Redefine Date Night with NEW Workout Date Ideas

Who doesn't love a fun date with your main squeeze???  

Time might be limited but don't ignore the many benefits of pumping some blood for both you and your relationship.

Here are just a few DATE ideas to get you sweating together ~

1- Hit the Weights.

No, you don't have to 'lift the same weight'- but you can choose to do a circuit of 2-3 exercises to tackle together. 

Alternate who gets to pick the exercises in each circuit- you definitely will be challenged with someone else's favorites... only then to look like a champ when you throw it back on the next round.

2- Clock some sprints at the pool.

Grab your goggles and plunge into some chlorine together.  Warm up easy and then hit some quick intervals (consider 25's) with just enough rest to look over and wink at one another and take off again.  If you are like me, you will harness your inner Nemo just to get that quick flirt in again! 

3- Spin out sharp intervals

Jump on the trainer and knock out a quick 30 minute to 1 hour workout.  Pack a punch with some 30 second efforts followed by 30 second easy spinning.  There is nothing fancy here, but it is pretty 'hot' to watch your date go for it and no doubt it will be fun for the both of you.

When the weather cooperates, hit the road together.  I have heard couples say, 'they are faster than me' - guess what, the best riders in the world can ride with anyone, at any speed... so can you.  Relax and enjoy the ride, silently work some higher cadences and/or low cadence, never overtaking your 'partner in crime' but rather just enjoying the scenery together.

4- Head out for a trail run

Trail runs are a great way to get outside together and enjoy the elements. The terrain many times demands that you take your time, don't rush and/or worry about pace.  There's no hard rule to trail running- in fact, shame on you if you two don't take some time to 'hike' together and relish in natures beauty.  Get outside when you can, take off the watches, and enjoy the cooler temps and something different than the pavement.

Ok, so you want to get your speed work in together- keep your intervals contained (aka: a track or neighborhood block) where you can encourage, high five, or 'good game' your mate as they pass on by.  No pressure who is faster, simply lapping one another will give you the umph you need to conquer your goals.

Try out one of these workouts and redefine date night... just make sure your 'other' picks up dinner on the way home :)

Happy Training!

Coach Amari

The 411 on Race Wheels ~ What You Need to Know

Ahmed Zaher

Need some cycling speed for your upcoming race?   Race Wheels provide a great opportunity to gain some speed fast.  Let us help you find the right wheels for your race.

How do you determine the right race wheel for you? In general, carbon race wheels provide more comfort as they absorb the vibration of the road so that you are able to hold your power longer and have a better run.  The deeper the rim of the wheel, the more aerodynamic you are.  With that said, you have to take into consideration windy conditions, especially cross winds, because the deeper the rim of the wheel, the more wind affects control of the bike.  Cross winds create instability for the bike so you have to engage your core to stabilize the bike and need better bike handling skills.  

Here are our top three recommended wheel combinations.  *Remember that these are general rules so if you fall under multiple wheel sets or aren't sure what is right for you, stop by a Playtri store near you, hit us up on social media or email us at  We can help you decide the right wheel set for you based on your cycling skills, your goals and your race course! 

Zipp 404 Front / Zipp 404 Rear

  • Average Speed 16 mph and under

  • Weighs under 140 pounds

  • Novice Bike Handling Skills

Zipp 404 Front / Zipp 808 Rear

  • Average Speed 16 - 20 mph

  • Weighs 140 - 180 pounds

  • Intermediate Bike Handling Skills

Zipp 808 Front / Zipp 808 Rear

  • Average Speed 20 mph and over

  • Weighs 180 pounds and over

  • Excellent Bike Handling Skills

Buy the Right Set of Race Wheels for you at Playtri today!



THE MYTH: There is a "right" way and a "wrong" way to run.

THE REALITY: There are a LOT of right and wrong ways to run, it depends on your structure, range-of-motion, strengths, limiters, injury history, and goals. Seem like a lot to consider?!? It is! Read on....

There are more runners hitting the trails than ever and that, unfortunately, means more injuries. Some studies estimate that upwards of 90% of runners will end up injured in any given year. Given the fact that millions upon millions of dollars have been spent on shoe design over the last 50 years, why are injury rates still the same, or even higher, than they ever were?

The answer? It's not about the shoe. Consider the following recent case study from our clinic: A new mom, we'll call her Kristie, takes up running as a way to add exercise into her life. She is excited about running because it's convenient, she can run with her baby in a jogger, and it'll help her lose that added baby weight.

She even thinks she might like to train for a 1/2 marathon or a triathlon at some point so she joins a social run group geared toward moms. She goes to her local running store, gets fit for shoes, is told she's a "pronator" and is put in shoes meant to control that extra movement in the foot. She starts running 3xs per week on a run/walk program and reaches 15 miles/week before she begins to have pain in her knees. She doesn't think she is "injured" per se, but figures she should get it checked out anyway and makes a visit to her general practitioner. Her doctor recommends she take a break from running until the pain is gone.

She is frustrated but takes two weeks off anyway. She begins running again and within two weeks has that same pain start up. She revisits her local store, where they recommend inserts and perhaps a different shoe. She tries the inserts first and sees very little change so she returns to the shoe wall two weeks later. They help her pick something a bit more neutral, with the advice that she also use the inserts due to that pesky overpronation problem. She is excited to get back on track and starts running again with her social group, but the following week, guess what? Same knee issues. One of her running friends tells her that she read people need to run with a 180 cadence and that she should be landing on her midfoot. Kristie has no idea what that means so she does some research and starts trying to run this way. She feels like she is running in a fairly unnatural way and also quite out of breath, but the knee feels a little better! Progress?!

But...wait for it, the knee pain returns two weeks in and NOW she also has calf pain. She returns to her running store, gets put in another pair of shoes and decides in frustration to just run through it if the pain returns, which it does immediately. She keeps running until things hurt enough that she decides that maybe running isn't for her. She is now hundreds of dollars and several months into running and is worse off than when she started.

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She does a bunch more research online and finds RunLab™. In a last ditch effort to see if we can help, she calls us. She lives in Dallas so we send her over to one of our Gait Imaging Centers™ inside of Playtri. She sets up her account online, pays, fills out her forms so our team understands her history and goals, and then sets up a time to get filmed at the Gait Imaging Center™. The Playtri staff takes care of her entire filming process and guides her through from start to finish.

The patent-pending process includes both running and full-body movement pattern analysis through advanced video-capture technology, along with a full body structural, range-of-motion, and strength assessment.

Once all of Kristie's videos have been uploaded and reviewed by our team, we go through her findings and send her a full-color 14 page report which breaks down everything she needs to know about the way she moves, where her strengths and limiters are, and a Footwear Prescription™.

What does she learn about her running and her knee pain? She learns that onset of her pain stemmed from a structural finding (slight knock knees) combined with extreme hip weakness due to recently giving birth. She was highly unstable during the loading phase of gait and it was putting undue stress on her knees. The onset of her pain was based in didn't have anything to do with the shoe she was in. In fact, the shoes meant to control motion were actually making the issue worse because they were not allowing her foot to move through the normal pronation cycle, which moved stress up into her knees. The second and third pair of shoes were not increasing load, but they also weren't solving the underlying issue.

With some gait retraining exercises and strength work specific to her structural and functional limiters, Kristie got back on track, has been running consistently for a full year and just completed her first 1/2 marathon with her daughter in a baby jogger. The take-home message? The right shoes will aid your body's ability to move naturally and as efficiently as it can in its current state, but no amount of shoe technology can solve for a weakness in the body.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about running form. People are constantly coming into RunLab™ to tell us about their struggles to "fix" their heel strike, to run with higher cadence, to get their "glutes to fire", to "stop overpronating", etc, etc. But the problem lies in the fact that these runners have very little understanding of how THEIR body is built. There are thousands of variables that go into a person's ideal movement pattern.

Changing the way you move isn't necessarily taking away the load, it just means you are moving it around to another area which can be more, or sometimes less, equipped to handle that load. This is where a movement analysis comes into play. It is important not only to understand the way you are built, your current range-of-motion, strengths and limiters, but also the way your body has adapted to move through them.

Our brains are amazing at creating workarounds for even the slightest weakness, and when we layer compensation pattern over compensation pattern (even as non-runners) for years, there is a lot that goes into unraveling the ball of biomechanical yarn strand by strand.

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Creating increased range-of-motion in one area, for instance, can create stability problems, causing another area to develop compensatory hypertonicity. So what is the take-home message? If you don't understand your unique structure, range-of-motion, strengths and limiters, it is very easy to get pulled down the rabbit hole by the mountain of information from articles, under-qualified coaches, wearable technology, and your running friends who "read somewhere that you should run with your feet facing forward". Understanding your body should be the springboard to any good training plan.

And remember, shoes matter, but there isn't a shoe in the world that can replace working on your biomechanics.

Learn more about Dr. Davis at:

For gait evaluation services and to schedule at a DFW area Playtri, please visit WWW.RUNLAB.US

Staying Committed ~ It's a Mind Set!

It’s early in the new year and we know that staying committed to new routines and resolutions can be challenging…especially with so many commitments to work, family, friends, etc.

Coach Amari recommends having a Mind Set to keep you engaged and committed to your workouts and ultimately, your health. Her words of wisdom that she shares with her busiest of clients…

IT'S A MIND SET.... this is not a 'rah-rah' session, rather a reality (but I do have pom-poms & could pull them out if you really need them- joking!)

Day One: "My 15 minutes of the workout is better than the missed 3 miles!!!" At least I got 15 minutes in.

Day Two: "I missed my run yesterday, hubs and I want to get a workout in together quickly this am, weights would feel great, what do you think and want me to do?"

Day Three: "Won't get home from the office till ~2am, what can we do to make the most of my 1 hour tomorrow before I have to get back up here?"


Here is an athlete with an incredible family commitment, professional career (24 hr work shifts happen weekly), and has extremely limited time.

I honestly am not even talking about the details of each workout, rather the mindset that life just doesn't just stop when they are 'training for an event'. 

In fact, this individual signs up for IM 70.3 and IM events to compliment the crazy. What is so fun about working with this person is that they truly do realize life is all about managing the moving pieces and they actually enjoy the process - they don't try to manipulate or 'get out of the challenge' rather they go with it and MAKE THE MOST OUT OF IT!

So I encourage you- 

1- Working Out & Training are NOT about perfection- guess what, just like life, we feel a sense of self-pride and accomplishment when we are committed to doing the very best we can, with whatever the day brings us- everyday.

2- It is a blast and a PRIVILEGE to have so many moving pieces to your personal puzzle- don't forget that both the process and challenges are fun.

3- You will ALWAYS be busy, better yet, you hope you are always busy- you have heard it over and over- you must take care of yourself before you can take care of another + practice what you preach, actions are more convincing than your words... 

They say '80% of life is about the mind-set'... your mind set and approach are your choices: limit yourself or thrive, every single day. 

Make no excuses, find a way to do something, especially when it is not perfect, and have fun sticking to it.

Go Get 'Em!

Coach Amari

That CHILL in the air shouldn't stop you from training...


 That CHILL in the air should not stop you from getting outside, and following these couple Winter Gear Tips will keep you comfortable and let enjoy some of those winter miles.


 Temperature, cycling speed windchill and layering. Take these three things into account when gearing up for winter riding. Just because the sun is out and it feels warm on your front porch, doesn’t mean it will be warm when riding at 18 mph into a north wind!




Workload, hands and head. Little easier because you don’t have wind chill, but harder because you can easily overdress because your body will warm up quickly running.


If you keep your head and hands covered, you can run, especially race, in any temperature. Majority of your heat is lost through your head, and your hands have the smallest amount of circulation, keeps those covered, and you are good!

We suggest:


Running gloves ($28) winter running hats ($19) and a wind jacket ($90) will have you logging miles, even in the chilliest temps.

Hope this helps you get geared up for the winter, and if it still too cold, you can always visit and get the ultimate indoor trainer! Shop trainers here or at your nearest Playtri Store.

Tips for Triathlon New-Comers

Raina Luse

One of the beauties of my role with Playtri is that I get to see so many people transitioning into the sport of triathlon. Whether former athletes looking for a new challenge, people that have never taken on a physical fitness venture ever, or people somewhere in between just looking to get healthy in an entertaining and safe way, triathlon brings all  walks of life together. I've always said, it's the most individualized sport with the best, all-encompassing community you'll ever find.

As someone that guides people into the sport, I often get asked the most questions that ultimately pertain to how to get started - the who, what, when, where, and often why of doing triathlon. So if you're looking to get into this amazing sport, or you've already decided to jump in feet first and just need to know where to jump, here are a few key items that will help make your transition into this sport smoother and more fun!

1) Learn about the unlimited potential you have in this sport!

When I first got started in the sport, I only knew about IRONMAN races. It wasn't until many months into it that I ever found out about the shorter (and more reasonable) distances that triathlon offered. Triathlon has varying distance races equating to most commonly (in distance order) the following: Super-Sprint, Sprint, Olympic, Half-Distance, and Full-Distance races. There's a race length for any and every one, and it allows you to find the challenge you want.

2) Find a race that works with your schedule and goals

With the sport of Triathlon continuing to grow, there's always a race happening somewhere. Find a local race. Playtri puts on a race every 4-5 weeks from March-September (once in shape, it's easier to maintain!!) See Playtri Race Schedule here:

By putting a race on the calendar, it gives you something to look forward to and stay on track in your training. The length of the triathlon season also allows for you to start advance your race lengths should you want to over the course of many months. You can safely build fitness to be properly prepared for the longer length races as your training grows through the season.

3) Get into a proper triathlon training program

If you wanted to learn to play the piano, but you'd never touched the keys before, chances are you'd hire a teacher, right? There's nothing like watching an athlete "go it alone" their first few seasons, only to drop out of the sport from nothing more than lack of knowledge. Though swimming, biking, and running are simple in theory, when you bring them all together, the combination begins to get challenging. Often we're asked "How much should I train?", "Is XYZ enough for ABC?", "What should my nutrition plan look like?" and so on. Every athlete is different, from physically to the amount of time they can invest weekly, so having someone help create a program that makes more sense to your needs is paramount. Whether individually, or in a group setting for the added community building of like-minded people, getting the proper direction and instruction for your triathlon training and racing will make the experience that much better for you.

4) Know the basics of triathlon gear, (and how to use it)!

Learning about what equipment you need for your specific goals is key. Not all triathlon lengths are created equal! Outside of swim goggles, a bike, and running shoes, there are many items that make your triathlon experience much more enjoyable. Getting educated on the different items, as well as the usage and importance of each, will allow you to have a full arsenal of tools for your training and race day. Check out our race day gear checklist to get an idea of items you'll need here:

And finally...

Triathlon is an incredible way to get fit, meet people, and create a healthier lifestyle in a fun environment. Whether a weekend warrior, or a chronic Ironman, triathlon embraces all people as athletes. Grab a family member or friend, sign up for a race, and we'll see you at the finish line!!

Happy Training!

Coach Raina, see bio here



PART 2: Fall / Winter Considerations in your Training Plan

So, my hope is like I said in Part 1 of this series, you have taken or are taking the first step in your fall/winter training schedule = recovery.

I like to give athletes a bit to breath and regroup after a long season. Here in Texas, if we really wanted to, we can race up to 8-9 months a year of triathlon alone... yes, we are freaking lucky!  So where should our focus be right now.... 


NOW it's time for an assessment of how your body has compensated for repetitive motion, stress, breakdown, compensation, injury...

You get it- imbalances are inevitable. 

There are so many assessments that coaches, trainers, physical therapists like to perform on clients.  

The goal here is not simply to get the testing done- but you should expect an easy to follow and repeatable program to build on roughly every 6 weeks.

When testing clients, I like to incorporate the following into their personal program

A. 5-10 minutes of foam rolling & lengthening exercises

B. 10-12 minutes of core and activation exercises

C. Added bonus: I like to educate the client on a 5-8 minute dynamic functional warm up/ movement to get the client 'going' prior to their workouts.

NEXT, athletes need to readjust their daily nutrition and caloric needs!

I am not talking about restricting here... but rather, you should consider pulling out the majority of the simple sugar sports nutrition and opt for real food / nutrient dense sources for energy and repair. 

3 ways I personally monitor my clients metabolic needs and follow through:

A. Body composition testing (every 6-8 weeks)

B. Resting Metabolic Rate testing (every 12-16 weeks)

C. Reviewing daily food logs to ensure adequate nutrition and proper macronutrient timing around workouts and recovery

Time to set out some time for testing, analysis, and application to the details!

If you are interested in scheduling your muscular and/or metabolic testing- please contact me at

Look forward to hearing from you. 


Part 1: Fall / Winter Considerations in your Training Plan

So, maybe you just completed your first tri season, nailed your A race, and/or are already looking forward to 2019’s race season. 
What now?!?
Many triathletes get into a rut of either just laying this time of the year completely down or assume they should jump right into ‘base training’. 
Reality they forget and miss out on several aspects of yearly planning that will maximize their time, energy, and efforts in the “off season”. 

It’s been a long season (here in the south, nearly 8months of potential racing!).
You have asked a lot out of your family/friends, body, mind, & yes- sometimes you even left your soul out on the course(s).

With the fall/winter, the weather can be pretty rough, the days are shorter, professionally with the year ending- you might have a few projects to close up that need more attention, you have likely cut into a bit of your family/friend time, and truthfully you need some time to increase recovery mentally, muscularly, and metabolically.

We always recommend athletes take a step back (notice I did not say ‘step out’) and refocus on their personal priorities and first address weaknesses outside of swim, bike, and run. 

Few things I encourage athletes to do through the fall/winter:
* Increase sleep/sleep quality
* Make family / friends a priority again, weekly!
* Increase adventure and cross training
* Reduce sugar intake and return to quality nutrition/ listen to their body’s hunger and satiety signals 
* Increase massage/ chiropractic care- yes, you read that right 
* Reduce total training volume and let go of the metrics

There are many more factors that increase your recovery rate from the triathlon racing season- your goal, find your ways/modes that will bring back your bounce and balance.

Happy Training!
If you have further questions or comments, please email:

Coach Morgan's Holiday Gift Guide

Here are the top gift suggestions that Coach Morgan recommends:

Garmin Varia RTL510 - $199.99 (Bundle - $299.99)

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If your favorite triathlete's safety is important to you then the Garmin Varia RTL510 is a no-brainer. The current Varia functions as both a powerful taillight (daylight visibility with a 220 degree range) and as a radar device that provides visual and audio alerts to warn of vehicles approaching from behind up to 140 meters away. The device is USB rechargeable and has 15 hours of battery life in flashing mode, and 6 hours in solid mode.

Garmin 520 Plus - $279.99


If your triathlete was born to roam, the Garmin 520 Plus will be the perfect companion for his or her adventures by bike. The 520 features some of Garmin's most advanced navigation options, including turn by turn directions for both on and off road courses, and Strava Live Segments with real-time results on screen. Built-in incident detection provides peace of mind for family and friends back home. The 520 will also pair with power, heart rate and cadence sensors, making it a solid option for cyclists and triathletes alike.

Bike & Run Calorie Expenditure and RMR Testing Bundle - $300

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Does your athlete want to stop playing guessing games with his or her nutrition? Whether an athlete wants to lose weight, improve recovery or confidently toe the line at his or her next long course event, Playtri offers the most up to date calorimetry testing technology to assist athletes in nailing one of the most challenging (and personal) aspects of the sport - deciding what to eat! This bundle includes:

  • Bike Calorie Expenditure Test

  • Run Calorie Expenditure Test

  • Resting Metabolic Rate Test

  • 30 Minute Results Review and Consultation

2XU compression socks - $39.95-$49.95

2XU Compression Socks

2XU Compression Socks

A long-time favorite of Playtri staff and athletes alike, the 2XU line of compression socks offers both comfort and enhanced performance and recovery to athletes of all levels. Graduated compression promotes circulation through the lower limbs, while anatomical left and right foot beds provide padding and support for maximum comfort.

Mountain Bike - Price varies


This off-season is the perfect opportunity for your favorite athlete to try something new! Mountain biking is quickly growing in popularity among triathletes due to its ability to build sport-specific fitness and skills, while allowing athletes to explore new trails and experience different formats of the sport such as single track riding, cyclocross and gravel riding. Entry level mountain bikes stocked at your local Playtri Store typically have a lower price point than road bikes of the same quality (and all of our bikes are always priced to compete), and will come equipped with an aluminum frame and front suspension. With our 30 day no-fees exchange policy, you can never go wrong with a new bike!

Bike Fit - $100 ($149 for Guru/Retul Motion Capture Fits - normally $250)

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Does your athlete ever complain of discomfort on the bike? Have difficulty handling their bike safely? Struggle to run well off the bike in races? These are all potential signs of an athlete in need of a new fit. Many athletes may not get a "full" fit when initially purchasing their bike, and very few athletes know that their bike fit needs to be updated once a year. Make sure your athlete can ride safely and comfortably with a Playtri bike fit, which includes the initial fit and two FREE follow up sessions.

New Wave Swim Buoy - $29.95-$39.95

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Is your athlete already dreaming of next year's open water swims? Make sure he or she is prepared to swim safe with a New Wave Swim Buoy. The New Wave Swim Buoy provides increased visibility, personal storage space and a flotation device that's available whenever (and wherever) your athlete needs it. Athletes with open water anxiety will experience improved peace of mind when using the Swim Buoy, while confident swimmers can enjoy swimming with increased convenience. The New Wave Swim Buoy is one of our best-sellers!

KICKR Core Trainer Bundle - $899.99


Wahoo Fitness is bringing direct drive smart trainers to the people this year with the KICKR Core Smart Trainer, and you can bring the ultimate indoor riding experience to YOUR athlete with the KICKR Core Trainer Bundle. Bundle includes a 10 or 11 speed compatible cassette (required for trainer use), wheel block and sweat net (to protect your athlete's frame and headset during those extra sweaty sessions!) 

Clean Your Bike Bundle - $125

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Every triathlete knows the bike needs a bit of TLC before the first race of the season, so make sure your athlete is set up for safe and fast early season riding. Our Clean Your Bike Bundle includes a Playtri Total Care Tune Up, 20 ounce bicycle degreaser and 4 ounce bicycle lube. 

Nutrition Sampler Box - $30

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For the athlete who wants to mix up his or her nutrition in the new year, try our nutrition sampler box. This box will come with a variety of gels, chews, waffles and drink mixes valued at $40 or more. Throw in a gift card so your athlete can purchase more of his or her favorites!

Zipp Firecrest 404 Wheelset - $2200 


We commonly have athletes ask us if carbon race wheels are "really worth it," - in one word, YES. A carbon race wheel provides a faster, more responsive ride that is also more comfortable. The current Zipp Firecrest 404 wheelset is one of our go-to wheelsets at Playtri due to its mid-range price point, all-around performer depth of 58mm, Zipp ShowStopper textured braking surface with unrivaled rim braking performance, a stiff and durable Zipp 77/177 hubset, and revised rim profile and dimpling pattern for even better and more functional aerodynamics than previous iterations.

Nathan Neutron Fire RX Runner's Headlamp - $54.99

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Most runners and triathletes we know will hit the roads (and trails) day or night, and in just about any conditions - if your athlete needs to get their runs in during low-light hours, make sure to equip him or her with our favorite headlamp, the Nathan Neutron Fire RX. With a 200 lumen LED spotlight for trail visibility, side strobes for increased athlete visibility, 5 lighting modes and 25+ hours of battery life all packaged in a lightweight, comfortable and weather resistant model, this head lamp will do the job for just about any athlete.

Have questions?! Feel free to email me at:

Morgan Johnson Hoffman

Fall & Winter Motivation

So in the good ol’ USA, 2018 triathlon season is almost a wrap... days are getting shorter... temps are dropping (in much of the country, it’s starting to rain/snow cats & dogs)... LETS GET REAL, motivation at times, not so much!

Check out a few ways to get your butt up stay engaged and motivated throughout the beginning of the off season months:

1) Bomb Proof the Body

The tri season is long, you asked a lot out of your body- it’s time to rebuild the machine.  

A. Make sure you either start or continue the strength building process both in swim-bike-run 

(Swim: paddles, buoys, bands, fins, snorkels/ Bike: hills and over-gear work/  Run: hills and drills)

B. Enjoy some Complimentary Sports/Activities: skiing, snowshoeing, rowing, tennis... the list goes on and on. 

C. Strength Routine: Hit the weights to maximize your time

D. Nutrition: as hard as it is through the holidays for some, nutrition is key to keep the immune system healthy and to allow the body to rebuild. Drop the gels and sports nutrition, and focus on whole, real, simple food... easy to remember, ‘drop anything from a box, bottle, or bag.’

E. Sleep: increase sleep and reduce caffeine. Listen to your natural body clock as much as possible. 

F: Massage/Chiro: just bc you aren’t training the body ‘as hard’ at the beginning of off season- you will start to ramp back up. You want that body ready to rumble!

2) Stop the Monotony

Keep your workouts short and sweet. No need at this point to be a slave to long hours. Throw out the idea of base work- think of first recovery (see above) and prepping the body & mind for the next phase of your yearly approach to training. 

3) Drop the Statistics

You have most likely and smart I might add, been guided by pace calculation and metrics. Give them a little break and revisit listening to your body. Most coaches know to give your athletes a balance of some space to play but also schedule out some quick ‘fartleks’/ intervals to stimulate both the body and mind again.

4) Make it a Happy Hour

Don’t go at the fall alone. Invite some friends to head out on one of your short sweat sessions or join a local group for a couple workouts a week. Even better, plan to grab a quick bite afterward. Make a workout part of your social life. 

5) Reality Check

Always remember- Race season will be fast approaching (esp here in the south)- as soon as the new year approaches. Races begin to sell out and kick start as early as March! (That is literally 10 weeks from New Years Eve!). I like to remind Athletes, “If you don’t do the work in the ‘dark’, you don’t get to gripe when you don’t ‘shine’ on race day.” 

Just a suggestion, through the next couple of months, pick one of the motivator points above each week, and write it down. Each day, tackle the ‘theme’ - get off the couch and make it happen- no excuses! : )

Happy Training!

If you have further questions/ comments, please email:

See more tips from our Playtri Coaches on the Coach’s Blog.

Off Season Training ~ Fall/Winter Running

The weather demands your running attention... time to head out!!! 

Try out these ~40-45min/workout, notice again, just like the swim & bike workouts, we are basing workouts on perception of effort, let loose a little bit and enjoy the freedom of simple running. 

If running is your weakness, build up to at least 3-4x/week. Wanna step it up a notch, brick it with weights.

Bonus if your week allows, grab some friends and enjoy some good convo over an easy zone 2/ low Training Pace workout on the weekends.

(Quick definition of a fartlek: short, sweet pace changes without specific distance or speed goals, rather this workout should emphasize and encourage a psychological and positive training experience) 

1) Hill Workout (next level- find a grassy hill to increase core and hip stabilization)

5-10min warm up with some quick cadence fartleks/ 5min cool down

25-35min repeats

1min-90sec climb at 80%/ easy jog down

1min-90sec climb at 90%/ easy jog down

1min climb at 100%/ easy jog down + 1min rest

2) Pick Ups

5-10min warm up with some quick cadence fartleks/ 5min cool down

30-35min repeats

1min @ fast (not sprint!)/ 1-2min easy jog

3) Drill/Skills
5-10min warm up with some quick cadence fartleks/ 5min cool down
25-35min repeats

3min build pace 
30sec single leg drill/ 30sec easy

30sec single leg drill/ 30sec easy

4) Basic Fartleks 
5-10min warm up/ 5min cool down

30-35min repeats

10-30sec work the leg lift and lean forward to increase speed/ 30-50sec easy jog

Grab those kicks and head outside!

Happy Training!
If you have any questions/comments, please email:

Off Season Training ~ Fall/ Winter Bike Workouts

Watts up = Let’s have some fun while making some gains this fall/winter.

Here are various 40-45min/workouts below. Notice, just like the swim workout post, we are basing workouts on perception of effort, not tied down by specific watts and/or heart rate here.

The goal: build up to at least 3-4x/week. Wanna step it up a notch, brick it with weights or a transition run... bonus if your week allows + the weather holds up, or you are used to sitting your hiney on the trainer, consider adding a long zone 2/ low Training Pace workout on the weekends with some company. 

1) Workout for Strength

5-10min warm up with some quick cadence fartleks

(quick definition of a fartlek: short, sweet pace changes without specific distance or speed goals, rather this workout should emphasize and encourage a psychological and positive training experience) 

25-30min repeat @ choice effort

3min @ 60-70rpm/ 3min easy 

1min @ 50-60rpm/ 1min easy

5min cool down

2) Workout for Max Power

5-10min warm up with some quick cadence fartleks

25-30min repeats 

10x30sec: all out power on your seat/ 30-60sec easy

10x30sec: all out power off your seat/ 30-60sec easy

5min cool down

3) Drill/Skills Workout
5-10min warm up with some quick cadence fartleks

25-35min repeats

30sec single leg drill/ 30sec easy

30sec single leg drill/ 30sec easy

1min seated @ 100+rpm/ 1min easy

1min standing @ 60-70rpm/ 1min easy

5min cool down

4) Workout with 40:20’s
5-10min warm up


40sec @ hard effort/ 20 @ easy effort

5min cool down

Get your cheeks on the saddle!!!

Happy Training!
If you have any questions/comments, please email:

Off Season Training ~ Time to Tackle the Swim!

“Off season”... Time to tackle your weaknesses. Unless you grew up swimming, we are all chasing “Nemo”. 

Our goal in Playtri is:

1) long term health & consistency

2) don’t waste your time

3) maximize your energy

4) have some freaking fun...

& all end with the same result = you WILL get FASTER!

Notice below, none of the swims are based on a specific pace but rather the perception of effort and focus on the details are the name of the game.

LAST NOTE: These workouts are short and sweet, ~35-40min/workout. The goal is build up to at least 4-6x/week in the water.

Wanna step it up a notch, brick it with weights, bike intervals, or a transition run... can’t go wrong, play a little bit!


200-300 WarmUp/ 100-200 Cool Down 
Repeat 25min
4-6x50: 15 kick Fast/ 35 easy swim- 10sec rest 
100: with buoy- as soon as your hand hits the water, pull through with a crescent elbow-10sec rest 
6-12x25: with snorkel and band- focus on keeping the body on top of the water, engaging in your core, and keeping the chin down- 10sec rest
100: with paddles and buoy- combine all the work and detail above- 30sec rest

WORKOUT FOR SPEED: (this swim is from one of the greats, so don’t quote me, just trust the results!)
200-300 WarmUp/ 100-200 Cool Down 
Repeat 25min:
4x50: 15sprint/ 35 easy- 10sec rest
3x50: 25sprint/ 25 easy- 10sec rest
2x50: 35sprint/ 15 easy- 10sec rest
50: Sprint!!!- 1min rest

200-300 WarmUp/ 100-200 Cool Down 
Repeat 25min
200-300: 25 single arm drill/ 25 single arm drill/ 50 easy swim 
200-300: 25 fist drill/ 25 easy swim
200-300: 50 catch up drill/ 50 easy swim
200-300: kick with snorkel and fins

Repeat 3-4x 
10min- moderate swim and throw in 15-35yd/meter sprints. Keep it continuous throughout the time frame- 1min rest between each.
Mix and match equipment, if desired.

No excuses- go put your face in some chlorine & make some gains.

Happy Training!
If you have any questions/comments, please email:

The whys, when’s, how’s of Smart Trainers and Power Meters

WHO is using a power meter / smart trainer?
The better question is: who isn’t using one! Right now there are so many apps available to the athlete, from recreational to professional alike, that are taking their cycling to the next level. And what’s even cooler, many of these apps are allowing you to ride ‘alongside’ the greatest in sport.
Name dropping here: Jan Frodeno (Olympic GOLD medalist), Lional Sanders (2nd place IM World Championships), Kristen Armstrong Savola (3x Olympic Time Trial Gold Medalist)... you catch the drift- road, gravel, time trials, mountain bike specialists, triathletes...everyone is doing :)

WHY are they such a great tool?
Safety, Consistency, Time efficiency, Measurable progressions, & Engaging/Entertaining

WHEN should/can you utilize them?
Year Round! But most popular during those cold, dreary days and when the days become shorter and there is far less sunlight.

HOW will taking advantage of a power meter/ smart trainer translate to increased fitness, power, and overall speed on the road?
The trainer/ power meter will create a consistent platform and motivation for you as an athlete to use. 
Because it is far safer than the road and literally in your ‘own backyard’/ staring at you, you are more far more likely to grab your shoes and hop on.
With consistency comes results! No doubt, structured programming built toward your goals comes progress and motivation.
And one last thing, riding with a purpose, while ‘hanging out’ with the best of the best (potentially world wide greats)- who wouldn’t love that!

WHAT now?
Get with a certified coach to find specifically fits your goals, experience, and budget. There are so many options. At Playtri, we do not simply sell the product. Rather we want to educate, guide, and maximize your potential, as you learn to love and see progressions with your trainer/smart trainer.

Happy Training- if you have further comment or questions, please email:

Shop Smart Trainers and Power Meters at

Training Safe During Shorter Days

Training Safe During Shorter Days

Fall means shorter days, which means less daylight for training sessions. However, the current available technology provides ample options for athletes wishing to maintain solid training volume year-round. Consider the following options when planning your training for the coming months:

Reflective gear and apparel: This includes any items with reflective surfaces designed to redirect light back to its source, creating greater visibility. Reflective items are highly recommended during low light or dark hours. Coach Morgan recommends:

·       2XU Reflect Compression Calf Guards

·       Nathan Bandolier Vest

Clip on lights and head lamps: Runners and cyclists alike can benefit from the wide variety of personal lighting currently available on the market. Many lights are now designed with clips or other generic attachments so they can be easily placed wherever it makes the most sense for the athlete. Coach Morgan recommends:

·       Nathan Runners’ Headlamp Neutron Fire RX

·       Nathan StrobeLight LED Clip

Bicycle lights: Cyclists are strongly recommended to have both front and rear lights on their bike for day and nighttime visibility. Many states require a functioning red taillight for low light or dark hours. In recent years, many bike lights have switched from being battery operated to USB rechargeable, making prolonged use easier and less expensive for athletes. Coach Morgan recommends:

·       Garmin Varia RTL510 Radar Tail Light

·       Lezyne Hecto & KTV Pro Drive Pair

Stationary cycling trainers: With smart trainers and apps like Zwift and TrainerRoad, the days of dreading the trainer ride are over! Trainers are a great way to get quality bike volume in on your race bike, even when you can’t get outside. Coach Morgan recommends:

·       Wahoo Kickr

·       Tacx Blue Matic

Yummy Fall Recipes You can Feel Good About

Well, the high's are in the 80's today, which means it's almost Fall in Texas! Seasonal food has always been a big part of Fall for me, and the  flavors that I find myself craving the most are apple, pumpkin and cinnamon. However, it seems like most often I find these flavors in pie, which isn't the healthiest fix!

So, I did some digging, and I want to share my finds with you - six awesome, healthy Fall recipes that you can feel good about sharing with your young Lions, and the rest of your family. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Leek Soup

Cinnamon Baked Pumpkin

Pumpkin Smoothie

Baked Apples (one of my favorites growing up!)

Ellie Krieger's Apple Muffins

Kale and Apple Salad

Remember, when you are eating foods like pumpkin and apple with the skin on it is important to make sure you wash them thoroughly, and if you can, buy organic (not that I have ever turned my nose up at a Red Delicious apple, regardless of its origins!).

Happy Fall!

Coach Morgan


The Short Course ~ RUN FOCUS

When  I recall last year's short course experiment (getting my butt kicked around) & experience (humbling yet absolutely invigorating)....I quickly realized short course triathletes are on a total different level when it comes to the run segment of the triathlon.

And, NO- I am not just stating a Captain Obvious Moment but rather they approach the entire race (including their warm ups) completely different than that of a long course athlete.

Here are just a few aspects that stood out to me. Plus skills and drills to implement in your workouts.



Have you ever been to an 140.6 or 70.3 distance event and watched the athletes warming up? Better yet, watch them about 2-3 days out from 'game day.'  Its fascinating how "fast" these athletes are trucking through the streets... before the race even begins.  Honestly, everyone knows they are not going to be running these paces (and we are talking just a few pick ups to stimulate the body).

Short course athletes on the other hand (much like professional runners) understand there is a difference between truly allowing the body to gently warm up on race day (including days leading into the race) compared to race pacing.  I noticed little bravado and far more focus on individual needs in both race preparation and race mentality.

Workout Skill / Drill to Implement in Training:

LEARN what your body needs to properly warm up and put you into the mindset to have your best day.  Although everyone is different, research has shown athletes need at least 8-12 minutes to warm up & to finish the warm up no earlier than ~5min before the gun goes off.  PRACTICE your warm ups before each workout as you near race day.  It sounds ridiculously easy, but you will teach your body and mind to 'turn on' automatically come race day, without the outside influences (AKA: testosterone or how many IM tattooed athletes you can get to look at you).


Again, T2 is no different- these guys/gals are lightening FAST! Long course athletes tend to get trapped into a mindset that slower is better.  I don't agree with that in long course on so many levels, but in short course if you take that route... good luck on catching them!

Workout Skill / Drill to Implement in Training:

1x/week at least, set up a mock T2.  Lay out all your stuff, and do at least 10 run throughs. Work on the dismount, with or without shoes, your choice, BUT make sure you actually practice this otherwise come race day pressure and people around you, you could create an unsafe dismount line both for you and other athletes.  Practice pushing the bike by the saddle, running to your 'rack', switching out bike gear for run gear, and hit the pavement with your race belt (penalty if your don't wrap one of these guys around your waist before you leave T2). Simply, practice.


Watching short course, you will see that these athletes do not slow down, look over their shoulder to check if anyone else is turning as they do, they for sure do not cut in wide and then be forced to swing out wide as they round a cone or barrier.... watch a race car driver, this is probably the easiest way to learn how we should be taking the corners :)

Workout Skill / Drill to Implement in Training:

EVERY run you go out for, you can practice this in training.  Teach your body to pick up the pace (NOT slow down) through quicker, slightly smaller steps as you approach a corner or U-turn.  Teach your body to 'attack' the round about by taking a wide angle and then cut sharply into the turn. When making your way out of the turn, keep the feet quick and under you as you gain stability and forward progression on the straight away.

Again, its about practicing this and doing it over and over- short, long, slow, tempo, hills... EVERY run, practice this approach


YEP, you CAN draft on the run- even if it is only for mental focus and to help you stay on pace.  Also consider that not every race is going to hand us calm winds and sunny skies.  Short course athletes have no problem 'sitting on others heels'.  They use others to block the elements, keep pace, get out of their own heads when they are hurting, takes the pressure off of them as they ascend and descend... in other words, they don't mind using one another.  But this is something that you should work on... it does not come natural for athletes to stay patient and also calm as someone is breathing down their neck when they are already on the brink.

Workout Skill / Drill to Implement in Training:

Your next group run, you don't even need to tell anyone you are practicing this skill... let someone else, who is similar to your pace or just slightly faster, lead the way.  Work on sitting on each side of their shoulder and right behind them.  Notice the more you practice, the less ego will eat at you and you can actually teach your body to 'calm down' knowing you are not the one having to set the pace or block the elements. 

The next level or step up would be sitting on another athletes heels and then picking up the pace or even working on short 1-2 minute surges, then backing off and returning to their heels.  It takes getting used to mentally and physically- work on it to take your racing to the next level- yes, even you long course athletes!


Short course teaches us HOW TO RACE... even when the goal is long course. 

Short course stimulates us mentally and physically in every aspect of race day.

And maybe what I love most about short course, that WE ALL can take away, short course athletes understand and live balanced... they work hard, train hard, race hard, and recover harder... all this and I will say it again like I did in the first article on this topic, "short course athletes show up, push really hard, and get to brunch by noon."

Worth it hands down!


If you have any questions, please email me at

Top 5 Questions with Coach Morgan

We asked our PLAYTRI Coaches, what questions they hear from Athletes over and are Coach Morgan's Top Five:

1) What should I eat during a race?

A light meal that will sit well the evening before, another light meal 2-3 hours before race start (mostly carbs - low fat/protein/fiber), then a gel or similar 15 minutes before race start. How much you eat during will depend on the distance, but remember the focus is always on replacing carbs, not fat or protein.

2) What should I wear during a race?

Whatever you wear, it needs to be something you've trained in prior. Tri suits are great if you are racing for a time (since no changing is required), but not mandatory. Some athletes just race in a swimsuit! The most important thing is comfort, and make sure if you are going to bike and run in the same thing you swim in that you are comfortable doing those activities while that attire is soaking wet! Self-conscious about parading around in spandex? We've got all shapes and sizes in triathlon, and the only thing triathletes care about is performance, so swallow your pride and wear what feels good.

3) Does it matter what type of bike I'm on?

Nope, as long as it is in good working order, has two wheels the same size (diameter) and working brakes, you are good to go.

4) Do I have to wear a helmet?

Yes - USAT says so.

5) What should I do for a strategy?

The safest strategy is to start easy and keep it easy. If you want to PR, start easy, then build sustainably throughout the course of the event. If you want to find your limits, it's ok to push from the start, but just remember that the risk of blowing up is much higher. Always remember - the solution to every problem is to slow down ; )

RUNNING SHOES: HOW, WHAT, & WHEN ~ Guest Blog by Dr. Kimberly Davis

DR. KIMBERLY DAVIS from RUNLAB™ give us some insight into Running Shoes: How, What & When


Probably more often than you think. We recently had a great guy come into the clinic with a hole in his shoe so big that his pinky toe was sticking out because…wait for it…the school pig had chewed on it a few weeks back. Yes, a few WEEKS back. Another lovely woman came in last week wearing Newtons with so little heel left on them that it was causing her to lean backward when she ran (in case the irony of this is lost on you, Newton’s big claim to fame is that they "teach" you to run on your mid/forefoot..a topic for another day). Even if you have managed to achieve sound biomechanics (rare), are extremely light weight (also rare), and a low mileage runner without a pet pig, it is still important to remember that your shoes have a shelf life. Those sweet (rad?) neon and splatterpaint Nike knock-offs you bought for 39.99 from may look really cool, but they probably aren’t doing you any favors from an injury prevention standpoint. Most people wait until they start to notice nagging pains before they think to replace their shoes, instead of doing it before the issues pop up. EVA foam hardens after 1-1.5 years, meaning that when you buy older model shoes on clearance or online it is possible for them to be “worn out” before you ever run in them. Most runners should replace their shoes every 300-500 miles depending on the weight of the runner and the efficiency of their mechanics. This means every 5-6 months for the average recreational or very lightweight runner, and every 2-3 for the higher mileage or heavier runner, and this assumes you ONLY RUN in your running shoes, not wear them to work or to the gym.


I am a huge fan of this concept. Not only does it allow your shoes time between runs for the foam to “bounce back”, but different types of shoes give you different feedback from the ground, and in my opinion, this is always a good thing from a neuromuscular standpoint. Your body adapts very quickly to a learned stimulus. By giving it different signals you are forcing it to constantly respond to outside stimuli instead of just “going through the motions” with learned patterns. I personally rotate through several shoes depending on the type of run and how fatigued my body is, and I find it works very well for keeping my body engaged with what is going on between my foot and the ground. If you would like some guidance on this please feel free to call us or stop by and chat. Everyone that works at RunLab is a dedicated runner and we love talking shop!


If you answered: "Well obviously, I choose the shoes that will match my tutu for the Goofy Challenge", then you my friend could probably get a job in any number of running retail stores...but I digress. Choosing the right shoe is much more complicated than most people think IF you have suboptimal structure, range-of-motion, and/or biomechanics, which most non-elite runners (and even many elite runners) are challenged with. "How do I choose the right shoe" is the eternal question that every runner (and shoe company, and retail employee) wishes had an easy answer, but at the end of the doesn't. At RunLab, we feel very strongly that it isn't so much about the shoe as it is about the foot that inhabits the shoe (and the knee and the hip and the body that live above the foot and for some reason get left out of most types of "gait analysis" done in shoe stores). Most elite runners with sound biomechanics can run in almost anything they want to run in within a certain range, typically avoiding extreme stability in most cases. They aren't great runners BECAUSE of the shoe, They are great runners because of the work they have put in on the strength side, and often because of the genetic gift they have been given on the structural side. Back to the question. First and foremost, if a shoe doesn't feel good in the store, it won't feel any better when you run. Second (maybe even first) stop choosing shoes based on color! Base your choice on what works with you structure, goals, foot shape, etc. If you fall outside the "norm" structurally, meaning you have bunions, very high or very flat arches, knock knees, are bowlegged, have retroverted or anteverted hips, super tight hamstrings or calves, etc, or if you have a history of injuries or trouble finding shoes that work for you, get a gait analysis. And I don't mean the kind where somebody watches you run for 10 seconds down the street, looks at your foot/ankle, and then starts talking about how much or little you pronate or supinate. That isn't a gait evaluation folks! A good gait evaluation should look at your entire body from multiple angles, ideally, both in shoes and barefoot, and should factor in what is happening with your unique structure, range-of-motion, goals, strengths, and limiters. This is not something most people have expertise in doing well. Think of it in bike-fit terms, you can get your saddle height adjusted, OR you can go through a lengthy process that looks at all the necessary angles and takes your individual needs, foot position, femur length, tibia length, reach, etc into account. Both of these things might be referred to as a "bike-fit" but one of them clearly takes your unique structural and functional makeup into account and requires expertise in biomechanics to really fit you properly. Gait evaluation is the same way. Remember: understanding what could go wrong down the road through thoroughly understanding your mechanics is a heck of a lot cheaper than the rehab to fix the issue when you break. Just sayin.... :)

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For more information about the RunLab team, please visit WWW.RUNLABAUSTIN.COM For gait evaluation services outside the Austin area, please visit WWW.RUNLAB.US