Though I am lucky enough to be married to my personal trainer, that in no way biases me in my review of her work, rather as they say, the proof is in the pudding. To get there indulge me for a little bit about my fitness story.
Those that know me know that I am a physician at the Marshfield Clinic, they also know that I am a very active guy, involved with running, swimming, and biking. What very few know is that I had a long road to get to where I am today. During my schooling, I was very sedentary(translation – lazy). As such, I was overweight, out of shape, and yearning to make a change. I had a daughter with a son on the way and knew that I had to make a change so that I wasn’t that dad that got short of breath just trying to play with his kids.
I started jogging and began to rack up the distance. Soon, some would say that I was actually running. That was the good news, the bad news was that I was only running. Soon the inevitable happened and I had the first of several injuries. All cardio with no strength training was too much for my aging body.
Around that time, two things happened. First a group of friends was planning to compete in a Tough Mudder. Unable to run herself, Tamara became our coach. She put us through not only running, but strength workouts. I got stronger and the running got easier. We all successfully made it through that grueling 12 mile adventure race. Second with my newfound strength and stamina, I set my sights on longer events, specifically triathlons. I competed in several shorter events up to a 40.5 mile event in Duluth and was hooked. I set my sight on the granddaddy, an Ironman triathlon 140.6 miles of swimming, biking, and running.
As part of my training program to achieve this goal I decided to hire a remote coach (a friend of Tamara that was very competitive in the sport). She advised a strength training program consisting largely of olympic style weight lifting. Things went well initially, but because of a lack of hands on guidance, I found myself with a back strain, due in part to poor form and muscle imbalances. With my coaches approval, Tamara recommended that she take over the strength component of my Ironman Training. She had recently become a Certified Personal Trainer and was becoming more involved with TRX suspension training. I was skeptical at first thinking that I wouldn’t get much benefit unless I lifted actual weights. I reluctantly agreed to give TRX a try, but only until I was strong enough to go back to pumping iron.
Along the way, a funny thing happened. I was seeing a lot of improvement in all three of the events. Stronger runs, improved stamina on the bike, and faster swims. With my ongoing TRX training, Tamara was able to keep me in one piece through the completion of my first Ironman Triathlon September 11th in Madison Wisconsin.
Tamara continues to be my strength coach, Now just through my offseason and preparing in ernest for the 2016 season, I can say that her personalized program has continued to make me a stronger triathlete. I continue to see improvements in my cycling power and my swimming strength. I know that her ongoing training will carry me through all my goals in 2016! Thanks sweetheart!