Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Central Valley Triathlon Club (formerly Lodi Masters Triathletes)

Have you ever thought about doing a triathlon but didn't know where to start? The answer could be in your own backyard.

  • Need work in the pool?
  • Want to become stronger on the bike?
  • Not really a runner?
  • Don't want to workout with a bunch of crazy, elite athletes?
Don't worry, we are not a team of crazy, elite athletes. We've all struggled (or continue to struggle) in one or more aspects of triathlon, but we continue to work on our weak points to get better. One of the best things about Lodi Masters Triathletes is that we are more than just a club. We offer actual training throughout the year to help you reach your goals. 

Quite a few people have told me that they would like to do a triathlon but that they can't swim...don't worry, we've got two coaches that will get you from floundering-fish to Phelps in no time!

Meet the Coaches

James Cotta is the head coach. He is a grape grower with a passion for helping people improve their athletic performance. When he's not coaching us old folks, he can be found in the pool coaching the kiddos. James' racing background includes criteriums (look it up...its CRAZY!), triathlons and Masters swimming. Coach James recently returned from the Huntsman World Senior Games with some nice hardware!

John & James
John Griffin, head coach of the Lodi Swim Club, is also on deck. Usually he is coaching his swimmers, but he is always willing to give you a workout if you ask. I try to avoid eye contact, so I don't get one of his workouts :-)  John has been a coach  for the Lodi Swim Club since 1982 and has been the head coach since 1986.  He coaches the swimmers 13 and up in the Senior or National group.

Who We Are

We are a group of people with a common interest in training for and competing in multi-sport events. Most of our members have busy lives with work and family commitments. Although the name says "Lodi", we have members from Stockton, Tracy, Manteca, and Modesto.  We have all ages and abilities on our team.


We have an active Facebook group where members converse daily. Scheduling changes are posted when they occur. We also share tips and techniques, ask questions, post photos, etc. Not only is this a great way to share information, but it also builds relationships.

When We Practice

As a member of Lodi Masters Triathletes, you can swim any time the Lodi Masters (swimmers) practice. Generally this is M-F mornings 5-6am or in the evenings (times vary but are usually around 5-6pm). Since we share the pool with local schools and swim & water polo teams, times/locatons sometimes change.

Tokay High School
There is also a group activity on Saturday mornings. Saturdays typically focus on cycling and running (and food).

Saturday ride, followed by breakfast at Bob's
Bike skills clinic

Open water swimming at Lake Camanche

Tuesday Night Run - Fleet Feet Stockton (Free & fun!)

What Type of Races

We do more than just triathlons. We also do duathlons and running events. Members are welcome to make race suggestions. It's not hard to convince teammates to come join you...we love to race!

2013 Kickstart Duathlon - Folsom Lake, CA
2013 Avenue of the Vines - Half Marathon
What's great about this group is that we have something for everyone. If your goal is to do a sprint triathlon, no problem...we do those. If your goal is to do a 70.3 race (or longer), we do those too. LMT is not focused on one type of race distance. Regardless of the type of race you want to train for, we have someone on the team with the same goal.

2013 Fathers Day Triathlon - Rancho Seco Park
We had a great turn out for the Fathers Day triathlon. In fact, this was the graduation race for the spring Triathlon 101 class. Quite a few of our families even had multiple generations racing.

2013 Vineman
In 2014, several of our members have decided to go long and have signed up for either Vineman 70.3 or Barb's Race (also 70.3). Coach James is still trying to decide whether he wants to be 100% coach for those races or if he wants to tackle the half aquabike again. I say "AQUABIKE"!!!

Fun Facts
  • Our first race as a team was the 2012 Golden State Triathlon in Sacramento, CA
  • Our oldest member is in his 60's
  • Married couples that train together get a discount
  • Coach James can be bribed with Subway or donuts (just checking to see if he actually reads this)
Final Thoughts

Sorry if this post came across as a shameless plug for my team...it was! There is a quote that is often tossed around that goes something like "If you're not growing, you're dying". This can be true whether you are talking about a business, a church or a triathlon training group. We want to encourage new people to come and check us out...kick the tires...see if we are a fit. We want to grow!

I remember how nerve wracking it was to walk on to the pool deck at Tokay the first time. I made my hubby go with me for morale support (he later ended up joining the team too). Coach James and the rest of the team understands this, we've all been there. Once you meet us, I think you will agree that we are quite likable :-)

If you are reading this post because a friend sent it to you, contact that friend and ask them to bring you to practice (just for a little morale support). We would be thrilled to meet you and help you get started on your triathlon journey! Don't know anyone on the team... leave me a comment and I will make sure I'm at practice that day to meet you and introduce you to everyone.


#dreamingseason #trainingpeaks