That’s riiiighttt - It’s time to welcome another new coach to Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching…Coach Cindy Dallow!
Cindy was another multisport fanatic growing up and played any sport she could get her hands on as a kid. She grew up on a farm in Gardner, Kansas, and especially loved softball and track. When she was in high school her father suffered a heart attack, and at this point Cindy decided to pursue a career in nutrition.
It was not until recent Cindy got into triathlons after many years of endurance running. She has plenty under her belt now, and we were so excited to sit down with her and learn a little more about her nutrition practice, coaching style, and training.
Currently, Cindy resides in Colorado with her husband and two amazing kids.
Cindy, I know nutrition is a HUGE part of your life. Can you tell me a little more about what you do and why?
I've worked in the field of nutrition and fitness for 30 years, mostly in the area of weight-related issues and sports nutrition. I went to the University of Kansas for my BS in health education, Kansas State for a Master’s in Nutrition and Colorado State for my PhD in nutrition. I’m also a Registed Dietitian and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor.
After getting my master's degree, I worked at a hospital in cardiac rehab for many years before going back for my doctorate. During this time I provided both inpatient and outpatient nutrition counseling, mostly for weight loss, heart disease prevention, and diabetes. I became frustrated with the revolving door in which patients went in and out after they lost and gained weight many times. This propelled me into grad school to find another way to help people improve their health and wellness (without dieting).
In grad school, I was mentored by Steven Blair, PhD, pioneer of the "fat and fit" research and Glenn Gaessar, PhD, exercise physiologist and author of Big Fat Lies, as well as many others in a movement that aimed to reduce barriers for large-sized individuals to become active and fit. We eventually called this movement "health at every size" and it has become my passion. My doctoral research project involved developing a physical activity intervention for large-sized women that not only improved their fitness level, but improved their self-confidence as well. The intervention was very successful and I was even quoted in "O" magazine!
Work-wise I have a private practice called Cindy Dallow Nutrition and Wellness, LLC. It’s here I help chronic dieters learn to become intuitive eaters (and bada** athletes if they want!), and I work with endurance athletes to help them achieve their goals.
Wow! So how do you find balance between your work/training/personal life?
Balance - what's that?! I do most of my training in the wee hours of the morning so it doesn't interfere with family time. I am also a big believer in meditation and find even five minutes of meditating brings me peace (or at least a nice little nap!).
So on to the coaching. How would you define your coaching philosophy?
Anyone can be an athlete regardless of size, shape, age, physical ability, and income level. It comes down to what's in your head and what you believe about your ability to achieve your goal. My role is to help facilitate the kind of thinking required to get you to the starting line and then cross the finish line with a smile on your face.
I LOVE to work with women of all shapes and sizes, all ages. Sometimes, larger-sized gals may be intimidated by the triathlon scene, but I have a true passion for helping these women break down the barriers keeping them from experiencing the wonderful world of triathlon. I also believe it's never too late to start training - your age should never be a limiting factor!
What is your triathlon experience?
I was a runner long before I became a triathlete. I ran 12 marathons and numerous half-marathons when my knees started talking to me and I realized I needed to cross train. My husband and friends were doing triathlons but I didn't know how to swim. So, at age 45 I signed up for master's swim (hating every stroke of the way) and after a few years, I was a middle-of-the-pack swimmer (which still amazes me)! Fast forward a few more years and I managed to finish dozens of sprint and Olympic distance tri's, 10+ 70.3 races, and 4 full Ironmans (Florida, Arizona, Canada, Boulder). I am also President of the Greeley Triathlon Club and Race Director for our local kids triathlon.
What do you find most rewarding about working with endurance athletes?
Seeing them succeed!!
How do you define triathlon success?
Finishing and having fun!
Who/What inspires you to do what you do?
Helping non-athletes become athletes. People with physical disabilities inspire me more than anything.
What unique ability do you bring to your coaching style?
Being a Registered Dietitian with 25+ years of nutrition counseling and a passion to help women in particular give up dieting and body hatred. Being an advocate for people of all sizes and shapes getting off the scale, off the couch, and out the door!
How do you help your athletes overcome challenges they may face during training cycles?
First I have them make a list of potential challenges that might come up and then I have them make an action plan. You have to be prepared for challenges, whether it's bad weather on race day, flat tires, negative self-talk, or sickness, you need to have a plan for what you will do in those situations. I make myself very available to my athletes and clients so that they can ask me questions when they need to.
What is your favorite part about being a coach?
Seeing people have fun with the sport of triathlon. I love watching them develop as an athlete and achieve their goals - it's an amazing feeling.
So there you have it! Welcome Coach Cindy and we can’t wait to hear more from you as you work with our lucky RTTC athletes!