Sunday, September 27, 2009

Las Vegas Tri and what not to do at a triathlon!

Today was the Las Vegas Triathlon. There were several athletes that I coach that did great! I don't have the final numbers in but I want to congratulate Earl and Tracey for both completing their first triathlon. Denny, Adan and Toshie also finished the race and looked great at the end. Once again good job to everyone. It was a lot of fun being a spectator and cheering everyone on. While watching everyone I noticed a lot of things that you should NOT do in a triathlon. Some of these were done by my clients and some were random people I don't know.

  1. Getting to the race on time, leaving yourself plenty of time to get settled BUT not getting there too early. Some of you know Denny (he is a Real Results Trainer). He is also a really great triathlete. I think he was like 6 or 7th overall today. He had to be the first person setting up in transition this morning. He must have gotten there like at 5am (too early). Earl on the other hand, the client I mentioned that finished his first triathlon today was on the opposite end of the spectrum. He got there so late he had to set up outside of transition because there was not enough room. Keep in mind I sent him a text last night telling him to get there early and not rush! I picked up a client named Adan and took him to the race and he got there at JUST THE RIGHT TIME! We arrived about 6:30am. His wave was going off at 7:40. The Half just started as we got there. Olympic was starting at 7am. This gave him plenty of time to set up, relax, and check out the transition in and out.
  2. Swimming straight is very important because if you don't swim straight you could end of swimming an extra 200 or so meters. I coached Tracey a month or so for this event and she is not a great swimmer. She did kick butt on the bike and run. I saw her swimming in a completely wrong direction. Sighting drills in the pool help with this and getting to the lake and practicing sighting on the buoys help. Tracey did a great job just finishing the swim being that she did not give herself a lot of time to prepare for this event. Great job Tracey next time I know you will only swim the designated distance!
  3. Take off your bike helmet when you go to the run! OK this was not one of my clients. It was pretty funny. I wish I would have gotten a picture of this. This guy came out of transition heading to the run with his bike helmet on! NOTE TO SELF TAKE OFF BIKE HELMET WHEN RUNNING!
  4. If you change your shirt for the run (which I don't recommend) put it on the right way. This also was not one of my clients. Some guy came out of transition with hands up in the air yelling yeah! He was so excited to be on the run. The tag from his shirt was in the front. His shirt was inside out and on backwards!
  5. Make sure you are in a small gear when you rack your bike! I must have seen at least 5 people that tipped over when getting on their bike going up the hill. None of these were my clients thankfully. Always rack your bike and put it in an easy gear. Also check to make sure your brakes are not rubbing against your wheel.
  6. Don't suddenly sprint across the finish line unless it is for the win! There are some people that suddenly feel the need to act like idiots and run so fast across the finish line rushing in front of other people. First of all most of these people are not winning anything and probably ran a 12 minute mile for the race. Then suddenly they need to knock everyone over by sprinting at the end. It is really stupid unless your going to WIN!
  7. The last thing I will talk about is your race packet. Don't lose it - ADAN! Yes, Adan lost his packet with race number and swim cap. He most likely left it at the restaurant he ate at the night before the race. Adan also lost ONE of his new running shoes last month. He thinks he threw it away on accident. How does someone do that? I told him he needs to get organized!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It Is The Little Things!

I have mentioned before, that I do personal training and triathlon coaching. It is so much fun to see someone complete their first Triathlon, Ironman, or Marathon. All of these are huge accomplishments. The average person couldn't even think about running 26.2 miles or better yet, running that far after a 112 mile bike ride AND 2.4 mile swim. As amazing as that may seem, I see even more amazing things everyday when I train people in the gym. Let me expand on this statement.
Last week I had three pretty amazing things that I witnessed at the gym. The first was when a client came in and said she was below 150lbs for the first time in a very long time. This was a big deal for her and I was extremely happy for her. She feels and looks amazing. The second great thing that happened last week, happened to a client of mine named Andrea. She has lost a considerable amount of weight (before I started training her so I can't take credit for that). She was overweight most of her life. Introducing new exercises to her has been a challenge. She does not like to do anything new or out of her comfort zone. Getting her to do push-ups was huge. She can now do them pretty good! We have discussed jogging and she refused to do it. She actually ran 2 laps around the gym on the track. She did it without stopping at all! It was great to see her running and NOW have the confidence to know that she can do it. The mind is a funny thing because it holds us back far more than our physical abilities do. I know you might be thinking, both these things are minor compared to a client who would do a Triathlon, Ironman or Marathon. To me as a personal trainer and coach these milestones in clients lives are just as big as any sporting event! The last really cool thing that happened was Saturday. I got a phone call from a guy I did not know. He wanted to know when I would be at the gym because he wanted to talk to me. I just happened to be pulling in so I met him at the front of the gym. I was thinking it was someone trying to sell me someone or a religious freak trying to convert me. It turned out to be one of my clients boyfriends. He handed me a card and said Thank You! I said for what? He said Karla got up for the first time in years on her water ski's! She did have enough strength to pull her up and they had been trying forever. It was a huge moment in their lives when she finally got up! It was so important to him that she accomplished this, that he came out of his way to give me a Thank You card and gift certificate (for Whole Foods - YUM)!
I thought about my previous week yesterday when someone asked me if I like what I do. I thought about all of these major things that happen to my clients daily. I don't know how I worked in the corporate world for so long and missed out on this job!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This Weekends Race and Track Workout

I just wanted to take a quick moment to wish everyone luck this weekend at the Mountain Man Event at Lake Mead! I swam with Earl and Tracey today and they felt like Michael Phelps in their wetsuit!
This week is Interbike in Las Vegas so I am lucky to be able to go look at all the new stuff! There is a cyclocross event at Dessert Breeze Park Wednesday night so we will not have a scheduled track workout. If you are free I would encourage you to come to the cyclocross event. I heard last year it was pretty cool to watch. I will post a track workout here and if anyone wants to complete it on their own they can. We will do the hill repeat workout next Wednesday!
We will still do the mini triathlon in the gym on Thursday night. It was a lot of fun last weekend so I encourage everyone who works out at LVAC Rainbow to come (well not everyone because that would be too many, but you know what I mean). If you are doing the race this weekend we will have a short version and you can use your wetsuit. Be there at 5:30pm.
The track workout is below. Keep in mind one lap is a lap around the LVAC track. If your on an outdoor track it will be a little longer of a workout.

Warm up with 5 laps easy. Before you begin jogging do some active stretches kicking your legs front to back and side to side.

Complete 2 laps doing surges every 10 seconds pick up the pace then easy for 10 seconds. Do this for the entire 2 laps

10 laps total
alternating one lap very fast one lap very easy even start the easy lap by walking do this 5x for a total of 10 laps
12 laps total
alternate two laps very fast one lap very easy same as above but complete two laps fast two easy total 3x
Complete 2 laps doing surges every 10 seconds same as when you started
Cooldown with 5 laps very easy walking the last lap.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Gym Etiquette

I want to talk about a few things that really bug me! I guess you could call it gym etiquette. I am a trainer at LVAC (Las Vegas Athletic Club) as well as a triathlon coach. It amazes me every day how rude, inconsiderate and just plain stupid people are in the gym. I am going to list some things that you should NOT do at the gym. These are basic things that I would think most people know, but let me tell you everyday, I see idiots doing these things.

  1. Lift weights right in front of the dumbbell rack. People do this all the time. Then, when I need to get a dumbbell they look at me like I am bothering them. STEP BACK ABOUT 6 STEPS!

  2. Remove your weight from machines after using them. I am amazed that some guys put 100's of pounds on leg press and other machines and then walk away from the machine without taking the weight off. If you put 10lb's or 500lb's on a machine, take it off when your done!

  3. Carry a towel and wipe off your sweat from machines. Come on, this is really basic common sense!

  4. Don't spit on the track, in the pool, in the steam room, actually ANYWHERE, it is gross!

  5. Talk really loud on your phone! This is annoying!

  6. In the lap pool don't just get in and swim in the same lane as someone else! Make sure you get the persons attention and ask "Can we swim circles". Then you can swim counter clock circles and not directly into each other. Also don't walk in the lap pool. It is for swimming laps!

  7. Too much cologne or perfume is gross when you are working out. LVAC is a huge gym. There are two people that I can smell clear across the gym when they are there. There is one guy that has on so much cologne and it smells so bad it grosses me out. Then in the morning this girl has on so much patchouli oil that I gag.

  8. Wash your gym clothes on a regular basis. This goes for guys mostly. Sometimes I get a whiff of mildewy smelling clothes and it is gross. Can they not smell themselves?

  9. If you think you may leave a spin class early DON'T get the bike right in front! Need I say more?

  10. Clipping nails, puma stoning feet, and blow drying your crotch are all things you should not do in the locker room! And what about those people who sit on the benches without anything on? Gross! Then there are the people who need to get ready while they are naked. Can you not get dressed, then blow dry your hair and put your make up on? Most of the time these are the really overweight people too!

  11. Sleeping on the bench in the pool area? REALLY

  12. Jumping jacks and sit-ups in the steam or sauna? RIDICULOUS
  13. Grunting? If your grunting lighten the weight!
  14. Looking at yourself in the mirror a lot. Checking for zits or whatever! These are the people not in the locker room but out on the gym floor.

I feel much better getting that off my chest. I am sure I could go on but I those 14 top my list. If you think of any more really annoying things comment on this or email me at!

Finally the custom triathlon apparel is IN! Real Results Fitness is on the front. The back of the top has my Coach Cyndee logo. The side of the shorts has Las Vegas Athletic Club. The back of the shorts has BioMechanics of Las Vegas. Here is a picture of the top and bottom. They will be available on

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Today was a tough workout. I did a 50 mile ride that included the Red Rock loop (which is pretty hilly) and then had to teach spin class. I took way too much time off the bike this last year and I am trying hard to get my endurance back. The bike is my strength of the three events in the triathlon and I am usually strong on hills. A good bike fit is so important. I really need to go and get fit on both my bikes again. I have sent several of my clients to the Bicycle Ranch in Scottsdale AZ. They are the BEST when it comes to getting a good fit. They will give you good recommendations for the right type of bike for your body. There website is I had a client that purchased a Cervelo P2 and went to the Bicycle Ranch to get fit. This client is very tall and his bike was a 61 (I think). When he got there the guy working named Chris, told him he had the wrong bike for him to properly fit. In fact it was impossible to fit him right on this bike. He could do a fit and get him in the best position for that bike, but in the end it was not a good bike for him. He ended up buying a custom Guru. He is one of the few tall men riding a tri bike that actually looks like he should. Next time I ride with him I will take a picture of him on his bike and post it. I can tell I need to get re-fit on my bike. I am having issues with my saddle. It is a good idea to get re-fit on your bike periodically. It is time for me to take my own advice and get re-fit!

There were a few of my clients racing this weekend. Nancy Dickensen is a client I recently started coaching and she did the Olympic distance race at Lake Las Vegas today and finished first place overall female finisher! Congratulations to Nancy. Nancy is an excellent swimmer and runner and has recently been trying to improve her bike skills. Her next big race is the Silverman Half. Good Luck! Nancy is a trainer with the same company I work for and that is Real Results (

Maria Cleveland is another client that got third place in her age group at the 1/2 Marathon in Big Bear. She did an excellent job on a very challenging course. Her next race is the Mt. Charleston hill climb and I am confident she will do great. Biking is her strength so I expect big things next weekend! Good Luck with the hill climb.

Sandra Michaels another client had her best time at a 5K race. She beat her previous time by almost 4 minutes. I train Sandra as part of the Real Results program. She has her last 10 pounds to lose and is training for the RTC 30 mile ride next month and the 1/2 Marathon in December. I would say she is well on her way to losing those last ten and becoming more fit! Great job this weekend. It just goes to show you no matter if your training for a 5K, Ironman, or Marathon that everybody has different starting points. For some of my clients it is so exciting to see them run their first mile! At first it might be a walk/run and then eventually they tell me they ran the whole thing. Then some will say "oh that is nothing compared to what you do". I tell them that I once started trying to get to a mile. It is a slow progression with small milestones that will get you to your goals. Goal setting is so important in life! Even more important is that you make your goals attainable, so you are not setting yourself up for disappointment.

Coach Cyndee Hats are now in! These are available in grey, pink, blue and white. They are $15.00 and you can get them from me directly. I also have them on my website available for $18.00. If you want one contact me directly or go to my website at Tri-apparel will be here shortly!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Upcoming Events

Here in Las Vegas we are getting close to several local triathlons. This weekend is the Amica Triathlon at Lake Las Vegas. Anyone who is planning on doing the triathlon at the end of the month or Pumpkinman in October as their first triathlon, should go and observe this weekends race. The race is the 12th at Lake Las Vegas. For more information go to

Recently I have been meeting a few people at the LVAC on Rainbow for track practice. We have been doing it Wednesday nights at 6pm. I want to continue to do a weekly run workout on Wednesday nights. I will be alternating track workouts with hill repeats. If you are interested we will be meeting the following dates and places:

9/16/09 - Running Hill Repeats - Meet off of Far Hills and 215. If driving on 215 on Far Hills exit go west and take the first left and park in the park near the round about. We will meet at 6:15pm.

9/23/09 - Track workout at LVAC on Rainbow at 6pm. Meet near the stretch area in the gym

9/30/09 - Running Hill Repeats - Meeting place same at previous hill workout

10/7/09 - Track workout at LVAC on Rainbow same time as last one

Transition training workouts
Going forward if you are interested I will do these starting 9/10/09 and every Thursday after until the end of October. The workouts will start at 5:30pm
Thursday at LVAC Rainbow Pool at 5:30to 7pm. We will be doing mini triathlons and working on transition training. Bring clothing you will race in and towel to set up for quick transition. This will be done indoors. Be prepared for a quick swim, short bike and quick run.

Brick workout and open water swim
The next open water swim at the lake will be on 9/9/09. I will be out there starting a ride at 7am. We will ride for about an hour, then run, and then swim.

Spin Classes and Swim Classes
Remember I still teach spin classes at LVAC on Saturday at 1:30pm. I also teach at 24hr Fitness in Summerlin Sundays at 8am. I also teach swim mechanics Tuesday and Thursday at LVAC on Rainbow at 5:15pm-7pm.

This coming weekend on the 12th I will be doing a moderate to hard ride leaving about 7am. We will ride West Charleston to the Red Rock Loop. We will do the loop then ride out to 160 and back. It will be moderate effort and for anyone who has not done the loop you should know it is HARD! The loop is 13 miles of hills and the total mileage will be close to 50.

If you have any questions about any of the above events or training you can contact me through my website and

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Do you train hard and can't lose a pound?

It is so common to see overweight people who cycle, run, or swim on a regular basis. These people workout hard by swimming competitively, ride centuries, or run marathons. I cant tell you how many overweight people run marathons on a regular basis. So what are they doing wrong? There could be several things that they need to change. I remember years ago when I lived in Hawaii. I decided to train for my first marathon. This was before I had a lot of knowledge on endurance training. I did weight training and cardio on a regular basis at the gym and that was all. When I started training (blindly) for my first marathon I quickly decided to eliminate all strength training. This was my first mistake. The second mistake was eating whatever I wanted. I was more hungry because, I was training more. I really did not pay attention to my diet. I just ate when I was hungry. The good news is I did OK in the marathon completing it is 3:59. The bad news was my body fat was probably the highest it had ever been in my life at 25%. That may not seem high for the average person but for me it was. I typically stay between 12-15%. I was fatter than I had ever been, and I trained harder then ever!

My weight did not change much (maybe 5-10lbs) but I looked soft and flabby. I basically lost muscle and gained fat. Muscle is a fat burning furnace and eliminating strength training was turning off my furnace. Don't forget to strength train AT least two days a week when endurance training. When I am getting close to a race I cut back to once a week. In the off season I try and strength train three times a week. If you are training for an endurance event it is very likely you will be hungry a lot. Make sure you keep good choices of food in your house. I tell my clients if they wait to eat until they are hungry they waited too long. Plan your diet around your daily schedule. Keep two important things in mind:
  1. Don't eat until your full
  2. Don't wait to eat only when your hungry

If I know I am going to get home late, I make sure I have a quick snack around 5. That way when I get home I am not starving and eat too much. Don't just eat to get calories. Make sure everything you eat has nutritional value. Cut back or eliminate processed foods. When going on long rides and runs don't eat too much. I see people riding for 2-3 hours and they are eating bars, gels, sports drinks the whole time. These things are good in moderation. If your on a 2 hour ride it is likely water and one gel will work. There are people who sweat a lot that may need a sports drink. Make sure you don't get one loaded with sugar. I like Hammer Nutrition Heed. It has a light taste and is not loaded with calories.

In summary pay attention to the following tips

  • For longer runs and rides eat what you need to get by. Don't go crazy with bars, gels, sports drinks. Find bars with only a few ingredients listed and eat only a few bites or 1/2 not the entire thing. I like the Lara Bar and ProBar. The gels that I like are Hammer and Gu.
  • Keep fresh food in your house and plan your day. When you get home at night plan your following days meals. Use plastic containers and take more than enough healthy food with you. Eat small frequent meals. Make sure you have protein in each meal. The Real Results Program is great for people if you need more structure. They also have Real Meals that you can buy. These are fresh healthy meals that can be delivered to you. You can find out more information at Don't ever let your body get hungry and don't eat until your full.
  • Eliminate ANY and ALL alcohol. I have so many clients that would lose at least a pound a week if they only quit drinking a few glasses of wine every other day!
  • Strength train at least two times per week.
  • Drink lots of water. How many times do you have to hear this to know that it is important.
  • If all else fails get blood work done to check hormone, thyroid and cortisol levels. This is problem for some people but MOST people can see results if they change their diet!

Good Luck and Good Training and if you have any questions you can contact me through my website at

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More Mature, More Fit and Amazing!

Most people who do Ironman triathlons think at some point how great it would be to do Hawaii. Not everyone can do Hawaii, because you have to qualify at one of the many Ironman events around the world. This year I have two good friends that are going to Hawaii and both qualified this year at events in the US.
The reason I wanted to write about them is because both of these guys are 56 years old. They both could beat guys half their age and do beat guys half their age in triathlon events. My friend Bill has gone to Hawaii several times. He qualified this year at Eagleman Half Ironman. He did something like a 4:45! Scott my other friend just recently qualified for Kona for the first time at IM Louisville. Congratulations to them both! I have been thinking about the fact that they are both so fit at their age. Then I started thinking about myself. I feel more fit than I ever felt 20 years ago. I know that as a sport triathletes tend to get into the sport later in life. So I can understand why triathletes start the sport later in life. Then I began to think about it a little more in depth. I have a client who is 57. She recently lost 24 pounds and recently said she is in better shape then when she was in her 20's. Her before and after photo at the top of the page.
She is now training for a 1/2 marathon. Who would think that at 57 someone could do their first half marathon. Well they can! Annette got her great results by following the
Real Results program. You can find out more about it at
I guess I wanted to talk about it because so many people think that because they are old it is too late. It is NEVER too late to get in shape and feel better. In your head it may be too late but your body can do amazing things. You need to have the right frame of mind and be dedicated to your goals. I have another client that is probably around Annette's age but I am not sure because she has never told me her exact age. She is by FAR the strongest female client I have and stronger than most of the men I train. She also recently has lost 15lbs and looks amazing. So when you think that you cant do something because you are too old then think again.