NICA: High School Mountain Bike Racing League!

The following is a post from YoungTri Member Julia Mace, a high school student from Northern California. She is a member of the National Interscholastic Cycling League (NICA) and will be sharing some of her stories with YoungTri over the next few weeks!

The National Interscholastic Cycling League (NICA) is a high-school mountain bike racing program in the US with 13 different leagues and a goal to be coast-to-coast by 2020! Although it is not triathlon or even road riding, when I learned about my school’s team I figured that it would be fun to be with a bunch of teenagers who appreciate the hard training and racing.


I have actually become a stronger cyclist from both a strength and technical skills perspective from this league which translates well to triathlons! I have also met two other triathletes on the team and have convinced a couple boys to join me in an XTERRA this summer.


NICA leagues vary by size, but new leagues have around 100 riders per race and NorCal (the league in which I compete) had over 600 riders at the opening race last weekend. Many schools are developing teams, but riders can also compete as “independents” or as part of a multi-school “composite” team.


Although this is my first year racing on one of the strongest teams in the country, I am having a great time. So far, there has been tons of camaraderie, parental and community support, as well and great races! I’ve also made quite a few new close friends. I’ll be sharing some more of my NICA stories with YoungTri over the next few weeks!


-Julia Mace




#YoungTri: Favorite Member Photos This Week

Some of our favorite #youngtri pictures this week…

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YoungTri Ambassador Jessica at Tufts after swimming with the MIT Tri Team!

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Tara submitted this picture on Instagram of her daughter – so cute! Future triathlete 🙂

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Ambassador Zoey from Washington’s post mini-triathlon reward this week!

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Ambassador Brittany from NJ’s warm outside Sunday ride! Mid 50s in New Jersey in February!

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Ambassador Kasey from TX waking himself up with a sunny morning run!

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David submitted this – so funny (and accurate)

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Ambassador Liv from NJ after reading & riding for an hour! Got a good bit of studying and working out in – wahoo!

Submit your photos by using #youngtri on Instagram! (or email


…And The Spring Triathlon Season Begins!

This morning, the Harvard Triathlon Team had our first practice of the spring season! It was almost 50 degrees (IN FEBRUARY IN BOSTON) so it was a perfect day for an outside run.

We split into a few pace groups, and each group did about 5-6 miles. It was a ton of fun! We had a team brunch afterwards in one of the dining halls.

We’ll be featuring some pictures from spring practices and events of other collegiate triathlon teams over the next few weeks, so stay tuned! Send us yours if you are a part of a collegiate club! Tweet at us @theYoungTri or email

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Some of today’s group!

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Beautiful scenery on the run 🙂 Love the Charles!

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Crystal and I ran together most of the time!

Nothing better than spring triathlon training. 🙂

Tri Hard,


First Spring Harvard Tri Practice Tomorrow!


Getting excited for the spring triathlon season – the Harvard tri team’s first practice is tomorrow at 10:30 AM!



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Team selfie 🙂

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If you’re on a collegiate team, we want to see pictures from your spring practices! Tweet us @theYoungTri or email!

To learn more about the Harvard Tri Team: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Tri Hard,


Getting Into the Zone

This is a post from YoungTri Contributor Patrick LaBrode. Patrick is a Sophomore on the University of Texas at Austin Swim Team.

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In the Zone at UT!

Being an endurance athlete is the furthest thing from easy! We (triathletes, distance runners/swimmers, and cyclists) have to spend many long and grueling hours training a week for a race that could 1 hour to 12+ hours. Although endurance training seems impossible, once you “get in the zone” you can feel like you never want to stop!

I myself am a distance swimmer (swimming the 1650, 1000 and 500) and I have competed in many triathlons. So many of my friends and family members ask me “how do you do it?”

They are stunned when I tell them I swam 9,000+ yards (around 5 miles) in one practice. And the only response I have is that “I get in my zone and just go.” Getting in the zone is something hard to explain to people outside of the “endurance sports world”. All of the sprinters on my team say if they were given a long-distance set, they’d get extremely bored and tired and give up. But what is different about us endurance athletes is the ability to get into that distance “zone”.

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Getting into my zone consists of me catching the right stroke rhythm. When this happens, my stroke seems in sync with my breath and my kick. I feel the pull of the water with every stroke and my stroke feels strong and relaxed. As my strokes begins to get in the right rhythm, I also might sing a song in my head that fits the speed/rhythm I want to achieve in my workout. Once everything is together, you feel it, and then you just keep going until the end of the workout or set.

As I’m in my zone, I also like to focus on what’s ahead of me. Is there a turn coming up? How long have I gone? What is my pace? All of these questions help yourself stay focused on the present workout and keep your mind from wondering.

So, next time you’re headed out to the track, road, pool treadmill, trainer, etc. try to think about your body and mind getting into the zone to maintain consistency and keep focused. It’s a great habit/tactic that distance athletes have, so use it!


“You’re ONE Workout Away From a Better Mood.”

I found this quote this week — and it COULD NOT be more accurate. Last week, I found myself super stressed and not in the best of moods in general. I was finding it quite difficult to get out the door and work out.

But, I began to realize as the week went on that as tough as it was to get back into a normal workout routine after being sick/injured, workouts are the best mood enhancers.

I noticed that I felt a lot happier and less stressed after each workout. Of course this feeling isn’t especially new, I just noticed its positive effects especially in my last few bikes and runs this week 🙂 .

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Take a moment this week to use your workouts to channel all the stress and negative energy that has been bottling up inside of you. Let go and PUSH. Feel that endorphin release — and enjoy it.

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YoungTri Ambassador Luke killin’ it on the treadmill!

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YoungTri Ambassador Zoey all smiles after her indoor workout!

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Workout selfie – Harvard tri girls take the gym! Better moods as a result!

Do you find that training is a way to put you in a better mood?

Tri Hard,


Ironman Bracelets: July to February


July —> Feb!

Crazy difference — six months apart! A lot more worn and a lot less tan! Not time to take off yet 🙂

Stay tuned for a post next week about the YoungTri presentation at the Triathlon Business International conference… I’ll explain a bit in it why these two bracelets mean so much to me.

Do you ever keep on race bracelets — or other bracelets — for inspiration while training?

Tri Hard,



GoShiggyGo Photography LAX Sign Project with YoungTri!

While Kaitlin and I were in Los Angeles for the Triathlon Business International Conference, we connected with Shiggy of GoShiggyGo Photography for a really fun photo shoot! Shiggy (a triathlete himself AND Ironman Finisher!) wanted YoungTri to be a part of his unique “LAX Sign Project” — photographing individuals on the LAX sign.

Throwin’ up the YT!

Shiggy finished Ironman Lake Tahoe in 16 hours 58 minutes 33 seconds! Crazy — and SO awesome! He claims that he was too busy taking photos and videos along the way to keep track of time. 🙂 With a 17 hour time limit for an official Ironman finish, Shiggy finished with a minute and two seconds to spare! GO SHIGGY GO! 🙂

Shiggy after his awesome 16:58 Ironman Finish!

Shiggy after his awesome 16:58 Ironman Finish! (Clock different from wave)

Kaitlin and I had a TON of fun during the shoot. Shiggy made the experience super fun and relaxed — and it was a gorgeous day for outside photography. (About 70 degrees – a HUGE difference from the Boston weather right now!) Photography is Shiggy’s true passion, and it definitely showed during the shoot. He was energetic, fun, and so creative!

The three of us even enjoyed In-N-Out Burger afterwards… which was SOOOOO good and such a nice treat (it was Kaitlin’s first time trying it)! West Coasters are so lucky to have In-N-Out… wish it was in Boston!

Classic East Coasters In-N-Out Tourist Pic :)

Classic East Coasters In-N-Out Tourist Pic 🙂

If any YoungTri members are ever in Los Angeles, drop Shiggy a message and have your very own photo taken with the LAX sign!

We had a great time at the shoot with Shiggy!


Harvard Tri!

Kaitlin and I are missing California already!

To find out more about Shiggy, check out the Go Shiggy Go Photography Facebook Page.

Tri Hard,


Boston University Try-A-Tri: Super Sprint Indoor Race!

This morning, Kaitlin and I headed over to Boston University’s athletic complex for the BU Try-A-Tri! The event was an indoor “super sprint” triathlon designed to get more people involved in the sport. Athletes started out by doing a 200 yard swim, followed by a 15 min bike on an indoor spinner and a 1 mile run on the indoor track.

We had a great time watching YoungTri Ambassador Jessica from Tufts compete (and kick butt… she did amazing!) as well as Harvard Tri Teammates, members of the Northeastern Tri Team, MIT Tri Team, BU Tri Team, and more.

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The Try-A-Tri T-shirt!

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Kaitlin and I had fun spectating!

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BU’s pool

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Indoor Spinners!

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Indoor Track

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My friend Liz on the BU triathlon team! 🙂

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YoungTri Ambassador Jessica from Tufts!

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Northeastern Tri Team with their YT stickers 🙂

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Yaaaaayyyyy Jess!

To find out more about the BU triathlon team, click here.

Have you ever competed in a super sprint or an indoor tri? 

Tri Hard,


Top Ten Tri Stats from Triathlon Business International Conference

Kaitlin and I learned so much about the sport at the TBI Conference!

Kaitlin and I learned so much about the sport at the TBI Conference!

Learn more about Triathlon Business International here.

1. There were 193 Youth Triathlons in 2004, and this number rose to 1,046 by 2012.

2. In 2005, less than 1% of USAT Members were youth (7-17 demographic). By 2012, this number rose to 35%.

(I used the above two figures in my speech — which I will be posting on YT this week — the next 8 were featured in a presentation at TBI by Gary Roethenbaugh of Multisport Research).

3. Overall participation in triathlon is up 111% since 2007.

4. Triathlon (Traditional) is the third fastest-growing sport in the United States, after Non-Traditional/Off Road Triathlons and adventure racing

5. The average age of a triathlete is 38.

6. 77% of Triathletes train for 5 or more hours a week.

7. There is a 193% rise in the number of triathletes who race 10+ times per year since 2007

8. Triathletes post triathlon-related information on social media less about triathlon participation, more about the triathlon experience/impact (brands, events, etc.)

9. When asked “What does it mean to be a triathlete?”, the most common response from triathletes worldwide incorporated the words challenge, confidence, and variety.

10. Average triathlete spends $4,000+ on triathlon-related costs – gear, travel, race registration, etc.

Fascinating, huh? Triathlon’s growth is so exciting 🙂

Tri Hard,