Currently viewing the category: "Athlete Stories"

Lida at Racineby Lida K.

Once upon a time on my bucket list I said I would like to complete an Ironman. My husband sort of laughed it off and said, “You are a swimmer! Are you serious?” I let it go… We had young kids and I was overly committed to helping in classrooms and every other aspect of their lives that required a volunteer. But, I thought, some day… Fast forward 10 years and all three kids are in college. My good friend from masters swim said she had signed up to volunteer for the Ironman race and she was going to do it next year. I thought okay, perfect! So we volunteered at Ironman Wisconsin, had a total blast and were caught up in the electrifying atmosphere of the race day, seeing friends finish and enjoying the sites of Madison. We got up bright and early the following day to get our spot for next year’s race. Yes, I plunked down a huge amount of money and then went home thinking OMG, I don’t even have a real bike… how am I going to do this? That was just one of my concerns, along with I have no idea how to train for this and how am I going to find the time with working full time? My friend told me about Experience Triathlon and I thought I would check them out and interview a coach and see if it was a good fit. The answer was yes, it was a great fit and who knew how many changes I would see in seven short months. Coach Joe LoPresto, along with Muneer at Spokes Wheaton, helped me find the right bike for my budget. Coach Joe then continued to check in with me until my “official” start date of training.

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laurie and alyse at et lake zurich triathlonby Laurie S.

Everybody’s seen the small group of people hanging out in the corner of transition, lounging against the fence and watching the racers struggle by while they have not a care in the world. What are they doing and why are they there? Those people are enjoying the experience of a relay triathlon. Relay triathlon teams have either two or three people. In a two person team, one person takes two legs and the second person takes the third, in any combination. In a three person team, all racers get one leg. Being part of a relay triathlon team is the most fun you can have at a triathlon. You get to be part of the spectacle for a quarter of the stress and hang out with your friends at the same time. You get a built in cheer crew and people to celebrate with after the race. Why would you NOT do a relay?? To have the best experience possible, here are a few things to keep in mind when planning a triathlon relay team.

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amy and suzy at et lake zurich triathlonby Amy H.

How can two races just three weeks apart have such different results? The races were both Olympic distance triathlons, Pleasant Prairie and ET Lake Zurich. The bike course for Pleasant Prairie is a little longer at 27 miles instead of 24.5 for ET Lake Zurich and the run at ET Lake Zurich is slightly more hilly with a couple of rollers, so in essence very similar races to train for.

After completing Pleasant Prairie the only things good I can say about my race that day were that I had a very straight swim, I was feeling really good in T1 and I finished. Not wanting to dwell on the negative, let’s just say that I knew about a mile into the run at Pleasant Prairie it was going to be rough and I would be walking just to finish. There are lots of demons that creep up on you when you are having a bad race day, things like:
“Why am I even here? Who am I kidding, I can’t do this! I am NEVER doing this again!”

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nancy at muncieby Nancy A.

Eight years ago, I did my first half Ironman triathlon … on a dare. I had no idea what I was doing. So like any young, confident newbie, I consulted Coach Google and found an online training plan. I followed it, mostly, and showed up on race day. I suffered the entire time and cried three times. I almost sat down on the run course and refused to go on. Afterward, I knew I could do better, but I didn’t know HOW to do better.

I’m much older and much wiser now, and last year, decided to go long again and try a 70.3. Here’s what I’ve learned about training for a half Ironman triathlon:

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ET-Lake-Zurich-Triathlon-2015-5by Chris B.

I tend to think of myself as a positive, mind over matter person. I truly feel if you can conceive it and believe it, you can achieve it, and when I set my mind to do something, I do it. This way of thinking was tested to the extreme leading up to ET Lake Zurich.

I will start by giving you a brief “readers digest” version of my journey thus far. I have four kids, I am a school librarian, and I am married to my wonderful husband, Jon. We moved to Geneva, IL from Iowa in March of 2008. The same day the moving truck pulled into our driveway to pack our house, I got the call that I had early stage breast cancer. Yep – 35 years old, four kids under 11, moving to a new state, and now the big C. My positive self was tested, but I just kept moving forward. We moved, I got the treatment I needed, and all was well. A big C diagnosis no matter the stage can sideline you and make you a victim, or it can propel you forward to make some changes in your life for the better. I chose to make better choices. I started exercising, lost over 40 pounds and was feeling great.

The thought of doing a triathlon was starting to creep into my brain. Jon had done a triathlon a few times and I always thought, “How fun for him. I could NEVER do something like that. I can’t swim.”   And I really couldn’t. I flunked beginner swimming lessons and never went back. I could swim well enough to have fun in the pool, but I never learned how to actually swim.

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Naperville based Experience Triathlon is a leader in the endurance services industry. Our tag line, “Where being a winner is as important as being the winner,” highlights our belief that training, racing and life are about the journey, not just the end results. We provide endurance coaching services, classes, clinics, clubs, camps, race events, nutrition coaching, massage therapy and performance testing to athletes in the Chicago area and around the world. MORE

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