Chrissy Carroll is a registered dietitian, certified personal trainer, runner, triathlete, and an all-around wellness enthusiast. She blends both her personal and professional passions into her blog, Snacking in Sneakers, where she talks about balancing food, fun & fitness. Chrissy shares healthy recipes, running and triathlon tips, and sports nutrition information – targeted to women that want to live a healthy lifestyle, but still want to enjoy that delicious chocolate chip cookie every so often!
What is your favorite part about triathlon?
I like that it is three disciplines, because the variety makes the race fly by. I also find the triathlete community to be very supportive on the whole which is a huge plus for me. I’m part of a large group of Athena triathletes (a weight-based category for females) and find the support and interaction among us, as well as among all triathletes, very positive and uplifting.
How did you get started?
It’s kind of funny, because I didn’t get started out of some inner desire to be healthier or fitter. I went through a bad breakup and a friend suggested training for a sprint triathlon together. I thought it would be helpful for taking my mind off of the breakup so I signed up. My friend ended up injuring herself and had to drop out from training for it, but I decided to keep up with it. The second I crossed the finish line of that first race, I was hooked. That sense of pride and accomplishment felt amazing! I signed up for my next race very shortly after I finished the first one.
How many races have you completed?
Between road races, triathlon, and cycling events I’ve probably done 30-40 events since I started. That number includes two full marathons, an Olympic distance triathlon, and a century bike ride.
How long have you been doing endurance sports?
I started both triathlon and running back in 2009 and have been addicted ever since! I went from literally just starting to run when training for that first sprint triathlon to completing my first marathon only a year later.
What is your favorite race distance and why?
I love a good sprint distance triathlon. Generally they include a 1/4 to 1/3 mile swim, a 10-15 mile bike, and a 5K run. I like it for 3 reasons: 1) the variety in weekly training makes it easy to stick with and avoids burnout on any one exercise, 2) there are a lot of sprint distance events to choose from, and 3) it’s enough of a challenge that you feel exhilarated at the finish, but not so long that you feel like it kills your whole day.
What is your best training tip?
Not a training tip so much as a little tri hack that I like: take your wetsuit off in the water right before you get out of the lake/ocean (step to the side of course), especially if it’s a long way to transition and you’re already nervous about transition. Some will disagree with me, but I standby this one. When you have a long run to transition, the water drips out and that suit somehow turns into superglue on your body. It’s way easier to get a wetsuit off when you’re standing in water and can wiggle your way out of it quickly, then carry it back to transition with you.
What keeps you motivated?
There are a few things – my husband, my son, some good race swag (haha!) – but probably the biggest factor is just proving to myself that I can push myself to keep improving and completing these races, and knowing how good crossing that finish line will feel.
What advice would you give someone who is just starting on his or her fitness journey?
Sign up for something. Anything. It could be a 5K, it could be a triathlon, or it could be a Zumba-thon – just pick an event and put the money down. I feel like once you’ve clicked that “register” button and have paid for an event, you are way more likely to then figure out how to train and get yourself ready for it.