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The Most-Read Triathlete Articles of 2022

The stories you were reading and sharing most in 2022 feature fast bikes, 70.3 training, brain-eating amoeba, and much more.

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There’s no denying that 2022 was chock-full of big tri news that kept us talking from January to December. We rounded up those top news stories of the year earlier this week (you can read that here), but when it comes to the most-read training, nutrition, gear, and culture articles on Triathlete in 2022, we find plenty more to talk about. Here’s what you and your fellow triathletes were reading and sharing most over the past year.

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Training

A triathlete races after using a ironman 70.3 training plan
(Photo: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Triathlete’s Complete Guide to Training for a Half-Iron/70.3 Triathlon

Just before the Ironman 70.3 World Championship race, we got our hands on stats from Ironman, which shows approximately 229,000 triathletes participated in 119 Ironman 70.3 events worldwide this year. Even more are expected to become 70.3 finishers next year, with more than 125 Ironman 70.3 events in over 50 countries slated for 2023. It’s no wonder, then, that our guide on how to train for a 70.3 was so popular with readers this year.

How to Improve Your VO2 Max

The higher your VO2 max, the more oxygen your cardiovascular system can deliver to your muscles—which means they can work harder and last longer. In this article, coach Alison Freeman explains what it is, why it matters (as well as why it doesn’t), and ultimately how to increase your VO2 max. When you’re done learning about this metric, check out Freeman’s six swim, bike, and run workouts to boost your VO2 max.

Is Micro-Quitting Keeping You From Reaching Your Full Potential?

You may not even realize it, but micro-quitting may be keeping you from achieving your best in training and racing. Mental endurance coach Vanessa Foerster explains what’s happening when “good enough” starts to slow you down.

You’re “Theragunning” Wrong: 7 Things to Stop Doing With Your Percussion Massager

Physical Therapist Jennie Hansen’s advice on how to Theragun is solid, and the GIFs demonstrating what NOT to do made us vicariously wince and promise to never, ever, make those mistakes again.

Why is it So Hard to Pull Off a Good Marathon in an Ironman?

Running a marathon in an Ironman is hard. For everyone. But why is it so hard, particularly if you are not a sub-12-hour Ironman athlete? We dive into the details of why the Ironman marathon is such a struggle fest – and what to do about it.

Answers to the Most-Googled Triathlon Questions

From “Are triathlons hard?” to “Do triathletes shave their legs?” we pulled together this primer of the most-Googled triathlon questions so you can share with your tri-curious friends. (This may especially come in handy at your next family gathering, when you’re bound to be asked the most common question of all: “What is a triath-a-lon?”)

Running vs. Triathlon Running: What’s The Difference?

Running after riding a bike is much different from running on fresh legs. Learn about the physiology of running vs. triathlon running, plus how to estimate your triathlon run time.

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Nutrition

An athlete eats in transition as part of her 70.3 nutrition plan.
(Photo: Jill Brady/Getty Images)

Drinking Beet Juice Before a Race is Gross. It’s Also Awesome

You’re really, really interested in the idea of drinking beet juice before a race. Performance nutrition coach Scott Tindal broke down the science of the red stuff for athletes interested in knowing what it does, how it works, and just how much you need to drink to get a performance boost.

A Half-Ironman (70.3) Nutrition Plan

A successful 70.3 race comes down to two things: preparation and nutrition. We’ve got plenty of training plans to help you with the former (check out our popular 20-week training plan for 70.3 racing), and R.D. Susan Kitchen’s half-iron nutrition plan helps with the latter.

Does Low-Carb Equal Low Testosterone in Men?

The low-carb craze may have unforeseen health and performance implications for male endurance athletes. Dr. Kim Schwabenbauer breaks down recent research that looks at the impact of low-carb diets on male testosterone levels. (Spoiler alert: It’s not good.)

The Pros and Cons of Plant-Based Eating for Endurance Athletes

Thinking of ditching meat? We look at some of the benefits—as well as ways to avoid the common pitfalls for endurance athletes.

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Gear

IMWC 2022 Age Group Bikes

The Best Triathlon Bikes

If you were in the market for a new triathlon bike, chances are you used our buyer’s guide. Ranging from $3,500 to $12,000, we hands-on review and rate five of the best triathlon bikes from 2022.

The Fastest Pro Bikes at the 2022 Ironman World Championship

Of course you’re curious about what the fastest bikes were at this year’s Ironman World Championship race in Kona. After all, records fell like dominoes and just about everybody was talking about the blazing-fast bike splits. Also popular: our annual Kona Bike Count and analysis.

The Top 10 Kits on Zwift

It’s not enough to look good in the real world – you want to be fly in the virtual world, too. Our guide to the best kits on Zwift can help you keep your avatar on fleek. (Do the kids still say that? No? We’ll show ourselves out.)

The Best Triathlon Smartwatches of 2022, Reviewed

The right smartwatch can help you take your training from good to great. We review eight of the hottest triathlon smartwatches by price, specs, and an eight-point rating system.

What Do I Wear to My First Triathlon?

If you read this article this year, welcome to triathlon! We’re so glad you joined us. Now pay it forward by sharing this article with a fellow newbie next year – we think you’ll find it handy when it comes to answering one of the most common questions beginners have about race day. (While you’re at it, feel free to share our full Tri 101 collection.)

The Best Triathlon Wetsuits

Your tri wetsuit can be one of the most important purchases. It can also be one of the trickiest. Our wetsuit buyer’s guide, which rounds up nine of the best men’s and women’s triathlon wetsuits, was a valuable asset to many readers this year.

Reviewed: The Pro’s Closet

As supply chain issues continued to plague the bike industry, triathletes began looking into the used-bike market. In addition to our guide to How to Buy a Bike Online, senior editor Susan Lacke reviewed the process of purchasing a new-to-her tri bike through The Pro’s Closet, an online marketplace for used bikes.

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People & Culture

Susana Rodriguez, a triathlete with visual impairment, crosses the finish line at the Tokyo Olympics with her guide.
(Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

All Susana Rodriguez Does is Win

Susana Rodríguez is undefeated in the women’s PTVI paratriathlon category since 2019 – a feat made even more impressive when considering what she’s accomplished off the course as a physician and advocate. In this profile, contributor Tim Heming shares one of the most inspiring athletes on the course today.

How Long is Ironman? A Look at How the Ironman Distance Came to Be

This story of how the Ironman distance came to be is really quite cool. Even cooler: We’ve got the hand-sketched maps of the first race, courtesy of founders John and Judy Collins.

How Worried Should Swimmers Really be About Brain-Eating Amoeba?

Brain-eating amoebas made headlines in July after an Iowa swimmer died from an infection caused by the lake critters. Of course, open-water swimmers everywhere were wondering if it was safe to dive in. We sent contributor Kristen Seymour to find out more from the experts – who reassured us it’s perfectly safe (sorry if you were hoping for a canceled swim).

Understanding Cutoff Times in Triathlon

It doesn’t matter if you’re doing a sprint triathlon or an Iron-distance event – the first time you take on a new triathlon distance, there’s probably going to be a bit of concern about cutoff times. This guide can help you understand what they are and why they’re in place at most races.

Is Triathlon a Midlife Crisis Sport?

There’s no shortage of triathletes in their 40s and 50s – but is triathlon really the clichéd midlife crisis, or something else entirely? Contributor Jill Colangelo looks into the question of triathlon as a midlife crisis sport, and the insights are fascinating.

11 Triathlon Goals That Don’t Involve Qualifying for Kona

After Ironman announced the 2023 world championship race would be split into two days and locations – one at Kona, one at a yet-to-be-announced site – some triathletes reflexively swore off racing Ironman altogether. For those athletes, we’ve rounded up a reminder that Kona ain’t the only race out there, and there are plenty of other ways to challenge yourself in the sport.