Personal Trainer/Coach Highlight

About a year ago, I decided to help promote my business a bit more by adding my info to various business sites. Recently I was approached to have my Flatlander Tri Coaching and Tennis Coaching highlighted on Thumbtack.com. What an awesome opportunity for more locals to learn about my background, specialties, and passion. If you have a moment, check it out. Honored to be recognized as a top coach/trainer in the Omaha metro. http://www.thumbtack.com/ne/omaha/personal-trainers/

And just a little plug about my coaching, it is never too late to do a triathlon, increase speed and power, or even learn the awesome game of tennis. If you have questions or ever want any advice or coaching, please do not hesitate to contact me!  I am pretty much available 24/7 and never get tired of talking about fitness, triathlon, tennis, mountain biking, apparel/accessories, injury prevention, weight training, nutrition, etc………….

Courtesy of one of my sponsors, Swiftwick, “Do what moves you”

Coach

4th Annual Team Triathlon Training

I am pleased to announce that back by popular demand for a 4th season will  be the triathlon training group I have helped co-train for the past 3 seasons. We are expecting a huge turnout this year and would absolutely love to get some fresh faces.  We are fun, energetic, supportive, strong, active, encouraging, and empowering individuals that create an awesome team environment.  We are also teaming up with some awesome local businesses and products to provide a great experience for every athlete.  And of course, all skills levels are welcome (from the beginner with no swim experience to the podium finisher).  So come one, come all!

4th ANNUAL

TEAM TRIATHLON TRAINING

12 Week Program

March 19th-June 7th, leading up to the Omaha Women’s Triathlon

Location: Prairie Life Fitness (132nd/Center St) Omaha, NE

Group Class times: Thursday 9:30am or 6:00 pm

Group activity on Saturday and/or Sunday each week

Cost:  $150 members /$175 non-members

Led by:

Heather Dall – Certified Triathlon Coach

Stacy Houck –  Certified Personal Trainer

For inquiries, either post here, or shoot me a message at hdall@prairielife.com

Omaha Women's 2014

Adios 2014, Bring it 2015!

I must admit, I have been a bit AWOL for the past few months.  Not for lack of trying, but thanks to good old writers block.  But I am back and want to recap 2014.  I promise not to bore anyone with a brag fest about myself, but rather just highlight the high’s and less of the lows of the year.

Excitement number 1 for 2014.  My broken elbow bike injury from 2013 healed up nicely so I decided to hit the year hard.  I started off with a bang by spending way too much money to sign up for the Triple Bypass Ride in Colorado.  As noted in a previous post, my whole training season consisted of riding, riding, riding.  As a result, I did in fact do the ride in July and yes, it was the hardest ride of my life thanks to 3 mountain passes and almost 12,000 feet of elevation.  Since my body was already used to intense training, I decided it was time to do my first 70.3.  I opted for the Pigman in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  After having a full year off of triathlons thanks to my elbow recovery, I had no idea what to expect.  With the name alone, I figured it would be a country type race and I was right.  Lake was absolutely beautiful and I found out very quickly during the race that I love 1.2 mile swims in open water.  I am frustrated that I did not push myself more, but did not want to overdue for my first 70.3.  The bike was fine, rolling country hills and less than smooth country highways with a slight breeze.  I have no complaints about the 56 mile bike except it was just boring.  I got spoiled in Colorado with amazing scenery and great company.  But I have no complaints about my ride except legs were a bit heavy from only a week of recovery from Colorado.  And then there is the run.  Started off pretty solid and set a goal of stopping at each water stop on the 90 degree day to get fuel and walk til my hands were empty and then start running again.  This method worked awesome until the turnaround halfway.  My good ol injuries decided to make their appearance and bring some extra unwanted friends.  So for about 6 miles I hopped, hobbled, gimped, walked, and jogged to the finish.  I must say in retrospect, I knew going into this race that a half marathon was not going to be pretty since my IT bands tend to act up at mile six.  But gosh darn it, I finished and can now say I have done a 70.3.  Will I ever do one again or do an official Ironman 70.3?  Maybe, but not quite sure.  My true love is the bike, X-Terra, Olympic distance races, and coaching so not exactly sure what my future holds in store for me.  But at least I went big in 2014.

Pigman 2014

 

2014 was a very big learning year for me.  I needed some CEU’s for my triathlon coach certification, so rather than do something boring, I decided to expand my current knowledge base.  I was fortunate enough to become Water Safety Instructor Certified (WSI).  It was a long 2 days of classroom and pool instruction, but was well worth it.  I feel like I am a much more proficient swim coach now and it even improved my own swim skills.  Besides WSI, I was very fortunate to partake in IMBA’s Instructor Certification Program (ICP) Level 1 Ride Coach Course.  Thanks to my awesome connections with the Trek Stores in Omaha and Papillion I found out that IMBA was coming to Omaha.  I jumped on this immediately since I knew I wanted my 9 year old daughter to experience DEVO and figured she would want me as a coach.  Plus I am always wanting to improve my own mountain bike skills and have clients who want me to take them out on the mountain bike.  From the minute I walked in the classroom, I knew I was a bit out of my league with Cat 1 racers, elite racers, and two instructors with very impressive bios (former pro downhill racer and a snowboard/ski coach for the US Olympic team).  After 2.5 days of classroom and on the bike training, I was one beat down girl both mentally and physically.  I learned a lot of skills about my own bike skills and had to make a lot of improvements, realized that as much as I love my 1st edition Gary Fisher Sugar GS signed by Fisher personally, my bike is outdated and old school, but I PASSED the class!  Boom, enough said.IMBA Skills-ICPIMBA Course Completion

 

Moving on, I am very big on giving back in the community.  I try my darndest to volunteer at races and this year I went above and beyond and was not only a lead coach for Omaha DEVO but also for my daughter’s elementary running club.  I have a knack for coaching kids and found it is very stressful, but very fun and rewarding at the same time.  As a tennis coach I know that youth are the future of sports so it is vital to make it fun, get them involved, and learn a few skills at the same time.  I must say the run club was a bit of challenge.  50 girls chatting and picking flowers while running is not ideal, but they ran.  My daughter had a tough season due to foot issues, aka growing pains, but it was still a rewarding experience.  I think both my daughter and I had more fun with DEVO.  Any excuse to get on a bike is good for me.  And there is nothing better than watching little kids rocking the mountain bike, hitting the jumps and berms, and learning how to properly shift and brake on dirt.  It was by far the best volunteer experience I have ever had.  Not to say there were no hurdles and folks butting heads a bit, but the end result was lots of kids having fun on mountain bikes.  Sole SistersDEVODEVO

No summary is not complete without talking about my awesome triathlon clients.  The group I co-lead has grown by leaps and bounds this past year.  I am amazed by the improvements my former clients have made and am extremely impressed by the accomplishments of the new folks.  I have people from every walk of like and this past year is no exception.  I have folks that do not know how to swim at all to those taking the podium in their age group.  I have a unique group of people that tend to train for the shorter distance races such as sprint and Olympic due to work and family obligations, but regardless of the distance, I am extremely impressed by everyone’s hard work, dedication, and commitment to TRIATHLON.  Without my awesome clients, I would not have a job.  I am truly grateful for each and every person and look forward to what will come in 2015.  I plan to have everyone set goals starting tomorrow.  It may be as simple as to finish a triathlon without walking or PR in a race, but whatever their goals may be we will work to make them successful.  I expect this to be a big year in triathlon, especially now that the industry is growing in Omaha and the midwest. If you are at a race, keep an eye out for my awesome Prairie Life triathletes!!!

Omaha Women's 2014

 

No year cannot be complete without thanking those that have helped to support.  I am fortunate at a coach and amateur athlete to have some awesome sponsors, ambassadors, and employment.  Thank you for the support in 2014/2015:

Swiftwick     Rudy Project     FitFluentail     Ride Live be     Prairie Life Fitness     Red Dirt Running Company     Mott’s     Active Ambassadors     TYR Endurance Sport     Vitality Sciences     JUNK Bands     Coeur Sports     Race Omaha      GoTribal     Juice+         

What to take away from 2014 is in order to have a great year, it is about the effort you put into it.  Setting goals early are huge.  Personally and as a coach I am not as big on numbers, gadgets, and all the extra bells and whistles.  Our bodies are the primary machine.  Treat them well, work em hard, challenge them, get outside the comfort zone, and for goodness gracious, just have fun!  If it is not fun, it is not worth doing.  And one thing that I do not mention enough, make sure to involve the family.  Even if they do not have your interests, somehow try to find something you can all do together.  Endurance sports are not for everyone and take a lot of time and training so make sure your support system is there to support you and way possible.  Team support is vital, but family is essential.

So on that note, I bid you a farewell to 2014 from my adventurous family to yours and wish you well in 2015!

Adventureland

Top 10 Ways to Build Lean Muscle Fast and Efficiently

As an ambassador for Fit Fluential, I am always looking for inspirational, informative, and new information.  Now that most of us triathletes are in off season, this article seems fitting.  As a coach and trainer myself, these are exactly the suggestions I give to my clients!  So during this off season, get lifting folks!

**I cannot take credit for this article, but agree 100% with these simple and easy rules.

Top Ten Ways to Build Lean Muscle Fast and Efficiently

Forget complicated diets and three-hour gym sessions. Score the sculpted body and toned physique you’ve always wanted by following these better, smarter rules to building lean muscle.

top-ways-to-build-lean-muscle

#1 Eat, Eat, Eat

Working a muscle tears the tissue, it then repairs and grows. Muscles need to be fed in order to allow them to grow. Basically you need to eat big to get big. A good balanced lean muscle building diet will allow you to grow without adding fat at the same time.

#2 Increase the Amount of Protein in Your Diet

Muscle = protein. In order for muscle tissue to repair itself after your weight-training sessions it needs an abundance of protein. Some beginners don’t take enough protein and some more experienced guys take ridiculously extreme amounts of protein. So how much protein is enough to supply those hungry muscles? Another good rule of thumb is to take 1 gram of protein for every pound of total body weight. So a 160 lb man would take around 160 grams of protein per day. My favorite sources of protein include:

*Chicken
 *Steak 
*Seafood (tilapia, tuna, prawns, salmon) 
*Eggs 
*Buffalo *Whey Protein Powder Shakes

#3 Go Heavy

Most people who are trying to build muscle do not use an adequately heavy weight. You should be lifting in the range of 8-12 repetitions per set, performing 3-6 sets per exercise, and using a weight that leads to muscle failure by the end of each set. You should be lifting a weight so heavy that you can’t get more than 12 reps but light enough to allow you to get at least 8 reps. One of the reasons that people exercise with a partner is so that someone is there to help them when the weight gets too heavy to lift with good form. If you don’t have a workout partner, you can simply stop when you get too tired to lift with good form, rest a few seconds, then keep lifting to complete the set. This is a better way to build muscle than using a weight that allows you to comfortably complete a set without reaching muscle failure.

#4 Avoid Too Much Cardio

Cardiovascular work will rob you of muscle gains. Yes if your goal is to lose fat you should do cardio but make sure it is: (a) performed immediately after your weight training (b) a low intensity form of cardio for a maximum of 30 minutes. The reason that too much cardio isn’t desirable when your goal is to build muscle is that too much cardio releases catabolic hormones in the body, breaking down your muscle tissue; obviously this is counter-productive.

#5 Post-Workout

Eat as soon as you can after working out. An intense workout breaks down muscle tissue and depletes stores of muscle glycogen. These need to be replenished rapidly to enhance your recovery and muscle growth. An ideal post-workout meal should include quickly digested carbohydrates and protein. Try blending a banana, whey protein and honey into a shake. The banana and honey provide quick carbs to replenish glycogen, and the protein will accelerate muscle repair. And use skimmed milk, rice milk or water for your shake.

#6 Rest

If you work a muscle too hard, too many days in a row, the muscle fibers will become too damaged to properly repair and grow. To build muscle quickly, you must completely fatigue a muscle group, but then give it time to rest. Typically, a muscle needs at least 72 hours to properly repair from a muscle-building, weight training session. A good rule to follow is to allow for complete absence of soreness in a muscle before working that muscle again. For example, do a shoulder and chest workout on Monday and Thursday, a leg workout on Tuesday and Friday, and a back, arms and abs workout on Wednesday and Saturday.

#7 Recover

While you are resting, be sure to give your body what it needs to properly recover and put the muscles into a state of optimal growth. Activities that can enhance recovery include ice baths or cold showers, compression clothing, massage therapy or foam rolling, stretching, breathing exercises, and adequate sleep.

#8 Drink Plenty of Water

Getting enough water is crucial for peak strength and energy levels; shoot for a gallon of water per day. (Remember you can include your protein shakes towards your daily water intake.) According to research from the September 2008 issue of the “Journal of Applied Physiology,” a powerful testosterone-enhancing supplement is water. The researchers found that inadequate hydration resulted in reduced testosterone response to exercise and increased amounts of cortisol. Cortisol interferes with muscle gain, so limiting cortisol and enhancing testosterone release by drinking water may significantly improve your rate of muscle gain.

#9 Supplementation

Incorporating the right supplements into your fitness program is the best way to burn fat and increase lean muscle tissue. There are many different supplements that promote muscle growth and repair, energy and burning fat, which are key characteristics in effectively increasing and maintaining lean muscle. Some of the most effective supplements to increase lean muscle mass include; whey protein, amino acids, creatine, nitric oxide, beta-alanine and for males Gamma-O natural Testosterone Booster.

#10 De-Stress

High levels of stress can quickly drain testosterone, an anabolic, muscle-building hormone, and increase levels of cortisol, a catabolic, muscle-damaging hormone. If you find yourself at work or school with a constantly high heart rate, moody personality, shallow breaths or high body temperature, it’s likely that you’re too stressed for optimal muscle growth. Teach yourself to relax, breathe deeply and plan out your day to give yourself more time and less stress.

– See more at: http://fitfluential.com/2014/10/top-ten-ways-to-build-lean-muscle-fast-efficiently/#sthash.eoa7tgpd.dpuf

Enrich Your Life, Leave A Legacy

Omaha Breakfast event 9-20 (3)

To all my awesome readers, especially those in the Omaha metro, I will be one of 3 keynote speakers telling my fitness, nutrition, and career story at a very casual breakfast event coming up on Saturday September 20th.  Yes we will be talking business, but with a fun spin:  learn how you can have it all…a family, friends, professional fulfillment, and support building your own business centered around helping others…with the good health to enjoy it all!

I would love to have some of you come learn a little, network, and be surrounded by other like minded individuals.  If you have questions, feel free to shoot me a personal message to hdmdall@hotmail.com.  All the info/details are listed in the blue tab at the top of this post.

Happy Labor Day!

Coach

 

 

Survival of the Fittest: Triple Bypass Ride 2014

Going back to the dead of winter, I am still not quite sure what I was thinking when I clicked the submit button to register for the Triple Bypass.  I had local friends give me lots of training advice from mental cues, do’s and don’ts, how to handle being a flatlander in high altitude, nutrition, where to train locally…All I can say is almost every piece of info went out the window once I  sat down on the saddle.

DAY 1

So let’s skip forward to the trip, you do not need to be bored to death hearing about my long winter on the spinning bike and indoor trainer.  From the get go, I had planned to go with my friend Jim and his wife Kay (she was just tagging along for the trip), my friend Kristen who decided to sign up for the the ride to give her motivation post chemo, and the one’s who talked me into the ride Bob and Stephanie.  Long story short, Bob and Stephanie had to drop kids off along the way to Colorado so we never got to connect, Kristen decided recovery was not going so well so better pass on the ride this year, so the road trip ended up just being Jim, Kay, and little me (literally).

Time to hit the road for the Rockies!

Time to hit the road for the Rockies!

Having fun at the roadside pitstops in the middle of Nebraska.

Having fun at the roadside pitstops in the middle of Nebraska.

The road trip was fun as they always are.  We cruised west on I-80 and once we crossed into Colorado, I knew this ride was for real.  Once we could start seeing hints of snow in the mountains, my mindset started to change a bit.  Kay was nice enough to pull up the ride info on my phone, yeah probably not the reminder I needed to see.

Triple Bypass Day 1 Elevation

Triple Bypass Day 1 Elevation

Once we arrived and got settled we headed up I-70 to Evergreen to pick up our packet and get a feel for the start of the ride.  I fell in love with the town almost immediately, just much more mellow version of Estes.  We played tourists a bit,checking out the lake, downtown, local bar and grill, and hit the bike shop for our race packet.  I about fell over laughing when I opened it up and in very easy to read print, ” First Timer”!!!

Bike, helmet, and wrist sticker!

Bike, helmet, and wrist sticker!

 

 

 

 

DAY 2

We were lucky enough to be staying with some folks the split time between Omaha and Colorado.  I had never met them before, but through the cycling groups, was familiar with their names.  Our one host, Garrett, was nice enough to take us on a ride the day before the big day to get slightly acclimated to the altitude and climbing.  We cruised all over the foothills of Littleton, around Red Rocks, the Manor, and some beautiful residential neighborhoods.  The one thing that surprised both Jim and I was how rude drivers were to cyclists.  For being such an active, healthy area, most drivers did not give us 3 feet when passing, sat on their horns behind us, and just drove erratic.  But this little taste of riding in Colorado at about 6,000 feet of elevation gave me a small taste of what to expect.  My legs felt fine, but the lungs were definitely angry and neck was already acting up.  During the ride  Garrett who lives and trains in Colorado and has done this ride many times gave us lots of advice for Saturday.  The three tips that I listened to were, take it easy on the downhills-don’t get too close to the riders; keep your head up; and do not stop at the first aid station.  Overall the ride was what we all needed.  The rest of the day was spent playing tourist in Boulder, getting the bikes tuned up, carb loading for the big day, and packing a full day’s worth of  riding which was an adventure in itself.

Jim, Kay, Garret, and myself at the Manor.

Jim, Kay, Garret, and myself at the Manor.

Day 3

Alarm went off at 4:15.  Pretty used to that from all the races and events I have done over the years.  First thing I felt when I got up was that the pasta dinner from the night before was probably not the best idea.  Lovely, I knew from the get go that the binding in my gut would be an issue.  We were ready to roll under a full moon and made the drive up to Evergreen.  I had hoped to connect with Bob and Stephanie, since I ride with Stephanie, but could never get through to her :(  Once we parked and unloaded everything we rolled up to the start, hit the bathroom, and boom it was go time.  We started off slow because of the large pack of riders, but it spread out pretty quick, and of course Garrett was already long gone.  Oddly enough, a rider, Tom that I had connected with on Twitter was doing the ride and I had given him info about what I was wearing and to look for a short girl with a tall guy.  A few miles in to the ride and to no surprise, here comes Tom.  It was nice to connect in person with him since over the winter he had given me some good training advice.  He road with us for a while then took off.  And as soon as Tom left the ride started to become more real.  The climb to the top of Juniper Pass (thank goodness it was not Mt. Evans) was about 16 miles and took 2 hours.  Slow and steady climbing is all we did.  The oddest thing for me was to do a seated climb the entire time.  I am so used to standing to sprint up hills.  I told Jim about halfway up the climb that this ride was going to be a survival ride.  There is just no way to train properly for long climbs in high altitude.  So we did survive and made it to the pass where there was an aid station.  We listened to Garrett’s advice and did not really stop.  But I am glad we stopped for 30 seconds to roll back on our arm sleeves.  Nobody ever told me how flippin cold it gets on descents.  That first descent scared the crap out of me.  Tight twisty unexpected turns, crazy cyclists flying 55+ mph without their hands on the brakes, and bitterly cold.  And to top it off, my descents in the midwest are usually no more than 1/4 mile long, try  10+ mile decents.  When we got to the bottom in Idaho Spings I could hardly feel my hands, feet, and neck was an absolute mess.  I tried to use my IMBA Instructor skills on the decent, feathering the brakes with level pedals and butt behind the seat, but that constant grabbing in the drops just beat me up.  After that descent it was time to pop some Aleve, refill my Tailwind, stretch and get back to it.

The next section of the ride was beautiful and pretty relaxing.  We went through some fun mining towns right off of I-70.  We had a great experience in Georgetown getting to ride the trail as the train we going over the bridge.  Hearing that horn blow with the black cloud of smoke was just amazing.  We took a few stops in that area to get some awesome pics.

Photo time in Georgetown

Photo time in Georgetown

We continued climbing and then ended up on the bike path from hell.  I got excited when we went on a smooth and pretty bike path, but like Juniper Pass, the climb kept going and going and going.  Garrett said that climb was about 16 miles long.  If there was a moment I could have thrown in the towel, this would have been the spot.  This evil little trail was my all time low of the day.  My mind went to the bad place, my body shut down, I felt like crap, and was temporarily done.  And the worst part was knowing that we were not even halfway, still had 2 mountain passes, and the day was getting away from us quickly.  But somehow we did survive and then heard the rumbles and saw the big dark cloud.  We got extremely lucky to be at the Loveland Basin and ducked under the interstate just in time for the rain to hit.  We put on our rain gear, checked in with Kay, and once the rain passed we made our way to the aid station to take off our rain gear and prepare ourselves for Loveland Pass.

So Loveland Pass was the most difficult, but also my favorite.  It was the middle of the day, sun was shining bright on us, and this climb was a big one.  When I think of bike rides in the mountains, this pass is what I think of.  Steep, a bit more windy, steep drop offs that make the belly drop and the knees buckle, above the treeline, and even snow.  We did have to stop a few times on this pass to check our heart rate, mentally readjust, and of course take some photos.  My lungs were definitely in overdrive on this pass, but oddly enough, my heart rate was only at about 100.  Jim was working just as hard on this pass and it showed.  But gosh darn it, we did it and made it up to the highest elevation of the day.  If we had time, it would have been fun to play around at the top of the pass.  Lots of back country trails just screaming my name to be ran or ridden.  Will put that idea on my bucket list.

Loveland Pass looking up to the road above.

Loveland Pass looking up to the road above.

 

 

2/3 of the way up Loveland Pass

2/3 of the way up Loveland Pass

Loveland Pass Elevation 11,990

Loveland Pass Elevation 11,990

 

So once we got to the top, once again it was time to head down the mountain.   At least I knew what to expect this time and dressed more properly.  It was just as cold this time, but we were excited to get to the bottom, Kay was meeting us somewhere in Keystone with a Coke for us!  The oddest thing about this decent was the strange boulders laying on the road.  I just figured they rolled there, but Jim said that he looked over and saw some Billy Goats pushing them on the road with their heads.  Very dangerous, but very funny.  Once were rolled into Keystone I was content and zen.  I knew Kay was waiting for us and knew some mountain bike friends from Omaha were up at the top of Keystone racing their hearts out.  It gave me a fresh perspective on the day and seemed to give me a bit of a jumpstart.  My friends on top of Keystone actually got a pick of where we had just come from and it definitely gave me a fresh perspective of this ride.  Wow, those mountains in Colorado are huge!

At the top of Keystone looking towards Loveland Pass.

At the top of Keystone looking towards Loveland Pass and Lake Dillon.

So after the quick visit with Kay it was time to head towards Cooper Mountain and Vail Pass.  Oh goody, another slow climbing bike path.  Not as bad as the first one, but I was done with bike paths.  We took our time and of course survived again.  Cooper Mountain was again a breath of fresh air and knowing Vail was our last climb was a good feeling.  Plus everyone said the Vail climb was pretty and was not as challenging.  Very true, but when you are tired, a mountain pass is a mountain pass.  But we did the climb in preparation for our long 25+ mile descent into Avon.  Once again, I was not warned about this descent.  I was truly scared.  It was on a tight and windy bike trail going the opposite direction of I-70 traffic with no barrier.  I definitely did go slower on this descent, maybe capping at 38 mph, which is still insanely fast on a carbon fiber frame with two skinny tires separating me from the pavement.  But we did do it.  I kept looking at my watch and realized we had taken too much time at the rest areas and for photo opps that we were going to miss the shuttle from Avon to Evergreen.  Thank goodness for Kay, she drove to Avon to wait for us!  It was such a relief to see a familiar face at the finish line screaming our names.  We were beyond done with the ride, but having her at the finish was icing on the cake.

Finish Line in Avon

Finish Line in Avon

The only thing that was disheartening was finishing such a monster ride to find out they ran out medals :(  I had to be very patient, but luckily almost 2 weeks later, the medal arrived in the mail.  I feel like the medal is the finishing touch to this beast of a ride!!!

Triple Bypass Finisher Medal, via USPS

Triple Bypass Finisher Medal, via USPS

 

So in a nutshell, I am crazy enough to have done the Triple Bypass Ride.  Would I do it again, I am not sure, but seeing all the mountains gives me lots of places and events to put on my bucket list.  I at least would know what to expect, but training is an issue in the midwest.  This is an experience I will never forget and feel as a coach, athlete, cyclist, triathlete, and person I have grown physically, mentally, and emotionally.  And I conquered one of the hardest ride in the US!  Thank you to my family, friends, and athlete community for the love, support, and encouragement.

Woman returns to Omaha Triathlon two years after nearly dying there – Live Well Nebraska: Fitness

Woman returns to Omaha Triathlon two years after nearly dying there – Live Well Nebraska: Fitness.

 

I am proud to be able to share this article written about my client who had a near death experience during a race two years ago.  As her coach, it is an honor to have helped her overcome her fear and tackle the same lake that almost took her life!  Read on.

First Open Water Swim for 2014

Folks, last night was the first official open water swim in Omaha, NE hosted by Race Omaha. Not only is it a great test of how winter training has gone, it gives you a chance to test out the wetsuit, acclimate to the water and strange things floating, get used to other swimmers, and just to get out the race jitters. I had not open water swam in over a year thanks to my injury last summer, but hopping in the lake felt awesome. I went in with the mentality that I was going to be a coach rather than an athlete and that is exactly what I was. I stayed with the end of the pack to sweep up the slower swimmers and to make sure they were ok. My main focus was my own triathlon group that I have been training for the past 11 weeks, but I also lent a hand to many other novice open water swimmers. One gal who I have known for a few years posted this on facebook today and felt I should share it:

“First open water swim is half excitement and happy adrenaline and half pure terror. This one was no different. It is ALWAYS a very humbling experience. Fellow Goat Kim Cottingham McSheehy was kind enough to loan me her shorty wetsuit ….it fit perfect on shore. Not constricting, maybe a little loose in spots but not much. I was excited to get in the water. I always start slow and sidestroke to the first buoy to allow my anxiety to pass, heart rate to settle in and breathing to relax. I usually visit with other swimmers until I get warmed up. I did just that and it was nice heading out with Heather Jenneman.

After the initial buoy I felt good, rolled over and began freestyle. Arms felt a little heavy because there was some looseness in the armpit area but not a biggie, I had taken on a bit of water in my suit but didn’t think much of it. Then Heather McCowen Dall swam up and asked if I was ok because I had a huge bubble of fabric on my backside. She was concerned for my safety and that I might take on too much water and have issues further out. Since Heather is a tri coach, I respect her opinion and know she would not mention it unless there was a valid concern……being the safety conscious swimmer I am, I reluctantly turned back toward shore. I knew it was the right choice because as I swam back I noticed more boginess. Damn, thought I had a suit I could fit in.

Did throw in the towel and get dressed? Nope, stripped of the suit and checked if there were any sleeveless exterra demos I could fit in…..nothing my size. Women’s only goes to xl and we all know how that went yesterday. They did however have lava pants……wetsuit pants. Hmmmmm, maybe that’s the answer. I tried an xl and they seemed to fit although the rise seemed a bit low. I like a higher “mom” rise but Heather went out with me while I tried them out. Seemed good at first but went out a bit more and came back they began to work their way down despite a drawstring. When I walked up the ramp I had a good ghetto sag and swimmer crack going! Gonna need to size those babies up to an xxl to go over my apple butt and dough belly. Yeah, it’s a great vision isn’t it? Add my smiley face yellow have a nice day minion swim cap and multicolor goggles and you know I looked HOT. Lol.

Also got back in without any wetsuit and figured I could go without if necessary but I really liked the buoyancy of the lava pants to navigate thru that f’ing mass of yucky seaweed. If anyone has a used pair of wetsuit pants that are a unisex size xl or xxl with a regular rise that I could try that would be awesome! I am glad Angie Boyer Zimmer could use my wetsuit I could not. I loved that suit but it did not love me back. Even though I didn’t get my full loop in, I had a good evening trying out new equipment, including my awesome new TYR polarized goggles from Red Dirt! Next week I will be mentally ready to go the full distance no matter what and hopefully score a well fitting pair of wetsuit pants.” Courtesty of Deb Bahr

I greatly appreciate the shout out from a friend and fellow triathlete.  I say this over and over again to my folks, safety first, especially in the water.  Do not mess with water, ever.  If something feels off, get out and correct it.  I also swam with a client who a few years ago had a near death experience in this exact lake.  She was very nervous last night, but I had her only go to the first buoy, turn around, and repeat.  Once she was comfortable, we went out together further and she was fine.  Some of the nerves are just having confidence in the water, but never underestimate the lake.  Water is and can be very dangerous, safety first.

Myself with Deb!

Myself with Deb!

A good portion of my Prairie Life Fitness Triathlon group before the open water swim!

A good portion of my Prairie Life Fitness Triathlon group before the open water swim!

May is National Running Month

I tend to ignore all the invites I get on facebook. But for some reason yesterday I clicked on one and it was an invite for running one mile per day for the entire month of May to celebrate National Running Month. I clicked yes right away and realized after saying yes, that this is actually a big challenge between work and kids starting summer vacation. But I have a promise to myself to do this. Not only will it keep my legs strong for triathlon season, I can include the whole family and motivate and inspire others. And of course my brain started spinning last night and after a quick email to my boss at the gym, I realized why not stop at me, let’s invite everyone at my gym. So are you up for the challenge run 1 mile per day for the entire month of May???

Here is the form I created for work.  Feel free to do something similar.  Let’s get energized and help make everyone a little healthier!  As my friends at Swiftwick would say, “Do What Moves You”

PLF 1 MILE RUNNING CHALLENGE

Training and Race Day Stress (part 1)

I have been struggling to find the perfect topic to discuss, but no worries, I have came up with the perfect topic to discuss prior to most races. Do any of you struggle with anxiety or stress during training or a race????? I would like to say I don’t but the reality is, we all stress a bit. And this stress can be related to many factors. I want to pr at my race, I hate swimming in open water, I had a bad crash on the bike and do not have the confidence, I have been battling injuries while training-what will happen on race day…

nerves
So how do we handle this stress? Let me highlight a few of the bigger problems so during your training you can work on your stress level to be more confident at the race.
#1 Avoiding burnout from training:
This is a huge problem, but luckily for triathlete’s this is not as big of a problem since you are training for 3 disciplines and hopefully doing some weights and yoga. Best solution to burnout, is to not look at the big picture, but to set daily or weekly goals instead. I have some monster training plans, but refuse to look ahead, one week at a time. I just told a client today who is struggling with some injuries due to overuse, that her body is burning out from the hard training and to take a week off. Yes she grumbled, but she gets it. Even though it may seem like a set back, taking time off will help let the body reset.

#2 Motivation:
Motivation is similar to burnout, but different in that you need to set goals. These goals are the key to staying motivated. When you get off track you need to reassess and adjust accordingly. I oddly enough have more clients that do a large group training than individual training I believe that the large group training is what keeps them motivated. You find those people at similar skill levels and you can push one another. I will let you in on a little trainer secret. When setting race goals, don’t just set a race goal. I always ask clients to write down the race they are training for, a realistic goal, a future/better than normal race day goal, and just had a bad race day goal. When trying to motivate oneself, we need to remind ourselves that not every day is the same. There are a lot of factors in a triathlon from weather, mechanical issues, tough race course, injuries, nutrition problems, etc. So in a nutshell, set goals and throughout your training keep reminding yourself of your goals!

#3 Swim Anxiety:

This is probably the number one issue for triathletes, especially beginner triathletes.  It is almost impossible to replicate an open water swim in a pool which for most of us is where we have been training during the long cold winter month.  Discussing all the tips and drills for open water swimming and how to use a wetsuit is a totally separate article.  If there is one tip I can give, swim a lot.  Become confident with your stroke, swim with people in your lane and get used to getting hit, kicked, jabbed, goggles getting knocked off.  These are some of the more common issues during the swim portion of a race.  Like I said, we cannot mimic a lake when we are in the pool but we can at least get our brains prepared for what is to come.  And as soon as it is warm, get in a lake and practice.  Lakes can be dark, smelly, spooky, strange things floating, fish nibbling, etc. so by getting into a lake many times prior to a race will help you to be prepared race day.  Luckily in Omaha, the Race Omaha series offers open water swim practices which is a great way to get some of the jitters out prior to race day.  I cannot promise that the jitters will be gone race day, but we can eliminate some of the guessing ahead of time.

Hopefully by discussing some of the basic things that lead to stress will help you to identify your individual stressors and ways to help deal with them.  If you have questions, please let me know.  I do not want to call myself an expert by any means, but am experienced as a racer, coach, and race volunteer.  I have experienced all of these at some point during my training and race days.

Part 2 (Focus, confidence, race day anxiety)

 

 

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