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New York City Chapter Triathlon Team - Coaching Page

Head Coaches: Scott Willett, Ross Galitsky

Latest Announcements
sign image Training schedules and other important announcements are communicated by e-mail (direct messages or via Yahoo Groups).

Orca remains TNT's official wetsuit provider. Please check Orca website to familiarize yourself with wetsuit and its care.

Rudy Project is TNT's official eyewear and helmet sponsor. Special discounted pricing is available to TNT athletes on variety of sunglasses and helmets.

Coaching Staff
Head Coaches, Scott Willett and Ross Galitsky, started working with triathlon teams for New York Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training in 2001, developing a dormant triathlon program into multi-season, multi-event training and fund raising success. Athletes they coached already raised over 3 million dollars for the cause, while only one participant out of hundreds toeing the start line have not reached the finish line. Scott and Ross pride themselves in instilling in their athletes true triathlon spirit of individual competition combined with close comradeship and teamwork while training, and in converting dozens of participants to a life long triathlon lifestyle. Scott and Ross also developed a supporting coaching staff, teaching and passing their proven training methodologies and coaching phylosophies to many other local New York coaches.

Scott Willett
Scott has been living and dreaming about triathlons and giving life to others' triathlon dreams since 1985. He has participated in events of all lengths from sprint to ultras, and has relished the opportunity to eat great foods from all over the country and the world. His racing resume contains many overall wins, including a victory in the inaugural ironman race in Israel. While he still competes, his greatest passions are his direct family and his extended triathlon family. His coaching philosophy is simple - if you don't have a good time, it's not worth your time.

Ross Galitsky
Ross began his athletic career as a swimmer at the age of five in U.S.S.R. and continued swimming competitively through the graduate school in the U.S.A. He also played waterpolo. He moved into multisport racing after college by competing in lifeguarding tournaments. In 1988 he fell under the triathlon spell, and has been living the multisport lifestyle since. He competes in road cycling, running and triathlon races, with distances ranging from sprints to ironman, multi-day and ultra distance races. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, Aubin, who races for a local cycling team. Ross is USA Triathlon Level 1 coach, and also USA Cycling certified coach.

Training Plans and Schedules
Weekly and monthly training schedules are delivered via e-mail and newsletters.

Cancellations and Foul Weather Policy
We hold our outdoor GTS (Group Training Sessions) even if weather is not perfect (rain, snow, freezing cold, heat wave, etc.) but there are certain conditions when we may cancel or modify the scheduled activities. TNT will provide each team with season-appropriate guidelines on cancellations. Depending on conditions, format of the workout may be modified (bike session into run workout, for example) or, in extreme conditions, cancelled.

TNT's official weather/cancellation policy guidelines:
If there is lightning during an outdoor GTS, practice is automatically cancelled.
When there is lightning right before or during a swim GTS at Riverbank State Park pool, practice is cancelled as well.
If we know in advance that practice has been cancelled, either TNT staff or coaches will send out an email to the team.
You can call the TNT Weather Line (212-448-9206, ext. 225). If practice has not been cancelled, there will be a standard message on this line. If practice is cancelled, the message will include the date, sport, etc. of the GTS cancelled. Please remember that we share this weather line with all TNT teams, so please listen to the message carefully and do not leave messages on this line.

Coached Running Group Training Session (GTS) - Tuesday evenings
Central Park, 72nd Street Transverse, Bethesda Terrace.
Directions: Bethesda Terrace is located in the middle of the 72nd Street Transverse (also known as the 72 Street Cutoff). You can enter 72nd Street Transverse from the Park Drive (East or West).
Remember to warm up with a light jog on your way to Bethesda Terrace.

Coached Swimming Group Training Session (GTS) - Wednesday and Monday evenings (day of swimming GTS is based on your specific training program)
Riverbank State Park pool (entrances are on Riverside Drive and 137th or 145th Streets).
Directions: subway, bus, cab, on foot or by bike. Most athletes take subway (the 1 or 9 to 145th Street/Broadway) and walk one block west to the entrance to the Park, or the A, B, C, or D to 145th Street and Nicholas Avenue and walk three blocks west on 145th Street to the Park entrance.)
Remember to bring swimsuit, goggles, swim cap, towel, and sense of humor.

Coached Brick, Bike or Run Group Training Session (GTS) - Saturday mornings
Central Park, 72 Street Transverse, Cherry Hill (a.k.a. TNT Fountain) west of Bethesda Terrace or Bethesda Terrace.
Directions: TNT Fountain near Bethesda Terrace is located on the north side in the middle of the 72nd Street Transverse (also known as the 72 Street Cutoff). You can enter 72nd Street Transverse from the Park Drive (East or West).

Triathlon Events Information

2004 Events

Gulf Coast Panama City Half Ironman Triathlon - April 25, 2004, 6:30am.
Distance: 1.2 mi swim, 56 mi bike, 13.1 mi run

Swim is in the Gulf of Mexico (conditions are generally calm for open ocean swims but can challenging; water temperatures average 73 degrees). Wetsuits may be allowed (decided on the morning of the race). Swim will start with the elite wave and then all other age groups will follow. The swim is a rectangular pattern, 950 yards out and then a right 90 degree turn, 200 yards parallel to the shoreline, and than another 90 degree right turn heading back to the beach. The course is marked with buoys (you will swim to the left of the buoys).
The ride is through Panama City and Panama City Beach, flat (with exception of one climb over a tall bridge) but very windy. You will be sharing a part of race course with the traffic. All turns will have race officials to direct you. Aid stations will have water, Gatorade, fruit, Clif bars, carbo gels and cola.
The run is a flat circular course through beachfront areas. Temperatures average 85 degrees with high humidity.

St. Anthony's Triathlon - May 8, 2004, 7:30am.
Distance: 1.5 km swim, 40 km (24.8 mi) bike, 10 km (6.2 mi) run

Swim starts on the Spa Beach on the Pier, with rectangular pattern course of about 200 yards toward open sea, left 90 degree turn for another 200-300 yards parallel to the shore, and a final left 90 degree turn toward the shore. While the half of the swim is through the brisk waters of Tampa Bay, the other half is in the enclosed marina with minimal wave action. There are multiple wave starts according to age group and gender.
Ride is on the city streets, with multiple turns. There are no hills but when the course will take you close to the waterways and harbor, sea breezes will be present.
Run is also through the beachfront neighborhoods, flat, and with limited shade.

New York City Triathlon - June 27, 2004

2003 Events

Disney Triathlon - September 28, 2003, 7:15am.
Distance: 1.5 km swim, 40 km (24.8 mi) bike, 10 km (6.2 mi) run
Event held on the grounds of the Walt Disney World Resort. There are two separate tranzition areas: T1 at the Contemporary Resort parking lot and T2 at the Epcot Center. Swim at the Bay Lake (behind Contemporary) is orginized by age group waves. Bike is a point to point course with two bottle exchanges. Run consists of two laps around Epcot's World Showcase. Water and Gatorade will be available in the aid stations.

New York City Triathlon - August 10, 2003
This year swim was cancelled due to heavy rains and water overflows preceding race weekend. Triathlon was converted into biathlon race (short run instead of swim, same bike and same last run).

The Mighty Montauk Triathlon - June 7, 2003
One of the local events held right in our backyard. Distances are dictated by the local geography and are approximately Olympic - 1 mile swim, 22 mile bike and a 6.4 mile run. Being held on a tip of the Long Island, race had been known to be affected by the unpredicable weather conditions. The race course is pretty but can be considered demanding (open water swim, bike course with multiple turns and hills, and a longish hilly run).

Panama City Half Ironman Triathlon - May 10, 2003, 6:30am.

St. Anthony's Triathlon - April 27, 2003, 7:30am.
Distance: 1.5 km swim, 40 km (24.8 mi) bike, 10 km (6.2 mi) run

2002 Events

Disney Triathlon - Sunday, September 29, 2002, 7:15am.

New York City Triathlon - Sunday, August 18, 2002, 6:15am.

Memphis in May Triathlon - Sunday, May 19, 2002, 7:30am.

St. Anthony's Triathlon - April 28, 2002, 7:30am.

Participants Speak - Quotes and Race Stories
October 10, 2003. "Coaches, I just wanted to thank you all for a terrific experience. Each one of you helped me more than youíll ever know and words canít really express my gratitude. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me to improve by St. Anthonyís, but rest assured Iíll be working hard getting ready. Attached is my story that went out to my contributors. I figured since you are all major characters in the story I would share with you. Please donít be mad about the bike part Ė it was stupid, I know! And, my T1 was a nightmare, but I lived to tell the story and here it is.
Thanks again for Everything!" Connie

Well the triathlon is completed and I am happy to report that I actually crossed the finish line! More important, the TNT participants raised $1.7 million dollars, $210,000 came from the New York Chapter and $4,417.50 came from you all Ė my fabulous supporters. I thank each and every one of you for fantastic show of support Ė I really couldnít have done it without you cheering me on. Please note that you were an integral part of this experience for me. I had the best supporters and you should know that you did more than just write a check Ė your faith in me gave me the courage to finish this event. There are many people who will have a chance to experience a long and healthy life due to your generosity.

The following contains the event details, feel free to skip if you are not interested, but read on if you want to know the gory details. Itís long because you know I canít write anything short! (I will not be insulted if you donít get through it!)

I have to admit that once I arrived in Florida my first reaction was "what the heck do I think I am doing?" We arrived on Friday and right after taking our bikes off the truck we went for an easy 1 mile jog to acclimate to the weather. Not so easy! I couldnít breath it was so humid and my legs wouldnít move. I was convinced I had contracted asthma. To totally convince me of that fact, we had a practice swim on Saturday where we had to practice our entrance and exit to the water Ė I couldnít do that either. I was hyperventilating and freaking out with all the people racing into the water, I was trying to go to fast, I couldnít breathe and I couldnít swim. All of my confidence in New York about my swimming was gone. We sat through meetings of last minute details - every minute making me sicker and sicker, realizing I was totally in over my head. I remember saying to myself "my friends will understand if I just get back on the plane and leave town, I mean they donít want me to die or anything."

So in the morning I got dressed and brought my stuff down at 6 a.m. to transition 1 (T1 is where you transition from swim to bike, you have all of your stuff laid out so you run out of the water, throw on your bike shoes, helmet, etc. and take off on your bike.) If I was freaked out the night before I was really freaked out now! 1,500 athletes parading around (not walking Ė parading for everyone to examine) in their tri-suits getting pumped up is quite intimidating. Pump music was blaring from speakers and all kinds of announcements going on Ė it was a jolt!! I found my coaches and they sent me over to get body marked (where they write your number on your arms and legs) and then to get my champion chip (a little chip that gets strapped around your ankle and times everything you do during the race Ė oy!) If I wasnít nervous before, now I was really starting to freak out. What the heck am I doing here? These people are all SERIOUS athletes. They are going swim right over me and Iím going to be squashed like a bug or worse, drown!

Then, the worst moment of all, the sun came up and we could now see the swim course. Four buoys out, take a left, swim forever, take another left and a short leg home. Only problem was the 4th buoy was so far out I couldnít even see it. OK, now, I was really ready to get sick. There were 100 people in my wave (they send people into the water in groups of 100+ people). I am going to have get into that water and plow through 100 people and try to get out to that buoy without drowning. "OK, Iím screwed", I thought to myself. I walked up to my swim coach and said "Iím nervous." He told me to "go swim some laps and run on the beach." So I run into Helena and Katrina (two people from my team) and we walk down to the beach and do a little 15 minute run to get ready. Then we got into the pool and started doing some laps. I was surprised that there were only a handful of people in the pool so we were able to stretch out and really swim. I felt better. We talked and practiced our sighting technique and I felt a little better.

Finally, the energy before the start was so intense I thought somebody would have a heart attack. There thousands of people standing around trying to see the waves of swimmers run in. The announcer was doing the count down before each wave and the thousands of people were screaming 10, 9, 8... I almost fainted, it was totally surreal Ė "what the heck am I doing????" I was trapped in the middle of all these swimmers Ė I couldnít get out if I wanted to. And then the gun or whatever made that big bang noise went off and everyone in my wave started running into the water. I couldnít get past them so I just walked in. It took a whole minute before I could even find a place to take off and I couldnít even go very fast. And then the next thing I know I have a spot Ė my only place to swim and I just started to swim, slowly and after a couple of strokes waiting for my heart attack to arrive (as it had on the previous day). I was aware that I was strangely calm. Oh my God? Iím actually ok? I can swim again? Itís a miracle! I started to swim very slowly and now the swimmers were really dispersing in the water and I saw I had a really clear run for it. But then, the worst thing of the entire event happened, I heard someone yelling for help. I looked over and it was one of the women from my team in New York Ė sheís a good swimmer too. Her face was red and she was flailing her arms and screaming for help. One of the kayakers was with her in a second. I was calling out to her that I was right there, trying to remind her to breath. But I saw she was in desperate shape and the kayaker was not going to let her go on. I found out later that this happened to several people. I turned around realized that I had to keep going. But I was pretty shaken up by this event Ė there but for you go I...

Then the swim became even more surreal. The water was deep, dark and really beautiful. I was reminded of the day when I raced in the Hudson. Gentle rolling waves (caused by the swimmers and the boats because it was a lake) lulling you into a rhythm. I was swimming a little too far out to the right and a kayaker came up and told me to go to the left. I thanked him and asked him how far to that fourth buoy? I can only see that one in front of me. He laughed and said, "That is the fourth buoy honey, time to make to your turn, go for it." I couldnít believe it. How did that happen? How did I get all the way out to the 4th buoy that I couldnít even see from the shore? It was a miracle Iím telling you. I thanked the Divine, God, the particles of water and just kept counting my strokes and looking up every 20. And then I realized that I was enjoying myself. This was cool. You could really stretch out your arms and swim, swim, swim never even worrying about hitting the end of the pool. I had plenty of room and nobody was bothering me. It was a divine moment, I was totally aware of each breath, each stroke, every particle of water as it was gliding over me. I could have gone on forever, I was in forever. The next thing I know I was making the last turn and there was the finish line with the crowds roaring it was so close. And I just kept swimming, swimming, swimming and then I was on the shore ready to run through the swim finish gate. My swim coach Earl was standing right there yelling "go Connie, go!" I started running up the ramp. This was the same run we had done on Friday that I couldnít run. My feet just flew Ė I donít know who was carrying me but they had might strong arms because my feet didnít even touch the ground!!! 0.9 mile swim completed!

The next thing I know I was in the transition area, trying to scramble and get my helmet on, socks shoes, gloves, I was a little stunned Ė dazed in fact. What just happened, what I am doing now? Iím still alive? I was in disbelief. Then I saw everyone running toward the bike course and they looked mean! They sounded and looked like warriors stomping with their bike shoes, helmets and running with their bikes in one hand like a shield. They were running into battle, running to attack. I thought I had better do something quick Ė but I didnít set up my transition station correctly and I was fumbling for everything. Finally, I got everything together and joined the warriors heading into battle. As we passed through the bike start gate, hundreds more spectators were there screaming Ė a roar I was stunned. I heard someone yell ďgo, Connie, goĒ and I saw Vanessa our team coordinator waving me on. I stumbled trying to get on my bike but then I heard the click, click of my shoes into the pedals. I was locked in and I took off.

Soon the crowds were gone and I found myself on long stretch of country road with fields and cows and friendly cyclists racing by. Plenty of room, relatively flat, my bike was humming and weather was just right. Not too hot and the sun was sleeping behind the clouds. I was well aware that this was another divine moment. My legs felt great. The swim had totally loosened them up and I was cranking at a great cadence and speed. I couldnít have been happier. I was surprised as these elite athletes would sail by me almost every one of them said an encouraging word "youíre doing great," "go girl." And then they would speed off into the horizon and there was no evidence that they had ever been there at all. Soon, the fast cyclists were long past me and I was traveling with just few people on the course in front of me. I didnít look behind because it really didnít matter to me.

To read more, click on triathlon program participants talk.

Click to review TNT's Triathlon Team FAQ topics as well as Endurance World's FAQ page.

Topic sample: Bikes on budget

Bikes are not cheap. Good bikes are expensive. And great bikes are seemingly unaffordable, and shouldn't be bought by the people just starting in this sport. Used bikes can be a great deal but must be checked out by knowledgable and respectable bike shop.

Good values among the new bikes can usually be found among the following brands:

Felt - famed frame designer and maker (check their website to see local dealers such as R and A in Brooklyn). Felt has models under $1000. Great aluminum frames and great value for level of components.

Giant - compact design bike manufacturer (makes only 2-3 frame sizes that will fit almost anyone due to a variety of available stems and seatposts sizes). Good Far East bike frame and component manufacturer (also makes frames for many other companies). Has models below $1000. A lot of local shops carry them.

Other brands with entry level budget bikes include Bianchi, Fuji, KHS and Jamis; lesser value (since you are paying more for the brand recognition, advertizing and pro riders salaries) can be found in Specialized, Trek, and Cannondale.

Listed below are retailers and e-tailers your coaches approve. As stated before, our philosophy is to try to support local retailers first (and we mean specialized sporting goods stores not K-Marts of the world). But if budget considerations and/or local unavailability of product comes in play, than we fully support and recommend catalog and Internet shopping.

Besides the places mentioned below, there is a very comprehensive listing of manufacturers and catalogs available elsewhere on this website. Click on than on Equipment and Gear Links. Notice that a lot of manufacturers sell directly to athletes. For example, click on Zoot logo or link to check this triathlon/cycling apparel manufacturer.

Local New York Resources

If you need an indoor cycling trainer, coach Ross can arrange a discounted prices on Kurt Kinetic Standard or Road Machine models (very quite fluid resistance models) or Computrainer. He also can arrange for a discounted prices on PowerTap cycling power measuring systems.

Super Runners - 212-249-2133; 1246 Third Avenue, on a corner of 72 Street. Ask for Mike Keohane. He agreed to provide 10 percent off purchases. We trust him with our own feet. Make sure to shop in the evening, and remember to bring alone your old (and actually used for running) shoes and socks.

JackRabbit Sports - 718-636-9000; Park Slope, Brooklyn, 7th Avenue near Garfield Street. 10 percent discount for TNT athletes.

Chelsea Bikes - 646-230-7715; 26 Street (between 6 and 7 Avenues). Ask for Carlos. He agreed to 10 percent off purchases.

Paragon Sports - 212-255-8036, Broadway and 18 Street. Unpredictable selection of fitness gear, running shoes, swimwear, and cycling section. No discounts for TNT but a good place to browse, touch, and try running shoes and fitness apparel. Good value during frequent sales.

High Caliper Bicycles - 914-683-5603; 169 Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains. Store owner, Harlan Matusow, is a cycling coach for NYC TNT Chapter, and provides discounts for TNT athletes.

Larry & Jeff's Bicycles Plus - 212-722-2201; 1690 Second Avenue (87 Street). Ask for KC. Discount had been given to TNT athletes in the past.

Conrad's - 212-697-6966; 25 Tudor City Place, entrance from Second Avenue and 41st Street. High-end road bike shop. John Tsang is knowledgable and patient (during the off time), while mechanics (Yee and Phillip) are increadible.

Sid's Bike Shop - 212-213-8360; 235 East 34 Street (Second Avenue). Ask for Jordan. Discount had been provided for TNT athletes in the past.

R & A Cycles - 105 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn. Large variety and Phillip (store owner) sometimes agrees to a great deal. But do not expect Phil to spend much time talking to you; come prepared knowing exactly what you want and what you are willing to pay.

Campmor - 800-226-7667, 810 Route 17 North, Paramus, NJ. Outdoor gear supermarket with good cycling and fitness section. Catalog and website shopping. Always a great deal on watches.

General Sports & Fitness E-tailers

Sierra Trading Post - 800-713-4534. Great prices on a wide variety of endurance sports gear but unpredictable availability.
Sport Basement - great source of discounted cycling, triathlon, and outdoor gear. Best performance brands but limited item and size availability.
Altrec - definitely worth your time to check Clearance section for deals on cycling, running, and fitness gear and apparel.
REI-Outlet - outlet part of REI; everything from helmets, cycling shorts, and other apparel to running shoes. Must surf carefully as many great deals available only in limited sizes.

Bikes and Cycling Gear

Bicycle Sports - high-end triathlon bike shop owned by a bike guru, John Cobb, in Shreveport, LA. Sells Treks, Litespeeds, Kestrels, QRs, Softrides, and a lot of race wheels. John Cobb is one of the people Lance Armstrong lists as expert he relies upon. He or his employees will spend a lot of time, either on the phone or in the shop, to fit you on your bike - he's got the knowledge, the practice, and the science to do it right. But he has no Cannondale, Trek, or other cheaper bike lines, and he is far, far away from the Central Park. Chain of Bicycle Sports stores are in the process of being set up in the larger U.S. cities.
Cambria - very good, consistent discounter for bike parts, wheels and accessories.
Colorado Cyclist - 800-688-8600. Good pro bike shop and inline retailer. Since they are mainly in road cycling business, they not as strong in triathlon.
Excel - 800-627-6664. Good technical and pro cycling place but not a triathlon specialist.
Long's Cycle Supply - good source of cycling apparel closeouts.
Nashbar - 800-627-4227, owned by Performance. Very good entry level selection, great customer service, and they have a better selection of soft goods than just about any mail-order company. Sadly, not interested in the triathlon and high performance market.
Performance - 800-727-2453. The largest cycling mail order company in the U.S.
Supergo - 800-326-2453. Chain of shops in CA and Phoenix, and a mail order. Can find best closeouts and specials and great Shimano prices; sells Kestrel, Litespeed, Cervelo, and other tri-specific bikes.
rec.bicycle.marketplace: archived results of rec.bicycle.marketplace listserv with thousands of listings for new and used bike components and accessories.
Your coaches also can provide you with discounts for the following cycling equipment: Kurt Kinetic indoor cycling resistance trainers and Computrainer PC-based cycling trainers.

Triathlon specific stores (sell bikes and cycling gear too)

Inside-Our Sports - chain of triathlon stores with knowledgable staff in NC and VA (but not a full service bike shop).
Keith's Triathlon Shop - deep selection of the triathlon products and price-competitive (but not strong as a bike shop).
Mission Bay Multisport - retail store and a mail-order business. Owner, Rich Ducar, knows triathlon business and sells seemingly everything.
Steve's Multisport - good triathlon shop with great customer service but unpredictable stock.
Nytro - one of the heavy hitters of triathlon retail; sells Lotus, Hotta, Corima, QR, Cannondale, Guru, Litespeed, Merlin, Cervelo, XLab, Colnago, Felt, and other brands; wheels, wetsuits, apparel (De Soto, Sugoi, Garneau, Rip'n'Hammer, Zoot). Nytro built Ironman bikes for most of the pros and top finishers.
Tri-Tech Multisport

Running Shoes

Road Runner Sports - 800-551-5558. Leading catalog and online running shoe retailer.
Kelly's Running Warehouse


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