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Pro triathlete couple Amanda and Michael Lovato share their secrets for longevity in our sport

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1.8 0 0 .776. 4363


no. 317



17 6


2 10




September 2010




30 editor’S note

92 i am not my injury: hoW to Stay poSitive WhiLe reCovering

136 teCh Support

By JuliA BEESoN PolloRENo

32 LetterS 36 CheCking in

38 Starting LineS 40 training tip 42 mediCaLLy Speaking 44 tri traveL 46 induStri

158 at the raCeS NuTRiTioN

By lANcE WATSoN AND lucy SMiTh

98 SWim


100 bike


102 run


103 FundamentaLS By iAN MuRRAy

By chRiSToPhER kAuTz

141 triathLete’S garage By AARoN hERSh

144 pro bike


146 tri’d and teSted By AARoN hERSh

148 gear bag coluMNS

118 nutrition Q&a

106 SportS SCienCe update

150 up Front

122 muLtiSport menu

108 FitneSS

152 tiCket punCh

110 dear CoaCh

154 SingLetraCk mind

114 injury QuiCk tip

156 enduranCe ConSpiraCy

By PiP TAyloR

124 eat right


128 reCipe 130 raCing Weight


By TiM MicklEBoRough, PhD








176 Light read



september 2010

Craig Alexander, 2x Ironman World Champion, relies on the Orbea Ordu to carry him to victory.


no. 317






sepTember 2010

on the cover Michael and Amanda Lovato • Photo by Damien Noble Andrews Hair and Makeup by Danica Jardien

48 Think Like a TriaThLeTe (iT’s easier Than you Think) We know the intimidation factor in triathlon is substantial, but most people don’t realize that the triathlete’s mentality is obtainable—relatable, even. If you’re just getting into the sport, here’s your cheat sheet for a smooth, enjoyable entry. If you’ve been doing triathlon for a while, consider this a refresher course. By Mackenzie Madison

56 yogi recommended, TriaThLeTe approved Incorporating a tri-targeted yoga practice into your training routine can reap big benefits when it comes to strength, 20

flexibility and balance. And those are just the physical rewards. Pro and age-group triathletes alike have also seen how yoga can keep them mentally focused and race ready. By Bethany Leach Mavis

66 Winning The menTaL game of TriaThLon Preparing for triathlon’s mental challenges involves more than thinking tonight about tomorrow morning’s race. Just as you train your body, you must also train your mind. Here are some guidelines to help you win the mental game of triathlon. By craig kain

72 The baTTLe WiTh burnouT It’s no secret that triathlon training and racing requires a significant exertion of mental and physical energy. But if you equip yourself with the right mindset—and adhere to our 10 rules for beating burnout—you and triathlon will enjoy a long and happy relationship. By kiM McdonaLd

82 diaLed in Two new types of bike fit tools—motion capture systems and dynamic fit bikes— overcome problems that professional bike fitters have long struggled with to get the rider’s optimal cycling position dialed in with unprecedented precision. By aaron hersh september 2010


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Visit to get a backstage look at the cover shoot with Michael and Amanda Lovato. You’ll find behind-the-scenes photos and interviews with both Lovatos. We talk to Michael and Amanda about being a part of the Team Trakkers group and get advice on how to stay happily married to another triathlete.

EXCLUSIVE GEAR CONTENT Can’t wait for your next issue of Triathlete magazine to get more gear reviews and tips? Head over to newsletters and sign up for the “Transition” newsletter. Every two weeks, Triathlete magazine senior editor Aaron Hersh writes a gear article that’s exclusive to newsletter subscribers. So far Hersh has provided sneak peeks of yet-to-be-released bikes and given advice on how to decide which tech products will give you the best bang for your buck.

RACE SCENE takes you to the starting lines of some of the top events around the world. The fall race season is quickly approaching, and over the next few weeks the best triathletes will be fine-tuning their race skills leading into upcoming championship races. We’ll bring you coverage including video, photos and in-depth stories from the courses of ITU World Championship Series Kitzbühel (Aug. 14-15), the Chicago Triathlon (Aug. 29), Ironman Canada (Aug. 29) and the ITU World Championship Series Grand Final in Budapest (Sept. 12).

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Whether you’ve competed in hundreds of triathlons or are aiming to finish your first sprint race, TriCenter has the information you need. TriCenter aims to bring you the latest results and analysis from races around the world, as well as bring you closer to the professionals. september 2010

First Wave 24

september 2010

Grand Stands ROBERT MURPHY The fourth annual Hy-Vee Triathlon ITU Elite Cup in West Des Moines, Iowa, attracted amateurs and pros from around the globe. The race brings out the best of the best, who vie for a chance to win a piece of the coveted $1 million prize purse—the largest payout in triathlon.

september 2010


First Wave

A Family Finish LARRY ROSA Ford Ironman Coeur d’ Alene champion Andy Potts gets a warm welcome from his son, Boston, at the finish line. Potts, an American, led nearly from start to finish to earn his first Ironman title in 8:24:40. He finished with a nearly 14-minute lead over the runner-up. 26

september 2010

september 2010


First Wave

Let It Rain PAUL PHILLIPS Brit Tim Don and Aussie Emma Snowsill each took home $200,000 paychecks for topping their respective fields at the 2010 Hy-Vee Triathlon ITU Elite Cup. Mere seconds separated first and second place in both the men’s and women’s races. 28

september 2010


Damien Noble Andrews

Editor’s Note

La Vida LoVato Standing at the finish line of June’s Rev3 half-iron distance race in Connecticut, I was a few feet from pro triathletes Michael and Amanda Lovato when they crossed the line. What struck me immediately was not how insanely fit this power couple is—and they really are fit; many people enter the sport in the hope of looking even remotely like them—but how much fun they were having doing what they love. Moments after crossing the line, Michael was high-fiving high school kids who were handing out medals in the finish area, and Amanda was giving out congratulatory hugs to other competitors. Had they just finished the same grueling course as the athletes grimacing across the finish line and then bee-lining it to the massage tent? There’s a reason both Michael and Amanda have enjoyed such longevity at the top of the sport (Amanda went pro in 2003, Michael in 2000) and have kept burnout at bay. Actually, there are five reasons—guidelines, really—they live and train by: 30

1. HaVe fun. Amanda experienced major burnout as a college runner and vowed to not let the same thing happen in her triathlon career. Making the decision to turn pro, “I was sure that my main focus in racing and training in triathlons was to have fun!” she says. 2. Go witH tHe fLow. “I have been extremely careful the past seven years to not be rigid,” says Amanda. “If I’m having a bad day, emotionally or physically, I take a personal day and I go stand-up paddling on my Surftech board or hang out with friends.” 3. find compatibLe traininG partners. “This does not mean finding the fastest guy around so you can challenge yourself,” says Michael. “Nor does it mean finding the slowest person in town so you can feel good about yourself. Find people who can push you to do better, who can go easy on your easy day, and who can compliment you when you do well.” 4. take time off. The Lovatos take at least six weeks off after the last race of the season. “This time off enables us to get excited about swimming, biking and running again,” says Amanda. 5. keep it fresH. Triathletes’ tendency to adhere closely to a strict training schedule can work both for and against them, says Amanda. “It can also be the fast track to burnout. Mixing up the routine keeps things fresh and exciting.” In addition to such tried-and-true advice, this issue is packed with ideas and inspiration for excelling in the sport, both in body and mind. Sports psychologist and Ironman triathlete Craig Kain shares some psychological tools for overcoming most any training and racing scenario in “Winning the Mental Game of Triathlon,” on page 66. In “The Battle With Burnout” (page 72) writer and longtime elite triathlete Kim McDonald offers more advice from the pros on avoiding—and overcoming—burnout. And the Lovatos also star in our feature on the multi-faceted benefits of incorporating yoga into your training routine (“Yogi Recommended, Triathlete Approved,” page 56). I won’t ever experience the sport at the level enjoyed by the Lovatos (not even in-thesame-galaxy close), but I can approach my training and racing with the same enthusiasm and positive energy. I encourage you to also take a cue from the Lovatos at your next race: High-five a volunteer (or dance across the finish line like Michael did when he finished third at Ironman Coeur d’Alene in late June); congratulate a competitor. And smile. Often. This is supposed to be fun, remember? Julia Beeson Polloreno Editor-in-Chief

No. 317 | September 2010 Editorial Director

TJ Murphy, Editor-in-Chief

Julia Beeson Polloreno, Managing Editor

Somyr McLean Perry, Assistant Managing Editor

Lauren Ventura, Senior Editor

Matt Fitzgerald, Senior Editor

Courtney Baird, Senior Tech Editor

Aaron Hersh, Assistant Editor

Bethany Leach Mavis, Copyeditor

Marilyn Iturri

Photo Editor

Nils Nilsen, Art Director

Lisa Williams, Graphic Designer

Oliver Baker, Online Content Director

Kurt Hoy, Web Producer

Liz Hichens, Senior Video Producer

Steve Godwin, Video Producer

Kevin LaClaire, Medical Advisory Board

Jordan Metzl, MD; Jeff Sankoff, MD Advertising EVP, Media

Andrew R. Hersam, VP, Endemic Sales

Kevin Burnette, Director, Digital Advertising Sales

Jason Rossiter,

San Diego, CA Account Executive, Endemic Sales

Lisa Bilotti,

Account Executive, Endemic Sales

Lars Finanger,

Account Executive, Endemic Sales

Justin Sands,

Account Executive, Marketplace Sales

Alex Jarman,

Boulder, CO Account Executive, Endemic Sales

Nathan Forbes,

Account Executive, Endemic Sales

Mark Gouge,

Account Executive, Endemic Sales

David Walker, Advertising Manager

Deena Hancock, Production Manager

Meghan McElravy, Director, Audience Development

John Francis, Fulfillment Manager

Leslie Dodds, Triathlete Magazine Offices

9477 Waples Street, Suite 150, San Diego, CA 92121 Phone: (858) 768-6805; Fax: (858) 768-6806 Attention Retailers: To carry Triathlete in your store, call Retail Vision: (800) 381-1288 SUBSCRIPTIONS: Your satisfaction is important to us. For questions regarding your subscription call (800) 441-1666 or (760) 291-1562. Or, write to: Triathlete, P.O. Box 469055, Escondido, CA 92046. Or, e-mail: Back Issues available for $8 each. Send a check to Triathlete Magazine Back Issues, 9477 Waples Street, Suite 150, San Diego, CA 92121 and specify issues requested, or visit Submission of material must carry the authors’/photographers’ guarantees that the material may be published without additional approval and that it does not infringe upon the rights of others. No responsibility is assumed for loss or damage to unsolicited manuscripts, art work or photographs. All editorial contributions should be accompanied by self-addressed, stamped envelopes. Printed in the USA. Triathlete Magazine is a publication of

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Le t ters


Ryan W. Pallas Via e-mail

More SwiMSuit iSSue BacklaSh


Kevin Purcell

Burnout is something many triathletes eventually have to deal with, and K i m m c D o n a l D is no stranger to the subject. A former collegiate water polo player, he started running to stay fit. Then the triathlon boom began and he got a bike. Problem was, triathlons and his job as a newspaper reporter didn’t mix, and he burned out from the sport. Now a PR director at UC San Diego, he’s learned more about balancing work, play and family and last year won two USAT age-group national triathlon championships and an ITU world championship. See his feature, “The Battle With Burnout,” on page 72.

did they transfer the bib, but they also held a moment of silence for a complete and utter stranger. I share this story in hopes that it may move you as much as your story moved me.

asKer JeuKenDrup is one of the leading sports nutritionists, director of the human performance lab at the University of Birmingham, U.K. and is a 16-time Ironman finisher who works with two of the world’s greatest endurance athletes—Chrissie Wellington and Haile Gebrselassie. Jeukendrup is also the author of several books, including High Performance Cycling, and has published more than 150 peerreviewed journal articles and book chapters in his mission to translate nutritional science into practical applications that will benefit people who want to achieve their exercise goals. Visit for more information and check out his take on the latest nutrition news in “Eat Right” on page 124.

Kevin O’Grady

craig Kain is a licensed psychologist who works with Olympic team members and endurance newbies, as well as individuals and couples. He runs a private practice in Long Beach, Calif., and has more than 25 years of experience. With compassion and understanding, Kain believes in building individualized strengths, and as a veteran endurance athlete himself, he understands the triathlete mindset. Check out page 66 to see Kain’s step-by-step plan for winning the mental game of triathlon in most any training and racing scenario. 32

Good PeoPle


picked up [the June 2010] edition of Triathlete and normally skipping the editor’s note I read yours—I’d call it “moving” to say the least. Maybe it’s because I saw myself in that situation; I only bought a bike last October and signed up for my first triathlon, the Superfrog 70.3 in Coronado, Calif., when I lived 2,500 miles away in Jacksonville, N.C., before I really even knew how to swim or what triathlon was. Your story is also moving with regard to raising money for Jim’s foundation, as I find myself once again following close in your footsteps while raising money for a friend who passed away earlier this month. I’ve encountered some of the best men and women I have ever had the privilege of meeting in my entire life in this sport, and I’ve only been doing it for three months. I find triathlon transcends just sport and moves over into the realm of a lifestyle. It’s not just swim, bike, run—it’s so much more than meets the eye. This small, spandex-wearing, leg-shaving, power gel-eating society seems to embody what I always hoped life would turn out to be, and how sweet is it that through total happenstance I find myself in this group sharing a very personal story with a total stranger. I am now racing for a friend. The friend who passed away was a friend and fellow Marine officer who died in combat operations in Afghanistan on May 5, 2010. I made some phone calls and hopped on the nearest plane to make sure I was at the funeral to bid goodbye to a great friend and even greater leader. The weekend I flew to Marion, Ind., to say goodbye, the race directors of the Encinitas Sprint Triathlon in Southern California quickly transferred my bib number to a friend, who raced in my place and in honor of a fallen Marine and true American hero. Not only

am angry and disappointed that Triathlete magazine would publish a “swimsuit issue”(June 2010). I am female and a triathlete, I have raced one full Ironman and four halfIronmans. I take my identity as an athlete very seriously. Women in non-triathlete swimsuits have no place on your cover. Training and racing has nothing to do with makeup, skimpy bathing suits and provocative poses. I have nothing against these types of photos in magazines like Maxim or Sports Illustrated because I do not have to buy those magazines. I am not the demographic for men’s magazines, but Triathlete should not fall under that category. I am a subscriber of Triathlete magazine and “athletes” should be the demographic, and “athletes” should not mean “male athlete.” I am an Ironwoman, and I do not want to see provocative female photos on the cover. Kathleen Trotter Toronto, Ontario, Canada

i’M Still here


im DeBoom wrote a short piece in Triathlete magazine [“Endurance Conspiracy,” August 2010] about his experience of first visiting my clinic in 1994. His essay ends with a rather odd nugget: “Maffetone has disappeared quietly from the sport of triathlon.” A quick Google search of my name would have easily made him think otherwise. But more importantly, his essay left out some vital information related to his visit to my office. As such, and to prevent readers of Tim’s walk down memory lane from misunderstanding who and where I am, as well as my place in the endurance community, allow me to address some of these missing and misunderstood topics. Where have I gone? Physically, I moved to a small mountain town in Arizona. In all other matters, I have moved “All the Way to Heaven and Back.” Actually, that’s the title of one of the many songs I recently wrote and recorded in a Los Angeles music studio; it’s one of many posted on my website ( Allow me to explain: In 2003, a sudden passion to write music took me to a seemingly new career in songwriting, although I continue to lecture, write, coach and participate in multisport training, health and fitness. In fact, I just completed writing a 600-page book september 2010

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Le t ters


Phil Maffetone

The end of an era It was Tinley at his most understated best in the June issue’s “Tinley Talks.” But I knew, and I think other readers knew too. So when the July issue arrived at my door, I went straight to the last page. And I already knew: Tinley wasn’t talking. I haven’t known triathlon without Tinley’s column. Triathlete magazine will never be the same again. Geoff Little Melbourne, Australia

an oversighT


liked the article on the Raelerts and the other siblings [“Raelert Verus Raelert,” May 2010]. Looks like you forgot to mention the Lietos. Matt, my brother, has finished on the podium in a couple of 70.3s and has won a couple. He has also had top-10 finishes in Ironmans. Just thought I would send the note. Chris Lieto

John Segesta/

many of my recommendations, he was able to begin a very successful triathlon career. When people don’t understand something, they see it as bizarre. Taking fish oil capsules? Yes, I told Tim to take them, and to taste them before swallowing. Why? Because tasting a nutrient is a way to enlist the brain (a yet-tobe-realized key part of endurance training) via the taste buds, into the process of helping the body function better. To evaluate Tim’s level of muscle balance I employed manual muscle testing, a standard method used by both traditional and non-traditional practitioners. While Tim noted this in his column, it was not clear that it was an accepted method of evaluation; instead it was made to appear like a strange alternative technique. I also told Tim to eat steak for dinner. There’s no better source of immediately useful iron—necessary to carry oxygen in the blood—for an iron-poor body, and it also helps power the fat-burning aerobic muscles. No, I never disappeared from the sport. Instead, I simply followed my passions and varied the path of my career. After leaving private practice in 1997, I continued consulting with athletes until 2003, when I added songwriter to my resume. Suddenly, I was using the same “big picture” doctoring approach by closely working with the late Johnny Cash, music producer Rick Rubin, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers—a different kind of athlete indeed.



ike a little child, I sat, sometimes impatiently, waiting for the edition of Triathlete magazine that would cover the inaugural running of Ironman St. George. I thought the June issue would have it—it did not. When I saw the July issue on the kitchen counter after a four-day business trip to Chicago, if you saw me, you would have thought I was a 6 year old on Christmas Eve. Being the inaugural race, I knew Triathlete would have a long write-up going into details such as how 1,637 athletes finished and more than 1,900 started, making it one of the highest DNF races in history. Or, how with more than 2,300 people signed up, why did only 1,900-plus toe the line that cold Saturday morning? With typical DNS (did not start) numbers of around 100 for Ironman races, it was rumored that several hundred did not start this race after arriving in St. George and seeing the severity of the course. Rumors abounded as to how more than 50 people didn’t even finish the swim due to the frigid water, making this one of the highest DNF swims in history. Instead, we got less than 50 words including “touted as one of the toughest Ironman races in the world,” a couple great pictures (that really did capture the day) and lots of readers wanting more. Bob Shuler Tampa, Fla. september 2010

John Segesta/

called “The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing,” which will be in bookstores in September. Additionally, much of my current endurance sports writing—articles and comments in response to questions from athletes all over the world—also appears on my website. While Tim DeBoom hadn’t initially heard of me before 1994 when he limped into my office, I had already been working for more than a dozen years with endurance athletes as part of my clinical practice in New York state. These ranged from elite ultra runners and marathoners to triathletes. I was one of the first to employ heart rate monitor training, fat-burning concepts, low-carb diet programs, and various nutritional drinks and bars. While Mark Allen, Colleen Cannon and Mike Pigg were some of the high-profile endurance athletes who sought my training and coaching advice, a significant part of my career focused on average athletes who were seeking better health and performance. My first impression of Tim was that of a young, inexperienced but potentially great triathlete. Tim was eager to learn. In the article, he writes that a tendon issue made it impossible for him to run. And that it had refused to get better despite his seeing many other sports medicine professionals. My initial evaluation and treatment of Tim could fill many pages, which I won’t elaborate here due to patient confidentiality. I will say, however, that his portrayal of his visit to my clinic made me appear rather peculiar. Perhaps this was due to a space limitation in Triathlete or not remembering many of the details from long ago. While Tim’s column seemed to focus on so-called alternative medicine, my practice style was not alternative. Instead, it was a physiologically based approach of evaluating and treating an athlete in an individual way rather than a cookbook style that is still common today. Properly stated, I practiced complementary sports medicine. Alternative medicine is an alternative to this approach, and especially one departing from more traditional or conventional medicine. (Many in the alternative medicine community say that I’m too scientific.) I used a variety of assessment tools with Tim as well as many other athletes who came to my clinic, ranging from a computerized dietary analysis to extensive physical and exercise evaluations. The end result is an individualized treatment plan that is quite logical and comprehensive, even if the patient doesn’t fully understand its rationale. But education has always been a significant part of my clinical approach. Less than 24 hours after his initial visit, Tim was happy he could run pain-free for the first time in months. And in time, using

IT’S LIKE HAVING OUR OWN SUPERSONIC GUINEA PIG. CONGRATULATIONS TO TIM DEBOOM for his impressive win at Rohto Ironman ® 70.3 Hawaii. And thanks for helping design gear, like the P.R.O. Tri Series Speed Suit, worthy of the top of the podium. Tim is an integral part of our team in Boulder, Colorado, where he tests our gear to the bleeding edge and tells us what’s working and what’s not. Without feedback from world-class athletes like Tim, we’d never be able to make race gear that keeps crossing the finish line in first.

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Big Apple TriAThleTes By MitCh thrower Finding myself with leaky goggles in the middle of a long set at the spectacular Chelsea Piers pool overlooking the Hudson River in New York City, I considered the challenge and the sting in my eye and started to embrace it. I was doing what I’d watched Paula NewbyFraser do at Kona years ago—clear goggles mid-stroke with people hot on her heels. Although my goggles were filling up with water about every 50 yards, I was determined to get in a good workout. Leaky goggles are a small inconvenience in a city filled with interruptions and hassles. After all, I’m awake, alive and in the water doing what I love. I do, however, have a California confession: When Jesse Du Bey, New York City triathlete and 9:28 finisher of the Ford Hawaii Ironman World Championship, first men38

tioned we should meet at 5:30 for a swim and run, I actually thought he meant p.m. After all, it’s dark at 5:30 a.m. in New York, right? There was an unmistakable energy in the pool that morning. Once I jumped in, despite my leaky lenses, I was happily swimming with about 50 enthusiastic triathletes who were all on time for their sunrise workout with club coach Scott Berlinger. Following the swim, Du Bey and I ran and chatted about why triathlon is such a welcoming sport—he had a theory. “I think triathlon is welcoming to new athletes because very few triathletes started as an expert in all three fields,” Du Bey said. “We were all bad at something, so we can relate to the new triathletes as we all become teachers and try to help.”

C heC king in Surely, being open about our weaknesses and asking for help builds trust and meaningful relationships. I thought back and remembered receiving generous help and support from people on the Westport, Conn., Masters swim program, where I first learned how to swim for more than 50 yards without stopping. I’ve realized how crucial that help was to keeping me in this sport. For many triathletes just starting out, patience is often splashed, squashed or kicked to the curb. We want to understand the sport and excel at it right off the bat. But we must remember that these things take time, especially when it comes to endurance sports. If you look at triathlon like mathematics, then it’s simple. You can’t expect to understand algebra without understanding the fundamentals of addition, multiplication and subtraction. It’s a process: Master the swim, excel on the bike and learn how to run like you’re being chased. But first, we all need teachers to help us understand and embrace the fundamentals of the three-sport equation. And we’re lucky that our sport breeds cooperation and a sense of a shared quest. Later that evening while standing in line at New York’s SBR Multisports store, I was talking with Steven Sim about the newbie learning curve. “The great challenge most people face with their dreams is that they have them, and they are clear, but they are completely cloudy about how they get there,” Sim said. These New Yorkers, dealing with one of the most complex urban environments on earth, seemed to share one crucial trait and talent: They all have an inner compass that has kept them on the true path to their dreams. Many of us, at times, find ourselves rudderless and ask, “What do I need to do next?” I think the New York City triathletes I met all had something in common that enabled them to avoid that feeling: the capacity to take early morning action in pursuit of their dreams. It seems that New York City triathletes instinctively know that life is too short, that complacency kills and that those who are not powered by a sense of purpose and passion can get derailed and find themselves in a rut. Waking up for the swim that morning, I found I had fallen in step with the New York triathletes’ priorities. I was gleaning sleep for a purpose, and later that afternoon I fell asleep on my computer with my finger on the “p” key. When I woke up, I had 20 pages of p’s. Funny, but the time spent training with these triathletes who create their own oasis of fitness in the middle of chaos was worth the jetlag-meets-pool-at-dawn afternoon lag. september 2010


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single leg hAmstring Curl on gym bAll

Assess your strength before putting in the miles By Wolfgang osWald and nathan koCh While the human body is uniquely adaptable to stimuli over time, it also seems to have an inherent and unpredictable breaking point. Overuse injuries have plagued runners for generations and, unfortunately, will continue to do so long into the future whether you prefer barefoot running, running shoes with the latest technology or if you just grab the first pair you find. This should come as no surprise considering the impact running has on the human body. Running can literally transmit forces from three to seven times your body weight (depending on speed) up the lower extremity kinetic chain (foot/ankle, knee, hip, pelvis) and into the spine. Think of the cumulative forces and resultant physical breakdown of a 150-pound athlete running at four times his body weight. That means that any weak link in either the ground contact (eccentric) phase or propulsion (concentric) phase can result in tissue or joint breakdown and eventually an overuse injury. The greater the deficits in muscular weakness and endurance, the more running forces are transmitted into 40

the joints, ligaments and tendon structures. Of interesting note, research has shown injury rates in triathletes are directly correlated with increased running mileage compared to swimming and biking. Triathletes train and compete in predominately one plane of motion, the sagittal, or straightforward, plane. The ability to control the body in multiple planes of motion at once is totally foreign to their neuromuscular system. Significant muscle imbalances typically occur in the frontal plane (lateral or side-to side-movement) and in the transverse plane (rotational). For instance, through experiential and anecdotal evidence, most triathletes can leg press several hundred pounds, a sagittal plane motion, but most are unable to perform a repeated single leg squat, using only body weight, with good alignment and stability. This is due to lack of strength and neuromuscular training in the frontal and transverse planes of movement. In addition, these imbalances can be compounded by old injuries that were never addressed appropriately—ever heard a coach say, “Just put a brace on it and get

back out there”? Our muscles have adapted to a uniplanar activity stimulus and have forgotten how to move in other planes, such as in hopscotch and tag. In addition to the absence of multidirectional movement, triathletes have also become more quadriceps-dominant (think of all the cycling and running) and must balance this out with good hamstring strength. Improved hamstring strength can help with knee stability, running propulsion and rotational thigh control. The inside and outside of the hamstrings are like the reins of a horse; they must be able to produce a strong and balanced contraction in order to control the leg during running. Though there is some ongoing debate in the research community about the hamstring issue as it relates to triathletes, it’s safe to say we should pay attention to this muscle to avoid excessive stress on other tissues and joints. Wolfgang Oswald, PT, OSC and Nathan Koch, PT, ATC are physical therapists at Endurance Rehab, Endurancerehab. com, in Scottsdale, Ariz. september 2010

Tr a i n i n g T ip

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The TesT Here is a sampling of tests to assess your strength to see if you should be putting in those high mileage runs. These tests are not meant to take the place of a physical examination but are intended to provide a quick self-assessment that can be done at home. The simple formula is if you fail a test, then it should become part of your exercise program. If you’re injured, you should consult with a medical professional first, as these tests may be too advanced. You should avoid running if you can’t perform the following:

single leg squaT:

goal: While keeping the pelvic bones at the same height, squat to at least 70 degrees of knee flexion (body angled at 45 degrees) while maintaining an imaginary straight line between the hip-knee-ankle, without knees over toes). Minimum requirement is three sets of 15 reps with only a few losses in balance. WhaT iT TesTs: Functional quad/glute

strength (ability to absorb ground reaction forces and propulsion ability), knee control (ability to not let knee collapse in), foot control and balance.

WhaT iT TesTs: Calf strength, which absorbs ground reaction forces with mid-foot and forefoot running, and running propulsion strength.

ReveRse Plank WiTh leg lifT:

single leg hamsTRing CuRl on gym Ball:

goal: To keep the body in a straight line with no dipping or rotation of the pelvis with leg lift. Minimum of five times each leg without shaking or dropping the pelvis. WhaT iT TesTs: Hamstring, glute and core strength (propulsion ability, pelvic control).

side Plank WiTh leg lifT:

goal: Lift top leg and hold for 20 seconds. Body is to remain in a straight line. WhaT iT TesTs: Glute medius strength, which controls knee and pelvic position in the frontal plane (inward collapse). This strongly contributes to controlling foot/ankle pronation.

single leg Calf Raises:

goal: 30 to 40 times each leg through the full range of motion.

single leg squaT

goal: Three sets of 10 to 15 reps hamstring curls with one leg. WhaT iT TesTs: Hamstring strength for knee control, leg propulsion, calf strength, lower back/ pelvic control. These exercises are difficult, but now that you have a basic understanding of muscle imbalances you should understand why. Obviously you could still physically run if you failed all of these tests, although it is much more likely you will develop an overuse injury. If you can’t successfully perform some of these exercises, you should consider focusing on the swimming and biking while addressing these weakness with gym workouts. Not only will you be less likely to get injured, but you will also improve performance.

side Plank WiTh leg lifT

single leg Calf Raises

ReveRse Plank WiTh leg lifT

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Med ically Speak i ng

Vein clots: tHe warning signs and aVoidance tactics By Jeffrey Sankoff, MD “If you prick us, do we not bleed?” The answer to this Shakespearean question is of course yes, but fortunately, not for long. We don’t simply bleed our entire blood volume out each time we suffer a cut thanks to a complicated cascade of molecular and cellular processes that result in the formation of blood clots. Under normal circumstances, whenever a blood vessel is compromised, platelets and coagulation factors are activated to plug the breach and bleeding ceases. Soon, the underlying damage to the vessel wall is repaired and the clot dissolves away. This “clotting cascade” is under tight control. This is because while the formation of clots may be life-saving, in smaller arteries it causes significant disease. All of our cells are dependent to varying degrees on a continuous supply of oxygen. The heart and brain are examples of organs that do not tolerate any interruption of this supply. Thus, a clot that blocks an artery in the heart results in a heart attack. One that occludes a vessel in the brain causes a stroke. Clots may also occur in the veins, principally in the arms and legs. When this occurs, blood flow back to the heart may become impaired. More importantly, though, these clots may shear off and travel to the lung, 42

a process called embolization. Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a serious medical problem and accounts for a sizable number of sudden deaths in North America. Fortunately, though, most PEs are minor, although they may be a harbinger of a more significant future PE and are therefore treated aggressively. In the late 1800s, Dr. Rudolf Virchow identified the risks for the formation of deep vein clots (thrombi) and subsequent embolism. Virchow’s triad consists of vascular injury, hypercoagulability (increased ability to coagulate) and stasis (pooling of blood), and it remains the best means of identifying who is at risk for venous thromboembolic (VTE) disease. Recently cases of athletes, including triathletes, with VTE have been reported in the medical literature. The actual incidence of VTE in this group is unknown, but it is easy to appreciate how each element of Virchow’s triad can occur in a triathlete and predispose to VTE. Vascular injury: Running long distances induces microtrauma to the veins of the legs. Normally this isn’t significant nor does it cause any lingering effects. Hypercoagulability: Dehydration concentrates platelets and coagulation factors in a smaller amount of blood volume. Once

again, in isolation, this is not a serious issue during training or racing. stasis: If, after sustaining microvascular trauma and becoming dehydrated, one then sits in a car or a plane for more than four hours, they will have venous blood pooling in their legs and the third component of the triad will be in place. What then can a triathlete do to lessen chances of developing VTE? Essentially, after any long distance race, it is important to rehydrate quickly and completely. If traveling, stay hydrated and try to get up and walk around once every two hours for five minutes or so. Finally, the use of compression stockings may help circulation, although the effectiveness of this treatment has not been conclusive. Signs of VTE include calf pain and swelling or shortness of breath, chest pain and cough. These symptoms should prompt a visit to a physician who can perform the necessary tests to diagnose VTE. Treatment consists of a three- to six-month course of blood thinners during which cycling is ill-advised, so it’s best to work to prevent VTE rather than need to treat it. 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 september 2010

Tri Travel

The American Airlines Arena is a popular venue for concerts and sports and entertainment events. Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

Key Biscayne lighthouse

DeStination: MiaMi By Lauren Ventura By early fall the hurricane season is typically winding down—that’s the semi-good news. The really good news is that the wild spring breakers are back in school and it’s off-peak travel time, so the beaches are far less crowded. In addition to some of the world’s best beach-combing, Miami provides a multitude of adventurous options to experience—parasailing, airboat trips in the Everglades, scuba diving and lots of golf courses. The Miami area is also home to some triathlons worth checking out.

Where to eat The local culinary scene benefits from the influences of Miami’s Southern and Cuban neighbors, Spanish roots as well as easy access to fresh, local seafood. Make sure to check out the Little Havana section of Miami for Cuban cuisine options. One popular, local chain is El Rey De Las Fritas. It’s not fancy, but it’s definitely authentic. The local tri team, Team Hammerheads, recommends La Carreta, El Versailles and Sergio’s, which offer tasty Cuban eats paired with a casual atmosphere and affordable 44

prices. For a taste of the high seas, check out Ortanique Cuisine of the Sun in nearby Coral Gables.

Where to Stay The Residence Inn by Marriot Miami Airport South is a convenient locale for those looking for casual, no-fuss lodgings close to the airport. The all-suite rooms include kitchenettes, which save on eating-out costs and are especially useful for a race-specific stay. Also located near the airport, Hotel Urbano is less than a mile from the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and Miami Museum of Science and Space Transit Planetarium. Some perks include a fitness center and pool, as well as a family-friendly atmosphere. If you’re looking to soak up the sights and sounds of Miami, One Bal Harbor Resort and Spa won’t disappoint. All rooms have an ocean view, and there’s a full-service spa to cater to your pre- and post-race bodywork needs. The rate is on the higher end of the spectrum.

Where to train Members of the South Florida-based

Team Hammerheads share their favorite training spots: SWiM: “Triathlete’s Beach,” aka Hobie Beach, in Key Biscayne is on the south side of the Rickenbacker Causeway. Ray Perdomo of Team Hammerheads says Triathlete’s Beach is just a three-minute drive from downtown Miami and a great place to swim because “the water temperature is always pleasant and the surf is very flat and calm.” For local pools, some of the Hammerheads’ favorites include the Ransom Everglades Upper School Campus pool in Coconut Grove and the Miami Dade Community College’s Kendall Campus pool. BiKe: Team Hammerheads’ favorite route starts in Coral Gables by the Cartagena Plaza and takes cyclists alongside the Biscayne Bay and to the Rickenbacker Causeway. The Causeway follows a 5.6-mile stretch across the bay and onto the island of Key Biscayne, providing a roughly 20-mile out-and-back scenic journey. rUn: For organized runs in and around the Miami area, head to FootWorks at 5724 Sunset Drive in South Miami. Or the NikeTown Miami Running Club meets every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at—you guessed it—NikeTown located at 5701 Sunset Drive, South Miami. Team Hammerheads also meet there for sixmile tempo runs at the same time. september 2010

Images courtesy of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau/

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Tri Travel

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The Rickenbacker Causeway connects Miami to the offshore islands of Key Biscayne and Virginia Key.

Coconut Grove Street offers fine dining and boutique shopping.

South Beach

Upcoming Races in the miami aRea September 4-5 Miami Beach Classic Triathlon, includes a Kids Duathlon and 5K Run/Walk Swim ½ mile, Bike 18 miles, Run 4 miles Lummus Park, Miami

Coral Gables City Hall

September 19 11th Annual Key Biscayne Triathlon Trilogy Swim ¼ mile, Bike 10 miles, Run 3.1 miles Crandon Park, Key Biscayne September 26 Publix Escape to Miami Triathlon Weekend Olympic, starts at Escape Island: Swim 1.5K, Bike 40K, Run 10K Sprint, starts from Biscayne Bay: Swim 0.4K, Bike 21K, Run 5K

Miami’s very own tri club: Team Hammerheads. september 2010

OctOber 30 Rohto Ironman 70.3 Miami Swim 1.2 miles, Bike 56 miles, Run 13.1 miles Bay Front Park, Downtown Miami



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TriSporTS.CoM expAndS To inClUde bike-fiTTing STUdio the warehouse that includes a new office space, massage suite and a break room with a balcony equipped with its own tee box. was named one of the top 50 businesses to work for by Outside magazine as well as Arizona’s only bicycle-friendly business by the League of American Bicyclists, a distinction that will further be reflected in the planned bike courtyard landscape project, slated for completion in 2011.

ZacharyCrumbo/, one of the largest triathlon retailers in the world, recently finished an expansion project that adds an additional 2,500 square feet to its retail space in Tucson, Ariz. New additions include a private bike-fitting studio, where bike fit experts use motion analysis to provide the most comprehensive fitting services available. The bike service shop and retail floor were also expanded, and there’s an additional level in

MArk Allen online CoAChing TipS AvAilAble on YoUTUbe Mark Allen tried for six years to win the Ironman World Championship but always fell short, succumbing to everything from flat tires and internal bleeding to fierce competition. Then, in 1989, one of the greatest races in Ironman history unfolded. Mark “The Grip” Allen and Dave “The Man” Scott battled side-by-side for nearly eight hours. Finally, on the last uphill of the marathon, Allen broke away from Scott and went on to win his first of six Ironman titles. Allen’s margin

of victory was a mere 58 seconds, a very small difference on a very long day. This fall, will post 12 videos on YouTube with practical tips to help you gain your personal 58-second victories. One 58-second video will be posted each day for 12 days starting on Sept. 27, with the final one going up the day before the 2010 Ford Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. You can view teasers now by visiting YouTube and searching for “58-Second Series.”

USA TriAThlon AdopTS new weTSUiT regUlATion Following extensive research and consideration, USA Triathlon has announced that beginning in 2013 use of wetsuits exceeding five millimeters in thickness will not be permitted at USAT-sanctioned events. “Our board has been considering this issue and the impact it might have with our athletes for some time,” said USA Triathlon CEO Skip Gilbert. “The overall feeling is that it makes perfect sense to align with the guidelines set by our international federation and multisport enthusiasts around the world. This is a standard that is good for the athlete community and our sport overall.” 46

By implementing this rule change, USA Triathlon falls in line with the international standard of five millimeters recognized by the International Triathlon Union and other national governing bodies. The adoption of this rule is designed to eliminate any competitive advantage gained by enhancements in wetsuit technology in recent years. Studies have shown there are marked and measurable performance benefits to the use of certain wetsuits, specifically added buoyancy that reduces passive drag. Visit for more information. september 2010

Relax, this is fun, remember? If he can do it, so can I. Robert Murphy/


Top five, top five, top five...


september 2010

We know the intimidation factor in triathlon is substantial. If you’ve ever told someone you’re considering doing a triathlon—or that you (gasp!) just completed one—you’ve likely been met with an incredulous stare followed by remarks about your intrepidness. Most people don’t realize that the triathlete’s mentality is obtainable—relatable, even. In fact, this mindset can be easily achieved by following some basic, tangible tenets that we outline here. If you’re just getting into the sport, here’s your cheat sheet for a smooth, enjoyable entry. If you’ve been doing triathlon for a while, consider this a refresher course.

By Mackenzie Madison

I can do this. Stay calm and carry on. Brrrrrrr...

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I own this swim.

22-minute swim split, baby! Breathe.


Larry Rosa


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1. Be a spectator at a race. You can learn a lot from watching a triathlon unfold. You’ll get to see how racers transition from each discipline to the next, what types of equipment people are using, and get a general grasp of what a triathlon entails from start to finish. You’ll see racers of all shapes, ages and athletic abilities, which will give you a confidence boost and promote the belief that, “If they can do it, I can do it.” Triathlon is a sport of trial and error—you can learn from other people’s successes and errors just as you can from your own. By attending a race, you’ll get a serious dose of motivation and education on the basics of triathlon.

2. Rally your supporters. Surround yourself with people who can give you solid triathlon advice, answer questions, introduce you to other triathletes within your community and just support you in general. Consider joining a triathlon club; the number of community clubs and teams is exploding. Also, there are programs such as Team In Training that provide training guidance and structure while you fundraise for a charitable cause. Another option is to get a coach to help guide you through all the training, gear and racing. Take the time to seek out training partners and people who can support you in triathlon. You’ll soak up tons of information and likely meet some lifelong friends along the way.

3. Don’t expect instant perfection. Like almost everything in life, nothing runs perfectly all the time. Most triathlon races and workouts will have their glitches. Triathlon involves three sports, so mastering each leg of a triathlon takes some time. Don’t expect your first bike ride, run or swim to be easy. You might find that your new pair of goggles doesn’t fit right, or you can’t get your heart rate monitor to work, or you get a side stitch running and can’t finish the workout. Starting out on a triathlon bike also requires some patience as you navigate the learning curve.

4. Become a student of the sport. Ask questions. Lots of them. Start out with the basics and then dive into the more detailed information with time and experience. Learn the triathlon lingo—what does T1 stand for? Learn how to change a flat tire. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to decipher power data when you’re just starting out. Figure out what you need to know and graduate your knowledge at an appropriate pace. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the gear, technology, training and (sometimes conflicting) advice, so make sure you ease yourself into the sport by building a solid foundation on the basics.

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5. Celebrate the little improvements. Improvement comes with time, energy and consistency. Monitor any progress in your times for certain workouts, perhaps your 500-meter swim time or your 5K run time, and enjoy the little victories. Or just be happy about feeling less tired after your long ride or being able to run that extra mile during your long run. Track what you’ve accomplished, how you feel and notice your improvements, however big or small.

You are in control of your thoughts and actions. By visualizing and creating positive self-images of finishing a triathlon or keeping up during a group ride, you are more likely to actualize those end results. Starting off on the right foot and thinking positively about triathlon and your ability will set you up for further positive experiences. You’ll enjoy triathlon more and see better results.


Nils Nilsen

6. Train your mind.

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7. Don’t obsess about the competition. While it’s healthy to embrace your competitive spirit, don’t blindly hold yourself to the same standards as everyone in your age group. Progress is what makes triathlon so addictive; you’ll find you’re always evolving as an athlete. If you come out of the water two minutes behind your age-group leader, don’t sweat it. Maybe she was an all-star college swimmer. You can’t control that. What you can control is your own ability and how you will play to your strengths.

8. Make realistic goals. Setting too many overly ambitious goals right out of the gate will set you up for not being able to accomplish any of them. Make smaller, more realistic goals along your journey to achieve the bigger ones. Run that mile repeat a couple seconds faster, try an open-water swim or go down the hill in your aerobars. Successfully overcoming obstacles during intimidating moments throughout training and racing will propel you forward by miles.


Nils Nilsen

Mackenzie Madison is an Oregon-based pro triathlete, USA Cycling coach and USAT-certified coach with Zoom Performance.

september 2010


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co Re

ed rov d, App de en lete m th ia Tr

m Yogi Recommended, Triathlete Approved BY BETHANY LEACH MAVIS

PHOTOS BY DAMIEN NOBLE ANDREWS Incorporating a tri-targeted yoga practice into your training routine can reap big beneďŹ ts when it comes to strength, exibility and balance. And those are just the physical rewards. Pro and age-group triathletes alike have also seen how yoga can keep them mentally focused and race ready.

september 2010


ou’ve seen the articles on yoga that attempt to appeal to the skeptic in you—“it’s not for incense-burning hippies anymore” and “yoga is not just about stretching and contortionism.” All true, but yoga can specifically target muscles that you use for swimming, biking and running, all the while helping you avoid injury and improve your mental focus. “I think people have this mistaken notion that yoga is easy because you may not necessarily sweat like you do when you run or whatever,” says JoAnna Younts, who placed second in her age group at Ironman 70.3 Mooseman this year. “But yoga is hard.” But don’t be intimidated either. Each pose, or asana, has variations that can make it more or less difficult, depending on your level. “There are a lot of people who think that you’re just lying on a mat, breathing and meditating and doing some light stretching,” says two-time Ironman champion Michael Lovato (pictured in this story with his pro triathlete wife, Amanda). “While certainly that could be all you do, if you put more into it, you get more out of it.” You can start by going to a yoga class. But which one? While the

assumption is that a more athletic, rigorous style of yoga is more befitting a triathlete, “it’s the calmer styles that are going to make a much better starting point,” says Sage Rountree, a yogi, USA Triathlon coach and author of The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga. “If you’re training for a triathlon … you have this really big physical strain on your body. You want your yoga practice to be slightly more mellow.” She recommends Hatha yoga or a class with the word “beginner” in the title. Rountree also suggests a class that emphasizes alignment, such as Anusara, for beginners so that they make sure they’re doing poses correctly and therefore maximizing the benefits. Begin by incorporating some small elements of yoga into your everyday routine. Age-grouper Stacey Griffith, a stay-at-home mother of three who races Masters Elite in the North Carolina Triathlon Series, says she doesn’t have time to attend class every week, but works about 15 minutes of yoga into her daily routine. “There are a couple of static and dynamic core poses, which you can squeeze in while your kids are watching TV or while you’re waiting

Most Popular Yoga Practices (in order of difficulty) SVAROOPA: This form of yoga blends moderately challenging poses, or asanas, with coreopening exercises. This practice is beneficial to triathletes who need to learn how to self-massage the deepest layers of their muscles. Many of these classes focus on the spine, hip flexors and low back. Svaroopa yoga is an excellent entry point for anyone interested in beginning a yoga practice or increasing flexibility. ANUSARA (HATHA): Anusara is a form of Hatha yoga, one of the oldest derivatives of yoga itself. The literal translation of Anusara is “following your heart.” In keeping with its name, Anusara yoga focuses on heart-opening poses. These be can especially beneficial for cyclists who are continually hunched over their bikes and possibly suffer from shoulder or upper back soreness. Anusara applies a strict set of principles, called the Universal Principles of Alignment, to its sequences. These 58

principles promote postural awareness and focus on breathing techniques. IYENGAR: This form of yoga was formed by B.K.S. Iyengar more than 50 years ago. Iyengar yoga is another type of yoga that is inviting for beginners as it offers varying levels of participation. Iyengar classes typically employ props, such as belts, blocks, exercise balls and blankets. These props are helpful for beginners and moderates alike in keeping the alignment of the postures correct and true to form. This practice is beneficial to all triathletes, as there are many leg-strengthening standing poses and movements that challenge balance, control and coordination. VINYASA (FLOW): Vinyasa yoga, sometimes called Flow, is usually reserved for those who have practiced yoga before, as it is moderately difficult in terms of pose memory and flexibility. Generally,

Vinyasa classes move quickly and have an aerobic element to them. The series of poses shift with the teacher’s whim and connect in a sequence, hence the flowing nomenclature. Vinyasa is an excellent class for the more experienced yogi triathlete who would like to build lean muscle mass, core strength and awareness of breath. ASHTANGA: Metaphorically, Ashtanga yoga is more like the Ironman of the age-old practice, whereas Vinyasa could be considered the half-iron. Ashtanga requires a lot of discipline and focus, as well as strength. The poses are performed in sequence, like Vinyasa, but are done more quickly and strictly repeated. These poses combine all the elements of yoga—breathing, balance, flexibility and awareness—into a fastpaced practice often done in a heated room, which adds to the intensity. – Lauren Ventura september 2010

on dinner to finish cooking,” she says. If you’ve never practiced yoga, Rountree recommends starting yoga in the off-season or at least not close to a peak race during your season because your body needs some time to adapt. Yoga is especially effective for treating injuries, as Griffith can attest. After tweaking her hamstring, she couldn’t run for a week but

Strike a PoSe

Sage Rountree recommends working some of these poses into your training routine. For beginners, attend a class to make sure you’re doing the poses correctly.

continued to use gentle yoga that targeted her hamstrings, just enough to increase blood flow without irritating the injury. “It felt like that complemented my training,” she says. “It was also good for my head—it made me feel like I was actually doing something to treat the injury.” Yoga can also help prevent injuries because it increases circulation and corrects muscle imbalances. Dan Lehman, a hospital administrator who first attended a yoga class because of a calf injury, starts and ends each day with yoga. While you may think that participating in multisport means, by definition, that the cross-training is built right in, Lehman would argue that swimming, biking and running can lead to their own issues. “We spend so much time lying flat in a pool swimming, or going in a straight line riding

Good poses for swimming cow face “Like if you’re doing a back stroke, and you bend at the elbow, and then you do a breast stroke and bend at the elbow, and the hands meet behind the back.”


eagle arms “The eagle pose arms will stretch the backs of the shoulders. So that’s like giving yourself a hug and then you’ve got one elbow flipped over the other, and then that form wraps around.”

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our bikes or running that we forget about the other planes of motion,” he says. Michael Lovato has seen the effects of those muscle imbalances in his triathlon training. “In yoga, when you do a one-legged balance, you can identify drastic discrepancies between your ability to do a right-leg pose versus a left-leg pose,” he says. “Those are good indicators of where you can improve yourself. And once you improve and become more balanced, you become a better triathlete.” The problems Rountree typically sees in triathletes are hip strength issues, which then affect the glutes and hip rotators. “IT band issues, knee pain and plantar fasciitis can usually be alleviated if you get the hips strong and flexible,” she says.

Triathletes who struggle with flexibility, such as Amanda Lovato, also a pro triathlete, have seen yoga help them on the bike. “I’m able to ride my bike in a more aggressive position,” she says. “My low back doesn’t get sore, my neck doesn’t get sore. I couldn’t ride a time trial bike [before]; I would ride a road bike with some aerobars on there.” Yoga has proven physically beneficial to pros and age-groupers alike, but triathletes have also seen the mental advantages of using yoga during the intensity of racing seasons. “In yoga, you’ve got to find ways to cope with being in intense situations,” Rountree says. “Coping mechanisms involve relaxing everywhere you can, thereby helping you become more efficient with your form. And then using

Good poses for biking forearm plank “It looks like aerobars. That would help most of us who are riding tri bikes.”

supported backbend/supported fish “A supported backbend counteracts being hunched over in the saddle. I like to lie back over a pillow.”

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your breath—yoga teaches you how important it is to breathe. Breathing can keep you right there on the edge of something that is almost unmanageable, and it gives you endurance.” The breathing and meditation aspects of triathlon can be difficult for typical triathletes, who are accustomed to nonstop motion and constant multitasking. Yoga can push even Ironman athletes to their limits. “The first few breaths of doing something, it’s really easy,” Griffith says. “But the longer you hold the pose, the more you have to

focus. And it’s not the type of pushing we do in our regular training. It’s more about staying present in the moment and breathing through the intensity. That’s what you need in a race because you have those times when you need to be really focused.” In its full practice, yoga is a valuable tool for maintaining physical and mental health, and incorporating even a few of its components can help you recover from injuries, stay focused in races and allow you to use your body to its full potential.

Good poses for running lunge “With one leg forward, the other leg back. You could even have the back knee down. That’ll give you more of a stretch for your hip flexors… That’s just an exaggeration of what you’re doing in your running stride.”

downward-facing dog “It stretches your back, it stretches your shoulders, it stretches the whole back of the thigh. You get your hamstrings and your calves and even your Achilles.”


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How the Lovatos Fit Yoga into Their Training Schedule Due to the intensity and time constraint of training for Ironman races, the Lovatos are only able to take traditional yoga classes in November and December, the triathlon off-season. “For us to sit in a 60- or 90-minute yoga session once or twice a week all year long isn’t practical, as much as we like it and as much as it helps us,” Michael says. As their training ramps up in early January, they transition to strength-based yoga—nicknamed “Joega” after instructor Joe Horwat at Flatiron Athletic Club in

Boulder, Colo. The class caters to endurance athletes by focusing on strength, stability and stretching. As the triathlon season begins, Michael and Amanda have to work yoga into their training on a much smaller, day-to-day level. “We switch to a modified style that uses a lot of the key poses that help with opening the hips, balance and stability, which translates really well to triathlon,” Michael says. The Lovatos’ favorite stretches, which they include mid-season after long workouts, include:

PIGEON “It stretches out your glutes and the back side of your hips.”

LUNGES, THE WARRIOR SERIES “It opens up the front of your hips.”


SIDE PLANK “We do these every time we go to the gym.”

BOW “I use a strap because I’m not that flexible.”

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By Craig Kain illustrations By Hunter King

Preparing for triathlon’s mental challenges involves more than thinking tonight about tomorrow morning’s race. Just as you train your body, you must also train your mind. Elite athletes often work with sport psychologists to build mental toughness; the rest of us can also benefit from the same insights.

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Goal SettinG Becoming and staying motivated can make the difference between crossing the finish line and not even making it to the start of a race. I worked with an athlete who for months said his goal was to finish an iron-distance race even though he was only moderately motivated to train for one. His motivation level increased dramatically when he finally filled out a registration form and paid the race entry fee. You can talk about goals all you want, but you haven’t fully committed to them until you take action. From a sport psychologist’s perspective, goal setting is the key to motivation. Good goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-limited (SMART). The more specific your goal is, the better. For example, instead of making your goal “to do well” in your next race, pledge to “improve my swim time by 30 seconds,” or “place in the top 10 of my age group.” These are strong, focused goals. You’ll also be more motivated if you set goals for daily workouts. These goals are often skill-oriented, such as running more relaxed, pedaling in smooth, round circles or really extending your arm reach in the pool. Find at least one good thing about each workout you complete and write it down. Cumulative, small daily affirmations result in large measures of motivation.

Relaxation One of sport psychology’s most basic tools, relaxation, becomes especially important before the start of a race. Remaining calm and focused in the face of pre-competition anxiety sets the tone for a successful swim. Maintaining a relaxed mind is the key to keeping a relaxed body, and one simple relaxation technique is deep breathing. Shallow, rapid chest breathing is part of our body’s fight-orflight response; when you breathe this way, your mind believes you are in danger and your body automatically tenses up. In contrast, breathing from the diaphragm—imagine inflating a balloon in your belly as you breath in—triggers a relaxation response. Athletes I’ve coached have used it to help them through starting line jitters. 68

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Too often triathletes in a race environment dwell on what went wrong during their last leg or on what catastrophe might occur next. Engaging in this unproductive thinking comes at the expense of focusing on things that would improve performance.


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Control Another mental tool is to focus on what is in your control. Too often triathletes in a race environment dwell on what went wrong during their last leg or on what catastrophe might occur next. Engaging in this unproductive thinking comes at the expense of focusing on things that would improve performance. An athlete came to see me with a recurring fear of flatting out on the bike, clearly something that was out of his control. When I asked why this was such a great concern, he replied that it would take him about 15 minutes to change the tire. Learning how to quickly fix a flat was clearly something within his control and something he worked on until getting a flat no longer provoked anxiety. While many things in triathlon are beyond your control—bad weather, cold water and steep hills—you do have the ability to control your reaction to a non-ideal situation. Let go of the things you cannot control.

vIsualIzatIon Yet another tool that can help you win the mental game is visualization. Mental imagery can be exercised before, during and after a race. It can be used to perfect form, to motivate and to inspire. Most of us have been told that practice makes perfect, which isn’t quite true. What is true is that perfect practice makes perfect, and visualizing yourself performing a task accurately is better than doing it poorly. I know a collegiate athlete who, because of a hectic class schedule, had little time to rehearse coming out of the water, running to a transition area, getting out of his wetsuit, into his helmet and onto his bike. But there was no limit to how often he could rehearse this in his head, and he could imagine it without mishaps—no legs stuck in wetsuits, no difficulties clipping into pedals and no misplaced sunglasses. When he competed at the collegiate championships after spending time visualizing a seamless transition, he posted one of the fastest transition times. You can also use imagery to motivate and inspire. A triathlete I know visualized himself as a lead rider in the Tour de France on his way up the Wildflower Triathlon’s Nasty Grade; there was no way he was going to stop riding up the hill until he crested. I also worked with an athlete whose goal was to compete in an upcoming Olympics. september 2010

I had her tape a picture of the Olympic Games logo to places she frequently looked. The image of the interlocking rings became the inspiration she needed to persevere through her training whenever training conflicts arose.

Instant amnesIa Between legs of a race you can employ the psychological tool instant amnesia. Since each discipline of a triathlon is independent of the others, once a leg is over, it’s best to forget how you did and focus on the leg in front of you. Dwelling on how your bike split didn’t meet your expectations does nothing to change that performance and, in addition, keeps you distracted and less focused on the run.

PosItIve self-talk It’s easy to let self-doubt and negative thoughts creep in and sabotage your race, particularly when things get physically painful, as they often do during the run. Having something positive to say to yourself is crucial. A positive self-talk statement can be any short phrase that is personal, in the present tense and, of course, positive. However, creating one is not always easy. I worked with an athlete who, with a huge smile on her face, told me her self-talk statement was, “I will finish this race if I have to crawl across the finish line.” She was totally unaware that each time she repeated it to herself she reinforced the image of a slow and painful finish. Switching to “I always finish strong” resulted in a vastly improved performance. To be successful in triathlon, you must draw on every bit of physical and mental strength you have. While tools such as relaxation, visualization and positive selftalk can make the difference between a race that flows and one that aches, one more thing is needed. You have to remember why you love the sport. When you feel like you have nothing left to give—which will happen at least once each race—the reminder that triathlon is something you love can pull you through. Some may love triathlon because it keeps them in shape, others because it pushes them to new limits. Regardless, knowing that you are doing what you love will help you excel in the mental game of triathlon. Craig Kain, Ph.D., is a psychologist and Ironman triathlete with a private practice in Long Beach, Calif.




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Original photo by Tim Carlson, photo-illustration by Triathlete magazine

It’s no secret that triathlon training and racing requires a significant exertion of mental and physical energy. But if you equip yourself with the right mindset—and adhere to our 10 rules for beating burnout—you and triathlon will enjoy a long and happy relationship.

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eter Reid knew something was wrong. After three wins at Kona, the intense drive to win had disappeared. “The way I ran the marathon today, the fire is dimming a bit,” Reid acknowledged after his third-place finish in 2005. “It’s not full-on.” The following June, the 10-time Ironman champion who had almost quit the sport in 1994 conceded at age 37 that he could no longer make the sacrifices for another Ironman World Championship title and threw in the towel for good. Reid is certainly not alone in falling victim to triathlon burnout. Some have had it derail their short professional careers, while others have found ways to successfully avoid or deal with the problem, allowing them to stay at the top of their game for decades. Take Belinda Granger, who turns 40 this November. After 18 years of triathlon racing and 12 years as a top pro, this 12-time Ironman champion Aussie is still racking up Ironman wins and has no plans to retire. Sure, sometimes she doesn’t feel the desire to race or train, but she knows that’s normal, especially after a key Ironman. “We all need this time out, to just do nothing and let our bodies rebuild—both physically and mentally,” she says. “When you do not allow yourself time to just chill out, that is when you are most at risk of burnout. Most of us are very high achievers, we thrive on routine and perfection. When you take these things away, we struggle. But on the other side of the coin, we need to have a certain amount of time where we do not have a set routine, where we get up on the weekends and just do nothing.” Getting away from the usual workout routine and having fun in the off-season are two ways Terry Martin Duvel ensures that the athletes she coaches avoid burnout. Martin Duvel, 48, is a former pro and now top agegrouper who’s raced successfully for more than 25 years. “I have all of my athletes take at least a month or two off each year from a planned schedule,” she says. “If I know someone really enjoys skiing or mountain biking I have them do that during the off-season. And if someone is too gung-ho about training at the beginning of the year, I know I need to chill them out.” 74


Nils Nilsen


A long-distance specialist who won Ironman Canada in 1994 as a pro and top women’s Masters finisher at Kona (twice), Martin Duvel has avoided burnout in recent years by entering local Olympic- and sprint-distance races, which she says keep her mentally fresh because the training isn’t as all-consuming physically or mentally. Also, short-distance triathlon introduces more variety into her day-to-day interactions since she’s training and racing with a different group of people than she did during her Ironman days. Becoming a one-sport athlete for a few months or longer is another great way to mix things up and keep life interesting. Fifteen-time Ironman 76

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“FOR SOME PROS, IT’S FIVE YEARS OF TOP-END RACING. FOR OTHERS, IT’S 15 YEARS.” – Roch Frey, husband and coach to Heather Fuhr and former coach to Peter Reid

Robert Murphy/

champion and 1997 Kona winner Heather Fuhr found that out when she retired from triathlon in 2007. After feeling burned out as a pro, Fuhr refocused her energy and competitive fire purely on running. In 2008, she finished second at the Masters National Cross Country Championships and this year was the overall women’s winner of the Catalina Marathon. “For Heather, it’s like going back to her roots,” says her husband and coach Roch Frey, who has also coached Peter Reid. “She’s been running since she was 6 or 7 years old. It’s zero stress training now.” If you can afford it and have a willing spouse who enjoys running, swimming or biking, taking your training to another part of the world for a while can also introduce a fresh new perspective. As pros, Justin and Belinda Granger do that frequently. And since they’re married and have been regular training partners for the past 15 years, they easily pick up on signs of overtraining in one another before it can lead to burnout. “Silly little things that I would normally not even notice start to really annoy me,” says Belinda. “As soon as Justin starts to see this, he is like, ‘Ah, Belinda, I think you will have the day off tomorrow.’” Five-time Ironman Brazil champion Fernanda Keller, 47, has completed more than 50 Ironman races and raced as a professional every year in Kona for the past 22 years. Keller says making sure her life is balanced with family, close friends and the other things she holds most important to her has kept her from burnout. “I always decide to race where I have at least one real friend,” she says. For most pros, though, the physical demands of racing at a high level eventually take their toll, says Frey. “For some pros, it’s five years of top-end racing. For others, it’s 15 years.” To avoid physical burnout, Frey says it’s critical for high-end athletes to take a two-week break from regular training during the middle of their season and at least six weeks off at the end of the season. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise, he says, but you need to force yourself to get away from the kind of cycling, swimming and running you do during the season. “You’ve got to catch it beforehand,” he warns.

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Photo: Joe Vondersaar


10 WAYS TO AVOID BURNOUT 1. Take time off after big races. 2. Don’t stress over race results. 3. Keep training and racing in perspective. 4. Take your training to a new place. 5. Be a one-sport athlete for a few months. 6. Do different kinds of races. 7. Train with different people. 8. Take a two-week mid-season break. 9. Take at least six weeks off after the season.

John Segesta/

10. Do something fun in the off-season.

For top age-groupers who have work, family and other responsibilities, it’s also important to recognize that balancing those demands with training and racing can be a recipe for disaster if you don’t keep things in perspective. “I think one thing that can really lead to burnout is putting too much pressure on ourselves to race well,” says Dean Harper, a former pro who won the first two Wildflower Long Course Triathlons and, at 57, still competes at a high level (he won an ITU World Championship age-group title last year). “If I do my best, that should be the goal. I see people get discouraged with race results and I think this leads to burnout. Instead, Harper, who has three children 80

and a law practice in Walnut Creek, Calif., says you should enjoy being fit and express that fitness in a race situation. When triathlon is perceived as a healthy lifestyle choice, not a burdensome obligation, burnout is less likely to rear its ugly head. Remember the reasons that compelled you to get into the sport and celebrate how far you’ve come—and the potential you’ve yet to realize. Kim McDonald is a San Diego-based USAT-certified coach, USAT Age Group National Champion and ITU World Champion. september 2010

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Two new types of bike fit tools—motion capture systems and dynamic fit bikes—overcome problems that professional bike fitters have long struggled with, allowing them to zero in on a rider’s optimal cycling position with unprecedented precision.

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Mike Sylvia


ricked-out tri bikes are fun to stare at, but, as Lance Armstrong pointed out, “It’s not about the bike.” The key to fast and comfortable cycling is the rider, not the machine itself. Many people choose to buy “free speed” by dressing up their bikes with light and aerodynamic components but, other than hours in the saddle, an effective bike fit is the best way to improve your bike split. An efficient position not only allows the rider to comfortably produce power, but it also reduces aerodynamic resistance. Finding a position that balances both speed and comfort is critical because the body creates the majority of its own resistance, but striking that sweet spot is difficult. Fitters have traditionally used a type of specially designed fit bike that Serotta pioneered 31 years ago—a stationary bike that can be adjusted to any position, but cannot be adjusted with a rider on board—and measurement tools such as a goniometer, a plum bob and a ruler to match a rider with his or her ideal bike. Although experienced fitters can effectively fit riders with these tools, they have three major limitations: Accuracy: Taking accurate measurements with the hand tools used by many fitters is extremely difficult. An experienced physical therapist usually has about 10 degrees of angle measurement error when using a goniometer.




Pedaling against resistance: A cyclist contacts the bicycle at the saddle, bars and pedals. The harder he or she pedals, the more weight is supported through the feet, and this shift forces the cyclist to reposition on the bike. The cyclist’s position should be measured while the subject pedals in order to precisely replicate the position on race day, but the rider must stop pedaling to be measured with a hand tool. Bait ‘n’ switch: Fitters often ask the cyclist to compare the relative comfort of multiple positions, then to choose between two slightly different positions. Traditional fit bikes require that the rider dismount so the fitter can adjust the bike between trials, which makes it difficult for the rider to perceive which position is more comfortable.


Optimizing bike fit isn’t as glamorous as slapping on a new set of race wheels, but it improves efficiency, comfort and power more than any piece of bike adornment. Two new tools, dynamic fit bikes and motion capture systems, can eliminate the problems outlined above and dial in your optimal position. A dynamic fit bike is one that can be moved with the rider aboard. A motion capture replaces hand tools and quantifies the rider’s position as she rides (think of it as the ultimate protractor ruler). Here’s an example of each. >> september 2010

train happy.

Brooks T6 Racer

The Next Generation SICI Size Cycle allows the bike’s shape to be adjusted right to the millimeter as the rider pedals. This allows cyclists to experience two different positions without getting off the bike and helps them perceive the difference between two potential positions. In addition to improving the rider’s ability to perceive comfort, the Next Gen Size Cycle amplifies the effectiveness of a motion capture system. The original Size Cycle forced the rider to dismount to adjust the bike but most riders remount the saddle in a slightly different position. This slight change makes an otherwise accurate motion capture measurement less effective. Using the Nex Gen Size Cycle in cunjunction with a motion capture system allows the fitter to quantify the results of tiny changes to the bike without the rider repositioning after remounting the bike. This can help the fitter and rider identify small problems that might only surface after several hours in the saddle. In addition to the Size Cycle’s ability to improve fit precision, Serotta advocates a system to translate fit coordinates from the fit cycle into a real bike in order to help a potential bike buyer find an ideal match.

The Formula for an effective Bike Fit The perfect triathlon bike fit is a delicate balance of many variables, but the knee angle, hip angle and shoulder angle are the three most critical components of an effective bike fit. An athlete’s position on the bike should allow him or her to be efficient, aerodynamic and powerful, all while allowing the rider to stay injury-free. Knee angle is affected most by saddle height, and to a lesser extent by the saddle’s fore/aft position relative to the pedals. Knee 86

angle is important for power production as well as injury prevention. Hip angle shows the relationship between an athlete’s torso and legs. It is affected by the distance from the saddle to the handlebars and by the handlebar height. It is important for power production and comfort when in the aerobars. SHoulder angle determines the relation between the athlete’s arm and torso. It is most affected by the distance from the

saddle to the handlebars and is an essential component of a comfortable and sustainable position. Setting these three joint angles within a specific, narrow range allows athletes to comfortably support their own weight and maintain their position through an entire event. Geoff Nenninger Lead Fitter | Colorado Multisport september 2010

Images Courtesy Serotta

Serotta Size Cycle 2.0


movements. Software then calculates critical fit metrics, such as hip angle. Measuring the cyclist with Retül, rather than hand tools, eliminates two of the major shortcomings of traditional fitting. It takes measurements as the rider actually pedals the bike against resistance and is able to measure to within 3mm of accuracy. Although Retül is capable of incredibly accurate measurements, fitter error can create inaccuracy. The fitter must accurately place the LEDs on the appropriate joint landmarks to get reliable data about the rider’s fit.

Photos by Eric Wynn

Retül is a 3D motion capture system that measures how the rider moves through numerous pedal strokes to quantify his position. This data can then be used to diagnose and correct fit problems. To measure the rider, the fitter places LED markers on the cyclist’s joints and, as he rides, a triangulating camera locates the LEDs in space, much like a GPS system. Retül’s proprietary software takes these floating points in space and turns them into a stick figure that mimics the rider’s


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Nils Nilsen



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“What is without periods of rest will not endure.” by Ovid september 2010


John Segesta/



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ccording to a 2008 survey compiled by TribeGroup and USA Triathlon, the No. 1 reason triathletes participate in the sport is “for the personal challenge.” Other motivations rounding out the top 10 include “I am inspired when I see a challenged athlete participating,” “completing a race is an emotional or spiritual experience” and “I participate in triathlon for the social aspects.” Based on 15,000 responses, it’s pretty clear: Although triathlon is a physical activity, we do it mainly for emotional, personal and social incentives. We swim, bike and run because it makes us feel fulfilled. One of the greatest threats to the enjoyment and personal satisfaction our sport gives us is injury. Injuries take away the pleasure we experience in workouts, they upset our treasured daily routine, they thwart our race goals, they make us worry about losing fitness and sometimes they even challenge our very identities as athletes. Injuries are typically thought of as bodily harm, but the worst part about them—like the best elements of triathlon—is emotional. Emotionally, dealing with injury is as important as the physical evaluation and rehabilitation of the injured body part. While some injuries are small and easy to get over, others are much more challenging. They can last several weeks, several months or end your season. Every triathlete who trains long enough experiences an injury at some point, so while it is valid to do what you can to prevent injuries from happening, you must also be ready to cope with them when they do happen. Understanding the emotional side of injuries is the first step toward coping with them. When you are injured, something is taken away from you—the ability to train, the ability to be out there doing what you love to do. Injuries bring a sense of loss with them. Injured athletes typically go through some or all of the five stages of grief that Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D., outlined in her work on the psychology of loss. While each athlete is unique, the common reactions are—in order of manifestation—denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Injuries seem unfair, but moving through the injury as gracefully as september 2010


T R A INING coPing wiTh injury Here are some specific tips that will help you cope with your next injury and perhaps even gain something from it. reframe The injury. The strongest athletes are always reframing challenges and obstacles as opportunities. A rainy day becomes a chance to excel in adverse conditions, as opposed to a chore to mire through. And an injury becomes a chance to show grace and grit, and an opportunity to work on other skills. Decide to do as much as possible each day to solve your problem, even if that’s only icing or stretching, getting to the gym to strengthen the weakened muscles that contributed to your injury or merely resting.

look for The silver lining. If you can’t run for a while, then you can likely swim. You will have a lot of mental and physical energy for pool workouts, and you can use this time to become a faster, more proficient swimmer. If you can ride, then this is an excellent time to do a block of bike training. Not only will you maintain fitness, but you will also gain strength in the sport(s) you focus on.

possible toward acceptance will help you become a more resilient athlete in the long term. Sparing yourself from the negative emotions associated with injury is not possible and is not the goal. It’s important to acknowledge that sport is meaningful to you and that your disappointment is real. Allow yourself the chance to feel that. To deny the importance of the loss is to dishonor your passion. You can’t just “get over it,” but you can honestly tell yourself that you’re disappointed. To move beyond your loss, you have to be willing to move through it. This doesn’t mean your injury should put you into a funk for a week; you want to keep your sport in perspec94

tive. The sooner you accept your frustration and anger, the sooner you will accept the injury itself, which really means adopting a positive mindset that will enable you to recover faster as well as learn and grow more from your setback.

The Power of PosiTive Thinking Acceptance is about focusing on the present and the future instead of dwelling on the past by yearning for what you do not have and constantly rehashing how you got injured and what you did wrong. Athletes with positive outlooks overcome challenges more easily and rebound from disappointment faster. Deciding

Take ownershiP of The injury. Injuries are a chance to learn more about the body, and how training affects us. Take the opportunity to gain more knowledge about sports injuries and why your body might be prone to certain injuries. Take responsibility for your healing and be actively involved in whatever rehab is required. Taking action always feels more productive and satisfying than a passive approach. There is a good chance you will come out of the injury stronger—physically and mentally.

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Nils Nilsen

sTay involved in whaT you love. Use your downtime to support others, volunteer at a race or read more about training and racing. By staying involved you are investing emotionally in something that is meaningful to you. This is a positive and purposeful way to live and will keep you from wallowing in self-pity and negative self-talk.


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TRAINING to be optimistic throughout your injury will give you a chance to reinforce skills that will help you when you resume training and racing. Accepting the injury creates space for you to learn more about your injury and thereby reduce the odds that it will ever be repeated. You can reflect on your training and what led to the injury in a constructive way. When triathlon is temporarily taken from you, you have an opportunity to step back and think about why the sport matters to you and where you want it to take you in the future. The resulting sense of purpose is

invaluable: Like a personal mission statement, it will carry you through tough training days, and elevate your chances of success in big events. LifeSport senior coach Lucy Smith has been an elite runner and triathlete for more than 25 years. She has sustained several major injuries and come back from two pregnancy breaks in her career, all of which have given her a valuable perspective for coaching excellence in others. LifeSport head coach Lance Watson has coached a number of Ironman, Olympic and age-group champions. Visit or e-mail Coach@

WHAT COULD CAUSE YOUR ACHES AND PAINS? When the quads get tight and the pelvis tilts due to lack of elasticity within the muscles, they could begin to pull on their insertion points within the hip and lower back.



Nils Nilsen: shot on location at Velocity Sports San Diego

The Hip Dysfunction Kit includes all the tools to assist plus the DVD with: • How-to Section • Practical Education • 30-min Re-Gen Class • Tips for a Better Lifestyle

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Nils Nilsen


Train Less, Swim Faster By Sara McLarty


ou know what they say: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But not always. I’m here to tell you that you really can improve your freestyle while swimming fewer miles. There are three tools that you can use toward this end: swimming slower, watching other swimmers and visualization.

Swimming Slower Vince Lombardi said it best: “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” In swimming, the effort to go fast often results in imperfect practice. You’re so focused on getting to the other side of the pool as quickly as possible that you can’t think about the elements of good technique and your form gets sloppy. Before you go fast in the water, you must learn how to correctly swim slowly. Stroke technique can shine if speed is taken out of the picture. With practice, your muscles will memorize each new movement so you can eventually recreate it without thinking as you swim faster and faster. Use your practice at the pool to focus on one aspect of freestyle at a time. Do not look at the clock when you are improving technique. Instead, feel the water moving and watch the lines on the bottom of the pool to judge if you are going faster. Drill sets should not be 98

performed on timed intervals. Instead, use a specific amount of rest between sets. Some technique flaws are only visible when athletes swim slowly. If Sally always swims as fast as possible, using a six-beat kick and a quick stroke cadence, it may appear that her body position is correct, with her hips and legs at the surface. But her velocity and flailing arms may disguise a tendency for her legs to sink. If Sally cannot keep her body in horizontal alignment when she is swimming slowly, a major technique flaw has been discovered. In this case, Sally should work on floating (or swimming so slowly she doesn’t move at all!), improving her core strength and relaxing in the water. Eventually she will be able to swim at her familiar fast pace with much less energy expenditure.

watching other SwimmerS Why do all the swimming yourself? Let others do some for you! Go underwater at your local pool, buy a DVD, surf the Web or watch a swim practice. How do you know that you finally understand the basics of freestyle technique? When you start making mental notes and correcting other swimmers’ technique. If you can see flaws in others’ strokes and know how to make corrections, you are becoming aware of how to move through the water.

Pay attention to both the correct and incorrect techniques you see in other swimmers. For example, when you watch Athlete A swim, you might notice he has a very relaxed arm recovery with high elbows. In your next swim, visualize his arm movement and try to mimic it. Let’s say you also noticed that Athlete B’s hands crossed the center line of her torso (a no-no). Keep this image in mind when you are swimming and think about where your hands are during the pull.

ViSualization You can use visualization to practice correct technique when you’re not even in the water. You can have swim practice right where you are sitting. Click your watch over to stopwatch mode and close your eyes. Start the watch and mentally swim 100 yards of freestyle. Think about every stroke, breath, turn and kick. Stop the watch when you are finished. Try to mentally swim your average race pace. Becoming a better swimmer takes time and practice, but swimming more is not the only way, and often not the best way, to improve. By bringing your mind into the quest to become a better swimmer—specifically through slow, mindful swimming, paying attention to other swimmers and using visualization techniques—you can make faster progress with less time in the pool. 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 september 2010










know Before You Go

Knowing The rules of TriaThlon racing will helP you ride wiTh greaTer confidence and less risK. By Mark Deterline


ou would never break a USA Triathlon bike rule intentionally. But unless you’ve studied the rule book, there’s a good chance you’ll break a rule accidentally and be penalized. To help you avoid this frustration, we’ve read the rule book for you. Here’s a summary of the major bike-related race rules. Your bike helmet must be formally approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or it cannot be used at USAT-sanctioned events. All helmets should have certification stickers inside to confirm compliance. You must wear your helmet at all times while on a bike—that includes before and after an event, not just during. Breaking this rule may result in disqualification. Helmet chinstraps must be buckled at all times when you’re on a bike. This means you must buckle the strap before you get on your bike and you must be off your bike before you unbuckle it. If you break this rule out on the course, you can be disqualified; if 100

you do so in the transition area, you may be assessed a Variable Time Penalty (see chart). You may receive outside assistance from race and medical officials only. Any infractions may result in Variable Time Penalties. All of your equipment must be properly placed in your individually assigned bike corral. The wheel of your bike that is touching the ground must do so within your corral. You must return your bike to an upright position in your designated space, or a volunteer assigned to take your bike as you enter the transition area may do it. All handlebar bar ends must be plugged. You must ensure that there are at least three bike lengths of clear space between you and the cyclist in front of you. If you ride into a leading rider’s “draft zone,” you must either pass within 15 seconds or immediately drop back to the appropriate draft-free distance. You must keep to the right-hand side of the full lane of travel unless passing. Failure to do so is considered blocking.

If you are passed, you must immediately exit the draft zone by allowing the passing rider the required minimum lead distance. Even if you decide to try to pass the rider who has overtaken you, it is necessary to yield the minimum distance before you try to overtake him. You must follow the designated course and stay within coned lanes. Trying to cut the course is considered a blatant violation, and veering from the course can also represent a serious safety issue. Cyclists are not allowed to cross a solid yellow center line for any reason and are expected to obey traffic laws at all times unless clearly instructed otherwise by designated and clearly identifiable course marshals. “Foul, harsh, argumentative or abusive language or other unsportsmanlike conduct directed at race officials, USA Triathlon officials, volunteers, spectators or fellow athletes is forbidden,” states the rulebook. Such forms of misconduct represent more serious infractions and may result in disqualification. Headphones, earpieces and personal audio devices are not to be used or carried at any time during an event. Transgressors risk a Variable Time Penalty. All personal belongings and equipment taken onto the course must stay with or on you at all times. That goes for food wrappings, as well. No garbage, clothing, etc., can be dropped or thrown without the risk of a Variable Time Penalty. For a complete and up-to-date list of rules, visit: index/1684. Mark Deterline is a 15-year veteran of the cycling industry, an elite-level bike racer and often trains with some of the best athletes in triathlon. Visit for more information.

Variable Time PenalTies Sprint and intermediate raceS First offense

2 minutes

Second offense

4 minutes

Third offense


Long courSe raceS First offense

4 minutes

Second offense

8 minutes

Third offense


uLtra raceS First offense

6 minutes

Second offense

12 minutes

Third offense

Disqualification september 2010

Nils Nilsen

Bik e

1 1 on

With Timothy O’Donnell Nickname: T. O. Age: 29 Born: Orland o, FL Years Profes sional: 7 yea rs Style: Ironma n 70.3s Team: K-Swis s


Most memor ab bike: Winning le moment on the Course World the 2009 ITU Long Championship s Australia has moment. been my most in Perth, memorable Toughest ra ce has been my /competition and why: Iro toug conditions (hea hest race. Not only is it nman 70.3 St Croix a tough course t, humidity an d wind) are br but the I am a super utal! fa supporters an n of: My family and friend da s, of Boston spor huge reason for my succes they are my greatest ts teams…es pecially the Cel s. I’m also a super fan If I was not a tics! professional ri program, I’d lo ve to study en der, I would be: Attending trepreneurship an MBA What are your . ‘go- ’ Maxxi s tires? COURCHEVto E



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terview with visit our web Timothy O’Donnell site at: www. maxxis .com/Bicycle /1on1.aspx


Drill, Baby, Drill Five technique drills For better running By Brian Metzler


Nils Nilsen

here’s no such thing as perfect running form, but every triathlete can and should work regularly on improving his or her running technique. Why? Because it will make you faster, boost your running economy (the ability to run at a relatively low energy cost) and reduce your injury risk. One of the most effective ways to improve your running technique is through form drills that accentuate specific aspects of good form and train your body to repeat those specific movements while you are running, according to Boulder-based triathlon coach and running form guru Bobby McGee.

“By being able to critically evaluate your own mechanics and then being able to habituate effective alterations through form drills,” McGee says, “you will solve a large piece of the puzzle that is great running in triathlon.” Most drills take one or more aspects of good form—a compact arm swing, soft level footstrikes under your center of mass, quick leg turnover, an upright posture with a slight forward lean at the ankles—and accentuate them through repetitive motion that trains the body to be comfortable with that movement when inserted into your typical running mechanics. Taking an extra five to 15 minutes several times a week to do the five form drills detailed here can help you become more fluid, more efficient and faster for both short and long distances. That’s a pretty good return on your investment, and one you’ll appreciate most in the last half of a race when you’re suffering from all-encompassing fatigue.

1) Ankling

2) Ankle springs

3) Arm pull-bAcks

4) high knees

5) butt kicks

Why: This drill teaches correct footstrike mechanics and increases stride rate. hoW: Using a quick and very short stride, strike the ground at the forefoot and fold the foot down to the surface from toe to heel, with the heel reclining to the ground momentarily before popping up to start a new stride. Take small steps with minimal knee lift and minimal time spent on the ground, as if the surface below you is very hot.

Why: Ankle springs improve footstrike mechanics and create a bouncier stride. hoW: Using a short stride, jog forward with a lightly bouncy movement that emphasizes landing near the ball of the foot with a level footstrike. Make sure you’re leaning forward slightly from the ankles and that your feet are striking the ground underneath your center of mass. Your short steps should create a light springing effect, not a forceful pushing sensation, and that momentum will carry you forward.

Why: Arm pull-backs develop a compact arm swing and help create the tempo and rhythm of a high running cadence. hoW: With a level head, level shoulders and a straight and slightly forward-leaning posture, jog forward while alternately pushing your arms backward as they are held at 90 degrees (or less). Concentrate on pulling your upper arm backward by contracting the muscles around the shoulder blades. Keep your arms swinging in a plane parallel to your torso and do not rotate your body to assist the movement.

Why: This drill teaches powerful and efficient forward leg drive and a bouncier footstrike. hoW: With a slight forward lean from the ankles, alternate pushing off the ground with one leg and thrusting the knee of the other leg upward and forward until your lifted thigh is parallel to the ground. Be sure to focus on soft, flat footstrikes near the ball of your foot while using your core to lower your leg down slowly instead of letting it crash to the ground.

Why: Butt kicks accentuate the recovery portion of the running gait phase and improve leg turnover cadence. hoW: Run in place with your thighs more or less locked in a neutral position and try to kick yourself in the glute with your heel on each stride. If you’re not making contact, you need to improve your dynamic range of motion.


september 2010

John Segesta/

Funda men Ta ls

Pace Your Race By Ian Murray


he key to getting to a triathlon finish line in the least amount of time is to know how long you can maintain intensity based on your body’s fuel capacity. The body stores and uses fuel primarily in the form of fat and carbohydrate (in the form of glycogen). The human body stores enough fat to provide endless hours of energy, but fat metabolizes slowly so we rely on muscle glycogen, which is faster burning, to fuel high intensity swimming, biking and running. Most people can only store about 2,000 calories of muscle glycogen, however, which is not enough to make it through a long race at an intense effort. When glycogen depletion occurs, you slow way down because all you have left to burn is fat, which, again, can’t support intense activity. So your objective in races is to swim, bike and run at an intensity level that uses enough glycogen to go fast without depleting your muscle glycogen stores before reaching the finish line. Heart rate zones can

help you find the right intensity to achieve this balance. Intensity can be monitored in several other ways, including speed or power on the bike, run pace and rating of perceived effort (RPE). But heart rate is the most widely used intensity metric, so we will work with that. The first step in setting an appropriate race pace is to estimate the amount of time it will take to complete each leg of the race. Step two is to determine your individual intensity zones; there are seven zones in the system I use. This determination can be done by calculating various percentages of your known maximum heart rate. (A full heart rate and RPE table can be found on page 122 in the May 2010 issue of Triathlete.) It’s important to note that triathletes usually see higher maximum heart rates during running than cycling, so you should identify zones for each discipline. The final step is to fine-tune your race pace by practicing with your individual zones.

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SISTER MADONNA BUDER KAREN SMYERS THOMAS From the moment the starting gunHELLRIEGEL is fiRIEGEL red on Kona’s sandy beach, triathletes have 17 hours to cross the finish DAVID BAILEY AND CARLOS CARLO MOLEDA line. Those hours test men and women, forcing them to look deep SISTER MADONNA BUDER KAREN SMYERS ANDRE NIEDRIG ANDREAS RIG within themselves, revealing both heroes and champions. HOMAS HELLRIEGEL ROBERT MCKEAGUE SARAH REINERTSEN 17 Hours to Glory celebrates the ultimate achievements of seventeen DAVID BAILEY AND CARLOS MOLEDA athletes with unbelievable drive and true strength of character, each PETE REID PETER portrait building a picture of triathlon’s most storied race. ANDREAS NIEDRIG NATASCHA BADMANN MARC HERR HERREM The Ironman World Championship is the measure of a triathlete, but ROBERT MCKEAGUE SARAH REINERTSEN NORMANN ST 17 Hours to Glory shows there are no limits on the possibilities of the human spirit. CHRISSIE WELLINGTON W ®



John Segesta/

Funda men ta ls

Intensity zones are not an exact science, but they do provide good guidelines. Zone 1 is 50 to 60 percent of max heart rate. It is a low intensity that could be sustained for hours or even days in some cases. A novice Ironman athlete with a modest time goal could depend on this pace to get him to the finish line with plenty left in the tank. Zone 2 is 61 to 70 percent of max heart rate and can also be maintained by the well-trained athlete for many hours, provided the athlete stays properly fueled and hydrated. Zone 3 is 71 to 80 of max heart rate. At this intensity muscle glycogen depletion will occur somewhere between two and seven hours, depending on a number of factors that include training status, fitness level and the athlete’s diet. Most half-irondistance triathletes, marathon runners and century cyclists will find zone 3 an appropriate level for racing. Zones 4 and 5 see an elevated rate of glycogen depletion, occurring somewhere around two

hours at zone 4 (81 to 85 percent of max HR) and 50 to 70 minutes in zone 5 (86 to 90 percent of max heart rate). Most triathletes fare best in Olympic-distance triathlons when they stay in zone 4 for most of the race then increase to zone 5 as they near the finish. Some find they can hold zone 5 through an entire sprint event. Zones 6 and 7 (91 to 100 percent of max HR) rely mostly on anaerobic energy systems and can only be held for a few minutes or less. Therefore, this peak intensity should be reserved for the final sprint finish. Once you have determined your individual heart rate zones, incorporate them into workouts to get accustomed to what each feels like and how sustainable they are. Use this experience to fine-tune your heart rate targets for races. Pacing is a learned skill. The more you race, the better you will be able to dial in your appropriate race intensity by both heart rate and feel. Ian Murray is the host of “Triathlon Training Series� on DVD, a USAT Level III coach and the head coach of the LA Tri Club.

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Spor t S Science Updat e

does Massage impede recovery? By TimoThy mickleBorough, PhD


assage therapy is widely used by triathletes for a variety of purposes such as injury prevention, recovery, relaxation and enhanced performance. Triathletes routinely receive massage soon after completing training sessions and races because they believe that treatments thus timed can accelerate recovery by enhancing muscle blood flow and therefore the removal of metabolites such as lactic acid. The importance of the removal of lactic acid from muscle tissue for recovery originates from studies showing that intracellular acidosis (increase in pH) contributes to muscle fatigue. With this idea in mind, researchers from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, recently investigated whether massage and/or active recovery, or light activity, can improve muscle blood flow and lactic acid 106

removal from muscle after intense exercise. This study showed that both massage and active recovery resulted in blood flow in the reverse direction of what is normal, called retrograde flow. In addition, blood flow was significantly reduced during massage recovery and somewhat reduced during active recovery compared with passive recovery, or inactivity. And finally, lactic acid removal was substantially reduced by massage compared with passive recovery due to compromised blood flow. It is important to note that there are a few limitations to this study. First, the massage strokes (effleurage and petrissage) used do not represent the only massage technique used in post-exercise recovery. Second, the study involved exercise and massage of the forearm muscles, so the data may not be reflective of what would occur in

leg muscle tissue. Results from studies on the effects of massage are notoriously difficult to generalize, since the type, timing and duration of massage, the parts of the body massaged and the amount of pressure applied are all matters of the individual researchers’ preference. Nevertheless, the findings of this study do suggest that sports massage may not be the best method for lactic acid removal from exercised muscle. While experimental protocols have varied considerably between studies, taken together they raise doubt as to whether massage is an effective means to relieve fatigue and restore full muscle function in athletes. Tim Mickleborough, Ph.D., is a professor in Indiana University’s kinesiology department and is a former professional triathlete. september 2010

Fi T ne ss hoW to RoW

A feW key consideRAtions

Row Your Way to Better Fitness By Tawnee Prazak


he rowing machine is as versatile as the triathlete. In one rowing workout, major muscle groups for swimming, biking and running are put to work—no transition required. Rowing develops strength, power and aerobic endurance simultaneously. “Rowing is the endurance athlete’s secret weapon that no one wants to talk about,” says longtime USA Triathlon coach and triathlete Robert Beams.

does build strength,” he says. “It’s also a great tool for increasing range of motion in the shoulders and back.” Then there’s the cardiovascular fitness component. The full-body constant motion nature of rowing is effective for building aerobic and/or anaerobic endurance. Rowing packs a double punch: It enhances cardio fitness while you strength train.

Why RoWing

When to RoW

At first glance, rowing appears to be a swim-specific workout. While this is true to an extent, it’s the bike that gets the biggest boost from rowing. “From a triathlete’s perspective, rowing develops power for cycling better than it does for swimming,” says Will Kirousis, a USA Triathlon and USA Cycling coach. “It’s majority legs; the arms just finish the movement.” Explosive leg power comes into play during the drive phase of rowing. Just look at the triple-digit wattage—arms alone can’t do that. Still, don’t discount the benefits of rowing for swimming. Rowing builds upper-body and core strength, and the arm pull-through phase mimics the catch phase of a swim stroke. Beams says he’s seen athletes shave seconds off their average 100-meter pace after taking up rowing. “It can’t improve technique but it

Rowing can break up the monotony of swim-bike-run without taking you too far from the specificity of triathlon. Incorporate it into gym days—row 500 to 1000 meters before or after lifting weights—or do a brick workout that combines rowing with a spin class, running or even a swim. Rowing is a reasonable substitute when swimming in a pool or open water isn’t possible. Also, rowing is non-weight-bearing, making it useful in rehab situations. “It can keep you healthy and in the game if you’re dealing with an injury,” Beams says. Just don’t overdo it. “Don’t let rowing replace swim-bike-run, Kirousis says. “Remember, it’s just a cross-training tool. While in season, row after a major event or in a transition period to clear your head. In off-season, use it to build fitness.”


Don’t set the resistance too high—your power output will drop faster than you might think. Set the resistance in the middle and maintain a high velocity and consistent force. Don’t hyperextend the knees during the pushback part of the drive, and don’t allow the knees to bow outward. There should be no interference between arms and knees. If the bar hits your knees, fiddle with your technique.

sAmple WoRkouts coAch RobeRt beAms’ fAvoRite: 500-meteR RepeAts Warm up with five minutes of easy rowing. Row at lactate threshold, or comfortably hard intensity, for 500 meters. Row easy for one to two minutes. Do push-ups, pull-ups, squats or some form of strength training. Perform four to five more 500-meter intervals followed by recoveries and strength exercises. coAch Will kiRousis’ fAvoRite: the cyclist’s WoRkout Warm up with five minutes of easy rowing. Complete four to five 10-minute blocks of rowing at high but sustainable intensity, with 200 to 500 meters of easy rowing between rounds. Record your distance (meters) covered after 10 minutes and make it a challenge to increase your distance over time.

Tawnee Prazak is a USAT-certified coach, personal trainer, kinesiology graduate student and triathlete based in Orange County, Calif. september 2010

John Segesta/

Like swimming, rowing is highly technical. Physician and rowing coach Thomas Mazzone identified the phases of rowing as catch, drive, finish and recovery. In the catch phase, the arms are extended and the legs fully bent. The legs are responsible for initiating force in the drive phase. When the legs reach the point of half extension, the arms follow with a strong pull, bringing the bar into the chest. The legs then extend as you reach the finish, followed by the arms releasing into the recovery. It’s important to maintain good posture throughout the entire movement; don’t slouch or hunch over, especially during the catch. However, it is okay for the back to have some forward-backward movement to enhance power.


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Overtraining or Overreaching? Featuring gordo Byrn Dear CoaCh, I have a question about overtraining. I'm confused, mostly because my running is still great; I can still push the pace and hold with the best of them. However, my cycling is suffering. More and more it seems like I can’t push as soon as I hit a headwind or a hill. Did I overtrain or just overreach? What should I do to get back up to par without starting from scratch? Connery

When a highly motivated athlete thinks he might be close to overreaching, he’s probably overreaching. The surest sign is a performance decline that occurs despite consistent or increased training. Overreaching, which is caused by excessive training stress and inadequate recovery, is less extreme than overtraining, a full-blown neuroendocrine disorder requiring months of rest. It is unlikely that you could continue to run well if you were overtrained.



september 2010

Nils Nilsen


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De a r Co a C h uSe TheSe TipS To avoid going FlaT again


Track Your red Zone Training As you gain experience, you’ll find your personal red zone in each of the three sports. There are a lot of ways to quantify load, and I’ve found that tuning in to my internal dialogue works well. If you think something is hard, then log it as hard. Then follow the 48-hour rule: If you do 20 or more minutes of hard work in a day, don’t go hard again for at least 48 hours.


noTe Your Failed SeSSionS If I have one failed session—that is, a key workout in which I perform below expectations—in a week, I write it off and move on to the next session. I don’t try to make up the bad workout, nor do I worry about it. If I have a second failed session in one week, then I know I’m tired and I back off. If you use this tip then you’ll end up doing more work over the course of the year because

you’ll never go flat and be forced to take it easy for extended periods of time. Absorbing more work over time drives fitness development.


live and learn When you lose the workout, seek the lesson. Ask what caused the breakdown. Does your program contain too much red zone training? Are you missing out on adequate sleep? Are you fueling your body adequately? When setbacks become frequent, patterns will emerge. Remove the patterns that mess up tomorrow’s training.


Schedule recoverY Don’t wait until things fall apart to give your body a chance to recover. Rest when you still feel good, as this will help you continue to feel good. Plan regular recovery opportunities and write down your plans because this advice is really tough to follow when your fitness is high.

So, let's assume that you have overreached. What’s the best way to play it? It is normal (at least in triathlon circles) to have a fear of resting because we don’t want to lose our current fitness. The paradox is that once you’ve overreached, additional training will only make you slower. At this stage, the fastest way to improve your performance is to focus on recovery. The good news is that recovery does not equal bedrest. Active recovery can be very effective for the experienced athlete. A significant short-term reduction in training volume and intensity will suffice to enable your body to work through the fatigue, whereas complete rest would result in unnecessary fitness loss and drive you crazy. However, you want to avoid any sustained training, as well as group sessions. Generally speaking, most athletes come out of overreaching with four to 14 days of active recovery. The specific amount of recovery time needed depends on how long you’ve been flat, the specific cause of your overreaching and your total life stress. You’ve gone so far as to write to Triathlete magazine, so I'd recommend at least one full week of light activity. If your bike legs have been flat for more than a month, then go light for at least two weeks. Gordo Byrn is the co-author of Going Long and a past champion of Ultraman Hawaii. You can find more of Byrn's tips at



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Training Too Soon After pregnancy: A Word to Women


ydney is a 29-year-old triathlete who came to my office three months after the birth of her first child complaining of low back pain after running. She started to ramp up her running a couple of months after her delivery and wham, the pain came on. Although both she and her husband are thrilled with their new family addition, there is a big difference between Sydney and Jason. Her body changed; his didn’t. And now he can run but she can’t. Being male or female has advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to saddle sores, life is tougher on men. When it comes to pregnancy and the body changes that go along with it, let’s face it—life is tougher on women. Some of these changes are especially consequential for female triathletes. Consider the example of the hormone relaxin. Toward the end of pregnancy, a surge of relaxin creates ligamentous laxity throughout the body (this is one of the reasons that pregnant women are especially prone to ankle sprains). Relaxin is important because it allows the pubic bones to widen during delivery by loosening

the pubic ligament. After delivery, relaxin levels stay high for several months, leaving many joints susceptible to injury. In Sydney’s case, the issue was osteitis pubis, a common injury in women who come back too soon after pregnancy. Laxity in the ligaments surrounding and bridging the pubic joint allows the pubic bones to rub together during running, causing groin pain. What’s the right way to come back after having a baby? It’s different for each athlete. Some athletes come back quickly, others more slowly. Several studies suggest that exercising up until the time of delivery can make for a quicker return. I have found this to be true with my patients as well. The best guiding principle is caution. Start back gradually. As with coming back after an injury, returning to full training after pregnancy takes time and patience. Jordan D. Metzl, MD,, is a sports medicine specialist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. He is a 28-time marathon runner and seven-time Ironman finisher.

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nu t r i t ion Q&A

the (real) rules of Good nutrition By PiP Taylor


I am a 30-something triathlete with a desk job that pays my triathlon bills. I think I eat relatively healthily, at least in comparison to my co-workers, but I have to admit I don’t really know if I am in fact eating healthily anymore. I am confused because there seem to be so many different messages about what to eat and what to avoid. This is made even tougher by the nature of my job, which has me eating out a lot. I also am required to travel regularly, so I rely on what I can find on the road.


Good nutrition for many people is a confusing topic—but it really shouldn’t be. Confusion has entered the equation largely in part because of mixed messages from media and advertising. There is far too much food available (at least in this part of the world) per capita, so there is huge competition among manufacturers to convince you to buy their products. Although taste and convenience may 118

be great reasons to buy and eat something, advertising claims also convince you that you are making a contribution to your health by eating a certain product. These claims are most definitely just as effective as taste and convenience. Labels claiming such content as high fiber, low fat, trans-fat free, high in vitamin A/B/C/(insert your pick), high calcium, etc. are very persuasive. While these labels and claims might be true, they are mainly there to distract you—to distract from the fact that while something may be trans fat free (which is a good thing), it doesn’t mean that is fat free, low fat or that it is contributing anything of nutritional value to your diet. Perhaps one of the easiest tests of healthiness is the label itself, or lack of one. Real foods don’t tend to have labels because you don’t need to read something to see what it is or what it is composed of. Of course, there is also plenty of good food that has been prepared and packaged for you that can be part of a nutritious diet. And this is also

a good thing—convenience is a must for most people these days, especially for the average triathlete working a full-time job while trying to juggle training, family and any spare time they may have. Busy lifestyles mean that more and more meals are being prepared and eaten outside the home. Many meals and snacks often must be eaten on the run, in the car, at the office desk, at the drive-through and even more meals that are actually being eaten at home are merely partially prepared—needing only a zap or quick reheat in the microwave or oven. But the reality is that healthy foods can be prepared from scratch quickly and easily even with only limited cooking knowledge. The key? Start with good ingredients and do very little to them. Ideally, use the seasons as a guide—get to a farmer’s market, join a Community Supported Agriculture program or a more proactive tactic is getting organic local produce delivered. september 2010

nu t r i t ion Q&A

Local seasonal food is fresher, contains more nutrients and tastes much better than produce shipped from far away, which defies seasons and is often stored for months on end. When you have garden-fresh veggies and fruits you don’t need to do much with them. Plus, because they are fresh and you know you will get another delivery in another week, you will be inspired to make them the basis for what you eat rather than using them as side dishes to the semi-prepared foods in the pantry. Unfortunately, the reality is that farmer’s market shopping may be the ideal for many, as it assumes a time luxury that just cannot be afforded by all. But this is still not an excuse for excluding nutritious veggies, fruits and whole grains from your diet. Make use of flash frozen vegetables, organic whole grains such as quinoa, or alternatives such as canned tomatoes (make sure to look for the ones which are just pure plain tomatoes with perhaps a little salt). Also, there are plenty of quality pre-made meals available at a variety of natural food supermarkets. Get organized—even a little bit will make a difference. This can be as simple as making it a priority to always have something stocked 120

in your freezer, such as frozen vegetables, or loading your pantry with staples such as canned tuna, packets of couscous and canned legumes. Another quick fix: When you do cook, make extra and freeze individual portions. If you make a point of educating yourself, even if that is just reading labels in the supermarket, you will be surprised and will certainly learn some new words and probably some new habits. What about when traveling? Sometimes there really do seem to be no truly healthy food options. I was recently on a long road trip and noticed the foodscape, so I am very aware of what does seem to be a culinary wasteland of fast food chains lining up one after the other. I hoped there were some local gems among them but lack of time prevented a thorough search. Thankfully, most fast food restaurants now have “healthy option” menus that include salads, light sandwiches, soups, etc., although the majority of the meats do scare me (where are they sourced from?). Look or ask for nutrition information if you’re ever concerned about ingredients—the new health reforms make this easier—or ask for changes to what is listed on the menu.

If all else fails, consider going to the supermarket instead—grab some fruit, premade salad, bread and cheese. And look for the chains that are starting to make more of an effort to incorporate healthy, quick meal alternatives. Ultimately change is coming in the form of consumer pressure from people who are asking for more naturally sourced meal options. How, then, do sports foods, such as nutrition bars, gels and drinks, which are refined, sugary and calorically dense, fit into a healthy eating plan? Sports foods serve a very specific purpose—they are designed to maximize performance by supplementing—as opposed to replacing—a healthy diet. They deliver additional compact energy and hydration that can be quickly absorbed and utilized. Like any other training or racing performance aid, use these products to maximum effect at specific times around training and racing. In the meantime, it’s best to just stick to the basics. Australia native Pip Taylor is a certified sports nutritionist and an accomplished professional triathlete. Visit her website at september 2010


Introducing the Trail Guidance Trainer [TERRA MOMENTUS=MOMENTUM]




science in motion.






boulder, colorado

Nils Nilsen

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Zico coconut Water, $2.79

It’s somewhat refreshing seeing only two ingredients on a drink label: “100% pure coconut water from concentrate, natural flavor.” Zico is a light, all-natural coconutflavored beverage that has the key electrolytes potassium (more than a banana), magnesium, sodium and calcium, and zero fat. Perhaps only coconut lovers will enjoy the natural flavor, but the lima citron flavor is a unique combination of lime, citrus and sweet coconut water. The favorite was the pomberry flavor, which blended pomegranate, berry and coconut flavors surprisingly well. Zico tastes best cold, so it makes a good between-training beverage to keep you hydrated. 122

ironman Perform SPortS Drink, DeveloPeD by PoWerbar, $1.49 SambaZon açaí Juice, $2.99

Açaí has been touted as a superfood in recent years and has exploded in popularity among nutrition-conscious consumers. It’s more antioxidant-rich than blueberries and contains healthy omega fats. Sambazon’s juices contain fiber and protein, and combine the açaí with some other fruity flavors such as in the strawberry samba or pomegranate synergy drinks. The drink may taste a little too sweet for some palates. The completely organic beverage has to stay refrigerated, so it’s best as a healthy mid-day pick-me-up rather than fuel for a long training ride.

The beverage to replace Gatorade at Ironman events doesn’t taste much different from Gatorade, except that it’s thinner and less sugary tasting. Ironman Perform comes in lemon-lime, orange mango and mixed berry flavors, and it was created without the use of high fructose corn syrup, giving it a step up on Gatorade. Ironman Perform uses fructose, dextrose and maltodextrin, meaning that it has a combination of fast-burning sugar—to give you a quick boost—and slow-burning sugar—to sustain your energy. Though Perform is nutritionally solid, long-term Gatorade users might need some time to get used to drinking it during races. |

september 2010

E at r i g h t Get a Double (Not a SiNGle) Shot of CarbS With the bevy of sports drinks on health store shelves, it’s become common knowledge that carbohydrate intake during prolonged exercise improves performance. What you may not know is that a blend of certain carbohydrates is more completely absorbed and can deliver more energy to the working muscle than a traditional carbohydrate drink that has only a single carbohydrate. The vast majority of this research was performed at the University of Birmingham in England. However, researchers at Georgia State University in Atlanta confirmed the performance effect by comparing glucose/fructose drinks with glucose drinks during 100K laboratory time trials. Nine cyclists performed two trials receiving 36 grams of carbohydrate every 15 minutes either in the form of a glucose/ fructose water mixture or a glucose and water mixture only. On average the cyclists were 16 minutes faster with glucose/fructose compared with glucose. It is not surprising therefore that several manufacturers are taking these findings into their product development and formulating new drinks or reformulating the existing drink. If your triathlon event is 2.5 hours or less use a glucose/fructose drink and aim for an intake of about 90 grams per hour. This carbohydrate can come from drinks, gels or energy bars. Make sure you practice this high intake in training. If your race is shorter, an intake of up to 60 grams per hour is recommended.

DiD You KNoW?

What One Bean Can Mean By Asker JeUkendrUp


ou may have heard about the weight-loss benefits of the white kidney bean. Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles examined the effect of white kidney bean extract on the body’s glucose responses, as well as its effect on weight management. It’s been reported that just two to three grams of the extract could be sufficient to neutralize the activity of the enzyme alpha-amylase, which is an important enzyme in the breakdown of starches and other carbohydrates. Previous reports demonstrated 66 percent less carbohydrate absorption occurred when this extract was consumed. While this little bean could help fight the weight-loss battle for some, triathletes looking to shed pounds should stay away from the extract, as carbohydrate absorption is essential for recovery. Reduced carb absorption would mean less recovery, lower quality training and, in turn, less potential for intended weight loss. Asker Jeukendrup is a registered sport and exercise nutritionist, and the Director of the Human Performance lab at the University of Birmingham, England. Visit for more information.


There is now accumulating evidence that besides the effects of carbohydrate as a fuel during prolonged exercise, there are also effects on the central nervous system that can help performance. A study at Massey University in New Zealand demonstrated elegantly that when you just rinse your mouth with a carbohydrate drink, and do not even swallow it, this makes it easier to send a signal from the brain to the muscle. These observations help to explain earlier findings that a carbohydrate mouth rinse can improve 40K time-trial performance in cyclists. These findings may have implications for sprint distance triathletes as well. Even at this relatively short event, carbohydrate intake during the race will work, but if you don’t want the calories or if taking gels and drinks make you sick, you can just rinse your mouth with a carb-laden drink. Some athletes have used lollypops as an alternative, but be careful not to choke on them if you decide to try this. september 2010





At first glance, an Argon 18 bicycle is a striking sight for its unique, distinctive look. But an Argon 18 is more than just another pretty bike; it’s also an exceptional example of current technologies, well-conceived and appropriately applied. These technological solutions are the end product of lengthy and involved thinking about the dynamic properties most desirable in a bike. We have names for our exclusive design concepts and manufacturing methods: AFS, HDS, S3, the 3D Headtube and ONEness Concept. Learning more about our technological innovations will give you a better understanding of why an Argon 18 offers a truly unique riding experience. Every Argon 18 model exhibits road manners found in no other bike and this, put simply, is the result of our ongoing quest for that elusive optimal balance.

Sinclair Imports, Inc.

Tel.: (800) 654-8052 email: •

ARGON 18 Tel.: (514) 271-2992

E at r i g h t During the summer, Boulder Triathlon Club enjoys a weekly Pasta Ride on Wednesday evenings. It’s hosted by a different BTC member each week at their home, and the host chooses the hour-long bike course to begin and end at their house. The tri club, made up of about 170 members, enjoys the low-key, social ride before meeting back at the host home to chow down on pasta. The host supplies the piles of pasta, and the other members bring sides, salads, desserts and beverages. “Our club’s Pasta Ride series is one of our favorite events,” says the club’s vice president Warren Schuckies. “It’s an opportunity for our club members to enjoy some time hanging out together and to enjoy some good home-cooked food.”

A research team led by Professor Andy Jones, who also worked with marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe, found that beetroot juice improved endurance capacity. In the study, eight men were given 500 ml per day of organic beetroot juice or a black currant drink (placebo) for six consecutive days before completing a series of tests involving cycling on an exercise


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For more information, visit

bike. After drinking beetroot juice they cycled for an average of 11.25 minutes, which is 92 seconds longer than when they were given the placebo. Although the exact mechanisms at work are still unclear, these findings are potentially relevant for athletes involved in short, high-intensity events. Another good reason to eat your beets: Studies show that the nitrates in beets can help to lower your blood pressure.

Courtesy the Boulder Triathlon Club

JusT beeT iT

Tri Club Grub: boulder TriaThlon Club

september 2010 7/9/10 10:29 AM

Visualize the motion of air...

2010 Jamis T-Series Flow Visualization Testing San Diego Low Speed Wind Tunnel , November 2008 Photo: John Segesta -

...and then dominate it.

Xenith T1

Xenith T

Xenith T2

It’s not too much to say our Xenith T-Series frame rewrote the standard for production tri machines. The first time we hung this baby up in T1, the other guys went scrambling. Full NACA aero profiles throughout, a chainstay-mounted rear brake and that full-carbon WindShield® fork with its fully enclosed front brake that delivers a 10% drag reduction over a standard aero fork, told them we meant business. They’re still struggling to catch up. For 2010, we employed flow-visualization testing at the San Diego Low Speed Wind Tunnel to refine our Xenith T-Series frames. Utilizing a technique dubbed “french chalk”, which is typically used in the

aerospace industry, our product development team was able to tune and optimize airflow not only over and near the surface of the frame (like most typical wind tunnel flow visualization techniques), but ON the surface of the frame as well, totally driving development of the new 2010 Xenith-T series design. It’s not hard to visualize. Every Jamis T-series bike is built for one thing only: Getting you to T2 faster, and with fresher legs, than the competition. Now dominate!

Annette Slade Photography


Quinoa Tabouleh by adam kelinson


his protein-rich twist on the traditional Eastern Mediterranean salad dish includes quinoa, which contains—in addition to protein—dietary fiber, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. Originally from the Andes Mountains, where it is known as the “mother of all grains,” quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) can be found in almost every grocery store today. Quinoa is especially valuable for athletes because it is a complete protein with all of the essential amino acids that the body must obtain from food sources.

nutrItIon Facts

Serving Size: 117g Calories: 101 Calories from Fat: 40 Total Fat: 5g Sat: 1g Trans: 0g Sodium: 57mg Total Carbs: 13g Dietary Fiber: 2g Sugars: 0g Protein: 3g 128


1 cup prepared quinoa 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes 1½ cups packed fresh parsley leaves 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, hempseed oil or sesame oil juice of ½ lemon sea salt

How to prepare quInoa

Preparing quinoa is super easy—it is made the same way you prepare rice: two parts water or stock (chicken or vegetable stock can be used) to one part grain. First, rinse the raw quinoa in fresh water. Then add quinoa to a pot along with twice as much water or stock (use slightly less liquid if you’re cooking at high elevation). Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer about 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. At that point, the grain will have uncurled and it will have a small bite, similar to that of al dente pasta. To make a smaller portion, rinse first and then combine 1 cup water with ½ cup quinoa. Bring to a boil for five minutes, remove from heat and let sit uncovered for 15 minutes. Quinoa can also be soaked for seven to 24 hours before cooking; soaking helps break down the outer layers, making the

grain more digestible and the nutrients more accessible. Add 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar to 2 cups water and 1 cup quinoa. When you are ready to cook, drain and rinse, and then use the same 2:1 ratio of liquid to grain, cooking until the liquid is absorbed.


Toss all ingredients together and serve at room temperature. Serves 4.

good accompanIments Grilled or roasted chicken Grilled or steamed fish Falafel Grilled vegetables Green salad

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 His book, The Athlete’s Plate, is available in bookstores, tri shops and online at september 2010


GREAT NEW TASTE Presenting the all-new EFS drink formulations, completely redesigned for 2010. With the latest amino acid technology, superior mineral bioavailability and the addition of Malic Acid, the new EFS drinks provide EVERYTHING you need to maximize endurance and performance during exercise. You’ll notice the difference right away too. The new formulas taste great, are incredibly fine, mix instantly and refuel working muscles faster than ever before. And with the highest electrolyte content available, there’s no need to carry those extra electrolyte pills or add anything else to the EFS drinks. You can train and race with confidence knowing you don’t have to worry about cramping or dehydration. Times have changed.

The Highest Electrolyte Content Available

Proud sponsor of: • 866-347-7811 NOTE: Orange Splash and Mild Grape EFS are mild and low in sweetness. They can be mixed at double-strength in order to provide twice the calories and nutrients without being too sweet.

R acing W eigh t

Lose Weight By eating earlier skipping a hearty breakfast may lead you to eat more—and more often By Matt Fitzgerald


ou’ve been told a million times that you should eat breakfast. Well, I’m here to suggest that you eat not just any breakfast, but a big breakfast. Here’s why: People who eat breakfast every day tend to be leaner than those who routinely skip it. You may think it’s because breakfast revs up the body’s metabolism, but that’s actually a myth. Instead, it appears that eating breakfast reduces appetite throughout the day. So people who eat breakfast actually eat less overall than people who skip it. In fact, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas at El Paso found that the fewer calories people ate before noon, the more total calories they ate in the entire day. That’s right: The more you eat before 130

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midday, the less you are likely to eat overall. A couple of years ago, Daniela Jakubowicz, an endocrinologist at Virginia Commonwealth University, decided to find out how far she could take this idea. She fed a variety of different breakfasts to women enrolled in a weightloss program. Those who ate a large breakfast containing 610 calories lost a lot more weight than women given a modest-sized 290-calorie breakfast. What sort of breakfast has 610 calories? How about two scrambled eggs, a bagel with low-fat cream cheese and a small glass of orange juice? That’s not a Denny’s Grand Slam, but it’s a pretty substantial meal, and certainly more than many people—even many triathletes—eat. september 2010

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But what about all the fat in those eggs? Believe it or not, new research suggests that a high-fat breakfast may also help you shed excess body fat. Scientists at the University of Alabama recently compared the effects of high-fat breakfasts and high-carbohydrate breakfasts in mice. They found that mice fed a high-fat meal upon waking and a high-carb, low-fat meal later in the day stayed much leaner than mice fed meals in the reverse order, even though total calories were the same. It appeared that eating a high-fat breakfast programmed the mice’s metabolism to burn more fat throughout the day, whereas mice given a high-carb breakfast relied more on carbs all day long. It remains to be seen how this finding translates to humans, but even if it translates well, it will never amount to a free license to pig out on bacon every morning and then eat anything you please for lunch and dinner. If you choose to eat high-fat breakfasts, you’ll want to keep the total number of calories within a reasonable limit and include very little fat in subsequent meals. Most triathletes favor high-carb, relatively low-fat breakfast foods such as cold cereal and bagels.

There’s nothing wrong with these choices, but you might find that if you add some fat, protein (which is also more filling than carbs) and calories, you will experience longer lasting satiety and thereby reduce your total daily calorie intake. This small shift could help you get leaner. For example, spread some cream cheese on your bagel or add some almond slivers and a little milk to your oatmeal. As a general rule, you should eat the most when your energy needs are greatest and least when your energy needs are least. When you wake up in the morning, it’s probably been about 12 hours since your last meal. Your energy needs are high, and there’s no better time to eat, so eat hearty. Now, not everyone likes eating breakfast, and some people who prefer eating small breakfasts or none at all suffer no consequences in terms of managing their body weight. If that’s you, don’t feel compelled to force yourself to eat more. But if you’re like me and you enjoy a good breakfast, it’s the right time to chow down. Matt Fitzgerald is the author of Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance (Velo Press, 2009,



Distributed By:



september 2010


There are two ways to do this. You can go it alone, and hope for the best—or you can get serious and accomplish your goals. Research proves that in life, strong relationships fuel growth. Winners rely on an inner circle of advisers, coaches and confidantes. Triathlon is the same, only more intense. Coaching is about more than a training plan; we build close, professional relationships. We care about your next triathlon result more than your training partners, your colleagues, maybe even you. Total commitment to your cause; it’s in our DNA.

Official Coaching Partner of Ironman and 70.3



Sept 3-5 Sept 17-19

Panama City, FL Tempe, AZ


March 18-20 April 29-May 1 June 3-5 July 8-10 July 15-17

St. George, UT Coeur d’Alene, ID Lake Placid, NY Louisville, KY Madison, WI

Learn more at or call us toll-free 866.355.0645 CTS has guaranteed slots for these Ironman events, so even if you didn’t get in, we provide all you need: support, on-course training and a winning plan.


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Tech suppoRT

how carbon Fiber Takes Your Wheelset up a Notch By Christopher Kautz ace wheels are the best possible upgrade you can make to your current bike. High performance wheels can greatly improve how your bike handles, its aerodynamics and overall ride quality. While there are many different styles of race wheels for different types of racing, triathlon race wheels should be designed to provide an aerodynamic advantage because wind drag creates the majority of the resistance faced by a cyclist in a non-drafting triathlon. One hallmark of aerodynamic wheels is a deeper rim than found on standard wheels. Manufacturers use carbon fiber to build deep, aerodynamic rims because it is strong, stiff and light. Constructing an ultra-deep rim from aluminum is unfeasible because the rim would weigh a ton. There are two types of carbon fiber rims: those entirely constructed of carbon fiber and those that use an aluminum rim bonded to a carbon fiber structure. Understanding some basic differences between aluminum and carbon fiber can help you determine which of these two types of wheels will best suit your needs. Unlike aluminum, the carbon fiber used to build wheels is made of two different materials, carbon and resin, which is why


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september 2010 6/7/10 12:13 PM

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Tech supporT it is called a composite. The long strings of carbon fiber resolutely resist bending and give the material its stiffness, and the resin acts as the glue that holds them together. Carbon fiber is different from metals in a few key ways. Shaping: A carbon fiber rim is formed by laying the material in a mold to give it its shape and is cured at high temperatures. Shaping the material with a mold, rather than welding tubes together, allows a manufacturer to develop components with clean aerodynamic shapes that are unattainable with metals. Directional StiffneSS: Metals are equally stiff in all directions but carbon composites are not. The carbon fibers themselves are very stiff and resist bending, but the resin that holds them together is relatively soft and does not contribute significantly to the material’s stiffness. Since only the carbon fibers give the material its stiffness, it is only stiff in the direction the fibers are oriented. This has a massive impact on carbon frame design and also makes it very difficult to construct a carbon clincher. heat DiSSipation: Aluminum and other metals transfer heat quite well, but carbon fiber does not. As a result, wheels with carbon fiber


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rims do not brake as effectively as wheels with metal brake tracks. These characteristics of composites give full carbon wheels two primary advantages over wheels with an aluminum brake track bonded to a deep carbon fiber rim. The first, and more important of the two, is the aerodynamic shape. The wheel manufacturer can actually make a rim that has a superior aerodynamic profile when using only carbon fiber rather than combining a metal brake track with a deep carbon fiber rim. The full carbon Zipp 404 Carbon Clincher, built with Zipp’s proprietary Firecrest rim shape, shows the potential of wheels built only with carbon composites. According to Josh Poertner, the lead engineer at Zipp, this wheel has similar aerodynamic drag numbers to the Zipp 808 Clincher, which has a much deeper rim but is built from a combination of aluminum and carbon. Weight is the second advantage of a full carbon wheel over an aluminum and carbon fiber combination. Even though aerodynamics is more important to performance than weight, all other things equal, a lighter wheel is a faster wheel because it accelerates more quickly. The biggest drawback to full carbon fiber rims is the braking characteristics. Since a

carbon fiber brake track doesn’t dissipate heat as effectively as an aluminum brake track, the heat generated by braking builds up in the wheel and reduces stopping power. As a result, most athletes racing on carbon fiber rims use carbon-specific brake pads to prevent heat from building up in the brake track. These pads are also less abrasive and protect the rim from being damaged by a rough pad. The question to ask yourself when selecting wheels is whether the full carbon wheelset provides enough added benefit for you, or if its limitations outweigh the benefits. If you are not comfortable changing brake pads when you change your wheels, you should most likely look to a wheelset with an aluminum braking surface. However, if maximum aerodynamic advantage with minimum weight is your goal, then a full carbon fiber wheel will likely be the better choice for you, just as it is for most professional cyclists and triathletes. Christopher Kautz is the president of the Master Bike Fitters Association, owner and founder of PK Cycling and one of the originators of the fit studio concept. His clients include numerous Ironman world champions, Tour de France veterans and Olympians, as well as thousands of age-group athletes. Visit

september 2010 7/9/10 4:52 PM

Nils Nilsen

TRiaThleTe’s gaRage

Custom Fit T

here’s probably a tri bike with stock geometry that can fit you. And even if there isn’t a frame by AAron HersH that’s a perfect match for your position, a bike’s fit characteristics can be altered with components—such as stems, bars and spacers—to accommodate a rider’s preferred position. But there is a difference between a frame that can accommodate a fit and a frame that truly fits. Shoehorning a rider onto a bike with less-than-ideal components makes its front end flexible and its handling imprecise. Rather than using spacers or an awkward stem, altering the frame’s shape so it fits without extra spacers or an odd stem preserves the bike’s handling, stability and stiffness. There is no universally agreed-upon “best” triathlon position. Most triathlon fit experts agree that there’s a range of positions that work well for cyclists, but fitters often disagree on the best position for an individual within that range. The cliché that a customized bike reflects its owner is misleading. The owner only picks the cosmetic details; the bike reflects the fitter who designs it. So, choosing the right fitter is critical if you’re going to buy a custom frame. I chose JT Lyons of Moment Cycle Sport to fit me. He is an instructor at the F.I.S.T. tri bike fit school who thinks analytically about bikes. My personal experience riding various tri bikes has shown me that I am most comfortable in a F.I.S.T.-style position (steep seat tube, low handlebars). Before pursuing your own custom dream bike, make sure you find a fitter that reflects your personal cycling style. Despite the benefits of custom geometry, riding a custom frame has always been a compromise. Not only are custom bikes expensive but they have historically been very unaerodynamic. The Guru CR.901 is the first custom bike designed for aerodynamic performance that is priced under $10,000. But it isn’t that much less than 5-figures. The Magis is another fully customizable carbon bike from Guru and its terrestrial price tag puts it in reach for many more triathletes. september 2010

Guru Cr.901 $7,450 AerodynAmiC Custom frAme, for A priCe The Guru CR.901 eliminates compromise. It is the first custom tri bike with modern aerodynamic design to rival nearly any stock geometry bike. In addition to its sleek shaping, the CR.901 offers the ride experience and personal connection that only a custom frame can deliver.

funCtion - 130/140.6 Unlike many top-shelf triathlon bikes, the Guru CR.901 uses traditional brakes rather than hidden or integrated calipers. Although this conventional arrangement might sacrifice a little wind tunnel performance, it gives the CR.901 crisp and reliable stopping power. The derailleur cables are routed behind the toptube and into the frame, and they are shrouded until reaching the

derailleurs. Although other tri bikes might save a few grams of drag by concealing more cable and shrouding the brake calipers, the CR.901 provides the shifting and braking performance that high-mileage triathletes require.

Aero detAils The CR.901 is the first Guru designed for aerodynamic performance. Until releasing the CR.901, Guru said that the rider creates far more aerodynamic drag than the bike itself, which is true, so manufacturers tried to boost rider performance by optimizing position using custom geometry. Prioritizing fit over aerodynamics is a fine strategy but the frame still creates a significant amount of drag and any bike—custom or stock—that doesn’t reduce wind drag slows its rider in a triathlon. Guru has finally embraced the value of aero frames and the CR.901 is built with narrow airfoil tubes designed to reduce wind drag, and the rear wheel is shielded by the frame. >>


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T Ri aT hl e T e ’s g a R a ge

GuRu MaGis $3,475 <<

Ride- 127/140.6

The CR.901’s predecessor, the Guru Crono, is one of the most thrilling tri bikes on the road. Its stunning ride characteristics can be attributed to its broad tubes that are stiff but not aerodynamic. For the CR.901, Guru used a narrow downtube to reduce wind drag and bolstered the bottom bracket with broad, sturdy chainstays that stiffen the rear of the bike and improve the connection between the rider and the road. Every CR.901 rider gets to experience the frame as it was meant to be ridden. Custom geometry allows every CR.901 to be built with components that maximize the bike’s handling characteristics and front-end stiffness. As a result, the CR.901 feels rock solid through tight turns. Not only is the front end sturdy but also the rear of the CR.901 efficiently transfers power from the pedals to the wheels. 142

full custoM, half the pRice The Magis doesn’t have the aerodynamic profile of several stock geometry tri bikes at this price range, but it provides all the benefits of a custom bike at a tolerable price.

Ride- 115/140.6 Not all carbon fiber is the same. The Magis is built with less expensive and more flexible carbon than the CR.901, and the difference is evident. It feels solid during a steady effort but flexes more than its big brother during a sprint. Although the Magis cannot match the CR.901 in stiffness, the ride experience aboard a Magis is still a blast. The custom geometry ensures that every Magis on the road uses an appropriate stem and spacer stack, which guarantees that the rider is relying on the frame—not an overgrown stem or spacer stack—for stiffness and precise handling. Guru strikes a nearly ideal balance between steady and responsive handling.

paRts spec- 80/140.6 The Magis we tested is built with a mixed kit that includes a SRAM Rival drive train and

Profile Design T2+ aerobars. Guru kept the price down by including Tektro brake calipers rather than Rival stoppers. Although the component spec is entirely functional, this parts kit cannot match the group found on most stock bikes at a similar price. The pricey frameset means the Magis is competing against bikes that feature parts with more flash and function than the kit on the $3,475 Magis.

aeRo details A bike is only aerodynamic while the rider is in the aerobars. If discomfort forces the rider on the base bar, he or she immediately looses any aero benefit of the bike. Most riders can find a comfortable position on a stock bike, but the fully custom Magis ensures it. Many bikes at this price point were developed in the wind tunnel to save every last gram of drag; the Magis was not. With its externally routed cables, blunt head tube and rounded tubes, the Magis frame creates more drag than some bikes in the mid-$3,000 price range. Although the Magis lacks the aerodynamic refinement of its rivals, it still has a shaped seat tube and downtube. september 2010

Pr o b i k e

The Lovatos’ kestrel Airfoil Pro By AAron HersH riathlon tests a person’s mettle, but it puts an replace the ceramic pulleys that came on her even bigger strain on one’s personal relation- SRAM Red Rear Derailleur with FSA Ceramic ships. The triathlon lifestyle— 6 a.m. swims, Derailleur Pulleys. She pushes the Vision TriMax long weekend rides, single-minded focus on the Carbon crankset with FSA Krono chainrings, sport—can be a major burden on a triathlete’s Speedplay Zero pedals and races on a Zipp 900 significant other, especially if that person hasn’t Powertap disc/404 tubular wheel combination. lived the tri life. Although Michael and Amanda Michael, on the other hand, favors the Lovato compete at the professional level, they Zipp Sub-9 Powertap/808 race wheelset. He balance the sport and married life just like any other couple balance their regular day-to-day tri commitments. The Lovatos coordinate their training schedules, worry about each other on race day and support each other through their struggles and triumphs. Not only do the Lovato’s share a lifestyle but they also share an affinity for the same bike, the Kestrel Airfoil Pro with SRAM Red components and Zipp race wheels. Even though the Airfoil has many techie features, it stands out because of what it is missing. It is the Zipp 900 Powertap disc and only bike built without a seat tube, which Vision TriMax Carbon aerobars Kestrel says reduces its aerodynamic drag. It with CycleOps Powertap head also creates a noticably smoother ride than a typical frame because the seatpost is able to float up and down slightly. Many athletes riding SRAM components use a Force Front Derailleur that has been relabeled Red, but the Lovatos use true Red FD’s. Both Lovatos race with ceramic derailleur pulleys and aerodynamic cranks to maximize their bike speed. Amanda chose to 144

is fully decked out in Zipp gear, including the VukaAero one-piece bar with ski-tip extensions and the VumaChrono crank. He races on the stock ceramic pulleys that came with his Red Rear Derailleur. Michael refined the aesthetic details on his Airfoil as well as the practical, and his lime green ISM Adamo Racing saddle matches his Team Trakkers race kit perfectly.

Michael’s Zipp VumaChrono crank and ISM Adamo Racing saddle

Nils Nilsen


september 2010


Optimal power transmission and riding comfort are determined by the quality of the connection between the pedal and cleat, not by the physical size of a pedal. Maximum pedal performance is a result of a comfortable, stable, and secure cleat-to-pedal interface. By any measure, Speedplay pedals provide the largest, most secure pedal-to-cleat connection possible. Whether you measure actual cleat-to-pedal contact area or cleat-to-shoe contact area, Speedplay provides as much as a 25% greater contact area than other pedal brands. Learn all the ways Speedplay is the number one pedal system at

T r i’ d a nd T e s T e d

sraM apex: Low Cost, reliable Performance by AAron HersH


riathlon is so much more than a venue for elite athletes to face off against each other. The sport is a great way to get fit, healthy, have fun and maybe enjoy a little competition. But sometimes all the gear required to swim, bike and run can overwhelm one’s bank account. SRAM Apex has made the sport’s financial burden a little less daunting. Although Apex doesn’t break the bank, “cheap” does not accurately describe it, either. But Apex does provide race-worthy performance at a previously untouchable price.

What’s the same?

hoW does it stack uP?

should you ride it?

Price: SRAM Apex is the cheapest competition-worthy groupset on the market. A complete tri kit rings the register at $639, which is priced lower than Shimano’s entry-level kit and much less than SRAM’s former most economic option, Rival. Gear raNGe: Most double chainring component groups force the rider to choose between a comfortable uphill gear and a fast downhill gear. A triple-chainring crank (three gear options up front, rather than two) provides a wide gear range, but it has sloppy front shifting and is significantly heavier than double-chainring cranks. Instead of adding a ring to the front, SRAM made the easiest gear even easier by building a cassette with a 32-tooth cog—a gear that size is usually reserved for off-road bikes. This enormous gear span makes Apex more functional than even top-shelf parts for riders that regularly tackle steep hills. This versatile gear range and crisp double-chainring shifting has rendered the triple-chainring crank obsolete.

tri-sPecific Parts: SRAM’s bar-end shifters and TT brake levers are not linked to specific component groups. SRAM’s aluminum 500 TT brake levers and shifters are the most economically appropriate match for Apex, but the carbon 900 TT parts and even the R2C Aero shifters are compatible. coGs aNd chaiN: Even though the rear derailleur gets all the credit, the shifters and cassette combine to have a bigger influence on shift performance than the derailleur. Apex must be able to make strong and accurate rear shifts because of the ultra-wide gear range, and SRAM wisely used the same highly tuned cogs found on its Rival cassette.

sram rival: Apex rear shift quality is nearly identical to Rival because both groups share shifters and cassette cogs. The Apex brake calipers also provide similar feel and stopping power to the more expensive Rival brakes. Finish quality is the biggest difference between the two kits. Rival boasts aesthetically crisp components and SRAM’s recognizable brake caliper design; Apex does not. Although Apex lacks the same eye-catching appearance as Rival, it functions nearly as well and costs less. As is the case with all component manufacturers, spending money for high-end parts yields diminishing performance returns. mixed shimaNo kit: Entrylevel tri bikes are usually spec’d with a mixed bag of components rather than a complete kit. This allows the manufacturer to keep the price down without eliminating the flashy bits that add a little glamour to a bike. Cervelo builds the $1,700 P1 with Shimano’s outstanding Ultegra derailleurs, chain and cassette but saves money by spec’ing an FSA Gossamer Pro crankset and their own Cervelo Mach 2 brake calipers. Mixed kits, like the one on the Cervelo P1, can provide sharper rear shifts than a complete Apex kit but Apex offers superior brake performance and slightly crisper front shifting.

The dynamic nature of road racing puts much more stress on components than a steady triathlon bike leg. Saving money on components—rather than wheels, frame or race entry fees—is the best way to keep your tri habit under budget. Apex is price sensitive, but matches loftier groupsets in the performance categories that matter to triathletes. It shifts crisply, brakes sharply and is only a few grams heavier than more expensive kits. Apex will start appearing on entry-level tri bikes this fall, and it’s a trustworthy group that you can be proud to ride.


Images courtesy SRAM

What’s NeW?

september 2010


gear bag

aero for Cheap By AAron HersH


ust getting to the starting line of a triathlon is costly. The entry fees, gym membership, bike gear, running shoes and even the basic supplies are expensive while top-of-the-line gear can cost as much as a car. But there are ways to save time on the race course without maxing out your credit card.

Convert a road bike for triathlon 3t Palladio Pro, $100

It’s not the airfoil tubes or integrated aerobars that make tri bikes faster than road bikes. They’re speedier because they move the rider forward, which puts the rider in a comfortable and aerodynamic position. The Palladio was designed as a rear offset post, but the saddle clamp mechanism allows it to flip around and become a forward-position post. This subtle geometric adjustment makes a road bike a little more like a tri bike. Riding in a tri position puts a lot of weight on the nose of the saddle, and the Palladio’s indexed clamp system prevents the saddle from rotating down.

Riding a road bike in the aero position is uncomfortable. If you’ve ever slapped a pair of aerobars onto a road bike you know just how difficult it is to find a relaxed aero position. The Profile Design T1 differs from most clip-on aerobars in that its easier to find your comfort zone because of its wide range of adjustability. The elbow pads and extensions can be raised and drawn back toward the rider, which masks many of the positional problems caused by getting aero on a road bike. The gradually upswept extensions are easy on the wrists while still providing a firm grip surface for a big effort. The T1 aerobars are not only ideally adjustable for use on a road bike, but they are also a bargain.

Nils Nilsen

Profile t1 aerobars, $110

Xlab torPedo Mount, $50

The Torpedo Mount is a flat piece of carbon that spans the aerobar extensions and supports a bottle cage. Hiding a water bottle between the arms is not only a convenient location but it also has no aerodynamic penalty. The 25-gram Torpedo is one of the lightest and sturdiest betweenthe-bar bottle mounts because of its rigid carbon plate and the silicone-coated Velcro straps that attach it to the aerobars.


september 2010

gear bag

Deck out your tri bike for cheap aerojacket, $90

Disc wheels are fast because they present a solid surface that air can flow over smoothly. They do not need special foam cores or carbon sidewalls to be aerodynamic. The Aerojacket allows an everyday training wheel to achieve the aerodynamic characteristics of an expensive disc by covering the spokes with two sheets of plastic. Although it is hard to believe that such a simple product can achieve the aerodynamic characteristics of a high-tech disc, its aerodynamic efficiency has been validated by wind tunnel tests. At $99, the Aerojacket is arguably the savviest speed-per-dollar bike upgrade on the market.

ruDy project Wingspan, $300

Aero helmets reduce drag by redirecting the air coming off the riderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s head onto her back. Since every rider is shaped differently, there is no ideal aero helmet that will work for everyone. Most aero helmets have long-stretching tails, and the Wingspan is the first option with a radically different tail shape. Designed by aerodynamics stalwart John Cobb, it is sure to be a fast lid for riders who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t jibe well with long-tail aero helmets.

september 2010



Plan to Enjoy the Journey BY ANDY POTTS know that this article comes a bit late in the year and you’re asking yourself, “Why is he talking about planning my racing season now?” That’s a valid question and one that I will hopefully shed some light on. Presumably you’ve done a few races so far this year and have a few more left before the off-season. What you may not know is that now is a great time to reflect on what went right and what needs some work, especially in regard to non-training-related prep. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably made some blunders early on in the year and have tried to correct them before it’s too late in the season. Your experience with each race has a lot more to do with your success in swimming, biking and running. You’ve experienced the preparation, the sacrifices and the commitment to bettering your life through sports. More specifically, there are the financial, physical, mental and—let’s not forget—emotional costs in all your choices. This especially holds true for the sport of triathlon.


Tri 1-2 Hort.indt 1

september 2010 7/8/10 11:51 AM

Larry Rosa


Up F ron t Financially speaking, you obviously need to budget for your race season. Along with the benefits of a growing sport, there are now more opportunities for the sport you love to divorce you from your money. With the price of races increasing, it makes sense to seek out the great races that treat each participant with a first-class race experience. If you find a race or a race director you can depend on, it is worth the extra funds to go to those particular races. Another key element is to plan your travel accordingly. If you are on a tight budget it is worth the extra time to book flights during off-peak hours. Be sure to consider the extra costs to fly your bike, too, which can easily double the price of your ticket. Southwest Airlines and Frontier Airlines are the best bargains when considering the costs of excess baggage (i.e. your bike) and will fly your bike for $50 while other major carriers charge fees of $100 or more. Physically, it is tough to try to do a lot of races back-to-back (or even three in a row). Yes, it is definitely rough on your wallet, but it might be even more brutal on your body. I would recommend parceling out your energy so that you will have your best foot forward on race day. When I’m fully rested, I have a

real desire to compete. My very best races are when I wake up with an itch that only a race day competition can scratch. It is best to consider the physical challenges of the race distance to determine how quickly you can recover. For instance, through experience I’ve learned that my body can handle racing an Olympic-distance race and then a half-iron on back-to-back weekends much better than it can handle the reverse. Early in the season it might behoove you to schedule a few races back-to-back and as the season progresses, ideally, keep races three to five weeks apart. Mentally it can be a drain to put too much on your plate, and my wife often accuses me of biting off more than I can chew. I might be stating the obvious here when you consider I choose to put myself through the wringer each day, but she definitely has a more level head on her shoulders and can see the big picture better than I can. It is better to enter one race less than you think you can handle than to do one race too many. Unfortunately, you usually don’t know you have done too many races until it is too late. Less is more when it comes to setting your race schedule. When you race, you want to mentally be in the moment to have your

body respond to all of the demands of a race. It is good to be emotionally invested in your racing. If you stock your race calendar with loads of races, you run the risk of being emotionally spent when the tail end of the season rolls around. You’ll be able to tell if you were emotionally devoted to each race by how you feel two minutes after crossing the finish line. I always say that those two minutes after the race are my favorite part of triathlon because I can enjoy the festivities knowing that I gave my very best during the race. While this season is still fresh in your mind, try to remember all of these costs while you plan your next season. If you have a good plan in place you’ll be better prepared for each race. That doesn’t mean that you will have a superior season; it just means that you will be prepared to handle the ups and downs more efficiently. In the end, it all comes down to being successful while enjoying the journey. After turning pro in 2003, Andy Potts was named USAT’s Rookie of the Year and earned a spot on the 2004 U.S. Olympic squad. Potts won his first ITU World Cup in 2005, won the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in 2007 and placed seventh in 2008 at Kona. Visit his website at


LET IT FLOW Finding the right saddle enables natural hip articulation, opens up the diaphragm for better breathing and allows muscles to generate max watts.





september 2010





Ironman Training Doesn’t Have to Slow You Down BY SAMANTHA MCGLONE t’s true—Ironman does make you slow. All that long aerobic training and over-distance mileage contributes to a condition called Ironman syndrome. We have all witnessed more than one former college sprinter turn into a compression sock-wearing tri geek shuffling through long days of grueling swim, bike and run workouts in order to earn that tattoo. That is a fine goal and they should wear it with pride. The long, slow stuff will certainly get them to the finish line, eventually. But who doesn’t want to get there a little faster? Too many triathletes tend to neglect the very thing that will make them improve in order to log impressive mileage in their training diaries—speed training. It’s an often overlooked yet key component of any triathlete’s training program—from sprint distance on up to iron distance. And the best part is that it is quicker and easier to train fast than to block out endless hours on the weekends to log the big miles. Any triathlete who has been training consistently for a few years, and completed distances up to a half-Ironman, has accumulated a considerable amount of base endurance. But many lack the high-end threshold work that is required to increase VO2 max (and thereby speed) because they are consistently prioritizing quantity over quality. Pros and recreational athletes alike have limited time and energy for training, so it is crucial to make every workout count and not just rack up the miles. Easy days and active recovery workouts definitely have their place, but we can’t go hard all the time. It is the

other six days a week that need to be approached purposefully to maximize performance gains while minimizing time spent working out. It’s all about training smarter and harder. Even for athletes whose primary goals are halfiron and longer distances, I advocate small blocks of short-course style training in the middle of the season to “wake up” the system and inject speed into the training cycle. As long as a reasonable amount of volume is maintained, six to eight weeks of shorter, more intense training will not reduce endurance but can result in huge benefits in terms of increased VO2 max and lactate threshold. This means that upon a return to higher volume training, an athlete is able to complete longer sessions at increased intensity. This translates to bigger performance gains versus a long, slow mileage program. How do you integrate speed training into your endurance training? It’s simple—remember that simple and easy are not the same thing—if we approach it with the idea that by focusing on quality, the endurance will take care of itself. A quality track session quickly becomes a 90-minute workout with warm-up, cool down, drills and the main set. Repeats are run much faster than race pace, but these types of workouts will also count as money in the bank for building endurance. Samantha McGlone is an Olympian and Ironman 70.3 world champion. She finished second at the Ironman World Championship in 2007 and is the current Ironman Arizona course record holder.

HOW TO ADD SPEED WORK TO AN IRONMAN PROGRAM: For Olympic-distance athletes, do running intervals of 40 x 30 seconds, alternating 30 seconds fast and 30 seconds easy. It takes a couple of tries to get this one right. To do Ironman legs, 30-second intervals will feel like sprinting flat out on an impossibly short jog recovery. The fast 30s are run much faster than race pace and are effective for increasing speed and leg turnover, while the recovery is short enough that the run counts as a sustained, high-intensity effort for 20 minutes. These intervals can be incorporated into longer runs or as a separate workout that is quick enough to squeeze into a lunch hour—45 minutes total including warm-up and cool-down. 152

Treadmill inter vals are a love/ hate relationship for most athletes, but they’re another way to squeeze in a high-quality workout in a short amount of time while also improving cadence. The treadmill acts as a constant pace reminder. The most time-effective treadmill sessions are high-end aerobic intervals such as 8-10 x 1-3 minutes at above race pace with one-minute easy jog recovery. Another area where triathletes tend to shortchange themselves for quality running is during a brick workout. Most would benefit from running shorter distances off the bike at a faster pace. Run off the bike for 20 to 30 minutes hard, right

away. It may feel terrible to run fast immediately after the bike but it teaches the body to quickly adjust to a faster pace. Settling into a slower pace for a mile or two in order to get the legs back usually results in a slower pace for the entire run. Make the run off the bike short and hard, and save the longer steady run for the next day. Even the weekly long run should be approached with a specific pace goal in mind. A long run of 90 minutes can include a 20-minute warm-up, then a main set of 3 x 20 minutes at descending pace. Choose efforts that are sustainable for the entire hour with the last 20 minutes being close

to 10K race pace. This is not pure speed work but teaches the body to negative split (get faster at the end), which will translate to a strong finish in triathlon. Real benefits can be gained from only two to three quality sessions per sport per week as long as every workout is accounted for and a clear goal is outlined beforehand. Be sure to make every workout count. This is a tough challenge, especially when other factors such as fatigue, life and a day job get in the way of training. But if every workout is approached with a purpose and not with the attitude of “just getting out the door,” then even low mileage can reap big benefits. september 2010

Nils Nilsen



Learning the Rules of Public Pools BY MELANIE MCQUAID


he latest buzzword in swimming circles is“lane rage,” a term applied to adult swimmers who just can’t get along with others in the pool. I recently witnessed how otherwise rational adults can experience such emotional outbursts during recreational activity, and it was because I had unintentionally incited fury in a fellow public swimmer. In my unpleasant encounter, this individual would have rather had me lap him every 50 meters than have me suggest he take an empty lane so that he wasn’t sharing with me. I should have just moved lanes rather than insult him with the suggestion. However, had that person known the rules of lane swimming, or had I chosen to explain them to him, perhaps we could have avoided our unpleasant exchange. It isn’t the casual, elderly swimmers who I find it difficult to get along with. It’s the Type-A triathlon enthusiast who is trying to cram an intense workout into a chronically overstuffed Outlook calendar and who, due to stress-induced anxiety and a fear of drowning in an overcrowded pool, tends to lose his normal social graces and, as a result, exhibits boorish swim lane behavior. For public swimming, there are really only a few rules to learn in order to make the experience pleasant for everyone.

©American Sporting Goods Corporation 2010




The pool where I swim designates public lanes as either fast, medium or leisure. Obviously, this is often subjective. From what I have witnessed, nearly everyone considers oneself “medium” and most think they’re “fast.” This means the leisure lane is generally

avia_CT_1.3_Triath_sept10.indd 1

empty despite what always looks to me like lanes full of leisure swimmers. If you pick a lane according to your true ability first and population of the pool second you are more likely to swim with people with the same goals as you. If your pool is not separated into different speeds of lane swimming, fill up an empty one first. Don’t choose to share with another person without prior discussion. I like to sit on the side until my lane-mate stops for a break and then I ask if it’s OK to share the lane before I start to swim. If the lane is fairly empty or wide, you can split it in two but once you have a third neighbor you will be forced to circle swim. Lanes at the pool where I swim are always circled rather than split, so make sure you get in with someone you think is about your speed.

PASSING Being aquatic road kill is not very pleasant, something I have experienced on a regular basis swimming with a club full of very fast swimmers, so try to be nice when you pass a slower swimmer. Generally, pass by moving up the middle of the lane. This necessitates all lane-mates to make wide circles to facilitate the pass. Make sure you can complete the pass before the wall. If you don’t think you can, wait until your lane-mate has turned and then re-try your pass. Bad form happens when the overtaken swimmer suddenly speeds up and eliminates the opportunity to complete the pass before the wall. Don’t be that person!

MANAGING CONTACT Swimming in public lanes is not swimming with a team of coordinated, experienced and fast swimmers. Limbs tend to flail in unexpected directions and often the direction originally intended by that swimmer can change drastically. Therefore, the odds of contact are reasonably high in public lanes. If you accidentally catch an arm, absorb a kick or find that you push off the wall into someone, use the reaction of your victim to determine whether to carry on or stop with empathy. Usually most people just shake it off as the normal cost of doing business. A simple “I’m sorry” can go a long way in these situations. And only use paddles and fins when you have a lane to yourself. Swimming is a sport meant to be enjoyed for a lifetime regardless of ability. If someone chooses a faster lane than his or her ability, it isn’t the worst thing in the world and probably much easier just for you to move. Consider swimming in a local Masters group, which is likely to be more structured. september 2010

7/6/10 1:03:51 PM

Nils Nilsen



Soundtrack to Life BY TIM DEBOOM


any of my most significant memories have been narrated with song. In fact, I remember precisely when I started compiling the soundtrack of my life. I was a young boy teetering atop my first black diamond ski run in Keystone, Colo. I was confident but a little scared. The drop-in was steep and I don’t know why, but I started humming the James Bond theme. That was all it took to puff out my little chest ever so slightly and slip off the precipice and into the unknown. My biography since that early adventure can easily be told through the type of music playing in my own private background. After James Bond kicked it all off, AC/DC pumped me up for high school swim meets, while Kool & The Gang provided “Celebration” in the locker room after we won the state title (yes, it was the ’80s). Then there is my favorite John Denver song that I cannot bear to hear anymore because it was played at my father’s funeral. My so-called background music followed me right into my triathlon career. I don’t know if it’s just me, but there is an interesting phenomenon in which the last song I hear, good or bad, stays with me until I hear another one. I cannot remedy this no matter how hard I try to think of something else, which is not always a positive experience. In my first professional Ironman race, the friend who was driving me to town on race

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endur a nce conspir a c y morning was humming the theme song to the Old Western television show “Bonanza.” I sang that damn song for eight and a half hours in the lava fields that year. I later heard a story that the legendary Mark Allen had rules when he drove to the start of an Ironman, simply because of this occurrence. He would get in the car and immediately turn off the radio, roll up the windows, turn off the air conditioner, and in his calm way, demand silence. I never go quite that far, but I do make a point to always have my own music with me so I don’t have to suffer another “Bonanza” incident. My best musical Ironman memory is from Kona in 2001. Earlier that year, I was in Australia with Mike Reilly, the famous voice of Ironman. I think it is every professional triathlete’s dream to have Mike announcing his or her name as the first across the finish line in Kona with the music blaring and the crowd screaming. I had been second the year before, and Mike asked me what music I wanted to hear if I were to win. I usually don’t like to think about those kinds of things before achieving them; however, the music was a key part of my dream, so I made an exception. I told him my choice, watched him tuck it away, and I did the same. Sure enough, later that year, I was running down Ali’i Drive between the

september 2010 Untitled-2 1

crowd-packed barriers, and Bruce Springsteen only use one headphone and only outside city was screaming at me to get across that line with limits.) Imagine reaching some of the most the ever-appropriate “Born In The U.S.A.” That magnificent and isolated places in Colorado, is my most vivid memory as a pro triathlete. and then, as if on cue, the perfect song pipes Every time I hear that song, Springsteen brings into your ears. On the flip side, interval work me back to the Ironman finish line. always seems much easier when my “time More recently I experienced a serious bout of trial” playlist is rocking. I cannot even listen what I’d like to call “athletic depression.” That drive to it unless I intend to go hard. Besides safety to get out of bed, get out the door and push myself reasons, it’s no wonder headphones are banned to the limit disappeared. This lack of motivation in races. Van Halen is like a drug! called for drastic measures, so I reverted to my old Most days, music also acts as a pseudohigh school tactics. I put pictures of my competi- therapist. It helps me relax after a long and tors around the house, plastered my goals for the grueling training day, and somehow it diminishes year to walls and ceilings, and most importantly, the stress of anything that is weighing heavily on I woke up and listened to the same kick-ass song my shoulders. My favorite time is after my last (sorry, can’t give this one away) every morning. I workout is done. I’m driving home, windows did this every morning for 10 months. The alarm down, done for the day. Both my mind and went off, I sat up, put my headphones on and hit body unwind with the tunes. After all, there is play. It worked. It still works. I may not wake up to absolutely no problem in the world that a little that special anthem everyday, Bob Marley can’t solve. but it is always ready in my Besides safety reasons, Pro triathlete Tim DeBoom is arsenal if I need a little extra it’s no wonder head- a two-time winner of the Ironpush out the door. During my workouts, I World Championship. Most phones are banned in man never run with music, but recently, DeBoom won the 2010 races. Van Halen is like Ironman 70.3 Hawaii. Visit Timdesometimes I include it on epic bike days or interval for more information a drug! rides. (Note: Safety first—I and to read his blog.


7/8/10 2:29 PM

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. introduces Ratings & Reviews!

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Rated 8 times

SnowSill and don win on the Run at hy-Vee elite Cup

The world’s best ITU athletes competed for a piece of the $1 million prize purse, distributed among the top 50 men and top 50 women.

A group of more than 50 men formed on the bike course and entered T2 together.


september 2010

ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS Kona – Clearwater - ITU Worlds – First Ironman – New Personal Record

LifeSport has an unmatched record of helping age group athletes improve and achieve their goals. Our coaches work with all levels of athletes and will develop a program for you - no matter where you live. Whether you are looking to enter your first event, set a personal best, or qualify for World Championships, visit us at

a t t he r a c es “Super challenging, but fun!”

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Brit Tim Don used his lead out of T2 and his impressive 10K run to hold on for the win.

Hy-Vee ITU elITe CUp June 13, 2010 – West Des Moines, Iowa 1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run




1. Emma Snowsill (AUS)

21:12 1:02:59 34:05 1:59:35

2. Emma Moffatt (AUS)

20:32 1:02:59 35:05 1:59:51

3. Helen Jenkins (GBR)

20:23 1:03:10 35:00 1:59:51

4. Paula Findlay (CAN)

20:30 1:03:06 34:59 1:59:54

5. Andrea Hewitt (NZL)

20:26 1:03:06 35:11 2:00:01



1. Tim Don (GBR)

19:12 58:45

2. Kris Gemmell (NZL)






31:12 1:50:20

18:59 58:52

31:19 1:50:23

3. Courtney Atkinson (AUS) 18:59 58:54

31:20 1:50:28

4. Bevan Docherty (NZL)

19:09 58:49

31:23 1:50:34

5. Jan Frodeno (GER)

18:57 58:54

31:30 1:50:36 september 2010

Delly Carr/

Aussie Emma Snowsill ran the fastest run split to take her second Hy-Vee title as well as $200,000.


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World Champs alexander and dibens impress at 70.3 boise

Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander stayed with leader Chris Lieto on the bike and won on the run.

Ironman 70.3 BoIse June 12, 2010 – Boise, Idaho 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run Women





1. Julie Dibens (GBR)

24:40 2:24:17 1:32:59 4:25:14

2. Linsey Corbin (USA)

28:32 2:30:18 1:27:05 4:29:22

3. Heather Jackson (USA) 30:59 2:30:16 1:30:57 4:34:58 4. Christine Fletcher (CAN) 28:30 2:34:51 1:35:50 4:42:42


27:33 2:43:31 1:30:30 4:44:50



1. Craig Alexander (AUS)

24:10 2:14:20 1:21:02 4:02:11




2. Ben Hoffman (USA)

25:57 2:13:26 1:20:10 4:02:21

3. Tim Berkel (AUS)

25:56 2:20:34 1:18:43 4:08:08

4. Matt White (AUS)

25:01 2:19:14 1:21:30 4:08:40

5. Jamie Whyte (NZL)

26:04 2:18:34 1:21:35 4:08:56 september 2010

Kurt Hoy

Julie Dibens, reigning Ironman 70.3 world champion, dominated from wire to wire and finished 15th overall.

5. Kate Major (AUS)

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. introduces Ratings & Reviews!

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Rated 15 times

Edda Taylor Photographie

Leon’s TriaThLon Makes a coMeback aFTer 13-year hiaTus

The age-groupers racing the Olympic-distance course rode most of the fast, flat bike leg on a closed-off interstate highway.

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september 2010

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. introduces Ratings & Reviews!

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Rated 12 times

Leon’s TriaThLon June 6, 2010 – Hammond, Ind. 1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run

Race Director Leon Wolek waited at the finish line to congratulate each racer that came across.






1. Chris Wickard

21:55 59:08

2. Mary Tobiason

25:29 1:00:08 42:09 2:11:00

3. Julie Kennedy

25:54 1:00:54 40:44 2:12:11

4. Tarra Miedema

26:23 1:03:07 43:18 2:16:57

5. Andrea Hart

25:17 1:04:06 43:42 2:17:26



1. David Fix

18:49 55:19

36:51 1:54:28

2. Matthew Thibodeau

20:24 55:52

35:50 1:55:43

3. Scott Jerden

19:52 55:52

36:48 1:56:07

4. David Morse

20:19 54:34

38:35 1:56:18

5. Scott Dix

20:46 56:05

38:07 1:58:17



40:28 2:04:27




ur digital edition is an exact replica of the print edition of Triathlete magazine, delivered to your computer by e-mail. It looks just like the print edition and contains the identical training information, gear reviews, race reporting, news and nutrition tips as the mailed copy. But the digital edition offers several advantages that print doesn’t: Links to all of the Web sites (URLs) and E-mail addresses Download: Save a local version directly to your computer for off-line viewing Tools that allow you to zoom, print or e-mail pages to a friend Find anything in the magazine by typing a search phrase View all available archived issues for this magazine Environmental friendly: No trees are cut and no fuel is wasted to deliver this edition


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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. introduces Ratings & Reviews!

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Rated 8 times

STolTz and Bucher Take XTerra eaST championShip TiTleS

Kent Solheim, an above-knee amputee, finished the course 116th overall, in 2:45:46.

Xterra east Championship June 20, 2010 – Richmond, Va. 1.5K swim, 30K mountain bike, 10K trail run

Renata Bucher had an emotional win after bouncing back from a toe injury just a week before.





1. Renata Bucher (SUI)



44:35 1:59:27


2. Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) 15:47


45:20 2:00:35

3. Melanie McQuaid (CAN)


1:00:00 48:31 2:03:43

4. Emma Garrard (USA)


1:06:27 44:57 2:07:29

5. Christine Jeffrey (CAN)


1:07:16 47:36 2:08:59





1. Conrad Stoltz (RSA)



40:24 1:46:28

2. Dan Hugo (RSA)

00:00* 00:00*

40:40 1:47:40

3. Josiah Middaugh (USA)



40:38 1:50:40

4. Seth Wealing (USA)



40:31 1:52:16

5. Craig Evans (USA)



46:32 1:55:41


*Split times not available 166

september 2010

a t t he r a c es “Super challenging, but fun!”

Wouldn’t it be nice to read about a race before you sign up? Now you can. introduces Ratings & Reviews!

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Rated 5 times

AmericAns eArn first ironmAn titles At coeur d’Alene

American Andy Potts swims a few strokes in Coeur d’Alene Lake to start the day.

Larry Rosa

Aussie Matty White posted the second fastest bike split of the day and finished sixth overall.

september 2010

1 69

a t t he r a c es

“That water was COLD!” Wouldn’t it be nice to read about a race before you sign up? Now you can. introduces Ratings & Reviews!

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Rated 5 times

Montana resident Linsey Corbin carried her cowboy hat across the finish line for her first (and course-record fast) Ironman victory.

Ford Ironman Coeur d’alene June 27, 2010 – Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run Women





1. Linsey Corbin (USA)

1:01:40 5:07:44 3:04:36 9:17:54

2. Meredith Kessler (USA)


5:11:15 3:14:23 9:23:52

3. Kelly Williamson (USA)


5:27:33 3:14:11 9:39:23

4. Haley Cooper-Scott (USA) 1:05:59 5:15:22 3:17:21 9:42:02


1:11:20 5:22:05 3:13:04 9:50:25




1. Andy Potts (USA)


4:42:04 2:52:47 8:24:40

2. Courtney Ogden (AUS)


4:44:34 2:56:28 8:38:17

3. Michael Lovato (USA)


4:46:07 2:59:39 8:41:17

4. Luke Bell (AUS)


4:40:07 3:07:29 8:43:16

5. Chris McDonald (AUS)


4:42:38 3:07:00 8:48:30



september 2010

Larry Rosa

Andy Potts was second out of the water and posted strong bike and run splits to win by nearly 14 minutes.

5. Janelle Morrison (CAN)


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september 2010


the transition Zone SometimeS you change more than your ShoeS By Jef Mallett I just moved. I have a new address now, a new city, new roads: a whole new life. I have the same old phone company though, and evidently a bunch of passwords I didn’t use often enough to remember, but I need them now and I have no idea what they are. Not to worry, says the phone company. When I made up those passwords in the first place, they asked me a bunch of personal, trivial questions, and all I need to do is answer them again with the same answers: What’s my favorite restaurant? What’s my favorite sports team? What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow? This last one wouldn’t have been so hard if that’s what they’d asked me instead of my favorite movie, which might have been “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “The Usual Suspects” or “A River Runs Through It.” I have a lot of favorite movies. I have a lot of favorite things in general, and they change. My favorite team sport is bike racing, and those teams change without my input. If I did have a favorite restaurant, dinner out would be a lot less complicated and I would be a lot more boring. I don’t even have a favorite password reminder system, but I’ve narrowed the field by one. About a week before I moved, I was a guest on

radio KCSB’s “Running & Racing” in Santa Barbara and Leo asked me to reveal my favorite race. OK. I’ve raced a lot of triathlons. There are a number of them I absolutely love. I had to pick a favorite? Simple. I like the Hawk Island Triathlon, a quick sprint in the middle of Lansing, Mich. Full disclosure: I help put that race on. But I don’t love the race because I’m on the event committee. I’m on the committee because I love the race. Two of my runners-up are the Musselman in New York and the Savageman in Maryland. Overall, my favorite triathlon starts in the middle of a city, is flat as old Coke and covers barely 13 miles. And half the entrants are doing their first triathlon. What gives? It’s really about the newbie element. You try watching 400 people doing their first triathlon and try not to be moved. That’s 400 people who decided awhile ago that they wanted to prove something to themselves or to others, people who needed a goal and a guideline to accomplish another purpose, people who wanted to learn a thing or two about themselves, to lose some weight or gain some abs or even to justify some cool new toys. Four hundred people who did what they needed to do to turn into a triathlete. You’re watching nothing less than lives being transformed. When you race it, you’re

a part of it, and however long you’ve been racing, you’re reminded why. I believe I mentioned it: When I worked and raced Hawk Island this year, my own life was a little sideways. Moving is tough. Moving out of town after 18 years, from a modest city’s edge to a metropolis known for its automobiles doesn’t simplify things. Doing so when you’re already booked to the gills just isn’t recommended. But there I was, and it wasn’t going well. After several weeks of minimal sleep and minuscule training, one week of living in what felt like a stranger’s self-storage unit, unable to work or communicate or even drive; a day after a screenless window and a vanished cat, and with a day and a half to get myself ready for a race and get my vacant, trashed former home ready for an open house, I was melting down. I called Rich, but got Ron. Ron is a training partner and friend. Rich is our swim coach. The two were finishing up a post-swim breakfast and Ron grabbed Rich’s phone and commenced to talk smack about which of us would school the other on Sunday. Rich is the sage, but Ron’s no slouch and he’s not tone deaf, and the smack didn’t last long. Who would clean whose clock abruptly shifted to who would clean whose house. They would, they insisted, meet me in my empty house in the morning, early, because both were heavily booked for the day once the rest of the world woke up. My worries about a new PR in bad decision making were elbowed out of the lane by hard evidence of the best kind of friends possible. That day, a tornado touched down in the area. What causes tornadoes? Right: a dramatic change in pressure levels. I’m not saying it was entirely Rich and Ron and my sudden dissipating funk, but I’m not ruling it out and NOAA isn’t commenting. The following day, Rich watched as Ron and I both made the podium in the Exhausted, Sleep-Deprived Geezer division, and it’s worth reiterating that only one of us was in that category against his will. We picked up our medals and no trash was spoken. Not much, anyway. I returned to the transition zone to gather my gear and had a nice conversation with the woman across the bike rack. She had just finished her first triathlon. We were both pretty buzzed. Her medal wrapped up a year of dedicated training and a loss of more than 100 pounds. My medal hinted that I just might survive a difficult transformation myself, and it might not have happened for either of us without this sport, this cult, this little hobby that tells some people we’re maybe not quite right. Right.

Triathlete (ISSN08983410) is published monthly by The Competitor Group, 9477 Waples St., Suite 150, San Diego, CA 92121; (858) 768-6805. Subscription rates: U.S., one year (12 issues) $34.95; two years (24 issues) $59.95. Canada $58.95 per year; all other countries $90.95 per year, U.S. currency only. Periodicals postage paid at San Diego, CA, and additional mailing offices. Single copy price $5.99. Triathlete is copyright 2003 by The Competitor Group. All rights reserved. Post­master: Send address changes to Triathlete, P.O. Box 469055, Escondido, CA 92046-9513. Ride-along enclosed in all book region 2 copies.

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september 2010

Publication mail agreement NO. 40064408, return undeliverable Canadian addresses to, Express Messenger International, P.O. BOX 25058, London BRC, Ontario, Canada N6C 6A8

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2010-09 Triathlete