Heather Wurtele has won 6 IRONMAN titles (Coeur d'Alene 2008, 2013, and 2014, St. George 2010 and 2011, Lake Placid 2011) while setting new course records at Ironman St. George, Coeur D'Alene, and Ironman Lake Placid. She has also won 18 Half Iron distance races, 5 of those in 2016 alone, with course records at the St. George, Monterrey and Oceanside 70.3s. And to top a great 2016, she took 2nd place at the 70.3 World Championships.
Trevor Wurtele won the IRONMAN 70.3 New Orleans in 2012. His first full distance IRONMAN win came at IRONMAN Canada in 2013. He's since been a consistent podium finisher, with three 2nd places and a 3rd place at IRONMAN Canada in 2016.
During the winter months, these athletes use Nordic skiing as part of their training routine. Let's hear more from triathletes Heather and Trevor on how they get through the cold months with great preparation for their racing season to come.
As much as we enjoy sunshine and warmth, we prefer living in a climate with four distinct seasons. Yaaaay Canada! Mentally, it helps keeps things fresh, and physically we get to change up the training routine. Both are good things for longevity in sport.
Winter is definitely the most drastic change we see all year in terms of training structure. After the last race of the year we take 3 weeks totally off triathlon training. Typically for us this is at the end of October or November. We're far from sedentary during those few weeks, taking advantage of our free time for some mountain biking, nordic skiing, winter hikes, and definitely spending a lot more time in the hot tub at our local pool. This year we needed even more of a change so took some time to travel without our bikes, head over to Europe to watch a bit of Belgian cyclocross, go castle hunting, see Amsterdam and drink quite a few Trappist ales.
Once those three weeks (maybe even 4 if we're not feeling recovered enough) are over, it's time for us to get back into a triathlon specific routine. Keeping in mind, of course, that triathlon is our job. If we want to improve year after year, and be competitive with the best in the world, these winter months are very important as a long stretch of uninterrupted training. If we did this sport purely for fun (don't get us wrong, we love it), we'd probably enjoy a few more winter activities and spend more time in the mountains skiing.