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 🙂

photo 2-36

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,


Early Wake-Ups — How to Deal

We’ve all been there. That 6:30 (or 5:30 or WORSE 4:30 like below) alarm goes off. You’re abruptly awoken from a peaceful slumber — and maybe even an awesome dream. And you know that there’s no turning back. No avoiding race day wakeup. Or practice. Or whatever it may be.

But there are a few ways to avoid either sleeping through your alarm OR trudging through the morning with that awful tiredness feeling all over you.


My iPhone realizes that 4:30 wakeups are usually tri-related. Haha

  1. Realize it could be worse. Hey… at least you’re getting your workout in early??? Haha
  2. Lay things out the night before. Whether it’s your tri bag or just clothes for practice, laying things out in advance can give you an extra few minutes of sleep 🙂
  3. Set your alarm 10-15 minutes earlier than you actually have to get up. That way, you can hit snooze and ACTUALLY wake up at the time you need to rather than running behind.
  4. Shake it off. My approach to waking up early = once out of bed NO MORE THINKING ABOUT BEING TIRED. Splash your face with cold water. Do some push ups (Yeah, no. But if you’re desperate, it’s worth a try…). Anything that gets your mind off of being drowsy.
  5. Play some music. This one is my favorite — it always gets me going in the morning. Jam to your favorite workout playlist, or start off with some slower, more thoughtful songs — whatever you think will get you going.

What are some of your most successful approaches to early wakeups?

Tri Hard,


Tri Tunes: My Fall Favorites

One of the best parts of a workout is the soundtrack, right?! (That is, unless you’re biking outside. Then not such a great idea). I’ve come up with a solid longer workout playlist this fall, as well as purchased a few albums that are workout-worthy (that I’ll share later this week!).

See below for a list of the songs in my favorite fall workout playlist, and let me know yours! The songs are a mix of everything – from rap to country to pop and more. 🙂

They’re my favorite tunes to blast this fall in the boathouse, on my bike in my room, on runs, and more!



  • Enjoy the Ride – Krewella
  • Youth (Adventure Club Remix) – Foxes
  • Rock N Roll – Avril Lavigne
  • Stay the Night (feat. Hayley WIlliams of Paramore) – Zedd
  • Bruises (feat. Ashley Monroe) – Train
  • Royals – Lorde
  • We Were Us – (Duet with Miranda Lambert) – Keith Urban & Miranda Lambert
  • Hold On, We’re Going Home – Drake
  • Hey Brother – Avicii
  • Wrecking Ball – Miley Cyrus
  • Eyes (feat. Mindy Gledhill) – Kaskade
  • We Can’t Stop – Miley Cyrus
  • Furthest Thing – Drake
  • 23 – Mike Will-Made it feat. Miley Cyrus
  • Dancing in My Head (Tom Hangs Remix) – Eric Turner vs. Avicii
  • Marry Me – Jason Derulo
  • Take Me Home (feat. Bebe Rexha) – Cash Cash
  • Blood on the Leaves – Kanye West
  • Maybe You’re Right – Miley Cyrus
  • SMS (Bangerz) (Feat. Britney Spears) – Miley Cyrus
  • Timber (feat. Ke$ha) – Pitbull
  • Team – Lorde
  • Survival – Eminem
  • HeadBand (feat 2. Chainz) – B.o.B
  • Heart Attack – Enrique Iglesias
  • Rap God – Eminem
  • Who’s Gonna Save Us – Gavin DeGraw
  • Ride – Timeflies
  • SMFWU – Timeflies
  • Do What U Want – Lady GaGa

What are some of your favorite fall workout tunes?

Tri Hard,


How to Find the Motivation to Train

Do you ever find yourself unenthusiastic about exercising or frequently skipping workouts? Sometimes you’re just too tired, too busy, or just not in the mood to go bike 30 miles. But you know what- you’re a triathlete. The definition of this sport is learning how to push yourself. Get off the couch and go do that workout!


Love training with Caity!

Here are some tips on how to motivate yourself: 

Just put on the workout clothes. I once read in a fitness magazine that by simply putting on your workout clothes, it greatly increases the chances of you working out. Whenever I’m going back and forth about whether to go for a run, I immediately throw on running shorts and a moisture-wick shirt.  Before I know it, I’ve hit the pavement. Works every time. 🙂

Make a routine. Making a schedule helps to keep yourself accountable and it will increase the likelihood of getting in your daily exercise. I swim every Monday night and take a spin class every Wednesday. I try to fill in the rest of the days with running. Take it up a notch from my routine: make a training calendar and plan what workout you will do each day!

Train with friends. Lately I’ve been running with my roommate, and I really enjoy it. We talk the whole time and we are both able to run a few miles more than we usually do on solo runs. Working out with friends can help motivate you to get out and exercise, and sometimes you can even get a better workout in than you would on your own!

Find new routes. My favorite part about running is discovering new things. I’m an explorer at heart; Columbus is my guy.  I purposely get lost on runs, but I pay attention to what turns I make, so I’m never truly lost. I always find the prettiest houses and neatest restaurants on my training adventures. A couple weeks ago I even found a forest conservation! I definitely recommend running with a phone though- in case you get lost for real. Plus, you can take pictures of the cool places you find!

Make a training time. What time of day best fits into your schedule? I always train in the afternoon after my classes, but sometimes I train at night if I’m going to swim or spin. Getting up early to workout doesn’t work for me because I’m too rushed getting ready before my first class. However, I have many friends who like to wake up early to workout to make sure they fit it into their day. Find what works for you and stick to it.

What strategies do you use to motivate yourself?



What do you want to see more of on YoungTri? Vote & win YT gear!

Vote below & tell us what you want to see more of on YoungTri! Voters {if you comment on the post or email} will be entered to win free YT gear – winners announced this weekend.

{Vote multiple times if you want to see more of more than one of the options!}

Tri Hard,

Caity & The YoungTri Team

Expect the Unexpected: Transitions {Advice after my Junior Elite Race}

When triathletes train, they tend to focus mainly on swimming, biking and running. However, the time elapsed during transition portion of your race can be the difference between winning gold — or coming up a stride too short.

I competed in 2011 USAT Junior National Championships in San Diego, CA as a junior elite athlete. This was my first national-level triathlon, and I was a mixture of excited and nervous. My training had been going really well, and I was stoked to see the outcome of all my hard work.

The swim portion of the race went really well! I ended up coming out of the water in 3rd place and was in the zone to hang with the lead bike pack. But when I got to the transition area, I encountered major complications.

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Transition at USAT Junior Elite Nationals!

I got my helmet and sunglasses on quickly, but as I went to pull out my bike from the rack, it wouldn’t budge! Somehow my bike had gotten tangled up with a youth elite girls bike on the other side of the rack! Panic struck at this point, and I was freaking out. My emotions did not help solve the problem. It took me about 20 seconds to get my bike untangled, just enough time to watch the lead pack leave me (every second matters in such a short race) and I was stuck by myself for the first loop of the bike portion.

My legs died out as I watched many bike packs pass me — and although I finished the race, I did not finish where I wanted to in the pack.

Although my race didn’t go as planned, I learned a huge lesson: expect the unexpected, especially in transition. What I learned from my race is to stay calm when something goes wrong, so you can more easily solve the problem If you stay calm during a race, you can think quicker/more efficiently and you can go for the gold!

-Patrick LaBrode

YoungTri Executive Board Member & Swimmer at University of Texas at Austin

Tri Traveling: What to Eat & Do to Stay in Shape {and have fun} On Vacation!

SO your bags are packed. Your itinerary is set. Your tri training is put to the side. (Unless it’s an Ironman trip. Haha).

One of the best things about the summer is traveling. Taking time off from training, work, and school to just relax, enjoy the sun, and not worry about completing your next AT workout or eating super healthy. But to avoid gaining weight/losing a ton of fitness over an extended vacation, try these tips:

  • Research food options. – Especially if you have a special dietary need (like Gluten Free or Dairy Free), research the food options available to you before you travel! You can plan to go to various restaurants, buy snacks at certain healthy stores, etc.
  • Watch your portions. You can go for that exotic {not so healthy} meal or yummy new dessert — as long as you watch your portions. Anything is okay in moderation {once in awhile} :).
  • Try unique workouts. To avoid that post-vacation “out of shape” feeling, try unique workouts! Go paddleboarding, an exploratory swim around the lake or ocean where you’re staying, sailing, yoga, a short jog along the shoreline, hiking, or something else popular at your vacation destination! Switching it up will help you stay in shape and enjoy yourself while on vacation.
  • Involve your family! – If you’re traveling with family, loved ones, or friends, involve them in your vacation workouts and healthy eating! Try paddle boarding with your sibling, go on a short swim and chat in the middle of the lake with your parents, or take your friend on a hike or jog. Split new & exciting dishes with each other at dinner, and keep each other in check when it comes to working out & not overeating.
  • Don’t be extreme. – Instead of either working out for 2 hours every day and eating perfectly and not working out at all, find a balance. It may be difficult at first, but your post-vacation self will thank you. Fit in a significant deal of rest (that’s what vacations are for!) but don’t go crazy.
  • Allow a little wiggle room. Remember that you’re allowed to take a day off from working out and eating healthy once in awhile. {That’s what vacations are for!} The most important thing is to enjoy yourself :).

The key to staying in shape and enjoying yourself on vacation is balance.

What’s your favorite way to stay in shape while on vacation?

Tri Hard,


Join the YoungTri Members-Only Facebook Group: Connect With Members, Ask Questions, & More!



Have you joined our YoungTri Members-Only Facebook group yet? Ask for advice, connect with other members, & more! (make sure you sign up for YT too Contest later this week for group members to win free gear!

Click here to Join the YoungTri Members-Only Facebook Group

Tri Hard,


Top Ten Ways You Know You’re A Triathlete

  1. One sport just isn’t enough. So you do three. In a row.
  2. Your friends fully expect that almost every time you hang out with them you WILL talk about triathlons.
  3. You have more workout clothes than regular clothes. And since this includes swimming, biking, and running attire, it’s a LOT.
  4. Your tan lines are weirder than any other athlete.
  5. Shot blocks and Gus are an everyday snack.
  6. One of the most used phrases in your vocabulary is “I can’t, I have to train”. (Or you have to eat. Or sleep.)
  7. Your body is so used to waking up at 6 or 7 AM due to training habits that you oftentimes cannot sleep in. No matter how much you want to.
  8. Wearing compression socks in public doesn’t phase you.
  9. While your friends have been asking for that new convertible, you’ve been eyeing the newest bike.
  10. The term “brick” has nothing to do with building houses.

Tri Hard,

Erin Begg, Caitlin Begg, Kaitlin Adams, Patrick LaBrode

Become a YoungTri Ambassador!

Want to get more involved in the triathlon community? Connect with other triathletes? Receive free gear?

Then Apply to Become a YoungTri Ambassador! Fill out the form below.

The Executive Board Members & I have decided to put together a team of passionate, excited YoungTri ambassadors from all over the world. We’re very excited about the program!

Who: Members in the Youth, High School, College, and Beyond category… of ALL experience levels!

Why: Connect with other young triathletes, share your story, spread the word about YoungTri, and receive free gear!

When: Don’t worry! Being an ambassador can be a small time commitment (unless you’re interested in doing more!). It’s all up to you.

All ambassadors receive FREE YoungTri gear as well as being featured on the website, newsletter, and blog (if they’d like… and other perks – like free samples!). 

A little bit about YoungTri ambassadors:

  • Featured on Site as Ambassador
  • Spread the YoungTri love in their community
  • Receive updates & Contribute ideas and input
  • Optional: Run local training groups & events

We’ll email you back with more information.

Tri Hard,