Swimming Through Texas: Watch and Learn from the Pros

This is a post from YoungTri Contributor Patrick LaBrode

This past weekend the Lee and Joe-Jamail Texas Swimming Center (where the UT team swims) hosted the 2014 Austin Grand Prix. The Grand Prix is a series of meets that take place throughout the year. The meets are all long course meters, and they pull in a competitive field.

There were many Olympians, American record holders, World record holders, and rising stars that raced in the pool I train in daily! Many athletes think the only way to improve in their events is by practicing more and training harder. But — people are also great visual learners! That is why our coach told my team to stay after practice on Friday to watch these incredible and successful athletes compete. By focusing on their starts, stokes, turns, and race strategies, we took mental notes to hold onto so the next time we are in the water, we can work on perfecting our swims.

The Grand Prix Meet!

The Grand Prix Meet!

I am very lucky to have the opportunity to swim at such an amazing pool that host many national events, and bring in so many star swimmers to watch. Although your pool may not host meets like the Grand Prix, I’m sure there are races not too far away that you can watch and learn from! You can also learn by watching your teammates practice and compete. Almost every day I am watching my other teammate’s strokes and turns to try and see what they are doing different than me, to try and improve myself!

And this doesn’t only apply to swimmers. Triathletes can highly benefit by watching triathlons – whether in person or on television. When I was competing in triathlons, I loved to volunteer at races. I was able to get in some community service hours and watch and learn from some great racing!

Good luck swimmers as the short course season begins to come to a close, we are almost there! Stay tuned for more!


Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.


Source: The Seattle Times

Today in America, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and his leading of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Although he is no longer with us, his legacy lives on and his initiatives have impacted the world tremendously.

My favorite quote of his is:

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

In triathlon, we face many obstacles such as injuries, bad races, and difficult training sessions. Although none of these hardships compare to the hardships MLK was seeking to overcome, we can still digest his advice and apply it to our sport and our lives.

YoungTri hopes you had a relaxing MLK day (it’s a holiday in the US) and maybe even had a nice day of training!


YoungTri at Triathlon Business International Conference in One Week!

One week from today, Kaitlin and I will be in Marina Del Rey, California for the Triathlon Business International Conference! I will be speaking at the conference – which I’m super excited about!

The theme of this year’s conference:

Enduring Change, Embracing Opportunity

Triathlon Business International’s mission statement:

Our mission is to leverage the knowledge, talent, and resources of industry leaders in triathlon to the benefit of the sport. The mission will be achieved by increasing and retaining advocates of triathlon and by fostering a positive image of the sport.

TBI ACTIVE 2014 Conference Logo

Kaitlin and I are looking forward to updating you on all the exciting things we’re going to learn at the conference — by attending panels, breakout sessions, and learning from other attendees!


Beautiful Marina Del Rey, CA!

If you’re interested in attending the TBI Conference, or just want to find out a little bit more about the event, click here.

Tri Hard,


Mid January Member Favorites!

We love it when YoungTri members share their tri experiences with us! Here are two of our favorites from this week:

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 3.43.06 PM

YoungTri Member Ariana spotted this awesome Ironman car while driving through Connecticut!


YoungTri Members Felipe and Adriana’s first 70.3 finish as a couple!

Send us your tri pics! info@youngtri.com

Tri Hard,


The Top 3 (De)motivational Tactics: A Guide to the Little Things We Do to TRY to Get Ourselves to Work Out

(…That Don’t Always Work Out)

1. The “If I put on my workout clothes I’ll have to workout”

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. It’s as if the change of clothes will change your mind too. I guess it works out sometimes, but when it doesn’t, it can get weird. You can walk around your house in your sneakers and t-shirt (maybe your YoungTri shirt?) all you want, but you just aren’t feeling it. Then when you finally accept it, and change back out of the workout clothes, it’s a feeling of disappointment.

I’ve gone full days without running but in my running clothes. It’s almost like my workout becomes walking around my house or laying or my bed, or more than likely, getting a snack. It may not be a workout, but at least you tried!

2. The “In five minutes” routine

It’s 3:55. Why bother getting up until 4 o’clock? But then you’re sitting down for a little too long and 3:55 turns into 4:02. Now you might as well wait until 4:10. Oh, it’s 4:11? I guess 4:15 it is.

This is a pretty common motivation/procrastination tool. Before you know it, that 3:55 turns into a 4:41 and you don’t really have time for that bike ride anymore.


Hey, at least you tried.

3. The “I’m just waiting for my food to digest”

This one is somewhat reasonable. Who wants to run on a full stomach? Not me. It’s best to wait until that full stomach is more like a half stomach. Just don’t wait until you have an empty stomach.

See, the full and empty thing worked, but the half one seemed off. Weird, huh? Anyway, I usually end up not working out when this is my “motivational”.

Good luck getting off the couch,


Women’s Triathlon = Officially a NCAA Division 1 Emerging Sport!

As of today, women’s triathlon has been OFFICIALLY approved as a NCAA Division 1 Emerging Sport!!! Today, the vote received over 95% support from the NCAA Division 1 Legislative Council.


Thanks to all the YoungTri members who signed the petition to show their support!

From usatriathlon.org:

“Today is a watershed moment for the sport,” said Rob Urbach, USA Triathlon CEO. “After four years of hard work behind the scenes, this announcement represents a huge victory for current and future student-athletes, for the NCAA member institutions that will operate varsity triathlon programs, and for USA Triathlon’s future Olympic success.”

Read more from USAT here.

Can’t wait to follow NCAA triathlon as it grows over the years!

Are you excited about this new development?!

Tri Hard,


Doing Workouts You Don’t Want to Do

As a triathlete, chances are there have been many workouts that you did not want to complete. You were tired, busy, or just not in the mood. You’d rather remain on the couch watching tv or go do something fun with your friends.


The view on my run- one of the perks of training in Florida.

In my case, I was scared. Last week I had to run nine miles as part of my marathon-training plan. Nine is nothing compared to many triathletes since most have completed half marathons and even marathons after swimming and biking. However, I usually stick to sprint distance triathlons, so I did not think I was ready to take on this kind of mileage. I procrastinated as long as I could, but eventually I hit the pavement. The run was hard, but I got it done. I had a pretty view of the beach (in South Florida), it was hot enough to wear shorts, and I even saw a nice sunset.


It was about 75 degrees with wind, my favorite kind of weather to train in.


The sunset that evening.

My biggest challenge was dealing with the mental component of the workout. I was very aware that I had never ran more than 7.5 miles before, and that this run was going to be difficult. I was terrified that I was going to have to call my dad to come pick me up. In my mind, not completing this run would mean I would not be strong enough to complete a marathon, therefore crushing my dream of the past five years.


After the first couple miles I zoned out and got into a nice rhythm. I played a game with myself, smiling at every person I ran by to see how many I could get to smile back at me. It was actually entertaining because many people were so surprised to see a stranger smile at them. I’d say about 40% of people smiled back, which is a little disheartening but expected in my town.

Anyways, I had fun on the run even though it was not an easy training session. I tried my best to stay in the moment and to not think about how many miles I had left. I definitely feel stronger now that I know I can push myself to do distances I have never done before.

This weekend I’ll be running 10 miles with a group; however, I am not scared, I am actually looking forward to it! 🙂

What are some obstacles you have had to overcome in training?


Tri Tweets: Fifteen Favorites to Follow (Part 1: Some Pros)

Each week in our newsletter (sign up here!), we feature a few of our favorite tri twitter accounts. The YoungTri Team thought we’d compile fifteen of our favorites (in no particular order – more coming soon) to show you a few more of our favorites!

This fifteen is going to focus on pros. More soon! Enjoy 🙂

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 3.28.56 PM.jpgBe sure to follow YoungTri on Twitter 🙂 @theYoungTri

ONE || Dave Scott

TWO || Craig Alexander

THREE || Linsey Corbin

FOUR || TJ Tollakson

FIVE || Belinda Granger

SIX || Julie Dibens

SEVEN || Sarah Haskins

EIGHT || Andy Potts

NINE || Amanda Lovato

TEN || Chrissie Wellington

ELEVEN || Hunter Kemper

TWELVE || Chris Lieto


FOURTEEN || Mirinda Carfrae

FIFTEEN || Matty Reed

What are your favorite triathlon-related twitter accounts to follow? Who should we add to our next list?

Tri Hard,


Hannah’s Transition from Skiier to Collegiate Triathlete at UVM

The following post is a feature from Hannah Feinberg, a YoungTri ambassador who is a freshman on the UVM triathlon team. Read her post on YT from last week (about the importance of triathlon’s NCAA initiative) here.

About a year ago I was an anxious high school senior attending Northwood School in Lake Placid, New York. As with any senior, I was freaking out about where to go to college and wanted nothing less than to graduate and move on with my life.

It wasn’t until I toured the University of Vermont (UVM) in mid April that I decided I would attend UVM. (The college decision deadlines were due May 1… talk about procrastination!) My tour guide was tall, athletic looking, and had long blonde hair up in a ponytail. When she introduced herself she said that she was a senior, the President of the UVM Triathlon Club, and a member of the UVM Ski and Snowboard Club. At that moment, my mom and I looked at each other and were both like “OMG that is me…” Up until that very moment I was about 95% positive I was going to be a Division 1 alpine ski racer in college. But because my tour guide was who it was, I made the best decision I could have ever made, opted against skiing D1, and sent my deposit to UVM to pursue triathlon and a major of Dietetics, Nutrition, and Food Science.

UVM Tri Team at Westchester!

UVM Tri Team at Westchester!

I always used triathlon as cross training for skiing. Don’t ask me why — the two sports are COMPLETELY different. I loved both sports equally and couldn’t give one of them up, so I pursued both of them throughout high school. I’ve competed internationally in skiing and have finished many sprint tris, Olympic tris, one 70.3, and during senior year I completed the 2013 Ironman Lake Placid! For this reason, I was known as “Slowtwitch” on the ski team. Despite living in Lake Placid I didn’t know ANY other triathletes my age (until I met Caity this summer and was introduced to YoungTri!) so I was doing most of my training and racing alone. This is why when I found out UVM had a triathlon team, I just couldn’t turn down the offer.

The very first day of freshman year, I joined the UVM Triathlon Club and made some of my first (and now some of my best) friends at UVM. We had our first group practice, which was a 5K run. I began running with a junior from Denver, Colorado whose name was Riley. After talking a little bit, we realized that I had met Riley’s mom during Race Across America and didn’t even know it! It turned out I raced Ironman Lake Placid with the father of one of the girls named Hannah. Another even more surprising connection was when my ski coach from Whiteface transferred to Vail, he coached the team President, Abby! 20 minutes prior I didn’t know a single person on that run, but after those 3 miles I had developed all of these connections to my teammates and it was great! The world is small; it is even smaller in our endurance world…

After finishing Ironman!

After finishing Ironman!

Our club is Co-ed and we compete in the Northeast Collegiate Triathlon Conference (NECTC) (Harvard and West Point, among others, are in this conference also). This consisted of 6 races in Lakeville, MA; Lake George, NY; Freeport, ME; Lebanon, NJ; Buzzard’s Bay, MA; and Rye, NY all of which were either a sprint or Olympic distance.

During the fall, we biked around the outskirts of Burlington and took in the beautiful fall foliage of the mountains; we swam in the crystal clear water of Lake Champlain (minutes from campus); and we ran throughout campus and all over Burlington. Due to the diversity of our team, these excursions were typically done in smaller groups of 2-5 people of the same ability level. We have members on our team that have won world championships in Duathlon, completed Ironmans, were Division 1 swimmers, are experienced and very fast age groupers at the shorter distances, and many first time triathletes. We welcome people of all ability levels! Now that it is winter and we are basically forced inside to workout, we have group pool workouts, trainer rides, and strength workouts. These are great because it doesn’t matter your ability level, they give you somebody that will push you, and it gives you a friend to workout with!

photo 2-38

I’m so close with all of my teammates!

Since we are a club sport the school provides minimal funding. With this said, we have many fundraisers throughout the year. In the fall we took part in in the 2014 UVM Student Prudent Naked Calendar. Select club sport receive a month and your team poses naked with props related to your sport. Talk about team building, ha! Right now we are planning for our 24 Hour Bike Ride. This is a fundraiser we do downtown on Church Street; half of the money goes to the club and half goes to the charity of our choice (to be decided). During the 24 hour bike ride we set up our bikes on trainers in the middle of church street, in the freezing cold, and bike for 24 hours straight!

This is the first time I’ve had people to share my passion for triathlon with on a daily basis as a part of a team. It is great to be able to call up a buddy and ask them to go for a long swim, bike, or run and not have them respond saying “Hannah, you are insane. NO!” As with any sport, being on a team is a great feeling and I didn’t know you could experience that feeling in triathlon until I came to UVM.

If you are in high school and are considering taking the next step in your triathlon career, I highly suggest researching schools that compete at the collegiate level! Trust me, it is SO MUCH FUN! If you are a college student, consider joining an already existing team at your school or start your own! (There are plenty of people who can help you do this!)

Have you ever wondered how certain people can make such big impacts on your life? If it weren’t for my UVM tour guide, I would probably be ski racing Division 1 and would not love triathlon as much as I do right now.

Who is someone that has changed the outcome of your life?

Train Hard!

Slowtwitch Hannah

Tri Tips: Winter Training (Part 1: Motivators)

Training in the winter can be super difficult (for those of us living in colder climates)! Days are grayer, days are shorter, it gets dark earlier — the list goes on and on. Having said this, there are ways you can keep yourself motivated and in-shape during the colder winter months… besides, spring will be here before we know it 🙂

See below for seven of my favorite winter training tips to get you out the door faster!


ONE || great music.

This one is key – especially in the winter. In the summer, if I’m feeling good and the weather is super nice I’ll sometimes do without the tunes during a longer workout. But in the winter? Noooooo way. I need that extra burst of energy that the music gives me.

BUT, admittedly, I barely ever make new playlists. I usually make them super short, forget to add good pump up songs, and stick to the same tunes. I’ve found a solution lately, though. I love 8tracks. It’s an app/website where you plug in keywords for the type of music you would like to listen to (for example “dance + party” “rap”, “house” or other keywords like “summer + country”) and various playlists come up. You can listen to them for free! Love, love, love.

Lately I’ve been obsessed with mashups/EDM/house music for running (although sometimes I stick to traditional pop stuff), so I’ve been listening to the (playlists named by their creators) “Let’s Go 2014” playlist, “train like a beast look like a beauty“, “keep calm and party all night“, and “back to school EDM mix“, to name a few.

TWO || finding YOUR big motivation.

So. Important. You’ve GOT to have some kind of fire lit in you — some motivator that’s going to get you out of your warm, cozy bed on a freezing January morning to go workout. Whether it’s signing up for that race you’ve always wanted to do, chasing a new PR, fitting into those jeans from last summer, or just increasing your overall fitness, find something that motivates you. And use it.

THREE || switching it up.

Switching up workouts in the winter is key. Try some new classes at the gym (my mom is making me try a barre class with her at the gym tomorrow), speed intervals, trail runs, bike rides with friends, new routes (look for some here), or anything else that will switch up your routine a bit.

For example — this morning, instead of just doing 90 minutes of spinning in my basement, I headed to the gym, did a 45 minute high intensity spin class, did some sprint intervals on the erg, did a 45 minute core set, then did 10 minutes on the stairmaster (at high levels to break a sweat) followed by a 10 minute cooldown on the elliptical. It kept me moving, was a GREAT workout, and I was never bored.

FOUR || leggings. leggings. leggings.

Pretty much self explanatory. Buy a lot of leggings. And warm winter workout clothes. This way — NO excuses. 🙂

FIVE || plans.

When “The Januarys” have hit you — as in you’re moody, tired, achy, and all you want to do is eat, it can be tempting to tell yourself that it’s okay to take a few days off. BUT, if you have a plan and stick to it (like an Ironman training plan, extended sprint plan, plan from a coach, or a personal plan you’ve outlined for yourself), it makes it a lot harder to skip workouts, and a lot easier to stay on track.

SIX || …have a backup.

Winter weather is crazy. In December and January alone, there were days in New Jersey that were fifty degrees, and days that were below five. You have to be willing to adjust your plans — and make working out a non-negotiable. If a snowstorm hits, don’t use it as an excuse to take a day off. Go on the treadmill. Spin inside. Do a weight/ab circuit. Find ways to stay fit & on track!

SEVEN || the little things.

Noticing the little things — especially in the winter — will keep you moving and motivated to continue training. Log your progress, and give yourself props for pumping out a new PR on the treadmill, trying a new class, increasing the weight on your bench press, or whatever it is you’ve been working on lately. Talk with friends (and YoungTri Members) about what’s been going right/wrong for you this winter. Journal if it helps you.

Keep a picture of you and friends at your favorite summer race in sight in your room to keep you looking ahead. Treat yourself to a fun & healthy meal out with friends once you hit a training milestone. Whatever it is that will keep you loggin’ those miles in January 🙂

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Getting yourself out the door is usually the hardest part on a snowy, gray day! Once I’m outside with my jacket and headphones, I’m ready to go 🙂

What are some of your favorite winter tri training tips? We’ll be posting more (and some YT members’ favorites) soon in part 2!

Tri Hard,