Name: Liz Makofsky
City/State: Sammamish, WA
Primary sport: Triathlon
How many years in the sport: 5
What Zeren PT and Performance services have you used? I started seeing Chris for physical therapy then hired him as my triathlon coach shortly after being discharged from physical therapy.
Describe your athletic background and how you discovered your current sport? My dad ran competitively throughout my childhood and ultimately got into triathlon, so I was exposed to triathlon at an early age. I ran cross country in high school then ran very intermittently until my mid 30s. At that point, I started to run more regularly, but was sidelined with numerous injuries including knee surgery. I completed a couple of sprint triathlons as a way of incorporating some cross training, but didn’t stick with it. A couple of years later, my husband and I went to Kona to watch a friend compete in the Ironman World Championships. We went back to watch the following year as well. Inspired by all the athletes and curious how the human body can tackle 140.6 miles in one day, I signed up for and completed Ironman Coeur D’alene that following year.
What keeps you training and racing in your current sport? I like to push my body to see how much stronger and faster I can get. I’m motivated by seeing progress, even in training and I actually prefer to train than to race. I’ve met some of my closest friends through training and I love traveling with them and my family to destination races.
What are your go to Zeren PT exercise videos? I do whatever exercises Chris puts on my schedule. I tend to add to his list if I’m feeling a niggle or weakness somewhere. So if my neck or shoulders are bothering me, I do single leg shoulder extensions (sometimes raising onto my toes) and marching with a band (w’s). So I start almost all strength sessions with simple marching. I have discovered that Chris’ hip airplane drill helps me as does the marching matrix and lateral side step with a band above my knees. And, Chris once showed me an exercise that he called the hip thruster. He didn’t know until now, but I like to do that one frequently. I do it at home with my shoulders on a stability ball, black band above my knees and a homemade slosh beam across my low abdomen. It’s a good one!
Do you have kids? Yes, two boys -- 10 ½ and 13...very 13. :)
How does having kids affect your training? How do you balance it all? I feel fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom which affords me the time during the weekdays to get my training done while the boys are at school. The weekends tend to be a little more tricky. My husband, Steve, also trains for triathlons so we frequently trade off. One of us might get up and out the door early on the weekends while the other hangs with the boys. Then we swap in the late morning or early afternoon. I think that Steve and I both are pretty flexible on when and how we get our training done, as long as it happens. Actually, Steve is much more flexible than I am. Somehow, we make it work. Our boys have been incredibly patient and good sports about supporting us, so a lot of credit should go to them as well. They do get bored watching the races, but at least they tend to get cool (and warm!) vacations out of the deal.
What advice do you have for other athletes who struggle to balance training with family? It can be challenging and each family dynamic and schedule is very different. Communication and flexibility with timing workouts to work into a family’s schedule are critical. Sometimes life happens and I have to change my training plan to accommodate my family. I’m not always happy about it, but going with the flow is what enables me to be able to keep training and racing.
How do you balance your training with your partner? Any tips or tricks for keeping your partner happy while you train to reach your personal goals? Steve makes this very easy for me as he is incredibly supportive. As I mentioned above, we trade off workout times on the weekends and try to remain flexible as life happens. Sometimes we both feel selfish taking so much time for ourselves and away from “family time”. I try to make sure to stay on top of my responsibilities, chores, and the little requests that are important to Steve and the boys so they are happy while I am away.
What are your top tips for athletes, as it relates to staying happy, healthy and performing well? Hmmmm. I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer this one as I’m really still learning. For me, remaining consistent with my training seems to keep me strong and injury-free. I try to communicate to Chris ahead of time when I’m traveling or if I have a particularly stressful time. He is able to program shorter workouts that are appropriate to where I am. Even if I don’t want to hit the treadmill on a trip to Disney, I’ve found that I not only maintain my fitness better, but I tend to get less stiff and achey. Even more important, I can pick up my training right where I left off before the trip or modification without missing a beat.
How would you define athletic success as it relates to your personal journey? I constantly set little goals throughout training and racing and meeting each one is a success. That said, I’m constantly setting the bar higher for myself and trying to push for more. I usually acknowledge an accomplishment and have a new goal set almost simultaneously. I’m not sure if that is good or bad. :)
What's your favorite post-race meal, drink or food? Mexican food. I love chips and guacamole!
What key races do you have planned in 2017? Right now I’m only signed up for Santa Rosa 70.3. I’m also eyeing Ohio 70.3 and possibly Los Cabos 70.3 or another fall race.
What are your athletic goals for the next 5 years? I am focusing on half iron distance races and trying to get faster. I would love to qualify for worlds (South Africa?!! Nice?!! Location, location, location!), but have a lot of work to do to make that happen.
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