What’s for Dinner? By Kelly Williamson

August 18th, 2015 - Posted by zoot
What's for Dinner? By Kelly Williamson
One of the most common questions I get when talking to fellow athletes is that of my diet. People always want to know what I eat when racing (fairly simple, a lot of gels), but also what our diet looks like regularly. Do we eat gluten free or vegan? Do I eat 6,000 calories a day? What do I eliminate, especially going into races? How strictly do we eat?

 

I always enjoy this topic because, while my husband Derick and I eat very healthy, we also eat balanced and we make it a goal to enjoy what we consume. To answer the above: No, we do not eat gluten-free. I’ve never tried eating vegan, but never had much of an interest. I did ‘think’ I was gluten-intolerant about 9 years ago when I was having some stomach issues. I eliminated my evening beer for a few days, then I came home one night with a 6-pk of beer in hand. Derick asked me what I was doing with it. My response was, “Yeah, I don’t think it’s the gluten.” (Some self-control, right? Turned out, I had gallstones and later had my gall bladder removed! Poof..stomach issues resolved!) I have no idea how many calories a day I eat; I don’t count them. I don’t eliminate anything, regularly or as I head into big races. I figure there are enough other stressors; no need to deprive myself of the things I enjoy (such as coffee, chocolate, ice cream and good beer); especially if I know they directly are not going to negatively impact performance. I would not say we are strict with our diet; but we eat ‘consciously’. I try to focus on assuring that I get enough calories, protein and good quality foods, especially after workouts; but at the same time I listen to my body and eat more when hungry and a bit less when I feel full. I’m a huge fan of fresh lemon in water, which I can sip on most of the day. One weakness I have is that I am a meal eater. I grew up in a family that ate 3 meals a day. I like to be hungry for meals, and enjoy them. I often don’t need a lot of snacks because often times, I’m wrapping up a workout right before a meal; so in lieu of a ‘recovery smoothie’, I often just go straight for a full meal. Derick and I often realize we probably eat healthier than we think, because any time we travel, we find we come home craving our usual staples; good coffee in the morning, a solid breakfast, avocado/veggie/turkey sandwiches for lunch, dark greens, salmon…and of course our favorite indulgences to stay balanced.
What's for Dinner? By Kelly Williamson
 
On this note, I wanted to share with y’all one of our favorite go-to dinners. Almost every night we have a massive salad, which includes some mixture of the following:
Dark greens (spinach, kale, and/or swiss chard) – Berries (often blueberries and raspberries) and/or Apple – Red onion – Nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts or sunflower seeds) – Quality cheese (fresh soft mozzarella or goat cheese) – topped with a vinegar based dressing and a creamier dressing (my favorites are Briannas Blush Wine Vinaigrette and Delmonico’s Ranch). I’ll always add beets if we have them cooked up. I love lots of color and variety among veggies, fruits, nuts and cheese. 

 

Derick has affectionately termed these “Kelly Salads” and he would like to see me start selling them. I just see them as dinner! This is always ‘part’ of our meal, rarely the entire meal. We often make ‘quinoa bowls’, which include:
Quinoa (cooked in chicken broth to add flavor) – Chopped bell peppers – Garlic and onion – Chicken sausage (often a flavored kind, Aidells makes some great ones especially spinach and feta or habanero and green chili; Open Nature is very good as well) – topped with a bit of shredded cheese. And you can easily get creative with these; toss in tomatoes, black beans, avocado, or whatever else you prefer. 

 

Of course, no lunch or dinner is complete to me without something sweet. After lunch it may be some sea salt dark chocolate (Lindt makes a great one and pretty inexpensive) or a chocolate chip cookie, and after dinner most nights I have a small bowl of ice cream. Actually, who am I kidding; every night I eat ice cream. My favorite is cookies and cream with some peanut butter mixed in.

 

When I begin to prepare dinner, I love to open a good beer, relax, and slowly start the preparation process; often after taking our pup for his evening play, it means the day is done, and whether it was good or bad; it’s time to put it behind you and settle in to the evening. While we often prepare simple meals, I find that after all the workouts and the ‘going’ all day long, the process of dinner prep is one of the most relaxing times of the day when Derick and I can turn on some good music, catch up and often talk about things non-triathlon related. When your husband is also your coach, this is something we both often crave! 

-Kelly Williamson
kellyhwilliamson.com
@khwilliamson

Team Zoot Run Application

August 3rd, 2015 - Posted by zoot

 

Team Zoot Run

Zoot Sports is pleased to announce the launch of Team Zoot Running! *Open to US Residents

We are developing a roster of the most talented elite runners, community leaders, and influencers to represent Zoot on raceday and everyday in between. Team Zoot members will receive an exclusive Team Zoot apparel assortment, access to discounts on all Zoot apparel, gear, and footwear and early access to product lines and launches.

In return Team Zoot members will be asked to do what they do best; run, coach, lead, connect, and provide feedback. You will receive an exclusive package for a discounted rate of $100 value for $300 retail value.

If you are interested and meet the qualifications below please proceed to the application link:

Team Zoot Run Application

*Application closes 8/17 at 12:00am (PST)

Team Zoot Run Qualifications:                          

Membership Requirements

  • Sub 2:46 Marathon (M)
  • Sub 3:15 Marathon (W)
  • Sub 1:19 Half Marathon (M)
  • Sub 1:33 Half Marathon (W)
  • Sub 35:30 10k (M)
  • Sub 41: 30 10k (W)
  • Sub 17:00 5k (M)
  • Sub 20:00 5k (W)

OR

Over 1,500 followers on run related social media outlets

Membership Responsibilities

  • Provide Zoot with important feedback and comments on our products
  • Assist with product launches and product promotions to generate excitement for the brand
  • Race and train in all Zoot apparel, footwear, and gear
  • Post one social media post a week tagging @zootsports or #teamzootrun

 

Happy Training and tag #TeamZootRun #ZootRun #LoveYourRun in your media posts!

 

Diego – Sneak Peek

July 17th, 2015 - Posted by zoot

 

Men's Diego- Solar Flare/Pewter/Zoot Red

The Diego delivers neutral cushioned comfort, perfect for those long runs or if you want an everyday bounce to your stride. Featuring Z-Bound™+ and a Progressive Forward Roll in the midsole, you will be protected from impact as well as a smooth transition to every run.

Upper:

The light weight and breathable mesh with a seamless no-sew creates a secure and supportive fit. The sock like feel of the BareFit™ internal liner allows your foot to stay put and breathe with speed.

Midsole:

Created for premium cushion and to reduce fatigue from impact on the body, the Diego is designed to work as one complete system. Midsole layers of Z-Bound™+, ZVA and a dedicated heel crash pad combined with high traction carbon rubber, blown rubber and Progressive Forward Roll create a comfortable transition through your entire stride.

Summary:

With a 4mm drop, the Diego combines both cushion and a dedicated heel counter responsible for stability so you will feel recovered and ready for the next run! A perfect blend for long runs, high mileage, or simply additive comfort, the Diego creates an innovative running experience.

Details:

Offset: 4mm

Weight: Men(9)- 12.50z, Women(8)- 10.8oz

Category: Neutral

Availability: Coming Soon!

Heel/Toe Stack: 26mm/22mm

Images:

Men's Diego-Solar Flare/Pewter/Zoot Red

Men's Diego- Pewter/Black/Zoot Blue

 

 

Women's Diego- Pacific/Light Blue/Punch

 

Women's Diego-Punch/Deep Purple/Solar Flare

 

 

 

Men's Diego- Pewter/Black/Zoot Blue

 

Women's Diego-Pacific/Light Blue/Punch

 

 

 

Which Wetsuit is Best for You?

July 13th, 2015 - Posted by zoot

WETZOOTS to suit all needs.

Since 2005 Zoot has been creating world class wetsuits specifically designed to for triathletes to swim fast and get out of the water feeling fresh. Our wetsuits have maximum flexibility and floatation to help you get out of the water feeling fresher. We have several levels of wetsuits accommodate all levels of swimmers.

Loaded with amazing features and the best technology, Zoot wetsuits consistently receive top accolades from both athletes around the globe. With the use of only the best neoprene in the appropriate places throughout the suit, you will enjoy maximum flexibility in the shoulders and floatation in the hips. SCS Nano and SCS are world class speed coatings that will help you glide through the water more efficiently. In order to keep the water out of the suit, we’ve added Zero Water Friction Free Neck and Zero Water Cuffs to our wetsuits. The Moontape Reinforcements along with the best Neoprene and speed coating ensure maximum durability.

 

WETSUIT TECHNOLOGYWETZOOTS to suit all needs.1. ZERO WATER FRICTION FREE NECK – Comfort neck panel sits flat against the neck to limit water entry and stop chafing.

2. CFD – CONFLUENCE FLUID DYNAMICS allows the swimmer’s arm to travel through the water with less energy expenditure and higher velocity.

3. ZERO WATER CUFFS – 1mm cuffs wrap around the wrist allowing for powerful strokes while sealing out the water.

4. SPEED RELEASE ANKLE PANEL – A strategically placed 2mm super stretchy panel at the base of the leg speeds transition in T1.

5. DORSALflex ZIPPER – 2mm of neoprene down the back zipper for stretch and improved lung expansion.

6. ZONE Rx CORE STABILIZER – Core stabilization ensures optimal body position and preserves core strength.

7. MOONTAPE REINFORCEMENTS – Strategically placed Moontape and spot reinforcements on the arms and legs ensures maximum durability.

8. SCS NANO – The most hydrodynamic and durable wetsuit coating available. Less friction. Less drag. More speed.

9. GLIDEflex – Grooved panels increase stretch for maximum lung expansion, shoulder rotation and extension.

10. SCS – SUPER COMPOSITE SKIN – A hydro-dynamic coating that allows the suit to glide through water more efficiently, improving neoprene’s surface abrasion resistance, durability and strength.

11. DYNAhull DYNAMIC STROKE TECH – Single seam sleeve construction maximizes the neoprene flexibility, increases reach and streamlines stroke efficiency.

12. SUPER STRETCH INTERIOR LINING – Zoot’s super stretch non-absorbant polyester interior lining allows for maximum reach and enhanced lateral flexibility.

13. AQUAlift – Aqualift provides maximum buoyancy raising your legs and torso in the water for increased power and speed.

14. OKD – OPTIMAL KICK DESIGN – Leg patterning that works with your anatomy to increase kick velocity, frequency, and efficiency.

 

WETSUIT CATEGORIES

We have several categories of wetsuits including Prophet 2.0, Z Force 5.0, Z Force 3.0 and Z Force 1.0. The Z Force 3.0 and 1.0 are also available in sleeveless. With nine men’s sizes and six women’s sizes, you are sure to find a Zoot wetsuit to fit your body. Below is a brief overview of our wetsuits, click on the links to see the full descriptions of the suit.

Prophet – The pinnacle of wetsuits, the Prophet 2.0 offers the most cutting edge technology, the best hydrodynamic coating, core stability, and the most innovative patterning on the market. More details can be found here: Women’s and Men’s

Z Force 5.0 – Evolutionary design with a great balance of flexibility for flawless stroke mechanics and floatation. More details can be found here: Women’s and Men’s

Z Force 3.0 (show full sleeve and SL) – 2014 Triathlete Magazine “Best in Class”, this suit continues to perform on top because of the great balance and buoyancy. More details can be found here: Women’s and Men’s 

Z Force 1.0 (show full sleeve and SL) – Named “The Top 10 Triathlon Essentials for Beginners” by Outside Magazine, the Z Force 1.0 wetsuit has the features of a high-end wetsuit without the price tag. The Z Force 1.0 is consistently classified as “Best Wetsuits for Beginners” by Triathlete Magazine. For more details, click here: Women’s and Men’s 

 

WETZOOTS to suit all needs.When the water temperature is 78 degrees or colder, USAT allows triathletes to wear wetsuits during races. From 78-84 degrees, wetsuits are allowed, but age group athletes who choose to wear one are not eligible for prizes. In the case where a race would not be wetsuit legal, you can experience some of the wetsuit benefits by wearing the Zoot SpeedZoot. This state-of-the-art swimskin was developed with ULTRArevo water repellant gloss fabric and bonded seams to reduce surface drag to make you fast in the water. Our advanced technology of bonded neck and arm closures keeps water out for an even faster swim. More information can be found here: Women’s and Men’s

For the past 10 years, Zoot has been perfecting wetsuits for triathletes. Loaded with features including ZoneRx Core Stabilizer, SCS speed coatings, and Aqualift, our full range of suits accommodate all levels of swimmers. Get out of the water feeling fresher with Zoot wetsuits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Building By: Ben Hoffman

July 10th, 2015 - Posted by zoot

 

Having grown up with a father that was a master carpenter and custom home builder, I was always spending time on the job site and gleaning construction skills. I remember being only 5 or 6 years old, and I would sweep up at the end of the day for my contribution and a chance to hang out with my dad. Later, I would help out after a school day or on a weekend, and in college I spent a couple summer breaks building homes with my dad over the summer break. Although I will never reach a level of expertise that compares to his, I learned enough to get by and tackle the occasional project.

In fact, I often find myself filling offseason time with construction projects, or even taking on the occasional one in season. When I bought my first home in Boulder a couple years ago, the first thing we all did was convert a garden level area of the house to its own separate living quarters. Fast forward to my offseason after Kona last year, and Kelsey, my parents, and myself all took on a massive effort to rehab an older home that she bought in foreclosure. It was a 6 week push to completely rebuild the kitchen and bathroom, redo flooring, repaint the interior, and all the other fun bits that go into a remodel. There is a deep satisfaction for me in having something so tangible and visible come to life, be reborn from mediocre to great through hard work. Although most of my “builds” are based around an Ironman, I get equal satisfaction from these.

The most recent weekend project was a patio that Kelsey and I built outside for a small seating area. We had no real experience with laying a flagstone patio, but we managed to turn out a nice and level place to enjoy an occasional dinner in 3 days between my training. It’s not exactly the standard strength training, but I’m pretty sure my “caveman crossfit” helped work my abs, back, and arms!Buildingwithben

At the end of the day, it’s nice to be able to have enough confidence to work on some basic construction projects around my place, and it gives me a mental break and refresher from the grind of training, while reinforcing my strong belief in hard work. What’s your next DYI project?

-Ben Hoffman

benhoffmanracing.com

@bhoffmanracing

 

Our Escape By: Kelly Williamson

June 24th, 2015 - Posted by zoot
Derick and I met in Colorado back in 2003, at the Mt. Evans Hill Climb; which is a bike race that starts in Idaho Springs, CO (7,555 ft) and goes 28 miles to finish at the top of Mt. Evans (14,130 ft). We were both living in Colorado Springs at the time which is where we stayed until our move to Austin, Texas the summer of 2006. While we’ve loved more than we ever imagined possible about Austin, we are both mountain people at heart.

The first time I qualified for Kona in 2010 we decided it would make sense to escape the Texas heat for some of the long training (summers here are intense, often 70F but 80-90% humidity early mornings but by afternoon 90-100F with 40-60% humidity) so we immediately decided upon Salida, Colorado. (Little did we know that for the next 4 years, we would head right back there every summer for about a month of training and fun to escape the dreaded Austin summers). Many have not heard of Salida. We knew of it from having lived in Colorado Springs, we would occasionally go there to camp, mountain bike and just explore one Colorado’s many small mountain towns. It is nestled at the foot of the Colorado Rockies and the western bank of the Arkansas River, at about 7000 ft. It’s often said to be in the ‘Banana Belt’ because of the cool comfortable summers and mild winters. It even has a 25-meter indoor pool at the Salida Hot Springs center; which for a town of ~5,500 people is pretty impressive. You can do your workout then slip into the ‘other’ pool which is a natural hot springs. Roads to ride are endless; and even though there are only about 2 ways out of town, one road takes you up Poncha Pass (9,000 ft) and once descending you can ride for miles on a fairly flat terrain. The other route takes you to the neighboring town of Buena Vista (20 miles away) but then you can begin the 20 mile climb to the top of Cottonwood Pass (~12,000 ft). The amazing thing about riding in Salida is the lack of stopping; coming from a town such as Austin with a massive population, it’s incredibly refreshing to get on your bike and just keep pedaling, uninterrupted. As for the running, there are a ton of trails though many of them go UP…so you have to be prepared that if you’re not intending on pushing yourself, you either stay off of them or you really learn how to run easy. One of my favorites is a dirt road (Ute Trail) that we’ll take to for long tempo runs. I’ll jog to the start of the dirt (about 3 miles from town), and Derick will mark every mile with flour. The most I’ve done is about 9 miles uphill; the road on goes forever, and the grade undulates but is always going up in some capacity. Last summer, Derick and I took to this road for some cyclo-cross bike rides which was a ton of fun. We would spend 3-4 hours exploring these dirt roads and occasionally pop off onto trails, which is of course interesting on a cross bike, especially when you have the lack of technical skills as I do.

 

But the best thing about Salida is that even though I am there to train, it almost doesn’t feel like it. We wake up early, have coffee on the porch; often visited by a few deer in the yard. Mornings are almost always cool and quiet. There are absolutely no distractions. Life is simple. The commute to the pool is all of 5 minutes. Never traffic. The commute to the gym is 5 minutes on a cruiser bike. The commute to the beer store is 5 minutes, and I’ll toss it into the bike basket and pedal home. Derick often does all of his work in the mornings, and will head to the trails for afternoon mountain bike rides (or vice-versa if storms roll in during the afternoons) and will fish most evenings after dinner. I savor the easier training days or days off when we can pick up a float trip together, or an excursion to Mt. Princeton Hot Springs for the day. Every evening, we pedal down to the river with our dog Amico (named after the local pizza and brewery, Amicas) and let him play in the rapids; easily my favorite part of the day.  We pedal back home with a worn out pup, crack open a good beer and make dinner; often from fresh veggies and meats we pick up at Ploughboy, the local market and kitchen. We enjoy our dinner on the back porch and rarely turn the TV on. It’s definitely a Work Hard, Play Hard philosophy when in Salida. It’s Our Escape. What’s yours?

 

-Kelly Williamson
@khwilliamson

Training (or Chilling) with Music: What Moves You? By: Kelly Williamson

May 21st, 2015 - Posted by zoot
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Music has the power to inspire. While people and events clearly serve as inspiration, something as simple as songs inspire me daily. Music works as a conversation starter; it gives you deeper insight into who people are; it can even spark a bond between two people. I’ll never forget when I met my husband Derick. I was 24 at the time, likely ruminating about some triathlon related event in my life which I am sure was “massive” at the time but in the big scheme, a small bump in the road. (He was working for a coaching company at the time). I said to him over one of our earlier conversations, “You have to laugh at yourself, because you’d cry your eyes out if you didn’t.” This dude was good. Without missing a beat, he replies, “You’re an Indigo Girls fan, huh.” Well, he sure knew how to win a girl over… a GUY who knew this line from a song? Spark. Bam. Done. Here we are, some 13 years later!

 

Every evening when Derick and I make dinner, we turn on a Pandora station and catch up on our day with some good tunes in the background. Some of the frequent Pandora stations you’ll find in the Williamson household include the likes of Robert Earl Keen, John Fullbright, Jason Isbell, Ray Wylie Hubbard; Brandi Carlile, the Highwaymen radio. Clearly, pretty mellow stuff for the evenings. The wonderful thing about music that you can always find something to suit your mood; and on that same note, music also has the ability to change your mood. I can find myself enjoying a beer, making dinner, my mind running through events from the day, stressing out; then I find myself singing along with a song and it seems worries can melt away. It can allow us to shift our focus often to a more relaxed state without even consciously realizing it.  

 

Seeing that I love music and a good many hours of my days are spent training solo, it gives me massive time to spend with my good friend, Kelly’s Ipod. While I love good company for a long bike ride, I also get excited as I prep for a 5-6 hour solo ride, getting the bike ready, the nutrition set up, rolling out the door, and putting my music in my ear (right ear only of course). While I can appreciate solitude and silence, it makes some of that alone time a bit more pleasant when I can cruise through the Texas hill country being serenaded by some of my favorites. Likewise, when I have to crank out a tough set on the bike or on the trails, I turn it over to those who can get me in the mood to shut off the pain and dig as deep as possible. It seems there’s always a song for the occasion, be it a mellow 5 hours or a hard as hell 6 minutes. There is something about focusing on song lyrics and averting your attention directly from your effort that can allow you dig a bit deeper and enjoy the experience a little more.

 

On that note, I wanted to share some of my top song choices; broken down into two categories. Long endurance workout favorites, and hard session choices. Of course these lists are frequently changing, but some are tried and true staples. Maybe you can find a new song or two in here. But ultimately, find what moves your mood and go with it!

 

Long Mellow Sessions
I Like Birds (Eels)
Follow Your Arrow (Kacey Musgraves)
Whim of Iron (Slaid Cleaves)
Happy (John Fullbright)
People are Crazy (Billy Currington)
Old Before Your Time (Ray LaMontagne)
Gone Again (Indigo Girls)
My Hometown (Charlie Robison)
Enjoy Yourself (Todd Snider)

 

Hard Sessions
Back in Black (AC/DC)
GDFR (Flo Rida)
No Church in the Wild (JAY Z & Kanye West)
Glory & Consequence (Ben Harper)
In the End (Linkin Park)
We Can’t Stop (Miley Cyrus)
Dani California (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Ni**as in Paris (JAY Z & Kanye West)
Lonely Boy (The Black Keys)
Mainstream Kid (Brandi Carlile)
Dark Horse (Katy Perry)

 

-Kelly Williamson
@khwilliamson

5 Training Tips to Spring into Shape!

May 11th, 2015 - Posted by zoot

It’s time to spring into shape and begin a fresh training schedule with new ideas to get you stronger and ready to race.

Add a little spring into your step with these 5 training tips:

1)   Set Goals

Set one big goal for the spring season training, something to look forward to. It could be training for your first 5k, racing a half or full marathon you have always wanted to do, or reaching a personal best by the end of the season. Keep it simple and stick to what inspires you! Write it down and gain confidence in that goal.

Set mini milestone goals to motivate you to achieve that one big goal you set for your spring season. Milestone goals can be as simple as eat more greens, get 8 hours of sleep a night, take a few minutes out of the day to stretch & strengthen or finish a run a little faster than normal. It is important to be consistent with your goals and reward yourself!

2)   Track Your Progress 

Write down your weekly training in a training journal. Map it out and watch the progression. Write down weekly miles, hours of sleep, and how you felt in each workout. This allows organization to your training and a method to track what works and doesn’t work. It is also nice to backtrack and see what you did days, months, even years ago.

 3)  Mix Things Up

Workouts- A variety in your training can strengthen different muscles in the body and create an overall balance.

Hill Repeats- Is there one hill near your home that you despise walking, biking, or running up? Well, here is a great workout for you. One day a week confidently focus on that hill. Start slow doing 3 reps up/and recovery downhill. Eventually, you can increase the hill reps, allowing your muscle fibers to adjust to the alternative terrain. Hill repeats will increase your heart rate, strengthen and tone your glutes, and most importantly your mind and body will naturally adapt to the hills, allowing confidence to overcome every step of the climb.

Intervals- Interval training is a great way to mix up your workouts. Instead of going by distance, go by time. Set your workout to segmented intervals. For example, you can run 1 minute fast, with 1 minute recovery, 2 minutes fast, 2 minutes recovery, 3 minutes fast, 3 minutes recovery, etc. Intervals are a great way to see what pace is right for you. You can decrease the recovery time to see how well you adapt to recovering. Intervals are a great way to get you fit and in that racing mode!

Tempo- Tempo is also known as a lactate threshold run and is a faster paced workout to help you gain endurance. It should be at a faster pace than your normal run pace and a little slower than your race pace. It should be a pace that you can keep for a longer run and should feel comfortably hard. The more training, the higher you can push your threshold. So how do you find your threshold? You can start by adding 30-40 seconds to your average 5k-10k pace. If you average 8:00 per mile in the 5k your threshold pace will be relative to 8:30-8:40 per mile. It should be a hard yet comfortable pace you can do for 15-20 minutes continuously.

Location– Mix it up with the location of your runs. If you run the same route daily it could easily lead to burn out. Try to run on grass or trail for longer runs to reduce the impact, and recover faster.

Find a running friend– A friend running next to you can help keep the pace of the run honest and consistent. A friend to run with is a perfect way to motivate you and create a positive attitude. It is nothing like a good conversation to make a long run go by when you have a friend to talk to and reach out to. A running friend can also critique your form and help improve your stride.

4)   Strength- there is more to it than just running! 

Body mechanics – Work on the little things to strengthen for an overall balanced body. Each day focus on a part of the body to make it stronger!  

YogaStrength is not only important physically but mentally as well. Take a few minutes out of your day to stretch quietly and clear the mind through meditation. It not only relaxes you but freshens the body for your next run!

CoreThe core is the foundation to running. With a strong core your body can move mechanically, creating less tension in the hips, glutes, and legs. Even if it is 5-10 minutes of core while watching television, your abs can still get a nice workout.

5)   Race More, Race Faster       

April racing brings May personal bests! Do you get the nervous jitters at the starting line? Well, the common cure is to race. The more you race the more confident you become and your body gets accustomed to the adrenaline. Believe in your training and know that you are ready for any race!

 

ColoRADo – By: Ben Hoffman

May 1st, 2015 - Posted by zoot

 

When I went to university in 2002, triathlon was not even on my radar. Growing up in Western Colorado, my life was always based around exercise and being outdoors, but I can’t remember a time when I went swimming in anything other than a high alpine lake or the golden, flowing Colorado river to cool off in summer heat.  I did spend some time riding weeklong bike tours in the Colorado mountains with my parents while I was in high school, but the majority of my first 18 years were spent backpacking, camping, rock climbing, and generally exploring the landscapes of Colorado, Utah, and other surrounding states…essentially, “triathlon-free.” 

Some of my favorite memories are the trips we would take to the mountains, fly-fishing, sitting around the campfire, and just soaking in the beautiful landscape that surrounded us. Being outdoors wasn’t necessarily related to any kind of structured exercise, it was simply being out there and moving amongst it.  It was these trips throughout my formative years that laid the groundwork for my choice to live in Montana, then back to Colorado, and Arizona in winters.  In fact, I remember deciding that Missoula would be a good fit for college because it was like a Colorado with fewer people!

The surrounding environment has always had a big impact on my happiness and the structure of my days, especially now that my job is to spend countless hours outdoors on my bike, running, and swimming, I look to the landscape for inspiration and energy, for peace of mind and tranquility. Often it can be as simple as appreciating seasonal changes with wildflowers or snowstorms, spotting some wildlife, or just being thankful for consistent sunny weather. Other times, I use specific features to shape an adventure or training goal: Run up that mountain? Ride a big loop around the same mountain? Sure!

The landscape becomes a useful motivating tool for my workouts, and is constantly providing me with stimulation and inspiration.  Each person has their own vision of beauty, and level of connectedness with nature, but I will always gravitate towards the mountains, deserts, and open spaces that feed my soul. And when I’m not training in these places? Enjoying them in other ways, whether it’s camping, fishing, hiking, climbing, skiing, or just relaxing and watching the day unfold. Get out there and enjoy some fresh air!

-Ben Hoffman

A Well Earned Beer Just Tastes Better- By: Kelly Williamson

March 23rd, 2015 - Posted by zoot

 

‘Everything in moderation, even moderation itself.’- (Oscar Wilde)

One of my favorite sayings. Enjoy all things in life, a little of everything; exclude nothing that makes you happy; and at times, it’s ok to go a little overboard; it just may remind you of why you enjoy moderation.

Good beer is something that my husband Derick and I truly enjoy. It may have started in college, when I first really tried beer at all; and I somehow took to the dark ones. At that time, I thought Newcastle was amazing (well, only after I had gone through my Icehouse and Labatt’s Blue phases). My mom warned me that ‘keg beer will make you sick’, so I prided myself on always having my own stash of ‘good beer’ on hand in my latter college years. I went through my fruity stage; the raspberry flavored ones, even the ciders; until I got sick one night (it was college) on cider beer, which quickly ended the cider phase (it has since never returned). Soon after college I moved to Colorado Springs…craft brew mecca! We had Bristol Brewing, Phantom Canyon, Il Vicino; then of course we could always purchase the good beers that came from Boulder and other nearby towns. When I met Derick in 2003, it was he who got me into India Pale Ales, or IPAs; known for being very hoppy, a little bitter, and usually on the stronger side.

(Little known fact: The reason they are called IPAs is because they date back to 18th century England, when British troops in India demanded beer on their long sea journey (smart men). To prevent the beer from spoiling, more alcohol and more hops were added, acting as a natural preservative.)

Living in Colorado Springs for a few years, he and I bonded over cycling, running, and beer drinking. Of course at this time, I was there to train at the Olympic Training Center for triathlon, having  just started racing  as a pro. I call it ‘racing as a pro’ because I was hardly a true ‘professional athlete’; making very little income from the sport and holding down a few part time  jobs to make ends meet. We enjoyed all things Colorado; from of the high altitude trails running, group bike rides as I cut my teeth on ‘group riding’ (and  broke a few bones), and of course skiing. Much like enjoying good beer, I could not stay away from enjoying the incredible ski resorts just 2 hours from our doorstep. We created some incredible memories from trips in the mountains with good friends; and still to this day, one of my perfect days entails spending it on the slopes for 4-6 hours, only to pop into a nice brewery and savor a well-earned  burger and beer. Seems the beer tastes that much better with skiing-induced fatigue.

Derick moved us to Austin in 2006 for him to pursue graduate school, and we were shocked to find only a handful of local breweries here at the time. Little did we  know we would still be in Austin in  2015; and over the past 9 years, the craft beer  scene has grown exponentially. Of course I am still racing professionally, Derick is still coaching; but one thing has not changed. We still enjoy a good beer at the end of the day; yes, each and every day. I am still an IPA person, recently he has drifted towards darker stouts (though we can both enjoy a good Saison as well). Perhaps one of my proudest moments in my career thus far was recently, when I managed to secure a relationship with Hops & Grain, one of Austin’s newest (and in my opinion) best new breweries. I’ve known Josh Hare (founder) since when we first moved to Austin, as we connected through the running scene, when he was experimenting with home brewing at the time. Josh and myself have aligned beliefs in that one can enjoy a very active, healthy lifestyle yet at the end of the day still enjoy a good brew.


I often see triathletes ‘cut things out’ of a diet with the goal of being ‘healthier’, and aiming to achieve a peak performance. I’ll always say to each his own, but from my point of view, we do a heck of a lot ‘right’ by committing to an active lifestyle, setting goals, and working tirelessly to achieve them; whether it be triathlon, running or even your activity of choice. I think it’s quite healthy to allow yourself those small things that make you happy. To me, that is my end of the day IPA; when I start to prepare dinner, the workouts (good or bad) are behind me, and my husband and I can catch up with one another; shut off work and shift into an evening together. I have to give up quite a few things by choosing this lifestyle; but suffice to say, my regular enjoyment of good beer isn’t going anywhere; and I would have it no other way.

-Kelly Williamson
kellyhwilliamson.com
@khwilliamson




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