Off Season is Busy at Triattic

The first Saturday of each month Triattic continues to have clinics based on skills needed for Triathletes.  This past weekend Coach Sandy and Charlie held a Trainer Bike Drills Clinic. They explained the importance of a proper bike fit and the purpose of drills on a bike trainer.

During the clinic the athletes were shown proper form while doing Isolated Leg Drills. The purpose of this type drill is to eliminate dead spots at the top of the pedal stroke.

Another common drill that was demonstrated was Spin Ups/High Cadence. While doing spin ups it is important to focus on keeping a controlled cadence in order to smooth the bottom end of pedal stroke.

Other drills that were covered during the clinic focused on mind activation, focusing on a certain part of the pedal stroke during normal riding. Some of these drills include; top only, toe touch, 9 to 3  and 3 to 9.

During the off season a trainer is a great way to focus on bike drills. Using a trainer gives you immediate feedback on your pedal stroke just by listening to the sound. If you hear a consistent whirling sound, that is good. But if you hear clunking than you know you need to work on your form.

In December Coach Stephanie and Jo put on a Bike Handling Skills Clinic.  Jo demonstrated many bike handling drills that you can practice each week even on recovery rides. Some examples are hold a straight line, touch your toes, and follow the leader. Spend a few minutes on them each week and this can help improve your bike handling skills.

Stephanie showed us ways to improve transition by being more efficient with our time. We learned what it takes to be considered a minimalist, how to keep your bike shoes on your pedals when mounting and dismounting and to include practicing transitions into your weekly.

2014 in Review from Coach Jo

2014 was a great year and marks the second year I have been coaching with Triattic. In January I added Youth and Junior Certified to my coaching to be able to work with kids again.  I have been given the privilege to coach some amazing people this past year and look forward to 2015. I wanted to highlight the athletes I have worked with over the past year and thank them for giving me the opportunity to help them accomplish their goals for the season.

John Thompson
John had a great first triathlon season in 2013. He decided to accept the challenge of doing a Full Ironman this year in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He knew that it would be difficult fitting in many hours of training along with his wife’s training for her first full ironman too. Having a toddler at home made for some creative weekend “tag team” bike rides for John and Melissa, but they some how got the training in and were ready for the big race. The conditions on race day were beyond crazy especially for it being anyone’s 1st Full Ironman. I’ll never forget John’s eyes as we were walking up to get into the water… they were huge with fear and excitement all at the same time. He was very nervous with the wind howling at our backs and the cold sand covering our feet. I remember telling him to trust his training and know that he can do this. Once he took off he may have swallowed lots of water, bumped into people, and dealt with the massive swells in the lake, but through all that he had a great swim. The bike course was challenging with a total gain of 5,760 feet, but on this particular day there were sustained winds from 20-25 mph making it just that much harder. It was inevitable that you would be pedaling on the rolling hills, but even the descents you had to keep your feet moving. But again, John pushed through the tough conditions and survived the bike. He was very thankful to be off the bike and start the run. The run was parallel to the shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene for two loops, with one steep climb at the southern turnaround point. Being on a course that repeats, I was able to see John on the run. He was running every time I passed him! He would always ask me, “Coach, am I gonna make it? “ I assured him every time that he was doing great and that he had plenty of time to finish. I was so proud to see him the last time around and knew he would be crossing the finish line soon. John finished the race, his first full Ironman race, in 15 hours and 31 minutes. I could not have been more proud to be John’s coach. They say it is the journey to becoming an Ironman that is most important and to have been part of John’s journey was truly an awesome experience for me as his coach and friend.

Andrea Stephens and I have been friends for a long time. We met many years ago training for our very first marathon in 2006.  I was thrilled when she asked me to be her coach for triathlons in 2013. Her goal was to get back into shape and had a list of races to motivate her to do it. Andrea is the most resourceful and determined athlete I know. She will travel an extra 30 minutes to get to a pool or a track to get in a workout no matter what obstacle stands in her way. She came back this season improving each time she raced. Her last race was at Freedom Springs, where she took home 3rd place in her age group! This was a fantastic way for her to finish the season and year!

I was so happy when Deann Garcia became an “Official Triattic.” We all know how supportive and encouraging she has been to our team and her husband Morgan. This year she took the leap to becoming a triathlete. Last year Morgan bought her a bike for Christmas and she started running on her own.  By March of 2014 she was ready to take on some races. Her challenges for the year included a 5K, 10K, a Sprint Triathlon and a Half Marathon.

Deann is one of the nicest people you will ever meet and to be able to coach an athlete like her is such a treat for me. The first time she ever did a time trial I was surprised Morgan didn’t call 911 because she pushed so hard that her heart rate was off the charts! From that I knew just how much of a pleasure it would be to coach such an over achiever. She continues to amaze me on each workout pushing herself to new limits. One by one Deann checked off each challenge throughout the season accomplishing her goals and improving from race to race.  Watching Deann grow from her first 5K  all the way up to the Half Marathon has been a wonderful experience. She worked very hard this year to accomplish her goals and I am so proud to be her coach. Deann loved to use NUUN while training this year and now has been chosen to be a NUUN Ambassador for 2015!

Charlie Boyle joined Triattic in April of 2014 after completing his very first triathlon at Red Hills. His goals for the season were to lead a healthier life style and to complete a 15k by the end of the year. This has been a transforming year for Charlie. His dedication and determination to improve is evident when he shows up to track workouts in freezing cold weather and never complains.  When Charlie attempted his first time trial and wasn’t physically able to complete it he asked for a Mulligan. This just encouraged him to do more and get better at running. Charlie worked very hard this season accomplishing so much more than he had planned. He went on to race many triathlons this year and exceeded his goal of a 15k with completing a half marathon in an impressive time of 1:59:15. Amazing things happen to people that put forth such an awesome effort! I am thrilled to coach such a hard working athlete and friend. I look forward to seeing what the year 2015 has in store for him!
Claire and Deann

Claire Phillips joined the Triattic team in August of this year. She finished Georgia Veterans Triathlon with Deann and decided she wanted a coach. I was the fortunate coach she decided to choose. Her goals for the season were to improve her time from her previous Sprint and to build her endurance in running. She went on to finish Beach Blast in August taking home 3rd in her age group and finishing a 5k with an impressive time. Claire has huge goals for 2015 and I look forward to helping her achieve every one. 

Wade Eastman
I began coaching Wade in August. He competed in his first triathlon when he was 10 years old and hopes to one day be like his parents and become an Ironman. He swims for his school’s competitive swim team year round and enjoys riding his bike in his free time. Wade is one of the most positive athletes on the course and is always encouraging to his fellow competitors. He competed in 3 Sprints this year finishing second in his age group in 2 of them. Wade is a very motivated athlete that enjoys being challenged. He was ranked 16th Nationally and plans to compete in his first Draft Legal Youth F1 race in March. I am excited to see what happens next year for Wade. He continues to grow stronger and smarter each day and works so hard to improve.  I am very proud to be his coach and know that 2015 will be an awesome year for him.

Max Eastman
I have been coaching Max since August of this year. This was his 2nd year competing in triathlon and began at the age of 13. He runs Cross Country and swims on his school’s competitive swim team year round. He raced in 3 Sprint Triathlons taking 1st place in his age group in 2 of them and 2nd place in his age group in the last race. Max is a very disciplined athlete that works very hard to improve in the sport.  He is very encouraging to his fellow athletes just like his younger brother. He was ranked 12th Nationally and plans to compete in his first Draft Legal Youth F1 race in March. Max is a dedicated athlete that loves competition. I am proud to be Max’s coach and know this year will have many good things in store for him.