Tuesday, August 18, 2015


The current issue of Running Times (September/October) has an article titled Never Satisfied written by Richard A. Lovett.  It's a very well written article about runners trying to achieve perfectionism and how that's not exactly the best approach.  This article is very applicable to triathletes...  especially since triathletes tend to be type A people (of course not all triathletes are).

Also, striving for perfectionism sets yourself up for regular disappointment and sucks the fun out of training and racing.  A lot of people focus so hard on just the results rather than the experience of the race or training.  I fully agree with Lovett, "...shift from thinking only about the outcome to focusing on the drama and experience of the entire event: from training through race-day preparation, strategy, tactics, and everything else that goes into a race."

When in a perfectionist mindset you are more focused on the outcome.  Shift your focus to mastery instead.  By doing this it will allow you to still become a better athlete without the mental stress of having to have everything perfect.

Only having the end goal in mind... i.e. 2:50 for a 70.3... will most likely set you up for disappointment.  Instead set two goals for a race.  Have an A goal and a B goal.  Your A goal should be something ambitious but realistic and the B goal should be something you know for sure you can achieve and be satisfied with.

Every great athlete and achiever has had many failures and some pretty big ones.  You learn from them and get better because of it.  Often times you learn more from your failures than from your successes.

So stay positive, make realistic goals, enjoy the experience, and smile!!

Happy training!!
Coach Angy

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Race Nutrition

It's so important to practice your race nutrition! Never a good idea to try something new on race day. Long run and/or long ride days are good opportunities to practice pre-race dinner and breakfast... plus race nutrition. 
Everyone's different and can handle different things. For me what's always worked well for a pre-race dinner has been fish, cooked veggies, and a fist size serving of pasta. I try to eat before 8pm the night before a race. (If it's going to be a hot race I salt my food and drink extra water race week.) For breakfast (longer races 1/2 marathon, 1/2 iron, full iron) I eat a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and a banana plus a big glass of water... Ironman I added a glass of juice. For a sprint or olympic race usually just the bagel and pb. I eat breakfast 2-3 hours before my wave starts. Depending on the distance I may take a gel about 10 minutes before my wave starts. I've worked with dietitians while training for my Ironman races and it really helped me dial in my pre-race and race day nutrition. 
Race day nutrition greatly varies depending on the distance. A sprint you may only need hydration or a small amount of calories for a boost at the end. Olympic distance - typically once maybe twice on the bike (nutrition) and once more halfway through the run. Half iron and full iron you'll obviously need more nutrition... generally the rule is 100-200 calories an hour. You have to experiment with how much your body can handle and what types of products work well for you. For the full iron on the bike I typically take in small bites of Clif bar plus Accelerade or Tailwind. Run I only do liquid nutrition. The longer you are going the harder it is for your stomach to digest since your blood and energy is working so hard to keep your brain and muscles functioning. Keeping a close eye on your nutrition timing is pretty important during a race.
Again, everyone is different and what worked for me may not work for you... That's the beauty of training... you have the time to try out what will work race day.
Good luck to everyone this season!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Boston Strong

Good luck everyone racing Boston today!!  It's going to be a cold, wet, windy race.

Smile... happy racing!
~Coach Angy

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Unexpected setbacks

They happen.  No one plans on being sick or getting injured.

Since having my daughter I've had a lot more set backs in training and racing than I anticipated.  Between not being able to workout because she's sick, missing a workout because I caught her cold, missing a race because I was up the entire night with her for one reason or another... Life is unpredictable, especially with kids.

It's incredibly frustrating when you have a setback.  Take a deep breath and roll with it.  Time passes and things change.  When sick or injured it's better to take a break and then slowly get back to it than keep pushing on and make yourself worse.  There will be other training days and other races.

I had a big goal for my A race during running the running season.  I didn't hit it and was frustrated.  Between not enough sleep, little one waking me up several times during the night... not having someone to watch her when she's sick... having colds (never use to get sick before having a kid)... but I still managed to have a pretty good PR.  Our family has been passing colds back and forth for the past few months so looks like the beginning of tri season isn't going to be what I wanted it to be.  I take a deep breath and go with it.  Adjust my goals and work with what's going on.

Having a balanced life also helps.  The triathlon lifestyle is rewarding, healthy, and exciting... but it can't be the end all be all in your life.  Even pros need balance.  Have other hobbies, spend time with your friends and family, enjoy other activities outdoors.  I know it's hard to make the time for other things when you are working full time, training, and have a family.  Even if it's just once a week you make time for another hobby whether it's baking, reading, painting, etc if it's once a week or once a month it counts.

I love doing yoga.  It's a very good companion to triathlon training.  My daughter also loves it.  It's a good way to spend quality time with your kids and spouse if you can get them to join in.  Reading is another one of my passions.  I use the time after my daughter goes to bed to read a little bit.

Whether it's kids schedules, colds, injuries, etc. what ever sidelines training or racing it's frustrating.  Just remember life isn't easy but your attitude and how you handle adversity makes all the difference. Smile and take a deep breath.

Happy training!
Coach Angy

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Start of season

Sun protection should be a year round thing, but especially in the spring and summer months.  My favorite sunblock is the Neutrongena Sport Face and the Sport for body.  Another good defense against the sun when riding or running are arm coolers... similar to this.  Of course sunglasses and hats are smart to wear as well.

This is a good time of the year to get in for lactate testing.  Call your local facility to get your zones dialed in for the season.  Also, now is a good time to get a tune up on your bike and if there's any issues you are having on rides to get a custom fit.  Have a gait analysis done, with the season just starting it's not too late to get this in.  Getting in with a dietitian to have your RMR and body fat measured will help to dial in your race nutrition.

Go through and inventory all your tri items.  Spring clean your tri gear.  Inventory your training and race clothes, see how worn your running shoes are, check to see if any of your nutrition products are low or expired, check the wear on your swim suits, are your goggles falling apart, etc.

Now is the time to finalize your race schedule and start registering for races if you haven't already signed up for them.  A lot of races fill up quickly.  Some you have to register for a full year in advance.  Many races are now offering race registration insurance.  Buy it!!!!  You never know what could happen especially when you have to register for a race so far in advance.

This is also a good time to go over your annual training plan or if you have a coach meet with them and go over it.  See if you have any changes you want to make before the season really starts.  It makes things easier for you and the coach if there aren't a lot of intentional changes to the plan during the season.

If you are new to triathlon, find some tri groups close to you.  Great way to find training partners and find out the best places to swim, bike, and run.  Also, you can pick other athletes' brains about favorite races.

Cheers to a great race season!!

Happy training,
Coach Angy