Fierce Ironman athlete and mom of four Julia Wreski shows us her workout must-haves for grueling triathlon training sessions and triumphant race days.
Swimming 2.4 miles, completing a 112-mile bike ride, and then running a marathon without a break is no easy feat. But for Fort Myers-based Ironman athlete Julia Wreski, that’s the easy part. What challenges her the most is getting to the starting line.
“Training for an Ironman is no joke,” says Wreski, who came in first for women’s overall for the Olympic distance at the 2015 Naples HITS Olympic Distance Triathlon. “It takes a lot of dedication and work, and not every race will turn out like you want it to. But training is a major confidence booster. Even though the workouts suck sometimes, I’m always happy afterward and I continually surprise myself with how much my body can do.”
To stay in top condition, she laces up her running sneakers in the morning, then hits the pool or hops on a bike. Sometimes, she’ll do both. Wreski, who was the first female finisher out of the water at the 2015 Ironman Florida, devotes between 15 and 20 hours a week to triathlon training, which she says not only keeps her in race-ready form but also helps her set an example for her children. “One of the reasons I do this sport is to show my kids that if you have a goal and put in the work, you can make it happen.”
“When you compete in a triathlon, you’re always given a free swim cap. Recently, I’ve been training in my freebies — they help keep me motivated. If I had to recommend a brand, though, Speedo and TYR have good selections.”
“Vaseline can help ward off chafing, so I’m never without it. If I want to run without socks for a short race, I’ll put it in my shoes where they might rub my feet.”
“It can be chilly before races start and when there’s a lot of time to kill it can be pretty awful. Small, disposable hand and feet warmers can be lifesavers.”
“I don’t know that they are superior to other goggles, but I like that I get good peripheral range in these. It’s important that each athlete finds what works for them — everyone is different.”
“I have been wearing these shoes for a while. They’re stable, which is great because I have plantar fasciitis and issues with my Achilles [tendon].”
“Rudy specializes in cycling, so they have some of the best products for biking. I like these glasses because they stay put and have good ventilation.”
“These have held up for the last three years. At this point, they smell so bad they could probably ride the next tri without me.”
“For training I wear a Trek Circuit, but I just got a hot pink Rudy Wingspan helmet for racing. It is supposed to be more aerodynamic, and the bright color will make me hard to miss.”
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