Coach Brad nominated Kristine Plant as our September Athlete of the Month. Kris has a fun approach to triathlon, and weaves in her competitiveness in a great way which makes it a pleasure to coach her! She recently qualified for the 2017 70.3 World Championships by placing 4th in her age group at the 70.3 Santa Cruz. Coach Brad says she has worked diligently and followed her training plan in preparation for her two races this fall (next up is Ironman Arizona!). Her steady gains returning from injury have gone well, and Coach Brad also recognizes that she has unique challenges with her work schedule but that Kris has successfully navigated them to maintain a good training effort.
We asked Kris to share what her life is like living in Canada, training and racing in such a northern location, all the while being an ER nurse with an unpredictable schedule. We also asked her to reflect on her big achievement at the 70.3 Santa Cruz earlier this month.
Enjoy her reflection on Canada, triathlon training and racing.
First of all, I’m from Perth, Ontario, Canada. Perth is a small town of 5,000 people, and I live in the country about 10 km from town. The challenges are real, and for myself it is the lack of facilities, very few training partners and long winters. However, Canadians have a long track record of doing well in triathlon! Think Simon Whitfield, Peter Reid, Lori Bowden, just to name a few. And this enthusiasm has spun down to local levels.
I mostly train by myself, as like many other athletes who hold full-time jobs, efficient use of training time is essential. Coach Brad has been great at working my training schedule around my work schedule. I am a registered nurse working in a busy emergency room often on twelve-hour shifts.
On those days, I come home absolutely beat, with aching legs. Coach Brad brings my schedule way down during my day shifts and my night shifts. That is key! Other coaches tried to get me to workout as if I worked 9-5, Monday to Friday. And that was frustrating. Brad builds my load back up to bigger levels as I recover from work on my days off. Some times I look forward to going back to work, to rest!
I have qualified for the 70.3 championships before, but then got injured. My running mellowed to a slow jog, and I ended up racing with 6 hour finish times. In my mind, I thought I was done being able to run well off the bike, and my qualifying days were over. However, Brad’s plan had me running track again. That was humbling. But, I slowly started to get some form back. I’m still dealing with this hip injury. I won’t lie, but after Ironman Arizona, I will head to physio to get it treated.
I went to Santa Cruz, to try to run under 2 hours again off the bike, and I wanted better than the 10th place I did in Galveston. I had a few solid fast runs prior to te race. Faster than I had in a few years, so I was hopeful. My swim was ok. It was freezing cold. I finished 6th place, after starting last. My bike was also ok. I lost focus a couple of times, and watched the surfers. Went to 5th place. My run was great! For whatever reason, my hip felt great and I started fast for me and kept it going. I didn’t feel it hurting until the last 2 miles.
I finished 5:37 and 4th and got a spot to the 70.3 Age Group World Championships in 2017!
I had glimpses of past fitness and I am real happy with my day, but it is really a reflection of Brad’s coaching. He answers tons of emails from me, and kept me on task the past several months. So, that’s how it’s done!
• Get a coach who listens.
• Keep them up to date with how your day went. What’s going well, what’s not. Provide feedback about what you think could be increased, decreased.
• Listen to them, trust their knowledge.
• And follow the plan to the letter.
Congratulations, Kris, you’ve earned this recognition. We look forward to hearing more about your experience at Ironman Arizona and the 70.3 Worlds in 2017!