Page 1













ŠAmerican Sporting Goods Corporation 2010



H I S AV I - Q U E S T ’ S .







Learn more at




Contents DECEMBER2010



The Youth Movement Triathlon is about to be taken over by a new generation of superstars. And they’re faster than ever. By Sarah Wassner Flynn


Project Recovery Use the winter months to focus on active recovery for mental rejuvenation and give your swim, bike and run muscles a break. The off-season is also a good time to try a new sport, build up your core strength and enjoy the occasional slice of pumpkin pie. By Courtney Baird


Triathlon Tribute for a Fallen Marine When Maj. James M. Weis, a U.S. Marine pilot and an avid triathlete, lost his life on the battlefield, those who knew him organized a special tribute to honor his legacy. By Marcia Manna


The Ultimate Gift Guide As the holiday season approaches, the editors have done the legwork to find a slew of products from every price range to give to your triathlete friends, family and even your triathlon supporters.

p. 114

London Calling

Jarrod Shoemaker could be America’s brightest hope for an Olympic medal in 2012. By Julia Beeson Polloreno

By The Editors NILS NILSEN


TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010

Craig Alexander

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Contents DECEMBER2010


62 16 | From the Editor Proud to be a triathlete.

20 | Letters Suggestions for the nation’s top tri towns; a triathlete-friendly company speaks up.

27 | Checking In


TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010

Tips for fueling while swimming, two drills to improve your swim technique, the makings of a wetsuit and four new goggles reviewed.

A peek into the pros’ pantries, some tasty energy chews, the foods you should be eating and guidelines for holiday noshing without gaining weight.

69 | Bike

136 | The Adventures of Bonkman Some key moments in the creation of Bonkman.

Why you need a bike fit, the benefits of VO2max testing, top-of-the-line aerobar reviews, and a wrap-up of trends seen at the 2010 bike tradeshows.


81 | Run Four opinions on correct running form, the best iPhone apps for runners, tips for running in the snow and darkness, and an exercise to beat knee pain.



sports drink, guidelines for training during the holidays, a tri-specific core exercise and a song featuring top pros. Time-Crunched Triathlete A new tool for on-land swim training. Racing Weight Should you eat like a caveman? My Favorite Things Getting to know top American ITU athlete Laura Bennett. Dear Coach Strength training like the pros. Ask a Pro Andy Potts' half-iron nutrition plan. I’m a Triathlete “Good Morning America” anchor Juju Chang helped herself—and Haitian earthquake victims—through triathlon.

119 | Fuel

61 | Swim














Triathlete Angi Greene photographed exclusively for Triathlete by Tony Di Zinno. Shot on location at Crossfit LA in Los Angeles. Hair and makeup by Donna Gast. Wardrobe and production by Petra Westen.


Need to Know Choosing the right race-day


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

* End of Year Coverage

To be honest with you, I’ve lost ... a bit of love for drafting racing.” —Matt Reed to Competitor Radio on if he’ll make a second Olympic appearance.

Follow Us! Facebook


RECOVERY Now that the Ironman World Championship is over, turns its focus to the remaining races on the 2010 calendar.

* New Forums

With your big races in the books, now it’s time to focus on the off-season with our series of recovery articles.

* TriCenter

Training Tips

The off-season often brings uncertainty for many athletes. Have a question about off-season training, or how to cope with winter weather? Check out our all-new forums and one of our training experts will answer your questions.

Keeping Up with the Pros Latest News

* Hot Links PHOTOS



Who's switching sponsors? What new races are on tap for 2011? We'll keep you updated on all of the latest triathlon news.

TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010


Check for coverage of this year’s Ironman World Championship 70.3 race, taking place on Nov. 13.


Triathlete senior editor Aaron Hersh keeps you up-to-date on the latest gear for 2011.


Enjoy the holidays and maintain your racing weight with our nutrition tips.


Our photographers bring you the best images of your favorite race destinations and professionals.



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



TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010

Blown Away

By Jonathan Phillips /Competitive Image

At the Life Time Fitness Chicago Triathlon, American Mark Fretta took the lead in the early part of the 10K run and maintained it to clinch the victory in the Windy City.

December 2010 | TRIATHLETE.COM


From the Editor


Holidays for the obsessed

gifts for triathletes

string of lights... and lots more at


TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010

If Juju Can Do It, So Can You

One of the best parts of my job is interacting with triathletes from varying backgrounds and ability levels, from the top pros to people who’ve just discovered the sport. Though these two categories of triathlete seem vastly different, there is a fundamental common ground—elite or newbies are driven by the same desire to push their perceived physical and mental limitations in a way that only triathlon permits. They get to take themselves to the edge of what they think is possible. They get to be extraordinary. This month, we introduce you to two athletes that represent the sport’s wide swath of participation. “Good Morning America” news anchor Juju Chang talks to us about training for and completing her first triathlon, page 54. An on-the-job assignment inspired her to get healthy, so she rallied coworkers and raised money in the process to benefit Haiti’s earthquake victims. She is one of countless examples of new triathletes using the sport to not only better themselves, but to also serve a greater good. And now she’s hooked on triathlon. Also in this issue, 2010 USA Triathlon national champion and Olympian Jar-

rod Shoemaker describes what it takes to compete at the Olympic level (“London Calling,” page 114). When I met Jarrod for our photo shoot in Idyllwild, Calif., I was immediately struck by his easygoing, friendly personality. I mentioned this to his coach, Tim Crowley, and he laughed, saying only, “Jarrod is intense.” But perhaps that’s what makes Jarrod a champion triathlete on the ITU scene—he knows when to access that intensity, and in fact, he thrives on it. Both Jarrod and Juju are riding high on a newfound sense of achievement in their own right. The allure of triathlon is also reaching today’s youth, who are jumping in like never before. In fact, young athletes make up the fastest growing segment in our sport. Writer Sarah Wassner Flynn introduces us to the next generation of triathlon talent in her feature story, “The Youth Movement,” on page 90. These speedy kids are worth watching—and watching out for. And to make sure your 2011 race season is your best yet, be sure to check out senior editor Courtney Baird’s guide to active recovery during the off-season, “Project Recovery,” on page 96. Baird tapped top coaches and pros in delivering a comprehensive, practical game plan for navigating—and finding balance during—the offseason. We’ve also got a round-up of the emerging trends straight from the international bike trade shows, and a gift guide that every triathlete needs to make part of their wish list. Enjoy the issue.

Julia Beeson Polloreno


Editorial Editorial Director TJ Murphy Editor-in-Chief Julia Beeson Polloreno Managing Editor Somyr McLean Perry Senior Tech Editor Aaron Hersh Senior Editor Courtney Baird Assistant Editor Bethany Leach Mavis Copyeditor Marilyn Iturri Contributing Writers Holly Bennett, Chris Carmichael, Matt Dixon, Matt Fitzgerald, Samantha McGlone, Sara McLarty, Melanie McQuaid, Andy Potts, Pip Taylor 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, Hunter King, Jon Davis, Paul Phillips, Larry Rosa, John Segesta, Eric Wynn Circulation & Production Director, Audience Development John Francis Fulfillment Manager Leslie Dodds Production Manager Meghan McElravy Advertising Coordinator Shane Anderson 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 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 Triathlete Europe Publisher Jim Peskett Editor Ian Osborne Graphic Designer Kirstin Goodenough Digital Content Editor Paul Moore 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.

18 | December 2010


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Letters #1


as Boulder and San Diego from your mind. Sure, these cities rock

wealth eyes a bit further and you’ll find a serve up of alternate towns and cities that ample swim, bike and run appeal

as well. october 2010


Courtesy Lawrence CVB

hands-down as places to live, work and train, but open your Oakley-wrapped

october 2010

MISSOULA, MONTANA Head straight out your door in Missoula and you’ll ride for hours without stopping—unless you’re not yet fit enough to tackle the challenging climbs which ascend in three breathtaking directions. Mountain biking is equally awesome in this outdoor enthusiast Shangri-la, and an impressive trail system and downtown dirt track provide plush run options as well. Olympic medalist Dave Berkoff coaches swim sessions at the University of Montana and the city’s recently rebuilt 50-meter pool. Or, take a break from the black line and swim briskly upstream in one of the three rivers that converge in town. Team Stampede, where local pro and Ironman Coeur d’Alene champion Linsey Corbin first cut her triathlon teeth, boasts more than 200 members—all of whom will eagerly join you for a Big Sky brew or Big Dipper ice cream post-training. Retailers Missoula Bike Works and Runner’s Edge also provide training partners, gear and advice aplenty. The heartiest triathletes train outdoors year-round here, while others opt for winter indoor training on treadmills and trainers, or else take part in a snow sport-inspired segue from the swim, bike and run grind. A cold weather inversion layer can cast a cloud over Missoula’s pristine mountain beauty, but with the money you’ll save due to the low cost of living, you’ll easily be able to afford a January training jaunt to Kona.

You’re a multisport athlete with secret bull-riding ambitions and don’t mind the cold. Cowboy culture is alive and well in Montana. Quick getaways are a must. With most flights from Missoula International Airport funneling through Seattle, Denver You’re all about the or Salt Lake City, it’s likely two or three neighborly, down-home stops until your final destination. vibe in a city rich with recreation, arts and culture. You thrive on a totally tri geek-filled social scene. Aside from Lawrence’s Rock A NOD TO THE TRI’D & TRUE Chalk Triathlon and Multisport Club, We can’t help but give a little “Best triathlete-specific gatherings are Of” list love to these perennial winners: notably absent. Also, long winters Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Tropical who loves islandcan a triathlete home hamper to our sport’s pinnacle, near-spiritual event. Need we say more? San Diego, Calif. Land of surf, outdoors. sun, sand—and great training in the loads of Lycra. Plus, it’s the balmy home base to Triathlete publication, Inside Triathlon. Yup, we’re magazine and our sister biased. Boulder, Colo. Open roads, winding trails and (literally) breathtaking mountain vistas. A pro (or three or four) in every If only their talents were contagious. swim lane. Bend, Ore. The Pacific Northwest’s 45 Boulder—at two-thirds the altitude and half the price. Tucson, Ariz. Year-round opportunity to get schooled heading up Mount Lemmon’s San Francisco, Calif. Café society 19-mile climb. city living with spellbinding natural resources and a lavish spread of tri sport Austin, Texas Hip music and club events. scene meets equally happening cycling and running culture. Clermont, Fla. Home to Florida’s only actual hills—and to the country’s only National Training Center, a 300-acre to bring out your inner über-athlete. campus designed Bellevue, Wash. Upscale cross-lake neighbor to Seattle’s Emerald City. Less earthy, more affluent, equally outdoor-affectionate. Madison, Wis. College town energy and ambiance with big city assets—not to mention heaps of swim, bike and run rewards. 46 october 2010


You want world-class competition but the big names in Boulder and San Diego are a tad too intimidating. The higher cost of living isn’t something you can live with.

Shmuel Thaler

Straightaway, erase cities such


John Segesta/


shoes three Click the heels of your ruby red bike Lawrence, Kan., times and you just might end up in for 2010’s Top triathlon’s best kept secret and our pick pro Pip Taylor, Tri Town. As the U.S. home base to Aussie is as active and host of Ironman 70.3 Kansas, Lawrence who leads as it gets. Just ask Don “Red Dog” Gardner, workouts, free twice daily year-round boot camp-style the community. to the thousands who participate in city, anchored Lawrence is also a fervently bike-friendly Outdoor by historic downtown retailer Sunflower of Lawrence, & Bike Shop, host to the annual Tour considerate and boasting some of the nation’s most rides. motorists on the area’s constantly rolling There’s no lack of swim and run opportunities on the 10-mile in Lawrence, either. Athletes train single-tracks. Lawrence Riverfront Trail and adjoining maintained best the “is known, is “The Levee,” as it run on,” says and most amazing surface I’ve ever two 50-meter Taylor. Multiple city pools (including the enviably facilities) support the swim crowd, and a $20 monthly low cost of living in Kansas equates to all-access pool pass. great For Taylor, who moonlights as a nutritionist, downtown food is a must-have, and Lawrence’s vibrant The Community restaurant scene does not disappoint. to locals, is a Mercantile, or The Merc as it’s known and weekly much-revered co-op natural food grocery, with the stocked pantries farmers’ markets keep local freshest of seasonal produce.


Bookended by The Forest of Nisene Marks and Wilder Ranch State Parks, and best known for its surfing heritage, Santa Cruz is a trail runner and mountain biker’s dream come true. The road rides are equally magnificent so it’s no surprise that employees from several nearby cycling industry manufacturers live in Santa Cruz. Likewise, two-time triathlon Olympic medalist Bevan Docherty discovered this pristine training ground a year ago and has never looked back. “I left Boulder in search of an even more perfect training spot,” says Docherty. “I wasn’t sure I’d find it—until I discovered Santa Cruz.” The club scene—offering both the Santa Cruz Triathlon Association and the Santa Cruz Track Club—provides plenty of hard-core company, and you’ll gain the home turf advantage in stellar races such as the Santa Cruz Triathlon and the Big Kahuna long-course event. With a cost of living 46.7 percent above the national average, Santa Cruz’s price tag will certainly be too steep for some. But, if you’re willing to sacrifice here and there, this coastal paradise will reward you with idyllic year-round training, a surf-culture casual atmosphere and ocean access worth every penny you pinch. october 2010

Best Tri Towns Hits and Misses As a triathlete and subscriber in the Oregon Willamette Valley, I was thrilled to see Eugene picked as a top 10 triathlon city! Way cool. Your contributor, Mackenzie Madison, is really the one that has put the “t” as in “terrific” back in triathlon here in the Eugene/Corvallis area. Madison has organized a track workout at South Eugene High School and she shows up at local tris such as the Duckbill Thrill and the Beaver Freezer to cheer us on. And I am sure you know she was in 10th at Ironman Canada after the bike and then chased down seven pros for third place and the fastest marathon. Pete Eschbach, Corvallis, Ore. I’m sure your omission of Syracuse, N.Y., from your top 10 list of best cities for triathlon (October 2010) was just an oversight, so I won’t take it personally. It isn’t just that Syracuse, located in the center of New York state, is full of racing opportunities—one can find a race within an hour’s drive (usually less) nearly every weekend between June and October— with several well-established local races (Green Lakes Tri, Cazenovia Tri, Skinnyman Tri) held just minutes from the city center, not to mention the inaugural Syracuse 70.3 held this year. And it isn’t just that our hills, glacial lakes and miles of smooth road and trails provide an endless buffet of training locations. And it isn’t just the indoor pools (many free), tri-specific spin classes and road races all winter long that keep us going and training hard no matter how much snow is on the ground. And it isn’t even that Ironman Lake Placid is practically in our 20

TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010


backyard. What makes Syracuse a prime up-and-coming city for triathlon is its amazing Central NY Triathlon Club that nearly tripled its membership this summer because the multisport community is welcoming, inspiring and amazing. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, Syracuse, N.Y. Holly Bennett’s article “(Not Your Typical) Top Tri Towns” really struck out with [listing] Lyons, Colo. Loveland, Colo., [is] home to the Lake to Lake Triathlon, which was this year’s USAT Rocky Mountain Regional Championship, as well as the Loveland Triathlon. Loveland has 3X Fast, the only triathlon-specific store in Northern Colorado and sponsors Team 3X Fast, which will be competing at USAT Group Nationals this fall. Loveland has also just completed a renovation of the Chilson Recreation Center that has dedicated swim lanes. There is also open-water swimming at Lake Loveland throughout the summer as well as plenty of roads and trails for excellent cycling and running. And even if you do not like Loveland, check out Fort Collins, home to Ironman Worlds age-group winner and Timexsponsored triathlete Wendy Mader and t2Coaching’s triathlon club. Duane Rorie, Loveland, Colo. I’m wondering how in the heck you could choose Albuquerque as an honorable mention for a top tri town. The New Mexico half-marathon for this year was cancelled due to lack of funds and sponsors. The “big” marathon, Duke City Marathon, offers finishing pins instead



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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.

As you may know: Teamphly is comprised of Philadelphia Insurance Companies employees, colleagues, family and friends. Teamphly applies the same passion and dedication that fuel our everyday business to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Teamphly encourages individuals to live and maintain a healthy lifestyle. We strongly believe that commitment to a healthy lifestyle drives discipline and success in the workplace and community. In June, Philadelphia Insurance Companies was the title sponsor of the PhilaIn the top tri towns article the only North delphia Insurance Triathlon for the fifth Carolina city mentioned was Boone. consecutive year. One of the premiere Where is the love for Wilmington, N.C., triathlons in the country, it hosted more and Wrightsville Beach, N.C.? These than 4,500 athletes and 15,000 spectatowns host two of the biggest and best tors in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park races on the East Coast. In only its third June 25-27 and raised $150,000 for the year, PPD’s Beach to Battleship was in the Cancer Center at The Children’s Hospital top five iron-distance races in the world of Philadelphia. (your rating). The YMCA sprint tri is the We also offer subsidized gym membiggest from Washington, D.C., to Florida. berships to three fitness centers located With ample swimming in the Intracoastal within one mile of our corporate office, Waterway and an abundance of running and offer reimbursement of the same and cycling in the area, this place has to be amount to other employees who belong the fastest growing triathlon hot spot in to gyms around the country; we give America and quickly becoming a hub for employees an extra 15 minutes at lunch elite triathletes. if they are working out; we provide the Sean Gorman, Wilmington, N.C. opportunity for flexible work schedules; we have a Teamphly participation incentive program; and we sor multiple runs, walks and ❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱ triathlons. We are a long-time sponsor of Ironman 70.3 and Ironman races in the U.S., and sponsor the Ironman World Championship in Kona. Our U.S. Military ❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱ chief executive officer has ❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱ competed in Kona twice and ❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱❱ was named by The Wall Street Teamphly Needs Journal as a “Master of the Universe” for Some Love [doing] triathlons! If that isn’t leading by [One] afternoon I was leaving the gym example, I don’t know what is! when I was stopped by a group of angry Deborah A. Sutton co-workers. Their issue, I learned, as one Sr. Vice President, Human Resources of them handed me a “wet with sweat” Philadelphia Insurance Companies copy of the October issue: Why wasn’t Errata Philadelphia Insurance Companies feaThe photo in the October 2010 issue on tured in your article “Making it Work” and page 14 was shot by Mike Bradshaw of what was the criteria for selecting these Competitive Image. companies?


FIELD: Retail HEADQUARTERS: Tucson, Ariz. TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 50 HIRING: No ADDED PERKS: Free gear, two-lane endless pool at headquarters

The employees of get paid to live and breathe swimming, biking and running—and most of them choose to do it on their own time. “We encourage all of our employees FIELD: Technology to participate HEADQUARTERS: in athletic activities, primarily triathlon, since Mountain View, Calif. that’s what we do,” says Sarah Lieneke-Nickle, TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 20,600 director of marketing. Add to that a HIRING: Yes, especially in sales and engineering locker room ADDED PERKS: Main campus offers bike repair, awith showers, store credit for riding your bike to concierge services are work, race reimbursements, bike loaner programs e Triathletes have bottomless stomachs. ther At Google’s main le?and a generally flexible schedule, and you’ve got a campus, you get to feed that stomach—for es, free. etGoogle hedu triathlete’s paradise. employees get free grub at any hl

Google Inc.

its 16 campus at cafes, ble sc according to Google spokespersonr Jordan xiThe fo tri Newman. oes main campus also offers four ork gyms with a fletrainers,run? D me rpersonal onsite wellness centers, to w chiropractors, offemassage therapists so eamong and doctors, and other perks. who don’t pany For those t plinac work ew of tures Mountain View, bike , subsidized eamemberships gymervi com Google offers im and has bike rooms fu a gr global and showers in all theRegarding its nworksw an ovofwork soffices. ight ll lives flexibility, ding s“Generally, ca oe e’ D fin u s br here is projectyo based. As long as H fu youer are getting youree er. done, re are happy,” es to le? says.employ work es have e nsid hepeople tyNewman w co com es r et t th it to n aces tive lif ly offe athl to hi Whe variables near pl ac on at tri need e Livestrong t th th t d no D st ort Foundation lot of locate ves AIR spec they ju supp YB belie also re Is it ent Nonprofit, t cancer awareness TNE lete FIELD:bu imes agem Triath erHEADQUARTERS: metTexas COUR s, soAustin, at TOTAL EMPLOYEES: d man re Y 81 th B an r ca HIRING: es Yes ride. fice,PERKS: plac s of thei e ofADDED longOnsite gym, yoga, intermittent rm r aof Lance of th glimpses t fo in te ide By virtue of the Livestrong Foundation’s founder—Lance menArmstrong—the outs nonprofit attracts athletic employees who pave are also of


passionate about the fight against cancer. It also offers one of the best vacation programs and schedules out there. “We say we’re a results-oriented work place,” says Mona Patel, executive vice president of people and organizational development. Livestrong believes that its employees will get their work done and offers them 20 or more days off a year, no matter how long they’ve been working at Livestrong. “People don’t accrue paid time off,” Patel says. “We trust people to be the best decision makers.” 60

october 2010

Staff Sgt. Christina M. Styer


of medals. There may be two to three pool tris in the city all year. Other than the Bosque trail, there aren’t really safe bike-riding areas. There might be two big triathlons in the entire state (Socorro Chili Harvest in August and Elephant Man in September—probably the only openwater tri in the state). Even Salt Lake City has more triathlons than the entire state of New Mexico. I was also surprised that you overlooked Phoenix. Lon Gehrman, Gilbert, Ariz.

october 2010

FIELD: Defense HEADQUARTERS: Arlington, Va. TOTAL SERVICEMEN/WOMEN: 1.4 million on active duty, 718,000 civilian employees RECRUITING: Always

U.S. Navy commander John Collins came up with the Ironman concept in 1977, and triathlon has been ingrained in the military ever since. While life in the armed forces isn’t for everyone—anda anyone who signs up must always serve country first and triathlon second—the military is a place that provides ample training partners and a fitness-based culture. Deployment can throw a wrench in training, but many servicemen and women figure out ways to get around it. “I spent a year in Kuwait and I was still able to run, bike and swim,” says commander Kristin Barnes, a Navy pilot and triathlete. And if you are an exceptional athlete, some service branches offer world-class athlete programs. Pro and Olympic 57 t r ihopeful Tim O’Donnell was in such a program while he served as a Navy lieutenant. “I received unbelievable support,” he says.

october 2010

october 2010

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


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

TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010




Holly Bennett Since Bennett pulled on a wetsuit for her first triathlon in 1999, she dreamed of writing for Triathlete. Several years of racing and industry work experience later, she’s thrilled to have a regular byline and an outlet for her creative wordsmithing. Bennett recently finished her fifth Ironman (Canada) as a member of Team Newton, a group fundraising effort on behalf of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. In her article on page 28, she recounts the experience of several inspirational team members, including Newton Running founder Jerry Lee, who tackled his first triathlon—an Ironman—at age 61.

Matt Dixon Dixon, the magazine’s “Dear Coach” columnist, is the owner of Purplepatch Fitness, a San Francisco-based professional coaching company. As an exercise physiologist, former professional triathlete and elite coach, he coaches some of the best professional triathletes in the world, including multiple Ironman champions, as well as many executives of leading worldwide companies. His unique coaching philosophy combines the latest scientific research with extensive athletic and coaching experience, which is tailored to all levels of athlete and fitness enthusiast. This month Dixon weighs in on the value of strength training during the off-season on page 48.

Kristin Harrison A runner and triathlete, Harrison is the former editor-in-chief of Women’s Running magazine and a health and fitness freelance writer. This fall, while training for the ING New York City Marathon, she began suffering from runstopping knee pain. Hoping to find a solution, she interviewed Dr. Tracy Dierks, whose latest study revealed a promising way to reduce knee pain—simple hip exercises, page 84. Inspired by the research, Harrison has changed her training routine to include regular hip and core strengtheners. She fantasizes she’ll never experience knee problems again. To learn more about Harrison, visit



TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010

King’s illustrations, which appear in stories such as “Confessions of an Age-Grouper,” page 58, and “Project Recovery,” page 96, bring to life the words of many of Triathlete’s writers. King, 31, is based in Tucson, Ariz., where he pursues a burgeoning fine art and illustration career. He also works with a nonprofit organization called El Grupo which works to empower disadvantaged youth by teaching them how to race bicycles. He’s found that his mind is always working on his creations: “I found myself up at 2 a.m. on a Wednesday, in my undies, drawing away on this month’s feature, thinking, ‘This is the life.’”


©American Sporting Goods Corporation 2010

Hunter King




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Aussie Joe Gambles broke the course record on his way to winning Ford Ironman Wisconsin, his first attempt at the iron distance. PHOTOGRAPH BY LARRY ROSA

December 2010 | TRIATHLETE.COM


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need to know

Newton’s Cause


Jerry Lee is a man of his word, the old-school type of honor where a handshake means more than any ink-bound contract. A pinkieswear, to a man like Lee, carries the same iron-clad commitment. Especially when the pinkie in question belongs to a fifth grader. As the co-founder of Newton Running,, Lee has long been devoted to endurance sports. His company is well-known in the triathlon market, supporting a roster of top professional athletes and hosting expo booths at nu-

merous events. It was at one such event, Ironman Canada in 2009, where Lee first met then 10-year-old Winter Vinecki, a vibrant young triathlete who had recently lost her father to prostate cancer. A survivor of the disease himself, which affects one in six men in the U.S., Lee felt an immediate kinship with the little girl. Spend about a minute with Vinecki (now 11) and you’ll understand the ease with which she convinced 61-year-old Lee to race an Ironman. In fact, Ironman Can-

357 13 20 28 | December 2010


20/8 Male/female composition of Team Newton.

nick salazar

hours minutes seconds Total race time spent swimming, cycling and running to fight cancer by Team Newton athletes.

Number of countries represented by Team Newton.

ada 2010 would be his first triathlon of any distance, despite not owning a bicycle or knowing how to swim a single lap. But Vinecki’s disarming demeanor and her exhaustive efforts to fight cancer via her fledgling foundation, Team Winter,, proved irresistible to Lee. At the 2009 race’s finish line celebration, Lee was caught up in the Ironman momentum and the deceptively sweet smile of the driven youngster. Pinkies were drawn and locked, promises were made and before he could ask, “Isn’t it past your bedtime?” Jerry Lee had a 140.6-mile goal looming. Lee recruited 28 other athletes to join forces as Team Newton, with a common goal of fundraising for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Collectively, the team generated more than $70,000 in donations, with additional proceeds from the sale of PCF shoes and accessories expected to boost the total Team Newton contribution past the $100,000 mark. With a good deal of physical training and an even greater dose of determination, Jerry Lee reached the Ironman Canada finish line in 16:43:24, flanked by several of his teammates. A wide awake Vinecki was there to greet him with hugs of congratulation and appreciation. She did, however, wait until the next evening’s awards banquet to wrangle him into another pinkie-promise—to repeat the iron distance when she reaches 18 years of age and the two can officially compete sideby-side. // Holly Bennett

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need to know

Choosing the Right Sports Drink by mark allen


Here is a scenario that many triathletes have experienced in long races. They use the same sports drink that has worked wonders in training only to find that it causes them to get nauseated, bloated or even throw up. How can that be? A popular piece of advice is to try out in training what you will use in a race, and if it works in training it will work during a race. Correct? Not so with fluid replacement, and here’s why. In training, the mindset is usually fairly low stress. Even during the most challenging long workouts, we may experience periods when we wish it were over, but there rarely comes a moment in training that is as stressful as during the heat of competition. When we are in a high-stress state, some body systems shut down to help focus the body’s ener-

gy on the systems that are more urgently called upon. Early man experienced this high-stress response when his survival was threatened. Back then, if you needed to escape from a hungry predator your body assumed the physiology that would help you to do just that: Blood moved away from parts of the body not necessary for immediate survival, the stomach being one of them, and was shunted to the places that would help you to live another day, like your working muscles. No sense in worrying about digesting your last meal if you were going to be a predator’s next one. Now fast-forward to modern day and your race situation, where just about everyone experiences anticipation or stress.

Your body is reading this cue and responding accordingly, meaning that among other things, your digestive system gets put on low priority and your muscles get loaded with blood and oxygen. This is not a problem in short races. But if you are doing an event that requires taking in calories, then the source of your calories must be scrutinized. In lab research, sport drinks with maltodextrin as a carbohydrate base seem to outperform all other sources for helping sustain an athlete’s energy levels. Maltodextrin is a long-chain carbohydrate that breaks down gradually, releasing its stored energy into the body over time, with the result of also sustaining an athlete’s performance. But in a race, the stalled digestive system is slow to break maltodextrin into glucose, the simple form of carbohydrate that all carbs and sugars must break down to before they can be absorbed. Instead, it just sits there. Some does get digested, but not at the rate that it happened in training or in a low-stress lab experiment. The result? If the race is long and hot enough, you will gradually get bloated as you pour more and more drink down your gullet. Eventually the only thing this undigested mess can do is to come back up. Not pretty! The solution: Seek out a sports drink that has some or all of its carbohydrates coming from glucose, or dextrose (the common name for this sugar). Glucose will be absorbed passively without any need for your digestive system to break it down, and it will not only sustain your energy, but also help prevent any backing up in the stomach. This is a simple solution to a complex problem. Mark Allen is a six-time Ironman champion and coaches athletes through his website,

30 | December 2010



Voices A-Blazin’

OVERCOMING HOLIDAY TRAINING OBSTACLES When it comes to training during a holiday vacation away from home, the first question you should ask yourself is whether you should be training at all (see story on active recovery, page 96). If you should indeed be training, then remember that the training conditions during holiday vacations are never ideal. It helps to accept that you can only do the best you can. When planning your training around a holiday vacation, one of the easiest ways to ensure you get in the training you need is to design your calendar so that you’ll have a recovery week while you’re away. In other words, put in some killer workouts leading up to your vacation and then only do light workouts while on vacation. Your body will need the rest anyway, and you’ll be able to more fully enjoy your friends and family. To avoid lugging your bike with you when vacationing, scope out the local gyms and ask if they have any spin classes during your stay. While spin classes aren’t ideal cycling training, they are a great replacement if you don’t have a bike. A holiday vacation can also be a time to focus on your running, as it’s the easiest triathlon discipline to do anywhere and it’s the one that requires the least amount of time to get the maximum benefits. Also remember that, depending on the vacation, you may not need to do much exercising at all. A sightseeing trip to Paris, for example, requires a lot of energy and walking, so missing out on triathlon workouts during such a trip isn’t that big of a deal. // COURTNEY BAIRD


TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010

Have you ever heard a professional triathlete sing? Here’s your chance: Hawaii Ironman finisher Mark Mason, lead singer for the California-based rock band Ampage, has gathered the likes of Chrissie Wellington, Leanda Cave, Andy Potts, Matt Reed and Scott Tinley to record a “We Are the World”-type version of the song Mason wrote—“Iron Blazeman.” The song pays tribute to Ironman athlete John “Blazeman” Blais, who died from ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in 2007. Mason was inspired last year after meeting pros Leanda Cave and Torsten Abel, who both actively raise money for the Blazeman Foundation for ALS, so he adapted the words of the song he had written in celebration of finishing the Hawaii Ironman, “Ironman Sam,” to honor Blazeman. And what started as joking with Cave and Abel about starting the Ironman Band turned into asking pros to lend their voices to the project, the funds from which will go directly to the Blazeman Foundation. The athletes each sing a line of the verse and then all join in on the chorus. “It started as such a kooky idea, it surprises me it’s grown as much as it has,” Mason says. The most challenging part has been logistics—and convincing professional triathletes to record their singing voices for the world to hear. In the end, the song will have about 100 pros and age-groupers involved, which Mason believes says a lot about the triathlon community. He hopes that the song will also promote a better awareness of ALS. He also hopes, with the incredible growth of multisport in recent years, that the song will serve a snapshot of the “class of 2010” triathlon community. And if you are wondering about who rocks the hardest, it’s “definitely Leanda Cave,” Mason says. “She showed up, grabbed the guitar, put it on and started rocking out. I was on the floor laughing.” The song will be released by Dec. 15, will be sold for $2.99 online through and For more information about the Blazeman Foundation for ALS, visit // BETHANY LEACH MAVIS

From left: Chrissie Wellington; Leanda Cave; Mark Mason and Chrissie

“Hills Hurt... Couches Kill!” equip yourself this winter



Tri-Targeted Core Exercise

The plank position is an easy, yet powerful exercise that can help you build and maintain core strength. To start, hold the plank position with your shoulders over your wrists or your elbows, or you can rest on your forearms as you do in your aerobars. Remember to keep your back long from shoulders to hips to heels. Engage your core, and work with your legs straight or, as you learn the pose, bent at the knees. It sounds simple, but you’ll find holding your back in a stable, neutral position can be challenging at first. Aim to

build to three repetitions of holding the pose for five slow breaths. To make it harder and more tri-specific, practice keeping your core steady while you move your limbs. To simulate swimming, try reaching an arm forward without letting your hips shift. To mimic reaching for a water bottle on the bike, move an arm to the side or touch your back. And to benefit your running, alternately reach your legs off the ground, keeping your weight centered as you lift one foot and then the other. // SAGE ROUNTREE

RIDE ON Although winter is in full effect in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, there are still plenty of places that offer sunny weather and ideal biking conditions. Here are a few biking vacation tours that roll out in December.

Hawaii Classic, Family and Budget Tours by Bicycle Adventures Duration: Seven days Start: Waikoloa, Hawaii End: Waikoloa, Hawaii Daily distance: About 45 miles, but can be tailored to fit your needs. Lodging and food: Lodging included, with one dinner on your own. Max participants: 15 (budget tour can take up to 20) Highlights: Bicycle Adventures offers three tours around Hawaii’s Big Island—the classic, budget and family—with the classic tour being the most upscale. Besides the cycling—which can include three century rides if you want—you can snorkel, hike the volcano, tour a coffee plantation, and visit an ancient Hawaiian holy city. Cost: $3,050 per person

California Bike Tour: Central Coast by Undiscovered Country Duration: Six days Start: Paso Robles, Calif. End: Santa Barbara, Calif. Daily distance: 40 to 50 miles Lodging and food: Included Max participants: 14

Highlights: This tour, catered to the avid cyclist, begins in the rolling countryside of California’s central wine country and ends on Santa Barbara’s beaches. Lodging is in the form of countryside inns, and the tour boasts a 4,000-foot climb on its last day. Cost: $1,887 per person, double occupancy

Wine Roads of the Andes Cycling by REI Adventures Duration: 10 days Start: Buenos Aires, Argentina End: Santiago, Chile Daily distance: About 25 miles Lodging and food: Lodging included, along with most meals. Max participants: 10 Highlights: This cycling tour is light on the cycling and heavy on the local culture and wines, says tour rep Justin Wood. The trip includes visits to Andean towns, wineries, galleries and other attractions, all with the help of local guides. Participants also get to make their own blend of wine and stay in several four-star hotels. Cost: $3,799 for REI members (a $20 lifetime membership fee)


TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010





The Handicapped Workout

Many people struggle with training in groups because of the varying ability levels among the group’s members. But there is a way to get all the fun and motivation from a group training environment without compromising your intensity: the handicapped workout. Cycling and running are better suited for handicapped workouts than swimming. With cycling, you could handicap a long hill climb by letting the slower athlete get a headstart. Alternatively, you could switch the climb with a set distance, such as a 20K time trial, and allow the slower athlete to draft if caught. On a mountain bike, you could set up a 2-mile offroad loop and give each rider a disparate number of loops to complete before determining the “winner.” If you have run repeats to do, make the distance longer for the strong runner but make the rest interval the same. For instance, have both runners leave on five minutes but have one run a 1K and the other run 800 meters. This way, both athletes do the intensity and distance appropriate for their ability but still have fun working out together. Get creative devising your own handicapped workout and let the trash talking begin.


TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010

Memory Muscle What do muscles and elephants have in common? Memory. All athletes seem to share a fear of losing the performance capabilities they have worked so hard for if they decrease their training volume or, worse, stop altogether for any length of time. But fear not: Muscle, it seems, has an ability to remember how strong and how large it was when it was trained. In addition, it remembers how much of the muscle was dedicated to slow twitch (endurance) fibers and how much to fast twitch (power, sprinting) fibers. Using lab animals, a Norwegian team led by Kristian Gunderson demonstrated that when muscle is trained, nuclei develop with in the muscle cells. These nuclei then guide the development of slow or fast twitch fibers, depending on the type of training being done. When detraining occurs, muscle cells shrink but the nuclei remain for a seemingly indefinite period of time. If training begins anew, even months to years later, muscle mass and performance return to levels similar to what they were when they were well trained, and they do so more quickly than if the muscle were never trained in the first place. This is especially relevant for an ill or injured athlete (or a healthy athlete who wants to enjoy the off-season) who must take time off from training. Knowing that the muscle memory will allow for a more rapid return to fitness and strength should make the time off a little bit easier to bear. // JEFFREY SANKOFF, MD

An Apple A Day Keeps Food Allergies Away? The health benefits of apples have been touted over the ages through folklore, and now science is further supporting these beliefs. A recent study at the Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland suggests that eating an apple before a meal could limit inflammation caused by food allergies. Food allergies are triggered by allergens found in foods containing fish, gluten, peanuts, soybeans, dairy, nuts, sulfites and eggs. To test an apple’s ability to abate food allergies, the Nestlé scientists gave a polyphenolenriched apple extract to mice that were sensitized to ovalbumin (a protein found in egg whites). They found that the mice that consumed the apple extract before being challenged with the food showed a much lower food allergy response. Turns out, there’s some truth to the apple-a-day adage, so enjoy this late-season crop. // MELANIE MCQUAID




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time-crunched triathlete

Thinking Outside the Pool


38 | December 2010

ficult to focus intently on one aspect of swim technique. When you’re on the Vasa you aren’t turning your head so frequently, so you can monitor the position of your arms throughout the entire catch phase of each stroke. Keep in mind, however, that because the Vasa Ergometer doesn’t require all of the integrated motions of inwater swimming, it has to be considered a supplement to your pool workouts and not a total replacement. For example, you are not working on your kick or your sideto-side breathing while on the machine. When it comes to designing individual workouts on this machine, they can vary for each athlete. The unit has the ability to adjust the resistance or load on your arms through a flap door that alters the amount of airflow into the wind-generating ››

Chris Carmichael: john segesta

by chris carmichael

Training might be a big priority for you, but on a daily basis, you have to make decisions around keeping your training, career and family in balance. Swimming is often the most difficult of the three triathlon disciplines to fit into a timecrunched schedule. Fortunately, there is a great training tool available that you can use when your time is too crunched to complete a full in-water swim session. Say hello to the Vasa Ergometer. To use the Vasa Ergometer, you lie on your belly on an elevated padded platform that moves forward and backward on a rail. In each hand you hold a swim paddle that is attached to a resistance unit via a cable. As you mimic your swim stroke, the cables provide resistance and ideally the platform should stay stationary. This training device is so useful because it allows you to complete a sportspecific strength workout in a short period of time. It can also help improve your swim technique. For example, one important part of swim technique is maintaining high elbows during the catch phase of your swim stroke, which puts your hand and forearm in an optimal position for a strong pulling phase. There are ways to work on this and other components of stroke technique in the water, but the necessities of staying at the surface and moving forward sometimes make it dif-






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time-crunched triathlete fan. You can also change the angle of the rail supporting the sliding platform. It’s important to remember, though, that even on an easy setting, a Vasa workout will be much harder than a comparable in-water workout. For example, if you usually swim 45 to 60 minutes in the pool, you might only be able to handle 10 to 15 minutes on the Vasa, perhaps less the first time you use the machine. From the perspective of a timecrunched athlete, however, that’s not a bad thing because a high-quality 15-minute workout on the Vasa is better than skipping your swim training altogether. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Vasa with about five to eight minutes of “swimming” to help you determine how your current fitness level translates to time and effort on the machine. Since you’re using the Vasa for more of an endurance swimming workout than a purely strength training workout, you’ll want the angle of the rail to stay almost level, or for more resistance you can raise the front of the rail. Be sure to get in a good two to five minutes of easy swimming on the ma-

chine (very light resistance) to warm up your arms before attempting any particular intervals. We recommend that your first workout be five to 10 x 30-second freestyle intervals with 30 to 45 seconds of passive recovery between intervals. You only want to pull as hard as you can while maintaining perfect form, and there will be resistance on your arms during the recovery phase of the stroke as well. The Vasa places a lot of load on the initial catch phase of the stroke, when your arm is extended in front of you. You want to be conservative on the Vasa because the muscles controlling this portion of the stroke are often somewhat weak, meaning they are easy to overload. As your fitness and experience with the machine progress, your goal should be to increase the duration of individual intervals while reducing your total number of intervals. In other words, you want to accumulate more total work time and make each work period longer. A typical progression could go from 10 x 30-second intervals,

to 5 x 1-minute intervals, 5 x 90-second intervals, eventually working your way up to repeatable five-minute intervals. The key is to continue challenging yourself to swim a little longer, but without sacrificing technique in the process. At the end of any series of intervals, cool down with one to three minutes of low-resistance swimming to help facilitate circulation to and from the muscles you’ve been training. For time-crunched athletes, the Vasa Ergometer can be a great timesaver and a beneficial addition to your swim training. Most importantly, it helps to bridge the gap between missing and completing workouts when training gets kicked off course by your busy life. Patrick Valentine co-wrote this article. Valentine is an expert coach for Carmichael Training Systems and the top amateur finisher at the 2010 Xterra Lory. Chris Carmichael is the founder and CEO of Carmichael Training Systems, which is also the official coaching and camps partner of Ironman. Visit


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racing weight

Should You Eat Like a Caveman?

T 42 | December 2010

to about 12,000 years ago. The rationale is that our species evolved adapting to the foods we ate; thus, our genes are specifically designed to use these nutrition sources. Any food types that entered our diet after the main work of our evolution was done cannot be used as efficiently and effectively by our bodies, the authors contend. The mantra of the Paleo Diet is this: “If you can’t find it in the wild, don’t eat it.” So it’s a diet that consists of lean (preferably wild or free-range) meats, fish, fruits, non-starchy vegetables, nuts and seeds. Grains and dairy foods are generally frowned upon because they entered ››

matt fitzgerald: Nils Nilsen

by matt fitzgerald

The Paleo Diet is a relatively underground phenomenon, but it is quietly spreading within the ranks of serious endurance athletes. The diet was developed by Loren Cordain, Ph.D., whose book, “The Paleo Diet,” was published in 2002. It became popular with endurance athletes after a sequel, “The Paleo Diet for Athletes,” was published three years later. So what is the Paleo Diet? The authors believe that we humans are healthiest and function best when we eat exclusively those foods that our ancient ancestors ate during the Paleolithic Age, which covers the entire span of our evolution from roughly 2.5 million years ago

racing weight the human diet after the Paleolithic Age. All manner of processed foods, from potato chips to soft drinks, are also taboo. There is, in fact, some pretty good evidence that our bodies do not use post-Paleolithic foods as well as earlier ones. For example, it is known that grains tend to promote systemic inflammation, body fat storage and tissue acidity. So, all in all, the authors make a pretty good case that the Paleo Diet is close to optimal for athletes and non-athletes alike. There’s only one problem. The Paleo Diet is, by modern American standards, extremely restrictive and countercultural. The typical endurance athlete who chooses to wholly embrace it will be forced to drastically alter his or her eating and shopping habits. And are the benefits really worth those privations? A close inspection of the data suggests not. For example, while grain eaters generally have poorer health than those who avoid this food group, grains in general are not to blame. Refined grains such as white rice are the problem. Whole grains such as brown rice actually enhance health. For example, a recent study out of the Harvard School of Public Health found that men and women who ate more than two servings of brown rice per week had a lower-than-average risk for type 2 diabetes, while those who ate five or more servings of white rice per week had an above-average risk for the disease. As for dairy, many adults cannot properly digest dairy foods because of a genetically based lactose intolerance that is directly associated with the absence of dairy foods from our ancestral diets. However, the best evidence suggests that those who can digest dairy foods stand to benefit from keeping them in their diet. A 2005 study by scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital reported that each serving of dairy consumed daily reduced type 2 diabetes risk by 9 percent in a population of 41,000 men tracked for 12 years. It also bears mentioning that studies linking consumption of grains and dairy to negative health effects involve non-athletic populations. However, these health effects are generally negated by exercise. For example, diets that include lots of high glycemic index (GI) foods such as grains are linked to insulin resistance in the general population, but not in regular exercisers. One study found that insulin sensitivity (which is the opposite of insulin resistance, hence a good thing) increased in obese couch potatoes who were either placed on an exercise program or a low GI diet, but it improved most with exercise and did not improve any more when exercise and a low GI diet were combined. There are plenty of anecdotal reports of improvements in body composition and energy levels in athletes who switch to the Paleo Diet. However, body composition tends to improve when any sort of effort is made to improve diet quality. The Paleo Diet is certainly a healthy diet and one that I would encourage any triathlete who thinks he or she can put up with its restrictions to try. But you can get similar results from changes that are less drastic than eliminating entire food groups from your diet. Matt Fitzgerald is the author of “Racing Weight� (VeloPress, 2009).

44 | December 2010



Training and Racing Training spot: Victoria, B.C. Place to swim in open water: Noosa, Australia Race: The Olympic Games Form of active recovery: Easy swim Piece of gear: Oakley sunglasses Do you prefer a hilly or flat course? Hilly! Drafting or non-drafting? Drafting, as long as it is a hilly, challenging course. Proudest moment in triathlon: Winning the Des Moines World Cup in 2007

Fuel Pre-race meal: Chicken and veggie pasta Fuel during a race: Carbo Pro Post-workout recovery fuel: Athletes HoneyMilk Coffee: Amante Selection A Junk food: Chocolate chip cookies Cocktail: Piña colada


Laura Bennett


TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010

Downtime Book: “The Da Vinci Code” Charity: Family Movie: “Wedding Crashers” Music: Black Eyed Peas If you weren’t a professional triathlete, you’d be … a Hollywood superstar.


Laura Bennett is one of the best American triathletes on the ITU circuit. She won the 2007 ITU Hy-Vee World Cup Triathlon—which has a huge prize purse of $200,000—and she barely missed a medal in Beijing by finishing fourth. Out with an injury after the Olympics, she recently bounced back with an eighth-place finish at the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Grand Final in Budapest, Hungary, in September. That finish makes her the topranked American in 2010 and 10th in the world.

City to race in: Sydney, Australia Snack when you’re traveling: Honey Stinger bars Way to avoid bike fees: Hope I am lucky and have a nice check-in attendant who doesn’t care about adding to the revenue of the airlines. Way to pass the time in a plane: Sudoku and movies

Š2009 Kurt Manufacturing Co.

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dear coach

The Role of Strength Training Dear Coach, I just completed another season and had mixed results. I really want to take my performance to the next level in 2011, beginning with my offseason training. I have heard so many mixed opinions on the value of strength work in triathlon. Does it really help, or would I be sacrificing important training miles?

with matt dixon | December 2010

pre-season is a perfect time to make functional strength your priority and to set you up for next year. Let’s begin our discussion on functional strength by identifying what it isn’t. A proper functional strength program does not entail hours and hours of heavy lifting at the gym with traditional exercises such as bench presses, leg presses and bicep curls. While these types of activities have a place in health and fitness, it is highly questionable as to how they relate to endurance performance, and the vast majority of athletes I work with can achieve proper stimulus and benefit by using their own body weight. Functional strength is not simply a series of static abdominal exercises and core work, such as crunches, which have value as preliminary exercises and rehab but will not provide optimal performance gains in endurance sports. To be truly effective, functional strength training should include these characteristics: ››

Matt Dixon: larry rosa


There is much confusion and conflict regarding the value of strength training as it applies to endurance sports, and to provide a valuable response I should clarify exactly what I think of when discussing strength training. I think there should be very little debate as to the value of strength training in improving endurance performance—this being specific exercises and movements that improve stability, mobility and functional strength that directly correlate to movements made in your core sport (swim, bike, run). Functional strength is one of the four pillars of performance I base my training philosophy on, with the other three being the core sport, recovery and nutrition. These four pillars are ranked equally in importance for every athlete and provide a balanced approach and platform from which to make gains. I would, therefore, argue that functional strength is critical throughout the season—not just in the off-season (or pre-season as I call it). The

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Lateral and stability training: Exercises should work on the stabilizing muscles in the lower back, abdominals and hips, with plenty of focus on lateral movement. Triathlon is predominantly linear in nature so training with lateral exercises will help provide support, prevent injury and allow you to maintain your form and biomechanics when fatigue sets in. Functional exercise: Many of your functional strength exercises should directly correlate to movements you will make in the core sport(s). Movements should be dynamic and teach you to engage the prime movers in the exercise in conjunction with the core muscle groups in the abs and lower back. Graded unstable environment: As you progress in any exercise you should be able to evolve the exercise to be done in a less and less stable environment. Simply engaging muscles in a stable movement pattern will have nowhere near the benefit or correlation to the real world. This being said, it is critical to progress only when you have mastered the proper movements in the more stable environment. I am often amazed at how many people are keen to complete the most advanced exercises before mastering the simple ones. Mobility: Endurance sports are not simply about pure strength. Functional strength should include exercises that aid in strength through movement patterns correlating to the core sport, as well as aiding continued improvements in mobility and range of motion at the joints. A perfect example is the anchor of running: the hips. For our runners and triathletes, hip mobility is a central focus, with the aim of maintaining and improving strong but mobile hips. To achieve proper muscular recruitment and biomechanics, the hips have to move freely without restriction. A proper functional strength program will provide specific strength but also improve mobility.

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You can add tremendous benefits to your training and performance by creating space in your training schedule for at least two functional strength sessions a week. Notice I did not say “add in two sessions.” These sessions should be as much of a priority as your core sport, and the long-term gains are huge. At Purplepatch we use TRX Suspension Training as our primary training tool to achieve these objectives. No tool is the answer to functional strength, and there are many ways of achieving functional movement with other systems. The beauty of this tool is that it achieves all of the above criteria to proper functional strength, while being both highly portable and applicable to all levels. I have all of my professional athletes use this system, including Ironman champions Chris Lieto, Tyler Stewart, Linsey Corbin and Meredith Kessler. Whatever approach or system you employ to aid functional strength, it is a worthy component of every training plan. Functional strength exercises prevent injury, increase body awareness and control, improve power production and are a great platform for improved biomechanics. Don’t take this part of your training lightly—it is as important as any swim, bike or run. Matt Dixon is an exercise physiologist, former professional triathlete, elite coach and the owner of the San Francisco-based professional coaching company Purplepatch Fitness.

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.

checking in

Ask a Pro


What’s your nutrition plan for a half-iron race? What and how often do you eat and drink during the event?

with andy potts | December 2010


My nutrition has drastically changed since my first half-Ironman back in 2006. I approached my first half-Ironman with the mentality that it was only twice an Olympic distance race so I wouldn’t need anything more than something to drink on the bike. I had a muffin before the race for breakfast and two bottles of Gatorade Endurance on the bike. I got through the race just fine but I was a little worse for wear in terms of recovery after the race. I was definitely dehydrated when I reached the finish line and I was ravenously hungry. Since then I have added more calories pre-race as well as more calories during the race as liquid and gels. Because of the extra calories I not only feel better during the race but I also have improved focus. I still think you can get away with refueling just with liquids if you are anticipating racing less than four hours. That is the threshold I use to determine what kind of nutrition strategy to employ for a race. Another rule of thumb I use is that if the pace is too fast for you to consume your drink or anything else, then you are probably going too hard. I like to hover right on the edge of that line and stay there for the duration of the race. As long as I’m continuing to fuel my body, my mind stays focused on the strategy part of racing. Here is how I approach my racing day from a nutritional standpoint. I’ll get up around 5:30 a.m. for a 7 a.m. race start. I’m usually not that hungry before a race so I just go with something that I like and something that I know I tolerate well. I try to eat a bowl of cereal before I head out the door and while on the way to the race or in transition I’ll eat a muffin (I love muffins and they sit really easily in my stom-



ach). I’ll pack an extra water bottle with an electrolyte mix to drink. Once the race starts, I constantly remind myself to take in fluids and gel whenever I can. I consciously try to get through three 20-ounce water bottles filled with an electrolyte drink mix. In addition to hydrating on the bike I also try to finish an entire gel flask of PowerGel (Note: I put three PowerGels in a flask, which can hold four or more, and fill the rest with water to make the gel easier to swallow). If I can get all of that down during the ride, I know I will be able to keep my energy and focus where it needs to be on the run. I finish up the last half of my last bottle right before I reach T2. When I get into T2 I have a gel flask waiting next to my shoes. While out on the course, I’ll take a swig of gel right before running through an aid station so I can grab a cup of water to help me swallow it. On the run I just take water. It is usually a cup that is about a third full and enough for one gulp, perfect to chase the gel. My goal on the run is to finish all of my gel by mile 10 and then let adrenaline take me through the home stretch. When you look at the end of my consumption profile, it is 60 ounces of an electrolyte drink (PowerBar Perform, EFS First Endurance drink, Gatorade Endurance) and six gels (PowerGel, Liquid Shot by First Endurance, GU). Calorie profile: 50 calories per eight ounces of electrolyte drink, 350 to 400 calories from liquid and 100-plus calories per packet of gel totaling 600-plus calories. I’ll burn more than 4,000 calories during the race and replace about 1,000 of them with my nutrition plan. The rest of my energy comes from eating right during the week and training properly leading into the race.

Jamie Kripke



A triathlon is a test of both physical endurance and mental toughness. Good training and awesome gear help, too. That’s what you’ll find at VO2 Multisport. VO2 is a retail store, training center and repair shop combined. Three different focuses, one mission — to help multisport athletes get the most out of every breath.

Visit the online store at



Juju Chang

Sample of Chang’s strength-building workouts:

(Workouts never exceeded an hour and were typically around 30 minutes.)



TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010

assignment for ABC on normal weight obesity, when a person of seemingly “normal” weight has an alarmingly high body fat percentage. For the story, Chang had her body fat measured using a body mass indicator and realized her own body fat percentage was much too high. “I thought, ‘You know what, this is a wakeup call. I have got to do something about this!’ That’s when I came up with this crazy idea to do a triathlon and raise money for Haiti,” she says. So this past June, Chang rallied a legion of more than 30 coworkers, friends and family members, coined Team Juju, to enter into the Housatonic Valley Sprint Triathlon in Connecticut. Employing Ironman triathlete and marathoner Tom Holland as her trainer, Chang worked tirelessly to get her post-baby body back into shape for the September race date. In conjunction with the 100-day training plan he created for ››

2. Using dumbbells: alternating front and side raises 3. Squats with bicep curls 4. Stationary lunges with dumbbells 5. Walking lunge with dumbbell overhead presses 6. Step-ups with dumbbells 7. Stability ball crunches 8. Triple plank exercises 9. Wall sit with dumbbells 10. Medicine ball twists

About Tom Holland: Holland is an exercise physiologist, sports performance coach and 18time Ironman finisher. He’s also the author of “The Marathon Method” and “The 12-Week Triathlete.”


Juju Chang, anchor for “Good Morning America,” is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, who’s covered everything from the devastating California wildfires, to human rights violations in Tanzania, but it was her visit to Haiti that inspired her to try triathlon with the goal of raising funds for UNICEF. “As reporter, my job is to bear witness to tragic events around the world and be a neutral observer, but there are times, like when I saw what happened in Haiti, and it just stays with you,” says Chang. “I just couldn’t get the images out of my head— especially the children.” But that wasn’t Chang’s only reason for giving triathlon a try. “I have had three babies and in the past 10 years, and I calculated it: I have been pregnant or nursing during six of the last 10 years. Let’s just say, I have not been in the best of shape.” This was reaffirmed during a story

1. Push-ups on the Bosu Ball

Your choice. Complete




See website for more information.

generated at

I’m a triathlete her, Holland also combined family time with her run and bike workouts. “Tom is a parent too, so we went running together with the stroller,” Chang explains. “My 2-year-old was on the back of the bike with me when we went on rides, and we’d do the 6-mile loop around Central Park.” She trained the same way many other fulltime working parents do—by squeezing in short workouts into a busy schedule. “The focus was on quality, not quantity,” says Holland. “My goal was to get her to the start line healthy, happy and not resenting the training.”

Chang set aside 20 minutes or so each morning to fit in her training—despite her gym aversion. And it paid off. She crossed the finish line Sept. 11, completing the quarter-mile swim, 12-mile bike and 3-mile run in an hour and 30 minutes. Her efforts helped raise more than $52,000 for UNICEF, which will be used to help promote educational projects and sanitary aid for the children of Haiti. Crossing the finish line, Chang burst into tears. “The feeling I had when I finished should be bottled and sold by prescription—it was magical,” she exclaims. “I felt

Check Out One of Tom Holland’s Weekly Training Plans for Juju Chang: {Juju’s 15-Week Sprint Triathlon Plan} BASE




4 weeks

4 weeks

4 weeks

4 weeks

Weeks 1-4

Weeks 5-8

Weeks 9-12

Weeks 13-15

56 Aqualung_Trimag_prelim.indd | December 2010 1

like I had done this amazing thing with my friends and colleagues to help ourselves, help each other and help other people around us. It was physically empowering, emotionally powerful and charitable— what more is there in life?” As for her plans to race again? “I plan on doing one next year with my girlfriends in Nantucket, Mass.,” she says. But don’t think her next one will be all for show. Chang assures us her next triathlon won’t be a madefor-ABC extravaganza. Instead she says, “I’m going to do this next one for myself.” // Lauren Ventura

Mondays: OFF Tuesdays: Weights and run Wednesdays: OFF Thursdays: Weights and swim Fridays: Her choice of one swim, bike or run workout Saturdays: Brick Sundays: Run The fourth week of each training block was a recovery week. Volume increased slowly.

10/7/10 4:14 PM

checking in

confessions of an age-grouper

Welcome to My Water World


I overdo things. Or perhaps my age-to-ability-to-recover ratio is out of balance. Either way, I found myself strapping on a pool running belt and sliding into the slow lane to log monotonous wet laps, rather than delighting in my usual scenic vista-filled trail run. Injuries happen, and at some point every triathlete faces a compulsory work-around to the tried and true swim, bike and run routine. But water running as a fitness fix has a decidedly dull and dorky reputation. After all, staring at the black line, lap upon lap, is bad enough when actually swimming. Going through the motions in the pantomime of a real run, up and down that 25-meter stretch, can be downright mind numbing. Yet fear not, friends. In the interest of turning all obstacles to the positive–and given the abundant time I’ve had to think this through while sprinting water-logged intervals– I present you with 10 REASONS POOL RUNNING DOESN’T REALLY SUCK. 1. It gives the barefoot movement a whole new angle– and spares the wear and tear on your running kicks. 2. You earn sympathetic looks from the cute boy-toy lifeguards. 3. Until now you thought breastroke was the slowest way you could possibly travel from one end of the pool to the other. 4. Hello, six-pack! Water running recruits those pesky, oft-neglected core muscles. Even your arms will exhibit extra buffness, strengthening with the resistance of the water. 5. If ever you long for a surrogate granny, there are plenty of gentle, smiling faces in the therapeutic lap lane. 6. From your vertical vantage point, you can observe, admire and critique the swim strokes of the nearby lap swimmers. Maybe you’ll learn something. 7. There are no rocks, stumps, curbs or other obstacles in the pool. In the water, you’re no longer a danger to yourself. You can even try running with your eyes closed. (Note: Resist the urge to fall asleep.) 8. One rarely encounters rattlesnakes while pool running.

58 | December 2010

10. If you can mentally endure two hours of water running, your next Ironman marathon will feel short.

hunter king

By holly bennett

9. If you hop in immediately following a bike session, you get to call it a “P-run.”


Racers prepare to start the Rohto Ironman 70.3 Boulder as the sun rises over the Boulder Reservoir. PHOTOGRAPH BY LARRY ROSA

December 2010 | TRIATHLETE.COM



Technique Patrol Make these drills part of your swim training regimen for improved stroke efficiency. High-Elbow Catch

Stroke, Stroke, Eat Triathletes preparing for long course races will spend months, sometimes years, dialing in their perfect nutrition plan for race day. Fueling the body to race for multiple hours is a tricky aspect of multisport. Gels, chews, drinks, bars, bites and beans are easily accessible during the bike and run legs of a race, but athletes will go without any nutrition for more than an hour in the water. Here’s a tip from world-class openwater swimmers: Tuck gels into your suit (or wetsuit) and eat them during the swim. Make sure you can easily reach the package, quickly pull it out as you roll onto your back, tear it open and squeeze it into your mouth. During swim practice, experiment with storing gel packets in your race attire. Look for a tri suit with pockets or find a comfortable and secure place inside the elastic leg bands. For wetsuit swims, consider the top of your forearms.

Remember these important points:


TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010

Underwater Freestyle Catch Developing a good underwater freestyle catch is important because it is one of the most crucial elements to forward propulsion. The entire process happens beneath the swimmer’s body, making it hard to observe and mimic. When your arm is fully extended in the water, the first movement of the catch is to point your fingers to the bottom of the pool. Keep your wrist straight and your elbow bent above your forearm. This arm position forms a strong paddle with a lot of surface area to “catch” the water. Two things to avoid during the freestyle catch: fully straightened arms and crossing the center line of the body. Look at your arm position when you lift yourself out of the pool or push away from your desk. Notice how you achieve the most power by spacing your hands just outside your body, keeping your wrists straight and strong, and bending your elbows near 90 degrees. Feel how your pectoral, tricep and forearm muscles are engaged and strong. Now, take that same position to the pool and feel the power in your underwater catch.



• Continue to kick while you are eating on your back. • Don’t discard your garbage on the course (tuck the wrapper back in). • Slightly tear the packaging before the race so it can be easily opened with wet hands.

The purpose of a drill is to overemphasize a small aspect of the swim stroke to feel the correct position in the water. High-elbow drills help you feel—and make the most of—the power created by keeping your elbow high during the underwater catch phase of your stroke. The fist drill is simple (and cheap). Slowly swim freestyle with your hands balled into fists. Don’t rush the stroke or windmill your arms. Feel the water on your forearms and use them as powerful paddles to move yourself through the water. Tennis balls prevent cheating; you cannot create any water pressure on your hands when you are holding tennis balls. Keep your knuckles pointing toward the bottom of the pool. Hand paddles can be modified to help strengthen your high-elbow catch. Instead of putting your fingers through the straps, grasp the edge of the paddle so it is lying flat against your wrist. If you bend your wrist, the edge of the paddle should dig into your forearm. Try the Finis Fulcrum paddles, which look like the number “8.” They slide onto your forearm, and if you relax your wrist or fingers while swimming, the paddles will fall off.







The Making of a Wetsuit

Inside TYR’s 5-step process to design and build a wetsuit

1. Shape the suit.

Tyr started the design process with a focus group of triathletes who told the designers how the suit should feel in the water and how it should alter the swimmer’s stroke. Tyr strove to design anatomically correct panels that follow contours of typical male and female physiques to minimize restriction, and they used a mannequin with malleable dimensions to ensure the panels wrap smoothly around a swimmer’s body without having seams over the important moveable segments. All three Tyr suits use the same panel patterns to ensure proper fit at every level.

on the panel 2.Decide characteristics.

The three major characteristics of each individual wetsuit panel are insulation, buoyancy and stretch. According to Tyr’s wetsuit designer Jared Berger, “A thinner suit will stretch more in key areas (such as the shoulders) but might not be buoyant enough to lift the legs of a lower-level swimmer,” so Tyr matches the materials used in its suits to meet the needs of different types of swimmers. Its high-end suits, aimed at experienced swimmers, are designed primarily for flexibility in the upper body and buoyancy in the lower body. To achieve these characteristics,

Tyr builds the upper body of its flagship suit, the Category 1, with 1.5-millimeter thick neoprene panels. Its entry-level suit, the Category 5, uses thicker material throughout the torso, which is both more buoyant and less flexible than the Category 1.

3.Make the neoprene.

Wetsuit neoprene begins as polychloroprene powder. The Yamamoto Corporation, which makes Tyr’s neoprene, adds a proprietary mix of ingredients to the powder in order to fine-tune the material’s elasticity, color, buoyancy and several other properties. This mixture is made into a doughy substance and, with the help of pressure and heat, squished into sheets of neoprene. Yamamoto applies a coating to the neoprene used for the Category 3 and Category 5 suits to reduce the friction between the suit and the water.

4. Assemble the suit.

Panels shaped to match body contours

Flexible panels for free arm movement Thin neoprene for flexibility

Tyr assembles the neoprene panels using both glue and thread to ensure a connection that is both strong and watertight. Tyr uses a proprietary bonding process to attach its compression panels, and the company is tight-lipped about this method. The cloth inner liner is glued onto the neoprene and sewn in place with flatlock stitching that reliably holds the suit together without compromising flexibility.

5. Undergo testing.

Seams are bonded and stitched together

TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010



Thick neoprene for buoyancy

Instead of quantitatively measuring a suit’s speed, Tyr designed the Hurricane suits with the philosophy that a comfortable suit is a fast suit, and it relied heavily on its sponsored athletes to refine the designs. Andy Potts swam in early versions of the Hurricane wetsuits and provided feedback about how to tweak the suit to maximize comfort and the swim experience. When he first swam in a prototype suit with Tyr’s free-moving back panel he gave his seal of approval by telling the designers, “You guys finally figured it out.” They stuck with that design. // AARON HERSH

gear bag

Tyr Nest Pro, $20

Blueseventy Hydra-Vision, $22

Fit: The Nest Pro offers swimmers a comfortable fit, with a tight nosepiece that stretches for those who need more room. The straps are easy to adjust and the goggles don’t have to be worn too tightly to prevent leaks, allowing you to get out of the pool without noticeable goggle lines around your eyes. View: The Nest Pro has a wider lens than traditional goggles, allowing for greater peripheral view and making them useful for open-water swimming. Because there is a lot of goggle in between each lens, your direct line of sight is impaired, making the black line at the bottom of the pool fuzzier than normal. The lenses are UV-protected and have anti-fog properties, as well. Value: If you’re looking for a pair of goggles to aid in openwater swimming, the Nest Pro’s comfort, tight seal and gift of greater peripheral view make them a bargain at $20. But if you’re looking for a pair to drag with you to the pool every day, you’d probably be better off with a more traditional style.

Fit: The Hydra-Vision is a soft, supple goggle with a tight seal. Like most goggles built for open-water swimming, its nosepiece is nonadjustable, which means that if you have a wider nose, the goggles might not fit correctly. Given this, it’s best to try them on before purchasing. View: Compared to traditional goggles, the Hydra-Visions provide swimmers with increased peripheral view, which is great for open-water swimming. They are also effective in the pool, as the sleekly designed nosepiece provides swimmers with an unimpeded direct line of sight. The tinted lenses also help reduce the sun’s glare. Value: While the Hydra-Vision goggles were the most stylish in this review, at $22, we found them a little on the expensive side. Aqua Sphere Kaiman, $19.95 Also, the strap broke off mid-workout when we tried to loosen it. Fit: The Kaiman has a soft, non-adjustable nosepiece that twists and bends to lay the gaskets flush against the face. The stretchy material allows the lenses to pull far apart from each other, so the Kaiman is best suited for a swimmer with a wider gap between the eyes. Aqua Sphere also offers the Kaiman Small Fit for those with narrower faces. Seal: The Kaiman’s supple lenses and frame let the goggles wrap around the outside of the face and create an incredible seal at all points. The gaskets themselves are equally malleable, which again strengthens the connection between the goggle and the swimmer’s face. The soft nose bridge stretches slightly over time, which eventually affects the seal next to the nose. Value: The Kaiman’s soft rubber doesn’t last forever, but a fresh pair swims better than goggles twice its price. They are the most comfortable goggles we tested.

Zoggs Predator Flex, $34.99

66 | December 2010

by Aaron Hersh & Courtney Baird

Nils nilsen

fit: The Predator Flex boasts the best nosepiece we have tried this year. It is a flexible rubber bridge with a hard plastic support in the middle. The soft rubber allows the lenses to move independently in any direction, which helps them conform to the wearer’s face and creates a reliable seal. Several nosepieces offer this degree of malleability, but the hard plastic piece gives the Predator Flex both strength and flexibility while preventing it from stretching out after dozens of trips to the pool. Seal: The gaskets sit on the outer portion of the eye socket, which relieves pressure on the face and keeps the wearer comfortable into the second hour in the pool. This gasket wasn’t the softest in the test, but it stands up to repeated use and the free-moving lenses help the gaskets form a strong seal. View: The dark mirrored lenses provide good sun protection during an early morning race, but they don’t completely block out glare and they are still light enough to use in a pool. The lenses wrap far around the side of the head and allow for full peripheral view.


Canadian Melanie McQuaid posted the fastest bike split in a tough women’s field on her way to victory at the Xterra USA National Championship in Ogden, Utah. PHOTOGRAPH BY ERIC WYNN/XTERRA

December 2010 | TRIATHLETE.COM


training tips

Take It to the Max

A VO2max test could make you a smarter competitor.

Confused as to why your “extra” training last season didn’t yield better race results? Did your legs flame out halfway through the run? Knowing the heart rates that correspond to your maximum effort and lactate threshold will take the guesswork out of finding the “right” pace for your training and racing. The technicians who run your test will give you an in-depth explanation, but here are the big ideas. What am I getting into? A VO2max test takes about 45 minutes to an hour at a lab. You’ll be weighed and have your body fat tested. Then a machine, attached to an oxygen mask, will measure how much oxygen is in the air you exhale as you perform higher intensities of aerobic effort. At the end of the test you’ll get the full explanation of the data and a chance to ask questions. A lactate what? Your lactate threshold is the intensity of effort at which your muscles begin producing lactic acid. Stay there long enough, and you’re going to feel the burn. Stay just under it, and you’ll go like a certain pink bunny beating a drum. By elevating your absolute maximum

with sprint/interval training, you’ll also elevate your lactate threshold. That’s why knowing both is so important. Treadmill or roll-out? There are two ways to conduct the test—either on a stationary bike or a treadmill. Either one will yield about the same result, but your choice should be based on what’s most comfortable and what event you’re most concerned about. Max via sub-max? There are two types of testing, and the version first established by scientists measures your VO2max directly. It requires you to run or bike at progressively more intense levels of exertion that increase over about 15 minutes until you hit the “stop-you’re-killing-me” threshold. If this doesn’t sound especially fun, new methods allow for a “sub-max” test, which only requires you to put out about 85 percent of your VO2max. Because the sub-max test uses mathematical approximations, it’s less accurate, but not by much. This is the ideal test for athletes with injuries or other concerns. Ask the lab providing the test if its equipment supports this method. OK, now what? Information only helps if you use it. Making the most of your test data will require a little reading, a little planning and a heart rate monitor. Thankfully, heart rate monitors come fairly cheap these days. Over time, you’ll develop a feel for how your body responds to the rates you demand of it, and even sense that it’s improving as your established workout intensities don’t feel as though they demand as much effort. Repeat testing the same time next year and try to get the numbers that prove you’ve become a smarter, more fit competitor. // Jim Gourley

Work Out in an Hour Total time: 52-82 minutes

70 | December 2010

This workout is from “Workouts in a Binder for Indoor Cycling” by Dirk Friel and Wes Hobson. The book is available in bookstores, tri shops and online. Download five free workouts at

Illustration by Hunter King

Warm-up: 17 minutes 5:00—Pedal easy. 12:00—3x (1:00 right leg, 1:00 both legs, 1:00 left leg, 1:00 both legs). Pedal mostly with one leg for a minute, then pedal evenly, then pedal mostly with the other leg for a minute. Main set: 30-60 minutes 30:00—60:00 Zone 2 (a fairly light effort during

which you are able to speak comfortably). Do this workout while watching TV. Pedal at 95 rpm until commercial breaks; during the breaks, alternate 30 seconds of isolated leg training per leg. Cool-down: 5 minutes easy at 90 rpm Tip: Your cadence will want to drop during the isolated leg training, but try to keep it up near 90 rpm.

Vision Vector Pro, 1012 grams,$480 Tested

Get a Grip Aerodynamic drag, weight, aesthetics and materials are important features of any aerobar—but they are all secondary to a bar’s fit characteristics and ergonomics. Aerobars play a critical role in a bike’s fit and comfort because they connect the rider to the machine. The foreand-aft location and height of the elbow pads can affect fit just as much as frame choice, so finding a bar that matches your fit is nearly as important as selecting the right frame. In addition to our reviews of these bars, we also tell you how they will affect bike fit. // by Aaron Hersh

Stack height: Very high, Pad reach length: Moderate, Adjustment range: Moderate, Wrist position: Neutral Vision aerobars have long been fast, relatively light and a good value because of their minimalistic design. Vision’s sleek design used to come with a penalty, however: It had fixed aerobar extensions that could not be adjusted in length. Unlike the standard Vision clip-ons, the Vector Pro extensions can be lengthened and shortened, and these bars have not sacrificed Vision’s typical streamlined design. It retains the positive features of most Vision bars and the new dimension of adjustability makes the Vector Pro Vision’s most practical—although not its most elegant—aerobar ever. Adding this layer of adjustability does, however, add substantial weight to the bars and prevents the pads from lowering down to the basebar.

Profile ZBS Ski-Bend clip-ons/Ozero basebar, 758 grams, $250

72 | December 2010

Hed Corsair, 623 grams (with cables and brake levers), $950 Stack height: Middle, Pad reach length: Middle, Adjustment range: Wide, Wrist position: Neutral Every product that comes out of the Hed workshop in Shoreview, Minn., is built for performance and function. Aesthetics are not part of the equation. The Corsair lacks the elegant fasteners found on some other high-priced bars, but it boasts the most comfortable hand positions—both brake and shift—of any bar in this test. In addition to excellent ergonomics, the Corsairs feature an aerodynamic basebar shape designed by the mad scientist of cycling aerodynamics—Steve Hed. It’s featherweight, but still plenty stiff. It’s hard to call the Corsair a bargain at $950 especially because some other bars look flashier, but the Corsair’s combination of performance, ergonomics and functionality is nearly impossible to beat. ››

John Segesta

Stack height: Very low, Pad reach length: Short, Adjustment range: Narrow, Wrist position: Moderately taut The Ozero/ZBS aerobar is priced as a budget-sensitive bar, but its clean welds, aggressive shapes and minimalistic clamp design give it the look of a pure performance aerobar. The ZBS Ski-Bend creates an exceptionally comfortable wrist position in the aerobars but still offers a nice leverage point during a big effort. The ZBS clip-ons are available in three lengths but cannot be adjusted. The pads, however, can be moved fore and aft as much as 6 centimeters. It isn’t the lightest bar, but the ZBS/ Ozero combination provides exceptional ergonomic and aerodynamic value, if one of the three extension lengths matches your fit.

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

optimal balance


Bontrager Race XXX Lite Carbon, 696 grams, $700 Stack height: Very high, Pad reach length: Short, Adjustment range: Wide, Wrist position: Very relaxed The Race XXX Lite is an elegantly simple aerobar with a fit profile that takes the edge off a frame with fit characteristics that are too aggressive for your personal riding style. If you’ve reached the limits of fit adjustment on your current bike yet still can’t find a comfortable position, the Race XXX Lite Carbon can provide that additional adjustment you need to find a comfy position on your current frame. Its simplistic assembly hardware gives the XXX Lite a clean aero profile, but there’s no internal housing routing pattern for the shifters, and it weighs more than some similarly priced models. These bars are a good choice for any rider looking for a high-performance aerobar to take the edge off a frame with excessively aggressive geometry.

Easton Attack TT, 577 grams, $750

74 | December 2010

best st in te

3T Aura Pro, 720 grams, $300 Stack height: High, Pad reach length: Very long, Adjustment range: Wide, Wrist position: Taut The Aura Pro has an innovative brake grip position, highly adjustable fit characteristics, low weight and a sturdy airfoil carbon basebar that inspires confidence when out of the saddle. The Aura Pro is a worthy adversary in every way for high-priced bars, but its $300 price tag makes it the best value in this review. The Sbend extensions on our tester bar are a little too aggressive for all-day comfort, but long-coursers can swap them out for 3T’s more relaxed up-turned aero extensions. The pads cannot be moved low so this isn’t the right bar for the rider looking to get lower than his frame allows, but for those that don’t need to drop their position, its combination of performance, comfort and usability make it the best aerobar at this price point.

John Segesta

Stack height: Very low, Pad reach length: Long, Adjustment range: Moderate, Wrist position: Moderately taut The Attack TT has been just about the lightest production aerobar in the world for years, although older versions were hamstrung by a lack of fit adjustability. Easton’s latest edition offers a new degree of adjustment that allows it to fit more riders than its predecessors. The extensions are cleanly fastened to the basebar with collets, which allow the length to be adjusted to the rider’s individual fit. The S-bend extensions have a short upper portion which draws the shifters back toward the rider, creating an ergonomic grip position that puts the shifters in-hand without excessively stressing the wrists. The pads, however, cannot be drawn back to the rider to accommodate a position with a short reach to the aerobars, which is the Attack TT’s only shortcoming. The extension shape and adjustability adds a new level of comfort and usability to these pro-level aerobars.


The Value of a Bike Fit BY MARK DETERLINE

Learn more about Studio Velo’s fit services at or by e-mailing Paul Kundrat at

There are so many bike fit services


TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010

guidelines about proper leg extension via saddle height and setback (fore-aft) positioning, proper orientation of knees and feet in relation to pedal axles, comfortable upper body posture, and where to place pedal cleats on the underside of cycling shoes. A basic fit can give you an initial point of reference. From there you can track how comfortable and efficient— or not—you feel on the bike over time. You will likely experience increased awareness of your feet in relation to the pedals and how much pedaling workload your knees are carrying. You’ll also receive immediate body feedback in the form of neck and upper-back pain, or lack thereof.


and tools to choose from these days, and many represent a significant investment of time and money. It might seem overwhelming, but the most intimidating thing about bike fit can be the uncertainty that surrounds it. Is it necessary and worth the money? Will it really make you faster? You’ll never know unless you explore the potential benefits, so taking that first step—no matter how small—is key. Many bike shops offer fit services of some kind. These can be simple and are sometimes included with the purchase of a bike. Otherwise, prices for basic shop fits range from $40 to $150. They are often based on popular measurement practices intended to provide helpful

A key piece to the bike fit puzzle is how your position affects your upper body. Even though your torso will ideally be “quiet” when you ride, except perhaps when you’re going hard out of the saddle, it still serves as a cyclist’s fulcrum of movement and power. For triathletes and time trialists alike, neck, shoulders, arms, wrists and hands play a composite role in stabilizing the body for efficient pedaling, steering and even shifting. As such, a good bike fit should address your unique upper body anatomy, which will prevent you from making constant, subtle balance adjustments to control your bike or “pull” on your bars when going hard. All of this translates into better endurance and remaining fresh late into a race. Finding a good fitter is paramount, as he can immediately intuit many components of your overall riding dynamic by simply watching you ride. Paul Kundrat at Studio Velo in Mill Valley, Calif., uses the much-acclaimed Retül 3D motion capture system. Retül is a super-tool, and you know a studio is serious about providing the best fit possible if it has one, as it represents a significant investment of money and technical training time. “It’s a great weapon in the arsenal,” says Kundrat. Still, the human expert serves as the foundation of a good bike fit, working with you to determine how best to implement what you’ve learned together using whatever aids you have at your disposal. Fitters such as Kundrat appreciate Retül for the help it provides in measuring, recording, sharing and logging rider position and movements, as well as the resulting fit information. It captures and records within a millimeter of precision the angular and linear extensions and rotational movements of body parts (upper leg, lower leg, foot) around their axes (hips, knees, ankles). The recorded information also includes prescribed bike measurements to assist a rider in duplicating a position on other bikes, ››

spin patrol

The Value of A Bike Fit (continued)

78 | December 2010

Tradeshow Trends The calendar still reads 2010, but the year 2011 started in the triathlon industry in September with the Eurobike and Interbike tradeshows. Manufacturers made their annual pilgrimages to Friedrichshafen, Germany, and Las Vegas to show off their newest creations, and—out of the chaos—major trends affecting bike aerodynamics and fit were revealed. 1



1 In: Fat aero rims Narrower wheels create less aerodynamic drag than wide wheels, right? While it is certainly true that shrinking an object can reduce aero drag, its shape, not just its size, determines its aerodynamic drag. Race wheel manufacturers—led by Hed, Zipp and Reynolds—have discovered that wide rims can actually streamline a wheel by using both the rim and tire to create an aerodynamic shape. The Hed Stingers, Reynolds RZR 92.2 and Zipp Firecrest wheels all have ultra-wide brake tracks that form a continuous airfoil profile from the tire and rim, rather than creating a figure-eight with the tire bulging over the side of the wheel. Other manufacturers took note of this trend and have widened their rims to integrate the tire with the rim. Out: Thin aero wheels Thin is not in. Almost none of the new aero wheels unveiled at Eurobike and Interbike has the narrow rim profile that was the standard for so many years. 2 In: Integrated front ends Giant started the trend when it released the Trinity Advanced SL that uses an airfoil-shaped nose

cone in place of a typical stem. Specialized and Trek quickly came out with their own stem replacement systems, and now every other manufacturer releasing a premium triathlon bike has followed suit. These front-end systems are intended to reduce drag by easing the transition between the aerobar and the frame, but most of these systems limit a bike’s adjustability. 3 In: Aero and adjustable While the newest flagship bikes are becoming less adjustable in favor of improved aerodynamics, nextgeneration aerobars are compensating by offering more fit adaptability. New top-shelf aerobars from brands such as Pro and Bontrager have a range of fit adjustability that helps riders fine-tune their positions to a greater degree than before. Out: Stems The stem is dead. Bikes that attach the aerobars with a traditional stem and steerer tube offer a wide range of fit adjustment, but the cylindrical shape of these components creates drag that can be eliminated by replacing them with aerodynamically tuned components. // Aaron Hersh

Nils Nilsen and Aaron hersh

as well as serving as the basis for a custom-built frameset, Studio Velo’s specialty. Studio Velo includes an abbreviated Retül fit for final bike setup as part of any bike purchase. As a rider, Kundrat has struggled with anatomical imbalances and injuries of his own, explaining that “most of us have at least subtle imbalances, so it’s important to determine what they are and figure out how to accommodate them with a good fit. In fact, riders are asymmetrical by nature while bikes are symmetrical, so much of what I do in all three areas—comfort, injury prevention and efficiency—is work with clients toward balance.” At Studio Velo, the rider is literally positioned on a turntable, goes through the motion capture process on one side, then the other. The service goes for about $270 per bike, with adaptations of each fit to successive bikes of the same type costing $100. A bike fit doesn’t need to be high-tech or expensive to be helpful. It’s an evolutionary process best undertaken with the help of a savvy and collaborative fitter. The two of you should decide together how crucial a role technology will play in that process.


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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Thomas Bishop of Great Britain leads a pack of junior men across Chain Bridge at the 2010 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Grand Final in Budapest, Hungary. PHOTOGRAPH BY DELLY CARR /TRIATHLON.ORG

December 2010 | TRIATHLETE.COM



The Branded Stride There’s only one right way to run, but there are at least four opinions about what it is. How it’s taught: You can get handson instruction in Dreyer’s technique from him or one of his trained Chi Running experts at workshops held regularly across the country. There’s also a book and a DVD for at-home learning. Find out more at

Evolution Running The Guru: Ken Mierke The Idea: Evolution Running focuses on minimizing wasteful vertical displacement—or up-and-down movement—during running by teaching shorter strides and a higher rate of turnover. How it’s taught: Clinics are few and far between, so your best bet is to order the “Evolution Running” DVD through

Xterra pro Dan Hugo

Remember when you just laced up your shoes, stepped outside and started jogging—your way. Not anymore. Now there’s a right way and a wrong way to run, to avoid injuries and maximize performance. The trouble is, the growing number of experts on running form can’t seem to agree on what the right way to run is. Within the past decade several competing running methods have become popular. Here’s a breakdown of the top four.

Chi Running


TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010

The Guru: Danny Abshire The Idea: The founder of Newton Running, Abshire views forefoot striking (that is, landing on the ball of the foot during running) as the Holy Grail of running form. How it’s taught: Abshire has just coauthored a book on his method, entitled “Natural Running,” with veteran running writer and coach Brian Metzler. Learn more about it at

Pose Method The Guru: Nicholas Romanov The Idea: The Pose Method is all about shaping the body into an S-shaped coiled spring during the ground contact phase of the stride. How it’s taught: There is a large network of Pose-certified coaches who teach the method at clinics all around the world. There are also videos and books available at // MATT FITZGERALD

Many running experts still believe that better running form can’t really be taught. There is indeed little scientific evidence that receiving formal technique instruction enhances running performance or lowers injury risk. While the major running technique systems differ in their packaging, all are essentially ways of correcting the problem of overstriding (or heel striking), which is not caused by lack of skill (in the four out of five runners who exhibit the pattern) but rather by wearing shoes. For this reason, some experts prescribe a change to minimalist running shoes as the simplest and most effective way to improve running form. Chi Running, Evolution Running, Natural Running and the Pose Method have many happy customers. But don’t expect miracles from any of these methods, and if you try one, don’t force it. You might get the best results from blending “the right way” with your way.


The Guru: Danny Dreyer The Idea: According to Dreyer, the secret to effortless running is a slight forward lean (from the ankles, not the waist), which encourages the feet to land flat underneath the hips instead of heel-first in front of the hips.

Natural Running

An Objective View


KNEED TO KNOW Strengthen your hips and you may be able to reduce knee pain caused by patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFP), one of the most common running injuries that is caused when the thigh bone rubs against the back of the knee cap. Last summer, an ongoing pilot study conducted at Indiana University found that female runners suffering from PFP were able to drastically reduce pain levels by performing simple hip exercises twice a week for six weeks.


TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010

Deena Kastor digs into winter training with the help of crampons.

You might think snow on the ground means you’re relegated to the treadmill or the track. But snowy conditions don’t prevent coach Terrence Mahon’s athletes—who live and train in Mammoth, Calif.—from hitting the trails. Besides getting them outside, snow running provides his runners with an added cardiovascular benefit and it works stabilization muscles, all the way from ankles to hips, he says. One of his athletes, marathoner and Olympic bronze medalist Deena Kastor, shares her tips for running in the snow. ››


The exercises—single leg squats and hip strengtheners using a resistance band—were designed to “build strength and control of the hip when running,” says Tracy Dierks, PhD, the study’s lead researcher and the director of IU’s Motion Analysis Research Laboratory. “To be honest, I wasn’t expecting such a drastic reduction [in pain],” he says. By strengthening their hips, runners’ dynamic alignment improved and reduced knee pain, Dierks concludes. Prevention of PFP is “still one of the big questions to be answered,” Dierks says. But for now, his advice: “Focus on building strong hips and a strong core, and work on increasing endurance in these muscles so strength can be maintained over the course of a run as fatigue sets in.” // KRISTIN HARRISON

Safe Snow Running


Safe Snow Running (continued)

For light snow conditions I have a pair of the Asics Gel-Arctic shoes, which have little studs on the bottom for better grip and are water resistant. If I need extra traction, I add Yak Trax, As the snow deepens I will use Kahtoola Microspikes,, or crampons over my shoes. If there is a huge storm that is dumping multiple feet of fresh powder, I use snowshoes with a narrow back so I can run in them. Sometimes these are difficult workouts, but that is when I often feel the most gratification. I wear form-fitting, waterresistant clothing. If the conditions are on the harsher side, I wear a thin layer of Vaseline on my face to protect from the wind and snow. (Do not use Vaseline if it is sunny—you will burn!) In the winter months I run about 15 to 25 miles a week in packed powder and deep snow, depending on what Mother Nature brings. My snow runs are always an easy evening run where I am not straining to run a certain pace but rather enjoying the weather and scenery that winter brings. The important things to remember are to wear a brimmed hat and glasses to protect your face, and always run somewhere familiar so you can find your way back if your tracks get covered by fresh snow or wind drifts. // COURTNEY BAIRD 86

TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010

Lights Out


With the shorter days during winter

months, the alfresco-inclined are forced to face the prospect—and dangers— of running when it’s dark outside. Use these tips from running coach Christine Hinton—who has paced ultra-runners through the night for races including the Rocky Raccoon 100 in Huntsville, Texas, and Western States 100 in Squaw Valley, Calif.—to run safely at dawn, dusk or after dark. Get reflective. A recent report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that the hours of 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. are the most dangerous for pedestrians. To stay visible, wear highly reflective clothing and also consider wearing reflective bands on your arms and legs, as light in motion is easier for drivers to see. Nathan Sports specializes in reflective vests and accessories for runners. Its compression running sleeves come in new ultra-bright pink and yellow colors and feature a large strip of reflective detailing ($25, For shirts and jackets, try Saucony’s Vizi Pro line of highly reflective performance apparel. With reflective mesh panels, luminescent colors and an included LED light

for a sleeve pocket, the new men’s Epic Run Jacket ($90, and women’s Ethereal Run Jacket ($90) guarantee you’ll light up the night. Watch your step. Leave the iPod at home and pay careful attention to your surroundings. Run facing traffic and with a buddy. To see obstacles ahead, particularly on trails, Hinton recommends wearing a headlamp (Petzl makes a wide range of options; or carrying a flashlight. Be prepared. Wear a Road ID tag ( with emergency contacts, carry a cell phone and dress in layers. You might also want to consider carrying Mace, depending on where you run. Go slow. Leave the speed work for daylight hours and slow your pace to avoid hard-to-see obstacles. Hinton also recommends doing a short easy run with new gear before attempting more serious long runs at night. Relax and enjoy the run. “Night running can be quite special and gives the landscape a completely different look and feel,” says Hinton. “You do have to pay more attention, but there’s nothing quite as beautiful as watching the moon come up.” // KRISTIN HARRISON

December 2010 |



Top Running Apps Stopwatch, mile counter, route map, personal trainer—these days there’s an app for every runner’s needs. For your next workout, turn your GPS-enabled phone into a trustworthy running coach with one of these popular apps.

Run Keeper

Ultra Timer


With an easy-to-use interface, Run Keeper tracks your pace, distance, time, route and calories burned by using the GPS built into your phone. Set audio cues to receive motivation at time- or distance-based intervals, or program a target pace and get audio updates as you run. After your workout, upload the data to the website to keep a training log. Free or $10 for the Pro version,

Whether you’re doing fartleks, intervals or sprints, the Ultra Timer can function as your go-to stopwatch. Choose from a library of alarm sounds or record your own, and pick screen colors to distinguish between timers. The Timer Group allows you to program a full workout with different timers and alarm sounds, so you can go through a warm-up, intervals and cooldown without ever looking at your phone. $2,

Designed to provide guidance like a personal trainer, iFitness features more than 300 strength exercises with detailed photos and step-by-step instructions. Many also include video demos. Select exercises by muscle group; use one of 20 workouts; or create your own custom workout. A timing feature is perfect for circuit training, and a workout and weight log allows you to track your progress over time. $2, // KRISTIN HARRISON



TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010

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December 2010 |






Chicago Kids Triathlon, Aug. 28, 2010

Triathlon is about to be taken over by a new generation of superstars. And they’re faster than ever. By Sarah Wassner Flynn December 2010 | TRIATHLETE.COM


For the Kids

A round-up of some of the best races out there for the tiniest triathletes.

Ironkids: The granddaddy of the youth triathlon world, the organization expanded to a 12-event series this year, each bringing hundreds of kids around the country out to race. May to October.

Swim for Smiles Youth Triathlon: This event attracts more than 500 kids ages 6 to 18 to Chapel Hill, N.C., each spring. All proceeds are donated to the North Carolina Children’s Hospital. Every May.

Hy-Vee Triathlon: Families flock to this

Lucy Alexander, daughter of Craig Alexander, at Ironkids Boulder, Aug. 7, 2010

Chicago Kids Triathlon: For 20

Ryan Miller, Sugar Tri Kids Triathlon, Sept. 11, 2010

years, kids from 7 to 14 have been racing around the streets of the Windy City in this McDonald’s-sponsored event that’s almost as popular as its world-leading adult counterpart. Every August.

Sugar Tri Kidz Triathlon: The largest kid’s triathlon in Texas, the event features three different races and is held in Sugar Land, Texas. Every September.



t’s 9 p.m. on a Thursday night and Hunter Lussi, 16, is finally lumbering back to his home in Kensington, Md. He’s wrapped his fourth of 10 sessions in the pool with his swim club, the highly touted North Baltimore Aquatic Club; Michael Phelps is a former teammate. Tomorrow, he’ll hop on his bike for a two-hour ride and try to squeeze in a run. By week’s end, Lussi will have logged more than 120 miles of swimming, biking and running—and that’s not even a peak training week. Across the country, in Monterey, Calif., Hannah Finchamp, 15, spent her 2010 season racing nearly every weekend, raking in 22 finishes for the year—and nearly 80 total since she started racing as a precocious 9-year-old. At the inaugural San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz in August, Finchamp’s sub-three-hour finish in the taxing 1.2-mile swim, 25-mile bike and 7-mile run was only a few minutes off the latter half of the pro women’s times. This month, she’ll compete in the Xterra World Championship in Maui, just weeks after starting her freshman year of high school.

Hannah Finchamp at the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco, Aug. 29, 2010.


Des Moines, Iowa, event for its extensive youth races (10 waves for kids ages 5 to 17 take to the course the day before the adults do). The 2010 kids’ event was canceled due to heavy rain, but race organizers were expecting a field of more than 1,000. Every July.

Hunter Lussi at Chesapeake Man in Cambridge, Md. Sept. 25, 2010

A few years ago, Lussi and Finchamp’s training and racing regimens would have been regarded as overly ambitious—absurd, even—for a couple of skinny high school kids. But today, they are just two of thousands of teens spending hours in the pool and on the roads training to be the next big thing in triathlon. Long a sport adopted by post-collegiate swimmers and runners, triathlon is rapidly picking up speed among a much younger set. In fact, USA Triathlon reports that the youth demographic is the fastest growing segment of its membership, with 28,974 annual members under the age of 16—a figure that’s up almost 11 percent from just one year ago. That’s no surprise, given the meteoric rise the sport as a whole has experienced in the past five years. But with this surge among younger athletes, competition is becoming fiercer, times are getting quicker and parents are spending more and more money on the sport. Though research has shown that triathletes, like marathoners, typically peak in their late 20s and early 30s, the recent success of those such as American Andrew Yoder and Canadian Paula Findlay, both 21, is skewing those stats. Simply put: Triathlon is about to be taken over by a new generation of talent—one that’s faster than ever.

In the Club

Who’s leading the way? The kids that make up Multisport Madness, the perennial powerhouse of junior-level elite triathlon. Keith Dickson, the Naperville, Ill., team’s director, has led his athletes to six youth and junior national championship titles, and two of his athletes, Kevin McDowell, 18, and Kelly Whitley, 17, each medaled in triathlon at the first-ever Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in August. Seventeen-year-old Lukas Verzbicas, widely regarded as the top up-and-coming triathlete in the country, is also a member. As Dickson tells it, triathlon is not simply a way for kids to burn off extra energy or to fill their downtime between swimming and track seasons; it’s a commitment as serious as deciding which college to attend. “The end goal is elite ITU triathlon,” says Dickson. “The athletes we have are truly triathletes and train as such. You must be able to compete as a single-sport athlete. ... That single sport is called triathlon. You are no longer allowed any weaknesses.” Dickson has a point: Whereas almost all of the past American Olympian triathletes started off as single-sport stars, other countries get a head start by grooming their athletes on multisport teams from preadolescence. This is why Dickson is hoping his approach to a finely tuned, super dedicated team environment for young triathletes will be used as a template for kids’ clubs in every city, allowing talent to be cultivated from coast to coast. “The club teams in Europe are familiar with this concept,” he says. “As a country, we must find motivated individuals who have a track record of success in the private sector, who are competitive, who can step up and do what it takes to build a world-class triathlon team.”

December 2010 |


A Family Affair Two families prove that those who race together, stay together.

The Browns: Celebration, Fla. As top age-group triathletes, Brian and Ellen Brown recently introduced their 5-year-old daughter, Sophia, to the sport. Though she completed her first race with a life vest and training wheels, Sophia soon ditched the baby stuff and now battles with the best of them in youth races, recently qualifying for the IronKids National Championship. And while winning might be nice, mom Ellen says the confidence and independence the sport brings her daughter is far more valuable than any medals. “Watching her cross the finish line and knowing she did it alone is pretty amazing,” she says. “It’s a big self-confidence boost.”

The Everests: Woodstock, Ga. Forget games of tag and hide-and-seek—when it comes to playtime at the Everest household, it’s all about beating the clock. “We have transition contests and the kids race desperately against us and each other,” says dad Andrew, who, along with wife Tina, got their three children, ages 10, 7, and 4, involved in the sport as a way to stay healthy. The family now “trains, races and fixes bikes together,” and has traveled as far as Arizona and Florida for competitions. But it’s not just about staying fit—triathlon has also made them a more cohesive crew. “We have successfully reinvented what it means to spend quality time together,” says Andrew. “It’s more than just staring at each other across the dinner table. Training time is our family time.”


Footing the Bill

Building a world-class triathlete comes with a hefty price tag. Boris Robinson, a youth elite coach for T3 Multisports in Round Rock, Texas, estimates that his athletes’ parents spend around $5,000 a year on travel and accommodations alone. Throw in coaching, race fees and expensive gear—it’s not unusual to see a tween on a time-trial bike with disc wheels at a championship race—and a family could easily fork over more than $15,000 for one year of triathlon. But Robinson is quick to point out that the price is comparable to what parents pay for other year-round sports or activities. “In the grand scheme of things, triathlon is probably less expensive than, say, select travel soccer,” says Robinson. “And just being able to say you’re a national champion or you competed at an international level is priceless. It makes it all worth it.” Hunter Lussi’s father, Craig—a former figure skater whose own parents “did what they had to do to support [his] dreams,”—says the cost of coaching, equipment and race fees is a small price to pay for the potential impact the sport has on his son’s future. “What it really comes down to is [that] spending several thousand dollars a year is not that big a deal if it can get your kid into a good college and maybe even a scholarship,” he says.

The College Issue

But then again, because triathlon is not a NCAA Division I sport, there are no coaches from the Stanfords or USCs of the country waving full rides in front of superstar triathletes as they graduate from high school. And, when faced with astronomical college tuitions, talented teens typically turn to a single sport. “Most high-achieving triathletes are likely to get a scholarship in swimming or running,” says Andy Schmitz, who manages the elite youth and Olympic Development programs at USA Triathlon. “It’s tough for them to turn that down. We lose a lot of talent to swimming and track.” One could argue that focusing on one discipline—likely swimming or running—in college lends itself to a healthy break from the rigors of training for all three sports. But with international athletes like Findlay and 2009 ITU world champion Alistair Brownlee dominating on an international level in their early 20s, both Dickson and Schmitz think it’s smarter for 18- to 22-year-olds to stay on the triathlon track throughout college. Says Dickson, “My hunch is that people trying to develop [athletes] for Olympic ITU triathlon after college (from single-sport status) are fighting last year’s war. Some may make it, but I believe those athletes will be the exception.” That is why Schmitz is busily working on a collegiate elite program, set to launch next fall, which will offer “all of the traditional support a Division I sport can give” by providing a constant support system for top-tier triathletes throughout their four years of college.

“This would allow a world-class athlete to go to school, take classes and not be lost from our system,” Schmitz says.

The Burnout Factor

Of course, as with any sport that launches teens to the nationaland world championship spotlight rather quickly, there’s always a strong possibility of burnout. Just look at any intense individualized sport—swimming, gymnastics, distance running—and you’ll see scads of superstars who max out well before high school graduation. But on the flipside, there are professional triathletes like Hunter Kemper and Laura Bennett who are still competing decades after pinning on their first race numbers. Even Lance Armstrong started off as an elite youth triathlete in the 1980s—and he might be bringing everything full circle with a potential return to the sport next season. So what’s the secret for steering clear of crashing and burning in triathlon, especially when kids show promise prior to puberty? Kemper, 34 and a father of two sons, says parents play a pivotal role. “The motivation has to come from within the kids,” he says. “I think parents are in the mindset that if they buy a nice bike, or if they spend money, they want their kids to follow through. But you can’t be too aggressive or overbearing. Ultimately, you have to let the kid dictate what he or she wants to do. The parents can’t force it.” And when it comes to training and racing, Schmitz likens the appropriate grooming process to the way the Washington Nationals slowly and steadily brought their $15-million pitcher Stephen Strasburg into the big leagues. “You have to set realistic expectations,” he says. “Certainly, young athletes don’t have to be racing every weekend. One mistake is trying to bite off more than you can chew. They may tackle a world cup race too early. It’s important to dominate at one level before you move on to the next.”

Seeing the Future

Back in Naperville, Multisport Madness’s Dickson is well aware of the importance of tempering the talent bursting from some of his superstar athletes. Especially the youngest ones, who begin to compete in draft-legal racing while still in elementary school. And with the right coaching and motivation, will these prepubescent triathlon phenoms be the ones topping the Olympic and world championship podiums within the next decade? Schmitz certainly likes to think so. “We’ve definitely caught up at an international level with the 19-and-unders. It may take some time before we see a change at the professional level, but they are the future of our sport,” he says. “By 2016, I predict we’ll see a lot of fruits of our labor pay off.”

December 2010 |


Project Recovery By Courtney Baird Illustrations by Hunter King


Instead of working toward a goal or a key race during the off-season, use the winter months to focus on active recovery for mental rejuvenation and give your swim, bike and run muscles a break. The off-season is also a good time to try a new sport, build up your core strength and enjoy the occasional slice of pumpkin pie. December 2010 |



he off-season is an important time in any triathlete’s training schedule. In fact, some coaches believe it’s just as important, if not more important, than the rest of the year. Generally, it’s a time to de-stress from the racing season, when the typical triathlete’s week consists of 5 a.m. wake-up calls, interval workouts and nap-inducing training. At the end of the season, most coaches recommend athletes take one to two weeks off completely, with perhaps a little walking here and there just to keep the body moving. But after taking these two weeks off, many coaches believe that one of the worst things a triathlete can do is to immediately get back into regular training. Instead, most coaches recommend active recovery—training that helps rejuvenate your mind and facilitates physical recovery. In short, active recovery is easy, non-structured training that helps your body recover from the long triathlon season more quickly than if you did nothing. It’s restorative in nature—the increased blood flow you get with easy exercise speeds the healing of achy muscles and joints. And, perhaps most important, active recovery helps rejuvenate your mind by removing the pressures of meeting certain times, watts, training hours per week and other expectations normally associated with structured triathlon training. “The No. 1 thing is [active recovery] needs to be nonstructured,” says Paul Huddle, a top pro in the ’80s and ’90s and current coach for In terms of deciding what activity to participate in, it should be “stuff that excites somebody or motivates them and is different,” Huddle says. It could be golf, bowling, fishing or whatever you can think of in terms of winter sports (curling, anyone?), Huddle says. Two-time Ironman world champion Craig Alexander likes to practice his golf game once the season has ended. “I try to get out onto the golf course for a few rounds,” Alexander says. “I’m usually pretty rusty. I go OK for the first five or six holes and then I’m spraying them everywhere for the last few holes.” 98

Six-time Ironman world champion Mark Allen, who now coaches many elite age-groupers via Mark Allen Online, used to give himself two-and-a-half months of active recovery after the world championship every year. He spent a lot of his time surfing and would usually run four times a week for 30 or 40 minutes. “If you stop running, you lose the integrity of your joints and tendons,” Allen says. “They soften up, so the easy, short running is something I recommend.” Just make sure that the run isn’t the same as a typical in-season training session. It should be something you use to de-stress and just get outside, he says. To assist with the mental rejuvenation, try other activities that force you to get out into wide-open spaces, such as hiking, cross-country and downhill skiing, or snow shoeing. For someone who’s new to active recovery, hiking is probably the easiest way to get the off-season rolling, according to Bob Augello, one of Lance Armstrong’s early triathlon coaches. “Hiking is a great place to start because triathletes are notorious for overworking themselves,” he says. “Time is also a limiting factor with hiking. It’s pretty hard to do so much of it that it could become something negative—physically or mentally.” Augello recommends hiking the varied terrain of rolling, steep trails, as this helps increase your eccentric strength, or the strength used in lengthening the muscle as opposed to contracting it. Whatever activity you choose, make sure your active recovery sessions are easy. “I am a big fan of an easy swim or bike for active recovery,” says Olympian and former Ironman 70.3 world champion Joanna Zeiger. “But, it must be easy! A lot of people go too hard on their easy workouts.”

How Long?

Once you decide what you’re going to do for active recovery, you must also decide how long you’re going to give yourself a break. This decision depends on how long your season has been and how beat up you are. “A lower volume, newer athlete really doesn’t need to take a whole lot of time off,” says coach and former Ultraman world champion Gordo Byrn. “So, if you were getting into fitness and you were working toward a sprint triathlon, you could probably keep your program largely intact [during the off-season].” But for athletes who’ve endured long seasons, it’s OK if they participate in active recovery sessions until the new year begins. “Give yourself permission to really and truly enjoy the holidays,” says coach Huddle, who doesn’t mind if his athletes pack on a few pounds during the break. The added weight can help them come back with more drive than ever before, pushing them to new heights once the season has begun, he says. In fact, studies have shown that even if you take 30 days com-

Are You Really Cutting Back Enough? Not cutting back enough in the offseason is a common mistake for triathletes, especially Ironman athletes. “People training for Ironman think a three-hour ride is cutting back, but if you look at the big picture, three hours is a very big workout,” six-time Ironman world champion Mark Allen says. So, instead of stressing about whether or not you are cutting back too much, question whether you are cutting back enough. Also remember that the off-season can be the time to give back to the people—your family, spouse, friends—who support you and pick up the slack for you during the season, Allen says. “That goes a long way as a thanks, but it also helps ensure that you still have your team of support next year.”

December 2010 |


pletely off, you only lose about 5 percent of your VO2max, coach Augello explains. “It’s worth being greedy about taking time off and doing whatever you want,” he says. But whatever you do, don’t get greedy with your late season fitness by trying to hold on to it until the new triathlon season begins. “The No. 1 mistake I made in my elite career was not resting after I had achieved a lifetime best in fitness,” coach Byrn says. “You see it a lot in elites. They reach a new level in a late season race and get greedy with performance. ‘I’m going to do just one more Ironman and try to

hold the fitness through to an early season race,’ [they’ll say]. This nearly always ends in an extended, unplanned break from training.” Allen sounds a similar warning to his athletes. “The biggest mistake that people make in the off-season is feeling like they are going to get a head start on the next year [by training a lot],” he says. “There’s no way to do that. Part of [getting a head start] is to put energy back into your body, which means you stop taxing it.”

Off-season Options Winter Triathlon: Winter triathlon generally starts with a 5K to 9K run over hard-packed snow, then goes on to a 10K or 15K mountain bike leg over snow-packed ski trails and finishes with 8K to 12K of cross-country skiing, where traditional or freestyle skiing is allowed. Mountain biking on the snow will help improve your balance and encourage torque and power development, and running in the snow will help you develop the kind of strength you would if you were running in the sand, says Neal Henderson, the USA National Team coach for winter triathlon since 2005. Cyclo-cross: As the triathlon season winds down, the cyclo-cross season picks up. Cyclo-cross is a type of bike race in which cyclists ride challenging, cross-country-like courses that require them to sometimes hop off their bikes and carry them over obstacles such as boulders, sand pits and stairs. Cyclo-cross events are generally 100

more relaxed than triathlons and they’re generally cheaper to enter. Plus, cyclo-cross will help improve your bike handling skills and thus help you avoid crashes once you get back on the road. In terms of gear, there are bikes built specifically for cyclo-cross, but your typical mountain bike will work as well. Adventure Racing: Adventure races can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days, and they generally include some form of orienteering or navigation, running, mountain biking, paddling, climbing and everything in between. If you have a poor sense of direction and get worked up over what to pack in a simple transition bag, adventure racing may not be for you. But if you enjoy logistics, getting back to nature and pretending you’re an early American pioneer, it could be the perfect off-season pursuit. Mountain Biking: Mountain biking allows you to get away from car exhaust and traffic

lights and into the great outdoors. Riding off-road also recruits different—and a greater percentage of—muscles than those you use in traditional road biking, given the rapid gear changing required to ride up and down switchbacks, coach Bob Augello says. Fast twitch fibers—those used in sprinting—also get stimulated, he explains. Skiing: In terms of aerobic fitness, cross-country skiing, and specifically freestyle skiing, is one of the best winter sports to replace swimming, biking and running. Cross-country skiing is so beneficial that elite collegiate runners in the Northeast have been known to replace most of their running with it during the winter with no ill effects come spring. Alpine skiing also offers great benefits, as it improves your coordination, balance and flexibility, it helps build power and stamina, and strengthens your hamstrings, quads and core.

After Active Recovery

Once you’ve enjoyed all of the active recovery you feel your body needs, you may find yourself a few weeks or months off from the start of the triathlon season. If so, many coaches recommend that you continue to stay away from structured triathlon training. By doing this, you’re giving yourself a mental break, which means that come October, you’ll still feel mentally fresh as you prepare for your most important races. Instead of jumping back into long freestyle sets with your local Masters program, try winter triathlon, cyclo-cross, adventure racing or even crosscountry running events. It’s not that you can’t swim, bike or run during the off-season; it’s just that you need to be careful. “If someone feels good and wants to go out and ride for three hours, it’s no problem,” coach Byrn says. “But you want to watch the highly structured workouts.” continued on page 131 ››

Yoga/Pilates/Ballet: Activities such as yoga, Pilates and ballet promote better posture, enhance flexibility and help you build long, lean muscles as opposed to bulky mass. Each activity is great for strengthening your core, which is vital for avoiding injury, and works the muscles in your body that help with your stability and balance. Many pros practice these activities year-round, so the off-season can be a great time to start building them into your weekly routine. And if you’re a guy who thinks these activities are “too girly,” just remember: NFL players have been going to ballet classes since the ’70s. Surfing: For athletes lucky enough to live in beach cities where the sun shines year-round (like those of us here at Triathlete), surfing can be a great off-season activity to help revitalize your mind, body and soul. It’s also a stellar cardiovascular workout and helps build core strength and balance. Plus, come spring, your openwater swim splits will be closer to the pros’ than ever before.

Approaches to Holiday Nutrition When it comes to making food and exercise decisions during the holidays, triathlon coaches generally follow one of two schools of thought. Those like coach Paul Huddle believe that the holidays should be enjoyed and it’s OK if you throw back a few too many beers and pieces of pumpkin pie. “I don’t mind people putting on five to 10 pounds as long as they’re not being complete sloths,” he says. In other words, life’s short, and it should be enjoyed. But coach Gordo Byrn prefer to use the holidays and the off-season as a time to shift mental focus to nutrition and personal health. He warns athletes that if they go from intense triathlon training to “nothing—just eating cake and ice cream—their mood and brain chemistry will really fall apart and it becomes difficult to pull out of that.” Byrn’s tips? Try to watch the alcohol consumption. Heavy drinking tends to loosen inhibitions and lead to overeating. And if you are going to enjoy a big holiday meal, try to move the meal from dinner to midday. That way, you won’t be loading up on starches and sugars so close to bedtime.

December 2010 |


e t u b i E r N I T R A n M o l N h E L t L a A i F r T FOR A a


TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010




c Mar

n Man


Maj. James M. Weis


riathletes race for different reasons and to onlookers, the discipline can look like a solitary effort. But athletes rarely cross a finish line representing themselves alone. Rather, their final results are often the outcome of a journey marked by family and supportive friends.


TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010

Previous page: From left, Mae Weis, the wife of fallen Marine Maj. James Weis, Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach, Jaime Sauer and Maj. Tres Smith, Justin Weis. Below: From left, Jaime Sauer, Maj. Tres Smith and Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach


That’s how it was with Maj. James M. Weis, a 37-year-old decorated U.S. Marine pilot and triathlete who connected with many through his passion for the sport. On July 22, Weis was killed along with Marine Lt. Col. Mario Carazo when their helicopter crashed during combat operations in Afghanistan. Because triathlons were an integral part of Weis’ life, his friends began to think of ways to honor his life with a competitive event. “James and I weren’t in the same squadron, so in theory, we shouldn’t have known each other that well,” says pilot Maj. David Steele, 38. “What bonded us was the training. We did the Rohto Ironman 70.3 California together in April before he left for Afghanistan. He was the father of two; I’m the father of two. Our kids went to the same preschool and our wives were friends. It’s tough. It’s a big loss for me. But if you wanted to do anything for James, it would be to go compete in a race. He would have done that for any of us.”

Weis belonged to Marine Corps helicopter squadron HMLA 369, but members of the Camp Pendleton-based operation, both pilots and spouses, are more commonly known as the “Gunfighters.” The husbands of triathlete Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach and runner Jaime Sauer were also friends of Weis and serve in the Gunfighters squadron. When they were notified that Weis had died, they began to brainstorm. “James was on the Camp Pendleton Triathlon Team,” Sauer recalls. “Marit and I had gone to Semper Fit headquarters and we talked to the people who put on the Camp Pendleton Sprint Triathlon. We wanted to honor James and get families involved while showing support to his wife, Mae, and their two sons. We said, ‘James paid the ultimate sacrifice for us. We want to do something for him.’” The Camp Pendleton Sprint Triathlon was scheduled for Aug. 7 and the women proposed a tribute by competing in a relay format. Though a relay had never been allowed at this triathlon, the racing director agreed. Chrislock-Lauterbach, an experienced triathlete, and Sauer, a marathon runner who’d never competed in a triathlon, needed just one more participant to complete the relay team. Maj. Tres Smith, another Marine from the squadron, had recently returned to Oceanside from Afghanistan and would complete the trio, but not without overcoming some major physical challenges.

Smith, 43, was shot while flying his helicopter on June 18. The bullet pierced his left calf, then struck his right thigh and right forearm. It took Smith 30 minutes to fly to the nearest hospital on Camp Bastion, a British military base in the desert. After seven surgeries and 108 stitches, Smith returned to the U.S. Smith remembers how, before he was injured, he and Weis would train on a stationary bike in Afghanistan. Swimming and distance running in the dust-whipped desert were not an option, but cycling was one training activity they could share. “There are 53 officers who fly helicopters in my squadron and the pilots have a close knit relationship,” Smith says. “You are inside a wired post for seven months with the enemy on the outside. The outlet is exercise that pushes you to a point where you forget about the rest. James was a phenomenal athlete. He was short and wiry and he could run like the wind. And he was always encouraging me to do a triathlon.” The metal plate that Smith now has in his arm would prevent him from swimming. But the relay format provided him the opportunity to cover the bike portion of the Camp Pendleton Sprint Triathlon, despite his injuries. First, though, Smith needed to make a visit to the Weis home in Oceanside, to collect Weis’ white Cannondale tri bike. It would stand as a memorial during the event, complete with his helmet, shoes and glasses. “I took his tri bike down to the race to honor him and in order to do that, I had to set up his racing wheels,” remembers Smith. “When I went into the garage, James’ 7-yearold son told me all the rules his dad had taught him about working on the bike. He showed me where the tools were. I helped his son

Left: Weis’ bike and tri gear on display as a memorial to him. Top: Weis’ family joins the relay team as they crossed the finish line.

change out the wheels to put on the bike, which is something he did with his dad all the time.” On race day, more than 20 families and friends affiliated with the Gunfighters squadron came to cheer and show support. Chrislock-Lauterbach swam 500 meters, Smith rode 18 miles and Sauer ran the 5K. They each wore honorary bibs proudly displaying Dealer 54, Weis’ aircraft identification number. The race director arranged to have James’ widow and their two sons join the relay racing trio for the last 100 meters so they could all cross the finish line together. Many of the spouses and families connected to the Gunfighters had attended two military funerals , one for Weis and one for Carazo. Those who were still serving in Afghanistan mourned the deaths from thousands of miles away. The triathlon tribute was different in that everyone came together to actively participate in something that brought Weis joy and companionship. “It was very emotional for everyone,” says Chrislock-Lauterbach. “Triathlon is so much bigger than one person; it’s a family event. We took pictures, we hugged and there were tears as well. It was healing for all of us.” 105

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As the holiday season approaches, the editors have done the legwork to find a slew of products from every price range to give to your triathlete friends, family and even your triathlon supporters.


ide Gift gu


Clinks Triathlon Drink Charms, $17 Be the hostess (or host) with the mostest at your next tri club get-together with these handmade drink charms made from real bottle caps, which come stitched to a custom gift card and ready to give.

Park Pizza Tool, $15.95 Leave it to Park to have a pizza cutter that looks like a bicycle. It has a super sharp, large diameter stainless steel cutting wheel to cut through any pizza toppings you might crave after a long ride.

Asics Arm Warmers, $10 Super soft arm warmers stay in place, keep you warm and help you avoid the ever-annoying shedding of the layers during cold runs.

Less than $20 Asics Chafe Free, $12 This water-based antichafe cream spreads with a deodorant-like applicator, leaves zero mess and fits in a stocking. Cowbell, $14.95 Every triathlete needs the classic cowbell so your supporters can (ever so loudly) show their support—without losing their voices.

VibeWired VibeWires, $9.95

Jittery Joe’s Morning Ride, $11.99 Nothing tastes better than a hot cup o’ joe after a chilly morning ride this time of year, and with the full-bodied organic Morning Ride blend made from Latin American beans, you can also support Jittery Joe’s cycling team.

108 | December 2010

VibeWired can convert an iPod nano into a cycling sound system. In addition to this set of headphones with extra-short wires to eliminate the dangling cord, you can purchase a holster that clips the iPod to the back of a road helmet.

Thinksport Bottle, $19.95 Thinksport is dedicated to making safe products, such as this 25-ounce, doublewalled, stainless steel water bottle, which keeps beverages cold or hot for hours without sweating or burning your hand. It even has a little mesh filter to make tea!

“Keep Calm and Bike On” Print, $10 You’ve probably seen a variation of this poster, originally produced by the British government at the start of WWII to raise public morale, but have you seen the spin on this classic design just for cycling lovers? Triathlon Party Lights, $14.99 This string of 10 triathlon-themed LED lights is so over the top that we love it. Don’t be ashamed to hang these lights in your cubicle year-round.

Jack Black It’s the Balm Lip Trio, $19.50 This stocking stuffer-sized trio of grapefruit and ginger, black tea and blackberry, and natural mint and shea butter lip balms with SPF 25 will keep your lips moisturized and protected all year long.

Vittoria Pit Stop, $13 Give the gift of timesavings with this handy can of Pit Stop, which can quickly inflate and seal punctured tires by adding expandable latex foam and inflating a tire up to 94 psi.

Pedro’s Beverage Wrench, $11.95 It’s ergonomically designed for maximum leverage. Make sure you have it on hand in your kitchen or your toolbox.


ide Gift gu

Endurance Conspiracy T-shirts, $30


Pros Tony and Tim DeBoom own this line of endurance sportsinspired apparel, printed in Boulder, Colo., with designs that keep us entertained, such as “El Patrón”— perfect for pre-race intimidation.

Asics Women’s Legato II Tight, $34

Clif Family Winery Climber Red and Climber White, $12 each This nice bottle of vino is a classy and clever gift for the triathlete who appreciates organic products produced in a sustainable way. Clif’s Climber Red variety is a fruity blend that goes with any meal and its white variety, a Sauvignon blanc, has a crisp clean finish.

A woman can never have enough black running pants, especially as the weather becomes chilly. This Asics full-leg tight is not only comfortable, but it’s also flattering and even has gripper elastic at the ankles.

Trix Gear Baby Bib and Beanie, $30 Finally, gear for the littlest triathletes in the making. This set for baby is a musthave for the triathleteparent on your gift list.

$20-$50 Numi Single Origins Tea Set, $34.99 This lovely little tea set not only includes a stylish brewing pot and matching cups, but it also gives you a chance to sample teas from India, China, Japan and South Africa.

“17 Hours to Glory,” $21.95 Hawaii Ironman athletes have 17 hours to cross the finish line, but these 17 profiles of the sport’s most iconic figures will have Kona hopefuls engrossed within minutes.

110 | December 2010

Endo T-shirts, $20 We love the look and feel of Endo’s outdoor-inspired T-shirts printed with eco-friendly water-based ink on oh-socomfy American Apparel tees.

Prana Heart for Africa Circle Scarf, $35 Prana’s Circle Scarf was handmade by villagers in Swaziland, making each scarf uniquely colorful. The purchase goes toward getting the women out of poverty, and it looks pretty darn chic no matter how you loop it around your neck.

Resource Revival Chainring Bowl, $88 This company repurposes old bicycle products by turning them into usable products for everyday life—they call it “rebicycling.” Our tech geeks love this bike chain bowl, which is 10 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep.


Nike Frees, $85 Here’s a shoe that lets the foot be the foot. It’s light, flexible, barely there, allowing your tootsies to move the way nature intended. The Free is aptly named, as that’s just how it feels to run in it.

Ika Bags, $59 Handmade in France, this messenger bag is the perfect excuse for taking a casual ride to show it off. Available in a variety of colors, this bag is canvas-lined and has nine pockets to hold seriously everything.

Oakley Holeshot Watch, $550 Oakley keeps wowing us with its innovative designs, such as this fancy yet functional watch created for the active lifestyle. It’s water resistant, durable and engineered with a Swissmade chronograph that even measures split times to a tenth of a second.

More than $100 Me and Goji Cereal Club, $299 for 12 months Give the breakfast version of a wine club, in which you get to try out two different organic cereals per month, with each nutrient-dense cereal geared toward the active lifestyle. Plus, the company guarantees that it’ll replace any cereal you don’t just love.

Rudy Project Sunglasses, $149.99-$174.99 Who says you can’t look cool in the off-season? The Ability and Ultimatum sunglasses are tailored to and designed specifically for athletes who want all the benefits of high-tech eyewear without compromising style.


ide Gift gu

Campagnolo BIG corkscrew, $195


This 12-inch tall corkscrew is a classic Campy gem of beauty and quality.

Nixon “The Shutter” watch, $100 Always on the cutting edge of cleverly simple watch designs, we love elegance of The Shutter, which comes with a stainless steel skeleton and a leather band.

BMC TT01 frameset, $11,999.99 For that super-special someone, the customizable, handmade TT01 frameset features the refinement (and price tag) that Swiss products are famous for.

Blueseventy Axis Wetsuit, $550 Give the gift of better buoyancy to your triathlete honey with a suit built to lift up the muscle-dense thighs and calves of runners and cyclists in the water, allowing for a more streamlined position and faster swim splits.

TYR Convoy Transition Backpack, $180 This isn’t a middle-schooler’s backpack; it’s an external frame pack worthy of an overnight camping trip that happens to be designed to carry triathlon gear. Its main compartment folds completely open to reveal three compartments for swim, bike and run gear.

112 | December 2010

Ruster Hen House Bicycle Travel Case, $495 The best gifts are the ones that keep on giving, such as the Ruster Hen House bike travel case, which is designed so you can pack your bike in two separate bags and avoid excessive airline bike fees in the process.


8 REAR NEW! SYSTEMS FROM $49 ∙ No aero drag ∙ Easy access ∙ Stores bottles, CO2s, spare, tools ∙ 2 Cervélo™ specific systems ∙ 3 Bag sizes ∙ Used by Craig Alexander


Super grip Anti-Launch Also White and Natural Used by Chrissie Wellington

MULTI-WORLD CHAMPION’S CHOICE WHITE CARBON WING NEW! ∙ Lightest Rear Carrier ∙ Used by Chrissie Wellington and Craig Alexander

AERO COMPUTER MOUNT NEW! ∙ Eliminates Computer drag ∙ Drafts behind Torpedo System or any Front Aero Bottle




∙ 75% less drag than bottle with straw ∙ Takes 9 seconds NEW! to drink 4ozs RED CHIMP ∙ Custom fit CAGE ∙ Horizontal position ∙ Also White and Natural ∙ Use with Torpedo System or on frame NEW!



∙ Now fit XLAB Carbon Wing to Carbon railed saddles ∙ Fits FIZIK™ Carbon rail saddles



∙ Offset side entry ∙ Easier access for small frames ∙ Natural, White

ENTER YOUR RACE DISTANCE FOR OUR ADVICE OR CALL 760-735-3215 93 • 94 • 96 • 98 • 99 • 00 • 01 • 02 • 03 • 04 • 05 • 06 • 08 • 09

December 2010 |


London Calling By Julia Beeson Polloreno Photographs by Nils Nilsen 114 | November 2010

rom the time Jarrod Shoemaker could dribble a basketball, swing a bat or net a goal, his mentality has been grounded in multisport. As a kid, Shoemaker “played every sport there was to play,” with his summers occupied on the baseball diamond and the long Massachusetts winters spent playing hockey on the family’s backyard pond. He grew up watching his parents train for marathons (his mom continues her 20-plus-year tradition of running the Boston Marathon), often biking beside them during long training runs. Today, the 28-year-old’s understanding of multisport signifies three distinct disciplines: swim, bike and run. And when the three are linked together, Shoemaker is a dangerous competitor. After posting four consecutive top-10 finishes in the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series (the pinnacle of Olympic-distance racing), in late September he earned his first-ever elite national title at the 2010 USA Triathlon Elite Nationals in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Because of his fast run splits, many believe that Shoemaker, a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, is America’s best hope for an Olympic triathlon medal in 2012. ››

Jarrod Shoemaker could be America’s brightest hope for an Olympic medal in 2012.

December 2010 |


Went pro: 2004 Lives: In Orlando, Fla., and Maynard, Mass. Status: Married to ITU athlete Alicia Kaye 2010 ITU WCS rank: 13 Finish place at Beijing 2008 Olympic Games: 18

116 | December 2010

Sponsors: Saucony, Shimano, Trek, Natural Choice, New York Athletic Club, Gu, Xterra Wetsuits Siblings: Sister Jenna is also a pro triathlete; sister Martha swims for New York University; brother Jake runs for Dartmouth. Coach: Tim Crowley, TC2 Training/Coaching of Marlborough, Mass.


Age: 28

Though ITU/Olympic-style racing and Ironman racing couldn’t be more different, it was an awareness of the Hawaii Ironman that first sparked Shoemaker’s interest in triathlon. “When I was a senior in high school my uncle did the Hawaii Ironman,” recalls Shoemaker, who ran cross-country, swam and played baseball in high school. “I had never heard of triathlon, but from then on it was always in the back of my mind.” He was recruited to run for Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, where he spent four seasons as a standout in track and cross-country. During his senior year, Shoemaker realized that while he was a gifted runner, he didn’t see his potential to run post-college among the “greats” and decided to test his mettle in triathlon. It was a wise move. Shoemaker quickly—and decidedly— made a name for himself as the 2004 USA Triathlon under-23 national champion. He defended that title the following year and also became the ITU under-23 world champion. He earned his first world cup podium finish in Edmonton in 2006, and continued to dominate as the top American at international cup races. His finish at the 2007 Beijing world cup qualified him for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, where he placed 18th. Shoemaker was named 2009 USA Triathlon Elite Athlete of the Year, an honor he earned after a slew of top finishes, including first place at the Hamburg ITU WCS event and ITU Duathlon World Championship. He wrapped up 2009 as the top American, 10th overall, in ITU WCS rankings after recording top-10 finishes in seven of the nine races he entered. After finishing the 2010 WCS series ranked 13th, Shoemaker now is vying for a coveted spot on the 2012 Olympic squad. His first chance to qualify will be in early August 2011 at an ITU WCS race on the actual Olympic course in London. “My whole season in 2011 is going to

race images: Paul Phillips

The New Rules

be focused on one question: How am I going to get that spot in London?” says Shoemaker. “It’s going to be an Olympicqualifying race for a number of other countries as well, so the competition is going to be tough. But that’s a good thing—you’ll have to show that you will be a contender in the Olympics.” His experience from the 2008 games will undoubtedly be a major asset in his bid for a spot on the 2012 team. “It’s almost impossible to explain how different the Olympics are in terms of logistics, stress, preparation,” says Shoemaker, emphasizing the importance of getting the Olympic team together a year out from competition day (see sidebar: “The New Rules”). He and his coach, Tim Crowley of TC2 Training/Coaching, learned how to dial in his training for the 2008 games and make appropriate goals to set him up to realize his full athletic potential come race day (he finished 18th). “In this type of racing, you can’t dictate every element of the race, so you have to go in prepared for any scenario,” says Crowley, Shoemaker’s primary coach since the fall of 2007. “We have to be able to do everything we possibly can to influence the outcome of the race.” Crowley, 2009 USA Triathlon Coach of the Year, studies a lot of race footage, analyzing the competition’s tactics and strengths to hone his star pupil’s strategy. “We learn from every race and move on to the next one,” says Crowley, crediting this approach as part of the reason for his client’s success. “We don’t get hung up on the results of a single race.” Asked of his ambition to do any nondrafting racing, Shoemaker says his focus may turn in that direction after the 2016 games. “I would probably do more of the Olympic-distance races because my strengths are running and swimming,” he says. As for the likelihood he’ll follow his uncle’s footsteps into Ironman racing? “Probably not,” he chuckles, in a way that really says “definitely no.”

In late August, USA Triathlon announced changes to the selection process for the London 2012 Olympic Games’ triathlon team. In addition to naming the London race in August as the first opportunity to qualify, it was also announced that the top two male and female American finishers will automatically receive spots on the team, provided they also finish in the top nine overall. If those spots aren’t filled at the London qualifier, they will go to the top males and females of a yet-to-be-determined ITU race in early 2012, as long as these men and women finish in the top nine. If there are any remaining spots after those two events, a selection committee will pick the final team members. The following caveat to the selection process has generated some controversy in the triathlon community: “If necessary, discretionary selections could entail potential medalists or an athlete who can assist the medal-potential athletes through specific team tactics.” In other words, a selection committee could potentially build a team around a single athlete they believe has the best chance of medaling, instead of sending athletes based on their individual chances of reaching the podium. Though Shoemaker was on the athletes advisory committee that had a hand in crafting the 2012 criteria, he’s “not extremely happy with the end product.” Though he doesn’t doubt that the new selection process will help the U.S. pull together a good team, his concern is that “we could go all the way to June without having anyone picked for the team, which is not good on a lot of levels—like in making sure you have enough prep time and the right tools are in place for London.” Supporters of including a domestique—a team member whose purpose is to help another athlete win or medal—on the Olympic triathlon team point to Simon Whitfield of Canada, the 2008 silver medalist who was assisted in the race by a domestique. Still, Shoemaker isn’t convinced it’s the right route for the Americans. “There are certain races where domestiques can win, but in the Olympics I think it’s all about making sure you have enough people in the race that can win a medal.”

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December 2010 | TRIATHLETE.COM



nutrition Q & A

Q: What do you eat?

by pip taylor

I’m asked this question a lot. It can have two expected answers, the first being a complex and scientific breakdown that details precise calculations and quantities of macro and micro nutrient intake carefully balanced against energy requirements. Or, more simply, a voyeuristic snapshot of the person as defined by his food choices, likes, dislikes, weaknesses, cooking, shopping and eating habits, and even culture, beliefs and lifestyle. The voyeuristic approach is of far greater interest. So I’ve opened up my pantry, my fridge, my shopping basket, as well as those of several other pros, and invite you to take a look inside. These aren’t meant as a recommended nutritional plan, nor set out as the ideal. But it is true that nutritional needs can be met in a variety of ways and the success of these athletes, despite varying diets, may be evidence of that. I have noticed a few recurring themes though—including chocolate, wine, beer, ice cream, peanut butter and fruit, and it might just surprise you as

A handful of top professional triathletes opened their kitchen pantries—here are the foods they can’t do without. Matt Reed

Simon Whitfield

Winner of the 2009 Toyota Cup, 2008 Beijing Olympian Bananas, red meat (sirloin or tri tip), spinach, sweet potatoes, oranges, organic chocolate milk.

Olympic gold medalist (Sydney 2000) and silver medalist (Beijing 2008) Vanilla yogurt, almond butter (crunchy), A Touch of Sea Salt Bars by Lindt Chocolatiers, almond milk (unsweetened) by Blue Diamond, manna bread (usually cinnamon/banana), Nutrasea omega oil by Ascenta. Off-season: Beer (usually dark or Belgium wheat beer), The Udder Guy’s chocolate ice cream .

Linsey Corbin

120 | December 2010

Sarah Haskins

Barbara Riveros Diaz

2008 Beijing Olympian, winner of the 2009 Toyota Cup, silver medalist at the 2008 ITU World Championships Natural peanut butter, apples, Dole fruit popsicles (coconut flavor), spinach, vanilla yogurt. Off-season: “I really like to warm up with some hot drinks like tea or hot cocoa. Hershey’s Natural Cocoa Powder with one packet of stevia sweetener makes some pretty mean hot chocolate.”

2008 Beijing Olympian, Winner of the 2010 ITU WCS Sydney Garlic, onion, chilies, lean meats, fish, beetroot, chocolate. Off-season: “It’s all about the pig—pork, bacon.”

Luke McKenzie Five-time Ironman winner Gnocchi, bagels, pasta, granola, various PowerBar products, milk, cheese, orange juice. Ironman PowerBar Performance sports drink, lots of fruit and veggies, steak, chicken, yogurt, low-fat ice cream, wine.

Fraser Cartmell Winner of the 2010 Ironman UK Breakfast cereal, such as Special K Plus and a granola variety, cinnamon and raisin bagels, grape or strawberry jam (for bagels), 2 percent milk (I can’t cope with skim), medium strength coffee. Offseason: “I will usually have a good bit more chocolate and enjoy some tasty puddings or an apple crumble with custard ... I have a sweet tooth!”

nils nilsen

Winner of the 2010 Ironman Coeur d’Alene, fifth at the 2008 Ironman World Championship Natural peanut butter, spinach, eggs, dark chocolate, pretzels, apples, whole grain English muffins, Pellegrino, salsa. Off-season: Dark chocolate, Big Sky Brewing Moose Drool Ale, a bottle of chilled Prosecco, Big Dipper Ice Cream

to whether they are on the essential lists or the off-season inclusions! I eat healthy, fresh, mostly unprocessed foods, but at the same time, I am certainly no food saint. I don’t follow any particular diet, don’t avoid anything specifically and will try almost anything. However, when I travel for a race or even a training camp, convenience is key so I make good use of items such as prechopped vegetables, bottled pasta sauce, quick-cook rice and pre-made salads. When I am at home in the off-season I do almost all of my shopping at the farmers’ markets, where I am guided by the seasons and what is available. Five foods that are always on my list, in the fridge or pantry (not including a large supply of Accelerade, Accelgels and Forze bars): Raw rolled oats or steel cut oats; fresh seasonal fruit as well as frozen berries; yogurt and kefir (a yogurtlike drink) in plain or natural flavors; sweet potatoes or yams; and good quality sea salt.

MarkAllenFSFB_Tri_Nov.indd 1

8/23/10 5:10 PM

December 2010 |



multisport menu

Chew on These

If you don’t feel like getting energy gel streaks across your face every time you work out, try some energy chews—bite-sized and easily digestible morsels of electrolytes and sugar, made to give you an extra kick during hard efforts and which should always be consumed with water to get the full effect. The textures sometimes vary, as does the stick-to-your-teeth factor, but most of the time it seems as if you’re eating yummy fruit snacks.

Sport Beans, $1.25-$1.45 Jelly Belly found a way to make its tasty candies good for athletes by packing them with electrolytes, vitamins B and C and carbs. Sport Beans, which are available in flavors such as orange, berry and watermelon, come in a resealable package and have become quite popular among the endurance crowd. Taking them with water 30 minutes before activity and periodically during activity keeps you energized and hydrated.

Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews, $1.99

Tasty Brand Organic Sport Fruit Snacks, $3.99 Tasty Brand’s Organic Sport Fruit Snacks live up to their brand name. The sugarcoated fruit-shaped gummies have a great texture, aren’t overly sticky and are kid-safe—the company was founded by two moms. Made with real fruit juice, these snacks are rich in vitamin C, vegan, glutenfree and might just distract you from the pain of a hard run.

Honey Stinger’s Organic Energy Chews are packed with electrolytes and a full dose of vitamin C. They’re blended with organic honey and organic tapioca syrup, which contains protein and fiber. They’re not too sticky or sweet, and the pomegranate flavor is especially tasty.

Clif Shot Bloks, $1.99 Clif’s energy chew, Shot Bloks, comes in packs of six “bloks,” the equivalent of two gel packet servings. Its newest flavor is tropical punch, which proved popular at Interbike. Tropical punch Shot Bloks contain electrolytes, sugar and carbs plus an extra kick—as in 25 mg of caffeine per three bloks—to keep you going.

122 | December 2010

Sharkies, $17.80 for 12 These shark-shaped fruit snacks don’t taste like a sports nutrition product at all. They’re a great treat post-workout to replenish electrolytes, and they’re organic, gluten-free and vegetarian. Even better than the adult variety, some Triathlete editors argue, are the kids’ version, which is sugarcoated and doesn’t get stuck in your teeth as much.




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eat right

Healthy Shopping Made Easy Hit the grocery store with a list of these five foods that should be in every triathlete’s kitchen.

 Wheat


Protein, riboflavin, thiamin, iron—it’s all here, and in abundance. Between your morning bowl of cereal and afternoon yogurt snack, a 100-gram sprinkling will give you more than a third of your daily iron requirement, 23 grams of protein and push you over the halfway mark in satisfying your needs for folate, B6 and zinc—all key ingredients for recovery and red blood cell development.

 Oysters

You rarely hear about the benefits of eating oysters, unless the discussion turns to increasing performance in ... other areas. But oysters pack a big nutritional punch and have lower mercury content than other popular seafood. They also have more than twice the recommended dosage of B12, a quarter of your iron needs, and lots of zinc, selenium and manganese—all in three ounces and 50 calories.

 Pumpkin

While an extra slice of holiday pie isn’t the preferred source, other recipes are worth a look. Pumpkin is high in antioxidants and potassium. And if you’re looking for a more natural energy source during workouts, look into the seeds—they’re even higher in potassium and contain high levels of protein and iron. Just watch the fat content.

Eat That, Not This Some “healthy” foods actually have questionable nutritional value. In fact, other than popularity, they’re not really high in much else. Here’s how they break down, and replacements that will better serve you.

 Bell



In addition to being a great source of lactic acid-fighting potassium, apricots are high in antioxidants and a great plant source of omega-6 acids. More than just a nice flavoring to trail mix, this is a must-have in the endurance athlete diet. | December 2010

Green beans: Green beans have fiber, but other beans offer much more. Swap the green variety for kidney or black beans—they’ll give you a ton more iron and protein, and they pack a mighty mineral wallop. Lettuce: We’re not saying to forgo salads, but why eat only lettuce when you can combine it with other highoctane options? Spinach is exceptionally high in vitamins A and C and folate. Kale finishes a close second, and even cabbage has more vitamin and mineral content. Mix things up in your next salad and get more bang for your green-leaf buck. // Jim Gourley

jon davis

Getting your vitamin C from an orange? You can get up to five times more if you sauté bell peppers (green, yellow or red) and add them to your pre-race pasta meal. You’ll also get your complete daily requirement of vitamin A and a healthy dose of B vitamins. At less than 100 calories per cup when chopped, these are a nutritional no-brainer that are often overlooked.

 Apricots

Peas: They’re high in vitamin K, but with enough exposure to sunlight your body ought to make all it needs on its own. Also, the vitamin C, A and iron content isn’t substantial. A good replacement is broccoli. It’s higher in C and A, and has a substantial dose of folate.


healthful hints

6 Stay-Slim Strategies 2.

Begin your meal with a big salad or some fruit. That way, you’ll start to fill up on foods with fewer calories than you would if you began with mashed potatoes and gravy.


If you’re at a party where you serve yourself, use a dessert plate instead of a dinner plate. That way, you won’t be able to load your plate with as much food and you’ll be less likely to overindulge.


Don’t go into a holiday meal starving. “You don’t want to give yourself the excuse to go hog wild,” Shutt says. If you’re eating a holiday dinner, make sure you eat a sensible breakfast and lunch beforehand.


Avoid desserts and sauces. Obviously, if you absolutely have to have a certain dessert, then eat it. But just be careful. If your family is the type that smothers every dish with sauces, enjoy the must-haves, but avoid the rest.

6. Registered dietician and elite age-grouper Beth Shutt shares her secrets for enjoying holiday fare without gaining weight.


When you head into a party or holiday feast, survey the food and pick out a few things that you absolutely have to have. Enjoy those foods within reason and save the rest for another time. “Really, nothing is going to be horrible for you,” Shutt says. “It’s just the amount you eat.”

Most people don’t gain as much weight during the holidays as you might think. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that out of 200 test subjects the average weight gain during the three months spanning the holidays was only one pound, Shutt notes. So while you’re doing your best to stay svelte during the winter, also remember to have fun eating the foods you only get to indulge in from Thanksgiving through New Year’s.

Simple Substitutions

126 | December 2010

Instead of sugar, experiment with natural sweeteners such as stevia and agave nectar, which don’t spike your blood sugar as much as sugar does. When you make mashed potatoes, use red potatoes instead of russet potatoes and leave the skins on, as this adds fiber and nutrients. Red potatoes are packed with vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B6. // Courtney Baird

jon davis

When baking, two egg whites can usually replace one egg, reducing the amount of cholesterol, saturated fat and calories in your meal, Shutt says. And you can experiment with applesauce in place of butter, margarine and oil. Reduce the amount of butter in your mashed potatoes by adding fat-free chicken broth, which amps up the flavor, Shutt says.




P Italy-born Giuseppe Ciuffa brings his creative culinary energy and love of the active lifestyle to La Jolla, Calif. BY BETHANY LEACH MAVIS

Professional chef Giuseppe Ciuffa has been in the food industry since age 14, paying his dues early on as a pizza delivery boy. “It was not a glamorous job,” he says. “I worked my butt off.” He came to the U.S. 16 years ago from Italy and decided to stay, ditching the sports of his youth—water polo, running and cycling—in exchange for surfing three times a day. He started to make a name for himself on San Diego’s culinary scene, and in 2000 he opened the Museum Café at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. The café now draws athletes and other people looking for healthy cuisine. More recently, he opened the Sculpture Court SAN DIEGO COUNTY SPOTLIGHT Ciuffa’s favorite places to swim: “Swimming is my very least favorite out of the three, so I only swim a couple of days a week at the La Jolla High School pool. During the warm months I try to add one more day of open-water swimming at the [La Jolla] Cove.”

TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010

Ride to Cabrillo Monument (about 17 miles)

Speed work at Fiesta Island in Mission Bay Favorite place to run: Along the coast in La Jolla Best local races: Encinitas Sprint Triathlon Ironman 70.3 California (in Oceanside) Solana Beach Triathlon NILS NILSEN

Favorite places to bike: Rancho Santa Fe (about 20 minutes from La Jolla): “The environment is pretty close to the place where I come from in Italy.”


Café at the San Diego Museum of Art. “We have a fresh and healthy take on ingredients,” Ciuffa says. “We use local sources and sustainable, organic products … It’s a European-based type of cuisine with a California flavor.” Despite the emphasis Ciuffa put on healthy food, he smoked more than a pack of cigarettes per day—a ritual that spanned two decades. In 2004, the same year he started his catering business, Giuseppe Catering, he smoked before and after his first running of the La Jolla Half Marathon. That day, he decided to quit smoking cold turkey and chose to pick up endurance sports to keep him busy. He began with the Mission Bay Sprint Triathlon. When he took the step up to half-iron races, he joined San Diego-based Breakaway Training, coached by elite racer and coach Felipe Loureiro, traveled to races and became a spinning instructor at the La Jolla Sports Club. “But I overdid it,” he says. “I paid the price.” He injured his back at a race and had to take a step back from training. He’s now thankful for the lesson and hopes to return to racing half-irons next year. “My best advice is to keep your priorities straight,” he says. ››




TRIATHLETE.COM | December 2010

(Warm Corn and Cherry Tomato Salad with Grilled Shrimp) Ciuffa loves this low-fat shrimp salad recipe because it’s nutrient-dense, flavorful and easy to prepare on the grill. Shrimp is a great protein source, the corn has carbs, tomatoes are vitamin-rich and olive oil is reminiscent of Ciuffa’s homeland. Serves 4 4 corn on the cob 1 basket heirloom cherry tomatoes (cut in half) 8 snipped chives 4 tablespoons fresh basil (cut into very thin strips) 1 cup feta cheese 20 extra large (or 16/20) shrimp or tiger shrimp 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper to taste

Directions Brush the corn with a little olive oil and roast until golden brown. Take kernels off the cobb, add the basil, snipped chives, cherry tomatoes, ½ cup of feta cheese, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix all together. On top, add the remaining feta and drizzle the remaining olive oil. Once done, brush the shrimp with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place on the grill for about two minutes on each side. Remove shrimp and place five per plate all around the corn and tomato salad. Garnish plate with a center leaf of fresh basil.


1. No purchase necessary. To enter without ordering, send a single entry on an index card to: Triathlete Quintana Roo Sweepstakes, 9477 Waples St., Ste. 150, San Diego, CA 92121, with your name, address and phone number. This sweepstakes is sponsored by Competitor Group, Inc., 9477 Waples St., Ste. 150, San Diego, CA 92121. 2. All entries must be received and postmarked by Dec 15, 2010. Triathlete is not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, damaged, illegible or postage-due mail. 3. One entry per person will be eligible for the drawing. 4. One winner will be selected no later than Jan. 15, 2011 from among all eligible entries received. Winner selection will take place under the supervision of Triathlete, whose decisions are final. Each entrant consents to transfer all information contained in the completed entry form to other companies. 5. The odds of winning are determined by the total number of eligible entries received. Taxes, where applicable, are the sole responsibility of the winner. 6. Potential winners will be notified by mail, telephone or e-mail. Potential winners must follow the directions contained in any of the correspondence and return all forms correctly completed within 7 days if the date of correspondence. Noncompliance will result in disqualification and the naming of an alternate winner. A timeline for prize fulfillment will be provided to the winner (may take up to 90 days or more). 7. There is no cash exchange for this prize. 8. Employees of Competitor Group, Inc., Quintana Roo or anyone affiliated are not eligible. Sweepstakes subject to all federal, state and local tax laws and void where prohibited by law. 9. For the name of the winner, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope and letter of request to: Triathlete Quintana Roo Sweepstakes, 9477 Waples St., Ste. 150, San Diego, CA 92121.

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Project Recovery continued from page 101 Some triathletes choose to concentrate on the triathlon leg they love the most during the off-season, with swimmers ignoring everything but the pool and runners jumping into a few road races or cross-country events, coach Huddle says. Coach Augello believes mountain biking is one of the best activities to participate in during the off-season. Not only does mountain biking help refresh your mind by getting you out of the city and on to expansive trails, but it also helps you build eccentric strength because you have to support your body weight on the pedals as you spring from one tough spot to the next, something you almost never do during road biking, Augello explains. Augello and other coaches also recommend strength and flexibility training during the off-season. Activities such as Pilates, yoga, ballet, Crossfit and even just hitting the weights can be great for addressing any imbalances or weaknesses that might have impeded you during the season. “Most athletes don’t like to try something they’re not good at, but that is where the biggest gains are made,” coach Huddle says.

The Pros’ Favorite Active Recovery and Off-season Activities Two-time Ironman world champion Craig Alexander: Surf skiing, golfing Ironman 70. 3 world champion Samantha McGlone: Mountain biking, yoga, trail running, hiking in Tucson, Ariz., cross-country and downhill skiing Ironman champion Linsey Corbin: Mountain biking, cyclo-cross, hiking, yoga, TRX suspension training, core work, swimming, dry-land swim training with stretch cords, cross-country races, trail running Olympian and Ironman 70.3 world champion Joanna Zeiger: Easy swimming or biking, snow shoeing, lots of gym work Olympic hopeful Matt Chrabot: Aqua jogging, day hikes in Colorado Reigning Olympic champion Jan Frodeno: Beach volleyball, surfing, mountain biking, cooking and eating

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Statement of Ownership As required by Title 39, Section 3685 United States Code below is the Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation of Triathlete. ISSN 0898-3410, USPS 003-129. Triathlete is published 12 times a year with a $34.95 annual subscription price. The known office of publication and general business offices are located at 9477 Waples St, Ste 150, San Diego, CA 92121; Publisher, Andrew Hersam, 9477 Waples St, Ste 150, San Diego, CA 92121; 4. Editor, Julia Beeson Polloreno 9477 Waples St, Ste 150, San Diego, CA 92121; Managing Editor, Somyr McLean Perry 9477 Waples St, Ste 150, San Diego, CA 92121; Holders of 1 percent (1.0%) or more of the outstanding shares of Competitor Group, Inc., as of October 1, 2010: The known bondholders, mortgagees and other security holders: none Issue Date for Circulation data below: November 2010; The average number of copies of each issue during the preceding 12 months are: (A) Total number of copies: 91,543; (B1) Paid/requested outside-county mail subscriptions: 35,244; (B2) Paid in-county subscriptions: none; (B3) Sales through dealers and carriers, street vendors, counter sales and other non-USPS paid distribution: 20,803; (B4) Other classes mailed through the USPS: 1,124; (C) Total paid and/or requested circulation: 57,171; (D1) Free distribution by mail outside county: 1,406; (D2) Free distribution by mail in-county: none; (D3) Free distribution by mail other classes through USPS: none; (D4) Free distribution Outside the Mail: 2,369; (E) Total free distribution: 3,775; (F) Total distribution: 60,946; (G) Copies not distributed: 30,597; (H) Total: 91,543; (I) Percent Paid: 93.37%. The actual number of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date are: (A) Total number of copies: 104,015; (B1) Paid/requested outside-county mail subscriptions: 36,370; (B2) ) Paid in-county subscriptions: none; (B3) Sales through dealers and carriers, street vendors, counter sales and other non-USPS paid distribution: 22,115; (B4) Other classes mailed through the USPS: 2,683; (C) Total paid and/or requested circulation: 61,168; (D1) Free distribution by mail outside county: 1,493; (D2) Free distribution by mail in-county: none; (D3) Free distribution by mail other classes through USPS: none; (D4) Free distribution Outside the Mail: 6,849; (E) Total free distribution: 8,342; (F) Total distribution: 69,510; (G) Copies not distributed: 34,505; (H) Total: 104,015; (I) Percent Paid: 88.00%. Publication Statement of Ownership will be printed in the December 2010 issue of this publication. I certify that the statements made by me above are correct and complete. Signed: Leslie Dodds, Fulfillment Manager

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December 2010 |




edge on his competitors in his first triathlon, he will leave his bike apparel at home and wear yellow Sub 4 running shorts start to finish. Last out of the water, McGrit mounts his white Gitane 10-speed and throttles his way into the ride. As sharp as a pocketknife, he does not bring food or water with him. The day blurs into a sequence of horrors, and when McGrit finishes, famished, sunburned and desperately uncomfortable from not having worn bike shorts, he knows he has found his sport.

July 23, 1989 McGrit enters the Donner Lake Triathlon near Truckee, Calif. Shimmering mountains, electric air, ice blue lake. High altitude and an anaerobic death climb immediately following swim exit. The next day McGrit dutifully describes the bonking he experienced in his logbook as “cross-eyed.”

Summer 1998

Key Historical Moments in the Creation of Bonkman May 4, 1979 It’s the day of the junior high all-city track meet, and Skeeter McGrit, quarter-miler extraordinaire, decides today is the day to deploy the top nutrition secret he’s heard about that will unleash a blazing fire of super performance. He skips breakfast and he constrains lunch to a piece of bread with a glop of grape jelly on top. McGrit will be a beam of light! In the last 150 yards around the 440yard track of black cinders, McGrit’s legs turn from light waves to duffel bags full of melting nickels. He fades well behind the 136 | December 2010

other runners. Near the end his muscles experience a three-county power outage and he smashes torso first onto the chalk of the finish line, earning the nickname “Dusty.”

Sept. 18, 1983 It’s a Sunday, and time for the All-State Triathalon (that’s the way they spelled it), a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run in the unforgiving lukewarm water of Lake McBride joined by the sun-beaten roads of the rural Midwest. A 19-yearold Skeeter McGrit decides that to get an

Desert Sun Triathlon, Grand Junction, Colo. Rough day for McGrit at this half-iron distance event. The only reason he doesn’t miss cut-off at the end of the bike is that there was no cut-off. That said, during the lonely run well behind the rest of the field, in 90-degree temperatures and with sundamaged aid station personnel packing up and fleeing, McGrit grinds on, shufflestumbling his way toward a place that at one time had a finish line. With a mile to go, a white van pulls alongside McGrit and the driver exhorts the lone slogger to give up and jump in. “You’re bonking, man,” the driver says. Borderline delusional and eyes pinched shut with confusion and sweat, the puzzled McGrit replies, “I’m bonk man?” and keeps on racing. The annoyed driver barks, “Suit yourself pal!” and lays into the gas and the van rapidly vanishes over the hill. McGrit scrapes along as dehydrated as the ash of burned-up charcoal. Above, an eagle angles softly to the southeast toward the red glow of the San Juan Mountains. As he jogs across a grassy meadow and the crumpled remnants of what was once a finish line, a peaceful realization comes to McGrit that he hoarsely mutters aloud to no one in particular. “I’m Bonkman.” Illustration by mark brewer






2010-12 Triathlete  
2010-12 Triathlete