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Back in the Saddle: Meet Grace Labinski

Posted on Wed, 22 Jun 2011 01:00:00 -07:00

Back in the Saddle: Meet Grace Labinski


When TRX Community member Grace Labinski found out she was selected to attend the Matt Dixon Triathlon Training Camp in Arizona in March, she was stoked.

Having enjoyed success as a triathlete for several years, Grace found herself five races deep in 2010 when the unthinkable happened: she tore her piriformis at 70.3 Racine in July, an injury that sidelined her for the rest of the season… and also from competing in Ironman Wisconsin 2010. She was not able to run or bike until November, at which point she found herself anxious to get back in the saddle again. So when the opportunity to spend the weekend with top athletes and coaches presented itself, Grace jumped at the chance. She set her sights on a new training goal, Ironman Wisconsin 2012, and took off for Tucson. “I was ready to have my butt kicked,” she says.

Upon arrival, she was warmly welcomed by camp director and elite endurance coach Matt Dixon... and then the work began. Matt and his team of world-class experts wasted no time in sharing with Grace and other attendees the training secrets that have helped Matt’s pro athletes achieve 37 podiums in major events over the past year.

One of those secrets is the TRX Suspension Trainer; Matt has long been incorporating TRX Training into the routines of his top athletes from James Cotter to Chris Lieto. Over the course of the four day camp, Grace and other attendees learned a variety of TRX-specific exercises for triathlon training including running drills, swimming technique and riding skills (more on this next month!) as well as functional strength exercises and movements taught by TRX Trainer Ryan Stockton.

“The functional strength exercises on the TRX are designed to help optimize athlete performance while minimize injury risk,” says Ryan. “Functional strength is incredibly important to triathletes due to their intense training and the need to stay balanced to perform their best.”

This is something with which Grace has firsthand knowledge, having used the TRX in her rehab. “Grace attributed functional strength to keeping her training, post injury,” says Ryan. Indeed, when she was forced to abandon her regular training regime, Grace started taking TRX classes at her local Y to remain active, and she credits the TRX with keeping her competitive spirit alive and well.

After her time in Tucson, this spirit is burning brighter than ever before. Grace plans to carry the knowledge and confidence gained at the camp into her training and competitions this year. And when the gun goes off next year at Ironman Wisconsin, Grace will be raring to go. “The camp was one of the best experiences of my life,” says Grace. “It helped me get my motivation back. I'm ready to compete again!”

Have you used the TRX Suspension Trainer to rehab an injury or train for an upcoming event? If so, share your success story below.

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