5 Parts to the Triathlon Swim Stroke by Coach Kristie

There are 5 parts to the triathlon swim stroke known as the front crawl and/or freestyle stroke. They are: Entry Reach Catch Pull Recovery Entry: The entry is the point where the hand enters the water in front of the shoulder.  Wrist should be relaxed, hand flat, fingertips facing down with the thumb slightly downward.  Think of your hand as a paddle. If you hold your arm up and relax your wrist, your hand will naturally fall into proper position.  Spread your fingers, your hand is now your paddle. Reach: Once the hand is in and under the water, the arm will extend out from the body.  Think of the fingertips putting a hole in the water that the hand, forearm, and elbow will follow through.  The head is kept still keeping the neck in line with the spine. Catch: Once the hand has reached forward as far as possible, the hand will grab a pocket of water thus calling it the “catch”.  The hand will catch the water as the wrist flexes (bends downward) slightly and the palm rotates outward. Both moves of the wrist and palm are small moves.  You don’t want to over exaggerate the moves thus losing the amount of water that can be caught. Pull: The “pull” part is what moves you forward through the water.  Pull back your arm toward your hip in a straight line.  The arm will move in an “S” shape in the water but in a straight line with the body due to the body’s rotation.  Keep the elbow higher than the wrist and pull the hand all the...

How to Make Yourself a Priority by Coach Heather

What does making yourself a priority mean? It is the hardest thing for us women to put ourselves first. We are nurturers…we care for others. We put others before ourselves and take care of everyone else. As a Trainer and Coach I see more women have the hardest time making time for themselves. They want someone to think for them so they don’t have to. Everyone’s life and lifestyle is different. Here are some tips for multitasking: 1. Foam roll as you watch TV with the family 2. Stretch after foam rolling while watching TV 3. Stretch while making dinner. 4. Schedule your appointment or set an appointment on your calendar to get up so you see it 5. Put your alarm far away from the bed. So you have to get up and shut it off. 6. Set an alarm for you to get up and go workout whether it’s before work, on your lunch or after work. 7. Keep an extra pair of clothing in your car or in your bag just in case you pack it in a hurry. 8. Ask your friends to hold you accountable or ask them to give you a call at the time you are able to workout. 9. Do something that makes you happy. Make sure it’s something that makes you smile especially when you’re done. Remember this is about you. 10. Find a place that meets your family needs. When you make yourself a priority you relieve stress whether it be mental, emotional, physical or all of these. You take care of you. If you want to be around...
Product Review!  Lace Locker by Coach Kristie

Product Review! Lace Locker by Coach Kristie

I happened to have the “chance” meeting @lacelocker (TheLaceLocker on instagram) @StashSports on Twitter and Facebook, be sure to give them a like/follow! First impression was how quickly they arrived, that is always important. As athletes are pretty impatient when it comes to getting things in the mail, we want it and want it yesterday, it keeps us excited and motivated when we have new things arrive. The packaging was also very well branded and professional. The test. Simple. Easy to put on, and for those of us who are impatient I didn’t have to look at the instructions on how to properly “install” them.   They work, simple as that. I wear elastic, no tie laces in my racing shoes, but that is personal preference, they are not for everyone. However, my cross training shoes all have laces. Laces annoy me. Period. I catch them on weight equipment causing me to trip and fall, they come untied. Don’t get me started on if the lace rubs up on my ankle and I think there is a critter running across and it makes me jump to the ceiling. Lace Locker gets rid of all those lace annoyances. They also come in a variety of colors, even Lady Bug print. I am not only a Coach and athlete; I am also a Mom of a very active boy who used to refuse to tie his shoelaces. Double and triple knots stand no chance with this boy. Lace Locker fixed that. Another random use that was discovered, I was recently at the gym doing my first wear test of Lace Lockers.  There...

Perfectionism and the Athlete by Coach Kristie

The Webster’s Dictionary defines a perfectionist as: someone who will not accept or be content with anything less than perfection. Perfectionists tend to have unrealistically high expectations about themselves, others and life in general. They also become acutely aware and over concerned with tiny flaws and mistakes in themselves, others, and achievements. Using so much energy to focus on what’s wrong and discounting what is right. Perfectionism leads those to believe nothing is ever good enough. Perfectionism is a HUGE common denominator in low self-esteem and drives people to the point of chronic stress, exhaustion, and burnout. Imagine a perfectionist who is an athlete. Perfectionism and racing/training can be a volatile combination. Here are some tips that can help a perfectionist to recognize and shift to a more positive and productive way of thinking: * The idea that races and accomplishments are a measure of self-worth, has to be let go. Think long and hard about this. People in someone’s life accept and love them not because they have a full medal rack on their wall, raced a certain distance, raced within a certain finish time, but for their love and wisdom. Accomplishments are not “who” you are but rather “what you have done”. Focus on “who” you are, not “what you have done”. * Don’t blow up negatives and harp on them continuously. Perfectionists tend to selectively ignore the positives and dwell on negatives, no matter how small and insignificant, at the end of the day, think about the positives. Perfectionists tend to even create negative situations out of positive because they dwell in the negative so much...

Why is Warm-up Important? by Coach Heather

Why is warm-up so important?  For one, the activity or your job that you were doing it shifts your mind and gets not only your body ready but your mind ready.  I had a runner over the weekend tell me they don’t warm-up before a race – the runner asked if that’s why his/her hamstrings feel so tight and stiff.  Absolutely! Warm-up gets your cardiorespiratory and neuromuscular systems and metabolic energy pathways stimulated.  Muscles contract and, to meet their increasing demands for oxygen, your heart rate, blood flow, cardiac output and breathing rate increase.  Blood moves faster through your arteries and veins and is gradually routed to your working muscles.  Think of it this way: those of you in the colder states think of just getting in your car without defrosting the windshield and rear view mirror.  Your car has to work harder and you can’t see.  You’re basically doing the same thing to your body.  You also risk injury.  Warm-up is injury prevention.  You can’t go from sitting or working and just into a workout without a proper warm-up to get your body and mind prepared.  Your body will not like it.  Your brain tells your body what to do. Your blood temperature rises and oxygen is released quicky, raising the temperature of the muscles.  This allows the muscles to use glucose and fatty acids to burn calories and create energy for the exercise.  All of these processes prepare the body for higher-intensity!  You cheat your mind and body when you don’t warm-up! A proper warm-up leads to the following benefits: 1. Leads to efficient calorie burning (who...

Support/Mental Strength – by Coach Heather

Support/Mental Strength What is support?  Google defines it as to bear all or part of the weight of, build up.  Give assistance to.  Why is it important related to health and fitness?  It is crucially important. There are some people who are self-motivators and value exercise or who grew up exercising and love it.  There are those who like myself didn’t grow up exercising and it’s intimidating. I remember the first time I stepped into the gym with Jolene and my family.  It was very intimidating.  I was fat, had no self-confidence and had no clue as to what I was doing.  I remember walking on the treadmill and looking at Jolene and saying hey that looks cool let’s try that etc.  You could tell I had no clue as to what I was doing.  It is funny to think about it.  I will never forget this Trainer asking us if we knew what we were doing.  I appreciated her honesty. I remember when I was training for my first Triathlon.  Having my husbands and families support was so crucial.  Being surrounded by people who love you, believe in you and support you is really important. As I was growing up, I didn’t have any self-confidence.  As kids, we were always put down.  Our cousins were always praised.  So growing up and taking up Triathlon I have broken a lot of barriers and have had a lot of breakthroughs. I remember when I was losing weight and people in the gym would see me and encourage and compliment me.  It is the best feeling to have others see you...