BT Mentor Program 2014 Beginner Triathlete Mentor Program » Find the balance and embrace the journey! Rss Feed  
Moderators: Ron Reply
2014-01-29 1:26 PM

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Subject: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
GROUP FOCUS: My focus is to assist you with race preparation/schedules, fitness/injury prevention, and nutrition. In addition, I have found it extremely helpful to have a place where people understand the pressures of training + family/friends + work.

NAME: Simply2fab / Tim

STORY: I have been a member of BT for 7.5 years and have progressed from just finishing a sprint tri to being competitive in the Olympic distances to now training for 1/2 IMs. I have been a runner since high school and have raced a number of 5k, 10k, and multi-day team running races. Unfortunately, lower back pain caused me to focus more on cycling over the course of the past few years competing in criteriums, cyclocross, and century races. Thankfully, due to physical therapy and strength conditioning, I am back running with the hopes to competing in an Oly and maybe a 1/2 IM this season. I work closely with a high school swim team, so have gotten more adept in the pool, as well. Lastly, along with becoming a better triathlete, I have also adjusted the way I eat so that my performance and recovery are not hampered by my nutrition. I have been a vegetarian for a number of years, with the goal of eating as clean as possible.

FAMILY STATUS: Married with two great kids - daughter (14) and son (10) from the Midwest, so I can speak to trying to train during what feels like a never-ending winter.

CURRENT TRAINING: I am currently combining running and biking with Crossfit. Due to injuries, I have needed to focus on being less quad dominant and really become a more well-balanced athlete. I have incorporated yoga and stretching (although never enough) into my routine since starting tris seven years ago. Our pool is under construction, so that has put me at a disadvantage getting training, but I plan to build a solid running/cycling base so that by late March and April, when I can get back into the pool, I will be able to focus on honing my stroke in-time for races in June - September. I also believe in the less-can-be-more approach, so I focus on interval training, speed work, and strength/conditioning training.

THIS YEAR'S RACES: Last year's highlights were podiums in a number of local criterium races and a 4:25 hour team century race.

2014 RACES: Overcoming running injuries has been a focal point of my training, so my tri race schedule has been abbreviated by that. Now that I am finally running again, I am working on enjoying the journey and less concerned with the number of races. I am emphasizing training smart so that I can continue this passion for years to come. That being said, I am targeting a Oly in Chicago in June and maybe again in August. If I have the fitness, a 1/2 IM might be a possibility in August or September. There will probably be a number of cycling races and some sprints sprinkled in between.


WEIGHTLOSS: My focus is more on performance and recovery than weight-loss, but I know that a number of people enter the sport with goals of losing weight. I will never claim to be an expert, but can certainly share my experience and help you find the tools if weight-loss is a primary goal.

WHAT WILL MAKE ME A GOOD MENTOR:
I am passionate about this sport and love the opportunity to assist those that are either just beginning or want someone to share their journey with them.

Here is what I hope to do for you as a mentor:
1. Be your cheerleader if that is what you desire. It's nice to have someone there at the finish, but it's really helpful to have someone there after an interval session on the basement trainer during the winter months or when you PR a training route.

2. To be your advocate. I understand the demands of training, how spouses might not always understand, how friends/co-workers don't always share the passion, how kid's school/schedules can take priority, and how it can be a challenge to find someone that know what you are going through.

3. With regards to nutrition, to meet you where you are. If you prescribe by a different diet that works for you, I will provide any assistance and encouragement to help. Vegetarians sometimes get a bad wrap for looking down on how others eat. I am merely here to offer support, and having tried a number of things to achieve peak nutritional performance, I can share what has worked for me, but only if you are interested.

4. Finally, if you are experienced or not and just get geeked out about training, gear, trends, races, etc, then I will be more than happy to monitor your progress and share my passion for the sport of triathlon.


2014-06-17 9:56 AM
in reply to: simply2fab

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Silver member
Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
Hi there -

Do we just add to favorites to join the group?

Let me know!
Thanks
Nina
2014-06-20 8:46 PM
in reply to: #4940753


5

Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
Hi Tim,

I just joined BT and am a newbie in Triathlon also. Can I join your group?

Adolfo
2014-06-21 7:15 PM
in reply to: simply2fab


4

Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
Hi Tim,

I'm new to tri and could most certainly use someone to come with me on my journey - ultimately towards an IM. This first season, however, I'm aiming for a 4:18:4 sprint in September. I'm especially interested in advice on race preparation and nutrition. I also have a family with two young children (5 and 3 years old) and a work situation that requires me to be quite flexible with my training schedule. So at some point it would probably be nice to have someone, how has dealt with all this and knows what it's like.
Right now I have a functional strength training program for running and a run-focused training schedule, since running is my big weakness just now.

I hope you still have space in your group

Greetings from
Johanne
2014-06-22 5:29 PM
in reply to: simply2fab

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Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
Hi Tim,
I would love to be in your group if you still have room! I am a former rower and am making the transition to triathalons. I am 30 years old, I am a physical therapist, and I live on the East coast so I have good access to open water. I have been (seriously) training for a little over a month now and feeling pretty comfortable with each of the sports individually but the run is definitely my weakness. I am signed up for a sprint on July 19th and I would like to do an olympic this summer if it goes well, but I am content to stick with sprints for the time being if that is the smarter option. I am interested in really any advice you can offer to help me become better, however I think I could use the most help with logistics (gear, transitions, etc). I look forward to working with you, I think you could be a big help in minimizing my fear of showing up to the party with the wrong hat on!
Thanks,
Antonia
2014-06-24 8:31 AM
in reply to: #5015539


5

Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
Seems like Tim is no longer posting since January. But anyway, Find the Balance, and embrace the Journey!

Great group name.


2014-06-29 7:31 PM
in reply to: Nvmiller

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Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
Hi Nina,

Thanks for the message. I am new to this, too, but I believe that is how it works. My apologies for the delay, I submitted to be a mentor back in March, but the group just went live this month. Welcome and let me know if you have any questions.

Tim
2014-06-29 7:35 PM
in reply to: AdolfoO

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Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
Welcome Adolfo,

Absolutely, welcome to the tri community. Feel free to post questions and, as a group, we will help with all of the training, gear, nutrition, etc. questions that arise. I have been part of BT for 7+ years, but definitely don't know everything about it and like the fact that I learn new info/techniques each season......that's one of my favorite parts of competing in 3 sports.

Tim
2014-06-29 7:41 PM
in reply to: Johanne

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Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
Johanne,

Welcome to the group. Your story is inspiring and I can certainly relate to juggling kids, marriage, work, life, and training. Let me know how I can help. It sounds like you are off to a good start by using BT as a resource and that you are focusing on what you consider your main weakness. I, too, have been focused much more on running and strength training.

Tim
2014-06-29 7:45 PM
in reply to: antoniadpt

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Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
Antonia,

Welcome to the group and to the tri-community as a whole. I think you will find it a great transition. The tri-community is super supportive and having a rowing background should certainly help w. the training and mental toughness part of triathlons. It sounds like your first sprint is coming up, so ask as many questions as you need, we will definitely try to ease your anxiety. Great quote about the wrong hat to the party, we have all been there.

Tim
2014-06-29 7:50 PM
in reply to: AdolfoO

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Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
Sorry for the delay. I volunteered to host a group, be a mentor, etc way back in Feb/March and the group didn't go live. I have emailed back and forth w. Ron and he just posted it two weeks ago.

I am a high school teacher, so the group went live at the end of the school year. I check BT daily during school, but with the start of summer, I have neglected checking it. Now that I know we have a group, I will be sure to check in on a regular basis.

I am excited that we have a group, please feel free to ask anything/everything and if I don't know, I will point you in the right direction.

Thanks,

Tim


2014-07-03 6:39 AM
in reply to: simply2fab


7

Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
Hello all,

MY FIRST OF MANY QUESTIONS:
My short term goal is to get a 20 km bike down to 35 mins from 37-38 mins. Any ideas???

Profile below if interested

My name is Matt and I am a 30 year old just getting into Triathlon. I have been training since about March. I am training for Sprint Distance Tri's that start in late October.

At the start of Jan/Feb
I could not swim 300m freestyle with out resorting to breast stroke (Possibly the only Australian who cant swim)
5 km was 30 mins
20km bike was a tick over 40 mins


Since I started doing some training:
I can now swim 750 m in don't laugh 17mins (In a pool but also incorporate some open water swims)
5km is down to low 22 mins and high 22s after the 20km ride
mid 37 mins on the bike

My 2 ultimate goals would be sub 20 mins for 5km off the bike and a sprint Tri in under 1:15. (6- 12 month goals)
6'1 and body weight is 81kg
2014-07-03 5:10 PM
in reply to: MattSlatts

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Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
Hi Matt,

Welcome to the group. Great news that you are getting into triathlons.

Cycling is my favorite of the three disciplines, so I would think the group can certainly assist you with dropping your 20k bike time.

Couple of questions:

Do you have a tri-bike, aero bars, aero helmet, aero wheels, etc? Not that they are necessary, but it will be easier to help find time if we know your set-up. Also, do you use a HR monitor during rides? Not necessary either, and not always 100% accurate, but it could help us gauge when during the ride that you might be struggling, or putting out the most effort.

By my calculations, based on your goal, it sounds like you'd like to be at 25 mph or 40 km pace which is a solid ride. Do you know the elevation of the course?

Sorry for all of the questions, but they will help us to get a better sense of where you can shave some time.

Congrats on the progress in the pool,

Tim
2014-07-07 5:54 AM
in reply to: simply2fab


7

Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
Hey Tim,
Thanks for the reply and the assistance.

In response to your questions:

Do you have a tri-bike? Yes! I picked up a 2009 fuji sst 2.0 with non standard wheels (Pic Attached)
aero bars, aero helmet? I do have Aero bars but have a standard helmet.
aero wheels, etc? I do not know if the wheels are aero wheels. Maybe you might be able to tell from the pic
Do you use a HR monitor during rides? I do own a pretty decent HR monitor but have never used it during riding training.
Do you know the elevation of the course? The course is a very flat 5km loop.

As for the goal for my 20km TT 40km/h would be fantastic! Perhaps that is aiming a little high. Averaging 35/36 km/h woudl give a time of approx 34min

Thanks again
Any help with the bike is appreciated

Matt



(Bike.jpg)



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Bike.jpg (813KB - 0 downloads)
2014-07-08 4:35 PM
in reply to: simply2fab


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Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
I am a 62 year old runner (a few half marathons and one full marathon) training to do my first sprint triathlons this summer. I would like to join your mentor group.

My first question is this: I have started doing bike/run brick workouts and have been getting off the bike feeling fine, then as soon as I start running develop terrible cramps in both calves. last week my legs felt OK after the first mile, but today my left leg continued to cramp until I finally gave up and stopped altogether at mile 2. Walking and stretching during the run don't help.
When I start out with the run first, I don't have any problems.

Any thoughts?
2014-07-08 10:36 PM
in reply to: MattSlatts

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Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
Hi Matt,

That's a great looking bike. Those would certainly qualify as aero wheels and I would strongly recommending doing the tri with the aero bars. The goal on the bike in the tri is to ride as fast as possible while limiting the energy output. The lower you can stay on the bike (aero position) the better - it keeps your heart rate lower and helps conserve your energy, while also helping you maintain a fast pace.

I would recommend adding the aero bars and doing a mock 20km race w. your HR monitor so you can see if your HR drops or spikes at different output levels. It's a fine balance to ride fast, but conserve your energy for the run.

Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

Tim


2014-07-08 10:44 PM
in reply to: ellenbwolfson

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Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
Hello Ellen,

Welcome to the group. It sounds like you certainly have the running experience and a strong base.

The most common advice would be to make sure that you are properly fitted on the bike. Something seems to be getting over-worked if you are cramping so quickly and if stretching doesn't help.

Any chance that you have practiced yoga? Based on my experience, my hips get very tight on the bike and can cause hamstring and calve cramping. Stretching your hips might also help.

Good luck and let me know how it goes,

Tim
2014-07-13 5:51 AM
in reply to: simply2fab


7

Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
Hey Tim,
Completed a 20 km TT and smashed my PB. Overall I completed it in 33:50 so very excited about that. I have had the Tri bars on for a while but have found that they most definitely need some getting used to. The more I have used them the more confident I have become in using them. I will do another one soon with the HR monitor. I found it much easier to maintain speed then to get up to speed.

One thing I did which helped to maintain HR at a reasonable level was after you get up to 32/33 km/h push hard for 3-4 leg cycles and then rest a little. Then repeat. It just slowly pushed my speed up 0.5-1km/hour each time, up to between 36-39km/h for me anyway (My max speed), Have you ever heard of anything like this before or is this counter productive for long term improvements?

Thanks
Matt
2014-07-14 7:53 PM
in reply to: MattSlatts

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Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
Hey Matt,

Great job smashing your 20K PR, that's fantastic.

I am pleased to hear that you are adjusting to the aero bars. You are absolutely correct, they take awhile to get to speed, but that position is designed to help you maintain your speed.

I would definitely encourage you to keep using your cadence technique, especially if you had such good results. Many of the pros talk about mind tricks that they use to keep up their intensity during the race - so your pedal stroke method would be right in-line with their strategies. My only caution would be to see how you feel doing a brick workout, how do the legs feel when you start running off of the bike? If they feel good, then definitely keep using it.

Great job,

Tim
2014-08-11 10:47 AM
in reply to: simply2fab

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Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
Hi Tim,

I was wondering what is the best way to improve my running? I am still struggling to consistently run during my longer runs (6 miles plus) and I would say my best time would be at a 9 min mile but when I walk it drops down to a 10 min mile etc. I wanted to complete more races this year but due to my schedule (and probably my lack of confidence) I only competed in one sprint. I have completed Olympic distrances in the past few years but this year I am really wanting to be more competetive so I think every time I start focusing on that I freak myself out. Anyway, I am thinking about switching from my tri plan to a run plan now to help focus on my running through the winter. That way I could potentially compete in an early race in 2015.

Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks Nina
2014-08-12 2:41 PM
in reply to: Nvmiller

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Subject: RE: Find the balance and embrace the journey!
Hello Nina,

Great to hear from you. Sorry to hear that you are struggling with the run, but I was encouraged to hear that you tend to make it your point of focus over the winter.

If I may, I have some questions about how you feel during the run, pace, soreness the next day, etc.:
Is there a certain point in a run where you start to feel tired/sore/out of breathe, etc?
Do you maintain a relatively consistent pace throughout the run, before and after walking?
Is there anything that you feel causes you to slow down - sore legs, out of breathe, side stitches, etc?
How do you feel the next day or the second day following a race? Calves sore, quads, etc?

The typical response will be to run more, but that doesn't always remedy the issue and can lead to injury. I have had a history of back pain, so I found that I need to do strength training so that I wasn't so quad dominate in my running. Once I got to a level where I could run pain-free, then I went from tempo runs to speed work. I ran a 1/2 marathon this summer and found that intervals during the week and shorter runs due to juggling my schedule worked the best. I tried to do at least one long run during the weekend. To the first point, I also became better friends with the foam roller so that I wasn't sore, slept better, and recovered faster.

Those are just some ideas to help. Let me know what you think about the questions and maybe we can identify what's holding you back.

Take care,

Tim



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