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These Three Women Define Strength

To recognize International Women’s Day, IRONMAN did a virtual sit-down with three of triathlon’s most inspiring women. Read on to find out their views on life and triathlon.

 

 

 

 

by Jennifer Ward


Christina Hopper: Mother of three and the first female African-American fighter pilot to face combat in a major war.

Has triathlon altered or affected how you see yourself as a woman? If so, how?

It has altered how I see myself as a person. I was an athlete when I was young, but after completing college, I didn’t really compete in sports anymore. When I took up triathlon three years ago, I rediscovered a part of myself that I thought had died. It has given me a renewed sense of confidence and vigor. It has given me renewed energy and helped me to see that age is a state of mind.

What has been one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced personally as a woman, an athlete, or both?

One of the biggest challenges I have faced as a triathlete is balancing life demands with all of the training and trying to reach my goals. In order to garner and maintain the support of my husband and family, I had to decide that my goal was not going to be “to be the best.” That goal would have required me to put my life on hold to train. Instead, I set the goal that I would “be the best that I could be within the time constraints of my life.” I set realistic goals within those constraints and feel good about what I was accomplishing both at home and in sport.

What are your tips for balancing training with a full life?

I think one of the most important things to remember is that triathlon is not your life, it’s just a part of your life. If you keep that in perspective, things fall into their proper place. You don’t need to fit someone else’s training plan into your life. Do what makes sense for your schedule. For me, that usually means getting up early and getting training in before my kids are up and before work.

What do you wish you’d known when you started triathlon? What’s your best tip for a first-time female triathlete?

I wish I would have known that it is better to go into a race slightly underprepared than it is to go in overtrained. There were so many times when I thought I just needed to get in a few extra miles or to go a little bit faster than planned and then I ended up injured. Now I live by the motto: “train smarter, not harder.” Being strategic in training and listening to your body when it tells you to back off or rest goes a long way toward longevity in the sport and success in reaching your goals.

As part at Women For Tri, we are doing a “Women for Tri Workout Wednesday” where we encourage women to celebrate the day by working out together, empowering each other, and sharing their photos. Is there anything you’d like to to say to all the women working out on that day?

I, too, have a group of friends I train with regularly. We call ourselves the Before Breakfast Club. Getting up early and training with them is therapy for me. I think it is wonderful to train with other women to share ideas, successes and failures, and encouragement. It is a natural forum to learn from each other and to celebrate the achievement of goals. Doing life together with others and building others up makes life worth living.


Shirin Gerami: The first woman to represent Iran in a triathlon.

Has triathlon altered or affected how you see yourself as a woman? If so, how?

It has definitely affected me as a human being. I feel it has given me a more positive outlook on life, and given me more confidence in working hard towards my goals.

What has been one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced personally as a woman, an athlete, or both?

The constant labelling, stereotyping, and boxing into how/what/who I ought to be, and the challenge of concentrating on who I am and the person I want to grow into, rather than binding myself to what other people expect and assume me to be. That has actually been a huge challenge.

What are your tips for balancing training with a full life?

I wish I had the answer! I’m still trying to figure that out myself.

What do you wish you’d known when you started triathlon? What’s your best tip for a first-time female triathlete?

I have loved the journey exactly as it has been. The thrill and curiosity of the unknown, the surprises, the growth, the ups, downs and up-side downs. Passing on what Paula Newby Fraser has always told me: “don’t overthink it.”


Turia Pitt: Inspirational Australian woman who suffered burns to 65% of her body in 2011. She completed two IRONMAN events in 2016.

Has triathlon altered or affected how you see yourself as a woman? If so, how?

It’s given me a lot more confidence and a lot more belief in my abilities, especially since I set the goal of doing an IRONMAN when I was in a hospital bed. I think just having that goal is something massive to work toward. As I got closer and closer to it, it made me believe in myself a lot more. I think having that self belief and self confidence that’s crucial for anyone in all stages of their lives.

What has been one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced personally as a woman, an athlete, or both?

As an athlete, it’s got to be my injuries. I’ve only got three fingers now which makes swimming more difficult, and it’s harder for me to use my bike like a normal person would. As a woman, we have a tendency to not back ourselves and not believe in ourselves and I think that’s a pretty big challenge. And also, because the sport of triathlon is fairly male dominated, even just finding training partners was really difficult for me. I guess I’m luckier than most because my partner was very fit so I’d do a lot of training with him. I still think if there were more women in the sport that would be really good for everyone.

What are your tips for balancing training with a full life?

I think my tip is that I had to learn to let myself off the hook. If I didn’t do very well in a training session or was really tired and didn’t go as hard as I would’ve liked or didn’t eat my recovery meals at the right time—I think you’ve just got to recognize that no one’s perfect and we’re all just doing the best we can. In the scheme of things if you miss a session or your day doesn’t go as planned it’s not the end of the world.

What do you wish you’d known when you started triathlon? What’s your best tip for a first-time female triathlete?

To not take it too seriously. It’s a sport that we all do because we love it, and I think you can forget about that and get really serious. That for me saps all the fun and enjoyment out of it.

As part at Women For Tri, we are doing a “Women for Tri Workout Wednesday” where we encourage women to celebrate the day by working out together, empowering each other, and sharing their photos. Is there anything you’d like to to say to all the women working out on that day?

I’d say dream big, believe in yourself, and know that if you put the work in, you’ll see results!

Originally from: http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/news/articles/2017/03/international-womens-day-round-table.aspx#ixzz4akIexN29

Give the Gift of Triathlon this Holiday Season

Looking for the perfect gift for the triathlete in your life? Order a Life Time Tri gift card!

We are now offering physical gift cards for the following Life Time Tri events:

  • South Beach Triathlon
  • Life Time Tri Marquee
  • Life Time Tri CapTex
  • Life Time Tri Minneapolis presented by Just Bare Chicken
  • Transamerica Chicago Triathlon Mack Cycle
  • Escape to Miami Triathlon presented by Voler

Order your gift cards by 12/20 12:00pm CST to receive them before the holidays!

Click here to ORDER NOW!

*Gift cards will come with unique code on the back for redemption.

Must be redeemed on the corresponding event website that it was originally purchased for.

If you have additional questions, please email us at chicagoregistration@lifetimefitness.com.

Registration Now Open for the 2017 Life Time Tri Series

We invite you to join us as we #CommitToTri in 2017!

Each event features an International distance course, which consists of a 1.5-kilometer swim, a 40-kilometer bike and a 10-kilometer run (distances may vary slightly by location). Select events also offer Sprint, SuperSprint and Kids Triathlon courses of shorter, varying distances.

 

2017 Life Time Tri Series Race Schedule

Event

Date

Register

Life Time Tri South Beach

April 2, 2017

Register Now

Life Time Tri Marquee

April 9, 2017

Register Now

Life Time Tri CapTex

May 29, 2017

Register Now

Life Time Tri Minneapolis

July 8, 2017

Register Now

New York City Triathlon

July 16, 2017

Register Now

Transamerica Chicago Triathlon

August 27, 2017

Register Now

Mack Cycle Escape to Miami Triathlon

September 24, 2017

Register Now

 

To register or learn more about any of the 2017 Life Time Tri events, visit www.LifeTimeTri.com. Stay updated with the latest information by following @LifeTimeTri on Twitter and the Life Time Tri Facebook page.

Live Like a Local Triathlete: Things to Do in Chicago

The time of year is once again upon us where triathletes from all over the world flock to Chicago, IL to compete in the one of the sport’s most iconic races — the Transamerica Chicago Triathlon. If you’re heading to the Windy City for a late summer racecation, we’ve got some go-to hotspots that will have you feeling like a local.

Food and Drink

The must-stop coffee shop.

Intelligentsia, styled like an Italian espresso bar, is known for its strong coffee and fair trade business practices. Stop by for an aromatic espresso to reenergize yourself while exploring the city. If you’re interested in the behind-the-scenes action, their West Fulton Street location offers public tours that include a live demonstration of the roasting process.

Quick, reliably healthy eats.

Yolk is the perfect breakfast spot to post up before a day of sight-seeing or after a final early morning training session. We recommend their Santa Fe Frittata for a healthy option with a kick of flavor. If you’re craving lunch, the kale salad tossed in a blueberry pomegranate dressing hits the spot.  

Best post-race celebration spot.

The Scout Waterhouse + Kitchen features a unique, global-inspired menu and full bar with nice patio seating and a spacious dining room for your whole entourage. They’re known for their signature foot-long grilled cheese offered in five different flavors — ‘nuff said. If signature Chicago-style deep dish pizza is calling your name, Lou Malnati’s is the best the city has to offer. Wrap up your perfect Chicago trip with some classic blues tunes at Buddy Guy’s Legends, where icons like B.B. King, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan have graced the stage.

Fitness Finds

Sneak in a workout.

Maggie Daley Park is the ideal if you’re traveling with kids, offering one of the city’s newest playgrounds and a 19,000-square foot rock climbing wall that’s sure to entertain and exhaust the whole family. Additionally, the paths and trails provide the perfect setting for a scenic run.

Your local tri shop.

Live Grit is your ultimate one-stop shop for all your triathlon needs and the best resource for any last-minute race day necessities. Their knowledgeable staff has seen its fair share of finishes at Chicago Tri and will be able to make the perfect recommendation so you have a successful swim, bike and run.

The Transamerica Chicago Triathlon has hosted triathletes on the shores of Lake Michigan for more than 30 years, and is one of the largest triathlons in the world. The action-packed race takes you through one of America’s signature metropolises and provides epic scenery along the city’s iconic Lake Shore Drive.

Many thanks to National Account Manager, Partnership Marketing and former Chi Town resident Colin Cybulski for helping us put this list together!

2016 Transamerica Chicago Triathlon Athlete Guide Now Available

Welcome to Tri Town! Make no mistake, the Second City may be the nation’s 3rd largest city, but Chicago stands proudly as the epicenter of the multisport movement. Since 1983, the Chicago Triathlon has welcomed more than 250,000 participants across the finish line. By our count, 40% of these finishers were first-timers, earning the coveted title of “triathlete” right here in our backyard. In 2016, we plan to add more than 2,500 newbies to that count.

As you journey through the Expo this weekend, as you rack your bike in Transition and as your toe the line at the Swim Start, know that you are an integral part of a 34 year tradition in this city. Your commitment and dedication to this sport is what defines the grit and strength of this incredible city. Chi-Town is Tri-Town. Make sure to check out the 2016 Athlete Guide for detailed schedules, course information and more.

> 2016 Transamerica Chicago Triathlon Athlete Guide

Cheers to an incredible weekend!

Transamerica Chicago Triathlon Athlete Tracker

Track your favorite athlete on race day! Use the Transamerica Athlete Tracker during the race to track participants as they cross various course checkpoints.  The tracking features an interactive map, live streams from official timing pads, estimated arrival times and more. Live tracking is sponsored by Transamerica is included with the Race App and at www.racemyrace.com/chicagotri.

We also invite you to check out our new Life Time Athletic Events App. Learn how you can check in, post photos and stay up-to-date with all things related to event weekend right from the palm of your hand.

App-Store     

2016 Chicago Triathlon Race Day Information

The 2016 Transamerica Chicago Triathlon is right around the corner! Check out all the information you need to know for race day. Good luck, athletes!

RACE DAY WAVE ASSIGNMENTS
With race day fast approaching, we are pleased to share our Chicago Triathlon weekend race day wave assignments:

  • Click HERE to view Sunday’s Chicago Triathlon wave assignments
  • Click HERE to view Saturday’s Kids Tri & SuperSprint wave assignments

In addition to these posted start times, the following course cut-off standards will be in effect for all Sunday participants:

SWIM COURSE

  • International Participants: Complete the 1.5k Swim Course by 10:15 a.m. (2 hours from the start of the final swim wave)
  • Sprint Participants: Complete the 750m Swim Course by 11:15 a.m. (1 hour from the start of the final swim wave)

Please note: These times were calculated in accordance with the Chicago Fire Department to encourage continuous, forward progress as well as applying water exposure and exertion factors. As listed, these cut-off times accommodate 99.8% of the previous participants’ swim times [average International swim split: 37 minutes; average Sprint swim split: 21 minutes]. Participants unable to complete the full swim course, or who exit the water early, will not be able to advance onto the Bike Course. For those concerned about swim times, we strongly encourage you to attend one of our final Swim Clinics on Tuesday, August 23.

BIKE COURSE

  • International Participants: Must reach the Lake Shore Drive exit (mile 14.5) by 10:45 a.m., enter the McCormick Place Busway (mile 18.8) by 11:05 a.m. and finish their entire bike course by 12:00 PM.
  • Sprint Participants: Complete their entire bike course (exit Lake Shore Drive) by 12:00 p.m.

RUN COURSE

  • All participants must clear the Run Course by 2:00 p.m.

As a reminder all registered participants will receive the official Athlete Guide via email on Monday, August 22. The is important packet will include the final schedules, wave assignments, spectator details and course maps.

Chicago Tri Community Gear Swap on April 24

Chicago’s new and veteran triathletes come together to exchange, buy and/or sell gently used triathlon gear on Sunday, April 24 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for the 2016 Chicago Tri Community Gear Swap!

Clean out your triathlon gear trunk, grab that old wetsuit and dig through those vintage tri jerseys while helping out new triathletes, making room for some new gear AND making a few bucks. Looking to buy? Put together a list of what you need, grab a friend, come early for the best selection and bring plenty of cash or a check (don’t expect to use credit cards).

> RSVP REQUIRED

Location:
Old Fifth Bar & Restaurant
1027 W. Madison Street
Chicago, IL
> View Map

This event is complimentary for buyers, and $10 for individuals who plan to sell gear. Complimentary Goose Island beer will be served to participants 21 and over. Food from Old Fifth Bar & Restaurant will be available for purchase. RSVP today, this event is WILL sell out!

Visit Our Booth at the 2016 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K

Life Time Fitness joins the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K in kicking off Chicago’s endurance season at the Shamrock Shuffle Health & Fitness Expo this weekend. Join us at McCormick Place, Hall F1 Friday, April 1 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m or Saturday, April 2 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Along with other healthy lifestyle vendors, Life Time will present the Transamerica Chicago Triathlon, Chicago Half Marathon & 5K, Michelob ULTRA Chicago Spring 13.1 & 10K, and the Gildan Esprit de She women’s race series.

In addition to exclusive on-site expo offerings you’ll have the opportunity to speak with local triathlon and run coaches to set up your race season or take on an additional personal challenge. Make plans to join us in booth #133 for one of our exclusive sessions lead by the best coaches in the business*: 

FRIDAY
11 a.m. Chicago Triathlon 101 – You Can Do This, Life Time Tri
12 p.m. 8K to Half Marathon, Your Next Challenge – Chicago Endurance Sports
1 p.m. Chicago Triathlon 101 – You Can Do This, Life Time Tri
2 p.m. Be Your Potential – Women’s Triathlon – Nic Ruley, Well-Fit Triathlon and Training
3 p.m. Beginners Guide to Training & Nutrition – Coach Chris Navin, TriMonster
4 p.m. 8K to Half Marathon, You’re Next Challenge – Life Time Run
5 p.m. Take On Your First Triathlon – Live Grit Endurance Team
6 p.m. You Can Do This – Chicago Triathlon 101 – Coach Chris Navin, TriMonster
7 p.m. 8K to Half Marathon, Your Next Challenge

SATURDAY
10 a.m. Chicago Triathlon 101 – You Can Do This – Chicago Endurance Sport
11 a.m. Be Your Potential – Women’s Triathlon – Coach Lynn Flentye, Life Time Tri
12 p.m. Beginners Guide to Training & Nutrition – Coach Chris Navin, TriMonster
1 p.m. Take On Your First Triathlon – Coach Nic Ruley, Well Fit Triathlon
2 p.m. 8K to Half Marathon, Your Next Challenge – Life Time Run
3 p.m. Chicago Triathon 101 – You Can Do This – Coach Nic Ruley, Well Fit Triathlon
4 p.m. Be Your Potential – Women’s Triathlon – Coach Lynn Flentye, Life Time Tri
5 p.m. 8K to Half Marathon, Your Next Challenge – Life Time Run

*Schedule is subject to change.

Support Ohio Street Beach Improvements

The Transamerica Chicago Triathlon commits it’s support for the improvement of facilities  at Ohio Street Beach. The addition of showers, locker rooms, restrooms, lockers and additional bike racks are needed to support the growing sport of triathlon and elevate this premier training location.

Ohio Street Beach is ground zero for triathletes, and the PRIMARY reason the sport has flourished over the past 34 years here in the midwest. Chicago hosts the nation’s 3rd largest population of triathletes, with more than 200,000 crossing the Chicago Triathlon finish line since 1983, with a cumulative economic impact of $255M (est) over race weekend alone. 

One half of those athletes, more than 100,000 in total, completed their first triathlon in Chicago – the majority of whom learned and mastered the art of open water swimming at this beach. 

Expanding the beach amenities to better serve the existing audience will showcase the COC/CPD’s commitment to furthering a healthy way of life for these aspiring athletes, inspire many more to enter the multisport lifestyle, and further set Chicago apart as the nation’s preeminent triathlon destination.

> SIGN THE PETITION