by Taylor Reid
I thought I would give a little insight into what a Professional Triathlete does on a daily basis, beyond their training. There is a lot more to a professional triathlete’s day than training, eating and sleeping. A usual day of mine consists of three workouts, or about 4-6 hours of actual training, but in reality my workday is 8-10 hours long. The day mainly revolves around swim times, since these are fixed. All the other workouts and things I have to do are built around that.
I wake up and have breakfast. While I am doing that I check my e-mails and social media to see if anything has come up over night that I need to address right away. Then it is off to the first workout (usually a swim or a run). When I am home in Ontario the pool is about 20 minutes away, so not a bad drive.
The first thing I do when I return from the swim is eat some food. Then it is back on the computer to work on a sponsorship proposal, write a blog post or look for a possible sponsor I can contact. In the early and late part of the year a lot of my time is spent going back and forth with sponsors and ironing out contracts. This can be a drawn-out process, and the athlete must find the right balance of not asking for too much but also not selling out. Some of the top pro’s will have agents to do this work. I am not at that level yet and I also enjoy this part of the sport.
Then it is off for the mid-day workout. After eating lunch I usually see if I can come up with a good social media post. Most of them come to me while I am in a workout or just spontaneously, but I need to put some time aside to make it look good, to check that everything is spelt correctly and to make sure it is appealing to my audience. With contractual obligations revolving around my social media I also need sure I cover all the bases. Next, I spend a little more time working on sponsorship proposals, sponsor phone calls or writing articles. If I am lucky I may sneak in a little nap.
Then I am off to do my last workout of the day. My evenings are usually spent doing some foam-rolling. If I have a video on the go I will usually work on that or anything that has not been completed. I also like to keep the evening a little more free to socialize with family and friends.
Sometimes I get the opportunity to give back to the community by giving a talk, running a workout or volunteering at a race. These are very enjoyable and a nice change of pace. It is very important to me that I give back to the people who support me and that I help nurture the next generation of the sport.
by Kristen Marchant
Here is a typical Tuesday for me this winter- I’d make a video but I’m technologically challenged. Full disclosure- Tuesday’s are generally my hardest days since I have intervals in both the bike and run sessions.
6:40am- alarm goes off- I hit snooze
6:50- I get up
7-8am- coffee time. An essential task that must be completed before I become functional- I use this time to catch up on e-mails.
8-10:30- bike workout. Today was 2x20min + 2x10min, all in zone 4. It’s tough.
11:30-1:30- swim session. An aerobic swim, getting in lots of volume, working on technique, but not too hard.
1:50-3:10- 50min run workout followed by 30min on the stairmaster. Indoors of course, because I am a wimp (and it was snowing like crazy). Today was 4x2min + 4x1min + 4x30sec, all at 3km race pace or faster. My legs have proven to be quite breakable so I am keeping the run workouts short and supplemented with cross training.
3:15-4:30- strength program + core. The strength program that I do three days a week consists of a lot of run-specific movements, using a stability ball, bosu ball, resistance bands and cords, and a few dumbbells. This is not overly taxing, but it is important to do the movements correctly.
5:15- 8:30pm- Completing necessary tasks such as shovelling the snow, answering e-mails, eating dinner, and a little extra foam rolling to make sure I’m good to go tomorrow.
8:30pm- in bed with a book- currently reading Burn, by James Patterson.
9:15pm- lights out.
by Taylor Reid
I am sure you have heard every story about how to eat right and what not to eat. There are millions of diets and foods that are unhealthy for you. But I am going to give you a little glimpse into what I have in my fridge. Remember I am training 4-7 hours a day, now let us begin.
We will start with some of the basics. I have milk sitting in the door beside the juice. But this is not just any old white milk- no this is chocolate milk. I use it in my cereal in the morning and just to drink after workouts with a pinch of salt added. I find it is a lot easier to drink than regular milk and a great post workout drink. I like to keep eggs handy for my second breakfast, after my morning workout. There usually is not a lot of time until the next session so it is something easy to make. When it comes to green things I keep broccoli, asparagus, peppers and salad handy. I can usually mix these things up to add to my lunch and dinner. For meat I like to really change it up but ground beef, sausage and chicken are great. There are a lot of different dishes that can be created with them. I really like to keep ice cream on hand for those hard days when I cannot get in enough food no matter how hard I try it fills in the gaps. Cheese and yogurt are usually in there too. The cheese for sandwiches and the yogurt is a good snack food that can be mixed with other things. When it comes to sauces I am a big fan of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauces and caesar dressing.
Some staples I have in the pantry are, Coffee! Could not live without it. I keep some tea for the end of the day when I am winding down. I like to keep a big bag of chips around. I like tortilla chips mainly because they have a good amount of salt and are an easy carb to take in even before a workout. On the topic of carbs, pasta is a staple for dinner. I have cookies in there too. But they usually do not last for very long especially if they are Oreos.
These are a few of things I like to keep in my fridge.
By: Taylor Reid
Winter Training tips:
Winter in Canada can be pretty harsh and make training a little harder. There is less light and we have to put on so much clothing to stay warm in our training sessions. I am going to go through a few tips that I use to stay motivated and fit through the winter.
Swimming really is not affected by the winter in Canada since all of our pools are indoors. The winter may be a good time to focus on your swimming a little more. That being said, triathletes still have to focus on all three sports, and open water swimming. I like to throw in a little bit of sitting in the pool. At the end of a workout I like to do 50m of swimming like I was in open water. So lifting your head every 3-4 strokes to see where you are going. Just like you do in the open water to work on that skill.
In the winter the trainer is your best friend. But sometimes those long bike rides just are not happening, so I like to do short hard repeats on the bike. To stay motivated it is really good to find a group to ride with, or even a spin class. The winter is a great time to do some single leg and work on skills.
Running can also be very hard to get in during the cold weather. It is key to remember that it takes a little time to layer up properly for the winter. I like to layer up with a t-shirt, long sleeved shirt and then a outer shell, with one to two pairs of tights. Also you can look into getting water resistance shoes so that your feet stay a little dryer. It is important to find the right area to run, with good trails or roads in the winter, and to be carful when the snow melts. Do not risk running on crazy cold or blizzardy days. Have a back up treadmill or take the day off.
It is very fun to try other winter sports that cross over a little, like Nordic Skiing or snowshoeing. Do not put yourself at risk of an injury, weigh the risk and rewards.
By: Kristen Marchant
Kristen’s 2015 in review
“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”- Benjamin Franklin
You can’t set a good plan in place if you don’t know where you’re coming from. For those who are interested, the following will outline what 2015 looked like for me (and when relatives ask me “but what do you do?” I can point them here).
Some of the things accomplished in 2015:
- Got a piece of paper that proves I’m smart [kidding, it just proves I have a BSc, intelligence is still in question]
- Got my pro card (a relatively easy process- meet the criteria, give Triathlon Canada some money, they e-mail you a number, voila, now a pro)
- Discovered more of the world (more specifically, the USA)
Now to look at my training over the year. This is absolutely NOT a guide of what you should do, nor are total hours giving any idea of how that time was spent. The reason I have looked at these statistics is to make changes, and there are many to make. Even as I have gone back to look at what I did, there are times when I’ve said to myself “wtf were you thinking Kristen?” It all made sense at the time…
By: Kirsten Marchant
Making the most of your surroundings- and avoiding the over-packed gym
January is the worst time of year to be an athlete. Come January 1st the number of people at the gym at any one time seems to triple, if not quadruple. Suddenly you are faced with waiting around to use any of the cardio or weight equipment and a workout that would have taken an hour in December suddenly needs 90 minutes in order to complete. As a very impatient person, I wholly dislike this but have a few plans in place to minimize having to deal with all these ‘new years resolutioners.’ (yes that is a made-up word).
Step number one, which I hope to be effective and eliminate the need for any other changes, is to arrive at the gym by 7am. Given that I am using a university gym, I am hopeful that by arriving this early the gym will still be a fairly deserted place. If you are using a community gym, I would suggest using the gym sometime between 9 and 11am- probably lots of retired folks there, but I would think the majority of people are at work at those hours (but then again, I’m always surprised by how many people are not). Whatever you do, don’t try to use the gym between 4:30 and 8pm- that is definitely the most crowded time.
If you have no other choice than to go to the gym late afternoon/ early evening, I would suggest you arrive with a healthy dose of patience and a plan to modify your workout if you are in a time crunch. Doing more intense workouts can reap big benefits in less time.
Another option is to avoid the gym completely. Use your surroundings to help you get your workouts in (but dress appropriately if you are outside!). For example, finding a long set of stairs to run up and down can provide a great workout. Having done this recently I would suggest not going up and down for an hour straight your first time- it results in very very sore legs! ☹
There are also plenty of strength workouts that you can do in your own home (or at a park). Some suggestions include: lunges (forward/back/side), squats, burpees, planks (all variations), push ups, bench dips, and core work (many options).
But hold out hope- statistically almost half the people will be done with their resolutions before the end of January, and 80% will have quit by March. Personally I just have to wait until mid-term time (6 weeks) and everything gets back to normal.
Side-note: If you want your New Year’s resolution to stick you have to have a better reason for making a change than “it’s a new year.”
By: Taylor Reid
The beginning of 2016 racing year starts in December 2015.
After some much needed rest I have finally started to get things back under way. The 2015 races season was so much fun for me. I had a very consistent year- some highlights of the year were my two first place finishes, at Ironman Silverman 70.3 and Challenge St Andrews 70.3, a second at Ironman Mt Tremblant 70.3 and third place at my final race of the season, Ironman Austin 70.3. As well, I fulfilled my goal of qualifying for the 70.3 World championships in my first year as a 70.3 professional. I will be looking to build on these results in 2016.
I spent my down time just getting away from Triathlon. I got my party fix and ate all kinds of delicious food. By the end of my off-season I was just itching to get back out there and train my heart out.
It has been two weeks into the season and I love every bit of it. I am currently based in Caledon for the holidays and have had to get used to Canadian weather again. My time in California has made me a little soft. I seem to always over dress when I go outside. But it is worth it to stay warm. The training load has been rather light as I build back into the season. I am look forward to my first race on April 2 in Oceanside where I can take on some of the big names again. Some of the keys to the early season will be to stay healthy and injury free so I can go into the next phase of training ready roll.
Outside of training I have been spending a lot of time working on developing my connections and acquiring sponsors for 2016. This takes up a lot of my down time and I have had to really think outside the box. It is all part my life now and it is great.
My parents also chose to get a new dog a few weeks ago and it has changed up the house schedule a little. But he is worth it. He is a one-year-old rescue dog and full of energy. He loves to play fetch for hours and keeps me pre occupied when I am not training.