Growing up in Connecticut, triathlon was the furthest thing from Tyler Stewart’s mind. In fact, with an intense fear of the water, she was quite happy to stay on dry land doing a variety of sports from track to equestrian. In 2003, she did a triathlon as a dare and has never looked back.
Tyler burst onto the amateur scene, winning back-to-back Overall Female Amateur titles at the 2005 and 2006 Ironman World Championships, breaking the course record each year. She was also named Inside Triathlon’s 2006 Amateur Triathlete of the Year. When Tyler turned pro in 2007, her goal was simple: finish every race with a smile. Her rookie season included a second place finish at Ironman Lake Placid, an overall win at Cancun 70.3 and a third place finish at Ironman Florida, where she recorded the fastest Ironman bike split of all time. At the end of that first year, she was named 2007’s USAT Rookie of the Year for her efforts.
In 2008, she joined the LUNA Pro Team and continued to establish herself as one of America’s brightest stars in the sport of triathlon, finishing near the top of every race she entered. After some time off due to an illness, Tyler emerged back onto the scene in 2009 with a victory at Ironman Coeur d’Alene, setting a new course record in the process, and securing a top 10 finish at the Ironman World Championships in Kona.
Today, Tyler’s life is a constant juggling act. She and her husband, Johnny, are the owners of a thriving dog grooming business in the San Francisco Bay Area called WAGS. She somehow manages to fit in training to compete against the best in the world in between running her business, teaching indoor cycling classes at Velo Collective and TRX clinics at Fitness Anywhere. So how does Tyler do it? Preparation. Here, Tyler shares her top 10 tips for success when preparing for an event.
- Plan ahead. If you want to do a triathlon, sign up and then go through all of your gear. Replace worn or damaged items and make a list of what gear you’ll need to borrow or purchase. This will help get you in the right frame of mind for training.
- Get a partner in crime. Misery loves company, and you will be held accountable to your friend if you bail on a workout.
- Get outside. Spring is a great time of year, so enjoy being outside, and the vitamin D will do you good as well.
- Don't give up your winter strength training. You have to keep up your resistance work throughout the entire year if you want to continue to benefit from it.
- Be consistent! Even if you can't do your planned workout every day, get out and do something. Consistency is the key to success.
- Be efficient. We all lack time, so use your workout time wisely. Instead of going for a two hour ride, maybe do an hour at a higher intensity or use the TRX for 15 minutes instead of training for an hour in the gym.
- Be a whole athlete. Even if you are just training for a marathon, make sure you cross train. Different exercises train your body in different ways. The more diverse you are as an athlete, the more it will help you with your chosen sport.
- Schedule time for rest. Make sure you get plenty of sleep and recovery time. If you don't rest, your training will not make you stronger, it will just make you more tired.
- Consider your nutrition and hydration. Start using what you plan to use on race day. Pick a healthy alternative to whole foods, like Luna or Clif bar products, which are mostly organic and made from real foods. Practice with them so you’re not surprising your body on race day.
- Have fun. Pick something you have always wanted to do and do it. If you don't love the activity you’re doing, you won't stick with it.
For more on Tyler Stewart, visit her website (www.tyler-stewart.com).