Follow Triathlete magazine Senior Editor Jené Shaw as she drives cross-country in search of cool triathletes and interesting triathlon-related stuff throughout the nation. Click here to read past Road Trippin’ Triathlete articles.
9 a.m. D.C. Tri Club President Steve Carlson met me for a trail run in Rock Creek Park, a wonderful place that makes you forget you’re training in an urban area. We did an hour loop while talking about the challenges (varying ability levels, mainly volunteer-run) and opportunities (elaborate newbie programs, a new elite team) for his club of more than 1200 members. He mentioned that their usual Sunday morning workouts aren’t attended by a lot of newer athletes, who are a little intimidated of trail running. Hey, I can empathize with that one—you never know when some monster climb or technical downhill will pop up.
12:30 p.m. Started a big day with Team Z. The team is one of those groups you can’t ignore at a race, because when they come out, they come out it in full force with a trailer, multiple tents, an elaborate grill setup and bright green uniforms. I remember doing the Bassman Half in New Jersey two years ago, and thinking, “Who are these people?” because they were everywhere. That same high level of participation and enthusiasm was true for the day I spent with them.
1:00 p.m. To open the injury prevention clinic, four of Team Z’s strength coaches pumped up some music and did a choreographed strength and dance routine, jumping over each other while doing pushups, etc. Then Kerri Kramer from FastTrack Physical Therapy and Sports Performance presented the most predictable weaknesses in triathletes, followed up by a partner test to show exactly how weak these areas are. Let’s just say we all failed the gluteus medius test, since pretty much every motion we do in triathlon is forward/lateral. She ran through some great strength training techniques to help imbalances and keep us out of the physical therapy office—“great business model,” she joked.
3:00 p.m. Having recently gone to some yoga classes in California where I was by far the worst one, it was nice to be in a room of less-flexible triathletes. (Although I still had an inexperienced yogi moment when the instructor made me spit out my gum and take my socks off.) She drew a lot of comparisons between what we were doing and its purpose in our sport.
6:00 p.m. Delicious fig and prosciutto pizza at Rustico with the team leaders. Should’ve probably spaced this out a bit better before…
7:00 p.m. Team swim. Coach Ed Zerkle made me realize I have “bossy legs” that separate when I breathe. (What jerks.)
Fast forward to…
Monday, 6:00 a.m. Sunrise boot camp led by Kerri and Bill Hall of Core Fit. Lots of butt burners like one-legged squats and side planks with a leg lift.
Next up: I’ll find out what it’s like to be a triathlete at a Big 10 school like Ohio State University.
–Road Trippin’ Triathlete/Jené Shaw