Heather Germaine, F4 Denver Runner and Triathlete!
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Heather Germaine, F4 Denver Runner and Triathlete!
Heather Germaine, 39, has been an F4 athlete in Denver since 2008. “Training with FastForward has been nothing but positive for me,” says Heather, a natural resource specialist with the National Park Service. “I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today without my group.”
Heather discovered F4 when she was training for the Denver Marathon—her first marathon—and wanted a group to run with. “I’d tried a few other running groups, but they weren’t quite the right fit,” says Heather. “I received an email about FastForward because they were an official training group of the marathon, so I decided to try them. Everyone was so friendly, and there was such great encouragement and support.”
An injury forced Heather to back down and train for the half marathon that year, but she had the bug to run 26.2. So she signed up with F4 again in 2009 and successfully ran the Denver Marathon that fall. “My mom, brother and his fiancé were at the finish line,” she recalls. “I was so exhausted and my legs really hurt. It felt like the hardest thing I had ever done in my life, but I was so excited because it was a heck of an accomplishment!”
From there, Heather became a regular with F4, running the Moab Half and the Marine Corps Marathon in 2010, and the Colorado and Chicago marathons in 2011. “All of the coaches are amazing and their training tips are priceless,” says Heather of F4. “The people I train with are also great and I’ve developed a really nice group of friends. It feels like a family.”
Last November, Heather traveled to Arizona to watch a friend compete in the Ironman. Denver coach Garry Roseman was also competing, and Heather was inspired. “It was so amazing to see them finish the race, and I decided it was time I gave triathlon a shot.” It also helped that a fellow F4 friend in Denver was working on Heather to try a triathlon. “’WE are going to do triathlons’ my friend informed me, and I started asking ‘What’s this WE business?!’” laughs Heather.
This year, Heather competed in all of the Boulder Tri Series events, along with the IronGirl. “I’ve never been a swimmer, so I jumped in the pool in January. Then when the tri group started in March, I joined them,” she says. Heather also bought a bike and one of the super-cute F4 tri kits. “It’s fun wearing the kit during a race because all of the F4 athletes are cheering each other on and you know who they are on the course.”
It was a good year for Heather—completing four triathlons, including a Half Ironman, in less than two months—and she’s looking forward to next year and continuing her training with her F4 family. “Having never done triathlons before, I feel pretty good about this year,” says Heather. “I’ve learned so much about myself, and the sport, and the coaches and other F4 athletes have been awesome.” She’s retiring her wetsuit for the rest of 2012 and shifting back into running mode, with a bit of biking for fun. Up next: the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in September and then the Tucson Marathon in December. Go Heather!
Awesome Training Tips from F4 Coach Steve
Awesome Training Tips from F4 Coach Steve...
It's back-to-school season, so Boulder Coach Steve Gibson is focusing his training tip on the pen and paper part of fitness. According to Coach Steve, there are three things you should be writing down or in every day: your resting heart rate, your training log and your gratitude journal.
Your resting heart rate.
A challenge for many athletes is knowing if they're recovering effectively and, by extension, not over-training. The single best indicator of recovery is your resting heart rate. While it can improve, slowly, with increased fitness, your resting heart rate is quite stable on a day-to-day basis. Once you have your base line, any quick jumps indicate either 1) that you're not recovering effectively, and/or 2) that you're getting sick. In either instance, adjustments in your training are in order.
HOW TO DO IT: Resting heart rate is measured first thing in the morning. And that means before your feet even hit the ground—before coffee, before going to the bathroom, before anything.
Your training log.
It's important to log your training. Repeated studies have shown that endurance athletes who log their training train more, and more consistently, than those who don't. It doesn't matter why, and it doesn't matter what you write. It just matters that you do it. As Bobby McGee puts it, consistency beats intensity.
HOW TO DO IT: Just do it, every day, for every workout. Just write something.
Your gratitude journal.
Yea, I said gratitude. Turns out that people who write down what they're grateful for on a daily basis are happier and more content than those who don't. It lowers stress, and that improves a lot in your life and temperament, not the least of which is your training.
HOW TO DO IT: The execution is really simple—just write down something (ANYthing) that you're grateful for. I like this one since I'm frequently grateful either for my workout, if it was good, or that my workout is over, if it didn't go so well, or that I’m just grateful for having a day off… or that the sun is shining… or that I’m healthy. You get the picture.
Now, go get just one notebook. It can serve for recording all three of the above. All three of the above points should serve you in pursuit of your goals, whatever they may be.
See you on the roads,
Learn more about F4 Denver’s amazing Coach Carmen…
Learn more about F4 Denver's amazing Coach Carmen...
When Carmen Kitts started running 32 years ago, things were different for women. There was no Title IX, hence no organized sports for women at most schools. But that didn’t deter her from lacing up her running shoes and hitting the pavement.
Today, at age 61, Carmen is proud to still call herself a runner as well as a coach for FastForward in Denver. She is also proud to say that for the past four years (and three months) she has been running every single day.
“I set a goal every year, so on my 57th birthday (May 2008) I decided that I would run every day for a year. I read about another runner who had set the same goal because then he wouldn’t have to decide whether to run or not each day,” says Carmen. That year went by and Carmen was in a groove, so she just kept going. “I found that the regular running—some days it’s just two miles—was helping me get stronger and faster. Now I don’t even think about it, it’s like brushing your teeth and it wakes me up and gets me going every day.”
As an F4 coach, Carmen enjoys working with brand new runners. “I love coaching people who have never run before and then watch them complete a race, a 10K, a marathon,” she says. “It’s so rewarding to help people achieve their goals.”
Carmen has been with F4 since the beginning. Her background includes teaching strength training and aerobics to women when she lived in California. Then she moved to Colorado and became involved with great groups such as the Colorado Road Runners and Colorado Columbines, and started teaching boot camp classes in Denver’s Washington Park. She also acquired a national certification from the Road Runners Club of America for coaching.
“Someone told me they were looking for coaches for the Bolder Boulder training groups and that’s when I met Scott (Fliegelman). When he went off and started FastForward, I went with him and I’ve been with FastForward since the beginning.
So what does Carmen like best about coaching with F4? “Just being with everybody, we have such a high energy level at workouts. It flows,” says Carmen. “All of the coaches get along really well, we’re almost like a big family. Scott has fostered this. He has given us strict parameters on workouts, but he wants our individual style to come through and I really appreciate that.”
Carmen’s coaching philosophy is that you can become a mentally and physically stronger runner as long as you put in the effort. You don’t have to run fast, you can run walk. “It’s doable for most people,” she explains. “And I like incorporating a holistic approach in my training, giving info on nutrition and mental skills. It’s not just running: It’s your mind, sleeping, eating… it all ties together.”
When Carmen isn’t coaching adults she is working full-time at an elementary school. One fun program she leads is called Mighty Milers where kids run laps at lunchtime. When they acquire enough miles that equate to a marathon, they get a medal. “They’re so excited when they’re out running,” says Carmen. “It’s been a really fun program to be involved with.”
As for her own self-coaching and setting an annual goal, Carmen has her sights set on doing a triathlon next year. “I am learning how to swim and have been taking swim lessons at my local rec center,” she says. “I’ve cheered a lot of friends along at triathlons, so now it will be their turn to cheer for me!”
We look forward to seeing Carmen at some sprint tris in 2013!
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