Train Smart, Train Safe


Posted by Coach Liesl Begnaud

I enjoy my Masters Swim group and a weekly ride or brick workout with a team, however, most days I train alone. Sometimes training solo is necessary in order to fit our workouts into life. When you train by yourself it’s important to train smart and train safe.  Here are a few suggestions the next time you go out the door to train alone.

Whether you are going for a bike, run or swim, let someone know where you are going and your estimated return time.  A friend of mine always texts me when she is going out for a bike ride. She lets me know the route and then texts me when she returns. It's quick and easy but important!

When biking, always carry ID and wear an ID bracelet such as Road ID.  In Colorado, if you are pulled over on the road by a police officer, they can and will ask you to provide ID.  Wearing an ID with medical information and contact information is smart in case something happens and you can’t speak for yourself. Always carry a phone during a training ride. Invest in cycling lights and bright clothing. Things like blinking lights really do help drivers see you and make it safer to be on the roads.

When running alone, change up your route. If you run the same route on the same days, it's fairly easy for someone to take notice. Route sharing apps like Strava allow you to hide the start and stop of rides that originate from your home or office to obscure your exact location from others. Switch it up for variety, fun and safety.  If it’s dark out, wear reflective clothing. Be mindful of time of day and drivers who are driving into the sun. It’s hard to see a runner sometimes particularly on a turn. On a well-traveled dirt trail in Colorado, even though it’s in the middle of the suburbs, there are coyotes. Be prepared. Carry mace and a whistle.

When swimming in open water, take a friend. Your friend does not have to swim with you, but it is smart to have someone who can be aware of your swim start and finish. It’s always nice to have an extra pair of eyes scanning the water for critters as well. An inflatable swim buoy worn around your waist will give you visibility in the water.  This is very helpful if you are sharing the water with boats of any kind.  If you have to swim alone, swim in a pool with a life guard.

Be smart. Be safe. Train happy.


Coach Liesl Begnaud is a USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach and USMS Level 1 & 2 Coach who splits her year living and training between Denver, CO and Clermont, FL. Liesl has been racing endurance sports for over 13 years which includes two Ironman finishes, numerous marathons, cycling events and multiple triathlon age group podium finishes. She has assisted with Team MPI Paratriathlon Camps, coached cycling for Special Olympics, and has been active with multiple triathlon clubs and teams. Her coaching philosophy is based on creating a caring partnership while working together to meet the athlete's goals. She helps her athletes to develop skills and confidence by encouraging them to train hard, play hard, have fun, and stay healthy while enjoying a balanced life. Prior to joining the Team MPI coaching staff, Liesl worked as a social worker with persons with disabilities and special needs. Contact Coach Liesl at

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