303 Beginner Tri Project – I’m Hooked! What’s Next?

by Alison Freeman, D3 Multisport Coach

So you’ve completed your first triathlon, or maybe even your third – congratulations! – and you realize you’ve caught the bug. You’re looking to move from “I did a triathlon” to “I’m a triathlete.” Woohoo!!! Welcome to our awesome, if not just slightly crazy, club. And let me be the first to ask: What’s next for you?

To answer that question, you want to think about what kind of triathlete you’d like to be. In other words: how much time time, energy, and yes, money, are you interested in investing in your new favorite hobby? There is no right or wrong answer to this question. All that matters is what matters to YOU and what works for your life and your lifestyle.

Not sure? Here are three possible answers and the “investment level” that goes along with each of them. You might find that one resonates perfectly, or that you’re somewhere in between two of them. No problem – just cherry pick exactly what you want or need and go from there.

I’m Excited About Triathlon, But I’ve Got A Lot Of Other Stuff On My Plate Too

Cool! That works. You basically just want to keep doing what you’re doing. You can pick one or even a few races to do next season – the great thing about the Denver/Boulder area is that there are TONS of races to pick from, so you can have your favorites that you come back to year after year or try a new race each season.

As for training, if what you did this year worked for you – perfect! – just stick with that. Felt like one leg of the race didn’t go as well as you’d hoped? Consider starting to build endurance in that discipline a few weeks earlier this year. But no need to overthink it.

In terms of gear, no need to break out the wallet unless there was something specific that you really wanted to add to your arsenal. If it worked this year, it’ll work next year too. One fun purchase under $10 is speed laces (elastic laces that stay tied and turn your running shoes into slip-ons) – save time in transition and look like a pro too!

 

I’m So Excited To Get More Serious About Triathlon, But Let’s Not Go Crazy

Cool! That works. There are a bunch of ways to dive in deeper without going totally overboard.

First: race distance. Training and racing at the Olympic-distance (Oly for short) is definitely more “serious” than a sprint. Adding one Oly-distance race into your mix next year is an excellent way to up your game without letting it taking over your life.

Second: the races themselves. At the sprint and Olympic distances, you can easily do three or five races a season. Start looking around and talking to fellow triathletes and mentally bookmark some races for next season. Pick one as your “A” race – the race that’s the most important to you, where you want to perform at your absolute best (likely that Oly we talked about above) – and make that the focus of your season, with the remaining races as fitness benchmarks or just-for-fun races.

 

Third: training. Especially if you’re looking at an Oly, getting a little more structured in your training is a great way to get more serious about triathlon. You can refer to the Training 201 article on “getting fancy” with your training, or for even greater structure consider following a structured training plan. Want to go the DIY route? It takes some time, but Joel Friel’s “The Triathlete’s Training Bible”  will teach you everything you need to know to write your own training plan. Looking for a turn-key solution? There are tons of training plans available for purchase on TrainingPeaks, the go-to training calendar web and mobile app for triathletes.

 

Finally: gear. There’s a lot of fun gear that goes along with triathlon! But you don’t need it all – in general, and certainly not right away. You may want to pick one or two bigger purchases each year, so your investment deepens alongside your involvement in the sport. The biggest option is clearly a triathlon-specific bike, but honestly you are fine on a road bike if you already have one in your stable. I would recommend purchasing a tri kit (outfit you wear on race day that works for swim, bike, and run) if you don’t already have one. Another great upgrade if you don’t already have them (and quick way to get faster and stronger on the bike) is clipless pedals and bike shoes with cleats.

 

Sure, I’m Not Getting Paid To Be A Triathlete, But I Can Pretend, Right?

Cool! That works. And how fun when the sky’s the limit! This level looks a lot like “let’s get more serious, but not go crazy” except you get to keep in the crazy. For race distance, I still recommend doing a season with sprints and Olympic-distance racing before looking at long-course races (half and full Ironman-distance races).

For training, you can do a DIY plan or purchase a training plan (see above), and you can also consider hiring a coach for a more personalized training approach along with guidance on everything from pacing to fueling.

Finally, for gear, I still wouldn’t recommend purchasing every triathlon accessory in the next thirty days, but I do suggest at a minimum having a tri kit, clipless bike pedals and bike shoes with cleats, and a multi-sport GPS training watch. Beyond that, a wetsuit, a smart trainer, and a power meter are all valuable – but not necessary – investments.

Weekend Preview: There’s an Off Road Theme

Triathlon Events

Thursday June 14th

 

Stroke & Stride

Boulder


FREE Women’s Race Clinic with Alison Freeman

Boulder


Saturday June 16th

 

XTERRA Lory

Ft. Collins


Leadville Marathon & Heavy Half

Leadville



Cycling Events

Thursday June 14th

 

BVV Thursday Night Racing

Erie


Ride the Rockies

Breckenridge, Edwards, Steamboat Springs, Grand Lake and Winter Park


USAC Talent ID Road Camp

Golden


USAC Para Road Race & TT National Championships

Augusta, Ga


USAC Masters Road National Championships

Augusta, Ga


Friday June 15th

 

RMRS: Crested Butte

Crested Butte


Ride the Rockies

Breckenridge, Edwards, Steamboat Springs, Grand Lake and Winter Park


USAC Talent ID Road Camp

Golden


USAC Masters Road National Championships

Augusta, Ga


Saturday June 16th

 

7th Annual G’Knight Ride

Longmont

 

The G’Knight Ride is a celebration of cycling, and is meant for cyclists of all ages, sizes, and abilities.  The Ride is a great excuse to dust off that old 10-speed, mountain bike, or cruiser and hop on with 2,000+ other riders on a great evening tour.  The G’Knight Ride helps to fun cycling education and bike refurbishing programs throughout the year by Bicycle Longmont, the area non-profit bike advocacy organization.


Century Experience Ride

Florissant


Denver Century Ride

Denver


Pedaling 4 Parkinson’s

Lone Tree


Bailey HUNDO & HUNDitO

Bailey


MOOTS Colorado Ranch Rally

Steamboat Springs


RMRS: Crested Butte

Crested Butte


USAC Talent ID Road Camp

Golden


USAC Masters Road National Championships

Augusta, Ga


Sunday June 17th

 

Parker Mainstreet Criterium

Parker


Golden Cruisers Fight to End Alzheimer’s Ride

Golden


FIBArk MTB Races

Salida


RMRS: Crested Butte

Crested Butte


USAC Masters Road National Championships

Augusta, Ga

303Beginner Tri Project: Race Day 101

 

by Coach Alison Freeman

You’ve been training for weeks and weeks, and the big day is finally just around the corner! Here are some tips to help with race day … starting a few days ahead of time.

 

One Week Before the Race

– Stay on top of your hydration levels from now all the way until race day.

– Trust your training! You’ve worked hard to prepare for the race, and at this point you’re not going to add any fitness that will benefit you on race day. Resist the urge to squeeze in an extra / long workout and just rest up for race day.

– Check your bike over to ensure that key components – tires, brakes, and shifters in particular – are functioning properly. If you come upon some items in need of repair, or don’t feel comfortable doing the assessment yourself, your local bike shop is typically happy to help! They may need to keep your bike for a day or two, so make sure to head there earlier in the week rather than later.

– Review the USAT Race Day Checklist – download here – and confirm that you have everything you need for race day. If not, now’s the time to go get it!

 

Two Days Before the Race

– Don’t do anything too strenuous – no big hikes, re-landscaping your yard, cleaning out the basement, etc. Just rest!

– Get a good night’s sleep! This night is actually more important than the night before the race.

 

The Day Before the Race

– Stay off your feet and out of the sun as much as possible. Rest, rest, rest!

– If available, pick up your race packet today rather than waiting for race morning. Review everything in the packet and make sure you know what it’s all used for.

– Referencing the USAT Race Day Checklist, pack all your gear for race day – a duffel bag or milk crate works well for packing. If you have them, put your race numbers on your bike, helmet, and t-shirt / race belt. Lay out your clothing for race morning.

– Review the race course and other provided race information, particularly the race start time, swim waves, and when transition will close pre-race.

– Create a schedule for race morning (see below). Prep your breakfast ahead of time.

– Eat some good carbs throughout the day, but eat a moderate sized dinner.

– Pump up your tires.

– Go to sleep early, but don’t panic if you don’t sleep well. That’s normal! And why you got a good night’s sleep two nights before the race.

 

Race Morning

– Eat a nice breakfast, ideally 3 hours before race start: carbs and a little protein is perfect.

– Leave for the race in time to arrive at the race site approximately 90 minutes before race start. Even earlier if you need to search for parking and/or pick up your race packet.

– Park, grab all your gear and your bike, and head to transition. Get body marked – typically: race numbers sharpied on your arms and your USAT age (age as of 12/31) on your calf – as you enter transition (so cool!).

– Find your transition spot based on your race number, and set up transition – all the info on transition can be found here.

– Scope out the transition layout – find swim in, bike out, bike in, and run out (exactly what they sound like!), and locate your transition spot relative to these entry and exit points. For many races, you can mark your bike rack and/or transition spot with a helium balloon or sidewalk chalk.

– Visit the port o’ potty! For real, include this in your race morning timeline – you’ll need to hit the potty, and there’s usually a 10 minute line for them!

– Put on your wetsuit AFTER you’ve hit the port o’ potty. Allow about 15 minutes to get this done, it’s a workout in and of itself.

– If you’re able to get in the water, warm up for 5-15 minutes.

– Plan to be finished with your “race morning routine” 15 minutes before the race start. There is often a pre-race briefing that you’ll want to listen to.

 

Race Execution

THE SWIM

– Place yourself appropriately at the swim start based on your swim ability and comfort in open water. If you’re a strong swimmer, place yourself up front so you have a clear line to the first swim buoy. If you’re more moderately paced or uncomfortable in open water, I recommend an outside corner start location.

– The beginning of the swim usually involves a little contact! Try not to panic – tread water if you’re flustered, and look around for some open water where you can swim cleanly.

– You may start really fast due to excitement and quickly get out of breath. Again, don’t panic! Switch strokes for a bit if that’s helpful, focus on getting your breathing under control, and “just keep swimming.”

– The fastest way to finish the swim is to swim straight! Sight the next swim buoy every 8-10 strokes, and make sure you find the next buoy after completing each turn.

TRANSITION (T1)

– Stay focused and methodical: wetsuit, cap, and goggles off; helmet, sunglasses, shoes, and socks on. Grab your bike and go!

– Remember to place your discarded gear in your transition area. It’s a shared spaced, and fellow participants need room for their stuff too.

BIKE

– Woohoo! You finished the swim. Be proud!

– Remember to take in plenty of water, and potentially some fueling, on the bike. A reminder of hydration and fueling can be found here.

– Stay safe! Cars are present on many bike courses, and fellow participants appreciate a nice “on your left” when being passed.

– Aid stations can get a little congested – signal to your fellow participants if you’re slowing or stopping, and be mindful of others doing the same.

– Thank the volunteers! The race can’t happen without them.

– Save some energy for the run!

TRANSITION (T2)

– Once again, stay focused and methodical: rack your bike; helmet and bike shoes off; run shoes on. Grab your hat (and race belt if you’re using one) and go!

RUN

– Don’t start out too fast! This is one of the most common errors in race execution. Be very mindful of your pace for the first mile.

– Be sure to get some water or sports drink at each aid station.

– Don’t be shy about taking walk breaks if you need them. Aid stations are a great place for that.

– Thank some more volunteers!

– Encourage your fellow participants! You’ll get back twice the positive energy that you put out on the race course.

– And most of all, ENJOY THE FINISHER’S CHUTE! Smile, and celebrate what you’ve accomplished. You earned it!

Tri Coach Tuesday: Get Out the Door, You’ll be Happy You Did

It’s early in the season, but sometimes that motivation just wains.  Coach Alison helps ‘Fire Up Your Motivation’

 

The D3 Triathlon Minute, Episode 107, Fire Up your Motivation from D3 Multisport on Vimeo.

 

FREE Women’s Race Clinic

Boulder

 

LADIES: We’re excited to announce a free race clinic this June to help get you all prepared for the big day! Here’s all the details and a big thank you to Alison Lowry Freeman of D3 Multisport.com and Colorado Multisport for making this happen!

Date: Thursday June 14th, 2018
Time: 6:00pm
Location: Colorado Multisport at Village Shopping Center, 2480 Canyon Blvd M2, Boulder, CO 80302

Topics: Alison Freeman of D3 and our race director will be on hand to cover training tips, nutrition advice, and answer every race and event related question you may have!

Cost: FREE

Who should attend: Everyone, the more the merrier and we promise you’ll leave excited for race day and better prepared for the best possible experience on July 29th!

 

Event details here

303Beginner Tri Project: So You Wanna Do a Tri …

by Alison Freeman

You’ve thought about it, talked about it, hemmed and hawed about it, and you’re ready to dive in. Or maybe you’re still testing the waters, sticking a toe in and seeing how that feels before you make a decision. Either way, you might be wondering: How exactly do I get started on the road to my first triathlon?

 

1. Swim, bike, and run. Just get started – or continue – with each of these activities. You don’t need a plan or a goal or an agenda for any given workout, just do something. ANYTHING. That way when it’s time to think more formally about how much you need to swim, bike, and run to complete a tri you’re not starting from the couch.

 

 

2. Talk to people! Talk to anyone you know who’s ever done a triathlon. Ask them what they like(d) about it, what was hard about it, what they’d do again in a heartbeat, and what they wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. Believe me, there’s nothing triathletes love more than talking about triathlon, and their experiences in particular, so that hard part won’t be getting them started – it’ll be getting them to stop.

While you’re at it, talk to a few people who’ve never done a triathlon. Tell them you’re thinking about doing one, and then enjoy the admiration they send in your direction. They’ll think you’re amazing, and you haven’t even done anything yet!

 

3. Read anything you can get your hands on related to triathlon. Websites (303Triathlon.com, duh), magazines (“Triathlete,” double-duh), books (“Your First Triathlon” by Joel Friel, need I even say it?), and any of the million and one blogs out there about triathlon. In fact, I bet you know someone who does triathlon and has a blog – one in every (insert very small number) of triathletes has one. Or at least publishes race reports. Hell, even I do. Read them all.

 

4. Brush up on the lingo. USAT and IRONMAN’s Time to Tri initiative has published a handy glossary which is a great place to start. That way, when you’re reading all those blogs you’ll understand what they’re talking about.

 

 

5. Once you’ve spent a little time talking and reading and doing, step back and consider what you may want your involvement in the sport to look like. Are you a one-and-done, bucket list triathlete? Totally fine, you’re in great company. Are you a five-races-a-year-till-I-croak triathlete? Also fine, you’re in great company. Somewhere in between? Guess what – you’re in great company.

 

No matter what level of involvement you’re currently considering (I use the word “currently” very deliberately – just like college majors, there’s a reasonably probability that your thinking will change over time), that thinking will inform how invested in the sport you want to be as you get started. I personally was all in from day one, as was evidenced by regular visits from the UPS man, bearing gifts of triathlon gear. But that’s how I roll. If you’re more in the one-and-done or the wait-and-see camp, then you’ll want to start backpedaling immediately when your triathlete friends launch into lists of gear you need in order to take part in the sport. YOU DON’T. But more on that next time …

 

If you, your friend, your sister, your neighbor, or your mom is thinking about doing their first triathlon, keep an eye on 303Triathlon.com for future beginner-focused columns. Also, join the 303 Beginner Facebook Group! The group is for those new to triathlon, and is a place to share encouragement, whining, setbacks, and accomplishments. Coach Alison Freeman of D3 Multisport will be providing training guidance for the races listed above and is available to answer questions and provide guidance along the way.

New Year. New Product. New You. Alison Freeman reviews Footbeat

By Alison Freeman

We’ve all been there: It’s Friday, you’ve just finished a tough bike ride, your legs feel like lead, and your coach / training plan has two more daunting workouts on your calendar before you get a recovery day. My prior solution to this problem was to stare longingly at TrainingPeaks, in hopes that if I blinked my eyes quickly enough the recovery day would magically move up and I could breathe a sigh of relief. Shockingly, despite dozens of attempts, it has never worked.

This is exactly the situation I found myself in when my favorite person ever – the UPS delivery lady – rang my doorbell to deliver my Footbeats. I had high hopes that some quality Footbeat time would help me survive until the long-awaited recovery day, and I’m happy to say that Footbeat did not disappoint.

WHAT IS IT?

Footbeat is a pair of moccasins that house insoles that house a little engine-driven bubble, which compresses your arch which then increases circulation and therefore removes metabolic waste – including lactate, which is also known as: the reason your legs feel like crap. Tiny little engine, big freakin’ deal.

Another way to think about Footbeat is that they’ve taken the recovery benefits associated with sequential compression devices (a.k.a., recovery boots) and stuffed those benefits into a smaller, more portable product. Cool, right?

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

If you’re like me – getting older but convinced you can get faster and beat the pants off your younger self – then you know how important recovery is to your training. Recovery is what allows you to execute your workouts day in and day out and to handle continued increases in weekly training volume and intensity.

As far as recovery products go, Footbeat is your best bet for a cost effective, easy to use, portable recovery solution. You can pop ‘em on for 30 minutes pre-workout, while you drink coffee and catch up on email. And then you can pop ‘em on for 30-60 minutes post-workout, while you download and review your workout details, drink a recovery shake, and answer some more emails. Even more exciting, you can pop ‘em on as soon as you board your flight for your “A” race, wear them the entire time (depending on how long the flight is), and minimize the fatiguing impact of air travel on your legs.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Let me tackle this question in three different ways …

First Question: How does the concept work? As in, how does a little engine-driven bubble in a moccasin promote recovery?

Start with the idea that your circulatory system drives your ability to rebound from tough training days because it delivers products to your muscles that promote repair and recovery. So: increase circulation, speed up recovery.

The question then is, how do you increase circulation? One option is walking – apparently there’s a pump in your foot that stimulates circulation in your legs as you walk. OR you can replicate this exact same foot pump and the corresponding circulatory increase by sitting around and wearing your Footbeats. Hence: sit around and eat bon bons (or maybe a kale salad), speed up recovery.

So, yeah, that’s how the concept works.

Second Question: How does the product work? As in, what buttons do you push to make it go?

It’s actually super simple. You pull out the insoles to charge them using the provided charging cord – a full charge takes about an hour, and you can just leave the insoles on the charger any time you’re not wearing them so they’re always ready to go. When you’re ready for a little Footbeat pre-workout warm up or post-workout recovery, slide the insoles into the moc’s, open up the Footbeat app, (yup, there’s an app for that), and hit “Start.” (You do need to pair the app to your Footbeat before your first use, but that’s just a matter of hitting “Pair” and waiting a few seconds.)

Once you’re going, the bubbles in your arches will inflate every 20 seconds, and all you gotta do is let it happen. They work best when seated, as there’s a little counter-pressure from the floor that helps really stimulate your foot pump. You can get up and walk around if you want to refill your water bottle or grab a snack, and your insoles will note the change in pressure and (usually) stop inflating until you sit back down. (I have noticed that sometimes one foot or the other will think I’m standing when I’m not, and removing all pressure from the bottom of that foot will get it going again.) I’ve even worn my Footbeat while driving to/from workouts, although I’m not sure if that’s totally above board or not.

So, yeah, that’s how the product works.

Final Question: How *well* does the product work?

Often assessing the benefits of a recovery product are tricky, especially if you don’t have sophisticated lab equipment or – even better – a time machine, so you can test your recovery from a given workout both with and without using the product. Footbeat actually has a pretty nifty protocol for testing their product, which both my uber-skeptical husband and I tried out during a 4-hour flight a few days after getting our Footbeats. We each put on only one Footbeat for 30 minutes, then got up and walked around. I’ll be darned if the Footbeat leg didn’t feel noticeably different for both of us – lighter and lacking the obvious fatigue in the non-Footbeat leg.

So, yeah, I’m going to say the product works pretty well.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

You can set yourself up with a pair of Footbeat direct from the company. They offer a 30-day risk-free purchase option, so what’s stopping you?

Holiday Gift Guide: Footbeat, A New Way to Recover

by Alison Freeman

 

If you’re like most of us – getting older but convinced you can get faster and beat the pants off your younger self – then you know how important recovery is to your training. Meet Footbeat: a pair of moccasins that house an insole that houses a little engine-driven bubble, which compresses your arch which then increases circulation and therefore removes metabolic waste – including lactate, which is also known as: the reason your legs feel like crap. Tiny little engine, big freakin’ deal.

 

The best part about Footbeat is how darn convenient the moccasins are to use. Finish up a run or a bike, shower (optional), and pop those things on while you eat a recovery meal, answer emails, do a little work, or analyze the data file from your workout. Plus they’re easy to tuck into a backpack and bring on a plane or long road trips – keep your legs fresh while you’re sitting for hours, and ensure your legs are ready the next day for a major bike ride or the big race of the season.

Friday Freeman Fave: The Rudy Project Boost 01 – Aero Every Day

By Alison Freeman (link to About Us)

When I first stepped into the world of triathlon on my entry-level road bike, I was somewhat taken aback by all the fancy, tri-specific equipment – time trial bikes and disc wheels and, in particular, those long-tailed aero helmets. I thought that normal bikes and normal wheels and normal helmets were for normal people like me, and all that fancy gear was for the fancy people winning the races.

Fast forward almost a decade, and my concept of “normal” has changed considerably. I still consider myself a normal person (as in, not one of the fancy people winning races) but I am now surrounded by lots and lots of fancy, tri-specific equipment. My one hold out has been my helmet – I just haven’t been able to get past the idea that I need to be really, really fast not too look like a massive poser in an aero helmet. My mind may have been changed, however, by the Rudy Project Boost 01 helmet.

WHAT IS IT?

The Boost 01 is Rudy Project’s first ever road aero helmet. Which begs the question, what exactly is a road aero helmet? Like a road helmet, the Boost 01 has a standard profile – no tail – and provides ventilation through 10 strategically placed vents. Like an aero helmet, the Boost 01 has a smooth, mostly solid surface and was crafted in a wind tunnel in order to achieve superior drag reduction. So: the Boost 01 is an aero helmet shaped like a road helmet, a.k.a. a road helmet with aerodynamic properties, a.k.a. an aero helmet that you can wear every day.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

To better understand the wearability and aero properties of the Boost 01, but not having access to or the budget for a wind tunnel, I conducted highly scientific field testing based solely on observation. Observation which is definitely not subject to perception bias, as evidenced by the fact that I definitely thought the Boost 01 was a little heavier than my WindMax when it is, in fact, almost 30 grams lighter.

So while we can acknowledge that my high school physics teacher would not have signed off on my experiment, I still did my best to be as scientific as possible. I rode a rectangular, rolling route on a gorgeous, 65 degree day with a slight breeze that (because: Boulder) was always either a crosswind or a headwind. I tested three different setups: Boost 01 with Optical Shield, Boost 01 with Sintryx sunglasses, and Boost 01 with Stratofly SX sunglasses, and made sure to experience both climbs and descents with each setup.

I started out my ride wearing the Boost 01 with Optical Shield. The shield itself can be popped in and removed easily, but feels snug once it’s in place, and has a hinge so you can flip it up and down (that’s so you can get the helmet on and off while the visor is installed, which I quickly discovered). Having sun protection without wearing glasses was a new experience for me, and I did initially have to resist the urge to push the visor up the bridge of my nose. I also fidgeted a bit with the fit of the helmet to get the proper shield position, but that may be the result of my head being slightly miniature.

I spent a lot of time throughout my ride popping back and forth from my basebars to my aerobars to get a sense of the aerodynamic benefit that I would (or wouldn’t) get from riding aero. With the Optical Shield, I noticed a distinct and sizable difference in wind noise each and every time I dropped into aero. (Holy cow it’s working!) I also noticed the center hinge on the shield disrupting my view each time I popped into aero, and couldn’t decide if this was a big deal or not.

After about 7 miles I swapped the Optical Shield out for the large profile Sintryx sunglasses, and I immediately noticed a smaller visual field relative to the shield – and decided that the minor annoyance of the hinge from the shield was a small price to pay for that wide angle view. I again popped back and forth from basebars to aerobars, this time noticing an occasional but not consistent difference in wind noise between the two positions. At higher speeds there was a lessening of wind noise – and in my mind, drag – in aero, but at lower speeds there seemed to be no difference.

For the final leg of my ride I swapped out the Sintryx for a pair of small profile Stratofly SX sunglasses. At this point I was really jonesing to put that Optical Shield back on, to return to the wide angle view and get the pressure of the sunglasses off my nose, but I stuck with the Stratoflys to complete my testing. I was a little tired of the back and forth between aero and basebars, and when I found no discernible difference between the two I decided to stay in my comfy position and just ride home.

Overall I really like the Boost 01. Based on the fact that cyclists in the opposite direction were waving in response to my wave (and sometimes waving first!), I concluded that I did not look like a giant bozo wearing the helmet. I also appreciated how forgiving the aero profile was – I didn’t notice any crosswind issues while riding or when turning my head to check for traffic, and didn’t feel that I had to hold a specific head position in aero to attain the aero benefits (yes, I did try several head positions!).

What I actually appreciate the most is the fact that I can get that race day pop in speed by saving the Optical Shield for racing only, and wearing my smaller profile sunglasses for every day training rides. So unlike my race wheels, the Boost 01 is an investment in free speed that you can use more than a handful of days each year.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

The Boost 01 is available direct from Rudy Project in a variety of colors, and both with and without the Optical Shield. I highly recommend springing for the shield for race day speed as well as the uber cool vibe.

Women’s Wednesday: Injured Triathlete- Fat, Drunk, and Out of Shape is No Way to Go Through Life

By Alison Freeman

Fat, Drunk, and Out of Shape is No Way to Go Through Life

That’s the line that’s been going through my head almost daily for the past four weeks, ever since my off-season got extended well beyond what I’d intended. (And yes, it’s an Animal House reference.)

I’ll back up by saying that I am a strong believer in the importance of an off-season, on having some time when your focus isn’t on training: When fitting in your workout isn’t the driving force behind how you organize every day. When you have the option to go for a hike or take a yoga class instead of a swim/bike/run workout. When you ease back on the miles and give your muscles and your joints some time to recover.

And that’s why I extended my off-season from the originally planned four weeks to a solid, plenty-of-time-to-get-antsy, eight weeks. I was really enjoying the hiking and the yoga and totally blowing off masters swim and drinking margaritas at lunch. Part of the reason I enjoyed it so much, I think, is because I knew (or rather believed, incorrectly) that it was pretty finite. And then on September 9th I developed a stress reaction in my foot. (How I managed to do that on reduced mileage is a story of total idiocy that I won’t include here. Just chalk it up to my being a moron.)

Suddenly my off-season was extended to … twelve weeks? sixteen? I thought I handled the news pretty well, but looking back on it I was hilariously, quietly, unknowingly, losing my marbles. I figured I was really taking things in stride because I wasn’t making a big deal of the stress reaction. Sure, I couldn’t run for 4-6 weeks, but I could swim and bike and I wasn’t training for anything so really it wasn’t a big deal. People would ask me what was new, and I wouldn’t even tell them about the stress reaction. I mean, when a triathlete doesn’t talk about an injury you know that shit has gotten weird.

So, I can’t run. I am just working out aimlessly, with no goals and no plan and no purpose. Fall is crazy, crazy quiet when you’re a triathlon coach because most of your athletes are in their off-season, so I don’t have much work to do. And since I don’t have a lot of work, and don’t have to be feeling good to tackle some tough workout the next day, I am consuming a glass (or two or three) of wine every night. But if I average out the whole year including my big training weeks where I didn’t drink at all, it’s really totally fine.

Fat, Drunk, and Out of Shape is No Way to Go Through Life.

Clearly it’s time to pull it together: I find a plan on TrainerRoad and start burying myself in some sweet spot bike workouts. I hatch plans for multiple projects: I’m going to write a blog! (Evidence of this effort is obvious.) I’m going to finally organize all my coaching systems and notes into a Filemaker database! (That’s what happens when you were once a management consultant.) I’m at least keeping myself occupied … but something’s still off.

It took me another week to put my finger on it, but then it hit me: I am filling my weeks with coffees and lunches and have absolutely nothing to say during any of them. I don’t even know who I am when I’m not training for something.

Does that statement make me sound totally unhinged? Or at least massively addicted to training? Sure, I’ll own that. But batshit crazy or not, this is where I am. So my off-season now has an official expiration date of Oct 31st. It’s time to pick an Ironman for 2018 and start setting some goals for next year. And then maybe I’ll start to feel normal again.