SPECIAL OFF-ROAD ISSUE GEAR >> TRAINING >> RACE SCENE >> LIFESTYLE
OFF-ROAD TRIATHLON EXPOSED!
DAN HUGO SHARES HIS SECRETS FOR OFF-ROAD SUCCESS (HINT: A SWEET SPECIALIZED RIDE DOESN’T HURT)
20 REVIEWS Mountain Bikes
FOR BEGINNERS triathletemag.com
HOW TO BUILD MENTAL TOUGHNESS
Eneko Llanos 2009 Xterra World Champion
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26 Editor’s notE
102 hoW to lEArn froM yoUr rACEs
146 tECh sUpport
108 off-roAd CyCling BAsiCs for roAd triAthlEtEs
148 triAthlEtE’s gArAgE
By JuliA BEESoN PolloRENo
31 ChECking in Starting Lines; Training Tip; Medically Speaking; Endurance Traveler; IndusTri
164 At thE rACEs NuTRiTioN 132 nUtrition Q&A By PiP TAyloR
134 MUltisport MEnU 136 EAt right
By ADAM KEliNSoN
138 rECipE 140 rACing WEight
By MATT FiTzgERAlD
By BEN gREENFiElD
By lANcE WATSoN AND MARK ovERToN
By SARA MclARTy
By MARK DETERliNE
By BRiAN METzlER
By MATT FiTzgERAlD
122 dEAr CoACh
FEATuRiNg DuANE FRANKS
124 sports sCiEnCE UpdAtE
By TiM MicKlEBoRough, PhD
By MATT FiTzgERAlD
By iAN BuchANAN
By AARoN hERSh
150 pro BikE
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152 tri’d And tEstEd By AARoN hERSh
154 gEAr BAg coluMNS 156 Up front
By ANDy PoTTS
158 tiCkEt pUnCh
By SAMANThA McgloNE
160 singlEtrACk Mind By MElANiE McQuAiD
162 EndUrAnCE ConspirACy By TiM DEBooM
184 light rEAd
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on tHe cover Cover: Dan Hugo • Photo by Nils Nilsen The Ultimate Survival Guide Best Races for Beginners 20 Reviews: Mountain Bikes + Trail Shoes Pro Dan Hugo Shares His Off-road Secrets How to Build Mental Toughness
44 Off-ROad SuRvival Guide Our guide takes you through the ins and outs of racing and training for the single-track minded and reveals inside tips from the pros on how to excel in the off-road world. By Brian Metzler
54 BeSt Off-ROad tRailS aROund nORth ameRica 56 taylOR Seavey’S BiG Off-ROad adventuRe At 18, Taylor Seavey of Alaska is already a force on the off-road triathlon scene, regularly winning his age group at races and aspiring to a pro career. His track record in the sport is downright impres16
sive—until you learn that he’s totally deaf. Then it’s just plain mind-blowing. By ann Wycoff
62 mOuntain Bike Review By aaron HersH
68 Off-ROad ReneGadeS What do you get when you cross elite-level athleticism with a rabble-rousing attitude? You get the Mafia Racing Team—a progressive, tight-knit group of competitors shaking up multisport and reminding us just how much fun it can be. By Julia Beeson Polloreno
72 tRail ShOe Guide
44 47 62, 72 52 120
82 PaSS the Salt An increasing number of triathletes are realizing the importance of sodium replacement as part of their nutrition plans, especially in long-distance events. Guided by recent research, you can learn how to get an accurate understanding of your unique hydration needs. By Paul regensBurg and JaMes BrotHerHood
90 fit and Balanced TV news anchor Chris Schauble strikes a delicate equilibrium between a highpressure job, busy family life and demanding training schedule. Sound familiar? By JiM gourley
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This monTh on
Courtesy Enrique Rodriguez
This month features some of the year’s most prominent races. We’ll kick off our coverage at the second race of the Rev3 Triathlon Series. The United States’ Matt Reed and Great Britain’s Julie Dibens took the first race in Knoxville, Tenn., and are the only two eligible athletes for the Rev3 Series Bonus. If either Reed or Dibens can win the June 6 half-iron-distance race in Middlebury, Conn., he or she will only be one race away from winning the $125,000 bonus. It won’t be easy, as some of the top names in the sport are expected be a part of the event. We’ll have complete coverage of the race including interviews with the athletes, analysis of the day and exclusive photography.
In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon we asked you to send in your anecdotes describing your experience racing at the San Francisco race for a chance to win a slot at next year’s race. The winner of our Alcatraz contest is …
July 17th Price UT
August 14th Park City UT
September 18th St.George UT
Also this month, the third of seven races in the ITU World Championship Series will take place in Madrid on June 6. The world’s fastest triathletes will suit up for the chance to earn points in the series that will ultimately be decided in the Grand Championship in Budapest. Go to the website for complete ITU World Championship Series coverage.
Register at: WWW.bbsctri.com 18
October 23rd Las Vegas, NV
The first time I raced Escape from Alcatraz, I was a top agegrouper and felt good. I saw the “world’s oldest triathlete” at the pre-race festival and I remember thinking, “What an inspiration. I hope I’m still racing when I’m that old!” On race day, I jumped off the boat into the frigid water. In shock, my body went rigid, my eyes went wide and, with both hands, I clung to the nearest kayak. None of my training had prepared me for this! After what felt like an eternity, I lost the ice cream headache and started swimming, but the damage had been done. I was one of the last athletes out of the water. At Baker Beach, I was shocked to see a familiar face—the “world’s oldest triathlete” was hot on my tail! The stretch down Marina Boulevard was one of the hardest runs I’ve done, but I managed to finish with a decisive lead. Years later, I took a friend’s advice to “swim at least six times at Aquatic Park,” including once without a wetsuit. As a result, I finished my second Escape from Alcatraz with a much better time and someday I hope to be a formidable “world’s oldest triathlete.” july 2010
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First Wave 20
Seoul Ride DELLY C ARR/TRIATHLON.ORG The elite women make their way through the Han River Park in the Yeouido District of Seoul, South Korea, during round two of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series.
Gate Escape LARRY ROSA In the shadow of the regal Golden Gate Bridge, Leanda Cave makes her mark in the sand—and the women’s field—en route to victory at the 30th anniversary of the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon.
RevLined NILS NILSEN Only six seconds separated pros Terenzo Bozzone (foreground) and Chris Lieto, who placed second and third, respectively, after a sprint to the finish at the inaugural Revolution3 Knoxville triathlon in Tennessee.
Editor’s Note No. 315 | July 2010 Editorial Director
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The Fear FacTor Triathlon can be scary. And I’m not talking about all the Spandex. I’ve experienced some of the scariest moments of my life while clinging white-knuckled to the handlebars of my mountain bike during an off-road triathlon. The beauty of off-road race venues is that they take you places you’d otherwise never get to experience; the downside is that the journey can be scary as hell if, like me, you’re more accustomed to full aero than full suspension. Yet, I keep coming back for more. My first foray into the off-road world was the Portobelo Triathlon in Panama, a race founded by Judy and John Collins, the folks who created what we know today as the Ironman World Championship in Kona. It’s a breathtaking course that passes through the ruins of a pirate-marauded Spanish fort (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and traverses a dense, jungle-like terrain teeming with wildlife. It was one of the hardest days I’ve had on the bike—I did a lot of hiking with my bike frame resting on my shoulder—but the fear and anxiety that seemed so suffocating at the time is now a distant, foggy afterthought. What I do remember in vivid detail is the Panamanian cowboy on horseback holding a massive red flag to keep racers from going off course. And I can still see the stunning panoramas that no casual tourist’s camera will likely ever record. This month’s issue invites you to discover— or delve deeper into—the adventure that is off-road triathlon. Our complete “Off-road Survival Guide,” beginning on page 44, will get you race ready in a matter of weeks. Author Brian Metzler compiled advice and insights from the sport’s top pros, including cover model Dan Hugo, in creating this ultimate beginner’s resource. Maybe you’re feeling the twinges of 26
burnout from road triathlon. Take a cue from pro Julie Dibens, who says venturing into the off-road realm gave her back a love of the sport. (Did we mention she’s a top contender looking toward Kona 2010?) Perhaps no single team demonstrates offroad triathlon’s fun-loving ethos better than the Mafia Racing Team, profiled on page 68. This regional team of amateur and elite racers is stirring up multisport and reminding us that a podium finish and a good time aren’t mutually exclusive variables. In fact, I think a lot of triathletes—both the road and off-road inclined—can appreciate the Mafia Racing Creed: “To live and love every moment as if it were our last, to skid into the future while shouting with our fists in the air.” Another of this month’s features, “Taylor Seavey’s Big Off-road Adventure,” (page 56) is an individual profile of fearlessness and bold determination. At 18, Seavey, a native of Alaska, is making a name for himself in triathlon, both on and off the road. If you think screaming down a loose, rocky hillside on your mountain bike while swarming racers jockey for position toward the front is a little sketchy, consider this: Taylor faces these conditions at every race without the benefit of his hearing. Born deaf, he’s a powerful example of overcoming perceived limitations. It’s a lesson in self-belief that can benefit any triathlete, any person. As for my own self-belief, I’ve vowed to tackle a few Xterra races this season (Sport distance, please!) and have been logging some miles on local trails. I still haven’t conquered the lingering fear that I’ll crash and burn on a steep descent, but even scarier than that scenario is the prospect of not knowing the thrill of forging through fear to reach the finish line. Julia Beeson Polloreno Editor-in-Chief
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Le t ters InspIratIon to travel
reconsIderInG what’s nutrItIous
alwaYs another race
et me first disclose that I am not a triathlete. However, I enjoy reading Triathlete magazine. The interviews and articles on individual athletes allow us to discover the inspiring person behind the title. As an avid traveler, my personal favorite has been reading one of the more recent columns, “Endurance Traveler” (page 42 in this issue). Dean Warhaft’s column highlights so many different things to do, both cultural and adventurous, around the world. From an everyday traveler’s perspective, he gives tips on the best way to get from the airport to unique experiences off the beaten path that are not to be missed. What a fabulous way to learn about a new place—and maybe check out a race while I’m there!
he May 2010 issue had a lot of conflicting information about diet and nutrition. Susan Grant’s article “10 Foods You Should Be Eating, Plus 6 to Avoid” says I should be eating nettle, tofu and ground flaxseeds and avoid eating Cheetos and whole milk. Then in “6 Steps to Holistic Fueling” Ben Greenfield suggests that I eat apples, pears, garbanzo beans, Greek yogurt and mushrooms to maintain proper insulin levels. Lastly in the Kona Q&A interview with Andy Potts, he states, “I eat anything and everything I want, and it just doesn’t matter. Like last night, I ate an industrial-sized bag of M&M’s just because I was bored.” I obviously can’t follow all of the above advice since nettle, yogurt and M&Ms don’t pair very well together. So, after a great deal of thought, I decided I would adhere to Andy Potts’ dietary advice. The decision seemed obvious, I read Triathlete because I want to become a faster triathlete and Andy wins a lot more triathlons than other writers. I’ve also made Andy’s Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins from a recipe in a previous issue of Triathlete. Those muffins are packed full of calories and fat and are delicious, although I suspect he got the recipe from fellow swimmer Michael Phelps. One more thought: Cheetos making the list of six foods not to eat may not surprise many readers, but I think we should reconsider this source of nutrition. On the run, the cheetah is paws down the fastest animal on earth, topping out at 75 mph. Chester Cheetah is the mascot of Cheetos and, like most sponsored athletes, I would guess Chester Cheetah believes in his product.
im Gourley’s “Death Before DNF” paints an inspiring story of Major William J. Conner. His dedication to racing and raising funds for the Semper Fi Fund is impressive, his accomplishments at his Clydesdale stature are surely motivational to many, and frankly I’m glad that we have leaders like him protecting our country. I’m concerned, however, that you are on a slippery slope by glorifying his philosophy of “either crossing the finish line or leaving the race in an ambulance.” While surely it is not surprising that a man with his “life and death” experience and personal conviction might be expected to say (and adhere to) such a thing, I think it sends the wrong message to many of your readers that perhaps they too should adopt this credo, regardless of the consequences. In my 100-plus triathlons over the past 10 years, I’ve limped across the finish line many times despite pleas from friends and family to call it a day, and conversely I’ve chosen not to continue past T2 in my last Ironman due to a number of issues during the bike, while others may have elected to persevere. I’ve also had the misfortune of participating in three running races in which there have been deaths on the course, which surely puts these recreational endeavors in their proper perspective ... or should at least. I think the crux is that the decision to DNF is a highly personal one, and the rest of us should try to avoid expressing too strong an opinion on the matter. As a coach I try to provide my athletes with the fitness, confidence, motivation and guts to see their goals through to the finish line, but I also hope to impart to them the wisdom to occasionally make the hard decision to sit out a race or perhaps even DNF if their health may be placed at unnecessary risk. There will always be another race.
Caroline Gallina Deerfield Beach, Fla.
GettInG to Know Your Meat … whIle It’s stIll alIve
n response to Susan Grant’s statement, “If you switch to grass-fed meat, be prepared to spend a little bit more,” (in “10 Foods You Should Be Eating , Plus 6 to Avoid (Most of the Time),” May 2010) there is a simple way to get mass quantities of grass-fed beef—find a local farmer with a cow to spare. I got together with a group of friends who are all interested in supporting local and sustainable farming practices. We found a few dairy and other farmers who had a cow or bull to spare (it isn’t hard because any time you have a cow and a bull on your farm, given enough time and romance, you often wind up with more). We also found a local butcher who was willing to slaughter and pack the beef to our specifications. We paid the farmer to take the cow to the butcher and paid the butcher to do his thing and, voilà! We had 600 pounds of locally raised grass-fed meat, butchered just the way we wanted it, all for about $6 a pound. Even better than the price is the fact that we’re supporting a local farmer who practices sustainable farming. And how many people can say that they shook the hand of the person who raised their beef, while standing next to the beef itself, all in the clover field where the beef grew up?
Biff Capune New York
when to throw In the towel
enjoyed Nathan Koch’s article on common causes of groin pain in endurance athletes (“Training Tip,” May 2010). The addition of lumbosacral radiculitis, sacroiliac joint dysfunction and hip degenerative joint disease may round out the “more common” list.
read with interest Jim Gourley’s article concerning Major William J. Conner’s efforts to honor our soldiers through his endurance (“Death Before DNF,” May 2010). As a parent of soldiers who are on the ground in Iraq, I respect his motives. As a veteran of many 50K and 50-mile ultramarathons, I feel his pain. Nevertheless, to even imply within the pages of your magazine that a “DNF” is dishonorable is the worst kind of advice. Anyone who thinks otherwise should read Jon Krakauer’s “Into Thin Air.” Sometimes, it’s just best to call it a day and prepare to race again. “Death before DNF” is exactly backwards. Every triathlete should go into every race with the attitude: “DNF before Death.”
Brad Elliott Washington, D.C.
Dow Ford Hattiesburg, Miss.
Jay Gantz Via e-mail
soMethInG to add
Scott Fliegelman Boulder, Colo.
speaK Your MInd! Send Letters to the Editor to jpolloreno@ competitorgroup.com. Include your name, address and the best way to contact you. Letters will be edited for clarity and length. july 2010
BORN TO RUN. (ALSO BORN TO RIDE AND SWIM.) CONGRATULATIONS TO CAMERON DYE
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C h E C k I ng I n
Starting Lines Training Tip Medically Speaking Endurance Traveler IndusTRI
no LoLLygagging by mitCh thrower Triathletes are a different breed who attack life at the speed of light. They are Type AAs, and people in other sports may even consider them a bit crazy. These super overachievers sometimes choose to train at a competitive level for three sports, and maintain that they can parent three children well, and oh yes, they often have the equivalent of three careers. Still, it’s a bit ironic that so many triathletes go to bed each night feeling like something is missing, filled with regrets that they were unable to achieve everything they wanted to do during the day. Paradoxically, many of these triathletes still approach some parts of their lives lackadaisically, wandering through training sessions and some of life’s important moments like zombies. It may be hard to fit in everything you would like to do into one day, much less one lifetime, but the question here is simple: How can we get more out of our days and our lives? This raises a more complex and crucial point: How do you balance your work life, family life and training time? In this modern world of instant communication and ultimate connectivity—iPhone apps, cable news and social networks—distractions increase exponentially, which makes triathlon’s demands to master a training program for three disciplines the ultimate multitasker’s sport. By multitasking, I don’t mean scatterbrained, fluttering thoughts and flipping from one distraction to the next while achieving 32
nothing. I mean long-term, disciplined and consistent focus. No shortcuts, no procrastination. At its root, achievement is about just doing what is necessary and important now, and doing it well. Modern psychological experts from Dr. Phil McGraw to self-help gurus tell us that there may be many underlying causes for dawdling (a word that has been with us since 1656), lollygagging (1868) or sheer laziness (it’s been around since the beginning of wasting time). No matter the term, pop psychologists agree that self-esteem suffers as a result. When you put off dealing with your to-do list, your self-regard plummets, your confidence dwindles and guilt, anxiety and stress paralyze you. But such navel gazing seems to be part of the problem, not the solution, so here’s where to start. What would it be worth for triathletes to be able to add 20 percent of productive family, work and training time to their lives? Seconds never seem long, but years and decades almost always do. If you look around, you will find that it’s truly amazing how much time people waste. The average American spends four hours per day watching TV, and two hours per day on the Internet, and just less than five years of their lifetime in a car. But do not despair. There are things we can do to recover time before it’s lost forever. Many triathletes are time management pros, but they still waste time. It is crucial
C heC king in to know the difference between downtime (important rest and recovery) and the worthless activity of watching that movie for the 20th time learning nothing, or even taking too much time in the shower. Imagine if you had five minutes more per day. That’s 30 hours a year. Over your lifetime, that’s 94 days of productivity. Consider your day, your week and your year and start to eliminate procrastinators’ time-wasting stratagems and you will be able to add years of powerful achievements to your life. Experts in the field say that procrastination starts with the resistance to prioritization— which really should be your best friend. When you set a goal, you likely make lists and follow schedules, which can streamline your progress from point A to your goal. A reverse schedule starts with a distant race day and goal times and then works backward. This includes consideration and planning of your workouts, family time, work time, rest time, eating time and travel time before that magical moment when you stand with your feet on the sand and pull the zipper closed on your wetsuit. If you have a big picture goal or plan, your own Invasion of Normandy-style itinerary leading up to your next race, then make a list of the small things and perhaps people that have wasted your time en route to your goals. Consolidate trips to the store. Order supplies by Internet instead. When you hit writer’s block at the computer, take some time to do push-ups and sit-ups. That will get your mind thinking much faster than sucking down a carbonated soft drink, browsing an old copy of US Magazine, turning on an “Oprah” rerun or gazing at your trophy case. Lay out a healthy meal plan for the week. Go to sleep and wake up early. Get a stationary bike for your office. It’s no accident that one of the most popular maxims in the business world is: If you really need something done, ask the busy man or woman. It is also no accident that the nation’s military academies breed great triathletes—despite crushing 12- to 14-hour days filled with hardcore academics, sports and drills. No matter how busy you think you are, or how full your day is, there is always a way to take another step to fulfill your dreams. Design your life to create your own timemaximizing machine. Albert Einstein was close when he discovered his theory of relativity. There is a way to bend time to your will. And when you do, all those cloudy feelings of depression, anxiety and guilt over lost horizons and dropped opportunities will melt away. Stop lollygagging, seize the day. Do whatever your “it” is now and do it well. july 2010
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Addressing Low BAck PAin from the ground uP By Matt kraeMer, Pt, atC, CSCS and nate koCh, Pt, atC Almost every triathlete has experienced back pain at one time or another. Whether it is a chronic ache in the neck following a long ride, tightness between the shoulder blades with swimming or sharp pain in the low back during a run, pain inhibits our training, limits our performance and frustrates usâ€”and probably any family member or friend who is within close range. When a breaking point finally occurs, you search the blogosphere for a diagnosis and cure. You see your doctor, have X-rays, rest and do more crunches than you can count, but still, pain relief seems temporary. Before you list your bike on eBay and donate your running shoes, take a step back and ask yourself a couple of basic questions: Have I exhausted all possible causes? Could the pain in my back 34
be a symptom of a breakdown in the kinetic chain below my waist? While it is generally understood that back pain can come from your back, it is also important to understand that your spine does not work independently of your lower extremities. Foot and ankle mechanics can have a direct effect on the mechanics of your pelvis and lower spine. When the foot strikes the ground, a domino effect of abnormal stress can affect the rest of the body. A combination of 26 bones, more than 30 joints and dozens of muscles and ligaments play a role in a complex sequence of motions that can result in Usain Bolt-like sprint form or a faltering gait with chronic pain. There is a variety of different ways foot mechanics can alter the motions of the rest of
the leg and affect the back. One example is pronation of the subtalar joint. The subtalar joint is the main joint in the foot and ankle, and it determines when and how much pronation will occur when the foot strikes the ground. Pronation at the foot and ankle is a normal and natural loading response that provides shock absorption and efficient propulsion during walking and running. Excessive pronation or lack of normal pronation at the subtalar joint can create abnormal stress and strain up the leg and into the spine. If the subtalar joint is stiff, the foot may not get enough pronation and will cause you to stay on the outside of the foot, leading to outward rotation of the leg and backwards rotation of the hip. This means relative forward tilt of the sacrum and forward bending of july 2010
sUPERFoAm. cRAzy. ThE kEAhoU ii is All AboUT cUshioning. iT’s Also All AboUT sTAbiliTy wiTh ThE gUidEglidETm mid-solE And vEnTilATion wiTh ThE Flow coolTm AiR sysTEm. All ThAT, And iT’s sTill lighT. Physics, mAn. cRAzy.
the low back. The resulting strain on the low back muscles, discs and ligaments can lead to low back pain. On the other hand, if the subtalar joint is too loose, it may cause too much pronation, which in turn causes collapse of the medial arch, inward rotation of the leg and forward rotation of the hip. This leads to a backward tilt of the sacrum and backward bending of the low back. This extension of the spine creates compression of the lumbar spine and SI (sacroiliac) joints, resulting in possible low back pain. If abnormal foot and ankle mechanics are a plausible cause of low back pain, how do you control or adapt to it? Foot mechanics can respond to both internal and external forces. Not everyone presents or responds to treatments the same; therefore, there are many different options to help you change your mechanics and relieve your symptoms. Sometimes it’s just a matter of teaching or reminding your body how to move. In a foot that is stiff and limiting your pronation, stretches can be used to reduce muscle and fascial tightness to allow for better motion. Self-mobilization exercises, or mobilizations performed by a licensed physical therapist or osteopathic physician, can also improve the amount and integrity of motion. Using foot and ankle strengthening exercises to stabilize a loose foot with too much motion is another way to optimize your physical structure. Increasing the strength of the intrinsic muscles in the foot and extrinsic muscles in the lower leg that extend into the foot, as well as the muscles in the hips, can add stability and control to a foot that otherwise lacks it. These internal changes may be enough to normalize your lower extremity biomechanics and relieve your low back pain. Another way to help the body accommodate abnormal foot mechanics is to use external devices. This may be accomplished through footwear, orthotics or even taping. Having the right type of shoe can make a world of difference. Choosing the proper style of training or racing shoe is imperative. Brand loyalty and aesthetic appeal should be secondary to a specialty fit. Each brand and style of shoe will have differences in lasts, widths, patented cushioning and stability or control systems, in addition to the latest color trend. A loose foot may benefit from having some increased subtalar joint control like that provided by a stability or motion control shoe. This contrasts with a rigid foot that would be more comfortable in a neutral shoe. Sometimes more control or support is required than a shoe is able to provide, and
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an over-the-counter, semi-custom or custom orthotic is necessary. It can be used to bridge the gap between the ground and a stiff foot, or to help control the extra motion of the foot inside the shoe. Proper forefoot analysis and posting are crucial in the design of custom running orthotics. We spend more time on our forefeet than we do on our heels when running, so a shoe or an orthotic that only addresses the rear-foot will typically not address the mechanics of running. Taping techniques have also been commonly used to provide a focused control, especially during injury. There is a variety of foot and ankle taping techniques that are typically applied by a physical therapist, podiatrist, chiropractor or athletic trainer. These procedures and orthotics can also function as diagnostic “field tests” to help determine the cause of low back pain.
The most important step toward eliminating your back pain is to find the underlying source and address it effectively. Utilize triathlon-specific clinicians who are well trained in the evaluation and treatment of endurance athletes to help you determine possible causes and solutions to your injuries. Whether it is with manual treatments, stretching, strengthening, changing your shoes or getting orthotics, modifying your foot mechanics can assist in the alignment of your lower extremities and spine and thereby reduce low back pain. During exercise, the human body performs a linked chain of movements involving many different structures, so don’t limit the assessment of your pain to a localized area. Matt Kraemer and Nathan Koch are physical therapists at Endurance Rehabilitation in Arizona. Visit Endurancerehab.com. july 2010
Nouveau Monde DDB – 344 446 810 RCS ANNECY - Crédit photo : JP Ehrmann / Ilja Mašík - Fotolia.com / U.A. - Fotolia.com
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Uncovering The MyThs AboUT sTreTching Jeffrey Sankoff, MD
Science and athletics have often made strange bedfellows. While it is true that science has led to incredible advances in athletic performance and safety, it is also true that science is often co-opted by marketers, manufacturers and self-proclaimed experts who support claims that at best push the limits of credibility and at worst are pure fabrications. Occasionally, unsubstantiated claims in the absence of scientific evidence become so ingrained in the collective consciousness that when contrary evidence is found, it is dismissed out of precedence. An excellent example of this is the belief in the benefits of stretching. 38
Stretching has traditionally been considered a warm-up before exercise, and its theoretical benefits are numerous. Principally, stretching has been believed to improve the range of motion of joints and overall flexibility. These have been extrapolated upon to include other benefits such as improved posture and enhanced muscular coordination. Unrelated purported benefits include improved circulation, release of tension, pain relief and even lowering of cholesterol. Stretching has also been proposed as a means of preventing injury and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
C heC king in While many of the benefits of stretching seem intuitive and logical, until recently, very little science had actually been done to investigate these claims. Partly, this was because stretching was simply accepted as being beneficial, and it was partly due to a lack of good methods for testing the hypotheses. In the past 10 years though, several studies have been published reporting on many of the effects of stretching, and the results have proven both disappointing and controversial. While it is true that stretching does improve both range of motion and flexibility, this has not been shown to translate to any other objective markers of performance. Specifically, large trials have shown that stretching either regularly, or before strenuous activity, does not prevent DOMS. Stretching after exercise also does not prevent or lessen DOMS. In fact, several studies have shown that stretching may be detrimental to performance. A great deal of evidence now exists demonstrating that stretching reduces both muscle strength and the ability to perform anaerobicallyâ€”a condition that exists at higher levels of exertion such as when sprinting. These findings have been constant across numerous types of stretching programs and exercises. The most controversial findings, though, relate to stretching as a means of preventing injury. While some early studies seemed to show that stretching could prevent injury, more recent ones have shown no such benefit. As a result, this question remains unanswered and hotly debated. While stretching need not be removed from an athleteâ€™s regular routine, it should be done with an understanding of the true benefits and limitations. Certainly, stretching should not be as much of a focus as it often is for many coaches and athletes. Rather, if it is to be part of a routine, stretching should be done not as a means of improving performance by preventing injury or DOMS, but rather for benefiting flexibility. Light aerobic activity, known as an active warm-up, has been shown to be better than stretching with respect to improving performance. Despite the evidence, many will continue to advocate stretching as part of a regular training routine as a means of improving performance or preventing injury. This is not surprising, as the beliefs in the benefits of stretching have become pervasive for far longer than the existence of good evidence contradicting them. Jeffrey Sankoff, MD, is a two-time Ironman triathlete and ER physician at the University of Colorado Healthy Sciences Center in Denver, Colo. For more information, visit his website at Home.comcast.net/~jsanko20. july 2010
M e d i c a l l y S p e a k i n g
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IRonman ausTRIa: a Race FIT FoR a KIng by Dean Warhaft The Race Swimming in the Wörthersee, otherwise known as Lake Wörth, is a uniquely wonderful experience—the teal water is as rich in minerals as it is in history. Swimmers start on the east shore and head straight out in a drag race. The distance of this first leg allows athletes to find their own space. But, despite this upside, the race is host to one of the most intense experiences in all of Ironman swimming—especially the last 900 meters from the peninsula Maria Loretto to the swim exit in the Lendkanal. The peninsula forces participants to funnel through an ultra-narrow canal with thousands of spectators hanging over the bank screaming and yelling. 40
In 2009, the bike course changed from a three-loop to a two-loop course. The changes made the course a little more challenging by adding an extra climb on each loop. The tradeoff is that athletes get to go farther out into the majestic countryside as they pass Velden and on to Egg Am Faaker before looping back toward Klagenfurt with the Dolomites mountain range as a backdrop. The run course isn’t nearly as scenic as the swim and bike, but running three loops means you’re never out there alone. The course takes athletes past the Shrottenburg, a tower used to make munitions in the 19th century, and follows into the city square, which is home to the Lindwurm fountain, portraying the
mythological dragon of the bog prior to the lake’s formation. Passing by all those people eating and drinking in the Alter Platz, don’t forget to try to jump to ring the bell (I missed on my first two attempts).
TRavel Klagenfurt has a major airport serviced by most regional carriers. If you’re traveling from North America, this is an opportunity to do some Eurorailing. A trip from Munich is about five hours and worth every second. If you’re not interested in traveling all day on the train, fly in to Graz or Vienna to get the best of both worlds. Once in Klagenfurt, your transportation july 2010
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needs are mostly dictated by your activities. The combination of trains and buses is excellent, but sometimes it’s just nice to have a car. There are both major and local rental car companies with daily rentals. Traveling on the Wörthersee couldn’t be easier. Several ferry companies zig-zag their way from dock to dock across the alpine lake all day, and yes, you can bring your bike.
The CounTry Austria, officially known as the Republic of Austria, dates to the Roman Empire’s conquest of the region in 15 B.C. Even before that, the state Carinthia was part of the Celtic Kingdom of Noricum. Make sure you take the opportunity to visit Magdalensberg while you’re there. It is home to an excavation site where digging has been going on for more than a century, and it’s believed to have been july 2010
the capital of both the Noricum kingdom and the Roman province thereafter. Plan a drive to the top of the mountain for the views and a taste of the Carinthian Kasnudeln (noodle dough pockets), a famous regional pasta dish.
Tourism Klagenfurt and the greater area encompassing the Wörthersee are inundated with majestic castles and villas, both historic and modern. One way to appreciate their beauty is by using the ferry system to tour the lakeshore, where there are 43 architectural structures of note. Some of the more visited stops are Maria Wörth, Dellach and Velden. There are tours available for the more than 24 castles located in the greater Klagenfurt area. However, the most famous and most important castle of all is Burg Hochosterwitz. This stunning medieval castle sits atop a peak and is said
to be an inspiration for the castle that Walt Disney used in his classic movie “Snow White.” The castle has remained essentially the same, having undergone meticulous restorations since it came into the Khevenhüller family’s possession in 1571. One more critical stop for any thirsty endurance traveler is Brauerei Hirter. Since 1270, beer has been produced at this location in Micheldorf, Austria, with traditional German-style techniques. Between the tour and abundance of bratwurst served at the braukeller, this makes for a great stop the day after racing. Prost! 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. triathletemag.com
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Ironman announces changes In swImwear/wetsuIt rules
Ironman’s rule changes are consistent with rule changes adopted by swimming and triathlon’s international governing bodies, FINA and ITU, respectively. Visit Ironman. com for more information.
puerto rIco race anD Its offIcIal coach aDDeD to the 70.3 serIes Ironman 70.3 San Juan will take place on March 19, 2011, on the island of Puerto Rico. Athletes will follow a 1.2-mile swim course in the protected waters of San Juan Bay, followed by a 56-mile bike toward the municipality of Dorado, which has beachfront views and several short but challenging climbs. The 13.1mile run will lead athletes through the city of Old San Juan and past 16th-century Spanish architecture, including the famous Fort San Felipe del Morro. MarkAllenOnline, with sixtime Ironman world champion Mark Allen as head coach, has been announced as the official coach for the race. Coaching services will even be offered in Spanish, enabling more athletes to utilize the programs. Visit Ironmansanjuan. com or Markallenonline.com. 42
DanskIn anD trek women trI serIes joIn together The Xxtra Mile LLC, owner of the Trek Women Triathlon Series, has acquired the Danskin Triathlon Series. The two series are the sport’s only major women’s triathlon series created by women, run by women, exclusively for women. The Trek Women Triathlon Series, in its second year, is cur-
rently scheduled for eight U.S. markets in 2010, while the Danskin Series is slated for six races this year. Both series are sprint triathlons consisting of a half-mile swim, 12.5-mile bicycle ride and 3.1-mile run. Visit Trekwomenstriathlonseries.com or Danskintriathlon.net.
usa trIathlon surpasses 700 clubs USA Triathlon reached a new benchmark that reflects the dramatic growth of multisport when the organization recently surpassed 700 registered clubs. USAT currently has 710 registered clubs that help to promote and celebrate the multisport lifestyle nationwide. “We’ve seen phenomenal growth in our club program in recent years,” said
Tim Yount, USAT’s senior vice president of sport development. “Our membership sees the benefit in training with like-minded individuals, and I only see continued expansion for our club program.” In 2000, there were just 50 USAT registered clubs across the country. For more information, visit Usatriathlon.org. july 2010
The World Triathlon Corporation has announced that it will be changing certain swimwear and wetsuit rules for all Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events taking place in the U.S., including both world championships, starting in September 2010. The major changes include an adjustment in the temperature at which wetsuits can be worn and the elimination of swimskins in non-wetsuit legal swims. The changes will include the following: Swimwear and swim apparel must be comprised of 100 percent textile material, such as nylon or Lycra, and may not include rubberized material such as polyurethane or neoprene. Swimwear may not cover the neck or extend past the shoulders or knees. Swimwear may contain a zipper. A race kit or tri suit may be worn underneath swimwear. Wetsuits cannot measure more than 5 millimeters thick. Wetsuits may be worn in water temperatures up to and including 24.5 degrees Celsius/76.1 degrees Fahrenheit. Athletes who choose to wear a wetsuit in water temperatures exceeding 24.5 degrees C/76.1 degrees F will not be eligible for awards, including world championship slots. Wetsuits will be prohibited in water temperatures warmer than 28.8 degrees C/84 degrees F.
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reme t x e o o t s i hlon t a i er r b t m d a u o n r g f n f i o w If you thinkste, think aga in. A groeekend warriors for your ta pro triathletes and w red iscovering o f peopleâ€” aking it o ff-road and ide takes you a likeâ€”are t o f the sport. Our gu ng and tra ining their love e ins and outs o f raci evea ls tip s from through th gletrack minded and r e pavement. for the sin n how to excel o ff th the pro s o i an By Br
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Conrad Stoltz’S Survival tip g base training, but don’t XTERRA PHOTOS
“Try out new stuff durin . Whether it’s experiment within two weeks of a big race it all sorted get , ition nutr or p set-u bike tires, shoes, two weeks ahead of time.”
you liken your personal multisport calendar to a menu of your favorite foods, traditional road triathlons are probably the meat and potatoes (or, if you’re vegetarian, then perhaps Tofurky and a salad), with Ironman events being that thick juicy filet you have only on the rarest of occasions. But off-road triathlons, on the other hand, are like a plate of greasy, cheesy, tasty sliders at happy hour. “A lot of triathletes have told me that doing Xterra races has been a life-changing experience, and it was for me, too, to a certain extent,” says elite pro Julie Dibens, the 2009 Xterra world champion who regularly races both road and off-road races. “I came from ITU racing and was pretty burned out when I did my first Xterra, but I had a total blast, and it really gave me back the love of triathlon.” There’s typically a more relaxed atmosphere hovering around most off-road races. Instead of individually focused, super-serious athletes making final tweaks to their gear in the transition area at a road triathlon, you’ll see Xterra competitors mingling, laughing, telling stories and catching up before and after races. There’s still plenty of intensity out on the race course, but there’s more of a free-spirited attitude that comes from the carefree nature of mountain biking and trail running. “The Xterra bunch is a fun-loving, laid-back lot—the pros, agegroupers, course people and race organizers,” says three-time Xterra world champion and two-time Olympian Conrad Stoltz. “No one gets too serious about the racing and because the Xterra family is so closely knit, we tend to socialize quite a lot before, during and after the races.”
It’s about the bIke
Obviously, the biggest difference between road triathlons and off-road races is that you ride a mountain bike on dirt trails and not a time-trial tri bike with aerobars on pavement. In most Olympic-distance off-road races, the bike is about 60 percent of the race—that means you’d better be a pretty good trail rider or spend a good chunk of time training on semi-technical single-track routes. Josiah Middaugh, a seasoned pro who has finished as high as third at the Xterra World Championships in Maui, splits his bike training about 50/50 between mountain biking and road riding and recommends getting in at least one semi-long trail ride every week. “The No. 1 thing when crossing over to off-road races is to put more emphasis on the bike,” he says. “Fitness should translate well to off-road racing but there is less emphasis on speed and more emphasis on strength, so hit the hills.” Danelle Kabush, who was fourth in the Xterra pro points standings in 2009 and seventh at the world championships, agrees mountain biking on single-track trails is crucial and even recommends entering a mountain bike race or two to maximize your experience in an off-road triathlon. “Once you know what it’s like to race full out in a mountain bike race, you can better gauge your best pace for an Xterra,” she says. “You want to race hard but leave enough energy to finish the run strong. And the more you work on your technical riding skills, the more efficiently you can ride the mountain bike portion and the better rested you’ll be for the run.”
“Most Xterra pros and afraid to ask friendly and approachable, so don’t be and advice on mati infor the all er gath questions and rwise, just you can for a particular race course. Othe it is.” fun h muc go for it and you’ll discover how
Like snowflakes, no two off-road courses are the same, and that’s one of the many things that make off-road racing so much fun. There are off-road triathlons in the desert, in the mountains, in urban areas and through lush forests. Some are as high as 9,000 feet above sea level, others are at sea level. “They’re all completely different,” says Chris Appleton, operations and course manager for Xterra’s U.S. championship series. “They all have things to like, things to dislike and unique challenges.” july 2010
Danelle Kabush’s survIval TIp racers in general are very
There are plenty of unforgettable features like the fast but technical Blood Rock section of the mountain bike course at the Xterra Southeast Championship in Pelham, Ala., the urban jungle run course along the James River in Richmond, Va., at the Xterra East Championship, and, of course, The Plunge on the Xterra World Championship course in Maui, a long, sketchy downhill section over sharp lava rock and a minefield of kiawe thorns. “You probably miss getting a flat by a quarter-inch a thousand times on the Maui course,” Appleton says. “If you’re lucky, that is.” Whereas you’re often in the aero position and following the white line along a closed section of highway in any given road triathlon, in an off-road triathlon there’s compelling excitement in every kink of the trail, Stoltz says. “You slide your bike sideways through a gravelly corner—eyes on the exit of the corner, elbows up, head over stem, weight on outside pedal, finger slightly on rear brake, thinking to yourself, ‘I wonder if [fellow pro] Dan Hugo rails this one, too?’” Stoltz says. “Then you sprint at 800 watts for 20 seconds till the forest becomes a green blur, carefully bunny-hop once, twice to get through the rock garden, upon landing, hit the brakes hard, turn sharp right into a six-foot drop. Then ‘Whoop!’ loudly as adrenaline rushes through your body, pedaling at 450 watts for three minutes through a twisty tunnel of trees. To me, that’s a lot of fun, and that’s just a quick glimpse of what happens on the bike at every Xterra.”
Swim: Although it ultimately comes down to water temperature on race day, about half of the courses in the Xterra North American race circuit require wetsuits. Otherwise, make sure your goggles aren’t going to fog up—it’s hard enough to see in the washing machine of open-water swimming, so make sure to give your goggles a quick blast of anti-fog spray or just lick the inside of your lenses before you start. Bike: You need a mountain bike. Some pros prefer a cross-country race bike with a hard tail; others prefer a full-suspension trail set-up. Bike choice depends on the course and the rider. But if you’re like most people and have just one mountain bike, then you have to be comfortable in a variety of trail conditions and racing situations on whatever bike you have. “I always say race the strengths of your bike,” says Middaugh, who races on a Felt Nine Team 29-inch hard tail. “A hard tail is typically lighter and climbs and accelerates well. A full-suspension Creek, Colo., July 17, 2010. bike is usually heavier but it will descend better and handle a Mountain ChaMpionship at Beaver ple the best off-road racing the bumpy course better. Typically those new to mountain biking the shortened sport race lets you sam will opt for full suspension to make up for some lacking technical rockies has to offer. one of the most popular races on skills. The bottom line is that you will be the fastest on whatever BlaCk DiaMonD, Wash., august 1. g technical stretches for more ngin bike you are most comfortable on.” the Xterra circuit, it offers challe One small variable that can play a big role in racing success is ambitious riders. , Calif., august 1. the post-race tire pressure. Courses with more rocks, roots and other technical snoW valley at running springs draws. less confident mountain features generally demand slightly lower pressure, whereas faster BBQ and stunning scenery are two big fire roads and double track. ostly e, m and more straightforward courses need more robust tires. bikers will appreciate the cours ugust 15. this race offers an CaMp eagle at roCksprings, teXas, a crossing during the swim), and Run: The run courses of some off-road triathlons follow relatively element of adventure (there’s a dam e whole family. flat dirt trails, but others have so many crazy obstacles that you just the venue is ideal if you’re bringing th arm lake swim doesn’t require he w 22. t cannot run the entire way. There are hills too steep to run, streams Charlottesville, va., august s top-notch. to cross, boulders to hop across, deep swampy mud to traverse and a wetsuit, and the race organization i septeMBer 25. if you’re not tah, en, u ogD ip at nsh even waterfalls to slide down. You have to know what you’re going to usa ChaMpio rs a stunning tour of ogden encounter and have a good understanding of your own running style afraid of a lot of climbing, this race offe mer. newbies should opt for sum late to decide between traditional road racing flats (like a Saucony’s Grid and snowbasin ski resort in the Type A or Nike’s Lunar Racer 2), a pair of racing flats with the added the sport distance. stability in the midsole (like Saucony’s Grid Fastwitch 4 or Asic’s GELs. DS Trainer 15) or a pair of lightweight trail racers (like the La Sportiva visit Xterraplanet.com for race detail Crosslite, Avia Avi-Stoltz, Inov-8 Rocklite 295 or New Balance 100).
Best Xterra Off-rOasd races fOr Beginner
Julie Dibens’ survival Tip get used
triathlons. There’s a fine line between getting Swim: Some off-road swim venues at higher into a comfortable groove and hammering the altitudes can have frigid water temperatures. For pedals, Kabush says. Knowing the course—and “Get in, swim around, example, at the Xterra Indian Peaks Triathlon pre-riding it, if it’s allowed—can help you plan to the tightness [the cold water temon Aug. 8 at Eldora Mountain Resort west of your bike strategy based on your fitness, riding perature] causes in your chest and Nederland, Colo., the water temperature is expected abilities and race-specific skills. get that ice cream headache during to be 58 to 62 degrees. At the Xterra Beaver Creek “I think it’s important to ride conservatively the warm-up. Once I get one, I never Mountain Cup race on July 17 in Avon, Colo., enough so that you’re not cramping so much in get a second one.” Nottingham Lake will be slightly warmer, in the the bike that you can’t get your legs going on the 67- to 70-degree range. run,” she says. “On the other hand, it is a race Dibens recommends warming up on land, but notes the importance from start to finish so you don’t want to finish feeling you could have of getting in the water before the race start to eliminate the shock factor. gained some more time on the bike, either. Finding your limits for each “Get in, swim around, get used to the tightness it causes in your chest portion of the race just takes time and race experience.” and get that ice cream headache during the warm-up. Once I get one, I If you’re not as skilled on a mountain bike or have never raced, never get a second one,” she says. “After your quick warm-up, get back you might become overwhelmed if you start aggressively on the bike. out and continue warming up on land.” “It’s important to not start too fast,” Stoltz says. “Rather, start It pays to not crush yourself during the swim, especially in races at conservatively and speed up slightly ‘like a carpet unrolling,’ as Greg high altitude. Consider the swim a warm-up for the most important Lemond once said. Of course, it takes years to get pacing right, and part of your race on the bike. you need to learn listen to your body.” “Take the swim easy!” Stoltz says. “Lots of folks, including seasoned Still, it comes down to experience. The more time you spend on pros, throw their races away in the swim. Somehow altitude affects trails in training or free-riding, the better you’ll be in an off-road race. us more in the swim, compared to the bike and run. Once you have “The technical aspect of the bike influences pacing,” Stoltz continues. burned yourself, it is almost impossible to recover that same day. Save “If you know you are going to freewheel down the side of a mountain it for the last 3K of the run.” for the next few minutes, you can summit a bit harder, but be careful—downhilling is harder work than you may think. You are not just Bike: If you’re good on a mountain bike, and especially if you a passenger on your bike. You need to work the bike to be smooth and have racing experience, you’re bound to do pretty well at off-road fast. Some people forget to breathe.”
Take The swim easy
Run: Running a 10K on trails—no matter how basic or crazy the course—isn’t at all like running a 10K on the road. Given that the course will make it impossible to keep a consistent pace, it’s best to throw out any sense of kilometer or mile splits and run by feel. But no matter what the course is like, most pros suggest running the first half of the run conservatively. You won’t really know how much you took out of your legs on the bike until the final miles of the run, so if you hold back slightly you can lessen the chance of a total meltdown with two or three miles to go. “When I first got into Xterra I pretty much thought, ‘Oh, I run on trails all the time—how hard can it be?’ How wrong was I!” Dibens says. “I often find the runs just as hard as the bike. They are a total blast, but for someone looking for a fast run this might not be your cup of tea. It’s more about strength than anything.” HydRation: Unlike in road triathlons, aid stations are not usually regularly available on off-road triathlon courses. One reason is because it’s difficult to deliver aid station materials to remote portions of the courses, but also it’s the nature of mountain biking and trail running to carry what you need with you. Refueling on the bike can be challenging given that you often need both hands on the handlebars and your eyes on the trail. But waiting until the transition area to refuel can be too late and can lead to horrible cramping during the run.
“The quantity and timing of nutrition and hydration is very similar to Olympic-distance racing but it’s harder to find the time to do it,” Middaugh says of an Xterra distance race.“When you preview the course, also plan where on the course you will be able to reach for a bottle.” Whether you carry bottles or wear a hydration system, like a CamelBak on the bike or a Fuel Belt on the run, is a decision you should make based on the course. Knowing ahead of time what you’re refueling with is sometimes half the battle. “If it is extra hot and I’m concerned about getting enough fluids, I carry at least two bottles on my bike and several gels, and consider any drink and gels from aid stations to be bonus,” Kabush says. Passing: Perhaps the hardest thing to nail down is where and how to pass other riders on narrow single-track trails of a bike course (and sometimes on the run course). Proper race etiquette suggests you should yield to faster riders and runners coming up behind you, but the window of opportunity for passing might be brief. The key to a successful pass is quick, clear communication with your fellow competitors. “Most riders are courteous enough to give you warning and let you know they are coming,” Kabush says. “If you are doing the passing, let someone know you’d like by and say whether you’re on their right or left. The passed rider should not need to slow down much if a good pass is made.”
Josiah Middaugh’s survival Tip ll have much higher spikes
“In Xter ra racing, you’ the terrain. There in heart rate intensity depending on so don’t panic ver, will be places on the course to reco get stuck in you If line. red and push yourself past the the energy put and nt patie be line, a single-track bike somewhere else on the course.”
the field notes from hlete Dan Hugo, 24,
South African pro triat back-tokicked off the 2010 racing season with da Real Estra back victories at Xter ra Regional ship. pion Cham a Afric in Brazil and Xter ra South s, race oad off-r and road Though he races both of ent elem its for g racin oad off-r s he embrace adventure adventure. “Xterra racing has a tinge of le road ictab pred that makes it unlike its more Xterra an of feel “The . Hugo triathlon sibling,” says just is race a r afte and re befo area transition ” vibe. r’s as different; there’s far more a surfe Still, off-road racing is serious business when it comes to being prepared. His three n tips for making a successful transitio to the off-road world:
rs 1.Mountain bike with mountain bike whenever possible. Ride behind a technically advanced rider and note the lines he takes. Learn about tire pressure, play for with your suspension and be prepared a few spills. gthen 2. Trail run whenever possible. It will stren and cles mus ility stab the your ankles and ons. secti ng footi y trick on tion dina coor improve have ses cour y Trail running is different, and man ers. runn of best the gradients too steep for ed, need is ing ition cond and gth Different stren . tical prac is as lly ifica spec race as so train , perhaps 3.Do a few runs off the mountain bike different is tion posi off a longer ride. Your back much how dible incre it’s and tri, than in a road e rienc expe to s need just It t. adap can one’s body the stimulus a few times.
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Oak Mountain State Park bike trails in Birmingham, Ala. Pinhoti Trail in Dalton, Ga. Tsali Trails in Tsali, N.C. Lock 4 Mountain Bike Trail in Gallatin, Tenn. Flat Creek Loop Trail in Blue Ridge, Ga.
CRAIG EVANS’ PICKS:
DAN HUGO’S PICKS:
Fort Custer Recreation Area trails in Augusta, Mich. Richmond Bike Route in Richmond, Va. Hole in the Ground Bike Trail and the Tahoe Rim Trail, in Truckee, Calif., outside of Lake Tahoe
XTERRA PHOTOS XTERRA PHOTOS
MELANIE MCQUAID’S PICKS: Comfortably Numb Trail in Whistler, British Columbia Grouse Tail on Cypress Mountain or Pipeline on Mount Fromme in North Vancouver, British Columbia (especially if you want to scare the crap out of yourself) Trail 401 in Crested Butte, Colo. Commando Run Trail in Vail, Colo. Hartland Landfill Mountain Bike Park in Mount Work Regional Park in Victoria, British Columbia
MARNE SMILEY’S PICKS:
Courtesy Marne Smiley
Potawatomi Trail at the Pickney Recreational Area in Pickney, Mich. Enchanted Loop at Wilder Ranch Park in Santa Cruz, Calif. Flume Trail in Incline Village, Nev. Buttermilk Trail on Brown’s Island in Richmond, Va. Aspen Park in Gaylord, Mich.
At 18, tAylor SeAvey of AlASkA iS AlreAdy A compelling force in the off-roAd triAthlon Scene, regulArly winning hiS Age group At rAceS And, with the help of off-roAd legend conrAd Stoltz, ASpiring to A pro cAreer. hiS trAck record in the Sport iS downright impreSSive—until you leArn thAt he’S totAlly deAf. then it’S juSt plAin mind-blowing.
By Ann Wycoff
Left: Courtesy the Seavey Family, Right: Nils Nilsen
hen you live in the Alaskan wilderness, triathlon training poses some hefty challenges. Just ask Taylor Seavey. He’ll tell you about training on remote trails where you have to be on the lookout for brown bears and moose, and swimming in lakes that peak at 56 degrees in the summer. And winter training? Despite temperatures that dip down to negative 20 degrees F, Seavey will still opt to face the snow, ice and wind over an indoor workout. Among the challenges of triathlon training, he doesn’t once mention one significant caveat: He’s completely deaf. Seavey, who was born deaf, grew up in a yurt without electricity or running water. His grandfather cofounded the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which his uncle won in 2004. But the younger Seavey chose another path. “I love dogs and I enjoy snow, but sled dog racing and everything that goes with it is not my thing,” he says via an e-mail interview. A self-professed shy and chubby kid, he started swimming to
get in shape. At 16, he became a competitive swimmer, which led to a local sprint triathlon. Growing up in the vast unspoiled terrain of Alaska, it makes sense that Seavey might gravitate to off-road racing. “My favorite thing is being out in nature and its beauty,” Seavey says. “I like exploring, adventures and the changing scenery. I also enjoy the technical aspects of trail riding and running. Road racing is fun, but I grew up in the wilderness so it feels natural to me to race on all different kinds of terrain. The more challenging, the better!” This year, Seavey plans to participate in 11 races in six states—tackling eight off-road and three road races including Ironman 70.3 Boulder. Since last year, three-time Xterra World Champion Conrad Stoltz and Amber Monforte of Stoltz Racing have been his coaches. For training, his week consists of three swim, four bike and four run workouts and at least three strength training sessions. He approaches his diet with equal discipline. Seavey doesn’t eat
AGE: 18 HOMETOWN: Seward, Alaska ROLE MODEL IN XTERRA RACING: Conrad Stoltz GREATEST INFLUENCES: His parents WOULD LOVE RUNNING TIPS FROM: Craig Alexander FAVORITE RACE: Xterra World Championship in Maui HOBBIES: Snowboarding and hip-hop dancing
With his parents Darian and Siri and dog, Buffett, Taylor is in the middle of a six-month RV trip around the western U.S., stopping to train and race along the way.
Xterra Mountain Championship (Beaver Creek, Colo.), July 17 Rohto Ironman 70.3 Boulder (Colorado), Aug. 8 Xterra Lake Tahoe (Nevada), Aug. 28 Xterra USA Championship (Utah), Sept. 25 Xterra World Championship (Maui, Hawaii), Oct. 24 TriLanai (Hawaii), Oct. 30 Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 (Clearwater, Fla.), Nov. 13
not afraid and I feel like I can do anything.” Seavey has even found advantages in his deafness with regard to racing. “I can focus and am not easily distracted by outside noises,” he says. “It helps me to be very in tune with my body and what’s going on with me. The only real disadvantage that I have encountered is when there are volunteers giving directions or warnings and I don’t know what they are saying. This has resulted in a pretty good bike crash during one road race.” On training runs, Seavey’s dad, Darian, will ride his bike next to his son to act as his ears. Looking forward, Seavey also aspires to be a support and example for others. “I see myself doing something that helps people, but I’m not sure what that is yet,” he says, “but mostly, I would like to impress upon others that if you have a goal or a desire to do something, don’t let the limits you think you have stop you. Take one step at a time and never give up or stop believing in yourself.”
Left, Nils Nilsen; right, Courtesy the Seavey Family
refined sugar or wheat, the only meat he eats is fish, and he helps make his own energy bars out of organic figs, raisins, dates, raspberries and goji berries. Beverage-wise, he sticks to water and herbal tea. “I am willing to do whatever it takes to get where I want to be, like follow a strict diet, get plenty of rest even if that means going to bed at 7 p.m., and do exactly as my coaches instruct no matter what the weather’s like or how I might be feeling that day,” says Seavey. He admits that his mind can be his principal strength as well as his prime enemy. “On the upside, my strong will helps me to accomplish anything I set my mind to, but on the downside it also has the potential to sabotage my efforts with self-doubts. I have a tendency to compare myself to the fastest triathletes, which can result in feeling like I’m not quite good enough, so I’m always thinking that I need to do better. Lack of belief and confidence in myself can be the only thing that holds me back in life and in competition, but when I listen to my heart, I am
TAYLOR’S UPCOMING RACE SCHEDULE:
SPEED WITHIN REACH. No matter what gear you’re in, the Zipp VukaR2C shifts flawlessly with the same, simple flick of your wrist, saving time and energy. Once you set it at the most comfortable angle for you, the return-to-center lever springs back to its “home” position after each shift without disrupting your aero position. The VukaR2C is also the first shifter designed with an aerodynamic profile that saves up to 6 seconds over 40km compared to a standard bar end shifter. Proven at Kona and in the Tour, the VukaR2C is the fastest, most ergonomic shifter in the world. The VukaR2C plugs into any aero extension, but pairing it with the Zipp VukaShift extension positions the lever literally within your grasp for improved comfort and aerodynamics.
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
2010 Mountain Bike Review BY AARON HERSH â€˘ PHOTOS BY NILS NILSEN
hen full-suspension bikes first came along, trail riders insisted they were heavy and unresponsive, supposedly designed for someone afraid to be bumped and jostled by the trail. Hardcore mountain bikers said they could take the punishment and kept riding hardtails. It took a few years of exposure until racers and recreational riders alike eventually figured out 62
that suspension not only makes a bike more comfortable and fun to ride, but it also makes it faster. Hardtail 29ers (bikes with tires 29 inches in diameter instead of the standard 26) have recently become another popular style of trail bike becauseâ€”like a full-suspension bikeâ€”they eat up bumps and grip the ground more effectively than traditional 26-inch hardtails.
The smooth and fast ride provided by these two styles has rendered the 26-inch hardtail nearly obsolete for both recreational riders and racers alike. Whether you embrace the compliant ride of a full-suspension frame or prefer the responsive characteristics of a hardtail, this guide will help you find your next mountain bike. july 2010
The Difference Bumps: The 29-inch wheels roll more easily over blunt obstacles than 26-inch wheels. The taller profile of a 29-inch wheel allows it to collide with obstacles at a lower point on the tire, which reduces the contact angle between the object and the tire by 5.2 percent. This allows the bike to roll over obstacles that would otherwise jack the wheel off the ground. And 29-inch wheels take the bite out of the trail, much like suspension, but do so in an entirely different way. Traction: A 29-inch wheel has a larger contact patch than a 26-inch wheel. This jumbo gripping surface tenaciously sticks to objects that smaller wheels would slide off of. Drawbacks: The added inertia of the big wheels slows acceleration and makes the bike more difficult to yank through tight and twisty segments of trail. july 2010
Smooth tracking: When a rigid rear wheel hits a rock, only the tire deforms to absorb the jolt. A fullsuspension frame adds another layer of shock absorption that allows the rear wheel to track over rocks and roots, rather than bouncing off the trail, and retains traction. Power loss: Although modern suspension can be locked to reduce the bobbing effect that comes from pedaling, the rear shock still compresses slightly from the pedaling action and eats a little power.
Ride it if you want a light bike, not a light wallet. Keep looking if you want the newest tech.
Scott Scale 29er $1,650 The Scale 29er is Scott’s first big-wheel mountain bike, and the brand came up with a winner. The all-aluminum Scale matches more expensive models in stiffness, weight and component specs. At 26 pounds equipped with a mixed Shimano kit, the Scale 29er is a lively, reliable bike at an entry-level price point. Although it’s not as spry as the Niner Air 9, the Scale 29er calmly plows through rough terrain, thanks to its slack geometry and big wheels. It provides many of the benefits of higher-priced hardtails at a fraction of the cost.
Ride it if you want to descend with confidence. Keep looking if you like a very nimble ride.
Giant Anthem X-3 $2,000 The Anthem X-3 is a price-friendly soft tail that confidently rolls down tricky descents. The Anthem positions the rider rearward, which allows the front wheel to pop over big obstacles and can save your skin when your trail-conquering ambition exceeds your skill level. However, this forgiving geometry becomes a liability on steep climbs because the front wheel has a tendency to lift off the ground. Giant’s Maestro linkage lets the rear wheel float freely over rocks and does an admirable job reducing pedal bob. The Anthem X-3 is dressed in a trustworthy mixed-level Shimano parts kit that boasts Shimano Deore XT cranks and rear derailleur. The components and fork are truly impressive on a full-suspension rig at this price. 64
Ride it if you are looking for a race-oriented full-suspension mountain bike. Keep looking if you prefer a more forgiving ride.
Trek Top Fuel 8 $3,150 Iconoclasts may bristle at the idea of riding such a mainstream bike, but Trek uses its vast resources to develop bikes that most boutique builders cannot match. Trek hit the sweet spot with the parts spec’d on the Top Fuel 8. Every component—from the Shimano SLX crank and the Bontrager Race Lite wheels to the Fox Float RP-2 rear shock—is high performance but still value-oriented. Some similarly priced bikes from other manufacturers have flashier parts, but the Top Fuel 8 matches them all in functionality. This bike is designed for speed. Its aggressive geometry positions the rider over the front wheel, the linkage minimizes pedal bob and the front wheel is eager to whip around a tight trail. This design means, however, that the Top Fuel 8 is less suited to cruising over big obstacles than other full-suspension bikes, but this purpose-built machine achieves its goal of being flat-out fast. There is nothing indie about riding a Trek, but Goliath got this one right.
Ride it if you want an agile big-wheeler. Keep looking if you don’t want to take the time to build your own bike.
Niner Air 9 $799 FRAME ALONE If the name did not make it clear already, Niner is committed to big-wheel mountain bikes. In fact, it makes nothing but 29ers. Its experience in the category has given it a keen understanding of the geometric tweaks that accentuate the strengths and hide the weaknesses of 29ers. Niner used its expertise to make the Air 9 more responsive than many other 29ers, and this aggressive layout lets the Air 9 handle tight turns better than other bigwheelers. It is made from scandium-aluminum alloy tubes that are lighter, softer and tougher than standard aluminum. Although scandium provides a smoother ride than typical aluminum, the difference is subtle. Choose the Air 9 for its quick handling, stunning finish and Niner’s scruffy company culture—not the special alloy. Niner sells only frames, not complete bikes, so the customer gets to choose each part individually, which gives the bikes a personal touch but adds cost. july 2010
Ride it if stiffness and weight are your biggest priorities. Keep looking if carrying a couple of extra pounds isn’t a big concern.
Felt Nine Team $5,000 The Felt Nine Team is stiff, light and agile. The titanic downtube and triangular toptube firmly lock the front wheel and bottom bracket in place even though Felt opted to secure the wheels with quick releases rather than stiffer-but-heavier through axles. The frame doesn’t sway through rocky turns or during a full sprint. The Nine Team is not only the stiffest bike in this review, it is also the lightest. Dressed in Sram X-O, Avid Elixir CR brakes and finished with gram-shaving tricks such as a carbon cable stop and integrated chain catcher, the Nine Team fights in the Flyweight division. Reduced cost is arguably the biggest advantage a hardtail has over a full-suspension bike, but the Nine Team certainly isn’t easy on the budget. Its high price forces the Nine Team to prove its worth against the best bikes from all categories. It outperforms high-end full-suspension bikes on smooth to moderate terrain and accelerates like a go-kart but requires a skilled hand to keep up with the soft tails on rough trail.
Ride it if you need to have the meanest bike on the trail. Keep looking if it isn’t in the budget.
Yeti AS-R Carbon Pro $5,750 The Yeti AS-R Carbon Pro is a 22-pound, full-carbon dream bike spec’d with nothing but the best components and suspension. But so is every other contender in the $5K-plus price range. It is the Yeti AS-R Carbon’s perfectly tuned balance between agility and stability—not its weight or impressive parts kit—that separates it from other expensive, full-suspension carbon mountain bikes. While the Trek we tested is built for speed and the Giant can handle big obstacles, the AS-R Carbon strikes the sweet spot between those two bikes and provides incredible quickness and stability over any terrain. The front wheel can skip around obstacles, can absorb big bumps but still sticks to the steepest climbs. It is unflappable riding up or down technical hills and even when both tires leave the ground. Cost is the only deterrent to riding the Yeti AS-R Carbon Pro. 66
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“To the Mafia, life is not about getting to the grave safely in one piece, but to live and love every moment as if it were our last, to skid into the future while shouting with our fists in the air.”
–Mafia Racing Creed
Tim De Frisco
renEgaDes What do you get When you cross elite-level athleticism With a rabble-rousing attitude? you get the mafia racing teamâ€”a progressive, tight-knit group of competitors shaking up multisport and reminding us just hoW much fun it can be.
By Julia Beeson Polloreno
the 2003 Xterra Central Championship in Keystone, Colo., a then-23-year-old racer named Tomas Petricko was ascending the punishing grade of Keystone Mountain when he noticed he had company. “A guy in my same age group rode up and we started talking,” recalls Petricko. “We talked about how tough the race course was and just kept talking about anything and everything—including where we could get beers later that night—through the entire race.” It was an easy, instant friendship born of a shared passion for off-road racing and fed by common interests—music, sport, art, adventure. That encounter laid the foundation for Mafia Racing, a national team created in 2007 by Petricko and David Janowiec. “David and I started working on a team in hopes of doing something different—something that would bring the fun back into the sport of mountain biking,” Petricko says. What started as a grassroots effort by two buddies to inject some fun into their off-road racing has morphed into a coed squad of amateur racers comprising five regional teams—West Coast, Rocky Mountain, Southwest, Northwest and Midwest—and a high-profile pro team. Team members compete throughout the country in mountain biking, cyclo-cross, off-road triathlon, with some racing on the road (cycling, triathlon, running). “As time has progressed, so has the credibility of the team, advancing from a group of fun-loving jokers riding our bikes and occasionally putting numbers on the front of them, to a nationally recognized team,” Petricko says. For that evolution, the co-founders can thank world-class athletes and podium steadies Jake Wells, Seth Wealing, Jeremiah Work, Sam Jurekovic, Kari Studley, Kathy Sherwin, Becca Blay and Tristan Schouten. Pro triathlete Wealing, the 2006 Xterra national champion and top American at the 2009 Xterra World Championship, says the team stands apart from others in that the focus isn’t limited to just one discipline. “I race quite a few different things—off-road triathlon, cyclo-cross, mountain biking and ITU—so I represent multiple sports,” Wealing says. It’s a fact not lost on the team’s sponsors. “We have a broader appeal to our sponsors, who like a wider breadth of audience.” Among the team’s top sponsors: Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, Felt Bicycles, Shimano, Skull Candy, GoFast energy drink and Rudy Project. It’s not just about the tangible benefits to the racers, say the co-founders. It’s about supporting a certain lifestyle around their sport, one that encourages a balance between work and play. “Mafia Racing delivers a different type of team; they are professional yet grounded,” says 70
Team co-founder Tomas Petricko
Courtesy Mafia Racing
Mafia Racing Team co-founder David Janowiec
Pro triathlete, Xterra champ and Mafia racer Seth Wealing.
Shimano’s Dustin Brady. “They not only participate in races, but help make events more fun and interesting.” At races, the team sets up the Mafia Racing Lounge, which functions as both team HQ and as an invitation to spectators to come mingle and make new friends. The PBR sponsorship is just an added draw. “PBR has been a tremendous sponsor since the beginning and has definitely helped ease the pain after long rides and hard races,” Petricko says. “Not to mention, their products have been a great way to bring people into our race tent to talk about music, art, life, whatever … because who says ‘no’ to a free PBR?” At one point, the team was sponsored by a guitar company that donated guitars for use at races. “People would come over to the Mafia tent and pick up a guitar and start playing,” Petricko recalls. “It was a great way to open people up to the sport—people who weren’t cyclists or triathletes—and show them what a fun atmosphere it could be so that they left thinking, ‘Why not get into this myself?’” Judging from some team members’ stories from the road, they’ve likely asked themselves—at least once—just what they’ve gotten themselves into. Just ask “Joe,” who unwittingly ate chocolate cupcakes tainted by teammates with a healthy dose of Ex-Lax the day before the Xterra USA Championship in Lake Tahoe. “Fortunately for us,” says co-founder Janowiec, “Joe had the race of his life as the national champion that year and went on to turn pro.” When other top-level triathlon teams are carbo-loading in their compression socks, Mafia athletes are scheming pranks and planning the post-race cocktail menu. And they’re still representing on the podium. As a balance to the team’s “good times” ethos, there’s also an emphasis on volunteerism and giving back to the communities in which members race and train. “We’re always trying to think of new ideas and things we can bring to the table to put ourselves out there,” says Wealing, a Boulder, Colo., resident. Whether it’s maintaining nature trails or acting as energetic, well-rounded ambassadors for their sport, Mafia team members seek out opportunities to effect positive change in the communities through which they pass. It all comes back to the Mafia’s creed of living life to the hilt and seeking out the joy in our chosen sport. “You have to take the bull by the horns and find the fun in it,” says Wealing.“When we ON THE WEB get to the start line, we’re there to win, but part For more information, visit of being fast is having fun along the way.” Mafiaracing.com. july 2010
By AdAm ChAse • photos By nils nilsen
ust as trails are diverse, ranging from the gnarly to the sedate, narrow to wide, soft to firm, there is an equal array of trail runners, many of whom share the qualities of the trails they run. It is the convergence of the two—the matching of trail and runner—where off-road training and racing becomes a magically fluid and injury-free experience. The purpose of this review is to aid trail runners, multisport aficionados and off-road triathletes in selecting the shoe that best befits their feet, style of running and performance goals while matching those aspects to the sort of trails they run.
To use this guide, be subjective and consider the shape of your foot and whether you need support and protection as opposed to flexibility and a feel for the trail. We’ve divided the different shoe characteristics into three categories—Fit, Feel and Ride—and asked our panel of testers to rate them. You’ll need to identify your own characteristics, asking yourself, “Are my toes big?” and “Are my arches high, normal or low?” and so forth. The answers will allow you to use this guide as a virtual try-on so that you can hone in on a shoe that best accommodates your feet and running form. So, think of your all-time favorite trail shoe, and then improve upon it in your mind. Use that ideal
to determine whether that dream shoe would hold your instep firmly or be roomy in the toe box. Is that shoe flexible or stiff when you walk and does the underfoot feel soft or hard? Is your perfect shoe lightweight? And when you run does the impact feel cushioned or firm; does it allow you to run with the trail or through the trail? Once you know what you are looking for, you will be able to align that dream shoe against the shoe profiles we’ve assembled with the help of our testers. From there you can walk into a running shoe store with your shortlist of shoes and go from virtual to real.
AdiStar Raven, $120 For Men and Women Anchorage, Alaska’s top running store is named the Skinny Raven and it seems as though Adidas used the shop and its hardcore trail runners as inspiration for this shoe. The Raven accommodates narrow feet, is designed to be low-profile for great agility on rugged trails and is dynamically outsoled for adaptive traction. Our testers found it to be relatively light for a durable, supportive and stable shoe. The black upper may be a bit hot for summer running, but it is called the Raven after all.
Cascadia 5, $100 For Men The Cascadia 5 was considered very comfortable by a variety of testers who said it enveloped their feet, providing them with a fluid ride on both tame and rugged surfaces. The generous toe box was welcome on steep descents and the layered midsole cushioning technologies evened out rough spots while giving the Cascadia some deserved street cred as well. This shoe is a time and trail-proven all-arounder.
Ravenous, $90 For Men
One of the snugger shoes in the lineup, the Ravenous has a relatively high ankle fit in heel. The responsive flexibility was notable but not too flexible for a trail shoe. Although the Ravenous felt “cushiony,” it transitioned well from heel-to-toe and was comfortable for mid-to-rear-foot runners, although sparse in the forefoot. It is best suited for narrower feet or trail runners who want a snug hold.
f-LITE 230, $100 For Men and Women This on- and off-road, super svelte, flat-like shoe is about as light as you can go without being called a “trail slipper.” Not a shoe for wide feet, the 230 will please those looking for a longer, narrower fit. It is a low-volume performance shoe with a snug fit, highly flexible feel and a low-profile, race-ready performance. Recommended for lightweight, biomechanically sound and efficiently strided runners who want to feel the trail as they push for speed.
Raptor, $110 For Men
“It was love at first run,” gushed one tester. A protective and ruggedly aggressive trail shoe, the secure Raptor fit rather closely and moved naturally with the foot, thanks to the strongly curved shape of the footbed. The combination of plastic, rubber and overlays with stabilizers and a midsole shank kept our testers’ feet free from bone bruising, although those with wider feet felt cramped. The Raptor is a classic, well-made trail shoe for low-volume feet and runners who prefer a high ankle cut.
CTR Cruise, $110 For Women A roomier, all-purpose shoe that conformed to testers’ feet with general comfort, the CTR Cruise was deemed “just right” in a number of categories. The ride felt structured and, although the shoes were somewhat heavy and the midsole firm, provided ample underfoot protection. The breathable uppers and heat- and odor-managing sockliners added to the comfort of the fit, especially for those who like a little extra space for their toes.
Wave Cabrakan, $125 For Men and Women The Cabrakan is a hybrid-style shoe that combines road-like comfort and off-road performance, although our test team advised using them for tamer, less technical trails. The fit was pretty “medium” in that it was comfortable across a broad range, holding our testers’ feet securely but not to the point of restricting them. The ride was soft and stable, thanks in part to Mizuno’s Wave technology and ability to build flex into a shoe without jeopardizing the protective qualities of the midsole.
Rockridge, $90 For Men and Women The Rockridge represents a rather dramatic shift for Montrail, given its rather flexible, low-profile and lightweight qualities. Montrail’s most runner-friendly shoe to date, the Rockridge’s closest connection to previous Montrails is that the toe box is quite generous. Otherwise, the fit is snug and secure in the heel, high in the arch, supple in the upper and provides an uninhibited ride with a cushioned heel and minimal protection under the ball of the foot.
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With a somewhat universal fit, the 876 doesn’t skimp on toe room and yet the secure lacing and mid-foot hold prevents any crunching on descents. Testers found the feel to be firm, which translated to both a protective ride and one that was as controlled as any of the shoes tested. Some testers found the 876 a little too rigid and structured for their taste while others enjoyed the shock absorbing effect of a firm platform.
The North Face
Sentinel (with Boa), $130 For Men Thanks to the Boa lacing system, our testers were literally able to dial in a customized fit, thus preventing unwanted mid-foot movement yet allowing for a roomy toe box. The Sentinel felt and rode “like a trail shoe” in that it wasn’t as flexible or supple as road or hybrid-type shoes, but the more armored sensation came with a sense of confidence on bony and technical trails where testers were treated to guidance, dampening and cushioning.
Synchro Fuel XC, $110 For Women The secure-fitting mid-foot gave our testers added confidence on the trail, offering a feeling of enhanced support in the fore and rear-foot alike. The Fuel XC was deemed almost buoyant, a sensation that was amplified by the lightweight feel and smooth transition on all types of terrain. The heel crash pad offset the snug heel cup much the way the supportive arch and forefoot flex grooves balanced the firm midsole.
SpeedCross 2, $120 For Men
The most noteworthy virtue of the SpeedCross 2 is its outsole, made with sticky rubber and featuring multidirectional lugs for excellent traction on all kinds of surfaces. “I ran through rain, snow, mud, slush, rocks, road … could not find anything that would stop these puppies,” remarked one tester. This shoe was also praised for its cushioning and the snug fit offered by its sock-like upper and Quicklace lacing system. Our testers disagreed on the perceived weight, which is not surprising in a shoe that is marketed as a trainer/racer hybrid. Those who tended to compare the SpeedCross 2 to other trainers found it light and fast, while those who expected the lightness of a true racer were somewhat disappointed.
Transistor FS, $100 For Men and Women A slight departure for Vasque, the Transistor FS is more supple and flexible than the light hiker reputation of its predecessors. The spacious toe box and open forefoot was not considered sloppy on technical trails, likely as the result of a very snug heel fit, and testers recommended the fit for all but bigger-footed or lowarched runners. The firm feel, with little cushioning or shock absorption in the forefoot, makes the Transistor a better trail shoe for heel strikers.
XR 1.0, $95 For Men and Women This all-purpose, all-surface trail training shoe from Xterra, the brand that is synonymous with off-road triathlon, is a versatile neutral shoe. Our testers liked the out-of-the-box fit and found the upper secure and the midsole less supportive, due in part to the sensation that the cushioning was more pronounced toward the shoe’s perimeter than its center. Although the XR1.0 is not built for really rugged terrain, it performed well on more tame trails, dirt roads and even pavement.
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©2010 Oakley, Inc.
Rise above conformity. Terenzo Bozzone is a man with purpose. He doesn’t just talk about living a good life. He lives it, breathes it and gets involved by passing on the message of clean living so others can benefit. Every chance he gets he uses his fame and good fortune to promote a grass roots campaign against methamphetamine use in New Zealand, his native land.
His socially conscious efforts help him stay grounded as a person and maintain a close connection to the local community. Terenzo’s courage to care earns the respect of everyone here at Oakley, where we have always risen above the minimum expectations of conformity and gone one step beyond in everything we do.
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Pass the Salt An increasing number of triathletes are realizing the importance of sodium replacement as part of their nutrition plans, especially in long-distance events. But how much salt and fluids should you replace? The answer lies in how much you sweat and how much sodium is lost in your sweat. Learn here how to get an accurate understanding of your unique hydration needs. BY PAUL REGENSBURG AND JAMES BROTHERHOOD
Sodium Replacement Items
ChiCken noodle soup 1 cup 1107mg sodium
WaTer 1 cup 7mg sodium
1 cup 1008mg sodium
1 cup 110mg sodium
1 medium 928mg sodium
You’ve likely noticed after a hard, hot race the variance in how fellow racers sweat out salt. Some peoples’ kits and faces are caked with a fine white dust, while other racers show little sign of salt perspiration. Some athletes can lose up to two liters of sweat per hour, others much less. Variables including exercise intensity, temperature, humidity, clothing, fitness, body surface area and genetics all contribute to determining an individual’s sweat rate. Structuring sweat-rate monitoring into your training at various times of the year will help you develop a customized race nutrition plan that sets you up for success. If you know how much fluid you’re losing, you will know how much fluid to replace. Try to prevent losing more than 2 percent of your body weight in order to avoid the most detrimental effects of dehydration. In a sprint or Olympic-distance race, you will be lucky to replace 70-90 percent of your sweat and sodium loss during the race due to the high intensity and limited opportunities to drink. In longer races, hydration becomes even more difficult due to the sheer amount of time you spend sweating. Your best efforts in hydration both before and during competition will be necessary to avoid the consequences of dehydration. The more dehydrated an athlete becomes, the more the rate of further dehydration increases. Therefore, it’s important to start the race well hydrated. Otherwise you will dehydrate at an even faster rate than normal, making it more difficult to overcome during competition. To determine your individual sweat rate, weigh yourself (with no clothes on) and then go for a one-hour run without taking in any fluids during your run. When you get back home, weigh yourself again (after removing your wet clothing). A comparison of your prerun weight and post-run weight will tell you how much your body sweats out each hour.
Training and CompeTiTion:
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NEW RESEARCH UNCOVERS HOW ELITE ATHLETES ARE CHEATING NATURE: LOSERS CALL TECHNIQUE AN “UNFAIR ADVANTAGE” BY MARK HANSEN Athletes of all ages and from all sports have long sought ways to improve their performance through nutritional supplements and creative training strategies. A new supplement developed for competitive athletes is generating controversy and threatening to revolutionize several endurance sports. The product that has been generating so much debate is EPO BOOST™; an all-natural supplement developed by U.S. based Biomedical Research Laboratories. EPO is industry shorthand for erythropoietin, a hormone produced by the kidneys that regulates red blood cell (RBC) production. Increasing red blood cell production has long been the focus of competitive athletes due to the impact of RBC levels on oxygen intake and utilization. The greater the red blood cell production, the greater the body’s ability to absorb oxygen, which in turn gives an athlete more strength and endurance. Strength and endurance are precious resources to any athlete. Thus competitive athletes have tried various techniques to gain an advantage by increasing EPO and RBC levels. Traditional techniques for boosting RBC levels include synthetic drugs and blood doping. These practices are both dangerous and banned by organized sports associations. Fans of EPO BOOST™ point out that the patentpending formula is all-natural and is clinically proven to increase erythropoietin levels, resulting in greater strength and endurance. The scientific evidence behind EPO BOOST™ does seem to represent a breakthrough in sports medicine. A 28-day double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial, performed by Dr. Whitehead from the Department of Health and Human Performance at Northwestern State University, showed that the ingredients found in EPO BOOST™ increased EPO production by over
90% compared to the group taking the placebo1. The supplement group also showed dramatic improvements in athletic performance (as measured by VO2max and running economy). One of the active ingredients in the formula is Echinacea Purpurea, an herb that stimulates the immune system and is normally associated with alternative treatments for the common cold. Surprisingly, Dr. Whitehead’s study revealed that Echinacea promotes a substantial increase in natural levels of EPO (erythropoietin). Industry experts were shocked to discover that this simple herb had such an effect on the body.
“A 28-day double-blind placebocontrolled clinical trial showed a 90% increase in EPO production and dramatic improvements in athletic performance.” Since its release last year, competitive athletes have flocked to this new supplement, which offers all the benefits of greater EPO levels with none of the dangerous side effects or legal trouble. A company spokesman confirmed that the patent-pending formula contains active components that have been shown to boost EPO levels, resulting in greater strength and endurance. Jason Walkley, a member of the Royal Air Force Elite Triathlon Team in the United Kingdom claimed an increased tolerance to fatigue after taking EPO BOOST™. Jason stated, “I recently ran a 26.2km race completely at my Lactate Turn Point (LTP) without a drop in pace, and with 5 km to go I really turned the screw on my competitors and increased my pace significantly over the last 5km.” Mr. Walkley is not alone in his praise of the product. Ursula Frans, a top marathon runner from South Africa used EPO BOOST™
in her preparation for this year’s Two Oceans Marathon. Having finished in the top 20, she stated that her performance and endurance were substantially improved with EPO BOOST™. The product has appeared in several magazines and dozens of websites and blogs. According to published reports, the promise of EPO enhancing products has even been picked up by Olympic athletes such as Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres. Not everyone is so endeared to the product. Several athletes have said the supplement gives some athletes an unfair advantage. They describe the performance improvements as “unnatural” and pointed to athletes from cycling and long distance running as evidence that people are catching on to the supplement and using it for a competitive advantage. Any athlete can use EPO BOOST™ without a prescription and without changing a diet or exercise regimen. The company offers an unparalleled guarantee. Athletes can use the product for a full 90 days and if not completely satisfied, send back whatever product is remaining - even an empty bottle - and get a ‘no questions asked’ refund. A company spokesman, speaking off the record, admitted that the product doesn’t work overnight and that most athletes won’t see the extreme performance enhancements for up to four weeks. In a world infatuated with instant success, that kind of realistic admission might cost some sales but is likely to keep customers happy. While the controversy over the advantage athletes using EPO BOOST™ are obtaining is unlikely to go away anytime soon, one thing is for sure: blood doping and synthetic drugs are a thing of the past now that amateurs and professionals alike can tap into a natural product that generates Olympian-like strength and endurance. Biomedical Research Laboratories accepts orders from its website at www.EPOBOOST.com. A company spokesman confirmed a special offer: if you order this month, you’ll receive FREE ENROLLMENT into the company’s Elite Athlete Club where you’ll qualify to receive a full 25% discount on all your bottles of EPO BOOST™. And so you don’t go a day without EPO BOOST™ in your system – increasing your endurance, you’ll automatically receive a fresh bottle every 30-days and your credit card will be billed the Elite Athlete Club Member Price of $44.95 plus S/H – not the $59.95 fee non-members have to pay. There are no minimum amounts of bottles to buy and you can cancel at any time. The number to call is 1-800-590-6545, and you can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. � 1. Whitehead et al. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, 17 (2007): 378-9.
The next step is to figure out how much sodium, or salt, you lose in your sweat. Sodium is important in the blood because it helps draw the water you are ingesting from your intestines into the bloodstream to help maintain plasma volume. If the sodium in your sweat is not replaced, your thirst response is blunted, so you no longer recognize that you are dehydrated because the signals telling you to drink are turned off. If you have lost blood sodium and not replaced it, your body will signal that it is hydrated when it actually isn’t. Furthermore, your kidneys, which filter your blood to produce urine, will increase output to maintain the solute content of your blood, further dehydrating you even though you have clear urine. Because of this, clear urine after a race is not a good index of hydration. Body weight recovery should instead be used as a reflection of rehydration. Again, individual rates of sweat sodium loss vary widely, even among elite and professional racers. A simple yet effective way to determine where you fit in the range of sweat sodium concentration is to go for a run of approximately 45 minutes on a dry day with a black shirt on. If you have visible sweat rings (white rings of dried sweat) on your shirt, it is likely that you are a salty sweater. If not, your sweat sodium
concentration is probably low to normal. You will probably not be able to replace lost sodium through beverages alone, especially in long-distance events, so you must implement other measures before, during and after exercise. Salt loading—adding extra salt to your diet in the days before competition—will provide extra sodium in your blood and thereby delay the threshold for depletion in exercise. Plan your race nutrition carefully by adding up the sodium in the products you will ingest during the race and devise a plan that will meet your needs. In short, do the math! To get a better understanding of the amount of fluid and sodium that are lost during endurance training, we invited eight athletes to the lab, where they performed a three-hour ride on bike trainers at 60-70 percent of maximum heart rate in room temperature conditions. Many variables were measured and calculated, including sweat loss, sweat sodium concentration, blood serum sodium and core temperature. Over the course of the experiment, the athletes were encouraged to consume a sports drink with carbohydrates and sodium as well as one carbohydrate/sodium gel each hour. The average sweat rate among the five women in this study was a shade more than one liter per hour, while the men sweated an average of 1.34
5 Tips for Maintaining Proper Sodium Levels 1. Be sure to include salt in your diet before competition in all event distances to maintain blood sodium levels. 2. Plan on taking in a minimum of 6001,000 mg of sodium per hour if you’re female and 800-1,200 mg of sodium per hour if you’re male. Your target should be closer to the high end of these ranges for longer events. 3. Calculate your sweat rate and determine if you are a “salty sweater.” If you have a relatively high sweat loss and/or a high sodium loss, adopt preloading strategies in the days leading up to competition and test higher amounts of sodium intake during training and competition. 4. Practice your fluid and sodium intake amounts in training and adjust for weather conditions. 5. Regardless of your individual rates of sweat and sodium loss, preload your blood with salty foods in meals prior to racing in hot-weather events.
Paul Regensburg, a senior coach at LifeSport, is an Olympic, PanAm Games and Ironman coach, and has coached athletes from beginners to world champions at all distances. Visit Lifesportcoaching. com for more information or coaching inquiries. James Brotherhood is a physiologist at the Canadian Sport Centre Pacific in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Visit Cscpacific.ca.
4/26/10 12:34 PM
liters per hour. The average amount of sodium secreted in the sweat each hour was 1,178 mg in women, 1,527 mg in men and 1,300 mg in the group as a whole. Individually, there were wide ranges in sweat rates and sodium concentrations, giving further credence to the idea that each individual is different and should determine his or her own needs through testing and trial. This testing also confirmed our previous conclusions that sweat rates and body mass are correlated. Individual sweat sodium concentration was not strongly correlated with any other variable, leaving sweat sodium concentration unpredictable and highlighting the need for individualization of replacement strategies.
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Fit and 90
Balanced TV news anchor chris schauble sTrikes a delicaTe equilibrium beTween a high-pressure job, busy family life and demanding Training schedule. sound familiar? By Jim Gourley â€˘ photos By rich cruse
Schauble interviews a runner during the 2008 L.A. Marathon
Chris sChauble was a guy who had it all. After winning several TV news awards in Colorado, NBC Channel 4 in Los Angeles invited him to California to co-anchor its morning news program, “Today in L.A.” Soon after his arrival, Chris’s wife gave birth to twins—for the second time. With four healthy girls, a major hotbed of news events and a dream job, he couldn’t have asked for more. But what he really wanted was less. Fifty pounds less to be exact. Long hours at the station and family commitments did nothing to help his fitness. “I was fat and happy,” Schauble says. “Everything in my life was great, and I’d let the morning show schedule wreck my eating habits. I was 6-foot-1, 252 pounds and wearing size 40 pants. I began looking at photos of myself and feeling uncomfortable about the way I looked.” Things came to a head at the 2007 L.A. Marathon. Having covered the event since 2002, Schauble could no longer stand the sight of 92
Ironman 70.3 Vineman
himself beside the runners. “Once I saw myself up against these really fit people, it was apparent that I was chubby. I decided I was going to make changes.” He started watching his diet. He jogged a mile every day after work, then worked up to two miles. Things really kicked into high gear when Schauble met running coach Craig Moss at his gym. Moss encouraged Schauble to try road racing. That led to the Santa Monica Classic 10K in April 2008. Once Schauble crossed that finish line, there was no looking back. “I did start this journey to improve my image,” Schauble admits. “The superficial nature of TV is true. But once I finished that race, I realized I had more gas left in the tank. I wanted to see what else I could do. I was hooked.” He had enough in the tank to take on a half-marathon and then a full marathon that same year. After finishing his second marathon in 2009, Schauble felt a little burned out on running. july 2010
Los Angeles Triathlon
Ironman 70.3 Vineman
Schauble finishes his first 140.6-mile race at Ironman Arizona.
“It just wasn’t challenging enough,” says Schauble. “I could always try to run faster, but I wanted something that offered more than just the run. Triathlon was an opportunity for real variety and challenge.” Challenge, indeed. From the get-go, Schauble saw himself finishing an Ironman. He linked up with USAT coach Jason Healey and developed a nine-month training plan to get him ready for his first 140.6-mile race. “I’d never tackled anything that big before,” Schauble recounts. “I knew if I wanted to do it that year, I didn’t have time to make mistakes.” Schauble completed eight triathlons in 2009, including Ironman Arizona. He returned to the L.A. Marathon two years after that fateful on-camera moment, this time as a competitor. “I really felt like a veteran at that point,” he says. “I didn’t run my fastest in that race—I was about eight minutes off my PR. But the biggest thing was that I performed well and enjoyed myself. At the 2007 event, if you had told me I would finish that race in two years, I would have said you were crazy. But you’ve got to find new challenges and step up to them
incrementally. In that way, triathlon is a metaphor for life.” It’s a metaphor in more ways than one. “Fat and happy” no more, Schauble is now an anchorman on a mission. Up at 2 o’clock every morning to get to the studio by 3:30, Schauble spends a hectic day on-air until 11 a.m. From there, he heads immediately to the gym or out on his bike for a brick workout. He picks his kids up at 5 p.m., works on homework and gets to bed by 8 p.m. so he can do it all again the next day. He maintains a blog about his athletic exploits on the NBC-4 website in an effort to inspire others. “The idea is to get people to realize it’s not as hard as they think it is,” Schauble says. Based on responses he’s getting on his Twitter account, he’s succeeding. Several people have told him that he’s encouraged them to give it a shot. Looking ahead, he hopes to post race results from international events and even Kona. Schauble’s race weight these days is just under 200 pounds. For a guy who just wanted to drop a few inches off his waistline, he’s gained more than he could have imagined.
Schauble with the “Today in L.A.” news team
With his wife, Katrina, and four daughters after finishing Ironman Arizona
Before the start of the Big Rock Triathlon
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T R A INING
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LEARNING FROM RACES 102 | OFF-ROAD CYCLING FOR ROAD TRIATHLETES 108 | SWIM 114 | BIKE 116 | RUN 118 | FUNDAMENTALS 120 | SPORTS SCIENCE UPDATE 124 | FITNESS 127 |
T R A INING
How to Learn from Your Races By Ben Greenfield
ou may not realize it, but you are in a critical period of your race season. Early in the summer, when you may have just one or two triathlons under your belt, you must be able to learn from your performances in those events. If you simply cruise through your first few races, shrug off any bad performances and move on to the next event, you’re missing out on the potential for powerful self-evaluation that could yield tools for future success. I advocate a four-step system of analyzing your early-season race results to generate goals for improved performance in future races. It’s easy to do and doesn’t require any special knowledge. The only tools you need are detailed online results, which most events offer these days, and any information you might be able to capture with electronic training devices such as GPS, heart rate monitors and power meters, which are becoming more affordable and easy to use. 102
Step 1: Find Your reSultS Although you can occasionally find unofficial race results posted on-site immediately after the event, what you really want is the more detailed official race results that are typically posted online within 48 hours. You may also wish to supplement this information with data available through useful online resources such as Trifind.com and Triresults.com, which allow you to not only search triathlon results for your times and splits, but also compare races and find accurate data from previous years’ races. Another website, Athlinks.com, takes race results reporting to an even more interesting level, allowing you to compare your race times and examine head-to-head match-ups against competitors with whom you frequently compete.
Step 2: examine Your SplitS In addition to simply reporting your overall time, many online race results pages now offer
you A) swim time, pace per 100 meters or yards, overall place and, occasionally, division place and splits for multiple loop swims; B) first transition, or T1, time; C) bike time, pace per mile or kilometer, pace at specific checkpoints, such as when you cross certain timing mats on a longer race course, and placing; D) second transition, or T2, time and E) run time, pace per mile or kilometer, checkpoint pace and placing. From such detailed results you can glean important information. Ask yourself the following questions: How does my open-water 100-meter or 100-yard pace compare to my pool 100-yard pace? How does my open-water pace change in choppy water vs. smooth swims? Did I see an improvement in swim pace when I attempted to draft? Does it appear that I need more practice swimming in groups or in open water? Are my T1 times slow compared to others, especially in my division? How did my bike speed compare to others in my division? In longer races, were my bike splits consistent between checkpoints, or did I slow as the race progressed? How did I compare to my rivals july 2010
TRAINING or to others in my division on a flat course vs. a hilly course? Do I rank lower in T2 than in T1, and if so, should I practice bike dismounts or changing into my running shoes more quickly? How are my run splits between checkpoints—did I come out of T2 too fast? Did my fueling strategies on the bike affect my run pacing early in the run, or later? How did I perform in the hot races vs. the cooler races?
STEP 3. ExaminE Your DaTa.
If you have a power meter or heart rate monitor, you have access to a goldmine of valuable data. If you wear your heart rate monitor during the swim, you can analyze how your heart rate during the swim affects your bike splits. For races in which you swim above your threshold heart rate, do you notice a difference in your bike splits, or can you swim hard and still perform well on the bike? How long does it take after the swim for you to reach your goal heart rate on the bike? If you’re using a power meter or heart rate monitor on the bike, do you experience multiple spikes in intensity? Often you may notice that you need more consistency in power output and pace, and must focus on spinning the climbs while maintaining higher intensities on the flats and descents. Find your best race performances on the bike, and analyze the heart rate or power graphs. At what intensity can you consistently ride
for different distances while still being able to have a good run split and overall time? Do these numbers change when the temperature, altitude or road conditions vary, and if so, by how much? If you are wearing a GPS device for the run, you’ll be able to inspect how your pace changed, and in longer triathlons, even without a GPS you can simply evaluate your pace between checkpoints. Do you perform better when you start strong and maintain a consistent pace, or when you run a negative split? Are your run splits affected by your bike cadence? Although you will likely experience higher overall heart rates during a race than during training, you can still glean important information from run heart rate data. For example, how does your run heart rate change based on your hydration and fueling on the bike? Does your fueling frequency on the run affect your heart rate? What heart rate can you consistently maintain without negatively altering your pace, or “blowing up”? Finally, remember that if you frequently race against the same competitors, you have the luxury of getting not just an objective view of your performance, but also a subjective view of how your rivals fared under similar conditions. For example, every triathlete might be slower in a choppy open-water swim, but did you experience a greater loss of speed than your fellow competitors? If so, then you have identified a weakness that limits you relative to others in your division.
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STEP 4. GEnEraTE GoalS. In step four, you move from information to application. Having completed a thorough analysis of your splits and other data, you can now generate specific and realistic goals. Did you have poor bike splits on rolling courses? Then begin incorporating hill repeats into your training. Did your performance suffer in a mass swim start? Get more open-water swim partners. Were you slow in hot races? Practice heat acclimatization and develop better hydration and electrolyte replacement strategies. It’s not enough to look at the final result of each race and label it “good” or “bad.” If you want to increase the frequency of good races, dig deeper to identify specific skills 106
to improve upon. By ignoring weaknesses, you limit your improvement potential, but by identifying and addressing limitations, you systematically become a better triathlete. Create a chart of your race notes for each event and compare your results and data in one location. Record details about the course (water temperature and conditions, altitude, road conditions, etc.) and how you fueled and hydrated. Note your pace, finish place and time for each discipline, and don’t forget to write down your transition times. Include any other notes and thoughts from the day that you can learn from moving forward. Do this for seven consecutive races, and you’ll have a tangible, valuable training and racing tool. july 2010
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 email@example.com
T R A INING
Off-road Cycling Basics for Road Triathletes By Lance Watson and Mark overton
ost road triathletes who participate in off-road triathlons dabble in them. There are few off-road triathlon specialists among the age-group ranks. Much more common is the athlete who participates in, say, five road triathlons and one off-road tri each year. 108
If off-road tris are not your main focus, yet you want to do as well as you can in the dirt-based events you do, then you probably have some concern about how to balance your training. Not to fret. Your regular triathlon training gives you all the fitness you need to
excel off-road. The challenge is getting technically ready for off-road triathlon’s peculiar challenges as well as priming your legs for slightly different demands. Off-road triathlon tends to be hilly and rough, and thus demands strength and skill. To develop these attributes, add some offroad riding to your schedule beginning six to eight weeks before your next off-road event, and develop more strength in your legs via low-cadence intervals—at 45-55 rpm—and mountain bike hill sprints. Regularly practice mountain bike handling skills. Incorporate july 2010
T R A INING
trail running as well with more hill repeats. Run some rocky trails to work on agility, but watch those ankles. Research the race you are doing to find out what the terrain is like and try to train in areas that feature similar terrain. Experience different kinds of conditions if you can. For instance, there are many varieties of mud, from slippery to sticky and clogging. Wet mud can be like riding on an oil slick or ice and has to be ridden through carefully, whereas the thick stuff just slows you down and requires a lot of strength to push through. Rough tracks with boulders, different-size july 2010
stones, sand and loose conditions need to be given a lot of respect, especially on a hill. If you are climbing out of the saddle your back wheel may slip, so keep your weight over the rear wheel as you stand and climb, or shift down to a lower gear and stay in the saddle to maintain traction. You need to find that sweet spot that keeps the front wheel from popping up and the back wheel from losing traction by shifting your body weight around. Cornering on a mountain bike is an art. Your cornering technique must adapt to different types
of terrain and riding conditions. You may slide while descending a grassy bend. This is where you need to keep the bike under control with the brakes and your balance. On a sharp, low-speed gravel bend you may lock up the rear wheel and skid around if you over-engage the rear brake, and if it is really tight and you over-engage the front brake you may lock that wheel and cause the rear wheel to bounce around. On a fast, loose corner, feather the front brakes and let the rear wheel roll around to maintain traction. One important rule to remember about mountain biking is that your wheels will track triathletemag.com
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Xterra superstar Conrad Stoltz uses his off-road power to tackle the hills at the Wildflower Long Course Triathlon.
where your eyes look. If you look at the rock or stump, you will ride into it! Look through a tight section and pick your line. If you can ride with an experienced rider, mimic what he does. Stand when he stands, shift your weight back on a descent as he does and brake when he brakes. If you do fall off, consider walking your bike back 100 yards on the trail and trying the section again to learn how to ride it correctly. When training for and racing off-road triathlons, wear gloves and glasses for eye protection. Gloves are important to protect the hands and can also help with gripping the handle bars in wet and muddy conditions. Proper eyewear is crucial to protect your eyes from overhanging branches and debris thrown up by the tires of bikes ahead. Nutrition is a little more challenging in mountain bike riding because both hands are needed to keep you upright while maneuvering through, around and over tight rocky trails, logs and creek beds. If you can prejuly 2010
ride the course, study the terrain and note points where the course is flatter or the descents are smootherâ€”where you will get in your nutrition. For hydration, you may want to use a Camelbak or other hydration system to reduce the time your hands are off the handlebars. Do as much research as you can on the race course so that you can come up with a good race plan. All these tricks need to be practiced during training rides. They are just as important as the conditioning portion of your program. Take note of how they are incorporated into the sample training program on page 113. LifeSport head coach Lance Watson has coached a number of Ironman, Olympic and age-group champions. LifeSport coach Mark Overton has been involved in triathlon and endurance sport as a coach and athlete for 20 years, and has coached several age-group athletes to different world championship teams. Visit Lifesportcoaching.com or write Coach@lifesportcoaching.com for coaching inquiries. triathletemag.com
TRAINING IntermedIate trIathlete mon
Brick: Bike On trainer, 1.5 hours: “strength builder” including a set of 4-6 x 2-3 minutes at 45-55 rpm, 85 percent max effort, 2:1 work:rest ratio. Threshold set of 3-5 x 4-6 minutes at race cadence, or 85-95 percent. Do your best average effort for the set with a 1:1 work:rest ratio. Run 15-20 minutes off the bike as 5-8 minutes at goal race pace, 10-12 minutes easy cool-down.
Bike: 1 hour focusing on bike-handling skills. Work on balance, cornering, climbing, single-track riding, descending and riding over logs. If in an urban setting, ride on grass while picking up objects off the ground, riding with others and bumping elbows, shoulders and tires, bunny hopping, and ride down stairs. Swim: 30-45-minute set.
Run: 45 minutes: Include hill repeats: 6 x 1-2 minutes at 8-12 percent grade. Increase effort from 75 percent in interval 1 to max in interval 6. Swim: 45-60-minute set.
Run: 45-75 minutes moderate on hilly route. Swim: 45-60-minute set.
Bike: 1.5-2.5 hours on mountain bike: 50 percent on-road for steady aerobic riding, 50 percent off-road for technical practice.
Day off or bike: 60-75 minutes technical, aerobic mountain biking. Work on balance, cornering, climbing, single-track riding, descending and riding over logs. If in an urban setting, ride on grass while picking up objects off the ground, riding with others and bumping elbows, shoulders and tires and bunny hopping, and ride down stairs.
Brick: Bike On trainer, 2 hours: “strength builder” including a set of 3-5 x 4-8 minutes at 45-55 rpm, 85 percent max effort. Threshold set of 3-5 x 5-10 minutes at race cadence, or 85-95 percent. Do your best average effort for the set with a 1:1 work:rest ratio. Run 20-25 minutes off the bike as 8-12 minutes at goal race pace, 10-15 minutes easy cool-down.
Bike: 2-2.5 hours hilly endurance ride. Swim: 1-1.5-hour set.
Run: 1 hour: After warm-up run tempo for 10-15 minutes followed by hill repeats: 6 x 1-2 minutes on 8-12 percent grade. Increase effort from 75 percent in interval 1 to max in interval 6. Swim: 60-75-minute set.
Day off or run: 30 minutes easy recovery run on trail for agility.
Run: 60-90 minutes moderate on hilly route. Swim: 45-60-minute set.
Brick: Bike 2.5-4:00 hours on mountain bike: 50 percent on-road for steady aerobic riding, 50 percent off-road for technical practice. Run 30-45 minutes off bike at moderate pace on hilly trail.
Training with a Snorkel By Sara McLarty
ront-mounted snorkels are showing up at more and more swim practices every day. They are now a common piece of equipment in the mesh bags of athletes at all levels, from young age-group swimmers to Olympians. Finis, a worldwide leader of technical swimming equipment, has a monopoly on the market with its three styles: junior, adult and freestyle. The junior is shorter for smaller heads and lungs. The freestyle is hydrodynamic for faster swimming and advanced athletes. The adult version is most popular and works in almost every situation. Is it time for the average triathlete to jump on the snorkel bandwagon? I believe the best way to train for triathlon swimming is to mimic the training of pool swimmers closely, with the exception of some open-water practices. That includes incorporating the newest technology, techniques and training tools into swim practice. The front-mounted snorkel has already helped many swimmers (and triathletes) improve their technique, lung capacity and position in the water. All triathletes, from the beginner level to advanced, can benefit from using a snorkel. One benefit of using a snorkel is stronger and more expansive lungs. Just imagine breathing air through a small tube while performing a hard set in the pool. Finis reports an increase 114
in VO2max and the bodyâ€™s ability to deal with carbon dioxide after regular use of a swim snorkel. The restricted airflow creates a hypoxic effect, mimicking the decreased oxygen in every breath that an athlete would experience during training at high elevations. Even easy swimming with the snorkel can improve breathing by encouraging swimmers to maintain a steady exhalation between inhalations. The main reason swimmers feel out of breath is that they hold their breath with their face in the water, and snorkels help correct that. Wearing a snorkel in the pool can help all swimmers improve their technique. By removing the necessity of turning his or her head to breathe, a swimmer can relax in the water and focus on the small details of his or her stroke. A lower head position is easier to maintain without turning the head to breathe. A horizontal and streamlined body position can be achieved at a slower speed and easier effort level. Swimmers can focus on the entire catch, pull and finish phases of each arm stroke through the water. This is especially true for beginner and young athletes who are just starting to get a feel for the water. I see an immediate benefit from using the snorkel during kick and drill sets. I can kick continuously in a perfect streamlined position along the surface of the water without having
to adjust my body to breathe. This helps me work on my balance and position as well as on improving my lung and leg strength. Single-arm drills, six-kick-switch, catch-up and sculling are just a few of the freestyle drills that I do with a snorkel. I can relax and focus solely on the small part of the stroke that I am improving, without worrying about running out of oxygen or breaking form to take a breath. Like any other pool toy, the snorkel must be used in moderation. Snorkels are not allowed in some triathlons, so learning to swim while relying on the assistance of a snorkel can be detrimental to your race performance. Kick and drill sets are the ideal times for snorkel use. Sometimes the main set can be designed for snorkel use, or it can be substituted for a hypoxic breathing set. Whatever you do, make sure you get the most out of using the snorkel. Donâ€™t use it as a crutch for an ineffective aspect of your stroke; use it to address your weaknesses and improve your flaws. Before starting to swim, make sure the snorkel is comfortable on your head and that you can breathe easily with your face in the water. Only the junior snorkel comes with a nose plug. Novice adults might consider making this additional purchase to help with the tricky breathing. Happy snorkeling! Sara McLarty coaches swimming at the National Training Center in Clermont, Fla. Do you have a swim question you would like to have answered in this column? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. july 2010
RASMUS IS SWIMMING FASTER. Rasmus Henning. Back to back winner of the richest triathlon in the world. 8:23am. Wildf lower, CA. First out of the water (and better balanced) in a blueseventy Axis.
THE WORLD IS SWIMMING FASTER IN BLUESEVENTY.
bike Try this on your next ride: After warming up with some easy riding for 20 to 30 minutes, find a nice, long stretch of relatively flat road. Then shift into a high gear. You’ll likely have the perception that pedaling in the high gear seems smooth and requires nothing more than some muscular effort. You may also notice that you’re using your upper body to firmly grasp the handlebars for leverage. Now shift into your lowest gear. You probably won’t be able to keep constant force on the pedals initially because the gear won’t provide sufficient resistance. Stay in your small front chainring, but shift into progressively bigger gears until you experience just enough resistance against the pedals that you can turn them continuously for a minute or two without any lapses in the feeling of constant pressure of your feet against the pedals. At this point you should be pedaling at a high cadence (in other words, spinning). After performing this exercise you’ll likely realize that it takes more coordination and even more effort, at least at first, to spin smaller gears smoothly, especially if you attempt to do so for several minutes or even for an entire ride.
How to DEvElop GooD spinninG tEcHniquE
Spin to Win: The benefits of Small-Gear Training By Mark Deterline
pin to win.” This mantra has proven indispensable to me and countless other cyclists. Spinning on a bike means that you are in a small gear, usually in the small chainring connected to the right-side crank, and turning the pedals at a high rotational speed, or cadence. Spinning generally implies that your cadence is between 80 and 110 rotations per minute (rpm), though many skilled cyclists—especially sprinters—can spin smoothly at much higher rotational speeds. Spinning small gears can take some getting used to, as it can seem, or actually be, more physically and psychologically challenging than turning a bigger gear at a lower cadence. But spinning is an important skill for several reasons: It keeps you honest about your pedaling technique. It helps you become a more efficient cyclist. It emphasizes cardiovascular development over strength. 116
It enables you to develop good leg speed for all scenarios.
EfficiEncy is kEy Spinning requires more comprehensive muscle engagement to keep pressure on both pedals throughout each rotation. In bigger gears, it is easier to become quadricepsdominant, meaning the legs push downward in alternating fashion like pistons, which is less efficient than pushing and pulling the pedals around in full circles. You can check your own technique for this tendency on your next ride. Proper technique will allow you to ride stronger longer. It requires smooth and agile coordination of the hips, knees and ankles as you provide continuous pressure throughout the entire pedal stroke. It is marked by a “quiet” upper body and the absence of superfluous, wasteful movements of any body part.
Spin the lowest gear that you can spin smoothly for at least a few minutes on each ride, ideally between 80 and 110 rpm. To get accurate measurements of your cadence, purchase a cycling computer with a cadence feature (these can be relatively inexpensive), or, if you’re interested in power, get a power meter that also measures cadence. If you can reach rotational speeds higher than 110 rpm, that’s good practice, but you’ll probably notice that at some point there are diminishing returns. Whenever you’re out riding and think of it, shift one gear lower than you’ve been using and try to maintain the same speed. It may seem like it’s one gear too low … surprise! But, if you implement this practice regularly, you will likely notice that you can comfortably adapt to riding in that lower gear more often. Consistently maintain desired speeds with smaller gears. As you gain strength, you will be able to use higher gears while still prioritizing a high cadence. Take your time as you work your way up the gears. If you first master the art of spinning, you’ll get faster while preserving good technique, maximize efficiency, develop your cardiovascular system and move your legs powerfully fast. In other words, you’ll eventually be spinning big gears like triathlon’s fastest cyclists. july 2010
Hit the Bricks
Leading up to an Olympic-distance event, Kelly Reed recommends doing a progression of bricks, like the following, that increase in intensity and specificity over six to eight weeks:
By Brian Metzler
he key to running fast in a short-course triathlon isn’t just training your body to run faster; it’s also training yourself to run fast off the bike. They might sound like similar concepts, but they’re entirely different in practice. Assuming you’ve built a strong aerobic base with long rides and moderately long runs and perhaps dabbled with sport-specific intervals to fine-tune each discipline’s fitness, you need to spend a lot of time during your race season concentrating on bike-to-run workouts. It’s common knowledge that you can help your run by not pushing big gears and instead riding with a high cadence that might match the cadence of your desired run pace. But the real key to getting your fatigued leg muscles to fire unimpeded the moment you get off the bike in a race is to simulate in a progression of brick workouts the same rpm’s and wattage you’ll be putting out during the ride and the run. Practically speaking, you need to diversify your bricks by mixing up the intervals to match the varying intensities and the level of fatigue you’ll encounter in the race. To condition himself for the constantly changing bike pace and wattage demands in draft-legal ITU World Cup races, Boulder-based pro and 2008 U.S. Olympian Matt Reed alternates between short and fast reps on a bike trainer and a treadmill. After warming up, he’ll start spinning 118
at a moderate output and then his coach (and wife) Kelly Reed will call out a higher wattage plateau and how long he’ll need to hold it. For example, she might say “600 watts for 45 seconds” or “400 watts for 90 seconds” and he’ll up his intensity for that duration before settling back into a moderate spinning output. In a typical workout, he might do 12 to 15 reps of varying durations and intensities before jumping off the bike and running a kilometer on his treadmill at 5K to 10K race pace. “Just as if it were in a race, Matt has no idea what to expect,” she says, adding that he’ll usually do two ride-run sets during that workout. “All he knows is that he’s going to be jumping off and running. If Matt’s jumping off the bike in a race, he might or might not be dictating the pace. So he needs to know exactly what pace he can run that first kilometer at after having just ridden at 400 or 500 or 600 watts. And the key to that first kilometer is good high-cadence leg turnover.” The same concept can apply to age-groupers in a crowded non-drafting race, such as the Chicago Triathlon, where you might be constantly getting out of the saddle and pumping big wattage to pass slower riders or avoid sitting in someone’s draft, only to tuck back into an aero position and settle into a more maintainable, lower-output rhythm.
Brick 1 Start off with a basic brick by cutting down a typical two-hour ride to 90 minutes and then running 30 minutes at an easy to moderate pace.
Brick 2 As your training progresses, ride for about 80 to 90 minutes and then run 10 to 15 minutes at 5K race pace, followed by 10 to 15 minutes at 10K race pace.
Brick 3 Ride 60 to 75 minutes at a higher intensity and again run 10 to 15 minutes at 5K race pace followed by 10 to 15 minutes at 10K race pace.
Brick 4 In the weeks leading up to your race, simulate the course in your brick workouts. “For example, if you’ll be in an aero position for the last several miles of the bike and then there’s a big hill a half mile into the run course, make sure you’re doing that in your brick,” Kelly Reed says. “If you don’t do it in training, your body isn’t going to be able to react in the race.” Brian Metzler is a running coach, age-group triathlete and senior editor at Running Times. july 2010
Building mental Toughness By Matt Fitzgerald
riathlons are hard. That’s one of the reasons we do them. If they weren’t hard, crossing the finish line would not feel so deeply fulfilling. We want races—and even many of our workouts—to be hard. Yet we also want them to be trouble-free. Avoiding unnecessary pain and suffering is instinctive. What makes triathlons so hard is that, to complete them, we must overcome not only pain and suffering but also our natural resistance to pain and suffering. On the mental level, doing a triathlon or hard workout is like being subjected to an argument between a devil on your right shoulder shouting, “Just quit!” and an angel on your left shoulder pleading, “Keep going!” The ability to keep going under such circumstances is often called mental toughness. There is solid scientific evidence that mental 120
toughness is trainable—that is, we can learn to tolerate greater discomfort in physical exertion. Developing mental toughness is an important means to improve in the sport of triathlon because the more discomfort you can tolerate, the longer you can swim, bike and run at desired speeds before giving in to exhaustion. New sports science research suggests that mental toughness in endurance sports is even more important than was previously believed. Samuele Marcora at Bangor University in Wales has proposed that endurance fatigue is not caused by physiological events below the neck; instead, it is caused by psychological suffering. In other words, we start to slow down toward the end of workouts and races not because there is too much lactic acid in our limbs, but rather because the effort to continue moving
at the same pace has become too painful to bear, so, in effect, we give up. It sure doesn’t feel like giving up. When you struggle mightily toward the finish line and yet you slow down despite your best efforts, it seems as though it is your body that has reached a limit, not your mind. However, Marcora has performed some elegant experiments that prove the contrary. In one of them, he had a bunch of cyclists pedal as long as they could on stationary bikes at a fixed high intensity. When they could no longer sustain that intensity, he had them stop and then immediately pedal as hard as they could for just five seconds. In the first part of the experiment, the cyclists were able to sustain an average power output of 242 watts for roughly 12 minutes before bonking. But immediately thereafter they were able to crank out 731 watts for five seconds. If the cyclists had stopped their highintensity ride to exhaustion because they were no longer physically able to sustain 242 watts a moment longer, then they could not possibly have hit 731 watts afterward without any rest opportunity. The fact that they were able to briefly triple their previous power output after reaching “exhaustion” proves that their quitting was essentially voluntary. If mental toughness is the true performance limiter in triathlon, and if it is trainable, then how do we train it? There are two ways. The first and most obvious way to develop mental toughness is to routinely expose yourself to the discomfort of extreme fatigue in workouts. The more familiar these unpleasant sensations become, the better you will be able to push through them toward your true physical performance limits (although you will never reach these limits, as fatigue is “quitting” even for the mentally toughest triathletes). Obviously, you don’t want to exhaust yourself too much too often in training, as this will cause fatigue to accumulate in your body over time, compromising your ability to perform. Instead, limit yourself to judicious doses of suffering in a handful of key workouts each week. These may include short, high-intensity intervals, sustained, moderately intense tempo efforts and long endurance workouts that are not especially intense but last long enough to tire you out nevertheless. The second way to increase your mental toughness is to do everything possible to increase your motivation for training and racing, as the more motivated you are to perform, the more suffering you will be willing to tolerate. There is no bad source of motivation. Matt Fitzgerald is the author most recently of “Run: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel,” Velopress.com. july 2010
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the wind trainers. (Your roommates and neighbors will appreciate this.) You’ll need to elevate your front wheel a few inches, placing it on a wood block or stack of books to match the height of your back wheel. You can take that a step further by elevating your front wheel even higher to simulate climbing. There are a few commercial products available that allow you to choose several height Featuring Duane Franks settings for the front wheel. My athletes use an inflated Dear CoaCh, Bosu Ball—a special brand of exercise ball I’m hearing a lot about pro triathletes, with a flat bottom—under their front wheels such as Andy Potts and Tyler Stewart, who to simulate steep hills. This not only puts you are doing most of their bike training indoors. in the climbing position, but it also forces you What are the advantages and disadvantages to spin smoothly and efficiently, or else you’ll of doing this? What’s the best way to practice start bouncing on the ball. This method is ideal this approach if I want to try it? for athletes who don’t have access to hills for Mike Holmes road training. Concord, N.H. More sophisticated trainers come with electronic systems that can regulate power Mike, resistance. CompuTrainer is a popular brand The reason you’re hearing more about that does this with a variety of functions that athletes performing indoor bike workouts customize your workout. It also downloads is because they are time efficient and con- simulated race courses and can interface venient ,and they can be a very effective way with your home computer or video monitor. to improve fitness. Indoor cycling allows you Experienced roadies often prefer to use bike to quickly get to the focus of the workout rollers for their indoor workouts. These systems without having to deal with traffic, inclement are composed of two rollers that support the back weather and other distractions on the road. wheel and one for the front. Riding on rollers Furthermore, when riding indoors it’s requires good balance and pedaling skills or else easier to control important performance you’ll be picking yourself up off the floor. Once variables such as intensity of effort, cadence, you get past the initial learning curve, these skills gearing selection, heart rate and power—if you transfer well to the road and will improve your have a power meter. Controlling these variables outdoor riding. enables us to dial in precise workloads during Indoor cycling can also be done on a comtraining and measure the effectiveness of our mercial studio cycle of the kind that is available training program with objective feedback. in most gyms. Studio cycles promote pedaling The list of disadvantages of indoor cycling at higher cadences. A couple of brands of is short but worth noting. The most obvi- studio cycles, including Cycle Ops and Keiser ous downside is that indoor cycling lacks the M3, come equipped with power meters that specificity and feel of the road. Riding on a bike allow you to set a more accurate and reliable trainer doesn’t require the same balance and workload. stability that riding outside does. Good road Riding indoors can be done in the privacy cycling skills are necessary for safe and efficient of your home or you can join an organized descending, cornering and group riding. class. These classes are typically led by a coach There are several types of bike trainers who will prescribe workouts in a systematic that can be used for cycling indoors. The and progressive program. The camaraderie most common are wind, magnetic and fluid of the group setting will help make those trainers. On a wind trainer, the rear wheel sits hard intervals more enjoyable. on a roller that provides resistance against the tire. The fluid and magnetically braked train- Duane Franks coaches with Trifiniti in the San Francisco ers create a smoother and quieter ride than Bay Area. Visit Trifiniti.com.
The Great Indoors?
De a r Co a C h
sp or T s sc i e nc e u p daT e
does Quercetin Boost performance?
he antioxidant quercetin is increasingly being marketed as a substance that enhances athletic performance. Quercetin is a naturally occurring antioxidant found in leafy vegetables, fruits and berries, black tea, red wine and some fruit juices. It is sold as a supplement and is an ingredient in sports drinks such as FRS Energy, which is endorsed by Lance Armstrong. A study recently published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise reported that supplementation with 1000 mg of quercetin daily slightly improved 12-minute treadmill time trial performance in untrained males.1 The purported mechanisms by which quercetin may improve exercise performance is increased production of mitochondria, which are the intracellular sites of aerobic metabolism. In mice, quercetin has been shown to stimulate the production of mito-
chondria, which are the energy-producing components of muscle cells and other tissue. However, in the human study just described there was no change in a number of biomarkers that are known to increase mitochondria, which are responsible for supplying cellular energy, and thus the authors were unable to explain physiologically why they observed the small increase in performance. Previous reports conflict as to whether quercetin improves exercise performance in humans and animals. For example, one study of 11 elite cyclists reported a 1.7 percent increase in 30K time trial performance after six weeks of quercetin supplementation,2 while another study observed an increase of 3.9 percent in maximal oxygen consumption, or VO2max, in 12 recreational athletes after seven days of quercetin supplementation.3 One
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study found that mice supplemented with quercetin increased their running endurance by up to 37 percent.4 In contrast, supplementing 30 trained cyclists with 1000 mg per day of quercetin had no effect on cycling time-trial performance,5 while a recent study showed that seven to 16 days of supplementation with 1000 mg per day of quercetin in recreationally active males had no effect on VO2max or cycling performance.6 In addition, a number of studies in human athletes have failed to show any change in a number of known inducers of genes that are responsible for increasing the number of mitochondria in cells. So, the question remains, should triathletes take quercetin to enhance their athletic performance? It’s too early to make a recommendation as to whether you should or should not take quercetin. It may be that the promising results shown in mice do not necessarily translate to humans. RefeRences 1. Nieman, D.C., A.S. Williams, R.A. Shanely, F. Jun, S.R. Mcanulty, N.R. Triplet, M.D. Austin,
and D.A. Henson. “Quercetin’s influence on exercise performance and muscle mitochondrial biogenesis.” Med Sci Sports Exerc. 42 (2010): 338-345. 2. MaeRae, H.S. and K.M. Mefferd. “Dietary antioxidant supplementation combined with quercetin improves cycling time trial performance.” Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 16 (2006): 405-419. 3. Davis, J.M., C.J. Carlstedt, S. Chen, M.D. Carmichael and E.A. Murphy. “The dietary flavanoid quercetin increases VO2max and endurance capacity.” Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 20 (2009): 1-13. 4. David, J.M., E.A. Murphy, M.D. Carmichael, and B. Davis. “Quercetin increases brain and muscle mitochondrial biogenesis and exercise tolerance.” Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 296 (2009): R1071-R1077. 5. Nieman, D.C., D.A. Henson, and K. Maxwell et al. “Effects of quercetin and EGCG on mitochondrial biogenesis and immunity.” Med Sci Sports Exerc. 41 (2009): 1467-1475. 6. Cureton, K.J., P.D. Tomporowski, A. Singhal, J.D. Pasley, K.A. Bigelman, K. Lambourne, J.L. Trilk, K.K. McCully, M.J. Arnaud and Q. Zhao. “Dietary quercetin supplementation is not ergogenic in untrained men.” J Appl Physiol. 107 (2009): 1095-1104.
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Thinking Outside the Gym: Meet elliptiGO By Matt Fitzgerald
he first time I saw an ElliptiGO was on the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon race course last year. I was on the back of a flatbed truck covering the elite women’s race. Right behind us, and ahead of the runners, was a woman on what looked like a mobile elliptical trainer, and she was keeping spectators out of the way and running general interference. My first thought was: Why didn’t anyone think of that sooner? Actually, as I later learned from the husband of the woman I saw riding that machine, ElliptiGO “Chief Enthusiast” Bryce Whiting, someone had thought of the idea of an outdoor elliptical trainer before. That someone was Larry Miller, the very man who invented the original elliptical
trainer back in the early 1990s. But Miller couldn’t get anyone to bite on his new idea, so his patent lapsed. In 2005, an injured triathlete named Bryan Pate came up with the same idea independently. He hooked up with a fellow triathlete and mechanical engineer, Brent Teal, to develop a prototype. Four years later, and with an exclusive license from Miller, the ElliptoGO—the first elliptical bike—hit the market. I got a chance to take a quick spin on an ElliptiGO at the TriExpo held in San Diego in January. My expressed enthusiasm for the experience inspired Whiting to invite me to the company’s headquarters, located just north of
f i t ne s s San Diego, for a real workout on the machine. You have to try one for yourself to really know what it’s like, but if you’ve ever ridden a regular bike, gone for a run and used a regular elliptical trainer, you have some idea because the ElliptiGO experience is like a hybrid of these three activities. The non-seated, fixed-stride-length pedaling motion (there are actually three stride length settings, but the stride length does not vary dynamically on the go as in running) will be familiar to any past user of an indoor elliptical trainer. But the speed (Whiting and I easily cruised at 20 mph on the flats), the gears (the ElliptiGO has eight speeds) and the cornering are all bike. Yet the workout itself is more run-like. During my ride with Whiting, I felt the same sort of ventilatory strain that I do when running. Because it is weight-bearing (although non-impact) and creates more drag, riding an ElliptiGO is inherently more physiologically intense than riding a bike. And because it is 10 times more enjoyable than plodding along on a regular elliptical trainer, one is motivated to push harder on the ElliptiGO, making it more intense in effect than its indoor equivalent. Also, while you can simulate hill climbing on
an elliptical trainer, you can actually climb hills—at bike speeds, almost—on an ElliptiGO. When Bryce and I made it to the top of the famous Torrey Pines climb off the Pacific Coast Highway, I felt more worked over than I ever have on an indoor machine. It’s really a hell of a workout.
Riding an ElliptiGO is more physiologically intense than riding a bike. And it’s 10 times more enjoyable than plodding along on a regular elliptical trainer. What is the purpose of an ElliptiGO? One could use it for just about anything one would use a regular bike for—and I mean anything. Brent Teal finished the 129-mile Death Ride in California, featuring more than 15,000 feet of climbing, ahead of more than half of the cyclists in the field last year. But for the triathlete the ElliptiGO is probably best used as an alternative to running. After all, that’s
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exactly what the triathlete who conceived it had in mind for it. Many triathletes use indoor elliptical trainers to maintain their running fitness when an injury prevents them from running, and some also replace a bit of the running they might otherwise do with some elliptical training to reduce the pounding their legs are subjected to and thereby reduce injury risk without sacrificing fitness. The ElliptiGO can be used in exactly the same ways, but I believe its benefits are likely to be even greater because, as an outdoor activity, it is both more specific to running and more fun and motivating. Among the small numbers who are already familiar with this new product, two knocks against it are commonly voiced. The first is price: It retails for $2,199. Triathletes are notoriously big spenders, though, so many of us won’t bat an eye at that. The other knock is that one stands out and perhaps looks a little goofy on an ElliptiGO (at least until everybody has one). The typical compression socks-wearing triathlete won’t have a problem with that, either. We just might be the perfect market for these things. For more information, visit Elliptigo.com.
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NU T RI T ION
NUTRITION Q&A MULTISPORT MENU EAT RIGHT RECIPE RACING WEIGHT
132 134 136 138 140
nu t r i t ion Q&A
By PiP Taylor
Question: My girlfriend has recently become vegetarian. We both eat reasonably healthy, I think, but I am trying to encourage her to eat some meat again or at least some chicken or fish as I don’t think she can be getting enough protein with the training she is doing. Am I right, or am I destined for tofu? Via e-mail
Answer: Vegetarian diets are adopted by people for a variety of reasons—religious or cultural beliefs, environmental concerns, moral beliefs regarding animal rights, personal taste or for health reasons—and these attitudes may also change with age, health status, financial status or other influencing factors. The term “vegetarian,” though, encompasses an array of classifications and different types of diets; some are quite restrictive and others exclude only some types of animal products. Without getting into the complexities, 132
some of the categories that can fall under the vegetarian banner include vegan, which excludes all animal foods, dairy, eggs, even honey and other animal products; lacto-vegetarian, which excludes animal products and eggs but includes milk and milk products; lacto-ovo-vegetarian, which excludes animal foods but includes eggs and milk; macrobiotic, which means no animal foods, eggs or milk and only unprocessed, organic and unrefined foods; and fruitarian, which is basically what it sounds like. Then there are the part-time vegetarians who perhaps only eat one type of meat, eat meat occasionally or if it is cooked, grown or prepared in a certain way. “Selective eating” would probably apply more than “vegetarian” in those instances. But this is not an article on questioning decisions, morals or eating choices, or to try to give a name to eating behaviors. The question is whether selective eating or vegetarianism is able to provide the necessary nutrients for a hard-working athlete. The fact is that vegetarian diets can be great and can be terrible, nutritionally speaking—I am making no judgments on flavors here. In order to find out if you are lacking, you first need to know how much of something you need and then what the sources are. So how much protein does an athlete need? Protein requirements of athletes are higher than those of their sedentary counterparts at around 1.2-1.7 grams per kilogram. However, these levels are normally well exceeded, even by vegetarians, unless an extremely caloric-restrictive diet is being followed. Vegans, though, may have more difficulty in meeting these levels without conscientious effort. Particularly in the Western World the meat-centric view is that animal foods are the main—if not the only—protein sources. However, vegetarians have access to many options to fulfill protein needs. Tofu and tempeh are the obvious ones, but other soy- or wheat-based protein foods are also available as well as legumes, nuts and seeds. Beyond these, grains, cereals, breads, sports bars and protein drinks also provide significant amounts of protein. Quinoa is one grain in particular that is naturally high in protein. For nonvegan vegetarians, eggs and dairy are also an important dietary component. As a guide, the following foods listed provide roughly 10 grams (0.35 ounces) of
protein. A 130-pound person would need about 70 to 100 grams, or 2.5–3.5 ounces, of protein per day. 1.2 oz/35g cooked lean lamb/pork/beef 1.4oz/40g cooked chicken 1.7oz/50g fish 7oz/200g tofu 1 cup low-fat milk 7oz/200g yogurt 2 small eggs ¾-cup cooked legumes 2oz/60g nuts 1.5 tablespoons peanut butter 3 cups cooked rice 4 slices bread But total protein is not the whole story; protein quality is important, too. Protein is composed of long chains of amino acids, some of which can be made by the body (nonessential amino acids) but eight of which must be provided by the diet (essential amino acids). Animal products are a fantastic source of all the essential amino acids, whereas plant proteins may be limited in one or more amino acid. The best idea is to combine different types of vegetable proteins to complement each other, so mix it up at meal time and include more than one plant-based protein source. While protein may steal the headlines as the obvious potential shortfall in a vegetarian diet, the fact is that protein needs can be easily met. It is other nutrients that vegetarians may be more at risk of missing out on—nutrients that animal products are rich in such as iron, calcium, zinc, riboflavin and vitamin B12. In order to ensure all of these essential nutrients are in adequate supply, it might be best to consult a nutritionist and carefully plan a diet. Rather than being concerned about your girlfriend’s protein needs, I would be more concerned that as a female vegetarian athlete she would find it very difficult to maintain adequate iron stores in particular and may need the guidance of a physician or dietitian to monitor iron levels. As long as you are prepared to put some time and effort into your diet, something that everyone is encouraged to do, there is no reason an athlete cannot be vegetarian and extremely successful. There are plenty of examples of great athletes representing a variety of sports, such as triathlete Dave Scott, tennis champ Martina Navratilova and even track star Carl Lewis. And yes, there is far more to the world of vegetarianism than tofu. If you’re creative, you can discover a whole world of flavors. Whatever your dietary preferences, quality and variety are key. july 2010
Vegetarian triathletes: Getting Enough Protein?
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Ditch Your Nutritional rut By AdAm Kelinson
5 Tips To make The mosT of your nexT farmer’s markeT visiT:
Go online and find out the location and hours of the farmer’s market closest to you and make it part of your regular weekly schedule. A couple of websites to steer you there are Localharvest.org and Ams.usda. gov/farmersmarkets. Leave the shopping list at home. Survey the landscape; let the produce that’s available guide your choices. Ask questions. Farmers love to connect with their customers and are happy to answer any of your questions. Choose produce that is bright or deep in color, firm to the touch and under the shade. Keep in mind that truly perfect food has imperfections in its shape and appearance. Don’t be afraid of a little dirt or a couple of spots. Keep in mind that you'll want to use minimal preparation in order to retain freshness, flavor and nutrients, and let the natural qualities of the produce shine.
Adam Kelinson is the author of The Athlete’s Plate: Real Food for High Performance and the creator of Organic Performance.
Tri Club Grub: Golden GaTe TriaThlon Club
Courtesy of Son Hong
More often than not your sports nutrition plan is only as good as your daily nutrition plan. Hence, the quality of your performance will be determined by the quality of your nutrition. Inigo San Millan, PhD, sports nutritionist and exercise physiologist for Team GarminTransitions, recommends athletes shop at farmer’s markets where they “can find fresher foods that are richer in micro- and macronutrients,” noting their benefits to performance and body physiology. Most produce found in chain supermarkets have traveled, on average, 1,500 miles from their origin, have been picked prematurely, sprayed with chemicals to delay ripening, and then shined with a wax to make them look fresh. During that timeframe, the produce progressively lose nutrient quality. Some, such as spinach, can lose up to 50 percent of vitamin C within a few days of being harvested. Farmers have a direct relationship with the food they grow and understand the best time for harvesting a plant for its freshness, quality of taste and density of nutrients. Whether you are a first-timer or regular at the farmer’s market, Millan suggests taking advantage of being able to talk to the farmer face-to-face. They will be able to answer your questions about how the food is grown and what is in season. Many times, they can even give you good recipes.
2. 3. 4.
The Golden Gate Triathlon Club honors the tradition of its multisport heritage with not one but three favorite places to refuel in the San Francisco Bay Area. “With more than 400 members, we’re the largest and oldest club in Northern California,” says club president Gary Najarian. After Sunday swims in the San Francisco Bay—with the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz providing the stunning backdrop—the club warms up at the Buena Vista Café (415-474-5044, Thebuenavista.com). On Saturday mornings, the GGTC rides hard across the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County, climbing the 12-percent grades on
Mount Tamalpais and looping the gorgeous Tiburon Peninsula before warming up with a cup of coffee and some carbs while enjoying the stunning views of San Francisco at Café Acri (415-435-8515). On Wednesday evenings, braving the fog and winds that pass for summer in San Francisco, GGTC members destroy those 600s, 800s and 1200s on the track before heading over to refuel and rehydrate with some food and local brews at the Kezar Pub (415-386-9292). For more information about the Golden Gate Triathlon Club, visit Ggtc.org. july 2010
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1 pound medium sea scallops 1 tablespoon olive oil sea salt 1½ cups arugula 2 cups cubed seedless watermelon (½-inch pieces)
Serving Size: 1 (444 grams) Calories: 571 Calories from Fat: 289 % Daily Value (based upon daily caloric intake of 2000)
Total Fat: 33g Sat: 4g
Trans: 0g Cholesterol: 119mg
Total Carbs: 15g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Grilled Sea Scallops with Watermelon and Arugula Salad
Rinse scallops and pat dry. Toss in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Heat a grill or grill pan until you can hold your hand three inches above it for three seconds. While the grill heats, prepare the dressing: Whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, the mint, scallions, lime juice, sesame seeds, salt and hot pepper (if using). Taste for seasoning. Brush the grill with some olive oil and cook the scallops about four minutes on each side, until they turn white the entire way through and are slightly springy to the touch. Set aside to cool while you finish the salad. In the same bowl used for the dressing, toss the arugula and watermelon in the dressing, and then add the scallops. Transfer to a plate and garnish with lime zest.
BY ADAM KELINSON
othing sings of summer more than firing up the grill. This simple recipe blends beloved ingredients with textures, flavors and colors from land and sea and is nothing short of gourmet. This dish is a combination of raw and cooked foods with the scallops providing lean protein, phosphorous, selenium and magnesium, tons of lycopene from the watermelon and vitamin C, calcium, potassium and iron from the arugula. Add in your whole grain from brown rice or quinoa and your body will be charged and ready to go! 138
Adam Kelinson is a professional chef and the founder of Organic Performance, a nutrition consulting company based in New York. Kelinson is an Ironman triathlete and has written on diet and nutrition for Inside Triathlon, TrailRunner and many nutrition websites. For more information, please visit Organicperformance.com. His book, “The Athlete’s Plate,” is available in bookstores, tri shops and online at Velopress.com. july 2010
Annette Slade Photography
Dressing: 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves 2 tablespoons sliced scallions 1 tablespoon lime juice 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds sea salt 1 small hot pepper (serrano, Thai, jalapeño or bird), chopped (optional) 1 tablespoon grated lime zest
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R a C ing W eigh t
is Counting Calories Worth the hassle? By Matt Fitzgerald
ounting calories makes sense for those who are trying to shed excess body fat and reach their ideal racing weight. Losing weight requires that you eat fewer calories than your body uses. Counting calories helps you determine if you are in fact using more calories than you eat. Pretty simple. But what’s simple in principle can be difficult in practice. Counting calories is challenging for two reasons. First, it’s a pain in the butt, requiring more time and effort than most people feel it is worth. Second, the do-it-yourself methods of calorie counting are not very accurate. Recently my 140
wife and I made a jambalaya with a million different ingredients in it. Calculating how many calories were in a serving would have taken longer than making it, and there would have been a large margin of error. But do-it-yourself calorie counting does not have to be 100 percent accurate, or even 95 percent accurate, to be helpful. That’s because counting calories increases dietary awareness, and when people are more conscious of what they are eating they automatically eat better, even when they don’t make a conscious effort to act on their awareness, but especially when they do. july 2010
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Studies have shown that keeping a food journal and weighing oneself frequently promote weight loss through increased awareness. For example, in a 2008 study by researchers at Minneapolis Heart Research Institute, 100 overweight individuals enrolled in a 12-month weight-loss program were encouraged to weigh themselves frequently at home. The study’s authors found that frequency of self-weighing was significantly correlated with weight loss and weight-loss maintenance. Subjects lost approximately one extra pound for every 11 days they weighed themselves. And in a study conducted at the Kaiser Permanente Health Research Center, researchers found that overweight individuals participating in an eight-month weight-loss program lost twice as much weight when they kept a daily food diary as opposed to logging their food intake irregularly or not at all. Earlier research has shown that calorie counting has a similar effect. Independently of any effort to reduce caloric intake, individuals who keep track of how many calories they consume actually eat less. The key difference between calorie counting on the one hand and food journaling and self-weighing on the other is that counting calories is more difficult and time consuming. While counting calories is a hassle, it’s not a hassle you have to put up with often to get some-
thing out of it. Very few people, even among those who succeed in losing excess body fat and keeping it off, count every calorie they consume every day of their lives. It simply isn’t necessary. Most people naturally maintain fairly consistent eating habits. Once you find eating habits that create a slight caloric deficit and move you closer to your optimal weight, it will be easy to stay close to your optimal weight simply by being consistent with those habits. Counting calories can help you discover the eating habits that are most effective in moving you closer to your optimal weight. These habits will consist of certain types of foods you eat regularly and others you eat minimally or not at all, particular portion sizes, and a schedule of meal and snack times. Such habits are very easy to recreate from one day to the next without calorie counting. With such habits in place, you can leave calorie counting behind until your eating habits change, for whatever reason. Then it’s a good idea to perform a brief “diet audit” to make sure your calorie intake is still in line with your needs. Think of calorie counting as a set of training wheels—a tool to get you started in the right direction and to be used only until you can balance on your own. Matt Fitzgerald is the author of Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance (VeloPress, 2009, Velopress.com). july 2010
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t ech support
cycling tips for health & healing Featuring ian Buchanan Dear Tech SupporT, I have been told by a doctor that I have a Morton’s neuroma, and I am wondering what might be done to help it during cycling, as it can be quite painful. Any ideas? Melissa Vermont
Dear MeliSSa, A neuroma is defined as a tumor or overdevelopment of nerve tissue, and Morton’s neuroma refers specifically to a neuroma between the metatarsals, or toe bones. Some neuromas initially create little more than a mild burning or numbing annoyance, while others can result in unbearably sharp pain. Women are more prone to Morton’s neuroma than men and this is thought to be somewhat attributable to the high heels and other restrictive footwear that women tend to wear. For similar reasons, a foot in a tight cycling shoe pushing down on a pedal can also be prone to developing a Morton’s neuroma. Non-surgical treatments of a neuroma tend to be more effective the earlier they are implemented after symptoms arise. If you 146
think you might have a neuroma, have it diagnosed by a doctor and make equipment changes that can help you manage the issue as soon as possible. From an equipment and setup perspective, the following five changes are worth considering: 1. FooT SupporT By supporting the arch and forefoot, nerve compression and pressure points can be reduced. Many riders will also see reduced fatigue and greater power production with a well-supported foot. Consider talking with a podiatrist to figure out the best method of foot support for your needs on and off the bike. Make sure you get a footbed or orthotic that is made specifically for cycling shoes, as they can be quite different from a walking or running orthotic. 2. WiDer/higher VoluMe ShoeS With a Morton’s neuroma, you do not want your metatarsals restricted. Pressure on the forefoot will exacerbate the inflammation, so get a wide and generous fitting shoe that does not put any additional pressure on the
inflamed area. Sidi, Lake, Shimano and others make wide versions of their shoes and specialty companies such as D2 and Bont offer stock and customizable shoes in a variety of width and volume options. 3. STiFFer SoleS Make sure your shoe sole is not too soft. Most modern performance-oriented cycling shoes are plenty stiff, but make sure you are using a stiff enough sole as soft-soled shoes can magnify pressure points. 4. peDalS WiTh a WiDe cleaT plaTForM Generally speaking, road-specific pedal systems with large cleats tend to work better than the smaller designs commonly used on spinning shoes and for mountain biking. Each pedal brand and design distributes pressure uniquely, so experimenting a bit to see if one system minimizes pressure on the inflamed area better than another can also be helpful. 5. rear-MounTeD cleaT poSiTion Standard cleat placement on a cycling shoe is often closely aligned with the point on july 2010
t ech support the foot where a neuroma forms. If you have a neuroma, pulling the cleat away from this point will redistribute the pressure point and can even reduce the inflammation. Most riders with a Mortonâ€™s neuroma will be best served by mounting the cleat farther toward the heel rather than farther forward. A custom shoe will often be needed if you want to get the cleat significantly farther back. Speedplay offers a rear-mount adapter plate that allows any of its pedals to be mounted one centimeter more rearward by just adding an aluminum plate. Remember, early diagnosis and doing all that you can to take pressure off the inflamed nerve are your best chances of minimizing discomfort and further development of the neuroma. True interdigital neuromas rarely fully heal; however, if theyâ€™re caught early enough, they can sometimes be managed well for long periods of time without surgery. Medically, the use of cortisone, which is often not an ideal approach as the cortisone can atrophy other connective tissue, is a common non-surgical treatment. Removal of the inflamed tissue is the normal surgical solution. Best of luck with the neuroma and I hope that equipment changes are enough to mitigate the issue for you. Ride hard and ride smart.
The farther back your cleat is mounted, the more difficult it can be to drop the heel into dorsiflexion and overextend the sore tendon. Also, make sure your saddle is an appropriate height, as low saddle positions can encourage the rider to drive the heel down at the bottom of the stroke. How your bike and shoes are set up can encourage certain riding and pedaling technique, but it is up to you, the rider, to actually master the technique. In the case of many Achilles injuries, you want to minimize the extension of the tendon during pedaling by minimizing dorsiflexion at the ankle. Pedaling with a neutral or slightly plantarflexed (toe angled down) pedal technique is recom-
mended. Likewise, try not to push or pull too hard on the pedals, as heavy or imbalanced loads can increase strain on tendons. Being able to see your pedaling technique can be very helpful, and we use Dartfish video motion capture in our bike fittings since the video analysis it offers is a great communication tool. Masterbikefitters.com offers a list of some other qualified fitters who employ Dartfish motion capture in their fittings. 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.
Dear Tech SupporT, I experienced a bad injury to my Achilles tendon two years ago and have felt some discomfort on the bike ever since, especially if I go hard or climb. Is there anything with my equipment or position that may help?
Franko Via e-mail
Achilles injuries can be particularly frustrating as they can take a long time to heal. On the bike, you can make changes to your position and equipment that will encourage minimal extension of the Achilles during pedaling, but it is equally important that you understand the role that your pedaling technique can play in the strain on your Achilles. Proper foot support can help some Achilles issues. Check with your doctor to find out any particulars that you should be aware of when getting foot support for your cycling shoes. For example, some ruptured Achilles issues should not have the forefoot supported very aggressively, and it is important that any footbed or orthotic you use takes this into account or further injury may occur. Larger platform, road-specific pedals and shoes maximize lateral stability, which can be helpful for many Achilles issues, and it is worth considering a more rear-mounted than average cleat position on the shoe, too. july 2010
T Ri aT hl e T e ’s g a R a ge Frame and ride
The Cannondale Scalpel Carbon 2 retails for $4,899.
Cannondale scalpel Carbon 2 By AAron HersH he Cannondale Scalpel Carbon 2 commands attention with its unorthodox full suspension, no rear pivot and single fork leg design. With the rider always in mind, Cannondale creatively discarded unnecessary bulk from the Scalpel Carbon 2 with these simple eliminations. This, combined with the fact that the Scalpel is an aluminum/carbon mix at a price dominated by full-carbon bikes, shows that this Cannondale has something to prove. Despite being constructed with a supposedly inferior material, the Scalpel Carbon 2’s agility and versatile geometry make it an ideal topshelf mountain bike for the fun-seeking trail rider and racer alike.
Componentry With the Scalpel Carbon 2, Cannondale kept the price competitive without sacrificing performance. In comparison to other bikes in this ultra-competitive price range, Cannondale spent big on critical components and saved on others, making this particular model an example in balanced cost. For example, Cannondale built the Scalpel Carbon 2 with a mixed SRAM drive train featuring both X.9 and X.0 components. Rather than charging for all marquee-level components, Cannondale kept the price down by selecting an X.9 front derailleur, cassette and shifters rather than the pricier X.0 components. The X.0 shifters execute crisper gear changes than the X.9 shifters on the Scalpel, but this 148
difference is barely perceivable on the trail and far more obvious at the cash register. The aluminum seatpost and handlebars save a few more bucks, too. The kit is finished with an FSA Afterburner BB30 carbon crank that adds a little flash and stiffness to the Scalpel Carbon 2.
Wheels The Scalpel Carbon 2 rolls on DT Swiss XCR 1.4 Custom rims laced to a DT Swiss 240 rear hub and Cannondale’s proprietary Lefty SL front hub. Wrapped in Schwalbe Racing Ralph tires, these light but sturdy wheels are eager to accelerate up the trail and still able to rip through slippery corners.
suspension The Lefty Speed Carbon fork is light, responsive and unmistakably distinctive. Although it is hard to believe that a singleleg fork is able to withstand abuse on the trail, the Lefty fork has proven its toughness and reliability since Cannondale released the first single-leg fork more than 10 years ago. Although the Lefty Speed Carbon is most known for its looks, it really shines when the trail turns rough. It eats up rocks and roots to keep the Scalpel Carbon on track. The Lefty Speed Carbon’s lockout setting is rock solid as it firmly secures the fork in place to save power on smooth terrain and makes quick work of fire roads.
The Scalpel Carbon frameset is quick and agile on the trail but still able to absorb big hits. The rear triangle is linked directly to the frame and flexes instead of pivoting behind the bottom bracket. The carbon rear end can withstand the constant bending without softening or breaking. This design saves weight by eliminating the bearings about which the rear triangle would usually rotate. Although I expected this linkage to be hesitant to conform to the trail, it was just the opposite. The rear wheel moves freely and can absorb major impacts that would flummox other four-inch bikes. The rear wheel is so eager to move that it can slump a bit under serious pedal force. Thankfully, the RockShox Monarch 3.1 rear shock dampens this effect and minimizes unwanted motion. The front wheel is swept out far in front of the rider, which stabilizes the bike, helps it stick to steep climbs and lets it float over rocks. This subtle geometric adjustment allows the Scalpel Carbon 2 to forgive mistakes on the trail, much like a longer travel bike, without sacrificing any of its racing-inspired design. It thrives on any type of terrain. The Scalpel is designed primarily as a fast and aggressive race bike, but its even balance and predictable steering make it both an efficient trail cruising bike and racing machine. Although the Scalpel Carbon 2 isn’t made entirely from black gold, its versatile ride and well-reasoned component specs give it a leg up over many all-carbon bikes.
Pr o b i k e Hugo’s component choices are “all performance-driven,” but on race courses with more creek crossings than crosswalks, reliability equals performance. With this reality of Xterra racing in mind, he swapped out the PC-1090, the lightest SRAM 10-speed chain, for the heavier but more dependable SRAM PC-1070. Hugo believes that “tires make more of a difference than most riders realize,” so he carries a quiver of options to every race to make sure he uses the tire most suited to the course. He frequently runs the Specialized Fast Trak Grid UST 2.0 tire rather than a lighter but flimsier option to make sure he rolls back into T2. His bike is dressed with top-shelf components, but it is the frame that Hugo believes gives him the biggest advantage over his competitors. The FSR rear linkage and BRAIN suspension dampener nearly eliminate pedal bob while still allowing the rear wheel to float over rough terrain. This combination of rigidity while pedaling and smooth motion over bumps is why Hugo races the Epic rather than a hardtail or another full-suspension bike with longer travel.
Rotors Q-Ring chainrings
Dan Hugo’s bike Philosophy— it’s All About the Details By AAron HersH lthough Dan Hugo may not have tread the path to triathlon that most athletes have, it hasn’t deterred from his success in the sport or his competitive edge. Hugo’s athletic life started with multi-day river kayaking adventures rather than organized sports, and his upbringing in rural South Africa left him with a more relaxed and holistic life outlook than many equally accomplished triathletes. But don’t let his demeanor fool you—Hugo pays close attention to the little details that so often decide a race, and his bike reflects that focus. As a member of the new Specialized Triathlon Team, Hugo has access to every style of mountain bike, ranging from old-school hardtails to burly downhill bikes. He selected the Specialized S-Works Epic Carbon Disc 150
from this extensive lineup because “It’s an aggressive set-up, from suspension travel to weight and stiffness,” he says. At 22 pounds out of the box, the fullsuspension S-Works Epic Carbon Disc weighs about as much as an entry-level tri bike. This tricked-out build includes SRAM XX—a two-chainring, 10-speed drivetrain—Avid XX disc brakes and Roval Control SL wheels. Hugo made the bike his own by replacing the stock handlebars with Syntace Duraflite Carbon bars and swapping the Specialized chainrings for oval-shaped QRings from Rotor. He also wraps his handlebars with road-style bar tape rather than traditional mountain grips and runs a pair of Crank Brothers Egg Beater 4ti pedals.
Specialized S-Works Epic Carbon frame, Avid XX disc brakes, and Roval Control SL wheels
SRAM XX groupset
the only way to succeed is to
the next great race... outer banks triathlon festival sprint, olympic and half events september 18-19, 2010 roanoke island, north carolina
www.obxtriathlon.org presented by:
supporting sponsors: City Beverage Company, Inc.
This project funded in part by the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau.
interested in other great races on the outer banks? outer banks marathon november 12-14, 2010 www.obxmarathon.org
flying pirate half marathon spring 2011 www.flyingpirate.org
T r i’ d a nd T e s T e d eliminated because the tire does not perforate when it hits the rim as a tube would.
Weight A tube weighs somewhere between 125 and 200 grams. The rubber rim strip included in the Stan’s Tubeless System weighs about 60 grams and the sealant adds another 60 grams. Add it all up and going tubeless saves between 10 and 160 grams at the rim.
stan’s Tubeless system By AAron HersH
he Stan’s Tubeless System is a kit that allows nearly any standard tire to hold air without a tube. The system uses a rubber rim strip to cover the spoke holes and liquid sealant to prevent air from leaking through the tire. Although it takes a leap of faith to trust a tire that is sealed with a scoop of liquid plastic, this progressive inflation solution reduces weight, prevents flats and improves tire grip. The Stan’s Tubeless System provides these dramatic performance improvements with only minimal drawbacks and at a budgetfriendly price.
Flat resistance Many riders trying tubeless wheels for the first time are concerned about reliability and puncture resistance. It seems only logi152
cal that removing the tube should make the tire more prone to flats, but the reality is just the opposite. A tube loses air as soon as it is punctured, but the liquid sealant in a tubeless tire prevents flats by rapidly filling any holes before air can escape. Stan’s boasts that its sealant prevents nail holes from flattening a tubeless tire. (If the system can stand up to nail damage, other road or trail hazards shouldn’t pose a problem.) I decided to conduct my own version of this test. I hammered four nails into the tire, pulled them out and waited overnight to see if Stan’s Tubeless is truly nail-proof. Sure enough, the tire held air. A standard tube can also go flat when it is pinched between the terrain and the rim. This type of puncture, known as a pinch flat, is
Every mountain bike on the market has a suspension fork because it is more efficient to absorb—rather than bounce over—bumps in the trail. Both the suspension and tires can conform to rough terrain, which prevents the rider from skipping off the ground and losing traction. A tire inflated to a low pressure is able to conform to the trail more effectively than one inflated to a high pressure. Traditional tube-and-tire systems must be pumped firmly to prevent pinch flats, but this prevents the tire from absorbing bumps in the trail so the rider is battered and beaten by every rock with only the suspension fork to absorb the shock. Unlike standard tires, tubeless tires can be ridden at low inflation pressures that allow them to effectively grip the ground without risking a pinch flat. Stickier tires improve performance on all types of terrain but the added grip pays biggest dividends on steep climbs. Traction, not weight, is the difference between spinning up a rocky climb and being forced to dismount and hike up the hill. Supple tubeless tires are able to grab onto rocks that would bounce a standard tire off the trail and leave the rear wheel kicking dust.
DraWbacks The Stan’s Tubeless System costs $60, about $50 more than a pair of tubes. Although the kit is more expensive than standard tubes, it provides an unmatched performance-per-dollar value. Upgrading other parts—or buying tubeless wheels—to mimic the speed gained from converting to tubeless would be drastically more expensive than the $60 Stan’s kit. Initial installation is the only real drawback to the Stan’s Tubeless System. Using the kit to convert standard wheels to tubeless is an eight-step process that requires an air compressor. Most shops charge less than $40 for the conversion. Once the tire is properly installed, adding a scoop of sealant every couple months is the only necessary upkeep. The Stan’s Tubeless System is a recessionfriendly upgrade that improves performance, ride quality and reliability without creating mechanical problems. july 2010
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Off-road Hydration By AAron HersH FuelBelt excursioN, $37 UpsiDe: The 44-ounce fluid capacity makes the Excursion the perfect choice for a long, hot run if backpacks aren’t your style. The large lumbar pad and strong Velcro keep the Excursion comfortably in place even when you are leaping around a rocky trail. A small front pocket has enough room for several hundred calories of solid food.
DownsiDe: The bottles rock up and down a little bit despite the well-constructed belt. The two-bottle design is too big and bulky for moderate-length runs.
iDeal long-rUn waist pack.
UpsiDe: Amphipod eliminated bottle movement by positioning the 20-ounce bottle horizontally, rather than vertically, against the lower back. The bottle is easy to pull from the pouch and slides back in without resistance. Unlike a handheld bottle, the waist belt design is unobtrusive enough to be forgotten during a run. The minimalistic belt provides 20 ounces of hydration and omits other unnecessary clutter.
Quickdraw Plus, $18 UpsiDe: Drinking is quick and easy since the bottle is always in hand. The adjustable strap firmly and comfortably synchs onto the runner’s palm. The front pocket has enough storage space for electrolyte pills and a gel. The soft rubber bottle top forms a reliable seal. It costs less than a canister of drink mix.
DownsiDe: The solid plastic bottle tip leaks a little.
Most effective bottle holster UseD in this test.
DownsiDe: The elastic band that holds the bottle against the runner’s hand is a little too weak and allows the bottle to bounce slightly. Awkward to carry a 22-ounce weight in one hand while the other is empty.
the easiest proDUct to Drink froM in this review.
Photos by Nils Nilsen
amPhiPod Full-tilt Velocity, $32
gear bag CamelBak OCtane XCt+, $70 UpsiDe: The shoulder straps and waist belt firmly hold the ultra-light Octane XCT+ in place while cycling or running without creating hot spots or friction points. The pack has enough storage space for flat repair supplies, nutrition and a thin rain jacket in addition to the 70-ounce fluid reservoir. Pockets integrated into the waistband keep nutrition within reach while on the go.
DownsiDe: The Octane XCT+ isn’t capable of carrying enough gear for an all-day ride. Though it is ideal for racing, many people would still need a bigger pack hanging in the closet for longer training days.
Great race-Day pack that scores bonUs points for bike/rUn Usability.
CamelBak RaCeBak, $100 UpsiDe: The RaceBak is a base layer that carries a 72-ounce fluid reservoir. The well-constructed top firmly holds the bladder in place—even while running—and stores enough fluid for hours of exercise. It is the lightest and simplest back-mounted hydration option and also saves transition time because it can be worn through an entire triathlon. CamelBak wisely added a foam pad between the user and the reservoir to evenly distribute pressure and insulate the drink from body heat.
DownsiDe: Constant access to hydration at any point during a race is fantastic; unfortunately, the reservoir is uncomfortable under a wetsuit. The top is tight enough to secure the reservoir but can feel restrictive. No additional storage.
optimal sinGle-sport hyDration option that also performs well in a triathlon.
t h e av i a i - q u e s t
Not Selfish? You Should Be BY ANDY POTTS
©American Sporting Goods Corporation 2010
s I’m sitting here writing this article all I can think about is me. Funny thing is, this is not a rare occasion. I am often wrapped up in selfish thoughts and deeds. What do I need for my next workout? What time is my next practice? Am I getting enough sleep? Do I need anything else in my diet? I know this sounds awful. What kind of person only thinks of himself? It’s not that I only think about myself—I do think about others too. But, in order for me to really help others, I need to take care of myself first. By helping others I mean being a good husband, a conscientious father, a dependable friend and a role model for others. However, I can’t do any of those things unless I am selfish and take care of myself first. Truthfully, I am selfish in both my thoughts and in my actions. I do not think about the minutiae that makes my life go around, such as what groceries we need, if we have enough diapers or whether all of our bills are paid. I admit in that respect I am self-absorbed. My wife experiences my selfishness firsthand every day. She knows that I have certain expectations that need to be met for me to be able to train and perform my best. That being said, though, and as a side note to my lovely wife, I’m aware all those other
things need to be done and I am thankful for all she does to keep our house a home. We have a system that allows me to be selfish so that I may ultimately give back in other ways. This isn’t easy to write about because people might take it the wrong way, but hear me out. Self-absorbed, self-centered, and selfish—these attributes usually carry a negative connotation, but they can also mean something positive. I am not alone in thinking that selfishness is a virtue rather than a vice. The philosopher and author Ayn Rand, who wrote my favorite book, Atlas Shrugged, also believed in the value of being selfish. In her collection of essays entitled The Virtue of Selfishness shness, she says, “Only a rationally selfish man, a man of self-esteem, is capable of love—because he is the only man capable of holding firm, consistent, uncompromising, unbetrayed values. The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.” It is with this selfishness that I pursue my passions in life. When I talk about being selfish, it’s not about ego. I am selfish so that I may love, so that I may give. Being selfish to give? That may sound contradictory but not if you believe in the virtue of the word “selfish.” I certainly take the approach that being selfish is a good thing. If you take care of yourself first, you are able to give to others. Conversely, if you are able to fully give yourself to others, then you must first be selfish and love yourself. As I talk about the virtues of being selfish I am reminded of another writer, Rabbi Hillel. Hillel is quoted in the Talmud as saying, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I?” He is saying that you must first take care of yourself—in the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual senses—before you are able to extend yourself to others. Ultimately, Hillel is espousing the virtues of being selfish. These two widely read and respected philosophers believed in the value and virtues of selfishness, and I do too. Athletes in all sports get accused of being selfish all the time. The great ones, such as Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Muhammad Ali, reach the peaks of success, and their selfishness gets washed away. To be great you almost have to have selfishness hardwired into your brain. It is somehow part of their, and my, obsessive-compulsive desire to excel. So you see, being selfish isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Next time someone calls you selfish you can say, “Thanks.” july 2010
your next run may depend on your next walk
UP F RON T
gamble at best, but at home it is controllable. A dark quiet room, a consistent bedtime and a comfortable bed are all things that contribute to quality sleep. There are products available specifically for endurance athletes that promote better sleep quality, enhanced oxygen return and faster recovery. The company T3 Recovery Products has come up with a mattress overlaid with Celliant, a fabric specially designed to enhance oxygen uptake as you sleep. Does this mean that you will wake up faster in the morning? It just might, depending on how hard you are training. All I know is that the hours of sleep I get are way better than hours I don’t get. And even a diagnosed insomniac can get a serious amount of sleep on a proper mattress.
Recover Like a Pro BY SAMANTHA MCGLONE
hirty may be the new 20, but as an endurance athlete it sure doesn’t feel like it. After 10 years of training I can train longer and harder than those speedy new kids, but I also need to pay more attention to recovery between sessions. Sadly, gone are the days when I could train hard twice a day, hit the books for a few hours before heading out for the night and wake up bright and early the next morning to do it all over again. Now I am usually in bed by 10 and still wake up feeling like I got hit by a truck the day after a hard workout. Unlike sprinters, endurance athletes have the luxury of long careers, but only if managed properly, which means smarter training, better nutrition and attention to recovery. Most athletes know about the standard recovery protocols. Protein shakes, stretching and ice baths are nothing new to triathletes, but there are a few new tricks of the trade that some pros have adopted to speed and enhance recovery. When you are training 30-plus hours a week, you learn a thing or two about resting as hard as you train.
PNEUMATIC COMPRESSION Long used in the medical world to help treat more serious conditions, graduated compression devices are finding their way into the endurance sports market. The NormaTec MVP, affectionately known as “space legs” by the elite cyclists and triathletes who use it, uses pneumatic compression to enhance venous return from legs and arms after a hard workout or race. The graduated compression mimics 158
normal physiology to help reduce swelling and edema, thereby speeding recovery. I know many pro cyclists and runners who swear by their daily sessions on the NormaTec, and the difference is noticeable. When you are training hard twice, sometimes three times, a day, it is the recovery between sessions that makes the difference between quality workouts and just getting through the day. Having used the NormaTec during extended high-volume/high-intensity blocks of training, I was amazed by how well I was able to perform even at the end of a long week. Since triathletes are constantly taxing the large leg muscles on the bike and run, it is a challenge to swim effectively when those muscles are fatigued and the legs feel like bricks in the water. If I spend 45 minutes on the NormaTec following a hard training day—think six-hour brick—I feel like (almost) new in the morning.
BETTER SLEEP The cruel paradox of sleep is that it gets more important yet more elusive as the years go by. It is common in high-level athletes that the harder we train, the harder it is to sleep. Adding intense training to the stresses of daily life raises cortisol levels and leaves athletes wired and restless at night, when proper rest and recovery are crucial. Gone are the days of couch surfing and crashing on a hotel floor with six other athletes the night before the race. Now slumming it means the Courtyard instead of the JW. On the road, a good night’s sleep is a
COQ10 There are so many supplements designed to enhance athletic performance that it is hard to sift through all the hype. Luckily there are lots of smart people doing research in fancy labs to determine what will make you faster instead of just making your pee expensive. The latest hot nutrient is Coenzyme Q10, an enzyme that is required to convert fats and carbohydrates to ATP, the body’s immediate energy source. CoQ10 is also an antioxidant that neutralizes the free radicals created by endurance training and racing. In performance terms this means faster recovery, higher energy levels and improved health and immunity. CoQ10 deficiency occurs proportionate to metabolic activity rate, so the harder you train, the higher your caloric expenditure and the less CoQ10 is available for recovery and repair. The enzyme is available in some foods but in such small amounts that it’s beneficial for athletes to supplement due to the huge energy requirements of endurance training. Since CoQ10 is a fat-soluble compound, a liquid, oil-based formula is most readily absorbed and utilized by the body. I like Athlete Octane, a high-quality liquid supplement that is guaranteed to not contain any banned substances. As always, supplements are not made to replace a balanced diet—think of them more in terms of nutritional insurance. Even if you can’t train 30 hours a week like a professional athlete, you can benefit from the same techniques we use to optimize recovery. The goal of endurance training is to go faster with less effort. Feel free to adopt these in your own training. Just do me a favor and don’t mention them to Chrissie Wellington. For more information, visit Normatecmvp.com, T3recovery.com or Athleteoctane.com. july 2010
T ICK E T PU NCH
SINGLE TR ACK MIND ing into one season. It takes years to develop the kind of deep aerobic fitness that top-level triathletes demonstrate, so don’t think that training harder is going to make you better. Training smart is the only way to go.
NOT CELEBRATING LITTLE VICTORIES ENOUGH. Sometimes when I won a local race, earned a personal best or cleaned a tricky technical line for the first time, I didn’t stop to celebrate the moment. I was so caught up with achieving grander victories that I didn’t savor the small ones. Sometimes the road to your big victory can be long. If you don’t take enough time to pat yourself on the back, you can feel like you aren’t achieving anything while you work toward your larger goals. This can be frustrating and prevent you from enjoying the process and the journey of your life in sport. As they say, a win is a win. However big or small, enjoy it!
Learning From My Top 5 Mistakes BY MELANIE MCQUAID
can’t believe my first Xterra race was 10 years ago. Things have changed a lot since I started, and not just in terms of my ability. For instance, we didn’t have the option to access a huge list of pros blogging and writing about the process of being/competing/achieving as a professional triathlete. We basically believed in what we were doing and tried our hardest to get better at a new sport that many people didn’t know how to train for. I think it’s much easier now to figure out how to be a good triathlete, given the volume of available information dedicated to the sport. I often see new athletes with knowledge that took me years to attain. This got me thinking, which eventually got me writing. I thought a list of the five biggest mistakes I have made in my career might be useful for the next generation. Of course, a more positivesounding list would be the five things I have done right over the years, but it seems that mistakes inspire more change than positive outcomes do. So, in an effort to have history not repeat itself by someone else, here is my list. Good luck on your journey! 160
NOT GETTING A GOOD COACH SOONER. Training smart is the fastest route to your goals. If you coach yourself, you need to do a lot of research to understand training methodology and thereby save yourself time and wasted effort. If you decide to get a coach, research him or her carefully before committing yourself to the process. Anything less than full commitment means you will be so uncoachable that even an incredibly gifted coach can’t help you. At this stage in my career, I recently found some new coaches for swimming, running and cycling to introduce new training ideas and methods so that my improvement doesn’t plateau. A good coach will make or break your career, as he or she can often teach you about yourself faster than you can learn on your own.
NOT BEING PATIENT ENOUGH. Patience helps you to avoid over-reaching in your training. Lack of patience on my part for the majority of my first years as an athlete meant constant overtraining. Testing your limits but staying within them is better than blowing yourself to pieces trying to fit five years of train-
NOT PRIORITIZING RECOVERY OVER TRAINING. When I got started on my athletic journey, we believed that the person who trained the longest and the hardest would win. A lot of the time that was true and still is to this day. However, had I scheduled more recovery in my world record-setting training program, I might have had more world-class results. We all know now that training is only half of the equation. I am still learning about how I can recover more effectively. As a serial multitasker, I can count the naps I’ve taken in my entire life on one hand. However, I have learned to counter my lack of naptitude by balancing my insanity for action with some downtime and enforced stillness. I make myself lie horizontal whenever possible, and I schedule recovery methods and modalities frequently. Scheduling recovery like training sessions is the only way I fit it in.
LETTING NEGATIVE PEOPLE INFLUENCE ME. First off, you need to love and appreciate your training partners, family, coaches and sponsors. If you give love to them, you are more often than not going to get love in return. However, sometimes you can send positive energy out and still get negative energy back— that’s a function of someone else’s weakness, insecurity or ego. When that is the case, accept it and move on. You can waste too much energy trying to make someone like you, appreciate you or even notice you; instead you should focus your energy on yourself and staying positive. The best way to make a statement is with great results and a sportsmanlike demeanor. A quote by Madeline Bridges sums it up best: “Give the world the best you have, and the best will come back to you.” july 2010
ENDUR A NCE CONSPIR A C Y
My Experience with Alternative Medicine BY TIM DEBOOM
hil Maffetone was something of a guru for me in aspects of health and fitness and very influential in our sport years ago. I use the past tense because his flash of brilliance was short-lived in our sport. In 1994, I had never heard of Maffetone. He had not been featured in any of the triathlon publications and there was no chatter about him among athletes. (This is significant because he worked with two of triathlon’s most dominant athletes, Mark Allen and Mike Pigg.) At the time I was still an age-grouper. I had been dealing with a tendon issue in my leg for more than six months and I could not ride or run at all. I had seen all the regular doctors and tried all the textbook remedies. I was at my emotional end when a friend suggested I fly to Connecticut and meet with the guy who had helped him through several injuries. I was willing to try anything, so I took the chance. I did not have any expectations going into our first appointment. I had only ever seen traditional medical doctors, so I had not formed an opinion on some of the alternative forms 162
of medicine. All I knew was I was staying for a week at my friend’s place, as Maffetone wanted to see me several times. I was told he worked with some other well-known triathletes. His office was in an old Victorian home in an affluent area of Connecticut. Maffetone was a soft-spoken gentleman who instilled an immediate reassurance in me through the confidence he projected in himself. I filled out several questionnaires, mostly about diet, and then started the initial exam. He studied my eyes and did a few muscle imbalance tests. When I raised an arm, he would push it down. He would make a small adjustment or give me a couple drops of something on my tongue. Then, he’d test the arm again. He didn’t say much of anything as he worked. He didn’t touch my bad knee or watch me try to run. However, he did look at my shoes and the orthotics in them. He took them out and tossed them aside. “Don’t need those,” he said. At the end of that first appointment, he gave me a bottle of capsules. He told me to chew two of them three times a day starting
now. I highly recommend never chewing fish oil gel capsules. While nothing burps better than bacon, fish oil is at the opposite end of the spectrum. It’s completely gawd-awful, but I was willing to follow his advice. He told me to have a steak for dinner and a glass of red wine, too. I found this particularly interesting because everything I was taught in school and by reading magazines advocated an extremely low-fat diet. The fact that I had not eaten red meat for a couple of years—because I was trying out the whole vegetarian thing—did not deter him. He said I needed it. As I said, I was willing to try anything to finally go for a pain-free run. The last thing he said, which finally made me wonder if this was a good idea, was to go for a run in the morning. Take my shoes with no orthotics, or any insole in them for that matter, and go run for 20 minutes. Make sure I hit 90 strides per foot per minute. I had not run a step in more than six months without my knee almost locking up on me. I had just gotten to the point of walking normally after my last premature test run, and I was afraid this would be yet another setback. He saw the worry in my eyes and reassuringly said, “Just try it.” He never once said, “If it hurts, stop.” That’s how confident he was that I would be fine. That night, after chewing another fish oil gel, I slept fitfully, thinking about my run in the morning. It had gotten to the point where I was having dreams of running at full blast with no pain. I just wanted to run again. Morning finally came, and my friend drove me to a softly wooded, flat trail. I walked for several minutes first. My shoes felt roomy and comfortable without the $300 orthotics in them. I slowly transitioned into a shuffle and started counting my strides. The first minute I hit 85, then 87, then 90. At five minutes, I was still shuffling along with no pain. Every so often I would feel a twinge, but it would not last and I would go right back to counting. A grin slowly spread across my face. I was running! Maffetone became better-known in the few years after I first worked with him. He wrote several books and articles, and he even created a food bar adhering to his recommendation of a higher-fat diet. What I learned from him about diet, running form and aerobic training are all things that helped form the backbone of my career. Maffetone has disappeared quietly from the sport of triathlon. From what I know he writes his own music, and he still practices alternative medicine. Same practice, different discipline, I guess. Or, once a guru, always a guru. july 2010
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a t t he r a c es “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
Stoltz and Vanlandingham capture Xterra WeSt at VegaS
The swim started on a private beach at Loews Lake Las Vegas resort.
Conrad Stoltz of South Africa led the entire 10K trail run, which he said is second only to Maui in difficulty.
XTERRA WEsT ChAmpionship LAkE LAs VEgAs April 25, 2010 — Henderson, Nev. 1.5K swim, 30K mountain bike, 10K trail run WomeN
1. Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) 25:23 1:17:45 41:06 2:24:14 2. Melanie McQuaid (CAN)
22:09 1:21:31 44:41 2:28:21
3. Lesley Paterson (SCO)
23:05 1:26:23 40:36 2:30:04
4. Christine Jeffrey (CAN)
19:44 1:30:50 43:16 2:33:50
5. Rosemarie Gerspacher (CAN) 24:33 1:28:15 42:07 2:34:55
1. Conrad Stoltz (RSA)
20:08 1:09:11 37:28 2:06:47
2. Josiah Middaugh (USA)
21:03 1:10:42 35:41 2:07:26
3. Brian Smith (USA)
24:06 1:09:24 36:31 2:10:01
4. Seth Wealing (USA)
19:23 1:18:05 36:46 2:14:10
5. Nicolas Lebrun (FRA )
23:11 1:13:43 38:59 2:15:53 july 2010
Shonny Vanlandingham posted the fastest women’s bike split of the day en route to the win.
a t t he r a c es “Super challenging, but fun!”
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Rated 5 times
Julie Dibens anD Michael RaeleRt DoMinate WilDfloWeR
The 28th editon of the Wildflower Triathlons featured 7,000 racers in three events.
Julie Dibens led the women from start to finish and smashed the course record by 3:15.
Xterra specialist Melanie McQuaid put in a wellrounded performance to place fifth.
AviA WildfloWer long Course TriAThlon May 1, 2010 — Lake San Antonio, Calif. 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run WoMen
1. Julie Dibens (GBR)
25:26 2:30:57 1:28:28 4:27:53
2. Desiree Ficker (USA)
29:04 2:38:18 1:24:47 4:35:02
3. Virginia Berasategui (ESP) 27:12 2:38:52 1:30:56 4:39:46
27:46 2:41:03 1:28:17 4:40:04
5. Melanie McQuaid (CAN)
29:09 2:37:46 1:34:01 4:43:28
1. Michael Raelert (GER)
23:44 2:14:47 1:15:16 3:55:57
2. Joe Gambles (AUS)
24:39 2:18:03 1:16:56 4:01:58
3. Eneko Llanos (ESP)
23:56 2:19:26 1:17:23 4:03:34
4. Philip Graves (GBR)
23:50 2:16:33 1:20:47 4:03:54
5. Rasmus Henning (DEN)
23:41 2:22:47 1:16:26 4:05:42
Michael Raelert, the 70.3 world champion, used a 1:15:16 run split to cement his win.
4. Magali Tisseyre (CAN)
a t t he r a c es
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Rated 5 times
AmericAns on top At st. Anthony’s triAthlon in FloridA
Athletes started the swim in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico on a humid, windy day in St. Petersburg.
St. Anthony’S triAthlon April 25, 2010 — St. Petersburg, Fla. 1500-meter swim, 40K bike, 10K run
1. Sarah Haskins (USA)
19:38 1:00:47 36:14 1:58:49
2. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS)
21:45 1:01:34 34:55 2:00:20
3. Jillian Petersen (USA)
21:06 1:00:26 37:06 2:00:35
4. Jodie Stimpson (GBR)
20:51 1:03:25 35:27 2:01:44
5. Laura Bennett (USA)
19:56 1:03:45 36:43 2:02:16
1. Cameron Dye (USA)
2. Greg Bennett (AUS)
3. Craig Alexander (AUS)
4. Stuart Hayes (GBR)
5. Matthew Reed (USA)
ITU star Sarah Haskins pulled ahead in the swim and maintained her lead throughout the race.
Challenged Athletes Foundation
R AC E . R I D E . B E INSPIR E D.
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ChAnge geArs. ChAnge Lives. October 16-22, 2010
An unforgettable seven-day, 620-mile journey down the breathtaking California coastline from San Francisco to San Diego. Highlights include: } Opportunity to ride along-side celebrities such as Bill Walton, professional cyclists from the Garmin-Transitions team and inspirational challenged athletes. } A comprehensive 20-week training program, world class support and service, premier accommodations, fabulous meals and amenities. } Each rider will be outfitted daily with MDC-branded cycling apparel including team jerseys, a jacket and accessories.
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san Diego Triathlon Challenge
ChAnging Lives, one AThLeTe AT A TiMe. October 24, 2010
A life-changing 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run distance triathlon and festival, in one of the most breathtaking parts of the country – La Jolla, California! Highlights include: } Opportunity to race side-by-side with world-class challenged athletes, professional triathletes, celebrities and other enthusiasts. } A “Celebration of Abilities” dinner, a continental breakfast on event-day, as well as a post-event BBQ and awards ceremony. } An incredible race-bag, often called “the industry’s best schwag bag,” filled with items such as CAF branded clothing, running apparel, sunglasses, sport watches, goggles, running shoes and more! (valued at $350) presentInG spOnsOrs
www.challengedathletes.org 501(c)(3) Non-profit Tax ID #33-0739596
Photos by: Tim Mantoani, Luis Garcia, Janis Darlington, Ironstring Writing and Photography and Brightroom
a t t he r a c es
“Plenty of porta-potties!” 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 15 times
Wurtele and Weiss take inaugural st. george titles
The inaugural Ford Ironman St. George in Utah has been touted as one of the toughest Ironman races in the world.
Austrian Michael Weiss surged in the final segment of the bike and led the rest of the race.
Ford Ironman St. GeorGe May 1, 2010 — St. George, Utah 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Heather Wurtele (CAN)
51:19 5:20:29 3:19:01
2. Meredith Kessler (USA) 51:54 5:37:48 3:12:40
3. Caitlin Snow (USA)
56:22 5:54:17 3:10:15
4. Gina Crawford (NZL)
51:18 5:45:26 03:29:57 10:11:50
5. Kathleen Pallardy (USA) 59:33 5:48:56 3:24:49
1. Michael Weiss (AUT)
54:29 4:43:01 2:58:03
2. Ben Hoffman (USA)
51:13 4:53:37 3:04:53
3. Chris McDonald (AUS)
51:20 4:54:02 3:06:25
4. Kirill Kotsegarov (EST)
51:10 4:53:56 3:09:00
5. Clemens Coenen (GER) 51:14 4:53:50 3:13:44
Athletes battled on the two laps of the difficult, hilly run course.
a t t he r a c es “The volunteers were amazing!” 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 12 times
Cave and Kemper win 30th esCape from alCatraz
Some 1,800 athletes jumped from a ferry boat to start the swim in the frigid waters of the San Francisco Bay.
a t t he r a c es “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
EscapE from alcatraz triathlon May 2, 2010 — San Francisco 1.5-mile swim, 18-mile bike, 8-mile run Swim
1. Leanda Cave (GBR)
2. Jenna Shoemaker (USA)
3. Mary Beth Ellis (USA)
4. Michellie Jones (AUS)
5. Rebecca Witinok-Huber (USA) 26:01 56:58
1. Hunter Kemper (USA)
2. Bevan Docherty (NZL)
3. Andy Potts (USA)
4. Chris McCormack (AUS)
5. Francesc Godoy (ESP)
rider: Seamus McGrath
American Hunter Kemper used his run split of 1:58:21 to finish two minutes ahead of Kiwi Bevan Docherty.
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a t t he r a c es “Super challenging, but fun!”
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Rated 5 times
ITU athletes took to the chilly water of the Han River to start round two of the 2010 series.
Nicola Spirig congratulates countrywoman Daniela Ryf on her victory.
4/26/10 12:33 PM
Ryf and fRodeno win SpRintS to the finiSh in Seoul
LONG BAY TRIATHLON Sprint and Half-Iron
October 10, 2010 Murrell’s Inlet, SC Don’t let this picture deceive you, it will not be just another day at the beach.
NATIONAL CHAMPIONS MADE HERE
Age Group Olympic Distance 1.5k swim • 40k bike • 10k run Age Group Sprint Distance 750m swim • 20k bike • 5k run For more information, visit usatnationalevents.org
a t t he r a c es
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Rated 5 times
Dextro energy triathlon itU WorlD Championship seoUl May 8, 2010 — Seoul, Korea 1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run Swim
1. Daniela Ryf (SUI)
19:53 1:06:05 33:23 2:00:59
2. Barbara Riveros Diaz (CHI)
20:02 1:05:58 33:24 2:01:02
3. Emma Moffatt (AUS)
19:46 1:06:15 33:26 2:01:04
4. Nicola Spirig (SUI)
20:48 1:05:12 33:28 2:01:05
5. Andrea Hewitt (NZL)
20:01 1:05:58 33:28 2:01:06
1. Jan Frodeno (GER)
19:25 1:01:47 29:08 1:51:49
2. Courtney Atkinson (AUS)
19:23 1:01:49 29:08 1:51:50
3. Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS)
19:30 1:01:46 29:32 1:52:17
4. Steffen Justus (GER)
19:42 1:01:39 29:27 1:52:21
5. Alexander Brukhankov (RUS) 19:33 1:01:44 29:30 1:52:28
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German Jan Frodeno kicked past Aussie Courtney Atkinson to pull out the win.
a t t he r a c es
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Rated 15 times
Reed and dibens snag fiRst-eveR Rev3 Knoxville titles
A victory at Rev3 Knoxville meant three wins in a row for Brit Julie Dibens, the perfect start to her 2010 season.
Rev3 Knoxville TRiaThlon May 9, 2010 – Knoxville, Tenn. 1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run
1. Julie Dibens (GBR)
16:44 1:06:26 37:52
2. Sam Warriner (NZL)
17:57 1:09:59 36:32
3. Kelly Williamson (USA)
17:00 1:11:55 35:26
1. Matt Reed (USA)
15:49 1:01:02 32:54
2. Terenzo Bozzone (NZL)
16:13 1:02:02 32:28
3. Chris Lieto (USA)
Matt Reed passed both Bjorn Andersson and Chris Lieto on the run to take the win.
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L igh t Re a d The 10 CommandmenTs
There is never ever a good reason to blow-dry your business. In public. With one foot perched high on the bathroom vanity counter, spread eagle style. What enters the locker room naturally attached to your body should exit the locker room naturally attached to your body, or in extreme cases, disposed of discreetly and completely in a rubbish bin. This applies to calloused skin, nail clippings and hair from your head, legs or various other locations. Sloughing, snipping, clipping and plucking are best performed in the privacy of your own home. Follow the three-minute rule in a group shower setting—not only to save water, but to save face. Please, no prolonged aggressive scrubbing of nooks and crannies. Get in and get out. The sauna/steam room is a place to relax post-workout, not a pit stop in your circuit training routine. Two words: towel service. If your club offers this perk, take full advantage. There’s no need to ration your supply. Help yourself to a minimum of two: one for wrapping your body, one for protecting any surface on which your bare booty might rest. If I am relaxing in the sauna/steam room with eyes closed, consider that a barrier to conversation, not an invitation. Remember, I’m probably still recovering from a recent locker room trauma (see No. 7). Certain views of your private parts are best reserved for your lover or your OB/ GYN. If you insist on lounging naked in the steam room or sauna, by all means sit like a lady. You can obviously afford the membership to this place. Therefore, I’m near certain you can manage the cost of a razor or a bottle of Nair, if not the occasional wax. Familiarize yourself with some of the following terminology: bikini line, Brazilian, depilatory, laser hair removal and, for the gents, manscaping. The dressing area of a locker room can easily become crowded and cramped, so be kind to your neighbor. If someone is seated on a bench near where you’re standing, keep in mind that they are exactly at eye level with your girl or boy bits. Keep an appropriate distance. When in doubt, follow this golden rule: If it’s something you yourself would prefer not to see, hear, sit on or clean up after, think twice before subjecting others to the same.
the 10 Commandments of Locker Room etiquette By Holly Bennett I recently read a survey to which “average women” responded that a mere 1 percent routinely walk around their gym locker room naked. Obviously the women at my health club are far from average. Maybe it’s because I live in the liberal stronghold of Boulder, Colo., where a good portion of the gals are free and easy hippie hold-outs and the rest are proud hard-bodied athletes, but regardless, these ladies love to strut their stuff. Not that there’s anything wrong with the naked human form, but somehow standards must be set in terms of appropriate locker room etiquette. Take the women’s-only hot tub, for example, where a number of gals soak completely nude. Arguably, there’s not much difference between going buff and being draped in a teeny Lycra bikini. But for some reason, in some way, there is a difference. One pal of mine nailed it succinctly: “It just seems a bit like taking a bath with a bunch of strangers,” she said. The other day, I relaxed alone in the steam room post-workout, eyes closed, luxuriating in the moist warm air and healing eucalyptus scent. I was vaguely aware of another member entering the room, and was slightly annoyed by her choice to settle in on the same bench where I sat—appropriately towel-wrapped, I might add. She made a fair amount of noise as she shuffled about and got comfortable, and I couldn’t help but open my eyes to see what the fuss entailed. I was greeted square on by the pallid full moon of her bare bum, lifted in the air in some sort of
perverse reverse sit up, pointed directly at me. Is there no universally accepted line between decent and disgusting? I can rattle off all variety of locker room over-exposure incidents that are cause for alarm. Every gym has a woman who wraps in a towel solely from the waist down, parading about the benches and blow dryers, walking tall, shoulders back, her “girls” thrust pointedly forward. Don’t even get me started on the numerous inconsiderate and just plain icky hygiene routines that we’ve all been unfairly forced to observe. There are many things I do not wish to share with the random strangers who frequent my gym, namely their sloughed off skin cells or shaving detritus. We all know by now not to pee in the pool—the same holds true for public showers. Of course, I polled a few guy friends to learn if their locker rooms are as much disturbing dens of personal grooming iniquity and bizarre in-the-buff behavior as ours. Indeed, along with the age-old practice of sizing up the competition, it seems that several less expected (though no less disturbing) routines are near epidemic among naked men. Performing calisthenics, au naturel, in the sauna? You bet. Blowdrying the family jewels? More often than you’d care to imagine. Before our cherished gym culture goes completely the way of Burning Man or the ’60s Summer of Love, let me suggest guidelines that will help us all maintain a modicum of mutual respect.
4. 5. 6. 7.
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