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Tales from a Beginner – Miriam Ranells

Empire Tri Club’s first Beginner Program Session of the season has just finished! Here is what some of those participating athletes have to say about their experience in training with the team and completing their first triathlon.
Newbie triathlete Miriam Ranells shares her story:

Q: Tell us about your journey with Empire Tri Club in preparation to your first race?
A: The journey has been amazing! I always felt I could ask and they always were there to answer and guide.  I couldn’t have done it with out Empire!

Q: What inspired you to take on a triathlon?
A: I wanted to spend more time outside.

Q: What was the first thing you did when you crossed that finish line?
A: Told my mom I finished 🙂

Q: If you had to do it over again, what would you do different on race day? Or not change?
A: I’d do an open water swim before the race. I think it’s important to go swimming in your wetsuit before the actual race.

Q: How were the nerves on race day?
A: Nervous, once I got through the swim part I was much better. Alison and the rest of the club were supportive and helpful through out the race.

Q: Did you feel prepared for the race?
A: No, but that’s because I didn’t do it as a race, I did it as a workout since I never did the swim. I felt prepared for the bike and run.

Q: What was the greatest takeaway from your experience with Empire’s Beginner Program?
A: The people and the coaches and ambassadors are all amazing people. I now have more confidence in my training thanks to Empire.

Ready to complete YOUR first triathlon?!  Sign up here.
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ETC Coach Bobby Leong on EnduroPacks – January 2014

Empire Coach Bobby Leong talks about his experience training for ultratriathlons and ultramarathons using enduropacksEnduroPacks.  EnduroPacks has put together the essential sports nutrition products for endurance training, and they provide these products in the most effective and convenient formats, so that athletes can reach their full potential and get the most from their training.  Check out our Member Discounts page to receive 20% off 1-month packs!

“I’m a fan of Enduropacks! I am convinced that Liquid Multivitamin, Concentrated Electrolyte Spray and Glutamine Recovery Complex (I haven’t tried the Essential Amino Recovery Patch yet) have been instrumental in improving both the quality and quality of my 281.2 Ultratriathlon training. As compared to where I was last year in my training for the same event last year, I’m well on my way in improving my performance in all three disciplines this year.

I’ve found that my recovery times has decreased significantly, so much so in fact, that I’ve been comfortable putting 160 mile bike rides and 20 mile runs on back-to-back days. I’ve also noticed a vast improvement in my HR drift because I’ve been able to improve the quality of my threshold work since using your product.”  – Bobby

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Winter Training Tips

Winter is the best time to prepare for your upcoming season and improve as a triathlete. Whether you have just finished a long season of racing or are new to the sport, there are many ways you can prepare for the season ahead. Below are a few tips for staying in shape when the temperatures drop:

  • Strength Training: Strength training during the winter months is the best way to build lean muscle, leading to a stronger, fitter, and leaner you at the start of your season. This will not only enhance performance, but reduce the risk of injury. If you belong to a gym, ask a trainer about how to properly use the equipment. Periodization is the best way to safely acclimate muscles to strength training, slowly increase intensity, and then incorporate power. Consult a personal trainer or coach about building a strength-training plan.
  • Indoor cycling: The best way for triathletes to seek improvement on the bike is to spend time in the saddle. Whether you’re using an indoor trainer or taking spin classes at a local fitness center, riding throughout the winter will lead to major improvements come spring.
  • Focus on Technique: Proper form is key to injury prevention and efficiency. The winter is the best time to re-evaluate your stroke, stride and body position to ensure your maximizing your efforts. Seek the advice of a professional instructor, and take the time to adapt to a new training style. Often times this involves re-training your muscle memory to reverse months, or even years, of incorrect form. This often requires you to slow your pace down and concentrate on learning a new style. The off season is the best time to do this without holding you back when your season picks up.
  • Winter Cross Training: Grab your skis, snowshoes, yoga mat or hiking boots and change it up! There are many ways to stay active in the winter, that also add variety to your in-season training routine. Adding variety also reduces boredom and prevents burnout. It tones muscles that may be neglected by swimming, biking and running and helps you build your aerobic base, which is extremely important for triathletes.
  • Gear up and Get Out: Don’t let the change in weather prevent you from doing the activities you love! Tie your laces, pump up your tires and get out on the road! Shop online or visit a local store for winter cycling and running gear to keep you warm when the temperatures drop. Remember to be cautious of road hazards including black ice and gravel. Check the weather before heading outside so you know how to dress appropriately. Stay safe and dress up your wardrobe with bright, reflective clothing, since there are fewer hours of daylight in the winter.