Surviving Frosty February

Counting down the days until nationals in Sunny Arizona!

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Tons of snow in the Northeast this winter!

My parents sent me these snow-covered snapshots this morning — the view from my house in New Jersey. Although Massachusetts hasn’t been hit as hard this week, we’re supposed to get a huge storm tomorrow!

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Covered in snow!

It’s made training outside almost impossible at times — so I’ve turned to indoor workout. Trainers & treadmills.

Looking for some training tips for surviving Frosty February? Check these out:

ONE || Spin Zone: 3 Cycling Workouts For The Winter

TWO || Winter Training: Indoor Brick Workouts

THREE || Learn to Love Indoor Triathlon Training

FOUR || Variety is the Spice of Indoor Training

FIVE || One-Hour Workout: Treadmill Hill Pyramid

Tri Hard,

Caity

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!

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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,

Caity

YoungTri NJ Ambassador Meetup (…And a Contest! Win Chrissie Wellington Autographed YT Gear)

In honor of YoungTri’s 3rd anniversary on January 8th, we’re having a contest where members can win autographed Chrissie Wellington YT gear!

To enter, all you have to do is:

SHARE THE YT FACEBOOK POST FROM TODAY (1/5) ON YOUR TIMELINE! 

The winner will be announced on January 8th! 🙂 And in honor of our 3rd birthday, we will have 3 winners. The first place winner will choose from one of the autographed items (moisture wick shirt or sticker) or another YT piece of gear. The second and third place winners will get second and third choices!

For unlimited extra entries (1 point for each friend signed up), sign up your triathlete friends (or friends interested in swim, bike, and run) for YoungTri by clicking here! There is a space to enter your name for member referral when signing up. (So we can keep track of your points!) You can also share the sign-up link with friends.

Good luck! 🙂

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Win Autographed Chrissie Wellington YT gear!

 

YoungTri New Jersey Ambassador Mini Meet-Up

3 YoungTri Ambassadors from New Jersey (Diana, Olivia, and Brittany) and I met up at Veggie Heaven. It was so much fun! I met Brittany once this summer, but I had never met Olivia or Diana in person!

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We ate at Veggie Heaven… it was delicious!

We shared stories about races, spoke about how our breaks had been going, and had a LOT of fun! It was awesome to have the four of us finally connect in person.

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Diana and Olivia!

The four of us are so excited about what’s ahead for YoungTri… including lots of member meet-ups! We can’t wait for you to join in 🙂

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We had to take a group selfie 🙂

Diana is a senior at Marywood University, and plays lacrosse and runs cross country there. She even went to nationals last year. You can learn more about here in the feature “Tri Top 5”. Brittany is a junior at Montclair high school, and loves triathlons and writing. You can read one of the articles she’s written for YoungTri on how to beat post-race blues here! Olivia is a sophomore at West Morris Mendham High School. She loves skiing and triathlons — she did her first race this past spring! Read about her tri beginning in high school — and how it gave her strength — here!

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It was SO slippery and icy outside!

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Holdin’ up the Chrissie autographed shirt!

Even though we’re all different ages (and from different parts of the state), we all share one (of many) things in common: we. love. tris. 🙂

We plan on doing races together this summer… and we’ll keep you updated so other members in the area can join in!

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Love hanging with other YoungTri ambassadors 🙂

Are you interested in becoming a YoungTri Ambassador? Apply here.

Tri Hard,

Caity

Tri Treats: Winter Edition

If you’re looking for some new post-training snacks over break, try some of the delicious winter “Tri Treats” that the YT team has compiled below. The recipes are easy, fun, and nutritious!

Enjoy 🙂

fg3pppPeppermint Patty Protein Bites

img_5557Apple, Pear, & Raisin Cake (Naturally gluten free, dairy free, & sugar free!)

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Homemade Graham Crackers

Grapefruit with pistachios

Grapefruit with Pistachios

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Dark Chocolate Double Dipped Blood Oranges

Have you tried any of these? What are your favorite winter tri treats? Let us know! info@youngtri.com

Tri Hard,

Caity

Learning from Sophomore Fall Stress at UT!

This is a post from YoungTri Contributor Patrick LaBrode

“The only thing holding you back is what’s between your ears.”

This quote defines my sophomore fall 2013 semester.  I had the hardest class schedule so far during my time at the University of Texas, and on top of that, the swim practices grew tougher as well. This semester was full of highs, and many lows, but finally finishing and looking back, it was an amazing learning experience.

I was nervous for this semester in the beginning because I was taking a tough courseload that had me in class on Mondays from 8am to 1pm, no breaks. And Tuesday nights I had a lab from 6pm to 10pm. I wasn’t sure how I was going to balance my swim/school schedule at first.

However, having an entire year’s worth of college swimming under my belt definitely made a difference this fall. This season I can finally push myself harder than what is expected, instead of being in “survival mode,” like I was during my freshman year! I was also swimming faster times in meets than I was a year ago, so I was stoked about that.

My fall semester was still enjoyable - despite the highs and lows!

My fall semester was still enjoyable – despite the highs and lows!

But, like with any years — lows came with some of the highs that accompanied my settling into the swim team. With the stress from class and my grades, (which were lower than what I hold myself to) I had a couple of break down points. Including our mid-season taper meet, the Texas Invitational.

This meet (early December) was supposed to be a really fast meet for all of us — and I was hoping to go best times early on in the season. I was feeling great going into it, but that week I ended up having 4 exams. So I spent the majority of the week stressing, studying, and not sleeping. It was a bad combo, and my body felt the effects from it. I began having really bad acid reflux and trouble breathing and my stroke broke down. Needless to say, it was probably one of the worst swim meets I’ve ever had.

Although it was disappointing, I am (thankfully) pretty good at putting bad swims behind me. And I had finals the next week, so I had to focus on those — and didn’t have time to dwell on the past. I studied all week for finals and my grades came out a lot better than I had expected. And my swimming continued to improve as the semester went on from my newfound balance and focus.

Great to be back with my family over break!

Great to be back with my family over break!

Looking back on my semester, I realized I was always just a couple steps behind in my classes, always struggling to catch up. If I had put in the work early on (like I did at the end of the semester) my GPA, swimming, and self would have been much better! Through this experience, I realized that it’s important when you find yourself struggling with school and training to sit down, breathe, and write down a plan for yourself. You may be holding yourself back and be further along than you think 🙂

Here’s to a relaxing break and great spring semester!

-Patrick LaBrode

Staying Motivated When it’s FREEZING

For those of us not lucky enough to love in a warm climate right now, it’s gotten cold. Really cold. Bringing with it snow, snow, and… you guessed it… more snow.

I’ve found that one of the hardest parts about winter is staying motivated — even when it’s freezing, dark, and cold.

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Braving the frigid Cambridge conditions!

And, let’s be real… We’re all thinking what my snapchat (THE BEST APP) below says when we’re faced with the decision of whether to stay in bed or workout when it’s cold and snowy.

20131218-171823.jpgIt can be hard to get out of bed to work out, but once we’re done, it’s usually worth it 🙂

Even with frigid temps aside, the winter has a way of pushing our mental limits for all of us — even those who don’t have to walk outside in December with more layers than they can count.

Winter is a time for many of us in which we are far away from our goals. That Ironman finish is over six months away; collegiate nationals far off into the spring; that sprint not until the beginning of summer — and so on and so forth.

While it’s important to let the season take it’s course — with periods of higher fitness levels and excitement followed by rebuilding — it’s also important to realize how vital the winter is for a successful spring and summer season.

And if the thought of a successful spring/summer season doesn’t give you enough energy to get out of bed and brave the cold, maybe some of these suggestions will:

  • Planning workouts with a friend. Making plans to workout can make things more fun, and can ensure that you don’t skip your workout!
  • Printing out old race results and posting them somewhere where you can look at them often. Staring at that killer race or disappointing finish can keep you motivated to kick butt this season.
  • Following a plan. Even for those of us (like myself) who at times prefer unstructured training, following a plan — especially during the winter building months– can help keep you on track.
  • Finding alternatives and taking days off. Try yoga. Crossfit. Skiing. Erging. Whatever it may be to keep your routine exciting. And remember — it’s okay to take a day once in awhile to just sit on the couch, relax, and sip hot chocolate (or, if you’re like me, hot vanilla). Really. It’s okay. 🙂

20131218-173212.jpgFrigid conditions often call for extra boosts of motivation to get moving!

What are some of your tricks for staying motivated in the winter?

Tri Hard,
Caity

MOTIVATION: THE “TWO MS” TO KEEP YOU ON TRACK

Ok, so let’s be honest. It can be hard to stay motivated ALL the time.

One of the hardest parts of the holiday season is keeping up motivation. How do you stay motivated when you’re a collegiate athlete but you’re at home on break? How do you make yourself go to the gym when it’s snowing or when you’re not feeling up to it? And how do you make yourself eat well when so many tempations arise during the holiday season? (Hint: It is possible.)

I’ve found that the two keys to staying motivated are the two Ms: moderation and mentality. I have definitely struggled the most with the latter. Like many endurance athletes, I have a “Type A” extreme personality. Sometimes, I tend to hold onto the mindset that I need to eat PERFECTLY during the day, and that if I do not eat completely well and consume a little treat that makes it okay to have more throughout the day.

This mindset is FLAWED and NOT the way to stay motivated to eat healthy. The key to finding balance and motivation to eat well, to workout, or whatever it may be, is moderation. Don’t try to stick to extreme diets or starve yourself – it isn’t healthy. Rather, try alternatives; like eating healthy 6 out of 7 days per week and allowing yourself a treat one day a week. Or, if you can handle it, have something small a few days a week. Creating a plan that fits your personality and schedule can help you find balance in your life… and this can help you stay motivated!

This goes along with the second “M”… mentality. Keeping a positive mentality is the KEY to accomplishing your goals and staying motivated to do so. In order to do this, you may want to keep a journal, talk to friends about your goals, make your phone background a motivational quote, keep a goal list on your desk, print out pictures of yourself at happy times to keep you in a good state of mind, etc. Some of these things help me when I’m not feeling motivated.

The key thing to remember when it comes with the struggle to stay motivated is that YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE FEELING THIS WAY and that YOU CAN DO IT! Reach out to friends and follow the steps above, and you will be well on your way to accomplishing your goals 🙂

Tri Hard,

Caity

it can be hard to resist over eating baked treats during the holiday season!!!

IT IS POSSIBLE TO WORK OUT IN THE COLD!!! #staymotivated