, Meet the Athlete, Triathlon | No Comments

Jolene has been a BrittFit athlete since 2014. She recently completed her first Ironman triathlon in Arizona, and is hungry for more in 2015!

-Favorite event:
Ironman Arizona 2014! It has its own unique challenges (can you say “wind”?) and provides amazing spectator support.

-Ideal training day:
2. AM swim or strength training
3. 8-12hr workday
4. PM sprints or intervals on spin bike
On the weekends, I live for long runs and bike rides

-Racing goal for 2015:
Pushing myself, working hard and finishing as fast as I’m truly capable of. I hope to knock AT LEAST an hour off my previous full distance time of 14:54

-Favorite pre-workout snack:
I was NOT paid to say this… an apple pie Brittfit bar. It’s tasty, not heavy in my stomach and pure energy.

-Favorite recovery snack:
Protein shake with peanut butter & rolled oats

-Favorite post-race treat:
Cheeseburger, fries and a Pepsi

-Dream race:
Ironman Mallorca (Spain)

-Athlete idol:
Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae, for her athletic ability AND ambassador spirit toward age-group athletes.

-Training “secret”:
I always give everything I have and never sweat a bad workout. If I have a bad day, I remember when I couldn’t do ANY of this and recognize how far I’ve come.

-Pre-race ritual:
Even though I don’t believe it has ANY benefit, I have to eat pasta the night before a race.

Pick one:
peanut or almond butter? Peanut butter
coffee or tea? COFFEE
watch on your left wrist or right? Right
hat or visor? Training – visor / Race day – hat (hides the frizzies)
socks or no socks? Bike – no socks / Run – very THIN socks
morning or evening? EVENING
mountains or beach? Mountains
chocolate or cheese? Cheeeeeeeeeeese!

Want to see yourself featured in a future edition of M.T.A.? All BrittFit Athletes are eligible. You could be next!

Freestyle Swim Tips

By | Coaching, Fitness, Swimming | No Comments

To all those resolving to start off 2015 with renewed focus on technique, I wanted to share some freestyle swim tips that have helped me in my training and coaching.

I like to think through each arm stroke beginning with the finish, then recovery, entry, catch, and push*:

1. As the hips rotate, finish the stroke, pushing water back past the hip.

2. Use momentum from the finish to “swing” the arm forward (relaxed forearm) in recovery.  The armpit should clear the water’s surface during recovery. Avoid trying to control the arm.

3. During the hand entry, the shoulder should be internally rotated, so that the elbow is higher than the hand. This sets up a good high-elbow catch.

4. The fingertips drop and point to bottom of pool, with the wrist remaining straight (to prevent elbow dropping!).  The elbow stays forward and high during the catch.  The latissimus dorsi (aka. “lats”) should be engaged here!

5. Push* the water back (behind you) using your forearm (fingertips to elbow) as a paddle.  Don’t forget to use those lats!  They are large muscles for a reason.

*I like to use the word “push” vs. “pull” to emphasize a high elbow position and make a point of pushing water back.  The word pull makes me think of a “pull-up” movement, which is not an appropriate analogy for the freestyle stroke.

Thinking through the stroke backwards helps me to see how each movement builds on the previous movement. For example, without a strong push back and finish, the recovery can become flat and lazy, leading to poor hand entry and catch positions. Without a quality catch position (internally rotated shoulder, high elbow, straight wrist), the push is less effective. Besides the efficacy cost, a poor catch position (dropped elbow) may lead to shoulder injury over time.

A proposed drill set to include in your training sessions:

3 rounds of the following progression (round 1: right arm focus, round 2: left arm focus, round 3: both arms focus)

2 lengths with focus on strong finish
2 lengths with focus on recovery with exposed armpit
2 lengths with focus on internal shoulder rotation and entry with hand below elbow level
2 lengths with focus on straight wrist and high elbow catch (engage lats!)
2 lengths with focus on pushing water back (use lats!)

Swim Smart!