Yes, You Can - Become a Triathlete in 2009

Tick. Tock. Time's up.

  • No more sitting on the sideline.

  • No more wondering.

  • No more thinking, "I could do that."

It's time. Your time to try a triathlon.

Crossing your first finish line and becoming a triathlete is something you'll never forget. Each triathlon is an experience that lasts beyond race day. The memories will carry you well past the finish line.

Believe me, you want to cross that finish line.

Why not? Triathlon is an experience. It's a great sport for all ages and abilities. The sport of triathlon offers something fulfilling for anyone, elite athletes to couch potato-turned-athletes. Triathlon is for you!

Get up and start moving. Nervous? Good news, there are many great resources out there including:'s Newbie Triathlete section
10 Tips for First-time Triathletes
Your First Triathlon

10 Most Common Multisport Mistakes

If you are new to exercise, start off easy, be safe. But start! You can do this!

Already a triathlete? Challenge time. Who can you encourage? As you think ahead to 2009, ask a friend to join you as you swim, bike and run. Your encouragement could make the difference!

Photo by Ken Landolt: I trained with my friend Stephanie for her first triathlon last summer. So much fun! Say Yes! to triathlon in 2009!

Swim - Bike - Run - Smile

During my nearly 17-hour Ironman triathlon, I remember the athletes who smiled. Seriously.

A smile during an event is powerful:
- If I'm in a foggy zone, a smile helps me wake up.
- If I'm barely moving, a smile helps me move a little faster.
- If I'm tense, a smile helps me relax and bike/run more naturally.
- If I'm annoyed, a smile helps me shake it off.
- If I'm happy, a smile makes it all even better.

Triathlon is known for its camaraderie. Triathletes encourage well. I think it's part of triathlon's massive appeal.

A study recently published by a British medical journal shows happiness is contagious, and that being around other happy people is a major boost! I agree, a smile on the bike or run segment of a race certainly helps carry me to the finish.

Tell me:
- As you swim, bike and run, do you smile? Or are you too serious?
- Do other athletes smile back?
- Are triathletes happy people?

My smile is biggest when I'm reading your comments.

Picture: Me, on a bridge near our village. I'm smiling as I almost bike right into my husband, who is taking my picture. Look out!

You Know You're a Triathlete When...

For a little fun, on a cold drizzly afternoon.

You know you're a triathlete when...
  • You have a rain bike.

  • Your laundry bin is always full.

  • You love the smell of sharpie on race morning.

  • You hoard safety pins just in case.

  • You've taken an ice bath.

  • When you hear a canon fire, you automatically want to start swimming.

  • You can run farther than your dog.

  • You compete with your spouse for the lowest resting heart rate.

  • Your coat closet is filled with bright yellow jackets, vests and jerseys.

  • You shout "on your left" when passing other After Thanksgiving Day shoppers.
With thanks to my husband for helping me create this list and for introducing me to triathlon 13 years ago! Thanks also to Sherpa, our lab, who basically walks next to me as I jog.

What's your favorite? What would you add?

Head to this group for more unique attributes!

And, for even more list-reading fun find a list of race-day checklists here.

Check It Off - Your Tri Race Day Checklist

As a triathlete and mom of three, a great race day checklist is a lifesaver.

My list includes columns with items like:

pre-race: directions, confirmation letter, warm clothes, money photo ID

swim: wetsuit, swim cap, goggles, bodyglide

bike: helmet, bike shoes, socks, sunglasses, spare tubes, electrical tape

run: running shoes, hat, gels/nutrition

post-race: dry clean clothes, plastic bag for wet stuff, recovery food, massager or rolling pin

How do you organize for an event? Do you also love the checklist? Have you ever had to buy something on site? What's top on your list?

Here is a list of lists to help you prepare for your next event. Pick the list that works best for you.

Have a better list? Send me the link and I'll add it.

Ironmom's Triathlon Checklist
Sprint Tri Checklist from
Triathlon Checklist from Amateur Endurance
Race Day Checklist from
Triathlon Packing Checklist
Grant's Grunts Triathlon Checklist

A Trip to Hell (part of Just Go's Blogapalooza)

As part of Just Go's Blogapalooza, today's post features a trip to a strange subtropical land--Hell, Grand Cayman.

We enjoyed a brief stop in Hell. The visit was booked as a shore tour with our cruise.

Our small group also stopped at a turtle farm and fed stingrays at Stingray City. Very fun!

IronMakeover readers and triathletes check out the Cayman Islands Turtle Tri.
Where's the most exotic place you've ever raced? I think the water bottle exchange would be on the left in the Cayman Islands, that would be tricky.

Hell was named for its strange appearance. The black limestone formations are filled with Iguanas of all sizes.

This tiny tourist stop has its own hell-themed post office, so we were able to send some postcards from Hell.

Read more experiences from this island attraction here:

Overall, the Cayman Islands were heavenly!

pictures: by Sara Cox Landolt

Shoes That Taste Good

I love my running shoes. (left: my current pair.) It's hard for me to throw them out when I've retired a pair. I try to find new jobs for them, like these will be my gardening shoes or these can be my mowing shoes.

But, I should just let them go. Better yet, I should recycle them. This site offers a list of homes and programs looking to repurpose our dear old shoes.

New shoes appeal to a mix of my senses:

  • touch (there are so many textures),
  • smell (I like new shoe smell),
  • sight (don't step on my new beautiful shoes!).

It seems I should also consider taste, especially when shopping for a new pair. Next time you shop, take note how shoes' colors are described. Some examples:

I once bought a pair of running shoes because I got hooked on its color (a pretty brown and pink). Not a good idea. Now, with shoe colors like rootbeer, orange popsicle and chocolate, I could be in trouble.

Not sure how to choose your next shoes? Read these guides on shoe fit and selection.,,s6-240-325-329-0-0-0-0-0,00.html

Or, if you're a triathlete, you could look to the elite triathletes and see what they are wearing.
(Thanks Active Toby for these links!) recently ran two features:

Tell me:
- What flavor are your shoes?
- What do you do with your retired shoes?

Taste Triathlon with a Relay

As a kid in gym class you most likely ran a few relays. You and your teammates may have passed plastic batons along a track, raced scooters around a gym or dribbled soccer balls across a field.

If you're curious about the sport of triathlon, then consider the triathlon relay to be your next assignment. Go ahead, recruit your own team and line up for your first triathlon relay. It will be lots of fun!
In a relay, typically one person swims, one person bikes and one person runs. This is great news, especially if one segment of the race gives you trouble. Simply assign that portion to someone else!

If you're curious about triathlon, a relay can give you a quick taste. And you don't have to commit to a full race on your own. Many triathlons offer coed relays and mixed generation relays.

Several years ago, my parents and I ran our first relay. I swam, my dad biked and my mom ran. It wasn't an easy race course. And, the weather wasn't super, but my parents hung in there. I'm still totally proud of them.
I'm so glad we had this family experience. How cool.
Go team!
Go to to search for a triathlon relay in your neighborhood.
p.s. Did anyone else hate the shuttlerun relay in gym class? I had problems grabbing that tiny block of wood.
Pictures by Sara Cox Landolt: My Dad has always enjoyed running, but he took the big leg of our relay. My mom started and ended her run segment with a burst of speed. It was very cool to compete together.

Words that Make us Move

My last post What NOT to Say on Race Morning lists some of our least favorite triathlon race-day expressions, including:

  • "So... are you ready?"
  • "That water looks really cold. I bet you wish you had a wetsuit."
  • "Wow, you're like the ONLY one here with a mountain bike."
  • "I've heard the hills are really bad and there's no shade at all."
  • "What are the distances again? That's it? Well, I can do thaaaat."
What, then, works to encourage and motivate us on race day?

This list of do's is harder for me to write than the above list of don'ts. My moods swing so much during each event. Something may motivate me early on during the run, and I may hate hearing those same words miles later. Overall, how the words are said, the tone of voice, the volume, the feeling behind the words, and who is saying it, all combine to make the words stick, or not.

Some words that work for me throughout race day:

- I'm really excited to watch you race today.
- What a great day for racing!

During the race:
- Get it done, Sara!
- You can do this, keep going!
- Go Mommy!

- Great race!
- I'm proud of you.
- Take your time, do what you need to do and then we'll pack up and head home.

Other signs of support:
- Making a home-made sign.
- Ringing cow bells.
- Showing energy and enthusiasm!
- Taking great race pictures.

What have your friends or family said, sung or written to make you move a little quicker as you swim, bike and run to the finish line?

Above Picture: Me this summer showing off a sign made by our oldest son.

Her World Famous Finish

Back in 1981 Julie Moss couldn't come up with a topic for her senior year project (PE major) at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. And so, one rainy afternoon she turned on the tv and caught part of ABC's Wide World of Sports' Ironman Triathlon broadcast. Moss found her topic and would go on to compete in the Ironman in 1982.

It's funny how things work:

  • Moss found inspiration for her college project watching the Ironman broadcast.

  • A year later, her mesmerizing crawl to the finish would capture hearts worldwide and go on to become one of Ironman's defining moments.
If you haven't seen highlights of her race click here. Read Moss' race report here.

This year marks the 30th anniversary for the Ford Ironman World Championships. Follow 1,800 athletes as they swim, bike and run to the finish.

Catch live coverage Oct. 11th, 2008 at . Tune in for NBC's feature Dec. 13 from 2:30-4 p.m.

Here are some of the stories they are tracking for this year's coverage.

Tell me:
  • What goes through your mind watching Julie Moss struggle to the finish line?
  • What is your most memorable race experience?

What Not to Say on Race Morning

Top 5 things NOT to say to your athlete on race morning:
  1. That water looks really cold. I bet you wish you had a wetsuit.

  2. Do carp have teeth?

  3. Wow, you're like the ONLY one here with a mountain bike.

  4. I've heard the hills are really bad and there's no shade at all.

  5. What are the distances again? That's it? Well, I can do thaaaat.

What else would you add?

My fellow members add their suggestions here.

flickr photo by Laeh

Your First Triathlon - The Run

Our youngest son will soon take his first steps. Once he learns how to walk, his feet will take him many places. When he's old enough, he may choose to line up with his older brothers and compete in his first youth triathlon.

Triathlon is a great sport for all ages! Our son finished his first youth triathlon when he was five. My friend Mary recently retired from her triathlon career at age 90 (she started in her seventies!)

If you can:

  • swim (15-20 minutes)
  • bike (60 minutes) and
  • walk (45 minutes), you can finish your first triathlon.

A sprint distance triathlon usually includes a .25-mile swim, 15-mile bike and 3.2-mile run. Depending on your goals, and your current fitness level, you can train for a sprint-distance race in 4-6 hours a week, for 6 weeks, as long as you train correctly. Since fitness is specific, you must swim, bike and run. And, you must add time, distance and intensity gradually to avoid injury.

Some things to know about the run segment of your first triathlon:

  1. Love your feet. Wear proper shoes. Running stores can help match you up with the best shoe for your foot. Don't race in brand-new shoes or clothing, try all gear and nutrition out first while training.

  2. Each step counts. Your pace is your business. Great news, each step gets you closer to that finish line! You will get there!

  3. Your legs will feel really heavy. After you get off the bike your legs may feel heavy or a little clumsy. Stay with it and just keep going, it'll get better. And, if you need to, take time to stretch out a little.
  4. Smile and encourage someone. Triathlon is known for its camaraderie. Help other first-time racers get to their first finish lines. Make it a memorable race!

Other pointers:

  • What if I get a cramp? Active Expert Gale Bernhardt discusses race-cramps and workout plans.
  • What if I get a side stitch? Click here for advice.
  • What are three common running mistakes? Check out this Runner's World advice.

Other beginning triathlon links:
Your First Triathlon
Your First Triathlon - The Swim
Your First Triathlon - The Bike
What the Finish Feels Like
Why Triathlon?
Triathlon is an Experience
What I Love about Triathlon's Triathlon Community

Don't worry, don't fret, just get outside and give it a try. Take a walk, jog or run down the block. Surprise yourself! Remember my friend Mary, it's never too late to get started doing something new. Please tell me how those first steps go!

J-Lo Finishes Her First Triathlon

Jennifer Lopez crossed her first finish line as a triathlete on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008 at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon. Lopez finished in 2 hours, 23 minutes and 28 seconds.

She says training for the event felt good, but that she's never done anything so taxing in her life. Lopez worked hard to balance time with her twins, work and family life, while still fitting in workouts. She trained with SELF magazine's editor-in-chief Lucy Danziger. Read about their experience on Lopez' blog at SELF's Living Well section.

The Nautica Malibu Triathlon benefits Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Lopez raised $127,000 for the charity. More news and photos here:

Your First Triathlon - The Bike

My first bike was yellow. It had a basket in front and I thought its banana seat was cool. (That's me in the picture to the right.)

Biking was fun. I rode my bike to school, to the park and to the pool in the summer. I forgot my bike lock combination a lot. I went over the handlebars a few times. Biking with no hands was too scary for me. But, overall, I liked riding my bike.

Biking as a kid made trying a triathlon as an adult seem doable. I'd been on a bike. I didn't have specific bike training, but I knew I could bike. And so can you!

If you can:
- swim (15-20 minutes)
- bike (60 minutes) and
- walk (45 minutes), you can finish your first triathlon.
A sprint distance triathlon usually includes a .25-mile swim, 15-mile bike and 3.2-mile run.

Some things to know about the bike segment of your first triathlon:
  1. Any bike works. You don't need something fancy to enter a triathlon. A basic bike is fine. Do take the time to tune-up your bike, pump the tires and lube the chain. Cleaning tips here from Terry Bicycles.
  2. Go your own speed. You may feel pressure to go faster on race day. Slow down. Your pace is the right pace.
  3. Be safe. Stay to the right of the road, allowing others to pass you on your left. Don't ride right up on someone's back tire either.
  4. Smile! Enjoy the ride. You are doing something for yourself, getting fit and hopefully having a great time. If you have the chance, encourage someone else as you pass them. Triathlon is known for its camaraderie.

Other resources include:

Your First Triathlon
Sprint triathlons: The possible dream
10 Tips for First-time Triathletes
Training Tips for Beginner Triathletes
10 Most Common Multisport Mistakes
Newbie Forum
Why Triathlon?

Get out on your bike for a ride, even a short one. Today is a great day to start!

(second picture: Me biking home from Paoli.)

What the Finish Feels Like

My Wonder of the World: The Feel of Crossing the Finish Line
Author Becky Ramsey's site Wonders Never Cease features a new wonder of the world each day. I am new to her blog and I adore it already.

The Feel of Crossing the Finish Line
Triathlon is for you. Yes you. Triathlon is a great sport for people of all ages and abilities.

Our son did his first youth triathlon at age 5. We didn't force him to do it. He did great—especially once my husband and I got out of his way! We were so proud of him. He was pretty nervous before the race, and he did it anyways.

Triathlon offers something for anyone, any age. Truitt’s race included a 50-yard swim (kickboards allowed), 1-mile bike and .4-mile run. We didn’t force him to do it, though we did encourage him to try it. Parents were allowed to help the youngest athletes in the transition area.

Truitt didn’t need much help. He found his bike in the rack, sprung up onto it and took off. He was going so fast when he passed me that I missed getting his picture. I think I got part of his wheel in the frame. His mile biking was so fast we were curious to see what would happen on his run segment. Truitt ran the whole time and finished the entire race in 19 minutes and 19 seconds.

The above picture is of him crossing his first finish line. What do you think he is feeling? What do you think the finish line feels like?

It's not too late to find out. On the other end of the age spectrum, our former next-door neighbor Mary Stroebe continues to make news, break records and serve as an amazing role model. Mary shows us it’s never too late to try something new.

Mary got started in triathlon at age 75. She’s completed over 12 races since. And, at age 89 Mary went head-to-head with TV host Kelly Ripa in a timed triathlon in New York City. She was also honored with a Relly Award from Regis and Kelly. Well done, Mary!

It’s so encouraging to see friends and family, young and old, falling in love with a sport like triathlon. Triathlon intrigues people—even adult on-set athletes. You don’t have to dig out your old swimsuit, pump up your bike tires or strap on your heartrate monitor to be captivated by triathlon as a sport. You can see yourself doing it.

I hope you'll find encouragement here to say yes to triathlon. Please tell me how your first race goes.

Some resources to get you started:
Things I Wish I Knew as New Triathlete
45+ Excuses Why Not and Why You Can
Your First Triathlon
What I Love About Triathlon
Why Triathlon?
Where Does Fear Come From?
10 Tips for First-time Triathletes
Training Tips for Beginner Triathletes
10 Most Common Multisport Mistakes
Newbie Forum

And visit me in's triathlon community, I'm a volunteer moderator!

Your First Triathlon - The Swim

If the swim leg of a triathlon makes you nervous, you're not alone. Most people thinking about trying triathlon have some issues with the swim.

Good news: the swim is the shortest leg of triathlon's swim-bike-run format. Don't let the swim stop you from trying your first triathlon.
If you can:
- swim (15-20 minutes)
- bike (60 minutes) and
- walk (45 minutes), you can finish your first triathlon.

Some things to know:
1. Any swim stroke is OK. You can use freestyle, breaststroke, back crawl, side stroke or doggy paddle. If you have a panic moment, switch to something that makes you more comfortable.

2. You will get bumped. You may get kicked, scratched, or even run over. Knowing this ahead of time, will make any contact with other swimmers less of a shock. If you are new, or a slow swimmer, start in the back and to the outside. Take a wider path and you'll run into fewer people.

3. Don't forget to breathe. I tend to start off too fast. Everything starts to burn. Then I slow down, focus on breathing and try to swim well vs. fast.

Find more beginner triathlon tips here:
Your First Triathlon
What I Love About Triathlon
Why Triathlon?
Where Does Fear Come From?
7 Steps to Successful Swimming


Race Review: The Pigman, Iowa

Last weekend we drove to Iowa for the Pigman longcourse. This time, it was my husband Ken's turn to race, and the boys and I would cheer him on.

Hotel: We stayed at the Marriott in Cedar Rapids. It was beautiful and we got a great Pigman rate. Packet pickup was in the hotel on Saturday, very convenient.

Race site: Pleasant Creek Recreation Area. The park was about 15 minutes from the Marriott.

Race parking: The Pigman has several lots and a big grassy area for parking. They have volunteers helping direct parking on race morning. But, once you park, don't plan on leaving the park. The drive out of the park is narrow, windy and gets very crowded with bikers/runners also sharing the route. It's best to stay put and wait for your racer to return.

Race course: The lake was 77 degrees on race morning. They started with a time trial swim start, so one person left every three seconds. The road quality on the bike was good, though in Iowa the shoulders aren't paved. The is very little shade on the run. The route is hilly and beautiful, but gets very hot.

Watching the Pigman: Our kids played on the beach while Ken swam, and while he biked. The park had a small concession stand open serving food and drinks. There is little shade along the final miles of the race. Many groups brought their own canopies for shade. We had a big umbrella. Bring something for shade, swimsuits, sunscreen, blankets and money for food, drinks.

We were able to catch Ken coming out of the lake, and in transitions. He had a great race and we enjoyed the day in the park. Overall, we are impressed with the Pigman.

J-Lo Trains for Her First Triathlon

In less than a month, Jennifer Lopez will compete in her first triathlon at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon Sept. 14. Lopez will swim 1/2 mile, bike 18 miles and run 4 miles.

She was interviewed about her training on ABC News' Good Morning America. Lopez said she was about eight months pregnant when she first thought of doing a triathlon. She saw an event and thought "I think I could do that." Now, a mother of six-month old twins, Lopez is training for her first triathlon. The Nautica Malibu Triathlon benefits Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

Lopez said swimming is the toughest for her, and suggests first-time triathletes start slow and give themselves time. When she is training she "feels great, has more energy and is proud of herself."

As a mother of three who loves the sport of triathlon, I agree with J-Lo. Training helps me feel great, have more energy and feel proud of myself.

Follow more of Lopez' training at (Above picture by Ken Landolt at Ironman Florida the day before my race.)

Triathlon is an Experience

Triathlon is more than a sports event, it's an experience. One of the things that impressed me most about my first triathlon was the camaraderie.

At my first race 13 years ago, the women I was swimming with got all tangled up. One lady shouted support and encouragement to us all and we got through the rest of the swim just fine. Later on the bike and run, men and women would smile, wave and cheer me on as we passed each other on the course. And at the end, each finisher got a huge round of applause, no matter the finish time.

The fun and encouragement triathlon offers is helping it take off as a sport, especially among women. This picture (above) is of my sister and I sprinting together to the finish line at a race this summer. Can you see how much fun we're having? I hope it's obvious.

If you think triathlon sounds like fun, sign up. There are many online resources with beginner training plans and advice. Depending on your current fitness level and goals, you can be ready to race in a few months.

Go ahead and get moving. You'll have a blast!

NBC Olympic Triathlon Schedule

One week to go until the top triathletes compete in Beijing! Learn more about the course in this short video from professional triathlete Desiree Ficker.

Use these NBC links to stay on top of triathlon news:
Also find updates at and


Why Triathlon?

The promise of an ice cream cone motivated U.S. Olympian Julie Swail Ertel to enter her first triathlon. Read more about Julie and how she crossed over from water polo to triathlon here and here.

Others are drawn to triathlon because:

  • Triathlon is fun, challenging and rewarding.
  • Triathletes have fun training and racing together.
  • Triathlon is good for anyone, of any age or ability.
I thought triathlon sounded cool and challenging. My husband and I signed up and raced together. Thirteen years later, we are still doing tris. Read why I still love triathlon here.

Triathlon is quickly becoming one of the country's quickest growing sports. USA Triathlon's membership increased 46 percent between 2005-2006 alone. Of members, people in their forties are the fastest-growing segment of USAT membership and of that group women are taking the lead.

You can train for a triathlon now. You don't have to wait:
- until you've lost weight,
- the kids are all in school, or
- you can afford to buy a new bike.

Go ahead, sign up and start training. It's OK to be nervous. That's normal. Surprise yourself and others and try something new. Find resources here to get started. Enjoy!

Your First Triathlon

If you can:
- swim (15-20 minutes)
- bike (60 minutes) and
- walk (45 minutes),
you can finish your first triathlon.

Most first-time triathletes train for a sprint-distance race. Sprint triathlons usually include a .25-mile swim, 15 mile bike and a 3.2-mile walk, jog or run. Really speedy triathletes will finish the entire event in about an hour, while many will finish between 90 minutes and two hours, depending on the course and the weather.

You can train for a sprint-distance race in 4-6 hours a week, for 6 weeks, as long as you train correctly. Since fitness is specific, you must swim, bike and run. And, you must add time, distance and intensity gradually to avoid injury.

Some resources to get you started:

Triathlon is for everyone, of all ages and abilities. Sign up, train well and have a blast.

What I Love About Triathlon

The sport of triathlon is booming, especially among women. Most of us have taken swim lessons, ridden a 2-wheeler, or gone for a walk, jog or run around the block. So, the three elements of triathlon: swimming, biking and running, are familiar. To do a triathlon, you simply combine these 3 childhood skills into one fun event.

Women are drawn to triathlon as a sport for many reasons. This is what I love about triathlon:
  • Getting and staying fit makes me feel good about myself. When I feel good about myself I'm a better wife, mom, sister, daughter, everything.
  • I love the social aspect of meeting with my workout buddies to train, and seeing old friends at races and events.
  • Training for an event forces me to save time for myself.
  • The clothes and gear are cool.
  • I like changing peoples' perceptions of what is possible.

What do you like about triathlon?

Have a great weekend.

Working Out While Sick

Last week my world was spinning. I had extreme dizziness and weakness. The doctor thought I had an inner ear infection causing Vertigo. She said I had to rest. No working out, no house work, no driving. Do as little as possible.

I am feeling better now, and am very grateful. Rest is a huge part of an exercise plan whether you are healthy or not. How do you know when to skip a planned workout due to illness?

Some suggestions from a Health Minute article :
- It's a myth that you can sweat out germs and toxins.
- Your workout may prolong your illness.
- If you have a fever, don't exercise.
- Don't exercise if you have chest congestion, coughing or shortness of breath.
- Gentle exercise is probably OK if you just have the sniffles or a mild cold.

Wishing you a great workout.

Iron Girl race on NBC Sat July 26th 2:30 EST

I watched a sneak peak of the Aflac Iron Girl Las Vegas Triathlon this morning. The course looks beautiful and challenging. I can't wait to see the broadcast Saturday. It'll be the first time a women's only triathlon will be showcased on NBC. Cool!

If you are curious about triathlon and what it's like, plan on watching.

NBC Saturday July 26 2:30-3:30 EST

Find the sneak preview here.
Iron Girl’s mission is to empower women toward a healthy lifestyle. Iron Girl began in 2004 with just two events. Now the Iron Girl brand offers ten events nationwide, varying in distance from 5K to duathlon and triathlon.

Looking forward to it!

Where Does Fear Come From?

As a kid, we used to sit on the bottom of the shallow end and look toward the deep end of the pool. We could see where the deeper water switched to dark blue. That's where Jaws lived.

Many years later I swam 2.4 miles in the ocean as part of an Ironman triathlon. At the pre-race meeting, a lot of people wanted to know about sharks. Could there be sharks during the swim? The announcer replied, "well yeah, this is the OCEAN, there could be sharks. But unless there is a school of 200 sharks cruising the course, we'll be OK." No sharks in my swim, but tons of jellyfish.

What scares you about triathlon? Where do those fears come from?
Here are some thoughts about fear in general to get you started.

Move beyond the fear, and try life. It's worth it.

Race Morning Traditions

My husband and I raced at a nearby sprint triathlon last weekend. It was fun to both be racing again.

We have a favorite CD we listen to while driving to the race site. It only has 4 songs, but listening to it is one of our pre-race traditions.

What race week or race morning traditions do you have?

Have a great week.

Save Time in Transition

Recently I raced my first sprint triathlon of the summer. Last summer I was pregnant, so this was my first race back after having our third son. It was a perfect day for racing. Even better, I improved my time at this course. I was thrilled!

My friend Stephanie and I attended a race preview of this course a few weeks before race day. (That's us peeking over the shoulder of a Clydesdale athlete.)

Coach Cindi Bannick runs a series of race previews of the Wisconsin Triathlon Series events. At the clinic we:

  • Swam, biked and ran parts of the course,
  • Practiced our transitions (swim to bike, bike to run), and
  • Talked about race day preparation.
Cindi suggested getting special laces for our shoes to save time in transition. I had seen these before, but hadn't tried them. I bought some after the clinic and now really enjoy them. There are many options out there including:


Easy Laces

What works for you?

Have a great workout!

Reverse Crunch, My Favorite Ab Move

This Yahoo Health article claims the bicycle is the most effective ab move.

A San Diego State professor compared 13 common ab moves and determined the bicycle is the most efficient. When you use the bicycle move, you're moving continually, and you work abs and obliques at the same time.

Find more ab resources at these sites:
10 Most Effective Ab exercises
Flat Abs Fast
Celebrity Abs
Best and Worst Ab exercises

My favorite, the reverse crunch, is #7 on the 10 most effective ab list.

Keep moving, it's worth it.

Sports Devotionals

For some inspiration in your training and your faith check out the daily sports-themed devotionals from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

In today's e-mail, the author discusses a scene from Chariots of Fire. In it, Eric Liddle explains his passion for running. He tells his sister, "Jenny, you've got to understand. I believe God made me for a purpose—for China—but He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure."

Each devotional includes three parts:
  • Ready (the scripture),
  • Set (a story or example), and
  • Go (the application questions).

Check it out. And keep moving!

Weight Loss While Training

As a triathlete, I haul my body weight between the swim, bike and run segments. According to Joe Friel's TrainingBible blog, running heavy does cost time.

He writes, "One extra pound (0.45kg) costs about 2 seconds per mile running and takes roughly 3 watts to get it up a hill on a bike."

If I want to be faster at my next race should I reduce the fat in my diet, or carbs? Eat less or train more? Read his entire post for more information on how weight loss affects performance and training.

Summer Running

After a long cold winter, and wet spring, it's starting to get hot!

Runner's World has great ideas for dealing with the heat:

Beat the Heat
Stay Cool
Gear That Keeps You Cool

Keep moving!