This week we have a special visitor in Seattle. Lara Brown is up here for the first time visiting her new home in Redmond, Washington. Her husband, who is lucky enough to be named Ben, just got a job at Microsoft, and has damned his wife to soggy gray winter training. Lara will stay in San Fran until the end of the year, but this week and next she’s visiting her man before she gets into her peak training cycle leading up to the Clearwater 70.3 (where she’s going to take names and leave bruises).
While visiting, she’s been asking a lot of questions about where, when and who to train with. I’ve grown up here, and been training for the past nine months, and this made me realize that I still haven’t answered those questions for myself. Referred her to Chris Tremonte, who lives in Redmond, but his answers were so detailed and long that we were both more confused than before. The fact is, Seattle doesn’t have much of a pro triathlete scene, and finding people to train with is tough because everyone has very different schedules, and lives nowhere near each other.
I was able to find a couple cool training venues while trying to help out Lara, and it may really improve my training as well. Here’s a bit about that:
Husky Triathlon is the University of Washington’s tri team. It seems like a small group, but there’s a lot of enthusiasm. (if you read the October issue of Inside Triathlon, you’ll know that training with a team is HUGE for me. An added bonus of joining is that when I miss class for a race it’s counts as an official school activity, and my grade can’t be docked for it.
Seattle Multisport (excuse the lame website, I hate embedded music), is run by Tim Becker, who used to work for Computrainer, and as a coach he is well known in the area. I tagged along with the Husky Triathlon Team and was able to do my bike intervals on a Computrainer with 7 other people. All our trainers were connected to a computer so we could race, watch each other’s stats, and talk s**t for the full 90 minutes. It was a blast, and I’m going to make this workout a part of my weekly schedule.
Club Northwest is a running group that has Wednesday night track workouts lead by coach Tim Cotner. He’s a retired UW x-country coach who doesn’t ask for monetary compensation for running the workouts, and in addition to being a little quirky (I like odd people, they’re interesting), he’s a really nice and knowledgeable guy. It’s amazing how much faster you run when you have 6 other guys to do your intervals with.
Husky Masters is a masters swimming program run at the U of Washington. It’s open to anyone, but students get a pretty good discount on monthy dues. The procedes go to benefit the varsity program. It’s five nights a week, and the workouts are usually 4-5k in 80 minutes, which is a solid workout. The coaches throw in a lot of stroke work, but I ignore it. A strong breaststroke isn’t going to make me a faster triathlete.
I also just joined the cycling team, Pazzo Velo, or First Rate Mortgage, which means I have people to ride with and to learn how to ride like a real cyclist (let’s face it, as triathletes, we really suck at cycling, we’re just a motor with no brain). The new team, in addition to all the new venues made this week one of my most fun weeks of training. Unfortunately, it all took place in Seattle, and Lara didn’t get as much out of it as I’d hoped. I’ll keep trying to find new stuff, but I’m totally stoked on some new training partners. (Brian is also hoping to join Pazzo Velo, so I don’t have to worry about him getting jealous).