Triathlete of the month spotlight: Alminda Brundyn

What type of sports (if any) did you compete in during HS/College?
Growing up in South Africa, we did a bit of everything – I did some track and field, as well as played field hockey. In college I continued playing field hockey.

When did you start in the sport of Triathlon?
My first triathlon was the Nation’s triathlon, an Olympic distance race in Washington DC in September 2009.

What attracted you to the sport?
I finished some runs with Team in Training and was looking for another challenge – and triathlon sounded like the ultimate challenge for this non-athlete!
Doing 3 ‘sports’ to get to the finish line was so far removed from my comfort zone that I had to see if I can succeed… and my first race was incredible! I loved triathlon from that moment on!

How many races have you competed in?
I’ve done 3 Ironman races, 6 Half Ironmans, a few Olympic ones, 8 full marathons and too many half marathons to count!

What is your favorite race?
Definitely the New York City marathon! I am a guide with the Achilles foundation and will be walking with my physically challenged athlete for the 3rd time this year – I love the energy of doing such an iconic race in New York city, but I especially love doing it as a guide – the feeling of giving back and helping her achieve her goals is very rewarding. I also love that I am out there for most of the day and can see everyone racing as they pass us – we start 90 minutes before the official start, so from cheering for the elites that race by to chatting and seeing all my friends running in the race, or spectating – it always makes for a very memorable day.

What is your favorite memory?
Crossing the finish line of my first Ironman – Ironman Lake Placid in 2012!
Before the race I was visualizing myself running down the finisher’s shoot with the South African flag in my hands and it happened exactly like that!
It was truly an unbelievable dream come true and one of my all-time best memories!

Why do you race?
I love crossing the finish line and feeling that sense of accomplishment – and getting the medal too, of course!
Sport has changed my life in so many wonderful ways. I have made incredible friendships through running and biking. I especially feel that the multi-sport lifestyle has introduced me to many like-minded people and friends; and now I plan many of my travel and vacations around races and trips with friends.
I am always trying to better myself in all aspects of life; and when I get up and train most days, it gives me focus for my days and make me feel better. I’m also healthier and in better shape now in my 40’s than I ever was in my 20’s or 30’s! I have more energy and want to go do things and be active.

What do you do for a living?
I’m a software engineer

Does triathlon help you in your job?
Definitely! Apart from the better focus and concentration I get from the training – and that is focus on work, on living a healthy lifestyle, but also a focus on life – all aspects of my life just feel more in control. I sleep better and have a lot more energy. All of these are very beneficial for me at work. And of course all my stories of “crazy” training days make for great stories at the office too!

Is your family supportive or your “habit”?
My family lives in South Africa, so they are only aware of my bigger races and very long training days. I am mostly surrounded by like minded people that also really like to run and bike on weekends! Triathlon, running and biking really does have a great community to be a part of and I love my active friends!

If you could tell us one important thing about you, life, the sport or anything…What would it be?

Your attitude determines EVERYTHING.
The way you view things – life, training, a race, work, your PERSPECTIVE shapes your reality.. so even when things get really tough, its your self-talk that will determine how you get through it.

Any ride, run, race – or any situation you find yourself in – its all just temporary, so talk to yourself and find the right words to keep going!

One of my favorite saying is “One day I will not be able to do this… Today is NOT that day!”
And my mantra to keep moving is… “Just keep moving forward”

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Running Etiquette

by The Coaches on August 28, 2018

When running on trails, paths, a track, or roads, it’s important for runners to follow a basic set of rules to keep those areas safe and enjoyable for everyone, including non-runners. Below are some basic safety and etiquette guidelines to follow if you’re running along a multi-use path, your local track or trails, or on the road.

DON’T TAKE UP THE WHOLE ROAD-
If you’re running with a group, try not to run more than two abreast, so others can pass you. Don’t force other runners, pedestrians or cyclists off of the path. When running with a group in a very busy area or a narrow path, run single file.

STAY TO THE RIGHT UNLESS PASSING-
Be very careful merging left into a passing lane. Turn around and look out for cyclists or other runners who could be passing you.

FOLLOW RULES OF TRACK-
If you’re running on a track at your local high school or other location, make sure you’re following the posted usage rules, such which direction to run or which lanes to use (typically, outer lanes for slower runners and walkers). If there are no posted rules, ask other runners on the track or follow their lead if you’re unsure what to do.

MAKE SURE YOU CAN HEAR-
You need to be able to hear requests (“on your left”) and warnings (“look out – dog!”) from other runners and people using the path or trail, so it’s not a good idea to wear headphones when running outside. If you really need music as a distraction, keep the volume low and one earbud out.

BEWARE OF SUDDEN STOPS-
If you need to stop to tie your shoe, stretch, or take a drink from your water bottle, move over to the side of the road or path first. Make sure you look before moving over to the side so you’re not cutting someone off. If you’re a run/walker, make sure that you move to the side or signal to those behind you if you’re going to slow down to take a walk break. Otherwise, runners behind you may accidentally run into you or get annoyed that they have to maneuver around you.

LOOK BOTH WAYS-
Always look both ways before entering or exiting a path, when you are approaching intersections and at drinking fountains. Even if you’re running on a one-way street, there could be runners, walkers, or cyclists coming from the other direction.

DON’T LITTER-
When running on trails, paths, or roads, don’t throw water bottles, gel or bar wrappers, or any other trash on the ground. An exception to this, of course, is if you’re running in a race. In that case, it’s OK to throw an empty cup on the ground at the water stops, since the race volunteers will clean them up.

Now go out and enjoy a run on a new loop…:)

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The following is pulled from Coach Chris Carmichael of CTS

The group ride is where you learn to draft, how to ride shoulder to shoulder so you can talk without yelling, how to gauge your efforts so no one has to wait up for you, and so many other skills. Many time-crunched athletes find themselves training alone because they have to fit a ride into their schedules wherever they can, which is not necessarily when the group ride starts. But if you want to be a better bike rider, become a regular at a local group ride. You don’t have to go every week, but go frequently enough that you don’t have to reintroduce yourself to everyone! To be one of the riders everyone looks forward to seeing, let’s take a look at some etiquette and skills so you don’t end up being “that guy”.

Work together to avoid flat tires

Flat tires suck for everyone, especially when you’re in a group that stops to wait for the affected rider. Minimize flats in the group by physically pointing to the holes, glass, and random car parts that litter the roadside. This hand signal needs to travel all the way back, so pass it on so the people behind you get the message. Reserve audible warnings for really dangerous situations.

If you run over debris, use your hand (preferably with gloves on) to brush the surface of your tire. On the front tire obviously do it in front of the fork. For the rear tire, hook your thumb on the seatstay and use your fingertips to brush the tire directly in front of the stays. Hooking your thumb prevents you from getting your hand jammed between your rear tire and the seat tube. Trust me, that’s an experience you don’t want to have.

Be proactive around safety and pacing
Nobody likes being barked at constantly, and certainly not during a nice group ride. But there are some times when it’s good to speak up. The riders at the back should let the group know when they need to single up to better share the road with cars, or when there is a particularly large vehicle coming around (like a dump truck).

The riders in about the 3rd row of a double paceline are in a good position to call for an adjustment to the pace. At this point in the group you can tell if the riders around you are struggling with the speed or the wind direction. Riders in the first and second rows can sometimes misjudge their pace and position relative to the rest of the group.

And of course, it’s everybody’s responsibility to watch out for potential bicycle-car collisions. If you see something, say something!

Stay off the brakes
You’re going to need to make minor speed adjustments in a group ride, and you want to do this with air resistance rather than braking whenever possible. That means sitting up a bit and/or moving out into the wind a little to slow down, or tucking into the draft and pedaling a bit more to speed up. When you tap the brakes, you slow more abruptly and that signals the rider behind you to tap his brakes, and so on. Obviously there are times when you need to and should use the brakes, but try to make minor speed adjustments without braking to avoid a herky-jerky riding experience for everyone around you.

Pull longer, not harder
If you’re feeling like superman or you’re the fast guy of the group, don’t ramp up the speed when you get to the front. It’s not nice and it makes the pace uncomfortably hard for your friends. Instead, ride the group’s pace and stay at the front longer. You’ll get the training you want and give the rest of the group some extra time in the draft.

Pull shorter, not slower
If you don’t have the fitness to take a long pull at the group’s pace, you should still rotate through like everyone else, but just pull off quickly. There’s no rule that says you have to take a pull equal to the guy before you. The rule is that you need to pull at the group’s pace. Don’t slow down, because then everyone stacks up behind you. For a smoother experience for everyone, keep it short and pull off.

Pace the climbs for the middle of the group
When the pack hits rolling hills it can be hard to keep the group together, especially when “that guy” drills it on the front. When drafting is less of a help to the riders in the middle and rear of the group ride, it’s important for the riders at the front to consider everyone when establishing the climbing pace. On social group rides it’s typical to wait at the top of longer climbs, but to minimize the frequency of these softpedal periods or stoppages, try to set a pace that’s comfortable for the middle of the group. This may mean it’s a bit easy for the fast guys at the front and pretty challenging for some folks at the back, but this pacing strategy is good for keeping the group together over the majority of hills.

DON’T…
… pull so hard you drop yourself
Social group rides tend to wait for dropped riders, which is great, but try not to make them wait for you because you were riding like an idiot. If you take monster pulls at the front and then get dropped, you’re not making any friends. Learn to gauge your efforts and keep something in the tank to make sure you can latch onto the back of the group and stay on a wheel.

… show up late and unprepared
We’ve all been late to a group ride at some point, and we’ve all forgotten something important (like food) before. It happens, but it shouldn’t happen often. Be on time and be self-sufficient. This includes tools and a pump. We’re all nice people and we’ll give you a tube or some food if you need it, but try not to need it.

… half-wheel your friends
The right way to ride in a double paceline is handlebar-to-handlebar, not half a wheel ahead of the rider next to you. Half-wheeling pisses people off, especially when you accelerate to maintain the half-wheel advantage despite your partner’s attempt to pull even with you. It also messes up the spacing for everyone in the paceline behind you.

… run red lights
Just don’t do it. Besides being unsafe, against the law, and damaging to our collective reputation, it’s also disrespectful to all the groups who are working hard to convince communities to improve cycling infrastructure and enhance cyclists’ safety. Unless you’re in Idaho, which has had the “Idaho Stop” since 1982: cyclists can legally treat red lights as stop signs and stop signs as yield signs. Go Idaho!

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Etiquette in our disciplines. Part one: Swimming

August 21, 2018

Well…it is late August and I just jumped into the pool last week for an early morning session only to have the swimmer in the lane ignore me for more than 5 minutes. This (along with a few other incidents) prompted me to remind everyone about proper etiquette in the different disciplines that we practice. [...]

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7 Rules to Fuel Properly When Short on Time

July 11, 2018

Special Thanks to fellow coach DANIELA VILLEGAS Balancing triathlon training, work and family is inherently challenging, but as athletes we sometimes drop the ball on nutrition — often referred to as the “fourth discipline.” Failing to follow a good nutrition routine can severely impact your training and performance. Nutrition is crucial when it comes to [...]

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Triathlete of the month spotlight: Doug Scott

June 8, 2018

Interview with Doug Scott Sports in high school: In high school I played a variety of sports ranging from baseball, and football to swimming. In college I competed in powerlifting and Olympic style weight liting. After college I got into martial arts and practice for almost 10 years. I studied various arts including Karate, Ju-Jitsu, [...]

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Triathlete of the month spotlight: Leon Herszon

May 9, 2018

What type of sports (if any) did you compete in during HS/College? Tennis and rowing When did you start in the sport of Triathlon? In September 2012, I did the Skylands sprint race. What attracted you to the sport? I wanted to do something challenging and racing three different sports together had a great appeal. [...]

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Post-workout YOGA poses

March 21, 2018

9 Post-Run Yoga Poses to Relieve Lower Back Pain By Dana Meltzer Zepeda Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest You’ve logged your miles for the day, so why is it that you feel worse than you did before you started? Despite the physical and spiritual benefits of running, there’s no denying that [...]

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8 Core Exercises to improve your SWIM

March 9, 2018

Please see this article fro Active along with videos to strengthen your core (specifically your swim core). https://www.active.com/triathlon/articles/8-core-exercises-to-improve-your-swim?cmp=18N-PB2000-S20-T9-triathlon-AR3&eps=title_529102 Best, The coaches

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Are You Eating Enough?

January 25, 2018

NOVEMBER 13, 2017 BY LINDSAY ZEMBA LEIGH The majority of triathletes and runners are always striving to be leaner and reach their fastest “race weight,” both within the season and in the off-season. It is absolutely true that the leaner you are, the faster you can run and bike—at least to a point. But eating [...]

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