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Behind the scenes at MooMotion!

Fall is here and we are currently in production for the SS2016 season. People often ask what goes into production planning – the short answer is, a lot of time, effort and patience! It’s a long journey from the initial design concept to the finished product and I thought I’d share a bit about the process. blogcollage

1) My design process: Inspiration can hit from any angle so my pencil and notebook never leave my side. It’s filled with design variations, color schemes, fabric and ideas. Since functional design is so important in endurance activewear, I’m always balancing how to be realistic and creative. I’m working with lycra/spandex after all! Once I’ve narrowed down new designs, I turn them into digital CAD illustrations. It’s much easier for me to make edits to the designs digitally.

2) Sourcing: I am constantly on the lookout for the latest fabrics, trims and materials. I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best fabric suppliers. As a small business this can be a challenging area given I produce smaller quantities.

3) One of the primary reasons why I am in business is due to my talented production manager/pattern maker/sample maker/master-of-all- things-manufacturing, Sarah.
She’s tough, demanding and an unrelenting perfectionist with over 30 years in the garment district. I love her!

Sarah and I further narrow down my designs factoring in a number of elements – aesthetics, fit, cost to produce. She then cuts and sews samples. From here, we edit! We always go back to the drawing board multiple times, making numerous adjustments to the original designs. We see the samples on various body types and make further edits to maximize comfort, fit, and sometimes we discover unintentional “happy mistakes” that turn out to be better than the original design.

4) Once the samples are finalized we work on costing – for fabric, material, production costs and make further edits if we need to. Sometimes designs get dropped since the margins do not make sense and they are just to expensive to produce. Sarah then makes the final patterns.

5) Now begins the mad rush of ordering the final production supplies. It’s all about luck and timing since there are several different lead times to juggle. At the same time, Sarah marks and grades the patterns for sizing. This is a proprietary equation that we use for sizing based on our customers eg. determining the sizing increments between XS- S-M-L-XL etc. The toughest part about sizing activewear is that you can’t please everyone. You have to factor the combination of what works best for the overall customer demographic, their perceived sizing, and feedback from past seasons to make adjustments. It’s a work in progress!

6) Once all the supplies are delivered to the factory, Sarah takes it from here! I have no idea how she juggles all the moving pieces but she has a way of getting it done and making it look easy. Problems always arise in the production stage – need to order more supplies, sewing issues, quality control, but she handles it like a pro.

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes in to making our garments, but I am always proud of the results. It’s a learning experience every season but it’s rewarding to feel personally attached to every single piece of the finished product!

Wall Street Rides FAR (For Autism Research)

Come and join us for the inaugural Wall Street Rides FAR charity cycling event benefiting the Autism Science Foundation on October 10th, 2015 in Purchase, NY. Having witnessed the far reaching affects of autism in family and friends, my husband and I wanted to create an event that would support life-changing research and awareness done by ASF-funded scientists. This will be an amazing family-friendly day for riders of all abilities. For more info, check out http://www.wallstreetridesfar.org

 

Autism

Working her way to Ironman: Interview with MooMotion Ambassador Stephanie G.

 

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Stephanie ran her first race in 2009 and was hooked. After completing several marathons she took the leap toward triathlons in 2012. She has since completed several races including two 70.3 distances and will be racing her first Ironman in 2015. She attacks training and racing with enthusiasm, determination, and rocks a MooMotion kit like it’s nobody’s business! Follow along with her journey to Ironman – https://stephaniegranlundblog.wordpress.com/

How did you get into triathlon? Why Ironman?

I took a fairly common path into triathlon. I was a recreational runner for a few years and had finished a couple of marathons and I was looking for my next challenge. After a few years in triathlon, I decided to step up to 140.6 because, in my mind at least, that really is the ultimate endurance test. I’m not very fast, but I can still accomplish big things in the sport by pushing myself to keep going over long distances.

What is the most daunting part of the road leading up to Ironman? What do you think will be the easiest part?

I think time-management is going to be tough. There are obviously a lot of training hours involved, but, in addition to that, there are lots of other tasks that really add up time-wise. For example, you have the time to get ready for a workout (packing your swim bag and driving to the pool, planning your bike route, bike maintenance, etc.); foam rolling and showering after your workout; making sure to take care of fueling and recovery; ART appointments; etc. All of these additional things need to be planned for because they are just as important as the workout itself. Together, all of these small tasks add up to a lot of time.

The easiest part – and maybe the only easy part – is going to be picking out my race kit! Even though the race isn’t until the end of September, I’ve already decided I’m wearing the new Lime/Indigo Fulton Jersey and Revolution Shorts for the race. Growing up, I always planned my first day of school outfit months in advance, so I suppose some things never change!

Give us an idea of your training plan now and the next few months.

Generally, I swim 3-4 times per week. For cycling, I usually do a couple of shorter rides during the week and one longer weekend ride. For runs, I do a mix of road and treadmill runs throughout the week, with some speed work. I do a lot of two-a-days to fit it all in. I do have rest days, too, which are important for me both physically and mentally. Right now, I’m gearing up for the Challenge Atlantic City half at the end of June. After that, I’ll keep building up mileage leading into Ironman Chattanooga. I anticipate spending more and more time on the bike on the weekends and I’m sure that will be difficult, but as of now, long rides are my favorite workouts. I really enjoy being outside and appreciate the alone time.

Do you cross-train and if so, what are your favorite activities? How does recovery time fit into your training and what do you do?

Right now, my cross-training love is TRX. I take class as often as I can – usually once or twice per week – at a local studio, Machine M3. TRX makes me feel stronger and that is a benefit not only physically, but also mentally because it builds my confidence.

Recovery time is always challenging. I’m lucky enough that I have some flexibility in my work schedule now, so that helps a lot. I can make sure to give myself time to eat properly after a workout, for example. After long efforts on the weekends, I love taking naps, if my work schedule allows. I also make regular appointments at Grove Spine & Sports Care for ART (active release technique) and that helps a lot with injury prevention and treatment. As athletes, we put our bodies through so much with training and racing and it’s important we take care of them in return.

You did you very first triathlon in 2012. What was the hardest part about the sport when you first started vs. what’s the hardest part now?

It is still the swim! My husband jokes that I only swim so that I can bike and run and that’s probably accurate. I think it’s harder for those of us who learn proper swim technique as adults to feel comfortable in the water. And, then, of course, there is the open water, which adds its own challenges. I’ll get it one day!

What are your go-to products for training/racing?

I cannot say enough about the MooMotion Revolution Shorts. I’m sure my social media followers are tired of hearing me rave about them, but they really are that fabulous! They are hands down the most comfortable cycling/tri shorts I’ve ever owned.

With it being cooler outside this spring, I’ve been wearing the Cadence Cycling Capris a lot. They provide more coverage than shorts, but aren’t too hot and don’t restrict my motion in any way. The Versa Long Sleeve Jersey is also a favorite when it’s a bit chilly outside.

In terms of other products, I’m running in Hoka Cliftons right now and I really like the extra cushion. I thought it would be difficult to get used to them, but I felt comfortable in them right away. I think as my running mileage increases leading into the IM, I’m going to appreciate the extra cushion even more (because, of course, I want to get to the start line healthy and injury-free).

I use Assos Chamois Creme on the bike (which I discovered through the MooMotion Pinterest page). Assos is great for racing because you can apply it before the swim and it will stay on for the bike.

Finally, I always wear a Road ID. You never know what can happen when you’re out training or racing and it gives me peace of mind to know that if something happens, my family’s contact information is easily accessible. I do the vast majority of my training by myself, so this is especially important.

What’s your favorite training/racing fuel? Any guilty food pleasures?

I recently discovered Bobo’s Oat Bars and those are great during long training rides. They are very satisfying and keep me from feeling hungry. They also come in a lot of flavors, so you don’t get sick of eating the same thing over and over again.

I use a lot of Vega products as well, particularly for recovery.

I have a lot of guilty food pleasures, but lately a big one has been chips and guacamole! Avocados have lots of healthy fats and the salt is an electrolyte, right?

Any advice for someone who wants to get into the sport?

Patience is something I am still working on, but I think that’s a big one. When you are working on three sports at once, it takes longer to see improvements. After a tough race recently, a friend of mine said something like “you’re getting better, even if the numbers on the clock don’t show it” and that really stuck with me. The gains are there, they just haven’t revealed themselves yet.

I would also say start with a sprint and just have fun! I did a sprint as my first race and had a blast. I’m smiling ear-to-ear in all of my pictures from that race.

My Postpartum Fitness Outlook – Junk Miles Are Better Than Nothing

It’s hard for me to believe that at this time last year I was waddling and waiting for my daughter to arrive. I was extremely lucky to have an easy pregnancy and the ability to stay active until the very end. As expected, my postpartum fitness regiment has changed, but surprisingly, for the better. I’m not faster or stronger and I certainly don’t devote as much time to fitness. Yet, I rely on it more and the mental clarity that comes with it. What was once just a habit is now an appreciated necessity. It’s nice to see things in a different light and I’ve enjoyed the new outlook.

Priorities. Every parent will tell you that priorities change when you have a kid – I certainly can’t argue with that. “Don’t sweat the small stuff”, “take things in stride”, and “be flexible” are things that this Type-A-New-Yorker have fully embraced. Fitness still remains a priority for me even though fitting it in sometimes requires a bit more creativity and resourcefulness. And yes, there are times where I would rather workout than hang out with my kid. On those occasions, I do.

Cross Training. I’m a creature of habit with my fitness routine, but in the past year I’ve pushed the boundaries with cross training. And by pushing boundaries, I’m referring to the actual definition of what can be considered cross-training e.g. squats with a baby. I’ve had minor post partum pain, namely hips, back, arms, and neck so I’ve opted for more variety and less pounding of the pavement. In the past, I would have scoffed at the idea of taking a yoga, pilates or even a spin class. Work-out snobbery be gone! Wherever and whenever I can squeeze in fitness, I’m game. Whether it’s power walking like a maniac with a stroller, pretending to be in the Tour de France on my Citibike, or carrying my kid up 20 flights of stairs, I have no shame.

Junk miles are better than no miles. They say quality is better than quantity, but that isn’t always the case. This past year junk miles and I have grown to have an understanding. This is a big departure from someone who regards time management and efficiency as religion. Junk miles have been a source of mind numbing and mind enhancing relaxation and at the end of the day, easy fitness is better than none!

My daughter turns one this week and is getting her first set of wheels. As she starts to ride, walk and talk (hopefully in that order), I imagine there will be more room for creative cross training in the near future.

Interview with Jennifer Lentzke – MooMotion Pro Triathlete

A few weeks ago we announced our first pro triathlete partnership with Jennifer Lentzke. Originally from Canada and now living in the awesome city of Austin, Jennifer is approaching her 3rd pro season. When she’s not training, racing, and traveling, she splits her time as a registered sports dietitian and owner of TORO Performance Nutrition, LLC, her own consulting practice.

Jennifer’s road to triathlon can be summed up as – Prima ballerina, Baylor women’s cross country team walk-on, college marathon runner, first Ironman on a whim (11 hours, 9 minutes!), formal training with Hillary Biscay, hard work, dedication, and grit = professional triathlete. In short, she rocks and we can’t wait to follow her 2015 season!

Now here’s a deeper look into Jennifer’s world-

Favorite food: Salmon and peanut butter. Always and forever. And no, not together.

Favorite movie: Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby

Favorite Race Course: Challenge Penticton, formerly Ironman Canada. Tough, rugged, beautiful, awesome resident support and it’s where I earned my spot at Ironman World Championships in Kona.

Favorite training/racing fuel: Powergels (I’m a liquids-only-on-race-day athlete). I hydrate with Nuun.

What’s on your playlist these days? I enjoy everything from alternative rock to pop to classical to Christian. Lately there’s been a good amount of alternative rock playing in my ears…Chvrches, Hozier, Vance Joy… I’m also a huge fan of podcasts and have been really into the Rich Roll Podcast as of late.

Describe a day-in-the-life…

A typical weekday consists of a good mix of training and working as a sports dietitian. I train best in the morning, so after a bit of breakfast and a few espressos (my vice!) I’m off to the pool for a 4-5K swim set. Afterwards I’ll have a bike or run session to complete and perhaps one of my staple core routines (completed 3x/week). Most of my training is complete by noon. After re-fueling, I then take on the role of sports dietitian which entails meeting with clients face-to-face or over the phone to counsel them on everything from day-to-day nutrition, race nutrition, weight loss, etc. I typically schedule “admin” days (i.e. days where I’m working on nutrition plans and not meeting with clients) for my harder bike/run days as I find I lack the energy to productively meet with clients (i.e. my brain is fried!). This gives me the liberty to attend to regenerating (hydrating, eating, stretching, etc.) without being tied to a client schedule. With a focus on the half-ironman distance, I typically train 17-19 quality hours per week, and devote 30+ hours per week to my nutrition business. But being that I’m self-employed my “offices” (athlete + dietitian) are technically open for business all week from sun-up to sundown!

How does recovery time fit into your training and what do you do?

Recovery time is interspersed throughout my whole day and my whole week. If I’m not training or seeing clients, I’m doing something to help my body recover. This can be as simple as drinking water periodically and eating nutrient-dense foods every 2-3 hours to spending time in my Recovery Pump boots which help enhance circulation and pump blood through the muscles to help them recover faster. I spend a good portion of my pre-workout time in the morning stretching and rolling out, which I find works well for dissipating tightness from the previous day’s session and wakes my body up in preparation for another quality training day. And I can’t forget to mention sleep! I am not one of those athletes that can get by on small amounts of sleep and then catch up every few days or so. I function best on 9-10 hours of sleep per night. This is a huge priority for me and one of the keys to my success as a professional athlete.

What are your favorite cross-training activities?

In-season I really don’t do much else than swim/bike/run/strength (does walking the dog count?!). My hard days of training are very hard, which means on easy days, I’m literally swimming, biking and running at a snail’s pace. Essentially my “cross-training” sessions are the “stupid-easy” swims, rides, and runs. This way I’m loosening up the muscles that I used the day prior for my quality session(s). I’m fairly certain Austin tourists are walking faster than I’m running or riding on my easy days!

How do you find time to balance work with training and what keeps you motivated?

Time management is huge with my jobs! To be honest, being self-employed can be one of the hardest situations for someone to manage their time, but I’ve found a routine that works for me and stick to it. I have designated times for training, eating, recovery, working with clients, sleeping, even designated times for watching TV or getting on the Internet! I find that if I set limits and stick to a schedule, I’m the most productive which in turn helps keep me motivated.

You can ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you that I am hugely self-motivated. Self-discipline is a skill I grew up honing during my time as a ballerina with a professional ballet company and it’s been so valuable for my success as an athlete and dietitian. I also gain a great amount of motivation from my husband, who is also my coach. He is the one who helps me keep “momentum” in my training and continuing to progress as an athlete. I find progress so motivating, so I make sure to keep people close to me that help me move forward and progress as both an athlete and dietitian. I try to eliminate negativity from my surrounding environment as I feel this hinders motivation and progress. I’m all about the positivity, baby!

What do you think about while you are racing? What occupies your mind during training sessions?

When I’m racing I’m so in the moment! I really don’t think about much other than what’s going on at any given moment in the race. At the professional level you need “laser-focus” to stay on task. I’m literally thinking “how’s my power look? Am I eating/drinking enough? Relax, stay calm, focus, push!” If my mind starts to wander I bring it back to the present and complete each task one at a time. Just as in training, every part of my race is broken down into mini “chunks.” This helps keep me performing well, level-headed, and keeps my emotions in check. Once I’m done racing, I like to take some time to myself to reflect on a few things, particularly the people who helped me get to the finish line fit and healthy, the race organizers who are so friendly and supportive, my sponsors who truly believe in what I do, and of course God who has given me an awesome gift in my athletic abilities. The same thing goes for training. And it’s funny you should ask, as I recently posted a blog on my website about this very topic. Feel free to have a read: http://toronutrition.com/articles/on-flow-aka-being-in-the-zone/

Do you get pre-race jitters and if so, what do you do to calm your nerves? Do you have any pre-race routines?

Of course! Pre-race nerves are a good sign for me. They mean I’m ready to race and excited about performing to the best of my abilities. Generally I find that if I can keep my mind “quiet” and find a place a bit away from the hustle and bustle of the pre-race activity to contemplate, this keeps my nerves under control. My husband/coach has a very calming disposition, so he’s especially helpful to be around pre-race. When I can have him supporting me at my races I certainly appreciate it. I typically also limit my exposure to large groups of athletes (i.e. expos and pre-race activities) as it tends to create a sort of “busy mind” effect. After the race, I’m all about socializing! But before, I’m fairly introverted. I don’t have any particular pre-race routines but I generally stick to the same routines I follow in training with respect to sleep, eating, rehabbing, etc. I find that the familiarity of these routines helps to keep me calm.

We know you are a dietitian BUT…Do you have any guilty food pleasures? Anything that you absolutely crave and devour on occasion?

Oh yes! After every race I’m a glutton for a good burger and fries. I think the best post-race meal I ever had was in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada. I had this amazing bison burger with melted Brie cheese, baked apples, onions, and there may have been bacon on there but I suppose I was in a dream-like state eating that meal that I can’t remember. It came with sweet potato fries and homemade ketchup. Ugh…heaven!

Do you see any positive trends in women’s triathlon overall and in the pro circuit?

Absolutely! I think women are gaining ground in the fight for equality in sport. We are starting to see women’s specific races pop up around the world and a push for equality when it comes to representation of pro women versus pro men. There’s a huge push for an equal number of professional men’s and women’s starting positions at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, to which the WTC has responded with an initiative to increase women’s participation in sport. The Challenge Family of races has included a variety of women’s specific races at many of their venues (like a women’s only 5K). And in just a couple of week’s time, I’ll be racing Mercuryman 70.3 in the Cayman Islands, which has put together a women’s-only professional field to promote women’s equality in sport. Things are progressing in a positive way and it’s truly exciting to see these changes!

Luxe holiday gift guide for the triathlete who has everything…

A triathlete can never have enough gear…but living in a NYC apartment can quickly curb any desire or ability to hoard. I usually stub my toe at least once on a bike trainer, find a spare tube spilling out of a closet, and activewear is always drying somewhere in my apartment on any given day. With the holidays approaching, combined with these spatial constraints, I thought it would be fitting to create fun and fancy holiday gift guide that is more experience-centric. Here’s my luxe holiday gift guide for the triathlete who has everything.

1) Triathlon training camp in Mallorca – Why not combine training with the Mediterranean sun, sand, crystal clear waters, and tapas? Flow Fitness offers a range of triathlon and cycling training programs from group settings to 1:1 bespoke itineraries. We love the ability to customize your trip based on skill level and fitness goals. They also offer a wide range of luxurious accomodation options and handle the logistics so all you have to do is show up. http://flowfitnesscompany.com/

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2) Deep tissue / sports massage – Do we really need to explain why this is a great gift? Our local favorites include Great Jones spa http://gjspa.com/index.php and Soho Sanctuary http://www.sohosanctuary.com/

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3) Monthly subscription to the Feed- Snack happy with a curated box of healthy goodies that show up at your door each month. These snacks are geared toward the endurance athlete and can be customized to your dietary needs. https://thefeed.com/

TheFeed

4) Custom bicycle fitting- Give the gift of comfort, performance and injury prevention. We love Signature Cycles http://www.signaturecycles.com/#mi=111&pt=0&pi=13&p=-1&a=0&at=0 who can work magic on your existing bike or build you a brand new custom set of wheels for a nice chunk of change.

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5) An exotic swim holiday – Pools and laps get boring. Why not work on your stroke in an exotic open water location? Swim Trek provides fully guided swim tours around the world. Upcoming 2015 trips include tours of Croatia, the Slovenia Alps, and the Montenegrin Riviera. http://www.swimtrek.com/Home/Package-Search

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6) Ironman 70.3 Hawai’i – Awesome race and location..this will bring a smile to any triathlete’s face. General entry slots are sold out, but there are still IRONMAN foundation slots available. http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman-70.3/hawaii.aspx#axzz3M3osVuRv

Hawaii

7) Custom Cycling Orthodics and Cycling shoes – Feet sore? Custom molded orthodics can help decrease pronation, foot pain and numbness, and improve pedal stroke. If you really want to get fancy, you can create your own custom shoe. We love the options at D2SHOE, where you can choose from a wide variety of models and even choose your own colors and artwork. http://d2shoe.com/

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Food: Fueling my Lifestyle

Nothing gets me more exited than food. I take it to a whole new level while training for a race and more recently, while nursing. Both are time-consuming and both create an insatiable appetite like a bear after a long winter hibernating. I wake up hungry.  I think about lunch while eating breakfast, and plan my dinner while eating lunch. I’ve never been interested in counting calories or obsessed with nutrition. In fact, I’ve been known to stash pringles and cheezits in my emergency ironman bag. I once saw a guy eating a slice of pizza on his aerobars at mile 95 and considered bartering. Actually, in my sweaty haze, I just wanted to swipe it. If you are going to get disqualified while racing, that would be an awesome way to do it.

I’m not a nutrition expert, but I know what I like, what makes me happy, and what gets me to the finish line. Although I will rarely turn down a slice of pizza, I do feel best when I have a wholesome and colorful variety of food in my system. Growing up in CA, my parents had an amazing garden. We would go to the backyard to gather fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs for our homecooked meals. I took it for granted then and now realize how I was so fortunate that healthy and fresh foods were the norm.

yumSince having a baby, I think about food even more (as if that that were possible), but I also take a closer look into the quality of my input. Not only because I’m nursing, but for myself and knowing what keeps me going. I remember hitting the wall during one of my first post-pregnancy runs. I was so hungry and exhausted and it turned into a frustrating walk home. I underestimated what my body needed. Now more than ever, I try to get the most “bang per bite” as I like to call it. I consider what can I eat to keep my energy (and mood) levels up.    As much as it is for enjoyment, I see the direct effect that food has on my physical and mental well being and I fuel to keep pace with the lifestyle that I want to live. My daughter recently started eating solid foods and it’s been a joy to prepare her meals and experience food through her eyes. I think she’s catching on…

 

Food: Fueling my Lifestyle

My favorite bike destinations

There’s no better way to explore new cities than on a bicycle. All my favorite travel adventures have included hoping on the saddle – from urban sprawls to unpaved wilderness. Here’s a a glimpse of some of my favorite bike experiences across the globe:

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1)Kruger National Park, South Africa: Equal parts exhilarating and terrifying, riding through the South African bush is perfect for the thrill seeker.  With an experienced guide and armed tracker, we mountain biked across unspoiled terrain spotting animals all around us.  Extreme humility knowing you can’t outpace a cheetah? Check. Indescribable sense of awe and respect for nature? Check.

 

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2) South of France – Biking through quaint medieval villages, wine, cheese and stunning blue waters of the of the Cote d’azur – plenty of reason to hit the road. From easy to challenging, the terrain supports cyclists of any level.

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3) Barcelona, Spain – Barcelona is one of my favorite biking cities. The beautiful promenades and miles of bike lines let you to cover the entire city. There’s enough greenery, beaches and architecture to make your head spin along with your legs. It’s an urban cyclists playground. With all the awesome food, there’s plenty to fuel yourself too!

 

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4) Montreal, Canada – This is another awesome city for cyclists. Their Bixi bike share is visitor-friendly and with tons of docking stations so it’s easy to hop on and off to check out the sites.  The city is filled with green space and designated bike lanes which makes the few months of good weather that they actually get even that much more amazing. Biking along the Canal de Lachine is a must for miles of uninterrupted cycling at any level.

 

Chile

5) Atacama Dessert, Chile – Silence is the first thing you experience in the Atacama Dessert.  The terrain is vast and unexpected – You can expect to see dry moon-like craters, hot springs and volcanoes as far as the eyes can see.  It’s the perfect spot for taking your wheels off-road.

 

How to Keep your Tri Gear in Shape

It’s amazing how much gear triathletes accumulate. There’s always a new shoe, new watch, new wetsuit. Transition bags seem to get bigger and who doesn’t get excited for those nicely labeled color coded T1-T2 bags? We put a lot of effort planning and packing our pre-race checklist and by the end of the race, it’s usually a jumbled-dirty-mess-bordering-radioactive-funk. Here are my tips on keeping your gear in shape after your race.
Wetsuit –  Hello grass, sand and dirt. Rinse both the inside and outside and let it hang dry inside-out.  Make sure to keep it away from direct sunlight and high heat. If you used a lubricant, make sure to wipe it off. Now is a good time to check for holes or tears and perform the necessary patchwork.transition

Clothing – This could get ugly. Do yourself and the athletes around you a favor, wash it asap. Don’t ever let it sit in your dark hamper – if you absolutely cannot get to it immediately, at least let it dry completely first.  I like to add baking soda and vinegar along with my detergent before throwing it in the machine. If they’re extra gross, feel free to do a pre-soak. Lycra/spandex/poly don’t do well in high heat so be careful with the dryer. Better yet, hang them to dry.

Helmet – wipe the inside and outside and strap with a damp cloth. Hand wash the helmet padding and let it dry before putting it back in.

Bike & Running shoes – The conditions will dictate treatment but you always want to air them out. I like stuffing them with cedar wood sachets to help absorb moisture and keep them fresh. They may need a wash to which I use the same baking soda, vinegar, detergent combo. Make sure to take out the soles, open the laces, velcro and/or clips so they can dry faster. Outside drying is ideal however if you live in an apartment, keep them by a window with light and fresh air. Avoid heat and moisture. Once everything is dry, I recommend liberally adding baking soda at the bottom of the shoe before replacing the sole. Make sure to check your clips and and tighten if they’ve shifted.

Bottles- Give them a good scrub with a bottle brush and make sure to rise well, and then rise again.  Even the tiniest hint of soap in your water during a ride creates an instant bad mood. I’m speaking from experience.

Bike  – Give it a wipe down from the frame to your aero bars if you have them.  Clean/oil your chain if necessary. It doesn’t hurt to give the gears and tires a once-over and you’ll be set for your next ride. If the conditions were rough, it may make sense to take it to your local bike shop.

Giving a bit of post race effort can extend the life of your gear and get you to the next race a lot quicker. Stay tuned for my favorite products list!
How to Keep your Tri Gear in Shape

Strategies for Open Water Swim Anxiety

 

I have a fear of open water. It’s a dark and scary abyss and my imagination always gets the best of me. Perhaps it was watching Jaws at an impressionable age…( which would also explain my fear of clowns, thank-you Stephen King). At my very first race, I could barely get my face in the water to form a proper stroke. It’s never a good thing when you 1) look up and see no other racers around 2) a guy in a kayak is asking if I’m ok and then proceeds to point to the correct buoy 3).. it’s nowhere close to where I’m heading. As with anything, experience alleviates the fear and with these strategies, you can channel your inner Diana Nyad.

Focus on your breathing technique and make necessary adjustments: It’s much easier to develop a consistent breathing rhythm while training in a pool. With a lot more variables in open water ie. temperature, current, other swimmers, it’s often more difficult and you may need to make adjustments from your regular pace. Perhaps slowing down or breathing every stroke as opposed to every other stroke. I usually exert more energy than necessary at the start due to adrenaline, dodging other swimmers, and an increased heart rate. The sooner I focus on consistent breathing, my body relaxes and I can ease into my own rhythm.

Practice! – Seems obvious? Whether a ocean or lake swim, try to practice in that environment in your full race gear. (with a buddy of course!) Make sure you are comfortable in your wetsuit and your goggles. If you can practice in a group setting, even better. Even sharing lanes at the pool can be of benefit as it affects your normal swim rhythm. Don’t forget to practice sighting. In a perfect scenario, you are an efficient sighter and can incorporate it seamlessly into your swim stroke. For the rest of us, do the best you can and as often as you like to feel comfortable.

Visualization- Focus on whatever calms you. A friend once told me to try focusing on my left thumb and nothing else. I loved the simplicity of that. When my imagination starts to run wild and my heart starts pounding, I do a thumb check and all is good in the world.

Plan for the unexpected – WIth so many uncontrollable variables with open water swimming, you have to prepare for the unexpected. This summer I did the Brooklyn Bridge Swim in the east river with NYC Swim. It started fairly easy but due to the tidal shift, it began to feel like an endless pool. I found myself going from freestyle, to breaststroke, backstroke to a strange doggy paddle/ side stroke to get out of the current under the Manhattan bridge. It wasn’t pretty but I didn’t panic. You are allowed to change your stroke. You can even lay on your back, float, stand up if possible and take a breather. If getting kicked in the face or trampled at a mass start is not your thing, you can hang back toward the pack. In a perfect scenario you should be positioned with other swimmers in your skill level and not holding back faster swimmers or wading through slower ones. Also, keep in mind that sometimes the quickest way from point A to B is not the easiest. There are often bottlenecks at turnaround buoys and it may make sense to give yourself extra room by swimming further out and around.

You may come to realize that although you are never 100% comfortable in the water, the goal is to feel confident enough to enjoy the challenge!

Strategies for Open Water Swim Anxiety

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7 Race Tips for First Time Triathletes

I love first-time triathletes. Meeting them is probably one of the best parts of my job. They always have the same look on their faces – part fear, humility, confusion, nervous energy. It’s probably the only time when the sole focus is getting to and savoring that finish line–long before all the other distractions of the obsessed triathlete kick in (here’s lookin’ at you GPS, cadence and heart rate monitor!). There is nothing like the feeling of that first time across the finish line. I often get asked pre-race questions and thought I would compile a list of my top tips for tri newbies:

1. Race attire – What should I wear? The short answer – whatever makes you comfortable! Triathlon can be intimidating for newbies–hell it still can be for seasoned athletes! Therefore, you want to make sure you are comfortable so it’s one less thing to think about. Feel free to march to your own beat. Heck, I completed 3 Ironmans without a watch. Didn’t need one. Didn’t care. With that, here are additional considerations:

  • Are you planning to wear the same outfit for the race or change in transition?
  • Are you prepared for warmer/coolers temperatures?
  • Are you wearing a wetsuit? If so, does your race attire fit comfortably under your wetsuit? If not, does your race outfit work well in water?
  • What kind of short padding do you prefer?
  • Do you require extra bra support?
  • Are you wearing a race belt?

Ultimately, there are no right or wrong answers to the questions above, but it’s good to plan ahead so you are well prepared for race day. While not essential, it’s generally a good idea to have trained in your clothes at some point pre-race day. My advice is to do what works best for you and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

2. Race Fuel – Don’t underestimate the amount of nutrition your body needs pre-during-post race. Pack a snack in your bike, pocket and/or transition bag. The amount of fuel options available on the market can make you dizzy. Choose what works best for your body, distance, and goals. Most importantly, make sure you like the taste!

3. Lube is your best friend. I always recommend it, regardless of distance, temperature or attire. Here are some common problem areas:

  • Groin- anywhere you anticipate rubbing from the saddle or your shorts
  • Underarm
  • Behind the neck if you are wearing a wetsuit

Remember, anywhere on your body where sweat and moisture can build up is fair game for chafing. Prevention is your best bet.

4. Get organized – Triathlon can be the breeding ground for folks of OCD organizational tendencies. Doesn’t apply to you? Just give it time. In the meantime, here are some tips:

  • Pack your transition bag neatly and anticipate what you may need – extra socks in case of wet weather? SPF? Lip Balm? An extra hair tie?
  • The last thing you want is to have to dig around during transition. Set up your space neatly and in logical order. For example – Store your socks in your bike shoes. Place your sunglasses, gloves and race belt in your bike helmet.
  • It’s always good to make it a habit of throwing items back into your transition bag when you are done with them. Items are often shuffled around, so it’s easier to keep everything in one spot for pick up.

5. Know your gear – Ideally, you should practice whatever you plan to use on race day. You should know the basic mechanics of your bike and how to change a flat like it’s in your job description. In your saddle bag, you should make a habit of carrying a spare tube, patch kit, CO2 inflator + cartridge, and mini multifunction tool kit. Self sufficiency rocks.

6. Rules of the road and race etiquette

  • Don’t be a transition hog. Make sure to rack your bike in the correct direction and only take up your own space.
  • When passing on the bike, call out and pass on the proper side for that particular race. Don’t hog the road and always be aware of those passing you.
  • Be a good sport on the course. I’ve seen everything from shoving and screaming matches to awesome acts of kindness. I much prefer racing with the awesome category. Don’t forget to thank your race volunteers!

7. Take a deep breathe, relax, and have a sense of humor! Although triathlon is an individual sport, so much of your race experience is tied to the actions, attitude and camaraderie of your fellow athletes. Have fun with it!

7 Race Tips for First Time Triathletes

Made in the USA, MooMotion Continues Working with Local Resources to Create Quality Fitness Apparel.

Made in the USA, MooMotion Continues Working with Local Resources to Create Quality Fitness Apparel

Local Community Plays Active Part in Excellence and Versatility of Gear

New York, NY – March 28, 2014 – MooMotion, a fashion-forward performance and multisport wear company out of New York City, is proud to be celebrating its American roots in the fitness apparel industry by continuing to produce the company’s gear in the USA – all while helping women athletes of every level perform with impeccable fit and unparalleled quality.

As a Parsons School of Design alum, former Wall Street executive and Ironman athlete, founder, Melissa Moo Harkins, decided to combine her business background with her love for fashion and athletics and build a brand that takes inspiration from the energy and multifaceted lifestyle – working with local resources to create quality products, all produced in the heart of NYC.

“I’m proud to produce locally in NYC,” says Harkins. “From my initial sketch to the final production, I have an opportunity to invest and be a part of my local community, hire local resources, and take an active part in the entire life cycle of the product. Understanding the needs of the endurance athlete and reflecting that passion in my designs is what sets MooMotion apart – the fact that my local community can be a part of the overall vision makes it that much more rewarding.”

From top to bottom, every seam, stitch, fabric, and color-scheme used in MooMotion’s gear reflects the quality, self-made nature that standouts among American-made products. With product attributes such as color blocking, smooth and supportive fabric, flattering scoop necklines, slimming panels, and more, MooMotion gear provides women athletes with luxury fitness apparel and the confidence of investing in a well-made product line.

MooMotion gear is available to ship now and can be purchased on the company’s new website at https://moomotionsports.com/. For additional company information, high-resolution photos & logos, and product sample requests, please contact Maria Hennessey at maria@smakstrategies.com or 303.859.3317

MooMotion Brings Fashion-Forward Sophistication to Multisport Attire

MooMotion’s 2014 Collection Now Available for Consumers

New York, NY – January 3, 2013 – MooMotion, a fashion-forward performance and multisport wear company out of New York City, is ringing in the new year with a new line of quality gear specifically designed for the female triathlete community.

Built for speed, versatility and distance – without compromising style and fit – MooMotion’s 2014 collection veers away from the traditional idea that triathlete apparel cannot be both functional and fashionable. From top to bottom, every seam, stitch, fabric, and color-scheme used in MooMotion’s gear is thoughtfully designed to offer impeccable fit and unparalleled quality, with a feminine silhouette that compliments body types of all shapes and sizes.

“After graduating from Parsons School of Design and working on Wall Street for almost ten years, I decided to combine my love for fashion and athletics with my business background to create the products that I had never been able to find for myself,” said Melissa Moo Harkins, founder of MooMotion. “The 2014 MooMotion collection really epitomizes what tri style can and should do for female athletes every where.”

With product attributes such as color blocking, smooth and supportive Italian fabric, flattering scoop necklines, slimming panels, and more, MooMotion provides women with fresh and sophisticated options while helping them go the distance, through water or land.

MooMotion gear is available to ship now and can be purchased on the company’s new website at http://moomotionsports.com/. For additional company information, high-resolution photos, and product sample requests, please contact Maria Hennessey at maria@smakstrategies.com or 303.859.3317

MooMotion Selects SMAK Strategies as Public Relations Agency of Record

Boulder, Colo. – October 28, 2013 – MooMotion, an innovative start-up looking to bring fashion-forward style to the female endurance community, has named SMAK Strategies as its agency of record. Excited to add MooMotion to their portfolio of fitness and lifestyle-oriented clients, SMAK will be providing hands-on attention and personalized services in the form of integrated media relations, editorial coverage, and brand awareness.

Straight from the heart of NYC, MooMotion is creating triathlon apparel that infuses women with confidence and style. Whether on water or land, MooMotion gear is built for versatility, speed and distance – but with a unique twist that female athletes everywhere can appreciate.

“As an athlete, I just wasn’t satisfied with the traditional multisport attire that was available to me and I knew I couldn’t be the only woman out there with these frustrations,” said founder Melissa Moo Harkins, a Parsons School of Design alum and three-time Ironman finisher. “So in 2012, after nearly a decade on Wall Street, I decided to combine my business background with my love for fashion and athletics. With that, MooMotion was born.

Going against the notion of how conventional multisport attire should look and fit, each MooMotion piece is constructed in a way that flatters and contours to the unique curves of a woman’s body. From top to bottom, every seam, stitch, and fabric used is thoughtfully designed to help women perform with impeccable fit and unparalleled quality – giving women everywhere a product that will help them go the distance and feel great at any mile.

SMAK Strategies is a team dedicated to brand building for select clients by providing full-service, customized Public Relations and Marketing services. Offering a high level of personalized service, SMAK integrates creative ideas and strategic planning to deliver exceptional, sustainable results. SMAK’s current roster of fitness and active lifestyle clients includes Terramar Sports, Action Wipes, BackJoy, Skirt Sports, Bani Bands, Harbinger Fitness, and Venus de Miles. For more information, visit www.smakstrategies.com