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New Home, New Fire

It’s been a whirlwind summer. I didn’t expect to be racing, not with moving across the country and after opening my new business, but by now, I should expect to be surprised at what can be accomplished. 

Opening night at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center symbolizes the start of the track cycling season on the east coast. International competitors come from Europe, Asia, the Oceania countries for some of the best racing in the world, week after week. Even prior to moving across the country, summers were spent in Pennsylvania for the mere fact that the talent and experience cannot be found anywhere else.

And so it came as no surprise, when opening night came around, and athletes from around the world continued to ask, “Are you racing?”, that I would have a number 31 pinned on my back, and I’d be lining up for a women’s UCI Class 1 scratch race. I lined up that night, expecting nothing, and I came home with a bouquet of flowers, and the win.

Taking it one day at a time, I’ve come to love my sport again. Not only have I enjoyed racing, but I’ve been involved in the community cycling programs: BRL, PeeWee-Pedalers, and Gear Up Academy. From day one, I’ve always said, it doesn’t matter how far I go, as long as I show that track sprinting is possible within the united states, and I show young girls they can make their dreams come true. Working with young kids, helping them conquer their fears, and watching their faces light up for those first few laps they ride around the velodrome is why I started doing this. Finding those roots has helped my connection with track cycling form again. 

Every Friday night I’ve been lining up, no matter what the races are, to support women’s cycling, and to relight the fire. I’ve come away with a few wins, a few losses, and a few tired legs. Then every Saturday morning I wake up to the bright faces of 5 year old kids, and keep it going. What a drastic change from where I was a few months ago! 

In just a week, the US Elite Track National Championships will begin. I’ve signed myself up for one event, the Scratch Race. Traditionally, I’ve been considered a sprinter, but what few know is my numbers actually define me as a pursuiter. Competing is what I love to do, and now I’m branching past my usual team sprint, 500m, keirin, and match sprint, to an endurance event I’ve been doing well in. This nationals, it isn’t about winning. It’s about continuing on, being strong, and giving those little kids someone to cheer for.

Ttown is slowly becoming my new home, and with the amazing support of my sponsors and 5 year old Saturday morning buddies, it’s slowly building a fire under me again. 

- Miss Erickson 

 

Give me 5 Minutes

My job is to exercise. Which is pretty cool. But if I were to say I’m always excited to exercise, I would be lying. Some days, you just want to be lazy. Sleep in, drink coffee, read a book, walk the dog. And some days, this is precisely what the body needs. But in general, I find I’m always my ‘best self’ when I’m active. And often times, all it takes is 5 minutes to realize this.

 

I was going out for a run a few weeks back, in just the same mindset as I stated above; feeling sluggish and lacking motivation to get out the door. But I did, because I knew I needed to go for a run. The sun was out, it was a beautiful Colorado day, and I just started putting one foot in front of the other. I hadn’t been out more than a few minutes when I realized I was happy, relaxed and enjoying “movement.” I’d almost forgotten already how rotten I felt a few minutes prior.  In just a few minutes, everything had changed. It’s incredible what exercise can do for mood state, attitude and outlook. We may feel strong or not so strong, but I’ve learned that despite often needing to track pace, power, effort and times, there is a lot to be gained in simply enjoying the process for what it is…the ability to move your body. While the repetitive nature of triathlon may get ‘boring’ at times, it can also be incredibly therapeutic and powerful. You begin a workout perhaps feeling annoyed by something in your life; maybe frustrated at how your body feels. But often times after a few minutes (or those of us crazy enough to do Ironman, a few hours) I find my mind has shifted. I sometimes train with music, so I may let myself enjoy the songs running through my head. I’ll often train solo, which allows me to contemplate things; or rather, shut my mind off and just see what wanders in and out.

 

Despite growing up a swimmer, the toughest activity to initiate can often be swimming. You’ve got to get yourself to the pool (not as easy as lacing up your running shoes), then the hardest part, jump into often cold water. But after a few lengths, you begin to find a rhythm, counting your laps; the body warms up, and away you go. As much as I love swimming and it is probably the one activity I always want to do more than others, I find there are days I have to drag myself to the pool. 

But the one common theme about all the ‘movement based’ activities I do…swimming, cycling, running, strength in the gym…is I can honestly say, I don’t ever regret doing them when I’m finished. There are few things that feel better than a fatigued body from hard work. And of course, it’s no secret that my own personal favorite reward is that evening IPA while I’m making dinner; the day is done, the hard work has happened; maybe we nailed the session, maybe we were ‘off’…but what matters is we did it, and what is important is to appreciate your effort and move forward.

So when you find you’re struggling for motivation to get out the door, remember you're not alone. We all go through this at times. But just give yourself 5 minutes of exercise…and I’m willing to bet you won’t regret it an hour later when you’re cooling down.  

- Kelly Williamson,

@kmhwilliamson

kellyhwilliamson.com

San Jose to Long Beach with the Long Beach Fast Freddies!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 myself and 17 other men boarded a plan to San Jose California with no return flight, just our bicycles. The Long Beach Fast Freddies is a local cycling group I have the privilege of riding with. Aging from 30-70 years of age there is some great diversity in the group. Every year for the past 15 years or so they have taken the challenge of riding from San Jose to Long Beach. A 455 mile journey down the magnificent California coast in just 4 days.

I myself am a sprinter… Fast, powerful, and short is my game! So what am I doing on a multi day ride? This was the question I was asking myself the whole time. But mostly I was excited to ride my bike alongside some great friends and create new memories.

 As a sprinter doing so many miles I new I would need a SECRET WEAPON… The faster I could recover from the previous day the better I would perform and feel on the next. And since I am such a nice guy I figured I would give my friends a little recovery help as well. So, I brought along 3 RECOVERYPUMP SETS!!!! 2 systems with boots and 1 system with the NEW RECOVERYPANTS! The RecoveryPants are brand new and I must say… They are Gods gift to compression!!! Feet, calves, quads, gluts, and lower back with enough squeeze to make you start to question until you feel that oh so sweet release…

There were a few riders interested in using them from the start, but also some were skeptical. I did not try to persuade anyone, as I knew the RecoveryPump systems would talk for itself. Needless to say, by day 2 and 3 everybody wanted to get into my pants… SO I LET THEM! I know that RecoveryPump is amazing, but it is always great to hear the response from others who are trying for the first time. This was however my first time using them with this many miles and days back to back and the result was amazing.

So Recovery Pump, the Long Beach Fast Freddies say THANK YOU!!!  Many in the group were so impressed that 5 of them have put in an order of there own so that they can feel the squeeze anytime they’d like!

-  Nate Koch, Sprint Track Cyclists

@teamnater 

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

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

www.richie-cunningham.com

Making Lemonade - The Life of an Athlete!

The life of an athlete is always go-go-go! Rolling with the punches, and bobbing and weaving with what comes. But when life gives you lemons, the best thing you can do is make lemonade.

After my last post in November, I continued to take time off the bike. I needed to let my body heal. At this point I knew I wouldn’t be competing in the world cup season, and I knew I wasn’t going to be racing the world championships, and I knew that because of those things, qualifying for Rio 2016 was going to be nearly impossible. In December, I decided to have the metals taken out of my collarbone. I’ve been incredibly blessed to have the support of the United States Olympic Committee throughout this process, and it went by  flawlessly.

The recovery period was going to be a little longer, while I waited for the 14 holes in my bone to fill in, but during that time, I filled it with love, family, and holidays back home in Minnesota. Gunning full gas for the Olympic for 3.5 years has made the time I’ve been able to spend with my family very brief. Going home was refreshing, filled with snow, delicious food, and great memories. Eva (my 3 yr. old husky) and I loaded up the car and drove the 28 hours there and back, and for anyone who has ever traveled with a husky, she was an angel! We often underestimate the importance of going home when we are so driven towards a huge goal, but I actually feel blessed to have been given this opportunity to have down time, go home, and make memories I’ll always cherish.

Once back in LA, it was really time to start focusing on making something out of this challenging time. While working on my mind, I put my energy into recovering, and continuing my work. I was starting to get the itch to ride again, and even though I knew it was going to be challenging to get ready for, I applied to be part of the World Cycling League, taking place at the Velo Sports Center in March. And little did I know, I was selected as a rider on the California Wave team! This was the little motivation I needed to drag me out of my slump, and get back in the gym.

Over 5 months, I had lost about 15 pounds, and got a little squishy. As an athlete trying to get back into shape again, I knew I was going to have a challenge ahead of myself. But, what’s the fun if there is no challenge? It’s been encouraging watching my weight come back up, my muscles showing again, and the form come back on the track. Last week I joined in on some local track racing, which I haven’t done on a Friday night since 2012. It was a blast! Mixing it up with so many women, in a low pressure atmosphere, and just trying to survive a 60 lap points race on two weeks of sprinter training was my main goal! But I did it. I wasn’t nervous about racing, and I had so much fun. Now, getting ready for the World Cycling League, I’m so happy to be part of a team with so many great athletes and characters. I can’t wait to put on a great show for everyone who is attending, and helping the sport of track cycling grow in the United States. 

This time off the bike, and newfound direction in life has given me a career, financial stability, and a different love for my sport. I know I won’t be a Rio 2016 Olympian, but I am so proud of everything I have done on the journey to that goal. Operation 2016 is to be happy, healthy, and enjoy life. I have the freedom now to live where I want, be surrounded by who I want, be there person I want, and to do as I please. I’m excited to be moving closer to the Recovery Pump headquarters and becoming a PA local within the next few months, and to make the Valley Preferred Cycling center my home track. I couldn’t be more thankful for the people who have surrounded me with their support and their love and made all of this possible. I truly have turned my lemons into lemonade. And I’m looking forward to what’s coming next.

While the race schedule is very TBD for this next year, I’m already stronger and better than I was in 2015. Watch out world! 

- Missy Erickson, 2016 Olympic Long Team & UCI Keirin World Cup Medalist

@MissyErickson

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

@kmhwilliamson

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

@HillaryPBiscay

6 Day Racing... Rock Star Style!

 

2015 has been one crazy year of going in circles! Some would say that in 2015 I have finally found my niche as a Professional Track Cyclist. For the past five years since I started racing bikes the 2016 Rio Olympics was the focus. It is a life long goal and dream to become an Olympian and this new sport of track cycling was the way I would make it happen. I trained long and hard, traveled the world with my RecoveryPump boots by my side, and progress was being made. But with anything worth doing there are challenges along the way. Unfortunately for me my biggest challenge would be receiving the support I needed form my governing body USA Cycling.  Some days were good, but more days were bad. Ultimately they have never been fully invested in the sprint program. So with that, we as a team were unable to earn the Olympic points needed to qualify Team USA in the event that I race. This is heart crushing, but fortunately the blow has been softened.

Back to finding my niche. Last January I was 1 of 6 racers in the world invited to race at the Berlin 6 Day. A 6-Day race IS A PARTY!!! With 12,000 people a night packed into an indoor stadium with loud music, light shows, beer, and food it is an absolute spectacle. I love to race my bike, but I also love to entertain! Over the 6 days I won some races, but more importantly I won the crowd. I was given the “Most Entertaining Rider” award and was extremely welcomed by the German people.

Several months passed and I was still on a high from my Berlin experience. I looked forward to next year, but didn’t know if it was a performance I could recreate for them let alone another country.  Soon after I got BIG news. After 40 years of not hosting a 6-Day race London was bringing it back and I was invited! They said, “Nate, you are a good racer and we like that, but you are exciting and fun and we NEED that!” I was honored to be invited, but not sure if the English people would enjoy me as much as the Germans had. So there was only one way to find out... Go to London and give them a party on my bike!

I arrived to the Olympic velodrome in London and could still feel its energy from 3 years past. It is a stunning facility built for the best team in the world. As I walked through the sliding glass doors I could hear the base! DJ Too Smooth from the Ministry of Sound was going to be our live entertainment for 6 straight nights. As I slipped on my signature yellow jersey the people were funneling in to see something that many of them never have. The party was back in London and I got to be one of the very select few to get to put on a show!

A 6 Day race is like racing your bike in a night club! When the sprinters come on the lights go down and the music goes up. With this race being televised live by Euro Sport gave some fun opportunities to play in front of the camera as well. In between races it is all about having a good time as well. So during DJ Too Smooth’s long performance we sprinters decided it would be a good time to get our dance on because how often do you get to dance on a stage in front of 7,000 people? Along with countless pictures taken and autographs signed there was no shortage of getting to feel like a rock star.

During the mornings and afternoons before racing would start it was Recovery Pump time! It felt so good to get a nice solid squeeze after a long night of racing and entertaining. Especially once day 4, 5, and 6 came! I got to room with Denise Dmitriev from Russia and he was a BIG fan of the boots. I think he would put in at least an hour of squeeze time every afternoon. Because racing goes till midnight or beyond we really do feel like we are living the “Rock Star” lifestyle. Sleeping in till 11 or noon, grabbing breakfast then going back for another 3-4 hours of sleep.  We just have to make sure we are well rested to be able to put on our party at 50mph shoulder to shoulder with no brakes!

In the end London 6 Day was a huge success! Once again I was able to win the crowd and was the “crazy American” for the peoples enjoyment. Although the Olympics is no longer a chance it is amazing to know I still get to travel the world racing my bike and do it in Rock Star style!

 

- Nate Koch, Professional Track Sprint Cyclists

@Teamnater

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