Triathlete.com http://www.triathlete.com The latest triathlon gear, training, nutrition, photos, races, movers, shakers, and more Sat, 21 Jan 2017 14:51:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.3 http://www.triathlete.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/apple-touch-icon-180x180-120x120.png Triathlete.com http://www.triathlete.com 32 32 Will Tom Brady’s Expensive Pajamas Help You Recover Better? http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/gear-tech/will-tom-bradys-expensive-pajamas-help-sleep-recover-better_297863 Fri, 20 Jan 2017 17:59:46 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=297863 Almost every triathlete knows that training doesn’t end when the clock stops—triathlon is 24/7 effort, from the nutritious smoothie you guzzle post-workout to the compression […]

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Almost every triathlete knows that training doesn’t end when the clock stops—triathlon is 24/7 effort, from the nutritious smoothie you guzzle post-workout to the compression socks you wear under your suit on the way to the office. And, of course, there’s the sleep—good sleep equals good performance.

Under Armour, known for clothing and shoes to be worn during exercise, has jumped into the loungewear market with a set of pajamas designed to boost the restorative benefits of sleep with high-tech fabric. Under Armour unveiled the sleepwear, along with a new sleep-tracking app, at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The fact that the brand is touting the pajamas as “Tom Brady’s secret to recovery” has caused them to receive media attention from everyone from The Boston Globe to GQ. Putting the marketing hype aside, will these pajamas actually help you recover better?

The special sauce of these pajamas is a beehive pattern printed with bioceramics on the interior fabric of the garment. The Under Armour website claims this material “absorbs the body’s natural heat and reflects Far Infrared back onto the skin,” leading to better sleep quality, recovery from inflammation and a regulated cell metabolism. Far Infrared, or FIR, has been used in therapeutic settings before, but in the form of lamps and saunas—at the moment, FIR technology in clothing is a fairly new concept, especially for athletic recovery.

So does it work? Under Armour says it does. In their explanation of FIR clothing, Under Armour cites a 2012 NIH paper by Harvard researchers—impressive evidence, until you wade through the technical muck and realize studies on FIR clothing have mostly been conducted on amphibians, mice and rabbits. Their conclusion: “If it can be proved that…FIR has real and significant biological effects, then the possible future applications are wide ranging.”

But it still hasn’t been proven. We haven’t tried the pajamas yet, but the lack of hard evidence leaves us feeling skeptical about shelling out $160 to $200 for a set of pajamas.

For those who want to give it a shot, the Under Armour recovery pajamas are available for pre-order now at Underarmour.com, starting at $79 for a short-sleeve shirt or short ($99 if you want the full length). They will ship to consumers Feb. 24.

For the rest of us, there’s always chamomile tea and an 8 p.m. bedtime.

RELATED: The Triathlete’s Guide to Better Sleep

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The 5 Types of Hill Work You Should Be Doing Now http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/training/5-different-types-hill-work-now_297859 Fri, 20 Jan 2017 17:24:40 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=297859 Don’t be afraid when you see a hill in your next workout. Use it as an opportunity to focus on form!

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Frank Shorter is known for saying, “hills are speed work in disguise.” His quote is true whether you’re going up the hill or down it. You just need to make sure you don’t avoid doing it. Hills are massively beneficial for athletes. Running them regularly not only provides technical skills so you can run up them better in races, but they also provide strength gains from fighting the grade and gravity. These strength gains evoke physical adaptations not seen anywhere else in training.

Mechanical Benefits of Hill Work

When we think about strength we often think about weight training and repetition. Hills are approached in much the same manner in terms of sets and repetitions. What you gain mechanically from hills that you can’t gain from weight training lies in the mechanical benefits of proper foot strike, lean and form practice. Anything you do repetitively induces a neuromuscular response. So if you continually do something wrong, you will do it more often.

The beautiful part of uphill running is that it is very difficult to run hills with poor form. The increased grade of a hill requires a forward lean, forefoot strike and an efficient arm swing. Practicing hills is form practice with a massive aerobic benefit.

Uphill running also provides a large neuromuscular benefit as you are engaging a large number of muscle groups, which work together to create a more powerful and active neural network. When you awaken parts of your body or challenge it through stimulus, you can expect a response. It is not uncommon for an athlete to be extremely mentally taxed after a strenuous hill workout.

Hills aren’t just a one-way option. Downhill running can have big benefits for athletes, but should be approached with caution due to the risk of injury. Short, steep downhills can be a great place for sprint- and short-distance runners to practice overspeed training. This requires you to have excellent form and the ability to match leg speed to the ground. This is truly only recommended for experienced runners on smooth dirt roads or grassy hills.

Technical descending is also a huge part of trail running that requires practice and mastery. Hand and foot coordination can be aided through ladder and speed drills commonly done by power sports athletes. The more technical trail the more mentally taxing it can be as speed and technicality mean your brain has to plan further (and farther!) ahead.

Related from Trainingpeaks.com – Off-season Speed Part 1: Improving Your Running With High Intensity Hill Repeats

Physiological Advantage of Hill Running

Hill workouts can be manipulated in many ways through five variables: grade, intensity, volume, length and time. Any of these variables can be combined to create results in a specific stimulus. A few examples below show how you can tweak workouts to achieve certain results; it’s up to you or your coach to define how to use hills to gain an advantage. Hills require eccentric and concentric movement patterns, which are the basic building blocks of any athlete’s development. You will see that both power athletes and endurance athletes use hills to start off a cycle, or touch on it throughout training to increase efficiency.

Short Steep Hills (<12 sec, 10+ percent grade)

Short and steep requires a huge neuromuscular response and raw power requirement. If kept truly anaerobic, no lactate is produced so the higher rep version can be used as a pre-workout (day before) neuromuscular stimulus—similar to strides.

  • Low reps/high intensity: neuromuscular development, anaerobic development and raw power
  • High reps/moderate intensity: neuromuscular development, mechanical practice and speed development

Short Steep Hills (>12 sec, 10+ percent grade)

Slightly longer reps can work on extending a response from the last category. Athletes can take burst speed and extend it to lasting power. Most athletes should approach this with max effort, slower running will not provide the mechanical or neuromuscular advantage these are designed for.

  • Low rep/high intensity: neuromuscular development, high aerobic development, burst strength and power
  • High rep/moderate intensity: neuromuscular development, high aerobic development, fatigue resistance and mechanical speed

Moderate Hills (12 to 30 seconds, 6-percent to 10-percent grade)

Longer hills provide more time to marinate in lactate. Changing rest between reps has the same effect as extended or shortened rest between interval reps on a track. Most athletes should approach these efforts with one-mile to sprint-type efforts.

  • Low rep/high intensity: neuromuscular development, mechanical speed and high aerobic development
  • High rep/moderate intensity: neuromuscular development, high aerobic development, fatigue resistance and mechanical speed

Long Hills (30 seconds to one minute, 4-percent to 10-percent grade)

The longer you make the hill, the less maximal intensity you can apply. However, long hills can provide a fatigue-resistance benefit where you are working at the critical zone sooner than flat interval running. Basic athletes will approach efforts of this length at one mile to 5K-type effort.

  • Low rep/high intensity: neuromuscular development, increased mechanical recruitment and increased fatigue resistance
  • High rep/moderate intensity: neuromuscular development, high-to-moderate aerobic development, fatigue resistance and mechanical repetition

Extended Hills and Hill Climbs (1 minute and longer, 4-percent to 10-percent grade)

Hills in the one to three-minute range are considered extended hills and are normally utilized extensively for longer-distance athletes as fatigue resistance and lactate buffering workouts. The hill climb is used as a major tool for fatigue resistance, and can provide positive neuromuscular benefits due to the extended time utilizing proper form. Extended hills are done at 5K to half marathon effort as anything more intense would likely result in a large pace disparity for more than three repetitions.

  • Low rep/high intensity: neuromuscular development, fatigue resistance, lactate buffering, mechanical repetition and muscular recruitment
  • High rep/moderate intensity: neuromuscular development, high-to-moderate aerobic development, fatigue resistance, lactate buffering, muscular recruitment and mechanical repetition
  • Long climbs: fatigue resistance, neuromuscular recruitment, lactate buffering and mental stamina

When Should You Run Hills?

There is no bad time to add in hill work as it can be used at the beginning of a cycle to recruit fast-twitch muscles for a sprinter or middle-distance athlete. It can be used early on as intro speed work and is a great tool for injury-prone athletes as it builds form and strength simultaneously. It is also good for newer runners to practice hills to learn good running form habits.

Hills can also be used in the middle of a cycle and touched on throughout a season. Extended climbs can be a good replacement for athletes mentally burned out on track repetitions. You can also mix-and-match intervals with hills to create a workout that has a sting at the end with hills to work on lactate buffering, and mental resistance teaching athletes good form and intensity once they’re already tired.

Hills are many coaches’ secret weapon to creating a powerful aerobic machine that is both strong and resistant to large loads of lactate. Don’t be afraid when you see a hill in your next workout. Use it as an opportunity to focus on form!

This article originally appeared at Trainingpeaks.com

Andrew Simmons is an endurance running coach for Lifelong Endurance, specializing in ultra marathoners, youth, and distance runners. To find out more information on Andrew and Lifelong Endurance go to www.lifelongendurance.com or on Facebook: Lifelong Endurance.

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Olympic Champion Gwen Jorgensen Announces Pregnancy http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/news/olympic-champion-gwen-jorgensen-announces-pregnancy_297854 Fri, 20 Jan 2017 16:31:44 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=297854 Rio Olympic champion Gwen Jorgensen announced on her social media channels yesterday that she’s expecting her first child with husband Patrick Lemieux this August. Both […]

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Rio Olympic champion Gwen Jorgensen announced on her social media channels yesterday that she’s expecting her first child with husband Patrick Lemieux this August. Both Jorgensen and Lemieux make no secret of their love for great food and chose to follow that theme in their announcement.

The news comes as no surprise as Jorgensen was clear that her post-Olympic plans included starting a family. In an interview following the NYC Marathon (where she ran a 2:41:01 in her debut at the distance) with Triathlete.com back on Nov. 8, Jorgensen laid out what the perfect year from that point would look like: “I get pregnant right now, then have a baby, and get right back into training. I think that would be a perfect year.”

Following the announcement, the couple hopped on Facebook Live for 10 minutes to answer questions from her fans. “My target race to come back to will be totally dependent on how I feel post-baby,” she said in response to a fan’s question about her racing plans. “I’m going to try to workout as soon as possible. I’d love to workout the next day! But that will probably be difficult. So, as quickly as possible after that baby is born!” She goes on to say that defending her gold medal at the 2020 Olympics is her long-term goal. Watch their complete Facebook Live session here

Congrats Gwen and Patrick!

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Quick Set Friday: Short-Course Intervals http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/training/quick-set-friday-short-course-intervals_55472 Fri, 20 Jan 2017 15:30:38 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=55472 Take a new workout to the pool this weekend with this set from swimming superstar Sara McLarty.

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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.

A:
500 choice warm up
8×75 @ 1:20 (kick/drill/swim by 25)
4×250 swim @ 3:30 (descend 1-4)
50 easy recovery
4×50 pull @ :50 (build each 50)
7×150 pull (odds: FAST @ 1:55, evens: cruise @ 2:15)
50 easy recovery
400 IM (kick/drill/swim/freestyle by 25)
6×125 IM @ 2:10 (free/fly/back/breast/free by 25)
200 cool down
*4800 Total*

RELATED – Ask Coach Sara: Remaining Calm In The Open Water

B:
500 choice warm up
6×75 @ 1:45 (kick/drill/swim by 25)
4×200 swim @ 3:40 (descend time 1-4)
50 easy recovery
4×50 pull @ :60 (build each 50)
4×150 pull @ 3:30 (descend time 1-4)
50 easy recovery
300 (kick/drill/swim by 25)
6×75 @ 1:30 (free/non-free/free by 25)
200 cool down
*3600 Total*

RELATED – Ask Coach Sara: Battling Foot Cramps

C:
400 choice warm up
6×75 w/:15 seconds rest (kick/drill/swim by 25)
3×150 swim w/:20 rest (descend time 1-3)
4×50 pull w/:15 rest (build each 50)
3×150 pull w/:20 rest (descend time 1-3)
300 (kick/drill/swim by 25)
4×75 w/:30 rest (free/non-free/free by 25)
100 cool down
*2600 Total*

More Quick Set Friday workouts.

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Don’t Play The Nutritional Numbers Game http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/nutrition/dont-play-the-nutritional-numbers-game_71817 Thu, 19 Jan 2017 19:46:39 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=71817 The more vitamins and minerals you eat, the less you will have to understand about nutrition. Endurance athletes are driven by numbers. In racing, a […]

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The more vitamins and minerals you eat, the less you will have to understand about nutrition.

Endurance athletes are driven by numbers. In racing, a second or two can make the difference between placing in your age group or walking home empty handed. In training, calculating split times, lactate threshold values and recovery times are critical elements to improving your fitness. To be a successful athlete, numbers are a big part of the equation—and most often the part that is over-appreciated.

A stopwatch requires power to measure time, but the value of its reading is only as good as the body’s ability to make it happen. As a result, nutrition is no less a culprit, perhaps even more, of the numbers game then splits. Where the focus of those numbers are placed, however, can have a huge impact on one’s overall performance.

Unfortunately, the weight of attention for the majority of society is almost exclusively placed upon calories, and the athlete is no exception. Sports nutrition is laden with formulas to help determine performance, but the daily diet of athletes is driven by calories, or caloric consumption, of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Subsequently, the numbers, quantities and appearance of vitamins and minerals on the athlete’s plate have been marginalized and need resurgence in foundational nutrition. Without them, one’s macronutrients cannot be effectively utilized and converted into energy, which limits the body’s ability to perform and recover.

Just because you’re fit doesn’t mean you’re healthy, or vice versa. Knowing the difference between the two will go a long way to a sustainable lifestyle. Racing or recreational running doesn’t intrinsically make one healthy.

Athletes require more diligence in regard to their nutritional program as a result of the physical and emotional stresses placed upon the body. Its important to understand that nutrition is more then just carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and that fueling is not just about what you eat while training and racing. These three elements are critical, but it’s vitamins and minerals that allow for their conversion into a useable form of energy for the body. A deficiency in the supporting structures to one’s overall nutrition program can lead to diminished energy production, inefficient repair of tissues and cells, excessive weight and a depressed immune system—all of which contribute to sub-optimal performance. If you’ve experienced a plateau in your training, are overweight or have recurring injuries, an assessment of your micronutrients would be a good place to start.

Everything Needs Support

Unfortunately, there are no guidelines for athletes relative to micronutrient intake, but many vitamins and minerals operate in unknown ways by interacting with other nutrients in the body. Here are just a few that have more particular importance for runners.

 B-vitamins (1, 2, 6, 12) are critical for the breakdown of carbohydrates and proteins in the body and aid in the production of hemoglobin in red blood cell formation that helps transport oxygen to the body. These nutrients also help with the repair of damaged cells due to the metabolic tax created from training and racing. This helps you prevent and recover from injury and intense workouts.

— Vitamin C and E are antioxidants that help build, protect and repair the immune system, aid in the production of collagen (which helps connect muscle and bone as well as the uptake of iron) and is associated with the presence of Vitamin B for the transport of oxygen.

— Vitamin D plays a major role in bone support and structure. It needs calcium in the body to effectively perform this role.

— Pantothenic Acid and Biotin are also major players in the breakdown of macronutrients and the subsequent production of energy.

— Potassium and Sodium are key electrolytes that help balance fluid absorption and distribution. In addition to potassium and sodium, there are another dozen or so electrolytes that keep an athletic body functioning properly.

Avoid Calories and Numbers

Calories are an elusive concept of what food really is. The more you try to understand them the less you will know about how to nourish yourself. Eating a diverse diet based in whole foods is far more important than the numbers on a label. Athletes need more food then the average sedentary individual, but how many athletes are actually doing the appropriate math? The common breakdown of the athlete’s diet is generally seen as 50-55 percent carbohydrates, 20-25 percent protein and 10-15 percent fats, leaving seemingly little room for anything else.

“Sports” nutrition is for the competitive athlete looking for finite results and top performances. For the rest of us, nutrition is about staying healthy, participating in the events we enjoy and being competitive at a level that lets us get us to work on Monday. Those efforts become hampered when diets become measured by numbers, caloric intake crests over 3,000 and there are is co-efficient for vitamins and minerals in the formulas available. A crucial part of nutrition is left to the general recommendations given to all of society known as RDA (Recommended Daily allowance). This is defined by the amount of intake for 97 percent of the population that does not show signs of deficiency. This is a slim line of health for anyone, especially for those who require more of their bodies. Plus, all of these numbers are listed on labels. When was the last time your apple or broccoli came with one?

Focus on the Foundation

The point of foundation nutrition is not to begin to calculate one’s vitamins and mineral intake, but rather to shift the focus away from the macro elements of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. To ensure your body is getting the levels of vitamins and minerals necessary one must focus on what they eat on a daily basis. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are easy to see but trying to isolate and recognize the micronutrients would be a maddening exercise. Make sure your diet contains a variety of local and seasonal vegetables from the land and the sea; dark, leafy greens; whole, sprouted grains; legumes, grassfed meats, and fresh fruits. The more vitamins and minerals you eat the less you will have to understand about nutrition.

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Want To Establish A Baseline Stroke Count? Use This Workout http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/training/swim-speed-workout-establishing-a-baseline-stroke-count_70965 Thu, 19 Jan 2017 19:40:52 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=70965 Grab a friend and use this session to establish a baseline stroke count and stroke rate, build strength and work on the feel for the water.

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Swim Speed Workouts is a deck of waterproof cards of workouts, drills and dryland exercises that are carefully designed to develop a fast freestyle technique. We’ll be featuring a few workouts from the deck over the next few weeks.

Swim Speed Workouts For Swimmers And Triathletes: Week 1, Workout 1
Purpose: Establish a baseline stroke count and stroke rate, build strength and work on the feel for the water.

Warm-Up

400 straight-through @ 1:00 rest 60–65% effort
200 free / 50 kick / 100 free / 50 kick
The 50 kicks can be with or without a board.

10 × 25 pull with buoy @ 0:30, 0:40, 0:50, or 1:00 (Choose interval for 5-10 sec rest.)
Odds: Easy 60–65%
Evens: Build to 90%

100 Easy 60–65%

Main Set

12 × 50 free @ 0:50, 1:00, 1:15, or 1:30 (Choose interval for 15-30 sec rest.)

4 rounds:
50 easy 60–65% / 50 moderate 70–75% / 50 fast 90–95%

R1 R2 R3 R4
Easy ______ ______ ______ ______
Mod. ______ ______ ______ ______
Fast ______ ______ ______ ______

Rounds 1, 3: Have a friend or coach take your stroke rate.
Rounds 2, 4: Count your strokes.

Download the PDF version of this workout here.

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30-Minute Endurance-Focused Strength Routine http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/training/30-minute-endurance-focused-strength-routine_297802 Thu, 19 Jan 2017 19:16:20 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=297802 This strength session is focused on endurance, with lower intensity exercises and short rest.

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Try it at home or the gym.

This strength routine from San Diego’s Rehab United co-owner Bryan Hill is focused on endurance, with lower intensity exercises and short rest. Most exercises have the option of being multi-directional to work in all planes of motion, since we triathletes are only accustomed to moving in one direction: forward!

Do three rounds of the following six exercises. Do each exercise continuously for one minute followed by 30 seconds of rest. Rest for two minutes between sets.

 

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Use The Dark Of Winter To Become A Tougher Athlete http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/training/use-dark-winter-become-tougher-athlete_297819 Thu, 19 Jan 2017 17:26:51 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=297819 Training in the dark of winter can make you a more resilient athlete. Here's how.

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Training in the dark of winter can make you a tougher, more resilient athlete. Here’s how.

Running or riding in the dark (and cold, and wet) can sometimes feel like an exercise in sadism. But there may be huge incentives for you to buck up and face the void, says Pat Davidson, Ph.D., a New York City-based exercise physiologist. He points to research conducted at the University of North Texas that found three different markers of endurance tend to be higher at night—which can come as early as 3:43 p.m. for athletes in Maine—so you may be able to go faster and farther with less effort, improving your overall fitness.

“You’re also not dealing with the sun,” he says, “which means you’re not spending more energy cooling yourself, and losing as much water.” That could allow you to go harder for longer, which ultimately drives the fitness you build, Davidson says.

But when you go out, you’ll face three specific psychological walls that’ll block you from putting rubber to road. Here’s how you can get over them so that, come spring, you’ll be a fitter, faster athlete while your competition is playing catch-up.

You’ll lack motivation

Let’s face the obvious. “Training outside at night in winter can be very demotivating for people,” says Kristen Dieffenbach, Ph.D., who is an associate professor at West Virginia University and a master coach with the Peaks Coaching Group. Blame your programming—humans are disposed to hibernate inside in winter and avoid harsh elements, Dieffenbach says.

Fix it. Find one or two people to train with, which will boost your motivation and likelihood to train. “Set a rule that you cannot cancel on the other person within an hour or two of going out,” Dieffenbach says. If you prefer being a lone wolf, get involved in an online triathlon training thread on a site such as Reddit. People who interact with training peers online are more likely to stick to their program, according to scientists at the University of Pennsylvania.

You’ll be afraid

We evolved to be anxious about that which we cannot see, says Mitch Abrams, Psy.D., a New Jersey-based sports psychologist. “The reality is there is more danger training at night,” he says. The SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research found that night cycling is more dangerous, for example, but couldn’t pinpoint exactly why as researchers didn’t have access to information on bike lights—just on overall crash frequency.

Face it. With that elevated danger comes opportunity. “Training in more averse situations might increase your confidence and competence,” says Abrams. That makes you a mentally tougher athlete, he says, potentially helping you perform at your peak when the race-day situation isn’t optimal, whether it’s due to weather or a bad night’s sleep. So face your fear head on, but don’t be careless. Go out with a partner, ditch your headphones, invest in a good set of reflectors and visibility lights (the more the better). Or take your run or ride off the road altogether. Hit a local, well-groomed rail trail while wearing a good headlamp.

You can’t zone out

Without the sun illuminating your path, you have to be hyper-focused, mindful and totally present, says Dieffenbach. This takes your mind away from thoughts like “what should I have for dinner?” or “what’s on TV tonight?” to the task at hand: running or riding.

Embrace it. According to a recent study in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, athletes who practice mindfulness are better able to read their body signals and adapt to stress, which may increase performance, “You’re not distracted, so you’ll be making sure you’re on pace or hitting your intervals,” says Dieffenbach.

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Iran’s First Female Triathlete Is Breaking Down Barriers http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/lifestyle/irans-first-female-triathlete-breaking-barriers_297804 Wed, 18 Jan 2017 20:07:10 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=297804 Shirin Gerami proves it’s courage—not clothing—that makes the triathlete.

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Shirin Gerami triathlete proves it’s courage—not clothing—that makes the triathlete.

It was long after midnight when Shirin Gerami sat in London’s Hyde Park pondering her fate. In just a few hours, the women set to compete in the 2013 ITU Age Group World Championship would be plunging into the park’s Serpentine River. She hoped with all her being she would be among them. Gerami, an Iranian, had spent the past several months petitioning her country’s sports ministry to allow her to compete in the race, and still there was no decision. Time was running out, and the fact that no Iranian woman had ever been allowed to formally represent Iran in a triathlon gave her little hope.

“Perhaps there is a limit to dreaming,” she recalls thinking the very moment the phone in her pocket began to buzz. It was the call she’d been anticipating. If Gerami pledged to respect traditional Islamic dress requirements—and if ITU officials agreed to set up a tent so she could change her clothes in full privacy after the swim—she could participate.

Just hours later, in full Islamic dress with her head, arms and legs covered, Gerami swam 750 meters, biked 40K and ran 10K. She was second to last, but the real measure of her accomplishment was the resounding message to Iranian women: “Clothing should not define who you are and what is and isn’t possible,” she says.

Post-race, Iran president Hassan Rouhani tweeted, “Shirin Gerami, 1st female triathlete to have participated in world championship wearing Iran’s colors. #GenderEquality.”

Encouraging words, no doubt, but ever since she decided to seek permission to represent Iran, her friends, family and government had all told her the same thing: “I shouldn’t even try,” says Gerami, who was introduced to the sport five years ago, when she joined a triathlon club during her final year of college in the UK. (Her prior athletic experience was “non-existent” but she was completely intrigued by the physical challenge.) In addition to having to navigate a stringent cultural code, there were significant logistical hurdles to overcome, such as finding training support, which initially came from British coaches Terence Watson and Philip Hatzis, and appropriate training attire.

“By choosing to represent Iran in triathlons, I chose to respect the country’s rules and regulations,” explains Gerami, 27. “I realized that for women who wish or need to participate in sports wearing fully covering clothes, appropriate sportswear barely exists.”

She set off on “a mission” to find clothing that wouldn’t hinder performance too much but would still be deemed acceptable by her country’s sports ministry, while also adhering to the rules of the sport’s various federations. A sportswear company in Tehran called Merooj Sports helped with her London race apparel, and she has since collaborated with Thread Design in the UK, District 3 in Montreal, and Ali’i Sports in California to design apparel that will work for her and her cultural code.

Most recently, Gerami teamed up with ROKA to create clothing for her latest challenge: the 2016 Ironman World Championship, where she competed as an Ironman ambassador (she finished in 13:11:07). “By racing Kona—one of the toughest sporting challenges in the world notorious for its hot and humid weather conditions—fully covered I hope to prove that clothes are not a barrier to sport participation,” she says.

To prep for Kona, Gerami spent a few weeks in Boulder, where she trained with coach and former pro Michael Lovato in an environment that she says “has helped me grow in a way that I could not have imagined.” For the past couple of years, she has also counted Ironman icon Paula Newby-Fraser as one of her mentors.

“It is my dream that one day, any girl, regardless of where she lives, her background or culture, can also have access to appropriate training environments, knowledge and inspiring role models,” Gerami says.

No doubt, future generations of female Iranian triathletes will be able to walk through a door that Gerami single-handedly wedged open.

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Make These Sweet Potato Sausage Waffle Bites For On-The-Go Fuel http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/nutrition/recipe-sweet-potato-sausage-waffle-bites_297794 Wed, 18 Jan 2017 18:06:01 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=297794 My chest freezer is stuffed with so many different flours you’d think that I was working in a test kitchen for Martha Stewart. The reality […]

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My chest freezer is stuffed with so many different flours you’d think that I was working in a test kitchen for Martha Stewart. The reality is I love the different flavor nuances and nutritional perks that everything from spelt flour to teff flour to rye flour lends to pancakes, muffins, cookies and of course DIY fuel.

paleoflourI recently got my hands on one of the newest products on the market—Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Flour. It’s basically a caveman worthy blend of almond flour, arrowroot starch, organic coconut flour and tapioca flour. An easy path to grain-free baked goods.

I’m definitely not a member of the paleo crowd (love my oatmeal too much!), but I appreciate the nutritional benefits of this newfangled flour blend which includes higher amounts of protein and fiber than many other types of flour like whole wheat. I’ve been using almond flour for some time now as its nutty flavor adds toothsome appeal to items like these waffle bites.

Made with sweet potato, maple syrup and sausage, these have an enticing sweet and savory personality that can make it easy to leave the packaged energy bars at home. Not as big as your typical waffle, they are easily wrapped up and taken along with you when luxuriating in outdoor pursuits. I’m also eating them as a pre-workout nibble. Heck, heat a few up, douse in maple syrup and call it breakfast.

Sweet Potato Sausage Waffle Bites

1 cup peeled and cubed sweet potato
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup BRM Paleo Baking Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 pound cooked sausage, finely chopped

Place sweet potato cubes and 1 tablespoon water in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in plastic to allow for venting. Microwave on high for 6 minutes, or until potato is fork tender. You can also steam the sweet potato in a steamer basket on a stovetop.

Place eggs, milk, maple syrup and cooked sweet potato in a blender container and blend until smooth. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger powder. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and combine gently. Fold in sausage. Let batter rest 15 minutes so the flour can soak up some of the liquid.

Grease a waffle iron and heat according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place 2 heaping tablespoons batter for each waffle into the waffle iron and cook until set, about 2 minutes. Place cooked waffles on a metal rack to cool. Repeat with remaining batter. You should get about 12 small waffles.

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Three Swim Strength Training Exercises http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/training/swim-strength-training-exercises_72771 Wed, 18 Jan 2017 12:00:58 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=72771 Functional exercises to strengthen your stroke this season.

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swimworkouts1Functional exercises to strengthen your stroke this season.

Add these functional exercises to your pre-season routine to build stroke power and a strong core. Focus on good technique and proper body position. If you can only do two reps with perfect form, take a 20–30-second break, then try two more.

Plank Row

Grab a dumbbell in each hand in a plank position. Keep knees or feet hip-width apart for balance and stability. Lean body weight onto left arm and lift the right dumbbell off the floor. Use a “row” motion to pull dumbbell up to the side of your body. Do not rotate torso; keep chest facing the floor. Slowly lower dumbbell, transfer body weight, and repeat with the left arm.

Beginner: Legs bent, balance on knees

Advanced: Legs straight,
balance on toes

Reps: 10 rows each arm. Adjust weights as necessary to complete set with proper form

See a video demonstration of this exercise.

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You’ll Love This Hotel for Triathletes http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/lifestyle/youll-love-hotel-triathletes_297775 Tue, 17 Jan 2017 23:02:21 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=297775 Palm Springs’ Monkey Tree Hotel caters to active travelers who see vacation as an opportunity to pack in the miles.

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Palm Springs’ Monkey Tree Hotel caters to active travelers who see vacation as an opportunity to pack in the miles.

While most of the country is sitting under a blanket of snow, Palm Springs, Calif., remains a sunny oasis that is perfect for winter training. The year-old Monkey Tree Hotel caters to those who consider “vacation” and “training camp” to be synonymous, with athlete-friendly amenities and easy access to bike-friendly roads and running trails.

Owners Gary and Kathy Friedle bought the property—which was designed by renowned architect Albert Frey, and was once a nudist resort(!)—in November 2015 and revamped it into a vacation spot that both athletes and non-athletes would appreciate. The couple moved from New York City, where Kathy worked as an architect and Gary spent 25 years on Wall Street while simultaneously training for ultramarathons.

They left their former lives and embraced their new Southern California surroundings, combining their passions and skills to open the boutique hotel in early 2016. Kathy spent weeks going to auctions to find vintage furniture and artwork to decorate the 16 rooms, each of which has its own mid-century modern theme and color palette. Gary was excited to create a place where athletes could train on vacation, adding in features like a Scandinavian spa (hot tub, cold tub, sauna) for recovery, and the option to order a protein shake at the daily included-breakfast.

For athletes, the beauty continues in the details: Rooms come equipped with bike racks and cycling Palm Springs books; there’s a swim tether setup at a small, private pool; guests can receive a complimentary gym pass; and requests for a gluten-free or vegan breakfast are welcomed. (Tip: If you want route recommendations, Gary will happily point you in the right direction for local trails and loops.)

Plus, for triathletes who thrive on the balance of train hard/play hard, the Greater Palm Springs area boasts a thriving food and drink scene—we recommend a cocktail at The Parker, ACE Hotel, or speakeasy Seymour’s for a uniquely Palm Springs experience.

Rooms start at $189 and up, depending on time of week.

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Eating Healthy With An Unconventional Sleep Schedule http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/nutrition/eating-healthy-with-an-unconventional-sleep-schedule_127244 Tue, 17 Jan 2017 21:51:42 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=127244 Shift work or night work can be hugely stressful and can have major ramifications for sleep quality and health status.

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Shift work or night work can be hugely stressful—not only can it disrupt social and family life, and I am sure triathlon training plans and goals, but it can have major ramifications for sleep quality and health status.

Still, you can take control and be healthy; it might just take a little extra planning, willpower and perhaps accepting some unconventional meals at unconventional times.

RELATED: Is Your Sleep Position Contributing To Your Injuries?

Here’s what you can do:

Take food with you to work. You can prepare something healthy beforehand, and be better able to resist the high fat, high sugar temptations around you. Great options might be soup in a thermos, sandwiches and pita wraps, salads packed with dressing on the side (nobody wants to eat soggy leaves), chopped fruit and raw vegetables. Invest in a small cooler bag; this will not only keep food appetizing but fresh, too. Non-refrigerated healthy options are raw nuts, rice cakes, whole grain crackers, long-life flavored milk, sports/granola bars (just remember to check labels; some granola bars are incredibly high in sugar or fat). Foods containing fiber, protein and calcium may also increase satiety and help to keep you alert.

Maintain a stable blood sugar level. Low glycemic index foods can help you achieve this. Incorporate foods such as whole grain bread, oatmeal, nuts and seeds and apples. High sugar and refined snacks might seem like the perfect choice for your fatigue-fogged brain at 2 a.m., but they will leave you feeling sluggish and unsatisfied. Keep your night time meals lean and light; heavy, rich, sugary, fatty foods are more likely to cause digestive problems and also lead to poor quality sleep when you do eventually get to rest.

Keep a food log. Record what you eat for several days to gain a big picture of when and what you are eating. This log will be useful in helping you recognize that sometimes you feel hungry not because you are lacking in fuel or nutrients but because of other factors: boredom, fatigue, stress or an out-of-kilter circadian rhythm.

RELATED: Stay On Track With A Food Log

Keep your training regimen in place. Even when you are tired, small amounts of exercise (as little as 10- to 15-minute bursts) can be beneficial in reducing stress, resetting or maintaining the circadian clock and keeping food cravings at bay, and yes, even maintaining fitness.

Be careful in your consumption of coffee and other stimulants. Drinking in excess during the night will further disrupt any sleep you might get later on. Also consider any medications you are taking and how they might also disrupt your appetite (discuss this with your doctor).

When you do get to sleep, then sleep. Minimize distractions. Sleep in a dark room, turn your phone/TV/radio/computer off, and if possible, shut the door on family, friends, roommates or anyone else who wants to disturb a daytime sleeper.

RELATED: Foods To Help You Get A Better Night Sleep

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This Simple Stand Will Become A Staple In Your Pain Cave http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/gear-tech/simple-stand-will-become-staple-pain-cave_297761 Tue, 17 Jan 2017 20:46:44 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=297761 The Podium aims to make your indoor training space more usable.

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Velonews.com’s Dan Cavallari reviews The Podium, a stand that aims to make your indoor training space more usable.

The oblong shape allows for several configurations of your ride essentials.Photo: Dan Cavallari | VeloNews.com
The oblong shape allows for several configurations of your ride essentials. Photo: Dan Cavallari | VeloNews.com

I’ve set up a trainer in everything from a massive basement to a closet. It’s never fun or easy to set up a usable space to accommodate your dripping sweat and boredom, but Paceline Designs wants to solve that (well, at least the usable space part). The Podium is a simple height-adjustable (32 to 52 inches) stand that you place at the front of your bike so you can watch a movie on your laptop or do laps around Zwift Island. It takes up less than two square feet of space, and it’s a well thought-out stand that, while not perfect, has become a staple of my indoor suffering—er, riding.

Out of the box, setup took a grand total of 10 minutes with the included Allen key. The base has a cutout to accommodate your front wheel block, thus allowing you to place the tabletop closer to your handlebars. The tabletop itself is plenty sturdy, and Paceline says you can put up to a 27-inch monitor on it. You can, but we wouldn’t recommend it. The stand is stable enough, but it’s not large, so someone walking by your training station could easily knock it over. We stuck with just a laptop.

There’s also a curious slot that runs across the front of the tabletop. It’s there to help keep your tablet or phone upright, but it only works if said devices are in a case. If you stick your bare phone in there, it just falls over. As it is, this feature seems extraneous.

The power strip underneath the tabletop is great for plugging in your laptop and smart trainer. The USB connections are ideal for your phone or other USB devices. Photo: Dan Cavallari | VeloNews.com
The power strip underneath the tabletop is great for plugging in your laptop and smart trainer. The USB connections are ideal for your phone or other USB devices. Photo: Dan Cavallari | VeloNews.com

The real meat and potatoes of the Podium lies beneath: a power strip underneath the tabletop accommodates two USB devices and two North American-style plug-ins. That gets all the cables out of your way, and you can charge your devices as you ride. It’s a fantastic feature that makes the Podium stand out. The plug for the power strip runs down through the stand’s leg and out a hole at the bottom to keep things neat and clean. It would have been nice to have a longer plug cable, though. Since it runs all the way down the leg, you lose a lot of the plug’s length to that routing. It’s a minor inconvenience that can be solved with an extension cord.

If you’re looking for a budget solution, though, the Paceline isn’t it. It’s pricey at $259. That price includes two pegs that screw in underneath the tabletop for easy stowage of your sweat-soaked towel or warm-up hoodie. You could certainly just put a $10 stool from Target next to your trainer for your water bottle and phone, but if you’re looking for a small-space solution that clearly and easily displays your laptop or other screen, The Podium is a good choice. It’s especially nice if you’re the kind to answer emails as you ride, but man, that’s really doubling up on the torture, isn’t it?

$259, Pacelinedesigns.com

For more photos visit Velonews.com.

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One-Hour Workout: Aerobic Swim With High-Intensity Bursts http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/training/one-hour-workout-aerobic-swim-high-intensity-bursts_297758 Tue, 17 Jan 2017 17:57:32 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=297758 This workout is appropriate for athletes training for sprint- or Olympic-distance triathlons and is ideal for the base-to-build phase of your annual plan.

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

This week’s swim workout from comes from USAT certified coach Michael Gallagher, a coach and owner of Oregon-based Rogue Tri Performance.

This workout is appropriate for athletes training for sprint- or Olympic-distance triathlons and is ideal for the base-to-build phase of your annual plan.

“It incorporates aerobic endurance and includes short high-intensity bursts to simulate race pace, passing and getting the athlete use to consistently higher intensities as his or her race is approaching,” Gallagher explains. “The goal of this workout is to slowly increase the yards/meters the athletes will swim at a higher intensity so when the build phase is over the athlete is doing majority of their long swims at or slightly below race pace.”

Warm-up:
200 Swim (focus on extension and technique as this is not about speed)
200 Kick
200 Pull (Focus on EVF and core rotation, do not apply a lot of force as you are still warming up.)

Drills:
3×50 One arm (25m each arm)

Main Set:
1×600
1×500
1×400
1×300
(5-10 sec rest or the athletes pace per 100 in practice)

The last 25 of each 100 should be at or above race pace but still keeping your form. This is not all out.

Keep the same stroke count throughout the workout if possible. We want to be efficient without expending too much energy.

Focus on getting into a rhythm with your stroke and rotation.

Cool-down:
1×200 swim
1×150 kick

Total = 3000

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Beginner’s Luck: The Most Embarrassing Thing About Triathlon (And How to Overcome It) http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/lifestyle/beginners-luck-embarrassing-thing-triathlon-overcome_297752 Mon, 16 Jan 2017 21:02:24 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=297752 "Around the time that I developed a small smidgen of mental confidence about the whole first triathlon thing, I learned of the appropriate racing 'outfit.'"

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Editors’ note: Meredith Atwood will now be sharing her “Beginner’s Luck” column every week on Triathlete.com. Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @Triathletemag and with Meredith at @Swimbikemom.

I decided to become a triathlete in 2010 without a single stitch of swim, bike or run prowess. No big deal, I thought, I can learn this stuff, right? Of course, I underestimated the crazy that I was getting myself into, but I was determined to learn how to swim more than 25 meters without dying, do a single spin class without needing a tailbone replacement and run for more than eight minutes without bruising the bottoms of my feet. I had a long way to go in order to throw those things into a race, but I was determined. I survived the low-speed tipovers on my bike at red lights; I learned that using the biggest gear on my bike to climb a giant hill was a bad idea. I learned slowly how to breathe out of both armpits when swimming (okay, so maybe you don’t breathe out of your pits, but it sorta appears that way). I only slapped myself in the forehead while putting on my swim cap one or two times per week, and fell whilst running every fourth or fifth run. I was headed straight for the pros. Of course, I wasn’t, but Hot dog, I was ready to race!

Around the time that I developed a small smidgen of mental confidence about the whole first triathlon thing, I learned of the appropriate racing “outfit,” the triathlon racing kit. Also known as tiny, stretchy fabric that you swim, bike AND run—the same outfit you wear for all three. What?

And I almost quit the sport entirely altogether.

Now, some background on me. I am no stranger to unflattering stretchy fabrics. I experienced the same dread in 1994 when I was presented with my first Olympic-style weightlifting competition outfit. At the time, people did not believe in covering legs and thought a deep squat was a perfect canvas for a swimsuit-style bottom. (I died.) I was fourteen years old, presented with a bathing suit and essentially told, “Go grunt and lift heavy things, and don’t worry about what you look like or how that unflattering weightlifting belt squishes your middle section.” (I died.)

So upon learning of the stretchy fabric demon had reappeared to meet me again, decades later, I thought, “Oh come ON!” After all, I was now a thirty-something mom of two kids, substantially overweight and seriously out of shape. I just prayed that the stretchy suits covered my thighs. (Thankfully, it did.)

Still, I was horror-stricken. How in the world was I going to do this?

Then I came something across something from the book Slow Fat Triathlete that went something like this: Never worry about what you look like when you are doing a triathlon. Essentially, if we care about what we look like during the race (or training) we allow negative thoughts in our heads right from the outset! We are focusing on what our body looks like instead of the amazing things the body can do.

From a secondary point, we all look ridiculous when we are soggy-wet coming out of the water and heading out on the bike, no matter what we are wearing or what size we are.

Finally, a sense of humor is paramount to this sport. If you can’t laugh at all the ridiculous ways we get across a finish line, then triathlon is going to be a tough road to follow—no matter what we stretchy things we are wearing.

Meredith Atwood is a wife, mom, attorney, Ironman, coach and author of Triathlon for the Every Woman. She lives in Atlanta and blogs at SwimBikeMom.com. Find “Beginner’s Luck” every Monday on Triathlete.com.

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Photos: 2017 Ironman 70.3 Pucón http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/ironman/photos-2017-ironman-70-3-pucon_297692 Mon, 16 Jan 2017 13:12:26 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=297692 Lionel Sanders and Barbara Riveros claimed the victories at the beautiful Ironman 70.3 Pucón.

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Photos: Wagner Araujo

Two months after breaking the record for fastest Ironman finish, Canadian Lionel Sanders showcased his ability to also dominate at the 70.3 distance at Sunday’s Ironman 70.3 Pucón by dominating with a 28:20 swim, a 2:09:23 bike and a 1:16:37 half-marathon to take the victory in 4:00:07. Sanders says he’ll pass on trying to qualify for this year’s Kona race and will instead aim for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship victory in Chattanooga, Tenn. in September. Safe to say his 70.3-focused season is off to a strong start.

Behind the fast riding and running Canadian Chile’s Felipe Barraza crossed the line in second at 4:06:04, finishing just ahead Argentina’s Luciano Taccone at 4:06:09.

On the women’s side, Chile’s Barbara Riveros claimed the victory in 4:32:09, just ahead of American Alicia Kaye in second 4:32:39. American Haley Chura rounded out the podium in third (4:42:43).

2017 Ironman 70.3 Pucón
Pucón, Chile – Jan. 15, 2017
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run

Men
1. Lionel Sanders (CAN) 4:00:07
2. Felipe Barraza (CHI) 4:06:04
3. Luciano Taccone (ARG) 4:06:09

Women
1. Barbara Riveros (CHI) 4:32:09
2. Alicia Kaye (USA) 4:32:39
3. Haley Chura (USA) 4:42:43

The race experienced timing issues. When available, results will be here.

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Video: An Exercise To Increase Shoulder Strength http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/training/monday-minute-scapular-wall-slide_4419 Mon, 16 Jan 2017 12:29:00 +0000 http://running.competitor.com/2011/09/videos/monday-minute-scapular-wall-slide_5479 Increase shoulder strength, and improve posture and running efficiency with this excellent exercise!

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In this video we show you how to increase shoulder strength and, in turn, improve posture and running efficiency. The scapular wall slide is easy to do anywhere (where there’s a wall, of course!) and can be effectively added to any strengthening routine.

RELATED: Shoulder Exercises For A Stronger Swim

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Spending Time On The Trainer? Do These Strength And Flexibility Exercises http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/training/spending-time-trainer-strength-flexibility-exercises_297558 Fri, 13 Jan 2017 23:40:59 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=297558 Offset the imbalances and weaknesses caused by indoor cycling with these 10 exercises.

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Offset the imbalances and weaknesses caused by indoor cycling with these 10 exercises. 

Indoor cycling workouts are inevitable for most cyclists living in cold weather climates. While some will brave the cold weather daily, vowing to never train indoors, others will seek the benefits indoor cycling brings. Indoor trainer or roller workouts are great, allowing you to execute a workout precisely. At the same time, training indoors can lead to several issues, such as overuse and underuse of certain sport-specific muscles. This can lead to tight areas and imbalances. Combining certain strength and flexibility exercises off the bike will help prevent these issues from arising and make the indoor training season a productive one.

While indoor cycling has its advantages, it is important to incorporate some outdoor riding, or other activities such as hiking or running, through the winter months. The drawbacks to training indoors include the lack of side to side movement, pedaling in a fixed position, and the lack of position shift when climbing a hill. When riding outside, you are pulling on the handlebars, engaging your core and shifting your hips with the turns and obstacles. These specific movements are hard to replicate indoors. So, a bike ride on a cold snowy day may not be as focused on specific training zones as an indoor trainer ride will be, but the benefits from the balance and shift in movement on the bike will outweigh the lack of focus on intensity.

The lack of upper body and core engagement also places more emphasis on your primary cycling muscles. Your Primary muscles used for cycling>prime movers for cycling include your quadriceps, hamstrings and glute muscles. The greater demand on the prime movers means you will work those muscles slightly harder indoors compared to the same effort outside. This commonly leads to tight hamstrings, quads, hips and hip flexors, which then leads to other issues such as tightness around the knees and lower back.

Each of the exercises below targets the imbalances that can occur from indoor cycling. These exercises can be added to any training program, as long as you are following proper repetitions and sets for your training focus, and ability.

Related from Trainingpeaks.com: Advanced Strength Training For Endurance Athletes

Strength & Flexibility Exercises

There are many core exercises and stretches that are beneficial though the indoor season. Planks, crunches, leg lifts and any exercise that requires core stability will benefit you. When training indoors, keep focused on stretching the areas that feel overworked and strengthening the areas that are underused. This will help get you get through the winter season, achieving the best fitness possible.

This article originally appeared on Trainingpeaks.com

About the Author
Mike Schultz brings more than 10 years of racing and training experience from national endurance and ultra endurance events, mountain bike stage races, and 24 hour solo cycling events. Mike is the head coach and founder of Highland Training. He is certified with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Personal Trainer and as a USA Cycling Certified Coach. Follow Mike on Twitter @Highland_Mike.

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Start Your Commitment To Swimming With This Test Set http://www.triathlete.com/2017/01/training/start-commitment-swimming-test-set_297549 Fri, 13 Jan 2017 19:38:57 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=297549 Whatever has you thinking about swimming this winter, this workout will help you commit.

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Maybe it’s the soft glow of pool lights or the early-morning pick-me-up. Whatever has you thinking about swimming this winter, this workout will help you commit. Try this test set on a date of your choosing and record your results in your training log. Then one month later, do the same set again and compare your times. Ideally, you’ll revel in the progress you’ve made by focusing on stroke technique, building swim-specific strength, and swimming consistently.

Get started

The test set is composed of two parts. The 100 or 200 time trial at the beginning will show if your overall speed in the water has improved. The set of 50s or 100s will show how your endurance has developed during the past month. The A set is based on intervals of 1:20–1:30 per 100. The B set is based on intervals of 1:50–2:00 per 100. The C set is 2,000–2,500 yards/ meters total and based on a rest interval.

A

Warm-up:
300 swim/200 pull/100 kick
6×50 on :55 (25 easy/25 fast)
4×100 on 1:40 (descend 1–4)
100 choice/easy

Test set:
200 (as fast as possible)
60 sec rest
10×100 on 1:30 (best average time)

Cool-down:
600 (50 kick/50 choice/50 swim)
8×75 on 1:10 (smooth)
200 easy

TOTAL: 4000

B

Warm-up:
300 swim/200 pull/100 kick
6×50 on 1:05 (25 easy/25 fast)
4×100 on 2:10 (descend 1–4)
100 choice/easy

Test set:
200 (as fast as possible)
60 sec rest
8×100 on 2:00 (best average time)

Cool-down:
300 (50 kick/50 choice/50 swim) • 6×75 on 1:30 (smooth)
200 easy

TOTAL: 3300

C

Warm-up:
300 swim/200 pull/100 kick
6×50 with 15 sec rest (25 easy/25 fast)
100 choice/easy

Test set:
100 (as fast as possible)
60 sec rest
10×50 on 1:30 (best average time)

Cool-down:
300 (50 kick/50 choice/50 swim)
4×75 with 20 sec rest (smooth)
100 easy

TOTAL: 2300

Did you improve? Let us know by tweeting us @TriathleteMag, #swimbetter

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