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Hi, I'm Leland Brandt.

I'm a Writer in West Hartford, CT. I've worked at The Research Department, The New York Times, and ESPN and I'm interested in Startups, Health And Fitness, and more. Check out my skills and interests below, then send me a message and let's collaborate!

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6 Reasons to Train With Team Training New England

By Leland Brandt

6 Reasons to Train with TTNE
There are many ways to train for a triathlon, many of them are effective.   However, we firmly believe that joining Team Training New England is a superior way to prepare for your first race or to improve your race performance.  Why?  Let us count the ways:
The Team Training New England Advantage
(1)  We’re #274!
Your coaches, Janice Cohen and Lynne Tapper, are  just like you.  We have families. We have busy lives. We are NOT elite athletes who finish first in every race we enter, do Iron Man distance triathlons or otherwise can’t relate to what you are thinking and feeling.  Both of us can still clearly remember doing our first triathlons, how nervous we were and everything we did wrong.  That experience helps us help you.
(2)  We’re not experts.  Oh, wait, we are!
Both of us are certified USA Triathlon Level 1 coaches and have been since 2007.  Janice is a yoga instructor and Lynne is certified to teach the use of heart-rate monitors in training.  And, in case you are worried, we are both CPR and First Aid certified.
(3)  What time is it?  It’s “you” time!
Finding free time to exercise, for some people, is like finding the holy grail.  Exercise could be taking a brisk walk, a brief interval workout at the track, even doing some core exercises on the floor at home.  Something!  We’ll help you start the process of scheduling time in your day for you, helping you put yourself near the TOP of your TO-DO list.   Because when you choose to do that, you’ll have more energy to get through every day, week, month and year.
(4) We put the “tri” in team
One of the key advantages of our training program is that we do it as a group.  Not everyone runs, bikes or swims at the same pace, but we’re sure that you’ll find someone who’s pretty close to your pace.  Plus, we have a crew of Workout Leaders who have trained with us in the past who are there to answer questions, ride along with you on a tough hill and generally offer encouragement and keep a safe eye on everyone.  Why train alone when you can train with a team?
(5) Triathlons for all
Team Training New England is a triathlon training group FOR ALL, women and men!  We train people who “never in a million years” thought they would or could do a triathlon.  We train our athletes to do a sprint distance triathlon in an encouraging, safe, fun group setting.  We believe that triathlons should be a viable exercise option for pretty much everyone and not seen as an elitist or intimidating sport.
(6) History is on our side
Team Training New England started turning “I don’t know” into “I did it!” in 2005, taking a team of 20 women to the Danskin Women’s Triathlon in Webster, Massachusetts.  We have trained people of pretty much every age, size, level of fitness and ability.  Every year we fall in love with our team all over again at the inspirational stories, the great friendships and the caterpillars who turn into butterflies as they train with us and cross the finish line.  We know what we’re doing and we love what we do.

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The Hospitable Hospital Stay

By Leland Brandt

The Hospitable Hospital Stay
Make your time in the maternity ward peaceful, productive and happy
Sometime after your baby is born, you will be transferred to a magical land called the maternity ward, where complete strangers will help take care of your baby.  They give the first bath, change diapers, watch your little bundle of joy while you sleep, bring you food and give you a foot massage (I wish).  The maternity ward can be a peaceful oasis before you head off to your home and the excitement of bringing home a new baby.  While you are there, consider two steps to make your time in the Maternity Ward as calm as possible and help you get off on the right foot with your baby.
Manage the hospital horde
Most parents are understandably excited right after their baby arrives.  They’ll call their family, friends, butcher, baker, maybe even their candlestick maker (assuming they know one).  They might even invite these folks to the hospital.  Many times, these well-wishers come right away.  And they stay.  And stay.  And then more visitors arrive.  Before you know it, the rush of excitement you felt has transformed into a steady stream of fatigue.  The arrival of a baby is a wonderful moment, but sharing it right away might be more tiring that you think. 
Remember, you just gave birth, an event that is no small feat, and your body needs to recover.  After the initial rush of excitement, many new mothers are exhausted and would prefer to just sleep.  Entertaining guests only adds to the exhaustion.  If you can, keep your visitors to the bare minimum.  Consider establishing a short lists of guests before you go to the hospital.  Ask everyone other than immediate family and any other children you might have to wait until you get settled at home.  The baby isn’t going anywhere.  You’ll feel better and look better.
The Baby Nurse Army
Even if you will have assistance at home when you return from the hospital, you will never have as many people available to help both you and your baby as when you are in the hospital.  The nurses are a great resource for advice on almost anything baby-related.  Take advantage of all the helping hands while they are available.  At night, some parents choose to have their baby sleep in their room, while others opt to have them stay in the nursery.  This is a personal choice.  One advantage to putting your baby in the nursery is that you have a better chance for undisturbed sleep.  A newborn, though small and cute as a button, can make quite a few noises in its bassinet.  The nurses will watch over your baby and come get you should any need arise. 
Remember, a little organization and preparation can go a long way in helping any new parent feel more in control, more successful and, in the end, a little more sane.