Janine Newman

Occupation: Mom, wife, part-time Pilates instructor and ballet teacher

Races Completed:

  • Wauconda 10K Challenge ’08, ’07, ’06
  • Wauconda Sprint Triathon ’08, ’07, ’06
  • Pleasant Prairie Sprint Triathlon ’06
  • Tower Triathlon ’08, ’07
  • Naperville Subaru Triathlon ’08
  • Bangs Lake Olympic-distance Triathlon ’08
  • Mundelein 4th of July 5k ’08
  • Banco Popular Half-Marathon ’08
  • Hot Chocolate 15K ’08

Goals Achieved: After I had my son (he’s three), I discovered that I needed to do more than my current routine if I was going to lose the last of the 61 pounds I gained while I was pregnant. So I started running.

Actually, it was walk-running. I couldn’t believe I was doing this because my whole life I never “got” runners, didn’t understand why they did it, etc. Yet, in the summer of 2006, I found myself signing up for my first 10k. Then, a friend and I somehow found ourselves doing the Wauconda sprint triathlon. The next summer, I repeated the same event without any real training plan.  Hhowever, I discovered that I was having a lot of fun doing this, and wondered if a structured training program could help me do even better.

In the summer of 2008, I was introduced to the TFP Super Summer Speed program. I was looking to become faster and better conditioned, and to have a clearer picture on how to train. What I achieved in the program was all of these things, plus a whole lot more.  After I started with Coach Matt, my run pace improved exponentially. I took 4 mins off my 10K, and took my typical 5K pace of about 9:00 min/mile to a 7:43 min/mile. I was more than convinced that Coach Matt’s plan and program netted what I considered to be huge results. I came a long way from my first “hill” run, where I was literally trying hard not to cry because it was such a challenge for me (no one else in the group looked like they were going to cry!), to now going out of my way to include hills regularly in my training .

Besides all of this, I met such an amazing network of friends who have supported and challenged my own progress. This has meant a lot!

After the summer had wound down I started a game plan what I wanted to get out of the “off-season”. My new goals became to improve my biking and get leaner. I started by getting a RMR and a biking EMR from Coach Lauri. Armed with this new information (which had to be patiently clarified and re-explained during the next few months), I was on my way.

I started riding in Computrainer sessions regularly, and my biking has improved by leaps and bounds. Granted it took me weeks to have a baseline understanding of all the data on the CT screen, but Coach Matt has been beyond patient with his explanations. To give you an idea, in Sept. I could barely manage an average of 75 rpm and a 150 watt ride. Just three short months later at the Jan. 3rd time trial, I surprised myself with a 201watt average ride and a pretty decent time ( If you don’t know what any of those numbers mean, don’t worry, I didn’t either a few months ago)! Now, I can really feel where, when, and how to push myself to become a more efficient rider.

The second part of my plan was to get leaner. Coach Lauri and Coach Matt did a great job of explaining how to utilize the RMR information in order to meet my goals. With calorie goals in hand, I became absolutely diligent in tracking my calorie and nutrition. I lost 12 pounds and took my body fat percentage from 16% down to 11.5%. Yippee!

Meanwhile I was consistent with my workouts, which included strength training with Coach Matt. I am proud to say that, not only did I complete the Fitness Challenge in December, but I was one of the top finishers (have I mentioned that, until recently, I never really picked up a weight heavier that 3 lbs?).

Suffice it to say, TFP has been instrumental in helping me achieve my goals, while helping me envision even more possibilities! The metabolic assessments helped me to understand what my body is capable of doing, as well as when and how to push myself.

Coach Matt asks a LOT of questions! I think he asks these questions to better shape what I can do, (or what he is going to make me do… ha ha), and to challenge the decisions I make when I’m not in the four walls of the TFP Studio. This personal attention has helped shape my TFP experience as being individual and specific to me. He and all the coaches I’ve encountered want us all to succeed at whatever our goals are. They have a lot of pride in what they do, which is something I’ve been happy to take part.

Advice for Other TFP Athletes: Trust in the plans and the knowledge of Coach Matt and the other coaches! Make clear goals and then be consistent in the actions it takes to get there. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; I certainly keep on asking. You will find the answers that keep you moving forward productively.

What’s Next? In 2009, I plan on completing my first half ironman distance, and my first marathon. Beyond that, I have an open mind and look forward to all of the “smaller” goals that will come along the way. I know I’m not the strongest or the fastest out there, but I do like to challenge myself and I know that TFP can help me figure out how to get there. Above all my plan is to have fun, work hard, and have balance doing it all.