Training With Valor

Where do I begin?

I guess I could start by saying it’s been a busy month.  Hold on, THAT might be a bit of an understatement…

Things go back to November when I mentioned how I had just completed a run focus training plan with my goal 5k race.  Naturally, after that race, my thoughts were, “what’s next?!”

I didn’t have to wait long to find out.  Suddenly my world became filled with early morning workouts, heart rate monitors, pull buoys, pt paddles, trainer rides, and the list goes on…


In other words, let the triathlon training begin!  But wait, things are a little different this training cycle….

I’m now training as a part of a team, complete with a phenomenal coach and mentor!

Words cannot describe how thrilled I am to be a member of the Valor Triathlon Project (VTP).  My coach is the extremely talented and inspirational, Mary Eggers.  As an added bonus, my good friend and training partner, Ericka, is also working with Mary and a part of the team.  Neither of us had planned for things to work out the way they did.  It’s just incredible the ways things happen sometimes.

Last weekend was the “ribbon cutting ceremony” for the Valor Triathlon Project.  Here’s where Mary and Jennie Hansen (pro triathlete and co-owner of VTP) cut the small ribbon…because, “we’re starting small.”


I have been training as a part of VTP and under my new coach for almost 2 weeks.  Let me tell you, this is exactly what my training has needed.  My training plan was created based on my fitness and with the focus of helping me reach my goals.

It has really opened my eyes in all areas of the triathlon: swimming, biking, and running.  With running being the discipline I have felt the strongest in, I wasn’t sure there was much new I could learn.  That is, until I began training with a heart rate monitor and target heart rate zones.  At first, the heart rate monitor felt tight, uncomfortable, and I wasn’t sure what the different heart rates meant.  Now, I can’t imagine not using it as a tool in a workout…(but being sure not to live only by the numbers, of course, right coach?).  It’s weird how when you are motivated, things can change so quickly.

Along with the Valor Triathlon Project team party last weekend, Ericka and I were fortunate to also participate in one of Mary’s swim camps.  This has been one of the most valuable experiences thus far in my triathlon training.  Warmups, drills, more drills, pull buoys, stroke counting…I’m sure I’ve left something out.

 I. learned. so. much.


As a part of the camp, we were video taped swimming, so our form could be analyzed.  Everyone’s videos were pulled up during part of the camp and we were able to view what some did well or what others needed to work on.  It sounds like it would be extremely embarrassing, but it was anything but.  It was all very helpful.  The simplest changes in one’s stroke can shave minutes off a swim time.  It was amazing to learn!  We will get a more in depth individual analysis and drills to practice within the next couple of weeks.  (More to come on what I need to work on!)  For now, Here’s Ericka being taped:


With a large group of people sharing swim lanes and braving cold water temps, we were bound to become a tight knit group.  It was enjoyable being around others who share similar goals.  I’m glad we were able to capture us all (tired and cold), but together.


With everything (the training, a coach, being part of a team) being so new, this is only a small preview of what I am sure are many new adventures to come.  I can’t wait to experience AND share more of my triathlon training journey.

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  1. Good luck as you begin your training for the triathlon! What an awesome experience!! I hope to do one one day, but for now I’ll just stick with running! Can’t wait to follow your training!

  2. Jamie @ couchtoironwoman says:

    Very exciting, Jenelle! I hope you enjoy having a coach! Mary Eggers is pretty awesome!

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