New York Holiday

GW_Bridge_webTraining has been going well. I spent the bulk of November and December building back into full swim and bike workouts, and running on the AlterG treadmill so that I could ease back into running on the foot that took me out of my last couple races in 2011. And all of that was terribly uneventful. There have been no setbacks, and my fitness has come back faster than I expected. So by the time the holidays rolled around I couldn’t see a reason to stay in Colorado. Instead I packed up and took 10 days in New York City with Abby’s family. There are three Olympic hopefuls in her family, which leads to a much greater understanding of “I need to go train” during the holidays. Basically I could train full time without ever feeling guilty about missing out of group activities.

One issue I had in planning the trip was in finding an AlterG treadmill for my last week of less-than-body-weight running. I checked out the AlterG website where they have a map of all the places that own Alter-G Treadmills so I started calling every place in Manhattan hoping to find someone willing to lend a hand. Two got back to me right away and said they would love to help me out. Equinox Fitness was first, which is a chain of gyms in New York that offer a five star experience. I walked in the first day and say Kiehl’s products in the locker rooms, models on the elipticals, and at the end of my run I was told I needed to hurry off so that Spike Lee could use the AlterG after me. There was a 25 yard pool, a boxing center, a TRX class was going on followed by kick boxing, and in the next room there was a cycling class lead by Robert Pennino, a triathlete who runs Terrier Tri Team on the West Side. This was the nicest gym I’ve ever been to.

The second place to offer me AlterG time, and where I ended up doing the bulk of my AlterG sessions was Finish Line Physical Therapy on 23rd and 6th Avenue. This was less of an “oh my god it’s Spike Lee” experience, but also less distracting. They gave me so much freedom that I sometimes wondered if anyone even saw me come in. From what I overheard and saw, the therapists seemed really knowledgeable. They used the Trigger Point systems and taught how to use them correctly, which I like because teaching people self-care is a big part of recovery and prevention from future injuries. I didn’t actually have any PT sessions, but if I ever need a PT with a good sport medicine base of knowledge I think Finish Line is the place to go in New York.

ben_cameronTo the left is a picture from I ride I did with the president of the Columbia University Triathlon Club. Last summer I tried to be included in the Ivy League Championships, which was contested at the Nautica New York City Triathlon, but they left me out of the results. I guess having Columbia win the title by some 30 minutes would have been a little ridiculous.

We rode to New Jersey and did the same route of my first road bike ride in 2004 with my former college friend, Mark Backman. We go across the GW Bridge (above) then down to the banks of the Hudson. Ride north a few miles, then there’s a climb a little over a mile long. In 2004 I was riding an old Schwinn with down-tube shifters. It was so hard that I could barely get myself back to Columbia. I loved it, and that ride is what drove me to buy a road bike after graduating nine months later. Honestly, had Mark not taken me over there I don’t think I would be a triathlete now. Thanks Mark. This is your fault.

Needless to say, this time was much easier, and not just because of the badass bike that I was riding.

P1000158I swam with the Columbia Men’s Swim Team for my week in New York, which was a bit of a preview for ten days I’m spending with them in Puerto Rico for training trip. I rode around central park on my BH road bike, which I recently outfitted with some high end components from Full Speed Ahead and Vision. Then, just after Christmas I got the call I’ve been waiting for since my first day working at Speedy Reedy in 2005… It’s something so exciting it requires a post of it’s own, but I’ll leave you with this teaser photograph of Mojdeh playing with my dream machine.

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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