Tag: triathlon

Inspirational Member Of The Month: Aditya Pande



Aditya Pande came to Teresa Nelson and TN Multisports in December of 2015 being inspired by a local co-worker who we had helped complete Ironman Chattanooga. He wanted to do the same and quickly joined Seattle Athletic Club to work on his swimming.

At Aditya’s first lesson he was unable to make it from the wall to the flags (5 yards).  We called upon our super patient and technique driven instructor Nathan Palmer to help him out.  Aditya and Nathan met two to three times a week covering breathing techniques, floating, and eventually the full swim stroke. With learning anything new, he had good days and not so good days, but he stuck with it believing in his plan.

Aditya, also, was new to biking, having ridden a bike before, but still needed to learn clipping in and out, bike handling, and basic skills associated with riding on the road. He participated in our Lake Chelan bike camp in April, and several group rides throughout the year to conquer these skills. He learned to love riding!

Several months passed and although Aditya could swim we still had to conquer the swim in the lake and with a wetsuit.  Aditya began doing lessons in the open water, meeting with triathlon coaches Mark Webb and Dustin Gilbert, both avid SAC go-ers as well.  Although hesitant, he and Coach Teresa decided it was time to pull the plug and signed up for his first super-sprint triathlon at Lake Meridian.

Race day came and the gun went off for his 400-yard swim and panic set in.  He hung onto a kayak as several minutes passed. Nathan went to the race and with a little help from kayakers, they were able to encourage Aditya put his head down and get the swim done. He completed the three disciples of swim, bike and run in a little over 2 hours!

Three weeks later we decided to try another triathlon after a few more open water swims. His event was at Lake Stevens. This time, he finished the swim portion in half the time of his previous race and dropped 30 minutes off his previous race time. (Click here for the video)

Aditya refused to give up, showed up and made things happen day after day and week after week, for nearly a year!!!  You can learn a lot from this guy. You will continue to find Aditya in the pool perfecting his stroke, running to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and biking as he trains for his third major triathlon in California, the  Oceanside 70.3 in April 2017 which is quickly approaching!!!

Dustin, Mark, Nathan, Teresa and a team full of athletes were so excited to see Aditya achieve his goals. His commitment to the process is undeniably the reason for his success.  We are very proud of all Aditya has accomplished and wished him the best of luck as he continues to accomplish more and more!



Inspirational Member of the Month: Gary Trabolsi

Gary Trabolsi is our inspirational member of the month. He joined the club in 1984 and has never looked back. He strives to achieve more while balancing life with work and family. At the club he participates in swimming, spin classes and the strength training. He displays determination and a willingness to succeed regularly. While doing a half ironman triathlon, he couldn’t find his “running” shoes so ran the entire 13.1 mile in his cycling shoes. Most have trouble walking from the cycle room to the locker room. He participated in triathlons up until hip surgery in 2008. Since then, he continues to do epic ride adventures around the state. He had a set-back last year when he fractured his knee cap late-August during a training ride. Although there was healing and recovery time, he still never missed a bit with his training. He was smart in building his training back up and displayed patience with grace and is back doing what he loves! His lineup for 2015 included STP, Ramrod and the High Pass Challenge. With all this training you are bound to see him at the café grabbing his favorite post workout snack of yogurt and fresh fruit.
Over the years Gary has fallen in love with the SAC, primarily for its friendly members and supportive and knowledgeable staff. He suggest that anyone wanted to start building up fitness to seek guidance from a professional trainer and make sure it is “do-able and fun”. By sticking with a plan you will see changes in the mind and body. Once settled into a routine, he suggests, then to try new things and step outside your comfort zone, to keep things interesting and fun.
Gary participates in all he does because he loves challenging his body and heart, and it shows. And ultimately, that is why he has been chosen as SAC inspirational member of the month.

Inspirational Member of The Month: Josh Gardiner


While viewing the Ironman World Championships on television, Josh Gardiner became fascinated by the torturous adventure of this “monster” endurance event. Alongside, a little nudge from his brother to get in shape, the two inspired each other to sign up for a triathlon.


Quickly realizing he was clueless about the sport, a google search popped-up with triathlon coach Teresa Nelson in the feed. Josh not only plunged himself into the pool for lessons with Teresa, but he also found himself embracing the culture of the sport. So, he signed up at Seattle Athletic Club, joined the TN Multisport triathlon team and worked full-time with coach Mark Webb.


And now, four years later and a few obstacles to jump, Josh dropped over an hour off his best performance at Ironman Whistler with a time of elevn hours and forty-two minutes.


“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Thomas A. Edison


His amazing performance did not come overnight and involved some hiccups along the way. He nearly wanted to give up due to a couple of poor performances, missing some higher volume weeks and key workouts, and having a sprained knee which left him limping just weeks before the race. All of these caused doubts about even doing Ironman Whistler. But on race day morning he was on the start line.


Josh gets inspired by watching others working hard in training and seeing their strong performances at races, particularly his teammates. Josh had teammates, family, and coaches all over the 140.6 mile course as he was laying it on the line at Whistler. He was, without knowing, inspiring his teammates as well.


Words of Wisdom from Josh:

*Get a coach. Triathlon can be daunting and with the proper guidance you will be well prepared

*Best advice from coach: “Follow the plan”. The plan is prepared for you and to get you ready. Do it, no more, no less.


Typical training week:

Off-season: 8 hours of training 2-3 days of swimming, indoor biking and 60-90’ runs

Race Season: 12-16 hours with weekdays approx 60-90’ and the weekends stacked with endurance bricks.


Thankfully, Josh’s work and family are supportive in his athletic adventures and he is able to get his training in, along with balancing run events for his wife and soccer events and swim team for his daughter. In fact, his embrace of triathlons has inspired his own daughter, who did her first triathlon this year at the age of 8. She listened to her coach’s plan and did no more, no less…per her own father’s words of wisdom.

Why train with the snorkel?

You may be seeing a lot of swimmers in the pool with a snorkel lately. The benefits are tremendous! Everyone should be training with one.

Benefits of training with a snorkel:

  • Allows the swimmer the ability to focus solely on stroke technique
  • Eliminates interruptions of turning head to breathe
  • Increases V02 max
  • Increase arm turnover
  • Swimmer is able to relax in the water not having to worry about “getting air” or gulping water.
  • Helps swimmer aim for perfect technique while remaining horizontal (Allowing for great body balance, head position, rotation, hand entry, catch, etc.).
  • Sometimes a nose clip is needed when beginning with a snorkel to prevent water from entering the nose
  • Eliminates having to worry about getting oxygen
  • Able to practice repeated movements correctly over and over, leading to a properly learned and executed stroke

For more information, or if you have questions about swimming or multisport training, please contact Teresa Nelson

Swimming Faster… Tips from the Swim Fairy

If it were as simple as swinging a magic wand, I would wish the magical dust upon everyone. However, like many things, swimming faster requires work. Here are some tips to ensuring you swim faster, consider it magic dust!

  1. Frequency in swimming is key. Collegiate and National level swimmers train the most “time” of any other sport around (or darn near close to it). Why is this? Humans are land animals and to really get efficient in the water, you need to be in the water. For triathletes here is a rule of thumb for swimming frequency (times you get in the water each week).

    1-2 times per week: Swim maintenance. This is the minimum amount of time to be able to maintain your current fitness in the pool.
    3-4 times per week: This is where an athlete will see the biggest gains occur exponentially in their swim speed and technique.
    5+ times: The athlete will continue to see more gains in the pool but at a lesser rate exponentially. For the athlete REALLY aiming to improve then 5+ days a week is the way to go.

    *Remember frequency trumps duration!

  2. Consistency on a daily/weekly basis. Swimming is about consistency. If you swim 3 times a week one week and none the next you have lost the ever-so-talked-about “feel for the water”. It takes a whole other week of 3+ times in the water to get this natural “feel” back. The feel for the water is a term used to describe feeling a strong catch and feeling your body move strongly through the water. When you lose this feel you have a feeling of “weakness” in your stroke.

    *Swim regularly week, after week, after week!

  3. Swim with a purpose. Arrive at the pool with a workout, goal paces, goal times, and a plan. A typical workout should look similar to this:
    • Warm up
    • Drills
    • Main Set (with focus on strength, pacing, speed, recovery, or endurance)
    • Cool Down

    *Identify what your goal is for each session!

  4. Document. Document your training in your plan. Record paces, rest periods, and specific workout details. Swimming blindly (or training blindly) gives you no concrete evidence to see improvements. Throughout the years you may reference previous workouts, where you are at in your training plan, in order to ensure you are making progress in the right direction.

    *Record your data!

  5. Seek consistent swim lessons. Doing one swim lesson will help. But consistent guidance is important for success. Often swimmers will “over correct” their new form. By having a lesson set up 2-3 weeks apart then the correction can be made by the instructor before the new stroke become a bad habit. Filming (above and below) water is also super beneficial in making your stroke improvements.

    *Seek advice of an experienced swim instructor for swim and video analysis!

  6. Swim with a group. Masters swim classes, or swimming with teammates is not only more fun it helps you pace your swims better when swimming alongside those of equal ability and inch out that extra bit of speed once in a while that can be difficult to find on your own.

    *Swim with friends!

Post these reminders in a place you see often and make sure you are practicing all your magical tips!

10 Tips to Prepare for Your First Triathlon

  1. Research! Know the distances and the course. As a newbie short distance are best to start with. The more prepared you are the less worry and anxiety you will have on race day. If you can practice on the course ahead of time then do it. Or drive the course so you know what to expect. If you are unable to do either then at the very least study the course maps, elevations, and go to your pre-race meeting with any questions.
  2. Practice swimming in the open water. Many athletes are very comfortable in the pool but the open water throws many new elements at you. Buddy up and practice ahead of time. If you are wearing a wetsuit make sure to practice in it at least 2-3 times before race day.
  3. Determine your race gear early and practice in it! This includes shoes, race kit, hat, etc. Get comfortable with your attire!
  4. Bring “extras”. Extra clothing on race day to stay warm and to change into post race, extra food to munch, and extra fluids to sip before race.
  5. Seek advice from experienced coaches/athletes. Pick 1-3 trusted sources and learn from them. Use their advice to help guide your training and racing strategies.
  6. Practice running off the bike often. This is a big shocker if you don’t practice it. Even just running for 10-15’ after each bike ride will make a difference come race day.
  7. Don’t try anything new on race day. No need to change your sports-nutrition, your breakfast, or attire, etc on game day. It is easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing. When race day comes, everything should have been tested and dialed in. Follow your game plan.
  8. Pick a location to meet your friends/family post race. It can get busy and the worst is not being able to find your loved ones after a phenomenal race!
  9. Get your bike tuned. Make sure your bike gears, chain ring, tires, etc are cleaned and up to date. Make sure to book your tune-up appointment early to ensure the shop can get you in!
  10. Have fun!!! Race day is about celebrating!

Triathletes Checklist – What’s in Your Bag?

Have you considered participating in your first Triathlon in 2012? Or are you the type of athlete who always seems to forget something on race day? Here’s a quick list of essential items that should be in every triathletes bag for their next event.


  • Goggles
  • Cap
  • Timing Chip
  • Timing Chip Strap
  • Wetsuit/Speed suit
  • Tri Top
  • Tri Bottoms
  • Watch
  • Body Glide
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen


  • Bike
  • Pump
  • Cartridges
  • Tubes
  • Helmet
  • Helmet number
  • Glasses
  • Bike Shoes
  • Waterbottle
  • Fuel (water/electrolytes/gels/bars/etc)
  • Race Belt
  • Race Number
  • Socks


  • Run Shoes
  • Visor/Hat
  • Gels

Post Race:

  • Change of Clothes
  • Fresh shoes
  • Recovery Food

Seattle Athletic Club Downtown is proud to have USAT Level II Triathlon Coach, Teresa Nelson along with her team of supporting coaches leading our multi-sport program. For more information on training for multi-sport events, please contact Teresa at tnelson@sacdt.com.

Tempo Trainers…What are they and why do I need to know how to use one?

If you are a swimmer you have realized there are many…MANY aspects to our sport. Understanding the ability to combine stroke rate (tempo) and distance per stroke in order to increase speed and power output in swimming is very important. Being able to utilize this knowledge with understanding the biomechanics, physiology and training zones is also instrumental in being a successful swimmer.

Those are a lot of big words and we haven’t even gotten in the pool to start stroke mechanics yet! That’s why you hopefully have a coach or an instructor to help you in your swimming. From the beginner, to novice, to elite swimmer… we ALL need instruction in this great sport!

A few years back a scientist from New Zealand developed a little device that has made swimming more fun, more exact and more about the science of the sport and physiology. The Tempo Trainer (TT).

The TT is a little blue device that hooks onto your goggle strap or in your swim cap and basically is a mini metronome. It “beeps” at whatever setting you choose and basically….it sets your “cadence” or “tempo” in swimming. By understanding your combination of TEMPO and STROKE COUNT in swimming, you will be able to increase power and speed in your swimming.

For example: I want as much “distance per stroke” as I can for each lap I swim. So, it is better to take 15 strokes than it is 18. I ALSO want my tempo to be as efficient and fast as I can. By combining the two: tempo and stroke count… I am able to pull more water faster… which makes me a more powerful swimmer.

There is a lot of science in swimming and an even greater amount when discussing biomechanics AND training zones. But, the best thing you can do is learn to use the TT and how to make it applicable in your swimming goals.

USAT Level II Triathlon Coach Teresa Nelson and Outdoor Recreation Coach Brandyn Roark will be doing a Tempo Trainer clinic in November so this will be a perfect place for you to start! Email Teresa at tnelson@sacdt.com or Brandyn at broark@sacdt.com for more details or to ask more about the tempo trainer.

Recovery Massage & Maintenance Massage: Two Applications of Sports Massage

Sports Massage techniques consisting of flat, broad-hand compressions, jostling, and kneading are generally done without oil with the athlete draped (under sheets) or in loose clothing/ athletic attire. Deep gliding strokes with oil can also be used, with the overall purpose being to clean and prime the muscles by increasing circulation. The difference between Recovery Massage and Maintenance massage is in their application. Recovery Massage facilitates recovery from competition or a strenuous training session and is applied soon after the activity. Maintenance Massage is received on a regular basis by athletes as part of their training regimen. Its purpose is to help athletes maintain optimal physical condition during training.

Recovery Massage is administered for the uninjured athlete soon after the activity. It should last no more than 30 minutes and is essentially a post-event Sports Massage. This somewhat immediate, shorter duration application can reduce the athlete’s recovery time from an event by half and is designed to minimize the physiological effects of the activity. Several hours after or the next day, the Recovery Massage could last as much as one hour, although post-exercise soreness may have already developed. Jostling coaxes the nervous system to let muscles relax, compressions and deep gliding strokes increase circulation, promoting better cell nutrition and removal of waste products.

Maintenance massage consists of general recovery massage on the entire body with specific attention to problem areas, concentrating on tight and sore muscles, stiff joints and former injury sites. Sports massage techniques are effective in addressing tension and improving muscle flexibility, thereby restoring normal Range of Motion. Although the jury is still out as to the cause of post- exercise soreness and pain, broad-hand compressions of Sports Massage can successfully alleviate this condition: pressure used is administered lightly at first, increasing proportionally as the pain diminishes, until all muscle discomfort is eliminated.

By increasing circulation of blood and lymph, Recovery and Maintenance Massage carry away waste products or metabolites, promote cell nutrition, reduce edema and expedite healing of damaged tissues. They calm the nervous system and restore Range of Motion. Afterwards, athletes should feel relaxed and refreshed.

What is a HR Monitor and How Do I Use It?

A Heart Rate or Fitness monitor allows you to keep track, “monitor” and/or record your hearts impulses while you workout or at rest. Before buying a HR monitor, it’s important to first understand how and why to use one. Below we will review a few different styles of HR monitors to help you choose the best one for your training needs. Then we will discuss the why and how of utilizing this instrumental training aid.

Who uses them?
A wide range of athletes and fitness enthusiasts use HR monitors. Some people use them as guides in their sleep or daily walk to work to follow HR variations throughout the night or day in their HR. They can be used in everything from swimming to hiking, or cycling to dance class or strength training. The main focus is to understand WHY you are using it and find the best fit for YOU.

What HR monitors are out there?
There are two main types of HR monitors. Chest strap monitors and finger sensor monitors.

  • The chest strap monitors are your classic HR tool, the strap fits gently across your sternum area and the watch on your wrist collects the data from your chest strap utilizing a wireless signal. It then records your HR data and helps you stay within your target zones. These models most often have a “coded” signal ensuring that you are collecting and recording YOUR data and not your training partner next to you. These monitors are great for cyclists, tennis players, triathletes, runners, swimmers, aerobics class participants, etc. When you need a hands free device and want constant feedback on your HR zones.
  • The second type of monitor on the market is a finger sensor monitor. The watch/device on your wrist has a small sensor designed to take your HR from your finger whenever you find it convenient. You do need to pause in your workout to take a reading and this monitor is estimated to be 95% accurate. This monitor is excellent for strength training, sprint or intervals, short duration or metabolic circuit training and when you need quick feedback at the end of your sessions.

Some popular brands of heart rate monitors are: Timex, POLAR, Garmin, Tanita, New Balance, Nike, Gaiam, Suunto.

In our PRO SHOP we have the POLAR FT4 for $99.00 This hart rate monitor features: auto age based target zones, heart rate, heart rate target zones with audio and visual alarms, caloric indicator, backlight, graphical target zone, date, time, key lock, water resistant. This is an excellent heart rate monitor if you want personalized target HR zones set for you, a consistent read-out of heart rate, time, etc.

Find out what it is you want to use your HR Monitor for, read about the features and functions and then choose your best fit!