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Rock Hall sprint 2014: dual champions!

After getting married in April, coaches Dawn and Mike started our 2014 triathlon season later than usual on June 1st. That isn’t to say that we’d slacked off since Marine Corps Marathon–we did solid base building through the winter, Dawn raced the D.C. Rock n Roll half marathon in March, and we did some trail racing and a team training camp (between snowstorms). But we definitely needed a focused build ahead of Eagleman June 8. Part of that plan was Rock Hall, meant to be a tuneup to get back in race mindset and activate fast-twitch muscles. Setup Events are always fun and well-organized, and Mike had a good race there last year (if you’ve been reading our blog you’ll know he won!). Six days would be enough time to recover from a sprint, and as a bonus, the shop that sponsors our team, Tri360, was providing mechanics and had a tent set up.

Check-in was really easy and the weather was picture perfect. We both worked to get into the FAST zone after lots of long and steady training. (This would also be our first sprint since 2010.) Mike pulled that off well by leading his wave (and all men) out of the water with one other guy; I didn’t have as much mojo but at least stayed within 90 seconds of the lead woman. We each took a few miles to fully engage but had strong rides, and I registered the fastest women’s bike split. It’s fun speeding down flat roads with few turns. And the run–pancake flat, through the neighborhood and along the water, with an out-and-back to gauge where the competition is. I had a real breakthrough run, not only running strong for a triathlon but breaking my open 5K PR set last year by 40 seconds! With Mike taking the men’s title it was a proud day for Codeon.

Some keys to our success:
(1) Some speed work through winter kept fast-twitch muscle fibers active–fartleks, tempo runs
(2) Strength training, in the gym and by way of hill repeats, protected us from injury during a hard effort
(3) Consistent swimming is important for short races where the swim really counts
(4) Good mental fitness helped us fight our central governors (the voice in your head telling you to slow down when you don’t need to)–embrace the pain, it’ll be over soon!image

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About Dawn

Dawn is a top tier Age Group triathlete, long-time swim instructor, and soon to be a USAT Level I Certified Triathlon Coach. Dawn has raced 16 triathlons, including four half Ironmans; more than 35 road and trail races; open water swims and endurance ride events. She is a member of Ignite Endurance.

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