Author Archives: Chris Kaplanis

Chris Kaplanis is the co-founder and assistant head coach at Ridgewood Tri Athlete (RTA), a multisport coaching business and triathlon club based in New Jersey. RTA works with athletes from across the country, offering a variety of services to get you faster, fitter and on track to successfully accomplish your goals. Chris is a professional triathlon coach. He is USA Triathlon Level 2 Endurance, USA Cycling Level 2 & USA Track & Field certified coach.


09.19.2019

Stress + Recovery = Fitness Gains

When it comes to training for a triathlon (or run race or ANYTHING), stress followed by recovery equals a stronger and fitter athlete. As such, stress needs to be managed throughout training in order to reap results. However, stress is not mutually exclusive to “training stress” and therefore many age group athletes screw this up.

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08.29.2019
Learning to Breathe Properly While Swimming

Have you ever tried to swim laps in the pool and felt completely “gassed” after only 1 or 2 lengths? If you answered, ‘yes,’ you are not alone. This feeling is likely NOT indicative of a lack of fitness, but rather an undeveloped breathing rhythm.

Learning to breathe properly while swimming freestyle is one of the most difficult things for new triathletes/swimmers to master. It takes time to master and the time it takes is different for everyone. Frequency (not duration) in the pool (i.e. 3, 4, 5+ days per week) and working with an experienced coach will help speed up the process. However, it’s important to be patient and not become frustrated. Once one gets the hang of it, their “swim curve” takes off!

Below are a few helpful tricks I have learned while working with triathletes over the last decade who are trying to learn how to breathe properly while swimming.

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07.18.2019
How To Overcome Open Water Swim Anxiety

Open water swimming is a unique experience. For many, it may feel like the only thing similar between swimming in the open water and a pool is that the water is wet.

There’s no black line to follow and often you’re staring down into a dark bottomless body of water.

All of this and a long list of additional reasons is why we regularly help athletes who struggle with open water nerves overcome anxiety. Most of the time, it’s about learning proper open water technique and building up the athletes confidence. It’s all about guiding them along their journey as they become more experienced and comfortable in this environment.

Below I will walk through a proven progression that has helped a countless number of triathletes overcome open water swim nerves.

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05.20.2019
Making the Most of Your Triathlon Journey

For most of us, triathlon and endurance sports in general is a journey. It’s a journey of self exploration and self improvement.

How far can I go? How fast can I become? How can I push the limits of what I once assumed was impossible?

Short on time to train? Not interested in hiring a triathlon coach? Below is an easy way to improve and come closer to nailing your race & achieving your goals by doing a little post race homework.

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05.07.2019

RTA x ROKA – “FIND FASTER”

It is widely known that ROKA wetsuits are the world’s FASTEST, MOST INNOVATIVE & MOST LOVED wetsuit. 

ROKA is the official wetsuit of IRONMAN and has been RTA Triathlon’s wetsuit sponsor since 2015. This year we will expand our relationship by offering FREE ROKA WETSUIT DEMO at our June 12th Open Water Swim Clinic in Oakland, NJ.

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04.03.2019

Performance Testing for Triathlon Training

Regular performance tests within triathlon training are a critical piece to any training program. It doesn’t matter what the sport or activity you are trying to improve, the old adage holds true, “what gets measured, gets improved.”

In our first article on this topic, we discussed the importance of testing within triathlon. We briefly covered:

  • WHY regular tests are important,
  • If testing is right for YOU
  • Sample tests for swim, bike and run.

Here’s the direct link.

We will now discuss how we use the data from the test results and how you can do the same.

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03.18.2019

Triathlon SWIM Case Study: Jim Williamson

 

RTA Triathlon coached athlete, Jim Williamson, recently slashed 1:00 minute off of his 500 yard swim test. This equates to 0:12 seconds per 100 yards AND a time SAVINGS of 4:14 over a 1.2 mile half IRON-distance swim or 8:28 minutes over a 2.4 mile IRON-distance swim. Needless to say, this is SIGNIFICANT!

Jim did this in only 8 weeks.

Here are the 5 things he did and what you can do to SHAVE TIME off of your next triathlon swim split.

 

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11.19.2018

COMMUNICATION

 

Hiring a triathlon coach is becoming more and more common among triathletes. There are a ton of considerations and a lot of options when deciding who to hire, but one is most important. THE most important component in triathlon coaching is the COMMUNICATION between coach and athlete.

If you’re coach is a good communicator you will do well. If she’s an exceptional communicator, you’ll do REALLY well!  It’s not just about the coach telling the athlete what to do. A good coach makes time for their athletes, encourages communication and listens to their athletes.

Good communication sounds simple. It sounds like common sense. However, there’s a lot that goes into communicating well and it’s not all on your coach.

 

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10.10.2018

Mobility exercises for triathletes (especially aging athletes) are a great way to improve flexibility and optimize physical performance on race day. Not only that, but you’ll notice a difference in day to day life.

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09.28.2018

Always Do Your BEST!

 

On race day, jitters and nerves tend to peak. One way to deal with this is by promising yourself, you’re simply going to do your best.

The “butterfly” feeling is normal and expected. If you don’t get this feeling pre race, it may be time to find a different challenge.

Most athletes have a goal for each race. Whether you have a time goal, want to place in your age group or merely finish the race, we all tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

For your next event, remember this:

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09.13.2018

Make Race Morning a Thoughtless Process

It doesn’t matter what part of the triathlon season you’re in, making a list helps make race morning a thoughtless process.

If you think this is silly, most athletes are scattered brained the night before and day of a race. By being prepared and eliminating extra thinking, you will alleviate any extra stress.

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09.11.2018

How is Your Swim Pacing & Control?

Some triathletes have 1 swim pace. Many triathletes have 2 swim paces. Far fewer have at least 3 swim paces or zones. Being able to establish and hold different paces while swimming is critical to executing various swim workouts and becoming a better swimmer.

Recently, through our 1 on 1 swim sessions, we have been helping several triathletes become better at varying their speed and output in the water. While most find it challenging at first, with a little practice, athletes quickly become more in touch with their swim pacing & control.

Below we will suggest a few ways to gain more control of how you swim as it relates to pacing.

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07.25.2018

Team RTA Takes on IRONMAN Lake Placid

Each year a group of athletes from Team RTA target IRONMAN Lake Placid as one of their top priority races. It’s an iconic race and needless to say, our triathlon club loves it. As a result, IMLP is an annual Team Race.

This year was IRONMAN Lake Placid’s 20 year anniversary. It is an incredible venue for athletes and spectators. It’s also the longest running IRONMAN in North America. All of this, only 4 hours from northern New Jersey. Jackpot!

If you’re thinking about signing up for an IRONMAN, THIS IS THE ONE!

This year we had a smaller group then usual, but none the less it was still an incredible race for all those who toed the line. Next year, we expect a bigger group including many first timers.

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06.27.2018

 

Want to Be a Triathlete?

From the outside, triathlon can be intimidating, but in reality the sport is the combination of 3 activities most of us did as kids. Below you will learn what it takes to be a triathlete.

 

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right

– Henry Ford

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02.13.2018

FREE Triathlon Lecture Series

 

There’s a lot to learn when it comes to triathlon. We also understand it can be confusing & sometimes intimidating, but fear not!

Each year we enjoying speaking to a variety of triathletes (and future triathletes) in the area on a range of topics. Most of the topics are applicable to ALL endurance athletes including pure runners, swimmers and cyclists. 

The lectures are free to attend and open to the public. We encourage questions & dialog throughout and do our best to tailor each presentation to those in attendance. 

Feel free to bring a friend and enjoy an informative evening.

We look forward to meeting all those who attend.

TOPICS & DATES BELOW

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