ì2017 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships ñ Olympicî
Age Group Nationals Summary …
Steel City Endurance had FOUR athletes represented at the Age Group national championships just two weeks ago (the same time the Olympics were going on, making it doubly exciting!
Michelle Johnson McClenahan and Kirsten Ingeborg Sass both competed in the Olympic & Sprint Distance races held on Saturday an Sunday, both are coached by Coach Suzanne. Matthew Martino amd Richard Albertson lined up for their start at the Olympic distance race Saturday morning, both Matt & Rich are coached by Coach Michale Bauer.
In our Midst, a National Champion x 2 (Overall and Age Group)
The big story of the weekend is the remarkable accomplishments of Kirsten Sass, named the 2015 Triathlon of the Year and Duathlete of the year (first time ever one athlete has received both awards). Kirsten finished 1st in her age group and 2nd overall in the Olympic Distance Race on Saturday. The next day she finished 1st again in her age group, as well as first place OVERALL in the sprint distance race, beating the 2nd place finisher by just 3 seconds!
Duathlon National Championships – Bend, Oregon.
Tested the limits big-time. Beautiful city, challenging course, great competition, wonderful time meeting up with old friends and making new ones, and an absolutely fantastic job by USAT, Tim Yount, and the Duathlon Team putting on a top-notch event.
If you can run and ride a bike – make this your goal for 2017. Go to Bend. Test yourself. It will be worth it!
Sunday morning, waiting for my flight home, I met a girl (Kirby Heindel Adlam) whose 2nd duathlon EVER was the world championships in Spain. Now THAT is incredibly inspiring. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
The opportunity is yours for the taking – why not seize it with both hands!?!?!
I am thankful beyond words for my husband, Jeffery M Sass (most of you know as Elvis), who is my constant support and cheered tirelessly all day for everyone out there competing; for my family who watched the children so we could pursue this adventure; my awesome coach (Suzanne Atkinson) of Steel City Endurance who has put up with multiple texts and questions and always has the right answer; to Raceday Transport (goracedaytransport.com) who got my bike from Spain to Bend so all I had to do was show up at the event and my bike was ready to ride (I cannot even begin to say what a fantastic job they do, definitely worth checking out!);
Bobby McGee – what I learned from him in running was all that got me through that second race (whew!); UCAN nutrition also saved me for that second race, Lynn Greer for the awesome new race suit/helmet/shoes/all my biking needs; to John Lines for all the support and encouragement; and to ALL of you who cheered from near and far – you keep me going!!!! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
?#?USATDU? ?#?steelcityendurance? ?#?UCAN? ?#?kask? ?#?fizik? ?#?racedaytransport??#?testyourlimits? ?#?Elvis? ?#?ilovemybike? ?#?hills? ?#?lifeisgood?
Good luck to Kirsten Sass, Steel City Endurance athelte coached by Suzanne Atkinson in this weekends Duathlon World Championships in Aviles, Spain.
Kirsten earned her spot in Team USA by winning last years sprint and standardized Duathlon National championships on the same day!
Kirsten entered 2015 wanting to improve her running form and dedicated herself to both technique as well as training. Running transformation camp with Bobby McGee early in the season set the stage for her to not only improve her form, but also quickly improve her post bike speed and resiliency in run training.
Her “secret” run training included short post bike race bricks. Not simply doing a hard bike ride followed by a trainig brick, but competing in road bike and time trial races (often winning) and then immediately doing a quick 10-15 minute run.
These sessions forced her to learn leg turnover after digging deep in a race effort not just a hard trainig effort. The difference may seem subtle but it’s significant.
Kirstens training also included progressive training blocks that built strength, leg speed, neuromuscular connections and of course overall fitness.
Her run improvements since her stress fracture in 2013 have been from a long term planning arc, and not from a need or desire to hit a specific pace at a specific time in her season.
This is is the true result of process over outcomes…competing with team USA at the World Championships.
Good luck Kirsten!!
1000 Meter Freestyle Workouts for Triathletes
Whether you are looking to swim a sprint distance or an Iron distance triathlon, having a few “goto” 1000 meter or 1000 yard freestyle workouts will help keep you from getting into a rut when training. For the long course triathletes, do these 1000 meter/yard sets 2 or even 3 times through to cover the distance needed in your training.
Creating a Mini-Project Accelerates Your Progress
You can use these sets to create mini projects or tasks to challenge yourself. It is a great way to stay engaged with your swimming and take control over your own training plan.
For example, a 1000 yd improvement project may look like a sequence of 3 sessions cycled through for 3-6 rounds before retesting. You can use these 1000 meter/ yard sets as the main set, add a 500yd tuneup or warmup to swim exactly 1500m (a swimmers mile). If you are swimming in a yard pool, just add on a 150 yard cool-down for an imperial version of the swimmers mile (1650 yards)
If you are looking for a main set that’s longer, such as 2000 or 3000 yards or meters, you can repeat the main set, or combine two of these into one practice.
Suppose you’re looking for 2000yd main sets, you could take these three suggestions below, each at 1000 meters/yards and to them in any of 3 combinations (1 & 2, 2 & 3, 1 & 3). Rotate through these combos for a unique set of 3 main sets, each having a set that you do twice before taking a break from it. There are a lot of ways to customize this practice idea.
Here are sample 1000 meter practices sets for you to play with
Pre-project test set: favorite warmup, 1000yd TT with splits & stroke counts, cooldown
Swim #1: 5 x 200
Swim #2: 10 x 100
Swim #3: 5 sets of 4×50
For each of these swims you can choose some element to improve like…consistent SPL across all sets, or consistent tempo (use a tempo trainer). When you gain or if you already have good control, manipulate a variable…like 5 x 200 swimming the first 50 at one SPL, the next 100 at SPL + 1 and the last 50 at SPL + 2. This should result in a build within each 200.
Vary the rest intervals to create a bit of variety. Since the 200s are more aerobic, keep the RI short in that practice. Since the 50s *can* be anaerobic, maybe choose to swim descending 50s with 30 sec rest, rest 2 minutes and repeat that 4 more times.
Then you cycle back to the 5 x 200 set and have some comparison…choose 1 metric to try and improve.
After 3 cycles of this…whether you swim every day, every other day or 2 times a week…you go back to your 1000yd TT and by that time you should KNOW before you swim it that you’ve improved based on metrics from the previous sets.
Maintain Focus on Form and Skill During this time as well.
Be sure to toss in at least 1 swim, possibly 2, of un-timed, form only swim sets, other strokes, or a team workout for variety. Or a water aerobics class.
Comment below with how you are using these sets!
For more ideas on creating swimming improvement projects consider downloading this Fresh Freestyle Sampler for 3 practice swims from our book.
Congratulations to our Steel City Endurance athletes & coaches competing in spring running races. Here are a few photos of our superstars who have been outside dealing with winter training elements including snow, ice, rain, fog, morning & evening darkness and are getting results worth sharing.
Spring races are not only our first chance to get out of the winter training doldrums, but also provide great information on where our fitness level is at the current time, which can help you structure upcoming training blocks for the best effectiveness in training.
Nick Hamilton, Just a Short Run
Nick ran the 13.1 mile distance “Just a Short Run” as a training event and took 4 minutes of of his prior half-marathon time, placing 3rd in his age group!
Ahmed “Doc” Fahmey, New York City Half-Marathon
Doc Fahmey took time out of his crazy clinical schedule to sneak in this cold half-marathon in New York City, while building up to his next two races, Syracuse 70.3 and Lake Placid Ironman.
Steven Benardete, 60-64 yo Age Group Winner, Two Rivers Half Marathon, PA
Steve entered this half-marathon race as a taper event for the upcoming Boston Marathon and took first place in his age group.