Triathlete.com http://www.triathlete.com The latest triathlon gear, training, nutrition, photos, races, movers, shakers, and more Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:55:47 +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 Quick Set Friday: Descend The Ladder http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/training/workouts/quick-set-friday-descend-ladder_300132 Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:36:32 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300132 Try this ladder set to improve pace control over a long swim and make sure you conserve enough energy to finish strong! Pace your effort […]

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Try this ladder set to improve pace control over a long swim and make sure you conserve enough energy to finish strong! Pace your effort early on by focusing on technique and stroke work. 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:
6×200 on 3:30
(150 swim/50 kick)

5×200 on 3:00
(pull, 50 strong/50 easy/repeat)

4×200 on 3:20
(100 IM/100 free)

3×200 on 3:00 (descend 1–3)

2×200 on 2:40 (fast)

1×200 cool-down

*Total: 4200*

B:
6×150 on 3:30
(100 swim/50 kick)

5×150 on 3:00 (pull, 50 strong/50 easy/50 strong)

4×150 on 3:10
(50 non-free/100 free)

3×150 on 2:45 (descend 1–3)

2×150 on 2:30 (fast)

1×200 cool-down

*Total: 3200*

C:
6×100 with 30 sec rest
(75 swim/25 kick)

5×100 with 20 sec rest
(pull, 50 strong/50 easy)

4×100 with 10 sec rest
(50 non-free/50 free)

3×100 with 20 sec rest (descend 1–3)

2×100 with 30 sec rest (fast)

1×200 cool-down

*Total: 2200*

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Mirinda Carfrae Announces Pregnancy http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/news/mirinda-carfrae-announces-pregnancy_300127 Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:17:05 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300127 Australia’s Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae revealed today that she and husband Timothy O’Donnell, also a professional triathlete, are expecting a baby—due on Aug. 10 of this […]

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Australia’s Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae revealed today that she and husband Timothy O’Donnell, also a professional triathlete, are expecting a baby—due on Aug. 10 of this year.

The three-time Ironman world champion has proven to be one of the top Ironman athletes to ever compete, finishing on the Kona podium in seven of her eight attempts at the race. She will sit out this year’s event for the first time since she first competed in 2009.

Carfrae used her social media channels to reveal the news, saying “Setting up for a different kind of transition, @tointri & I are thrilled to announce baby O’Donnell! Due August 10th 2017.”

A post shared by Rinny (@mirindacarfrae) on Mar 23, 2017 at 12:32pm PDT

Congratulations T.O. and Rinny!

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Triathlon Training Plan: Six Weeks to Step Up to 70.3 http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/training/triathlon-training-plan-six-weeks-step-70-3_300112 Thu, 23 Mar 2017 19:54:55 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300112 Ready to raise the bar and tackle a half-Ironman this season? Build into the prerequisites outlined here, and then use this challenging program to prepare for the […]

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Ready to raise the bar and tackle a half-Ironman this season? Build into the prerequisites outlined here, and then use this challenging program to prepare for the final six weeks before a long-course race.

About the Program

The goal of this program is to build volume while relying on your established fitness from racing shorter distanc- es. There is an emphasis on pace and rhythm at goal race pace (GRP), which, for a well-trained athlete, is Zone 3 in Ironman 70.3 racing. (Refer to the chart below for reference.) In addition, there are key sessions for maintaining your threshold fitness in Zone 4, which will help your Iron- man 70.3 performance.

Weeks 1–2 and 4–5 are challenging training weeks, with the goal of getting you used to the time and distance required for 70.3. Volume tapers off a bitattheendofWeek5and even more into Week 6, which is race week. Week 3 is an important recovery week.

Before starting this program, you should have completed the following in the past five weeks:
❚ Two 90-plus-minute runs
❚ Three two-plus-hour bikes
❚ Multiple 2,000-plus-yard swim workouts

Start the program after finishing a recovery week. Do your best to follow the timing of workouts within the week and order of workouts in each day to maximize the training effects. Adhere to the training zones so that you do not over-train, and so you can maximize key GRP and threshold sessions. Time ranges are suggested for certain sessions, allowing you to choose a duration that is not too great of a jump from what you have been doing prior to this schedule. If you need to alleviate your mid-week schedule, consider removing the Tuesday recovery run or Wednesday recovery ride. Listen to your body and back off if you feel significant soreness or specific pains.

Your Lactate Threshold

Understanding lactate threshold (LT) training is critical to improvement. Your LT determines how long and how hard you can exert near maximum effort. There’s a point when the body begins to produce lactate at rates that are too fast for it to metabolize—this is the LT.

To determine your LT, do a field test on the run when your legs feel rested. After a warm-up of 15 minutes, do a 30-minute time trial on flat terrain where you can hold your hardest uninterrupted effort for that duration. The track is a good option.

Pace out your time trial as evenly as possible. To determine your LT heart rate, hit the lap button on your heart rate monitor 10 minutes into the time trial. The average heart rate for the final 20 minutes is your LT heart rate.

This chart will help you understand the various training zones.

Key: ‘ = minutes | ” = seconds | Zn = heart rate zone | (brackets) = rest between intervals | GRP = goal race pace, for 70.3 | RPM = revolutions per minute, or cadence

Week 1

Monday
day off; or optional short recovery bike.

Tuesday
Run 30–45’, aerobic recovery. Zn 1, include 8×1’ cadence count. Shoot for 90+ counting right foot strike only.
Swim 2000–3000, speed. After a good warm-up including easy freestyle, drills, kicking and some 25 or 50 pick-ups, perform the main set: 2–3 x [12×50 (20”) alternate 2 sprint, 1 easy]. Swim 200 easy between sets.

Wednesday
Run one-mile repeats at GRP. Measured road, track or trail. After a 10’ warm-up, including 4×30” pick-ups (faster running), perform the main set: 8×1 mile (1’ walk), Zn 3. Run an even pace for the set. 10’ cool-down. Choose a route that is flat with minimal turns. Repeat the same stretch back and forth to equally quantify efforts, and take intermittent splits at a set spot as well to make sure you are on track with your pacing.
Bike 1:00–1:30, aerobic recovery. Flat terrain, Zn 1–2 at 90–95 RPM.

Thursday
Bike 1:50–1:55, GRP. After a 15–20’ warm-up, including 4×30” pick-ups (faster cycling), perform the main set: 3×25’, Zn 3 in TT position (10’ Zn 2-1) at 90–95 RPM. Run off TT #3.
Run 20’, transition run off the bike. Quick transition (less than 2’), then 15’ at the same average pace as yesterday’s interval run in Zn 3. 5’, Zn 1.

Friday
Swim 2500–3000, endurance. After a good warm-up, including easy freestyle, drills, kicking and some 25 or 50 pick-ups, perform the main set: 3–4 x 500 (30”) alternating 75 in Zn 3-4 (GRP or effort), 50 easy in Zn 2 with good form.

Saturday
Bike 3:00–3:30, endurance. Hilly base ride in Zn 1–3, mostly Zn 2.

Sunday
Run 1:30–2:00, endurance. Perform a flatter progression run, building by thirds Zn 1-2-3. This type of run is great for building back-half fitness. On race day you want to be strong in the closing 6 miles of the race. Visualize this on your run.
Swim 2500–3000, strength endurance. After a good warm-up, including easy freestyle, drills, kicking and some 25 or 50 pick-ups, perform the main set: 2–3 x [2×200 (20”), 4×100 (10”)] with pull buoy. Paddles are optional for up to 50% of the total interval volume.

Week 2

Monday
Day off; or optional short recovery bike.

Tuesday
Run 30–45’, aerobic recovery. Zn 1, include 8×1’ cadence count. Shoot for 90+ counting right foot strike only.
Swim 2000–3000, speed. Main set: 2–3 x [4×50 (20”) as 1 moderate, 2 sprint, 1 easy. 100 fast! 100 easy].

Wednesday
Run Two-mile repeats at grP. Measured road, track or trail. After a 15’ warm-up, including 4×30” pick-ups (faster running), perform the main set: 4×2 miles (1’ walk), Zn 3. Run an even pace for the set. 15’ cool-down.
Bike 1:00–1:30, aerobic recovery. Flat terrain, Zn 1–2 at 90–95 RPM.

Thursday
Bike 2:00–2:05, GRP. After a 15–20’ warm-up, including 4×30” pick-ups (faster cycling), perform the main set: 45–25–15’ Zn 3 in TT position (10’ Zn 2-1) at 90–95 RPM. Run off TT #3. P Pick a bike route that simulates terrain of your 70.3 course so that you may practice time-trialing in similar conditions.
Run 20’, transition run off the bike. Quick transition (less than 2’), then 10’ at the same average pace as yesterday’s interval run in Zn 3. 10’, Zn 1.

Friday
Swim 2500–3500, endurance. After a good warm-up, including easy freestyle, drills, kicking and some 25 or 50 pick-ups, perform the main set: 1000 build by 200 (1’). 3–5 x 300 (30”), alternating 50 easy in Zn 2 with good form, 50 in Zn 3 (GRP or effort), 50 fast in Zn 4.

Saturday
Bike 1:50–2:10, threshold. After a 15–20’ warm up, including 4×30” pick-ups (faster cycling), perform the main set: 6×5’ (3’), Zn 4. 20’ easy in Zn 1. 5×1’ (1’), Zn 5. 15–30’ cool-down.
Swim 2200–3200, strength endurance. After a good warm-up, including easy freestyle, drills, kicking and some 25 or 50 pick-ups, perform the main set: 2–3 x [400 (30”), 200 (20”), 4×50 (10”)] with pull buoy. Paddles are optional for up to 50% of the total interval volume. P A pull buoy and paddles are great strength-building tools and will prepare you for wetsuit swimming. Emphasize body rotation (as you would in a wetsuit) to work your lat muscles and not overwork your rotator cuff muscles in your shoulder. An alternate choice for this swim would be an open-water swim in your wetsuit, while emulating the listed main set.

Sunday
Run 1:15–1:40, endurance. Hilly base in Zn 1–3, mostly Zn 2. B 2:00–3:00, endurance. Flatter base in Zn 1–2.

Week 3: Recovery Week

Monday
Day off. Recover like a pro! This is when the healing happens that makes you stronger for next week. Get a massage, focus on eight-plus hours of sleep each night, and fill your additional spare time with relaxing activities such as reading and movie watching, rather than extra yard work.

Tuesday
Swim 1500–2000, recovery. Main set: 8–10 x 100 (20”) at a moderate pace with good form.

Wednesday
Run 30–45’, aerobic recovery. Zn 1, include 8×1’ cadence count. Shoot for 90+ counting right foot strike only.

Thursday
Bike 1:00–1:30, aerobic recovery. Flat terrain, Zn 1–2 at 90–95 RPM.

Friday
Day off.

Saturday
Run 1:15–1:40, endurance. Rolling base in Zn 1–3, mostly Zn 2.
Swim 2500–3500, strength endurance. After a good warm-up, including easy freestyle, drills, kicking and some 25 or 50 pick-ups, perform the main set: 2–3 x 800 (1’) with pull buoy. Paddles are optional for up to 50% of the total interval volume. Doing sustained swimming sets will allow you to exit the water on race day with minimal fatigue, feeling ready to have a great ride.

Sunday
Bike 2:00–3:00, endurance. Rolling base in Zn 1–2.

Week 4

Monday
day off; or optional short recovery bike.

Tuesday
Run 30–45’, aerobic recovery. Zn 1, include 8×1’ cadence count. Shoot for 90+ counting right foot strike only.
Swim 2000–3000, speed. After a good warm-up, including easy freestyle, drills, kicking and some 25 or 50 pick-ups, perform the main set: 2–3 x [12×50 (20”), alternate 2 sprint, 1 easy]. Swim 200 easy between sets. P Pay attention to shifting your stroke rate (arm speed) higher for sprints while still maintaining good arm pressure on the water. Being able to shift stroke rates is a useful tool for race-day swim starts and navigating groups and turn buoys.

Wednesday
Run Three-mile repeats at GRP. Measured road, track or trail. After a 15’ warm-up, including 4×30” pick-ups (faster running), perform the main set: 3×3 miles (2’ walk), Zn 3. Run an even pace for the set. 15’ cool-down.
Bike 1:00–1:30, aerobic recovery. Flat terrain, Zn 1–2 at 90–95 RPM.

Thursday
Bike 1:20–2:00, threshold. After a 15–20’ warm-up, including 4×30” pick-ups (faster cycling), perform the main set: 6×2.5’ (1.5’) Zn 4 at 90–95 RPM. 10’ easy. 10×30” (30”) Zn 4–5 at 100–105 RPM. 15–30’ cool-down.

Friday
Swim 2500–3500, endurance. After a good warm-up, including easy freestyle, drills, kicking and some 25 or 50 pick-ups, perform the main set: 2000 nonstop, building pace by 500 from moderate to GRP. Focus on maintaining good form.

Saturday
Bike 2:15–2:20, GRP. After a 15–20’ warm-up, including 4×30” pick-ups (faster cycling), perform the main set: 120’ in Zn 3 in TT position at 90–95 RPM. Run off the bike. P Be ready for the effort of running off the bike. In the last 10 minutes of your bike before a brick run, start thinking about running well and get mentally “into it.” This also builds transition speed.
Run 1:00, grP. Quick transition (less than 2’), then perform a flatter progression run as 25’ Zn 2, 25’ Zn 3, 10’ Zn 1 cool-down.

Sunday
Run 1:30–2:00, endurance. Flatter terrain, Zn 2.
Swim 3000–4000, strength endurance. After a good warm-up, including easy freestyle, drills, kicking and some 25 or 50 pick-ups, perform the main set: 2–3 x [600 (20”), 4×100 (10”)] with pull buoy. Paddles are optional for up to 50% of the total interval volume.

Week 5

Monday
Day off; or optional short recovery bike.

Tuesday
Run 30–45’, aerobic recovery. Zn 1, include 8×1’ cadence count. Shoot for 90+ counting right foot strike only.
Swim 2000–3000, speed. Main set: 2–3 x [4×100 (30”), best average pace for the set]. 200 easy swimming between sets.

Wednesday
Run one-mile repeats at GRP. Measured road, track or trail. After a 15’ warm-up, including 4×30” pick-ups (faster running), perform the main set: 5–6 x 1 mile (1’ walk), Zn 3. Run an even pace for the set. 15’ cool-down. This is a shorter interval set than last week. Avoid temptation to run too fast, causing excessive muscle tissue damage requiring extra recovery. Reinforce smooth running biomechanics and practice mental imagery for race day next weekend.
Bike 1:00–1:30, aerobic recovery. Flat terrain, Zn 1–2 at 90–95 RPM.

Thursday
Bike 1:30–1:35 GRP. After a 15–20’ warm-up, including 4×30” pick-ups (faster cycling), perform the main set: 2×30’ Zn 3 in TT position (15’ Zn 2–1) at 90–95 RPM. Run off TT #2.
Run 30′, transition run off the bike. Quick transition (less than 2′), then 20’ at the same average pace as yesterday’s interval run in Zn 3. 10’ Zn 1.

Friday
Swim 2500–3500, endurance. After a good warm-up, including easy freestyle, drills, kicking and some 25–50 pick-ups, perform the main set: 800 build by 200 from moderate to GRP. 8–10 x 150 (30”) alternating 50 easy in Zn 2 with good form, 50 in Zn 3 (GRP or effort), 50 fast in Zn 4.

Saturday
Bike  2:00–3:00, endurance. Flatter base in Zn 1-2. P Pay attention to not overdoing today’s ride and respecting the zone. This will allow you to reinforce endurance for next weekend’s race but not leave you overly fatigued. The goal is to be fresh for next weekend!

Sunday
Run 45’–1:00, endurance. Hilly base in Zn 1-3, mostly Zn 2.
Swim 2500–3500, strength endurance. After a good warm-up, including easy freestyle, drills, kicking and some 25–50 pick-ups, perform the main set: 2–3 x [400 (30”), 7×50 (5”), 50 easy (1’)] with pull buoy. Paddles are optional for up to 50% of the total interval volume.

Week 6: Race Week!

Monday
Day off.

Tuesday
Swim 1500–2000, recovery. Main set: 8–10 x 100 (20”) at a moderate pace with good form.

Wednesday
Run 30–45’, aerobic recovery. Zn 1, include 8×1’ cadence count. Shoot for 90+ counting right foot strike only.

Thursday
Bike 1:00, race preparation. 20’ Zn 1-2. 2×4’ (2’) Zn 3 at 90–95 RPM. 5’ Zn 1. 2×2’ (2’) Zn 4 at 100–105 RPM. 15’ Zn 2-1. P If you feel sluggish, that is normal on race week. Today’s bike and Saturday’s run and swim are meant to shake out the cobwebs. Your approach should be to sharpen up, but not view it as a fitness-building workout. Avoid excessive lactic acid.

Friday
Day off.

Saturday
Run 20’, race preparation. On the race course: 10’ Zn 1-2. 5’ Zn 3. 5’ Zn 2-1.
Swim 10’, race preparation. In the open water, if possible: 4×50 Zn 3. 4×50 as 25 fast, 25 easy. 5’ easy.
Bike Test gears and brakes.

Sunday
Race! GRP is Zn 3.
Warm-up: Run 10’ Zn 1-2, including 4×15” pick-ups. Finish run 50–60’ before race start. If possible, 300–400 swim. Include 2–3’ easy, 4–6 x (20 strokes pick-ups, 20 strokes long and loose). 1–2’ easy. Finish swim 5’ before race start.

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6 Super Greens And Their Benefits http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/nutrition/eat-right-super-greens_95680 Thu, 23 Mar 2017 18:10:11 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=95680 Leafy greens are chock full of essential vitamins and nutrients, but you might be surprised by how tasty they can also be with some prep.

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Photo: Shutterstock.com

Leafy greens are chock full of essential vitamins and nutrients—that’s a no-brainer—but you might be surprised by how tasty they can also be with some creative prep.

Collard greens

Loaded with fiber, collard greens are known for their cholesterol-lowering abilities. Raw collard green leaves can be chopped and tossed into salad with berries and creamy goat cheese to counter the slightly bitter taste of the leaves. Or chop the leaves, ribs and stems and sauté with onion, garlic and white wine and toss with pasta or ravioli. Also try blending into your favorite pesto or bean dip recipe.

RELATED: The Ingredients To Building A Winning Sandwich

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First Look: The Collins Cup Promises Thrilling Action and Equality http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/news/first-look-collins-cup-promises-thrilling-action-equality_300096 Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:25:31 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300096 The Professional Triathlon Organization (PTO) today revealed more details about next year’s Collins Cup, an event loosely modeled after golf’s Ryder Cup. The event will take […]

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The Professional Triathlon Organization (PTO) today revealed more details about next year’s Collins Cup, an event loosely modeled after golf’s Ryder Cup. The event will take place next June at a yet-to-be-revealed location.

Teams of professional triathletes from the United States, Europe and the rest of the world (the “Internationals”) will compete against each other. Each team will have 12 athletes, six men and six women. The first eight athletes on each team will be chosen based on standings in the PTO’s own ranking system, an objective system that will “consider race results from all recognised racing authorities and all distances from Olympic to full Ironman races. Since the competitors in The Collins Cup will be racing a standard long distance course, there will be heavier weightings given to longer distance races,” according to the PTO. Each team’s designated captains will decide the remaining four team members. Triathlon legends Dave Scott and Karen Smyers have been named as USA’s team captains, and the other sets of captains will be named in the future.

Other highlights:

  • The race length is expected to be long course distances of a 3 km swim, 120 km bike and 25 km run, and the race will be a non-drafting event.
  • An athlete from each of Team USA, Europe and the Internationals will battle against one another in an individual race of three, so there will be 12 separate race matches, each staggered 10 minutes apart. (See the scoring system here.)
  • During the bike and run portions of the event, each athlete will be mic’ed and in contact with their respective captains, and their communications will be broadcast to the TV audience. All team captains will have access to various live metrics (pace, power watts, cadence, heart rate, etc.) of all competitors and be permitted to communicate this information to their team members throughout the race.
  • It will be a two-day event. On the Saturday there will be a number of traditional triathlon events of varying lengths in which fans, amateur athletes and professionals not otherwise on a Collins Cup team will race. There will also be a prize purse for professionals in the Saturday races. On the Sunday, the professional teams will take to the course and battle for The Collins Cup.
  • Though it has not yet been revealed, race organizers are promising the prize purse for The Collins Cup will be “one of the highest in the sport.”
  • The last place team will be burdened with the “Broken Spokes” trophy with hopes that they can relinquish it 12 months later.

Though we have a much better picture of what the race will entail, there are still several key details yet to be revealed: the teams themselves, prize money, location, specific dates. But what we do know makes The Collins Cup an interesting addition to the recent efforts to bring triathlon to the masses with exciting new T.V. and spectator-friendly formats. Check out Thecollinscup.com for more details.

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How to Train for Cold-Water Races So You Barely Feel a Thing (Except Victory) http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/training/train-cold-water-races-barely-feel-thing-except-victory_300100 Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:31:17 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300100 The race is on… but the water is freezing. A complete guide to coping, and maybe even thriving, in a cold-water triathlon. The trouble with […]

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The race is on… but the water is freezing. A complete guide to coping, and maybe even thriving, in a cold-water triathlon.

The trouble with that early-season tri? The water temp is somewhere between chilly and just plain OMG. If the water’s too cold, USAT won’t let the swim happen—below 51 degrees is the cutoff for a sprint, and 53 if it’s 1,500 meters or longer. But for some people, even water temperatures in the 70s can make your body lose heat faster than you produce it—after all, water conducts heat away from your body 70 times more efficiently than air does.

Beyond being uncomfortable, cold muscles and a low core temperature make you slow, hungry and tired. While everyone responds to cold-water swimming a little differently—some people feel exhilarated and hardly bothered while others develop hypothermia quickly—researchers and practiced cold-water swimmers suggest that most people should be able to train themselves to get better at swimming in cold water, be safer and mind it less. Start with these smart training moves.

Tame those first shocking moments.
“Just jumping into very cold water causes a whole host of responses that don’t help one’s swim ability,” says John Castellani, Ph.D., research physiologist at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. As soon as you hit it, receptors in your skin fire up your body’s cold-shock mechanism: You lose control of your breathing and end up gasping and hyperventilating. Your heart starts racing, your blood pressure goes up, and your stress hormones soar. It can take about two minutes to get control over everything again.

Fortunately, you can do some prep work to take some of the drama out of that natural response. Research has shown that after about five sessions of being exposed to really cold water (about 53 degrees) for just five minutes, that cold shock response diminishes by about 50 percent.

Just don’t put your face in—you’ll automatically hold your breath, which works against your ability to regulate your breathing back to normal. Not practical because there’s no plunge pool nearby? Cold showers can do the trick, Castellani says.

If you do nothing else to train for the cold water, at least do this. The bonus: Once you’ve put the work in, the effects stick around for as long as seven to 14 months.

Train your body to be a better thermos.
It takes much longer for your body to make other adaptations that help you feel and perform better in cold water than it does to train the cold-shock response. With lots of practice swimming in colder water, your body eventually waits longer and longer to kick shivering (its genius internal reheating system) into gear. It learns to lose less heat through the limbs—it might even teach itself to use new pathways to move blood around your body—and you’ll stop feeling cold so quickly. (Sounds great, but the flip side is that you can get too good at not feeling the cold, which invites hypothermia. Know the signs: Increased shivering and an inability to think well—you can’t say your name, for instance—plus confusion, clumsiness and lack of concern about your condition.)

So how much practice do you need to make this happen? To the frustration of Type-A athletes everywhere, there’s no magic number of immersions, distances or workout lengths that makes it happen. But based on what they know so far, scientists recommend this:

„Do your regular swims in incrementally colder water. That’s ideal. But since most ocean temps are going up, not down, at this time of year, try doing your quality training in the pool. Then, outside, swim in colder water as long as you can stand it (see “Do. Not. Do. This. Alone.” below). Get out and get warm. Then go back and do the same thing later that day or the next day, says Castellani. Do that as consistently as you can, and you’ll notice that your tolerance gradually changes.

„Channel swimmers say it takes weeks or months to acclimatize, but keep in mind you’re not going to be in there as long as they are. “To get the kind of adaptations you want, you might need at least 30 to 45 minutes of exposure to water that’s the temperature you’ll be swimming in on at least 10 occasions,” says Michael Tipton, Ph.D., professor of human and applied physiology at the University of Portsmouth. “But we honestly don’t know yet.”

Don’t torture yourself … If your race is in 60-degree water, it doesn’t do you extra good to swim in 50-degree water. It only makes your sessions shorter.

… but don’t assume that “close is good enough.” “Adaptation to cold is very specific to the temperatures you’re exposed to,” says Tipton. When people’s bodies got used to a certain water temperature, those same bodies acted like all that adaptation had never happened when they hit water that was as little as 2 degrees colder than what they’d trained in.

Swim, don’t just sit. When you sit in water, you develop a warm little cocoon or “boundary layer” around yourself (that’s why Titanic victims who stayed put fared better than those who swam). That’s nice and comfy, but you’re not going to have its benefit in a tri. Train in the most realistic circumstances you can create.

Kick. Exercise with your arms can lead to greater heat losses than exercise with your legs. The arms have a greater surface-to-mass ratio (not as much muscle as the legs), and the more you work them, the more blood flows there—and the more heat you lose. If you’re worried about getting cold, learn to maximize your kick.

Lose the idea that you’ll be toasty. When you acclimatize, it’s not like you’re never going to feel chilly again. Even channel swimmers and ice swimmers are aware of the water being cold. They just learn to avoid fighting it or feeling beaten down by it.

The F-Word

Fat. The word strikes fear into athletes in a sport known for its low-body-fat elites. Do you have to carry extra to be a successful cold-water swimmer? For long-distance swimming where you’re losing heat, it helps. But otherwise, it depends on how fast you are and how long you’re going to be in the water. People with more insulation tend to maintain their core temperatures better than lean people. But you don’t have to go on an extreme weight gain program for a little extra warmth. One study found that people carrying 16 to 19 percent body fat (still pretty lean by regular people’s standards) were a little warmer in water than people with 12 percent body fat. Best places to have a little fat layer (for these purposes): upper arms, thighs and neck, says Tipton. Got a little extra on your body right now? Thank it.

Words of Wisdom from Extreme Cold-Water Swimmers

English Channel swimmers say:

“There are no shortcuts. You have to do the cold-water acclimatizing/training, just like you have to do the rest of your training.” —Dan Boyle, New York City-based triple-crown swimmer

“I’ve found consistency to be the key. When the water is very cold (sub-50), it’s not safe to immerse for longer than a few minutes—if that—for most people. Frequent and regular exposure can increase that tolerance rapidly. I’ve seen a number of Channel swimmers begin with two 15-minute swims the first day and some of the more experienced are going 30 to 45 minutes by the third day. I think shorter, more frequent and consistent exposure to colder water temperatures is the most effective way to start and build acclimatization.” —Anne Cleveland, San Diego-based distance-swimming coach and former world record holder for oldest person to complete a two-way English Channel swim  

Ice swimmers say:

“You’re never going to find warmth; you just face the cold straight on. You get to a point, like in any endurance sport, where you just accept how the discomfort feels. In fact, when you get used to swimming in cold water, that feeling can be euphoric.” —Ice swimmer Melissa O’Reilly, founder of MostExtremeSwims.com, a tour company that helps swimmers get to ice-swimming races (you know, where they “build” a pool by chain-sawing its dimensions into the ice). O’Reilly isn’t a naturally warm person—she succumbed to hypothermia in a distance swim with water in the low 60s but has since become a world champion ice swimmer.

Photo: Norseman Triathlon

Do. Not. Do. This. Alone.

You might be an Ironman (congrats), but Mother Nature’s even stronger than that, and you can get better at working with her, but you can’t change her mind. So you have to be alert to when she’s telling you that your training swim is over. And you’re not always going to be the first to notice. Your body is good at perceiving skin temperature but not core temperature, which can drop without you being aware of it. At the same time, hypothermia makes you clumsy, apathetic about your situation, confused and maybe even nauseous and unable to speak without slurring your words. Promise us you’ll never train in cold water without someone else going along. They can be in a kayak or a rowboat or right in there with you. But no swimming alone. Ever. But especially in cold water.

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Recipe: Make Your Own Jerky-Energy Bar http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/nutrition/recipe-make-jerky-energy-bar_300092 Wed, 22 Mar 2017 18:05:02 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300092 Consider this tender and protein-packed DIY version your tribute to the mammoth-hunting caveman of yesteryear.

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Time to unleash your inner Arrr! Jerky–energy bar hybrids are at the forefront of the energy bar revolution. Consider this tender and protein-packed DIY version your tribute to the mammoth-hunting caveman of yesteryear. Each bar also supplies a shot of energy-boosting iron, particularly important for active women.

There are two important ingredients that keep these bars from tasting like leftover meatloaf. First, the cranberries offer up some of the sweetness that you would expect in a bar. And round steak, one of the leanest cuts available, is used to keep the fat levels low and help the mixture dry out in the oven. Too much fat will encourage the bars to go rancid more quickly. A longer cooking time at a low temp helps with the drying process.

Beast Bars

Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Paleo-friendly
SERVINGS: 9
ACTIVE TIME: 20 min.

Consider opting for grass-fed or organic beef. Studies suggest that steaks from grass-fed cattle are more nutrient dense than those from their grain-fed brethren, while organic beef is not administered hormones or antibiotics.

10 ounces round steak (eye, top, or bottom cut)
1 cup dried cranberries
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons orange zest
½ teaspoon salt

Trim any excess fat from meat and cut into 1-inch cubes. Place on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet and freeze until edges are stiff but not frozen all the way through, about 20 minutes. This will help the meat grind more uniformly.

Preheat oven to 225°F. Place partially frozen meat and cranberries in a food processor and pulse until meat is coarsely ground. Pulse in remaining ingredients.

Line an 8 × 8–inch square baking pan with a piece of parchment paper large enough so there is a 1-inch overhang. Place meat mixture in pan and spread out into an even layer. Bake for 30 minutes, pour off any accumulated juices, and then bake for another 50 minutes. Let cool completely in pan before lifting out with parchment overhang and cutting into 9 bars. Keep chilled for up to 1 week.

Game Changers: Try dried cherries instead of cranberries + Use liquid aminos or gluten-free soy sauce instead of regular soy sauce + Replace sesame seeds with hemp seeds + Swap out the orange zest for lemon zest

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How to Pace Your First Olympic Distance Triathlon http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/training/pace-first-olympic-distance-triathlon_300089 Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:36:51 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300089 The pace, intensity and distance combine for a challenge that will put your body and mind to the test.

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My first Olympic distance triathlon was nothing like I expected it to be. I chose the race in Columbia, Md. because of its location, promise of warm, early May temperatures and a challenging course. On race day, I faced freezing cold water and wind gusts up to 30 mph. Obviously that was not the challenge I was looking for, but it was what I was given. I adjusted my goals and strategy, survived the race and even placed third in my age group. Although the experience was nothing I thought it was going to be, I learned quite a bit about racing the Olympic distance in triathlon.

Mindset

As we all know, race day makes no promises and when you are competing in three different disciplines within one race, a lot can happen. From small issues like leaky goggles to bigger problems like a flat tire or bad weather, you have to be ready to adapt. Instead of expecting a perfect race, be flexible and overcome these obstacles as they arise. Be prepared by bringing an extra pair of goggles and know how to fix a flat tire. You cannot control the weather, other competitors, or just plain bad luck, but what you can control is how prepared you are, both mentally and physically, and your attitude.

Get in a Good Warm-Up

A good warm-up is essential, especially in unfavorable race conditions. Complete a 15 to 20 minute easy paced run and throw in 5 to 10, 30 second strides to get your legs turning over. Time this so you end with about 30 minutes until your start time, which will allow you to pull on your wetsuit and get down to the water.

If you are allowed to get into the water prior to the swim, do so, unless it’s too cold. You do not want to freeze while standing on the beach waiting for your wave. If you are not allowed in the water prior to the start, or the conditions don’t warrant it, get down to the water and splash some on your face, dip your goggles in, and get a feel for what that first plunge will feel like.

The Swim

Unless you swam competitively, the swim is typically the most difficult leg. To help alleviate your anxiety, start out conservatively and expect some contact in the first 200 yards or so. Just go with it and swim easy until the pack spreads out and you can find your own space. Think long strokes, breathe easy, and take it one buoy at a time. Sighting is key, especially if there are few buoys marking your path. Look up often and stay on course. When you finally close in on the last five minutes or so, pick up the pace and start thinking about your transition to T1.

Transition 1

You are racing so don’t just walk to T1. Strip down the top of your wetsuit as you are running to the transition area to save time. Practicing your transitions ahead of time will help you know exactly what order you will put on your shoes, helmet, sunglasses, etc. I sprint into and out of transition even if everyone else is jogging or walking. This is a great way to make up some time. I have had races come down to seconds and have won because of my faster transitions.

The Bike

Once you mount the bike take a minute or two at an easy pace to slow your heart rate down to something manageable. Don’t be concerned if others are passing you. Remember that you need to stick to your own plan. Good pacing starts the second you start pedaling.

The goal of the bike ride is to stay in Z3 for the majority of the ride. This is an intense effort, so make sure that you are hitting similar efforts in your training. Make sure you get as aero as possible on straightaways and downhills. If the course has climbs, shift into your lower gears and spin at a higher cadence. Get out of the saddle just before the final crest of the hill and push hard up to the top. By downshifting and pedaling at a higher cadence you will keep your legs from feeling like lead in the first half mile of the run.

In the last few minutes on the bike, start thinking about T2.

Transition 2

This should be your fastest transition of the day. Dismount as quickly and safely as you can and then simply take off your helmet and shoes, pull your running shoes on and, if you have a bib belt grab it and put it on as you run out of transition. Remember that every second counts.

The Run

Running off the bike is not the same as just running. Your training should include what are known as brick workouts so you will know what your legs feel like trying to run after having ridden 25 miles.

On race day, do not go out too fast. It’s far better to start off a little slower and save some energy and leg turnover for the last mile of the run. During the tough final miles, having some mantras ready can help you mentally get through the miles. When you hit mile four, it’s completely normal to feel like the wall is rising up to meet you, but it will pass. By mile five you will start having images of the finish line and, if you can, this is where you want to steadily start increasing your pace. Give the run everything you have in the last quarter mile and leave it all out on the course.

Olympic distance triathlons are a great accomplishment for any triathlete. The pace, intensity and distance combine for a challenge that will put your body and mind to the test. With some smart preparation and planning, you can reach your goals.

This article originally appeared at Trainingpeaks.com.

Allie Burdick is an ACE certified personal trainer and fitness instructor. She has been running and competing her entire life and was recently part of Team USA in duathlon and will be competing at triathlon nationals in 2016. Her writing has appeared in Runner’s World, Women’s Running and ESPNW. She blogs about triathlon and marathon training at VitaTrain4Life.com.

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Use This Savvy Approach to Strength Training to Prevent Injury http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/training/what-causes-triathlon-related-injuries_129784 Wed, 22 Mar 2017 12:04:34 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=129784 No amount of strength and conditioning work will decrease injury risk if we don’t understand the broader contributors to injury risk.

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The best preventive measure? Understanding what causes triathlon-related injuries—and what doesn’t. Plus: How to structure your strength routine for real results.

Most injuries occur when training load exceeds what the athlete’s musculoskeletal system can handle. Strain something too much, it will break—pretty obvious. Adding strength and conditioning work is often considered the cure-all for injury risk, but that is just one tool in the arsenal of prevention or performance improvement. No amount of strength and conditioning work will single-handedly decrease injury risk if we don’t understand (and address) the broader contributors to injury risk and occurrence.

The real root of injury

Some of the common pitfalls I see in both the pro and amateur ranks:

Flawed training plan:
Follow a poorly designed plan (or one inappropriate for you), and your risk for injury will increase.

Plan execution: Often it isn’t the plan that is the issue—it’s how the plan is executed. A prime example is going too hard during sessions that are designed to be lower stress—perhaps the greatest mistake made by endurance athletes.

Inadequate recovery: How consistent are you with post-workout refueling? Are you consuming enough (and the right kind of) calories to support the training? What is the quality and quantity of your sleep?

Life stress: Integration of training into real life is an ongoing challenge for most athletes, yet many fail to recognize the fluctuating stress that can impact recovery.

A savvy approach to strength work

A smart, ongoing strength and conditioning program does serve a purpose when it comes to injury prevention, but consider these individual circumstances before you get started:

Athletic history: As athletes come into triathlon, activities from a “former life” can certainly add to the risk of overuse injury. For example, swimmers will typically have very mobile ankles, which is ideal for swimming but less so for running. Strengthening ankles will be important, as will a careful progression when upping the running mileage.

General weaknesses: Some athletes have simple biomechanics limitations, genetically compromised musculoskeletal integrity and other weaknesses and imbalances. This makes posture and form harder to maintain when fatigued and likely contributes to the occurrence of injury.

Time constraints: How long do you typically have to apply to this supplemental training? If the athlete is busy, it is critical to build a program that addresses the key limitations, such as mobility or muscle weakness, as well as target exercises that will yield the highest impact on performance. Time availability can create compromise, but less of a good thing is better than nothing.

Attention to the bigger picture: Aim for a strong platform of health and general improved power, coordination and strength. Not every exercise or movement pattern should relate directly to swim, bike or running movements. Developing improved ability to move—in all directions, with more power and coordination—is a smart path for the vast majority of amateur triathletes.

Your relationship with strength

Any strength and conditioning regimen should run in parallel and harmony with the other components of your training. This is a common failure of so many programs. In the same way that random endurance training may help you improve initially, you will plateau after a couple of months. Strength and conditioning is similar—if I told you to repeat exactly the same endurance training program, week after week, with the same intervals and next to no progression, you would call me crazy. Despite this, I see so many athletes who simply go to the gym or a CrossFit class and expect season-long progression. Beyond the random strength training choices, I also see many begin with great enthusiasm in the off-season (or post-season as I call it), but peter out well before racing season begins. This adds up to a complete waste of time.

Mapping out your strength program

Here is a simple framework to map out your own strength training progression. I have first highlighted a typical series of phases that one of my athletes would go through.

Post-season (October to Jan 1)
Considered the “off-season” for many, this is a critical phase of season-long progression. Emphasis is on technical improvement, foundational fitness as well as some “building block”-type training which includes very high-intensity and high-rest, neurological training. This is the phase in which we prepare the body for the heavy training load ahead.

Strength phase: Foundational
This is all about developing proper posture and movement patterns, and gradually progressing to more complex and dynamic exercises. There is also a heavy focus on coordination, synchronization and gradual strength gains.

Preseason (January to April 1)
This is a heavy phase of training but less specific to race simulations or skills. Plenty of high-intensity speed (with long rest) and foundational endurance work. We build a platform of resilience in this phase, which may include early-
season races toward the end of the phase.

Strength phase: Foundational part two
We now increase load, with much greater emphasis on real strength gains (with more strenuous strength challenges), progressing to power later in the phase.

Power and speed (April to May)
Perhaps “sharpening” would be a more suitable name, but this shorter phase is focused on maximal steady state and more threshold work. It includes a transition to early-season racing, and total weekly duration may drop in lieu of a speed focus.

Strength phase: Power
More explosive exercises (and fewer of them) dominate this phase, but we also increase emphasis on joint health and mobility as endurance training load continues to climb.

Race-specific (June onward)
While the phases prior were about developing physiology, this phase is about getting ready to race. Much of the season focuses around race-specific skills and intensity to develop the readiness to perform. Athletes retain some very low- and very high-intensity training, but the key sessions are about race simulation and readiness.

Strength phase: Race season
We are not looking for central strength gains now; instead, the focus becomes sharpening, joint health and therapeutic work to assist with remaining healthy despite the demands of heavy racing. These sessions are short but effective, and they’re important to maintain the gains made in the preparatory phases.

Key points to remember

Your emphasis should evolve: In post-season, your endurance training load will be lower and will allow more capacity to emphasize mobility and strength. Compare this to the rigors and demands of race season, when the emphasis on strength should drop, but convert to a more therapeutic set of goals, as well as explosive sharpening work. This may mean that a strength session in post-season takes 60 minutes, but only 15 to 20 minutes by the time it is race season.

Reduce appropriately: Any smart program will build from the ground up and focus on more micro-movements around single joints, as well as a single focus such as strength or mobility. As the weeks and phases progress, the number of movement patterns and exercises will reduce, as the focus becomes more total-body, multi-joint and sport-specific.

Be prepared to get tired: If you want to get stronger, you need to load the muscles. This means that, at some periods of the year, the strength program produces additional fatigue. For my athletes, it happens in January to March, when strength load is greatest. Don’t panic or lose reality—know this is a part of the process and monitor your state of recovery.

It is only a supplement: Your strength program is important, but your primary performance gains will come from specific swim, bike and run training.

To reduce your injury risk, you must make smart decisions about all areas of your approach—and realize that strength and conditioning is a year-long activity to develop in your arsenal of weapons. Shift your lens from prevention to performance—I promise it is invigorating.

Matt Dixon is founder and head coach of Purplepatch Fitness. He holds a master’s degree in clinical and exercise physiology and is coach to a number of top pros, including Jesse Thomas and Sarah Piampiano.

A more in-depth dive into the specific exercises that accompany each phase of training can be found in Dixon’s book, The Well-Built Triathlete ($25, Velopress.com).

RELATED: Coach Matt Dixon Discusses New Training Book

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Can Flotation Therapy Boost Performance? http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/training/can-flotation-therapy-boost-performance_300080 Tue, 21 Mar 2017 20:35:40 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300080 Here’s how it works: You get in a water-filled tank that’s pitch black and soundproof.

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Some people say flotation therapy boosts performance, but is it just a waste of money?

Float tanks, sensory deprivation tanks, isolation tanks—call them what you will, they’re everywhere. More than 400 locations now dot North America, and attendance at Portland’s Float Conference (yes, it’s a thing, held annually since 2012) nearly doubled from 2015 to 2016. Devotees say the tanks help relieve pain, reduce stress and can even improve your athletic performance. Should you take the plunge?

Here’s how it works: You get in a water-filled tank that’s pitch black and soundproof. The water is skin temperature and loaded with Epsom salt, so you float (saltwater is denser than fresh water, so you become more buoyant). This cuts off your senses. Without the ability to see, feel or hear anything on the outside, most people tend to go inward—users report an elevated sense of introspection and feeling like they’re out of their body, almost like a deep state of meditation or even a psychedelic experience.

The “far out”-sounding practice was created in 1954 by John C. Lilly, an eccentric but brilliant physician and human consciousness researcher who ran with the likes of poet and activist Allen Ginsberg and psychologist Timothy Leary, and in an experiment once took LSD and tried to communicate with dolphins. Separating a human from their senses, Lilly believed, may allow them to gain insight into their consciousness.

Sixty years later, athletes like NFL quarterback Tom Brady and NBA MVP Stephen Curry have taken to Lilly’s experiment, floating regularly, saying it improves their game. Peter Suedfeld, Ph.D., a professor and researcher at the University of British Columbia, says many other athletes report reaping benefits from floating. What gives?

“Flotation tanks are great for recovery,” says Greg Spatz, a DPT at Resilient Performance Physical Therapy in New York City. After a race or hard training session, your body begins to repair and build upon itself, which is what leads to improvement.

“Completely dropping environmental stressors lets your system relax and go into recovery mode,” Spatz says. “Faster, more thorough recovery allows you to continue to train harder, for longer periods of time, over the course of years so you can develop longevity in a grueling sport like triathlon.”

Science confirms Spatz’s claims: Scientists at Northern Illinois University had two groups of people do the same workout. Afterward, one group floated while the other just sat. The float group registered less blood lactate, indicating quicker recovery.

That hour or so without stimulation may also help people reduce life stress, says Suedfeld. Reduced stress is associated with a decreased risk of injury—athletes who were under higher life stress were nearly twice as likely to injure themselves, according to scientists at the University of Missouri.

One drawback could be if you’re devoting time to floating that could be spent working on lower hanging fruit, says Spatz. “For example, building more strength, or improving your movement quality or efficiency might have a greater payoff,” Spatz says. And because you can’t replicate floating at home—just try to completely noise-proof and black out your bathroom—you’ll pay anywhere from $30 to $80 a session.

But assuming your training is dialed in and you have the cash, floating once a week or after especially hard races may help you get faster in the long run, says Spatz. Just don’t float before competing. “It won’t be very helpful,” says Suedfeld. That’s because you don’t want to be too chilled out at the starting line—a bit of edginess can help you go harder.

Find Your Float

Flotationlocations.com
Where-to-float.com

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These 70.3 Puerto Rico Photos Will Make You Wish You Were There http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/photos/70-3-puerto-rico-photos-will-make-wish_300047 Tue, 21 Mar 2017 19:52:03 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300047 Athletes were treated to a hot, tough course and a fun party-like atmosphere.

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Photos: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image/@Compimagephoto

While many of us on the U.S. mainland are still hoping for warmer temperatures, several age-group athletes headed to the beautiful island of Puerto Rico to take on one of the first 70.3 events in the Northern Hemisphere for 2017 in beautiful San Juan, Puerto Rico. Athletes were treated to a hot, tough course and a fun party-like atmosphere. See images from the pro race here.

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6 Women’s Bib Shorts With Pit Stop Solutions http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/gear-tech/6-womens-bib-shorts-pit-stop-solutions_300038 Tue, 21 Mar 2017 17:33:52 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300038 Women, rejoice! Bibs and bathroom breaks co-exist with these clever designs.

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Women, rejoice! Bibs and bathroom breaks co-exist with these clever designs.

When it comes to long rides, few things are more comfortable than a pair of bib shorts. But for female riders, few things are more cumbersome than a pair of bib shorts. It’s easy for male riders to take a quick, discreet bathroom break mid-ride, but for women, it’s…complicated. Shorts must be lowered in order to use the restroom, and to lower the shorts, the bib suspenders must come off the shoulders. To yield the suspenders, the bike jersey needs to be removed, and before you know it, a simple potty break requires full-frontal nudity.

“The go-to for women has been to either forego bibs and just wear shorts for convenience, or to wear bibs and deal with the inconvenience at pit stop time,” says Lindsay Piper of KETL Mountain Apparel, “But I think at this point there are a lot of women who are riding at a high level, who don’t want to make sacrifices and are willing to speak up about it, so there’s more of an impetus to solve the problem.”

Kebby Holden, founder of Coeur, a women’s cycling and triathlon apparel company, says bibs have been a man’s domain for so long, that women’s designs were an afterthought derived from the men’s line. But that’s changing, as companies are now creating designs with women in mind, including solutions to “the pee problem” for women’s bib shorts—a task that proves more complicated than one might think:

“It is very difficult to work hardware into soft, stretchy Spandex fabric,” notes Holden. “While most is abrasion resistant, it is still a delicate fabric. Flat lock seams are required stitching for most fabric panels in tri and cycle but integrated hardware and hidden panels often doesn’t allow for it. Add sublimation in across panels and it all gets very tricky.”

But with female participation in cycling and triathlon rapidly increasing, smart apparel companies are investing in new research and design to make bathroom breaks for the female rider quick, easy and—most importantly—discreet.

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One-Hour Workout: Run/Swim/Run Combo http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/training/one-hour-workout-runswimrun-combo_96829 Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:18:03 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=96829 Although the mid-run swim break might feel best during a hot summer training session, it also serves as a good gym session in early spring.

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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-run brick workout comes from Rhode Island-based John Houfek, who has been coaching multisport athletes through Raven Triathlon Coaching for more than 20 years. Although the mid-run swim break might feel best during a hot summer training session, it also serves as a good gym session in early spring.

RELATED – One-Hour Workout: Swim-Bike-Run-Swim-Run Race Simulation

One-Hour Workout: Run-Swim-Run Combo

Start with a two-mile run in Zone 2 and finish at the pool.

Strip off your run gear, rinse in the shower, and then hop in the pool.  Immediately swim as many 200s with a 22-second rest interval as you can in 22 minutes.

Hop out of the pool, put your run gear back on and finish with a two-mile run in Zone 2.

*As an option for especially hot days, shower to rinse off then cool down in the pool by jogging easy in chest-deep water for two minutes.

RELATED: Indoor Swim-Bike Bricks

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Beginner’s Luck: How Waking Up My Glutes Helped My Running http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/features/beginners-luck-waking-glutes-helped-training_300027 Mon, 20 Mar 2017 21:54:35 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300027 "Beginner's Luck" columnist Meredith Atwood shares the biggest factor that helped her improve as a runner.

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“Beginner’s Luck” columnist Meredith Atwood shares the biggest factor that helped her improve as a runner. 

It’s no secret that I have struggled with endurance sports since I started in 2010. I didn’t come to the sport with any history or talent. I was an adult-onset triathlete. I came to running and cycling as a later-in-life situation, which was tragic and hilarious, but also exhilarating to pick up something new in my 30s. I learned cycling relatively quickly because it involved sitting—albeit on a tiny little seat—but it was a seated sport, and I was good at sitting. However, running has been a tough process for me. If a person runs a lot as a kid and as a youth, then they develop running form and muscles and natural movements that translate to being a more competent runner as an adult. Trying to “learn” to run as an adult if you were never a runner? Well, like a green smoothie, it’s delicious, but a feels a tad complicated.

As I have unpacked many improvements in my running over the years, the greatest ticket to my run came from a single, solitary action—waking up my butt. Yes, really. So “dead butt” is a real thing and its chronic in our society from all the hours in the cars, at a desk and in general just being generally a seated culture. The result of this, is that many of us are plagued with dead or nearly-dead glute muscles. As it would also turn out, one needs her glutes for a ton of movements such as running. The more that the glutes and hamstrings and lower body works in conjunction, the greater the result in overall health, back pain and running form.

I went to my ART (Active Release Therapy) dude, Dr. Hamid Sadri with 1st Choice Sports Rehab, out of Atlanta, and he spent a ton of time with me letting me know how vital my glutes were. I sort of knew that—afterall, I used to weightlift and used my glutes for all the squats. But the years of sitting and non-engagement had taken a toll on my buns. Little by little he gave me small exercises to wake them up. Then I started strength training—adding in lunges, squats and step-ups and working to engage the glutes deliberately with each movement. I was running yesterday, and I realized that I was finally running with the junk in my trunk actually working for me (not against me). It was the best feeling in the world.

So how did I actually wake up the junk in my trunk? Sure, things like lunges and squats are great for strengthening, but if the glutes are silent and dead, how do we wake them up? The simplest and yet greatest exercise for me was this: laying face down on a firm surface (like the floor), with legs and arms extended, I would try and clinch my butt cheeks—but only clench one cheek at a time. At first, nothing moved. Literally, no cheeks movement whatsoever. But little by little, the right cheek had a twitch. Then more. Then the left. And after a few days and weeks, I had complete control over which cheek moved and when, to the point where I could make them wiggle to the tune of Sir Mixalot. Then I moved on to the leg lifts and lunges… and suddenly, I had a working rump. This working rump is starting to pay massive dividends on the run. Now, I run with a smile, because my butt is also running.

It’s not rocket science, but it does take some strange work. Work that, as a beginner and adult onset athletes, that is worth the time, energy, and sure—giggles.

More “Beginner’s Luck” from Meredith Atwood

RELATED: Are You Weak in the Glutes? 

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5 Classic Strength Training Moves for Triathletes http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/training/5-classic-strength-training-moves-triathletes_300018 Mon, 20 Mar 2017 20:53:56 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=300018 These five simple, classic movements will improve performance and reduce the chance of injury.

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It’s no secret we love tech. So when the trend of data collection hit the weight room in the form of new wearable technologies, we were intrigued. Some wrist wearables (Atlas Wristband) can now record your heart rate, reps and sets. Some are even smart enough to evaluate your form (Beast Athlete Sensor). Others have sensors integrated into clothing that tell you which muscles are firing, how much you are activating them, and more (Athos). All of this data can be viewed in real time and collected for review. And that’s awesome.

However, since strength training wearables are still in their infancy, they haven’t yet hit that mark where the tech becomes universally affordable. Case in point: A single smart shirt can run more than $390. And while we would admittedly blow a month’s grocery budget on a shirt that tracks our pectoral activity, we know we should wait and save up. But we don’t have to wait to start making our bodies tougher, because when it comes to strength training, traditional exercises done right have proven again and again to be the most effective at building strength and reducing injury.

“Strength in general helps prevent injuries through improved muscular stability around a joint,” says Daniel Payseur, director of the United States Performance Center and a strength coach who has also worked extensively with endurance athletes to help them increase their performance and stay injury free. “Higher failure points make it much more difficult to push the tissue or structure to the point it will fail.”

Here are five simple, classic movements Payseur recommends to improve performance and reduce the chance of injury. Aim to complete 3 sets of 10 reps for each move twice a week, increasing to three times a week as you get stronger.

 

 

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Monday Minute: The Pull Through http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/training/monday-minute-pull_97162 Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:50:59 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=97162 This is a great lower body exercise that will help increase leg strength and back strength.

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In this video we introduce you to an exercise known as the pull through. This is a great lower body exercise that will help increase leg strength and back strength.

More 60-second strengthening and injury-prevention exercises from Triathlete.com

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Photos: 2017 Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/photos/photos-2017-ironman-70-3-puerto-rico_299972 Mon, 20 Mar 2017 00:43:07 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=299972 Taylor Reid and Alicia Kaye won on a steamy day in San Juan.

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Canadian Taylor Reid put together a 25:14 swim, a 2:02:11 bike and a 1:18:18 half-marathon to claim the victory in 3:49:50. American Andy Potts suffered an unfortunate crash coming into T2, losing significant time before the half-marathon. He rallied with a 1:19:19 run to earn second place in 3:51:22. American Rio Olympian Ben Kanute showed promise at the 70.3 distance, rounding out the podium in 3:51:32.

American Alicia Kaye was the top finisher for the women, dominating from start to finish with a 25:33 swim, a 2:17:57 bike and a 1:30:04 half-marathon to take the victory in 4:18:04. Though Kaye led from start to finish, Canadian Stephanie Roy got close by the end of the race thanks to an impressive 1:22:59 run—putting her across the line just 29 seconds after Kaye. Denmark’s Helle Frederiksen, who has won this race twice, rounded out the podium in third.

2017 Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico – March 19, 2017
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run

Men
1. Taylor Reid (CAN) 3:49:50
2. Andy Potts (USA) 3:51:22
3. Ben Kanute (USA) 3:51:32
4. Stephen Kilshaw (CAN) 3:53:21
5. Raul Tejada (GTM) 3:54:07

Women
1. Alicia Kaye (USA) 4:18:04
2. Stephanie Roy (CAN) 4:18:33
3. Helle Frederiksen (DEN) 4:19:30
4. Lesley Smith (USA) 4:23:28
5. Skye Moench (USA) 4:27:53

Complete results

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Murray Victorious After Three-Day Super League Triathlon Hamilton Island http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/news/murray-victorious-three-day-super-league-triathlon-hamilton-island_299962 Sun, 19 Mar 2017 21:50:08 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=299962 Two days of searing heat and humidity were replaced with torrential rain early in the afternoon of day three of Super League Hamilton Island. The temperature […]

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Two days of searing heat and humidity were replaced with torrential rain early in the afternoon of day three of Super League Hamilton Island. The temperature may have been cooler but athletes were still feeling the heat with the pressure-cooker Eliminator format being unveiled. The three stage race saw athletes eliminated in each stage with race tactics playing as much a part as pure speed. Dual Olympic Champion Alistair Brownlee was a pre-race casualty withdrawing from Eliminator as a result of illness. Ultimately it was Australia’s Jake Birtwhistle who took the stage three victory and South Africa’s Richard Murray who took the overall win. Read the recap from race organizers below.

Sunday’s Format:
Round 1 – Swim (300m), Bike (6km), Run (2km)
(10-minute break commences when round winner crosses the finish line)
Top 15 finishers of round 1 proceed to round 2
Round 2 – Swim (300m), Bike (6km), Run (2km)
(10-minute break commences when round winner crosses the finish line)
Top 10 finishers of round 2 proceed to round 3
Round 3 – Swim (300m), Bike (6km), Run (2km)
The first athlete across the finish line in round 3 is the overall winner of Eliminator.

Recap

In Eliminator stage one athletes were vying for a top 15 finish position to progress through to stage two. In familiar fashion, Richard Varga was first out of the water before athletes made their first ascent up a wet Mango Tree Corner on the bike leg. Following the afternoon downpour, the slippery roads required strong bike handling skills and Ireland’s Ben Shaw hit the deck on the first hairpin turn of the bike course and was forced withdrew from the race. He was the first to be out of the race but it was Cameron Dye who was the first athlete to feel the wrath of Super League Triathlon’s Eliminator format as he finished in 16th place following the stage one run leg and was joined on the sidelines for stage 2 by Josh Amberger, Dmitry Polyanskiy, Brent McMahon, Terrenzo Bozzone, Daniel Hoy and Sirgudur Orn Ragnarsson.

Richard Murray, sitting in the hot seat for a $100,000 winner’s check, raced smartly in stage 1 remaining well within the front pack but did not push the pace. Mid-run Murray was in in 14th place and visibly seen counting the 13 athletes in front of him at the run turn to ensure he was in the optimal position to finish inside the top 15 in stage one without expending any more than he had to.

Stage two saw athletes battling for a top 10 position to progress through to the final stage of Eliminator. In what had been a relatively quiet week, Henri Schoeman came out to play early on the bike leg of stage two and pushed the pace, but it was Ryan Fisher who led out on the run and eyed off a stage 3 berth. A group of 10 quickly formed at the front of the race before Norway’s Kristian Bluumenfelt led them across the line to claim his second stage win of the day.

Eighteen-year-old Matt Hauser announced himself on the world-stage at Super League Hamilton Island but was the first athlete to miss the cut in stage two after an 11th place finish after a valiant run leg. He was joined on the elimination list by Andrea Salvisberg, Alessandro Fabian, Crisanto Grajales Valencia and Jorik van Egdom.

Following the completion of stage two Richard Murray was interviewed in the recovery zone following stage two and appeared confident of a title win claiming he would attack the bike course—“big gear, no fear,” he said.

With 14 of the world’s finest athletes sidelined for stage three, they became enthusiastic spectators as their fellow warriors took to the pontoon for stage three start in a race that would decide who would take home the Eliminator title and the winners check of $100,000. At the start of stage three, Murray stood atop the overall series leader board on 40 points with Mola his closest rival on 31 points. A seventh place or above finish would guarantee Murray the title.

Following a tight swim, Australia’s Ryan Fisher went out hard on the bike to set up a 16 second lead into T2 knowing that if were to claim Eliminator he had to gap the stronger runners. Fisher held on until lap two of the run, however, the run came down to the three dominant runners of Super League Hamilton Island with Murray, Mario Mola and Australian superstar Jake Birtwhistle quickly bridging the gap to Fisher and subsequently setting an incredible pace at the front. It was Mola who made the first break among the lead pack, dropping Murray in the process, but it was Birtwhistle who looked cool and calm as he sat on the Spaniard’s heels before unleashing a devastating sprint to claim the win and the Eliminator title from Mola and Murray.

Jake Birtwhistle earned the day three victory. Photo provided by Super League Triathlon

Murray combined a third-place finish in Eliminator and victories in Triple Mix and Equalizer to become the big winner, amassing a total of 56 out of 60 points across the three days of racing to take home $100,000 and the Leonid Boguslavsky Champions Trophy as the overall winner of Super League Hamilton Island.

The top three finishers of Eliminator also made up the overall podium finishers for Super League Hamilton Island with Mario Mola in second place (49 points) taking home the second place cheque for $50,000 and Birtwhistle capping off an incredible race week with third place overall (48 points) and receiving $30,000.

Video

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Murray Remains on Top After Day 2 of Super League http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/news/murray-remains-top-day-2-super-league_299947 Sat, 18 Mar 2017 21:08:29 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=299947 The highly-anticipated Super League Triathlon series kicked off its first event on Friday in Hamilton Island, Australia. South Africa’s Richard Murray continued his hot start to the […]

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The highly-anticipated Super League Triathlon series kicked off its first event on Friday in Hamilton Island, Australia. South Africa’s Richard Murray continued his hot start to the 2017 season, finishing on top after both day one (the Triple Mix format) and day two (the Equalizer format) over the field of 24 competitors. Read the recap from race organizers below.

Saturday’s format: The Equalizer is a two-stage race comprising an individual cycling time trial in stage 1 in the morning, and a swim-run-swim-bike-run sequence as stage 2 in the afternoon. Athletes are released onto the course in a pursuit format, with gaps between each athlete corresponding to the time lost to the stage 1 winner.

Recap

The South African racing in the number 07 jersey started the afternoon with a 20-second deficit to Cameron Dye, who had been fastest cyclist in the morning’s individual time trial.

The first swim belonged to Australian Jake Birtwhistle, who overhauled his deficit to Dye and took control on the first run. Fellow Australian Ryan Fisher attacked out of the water to hang onto Birtwhistle’s shoulder. Murray emerged from the water in eighth place.

The two Aussies pushed the pace to drop Dye, while Murray picked up the pace with his chase group to bridge the gap. Eventually at the end of the first run the athletes formed a large lead group, and Javier Gomez took the front going into the run-to-swim transition.

Kristian Blummenfelt led into the water for the second swim, but Igor Polyanskiy showed his swim prowess, churning through to head into swim-to-bike transition first. His strong swim created a gap large enough to eliminate Brent McMahon, Terenzo Bozzone and Siggy Ragnarsson as the three were unable to mount their bikes within a minute after Polyanskiy had headed onto the cycle course.

“Unfortunately, the time difference this morning was too big to bridge,” said Ragnarsson. “The guys out front were putting on a really strong pace. I was hoping I could maybe catch up, at least get on the bike and finish the bike course, but it is how it is.”

Ryan Bailie attacked up Mango Tree Hill into the second lap of the bike leg, with Gomez going with him into the front. Gomez attempted to press the pace but on lap 5, it was Bailie and Birtwhistle who went on the offensive this time up the hill. Their joint effort was enough to build more than a 10 second gap into the bike-to-run transition.

Murray stayed right inside the chase group and hit the run in third place. Again he chased down the race leaders, but this time asserted his ownership of the run right in lap 1, overtaking Birtwhistle for first place. The blistering speed from the man who owns the triathlon 10-kilometer run record was enough to lap Josh Amberger, Dmitri Polyansky, Crisanto Grajales Valencia, Dye, Dan Hoy, and Alessandro Fabian.

Birtwhistle’s second place went unchallenged, but Mario Mola pipped Gomez to be the first Spaniard across the finish line.

Murray’s win gives him another 20 points to add to his initial 20 points from yesterday to give him a clear overall lead. Mola moves up the leaderboard to second overall, while Richard Varga has been relegated to third.

“It was not easy,” said Murray. “That was hard, man. Each day is getting harder and harder, and Bailie and Birtwhistle, those kids can run. Give it to them. They can swim as well! I’m very stoked, but I’m going to pay tomorrow for sure.”

Murray said he turned on the gas after overtaking the two Aussies to break them psychologically. He went so hard that he had difficulty remembering how many laps he had left to run. “Two kilometers is really long after the last few days. It wasn’t as hot as yesterday, but it was definitely hard out there.”

While Alistair Brownlee managed to stay in contact throughout stage 2 of the Equalizer, he was not able to gain any traction on the leaderboard, staying in 19th place.

Watch day 3 of Super League Hamilton Island live on Superleaguetriathlon.com on March 19 at 4:30 p.m. AEST (11:30 p.m. PST Saturday/2:30 a.m. EST Sunday).

Video

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Murray Surges, Brownlee Struggles At Day One Of Super League Hamilton Island http://www.triathlete.com/2017/03/photos/photos-murray-leads-day-one-super-league_299914 Fri, 17 Mar 2017 20:17:19 +0000 http://www.triathlete.com/?p=299914 South Africa's Richard Murray continued his hot start to the 2017 season taking the overall lead after day one.

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The highly-anticipated Super League Triathlon series kicked off its first event on Friday in Hamilton Island, Australia. South Africa’s Richard Murray continued his hot start to the 2017 season, showing strength in the unique Triple Mix format to take the overall lead after day one. Pre-race favorite Alistair Brownlee, the two-time Olympic gold medalist, struggled throughout the day. Read the recap from race organizers below.

Friday’s format: The Triple Mix format saw athletes racing three stages, with 10 minutes of rest counting down between each stage starting when the first finisher crosses the line.

Recap

Stage 1 – Swim/Bike/Run
Murray finished stage 1 in third place after hanging off the back on the bike and making up time on the run. Richard Varga led the swim through the first turn buoy with a clear advantage through the 300-meter course. But once on the bike, the lead switched several times throughout the six lap, six kilometer course. Siggy Ragnarsson dropped out, leaving only 23 competitors who all stayed close on the last lap. Ryan Fisher led through the first lap of 250 meters, but in the end it was compatriot Jake Birtwhistle followed by Mario Mola and Murray who finished in the top three spots for stage 1.

Stage 2 – Run/Bike/Swim
Stage 2 began with a run led out by triathlon greats Spencer Smith and Brad Bevan through a neutral zone. Athletes took position behind them according to their finish order from stage 1. Ben Shaw and Birtwhistle led the rest of the field through all four run laps, running shoulder-to-shoulder into transition to get on their bikes. Fisher and Birtwhistle took the lead on the bike, with Alistair Brownlee dropping from the pack. However, Shaw crept up on Fisher and the two were first to hop off the bike and into the water. Varga’s swim prowess again took him into the lead but this time to the victory, with Andrea Salvisberg and Igor Polyanskiy in third.

Stage 3 – Bike/Swim/Run
The final stage of Triple Mix began on the bike with Robbie McEwen leading the athletes out through the neutral zone. Josh Amberger and Salvisberg made an early move and steadily built a 15-second gap through four laps. Brent McMahon led the chase pack, and Ryan Bailie made a huge effort to bridge the gap and entered the top three by the last lap. It was game over for Shaw as he overcooked the turnout of transition to crash out.

Salvisberg was first to the dismount line and made a flying leap off the pontoon and led through to the first can, but Varga once again surged through the water to take the lead, with Bailie on his shoulder. But in fifth place, Murray was waiting to strike. And strike he did, taking the lead, lapping a struggling Brownlee who was more than a minute back out of the swim, and chatting to the camera as he came down the finish chute. Varga and Bailie sprinted for second place, with the former edging the latter by a shoulder and then collapsing past the finish line.

Murray Leads After Day One
Not only did Murray take the stage win, but also the overall lead for day one. Varga placed second, with Bailie picking up the final spot on the podium.

“I planned to take it pretty easy on the first day, but then on the last run I noticed the favorites were behind me, so I knew it was my moment to go,” said Murray. The South African was reluctant to take full credit for beating Brownlee, saying, “I don’t think he was in the best shape ever when he came here. I can’t say it wasn’t great, I’ve done it once before but I think he had an injury, maybe the heat got to him or something. It’s definitely not the usual Alistair Brownlee that you’d see every single day. I don’t feel awesome from lapping someone who’s probably going 50 percent or 70 percent.”

Video Recap

Up Next
Murray will now focus on getting ready for the Eliminator format for Day 2 of Super League Hamilton Island, which will involve a time trial in the morning and more swimming, biking and running in the afternoon. “I’m very happy with how it turned out and I’ll try to recover now and get ready through the next ten hours, because in 10 hours we’re doing the time trials. I hope I can get a good starting position for the afternoon out of that.”

Day 2 of the Super League Hamilton Island will be live streamed at Superleaguetriathlon.com on March 18 at 4:30 p.m. AEST (11:30 p.m. PST Friday/2:30 a.m. EST Saturday).

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