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rose and cathy at et naperille triathlonBy Rose R.

In July 2007, I weighed 273 pounds. I used food for several years to comfort me as my mom fought cancer for the third time and my parents went through an ugly and long divorce. I went to Germany with one of my closest friends to chaperone an exchange for the school where we teach and we went to an indoor waterpark one afternoon. She and I walked up to the top of a water slide and when we got to the top, one of the employees started speaking to us in German. I didn’t have a clue what he was saying, but I could infer the message: I was too big to ride the waterslide. I ran down the stairs, ashamed and embarrassed. It was at that moment I decided to make a change; I needed to take control of my life and my choices.

The week we came home, I went to L.A. Weight Loss, a place where that same friend had lost a lot of weight and started running; in fact, she had completed several half and full marathons at that point. I was scared to go there and admit I needed help, but once they explained the program and how I would be cooking all of my own food according to their guidelines, I knew it was right for me. I had a lot of work to do, but it put me in charge of all of my eating choices, which helped me change my thinking about food and its purposes. I have not looked back since. I started to add in exercise a few months later and I enjoyed watching not only the scale go down, but also how I felt as the new, healthier version of myself!

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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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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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