TriMarni Camp Lessons & Loving your Body

One last blog post on triathlon camp; there were some good learnings I don’t want to forget.

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When I came into camp, I wasn’t sure what to expect – I assumed there would be lots of fast ultra-serious triathletes who I might not merge with and I questioned whether my current fitness levels would succeed. Coming out I met a new network of friends and surprised myself with my own mini-successes throughout camp. And most of all, everyone at camp was at different levels and it didn’t matter who was fast/slow/etc. – we all just wanted each other to succeed! It was great to experience some camaraderie and fit in. Furthermore, Marni & Karel showed care and concern for each and every individual and made sure there were workout options for everyone.

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{ Marni & me }

“I Love My Body”

Not only did I learn lots of swim, bike, and run tips, but I learned some lifestyle tips that were really helpful. One of the topics we talked about a lot was food & body. It’s taken me a long time to get comfortable and to like & be proud of my body; in my twenties it wasn’t always that way. I tried lots of diets and exercised to be skinny, not for fitness. And even now with a husband that has much lower body fat than I do, I still constantly compare myself (I can’t help it, but I don’t want to be the “large” one). However, during camp, Marni and some of us girls were talking about shopping (and how we all dislike it!), and Marni made a comment “I love my body, but it’s sometimes difficult to find the right sizes for my body type, etc.”. I was struck, because how many times do you hear a person say “I love my body”?  How many times do you tell yourself “I love my body?” I read about this topic often, but for some reason it was so great to hear someone say this out loud, even if it was just in passing. Now I am making an effort to say it in my head when I see myself in the mirror, and to thank my body for all these tough workouts I’m subjecting it to, after all they are pretty rigorous!

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{ Thank you body for some serious miles this year! }

Food for Nourishment, Fuel and Enjoyment

I’m really on board with the fueling approach of eating before, during and after every workout, and I love that this was emphasized at camp.  There always had food available, even in the locker room at one point Marni pulled out some dates & trail mix (thank goodness, we were starving!  And we all LOVE dates).  The emphasis was on honoring hunger, nothing is off limits, but aim to feel better after you eat than when you started.  I read many years ago in a magazine that you want to think about how a food/meal will make you feel after, and that has always stuck with me.  I want to eat to feel good after – not to feel stuffed, bloated, or guilty.  At the same time, I want to eat for nourishment, fuel AND enjoyment.  Savor food, don’t devour it.

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{ Packing pre, during, and post-workout food/snacks }

Train Smart, Recover Harder

We talked a lot about training smart & recovering harder.  How workouts should have warm ups and dynamic stretches, a main set with a purpose and a proper cool down.  And with training smart, you want to go faster before going longer; not just putting in junk miles.   As a lover of long bike rides, this has taken me awhile to understand, but I’m finally getting it.  We’ve been working to make my body stronger and faster with the shorter more intense efforts, and now I find the long rides a lot easier!

We also discussed the use of recovery tools such as Epsom salt baths, stretching/yoga, compression, massage, and foam rolling / Trigger point.  I am currently loving Dr. Teal’s.  The mint/rosemary one works really well for sore muscles.

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Lastly, a couple key takeaways were :

  • Triathlon is a lifestyle, not your life
  • Enjoy and don’t rush the journey
  • Small daily improvements lead to staggering long-term results (love this!)

Oh yeah, and I learned from camp I wouldn’t want to be a professional athlete – this is an intense lifestyle!  Loved doing it for four days, but four days was just enough Smile  Ok, have a great week!

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