Rockstar Triathlete Mary Liz Olazabal

Rockstar Triathlete Mary Liz Olazabal

Coach’s Notes:

Mary Liz started with me four years ago after getting injured by pushing too fast too soon on her own.

We got right to work on her evaluations for the swim, bike, strength and mobility. She kept improving across the board.

It was a long road back to running, but we improved her race skills with Aquabikes along the way.

Mainly a short course athlete I was excited to hear that Mary Liz was ready to go long after really dialing in her strength and speed in short course triathlon- getting on the podium many times.

Her race execution was pretty much flawless, and because she put in the training beforehand and had done all those sprints and Olympics- she had a stellar race. She also understands the conept of pacing the race which allowed her to obliterate her goal time.

Her goal time was 6:37 and she blew that away with a 6:11!

So proud of you, Mary Liz!!! Thanks so much for trusting me with your journey. I can’t wait to see what’s next for you!




5th Grade Social Studies Teacher

Why you chose FCC to help you on your triathlon/health and wellness journey?

I have been with Full Circle for four years. I love training outdoors and taking advantage of the great Miami weather and the beautiful views, especially the sunrises over the bay.

I also love training in a group. The camaraderie makes tough workouts much more fun.

Erinne is knowledgeable not only about the three disciplines, run, bike, and swim, but also about nutrition, strength, mindset, and recovery. It’s the whole deal. I often grow bored with my exercise routine, but triathlon gives me options.

Focusing on an event in one area, like the 8-mile swim for Alligator Lighthouse or a half marathon, allows me to change up my training and keeps me interested.

What is your “A” race for this season?

I just completed North Carolina 70.3. Only two months before the race, I signed up. I had been eyeing this race for years. It had many features that made it seem like a perfect first race for me.

My fitness on the bike improved over the summer. My long run was up to 6 miles. And swimming, well, I can’t say I’ve made significant improvements, but at least I’ve learned to manage my fear of swimming. 

My goal was to complete the race. But 56 miles on the bike was still a long ride for me. I couldn’t imagine running a half marathon afterward.

When I filled out my TriCalc, I came up with a time of 6:37. That seemed ridiculous. My real hope was to enjoy the race. I feared this being a one-and-done race. So, the day was beautiful, and I just tried to enjoy myself and hold back to finish the race strong. Fresh on the bike, my power was high, and I had to tell myself to cool it. My heart rate stayed in zone 2 the entire ride. When I headed out of T2 to begin the run, I felt great, but again I told myself to hold back. By the time I got to miles 10 – 13, I felt great and could pour it on. The whole race felt better than any race I’ve completed. I had fun.

Please share your BIG goals:

My BIG goal this year was to become more adept at using numbers to guide my training. This race has been on my vision board for a few years running. I was heading to having this year go by with little progress on this front until I signed up for North Carolina 70.3. This race required me to figure things out. I wasn’t always able to hit my numbers. I was rarely able to hit my numbers during the training, but I was certainly aware of what they were and that I was not quite hitting them. That was a big step.

Tell me about your successes so far:

Being able to run and increase my mileage has been my biggest success and one of my greatest sources of happiness. For years I competed in the Aquabike. But I never felt like a true triathlete. Then, last December, I raced in my first Sprint Triathlon in years. This was huge. I love the Sunday low heart rate long runs. I love track practice. And I no longer suffer for days after these long hard workouts.

What were some of your biggest Improvements in performance for each of the following? Swim, Bike, Run, and Nutrition/Health. Please include any Personal Records and Goals achieved:

1. I learned not to fear the swim.  

2. I’ve become somewhat stronger on the bike, but I still have much to learn. I need Bike Essentials!!

3. I’m able to run. That’s an improvement.

4. I’ve learned to fuel my workouts and make time for recovery  

5. Lastly, I’ve learned that strength training is critical regarding feeling better across all three disciplines and my energy level. While it’s hard to fit in, it greatly impacts my energy.

Name 2 or 3 things that have made the biggest difference in your journey:

1. I learned that I’m able to do hard things. Even when a workout seemed impossible, and as I trained for the 70.3, many workouts seemed near impossible, I had to tell myself to get it done. I trusted the process and did the work.
2. Fueling my workouts was important. Before training for North Carolina, I often showed up for workouts having taken aminos and a cup of coffee. Having a hard-boiled egg and avocado or half of a banana and almond butter became my new pre-workout breakfast.
3. Recovery was key for me. There were workouts in TP every day, and I tried to do everything, but I knew I could not work out every day. So instead, I would double up on a day to give myself a day off. For Wednesday’s swim, I would often move to Thursday so I could have a midweek break. This worked for me and helped me gear up for the tough Thursday – Sunday training. I also became even more religious about getting to bed early and incorporated yoga, stretching, and Jeff’s massages regularly. This made a big difference in my mobility and my ability to put in the work.

What excites you the most about being involved in triathlon?

I love the community. I love the variety of events open to me. I love how I feel when I achieve my goals.

What would you say to someone on the fence about joining our training program?

You can do so much more than you think you can. Give it a try.

Curious about Full Circle’s Triathlon Transformation program?
You too can become the triathlete you always dreamed of!

Erinne Guthrie has been a USA Triathlon Level II Certified Coach since 1999 and Chief Motivating Officer at Full Circle Coaching, LLC since 2010. Creator of Triathlon Transformation. She has been training, racing, and coaching triathletes since 1997. She is also a CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3, USMS Master’s Swim Coach, Motivational Speaker, Metabolic Efficiency Specialist, Mom, Mermaid, and much more.

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