Sunday, February 28, 2010

Did you know that one-third of the Blanchard Park YMCA members need financial assistance?

And we in the BPY Tri Club are very fortunate. We have 6 workouts a week that are geared just for us and a dedicated Coach. We also do NOT to have to pay extra club dues (most tri clubs are NOT free!).

So how can we give back and help others?

Well, one easy way is to simply participate in club events where the proceeds go toward the Blanchard Park Y scholarship fund, such as the swim clinics taught by Coach Beth Barnes. For $15 you not only get help with your swimming, you are helping a great cause. Stay tuned for the new date of the second swim clinic!

Another way to help is getting involved with the scholarship campaign. All those who are interested are invited to attend a meeting/training on Wednesday, 3/3 from 7-8 PM at the Blanchard Park YMCA. In addition, anyone who is getting involved is invited to attend a Scholarship Kick-off Celebration at the Lake Nona YMCA on Friday, 3/5 from 6:30-8 PM (this a family friendly celebration with food and activities).

The BPY Tri Club point of contacts (POCs) for the scholarship program are Pastor Paul and Juli von Werder and Coach Beth Barnes. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment here, use the blog contact form (see far right column) or contact them directly. For more info about the scholarship program, CLICK HERE to view a brochure.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Can you believe it? Another cold front!

While we have been basking in an 81-82 deg heated pool, some of the local swimming holes are probably down in the low 60's right now. Others that are spring fed are staying at a constant 72 degs. I haven't heard back yet from the race organizers what the water temp is at Moss Park where Wildman will be held in two weeks -- yes, TWO weeks!! -- but those signed up will probably want to wear a wetsuit (unless you're one of those hardcore swimmers who can swim in any water temps in just your swimsuit).

For those new to tris, there are basically two types of triathlon wetsuits, which are designed for swimming as opposed to surfing and diving wetsuits: a full wetsuit (i.e., one with sleeves) and a sleeveless wetsuit.

Which one to wear depends on personal preference and water temperature. When the water temperature is 65 or below, many people prefer to wear a full wetsuit because the extra neoprene around the arms will help keep the body warmer (Coach Beth is one of them). However, that extra neoprene can also cause more shoulder/arm fatigue, especially when swimming at high intensity, so some prefer wearing a sleeveless wetsuit when swimming shorter distances even in cold water (Coach Jacklynn is in this camp). When swimming in warmer water up to the allowed limits (USAT Rule 4.4 discusses when wetsuits are allowed), sleeveless wetsuits are more commonly used to avoid overheating. Regardless of which you wear, a wetsuit makes swimming EASIER by providing added buoyancy so unless you are a great swimmer already, wetsuits are your FRIENDS!

Now, if you've never worn a wetsuit before, here are two YouTube videos that you will find helpful. The first one with pro triathlete Katya Meyers covers the basics of putting on and taking off a wetsuit. The second one with Ironman World Champion Chris McCormack shows a little trick with a plastic bag that makes putting on a wetsuit even easier.

And for those who need to get a wetsuit, you have basically 3 options:
(1) buy one new or used, (2) rent one or (3) borrow one.

(1) If you know you will swimming in several events where wetsuits will be allowed, you'll probably want to get your own. Wetsuit prices vary greatly but you might be able to find some new ones for as low as $99 (see There are many places online to buy new ones if you google "triathlon wetsuits". If anyone knows of a place around here that sells them so folks can try one on, please respond in the comments below. Used ones can be found on eBay or if anyone in the club is interested in selling theirs, please post a comment with info about the wetsuit (brand, model, gender, size, condition) and the asking price. If you are considering buying a new one, Buying a Triathlon Wetsuit for the Swim Leg of a Triathlon is a good read.

(2) If you would like to rent one, two Eriks in our club have recommended They have both full wetsuits and sleeveless wetsuits and different brands to choose from. Enter some basic body measurement info and they'll ship you the size they think will work for you. The basic rental cost is $40 plus shipping costs (ground or air, coming from the Pacific NW area it appears so don't wait until the last minute to rent or you will pay a small fortune in shipping costs). They also have some used wetsuits you can buy and if you rent from them, the $40 rental cost you paid may be applied to most of the wetsuits they sell.

(3) If you would like to borrow one, availability and fit are your biggest concerns. To help with that I would like to encourage those who want to borrow a wetsuit to leave a comment below along with a size you'll need based on Xterra Wetsuit's men's and women's sizing charts (mfr sizes may vary somewhat but we can use this as a starting point). And similarly, if anyone has a wetsuit they can lend, please leave a comment below with info about the wetsuit you have (gender, size, type - full or sleeveless, brand optional). Maybe if we're lucky we can match an available wetsuit to everyone who needs one.

One more thing, if there are people who want to do an open water swim next Saturday (3/6), email Coach Jacklynn or leave a comment below. If there's enough interest, maybe a group of us can go to Lucky's Lake together. Their Saturday swims start at 7:45am and the lake is located by Universal Studios so about a half hour away from the Blanchard Y. You can swim as little or as much as you want (up to ~2 hrs) and there's a place to change and take hot showers too!

Update 2/27: Lucky's Lake was 59.7 degs this morning!

Update 3/1:, the Wildman race organizers sent me a link to which says Lake Mary Jane, where the swim will be held, is currently estimated to be 54 degs!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What a great turnout we had last Sunday!

Coach Beth Barnes, a Total Immersion (TI) Senior Coach, taught about a dozen club members how to improve their freestyle, some of whom were fairly new to swimming while others were more advanced.

The first thing everyone did was swim one lap (two pool lengths or 50 yards) so Coach Beth could observe their current swim form and take some notes. Then, regardless of swim level, she broke down the freestyle stroke into simple skills and assigned drills that everyone did to work on those skills.

The first few drills looked little like swimming as most people knew it and may have prompted some questions. Why are we doing this??? But she progressed in small steps building up the stroke and there was a new drill with each step. Light bulbs began turning on.

At the end of the clinic, everyone swam a lap again with their new freestyle stroke and, lo and behold, everyone was taking fewer strokes than before (i.e., had become more economical) and everyone was also now breathing on both sides (AKA bilateral breathing), which facilitates swimming with more ease and is particularly useful in open water (ocean, lakes, rivers, etc. - typical triathlon swim venues). And speaking of open water swimming, Coach Beth also gave some tips on sighting, swimming with 200+ friends in a race and even threw in a little backstroke too, a good way to still move forward while catching your breath if you ever need to.

Below are some sights and sounds from Sunday (TRT 00:52):

To view a larger version, CLICK HERE to view it on Vimeo.

Coach Beth emphasized the importance of doing the drills she covered during the clinic regularly to practice aspects of the stroke in isolation and to reinforce good habits. She also recommended the video below of Japanese TI swimmer and instructor Shinji Takeuchi. Not only will you get to see his ultra smooth stroke from various angles and in slow motion, you'll get to see what he's doing underwater too. Check it out!

To view a larger version, CLICK HERE to view it on YouTube.

For those who missed the clinic or would like to take it again, there is another one being offered this Saturday, February 27, 11am-1pm Date TBD (postponed due to weather). CLICK HERE to download the registration form. The cost is $15 and you may bring the completed form and payment on the day of the clinic. Don't miss it!

For more information about Total Immersion swimming, go to

Monday, February 22, 2010

Welcome Fellow Triathletes!

I’m so glad you chose to be a part of an amazing team. The Blanchard Park YMCA Triathlon Team shows dedication, drive, support, and unity. My favorite thing about this team is watching you all improve and accomplish your personal goals. This is what drives me to be a better coach. I love the positive attitude you have for yourselves and I REALLY love the encouragement you give to one another. When there’s a new face that joins us that might be timid or unsure if they can “tri”, you excite them by sharing your personal experiences and that allows many people the chance to see that believing in yourself is the first step to “tri-ing.”

I’m pumped about what this season has to offer. We have a wide variety of Triathletes ranging from “Beginners” to “Ironmen!” With two different schedules to choose from this allows flexibility for our members to pick and choose which practices they can make. Dedication to make practices will only make you better, guys. Be there!

Thank you for this opportunity to be your Coach this season. I look forward to hearing and seeing you accomplish your personal goals. Now ... Let’s get it started and go “TRI"!!

Everything I set out to do, I put my all into it.

Certifications: USAT Level 1 Coach, NETA Group Exercise and CPR.

Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Some of you may know Micheal as the speedster in our group who won the Deerwood 5K last month, but did you know that he recently appeared on CNN?

To help some of the many Americans who are unemployed, last April CNN launched a segment called The 30 Second Pitch where job seekers get a chance to tell potential employers who may be watching why they should be hired. As you might guess, they get 30 seconds to do it. Micheal was selected along with two others to give his pitch to the nation on February 16, 2010. Watch and find out a little more about the man who can run a mile in the time it takes some of us to tie our shoelaces.

If you cannot view the video, CLICK HERE to view it on CNN.

Micheal, we're keeping our fingers crossed for you with your job hunt and hope you will still hang out with us even though you're now famous!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Saturday, February 6th, was our club's kickoff party. A chance to meet others interested in triathlons, find out about club training and races, learn how to change a bike tire (tube) and MORE. If you missed it, you are in luck. Here is the online version!

The first thing we did was sign in by completing the Tri Club Registration Form. We were also given raffle tickets for a chance to win one of several prizes being given away by our club sponsor, Cycle Spectrum. Since you had to be present to win, no virtual raffle tickets given here, sorry.

The room filled up pretty quickly. If you showed up late and didn't get a chair, you had to sit on one of the spinning bikes and pedal -- Just Kidding!

Coach Jacklynn went over a lot of important info for new folks and veterans alike. Here are the highlights:

* Club practice schedule
* Things You Need to Tri
* Various Race Distances
* Various Race Categories
* USAT License
* Projected Team Race Schedule
* Women Only Races
* Swim Clinic, February 21, 1-3pm

For details, CLICK HERE for the Kickoff Party Handout.

Andrea, a club member and mother of three, shared some race photos and her inspiring story of getting into triathlons with no previous swimming, biking or running background at all. Her message: If I can do it, so can you. All it takes is the desire to train consistently, and to actually TRI!

Coach Beth Barnes provided more info about the upcoming swim clinic (CLICK HERE for the Registration Form). Pastor Paul talked about an optional club uniform that's in the works and Roy discussed FCA Endurance, a sports-specific ministry of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

After all was said and done, the raffle prizes were given out to some lucky winners. Then we adjourned to enjoy various snacks that were laid out in the back. YUM!!!

For those who could stay longer, Cycle Spectrum gave a live demonstration on how to change a tire (tube) on your bike if when you get a flat. Of course, you can't do if it you're not prepared so make sure you always carry a spare tube (preferably 2), some tire irons and an inflation tool (CO2 cartridge & dispenser) or a pump when you ride. If you forget, well, hopefully you're riding with someone who is prepared or you brought a cell phone to call for a ride home.

Thanks to Diane for sharing the event photos!

Copyright © 2010 - Blanchard Park Y Tri Club - is proudly powered by Blogger
Smashing Magazine - Design Disease - Blog and Web - Dilectio Blogger Template