The Xterra Specialist
MeetDanelle Kabush, mother of two, wife, mental performance consultant and professional athlete. Yearly, the Xterra specialist dabbles in XC mountain bike racing, on and off-road run racing and throws in a few road triathlons for good measure. To say that the 38-year- old luna Pro Team member has a crammed day would be an understatement, but she thrives on competition and hard work. Sports Junkie Success at sports came naturally to Kabush who grew up in Courtenay, B.C. a rugged region on Vancouver Island. Her first sport was soccer which she played on a boys team because there was no girls team. At the age of 12, Kabush and her brother took up track and field, which they pursued with intensity and success. Weekends consisted of travelling to track events on the west coast and cycling with her parents, brother and their dogs. Kabush was your typical athletic junkie who played everything from field hockey to volleyball, soccer and basketball. From Injury to Mountain Bike Kabush’s running prowess earned her an ncaa Division 1 track and field scholarship to the University of Washington. During her final year, however, an Achilles injury prevented her from competing in the XC world championships in Ireland, but proved to be a blessing in disguise. At her brother’s urging, Kabush moved to Victoria and under his guidance, she took up mountain biking to fill the athletic void. As it happens, her brother is a three-time Olympian and 12-time Canadian national champion cross country cyclist. Adrenaline Rush Kabush loved the adrenaline rush of trying to ride in conditions that scared her. “I crashed all summer long but was hooked,” says Kabush of her early beginnings at mountain biking. “Racing mountain bikes tests fitness and bike handling and I loved that challenge combined. It’s you against the trail, and it is still fun to keep improving my technical skills.” For four years, Kabush was a successful competitor on the North American XC scene while completing her PhD in Sports Psychology. Xterra Success Kabush had always incorporated swimming in her training as a form of recovery during her years as a runner, a practice she continued while mountain biking. Kabush found Xterra in 2004. In her first race at Xterra Canada, Kabush finished an astonishing second place to Canadian Melanie McQuaid. With the encouragement of McQuaid, then a three-time Xterra world champion, Kabush raced the Xterra world championships seven weeks later In Maui, Hawaii. Her terrific rookie performance on the Hawaiian island resulted in a third place podium finish in a deep international field. Kabush was hooked for good and her Xterra and triathlon career was on the fast track.
Some of her finest races have been at the Xterra world championship event where she has podiumed on three occasions. A sixth place finish in 2005, followed by a second place in 2006 made it clear to her that she had made the right decision to focus on off-road triathlon. Only 13 months after giving birth to her daughter in 2008, Kabush ran her way to second place in Maui, finishing less than a minute behind winner Julie Dibens of Great Britain. “I was proud that I had got back to such a high level of fitness that year, also my first year on the luna team,” explained Kabush. Mixing It Up Now, Kabush is a regular on the North American Xterra circuit and adds in a few XC mountain bike races to satisfy her love of the trail. Over the past few years, Kabush has sprinkled one or two Ironman 70.3 distance races into her schedule and last year was the winner of the Great White North Triathlon in Stony Plain, Alta. This year, Kabush has already notched a win at the Chinook Half. Additionally, Kabush’s love of running lets her add some stand alone run races to her calendar. She is the 2013 women’s champion of the popular Calgary Police Half Marathon. Day Job Kabush’s day job as a mental performance consultant at the Canadian Sports Centre in Calgary allows her to support high performance athletes. In this capacity Kabush draws from both her academic training and her vast athletic experience to prepare speed skating prospects for the rigours of high level competition, a fitting career for a high performer with a passion for sport.– Shawn Skene
it& Healthy Pregnancy will be appreciated by active women who don’t view pregnancy as a time to stop exercising – or even racing. Written by running coach and blogger Kristina Pinto and Dr. Rachel Kramer, the book resembles a what-to- expect pregnancy book, but one tailored to the nuances of athletic training.
The first chapter provides the foundation by presenting up-to- date research on prenatal health and fitness, addressing popular topics such as the link between training and conception and the effects of intense exercise on the health of the fetus. At the end of the chapter readers are reassured that continuing to exercise vigorously when trying to conceive or when pregnant is not only possible, but can have a productive impact of prenatal development. The literature reviews offer a general overview of past and current research, but would benefit from a more thorough analysis of the upper limits of what is considered safe or non-harmful.
The book then moves through the different trimesters, with each chapter following more or less the same format: a review of the primary changes to the body, nutritional considerations, strategies for keeping a fit mind and a fit body, and other exercise considerations including strength and f lexibility. Triathletes in particular will appreciate the focus on running, cycling, and swimming. Sprinkled throughout the chapters are helpful vignettes from athletes themselves and workout ideas.
One of the refreshing aspects of this book is the focus on the often neglected fourth trimester, the weeks and months following the birth of the baby. Close to 100 pages are dedicated to providing readers with helpful information such as how to gradually return to full training and racing and how to strike the workout/family balance – a must for any athlete wanting to return to her sport.
In summary, Fit & Healthy Pregnancy is a great resource for those looking for comprehensive information on pregnancy and postpartum – including inspiration for keeping your heart rate up and continuing to sweat during your workouts. Jennifer Faraone is an elite runner, duathlete and coach. Her first book, The Pregnant Athlete Within (with Dr. Carol Ann Weis) is