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AS FAST AS YOU WANT TO BE It isnĂ• t always about the fastest bike leg. Sometimes it is about saving energy for a screaming fast run leg. Like the one Andreas had at Kona carrying himself to 3rd place. Andreas, just like all owners of a Blue Competition Cycles Triad, was able to visit the A2 wind tunnel where he optimized his position allowing him to go as fast as he wanted to on the bike. No matter if your goal is to save energy for the run or to have the fastest bike split, the Triad from Blue will take you there. Just like it did for Andreas.
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26 Starting lineS
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28 editor’S note
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184 triathlete’S garage
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30 Mail Call 32 CheCking in Training Tip; Recipe; Kona or Bust; ITU Q&A; Medically Speaking; Endurance Traveler; Iron Kids; Light Read; IndusTri
198 at the raCeS NuTRiTioN
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Enjoying your training is essential for improvement and maximum performance. By MATT FiTzGERAlD
152 lane lineS
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159 on the run
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172 nutrition Q&a
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176 eat right 178 get leaner, go FaSter
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on the cover Cover: Chris Lieto • Photo by Chris Orwig Chris Lieto is wearing the K-Swiss Half Zip top, which retails for $65 at Kswiss.com. 40+ Tri Bikes 3 Easy Power Builders Your Best Bike Fit Ever Star Coaches’ Favorite Workouts Chris Lieto
52 Chris Lieto’s sCore to settLe By SuSan Grant The 37-year-old Danville, Calif., native lets loose on the lessons he’s learned during his decade of professional racing, why Kona is the bull’s eye on his race year calendar and what it feels like to do a track workout with Ryan Hall.
58 Better off together
By Bethany Leach When Rudy Garcia-Tolson missed the bike cutoff by eight minutes in Kona,
his first shot at becoming the first double above-knee amputee to finish an Ironman ended sooner than he had hoped. Undeterred, 21-year-old Rudy, with the help of coach Muddy Waters, was able to train in six weeks to finish Ironman Arizona and meet his goal.
62 ALCAtrAz, My ALCAtrAz
By Joe oakeS The cold-water swim in the San Francisco Bay is a notorious one. But two swimming fanatics have battled the waters more
68 159 182 142 52
than a hundred times to earn the title of Alcatraz Centurion.
68 Bike Buyer’s guide Corrections and clarifications: The Profile Design Wahoo sleeveless wetsuit retails for $180, the full suit for $200. The Profile Design Marlin wetsuit retails for $400. Because of an editing error the photos and prices of these wetsuits were incorrectly identified in the March 2010 issue. april 2010
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THIS MONTH ON
IRONMAN 70.3 CALIFORNIA COVERAGE
The North American racing season has finally arrived, and weâ€™ll bring you unprecedented race coverage for the 2010 season. The first big race on U.S. soil will take place in Oceanside, Calif., on March 27. The Southern California race always brings out some of the top triathletes from around the world and Triathletemag.com will be there to bring you closer to all of the action. Our coverage will include pre- and post-race analysis, photo galleries and video interviews with the athletes. Also look out for a race recap on our online news show, TriCenter.
TELL US YOUR ALCATRAZ STORY AND WIN This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Escape From Alcatraz triathlon. As one of the most unique triathlons in the world, the San Francisco-based race boasts a sold-out field year after year. We know that many of you have jumped off of the ferry and braved the icy, choppy conditions of the Pacific Oceanâ€”we want to hear your stories. Send us a short anecdote (less than 200 words) about your best (or worst) experience at the Escape From Alcatraz triathlon. We will post some of the top entries on our website. The best story will be featured in a future issue of Triathlete and the author will receive a coveted slot to the 2011 Escape From Alcatraz triathlon. Visit Triathletemag.com to learn how to submit your story.
Watch TriCenter this month to learn how you can win one of six Suunto T6C watches. Andy Potts will be stopping by to help give away the watches, so tune in to find out how one of them can be yours. 18
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Riding in Focus STEVE GODWIN Photographer Chris Orwig shoots superbiker Chris Lieto, see page 52, from the back of a truck while Lieto bikes up a canyon road in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Shadow Chasing C AMILLA STODDART First place pro male Richard Ussher powers down Challenge Wanaka Triathlon bike course overlooking Glendhu Bay in New Zealand on Jan. 16.
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In the early days, as one of the founders of Active.com, I remember vividly the look on the faces of the tech team when I would show up and begin the day with my favorite sentence: “Wouldn’t it be great if ... ?” For a while they sifted and sorted through all the ideas, some good, some fun, some crazy. It didn’t take long for me to realize I’m an idea man and, like all idea men and women, we see the world just a bit differently. That is, as it could be. From new gadgets to new apps on iPhones, we live in a world surrounded by objects, solutions to problems that were once just an idea. In fact, there is a high probability that unless you are reading this naked, something touching your body right now was once nothing more than some electrical synapses firing among the billion neurons in someone’s brain. Now it’s reality, and the person who came up with it is kicking back in Maui, or brewing up another idea out of passion or necessity. Triathlon is filled with new ideas that we have all embraced: bike power meters, aerobars, energy bars and electrolyte replacement drinks, compression socks, click-in Speedplay pedals, and on and on—the latest and greatest ideas that constantly land in the sport of triathlon are remarkable. After all, triathletes confront some unique obstacles, including the nutritional demands associated with three sports and the abundance
of gear designed to help you glide through water, roll smoothly and swiftly over pavement, run longer and dash faster across the finish line. Depending on temperature and wind predictions, triathletes show up on race day with all types of bike and wheel configurations. In the last decade, I’ve seen new apparel, new bikes and countless solutions to the challenges unique to our sport flow inexorably like lava into the marketplace. But now let’s ponder some new, perhaps wacky, triathlon ideas. My bet is that you have dreamed of some of these innovations, and perhaps harbored other ideas of your own. Wouldn’t it be great if someone could develop triathlon clothing that resists the volatilized chemical compounds that sometimes reek of onions after a race or workout? If you’ve had the pleasure of opening one of your transition bags returned to you after a long triathlon, you know exactly what I mean. Wouldn’t it be great to see winged aerobars and a bike frame designed to not just cut through the air faster, but also to create lift so that our Clydesdale divisions could pedal fast enough to essentially make their bikes and themselves fly over land? What about a mini helmet communicator for every participant in the first social network or singles triathlon? Alan Morrison, the owner of the Philadelphia Triathlon, had the idea of marking participants’ calves not only with age, but also with relationship status. “S” for single, “R” for in a relationship and “C” for it’s complicated. One of the critical things I’ve learned over the last decade in the business of triathlon is how important it is to plant your ideas with people who have the time, motivation and capacity to implement them. It’s also important, if you find yourself an idea-generating triathlete, to beware of terminal creativity, a condition experienced by the constantly creative person who creates something and then too quickly moves on to create something else, never harvesting correctly the value of their idea. Triathlon has always been a soil rich in early adapters welcoming new ideas. (We feature a long list of bike-related innovations starting on page 72.) Triathletes, trained by transitions and challenges, continue to give birth to technical solutions and the businesses that arise from them. Look around and discover something that could be better in our sport or in your life. Then tell the right person, or roll up your sleeves and fix it yourself. Train Smart, Mitch Thrower firstname.lastname@example.org april 2010
To All Those I owe ThAnks
“What the hell are you going to get out of triathlon?” a long-time swimming teammate asked me when I told him I was going to start racing tris. It was a question echoed by a number of guys I swam with at the time. I had no idea what I was going to get out of triathlon, but had I known, I would’ve started a whole lot sooner. A year later I was a bona fide tri geek, complete with an aero helmet, flashy carbon wheels and even an M-Dot tattoo inked on my back after finishing my first Ironman (feel free to make fun). I browsed eBay for cheap tri gear during college classes and frequently skipped lectures to get out and use all my new toys. By the end of my junior year I knew I needed a summer internship so I could put something other than “swim coach” on my resume. I had only one place in mind: Triathlete. The editors must’ve been desperate for an intern. After a five-minute phone interview a few days after I applied I had a summer internship in San Diego. Looking back, I have to wonder if they even took a peak at my writing samples. One was titled “Women’s Field Hockey Looks Strong this Season.” You have to start somewhere. That summer internship turned into an ascent up Triathlete’s masthead. And none of it would’ve been possible without the guidance and trust from people much smarter than me. This will be my last Editor’s Note; I’ve accepted a position with the International Triathlon Union in Vancouver. I look forward to becoming a subscriber but I know I’ll miss working here every time Triathlete comes in the mail. I’d like to thank those people who made 28
No. 312 | April 2010 Editorial Director TJ Murphy, email@example.com Editor Brad Culp, firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Somyr McLean Perry, email@example.com Senior Editors Matt Fitzgerald, firstname.lastname@example.org Jay Prasuhn, email@example.com Associate Editor Susan Grant, firstname.lastname@example.org Online Coordinator Kurt Hoy, email@example.com Online Editor Liz Hichens, firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Intern Bethany Leach, email@example.com Copyeditor Marilyn Iturri Photo Editor Nils Nilsen Graphic Designer Oliver Baker, firstname.lastname@example.org Medical Advisory Board Jordan Metzl, MD; Jeff Sankoff, MD
my time at Triathlete the most memorable of my life. These are people I should’ve found a way to thank or at least “call out” in a column at some point during my tenure, but I never got around to it. Of course I’ll start with the guys who gave me a job: Thanks to T.J. Murphy, our editorial director, and John Duke, our former publisher, for always having confidence in me as a writer and editor. I’d also like to thank them for letting me use a 20-mile run as an excuse for coming in at noon on a Tuesday. Mark Allen, six-time Ironman Hawaii champ and my athletic idol, for letting me bug him with often ridiculous training questions and for teaching me all I know about the mental side of the sport. It was an honor to work with him even though I never really felt comfortable editing articles by the greatest triathlete of all time. The world-class athletes who showed me that world-class athletes can still be normal people. I’d especially like to thank the seven athletes who contribute to our magazine and website regularly: Andy Potts, Samantha McGlone, Pip Taylor, Melanie McQuaid, Linsey Corbin, Tim DeBoom and Chris Lieto. The French couple who gave me a ride down Alpe d’Huez in their Winnebago so that I didn’t have to ride my bike down in the freezing cold. Had it not been for their generosity I might not have been able to make it to the start of the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon. Had it not been for the pancakes they served me I wouldn’t have had the energy to finish. Muddy Waters, perhaps the most interesting triathlon coach you’ll ever meet. You can read all about how Muddy, a gardener from San Jose, helped a kid with no legs finish an Ironman in this issue. Muddy gets triathlon like few others do. Every 10-minute conversation with the man has made me realize something new and significant about the sport. He’s given me fodder for dozens of columns and he helped me appreciate just how difficult it is to motorpace off of a Vespa going 35 mph. Finally, I’ll point out the two most amazing individuals I’ve come to know: Craig Alexander and Chrissie Wellington, the two reigning Ironman champions. In times when good athletes are going bad all over the athletic universe, triathlon is lucky to have two such people as its ambassadors. Reporting on triathlon during the Craig and Chrissie era is something I will never forget.
VP, Production/Circulation Heather Gordon, email@example.com Advertising EVP, Media Andy Hersam, firstname.lastname@example.org VP, Endemic Sales Kevin Burnette, email@example.com San Diego, CA Account Executive Lisa Bilotti, firstname.lastname@example.org Account Executive Lars Finanger, email@example.com Account Executive Justin Sands, firstname.lastname@example.org Marketplace Sales Laura Agcaoili, email@example.com Boulder, CO Account Executive Nathan Forbes, firstname.lastname@example.org Account Executive Mark Gouge, email@example.com Account Executive David Walker, firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Manager Deena Hancock, email@example.com Advertising Coordinator Lisa McGinn, firstname.lastname@example.org Triathlete Magazine Offices
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always laugh at the guy who claims he’s never going to do another Ironman-branded event because it’s become too corporate (“Too Big, Too Corporate,” February 2010, page 26). He’s not going to encourage others to join in on the fun because all these newbies don’t deserve the chance to challenge themselves with an Ironman. He’s tired of having to sign up a year in advance. Most of all, he’s sick of paying $6 for a water bottle at the expo. I get a laugh out of “that guy” because I always picture him sitting behind the flat screen of his iMac trying to find the words while brooding about “his” sport getting too corporate. Sitting there in his Headsweats visor, Newton running shoes with the 2XU compression socks, Gap khaki cargo shorts and Nike shirt. Next to his computer is the $6 Starbucks latte and the $150 pair of Rudy Project sunglasses. After firing off his letter to the editor, he mixes up some Gatorade and rushes out the door to find his trusty Cervelo tri bike strapped to the Thule rack on top of the Chevy SUV he rolls in complete with the M-Dot sticker on the window. While he does despise the corporate side of our sport, that M-Dot is still5:14:01 waved Schwalbe_Tri_April_2010.ai 2/4/2010 PM
like a badge of honor. He doesn’t want you to think he’s an elitist, but he does want you to know that he’s an Ironman. Call it selling out. Call it what it is. It’s evolution, baby. Brian Williams Via e-mail
off The mark
ay Prasuhn has some good points, but some of his “15 Gotta-Haves” are off the mark for a first-time triathlete. A good pair of running shoes matching your running gait is the most critical piece of equipment. An old pair of beat-up “walk the dog” sneakers will not get you to the starting line. A wetsuit is a large expense, and to shell out the bucks for a first-timer is not realistic. You can eliminate the wetsuit lube too. The author also recommends a trisuit and bike shorts; other expenses you can trim down into one item—the shorts. A first-timer will probably compete in Spandex shorts with gym shorts over them. And to get picky, a first-timer can eliminate the race belt using the pins provided with your race number. Bill McKeon Faulkton, S.D.
SomeThing To add
admit that I’ve been caught up in the gottahave technology. Aerodynamics, carbon fiber, ceramic bearings, watts and the like have been frequent players in my daydreams. I’d like to add another to the list though. I was diagnosed this last season with melanoma. When people find out, they kind of blow off the severity of this cancer. It makes you feel bad. It diminishes the gravity of the diagnosis. I’d like to recommend that you add SPF to your wish list of gotta-have items (“15 Gotta-Haves: Essential Beginner Tri Gear,” February 2010). I will be OK for now, but I’ve gotten a look at my mortality and what will be my taker. For my future, it’s early morning workouts and shorter races. More should be done to educate and remind triathletes about skin cancer. Seth Botwick Holly Springs, N.C.
Speak your mind! Send Letters to the Editor to Tjmurphy@ competitorgroup.com. Include your name, address and the best way to contact you. Letters may be edited for clarity and length.
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power Gains in cyclinG witH plyometrics By nathan koCh, Pt, atC and Wolfgang osWald, Pt, oCs How would you like to increase your lactate threshold cycling power (or the maximum power you could sustain for one hour in a race) by 3.5 percent in just one month? OK, maybe 3.5 percent doesn’t sound like much, but it takes a lot of time on the bike to achieve this kind of improvement. You can get there in just four weeks by complementing your normal bike training with plyometrics. Plyometric training was developed in Russia in the 1960s. The term “plyometric” comes from two Greek words meaning “longer” and “to measure or compare.” It refers to the greater tension that muscles develop when a quick stretching phase is followed by a fast contraction. The goal of plyometric training is to train the nervous system to react quickly to the lengthening of the muscle by rapidly shortening the same muscle with maximum force. This process is typically referred to as the “stretch-shortening cycle.” Plyometric training develops power in the lower extremities through various jumping movements and bounding. The relevance of plyometrics to sports such as basketball and high jumping is clear. Even distance running is a form of repeated jumping, so it’s no surprise that plyometric training is proven to boost running performance. But in cycling, the feet never even touch the ground. On the other hand, muscle power in the legs is clearly beneficial in cycling. So what does the research say about the effects of plyometrics training on cycling performance? In a recent New Zealand study, well-trained cyclists were subjected to a plyometric training program consisting of three sessions per week, each of which comprised three sets of explosive 34
single-leg jumps (20 for each leg) alternated with three sets of high-resistance cycling sprints (5 x 30 seconds with 30-second recoveries between repetitions). After 12 sessions the cyclists exhibited average gains of 8.1 percent in 1 km power, 6.8 percent in peak power and 3.7 percent in lactate threshold power, as well as a 3 percent reduction in total oxygen cost. There was no significant change in a control group of cyclists who continued with their normal bike training. The authors of the study concluded that the addition of explosive training and highresistance interval training to the programs of already well-trained cyclists produces major gains in sprint and endurance performance, partly through improvements in exercise efficiency and lactate threshold. These benefits may also be attributed in part to improved neuromuscular efficiency—that is, a faster stretch-shortening cycle in the muscles. And it bears emphasizing that all of this was achieved in well-trained athletes, so the average agegrouper may see even greater improvements from incorporating plyometrics into his training program. Due to the high intensity and ballistic nature of this type of training, it is vital to prepare your muscles, tendons and joints with at least six to eight weeks of resistance training before engaging in plyometrics to reduce the likelihood of injury. There should always be a thorough warm-up prior to these exercises. Plyometrics should also not be performed at times when your muscles are fatigued, such as the day after a long ride or run. While the study mentioned in the previous paragraph had the experimental group perform plyometric training three times a week, two times a week
may reduce injury risk without compromising benefits. Another frequently recommended way to limit the beating your legs take from plyometrics is counting ground contacts and limiting them to 80-100 for beginners, 100-120 for intermediates and 120-140 for advanced athletes. Plyometric training is most effective when jump height or distance is maximized and when the time that each foot is in contact with the ground between jumps is minimized. Plyometrics exercises are meant to be maximal efforts, performed as quickly and powerfully as possible. Here are a few sample plyometric exercises: 1. Split jumps 2. Box jumps 3. Lateral jumps Add these valuable exercises to your training routine to see significant performance gains in short periods of time, with relatively brief exercise sessions. Do not forget to perform the necessary pre-strengthening phase to prepare your muscles for plyometric training and avoid injury. I highly recommend that your coach, trainer or physical therapist review your training before you start a plyometric program. He can also provide instruction on proper technique and design a progressive plyometric program that is specific to your needs and goals. Source: 1. Paton, C.D., and W.G. Hopkins. “Combining explosive and high-resistance training improves performance in competitive cyclists.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Nov. 2005, 19(4): 826-830. april 2010
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AmAnDA FelDer’s speciAl lemony chicken Pro triathlete Amanda Felder grew up on this tasty dish—her dad made it all the time when she was growing up. “It’s pretty quick and simple, and very flavorful,” she says. —Compiled by Bethany Leach
1/4 cup unsifted flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 6 skinned boneless chicken breast halves 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup lemon juice 8 ounces (2 cups) fresh sliced white mushrooms Freshly cooked rice
In a plastic bag, combine flour, salt, and pepper. Add chicken a few pieces at a time and then shake. In a large skillet, heat oil over mediumhigh heat. Add chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until browned. Add lemon juice and mushrooms and reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and chicken is cooked through. Serve with rice. Cut this page out and save it in your recipe book!
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Training More is noT The only Way To race BeTTer By Matt Fitzgerald Recently I received the following e-mail from Thomas Newton, a member of Triathlete’s “Kona or Bust” team: I have used your “Essential Week by Week Training Guide” the last two years in my quest to qualify for Kona. In 2009 I only saw a oneminute improvement in my time. I use your level-10 Ironman program. I don’t want to keep it status quo because all I have read states that I am dooming myself to finishing with the same time. I didn’t do weights last year so I’m going to add that to my training. My question is this: Should I add a percentage to your program to improve my time? More mileage? Longer bricks? I have remained injury free so far using your plan. Would increasing mileage be the way to go? Is adding weights enough? Any advice you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Newton’s problem of stalled improvement is a common one among Kona dreamers. The first training measure that most triathletes make after committing to pursue Hawaii Ironman qualification is to increase their training volume. Typically, this move yields some improvement, but it does not always take 38
the athlete to the Promised Land. This may leave the athlete wondering what to do next to stimulate further improvement. All too many triathletes know only one way to improve: train more. While increasing training volume is often an effective means to enhance race performance, especially for the Ironman-focused athlete who has never explored the limits of how much training his body can handle, there is a limit to how far volume increases can take you. Fortunately, there are other ways to improve. One of them is consistency. As Newton suggests, it is often said that endurance athletes cannot improve by keeping their training the same. This is not always true. Athletes can continue to adapt and improve in response to a set training formula for years if that formula is a good fit for the individual. Suppose you start a 20-week training cycle at a relatively low fitness level. After completing your peak race, you rest for two weeks, and then repeat the entire 20-week cycle. When you start the second cycle, you are no longer the same athlete you were when you started the first. Your body has changed, becoming stronger and more efficient. Any given training program affects different athletes differently.
Thus, when you repeat your second 20-week training cycle at a greater level of fitness and experience than the first, you are not really repeating exactly the same program. You will be able to perform the workouts at a higher level and absorb the physiological stress more easily, and as a result you will continue to improve despite the repetition. This is a concept that many pro triathletes understand. Last year I asked Eneko Llanos whether he had modified his training at all in pursuit of winning the Hawaii Ironman, in which he had been the runner-up in 2008. “Basically we are doing the same training we did last year,” he said. “It worked very well last year and I think this year it is still working well. We are making some little adjustments but no big changes from last year. I think I’m improving year after year and I’m improving with my races. Every time I do an Ironman I am a little bit better because my body’s still adapting.” Again, training the same way consistently will only lead to long-term improvement if your training system is a good match for your individual physiology and personality. It takes time to develop a well-customized training formula, though, and developing such a formula requires some experimentation. Finding the training volume that works best for you is a part of that process, but it’s only one part. There are many other variables and factors that you can fiddle with to stimulate improvement. I encourage triathletes to take a narrowly focused problem-solving approach to this process. Think about the specific limiters that seem to be holding you back from performing better. Then think about possible solutions—particular changes you can make to your training that promise to address those limiters. Trust your intuitions. Often your own body knows better than any coach knows what you really need. The more experienced you are, the more reliable your hunches are likely to be. Thomas Newton is a veteran triathlete and a coach himself, so in my reply to his message I encouraged him to engage in the process I just described. Newton answered, “I think you’re right about knowing intuitively what you need to do and what your shortcomings are once you have a few years’ experience. It’s my run that I feel needs the most improvement. I think my plan will be to add weight training, change my diet, and do more focused brick workouts.” I am confident that the future will validate Newton’s hunch. So, what’s holding you back from a breakthrough? april 2010
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Oh, do you think I should? You mean I can’t be a pro forever! People thought I would retire in 2000, and I won the Hawaii Ironman six years later. It has been a great 22 years. Anyone want to hire a dedicated athlete with a few titles to her name?
How do you envision your life 20 years from now? I have absolutely no idea—I would never have envisioned the last 20. That’s kind of a scary thought. It’s a good thing age is just a number, right?
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Are there any women currently on the ITU circuit that you’d like to have a crack at?
Hell, no! They are too fast.
Michellie Jones by Holly bennett While Michellie Jones may be more widely known as the 2006 Ironman world champion, her varied career accomplishments, spanning more than two decades of professional racing, also include an Olympic silver medal and numerous ITU world championships. In fact, her multiple ITU world championship podium finishes nabbed Jones a Guinness World Record for the most-ever triathlon world championship medals. We caught up with this well-rounded champion to see what she’s up to these days and learn what her future holds.
You’ve been racing for more than 22 years, so you must have had some unusual experiences. What’s one of the most embarrassing moments you’ve ever had during a race? I wore my aero helmet backwards two years in a row—at the same race.
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You’ve traveled all over the world as an athlete. What are some of your favorite venues and why? Wow, I could write a book on my favorites. The ITU world cup in Sydney and the Olympic venue were just spectacular. To be able to race 40
at the Sydney Opera House was amazing. The ITU world champs in Muskoka, Canada, was an incredibly tough course. I have raced in all the Pacific Islands and my favorite was Tahiti—it’s very hot and humid, and I have two beautiful black pearls from wins there.
If you had to pick one best moment of your entire career, what would it be? Sorry, I have at least three. My first world championship win in 1992; making the Olympic team in 2000—because Australians were so competitive at the 1999 worlds, we took most of the top-10 placings; and winning my Olympic silver medal.
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Where do you keep your Olympic medal? It’s a secret where I keep it now, but it was in my kitchen pantry for years!
You turned 40 in September. What do you think makes you a stronger or better athlete than you were at 30 or 20? I wish I were as fast as I was in my 20s and 30s. But the nice thing about racing for so long is that you get smarter and stronger and you can use that to your advantage, just like the story of the tortoise and the hare.
Some people speculate that you might retire soon. What do you say to that?
How many of your 2,157 Facebook friends would you say you actually know?
All of them, of course.
How do you reward yourself? Let’s say I gave you $1,000 right now and you had to spend it on yourself. What would you buy or do? It would have been easier if you offered me a million! Let’s see … I’d spend a little at my favorite boutique, It’s A Luv Thing in Leucadia [Calif.], and maybe buy a new outfit for horse riding.
What’s on your bedside table? My Compex muscle stimulator, two books (“Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover’s Soul” and “The Angel by My Side”) and a couple of training programs I’m working on.
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In your purse? The usual suspects: credit cards, membership cards, $87 and 36 cents.
In your DVD player?
On your bucket list?
Should I have one of those? april 2010
You have an identical twin, Gabrielle. Has she ever stood in for you at an appearance or even a race? No, but we did do a race once where two other twins finished between us.
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1.800.472.3792 www.zipp.com The VukaR2C shifter is compatible with SRAM® and Shimano® drivetrains. The VukaShift extension is available in three versions to fit VukaR2C, SRAM, and Shimano shifters. Photos: Joe Vondersaar
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Med ic al l y Spe a k in g
ExErcising With a chronic DisEasE By Jordan d. Metzl, Md Casey is a 25-year-old runner in my practice who came to see me because of her painful knees. She had iliotibial band syndrome, a common condition in runners training for marathons. Some exercises and eventually a shot of cortisone fixed her and she ran her first marathon with a smile. The wrinkle in Casey’s case is that she has cystic fibrosis. When other athletes finish the race, they can return to their daily lives, but her daily life entails dealing with the tremendous difficulties of having a chronic disease. For her, exercise is only part of the story. Daily medications, intravenous antibiotics and breathing treatments are as much a part of her routine as nutritional powders and bike tire selection are part of ours. Before her first marathon she told me, “I’m so excited to do this marathon to raise awareness about CF. I want to be a positive role model for other people with this disease.” It’s one thing to be a person with a chronic disease; it’s another thing to be an athlete with a chronic disease. What is certain is that these athletes all display tremendous bravery. The things that many of us take for 42
exercise to help modify her blood sugar levels. “I have found that my blood sugar levels are much better moderated with daily workouts,” she told me. She makes sure that when granted, such as the ability to just get up she hits the run, she checks her sugar level and go, become ordeals for athletes who every six miles so it doesn’t drop too low. live with chronic diseases. Each of these athletes, and the many Thankfully, cystic thousands who are fibrosis is a relatively Remember that every day like them, is a hero. rare disease, but at every Remember that every athletes use exercise race you see athletes who day athletes use exercise and sport not only to have to modify their lives and sport not only to due to chronic diseases. go faster but to manage go faster but to manage Adam is a runner with chronic disease. Exercise asthma and Melanie is a chronic disease. Exercise won’t make the disease triathlete with diabetes. won’t make the disease go away, but it can ease Adam needs to bring the management of his inhaler to every race go away, but it can ease these illnesses. and takes oral medicine the management of these At your next race, if to lessen the frequency you see someone using illnesses. of his asthma attacks. He an inhaler or checking never takes running for granted. his blood sugar before or during a race, give “I feel so lucky every time I run,” he a shout-out. These are brave athletes. says. Adam has learned that keeping himself hydrated during races helps lessen the Jordan D. Metzl, M.D., Drjordanmetzl.com, is a severity of his asthma, so he stays ahead of nationally recognized sports medicine specialist dehydration in his race plan. at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Melanie has learned to better control In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Metzl is a her diabetes with triathlon. Her insulin 27-time marathon runner and a seven-time Ironrequirement is much lower since she uses man finisher. april 2010
E nd u r a nc e Tr av e le r
ironman south afriCa By Dean Warhaft Country Might I interest you in a trip to the cradle of life? Africa, and more specifically Port Elizabeth, South Africa, is home to the Spec-Savers Ironman. The race, held in April each year, boasts some of the best weather for an endurance event as well as a plethora of activities unique to the region, if Ironman is your excuse to travel. Here you will drive across lands that some say might have influenced some of J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings. Along with the mystical setting comes the reality of apartheid, Nelson Mandela and shanty towns. The Xhosa ethnic group dominates this part of the country. Plan to spend some time learning about their rich culture and ability to be one with the land.
transportation Whether you plan to drive or fly, getting to Port Elizabeth generally involves a trip to either Durban or Cape Town. The flights from either place take about 1.5 hours. If your trip to race Ironman includes time for touring, fly through Cape Town. Then drive east along the N2 highway toward Port Elizabeth. This is known as the Garden Route and is one of the more scenic drives in the world. The rich beauty of coastal mountains, estuaries beaming with wildlife, protea flowers growing along the road and lush forests all blend as you travel from the craggy coastline. One of two must-stop places along the route is the coastal town Knysna. And if you’re up for a really adventurous way to see 44
the beauty, visit Ironman veterans Bettina and Henk Van Wyk at Mossel Bay Skydive to get a bird’s-eye view of this stunning region.
raCe Since 2004, Ironman South Africa has steadily increased its participant numbers and, if the 2009 turnout is any indication, it wil continue to grow in the future. Also, Port Elizabeth has agreed to host the event for another five-year term, adding to the race’s stability. The course itself is a two-loop swim in the fairly calm waters of Nelson Mandela Bay. The first question people generally ask is about the sharks. Contrary to folklore, race director Paul Wolff says, “There hasn’t been a shark attack in or around the pier in the last 15 years, and plenty of people swim at dusk every evening.” After a quick transition in the beach parking lot area, competitors take off on a three-loop bike course. The only real climb on the whole course is the 10K climb up Walmer Boulevard. The real challenge can be the wind. Port Elizabeth has two names: the friendly city and the windy city. It lives up to both. The run is also three loops along Marine Drive and through the University of Port Elizabeth’s grounds in an area called Summerstrand. Make sure to look out for monkeys when you pass the stadium grounds. Friends and family are out in full force along the Marine Drive portion of the course, distracting athletes with the smell of kudu on the grill and cold beer.
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tourism There’s no way to do everything in one trip, so prioritize the activities you want to do. Going on a safari is a must-do. There are plenty of wild game reserves in and around the Eastern Cape. Some are definitely better than others and it’s a good idea to decide ahead of time what sort of experience you are looking for. Addo Elephant Park is famous, but the park is huge, so you could spend the entire time driving and not actually seeing many animals. On the other hand, Pumba Private Game Reserve, although smaller in size, makes it much easier for the guides to find the animals and provide a highly interactive visit. “Smaller” is a relative term. In eight hours we saw one other group and barely covered a third of the park. Bloukrans, an hour outside of Port Elizabeth, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to jump from the highest span bridge bungee in the world. And if you’re wondering whether you’ll actually jump once on the ledge, wait until you’re standing there with the music pumping and everyone screaming. There is simply too much to do in one trip, and maybe just lying on the beautiful beaches and experiencing some of the Xhosa traditions is enough to satisfy those tired legs after completing an Ironman. Either way, the Spec-Savers Ironman South Africa should definitely be on your family’s endurance travel list. Dean Warhaft has been racing and traveling for more than 15 years. He has raced on six continents, completing more than 30 Ironmans, more than 30 marathons and countless other endurance events along the way. He produces the “Endurance Traveler” TV series. april 2010
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studies show student-athletes excel in life by kevin MaCkinnon Think you are raising the next Craig Alexander or Chrissie Wellington? Encourage your children to participate in sports—research suggests that the best way you can help them excel is to get them involved. Studies routinely show that student athletes typically do better in school than classmates who don’t compete in sports, and there are even some indications that college athletes go on to earn more money than their non-athletic classmates. Dr. Roger Whitley, the author of one such study on high school students in North Carolina, was amazed to see just how much better the student-athletes did. “The most surprising aspect of the study was not that athletes as a whole do better, because there was a lot in the literature to suggest that was true, but it was how much better athletes did,” he said. “The difference was just unreal and the trends are consistent.” Whitley found that athletics provided a “positive motivational factor for students,”
and the student athletes had higher GPAs, missed less school, were less likely to drop out and had fewer discipline referrals. While we’re not exactly sure why being an athlete makes kids better students, there is a feeling that learning to juggle the dayto-day activities that go along with being a student-athlete—assignments, workouts, social activities—teaches young children to manage their time, which helps as they grow older. The advantage to getting children involved in a triathlon program, such as IronKids, is the lifestyle nature of the sport. Young triathletes can easily turn their eyes toward one of the three different sports in college, and after graduation they can continue to compete in triathlon events for the rest of their lives. Compare that to, say, football, where of the 330,000 high school players in the U.S., only 20,000 continue to play in college and less than 100 end up playing professionally. So what are the keys to enjoying the
benefits of being a student-athlete? Here are a few tips that can help your child excel in both school and sports: Get them into a routine. Being organized after school, reducing downtime spent in front of the television and completing homework on time make it easier to get to workouts, get a good night’s sleep and stay ahead of deadlines. remind them to eat well, and to eat reGularly. Three meals a day, along with healthy snacks in between, keep kids alert at school as well as fit and ready to train hard after school. encouraGe them to enjoy the social side of their sports activities. Many of their training partners will share similar interests and values. In college, sports programs provide a great way to meet other people too. Kevin Mackinnon has written two books on children’s triathlon training: “A Healthy Guide to Sport” and “A Healthy Guide to Competition,” published by Meyer and Meyer.
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Paradigms and the dashboard Lights reading the writing on the firewaLL. By Jef Mallett Bing bing bing. I am close by Denny’s Auto Diagnosis when the dashboard bings and displays in glowing red letters the command “Change Oil.” I ignore it and drive right past Denny’s. My car is not serious. It used to be that when any part of your dashboard lit up in a sequence that included the letters O, I and L, you pulled to the shoulder, got out and used one hand to hitchhike home while the other made pleading gestures to whatever saints or gods are in charge of inattentive motorists requesting a shred of hope that you haven’t trashed your engine already. But I’m driving a 1999 Oldsmobile, just new enough to be proactive and warn me that I’ve gone 3,000 miles since Denny last slammed the hood. The trouble is, numerous articles, radio shows and Denny himself agree that about the time engineers got smart enough to remind us in advance that we were due, their cars were getting fit enough that every 3,000 miles was a little premature for that oil change under prudent driving conditions. And where prudent driving is concerned, grandpas and Prius owners have nothing on triathletes. You could probably forestall the end of the world as some people see it simply by making the bike leg a condition of driver’s education. Jackrabbit starts? Forget it. Accelerating uphill? Don’t be ridiculous. Wrong tire pressure? Anathema. We know what wastes fuel and wears things out before their time. 48
So in spite of the dashboard light, I keep going. The engine doesn’t seize and the world gets to wait a little longer before I introduce another five quarts of Quaker State into the waste stream. As it happens, I’m driving home from the pool. I’m doing something new this year. I’m working with a swim coach. He’s refining my technique beyond belief, but he’s doing something more—he’s watching. And he’s essentially telling me the swimming equivalent of what Denny and Click and Clack told me about oil changes: That warning on the dashboard that says enough’s enough isn’t really serious. This particular morning’s highlight was several sets of 5 X 100 yards at threshold. My dashboard lights up midway through the fifth rep, each set. I’m done. But my coach assures me I’m not. I am no longer the 1978 Chevette of swimmers. I’m not exactly a Maserati, either, but I might pass for a well-tuned 1999 Oldsmobile, and that’s good enough that the warning light is really just a suggestion. I don’t back off. I finish the rep, the set and the workout, and my engine doesn’t seize. I’m starting to get the hang of ignoring warnings. Later I drive my car, dashboard aglow, to the running store. It’s winter in Michigan and I’m well into another year’s quest for the perfect shoe solution for traction in the snow. Sheet-metal screws and studded galoshes are good but imperfect solutions, and I’m wondering if a pair of trail runners might be worth the money.
I look at the selection, scrutinize the soles, and decide they’re probably not. Like an oil change at 3,000 miles or a 500-yard set that lasts 450, they won’t hurt. But they won’t get me the best return on my investment, either. So the dashboard lights up again: Stop. You don’t have to spend money every single time you walk into Playmakers. But I’m on a roll. I ignore the warning. I don’t buy the shoes, no. But the second floor of the store is closed off so they can mark prices down for an upcoming sale, and my friend and salesman John leads me up there like the Bellagio dealer leads the lotto winner to the high rollers suite, and it turns out I’d have been much more prudent to buy the shoes and go home. Eventually I do go home, and I put on my old shoes and (spiffy new) jacket and go for a run. There’s a section where I have to deal with business route 96. The cross streets don’t exactly line up, and I have to follow the highway for a stretch. In better weather, it’s no problem to run on the grass. But now, I’ve got to choose between running in the street or high-stepping through deep, unstable snowplow debris. Or using a tool-and-die company’s plowed, traffic-free driveway. This is a no-brainer. But the security guard—When did this place start hiring those?—doesn’t concur. He also sees a no-brainer, but one counter to mine. I smile, wave and offer him wishes for a pleasant afternoon. He does the same for me, then remembers his job description and appends, “This is private property, and I’m going to have to ask you to run around it in the future.” He’s doing exactly what he’s there for, but it makes no real sense. As far as I’m aware, the security risk presented by little bald guys in tights is historically, reliably low. The personal risk to those same little guys duking it out with business-loop traffic instead of taking an obvious, safe alternative is unconscionably high. The fact that I’ve been trespassing in such a manner for years without consequence is a total loser of a defense that somehow, in my indignant head, sounds like a slam dunk. I look over my shoulder as I run past my new friend turned unreasonable authority figure. Bing bing bing. The dashboard lights up again. Let it go, the red letters say. And this time I read them. “Yes, sir,” I say. “Thank you.” And that’s that. He’s done his job, and I get to keep running. Right past Denny’s Auto Diagnosis, as it happens. I make a mental note to bring the Olds in for an oil change in another thousand miles or so, and wish there were a convenient way to remind myself. april 2010
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usa triathlOn annOunCEs partnErship With tYr Effective at the beginning of this year, USA Triathlon and swimwear manufacturer TYR have signed a four-year gold level partnership for TYR to become the official swimwear, Team USA competition and training apparel outfitter, and swim accessories and goggles supplier for the organization. USA Triathlon members will receive a 20-percent discount on TYR products, and discounts will also be available for USAT clubs, certified coaches, race directors
aaa tri Camp OpEns triathlOn training COmplEx The new American and Australian Triathlon Camp is a fully self-contained training complex built on more than 10 acres just outside Orlando, Fla. The camp is purposely designed to lodge, feed and train triathletes and is specifically structured for beginner and age-group triathletes. The camp has two large lagoons, a heated lap pool, a wellequipped gym, a spin bike studio and a run track, and the camp is only minutes away from a 70-mile bike-only time trial loop. AAA Tri Camp runs two-, three- or five-day camps. Visit Aaatricamp.com.
CEO ChallEngEs Expands tO EurOpE Chief executive officers in North America have had the opportunity to test themselves in sport competitions since 2001, starting with the CEO Ironman Challenge in Lake Placid, and now including competitions in running, triathlon, driving, skiing, cycling, golf and even AVP beach volleyball. Thanks to a new license deal with Sports Tours International, European CEOs will now have the same opportunities in 2010. The European calendar includes events such as the Etape du Tour, the Tour de France, the Real Berlin Marathon, Quelle Challenge Roth triathlon, and golf and tennis events. The top CEOs from each event will receive an exclusive invitation to take part in that sport’s CEO Challenge World Championship. A complete list of the Europe events can be found at Sportstoursinternational. co.uk/ceochallenges.
shErOx triathlOn sEriEs Expands 2010 sChEdulE The SheRox Triathlon Series, an all-women’s sprint distance triathlon series, has expanded its schedule in 2010. This year, the series will include stops in Philadelphia; Miami; Tempe, Ariz.; Rock Hill, S.C.; and Boulder, Colo. Founded in 2007, the series launched with the inaugural SheRox Philadelphia Triathlon and quickly expanded to include four sprint triathlons across the country. The 2010 series will see the series expand once again to include at least seven cites. To register, visit Sheroxtri.com. 50
and Team USA. In addition to providing all levels of USAT with apparel and product, TYR will provide bonuses to elite USAT athletes donning the TYR apparel at each annual ITU World Championship, 2011 Pan-American Games and 2012 Olympic Games as well as the five-event London 2012 Elite Triathlon Series. TYR also will supply 20,000 swim caps for Elite Series events and USAT National and Regional Championships. Visit Tyr.com or Usatriathlon.org.
nYtrO and BEttY dEsigns launCh WOmEn’s triathlOn tEam Nytro, a multisport retailer, and Betty Designs, a custom race gear boutique, announce the formation of the Nytro Women’s Elite Triathlon Team. Based in San Diego, the women’s amateur team consists of a group of female elite triathletes who range in age from 20s to 50s and are committed to being strong ambassadors for the team
sponsors and the triathlon lifestyle. The Nytro Women also plan to give back to the community by mentoring other women who want to race their first triathlon or set new goals in the sport. The team will be managed by Betty Designs founder and accomplished amateur triathlete, Kristin Mayer. Visit Bettydesigns.com or Nytro.com.
usa triathlOn annOunCEs hall Of famE induCtEEs Five individuals who have impacted the sport of triathlon were inducted into USA Triathlon’s Hall of Fame on Feb. 13. A banquet in their honor was held at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. The 2009 inductees were the second class to be inducted into the USAT Hall of Fame since its creation in 2008. The inductees include some of the most notable figures in multisport history: Jim Curl (contributor),
Barb Lindquist (post-1999 elite athlete), Paula Newby-Fraser (pre-2000 elite athlete), Valerie Silk (contributor), and Carl Thomas (contributor). “As we begin a new decade, it is fitting to usher out the old with a celebration around those who contributed the most to get us where we are today,” said Skip Gilbert, CEO of USA Triathlon. For more information, visit Usatriathlon.org.
ain-alar JuhansOn signs With argOn 18
nEW gran fOndO sEt in British COlumBia
Argon 18 has announced a new collaborative agreement with worldclass triathlete Ain-Alar Juhanson of Estonia. Juhanson joins Luke Bell and Samantha McGlone in the Argon 18 family. With the best bike split in Kona in 2008 and two victories at Ironman Lanzarote, which features the toughest bike course of any Ironman, Juhanson is seen as one of the most powerful men in triathlon. This new collaboration will cover the next three seasons, and his weapon of choice will be the E-114, a frameset renowned for its stiffness and for its high level of integration. For more information, visit Argon18bike.com.
GranFondo Canada has announced the Whistler GranFondo, North America’s newest gran fondo cycling event. Set for Sept. 11 the Whistler GranFondo will ride from Vancouver through to the resort town of Whistler along British Columbia’s worldfamous Sea to Sky highway. Gran fondos (loosely translated from Italian as “big ride”) appeal to recreational cyclists and racers of all abilities and ages. Numerous gran fondos have launched recently in North America, and this newest entrant promises a route rivaling the scenic vistas of the Alps as riders climb almost 8,000 feet. The Sea to Sky Highway has undergone major upgrades in preparation for the 2010 Olympic Games. Riders will enjoy a smooth, unblemished ride over the entire 74-mile route. Visit Whistlergranfondo.com. april 2010
Guy Crawford. Pro triathlete. Rotorua, New Zealand. 7.01am. First out of the water in the new blueseventy Helix.
THE WORLD IS SWIMMING FASTER IN BLUESEVENTY.
By SuSan Grant • PhotoS By ChriS orwiG When defending Ironman world champion Craig Alexander passed Chris Lieto on the Queen Kaahumanu Highway at the 2009 Ford Ironman World Championship with little more than three miles to go until the finish line, even Alexander’s biggest fans couldn’t help but hand it to Lieto for one hell of a show. The look on Lieto’s face as he struggled through the Energy Lab—all the while knowing a stoic Craig Alexander was cautiously picking runners off the road on his way toward him—told the crowd that this was a guy who was racing with his heart on his sleeve. We sat down with the 37-year-old Danville, Calif., native and he let loose on the lessons he’s learned during his decade of professional racing, why Kona is the bull’s eye on his race year calendar and what it feels like to do a track workout with Ryan Hall.
You were inspired to compete in triathlon after reading an article in Outside magazine about Mark Allen. He went on to become your first triathlon coach. What did you learn from him?
I John Segesta/johnsegesta.com
was inspired to do triathlon originally after watching the Ironman on television. Also, Wendy Ingraham lived in my area and so I met her at school and watched her do the Ironman on television. During this same period of time I saw the magazine article with Mark, and there was a sample 16-week plan on training for your first triathlon, so I followed that plan. That’s how I got started. After that, Wendy helped me in my training and Mark came along and coached me for a year after that. I learned a lot from him. Professional athletes who become coaches bring their own experiences as athletes to the table, including their own trials and errors. But everyone is different, so you have to figure out what works best for you, especially as you get older.
During the last decade you’ve had three top-10 finishes at the Hawaii Ironman. You’ve said in the past that one of your goals as a pro was to become one of the top Americans in the sport. With your top-American finish in 2009, do you feel like you have achieved your goal? april 2010
here’s definitely more left out there for me to do. One of the goals I set for myself when I got involved in the sport in 1999 was to be in the top one percentage in the world as far as ranking. I’ve accomplished that, as well as winning several other races that I set out to win. The last thing on my list is really to win Kona. I’ve come closer every year, so it’s still out there for me to finish first. This year I will be out there to win.
How does your goal of winning Kona affect the rest of your 2010 season?
or the last couple years, my focus has really been winning Ironman Hawaii above all else. Every race I go to I have the goal in mind that I want to win, but ultimately my goal for the whole year is winning Hawaii. There are sacrifices I make throughout the year in terms of the races I choose to do and in my training so that I can be as fit as possible come October. That said, even if I’m not as fit because of where I am in my yearly training plan, no matter what race I line up for, I shoot for winning and for giving my all and racing all out and challenging myself. It’s always exciting to see what I have in me at any given moment in a race. It’s also beneficial to race closely against somebody else because it teaches you about yourself both physically and emotionally. I will take all the things I learn in every race that I do this year and try to adapt them to how I approach my race in Kona.
You are currently coached by Matt Dixon, founder of Purple Patch Fitness based in the San Francisco Bay area. Dixon is a proponent of rest and recovery rather than logging huge miles all the time. You’ve always been vocal about the importance of rest, but even you have admitted that it’s easier for someone to make time for recovery when training is their only full-time job. What advice do you have for age-group athletes on recovery?
o be honest, 99 percent of age-groupers train too much. I’ve learned a lot more of that from Matt Dixon. In the past, some coaches really overloaded me, and they just had a philosophy that training that hard is what you have to do, although it is more of a philosophy people believed 15 years ago. Matt incorporates a lot of rest and recovery into my training program and it works really well for me, especially as I get older. I believe you really need to take at least one day off weekly. It’s hard to do mentally sometimes, but people would be amazed at the relatively small amount of training you can do and still have an incredible race.
You spent six weeks leading up to Kona in 2009 training at altitude—roughly 8,000 feet—in Mammoth with marathoners Ryan Hall and Josh Cox, among others. What was the most profound change in your running during your time there, and how did it help you in Kona?
he time I spent up there was a great time, and being up that high works really well for me. It doesn’t always work well for people, so I was glad I enjoyed it and it helped me. I will be going back this year, although I will have to monitor when and how long I’m up there because what works once may not work the next time. It was a chance to focus on my training for Hawaii, although usually I do training camps on Maui before the Ironman. This past year, I wanted to stay closer to home. It was more about a destination to get clarity and focus and to find balance in my training and myself. Also, the surroundings were so beautiful and the people were so great to run with and learn from. Running with my friends Ryan Hall and Josh Cox and getting to know Deena Kastor and her husband and Meb [Keflezighi] was really a great experience. It was good to be able to run with people at a high level. They are elite athletes at the top of their sport and we have mutual respect for each other and what it takes to be an athlete. But there wasn’t any of that cloudiness of the sport of triathlon crowding my mind up there. I’ve never really spent time at training camps in the traditional triathlon environment, for instance, going up to Boulder or wherever else other triathletes go. I’d rather train either with elite athletes I can learn from or just by myself. It was a time for me to challenge myself. There were times when I was more nervous about a track session with Ryan Hall and Josh Cox and all the Mammoth track team than lining up for a race. The running was great, I got a lot of good quality runs in while staying injury free, and it was just a great time overall.
In 1998 a friend accidentally ran over your foot, breaking it in more than 50 places. You were told you would never run again. Did you place a call after your Kona finish to the doctor who gave you your diagnosis and rub it in?
t’s funny you mentioned that. I did a talk with a triathlon club at a fitness club in my area and at the end of my talk it turns out the doctor who had worked on me after my injury was in the audience. He came up and talked to me after I finished my presentation and congratulated me. He was really impressed, and we’ve actually talked a few times since. Doctors always give you the worst-case scenario with injuries like that based on the data that they have available to them. However, I am still dealing with the injury even today. I notice it in how my foot reacts to my run training, the soreness and the inflexibility in my ankle. I have some scar tissue in my foot even still. You just deal with it.
Thinking back to when you were healing from that injury, do you think it made you an even more driven athlete than you would have been otherwise? 56
n the beginning for sure it did. That first year, it was very much a driving force for me to rehab and get healed up. I was doing more on a rehab basis than they would have liked because I was so motivated. I would show up at the rehab place and they would tell me to warm up on the bike and I would have to explain to them that I just got done riding for two hours on the trainer. They basically kicked me out of physical therapy because I was doing enough on my own. I was very proactive. As soon as I could get out of bed I did, as soon as I could ride a bike I did. Even with the cast on I would do activity. I pushed for a cast that would allow me to get in the water and I did a lot of aqua jogging. I never gave it time to rest and that was the key to my recovery. A lot of times when people have surgery or injury issues they sit and let the recovery happen without being active, and that is when the scar tissue builds up. I really kept my foot and ankle moving and although I have some scar tissue it is so much less than I would have had otherwise.
You are one of the strongest cyclists in the sport, if not the strongest. Chris McCormack said that he thought you would be able to out-split Lance Armstrong if you had the chance. Do you think that you could?
have no idea! I doubt it. Lance is a phenomenal athlete and he has the ability to excel at anything he puts his mind to. He is a mentor for me—someone I look up to. If he races in Kona this year or whenever and I’m out there racing too, I’ll do my best to keep up with him and hopefully I won’t let him go anywhere. I have no doubt that in the end he would probably smoke me though.
Prior to the 2009 Ironman World Championship, it was rumored that you were considering retiring from the sport. Was this true, and if so why?
’ve gone through different stages in regards to retirement. In 2004, I thought about retiring and then I was able to have a good race at Ironman Canada and at that time I was thinking that it might be my last race. It goes to show how important your mindset is going into a race. At Ironman Canada I had no pressure on me; I just went out there and tried to have the best race I could have. I also held strongly to the belief that I had it in me to win the race, and so believing that I was able to win. I learned from that experience that you always have to have that type of mindset where you are positive and you have big goals, but at the same time you don’t put pressure on yourself in an unhealthy way. You have to show up to your events, or whatever else you have to do in your life, with a relaxed, confident attitude, and that is how I really have approached the rest of my career since then. Did I think about retiring last year? Well, no, but I’m always thinking about my exit and how I will handle that. I will be turning 38 this year so I’m not a young pup anymore, but every year I feel like I’m still getting better. Last year at Kona my fitness was really there and I think that this year it will be even more. I will continue to race as long as I feel like my fitness is improving or until something else comes along that really inspires me to put everything into it.
When Rudy Garcia-Tolson missed the bike cutoff by eight minutes in the 2009 Ironman World Championship, his first shot at becoming the first double above-knee amputee to finish an Ironman ended sooner than he had hoped. Undeterred, 21-year-old Garcia-Tolson, with the help of coach Muddy Waters, was able to train in six weeks to finish Ironman Arizona and meet his goal. By Bethany Leach Photos By niLs niLsen 58
uring a training ride near San Jose, Calif., Rudy Garcia-Tolson rounded a corner in the road and saw a group of cyclists in front of him. He accelerated to catch and then pass them. “I thought, ‘That little son of a bitch is going after them,’” his coach Muddy Waters says. “That’s when a lightbulb came on. He’s competitive … If he had legs, he’d still be doing this.” It was day three of three crash training weeks to prep for Ironman Arizona last November. Just a few weeks earlier in Hawaii, 21-year-old Garcia-Tolson had attempted to become the first double above-knee amputee to finish an Ironman, but he had missed the bike cutoff by just eight minutes. Garcia-Tolson lost his legs when he was 5 by his own choice. Born with multiple birth defects, he endured 15 surgeries before he asked his doctors if he could ever run on his scarred, deformed appendages, and they replied that his best bet would be prosthetic replacements. That was all the convincing Garcia-Tolson needed.
Moving Past Kona After Kona, Garcia-Tolson returned home to Bloomington, Calif., and searched the Ironman website for the next race he could enter. It was Ironman Arizona, a mere six weeks away and already sold out. Under the special circumstances, he signed up with the help of race director Paul Huddle. “I probably didn’t even know the race existed. I thought I’d finish Kona, take a break, be just chillin’ after that,” Garcia-Tolson says. “But Kona didn’t go the way I wanted it to, and I was disappointed.” When Rudy’s mentor and friend, Bob Babbitt, co-founder of the Challenged Athletes Foundation headquartered in San Diego, heard that he wanted to race Arizona, Babbitt called up his pal Waters. Waters says he felt thrilled and honored to be asked to coach GarciaTolson not only because it would be the first challenged athlete Waters coached, but also because, from watching videos of him race, Waters had already spotted things he could help Garcia-Tolson change. Waters 60
has a particular gift for being able to spot and correct any athlete’s mechanical problems. And after studying Garcia-Tolson, Waters knew that he needed to change the bike. “Muddy’s the best coach around,” Babbitt says. No one who has trained with him has been unsuccessful, he claims. Waters is known among triathletes as a very hands-on coach; he motorpaces with athletes on the bike, and doesn’t mess with heart rate monitors, wattage or whatever the newest fad in endurance training is. “Some people left Muddy because he wasn’t precise enough with numbers,” says pro Brian Lavelle, whom Waters has coached on and off for 10 years. “He’s very old-school—you just go out there and do it. If you care too much about threshold and pyramids, it takes away from the fun of the sport.” Babbitt met Waters while he was playing baseball, and he eventually convinced Waters to go into multisport. Waters admits that he was always more of a duathlete, but he knows he’s gifted as a coach. “I take a whole different approach,” Waters says. “I cry and laugh with them. I dive in head first and work as hard as they do.” To prepare for Kona, Babbitt sent Garcia-Tolson to San Jose, Calif., to live with Waters, a coaching style he refers to as the “Muddy love.” For a little less than a month, Waters and his wife, Barbara, washed the 21-year-old’s clothes, cooked his meals and kept him from sticking to his normal habits such as eating hot Cheetos—a staple food for Garcia-Tolson—and staying up late playing video games. “I knew he was part of the family when Barbara asked him, ‘Hey are these your socks?’” Waters says with a laugh. “I don’t wear socks,” Garcia-Tolson explains. Coach Muddy’s style was just what Garcia-Tolson needed. The two worked four to five hours a day, seven days a week. Garcia-Tolson needed no help with his swim—he had won gold medals at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens and at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. april 2010
So they focused on the bike. They had to re-evaluate Garcia-Tolson’s form. Waters got rid of the aerobars and gave the bike a standard front end. Because Garcia-Tolson only has his glutes to power the bike, he needed to sit upright to churn more energy into the pedals. GarciaTolson spent hours on a CompuTrainer working with Elliott Doyle, head fitter at Concept Cyclery in Morgan Hill, Calif. Waters had also noticed that Garcia-Tolson had lost about five minutes in T1 trying to get his cleat in his bike, so he changed cleats for Arizona. They also worked on building up his core muscles to make them better able to take postural stress of his lower back during many hours in the saddle. Waters changed a few things on the run, such as helping him to run up hills efficiently on his C-shaped prosthetic legs, but he put more emphasis on helping Garcia-Tolson overcome his disappointment in himself because of missing the bike cutoff in Hawaii. “Kona was obviously a big challenge, and that was the first time I didn’t meet my goal.” Waters reminded him to remember that day, but to also remember that he was better than that. “You can’t change the past,” Waters told him. “You can only better it.” Garcia-Tolson and Waters came out of the training camp closely bonded. “We’re always looking for something to improve,” Garcia-Tolson says, “and I can almost sense what he wants—like if he wants me to go faster or do something different. He doesn’t have to talk.” Babbitt has witnessed the relationship firsthand: “They were there for the same goal, and their communication is, well, a lot of it is unspoken communication. They just know. They’re better off together.”
Achieving the goAl At Ironman Arizona on Nov. 22, Garcia-Tolson conquered the swim, despite breaking his goggle strap minutes before the start. He placed 141st out of 2,400 athletes. The cold water, though, added an extra 15 minutes to his transition as he tried to warm up for the bike. april 2010
He cruised through the first lap of the ride, but flatted on the second. His lower back also became painful. By lap three, he says, “I thought, ‘It’s not going to be cool if I miss the bike cutoff again.’ So I really hammered the last lap. I didn’t want Ironman to have two victories over me.” He finished with half an hour to spare. On the run, his first marathon ever, Garcia-Tolson ran the first few and the last few miles well, despite hitting a wall around Mile 17. There was a point at Mile 23 when he lay on the pavement, mentally and physically drained. He looked for motivation and found it in the other athletes and in the spectators cheering him on. Being just a few miles from the finish, he says, “There was no way in hell I was going to stop then.” Rather than walk to the finish, which he had time for, he decided to book it out. The finish made all the suffering worthwhile. “My body was so wasted, so tired, but when I finished, the tiredness went away,” he says. He was greeted by Huddle and fellow coach Roch Frey at the finish line with a large bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. After finishing his first Ironman, Garcia-Tolson talks about Kona as if it’s a given that he’ll finish the race this year; it’s just a matter of how fast. “We’re going to go back in 2010 and show the world that it’s not about just finishing—we want to compete,” Waters says. Until October, the plan is for Garcia-Tolson to get more Muddy love—to live with Waters for two weeks out of every month—so that he can fine-tune the young triathlete’s form and push him in his training. They also hope to get Garcia-Tolson new prosthetics. After Kona, Garcia-Tolson will be back in the pool for a shot at another medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games. The Muddy love is the same treatment he’s given other triathletes over the years, such as Aussie Craig Walton. “Muddy didn’t treat Rudy any differently,” Lavelle says. “The guy does pour himself out emotionally, and it really is more than a job. For Muddy, it’s a life and he loves it. He’d do anything for his athletes.” triathletemag.com
Alcatraz, My Alcatraz
By Joe oakes
obby Roper was gazing out the picture window in the South End Club’s dayroom, watching a huge tanker as it glided behind Alcatraz Island, heading up San Francisco Bay to the Chevron refinery in Richmond, when he noticed that one of the Zodiacs (rigidhull inflatable boats) was being readied for launch on the pier below him. “Oh, shit,” he said. “There goes another one!” He turned away and snatched up a newspaper and a cup of coffee and plunked himself down on the sofa. Roper, a retired California marshall, is a San Francisco swimming legend. In his time he set speed records for swimming from Alcatraz to San Francisco and across the Golden Gate Bridge. He was a member of the relay team that swam 26 terrifying miles from the Farallon Islands, the western corner of the great white shark’s “bloody triangle,” to San Francisco. The feat has never been repeated. But this morning he was turning his attention away from the people readying the Zodiac on the South End pier below him. He turned to Wayne Black and asked, “Is it the Little Mexican or Emich this time?” The “Little Mexican,” Pedro Ordenes, is actually a Chilean, and swimming in cold water is in his blood. He grew up in Punta Arenas, Chile, on the shore of the Strait of Magellan, the next step north of the Antarctic Peninsula. There is a rumor that Ordenes freezes his oatmeal into popsicles for breakfast. Gary Emich is an escaped Florida beach boy, a USAT-certified swimming coach and a retired post office official. Here is the thing about these two guys: They have each swum from Alcatraz more than 600 times, and they are locked in a duel to the death to see who will end up with the most Alcatraz swims ever before meeting the Grim Reaper. A few years ago I was present at a special swim when both Emich and Ordenes did what had never before been done: They completed their 64
100th Alcatraz crossings, and they did it together. To honor them, a new term was coined: “Alcatraz centurion.” They were partners in their glory and both knew that there would be more Alcatraz swims to come. Then something happened—their partnership turned into a race to determine “the baddest ass on Alcatraz.” Ordenes, a loquacious Latino who is a little older (both are in their 60s), suddenly became evasive whenever he was asked about his current total as the numbers mounted up. Emich, a cool customer used to dealing with postal Postals, responded by tweaking up the pressure. They were locked in what was becoming an unending and unbending battle: swim or die, or maybe both. People started taking sides, and betting money might have changed hands. There were accusations that one of them was using swim fins, a definite no-no in an old-school atmosphere where wetsuits are still called wuss suits: “If you are wearing fins, you are not swimming; if you are wearing a wetsuit, you are floating.” Whenever one went out of town for a few days, the other would cram in as many Alcatraz swims as he could. Emich did five one day. And they kept piling on the numbers—200, 300 and now 600. They were building reputations as studs and reaping the benefits. Emich, who is super-organized, got himself certified as a USAT swim coach, put on seminars and travelled internationally for Swim Trek, a British swim-tour company. Ordenes, a little more on the loosey-goosey side, stayed closer to home, started a low-key swim company that customizes swims from Alcatraz for small groups. His website said that he was a world record holder, but it did not elaborate. In truth, while both men are both good swimmers, neither of them comes close to being world class. (The big difference between the two of them is Emich’s supportive, intelligent wife, Peg, who tries hard and unsuccessfully to keep him on the straight and narrow. Ordenes’s family is in Miami and Chile.) april 2010
Roper walked away from the window, not wanting to witness one more swim in a seemingly infinite series of more of the same. “Bobby, it’s neither of them this time,” Black said. “I think it’s the Kid, Stevie Ray,” and Roper smiled. Emich and Ordenes are hearing footsteps these days. There are a dozen younger, faster swimmers, all members of the South End Club, coming up fast behind them, and all well past the 100 mark. Stevie Ray is leading the chase pack, but there are others, such as Christine “Bucko” Buckley. A few years ago Buckley was swimming across the English Channel when a storm came up, buffeting her with gale-force winds and big waves. Her pilot advised her to come out of the water, and Buckley gave him a Bronx cheer, going on to finish her swim in a very difficult 17 hours. The English Channel Swimming Association named Bucko its inspirational swimmer of the year. For Emich, Ordenes, Ray, Bucko and the rest, Alcatraz has become an addiction, bordering on a religion. How does it happen that they can pile up such big numbers when most people have to wait in line to get in just one Alcatraz swim a year? The answer is simple: They all belong to the South End Club. Instead of getting a normal night’s sleep, they are up at 4 a.m., at the club at 5, in the water before 6 and at work at 8. All they need to do is reserve a club boat and find a pilot to ferry them out to Alcatraz and guide them back. There isn’t a swim club in America that is more supportive of the ambitions of its rough-water swimmers; more South Enders have crossed the English Channel than any club outside of England. These kinds of things don’t just happen. Someone has to create an atmosphere to make them happen, and the person who has had the greatest influence over the years is none other than Bobby Roper. He is the official guru of the Sunrisers, an unruly gang of South End swimmers who take pleasure in engaging in daily early-morning aquatic april 2010
combat with ferries and the Coast Guard. And even though Roper may scoff at the centurions piling on numbers, his heart is as big as the bay, exceeded only by his enthusiasm for swimming. But where did the obsession with Alcatraz come from? Blame me. Mea maxima culpa. Since the founding of the South End Club and its neighboring Dolphin Club in the 1870s, the two clubs have held a monopoly on swimming from Alcatraz. Outsiders were not invited, and there were maybe 100 people making a crossing each year. In 1981, after my fun day of slogging through the Ironman in Honolulu, I said to myself, “Hey, we’ve got to do something like that in San Francisco, but not as long and boring, and a lot more intense. It will start with a very cold swim from Alcatraz and finish with a run across the mountainous and notoriously hot Dipsea Trail—twice. I will connect it up with a bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge.” Thus was born one of the very first triathlons on mainland U.S. soil. It started as a club event, and so it remains, but it has bifurcated and been copied into a variety of competing events—triathlons, swim-run events and just plain swims. So, yeah, blame me. Over the years I have earned a few bucks (not many) and learned a few hard lessons. As of now, more than 20,000 swimmers have gazed up at my smiling face as my Team Alcatraz has guided them across those cold and roiling waters. But after almost 30 years, I’m getting ready to cash in my chips and walk away. Anyone want the job? And, yes, we have had to yank more than a thousand swimmers from the water, some of them excellent swimmers who got in a little … ugh … over their heads. Nobody ever said it would be easy. If you are a mere mortal and not a centurion, approach with caution. Now, if you have your eye on breaking that most-swims record, you are already more than 600 swims behind, but you have the rest of your life to catch up. Why not? Just call Bobby Roper or me for some quick advice. triathletemag.com
shouLd You AtteMPt An ALCAtrAZ sWiM? Consider these questions first: Can you swim a mile in open, moving water in less than 40 minutes? Can you handle an hour in 57-degree water? Even with wetsuits, I have seen a lot of cases of hypothermia. To misquote the Bible, “Many are cold but few are frozen.” Do you have good open-water navigational skills? Have you had a good cardiac checkup lately? People have died from heart conditions while swimming from Alcatraz. Talk to your doctor. Do you freak out in open-water situations? It happens mainly at the start, when you have to jump six feet from the ferry into the bay. If your answer to any of these questions is “no” or “maybe,” then take your time and build your experience until you are ready for Alcatraz. It is serious business.
hoW do You deCide WhiCh ALCAtrAZ eVent to seLeCt? With everybody and his brother selling tickets to the Alcatraz menagerie, choosing one can be difficult. Use your good judgment and concentrate on two things: experience and safety. Ask these questions: How long has the race director been putting on swims in the bay? San Francisco Bay is very different from other venues. Gary Emich likes to paraphrase Forrest Gump: San Francisco Bay is like a box of chocolates. You 66
never know what you will get until you bite into one. The bay can quickly throw fog, currents, animal life and big boats at you with no warning. Is the race promoter willing to spend enough money to provide sufficient safety coverage with experienced on-water kayaks and powerboats? You do not want your safety in the hands of amateurs. Will there be a medical barge on the water and an ambulance on the shore? Is there a good communications system to alert the Coast Guard or the police in an emergency? Will the Coast Guard and San Francisco Police be on the water with the swimmers? RESOURCES:
1. A good DVD on transitioning from the pool to open water is Gary Emich’s “Lane Lines to Shore Lines,” available at Lanelinestoshore lines.com. 2. Joe Oakes’ book, “The Alcatraz Swimmer’s Manual” is in its fourth printing and is available from Tricalifornia.com and Lanelinesto shorelines.com. You can take in the history of Alcatraz while getting some practical swim tips. 3.The South End Club is located at 500 Jefferson Street, just west of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. For a small fee you can use its beach, lockers, sauna and showers. Just more than a mile south of Alcatraz, it’s a great place to train. They also put on the excellent Alcatraz Invitational Swim each fall. april 2010
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BIKES Leader 735TT, $399 (frame) Leader has been the leader (sorry, we had to do it) in affordable tri bikes for a couple of years now, and weâ€™re happy to see that its prices havenâ€™t gone up one cent since the introduction of this sub-400 dollar frame. The 735TT is a very stable and relatively light alloy frame that even includes horizontal dropouts for a little extra speed on race day. Leaderbikestore.com
SIDIs just fit. Perfectly. Italian handbuilt uppers and incredibly thin, rigid soles give you every biomechanical advantage, with the engineered flex your foot needs to maintain circulation and comfort for a blazing bike split that wonâ€™t sap you for the run. Just ask any SIDI athlete, like Michellie Jones. SIDI is Italian for speed.
Ridley Phaeton T, $1,150 The Phaeton offers a similar design to the Ridley’s popular Noah aero road bike, including the same split-blade “R-Flow” fork leg design, but with an aluminum frame for more weight but less dough. Ridley-bikes.com
TitanFlex Transition, $1,200 (frameset) A longtime favorite of athletes in multi-day races and athletes with back issues, TitanFlex’s no seat tube design makes for one of the more comfortable rides out there and the compact rear triangle and aluminum monocoque body is surprisingly stiff. Ttinet.com/tf
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Valdora AC-Tri, $1,299 The uber-affordable AC-Tri uses semi-compact geometry—something many beginners dig—and also comes equipped with a carbon fork and seat post—something beginners and pros dig. At less than $1,300, it’s one of the best values of 2010. Valdoracycles.com
Felt S32, $1,399 While most other manufacturers hiked up prices for 2010, Felt hacked 150 bucks off the price tag on its entry-level tri offering. Felt’s own TTR4 wheelset adds 30mm of rim depth to save those precious seconds. Feltracing.com
Specialized Transition A1 Elite, $1,450 Aside from the fact that the name makes us think of steak sauce, weâ€™re big fans of Specializedâ€™s new, very beginner-friendly ride. The compact frame makes for an easy transition (get it?) for those used to more stable bikes, like that 40-pound cruiser in your garage that never moves. Specialized serves up the best spec of any bike in this price range, tossing in a carbon fork and Profile T2+ S-Bend aerobars. Specialized.com
Giant Trinity 0, $1,750 With its compact aero road design, aerodynamic profile and super-efficient pedaling performance, Trinity 0 is the ticket to a fast ride. Built around a lightweight aluminum frame and featuring a steep seat tube for an aggressive yet comfortable stance, Trinity 0â€™s key upgrades over Trinity 1 include 10-speed Shimano 105 shifting, a Giant Connect SL stem and a Shimano Ultegra 6700 rear derailleur. Giant-bicycles.com
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Cervelo P2C $2,000 (frameset) Cerveloâ€™s P2 Carbon has much of the same tech, design and aero advantage as its P3C without the same price tag. A savvy use of carbon fiber used in the frame, the seat tube collar is aerodynamically integrated and its frame is 100 grams lighter than the P1. Cervelo.com
Argon 18 E-112, $2,349 (frameset) The pronounced ridges on the E-112 fork allow the maximum possible aerodynamic integration with the frame and rider, with a conventional headset and handlebar configuration. The inherent vibrationabsorbing qualities of 5606 HM lend extra comfort and stability to the frameset, particularly on rough surfaces. Thus, the E-112 offers a stable platform for accurate and predictable handling, even on the tribars at extreme levels of effort. Argon18bike.com
Felt B14, $2,500 Oregon-based Felt is king of the mid-range tri market and we feel the B14 is the brand’s best value among its nine tri-specific offerings. It’s all carbon, it’s light (about 20 pounds on the nose), and it’s the product of a company that spends an absurd amount of time and money in the wind tunnel. Feltracing.com
Argon 18 E-80, $2,550 Montreal-based Argon 18 does high-end as good as anyone else in the business of building $6,000+ bikes, but the introduction of the budget-conscious E-80 last year showed a new commitment to the beginner market. The frame combines carbon stays and fork with an aluminum main triangle for a sturdy and aero ride. Argon18bike.com
Blue Triad SP, $2,770 One of the best values of 2010, the Triad SP is a strippeddown version of the hugely successful top-end Triad SL, but Atlanta-based Blue didn’t strip off too much from the affordable SP model. You get the same frame with a solid set of American Classic wheels and a SRAM Rival group— for less than $2,800. Rideblue.com
Orbea Ordu, $2,899 frameset The Ordu is a tribute to Orbea’s constant evolution and infinite wind tunnel evaluation. It features one of the narrowest front profiles available through its unique headtube shaping, and the front-end stiffness provides the ultimate in stability. From the bottom bracket that embraces the shape of the wheel to the seat binding that complements the frame shaping, each design element works to improve overall performance. Orbea-usa.com
Test ride a Kestrel today. Visit kestrelbicycles.com to find a dealer near you.
Fuji D-6 Comp, $3,150 The D-6 was one of our favorite debuts of 2009, and it got a huge price cut this year, making Fujiâ€™s first dedicated tri bike an even better deal. We dig the mammoth rear triangle, which stiffens up the ride and even has a little cavity to hide the brake from the wind. Fujibikes.com
Wilier Tri Crono, $3,170 (frameset) Designed by aerodynamic guru John Cobb, the Tri Crono has an integrated airfoil seatmast, carbon monocoque fork and frame for stiffness, excellent acceleration and superior comfort. Wilier.it
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Look 576, $3,200 Buying a Look for just over $3K is kind of like scoring a Ferrari for under $100,000. Your friends will gawk at the high-end features like an integrated seatmast and assume you spent a lot more than you did. Lookcycle-usa.com
Serotta CXII, $3,295 While Serottaâ€™s CXII titanium frame had to be discontinued due to the unavailability of its exclusive seamless titanium, the steel frame is virtually the same weight as its titanium model. This is a true time trial/Olympic-distance race bike and can be custom-made with any degree of toptube slope, along with an array of colors and paint schemes. Serotta.com
SOME MEETINGS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN OTHERS
Quintana Roo CD0.1, $3,400 (frameset) The CD0.1 was one of the surprise debuts of 2009. While much of the design focus was on aerodynamics, the highlight for our testers turned out to be the topnotch pedaling efficiency provided by the beefy bottom bracket. Quintanarootri.com
Scott Plasma 20, $3,499 Fast and light pretty much sums up Scottâ€™s newest edition to the Plasma line-up. Scottâ€™s patented mold combines the headtube, downtube and seat tube into one continuous piece (the rear triangle is attached separately), which drops the weight and improves stiffness throughout the frame. Scottusa.com
Orbea Ora TLT, $3,799, ($1,699 frameset) Orbeaâ€™s Ora TLT delivers unprecedented value and design in a carbon tri frame suited to fit any athlete. The aero bladed carbon fork, rear wheel-embracing curved seat tube and adjustable aero carbon seat post are joined with high-spec components to deliver pure speed, performance and style. The Ora TLT features a Toray T700 carbon fiber frame, Dura-Ace bar end shifters and Reynolds Strike carbon deep section race wheels. Orbea-usa.com
Wilier Triestina Imperiale, $3,899 Another John Cobb design, the Triestina offers all the aerodynamics of the Crono plus a tad more handling on windier and hilly roads thanks to the monocoque tubing construction. A bonus feature on the Triestina is the front derailleurmounted K-Edge chain catcher, which prevents the chain from scratching the bottom bracket if the chain drops. Wilier.it
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feltbicycles.com Terenzo Bozzone Tim DeBoom Jan Frodeno Chris Foster Michellie Jones Becky Lavelle Emma Snowsill David Thompson
Parlee TT, $3,900 For the TT, Parlee understands the balance between stiffness and comfort. Its stout drive train delivers exceptional sprints and out-of-the-saddle feel, so you can expect the TT to respond just like Parleeâ€™s road bikes. With a deep-section front wheel and a rear disc wheel, the TT also has a road-bike-ride quality. Cable routing and brake mounting are as clean as possible, and the TT is designed for the typical, variable wind conditions faced by cyclists racing solo against the wind. Parleecycles.com
Elite Razor Carbon, $4000 (frameset) The fully customizable Razor Carbon triathlon frameset includes an Edge Composites carbon top tube and Elite proprietary wind tunnel-proven full carbon aero downtube, which absorbs the shock from the road. By keeping the full Easton Ultralite 7005 alloy aero rear end with an aero seat tube that extends from the top of the toptube to the base of the saddle, and a deep rear wheel cut-away and aero seatstays, the rider doesnâ€™t lose any power transfer. Elitebicycles.com
Kestrel 4000 Pro SL-Shimano, $4,330 Just like minimalist running shoes, Speedos and New Kids on the Block, Kestrel is making a big comeback. The affordable Shimano-equipped Pro SL (which can also be purchased with a SRAM Red group for $6,600) comes specâ€™d with Ultegra components and Mavic Ksyrium wheels. Kestrelbicycles.com
Ceepo Viper, $4,800 (frameset), Complete
The Viper provides a stiff, aggressive ride with an unexpected level of comfort. Its ultra-deep section seat tube improves aerodynamic airflow around the rear wheel, with a tight tolerance wheel cutout to smooth airflow over the rear wheel. It leads the industry in its high aspect ratio 26mm thin seat tube and downtube, and it includes a fully frame-integrated aero seat post. Ceepo.com
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UPGRADE TO ®
Pinarello FT3, $4,500 (frameset) In the wake of the successful FT1 comes the new FT3, with the same winning body but made with Torayca 50HM1K carbon, representing the best triathlon bicycle offered by Pinarello. Extremely rigid yet versatile, this bike is designed to negotiate the winding, up-and-down routes typical in triathlons. Pinarello.com
Specialized Transition Pro, $5,000 For Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara, the finest time-trialist on Earth, seconds actually matter. He wouldn’t roll through the streets of France on the Transition if it weren’t ridiculously light, aero and comfortable. The $5,000 Pro model comes equipped with carbon Mavic rims and SRAM components, and it could make you half as fast as Cancellara. Specialized.com
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UPGRADE TO ®
Trek Equinox TTX SSL 9.8, $5,040 Perhaps the only thing we don’t like about this bike is that it takes about 10 seconds to say the entire name. But we’ll let that one slide. Wisconsin-based Trek spends more time testing, tweaking and retesting frames than any company in the game. The uber-aero TTX SSL 9.8 is the result of years of wind tunnel testing, and if it’s good enough for Lance Armstrong, chances are you’ll like it. Trekbikes.com
Valdora PHX 2, $5,250 As the first semi-compact triathlon-specific mold on the market, Valdoras are stiff and strong while using less material for less weight. The PHX 2’s taller headtubes and 76-degree seat tube give it excellent handling on descents and while climbing—a rarity for a triathlon bike. Valdoracycles.com
The Cannondale Slice HI-MOD Ultimate. Groundbreaking aerodynamics for record-breaking speeds. See why the best ride it at cannondale.com/SLICE
Ceepo Katana, $5,307-$7,160, ($3,800 frameset)
For those looking for power and long-ride comfort, the Katana is slightly more compliant than Ceepo’s Viper but remains incredibly stiff. Its geometry ensures that an optimal aerodynamic body position can be maintained during many hours of riding, keeping the rider’s legs fresh for the run. Ceepo.com
BH GC Aero Red, $5,399 The high modulus carbon Global Concept Aero from BH has a clean, wind-cheating design with aggressive wheel cutouts, aero headtube and an extremely narrow profile. The three-position seat post accommodates triathlon and TT riders with 78-, 76- and 74-degree seat angles. The exceptionally light SRAM Red bike has a massive seat and chainstays to ensure that the rider’s power is translated into efficient forward momentum. Bhbikes-us.com
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Cervelo P4, $6,000$12,500 Why is Cervelo the undisputed king of the tri market? Because it builds really fast bikes and serves them up at prices within reach of people not making as much money as Beyoncé. The P4 is Cervelo’s mother ship and comes spec’d with top-end SRAM Red components and 3T cockpit. And for Beyoncé there’s also the Cervelo Test Team Edition available for a mere $12,500. Cervelo.com
Look 596 I-Pack, $6,000 (frameset) France-based Look does system integration unlike any other bike builder. The I-Pack includes a funky (and aero) monoblade fork, indexed (and carbon) stem and out-of-this-world ZED cranks, which allow you to change your crank length by hand. Lookcycle-usa.com
Aero. Dynamic. The 2010 BH GC Aero and World Champion Eneko Llanos The BH Global Concept Aero has been wind tunnel and road tested to excel in the worldâ€™s most demanding events, from the lava fields of Kona to the grueling Race Across America to the TT stages of the Tour de France. It was taken to a 2nd Place finish in Kona by triathlete Eneko Llanos. Wind cheating features include front and rear wheel cutouts, aero headtube, an extremely narrow profile and internal cable routing (with pre-molded guides for easy installation.) BH spent countless hours to get the fit right on the new GC Aero, consulting the best fit experts, retailers and journalists in the sport. The results are impressive â€“ a 2nd place at Kona for Eneko Llanos and more power to the pedals for you.
Tri one today.
BMC Time Machine TT02, $6,570 Carbon and aluminum are expertly combined in BMCâ€™s little brother to the TT01, making it light but solid where it counts. Bmc-racing.com
Specialized S-Works Transition, $7,700 Conceived through wind tunnel studies the Transition is both aerodynamic and stiff, and it gets its speed from features such as the slippery Specialized FACT carbon chassis, a FACT integrated crankset, integrated brakes, Zipp 404 wheels, a Profile Design CX3 full-carbon fiber handlebar and a two-position carbon seat post. Specialized.com
Want to swim faster? Swimpower 3 can take 1:30* off your 1.5k swim time in 8 weeks
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See results at swimpower.com and order at TTUniversity.com *Swimmers improved an average of 26 seconds per 500 freestyle, your results may vary. As in, you may very well get even faster!
Beyond Fab Supernatural, $7,800 ($3,400 frameset)
The frame of the Beyond Fab Supernatural weighs in at 1,270 grams for a 56cm size. It features high modulus unidirectional carbon, cutouts for the front and rear wheels and 74- to 78-degree seat tube angle with a choice of integrated seatmast or removable seat post. Beyondfab.com
Guru Crono 2.0, $4,700 (frameset), $8,625 (complete) The 2.0 version of the Crono features an ambitious upgrade of the frame profile and air foil configuration with a focus on increased power transfer and a smooth ride. Gurubikes.com
Focus Izalco Chrono, $8,300 In collaboration with famed Swiss frame engineer Andreas Walser, who designed Jan Ullrichâ€™s personal time trial machine, the German manufacturer brings to the U.S. market a sleek and simple design, yet a stiff and aggressive fitting ride. The aero frame is complemented by a 3T Ventus Team aerobar, a 3T Fundra Carbon fork, Zipp 808 wheels, a Fizik Arione Tri 2 saddle, Continental Grand Prix tires and a SRAM Red groupset. Focus-bikes.com
Scott Plasma2 LTD, $9,350 Scott Bikes rocked the annual Hawaii Ironman bike count in 2009, largely due to the successful debut of the Plasma2 LTD last year. This bike is an aero speed demon that rolls smoothly thanks to Scottâ€™s attention to detail on the spec. While the top-end components (including a SRAM Red drivetrain, Zipp wheelset and ceramic bottom bracket) make for a one-of-a-kind ride, it also makes the Plasma2 one of the priciest tri bikes on the market. Scottbikes.com
Storck Aero 2, $9,500 If you’ve got the cash to buy Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifters, then you probably don’t shutter at the Aero 2’s price tag, which is good because this bike is Di2 compatible only. The Aero 2 also features an adjustable seat tube angle of between 73 and 80 degrees, giving you the customized aggressive position that suits you best. Storckbicycle.com
Cannondale Slice Ultimate with SRM Power Meter, $13,300 At last we arrive at the top of the tri-bike food chain. Money clearly wasn’t a concern for Cannondale when creating this monster. Simply put, Cannondale designed one of the most aero frames ever built, added the fastest wheelset possible (Zipp 808 front and 1080 rear) and components possible and then tossed in the most accurate (and expensive) power meter on the market. If this bike doesn’t make you enjoy riding, then nothing will. Cannondale.com
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Neuvation M28 Aero3, Front $89, Rear $135 The low spoke count on this handbuilt wheel equals better aerodynamics, and the oversized aero spokes increase durability. Neuvationcycling.com
Bontrager Aeolus 5.0 ACC, Front $750, Rear $850 The Aeolus 5.0 ACC features a 50mm tall carbon skin thatâ€™s comolded to a lightweight aluminum rim, providing the same aerodynamic performance as the full-carbon Aeolus 5.0 for less bucks. Bontrager.com
Easton EC90 TT Tubular, $1,799 per pair Their narrow rim profile is designed to manage air as it exits the rear edge of the wheel for improved aerodynamics. Eastonbike.com
At CEEPO, we build triathlon-speciﬁc bikes that deliver maximum time power output, stability, speed, and comfort while never forgetting that the CEEPO rider still must run. CEEPO bikes also help athletes preserve their energy by reducing energy sapping frame vibration. We have concentrated on using superior engineering, ﬁnest materials, and quality processes to design the ideal bike for each triathlete depending on their unique desires in experience, power output, and riding style. Visit ceepo.com to see our technology, product details, all models and colors, and ﬁnd out which bike best ﬁts your riding style. For dealer inquiries, please call 480-951-2453 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bontrager A eolus 6.5 Tubular, Front $1,100, Rear $1,200 The Aeolus 6.5 is an aerodynamically efficient wheelset that’s designed for all but the windiest days. The deep, 65mm tall rim cross-section, the 16 DT bladed spokes, the OCLV carbon rim and the new Bontrager-engineered hubset make the Aeolus fast and durable. Bontrager.com
Hed Jet Disc Flamme Rouge, $1,350 Hed’s flagship clincher disc is built with scandium alloy rims and lighter spokes. The steel ratchet ring is replaced with titanium, and a titanium skewer is supplied with the wheel. Hedcycling.com
Specialized Roval Rapide SL 45, $1,500 per pair
American Classic Triathlon Package, $1,999
The 1595-gram wheelset’s structural carbon rim is co-molded with a welded alloy-tire bead seat and brake track, and the bearing and spoke placement are optimized for maximum stiffness.
American Classic’s Triathlon Package includes a carbon 58 tubular 700c front wheel, a 700c carbon TT disc tubular rear wheel, ceramic bearings and titanium quick releases.
Gray 9.5, $1,599 per pair
Vision Techâ€™s hand-built Ultimate wheel features deep section 88mm carbon tubular rims, ceramic bearings, a CNC reinforced braking surface and aero spokes.
This hand-built, high modulus wheelset weighs 1820 grams for the set. These super-deep rims are best suited for flat or rolling courses with little or no wind, and include carbon skewers, a spoke tool to true its stainless bladed spokes and specialty brake pads against the basalt braking surface. Also available in 40mm, 50mm and disc selections.
Vision Tech TriMax Ultimate, $2,000
Zipp Super-9 Disc Tubular, $2,075 With a flat-sided design and a 23mm tire bed, the Super-9 provides superb aerodynamics with tires up to 23mm while offering ample chainstay clearance for even the tightest aero frames. Zipp.com
Hed Stinger 4 Flamme Rouge, $2,100 per pair Hedâ€™s Stinger 4 features C2 cornering performance and TT speed in a 1294-gram, 46mm wheelset. Hedcycling.com
Rolf Prima Carbon TdF58, $2,199 per pair The stiff, fast Carbon TdF58 is a 58mm deep section carbon tubular wheel system with only 12 spokes in the front and rear wheels. Rolfprima.com
Rolf Prima Carbon TT, $2,199 per pair The Rolf Prima Carbon TT wheel system is the lowest spoke count wheel available. Rolfprima.com
Sram S80, $1,400 per pair
Edge Composite 68 tubulars, $2,400
The 82mm deep rim provides extra stiffness for speed and power transfer.
Light for climbing yet stiff enough for tough corners.
Visualize the motion of air...
2010 Jamis T-Series Flow Visualization Testing San Diego Low Speed Wind Tunnel , November 2008 Photo: John Segesta - wahoomedia.com
...and then dominate it.
It’s not too much to say our Xenith T-Series frame rewrote the standard for production tri machines. The first time we hung this baby up in T1, the other guys went scrambling. Full NACA aero profiles throughout, a chainstay-mounted rear brake and that full-carbon WindShield® fork with its fully enclosed front brake that delivers a 10% drag reduction over a standard aero fork, told them we meant business. They’re still struggling to catch up. For 2010, we employed flow-visualization testing at the San Diego Low Speed Wind Tunnel to refine our Xenith T-Series frames. Utilizing a technique dubbed “french chalk”, which is typically used in the
aerospace industry, our product development team was able to tune and optimize airflow not only over and near the surface of the frame (like most typical wind tunnel flow visualization techniques), but ON the surface of the frame as well, totally driving development of the new 2010 Xenith-T series design. It’s not hard to visualize. Every Jamis T-series bike is built for one thing only: Getting you to T2 faster, and with fresher legs, than the competition. Now dominate! www.jamisbikes.com
Shimano Dura Ace 7850-C50-TU, $2,400 per pair This single wheelset has a 50mm depth and features a new titanium freehub body with quick engagement and wider flange hubs for increased rigidity and power transmission. Shimano.com
Beyond Fab 4Spoke, $2,450 per pair Beyond Fabâ€™s 4Spoke is 95mm deep, and each of the spokes is 90mm wide. The front weighs in at 890 grams and the rear at 985 grams. Beyondfab.com
Zipp 808 Tubular, $2,500 per pair
Mavic iO Road, $3,799
With a fully toroidal 81mm rim profile and ALBC dimples, the 808 is exceptionally aero even in crosswinds.
Mavicâ€™s road version of the iO features a V-shaped deep rim and superior rigidity.
DT SWISS TRICON WHEEL SYSTEM
Two piece hub The two piece flange and hub shell design keeps the bearing seat free of tension. This allows the bearings to spin as smoothly as possible.
Star Ratchet Thanks to the proven DT Swiss Ratchet System 速 the hubs can easily be converted to different axle standards and rotors.
Straight double threaded spokes This spoke connection is considerably stronger as it is playfree on both ends and therefore subject to smaller peak loads. Open Crowfoot Spoke pattern with combined radial and crossed spokes for high stiffness and perfect transmission of torques.
Torx nipples Thanks to the Torx design the truing tool has a better grip on the nipple.
Rim insert The spoke inserts are supported on two sides in the rim creating a big contact surface. The rim can be designed lighter, is airtight and tubeless compatible. Concave rim profile The concave shaped sidewalls counteract the expansion force induced by tire pressure and spoke pull.
Tubeless For more information check out www.dtswiss.com
AEROBARS Syntace C2 Clip, $149 Achieve an optimized aero position, with minimal aero drag and outstanding comfort that will take you to a new level of performance. C2 Clip’s superior rearward pad placement minimizes pressure on your forearms. Syntace.com
Sampson Stratics TT, $649 For 2010, Sampson’s Stratics TT full carbon bars are 740 grams and have new forearm supports to provide exceptional positioning and steering control. Sampsonsports.com
Vision Tech TriMax, $285.99 The Vision Tech TriMax semi-integrated aerobar features a wing-shaped base and wind-cheating aerobars for minimum drag. The internal cable routing gives it a clean set-up and improved aerodynamics. Visiontechusa.com
Easton Attack TT, $650 At 350 grams, Easton’s Attack TT is light, strong and very comfortable. It features adjustable elbow pads on shock-absorbing carbon cantilevers to smooth out the road and alleviate fatigue. Eastonbike.com
Bontrager XXX Lite, $699 Developed for and extensively wind tunnel-tested by the Discovery Channel team, the full carbon XXX Lite Aerobar is one of the lightest bars available. Its adjustable extensions and arm rests make it easy to dial-in the most comfortable aero position possible. Bontrager.com
#1 IN AERODYNAMICS. WIND TUNNEL PROVEN.
More speed with less effort. That’s the goal of aerodynamics. Speedplay pedals have a smaller frontal area and a more streamlined contour making them more aerodynamic than other brands. It’s easy to see, but we used the wind tunnel to prove it. When tested under the same conditions against other pedal systems, Speedplay Zeros were up to 33 seconds per hour faster. This performance advantage is equivalent to the speed gained when switching from a standard front wheel to a deep-profile, aero front wheel – at a much lower cost. That’s what we call free speed. Learn all the ways Speedplay is the number one pedal system at speedplay.com.
3T Zefiro Team, $700
3T Pi Wing LTD extension, $225
The Zefiro Team, at 510 grams, fuses the power and control of the road racer’s drop bar with the low-drag form of the chrono rider’s aerobar to provide performance and comfort benefits. The Zefiro is also available in an LTD edition, weighing 430 grams at $900.
The unique Pi Wing TM from 3T, an adjustable forward extension with an aerofoil handrest, fits perfectly into any clip-on system. Thenew3t.com
Profile Design CX3, $699.99-$724.99 You don’t have to compromise comfort and adjustability with Profile Design’s follow-up to the Carbon X 1.5. It has a complete range of adjustability, a full carbon wing and carbon aero S-bend extensions that allow for internal shift cable routing.
Profile Design Volna, $874.99-$899.99 Profile Design’s Volna has a full aero carbon wing with ergonomic brake grip areas as well as ergonomic multiple grip extensions that allow for internal shift cable routing. Profile-design.com
Felt Devox Carbon Tri Bar, $899.99 The Felt Devox’s wind tunnel-perfected design cuts your time against the clock by cutting frontal area and decreasing weight. It offers both rise and drop positions while the carbon f-bend extensions give three positions for maximum comfort and versatility. Feltbicycles.com 124
Zipp VukaAero, $870-$1,070 Zipp’s VukaAero optimizes the aerodynamics of the bar itself while allowing the widest possible range of adjustment. It’s the only integrated aerobar that allows four axes of adjustment of the extensions. Zipp.com april 2010
HYDRATION SYSTEMS Profile Design Insulated AeroDrink System, $26 The Aqua-Shot takes the work out of hydrating with its patented one-way silicone valve. Just squeeze the bottle and it pops open, release it and it snaps shut. The bottleâ€™s 4-ounce markers on its side allow for easy fluid management during a ride or race.
This systemâ€™s insulated 22-ounce bottle keeps liquids cold and the large, nosplash cap allows for easy refilling out on the course. The bottle is compatible with narrow mounted aerobars or with wider systems using the Profile-Design AeroDrink Bracket (sold separately).
Xlab Aqua-Shot Racing Bottle, $9
Xlab Aerobar Torpedo Hydration Mount, $45 The Torpedo hydration system mounts a water bottle in between your aerobars for easy access. The mount with bottle attached eliminates splashing, and the polyester siliconelined straps stretch and loosen as needed around the bars without the need for zip ties. Xlab-usa.com
Matty “Boom Boom” Reed debuted his new Fuji D-6 Signature bike in style winning the Miami International Triathlon. Seven wins in 2009 later, including the Lifetime Triathlon Series Championship, Matt is primed and ready to tackle 2010 as he sets his sights on the 2012 London Olympics. Helping him along the way is his new Fuji D-6 Matty Reed Signature Edition triathlon / time trial bike. Featuring innovative rear brake housing, integrated front brake cable routing and versatile independent adjust seat clamp system, it’s got as much boom as the Big Man himself.
SipStream Hydration System, $79 The SipStream system consists of a bottle and bottle cage attached to an adjustable drinking tube that runs along the seat tubes and mounts onto a bikeâ€™s stem or handlebar. The SipStream can be adjusted to fit nearly any kind of bike for a hands-free drink system.
Beaker Concepts HydroTail Blaze Hydration System, $85 Touted as the first fully adjustable rearhydration carrier, the Blaze uses a dual pivot system to achieve any possible bottle, angle or reach position with a simple turn of a screw. The Blaze also includes straps for a spare tire or bag. Beakerconcepts.com
Speedfil Hydration System, $100-$110 The Speedfil system offers 40 ounces of hands-free hydration in a single bottle, making it particularly good for long-distance racing. The bottle mounts on the seat tube or downtube and the bit valve opens with a quick squeeze from your lips. Invisciddesign.com
Vision Tech, $200 The Vision Tech can hold a full liter of liquid, which can be separated into two types of fluid, thanks to the carrier systemâ€™s two inner hydration bags. This drink system was extensively wind tunnel-tested and designed with an aerodynamic profile for optimal wind penetration. Visiontechusa.com
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PEDALS Speedplay Zero, $125-$335 Renowned for its dual-sided entry, the Zero allows for the choice of a fixed position or up to 15 degrees of float, or even independent side-to-side, fore-aft and rotational foot positions for a wide range of adjustability. Available in six colors. Speedplay.com
Sampson S6, $239 Used by many top pros, including Sarah Haskins, the S6 features a titanium spindle, adjustable tension, rotational feel and a larger platform surface than previous models at a scant 99 grams per pedal. Sampsonsports.com
Look Keo Blade, $499 The company that introduced the first clipless road pedal to cycling in 1984 is back to its trailblazing ways. Using a contact surface 31 percent wider and 17 percent larger than the Keo Carbon, the Keo Blade uses a thin, compressed carbon blade which cocks when the cleat clips in, replacing previous coil spring technology. Lookcycle-usa.com
Shimano Dura-Ace SPD SL, $300 Boasting a large platform interface for optimal foot pressure dispersal, silky-smooth spindles and customizable entry and release pressure, itâ€™s no wonder this pedal was Lance Armstrongâ€™s pedal choice during his Tour de France winning spree. Shimano.com
Mavic Race SL Ti, $249 The combination of titanium axle and smooth QRM bearings make this a worthy player. Cleat offerings include 0 and 7 degrees of float. Mavic.com
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Sram Red Top triathletes Chris Lieto, Tim Deboom and Michellie Jones all ride Red as their weapon of choice. The unique OpenGlide cassette forms a single, hollowed-out piece for seamless shifting between gears. R2C aero shifters return the carbon lever to the center after an up or down shift in gears. TT chainrings can also be added in 53, 54 and 55-tooth options. Sram.com
Campagnolo Super Record Once the king of the component world, Campy continues to carve a niche as the first to launch an 11-speed rear cog with the reintroduction of its Super Record line. 10-speed bar end shifters for time trialing weigh in at 165 grams for the pair. Campagnolo.com
Shimano DuraAce 7970 Di2 Shifting has never been easier and with the Di2 can be done under full powerâ€” standing or seatedâ€”with the push of a button. From the aero position riders can shift from brake levers and also at the aerobar ends. Shimano.com
SADDLES Bontrager RL Pro TT, $89 Specifically made for triathletes, this saddle features extra padding and a gel nose for added comfort while riding in the aerobars. Bontrager backs its saddles with an unconditional comfort guarantee allowing you to return the saddle within 30 days of purchase. Bontrager.com
Specialized TriTip Gel, $110 The high-performance model designed using the body geometry concept with triathletes in mind features extra padding on the nose for aero riding and a center cut-out to maximize comfort for the times you ride upright. The transition rack hook lets you remove your bike without taking down all the others in your row. Specialized.com
Vision Tech Aero Max Ti, $99 With an entry-level price, the triathletes on the FSA staff designed a saddle featuring long titanium rails—for max adjustability—and gel padding on the nose for comfort in the aero position. Visiontechusa.com
Profile Design Kona, $90 This tri-specific design features titanium rails, weighs 295 grams, has extra padding for comfort on those century training rides and a vented cover for moisture transfer. Comes in men’s and women’s specific options. Profile-design.com
Cobb Cycling VFlow Plus, $150 Created by John Cobb, this saddle is for the triathlete who rides in a variety of positions. With a cutout designed to keep your chamois dry, the saddleâ€™s primary feature is extra padding on the nose to decrease numbness. Cobbcycling.com
Selle Italia SLR T1 Gel, $192 Selle Italia created this for the rider who has tendencies to move around to various points of the saddle. Some characteristics, including Lorica for high-abrasion resistance, points more toward the mountain bike crowd while the extra silicone padding on the saddle nose caters to triathletes riding in an aggressive aero position. Selleitalia.com
ISM Adamo Breakaway, $200 Reps from ISM say that they spent five years developing the Breakaway in concert with Tour de France riders to produce this 270mm long, 135mm wide saddle. Ismseat.com
Fizik Arione Tri 2 Wing Flex, $160 With extra padding on the nose, this saddle has been the choice of numerous world champion triathletes including Chrissie Wellington and Craig Alexander. Nearly one out of every four triathletes racking a bike in Kona chose Fizik as their saddle last year, according to the Kona saddle count. Fizik.com
Selle San Marco Aspide TT, $301 One of the original trailblazers to provide extra padding on the nose of the saddle, the Aspideâ€™s carbon reinforcement on both the rails and shell dampen vibrations from the road and make it one of the lightest saddles available at 150 grams. Sellesanmarco.it
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LG 2010 Women’s Air Gel Carbon Cycling Gloves, $29.99 It’s easy to underestimate the importance of gloves on a bike ride, but once you put these on you never will again. The 2mm and 4mm ventilated padding keeps your palms comfortable on even the longest rides and reduces fatigue on your ulnar and median nerves. Louisgarneau.com
Specialized Women’s Echelon Helmet, $60 The 4th dimension cooling system on the Echelon will keep you cool on even the hottest days, allowing you that extra edge during the final miles of your ride. The Specialized fit system gives you a micro-adjustable dial in the back for just the right amount of snug. Specialized.com
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Fizik Miss Tri, $139 The Miss Tri has an extra padded, wide nose for more comfort while in the aero position and 143mm wide padding on its rear platform to keep you comfortable when you’re in the bullhorns. Fizik.com
SPECIFIC Shimano SH-WT51, $199 The lightweight carbon fiber keeps these shoes rigid for a powerful stroke, and the women-specific last on the shoe is engineered to mold around a woman’s smaller foot. Shimano.com
Quintana Roo Dulce, $2,099 Quintana Roo continues to lead the market in women-specific triathlon bikes, and the new Dulce is its best yet. The compact gearing on the cranks, narrower base bar and shorter reach aerobars help proportion this bike to a woman’s smaller limb length while the women’s specific saddle keeps you comfortable mile after mile. Quintanarootri.com
Trek Equinox TTX 9.8 SSL WSD, $5,039.99 The Equinox’s unique OCLV carbon frame makes for an incredibly stiff, lightweight ride, and in 2010 Trek has added an extra small frame size to the line. Trekbikes.com
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T R A INING
by Erma Bombeck
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’”
TRAINING FEATURE 1: BRICK WORKOUTS
TRAINING FEATURE 2: RUNNING BY FEEL
ON THE RUN
T R A INING
A Brick for Every Purpose By Matt Fitzgerald
here are almost as many creation myths for brick workouts as there are for the universe. Some say that the name “brick” comes from the idea of stacking bike and run workouts back-to-back. Others say a guy named Matt Brick invented them. Dave Scott says that, in the early days of the sport, he and his training buddies almost always did their daily swim, bike and run workouts back-to-back. “We didn’t call them brick workouts; we called it training,” he says. Whoever invented them could never have imagined how diversely brick workouts would evolve in the next quarter century. There are now more ways to do bricks than there are myths about their origin. There are swim-bike and bike-run bricks, fluid trainer-treadmill bricks, recovery bricks, threshold bricks, speed bricks and so on. The sheer variety of options could overwhelm you if you let it. But that anxiety is based on an assumption that you have to incorporate bricks into your training in just the right way to get the most out of them. You will be glad to know that this assumption is false. Nothing in training has to be, or even can be, perfect. There is a story about a renowned running coach who had his elite athletes run intervals 142
on a 183-meter hill. They got great benefits from those workouts and they kicked butt in races. Another coach, hoping to achieve similar success with his runners, asked his renowned friend why he had chosen the distance of 183 meters—why that distance was better than a shorter or longer one. His answer? “I didn’t choose that distance. I chose the hill that’s easiest to get to, and it happens to be 183 meters long.” The moral of this story is that exactness does not matter in training. What matters is what works, and there is always more than one thing that works. So your objective with respect to brick workouts is not to do them exactly right but instead to do them in a way that works for you. Naturally, what works for you is likely to be similar to what works for other triathletes. The way to proceed in your brick training, then, is to learn the proven principles and methods of brick training, apply them in the specific way that best meets your individual needs, and learn from your experience with brick training so that you can make appropriate modifications that increase the effectiveness of your brick training. Few experts understand what works in brick training better than Lance Watson,
founder of LifeSport Coaching; Torsten Abel, a German elite triathlete and coach to former world champion Leanda Cave; and Scott, sixtime winner of the Hawaii Ironman. Following are brick training tips from these three experts.
Lance Watson Use bricks for time management. Brick workouts are typically valued as a means to improve the athlete’s ability to run off the bike in races. But Watson points out that bricks are also helpful tools to squeeze adequate training into busy schedules. “Trying to keep up training frequency in three sports is challenging,” he says. “As two-in-one workouts, bricks can help you fit it all in.” Specifically, Watson advises many of his athletes to run off the bike as often as three times per week during the season. Most of these off-the-bike runs are moderate in duration and intensity and serve as a way to get much of the needed base running done without the need to schedule separate sessions for it. Periodize yoUr brick training. There’s no real need to do bricks during the off-season, or at any other time you are not focused on specific race preparation. When you do introduce bricks into a given training cycle, both the bike and the run leg should be of moderate intensity. “Focus on doing high-intensity work in stand-alone rides and runs first,” Watson says. april 2010
T R A INING Introduce high intensity into bricks by tacking a short, easy run onto a high-intensity ride. As you approach the mid-point of the training cycle, Watson suggests performing challenging bricks featuring high-intensity work in both the bike and run segments. Finally, in the peak phase of the training cycle, do race-pace runs after easier rides. Tailor your bricks To your race disTance. The physiological requirements of shortcourse, middle-distance and long-distance triathlons are somewhat different. Hence, you should do somewhat different sorts of bricks, depending on the distance of your peak race. If you are focused on sprints or Olympicdistance races, you can and should do bricks more often than if you race longer. “I recommend running for 10 minutes at race pace after many if not most rides,” Watson says. “It provides a specific benefit without taking much out of you.” You should also do swim-bike bricks, as the swim-bike transition is really the more critical one in shorter events. Watson suggests that athletes training for a half-iron-distance race build toward a peak brick workout such as the following: 2.5 to three hours on the bike, starting easy and gradually building up to race wattage followed by a run comprising 6-10 x 1 mile at race pace with two-minute jogging recoveries between intervals. While some coaches advise against ever running longer than an hour off the bike, Watson believes that Ironman athletes should go as long as 90 minutes to two hours following a long ride. “It’s a dose of reality,” he explains. “Athletes who don’t run that long off the bike in training sometimes get a little cocky about what they think they can do in the marathon, and because of it they run into trouble in the race.”
use Trainers, Treadmills and Tracks. Abel likes to incorporate the use of indoor bike trainers, treadmills and running tracks into high-intensity bricks and multi-transition bricks. These tools make it more convenient to perform interval-type brick workouts. For example, take your trainer to the track and, after a long warm-up, complete 2-4 x 1K run/2-mile bike at roughly sprint race intensity, with five-minute spins between segments. Or do a long ride, then jump on a treadmill and run 6 x (75 seconds at 5K pace, 45 seconds easy, 35 seconds at 5K pace, 25 seconds easy). Work on your Weaknesses. Tailor your approach to brick workouts to address your specific weaknesses. “If I have an athlete who is weak off the bike, I give him lots of transition runs,” Abel says. But if an athlete always runs well off the bike, Abel might have
him do bricks only once every other week. If you struggle with pacing in races, do bricks that require you to negative split (i.e. finish faster than you start). If you struggle with your running form in races, make good form a higher priority than pace in bricks and frequently push to the edge of having your form fall apart without ever going over that edge. Whatever your specific weakness may be, design brick workouts that attack it head on.
dave scoTT Try “duaThlon” bricks. The standard duathlon race format is runbike-run. Scott has found that this is a good format for longer bricks as well. “Dividing the run into two parts seems to make it a little easier on the body and reduce injury risk a bit,” he says. Scott typically starts his Ironman athletes off with a seven-mile initial run followed by
TorsTen abel enjoy your bricks. Abel goes against convention in his own training and waits as long as possible to add brick workouts to his training. Why? “It’s like shaving my legs,” he told me. “When I shave my legs, I get so excited I get goose bumps, because it means it’s almost time to race. It’s the same with brick workouts. I wait to do them until I can’t wait any longer, and that makes them very special and exciting.” Abel does not tell the athletes he coaches to automatically do the same, however. He just encourages them to do whatever gets them most excited about their brick training, regardless of whether it defies physiological common sense. “You have to enjoy it,” he says. “Having fun gives you wings, and then there’s no stopping you.” april 2010
a long ride and then a three-mile run. His most experienced and competitive clients build all the way up to a 13-mile first run and a seven-mile second run after the ride. Play with your gearing and cadence. Riding a bike is not an evolutionarily hard-wired ability, as running is. Consequently, whereas in running one naturally and automatically adopts the most efficient stride rate given his body structure and biomechanics (which is not to say that this rate would not change with improved biomechanics), on the bike one does not automatically adopt the optimal gear ratio and cadence for a desired workout output level. You have to learn it, and what’s more, you can also change your optimal cadence through training. Thus, Scott instructs his athletes to play around with different gear ratios and cadences in brick workouts, and especially in brick rides involving efforts in the range of race intensity. One specific way to practice this method is with 45-minute cycles with the following breakdown: 15 minutes in a lower-than-preferred gear at 100 RPM, 15 minutes in a higher-than-preferred gear at 70 144
RPM, and 15 minutes in the preferred gear at whatever cadence is required to sustain your desired power output level. work on your nutrition. You need to take in fluid and calories during your bricks to optimize your performance. It’s also a good opportunity to dial in your race nutrition. But Scott recommends that athletes first deliberately play around with consuming less than optimal amounts of fluid and calories. “About half the nutrition-related questions I get from athletes come from people who have experienced gastrointestinal issues in races, and most of those people tried to take in too much,” Scott says. “It’s a real problem.” Since many triathletes need less fluid and calories than they think they do, Scott teaches his clients to experimentally determine the lowest rates of fluid and carbohydrate intake that do not result in symptoms of hypoglycemia and dehydration, such as lightheadedness and dead legs. Then, in the final bricks before a race, he suggests that you boost your fluid and nutrition intake a little to find that sweet spot between underfueling and over-fueling. april 2010
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T R A INING
Are We Having Fun Yet? Enjoying your training is EssEntial to improving and maximizing pErformancE. By Matt Fitzgerald
here is a Portuguese expression that I learned from “ultramarathon man” Dean Karnazes: “He who runs for pleasure never gets tired.” While exaggerated, this axiom contains more literal truth than you might think. Consider a study done by Beth Lewis, an exercise and sports psychologist at the University of Minnesota, who had a group of sedentary adults perform a moderate-intensity workout and complete a questionnaire designed to determine its effect on their mood. The participants were then encouraged to maintain a regular exercise program. Lewis found that those who most enjoyed their first workout were significantly more likely to still be exercising six months and one year later. This finding suggests that we invest more effort in exercise when we enjoy it. For the 146
beginner, investing more effort means not quitting. But for the competitive triathlete, it means pushing just a little harder in key workouts. It’s a much subtler difference than the difference between maintaining a new exercise habit and returning to the couch, but that extra 1 or 2 percent effort that the athlete who is having fun in training gives in tougher training sessions may easily add up to measurable differences in races. The inverse of this enjoyment-results connection is also true. The less you enjoy your training, the worse your results are likely to be. There is widespread agreement among exercise physiologists that loss of enjoyment in training is the earliest reliable warning sign of overtraining. By the time the athlete’s per-
formance plummets and hormonal markers of overtraining emerge, it is already too late. Prolonged rest is needed. But the athlete who consciously guides his training by the feeling of enjoyment can catch the problem early and avoid a major setback. One of the best ways to figure out the optimal training recipe for you (the optimal workout frequency, amount of high-intensity training, total weekly volume and so forth) is to continuously monitor your enjoyment of training because enjoyment is the primary experiential evidence that your training is effective, while lack of enjoyment is your unconscious brain’s way of telling you that your training is not working. For my forthcoming book, “Run: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel,” I created a very simple system for monitoring training enjoyment that I now use in my own training and recommend to other athletes. Here it is: After completing each swim, bike and run workout, assign it an enjoyment score of 1, 2 or 3. Rate the workout a “1” if it was, april 2010
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T R A INING on balance, not enjoyable. I say “on balance” because most workouts have both pleasant and unpleasant aspects. So a score of “1” indicates not necessarily that the workout was completely unpleasant, but that its unpleasant moments or aspects outweighed its pleasant ones. Rate the workout a “2” if it was about equally pleasant and unpleasant, and rate it a “3” if it was, on balance, enjoyable. It is important that you score every workout, because you will need a complete data set to make accurate connections between particular training inputs (volume, rate of volume increase and so forth), and this affective output. In using this system you will quickly find that your ratings reflect how your actual feelings (of effort, fitness and the like) during a workout compare to your expectations for that workout. Research has shown that exercise enjoyment is broadly determined by these types of comparisons. This is one reason why very hard workouts can be enjoyable and easy ones can be no fun at all. A non-athlete or inexperienced athlete might assume that a training program that is shaped by enjoyment would consist of nothing but short, slow workouts. But this is not the case because competitive triathletes expect
their fitness to gradually increase through the training process as they work toward a peak race, and these results will not manifest if every workout is easy. Building fitness requires that hard workouts be done, and with these workouts comes an expectation of suffering that actually increases the possibility that the hard workouts can be enjoyed. In addition to scoring individual swim, bike and run workouts, create a weekly tally and divide this number by the number of workouts you complete in the week to generate a weekly average. For example, suppose that in a given week your Monday swim is a 2, your Tuesday ride is a 3, your Wednesday run is a 1, your Thursday swim is a 2, your Friday ride is a 2, you take Saturday off, and your Sunday run is a 3. In this case your average enjoyment index for the week is (13 ÷ 6) 2.17. Generate 28-day (monthly) enjoyment averages also. Doing these three levels of enjoyment monitoring will help you identify different types of cause-effect patterns in your training. Start by trying to determine if you tend to enjoy certain types of workouts more than others. If you do, think about why this is the case and if anything needs to be done about it. The right answer will seldom be obvious.
A pattern of not enjoying a particular type of workout as much as others may indicate that your expectations for it are unrealistic. It may indicate that you are doing that type of workout too often (and thus ceasing to benefit from it) or not often enough (and thus failing to get comfortable with the sort of stress it imposes). Start with your first hunch, test it out and if it doesn’t work, move on to the next hunch. It is a blind process, but one in which you are guaranteed to learn lessons that will help you get more enjoyment out of your training and better results. Some of the most valuable patterns you will find will be on the macro level. Pay attention to how your enjoyment level changes as the training process unfolds. After monitoring your enjoyment level through a few training cycles, you might find that your enjoyment level begins to slide after, say, 16 weeks of focused training for a peak race. If there are indications that your performance plateaus at approximately the same time, you have pretty good evidence that you need to shorten your training cycles to avoid peaking early and becoming “stale” before race day. Be aware that dips in enjoyment are not always bad. A dip is bad only if it is connected
T R A INING
to a dip in performance. While your performance will never improve according to your expectations during protracted periods of low training enjoyment, suffering through a brief period of low enjoyment now may enable you to enjoy training more later, and to perform better. Many competitive triathletes benefit from periods of overreaching, when they train a little harder than their bodies can handle but then cut back and recover just before the excessive training causes a precipitous performance decline. Because of the fatigue that steadily accumulates during overreaching, these periods are typically unpleasant, but when done right there is a big payoff of enjoyment and performance improvement on the other side. Lastly, do not limit yourself with preconceptions about where enjoyment can and cannot lead you in your training. Who cares if it leads you to train more or less or slower or faster than anyone else you know? Always trust that the more you enjoy your training, the better you will perform in the long run. This article is adapted from Matt Fitzgerald’s forthcoming book, “Run: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel,” to be published in May by VeloPress.
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L A ne L i ne s
Make swimming safe Again By Sara McLarty
smart guy once theorized, “No two solid objects can occupy the same space at the same time.” Well, someone said something like that.
Putting 500 triathletes into the ocean, a bay or a large lake does not cause problems. Asking those same athletes to swim around a small inflated buoy does cause problems. When
every single person wants to be in the exact same spot at the exact same time, that scientific theory should warn us that something has to give. Usually, it’s someone’s foot in your face. Triathlon was not designed to be a contact sport. I guarantee nothing was mentioned about underwater suit pulling or rival goggle removal at the very first pre-race meeting. This sport is about individual achievement. It’s about doing
L a ne L i ne s the best that you can on a given day, hence the evolution of the time trial format. But I will freely admit that racing against other people is what makes my adrenaline surge off the starting line. When I hit the water, I already know the fastest way to get through the swim leg. I study the race venue after the course is set up to locate the straight lines between turns, feel the water current relative to my direction of travel and pick out the high points on shore to sight. The swim leg is going to be a little bit different at each race because of these environmental conditions. Being able to navigate in any situation is how the experienced athlete pulls away from the novice. One thing that will remain the same at every race is the fastest and easiest way to get around the turn buoys. Take into account the brilliant theory I mentioned earlier: The fastest place to swim is going to be the place that has the fewest objects in the water. If you are a weak swimmer, stay to the back of your wave at the start. Let a majority of the other athletes get onto the course before you start stroking. If you are a stronger swimmer but dislike the chaos after the starting horn, stay to the outside of your starting wave. While you might not have the shortest and most direct line to
the first buoy, the water you swim in will be calm. You can zoom by all the other competitors who are fighting each other for the best line. Suppose the first turn is 250-300 meters away from the start line. All athletes must keep the turn buoy on their left sides. Athlete A chooses a start position directly in line with the buoy and right in the middle of 100 other competitors. Athlete B chooses to start on the right side of the group and seven meters off the line to the buoy. When the starting horn sounds, Athletes A and B have a great run into the water. They take two or three dolphin dives and start swimming. Athlete A turns to take a breath and finds someone swimming inches from her face. Same thing on the other side. Two competitors are tugging and pulling on Athlete Aâ€™s feet. Another is right in front, preventing Athlete A from taking long strokes. This continues for the first half of the swim. Athlete B, on the other hand, finishes her dolphin dives and begins swimming. Only a few other competitors are nearby, but none within splashing distance. Athlete B continues swimming calmly and uninterrupted toward the turn buoy. While Athlete B swims a few meters of extra distance between the starting
beach and the first turn buoy, Athlete A gets hit in the face, chokes on water, and has her goggles knocked off. Which athlete do you want to be? No matter where you choose to start the race, by the time you get to any turn buoy on the racecourse, there are going to be other swimmers around. Whether there are 100 others or just a handful, continue to maintain the course of least resistance. Stay away from the buoy! Swim a few feet away and make a slightly wider turn. A few strokes of extra swimming will not lessen the overall triathlon experience. Getting kicked in the face by a person from an earlier wave swimming breaststroke, having your goggles shoved into your eye sockets and trying to complete the event with two black eyes will probably not amount to a pleasant race experience. Join with me on my campaign to make triathlon swimming safe and fun again. Maybe the motto â€œSave face and swim a bit fartherâ€? will catch on this season. See you at [the back of or to the side of] the starting line! Sara McLarty coaches swimming at the National Training Center in Clermont, Fla. Visit her blog for daily swim sets at Ntcmastersswim.blogspot.com.
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Big r ing
The Janda Approach to Muscle Function
Kate Major, one of triathlon’s strongest cyclists, as well as one of the sport’s Most solid all-rounders, has benefitted froM targeting Muscle stabilization techniques. By Mark Deterline
ne of the challenges of being a serious recreational or competitive athlete is balance. Not life balance, but postural and muscular balance. When problems with our bodies finally manifest themselves, they might have been in the making for many years. Whether or not they lead to trauma or discomfort, imbalances can undermine performance. The Janda Approach, now championed by the late biomechanical researcher Vladimir Janda’s colleagues, emphasizes muscle function and the role it can play in injury prevention, rehabilitation and performance. In early December, Ironman champion Kate Major had just starting going to the gym regularly for off-season training. “I don’t do conventional weight training like many people think of when you say ‘hitting the gym,’” she said. “I do more movement-specific stability and balance strength training.” And she said it’s important to find a personal trainer who can determine an athlete’s muscle weaknesses and imbalances, see why they are the way they are, then make the muscles want to work again. april 2010
Major’s perspective validated my own experience over the past two years as I’ve trained for increasingly longer and more demanding cycling events. I had learned that for short races I could get away with chinks in my fitness, technique and even health. But in order to make those short-term performance gains or achieve desired fitness spikes, I had been withdrawing from an increasingly shallow account until I was close to overdrawn, undermining my progress and ultimate potential. That led me to a chiropractor with extensive experience working with athletes, including cyclists. She pointed out strength and movement imbalances that had led first to poor alignment and flexibility and then to either soreness or diminishing performance. Fortunately, she didn’t want a dependent client; she wanted to get me back to optimal health and performance as quickly and thoughtfully as possible. She prescribed a series of exercises that focused on proper ergonomics and balanced leg strength, such as one-legged pedaling intervals. She also emphasized the
hips, where proper alignment and freedom of movement are fundamental. But there are many paths, and Major’s success on the bike and freshness for the run makes her perspective compelling. It’s essential to focus on muscle balance and hone our technique in each targeted discipline to recover quickly and set ourselves up for continued gains. “It’s key to keep [my] hip region flexible, making sure the muscles are working in harmony,” Major said. “Then I can work to strengthen them all up while preserving that flexibility. You need to keep an eye on everything in order to recognize when weaker muscles have shut off again so that you can reactivate them. The body is so high maintenance!” Major said that much of what has helped her excel is muscle stabilization, including and even emphasizing the diaphragm, to promote balance, function and efficient breathing. This brings us to what will hopefully prove a helpful albeit basic introduction to the Janda Approach. This intro includes a few technical terms that are quickly clarified. Vladimir Janda, MD, was a Czech physiatrist, a medical doctor specializing in rehabilitation and pain treatment, who thoughtfully considered the interdependency of muscles, joints and posture and how all three related to the central nervous system. In his view, chronic pain was the body’s way of ostensibly communicating musculoskeletal imbalances and lingering damage to nerves and joints, while an individual’s lack of efficient movement and power more subtly revealed that muscles were not fully engaged and therefore not firing as they should be. The term “sensorimotor” refers to the interconnectedness of the musculoskeletal and central nervous systems, a word increasingly used in balance training. It implies that muscles are only free to move and work to the extent that they are receiving and understanding information from the sensorimotor system. “Proprioception” refers to the body’s sense of where all of its parts are relative to one another at any given time. The Janda Approach seeks to empower individuals—ideally with the help of a trained professional—to better understand information being conveyed by their proprioceptive system to determine weaknesses and imbalances, and then work to address them. In short, it’s what Clare Frank, Phil Page and other Janda experts refer to as “muscle function.” Instead of raw strength, which can be deceptive and of little importance if the body is not able to deploy it, the Janda Approach focuses on muscle recruitment and triathletemag.com
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efficient firing. Some muscles are prone to tightness, others to overuse and others to laziness, which is why soreness, pain and performance shortfalls can be bewildering when an athlete knows she’s in good shape and rested, but can’t seem to peak or progress. Major said that she does “certain generalized Janda exercises before training every day, then more focused, specific ones before each workout session.” In addition to flexibility and freedom of muscle movement, it’s largely about stabilization. “If your stability muscles fatigue early on in a race, then other muscles have to work harder than they should, which means you lose form and therefore power,” she explained. Although exercises depend on each individual’s unique needs and should be prescribed by an expert, Major shares some of the ones that have helped her the most. “One of my favorite pre-exercises is called the dead cockroach. Most of the exercises I do get the muscles around the hips stronger so that I don’t go into an anterior tilt. I will also do some glute activation exercises I refer to as ‘deadman’ exercises. Another favorite is a single-leg squat with the butt just barely touching the seat of a chair before you go up again. Then there is one that is a bridge exercise you do from a lying position on your side.” Major said that some of the exercises focus on stabilizing the diaphragm so she can breathe from the lower parts of her belly rather than breathe from her chest. “When you get tired, what is your body’s priority? To breathe. So your body needs to be able to stabilize itself in order to breathe from the belly since it is more efficient. These exercises are not only strength-building in
general but activate the muscles and joints. It is amazing how much difference stabilizing the diaphragm makes.” Major also noted an interesting technique that her trainer Roger Fitzgerald in Australia employs. “He will strap bands around certain body parts and then have me run with or without them. It clearly illustrates muscle weaknesses or imbalances and helps me feel and be reminded how I need to activate certain muscles on my own.” You might not need to learn more about or master the Janda Approach to succeed on the bike or as an athlete. But hopefully the topic will give pause for reflection and in the consideration of training options. It also reinforces what athletes are hearing from many experts regarding the importance of core strength and stabilization, efficient technique and balanced muscle performance to reach our cycling and fitness goals. Clare Frank is a former top member of the Malaysian national badminton team and studied extensively with Prof. Vladimir Janda both in the U.S. and the Czech Republic. Clare is currently practicing as an orthopedic clinical specialist in Los Angeles. She has also been instrumental in setting up the Movement Science Fellowship at Kaiser Permanente, the first such fellowship program to be credentialed by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). She has co-authored the book, “Assessment and Treatment of Muscle Imbalance: The Janda Approach.” More information is available at Movementlinks.com. april 2010
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On T he run
Build Power for Better Form By Mario Fraioli
t’s late in the race, your form is starting to fall apart and there’s no spring left in your stride. Your legs are battered and depleted, and you are struggling just to put one foot in front of the other as you accept the fact that your stride will continue to disintegrate all the way to the finish line. It’s an ugly end to a period of preparation that had you feeling like you were firing on all cylinders heading into your goal race. This collapse comes as a bit of a surprise. You’ve been feeling strong during long runs and your workouts have gone so well that you can roll out of bed and run race pace all the way to the office. You covered all your bases in training—or thought you did, anyway. What went wrong? While you made the efforts to hone your speed, improve your efficiency and nail down your nutrition in the weeks leading up to race day, there’s a good chance you never turned on the power switch at any point of your last training cycle. While a lot of triathletes will log months of mega-mileage and run workouts until the world stops turning, none of it will matter if you don’t have the strength in your stride to prevent your legs from fading april 2010
into failure before you reach the finish line on race day. Here are three simple drills recommended by a few top athletes and coaches that will help improve your stride power and prevent your form from falling apart next season.
HigH Knee SKipS Skipping isn’t just a fun recess activity for 8-year-old schoolgirls; lifting your knees up high and covering a stretch of flat ground is a simple yet effective drill for anyone looking to increase his stride power and fine-tune his mechanics. “Skipping forces you to be light on your feet and use explosive power while employing a bounding type of motion,” says Matt Valyo, a USAT Level II coach. “This will recruit more motor units and can also be used as an effective pre-run warm-up drill.” So what’s the right way to skip? Valyo suggests starting off slowly: Walk before you can run. Begin by standing up as straight as possible and walking with an exaggerated knee lift. The idea is to drive your lead leg slightly past your waistline while toeing off on your back leg, which should be straight and always in
contact with the ground. When you do it right, you should start to feel some fatigue in the hip flexors and even a bit in the calves. When you reach the point where you can skip-walk for 30 meters with picture-perfect form, slowly start picking up the pace. “Form is the key factor here,” says Valyo. “It does you no good to rush through this drill. I have my athletes walk through it first and gradually progress to a run to make sure that they’re doing it properly.” Valyo has his athletes perform three to five sets of this drill twice a week as part of a complete strengthening program during the base phase of training. He also has them use skipping as a way to loosen up before a key run workout, as the motion is very specific to running and gets the right muscles ready to tackle the task at hand. “Skipping is simple and you don’t need anything fancy,” Valyo says. “You just do it.”
SHort Hill SprintS These aren’t hill repeats—this is runningspecific strength work. Think of it as weightlifting without the weights. A set of short hill sprints on a steep grade—six to 10 maximumintensity efforts of 10 seconds on a roughly 8-percent incline—forces you to focus on form, and also strengthens your stabilizers and gets your glutes firing much more effectively than squatting a barbell ever will. triathletemag.com
On T he run
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“All of your fast-twitch fibers get recruited during the short sprints,” says Dennis Barker, head coach of Team USA Minnesota elite running group. “It helps your overall leg strength and improves your running economy.” Recovery is key here. Even though the sprints are short, the recovery between them shouldn’t be. Take your time between the efforts; one to two minutes is ideal. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a coach today who doesn’t employ some variation of this workout in his training programs. I’ve used short hill sprints with my own athletes as an alternative means of working on power and mechanics early in the training cycle rather than having them hit the weight room or perform plyometrics. The results speak for themselves: Form doesn’t fade as quickly, finishing speed increases, overall lower-leg strength is improved and perhaps most importantly, instances of injury decrease.
This is an excellent ancillary exercise that can be done on flat ground or even a slight incline. Like the skipping drill described earlier, the focus here isn’t on how fast you can cover ground but rather on making sure that you’re employing proper form and exhibiting explosiveness. “Power equals force times velocity, and to improve both you need to work on both,” says Mike Roberts, a 9:29 Ironman, physical therapist and certified strength and conditioning specialist. “Bounding will do this and is as specific to running as you can get.” As with any other new addition to a train-
ing program, proceed with caution when introducing bounding into your regular routine. Bounding is a very ballistic movement and can cause injury if too much is done too soon. “If you purely want to work on power, then it has to have an explosive component,” Roberts says. “These can be killer and are very stressful on the body.” After an easy run or a short warm-up of 10 to 15 minutes, Roberts recommends starting with a slow jog to build some momentum before building into a forward bound, driving the knee of your lead leg up into the air while exploding off your back leg. Land on your lead leg and continue propelling yourself forward in this manner for 30 to 40 meters. Initially, one to two sets is plenty. As you start to perfect your form and strengthen your main movers, slowly add sets until you can comfortably complete six to eight in a given session. For a different stress and the added benefit of working with resistance, try bounding on a very gradual incline of 4 to 5 percent. The incline naturally promotes knee lift and encourages perfect form. It takes power to propel yourself up the hill, so if you’re not driving off your back leg properly, you won’t get anywhere. “The dose should be determined by the athlete’s resiliency, volume and training history,” says Roberts. “Start slowly and progress gradually.” Mario Fraioli is a freelance writer living outside of Boston. He is a 2:28 marathoner and coaches runners through his website at Mariofraioli.com. april 2010
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f und a Men ta l s
the first four steps to Improving Your Run By Ian Murray
ost of the multisport races we do conclude with a run. The run is waiting for you after you’ve survived the swim and gone strong on the bike. It shows no mercy for the fatigue you’re carrying into its first few meters, or at the end of the race. If you’re a
f und a men ta l s good runner, meaning you came into triathlon from a running background, then move along. If you’re the type that ran cross country or track in high school or college, or you’ve got stellar PRs in 5K, 10K, half marathons or beyond, then there’s nothing to see here. For the rest of us, let’s discuss how to make your run the best part of your race, where you cannot wait to slip through the swim and spin through the bike so you can pass scores of athletes all the way to the finish line.
Step One Learn prOper technique. Running is a sport where good form provides huge advantages. Proper technique makes you faster, but running well also reduces injury and prolongs “run-life expectancy.” For dramatic and lasting changes, find a running coach—an educator, not simply an athlete you know who runs fast—to teach you how to run well.
Step twO practice prOper technique. Commit to the new run form that you discovered in Step One. Let’s say, for example, that your first change is to shorten your stride. Go out to run five miles and you’ll probably only2:59:51 be able Rubino_Triathlete.pdf 2/2/2010 PM to
sustain this new style for 800 meters before regressing to your old style for the remainder of your run. That’s no good. Making changes in your technique requires frequent, perfect repetition and any visits back to your old ways hinder your progress to becoming a great runner. In this case, do the planned five-miler, but run only the amount of time you can sustain the new, perfect run form. Before you fatigue and regress, stop running and walk for 30-90 seconds to refresh before you run another short, yet perfect, piece. Approach all your runs that way and you’ll quickly be on your way to permanent muscle memory alterations.
Step three run Often. The fitness we gain from running is high quality. Being “run-fit” is no substitute for training all disciplines, but it still raises the level of your bike and your swim. To get your technical changes to stick and to make rapid gains in your fitness, run often. You don’t have to necessarily run long, run hard, run hills or run fast. The No. 1 priority is to run often, even if those frequent runs are short, flat and easy. Focus on good technique and breakthroughs will happen. Practice perfection.
Step fOur run with Meaning. All great runners seem to share one thing: a love of running. Conversely, fear and dislike of running are common among poor runners. For run success, brush off the negative attitude and appreciate the natural human ability to run. “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall is an excellent read, even for folks who don’t run, because it has a good story and it’s told well. Inspiring tales about running are tucked in its pages. Similar nuggets are in Danny and Katherine Dreyer’s “Chi Running” and Nicholas Romanov’s “Pose Method.” Get motivated by reading “The Perfect Mile” by Neal Bascomb, “Strides” by Benjamin Cheever or the run novel “Once a Runner” by John L. Parker. Seek out the perfect run partner, a favorite trail, a stopwatch and a track. By adding new meaning to your running, you’ll begin to find a new level of joy in its practice. As with all great pursuits, there are many more steps on the path to great running, but following these first four will start you on a whole new triathlon experience. Ian Murray is an elite-level USAT coach, head coach of TTS and the host of the DVD box set “Triathlon Training Series.”
Speed L a b
Clearing Up Questions about Stretching and aerobic Capacity By Tim mickleBorough, PhD Dear SpeeD Lab,
Which is betterâ€”a long- or short-duration stretch?
Stretching recommendations are clouded by misconceptions and conflicting research reports. Despite limited evidence, stretching has been promoted as an integral part of a fitness program to
Jeremy Paxton Sacramento, Calif.
Speed L a b decrease the risk of injury, relieve pain associated with stiffness and improve exercise performance. Stretching exercises are intended to help a joint achieve and maintain its normal range of motion. The current literature suggests that one static stretch of 15-30 seconds a day is sufficient for range-of-motion increases in most athletes, although longerduration stretches in some athletes may be needed. Stretching also does appear to reduce pain and may provide substantial benefits if used under appropriate conditions. Still, the most effective approach to stretching remains unclear. The questions to be asked are: How many times and for how long should a stretch be performed for maximum benefit? Which mode of stretching is optimum: static, dynamic (ballistic) or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching? In general, PNF stretching has resulted in greater increases in range of motion compared to static or ballistic stretching. Of the different PNF techniques, the agonist-contract-relax method appears to be most effective. In this method, the muscle group that opposes the muscle group that you wish to stretch is contracted. For example, to stretch your hamstrings, lie face up on the floor and contract your hip flexors to raise your leg as far as your hamstrings can stretch. Now contract your hamstrings and try to pull your leg back toward the floor, but use your hands to hold your leg in place for six to 10 seconds. Finally, relax your hamstrings again and try to raise your leg further with a fresh contraction of the hip flexors. While PNF stretching appears to be the most effective technique for increasing range of motion, the mechanism is an increase in stretch tolerance, whereby the pain normally caused by an eccentric muscle contraction (i.e. a muscle contraction in which the muscle is forced to lengthen while it tries to shorten) april 2010
is masked. This analgesic effect may aid in performance but theoretically increases the risk of injury when compared with static stretches. Again, current research suggests that, for both immediate (within 60 minutes) and longterm (over weeks) range-of-motion increases, one 15-30-second stretch per muscle group is sufficient for most athletes. However, some athletes or muscle groups require longer stretches or more repetitions. Some muscles may achieve maximum benefit after two to three stretches, whereas others may require five to six stretches.
Dear SpeeD Lab, What is the most important determinant of maximum aerobic capacity: VO2max or the percentage of VO2max that is sustained during a race? Eric Cox Lincoln, Neb.
eric, Let me begin to answer your question with the following example: Saltin and colleagues (Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport; 67: 1-10) showed that black runners are able to run substantially faster at all distances beyond 5 km, despite VO2max values that were the same as those of white middle-distance runners. These researchers suggested that the black runners were able to sustain a substantially higher proportion of their VO 2max when racing. Thus, the crucial finding was that the black distance runners have superior fatigue resistance, not a higher VO2max. Interestingly, physiologists have known for at least two decades that the percentage of VO2max that athletes can sustain during exercise is an important predictor of performance (Costill et al; Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise; 5: 248-52, 1973). Yet we have perhaps failed to emphasize that this is likely to be a more important determinant of performance in prolonged exercise than triathletemag.com
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Speed L a b
is VO2max alone. Furthermore, it has not been appreciated that the percentage of VO2max sustained during exercise is a measure of the athleteâ€™s resistance to fatigue. Further support for this explanation can be surmised from the fact that these elite runners run at 100 percent or greater of their VO2max in race distances of 1-2 km. Yet it is not at those distances that the Kenyansâ€™ dominance is most apparent. If the Kenyansâ€™ success were due to unusually high VO2max values, one would expect Kenyans also to be dominant at race distances between 800 meters and the mile, which is not the case. april 2010
In addition, it has been suggested that improvements in running economy are perhaps the most significant response to training, especially in those who are already well-trained. This adaptation allows the athlete to run faster at the same oxygen consumption level as a less-trained athlete. Tim Mickleborough, PhD, is an associate professor of exercise physiology at Indiana University. He is a former elite-level athlete who placed 18th overall (8:55:38) and second in the run (2:52:13) in the 1994 Hawaii Ironman World Championship. Contact him at Speedlab@juno.com. triathletemag.com
NU T RI T ION
NUTRITION Q&A MULTISPORT MENU EAT RIGHT GET LEANER, GO FASTER april 2010
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nutritional Approaches to triathlon for Kids By PiP Taylor
My daughter, who is 10, has started training for triathlons (and I love being a triathlete myself). She has a healthy appetite and is average size and weight for her age, but is there anything different nutritionally she or I need to know as she trains more? Good nutrition is important not only for a child’s growth, maturation and sports training, but for getting through school and other activities mentally alert and energetically. Feeling tired may mean suffering through activities and not being able to achieve, which in turn leads to decreased enjoyment and less likelihood of long-term participation. There are few studies that specifically address the nutrition requirements of athletic children. Instead, recommendations are drawn from studies of children engaged in an average amount of activity as well as the population of active adults. But there are several factors that sporting parents and kids should be mindful of, such as energy and vitamin needs, hydration and thermoregulation considerations. Unlike adults, a child’s energy intake needs to account not only for activities but also for growth and maturation, meaning a positive energy balance is critical. Children are also less efficient than adults metabolically and mechanically, meaning they expend more energy when undertaking similar activities. If energy intake is too low, a young athlete may not reach her genetic potential for growth, may experience a delayed puberty and increased risk of injury, poor bone health and irregular menstruation. Frequent meals and snacks providing plenty of
variety are helpful for fulfilling these increased energy needs of rapid growth periods. A growing child, and especially one playing sports, should not be limiting calories (except under medically supervised circumstances). Rather, if there is a need to reduce body fat levels, then food choices should be first modified so that fewer high-fat and calorie-dense snacks are eaten and more fruits, vegetables and whole grains provide the basis of energy. If body weight or size is a concern for you or your child, seek professional medical and possibly psychological advice. Proportionally to adults, children and adolescents require more protein for growth and maturation, and if they are involved in sports, they may have even higher needs. However it is likely, as is the case with adults, that these needs are more than exceeded through most diets. For vegetarian or other restricted diets, protein sources have to be incorporated into every meal. While fat intake may not be of concern for your child in the short term, high-fat and particularly high saturated-fat diets are not conducive to either long-term health or optimal training or racing performance. Use your role as a parent to help instill good habits by encouraging consumption of healthy fats such as avocados, nuts and fatty fish rather than French fries and doughnuts. Athletes of any age should always aim for variety to maximize chances of meeting all the nutrient requirements. Key nutrients for growing kids are carbohydrate, protein, vitamin
B, vitamin D, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and chromium. Kids in sport will have higher energy needs and micronutrient requirements than their inactive peers, but these needs should generally be met through the diet rather than relying on additional supplements. Two minerals worth paying extra attention to are calcium and iron. Childhood is the time to build bone strength and mass, and calcium is vital to that process. Encourage kids to eat at least three servings of dairy per day. Iron is crucial, particularly for adolescent girls and vegetarians, who are more at risk of low iron levels. One significant difference between children and adults is thermoregulation, the ability to stay cool. Children produce more heat relative to body mass when exercising than adults, and they also have greater surface area to mass ratio, leaving them more vulnerable to increasing body temperature when climatic temperatures are severe. This is compounded by a much lower sweat rate, meaning their ability to self-cool is also compromised. In practice, this means that a child’s tolerance of very hot conditions will be lower than that of adults, and children with high body fat are at even greater risk. Because sweating patterns don’t change until puberty, take measures to prevent dehydration and heat stress by encouraging drinking before, during and after training. Water is generally the best choice for kids; however, sports drinks—I recommend Accelerade or Endurox—can be particularly helpful because the sodium and flavor can encourage drinking by improving palatability. Parents and dentists are often concerned about the effect of sports drinks on teeth. This is a relevant concern, but there are steps you can take to reduce the impact. Use a straw or squeeze bottle to reduce contact time with teeth by directing the drink straight into the mouth. Rinse with water, eat a casein-containing snack, found in calcium-rich foods such as milk, yogurt and cheese, or chew some sugarfree gum. These measures should be used as an interim solution in between regular teeth cleaning. Staying hydrated is important for teeth health because saliva acts as a protective buffer. One of the most important things a parent can do for a child, her health and her athletic goals is to set a good example. It sounds as though your daughter has inherited your enthusiastic attitude toward exercise and sport, and a healthy and positive approach to food and nutrition is equally important. These attitudes and habits will be beneficial not only for any sporting successes, but more importantly for long-term athletic participation, good health and a positive self-image. april 2010
nu t r i t ion Q& A
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new anD imProveD oPTygen hP by FirsT enDuranCe $74.95 There’s a reason Team Astana and numerous other cycling teams turn to First Endurance products for optimal performance. Instead of pumping out a new kind of bar or drink flavor every few months, First Endurance worked on improving the full line of products it already has. With Optygen HP, a daily performance supplement in capsule form went from great to even better. The formula contains high levels of Rhodiola and beta-alanine—adaptogens originally used in herbal form by Tibetan sherpas climbing Mount Everest. The company’s human clinical trials have shown that the new Optygen HP helps increase oxygen utilization, reduces lactic acid buildup and helps the body adapt to high levels of physical stress. Firstendurance.com
Think DesserT bars $1.89-$1.99 Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the perfect post-workout recovery snack was lemon cream pie? Well, Think Products has helped make this a reality with its new dessert bars. Sinful flavors such as chocolate-covered strawberries, lemon cream pie with white chocolate and tangerine creamsicle make these bars seem like an indulgence. But with 200 calories, no sugar and 15 grams of protein each, your post-workout snack just got a whole lot more interesting. Thinkproducts.com
Perky Jerky $4.99/bag This isn’t your average gas station grub. Perky Jerky is made from 100 percent all-natural beef for that great jerky taste, but it’s combined with guarana for a caffeinated boost of energy. Each 2-ounce bag contains the caffeine equivalent of two energy drinks, along with 11 grams of protein and only 2 grams of fat. Perkyjerky.com
E at r ig h t Vitamin D: the non-Vitamin Vitamin D has been getting a lot of hype these days. Responsible for everything from bone health and immune system boosting to regulating blood sugar, it’s a must-have nutrient for endurance athletes looking to keep their bodies and immune systems strong. In June 2009 researchers at the University of Wyoming found that many athletes, particularly those who live more than 35 degrees north or south latitude of the equator, are at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency, especially during winter. According to Liz Applegate, PhD, director of sports nutrition at the University of California, Davis, one of the most interesting things about vitamin D is that is isn’t actually a vitamin at all. “We call it a vitamin but it really is a hormone because our body makes it,” says Applegate. Applegate says that primitive tribes that live close to the equator were found to have much higher levels of vitamin D than people living in
modern society. Much of this has to do with the amount of time people spend indoors, since UV rays trigger the production of vitamin D in the body. Because vitamin D is a hormone, it isn’t found naturally in most foods, making ingesting an adequate amount that much more difficult. Applegate says fatty fish and milk are the best ways to get the nutrient in whole food form, and now certain types of mushrooms are being grown with vitamin D precursors added so that when ingested they cause the body to produce the compound. But what about good old-fashioned sunlight? “There is a trade-off there,” Applegate explains. “When you wear sunscreen, you block the UV rays from penetrating your skin, but of course using sunscreen cuts down on skin cancer risk.” Applegate prescribes 1,000 IUs of vitamin D during the winter for the UC Davis swim team, an amount three times the daily allowance but one she says could be beneficial to athletes during the winter months. “The standards of vitamin D allowance are changing and people should think about upping their intake in accordance with the emerging research,” says Applegate.
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refuel, recycle, reuse If you’re like most triathletes, you have energy bar wrappers everywhere—behind the couch, in the glove compartment and stuck inside your Bento boxes. This month, in honor of Earth Day on April 22, consider joining TerraCycle’s Energy Bar Brigade, where you can turn in used energy bar wrappers to be recycled into everyday items like handbags, pencil cases, backpacks and package bows. TerraCycle will donate money for each wrapper you turn in to your favorite charity. To date, more than 660,000 energy bar wrappers have been collected and more than $13,000 has been donated to charities all over the country. Don’t eat energy bars? No problem. TerraCycle has 19 different brigades, from old potato chip bags and milk cartons to empty glue containers and cell phones. Since the recycling brigades started, more than 7 million people have started collecting trash for various brigades, bringing in more than $350,000. For more information visit Terracycle.net.
Members of the Boston Triathlon Team relax at the Kinsale after their annual “Amazing Race” scavenger hunt through the city.
Tri Club Grub: bosTon TriaThlon Team Whether they’re in heavy training or trying to stay warm during the notoriously chilly Northeastern winters, the more than 100 members of the Boston Triathlon Team know the Kinsale Pub and Restaurant is the place to go for food, drinks and socializing. Located right across the street from the Government Center T-station in downtown, the Kinsale offers validated parking so both city-dwelling and suburban members of the club can meet up easily. The Kinsale offers traditional Irish pub fare including corned beef sandwiches, Irish stout stew and—of course—plenty of Guinness. According to club president Meredith Harjes, the team’s annual “Amazing Race”—a scavenger hunt-style race through the city—finishes every year at the Kinsale for drinks and food. The Kinsale Pub and Restaurant is located at 2 Center Plaza in Boston. For more information, go to Classicirish.com or call 617-742-5577.
GE T L E A NER , GO FA ST ER
Every month, ForzeGPS and Triathlete feature an age-grouper who exemplifies the performance-bodyweight connection.
PERSONAL: Originally from Monterey, Calif., Neily Mathias, 41, now lives in Carlsbad, Calif. OCCUPATION: Mathias works as a customer service manager for a sports equipment distributor. TRIATHLON EXPERIENCE: Mathias was inspired to do her first triathlon in 2000 by her friend, the legendary professional triathlete Michellie Jones, whom she met as a student at the University of California, San Diego. BEFORE TRIATHLON: “I was a hyperactive kid, so my mom got me involved in all kinds of sports to wipe me out,” Mathias says. She swam and played tennis, baseball and field hockey. “Swimming was the only sport that worked!” she adds. TRAINING APPROACH: Currently training for Ironman St. George, Mathias swims four to five hours per week, bikes eight to 10 hours, and runs four to five hours. She says, “The most important thing to keep in mind is to listen to your body and not force anything you do. It is OK to miss a workout or make modifications because training is not the be-all and end-all of your way of life.” WEIGHT MANAGEMENT: “I’m not really strict about what I eat,” says Mathias. “I love dairy and I love sweets, and I let myself eat them in moderation.” Her one secret to weight management is eating small meals and snacks frequently. She notes that Forze GPS bars help her with this approach by controlling her appetite. “The first time I saw one of those little Forze bars I thought, ‘This can’t possibly satisfy me,’” she says. “But it does.” ADVICE TO OTHER TRIATHLETES: “There’s such a thing as being too thin,” Mathias cautions. “I think it’s better to carry a little extra muscle on your body, both for performance—especially in long-distance events—and injury prevention. Also, having more muscle increases your metabolism.”
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GE A R A ND T ECH
TECH SUPPORT TRIATHLETE’S GARAGE TRI’D AND TESTED GEAR BAG april 2010
182 184 186 188
t e ch supp or t
Applying stack and reach to Bike Fit By Ian Buchanan Dear Tech SupporT, I’ve been told that stack and reach are important numbers to know when it comes to bike sizing. What are they, and how can they help me size a bike properly? Rich Virginia
rich, A bike’s stack and reach dimensions, in conjunction with the stack and reach needs of your riding position, can be helpful numbers to know when considering bike options as they provide a lot of valuable information about a bike’s actual geometry and fit in just two numbers. “Stack” is the vertical distance, in centimeters, from the center of the frame’s bottom bracket/crank to the top middle point of the headtube (where the fork passes through the frame). “Reach” is the horizontal distance from the center of the bottom bracket/crank to the top middle point of the headtube. For the mathematically inclined, stack-and-reach is a Cartesian coordinate system with the origin 182
being the center of the bottom bracket and the X,Y being the top and center of the frame’s headtube. For example, a 51 cm Cervelo S2 has a stack (Y) of 52.2 cm (the top of the headtube is 52.2cm above the bottom bracket) and a reach (X) of 39.4 cm (the middle of the headtube is 39.4 cm in front of the bottom bracket). Why are a frame’s stack and reach potentially helpful numbers? If you know the stack and reach requirement of your riding position, which is acquired by either working with a bike fitter who uses a sizing cycle that will provide the measurements or by measuring these distances on an existing bike that is properly set up for you and fits you well, you can look at the stack-and-reach dimensions on a frame sizing chart and know whether the bike will fit you well before you buy it. The potential benefits of a stack-and-reachbased system compared to traditional bike size listing, such as “medium, 54 cm,” is multifold: It standardizes bike geometry/sizing between brands and models as it transcends the limitations of looking at just a single size-related variable—such as toptube
length or seat tube length—on a bike. Stack and reach dimensions consider a number of key variables in relation to each other and thus offer significantly more insight into how the frame actually fits than any other two measurements on the bike. It stresses the importance of rider-first bike selection by placing the most important part of the bike selection process—the rider’s position—first. In order to use stack and reach well, you need to know the stack and reach coordinates of your riding position, too. It is not unheard of for bikes from two manufacturers that are both called the same size (medium or 54 cm, for example) to actually fit up to 2 cm (a full size different) than each other. Stack and reach shows how the frame actually fits or sizes and thus allows it to be compared to other bikes on the market accurately and relatively easily. It distinguishes between sometimes confusing and inter-related frame dimensions. For example, it can be easy to confuse seat tube angle (the angle a frame’s seat tube is actually built to) and seat angle (where the
2. 3. 4.
t e ch suppor t riderâ€™s seat should actually be placed in space in relation to the bottom bracket). Stack and reach virtually eliminate this confusion by simply showing how the frame actually fits. Stack and reach is a significantly improved standard from the traditional sizing methods that are based on effective seat tube length and other outdated frame dimensions, which are now virtually irrelevant when it comes to how the bike actually fits. Stack and reach is not without challenges, though, and it is important that you understand what the dimensions do not provide. Frame stack and reach dimensions do not take into account handlebar shape or stem length/angle and spacers. The size of the cycle-based stack and reach template we use in our fittings can take this into account, and there are other systems available that do as well. Regardless, you must know on which handlebar your stack and reach coordinates were based, and how those dimensions relate to the dimensions on the handlebar that either comes with the bike or that you will be using, as these can vary significantly and directly affect fit. Stack and reach does not include headset type. There can be up to 3 cm of effective stack difference between internal and external
headset frames. If you are considering a frame with an external bearing headset (some custom and specialty brands), make sure to add in the headset you will be using to the listed stack dimensions. Stack and reach does not consider potential seat angle limitations on the frame. For example, if you ride a 75-degree seat angle and are considering a frame based on a 73-degree seat tube angle, make sure that there are seat post options for the frame that will allow the seat to be set to 75 degrees. This can be a problem, especially with frames that use integrated seatmasts or a proprietary seat post design. Even if the stack and reach dimensions look fine on paper, you need to be sure that any frame you are considering offers a configuration that will allow your saddle to be set to your riding position.
Stack and reach is a step in the right direction and a notable improvement over the systems the bike industry has traditionally used. However, the best sizing representation I have seen comes from a manufacturer. On its E-114 TT/Tri bike, Argon 18 shows the factory-recommended set-up ranges for key positioning items, such as saddle height, setback, handlebar drop and reach, for each size. I hope that Argon 18 considers making this sizing
recommendation method more visible on its site and expanding it to include all their models (road and tri). I also hope other manufacturers adopt a similar system as the bike industry could make manufacturer-recommended sizing ranges much more clear to consumers and bike shops. Whether you are using stack and reach or some other frame sizing system, make sure you get a professional fit with a qualified fitter who also understands bike geometry before you settle on a bike. A rider-first fitting places the needs of the rider in front of the needs of the bike and guarantees that you will not be guessing when choosing what is likely your biggest equipment investmentâ€”your bike. Once you know your positioning coordinates, your fitter can help you narrow your options to include only those bikes that have stack and reach and that are appropriate to your needs before exploring other important variables such as handling, ride quality, cost and durability to find the best match for you. Ian Buchanan is co-owner of Fit Werx with locations in Waitsfield, Vt., and Peabody, Mass., and offers cycling and triathlon products, specialty bicycle fitting and analysis services, consultation and technology research. Visit Fitwerx.com.
T Ri aT hl e T e ’S g a R a ge The 2010 Suplicy Quantum frameset will price at $2,800 with a Suplicy fork, or $3,800 with a Scapula fork.
Suplicy Quantum By Jay Prasuhn
he Quantum enters the market with more options than a Burger King Whopper, proving that for the first time outside groupset and wheel spec, you can have the frame your way. The brainchild comes not from an engineer considering a rider’s needs, but a rider. Namesake Caue Suplicy is a Brazilian and (recently former) pro triathlete who realized the pro life wasn’t going to put lettuce in his wallet. But as an athlete, he knew that even in an era of lightning-quick tech advancements, there was room for improvement in frame design. Pairing with industry engineers who could make his concepts a reality on CAD, Suplicy was born, and the Quantum is the centerpiece of those “if I ruled the world” ideas. What’s so unique? For one, the Quantum is loaded with user options. It’s the first bike we’ve seen that gives the consumer the option of front brake placement on its stock fork—behind or in front of the fork blades. Or even an option for a fork with blade-integrated brakes. And that’s just one element. Before getting into the details, the basics first: It’s a very aggressive setup, with a short headtube and a saddle clamp with fore/aft variability from 76 and 78 degrees of effective seat angle, with saddle tilt independent of fore/aft adjustment. Wispy stays, narrow tubesets and a blocky bottom bracket (with a below-shell flare that doubles as a cable port-out) make this an aggressive, dedicated race rig. For the teetotalers, the Quantum was CAD-designed with 184
computational fluid design before it saw tunnel testing at A2 Wind Tunnel in North Carolina to prove the company’s computer findings. Suplicy has done its homework. Then come the little things: full-carbon horizontal dropouts (with set screws); a unique, removable trailing edge “cap” that can be popped on for aero effect at the chainstay/seatstay wishbone; and a full-carbon seat clamp, with two separate bolts for race number application. Unique, very cool and very much tri-focused. The biggest frame design options come at the front. The fork option is a doozie. Our test came with Suplicy’s own carbon steerer fork. If money’s no object, the THM-Carbones Scapula fork is available, with the caliper mechanism located within the medial upper crown of the fork. If the cleanest aero profile is your call, the Scapula, which has adequate stopping power on flat roads, is a nice addition. But let’s look at Suplicy’s fork, which allows for Tektro R725 brake caliper placement in front of or behind the fork blades. To allow for clearance, Suplicy tilted the downtube upward. Much like Look’s contention for a rear wheel gap, Suplicy’s tunnel testing finds the space between the trailing edge of the front wheel and the frame advantageous. Since the front wheel is never perfectly at zero degrees (thanks to steering balance), the gap better transfers wind off the wheel when the wheel is off-angle—which, in real-world riding, is often. But even with that much option, there’s more. If you wanted to swap out and use, say, Oval Concepts’ new A911 Jetstream II aero fork (also with a behind-crown brake location) you can. The other new frame design feature is a flare at the front of the toptube, allowing wind to transfer smoothly from headtube around
the back of the steerer and stem with what we think might be negligible effect. But the design affords an optional internally sleeved cable run. Depending on where brake and shift cable ports out from your aerobars, cables can port into the frame either on top of that flare or on the non-drive side. Oh, and you say you just got Shimano’s new Di2 electronic groupset? The Quantum’s ports are large enough to allow for internal cable run here, too, with a battery mount on the non-drive side chainstay. For those who think the behind-stem flare is a Trek Speed Concept knockoff, think again; we saw early prototypes of Suplicy’s bike (along with an NDA) before we saw the Speed Concept. Ride balance is fantastic. Being aggressive with a very short reach (a 44 cm reach on a size large test bike), I tucked in beautifully and found it an absolute bullet on flat, straight roads. The 72.5-degree head angle made it trustworthy through sweeping turns. I really enjoyed putting this one under load, and it responded out of saddle on the climbs. For the dedicated triathlete, this will be a whole new option. I would be hard-pressed to not give this bike its due as true competitor to veteran brands; it has the same ride, same weight, similar geometries, just absent the big-name branding. Without a doubt, the Quantum is a new model to consider in a class that usually includes the regulars like Cervelo, Felt and Trek—serious company. Not bad for being the new, little guy on the block. And proof that there’s still some fresh thinking outside the big brands. The Quantum will be available as a complete bike (and ordered with whatever groupset and wheelset to your spec) at retail, but will retail as a frameset with Suplicy’s own carbon fork for $2,800, or with the integrated brake Scapula at $3,800. For more on the Quantum, visit Suplicybikes.com.
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T ri’ d a nd T e sT ed
aquasphere ergoBelt $39.95 By SuSan Grant
here’s nothing more psychologically painful for a triathlete to hear than the words “you’re not allowed to run.” After suffering four pelvic fractures in a car accident and undergoing major surgery, I was given a laundry list of activities—especially running—that I wasn’t allowed to do for several months. Desperate, I cornered my surgeon and demanded that he name some form of physical activity—anything— that I could do. I was pleasantly surprised to hear him utter the words “water jogging.” Less than 24 hours later I had an Aquasphere ErgoBelt strapped around my still-broken body as my husband gingerly lowered me into a pool. My body, atrophied and sore from weeks of bed rest, immediately sprang upright thanks to the two inches of fluorescent orange EVA foam
circling my waist. I swished my legs back and forth, pumped my arms and took off. So how is the ErgoBelt any different than the standard, blue jogging belts many pools have on hand? At first look they aren’t any different at all aside from color. The advantage of the ErgoBelt is twofold: buoyancy and support. The EVA foam used in the ErgoBelt is water-log resistant, meaning after 20 minutes you won’t feel like you’re strapped to an anchor. It’s much thicker and plushier than other models, with a longer lumbar spine support arch in the back to keep your body straight in the water. Without proper form, the cardiovascular and muscular benefits diminish quickly, so having a belt that almost forces you into the right position is key. It’s important to note that water jogging (or deep-water april 2010
running as it’s often called) is not meant only for the injured or elderly. Make no mistake; this isn’t your grandmother’s workout. Yes, putting on a huge foam belt and slowly pumping your way from one side of the pool to the other isn’t exactly the sexiest thing you can do in a bathing suit, but it has shown to be an effective way to recruit all your running muscles in a non-impact environment. Duane Franks, a multisport coach in San Francisco, received his master’s in physiology from San Diego State University and studied deep-water running to learn about its cardiovascular benefits compared to treadmill running. “Overall, deep-water running puts less stress on the body but still elicits a good VO2 response,” Franks said. Franks noted that you can expect to see your heart rate remain seven to 10 beats below what it would be on land at the same effort, which is largely because of the bodycooling effect of water. Franks has used deep-water running with several of his cliapril 2010
ents, both injured and not, and he does it himself on a regular basis. One of his athletes, Marin, Calif.-resident Kathy Winkler, was the second female to cross the line at the Ultraman Championships on the Big Island of Hawaii last November. Due to some chronic hip issues, Winkler did many of her longer runs—two to twoand-a-half hours at a time—in deep water. Not only did she pull ahead from behind on the run, but Winkler also posted one of the top-10 fastest run splits of the day, men included. Franks recommends that, when using a running belt, you try to maintain a high chest, with your hips pressed forward. “It’s important not to lean forward and scull with your hands; try to mimic the body position you would have if running on land,” he explained. The next time you see someone rocking a bright orange running belt in the pool, know that while she may be recovering from an injury, she might also be your competition on the starting line. triathletemag.com
gear bag Spring’s coming, but we’ve still got our cold days. And while the gym is the practical alternative to coldweather training, there are those days when you just need to get outside. Here are a few pieces that make it not only tolerable but fun.
Assos Winter.LL $399
When it’s just biting out, Assos’ winter long length bib will keep your legs warm and cranking. It’s composed of a full Airblock front from hip to calf to keep cold air from getting in, while a fleece interior at the abdomen and down the thighs keeps your legs toasty. Insulation goes right down to the foot, with a stirrup base. Also available sans F1.Mille S5 chamois at $359. Assos.com
PeArL izumi shine shoe Cover, $60, And thermAFLeeCe KneeWArmers, $35
This 3 mm neoprene (and microfleece-lined) coldweather cover keeps your toes from being frostbitten, and PI ups the ante with an integrated LED lighting system, keeping you visible when the sun gets low. Pearl Izumi’s ThermaFleece kneewarmers are must-have kit basics; the interior fleece lining keeps you comfortable, and can be easily peeled and packed in your jersey once the sun comes out and warms up the day. Pearlizumi.com
Louis GArneAu ets Jersey, $125, And Gemini BiB tiGhts, $130
This is a killer one-two combo: a full-zip long-sleeve jersey that represents the epitome of comfy, with a brushed interior and breathability thanks to integrated Cocona carbon fiber particles that LG says provide a 50-percent increase in moisture transfer. The Gemini bib tights have the same soft brushed interior for warmth and an ankle zip for easy on and off. Louisgarneau.us
zoot runFit JACKet $80
When brisk air calls for a warm top for your run, this half-zip top is the way to go. Zoot’s SeamLink stitch construction keeps stitches off your skin for zero rubbing. The back features a new separated panel that allows for greater breathability, while maintaining core warmth. Zootsports.com
sPeCiALized eureKA Jersey $130 On days that start cold and stay cold, this long-sleeved jersey is the right call. Its winterweight Fieldsensor fabric keeps you warm, and the central pocket composed of waterproof material protects your goods from backsplash. Specialized.com 188
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Establishing a Racing Timeline BY ANDY POTTS ’ve done almost 100 races in my triathlon career. When I first started racing, everything was new and I needed to try different things to get my best results. To learn more about myself and my body, I used to change my pre-race routine for each race. As I gained experience, I started to figure out what works and what doesn’t. I kept the successful elements to my routine and whittled away the frivolous parts. While nothing is set in stone and I always allow for the unexpected, I have a general timeline for my race weekend. It goes something like this. RACE START MINUS 48 HOURS: Two days before the race I pack my bags, break down my bike and fly to the race. Packing is fairly easy because my travel bag is the permanent home for what I need for any race. The one constant pain is packing my bike each time I travel. I have yet to
The only bike travel bag that has all the features you’re looking for • Fits mountain, road, cyclocross, and tri bikes • Robust system for securing frame and fork • Integrated padding for drivetrain protection • Two separate padded wheel compartments • Heavy duty nylon-ripstop with 10 mm padding • Abrasion resistant panels in high wear areas • Smooth inline-skate wheels with sealed bearings
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Up F ron t race close enough to home to just ride down to the race start; I’m still waiting for that luxury. I like to arrive at the race destination two days prior to race day. If possible, I leave in the late morning and arrive mid-afternoon. This gives me an unrushed morning at home with the family as well as the opportunity to build my bike and unpack when I get to my destination. If I find I’m missing something, I still have 36 hours, give or take, to find a solution. If there is still daylight when I arrive, I’ll catch an easy run to flush out the travel day from my legs. Race StaRt MinuS 24 HouRS: The day before, I scout the course, make sure my bike works, attend any pre-race functions and generally try to relax. I usually go for a quick 30- to 40-minute bike ride followed by a 30-minute cruiser jog. A lot of times it’s hard to find a pool or a place to swim so I don’t even hassle with it. I like to be done with anything and everything associated with the race by 3 p.m. This gives me the rest of the afternoon and the entire evening time to enjoy my surrogate city for the weekend. Race StaRt MinuS 12 HouRS: I catch an early dinner if possible so I can retire to my room for an early night’s rest. I usually go with a
favorite meal pre-race. I’m not looking for carbs or a protein-packed meal per se, but something that I know will taste good and go down easy. I want to be satisfied but not stuffed to the brim. For some reason, I tend to gravitate toward pasta with chicken or pizza because it is dependable. Race StaRt MinuS 2 HouRS: I like to get my body moving about two hours before the gun goes off. Since we usually have early morning starts, this means I’m seeing the number “4” on my alarm clock. I’m not a big fan of waking up that early, and I doubt anyone enjoys seeing that number on the alarm clock. Occasionally, I even have to see the number “3” because of a 5 a.m. start time, and that’s particularly brutal. However, if I only have to see that number a dozen times during the year, that’s a price I am willing to pay. Plus, there is a small part of me that says that my day will be over even earlier when I see those unsightly numbers. Race StaRt MinuS 1 HouR: I show up to my transition spot and start organizing my gear. I’m also getting the layout of transition memorized. There is no substitute for doing a transition walk-through the day of the race. Things inevitably look a lot different when there are bikes on the racks, inflatable signage
blown up all around and people invading your transition space. Race StaRt MinuS 10 MinuteS: I head to the water. I get my body and mind ready for the race. I take a few last-minute strokes to get ready for the swim. One of the last things I like to do is a mental walk-through of how I want the race to play out. I visualize each segment of the race all the way from the turns to the entry and exit points in transition to the finish line. Race StaRt MinuS 1 Minute: On the starting line, I take a few deep breaths to prepare for the adrenaline rush that is about to take over my body. Bang! The gun goes off and I’m off to another race. I used to worry a lot about fitting in all my workouts while traveling, but I have learned to go with the flow and be ready for changes. Now, I feel lucky to get a chance to do each discipline once before the race. When I show up for a race, I know it will be the preparation I put into my training that will determine my success, not what I do the day before. Try to develop your own pre-race routine to help you manage each race weekend. If you don’t have a pre-race plan, this one can be a guide to help you make the most of each race.
T ICK E T PU NCH
Diary of an Ironman Junkie
I’m done with this so-called “fun” training. Maybe I’ll just sign up for Ironman Arizona. It’s in five weeks—plenty of time ... OCT. 10, 2009: The Hawaii Ironman is over. I’m tired and sore and looking forward to a few weeks of rest and relaxation to celebrate the end of the season. I’m going to eat and drink whatever I want, stay out late, do dangerous things like mountain biking and skiing without the fear of breaking a limb. Can’t wait. OCT. 14: I’m bored. Home from Kona after a few days of post-race parties and beaches. Next season seems awfully far away. It seems crazy to have trained all year for one race. Now that I think about it, my legs aren’t too sore; in fact, I feel pretty darn good for only racing three days ago. It’s time to hit that mountain bike. OCT. 19: Now I remember why I don’t mountain bike, especially not in-season. Those rocks and cacti are sharp! Today was two hours of hike-a-bike with about 30 minutes of actual riding. I’m done with this so-called “fun” training. Maybe I’ll just sign up for Ironman Arizona. It’s in five weeks—plenty of time to recover/ train/recover/taper for another Ironman. OCT. 23: Ironman preparation was slightly derailed by trip to San Diego. Still haven’t done any actual training. I almost went for an 192
open-water swim, if eating Mexican food on the beach counts (my feet were in the water at one point, I swear). Next week for sure! OCT. 26: Light jog and a Masters swim workout at noon. This isn’t so bad—I can just cruise through a couple weeks of training until it is time to taper again. Two Ironmans in six weeks? Not a problem! OCT. 29: It was 29 degrees F on Mount Lemmon this morning (Tucson’s famous 26mile climb). Guess where I had my five-hour brick workout. It was so cold I stuck to riding back and forth on the lower 10 miles, but my feet still ended up blocks of ice. The 45-minute run-off was a death march, reminding me that some of the other pros are still in Maui on a post-Ironman vacation. What was I thinking? OCT. 30: My day off. This in pro triathlete terms means a 4K swim, some yoga and a massage. I log a few hours of couch time before laying out my gear and heading to bed for a big day tomorrow. Ah, the excitement and glamour of professional sport. OCT. 31: Halloween is my favorite holiday. I celebrated with a six-hour ride up Madera
Canyon, then a one-hour run on the track with 5x 1 mile at 6:30 pace. I stayed in to hand out candy to kids. A Costco-sized bag of treats + one trick-or-treater = mini-Snickers and Tootsie Rolls for dinner. I guess no one’s perfect all the time. NOV. 2: One week of hard training left before taper time. Sigh. This seemed like a great idea the night after Hawaii and a few mai tais. Now, not so much. I just keep reminding myself that I signed up for this and being able to get another Ironman out of just two more weeks of hard training is a bargain! NOV. 3: Double bike day starting with the morning group ride with the local roadies, I redline the whole time to try to stay with the pack. I am not successful. I get home just in time to eat and head to the pool for a noon Masters swim session. Lucky me—it’s IM day. In the afternoon I am back on the bike for a CompuTrainer session: 10x 3 minutes at 230 watts. My legs feel smashed but actually feel better toward the end of the workout. Maybe they know that it’s almost over. NOV. 5: Woke up feeling awful. I barely april 2010
BY SAMANTHA MCGLONE
t icke t pu nch
there are size and weight restrictions, limiting the amount of stuff that I have now managed to cram into my car: two sets of race wheels. You never know about the wind. Three pairs of race flats. Entire boxes of Powerbars and gels. Why not? If anyone needs doubles (or triples) of anything I probably have it. Turns out my roommate forgot her gel flasks—I have extra. So there. Nov. 21: Pre-race nerves never get any easier. I convince myself that I enjoy the butterflies because that steady stream of adrenaline means
I am rested and ready to race. Nerves are good. Still, I hate that feeling of being all wound up with nothing to do. And I’m going to gag if I have to look at another carbohydrate. One more sleep till race day! Nov. 22: 4 a.m.—it’s time to go. Six-week turnaround and I am alive, in one piece and ready to dive into Tempe Town Lake for the last race of the season. For real this time. Samantha McGlone won Ironman Arizona last November with a time of 9:09:19, a new course record.
Be a part of the Cayuga Lake Triathlon: Swim in a pristine lake, bike through wine country, and run through a gorge below a waterfall three stories higher than Niagara Falls.
Photos: www.jonreis.com and Jamels Photography
slept last night, which sometimes happens when I am training hard. Just when the body really needs the extra rest it decides to rebel and I find myself wide awake, playing online poker and cleaning the stove at 3 a.m. I had a great workout anyway, dropping my training partners on the long TT intervals and feeling strong the whole way. Funny how that works. Nov. 7: Payback time—Leanda Cave dragged me through the desert for five hours today as I clung to her wheel and silently prayed for the misery to end. Our loop through the desert was long and merciless; the Circle K sign stood like a shining promise of all things cold and sugary. Fueled by caffeine, we hammered home and headed back out for an eight-mile run in 95-degree heat. Apparently the cold snap in October was a fluke, so now it’s back to heat stroke. Nov. 8: Sunday morning means the last long run of the year! Two-and-a-half hours this morning with Ironman-pace intervals, 2x 40 minutes at seven minutes/mile. I’m feeling tired and sluggish from yesterday’s bonk. Good thing that the Garmin is broken … I’ll just assume that I was nailing those pace times. Nov. 11: This is the hardest week of training for me mentally. It’s not the longest or most demanding, but the first week of taper is when I feel the most tired and in need of rest, but the training load isn’t quite down to the 30-minute “feel good” workouts race week. As an ex-short course triathlete I still find it odd that a three-and-a-half-hour brick is now considered a taper workout. Nov. 12: I feel terrible, achy and tired and my head is pounding. At first I thought it was swine flu, but it was just caffeine withdrawal added to a really bad cold. Scratch all my workouts; I’m staying in bed for a few days. Nov. 17: The cold seems to be gone so now it is time to focus on race week. This week is all about massages (two), easy training (30-45 minute sessions, max), rest (as much as possible) and loading up on liquids and carbs for the big day (three days out from the race—eat everything in sight). The worst part of pre-race week for me is giving up caffeine. Like most triathletes I am a coffee addict; I have one of those fancy espresso makers that does everything except get me out of bed in the morning. Now it’s giving me the stink eye as I brew some decaf. Why bother? Nov. 20: In the car headed to Phoenix for Ironman Arizona! It is such a novelty to be able to drive to a race. Unfortunately, this calls attention to the fact that I am the worst car-packer ever. At least when I fly
Cayuga Lake Triathlon Sunday, August 1, 2010 Taughannock Falls State Park Trumansburg, NY Intermediate, Sprint and Youth race distances Local/Regional Travel Info: VisitIthaca.com triathletemag.com
SINGL E T R A CK MIND
Getting to the Heart of Hemp BY MELANIE MCQUAID am normally not the one who writes about food. However, if anyone has the street cred to talk about hemp, I guess it might be the chronic, tatted, pierced mountain biker, right? Well, not so much. I don’t really have any credibility in that regard. However, I was introduced to eating hemp hearts years ago, so introducing you to the latest fad in hemp eating will be a pleasure. Here is how a conversation went two years ago: Guy in the bike store: “Yo, Melanie. You heard what Ryder’s (Hesjedal) secret diet food is?” Me: “No.” Guy: “Hemp hearts. He eats them for breakfast and says he stays fuller for longer so he doesn’t need to eat as much.” Me: “Really?” as I think that it might be a stretch for Ryder to have had this conversation
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singl e t r a ck Mind with this person and does Ryder honestly ever need to think about weight? So I left the store that day to check not the reliability of my source but more the reality of the tip. Sure enough, hemp hearts have a place in an endurance athlete’s diet. Victoria’s favorite tour rider is not the only one who may be tuned into the benefits of eating hemp hearts. The seeds of the hemp plant have no drug chemicals in them at all, so you don’t need to worry about any of the effects associated with marijuana. However, these little seeds are packed with amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins and protein and thus are rapidly becoming recognized as a new superfood. Hemp hearts are shelled hemp seeds. They contain a plethora of essential fatty acids and amino acids. Essential fatty acids are those that your body is unable to produce. They include linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). Eaten in the right proportions, they help your body distribute and process food more effectively. The ideal ratio is four to one omega-6 to omega-3, which is what is found in hemp seeds. Most people
have an adequate amount of omega-6 in their diets so often it is omega-3s that are lacking, and hemp seeds can address this imbalance. The second health benefit of hemp seeds is the abundance of plant sterols, which help lower cholesterol levels in the body. They also contain vitamin C, vitamin E, carotene vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B6, potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium. Hemp hearts are gluten-free and vegan so they have a place in nearly every diet. Proponents advocate eating them early in the day to normalize blood glucose levels throughout the day. Although the greatest benefit of the hemp seed is realized when it is eaten raw (in a smoothie or on salad are good methods), they do tolerate cooking well and can be added to a number of baking and cooking recipes. I love this lunch salad recipe, but simply adding some to your dinner salad to see how you like them wouldn’t be a bad place to start. If they helped Ryder win a stage of the Tour d’Espagne, they might help you get through your next hard workout and it’s probably worth a try.
Hempy Vegetable Salad witH Feta 1 cucumber chopped coarsely 2 tomatoes chopped coarsely 1 red pepper chopped coarsely 1 red onion chopped coarsely 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 cup kalamata olives 1/2 cup feta cheese 1 cup hemp hearts 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar) 2/3 cup water 1 clove garlic 1 teaspoon oregano salt and pepper to taste Chop onion coarsely and fry in olive oil over medium heat until onion is browned and translucent. It may take 10-15
minutes. Don’t overheat. In the meantime, chop the rest of the vegetables and place in a bowl with 1/4 cup of feta on top. By the way, fermented cheeses have vitamin B12, which is good for red blood cell production. Place olives on top. Place hemp hearts and water in blender and process until smooth. Add 1/4 cup feta to blender with pressed garlic, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper and process until smooth and creamy. Pour dressing (to taste) over the bowl of vegetables, olives and feta and toss. You may add additional protein such as fish or chicken to your salad. And voila! Lunch!
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ENDUR A NCE CONSPIR A C Y
Learning to Perfect the Art of Resting BY TIM DEBOOM
’ve got a running joke with one of my best friends. At least I hope he’s joking. He will call me several times a week and always start out by asking, “What are you doing?” My usual reply is something like, “I just finished a run [or bike or swim], and I’m resting a while before my next workout.” Then it begins. “Boy, I sure wish I were a pro triathlete! Hanging around all day with my feet up. Maybe go for a little jog. What a life!” God forbid I should be coming from a massage or grabbing a coffee in the off-season. He goes bananas with those. Somehow, it never gets old, and I get a good kick out if it. We both know it’s all a joke. However, I do find myself feeling a little defensive sometimes when someone else might question what could be perceived as being “lazy.” Now that my wife, Nicole, is not racing professionally anymore, I tend to read into her question at the end of the day, “What did you do today?” When I do begin to ques-
tion my own “laziness,” I have to remember that rest is the most crucial component to any training and racing program. Triathletes know how to push themselves to the limits in training. And some athletes train harder than others. Early in my career, however, I realized that when you get to the professional level, we all prepare ourselves fairly similarly. The big differences come with what triathletes do in between the training sessions. So the important question is, do some athletes rest better than others? I don’t know how many times I’ve heard up-and-comers (myself included back in the day) wistfully remark that they could perform so much better if only they had more time to train. In actuality, they would usually be more successful if they focused on the time they spent not training. There are plenty of stories out there about the successful age-group athlete who hocks his job to race full time, and then flounders in overtraining limbo. april 2010
1/4/10 3:59 PM
Don’t walk when you can drive, don’t stand when you can sit and don’t sit when you can lie down.
that this, too, had a specific ritual that could be improved. Natascha would sit at the dinner table for more than an hour slowly eating massive amounts of rice or pasta. I concluded that no woman stood a chance as long as she had that level of commitment and support. It definitely made me reconsider my daily schedule. This routine is obviously not practical for most athletes, especially age-groupers holding down full-time jobs. It is even too extreme for most professional triathletes. It can be taken less literally, though, and modified to fit your lifestyle. Take a few moments after a hard workout to relax and let the body decompress, even if it means shortening your workout so you have a few extra minutes before running out the door to the next endeavor. If you can’t nap or rest after a hard workout, there are many things out there to help with recovery. Compression gear is everywhere, and even if I think compression socks are ridiculous on the race course—don’t we look silly enough?—they can supplement your recovery program. Go ahead and wear those things under your suit pants. Everyone thinks you do anyway. The new Normatec MVP boots are also a great option if you can withstand the humiliation from co-workers or family as you sit at your desk or in front of the TV. Remember that resting and recovery after and between workouts is just as important as the workouts themselves. I know with all the type-A personalities in this sport it’s hard work being this lazy, but it has gotten easier for me as I’ve learned the benefits. When Nicole walks in and sees me sitting on the couch flipping channels, I just say, “But baby, I’m training!”
There is an art to resting. I did not begin to race well, especially at the Ironman distance, until I perfected my own technique for resting from an old professional cycling credo: Don’t walk when you can drive, don’t stand when you can sit and don’t sit when you can lie down. This credo could definitely come across as quite lazy—and not very ecofriendly. While it might seem a extreme, I follow this philosophy when I taper for a big event. During regular training, I like to follow a modified plan of what I once heard from Jonathan Vaughters, a former professional cyclist, the chief executive officer for Garmin-Transitions cycling team, and one of the smartest athletes I know. He believes the ideal training day is as follows: Wake up, train, eat, sleep, train, eat, sleep, train, eat, sleep. He says by taking a short nap after each training and refueling session, you maximize your natural growth hormone production and recover quickly for successive training and racing. I saw this plan used first hand when I raced Ironman 70.3 Eagleman in 2002. I had an incredible homestay that year and shared a house with fellow athletes Chris Legh and Natascha Badmann. Chris and I were friends, but this was the first opportunity I had to spend time with Natascha and her husband, Tony. Chris and I walked away from that trip with a completely new appreciation of how dialed-in Natascha was with everything. I know this was a race situation, but every activity in her day was meticulously planned with her race in mind. In the days leading up to the race, she trained, ate, got a massage, slept and repeated the process. I also learned how to eat. Yes, it seems easy. But after observing Natascha’s mealtimes, I realized
“I choose Watermans, because whether I am running in death valley or surfing in Hawaii no other protection is more versatile and well suited for a full day in the most extreme conditions. The weak need not apply.”
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a t t he r a c e s “Watch out for the climb at mile 12!” Wouldn’t it be nice to read about a race before you sign up? Now you can. Active.com introduces Ratings & Reviews!
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Rated 8 times
Ussher, Crawford overCome heat to win at wanaka
New Zealand’s Richard Ussher used a blistering bike time to earn the win and a new course record.
Despite battling with stomach troubles in the marathon, New Zealand’s Gina Crawford held on for the victory.
Challenge Wanaka Jan. 16, 2010—Lake Wanaka, New Zealand 3.8K swim, 180K bike, 42.2K run
1. Gina Crawford (NZL)
5:17:58 3:12:24 9:28:57
2. Rebekah Keat (AUS)
5:19:33 3:08:59 9:30:41
3. Lisbeth Kristensen (DEN) 57:09
5:31:15 3:29:29 10:03:09
4. Jodie Scott (AUS)
5:35:39 3:36:04 10:15:26
5. Celia Kuch (NZL)
1:05:07 5:27:19 3:45:33 10:25:13
1. Richard Ussher (NZL)
4:42:26 2:51:42 8:34:41
2. Justin Daerr (USA)
4:47:12 2:49:19 8:38:19
3. Keegan Williams (NZL)
4:47:41 2:55:59 8:41:19
4. Petr Vabrousek (CZE)
4:45:30 3:13:26 9:00:08
5. Brian Fuller (AUS)
5:02:58 3:10:13 9:08:20
American Justin Daerr ran his way to a second place finish with a marathon time of 2:49:19.
a t t he r a c e s “Super challenging, but fun!”
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Rated 5 times
Cartmell, rabie Win First 70.3 OF 2010
The waters of the Indian Ocean presented athletes with rough conditions on race day.
Spec-SaverS Ironman 70.3 South afrIca Jan. 17, 2010—Buffalo City, South Africa 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run Women
1. Mari Rabie (RSA)
25:03 2:47:51 1:19:35 4:35:54
2. Sandra Wallenhorst (GER) 30:30 2:36:53 1:25:39 4:37:01
25:07 2:45:15 1:28:51 4:43:01
4. Vanessa Gianinni (BRA)
27:46 2:50:37 1:25:08 4:47:20
5. Diana Riesler (GER)
30:23 2:41:37 1:31:45 4:47:50
1. Fraser Cartmell (GBR)
23:15 2:23:48 1:17:41 4:07:54
2. James Cunnama (RSA)
25:04 2:26:39 1:14:29 4:09:34
3. Brad Storm (RSA)
23:04 2:23:57 1:25:11 4:15:36
4. Kent Horner (RSA)
23:15 2:31:05 1:19:16 4:17:00
5. Michael Davidson (RSA)
26:32 2:33:22 1:17:31 4:21:12
Rob Pollock Photography
Despite turning in a new run course record time of 1:14:29, South Africa’s James Cunnama, left, was unable to catch Great Britain’s Fraser Cartmell, middle.
3. Lucie Zelenkova (CZE)
a t t he r a c e s
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Rated 5 times
Photos courtesy Ironman 70.3 Pucon
ColluCi, lovato Run to viCtoRy in PuCón
Colucci posted a solid day across all three disciplines to earn the victory and a time of 3:52:38.
SWEEPSTAKES RULES 1. No purchase necessary. To enter without ordering, send an index card to: Triathlete Look Sweepstakes, 10179 Huennekens St., 100, San Diego, CA 92121, with your name address and phone number. 2. This sweepstakes is sponsored by Triathlete, 10179 Huennekens St., 100, San Diego, CA 92121. 3. All entries must be received by May 31st, 2010. Triathlete is not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, damaged, illegible or postage-due mail. 4. Prize winner will be selected no later than June 16th, 2010 from among all entries received. Winner selection will take place under the supervision of Triathlete, whose decisions are final. Each entrant consents to the transfer of all information contained in the completed entry form to other companies. 5. The odds of winning are determined by the total number of eligible entries received. Taxes, where applicable, are the sole responsibility of the winner. 6. Potential winners will be notified by mail, telephone or e-mail. Potential winners must follow the directions contained in any correspondence and return all forms correctly completed within 7 days of the date of correspondence. Non-compliance will result in disqualification and the naming of an alternate winner. 7. All entrants will be eligible to win a Look 576. There is no cash exchange for this prize. 8. Employees of Look and Triathlete or anyone affiliated are not eligible. Sweepstakes subject to all federal, state and local tax laws and void where prohibited by law. 9. For the name of the winner, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope and letter of request to: Triathlete Look Sweepstakes, 10179 Huennekens St., 100, San Diego, CA 92121. 202
a t t he r a c es
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Rated 15 times
Ironman 70.3 Pucon Jan. 24, 2010—Pucon, Chile 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run Women
1. Amanda Lovato (USA)
29:17 2:33:17 1:29:32 4:36:10
2. Heather Gollnick (USA) 25:55 2:34:42 1:36:20 4:41:36 3. Tereza Macel (CAN)
24:55 2:30:08 1:47:22 4:46:20
4. Pamela Tastets (CHI)
27:18 2:43:00 1:41:08 4:55:32
5. Carla Stampfli (ITA)
24:10 2:42:46 1:45:50 4:57:07
1. Reinaldo Colucci (BRA) 24:19 2:10:18 1:14:46 3:52:38
American Amanda Lovato beat out race favorite American Heather Gollnick and Canadian Tereza Macel thanks to a halfmarathon time of 1:29:32.
2. Daniel Fontana (ARG)
23:06 2:11:25 1:16:33 3:54:26
3. Oscar Galindez (ARG)
24:35 2:09:51 1:19:50 3:57:53
4. Santiago Asenco (BRA) 25:01 2:14:41 1:16:52 4:02:27 5. Mario de Elias (ARG)
25:19 2:14:31 1:20:16 4:03:20
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TriCenter On Triathletemag.com TriCenter is a weekly news show devoted to bringing you the latest triathlon news from around the world. april 2010
A freestyle swim bench which customizes per user to encourage repetition of proper stroke elements: set to your desired entry point, reach distance to catch, curvature of stroke path, resistance level of pull, exit point, and kick as desired. Once set up, all you need to do is swim... and improve.
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Dreaming for the Post-apocalyptic athlete by Scott tinley “The sky where I’ve leaned back to dream you looks like the sea.” —Julia de Burgos, poet, activist
April used to dream a lot. She claimed to have been “spiritually present” when her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas June, discussed the prenatal particularities of giving her the middle name of May. In the winter of her years, we called her Spring. But April Wilmetta June, a happy child of the Depression era, refused to chase her dreams. Or to be chased by them. Just more than a decade ago, while the millennium clock ticked off and many of the world’s doomsayers hunkered down for some self-interpolated rapture, April June ran the darkened streets of suburban Chicago. It was early in the evening of Dec. 31, 1999, and her run mileage was shy of the twentyish figure that lurked on the page of the training program I’d sent her. Spring called me from a landline. We had become the reverse of a surrogate relationship—she had chosen me to coach her but I ended up seeing myself at her age, growing
claimed, “an autonomous and meaningful product of psychic activity.” But closer examination might reveal that the for-profit dream merchants can neatly bundle our quests in the pixilated images that reach out from our screens and pages, grab us by the psychic throats and whisper screams that we will never be happy without (insert product or placement here). Endurance athletes have trouble playing the role of wounded idealist. In the truth of first light, our nocturnal dreams, regardless of origin, are sleuthed down to pragmatic training programs. Heart rate monitors morph into compasses pointing us toward some psuedo-magnetic North, the El Dorado finish line offering golden medals and gourmet post-race food. Indeed, most athletes cannot imagine life without dreams, chrome and glass grails and all the glorious rewards found when realized in the physical world. But if athletes are too often beset with the tyranny of dream-chasing, it is because of this—they end. You wake up and Ali’i Drive is peopled with lobster-skinned tourists from Des Moines. You return from an Ironman to your mortgages and your post office lines and that damn faucet still leaks. Check that box but look for a new one to climb into. Perhaps chasing dreams that may or may not be our own is like tying ribbons around smart bombs. We want them to do their job but we’re really not so sure how to dress them up or what to do when they go astray. April Wilmetta June called again in the late spring of 2000. She’d run five hours flat for the 104th running of Boston, her “15 minutes of famous cushion,” she’d said, and the 80-plus qualifying time of 5:30 was “really quite doable for many years to come.” “You’re a legend,” I told her. “Heck, I’d rather just be an old lady going down the road every day.” I thought about that for a long time. Probably too long. And when I got word last fall that Spring had passed away, I thought back to the early years of the Ironman—how its lure defined us, changed us. There were common dreams unraveled by uncommon people, each living inside his own skin though not always happy with the company he was keeping. Most days I dreamed too much like General Patton, not enough like Ferris Bueller. But who knew? Native American elders have suggested that dreams are smarter than men. April “Spring” June must’ve known this very well. How else would she know how to handle them?
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comfortably in my own wrinkled skin and shedding the protective layer of self-perceived youth that most of us wear at middle age. Denying the typical ravages of time, Spring was 78 years old in 1999, her 79th birthday falling on April 17, 2000, a Monday she remembered. But what long distance runner doesn’t? Patriot’s Day. The third Monday in April. The Boston Marathon. For Spring, it might’ve been more of a motivating direction than a palatable goal. But that was enough for her. “You still on track, Spring?” “On the better days.” “Champagne celebration tonight?” “Can’t. Too busy dream-living.” Spring wasn’t worried that her dream of qualifying for the Boston Marathon would end that night— the Christ figure returning to earth and, on the way, notifying this hardcharging grandmother of eight that if she wanted to go north forever it would be without a finisher’s Tshirt. But she hadn’t done the work to run the qualifying standard of 5 hours,15 minutes for her age group. A minor detail. She seemed OK with it, though, and was negotiating a settlement with her psyche. “Can’t have the man biting the dog,” she’d say. “These races have a way of getting in the way of running.” Spring’s dream was not so much prematurely disappointed in the future as it was mortgaged in the reality of the present. That’s the way she played it—choosing a fully paid off apartment over a suite in Valhalla. But she was old and had missed two workouts that week due to injury and jury duty. Juridical things indeed, she mused, the laws of the body and of the land. Endurance athletes have always had tenuous relationships with dreams. We desire them because they add meaning and motive to our physical lives. Dreams direct our future as we journey in their wake and shape our past as we reflect on what may have come in the quest. Sometimes they lose their power as we achieve them. Other times that checked box, played over and over as an endless film loop, continues to thrill us even in the fading light. Athletes often think that dreams are created in our subconscious desire or are, as Carl Jung
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