The latest triathlon gear, training, nutrition, photos, races, movers, shakers, and more Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:13:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 32 32 My Mentor Changed My Life Through Triathlon Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:13:24 +0000 The best tri mentors do more than give swim, bike and run advice—they transform you mind, body and spirit.

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The best tri mentors do more than give swim, bike and run advice—they transform you mind, body and spirit. Presenting three people whose mentors changed their lives through triathlon. 

The most iconic members of our sport credit their success to a mentor who held a mirror up to their potential. Without the unflappable faith of USA Triathlon recruiter Barb Lindquist, Gwen Jorgensen would still be an accountant instead of an Olympic gold medalist. Had 1979 Ironman world champion Tom Warren not taken a young Bob Babbitt under his wing, Ironman might still be an unknown event with only 15 competitors. Aussie powerhouse Luke McKenzie has said his success comes from emulating his friend and guru, three-time Ironman world champion Craig Alexander. But mentors aren’t just for athletes seeking podium spots (although Karen Smyers, right, certainly helped Dede Griesbauer get there); patient, caring gurus are a special catch all athletes would be lucky to find. Just ask these three triathletes.

Mike Nicholas, 37

Location: Portland, Ore.
Mentor: Dean Hinchliff, coach

When I met Dean Hinchliff in 2013, I was in an inpatient treatment facility for heroin and homelessness. As part of my recovery, I trained for and ran the Heartbreaker Half Marathon. This set in motion a series of events that led to me signing up for a “try-a-tri” event put on by local race company AA Sports in Portland. I was hooked. The race director connected me with Dean, who met me for coffee one day. He asked some questions about my recovery and agreed to coach me for a reduced fee. When everyone else saw me as this homeless junkie, Dean welcomed me into his family and helped transform me from a 33-year-old boy into a 37-year-old man. Today, I work for a non-profit organization as a mentor for those in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, and I go to school part-time for a bachelor’s degree in social work. I do my best to freely give back what Dean gave to me: hope.

Dede Griesbauer, 46

Location: Lincoln, Mass.
Mentor: Karen Smyers, Ironman world champion, three-time ITU triathlon world champion

While procrastinating during my second year of business school at Wharton in 1995, I turned on the TV. The Ironman was on, and I saw Karen Smyers run down a failing Paula Newby-Fraser. I was gobsmacked. The next day, I signed up for my first Ironman. Years later, when I qualified for Kona, I decided I needed a coach. A colleague at my job on Wall Street suggested I hire his friend Karen Smyers. He told Karen to e-mail me, and when she did, I nearly fell off my chair and uttered several four-letter words. This started a seven-year coach-athlete relationship, but more importantly, one of the most cherished friendships of my life.

Karen was so patient with my inexperience and relative stupidity. I just followed her around like a lost puppy: When Karen shifted, I shifted; when she drank from her bottle, I drank from my bottle. I emulated everything. Eventually I turned pro in 2004 because of Karen, and most of my sponsors came because of her, including Saucony and Infinit Nutrition. I have literally made a career of riding Karen’s coattails. She must be exhausted because that’s quite a load to tow.

Andrew Shanks, 33

Location: Atlanta, Ga.
Mentor: Matthew Rose, founder, Dynamo Multisport

I remember the first time I realized I wanted to be a coach. I was at a training camp, and I couldn’t help but watch Matthew Rose interact with his athletes. He knew exactly what motivated them, what made them tick and what needed to be said (or not said). He would personalize a message in a way each individual athlete would understand: If someone was having a rough day, he’d hand them a Coke and crack some jokes, or take them aside to remind them that even bad days of training are steps in the right direction. That’s when I realized that coaching is more than just writing training plans online. It’s a very personal thing, all about helping athletes become the best version of themselves. It’s the approach I use today as an NCAA coach for the Concordia University Wisconsin women’s triathlon team.

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Tailored-to-Triathlete BnBs Are Our Favorite Travel Trend Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:42:59 +0000 Ditch the overpriced hotel chains.

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Ditch the overpriced hotel chains. Accommodations (and trip planning) tailored to triathletes are our favorite new travel trend. 

Race travel was always a double-edged sword for Nick Cohenmeyer, an attorney and triathlete based in San Diego. While he loved exploring new places, staying at hotels introduced one headache and frustration after another.

“I got tired of paying for amenities I was never going to use—we’re not there to lounge by the pool all day—and it’s a pain to check in and check out at the designated times, especially on race day,” he says. “The hotel experience just wasn’t a good value.”

Hopeful that the Airbnb service—where people rent out all or part of their home to travelers—would be a more flexible, economical solution, Cohenmeyer began booking his accommodations through the app. But then he found that a lot of hosts weren’t psyched when he showed up with his bike. “A lot of times they didn’t have a garage and they certainly didn’t want me to bring my bike into their house and dirty the carpet, let alone have a bike tool I could borrow in a pinch,” he says. What he really sought was like-minded people he could crash with.

So last year, Cohenmeyer, “a born entrepreneur” who sold homemade greeting cards to neighbors as a kid, decided to create BicycleBNB, a private accommodations booking service catering to cyclists and triathletes. “I’d just hosted eight cyclists at my house for the Belgian Waffle Ride* here in San Diego, and had such a blast,” he says. “I thought BicycleBNB could be a great way for cyclists and triathletes to connect with other athletes, save a little money and make some new Strava friends.”

He created a beta app/site through an entrepreneurial incubator program, and with business partner Michael Marcx (a former competitive cyclist and president of Spy Optics) is now focused on getting triathletes to register their homes. For every booking, BicycleBNB collects 15 percent of the total fee. (AirBNB charges travelers a 6–12 percent service fee, and charges the host a 3 percent booking fee.) Phase two includes a GPS-powered directory of local group rides and city guides with recommendations for dining and activities.

The benefit of a local’s intel is also the main draw of Airbnb Experiences, a recently launched program that has people serve as tour guides for everything from day hikes to a multi-day food tour. When an Airbnb employee approached San Francisco Bay Area triathlon coach Duane Franks about creating an experience for triathletes, he jumped at the chance.

“You know what it’s like when you go to a new place—you don’t know where to find the best riding, pools, open-water swimming and so on, so having someone guide you every step of the way has a lot of benefits,” says Franks, who has coached in the area for 25 years.

He organized the first Triathlon Adventures itinerary in January, a single-day swim and run around Angel Island (there were seven participants), and has since developed a three-day “immersion” option, which is essentially a training camp. Most athletes stay with an Airbnb host, and in addition to serving as a triathlon guide, Frank says he also acts as “local interpreter and historian.” So far, he seems to be the only host of triathlon-themed Airbnb Experiences, but that’s bound to change quickly as more coaches and triathletes are recognizing the ease and enjoyment of this type of travel.

Franks is excited about the growth potential Airbnb Experiences offers the sport. “Millions of eyes are on this site, and someone who is just an adventurist could come across triathlon experiences as something to do, and it might be the start of a triathlon career for them,” he says.

Whether or not the growth of tri-centric travel options leads more people to jump into the sport, the camaraderie and convenience factors will undoubtedly give this travel trend some serious staying power.

Tri BnB

Accoms for the multisport minded

Welcome Athletes
Launching in 2017
Sign up for this free “hospitality network dedicated to athletes” to host a visiting athlete or find a place to crash for a race.

Airbnb Experiences
Founded: 2016
Link up with local coaches and triathletes around the world for one-day or three-day training trips. The Triathlon Adventures Experience with veteran coach Duane Franks tours the San Francisco Bay Area’s “magnificent” swim, bike and run venues.

The Betty Haus in Park City, Utah

The Betty Haus
Park City, Utah
Founded: 2016
This high-end, three-bedroom townhouse, owned by husband-wife endurance athletes Kristin Mayer (founder of Betty Designs) and Matt Wright, is just steps from some of the area’s best trails for some epic training terrain.

Founded: 2016
An Airbnb-like homestay service catering to cyclists and triathletes.

*A grueling approximately 140-mile ride with 13,000 feet of climbing and 36-plus miles of dirt sections held annually in San Diego. 

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How Do I Lose Weight While Training? Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:28:41 +0000 You need the right balance of nutrients to fuel your workouts without compromising performance.

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A: When training for a race, your goal should not be solely weight loss. You need the right balance of nutrients to fuel your workouts without compromising performance. So drop no more than 1 percent of total body weight per week to preserve lean mass and performance—and don’t get discouraged if the number on the scale does not change as you may be losing inches instead of pounds as you change up your fat-to-muscle ratio. Here are three key components to keep in mind:

1. Avoid skipping meals or drastically decreasing food intake.

Missing opportunities to refuel or not consuming enough can cause unhealthy cravings and overeating later in the day. This can result in a decreased consumption of important micronutrients, specifically calcium, vitamin D and iron, which can lead to a higher potential for stress fractures, and impair muscle function through inefficient oxygen transport to muscles. Calcium can be found in dairy or green leafy vegetables. Vitamin D is in fatty fish such as tuna or salmon and in fortified cereals, milk or orange juice. Iron can be found in meat, poultry, fish and beans. To increase the iron’s absorption, pair iron-containing foods with vitamin C-rich foods such as citrus fruits.

2. Focus on post-workout refueling.

This is extremely important. Consume a 3-to-1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein within 30–60 minutes after your workout. During training you’re utilizing glycogen stores in your muscles while tearing down your muscles as well. Consuming 20–25 grams protein will help repair your muscles. Pair it with 60–75 grams of carbohydrates to aid recovery and get you ready for the next training session. A good post-workout meal would be 20 ounces of low-fat chocolate milk and half a medium banana, which will give you 70 grams of carbs and 21 grams of protein.

3. Avoid mindless snacking.

What else are you eating throughout the day? Are you picking up the mini candy bar in the dish as you walk by a coworker’s desk? If you’ve skimped on meals or inadequately refueled post-workout, chances are you will find yourself eating more throughout the day without realizing it. Energy requirements vary from day to day depending on the volume and intensity of your workouts. Most athletes can decrease total intake by 250 to 500 calories while maintaining their training plan and not hindering performance. I recommend keeping a food log, either online or on paper. Track what you are taking in to ensure you are not over-consuming. Not sure how many calories you should be consuming? A sports dietitian can help you figure it out.

The key to weight loss is consistent food intake throughout the day. Make time for a post-workout meal or snack. Plan ahead and consume healthy whole-food sources. The goal should be to eat properly to fuel your body to meet your performance goals.

Christina Bologna is a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics and a two-time Ironman finisher working as a dietitian for the U.S. Navy. Find her at Note: The views expressed are those of the individual only and not of the Department of Defense.

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Quick Set: Fun Mix Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:00:05 +0000 Don't get bored in the pool! Try this new workout from Triathlete contributor and swimming all-star 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 (, 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.

500 warm up
4×150 on 2:40 (50 kick/100 IM)
18×50 swim (4 on :40, 2 on :50, repeat)
400 pull (build by 100)
6×75 pull on 1:10 (25 free/25 back/25 free)
50 easy swim
8×50 on :55 (25 FAST!/25 easy/kick on wall until next interval)
5×200 on 2:50 (rotating fast 50)
200 cool down
*4300 Total*

RELATED – Ask Coach Sara: Why Do I Feel Lightheaded After The Swim?

500 warm up
4×150 on 3:15 (50 kick/50 free/50 non-free)
12×50 swim (3 on :50, 1 on :60, repeat)
300 pull (build by 100)
6×75 pull on 1:20
50 easy swim
6×50 on 1:05 (25 FAST!/25 easy/kick on wall until next interval)
4×150 on 2:45 (rotating fast 50)
100 cool down
*3500 Total*

RELATED – Ask Coach Sara: The Best Pool Sessions

400 warm up
3×150 w/ 15 sec rest (50 kick/50 free/50 non-free)
9×50 swim (2 strong w/ 10 sec rest, 1 easy w/ 20 sec rest, repeat)
300 pull (build by 100)
4×75 pull w/ 15 sec rest
6×50 w/ 10 sec rest (25 FAST!/25 easy/kick on wall for 10 sec)
100 cool down
*2300 Total*

More “Quick Set Friday” workouts.

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

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Mavic Road UST Promises Hassle-Free Tubeless Thu, 22 Jun 2017 21:36:21 +0000 Mavic has long stressed that a tire and rim should work together.

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Mavic has long stressed that a tire and rim should work together. The new Mavic Road UST tubeless system maintains that notion and adds another vital component to the mix: easy installation and maintenance.

By creating a rim contour design that works specifically with a Kevlar-bead Yksion UST tubeless tire, Mavic says riders will be able to install and maintain the UST system more easily. The Kevlar bead has more pliability than a stiffer carbon bead. This should allow most of us to work the tire on and off the rim by hand. The bead lock shape is intended to further ease the installation and removal process. The French company even says riders should be able to continue riding if the tire goes flat.

Tubeless road setups have been slow to catch on primarily because of reliability issues as well as difficult installation/removal processes. (Just read a few of Lennard Zinn’s Technical FAQ columns and you’ll understand.) But the benefits of the system include the ability to run lower tire pressures, and removing the tube from the equation can reduce rolling resistance. And tubeless sealants are often capable of sealing up small punctures. A tubeless setup could also be lighter. Mavic claims 40 grams in weight savings over a tire and tube system.

The tight interface between rim and tire is said to differentiate the Mavic Road UST system from other road tubeless options. A completely redesigned rim contour profile could make seating and inflating the tire quicker and easier. Hopefully, setting up the tire with a floor pump is easy. Mavic also says the rim shape makes tire removal a tool-free affair.

Mavic isn’t being shy about introducing the system either. A wide range of its road wheel/tire offerings will be available with Mavic Road UST. See below for the complete line-up. Mavic will offer Yksion tires in 25mm and 28mm widths.

Some of the new Mavic Road UST wheels will be available in July. Others will ship later this summer.

Pricing and claimed weights

Comete Pro Carbon SL Disc: $1899, 1755 grams
Comete Pro Carbon SL: $1799, 1635 grams
Cosmic Pro Carbon SL Disc: $1899, 1570 grams
Cosmic Pro Carbon SL: $1799, 1450 grams
Cosmic Elite Disc: $499, 1770 grams
Cosmic Elite: $449, 1850 grams
Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL Disc: $1899, 1510 grams
Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL: $1799, 1390 grams
Ksyrium Pro Disc: $1099, 1620 grams
Ksyrium Pro: $999, 1420 grams
Ksyrium Elite Disc: $799, 1690 grams
Ksyrium Elite: $699, 1520 grams
Allroad Pro Disc: $1099, 1660 grams
Allroad Elite Disc: $799, 1720 grams
Allroad Elite RB (rim brake): $799, 1600 grams
Open Pro Disc rim: $99, 420 grams
Open Pro rim: $99, 420 grams
Yksion Pro UST (tire): $69, 260 grams

This article originally appeared on

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The Chimp and Professor Battling Inside Your Brain Thu, 22 Jun 2017 18:30:44 +0000 What's going on inside your brain? And how does it affect your athletic performance?

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What’s going on inside your brain? And how does it affect your athletic performance? Dr. Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson explore this and more in their new book, The Brave Athlete. Read the excerpt below.

You don’t have one brain—you have three; your ancient Chimp brain that keeps you alive, your modern Professor brain that navigates the civilized world, and your Computer brain that runs your habits (good and bad). They fight for control all the time and that’s when bad things happen; you get crazy nervous before a race, you choke under pressure, you quit when the going gets tough, you make dumb mistakes, you worry about how you look.

What’s going on inside your brain?

Inside the head of every athlete are two very distinct parts of the brain vying for control of your thoughts and feelings.

First, there is the limbic system, which reacts only to drives and instincts that you experience as feelings and impressions.

Then, there is the frontal cortex, which deals with facts and logic and guides empathy, moral judgment, and social conscience.

We’ve found it helpful to think of these two regions as a Chimp and a Professor.

The chimp metaphor comes from Dr. Steve Peters, a British forensic and sport psychiatrist who wrote The Chimp Paradox. The chimp is a great metaphor for the limbic system because a chimp often acts up, has tantrums, and can be pretty disruptive. But a chimp can also be calm, sleepy, adorable and cuddly. Most importantly, a chimp doesn’t really mean any harm to you because it doesn’t know any better. It’s just a chimp. In contrast to your Chimp, we refer to your frontal cortex as your Professor brain, because it’s always logical and only deals in facts and truth.

Chimp versus Professor: Where the sh*t hits the fan

In an ideal world, your Chimp brain and your Professor brain would be nice neighbors. Like when your neighbor leans over the fence and asks to borrow something. Polite and considerate. Here’s the ideal scenario:

  • Your Chimp experiences an urge to [insert instinct of choice here . . . eat, hide, run, have sex].
  • Your Chimp asks the Professor brain for permission to get the urge met.
  • Your Professor brain carefully considers the request by thinking it through using only facts and logic.
  • You make a decision that is in the best interests of both your Chimp and your Professor brains.
  • Everyone is pleased and you live happily ever after. If only things were that simple! But they’re not. In fact, we have a major problem. Your Chimp is a bully. And this bully has lightning-fast reflexes and superhuman powers of persuasion.

Meet your inner primate—your Chimp brain

Scientific studies in neuroscience and cognitive psychology have proven that your Chimp brain is a tough wee bastard. Your Chimp was bestowed with biochemical powers (called neurotransmitters) that enable it to bully your Professor brain into submission. Instead of being a polite and respectful neighbor, your Chimp sets up camp in your basement and just starts using your sh*t at will. Here are more facts about your Chimp:

  • Controls the fight, flight, or freeze response, a powerful response to danger.
  • Is first responder for all sensory information. Research shows that your Chimp brain processes and reacts to sensory input data up to five times quicker than your Professor brain.
  • Maintains very strong drives for food, power, sex, ego, being accepted by others, security, inquisitiveness, and so on. Your Chimp is motivated to protect these drives at all times.
  • Uses powerful neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, acetylcholine, and noradrenaline to get your attention and move you to act.
  • Thinks in black and white, there is no gray. Only right or wrong.
  • Is paranoid as a result of a deep-seated need for safety. Is hypervigilant about protecting you.
  • Elevates threats to catastrophic—they are always a matter of life or death.
  • Acts irrationally; never mind if it’s reasonable or feasible.
  • Is infallible, final, and merciless.
  • So, you’re stuck with this overemotional roommate that is fixated on preserving basic drives or instincts using feelings and impressions, even though you never asked for help. Your Chimp screams at you to make sure you hear, and worry and anxiety are usually the end result. Here are just a few examples of the havoc that your Chimp creates around your athletic performance: What if I get dropped? I have to race well for my coach. If I don’t get on the podium, this race will be for nothing. I look like an overstuffed sausage in this cycling kit. If I have a bad race, my sponsors will write me off. . . . or the gazillions of other things that make us feel miserable.

But your Chimp brain isn’t all bad. If your life is truly at risk, it will help you perform amazing acts of bravery, force you to eat grubs when you’re close to starvation, and help you fall in love and want to shag like a rabbit. Don’t get the impression that all your problems will be solved if you could just be rid of your Chimp. You need your Chimp. We’ve just got to make sure it’s well trained.

Meet your voice of reason—your Professor brain

Your Professor brain is the only part of you that can actually think (in the sense that it can be conscious of itself, reason, think abstractly, and so on). Your Professor brain helps you manage money, purchase a house, select a partner, bake a cake, visit a doctor, plan your training program, and ponder moral and ethical conundrums. Your Professor brain got you through school and college. Driven by facts and logic, it’s motivated by honesty, compassion, and self-control, and it acts with a conscience, searches for purpose in life, and works for a sense of achievement. It does the intellectual heavy lifting required of good decisions. However, here’s the most important point to remember about your Professor brain: It deals only with facts, truth, and logic. If your Professor brain was in charge, you’d make smart, rational decisions all the time. However, because it takes time to weigh up pros and cons, consider alternatives, and think through rules and regulations, your Professor brain is notoriously slow. When the Chimp releases powerful neurotransmitters during the decision-making process, your Professor brain gets pushed aside or tricked. In fact, studies in cognitive science and behavioral economics have shown that your Professor brain is pushed, bullied, and tricked most of the time. Why else would you plow through a half-pound bag of Red Vines after 8 p.m., have orange skinny jeans in your closet, or buy yet another training kit that costs more than some families spend on groceries in a month?

Meet your operating system—your Computer brain

We’re now going to add in a third brain to the mix. Wait, what? It’s not technically a brain on its own, but more a function of many different regions that help you run automatic programs like habits and routines. It also uses your memory banks to shape expectations you have of people and situations. It is akin to a computer’s operating system because it runs in the background, it’s extremely fast, and it helps you launch programs to deal with different situations. To borrow another metaphor from Dr. Steve Peters, it’s like a Computer brain.

The neuroanatomy of your brain’s operating system is very complex, and its functions occur in many different brain structures. Most important, your Computer brain helps you act automatically using preprogrammed thoughts and actions. Like a computer, it stores memories. Like a reference book, it stores information about your beliefs and values. We need a Computer brain because much of what we think and do must be automated in order to cope with the sheer number of decisions that need to be made every day (estimated at approximately 35,000!). When we learn skills well, we turn them over to the Computer brain to manage.

When you are born, the hard drive of your Computer brain is blank. As you grow up, it fills with information based on your education and experience. All information on the computer comes from what the Chimp and the Professor have given it. When the Chimp stores information on the computer, it is based on Chimp logic (paranoid, catastrophic, fear-based). When the Professor stores information on the computer, it is based on Professor logic (facts and reasoning). Your Computer brain has a limitless capacity for storage, but things that are associated with strong emotion get special treatment. This is more evidence that your Chimp brain stacks the deck in its favor. Your Chimp puts a lot of crap on your computer to promote its own agenda of staying alive and rewarding your instincts and drives for food, sex, ego, security, territory, inquisitiveness, and so on. Often we don’t focus on facts and logic but instead recall only emotionally charged experiences to help us determine how we feel about something. In some instances, this creates an extreme pattern of behavior that defies logic and reason but persists anyway. This is what causes phobias or irrational fears.

So, in a nutshell…

Your professor brain deals with facts, truth, and logic. Your Chimp brain deals with feelings, impressions, and emotions, based on instincts and drives. Your Computer brain acts like a machine that takes orders from the Chimp or Professor and runs stored programs based on your experiences and memories so you don’t have to think too much. These brain systems all fight for control.

Learning how to calm the f*ck down and rise to the occasion is about recognizing which brain is in charge and then doing some brain wrangling to get the right brain for the job back in control.

This excerpt is adapted from The Brave Athlete by Dr. Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson. Their cutting-edge brain training guide solves the 13 most common mental conundrums athletes face in their everyday training and in races. With The Brave Athlete, you can solve these problems to become mentally strong and make your brain your most powerful asset.

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This Movie About a 1,200-Mile Triathlon Will Make You Cringe Thu, 22 Jun 2017 16:55:39 +0000 Luke Tyburski swam across the Strait of Gibraltar, cycled along the coast of Spain and France then ran through France into Monaco.

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Luke Tyburski is a former Australian soccer player whose athletic career was marred by near-constant injury. During his last three years in the sport, he experienced a laundry list of afflictions including two foot surgeries, a reconstructed collarbone, a groin injury, a serious back injury and a calf tear. So what does the injury-prone lad from the Australian bush do? Well, take up ultrarunning, of course.

Despite claiming to have never run more than six miles in his life, Tyburski enters himself into the famously-brutal and famously-over-six-mile event, the Marathon des Sables. The six stage, self-supported running race tackles over 120 miles across the Sahara desert. Though Tyberski finished (minus all of the skin on his infected toes), it turned out that this feat couldn’t fully fill the void in his life. So he decided to do more.

“More” looked like a lot of things: running down Mt. Everest; running through a Chinese forest without money, food or water; and competing in the Double Brutal Extreme Triathlon. All of these may seem ridiculous enough, but it seems that Tyburski is only happy when he’s topping himself—so he created an “event” that somehow made the aforementioned list look like a sprint tri series.

In 2015, Tyburski set out to complete the “Ultimate Triathlon.” The event would take place over the course of 12 days and would cover over 1,200 miles. The plan was to swim across the Strait of Gibraltar (roughly nine miles), cycle along the coast of Spain and France (over 800 miles) then run through France into Monaco (over 350 miles). To put it into perspective, he needed to average 200 miles per day on the bike and run a double marathon each day, for a week straight.

The documentary was created by Jay Cox of Fizzeek Media.

If the stats sound insane and unreasonable, The Ultimate Triathlon movie only proves it. We see Tyburski basically throttle himself over the course of 12 days—for only a short period near the beginning of the film does he resemble anything remotely human or living.

Over the course of 94 minutes, we watch Tyburski slowly disintegrate. While he tries to keep things light and fun by donning a rainbow-colored beanie with a propeller, it’s still pretty tough to watch. Despite training for up to 50 hours per week to prepare, a lot goes wrong for Tyburski during his odyssey: last-minute course changes, untimely family news, cold temperatures, hamstring issues, quad issues and sleep deprivation, just to name a (very) few.

Throughout the film, Tyburski’s chipper antics go from entertaining to slightly alarming to nearly tragic. While the tone of his banter devolves from peppy to slurring as the miles crank by, the strangest part of the whole adventure is that he runs himself (literally) into the ground so often and continues to keep going. “Every day he dies, and every day he is reborn,” says one of his crewmembers without even a hint of melodrama.

There are moments that are particularly hard to watch—basically any time near the end of the trip when Tyburski is trying to get on or off his bike. Or when you hear his near-constant yelps of pain during the last 30 minutes of film. Anyone who has done endurance sports can recognize that certain point with injuries where the damage is almost irreversible. And yet Tyburski goes on.

Part of me says that this is a film about how far we can push the human body. However, Tyburski goes so far beyond that line, it’s tough to even see those limits through the fog of suffering. When a human being becomes too difficult to distinguish from an actual zombie, it almost becomes an experiment in masochism.

While we don’t hear this explicitly stated during the movie, Tyburski has revealed in subsequent interviews that he uses his athletic feats as a way to supplement his treatment for depression. Knowing this going into the experience certainly paints a better picture of the “why” that seems to get danced around a little bit during the film. Aside from his own personal dreams and goals, the purpose of this feat can be a little unclear—Tyburski’s not doing this for charity or to bring awareness to any specific ailment.

Without spoiling anything, there are a few twists in this film, but for the most part it’s sort of about a man taking himself to the brink over the course of 1,200 miles. Fans of extreme endurance suffering will likely find solace in the Ultimate Triathlon, but anyone trying to motivate their children into trying sports may want to stick to Chariots of Fire.

Stream the movie at and watch a trailer below. 

More triathlon-related movie reviews:
– Review: Flatline to Finish Line
– The Most Awesomely Terrible Triathlon Movie on Netflix

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Get out of Your Smoothie Rut with These 6 Unique Add-Ins Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:16:45 +0000 Too often athletes fall into a smoothie rut by whirling together the same ingredients over and over again.

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When the right ingredients are sent for a ride in a blender, what can transpire is a drink with the goods necessary to help an active body recover better and reach peak health. And whether you need breakfast, post-workout nutrition or a mid-day snack in the fast lane, a smoothie can be there when you need it most. But too often athletes fall into a smoothie rut by whirling together the same ingredients over and over again; a scenario that can lead to smoothie burnout and putting your blender on ice. Try blending up these unusual ingredients to take your smoothies up a gastronomic notch.

Tool of the Trade

If you’re going to regularly make smoothies, consider investing in a mighty machine that can blend them up (and much more!) with vigor for years to come. No, we aren’t talking about that Oster you picked up from a tag sale at the end of a driveway. You want a blender with serious horsepower such as the Vitamix Professional Series 750 ($599, With a crazy powerful motor and pre-programmed settings, it can make quick work of your smoothies, soups, creamy desserts and even DIY nut butters. A splurge never tasted so good.

RELATED – Quick Look: Blendtec Designer 725 Blender

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Traveling After Your Race? Here’s How to Recover Right Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:54:42 +0000 Gotta fly or drive after your race? You can do more than throw on compression socks and hope for the best.

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Gotta fly or drive after your race? You can do more than throw on compression socks and hope for the best. Here’s how to get where you’re going in top form. 


It never fails: Two hours post-race, you’re struck with an intense urge to eat all the things. (Pizza! French fries! Milkshakes!) The greasy indulgences found in truck stops and airport terminals sound good, but that doesn’t mean they’re your best bet for optimal recharging.

Kim Schwabenbauer, a pro triathlete and board-certified sports dietitian, says recovery-
friendly options are easy to find on the road if you follow some basic guidelines: “In general, you want a 4-to-1 ratio of grams of carbohydrates to grams of protein. Keep the fat in check, as fat slows absorption of carbohydrates.” Her picks:

Starbucks: Perfect oatmeal or Protein Bistro Box
Au Bon Pain: Vegetable Soup and a whole-wheat bagel with peanut butter
Dunkin Donuts: Egg White Veggie Flatbread
Panera: Mediterranean Chicken Flatbread with a side of Greek salad

And don’t forget to hydrate. Immediately after your race, Schwabenbauer recommends gulping down anything that offers fluid and electrolytes, including sports drinks and coconut water.


Sitting for long periods of time can make your post-race Frankenwalk even stiffer. Keep your muscles loose and limber with these in-seat stretches from Sita Hagenburg, co-founder of stretching studio Bendable Body in New York City.


It can be hard to fall asleep in the tight seats of economy class or in the passenger seat of your car. If a nap is elusive, don’t fret, says meditation expert and founder of Run Wild Retreats and Wellness, Elinor Fish. “Falling asleep can be hard because when you’re overtired and your body is depleted, but even short meditations can be just as rejuvenating as a nap.” Her go-to for a quick recharge:

1. Sit comfortably in your chair with your feet flat on the floor and hands on your thighs. Close your eyes.

2. Take 10 long, deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling silently from the mouth. With each breath, release any tension you notice in your muscles, starting with legs, then moving up the thighs, buttocks, chest, arms, hands, neck and finally the face.

3. Return to a normal breathing pattern while remaining relaxed throughout your body. Maintain focus on being present. When thoughts pull your attention away, redirect your attention back to the present.

“When you’re thinking, your conscious mind is at work, evaluating, pondering, judging, anticipating,” says Fish. “Since your goal here is to rest deeply, take a break and let yourself settle into the subconscious mind. Even if your total time spent in that present moment state adds up to only a few fleeting minutes, it is powerfully rejuvenating to both the body and mind.”

For maxing your relaxing, block ambient noise with earplugs, listen to meditation music, or download a guided meditation. Fish recommends recommend Rod Stryker’s “Relax Into Greatness” recording ($18,

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Video: 2 Exercises for Strengthening Your Hips Wed, 21 Jun 2017 17:32:47 +0000 These exercises targeting the lateral muscles in the hips, which, when inefficiently trained can lead to knee and hip pain.

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In each installment of TrainingPeaks’ endurance strength roundup video series, D3 Multisport coaches share quick and efficient movements (with minimal equipment) that are designed to be easily added to your multisport routine for increased strength, power and injury prevention.

This edition features exercises targeting the lateral muscles in the hips, which, when inefficiently trained can lead to knee and hip pain. Triathletes are susceptible to tight and weak hip muscles as they generally move only in a forward direction, so side-to-side movements are important for injury prevention and correcting common muscle imbalances.

The first exercise are banded monster walks. You will need a light to medium-resistance band that needs to be placed just above your ankles. Try to do three sets of 15-25 monster walks in each direction, keeping your abdominals pulled in and avoiding too much of a knee bend, which will prevent you from performing the movement correctly (if done correctly you will definitely feel the burn in your hips!) Do this exercise one to two times per week for optimal results.

The second exercise is a weighted lunge with a twist, although you can do this one without any weight if you need to. Use a light to medium weight dumbbell (5 to 15 pounds). Remember to lunge toward the leg that is in front, keep your abdominals pulled in tight, and be careful not to allow your front knee to wobble in either direction. Do three sets of 10 reps per side, and do this exercise one to two times per week for optimal results.

Related from Advanced Strength Training Techniques for Endurance Athletes

This article originally appeared at

Mike Ricci is a Level III USAT Certified Coach and was honored as the USAT Coach of the Year. He is the founder and head coach of D3 Multisport. The three D’s, Desire, Determination and Discipline are the cornerstone for his coaching philosophies. The D3 coaches use evidence-based training science, technology and wisdom to guide athletes toward their multisport goals. D3 inspires others through their community of athletes who are great ambassadors of the sport.

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#MyTri: Using Triathlon to Cope With Loss Wed, 21 Jun 2017 16:46:02 +0000 "Triathlon has been a motivating force in my life."

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The brand new #MyTri page is dedicated to reader stories and will be updated frequently with new tales. Got a story you’d like to see on #MyTri? Send to Andrew Smith, below, submitted his entry as part of our cover contest.

Andrew Smith
Age: 44
Location: Long Beach, N.Y.
In three words: Dedicated, excited, happy

Triathlon has been a motivating force in my life. I lost my sister and father in the same week in 2001. My sister lost a 13 year battle with cancer and was an inspiration to me. She was a college swimmer who was diagnosed in her junior year of college with breast cancer—she went on to fight that battle for 13 years. She was a two-time NYC marathon finisher and as the cancer was in her bones would still be out there with walker trying to work out. She inspires every workout I have. In 2007, my son Gavin was had bone cysts in his leg—we went to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and ended up with same doctor as my sister. His cysts were thankfully benign but he had the surgery at Sloan where they put crushed coral reef in his leg—he is not nine and is a triathlete in the making. Lastly, in 2012 our home was destroyed by hurricane Sandy—running and swimming were my standbys throughout experience. I lost my car and would run five miles everyday to work on my destoyed house. My wife is a dedicated triathlete as well who has run for Fred’s Team—Sloan Kettering’s running team. I am a vice principal at Long Beach High School and try to inspire students to be the best they can at everything. That’s the short version of things that inspire me.

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Alistair Brownlee: Going Long but Not Slowing Down Wed, 21 Jun 2017 16:27:23 +0000 How is two-time Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee finding success at both ITU and half-iron racing in the same season?

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How is two-time Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee finding success at both ITU and half-iron racing in the same season? 

Most age-group triathletes make drastic changes to their training plans when making the move from the Olympic-distance to half-Ironman. There’s typically the introduction of a long ride on Saturday morning, followed by a long run on Sundays, and maybe even one longer brick session during the week. There’s a massive increase in weekly training hours to get the body prepared for an event that is basically double the distance.

When two-time Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee decided to make the same leap up to the half-Ironman distance this season, he didn’t have to make nearly as many changes to his training program. In fact, he hardly had to make any changes at all. A few years ago he told that he trains upwards of 35 hours per week. That’s a massive amount of volume and already more than most top Ironman athletes. After so many years of putting in that kind of mileage, he’s developed the endurance needed to race longer without sacrificing the top-end speed that has made him the fastest short-course racer of all-time.

“This is pure speculation, but I don’t think he’s adjusted too much,” says elite triathlon coach Cliff English. “It’s been fairly well known that the foundation for his training has always been a lot of volume, so I believe his transition to 70.3s is fairly straightforward and a quite natural one. It’s similar to Terenzo Bozzone—he was always a high-volume short-course athlete who transitioned very well and very quickly to 70.3 racing.”

There’s also some evidence that he is perhaps better suited to racing longer. Shortly after winning gold at the 2012 London Olympics, he raced a 10K on the track at the Stanford Invitational, clocking 28:32. It’s a ridiculously fast time for a triathlete, but not that fast considering he ran 29:08 for the 10K in the triathlon at the London Games. When you factor in the added speed of running on a track versus the road, that means hammering a 1.5K swim and 40K bike only took about 30 seconds of speed out of his legs. That suggests that, as fast as he is, his greatest natural gift may be that he just doesn’t slow down as much as his competitors as the race goes on—something that’ll suit him very well in long-course racing.

“Speed is still the key at the 70.3 distance,” says former ITU and Ironman world champ Chris McCormack. “It’ll be a while until he taps out of that speed—not until he starts looking at Ironman racing. You’ve seen it with guys like Frodeno when he first moved up, and with Javier Gómez. What they’re already doing in training is very close to what you need to be doing for 70.3, so they’re able to jump back and forth between the two.”

The day after he won his first Kona title in 2015, I asked Jan Frodeno what he thought was the most significant change he made to his training in order to make the transition from Olympic champion to Ironman world champion. He told me the most important thing he and coach Dan Lorang did was to change as little as possible. Like Brownlee, he was already putting in substantial volume. According to Frodeno, introducing more would only leave him vulnerable to injury and sap some of the speed out of his legs that had made him an Olympic champion. Both Frodeno and Lorang said that the two most essential things they had to figure out was getting comfortable on a TT bike and the nutritional puzzle that comes with racing for more than two hours.

“If anything he needs to learn to be more patient on the bike at this distance,” McCormack says. “He doesn’t need to be as aggressive. We saw that at the Challenge Championship in Slovakia a few weeks ago. He sat off the front with guys like [Sebastian] Kienle and [Lionel] Sanders to prove he can ride a bike with them. He doesn’t need to do that. If need be, he can drop a sub-70-minute half-marathon any day of the week.”

Brownlee took the ITU win in his hometown of Leeds. Photo: Janos Schmidt/

Long story short, it should come as no surprise that Brownlee still has the speed to beat a world-class ITU field at a race like WTS Leeds only a month after having the endurance to beat an equally stellar field at his Ironman 70.3 debut in St. George. Until Brownlee becomes fully committed to winning Kona, he will still be a force to be reckoned with when he jumps in the occasional ITU event. Given the added motivation of trying not to lose to his younger brother, Brownlee will have to be the favorite at every ITU race he lines up for over the next few seasons.

As for his future chances on the Big Island of Hawaii? McCormack is optimistic, but also hopeful that he remains patient.

“I think we’re going to have some time of Brownlee dominating at the 70.3 distance,” he says. “I don’t think there should be any rush to doing Ironman. I think especially with the addition of the team event in Tokyo, he can win a couple of Ironman 70.3 world titles and then go take the team gold in 2020 because the Brits should have that event wrapped up. As long as he’s patient, he’s not going to lose his speed for a while.”

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New Gatorade Endurance Formula Tue, 20 Jun 2017 23:20:42 +0000 Gatorade® Endurance is dedicated to fueling endurance athletes’ most epic challenges. Their bucket list races. Their P.R. pursuits. Together with the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, […]

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Gatorade® Endurance is dedicated to fueling endurance athletes’ most epic challenges. Their bucket list races. Their P.R. pursuits. Together with the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, we’ve spent years studying the limits of professional and age group endurance athletes. We’ve listened to athlete insights and feedback. And as endurance athletes evolve, so do we.

Newly reformulated in 2017, Gatorade Endurance Formula now contains:

  • No Artificial Flavors
  • No Artificial Sweeteners
  • A New, Lighter Taste

And it will be on course at 300+ races starting Summer 2017. Learn more about reformulated Gatorade Endurance Formula at

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Photos: 2017 Ironman 70.3 Costa Rica Tue, 20 Jun 2017 21:14:12 +0000 The United States' Kevin Collington and Great Britain's Leanda Cave claimed the victories at the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Costa Rica triathlon in Playa del Coco.

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The United States’ Kevin Collington and Great Britain’s Leanda Cave claimed the victories at the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Costa Rica triathlon in Playa del Coco. Collington put together a 25:01 swim, a 2:00:33 bike and a 1:15:36 half-marathon to claim the victory in 3:43:21. Columbia’s Carlos Quinchara Forero earned second at 3:47:58, with Chile’s Felipe Van De Wyngard rounding out the podium in 3:49:44.

Cave, the 2011 Ironman and 70.3 world champion, turned in an impressive performance with a 27:02 swim, a 2:14:25 bike and a 1:28:57 half-marathon—crossing the finish line at 4:13:20. Americans Lauren Goss (second) and Dede Griesbauer (third) were the other podium finishers.

Enjoy these photos of the scenic event from photographer Wagner Araujo.

Complete results

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Beginner’s Luck: Why I Can’t Quit Triathlon Tue, 20 Jun 2017 18:49:43 +0000 "Beginner's Luck" columnist Meredith Atwood writes about the draw of signing up for race after race.

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“Beginner’s Luck” columnist Meredith Atwood writes about the draw of signing up for race after race.

Sometimes I just think I cannot possible do another step, or take another movement whether in swim, bike or run. I am not a “quitter” by nature and I don’t give up easily, but sometimes, I just think: triathlon is for the crazy, the super-athletic and uber-talented. I go through these periods where I think, “no more” and then in the next breath, I see an email come through and I am furiously texting all the friends, “Who is in _________?” (fill in the blank with whatever race was emailed to me.)

I stood at Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga last month with my friend who I have known for several tri years now—we both did our first Ironman together at Coeur d’Alene in 2013. I asked him how his training was going, and he said, “Well, I am only here because YOU talked me into this race, and now YOU aren’t even racing! Same thing as Lake Placid last year, same thing as Chattanooga,” he joked at me. And then he said, “You NEVER do the races you sign up for.”

Whoa, there buddy! Ouch. That one stung a little. But he was so right.

I started thinking of the reasons why I sign up for these races and I don’t do them. Well, I have historically had a series of great reasons: a stress fracture, a bike crash, financial and childcare situations. Sure, those were real ones. But at the same time, I had several races where all of those excuses would have sufficed, and yet I persevered and raced under much tougher conditions.

I think I have developed a very clear case of “I just don’t wanna.”

I pride myself in not being a quitter. Because I don’t quit, when I don’t start, I am not quitting. Word-smithery right there, people.

At the end of the day, however, I realized that I need to stop signing up for races for no apparent reason, especially when I “never do the races.”

But how can you be Swim Bike Mom when you just lift weights? Well, for starters, I can be Right Said Fred if I say I am—it’s all a matter of perception. But I stayed in a legal career for about 12 years too long, and I think if I had just stopped and asked myself, “Why am I sticking around here?” I might have made a little more sense to myself.

But I am not comparing triathlon to the law. But I do have to ask myself often why am I here on this planet? So, in asking myself why I think I continue to swim, bike and run (or at least sign up for races), I came up with this:

Nowhere else in your adult life do people CHEER for you.

This is something that the Expert (my husband) has said for years. There is real value to this magnificent glimmer of the finish line, the cheers and the total joy that awaits at every single race end. Sure, many of us find purpose and joy in the training and the camaraderie—and yes, I do too. However, the real draw? The reason I keep signing up for races? Because in that moment when I click “REGISTER,” I swear I hear that same crowd of people screaming, “You did it!” And for those of us addicted to the finish line—those beautiful cheers make this amazing sport impossible to quit.

Meredith Atwood (@SwimBikeMom) is a recovering attorney, writer, motivational speaker and author of Triathlon for the Every Woman. Meredith has teamed up with amazing experts to bring programs from peak performance to nutrition to her own sobriety group to her social following. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children, and writes about all things at

More Beginner’s Luck

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Think Outside the Bar/Blender with These Post-Workout Snacks Tue, 20 Jun 2017 17:08:04 +0000 What you eat—and when you eat it—post-workout is vital to your body’s ability to build and adapt from the training session.

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What you eat—and when you eat it—post-workout is vital to your body’s ability to build and adapt from the training session. Insufficient protein, carbohydrate, fluids or electrolyte intake translates to a missed opportunity in important muscle recovery and adaptation.

Consider these nutrients and guidelines to get the most from your recovery window:

Carbohydrates are the fuel source for your muscles. To replenish what is lost during exercise (and restore your muscle glycogen), you should consume carbs as soon as possible following exercise. The recom mended carbohydrate intake for an athlete is 1–1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight per hour for the first four hours. This means that a 170-pound athlete should consume 77–93 grams of carbs immediately following exercise.

Protein is the building block of an athlete’s diet and is essential in the recovery process. Consuming protein along with carbohydrates stimulates faster glycogen replacement and also optimizes muscular repair and growth. Athletes should consume at least 20 grams of high-quality protein in the 30–60 minutes following activity to ensure maximum benefit of muscle-protein synthesis. Optimally, you want to keep a carbohydrate-to-protein ratio of 4 to 1. It’s best if these carbohydrate sources are complex carbohydrates and the protein is of high biological value (contains all nine essential amino acids). If you’re short on time and can’t refuel with whole foods, a high-protein meal replacement shake or smoothie will suffice. Find a protein powder that contains at least 20 grams of protein, and blend with fresh fruit and a small handful of almonds or walnuts. Try to use a protein powder that contains leucine, isoleucine and valine (branched chain amino acids).

RELATED: Training And Racing With Whole Foods

Think Outside the Blender/Bar

Whole foods that restore muscles
– Brown rice and lean ground turkey
– Whole-wheat pasta with salmon or chicken tenderloin
– Low-fat chocolate milk
– 2–3 eggs with whole-wheat toast
– Tuna fish sandwich with mixed vegetables
– Grilled chicken breast with half a sweet potato
– Baked salmon with black beans

Replacing Fluids and Electrolytes

The body works to maintain a balance of fluid and sodium between the blood and cells. Without proper sodium replacement you are at risk of becoming hyponatremic (abnormally low blood sodium level), a potentially dangerous condition with symptoms that include nausea, headache, confusion, fatigue and cramping. To avoid it, you’ll want to stay in tune with your sweat rate. You can determine your sweat rate by weighing yourself before a workout, subtracting your post-workout weight and adding the ounces of fluid you consumed during. For example, 130–129 pounds = 16 ounces fluid loss + 16 ounces fluid consumed = sweat rate of 32 ounces (2 pounds) per hour. Limit your weight loss to less than 2 percent of body weight through proper fluid and electrolyte replacement without overdrinking. Drink 3 cups (24 ounces) for every pound of body weight lost. Reach for salty foods (soup, pretzels, salted crackers), a more sodium-rich source as compared to purely sports drinks.

Matt Triick, R.D., L.D is a two-time USAT All American and a current member of the Middle Georgia Triathlon Club and Big Sexy Racing.

RELATED: 5 Foods For Recovery

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One-Hour Workout: Killer Bike Intervals for Power and Endurance Tue, 20 Jun 2017 16:02:41 +0000 The goal of this workout is to increase muscular endurance by coupling long, high-intensity intervals with short rest periods.

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

This week’s workout comes from Michael Gallagher, head coach of Rogue Tri Performance in southern Oregon. Gallagher is an Ironman competitor and is USAT, USMS (Level 2), ASCA (Level 2) and ACE (personal trainer and sports conditioning) certified.

The goal of this workout is to increase muscular endurance by coupling long, high-intensity intervals with short rest periods. The idea is to help athletes build a tolerance to higher intensities as their season progresses. By incorporating these types of workouts into a training schedule bookended by rest, athletes will increase both power and endurance.

Cadence should fall in the 90rpm range or higher for all intervals.

10 minutes in heart rate Zone 2 (about 50% of your FTP)

2 x 30 seconds one leg spin (right leg)
2 x 30 seconds one leg spin (left leg)
1 minute spinning both legs between each interval

Main Set
4 x 7 minutes in Zone 4 lactate threshold (85-95% FTP)
2 minutes between each interval in Zone 1 (active recovery, 40% FTP)

8 minutes easy spin

More one-hour workouts

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Chrissie Wellington Crushes Everything Always (Now It’s Ultramarathoning!) Mon, 19 Jun 2017 22:18:17 +0000 Chrissie Wellington shares advice for anyone considering making the leap from long-distance triathlon to an ultra-run.

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Four-time Ironman world champion Chrissie Wellington has stayed busy since announcing her retirement from professional triathlon back in 2012. The British athlete has continued to use her position as one of the top triathletes ever as a platform to drive change through the power of sport and physical activity—most notably as the Global Lead for Health and Wellbeing for Parkrun. Wellington and husband, Tom Lowe (also a former professional triathlete), welcomed daughter Esme in December of 2015. Between balancing becoming a mom and her passion for creating positive change, Wellington has continued to challenge herself in endurance events—but this time around the focus has been on fun. She’s competed in everything from half-marathons to a self-created 4321 Challenge (four friends, running up the three highest mountains in UK and cycling between them, in two days). Back in April, Wellington showed her competitive chops by turning in a 2:49:01 time at the London Marathon to win the 40-44 age group. She followed that with a bit of a last-minute decision to run her first ultra marathon—the 52.6-mile Heineken Race to the Tower, where she finished second overall, first female, in a time of 8:35:35. Here, Wellington chats about her decision to take on the extra-long challenge and shares advice for anyone considering making the leap from long-distance triathlon to an ultra-run. What made you decide to do the ultra? 

Wellington: I’m still not sure what came over me, but I decided to Google ultra races soon after crossing the finish line at the London Marathon. I blame post-marathon delirium! Heineken Race to the Tower popped up, and given I have friends who have run and enjoyed Race to the Stones, it immediately attracted me. But, yes, doing an ultra definitely scared me, which is good thing I guess. I like to be pushed out of my comfort zone and do things I think I can’t do. It’s an important message to send my daughter and to others. Contrary to popular perception, Race to the Tower was a huge, huge challenge for me. The longest run I’d ever done was a marathon and, off-road, Man versus Horse in Wales a few years ago. An ultra is something I said I would never do and, to be honest, I was quite worried that I may not even finish. Which was harder, training for the ultra or racing it?

Wellington: Racing it, definitely! I only decided to enter about six weeks before, so I didn’t have too much time to prepare. Unfortunately I got sick with food poisoning a week before, so the preparation wasn’t ideal, but when is race prep ever perfect anyway? How was the training for this different than training for Ironman?

Wellington: Back in 2011, training for four to six hours a day and racing for eight to nine hours was second nature, but I am not a professional Ironman athlete anymore. My husband, Tom and I have a wonderful (and very energetic!) 17-month-old daughter, Esme, a job and a social life…lots of balls to juggle. I do try to exercise for an hour a day, which is mainly running, so even thinking about running for longer than two or three hours was hard to get my head and body around. In terms of training, I just carried on where I left off after the London Marathon, doing a bit more hills and off-road running and with slightly more volume on weekends. I tried to have a massage every two to three weeks, but sleep deprivation is par of the course with a toddler and I didn’t really get that much time to rest and recover from any sessions. Any differences in your nutrition plan?

Wellington: I ate little and often, and used 33Shake gels [editor’s note: these are the gels Wellington is referring to] and also had a few sachets of peanut butter as I found I craved a salty, savory fix later on. I never felt like I was running out of energy, so I must have done something right! What did your long run look like while preparing for the ultra?

I didn’t run longer than two-and-a-half hours, but did do two back-to-back two-and-a-half hourscone on a Saturday and one on a Sunday. After that my legs and mind were definitely wondering what they had let themselves in for. Any plans for another ultra in your future?

Wellington: I’ve learned never to say never! What advice would you give someone considering whether to transition from long-course tri to ultra marathoning?

Wellington: Do it! I really loved the rawness of the event, the fact that I didn’t need much in the way of kit, and the incredibly relaxed atmosphere—the camaraderie between everyone was fantastic. I also really liked not running to pace, and focusing more on the journey than on times, splits, positions, etc. Of course I tried my hardest, but I really couldn’t have specific time or outcome goals, other than to finish, which was very liberating. As long-course triathletes we have the engine and mental strength, we just need the structural ability to withstand being on our feet for that long. In terms of race strategy I slowed down, walked up the steep hills, fuelled early on and learned how to smell the flowers, look around me and enjoy the journey, rather than only the destination. What surprised you most about the ultra experience?

Wellington: That I enjoyed it so much, and felt strong despite not doing a lot of focused training. I really think I proved to myself that I am capable of more than I thought I was.

It really was a fantastic, phenomenal day from start to finish. It was such a privilege to be able to run (and sometimes have to walk) the beautiful Cotswold Way with hundreds of others, and get catered for en route. The route was hugely challenging, with plenty of hills to test the legs and lungs, but the beautiful scenery and sweeping panoramas from the top of those climbs made the effort worth it. The atmosphere was so relaxed and positive, and helped to calm my nerves before the start, and the organization was absolutely exemplary, especially for an inaugural race—professional, with the attention to detail that makes such a huge difference to every athlete’s experience.

It certainly wasn’t easy, and I battled through some tough, dark times but that’s what racing is all about—taking and embracing the lows and the highs. And the finish line, at Broadway Tower, was a huge high, in every respect! I was so happy and proud to cross the finish line as first female, and second overall, and have challenged and surprised myself in the process. If you could do it again, what would you have done differently?

Wellington: I would do a bit more downhill running in training, as my quads were totally trashed afterwards!

RELATED: Are You Cut Out for Ultrarunning?

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Photos: 2017 Ironman 70.3 European Championship Elsinore Mon, 19 Jun 2017 20:41:43 +0000 Michael Raelert and Annabel Luxford grabbed wire-to-wire wins.

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With the race run alongside the Castle of Kronborg, where Shakespeare set Hamlet, a day of high drama would have seemed appropriate for the KMD Ironman 70.3 European Championship, Elsinore.
Instead, two champions, Michael Raelert and Annabel Luxford, grabbed wire-to-wire wins and despite stellar fields of quality and depth, no serious challengers emerged.

Read the recap at

Ironman 70.3 European Championships Elsinore
Helsingor, Denmark – June 18, 2017
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run

1. Michael Raelert (GER) 3:42:52
2. Andi Boecherer (GER) 3:44:26
3. Nils Frommhold (GER) 3:45:25
4. Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) 3:46:47
5. Rudolphe Von Berg (USA) 3:47:00

1. Annabel Luxford (AUS) 4:07:00
2. Helle Frederiksen (DEN) 4:09:34
3. Kaisa Sali (FIN) 4:10:28
4. Camilla Pedersen (DEN) 4:11:24
5. Agnieszka Jerzyk (POL) 4:17:02

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Win A BlueSeventy Wetsuit And Gear Package Mon, 19 Jun 2017 16:31:27 +0000 LUCKY WINNERS will receive this premium Triathlon gear package. Entries must be received by June 30th, 2017.

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