Triathlete.com http://www.triathlete.com The latest triathlon gear, training, nutrition, photos, races, movers, shakers, and more Tue, 25 Apr 2017 14:07:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.2 http://www.triathlete.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/apple-touch-icon-180x180-120x120.png Triathlete.com http://www.triathlete.com 32 32 11 Non-M-Dot Summer Half-Iron Races http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/lifestyle/11-non-m-dot-summer-half-iron-races_300901 Tue, 25 Apr 2017 14:00:51 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300901 It turns out Ironman isn't the only company supporting those who wish so swim, bike and run across those 70.3 miles!

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After we shared our list of 10 Non-M-Dot Iron-Distance Races, we received several requests to share a similar list for the half-iron distance. It turns out Ironman isn’t the only company supporting those who wish so swim, bike and run across those 70.3 miles! There are several options (more than we could list here) across the United States. Find what you’re looking for in one of these 11 races, which all take place June through August and feature a community feel and fun vibe. We’ll feature a list of later-season races in the coming weeks. 

Patriot Half

Sunmultisportevents.com
June 17, 2017
East Freetown, Mass.

This popular race is entering its 11th year in 2017, and it’s sold out every year for the last several years, including this one (so mark your calendars for 2018 race registration opening in October!). Located about a 45-minute drive from Boston, Mass., and Providence, R.I., the Patriot starts with a swim in beautiful Long Pond, the largest freshwater body of water in Massachusetts. The bike and run courses take place on beautiful, flat country roads with some rolling hills and views of cranberry bogs, lakes and farms. For athletes looking to race Ironman Lake Placid, the Patriot is a perfect tune-up race, five weeks before IMLP.

Lumberman Triathlon

3disciplines.com
June 18, 2017
Cadillac, Mich.

Going into its eighth year (and fourth year with a half-iron-distance component), the Lumberman Triathlon takes place in Cadillac, a town of about 10,000 nestled just on the edge of the Manistee National Forest that has a long history of lumbering and Christmas tree farming. Athletes will swim in the very shallow Lake Cadillac and then ride on lightly traveled rolling, tree-lined country roads for an out-and-back bike. The flat and fast run is two laps of the lake.

Tri the Boat

Tritheboat.co
June 25, 2017
Steamboat Springs, Colo.

This year, this half-iron-distance event in Colorado has been designated the 2017 USA Triathlon Rocky Mountain Long Course Regional Championship, meaning the top 10 percent of finishers in each age group qualify for the 2017 National Triathlon Championship. The race has also gotten a little facelift, with a new transition area, new swim course layout, new run course and new finish area. Set against the backdrop of the Yampa Valley, the swim takes place in the picturesque Stagecoach Reservoir. The two-loop bike features newly paved rolling terrain, and the new run course take place on 95 percent packed dirt trails with scenic lake views before the waterfront finish.

Rev3 Williamsburg Half

Rev3tri.com
July 9, 2017
Williamsburg, Va.

Rev3 race venues are known for being family-friendly—they’re set in locales where the kids have a slew of activities available all weekend, and Williamsburg is no exception. Nearby is Colonial Williamsburg, the nation’s largest living history museum that introduces visitors to live in 18th-century America; historic Jamestown Island; Yorktown Battlefield; Busch Gardens Williamsburg, full of rollercoasters, rides and water parks. If you did bring your crew along, the course itself is spectator-friendly, with a swim in the Chickahominy River followed by a rolling ride through the rural roads of Charles City County and a mostly shaded and flat run on the Virginia Capital Trail.

Musselman Triathlon

Musselmantri.com
July 16, 2017
Geneva, N.Y.

This New York race, taking place in the small (13,000-resident) town of Geneva, is entering its 14th year. Located in the Finger Lakes region on the north shore of Seneca Lake, the area is known for its wineries (about 100 in the area), so we know where you’ll be headed after the race. The course starts with a single-loop swim in the deep Seneca Lake followed by a rolling, single-loop bike course that includes long stretches of shoreline on both Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. The 56-mile bike will take you past wineries along the Seneca and Cayuga Wine Trails, small towns, Mennonite farming regions and a shaded section in Sampson State Park. The single-loop run includes a lakefront path and weaves through gardens, neighborhoods, local colleges and vineyards before returning to downtown.

Sourdough Triathlon

sourdoughtri.weebly.com
July 29, 2017
Fairbanks, Alaska

Named after the food that early settlers in the west and gold miners to Alaska relied on, the Sourdough tri is the only half-iron-distance tri in the state, and it’s entering its 26th running. The low-key race is located in Chatanika, Alaska, about 40–45 minutes northeast of Fairbanks, and the course takes place inside a gravel pit, which is filled by a pristine groundwater stream. The two-lap bike and run are on a quiet, paved, two-lane road with minimal vehicular traffic. The spectator-friendly race is capped at 99 athletes, and race tradition is to stick around for the post-race barbecue and bring a dish to share while getting to know others in the local tri community.

Route 66 Half Iron Triathlon

Triharderpromotions.com
July 29, 2017
Springfield, Ill.

“Get your tri kicks on Route 66” is the slogan for this race on the classic Old Route 66 road. The half-iron-distance race includes a lake swim under the arches of the historic Lindsay Bridge, then a lake-to-lake bike on the Old Route 66 road past picturesque Lincoln Memorial Gardens with sweeping turns and fast straightaways. (While Route 66, aka America’s Road, connects Chicago to Los Angeles, the race website is reassuring: “Don’t worry, our bike course is well marked”). The half-marathon course takes place on scenic, shaded lake roads.

Lake Logan Half Triathlon

Setupevents.com
Aug. 5, 2017
Canton, N.C.

Escape to a cooler mid-summer race in the mountains of North Carolina at Lake Logan, a race that has sold out two of the last three years, and is expected to again in 2017. It features a one-loop wetsuit-legal (around 67 degrees) swim in the clean and beautiful Lake Logan. The lake is surrounded by mountains, which means protection from the wind and typically calm and flat water. The bike course is a mix of rollers and two significant climbs, but is flatter than expected for a mountain course. The two-loop shaded run follows along a scenic river with gentle slopes.

Mountain Man Half Iron

Mountainmainevents.com
Aug. 13, 2017
Flagstaff, Ariz.

For an added challenge, you can race your summer half-iron at altitude in the town of Flagstaff, which is surrounded by mountains, desert and ponderosa pine forests. The family-run event is the fifth oldest tri west of the Mississippi River and features beautiful views of the local mountain range and nearby lakes (the race also promises the timing means the flora will be in full bloom after the “monsoon” season). Now in its 33rd year, the race course will feature a swim in Upper Lake Mary, an out-and-back bike course on paved roads with beautiful lake views and not too much climbing, and an out-and-back run on paved roads along Lake Mary with just one “decent” hill.

CVC San Diego Half Iron Triathlon

Chulavistachallenge.com
Aug. 13, 2017
Chula Vista, Calif.

Located about 10 miles south of downtown San Diego, the city of Chula Vista serves as a spectator-friendly venue for this half-iron-distance race, which is only in its second year (Chula Vista has hosted sprint- and Olympic-distance races for a few years). The race starts from and ends at Bayside Park, in view of the Coronado Bay Bridge and San Diego skyline. For the half distance, athletes will start with a calm bay swim along the beach to the pier, followed by a four-loop bike and then a flat and fast triple-loop run along the bay shoreline walking and bike paths.

Storm the Fort Half

Racedayevents.com
Aug. 26, 2017
Kingston, Tenn.

This will be the fourth year of a half-iron-distance (Storm the Fort runs a sprint-distance concurrently), dubbed the “race for the cannon,” as the age group winners receive miniature cannon awards and the overall winners will be receiving custom-forged 8-pound cannonballs, a nod to the venue at the historic Fort Southwest Point. The race starts with a swim in the Clinch River followed by a rural, rolling bike ride and a two-lap run on the Kingston Greenway and through downtown Kingston before a finish in Fort Southwest Point.

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Faces in the Pack: NCAA Triathlete Caitlyn Muncher http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/lifestyle/faces-pack-ncaa-triathlete-caitlyn-muncher_300915 Tue, 25 Apr 2017 13:58:55 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300915 This frosh NCAA triathlete is juggling a full course load, three sports and sorority life—and crushing it all.

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This frosh NCAA triathlete is juggling a full course load, three sports and sorority life—and crushing it all. 

University of West Alabama freshman Caitlyn Muncher, who hails from the small town of Jasper, Ala., was a natural fit for triathlon. She grew up a competitive swimmer since age 4 and also ran from a young age, finishing her first half-marathon with her mom at age 13. “I just picked up the bike when my dad found out that tri was an [NCAA] emerging sport,” she says. Then she raced her first triathlon in July 2015. “I started competing and fell in love with it.”

She was clearly a gifted swimmer and runner and had a strong desire to continue learning the sport of triathlon. Those combined traits caught the eye of UWA’s assistant tri coach Allie Nicosia, who’s now proud to call Muncher a member of the university’s tri team. “I was especially impressed with how quickly she picked up the bike,” Nicosia says. “Once we continue to develop her talent as a cyclist, that will definitely be a huge asset to her racing.”

Muncher is one of the fortunate young women to compete in triathlon as an NCAA athlete; as of early 2017, only 13 colleges and universities had varsity tri teams, and Muncher is one of only four women on UWA’s squad. She’s also the only freshman. “I would still compete in tri as a club sport because I enjoy it very much,” she says. But racing as a varsity athlete is a dream come true.

“With triathlon becoming an NCAA sport, it allows me to compete in not only one but two of the sports I’ve grown up competing in,” she says. Muncher’s tri coach has her race on the cross country and track teams to stay strong and quick on her feet. She’s also taken on a full course load as a comprehensive biology major with plans to become a pediatric dentist.

On top of all that, she’s in a sorority. She joined Phi Mu to make sure she found new friends and stayed involved in campus life. “I initially tried to talk her out of being in a sorority before she arrived on campus,” says Nicosia. “But she assured me that her grades and triathlon were her most important commitments.” And she’s stayed true to that promise. Muncher skipped the sorority’s formal in favor of competing in a triathlon that weekend. “I just have to stay organized and keep my priorities straight,” she says, admitting it’s a difficult balance. “My sorority is very understanding that triathlon comes first.”

Fortunately, some of her commitments overlap; both her sorority and the tri team require a number of study and service hours. “I spend a lot, or most, of my time in study hall,” she says.

Muncher’s clearly a motivated woman. She has a drive that most coaches dream of, Nicosia says. “When I say she never gives up, I mean it. She crashed twice during our regionals race in Greensboro [N.C.] and still managed the top spot on our team, which qualified her for nationals.”

Muncher would say it’s her love of the sport that keeps her going. “Triathlons are very challenging, and competing in them allows me to meet other people who enjoy the sport, enjoy working hard and challenging themselves.”

Her favorite race so far was USAT’s High School National Championship in Clemson, S.C., because she saw how many people her age enjoyed the sport. “When I crossed the finish line, they announced that I had signed to compete for UWA in college. It was an awesome feeling.”

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Gear Close-Up: Oakley Radar Pace http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/gear-tech/gear-close-oakley-radar-pace_300918 Tue, 25 Apr 2017 13:58:22 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300918 Part eye protection, part tiny coach, these sunglasses make training solo fun.

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Part eye protection, part tiny coach, these sunglasses make training solo fun.

Sunglasses aren’t just for protection. Oakley’s new Radar Pace specs and their accompanying app for iOS and Android put a coach in your ear while you train. The ecosystem lets you generate a training plan based on a goal, like running a 10K, then the sunglasses connect to other devices like heart rate straps or power meters via Bluetooth to give you real-time data and progress reports during your workouts. Current plans are for running and cycling, though Oakley does have one that’s very tri-specific: a 112-mile time trial. You can also control your phone through the sunglasses to take calls, listen to music or even create text messages. At 56 grams, they’re double the weight of previous Radar versions, but it’s not too noticeable. Bottom line: The training plans may be aimed at pure runners or cyclists, but if they meet your needs, the extra encouragement in your ear is a fun way to stay motivated.

  • Voice control lets you ask for workout details. While you’re training, you can say, “OK Radar” to get instant info about your heart rate, speed, power, etc. Radar Pace will also send metrics like speed, distance and time to you periodically, or you can turn off the alerts.
  • Listen to music and control your phone via a touchpad near the temples that allows you to adjust the volume, make and receive calls or even send a text via voice command. (We suggest you only use these functions while running.)
  • The ear stems are double hinged and come with three different sizes of earbuds for a custom fit. A micro-USB connection attaches the ear stems and charges the sunglasses.
  • The Radar Pace comes with two lenses: the Prizm Road lens, which works well in a variety of light conditions, and a clear lens. Two nose pieces allow you to customize the fit. No matter how much you sweat while running or riding, these sunglasses stay in place thanks to Oakley’s special rubber compound.
  • The RadarPace app for iOS and Android creates a personalized plan based on your personal info, goals, schedule and experience. Each day has a specific workout for you to follow, or you can select a “free” day to do what you want.

$450, Oakley.com

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One-Hour Workout: Mobility And Core Strength Gym Session http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/training/one-hour-workout-mobility-and-core-strength-gym-session_120239 Tue, 25 Apr 2017 09:57:30 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=120239 The goal of this gym session is basic mobility, core strength and preparation strength for the coming training phases.

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Every Tuesday we’ll feature a different coach’s workout you can complete in 60 min (or less!).

This week’s workout comes from Marilyn Chychota, a former elite cyclist and triathlete and now coach for Endurance Corner. She says the goal of this gym session is basic mobility, core and preparation strength for upcoming training phases. “For the athlete to be ready for the next block, the two most important stages of development are mobility and core strength. Paying special attention to range of motion, technique and form development through this phase is key.”

Warm-up

5-10 min light cardio

Mobility

All movements should be held for as long as needed to feel some improved range of motion—Chychota recommends 1–2 min minimum.

  • Wall Sit Stretch (video)
  • Wall quad stretch (video)
  • Lying rotator cuff stretch (video)
  • Spider lunge (video)
  • Samson stretch (video)
  • Inch worm (video)
  • Heel cord stretch (video)
  • Wall tap calf stretch (video)
  • Planter fascia intrinsic foot muscle mobility (video)
  • Wall sit reach (video)

RELATED: Should I Strength-Train During The Season?

Technique

  • 3×8 squats holding a plate or object out in front of you for technique (work up to 3×12 and then 3×15).
  • 2×1 min plank
  • 2×15 V-ups (video)
  • 2×25 push-ups (video)
  • 2×15 back extensions, or Supermans (video)
  • 2×15 walking lunges holding dumbbells directly overhead (video)
  • 2×8 each leg of single-leg straight legged toe touches (video)
  • 2×10 box step-ups holding weight (video)
  • 2×15 Bird Dogs (video)
  • 4×1 min monster walks with a band (video)
  • 3×15 hamstring bridges (video)
  • 2×12 single-leg calf raises slow and controlled on the down

More one-hour workouts.

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Photos: Potts, Jackson on Top at 70.3 Peru http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/photos/photos-potts-jackson-top-70-3-peru_300968 Mon, 24 Apr 2017 13:32:33 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300968 Americans Andy Potts and Heather Jackson claimed the victories at Sunday's Ironman 70.3 Peru triathlon in Lima, Peru.

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Photos: Wagner Araujo

Americans Andy Potts and Heather Jackson claimed the victories at Sunday’s Ironman 70.3 Peru triathlon in Lima, Peru.

Potts turned in a 23:21 swim, before battling back and forth on the bike with several athletes. He came off of the bike in first place, with Chilean athletes Felipe Barraza and Felipe Van De Wyngard right with him and fellow American Jesse Thomas about 52 seconds back. Potts was strong on the run, dropping the others to take a solo lead and eventually the win in 3:44:53. Thomas rode and ran his way up to second position, finishing at 3:45:21. Van De Wyngard rounded out the top three.

Jackson kicked off her day with a stellar swim, coming out of the water only 43 seconds back of former Ironman world champion Leanda Cave (GBR). She quickly took the lead, building it to 3:31 over Sarah Piampiano (USA), 5:20 over Linsey Corbin (USA) and 5:57 over Cave off of the bike. She ran strong to the finish, crossing in 4:12:41. Piampano maintained her second position to the finish line, with Corbin making it an all-American podium.

2017 Ironman 70.3 Peru
Lima, Peru – April 23, 2017
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run

Men
1. Andy Potts (USA) 3:44:53
2. Jesse Thomas (USA) 3:45:21
3. Felipe Van De Wyngard (CHI) 3:48:47

Women
1. Heather Jackson (USA) 4:12:41
2. Sarah Piampiano (USA) 4:15:38
3. Linsey Corbin (USA) 4:16:58

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3 Exercises For Building A Functional Kinetic Chain http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/training/transverse-planes-role-running_98980 Mon, 24 Apr 2017 13:04:25 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=98980 Since running is all about continuous forward motion, we often forget that certain parts of the body are moving in other directions.

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Photo: John David Becker

Run more efficiently by focusing on your transverse plane.

Since running is all about continuous forward motion, we often forget that certain parts of the body are moving in other directions. This dynamic system comprises three planes of motion: sagittal, frontal and transverse. The sagittal plane includes front-to-back movements, playing a major role in running forward. The frontal plane is all about side-to-side motion—think side bends or jumping jacks. The transverse plane involves rotational movements, like swinging a golf club. The muscle groups related to the transverse plane also happen to be the most neglected by runners, often leading to injuries and performance deficits.

“Running is really a series of hops from one foot to the next, but for running to be both balanced and possible, the body needs to be able to move specific amounts on all three planes,” explains Ryan Bair, a sports physical therapist and owner of Flash Sports Physical Therapy and Performance Center in West Chester, Pa.

Indeed, a runner can display too much movement on the transverse plane or too little. These deficiencies are often linked to some of the most common running injuries, such as iliotibial band syndrome, patellofemoral pain syndrome and Achilles tendonitis. “Without sufficient rotation, we cannot move adequately on the other planes without compensating,” Bair says.

By increasing both strength and proper movement on the transverse plane, you help ensure the entire system functions soundly. Implementing several exercises, such as the three featured below, a couple of times each week can make all the difference when it comes to building a fully functional kinetic chain.

RELATED: Ditch Your Crunches

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Beginner’s Luck: Why is it So Hard to Love Ourselves Sometimes? http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/lifestyle/beginners-luck-hard-love-sometimes_300886 Mon, 24 Apr 2017 12:49:40 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300886 My triathlon journey started with an indoor cycling class, taught by Gerry Halphen, which subsequently sparked my love for triathlon. The class was in a […]

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My triathlon journey started with an indoor cycling class, taught by Gerry Halphen, which subsequently sparked my love for triathlon. The class was in a gym of “real” triathletes. I had some great friends there. But I was not, at that time (and perhaps still not), their “kind” of triathlete. I was their token “Awwww, isn’t she sweet for trying to run?” friend. They were fast. I was the speed of Meredith. They were thin. I was, well, me.

Still, I felt an allegiance to that gym and class, because gratitude is a big thing for me. I am grateful for my experiences, even the miserable ones, because they have shaped who I am today. I knew that I owed a lot to that gym, to that class, to Gerry, to the place where my triathlon dream was born.

When I went back to the class a few years ago, I saw myself in the mirror and I cringed. Just like I cringed on my first day of class in 2009. I thought, “Wow, I look much worse than the last time I was in here.” Which, by the way, was not true. But it was a mental mess from the start. I ended up going home after class, crying and thinking, “Why do I even bother?”

Fast-forward to a few weeks ago, I went back to the cycling class. Gerry was still there, so I knew what to expect from him: sweat and pain. But I really didn’t know what to think or expect about how I would feel about ME in that place again. You would think I am now at the point in my triathlon life where I consider myself one of the clan. That after four iron-distance races, coaching athletes of my own, successful programs and an “army” of followers, that I would feel like I fit into triathlon. You would think. I mean, why in the world would there still be doubt?

Perhaps it’s because sometimes I’m reminded (by myself or by things others say, or things I perceive others say) that I don’t fit in. Or maybe I am reminded just how far I have come, but still how far I need to go to be legit. Legit meaning that I need to weigh 105 pounds and wear an XS tri short. (I know that’s not a sign of legitness. I know. Not to mention the fact that my skeleton weighs 105 pounds. Bear with me.)

Trust me, this whole internal dialogue makes me furious at myself. Legitness and pursuit of this arbitrary goal of subjective legitness, especially for someone who is a middle of the packer on a good day, totally not an elite and will never be, is just plain stupid. The truth of the matter is that I have earned my way to every single finish, every corner of the triathlon world. I have worked hard. I should be in “the business of being good enough” at whatever speed I go, because I am out there doing the hard work, spreading the love and slathering good energy where I can.

So, when I went to class recently, I feared that I would still have that story, that tale of “I am still not enough” in my head. And I was genuinely scared. I walked into the class and I started chatting with friends, old and new. Then I saw myself in the mirror. But I didn’t think anything of the reflection staring back at me. I didn’t even think about it. It was such a non-issue, that when I sat down to write this article, I had to think, “How DID I feel when I saw my reflection this time?”

Trust me, I would like for the day to come where I look in the mirror and say, “WOW! Hot stuff mama! Sexy sassafras! Shake that bonbon,” and for me to mean it and believe it. But, for now, this was massive progress: to have a non-reaction.

I have not been alone in living in the web of unworthiness. This self-hate and shame epidemic is real and runs deep in women and men. For so many years, I wanted to love myself, to feel differently, but simply, I just didn’t. I didn’t love myself. I didn’t even like me.

Now, I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that since I quit drinking, made a decision to focus on gratitude and ask myself these questions, below, that I have unlocked a lot of that unworthiness—and turned it into good.

Question 1: What do I really want to change in my life?

Question 2: What action can I take right now that will put me in the right direction toward getting what I want?

Question 3: What is my one “power” and power word that will help enforce this?

For me, I wanted to “be the best version of myself.” I took action on quitting drinking and eating healthier. I adopted the power word “relentless” (because, well, I am stubborn) and I said it often, to remind myself that I would not be giving up on this vision of what I wanted.

When I saw myself in the mirror this time, I realized that I have climbed a large mountain. I am finally to the place in my life where I feel OK in my skin. I look forward to the day that I feel amazing in my skin. But one forward step at a time.

Meredith Atwood (@SwimBikeMom) is a recovering attorney and author of Triathlon for the Every Woman. She is the host of the new podcast, “The Same 24 Hours.” She lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children, and blogs about all things at MeredithAtwood.com.  

More Beginner’s Luck

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Video: Increase Hip Mobility With This Exercise http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/training/monday-minute-cradle-walk-2_48658 Mon, 24 Apr 2017 12:15:12 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=48658 This week we demonstrate the cradle walk, a great exercise that will increase hip mobility and help smooth out your running stride.

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This week we demonstrate the cradle walk, a great exercise that will increase hip mobility and help smooth out your running stride.

More 60-second strength training and injury prevention videos on Triathlete.com

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Photos: Hanson, Robertson Victorious On Fast Day of Texas Racing http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/ironman/photos-hanson-robertson-victorious-fast-day-texas-racing_300921 Sun, 23 Apr 2017 13:28:30 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300921 Matt Hanson (USA) and Jodie Robertson (USA) battled their to the top of the podium with impressive victories.

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Photos: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image/@Compimagephoto

Matt Hanson (USA) and Jodie Robertson (USA) battled their to the top of the podium with impressive victories at Saturday’s 2017 Memorial Herman Ironman North American Championship Texas triathlon. Hanson smashed his own course record finishing in 07:52:44, while Robertson claimed the title with a time of 8:56:32—both receiving automatic bids to this year’s Ironman World Championship.

Ronnie Schildknecht (CHE) finished in second place for the men with a time of 7:56:21 while Tyler Butterfield (BER) rounded out the podium in third with a time of 7:58:29, respectively. On the women’s side, Michaela Herlbauer (AUT) finished second with a time of 8:59:31 and Maja Stage-Nielsen (DEN) finished third with a total time of 9:01:00.

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Alistair Brownlee Wins First Half-Iron Distance Attempt http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/news/alistair-brownlee-wins-first-half-iron-distance-attempt_300897 Sat, 22 Apr 2017 18:18:26 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300897 Two-time Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee kicked off his season of long-distance racing on the right note with a victory at today’s half-iron Gloria Challenge Mogán […]

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Two-time Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee kicked off his season of long-distance racing on the right note with a victory at today’s half-iron Gloria Challenge Mogán Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands of Spain.

Brownlee was impressive, crossing the finish line in 4:03:09, establishing a new course record and beating out second-place finisher Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) by more than eight minutes.

“This is my first attempt at a middle distance race and there is a lot to learn,” Brownlee said after the race. “I chose Gloria Challenge Mog​á​n Gran Canaria as my first middle-distance race because I really like what Challenge Family is about and considering we are coming into the summer race season the timing is perfect.”

Brownlee will next face a bit of a bigger challenge against a top-notch field at May 6’s Ironman 70.3 North American Championships in St. George, Utah.

In the women’s race, defending two-time Ironman world champion Daniela Ryf led the majority of the race but struggled on the run. Great Britain’s Emma Pallant was strong in the final leg, moving from third to first during the half-marathon—crossing the finish line in 4:35:15 and setting a new course record. Fellow British athlete Lucy Charles finished second, with Ryf rounding out the top three.

Complete results here

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43 Interesting Things Triathlon Companies Are Doing to Go Green http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/lifestyle/43-interesting-things-triathlon-companies-go-green_300882 Fri, 21 Apr 2017 18:20:04 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300882 From Trek to Specialized to Pearl Izumi and Clif, tri-related brands are making some big efforts to preserve our outdoor training grounds.

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From Trek to Specialized to Pearl Izumi and Clif, tri-related brands are making some big efforts to preserve our outdoor training grounds.

As consumers, we have the power to shape the way companies do business. By choosing where and how we spend our dollars, we drive how companies produce the products we buy—and what they make in the first place. That means we can help push them toward adopting processes that lower their environmental impact.

Below are a few examples of what key players in the triathlon industry are doing to preserve our environment, be it through product life-cycle analysis, recycling and repurposing of materials, supply-chain optimization, and protecting natural resources.

So the next time you’re in the market for a new piece of equipment, consider the power your purchase has in saving (or destroying) the beautiful places where you like to train.

Trek

  • Highly involved in developing trail networks throughout the country thru IMBA.
  • Built 16 miles of singletrack outside their HQ in Waterloo, WI while planting tens of thousands of oak trees and native seeds in an effort to restore the land to its native state. Each year, they perform a controlled burn of the site to remove non-native flora (some non-native species have a negative effect on a local ecosystem).
  • The first manufacturer in Wisconsin to switch entirely to renewable electric power. All their facilities are 100% powered with electricity from renewable sources such as solar, wind, and biogas. They used to burn 10.5 million pounds of coal each year, and now they burn none.
  • Custom-designed ovens allow a 90% reduction in carbon footprint and 6x less energy over industry standards.
  • First bicycle company to collect and recycle carbon fiber.

Specialized

  • Partnered with Duke University to examine the life cycle of carbon fiber and aluminum bicycle frames. Among the areas of improvement, they found that a tremendous amount of energy (in the form of heat waste) is lost in the industry-standard process of heat treating aluminum frames. They’re currently looking for methods for recapturing the waste heat and converting it back into useful energy. If successful, they plan on making those results open source so that all manufacturers can take advantage of a more efficient, environmentally friendly method of production.
  • Discovered that their largest material footprint is in the packaging, and have actively working in reducing their packaging footprint.
  • Almost all of the materials used in our products have a second life
    • Carbon fiber: Over 17,000 lbs recycled to date
    • Rubber: 22,000 lbs recycled in 2014
    • Metals: 26,000 lbs recycled in 2014
  • Carbon fiber repurposing into a variety of new products. The recovery process uses significantly less energy than it takes to create virgin carbon fiber.

Clif

  • Caddies were redesigned to be shrink wrap free avoiding the use of 90,000 pounds of plastic per year.
  • 77% of all ingredients are organic and/or certified sustainable. Goal: 80% by 2020
  • 83% of waste stream is diverted from landfills or incinerators. Goal: 90% by 2020
  • 10% packaging reduction for all Clif Bars.
  • Clif Shot Bloks packaging was redesigned in 2008 to save 25,000 lbs of packaging a year
  • 100% green power for electricity for all facilities
  • Their smart solar array installed in 2010 was the first ever in North America over 500 kWh, providing most of their electricity and hot water.
  • In 2010 the company was invited to Washington D.C. to address a national USDA conference about how to drive change toward a more sustainable 21st century agricultural system.

Outdoor Industry Association: Paving the Way
Currently over 300 companies in the outdoor industry are working together as part of the Boulder-based Outdoor Industry Association’s Sustainability Working Group to identify and implement sustainable business practices in their supply chains. The few triathlon-related brands who have signed on are Brooks, Pearl Izumi and Smartwool. Other non-triathlon companies include REI, Patagonia, Timberland, The North Face, and Salomon. Below, what a few more big sports brands are doing to reduce their environmental impact:

Nike

  • Today it takes about half the energy to make Nike shoes as it did eight years ago.
  • Flyknit technology, a technique for assembling a shoe’s upper by knitting, reduced 3.5 million pounds of waste since its inception in 2012 (60% less waste than traditional cut-and-sew methods).
  • Reuse-A-Shoe program has recycled approximately 30 million pairs of shoes.
  • ColorDry technology, which dyes fabric using zero water, has saved more than 20 million liters of water.
  • Since 2010, more than three billion plastic bottles have been diverted from landfills and converted into recycled polyester for Nike products.
  • The Nike Grind program transforms old shoes and manufacturing scrap into high-performance Nike footwear and apparel as well as high-quality sports and play surfaces, including courts, tracks and more.
  • Nike Grind materials are used in 71% of Nike footwear and apparel products.
  • By 2025, aims to use 100% renewable energy in its owned and operated facilities.
  • By 2020, aims to have zero waste sent to landfill or incineration without energy recovery.
  • In 2015 contract factories diverted 92 percent of footwear factory waste away from landfills or incinerators.
  • ‘Moonshot’ goal to double its business while halving their environmental impact by 2020.
  • Revenue increased 52 percent between fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2015 while carbon emissions decreased 18 percent per unit.

Adidas

  • Ranks fifth among the ‘Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World,’ a ranking produced by Toronto-based magazine and research firm Corporate Knights that rates global firms on 14 key measures, evaluating their management of resources, finances and employees.
  • Collaboration with Parley for the Oceans, an organization dedicated to reducing plastic waste in oceans, on making shoes made of recycled plastic from oceans.
  • By the end of 2017, aims to produce at least 1 million pairs of Ultraboost shoes with Ocean plastic.
  • Ambition (no timeframe) to eliminate virgin plastic from their supply chain.

Brooks

  • Have saved over 25o,ooo trees by using 100% recycled materials in their packaging since 2009.
  • Have saved more than 6oo,ooo pounds of shoe stuffing (that paper found inside the shoe when first bought which helps the shoe hold its shape) since removing from most styles since 2009.
  • Have saved more than 2.2 million pounds of paperboard since minimizing their shoe box in 2012.
  • All product materials come from at least 20% recycled content.
  • All of their shoes’ midsole (BioMoGo) biodegrades 50 times faster than a traditional EVA midsole. The BioMoGo technology includes a non-toxic, natural additive that exponentially increases the rate of biodegradation by encouraging anaerobic microbes to break down nutrients into reusable byproducts. While traditional EVA midsoles lasts up to 1,000 years in the landfill, BioMoGo biodegrades in 20 years. Brooks has made this innovation open-source for the industry to use.
  • By using BioMoGo in its shoes, Brooks saves us from roughly 30 million pounds of landfill waste over 20 years.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions per shoe have decreased 14% since 2011, thanks to Brook’s commitment to reducing, reusing and recycling.

Deckers (Hoka)

  • Their data center, where all their servers are located, runs on 100% renewable energy.
  • Employees who carpool, walk, bike, or use public transportation are reimbursed $1 per commute.
  • Recycled over 85,000 pairs of used shoes in 2016 by donating to charities worldwide.

Davide Giardini is an Italian-born US-resident waterman turned professional triathlete. He has a BA in Environmental Sciences from Roger Williams University, and worked in Business Sustainability on Oahu, Hawaii. When he’s not training in Boulder, Colo., he can be found surfing, kitesurfing and SUPing in Hawaiian waters.

Connect with Davide on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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6 Inventive Ways to Triathlon Train While Traveling http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/training/6-inventive-ways-triathlon-train-traveling_300877 Fri, 21 Apr 2017 17:02:04 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300877 Tips and tricks for transforming travel lemons (broken treadmill in the hotel gym?!) into lemonade.

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Tips and tricks for transforming travel lemons (broken treadmill in the hotel gym?!) into lemonade. 

You know the drill. You’ve got a swim on your schedule, but no lap lane in sight. Or a run, but you’re staying right off the freeway by the airport with no sidewalks around. Fret not! Just because you’re on the road doesn’t mean your training must suffer. Presenting six inventive ways to keep your swim-bike-run on track when you can’t find one.

Swim

Good: Stay in a hotel, motel, Holiday Inn, campsite or highway underpass—it doesn’t matter! Bring along a pair of swim cords (Finis, $32, Finisinc.com), and attach to a doorknob, tree or roadside guardrail. While stroke count can be useful, dry-land workouts for time are better. Be sure to attach the cord roughly at waist level, bend from the hips and keep your trunk taut while pulling through the entire stroke—no snaking.

Better: Stay somewhere with a pool, any pool, even if it’s in the shape of a Disney character or an amoeba or an ice cream cone. If the pool is long enough to actually swim in, the easiest way to measure your workout without constantly checking your watch is counting strokes. At home, find out how many strokes per length you average for a 50 interval, a 100 interval and a 200 interval (they will be different), write each down and use those as your baseline for workouts.

If the pool is too small to swim more than 10 strokes, bring along a stationary swim bungee (Aqua Sphere, $20, Aquasphereswim.com) that takes up less luggage real estate than a pair of pants. Hook it up to any poolside surface and you’re ready for a great workout that actually improves the evenness of your stroke. Bring a pull buoy if you struggle with sinking legs.

Swim Cord Workout
6 rounds of the following:
20 very slow right arm pulls
20 very slow left arm pulls
2 min both arms “swimming” at 7/10 effort
15 fast, powerful right tricep kickbacks (rear half of stroke only)
15 fast, powerful left tricep kickbacks (rear half of stroke only)
30 sec rest

Stationary Swim Workout
This workout is based on a swimmer’s stroke count for a 25-yard interval at home being 16 strokes; 50 yards is 36 strokes; 100 yards is 80 strokes. Substitute your own stroke counts for best results.

5 min warm-up easy swimming, finding balance point and eliminating stroke dead spots.
3 rounds of the following:
4×80 strokes at 7/10 effort, 20 sec rest
2×36 strokes at 8/10 effort, 25 sec rest
4×16 strokes at 9/10 effort, 30 sec rest
5 min cool-down easy swimming, keeping stroke smooth

Bike

Good: Call around for hotels in the area to see who has a (functioning) stationary bike. Of course a stationary bike from 1986 isn’t likely going to have the aggressive tri position of a P5X, but with a good workout, you’ll at least maintain some muscle memory and fitness while away.

Better: Look online for spin classes in the area you’ll be traveling to. Spin studios can be found pretty much everywhere, most have clip-in-compatible bikes (call ahead to be sure you have the correct cleat on your cycling shoes), and many even have free trial memberships. The beauty of going to a spin class in a strange land is threefold: You’ll meet new people, get a killer aerobic workout and you won’t have to worry about the logistics of riding while traveling. Be sure to measure your home bike fit before you go and do your best to replicate the seat height and fore/aft adjustment.

Stationary Bike Workout
First, get a baseline for the resistance levels of the stationary bike: Play with the adjustment to find the hardest resistance while still turning the pedals smoothly while standing—this is your max (10/10). The minimum (0/10) should be just harder than no resistance at all. There should never be a time when the wheel can spin freely without any force.

10 min warm-up at 2/10 resistance
15 min at 4/10 resistance
3 min at 6/10 resistance
30 sec at 8/10 resistance
3 min recovery at 2/10 resistance
10 min at 4/10 resistance
5 min at 6/10 resistance
1 min at 8/10 resistance
10 min cool-down at 2/10 resistance

Run

Good: It’s rare, but sometimes there is no treadmill or safe place to run. When that happens, find a tall building or outdoor staircase to work on strength and leg speed. Twenty to 30 minutes of continuous stair running is a great way to maintain fitness because of its built-in interval training. Start slow with single-step running and build up to double steps for the toughest workout. Once you’ve gotten comfortable, try carefully descending the stairs backward (use the railing) or sideways to work on more muscle groups.

The most important thing to remember when running stairs is to not run entirely on your toes (placing undue stress on calf muscles); focus on driving your knees instead. If you use indoor stairs, bring water and be careful if you have respiratory issues—fire-escape staircases are notorious for dusty air.

Better: There aren’t too many hotels around anymore that don’t have a treadmill, but be sure to call first to confirm that it’s a functioning treadmill. Bear in mind that most hotel-quality machines won’t be capable of accurately meting out fast sessions at high speed, so plan on quality aerobic runs or a good build workout on the hamster wheel. Be sure to drink more water than usual and load up on towels from your room to soak up the sweaty mess you’ll make.

Treadmill Run Workout
Most hotel treadmills are not particularly accurate when it comes to pace—especially as speed increases. So for the best workout, go by perceived effort, not speed. Be sure to set the incline to at least 2 percent to simulate road conditions.

15 min easy warm-up
10 min at 5/10 effort, increase speed only
10 min at 6/10 effort, increase speed and incline
10 min at 7/10 effort, increase incline only
10 min easy cool-down at warm-up speed/incline

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Quick Set Friday: Sprints, Kicks, Dives http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/training/quick-set-friday-sprints-kicks-dives_89667 Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:29:18 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=89667 A new workout from Triathlete contributor and swimming all-star Sara McLarty to take the pool this weekend.

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Triathlete contributor and swimming all-star Sara McLarty has a blog with more than 500 creative workouts used in her Masters swim program in Clermont, Fla. We’ll feature a workout every Friday so you have new ideas to take to the pool. On her blog (Mastersswimworkoutsbysaramclarty.blogspot.com), you can pick a Monday set for a long distance focus, a Wednesday set for sprint training, or Friday for creative open water skills.

A:
400 swim w/ fins/300 pull/200 kick/100 drill
8×50 @ :60 (25 swim/climb out, dive in/25 FAST!)
600 (200 pull buoy build/100 kick/repeat)
4×100 @ 1:45 (25 SPRINT kick w/ no board/75 swim)
600 pull (3/5 breathing pattern by 50)
16×25 @ :40 (4 of each stroke, IM order)
600 w/ fins (100 swim/100 kick/repeat)
300 cool-down (swim w/ no walls)
*4300 total*

RELATED – Ask Coach Sara: Making The Most Of 30 Minutes

B:
400 swim w/ fins/300 pull/200 kick/100 drill
6×50 @ 1:15 (25 swim/climb out, dive in/25 FAST!)
500 (150 pull buoy build/100 kick/repeat)
4×100 @ 2:20 (25 SPRINT kick w/ no board/75 swim)
400 pull (3/5 breathing pattern by 50)
12×25 @ :45 (2 non-free, 2 free, repeat)
400 w/ fins (100 swim/100 kick/repeat)
200 cool-down (swim w/ no walls)
*3500 total*

RELATED – Ask Coach Sara: Drills To Help With Open-Water Swimming

C:
300 swim w/ fins/200 pull/100 kick/100 drill
6×50 w/:15 rest (25 swim/climb out, dive in/25 FAST!)
300 (100 pull buoy build/50 kick/repeat)
3×100 w/ :20 rest (25 SPRINT kick w/ no board/75 swim)
300 pull (3/5 breathing pattern by 50)
8×25 w/ :10 rest (2 non-free, 2 free, repeat)
300 w/ fins (100 swim/50 kick/repeat)
100 cool-down (swim w/ no walls)
*2500 total*

More swim workouts.

Follow Triathlete on Twitter @Triathletemag for inspiration, new workout ideas, gear reviews from our editors and more.

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How IM TX Came Back from the Almost Dead http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/lifestyle/im-tx-came-back-almost-dead_300874 Thu, 20 Apr 2017 20:47:05 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300874 A brief, nutty history of the North American Championship event Though Ironman Texas is a relative newbie on the North American tri scene, the event […]

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A brief, nutty history of the North American Championship event

Though Ironman Texas is a relative newbie on the North American tri scene, the event has seen more behind-the-scenes drama than a season of “Dallas.” First held in 2011 outside of Houston (not Dallas)—mostly in a planned community called The Woodlands—Ironman Texas was hailed as the first ultra-distance event in the state’s history. The first year was a honeymoon: temperatures were warm, but mostly cooperative weather and a flat and fast bike course soon painted IMTX as an excellent gateway to Kona. Though humid (like Kona), the local area had tons of accommodations and easy travel options.

At the event’s onset, the World Triathlon Corporation (Ironman’s parent company) signed a five-year contract with the Woodlands Convention and Visitors Bureau and The Woodlands Township, with the contract set to expire in 2014.

After a few years of building notoriety as a surprisingly difficult race for its humidity and rolling hills, Ironman Texas finally became the North American Championship event in 2015, and the WTC signed another five-year extension with area leaders. With the North American Championship designation, age groupers’ Kona slots went from 50 to 75 and pros saw an increase in prize money and automatic Kona qualifying spot for the winners. Not coincidentally, 2015 also marked a sold-out year for Ironman Texas. Local news outlets touted the event as a slam dunk for the community and the Houston Chronicle cited figures upwards of 18,000 spectators and an estimated $16 million influx to the local economy. It seemed that all was well with Ironman Texas and its suburban Houston hosts.

Unfortunately, all honeymoons have to come to an end, and Ironman Texas’ was over in 2016. Less than three months from the race date, with another sold-out event looming, race officials were notified that their proposed bike course wasn’t going to happen. Citing a mix of construction and citizen unrest from neighboring townships over the traditional bike course, Ironman notified racers of the problem, and—as they say—the poop hit the fan. It wouldn’t be until late March that local government leaders would finally come to an understanding and a new route would be created. The new course was going to be one loop, instead of the multiple-loop course that was proposed and seemed to satisfy everyone involved.

Just when things were starting to calm down, Mother Nature threw another wrench in the already messy works. Mere weeks before the May start date, severe weather created massive flooding in the Houston and surrounding areas. Ironman officials moved to create a new, new course that had roughly 80 turns and a shorter, 94-mile distance that had racers questioning the legitimacy of their pre-planned M-Dot tattoos.

In the aftermath of the 2016 race, local officials were increasingly concerned that Ironman would pack up its gear and look for greener pastures. In fact, that same summer, Galveston, Texas, made a bid for the 2017 location according to a Houston Chronicle story before Ironman organizers finally kissed and made up with Harris County officials and went ahead as planned.

This year, to reduce issues with outlying townships, the Ironman Texas course will be held mostly in The Woodlands and on private toll roads in Harris County—a privilege that Ironman will pay the Harris County Toll Road Authority $135,000 to use, according to the Chronicle.

Despite a rocky phase, it looks like Ironman Texas will continue to go on until at least 2020, when the contract comes up for renewal. Hopefully IMTX doesn’t end up going the way of Ironman New York, felled by crippling logistical issues. Either way, this year’s edition should have markedly less drama and more focus on fast racing.

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The Joy of Building Bikes for Kids http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/video/joy-building-bikes-kids_300870 Thu, 20 Apr 2017 20:37:09 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300870 The team at Flo Cycling donates one percent of all sales toward purchasing bikes and helmets for children in need.

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If you give a kid a Huffy, they’re going to ask to go for a ride. If they go for a ride, they’ll probably ask you to do a triathlon. The team at Flo Cycling donates one percent of all sales toward purchasing bikes and helmets for children in need. So far they’ve given away 1,350 bikes and we were proud to be a very small part of that effort earlier this month.

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The 10-Hour Week Ironman Training Plan http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/training/10-hour-week-ironman-training-plan_300853 Thu, 20 Apr 2017 17:08:06 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300853 This plan will allow you to start the race with confidence and finish the race strong.

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A lot of people are deterred from doing Ironman because they don’t think they have the time to train. Although a 15- to 20-hour training schedule is ideal to maximize your Ironman potential, you can accomplish a lot of the basic Ironman fitness in a 10-hour week if you utilize your time wisely. This plan will allow you to start the race with confidence and finish the race strong.

About the program

My goal was to prepare a time-efficient, effective training plan that guides you through your final seven weeks of Ironman training. It is capped at 10 hours and four days per week. This schedule is targeted at the athlete looking for an 11–14-hour finishing time, ideally with experience racing a half-Ironman. Note: Because your race is only seven weeks away, you should be confident swimming more than 2000 meters. You should have completed two or three 90-plus minute runs and two or three 3.5- to 4.5-hour nonstop rides in the few weeks prior.

The schedule consists of five weeks of training progression and two weeks of taper. Midweek sessions emphasize quality, with a goal of increasing your efficiency at higher speeds to help increase your economy at Ironman pace. You will, of course, still need to do some key longer sessions on Saturday or Sunday to build endurance.

The training is based on heart rate, with training times spent in either an aerobic (easy/medium) or threshold (hard sustained effort) zone. Prior to starting, you will need to spend time calculating your heart rate zones, as outlined below.

Weekly structure

Workouts should be performed in the order listed. Many are back-to-back sessions to practice running off the bike, to create longer sustained training efforts, and for time efficiency.

Swimming is kept simple for time efficiency, and there are two key objectives: building endurance and increasing speed. The endurance swim includes a pull buoy with an option to use swim paddles to build strength and simulate the body position when wearing a wetsuit.

As for cycling and running, weeks 1 and 4 emphasize running threshold and bike endurance on the weekend. Weeks 2 and 5 emphasize cycling threshold and run endurance on the weekend. This is why the weekend long run is placed before the ride, so you are able to run on fresher legs. Week 3 has lower-intensity training from Monday to Friday, allowing for some recovery, and sets you up for an opportunity to practice a longer run off of a longer bike on the weekend. This is a great time to practice your Ironman race nutrition (see below). The long sessions are also excellent opportunities to practice your mental focus and attitude for race day.

About the taper

A common misunderstanding about the Ironman taper is that you do a mountain of work prior to race week, and then you shut it all down and rest. Studies show that it is better to gradually decrease activity and also re-stimulate the body muscularly and cardiovascularly to maintain efficient sport-specific movement and prompt your body to absorb and store glycogen (fuel) and keep blood plasma levels up.

The taper program starts with three to four days of aerobic recovery sessions and days off, followed by shorter training sessions at threshold, and shorter aero- bic base work the weekend before your Ironman. The week of Ironman follows a similar pattern, with further reduced sessions. You should gradually feel more rested, while staying sharp. Stay mentally engaged with your training, and avoid feeling like you are hanging on for the taper. Once you start racing, the weeks of training click in, the cobwebs shake off and your fitness will shine through!

Ironman Nutrition Essentials

Practicing your nutrition is just as important as your physical training. You have many good opportunities to do so in this program on the long rides and runs. Write down your plan and analyze the contents for calories, fluids and sodium levels. Eat correctly on the bike and you’ll set yourself up for a good marathon. If you plan to race with the nutrition products on the course, train with them too.

Take the following guidelines into account:

1. For the first 15 minutes of the bike, drink water and take in minimal calories, mainly in the form of sports drink. Let your body adjust to cycling, and allow your heart rate to drop. Eat when you have settled into a good cycling rhythm. Follow the plan you’ve trained with all season—don’t do anything new on race day.

2. From 15 minutes after the bike start to 30 minutes prior to the bike finish:

a. Eat 250–400 calories (carbohydrates) per hour. Large or muscular athletes tend to need more calories.

• Gel: 100–120 cal
• Bar: 200–240 cal
• Sport drink: 100 cal

b. Drink 1 to 1.5 quarts of fluid per hour. This is two small bottles (20oz) to two large bottles (24oz) per hour, depending on climate and your perspiration rate. (Simple calculation: Weigh yourself pre- and post- ride during training. Every pound lost is one small water bottle of fluid deficit, and this will negatively impact your marathon.)

c. A simple plan would be to take in a gel every 30 min (~200 cal per hour) and a bottle of sports drink per hour (100 cal per hour). Sip water with the gel. Depending on the product, you will need to take up to 7oz of water per gel.

d. The products you use should also provide sodium: 500–750mg/quart (for example, PowerBar Energy Gel has 200mg sodium; PowerBar Ironman Perform has 190mg sodium).

e. If the products on the course do not supply the recommended amount of electrolyte, consider additional supplements 3such as salt tabs.

3. Twenty to 30 minutes prior to the bike finish, reduce your calorie intake and only consume sports drink or water. This allows your stomach to empty while still allowing your gut to absorb the food and fluid ingested earlier on the bike. You will be able to start the run in a relatively comfortable state. Once you start the run you can consume calories again according to your r4un nutrition plan.

4. Follow a similar plan for the run, but reduce calorie intake by approximately one-third. Keep up your sodium intake and hydration. Many athletes prefer gels or liquid calories over solids on the run.

You should note that your calorie intake and heart rate are inversely related. As you start to exercise, blood is diverted from your stomach to your working muscles and skin to create sweat and help cool you. As your heart rate rises, you are less able to digest the calories you take in. Therefore your race-day nutrition plan is intimately bound to your racing heart rate. Make sure you show up to the race knowing your heart rate intensity zones and having practiced eating at those heart rates! The most common mistake is to consume too much at a high heart rate.

If your heart rate is up, adjust your calorie intake downward. Also, do what you’ve been doing in training—again, don’t try anything new on race day.

Coaching Abbreviations / Terminology

Wu = warm-up | mS = main set | CD = cool-down | X’ = X minutes, i.e. 3’ | X” = X seconds, i.e. 30” | Zn = zone (heart rate or perceived effort), i.e. Zn 1 = Zone 1 | (brackets) = time indication for rest in between intervals or tasks, i.e. 4 x 3’ (2’) | RPm = cadence (repetitions per minute) | HR = heart rate | P-ups = pick-ups. Short accelerations at 75-85% of your maximum sprint speed | Alt = alternate | Pe = perceived exertion

Week 1

Swim: 1:30:00 Bike: 6:15:00 Run: 2:15:00 Total: 10:00:00

Monday
Swim: Strength and endurance, 45 mins. mS: 3×12’ (3’): #1 is freestyle, starting easy and building effort. #2–3 are with pull buoy at a strong, steady effort. option to use swim paddles. Note the distance covered for each interval. monday swims could also be done in the open water in your wetsuit.

Tuesday
Bike: Threshold (LT), 1 hour. Bike trainer or flat road. WU: 15’ with 4-5 x 30” P-ups. MS: 45’ building as 15’ Zn 3, 25’ Zn 4, 5’ Zn 5.

Run: Off the bike, 30 mins. MS: 20’ in Zn 3. CD: 10’ easy, Zn 1.

Wednesday
Day off:
Stretch

Thursday
Swim: Threshold (LT), 45 mins. Wu: 300 alt 50 freestyle, 25 drill. MS: 10-15 x 100 (15”) swim your best average pace for the set. CD: 100 freestyle, 100 non-freestyle.

Run: Hills, 1 hour. Treadmill or road. WU: 10’ easy. 4 strides. MS: 7-10 x 2’ Zn 3 at 5% grade (2.5-3.5’ jog downhill or jog easy on the treadmill). Repeat the same hill for each interval if training outdoors. CD: to 60’ in Zn 1.
Performance Pointer: The treadmill is a good tool for hill running as it spares your legs the pounding of running back down the hill between intervals.

Friday
Day off: Stretch

Saturday
Bike: Endurance, 5 hours, 15 mins. After a long warm-up, include in your ride 60’-45’-30’-15’ in Zn 3 (all w/15’ Zn 1-2). If possible, choose a terrain that simulates your Ironman. Note: This workout can also be done on Sunday.
Performance Pointer: Zn 3 in cycle training is a slightly higher average heart rate than you will race your Ironman at. The work in Zn 3 helps to build your power output over longer durations.
Run: Off the bike, 45 mins. Zn 2, Ironman race pace.

Sunday
Day off:
Stretch

Week 2

Swim: 1:30:00 Bike: 5:40:00 Run: 2:50:00 Total: 10:00:00

Monday
Swim:
Strength and endurance, 45 mins. MS: 3×14’ (1’): #1 is freestyle, starting easy and building effort. #2–3 are with pull buoy at a strong, steady effort. Option to use swim paddles. Note the distance covered for each interval.

Tuesday
Bike: threshold (LT), 1 hour. Bike trainer or flat road. WU: 15’ with 4-5 x 30” p-ups. MS: 3 x 10’ (5’) build all on Zn 4-5. after interval #3, run off the bike.
Performance Pointer: If you are having a hard time elevating your HR, try increasing your cadence by 5rpm.

Run: Off the bike, 30 mins. MS: 20’ in Zn 3. CD: 10’ easy, Zn 1.

Wednesday
Day off: Stretch

Thursday
Bike: Hills, 1 hour, 10 mins. WU: 20’ incl. 6×30” (30”) p-ups. MS: hill intervals: 5-7 x 3’ (3’ recovery down the hill), Zn 4-5. On a moderate graded hill at 5-8%, repeat the same stretch of hill for each interval. CD: to 70’ in Zn 1, then run off the bike.
Performance Pointer: Don’t be afraid to make these hills burn a little. By developing lactic acid and training above LT, you will build your anaerobic capacity. This is helpful in Ironman for cresting hills and passing people. It will hurt less on race day if it hurts today!

Friday
Day off: Stretch

Saturday
Run: Endurance, 2 hours. if possible, choose a terrain that simulates your race. 15’ Zn 1, 60’ Zn 2, 30’ Zn 3, 15’ Zn 2–1.
Performance Pointer: Building hr long runs can feel like an Ironman marathon—you may not find your pace increases much but your legs gradually get more fatigued. Practice maintaining good run economy as your legs tire.

Bike: 3.5 hours. Ride immediately following the run. Zn 1-2, flat to rolling terrain.
Performance Pointer: Biking immediately following your run creates an addtional base ride as well as a 5.5-hour endurance session, great for Ironman.

Sunday
Day off: Stretch

Week 3

Swim: 1:30:00 Bike: 6:00:00 Run: 2:30:00 Total: 10:00:00

Monday
Swim: Strength and endurance, 45 mins. MS: 4×10’ (1.5’): #1 is freestyle, starting easy and building effort. #2–4 are with pull buoy at a strong, steady effort. option to use swim paddles. Note the distance covered for each interval.

Tuesday
Bike: Recovery, 1.5 hours. Flat, Zn 1. easy effort, 85–95RPM.

Wednesday
Day off: Stretch

Thursday
Run: Aerobic base maintenance, 1 hour. 15’ Zn 1, 45’ Zn 2.
Swim: Threshold, 45 mins. Wu: 300 alt 50 freestyle, 25 drill. MS: 8-12 x 150 (25”) swim your best average pace for the set. CD: 100 freestyle, 100 non-freestyle.

Friday
Day off:
Stretch

Saturday
Bike: 4.5 hours. ride as 75’ Zn 1, 90’ Zn 2, 90’ Zn 3, 15’ Zn 1. If possible, choose a terrain that simulates your race course.

Run: Off the bike, 1.5 hours. Zn 2, ironman race pace.
Performance Pointer: This is a perfect day to practice your Ironman nutrition regimen. Try to rise early as on race day, and test your pre-race breakfast. Note: Bike-to-run workout SHOULD be performed on Saturday, if possible, to allow for more recovery prior to next week’s training.

Sunday
Day off: Stretch

Week 4

Swim: 1:25:00 Bike: 7:00:00 Run: 1:35:00 Total: 10:00:00

Monday
Swim: Strength and endurance, 45 mins. WU: 3’ of easy freestyle. mS: 2×20’ (2’): #1 is freestyle, starting easy and building effort. #2 is with pull buoy at a strong, steady effort. Option to use swim paddles. Note the distance covered for each interval.

Tuesday
Bike: Threshold, 1 hour. Bike trainer or flat road. WU: 15’ with 4-5 x 30” p-ups. mS: 45’ in Zn 4-5.

Run: Off the bike, 30 mins. mS: 20’ in Zn3 rise to Zn4. CD: 10’easy, Zn1.

Wednesday
Day Off: Stretch

Thursday
Swim: Threshold, 40 mins. WU: 300 alt 50 freestyle, 25 drill. MS: 8–12 x 100 (25”) swim your best average pace for the set. CD: 100 freestyle, 100 non-freestyle.

Run: Hills, 50 mins. Wu: 10’ easy. 4 strides. MS: 15×1’ Zn 4 at 5% grade (1’ jog downhill or easy on the treadmill). CD: to 50’ in Zn 1.

Friday
Day Off: Stretch

Saturday
Bike: 6 hours. After a long warm-up, include in your ride 4×45’ in Zn 3 (all w/15’ Zn 1-2). If possible, choose a terrain that simulates your race course.
Run: Off the bike, 15 mins. Zn 2, Ironman race pace.

Sunday
Day Off: Stretch

Week 5

Swim: 1:30:00 Bike: 5:10:00 Run: 3:20:00 Total: 10:00:00

Monday
Swim: Strength and endurance, 45 mins. MS: 45’: The first 5’ should be smooth and easy, then gradually build effort for the duration. The last 15’ should be a very strong effort. Use a pull buoy (no paddles) at a strong, steady effort. Note the distance covered vs. past weeks.

Tuesday
Bike: Threshold, 1 hour. Bike trainer or flat road. WU: 15’ with 4-5 x 30” p-ups. MS: 6×5’ (2.5’) all at Zn 4-5. After interval #3, run off the bike.

Run: Threshold, 30 mins. mS: 20’ in Zn 4. CD: 10’ easy, Zn 1.
Performance Pointer: Check your cadence running off the bike, and make sure you are at 90+ strides per minute (counting one leg). On race day your leg muscles will be fatigued on the marathon, and stride length will shorten. Being disciplined about maintaining a higher cadence when tired will improve performance dramatically.

Wednesday
Day Off: Stretch

Thursday
Bike: Hills, 1 hour, 10 mins. Wu: 20’ incl. 6×30” (30”) p-ups. MS: hill intervals: 8-10 x 2’ (2’ recover down the hill), Zn 4-5. on a moderate graded hill at 5-8%, repeat the same stretch of hill for each interval. CD: to 70’, then run off the bike.

Run: Off the bike, 20 mins. Zn 2.

Swim: Threshold, 45 mins. WU: 300 alt 50 freestyle, 25 drill. MS: 4-6 x 200 (35”) swim your best average pace for the set. CD: 100 freestyle, 100 non-freestyle.

Friday
Day Off: Stretch

Saturday
Run: Long run, 2.5 hours. Run on terrain that simulates your race course. 15’ Zn 1, 75’ Zn 2, 45’ Zn 3, 15’ Zn 2-1.

Bike:
3 hours. Ride immediately following the run. Zn 1-2, flat to rolling terrain.

Sunday
Day Off: Stretch

Week 6 (Start 2-Week Taper)

Swim: 45:00 Bike: 4:20:00 Run: 55:00 Total: 6:00:00

Monday
Swim: Recovery, 45 mins. 12-16 x 100 alternate freestyle, drill, non-freestyle and kick by 100. All easy effort.

Tuesday
Bike: Recovery ride, 1.5 hours. Flat, Zn 1. Easy effort.

Wednesday
Day Off: Stretch

Thursday
Bike: Hills, 50 mins. WU: 20’ incl. 6 x 30” (30”) p-ups. MS: Hill intervals: 4-5 x 2’ (2’ recover down the hill), Zn 3-4. On a moderate graded hill at 5-8%, repeat the same stretch of hill for each interval. CD: to 50’.
Performance Pointer: Avoid the temptation to test yourself in the taper sessions, though you will be feeling fitter and fresher. Adhere to the listed duration and heart rate indications. Save your big effort for race day.

Run: Off the bike, 15 mins. 10’ in Zn 4, 5’ in Zn 2-1. Flat terrain.

Friday
Day Off: Stretch

Saturday
Bike: Aerobic base maintenance, 2 hours. Ride as 45’ Zn 1, 75’ Zn 2. If possible, choose a terrain that simulates your race course. Run: off the bike, 40 mins. Zn 2, Ironman race pace.

Sunday

Day Off: Stretch

Week 7

Swim: 40:00 Bike: 1:50:00 Run: 30:00 Total: 3:00:00

Monday
Swim: Threshold maintenance, 30 mins. WU: 300 alt 50 freestyle, 25 drill. MS: 6-8 x 100 (25”) swim your best average pace for the set. CD: 100 freestyle, 100 non-freestyle.

Tuesday
Bike: Recovery, 45 mins. Flat, Zn 1. Easy effort.

Wednesday
Day Off: Stretch

Thursday
Bike: Threshold (LT) maintenance, 45 mins. WU: 20’ incl. 6×30” (30”) p-ups. MS: intervals: 3-4 x 2’ (2’), Zn 3-4. Flat. CD: to 45’.

Run: Threshold (LT) maintenance, 20 mins. 10’ Zn 1-2, 5’ Zn 3-4, 5’ Zn 2-1. Flat terrain.

Friday
Day Off: Stretch

Saturday
Swim: 10 mins. An easy swim on the race course with an efficient stroke. Focus on being relaxed.
Performance Pointer: Practice sighting on the course, noting helpful landmarks. Inspect the start area and water exit, plus the flow of the run to the transition zone.

Bike: 20 mins. Mostly Zn 1-2, but include 2×2’ (2’) to goal race pace and no faster! This will loosen up your legs.

Run: 10 mins. Optional warm-up jog (Zn 1) and light stretch.

Sunday
Race: Ironman Race Day! WU: 45’ prior to race start: Jog for 5-7’, followed by a light stretch. 20’ prior to race start: Swim for 5’ with 2-4 x 25 (or 20 strokes) p-ups.
Performance Pointer: Warming up on race day loosens your muscles and calms your nerves. Enjoy the day!

Download a printable version of the workout here

Lance Watson, LifeSport head coach, has trained a number of Ironman, Olympic and age-group Champions over the past 30 years. He enjoys coaching athletes of all levels. Contact Lance to tackle your first Ironman or to perform at a higher level. For more training tips, visit LifeSport Coaching on Facebook or on Twitter at @LifeSportCoach.

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Do Taco Night Right with These 4 Healthy Options http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/nutrition/four-ideas-taco-night_131178 Thu, 20 Apr 2017 16:01:39 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=131178 Tacos make for a healthy, simple weeknight meal the whole family will look forward to.

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Photo: John David Becker
Photo: John David Becker

Tacos make for a healthy, simple weeknight meal the whole family will look forward to.
All recipes make eight tacos.

Spicy Grilled Pork Tacos

The right cut of pork is an inexpensive and super lean source of protein. Plus, the meat is easy to flavor.

Ingredients

8 corn tortillas
Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

Pork
1 lb thick-cut, boneless pork chops
1 jalapeno, sliced
¼ cup pineapple juice
¼ cup light craft beer (recommended blonde ale or sessions IPA)
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 T olive oil
1 T honey or agave
½ T Sriracha or hot sauce
½ T cumin
1 tsp sea salt

Pineapple salsa
4 pineapple rounds (sliced ½ inch thick)
1 large avocado, diced
½ red bell pepper, finely diced
½ jalapeno, minced (remove seeds to reduce spice)
2 T fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lime
¼ tsp, each, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

Creamy chili BBQ sauce
2 T light sour cream or Mexican-style crema
1 T barbecue sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions

Place pork chops in a large Ziploc bag. Add the rest of the ingredients, seal bag very tightly and shake to mix the ingredients together. Let marinate 2 hours, up to overnight, in the fridge. Heat grill to medium and cook pork chops over direct heat for 5–7 minutes per side. Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Chop into small pieces. Grill pineapple rounds over medium heat 2 minutes per side until charred grill marks appear. Let cool on a plate. In a bowl, gently combine the rest of the salsa ingredients. Once the pineapple has cooled, remove the cores and dice the rest of the pineapple. Add to the bowl and gently stir until evenly combined. To assemble, heat the tortillas on the grill. Whisk barbecue sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Divide the pork into the taco shells and top with the pineapple salsa. Drizzle the barbecue sauce over the top and sprinkle with fresh cilantro if desired.

RELATED: Recipes For Recovery

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Nice, France Named 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship Host http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/news/nice-france-named-2019-ironman-70-3-world-championship-host_300858 Thu, 20 Apr 2017 15:43:50 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300858 Ironman today announced that Nice, France has been chosen as the host city for the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championship triathlon.

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Ironman today announced that Nice, France has been chosen as the host city for the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship triathlon. The event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 7 and Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, and will be the first time Ironman holds a world championship event in France. It will be a two-day event format for the third time (2017 marks the first time), with the professional women and age-group women racing on one day and the professional men and age-group men racing on the other.

The Ironman 70.3 World Championship began an annual global rotation in 2014 in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada. The 2015 race was held in Europe for the first time, in Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand, Austria. Last September, the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championship shifted to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time in Queensland, Australia’s Sunshine Coast. In 2017, the championship event moves to Chattanooga, Tenn. where it will hold that two-day format for the first time. Next year, the event will take place in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa.

“The successful growth of the Ironman 70.3 World Championship since its global rotation began in 2014 can be attributed in large part to Diana Bertsch, the world championship team she established, the host cities and the collective determination to create an event that captures the hearts and minds of our athletes,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer for Ironman in the announcement. “With the origins of the popular Nice triathlon which set the stage in the region, this is the next evolution of this extraordinary event and brings Europe back to the forefront, with a history of culture, sport and scenery that is the perfect mix for Ironman 70.3 World Championship athletes.”

About Nice

Nice, located in the Côte d’Azur area on the southeast coast of France, is the capital of the stunning French Riviera and is the fifth-largest city in France. Host to Ironman France since 2005, Nice incorporates a swim in the pristine waters of the Mediterranean Sea and a run course along Nice’s historic Promenade des Anglais waterfront. With one of the largest international airports in France located just minutes away from the city, Nice is easily accessible and welcomes over five million visitors every year. Beyond the beauty of the area, Nice also offers a rich culture built by some of the greatest painters, writers and musicians the world has known.

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Chrissie Wellington, Normann Stadler Sign on as Captains for the Collins Cup http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/news/chrissie-wellington-normann-stadler-sign-captains-collins-cup_300844 Wed, 19 Apr 2017 21:15:40 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300844 The event will take place next June, and organizers are slowly revealing the details.

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Today, the Professional Triathletes Organization (PTO) announced four-time Ironman world champion Chrissie Wellington and two-time Ironman world champion Normann Stadler as the Team Europe Captains for next year’s Collins Cup, an event loosely modeled after golf’s Ryder Cup.

The event will take place next June, and organizers are slowly revealing the details. So far, we know it will will be a long-distance team competition among USA, Europe and “International” teams. Each team will consist of 12 professional triathletes, six men and six women. The first eight athletes on each team will be chosen based on standings in the PTO’s own ranking system, with the team captains choosing the final four. Tri legends Dave Scott and Karen Smyers will be USA’s team captains, and Wellington and Stadler will lead Europe’s team. The Internationals’ captains haven’t been announced yet.

“I am thrilled to have been selected as one of the European Team Captains for the inaugural Collins Cup,” Wellington said in the press release. “Triathlon is such an amazing sport—innovative, forward thinking and truly open to all. The Collins Cup marks a hugely exciting and important new addition to the race calendar, with the best male and female athletes in the world racing head-to-head in a fantastic new format. Not only that, there’s the opportunity to be involved in a whole weekend of tri-related activities, enabling us to celebrate everything that’s great about our sport. Together with Normann, I can’t wait to captain the European Team in this unique debut event!”

Review what we know so far about The Collins Cup here. We’ll post more details about the race as they’re announced.

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What Mere Mortals Can Learn From The Sub-8 Ironman http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/ironman/mere-mortals-can-learn-sub-8-ironman_300838 Wed, 19 Apr 2017 20:30:26 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300838 Covering 140.6 miles of swim, bike and run is an impressive feat for most—but to do so in under 8 hours? That’s just plain superhuman.

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Covering 140.6 miles of swim, bike and run is an impressive feat for most—but to do so in under eight hours? That’s just plain superhuman. When Lothar Leder broke the Challenge Roth finish line tape at 7:52:02 in 1996, the crowd went wild. It was an accomplishment so impressive, everyone assumed it would be impossible to replicate. Imagine their surprise when Leder repeated the accomplishment in 1997, clocking a 7:56:39—only good enough for third place on a day that saw four sub-eight performances. Belgian athlete Luc Van Lierde was the winner that day, recording a mind-boggling 7:50:27 (his time would stand as the world’s fastest iron-distance time for more than 14 years).

In the 20 years since Leder’s breakout performance, only a relatively small number of triathletes have broken the sub-eight barrier. This select club contains only 40 members, with times ranging from current record holder Jan Frodeno’s 7:35:39 to James Cunnama’s by-a-whisker 7:59:59.

But even superhumans are still, at their core, human. Though many assume a record-breaking performance occurs because of a nutritional breakthrough, technological wizardry or super-secret training plan, most members of the Sub-Eight Club say their secret power is quite boring: hard work, and lots of it.

Though your own iron-distance goals might not be in the sub-single digits, that doesn’t mean the lessons of the sub-eight Ironman don’t apply. There’s a lot we can learn from the personal best performances of the pros to hit our own PRs.

Lesson 1: Try, Try Again

For American Tim O’Donnell, breaking eight was always a goal: “It’s like breaking a minute in the 100 free for the first time…just something you want to do!” But it didn’t come easily. O’Donnell tried several times to hit the mark, first at Ironman Arizona in 2011.

“I was on pace until I absolutely blew up halfway through the run,” says O’Donnell, who immediately performed a thorough and honest post-race analysis. Using those lessons, O’Donnell set out for a sub-eight at the 2013 Ironman Brasil, where he narrowly missed his goal with an 8:01:32. Again, O’Donnell assessed and adjusted. Being honest about what was—and wasn’t—working paid off.

“When I finally did it in 2015 [a 7:55:56 at Brasil], there was definitely a big smile on my face when I saw my time.”

Takeaway: PRs don’t usually come overnight. There’s usually a learning process, and failure is part of that process. Learn from and build upon each setback—it’s worth it.

Lesson 2: Just Do Your Best

For American Ben Hoffman, sub-eight wasn’t on his radar going in to Ironman South Africa 2017. His goal was merely to show he was still growing and performing as an athlete.

“I never know what is going to happen in an Ironman!” Hoffman laughs. “I felt that I had done some really good training this winter, but I never thought about breaking eight hours on this course. I had a great race last year, and was somewhere around 8:12. I thought it would be awesome to improve my time if the conditions allowed, but going sub-eight wasn’t on my radar.”

By going in with a “do your best” attitude (and nothing else), Hoffman actually did his best: a 7:58:40 finishing time.

Takeaway: Self-imposed pressure can be…well, imposing. Let go of your expectations, and you may just surprise yourself.

Lesson 3: Don’t Skimp on Speed Work

Aussie Luke McKenzie, who hit 7:55:58 at Ironman Western Australia in 2015, says his breakthrough came somewhat serendipitously.

“I didn’t intentionally change much in my training ahead of Ironman Western Australia,” says McKenzie. “But by circumstance I was racing the Island House Invitational Triathlon, which was super sprint style racing, the previous month. I integrated a lot of speed work in my training in October and November leading in the Ironman Western Australia in December. I believe that speed work really helped me.”

Takeaway: Sign up for shorter distances, like a sprint triathlon or mile race, as a way to shake up your long-course routine and engage your speedy side.

Lesson 4: Fuel Your Fire

“Competition always drives great performances,” says O’Donnell. “When I hit the run in Brasil 2015 I had no idea where I was at with my overall time. All I knew was that Marino [Vanhoenacker] was up the road and I needed to catch him to win. I had gapped Brent [McMahon] halfway through the run, so I was trying to hold him off, too! That was the real key for me, having guys like Marino and Brent pushing the pace made everyone step up.”

Takeaway: Even if you’re not a podium contender, you can use the power of competition to level up your game. Friendly competition, like a spirited group ride or local challenge on Strava, can push your performance to new heights.

Lesson 5: Race the Mile You’re In

“The day I broke eight hours I distinctly remember the nature in which I kept breaking down the race into little segments,” says McKenzie. “I never thought of the race as a whole at any point. I just kept pushing to each little stepping stone along the way throughout the day. During the marathon, I was just fixated on trying to record the same one kilometer split over and over. My mindset was just kilometer by kilometer never 10, 15 or 20 kilometers down the road. I think it’s a great approach for the age-group athletes to take when tackling such a long distance.”

Takeaway: The entire race can be overwhelming, but focusing on just one section—whether it’s a mile, a kilometer, or even “just make it to that lightpost”—allows you to address what you need to do in the moment, rather than stressing about the unknown.

Lesson 6: Put On A Happy Face

“Believe in yourself to be better than you planned,” advises Hoffman. “Everyone seems to get nervous and assume things will go worse than what they want on their best day, but what happens if you reframe and believe the opposite?”

Takeaway: A positive attitude can be just the ticket to a PR. Go forth and be awesome.

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