Win my kit!

by hillarybiscay

hb ritz rain ride

Today I have a request and a giveaway. I want to make your questions the subject of a Q & A blog that I will do at least once per week. Damie’s questions about vegetarian eating and training made for the first official blog of this series. I will then file these Q&As here, under the “Ask Hillary” tab on my homepage.

ritz ride with M

So here’s what I’m asking: comment on this post and tell me what you want me to write about. Send me a question that I can answer for you sometime over the next few months in my weekly Q & A column. I may even do it more than once per week when I get bored of my own train-eat-sleep posts. By the way, these pics are from our rainy social ride on Sunday with our friend, the legend, Paul Thomas.

Unnamed (1)

Everyone who submits a question here is entered to win one of my pink/star cycling kits from this year—pictured here, except what you will win is a short-sleeve cycling top and cycling shorts. Sorry, but they are women’s size M as that is all I’ve got! I will pick someone at random from all those who comment on this post. Deadline is December 26th at 9AM PST.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Jackie Lai December 21, 2011 at 9:32 am

Really enjoy your blog, thank you for sharing it with us!

I am interested in knowing your ab/core routine.
What is your strength training routine, and does the frequency change during the season.

Congrats on your upcoming wedding, treasure your special day!


Kim Basala December 21, 2011 at 9:49 am

Hi Hillary!

Here are some questions for you! This is such an awesome idea. In fact your last post about vegetarian meal ideas rocked the house. I love the in a hurry ones! Thanks. Here they are:

1. As you know I am a mom of 3 young boys (ages 11, 9, and 8), and as they’re growing up they are the ones with the desire to compete in swimming and triathlon and reach their own goals. Sports are an everyday thing in our home….just like brushing your teeth is, and as parents we need to be role models for our chilren. I know your sister is a runner/marathoner, and we know how active you are. So I was wondering if and how your childhood played in to your lifestyle choices. Did your mom and/or dad compete? Or perhaps still do.
Was there a “defining” moment in your childhood that set the tone of where you are now?

2. When you are in a patch of struggles in your career (end of season tiredness, health issues, body not responding to training, etc.) who do you turn to for advice? Close friends? Family? Reflect on your own?

3. What’s your favorite way to train- group, small group, or by yourself, and why?

4. Beets or sweet potatoes? 🙂

5. You continually give so much of yourself to others and have so much passion, how does your bucket get filled?

Thanks Hillary!


dooder December 22, 2011 at 12:57 am

I second the notion for a post devoted to the mini and how she inspires you, supports you, etc.


Nicole December 21, 2011 at 11:34 am

Hi Hillary!

Love this blog and am a huge fan. I too was a swimmer growing up and am just starting to get into triathlons. I’m doing IM WI in September (I hope you will do it again this year!) although I haven’t done any triathlons yet. I will be doing 2 half iron and at least 1 oly before IM.

I’m also wondering about strength training/cross training. I just graduated from college, and unfortunately cannot afford a coach (yet). I have found a lot of information on training plans for the swim/bike/run, but haven’t been able to find a lot of info on strength and cross training specifically for IM athletes.

What type of strength/cross training do you do? Weights, TRX, yoga, pilates, etc.?

How many times/week do you do strength?

What type of exercises do you think are most beneficial?

What core strengthening exercises do you do?

Thanks so much, Hillary! Can’t wait to see you kick butt next season!


Kjerstin December 21, 2011 at 12:52 pm

What does a typical training week look like for you? You have shared many of your awesome swim workouts and talk about individual sessions and days but i am curious about how you structure a whole week.
Having a 9-5 job determines my workout schedule since I just fit them in when I can but it would be fun to see how your coach puts your schedule together to help you get the most out of your training 🙂



April December 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Hey Hillary!

I have been following your blog ever since I witnessed you winning your FIRST Ironman! I was the gal that asked the swim cap question (double or not double) prior to CDA…I remember I was shocked (and of course stoked) when I saw your post the next day. Of course I took your advice, doubled up and it was perfect! That’s why this Q&A action is fantastic!!

Also I was lucky enough to see the GCM rock TriStar111 in my home state Minnesota….so taking advantage of your partnership here is to my next question…

I’m signed up for Ironman St. George, a race which the GCM excels at…with this being the first North American Ironman of 2012, what are some tips for preparing for a hilly bike course when most of your bike training is done inside on a trainer? How does riding on a trainer equate to a riding on the road? How do you best prepare for hills on a trainer?

Cheers to your SECOND win in 2012!



Britni Bakk December 21, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Hey Hilary. I accidentally pressed the follow up comments by email. Just un doing it – thanks for the chance to win a kit!


Katy Robinson December 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Hi Hillary,

You are so open, and honest in your blog that you really don’t leave me with many questions :). I’m always interested in diet information because before reading your blog, being an endurance athlete was something that held me back from persuing veganism. Reading your blog, and then doing some research, I realized that was really silly! I also like the ideas of hearing about your strength routine, but I’d love to hear:

1. Do you have regular massage/chiropractic/acupuncture or other therapy routine that you feel is necessary and benfits you as an endurance athlete; and what inspired you or interested you in each given therapy?

2. Your favorite blogs (athletes and others)

3. Your favorite apps and why


Ania Jackow December 21, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Hi Hillary!

I am loving your blog, you are such an inspiration!!

I was just wondering if you had any advice for me as I am hoping to break out into the triathlete world/profession. I am a college student with little money to spend on coaching and camps etc….What can I do and what is the best raod to take to accomplish my goals? Thanks!!


Kati Derrick December 22, 2011 at 4:58 am

Since pink is my favorite color I have to say pick me, pick me!
My question is about stretching. I am coming back to tri’s after a year off from surgery. I am finding that I lost so much flexibility that it is really affecting my ability to regain my run bike and swim. I have flopped around from some yoga to general stretching. What I would love to hear is about your ‘must do’ stretches and how often you do them.


Erin Bougie December 22, 2011 at 7:37 am

Hi Hillary –

Every question I thought of being asked twice at this point! Drat! Being the athlete/nerd that I am, here is my question…

Q: Before becoming a pro athlete, you were teaching at the University of Southern California and working on a Ph.D. in American Literature. What were you focusing your dissertation research on and do you think you’ll go back and finish the degree in the future?

Happy Holidays!


Jennifer December 22, 2011 at 9:33 am

Hi Hillary,
I love your blog! And I was so excited to see happy with your race at IWA. My questions are:
1. do you ever use a trainer/computrainer for the bike, or are you always riding outside?
2. Have you always had a coach? If not, when/how did you decide it was time to get one?


Sue Torke December 22, 2011 at 10:33 am

I realize this is more than one question – but there’s a theme here! 🙂
On Being a Pro Triathlete:
1. What was your thought process in making the decision to turn pro? From a financial standpoint and a career standpoint (I think you were in grad school when you turned pro, right?), I imagine it takes a lot of guts and courage to make that leap and I am wondering if it was an easy decision for you or if it took a lot of soul searching.
2. What is the most difficult thing about being a professional triathlete?
3. These days, as the number of age-group athletes grows at an exponential rate, there is a lot of prestige and admiration out there for professional triathletes. Is it difficult to maintain a sense of normalcy or even have a life outside of triathlon (hobbies, etc.) because of that fan base and constant pressure to be the pro triathlete role model that you are?
4. How does your family deal with your being pro, traveling a lot, killing yourself in training, etc? Do they support you and understand your need to train while on holiday, etc?
5. Do you think there is an age limit to turning pro? For example, could you see a 30-something or even 40-something person turning pro or do you think it’s too late at that point?
5. How long do you think you will race professionally, and do you have any goals for life after professional triathlon?


Laura December 22, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I have taken some time off from triathlon recently to focus on running. I’m not the best swimmer and I’m really worried about getting back into triathlon with having a huge hiatus from swimming. What tools/technique/ideas would you recommend that would be the most beneficial in the early stages of coming back to the pool? I’ve never taken a year off from swimming before….


Ker December 22, 2011 at 11:04 pm

I’d also like to hear about your strength training routine/s. Also, how much weight do you use? Do you do any body resistance training?


donna furse December 23, 2011 at 8:43 am

Hey Hillary, its so much fun to read and follow your blog and I’m so excited for your up and coming wedding to the GCM.

My question to you is: do you ever do heart rate based training? Do you have specific zones that you work in during your workouts and also wattage zones for riding? I am curious because you have often mentioned how your now on the right track after two years of sub optimal performances for you and I was wondering whether or not you were overtrained or was it a product of a different training strategy/plan. And if you were overtrained did you notice it with your heart rate or training times.


Krista LaPan December 23, 2011 at 9:12 am

Love reading your blog, and especially all the pictures!

I have a couple fun questions:
1. What is your fastest time up Mt Lemmon (base to cookie cabin?)
2. Do you ever train on a road bike?
3. swimming – do you believe you can achieve swim improvements on your own, or do you think it’s more beneficial to do group/masters swims with people to push you? (faster pace?)


Travis December 23, 2011 at 3:51 pm

I actually have a couple questions for my wife! She is going to be giving birth to our first child in a couple weeks, but is looking for some motivation to make the boring trainer workouts a little more tolerable. I doubt you have to ride indoors that much, but do you have any go-to trainer workouts during the winter months to help build your base.



Allison December 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Because all of my races are in open water, and I mainly swim on my own, I swim with an open-water stroke with a straight armed recovery. When I swam with a swim team over the summer, the coach had me swim high-elbowed, so I got pretty good swimming like that as well. Next month I’m going to start swimming with a masters team, and I’m not sure what I should do? Is it rude to swim in a crowded pool with wide, straight arms? If I do train with high elbows then should I race like that also? Thanks


Christa johnson December 25, 2011 at 9:11 pm

! I have a multi part question. First, is there ever a reason you would choose not to start a training session. Second, how do you get motivated to complete a workout/stay on track with your trainings. Third, how do you cope with missing a workout.

Happy holidays,



Sarah Miller December 25, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Hi Hilary,
I was wondering how you go about day to day life as a triathlete. Do you ever feel insecure about your body? Do you feel pressured to look a certain way because you are a professional athlete?


Heather December 25, 2011 at 10:31 pm

So many great questions. I can’t wait to read all the answers. I will be doing my 1st full Ironman at Arizona this November. I do have triathlon experience. I have done Oceanside 70.3 and will do it again this year. I am wondering what your best advice would be.


Sandy Jackson December 26, 2011 at 4:17 am

Hillary, Have you ever hit a really low point in one of your ironman races? If so, how do you motivate yourself to continue or what do you do to push through it? Thanks for any advice you can give !


Kathie Krieger December 26, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Dear Hillary,
If you want to start out doing triathlons, but don’t have a lot of money to
invest, what do you do? I started an all-women’s club to help women get started into healthy lifestyles and many of them are ready to do their first triathlon, but in today’s economy it’s challenging.
Thanks for any tips you can provide.
Happy Wedding,
Kathie Krieger


Katie p December 31, 2011 at 12:06 am

Dear Hillary,

I began training for my half marathon by taking a few yoga classes. After all, I did get a new Lululemon outfit, so I figured why not. Do you recommend I take gels before yoga? Also, I’m thinking I need to add some compression socks to my Christmas list. What brand do you recommend???? I have not run a mile since 7th grade. Do you foresee this being an obstacle to my future plans of becoming just like you??? Please advise.

p.s. Where can I find myself a GCM?



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