How I (Swim, Bike &) Run: Ironman athlete Erin Klegstad

Courtesy of Erin Klegstad

Courtesy of Erin Klegstad

Meet Erin Klegstad, triathlete, yogi, lover of life, happiness, espresso, the outdoors, vizslas and the ocean. She believes that bike rides make every day better and that kindness can change the world.

Here’s a fun fact: We have yet to meet in person, but we connected through social media and follow along on each other’s adventures via our blogs (find her at sweetsweatlife, and I highly recommend it!); I feel like I know her, and I especially appreciate the thoughtfulness, kindness and sense of purpose with which she approaches life. We’ve also been teammates for Coeur Sports (she’s one of the elite racers) for the past few years so I figured it was high time to get to know her even better here on the blog.

Another fun fact? She’s also an amazing athlete. So much so that she placed second in her age group at Ironman Wisconsin this year, which meant she nabbed a spot at the World Championships in Kona for 2016. It couldn’t have happened to someone more hard-working, deserving and supportive person, and I’m even more excited to root her along as she prepares throughout the next few months.

In the meantime, here’s an insider look at her approach to training, along with what else will be powering this fantastic lady on her quest for Kona!

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1. What’s your favorite route or workout? During the week, I run the same out-and-back route over and over and over (definition of insanity?! Ha!) because it’s there and out my front door and I don’t have to worry about planning out a different route everyday. But, for long runs, my favorite route is the 8.5-mile Ford-Franklin bridge loop along the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and Saint Paul. A running path on both sides with plenty of water fountains and porta potties!

A favorite bike route is a 100-mile loop from our house and along the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi that full of great climbing, wind and a halfway pit stop for Mexi Coke in Red Wing (of Red Wing boots!).

2. What shoes do you wear — both on the bike and on the roads? I’ve been running in Hoka Cliftons for nearly two years and won’t run in anything else! On the bike – love my Sidi tri shoes. I have my eye on a pair of hot pink ones that Sidi debuted at Interbike this year. 🙂

3. What other training gear can’t you live without? Swim gear I can’t live without: baby shampoo. It keeps my goggles fog-free every single swim!

Bike gear I can’t live without: no way could I get through a 112-mile ride without my Coeur Sports shorts. Seamless chamois FTW! Seriously, that chamois is a game changer. Zero chafe ever.

Run gear I can’t live without: I’m a lululemon speeds shorts junkie (I won’t tell you how many pairs I own); love my Feetures socks… blister free always; and, I can’t run without a trucker hat (they keep my hair out of my face)!

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4. What’s your best time-saver or “workout-hack?” Hmm… definitely using Garmin Express to sync my 920 and Edge 500 simultaneously to TrainingPeaks, Garmin Connect and Strava. And, then immediately logging those workouts with comments across the board and in my spreadsheet. I’m quite meticulous about logging my data every single day. 🙂

5. What part of each discipline (swim/bike/run) are you better at than anyone else? Swim: Who are we kidding, the swim is definitely not my strength… ha! It’s a work-in-progress, but I’m making strides every year by doing the work, even on those cold winter days when swimming’s the last thing I want to do! I’m always tempted to sit in the sauna instead… 🙂

Bike: Living in Minnesota, I spend a good chunk of the year on my bike trainer (even during the summer, I’m on the trainer… that itself is a great time saver, and it’s safer than the road). There’s something really satisfying about trainer workouts… intense focus and staying in control of your watts. Anyway, I’d have to say focus… I have no problem turning off my brain to truly stay in the moment during a trainer workout. I think that’s one reason I love triathlon so much… it keeps me present and enjoying and embracing each second – even when it’s painful.

Run: Pacing is my specialty! Tell me to run x-pace over x-number of miles, and I’ll run ‘em almost on the nose every single time.

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6. What do you listen to while training? The only thing I listen to while running are my footfalls and my breath. I haven’t ran with music since 2008, the year they banned MP3 players during marathons. I was training for my first (and only) open 26.2 and ditched it since I wouldn’t be able to race with it. There’s nothing better than the quiet of running… I love being able to hear myself think (and not mess with annoying ear buds!).

But, when I’m doing hard bike intervals on the trainer (never ride with headphones outside, people!), I almost always listen to Girl Talk’s All Day. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to this mix. It keeps me focused, and the rhythm is tops!

7. What are you currently training for? The Ironman World Championship! It still hasn’t hit me that I get to race in Kona next year!

8. What are your recovery and sleep routines like? I’m fairly good at recovery. I do legs up the wall daily, take a lavender Epsom soak weekly and am quite lazy after training (think sofa city!). My sleep routine is a work-in-progress, but thanks to the sleep tracker on the Garmin 920, it’s improved. Tracking my sleep each night is a good motivator to get to bed when I get sucked into HGTV or reading!

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9. What’s the best athletic advice you’ve ever received? A friend said to me before Ironman Wisconsin in 2014: never give up, even when it hurts because everyone else is hurting, too. I think of that during every single race, especially near the end when sitting down would feel amazing. It reminds me to dig deep and to continue giving it my all, all the way to the finish line. Another goodie is: remember to smile! It makes the hurt a bit more bearable… plus, we’re so lucky that we *get* to do this!

10. What’s your favorite racing-related memory? Ahhh… this is a tough one! I’m grateful to cross any finish line, but I think my favorite is Ironman Wisconsin this year. There were a couple mishaps during the race, but overcoming those to run down a few people in my AG for a second place finish and a Kona spot – with my entire family there cheering me on – made the finish line downtown Madison so much sweeter.

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11. Fill in the blank: I’d love to grab a workout with _________. Can all my Coeur Sports teammates move to one place so we can swim, bike, run all day together?! That would be a dream!

Thanks, Erin! I’m stoked to see what 2016 will bring, and we’ll be cheering you along every step of the way as you prepare for Kona. 

Fit friends, please give me a shout (info (at) kineticfix.com) if you’d like to be featured!

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11 thoughts on “How I (Swim, Bike &) Run: Ironman athlete Erin Klegstad

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