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It's National Triathlon Week!


It's National Triathlon Week!

"National Triathlon Week is a nationwide initiative to celebrate the sport of triathlon and all of the members of the multisport community. This week is geared toward education, celebration and participation in the multisport lifestyle."

Triathlon has been part of my lifestyle for the past 16 years. It's given me so much and has helped me through some really tough times. The swimbikerun lifestyle has taught me how to overcome obstacles, love my body in motion and to experience the rewards that come with hard work, patience and enjoying the journey. 

I've learned so much since my very first triathlon.

You may see me as this triathlete....

But this is how it all started......

When I participated in my very first triathlon (2003), I knew little about the sport. As a collegiate swimmer, I felt extremely comfortable with the pool swim but I had little open water experience. Once the swim was over, I found myself filled with anxiety. The bike portion was super scary for me. Even with a hybrid bicycle, I knew nothing about riding a bike in a race. Thankfully, once my legs hit the ground I could relax and enjoy the final leg of the triathlon. When I completed my first sprint triathlon, I was equally exhausted and thrilled at what I had accomplished. It seemed so crazy to me that my body could cover the distance of a sprint triathlon and that I did it all by swimming, biking and then running.  

One year later in 2004, I participated in an Olympic distance triathlon. I had just graduated from college and I was a few weeks away from traveling to Florida for graduate school. I owned a hybrid bike and helmet but my triathlon equipment list was minimal - running shoes, swim suit, goggles and a bike (with a kick stand).

In 2005, I participated in my first marathon. I was in graduate school studying exercise physiology and I missed training for an event. After spending the last ten years as a competitive swimmer, I missed the comradery of training/competing with others.

In 2006, I was bit hard by the endurance bug. I completed the Boston Marathon (April), my first half ironman (IM 70.3 Florida at Disney, May) and my first Ironman (IM FL, Nov). Not only was I amazed at what my body was able to achieve but I loved the triathlon environment. The athletes were so supportive, inspiring and positive and the volunteers were incredible. Biking was always my weakest leg of the triathlon - and the most unnerving to me. However, over the years I've been able to go from weak to strong. My bike handling skills have really improved, which has made cycling so much more enjoyable. 

Karel came from a competitive cycling background and after a lifetime of bike racing, he was seeking a new challenge in 2012.

He really struggled with swimming. He could barely swim 25 yards without getting out of breath. And for the first few years of triathlon racing, he would experience great anxiety when swimming in the open water. Interestingly, he became a fast and efficient runner. He lost a lot of his top-end bike speed and power but he still has a strong love for being on two wheels (although the tri bike is not his favorite bike). Lately he has discovered a strong love for mountain biking and in 2021, he participated in 3 Xterra events. 

Over the past 16 years, I have learned so much and have accomplished a lot in the sport of triathlon. And thanks to the sport, I have been able to participate in many other events, like gravel biking, trail running and open water swim events. Triathlon isn't just a sport, it's a lifestyle.

Although my specialty is endurance triathlon training and racing, I know exactly how it feels to be a beginner triathlete. It was scary, overwhelming, fun and exciting.

When I started the sport, there weren't a lot of resources for beginner triathletes - especially for individuals who had some type of athletic or fitness background. I felt like I had to learn as I went along. Because of that, I made some mistakes and had to figure things out the hard way.

As I was writing my third book Athlete to Triathlete, I took myself back to when I was new to the sport of triathlon. Confused and overwhelmed, yet excited and eager to try something new. It was important to me to provide practical and easy-to-read chapters that were relatable and relevant to individuals who are new to the sport, are re-entering the sport after a break or have dabbled in the sport without much understanding of what triathlon is all about.

The sport of triathlon has experienced significant growth since becoming an Olympic sport in 2000. Since I crossed my first finish line in 2003, much has changed in the sport. From gear and equipment to the training and sport nutrition - triathlon has evolved and grown over the years. However, there are still several barriers to entry - such as cost, time and intimidation. From the outside, triathlon may appear complicated, exhausting, elitist and overwhelming. For these reasons, many active individuals are hesitant to train for and participate in a 3-sport event.

To help grow the sport of triathlon (specifically, making it more inclusive for women, youth and various ethnic groups), I hope that my book Athlete to Triathlete will simplify the sport to help you safely and confidently enter - and stay in - the sport of triathlon, while exemplifying that the sport of triathlon is welcoming to all types of athletes and fitness enthusiasts. I want others to feel the same excitement that I felt as a newbie - but also train for races in a smart and productive manner.

Athlete to Triathlete also serves as a triathlon training guide with features such as: 
  • How to choose a triathlon race
  • How to plan your season of training and racing
  • Race day gear checklist
  • Transition and brick workout tips
  • Training principles and measuring progress
  • Rest and recovery
  • Motivational tips 
  • Tapering for a race
  • Swim, bike, run gear 
  • Open water swim tips
  • Warm-up recommendations
  • The pre-race check-in and race-day procedure
  • Triathlon lingo - yep, there is a language spoken by triathletes
  • What to expect at the race (from start to finish) 
  • Nutrition guidelines for training and racing 
  • Race day rules
  • Strength and stretching pictures 
  • Workout advice tailored to swimmers, bikers and runners
  • Detailed, day-by-day training plans to prepare for a Sprint or Olympic distance triathlon (12-week training plans). 
  • And so much more!!!!
Triathlon has allowed me to travel to new places, develop long-lasting friendships and discover my unique talents and strengths. Triathlon also has a wonderful way of teaching you many valuable life lessons. Regardless of your background, triathlon is an everybody sport. 

Like myself, maybe you swam in college and miss the camaraderie of being part of a squad. Perhaps past running injuries have made you tri-curious. Or, maybe you are seeking a new challenge as a devoted cyclist. Training for a triathlon adds purpose to your exercise regime. As a way to improve health, boost self-confidence, overcome a fear, stretch physical limits or be a role model, there’s no escaping the obvious of being drawn to the challenge of participating in a three-sport event.
Along with ordering my book, you can help me get the word out by writing an Amazon review and sharing with your friends, training partners and anyone else you feel would benefit.
You can order your copy here: Athlete to Triathlete.

See you at the finish line!

Get Started Articles: 
TriWeek: Swimming
TriWeek: Cycling
TriWeek: Running
TriWeek: Transitions