In three days, she’ll ride 25 miles in the New York City Triathlon, as part of “Team FOX Business” (with her co-worker Chris Hahn completing the swim and run portions of the race).
Claman completed the entire triathlon herself three years in a row before deciding she didn’t love the swim portion (“You make friends with schools of dead fish, which is always lovely,” she says jokingly), and then injuring her Achilles Tendon, making the run part a bad idea.
But she’s learned a lot over the past five years and is sharing advice for new triathletes this year as a race ambassador, including how to fit training into the busy life of an anchor (or any time-tapped working professional).
Here, we share five great tips for both novices conquering the race this Sunday—and those thinking about training for one in the future.
1. Stick to a training time. “Busier people than all of us manage to do this,” she says. “I just started to cut the complaining and start the training, that was my mantra.” Claman realized the only time she could fit in training was by waking up at 5:00 a.m. in order to be moving by 5:30. “Now, I just do it winter, spring, summer, fall, it doesn’t matter, I get up and go at 5:30.” So while leading up to the race she was outside on her bike, the rest of the year, she’s also hitting the gym and spin classes at Flywheel, keeping it as part of her normal routine.
2. Remember you’re training your whole self. Training for a triathlon is hard work, and it’s not just your muscles that need to fire on all fronts. Claman works with Peter K, a trainer who takes a holistic approach. “So food, workout, balance, everything,” she explains. “You’ll get over that finish line with respectable numbers if you do it as a bigger picture effort.”
3. Be prepared for panic. “Standing in your age group pen, waiting to jump into the Hudson, I had a near panic attack, only to be followed by an actual panic attack when I jumped in the water and started getting kicked in the face and the head and the body,” she says. “You’ve got to be ready to be trampled.”
4. Shake off setbacks. They’re going to happen, so don’t dwell on them, just keep moving, she says. “A friend of mine had his goggles kicked off four seconds in, and that’s very murky water. Another friend lost his cap. I got hit by a log that was floating just under the surface. It was solid and heavy and left such a bruise, but I had to shake it off because I still had the bike and the run ahead of me.”
5. Find a cause you’re passionate about. And if doing all of that without a greater purpose sounds like a drag, find a cause. Claman races for the organization Building Homes for Heroes, and she’s raised $150,000 over the past three years to help build custom homes for returning veterans with special needs, like a recent vet who had lost all of his limbs. Talk about motivation. “How can I say no to these guys because I have a hurt Achilles tendon?” she says. —Lisa Elaine Held
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