2/3/17

Remember why you started


This May will be 11 years since I participated in my first endurance triathlete event. Way back in May 2006, I raced Ironman Florida 70.3 in Disney. Who would have known that just a few weeks later, I would meet Karel (set up by friends) and we would start dating. 


I think back to when I started training and racing in endurance triathlons and the first thing that comes to mind is how much fun I had when I started. 

And now, 11 years later, I am still in love with the sport of triathlon. And the best part, I now get to share it with my cat 1 cyclist turned triathlete, boyfriend, turned fiance, turned husband alongside out team of Trimarni athletes and all of the friends that I have met along the decade plus of triathlon training and racing.  


 

The past 11 years haven't been easy. There have been many obstacles in my way along with setbacks, busy schedules and compromises. Whereas it's easy to assume that success can keep an athlete in his/her sport, I believe it's the idea of self-development that has helped me reduce the pressure that I put on myself as I am always focused on improvement. Sure, I want to do the best that I can on race day but I am always eager for an upcoming workout to see what my body is capable of doing. I never take for granted the lessons that I can learn from making mistakes and instead of attaching my self-worth to outcomes (like qualifications, placement or times), I always focus on the process. 


I wanted to write this post because I know first hand, that being an athlete is hard. Really, really hard. As an athlete, you experience failure, setbacks and obstacles all the time and you are constantly making sacrifices. This sounds like a really difficult way of living but changing your mindset about your sport, and remembering why you got started is extremely important when you find yourself at a crossroads of "should I give up on my sport or should I continue". 

Over the past 11 years, I have wanted to give up many times. Yes, stop the sport of triathlon, which means so much to me. It was always during the times of setback or difficulty that I found myself questioning if I should continue. Certainly, during times of success, I never question my desire to continue dedicating my free time to this sport. 



As I enter my 11th season of endurance triathlon racing, and look back on the 11 Ironman distance triathlons that I have successfully started and finished, which includes 4 Ironman World Championship events, along with the 13+ half ironman events and countless short distance triathlon events and running races, I don't overlook the countless moments when I wanted to give up during difficult moments. 

When I questioned my ability and desire to continue, all I could think about was why I got started. 


If you find yourself wanting to give up, ask yourself why you fell in love with your sport when you started? 

It's very easy to lose the fun and joy for training when you have high goals for yourself, when you feel overwhelmed in life or you are sidelined with an injury or sickness. 

Certainly, every athlete has times in his/her athletic career when giving up is the easiest option because you doubt your abilities and you can come up with a list of reasons to stop training and racing. 

The next time you think to yourself that your sport is too difficult to continue, make sure you refer to your list of reasons as to why you fell in love with your sport in the first place. What made you lose the momentum to train for your sport and how can you bring it back into your life in a smart, balanced and fun way?

Think about the possibilities, the opportunities, the experiences and the unknowns that made you so excited to train and race when you started your sport. 



2/2/17

4 tips to improve your running fitness

 

6 minutes or 14 minutes. It doesn't matter how long it takes you to cover a mile, a mile is still a mile.

For all fitness levels, running is a great sport to challenge your mind and body. But even better, running does not require a gym membership, it's fairly inexpensive and you can do it almost anywhere (and anytime) and it comes with a list of benefits including body composition changes, fitness gains, stress relief and self-confidence.

While running can provide you with a great endorphin-rush, making you feel like you are capable of tackling everything on your to-do list after you finish a run workout, running does come with a few downfalls.

Running is very corrosive on the body and in order to reduce the risk for injuries and health issues, longevity in the sport of running requires a careful balance of consistent training, good economy, proper recovery, excellent nutrition and listening to the body. 

Running is rather hard on the body and not every human body is designed to be a runner. Running requires good flexibility and range of motion as well as exceptional cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular strength. Injuries due to overtraining, poor biomechanics and improper shoes or increasing mileage too quickly are very common in runners of all fitness levels.

If you are looking to extend your running career or you are hoping to improve your running fitness, I have 4 important tips to help you enjoy your running journey.

Build a strong body As great as it feels to check-off an hour run off your to-do list, it’s important that you build a strong and resilient body before you try to increase your speed and distance. Strength training is an important part of a balanced running routine for a weak body increases the risk for injury. It’s recommended to include 2-3 x 20-40 minute sessions of functional (ex. run-specific) strength training each week into your running routine alongside strength based running (ex. incline walking and hill strides).  Runners should aim to improve strength in the hips, glutes, lower back and core to ensure good pelvis strength but don't neglect the arms and feet. Bottom line, don't try to run yourself to a stronger body. Incorporate strength training and strength-based running to become a more resilient runner with better economy. 

Consistency is keyWhen you start your run training, you will either feel amazing and the miles will tick away naturally OR you will struggle with recovery after runs and you will find yourself sore, tired and unmotivated to continue. Based on research, the magic number of runs per week is between three and five. Less runs can place just as much stress on your body as running too much. Frequency training improves endurance, speed and stamina but you need consistent training to help you adapt to training stress with proper recovery. Also, frequent running allows you to focus on your economy and cadence, without having each run be a "key" workout designed to improve your lactate threshold or aerobic endurance. Develop a smart training plan that gives you several times to run per week,with different intensities and duration's, with no run workout being too exhausting that you can't recover from it before your next run workout. When you aren't running, consider cross training like swimming or cycling to bridge you from one run workout to the next. 


It’s not just about the running milesNothing can replace hard work so if you want to be a better runner, you have to pay your physical dues. But being a "better runner" requires so much more than running x-miles a week or running x-pace. Take a look at your lifestyle and recognize that good restful sleep (7-8 hours), a positive attitude, good stress management, attention to sport nutrition, balanced daily nutrition, a healthy immune system, good mobility, proper pacing, using RPE instead of being a slave to your gadget and a good warm-up will help you improve your running fitness. In other words, think about what you are doing when you are not running if you want to become a better, stronger and faster runner. 

Running is not punishment - You do not need to earn your food by running. If you find yourself running to earn a treat or to burn off food that you feel guilty about eating or because you hate your body, you are running for the wrong reasons. Running allows you to enjoy the fresh air, it takes you to different places, it helps you socialize with like-minded individuals and it helps you de-stress. Running should make you feel good. If you find yourself using your run training as a way to feel more in control over your eating choices or to reward yourself with "off limit" food, you may be forming a dysfunctional relationship with exercise, which may lead to disordered eating or excessive exercising. Make sure your reasons for exercising or training for an event are for the right reasons. Run to get stronger, to relieve stress, to feel confident about your body and to challenge your limits. Do not run for punishment, to earn food, to reward yourself, to justify eating certain foods or because you shame your body. Running should not control your life, your food choices or your thoughts about your body but instead, should add value to your life. Be grateful that you can use your body to run for there are many people in this world who are unable to enjoy the benefits of running.

In case you missed it, you can learn more about nutrition for runners in my recent Q&A Facebook LIVE chat with Run In.

                                  


2/1/17

Athlete spotlight: Winston David - A professional cyclist who refuses to give up

 


Name: Winston David

Age: 29

City/State: Greenville, SC

Primary sport: Cycling

How many years in the sport: 15 years

What Trimarni services have you used: RETUL fit

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Describe your athletic background and how you discovered your current sport?

I saw the Tour de France in 2002 and thought it looked cool. I did my first race, Cyclefest in West Palm Beach, at the end of 2002 and was hooked.

Here is the story of my career. It is a long one because I have kept at it for a while and I refused to stop for some pretty bad setbacks.

I began cycling at 14 years old back in 2002. As a junior racer I was moderately successful. At the end of the 2006 season I had a string of wins in some regional pro 1, 2 races. At one of the races I won, The Buckhead Grand Prix, the entire Aerospace Engineering Group- Toshiba- JetNetwork Professional Cycling Team was present. After that race I talked with Aerospace for a few weeks and secured my first professional contract. In 2007 while riding for Aerospace I placed third in the first stage of my first National Race Calendar (NRC) stage race, The Tour of Virginia. A couple days later I didn’t have the energy to pedal a bike and was diagnosed with mononucleosis. Aerospace retained me for the 2008 season, but at one of my first races I broke my elbow. The bone became infected with MRSA, and I had to take a super strong IV antibiotic for two months and was told to stay off the bike for another month. Also Aerospace folded at the end of the 2008 season, so that was the end of my first stint as a professional. At the end of 2008 I married my wife Sara, and I still trained and pursued cycling. Without her support emotionally and financially it would have been impossible to continue. 

With three months off the bike I was nowhere near my previous level though. I raced locally in Florida for a couple years, but it wasn’t until the end of the 2010 season where I felt I was back at my previous level. At the end of 2010 I placed second behind Joey Rosskopf at the US100k Classic in Atlanta, but still could not secure a pro ride. I rode the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the Globalbike Team and raced a lot of the NRC events but didn’t have any stellar results. 

At the end of the 2011 season I was riding my TT bike on a flat and straight road in Florida at around 30mph when a car decided to turn left right in front of me. I fractured a vertebrae and my sacrum and was not sure if I would be able to ride again. 

After a couple months of not being able to ride and doing physical therapy, I learned I was still able to ride. However, I was frightened riding on the straight two lane highways that made up where I lived in Florida. My always supportive wife agreed to move to Greenville, SC where a lot of my Globalbike teammates lived. It is necessary to perform well at NRC (now USA Pro Road Tour) races because that is where the professional teams race. 

During the 2013 season I raced with the 706 Project out of Atlanta and won the Southeastern Regional Series. In 2014 I joined the Lupus Racing Team where we raced a lot of the NRC races. In 2015 Lupus obtained a UCI Continental License, so I was professional once again.

With Lupus, I had the opportunity to race some of the toughest races in the world like the Tour of Qinghai Lake and the Tour of Alberta. I would not have had those opportunities with any other team, and I am very grateful for all the opportunities Lupus gave me. Sadly at the end of the 2016 season Lupus folded.
For the 2017 season I will be racing with a team based in Greenville called the Palmetto State Medical Elite Cycling Team. We will mainly focus on crits and will do some road races with the amateur/ elite National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky a main focus for the year. I plan on making 2017 my best season to date.

What keeps you training and racing in your current sport?

I want to see how far I can push my body and the results I can achieve on the bike.



What do you do for work?

Coach Cyclists and race for Palmetto State Medical Cycling team.

How does your work life affect training and how do you balance work and training?
I am fortunate that I have my own business. I am able to work in the mornings and evenings and train in the nicest part of the day. I do find myself unmotivated to train some days. Cycling is a tough sport. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it, and if we were not motivated sometimes we probably wouldn't push hard enough. On those days, I tell myself that this workout will help me to get stronger and to win races, so I usually knuckle down and make it through the workout. I have been training myself since the end of 2012.

Any tips/tricks as to how to balance work and training?

Don't stress if you miss a workout or are unable to get in a full workout. Consistently putting in the work for most of your workouts is the key to success. I've learned I need to stay consistent with training, diet, and rest. If I do not do those consistently I will not perform well. I have also learned to keep working hard toward your goals even if they seem impossible at times.

How do you balance your training with your partner? Any tips or tricks for keeping your partner happy while you train to reach your personal goals?

I have been married for 8 years. Without her support, it would impossible to continue. I could not do what I do without Sara. You need to find a balance of putting in the work and giving time to your partner. It is also very helpful if your partner supports your athletic goals.



Do you have a recent race result, notable performance or lesson learned that you'd like to share?

My best results to date came at the 2014 Tobago International Cycling Classic where I won the first stage and the overall. I also won the 2015 Rouge Roubaix. In my opinion Tobago and Rouge are equally good results.

What are your top tips for athletes, as it relates to staying happy, healthy and performing well?

  -Do things that make you happy. 
 -Consistently put in your training towards your athletic goals. 
 -Be consistent with your nutrition. 
 -Keep the people around you happy. 
 -Stay positive.

How would you define athletic success as it relates to your personal journey?

Always keep trying to learn. If you make mistakes learn from them. Take everything you learn and transfer what you learned into race wins.


What's your favorite post-race meal, drink or food?


Muesli soaked in unsweetened almond milk with cinnamon and a banana and an almond butter and banana sandwich.
What are your athletic goals for the next 5 years?

Win a US Elite National Road Race Championship and get a win at any USA Cycling Pro Road Tour Event.

What key races do you have planned in 2017?
North Star Grand Prix, McClellan Road Race, US Elite National Road Race, and SpeedWeek.

Where can athletes follow you on social media?






1/31/17

Weekend training recap: Miles covered and food consumed



On Friday morning, I got in a light strength session, followed by a 25 minute EZ treadmill run before heading to the airport to pick up Trimarni athlete Stephanie, from Tampa, who was in town for a quick 48 hours for a RETUL fit by Karel. I was really looking forward to spending some time with Stephanie, especially since she loves food and swimming, like me!



It doesn't take much persuading to gather together a group of Trimarnis for a group ride but I promised the Greenville Trimarnis that I would make banana bread to enjoy with smoothies, for after our group ride on Saturday. I knew if I made the bread on Thursday, there would be a great chance that it would not make it to Saturday (and instead, it would end up in my belly). Instead, on Thursday evening, I made a delicious loaf of ginger molasses bread, which was perfect for breakfast on Friday morning.




Ginger Molasses Quick Bread

Pg. 182 from Run Fast Eat Slow




Ingredients

1 1/2 cup dark rye flour, whole wheat or spelt flour (I used spelt)
1 inch knob fresh ginger peeeled and grated, or 1 tsp ground (I used ground0
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
 1 cup whole milk yogurt (I used 0% Greek as that is what I had in my fridge)
1/2 cup molasses
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (I used salted)
1/4 cup golden raisins (I used black)
1 tsp orange zest


Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan with butter. 
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. 
3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt, molasses, butter, raisins, and orange zest. Add to the dry ingredients and stir just enough to bring the batter together. Do not overmix. The batter will be very thick. 
4. Pour into the loaf pan and bake until a butter knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. 
5. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer the loaf to a wire rack and allow to cool completely prior to slicing. 

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After Stephanie got herself situated, it was time to head to Furman for a swim (around 11:30am). I looked at the swim workout on paper and thought, "this isn't too bad". Ha! I was SO wrong.



Stephanie is a fast swimmer so it was nice for me to be pushed in the water. Karel held his own in the next lane and he swam super strong, just coming in a few seconds behind us for each part of the main set.

WU: 300
Pre set: 8 x 50's kick with fins
MS:
100 at 65% w/ 15 sec rest
2 x 100s at 70% w/ 10 sec rest
300 at 70% w/ 30 sec rest
4 x 100's at 80% w/ 45 sec rest
500 at 80% w/ 45 sec rest
6 x100's at 85% w/ 5 sec rest
700 at 85% w/ 1 min rest
8 x 100's at 90% w/ 5 sec rest

We had a hard time holding ourselves back so I am pretty sure all the 100's were 85-100%!



After our workout, I made a beautiful salad. And no, we didn't just eat salad after that mega swim.
We also had fresh bread and quinoa for carbohydrates and Karel made a tuna mix for him and Stephanie and I had cottage cheese for our protein (Stephanie also enjoyed Karel's tuna mix).

In the afternoon, I got to work on the computer and Stephanie got her RETUL fit by Karel. The fit took a bit longer than expected as Karel had to do some mechanic work on her bike to ensure that everything was dialed in. We had planned a short late afternoon spin after the fit, but we were unable to get on the bikes as we ran out of daylight. Instead, Campy got a nice walk before dinner



Dinner was ahhhmazing. I made a shredded apple, apple vinegar and olive oil (with a little mustard) dressing to toss in a broccoli slaw, to serve with basmati rice and marinara and cheese stuffed mushrooms. I made tempeh for my protein and Karel and Stephanie had chicken (Stephanie and Karel also had some of my tempeh). 


We relaxed in the evening after dinner after making a loaf of banana bread for the Trimarnis after our Saturday workout.



We don't always plan group workouts with our Greenville athletes but when we do, we like to have fun. Seeing that most of our Gville Trimarni athletes are parents, we feel it is important to balance the outside long bike workouts with quality indoor bike sessions. Therefore, when we have an athlete in town or we feel the timing is right, we encourage our Trimarnis to get outside and ride with us. While it doesn't happen all the time, it's a great opportunity to see them in action and we always have so much fun. Although our roads are super bike friendly, we do enjoy having safety in numbers. 

For our Saturday morning ride, we had Dana, Meredith, Stephanie, Bryan, Al, Thomas, Chris and Karel. 
Oh, I forgot to mention that it was just around 32 degrees when we started the ride at 9am and the high on Saturday was only mid 40's!! But thankfully, the sun was out and we all dressed appropriately. 



We were so proud of Stephanie for riding so strong on our challenging terrain. She was extremely attentive to our suggestions with her gears and managing the terrain. We did have a few delays in our ride, like a broken chain and a flat tire, but they didn't add on too much time to our 3 hour ride.



There wasn't a cloud in the sky and the cars animals were out enjoying the crisp air.  
I had told Stephanie that our roads do not have shoulders were we ride so she saw first hand that we literally share the road with the cars. 



All smiles for 3 hours and over 3600 feet of climbing. 



We didn't have a route picked out for the ride but instead, Karel was the leader and he just let his bike pick the route as we rode along. We just love where we live as there are so many different routes for riding! 



Although the ride was "endurance", it was not an easy ride due to all the punchy climbs for the last hour. 



But, the mountain views make it all worth it. 



After the ride, it was a quick transition (and hello to Campy) at Trimarni HQ before heading off for a 25 minute run. 



And if you were wondering, our running routes are just as hilly as our biking routes. 



Karel ran with Al, Bryan and Thomas and I stayed with Stephanie, Meredith, Dana and Chris.

Although we all had tired legs from the ride, everyone ran really well. 



Perhaps it was this goodness that was to be devoured after the 3.5 hour workout that motivated the Gville Trimarnis. 



After the workout, everyone came inside our house and as promised, I made everyone berry chocolate Clif protein recovery smoothies (with milk) along with my homemade granola chunks and fresh, warm banana bread. Let's just say that there was nothing left of the banana bread and the granola was happily enjoyed with the smoothies. Happy bellies for everyone!

I was a bit tired in the afternoon but I had to get some work done on the computer so I rested on the couch with Stephanie (while I worked) for a little bit before taking Campy for a long walk and then getting ready for dinner.



Seeing that we rarely eat out, we just LOVE heading downtown for dinner when we have company in town (or it's a special occasion). We invited our Trimarnis to join so we had a nice group for dinner at Pomegranate On Main (one of my fav downtown Greenville restaurants). We first walked around downtown for about 30 minutes to show off our amazing downtown to Stephanie and then headed to the restaurant for our 6pm reservation. I just love the vegetarian options on this Persian menu but I went with the special, which was a mushroom, bean and spinach stew served alongside basmati rice. 



Karel ordered the Shish Kabob which included marinated cuts of tenderloin, eggplant, mushroom, bell pepper, pineapple, zucchini, onion and tomato, along with basmati rice with lime and dill.


In typical Karel fashion, he was full after dinner but somehow, had room for dessert next door at Blueberry Frog. I always joke with Karel that he has this special compartment in his stomach that is reserved for something sweet, no matter how full he feels after a meal. Karel has sweet teeth (not just a sweet tooth). 



On Sunday morning, I woke up to an alarm to take Stephanie to the airport (on her birthday!!) and it was sad to say goodbye to her, but, we will meet again at our Clermont camp in mid March. Although her trip was short, it was a great investment to come to Greenville so that she could get a professional fit by Karel to ensure that her bike was all dialed in for her upcoming season of training and racing. 

After I returned home, I was super sleepy so I went back to bed for for 90 minutes to get myself fully rested before my long run on the treadmill.

My run was challenging but in a good way as it required a lot of focus.

30 minute warm-up
MS: 6 x 10 minutes as (3 min steady, 2 min strong, 3 min steady, 2 min strong, 1 min rest)

Then cool down
Total: 1:42

Karel ran outside for 2 hours and did a similar main set.

We typically swim on Sunday afternoon but we were tired and felt we would get nothing out of the swim so we stayed home and stayed busy with some work that we needed to get done.

What a great weekend of eating and training, filled with great people and lots of miles in and around Greenville, SC!


1/29/17

2017 Trimarni kit design - the big reveal!!!


We are so excited to be partnering with Canari clothing for the 4th year in a row. We absolutely love working with Canari and we must say that their clothing is extremely functional, breathable and light. 

Canari provides custom clothing, which is one of the main reasons why we love this company. The design team knows how to take our vision and turn it into a top notch, stand-out design. Also, Canari has gone the extra mile for us in making one-of-a-kind clothing specifically for our Trimarni kit items. Karel is extremely particular with the type of material, cut, location of pockets and fit for every article of Canari clothing that we have in our Trimarni store so he works closely with  the Canari team by telling them exactly what he wants in our clothing and they piece together his needs for the perfect kit items for us and our athletes. Without exaggerating, our Canari kit items are truly custom made! 

We could not be more thrilled with the 2017 Trimarni kit design, also featuring our 2017 Trimarni sponsors. 

                                                    FRONT                                  BACK


Seeing that the race season is approaching, we are expecting a quick turn around of no more than 8 weeks from when we place our Canari order to shipping. In order to expedite this process, the Trimarni store will be open until February 1st (Wednesday evening) as we will place our order on Thursday morning. 



2017 Trimarni kit items for purchase


-Short sleeve cycling jersey - Top of the line pinnacle jersey with 3 rear pockets, awesome cut and great material. Full length zipper. 

-Long sleeve jersey - Featuring 3 deep rear pockets and full length zipper in the front


-Short sleeve tri top (NEW ITEM) - super light material, great fit, aerodynamic, prevents chaffing and sunburn due to the sleeves. 


-Tri top  - Two rear pockets and a 3/4th length zipper in the front. This top has a longer torso to fit all body types.

-Tri shorts - A light chamois to prevent chaffing if riding in the tri shorts but not bulky for running. Featuring a drawstring waistband for optimal comfort and a side pocket on each leg to stash your key, phone or sport nutrition. 


-Cycling shorts - Featuring a leg gripper to prevent rubbing and a comfortable chamois. 


-One piece short sleeve tri suit - A Trimarni athlete favorite. 

-Wind vest

-Running Singlet

-Leg warmers and arm warmers - Black stitching a white Trimarni logo so that you can style with your favorite kit. A must have for any cyclist or triathlete. 



Also, we finally have our first ever silicone swim cap! I could not be more excited about the design, which came to life thanks to Andrei with New Wave Swim Buoy. The cap is perfect for all size heads (especially females with long or thick hair).


We specifically picked the bright yellow with a hint of pink for open water swimming so that you could feel safe and be seen in open water. However, this cap is not just for open water swimming as it is very comfortable in the pool.


The Trimarni store is open to all active individuals. You do not have to be a Trimarni coaching athlete to order.

If you are interested in any of our 2017 Trimarni kit items, swim cap, Purist water bottles or BOCO gear hats, visors or beans, you can order HERE at our store. 

The kit items will be available for purchasing only until Wednesday evening.

Don't miss this one-time opportunity to order a 2017 Trimarni kit item.

Thanks for your support.

Any questions about sizing or the items, feel free to send us an email through our website.