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Blog posts tagged with 'travel'

How Can an Athlete race so much?

A popular question asked a lot by age grouper long distance triathletes is ‘How do you race so much?’ First of all, like most, racing is a passion and I love to do it – this is why we all train so hard; to be able to compete and see if the hard work has paid off. It is also the measuring stick of your triathlon journey. It is important to view racing as a small continuous blip in your overall path to reach your athletic goals yet it is absolutely the most enjoyable part! 

Now, back to the question of how an individual can race so much? In 2015, I was fortunate enough to toe the line twelve times in a combination of half and full Ironman distance races. Like every racer, the body understandably wasn’t 100% for a lot of those races yet everyone is facing their own battle leading up to and on race day. It is really imperative personally to try to follow these simple rules for getting from one race to the next: Rest, Hydration, Nutrition, Balance and REPEAT. As we all know, this is easier said than done with life throwing constant curve balls your way yet there is no shortcut to getting your body back to race shape. However, there are indeed aids to recovery like Recovery Pump that are integral staples in helping to toe the line again and again.

 

Let’s dig deeper into traveling and racing a full Ironman race and then my personal four pockets of recovery. Having raced Ironman New Zealand five times, we have a solid routine down to hopefully getting to the start line in good shape and a in a positive frame of mind. As I get older, I hopefully get wiser and my 37 year old body has definitely accumulated many miles through the years. I am starting to realize that less is often more, especially coming into race week – you aren’t going to get faster per say BUT you can derail your race if you panic train. I still remember Ironman World Champion, Craig Alexander, stating when he was forty that although it took him awhile, he learned to race smarter, at his age, and not harder. SO TRUE.

Leading into the race, it is key for me to keep the engine going with relaxing swims at Taupo baths and shorter (with a sprinkle of intervals) rides around the New Zealand countryside to make sure the bike is dialed in completely. We were on our new Ventum bike this race so I was excited to experience all that it has to offer. Afternoons and nights are spent off the feet as much as we can and in the Recovery Pump boots watching some shows with my husband to relax the mind. We eat at our favorite places like Taupo Thai and pay close attention to maintaining proper hydration levels – the use of pee sticks to test hydration levels is necessary to make sure you are on point with your drinking.

After the race, feel free to indulge in that post event lush meal because your body is of course craving salt and maybe some grease/fat! We had our usual burger at Burger Fuel and fries to curb these hunger pains and desires! At this point, the four pockets of recovery begin to kick in as you learn from the mistakes and accomplishments of the day and the eye moves forward to the next big race. A sleeping aid such as melatonin usually helps to sleep because your body is still amped up on adrenaline and stretching its limits – it is confused as to what just happened! I try to use the Recovery Pump boots every day after a race to keep inflammation down and aid in keeping the blood flowing to stressed muscles. I do not fret about getting too much sleep; this is a necessity so naps (also with Recovery Pump boots on!) are imperative as well as regularly scheduled rest.

As the Rest pocket is taken care of, I also focus intently on getting proper hydration and nutrition. The body is craving nutrients to help repair itself and liquids are the best way to absorb these necessary vitamins and minerals. Delaying this process will prolong your recovery to get up and training again. As I stated before, there is no substitute for these paramount pockets of recovery and it’s not complicated or time consuming to make these things happen in your routine. Take care of the body and it will be resilient and get back on track.

The last and most important pocket of recovery is Balance. I have seen far too often where athletes get so one track minded with their training and racing that they forget about what is important in life. You can enjoy your hobbies and passions yet you also have to enjoy your life with friends and family; relationships. New Zealand is our 2nd home; we love the people, scenery, food, culture and relaxing in this special place is a treat. We always try to schedule time after the race to have quality time with our friends in Taupo, experience the outdoors, and take a load off from the ‘real world’ – this is the balance we all need in this hectic world to recharge the batteries.

We then head to one of our favorite lodges, the Poronui Lodge, 45 minutes outside of Taupo, http://www.poronui.com/ - @PoronuiLodge -  This is just my husband and I enjoying our time with the friendly staff, who have become friends, and the other like minded guests wanting to get away. A typical day is getting up whenever for a wonderful breakfast, enjoying coffee in my Recovery Boots on our deck overlooking the property while my husband goes fly fishing, getting the blood moving by walking to the stables and playing pool, reading, etc…This is the perfect antidote to the fast pace, high technology world we all live in. After Poronui we go to Napier for a few days in New Zealand wine country.

I know that life gets in the way and there might not always be time after a race for a mini vacation yet even relaxing on your couch watching TV with loved ones can be a magnificent cure for the post race blues. Reset those competitive juices, recover to the fullest, and be ready to tackle the next round of athletic challenges! Nothing beats focusing on your rest, hydration, and nutrition as you decompress from a tough race. Hopefully you can catch up on those relationships that mean so much before heading off on the continuation of your triathlon journey!

- Meredith B Kessler, Ironman Champion

@mbkessler

12 Races + 8 1st Place wins in 2015 = Quite the Year

 

Training is easy; recovery takes discipline. I always have to tell myself this as the year comes to a close, the races add up, and the body is not as fresh. This is also true as you get older and you don’t have twenty year old legs anymore. For this piece for Recovery Pump, I wanted to diagram the lead in to Ironman Taupo 70.3, our 12th race of 2015 on December 12th. This race was a bit of a challenge because of the extensive event schedule throughout the year, travel to multiple destinations through multiple time zones, and Ironman Arizona being a few weeks prior on November 15th. The competition and the course were not the focus yet getting the body into racing shape was the priority in effort to try to compete at a high level.

Before Ironman Arizona, my body was feeling the effects of the beginning stages of pneumonia. After the event in the rain and cold, that all came to fruition. This required much Vector 450, http://vector450.com/, leading into the event to aid in being able to compete and to help afterwards. This also required using the Recovery Pump boots for an hour plus a day to help get the legs back into training shape. After the race-filled year, the fitness was there so the ability to maintain was key and not to overdue it. It was important to keep up on the workouts yet scale back the intensity. Complicating the matters was the sickness which, in a way, helped keep the vigorous workouts in check. This was not a time to gain fitness yet instead, a vital time to recover hence reminding myself of the phrase ‘recovery takes discipline’ over and over again.

Travel is always difficult for all endurance athletes, especially a twelve hour flight to Auckland and three and a half hour drive to Taupo. The ability to minimize damage on these legs of the journey is something my husband, Aaron, and I have worked on and tweaked for years. Compression clothing is worn on the plane, if possible Recovery Boots are carried on and used, fruit plates are requested for meals and packing proper food is a must (regular meals are usually too unpredictable and sodium packed), and a natural sleeping aid, such as melatonin, is used to help with the proper rest in an uncomfortable position. Aaron enjoys driving multiple hours (which is so appreciated) and Recovery Pump Boots are used in the car. Once we arrived in Taupo, a relaxing swim is a must to flush out the body and loosen up after the long travel.

Through the week, I kept telling myself I just needed to maintain and not reach for more fitness. At this point, only bad things can happen with too much conditioning so you want to keep the engine purring, not humming. Hydration and healthy nutrition is the focus along with proper supplements to aid in repairing and moderating the body. Paying attention to your tiredness level and keeping up with any time zone changes also is a priority to start the race as close to 100% as possible. The body is resilient, even after a jam-packed season, so if you concentrate on repair and recovery, your body will hopefully thank and reward you.

The competition was strong, the race course spectacular, and the body held up one more time in 2015! As another year comes and goes, recovery becomes more and more important. Life and recovery habits that I had ten years ago would not fly today. The time and effort spent on resting and recovery has been multiplied by three and will continue to sky rocket in order to be able to compete at a level that will help to try to reach athletic goals. If you don’t adapt and continue to try to improve in this capacity, it is easy to get left behind!  

Happy Holiday season to you and yours!  Think about snagging a pair of Recovery Pump boots for your family - it will make a world of difference in sport and in life!

-Meredith B Kessler 

@mbkessler - 

Use code: KESSLER when ordering @ www.recoverypump.com

One on One with US Track Sprint Cyclist Nate Koch

“Hi my name is Nate Koch. I’m a track cyclist on the US national Team. I currently live in Long Beach, CA and training for the 2016 Olympics. I use the RecoveryPump Boots before, during and after a lot of my training. Its helps a ton.”

Tell us more about Track Cycling…

 “So track cycling is not to well known in America unfortunately. Basically the Velodrome is a 250 meter oval around and the turns are 45 degrees.  So there’s endurance races and sprint races and so my race is anywhere from 17 ½ seconds to about a minute and a half. So not so super long when usually people think about cycling they think your riding for hours but my stuffs pretty quick, very strength oriented. So not only are we going fast and our legs are moving fast but we are pushing really big gears to get up to speed. It’s a very unique sport. “         

What is a typical day like for Nate Koch?

“So usually every days a little bit different but a day like today I was up by 6:30am and then out the door by 7:15 to go to the gym. Lifted for about 1:30 hours, came home, sat in my boots for a while and ate some food. Now, just hanging out and then I’ll leave in about 2 hours to go to the track. Today I have acceleration so I’ll get up to speed and it’s just an all-out effort for about 12 seconds and I do 4 of those efforts. I have about 15 to 20 minute rest. So when I hop off the bike I like to jump in the boots for about 5 – 10 minutes and what that does is after my efforts my legs are really loaded up so hoping in the boots really helps flush everything out and I can feel a huge difference going from one effort to another and just not being as bogged down as I typically would be but feeling a little bit fresh. So in track cycling every 100th of a second counts. So I could see in my times too instead of doing time that are say 12.1 and effort I’ll be able to maintain closer to like 11.8, 11.9 instead of dropping off as much.”

What are your thoughts on the topic of Recovery?

“I know the faster you can recover the quicker you can get back into what you need to do and the better you can do it. So I’ve always held a very large importance towards recovery. I would always do it whether it was doing ice baths or cold showers or contrast showers, rolling out and doing all the different types of stimulations. When I found out about RecoveryPump I figured I needed to give it ago and try it out and see what kind of difference it made. Like any recovery thing I’m skeptical at first. It’s not really until you put it to use and find out the applications for that specific sport or activity you’re doing. So yes, I’ve definitely found out how RecoveryPump works best for me as a sprint cyclist and so I see it as a huge tool and extremely valuable no matter what kind of season I’m in.”

What is your protocol for using RecoveryPump?

“Usually I’ll use the RecoveryPump Boots up to 3 or 4 times a day. If I have time in the morning I like hoping in them for 15-20 minutes and just kind of getting the blood flow going while drinking my coffee and hanging out, then after that I use them during my workout so I don’t think there’s a lot of athletes out there that actually use the boots in workouts and during training. So I find with the efforts that I have to do that really helps keep my legs ready and refreshed. I can keep to that high intensity without falling off that much. So I like to put them on for 5-10 minutes and usually I keep the pressure as high as it can go. Just to flush everything out and be kind of aggressive with it. The at night it kind of depends on my schedule but sometimes I’ll sit in them for 30-45 minutes, other times I’ll fall asleep in them for close to 2 hours. It just all depends. I’ve never noticed any bad affects form staying in them to long at the end of the day especially. So, yes if I have the time to just lay around and hang out in them. It’s a nice excuse to not have to get up and do stuff.”

How do you use the Recovery Core?

“At the track I have both the RecoveryBoots and RecoveryCore and when I’m doing some efforts that are extremely painful and lock everything up usually when I’m doing those I’ll throw the Recovery Core on and that really helps workout my lower back, gluts and quads at the same time. I’ll stay in them a little bit longer in between efforts.”           

What is it like to travel with your RecoveryPump?

“Traveling with RecoveryPump has been easy. I’ve learned how to do it. Obviously the system itself is extremely portable and just fits in my carry on back pack with a bunch of other stuff which is nice. I’ve learned that I can take out the pump unit and put it in a bin along with my computer that way TSA doesn’t get skeptical about it. There’s been a handful of times were they just rip all my stuff apart and look through everything and then I go to the little black room and they start looking at the pump unit and its always been cleared. I never had any issues in the long run. Ever since I started taking it out of my bag and actually putting it in front and center, they just pass it right through. That usually is the easy way to do it. Well yeah , traveling with it, I mean I’ve had it and been able to use it once on an airplane that had a plug so that was pretty fun and people are walking up and down the aisles thinking what the heck is this guy doing. Yeah people are always looking at you sitting in the airport with the big boots and people come up and ask. It’s a good conversation starter. They are a lot of fun and very simple to travel with. You kind of just learn the in’s and out’s with the security and TSA and how they view it and what they think about it.” 

Would you recommend RecoveryPump to other athletes?

“Yes, obviously recommended it to other athletes as well as just people who are on their feet a lot and walking around a lot, just moving. I think the biggest reason to recommend it is like I said earlier the faster you can recover from whatever you’re doing the better your going to be able to get back at it and do it again the next day. So whether your any kind of age, group, athlete just looking to get the best results that you can get or if you’re an athlete that’s looking to be an Olympic champion or world champion, I mean it’s going to benefit you the same way. So that’s pretty cool that I can have a system that I use or that anybody can use that’s going to be beneficial regardless of your level of competition. It’s going to be a good thing for you!”

- Nate Koch, USA Track Sprint Cyclist

@TeamNater

One on One with Professional Triathlete Hillary Biscay

"Hi, I’m Hillary Biscay. I am a professional triathlete who loves to race. I have done 66 Ironman races and the Ultraman World Championship. The Ultraman is a 320 mile race around the big island of Hawaii over 3 days. It comes out to over 2 Ironman’s in distance."

What is the typical day like in the life of Hillary Biscay?

"It is actually a little bit different this particular year because this year I am doing a lot more working with my athletes that I coach and with my clothing business SMASH, then I have in the past. So I can’t really say that I am doing a full, full, full training program at this very moment. My typical day when I am in big training would be to get up have some coffee and food. Do workout #1 which a lot of days would be the hardest session of the day. We try to get that done first so we have the most energy for that one. Unless we are intentionally trying to do a hard session tired which in that case would be the last. Get up and get that done and then have a sit and refuel. Very often I would sit in my RecoveryBoots after that while I’m working. During a training season, I would often have 3 training sessions per day. In between my workouts in the middle of the day, I may sit in my boots for like 20-30 minutes. Just a quick kind of session usually right before going out for the 2nd or 3rd workout because that to me just takes away some of the pain of warming up. It starts the process already while you are at home. Then at night when I’m like really camped out on the couch for the night, then I will go for longer and typically on a higher setting. At night time as well, night might be anywhere between 60-90 minutes. I have been known to fall asleep in the boots in which case it’s been hours in them to no detrimental effects!"

Do you use the RecoveryPump with the athletes you coach?

"For sure! Most of my athletes have invested in RecoveryPump now. We’ve been fortunate enough to have RecoveryPump demo units at our tri-camps each spring the past couple years. That’s a really intensive 4 days of basically nonstop training. For my athletes, It’s the time when their bodies are really tested and so it’s been a great place for them to be exposed to RecoveryPump for the first time because this is when they desperately need it and so most of them if they come to camp and have never used RecoveryPump before or don’t already have one, They leave and go right home an order one for themselves because they can really feel the difference they make after being under that kind of physical stress. So yeah, my kids are all or most of them are all on the memo with this and they have their RecoveryPump sessions. They just integrated it into their daily routine so that’s just become a no brainer for all of us now."

What kind of results are you getting with RecoveryPump?

"Definitely having the boots when I travel particularly to a race that requires a long hall flight has really been life changing. I do a lot of racing in faraway places. The last couple years for example when I went to Taiwan to do an Ironman, It’s really tough after sitting on a plane and traveling like 24 hours straight. My legs are like sausages and to be able to get to the destination and turn this on and have that kind of relief like an instant deflate to my legs. It really just helps me to bounce back from travel that much better which is crucial especially when for a lot of these far away races I will be landing and having to race within 72 hours."

What is it like to travel with your RecoveryPump?

"I always carry my pump on in my carry-on bag and sometimes the bomb detector people will do some crazy like swipe test and ask what it is but it has never been an issue."

Would you recommend RecoveryPump to other athletes?

"I recommend RecoveryPump to pretty much every serious athlete that I know. For all of the reasons that I’ve mentioned and just my personal experience with it and the difference that I’ve seen it make in my athletes recovery. So no one’s complained and everyone’s always thanked me once I’ve converted them to this routine because it definitely makes a huge difference in recovery." 

-Hillary Biscay

www.hillarybiscay.com

www.smashfestqueen.com

One on One with Professional Triathlete Kelly Williamson

“I’m a professional triathlete. I’ve been competing as a professional since 2002. I live in Austin, TX. Gosh, I’ve done everything here in the triathlon realm from starting with the ITU with the draft league back in 2002. Flown to the Olympic center in Colorado Springs then did that for awhile. In 2006 my husband and I moved here to Austin and that’s where I started doing non-drafting and non-drafting gradually gravitated into Ironman racing. So that’s what I have been doing the past 5 years. I guess some of my biggest achievements have been way back in 2002 the American Champion ITU and that was my rookie year racing. Qualified for the World Championships that year so that was kind of a big year. Then I had lots of bumps along the way including a broken arm and just kind of getting my feet wet with all that. Flash forward to 2010 or so when I did my first Ironman and got 3rd which qualified me for Kona so that’s when kind of my Ironman racing kicked off. Since then the biggest things I have done are Ironman, Half Ironman distance champion, various Rev3 and 70.3 races and such. Then most recently last year at Ironman TX, I won that at 8.54 so that was definitely a big Personal Record for me. Currently, focusing on mostly 70.3 in Ironman.”

Describe a typical day in the life of Kelly Williamson:

“It’s funny you ask because just yesterday I was thinking about training and I thought to myself on average most days I would say I train approximately 4 hours. I don’t usually do it all in one clump. I usually get up drink coffee do my morning workout, you know swim, bike or run. Eat breakfast usually head out mid-morning for my 2nd workout and most days I’d say its two whole solid workouts. I’m not really one that does swim, bike and run every single day.”

How did you approach recovery prior to discovering RecoveryPump?

“So I’ve actually been with RecoveryPump for about 4 years now. So actually it’s almost harder to remember what I did prior to that but before I think it was just the basics of rolling your legs out, ice baths and stretching. Probably just laying down and elevating my legs a little bit. You know nothing really magic. I didn’t have another system before this so you know I kind of started with RecoveryPump as my first compression device. You know maybe compression socks before that but again nothing quite as robust as what I’ve been able to use with this and ironically I also started with you guys about the time I started doing Ironman so right when the training load volume really started to go up I also had the advantage of having this system.”

How do you use RecoveryPump?

“So on a regular week basis with regular training load, I would say my training is structured usually so hard days are hard and easy days are easy so usually those hard days entail a hard bike or run in the morning and a hard bike or run in the evening. So typically I’ll go out ride in the morning and sit in the boots, come home have lunch sit in the boots and usually I’ll do that about an hour or so. Usually a little higher pressure when my legs are really sore and fatigue. So probably like what used to be 80 and now I would say 90/95 maybe even a 100 pressure after a really hard session like that. I like the 60 minute time frame because I feel like its long enough and it’s effective. It flushes my legs very well but it doesn’t make me feel sluggish by sitting in them too long. Simply just by moving and then after the other really hard session in the evening I don’t always get up in the boots after that 2nd session because it might be dinner time and shower and do all that stuff and I’m kind of running around a little bit too much but then I figure if I’m going to be laying down sleeping soon thereafter at least I’ll be there elevating my legs.  In terms of other work outs, I would say the other main time I make sure I have them is after the really big sessions. On the weekends I typically have a 5 to 6 hour bike ride usually it’s a bike and a run so I’m looking at like 6 to 7 hours of training, so I’ll get in them after that at a high pressure and for 45 up to an hour, hour and a half depending on how tired I am. The other way I use them is sometimes I use them before a race or before a morning workout. So Ill wake up and I might just sit in them for 20 minutes at a slightly lower pressure of 70 to 80. Typically I try to take them to all my big races and if I’m driving they will always go with me but when I fly I try to carry them on as often as I can.”

What is it like to travel with your RecoveryPump?

“Super simple! I have a bag that actually my sister bought me and it’s just kind of like a shoulder bag and they actually fit perfectly in it. Pretty compact, I mean I could probably break the whole system down and have it in the bag in less than 5 minutes. So you can break it down super quick and it’s really small which is really nice. I can just throw it over my shoulder and the nice thing about the new system to is that it’s a little lighter and it might not be much but when you carry it on your shoulder for a trip you definitely notice. In terms of security and such, I have never had any issues.  Frequently it just stays in the bag the whole way through. I would say maybe half the time they might take it out and look at it but I’ve never had any issues with it.”

How do you like using the battery powered RPX?

“It’s funny, at first I always had to make sure I had an outlet and then I realized and kept forgetting I didn’t have too! So for the most part I use it without being plugged in. Once it starts to get to the bottom of the battery, I’ll plug it in and let it charge or use it a little bit plugged in but it is huge to know that you don’t have to be attached to somewhere within reach of an outlet.”

Would you recommend RecoveryPump to other athletes?

“Yes, of course, I mean I coach a handful of athletes so I’ve told my athletes about it. I’ve had some try out mine. That’s always a good way to get people hooked on them. Simply because the way I see it, we put so much time and energy and money and effort into the training we do.  Yes, everything costs money in triathlons. It’s not an inexpensive sport but this the way it comes back to you is so monumental because you know you can get a system and for the price you would pay for how many massages? Say 10 massages and you could use this all the time, every day. So to me it makes total sense. I think it just really allows you to train just as hard or harder and recover better. What I have found the most helpful with using the RecoveryPump is to really come back to that second session of the day and really hit it a lot more effectively. So of course I would recommend it and I’ve seen some neat cross overs to. To where I know a handful of people who have MS and I’ve seen some of them use it and see like my aunt who can’t use her legs a lot but she’s able to but the boots on at a very low pressure and get a little bit of energy in her legs that she can’t get otherwise. So it’s pretty neat to see it not only affect athletes but also for people in her situation also.”

- Kelly Williamson, Professional Triathlete and Ironman Champion 

kellyhwilliamson.com

@khwilliamson

 

Recovery on the Road!

The season is off and running (pun intended) and so begins my tour of training camps and race locations. I packed up my training gear, some street clothes, and my recovery pump at the start of January and have been on the road since. From Chattanooga, to Ottawa, to Kenya, to Montreal, to Ottawa, to New York, to Vancouver, to San Francisco, and now in Flagstaff... it’s been a busy last four months and it will not be letting up anytime soon.


I opened up my season in New York with the United New York Road Runner’s half marathon on a tough course and in some windy conditions. The following weekend I raced the Modo 8k in Vancouver and then had two very wet and cold weeks of training. I headed to California for the true test of my early season fitness at the Stanford Invitational where I raced the 10,000m on the track. The field wasn’t what I hoped for so I ended up running the entire race solo. I came away with an 18 second personal best, running 32:11, which puts me very close to the World Championship standard of 32:00. So here I am… back at altitude here in Flagstaff hoping to find 12 more seconds when I head back to California for the Payton Jordon track meet.


Packing for months of travel, training and racing is not fun… planning and locating massage and treatment options proved to be a bit of a hassle in some locations, so I found I was really reliant on my RecoveryBoots to keep me going through heavy training loads and hard workouts. I found them especially helpful when I needed my hands free to work from the comfort of the living room and to eat some fried chicken and waffles post-race.

 

  

Post Race Chicken & Waffles Recovery!              Post Workout Lagal Work & Recovery!            Training Partner Recovery Time!

 

- Lanni Marchant , Record-Holding Canadian Long Distance Runner

 

Traveling Overseas with RecoveryPump



RecoveryPump has really shown it's true value lately since I've been taking long flights to races. I started out the season racing in Pucon,Chile, then in Dubai, Mexico, and next weekend I will be flying to race in Brazil. I don't normally do races that are so far away, so having the RecoveryPump to travel with has been really helpful. Since it's now battery powered and more compact, it's easy to travel with and I don't have to worry about bringing a power converter when I travel outside of the US. I just charge it fully before I leave and get plenty of uses out of it.

I usually use the pump as soon as I get the chance when I arrive to get rid of my airplane cankles. Then I use it before and after the race and it really helps me feel ready to race and recover quicker after. I prefer to fly in and out pretty quick, so that I can get in proper training the week before. I can get away with arriving the Thursday or Friday before an international race now, which is awesome.

RecoveryPump has made a huge difference in my recovery over the past 5 years. I can't imagine what I'd do without it now.

Richie Cunningham
www.richie-cunningham.com

Planning a Race Season

It’s that time of year; the holidays are long over, and while you hopefully enjoyed some much needed time away from the swim-bike-run regimen, it’s probably time to get back to it; that is if you intend to compete this season. I’m often asked, ‘how do you plan your race season’? While this is predominantly a highly individualized process, I thought I would walk you through how I plan a race season, in hopes that it may give you some insight and perhaps a few ideas when planning your own.

First, I will nail down the highest priority race(s) and work around them. In my case (for 2015), this race will be Ironman Texas, May 16. So I will put this down on the calendar, and then see what other races can effectively prepare me for this event. I know that Texas 70.3 (Galveston) is a good prep race just 3 weeks prior, so I put that in the schedule. And San Juan 70.3 moved back to its original March date; so seeing that it is one of my favorite events, I figured that one would also work well timing-wise. This line of thinking can work for anyone, professional or not; see if there are a few races leading up to your ‘goal event’ that will allow have a few practice rounds before the big show. It is good to remember as well, earlier season races are a great way to boost your fitness for the main event. It is ok to choose events that you have done before, or alternatively seek out entirely new ones; put together a plan that gets you excited.

Once I have a sketch of what looks good, I’ll then calculate what kind of expenses the events will entail. This becomes a layout of checks and balances; what will the main expenses cost (flights to race, accommodations, etc.) as well as what the potential payout is with the prize purse. Again, this is specific to professionals but similarly for anyone planning an event, it’s wise to look at these numbers well before you go into full planning mode. I’ve looked at some races that look great until I research flights; and if we’re looking at over $1000 to get somewhere, I either nix it or think hard as to if it is worth it. What airline will you fly? What are their bike policies? I’ve always been loyal to Southwest, as they charge $75 for a bike regardless of size (used to be $50 but even the $75 is far cheaper than most). Be prepared for these charges; they are written on the websites. When I can see that the planned races ‘make sense’, then I make them final and begin planning for each one individually. As a professional, since we are doing this to make a living, various other things come into play, such as prize money offered and a check and balance on expenses (such as, I will have to spend ‘x’ amount to get there and the potential earnings are ‘y’). But similar to anyone racing, we all have to balance a budget to get to races; so this aspect is something that we all can relate to in some facet.

Finally, an important thing to remember when planning a race season is be flexible; expect the unexpected, and don’t be afraid to adapt. You may even have a few ‘back up races’ in the works just in case. Things rarely go precisely according to plan. Late last January, coming off of a good half marathon, I slid on our stairs and landed on my sacrum. It sidelined me from activity for many days, and from running for a few weeks. A previously planned trip to Panama City, Panama (3 weeks away) had to be taken off the schedule. Additionally, when I book flights for significant cost (usually over about $500-$600), I almost always get the insurance; in this case, we used it, and got all of our money back from the tickets. While it was a bummer to pull the first race of the season off the schedule, there are always other races…don’t let a mishap entirely derail you and your attitude towards the season. Take it in stride, create a new strategy, get healthy (if an injury sidelined you) and re-focus on the new plan ahead. Often times you’ll look back and realize what seemed catastrophic at the time may have turned out to be the best thing in the long run.

With that said, enjoy looking at the race calendars (don’t forget to check them all! Ironman events, Challenge/Rev 3, Lifetime, local races, 5k’s, etc…there are many out there, if you get creative!) and creating your plan for 2015. See you out on the race course!

- Kelly Williamson 
kellyhwilliamson.com
@khwilliamson

One on One with Professional Track and Field Sprinter, Curtis Mitchell

I’m Atlantis Curtis Mitchell, 2013 World Championship Bronze Medalist and 2014 USA 200 meter Champion. In 2012 at Texas A&M University, I was the indoor NCAA champion. I live here in Clermont FL., my training base. My coach is Lance Brauman, one of the biggest Adidas camps in the United States. I bought my Recovery boots in 2011.


Q - HOW DO YOU USE RECOVERY PUMP?
A – I usually use it after my training sessions for an hour. I will sit in them when I wake up in the morning time, if I have early morning training sessions. So I get in them for about 15 minutes just to get my body going, get my blood pumping. After that it just depends on what type of workout I have so it varies. Sometimes after training I get in them for 45 minutes to an hour. That’s usually my routine that has worked for me these past 3 years and that’s just what my body likes.


Q - HOW HAS USING RECOVERY PUMP AFFECTED YOUR TRAINING ROUTINE?
A – Just the feeling I get once I use them before and after training. I can definitely tell a difference when I don’t use them. Just the light feeling I get and that my legs aren’t as heavy. I do a lot of running so of course my legs have a lot of lactic acid in there. Even if you do traditional things like ice bath, I just still haven’t found anything that gives me the same feeling that I have with Recovery Boots. So it’s just an awesome machine and I absolutely love it.


Q- HOW HAS RECOVERY PUMP AFFECTED YOUR PREFORMANCE DURING A RACE?
A – About 15 minutes prior to whatever I’m doing whether it’s training in a competition. I just get that light feeling. Everything’s running smoothly, everything’s running free. I’ve got the blood pumping in my leg. I’m a lot l lighter and fluent with my range of motion. It just gives me that running mechanics and that freedom that I need to go out there and sprint at a high level.

Q- WHAT DOES YOUR BODY FEEL LIKE WHEN YOU DON’T USE THE RECOVERY PUMP?
A – I feel heavy. I feel like I’m fighting myself more then I would be if I do use them. Like I said, using Recovery boots it flushes out my legs and there are certain things and certain feelings that I get that I know my body responds too. So if I don’t use it, it’s then kind of like setting my body back to zero and I have that heavy lethargic feeling. My drill and running mechanics aren’t running as smooth. If I had a long hard training day and I forgot to use my Recovery pump, or even if I forgot to do it the night before and I try to do it 15 minutes before training the next day, it’s just not the same thing. Both go hand in hand. You can’t do one without the other. I can’t just do it after training and then in the morning time forget to do it for the 15 minutes. Everything has to work together for me to get the feeling and results that I need.


Q- WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR RECOVERY PUMP?
A - It’s such a great tool to have, especially when I’m traveling. I’m an international athlete. I’m always in and out of airports. Just being able to have my own personal massage therapist (that’s what I call it), you know on the go. It’s so easy and so light. It’s not a hassle at all to travel with. I can use it in the hotels. If I’m getting off a 8 hour flight, 10 hour flight, I just go into the hotel and sit in my Recovery boots. It speeds up the jetlag process. It gets my body adapted to whatever situation I’m under. It’s just a great thing to have, like I said, I absolutely need it for my career.


Q- HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR NEW RECOVERY CORE?
A – I absolutely love it! The fact that it targets specific muscle groups that my body is used to, like gluts, hamstrings, lower back, groin and hip flexors. Those are the key things for a track and field sprinter, such as myself and just to be able to have that and now I know I’ve got such good results just using the general boots and now just to add this into my regiment. I’m just so excited to see what my body is going to do now and the type of results I’m going to get.


Q- WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHER ATHLETES ABOUT RECOVERY PUMP?                                                                                 A – If you’re really serious about your sport, your gravity, you train hard like me. As you know in sports training is important but recovery is more important than training itself. If you can really come packing, get down a recovery regiment and be able to come back the next day fresher and able to attack your workouts. It will just boost your performance and take you to the next level in your game and in your career. I absolutely recommend it. It’s light, easy to use and very affective. If you’re serious about your training and your sport, I recommend it.


- Curtis Mitchell, Professional Track and Field Sprinter