World-Class Triathlon Training at Home
How Lisa Stays Active and Takes Control of Her Health
Lisa Bentley and her husband, "Cracker," are excited, and with excellent reason. They just finished assembly on their Endless Pools® High Performance model.
"We need to take control of our health and wellness, and it's a great investment into your health and wellbeing," the motivational speaker and author observes. "It's certainly a huge bonus to be able to swim whenever we want to, and I wish we'd gotten it sooner.
"We've just been getting in and setting our speed," she says, referring to the dozens of speed settings on the Endless Pools adjustable current. She's excited because, as an endurance athlete with cystic fibrosis (CF), she knows firsthand how important it is to stay active with cardiovascular exercise.
Staying Active with CF
"It’s a lung disease, so clearly an endurance athlete would not want a lung disease," the professional triathlete* says. Still, she managed to find the silver lining. "I had purpose when I raced, and it really elevated my game.
"Every time I race, no matter how the race was going, I was always quite motivated to get to that finish line the best that I could. That was my mission and that allowed me to win 11 IRONMAN® [triathlons] and make it a career."
Discovering Aquatic Exercise
Lisa recalls first working out in an Endless Pools model years ago. "One of my physiotherapists had a pool. When I got injured, I would go into that pool and do an hour straight swim or an hour water-run, basically running without touching the bottom.
"The Endless Pools [environment] allowed me to turn the current up and work really hard. It actually provided me with a great running stimulus when I was not able to run on land."
Many injured athletes have had that same experience: when an injury makes dry-land exercise too painful, they can stay active and limber by working out in the water.
Swimming at Home
Lisa and her husband decided to get a pool when they moved back to Canada for the warm months. "We had just come home from Florida, where we swam every day in an outdoor 50-meter pool."
As a professional triathlete, Lisa keeps her swim schedule constant all year round. "Where we live in Ontario, my husband tends to not swim. He doesn't really like the chlorination of the [public] pool."
It's important to her that he also stays active. "I want my husband to live a long time, and I believe that exercise is the best way to do that. So the pools are closed, and even if the pools are open, my husband doesn’t swim that much, so we thought maybe now is the time" to invest with Endless Pools.
When choosing their High Performance pool, she thought, "It's going to do what we need to do." They also have other swimmers who will use it. "My husband coaches athletes that swim sub-one minute for the 100 [meters], so that will be able to satisfy their needs."
Customizing a Swim Training Pool
Lisa and Cracker customized their Endless Pools Original Series model to a depth of 54 inches, which is one foot deeper than standard. That makes it more comfortable for him, at 5-feet 10-inches, and it allows Lisa, at 5-feet 4-inches, to water-run without her feet hitting the bottom.
To keep their outdoor pool running as efficiently as possible, they planned an insulated pool cover. "It's pretty harsh up here, and we tend to live in Florida in the wintertime, so we're going to probably keep it going until the end of October, and then we'll close it down.
"At the moment," she considers, "we're not planning to use it past November, but hey, never say never!"
They also opted for our full-body Underwater Mirror, highly polished stainless-steel that lets them see every stroke. "Oh, the pool mirror is amazing," she gushes. "You can really see your rotation and your stroke and the finish of the stroke. The mirror is invaluable, for sure."
The mirror has added benefits for open water swimmers, she's found. "It helps me to get my head down because I tend to be a head-up swimmer," which is common among experienced triathletes who are used to 'sighting' to stay on course.
A Workout for the Ages
"Everybody eventually gets into a pool because your body can't stand up straight or it's so worn out from all the crazy things you’ve done through the years," she reflects. In the pool, she notes, "You're weightless and able to still workout without the strain on your body, which is quite nice."
* Lisa Bentley serves as a Brand Ambassador for Pioneer Pools, an independent Endless Pools dealer in Canada.