Sidelined for St. Anthonys!



This upcoming Sunday is the St. Anthony’s Triathlon. I am gutted to say that I will not be at the starting line. 11 days ago, I was completing the culmination of a hard training block and in the middle of a long run I felt a pain on the right side of my lower back/glutes. As the pain seemed to intensify, I stopped and walked the final three miles before a friend was able to pick me up. Needless to say, it was an emotional, long, hot three mile walk. Since I started back up to running after my sacral insufficiency fracture last fall, my body had been feeling better than ever. In the recent months, I really stretched the body and was preparing for my first Iron distance event. When I felt the pain, my mind immediately thought back to my injury last year. Are my bones healed? Did I need more time to strengthen them? Lots of questions.
I fortunately was able to get an MRI in just two days, thanks to the help from Dr. Gideon Lewis. The MRI showed mild sacral edema and I was cleared to run in 10 days. The prognosis did not seem bad and I would be back at it in no time. I was cleared to swim and bike, but I was having significant pain walking. My gut was telling me that something was just not right. Five days after the injury, I was having some pain swimming, but the pain was different than last summer. This lead me to believe something else had to be going on. I was being treated for mild stress reaction in the bones, but according to the MRI I should not have any pain walking and would ready to return to running soon. The paper was telling me one thing, but my body was telling me something else.
This week I investigated my own body and searched for more answers. Several therapists looked over my MRI and decided this injury was not related to a bone issue, but soft tissue. Yesterday, I started treating the injury as strained muscle in my glut and I woke up this morning with the best it has ever felt! I feel like now that I know what the real issue of the injury entails, I can now properly treat it and move forward with training and then back to racing.
Going through an injury is emotionally exhaustive. Almost every bike ride I have been on the past week has included tears being shed. I was going 90 miles a minute with training and getting ready for final race preps and then I was suddenly halted in my tracks. I am not sure yet if my body will be ready for Ironman in mid May, but I will race when I know that I am ready to go. I can’t thank the team of great supporters around me who have helped me through this process and are there to get me back to it again. Thank you to my amazing sponsors who are ever so supportive. Thanks Nate for being there with me on those breakthrough training rides, but also being there on the rides I am shedding tears.
I wish everyone a great start to the season! I have had a great start, but a year always has a better ending with a few bumps along the way. I am constantly learning, constantly changing and evolving to be a better person and athlete.

The Body Tune-up Shop



This past winter I was introduced to an innovative technique and trainer David Petersen.  This technique uses energy to help balance my body. The methodology uses six key acupressure points on the body to help balance the body. This technique allows the body to align properly and have equal tensegrity of the muscle fascia from head to toe! Just prior to the first treatment, Nate (my husband/coach/trainer), had been really working on my posture and reminding me to stand up tall! After having a baby and spending a year in a hunched position while nursing, I noticed I was having a hard time standing up straight…I could not even if I tried. After one treatment, I was absolutely floored with my improvement in posture. I no longer had to try and force my body into better alignment…it just naturally improved. Nate could not believe how much I had improved my posture! We measured my height and I grew 3/4 of an inch. I used to stand at 5’7.25’’ and now I was 5’8’’!!

Not only did I notice an improvement in my posture, but my ease of movement with walking, not being as sore waking up in the morning, and having more energy overall! This has translated well into my passion, job and career of triathlon.

In addition to working on acupressure points, part of the treatment is total body strength training. This strength training is very specific and important that is completed with correct form so that I am not strengthening compensation patterns. After several months of strength training and weekly “tune-ups” (acupressure treatments), I have noticed a decrease in injury, ability to train harder, and my body feeling better overall. I have much less areas of tightness and weakness and I feel I can trust my body to give me what I need to do on training and on race day. I don’t have to worry about my body breaking down during a training cycle. I can focus on working hard and resting because I am tired from a strenuous training load, not because I am injured.

Be sure to check out the Body Tuneup Shop and see how it can improve your training, sleeping and life!

Looking back and Looking ahead.



After several months, I am thrilled to be back at the start line. I will be racing in the finale of the Lifetime Series and Toyota Triple Crown. I missed several of the races this year due to my injury over the summer, but really looking forward to the thrill, excitement and joy of racing.

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My sacral fracture was one of the toughest injuries I have dealt with in my career. I was not able to run for ten weeks. When I am not running,I really miss it. . The first couple of runs back from injury, I was smiling ear to ear. I especially missed those outdoor runs when the weather was a perfect 70 degrees.

I will be pushing my body all that it can give me on race day. That is what racing is all about! My goals for this race are very different from races earlier this season. I have been back to running for just over a month now and I have had to slowly ease back into distance and fitness. I am currently still building back into fitness and really listening to my body so that I avoid setbacks and continue on as Nate says, “Slowly climbing the mountain.” The past few months have been mentally tough. I have to thank Nate and my family for helping me to stay focused and positive.

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The past few months, I participated in several events that really inspired and motivated me. Earlier in September, I had to opportunity to work with Mike and Jenn McGuire. . Lifetime and Toyota are teaming up together to help Mike and Jenn complete the Oceanside Tri. Hunter Kemper and I gave Mike and Jenn training and nutrition tips. The most inspiring part of the trip was helping Jenn overcome her fear of open water. After a scary experience at the Royal Gorge in Colorado where she almost casino online drowned, she had not been swimming in open water since she was a child. I felt inspired by her bravery that day. She overcome her fear of open water and swam several hundred meters!

 

 

Later in September, I participated in Pedal the Cause. Riding with thousands who are all working towards finding a world without cancer. I saw many survivors and those who have been touched by the disease in some way.IMG_0875

Finally, a few weeks ago Nate and I had the opportunity to race, Boarder Wars Half Distance Triathlon. This was an inaugural race in Alton, IL. There was a race within a race with “West” vs. “East”. Those who lived west of the Mississippi were racing those east of the Mississippi. We were racing for team, Swim Bike Run St. Louis. Nate completed the half distance with a fourth place overall and I was able to do the swim/bike while my brother ran the 13.1 miles. We finished first in the relay division. This was my first half distance to race the swim/bike portion. I loved it! Although next time around, I would use more than two Power Gels. I was completely bonking the last ten miles of the bike. This was a fun, last minute opportunity to race against each other (I won!). Nate braved it out in the cold. Even though he is a Minnesota native, he prefers to race in the heat!

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Best wishes to all those wrapping up their 2014 season! Whether you have had the season of your dreams or a season left to be desired thus far, remember that every race is a new opportunity to challenge yourself and make the most out of what your body can give you on that day. Embrace the challenge!

 

 

Thank you to my sponsors who have been so supportive during this time of the injury and ongoing healing process. Toyota, Fuji, PowerBar, Sketchers, Zipp, Toyota, TYR, ISM, MissionAthleteCare, Speedfill, Polar, Rudy Project,.

Race Season Is Here!!



It has been 17 months since I have competed in a triathlon race. Since January 2nd, and was able to get in a consistent hard training block that I feel is preparing me for the race season, which is key for me this time of year.  Later in the year, travel starts to add up with all the racing, so the winter is the perfect time to stay put and accumulate the miles from training rather than accumulate the miles from traveling!

Nate, Caroline and I have all gotten into a rhythm of training, eating, sleeping and balancing play time and training time.  Caroline is now seven months and starting to scoot around the living room.   Her personality is really starting to show and she loves to smile and play with her toys.  She loves bath time and I took that as a sign she would love swimming.  I have taken her a few times to the heated National Training Center pool and she absolutely loves the water!  She splashes, watches the other kids and doesn’t seem to be bothered when she goes under water for a few seconds.  Future fish on our hands?!

My first four races of the year will be close to home, all in the state of Florida.  Not getting on an airplane the first couple on months into race season is a huge bonus!  Especially this year with little Caroline traveling with me to the races, it will be much easier for all of us!  I will be competing in my first race this Saturday.  It’s just ten minutes from home in Clermont, Florida.  No matter what the outcome, I will be happy to give it my all and experience the thrill of pushing hard out on the race course.

I am equally excited to partner with some great companies this year.

Fuji Bicycles:  I am proud to be partnering with Fuji for the 2014 season.  I love the comfort and speed of the bikes and working with a great team.  I am excited to ride the new Norcom Straight, which launched last season.  http://www.fujibikes.com/

 ISM Adamo Saddles:  I first road an ISM saddle back in 2006.  Nate found a prototype in the USA Triathlon office and thought that I would really enjoy the saddle due to the design.  I have loved the saddle since I began riding it.  The pain I experienced in my early years of riding is no longer a problem and I have never looked back.  The company is comprised of great people who are passionate about the sport and it’s athletes. My favorite saddle is the Time Trial.  http://www.ismseat.com/

MissionAthleteCare:  I have joined as a partner in this company since 2007.  What is unique about Mission is that all the athletes have a say in the product.  We get the opportunity to test the product before they are out on the market and have a voice in changing the product to make it better for athletes.  Check out all the gear at www.missionathletecare.com  My favorite product is the Facestick.  One application and my face is protected for a six hour training day!

Polar:  This is my first year working with Polar and I am very excited to work with a high quality product to elevate my racing and training.  I am able to track my heart rate and pacing during training and can use this information as a valuable tool to help with my fitness progression. http://www.polar.com/us-en

PowerBar:  I am excited to partner with PowerBar for my training and racing fueling needs.  PowerBar understands the demands placed on endurance athletes and what it takes to get to the finish line.  My favorite product is the Kona Punch gel!  http://www.powerbar.com/

 Rudy Project:  I have been racing and training with Rudy Project since I started the sport and completed my first triathlon in 2003.  I know my head and eyes are well protected!  The casual glasses are comfortable and stylish and a must for me year round while living in Florida! https://www.rudyprojectusa.com/  I love to race in the Abilities!

 Skechers:   I am very excited to be joining the Skechers Performance Line for the 2014 season.  I will be racing in the Go-Meb Speed2’s this season.  I absolutely love the feel of these responsive, fast shoes.  I can race in these shoes in a 5k or a half marathon!  I love the variety of all the shoes Skechers has to offer.  http://www.skechers.com/

 Toyota:  I have been part of the Team Toyota since 2008.  Toyota is a revolutionary car company and always creating what the customer wants and needs.  I am excited to be driving the Rav4 this year to races and to my training sessions.  Team Toyota will be exhibiting during the race expos at the Lifetime Fitness/Toyota Triple Crown race series.  It’s truly a great experience for me as fans get to check out the vehicles and enter for a chance to win prizes.  In addition, I get to connect with race community.  http://www.toyota.com/

 TYR:  I am joining with TYR for the 2014 season!  I look forward to returning to racing in the fast carbon line of triathlon suits.  I will be racing in TYR wetsuits as well!  Check out all the gear at http://www.tyr.com/

 Quarq: I am excited to be using Quarq power meters this year for training and racing.  The feed back and data I get from these power meters help elevate my racing to new levels that I could not reach with out them.  http://www.quarq.com

Zipp:  I will proudly be training and racing on Zipp wheels in 2014.    Zipp wheels are the fastest wheels on the market and Zipp puts more into R&D than any other wheel manufacture on the market.  They have years of proven wins at the biggest races!   http://www.zipp.com/

 

Slowtwitch O2 session with Sarah Haskins



 

O2 Session with Sarah Haskins

Written by: Greg Kopecky
Added: Thu Aug 02 2012

                   
There’s no arguing: Sarah Haskins is one of the most successful female triathletes of all time. With countless wins to her name and a very consistent record, we sometimes just assume that it is easy for her. Call it the “Champion’s Curse”. As we witnessed on one July day, however, it takes an incredible amount of consistent planning, organization, and hard work. That kind of success doesn’t happen on its own.

While Sarah is a very dedicated athlete, she’s the first to tell you that it wouldn’t be possible without her husband, Nathan Kortuem. He acts as her coach, mechanic, manager, travel Sherpa, power-file-analyzer, and much more. Known by his friends as simply “Nate”, he is a former professional triathlete, student of the sport, and all-around nice guy.

This specific workout session took place on Tuesday, July 31st, 2012, at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. Sarah and Nate spend their winters in Clermont, FL for the warm weather, and the summers in Colorado for the altitude training. They’ve come to find over time, however, that Sarah still benefits from some sea-level training throughout the year. That’s not possible in Colorado Springs, so they use supplemental oxygen for these key sessions.

While other Colorado Springs-based athletes use supplemental oxygen, they are often at the mercy of their ITU points standing (which determines their eligibility for O2, massage, monthly stipends, and other various forms of support). Sarah and Nate are no longer residents at the OTC, so they’ve essentially gone fully independent. In order to have consistent access to O2, they purchase their own tanks, which get stored at the OTC.

Sarah’s session this day was about an hour, with a main set of five minute intervals and two-and-a-half minutes rest. The ride was followed by a ten mile trail run, with Nate on his mountain bike. This is all part of her late-season peaking phase, for big races such as the Chicago triathlon and Hy-Vee. She rode her Fuji D6 bike equipped with Shimano Di2, a Rotor-Quarq crankset (172.5mm), Zipp 303 clincher wheels, Oval Concepts bars, ISM saddle, and Sampson pedals. Resistance was provided by a Computrainer, but they use the Quarq system for power measurement. Output was measured on three devices:

1. Garmin headunit on Sarah’s stem for basic power metrics (power, lap power, cadence, lap time)

2. An iPhone with Wahoo Fitness ANT+ receiver, placed on a table in front of Sarah (for heart rate metrics)

3. A second Garmin for Nate to track the data and record output on a clip board

You can follow Sarah at her website www.sarahhaskins.com/ and on twitter @sarahhaskinstri.

"First Things First": First Endurance



First Things First: First Endurance!

The very first thing I do every morning as part of my routine; drinking a glass of water with my FE Mulit-V and Optygen HP products.  I like to do this firstthing so that for one I don”t forget to take my supplements, but also so that I”m taking them before  my key training sessions of the day.  I then think about how many water bottles I need to fill up depending on the length and intensity of my upcoming workouts.  I fill my bottles with EFS lemon lime or grape (my favorite flavors), but will also use fruit punch (Nate”s favorite) if necessary and I am out of my top two flavors.  Some people in the past have complained to me about the strong taste or flavor of many electrolytes drinks.  The mild flavor (especially in the grape) is one of my favorite aspect”s of the EFS drink.  Not to mention, the additional electrolytes compared to other brands to help me stay hydrated.  If my workout is easy or I”m just about to head to the airport, I will often fill my bottles with half strength or quarter strength EFS since I will not need a full serving of electrolytes or calories to keep my hydration levels up.

When I head out for longer workouts (duration 2.5 hours or longer), I know I need to be prepared nutritionally…or else my training will suffer. Especially mid-season, when the heat and humidity are at it”s peak, keeping hydrated can be just as tough as the workout.  Many Sunday mornings this year, Nate and I spent time filling up eight or nine water bottles with a mix of EFS, plain water, Ultragen, and a couple gel flasks.  We pile everything into the cooler and are set nutritionally for the next four to five hours. There is nothing that tastes much better than a cold Ultragen after a hard 3-4 hour workout! It is amazing how much faster my body will recover with the proper nutrition during and post workout.

This is not to say that pro”s know everything…as I am still learning year to year.  Earlier this year, I was feeling dizzy and fatigued on my transition runs after a moderately intense 2.5-3 hour ride.  My transition runs were only 30-45 minutes, but I just struggled to get through the run.  We experimented with taking more gel during the bike, instead of just before the transition run.  I would take a swing of gel every 20 minutes of the bike in addition to the two bottles of EFS.  After this change, I felt so much better on my runs and the “dizzy” feeling was gone.  Don”t be afraid to change up your routine and see
what works best for you!

Now that”s it”s my off season, I have cut dramatically back on my training/racing nutrition products.  EFS, gels, OptygenHP, and Ultragen will not be needed until 2012. However, I be sure to stay on top my vitamins to help ward off those winter colds and flues.  Even when I travel to see friends and family, I make sure I have packed my Mulit-V or whatever FE product will be needed for that trip!  First Endurance is a key component to my success in racing and training.  Athletes often forget about the importance of nutrition and how much of an influence good or bad it can have on your performance.

Enjoy the “off-season” and best wishes in your preparations for the 2012 year.  I;m stocked, loaded and ready to go for 2012!

Fall Season Update.



Season Update:

The 2011 season is coming to a close.  I started my racing season way back in March with a sprint race and it’s hard to believe summer is now changing into fall.  I am looking forward to finishing off my season strong with three races over the next four weekends.
The past few weeks, I have enjoyed the time training and not traveling!  With a busy October ahead, I knew I needed a little stability in September to finish the season off.
This upcoming Sunday is my fifith and final race in the Race to the Toyota Cup Series.  I have had a blast every Series race so far this year and also gotten to watch my family race in a few of the races.  My Dad and brother will be racing in the Toyota US Open (Dad’s first Olympic distance).  I know we all will be giving it our all out there (along with all the other competitors).
I can’t not think about how different I am feeling from one year ago.  Last year I was in attendance at the US Open, cheering and hanging out at the Toyota booth, but I was injured with a calf tear.  The injury occurred in the middle of September, and I was hoping that after a couple weeks off, I would be able to finish out the series.  No such luck, it was an eight week injury off running.  I got to see the race from a different perspective; cheering from the sidelines.  The hardest part was watching the awards ceremony, watching alone among the crowd and shedding some tears. It hurt knowing my heart and mind wanted to be there, but my body would not allow.  As any athlete can tell you, an injury is tough, more mentally than physically, but it also makes you appreciate all the moments when your body is healthy and ready to compete.  Those tears I shed through my past injuries reaffirm that we are not invincible.  Overcoming those tough times and getting back to form is the biggest testament of an athlete.   I am so thankful my body has been injury free this year and I am ready to step up to the start line going to defend my 2009 title.  I know that I can’t take any win or race for granted and however the upcoming outcome; I will be proud knowing I gave my best effort and thankful my body is allowing me to race this time around.
After Dallas, I will be staying in Texas for a few days before heading to my second World Cup of the year in Huatulco, Mexico.  This race is TOUGH!  Not to mention a 20% grade hill 8x, but topple that with 100 degree heat index.  I am looking forward to seeing the Ocean, but will have to remember my sunblock!  I competed several years ago and had a tough time gripping my bars on the bike because of the high humidity, so I am going to try some Mission Ultra Grip pre-race to curb that problem.
After Mexico, it’s back home for a week before I head back to Mexico for Pan American Games.  I am excited to represent USA and hope to be back on the podium again (Silver in 2007).  I am grateful for this opportunity and better brush up on my Espanol with my two trips to Mexico in October.
Best Wishes to all and the end of your season!  And to those already in your off-season…ENJOY!

Sarah Haskins Speed Work Tips



Sarah Haskins has a few tips for everyone out there that is trying to work on there speed for running.

Racing Update



Hard to believe that May is just around the corner.  Once race season is up and running, the weeks seem to start flying by. I have really enjoyed my time in Clermont.  In fact, Nate and I are closing on a town home next week!  We are planning on spending the winters here to escape the cold winters up north.  The extended family is looking forward to some beach/Disney vacations!!

My racing schedule has been changed in the next coming months.  I will not be racing in Japan due to the postponement of the Yokohama race due to the natural disaster/nuclear crisis.  I felt that I needed to race an ITU race and be able to have the opportunity to earn Olympic points, so I am racing in Monterrey, Mexico on May 8th.  This race is one week after St. Anthony’s and will be a much shorter trip than Japan!  With warmer weather racing on my schedule the next couple of weeks, I am glad to have been training in Florida to help prepare me for the heat.

After I race in Mexico, I will be back in Colorado Springs for the remainder of the season (at least when I am not traveling around the US or Europe).

Happy Easter!

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