From Livewell Nebraska
By Kelsey Stewart
When Steve Nabity first took up triathlon training, he didn’t know how to swim, and he didn’t own a road bike.
The 61-year-old has since put six Ironman competitions under his belt. He made it to the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii last year, but a stomach bug hindered his performance. In October, Nabity returned to Hawaii to compete against more than 2,000 athletes in the sport’s iconic event.
Swimming and cycling were the Omaha man’s best options after he sustained a serious waterskiing injury.
Four years ago, Nabity and a group of friends were waterskiing in Tennessee. The then 57-year-old hadn’t been on the water in a few years, but he felt confident. When the boat started moving, Nabity attempted to stand up on his skis.
Instead of gracefully slaloming across the water, Nabity ended up doing the splits. Above the sound of the boat and water, he heard a ripping sound, like a piece of paper being torn.
His friends pulled Nabity from the water. By the time they got back to the dock, Nabity had fainted from the pain. Since they were in rural Tennessee, it took over an hour for an ambulance to arrive. When it did, paramedics decided to have Nabity life-flighted to the nearest hospital.
Doctors didn’t realize the scope of the injury until Nabity returned to Omaha. He had torn all three hamstring tendons off the bone of his right leg.
After surgery, Nabity spent six weeks in a brace. Unable to bend his legs, he spent his time either standing or resting flat on a recliner. He graduated to walking carefully. Leg and hamstring lifts during physical therapy helped rebuild his strength. Doctors encouraged Nabity to pick up low-impact exercises such as swimming and bicycling. “Those are for wimps,” he told them.
But when Nabity, CEO of Accu- Quilt, cheered on his son during an Ironman race in Idaho, it set things in motion.
His goal: make it to the race series’ marquee event in Kona, Hawaii, before he turned 80. The full-distance race consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run.
“You never know what’s going to happen on your path or your journey,” Nabity said. “This probably is not the way I would have started out with Ironman. You’re doing life and a curve ball happens. All you can do is control your effort.”
Read the full story
D3 Triathlon Minute, by Coach Brad
by D3 Multisport Mental Skills Coach, Will Murray
Triathletes invest in their sport time, effort, emotion, and funds. You invest in running and cycling shoes, a bike, swim goggles and a wetsuit for starters. Then you may shell out for a Garmin device, a lactic threshold test and a blood test to check for micronutrients and balanced physiology.
Some athletes believe that their absolutely most important investment is in a smart, competent, experienced and supportive coach, who writes your training plan, provides race advice, works through your emerging issues, keeps you injury-free and has your back.
Sometimes, as an athlete, you might have doubts whether if it’s worth all this investment. Or, more truly, have doubts that you are worth the investment. This doubt can be temporary. You have one disappointing track session, but the next day your tempo run goes fine, and the doubt shrinks in the rearview mirror. But sometimes these doubts are more deep and stubborn.
Masters swimming: “Oh, I don’t swim well enough to take up lane space from the real swimmers.” Group runs: “Oh, they don’t want somebody like me slowing things down.” Group rides: “What if I get dropped?” A coach: “A coach, for me? I’m nobody. I’m not the kind of person who deserves a coach. I’m not good enough.”
If any of these prickly little phrases sounds familiar, don’t fret. There are answers.
The technique below requires work. You actually must do the steps, as though you were with your coach and she is expecting you to carry out the instructions. When you are doing a swim workout, you actually must swim and not just read about swimming—you follow the coach’s direction. To get ready to do the next steps, round up a pencil and paper (not optional). Take your time. I’ll wait until you are ready. Now? Okay, let’s go.
Step 1. Articulate your goals and reasons for doing triathlon.
You may be striving for a healthy lifestyle and general fitness. If you have aspirations beyond this, such as finishing a longer distance race, achieving a personal record or qualifying for a championship race, having a clear, written goal statement is indispensable. You already know the trick—write your goal statement (e.g. qualify for USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals) on a piece of paper and stick it to your refrigerator or your bathroom mirror.
Step 2. Ask yourself, in the privacy of your own mind, “Am I worthy enough to pursue that goal?”
Notice carefully any response you get. If no response, wait a few moments, then ask, quietly, the question again.
Step 3. Notice whose voice is answering the question.
Carefully listen, not so much to the answer, but to the voice providing the response. Is it your voice? Or someone else’s voice? Or a blend, a small chorus of different voices? Notice carefully who does this sound like? When you have a clear sense of who is answering your question go to the next step.
Step 4a. If the voice is someone else’s ask, “What is your positive intention for me?”
Wait for a response. If the response makes sense to you, great. If not, ask, “What is important about that?” Wait for an answer. Keep asking this same question, “What is important about that?” until you get an answer that makes sense to you. Thank the voice each time you get a response. Go to Step 6.
Step 4b. If the responding voice is your voice ask “What is your positive intention for me?”
Wait for a response. If the response makes sense to you, great. If not, ask, “What is important about that?” Wait for an answer. Keep asking this same question, “What is important about that?” until you get an answer that makes sense to you. Thank the voice each time you get a response.
Step 5. Ask the responding voice, “How old are you?” and notice the response.
If the responding voice is younger than your present chronological age, ask this (exactly as stated here): “Without giving anything up, and while keeping everything you have, would you like to gain all the experience and wisdom available to you to advance to [your current age] or beyond?” If the response is positive, allow the part to grow up to your current age and ask it to tell you when it is done.
Step 6. Imagine your next big event.
This could be a key workout session, a race, or even that masters swim that you have been putting off. See yourself, over there, performing exactly as you wish you would. Start a color movie at the beginning and run it to the end of this event. Make this image run perfectly, as you are the director and you can have the image run exactly to your desires.
If the image runs well, run it again in fast motion so that it takes five or ten seconds total.
Step 7. Return to the responding voice in Step 4 and ask, “Do you have any objection to having the image run that way?”
If there are no objections, your work is finished. If you receive objections, repeat Step 4.
The way you make progress toward your goals is to stretch and pursue improvements. The way you pursue is to recognize the worth in the pursuit, and the worth in you. The way you do that is to act as if you are worth it, that you truly do deserve it, and then go do what a deserving person would do.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Who am I not?’” Marianne Williamson
Original post on D3Multisport.com here
Here are coaching options. 303Triathlon Coaching Directory
As the new year approaches we get a lot of requests for coaching. For those who are new to the sport or who have never had a coach, I thought I’d write up some ideas on what you should look for.
Obviously, one effective way to stay motivated and to develop a solid training plan is to have a coach. A coach will help design your training plan and hold you accountable for your workouts. All of the Olympic Medalists have coaches, as do the top pro triathletes. Is it just a coincidence that they all have coaches? Of course not, they need guidance, support, and direction. They want to know when to go hard, when to go easy and when to take time off. Having a coach benefits them greatly. Why should age group triathletes be any different?
I hear many triathletes say, “I don’t want someone telling me what to do” or “What if I don’t like the workouts?” or “What if we don’t get along?”
These are important questions to ask as you interview your coach. Each coach has his/her own style, his/her own philosophy and motivational techniques. You communicate with your coach, which workouts you like, which workouts you don’t like. You explain to them your time constraints and goals. It’s their job to take all the pieces of the puzzle and make them fit together. Instead of blowing off that important bike workout because you made another commitment, your coach should re-adjust your schedule so you won’t miss the important workouts. Your coach will know what workouts to emphasize, when to push you, when to back you off. You should be able to build a good rapport with your coach. He/She should be trusted and come with a solid endorsement from other triathletes. Make sure your coach isn’t just churning out programs to athletes of all abilities. You want your program to be tailored to you.
What you should look for in a coach:
Q: Is he/she accessible? Do they answer their own voicemail and or email will you get a prompt reply?
A: You don’t want to wait three days to hear back from a coach when your question needs to be answered immediately. Find someone who is personally accessible.
Q: Does he/she have solid credentials; do other triathletes speak highly of their program?
A: Ask how long the coach has been coaching. Always ask for references or proof of certification. You want to know that the program is going to work for you and ask for a sample program to get a feel for the coach’s training philosophy.
Q: Should I do some comparison-shopping?
A:You wouldn’t just go right out and buy any car would you? You would look for the best price, color, the best fit, etc. The same thing goes with shopping for a coach. Find out what works for you. As long as you are paying for it, you might as well get what you want. Not all coach’s fit all athletes. That is a mistake some athletes make. Just because it worked for your friend, doesn’t mean the same coach will work for you.
Q: Find out how you are to receive the workouts.
A: Do they come monthly, weekly, via email, fax etc.
Q: Does the coach provide one level for everyone or are there different levels?
A: You want to make sure the 150 lb athlete gets a different program than the 220 lb triathlete and that the the 15-hour Ironman gets a different program than the 11-hour Ironman.
Q: What if I get sick or even worse, injured? What if my job sends me on an unexpected business trip and I miss an important workout?
A: Ask the coach how she/he will adjust your training bases on changes to your personal schedule and help you adjust these changes within your goals.
Here are some benefits a coach should provide:
Structure. Your program should fit your specific needs. From long easy runs, to gut busting hill climbs to recovery runs and days on the couch. Your program should cover all areas of training.
Motivation. So what if you have a bad training day and your motivation to train is nil? Your coach should provide you the motivation to get you back out the door the next day.
Success. Yes, success. Your plan should help you meet your goals. As long as you follow the prescribed plan the program should work for you. If it doesn’t, sit down with the coach and ask questions, lots of them. You are paying for his or her help, so you should get answers.
Of course we think that we have a pretty good coaching company right here at D3 Multisport, but we know that athletes choose us over other companies due to more than just whom we know, whom we’ve coached or how many athletes have gone to Kona. We maintain long term relationships with our athletes and on top of that everyone keeps getting faster.
In summary, do your research, ask questions and select the right coach for you. Follow the plan. Don’t expect it to work if you keep adjusting the schedule or if you keep skipping your long bike rides. You need to work with the plan that you and your coach have designed. I hope you find a coach that fits your needs, do the workouts given to you and go faster next year! You may not win Ironman, but you can have your best year ever!
Original article here
by Alison Freeman, D3 Multisport
You made it through another (or your first!) triathlon season. You’ve accomplished some goals, you’ve learned a thing or two (or twenty) about the sport, and you’re starting to look to the year ahead. This is a great time to do a head-to-toe, end-to-end assessment of some different things you can improve upon, or that you should tend to, in 2017.
Approach the list below the way an auto mechanic would approach a 20-point inspection: everything should be reviewed, but not everything will be fixed today. Identify those items that need to be addressed so they don’t cause near-term issues and/or those items that provide the greatest opportunity for improvement in the coming year. Don’t feel like you need to fix everything all at once – save some items for 2018!
Training & Racing Assessment
1. Review 2016 training and racing – what worked? What didn’t? What did you achieve?
2. Outline 2017 race calendar and set race goals
3. Identify changes in training – volume and/or intensity, overall and/or for specific disciplines – that will be necessary to achieve your goals
1. Is your bike due for maintenance? Not sure? Check here
2. Are your run shoes worn out? Rule of thumb: 250 miles for lightweight shoes, up to 400 for more durable shoes like Newton’s or Hoka’s.
3. Don’t know your mileage? If it’s been more than 6 months since you bought the ones you’re in, you probably need a new pair.
Physiological Assessment (especially if you are injury-prone!)
1. Consider an overall physical therapy assessment to identify muscular weakness or imbalances that can be addressed through targeted exercises and strength training.
2. Has your progress in the pool plateaued? Consider a swim stroke analysis to improve your technique – it will provide gains where fitness cannot.
3. Do you have consistent hip/knee/back/shoulder pain on the bike? Time for a new bike fit!
4. If you routinely find yourself sidelined by injury as you build up running miles, consider a gait assessment to identify where you’re going wrong.
Now that your inspection is complete, make the investment in your self and your season. Take the time to follow through with what you learned and set yourself up for a solid season of training and racing in 2017!
Original 12/2016 article posting here
In 2001, after I finished my first ironman triathlon, I wanted to qualify for the World Championships in Kona. I started watching it on TV every year and although it seemed like it would never be within my reach, I still secretly hoped that one day with enough dedication, persistence, consistency, and hard work, I could one day race in Kona.
Over the next 12 years, I did 10 ironman distance triathlons and typically placed between 20th and 40th in my age group. This was far from the place I needed to qualify for Kona, but I kept working toward my big dream of racing on the big island.
In 2013 when they announced a new ironman in Tahoe that was high altitude, hilly, and hard, I decided I was going to put everything I had into training and go for it! On July 1, 2013 I moved to Tahoe for the next 12 weeks to train on the course every single day.
Race day came, I placed third in my age group, which earned me a spot to the 2014 World Championships.
I had a hard race that year in Kona, mostly because I felt like I didn’t deserve to be there. I felt like it was a fluke that I even qualified in the first place because almost half the girls in my age group in Tahoe DNF’d from the cold and harsh conditions. I left Kona feeling defeated and I swore I would never do that race again!
But then two years ago I decided I wanted to try to qualify one more time. To be honest, it was mostly to prove to myself that I could. I made a two year goal to qualify at the 2017 Boulder Ironman.
I was aging up in 2017, so the first year I did Boulder in 2016 was just to see how the course was, how I placed, and to see what I needed to work on for 2017. That year I PR’d by over an hour and placed fifth in my age group This gave me the confidence to go for it in 2017.
Race day came, I ended up winning my age group, earning a spot to Kona, and here I am!!
I feel worthy, I feel deserving, I feel strong and fast and ready to have the best race that I can possibly have this year.
My goal this year is to have fun, to finish the race feeling like I truly gave it all I had, and to know that I deserve to be an athlete in the World Championships Ironman race.
I always seem to be bringing up the rear these days, with never enough time to get it all done. I took up triathlons in 2014 when I joined my husband and friend on a “pinky swear” to sign-up for IRONMAN Boulder’s inaugural year (2014). Probably not one of the smarter things I have done because I was completely blind to what a challenge it would be. Don’t get me wrong, I knew all about IRONMAN, I just had never actually swam, biked or ran for anything. In my “dreams” I was always very fast and usually always won, but as I started training reality kicked in and I realized I just might be in over my head (this was no dream)! To make the commitment more meaningful, I decided to race for a cause through the IRONMAN Foundation. Well, I did race IRONMAN Boulder 2014, but I was far from first. In fact, I was second to last in crossing the finish line and hearing Mike Reilly call out “Kristine Reinhardt, you are an IRONMAN!” I had finished with 66 seconds to spare before a DNF! My coach at the time was, Tim Hola, and I remember him saying “you sure did cut it close.”
Well, I couldn’t have IM Boulder be my one and done. I unsuccessfully tried IRONMAN Cabo in 2015 and missed a bike cutoff. In 2016, I decided I would give IMAZ a try but under the IRONMAN Foundation flag. I really believe that racing for a cause was my calling. I started the year with contacting all my friends and family and encouraging them to give to a great cause while I raced as a back of the pack triathlete trying to make a difference. However, 2016 didn’t go as planned. The spring found me battling skin cancer and recovering from surgery and in the fall, my business partner of 27 years had a brain aneurism (he passed away this year). I never made it to the starting line of IMAZ! However, I was not deterred from finishing the task at hand – to raise money for the IRONMAN Foundation. In November I was notified that I was close to being the top fundraiser for the Foundation. Well, that is all it took. I spent two months contacting people every day selling them on why they should donate to IMF. As it turns out, I ended up being the #1 fundraiser for the Foundation in the Americas, which resulted in a slot to Kona! Unbelievable!
I have spent 2017 working with an amazing coach, Alison Freeman, from D3 Multisport. I have the best support system anyone could ask for in my incredible husband and 5 kids! We will be making the journey to Hawaii as a family and Alison. Crossing the finish line in Kona will prove that Anything is Possible!
Read the D3Multisport team highlight HERE
Kona’s oldest female competitor this year is swimming in a fountain of youth
Among those getting the senior citizen discount, most say old age began in their 60s. But don’t tell 72-year-old Cheryl Weill that. 60? That’s when she learned how to swim.
“I first became aware of Ironman in the 1980s,” Weill reflects, “but at the time I was busy with my career in neuroscience. I didn’t get serious about triathlon until 2004.”
Weill, who had been a runner and cyclist since her college days, decided to use her newfound free time in retirement to finally indulge her multisport interests. “A friend I met cycling encouraged me to give it a try. All I had to do was become a swimmer, so at 60 years of age, I started swimming.”
Weill jumped into the pool and discovered a fountain of youth. She gets a lot of energy from the people who surround her: As one can imagine, there aren’t too many other 70-year-old triathletes training with her. “I train with a local Masters swim group,” says Weill, who lives in Fort Collins, Colo. “My partner also does triathlons, and sometimes I can train with her, but she is 55 and faster than me.”
Some might assume her age also offers an advantage in Kona qualifying. After all, she was the only person in her age group at Ironman Maryland in 2016, automatically earning a Kona spot simply for finishing. But that only distracts from her 13:59:02 finishing time, a respectable performance at any age.
Reposted from triathlete.com
Started in triathlon 21 years ago with my first Ironman race, IM Canada, Penticton. Swore I’d never do another after the race but got a spot to Kona at the roll down and the rest is history. Just finished my 30th Ironman race in Santa Rosa this year after having done Ironman Texas and Ironman Brazil earlier this year. This will be my 13th Kona, as always going in with just time goals, placement is secondary. I’ve enjoyed 2 age group wins and 3 2nd place finishes so now it is to see what the day brings. No guarantees for any race, so much has to go right on any given day.
I plan to continue in the sport for the foreseeable future, at least until I’m 70 which is getting pretty close. Have an ambitious plan to race Ironman Hamburg , Ironman Copenhagen and Ironman Vichy next year, and yes that is 3 Ironman races in 3 weeks. I have done most of the domestic races so now look forward to destinations and travel.
This sport has taken on new meaning as my daughter (and partner) are also racing Ironman. We did IM boulder and IM Cozumel last year. At Boulder we were in the youngest and oldest categories. Great fun.
I was lucky in the gene department. My father was an avid swimmer, a below the knee amputee and huge inspiration. Mother skied in her youth, not too common back in the 1930’s. My grandfather was a top Cricket player and my Great Great Uncle designed the first bicycle gear. I established that I was a good athlete in HS playing Rugby, winning the schools Track and Field Championship more than once and representing Ireland at the Junior World Fencing Championship. Then I got lazy, or putting it in a better spin, got busy with a career after coming to NY to University.
When I met my future wife Ingrid, I was flying. On our first date I took her to dinner in the Catskills by plane. Flying gradually was overtaken by sailing and I conned Ingrid into quitting her job and spending a year sailing down the East Coast and wintering in the Bahamas. During that trip I got back into a routine of running, a great way to check out all the towns and islands we visited.
At 45, I mentally plotted the trend line of by body weight and did not like what I saw, 200lb+ was in the offing despite reasonably consistent running. We found ourselves with a pool in our condo complex when we returned to land living and my new boss had a bike for sale. Dave and Mark had their War and I got interested. I finished 4th in my AG in my first Tri, Seacrest Oyster Bay Tri on Long Island, with I think the fastest bike split, certainly the top 2. I was hooked, that was ’91.
During the first few years I stuck with sprints then I learned that the ITU Worlds would be in Perth in 1997. Visiting Oz was a very early bucket list item for me. Racing at Nationals in ’97 I learned humility, I only just made the team. After that the sport had me hooked, and reeled in. I was on team USA for the next three years racing in Lausanne, Canada and once more in Perth. Then my work career changed and I was working from home. IronMan was no longer an insane idea.
When I coach now, I try hard to convince my athletes that several years of racing sprints and olympic distance is the best approach to preparing for an IM. It worked for me, I qualified for Koan my first go in Lake Placid in ’01. 9/11 had just happened and that whole experience in Kona was one I will not forget. What was most incredible was when Tim DeBoom won it seemed like everyone there was an American. Perhaps Madame Pele was expressing her anger at us Humans for 9/11, she served up the worst wind conditions ever, 55mph gusts, it is still the worst day.
Luck is part of the equation of getting to Kona, it certainly is part of my story. A big part of that luck is having Ingrid at my back. Until recently, there were a lot of US athletes much faster than I but I managed to pick races were they had chosen not to go. As a result, I have qualified every year since 2001 when I wanted to go, 13 times now. Sadly, some of those great athletes are no longer with us. Steve Smith will be one I will always remember, fought cancer just as hard as he raced, he has many world titles.
We retired to Colorado in 2005, it was Ingrid’s suggestion but I had no problem with that. I met my head coach Mike Ricci, D3 Multisport, shortly after arriving along with Barry Siff. I could not have fallen into better company, that lead to coaching sessions with Bobby McGee and help from many new friends. With all this help and encouragement I moved from finishing in the upper teens to striking distance of a podium finish in 2006.
In 2009, my bike failed me and I road a borrowed bike getting to T2 at 5:15 and was the last person to leave T2. It will always be the best race of my life, I ran down Alii with super start Lou Hollander, then I think 79. Lou retired two years ago after trying to finish at 86. The rest of the night was rather like being at the finish line at Midnight but for 5 hours and I got to talk with these amazing people for who finishing was truly the only goal. Aging up is great, at 65 I finished third in Kona, and second at 66. Hitting 70 last year I took second. I am dreaming of big things again this October 14
WRITTEN BY: WILL MURRAY
Shared with permission from D3 Multisport
You look around and see all these superior athletes surrounding you. At the pool, you notice ripped swimmers as they saunter across the deck, slip into the water and motor back and forth at speeds such that you can’t imagine how they are doing that. On the bike, you are tooling along at a crisp pace, and some other cyclist eases by, seemingly without effort, gives you a little nod, and turns into a steadily decreasing shape until becoming a tiny dot disappearing over the horizon. During your run, same thing: you get passed by a couple of young women who are having an in-depth conversation about their physics exam or some term paper coming up.
But the conversation you are having with yourself is not about what they are talking about. You are asking yourself one question that, at that moment, seems like the most important thing of all: “Do I even belong here?” The conversation with yourself continues: “Everybody around here is fast, and they look so fit and they have really nice kits and fancy bikes and the latest swim equipment. I’m just a normal person. I don’t fit in. I don’t belong here.”
And maybe you are right, but it doesn’t matter and here’s why. You are not here for them. You are here for you. Here are three steps for transforming this doubt that you belong, into something useful and powerful and even motivating.
Step 1. Revisit and write down (yes on paper with a pencil or your favorite pen) your reasons for doing your sport. Your reasons and drives for training and racing may be about maintaining your fitness and health, or your body shape. It may be to relieve the tensions of normal life. It may be to knock off a life goal, check off a bucket list item or just see whether you can actually do this. Or it may be to win your age group, to grab a personal record or qualify for some championship race. Whatever the reasons, as many as they are, as big or tiny as they might seem, write them down (all of them) and take a look at them. This isn’t about all those other people, those swimmers and cyclists and runners. This is for you, and they don’t really figure into all this.
Step 2. Pay attention to the actual actions of those around you. When you pay close attention to all these seal-sleek swimmers and speedy cyclists and fluid runners, how do they treat you? You might be tempted to evaluate what you think they think of you, rather than what they are actually doing. When you look for it, you may notice that they are actually behaving toward you in a very supportive way. Notice the little looks of approval, the “nice-work” statements, the little acknowledgements that you are out there training and racing. That you are one of them, that they acknowledge you.
Step 3. Acknowledge other athletes. You could wait around hoping someone will give you a thumbs-up, or a knowing nod or a “good job.” Or… you could initiate those things. See another athlete on a run or a ride or at the pool? Give a little nod of approval. Encounter another triathlete at the gym (yes, you can tell who they are)? Tell them, “Nice work.” Be genuine, be brief. But instigate the continuing culture or letting everyone know that everyone belongs.
There will be strange responses, no doubt. Some athletes are shy. Some are absorbed in their training session and don’t even see you. No problem. You belong, and so do all the other athletes. Help create the culture of belonging. Because you do. We all do.
Mental Skills Expert Will Murray often hears triathletes saying that the sport is at least 50% mental and 50% physical, but I’ve come to notice that they spend very little (if any) time doing mental training. Fortunately, it’s easy and fast to train-up your mind to help you achieve your triathlon goals. I’ve been lucky enough to bring these mental conditioning techniques to first-time athletes and Olympians, kids and seniors, triathletes who want to finish the race and those who are gunning to win.