mtb-sunrise

In the eight years since I started my coaching business, it has been such a privilege and joy to share the journey of so many athletic challenges with my clients.

This post is to share the news with you, however, that I have decided to close the doors on my business.

There are several reasons for this, but most insurmountable is that for this kind of service business to really sing, it is necessary to commit many evenings and weekends to in-person sessions.

Unfortunately, this creates an ongoing conflict with my husband’s work schedule, which he cannot change to match mine. And as those of you who hang out with us know, Fraser and I really like to spend time together! 🙂 Our thriving and happy marriage is a treasured gift, and I am determined to keep it that way.

When contemplating this decision, one concern I had was wanting to see the cycling studio above Reser Bicycle be able to carry forward its successful first season.

So I am very happy to share with you that Jules Collins (jules@reserbicycle.com) is going to be taking the reins of the studio and will be offering some great programs and workouts starting later this fall!

I will be helping Jules learn the ropes with the Wahoo KICKR setup, so you can look forward to this as a great training resource again this fall and winter. And maybe I will even be able to lead some workouts here and there. 🙂

In addition, Jules will be developing some strength training offerings to support this important piece of your health and fitness.

For those of you who have a balance of workout passes remaining on your account, I will be sending a separate email in the next couple weeks that will explain more details about your options. I have very much appreciated your vote of confidence in the cycling studio, so I do not want to leave anyone high and dry. You will be able to either request a monetary refund of your remaining balance, or you can transfer your remaining passes to Jules and continue on with some awesome training in the studio!

Although it is with some sadness that I am closing down my business, the good news is that I will always be involved in endurance sports, just now in a different way.

I am looking forward to seeing many of you again on the road and trail, as we strive together in sport and life.

All the best,
Kathy

 

sunset-over-versailles

We call ourselves “endurance” athletes, which brings some baggage to the show, doesn’t it?

We endure. We overcome. We suffer. We triumph against great odds. We are tougher than that alarm clock ringing at 5:00am on Monday mornings.

Built into the name of our sport are some pretty heavy expectations.

So… I’ve been wondering…

When you are out on a run and are suddenly swept up in inexplicable happiness, does this workout still qualify you as an “endurance” athlete?

How about when you hit a skill just right, maybe you carve a switchback on the mountain bike with a satisfying, perfect oneness, and you feel like a delighted little kid again? Does that count?

Or how about those perfect moments when your body and time just seem to disappear, and you feel like you are made of wind and sunshine? How about then?

Are you still “enduring”, you joyful, badass force of nature?

So much of our culture, and I suspect, how we think of the sport ourselves, is really stuck on this term, “endurance”.

Think “fun”, and images of an Ironman are definitely not the first to come to mind. But “competitive” and “disciplined”? Right on, get ready for the sweat, the grit, the wear and tear.

And I understand this; once you have pushed through hard times, once you have savored victories that did not come easily… there is a temptation to reject the “fun” aspect because it seems too frivolous.

But I would suggest that by rejecting the fun, we do our beloved sports a disservice.

The joy and the zen force are not sitting there at the front end. They are what you get after pushing through, the built-in reward. They are the view from the top, savored after layering moment after moment of determination under your soul. They are the glowing core of a strong body, mind and spirit.

So don’t stop yourself from telling people you had fun. As long as we are alive, really, we all have things we must endure. But to endure and also be brought great joy? That is what you have earned. Share it!

 

Getting set up for race day

Hey tri- and duathletes! Is 2015 your first or second year of racing multisport? Do you have a lot of questions about transitions?

Athlete Inside has created a workshop just for you!

Enjoy your race day being smooth, fast and efficient!

More details at: http://athlete-inside.com/coachingservices/programs.html

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Spring weather and longer days upon us again! Hopefully all of you are enjoying time outside and are reaping the rewards of the training you did over the winter.

In case you haven’t checked out our studio schedule recently, I wanted to share a couple quick updates:

i) This Friday (03/20 @ 6:00pm) we are offering the bike-yoga combo special again! This workout gives you a 45 min jaunt on the bike (in the studio) followed by 45 min of yoga (led by certified yoga instructor Katy Drinkhouse).

We got a lot of positive feedback from the group that attended our first “BYC” session in February, so I am glad that Katy is available again this Friday! Sign up here!

ii) Our current rotation of workouts will continue through April 2. I am working on getting website updates and other behind-the-scenes projects done in the next week or so, and then I will be sending out information on our spring/summer programming.

As a sneak preview, we will pare down our studio rides and focus our smaller number of workouts on the types of sessions that are hardest to train on the road (e.g. longer intervals near threshold …ahem, triathletes and TT’ers).

We will also begin to offer a bike-run brick workout at least once per week (that’s YOU, tri- and duathletes), provide a series of “training + workshop” with topics geared toward beginner riders, and we will finally roll out some strength training!

Oh, and on evenings where there are thunderstorms in the forecast, be sure to check our online schedule, because I will be aiming to provide fill-in workouts on days when it is not such a great idea to ride outside (possible, of course, but not necessarily very safe or productive).

In the meantime, between now and April 2, I would love to see you join us at the studio! As I have started to do more riding outside again these past couple weeks, I have been incredibly pleased with how strong and comfortable I feel on the bike, thanks to the studio rides over the winter. Best start to the spring riding season ever!

And I have been hearing similar comments from our other regular riders too. Absolutely part of the joy of biking is riding outside, but another part of that joy is being able to ride strong. The studio rides are hands-down the most time-effective method for putting quality into your workouts, and you just might be surprised how much fun they are too. 🙂

Current full schedule information and registration are always available at our scheduling site. Check it out!

If you haven’t joined us at the cycling studio yet, remember, your first ride is always free!

The past few weeks I have been hearing comments from people about “suffering” on their indoor trainer.

Well… over here at Athlete Inside we have been redefining just what it means to train indoors.

How would you like to improve your strength, skill, muscular endurance and power, while ALSO HAVING A GREAT TIME? Love your bike!

Our 1.5 hour workouts will fly by, and at the same time give you the training impact of what would typically take you 2 to 2.5 hours to accomplish on the road.

Stop suffering and give us a chance to show you what this is all about!

Monday – Thursday at 6:30pm, Saturday workouts at 9:00am, and Sunday workouts at 1:00pm. Sign up and pricing information here: https://athlete-inside.frontdeskhq.com/schedule

First ride is always free!

We had to close the cycling studio on Mon/Wed (open Thurs) this week because of the snow. So here’s a special session to catch up! Get your bike fix AND an awesome Friday-night yoga wind down.

Bike-Yoga Combo: 60 min on the bike followed by 30 min of yoga. Featuring Katy Drinkhouse!

https://athlete-inside.frontdeskhq.com/group_classes/51374
— Friday, February 20 @ 6pm. Minimum of 4 people. —

Can you get away from work extra early? Here’s a plan: hit the SORTA Public Meeting on the Oasis Trail @ 4pm, then enjoy some bike-yoga awesomeness with us @ 6pm!

Our regular morning ride time of 9:00am on Saturday has already filled up! It is awesome to know that so many of you are determined to get in a good quality ride despite the cold weather.

Given the demand for this weekend, I have opened up another ride time for THIS Saturday only (02/14) at 11:00am.

I will watch the signups closely; if we get at least four people signed up at this additional time slot, then the class will proceed. If we do not get at least four people registered, then I will send out a cancellation notice by 9:00am on Saturday morning.

If you have not already been to the studio, remember, your first ride is always free!

Click here to sign up!

On Saturday. Jan. 3, we enjoyed a fully booked workout at 9:00am. Yay! However, despite survey results showing Sunday mornings as also being good for people, we are not getting signups for that time slot. So… going forward, our Sunday workouts will be at 1:00 pm. Come join us! The full schedule and signups are here: https://athlete-inside.frontdeskhq.com/schedule.

studio-ride
We’ve had a great time running workouts the past two weeks! Thanks to everyone who came out to give out studio a try during free demo week. It was awesome to see you then, and even nicer to see so many of you coming back again during week two! 🙂

FREE RIDE OFFER

For those who could not fit a studio ride in your schedule during free demo week, I want to be sure everyone knows that our policy going forward will be “First Ride is Free“. When you create your account on the scheduling system you will be granted a free pass for your first studio ride.* So go ahead and find a date that is good for you, and come join us!

Click here to go to the scheduling site and book your ride!

SCHEDULE SURVEY

To ensure that we are offering studio rides (as well as strength and yoga sessions) at times that are best for you, it would be an enormous help if you could complete a schedule survey at the following link:

https://secure.jotformpro.com/form/43204270392952

Thanks!

STUDIO RIDE SCHEDULE

I initially set up our schedule with before- and after-work time slots. However, there has not been demand for the before-work sessions (or not yet, anyway!). So for the time being, I am going to remove the before-work sessions from the schedule.

All of this info is also available at the scheduling site, but for your quick reference, here is a summary of our current studio ride schedule:

Mon – Thurs – 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Fridays – OFF
Saturdays – 9:00am to 10:30am
Sundays – 9:00am to 10:30am (***this time has been changed to 1:00pm)

I will update and add to this schedule based on input from the survey above, so please pitch in your feedback ASAP!

PRICING

This information is also on the scheduling site, but for your quick reference, here is a summary:

Purchase OptionPrice per sessionPackage CostDiscount
First Ride is Free–––
Single Session$18.75–0%
5-Class Pass$15.00$7520%
10-Class Pass$13.50$13528%
Monthly Unlimited$8-12$125 (new price!)35% or more

In addition to the regularly scheduled studio rides, look for an array of additional events; for example, we will soon be offering cycling-specific group strength workouts; more scheduled rides based on demand; special course themes (e.g. ride an Ironman course or a famous Tour de France course); yoga workshops; and presentations on various topics, including nutrition, injury prevention, skills development and more!

As always, please get in touch if you have any questions or feedback. For more background information on the cycling studio, click HERE. Our goal is to make this cycling studio an awesome resource for our community, so your input and participation are a big part of helping us grow in the right directions!

(*) Footnote: FYI… if you currently are or have previously been a coaching client, the scheduling system will probably recognize your email and ask you to create a password for that email instead of creating an entirely new account. In that case, the scheduling system doesn’t know to give you the “new client” pass. But that is okay, when you “check out” after enrolling in your first class of interest, you will be presented with the option to purchase a $0 item called “1-Class Pass – First Ride is Free”. It is a bit of a quirk with how the scheduling system can be configured to award free sessions, but it works out okay in the end. Just get in touch with me if you have any questions.

open-house-ride

Big thanks to everyone who came to our Open House on Saturday! It was a fun few hours, with the Wahoo KICKR system running smoothly, lots of new and old friends, hard pedaling by the demo riders, and smiling faces.

To give more of you a chance to experience the system firsthand, this coming week is Free Demo Week!

Because we have a limited number of spaces, ADVANCE SIGNUP IS REQUIRED. The signup system will show when a class is full; and signup will be available up until two hours before the class starts.

Go here to claim a spot: https://athlete-inside.frontdeskhq.com/schedule

The Tuesday and Thursday sessions are almost full, but we still have space Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Get in now while you can!

For the session, plan to bring your bike, your bike shoes, a water bottle (we have filtered water at the studio, so you can fill it up there), and a towel. If you have a HR strap, bring that too. You do NOT need to bring your bike computer/Garmin… the wireless system we have running will collect all your data and email it to you automatically at the end of your workout (and also post it to Training Peaks and/or Strava if you use those systems).

One of my coaching clients, Nathan Moore, stopped by the Open House with his bike in tow, so we got him on the system and he had a chance to ride. It totally made my day to see the review he posted later on the Cincinnati Triathlon group on Facebook. FYI his review was completely free will on his part, no discount bribery or arm-twisting involved here! 🙂

Here are Nathan’s comments:

4 reasons you need to start using the Cycling Studio by Athlete Inside @ Reser Bicycle Outfitters starting right now. I visited the open house yesterday and these were my conclusions.

1. Train to your peak … affordably and precisely. The Kickr trainers are likely the best trainer technology on the market, with wheel-off technology, a good flywheel, and very good user-optimized programmable controls. They can be set-up to ensure you are training to maximize your peak performance while riding in a group setting, putting a new definition to NOLB. For the price of putting a Kickr in your home, you can go to the Cycling Studio for a long time and still come out ahead.

2. Group training drives more challenging workouts. When I was there yesterday, within about 1 minute of starting pedealing I found myself looking at everyone’s metrics and thinking “I need to beat that”. No different than outdoor rides. Many of the other attendees were avid cyclists or triathletes, so the camaraderie and informal Tri discussions are also great.

3. Focus. Last winter I spent a fair amount of time outdoors on the bike to keep training for an Ironman, but at times it seemed that my biggest challenge was surviving the weather. From a mental determination standpoint, that was good training, but I thought my time would have been better spend with focused training on what my leg’s and lung’s needed, not my mental stamina. These classes are in a second floor studio with a flood of outdoor light, AND with temperature control : )

4. Coffee. It’s the little things, but the barista at the coffee bar downstairs is the best I’ve seen in town. For coffee enthusiasts, the precision of his technique was evident in the cup. Get in an early class and grab a fantastic pull of espresso … a perfect start to my day.

I know… today is beautiful, and trust me, I ride outside as much as possible too. But a quick look at the forecast is a harsh reminder of the cold and darkness that will be our companions for these coming months.

So take advantage of Free Demo Week to try out this new resource that allows you to get in super high-quality training on all those pitch-black weekday mornings and nights, and bitterly cold weekend days, while still enjoying the camaraderie of friends.

No more winter social withdrawal and being miserable on your trainer in the basement. Join us! Get fit, get fast and have fun!

I am heading down to the Open House at Reser Bicycle Outfitters in a few minutes, but I wanted to share with all of you that the scheduling system for the cycling studio is now live!

Click here to check it out!

And if you can stop on by the Open House any time between 1-4pm today (11/08), we would love to show you what we’re all about!

 

The past couple weeks have brought much amazing progress with getting the cycling studio up and running! I’ve done some great test workouts with the Wahoo KICKR, we’ve gotten more equipment installed, and our instructors are getting up to speed and contributing great input and ideas.

However, due to the complexity of all the equipment, software and website configurations, I have decided to push back our free demo workouts and start date for regular classes by one week. It was not easy to make this decision, but I want to be sure that everyone has a smooth experience during their first session, and there are still a few kinks to work out with the system.

Here is the new lineup of dates. Please note that the Open House is still the same as before!

OPEN HOUSE: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 8th – 1pm to 4pm

Join us in our studio on the second floor above Reser Bicycle Outfitters in Newport, KY (648 Monmouth St.). During the open house you will get a chance to meet some of our instructors, see the Wahoo KICKRs in action (a few riders will be on the system, but visitors will not be riding themselves), check out the strength training space, and get your questions answered!

FREE DEMO WEEK:

Mon, Nov. 10 – 6:30pm to 8pm
Tues, Nov. 11 – 6:30pm to 8pm
Wed, Nov. 12 – 6:30pm to 8pm
Thurs, Nov. 13 – 6:30pm to 8pm
Fri, Nov. 14 – OFF
Sat, Nov. 15 – 8:00am to 9:30am
Sat, Nov. 15 – 10:00am to 11:30am

During the Free Demo Week, all classes will be free of charge!

Because we have a limited number of spots in each class, ADVANCE SIGNUP IS REQUIRED. Please go HERE to view the calendar and claim a spot! The signup system will show when a class is full; and signup will be available up until two hours before the class starts. (FYI, for normal classes, we will allow signup until one hour before the class starts, but with multiple new people to enter in the software this first week, I want to be sure we have enough lead time to ensure everything runs smoothly).

If you cannot make a session during Demo Week, please be aware that we will have an ongoing policy of “First class is Free” for new clients. Once you experience the studio, I am confident you will be hooked!

REGULARLY SCHEDULED WORKOUTS BEGIN:
MONDAY, NOV. 17

Here is the scheduling pattern for the cycling workouts:

Mon – Thurs – 6:00am to 7:30am
Mon – Thurs – 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Fridays – OFF
Saturdays – 8:00am to 9:30am
Saturdays – 10:00am to 11:30am

In addition to this regular rotation of bike workouts, we will also be providing strength workouts Mon-Thurs at 5:00pm-6:00pm.

And look for an array of additional events; for example, more scheduled rides based on demand; special course themes (e.g. ride an Ironman course or a famous Tour de France course); yoga workshops; and presentations on various topics, including nutrition, injury prevention, skills development and more!

You can read more about the cycling studio HERE.

And this is a fun video about the Wahoo KICKR.

Look forward to seeing you at the studio soon! Any questions, feel free to contact me!

This time of year brings unavoidable signs of the days getting shorter, the weather turning harsher, and many questions of how to maintain or improve your fitness, how to stay in touch with cycling friends, and how to continue to love riding your bike through the long, dark, and often isolating winter.

Given all this, I am very happy to announce the creation of a new resource for Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky athletes:

Athlete Inside @ Reser Bicycle

… an indoor cycling studio that is the first of its kind in our area!

At the beginning of November we will be opening the doors, and you will get to experience first-hand a state-of-the art cycling studio that is equipped with Wahoo Kickr trainers; progressive, structured workouts that will systematically build your strength and fitness; great music and media; and awesome instructors who all are experienced and passionate about cycling and endurance sports.

Here are some of the many benefits this studio will provide:

• Are you tired of spinning bikes that are uncomfortable and oddly proportioned? With this studio you “bring your own bike”, so you can enjoy the ride that fits you correctly.

• The Wahoo Kickrs will provide computer resistance-controlled workouts with the intensity tailored specifically to your fitness level (Wahoo Kickrs are much like CompuTrainers, but with more modern features). No more guessing how hard you should be working, the Wahoo Kickr will push you to the training intensity that is most effective.

• Instead of random spinning sessions, in this studio you will get workouts that are designed by a professional coach and implemented in a progressive, structured manner so you receive maximum effectiveness from the time you invest in your training.

• Because each trainer will adjust intensity based on your specific fitness level, all athletes can thrive in every workout. From brand-new cyclists to strong, experienced riders, everyone will be challenged at the power level that is most beneficial for them, while also being able to enjoy the camaraderie of training together.

• Power, heart rate and cadence data will all be collected and displayed during the workouts. Need I say, “Motivation?”. In addition, all the data from your workout will be automatically emailed to you at the end of the session, so you can upload it to Training Peaks, Strava, or whatever online training log or social site you like to use for logging and accountability.

 

 

• Tired of doing your bike training in a dingy basement, next to the dining table, or in a cramped garage? Yeah, we were too. When you come to this new studio, you will get to enjoy a bright and airy dedicated training space on the upper level above Reser Bicycle Outfitters in Newport, KY. High ceilings, large windows, fans, mini-locker areas, and a great sound and media system all in a convenient location.

• Along with cycling, half of the training space above Reser Bicycle will be reserved for small-group strength workouts, led by experienced instructors who understand the needs of cyclists and other endurance athletes. So take advantage of winter as a time to expand your fitness beyond cycling and create a stronger and more resilient body!

• To accelerate your recovery from hard workouts and the stresses that life can throw your way, the studio also will be offering one or two yoga sessions each week with a wonderful and very experienced yoga instructor whom I am excited to introduce to you all!

• And finally, to reward yourself for your hard work, you will have the convenience of having Reser Bicycle Outfitters right there in the building for your athletic gear, supplies and bike parts. I have to admit, along with all the bike goodness, I am really looking forward to hanging out at the coffee bar at Trailhead Coffee, located right inside the shop and offering amazing espresso creations! Perfect for that post-ride bliss.

 

 

I am in the process of pulling together final details, but I wanted to get this preliminary announcement out so you can mark your calendars!

Here are some key dates:

Free Demo Week! – Tuesday (11/04) through Thursday (11/06). Come to the studio and do a bike workout for free! Morning and evening sessions will be offered. Advance signup will be required; more details to come.

Open House – Saturday (11/08) from 1:00pm – 4:00pm. Drop in and preview the space, see the Wahoo Kickrs in action, get your questions answered, and meet some of our instructors! While you are at it you can stop at Reser Bicycle for bike supplies and also get a discount coupon for an espresso creation by Trailhead Coffee.

Regular scheduled sessions will start on Monday (11/10). Workouts will be offered before and after work on weekdays, and also on Saturday mornings. More details will be coming soon!

Any inquiries or feedback in the meantime, feel free to contact me!

Cheers,
Kathy

P.S. If you are a cycling team or an event organizer, and are interested in access to the space and equipment for training or special events, there will be an option to rent time in the studio on Sundays and sometimes Saturday afternoon. You can provide your own workouts or I can help you develop some. Feel free to get in touch and we can discuss further!

Creek crossing!
Photos by Kent Baumgardt

Last race of the Tri-State 6HRS MTB series, this time at England-Idlewild! I don’t know if it was the perfect weather, seeing so many friends again, or just because it was the last race in the series, but I felt a sense of free-spiritedness at this event, ready to work hard and have extra fun doing it!

Not only was it a blast riding the course, but this race in particular had a lot of interesting match-ups between some of the other teams. With various riders on each team passing and being passed with each lap, there was exciting competition all the way up to the finish.

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Thanks to Kent Baumgardt for the photos!

The Tri-State 6HRS MTB at Hueston Woods was another great event in the series!

As before, my husband, Fraser, and I entered as a coed team. Also as before, Fraser led off with the first lap of the race. And same as before, with this race format, team members work together to see how many laps they can complete within the time limit of 6 hours for the race.

However, this time around, after changing off with Fraser and riding hard on my first lap, as I rolled into the transition area I was met with a surprise! Instead of the usual intense Fraser ready to hammer it out on his next lap, I was met this time by a relaxed and smiling Fraser, wearing street clothes and holding a beer in his hand. This was unexpected!

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From left to right: Sara Dallman (1st female/Kayak division), Cooper Ambjorn-Olsen, Kathy Cunningham and Kristen Wade (3rd, 2nd, and 1st females overall/XTERRA division).
Photo by Fraser Cunningham

The XTERRA put on by DINO Triathlon at Versailles State Park is another one of my favorite races all year. DINO does a wonderful job with all of their events; check out their XTERRA, MTB, trail running and adventure race events and put some on your schedule!

At Versailles SP, the mountain bike trails are some of the best in the Midwest, not to be missed! The running trails offer some very rugged and challenging segments through the beautiful forest within the park.

The race this year brought some interesting challenges especially on the bike and run because it had rained the night before. Thankfully, there was not enough moisture to soak into the trails and create any concerns about trail damage from the event. But no doubt about it, the rain produced a slick topcoat to the trail underneath, and boy did you feel it. On the bike, corners and tree roots required a lot of split-second decisions about just how hard to push it without sliding out.

And on the run, especially the first segment, with slippery wooden bridges and treacherous steps on the steep hillsides, intense concentration was necessary! But I like that, this is a big part of what makes off-road sports so engaging.

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Romping through a gulley!
Photo by Kent Baumgardt

This was another great event in the Tri-State 6HRS MTB series! As before, my husband, Fraser, and I, entered as a coed team. We took turns riding laps, this time at East Fork State Park.

The East Fork trail crew, Rogue Racing Project ::513::, and Topo Adventure Sports did just an amazing job getting the park and the trails ready for the event. The transition area was laid out in a way that was fun for spectators and racers, a rugged new section of trail was opened up to facilitate a one-way flow for the event, and we were all made aware of the most challenging obstacles (some around blind corners) with cheerful red signs on the trail that said, “You Might Die”. Ha!

The weather at this race was hot! Check out the amazing photo that Kent Baumgardt captured of Fraser on the trail:

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Thanks to Kent Baumgardt for the photos!

One day after the XTERRA race at East Fork State Park… and I got to race again! Craziness.

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XTERRA East Fork by Topo Adventure Sports is one of my favorite races of the year. It is held at one of our best regional beaches, the mountain bike trails are outstanding, and the running trails are interesting and with many challenging segments. And of course it is extra awesome because it is put on by Topo Adventure Sports!

This time around, I had somewhat of a deal to settle with myself, as the same race in 2013 had riled up some ankle and shoulder issues that ended up taking several months to heal and shut me down for the rest of the 2013 season.

Against this background, I am very happy to say that I had a great race in 2014, stayed healthy, and finished as second female overall!

 

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Are you ready to dive into triathlon this season but feel like you need to know more about open water swimming?

Join us for a workshop oriented toward triathletes who are new to the sport, or intermediate-level triathletes who are looking to become faster and more efficient in the open water.

Check out the workshop details here!

Match up this swimming workshop on Saturday with Sunday’s events of Ride Cincinnati and the Fleet Feet Ride Cincinnati Brick Workout and you will have yourself a super weekend of triathlon training!

The best part about putting my blog on hold for a couple years is that it freed up some much-needed time for my family, my clients, and my own athletic pursuits and outside interests.

The worst part about putting my blog on hold for so long is that starting it up again feels like breaking an awkward silence.

I have wrestled with trying to explain where I have been the past couple years and why… from rewarding immersion in various commitments and adventures, to some very low points of losses in our family… but eventually I realized that this first new entry is not the place to try to do justice to any of it.

As this blog reawakens, I will be aiming for a lighter, more conversational, and generally more philosophical perspective than what I focused on in the past. So, in time, perhaps some of the events that have influenced me most over the past couple years will be woven into the story.

In the meantime, as a fun way to catch up, here are some photos from the past couple years!

 

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This past season, one of my clients, Mike Lies, qualified for and raced at Duathlon Worlds. It was very inspiring to be part of his preparations for the race! Mike was kind enough to write up a race report, but unfortunately the past several weeks have been so busy I wasn’t able to post it right away. However, with the New Year upon us, I think Mike’s story is very appropriate… a rich source of racing insights and inspiration. As you think ahead to the 2012 season, consider all the ways that endurance sports can enrich your life… becoming and staying strong and healthy, the blissful feeling you get after finishing a challenging workout or race, and sharing adventures with the favorite people in your life. For 2012, think big, set your goals, make a plan, and train with passion!

 


 

Hello all,

I am giving a short race report from my recent participation at the Duathlon World Championships September 25, 2011 in Gijon, Spain. Although I consider myself a tri-athlete, my running and biking exceed my swimming; hence my best sport ends up as the Duathlon. The “standard” distance, which it is called in Europe, is our international distance, 10k run – 40k bike – 5k run. This year Gijon also fielded a sprint event being 5k – 20k – 2.5k. You must qualify for Team USA and then Worlds at the Duathlon National Championships in April 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. Currently that is the only way to qualify. Qualifications go to the top 18 in age groups with roll downs to 24th place. I had a fifth place finish in Phoenix, it was a course favorable to my skill levels.

Participating at any national and world event will raise your personal bar for performance. I find with that percentage of the field performing at a higher level to be very motivating both in raising your expectations and knowing next year what the standard will be. Every workout becomes more focused.

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In just a few more weeks, I will begin offering ErgVideo workouts on the CompuTrainer in my new training studio. ErgVideo is the ULTIMATE way to achieve an extremely effective bike workout, while enjoying your indoor ride at the same time.

So I was especially excited to see the great interview that Xtri.com just published with Paul Smeulders, the creator of ErgVideo.

Click here to read all about it!

Congratulations to John McClellan for being selected as the Athlete of the Month at Xavier University! John is a junior at Xavier who seeks out tough challenges, and is a hard-working and talented athlete who brings his best to every race and workout… and to his academic studies as well. It’s truly been a pleasure to get to know John this year, and to see all he contributes as one of the leaders within the Xavier Triathlon Club. Read the full story at Xavier University’s website!

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Although we have been luxuriating in unusually warm fall weather these past few days, many of you will certainly remember the bitter cold that Mother Nature dished out last weekend at the Deer Creek Fall Challenge. I received this fun race report from my client Zoe Bowman, age 15, and wanted to share it. In the video above, Zoe is front and center at the start, and the first to sprint into the water… it was probably a relief to get into the 66F lake! Enjoy Zoe’s story below!

 


 

Deer Creek was great…but cold. I arrived at the race in winter gear and wondered to myself why I didn’t pick a sensible indoor sport. As I toed the line at 9:14am I thought that most sane people were still in bed. The final thought I had was that at the very least the lunatics who participate in this sport wear wetsuits! But real swimmers don’t wear wetsuits! (I might be revising that philosophy). The announcer counted down and we charged into the water. The air temperature was 48 and the water 66. I was hoping for the water would feel good…not at all. When I got cut off at the first buoy and water was shoved into my mouth, thanks to 10th grade Biology I wondered at all the pleasant things living in the water that was so murky I couldn’t even see my hands!

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Over the weekend of Oct. 2, the Xavier Triathlon Club and I made the trek to a key Mideast Collegiate Triathlon Conference race at the University of Illinois-Champaign. Nine members of the Triathlon Club entered the race, everyone crossed the finish line, and several placed very well, garnering valuable points for the Xavier Tri Club in the collegiate conference. Read the Tri Club’s report on the race at their website… it’s a great story!

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I am pleased to announce that I am offering another round of the First Wave program at the Mayerson JCC this fall!

As the racing season winds down, this is a perfect time to focus on taking your swim technique to the next level.

The program will be starting on Monday, Sept. 26.

Check out all the details here and get registered… before it’s too late!

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I have some exciting news to share about a group of Cincinnati’s up-and-coming triathletes!

Xavier University is now home to an official Triathlon Club, and I am both honored and delighted to have been chosen as the head coach for the team. I am looking forward to working with these remarkable student athletes, and to see the team develop over the coming years.

The Xavier Tri Club hit the ground running for the 2011-2012 school year with a fantastic showing by several members of the team at the Hueston Woods (HFP Racing) triathlon on September 11. Read all about it at the Xavier Tri Club’s website!

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The morning of the Cincinnati Triathlon broke bright and early, with the river in good condition for swimming, but the hot and humid weather promising to test the athletes’ determination to the fullest. And yet… even as the sun and the temperature climbed all morning, conquer the race they did!

I volunteered in the transition area today, and it was fantastic to see the wonderful mix of people who came out for the race to give it their best, from teenagers up through several 65+ year old racers. The start of the race was filled with energy and anticipation, and the finish was filled with smiling and satisfied faces. Many the racers were super-experienced and very fast, with some having traveled from outside the tri-state area to come to the race, while numerous others were doing their very first triathlon.

Big congratulations to everyone who finished the race today! And special kudos to the athletes in my training group, you all rock! Awesome to see you all conquer your first triathlon… especially the swim. 😉 Everyone did so well, and extra-big congratulations to the first-time triathletes in my group Kimberley Bauer, Bob Hickey, and Colleen Hickey, who achieved 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placings in their age groups today!

Finally, mucho gracias to the stellar volunteers at the race today… your enthusiasm, cheering, and support of the event and the athletes was wonderful… and so very much appreciated.

 

This season I have had the pleasure of coaching junior triathlete Zoe Bowman, who has made triathlon an increased focus this year after having some fun and successful races the past couple summers. Zoe came to me already as a very strong swimmer, so we have maintained this sport while working on developing her biking and running. Zoe’s hard work has been paying off, and a couple weeks ago she had her best-ever finish at the HFP Racing Flag City Triathlon… second woman finisher overall! Zoe was kind enough to write up a race report, so here it is to share with you! Thanks, Zoe!

 


 

I had a great time at the Flag City Sprint Tri. (750m/20k/5k) The race was in Findlay and was flat, flat, flat. We swam in a reservoir, and personally I thought the water was a nice temperature. About the 1/2 of the people there (it was a small race, a little over 100 people doing the tri) wore a wet suit. I did not, and didn’t have any issues. [Zoe doesn’t mention this until later, but she had the fastest swim time of ALL the women, and was the 5th fastest swimmer overall!]

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These past few weeks our studio addition project has continued to move along wonderfully! More progress has been made every day… walls built, roof put up, windows and doors installed, shingles and siding put on, drywall hung, painting done (with lots of help from my son!), lights and electrical work put in, a dedicated heating and cooling unit hooked up, brilliant solar lights installed, and to cap it off, a beautiful wood ceiling!

Many thanks to our awesome builder, Chris Gorman, for his guidance and work on our addition… he has made everything as smooth as low-stress as a project like this can possibly be. We’ve also received great input and quality work from Scott Denny on the electrical installations and numerous associated decisions.

Next up will be the flooring and the final finishing work… and fixing up the back yard… not too much longer until we can move into the space and start planning an open house!

french-park-photoThanks to the recent hot and dry weather, the trail conditions at French Park are the best they have been all year! Come join the fun in the forest!

– Click here for general information about the trail run.

– Click here for this week’s details and to RSVP!

Remember, this is a free event that is open to the community, all levels are welcome.

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sunflower-1-photoThis Thursday evening, May 26, Julie Shifman, life coach and founder/CEO of ActThree, will be leading an interactive presentation to help all of us learn to better navigate the complicated decisions and priorities we face as we balance work, family, change, and consistent involvement in endurance sports. This event at CycleSport is free to the public, so invite your friends! Click here for more information.

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It’s been a busy and exciting past few weeks!

The Cincinnati Triathlon training group is off to a great start, individual clients have entered their racing seasons strong, and I’m really pleased to share that we have begun building a beautiful new training studio on our property in Madeira!

This is a project I have dreamed about for years, and so it is especially thrilling to see the new construction take shape.

Groundbreaking took place on May 4, and what an amazing difference two weeks makes! Under the skilled stewardship of our friend and builder, Chris Gorman, our construction project is thriving. Watch the slideshow above to see the changes from groundbreaking up through today, where the framing is almost complete.

Look for more updates over the coming weeks, and eventually an open house announcement! We expect the new studio space to be ready for action by mid- to late June.

Once it is finished there will be no more training in my cramped (albeit nicely finished) basement space… now we will enjoy loads of natural light, a 14-foot high vaulted ceiling, plenty of space for functional training and plyometrics, easy access to equipment, a great sound system, and a gorgeous space for CompuTrainer workouts!

Join us this Thursday, May 19 for a special presentation by Eric Oliver on “Running & Injury Prevention”. This event is free to the public. Click here for more information!

ready-to-race-photoTrain for the Cincinnati Triathlon & Duathlon, learn more about multisport, meet new friends and have a great time! Group training is now open for registration, click here to read all about it!

As trail runners and mountain bikers in the Cincinnati area, we get to enjoy miles and miles of wonderful forest trails, whether in the local metro parks or the nearby state parks. We owe thanks for these trails to countless volunteers, and especially in our region to CORA, whose leaders and core members dedicate untold hours to designing, building, and advocating for trails in our area.

On a recent Saturday morning, my husband and I had the opportunity to join the trail crew at East Fork State Park, under the leadership of Butch Farrell. I hadn’t really been sure what to expect, since this was my first time volunteering, but everyone made it easy! Butch and the trail crew had tools ready for all of us, and a few of the other more experienced volunteers explained how to cut and dig the trail.

This was a fun and satisfying morning! About 20 volunteers showed up, and Butch estimated that we cut 2200 linear feet of new trail… sweet!

The next date for the trail expansion at East Fork State Park is the morning of Saturday, April 30. Get all the details and follow the discussion here in case of any last-minute changes due to weather. It’s really worth it to volunteer a few hours… you’ll enjoy the trails even more knowing you helped build them!

cincy-tri-logoFor the 2011 season I will be offering a greatly expanded group training program for the Cincinnati Triathlon, and I’m really looking forward to it!

The program will start the week of May 2, and will run for 12 weeks, right up to the race on July 24. We will do a group run from CycleSport & Tri every week (Thursday evenings), a group bike ride every 4th week (Wednesday evenings), transition practice, and an open water swim (weekend date in June TBD).

Before each of the group run workouts, I and select guest speakers will give short presentations on various topics of importance to triathletes.

For training in between the group workouts, I will provide two levels of training programs (beginner or intermediate) via individual accounts on Training Peaks. There will be a forum/online discussion platform to complement the group workouts, and I will post videos of the presentations there too.

Especially for new multisport athletes, this will be a fun and supportive way to get into the sport! And for all levels of athletes, you will have many opportunities to make new friends, enjoy the camaraderie of group workouts, and continue to build your depth of knowledge.

Stay tuned… more information to come soon!

I am pleased to announce that I am offering another round of the First Wave program at the Mayerson JCC this spring!

We arranged to squeeze this in now so you can take your swim proficiency up another notch before the summer racing season begins!

The program will be starting on Monday, March 7.

Check out all the details here and get registered… before it’s too late!

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The fantastic weather these past few days has brought all kinds of people back outside for their workouts, and I thought it would be helpful to share a few tips for transitioning successfully to outdoor running… while minimizing your risk of injury.

Especially if you’ve been doing the majority of your run mileage on the treadmill all winter, it is important to factor in the significant differences between running on the treadmill versus running on the road.

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Exquisite morning sun filtered through the trees at at Mitchell Memorial Forest today, with a surprising amount of hard pack snow still blanketing most of the trails… at least at the start. The Greater Cincinnati Trail Runners had organized a run here this morning, and it was wonderful to join them! The miles flew by, with plenty of conversation and shared enjoyment of the trails and the hints of spring to come. The GCTR encompasses a range of run pace and distance interests, so check out this fun and friendly group at their Facebook page!

Part of the GCTR group did one 4-mile loop at Mitchell Memorial Forest, and then a couple of the runners kept me company for one more round (one tough guy was actually on lap #3,

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This time of year, most of us have souls that are aching more than ever to get off the treadmill and run in the beautiful outdoors, and yet conditions conspire against us.

So here are a couple of my favorite tips for conquering two of the biggest problems with running outside in the winter: treacherous ice and frozen feet.

First, an old trick for getting a grip on the slippery stuff.

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Martin Alexander Sanders in training to raise money for the American Lung Association
Velo Vivid Cycling Photography

A quick check of our outdoor thermometer this past Saturday morning… 4ÂşF… confirmed what we were reading online… that the Tri-State area was being greeted with some of the coldest temperatures in years. Hmmm… now for some soul searching… just how badly did we really want to do the mountain bike time trial we had planned to attend at Harbin Park? Just how crazy is this??

After warming up with our morning coffee, my husband and I decided we would still go… our prime motivation being to support our friend, Philip Hurst of Full Service Racing, for all the hard work he had done organizing the event.

We piled on warm clothes, loaded up the car, fingers freezing, and were on our way. As we got close to Harbin Park, we started joking about whether anyone else was crazy enough to show up… and so it was with special appreciation that we found a parking lot *full* of equally nutty biking friends. Forty-six riders that morning! It was quite a scene, with everyone wrapped up head to toe, smiling, laughing, thawing out their toes in front of the blazing fireplace, and in general enjoying the anticipation and camaraderie of the race… and of course, wondering what lay ahead.

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As many of you know, I am a big fan of trail running. And so I have been especially excited about the great lineup of races that Topo Adventure Sports has on tap for this season!

The first race in the series was held on Jan. 15 at East Fork State Park, and it was great to be there. We were welcomed by a brisk day, snow covered trails, and equally warm enthusiasm amongst the friendly and fired-up racers.

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The majority of triathlon coaches recommend winter as the best time to work on swim technique… and for good reason.

If you are like most athletes, you are forced to modify your overall training plan during the winter, and you use those all-too-short winter daylight hours on your weekdays for shorter but more intense workouts on the bike and run.

With some training hours freed up, and a body in need of regeneration from those hard bike/run interval sessions, it’s a perfect time to get in the pool and work on your technique… free from the pressure that crops up in later the spring to be doing substantial swim yardage.

To this end, I’ve developed an 8-week swim program for triathletes that is designed to give you a head start with your swim technique this winter! Registration is now open… check out all the details at the Programs & Workshops page!

P.S. Do you love trail running? Come join our free trail run group on Tuesday evenings!

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Big thanks to everyone who contributed to the discussion at the “End of Season” workshop at CycleSport & Tri this past Thursday evening! I really enjoyed the perspectives and experiences that were shared, and hopefully everyone left feeling they had picked up some key concepts to take into their 2011 season. Along with a great mix of triathletes, runners, and cyclists, we also were joined by Aaron Molloy, physical therapist at Oxford Physical Therapy, and John Getgey, President of BridgePointe Psychological & Counseling Services. Special thanks to you both for lending your time and expertise to the conversation.

Some highlights from the discussion:

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Pretty much everyone knows it’s a good idea to sit down and review your season when you are done with your major races for the year… and yet the thought of actually doing it, well, maybe not so much fun to undertake alone.

To solve that problem, I have partnered with CycleSport & Tri and two other sports-oriented professionals to bring you a FREE workshop called: “End of Season Recap 2010“.

Instead of going it alone, how much more fun and productive will it be to look back at your year in the company of friends and fellow athletes?

The workshop will be on Thursday, November 18 at 6:30pm at CycleSport & Tri (Loveland, OH).

Click here for more details and to RSVP

Come join us for a fun evening of guided discussion, meet like-minded athletes, make new friends/training partners… and get a jumpstart on next year!

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This past summer was a great one, but wow, did it go by fast! After dedicating so much of my time to clients, family, friends, training, new adventures, and volunteer activities, there was not much left for projects that could “wait” another day.

So I am especially glad to share the news that I have just completed a major update to the Athlete Inside website! Finally you can learn much more easily about the various services and programs that I offer through my coaching business. Take a trip through athlete-inside.com to check it out! I’d appreciate any feedback you may have.

And speaking of programs, I am starting up another round of the popular “First Wave” swim program for triathletes at the Mayerson JCC. Please note that the program is starting THIS coming Monday (09/27), so be sure to look at this soon if you think you might be interested.

In addition to the swim program, I am especially pleased to be starting a FREE weekly trail run at beautiful French Park. Can’t wait to get this started; hope you can join us!

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As soon I’m done figuring out this tricky business (for me) of getting this website up and running, then I will start posting regular blog updates… so y’all plan to come on back!

This blog will be the primary venue for communicating Athlete Inside news, program announcements, training tips, client success stories, research updates, and more!

Broader topic areas will include reflections on triathlon, the endurance sports lifestyle, strength training, health, fitness, adventure, and the human experience.

If you would like to be automatically notified of updates to this blog, then all you need to do is subscribe to the free Athlete Inside email newsletter, which will contain all important announcements and excerpts from selected blog posts.

An added bonus… when you sign up for the newsletter, you will receive a FREE checklist for short-course triathlon. This free bonus includes a comprehensive list of items that will help you be ready on race day, along with many helpful tips.

If you prefer to keep up to date with RSS instead of email, then just click any of the RSS icons on this page to subscribe.