Harvard Tri Takes Buzzard’s Bay: Tomorrow!

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Tomorrow, Harvard Tri will be racing at the Buzzard’s Bay triathlon! It’s a sprint — with the distances 1/3 mile swim, 11.8 mile bike, and 5k run.

I’ll be meeting some YT members for the first time there tomorrow (yay!), racing against Kaitlin (YT Exec member/BC student/my best friend) for the first time, and also racing against Hannah, who was the other 18 year old at Ironman Lake Placid! Exciting stuff!

If you’re planning on racing Buzzard’s Bay tomorrow, send me a note at caitlin@youngtri.com and we can try to all meet up!

Are you racing at all this weekend? Or just training?

Tri Hard,

Caity

Short-ish. Sweet. Sweat. {quick triple-sport cardio workout.}

Try this workout next time you’re at the gym (or at home if you have an erg) for a superb AT/cardio workout. You can adjust for how much time you have to commit to working out to make it as short or as long as you’d like! (Details below)

Short (ish). Sweet. Sweat.

20 minutes warm up on bike (if you have time — if not do a quick 1-2 minute workout)

Bike portion

  • 7 x 1 minute full pressure, 1 minute moderate pressure
  • 1 minute slower to lower heart rate

total time = 15 minutes

Erg portion (see here if you don’t know how to erg)

  • 1 minute warm up
  • 5 minutes moderate pace at low stroke rate (18-22)
  • 4 x 1 minute fast pace followed by 1 minute moderate at higher stroke rate (24-max, in 30s)
  • 1 minute sprint at high stroke rate (in 30s)

total time without cooldown = 15 minutes

  • 1 minute cooldown

Run portion

  • 1 minute at conversational pace
  • 5 minutes moderate pace
  • 4 x 1 minute fast pace, 1 minute moderate
  • 1 minute sprint

total time without cooldown = 15 minutes

  • 1 minute cool down

—> If you have time afterwards, DO A LENGTHY COOLDOWN! Stretch, walk around, and so on and so forth.

{for a super short version, cut each portion down to 5 minutes. 1 minute warm up at start, and 1 minute on/off alternating at full pressure.}

Adjust the times in the three disciplines based on how much time you have for your workout! Notice that the erg & run workouts are analogous in time dedicated to varying levels of difficulty, so adjust accordingly. (For example, if you only have 20 or so minutes, do about 7 minutes in each). Or, if you’re really short on time, try one of the three workouts for a short burst of cardio! Enjoy!

One of my favorite places to do quick AT runs - around the area of the Harvard stadium!

One of my favorite places to do quick AT runs – around the area of the Harvard stadium!

What are your favorite short AT workouts?

Tri Hard,

Caity

 

 

“Now and then it’s good to pause in your pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”

The other day I came across a quote on Instagram that really struck me —

“Now and then it’s good to pause in your pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”

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Sometimes, we get so caught up in the everyday haze of our lives — obsessing over our next goal or training endeavor, the next “big thing” we’re working on, and so on and so forth — that we forget to just live and most importantly be happy.

Our lives can be lived a little bit better; each day a little sweeter if we stop and appreciate what we already have. It can be a difficult thing to do, but living in the present moment and focusing on happiness is important. It really makes a difference in overall well-being and health.

From a personal standpoint, I’ve realized that once I started to prioritize living in the moment and stopped always obsessing and planning what would happen next (especially over the last few months), I became a much happier person. That’s why this quote struck me so much.

This life is amazing. And there are so many things that we can do with it. Once we realize that and stop obsessing over what’s to come — by pausing in the constant pursuit of happiness — lots of great things can come with it.

What can you do in your everyday life to pause — even for a moment — and just be happy?

Tri Hard,

Caity

{YT} Photo Contest: Win Free Gear

Chuck up the YT in a photo for a chance to win!

Submit a photo to info@youngtri.com of you (or you and a friend) holding up the YT (like in the pictures below), and you’ll receive a free piece of YoungTri gear & other surprise with your order once it becomes available, which will be within the next couple weeks!

You’ll also be featured on the site & in the newsletter!

Get sending! info@youngtri.com

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YT and ‘Murica

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Kaitlin and I YTing at dinner!

 Tri Hard,

Caity

More Organized = More Time for Workouts. {some tips}

One thing I’ve discovered {especially over the past year}: being neat & organized makes life a whole lot easier. Sure, you can get things done when you’re messy, but it definitely makes things a little bit harder and a lot more stressful. Being organized helps your mind stay clear and tasks organized — which can help you make sure you fit in that extra workout that you need to, or completed that paper right on time. I find that I have time for extra workouts if I’m organized and stick to following my lists! 🙂

{Some related tips were featured in the YoungTri Times Newsletter this week. To subscribe & sign up free, click here.}

  • Make lists. This is DEFINITELY the most important. There is just no possible way that your brain can keep track of all of the crazy things that are going on in your life. I made a “to-do list wall” in my dorm in front of my desk. I have a list called “Daily Schedule” under which I list everything that must get done for the day. Next I have a “YoungTri short-term to-do list”, a “YoungTri long-term to-do list”, a “Harvard Tri” to-do list, a “Miscellaneous to-do list”, a “To buy” list, a “School to-do” list, next to my schedule and pink post-its with my assignments due that week. Of course your lists will look a little different than mine, but you get the idea 🙂
  • Prioritize Tasks. With my “mandatory to-do” list, I make sure I outline everything that MUST get done for that day. This helps prioritize tasks to make sure nothing important gets forgotten!
  • Learn when to say no. This directly helps with organization and time management. You can’t do everything. And that’s okay. Remind yourself of what’s important, stick to that, and don’t overwhelm yourself with too many unnecessary activities or tasks. It takes a toll on your body and mental health.

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My to-do list wall! Right above my desk. Definitely helps me stay on top of things!

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I like to color code my subjects 🙂

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My two go-to organizational notebooks that help me keep track of everything.

What are your favorite organizational tips?

Tri Hard,

Caity

Reflect & Recover. {Set Goals & Look Ahead}

As the summer racing season has officially come to a close, many of us are just squeezing in a few more fall races before our tri-life takes a hiatus for a few months. Although it’s always exciting to wrap up an event-filled season, it’s important to not forget about the months of work you put into the races — that is, it’s vital to reflect & recover.

Here’s how you can do this:

  • Go through your races in your head. What went wrong? What went right? If you notice a pattern in the races (like poor transitions, nutrition problems, etc.) write it down. Focus on it for next season.
  • Analyze your performance. Did you accomplish your goals? If so, what is your next step for next season? If not, what can you do to achieve them next season?
  • Look ahead & Map out your goals. What do you want to accomplish next season? Big or small, it always helps to look ahead and map out your goals. After you look ahead and reflect, how can you take steps to accomplish your goals for next year?
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After Ironman! Next spring, I’ll start training again for IMLP 2014 🙂

Taking a few moments to analyze your performance from the season & map out a plan for how you’d like next season to go can also help alleviate off-season blues — for having something to look forward to (like a new goal or race) definitely helps increase motivation.

For me, reflection often takes place on walks. Walks back from practice, to class, or otherwise. Especially when I’m walking back from practice along the Charles, I often like to take an extra second to think. To reflect. I’ve begun to map out in my mind how I’d like next season to go — how I’d like to improve my Ironman time, how I can train more, etc. But I’ve also taken time to recover — to take some time off from super long swims, bikes, and runs so that I can return to next season’s training refreshed and ready to go. Find your best spot to reflect. And take some time to do it.

Both reflection & recovery are vital to healthy goal setting for each season. Without reflection, you can rush into new goals without fully taking into consideration your past season. Likewise, without recovery, burn out becomes much more likely.

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Looking ahead, planning, and setting lofty goals for the upcoming year can be difficult — but it’s definitely worth it.

How do you reflect & recover from your season? Does it help you to map out your goals for the upcoming season in advance?

Tri Hard,

Caity

Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself. {It Works Wonders}

If I’ve learned anything over the past two years, it’s that being less hard on yourself makes life a whole lot more enjoyable. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t hold yourself responsible for certain things and expect highly of yourself — but being too hard on yourself, especially when situations are out of your control, can lead to tons of unneeded stress and anxiety {which can in turn have negative impacts on your racing performance}.

Quite honestly, I used to be the type of person who would let everything get to me. If someone said something rude to me or about me that I found out about, I would obsess over it. Over analyze it. Basically, I over analyzed things waaaay too much.

And then, (okay, kind of corny), I did some soul searching this summer. And realized, with the help of my amazing family and best friends at home, that it was way more important for me to be a happy and fulfilled person than care about the few negative things people were saying or doing around me.

I knew it was time for me to be less hard on myself. To stop crying over silly things. To stop overanalyzing. Because it was starting to become a huge problem — and seriously affecting my happiness.

I’m sure many of you can relate — that it can sometimes be difficult to break out of the rut of self-put downs and over analyzing. But trust me, it’s worth it.

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I started in small steps. To take things one day at a time — one hour at a time even, if needed. To take more deep breaths. To focus more on the myriad positive parts of my life and to stop being so hard on myself for every little thing.

And you know what?

Slowly but surely, I’m way happier now that I’m a little bit less hard on myself.

This isn’t to say that I don’t expect as much of myself, but I’ve definitely learned how to manage my feelings in a more productive way. To take things in stride, stay organized with goal-setting and expectations, and realize that I’m in a happy and awesome place — and that anyone who tries to take that away from me isn’t worth it. 🙂

This attitude took time (read: a lot of time) to build up, but it’s made a huge difference in my life — and especially in my athletic performance.

Don’t be so hard on yourself. Life is crazy. It’s unexpected. And things happen that are out of your control. Breathe, stay true to yourself and realize that things will work out the way they’re supposed to. 

Do you notice that when you’re too hard on yourself (in a negative, non-productive manner) that it affects your athletic performance? How do you deal with this?

Tri Hard,

Caity

Iron Girl Sandy Hook: A Race Report Filled With Hard Swims, Fast Bikes, and a Lot of Fun!

The following is a feature from YT Ambassador Brittany from NJ on her awesome finish this past weekend at the Iron Girl Sandy Hook triathlon!

On Sunday the 8th of September, my dad and I woke up at 3:30am to drive to the Iron Girl Sandy Hook triathlon. Driving down, it was pitch black, and we could not yet see the beautiful scenery surrounding us that we would admire later in the day.

After parking the car, there was about a one mile walk to the transition area. It was a chance to meet other competitors- some of which were about to embark on their first ever triathlon.  They were really nervous as I was when doing my first race. It being my fourth race, I told them what to expect, and they definitely appreciated my guidance and support!

packing for the race!

packing for the race!

At 6:45 I started walking to the swim start — about a 10 minute walk. The swim was in the ocean so I was super scared as I had never done an open water swim in the ocean before! Looking at the ages on peoples calves, I spotted some girls my age and introduced myself. It was so much fun to hang out with them before we were off!

We had an in water start, and immediately after getting in, I felt the strong water currents.  I tried to keep calm, and just do my own thing when the horn went off. Throughout the whole swim, I was really scared. There were really rough currents pulling everyone under the water and every which way. The waves were monstrous, and it was hard to sight each buoy. But after getting out of the water, I was within the main pack of my wave!

I had no problem finding my bike in transition, and was quickly on my way to the bike course. I had a great bike leg. Averaging just under 20 mph, I finished in about 31:00. The course was absolutely beautiful. There were 1 or 2 rolling hills, but overall it was a flat course.

I did not have a very fast run per se, but it was solid. I drank a lot of water during the run, which kept me hydrated on that hot day. I finished with a great time overall 395/1141!! I was so proud of myself.

after the race!

after the race!

After they all came in, I met up with the new friends I had met earlier at the swim start. We went to the food tent and had yogurt and watermelon. We went and sat together at the awards ceremony area which was set to start in an hour. We cheered others coming in. My dad and grandfather came over and congratulated all of us. I met a woman who had done three Ironman races before and said that this was by far the hardest swim she’s ever done.

Overall, it was a great race and an amazing day. We drove home, and stopped at a diner for food on the way back! Yum!! Just what I needed. I got home and rested up for my first day of junior year the next day. I ended my summer break with a bang!

Now, I am starting to focus on Varsity Tennis Team and schoolwork…. There is always time for training on the weekends!!

Have you ever had a really hard swim? How have your first days back at school been?

Happy Training!

Brittany

One Week. {Best Friends Race Together}

One week.

One week until Kaitlin and I finally do our first race together! I can’t believe I’ve known her for over two years — and that I met my best friend through YoungTri!

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Reppin’ our YT shirts at IMLP in 2011!

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First night we met in 2011!

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My first time visiting Kaitlin in Florida!

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Kaitlin’s first time coming to Glen Rock!

She means the world to me & I know that we’ll be doing races together even when we’re old ladies 🙂

Stay tuned for a race report & more from our race in Buzzards Bay, MA next week!

Do you race with any of your best friends or have you met any best friends through triathlon? How has it made you love the sport even more?

Tri Hard,

Caity

Triathlon = a LIFESTYLE. {My Tri Beginning: YT Executive Board Member Kaitlin Adams}

I was never interested in swimming, biking, nor running… let alone triathlons. I was a soccer player and (more importantly) a basketball player. I had no idea how to swim freestyle, I simply rode my beach cruiser around my neighborhood for fun, and I absolutely loathed running. Who in their right mind would volunteer to swim, bike, and run ALL in the same race?

Little did I know I’d change my mind drastically very, very soon 🙂

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After I changed my mind and became hooked – at the Nautica South Beach Triathlon 2011 with the best training partner: my dad 🙂

In 2006, my dad was getting a little “plump”, so my mom forced him to take up running. He shocked all of us and ran the Chicago marathon in 2007 (yep, the infamous race with record heat waves where one man died and 300 needed medical attention). Despite the disastrous race, he fell in love with running; however, he realized it would be too much on his body to run 6 days a week.

A friend of his suggested he try a triathlon, so he did, and that was the beginning of it all. He was hooked. Four years later, he finished Ironman Lake Placid (where I met YoungTri prez, Caity!!).

A little bit after my dad started racing, my little brother started too… but I still thought they were absolutely insane. I couldn’t understand how anyone could enjoy such a grueling sport. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be racing right there with them just one year later.

In the summer of 2009, my family and I flew out to Colorado Springs to watch my little brother compete in the USAT youth national championship. The race was so invigorating; each athlete was so intense, and it was evident how hard many of them trained. I was so excited and passionate as a spectator, even though I knew nothing about the sport. After watching the race, I was obsessed and immediately signed up for my first triathlon.Who knew it would be so easy to convince me to participate in a sport that I once thought was stupid?!

One month later I did IronKids in Alpharetta, GA. By some miracle I won my age group and qualified for the IronKids National Championship in Tucson, AZ. I had so much fun in both races and it was evident that I caught the “tri bug.” I have been racing ever since, although I recently have taken some time off due to a concussion (don’t ask…).

IronKids Alpharetta 2009 - my first race! The 2nd place girl never identified herself haha

IronKids Alpharetta 2009 – my first race! The 2nd place girl never identified herself haha

My favorite part about triathlon is the passion its athletes possess. The sport is not like football or basketball where you can just be “a natural” and score all the points.

Triathlons require dedication and a strong mind: training every day and pushing yourself to the limit even when your body screams it can’t go any further.

These two components create a fire inside triathletes and make them so passionate about their sport. I could talk about triathlons for hours on end, which is ironic because I can’t talk about basketball the same way even though I’ve only been a triathlete for 5 years, while I was a basketball player for 10 years. I love triathlons so much that I am confident I will be racing for the rest of my life.

Another awesome aspect of triathlons is that even your parents can compete! I love training with my dad; we bond so much over training and racing together. This is one of the few sports where your career is not over once you hit 30. Instead, you can race for over 30 years and even race with your kids and spouse!

I always say that I will not marry a man who will not train with me (hahaha but I’m serious). My dream is to do an Ironman with my future husband, after first doing one with my dad of course. 🙂

Triathlons mean a lot to me and I can’t imagine my life without them. I get so excited when I explain the sport to my friends. As dumb as it sounds, the sport creates a passion in me and I’m sure others can see the little “tri” fire inside my eyes. I met my best friend through YoungTri and I don’t know what I’d do without talking to her every single day (love ya Caity <3). Triathletes have a special bond; we all suffer in training just for the sake of suffering!

Triathlon is not just a sport- it truly is a lifestyle.

How have triathlons impacted your life?

🙂 Kaitlin