Triathlete.com http://www.triathlete.com The latest triathlon gear, training, nutrition, photos, races, movers, shakers, and more Fri, 22 Sep 2017 18:25:22 +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 Photos: More New and Notable Gear From 2017 Interbike http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/gear-tech/photos-new-notable-gear-2017-interbike_306313 Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:07:27 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=306313 Roadsigns on your back and other new/notable gear from the Interbike showroom floor.

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Roadsigns on your back and other new/notable gear from the Interbike showroom floor.

On the second day of Interbike, we focus on the more practical side of the show—a few great upgrades and some interesting new gear:

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Quick Set Friday: Mixed Bag http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/training/quick-set-friday-mixed-bag_56861 Fri, 22 Sep 2017 12:30:01 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=56861 A fun, creative workout to take to 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.

The A sets are between 4–5000 yards total, with intervals ranging from 1:20–1:30 per 100. The B sets are 3000–3500 total, with intervals of 1:50–2:00 per 100. The C sets are 2000–2500 total and all based on a rest interval.

**Long Course Meters**

A:
600 warm up (200 swim/100 kick, repeat)
6×50 @ :60 (descend stroke count 1-6)
6×50 @ :55 (25 sprint/25 easy)
3 x [4×50 FAST!! @ 1:10
200 easy pull recovery]
6×150 @ 2:30 (25 fly/25 back/25 breast/75 free)
2×300 w/:20 rest (100 swim/50 kick, repeat)
200 cool down
*4100 Total*

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

B:
600 warm up (200 swim/100 kick, repeat)
6×50 @ 1:10 (descend stroke count 1-6)
6×50 @ 1:10 (25 sprint/25 easy)
3 x [4×50 FAST!! @ 1:30
200 easy pull recovery]
4×150 @ 3:15 (50 free/50 non-free/50 free)
200 cool down
*3200 Total*

RELATED – Ask Coach Sara: Returning To Swimming After A Break

C:
600 warm up (200 swim/100 kick, repeat)
6×50 w/:15 rest (descend stroke count 1-6)
6×50 w/:20 rest (25 sprint/25 easy)
2 x [4×50 FAST!! w/:30 rest
200 easy pull recovery]
2×150 @ 3:15 (50 free/50 non-free/50 free)
100 cool down
*2400 Total*

More “Quick Set Friday” workouts from McLarty

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New Study: Sudden Death in Tri Hits This Age Group the Hardest http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/news/new-study-sudden-death-tri-hits-age-group-hardest_306309 Thu, 21 Sep 2017 21:45:41 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=306309 There are two important takeaway messages from the latest study about sudden cardiac deaths in triathlon.

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For years, researchers have struggled to understand why sudden cardiac death occurs during triathlon: is it because of panic attacks? Enlarged hearts? Undertrained athletes? Who is most at risk, and why? A new report, building on a landmark Triathlon Incidents Study from 2011 and published in this week’s Annals of Internal Medicine, may provide the clearest picture yet.

Using USA Triathlon (USAT) records, the U.S. National Registry of Sudden Death in Athletes, and personal reports from between 1985 and 2016, researchers identified 107 cases of race-related sudden death, 13 instances of resuscitated cardiac arrests and 15 trauma deaths. This is a larger study sample than any study before, allowing researchers to investigate correlations within the population.

“We’ve actually worked almost continuously since 2011 to gather information about victims [of sudden cardiac death in triathlon],” says Lawrence Creswell, MD, adult heart surgeon at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and researcher in the 2011 and 2017 reports. “In this latest report, there were a three important new—or more complete—avenues of investigation.”

First, the researchers made an exhaustive search to identify as many fatalities or survivors of cardiac arrest as possible. Expanding their search to include participants not only at USAT-sanctioned races, but other races as well, allowed the research team to get the most complete picture possible.

Another new development was access to autopsy records for the victims, either through public access or by gaining permission from victims’ family members. These provided important details that weren’t available in previous studies.

Finally, researchers used USAT’s athlete ranking system database to pull demographic data on the millions of athletes taking place in USAT sanctioned events in recent years, allowing researchers to tease out the influence of age and gender on athletes’ risk.

This analysis of the larger group of victims confirms some of the findings from the 2011 study:
– The majority of victims are male
– Almost 40% of victims were first-time triathlon participants
– No elite or professional athletes were among the victims
– The risk is similar regardless of the race distance
– The majority of deaths occur during the swim segment

But there’s new information in the updated study, too. The more complete findings include:
– Among the expanded group of victims, heart disease was found in nearly 50% of victims
– The risk for women is much lower than for men
– In women, the risk increases slightly with aging; In men, the risk increases dramatically with aging.

There are two important takeaway messages, says Creswell:

“First, our findings suggest that male triathletes who have reached middle age should, along with their physicians, pay particular attention to their heart health. This is the clearly the group of athletes with the greatest risk. Second, the pattern of fatalities suggests that race organizers should focus their efforts specifically on safety planning and execution for the swim segment.”

This increased awareness and planning can and does have an impact. Creswell is encouraged by a decrease of deaths in the sport since the 2011 USAT report: “There have been fewer fatalities in the most recent years—and only a single death this year at USAT-sanctioned races. I believe that our efforts at bringing awareness of the importance of heart health among participants and the importance of safety planning for the swim segment have already paid dividends.”

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Chrissie Wellington to be Inducted into Ironman Hall of Fame http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/ironman/chrissie-wellington-inducted-ironman-hall-fame_306306 Thu, 21 Sep 2017 20:22:58 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=306306 Four-time Ironman world champion Chrissie Wellington of Great Britain will be honored during race week on the Big Island.

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Four-time Ironman world champion Chrissie Wellington of Great Britain will be honored during race week on the Big Island for her contributions to and achievements in the sport.

Wellington will be the only athlete inducted into the Ironman Hall of Fame for 2017, with the ceremony taking place on Oct. 11. Though her stint in the sport was brief—just five years as a pro—she had an indelible influence on triathlon and its future. Through her giant smile and daring “live without limits” attitude, she inspired thousands before announcing her retirement from the sport in late 2012—more than a year after her final race. She won the world titles in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011, and earned overall 13 iron-distance victories in her career—going undefeated at the distance. She still holds the record for fastest iron-distance race, an 8:18:13 she set at the 2011 Challenge Roth triathlon, and official Ironman race, an 8:33:56 she set at the 2011 Ironman South Africa triathlon.

RELATED – Commemorating Chrissie: Wellington’s 13 Iron-Distance Victories

“Chrissie’s accomplishments in the sport are impressive and it is fitting that she should be inducted in her first year of eligibility,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of Ironman, in a press release. “Chrissie exemplifies the role of an Ironman world champion and has defined what it means to be a professional triathlete in the modern era. Her achievements have furthered the sport and inspired many to become Ironman triathletes themselves. We are honored to induct her into the Ironman Hall of Fame, joining the other elites of the sport.”

“Once you decide to leave the sport as a professional athlete you think your days of being awarded accolades are over—I am truly humbled and excited to see my name featured among our sport’s greats, whom I have so much admiration and respect for,” said Wellington.

“I devoted five years to being the best athlete I could be. No short cuts, no stone left unturned,” Wellington continued. “I would rather have five years of excellence than 10 years of mediocrity. My life has changed for the better from being able to achieve and experience what I did.”

Ironman Hall of Fame

Year Inductee(s)
1993 Dave Scott
1994 Julie Moss
1995 Scott Tinley
1996 Paula Newby-Fraser
1997 Mark Allen
1998 John and Judy Collins
1999 Valerie Silk
2000 Tom Warren
2001 Dr. Bob Laird
2002 Bob Babbitt
2003 John MacLean/Gordon Haller / Lyn Lemaire
2004 Greg Welch
2005 Jim Maclaren
2008 Team Hoyt – Rick and Dick Hoyt
2011 Mike Reilly
2012 Graham Fraser
2013 Peter Henning
2014 Georg Hochegger / Helge Lorenz / Stefan Petschnig
2015 Lori Bowden / Heather Fuhr
2016 Lew Friedland / Peter Reid
2017 Chrissie Wellington

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12 Week Super Simple Sprint Triathlon Training Plan http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/training/12-week-super-simple-sprint-triathlon-training-plan_306300 Thu, 21 Sep 2017 19:23:56 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=306300 You will enjoy progressing through each phase as you gain fitness and speed throughout each four-week cycle.

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This plan is ideal for beginner to intermediate triathletes who are currently able to complete a 15-minute swim (with breaks as needed), a 30-minute bike, and a 30-minute run/walk. You will find this plan quite easy to comprehend, and the rhythm of workouts each week, as well as from week to week, to be fun and achievable for even those with busy work or family commitments. You will enjoy progressing through assorted training ‘phases’, such as ‘test,’ ‘build,’ and ‘recover,’ and as such will be able to note improved fitness and speed throughout each four-week cycle.

Week 1

Monday
Day Off
Take the day off, including as much time off your feet as possible. Spend some time preparing meals for the week, as well as arranging work and family schedules to best allow for succesful completion of assigned workouts.

Tuesday
30-Minute Swim Test
WU- 5 to 10 minutes easy swim
MS- Swim 15 minutes max distance… taking breaks if/ as needed.
CD- 5 minutes easy swim

Wednesday
45-Minute Easy Bike
Ride easy/ conversational, and use an easy gear with a high cadence.

Thursday
45-Minute Run Test
WU- 10 minutes easy walk/ jog
MS- Run/ walk 30 minutes maximum distance.
CD- 5 minutes easy walk

Friday
20-Minute Easy Swim
Swim easy, taking breaks as needed.

Saturday
45-Minute Bike Test
WU- Ride 10 minutes easy
MS- Ride 30 minutes maximum distance
CD- Ride 5 minutes easy

Sunday
30-Minute Easy Run
Run/ walk easy (conversational), taking breaks as needed.

Week 2

Monday
Day Off

Tuesday
25-Minute Build Swim
WU- 5 minutes easy swim
MS- 4 x 3 minutes TP (test pace), with 1 minute RI (recovery interval)
CD- 5 minutes easy swim

Wednesday
45-Minute Easy Bike
Ride easy/ conversational, and use an easy gear with a high cadence.

Thursday
40-Minute Build Run
WU- 10 minutes easy walk/ jog
MS- 4 x 4 minutes TP (test pace), with 2 minutes RI (recovery interval).
CD- 8 minutes easy walk/ jog

Friday
20-Minute Easy Swim
Swim easy, taking breaks as needed.

Saturday
60-Minute Build Bike
WU- 12 minutes easy
MS- 4 x 8 minutes TP (test pace), with 2 minutes RI (recovery interval).
CD- 10 minutes easy

Sunday
30-Minute Easy Run
Run/ walk easy (conversational), taking breaks as needed.

Week 3

Monday
Day Off

Tuesday
30-Minute Build Swim
WU- 5 minutes easy swim
MS- 4 x 4 minutes TP (test pace), with 1 minute RI (recovery interval)
CD- 5 minutes easy swim

Wednesday
45-Minute Easy Bike
Ride easy/ conversational, and use an easy gear with a high cadence.

Thursday
45-Minute Build Run
WU- 10 minutes easy walk/ jog
MS- 4 x 5 minutes TP (test pace), with 2 minutes RI (recovery interval).
CD- 8 minutes easy walk/ jog

Friday
20-Minute Easy Swim
Swim easy, taking breaks as needed.

Saturday
60-Minute Build Bike
WU- 12 minutes easy
MS- 4 x 9 minutes TP (test pace), with 2 minutes RI (recovery interval). Then run 5 minutes gradually building to TP.
CD- 10 minutes easy

Sunday
30-Minute Easy Run
Run/ walk easy (conversational), taking breaks as needed.

Week 4

Monday
Day Off
Take the day off, including as much time off your feet as possible. Spend some time preparing meals for the week, as well as arranging work and family schedules to best allow for succesful completion of assigned workouts.

Tuesday

20-Minute Easy Swim
Swim easy, taking breaks as needed.

Wednesday
Day Off

Thursday
45-Minute Easy Bike
Ride easy/ conversational, and use an easy gear with a high cadence.

Friday
Day Off

Saturday
30-Minute Easy Run
Run/walk easy (conversational), taking breaks as needed.

Sunday
Day Off

Week 5

Monday
Day Off

Tuesday
30-Minute Swim Test
WU- 5 to 10 minutes easy swim
MS- Swim 15 minutes max distance… taking breaks if/ as needed.
CD- 5 minutes easy swim

Wednesday
45-Minute Easy Bike
WU- 5 to 10 minutes easy swim
MS- Swim 15 minutes max distance… taking breaks if/ as needed.
CD- 5 minutes easy swim

Thursday
45-Minute Run Test
WU- 10 minutes easy walk/ jog
MS- Run/ walk 30 minutes maximum distance.
CD- 5 minutes easy walk

Friday
20-Minute Easy Swim
Swim easy, taking breaks as needed.

Saturday
45-Minute Bike Test
WU- Ride 10 minutes easy
MS- Ride 30 minutes maximum distance
CD- Ride 5 minutes easy

Sunday
30-Minute Easy Run
Run/ walk easy (conversational), taking breaks as needed.

Week 6

Monday
Day Off

Tuesday
30-Minute Build Swim
WU- 5 minutes easy swim
MS- 4 x 4 minutes TP (test pace), with 1 minute RI (recovery interval)
CD- 5 minutes easy swim

Wednesday
45-Minute Easy Bike
Ride easy/ conversational, and use an easy gear with a high cadence.

Thursday
45-Minute Build Run
WU- 10 minutes easy walk/ jog
MS- 4 x 5 minutes TP (test pace), with 2 minutes RI (recovery interval).
CD- 8 minutes easy walk/ jog

Friday
20-Minute Easy Swim
Swim easy, taking breaks as needed.

Saturday
60-Minute Build Bike
WU- 12 minutes easy
MS- 4 x 9 minutes TP (test pace), with 2 minutes RI (recovery interval).
CD- 10 minutes easy

Sunday
30-Minute Easy Run
Run/ walk easy (conversational), taking breaks as needed.

Week 7

Monday
Day Off

Tuesday
35-Minute Build Swim
WU- 5 minutes easy swim
MS- 4 x 5 minutes TP (test pace), with 1 minute RI (recovery interval)
CD- 5 minutes easy swim

Wednesday
45-Minute Easy Bike
Ride easy/ conversational, and use an easy gear with a high cadence.

Thursday
50-Minute Build Ride
WU- 10 minutes easy walk/ jog
MS- 4 x 6 minutes TP (test pace), with 2 minutes RI (recovery interval).
CD- 8 minutes easy walk/ jog

Friday
20-Minute Easy Swim
Swim easy, taking breaks as needed.

Saturday
65-Minute Build Bike
WU- 12 minutes easy
MS- 4 x 10 minutes TP (test pace), with 2 minutes RI (recovery interval). Then run 8 minutes gradually building to TP.
CD- 10 minutes easy

Sunday
30-Minute Easy Run
Run/ walk easy (conversational), taking breaks as needed.

Week 8

Monday
Day Off

Tuesday
20-Minute Easy Swim
Swim easy, taking breaks as needed.

Wednesday
Day Off

Thursday
45-Minute Easy Bike
Ride easy/conversational, and use an easy gear with a high cadence.

Friday
Day Off

Saturday
30-Minute Easy Run

Sunday
Day Off

Week 9

Monday
Day Off

Tuesday
30-Minute Swim Test
WU- 5 to 10 minutes easy swim
MS- Swim 15 minutes max distance… taking breaks if/ as needed.
CD- 5 minutes easy swim

Wednesday
45-Minute Easy Bike
Ride easy/ conversational, and use an easy gear with a high cadence.

Thursday
45-Minute Run Test
WU- 10 minutes easy walk/ jog
MS- Run/ walk 30 minutes maximum distance.
CD- 5 minutes easy walk

Friday
20-Minute Easy Swim
Swim easy, taking breaks as needed.

Saturday
45-Minute Bike Test
WU- Ride 10 minutes easy
MS- Ride 30 minutes maximum distance
CD- Ride 5 minutes easy

Sunday
30-Minute Easy Run
Run/ walk easy (conversational), taking breaks as needed.

Week 10

Monday
Day Off

Tuesday
35-Minute Build Swim
WU- 5 minutes easy swim
MS- 4 x 5 minutes TP (test pace), with :30 sec RI (recovery interval)
CD- 5 minutes easy swim

Wednesday
45-Minute Easy Bike
Ride easy/ conversational, and use an easy gear with a high cadence.

Thursday
50-Minute Build Run
WU- 10 minutes easy walk/ jog
MS- 4 x 6 minutes TP (test pace), with 1 minute RI (recovery interval).
CD- 8 minutes easy walk/ jog

Friday
20-Minute Easy Swim
Swim easy, taking breaks as needed.

Saturday
65-Minute Build Bike
WU- 12 minutes easy
MS- 4 x 10 minutes TP (test pace), with 1 minute RI (recovery interval). Then run 10 minutes gradually building to TP.
CD- 10 minutes easy

Sunday
30-Minute Easy Run
Run/ walk easy (conversational), taking breaks as needed.

Week 11

Monday
Day Off

Tuesday
25-Minute Peak Swim
WU: 5 minutes easy
MS: Swim 75% of goal race distance at goal race pace. Take breaks as needed.

Wednesday
45-Minute Easy Bike
Ride easy/ conversational, and use an easy gear with a high cadence.

Thursday
30-Minute Peak Run
WU- walk/ jog 5 minutes easy
MS- Run/ walk 50% of goal race distance at goal race pace.
CD- walk/ jog 5 minutes easy

Friday
20-Minute Easy Swim
Swim easy, taking breaks as needed.

Saturday
45-Minute Peak Bike
WU- 5 minutes easy spin
MS- Bike 75% of goal race distance at goal race pace alternating 10 minutes ‘on’, 5 minutes ‘easy’.
CD- 5 minutes easy spin.

Sunday
30-Minute Easy Run
Run/ walk easy (conversational), taking breaks as needed.

Week 12

Monday
Day Off

Tuesday
20-Minute Taper Run
Run 33% of goal race distance at goal race pace alternating run 4 minutes/ brisk walk 1 minute.

Wednesday
30-Minute Taper Bike
Ride 50% of goal race distance at goal race pace alternating 10 minutes ‘on’, 5 minutes ‘easy.’

Thursday
15-Minute Taper Swim
Swim 50% of goal race distance at goal race pace, taking breaks as needed. Practice in wetsuit if you plan to wear one in the race. Use the swim venue if possible, otherwise it is OK to wear the wetsuit in the pool.

Friday
Day Off

Saturday
20-Minute Pre-Race Workout
Bike 15 minutes progressing to race pace, then run 5 minutes progressing to race pace.

Sunday
RACE DAY
Arrive early, trust your training, have fun!

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You’ve Never Seen Transformer Aerobars Like These http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/gear-tech/interbike-day-1-aerobars-customization_306287 Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:36:26 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=306287 On the first day of Interbike we saw a focus on modular products, customization, and even a return to simplicity.

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On the first day of Interbike we saw a focus on modular products, customization, and even a return to simplicity. Take a look at what we found:

RELATED – Interbike Day 0: 4 Fun Finds from the Outdoor Demo

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What Your Helmet Safety Certification Actually Means http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/gear-tech/helmet-safety-certification-actually-means_306276 Wed, 20 Sep 2017 22:06:37 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=306276 The researchers and engineers behind Giro and Bell’s in-house test lab, The Dome, recently launched HelmetFacts.com. It’s a website where athletes who need to protect […]

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The researchers and engineers behind Giro and Bell’s in-house test lab, The Dome, recently launched HelmetFacts.com. It’s a website where athletes who need to protect their noggins (ahem, triathletes) can find info on everything from helmet materials to standards and testing protocols. Wondering what that cert on your brain bucket means? Allow The Dome team to clarify.

There are dozens of helmet standards across the spectrum of action sports. Different types of helmets help to protect you from different types of impacts. A bicycle crash, for instance, is entirely different than a snowboarding spill. It follows then that bicycle and snowboard helmets should offer relevant levels of protection and live up to relevant standards. Simple.

Here’s where it gets complex. Different countries and organizations also have different safety standards for the same kinds of helmets. There are, for example, 10 different bicycle helmet standards alone.

What do they guarantee? Helmet safety standards dictate everything—from how much of your head the helmet covers to what kinds of labels cover the helmet’s own packaging. But when most people think about helmet standards, they want to know just one thing: How big of a hit can this helmet take before I get hurt? They’re interested in the impact standards.

Helmets help to protect your brain by reducing the amount of energy transferred to your brain during a crash or fall. That energy or force is generally measured in gravitational force or G’s. Experience a force greater than 300 G’s and you’re considered likely to suffer significant head trauma or death. That’s why most helmet standards today require that your helmet transmit no more than 300 G’s to your brain during an impact.

Below, we’ve outlined four of the most important standards for cyclists.

CPSC / CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION
Since March 10, 1999, all bicycle helmets sold in the United States have been required to pass the CPSC helmet standard. Prior to that point, several popular helmet standards (ANSI, ASTM and Snell) floated about, each with substantially different testing regimens. In the United States, helmet manufacturers could choose to meet any, all, or none of those standards.

All of this proved confusing to consumers. Congress passed legislation in 1994 (the Children’s Bicycle Helmet Safety Act), calling for all cycling helmets to meet a single, national standard. Other cycling helmet standards still exist, but now U.S. consumers are guaranteed a common performance threshold with any bike helmet purchased in the United States. CPSC is also accepted in Canada, China, Taiwan, Japan and Brazil. CPSC subjects helmets to slightly greater impacts than both EN-1078 and AS/NZ standards.

Read more on CPSC

EN-1078 / The European Cycling Standard
Created in 1997, the EN-1078 standard was approved in 2012 by the European Committee for Standardization (or “CEN”) for all cycling, skateboarding and roller skating helmets sold in 32 European nations. In other words, EN-1078 is a commonly recognized standard.

EN-1078 permits lighter, thinner helmets than some of the other standards because it subjects helmets to impacts from lower heights than either Snell or CPSC. It’s not as simple as that, though, as EN-1078 does require a lower test line than Snell and CPSC, which may require that the helmet provide slightly more coverage. [The test line is a line drawn around the helmet, below which the helmet is not tested.] Helmets that transmit more than 250 G’s to the headform during impact testing fail EN-1078. The other standards mentioned here allow for up to 300 G’s.

Read more on EN-1078

ASTM F1952 / The Downhill Mountain Biking Standard
This downhill mountain biking helmet standard features greater impact energies and drop heights on the hemi and curbstone anvils than the CPSC or the Snell B-95 standard. [Part of testing requires weighted helmets get dropped from a prescribed height above a steel anvil onto the anvil.] This standard also features a lower test line on the sides and back of the helmet than most other bike helmet standards. While chin bars are not required to pass this test, if a helmet does feature a chin bar, the bar must pass a deflection test as well.

Read more on ASTM F1952

SNELL B-95
Snell B-95 subjects helmets to harder hits from greater heights than the CPSC and EN-1078 standards. Snell B-95 also features a slightly lower test line than the CPSC standard, requiring protection over a greater area of the helmet.

While this standard has been in existence longer than other cycling helmet standards profiled here, relatively few helmets meet Snell’s 1995 “B-95” standard. This is generally true for at least two reasons: (1) B-95 is a completely voluntary standard and (2) Helmets that pass B95 are generally bulkier and less attractive.

Read more on SNELL B-95

Want to know more about how the testing actually works? Check out this article on Helmetfacts.com.

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Mounting Biking = A Triathlete’s Secret Strength Training Weapon http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/training/mounting-biking-triathletes-secret-strength-training-weapon_306282 Wed, 20 Sep 2017 21:18:55 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=306282 “In mountain biking, the bikes are heavier, the hills are steeper, you’re pinning it the entire way—it’s the perfect strength and power training for triathletes.”

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More speed and power lie beyond the pavement

At the end of the race season, Peter Park’s clients—who include Tour de France winners and professional Ironman triathletes—don’t go to Disneyland. “We go on a week-long mountain biking trip,” says Park, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, the owner of Platinum Fitness in LA and a top-10 Ironman finisher.

“In mountain biking, the bikes are heavier, the hills are steeper, you’re pinning it the entire way—it’s the perfect strength and power training for triathletes,” Park says. Indeed, the secret to a better triathlon season may be spending the off-season off-road.

“In mountain biking, you’re using the same effort and energy system you use when time-trialing—my heart rate is never higher than when I’m pinning it on my mountain bike.” And that, Park says, fills a common fitness gap for triathletes who are used to sustaining a high but manageable heart rate for hours at a time.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, lower intensity, long-course training helps the heart pump more efficiently. Mountain bike rides, on the other hand, tend to max out your heart rate in short bursts, and your heart adapts by increasing how forcefully it pumps blood. The training combo means that your heart can not only pump more blood, but also pump it faster.

Out on the trails, you’re also more likely to suck fresh air rather than harmful smog and steer clear of the four-wheeled land yachts piloted by texting drivers.

Now the rough part: It isn’t going to be easy. Recall when you first learned to swim—technique is key. “You can’t out-fitness your way through bad technique,” says Park. But becoming a solid mountain biker will do more to take minutes off your next tri than anything else, says Park. Let’s take this off-road.

Ride Like a Pro

Dial your ride
When you buy a bike, follow our general guidelines (see Choose Your Ride below) but defer to an expert for terrain-specific options. Work with a local bike shop and be clear about the type of terrain you plan to ride most, so your outfitter can set your shocks and tires appropriately. “The right tires can be the difference between enjoying the ride and falling down several times and wanting to sell your bike,” says three-time XTERRA world champion Rubén Ruzafa.

Start with flats
Confidence is the key to quick progress, but clipless pedals may cause you to clam up, holding back your skill development. “On a subconscious level, your brain realizes your feet are attached—there’s mental baggage there that prevents you from trying things and learning,” says James Wilson, a Grand Junction, Colo.-based mountain biking coach and founder of MTB Strength Systems. Flat pedals not only give you courage, but also act as a teaching tool. “If you try something like a bunny hop and your feet come off pedals,” Wilson says, “that’s your bike’s way of letting you know you’re doing it wrong.” We like the pedals from Pedaling Innovations ($99, Pedalinginnovations.com).

Ease into it
As a triathlete, you’re probably used to three-, four-, five-hour road rides. “You’re not doing that on a mountain bike right away,” Wilson says. “Per mile you’re putting in way more metabolic activity off-road.” Play it smart by capping your initial rides at an hour. Remember, if you overreach and bonk out on the trail, you won’t be able to call someone to come pick you up or stop at a gas station for a Clif Bar.

Pick up speed
When you arrive at the trailhead, do a quick experiment. Find a bread loaf-sized log or rock and try to ride over it as slowly as you possibly can. No easy feat. Now repeat the experiment, this time pushing it a bit faster than your comfort zone. Much easier. “Maintaining good speed is the most important thing for getting over obstacles in mountain biking,” Ruzafa says. As you approach a nerve-racking impediment, hit it going about 10 percent faster than what you’re comfortable with.

Stand tall
“When your butt is in the seat, everything the bike hits is transferred to your ass,” Wilson says. “You want to stand often, so you’re floating over the bike and letting it absorb the impacts.” That, he says, is far more comfortable and efficient—especially when the terrain gets gnarly. Stand and pedal, but don’t just mimic the seated pedaling position with your hips lifted. “Pedal with your hips forward and chest tall, which helps you generate more power,” Wilson says.

Loosen up
As you go over bumps and obstacles, your body should absorb as much of the impact as your shocks do. But if your muscles are tight, each bump is that much more jarring. So loosen up, using your joints like shock absorbers. Tightness can subconsciously sneak in as you ride—especially on nerve-wracking trail sections—so regularly perform quick “body scans.” Scan your body from head to toe, actively loosening tight areas.

Go down
You’ve probably heard that you need to get your “butt back” when descending off-road. But many new riders overdo it, sapping necessary braking and steering traction from their front tire. Stand and keep about 70 percent of your weight on your rear tire. A good indicator that your weight is well distributed: “You should have a little pressure from the handlebars on your palms,” Wilson says. To slow, apply pressure to both brakes, favoring the rear brake over the front. Lowering your seat before a big descent will also allow your bike to move freely between your legs.

Look ahead
A surefire way to hit an obstacle is by looking directly at it, says three-time XTERRA world champion and 2016 ITU World Triathlon Series champion Flora Duffy. That’s because your weight and body positioning shift toward where you look, guiding your bike there. The opposite is also true. “Look where you want to go, and your bike will follow,” she adds. Duffy also says to avoid gazing directly ahead of your front tire. Instead, eye about 20 feet down trail, which allows you to anticipate obstacles and pick a cleaner line of travel.

Stick the corners
As you approach a corner, lean into it with your head so your weight shifts properly, Park says. Your inside foot should be higher than your outside foot. “Push into your outside foot, really setting your tires’ edges, almost like you’re skiing,” Wilson says. And try not to hit the brakes as you’re going through the turn—that pulls you out of angle and can cause you to crash.

Build pistons
Competing in an event like an XTERRA, where you’ll have to run after riding? “Even more than a road triathlon, mountain biking requires more strength and thrashes your legs,” Park says. “So you need to get used to running with smoked legs.” To do that, Park says to do trail brick workouts. “With pro clients, we’ll do a tough mountain ride then immediately run all or part of the same trail,” Park says. He adds that if you’re new, you can also do 20 minutes of hard riding, followed by two miles of running, up to three times through.

How to Conquer any Obstacle

Soft sand
Nothing can suck you in like a patch of sand. The loose particles absorb your momentum—and steering only makes your situation worse. “Come in as fast as possible,” Duffy says. If you can see other tire marks in the sand, ride those for an easier path. No marks? Approach the obstacle in a straight line, says Duffy. “Keep your weight slightly back, and don’t be tense. Just let your bike float over the sand,” she says. If you begin to slow, drop into an easy gear and crank like mad.

Logs
Tackling a tree stump or downed log is an exercise in shifting your weight, Wilson says. As you come upon the tree, stand tall and distribute your weight between your two tires evenly. “But then when you’re about to hit it, slightly shift your weight back and lift your front tire,” he says. “Once your front tire clears, now shift your weight forward, taking weight off your back tire.” This move prevents the tree from impeding your forward momentum and keeps you moving.

Rock garden
Navigating a rock garden can feel like a space invader game, where you’re dodging obstacles left and right. Just remember that hesitation equals devastation, so pick your line beforehand. That foresight keeps you from making quick, risky decisions as you barrel through the rocks. Enter the garden with a good bit of speed, and “don’t be too heavy handed on your brakes,” Duffy says. “Feather them.”

Loose gravel
As you climb uphill, you may tend to lean forward, which takes weight off your back tire, causing it to spin out. First, distribute your weight back, which is usually enough to allow your tires to bite into the ground, Park says. Still spinning? You may be applying too much force to the pedal—picture how your car wheels slip when you floor it—so briefly pause and then begin pedaling again. If you know the trail you’re on is particularly gravely, running slightly lower tire pressure—about 26 to 27 PSI—can increase your tire traction.

Choose Your Ride…

No matter where you ride, use this checklist to find the right bike.

Four figures: Expect to spend a bare minimum of $1,000 for a well-equipped bike that lasts.

Full suspension: You’ll have more fun on a full suspension bike, says three-time XTERRA world champ Flora Duffy. “They’re smoother and more accepting of bumps, so you don’t have to be as technical or skilled.”

Modern upgrades: If you haven’t ridden since college, you’ll be surprised to find that mountain tires are much bigger now. Spring for 29-inch wheels. Their geometry allows you to roll over obstacles easier. Also, a bike with a single chainring—called a 1x (pronounced “one by”)—gives you a full range of gears, and you’ll enjoy the simplicity and see more fitness benefits.

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Tri University: Jumping up to Ironman at a Young Age http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/lifestyle/tri-university-jumping-ironman-young-age_306266 Wed, 20 Sep 2017 19:09:07 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=306266 As if classes, a job, and maintaining a social life weren’t enough, something about doing an Ironman calls out to you.

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Recent Penn State grad Kristin Goett dishes out advice for the U23 crowd (and the U23 at heart) in her Tri University column.

As a collegiate racer, most of your non-triathlete friends probably think of a suave superhero when the word “Ironman” is mentioned. While you are likely also a fan of our heroic, iron-clad fellow, you might feel that an Ironman, which consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run, is sitting on your plate in the not-too-distant future. As if classes, a job, and maintaining a social life weren’t enough, something about doing an Ironman calls out to you—let’s weigh the pros and cons of jumping to long distance for the 18-24 age group.

You’ll Learn True Grit

Taking the leap of faith from Olympic and sprint-distance collegiate racing up to iron-distance competitions will forge within that noggin of yours a grit so impenetrable your next final will feel like a breeze, whether or not you studied. It is no secret that Ironman training requires long hours in the saddle, early mornings at the pool, and a host of other commitments for you to balance along with, oh, I don’t know, a full course load, a part-time job, and campus extracurriculars. For those that have the guts to embrace this challenge head-on, your mental toughness will, much like our superhero Ironman, become iron-clad, too.

You Could Get Faster (Really!)

Compare elites’ performances in an Olympic-distance run leg with an iron-distance run leg and you will notice many things (i.e. the pained faces, bodies lunging forward with sweaty, salty residue—yum!), but one in particular: Olympic-distance triathletes tend to run faster. Iron-distance elites are fast, don’t get me wrong, but their paces are different for a variety of reasons.

Iron-distance training and racing are filled with long intervals often completed at 75-80% of your max ability in that discipline. This is to help your body learn what it’s like to maintain a certain pace for a long time—sounds fun, doesn’t it?! It can be! However, many young athletes are scared away from long-distance racing because they are concerned they might lose their hard-earned speediness that is so coveted in collegiate racing. Working with a coach or club will help you to maintain your speed, and incorporating some key speedwork sessions into iron-training can not only help you keep your speed, but get even faster in the process.

You Might Seem Crazy

No matter what distance you race, it’s time to accept that you are, uh, not the norm, as some might say. Anyone who actively chooses to participate in triathlons, especially while balancing all that college offers, is a bit weird. Sorry, hopefully I’m not the first one to break the news to you.

Now that you know you’re in the crazy club, I can also tell you that one of the biggest benefits of adding an Ironman to your schedule is the community of fellow crazies you will meet on your iron-journey. The other iron-crazies who are out at 5 a.m. to get in a 20-mile run might just become your best friends, and the guy in the lane next to you late at night feels your iron-pain as you round out your final build to race day. Reaching out to other athletes via social media and organic introductions will help you to make some new friends while you prep for arguably one of the biggest days of your life.

You’ll Lay Down a Killer Base

Yes, the time commitment is daunting and the science of gaining iron-fitness without losing speed sits on a fine line. But! Completing the six months or so of training needed for jumping up to long distance racing will provide you with technique, skills and base-level fitness that are transferrable to all other distances. So even if you are a “one and done” when it comes to Ironmans (which you might think now, but talk to me after you cross the finish line), know that the effort you put into completing this monstrosity of a race will serve you well across all distances for the rest of your life—yes, there is a whole life waiting for you outside of college.

As the new school year picks up, now is the perfect time to ponder what goals to set next season. Consider adding a long distance race to schedule as you polish off that well-deserved post-season burger—I know you won’t regret it.

More Tri University

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Recipe: Grilled Cheese for Grown-Ups http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/nutrition/recipe-grilled-cheese-grown-ups_306269 Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:31:16 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=306269 Registered dietitian Matthew Kadey offers a new grilled cheese sandwich recipe that provides the omega-3s every runner needs to keep their hearts and muscles in prime condition. […]

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Registered dietitian Matthew Kadey offers a new grilled cheese sandwich recipe that provides the omega-3s every runner needs to keep their hearts and muscles in prime condition.

It’s already in the name, so why not forgo the skillet when making grilled cheese? This combo of fire-licked bread, punchy pesto, tangy goat cheese and velvety smoked salmon will wake up your lunch routine. You can also prepare it on a cast-iron griddle.

Smoked Salmon Grilled Cheese

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 thick slices whole-grain bread
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil or melted butter
  • 4 tsp. prepared pesto
  • 2 oz. soft goat cheese
  • 2 oz. thinly sliced smoked salmon
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced pickled beets
  • 1 cup arugula

Directions:
Build a medium-low fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-low. Grease grill grate. Brush one side of each slice of bread with some oil or butter. Spread non-oiled sides of two pieces of bread with pesto and two with goat cheese. Layer in salmon, pickled beets and arugula. Place sandwiches on the grill grate, oiled side down, and cover. Grill until bread is browned and grill marks appear, about 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn bread. Carefully flip sandwiches and heat another 30 seconds.

Nutrition Info Per Serving:
403 calories, 21g fat, 20g protein, 34g carbs, 804mg sodium

This article originally appeared at Womensrunning.com.

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Is the Desire for Outside Approval Driving Your Race Goals? http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/training/desire-outside-approval-driving-race-goals_306262 Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:05:03 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=306262 When you race, do you worry too much about what others think about your performance or results?

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In part five of Trainingpeaks.com’s continuing series on race-day mental skills, Dr. Patrick Cohn and Andre Bekker discuss how to manage your desire for outside approval, a common pre-race worry that can hamper your performance and cause you much wasted stress in the lead-up to a big race.

When you race, do you worry too much about what others think about your performance or results? Do you want approval from others, such as teammates, coaches, or friends? Does it help your racing when you want to be admired, accepted, respected, or liked by other athletes, coaches, or teammates?

Part of wanting approval is just human nature, but it can become unhealthy when you become distracted or feel pressure during racing.

Worrying too much about what others think not only distracts you from performing in the moment, but it also can cause you to worry about what others think. All of this leads to a phenomenon called false “mind reading.” Mind reading is when you make unrealistic assumptions about what others might think about you.

For example, “Does my coach think I’m good enough to win a race?” “Will my friends be happy with my performance today if I lose?” The key to managing your tendency to make these assumptions is to understand how much of this is reality and how much of your mind reading is unfounded and irrational.

Do You Worry Too Much About What Others Think?

Social approval comes in many forms. Some athletes want to please others. Some athletes fear disappointing people. The effect on you is still the same when you perform well or poorly. Do you agree with any of the statements below?

Social Approval Worries

  • You want to be liked by others
  • You want to be respected
  • You want to make others happy
  • You worry about embarrassment
  • You fear being rejected by others
  • You have the need to feel popular
  • You want to impress others

Do you identify with any of the statements above? And if you do, do you become distracted before or during racing because of them? How might wanting social approval make you feel more expectations to perform well?

Many athletes will “mind read” into what others think about their performance, especially when others are watching or it’s an important event.

Stop the Mind Reading

To perform your best, you want to focus on performance cues that help you execute instead of worrying about (or making assumptions about) what others think. This is easier said than done.

Let’s start by examining when you begin to mind read. When are you most likely to mind read: before or during competition? For example, you might start to wonder how your family members and friends are assessing your performance when they come to watch you. Or, maybe you assume your coach is unhappy with you after you didn’t perform to his expectation.

The first step to overcome social approval is to recognize when you are mind reading and refocus on your race plan or output. If you start to think about the outcome of the race and how others might react, tell yourself that’s not important, race the current section of the course. Bring your focus back to racing one section at a time, staying in the here-and-now of the race. Be in the moment.

Related from Trainingpeaks.com – Avoiding Mental Saborage Part Four: How to Channel Pre-Race Anxiety

Do You Have Self-Respect?

Most athletes seek out approval from others because they don’t have self-respect. When you think others respect you or are impressed with your racing results, you might feel better about yourself in that moment. You want to stop searching for respect or admiration from others, such as parents, coaches or friends.

Self-respect is accepting and liking who you are as a person. When you have self-respect, you’re less likely to have the need to seek it out from others.

How do you have self-respect? The answer is not easy, but you want to start with unconditional respect for yourself as a person—no matter how successful you are as an athlete.

Unconditional respect means you have self-worth no matter how well you perform on any given day. Translated, it means you are one at peace with yourself and you are doing the best that you can given your context.

Dr. Patrick Cohn is a master mental game coach with Peak Performance Sports in Orlando, Fla. Andre Bekker is a 12-time Age Group winner in Ironman and 70.3 events / former professional bike rider, and owner of 5th Dimension Coaching. Download their free audio program, “Mental Toughness Skills in Racing for Triathletes.”

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Interbike Day 0: 4 Fun Finds from the Outdoor Demo http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/gear-tech/interbike-day-0-4-fun-finds-outdoor-demo_306246 Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:00:01 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=306246 The Nevada desert held a few secret gems on the eve of Interbike.

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The Nevada desert held a few secret gems on the eve of Interbike.

‘Twas the night before Interbike, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Except a few creatures were stirring. Out in Bootleg Canyon—just about 30 miles east of Vegas, where for the last year, maybe ever, the annual bike geek utopia known as Interbike was just about to begin. Held in conjunction with the big, bad bike show is a far less glitzy event: the outdoor demo. While originally touted as a place for Interbike attendees to try the latest and greatest in off-road, road, and tri bikes, today’s scene is pretty different. We ventured deep into the desert, braving wind and heat and dusty, crusty mountain bikers to uncover a few tri-related nuggets on the otherwise silent day before of Interbike.

Raleigh Stuntman iE

At the 2017 edition of the outdoor demo, the offerings were 95 percent off-road, and the large majority of those off-road bikes were e-bikes. While e-bikes may have no place in a triathlon, their popularity amongst the general cycling (or cycling-adjacent) population cannot be ignored. The Raleigh Stuntman iE stood out amongst the crowd as a rugged, gravelly, do-it-all e-bike that actually very closely resembled something a real roadie might ride.

Integrated into the downtube is a very stealthy Class 3 Brose motor that provides pedal assist up to 28mph. With a four- to six-hour charge time, and a 60 to 80-mile range in low-assist mode (half of that at high output), the Stuntman iE would be a great option for a training partner that can’t hang with all the watts or maybe someone looking to do some long-distance riding from point-to-point. Pictured at top is a custom version of the Stuntman made for Raleigh ambassador and former pro cyclist Rahsaan Bahati. Expect to see the Stuntman and the updated version, the Tamland (pictured above), around December.

$4,399; Raleighelectric.com

Alto CT311 Disc

Though the demo was pretty dirt-heavy, one product held the tri-candle through the gusts of dust, the Alto CT311 disc wheel. Founded three years ago by three college roommates (pictured here, Alto CEO Bobby Sweeting), Alto has recently expanded its proudly U.S.-made line of wheels with a very interesting disc offering.

The C311 uses a lenticular design that closely resembles the frontal profile of a spoked wheel. The advantage is that lateral forces—like hard cornering—are handled better than a common flat-profile disc. In other words: the speed of a disc, the cornering of a spoked wheel. While they’re not the first brand to offer a lenticular disc, other brands simply use a carbon skin over spokes while the CT311 is a solid construction. The C311 (available in clincher or tubular) also has a wide 25mm rim width for use with wider tires that have recently become much more popular.

Alto also makes a 86mm front wheel (the CC86 and CT86) that pairs perfectly with the C311. Not only are the accompanying fronts smooth rolling, but we saw in person that their rainbow decals are tri-bling certified. Available now, all Alto wheels are also part of their ambitious rental program that lets riders pay $100 for a 10-day use. If renters decide to buy the wheel, Alto credits the rental fee, plus an additional $100 for each time the specific wheel was rented previously.

C311 tubular – $1,990; C311 clincher – $2,090; CT86 Tubular – from $865; CC86 Clincher – from $910; Altocycling.com

Ryders Roam Sunglasses

Another diamond in the demo rough was an outside look at Ryders’ Roam sunglasses. Fueled by an acquisition by the brand Essilor (makers of Transition lenses among other optic tech), Ryders’ latest, ambitious line of eyewear seems to throw everything at their lenses. The Roam sports Ryders’ FYRE lens technology that features photochromatic properties (like Transitions), a unique mirrored technology that’s rarely found on photochromatic lenses, and a very impressive, no maintenance anti-fog coating.

Ryders wrapped these new lenses in a convertible frame that goes from half-coverage to no-coverage (great for deep aero positions) in a matter of seconds. Much like having two pairs of sunglasses for the price of one. The image quality of the FYRE lense is best described as hi-def and looks on par with other brands’ most clear offerings. Available now.

$239; Ryderseyewear.com

 Pardus Gomera

Like a mirage appearing out of the blustery desert, there stood one, single tri bike out in Bootleg Canyon. The Pardus Gomera is the strange offspring of Chinese manufacturer TaiShan Sports—a brand that makes everything from bikes and bike parts to wrestling equipment, gymnastics equipment, weightlifting equipment, and way much more. They are also the carbon producer for many of the popular tri brands that we all love so much (reps wouldn’t let us disclose who their customers were, but these were massively popular companies). Pardus is their new “house brand” bike after years of producing products for other labels.

At first glance, the Gomera looks like a copy of many of the superbike designs that major brands are already offering, yet Pardus says it’s less of an imitation and more of an effort in learning from the engineers that have been sending them designs to build for years.

2017 marks the first year that Pardus has had offices in the U.S., and while they don’t have any available footprint in U.S. retailers yet, spokesmen assured us that the goal is to get into independent bike shops as soon as possible. While this makes availability a question mark, the appearance of a bike like the Gomera signals a possible shift in Chinese brands towards the U.S. 

$5,800 (as pictured); En.parduscycle.com

Be sure to check back this whole week for continued coverage of Interbike at Triathlete.com.

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One Triathlete Shares How He Fuels on a Low-Carb Diet http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/nutrition/one-triathlete-shares-fuels-low-carb-diet_306240 Tue, 19 Sep 2017 19:25:36 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=306240 Former Kona age-group champion Holger Beckmann on his journey to low-carb fueling

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Former Kona age-group champion Holger Beckmann on his journey to low-carb fueling

Nutrition philosophy:
“Organic, unprocessed, low-sugar and low-starch foods, moderate protein, healthy fats.”

Pre-ride fuel:
“I hydrate with water and add a couple of tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar and a pinch of sea salt to each bottle. That is my ‘sports drink’ for training and for racing.”

“I avoid gluten and dairy because then I do not get any allergy symptoms and don’t need to take any allergy medications. I grew up with hayfever and later also developed cat allergies.”

Holger Beckmann, 52
Location: Redondo Beach, Calif.

Standout results
Age group champion at 2005 ITU Long Course National Championships, 2003 Ironman World Championship and 2005 DeGray Lake Half Ironman; third place men’s 40–44 at 2009 ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships

Backstory
Holger Beckmann’s reasons for getting into triathlon were simple: “I didn’t want to get fat and out of shape when I was 29,” he says. He remembers his early tri and marathon days, when he was told “the more carbs the better” for endurance athletes. “Carbo-loading was the norm in the ’90s,” he says. “My friends would marvel at the amount of pasta I could eat.” He would take as many as nine Clif Bars on a ride. “I was a carbohydrate addict,” he says. After 15 years of his carb-rich diet and some great performances (he even went sub-10 hours at Ironman Hawaii), “things slowly started to fall apart.” He would get extremely swollen ankles following races from water retention, and his belly became bloated. He developed asthma-like symptoms that slowed him down in races, and chlorinated water would cause his lungs to fill with fluid. When he restricted his eating the day before a swim, his breathing improved, so he determined that his food must be contributing to his problems. Using the process of elimination, he learned that he needed to avoid carrageenan (a common food additive extracted from red seaweed and used as a thickener and emulsifier) because it upset his gut. He also found that MSG, sugar and starches worsened his water retention, so he reduced or avoided those ingredients. When he avoided gluten and dairy, his hayfever and dust and cat allergies, which he’d battled since his 20s, went away. “It was a long journey,” he says. “[By] reducing sugar and starches, I got withdrawal symptoms, hangovers and flu-like symptoms that lasted for a couple of months. After that, my cravings for sugar disappeared. My body switched to burning fat,” a macronutrient that Beckmann estimates now makes up 70 percent of his diet (in combination with 20 percent protein and 10 percent carbs). Beckmann encourages every triathlete who’s suffering from health issues that affect their training and racing to take a closer look at their own diets.

Recovery meal:
“Wild salmon with broccoli and olive oil, or other green veggies. I often have homemade bone broth to rehydrate, sometimes with a few eggs poached in there for protein.”

On runs:
“Usually no fuel, but for very long runs, such as marathons, I bring a pouch of organic coconut oil with me.”

“Over time, I noticed that I feel much more energetic when I don’t eat before and during my workoutts and races. Eating shuts off my body’s ability to burn body fat, which is my main fuel source. Bonking is not an issue at all, since the body does not run out of body fat. Fasting also seems to increase adrenaline, giving me more energy. Also, working out with food in my stomach is not that comfortable.”

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Get Your Tunes Through Your Bones http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/gear-tech/get-tunes-bones_306226 Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:48:31 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=306226 The Trekz Air uses bone conduction technology that lets athletes listen to their music without interfering with their awareness.

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Aftershokz’s latest offering, the Trekz Air, uses bone conduction technology that lets athletes listen to their music without interfering with their awareness.

Like most people who run or ride outdoors, the activity is rarely a solitary one. Running on busy sidewalks, riding on roads alongside cars, even running on desolate trails often requires a certain measure of awareness just to stay safe. In an effort to keep every sense sharp, many triathletes choose to forego their favorite music so as not to plug their ears and take one of those senses out of the equation.

Though the technology is not brand new, bone conduction headphones still seem to be an outlier in the sports audio world. Used most commonly in hearing aids, bone conduction tech uses tiny mechanical vibrations to entirely bypass the outer and inner ear, sending signals through the cranial (or jaw) bone into the inner ear instead of the ear drum. Your ears remain unplugged and still able to hear the outside world.

In the last 30 years, the idea made its way into other applications aside from hearing aids: Scuba divers have great success with bone conduction underwater; also the military has used the tech in order to retain environmental awareness while keeping in constant communication. Even Google used bone conduction technology on their ill-fated Google Glass when it was released back in 2013.

A few years ago, Aftershokz made a big effort by switching their military focus towards consumer athletics; since then their Trekz Titanium has been one of the better wireless options for triathletes. Though the experience is definitely different than normal earbuds or over-ear headphones, their latest upgrade, the Trekz Air, improves upon a lot of the things that made bone conduction a series of compromises.

We take a look at the ups and downs of the Trekz Air and bone conduction audio:

Pros:

  • Bone conduction obviously leaves the ear drum free to hear the world around you, so situational awareness is much much better—even at full volume—than any earbud. This was by far the most comfortable, safety-wise, we’ve ever felt while training and listening to music.
  • With that said, the Trekz Air also has a very useful large, single-touch button on the left side that quickly pauses playing (among other functions) for times when you need quick, easy silence.
  • Sound quality is much improved over the Trekz Titanium. Bass sounds better without getting too buzzy (a sensation that takes some getting used to, more on that later). We never got any lapses with the strong Bluetooth connection either.
  • Lighter weight over the last version means less bouncing while running and gives the impression after a few minutes that you’re wearing something more like a headband than headphones.
  • Microphone quality while taking calls is actually incredible—something we didn’t expect.
  • Battery is also surprisingly good (six hours plus), given the mechanics involved.

Cons:

  • Perhaps because of signal strength that’s needed to power the audio drivers, volume often needs to be pretty high to get good, loud sound outside.
  • The vibrations can take some getting used to—less in a running/riding scenario when you’re moving, but more in a stationary setting. Some tracks with lots of sound can “buzz” your skull a little bit. It’s not enough to be uncomfortable, but it is different.
  • Sound quality is good, but not amazing. For sports, these sound just fine.
  • Though bone conduction works great underwater, Bluetooth doesn’t, so these can’t be used for swimming. While this isn’t the fault of the product, it sort of seems like a missed opportunity. Regardless, we found these sweat resistant enough to get quite wet.
  • Outward sound leakage is still a small issue (more for a library situation than for sports), but the Air does a much better job managing it than the Titanium did.

The Verdict:

We liked the old Titanium, but found some of the inherent issues with bone conduction to take some getting used to. Fortunately, the Air has smoothed out most of our complaints. If you’re going to listen to music while training (bear in mind, USAT rules do not allow “headphones, headsets, walkmans, ipods, mp3 players, or personal audio devices, etc.” during races), this is by far the safest option. You can still expect to hear cars going by, the sound of people speaking, and even the sound of knobby tires on trails at certain volumes—all of which is very important for staying safe. While Trekz does include ear plugs to effectively close off outside sound for a fully immersive experience, if that’s what you’re looking for, these might not be a good fit. With that said, these are definitely the best headphones for people who want to listen to music and still keep all of their senses intact.

$150, Available for pre-order at Trekzair.aftershokz.com

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Study: Women Have More Muscular Endurance Than Men http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/lifestyle/study-women-muscular-endurance-men_306234 Tue, 19 Sep 2017 16:40:38 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=306234 Men may have superior strength, but women last significantly longer when it comes to dynamic muscle exercise.

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Men may have superior strength, but women last significantly longer when it comes to dynamic muscle exercise.

As more women enter endurance sports, more women are dominating. This is especially true for events involving extreme endurance, like the Badwater Marathon or Ultraman: the longer the race, the better likelihood women have at narrowing the gap to male competitors–or even winning races outright.

But this phenomenon is hard to explain–what is it, exactly, that makes women so well-suited to endurance events? Is it their aerobic capacity? Their smaller structure? A greater ability to withstand pain (they do, after all, survive childbirth)?

One study has unveiled a piece of the puzzle: muscular endurance. According to an article published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, men may have superior strength, but women last significantly longer when it comes to dynamic muscle exercise.

The study, headed by Dr. Brian Dalton of the University of British Columbia, compared muscle endurance and fatigability in the sexes. To test this, men and women performed 200 dynamic plantar flexion or calf muscle contractions at a set resistance of 30% or their maximal strength. As they performed the test, the researchers recorded data on speed, power, movements and electrical activity of their muscles. The results? Big and strong simply doesn’t last as long.

“We found that at the beginning of the task, the males were stronger and more powerful than the females,” says Dalton. “But by the end of the test, the females had less of an effect on their power and dynamic strength than the males,” says Dalton.

Though the men could complete the 200 contractions faster, their power declined more significantly than the women. They also showed greater signs of fatigue at earlier stages. This suggests women can outlast men by a wide margin.

“It would suggest that there are differences in muscle endurance and performance fatigability between males and females,” says Dalton, whose next step is to determine the exact mechanisms behind why females have greater muscle endurance than males. This research can help inform coaches and exercise physiologists in constructing training plans that account for the athlete’s physiology.

Much is still to be discovered in this field of study, but it’s good progress in finally dispelling the notion of “the weaker sex.” As it turns out, each have their unique strengths.

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One-Hour Workout: Treadmill M and W’s http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/training/one-hour-workout-treadmill-m-ws_306222 Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:34:28 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=306222 Fly through your next “dreadmill” session with this blend of speed and incline changes.

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Fly through your next “dreadmill” session with this blend of speed and incline changes.

This week’s workout comes from Colorado-based coach and physical therapist Dr. Kevin DeGroot, PT, DPT, owner and coach at T-Zero Physio since 2016. DeGroot is an Ironman-certified coach specializing in working with injured athletes. He has competed in multiple triathlon distances up to 70.3 and has run a marathon distance (or more) 17 times, including a 200+ mile week long run across Haiti.

“As the weather begins to change and more of your training may need to be inside, the ‘Treadmill M and W’ is a workout that allows you to stay engaged and get in a great workout in 45-60 min,” DeGroot says. “Since you’re changing something every 3-4 minutes, it keeps your mind off the repetition of being on a treadmill. Your overall effort should remain fairly constant through the 30 minutes of the main set but your speed and grade will increase and decrease reciprocally.”

The workout also includes a dynamic warm-up to focus on running fundamentals that will prevent injury.

Focus on slow and deliberate movement:
Walk with rotations – Take a step forward with your right leg, keeping both feet pointed straight forward. Drive your pelvis/hips forward until you feel a slight stretch in the front of your left hip. Rotate your shoulders and pelvis to the left which should change the stretch you feel in the front of your hip. Repeat on the other leg with 10 steps per leg.

Multidirectional lunge progression – Focus on keeping your weight evenly distributed through your full foot. First lunge forward onto your right foot, then step back. Lunge right leg to 45 degrees to the right, then step back. Finally, lunge right leg to the right side at 90 degrees, step back. Repeat on your left leg. As you get more comfortable with the initial lunges, add a two-count balance on the moving leg by picking up the other leg after stepping. Five lunges each direction of standard and balance lunges.

High-knee balance walks – Standing tall, balance on your right foot while bringing your left knee up toward waist height, hold for two seconds. Repeat with other leg. Take 10-15 steps on each foot.

RDL walk – Step forward onto your right leg—keeping your weight evenly distributed along your foot—kick your left leg backwards, and bend forward at your hip until your upper body and left leg are in a horizontal line. To help balance, reach your left arm down towards your right foot. Repeat on the other leg. Take 10-15 steps on each leg.

Warm-up
10 minutes of the exercises above
5-minute jog at self-selected pace

Main Set
0-3 minutes:                4-6% grade                 50-60% race pace speed
3-6 minutes:                2-4% grade                 60-70% race pace speed
6-9 minutes:                0-2% grade                 70-80% race pace speed
9-12 minutes:              2-4% grade                 60-70% race pace speed
12-15 minutes:            4-6% grade                 50-60% race pace speed
15-18 minutes:            2-4% grade                 60-70% race pace speed
18-21 minutes:            0-2% grade                 70-80% race pace speed
21-24 minutes:            2-4% grade                 60-70% race pace speed
24-27 minutes:            4-6% grade                 50-60% race pace speed
27-30 minutes:            4-6% grade                 70-80% race pace speed

Cool-down
15-minute jog and good stretch

More one-hour workouts

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Beginner’s Luck: Lessons from a Low Speed Tip-Over http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/lifestyle/beginners-luck-lessons-low-speed-tip_306216 Mon, 18 Sep 2017 21:00:06 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=306216 "Beginner's Luck" columnist Meredith Atwood writes about the importance of your frame of mind when it comes to swim, bike, and run.

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“Beginner’s Luck” columnist Meredith Atwood writes about the importance of your frame of mind when it comes to swim, bike, and run. 

I remember a particular bad bike ride like it was yesterday—even though it’s been three years now. The ride was 50 miles, which was no small feat, because I think it was the first ride of the season. And the worst part? I had a Low Speed Tip-Over (LST) at a stop light. My coach and I were about to go, and a firetruck came a ’blazing down the road. Coach stopped, and I teetered, trying to get ahold of myself.  Nope. Clipped in. Down she goes.

By the way, a LST is very common—it happens to everyone at some point. It happens to me maybe more frequently than others, but I was proud, as it was my first one in a very, very long time. I was overdue.

When I got home from not only the LST, but also a mentally and physically “bad” ride, I came across a post about “The Seven Habits of People with Mental Toughness.” As I read through it, I bemoaned: I have NONE of these attributes! I am not mentally tough nor physically strong, nor anything in between. Waaaa!

Number 1: Always act as if you are in total control.

Was this before or after all the f-bombs I was throwing out while we were climbing mini-Everest mountains on the ride? And the temper tantrum I threw when I LST’d over? I felt like my emotions were all over the place. In control? Ugh.

Number 5: Never allow yourself to whine. (Or complain. Or criticize.)

Well.  I was whining like crazy. And complaining.  And criticizing myself. I woke up sick. I did not eat enough. I felt like crap, popping a headache around Mile 12. I was struggling all around. Just had not been in the saddle climbing in quite some time–and it showed.

Number 7: Count your blessings.

“It’s a beautiful day to climb on a bike!” in the words of my first coach. Okay, so I did say that a few times. And I meant it about zero times–but the mere thought of positivity got me through.

I mean, I had a brutal ride. Climbing 4,000 feet on a bike is an exercise in mental toughness, even on a good day. But that is another reason to count my blessings: I get to do this amazing thing called triathlon and riding and running.

I realized after reading that mental toughness is all a frame of mind. Seems obvious, but we are exactly what and who we think, believe and hold tight in our heads.

If we take a moment to embrace the fact that we are strong, tough, gritty, remarkable, amazing, and more—and we all truly are!—then really, the sky is the limit on what we can accomplish.

Mike Reilly, the amazing “Voice of Ironman,” tells athletes on race morning: “The only thing you can control today is your attitude.” I always like that, because our attitude is the first step in building any sort of mental fortitude. If we think good thoughts and stay positive, who knows what can happen with that small step.

When I look back on the LST (Low Speed Tip-Over), I can laugh and remain positive that I do, in fact, know how to ride a bike. That’s something in mental toughness right there.

Meredith Atwood (@SwimBikeMom) is a recovering attorney, motivational speaker and author of Triathlon for the Every Woman. You can download a free copy of the book here. She is the host of the new iTunes podcast, “The Same 24 Hours,” a show which interviews interesting people who make the best of the 24 hours in each day. Meredith also works with the amazing Dina Griffin, RD, in a Metabolic Efficiency Training nutrition program called “Optimal Thrive.” Meredith writes about all the things at MeredithAtwood.com

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Photos: Mendez, Paterson Win XTERRA Pan Am Championship http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/photos/photos-mendez-paterson-win-xterra-pan-championship_306162 Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:40:19 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=306162 Mauricio Mendez from Mexico and Lesley Paterson from Scotland captured the XTERRA Pan America Championship titles.

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Mauricio Mendez from Mexico and Lesley Paterson from Scotland captured the XTERRA Pan America Championship race on a beautiful day around Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah on Saturday morning. Photos provided by XTERRA.

The challenge started with a one-mile swim in Pineview Reservoir (4,900-feet elevation), followed with an 18-mile mountain bike leg that climbed more than 3,000-feet to the top of Sardine Peak (7,300-feet elevation) and culminated with a 7-mile trail run featuring another 700-feet of climbing on trails in the Wasatch Range.

In the men’s elite race Mendez came out of the water with Australian Ben Allen, took the lead during the swim-to-bike transition and led the rest of the way, taking the tape in 2:22:50, nearly two-minutes ahead of last year’s winner Josiah Middaugh of Colorado.

“Today was just perfect,” said Mendez, the 21-year-old reigning XTERRA World Champion. “I mean, I felt good on the swim, we worked at having a good pace. When we were out of the swim, and we noticed we had a big gap – Ben Allen and me – I was just feeling confident about it and when we hit the dirt I did an attack and I felt great.”

In the women’s elite race Paterson, a two-time XTERRA World Champion, was the sixth elite female out of the swim, passed all five riders in front of her by mile five of the bike and never looked back. Her winning time of 2:51:13 was a full seven minutes ahead of runner-up Jacqui Allen from Great Britain.

“I came out of the water in second place, two-minutes down, got up into second place just after Wheeler Canyon, probably about half a mile into the next trail,” said Paterson. “I passed Julie about another mile after that but she’s strong, you know and kept with me for a bit.”

Read the complete race recap at Xterraplanet.com.

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Photos: Angela Naeth Takes Overall Title at Lobsterman Tri http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/lifestyle/photos-angela-naeth-takes-overall-title-lobsterman-tri_306135 Mon, 18 Sep 2017 18:15:53 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=306135 Eight-hundred athletes from 42 states took place in the 2017 Lobsterman Triathlon over the weekend.

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Eight-hundred athletes from 42 states took place in the 2017 Lobsterman Triathlon over the weekend, with Canadian professional triathlete Angela Naeth taking the overall title in 2:10:04.

Overall Top 5
1. Angela Naeth (WElite) 2:10:04
2. Richard Finemann (M25-29) 2:10:38
3. Michael Gordon (M35-39) 2:12:42
4. Tim Snow (MElite) 2:14:07
5. Gabe Dakowicz (M30-34) 2:14:50

Complete results

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Photos: Mario Mola Seals Second World Title In Rotterdam http://www.triathlete.com/2017/09/photos/photos-mario-mola-seals-second-world-title-rotterdam_306089 Mon, 18 Sep 2017 16:58:55 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=306089 A third-place finish at the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Rotterdam was enough to grant Mario Mola a back-to-back crown.

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Keeping the world title for the nation of Spain for the fifth year in a row, a third-place finish at the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Rotterdam was enough to grant Mario Mola a back-to-back ITU World Triathlon Championship crown in a season-best performance. With the repeat title, Mola became only the second man in ITU history since the inception of the WTS to ever win two-straight world titles.

Winning the Grand Final race gold was France’s Vincent Luis, who claimed his first WTS victory of the season. Luis’s win came from a dominating and dramatic run effort, after breaking away from a powerful lead pack in the final metres to seize the event gold. Read the complete recap at Triathlon.org. (See photos of the women’s race here.)

2017 World Championship Podium
1. Mario Mola (ESP)
2. Javier Gomez Noya (ESP)
3. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR)

Race Results
1. Vincent Luis (FRA) 1:51:26
2. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) 1:51:28
3. Mario Mola (ESP) 1:51:36
4. Javier Gomez Noya (ESP) 1:51:41
5. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) 1:51:52
6. Richard Murray (RSA) 1:52:06
7. Pierre Le Corre (FRA) 1:52:31
8. Joao Pereira (POR) 1:52:32
9. Andreas Schilling (DEN) 1:52:33
10. Thomas Bishop (GBR) 1:52:34

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