Q&A with Triathlete and fitness inspiration, Caresse Hyneman

Recently my friend, Caresse Hyneman, finished a triathlon and posted some photos on facebook. I knew nothing about this endurance sport, always wanted to learn and thought, “who better to interview on the subject than a girl who exudes a mixture of sophisticated chic and confident athlete?” Caresse sat down with me and explained her routine, diet and gear—providing much needed fitness inspiration to someone who’s workout routine has been nonexistent this past month! CC

Caresse Hyneman and Chelsea Charles

Caresse and I from a while back.

CC: Why triathlons?

CH: I have been an outdoor runner since I was 18 years old. I started road cycling in 2009. I have always desired to pursue some type of athletic sport as an adult. I just never took the first step to participate in anything “organized” until some friends of mine started talking about triathlons.  I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to participate in a sport and challenge myself physically. I thought to myself “I run, I bike, so why not swim too?” After a year of procrastinating, I finally took the plunge (pun intended) and jumped in a pool.

CC: How do you train?  Tell us about your workout regimen.

CH: I enjoy structure and a schedule. I workout two days a week with my trainer. I never know what I will be doing until I walk thru the door each session. We could be using free-weights, TRX, running drills, body-weight exercises, rowing, core work… the list goes on. I’m never bored, always challenged, and getting stronger all of the time.

Caresse is a great example of feminine and strong.

Caresse is a great example of feminine and strong

I have a kickboxing cardio class I go to two days a week at my gym called “Strike.”  Strike isn’t preparing me for a specific sport, but it’s so much fun that I love to go.

I alternate running and cycling on the remaining days of the week depending on what I may have coming up, what the weather is like, or simply what my schedule is like that week. I typically like to workout every day except Sunday. I took swim lessons twice a week for a month prior to my first triathlon. It was a huge help in preparing and building my confidence in the water. I’ll continue to go to a group swim class over the winter to improve on my swim in preparation for next tri season.

CC: What are some favorite healthy meals & snacks while training?

CH: I am a creature of habit. I usually have the same thing for breakfast every day, similar lunches daily, with variety at dinner.  Lately my breakfast kick is an Ezekiel Bread English muffin toasted and topped with Justin’s almond butter and pure fruit spread. I love sushi and salads at lunch. Dinnertime I either cook healthy at home or attempt to eat healthy at restaurants.  I’m a no butter, no sauce, dressing on the side girl when I eat out.  I aim to have at least one day a week of no meat (although I avoid beef and pork on a regular basis).  I avoid processed foods. I believe in clean eating.  I read labels every time I shop and I try to eat as naturally as possible all of the time. I may tighten up my regimen when training, but I believe we should all eat healthy all of the time, not just when preparing for an event. It’s easier to stay on track when you rarely veer off!

Favorite snacks are apples and almond butter (when I’m not having almond butter breakfasts). I don’t want to overdo the almond butter, although I could probably eat it at every meal and be very happy. I love fresh spring rolls, veggie wraps, fresh fruit, greek yogurt. I love trying new items at my local Whole Foods as well.

CC: Tell us about your workout gear.  What brands/styles do you love?

CH: My most important item is by bike, Ruby. She’s a Specialized Ruby Expert Compact carbon road bike. Yes, I call her by name. That’s my girl.

My bike "Ruby"

Caresse's bike, "Ruby"

I have a few Garmin gadgets that I love.  Specifically, I use the Garmin Forerunner 910XT GPS multisport watch.  It’s amazing for triathletes. I’d have to say it’s the smartest piece of equipment I own.

Checking her Garmin watch while running

Checking her Garmin watch while running

This Garmin watch helps me train smarter

Garmin watch

I swear by Brooks for running shoes.  Whether it’s road or trail, I find them to be the best shoe I’ve ever worn.  I’ve never felt better after a long distance run than I do wearing my Brooks.

Caresse swears by Brooks running shoes

Caresse swears by Brooks running shoes

I am so excited about my newest discovery.  I found earbuds that do NOT fall out of your ears when exercising!  It’s the Yurbud Ironman Sport Earphones. I am buying a pair for every athlete in my life for Christmas! (Did I just spoil a surprise)?

Finally! Earbuds that won't fall out of your ears while training

Finally! Earbuds that won't fall out of your ears while training.

And, I have to add that I use my new CMH Galaxy Gold bracelet to keep track of my daily glasses of water! It is so important to stay hydrated while training—especially in the Memphis heat! I love the fact that it incorporates gold, rose gold and silver all on one bangle so it goes with anything I have on.

Count Me Healthy Galaxy tri-color bracelet by Chelsea Charles

Count Me Healthy Galaxy tri-color bracelet by Chelsea Charles

CC: What motivated you to keep going, to keep training, when you just wanted to quit?

CH: I never wanted to quit! That’s the competitor in me. Once I commit to something, I follow thru. Timing is everything. Coincidentally, this was going to be the first triathlon for both my husband and my trainer.  So, my accountability partners were already there. I was constantly reminded of what I needed to be doing that week to prepare and motivated to do it. We kept each other motivated throughout the process.

CC: What do you think is the biggest misconception about triathlons?

CH: One reason I procrastinated initially was the misconception I had that every participant is an Olympic-level athlete. I was afraid I was too “normal” to fit in with the athletes registered for a triathlon. I was wrong. The people doing these events are there for different reasons I’m sure, but it’s all ages, all abilities, all types of people with one thing in common: they want to participate in a triathlon! Also, everyone is encouraging to one another.  It’s a very cheerful and supportive sport. For example, when passed while running, someone may shout out the other person, “way to go,” “keep it up,” “you got it,” or something similar.  Sure, we are all “competing”, but ultimately it is a competition with yourself—not those around you. It’s a group of people who want to see each other do well. I was so impressed by this camaraderie. It warms the soul and makes you forget about some nagging ache for the moment.

Anyone at anytime can decide to either take part in something healthy, challenging, and fun or sit back and wish they had.  Just take the plunge! You won’t regret it.

Caresse and her husband, Rusty.

Caresse and her husband, Rusty.

Caresse is a thirty-year-old fitness enthusiast.  She is married with two stepdaughters and lives in Memphis, Tennessee.  She is currently prepping for her first long-distance bike ride for charity and running in a road race series building up to a half-marathon with the Memphis Runner Track Club. She is a wiz in the kitch so visit my blog for some future healthy “training season recipes” courtesy of Mrs. Hyneman.


  1. Donna says

    Hey, C, where do you get the ezekial english muffins? I have the bread, but haven’t seen the english muffins!!
    Congratulations on your success. And folks, she is right, when she starts something, she does’t give up!

  2. says

    Hi Donna! Sorry I just saw this. I’m pretty sure you can get them at Whole Foods in the frozen section as well as Kroger (in their Organic section). Hope you have a wonderful day! CC

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