We are now well into 2014 and things have been going great! I’ve made some big changes this year in terms of coaching which have involved making some changes to training, diet, recovery and focus. This fall I began talking to the coach’s at QT2 systems about their coaching/training programs for professional athletes and after a lot of thought and considerations I decided to work with Tara Rasch and trust her and Jesse Kropelnicki’s training philosophies to help get me to the next level as a pro triathlete. So far I have done more training volume than I have ever done in the past yet feel healthier, faster, and more fit than ever. Since deciding to race as a pro a few years ago I have dealt with multiple running injuries every season and have yet to have an uninterrupted season. So far, 2014 is looking like it may be the year things come together! A few of the differences in Tara and QT2 systems training philosophy when compared to how I have been training in the past few years is their emphasis on nutrition and recovery. They follow the principles of the Core Diet, which involves looking at the timing of nutrient and energy intake rather than just focussing on nutrient dense foods. I have always eaten very clean – but making small adjustments this year in what and when to eat with respect to when workouts are taking place, and really focussing on and increasing the amount of calories taken in during every workout (even short recovery workouts), has made a significant difference in my ability to do quality workouts over and over again and recover in between them. Recovery in other ways is also important – we all know that ideally we need 8 hours of quality sleep to perform at our best. But how many of us truly get 8 hours? I had to make a commitment to getting 7.5 hours/night on average and not get into those habits of “I can deal with 6 hours if I have too”. Over time, lack of sleep results in under recovery and eventually leads to chronic fatigue and injury as this fatigue accumulates in the body. One of our team sponsor is Normatec – using Normatec recovery boots on a regular basis has also made a big difference! Another big change is that I haven’t done many intense runs at all! Most of it is endurance running, but a lot of it! So far so good – when the odd ache or pain comes on, I deal with it right away, and it disappears. I feel lucky to have a great support team when it comes to treatment as well – thank you Shiela, RMT extraordinaire at Absolute Endurance Training and Therapy and thank you Dave, Chiropractor extraordinaire, for putting my body back together and working hard to keep it together!
This past February I was lucky to be able to attend QT2 Systems Pro Athlete Training Camp in Clermont, Florida. Here I got to train alongside 30 other pro triathlete’s, men and women. We pushed our limits in so many ways at camp – physically, mentally, emotionally. I learned so many things about myself at this camp that along with the physical fitness will help me to be a better athlete. Meeting and getting to know the other athletes at camp was amazing. So many inspiring people, motivated and strong personalities. I look forward to training and racing with many of these athletes throughout the next few years!
Race plans this year – Ironman Texas will be race #1, happening mid May – coming soon! I’m looking forward to going somewhere new and experiencing a new race! One of the great things about racing Ironman is the places you get to go – most of which I wouldn’t have considered as travel destinations if there was no race there, but most of which turn out to be beautiful places to visit! Key races after that will include Ironman Louisville and Ironman Chattanooga.
As I write this I am on my way to Tucson, Arizona for our 7th annual Arizona Training Camp with Absolute Endurance Training and Therapy, along with 38 other athletes and coaches. I’m looking forward to working with our other coach’s, Tara, Al and Angus, getting to know these athletes and helping them improve at the sport they love! This camp has been a great success every year and this year promises to be no different. We swim every morning, followed by many great rides including riding over Gates Pass, up Mount Lemmon, doing the famous Shoot Out ride and riding the beautiful roads of the Spanish Trail and Saguaro Canyon. Participants are varied in the goals and reasons for joining us, from some who just want to go and ride their bike to others who want to succeed at various levels in cycling and triathlon events. Everyone is welcome! Check out Absolute Endurance’s website for all that we have to offer and information on future camps!