We sat down with Melanie as she closes in on training and prepping for tri nationals. Here is just a little bit about her journey:
1. What has training been like for you leading up to nationals?
Training has been very disciplined, hot, and a lot of learning about myself and my abilities. I have pushed some limits I didn’t know were possible which has been an amazing experience. I train anywhere from 2-5 hours a day, depending on the sport and workout. Some of the long endurance days are more time consuming than others, and I quickly learned it’s about being smart and keeping hydrated with these 100+ degree days!
2. What are your personal goals and hopes for the race?
My goals are to set a PR (personal record) for each one of the disciplines; Swim, bike, run, and transition. I’ve been working very hard on all of them and my times have gotten significantly faster than last year. I am aiming for a sub 2:20 overall time for the entire race! I am more than honored to compete at a national level to see where I rank overall in the country! But most of all I plan to go have fun, give it everything I have, trust my training and aim for the top.
3. Tell us how this season played out for you.
This season has been fantastic, making podium for each race I have done so far! I plan to keep that streak going through the rest of my season with a chance to win the Texas Triathlon series! During this season I have been battling some injuries due to some unfortunate events. So it has been quite a journey mentally and physically to push through and stay strong. But I’ve been very positive and continuing to push and grow during this season. Overall it’s been an awesome year, making new friends and being apart of the triathlon community.
4. What things outside of racing do you do to prepare?
I do power lifting and strength & conditioning at GrassIron Fitness. Keeping my body strong, my mobility at top levels, and lots of foam rolling to maintain loose muscles for maintenance until I can get body work in. I lift low weight, higher rep to build up muscular endurance. I love to do active stretching and agility exercises before all my workouts. It’s a great way to warm up and get circulation kick-started throughout your body!
I practice nutrition while cycling and running to fine tune what works and what does not during all the climate changes and different race duration’s.
5. How do you feel body work and training work together?
Being consistent with bodywork and going frequently can do wonders for your muscles and performance. It can help reduce the risk of injury, which in triathlon is important because of all the hours of training you have to put in doing multiple sports. Not only does it reduce the risk of an injury but getting proper sports or therapeutic massage can also help to fix injuries and speed up the recovery process. For me that has been an huge impact on my season. With the injuries I sustained from multiple wrecks I had this year it really has pushed me through my season, keeping me healthy enough to keep me training and competing. I think without the work I would have had to end my season early. Massage also helps to keep your muscles flushed out and feeling fresh, for me that is at the upmost of importance. After a hard track workout I struggle with calf tightness, so getting bodywork within the same week helps to release my muscles and keeps me pushing at 100% for the rest of my workouts! Foam rolling and stretching are great for maintenance until you can get some bodywork done, but it’s not quite the same as a massage. Massage flushes out lactic acid, scar tissue, increases circulation throughout your body, reduces stress, increases your range of motion, and just overall makes you feel good!
6. Do you have any rituals you do before each race?
That’s a funny one you ask, I do have a couple things that I do to help me prepare. On the Nutrition side of things to prepare for a race I usually carb load heavy 2 days out from a race, I love Italian food so that’s a fun one for me! The day before a race I only eat carbs for breakfast and lunch then a clean healthy dinner. I’m normally a highly caffeinated person, I love my coffee! But 3 days out from a race I start to deplete myself from caffeine, sometimes making me a grumpy person! The logic behind that is on race day when I take the caffeine it hits my system a lot harder so that my tolerance isn’t high and the gel packets during the race don’t do anything. Giving a lot more energy while I am out on the bike or run during a race. Another ritual I do is getting my hair braided. If you’ve ever seen me race I always have some sort of crazy braids going on! My hair is super long and thick making transitioning harder for me with the swim cap to helmet to running switch. I am very fortunate that my lovely sister always takes the time to do my hair the day before a race which takes a good bit of time and a lot of pain lol! My last ritual right before a race is just jamming out to a good playlist, getting into my zone and ready to have fun!
Thank you to all my Family, Friends, Sponsors, and Supporters that believe in me and give me the motivation to keep pushing Harder. You all mean a lot to me and it makes me feel loved! And thank you Austin Massage Company for everything you do for me and the community!