Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Day, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from Team Evotri!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Off-Season Rules of Engagement

Kona has come and gone, and we are now officially in the multisport offseason in most areas, especially up here in the northern latitudes. This time of year is actually the perfect time to bring new people into the sport. One of my passions is getting people to live more active, healthy lifestyles, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to encourage someone to sign up for a race. Besides being tons of fun, full of energy, and a sure-fire way to keep people coming back, races give us goals to work toward and hold us accountable in our training.

I have coaxed countless friends, coworkers, and family members to the starting lines of running races, dus, and tris. For me, one of the highlights of this summer was seeing my brother finish his first sprint triathlon. Below, I've compiled a list of steps I usually take when bringing someone new into the sport.

Choose your target. You probably already know who it is. It could be the coworker who keeps saying they'd like to try a triathlon "someday." It could be your mom who has started jogging a little; a 5K race could be just the incentive she needs to keep up the great work. It could be your brother who just graduated from high school or college who misses playing team sports and is looking for a way to stay in shape. It could also be your running buddy who just bought a bike for cross training purposes and has never heard of a duathlon. Remember, you don't have to pick just one target. The more the better!

Plant the seed. Once you know who you'd like to recruit, just bring it up! I usually like to mention it in the context of, "Have you ever thought of..." or "I know of this race that I think you could really like." I try hard not to push it. If the person doesn't seem interested or if they express that the timing or other circumstances just aren't right, I may bring it up once later but then let them just think about it. It's surprising how many times they will decide to do it on their own once the seed's been planted.

Pick a race. It's often best to pick a beginner friendly race that's not completely full of bike porn and type A personalities. Help them pick a race that fits in with the time frame they have to train in a location that doesn't require a lot of time and money to get to. Although some people are really drawn to destination races, I believe that it's best to stay close to home for the first couple.

It enables people to train on the course and have as many family and friends come to cheer as possible! In my brother's case, we helped him choose a race that would be best suited to his strengths. Since he is a biker and was working on staying afloat in the swim, we picked a sprint tri that was heavy on the bike and had a shorter swim. If you have the luxury of being able to choose from multiple races, keep this in mind. One of the benefits of doing this step in the offseason is that registration fees are often much lower this time of year. Signing up early may help alleviate some of the sticker shock!

Help them obtain the equipment they will need. Another great reason to start this process early is that training and racing can be expensive! A first-timer doesn't need a 5000 dollar bike or a 400 dollar wetsuit. You know by now what is necessary for a race (goggles, a bike, a helmet, and running shoes). If they want and can afford more, great. I have had many friends and family who have biked their first races on 10 year-old mountain bikes in running shorts. I did my first tri in just a swimming suit. It's really intimidating at first to sift through all of the "must-haves," and your experience will be invaluable.

Facilitate their training. Your new recruit may already be a type A personality who has decided to research and make up a training program equipped with base, build, and recovery weeks. More than likely, you will need to help them design a regimen that's not intimidating and is feasible and accounts for their lifestyle.

I find that canned programs work really well for beginners, especially if they just contain the day of the week, the distances and type of the workouts, and the effort at which the workouts should be done (easy, med, or hard as opposed to 10 minutes in zone 3 and then 3 x 5 minutes in zone 4). There are gobs of books with great plans in addition to all of the ones available online. Another aspect of facilitating training is making sure that your recruit is getting in workouts that will make them successful in a race.

Make sure they do a brick or two. In my brother's case, my husband Steve and I took him out for several open water swims to prepare him for the freak out factor. Those workouts really made a difference in his training and during his race.

Encourage, encourage, encourage. Check in. See how the training is going. Ask them what they are nervous about. Offer to do a workout with them. Let them know that they can ask you questions anytime. It is so rewarding to be able to see someone working toward a goal.

Prepare them for race day. Make sure they have a nutrition plan (what they will eat for breakfast, race-day nutrition if needed, etc). They may want to run their list of stuff to bring by you. Lend them equipment or clothes if necessary. Ensure they know how to set up their transition area and when they will pick up their packet. Let them know what to expect in terms of the feel of the race (competitive vs beginner-friendly), the structure of the race (time trial vs wave start, whether there are other distances racing, etc), the course, the aid stations, and the after party.

Be there on race day. Whether you are racing that day too or are just going to cheer, join your new recruit on race day! Be there to answer any questions, help calm their nerves, and scream your head off as they near the finish. I still get choked up every time I help another person to a first finish line.

Happy training!

Monday, November 15, 2010

JP Tells the Tale

Michelle sat down with JP to follow up on his Ironman World Championship qualifying race in Florida.

In it, JP takes us through his race in tremendous detail on how he brought his race back from the brink of disaster and disappointment to make an improbable comeback and chase after his former Spartan teammates. Learn how he kept his cool and how he used what he learned from his idol Chris McCormack from this year's world championship to his advantage.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Kona, Baby!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

John Paul "Pele" Severin ROCKS IMFL!

Our youngest teammate, John Paul Severin took a little heat to Florida with him today, crossing the IMFL finish line in a wicked fast 9:24:33!

His sick split times include a 56:38 swim time, 4:52:07 on the bike, and a simply ridiculous 3:29.11 marathon.

The boy is a machine, having spanked his age group with his 3rd place rank, not to mention finishing in the top 60 overall!

Way to represent, John Paul! Rest up and know you owned it.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Rock and Roll, JP!

Tune in to tomorrow morning to track teammie, JP, as he rocks out on the swim bike and run in Panama City Beach, Florida!

Live it up, little brother! Clean house down south!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Kona Girl -- Conclusion

Continuing on with the 'things that stand out in my mind' train of thought....

-It took me a whole week to figure out why the T2 changing tent volunteer told me not to lock the door when I went into the porta-potty.

It's so they can get your ass out if you pass out! Like I said in my last post, the bike ride about did me in. It was tough physically, but probably more so mentally. When I got to the changing tent, I was parked onto a chair and the volunteer dressed me like I was a 2 month-old. Then another one slathered me with sunscreen since my arms felt like they were ON FIRE. On my way out I figured I should make a stop to potty as I knew this would be it until it was all over. Either I looked THAT bad or she said that to everyone, I don't know. But, I felt flattered that she was so concerned about me! No, I didn't keel over in there (that would've been COMPLETELY disgusting). I did what needed to be done and got on my way.

-It's a miracle what 2 extra minutes in transition will do for you!

When I got onto the run course, I was amazed to find that I was feeling pretty good! When in doubt, take a little more time in transition. Hallelujah! Needless to say the first 10 miles are through Kona and there is crowd support everywhere. This makes all the difference in the world too. Once I got going I was pleased to find that my legs were not trashed and my gut wasn't sloshy and pukey.

-The last half of the marathon is LONG and HARD and DESOLATE.

There are no spectators other than the awesome volunteers at the aid stations. It's you and the lava fields and the guy next to you running. And you're do damned tired, you're not talking to anyone. I just kept focusing one more mile up the road. 'Just get to the next aid station. Just get to the next aid station.'

-Finishing the Ironman World Championship has left me with feelings I never expected.

Yes, I knew I would feel satisfaction. But other emotions were more apparent.

Respect. Humility. Pride.

I have a huge level of respect for people who come out to this race and execute their race plans flawlessly. More than I could have imagined. It is not easy. The elements and the level of competition are fierce and do take their toll both physically and mentally.

I am humbled to have been able to be a part of this. I've been telling myself that this was the best ass-kickin' I've ever had. Honestly. It was handed to me. In retrospect, that's OK. I am blessed and lucky to have the physical ability and support of my family, friends, sponsors, and coach to get the job done. I still can't believe I was able to be lumped in with this group of stellar athletes.

Lastly, I'm proud. I swear to you, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would be in this place. Yes, as time progressed, the desire built and along with that the fitness and ability came. But, it was hard work that made it happen and I'm proud of myself for I succeeding.

"Michelle Brost, you are an IRONMAN!"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

JP Talks Ironman Florida

Michelle and RobbyB sat down with Evotri's own honey lover, Pooh Bear JP Severin as he prepares for his race at Ironman Florida this weekend. Topics included his preparation for his second Ironman, this year's racing results, his hard core training, life in California, how he plans to crush Ironman Florida, and of course, The Lightening Round!

Be sure to track JP on Saturday at He's bib #199.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Kona Girl -- Part Two!

I'm going to try to keep this short and sweet and post a few pictures. Really, who wants to read a race report? I'll just tell you about a few of the things that stand out in my mind.

-Just because you're passing people left and right on the swim doesn't mean your FAST!

I should know. I seeded myself about 75% on the way back. I fully realized that the average person would finish this swim closer to 1:00 than my hoped for 1:15. I had nothing to prove in the swim and really didn't want to battle the chaos. As I swam, I felt very calm, in control, and like I could do this all day. That should have been a clue. I WASN'T WORKING HARD ENOUGH!

-I can be mean when I have to be.

Never, ever have I done this before. But, some guy (and I'm assuming it was a guy because 73% of the field were men and I couldn't feel fabric on the chest) was climbing all over me. I mean he was literally on my butt a few times. Get off! I pulled the old mule kick number. I bet up my knee and launched a kick as hard and fast as I could landing it right in this person's chest. I mean really, is repeatedly swimming on top of someone necessary? Get off! That was the end of him. Thankfully.

-1:22 swim is NOT good.

No sugar-coating this. That pretty much sucks. What is one of the top priorities for the winter? Get this swim straightened out!

-Changing tent volunteers are simply THE BEST.

If anyone ever questions where they should volunteer or where they feel their impact will be most felt, I can tell you in all certainty it's the changing tent. After I did a complete clothing change with my volunteer's help, I went to the potty in the tent. This was not a "pee on the bike" day.

I realized while peeing away that I had forgot my glasses in my T1 bag. Crap, I thought. She's probably already taken my bag back to the hangers. I'll have to go find it and waste a lot of time doing that. This transition was already long enough. Now it will be worse. As I came out of the potty, guess who's standing there with my bag and glasses in her hand. My angel of a transition volunteer! I'm telling you these people are THE BEST!

This guy's not the volunteer!

-I am AMAZED at the power of nature.

I started the bike ride feeling good and solid. I was conscientously trying to keep my wattage down. I had been told by coach that the course was mind-numbing. I was trying to prepare myself for the psychological battle I knew things would turn out to be. All that said, I wanted this to be a race. I wanted to go hard and pass a few people! The bike is usually a strength for me and I typically have good feelings about it.

What started out as a drive to battle other competitors quickly turned into a drive to battle nature. I distinctly remember when the flip switched. It was about at mile 40. My body was starting to heat up and we were smack dab in the thick of the Queen K and lava fields. I knew I wasn't yet close to the ascent to Hawi and the heralded trade winds. I lost the connection between my power meter and hub. I was getting no data. Shortly thereafter, I dropped my chain shifting from the big to small chain ring. I had to pull over, stop and fix my chain.

I remember thinking how 'this sucks' and I'm going to have to do the rest of the ride without my power meter. I was thinking my battery was dead. I don't know how the psyche flip-flopped but it then turned into a race not between me and other girls but between me and the heat and wind. I heard tell it was about 100F in the lava fields. The trade winds were scary. And yes, like I've always heard the wind literally felt like a blast from an open oven door. I had a few near misses when my bike careened sideways and I thought I was going down.

I just started to think 'this isn't fun anymore' and that I wanted it to be over. I was further bothered by this thinking because, I usually do pretty well on the bike and this made me want to conserve some of myself to prepare for an equally difficult run. (BTW-I'm not sure what went on with the meter. But, I turned the meter back on about 10 miles up the road and it worked just fine. On the ride back to Kona, the meter lost connection again about in the same spot. Interference with something out on the course? I'm not sure.)

-Another goal is to toughen up my mind when the going gets physically tough on the bike.

I've lost something here over time. I need to learn to deal with hurt better and learn to run following that hurt.

That's it for now. I'll finish this story in a few days. Thanks for reading.