Blog posts tagged with 'training'

Are you forgetting one of the 4 key components of performance? That's Naughty!

Some athletes & fitness enthusiast might focus on nutrition, training & sleep, but what about Recovery? All these points are equally essential to keep you performing at the top of your game. If you don’t take the steps to properly recover, you may set yourself back or even worse, give yourself an injury.  Don't make that mistake...

Just use RecoveryPump, it’s easy. Step into your boots, put on your favorite show, kick back & relax while RecoveryPump does its work. RecoveryPump will help reduce any pain & swelling, increase your circulation, increase your joint mobility and improve your bodies healing of soft tissue & bones. Train Hard, Recovery Happy. 

Offseason Improvements - Triathlon Training

The North America triathlon offseason starts with the last Ironman of the year, Ironman Arizona, and ends with the kickoff of Oceanside 70.3 at the beginning of April. Of course, there are races you can go to around the world such as in Australia and New Zealand yet most athletes in North America are trying to recover after a long racing season. There are some athletes who take this offseason and relish in the time away from training. Others keep the motor running to come into the season without losing too much fitness; each method is up to the individual as far as how they want to spend their time and how their body reacts to inactivity versus continuous motion. One thing that we should all agree upon is if you want to keep improving on your Ironman journey to reach your goals, the offseason should be used to improve on inefficiencies in your training and racing.

At the end of the racing season, you need to evaluate your performance, coaches, consultants, nutrition, hydration, gear, technology, organizational skills, balance and determine where you could improve to shave precious time off your racing. This is what any athlete in any sport does when they have a little time off so that they can get themselves into a better position the next year. Lionel Messi does not sit on his couch when the soccer season is over; the free time that he has is spent improving on his already dominant game. In order to keep improving, you cannot rest on your laurels, even if you are one of the best in the world. Serena Williams, as she gets older, knows she has to train and compete smarter, not harder, so her offseason is spent working on new ways to get better which usually involves boosting her weaknesses.

In my ‘offseason’, I do like to keep the motor running. Exercise and training have always been a part of my life and it rolls on after Ironman Arizona is complete. Yes, it does not make sense to go for long tedious rides a week or two after the last race of the season yet I do continue to move the blood and swim, bike, run and strength train when the season comes to a close. It also is a habit to use my recovery tools like my Recovery Pump boots; when I go home to Ohio for the holidays, I always pack them and use at night when hanging with the family. I go to the local pool and run on the treadmill to keep the blood pumping.

For the offseason of 2016-2017, my goal was to keep strengthening my hamstring, which was a nagging problem in the 2016 racing year, and improve my running off the bike. As women racers continue to improve, you have to be that much stronger in all three disciplines. If the race directors will continue to launch the women so close to the pro and age group men, you have to become that much better to overcome all of these obstacles that these types of situations organically create; the reality is, this practice doesn’t look like it is changing anytime soon so you just can’t worry about interference from these conditions and you have to rise above it.

My offseason consisted of more rehab by utilizing muscle activation technique (MAT) to keep strengthening the hamstring region as well as a more intense running program, compliments of Sean Jefferson, to reaching for that elusive three hour marathon in a full Ironman race. It was important to work with Sean in effort to help me design training programs to focus my attention on this deficiency. I have never focused this much on the running aspect of the triathlon and my comfort was growing in this capacity; preparation and training breeds just that, comfort!  

My first race of the year was Ironman New Zealand in early March and I was ready to see if my offseason preparation could translate into race success. As everyone who has raced triathlon knows, nothing ever goes according to plan. My legs were ready and the muscle memory of the run preparation was there but my body just couldn’t deliver that fast run that I was prepared to do. For some reason, I didn’t have that 2nd gear yet these are the highs and lows of racing; not every time out you will have that magical race. The good thing is that the offseason work will not go away; it has been banked and I look forward to using this knowledge and training in future events. Until that time, all you can do is keep working hard, recovering, repeating and ride the waves!


- Meredith Brooks Kessler, @mbkessler

Winter Approaches for Training


     We're quickly approaching winter and many of you are either about to finish off your triathlon seasons or are already finished. Some of you may not have a problem with staying motivated and on track during the winter because you have other sports or activities. Many other athletes struggle their way through the cold months just waiting for the spring. I want to share with you some ideas from my experience to help you to keep your motivation up this winter.

     The first item to discuss is what I think is the number one issue people have with the winter: mindset. I hate the term "off-season". It brings with it connotations of inactivity. I do take downtime for a couple weeks after my last triathlon of the year. For me, that's my "off-season", I do pretty much nothing, eat and drink what I want, and really let loose. I need that time mentally. But after those couple weeks, in my head, off-season is over and now it's preparation for next season. It's a mindset that everyday I have a purpose which is to work on whatever I can to come back better the next year. 

     I've had the privilege to live in a few great places. I grew up and spent the first 22 years of my life in Michigan so I experienced the long drawn out cold and damp winters. I lived 13 years in Austin, Texas so I trained through very mild winters. Finally the last several years, I've lived in Boulder, Colorado so I've experienced some tougher but trainable winters here with a mix of snow, cold, and sunny trainable days.

    You need to learn to focus on what you can do, not what you can't do because of the winter weather. If the weather is nice enough to get outside and ride your bike, then get out and ride your bike! Simple! If it's too cold or snowing, then just get on the trainer and learn to embrace the bike trainer. Focus on your mindset and attitude. When I've thought about the trainer as a tool to get better, it's been mentally easier than if I sit there dreading it and thinking about not liking the trainer. Any time I hear an athlete talking about how much they hate the trainer, I just don't engage in the conversation. Too bad for them, I'm going to embrace it so that I can come out of the winter fit and strong! 

    I will also work in some different activities to keep training interesting. I did a little mountain biking last winter here in Boulder. I didn't do a ton because I didn't want to risk an injury from a bike wreck. I did enjoy it and used it as a way to work on my bike handling skills. One day we had over a foot of snow, so my friend and I biked in the fresh snow on dirt roads. We were sliding all around and fishtailing everywhere. I really became comfortable controlling the bike in a skid. Experiences like this really helped my road bike handling skills this year. I was much more comfortable holding more speed through turns and trusted my ability to control the bike. 

    I've also become a fan of Nordic skiing here in Boulder. I grew up as an ice hockey player so I've found particularly that skate skiing is a great activity. The motion and cardio load is very complimentary to cycling. My old coach was a huge believer in skate skiing. He was Danish and took all of his European pro triathletes on skate skiing camps in the Italian Alps every year to start their fitness build for the year. The motion can be a challenge to learn, but it's a fun activity and can help you build cardio fitness as well as upper and lower body strength.

     I've found it fun to sometimes do a training block focused on a single sport. I tend not to do a huge running block. I like to keep my running steady. I've seen friends try a huge running block in the winter only to get injured from the increased volume and intensity from running. I have done a huge swimming block before and found it helpful. One winter, I took my downtime in November and then did a 4 week swim block before Christmas. Week 1 I swam 30,000 yards, week 2 was 38,000 yards, week 3 was 45,000 yards, and in the final week I made it to 50,000 yards. It was very hard, but I found my swimming on a whole different level that next year. I was doing double swims many days. But it was a way I could try something new and improved myself for the next year.

     As you move into this winter, try first focusing on your mindset. Then try to incorporate some new activities or emphasis in your training to compliment your normal exercise. Remember that this isn't the off season, it's the time for you to prepare yourself for next season!

Train hard!


Multitasking 101…with Recovery Boots

Time is our most precious commodity. In this day and age of technology that was supposed to free up more time to enjoy the things in life that matter, it has somehow reduced this commodity. In the ‘old’ days, you weren’t connected at all times to the internet so you were able to decompress without the overstimulation of the internet, TV, social media, etc…You weren’t at your job at all hours of the day, connected every minute in the lives of your friends/acquaintances and more, and getting pounded in every aspect of your life by electronic stimulation. Today, in order to accomplish everything during the course of the day, you need to multitask intelligently. 

Age group and professional athletes need to work even harder at figuring out ways to make their lives more efficient to effectively navigate through all of the different everyday events that are pulling you in multiple directions. As I have stated before, recovery takes discipline and this, unfortunately, becomes one of the most important activities that is squeezed out of an athlete’s day in order to accomplish these other tasks that continually pop up. Life balance, I feel, is very important to happiness and getting through the day. If you can multitask while recovering, you can kill two birds with one stone, hopefully squeezing in more crucial endeavors in a shorter period of time.

Sometimes, what I discuss may seem like common sense, but reiterating it may awaken readers to take a bird’s eye view of their life and make sure they are actually following through on maximizing their time. What I am discussing here is not rocket science; to organize your life, plan efficiently, and reduce pain points is something everyone should be striving for. However, how often do you find yourself lacking the time to do everything that you want to do and having some aspects of your life fall by the wayside? As I stated before, recovery is often the first thing that goes when in fact, it should be one of the most important facets of your day if you want to reach your athletic goals. 

With that being said, be smart about your time and plan your recovery accordingly. Using the Recovery Pump system is one of my main recuperation tools. The rest of this article will focus on how I plan a lot of activities around my time in my Recovery Boots; once again, this exercise is to challenge everyone to look at their lives and figure out where they become more resourceful in their routine to strive for more balance so there is more of that precious time available for what is truly important to you.

We have two areas in our house where I can take my laptop computer and Recovery Boots to accommodate some compression activities at the same time as getting work done for our business. Like most professional triathletes, I am on email and social media applications a lot in the day returning triathlon and training questions, keeping up with friends and family, accomplishing sponsor and business functions, and keeping up on current events. If you can work while you compress and compress while you work, it is a win win situation! I bought a padded stand that I rest on my lap/stomach to balance the computer. Using your mind to reduce business work while recovering your body after a long training session is one of the great advantages of using the Recovery Boots. This follows the trend of employees in work spaces using standup work stations or sitting balls – it’s all about multitasking to improve the body and mind!

Travel is a necessary evil. It is rarely enjoyable, it is always time consuming, and it can hurt your body in ways that can’t be initially felt or seen. If I am traveling with my husband, I use my Recovery Boots at every chance I get in order to help negate the effects of long distance movement and to multitask. Whether we are driving from Auckland to Taupo after a 13 hour flight from San Francisco or driving an hour up to Healdsburg for a bike ride and wine tasting in wine country, I always take my boots for compression. I am able to take them on flights if we have a little more room than your standard Southwest flight. Once landed, if there is a car ride like Las Vegas to St. George, it is the first thing I put on once we have rented a car. Traveling to races or functions is pure dead time so you try to be as productive as you can to help the body or at least cut down on the wear and tear of sitting in one place for multiple hours. 

Another way to keep your life balance is to communicate with your friends and family via phone. Maintaining these relationships takes necessary time so I do plan my weekly phone calls around this recovering luxury and this includes spending time in my Recovery Boots. The time required for healing your body is the perfect occasion to keep solidifying these relationships and catching up on your close ones life events. You can also use these instances of recovery to make those phone calls that you know will take time; where you are put on hold for multiple minutes. These include bill requests, insurance, taxes, etc…Once again, being able to work on your body while lessening these annoying phone calls frees up time! Who is to say you can’t also sit down with popcorn and a movie with your partner or friends in your Recovery Boots; it always is a nice conversation piece!

I know what you are thinking – this is a big infomercial for Recovery Boots. I will tell you, yes, I believe in them that much. It doesn’t have to be a chore to recover; it is a necessity in order for you to be able to train or race again so why not do it diligently and make it a positive situation with multitasking rather than a time drag. You see it on social media on the time that is very cool for people to discuss how much they are training. However, you rarely hear about when people are recovering. The bottom line, in order to keep your chi and happiness in training, you HAVE to recover properly or those posts about training will not be as frequent. Remember, train smarter, not harder and recover harder and then repeat!

- Meredith Kessler, Ironman Champion


Winter Training

After suffering through 3 winters in Boston, I moved to Austin and I swore I would never live in a cold climate again. But after only 2 and half years there I somehow found myself living back in a cold winter climate in Boulder.

I learned a lot about how to train through the winter when I was in Boston and this time around I came up with a couple more tricks to try and make winter triathlon training a little more tolerable.

One of the main ways I get through winter is to find people to train with. Training with a small group helps in many ways. When you're having a bad day, there is always someone in the group who will be motivated and you can feed off of this until your motivation comes back. When I was in Boston there were very few people to train with. On occasion I would meet up with Dede Griesbauer for a ride, but she always smacked me around on the bike, so that wasn't much fun. 

During winter I find that running a lot works best for me. Running high mileage during winter will pay off later in the year, and when the weather starts to get better, you can drop the run back to pick up the bike mileage.  I think running is also the quickest way to get fit. Keeping a high run volume during the winter helps keep your weight under control. I often hear a lot of the pros talk about putting on weight over the winter so they have something to burn off when they get fit again. I think this is really bad and unprofessional. Whenever I have gained weight over the winter, it has taken me twice as long to get my run fitness back. The first 4 to 6 weeks feel like hell and I don't enjoy it at all. So, I recommend keeping the running up.

One of the most important things for getting through the winter is consistency. Sometimes that doesn't even mean doing a lot.  Just getting in the training, day in and day out, will make the winter fly past. Having goals helps a lot too. I like to set distance goals for the week. For example, this January I tried to keep my running at over 100km for the week, and luckily, Boulder had a very mild winter so far and I have been able to achieve my monthly goal of 2000km on the bike. This hasn't been easy, but if you take day by day, it's possible.

When the weather is good, take advantage. Whenever it warms up, I get out on the bike and try to fit in some good long rides. You never know when you'll get to do your next long ride outside. Also, heavy duty ski gloves and hand/foot warmers work great on cold days. And speaking of cold days, running mittens might look stupid but they are awesome.

If you can find a race to do mid-winter, whether it's a triathlon or even just a running race, this will help keep you focused on your training. Races help split the winter in half so you just need to get through the race and then set a new goal for the second half of winter.

One last tip: don't go skiing. As much fun as it is, something always happens. I went for a day trip with Chris Legh in December. I had a little tumble and and tweaked my shoulder. It's been sore ever since, even with all the work I have had on it. 

And remember, only the hard, tough triathletes stay up north in the winter.

- Richie Cunningham

Instigate Change, Maintain Passion

Just as the branches of a tree extend in different directions and its leaves change appearance from year to year, 

so must we spread our wings and embrace opportunity as life presents itself.

Change is uncomfortable. It can be exciting, but it is often scary. We’ve all heard the saying, “we fear what we don’t know.” I consider myself fairly open to new experiences and one whom can appreciate opportunity, but I’ll be the first to admit, I enjoy my routine. The familiar feel of consistency, gauging improvement, and knowing (at least to some extent) what to expect around the next corner. I can be sentimental towards past experiences, memories and people who are important in my life. I try to acknowledge when I am hanging on a bit too much to something and try to ask myself ‘why’ I am doing so, because I know that change is essential for growth.

My husband Derick and I recently made a huge life change. We picked up and moved from our home of 10 years in Austin, Texas and headed back to the mountains. We didn’t completely step into the unknown, as we were both living here when we met back in 2003. But Austin had been so good to us. Derick got a graduate degree at University of Texas and started a successful coaching business. My racing flourished in an incredible city that seemed to nurture both of our dreams. He came into his own as a great coach and I found the competitive form I’d been long seeking in triathlon. But as each year came and went, we knew deep down we were missing living in a place where we could look out our windows and see mountains. We missed drastic weather changes; storms rolling in, dark ominous snowy skies; four seasons in a year. Every summer we would venture out to Colorado to spend a few weeks, get our fill, and then head back to Texas, to our home. But we hit a point last summer when we admitted, “We need to make a change. We need to move back and be where we know our hearts are content. We need to be open and honest with ourselves, even if it means it will be tough to leave where we are comfortable and life is good.”

Personally, I realized last summer that I felt a bit ‘bored’. It was a feeling that I had to accept, digest and figure out where it was coming from. I’ve competed in this sport now for 16 years, 14 as a professional. Suffice to say, triathlon has been a massive part of my life. Was I burned out of competing, of training? Was I tired of racing? I didn’t feel that was it, because I still loved what I was doing; but I knew I was seeking change in some capacity. When Derick and I make our trek out to Colorado Springs to look at houses in late November, we tackled change. It happened quickly. We made an offer on a house, went back to Austin and got our house prepped to sell. I was excited in December when this was all happening, but also a bit sad. Changes were swirling all around me. A new year of racing was about to start. We were going back to what we wanted, so why did I feel trepidatious? 

The holidays came and went, we visited our families, and January rolled around. It was crunch time. I found myself starting the new year with more excitement and less ‘fear’. Before we knew it we had loaded up our car and a U-Haul and off we went. We had made the 13 hour drive out to Colorado so many times the past 10 years; but this time, this one was for good. We were driving right into a new phase.

We quickly settled. And I do mean quickly…our car and U-Haul were unloaded within a few hours, our POD arrived the next day, and by Day 3 it was gone. Our house was filled with boxes. My ‘training’ was unloading one box at a time and finding a home for all of our random, eclectic items. It was fun. I told myself “Don’t worry about training/exercise this entire week, give yourself 7 days to settle in and maybe not even train at all.” But you know what? I was anxious to run in the cold, fresh mountain air. I wanted to get on my bike and explore this new (yet old) playground that was out our doorstep. I wanted to get in the pool to see how I handled the altitude. By the weekend, we had settled enough to disappear for 2 days to the mountains, hang with friends, and ski around in the backcountry. Our pup Amico loved the snow. Derick was excited. I swallowed my pride as some good friends took us on a trek skinning up to 12,000 ft making it look easy, while I had to stop a few extra times to try and do that important thing called breathing. But it was new, it was beautiful and it was invigorating. I got worked enough in those two days of skiing that on the drive home (in a snowstorm) I told myself “take an easy day tomorrow, you’re tired.” But I got back the next day and banged out a 2 hour session on the trainer, in the basement, looking out a window covered by snow. I felt motivated and inspired.

My point to this story? The passion had returned. I just needed to instigate a change to spark it.  

Don’t be afraid to step into the unknown. Listen closely to your intuition. Seek out things in life that make your heart happy, that make your soul sing. There often isn’t one single path for this. I was happier than I ever imagined I would be in Austin, but after many years, the call back to the mountains was too strong to ignore. Life is short. Do what fulfills you; even if it is a bit scary. Change keeps us on our toes, makes us feel alive, and allows us to always keep growing

- Kelly Williamson, Ironman Champion & #RPInspiration


My Top 3 Holiday Training Tips


Happy 2016!! Having just emerged from the annual round of holidays, coaching my athletes through them and trying to stay fit through them myself, I came up with a list of hopefully-helpful hints for maintaining fitness during this time:

1. Nothing can get in the way of a workout you do before the world's awake.

I think the most foolproof way to ensure that family/holiday commitments don't preclude you from getting your workout done is simply to get it done before anyone else is awake! There's not much that can stop the person who is willing to set the alarm early and be finishing before the day has started for everyone else.

2. Get the family involved.

Do you have any other active family members--anyone you can recruit for any piece of a workout, or maybe just to come to the gym with you and do their own thing while you do yours? Anyone up for a family hike? These are some of my favorite family activities (even within a relatively non-athletic family) that I've found can enhance one's holiday-training accountability.

3. Keep it simple.

You can run anywhere. No, really. Even if it is laps of the block, you can run. All you need is your running shoes. When all else fails, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater just because training logistics are too difficult with travel and other commitments. A run of any length, even if not specifically what you wanted or intended for that day's training, is infinitely better than a big fat 0.

-Hillary Biscay, Ironman Champion and Smashfest Queen Owner


Kona Tips from the Other Side

I've raced the Hawaii Ironman five times (twice as an amateur and three as a pro), and have been there to watch and support athletes on another seven occasions. I've been fortunate to coach many age group athletes to Kona-qualifying and through their first, second, and third outings on the island. There are a few things that make this race unique, relative to other races of this distance, and that lead to some of the most common errors I see in race execution and prep. 

Save your energy.

It seems that with every passing year in Kona, there are more pre-race hype and activities and more opportunities to spend pre-race energy. Race week also means taper week-- it is time to store up energy. Beyond being on one's feet all day "taking it all in," remember that in Kona this also means being in the heat--which is a double whammy. 

Use discipline and spend non-training time out of the heat, ideally with feet up--you will be able to enjoy the experience of the race itself so much more having not spent your tokens on "the experience" before race day.

(Nearly) everyone is fast.

This seems like an obvious statement, but what I think so many athletes fail to realize before their first outing in Kona is what this looks like in practice. The vast majority of the athletes in Kona have qualified to be there. This means that even the majority of the age group field is comprised of the caliber of athlete who is accustomed to being at the pointy end of most every other race. Having people "up in your business" from start to finish all day in Kona can be incredibly disconcerting for these athletes even if they think they understand what this will feel like. 

Have confidence in yourself, your training , and your race plan, and don't let energy escape to the outside. 

Be willing to ignore the clock.

Despite its reputation, the course itself in Kona is relatively fast. So why are Kona times typically a good bit slower than other ironmans? Well, for one, because of the head trip people like to do on themselves (described above), and second, because the conditions in Kona will almost always throw a curveball our way. Be it a crazy current or swells on the swim, extreme, blow-you-off-the-bike wind, or relentless heat on the run, you simply cannot predict how much the times on each discipline will be affected by the conditions on the day. It is only in hindsight when evaluating everyone's splits that we can evaluate what the times mean. 

Never look at your swim split until after the race. Having target power on the bike and paces on the run is okay as long are you are willing to adapt to whatever the day brings and focus in on your desired effort/ perceived exertion.


-Hillary Biscay, Ironman Champion and Coach



The Value of Training Camps: Hidden Gem in Brevard, North Carolina


Summer in Austin, Texas…not the most pleasant place to be, especially if you are training for an Ironman. Having lived in Austin since 2006, my husband Derick and I have taken to leaving town every summer, preferably in the July/August time frame. The forecast every day is pretty much the same: 75 for the low, 98-100+ for the high, but very high humidity in the early mornings so you cannot seem to escape ‘extreme heat’ training even if you start early. While we have spent time in Salida, Colorado the past 5 years, we opted to change it up this year. The ultimate goals of these training stints include: 

1) Getting out of the oppressive heat (which allows for better quality training and more ability to recover from sessions)

2) Focusing predominantly on the bike; quality riding (lots of climbing), little road interruptions (light traffic) and a change of terrain from the norm

3) Simple change of scenery; while it is not ‘necessary’ to do these training trips, they refresh me a bit from the change of pace (different roads to ride, trails to run)

4) Mini-Vacation…we often end our days in the river where I’ll soak my legs, playing with our pup, and exploring a new town

We drove north to Indiana on July 11 and stayed with my parents for a week prior to me racing Racine 70.3 in Wisconsin (just a 4 hr drive north). I then took a nice mid-season break (a week off) post-race relaxing at their cabin. July 26, we headed to North Carolina, where we tucked into Brevard; a cool little town near Asheville (but smaller, at about 7500 people), sitting at 2300 ft. of elevation, and right at the foot of the Pisgah National Forest. We had been here briefly in the past but never spent more than a day or two here. The goal for me (having opted to do Ironman Hawaii) was to kick back in some good training but with 2.5 weeks, essentially get in some quality rides, elevation gains we cannot find in Austin, and set the base for the training towards Kona; while also enjoying a change of scenery, change of roads, and slower pace than we know in Austin.

So what have the days looked like here? I often start off with a swim at the Brevard Health and Racquet Club. This is all of a 1.5 miles from our house, and they have 4 lap lanes in their outdoor pool from 6am until 8pm. So as long as I avoid any afternoon storms, I’m able to pop over there for an early morning workout, or even a mid-day/late in the day easy loosen up swim. I do feel as though my swim takes a bit of a hit on these trips since I swim solo the entire time, and I’m used to swimming with a group in Austin; I feel I can ‘maintain’ but lose a bit of top end speed. However, I think it is worth it for the gains I can make riding. One thing we all have to remember about triathlon; constantly working on our weakness. I’ll try to head out on the bike by early morning, as they often get clouds roll in late morning and storms can hit often by 1-2pm. You want to be down from ‘up high’ at least by then, which is about 5-6k ft of elevation. One of my staple rides has been 80 miles, which I take basically 3 roads the entire time (very straightforward and easy to navigate) but I get in 6100ft of climbing; and some incredible views. Brevard is also known for its mountain biking, so while I’m not great on a mountain bike, I enjoy riding with Derick and it is a great way to get stronger but with a completely different feel than being on roads. I joined him in DuPont National Forest a few times for a real change of pace, vastly on trails that were not too technical.

For the running, we discovered numerous long gravel roads. Especially when you dig into Ironman training, it’s always best to try to get off the pavement as much as possible to avoid added stress on the body. On one of his fly-fishing excursions, Derick found a gravel road that went uphill for about 5 miles, flattened off then descended; a total of about 7.5 miles ‘out’, right through Pisgah National Forest. I managed to get in a few hill interval workouts on this road, but also a few long runs; accumulating 3k feet of climbing on a run of 2.5 hours, which is incredible for strength work. And again…the best part is, I wrap this up with a soak in a cold river; nature’s ice bath!

While all good things must come to an end, we head back to Austin after about 2.5 weeks. While I’d love to stay longer, there is something to be said for ‘normalcy’, being at home, and having the perks of your regular routine. For me that is sleeping in my own bed but also access to the gym 5 minutes away (where I’ll swim on my own, but also do strength/core work 2-3 times a week as well as have access to treadmills), but most notably being in the heat a bit in Austin before Kona to help be fully acclimated and most importantly access to my regular people for massage, manual therapy and chiro work when needed. However, if contemplating a training camp for yourself, I say go for it. Decide what you’re looking to get out of it, talk to others, and research where may be best for you. You’ll find yourself happy with the change of scenery and refreshed when you return home. I’m personally a huge fan of Salida, Colorado and now Brevard, North Carolina! 

-Kelly H Willamson



Recovery Pump Mid-Year Racing Update

This year, with Kona not part of my race plan, it took a lot of pressure off of having to chase points. I decided to cram the year with 70.3 races. I decided to start the year off with Pucon, Chile - a race I've heard a lot about and always wanted to do. I trained hard over December and January to get fit early for the early season races. That race went according to plan and I was able to pull off my first win of the season. However, starting training so early and not taking  a break much from last year started to take it's toll early. Being so fit early, I decided to chase a couple of the big races early on in the season, the next stop being Dubai. Unfortunately I picked up a bug either there or on the way there and had about as worse a race as you can imagine. Around this time I started to get some issues with my feet. I'd never experience planter before and it was definitely a new experience being injured. I decided to keep training through the pain and from Dubai went on to race Monterray 70.3. I managed to finish 4th there. I got back on a plane for another long haul international flight for Brasil 70.3. Much the same as Dubai, this race was a bit of a disaster. Maybe I'm just getting too old for long flights. After Brasil, I came back to Boulder where I managed to get a bit more training in since the weather was starting to improve. The next race took me back to Galveston to defend my win from the previous year.  Unfortunately on the run, I went the wrong way on the run course, which was a big brain fart on my behalf considering I'd won it the last 2 years. The year started off great but for some reason I just couldn't string together any luck. Racing is sometimes just as much luck as it is fitness. Next up was St. Croix, which is a race I've done 13 out of the last 14 years. Using that experience I managed to finish up with a second for the day, but I really had to dig deep. I think I set a record for the amount of time I spent in the Recovery Boots after a race.  After St. Croix, I settled down to do a big block of training which led me into the Boulder 70.3. I had a decent race and ended up 4th there. The next week, I got back on the plane and headed to Mont Tremblant where I finished 4th again. It seems to be my number for this year. Doing races back to back is probably where Recovery Pump has been most valuable to me this year. A few weeks later I went out to Racine where I finished... yes you guessed it... 4th! With my feet still troubling me and not being able to get the high volume of running in that I needed, I wasn't able to perform how I wanted to at Wiesbaden European Champs. I decided to pull out of World's after that, knowing that my fitness is not where it needs to be to compete at a world championship race. My next race planned is Cozumel 70.3. I've now started an aggressive treatment for my planter, which should hopefully let me get the training in that I need to hit the last half of the season hard. I still have another 5 races to go until the end of the year and I'm looking forward to improving on 4th place. Despite my injuries, I owe a big thanks to Recovery Pump for getting me this far and still able to race. Thanks to Recovery Pump, I've already done more races this year than most athletes do in a full season, so it's been a huge help. Good luck to everyone else for the rest of your season. 

Richie Cunningham