InsideOut client: Becky Paige... ALL GOLD! USAT AG National Champion, Sprint + Olympic Distances
Caroline Kavanagh | August 12, 2023
Becky Paige, #1 on the podium. YES, that's Michellie Jones on the #2 step! Becky out-paced Michellie Jones, definitively raising the bar and cinching the Sprint race National Title. With back-to-back racing - the Olympic distance on Saturday and the Sprint distance on Sunday - Becky Paige is now the USAT AG National Champion 50-54yr for both the Olympic and Sprint distances. Double-dipped in GOLD! Not a puny coup!
I thought the bar was set at max-height after Becky's AG National performances last year when she captured the Olympic distance National title and took second place in the Sprint race. The second place finish last year, was to none other, than the former professional triathlete Michellie Jones. Michellie is widely considered one of triathlon’s most decorated athletes and one of the top 10 female triathletes of all time, so out-pacing her may be considered a pie-in-the-sky achievement.
Becky simply rose to record heights.... and made the improbable, probable! You might ask, "how does Becky consistently reach new heights?" It's not one ingredient (pun indented) but rather the sum of many parts. Like any good recipe, it begins with a few basic constituents and then those are fine-tuned, tested, remixed and baked again and again and anew. Becky's nutrition component is just one portion in her unique blend. Typically Becky and I will meet one or two times a year, depending on her fitness and/or race goals. The same level of leanness is not chased year round but rather a range that fluctuates to ensure positive health markers. A metabolic test is in the mix and depending on the time of year particular data is highlighted based on her specific focus(es). Over the years the approach has varied to achieve specific results. For example, I have suggested other types of testing and/or introduced her to new nutritional findings to help maximize her efforts and enhance performance. Daily nutrition is customarily surveyed and fine-tuned depending on time of year and fitness objectives. Nutritional science is an evolving field of research and application. What has remained the same over the years is how Becky embraces new insights and her open-mindedness to the nuances that may assist to improve performance or health. I continue to examine key topics in sport and exercise nutrition and translate were applicable. This past Spring, after her usual Base phase nutrition which coincides with her training model, Becky was ready to mobilize. We met and established her Pre- Competition phase nutrition aims with her sights set on the races at AG Nationals in early August. Adjustments that Becky implemented were pocket-size but purposeful. This is a patient and strategic nutrition approach, a "trimming" of sorts to achieve a lean physique without compromising health, immunity and injury risk. Her nutrition would meet her energy needs as carbohydrate was increased and fat intake was adjusted accordingly. DXA scanning was utilized to get granular on important metrics. Among other information, the DXA scan reveals bone mineral density, visceral and subcutaneous fat in various components of the body. These figures also include a comparison to women in her age bracket. I was pleased to see all of her measurements in the top percentages. With all of her reports in superb standing, adjustments to daily nutrition for this phase were shaped. Becky's body responds well in short order, as she is a master at implementation. Consistency, patience and hard work is how she achieves her successful body composition changes. A few key thoughts from Becky regarding how our meeting in May and her training assisted in her Nationals successes: • Setting nutritional values kept her focused and on track • Listened to her body more than ever in training • Consistent strength training in her program Flash forward to pre-race Nationals in Milwaukee, I caught a glimpse of Becky on the flight enroute. I observed a model of top-form!
AT THE RACES Saturday - Olympic Distance I had multiple athletes cued up into the USAT Nationals app and was toggling and tracking as the various age groups commenced their race. The Olympic distance was well underway and I was tracking Becky. She was first out of the water with the fastest swim split in her age group at 1:18 min/yd pace and cruising through the bike segment. I calculated that I had just about enough time to traverse the race barriers to be able to position myself just after the bike dismount and before the T2 entrance to catch her and let her know her race position.
Becky was in the lead on the bike and with all the athletes racing it can be very difficult to know your standing relative to those in your age group. My goal was to inform Becky she was leading - this information can boost mindset and motivation tremendously!
I made my way over to the bike dismount area and found a clear spot to stand just before the entrance to T2. I spotted Becky and had a nano-second to shout out... "#1!"
I was sure she heard me.....
..... as I watched her fly through transition!
Becky exits T2 in the lead and holds 6:55 min/mile pace - fastest transition and run split.
Lightening fast out of transition in 1:14 which was a minute faster than all others in her age group and out onto the 10K run course. The run route traversed the edge of the western shore of Lake Michigan and weaved back through the park on a mix of concrete and asphalt surfaces. I continued to track Becky's run splits as she crossed the timing mats at 1.2mi at 6:53, 2.35mi at 6:51, 3.94mi at 7:04 and finish at 6:51. I was sure after the third run split she had captured the win. Fastest run split with a 6:55 min/mile pace! RACE STAT: USAT Nationals, Milwaukee Wisconsin - Olympic: Gold, National Champion: 2:14:51 50-54 Female AG (Fastest Swim and Run Splits, third fastest Bike Split)
Sunday - Sprint Distance Not much time for recovery, the following day Becky was queued up for the Sprint distance race. Back again this year was the former professional, Michelle Jones. Michelle had not raced the previous day so the assumption was she was "race fresh." I asked Becky for a short summary on her Sprint victory and this was her brief recap: "Holding off Michellie Jones was pretty epic, especially after racing hard in the Olympic distance the day prior. I knew she was going into the Sprint, race fresh. I mentioned to her at the awards ceremony that I was running for my life, and she said “Good!” LOL. It was evident that as a former professional athlete, winning was her mindset and she had her sights on me. It was an honor to race against her, I have tremendous respect for her accomplishments." RACE STAT: USAT Nationals, Milwaukee Wisconsin - Sprint: Gold, National Champion: 1:09:26 50-54 Female AG (Fastest Swim, Bike and Run Splits)
No small achievement to come back year after year and reach new heights of success. How Becky does this is not through a trendy or new diet that you may read about online. Rather it has been incremental improvements that take a blend of consistency, patience and effort. A champion mindset through and through! Becky's ever humble synopsis of her Nationals performances: "As far as racing, I felt like I was in top form for Nationals and hoped that I would have good races. I was pleased with how I performed!" Congratulations Becky! An honor and pleasure to work with you. Keep raising that bar!