7/28/16

Solestar cycling insoles

Your cycling insoles may not be as sexy as your race wheels, sleek-looking frame or brightly colored and well-matched race kit but some things on your bike do not have to be seen by others to make a significant improvement in how well you ride. Karel and I have been using Solestar cycling insoles for over 2 years and we can't even imagine going for a ride without them. From my personal experience, I loved them from the first ride that I used them. My feet feel extremely comfortable in my cycling shoes, never feeling overstressed. As someone who has worked really hard to improve my pedaling mechanics, the insoles have helped me tremendously, as I feel control with each pedal stroke, no matter the cadence, sitting, standing or in the aero position. Karel keeps a small inventory of insoles (in a variety of sizes) for when he performs his RETUL fits. He has received many positive testimonials. As for the athletes who often complain of foot tightness or hot spots, no matter the brand of cycling shoe, there's often an immediate improvement of no more "hot spots" or feet cramping or tiredness with the Solestar insoles. (If you need a personal testimonial, just reach out and we can connect you with a happy Solestar user) While you may not think anything of it, a stiffer/firmed insole helps to keep your foot in a more stable, neutral position which reduces pressure in your foot and ankle. In other words, every time you pedal, the power goes directly to the pedal, generating more power, rather than your foot absorbing all the shock.

You can learn more here:

If you are interested in a pair, reach out to us via our website contact page. If we don't have your size in stock, not to worry. We order from Germany but orders can be placed and received within 2 weeks. If you are not 100% satisfied, you can return your Solestar Kontrol insole within 6 weeks to get a full refund. Solestar recommends that you give the insoles several weeks to get use to but from our experience, it's hard not to love them after the first few rides.

7/27/16

What not to say to an Ironman triathlete


I love the Ironman distance.
2.4 mile swim. 112 mile bike. 26.2 mile run.
As taxing as it is on the mind and body, there is something so uniquely special and extreme about moving the body over the distance of 140.6 miles.
It's a distance that should be respected and not taken for granted.

It's often said that race day is the easiest day, compared to training, as you are supported by volunteers, friends and family, with thousands of other athletes, to keep you motivated and inspired as you move from the start of the swim to the finish line of the run.
Race day is the day when you can look back on the many months, if not years, of accumulated fitness, endurance, strength, speed and power, with excitement in your belly and a deep hunger inside to put it all that training to good use as you earn your Ironman finisher medal and t-shirt.

However, race day can bring a variety of emotions, as it's a day full of unknowns, even for the most prepared or experienced athletes.

Knowing that most Ironman athletes will experience some type of obstacle on race day, whether it is dealing with unforeseen weather, a cramp, GI issues, fatigue, a mechanical, sore muscles, etc. it's important for any Ironman athlete to stay mentally strong before the race in order to help reduce all pre-race jitters, anxieties and nerves that may sabotage performance.
While it's ok to be nervous, it's very important that you spend your time around energy givers as it can be difficult to surround yourself with people who suck away the energy that you are bottling up for race day. 

As a 11x Ironman finisher, including 4 Ironman World Championship finishes, as well as a coach and board certified sport dietitian who specializes in endurance triathlons, I put together a list of all the things that "us" Ironman athletes do not want to hear on race day.

1. Are you ready?
2. What will be your finishing time?
3. Are you going to win the race?
4. Did you know that ____ is in your age-group again? Didn't he/she beat you at the last race?
5. Are you worried about getting a flat tire?
6. Have you ever crashed on your bike before?
7. The water conditions don't look good.
8. It's going to be so hot on race day.
9. It's going to be so cold on race day.
10. You are going to eat all of that?
11. The swim looks so long.
12. Doesn't your butt get sore riding that far?
13. How much do your legs hurt after you get off the bike?
14. You actually enjoy doing this?
15. What do you do when you have to pee on the bike?
16. It's going to be really windy today. Don't blow off your bike.
17. Did you see all the hills you have to climb?
18. You look tired.
19. I'm feeling sick.
20. Can we sight-see after you check-in your bags and bike?
21. You are boring to be around.
22. We/you have to wake up at what time on race day?
23. Try to finish by ____ so we can go to dinner. 
24. Did you get to your race weight?
25. Are you still injured? 

Many times, the best thing you, the supporter, can say is nothing.
As athletes, we may not always say it or show it but we appreciate the unconditional support - always. Although it is an individual effort on race day, it takes a team approach to get to the finish line.
Just being there means so much.
It's a big commitment to train for an Ironman and race day is never easy.
So while it may be hard for a supporter to find the right thing to say to calm down a nervous, anxious or overwhelmed Ironman athlete, just know that an Ironman journey wouldn't be the same without the support of our close friends, family and teammates.

26. You are almost there (at mile 1 of the run).
27. You look great (at mile 24 of the run).

7/26/16

Trimarni camp swag




When you see or hear me promote a product, there is a 100% chance that I either currently, have used the product or know about the product, and recommend it.

Karel and I come across a lot of brands and companies with several opportunities to try new things that may or may not help us as health-focused, highly competitive athletes.

While what works for us may not work for everyone else (same goes for what works for Karel may not work for me), I would never endorse a product if I didn't believe in the product.

Among the many great things that come out of planning and holding a triathlon camp, I am able to reach out to companies to help fill camp swag bags for our campers.



Seeing that every triathlete loves free stuff, I am always on the hunt for a variety of products that our athletes can benefit from and use throughout (and beyond) camp. 

Here are some of the products that were used by our campers at our 2016 Greenville endurance triathlon camp.

CLIF BAR



Clif Bar made sure that our campers were very well fueled and hydrated throughout their 4-day training camp with a variety of products and sport bottles.

As a coach and board certified sport dietitian, it is always very important to me that my campers receive products that they can use throughout camp, taking into consideration the type of training that they are doing, the weather, the volume/intensity of the workouts as well as what they can use when they aren't training.

Our campers had plenty of Clif Hydration for all run workouts. I love the taste and texture of the Clif hydration powder and the two flavors provide just enough sweetness to make the mouth happy but in the right formulation to keep the tummy happy and the muscles hydrated and energized.
For recovery, Clif chocolate protein powder. If you have never tried this recovery powder, it is amazingly good, especially when mixed with cold milk.

Our campers were stocked with sport nutrition powder for all bike workouts but for our campers who needed some solid food during the long riders, I choose several flavors of Clif bars which would appeal to the taste buds.



To compliment the sweeter taste of the sport nutrition powder that was consumed on the bike, I selected a variety of savory bars, including MOJO PB Pretzel and mountain mix, peanut toffee buzz bars, crunchy peanut butter bars, coconut chocolate chip and LUNA lemon zest for a different taste and texture, when our campers needed something solid on the bike.

I also had a variety of gels and bloks, with a variety of flavors of both to prevent taste bud fatigue.

 Mg12



Before recommending this product to the public, Karel and I routinely used several Mg12 products for a few months in our lead-up to Ironman Austria. Whereas I tend to recover a lot faster than Karel (perhaps it is a combination of me being 6 years younger than Karel and that Karel can push a million times harder than I can in a workout), we both experience residual fatigue which is normal and expected in order to help us get to the next level with our fitness.

We have tried many different types of recovery creams and oils but I have never been impressed with any product due to food dyes, a strong smell or greasy texture turning me off from continuing to use a product. 

I was approached by Mg12 several months ago (which is a local company) and after learning about the product, I was excited to try a free sample of the salts, balm and roll-on oil.
Karel is a huge fan of creams, salts and roll-on's so I knew he would be really excited as his muscles can always use relaxing.

With Mg12, we felt immediate results. I was very relieved to see quality ingredients and no food dyes or chemicals and no greasy or sticky feeling on the skin.

Our campers received a goody bag of 1 ounce sport balm, 3 ounce sport roll-on and 2.2 lb salts.

As a special offer, here is your 10% off discount code on Mg12 products: 
trimarni 

Be sure to follow them on social media and share your positive feedback about the products.






Our campers received new brightly colored pink or orange silicon swim caps thanks to New Wave Swim Buoy. Our campers also had the opportunity to swim in the open water with a New Wave Swim Buoy. 
The New Wave Swim Buoy is a Trusted Companion for Open Water Swimmers.

It provides: 
- Visibility in Open Water
- Safe Place to Float and Rest
- Storage for Personal Items


New Wave Swim Buoy is brightly colored, lightweight, inflatable flotation device with a waist belt that visibly floats behind a swimmer in open bodies of water, making the swimmer more visible to lifeguards, boaters and other open water vehicles.
New Wave Swim Buoy can also be used as a flotation device, or to calm distressed swimmers.
New Wave Swim Buoy will not interfere with swimming, and now it is no longer necessary to leave valuables behind on the beach.
A dry pouch on one side holds smaller items such as a wallet and keys in the medium size, or larger items, shoes and clothing.
New Wave Swim Buoy is excellent for open water swimmers, triathletes, or anyone else who would benefit from added confidence in the water.
There are a variety of bright colors for you to choose from.
As a special offer, you can  use Amazon promo code TriMarni at checkout for 10% on any New Wave Swim Buoy on Amazon.
Offer ends September 30, 2016.


Veronica's Health Crunch



It was several years ago when Veronica came up to me at a cycling event (while I was watching Karel race) and told me that she was making a "crunch" that she wanted me to try. Veronica has worked very hard over the past few years and now you can find her crunch is a variety of stores and online.

Veronica has three flavors, the Original Flavor, Banana chocolate walnut and my personal fav (as I love anything cinnamon), cinnamon apple cranberry.

I will warn you that this crunch is addicting and you will yum louder than you have ever yummed before.
I like to snack on the original flavor while traveling, top my oatmeal with the banana chocolate walnut flavor and top yogurt with the cinnamon apple cranberry.


Oakley



You'll never see me or Karel training or racing in anything but Oakley sunglasses. We believe in their quality products and feel they offer the best products to keep our eyes safe, in our highly active lifestyle.

Oakley and Oakley women offer more than just sunglasses as you can find bags, backpacks, gloves, clothing, shoes, watches and so much more.

I absolutely love the Oakley packable backpack (which comes in a variety of colors) as it is perfect for traveling. I bring this bag with me almost every time when I travel as it is convenient and offers enough room (front pocket and big pocket) for everything I need when I am on the go. Plus, it folds up into itself for easy packing when you don't need it. 


It's surprising how many athletes take poor care of an expensive wetsuit. Perhaps never giving it a proper rinse and cleaning after use or folding it up and throwing it into a closet, bucket or a drawer, only to be pulled out a few days before a race, looking distressed.

You should treat your wetsuit like any nice article of clothing, which means hanging it up after it is dry.

Xterra offers a wetsuit hanger which will keep your wetsuit in great condition, without worry that it will stretch or rip.

All of our campers received a wetsuit hanger for their Xterra speedsuit and wetsuit.
I hang both on my hanger, as well as my race day goggles that I only wear on race day.
I highly recommend ordering yourself a hanger as they are very inexpensive and will help you keep your pricey wetsuit in great condition.

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I'd also like to send a big thank you to the following companies who support Trimarni:

Boco Gear - for making our custom Trimarni visors and trucker hats
Canari Clothing - for making our custom Trimarni kit items
OOBE  - for helping us with our camp t-shirts
Run In - for helping our athletes/campers with their running needs
Carolina Tri - for helping our athletes/campers with their triathlon needs

As well as the other Trimarni sponsors.




7/25/16

2016 Trimarni Greenville camp wrap-up


It was only 26 months ago when Karel and I moved to Greenville, SC after spending the last 10 years (for me, 14 for Karel) in Florida.

Not one day has passed since May 2014 where we regretted this decision to trade the beach for the mountains.

With freedom to move anywhere in the USA, we picked Greenville because it offered us so much - affordable living, support of local farming, mountains, lakes, state parks, friendly people, bike-friendly roads, a fun triathlon community, an awesome, award-winning downtown and a small town feel, close to many big cities.

After our first summer in Greenville, it was a no-brainer that we needed to make the effort to make sure that other athletes could benefit from our hidden gem of a training playground. 

It was only a matter of time before we started offering private training camps and group training camps so that other athletes could experience what it's like to ride on very bike-friendly roads (we don't have bike lanes or shoulders on the majority of our routes - we literally share the road with the cars), train on challenging terrain to get stronger and to improve skills. While we feel Greenville is one of the best places to ride a bike, not to mention to improve your bike handling skills and cycling strength and power, Greenville has no shortage of spectacular views which will leave you oohing and ahhing, no matter where you train.

We have hundreds of cycling routes - we never have to repeat the same route. 

We just wrapped up our 5th Trimarni training camp and 2nd Greenville training camp.

We had a specific agenda for this recent Greenville training camp as it was extremely endurance focused. We carefully selected the Trimarni athletes who reached out to us to attend this camp as it was not a camp for every triathlete.

While we feel Greenville is the perfect place to improve fitness and skills, it's isn't until you come and train with us in Greenville, that you will learn that our terrain is extremely challenging - requiring a special type of resilience and mental strength in order to adapt to the training stress that you are given in Greenville. Sure you can do all your training on the trail and on flat roads but a strong athlete makes a great athlete.
But don't let this scare you away from coming to Greenville to train as our terrain helps athletes build confidence and there's no boring training session in Greenville.

Above all, our training camps are for athletes who want to learn and improve.

While we may have specific criteria for our campers at some of our training camps for safety reasons, our private training camps provide the perfect opportunity for athletes who want one-on-one attention, without ever feeling like your current level of fitness is too slow or not fast enough.
We are all about the athlete and catering to your needs.
We give a lot of feedback throughout our camps and specific instructions that are applicable and appropriate for training and racing.
And because our terrain is very challenging, sport nutrition education is never overlooked.
Knowing how much energy is needed to train where we live, I don't give suggestions for fueling but my sport nutrition advice is mandatory as I know what my athletes need, even if they think they need less.
 We have had 5 Trimarni training camps and with each camp, I give our campers specific instructions on how to eat before a workout, how to fuel/hydrate during and how to recover and eat after every workout.
We have had a perfect success rate in all 5 camps - no GI issues, no bonking, no health-threatening dehydration issues  and no nutritional catastrophes.
Sure, some athletes have an off-day or something may not go right but we have never had an athlete have to pull out of a workout or stop camp because of a nutrition related issue that could not be tweaked or fixed. 

While I realize that sport nutrition is hard to master and there is never a perfect strategy that works for every workout, our campers understand that in order to have the energy to complete a workout and to recover well, following sound nutritional guidance is imperative to their success at camp.
Proper fueling and hydrating also keeps the body healthy and well and our camps are not weight loss camps - our campers are here to perform, not to burn calories.

I am very appreciative of our campers/athletes who come to camp with an open mind and are willing and ready to try new things as it relates to skills and nutrition.
We challenge our athletes to step outside their comfort zone as we know that in a group environment, they are more willing to try new things and to not give up.

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Every year, when I start planning a Trimarni camp (often 8-10 months in advance), I feel overwhelmed with the amount of planning that is needed to ensure that our campers have a great camp experience.
This includes carefully planning the camp training itinerary, selecting the run/bike routes, the swim venues, swim/bike/run workouts, where our campers will stay, what swag they will receive, the SAG support, the sport nutrition that will be offered, making sure our athletes recover well and above all, making sure our campers enjoy their time at camp with great support from their fellow teammates/campers but also that they stay safe.

Although it takes a lot of work, Karel and I absolutely love the camp environment and experience of having so many like-minded individuals training together
While our campers have busy lives with work, family, kids and other responsibilities, we love giving our athletes an opportunity to check out of life and to just train without anything else on their mind.

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We had 16 campers who accomplished 18 hours of training (2.5 hours of swimming, 10.5 hours of cycling and 5 hours of running) over 4 days.

We are exhausted, sore, tired and mentally drained. 

But it was all worth it. 

We could not be more proud of our campers as they gained confidence on challenging terrain, improved skills and fitness but most of all, there was a common bond as they all supported each other, made memories and demonstrated what it means to be part of a team.

Stay tuned as we will be sharing the dates of our future training camps for 2017.

Here's a quick recap of our camp with pictures:

Day 1: 
AM:
30 min EZ conversational pace run
3 hour bike
30 min EZ run with last 8-10 min build to race pace effort
PM:
90 min long course swim at Westside Aquatic center

Day 2: 
AM:
76 mile/~5:20 bike with ~7700 feet of climbing (including the notorious, extremely hard to climb, Howard Gap)
10-20 min T-run
PM:
20-40 min EZ form focused run (5 min run/30 sec walk)

Day 3: 
AM:
1 hour open water swim at Lake Jocassee (warm-up, pre-set and race-specific MS)
90 min - 2 hour hilly run (3-4 x 15-20 min out, 15-20 min back)
PM:
Team dinner at Lazy Goat

Day 4: 
1 hour steady run (4 miles on rolling hills, finish the run on Swamp Rabbit Trail)
2.5 hour bike - steady/strong efforts

Every evening we had a recap of the day and discussion for the next day's workouts as well as nutrition/hydration planning. Campy always paid close attention. 

Morning run around lake Furman. 

First day of camp - campers are filled with energy!

First bike ride on our bike-friendly roads. 2 loops of a 10-mile course to practice climbing, descending and proper execution of how to navigate hills with the right gears and cadence. 

One-on-one work with a camper

Cooling off with a late afternoon swim. 

Campers divided into lanes based on swim fitness. Each lane had a specific workout based on their own swim abilities. All lanes had a race-specific main set with sighting and swimming next to each other to simulate the  race environment. All swimmers are required to use an ankle strap, buoy, snorkel and paddles. 

Cycling to North Carolina. 

Heading to Howard's Gap. 

It isn't until you complete this climb that you will understand its difficulty. 

SAG stop. 

Plenty of beautiful views to enjoy for ~5 hours

Grateful for awesome SAG support. 

There's no easy riding in Greenville but you'll finish every workout feel so proud of yourself that you conquered our terrain. 

Hello furry friends! 


We always feel inspired by our campers - no slacking for us! 

Group training brings out the best in one another. 

Suffering with smiles. 

It's easier to get out the door with others. No excuses - our campers made things happen. 

Our camps are dog friendly :) 

Exhausted but having fun!

All smiles. 


Mountain views all the way to Lake Jocassee. 


Thank you New Wave buoys for your perfectly sized, easy to see, brightly colored buoys (and swim caps). 


What a great group of triathletes who are willing to step outside their comfort zone.

All set! 


What a beautiful day for swimming in beautiful water. You can't help but be happy training here! 


There was a lot of neon in the open water. 

Thank you Jackie for the Kayak support. 

Race pace efforts - 30 minutes of 1 min take-out speed, followed by 4 min strong swimming. Rest as needed in between each set of 5 minutes. 

Gaining confidence in the open water. 

Loving the New Wave buoys and swim caps (and my new TYR Special ops 2.0 goggles which have been amazing to swim with in open water). 

Dynamic stretching and group talk before the run. 

Off they go! 






90 minutes to 2 hours of running - you are either going up or down. 

Karel finished off the last 30 minutes of the long run on his mountain bike to support the athletes as they stayed mentally and physically strong for their 5th run in 2.5 days. 

Well said Coca Cola. 

We are so lucky to live here. 

Cooling off after an open water swim + long run. 

This group cleaned up nicely for our team dinner at the Lazy Goat. 

My sidekick - what an awesome coach, person, best friend, business partner and training partner. 

Team dinner - there was a lot of nibbling, grazing and sharing. 




There was a lot of yumming. 



Yum.....real food. 



One last day of training - our campers surprised us as they performed amazingly well, despite this being this 6th run in 4 days. 

Yay for running on hills!

Keeping each other motivated and inspired. 

Teamwork!

Group work!

Yay for running happy. 

Building confidence. 

Having fun. 

Thumbs up - loving it!

Mental toughness

Looking good ladies!

All of our campers are required to wear hydration belts/packs when they run so that they can always stay well hydrated and fueled. 

Working together. 


When the opportunity comes about and you are healthy and feeling strong, don't let your mind limit you. Rise to the occasion and don't be afraid to fail. 

Strong efforts on the last day of camp! 

Staying mentally strong. 

Focused.

Enjoying the ride. 

Mr. Lama was so happy to see some Trimarni athletes outside - he loves cyclists. 



Until next time!!!