The First Two Weeks With a Broken Ankle

My two week update after a broken ankle

Unfortunately, I crashed my bike and broke my ankle a bit over two weeks ago.  My primary objective for 2016 is to win a full Ironman; a goal I will maintain this season.

Staying Focused on the goal through injurygingerbread broken ankle

I am really fortunate to have Dr. Brent Weatherhead as my orthopedic surgeon.  He is an amazing technical surgeon and did an outstanding job to get my fractured ankle anatomically perfect so now we have a realistic plan and schedule to get me back to running full gas this season.

Eventually, every pro athlete faces some significant adversity. For me, that time is now. I have fractured my ankle crashing my bike. Fortunately I have an amazing surgeon, Dr. Brent Weatherhead, who is at Rebalance MD. I also benefit from having Dr Jamie Grimes and Katie Button, a great rehab team behind me at Synergy Wellness. Thanks to my incredibly supportive sponsors, family and medical team I will make a full recovery and return to racing this season. I will write about recovering on my website and I hope I can offer some support to anyone else who is frustratingly sidelined this season. So far my advice would be to stay positive, do everything you can in that moment and visualize where you want to go. Visit www.racergirl.com for updates 😀🏃💨#injury #adversity #rehabilitation #trimalleolarfracture #brokenankle #triathlontraining #triathlon #running #cycling

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I know a LOT of pro triathletes who have dealt with and are dealing with injury – so my story is not unique.  Triathletes and runners have different experiences with a broken ankle.  If you found this post searching “exercises you can do with a broken ankle” and “triathlon training after a broken ankle” you are in the same mindset I was in the first two weeks after my crash.  I promise you that it gets better after the first two weeks.  I am posting these recovery updates to help educate you through MY experience and inspire you with what I found helpful and motivating.  It is important to stay positive and focused during your recovery so let’s start with things you can do.

Here are THREE WAYS YOU CAN IMMEDIATELY IMPROVE AS AN ATHLETE with a broken ankle or leg injury  Continue reading “The First Two Weeks With a Broken Ankle”

Shoulder Prehabilitation Strength Exercises For Triathlon

 I wrote this article for www.triathlonmagazine.ca

‘Shoulder prehabilitation’ means strengthening the shoulder’s resistance to injury – thus PRE-rehabilitation.  These shoulder strength exercises prepare the shoulder muscles that are the most vulnpool swimming with paddles trainingerable to injury from everyday swimming repetitive movement.  Strengthening these muscles improves your posture and body alignment.  For swimmers, and triathletes by extension, the most common injuries occur in shoulder rotators so these are the muscles we are focused on.
Continue reading “Shoulder Prehabilitation Strength Exercises For Triathlon”

Indoor Triathlon Sessions To Practice Raceday Nutrition

Practicing Hydration and Nutrition During Indoor sessions – an article which was featured at www.triathlonmagazine.ca

Practicing race nutrition during indoor training sessions

Indoor training sessions designed to practice race-day triathlon nutrition are a great way to help athletes prepare to execute their plan in races – but in easier, more controlled conditions.  The objective of these sessions is to get training benefit from appropriate pacing and to nail your race day hydration and fueling strategy.  Although indoor training is missing some of the elements (literally) encountered in outdoor training, there is a lot of valuable information to be gained indoors where the variables are easier to control.

Lab-monitored “sweat tests” are available that can help you determine how much sweat you lose at effort and what the composition of your sweat is.  A lab test is the most scientific version of the generalized effort I am going to outline.  Knowing the exact composition of your sweat under the lab conditions may be useful but nothing is as valuable as practicing with numerous sessions under a variety of conditions to help gain knowledge on what works best for you.  These tips will be a good starting point to gather information on your own body.

Continue reading “Indoor Triathlon Sessions To Practice Raceday Nutrition”

A Core Activation Exercise Series for Before Training

A Video To Demonstrate a Pre Training Core Activation Routine

This video will show you the exercises that I use to activate and prepare my core muscles for training. Without adequate warmup and activation of the core, your biomechanics will not be optimized in training.

This routine does not take a lot of time so it is very easy for me to do it frequently. This is the first thing I do every morning. I implemented this routine when I was suffering from a hip injury and since then I have had not issues with my hip or low back. However, if I don’t do the routine I am aware that my range of motion through the hips for swimming and running is not as good.

This short, simple set of exercises is EFFECTIVE.

You can do this routine in less than five minutes on the pool deck before swimming so try it at your next training session. You may find that even these simple exercises are somewhat difficult which would indicate your neuromuscular recruitment needs work. Over time you will feel stronger and you will experience better results from training – particularly early morning training. Let me know what you think!

2016 Season Opener- Mountain Bike Racing At Bear Mountain

Last weekend I raced my first mountain bike race in three years.

I joined the fun at the first Canada Cup National XC Series race ever hosted in Victoria.

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Channeling Paola Pezzo old-school style by forgetting to zip my jersey up – Braison Images photo Continue reading “2016 Season Opener- Mountain Bike Racing At Bear Mountain”

Restarting training after a winter break

I wrote this article for www.triathlonmagazine.ca and thought it would be good for those athletes just starting to lace up their shoes again.  If you have any other questions/queries/requests please ask away at either my Facebook page www.facebook.com/racergirlmel or Tweet away at www.twitter.com/racergirlmel.

How to Restart Your Training After a Winter Break

After the last race of the season, many athletes enjoy a training break.  For anywhere from four to eight weeks, athletes might incorporate complete rest with cross training or unstructured triathlon training.  It is a good idea to take a real break from the sport and allow your body to rest.

Some athletes avoid complete rest as they believe it will be very difficult to get back to their previous level of fitness, but this fear is unfounded.  Taking a break will result in some detraining but aerobic fitness declines slowly.  Underlying fatigue from the previous season is more likely to delay improvement than a break from training.  The number one priority after every season must be rest, particularly for athletes who race Ironman and can accumulate a lot of residual fatigue, low grade injury and general overload.  The minimum post season break should be four weeks and longer if there is injury to resolve.  After that time it is good to get back in action.

Here are five tips to have a strong start to your training build after a break:

Continue reading “Restarting training after a winter break”

2015 Ironman Arizona

Competing at Ironman Arizona in my second attempt racing a full distance Ironman

My second attempt racing a full distance Ironman distance was at Ironman Arizona.  I had the privilege of having my ass handed to me by Meredith Kessler after I finished in 9:14, a time that might have been respectable 5 years ago but was in another time zone behind MBK’s 8:44 (the fastest Ironman performance of 2015-so amazing!).  It is good I was on the course with her that day.  It is invaluable to have that performance to shine a light on where I can improve.  Without comparing apples to apples, you never really know where you stack up and I was good in my second attempt but I still need to improve. Continue reading “2015 Ironman Arizona”

2015 IM 70.3 Los Cabos

Visiting San Jose del Cabo for the first time at the 2015 IM 70.3 Los Cabos

I’ve never visited San Jose del Cabo so the idea of racing IM 70.3 Los Cabos event was appealing- if only to tick a travel box while doing my job as a pro athlete.  Many aspects of this race were questionable in the final leadup to an Ironman event (Would I get sick from the water/food? Do I even need a race at this point? Would the airline travel challenge my immune system?) but I decided to stick to my Ironman Arizona plan as we originally laid it out and went.  It seems to have been a good decision.

I was better than IM 70.3 Las Vegas, I had a great swim and I had a great time.  Plus I won a bit of money, got some great exposure for Trek Mexico at the presser and I now have a whale shark BFF.  All around good times and noodle salad.

presser

Pre race pomp and circumstance. Continue reading “2015 IM 70.3 Los Cabos”

Triathlon BC Gala and IM 70.3 Silverman

Speaking at the 2015 Triathlon BC Gala before Racing IM 70.3 Silverman, Las Vegas

My last trip took me from Vancouver, BC to Las Vegas, Nevada.  I hopped on friendly Westjet and my first stop was in Vancouver where I spoke at the TriBC Athlete Gala.  The gala is a fundraiser to support youth development in British Columbia so it was an amazing opportunity.  The event itself raised $10,000 for youth development and by speaking I was able to donate $500 to the Victoria chapter of Kidsport.  I was so happy to be presented the chance to do something for the youngsters that I train with so I flew out of Vancouver on a high.  It was a great night and thank you to all the folks that organized and attended.  I love nights where everyone dresses up, haha!  I have always been a bit of a magpie for cute outfits.  Thanks to Blueseventy, USANA and Champion System for helping me to donate to the silent auction that night!

tribc

Continue reading “Triathlon BC Gala and IM 70.3 Silverman”

2015 Challenge Penticton – A Canadian Classic is Reborn

The 2015 edition of Challenge Penticton was both a great success and a fresh start for this iconic race.  It appears that during the last three years the event has been trying to find a new identity moving forward and this year the race started to realize its new potential.  It was announced that in the future Challenge Penticton will be one distance, 3km/120km/30km and will become a qualifier for the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championship.  I applaud this new direction and I commend both Michael Brown and Kevin Cutjar for having great expertise, insight and ability in creating this new direction.  Challenge racing is amazing:  the pre-race dinner, the family atmosphere, the party at the finish line and the community involvement makes these events special. I also loved what is uniquely Penticton:  the iconic race course, the stunning scenery, the amazing volunteers (many who come out every year) and the new stadium finish line.  It was my first time experiencing long course racing in Penticton and I appreciate so much the wonderful people I met on this trip!

front runner Penticton

I did lead the race from 20km and set the fastest bike split. 

Unfortunately, my race was not all that I had hoped for as it was marred by a penalty due to a pro male while I was leading the race and ended with DNF.  The woman at the top on race day were no strangers to the podium and put on a great display of strength.  I am so pleased for Jen Spieldenner, Carrie Lester and Heather Lendway for earning the top paychecks on the day.  Special mention goes to Canadian superstar runner Malindi Elmore for earning the top Canadian woman’s position with her superlative running ability.  The men’s race was a who’s who of amazing Canadian talent with Brent McMahon winning the race, Trevor Wurtele taking second and Jeff Symonds taking fourth after a flat.  Chapeau boys!  What a super field of professionals with 45 of us in total making the trip to Penticton.

panel challenge

The great panel assembled at Challenge Penticton with Kevin (Race Director), Zibi (Challenge CEO),  Ellie, Laura, Chris, myself, Brent, Trevor, Miki, Jeff, Kate and Carrie.

My weekend staying with Alan Kidd and his wife Gwyneth was so great.  Alan is very knowledgeable about triathlon so sharing stories about the race was fantastic.  Okanagan Lake was beautiful for swimming in my fabulous Blue Seventy wetsuit and the rolling hills were fun to take my Trek Speed Concept out for a gallop on that beautiful bike course that I enjoyed pouring some effort into.  Yves and Anne from Asics Canada were on hand  sharing the Asics love and I will enjoy trying out the new 33-M shoe on the trails. 

Any fears of fire related air quality were fortunately resolved by a timely shift to rainy, cooler weather and the day was beautiful.  I did have some problems getting to Penticton because of the fires as my plane on Friday flew all the way to Penticton before turning and flying back to Vancouver without landing.  I was told no flights would land so along with three other women I hopped in a rental car to Kelowna to make it that day.  Nothing like some quick organization amongst four motivated women to fix a problem.  Thank you to Genevieve, Kirsten and Gwen!!

drivetrip

My drive companions 🙂

A broken toe on Thursday (random slip and smash into the couch), a botched flight on Friday and a penalty on Sunday means I have weathered this storm and it is time for things to come right again for the next race.  Cheering on the full distance racers on the run course and at the finish line at midnight was a highlight.  It was a great experience and it renewed my admiration for the Challenge style event.  These events are top quality with all of the character of a grass roots event.  This will certainly not be my last Challenge.

Thanks very much to Kevin and Mike for inviting me to the Challenge Penticton race.  It was great to see the Challenge St Andrews organizers Tressa and Scott there with the family to cheer Scott to the finish line as well.  Thank you to all of the amazing women pros who came to Canada to make this event so impressive with such a large field.  Thank you to my friends and family for coming to cheer!  Thanks Trek, Bontrager, Shimano, Blueseventy, Rudy Project NA, Champion System, Asics Canada, Frontrunners Victoria, Powertap, USANA and Powerbar.  I did ride another fastest bike split so I am recovering well from Ironman Canada and I look forward to another day at the races at 70.3 Silverman!