Page 1

ThE ONly ThiNg lOWEr ThAN TOrquE’s crAzy lOW .5% AbsOrPTiON rATE is iTs .021 drAg cOEfficiENT. ANdy POTTs

Add speed, Apply Torque.

irONmAN chAmPiON


november 2010


center stage at kona


Off-seasOn training guide

*irOnman Hawaii issue

Overhaul yOur nutritiOn

entry level bike reviews

Center Stage at Kona

ThE ONly ThiNg lOWEr ThAN TOrquE’s crAzy lOW .5% AbsOrPTiON rATE is iTs .021 drAg cOEfficiENT. ANdy POTTs

Add speed, Apply Torque.

irONmAN chAmPiON


november 2010


center stage at kona


Off-seasOn training guide

*irOnman Hawaii issue

Overhaul yOur nutritiOn

entry level bike reviews

Center Stage at Kona

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Contents NOVEMBER2010



Three Hungry Women

Chrissie Wellington, Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae and Julie Dibens are considered the top contenders for this year’s Kona crown. Check out our casual—and candid—roundtable chat with the sport’s brightest stars. By Holly Bennett


Overhaul Your Diet

These nine basic tips are triathletetailored to help correct some simple nutrition mistakes that might be affecting your performance and sabotaging your weight loss effort. By TJ Murphy and Bethany Leach Mavis


The Perfect Match

You’re ready to purchase your first bike or perhaps replace your old one and the question is: What do I buy? A road bike? A tri bike? Carbon or aluminum? There’s no easy answer, but these nine reviews can help push you in the right direction. By Aaron Hersh


Work Out or Work Less

When the race season begins to wind down, “work out or work less” is the mantra of most triathletes. Each option has its merits, and we will teach you exactly how to implement elements of fitness and recovery in your off-season plan. By Ben Greenfield


Seeing Purple


TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

p. 118

Center Stage at Kona: The Contenders

Triathlete weighs in on the men’s and women’s races and determines who poses the biggest threat to the competition at this year’s Ironman World Championship, which includes reigning world champions Craig Alexander and Chrissie Wellington.


Meredith Kessler was an average age-grouper churning out mediocre Ironman finishes when she joined up with Purplepatch Fitness coach Matt Dixon. Now she’s a force among the pro women with two Ironman runner-up finishes and her first Ironman victory at Ironman Canada in August. And she’s just getting warmed up. By Matt Fitzgerald

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

Contents NOVEMBER2010




An exception to the rules; a drafting detail; a swimsuit issue shout-out

77 | Swim

177 | Fuel

A welcome to the new Triathlete

27 | Checking In Starting Lines: Lessons from a

20-year triathlon rookie Need to Know: Top Twitter feeds for

triathletes, a memoir from the Iron Nun, a guide to replacing your tri gear—and other things you need to know right now Time-Crunched Triathlete: Lance's coach explains his time-crunched approach to training Racing Weight: Should you supplement for weight loss? Tour Guide: Triathlete touches down in Calgary ProFile: Get to know pro Tim O'Donnell Dear Coach: Matt Dixon answers the quantity vs. quality question Ask a Pro: Breakfasts of champions

A review of race laces, the news in spring shoes, a better brick workout, and the debate over barefoot running.

Top pros Sarah Haskins and Sara McLarty offer up helpful swimming advice, from how to navigate the open water to staying hydrated in the pool.

A diet that reduces soreness, a round-up of energy gel products, the question of going vegan, and a look inside Craig Alexander's pre-Kona diet.

87 | Bike

200 | The Adventures of Bonkman

Tips for tuning up your bike, choosing between clincher and tubular tires, finding the right trainer, and using a power meter.

Introducing semi-pro triathlete Skeeter McGrit Off-seasOn training guide

ON THE COVER Eneko Llanos, Chrissie Wellington, Craig Alexander, Mirinda Carfrae, Andy Potts, Julie Dibens, Dirk Bockel and Samantha McGlone photographed exclusively for Triathlete by Jamie Kripke. Shot on location at Macky Auditorium Concert Hall in Boulder, Colo. Hair and makeup by Lauren Rennells and Danica Jardien.

TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

Hawaii issue

Overhaul yOur nutritiOn

entry level bike reviews

Center Stage at Kona




99 | Run

22 | Letters

I'm a Triathlete: IndyCar series champ Tony Kanaan finds his focus in triathlon Confessions of an Age-grouper: Musings and observations from the amateur ranks

18 | From the Editor

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* Kona Coverage

* TriCenter

You arrive on the island with big expectations. Everyone’s there, everyone’s fired up and everyone is as fit as they’ll be all year. I think it’s going to be the most competitive women’s field ever.” — Samantha McGlone to TriCenter

Follow Us!


The biggest race of the year is finally here and we’ve got you covered from every angle. Head to to get unparalleled coverage of the Ironman World Championship.

* Training Day


We followed last year’s Ironman World Championship runner-up Mirinda Carfrae around for 24 hours of training, and we documented our experiences along the way. See what it’s like to train with one of the sport’s fastest runners in our exclusive Training Day feature with Carfrae.

• Pro Interviews • Expert Analysis • Kona Scoop Our online video news show will be coming to you daily during the week of the Ironman World Championship.


YEARS OF KONA HISTORY See how each of the last Ironman World Championship races played out.

* Hot Links



Be the first to know the latest gossip and news from the Big Island.

TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010


First time competing in Kona? We’ve got all of the training knowledge you’ll need for the big day.


Triathlete editor Aaron Hersh will be combing the island in search of the latest and greatest in triathlon gear.


Dial in your race day nutrition with advice from the sport’s top experts.



Photo galleries added throughout race week will bring you close to the action.

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.

P.R.O. Tri Series Speed Suit, Singlet & Short

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TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

Making A Splash

By Eric Wynn

Long course superstar Chrissie Wellington posted the fastest women’s swim split of the day en route to defending her title at this year’s Ironman 70.3 Timberman in New Hampshire. She covered the 1.2-mile swim course in 25:40.

November 2010 | TRIATHLETE.COM


From the Editor

A New Beginning

Welcome to the new Triathlete. For the past several months our editorial and art team has been hard at work reinventing the magazine you hold in your hands. This truly collaborative effort began when the editors and designers sat down around a conference table and started talking about how we could best deliver what our readers really want. Numerous reader and industry surveys provided some insight, and we relied heavily on our own first-hand experience as triathletes and our cumulative expertise as

seasoned magazine vets. I personally felt strongly that the magazine should speak to triathletes of all abilities and backgrounds, and that it should be the single go-to source for people looking for both answers and inspiration. We all agreed that our readers should be able to see themselves in the pages of Triathlete so that each issue made them feel empowered and better able to strike the tricky balance required of a triathlete with a full life. And while triathletes stand out as an accomplished bunch, we wanted people to know that the lifestyle is closer in reach—and more rewarding—than they ever imagined. I’m heartened each day by the letters we receive from average age-groupers eager to share how triathlon dramatically improved their lives. It’s in this spirit of change that the magazine has undergone its revitalization. The most obvious change is the new look of the magazine, including a new logo. Art director Lisa Williams, designer Oliver Baker and photo editor Nils Nilsen have combined their immense talents to transform the design, which showcases some of the best photography in the sport. On the editorial side, the magazine has never enjoyed such a deep talent pool of editors

and contributors, many of whom are accomplished triathletes. Senior tech editor Aaron Hersh applies his razor-sharp eye and prodigious knowledge to all things gear and tech; senior editor Courtney Baird brings her intrepid investigative skills and passion for the sport into every writing assignment; senior editor Matt Fitzgerald brings his varied expertise to a range of topics, from weight loss to training plans; and managing editor Somyr McLean Perry and assistant editor Bethany Leach Mavis gracefully keep us all on track. You’ll notice some new names in our pages, too. We’re thrilled to have Purplepatch Fitness coach Matt Dixon, as well as Chris Carmichael (Lance’s coach) now contributing as monthly columnists. Their columns exist to answer your questions, so ask away. And finally, a big shout-out to editorial director TJ Murphy and media vice president Andy Hersam, who have provided tremendous guidance and erudite leadership throughout this entire process. Enjoy the magazine, and let us know what you think!

Julia Beeson Polloreno


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TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010


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Editorial 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 Contributing Writers Hunter Allen, Holly Bennett, Brendan Brazier, Ian Buchanan, Chris Carmichael, Matt Dixon, Ben Greenfield, Liz Hichens, Adam Kelinson, Mackenzie Madison, Samantha McGlone, Sara McLarty, Melanie McQuaid, Brian Metzler, Andy Potts, Tawnee Prazak, Jené Shaw, Pip Taylor, Mitch Thrower Medical Advisory Board Jordan Metzl, MD, Jeff Sankoff, MD art Art Director Lisa Williams Photo Editor Nils Nilsen Graphic Designer Oliver Baker Contributing Artists & Photographers Mark Brewer, Competitive Image, Whitney Curtis, Jon Davis, Hugh Gentry, Hunter King, Jamie Kripke, Paul Phillips, Larry Rosa, Nick Salazar, John Segesta, Eric Wynn, Xterra Photos CirCulation & ProduCtion Director, Audience Development John Francis Fulfillment Manager Leslie Dodds Production Manager Meghan McElravy Advertising Coordinator Shane Anderson triathlEtE.Com Online Content Director Kurt Hoy Web Producer Liz Hichens Senior Video Producer Steve Godwin Video Producer Kevin LaClaire digital mEdia Vice President, Digital Media Dan Vaughan Director, Digital Advertising Sales Jason Rossiter

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.

advErtising EVP, Media/Publishing Director Andrew R. Hersam Senior Vice President, National Sales John Smith Senior Vice President, Marketing Bouker Pool Vice President, Endemic Sales Kevin Burnette Senior Vice President, Midwestern Region Sales Doug Kaplan Vice President, Western Region Sales David O’Connell Vice President, Eastern Region Sales Rebecca McKinnon Account Executives, Endemic Sales Lisa Bilotti, Lars Finanger, Nathan Forbes, Mark Gouge, Justin Sands, David Walker Regional Event Sales Tom Borda, Katie Campbell, Chris Hohn, Chip McLaughlin, Ashley Powell, Dave Ragsdale, Matt Steinberg, Kelly Trimble, Chris Wheeler Vice President, Sales Development Sean Clottu Account Executive, Marketplace Sales Alex Jarman

WHAT DO I DO ABOUT IT? 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

a PubliCation of

Chairman David Moross Chief Executive Officer Peter Englehart President & Chief Operating Officer Scott P. Dickey Executive Vice President, Media Andrew R. Hersam Chief Financial Officer Steve Gintowt 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 For a copy of Triathlete’s contributor guidelines, visit Triathlete cannot be held responsible for unsolicited material. Printed in the UsA.

20 | November 2010

Letters First Wave

there goes the idea of a paid coach. I really loved the half-iron plan and will look to utilize it for next year. Is there any chance you have the same for a full Ironman to be published or made available anytime soon? I pieced together a decent plan for my last IM but scheduling is always a struggle, so I would love to see what you come out with. Wayne C., Minneapolis

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

september 2010


september 2010

What’s the Rule? I loved your picture on page 26 [in the September 2010 issue] of Andy Potts with his son at the finish line of Ironman CDA but didn’t see any news about him being disqualified for breaking a strict rule I have heard over and over from the WTC in my six Ironman finishes about having family in the finish line area. Or is that just for us age-groupers? Daniel Williams, San Diego


From the editors: Wayne, don’t miss our January 2011 issue.




Drafting Technicality Explained In Mark Deterline’s article “Know Before You Go” [September 2010] he wrote that if you ride into a leading rider’s “draft zone” you must either pass within 15 seconds or immediately drop back. That’s not correct. Per USAT rules once you enter the draft zone the only way out is to pass. As USAT officials, we have been trying to make sure everyone understands this rule. Once you’re in the zone, the only way out is to pass. Please print a correction. Nick Scott, USAT, Midwest Region

Training Plan Kudos Great article in the August Triathlete magazine [“A Super Simple Half-Ironman Training Plan” by Matt Fitzgerald]— thanks for putting it out there. As a father with two kids and a one income family, time is short and so is money, so



ls showing off beaches? Only our triathlete-mode What’s sexier than Jamaica’s scenery. race wear amidst the exotic island the hottest designs in swim and


Clash Top, $38, and Clash Bottom, $36, in black.

june 2010


TYR Neon Solids Workout Bikini, $64, shown in bright red, bright purple and bright green.

Oakley Correspondent sunglasses, $140, in grape juice/black violet gradient. 48 june 2010

june 2010

Swimsuit Issue Shout-Out I received my September issue today and saw the article on more swimsuit issue backlash. I am a mother of three and 36, and I loved seeing healthy, strong, natural women as swimsuit models. I found it wonderful and very well done. It made me sad others couldn’t get that same positivity out of it. I hope you do it again next year. Vanessa Muck, San Diego

We want to hear from you! Send your letters to the editor to Please include your name and city. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. 22

TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010


june 2010


best of luck in kona.

Brooks T6 Racer

Meet the Crew TJ Murphy Editorial Director Murphy started the sport at the age of 19 when he raced the now defunct All-Iowa Triathlon in 1983. The fact that he wasn’t any good at triathlon, neither then nor now, failed to stop him from throwing himself deep into the sport. After nearly three decades of surviving everything from sprints to Ironmans, what’s his secret to longevity in the face of an onslaught of poor results? “Not worrying about it,” he says.

Somyr McLean Perry Managing Editor Perry is a published journalist and magazine professional who keeps Triathlete’s editorial and production processes in line. Owing to problematic joints, Perry’s triathlon experience is limited to avid participation from the sidelines; however, her appreciation for the sport and its dedicated participants is immense.



Courtney Baird Senior Editor Baird’s relationship with triathlon includes getting married and finishing the Vineman 70.3 on the same weekend. She started in sports journalism in college, went on to get her master’s at Columbia University, and then spent some years as an editor for a business newspaper. If she weren’t a professional editor, she’d be Jason Bourne.


Julia Beeson Polloreno Editor-in-Chief An avid triathlete for nearly a decade, Polloreno was inspired to sign up for an Ironman after meeting triathlon legend Jim MacLaren while on assignment for San Diego Magazine, where she worked as senior editor prior to joining Triathlete. At Ironman Arizona, her first Ironman, she met her future husband, Lance, whose bike was racked next to hers in transition. She now balances triathlon with being a mom to their two-year-old son, Ethan.


Matt Fitzgerald Senior Editor Fitzgerald started running at age 11 after watching his dad run the 1983 Boston Marathon. Fifteen years later, Matt completed his first triathlon. A certified sports nutritionist, he has authored and coauthored numerous books on endurance sports training and nutrition, including Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance. When he’s not writing or training, Fitzgerald enjoys rehearsing with his wife’s rock band and playing with the family dog, Queenie.


Aaron Hersh Senior Tech Editor Hersh entered the triathlon industry as a bike mechanic and, after taking his lumps, became the go-to wrench for athletes such as Chrissie Wellington and Craig Alexander. Since joining the Triathlete staff, he has been seen measuring rulers with other rulers, endearing himself to coworkers with his unique access to the coolest gear and gadgets, and cutting running shoes with a mitre saw.


Oliver Baker Graphic Designer In 2006, eight months prior to graduating from Platt College, Baker landed his first full-time design position at Triathlete. Inspired by his athletically-obsessed coworkers, the scrawny 20-year-old purchased his first pair of running shoes and his enthusiasm for running now gets him up to hit the trails by 6 a.m. with the Army of Champions Track Club.

Bethany Leach Mavis Assistant Editor Mavis, who calls herself a Texan, graduated in 2008 from Point Loma Nazarene University with a degree in journalism. She enjoys traveling, playing soccer and watching the San Antonio Spurs, and she just broke into the endurance sports world this year while running the Disney Princess Half Marathon (at a 12-minute-per-mile pace) two weeks before her wedding in March.



10 Nils Nilsen Photo Editor Hailing from Phoenix, Nilsen moved to Santa Barbara to study professional photography at Brooks Institute and then married his high school sweetheart. Over the last 10 years, he’s shot everything from the NFL, NBA and MLB while working for ESPN, Sports Illustrated and the San Diego Padres, yet triathlon remains his favorite to shoot—on a Nikon, of course.

Lisa Williams Art Director Williams, a Southern California native, studied art and design at San Diego State University. With more than a decade of experience under her belt, she spearheaded the redesign of Triathlete. She enjoys spending time with her husband, playing with their dog Tobey, and roller skating (no joke). Since joining the Triathlete team, she’s purchased her first pair of legit running shoes and hopes to complete her first half marathon.


1 5 4


3 8




9 john segesta

24 | November 2010

Eat, drink, fly. The more efficiently you hydrate and refuel, the more energy you’ll have to finish the race. Bontrager triathlon components are engineered accordingly—they do their job right, so you can concentrate on yours.

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On October 9 the start cannon will sound on the shores of Kailua Bay, setting loose 1,800 of the world’s best triathletes for the 33rd annual Ironman World Championship. PHOTOGRAPH BY JOHN SEGESTA

November 2010 | TRIATHLETE.COM


checking in

starting lines

The 20-Year Rookie

By Mitch thrower 28 | november 2010

xterra photos

As I woke up early and got ready to race on a recent Sunday, things progressed normally enough: alarm, light meal, energy drink, bathroom, stretch. Looking out the window, I noticed fog had rolled in along the San Diego coastline and the air seemed a bit cooler than usual. Grabbing a pair of race goggles, my wetsuit and race clothes I headed to the Fiesta Del Sol Aquathlon at Fletcher Cove Park in Solana Beach, Calif. Arriving at the race, I was still cold, which was strange for August but, after all, it is a “La Niña” year (meaning cooler Pacific temperatures). Walking down to the water and putting my feet in, an immediate chill shot through my spine. The water was freezing—apparently in the high 50s to low 60s. Reaching down to the chilly water, »

November 2010 |


starting lines I rinsed out my goggles and noticed that they were badly scratched and the rubber seemed a bit worn. When I pulled them over my head, the band stayed stretched. Uh oh, old rubber. When the gun went off, I was trying to tie a knot in the rubber strap. Running into the water, it was hard to see through the scratched lenses. As my face and head hit the water, something went wrong: My goggles were instantly ripped down to my neck and went into the upper neck of my wetsuit which I now realized was not sealed properly at the top—I had left the Velcro open. I immediately started hyperventilating from the shock of the cold water. After a 20-year triathlon career with 20 completed Ironmans, it was the very first time that I found myself looking for the lifeguard. Swimming with my head above water, breathing in a fast involuntary fashion, I watched the entire pack of swimmers swim past me as I tried to fix my goggles. At first, I hadn’t even considered or been affected by the recent great white shark sightings in nearby La Jolla, or the fact that it was the Discovery Channel’s ”Shark Week,” or even thought about the fact that I was swimming at the exact same spot of a shark attack a few years ago—until I realized I was now at the very back of the pack. Luckily, the hyperventilation began to subside so I tried again to adjust my goggles but could only get one side to work.

Reaching back I was able to seal the top of my wetsuit. I kept my left eye closed because the left chamber of the goggles was filled with water—I was swimming like a pirate, motivated now by survival and the irrational fear of lurking predators. It felt great to catch up to and then pass several of the swimmers, and I started to feel comfortable in the water. The farther I swam, the better I felt, and as my body adjusted to the water temperature, I actually started to laugh. How could I have, after all these years, made such a crazy series of rookie mistakes? What was I thinking? The answer is simple: I mistakenly thought that my experience and old equipment would carry me through any shorter distance race. Oops. What a wakeup call. Triathlon 101 lessons are typically gleaned from experiences, even for triathlon’s “graduates” who have raced before. Events teach us that there will always be new issues you have to sort through. Often there will be fear. There may even be moments when you question yourself and why you are swimming, biking and running somewhere new, with so many people you don’t know, so very early in the morning. Then, after a race there will be a T-shirt and a medal, and, more importantly, the real finisher’s reward: the self-confidence that comes from overcoming challenges.

The Takeaway: On first impact with cold water,

skin receptors cause immediate physiological responses, the first of which is a “gasp” reflex. Make sure your head is above water if this happens. Cold water can also cause you to hyperventilate and cause your heart to race. Hyperventilation might make it difficult to get air into your lungs, but the important thing to remember is to relax, swim slowly and keep your head above water because the effects of cold shock typically peak within the first minute and stabilize very soon thereafter. If you will be swimming in cold water in a race, it’s important to get into the water long before the race start so that you have already conditioned your body to the cold water and warmed up your swimming muscles.

30 | November 2010



Triathlete Spotlight Jenn Sommermann is on a 50-state campaign to give back to the

Tri*speak fred n. 1. a person who spends a lot of money on his bike and clothing, but hasn’t mastered basic bike handling and etiquette 2. generally clueless rider 3. synonym for poser. Triathletes, especially those opting to ride their time trial bike and wear their aero helmet during the Saturday morning group ride, are especially vulnerable to being lumped into this category by roadie purists. Usage: "I rode with this fred yesterday who matched his bike frame from head to toe but couldn’t change his flat tire."

sport that she credits with saving her life. Sommermann survived ovarian cancer, a cancer with mild symptoms in its early stages, making it difficult to detect until it’s virtually untreatable. When Sommermann came down with the disease, she had been participating in triathlon for two years and the sport had given her an awareness of her body that she had never had before. “I knew something wasn’t right,” she says. She went to her doctor and discovered she had stage three ovarian cancer, which meant she still had time to beat it. During chemotherapy, Sommermann, 46, decided that she would use triathlon to raise awareness about the disease as well as money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, which is dedicated to finding an early detection method. Sommermann’s goal is to raise $100,000 for the foundation while participating in 50 triathlons in 50 states by the time she’s 50 years old—all while holding down a full-time job. At press time, Sommerman had participated in triathlons in 15 states and raised $27,000. Her campaign is self-funded in that she pays for all of her own travel expenses and every donation dollar she raises goes toward the foundation, she says. You can follow Sommermann or donate to her campaign by visiting // COURTNEY BAIRD

Ginger: The New Cure For Muscle Pain? Try incorporating ginger into your daily fueling with one of these ideas: » Chop crystallized ginger into granola or trail mix. » Boil fresh ginger and add to tea. » Add ground ginger to pancake batter or muffins. » Mince ginger into a vinaigrette for salad. » Peel and thinly slice ginger for stir-fry. » Grill salmon or pork with a ginger-lime marinade. » Sauté broccoli with ginger and garlic. » Combine sugar, water, lemon juice and ginger root for ginger lemonade. » Bake carrots with lemon juice, butter and fresh ginger. // JENÉ SHAW 32

TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010


Ginger root has long been used for the treatment of asthma, nausea and diabetes. But a recent study from the University of Georgia revealed that daily ginger consumption can also reduce exercise-induced muscle pain. Participants in the study were given two grams of ginger for 11 consecutive days. They performed 18 heavy weight elbow extensions to induce moderate muscle injury. After assessing inflammation and pain before and after the exercise, the study showed that the ginger supplement reduced muscle pain by 25 percent.

checking in

need to know

Five Questions For…

Marcin Sochacki What made you decide to leave a career in aerospace engineering to run your own triathlon apparel company? Airplanes and space fascinated me since I was young. I used to live next to an airport and watch planes take off and land while doing my homework. At the same time I had a fascination with sports and was always an avid athlete. In 2003 I received a triathlon backpack as a gift and I thought I could design something better. This one design quickly propelled us from our garage startup company, which I initially used to raise money for my “beer fund,” into a company that now employs more than a dozen people and has offices in the U.S., China and Germany and distributors in eight countries. I saw my company as a vehicle that allowed me to merge my two greatest passions: aerospace and sports. How do you come up with the ideas for your products? My mind is constantly working. My family and friends do not appreciate this as sometimes I might be in the room or having a conversation with someone but my mind is not really there. However, most of my designs are done when I travel. I fly more than 200,000 miles each year and when I am way up there, I have no calls or e-mails. This allows my imagination to run freely without the distraction of the daily buzz. So, in some ways, one could say that Rocket Science Sports designs do really originate at 33,000 feet in space.

Sochacki heads up Rocket Science Sports, a small, growing company that makes wetsuits, race suits, backpacks and other accessories by using the aerodynamics behind airplanes and rockets as its guide. Sochacki was an aerospace engineer before he jumped ship to tri. | november 2010

Many of your wetsuits and race suits have vortex generators, which are normally used on airplanes to make them more aerodynamic. What gave you the idea to utilize this technology? We are the first company to use vortex technology for wetsuits and race suits. However, this is not a new idea. Vortex generators have been used in the past in many other applications. The ones that we use on our suits are fused directly onto the Lycra fabric and are optimized for performance for triathletes. What’s your most memorable moment in triathlon? It was in the spring of 1999 when I did my very first triathlon, the Bally Total Fitness Bay Watch triathlon. I did the race cold without training in advance and was utterly exhausted and near collapse when another athlete from behind unexpectedly grabbed my hand and we ran together, holding hands, across the finish line. That was such a great feeling and amazing support that I felt no other sport had ever given me. From that point forward, I was obsessed with triathlons. // c.B.

DaviD Lu


How do you go about competing against industry giants like KSwiss and Nike? I never think about my competition. When I design products I avoid looking at what someone has already made, as it would invariably influence my designs. All of our designs are unique and come from us listening to athletes. We not only strive to deliver products that they need but deliver products that they want or wish existed.


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To locate a BIOM retailer near you - visit or call 800.886.3226

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Top Twitter Feeds Twitter is one of the quickest ways to get the latest triathlon news and tips from multiple sources—all in 140 characters or less. Check out a few of our favorites:

iron nun



Pro triathlete Terenzo Bozzone gives an honest look into his life as a pro (it’s not always easy for them either!). “By the way, pushed snooze seven times before my alarm actually got me out of bed.”

Joe Friel, the TrainingBible and author/founder/ coach, sometimes simply updates with his workout stats or a notification of a new training blog, but he often posts inspiring quotes. “’A dream doesn’t become reality through magic. It takes sweat, determination and hard work’ –Colin Powell”

@BikeSnobNYC “People always ask me how I’m able to compete in the Ironman competitions at my age and do so well. I have a very simple answer. I don’t know.” —Sister Madonna Buder

// Julia Beeson Polloreno

36 | november 2010

@mirindacarfrae and @juliedibens Mirinda Carfrae and Julie Dibens tweet about their day-to-day lives as pros, often interacting with each other and giving shout-outs to other triathlete friends. “Nice work @ Mirindacarfrae hope you haven’t “peaked too early” though. @juliedibens haha thanks Dibs ... If I peaked too early it certainly wasn’t at this race. See ya back in Boulder!”

@simplystu The enthusiastic, podcasting triathlete has some random thoughts. “If I could swim like @JoannaZeiger, bike like @JulieDibens, run like @MirindaCarfrae and look like @Terenzo1 I would be one happy triathlete.”

@activenetwork Links to endurance, fitness and nutrition articles, event information and special offers. “Nine Late-Season Tris to Add To Your Season.”

@ChrisLieto Top-ranked pro Chris Lieto keeps fans updated with race results and his daily training. “Great swim in June Lake, shot a Ford commercial, rode 4.5hr >6K climbing, transition run...”

@firstoffthebike An Australia-based feed with an emphasis on cycling training, plus course previews and general triathlon news. “We have been trying to figure out how fast the pros can go in an IM race ... any advice? We think around 7:43-ish.”

Get your daily triathlon fix with Triathlete’s twitter feed

@RunNow Running-specific workout ideas, shoe reviews, news and more from Competitor Running. “Got a minute? Try the Single Leg Dead Lift, an essential injury-prevention exercise for runners.”


SiSter Madonna Buder: courteSy of ironMan

In 2005, organizers of the Ironman World Championship created the 75 to 79 age group for competitor Sister Madonna Buder. The nun from Washington state finished the race that year, becoming the oldest woman to ever cross the Kona finish line. This year, Buder returns to the Hawaii Ironman to compete in the newly created 80 to 84 age group and will attempt to break her own record, all the while being cheered on by fans who’ve come to know and love the “Iron Nun.” Another reason for her fans to cheer: Buder’s new memoir, The Grace to Race: The Wisdom and Inspiration of the 80-Year-Old World Champion Triathlete Known as the Iron Nun, is now available in bookstores. The book, co-authored with Karin Evans, chronicles Buder’s remarkable journey from cloistered nun to Ironman world champion. With more than 340 triathlons to her credit, Buder, who didn’t begin competing in triathlon until her 40s, is a compelling example of what the human body—powered by some serious determination and faith— can achieve at any age.

Put in his own words, the amusing Bike Snob is “systematically and mercilessly disassembling, flushing, greasing and re-packing the cycling culture.” “Got an e-mail about some bike-themed jewelry made from ‘reclaimed kangaroo leather.’ Wouldn't that mean the kangaroo took it back?!?”

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Training Tool You alreadY own:

The Tennis Ball Active recovery is just as important to triathlon training as your actual swim, bike and run workouts. It helps your body recover more quickly than if you did nothing and can loosen up your muscles and joints. “If your muscles are tight, your range of motion is decreased,” says Christian Fox, a National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist in Brooklyn. “With more range, you can get more force, and you’ll automatically be stronger and faster.” Myofascial release, a type of tissue massage that incorpo-


Arches. work your way back and forth from the heel to the ball of the foot, trying both inside and outside angles. Expert tip: keeping arches loose can prevent or relieve plantar fasciitis.


Shins. Lie facedown on the ball and roll down the front of the shin starting at your knee. or, if your shins are sensitive, simply roll the ball over the shin using your hand. Expert tip: the shin may seem like mostly bone, but the tibialis anterior— the meaty area about two inches below the knee— is the main muscle that works to lift the foot.


rates stretching and massaging techniques, is one method of active recovery that has been gaining popularity recently. But you don’t need to buy expensive products to reap the benefits of the technique. Instead, you can relieve pressure and prevent injuries with something you probably already have on hand: a tennis ball. Roll on these five areas for about 30 to 60 seconds each. If you find a “hot spot” or trigger point, it’s an adhesion in the muscle tissue. Sit on it until you feel the spot “release” as blood flows into the offended tissue. // JeNÉ shaw

Calves. Hold your hips off the ground as you roll up and down your calf, making sure to get both the top (gastrocnemius) and bottom (soleus) of the muscle. Avoid rolling the ball down the center of your calf. Expert tip: Cross one leg over the other to add more pressure.

Quads and IT Band. Lie on your side and roll the ball from your hip all the way to your knee, and then roll the ball up to your hip. (Use your opposite leg to steady yourself.) then lie on your stomach and repeat. Expert tip: the quad is actually four muscles, but the rectus femoris (the dead center of the quad) tends to be the biggest trouble spot for triathletes—the upstroke of running and cycling makes it tight.


Glutes. Place ball under butt and roll across at different angles, as there’s a lot of musculature in that area. Expert tip: If the tennis ball is under your right glute, place your right ankle on top of your left knee to open up the hip and get deeper into the glute, particularly the frequently tight piriformis muscle. Switch sides and repeat.

If you’re in Kona for the Ironman World Championship, keep your eyes peeled for the annual underwear run, held on the Thursday of Ironman week at the intersection of Ali’i Drive and Likana Lane. Former pros Paul Huddle and Roch Frey founded it “when it became apparent that too many athletes were strolling around town in their Speedos in inappropriate places—the post office, grocery store, restaurants—and negatively impacting the image of triathletes among locals,” Huddle says. The run, which is one mile long, started with three participants in 1998 and grew to 500 last year. Not only does the underwear run help racers blow off some steam before the big event on Saturday, it also raises money for the West Hawaii Special Olympics and the Hale Mua Cultural Group. Plus, it very well may be a good luck charm for participants. “Faris Al-Sultan participated the year—the only year—he won,” Huddle says. // c.B. 38 | november 2010

nils nilsen; underwear run: john segesta

underwear run



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A Guide to Gear Replacement

Training can certainly take a toll on your triathlon gear. Synthetic fabrics commonly used in tri apparel are more susceptible to stretching, holding on to oils you secrete while sweating and wearing down if not cared for properly. Follow our guide to know when to replace—and how to extend the life of—your gear.

CYCLING OR TRI SHORTS When to replace: Usually yearly, depending on number and length of wears. Signs you should replace: Compression feels looser or you start to notice thinning in the inner thigh area from repeated friction with the saddle. How to extend the wear: Rinse immediately to avoid bacterial growth in the chamois, which can break it down over time. Wash with a detergent designed for synthetics (such as Win or Penguin Sport-Wash) on a delicate cycle in cold water with similar fabrics and lay flat to dry, says Kline.

TRI TOPS When to replace: After a year or more—tops will generally last longer than bottoms. Signs you should replace: It’s stretched out and no longer feels like a “second skin,” creating unnecessary drag in the water. How to extend the wear: Wear a swimsuit (not Lycra-blend tri apparel) while training in a pool, says Zoot Marketing Manager Molly Kline. “Lycra breaks down quickly in chlorine, so it’s better to wear a more chlorineresilient polyester suit for pool training.”

Cayman Tri

SPORTS BRAS When to replace: Every six months Signs you should replace: Elasticity is somewhat lost, shape starts to loosen and there’s a loss of support. How to extend the wear: Alternate wears and avoid the dryer, says Dina Pappalardo, the apparel buyer at New York City’s JackRabbit Sports. “Fabrics such as Lycra will stretch out over time,” she says. “Alternate wears and wash bras cold and lay flat to dry.”

WETSUIT When to replace: Not for multiple years if cared for properly. Signs you should replace: “The key areas are the lining materials,” says Dean Jackson, Blueseventy’s global sales and marketing manager. “Check the key rotation areas for nicks and tears. Also check that the teeth on the zippers are not brittle.” How to extend the wear: Wash with clean water and air dry. Avoid petroleumbased lubricants, as they can degrade the lining and neoprene foam. //JENÉ SHAW

If you are looking to stave off winter for just a few more days, the Cayman Islands Triathlon, set for Thanksgiving weekend, could be the perfect venue for you. The event, which has been running for nearly 20 years, offers competitors Olympic and sprint distances, balmy weather and clear 80-degree water. “Most people make a holiday of it,” says Celine Macken, who helps put on the triathlon every year. —C.B. 40

TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010


RUNNING SHOES When to replace: Every three months or 300 miles. Racing shoes every 200 miles. Signs you should replace: The tread is no longer visible or there’s basic wear and tear on the outer edge of the outsole. “Most cushioning systems bounce back after 24 hours,” says Michael McLaughlin from Asics. “It should feel like new when you put them back on.” How to extend the wear: Rotate between shoes of the same type (neutral, stability, etc.). Air shoes out in a dry area after every run so the midsole cushioning can return to its original form.


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Coach: A good coach is the biggest investment you can make in performance. All the fancy gear in the world won’t be of much benefit without a well-structured program. An experienced coach can help you plan and periodize your training and racing schedule and help you set race-specific goals. A personally tailored program isn’t cheap, but it will get you more speed per dollar, especially when starting out in the sport. Invest in some face time with a coach and he or she can give you detailed feedback on technique and pinpoint weaknesses.

It Takes a Village By SamanTha mcGlone

42 | november 2010

Physical therapist: I developed a very close relationship with the staff at Endurance Rehab during my year of Achilles injury. I was in the office and gym up to three hours a day, three days a week during my recovery. Even though my injury is all healed, I continue to get consistent checkups and maintenance work done as a preventive measure. Muscles that aren’t in alignment mean that you are not firing on all cylinders. This means a reduced return on your investment of all that hard training.

Jacob Gibb / competitive imaGe

It’s been said, it takes a village to raise a triathlete. Or something like that. Triathlon, especially when it comes to the iron distance, is one of the most solitary sports, but it takes a big support crew to get you to the finish line. Here’s a look at who you should have in your corner.

Massage therapist: Massage is a necessity, not a luxury for most pros. Developing a relationship with a good therapist means they get to know your body and can identify trouble spots before they become real issues. The obvious benefits of massage include loosening tight muscles and breaking up adhesions (tight IT bands anyone?). Chronically tight muscles can pull other things out of line and create serious injuries over time. Plus, the relaxation benefit can’t be underestimated.

it takes a village

Nutritionist: A qualified sports nutritionist can assist with many different aspects, from daily diet to pre-race fueling to race-day strategies. Nutrition really is the fourth sport of triathlon. A nutritionist can look at your daily diet and plan strategies to optimize recovery. A proper diet will allow you to maximize your strength-to-weight ratio, which essentially means the less excess weight you have to carry, the faster you can go on less energy expenditure. A race-day nutritional plan is especially essential for anyone attempting their first Ironman. Mechanic: There’s a long list of equipment tasks that need to be attended to before race day: bike tuned, gears dialed, bolts checked, fresh tires (glued not too tight, with a spot to remove in case you flat). If you ever have a last-minute mechanical issue, it helps to have a relationship with a bike shop mechanic: You can bring your bike in at 5 p.m. on a Friday before a race and not get a blank stare.

44 | November 2010

Sports psychologist: Many athletes can train well day-after-day but tend to fall apart on race day. Others have the competitive killer instinct but lack the motivation and discipline to get to the line mentally fit and race ready. A sports psychologist can help with goal setting and mental preparation for races. Visualization is a technique that every professional athlete I know uses at some point and it can help to have an expert guide you through the process. Most universities will have a sports psychologist reference. Unwavering fan club: These people are the most essential part of your village on race day. They are the friends and family that support you no matter how well you do. They will stand on the side of the road and cheer for you all day in 90-degree heat and accept your big sweaty hug at the finish line without cringing. And it doesn’t hurt to have a big, strong friend who will carry heavy things, such as your bike box and bags of ice (and possibly you, post-race) up to your second-floor hotel room, without complaining. In an ideal world one could consolidate the village down to a handful of multi-talented, dedicated people to act as your entourage and personal support crew. And if you ever find a coach/mechanic/massage therapist/strongman, book them a year in advance to accompany you to every race on your schedule. Or just marry them.

nils nilsen

Mentor: A mentor is a more experienced athlete who has been-there-done-that and can give you all the little tips that you may not think of, such as using elastic laces and putting socks on for the run and how to release your bladder on the bike (yes, it’s a science). Triathlon is a sport custom designed for obsessive-compulsive types with a million little details all adding up to make one long day where a lot of stuff can go wrong. I still bounce ideas off more experienced friends in the sport and am surprised to always be learning something new or looking at training or racing from a different perspective. One

caveat: Trust in your coach and make sure you’re not taking advice from everyone and their mother that has an opinion—especially during race week. Choose your mentors wisely.

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time-cruNched triathlete

The Time-Crunched Philosophy


One of the best parts of managing a

by Chris CarmiChael | November 2010

john segesta


training facility is getting to meet all the different types of athletes that come in for testing or training camps, and just as I was thinking about this column for Triathlete magazine, there was a knock on our door. It was Phil, who just flew in from Philadelphia (no kidding) for a twoday camp. Phil’s my favorite kind of athlete. He’s the perfect representation of what I view to be a major component of the triathlete community: He’s a time-crunched athlete. He lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and three kids (6, 7 and 11 years old) and commutes to the hub of the city, where he’s a mid-level corporate executive. He is in his early 40s and is probably one of the top 10 fittest people in an office of more than 150 men and women. During the week he shoehorns training sessions into his hectic schedule and on the week-

ends he competes in regional events ranging from sprint- and Olympic-distance triathlons to 5K and 10K running races and maybe some duathlons. He’s done a few marathons, one half-Ironman, and he says he wants to race a full Ironman as a 50th birthday present to himself. From where I sit in the endurance sports world, Phil is the face of triathlon. His ambitions and the challenges he faces are mirrored by athletes I meet every day. The vast majority of triathletes work for a living and have families or other obligations, but, as we all know, just being a triathlete is a big component of their identity. They have no delusions about quitting their jobs to be a pro, but performance as an athlete is still very important to them. They aren’t interested in “just finishing” or “merely participating”—they are after the challenge and the intensity that comes from competing, whether that means competing to win their age group or working to beat earlier, less fit, less skilled versions of themselves. The more my fellow coaches and I work with time-crunched triathletes, the more apparent it becomes that traditional triathlon training programs are failing this demographic. The intensity levels are too low, the overall training volume is

time-crunched triathlete too high, and there are too many individual training sessions for a career professional and working parent to squeeze into a mere seven days. Time-crunched triathletes need training programs that turn their disadvantages (limited training time and full-time careers) into advantages. Where the pros and the just-graduated-from-college-anddon’t-have-a-job-or-a-family-triathletes have seemingly limitless amounts of time to devote to training, limited training time can be leveraged to increase training intensity in ways the single and jobless can’t. For triathletes on traditional high-volume, high-frequency training programs, adding intensity pushes the workload too high. They’re stuck with mostly moderate-intensity training because they choose to spend so much time training. Do your career and family roles make it difficult to fit in two training sessions in a single day? Then let’s make your training more specific to triathlon and reduce the number of individual workouts you have to find time for. An increased use of brick

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| November 2010

training, along with a moderate increase in the intensity of individual sessions, can reduce the number of training sessions you have to fit into your week. And with a reduction in training frequency you have the added bonus of more recovery between training sessions, even if your total weekly training hours barely decreases. Being a time-crunched athlete isn’t easy, but the rewards are worth the effort. I know there are exceptions to every rule, but I see some common threads as I talk to successful time-crunched athletes. When you’re fit, fast and competitive, the stresses at your job and in your home are easier to work through. When you’re proud of your fitness level and your performance in your training, you have more patience for the people around you; you’re an easier person to work for and to work with. You’re funnier and better looking. OK, maybe the last bit went too far, but you get the point. A triathlete is what you are, not something you do on the weekend. And while it’s understandable that family and career often come before

training, being a triathlete is too important to be minimized and shoved into a corner by the other priorities in your life. Over the coming months my coaches and I will use this space in Triathlete magazine to provide time-crunched athletes with proven, practical and doable techniques and workouts you can use to maximize your limited training time. If you’re a time-crunched triathlete like my new friend Phil, it’s time to realize that you are not doomed to the bottom half of the results sheet! Chris Carmichael has been a coach for more than 20 years and is the founder and CEO of Carmichael Training Systems (CTS), the coaching resource of two-time Ironman world champion Craig Alexander and Ironman St. George champion Heather Wurtele. He’s the author of The TimeCrunched Cyclist and The Time-Crunched Triathlete (coming out in October 2010). CTS is the official coaching partner of Ironman and offers coaching, camps and performance testing services to endurance athletes of all abilities.

6/7/10 12:13 PM

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raciNg weight

Should You Supplement for Weight Loss?


If any of the dozens of different kinds

50 | November 2010

Calcium Calcium plays a role in regulating a hormone that influences body fat storage. Studies have shown that inadequate calcium intake increases the risk of being overweight and

Matt Fitzgerald: Nils NilseN; products: johN segesta

bY matt fitzgeraLd

of weight-loss supplements on the market worked—I mean really worked—then two-thirds of American adults would not be overweight or obese. It’s that simple. When any type of supplement lives up to its promises, it does not remain a secret or a marginal product that consumers cycle on and off as wave after wave of suckers fall for the testimonials, fake science and celebrity endorsements, discover it doesn’t do anything and move on. That’s why every weightlifter takes creatine. It works and everyone knows it. But as much as you hope you might discover some supplement out there that makes weight management easy, there is no creatine equivalent in the weightloss market. In fact, the more you look

to or rely on supplements for weight loss, the less likely it is that you will succeed in losing weight, not only because every product you try will fail to meet your expectations, but also because your “magic bullet” mentality will distract you from the measures that really work: eating healthy, training consistently, avoiding overeating and so forth. That said, I do believe there are a few supplements that triathletes seeking weight loss should consider taking. It’s a short list, but some products can slightly enhance the results you get from the measures mentioned above in certain circumstances. These supplements are not magic bullets, nor are they necessary for the achievement of one’s ideal racing weight; however, each is worth considering.

racing weight


that individuals who do not get enough calcium in their diets tend to lose weight when they increase their calcium intake. Adults should aim to get at least 1000 mg of calcium daily. Pregnant or postmenopausal women need 1500 mg. Creatine While creatine is generally considered a muscle-building supplement and is mostly used by athletes in strength and speed sports, it can be useful to endurance athletes seeking to improve their body composition. Research has shown that creatine supplementation enhances improvements in body composition that result from weightlifting, so you should consider taking creatine at times when you are prioritizing strength building, as every triathlete should do during off-season breaks between race-focused training cycles.


Fiber Fiber takes up space in the stomach and promotes satiety without actually contributing any calories to the body’s metabolism. Naturally high-fiber foods, such as vegetables, provide more fullness per calorie than other foods. Men and women who maintain high-fiber diets tend to be leaner than those who don’t. Most American adults fail to meet their dietary fiber requirement of 14 grams per 1,000 calories. While it’s best to get all the fiber you need from whole foods, a fiber supplement is an acceptable way to make up for any shortfall. Studies have shown that fiber supplementation causes weight loss in obese individuals. It’s not likely to have a noticeable impact on the typical triathlete, but it may yield a small benefit.

2XU COMPRESSION BENEFITS INCLUDE: - Improved Circulation and Heightened Agility - Reduced Fatigue and Muscle Damage - Graduated Design - Faster Recovery WWW.2XU.COM/COMPRESSION





Green Tea Extract Green tea contains a class of antioxidants known as catechins that, among other effects, increase fat burning. Studies show that green tea extract slightly increases fat loss resulting from a reduced calorie diet. This effect alone wouldn’t be sufficient to make supplementation worth considering for most triathletes, but since catechins have other benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, you might want to try a green tea extract supplement—or just start drinking green tea. Whey Protein Studies have shown that a high-protein diet, in which roughly 30 percent of daily calories come from protein, promotes fat loss by reducing appetite. Getting 30 percent of your calories from protein is not easy without eating a lot of meat and/or fish unless you supplement. Whey protein supplements allow one to maintain a high-protein diet in a healthier and more calorie-efficient way than gorging on meat all day. A 30 percent protein diet is generally not advisable yearround for triathletes, because it unnecessarily limits carbohydrate intake, and a high-carbohydrate diet is needed to support heavy training loads. It’s best to increase protein intake to this level during the off-season, when endurance training is reduced. Matt Fitzgerald is the author of Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance (VeloPress, 2009).






TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

The white Stetson on Calgary’s flag is usually associated with the town’s cowboy culture exemplified by the Stampede, Calgary’s 10-day annual rodeo and festival that enlists more than 2,000 volunteers and draws about 1.2 million attendees. Even cowboy films “Shanghai Noon” and “Brokeback Mountain” were filmed in and around Calgary, but the Stetson, drawn in a hand-like shape, also signifies the hospitality that Western Canada is known for. From Stan Cowley, the white-haired and bearded cowboy who offered to give us a personal tour of his Rafter Six Ranch located just outside of town in the foothills of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, to Dan Ouimet, Ironman 70.3 Calgary’s event director who kindly offered to pick me up from my hotel at 4:15 a.m. to drive me to the race, to the slew of waiters and waitresses eager to offer up any information about their city, it’s evident that Calgarians have a special loyalty to their Cow Town.


Cowboy-crazed Calgary mixes the hospitality of Western Canada with some excellent locations for triathlon training.

Destination: Calgary


Centuries-Old Training Secret

The secret to a strong finish is as easy as starting your day the whole grain way with Bob’s Red Mill® Steel Cut Oats or Bob’s Red Mill ® Scottish Oatmeal. The certified organic oats in these two hot cereals are high in protein and heart-healthy complex carbohydrates that will keep you fueled throughout your ride. Our cereals are stone ground the old fashioned way to make sure you’re getting the wholesome goodness in every bite. Bob’s Red Mill, whole grain foods for every meal of the day.®

To learn more about Bob’s Red Mill and cycling, go to

Winner of the 16th Annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship. TM




TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

Clockwise from left: Calgary has the largest urban pathway system in North America; Prince’s Island Park, on an island formed by the Bow River, is an urban oasis; Fresh, made-toorder food abounds at The Main Dish; Caffé Beano’s benches are perfect for downtown people-watching; Ride the 500-meter zipline from the ski jump at Canada Olympic Park (C.O.P. to locals).


If you don’t go there for the friendly people, go there for the natural beauty: Banff National Park is exquisite and about an hour-and-a-half outside of town; Lake Louise, a little over two hours outside of town, is a spectacle of teal blue glacier water; Glenmore Reservoir, site of the 70.3 Calgary run course, is a great running spot; and you can bike, run or picnic on the scenic Prince’s Island, which was formed by the Bow River and is located in downtown Calgary. For a city with an economy centered around the fossil fuel industry, it’s surprisingly triathlete-friendly, boasting the largest urban pathway system in North America. With more than 400 miles of pathways that crisscross the city, triathletes will find Calgary an excellent summer training spot—with “hundreds of miles of potential,” says Ouimet. Calgary may not be known for warmweather sports—it hosted the 1988 Winter Olympic Games—but the city is trying to gain traction in sports such as triathlon, water skiing and track and field. It’s the sunniest city in Canada, averaging 332 days of sunshine per year. The city

tour guide keeps about 80 miles of the pathway system clear of snow so even a winter visit won’t be without a bike ride. “Calgary has an amazingly active community for a place with such a cold winter,” says Sara Gross, a Canadian triathlete and coach. Even though Calgary typically averages freezing temperatures during December and January, its location on the leeward side of the Rockies causes the town to have freak weather with the Chinook winds, which can easily cause temperature spikes of 50 degrees F and melt snow in less than a day. While Calgary developed, the city even devised a clever plan to keep people out of the cold: There’s a system of pedestrian bridges throughout downtown called Plus 15s that connect all the major downtown buildings, the first ones be-

ing built about 15 feet above street level. Besides just being friendly, Calgarians serve up excellent food—especially meat. Calgary is known for its beef—you know it’s fresh as soon as you drive out of town and see the prairies full of cattle—and some locals even joke that non-beef-eaters here are considered vegetarians. And when it comes to coffee, Calgary comes close to Seattle; there’s no shortage of Starbucks or Good Earth Cafés (a Canadian coffee chain). If you plan to visit, the best time of year is May through September, with average high temperatures in the 60s to mid-70s. Plan to rent a car, as the airport is a 20-minute drive from downtown. And, besides your training gear, you should probably bring your cowboy boots, eh?

CalgaryShout-outS If you need a … TASTY MILKSHAKE Stop by Peters’ Drive-In. They once sold 4,000 of their old-school creamy shakes in a single day. Location: 219 - 16 Avenue NE

CAFFEINE JOLT Sip a mocha at Caffé Beano. There’s great people-watching from its benches. Location: 1613 - 9 St SW

BIT O’ TECH HELP Head to Tri It Multisport for all things triathlon or Bow Cycle for all your biking needs. Location: 2640 Parkdale Blvd. NW/6524 Bowness Road NW

PINT Local Big Rock Brewery’s selection of Grasshopper Wheat Ale and Traditional Ale will quench your thirst. Location: | November 2010

Location: 903 General Avenue NE

NATURE ENCOUNTER Drive to Rafter Six Ranch for horseback rides, water rafting and a ropes course in the summer or snowshoeing and dog sledding in the winter. Location: Exshaw, Alberta, on the way to Banff

MIND-BLOWING VIEW Look down as you’re standing on the glass section of floor in the Calgary Tower. You’ll be treated to 360-degree views of Calgary. Location: 101 – 9 Avenue SW

LONG RIDE Bike from Springbank to Bragg Creek and refuel mid-ride at Cinnamon Spoon coffee shop in Bragg Creek. Location: 1

5555 - 76 Avenue SE

White Avenue, Bragg Creek, Alberta

SAVORY MEAL Try the River Café. The food’s organic and served up in a rustic chic interior. The fish & game platter or steak are the way to go. Location: 25 Prince’s

TASTE OF CALGARY SPIRIT During a Flames (NHL) game, head to the “Red Mile,” nicknamed after swarms of fans in red jerseys took over the street during the Stanley Cup playoff run of 2004. Location: 17th Avenue SW

Island Park (on the island)


FRESH SALAD Eat in or take out at The Main Dish, where there’s an excellent selection of cold and hot food with a deli-style vibe.


*Based off slowtwitch swimskin counts over the past 3 years.



Buying his first house: It was pretty stressful. Apparently, listing “professional triathlete” as your occupation doesn’t give lenders a warm, fuzzy feeling! Dating badass pro Mirinda Carfrae: We have very similar personalities, senses of humor and dedication to our sport. As long as she doesn’t outrun me in any races, I think we’ll be just fine. Of course, that means I’ll have to run a 2:55 in Kona when I make the step up to Ironman. Not self, but country: I miss the camaraderie that is part of the Navy. The men and women I met while serving are the finest, most selfless, generous and dedicated individuals I have ever had the pleasure of calling co-workers and friends. I’ll tell you what I don’t miss though: the chow halls!

Tim O’Donnell Tim O’Donnell, known as T.O. to friends, has long been a man on a mission—initially under the banner of the U.S. Navy and now as a top-ranked professional triathlete. With O’Donnell’s multiple Ironman 70.3 victories and podium finishes at ITU-sponsored events, his dominance at both draft-legal and non-drafting events is obvious. Recently, he barely missed out on defending his ITU long-course world title by finishing second at the 2010 event in Germany. His future plans include a quest for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team heading to London and a visit to the hallowed grounds of Kona.


TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

Adventures in racing: In 2006 I did the ITU Mekong Continental Cup in Thailand. While getting up to speed at the start of the bike, my foot slipped off the top of my shoe and went into the front wheel. The bladed spokes almost completely lopped off the bottom of my big toe. I am sort of stubborn so I kept racing—and still finished fourth. My once-white racing flat was completely red. I didn’t want to go to the hospital in the little village, so I wrapped my foot as tightly as possible, packed my bike and headed to the airport where I needed a wheelchair to get around. My buddy Matt Seymour turned the Thai Airways lounge into a little ER, cleaning and rewrapping the wound. When I got home, our coach took me directly to the hospital. I had 20 stitches in my toe and couldn’t run for six weeks afterward. //HOLLY BENNETT


T.O. on … Battling gravity: I crashed while riding uphill. Clever, huh? I was training for the 2009 ITU Long Course World Championship, and I wanted to get in a 100-plus miler. That was the longest ride I’d ever done. Five hours into the ride I started to zone out, rode into a rock and toppled. Not sure which was more painful, the road rash or the story behind it.

His inner preppie: I have an addiction to brightly colored polo shirts. Most of my triathlete friends don’t rock the polo shirt look, so I get some grief, but I remind them I have the confidence to pull it off.

checking in

dear coach

Quantity vs. Quality

62 | November 2010

This question strikes to the heart of the discussion about the optimal approach to training for a single-day endurance event. First, I think it is worth acknowledging something that is beyond dispute—athletes develop over years—not months— and your performance progression is certainly a journey that, when nurtured correctly, will evolve over multiple seasons. It is also true that volume, programmed into the season along with adequate recovery, is a critical component of performance development, and the benefits are cumulative and strong. The problem arises when athletes and coaches take

Nils NilseN; DixoN: larry rosa

with matt dixon

Dear Coach, I read a lot about the highmileage versus high-quality debate. Is it true that to thoroughly develop an aerobic foundation you have to put in years of low-intensity, highmileage training? Others say that higher quality training is a superior route to success. There seems to be a lot of disagreement. What’s the deal?


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this as a cue that accumulating as much low-intensity volume as possible, often at the expense of recovery, is the optimal path to success. Components such as functional strength, biomechanics and higher-intensity training are dismissed as unnecessary factors that should be avoided at all costs. This is simply not true. Any smart training program will be designed to stress the body enough that, given recovery, it can adapt and become stronger. Throughout this process it is critical that you can remain healthy to achieve optimal gains. We know through extensive research that the two training factors that place the biggest physiological stress on the body are volume (duration) in combination with monotony (continuous intensity or pattern of training).We also know that the body responds positively to variance, or changes in intensity and types of stress applied to it. We can use these principles to create a smart training program. This program would include some higher volume in it, but only in combination with a wide range of intensities that include the very highest intensity. It would also incorporate a full functional strength and mobility program that could improve the structural integrity of the musculoskeletal system, in conjunction with the cardiovascular benefits of training. The traditional approach of training at low intensity for long durations does provide a set of critical adaptations that assist in the development of long-term endurance adaptations, including fat utilization, oxygen transport and musculoskeletal adaptations. Unfortunately, the majority of people who follow this path are often stuck with one (slow) speed that limits their ability to continue to make sustainable speed improvements, as well suppressed metabolic health from continual monotony and volume. The approach becomes really ineffective when a person is starved for time in a regular week, which is highly common for many competing athletes. One of two things happens in this case: The athlete either crams the volume into an already busy work week, and in turn receives limited or negative long-term results, or maintains a sensible set of hours of weekly training, and does not see improvement. For a time-starved athlete intensity becomes everything, but interestingly we have learned a lot from these athletes. I have several elite athletes who also work full-time, who only have 12 to 15 hours per week to train for Ironman-distance races. They never had years of lowintensity volume training but have continued to evolve through specificity, intensity and some targeted volume. They have gone from successful amateurs to Ironman champions and podium finishers. While some volume and low-intensity training is critical to athletes in every single week of training, simply “hanging your hat” on consistent repetition will ultimately limit potential and performance. The sport is evolving, and as we move forward you are going to see a diminishing focus on simple long-andslow-approaches to training. The importance of speed and intensity will continue to create a necessary balance for any volume you might do. As we say at Purplepatch, fitness is seldom your limiter. Let’s go fast!

checking in

Ask A Pro

around 60 to 90 minutes before the gun goes off. For Hawaii last year I had some rice bread with honey and peanut butter and a sports drink.

what’s your typical pre-race breakfast? I polled a loose cross-section of the pro triathlete community, and the responses were highly varied and sometimes surprising (what’s with the EnviroKidz Organic Koala Crisp kid’s cereal?). From breakfast choices that ranged from 400 to 1,200 calories, only liquids to hearty feasts, strictly healthy to the decidedly decadent, the answers ran the nutritional gamut. As for me, I have an inverse oatmealto-coffee ratio depending on the race distance. Olympic: one pack instant oatmeal and a triple espresso; 70.3: two packs of oatmeal and a double espresso; Ironman: three packs of oatmeal and a single shot. No matter the distance or race, I wash my meal down with a PowerBar Endurance drink. Here’s what the other pros had to say:

66 | November 2010

Simon Whitfield, Olympic gold and silver medalist (2000, 2008): One cup of EnviroKidz Organic Koala Crisp cereal with lemon omega-3 oil, Hemp Hearts brand hemp seeds and yogurt. Chrissie Wellington, three-time Ironman world champion: I have a substantial bowl of cream of rice, with sunflower butter stirred in and an unhealthy amount of honey on top. I drink a cup of coffee and I sip on Cytomax energy drink (apple flavor). Amanda Lovato, Ironman 70.3 Pucon champion: Package of Justin’s Nut Butter, a half cup of warm rice cereal, a half cup of coffee (to get the colon rollin’) and a banana. If I’m really hungry, I will add one cup of soy yogurt with a quarter scoop of protein powder. Michael Lovato, Ironman champion: Pre-race meal is a small cup of coffee, a smoothie with 16 ounces of vanilla almond milk, one banana, two cups mixed berries, one packet of Justin’s maple almond butter, and two scoops of Ultragen. Sometimes I eat an EFS bar an hour before the race starts. And I sip EFS if it’s a warm race.

McGlone: nils nilsen

with samantha mcglone

Mirinda Carfrae, Ironman 70.3 world champion: For an Olympic distance or 70.3 race, my breakfast usually consists of a chocolate chip muffin or something equally tasty and full of calories. I feel like it’s too hard to force down a real breakfast that early in the morning, and a tasty treat helps get me out of bed at whatever ridiculous hour I need to get up to be ready. I also sip a sports drink until

Jordan Rapp, 2009 Ironman Arizona champion: One banana, FirstEndurance Ultragen shake, one bowl EnviroKidz Organic Koala Crisp chocolate rice cereal with a half cup of almond milk, FirstEndurance EFS bar and three pieces of dark chocolate.

checking in

i’m a triathlete

Tony Kanaan »

68 | November 2010

Nick Salazar

Kanaan, the 2004 IZOD IndyCar Series Champion who drives the 7-Eleven car for Andretti Autosport, doesn’t just race on four wheels—he seems to have a pretty good relationship with the twowheeled variety as well.

Kanaan, 35, has been racing triathlon for about 10 years now. And if you ask him what his favorite piece of tri gear is, he’ll tell you it’s his new Trek bike. “When you walk into my house you won’t see it—at first. That’s because I keep it right next to my bed,” says Kanaan, laughing. When it comes to the company he keeps in triathlon, the names are pretty impressive. He’s been seen out and about with the likes of defending Ironman world champion Craig Alexander and 70.3 world champion Julie Dibens. “Franko Vatterott [co-founder of bike fitting company Retül] introduced me to Crowie when I was getting a bike fit. But I am a big fan of triathlon, so I knew who he was,” he says.


“Triathlon has really helped me gain better focus during a race. I can’t ever lose focus in my job because of the speeds I travel at.”

which requires him to sit for two to three hours under stressful conditions all while hovering around 200 mph. “Triathlon has really helped me gain better focus during a race. I can’t lose focus in my job ever because of the speeds I travel at,” he says. But his favorite part of triathlon is the bottom line: “When I am racing cars, I have a lot of factors that affect my performance. When I am doing triathlon, and I don’t finish well, I can only blame myself. If my bike isn’t tuned right or even if my shoes are untied, it’s my fault. It’s just me.” Kanaan’s triathlon aspirations go beyond the sprint distance—he dreams of heading to Kona. “I’ve said before that I would try to qualify when I retire [from Indy racing], but I’d really like to go next year if I could,” says Kanaan. “I’ve never been to Hawaii and I made a promise to myself: I won’t go to Kona unless I am going there to compete. And I am trying to keep that promise.” // LAUREN VENTURA

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Kanaan admits he was a bit starstruck upon meeting the Aussie: “I felt I was on the other side this time. I was the fan asking all the racing questions!” So how does a world-class IndyCar

racer find time to train for multisport? “Honestly, I’m very lucky to have the job I have. I have a lot of financial support from my sponsors, which makes training for triathlon that much easier,” he says. But don’t let Kanaan fool you. On top of his weekly press and media obligations, Kanaan travels constantly, usually from his U.S. base in Miami to Indianapolis, where he races, and then to his home country of Brazil, where his son lives. When in Miami, Kanaan competes in just about all of the local races. In August he raced in the 19th Annual Huntington’s Disease Triathlon with fellow Indy racer Vitor Meira. Kanaan placed fourth in the 35-39 age group in the sprint distance. Training for such races is not only a great way to stay in shape, explains Kanaan, but it also benefits his day job,

checking in

coNfessioNs of aN age-grouper


One phone call changed my life. The words flowed through my headset in hazy segments and muddled phrases such as, “… appreciate all the work you’ve done … need to make some changes … no longer have the resources …” Then, suddenly, there were two words I latched on to with a vengeance: “… severance package.” I was being laid off, let go from the securely salaried job I had begun a mere five months earlier. I would receive full pay and benefits for the entire summer, my severance package would terminate exactly two days after Ironman Canada, which I planned to race. I was elated. All things happen for a reason, and obviously I was meant to go pro. Granted, my Ironman PR time is a good three to four hours slower than that of most professional women, but given that I would be paid to swim, bike and run for three months, what else could the fates have intended? My summer as a pro was slated for blast-off. Please don’t think of me as lazy. I’ve

and test my mettle against the best in the world—or at least against the best of the poor working stiffs. Of course, this did start me wondering. What truly differentiates the largerthan-life pro from the age-group mere mortal—aside from those dratted three to four hours? After several minutes of soulsearching and carefree consideration, I realized what it takes to be a truly talented podium-topper. You know you’re a pro when: • A “nap” is listed as an activity on your daily training schedule. • A massage is no longer a luxury, but a requirement. • The percentage of time you spend swimming, cycling and running outweighs any other activity in your life—yet still, you miraculously make the rent. • Better yet, you have no rent. You change your address monthly, sleeping on couches and in spare rooms in exotic locales such as Kona, Cronulla, San Diego, Boulder, St. Croix, Sardinia, Tucson and then Kona again. • The UPS truck makes regular pilgrimages to your home/homestay. Wetsuits, bike parts, energy gels and running shoes arrive at random—and it’s months away from Christmas. • Your name is custom-painted on your bike frame, in PMS-colors perfectly matched to your race kit. • Your rainbow stripes signify your world champ title—not your sexual orientation.

Going (Faux) Pro Musings and observations from the amateur ranks By holly Bennett | November 2010

• Your pre-race dinner consists of whatever the heck you want to eat. Your metabolism is so efficient, you could pretty much down an ice cream sundae for breakfast and still win an Ironman. Considering I can only claim one of these qualifications (and that one only because of my severance pay), I suppose I’m not genuinely a professional athlete. But it was certainly fun to pretend!

hunter king


worked full-time every summer of my life since I was 13 years old, contributing first to my private high school tuition bill, then to my college fund and various and sundry of life’s financial drains. For once, I would have some leeway, the opportunity to do what I wanted, when I wanted. No more jammed-in lunch sessions or pre-dawn alarms. I had the luxury of time and I intended to use it. I would hone my talents

I can’t believe how light Nanograms are. It’s like riding with the weight of one pedal instead of two. My foot is so close to the spindle, I can hold the gear better, and I have a real awareness that 100% of my power goes right into the bike. ®

– Chris McCormack – Ironman World Champion





Racers reach for their Kona dreams at the 2009 Hawaii Ironman World Championship. PHOTOGRAPH BY HUGH GENTRY

November 2010 | TRIATHLETE.COM


traiNiNg tips

Poolside Drinking We’re not talking little paper umbrellastyle drinking. Bottle holders on your bike and around your waist are visible reminders to drink during cycling and running, but what about swimming? Do you need to hydrate when you are swimming? The answer is yes. You might not be able to see the difference between water droplets and sweat on your skin, but you are sweating in the pool. The amount of fluid lost through sweat will depend on each individual’s sweat rate, the workout intensity and the pool temperature. Weigh yourself before and after practice to get an idea of how much fluid you are losing.

Buoy Turns Made Simple

78 | November 2010

Buoy: XTerra phoTos; Nils NilseN

A water bottle at swim practice is as important as a swimsuit. If you drink one bottle each hour while training on land, try to duplicate that at the pool. Take sips of your drink as your coach explains the next set, between intervals and while changing equipment. Good hydration impacts your physical and mental skills during swim practice. Sports drinks are recommended during an intense practice while water is acceptable during a recovery swim or an easy session. // Sara mclarty

More often than not, the area around a turn buoy in a triathlon is complete chaos. swimmers of all abilities bunch up at the turns as everyone tries to take the inside line, which provides a swimmer with the shortest route. pushing, shoving, clawing, dunking and kicking are some of the reactions to this aqua-traffic jam. No one wants to be a part of this craziness, but it seems like an inevitable scenario. Consider “taking the high road.” swim in the calm, open water that’s outside of the melee. this might mean that you swim a couple yards farther, but if it means keeping your goggles on and your body injury-free, it is worth the couple of extra seconds. this might also keep your heart rate calm and your stroke smooth. Whichever path you choose around the buoys, consider using the one-arm-surf method. When you start a right turn, keep your right arm locked in a streamline position above your head. Continue stroking with your left arm as you arch your back and curve your body around the buoy. Use your right hand to steer around the buoy and resume two-armed swimming when you finish the turn. switch arms for a left turn. //S.m.


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traiNiNg tips

waves or choppy water, the buoys are difficult to see. To solve this problem, I will often look for large land markers over the buoys to help me sight the course. Sometimes the sun glare can be brutal, so make sure to wear tinted goggles. If you are behind someone, you can also follow the bubbles of his or her feet, which makes it very easy to sight. But make sure the person you are following is swimming in the right direction. Never blindly follow another swimmer!

…there are jellyfish or stingrays in the water? Most jellyfish are not too dangerous. Swimming in Australia I have experienced little electric stings, which I don’t even notice with the adrenaline of racing. If you do happen to have a problem during the swim course, lifeguards are always there to help, so stay calm and swim over to a guard if you’re stung and you don’t think you will be able to finish the swim. That being said, I truly feel that race directors put on races in safe conditions and would not have swimmers race in anything that could negatively affect athletes’ health.

What do I do if … 80 | November 2010

…I have trouble staying on course in open water?

Swimming in open water is very different from the pool, as waves and currents are possible, and you don’t have lane lines and black lines to help you swim straight. But there are techniques to help you stay on course. Every four to five strokes, I pick my head up out of the water to see where I am going. I always sight just before I take a breath, so the movement is more fluid. When I sight, I look for the swim buoys. But sometimes with large

…there’s a strong current?

It is always a good idea to scope out the swim course prior to the race. If you realize there’s a strong current, find out which direction the current is pulling. If the current is pulling strongly to the left, it is a good idea to start on the right side of the starting line and sight for the right side of the buoy. As you swim, you will be pulled to the left, but by starting out on the far right, you will be fighting the current less and swimming less, which equals easier and faster swimming. ››

Paul PhilliPs / ComPetitive image

Pro triathlete Sarah Haskins, a 2008 Beijing Olympian, is one of the fastest swimmers on the ITU circuit. She tells Triathlete what to do in a few swimming scenarios that can throw triathletes off track.


What do I do if … (continued)

…someone kicks me in the face and I get a bloody nose? Most of the time, swimmers will get bumped around by accident. If you do get a strong kick to the nose, try to stay calm and keep swimming. It may help to stop for a few seconds, adjust your goggles and move away from the swimmer with the tremendously strong kick. Also, be sure that when you’re swimming behind someone, swim a few inches behind his or her kick. If your hands are constantly touching the feet in front of you, you are slowing yourself and the person in front of you.

…I am being pummeled by other competitors?


TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

The easiest way to become a better swimmer is to improve stroke technique. A common question swimmers ask is: What is the best way for their hand and arm to enter the water at the end of the recovery phase? During the recovery, keep your arm relaxed with the elbow pointing up and the fingertips pointing down. Lead with a high elbow and keep your fingers slightly above the water as they pass by your head. Continue to straighten your arm above water until it is almost fully extended and then drop it into the water. This action should result in a “plop” sound and a small splash. Keep your hand and arm extended about four to six inches under the surface until the opposite arm finishes and begins recovery. A good drill to practice is catch-up with a kickboard. Turn the board sideways for a wider grip and lightly grasp the bottom edge. Take slow strokes, keep your leading arm straight, and switch the board from hand to hand. Focus on dropping the recovering hand onto the bottom edge of the board. Do not let your hand enter the water behind the board. //S.M.


Finis SwiMP3, $149 I’ve been immersed in the sport of triathlon for seven years and in that time I’ve met only one triathlete that says swimming is his favorite discipline. He is a former Division I swimmer that has an awkward, loping run stride and a fear of cycling with traffic. His decision to take up triathlon in the first place was a curious one and, needless to say, his love for pool swimming is somewhat rare in the multisport world. Swimming provides some fantastic benefits, but hours of riveting entertainment is not one of them. I occasionally find my motivation waning while doing laps and staring at the black line and wondering how I can be like my pool-loving friend. Enter the Finis SwiMP3. This small device was able to keep even me engaged during long-ish solo swims. The SwiMP3 is a waterproof music player designed for use in a swimming pool. Instead of sticking an ear bud directly into the ear, the SwiMP3 transmits sound vibrations through the water and the swimmer’s cheek bone. Each earpiece consists of a speaker that is fully enclosed in a plastic capsule that protects the electronics from water. They clip onto the goggle strap and rest about two inches in front of the ear. It seems hard to believe that headphones can transmit clear sound without actually placing a speaker in the ear, but the SwiMP3 does in fact deliver crisp music. It isn’t exactly THX-approved quality, but it has more than enough fidelity to enjoy Lady Gaga to the fullest. But be advised: Other swimmers will be able to hear bits and pieces of your music (good to know if you’d prefer others didn’t know you were goo-goo for Gaga). The SwiMP3 delivers good quality music, but its user interface leaves something to be desired. Its buttons, storage space and functionality were designed to pre-iPod standards, which can be a bit annoying. However, the SwiMP3 really did help me tick off the pool yardage and exceeded its billing as a fantastic mid-swim entertainment device, perfect for the triathlete who’d rather be out on the open road. // AARON HERSH


If you have great sprinting speed, it may help to start out fast and get away from other swimmers. If swimming is not your strength, it may be better to start off easy and let the stronger swimmers start just a few seconds before you so you can swim at your pace without all the chaos. If you do get into a situation where you have a couple swimmers on you, stay calm. As tough as it is not to react and get angry, stay within yourself and let the rough swimmers go on and move over to another spot. Getting angry will waste too much precious energy at the beginning of the race. Remember that most swimmers want their space just as much as you do, so stay calm, swim smart and have fun!

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Tri-Specific Skin Care

As the colder temperatures of late fall and early winter approach, it’s easy to forget about protecting your body’s largest organ: the skin. Here’s a look at some products that will help keep your skin in good health at the pool or wherever your training takes you.

Scape SPF 50+ Sunblock

Mission Skincare Rejuvenating Face Moisturizer with SPF 30

TriSwim Body Wash

84 | November 2010

// liz hichens

Courtesy the vendors

TriSwim ( is best known for its chlorine care shampoo and conditioner, but my favorite product is its body wash. There are often two side effects the skin suffers after a good swim workout: dryness and that dreaded chlorine smell. I found the TriSwim body wash to be the one solution that eliminates both of these problems. The citrus scent eliminates the smell, while multi-vitamins provide moisture. The best way to sample all of TriSwim’s products is by purchasing the TriSwim Shots. They’re smaller portions that are great for throwing in your workout bag.

My personal favorite from Mission Skincare (Missionskincare. com) is the Rejuvenating Face Moisturizer with SPF 30. Sunscreen is something that should be applied daily, especially if you’re a triathlete spending hours training in the sun, but taking the time to apply before each workout can be a drag. By combining your sunscreen with your daily moisturizer, you’ll have the peace of mind heading into each swim, bike and run workout that your face is protected. This one tops others because it doesn’t feel like you’re applying sunscreen; it feels light and doesn’t leave the skin feeling oily. And this product’s fragrance-free feature means that it’s great for both men and women.

When I first received the unique yellow sunscreen bottle from Scape (, I was a little skeptical. I’ve tried pretty much every athlete sunblock on the market, and I didn’t see how this one would be any different. The product’s main claim is that the sunscreen “won’t run into eyes.” I decided to give this claim a tough challenge. I applied the sunscreen minutes before heading out for a run on a humid day in the midst of summer in Phoenix. The Scape product lived up to its promise. I forgot I was wearing sunscreen, which is what we ultimately want from skin care products: the ability to protect our skin without having to adjust our routines to accommodate for that protection. I continued to use this sunscreen and put it through a rigor of swimming, biking and running workouts and it withstood each test. While I wouldn’t necessarily apply an SPF 50+ product for everyday use, this sunblock is my go-to when it comes to the longer workouts where I know I’ll be training in hours of direct sunlight.

The First Endurance product line is designed to work together, as a complete nutrition system, to maximize endurance and performance. At First Endurance, we integrate the latest clinical research with input from the best triathletes and cyclists in the world. This collaboration allows our research and development team to continue to push the limits of endurance. See for yourself how the award-winning, critically acclaimed First Endurance system can help take your training and racing to a new level.

“With First Endurance, I don’t have to stress about getting what my body needs so I can focus my energy on racing fast!” –Sarah Haskins

2009 Life Time Fitness Triathlon Champion 2010 Life Time Fitness Triathlon Champion

“First Endurance takes the guesswork out of endurance nutrition.” –Jordan Rapp

2009 Ironman Canada Champion 2009 Ironman Arizona Champion

“ I finally nailed my nutrition with the help of all the awesome First Endurance products.” –Heather Wurtele 2010 Ironman St. George Champion, 2010 Desert Half Ironman Champion

firsten du r anc e .c o m • 8 6 6 -3 4 7 -7 8 1 1


On October 24, a field of 550 triathletes will take on Xterra’s most grueling course at the world championship race, held each year on Maui. PHOTOGRAPH BY XTERRA PHOTOS

November 2010 | TRIATHLETE.COM


tech support

Do-It-Yourself Bike Tune-Up

Clean the cassette Take the rear wheel off the bike and squirt degreaser or lube on the cassette. Floss between the cogs with a towel to remove the tenacious black grease.

the 5-step checklist

Clean the chain Most wet chain lubes double as excellent degreasers. Cover the chain in the lube, grip the lower segment of the chain with a towel and move the pedal backward. Keep scrubbing until the chain sparkles.

Adjust the rear derailleur cable tension Put the chain into the smallest (hardest) cog and upshift once. Look down from above the cassette to see if the upper derailleur pulley lines up with the second cog. If it is closer to the wheel, turn the barrel adjuster—the black plastic piece the housing inserts into—clockwise. If the pulley is further from the wheel, turn the barrel adjuster counterclockwise.

Center the brakes

Check the bolt torque Even a properly tensioned bolt can loosen itself over time. Use a torque wrench to check every bolt on the bike, paying particular attention to the stem bolts. // aaron hersh

88 | November 2010

Nils NilseN; courtesy park tools

Loosen the 5mm bolt securing the brake caliper to the frame and reposition the caliper so the brake pads are pretty evenly spaced on either side of the rim. Retighten the bolt. Most calipers have a micro-adjuster bolt on top of the brake arm. Use a wrench to screw this bolt in or out to finely adjust the pad positions until they are evenly spaced on either side of the rim.


Tubulars vs. Clinchers: Which Are Better? Both styles of tire have seen significant enough improvements over the past decade that the gap between the two styles is narrower than ever. Tubular and clincher tires—by design—remain quite different, and it is important to recognize where each style excels so that you can choose the wheel and tire style that best suits your needs.

Puncture Resistance Tubular tires are less prone to pinch flats because their rim construction prevents the tire from bottoming out on the rim during impact. However, puncture protection technology within a brand of tires usually transcends the style of tire. Continental offers the same effective and lightweight Vectran flat protection layer in its GP4000 clinchers and the GP4000SR tubular. Tubulars also tend to leak slowly when punctured, rather than blowing out, so they can often be rolled back into T2 without changing the tire. Winner: Tubulars

the lowest rolling resistance numbers. It is noteworthy that the lowest Crr (Coefficient of rolling resistance) on tubulars requires proper adhesion between the rim and tire. A poorly glued tubular can shift on the rim, thus creating friction under load, and will have a higher Crr than a tubular that has firmer adhesion. Winner: Very slight toward a sufficiently glued latex tube-equipped tubulars.

Ease of Installation It is usually assumed that clinchers are easier to install than tubulars, but one type of tire doesn’t carry a big advantage over the other in this regard. In a race situation, a tubular can be easier to change than some of the tightest fitting clincher tires, and it can be easy to break tire levers and puncture tubes when changing. Winner: It’s a tie.


Rubber compound, suppleness of the tire casing, road roughness, tire pressure, rider weight, type of tubular adhesion and the material of the tube are just some of the variables that affect a tire’s rolling resistance. Certain tests show a mix of tubulars and clinchers in the top 10 of the lowest rolling resistance tires tested. In general, soft and supple casings, which are not always the most puncture-resistant, combined with latex tubes (tubular or clincher), result in

Even the lightest clincher wheels are usually a couple hundred grams heavier than their tubular counterparts because tubulars don’t require the heavier hook bead rim construction of a clincher. Rotating mass, especially at the perimeter of the wheel, is more valuable weight than static mass (such as frame weight) and thus wheels can be a good place to save weight, especially on hilly courses. Winner: Tubulars


TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

Ride quality is one of the main reasons that many pros ride tubulars—a high-quality tubular rides smoothly, compliantly and responsively. While tubulars have held the advantage for years, latex tubes in combination with softer rubber compounds and casings have helped some of the best clinchers start to approach the ride quality of a good tubular. In fact, the newer tubeless style clinchers from Hutchinson have proven to give even the best tubular tires a run for their money in terms of ride quality. Vittoria, Zipp (made by Vittoria) and Veloflex are examples of leading brands when it comes to ride quality in both their clincher and tubular tires. Winner: It’s a tie.

Pricing While there are fairly solid tubulars available at similar prices to top-of-the-line clincher tires and tubes, the best quality tubular tires will cost $35 to $50 more than the best clinchers. Winner: Clinchers. // IAN BUCHANAN


Rolling Resistance

Ride Quality

spiN patrol

Bike Services That Save Time And Money Get Covered

Travel Smarter With Your Bike

Investing in homeowner’s or renter’s insurance can save you thousands if anything happens to your bike, whether it be a crash, theft or, heaven forbid, you drive into the garage with your bike on the roof rack. It should be noted that, much like car insurance, these other insurance plans have deductibles. Make sure to research your coverage and be prepared to read the fine print. Many companies typically require you to provide evidence of your purchase, so save your receipts and maybe take a snapshot of you and your bike together for proof. Some health insurance companies will even cover bike fits from certified fitters. Certain physiotherapy treatments are covered if they’re in-network or the proper referrals are undertaken. Take a closer look at your healthcare plan to see what your coverage is. It could benefit your riding—and your wallet.

When traveling to races or going to training camps, trying to transport your bike can end up milking your wallet for as much as $350 for each round trip. To mitigate this cost, there are bike cases that allow you to bypass the airline bike transport fees, such as the Hen House Bicycle Travel Case from Ruster Sports ( At $495, this case will save you money each year you use it. TriBike Transport ( is another option. According to its company credo, “Our experienced drivers carefully load, secure and pad every bicycle onto our custom bike racking system in one of our trucks and drives to your race. Your bicycle

is available for you to pick up at the event a few days before the race.” Meaning: This service can save you the hassle of flying with a bike. Round trip service from TriBike costs roughly $290 to most races and even includes property insurance. Starting this year, TriBike Transport will even fly your bike fully assembled to the Ironman World Championship in Kona from the mainland for $340.

Don’t Get Stranded To help save you time and the frustration of getting lost on a bike ride, Bike Route Toaster ( lets you create your routes online via Google Maps and download them onto your Garmin. If you happen to hail from Oregon or Idaho, AAA Membership Plus offers bicycle roadside assistance and will even come out to fix a flat. Or if you’re in one of the other 48 states, Better World Club ( offers “nationwide emergency roadside assistance. Service for you and your bicycle up to 30 miles annually with a maximum of two service calls per covered member, per year.” For $39.95 a year, this membership price beats calling friends and family begging for a ride and/or supplies. // mackenzie madison

nils nilsen; Courtesy lori sCheCtel

92 | November 2010


Visit us at the                     expo and at Cycle Station in Kona.  |  800.631.8474

traiNiNg tips

The Right Trainer For You

It’s the time of year when many of us take our training indoors. But before you invest in a bike trainer, make sure you find the type that will best serve your needs. Resistance-only Trainers A resistance-only trainer is a device that you can attach your bike to that converts it into a stationary exercise bike. The front wheel is kept still and the back wheel spins on a roller. Depending on how much you want to spend, you can buy a wind, magnetic or fluid trainer, with the fluid trainers typically being the most expensive.

94 | November 2010

Computer-based Trainers A computer-based trainer is an electronically controlled version of a standard trainer, integrated with a power meter that measures the rider’s work level. The electronically controlled resistance unit can either precisely set resistance to make sure the rider trains at the exact prescribed work level, or it can allow the rider to cycle normally while it provides feedback about his or her work level without delay or additional variables, such as those that can affect heart rate. Pros: These trainers, such as the CycleOps PowerBeam and the Racer Mate Compu-

Rollers Rollers are made of three cylindrical drums; two of these drums support the rear wheel and one supports the front. The rider plants the bike on the drums and balances while pedaling without actually attaching the bike to the rollers. Pressing the tires into the drums creates resistance, and the rider controls his or her exertion level by shifting gears. Pros: Rollers are the only style of indoor trainer that force riders to balance and control their bikes in a way similar to riding on the road. Cons: Riding on rollers forces the cyclist to focus on something other than riding hard, which makes it difficult to do an all-out workout. // c.B. & a.h.

product images courtesy of vendors

Pros: The resistance-only trainer keeps you upright on your bike without having to concentrate on staying upright, like you would outside or on rollers. This allows you to zone out and watch TV, read a book or listen to music—activities you’ll likely want to do when you’re cooped up inside due to bad weather or pitch-black darkness. Fluid trainers, which usually cost around $300, provide the most realistic resistance of any type of resistance-only trainer and are generally the quietest. Cons: Noise is the biggest negative. Wind trainers are usually the noisiest of resistance-only trainers but are also the cheapest. While fluid trainers are generally quieter, they are never noise-free. Additionally,

wind and magnetic trainers offer riders limited resistance and feel less like real riding. In terms of durability, fluid trainers are prone to leaking while magnetic trainers are notorious for breaking down. So if you decide to purchase a trainer, be sure to get one with a solid guarantee policy.

Trainer, allow the rider to train with more precision than any other style. Cons: Cost is the only drawback to this type of indoor trainer. Models range from about $1,000 to more than $2,000.

Technology and Black Chili Compound. Continental, Germany, werks-Korbach. f.l.t.r.: Sigrid Sander, Ursula Kรถnig. Grand Prix Attack/Force with

Nonidentical Twins Attack




TPS -Tire Positioning System Front and Rear- Specific Performance

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traiNiNg tips

Training With A Power Meter

Power or wattage is the measure of work you can do on a bicycle divided by time. Top-level age-groupers can average 250 watts for an hour, and elite Ironman athletes can average about 300 watts for the entire bike leg. While heart rate can be used to measure intensity of effort, it is a response mechanism to work (power) and, therefore, is affected by many variables other than your work level. Wattage is a direct measure of your effort and is not subject to those additional variables, such as rest level, heat, humidity and caffeine. How you use a power meter to improve your triathlon training and racing can be the key to your success. There are many effective ways to utilize your power meter, and triathlon races are by nature “pacing” races (pacing yourself in the swim, pacing yourself on the bike, pacing your food and fluid intake, pacing your run times). Pacing is

a learned skill and can be improved through your own trial-and-error experiences during everyday training or at races. It can also be learned using your power meter to give you an objective, real-time view of your effort level. A combination of both is probably the best way to really learn pacing, so one of the key uses of your power meter in training is to teach yourself how to pace correctly. Triathlon is a highly aerobic sport, meaning that your functional threshold power (FTP) is critical to your success along with your muscular endurance. FTP is your best average power for a one-hour test. It’s critical that you know this number, as your training zones and pacing percentages are based on it. Therefore, your first step is to go out and do a one-hour time trial on your tri bike and record the data with a power meter. Once you have downloaded your data, take that number and use it to calculate

TAble 1

here is a great workout to start out with in order to improve your FTP. This will help you develop your overall fitness and make sure you don’t neglect your endurance either. Warm up for 15 minutes. Start with 2 x 20 minutes with watts at 95 to 100 percent of FTP with 10 minutes rest between each. While doing these efforts, every four minutes (five efforts within each 20-minute effort) get out of the saddle, shift down one gear and do a small sprint for 10 seconds, then return to your previous pace of 95 to 100 percent. This simulates any changes in pace you might have to make in a race because of terrain or passing a slower rider. Finish with 20 minutes at 88 to 93 percent of FTP and then cool down for 10 minutes.

your training zones/levels. Table 1 shows you the various training levels/zones to use in order to train specific physical attributes. The next critical component in using your power meter is learning your optimal pace for your race distance. This pace is based on a percentage of your FTP. Consult Table 2 for some good guidelines. These two pieces of information will get you started in the right direction in using a power meter. // hunter allen & andy coggan

Hunter Allen and Andy Coggan are co-authors of Training and Racing with a Power Meter (VeloPress), available in bookstores, bike and tri shops and online.

TAble 2

CalCulating Power levels Based on FtP oF 290 watts level 1. active recovery

Power (watts)




general guidelines For triathlon events type of triathlon

Bike distance

intensity Factor (fraction of nP)

average Power (% of FtP)



10 km (6.2 mi.)





40 km (24.8 mi.)




training level

3. tempo



4. lactate threshold




90 km (56 mi.)





180 km (112 mi.)




double iron

361 km (224 mi.)




5. vo2max



6. anaerobic Capacity





7. neuromuscular Power

96 | November 2010

Note: NP = Normalized Power

courtesy of cycleops

2. endurance

% of FtP

Photo: © John Segesta

“ First time on my Jamis, I took 15 minutes off my 70.3 bike time.

The comfort and fit are second to none and more

importantly, the


to detail on Jamis’ entire product line gives me confidence I’m in good hands.”

Lesley Paterson - 1st San Diego International Triathlon (2010) - 2nd CA 70.3 Championships (2010) © Larry Rosa Photography

- 2nd World Xterra Championships (2009)

2011 Jamis Xenith T2

The ”Race of Truth” it’s called: just you, the wind and the clock. We have the tool to stop the clock sooner than the competition. Wind tunnel developed and tested against all the major competition, our Jamis Xenith T-Series outfitted with its revolutionary Windshield® fork design

posted some of the lowest drag figures recorded at the San Diego low speed wind tunnel and is helping triathletes around the globe post their fastest times ever. Get fitted on one at your local authorized Jamis dealer today and you’ll see, you too can turn back the clock.

boulder, colorado





CHAMPION 2008 | 2009

science in motion.



The Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 takes place November 13 in Clearwater, Fla. Pro Greg Bennett finished last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s race in 3:45: 48. PHOTOGRAPH BY PAUL PHILLIPS/COMPETITIVE IMAGE

November 2010 | TRIATHLETE.COM


Gear BaG Lock Laces,, $4.99 Lock Laces have an elastic lace that is secured at the top of the shoe with a plastic laces pinch. Ease of entry: Slipping into the shoe is quick and easy because the laces stretch to create a good-sized opening for the foot. Closure quality: The flexible laces that allow the shoe to open so easily also prevent the shoe from clamping tightly on the foot. They effectively close the shoe at the top but the elastic doesn’t pull taut at the bottom of the shoe, leaving enough room for the foot to slide around a little. Verdict: Lock Laces offers a simplistic system that gets the job done.

Yankz Sure Lace System,, $7.50 Yankz is an elastic lace, like Lock Laces, but it has a special pinch that slides freely down the laces (toward the shoe) and cinches when it’s pushed up the lace. They are available in a full array of colors to complete any race outfit. Ease of entry: Yankz features elastic cords that let the shoe open wide and allow the foot to easily slide into the shoe. Closure quality: These elastic laces struggle to grip the front of the foot, but provide a firm squeeze at the top of the arch. Yankz laces come with a clever piece that attaches the dangling bit of extra lace back into the shoe. Verdict: These quick-draw laces don’t get in the way and are convenient enough for everyday use.

All Tied Up? Increasing transition speed isn’t as glamorous as running a PR, but the seconds saved when putting shoes on faster are just as valuable as the seconds taken off your run split. We broke down three styles of race laces to help you choose the ones that are best for you. // aaron hersh

best st in te | November 2010

Zero Friction lace guides are hard plastic pieces that bolt into the shoe’s eyelets. These add-ons allow standard laces to slide freely through the shoe. The laces are secured with the same pinch pieces that come with Lock Laces. Ease of entry: The laces slide effortlessly through the Zero Friction pieces. Pull the tongue back and the shoe opens wide. The laces do not stretch so leave a little extra dangling for room to pull the shoe open for a quick entry. Closure quality: Using the Zero Friction fittings with a standard lace provides the best shoe closure of any quicklace system. Rather than tightening only at the top of the shoe, the lace is able to slide through every eyehole and apply pressure over the entire foot. Once the shoe is closed properly, the inelastic laces firmly and reliably hold the foot in place. Verdict: Holds the foot as well as a knotted shoelace, closes as fast as an elastic lace.

nils nilsen


Zero Friction lace guides,, $5.99

Samantha McGlone

E-114 weight



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; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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.

optimal balance


SIMPLE ARM EXERCISE The last 100 yards before the finish of a triathlon can get pretty intense. Racers often try to incite sprinting contests with whomever’s closest to them, regardless of whether they’re in the same age group or are even of the same sex. To help ensure that you win these battles every time, there’s a simple exercise you can do with three- to five-pound weights. It’s an exercise that strengthens the arm muscles you use when running—muscles that can kickstart a sprint and drive you home when your legs are completely gassed.


TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

You say you want a revolution? Then you’ll be happy to know that the major innovations and developments taking place in running shoe design will continue into 2011. While most new shoe designs are aimed at allowing for a more natural gait with less effort and strain, not all designs come from the minimalist school of thought. Following the trend in lightweight shoes started by companies such as Newton, Nike, Ecco and Vibram, now New Balance, Saucony, Inov-8, Terra Plana, Keen and Merrell should be making a big splash with new minimalist, sub-eight-ounce shoes for the road and trails in 2011. A small French company called Hoka is going against the grain of the less-is-more design mentality with its new Mafete trail runner ($169, 11.0 ounces) and Bondi B road runner ($169, 9.3 ounces). Yes, in this case, more is better. The shoes are considerably higher off the ground than any shoes you’ve ever seen before, but they’re surprisingly stable and actually control pronation very effectively. Both shoes have a rockered profile that allows a runner to easily transfer downward energy into forward momentum no matter where the foot strikes the ground. Also of note, Asics is planning to bring its popular Australian triathlon shoe into the U.S. market for the first time with some wild colors. The Gel-Noosa Tri 6 ($110), which is built from a similar construction as the Asics Gel-DS Trainer, features a thin layer of medium-density EVA foam and a firmer medial post for a bit of support, plus an elastic lacing system and an airy mesh upper. The men’s version tips the scales at about 10 ounces, while the women’s weighs in at about 8.7 ounces. // BRIAN METZLER


To do the exercise, stand in front of the mirror with one weight in each hand. Then start moving your arms in the same motion you would as you run. Stand with your legs spread apart, in order to stabilize the motion. Make sure to practice excellent form, with your wrist coming up about as high as the middle of your sternum. If you’re looking for someone to emulate, watch Kara Goucher run—her arms are nearly perfect. Do this exercise for five minutes every day, eliminating it a week or so before a big race. And just remember that during a race, you should do your best to conserve energy by relaxing your arms and using them as little as possible, utilizing gravity to swing them like a pendulum. // C.B.

Shoe Redux

Ironman Champion and Nathan athlete, Kate Major


Nathan products help you achieve your goals, no matter how impossible they may seem. Ironman champion and Nathan athlete Kate Major trains in the Nathan Speed 2R Auto-Cant — the first custom-fitting hydration belt. The patent-pending Auto-Cant Disk™ instantly adjusts the position of the Flasks while a canted, limited-stretch belt solidly holds the pak in place. Flasks angle depending on body shape and the pak’s position on the body so they are always easy to remove — and never in the way of your arm swing.


Nathan Performance Gear is available at specialty running and triathlete shops as well as sporting goods stores or at Back

Official Sponsor Hydration Sponsor Of Philly Tri Ironman, Ironman Triathlon, M-dot and 70.3 are registered trademarks of World Triathlon Corporation.

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ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE The most famous feature of the Boston Marathon racecourse is Heartbreak Hill, a climb of 88 feet over 0.6 miles that begins just past the 20-mile mark of the race. But the most challenging feature of the course is probably its extensive downhill sections, including a 150-foot plummet in the first mile. While running downhill generally feels easier and is less taxing on the metabolic and cardiovascular systems than level or uphill running, it subjects the tissues of the lower extremities to significantly more strain. This strain causes muscle damage, soreness, and neuromuscular fatigue that can cripple runners later in the race. Runners who enter the Boston Marathon, or another marathon that has extensive downhill sections, without specific preparation for this challenge are often shocked by the toll exacted by the descents, and seldom run as well as they hope or expect to run. The specific nature of the strain imposed by downhill running is called eccentric loading. An eccentric load ››

A Better Brick Triathlons are typically won on the run. Unfortunately, the typical triathlete jumps off the bike with their legs feeling like anvils. Most try to abate this phenomenon by doing bricks—a bike ride followed immediately by a run. While the typical brick workout is indeed effective, you only switch from the bike to the run once during this workout, limiting the neuromuscular adaptation that brick workouts can provide. With the following brick workout, you shift from the two disciplines 12 times instead of once, forcing your body to shift blood from its cycling muscles to its running muscles and then back many times over. This workout is most easily done with a trainer, but can also be done by locking your bike in your car while you run or by having

10 minutes of running 10 minutes of cycling 10 minutes of running 10 minutes of cycling 5 minutes of running 10 minutes of cycling 5 minutes of running 10 minutes of cycling 5 minutes of running 10 minutes of cycling 5 minutes of running on the bike


20-minute cool down

other hold your bike for you while you run. ciplines, the better. // C.B. TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

30-minute warm-up on the bike

a very understanding friend or significant The shorter the transition between the dis-


The workout:

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



“My tried an d tr race tires.” ue

For the full in



“They’re vi rtu bomb proo ally f!”

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

all downhill from here occurs when an outside force tries to stretch a muscle as the muscle itself tries to resist that stretch by contracting. Eccentric loading takes place every time your foot makes contact with the ground when you run. The quadricep muscles on the front of the thigh are subjected to the greatest eccentric loading. When your foot strikes the ground, impact forces try to make your knee buckle. Unconsciously, you contract your quadriceps to stabilize your knee and remain upright. But your knee does flex and your quads do stretch a bit when you land, so those muscles are essentially pulled in two directions simultaneously. This strain causes microscopic trauma to the muscle fibers. While eccentric loading occurs on all gradients, it is much greater when you are running downhill. There are two consequences of the strain of running downhill. First, it limits performance and causes fatigue to occur more quickly in runners (and triathletes) who are unaccustomed to downhill running. The second consequence of the strain associated with running downhill is

106 | November 2010

delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Indeed, when exercise physiologists wish to study exercise-induced muscle damage and DOMS, they almost always use downhill running to cause damage and soreness, because it does so more effectively than most other kinds of exercise. Fortunately, practicing downhill running greatly increases fatigue resistance and eccentric loading tolerance in subsequent downhill runs. In fact, a single downhill run that is extreme enough to cause significant soreness provides a protective effect that lasts up to two months. However, it takes more than that to get the benefit that triathletes training for events featuring run courses with significant downhill sections want most, which is greater fatigue resistance on descents. This is probably because the body needs more exposure to downhill running to improve downhill running efficiency and to overcome the neuromuscular inhibition that limits downhill running performance. Many Boston Marathon veterans who feel they’ve mastered the event’s uniquely

challenging course recommend incorporating regular downhill runs into one’s training. Take a cue from them. As with any specific training stimulus, the idea is to ease into it and increase the challenge level incrementally. If you do so, you’ll want to start with just a mile or so of downhill running into your first long run and build from there. The maximum amount of downhill running you do should depends on what you’re training for. If it’s a hilly Ironman, such as St. George, it could be as much as 10 miles. Finding routes that accommodate this type of training may be a challenge in itself. One option is to organize a point-topoint run that starts high and ends low. U.S. Olympian Rod DeHaven used to prop up the back end of a treadmill and run as long as 16 straight miles downhill while preparing for the 2001 Boston Marathon, in which he finished sixth in 2:12:41. You may not want to go to those lengths, but making a point to run downhill in training will yield big returns during your next hilly race. // matt fitzgerald




This impressive new sub category for 2XU Tri offers an unprecedented range of men’s and women’s endurance garments like no other. Specially engineered and designed with the very latest 2XU fabric technology: ICE X and 70D COMPRESSION.

Also available in black

ICE X HEAT BLOCKING FABRIC Cooling Xylitol is embedded in the yarn of the fabric to draw heat from the body and IR blocking inhibits penetration of infrared rays to lower skin temperature by up to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit.




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Goingnatural With somnio


By AAron HersH | November 2010

nils nilsen


Barefoot and minimalist running is great in theory. The basic idea is to use the bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s innate ability to cushion and support itself to prevent injury rather than relying on a pair of running shoes. In practice, however, running in ultralightweight shoes can lead to injury for many runners because most people do not have the strength or biomechanical efficiency required to run without support from a shoe. On the flip side, most supportive shoes limit pronation and other injury-inducing motion by directly bracing the arch with an orthotic or by bolstering the shoeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sole with dense materials and hard plastic support pieces. These techniques limit unwanted motion, but the minimalist running crowd has pointed out undesir-

able side effects of bulky and supportive shoes, including a jerky transition from heel to forefoot. Also, supportive insoles prevent the arch from flexing when the foot strikes the ground. In addition to minimizing pronation, these insoles prevent the foot from flexing to absorb shock when it contacts the ground. Many runners have been forced to compromise and accept these unwanted side effects in order to reduce their chance of injury, but a Santa Cruz-based shoe company named Somnio has designed the first motion control solution that still allows the foot to move naturally. Somnio shoes prevent motion by canting the sole with hard plastic wedges inside the shoe. The outwardly angled surface (aka varus wedge) prevents the foot from collapsing inward as far as it would on a flat sole without preventing the foot from flexing naturally when it strikes the ground. This innovative motion control technique provides the support that many athletes require to stay healthy without interfering with natural gait or foot motion.






going natural with somnio shoe fitter to precisely measure the runner’s stride on screen. This tool provides quantifiable feedback that shows whether or not a shoe actually improves the runner’s biomechanical alignment.

The somnio varus wedge inserts can be used to increase the amount of motion control in any shoe.

110 | November 2010

rects the runner’s biomechanics. The runner performs a short squat on the platform as a laser tracks inward knee motion. If the knee moves inward too far, the fitter can progressively angle the platform to simulate the three varus wedge options and find the one that best aligns the runner’s knee. A portion of the front and back of every Somnio sole is replaceable to allow the shoe to be tuned for a hard or soft ride. Somnio also offers its dealers a video motion capture system that allows the

nils nilsen

The fiT process Every Somnio shoe has five different replaceable parts and offers 324 possible configurations, so it takes a skilled shoe fitter to select the best combination for an individual runner. Somino requires that every dealer attend their Biomechanics University to make sure they are capable of matching a runner with their ideal shoe. Somnio’s patented Line-Up device is an adjustable platform that helps the fitter choose the varus wedge insert that cor-

The shoes Even though Somnio is a start-up, it already has a full line of shoes, including two traditional motion control shoes, a neutral shoe, a trail shoe and a stability shoe. Somnio’s varus wedge inserts can liberate many runners from clunky, heavy motion control shoes and allow them to run in a lightweight neutral shoe like Somnio’s Pacemaker. The Pacemaker ($135) is designed as a racing and fast training shoe. It has enough cushion for longer runs but is still light and responsive. Its mesh upper creates a roomy toebox and a secure fit around the arch. The midsole has a subtle stiffener that gives the shoe a stable platform without that unresponsive, lifeless feel that comes from a fully rigid midsole.

ruNNiNg questioN

Should You Bare Your Soles? BY tawnee Prazak

112 | November 2010

and reduce injuries. Some claim going barefoot is a backlash against the running shoe industry that fed us softly cushioned shoes, promising that’s what we needed—when it wasn’t. Most experts believe there is some merit to barefoot running when used cautiously as supplemental training. But from a performance standpoint, there’s very little evidence to show the barefoot method will make you faster. “If barefoot running was an advantage, more people would do it,” says biomechanics expert Dr. Benno Nigg. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of barefoot running. ››

Nils NilseN

When was the last time you saw a pro triathlete cross the finish line shoeless? Can’t recall? Me neither. But more and more age-group triathletes and runners are kicking off their shoes to run au naturel. Is it to feel free? To go faster? No matter the reason, there’s a distinct romanticism surrounding the current barefoot running phenomenon. “This isn’t just a fad—it’s in our consciousness,” says LifeSport Coach Lance Watson. Who wouldn’t want to try barefoot running with some of the purported benefits? It is said to encourage a natural forefoot landing, build strength

should you bare your soles?

114 | November 2010

Nils NilseN

Strength, Foot Awareness and Injury “One reason people run barefoot is to strengthen muscles around the ankle joints,” says Nigg. “If you always train in shoes, certain lateral and medial muscles don’t have to work and they deteriorate, making you weaker and more injury prone.” Overly soft shoes will enhance this effect, causing decreased kinesthetic awareness. “There’s a lack of proprioception with some shoes. You don’t feel the impact, so the other muscles don’t fire,” says sports medicine specialist and podiatrist Dr. Steve Pribut. Barefoot running can increase ankle strength, stability and proprioception, or the awareness of your body in space, in a sport-specific manner. But the same effect can be achieved by other means— yoga, strength training, standing on a wobble board—without the added risks of barefoot running. “There’s more stress on the lower legs and calves with barefoot running,” says Watson. Injuries to barefoot runners often involve the calf and heels, with plantar fasciitis high on the list.

should you bare your soles? Foot striking A recent study by Dr. Daniel Lieberman indicated that habitually barefoot runners tend to land on their forefoot with less force and more efficiency when compared to shod runners whose cushioned shoes promote heel striking. Does barefoot running truly force a forefoot landing and do away with the evil heel strike? Not necessarily, say those critical of running shoeless. “It’s a misconception to say every barefoot runner lands on the forefoot,” says Pribut. And even when it does, changing your footstrike doesn’t require going shoeless. “You don’t need barefoot running to become a forefoot runner,” says Watson. “Just work on posture, cadence and striking under your center of gravity.” Watson’s point is validated by a recent study from the University of Wisconsin. Researchers were able to significantly reduce impact forces in a group of runners by having them increase their stride rate by 10 percent—in shoes.

Bottom line The barefoot running debate is surprisingly heated. Many of its advocates are unshakably convinced that it’s the only way to go. Its detractors often dismiss the barefoot crowd as part of a lunatic fringe. Our experts’ final verdicts: Nigg: “Barefoot itself isn’t that good. But training in unstable conditions and training barefoot on the track—only—is good. It’s good for building strength and stability, but using it to [enhance] performance is a questionable reason.” Pribut: “I’m neutral—do whatever works for you. Shoes have created problems such as blisters, nerve compression and bunions. But I’m not on a mission to get people to run barefoot.” Watson: “I’m not promoting barefoot running. Why? I haven’t seen any causeand-effect studies that show performance improvements. However, I’m not against doing it as a supplemental activity.”

Tips For Safer Barefoot Running • Do not fall victim to “too much too soon.” • Do it at the end of a warmup or during cool-down. • Begin by alternating 30 seconds of running with 30 seconds walking. • Do it only on certain surfaces: a track, grass, sand or packed dirt. • To transition to barefoot running, try minimalist shoes, such as Vibram Five Fingers.

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Kona The Contenders Simply uttering the word “Kona” inspires visions of athletic glory of epic proportions. Along with the Olympic Games, the Ironman World Championship represents the pinnacle of the sport—the ideal to which many of us only dream of realizing. These athletes will not only compete on October 9—they will vie to be the first across Kona’s hallowed finish line. Triathlete weighs in on the men’s and women’s races and determines who poses the biggest threat to the competition, which includes reigning world champions Craig Alexander and Chrissie Wellington.

photographs by john segesta

118 | November 2010


Potential weakness: Alexander’s bike split over the last three years has been a few minutes slower than the other main contenders. He has to make sure he keeps close enough to the lead pack on the bike, without using too much energy heading onto the run.



Why he could win: The 4:20:35 bike split in Germany proves that Raelert has been relentlessly working on his cycling. If he manages to turn in a steady pacing effort across the three disciplines, he could be difficult to beat.


Why he could win: There’s racing in an Ironman, and then there’s racing in an Ironman in Kona. Alexander has proved he knows the difference and can overcome anything that’s thrown at him on race day.

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andreaS raelert (ger)

Craig alexander (aUS)


Like many of today’s Ironman stars, Alexander got his start on the Olympic-distance racing scene. Through 2004 and 2005, Alexander split his time between the United States and Australia, earning podium spots at nearly every race he entered. While his career up to that point had been successful, it wasn’t until 2006 when he won the Ironman World Championship 70.3 that Alexander began to stand out. The win at Clearwater gave Alexander an entry to the 2007 Ironman World Championship race, where he got his first taste of Kona success with a second-place finish. Alexander returned to Kona in 2008 with a simple formula of maintaining position on the swim and bike, and outrunning the entire field for the victory. He replicated that performance last year, and will look to produce the same result at this year’s race.

Although he has been racing as a professional triathlete since 1993, Raelert is a relative newbie when it comes to long-distance racing. His emergence at longer distances came in fall 2008. Raelert finished second at the Ironman World Championship 70.3 race, and then just two weeks later ran past American Chris Lieto to win Ironman Arizona. The two top finishes, and the 2:46:37 marathon performance in Arizona, made Raelert an automatic contender at his first Ironman World Championship in 2009. In Kona, Raelert exited the bike in 17th position before catching Alexander and famously running shoulder-to-shoulder with the reigning world champion. Despite his best efforts, Raelert couldn’t respond to a surge by Alexander and eventually finished third. Like many Europeans, Raelert has limited his race entries in 2010, but his year is highlighted by a dominating victory at the Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt, Germany, on July 4.

Potential weakness: Winning in Kona means being ready physically as well as mentally. If he finds himself in a shoulder-to-shoulder battle again this year, he better be ready to do the surging. ThreaT facTor



Henning’s entrance into iron-distance racing is almost identical to Raelert’s. Henning got his start as a short-course star, competing in the Olympic Games twice and earning several ITU World Cup titles. He first tried his hand at Ironman in April 2009, winning Ironman China despite brutally hot and humid conditions. His ability to deal with the conditions in China made many wonder if Henning would shine in Kona. Less than three weeks before his first Ironman World Championship start, Henning crashed in a training accident, breaking his right hand. Despite the injury, Henning traveled to Kona and decided to start the race. He finished fifth, leaving many to wonder what he could have done with the use of two hands. Henning’s biggest accomplishment this year was a 7:52:36 win at the Challenge Roth iron-distance triathlon on July 18.

Why he could win: His performance at Ironman Coeur d’Alene showed that Potts has learned how to pace himself over the Ironman distance.


Potential weakness: The only chance at victory for Potts is if he finds a way to cut more than 10 minutes off of his bike splits from 2008 and 2009.

Why he could win: He’s a well-rounded athlete who can swim, bike and run with the best in the sport. He’s also shown he can handle Kona weather conditions.

Potential weakness: This distance is still new for Henning and, despite having two iron-distance victories under his belt, he has yet to show he can beat the best. ThreaT facTor


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andy potts (usa)

rasmus henning (den)

Potts got a relatively late start in the sport of triathlon. He was a six-time All-American swimmer for the University of Michigan. Soon after graduation, Potts discovered multisport. Just one year after turning professional, Potts qualified for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. He continued on the short-course track until he won the Ironman World Championship 70.3 race in 2007. Potts narrowly missed qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and decided to give the Ironman distance a try. He finished seventh at the 2008 Ironman World Championship, and then backed that up with a ninth-place finish in 2009. This year Potts showed a renewed commitment to the iron distance, choosing to race Ironman Coeur d’Alene despite having already earned his Kona slot. He dominated the Idaho race, taking his first Ironman win.


chris lieto (UsA)


Lieto is a veteran of Ironman racing. Unlike most of the contenders on this list, Lieto has several Ironman victories under his belt. Although he has competed well in non-drafting Olympicdistance events, Lieto has always focused on the Ironman distance and is arguably the best cyclist at the distance. After fading on the run year after year at the Ironman World Championship, Lieto took the necessary steps in 2009 to improve his run. He spent several weeks at a training camp in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., with a few of the country’s top runners, including Ryan Hall. As expected, Lieto led off of the bike, but this time he held his lead all the way to mile 22, before being caught by eventual winner Craig Alexander and ultimately finishing second. This year he’s focused his racing efforts on the half-Ironman distance, and has continued to show improvement on the run.

Staff PickS for who will go 1-2-3 at Kona Courtney Baird, senior editor Women: chrissie Wellington, Mirinda

carfrae, Linsey corbin men: chris Lieto, craig alexander,

rasmus henning Julia Beeson Polloreno, editor-in-Chief Women: chrissie Wellington, Mirinda

carfrae, catriona Morrison men: rasmus henning, craig alexander,

Terenzo Bozzone aaron hersh, senior teCh editor Women: chrissie Wellington,

Mirinda carfrae, Julie Dibens men: rasmus henning, craig alexander,

Why he could win: It’s hard to believe that anyone wants this victory more than Chris Lieto. He first raced in Kona back in 1998 and has been chasing the title ever since. Potential weakness: Lieto’s weakness can be summed up in the following numbers: 3:02:35, 3:29:40, 3:00:16, 3:02:46 and 3:16:37. They are Lieto’s marathon splits in his last five Kona appearances. Unless he finds a way to break the elusive three-hour barrier, it’s difficult to imagine Lieto will win an Ironman World Championship. ThreaT facTor


andreas raelert tJ MurPhy, editorial direCtor Women: chrissie Wellington,

Mirinda carfrae, Linsey corbin men: chris Lieto, craig alexander,

eneko Llanos lars finanger, sales exeCutive and Pro triathlete Women: chrissie Wellington,

Mirinda carfrae, Yvonne van Vlerken men: craig alexander, rasmus henning,

Terenzo Bozzone liz hiChens, triathlete.CoM ProduCer Women: chrissie Wellington,

Mirinda carfrae, catriona Morrison men: andreas raelert, craig alexander,

rasmus henning


Distributed in the U.S. exclusively through QBP

chris mccormack (aUs)

chris 124

Why he could win: McCormack knows what it takes—and what it feels like—to win in Kona. He’s also not afraid to talk some smack and get inside the head of his competition. Potential weakness: Despite his best efforts to acclimate to the hot and humid conditions of the Big Island, McCormack consistently struggles to maintain form in the later miles of the race. ThreaT facTor

eneko llanos (esp)


Aside from Alexander, McCormack is the only other athlete on this list who has tasted Ironman World Championship victory. His career started in the early ‘90s, when he traveled around Europe racing in several Olympic-distance triathlons. McCormack’s short-course career peaked in 1997 when he ended the year as the ITU world champion. After controversially being left off of the Australian team for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, McCormack relocated to the United States and continued short-course racing. In 2002, he shifted his attention to the iron distance, winning his debut at the distance at Ironman Australia. For years, McCormack struggled to crack the top 10 at the Ironman World Championship. He finally found his way toward the front of the field with a sixthplace finish in 2005, followed by a runner-up performance in 2006, and finally the world championship victory in 2007. McCormack dropped out of the 2008 race with a mechanical. Last year’s race saw McCormack work his way toward the front of the pack before slowing to a pedestrian pace and being passed by several athletes. McCormack eventually found his stride and ran his way back up to fourth position at the finish line.

Like many of the men on this list, Llanos spent the early years of his career competing on the ITU circuit. He competed in both the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games before turning to the longer distances. At the end of his career Llanos will be known as one of the most wellrounded triathletes to ever compete. On top of his Olympic appearances, Llanos has won the Xterra World Championship three times, with his most recent victory coming last year. Llanos has experience at the Ironman World Championship, finishing fifth in 2006, seventh in 2007 and second in 2008. He struggled in last year’s race, finishing 14th. Llanos has had a jam-packed season in 2010, taking wins at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, Ironman Lanzarote and the ETU Long Course Championships. He also finished third at the Challenge Roth iron-distance triathlon.


Why he could win: Llanos is strong in all three disciplines, and with the exception of last year’s race, has been a consistent performer in Kona.

Potential weakness: He peaked early this year and has competed in several long-distance races. Llanos may not have the same freshness as the other men on the starting line. ThreaT facTor


Terenzo bozzone (nzl)


Bockel is one of few professional triathletes representing the country of Luxembourg, also home to cycling superstars Andy and Frank Schleck. Considering his age (he will turn 34 the week after the Ironman World Championship), Bockel is a late bloomer in the sport. He burst on the scene seemingly out of nowhere at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Bockel shocked the field by taking a dramatic lead on the bike leg before eventually fading to 25th at the finish line. After the Olympics, Bockel used 2009 to jump up to the longer distances and found instant success with a third-place finish at Ironman New Zealand and a win at Ironman 70.3 Florida. In his first attempt at the big race in Kona, Bockel finished seventh thanks to a steady performance across all three disciplines. Bockel’s most notable finish in 2010 so far is a second-place finish against a highly competitive field at the inaugural Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.

Potential weakness: He lacks the experience that most of the male contenders have. Despite being one of the best runners in the sport, Bozzone has yet to run to his capability in an Ironman.



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dirk bockel: Nils NilseN

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Potential weakness: Despite being known for his cycling skills, Bockel let six men pass him on the bike leg last year. That cannot happen this year if he wants to find his way onto the podium.


Why he could win: Bozzone has the raw talent to beat every athlete on this list.

Why he could win: A seventh-place finish at a first attempt at the Ironman World Championship is no easy feat. Bockel is one of the most well-rounded triathletes on this list, showing signs of strength on the swim, bike and run.

dirk bockel (lux)

At 25, Bozzone is by far the youngest triathlete on this contenders list. Bozzone dabbled in Olympic-distance racing in his early 20s, but quickly discovered that his talents lie in the longer distances. The triathlon community first took notice of “the Kiwi” when he won the Wildflower Long Course triathlon in 2006, breaking the course record in the process. Bozzone’s breakthrough year came in 2008 when he won several half-Ironman races and capped the year with a victory at the Ironman World Championship 70.3 race. Bozzone earned a second-place finish in his Ironman debut at Ironman New Zealand in 2009. He went on to finish the year with an 11th-place finish at the Ironman World Championship. Bozzone has had an impressive year to this point, finishing in first or second in his first nine races of the season.


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.

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Potential weakness: Wellington has been open and honest about the fact that she puts more pressure on herself to win in Kona than anyone else. As long as she keeps that pressure at a healthy level, she is unbeatable.



mirinda carfrae (aus)

Why she could win: In the last three years of Ironman competition, no one has come close to beating Wellington. We don’t expect this year to be any different.

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Why she could win: Carfrae has taken a smart approach heading into this year’s race. She has made huge strides in both her swim and bike abilities since last year. Combine that with the fact that she is by far the best female runner on the starting line, and she has a chance to win. Potential weakness: Like Alexander, Carfrae needs to make sure that her increased efforts on the swim and bike don’t affect her firepower on the run.


chrissie Wellington (gbr)


For someone who will prove to be one of the greatest to ever compete at the iron distance, Wellington is a relative newbie to the sport of triathlon. After racing a few sprint triathlons with borrowed equipment, Wellington decided to compete in the 2006 World Age Group Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland. She not only won her age group, but she was also the fastest overall female at the race. With that win on her résumé, Wellington decided to turn professional in 2007 and joined Brett Sutton’s TeamTBB. After Sutton persuaded her to focus on the longer distances, Wellington quietly won Ironman Korea two months before the Ironman World Championship. Wellington entered Kailua Bay absent from anyone’s list of potential contenders. She turned in the fastest bike and run splits of the women to earn the 9:08:45 victory. Since that win, Wellington has become a dominant figure at the Ironman distance, winning in every Ironman race she has entered. She has added two more Ironman World Championship victories, owns the current world record for fastest iron-distance race ever recorded among women (2010 Challenge Roth in 8:19:13) and is the current world record holder for the Ironman World Championship (8:54:02 in 2009).

Carfrae’s path to the Ironman distance is very similar to that of her countryman Craig Alexander. Despite growing up as a basketball player and having no experience in swimming, biking or running, Carfrae found early success competing for Australia on the ITU circuit. Carfrae earned silver medals in the ITU World Championships in 2002 and 2003. After racing in longer distance triathlons in Australia, Carfrae started competing in the United States and found her niche in the half-Ironman distance. Carfrae won the Ironman World Championship 70.3 race in 2007. Since that victory, she has become the top half-Ironman distance female in the sport. Known for her fiery half-marathon pace, Carfrae has won 13 halfIronman distance races in the last three years. She made her Ironman debut at last year’s Ironman World Championship, running her way from ninth off the bike to second at the finish line. Her 2:56:51 marathon is the current run course record on the Kona course.

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a Center Stage at Kon



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catriona morrison (gbr)


The world has been waiting to see what Dibens can do at the Ironman distance, and we will all find out on October 9. After swimming competitively at Louisiana State University, Dibens got her start in Olympic-distance racing, eventually competing in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics. Dibens finished fourth in the 2007 and 2008 Ironman World Championship 70.3 races, after leading off of the bike in both cases. Dibens finally got her Clearwater victory in 2009, posting the first-ever sub-four hour finish by a female at the half-Ironman distance. Despite the fact that she does not compete regularly in off-road triathlons, Dibens is also the reigning three-time Xterra world champion. Dibens opened her 2010 season with a string of victories, including dominating performances at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, the Wildflower Long Course triathlon and the Rev3 Knoxville Olympic-distance triathlon.

julie julie dibens (gbr)

You may look at Morrison’s 16th-place finish from last year’s Ironman World Championship and scratch your head in confusion as to why she’s on this list. What few knew is that going into that race, Morrison had been battling a leg injury. Take the finish away, and Morrison deserves to be considered a podium contender. Morrison comes from a duathlon background and made her irondistance debut at the Challenge Roth triathlon in 2009. Although the attention of the day went to Wellington’s world record performance, Morrison quietly made history on her own by finishing third and posting the fastest-ever iron-distance debut with a time of 8:48:11. Morrison started the year by defending her Ironman 70.3 St. Croix title and then winning Ironman Lanzarote after spending more than 30 minutes on the side of the road with a broken chain.

Why she could win: Dibens has the strongest swim/bike/run combination in the sport, and this could be the first year in a while we don’t see Wellington starting the run in the lead.

Why she could win: With a background in duathlon, Morrison brings a strong bike/run presence to the race. Potential weakness: The fact that Wellington has called Morrison a potential contender means that Morrison will be racing in the spotlight. She has yet to prove she can perform to those high expectations. ThreaT facTor


Potential weakness: This being her first Ironman race, every step Dibens takes after the 13.1-mile marker will be new territory for her. ThreaT facTor

8 julie dibens: nils nilsen



Photo: Eric Wynn

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Why she could win: McGlone has shown that she knows how to peak at the right time of the year for her goal races. Potential weakness: McGlone cannot swim with the main contenders. She tends to spend most of the bike making up for a slower swim, which makes it difficult to win. ThreaT facTor



Why she could win: Berasategui overcame stomach troubles and cramping en route to her third-place finish last year. That mental toughness can get her far. Potential weakness: She hasn’t had a strong showing so far this year and hasn’t been a consistent performer in Kona. ThreaT facTor

virginia berasategui (esp)

samantha mcglone (can)


McGlone got her start in the sport by representing Canada in ITU World Cup races. While she fared well at the short-course races, finishing in the top 10 on several occasions, McGlone eventually found her way to the longer distance. In 2005, she won Ironman 70.3 California and the Wildflower Long Course triathlon. From there, McGlone shifted her emphasis solely to the half-Ironman distance and peaked with a win at the 2006 Ironman World Championship 70.3 race. McGlone debuted at the Ironman distance in 2007, finishing second at the Ironman World Championship less than six minutes behind Wellington. The podium finish made McGlone a favorite for the 2008 Kona race, but she was forced to pull out of the race at the last minute due to an injury. McGlone spent the first half of 2009 recovering from the same injury. She earned a Kona slot at Ironman Lake Placid and went on to finish fifth in Kona. Convinced she still had more fitness left for the year, McGlone raced Ironman Arizona six weeks after Kona and earned her first Ironman victory while setting the course record.

Despite winning Ironman Lanzarote back in 2004, Berasategui was a virtual unknown until she won the Wildflower Long Course triathlon in 2009 against a tough field of women. Although she had struggled in her 2007 and 2008 attempts at the Ironman World Championship, she broke through last year with a third-place finish. Last year’s podium performance came mostly thanks to a 5:01:41 bike split, which was topped only by Wellington. Although Berasategui has so far this year not had the same success she found in 2009, she has had a few strong finishes highlighted by a victory at the ETU Long Course Championships.


A NEW Q fo U r2 A 01 B 1: IK E!


JUNE 24-26





three hungry women Chrissie Wellington, the three-time women’s Ironman world Carfrae, champion and the world record holder, Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae 2007 Ironman 70.3 world champion and 2009 Kona silver medalist, and Julie Dibens, 2009’s Xterra and Ironman 70.3 world champion, are touted as top contenders for this year’s Kona crown. All three live and train in Boulder, Colo. And all three ’s Holly Bennett for a girls’ night out at Boulder’s joined Triathlete’s north side Arugula Ristorante for an engaging, enlightening and smack-talking summer evening.

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y Photographs by Holly Bennett

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Triathlete: According to many triathlon fans, you three are the top contenders for the Kona crown. What scares each of you about the other two? Julie: Couldn’t you start with something easier? We need to warm up to this! Triathlete: More wine, perhaps? Mirinda: I’m scared Julie’s going to ride 4:30, in among the men. She’ll have an hour on me. Chrissie: I think “scared” is the wrong word. I’m not scared of either of these two. I admire their strengths. Julie’s going to come out of the water in front of both of us. Then she’s a superstar cyclist and that will change the whole dimension of the race. Rinny’s the best runner by far, so she adds that bit of killer strength. Am I scared of those talents? No, but I admire them greatly. Mirinda: I just think it’s going to be exciting. Chrissie’s won the last three years—by a lot—but I certainly think Julie and I can push her and make it more of a race. You want to see competition come down to the line. Chrissie: And it’s not just us three. There are a handful

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of others who can have an incredible race when everything comes together. I think the women’s field is exceptionally strong now, and I really welcome it. That level of competition brings out the best in everybody. Julie: Chrissie’s just getting bored out in front! Triathlete: How do you view each others’ strengths and weaknesses? Mirinda: Julie’s an amazing swimmer and cyclist—I think probably the best cyclist in our sport in the half-Ironman distance. There’s a big question mark over her run, but if she executes and gets her nutrition right on the day, there’s no reason she can’t have a great marathon. I’m not sure just how much time she’ll put into me over the swim and the bike. Julie: An hour! I want an hour. Can I please have an hour? That’s all I’m asking. Mirinda: Chrissie is an athlete who really doesn’t have a weakness. She gets out of the water near the first women, rides to a ridiculous lead and then she can run a marathon. She definitely puts all three

together, and how can you beat that? I do think the rest of the field is catching up slowly—I’m just not sure if it will be enough this year. Chrissie: Rinny and Julie are both so tough. They know how to give it to themselves. I think these two are actually the best all-around triathletes in the world at the moment. Yeah, I’m talented at the Ironman distance, and I can perform at 70.3, but these girls can win from Olympic all the way through to long-course, and that takes a particular talent. It’s a talent I admire, because I don’t necessarily have the short-course speed. Triathlete: What about weaknesses? Mirinda: Don’t be shy! Chrissie: Julie’s relative weakness is the run, and much also depends on how an athlete deals with the pressures of racing in Kona. It’s a huge mental battle, and some people don’t survive. They crack before they even get to the start line. As for Rinny, it’s not fair to say that she’s weak on the bike – it’s just that relatively Julie and I are stronger. I hope to be able to

put enough time into Rinny to withstand any onslaught on the run. Having said that, my running is better now than it was all of last year. Julie: Rinny is stronger on the bike than she was last year, so I know she’ll attack that harder. And I know Chrissie can go a lot faster than she’s gone the last three years. That’s what’s scary for the rest of us. She’s won by a huge margin, yet she’s running faster than she was last year. If any of us are going to put up a fight, we’ll have to execute a perfect race. Triathlete: What advice would you give Dibens, as an ironvirgin? Mirinda: Take it easy during the swim! But honestly, I don’t know. I’m not sure I’m really qualified, having only been there once. Truly I would help you if I knew what to say, Dibs. Chrissie: The best advice I ever heard was to just view it as another race. Don’t get too caught up in your head and with everything that’s going on. Otherwise you get Hawaiiitis. And managing your time is huge—you want to be available as much as possible

for sponsors, the media and the public, but you can’t do everything. Mirinda: I was actually surprised at how much attention even I received last year. I was not expecting that at all. I thrive on the energy and activity, but you need someone there who can draw the line for you. So many times my coach, Siri, had to say, “OK, it’s time to go.” You’ll definitely experience that, Julie—you’re on the radar and people are talking about you. Triathlete: Julie, are you on the hunt to win Kona, to complete your world champion title trifecta? Julie: I can’t even think about winning Kona … yet. I’m sure Rinny had that same feeling last year. I melt down in 70.3s sometimes, so I really don’t know how I’m going to do. Yeah, I’d love to be competitive, and maybe one day I’d like to win, but who knows what will happen? Mostly I just want to survive. I don’t want to wind up in the hospital! Mirinda: Last year I had no idea how I was going to feel in the last part of the marathon—I’d never run that far before.

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Julie: Especially those last few hours. The Abu Dhabi race was seven hours, but in Kona I’ll still have two to go. It will be an entirely different thing. I’ve never run a marathon and I’m petrified. Triathlete: Did it really take numerous tries before you finalized your Kona registration? Julie: Yeah, like four times! Triathlete: Chrissie, if Julie or Rinny had a flat in Kona, would you toss her a CO2 cartridge? Chrissie: The issue for me would be accessibility. I have all that stuff in a little bag, so if it meant stopping my bike to dig for it, then no. But if I had a spare that was easily accessible, yes, I would. Triathlete: What about you two? Julie: If Rinny passes me on the bike, I fear my chance for the win may be over! Mirinda: I’d give it to Julie, sure! I’d be like, “Come on, let’s run a marathon together!” Chrissie, I might not. No, I wouldn’t. Triathlete: Is there a special satisfaction in passing the

male pros during a race? Chrissie: I feel badly when I pass them, actually. I just try to get every single ounce of energy out of myself, and have the best race I possibly can. That invariably means beating some of the guys as well as the girls. I hope we are pushing the men to go that little bit faster, too. Julie: I agree. I find it hard, because you know they don’t want you to pass them. Sure, you’re trying to, but when you do it feels pretty awkward. I never know what to say. But you have to race your own race, no matter what. Chrissie: It’s also great, though, because the boundary between the men and the women is lessening. Mirinda: I think the bottom line is that the Ironman is more suited to women. Triathlete: Do you mean mentally and emotionally, or do you mean physically? Mirinda: Physically. Look at endurance runners—the men’s and women’s times are very similar. When you get to the last couple hours of an Ironman, the guys’ muscle mass isn’t helping them go

any faster. That’s when we start to gain. I think women can better withstand that amount of effort for that duration. What Chrissie is doing is amazing, but I think that’s where we should be racing— that close to the guys, over the Ironman distance. Triathlete: How good are each of you at keeping within your own plan? Chrissie: My plan is to go as hard as I can. The point of training, for me, is to train my body to know what pace I can sustain for nine hours. I won’t necessarily know where Rinny or Julie or any of the others are, but I’ll know what I’ve trained my body to do. Julie: The hard thing for me— which I learned recently racing Rev3 Quassy—is when someone runs as fast as Rinny, I need to have a big lead off the bike if I hope to win. But I can’t leave everything out there; I need to save a run in my legs. I’ll look a bit at what my competitors are doing, but mostly I’ll try to focus on what I know I have in me and what I know I have to do. Mirinda: In Kona last year I remember talking to my coach

and to several people who had raced Ironman before, asking, “How do you actually pace the bike?” I had no idea. When I race an Olympic distance and even a 70.3, I go as hard as I can. Every single second I’m trying to see if I can go any faster. But I do think there’s an intuitive part that says, “OK, this is as fast as I can ride and still run well.” It’s hard to explain, but your body just knows. Triathlete: Do any of you train together? Julie: We all three swim together. Mirinda: Julie and I ride on occasion, but Chrissie and I don’t train together. Triathlete: Boulder is such a small town, though, that you must bump into each other. Do you ever see one of the other girls and think, “Oh no, not her!” Mirinda: Every time I see Julie I think that! Chrissie: I hardly ever see these two when I’m out training. Julie: Yeah, are you actually training at all? Chrissie: No, I’m just sitting eating bon-bons! I think the issue really is that we all have different strengths and weaknesses, and therefore different training programs. If one of us trained with the other, we might be compromising what we need in that session, and none of us is prepared to compromise our training. Mirinda: I distinctly remember one time last year passing Julie on a ride. She was going easy and I was time-trialing. I passed her and said some-

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thing teasing like, “What’s up, bitches!” as I went flying by. A second later I heard her on my wheel. She simply wouldn’t have it. (Julie giggles.) Chrissie: We’re all super competitive, and if one is having a good day and the other is having a crap day, it’s just that much worse. In terms of sanity and friendship I think most of the time it’s better not to train together. Julie: Well that’s what Ironman racing is like anyways, isn’t it? You’re out there all alone. May as well get used to it. Triathlete: If you could gain one quality that the others possess, what would it be? Chrissie: Julie can play Scrabble really well! Much better than me and I hate to admit it. She’s a Scrabble diva. Julie: I just cheat. I make up words. But in terms of athletic talent, I definitely wouldn’t want Chrissie’s descending skills! Chrissie: Uh, yeah. If you’ve noticed, all the courses I ride lack significantly technical descents—aside from Alpe D’Huez when I catapulted over the crash barrier on a hairpin bend. Triathlete: Chrissie and Rinny, you’re both in serious relationships as of the past year—and both with men who are also pro triathletes. How is training and racing different now? Chrissie: It was a huge step for me. I hadn’t been in a relationship for a long time, or ever lived with a partner. But it’s working really well. No. 1, because Tom brings out the CONTINUED ON PAGE 194



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B Y TJ M U R P H Y A N D B E T H A N Y L E A C H M AV I S P H O T O G R A P H S B Y J O N D AV I S Food Styling by Marah Abel, Retouching by Karey Rinkenberger & Dennis Dunbar

November 2010 | TRIATHLETE.COM


THE MISTAKE: Since I’m a triathlete I can eat whatever I want. PROBLEM: You are what you eat. If your diet is made up of processed foods and junk snacks, you are forfeiting top health and top performance.

T H E REPA IR: Shift the bulk of your diet away from processed foods and instead eat whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruit. If you eat mostly processed food, you’re going to feel like garbage for a reason: You’re stressing out your body. The old school thinking is that endurance athletes will burn off anything and everything they throw in the tank. Guess what? You can run all your life and still flood your arteries with cholesterol. And if your diet is a parade of processed foods, from white rice and white pasta to frozen pizzas and Captain Crunch, you’re paying for it with your health and how good you feel. And if you’re not so worried about your health, just your performance, think of it in terms of your PR. A junky diet impairs energy levels, undercuts recovery and ultimately reduces the training effect you work so hard to achieve. “You get very little return from processed foods,” says Brendan Brazier, former professional triathlete and author of Thrive Fitness. “I call processed foods ‘low net gain’ foods. Your digestive system has to spend energy for little gain in terms of nutrients, putting you in a negative energy state. When you eat foods with high nutrient density, you’re making a return on your investment.”

The Five No B.S. Principles of Weight Loss By Rebecca Marks Rudy, MS

Principle No. 1: Eat More, Weigh Less Counterintuitive perhaps, but this strategy is reliable for weight loss. It all comes down to frequency and timing. Many athletes looking to lean down don’t want to “sabotage” a solid workout by immediately consuming a lot of calories. However, by not responding to an increased appetite—particularly early on—you run the risk of chasing hunger all day. Chances are you’ll cave

to cravings and overeat later. Better to invest in a hearty bowl of oatmeal, with milk or protein powder, sliced bananas and chopped walnuts than to fall prey to the pastry platter at your office meeting. And eat frequently. There is a difference between grazing mindlessly on empty calories and planning a balanced snack of combined nutrients. Avoid plowing through a whole bag of chips come late afternoon by preparing a half turkey sandwich on wheat with hummus and tomato.

Bottom line: Eat when you’re hungry so you won’t overeat when you’re famished. Principle #2 on page 146 >>


TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

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THE MISTAKE: I eat and drink the bare minimum during my training to teach my body how to burn fat. PROBLEM: You have it backwards. You’re actually enabling increased fat storage.

T H E R E PA I R : Not fueling your body with enough calories leads to a negative state of energy, says Matt Dixon, coach to top pros such as Chris Lieto and Linsey Corbin. “It puts the body in a starvation state, adding to the physiological stress or metabolic stress to your body, and it provides urges or desires for you to eat lots of carbs later in the day.” Dixon adds that these carbs are more likely to be stored as fat. One of the worst mistakes you can make is skipping breakfast. According to Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, blowing past breakfast will trash your day. “Even though some people skip breakfast in hopes of cutting down calories, missing the first meal of the day propels them into overeating later on,” he says. Barnard also notes that research shows remarkable reductions in stress hormone production when you eat breakfast. Choose a breakfast that is high in fiber and complex carbohydrates—like oatmeal—and low in saturated fat— unlike bacon and eggs.

Principle No. 2: Slow and Steady Wins Triathletes are an eager breed: We want to do something right and right now. But weight loss is best accomplished moderately. Creating a deficit of even 250 to 500 calories per day can yield a comfortable loss of approximately one-half to one pound per week. Over five to 10 weeks (preferably off-season) this is substantial. Sure, you can sweat out five pounds on a run—so why wait for more than a month? Because it’s about effecting long-term improvement in your body composition.

Where, then, are the expendable 250 calories? Focus on evening hours, when you’re less likely to be active. Nixing a six-ounce glass of wine conserves about 150 calories and an eight-ounce portion of lean red meat downsized to six saves another 100 calories. Filling up on an apple or a half-cup of soybeans versus cheese and crackers as an appetizer can be substantial; let’s just say one little ounce of regular cheese—the size of a golf-ball—is alone worth 100 calories!

Bottom line: Approach weight loss as an Ironman, not a sprint. Principle #3 on page 148 >>


TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

THE MISTAKE: After a long hard workout on a hot day, I like to refuel with an ice-cold beer and a fast-food burger. PROBLEM: You’ve just sabotaged a critically timed meal. T H E REPA IR: “The whole effectiveness of any athlete’s training is essentially governed by how effective or how well they recover,” says Matt Dixon. “Part of recovery from a workout is everything else you do—rest for example—but an essential part that’s often ignored is nutrition. Without proper nutrition, it’s impossible for the athlete to recover adequately.” Dixon believes in a daily diet loaded with fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, salads with lots of olive oil, avocados and fish. “Lean fish is very good,” he says. He makes sure to differentiate between what he calls “fueling,” which is what you take into your body during and immediately following exercise to replace your glycogen stores, and what he calls “nutrition,” which is the rest of the day when you need to consume those nutrient-rich foods. “In order for you to replenish that glycogen and be ready for your next session, you have to get carbohydrates into your body very, very quickly. And that’s when people make one of the big mistakes,” he says. “Most people don’t think about replacing those building blocks—things that help with rebuilding the muscle and keeping the immune system strong—until later in the day. That’s when they get in their nutrients, lots of fruits and vegetables, vitamins, minerals and protein.”

Principle No. 3: Have Chocolate Or whatever your indulgence may be. It’s important to keep your favorite foods in your nutrition program so that you don’t feel you are dieting. The word diet conjures up notions of rapid, short-term cycles that likely end in failure. Steamed broccoli and boiled chicken

THE MISTAKE: Without coffee I’d die. PROBLEM: Overdoing the coffee leads to stress, poor sleep, more stress, fatigue, digestive problems, depression and interferes with our body’s ability to tone up and burn fat. T H E REPA IR: Minimize or eliminate coffee from your diet, replacing it with herbal tea or decaf green tea. “If you wake up tired and the first thing you do is satisfy a craving for coffee and sugar, you have to understand that you pay eventually,” Brazier says. “Coffee stimulates your adrenals, and when your adrenals are fatigued, the stress hormone cortisol shoots up. When cortisol levels rise, it’s hard to tone muscle and lose body fat.” He adds that caffeine has a negative effect on mental clarity and moods. Plus, coffee—whether caffeinated or decaf—is highly acidic and triggers the creation of fat cells to keep the acid away from organs. Too much coffee also diminishes the quality of sleep, which costs you on your recovery and overall sense of well-being.

might skinny you up—for about three days! Modification, on the other hand, enables you to alter your nutrition, leaving room for your priorities. Need some M&M’s? Try the fun size, not the king size.

Bottom line: Deprivation is a hurdle to dieting success. Principle #4 on page 150 >>


TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

THE MISTAKE: I drink cola throughout the day, but it’s diet cola. PROBLEM: Sugar or fake sugar, too much soda wreaks havoc on your health, and dark colas weaken your bones. T H E REPA IR: Slash your soda intake. Dr. Jordan Metzl has grown alarmed at the number of people who have moved away from dairy products by switching to carbonated beverages, losing out on necessary intake of calcium and vitamin D. “Triathletes need to get enough dairy in their diets,” he says. “People worry about dairy allergies, but dairy’s good for you… There’s something in the caramelization of the dark sodas that depletes the mineral content [in your bones],” says Metzl. “If you have just one Diet Coke a day, it’s OK, but if you have multiple per day, it’s not good.”

THE MISTAKE: When it comes to hydration, I only drink water because I don’t want the extra calories of electrolyte drinks. PROBLEM: You’re not optimizing your hydration. T H E REPA IR: Talk to Cassidy Phillips, Trigger Point Therapy’s maverick biomechanist who has worked wonders with a number of elite triathletes. “Most of us are living a life of dehydration,” he says. “When you’re dehydrated and low on electrolytes, you lose elasticity in the muscle tissue. Water is to the body like oil is to the engine in a car. When you run out of oil, it no longer moves like it did.” Cassidy advises using electrolyte drinks or adding electrolyte tabs to your water so that your body will hydrate more effectively. Simply guzzling huge quantities of water can actually flush the system and cause lowered electrolyte levels, which can in fact lead to the especially dangerous state known as hyponatremia. “When it’s late morning and you feel tired, your body doesn’t need coffee,” Phillips adds. “It needs water and electrolytes.”

Principle No. 4: Numbers Don’t Lie Be accountable to yourself by tracking your intake. Know how many calories you require and how much energy you expend. Lay out your general food plan—as you would your training goals—for the week. Then track your progress and modify your choices as you go. Ate the bagel egg-white sandwich at breakfast because the deli ran out of English muffins? Switch out the pretzels from your morning snack to 10 to 15 almonds. No dairy yet in the day?

Add a Greek-style yogurt with berries to lunch. Depending on your logging method, you can track calories, energy balance, vitamin and mineral levels, and macronutrient composition. Options abound for food journaling (ranging from free to small monthly fees): Training Peaks, The Daily Plate, My Food Diary to name a few.

Bottom line: Track your nutrition on your computer, phone, notebook or—when desperate—a napkin. Principle #5 on page 152 >>


TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

the mistake: I like to trust my body’s cravings when it comes to choosing what I eat. Problem: If you’re craving cookies and donuts, you’re doing something wrong. T h e Repa IR: Cravings that lead you to make bad decisions should be considered red flags being waved frantically by your body. In his book, Breaking the Food Seduction, Dr. Neal Barnard demonstrates how chemicals within certain foods (such as chocolate, coffee and cheese) affect the pleasure center of your brain and leave a memory in place in the same way that an opiate like heroin does. The mechanism was key to survival “when food choices were more limited. It did not have a particularly challenging job.” In the age of super abundance in which you can buy anything you want just about any time of the day, the cycle of cravings—or even addiction— can become a path to poor health and obesity. Barnard makes the case that “addiction” is the proper term. Consider his take on cheese: “Like beer or cigarettes, cheese’s taste can even be a bit off-putting at first. Its real lure may be hidden in its mother lode of opiates, dozens of them, whose effects have been surprising scientists in recent years. The smell and taste are secondary.” If junk food cravings are tripping you up on a path to being healthy, commit to avoiding those foods for at least three weeks. Barnard advocates making the break by eating a good breakfast, keeping your blood sugar up with continuous smart, clean eating. When it comes to food cravings, Coach Dixon makes sure his athletes stick to his rule of “wrapping your workouts in carbohydrates,” to ensure they avoid cravings. “Wrapping your workouts— during and after—with carbohydrates,” Dixon says, “allows you to make smart decisions with your eating the rest of the day.”

Principle No. 5: Eat and Run Forget table manners: It’s OK to eat on the go. In fact, it’s imperative for long training sessions (90-plus minutes). Don’t resist taking in fuel prior to and during exercise so you can hoard your calorie budget for later in the day. You’ll compromise performance and set yourself up for over-consuming after the

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workout. We all know how it feels to bonk, then come home to an all-day “recovery” buffet. It’s better to take in 200 to 300 calories per hour of exercise so your effort will be more efficient and your appetite better controlled.

Bottom line: Active muscles require proactive fueling.

the mistake: I rarely plan, shop for and cook my own meals. I just don’t have time. Problem: Our society is a minefield of poor food options. You’re a triathlete, you train and you get hungry. Desperation for food can prompt a ragged diet. T h e RepaiR: No excuses: Develop a strategy so you’re not dependent on fast food cravings. Lauren Antonucci is a registered dietician and board-certified nutritionist who counsels New York City triathletes on their diets. “New Yorkers are always doing a million things at once,” she says. One of her key pieces of advice is to get control of a diet by taking charge of planning and preparing your own food. “When someone says they don’t have the time, I ask them to log how much time they spend running around when they’re hungry trying to get decent food. Generally it’s the same amount of time you’d need to prepare you own food in advance.” Antonucci says that the benefits are powerful: You eat better and experience less stress in doing so.

the mistake: When I get close to a big race I like to diet hard so I can burn myself down to a minimal weight. Problem: This practice wrecks your immune system. The RepaiR: “When you’re losing weight, you’re potentially putting yourself in a situation where you could be more susceptible to getting sick,” says Rebecca Marks Rudy, a nutritionist with “So this two-fold stress on the body means you might not be taking in all the nutrients you need.” Colds, illness and overtraining systems can manifest. Be careful to replace all of your calories with nutrient-dense foods, and back things up with the insurance of mild-to-moderate supplementation before and immediately after a race. “Particularly for that window of 24 to 72 hours or so after an event, focus on a higher dose supplementation program.” For vitamin C, Rudy says you should consider doubling or tripling the daily recommendation of 60mg, or taking a multivitamin. Vitamin C-rich foods she recommends: any kind of citrus, guava, kiwi, papaya and strawberry, in addition to vegetables such as red peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and even potatoes.

Rebecca Marks Rudy is a New Jersey-based sports nutritionist with, where she helps new

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athletes looking to lose weight through their nutrition and coaching program Tri2Lose.






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YOUR PERFECT MATCH Choosing the Right Ride for You

You’re ready to purchase your first bike or perhaps replace your old one and the question is: What do I buy? A road bike? A tri bike? Carbon or aluminum? There’s no easy answer, but these nine reviews can help push you in the right direction. And to make it even easier, we divided the nine bikes into three categories: aluminum road bikes, aluminum tri bikes and carbon tri bikes—all priced less than $3,300. By Aaron Hersh // Photographs by Nils Nilsen 156


CHOOSE A ROAD BIKE IF… want an all-purpose machine. Road bikes climb, corner and descend better than triathlon bikes. Riding in a typical road position, which is usually more upright than a tri position, improves a bike’s ride characteristics because it balances the rider’s weight more evenly between the wheels, but improved balance and comfort come with a price. Road bikes are slower in a straight-line drag race than triathlon bikes because this upright position is less aerodynamic than a low, tucked triathlon-specific position. This dramatically affects triathlon performance because wind resistance creates most of the drag on the rider. If you’re going to own just one bike, a road bike provides better all-around usability than a tri bike but won’t increase your speed on race day.

Argon 18 Plutonium 105, $2,000 The Plutonium is a pure road machine. Its long reach and short stack give it the stable ride characteristics of a traditional road bike, and its braking and shifting performance outdoes or equals the other two road bikes in this review, thanks to its first-rate parts kit. Instead of skimping on components that new cyclists might overlook—such as tires, brakes and chain—Argon 18 built the Plutonium with a complete Shimano 105 kit, sturdy Shimano wheels and the grippy Michelin Pro3 Race tires. The geometry and component kit give the Plutonium flawless road bike functionality, but its road-specific geometry makes it difficult to convert to a tri bike for race day.

RIDE IT IF: you want a thoroughbred road bike. KEEP LOOKING IF: you want to put aerobars on your road bike.


RIDE IT IF: you want one bike for road and tri.

Specialized Secteur Elite Compact, $1,400

KEEP LOOKING IF: you want high-end components.

The Secteur’s geometry is perfect for double duty as both a road bike and a triathlon bike. Its short reach and tall stack create a conservative road position and eliminate many of the potential fit problems created by converting a road bike into a tri bike. It has a traditional shallow seat tube angle, which can make lowering down into the aerobars uncomfortable, but its tall stack mitigates that problem. The shallow seat tube can also make it difficult to reach clip-on aerobars on a traditional road bike, but the Secteur’s short reach takes care of that problem as well. It doesn’t have the same component firepower as the Plutonium or the Defy, but the Secteur’s geometry makes it the best dual purpose bike in this test.

Giant Defy 1, $1,300

RIDE IT IF: you want the best road bike that can still accommodate aerobars. KEEP LOOKING IF: you want a road bike with a short reach.

The Defy sets the standard for entry-level road bike performance and value. Its geometry is a hybrid of the Secteur (tall stack) and the Plutonium (long reach), which creates a traditional road position that is comfortable for many riders. Its Shimano 105 shifters and drivetrain snap off shifts without hesitation but the down-spec’d brakes aren’t quite as assertive as the Shimano calipers found on the Plutonium. The Defy frame, however, provides unmatched performance at this price point. It is the stiffest in this test and also matches the Plutonium’s cornering balance. The tall head tube provides a comfortable triathlon position when ridden with a pair of clip-on aerobars. The Defy deftly combines road position, tri position and component functionality, and still saves room in the budget for race entry fees.


Fuji Aloha 1.0, $2,400 The Fuji Aloha handles as well as any triathlon bike at any price point. It predictably sticks to a straight course, even when reaching for bottles, and nimbly zips through tight corners. The rigid aluminum frame prevents the bike from twisting and swaying under an all-out sprint, but that same rigidity also transmits vibration from rough asphalt straight to the rider. Its tube shape gives the Aloha 1.0 the look of a high-end tri bike, and it lives up to that expectation on the road. Price is the only issue. At $2,400, the Aloha 1.0 is only $400 less than two of the carbon bikes tested in this review and about 35 percent costlier than many aluminum bikes.

RIDE IT IF: you want the best ride possible from your tri bike. KEEP LOOKING IF: the price is too high for an aluminum bike.

Quintana Roo Chicqilo, $1,599 The Chicqiloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tube shapes were redesigned to maximize aerodynamics, and the newest iteration of this QR ride is nimble and zippy. Its handling is so quick, however, that it can occasionally feel twitchy at slow speeds. The frame geometry and femalespecific components made for an exceptionally comfortable experience for our tester, who felt equally at ease stretched out in aero position and seated upright. Its true tri geometry will fit most women looking for a dedicated aero position. Made of lightweight AN6 alloy aluminum, the frame favors quick power transfer, but not at the cost of comfort. During fast accelerations and downhill maneuvering, the Chicqilo felt grounded yet buoyant.


RIDE IT IF: you demand a ride thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s as comfortable as it is aero. KEEP LOOKING IF: you prefer stable rather than quick handling characteristics.

Jamis Comet, $1,775 The Comet is built with the Windshield fork—the same one that comes on Jamis’ carbon tri bikes— which wraps around the front brake to shelter it from the wind. The rear caliper is also shielded from the wind and mounts behind the bottom bracket. The Comet boasts the same brake placement as Jamis’ top-end bikes but the housing swoops out into untouched air on the Comet. It is spec’d with sensible wheels, chain, brakes and saddle to keep the price low, and it still shifts and brakes effectively. The Comet’s handling is incredibly stable, but it felt sluggish through quick and tight turns during testing. Aluminum frames have the reputation for transmitting road vibration straight to the rider, but the Comet is able to dampen road vibration more effectively than most other aluminum tri bikes.

CHOOSE AN ALUMINUM TRI BIKE IF… …you want to ride fast without the frills. Two things determine triathletes’ performance in the bike leg: their fitness and their aerodynamic drag. These aluminum bikes may not be able to match their carbon counterparts in the wind tunnel, but the bike only contributes about 20 percent of the rider’s total wind resistance—the rest comes from the cyclist’s body. A budget-sensitive tri bike can put a rider in the same drag-reducing, tri-specific position as more expensive models. This balance between rider and bike aerodynamics means that techie upgrades are far less important than finding a comfortable and aerodynamic position.

RIDE IT IF: you want tricked-out brakes. KEEP LOOKING IF: slow handling bores you.



Orbea Ordu TLT, $3,299

…you want a high-performance frame without the high-performance price tag. Take a $6,000-plus tri bike that’s on the bleeding edge of bike technology, replace the top-shelf components with mid- or entry-level parts and scrap the flashiest frame design features that provide only the last little bit of aerodynamic performance and you have a sub-$3,300 carbon tri bike. These bikes might lack the intricate aero details found on flagship models that cost twice as much, but they offer the most important features—fit, ride quality and good aerodynamic performance—without up charging for gadgets that offer diminishing returns for the cost. The bikes in this category are at the pinnacle of the “performance vs. value” equation.

The Ordu TLT was the most enjoyable to ride of all the bikes in this test. Its front end and bottom bracket provided unmatched rigidity, and both assets help it rocket through and out of corners. In addition to its great ride quality, the Ordu TLT has the best component group in the category. The Cervélo P2 and Felt B14 are both built with mixed component kits but the TLT has a full Ultegra group set, which is a rare luxury at this price point. All three bikes shifted excellently, but the TLT’s Ultegra crank set and brake calipers give it crisp front shifting and braking performance usually reserved for higher priced rides. These outstanding parts drive the price $500 higher than the Cervélo and the Felt, however. If you ride a slightly slack seat tube angle, the Ordu TLT is an ideal option but it cannot accommodate seat tube angles greater than 78 degrees without a seat post that has a radical forward bend.

RIDE IT IF: ride quality and component performance are your priorities. KEEP LOOKING IF: you want to ride steep.


RIDE IT IF: flashy components and true tri geometry are your style. KEEP LOOKING IF: sharp shifts are your first priority.

Felt B14, $2,799 The Felt B14 nails every important characteristic of a triathlon bike and adds stylish components without out-pricing the competition. The frame was designed first and foremost for aerodynamics and rider comfort, and it boasts posh components that make heads turn. The B14 is built with Shimano Dura-Ace derailleurs, the Vision TriMax Pro aero crankset and Felt’s outstanding Devox aerobar. The B14’s only weak point is its shifters. Felt uses generic levers rather than the Shimano Dura-Ace option, which is found on nearly every bike at this price point, and these downgraded levers cannot match the crisp shift quality of the Shimano shifters. The B14 feels slightly stiffer underfoot than the P2 but the two bikes have very similar steering characteristics and nearly identical geometries. The P2 has gotten more glory and attention, but Felt’s B14 is every bit its peer.

Cervélo P2, $2,800

RIDE IT IF: you want the best speed-perdollar value. KEEP LOOKING IF: you value ride quality more than speed.

The Cervélo P2 is perhaps the most lusted after triathlon bike, and its popularity may have cost it some of its sex appeal, but it has been so successful for good reasons. Other bike manufacturers have emulated Cervélo’s pioneering tri bike designs but, thanks to the P2’s refined aerodynamic tubing, tri-specific geometry, stable handling and no-frills/high-function parts kit, it is still bulletproof at this price point. It isn’t the stiffest frame we tested, but every other aspect of the P2 ride experience is transcendent. I could hardly tell the difference between this bike and the P3 I have ridden for years.


Work OutO How to Approach the Off-Season When the race season begins to wind down, â&#x20AC;&#x153;work out or work lessâ&#x20AC;? is the mantra of most triathletes. The work out folks clench their jaws, hit the gym, sign up for a few winter events and immediately begin re-building their bodies for the rigors of the next race season. Meanwhile, the work less folks toss the bike in the garage, sign up for a winter bowling league and go in search of the nearest holiday cookie platter. Each option has its merits, and this article will teach you exactly how to implement elements of fitness and recovery in your off-season plan.

By Ben Greenfield


TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

Work Less R




he Work Less approach has several advantages. With reduced joint loading and impact, cartilage and soft tissue is given the opportunity to repair, which is especially advantageous if an athlete has been fighting an injury during the season. With the taper in training volume comes increased sleeping hours and time for family and other hobbies. The decreased triathlon focus also allows for a fresh mental outlook and renewed training passion when the next season arrives. However, with these advantages comes a reduced oxygen capacity, reduced tolerance for lactic acid,

Understanding the Off-Season Approach Structured Diet

weight gain, muscle atrophy and conversion from endurance slow twitch muscle fibers to easily fatigued fast twitch fibers. In contrast, the Work Out approach allows an athlete to intensively focus on limitations in technique or fitness, develop weak muscle regions, build areas of the body that were prone to injury during the race season, lose weight and have superior race preparation for early season triathlons. But these advantages come at the risk of mental burnout, overtraining and injury, and reduced time for non-triathlon-related activities. Follow this chart to understand the differences between the two approaches to the off-season:


Recreational Sports

Training YES




Typical Recovery

(massage, yoga, etc.)

Sleeping In

Only With Extreme Caution

Triathlon Training Consistent


11 12 1 2 10 9 3 8 4 7 6 5

11 12 1 2 10 9 3 8 4 7 6 5




Mental Focus Triathlon improvement focus


TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

Rest or focus on alternate hobbies


How to Choose Your Approach An ideal off-season combines periods of both approaches. The first step in organizing your off-season is to determine the optimum length of each period. Evaluate the four criteria at right and give yourself a score of one to three based on your evaluation. Add up your scores and use the total to determine the number of post-race season weeks to be spent in the Work Less period. For example: For an athlete who is uninjured, finished the race season in October and has a December race, only a one- to three-week Work Less period would be used. The same period length would apply to an athlete who has a spring iron-distance triathlon but low current levels of fitness. Meanwhile, an athlete who is injured, coming off a high-volume training season and has no winter races would take a six- to 12-week Work Less period.

Injury StatuS




yes, early winter


Light Injury


yes, late winter


Serious Injury



WeekLy race SeaSon traInIng voLume

current fItneSS LeveL


5 to 10 Hours




10 to 15 Hours




16+ Hours



+1 Healthy inter Race +1 Early Wours of training +2 10-15 h ness Level +1 Low Fit


Do you Have a HIgH PrIorIty WInter race?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Work LeSSâ&#x20AC;? off-SeaSon LengtH


1-3 Weeks


3-6 Weeks


6-12 Weeks


Weekly Structure

Once you decide how long you will spend in the appropriate period, the calendar below will help you design a weekly structure for both off-season approaches.

December 2010 Sunday







“Work Out” Week Nutrition Consistent nutrition supplementation, rare junk food or fast food, small desserts once or twice per week, alcoholic drinks once or twice per week, calorie counting (even on holidays).



Bike skills weights


Bike/run endurance or cross-training


YOGA 5:30 PM

Fat burn


swim skills


Basketball, indoor soccer, tennis or snow sports with Ron



Poker night @ Rick’s


YOGA 6:30 PM

19 FREE 20 DAY!!









Fat burn & swim drills

16 Snowshoeing with Ron Stacie









6 AM

5:30 PM





Bobby’s B-Day!

Weights and/ or cross-training

Weights, oss cr -training Get to the GYM!


“Work Less” Week Nutrition No calorie counting, occasional cheat meals, dessert ok, moderate alcohol intake (more likely during the holidays), fewer dietary supplements for sports performance.

As you can see from the sample “Work Out” weeks, there are specific skills on which to focus during this period of the off-season, which are outlined below.

Swimming “Work Out” Focus:

Cycling “Work Out” Focus:

Running “Work Out” Focus:

Skills and Drills: Include swim technique, hip rotation, balance and stroke length drills, and biomechanical video analysis. Perform some sets using paddles, fins and elastic resistance bands.

Skills and Drills: Include unilateral pedaling drills and superfast cadence spins. Also, be sure to get in some super slow cadence spins, steep hill climbs, mountain biking and fixedgear cycling.

Skills and Drills: Include running track and field drills and a gait video analysis. Incorporate weighted vests, steep, slow hills and elastic band resistance exercises.


TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

Endurance workouts for cycling and running should primarily focus on aerobic development, while cross-training should include primarily aerobic exercises such as cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, ice skating, mountain biking, hiking and rowing. Generally, swimming endurance can be developed during longer drill and technique sets, rather than including a weekly long, slow endurance set. The ultimate off-season approach requires the athlete to make an educated decision about the ideal length of time spent in the recovery phase, followed by a structured plan to overcome limitations and develop specific fitness during the Work Out phase. Each athlete is unique, but by using the charts and guidelines in this article, a fresh mental outlook and physical preparation for the next race season can be efficiently achieved.


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November 2010 | 169 7/8/10 11:51 AM

SEEING PURPLE Meredith Kessler was an average age-grouper churning out Ironman finishes when she joined up with Purplepatch Fitness coach Matt Dixon. Now she’s a force among the pro women with her first Ironman win at the 2010 Ironman Canada and a pair of second-place finishes at this year’s Ironman St. George and Ironman Coeur d’Alene. And she’s just getting warmed up. BY MATT FITZGERALD | PHOTOGRAPHS BY LARRY ROSA


TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

purple patch : noun; A period of excellent performance, when everything seems to go right, work properly and is in perfect balance. Everything seems to fall into place and flows, making it seem like you can do nothing wrong.

It took Meredith Kessler a long time—more than seven years—to find a purple patch in triathlon.

She found it soon after she began working with coach Matt Dixon in 2007, and since then the 32-year-old San Francisco resident has made up for lost time, riding that purple patch from her past status as a solid but unexceptional age-group Ironman racer to her current status as a top-tier pro whose first Ironman victory seemed all but inevitable. For those uninitiated in the ways of the purple patch, Dixon explains on his website that a purple patch is “a period of excellent performance, when everything seems to go right, work properly and is in perfect balance. Everything seems to fall into place and flows, making it seem like you can do nothing wrong.” Kessler’s rise is all the more impressive when you consider that she fits her training around a full-time-plus job at the Royal Bank of Canada (not to mention a robust urban social

life that she enjoys with her high school sweetheart-now-husband Aaron). But she can’t help but wonder: If she took a chance and let that salaried position go, might her purple patch become even … purpler? Dixon’s aptly named training philosophy stands apart from the conventional approach to the sport. “The lens through which most people gain validation of their training is how tired they can make themselves,” says the British expatriate, whose own professional racing career was ruined by overtraining. In contrast to this approach, Dixon tries to keep his athletes feeling good by balancing hard work, which makes them feel fit, with plenty of recovery, which keeps them feeling fresh. “A purple patch is really a feeling of vibrancy, or flow,” he says. “I think you can do extraordinary things when you’re in a place of vibrancy.” Dixon’s training system requires that athletes do what feels good, which in turn requires that they pay close attention to how they feel. But it’s not all touchy-feely. Finding a purple patch also demands an understanding of, and obedience to, certain rules. For example, you won’t feel strong on the bike in races if you neglect bike training simply because you don’t feel like riding much—that’s a rule. In her first seven years as a triathlete, Kessler didn’t really know the rules of training. When she started working with Dixon, she got a crash course that quickly transformed her as a racer. “I started winning my age group,” says Kessler, who was previously a perennial top-10 age-group finisher but never a Kona qualifier. “I went through a year where I was fortunate enough to win my age group in every race.” That was 2008.

“Then it went to winning overall female.” That was 2009. In November 2009, Kessler made her pro debut at Ironman Arizona, finishing seventh. Her upward arc continued this year with second-place finishes at Ironman St. George and Ironman Coeur d’Alene, followed by a victory at Ironman Canada. As they say, knowledge is power. But while Kessler only recently acquired the respect for the rules that are needed for a purple patch, she has always known how to go by feel. She was a four-sport athlete in high school in Columbus, Ohio. One of those sports was swimming. None was running. And yet, says the self-described Energizer Bunny, “I would get up and run eight miles before school. It was just thinking time for me.” And the run provided her with quiet time to plan individual moments in her day. Later, at Syracuse University, where Kessler was a scholarship field hockey player, she swam two hours a day on her own, because, she says, “I loved to swim. Even though it wasn’t required for field hockey, I still enjoyed doing it on the side as I think it helped to keep my body stretched and relaxed.” It felt right. Shortly after graduating from college Kessler bought a bike. Two weeks after that, having ridden no longer than 40 minutes at a time, she completed an iron-distance triathlon in Delaware, Ohio. Despite suffering extravagantly in that race, Kessler caught the Ironman bug, so much so that she completed nearly 20 more Ironmans over the next several years, fitting her training around a hectic job at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Half Moon Bay, Calif. She trained completely by feel. “I would wake up and say to myself, ‘Hmm, what do I feel like doing today?’” she recalls. “‘I think I’ll run 10 miles and swim 5K.’ Or, ‘I think I’ll swim 6K and bike an hour.’” In 2006, Kessler’s trusty intuitions led her to shift her life balance from career to hobby. She quit her job at the Ritz-Carlton and took a more manageable position at the Royal Bank of Canada. And she decided to get serious about triathlon. Her first step was to join Velo SF, a San Francisco endurance training facility of which Dixon was then part owner. He’ll never forget his first impression of her. “She walked into Velo with this old Quintana Roo from the ’80s and she said, ‘I want to be good,’” Dixon says. Kessler had then just finished another Ironman with her usual middling time. “Was that your first Ironman?” Dixon asked. “No, it was my 18th,” she said. Oh, mercy, Dixon thought. He soon changed his mind about her. In her first ride with him, Kessler managed to stay on the coach’s wheel, despite, he says, not knowing how to ride a bike. “I just thought, ‘This girl’s an athlete,’” he says. “She had the spirit, she had the fire, but she also had the poise.” Dixon completely overhauled Kessler’s training. Her slow and infrequent outdoor rides gave way to intense and frequent indoor rides at Velo SF, usually four per week, two of which she performs as a class instructor. Hard interval November 2010 |


In her first seven years as a triathlete, Kessler didn’t really know the rules of training. When she started working with Dixon, she got a crash course that quickly transformed her as a racer.”

runs and lots of short, quick runs off the bike replaced her easy, aimless jogs. A functional strength program was added to her routine. In a word, Kessler trains much harder now than she did on her own. But she doesn’t train more. “I think the tendency for a lot of coaches would be to look at Meredith’s situation and say, ‘OK, she’s got 17 hours a week to train,’ and give her 17 hours,” Dixon says. “But we look at her situation and say, ‘She’s got 17 hours a week, but we’re going to give her 14 and use the other three as additional recovery and downtime that she needs to stay healthy.’” Kessler doesn’t train after noon on Fridays so she can relax and hang out with her husband in the evening. She does no training before noon on Sundays so she can sleep in and rejuvenate her body. The result of this balanced approach is that Kessler feels consistently good and happy and continues to improve. “I can drop in an Ironman at any time of the year if I want to,” she says. “I’m even-keeled the whole year.” Indeed, why rest up for a race when you’re ready to bust one out any given Sunday? Still, she recognizes that her overburdened schedule necessitates certain compromises that may hold her back as an athlete. “If I didn’t have a job, I would ride outdoors more than once every other week,” she says. “I would do Masters swims

instead of just swimming laps on my own. I would get a massage. I would stretch. I would get more sleep. I would focus more on nutrition.” Kessler could afford to quit her day job. So why doesn’t she? “I’m kind of nervous to quit my job,” she says. “Every-

People always ask me, ‘How do you do it?’ But I actually think it’s because I have a job that I can do it. I’m so structured.” thing is so perfect. People always ask me, ‘How do you do it?’ But I actually think it’s because I have a job that I can do it. I’m so structured. I train a little in the morning. I work all day. I train a little at night. I go to dinner. I go home and work three more hours.” Kessler fears that having more time to train might seduce her into training too much and is reassured by her choice to balance both. “It really is a happy cycle that I genuinely enjoy,” she says. “Sure, things can get hectic at times but it’s important just to keep calm and carry on as things always end up coming together. Hard work makes the dream work in all capacities of life.” Her coach hopes she gets over that fear. “She has tremendous potential,” Dixon says. “I think she could win many, many Ironman races. If her life evolved to free her up a bit and give her a little more capacity, I think she could be a factor even in Hawaii.” But there’s another reason Kessler keeps trying to do it all: to prove that she can—that anyone can. “A lot of people think they can’t do this sport and have a life, and that’s simply not true,” she says. “My training does not affect my husband in the slightest. I never miss a birthday party or a girls’ dinner. And I never miss an episode of ‘The Bachelorette.’” Sounds pretty purple.

*** What do you think? Should Meredith Kessler keep her day job or make a full-time commitment to triathlon? Log onto Triathlon. and vote!

November 2010 |




American Andy Potts will return to Kona with hopes of improving upon his ninth-place finish at last year’s Ironman World Championship. PHOTOGRAPH BY JOHN SEGESTA

November 2010 | TRIATHLETE.COM



NutritioN Q & A

Manage pain With your Diet Q:

Recently I’ve tried to step up the intensity of my training but I’m finding I am really sore for a couple of days after these harder sessions. Do you have any nutrition advice to help prevent me from becoming so sore after training (aside from getting enough carbohydrates and protein)?

by pip taylor | November 2010

than just general soreness. This is where dietary antioxidants are crucial because they act to support those produced endogenously and may be key in helping to reduce the severity of muscle soreness and damage. Rich sources of dietary antioxidants are foods such as fruits (especially cherries, berries, citrus, grapes), vegetables (think herbs, leafy greens and lots of color), nuts and seeds, and red wine (in moderation). And if you think more is more or that you can take a shortcut, beware: High levels of dietary antioxidant supplementation can prevent optimal exerciseinduced adaptation by stopping the free radicals’ signal to muscle cells to increase production of antioxidants, thus blunting the training adaptation response. So, if you truly want to see the results of your hard work translate to your training, rely less on supplementation and instead pay attention to your diet. Supplements may be warranted when there is a deficiency, but if you do take them, remember that more is not always better. The excessive inflammation that causes muscle pain can also be dampened by omega-3 fatty acids—rich sources include fatty fish (salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines), olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocados. Other foods with anti-inflammatory effects include ginger, turmeric, garlic and green tea. Incidentally, some foods promote inflammation, including saturated fats, foods high in sugars and/or salt, highly processed foods, alcohol in excess and a high caloric intake. If you stack your diet with real, fresh food, it is hard to go wrong.

nils nilsen


When you are training or racing hard—pushing the intensity and/or duration of workouts, or attempting new or unaccustomed exercise, or just one you haven’t attempted for some time—the chances are you will experience muscle soreness. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is likely the result of damage to both muscle structure and connective tissue. Some of this damage is a result of free radicals, which are produced during aerobic metabolism. During aerobic metabolic activity a series of reactions occur within the mitochondria of cells where fuel (glycogen and fats) are combusted in the presence of oxygen to release energy. Free radicals are highly reactive and are able to damage lipids, proteins and cellular DNA. Muscle damage and protein breakdown stimulates inflammation and triggers pain receptors. Cells contain endogenous antioxidants, which act to neutralize free radicals and combat their destruction. Evidence seems to show that muscle cells respond to increased free radical production from exercise by strengthening their antioxidant capacity to reduce further damage to the tissue in subsequent bouts. What you are experiencing is a training adaptation. Healthy cells, including muscle cells, actually require free radicals to stimulate adaptation. The next time you attempt the same exercise your muscles will be stronger and better able to cope with the demand and, in turn, you will suffer less soreness. Push yourself too far, though, and it’s likely that the antioxidant capacity of muscle cells will be overwhelmed—meaning acute damage more

Untitled-1 1

November 2010 | 179 7/26/10 1:33 PM


multisport meNu

Got Goo?

ZipVit ZV7 Energy Gel, $47.76 per box of 24


Clif Shot, $1.29 First Endurance EFS Liquid Shot, $5.99 First endurance’s liquid shot (don’t call it a “gel”) comes in an innovative refillable five-ounce flask that allows you to only take in as much nutrition as you think you need. You can snap the top close and slip it back into your jersey pocket. only available in vanilla flavor, the taste is sweet but surprisingly easy to digest during training. there’s also a 30-ounce refill container available for $29.95. | November 2010

Clif shot’s new citrus flavor, on shelves in october, seriously tastes just like a green skittle. the vanilla flavor is reminiscent of French vanilla ice cream—pretty intensely sweet—and the double expresso flavor (with 100 mg of caffeine) is a favorite for many. Clif shot is less viscous than Gu and utilizes slow-burning organic maltodextrin and evaporated cane juice as part of its new 90 percent organic formula, available in an array of flavors including chocolate cherry, chocolate, mocha, razz and strawberry.

Honey Stinger Energy Gel, $1.25 With the first ingredient being honey, a natural source of energy made up of simple sugars as well as carbs, Honey stinger’s energy gel is easy on the stomach because honey has the same glucoseto-fructose ratio (1:1) of fruit. the gold (natural) flavor tastes just like honey but is less sticky. it has electrolytes and 25 percent of your vitamin B daily value. other flavors include banana, chocolate, strawberry (with 32 mg of caffeine) and ginsting (also containing caffeine).

Gu Energy Gel, $1.35 ever-popular Gu launched a new fruity flavor, mandarin orange, to replace orange burst in late July. the new gel has 20 mg of caffeine and a smooth, mild citrus flavor. Gu provides you with electrolytes, in the form of sodium and potassium, and carbohydrates, plus helps your muscles recover with antioxidant vitamins C and e. You can try several other flavors, such as tri-berry and vanilla bean, by purchasing the variety pack.

john segesta

ZipVit, exclusive nutritional supplier to the Cervélo test team, was created for long-course athletes because it’s more than two times the size of a Gu or Clif shot packet. the ZV7 gel has 51 grams of carbohydrate yet is easily digestible and easy to consume with its low viscosity. Blackcurrant is sweet, and orange boost is a pleasant sunny Delight-like orange flavor. ZV7c, with 160 mg of caffeine, is more bitter to the taste but is effective during hard training.

Energy gels can intimidate newbie endurance athletes (You want me to chug that?), but many experienced triathletes have found that gels provide an extra boost during long training sessions without being hard on the stomach. We’ve rounded up some of the most tested and best tasting gels (and one gel-like product) on the market.

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November 2010 |



eat right

Is a Vegan Diet For You? BY BrenDan BrazIer

182 | November 2010


The greatest determining factor of success as a triathlete is the speed at which one is able to regenerate and renew muscle tissue after a workout, or recovery rate. The more quickly cellular regeneration occurs, the sooner the next workout can be scheduled. Of course, this directly translates to more quality training in less time, which is a prime determining factor for continual improvement as an endurance athlete. Plant-based whole food nutrition can help because it’s inherently more alkaline-forming than the animal-based

alternative. A diet made up of food originating solely from plants, that means no consumption of animal products or byproducts whatsoever, known as a vegan diet can offer triathletes several advantages—most notably quicker recovery. Alkaline-forming protein sources such as rice (sprouted is best), hemp and peas are ideal since they provide the building blocks required after a workout but, unlike animal sources, will help reduce inflammation. As inflammation decreases, functionality goes up. And with greater functionality comes improved efficiency. Of course, enhanced ease of movement requires less energy expenditure, which directly translates to better endurance. As a general rule, carbohydrate is for fueling and protein is for rebuilding. So, within 45 minutes following a workout, it’s advantageous to consume plantbased protein—about one gram for every four grams of carbs—to help speed the recovery process. ››


eat right

How to Make Your Own Energy Gel This gel is easy on the stomach and less likely to cause digestive issues than conventional options. Coconut oil provides direct energy to the liver and dramatically improves endurance when combined with a carbohydrate source. And chia provides sustained nutrients in an easily digestible whole food form. When the energy from the glucose contained in dates begins to wear off, the slower-release energy from chia and agave nectar kicks in. The gels can be put in a gel flask, obtainable at most running stores.

Blend all the ingredients together into a gel-like consistency. For an extra kick, add 1 teaspoon of ground yerba maté or green tea.

184 | November 2010

Here’s what an average training day for me looks like: I start off my mornings with a homemade energy bar , made up of dates, blueberries, buckwheat, hemp seeds, almonds, coconut oil, etc. Swim and gym. Recovery smoothie made with a fruit (easily digestible carbohydrate) base. Blend in hemp, pea, rice and flax for protein and essential fatty acids. Also includes chlorella (highly alkaline-forming algae) and maca (mineralrich, adrenal-nourishing Peruvian root vegetable), soil-based probiotics and antioxidants. Or I use Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer. After about three hours, I begin grazing on fruit, comprised mostly of what’s in season, and a few raw nuts and seeds as well, such as hemp, flax, chia, walnuts, etc. Cycle four to five hours. I drink coconut water or Vega Sport Performance Optimizer during. Toward the end, I’ll take in a homemade energy gel (see recipe). Run 75 minutes. Then I drink a recovery smoothie made with a fruit (easily digestible carbohydrate) base. Blend in hemp, pea, rice, spirulina and alfalfa for protein. Also includes plant-based l-glutamine and branch chain amino acids. Or I use Vega Sport Performance Protein. I graze some more on fruits and nuts. I end my days with a large salad made up of all kinds of greens, sea vegetables (dulse, kelp or nori), sprouted buckwheat, hemp seeds, avocado, carrots, beets and cucumber.

Meal plan: I don’t actually eat meals anymore, but rather graze throughout the day so that my energy level stays strong and consistent. For the many readers who hold down fulltime jobs in addition to triathlon training, the best way to fit the demands of a vegan diet into your schedule is to make food in advance and become a grazer. I would spend one day per month and make a bunch of food. Then just freeze it. And for the energy bars, I’d spend about 90 minutes once every four months and freeze them. Learning to graze is also good because eating food in its unprepared state saves significant time. I often grab fruit and a handful of raw nuts or seeds.

Brendan Brazier is a former professional Ironman triathlete and a two-time Canadian 50K Ultra Marathon Champion. He’s the bestselling author of Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life and Thrive Fitness. He’s also the creator of a line of whole food nutritional products called Vega.

nils nilsen; courtesy of brendan brazier

orange energy Gel 2 large Medjool dates 1 tablespoon agave nectar 1 tablespoon ground chia 1 tablespoon coconut oil 1/2 tablespoon orange zest 1/2 teaspoon dulse or a pinch of sea salt Sea salt to taste

Debunking the myths about plant-based nutrition: Resoundingly, the question I get asked the most is, “Where do you get your protein?” First, I eat considerably less protein than conventional sports nutrition theory would advocate, as based on my weight and activity level. According to USDA and NIH estimates, male endurance athletes should be consuming roughly 80 to 160 grams of protein depending on age, weight and level of activity. The recommended amount of protein is about one gram for every pound of body weight. I feel this is too high. I “should” get at least 165 grams, but get about 80. However, the protein I do get is alkaline-forming, of high quality and easily digestible. When I started eating this way I did loose a bit of weight, but not strength. Therefore, my strength-to-weight ratio went up, which directly led to improved performance. If an endurance athlete eats too little protein he or she will likely notice some muscle and/or strength loss. But, if he or she eats mostly whole foods, it would be hard to not get enough protein. Getting adequate iron is another concern I hear a lot. Iron helps deliver oxygen to working muscles; therefore, an adequate level is essential for peak performance. Most associate iron with beef, but there are plenty of good plant sources too. Raw pumpkin seeds, legumes and spinach are excellent iron-rich alternatives that are considerably more alkaline-forming than beef.

November 2010 |



healthful hints

An Off-Season Cleanse for Athletes By AdAm kelinSOn


Athletes are always trying to get an edge on the competition. Most of the time the points of entry are through gear and nutritional technology, and with those it’s always about the input. But what if gaining a competitive edge came in the form of not doing something? And what if that “not doing” related to your food intake? For most athletes the idea of not eating conjures up thoughts that range from ridiculous to absurd. But, using a centuries-old tradition for maintaining health could soon become part of your next training plan. Fasting does not always mean the complete absence of food. In fact, some fasts incorporate eating into their modality, so for athletes a better term to use would be “cleansing.” Even better would be “recovery,” something that John Ivy, author of The Performance Zone, feels athletes do not pay enough attention to

or understand how it relates to performance. The stresses and rigors placed upon a body during the racing season, along with the production of free radicals and the consumption of processed foods and fuels, can result in muscle and cell damage, injuries, digestive problems and an overall lack of vitality. Without proper recovery, these issues only subside until they are exacerbated by the racing season. You can’t have an “on-season” without having an off-season, and exercising is only half of the equation. A guided and comprehensive cleansing program based in fresh juices made from fruits and vegetables along with some supportive supplements can provide the body with an opportunity to heal and repair all of its physical issues. According to Stephen Harrod Buhner, author of The Fasting Path, “fasting stimulates a more than twofold increase in IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) binding protein,” which increases lean tissue development, muscle formation, tissue repair, organ health, bone strength and energy levels. Sometimes, the less you do, the more you gain. Adam Kelinson is the author of The Athlete’s Plate: Real Food for High Performance (VeloPress) and owner of Organic Performance. He regularly guides athletes through his program, “The Athlete’s Cleanse.”

To accompany your off-season cleanse, try this juice recipe. Remember that juices should be freshly made and pressed or extracted. No pulp allowed. Here is one of my favorite recipes. Watermelon has tons of lycopene, which supports the cardiovascular system and tastes great, while cilantro helps to collect toxins in the body, lime adds in some vitamin C, and the ginger helps with digestion with a bit of zing.

Watermelon Cooler

3 cups watermelon (It’s okay to include some rind.) 1 lime ½ bunch cilantro (You can also add or substitute mint.) Knob of ginger Directions: Place all ingredients in juicer, strain through cheesecloth and enjoy.

186 | november 2010

Sound the Trumpets! Get Jazzed in




Becoming a chef was in Kevin Nashan’s blood—he grew up in Santa Fe, N.M., where his family ran the restaurant La Tertulia for 27 years. And now, as owner of trendy Sidney Street Café, Nashan has worked to combine his love of food with his love of triathlon. A five-time Ironman finisher, Nashan believes he works just as hard to fit in training as any working age-grouper: “Everyone, especially those of us that do triathlons, has whacked-out hours,” he says.

“Yeah, I’m up early and to bed late … but it’s a lifestyle. I put as much effort into this restaurant as I put into triathlon and other outdoor stuff.” Nashan, a finalist for the James Beard Foundation Award (the highest honor in the food world), describes his culinary style as “rustic elegant,” and the style of his restaurant “contemporary American in a very informal, easygoing manner.” The success of his restaurant is a testament to St. Louis’ hip, up-and-coming restaurant culture. “There are a bunch of young people here that are doing a lot of really neat things,” he says. The restaurateur takes advantage of living in the Midwest, utilizing the plethora of farms in the St. Louis area while also taking advantage of the climate by installing his own 100yard culinary garden, full of vegetables and herbs, along the perimeter of Sidney Street Café’s parking lot. In addition to the abundance of fresh ingredients, Nashan has found that the Midwestern town has an excellent triathlon scene. “There are a ton of people in this community that do triathlons, and it’s a fun scene,” he says.››



TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

Best local races: Lake St. Louis: “One of the oldest triathlons in the history of triathlons. Dave Scott and all those guys did that race back in the day.” Ultramax Series Quartermax Triathlon: “That’s a really challenging one.”

Nashan’s favorite places to bike: Pacific, Labadie, Chesterfield (all in Missouri): “The outskirts of St. Louis … The city of St. Louis is not really ride-able, so you have to go outside the city.” Columbia, Ill.: “Columbia is just across the river. That’s where I trained for Ironman Arizona. It’s flat with a lot of wind.” Pros from St. Louis: Sarah Haskins, Jillian Petersen


Chef-restaurateurtriathlete Kevin Nashan has found St. Louis to be a great town for starting a restaurant—and being a triathlete.

Nashan’s favorite places to run: Queeny Park: “Really fun and challenging.” Lewis & Clark Trail: “Popular for trail running.”

TriathlEats Nashan finds this mid-autumn scallop recipe to be a crowd-pleasing favorite. Since this time of year is a transition from summer to fall in most parts of the country, the components of celery root, apples and mustard reflect that transition, he says. And it’s good for you too: Celery

root lowers the risk of inflammation and contains nutrients such as vitamin B, vitamin C, potassium and carbohydrates. The apples protect and strengthen bones, and are a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber. Plus, ginger and mustard are excellent sources of antioxidants.

Pan-roasted scallops with caramelized apples, chanterelle mushrooms, celery root purée, and honey mustard vinaigrette Serves 6 Celery Root Purée: 1 large celery root 1 pint milk 1 pint water 1 ounce butter Salt and pepper to taste Honey Mustard Vinaigrette: 3 ounces grain mustard 2 shallots, minced 3 ounces honey 2 ounces apple cider vinegar 6 ounces olive oil Salt and pepper to taste

Apples: 4 golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and cut into segments 2 ounces ginger, grated 1 ounce sugar 1 ounce grapeseed oil Salt and pepper to taste Chanterelles: ¼ lb. fresh chanterelles 2 sprigs thyme 1 ounce olive oil ½ ounce butter Salt and pepper to taste Scallops: 12 large scallops


For the celery root purée: In a pot melt butter and add chopped celery root, milk and water. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Strain and blend in a Cuisinart. Season to taste and reserve. For the honey mustard vinaigrette: In a bowl add the shallots, grain mustard, honey, cider vinegar, then slowly whisk in the oil and season to taste.

For the chanterelles and scallops: Heat an additional two sauté pans—one for chanterelles and the other for the scallops. Sauté chanterelles with oil and then butter. Add thyme. Season and cook until soft. Reserve. Season scallops and sear in a sauté pan finishing with thyme and butter. Assemble as shown above (microgreens give the dish some nice color).


TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010


For the apples: Heat a sauté pan and add a little grapeseed oil. Sauté apples and brown them on one side. Add ginger and sugar and flip and caramelize the other side. Season and reserve.

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Fuel for the Fire When most athletes arrive in Kona for the Ironman World Championship in October, two-time Ironman world champion Craig “Crowie” Alexander and his family will have already been there for a couple weeks, staying at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa, just outside of town. You’d think that three weeks of catering to an Ironman world champion would be a pain for the staff, especially in the kitchen, but Crowie is surprisingly easy to please. “With his grueling

workout schedule, needless to say the guy can—and needs to—consume thousands of calories every day,” says Eric Lelinski, the resort’s head chef. “He’s actually extremely flexible and very easy to cook for, which came as a pleasant surprise to me.” Nor was his family picky, either. “Everything that I made for him, I made for his wife and daughter also— different portions, obviously.” Alexander and his family arrive in Kona three weeks before because in

The Food of a Champion


Nutrition between meals: Athletes HoneyMilk or a fruit and honey milk smoothie. “I have to supplement and keep up with the demand of calories.”

TRIATHLETE.COM | November 2010

Before training: “For morning training, I usually have a bagel and oatmeal before the family wakes up.”

// B.L.M.

The morning of the race: Calorie-rich drink, bagel and coffee (two-and-ahalf hours before). “If I get peckish an hour out, I have a Gu to keep calories in, plus a weak electrolyte formula.”

Fueling advice: Stick to what you’re used to. “I don’t like to surprise the body… Your body gets used to your diet and the way you fuel it, so you should keep it the same during race week.”


Favorite meals: Thai food, Mexican food and seafood. “After five months in Colorado, you don’t get such fresh fish as you do in Kona.”

The night before the race: “I usually have a pasta, and I like to get some protein in, too—maybe some grilled chicken sliced up or shrimp. Sometimes a tomatobased sauce, or I like a cream-based sauce.”

2007, the first time he raced in Kona, their lease ran out in Boulder a couple weeks before the race, so the whole family packed up and went out to the Big Island. He was runner-up that year, so he kept the tradition going. Even though it’s not necessary to arrive that early to acclimate to the heat and humidity—usually it requires about seven days— the Alexanders will arrive early again this year. As it’s their second year at the Sheraton, they’re confident that Lelinski’s food will be as tasty as ever—“He hasn’t dished up a bad meal yet,” Alexander says. Before working on Kona, Lelinski served as a chef at the Sheraton on Maui and at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego. His favorite meal to prepare is anything that involves seafood, and he tries to capitalize on all the locally grown produce from the island. “We made sure to have plenty of fresh locally grown island produce available for Craig,” says Lelinski. “Fresh fish was important and of course easy to come by here on the island, so he frequently enjoyed ahi, ono and other delicious fish.” The hotel caters to Alexander by providing him with an extra fridge, a blender, a toaster and a microwave in his room so that he can eat when he needs to, rather than sticking to the restaurant’s schedule. And for special requests? “I can just walk into the kitchen and ask Eric.”






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Three hungry Women coNtiNued from page 140

best in me, and enables me to get more of a balance in my life. No. 2, he’s a great guy and we have so much fun together. I love spending time with him. And lastly, he’s an awesome training partner. Mirinda: That’s all he is to you, isn’t he? Chrissie: I’ve been found out! But truly, it’s fun to train with him on the bike. It’s great to have someone to share all of this with, especially when you’ve achieved something significant. I’m the world champion, but I used to come home every night and I’d be on my own, without anyone to share the highs and lows. Mirinda: I totally agree. I’ve been racing and traveling on the circuit for a long time, and haven’t had a serious partner for a number of years until Tim. Julie: Whoa—serious? What are you saying? Is there something you’re not telling us? Triathlete: Yeah, are we making an announcement here? Mirinda: Think what you like, ladies! But seriously, all that travel is both exciting and tiring, and not having anyone to share the ups and downs with, not having anyone to come home to after winning a big race is hard. You have your family and friends, but it’s just not the same as being in a relationship. And the cool thing about dating a triathlete is he really gets it. Not many guys would be able to sit back and allow you to be who you are without really understanding the sport. Triathlete: Julie, your husband is not a triathlete. How does he manage as an iron-spouse? Julie: Mike is great. He has a competitive swimming back194 | November 2010

ground, so he knows what it takes to be at the top level of sport, and he’s incredibly supportive. I kind of like the fact that he’s not a triathlete, since I don’t want to talk about triathlon all the time. There’s a great balance between us. Though he has been known to dabble in triathlon on occasion. Triathlete: But does he shave his legs? Julie: Maybe once or twice a year. It takes him about 10 hours. Triathlete: Any trade secrets to share with your age-group fans, specifically related to being a female triathlete? After all, five to seven hours on the bike isn’t exactly comfortable. Chrissie: Two of my must-have accessories: my Fizik saddle and a giant tub of Vaseline. Triathlete: If you three were to arm-wrestle right here, right now, who do you think would win? Julie: Is there even a question? (Flexing.) Mirinda: Dibens has it. I know she’s been working on her strength training, pumping up those guns. Julie: Yes, specifically on my arm-wrestling skills. But it depends how long the contest is. Chrissie: Until somebody wins. Julie: Chrissie has some peashooters there. Chrissie: Yes, Julie gets the arm wrestling title. I wouldn’t want to mess with those guns! Julie: Although I think Rinny would be the dark horse. Mirinda: That’s right—size doesn’t matter! Chrissie: Maybe we’ll have a challenge after Kona—no one wants to risk injury right now!

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* The Man in the Arena by Theodore Rooselvelt, April 23, 1910.


illustration by mark brewer 200 | November 2010

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november 2010


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Center Stage at Kona

2010-11 Triathlete  
2010-11 Triathlete