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Contents jUlY2011

features 112 Kona Uncovered The season’s hottest triathlon swimsuits and race apparel are showcased on the fit bodies of our triathlete models, all shot in triathlon’s land of legend: Hawaii’s Big Island.

144 Triathlete’s Ultimate Swim Guide Using our reviews of seven high-end wetsuits, our threemonth swim training plan, our guide to becoming a fearless swimmer plus our swim gear essentials, you can be faster, stronger and more confident in the water than ever before.

168 In Your Skin We gathered top experts to offer advice on keeping your skin safe—plus a roundup of the best protective products for triathletes. By Sarah Wassner Flynn

174 Heat Shock With temperatures rising to 97 degrees, the pro field at the 2011 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon—maybe the best ever assembled outside of Kona—was put through the ultimate test of their endurance. By Aaron Hersh

damien noble andrews

14 | July 2011

Contents JULY2011

22 | From the Editor Dive In

26 | Letters West Virginia sets the record straight; Tom Lowe should’ve shaved; and another treatment for sciatica.

31 | Checking In Need to Know Q&A with Olympian Amanda Beard; pro tweets of the month; the benefits of SUP; USAT rules quiz; Medically Speaking; Fast at Forty; some of our favorite spectator signs and more. At the Races Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series Sydney, Spec-Savers Ironman South Africa, Avia Wildflower Long Course Triathlon and St. Anthony’s Triathlon Time-crunched Triathlete A new approach to field testing Racing Weight Lose weight or lose fat? Tour Guide The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows on Hawaii’s Big Island, the site of this year’s swimsuit photo shoot PROfile Cameron Brown Dear Coach How do I turn my swim from a weakness to a strength?

82 Top drills every triathlete needs Ask a Pro How do you prevent overuse injuries? I’m a Triathlete “The Office” actor David Denman Confessions of an Age-grouper

I want to vomit

77 | Swim Practice alone or with a group? How to choose the right Masters lane; open-water swim exercises to improve performance; how to fold your wetsuit for travel; top drills; do mirrored goggles work?

91 | Bike How to pace the race; workarounds for hectic schedules; great summer cycling events; improve your cadence; a look inside testing facility Wheel Energy; comparing 3 bike-fitting methods.

103 | Run 5 great podcasts for your next run; Shoe Geek answers your questions; give your GPS a day off; get a killer kick; tips for going sockless; and CEP’s new custom compression tight.


Why you should give your GPS a day off

181 | Fuel Caffeine withdrawal; breakfasts made easier; the latest energyboosting snacks; nutrition apps for smartphones and more.

200 | Never a Bad Day The hope that Rudy Garcia-Tolson brings to Ironman

ON THE COVER: swimsuit model search editor's pick Lindsey Kurhajetz and pro triathlete Dan Hugo. Photographed exclusively for Triathlete by Damien Noble Andrews in Kona, Hawaii. Hair & makeup by Marlena Robbins.

100 3 must-ride cycling events this summer




Publication mail agreement NO. 40064408, return undeliverable Canadian addresses to, Express Messenger International, P.O. BOX 25058, London BRC, Ontario, Canada N6C 6A8. Triathlete Issue #328 (ISSN08983410) is published monthly by The Competitor Group, 9477 Waples St., Suite 150, San Diego, CA 92121; (858) 768-6805. Subscription rates: U.S., one year (13 issues) $34.95; two years (26 issues) $59.95. Canada $60.95 per year; all other countries $94.95 per year, U.S. currency only. Periodicals postage paid at San Diego, CA, and additional mailing offices. Single copy price $5.99. Triathlete is copyright 2003 by The Competitor Group. All rights reserved. Postmaster: Send address changes to Triathlete, P.O. Box 469055, Escondido, CA 92046-9513.

LIVE HEALTHY GNC TRIPLE STRENGTH FISH OIL FORMULAS Goal: Find a potent and pure fish oil that fits my lifestyle Solution: GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil Effect: Delivers 900mg of 5 times purified Omega 3’s Result: Keeps me healthy by supporting heart, immune, brain, eye and joint health These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Call 1.800.477.4462 or visit for the store nearest you. ©2011 General Nutrition Corporation.

* Swimsuit Central

* TriCenter

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If your phone has a Web browser and a camera: • Download the free app at using your phone browser. • Scan or photograph a barcode you see in this issue. • The video will load instantly. • No phone? Use the links provided next to the barcode to view our videos on a computer.

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Watch Videos on Your Phone


Head to for even more swimsuit coverage of this year's shoot in Kona, Hawaii. Go behind the scenes, check out exclusive video and find out more about the latest athletic swimwear from top brands.


No matter your ability level in the pool, you’re likely looking for ways to improve on your swim stroke. Head to for access to dozens of articles aimed at helping you get the upper hand in the pool and in the open water.

I’ve always argued with Crowie about which is tougher—Wildflower or St. Croix—it’s been going on for years. I’ve generally gone to Wildflower just because it’s easier coming from Australia, but I think I’ve jumped sides of the fence. I agree with Crowie— this course is relentless.” — Luke Bell after his runner-up finish at Ironman 70.3 St. Croix

* Plus


NEWS Which professionals are on track to race at this fall’s world championship events and which are falling short? We’ll keep you updated on the latest news from the pro ranks.


RACE COVERAGE The Life Time Fitness Triathlon series is in full swing with races in Philadelphia and Minneapolis set to take place soon, and we’ll have complete coverage.

GEAR & TECH Have a question about some of the gear featured in this issue? Check out, where Senior Editor Aaron Hersh will answer reader questions.

NUTRITION Whether you want to look your best in your new tri suit or are looking to nail down your fuel for race day, our nutrition section has the answers you’re looking for.


PHOTOS This month we’ll feature outtakes and behindthe-scenes photos from the swimsuit shoot on Hawaii's Big Island, plus galleries of the top races and professionals.






At the Avia Wildflower Long Course Triathlon on April 30, first-year pro Jesse Thomas, mislabeled as No. 87, was ignored by race spotters, until he used a race-best 1:13:53 half-marathon to pass race leaders Clayton Fettell of Australia and James Cunnama of South Africa in the final miles. Thomas is a former All-American steeplechaser from Stanford University.



T: 2.22”

From the Editor

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De In



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swimsuit issue has arrived. A longstanding tradition of our publication, the annual swimsuit spread always draws a lot of attention, some glowing and some a little less enthusiastic. Every year the letters pour in, with certain readers questioning the relevance of a sexy swimsuit gallery while others applaud our efforts to showcase some of the world’s fittest, hardest-working athletes in the latest swim fashions. Whatever the opinion, a healthy debate usually ensues when this particular issue drops. I expect this year to be no different. But before you weigh in (and we hope you will) here’s a little background on our approach and thought process. First and foremost, we wanted the photos to showcase real triathletes who are committed to the sport and the authentic pursuit of the triathlon lifestyle. They are fit, balanced, healthy people who love to swim, bike and run—and happen to look pretty good doing it. Among this year’s models are two pro triathletes, Lesley Paterson and Dan Hugo; the winner of our annual nationwide swimsuit model search, Claudia Abreu; race director and triathlete Lindsey Kurhajetz; and Angi Greene, another competitive age-grouper. Learn more about our multidimensional model-athletes in our photo feature, “Kona Uncovered,” on page 112. Another star of this year’s shoot is The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. The resort grounds provided a spectacular backdrop to many of the images, and the staff were gracious hosts to our crew during the shoot. The resort rolls out the red carpet for triathletes each October for the Ironman World Championship, and we enjoyed the same hospitality. Photographer

Damien Noble Andrews also captured some of the Big Island’s most iconic spots in Kona, our sport’s holy grail—from the Kailua-Kona Pier to the Energy Lab. Also in this swim-centric issue: a comprehensive swim guide (on page 144) to overcoming weaknesses in triathlon’s often dreaded first leg, loaded with tips on managing fear and staying calm. When combined with this month’s training plan designed to help you hit your fastest swim split this summer (on page 164) and senior tech editor Aaron Hersh’s reviews of the latest wetsuits, we have you covered for swim. Summertime also allows us to train outside more often, but with that comes the dangers of too much sun exposure. We give you a thorough breakdown of everything you need to know to protect yourself while training or relaxing in the summer sun with “In Your Skin” on page 168. Speaking of sun exposure, Hersh also brings us an in-depth feature from the Arabian Desert as many of the world’s top triathletes battled clear skies and temperatures in the 90s at the second-ever Abu Dhabi International Triathlon. He captures the race’s intensity, drama and ultimate redemption—all the things we love about triathlon. Enjoy the issue,

Julia Beeson Polloreno


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Chlorine-Out Hair & Skin Care Editorial Editor-in-Chief Julia Beeson Polloreno Managing Editor Adam Elder Senior Tech Editor Aaron Hersh Senior Editor Jené Shaw Associate Editor Bethany Leach Mavis Contributing Editors Courtney Baird, Chris Carmichael, Jennifer Purdie, Pip Taylor Contributing Writers Bob Babbitt, Holly Bennett, Matt Dixon, Matt Fitzgerald, Sarah Wassner Flynn, Adam Kelinson, Samantha McGlone, Sara McLarty, Melanie McQuaid, Lance Watson Medical Advisory Board Jordan Metzl, MD, Jeff Sankoff, MD

We asked Triathlete staffers …

.com m i w .tr i-s w w :w les : p m a re e s f r o f

“What’s the worst place you ever swam?”

art Art Director Lisa Williams Photo Editor Nils Nilsen Graphic Designer Oliver Baker Contributing Artists & Photographers Hunter King, Jon Davis, Paul Phillips, Eric Wynn

“In Ten Mile Lake in Minnesota— but only because I fell out of a boat!”

CirCulation, markEting & ProduCtion Director, Audience Development John Francis Audience Development Manager Cassie Lee-Trettel Production Manager Meghan McElravy Marketing Manager, Events Danielle Aeling

“Utah Lake with a layer of mosquitoes hovering over the water.”

triathlEtE.Com Online Content Director Kurt Hoy Web Producer Liz Hichens Senior Video Producer Steve Godwin Video Producer Kevin LaClaire digital mEdia Vice President, Digital Media Dan Vaughan Director, Digital Advertising Sales Jason Rossiter advErtising

EVP, Media/Publishing Director Andrew R. Hersam “The Ohio River, Associate Publisher Lars Finanger 3 miles downstream from the Moscow Advertising Director, David Walker Nuclear Power Senior Vice President, Midwestern Region Sales Doug Kaplan Plant, near Cincinnati.” Vice President, Western Region Sales David O’Connell

“On a dare, I swam across the San Antonio River at the Riverwalk on a college baseball training trip. I woke up with a sore throat the next day.”

Vice President, Eastern Region Sales Rebecca McKinnon Account Executives, Endemic Sales Nathan Forbes, Mark Gouge, Justin Sands Regional Event Sales Tom Borda, Katie Campbell, Richard Hurd, Chip McLaughlin, Michael Proulx, Dave Ragsdale, Laura Ritter, Matt Steinberg, Kelly Trimble, Chris Wheeler Account Executive, Marketplace Sales Alex Jarman triathlEtE EuroPE Publisher Jim Peskett Editor Ian Osborne Digital Content Editor Paul Moore a PubliCation of

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Executive Chairman David Moross Chief Executive Officer Peter Englehart President & Chief Operating Officer Scott P. Dickey Executive Vice President, Media Andrew R. Hersam Senior Vice President, National Sales John Smith Chief Financial Officer Steve Gintowt Senior Vice President, Marketing Bouker Pool Vice President, Sales Development Sean Clottu triathlEtE magazinE offiCEs 9477 Waples Street, Suite 150, San Diego, CA 92121 Phone: 858-450-6510 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.

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CONGRATULATIONS TO CAMERON DYE on his big win at the Nautica South Beach Tri. Like all our athletes, Cam works d i r e c tl y w i th o u r P r o d u c t Te a m t o c r e a t e c u s t o m g e a r f o r r a c e d a y. T h i s s y m b i o t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n H u m a n G u i n e a P i g a n d P r o d u c t Te a m a l l o w s u s t o i n c o r p o ra t e w h a t wo r k s i n t o eve r y p i e c e o f g e a r we m a ke . G e a r t h a t a l l ow s t h e h u m a n m a ch i n e t o m ove a s f a s t a s h u m a n l y p o s s i b l e. P E A R L I Z U M I . C O M

Letters Appalachian Discrimination I grew up in West Virginia. My family still lives in West Virginia. I don’t enjoy opening magazines and reading things like this: “I feel a curious pull toward him. It’s as though we might be second cousins (though it’s most certainly a different sort of pull than if we hailed from the backwoods of West Virginia)” (Confessions of an Age-grouper, May 2011). I like triathlon and Triathlete because it’s inclusive. We all support each other. My last triathlon was brutal. I kept leapfrogging another struggling age-grouper. At one point, we looked at each other and said, “Come on, we’re finishing this together.” I didn’t know where he was from or what his background was. All that mattered was I probably wouldn’t have finished that race without his encouragement. West Virginia is an amazingly beautiful state. With 68 percent of my home state overweight or obese, they could certainly use the help and encouragement—not more people cracking jokes. I’m proud of where I’m from. Maybe Miss Bennett should come to West Virginia and see what we’re really about. It’s a really great place to swim, bike and run. Bob Reinard, Chicago (formerly of Weirton, W.Va.)

Back to Back I was disappointed to see no mention of chiropractic care for the resolution of sciatic pain in the Medically Speaking article “Sciatic Pain: How to Identify and Treat It” (May 2011). Chiropractic care is a safe and effective treatment for sciatic pain. In my practice I find that almost all patients with sciatica suffer from irritation to the nerve roots from spinal joints that are not moving properly, not a bulging

or herniating disc. Improper spinal motion causes an irritation, like sandpaper rubbing, where the nerve roots exit the spinal column—resulting in sciatic pain. Chiropractic restores proper motion to the joints, relieving the irritation and resulting in the resolution of the patient’s symptoms without drugs or surgery. Some cases do not respond and require a referral, but they seem to be the minority and not the majority. Brian Tinius, D.C., Owensboro, Ky.

Quiz Time I read your magazine religiously. [The May issue is] the best issue I have ever read! They are all great, but this one is superb! The Billy Edwards story [“Beginner’s Luck,” first-person advice from the pros] is too funny! Sean Jefferson offers great insight. Maybe an article on rules soon? Brian Borate, via Facebook Brian, you’re in luck. Test your knowledge on page 44 with our quiz on USA Triathlon race rules. —Editor

Close Shave? I just got my May 2011 issue of Triathlete and greatly enjoy the articles. I had subscribed in the ’80s and ’90s but since most of the articles were about the pros, I let the subscription expire. I resubscribed last year and more articles are dedicated to age-groupers. (I have been a triathlete since 1986 and every year since then.) However, I am a little confused about the cover photo of Tom Lowe. If I were going to be on the cover of Triathlete, I certainly would have shaved. What’s up with the 5 o’clock shadow? Didn’t Triathlete offer him a razor and shaving cream? Dean A. Siedlecki, Lanham, Md.

We want to hear from you! Send your letters to Please include your name and city. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. 26 | July 2011















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sTeve Tarpinian

Contributors Joanna Zeiger Zeiger, author of Triathlete’s new “Fast at Forty” column on page 42, turned pro in 1998 after being voted 1997 Amateur Triathlete of the Year. In 2000 Joanna won Triathlete of the Year honors for her fourth-place finish in the Olympics in Sydney, fifth place six weeks later at the Ironman World Championship, and a USA Pro Championship victory. In addition to her numerous Olympic, 70.3 and Ironman wins, this 2008 Ironman 70.3 world champion has a master’s degree in genetic counseling from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in genetic epidemiology from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

daMien nobLe andrews Southern Californiabased photographer Andrews photographed triathletes in their swimsuits in Kona, Hawaii, for Triathlete’s 2011 swimsuit issue. After initially pinching himself, he grabbed his camera and board shorts and headed off to make the best of a rough assignment. “It’s a tough life,” he says, “but someone has to work long hours in extraordinary locations with wonderful people.” His swimsuit photos start on page 112.


Tarpinian, author of this month’s training plan, “3 Months to a Faster Swim” on page 164, is also the author of The Triathlete’s Guide to Swim Training (VeloPress, 2005), among several other titles. After 27 years as a triathlon coach— working with beginners up to Olympians and Ironman world champions—Tarpinian remains as passionate and committed as the day he left his electrical engineering career to coach full time. He shares his extensive experience and knowledge through seminars/camps in Europe and the U.S. along with training manuals and videos on A member of the first USAT National Coaches Commission, he was an integral part of the creation of its current coaching curriculum.

J.T. Lyons Lyons owns Moment Cycle Sport, a triathlon retail store and bike fit studio in San Diego. He is a mechanical engineer and bike fit instructor at Fit Institute Slowtwitch (FIST) with Dan Empfield of Lyons has certifications with BikeFit Systems, FIST and SICI, and he’s been an avid age-group triathlete since the ’90s. This month he breaks down three ways to a bike fit on page 100. | July 2011

ingrid Loos MiLLer Miller’s background as an ocean lifeguard prepared her well for the rigors of triathlon swimming. Through her book, Fearless Swimming for Triathletes (Meyer & Meyer, 2011), her Fearless Swimming workshops—and this month’s feature “How to Be a Fearless Swimmer” on page 146—she teaches beginners and nervous swimmers how to get through their swims in a state of relative calm.



Canadian three-time Xterra World Champion Melanie McQuaid made an impressive ITU debut, winning the first-ever ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in Extremadura, Spain. She surged to the front during the bike leg while racing on a borrowed bike (hers got lost in transit) and maintained her lead to the finish. PHOTOGRAPH BY JANOS SCHMIDT / TRIATHLON.ORG





GET UP, STAND UP A recent headline from Men’s Health and Yahoo literally had us up out of our chairs. “The Most Dangerous Thing You’ll Do All Day” cited a study that claimed people who sit for most of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of heart attacks. Really—54 percent? It went on: According to the researchers, whose findings were published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, their study consisted of smokers and nonsmokers, regular exercisers and people who never work out. In other words, sitting is the No. 1 risk factor. However, Triathlete medical advisory board member Dr. Jeffrey Sankoff says there’s more to the study than meets the eye. “First of all, the study was retrospective and thus hindered by flaws,” he says. “The idea that sitting

causes heart attacks is hogwash. All that can be said is that in that population, heart attacks were seen more frequently in those who sat for longer periods.” Sankoff cites a better study recently published in the European Heart Journal. Various heart disease markers were higher in those who sat for longer—but those who broke up their sitting with brief bursts of activity, such as getting up or talking to a colleague, had much lower levels of these markers. “Rather than rashly throwing away all of the chairs in the office, it would seem more rational to simply ensure that periods of movement interrupt being seated,” says Sankoff. “It would certainly be better for your neck, back and legs not to be standing all day long.”


Some of our favorite Twitter tweets from Ironman champions

@samanthamcglone Samantha McGlone gets a surprising quiz score: “Took online fitness quiz, got this score: 17 Medium. ‘You may need to take walk breaks to complete runs of 2-3 mi.’ Yes, very medium.”




Although it doesn’t have the same notoriety as iron-distance races contested under the M-Dot logo, Challenge Roth, in Roth, Germany, is arguably the world’s most competitive full-distance triathlon outside of Kona, Hawaii.


Finishing place that 10:00 would have earned you in 2010

Place that 10:00 would have taken in Ironman Florida, North America’s fastest iron-distance race of 2010


7.7 8:19

Male racers for every female racer in 2010

Chrissie Wellington’s iron-distance world record, set at Challenge Roth in 2010 Chrissie Wellington’s margin of victory during her world record-setting iron-distance race in 2010

32:57 319

Days before the 2011 race that it sold out

Number of sub-8-hour finishes since 1996



@MaccaNow Reigning Ironman world champion Chris McCormack performing daddy duties: “I am taking my daughter to see Justin Bieber next week. What exactly do @Mirindacarfrae you wear to a concert like Reigning Ironman world that! Going to be a long night!” champion Mirinda Carfrae sometimes gets a little emotional during her training camp in the Southern California desert: “Had a great day in Palm Springs!! Soul Surfer was a great movie. Yes there were tears.”





Donate Your Medals

Medals4Mettle is a nonprofit that takes donated medals from marathon, half-marathon and triathlon finishers and gives them to kids and adults battling debilitating illnesses. After running the Chicago Marathon in 2003, Dr. Steven Isenberg found a better home for his finisher’s medal: around the neck of his colleague dying from cancer. He realized his friend was “fighting a bigger battleâ€? than he did that day, and the idea turned into Medals4Mettle. The organization has given out more than 80,000 medals since its start in 2005. Find out how you can donate medals, money or your time at //JENÉ SHAW


A B ory 34



IN DECEMBER 2010, the USA Paratriathlon Commit-

tee announced that their sport would be included in the Paralympic Program for 2016 in Rio. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for the Dare2Tri team ( to make its debut the following month. Dare2Tri is currently the only USAT-sanctioned paratriathlon club, offering individuals with visual impairments and physical disabilities (from spinal cord injuries to cerebral palsy to amputations) the opportunity to train and compete with fellow disabled athletes. The club was started by three Chicago triathletes with unique backgrounds in the sport. Keri Schindler is a program director for the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association and has guided visually impaired runners in local races. Melissa Stockwell is an above-knee amputee who works at Scheck & Siress Prosthetics and competed in the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing. Dan Tun works for the Chicago Park District, specializing in Adaptive and Paralympic Sports, and he is a certified hockey coach and Ironman. With grant money from the Paralympic Committee, they all got their USAT Level 1 coaching certifications last year. Schindler initially thought having eight athletes do two triathlons would be a success. But

The earliest recording of swimming dates from Stone Age paintings made about 7,000 years ago in what’s known as The Cave of Swimmers in Egypt—who are doing either the breaststroke or dog paddle.


ď ľ

The Mohenjo Daro palace in Pakistan, built around 2600 BC, featured a 30-meter x 60-meter swimming/ bathing pool.

Plato (born around 429 BC) considered men who did not know how to swim to be uneducated.

Located: Chicago area Founded: January 2011 Members: 49 athletes with disabilities, 65+ able-bodied guides and volunteers

within three months, Dare2Tri grew to 49 disabled athletes and more than 65 guides and volunteers who wanted to give back to the sport. The club offers training opportunities throughout Chicago and southern Wisconsin, including a Thursday night bike and run session at Chicago’s Northerly Island. It’s a 2-mile paved loop, so those with tandem bikes, racing wheelchairs and hand cycles can ride alongside amputee and visually impaired runners. They have three club races planned this year, including their own Try-Athlon, an indoor pool supersprint specifically for athletes with disabilities, in September. In the future, Schindler wants to keep getting athletes to their first finish line but also hopes to put together an elite team with members who will represent the U.S. at the 2016 Paralympics. “Our club motto is ‘One inspires many,’â€? Schindler says. “I’ve run a lot of races with Melissa, a single-leg amputee. Often people look over and see she’s running on a prosthetic leg and say, ‘Wow, you’re such an inspiration! If you can do this, I can finish!’ We really believe having our athletes at these community events has inspired other people, because they’re doing amazing things that people without disabilities aren’t doing.â€? //JENÉ SHAW

14th-century Persian divers used goggles made from polished tortoise shells.

In 1539 Nicolas Wynman of Germany wrote the first book on swimming, Dialogue Concerning the Art of Swimming, to reduce the dangers of drowning. Swim aids included air-filled cow bladders, reed bundles and cork belts.

Go farther.

Focused on the finish line

Determined to end world hunger

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5 Questions for…

Amanda Beard

In April, Frontier Airlines removed the flat fee for checked bicycles and now includes them in the standard baggage allowance—if it weighs 50 pounds or less, it’s the same fee as a normal checked bag ($20 for economy passengers).

The seven-time Olympic medalist may have “cut back” on her training as a new mom, but she’s still swimming around 40,000 meters a week with the hopes of making it to the Olympics in 2012. Just don’t expect her to do an Ironman anytime soon! What’s the biggest difference between how you used to train versus now? I don’t recover as quickly as I did when I was in high school or even in my early 20s. I have to realize that and allow myself to have that downtime and recovery time. It’s really beneficial for me to have less training and fewer hours, but the intensity is still there. How do you balance motherhood and training? I’m lucky that training is my job, so it’s easier to get workouts in. But I also had to rearrange my schedule and cut back my training substantially because I am a mom now. I’m not going to spend six to eight hours a day training. Now I spend four hours, and I get the rest of the time to be a mom.

A Brief History 36 | July 2011

You recently reached out to your Twitter followers (@amandaraybeard) for bike advice for your husband. Why? You can pretty much find any answer you want on Google, but you don’t know what the sources are. I feel like I trust everyone who follows me on Twitter. They’re out there testing the bikes or helmets or gloves. If you get someone’s personal advice, it’s completely different than a salesperson telling you what’s best. I don’t know why, but lots of triathletes follow me! What swimming advice would you give triathletes? Swimming is one of those things where you can lose

Benjamin Franklin invented what might’ve been the first swim fins in 1716. He was 10 years old.

time quickly with the simple things like doing a flip turn or learning how to pace yourself right or breathe correctly. Start little and dedicate the time to joining a Masters program or learning the proper technique. Do you see a triathlon in your future? I get a lot of pressure from the local triathletes, and I can tell you right now I will probably never do an Ironman. That, to me, is insane. I need to train a bit more— especially the running portion—and I’ll definitely do a couple of tris in my lifetime. I’ll either get totally hooked and continue doing it or I’ll say, “I don’t know how you guys do this!” //Jené Shaw

In the 19th century, Native Americans, who had practiced the front crawl for generations, regularly beat the British in swim competitions. British swimmers considered the splashing produced by the crawl to be barbaric, and insisted on swimming only breaststroke until 1873.

Lane dividers, made of cork, were used for the first time, along with lines on the pool’s bottom, at the 1924 Olympics in Paris.

After winning Ironman South Africa in 8:33:56, and setting the Ironman world record, Chrissie Wellington sat down for a recovery meal that was as impressive as her performance on the race course: @chrissiesmiles: “World Record: 1 large pizza, 1 large burger, 3 large plates of chips, 4 large sandwiches, 5 large brownies, 4 small (large unavailable) donuts :)”

The first neoprene wetsuit was invented in California in 1951.

The 1956 Olympics in Melbourne saw the introduction of the flip turn.

Tim manToani


The Chinkiang Association for the Saving of Life, the first lifeguard group, was formed in China in 1708.

TweeT of The MonTh



ICE X HEAT BLOCKING FABRIC Cooling Xylitol is embedded in the yarn of the fabric to draw heat from the body and IR blocking inhibits penetration of infrared rays to lower skin temperature by up to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit. This impressive new sub category for 2XU Tri offers an unprecedented range of men’s and women’s endurance garments like no other. Specifically designed with the very latest 2XU fabric technology: ICE X and 70D COMPRESSION. WWW.2XU.COM





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need to know

What’SUP after swimming, cycling

Chris Lieto

and running, triathletes tend to think, “I’ve got my fitness covered”—along with all of their free time. So, for many, the idea of extra cross-training seems unnecessary. But for those like Ironman pro Chris Lieto who spare nothing in search of performance, it’s about core strength, functional stability, recovery, mental relaxation and fun. He gets all of this while in his board shorts on his stand-up paddle (SUP) board. If you want to swim faster without endless laps in the pool, increase your core strength outside of the gym or prevent an early breakdown of your run stride, grab a paddle and take a lesson from one of the many SUP schools across the nation. “My class ranges from beginners to experienced Ironman triathletes, and everyone has found some benefit to transfer into their racing,” says Gina Bradley of Paddle Diva in East Hampton, N.Y., who offers a class geared toward athletes that also involves doing yoga on the board. The What: SUPs are essentially oversize surfboards with oversize paddles that you “stand up” on and do not require any previous experience with surfing, paddle sports or water knowledge. They’re not restricted to the ocean, either. They’re great on flat water and cost much less than a new bike. The Why: It’s tough to draw a direct link between a training technique and performance, but when two-time Ironman champion Michael Lovato made SUP part of his training program, we naturally wanted to know why. After hearing about it from coach Roch Frey, Michael and his pro triathlete wife, Amanda, found it to be “a great diversion from [our] rigorous training schedule, and it helps enforce high-elbow placement,” a similarity to the swimming approach advised by coach and Ironman legend Dave Scott. Lieto agrees and incorporates SUP into his regular regimen—even, at times, replacing a 30-minute recovery run with a 45-minute paddle. “It helps with mental balance and maintaining passion for racing,” he says. However, the most important aspect is its core and functional strength building. For the Lovatos this translates to increased strength in the tendons and stabilizer muscles for running and better transfer of power to the pedals and lower-back stability for cycling. The Workout: Lieto does “family intervals”: 15–20 minutes of super-aggressive paddling, followed by 15 minutes of sand castle building. “It’s all about fun,” says Lieto. “I’ll try to do tricks on the board that challenge my balance for more functional movement, like quick turns around a buoy, or walking from nose to tail without falling off.” //adam Kelinson 38 | July 2011

EnduranceFilms_TriMag_0611.indd 1

4/12/11 8:50 AM




No Rest for the Injured BY JORDAN D. METZL, M.D.

IN THE BEGINNING days of sports medicine,

the advice was simple. Your shins hurt from running, your knees hurts from biking or your shoulders hurt from swimming? Just stop doing those things. But does that logic work with athletes? Is it good medicine? The answer to these questions is no! Complete rest is almost always terrible advice—all of the cardiovascular conditioning that goes into training is lost if you don’t keep moving. Patients get unhealthy and depressed—and they end up not liking their doctor very much. And as patients have gotten smarter they often press their doctor to find an active solution, or they find another doctor who will. Which brings us to biomechanics. Much like the mechanics of what makes a plane fly or a car drive, the mechanics of the body are related to the task that the body is being asked to do. Advances in the concepts and practices of biomechanics have greatly shifted the field of sports medicine in the past 10 to 15 years. In addition to trying to keep patients moving, figuring out why the injury happened, and more importantly, how to prevent it from happening again, is now the key to the practice of sports medicine.

Here’s how addressing biomechanics helped some of my patients fix their problems. THE PROBLEM: Jason had bad shin pain due to a pronating foot that rolled inward and loaded excessive force on the tibia, overstriding and weak hips that created an unstable pelvis and trunk. THE FIX: Over-the-counter orthotics to stabilize his foot, a switch to a higher cadence and shorter stride to reduce loading force, and some squats to build glute strength. THE PROBLEM: Lindsay had patellofemoral knee pain from cycling. THE FIX: Raising her seat height. By having her saddle too low during riding, she was loading too much pressure on the front of her knees. THE PROBLEM: Bob had aching shoulders while swimming due to a strength imbal-

ance, a common swimmer’s problem. He had plenty of anterior (front of the shoulder) strength, but he had neglected his posterior shoulder muscles. THE FIX: Build posterior shoulder strength with exercises such as seated rows or rows in a plank with weights. When the pectoralis muscles are stronger than the scapular muscles, the shoulder gets pulled forward. Over time, this can cause what is known as an “impingement,” a pinching shoulder. Rest will make the pain go away, but thinking about the biomechanical problems, and how to fix them, is the key to miles of injury-free training and racing. Jordan D. Metzl, M.D. (Drjordanmetzl. com) is a nationally recognized sports medicine specialist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Check out his weekly “Medical Tent” video series at


Moji Knee: $119.95,




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Photo: © John Segesta

“ I have found my Jamis Xenith SL to be the lightest and most responsive road bike I have ridden. In our type of racing these two features go a long way in overall performance.” Laura Bennett - 2010 USAT National Champion - 4th Beijing Olympic Games 2008 - 4 x World Championship Medalist

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Conquer Your Pre-race Stress

Road Trippin’ Triathlete Tips Senior editor Jené Shaw recently drove across the U.S. to explore the thriving communities of triathletes in all parts of the country. If you ever plan to take a road trip, there are a few things she recommends for the drive: » Download a lot of stuff. Audio books, podcasts and music mixes from friends passed time a lot faster than repetitive Top 40 radio. (See page 110 for a couple of my favorite podcasts.) » Buy a small cooler. Don’t be forced to choose between Arby’s or IHOP. Whole Foods made for a good stop, where I could stock up on prepared salads, long-lasting fruits (grapes, apples) and sandwich fixings. » Bring a ball. Sit on it. A tennis ball, softball or Trigger Point ball will work. During those looong drives it saved my aggravated piriformis/ sciatica. » Find a bike shop and/or tri club in the area. Jump on a workout in the city you’re visiting—there’s no better way to see a city. (Plus triathletes always have great local food recommendations!) » Use your car to stretch. My Honda Fit was the perfect tool for hip flexor drives: Put one leg up on the back bumper and lunge toward the car while reaching arms overhead.



1. Positive self-talk Triple Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington writes a personal mantra on her race wristband and recites her favorite poem. 2. Warm up Doing a short pre-race warmup revs up my body and helps shake off some of the tension. Doing familiar activities and working up a bit of sweat and endorphins have a calming effect. 3. Routine Doing the same thing over and over will ease your mind about forgetting important items. Create a checklist that you use for all of your races. 4. Practice in training Olympian Victor Plata likens training the mind to training the body. He believes that doing race simulations or races of lesser importance can condition the mind to be relaxed in competitive situations. 5. Distracting activities Samantha McGlone, 2006 Ironman 70.3 world champion, says watching movies or reading books helps her relax. Tim O’Donnell, 2009 ITU Long Distance world champion, does meditation and breathing exercises to help clear his mind. // JOANNA ZEIGER

Poolside Resource The second edition of Swim Workouts for Triathletes is a pool-friendly guide with waterproof, spiral-bound pages using big, easy-to-read fonts. Coaches Gale Bernhardt and Nick Hansen added four new training plans (including sprint, Olympic and half-iron, iron distance and general fitness) to help get your swim race-ready. The book has 80 workouts—great for those days when you go to the pool without a plan—including 30-minute sessions for busy days and the 10 best drills for technique-focused days. Each session has a specific goal, ranging from endurance to force, and divides the workout into beginner or advanced options. For athletes, the book is easy to throw in your swim bag when you need some added creativity. For coaches, it’s a resource to help keep your swim workouts interesting throughout the season. ($29.95, //JENÉ SHAW


» Invest in a GPS navigation device. My Garmin Nüvi 3790T ($349.99, took the stress out of navigating and also helped to avoid traffic and find coffee along the way. //JENÉ SHAW

You’d think that as you age, you learn to handle pre-race stress, or that it’s not like it used to be. Wrong. I spoke with numerous amateur and pro athletes, and everyone, myself included, admitted to feeling nervous before a race. Renowned run coach Bobby McGee, a guru on the mental aspects of sport, prefers the concept of an “optimal state of arousal” rather than the standard pre-race anxiety nomenclature. He explains that pre-race anxiety is far too negative because anxiety, by nature, is disabling. Feelings of anxiety can stem from the uncertainty of how the day will unfold and lead you to focus on the potential negative outcomes. McGee recommends establishing an ideal state prior to competition. He describes this state at the peak of a bell curve defined by insufficient motivation and lack of interest on the left, and extreme debilitation/nervousness on the right. Successful athletes still experience some level of trepidation prior to a race, which is not entirely a bad thing. Mike Greer, race director and age-group athlete, says, “Once I enter the transition area and do not feel the butterflies in the stomach, I will quit doing it.” There is a balancing act on race morning to reach an optimal state. Here are five ways to achieve this happy equilibrium.

are yo u natural?

timot hy o’don nell ironm an 70. 3 cham pion

dr. ja m es fo un de r an d al l-a ro un d

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m a tt s egur s e m i- p ro c y c li


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d u rb a l ra je s h a th le te onman ir e te pu m a le tr ip

all - n a tu ra l prote in s h a ke p re -wo r ko u t fuel • post-wor kout recover y

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Do You Know

the Rules? Avoid a penalty before it happens. Test your USAT rule knowledge!

2. What is the minimum weight requirement for a Clydesdale? 200 pounds 215 pounds 225 pounds 250 pounds 3. If a triathlete takes a wrong turn along the bike course, adding 1.5 miles of total distance to his/her expected race, the proper USA Triathlon protocol is to: Factor the average bike speed, and subtract the time it would take that competitor to travel 1.5 miles Allow the cyclist to return to the course with no penalty Assess a variable penalty Disqualify the competitor | July 2011

5. What is the maximum penalty for selling a race number to a friend in the event of a conflict, if the friend does not register pre-race? The friend cannot win an award or prize The friend can be assessed a two-minute penalty Both triathletes can be banned from all USA Triathlon events for a year The friend must start in a later wave 6. Which of the following is grounds for a penalty during the swim? Allowing no less than 1 meter of space behind another triathlete’s foot Standing on the bottom to rest Holding a buoy, boat or rope Pushing off the bottom to gain forward progress

7. What is the maximum temperature at which a triathlete can compete in the swim portion while wearing a wetsuit and still be eligible for prizes? 70 degrees 72 degrees 78 degrees 80 degrees 8. If a cyclist arrives at a stop sign and there is no official at the intersection, what should he/she assume? Standard traffic rules apply He/she can continue without stopping A race official needed to use the restroom He/she has veered off of the course 9. If a bike becomes inoperable during a competition, the cyclist must: Leave the bike and finish the course by running or walking Fix the bike before returning to the transition area, otherwise he/she will be disqualified Find a way to complete the course with the bike in his/ her possession, even if he/she carries the bike Retire from the race

10. The drafting zone is: An area 5 meters long and 1 meter wide surrounding each bicycle An area 7 meters long and 2 meters wide surrounding each bicycle An area 10 meters long and 4 meters wide surrounding each bicycle Variable, depending on a given official’s interpretation 11. When overtaking another cyclist, how many seconds is a competitor allotted to enter the drafting zone, close the gap and overtake? 10 seconds 15 seconds 30 seconds One minute 12. What is cause for disqualification during the run portion? Vomiting on the course Tripping and falling outside of the course Stopping and tying one’s shoes on the course Crawling //Dan Guttenplan NILS NILSEN


4. Which of the following products is allowed on the triathlon course? An iPod A glass bottle of Snapple Iced Tea A Nalgene bottle A Walkman

Answers: 1. D; 2. A; 3. C; 4. C; 5. C; 6. D; 7. C; 8. A; 9. C; 10. B; 11. B; 12. D

1. What is the maximum penalty for racing with an expired USA Triathlon membership card? Written warning Two-minute penalty No penalty, although athlete is ineligible to collect prize money Suspension from all USA Triathlon events for one year

Photo: Larry Rosa

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Pro Triathlete

Terenzo Bozzone

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at the races

Dextro energy trIathlon Itu WorlD champIonShIp SerIeS SyDney Sydney, Australia – April 10, 2011 — 1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run Men 1. Javier Gomez (ESP) 1:50:22 2. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) 1:50:29 3. Sven Riederer (SUI) 1:50:34 woMen 1. Paula Findlay (CAN) 2:01:21 2. Barbara Riveros Diaz (CHI) 2:01:23 3. Andrea Hewitt (NZL) 2:01:29

DiD you know? The rainy conditions during the men’s race, which took place after the women’s race, caused american matt Chrabot to dnf after a hard bike crash, but a fall on the bike didn’t keep Javier gomez from crossing the line in first.

It doesn’t happen many times that you crash, get up, catch the first group again and then be the fastest runner. I’m really proud. I will always remember this race.” — JavieR gomez

Spec-SaverS Ironman South afrIca Port Elizabeth, South Africa – April 10, 2011 — 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run Men 1. Raynard Tissink (RSA) 8:05:36 2. Andreas Böcherer (GER) 8:08:36 3. James Cunnama (RSA) 8:13:18

Chrissie Wellington

Hungarian pro Balazs Csoke


triathlete.coM | July 2011

DiD you know? Chrissie Wellington had the fastest run split of the day— 2:52:54—by any man or woman, beating James Cunnama’s run time by 22 seconds.

To do it in front of your hometown is really special. These are the guys who support you the most, and are behind you 365 days of the year. So to be able to do it not only for yourself but for them and for your city that supports you, it’s obviously very special.” — RaynaRd Tissink on Taking his

ThiRd iRonman souTh afRiCa TiTle as Well as a neW CouRse ReCoRd

ITU Sydney: delly carr/; IM SoUTh afrIca: KUrT hoy

woMen 1. Chrissie Wellington (GBR) 8:33:56 2. Rachel Joyce (GBR) 9:08:23 3. Diana Riesler (GER) 9:20:37

596 Photo athlète : Thierry Sourbier

Mike Aigroz - Ironman Kona 2010

“No words can describe the experience. Only three digits.“

596 I-PACK: Aerodynamics, Power, and Versatility

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at the races

AviA WildfloWer long CourSe triAthlon Lake San Antonio, Calif. — April 30, 2011 — 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run Men 1. Jesse Thomas (USA) 4:04:45 2. Clayton Fettell (AUS) 4:05:11 3. James Cunnama (RSA) 4:05:59

Magali Tisseyre

Leanda Cave

woMen 1. Leanda Cave (GBR) 4:27:58 2. Mary Beth Ellis (USA) 4:28:05 3. Magali Tisseyre (CAN) 4:32:06

DiD you know? Winner Jesse Thomas, mislabeled as No. 87, was largely ignored by race spotters for the majority of the race. Thomas is new to triathlon but was an AllAmerican steeplechaser at Stanford University.

It is one of the rare races where the course is so challenging that the strategy becomes less about the other athletes and more about metering out your efforts on such a hard course in a way that allows you to finish as quickly as possible.” — MAry BeTh elliS

St. Anthony’S triAthlon St. Petersburg, Fla. – May 1, 2011 — 1K swim, 40K bike, 10K run Men 1. Filip Ospaly (CZE) 1:41:22 2. Matt Reed (USA) 1:41:36 3. Cameron Dye (USA) 1:41:41

woMen 1. Sarah Haskins (USA) 1:52:28 2. Liz Blatchford (GBR) 1:53:07 3. Sarah Groff (USA) 1:53:34

DiD you know?

The swim was shortened by 500 meters (from the normal 1.5K) due to wind and waves.


Sarah Haskins


triathlete.coM | July 2011

To see more race results and photo galleries, scan this barcode with your smartphone or go to

WildfloWer: Nils NilseN; st. ANthoNy’s: Jeff sANzAre

This was my fifth time at St. Anthony’s, and I always want to return every year. This was one of the strongest fields, and it was great to see so many top athletes compete at a race with so much history.”


Time is only one dimension of the Timex Ironman Global Trainer Bodylink System with GPS Technology. ®















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time-crunched triathlete

A New Approach to Field Testing traditionally, triathletes have done

Why Use Short Intervals Long time trials are not just physically strenuous—to be done well they also require a lot of skill and tremendous focus. For accomplished athletes, I sometimes use one longer time trial, either a 20-minute or 40K test, but for the majority of time52 | July 2011

crunched, amateur triathletes with whom we work, we get better performances from the two eight-minute efforts. My goal with field testing is to get the most accurate data from the shortest test possible. Over the past 11 years, the data and ranges from eight-minute tests have proven to correlate very well with lab-generated values. The time trials are harder but still short enough that you can recover quickly and get back to meaningful training after one day’s rest. Plus, you can commit to a full effort because it’s shorter, and the calculations account for the brevity. The reason you do two cycling efforts is to see how repeatable the effort is for you. It doesn’t impact your training ranges, but aver- RichVintage; john segesta

by chris carmichael

field testing for each discipline individually. But in triathlon, each sport has an impact on performance in the discipline that follows. At Carmichael Training Systems, we realized we needed a field test that incorporated greater specificity. The combination of a power meter on the bike and a GPS-enabled watch on the run (or a device like the Timex Global Trainer for both) has made it possible to find new approaches to multisport field tests.

the cts cycling/running Field test • 8-minute cycling time trial • 10 minutes recovery • 8-minute cycling time trial • 10 minutes recovery • 8-minute running time trial


THE MYTH of Long-Acting Carbohydrates By Robert Portman, PhD One of the more persistent myths in sports nutrition is that long-acting carbohydrates offer an endurance advantage. This myth is perpetuated by the manufacturers of sports and recovery drinks containing long-acting carbs, who trot out data showing that longacting carbs provide a more sustained level of blood glucose than fast-acting carbs. Most educated consumers equate steady blood glucose with sustained energy. Manufacturers rely on this association to suggest that, by providing sustained levels of blood glucose, products containing long-acting carbs also delay fatigue better than products using fastacting carbs. In fact, just the opposite is true. Here’s why. Muscles contain a fixed amount of glycogen. When muscle glycogen stores are depleted, exercise performance declines very rapidly. The goal, therefore, is to preserve muscle glycogen as long as possible. In the 1960s, researchers discovered that consuming beverages containing fast-acting carbs did just that. Fast-acting carbs are rapidly absorbed in the GI tract, rapidly transported to muscles cells, and rapidly metabolized to provide energy to working muscles. By providing an instant source of energy, fast-acting carbs preserve muscle glycogen, thereby extending endurance. Long-acting carbs such as super starches, complex carbs and galactose are absorbed more slowly, and must be metabolically converted to fast-acting sugars before they can be transported to the muscles and used as energy. All this takes time, so the working muscles continue to deplete their limited supplies of muscle glycogen while they wait. The result is faster glycogen depletion and a quicker bonk than when fast-acting carbs are consumed. No published study has ever shown an endurance advantage for long-acting carbs. Long-acting carbs have their place in the diet of the endurance athlete. But that place is not during and immediately after exercise. Keep this in mind when selecting a sports or recovery drink. Dr. Portman, a well-known sports science researcher, is co-author of Nutrient Timing and Hardwired for Fitness.

54 | July 2011

time-crunched triathlete

age power outputs within 5 percent are a sign that your aerobic engine can handle the stress and repeat the effort with relatively little recovery. When there are major differences between the numbers, it either means you weren’t able to recover between the tests or (if the second power is considerably higher) that you weren’t warmed up before the test or started too conservatively. Recovery Period The recovery time between the bike and run is mostly a matter of standardization: Some people train in environments that are easier to transition in than others. Because of the recovery period, the test doesn’t exactly replicate race conditions, but overall it does a good job of increasing the sport specificity of your run training intensities.

outputs and heart rates on the bike 2. Your average heart rate during the run 3. Your minutes-per-mile pace on the run These pieces of data can then be used to establish power, pace and heart rate ranges for your workouts. Heart rate and power calculations are separate for the cycling field test, but for the vast majority of athletes (excluding the very fast and the very slow) the calculations for running heart rate and pace ranges are identical. The calculations for training ranges based on the CTS Field Test are listed below, and I’ve included the primary training goal for each range so you can sync the intensities with workouts. The example shown for field test results: Bike leg 1: 250 watts/172 HR Bike leg 2: 255 watts/175 HR Run leg: 6:00 min pace/185 HR

The Results Though we’re interested in a wide range of data from this test, the crucial pieces are: 1. The higher of your two average power

Chris Carmichael is the author of The Time-Crunched Triathlete and founder and CEO of Carmichael Training Systems (

Percent of cycling field test power

Power ranges for 255 watt field test

Percent of cycling field test heart rate

Heart rate ranges for 175 bpm field test

Basic Aerobic Development



70-80% (5091% including climbs, descents, interruptions)



Improved Aerobic Endurance





Steady State

Increased Power at LT





Climbing Repeat

Increased Climbing Power at LT





Power Interval

Increased Power at VO2max

Max (pref. 115-125%)

293-319 or above



Cycling workout

Primary training goal

Endurance Miles

Running Workout

Primary Training Goal

Percent of Running Field Test Heart Rate and/or Pace

Pace Range for 6:00 min/mile FT Result

Endurance Run

Basic Aerobic Development



Steady State Run

Improved Aerobic Endurance



Tempo Run

Increased Pace at Lactate Threshold



Fartlek Intervals

Increased Speed at VO2max

98-108% (pref. 102-108%)


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racing weight

Lose Weight or Lose Fat? When a person says he or she wants to lose 5 or

10 pounds, it’s understood that this means 5 pounds of fat, not 5 pounds of muscle, bone mass or body water. But when the typical dieter sheds pounds, barely half of that weight is fat. The other half is, in fact, muscle, bone mass and body water. Losing weight is not as good as losing fat. If you lose 5 or 10 pounds of mixed fat mass and lean body mass, your health, appearance and triathlon performance will not improve as much as if you lose an equal amount of pure fat. Here are some tips to ensure you only lose body fat in pursuit of your ideal racing weight. Track Your Body Composition Ensuring that fat loss accounts for all of your weight loss begins with consistent monitoring, easily done with a body fat scale (see sidebar). Step on the scale once a week. Multiply your weight by your body fat percentage in decimal form to obtain your body fat mass. If changes in your total body weight equal changes in your body fat loss, then 100 percent of your weight loss is fat loss. For example, suppose your body weight four weeks ago was 160 pounds, and your body fat percentage was 15. This means your body fat mass was (160 pounds x 0.15 =) 24 pounds. Now suppose your body weight today is 156 pounds and

What Are You Made Of? These three scales will tell you not only how much you weigh but what you’re made of—that is, your body fat percentage, and more. by matt fitzgerald

your body fat percentage is 12.9. This means your body fat mass is now (156 x 0.129 =) 20.1 pounds. So your total weight loss is 4 pounds and your body fat mass loss is 3.9 pounds. Congratulations! Almost all of your weight loss has been fat loss. Cut Calories Moderately The surest way to lose lean body mass is to cut your daily calorie intake drastically. In a study performed at Tufts University, one group of subjects cut their energy intake by 700 calories a day, while a second group cut their intake by 250 calories a day. The first group lost more total weight, but it was only 48 percent fat—the rest was lean body mass. Meanwhile, the weight lost by the second group was 91 percent fat. When trying to lose excess body fat, limit your daily energy deficit to roughly 300 calories per day. This is especially important during periods of intensive training, when you need plenty of energy to fuel workouts and recovery.

Strength Train Strength training will also help you retain muscle during periods of weight loss. It should be a part of your routine at all times, for its injury-prevention and performance-enhancement benefits, but when you’re trying to shed fat, there’s a third reason to do it. A little goes a long way—just two 30-minute, full-body strength sessions per week are much better than nothing. 56 | July June2011 2011

Tanita Ironman BC-558, $350 Designed especially for athletes, this scale measures body fat for the whole body, each limb and the trunk individually, as well as body water percentage for easy hydration monitoring.

Taylor Biggest Loser 5749, $50 Don’t be turned off by the name. this is an excellent product, with an “athlete” setting that provides more accurate body fat percentage readings for leaner individuals and a feature that tells you how many calories you need to eat daily to maintain your current weight.

nils nilsen; GettyimaGes/Duncan smith

Eat Plenty of Protein Anytime you reduce your daily calorie intake to promote fat loss, you should also increase the percentage of your daily calories that come from protein. This measure will help you preserve muscle and lose only fat. Muscles are made of protein, after all. You can increase protein’s contribution in a way that doesn’t sabotage your training by simply maintaining your current level of protein intake (in terms of grams per day) while cutting fat and carbs to achieve your desired calorie reduction.

Omron HBF-516B, $120 Omron’s top-end model measures body composition through four contact points—both hands and both feet—for greater accuracy than conventional body fat scales.

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tour guide

Hawaii’s Big Island

58 | July 2011

as you turn off the Queen K Highway and enter the grounds of The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, miles of black lava fields transform into a lush golf course shaded by palm trees—a beacon of sorts, beckoning you to the luxurious lifestyle you’re about to experience. As you pull up to the hotel, the smiling staff swiftly unloads your bags and places a floral lei around your neck. Before you know it, you’re whisked past beautiful koi ponds into a chair in the open-air lobby, sipping a tropical drink and cleansing your hands and face on a cold towel. The relaxing has officially begun. Situated on the Kohala Coast, 40 minutes north of the airport, the Mauna Lani has been lauded as one of Travel +

Leisure’s “World’s Best Hotels” for 2011 and is also on Condé Nast Traveler’s 2011 “Gold List.” The resort is also establishing itself as a triathlete-friendly destination. Earlier this year, the Mauna Lani hosted the Trek/K-Swiss Triathlon Camp; last October it was the hideaway for pros after finishing the Ford Ironman World Championship; and it hosted Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Fit Nation camp in April. Also, last year the resort created Team Mauna Lani, which consists of a group of pro triathletes who call the Mauna Lani their Hawaii home and training base while on the Big Island for training or racing. The all-star partnership includes names like Mirinda Carfrae, Tim DeBoom, Belinda

Courtesy Mauna Lani Bay HoteL & BungaLows

Whether you want to race through the lava fields or relax in paradise, experience the best of the Big Island at the luxurious (and triathlete-friendly) Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows. By Bethany Leach Mavis



Granger, Samantha McGlone, Bree Wee and Luke Bell. Among the Mauna Lani’s triathletefriendly amenities are a 25-meter, threelane lap pool, a fitness center and, of course, beach access just steps outside the hotel. Miles of trails, including the property’s 3 miles of coastline, make it easy to go for a scenic off-road run. The hotel offers complimentary beach cruisers for exploring the 3,200-acre property and snorkel gear for exploring the pristine water (and catching a glimpse of a sea turtle). Catch a beachside yoga class, and in the winter months, you might spot humpback whales breeching on the horizon. The land under which the hotel sits is called Kalahuipua‘a and has long been considered a sacred place among the Hawaiian people. Hawaiian elders named the location Mauna Lani, meaning “mountain reaching heaven.” All over the property are archaeological sites, aboriginal trails, royal fishponds and prehistoric lava formations. It was on this land that King Kamehameha the Great kept his royal fishponds, 15 acres of which, containing mullet and milkfish, still remain as one of the best examples of working Hawaiian fishponds. The Mauna Lani is very eco-con-


The open-air atrium of the hotel

scious—you’ll notice recycling bins in your guest room, and the resort uses solar energy, generating the most solar electric power of any luxury resort in the world. In one of the saltwater ponds just outside the atrium of the hotel you’ll find about a dozen adolescent honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles), which were received from Oahu’s Sea Life Park and raised in the resort’s saltwater ponds. Every July 4, the hotel hosts a “Turtle Independence Day Celebration,” when the 2- or 3-yearold honu are released into the ocean. So far, the resort has released 213 turtles.

MAUNA LANI SPOTLIGHT If you want … An ocean adventure Grab some complimentary snorkel gear or rent stand-up paddleboards or surfboards from the Hulakai beach shack. The iconic piña colada or lava flow Order one at the Ocean Beach Bar & Grill—and then take it to a pool chair or a hammock on the beach to enjoy. Some new beach wear Take the shuttle from the valet stand to The Shops at Mauna Lani. A race through the lava fields Well, it’s Kona. But you can also try some early-season races, such as Ironman 70.3 Hawaii (formerly known as Honu. Part of the course passes through the Mauna Lani. in early June or Lavaman in the spring (




Hawaiian green sea turtles are called “honu”

“THE MOST INNOVATIVE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR.” 2010 Most Innovative Product of the Year, Triathlon America.






The resort also emphasizes learning about Hawaii’s culture. In any given week’s resort schedule are “how to husk a coconut,” ukulele and lei-making lessons, hula dancing lessons, as well as educational fish and turtle feeding tours. Also, every evening, you can witness a ceremonial torch lighting. If you’re looking to spend some quality time in the room during your trip to the Mauna Lani, you won’t be disappointed. The rooms are modern and classy, decorated with subtle Hawaiian touches. For those paying for an ocean view, rest assured, it will be stunning, but the view of the mountains is also quite majestic. You can even have great ocean views while dining at some of the hotel’s restaurants. The most casual is Ocean Bar & Grill, which is located between the pool and beach and has some great outdoor dining—drinks, burgers, sandwiches and salads. For breakfast, mosey over to the Bay Terrace Restaurant, located just downstairs from the front desk. Its first-class breakfast buffet features fresh waffles

(try them with coconut syrup and strawberries), omelets made to order, pastries, several types of juice, fresh fruit, oatmeal, the usual eggs, sausage, bacon and hashbrowns, plus bagels and lox. The finest of the property’s restaurants is the CanoeHouse, which features oceanfront dining and a menu that includes plenty of fresh fish, steak and local island ingredients. If you’re looking to branch outside the hotel’s restaurants a free shuttle will take you to The Shops at Mauna Lani, where you’ll find Ruth’s Chris, Tommy Bahama’s, a Japanese restaurant, a coffee shop and a grocery store, in addition to some swim/ surf shops and art galleries. You can also break up your swim/bike/ run routine with a round of golf on the

Mauna Lani Spa

Mauna Lani’s two championship golf courses—Mauna Lani North and South. The South course was constructed on rugged lava and has panoramic mountain and ocean views (and an over-thewater hole at No. 15). The North course was built on a lava bed and features rolling terrain, mesquite forests and the occasional herd of goats. Between hard workouts (or post-race), the Mauna Lani Spa provides a welcome chance to relax using one of multiple traditional Hawaiian therapies, baths or massage therapies. Ranked one of the “World’s Best Spas” by Travel + Leisure magazine, the elegant day spa looks like a Hawaiian village (multiple huts with thatched roofs), plus lava saunas and a “watsu” pool. Lava watsu, a unique “aquatic body work” experience, takes place in the watsu saltwater pool built among ancient lava tubes. The lomi lomi massage is one of the most popular Hawaiian massage techniques—try the lomi lomi hula, which has the massage strokes choreographed to Hawaiian music. Whether you come to the Big Island to train, race, relax or see the sights, you’ll be welcomed by the natural beauty and Hawaiian culture, by the luxury of the Mauna Lani and by the exceptionally friendly staff—with a floral lei in hand.

Golf course




The CanoeHouse



CAMERON BROWN In March, Cameron Brown broke the tape at the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman New Zealand, nabbing a historic 10th victory. Never before has a pro athlete dominated a long-course event in such fashion, yet the unassuming New Zealander hasn’t let the unprecedented winning streak go to his head. Nor have five top-five Kona finishes, the win at the 2006 European Ironman Championship or being named one of Inside Triathlon magazine’s 10 Greatest Iron-distance Triathletes of All Time.




Terms of endearment: Most people call me Brownie or otherwise Chuckie (from Charlie Brown). It has nothing to do with throwing up! Not the smoothest move: I’ve been training and racing for quite a long time, so of course I’ve had plenty of bike crashes over the years. The most embarrassing one was when I was looking at a girl while riding along the Auckland waterfront. I went straight over the handlebars! She didn’t even notice. Home cooking: I have the same prerace meal before every big event—my mum’s salmon pasta. It always does the trick. My better half: Jenny and I met when we were 21 years old. Both of our best friends were dating and they set us up. Jenny is a primary school teacher so it’s great having different interests. Triathlon is left at the front door after 3 p.m.—from then on it’s family time. She’s a wonderfully outstanding mum, wife and friend. I’m a very lucky boy to have her! Who, me? I know people sometimes call me a legend. I don’t feel like one. I still look up to my own heroes from when I was a Junior—guys like Kiwi Rick Wells, Mike Pigg and Mark Allen. Those guys are the true legends. Before swim, bike & run, the scrum: I think every Kiwi wants to be an All Blacks rugby player when he’s growing up. Rugby is our national sport, and we are all obsessed by it. I was no different—but then I found triathlon. Maybe 11 will do the trick? I won my 10th Ironman New Zealand title by 10 minutes. I’ve tried playing versions of 10 in the lottery, but nothing’s come up a winning number yet. Guess I have to keep trying! // HOLLY BENNETT

checking in

dear coach

Swimming: The Route to the Top Dear Coach, I really want to start placing in my age group, or even qualify for Hawaii. One of my weaknesses is the swim. What is the optimal way to turn a swim weakness into a strength? This is a common challenge for triathletes as a whole, and unfortunately there’s no quick fix. Among the three sports, swimming is by far the most technical. It creates the most insecurity for both athletes (by being the weakness of many), and for coaches (the technical part of the sport is tough to teach). Here are a few things to consider if you want to improve the swim. Become an open-water swimmer. This obvious statement is important, and it is one that is always promoted by Gerry Rodrigues (, one of the best triathlon and open-water swim coaches in the world. Your training should be geared toward making you a better open-water swimmer. Many triathletes just show up to the pool and swim laps, which may improve general fitness but does little to prepare you to race in open water. Get open water experience, either in true open water, or in the pool with simulated open-water and drafting sessions. Don’t drill your way to glory. Drills are commonly used to extend vessel (body) length, increase rotation and re-

duce drag. While body position is important, over-rotation is not an effective position for most triathletes, as most do not have a strong enough kick to create propulsion behind the vessel. To assist in body position you should (sparingly) utilize tools such as a pull buoy, a snorkel and an ankle strap, and some focus should be placed on improving stroke rate, which can only come without overrotation. Some key drills can help, but they should only take up a small amount of your total training time. Swim more. It’s that simple. While you can improve in three sessions of swimming a week, to truly evolve your swimming takes a large commitment. I believe nearly every triathlete should spend a period of time each season placing massive focus on swimming, and for the truly committed with time to give, swimming should have a high relative volume to overall training load. Swim with a group. The ideal scenario is to become a part of a training group with a coach who truly understands the specific needs of open-water swimming.

by matt dixon

The next best thing is to attend one or two Masters sessions every week, or team up with a couple of friends for key swims. Being surrounded by other swimmers is nearly always beneficial. Plus, that group simulation will prepare you for a race start with 500 of your closest friends, many of whom are also swim “insecure.” Don’t forget the speed. Endurance sets are critical to achieve the fitness required for a triathlon, but to improve your speed you must also swim faster. Two of your key sessions a week should be focused on improving your sustainable speed and simulate specific race conditions. Your goal is not just to become faster in the pool, but also to employ the benefits of race conditions, and the chances of drafting, to gain time. Become “familiar with the discomfort” of quick race starts and the bottleneck that occurs after the start and around buoy turns. If you make the commitment, you can gain minutes in your swim while saving energy for the rest of the race. A faster swim, with less cost, has massive implications for overall performance. Matt Dixon is an exercise physiologist, former professional triathlete, elite coach and the owner of the San Francisco-based professional coaching company Purplepatch Fitness.

larry rosa; nils nilsen

66 | July 2011

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w   t e Ń&#x17D;? DEPENDING ON AN ATHLETEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S physiology, biome-

chanics and sports background, he or she will be more vulnerable to specific injuries. Swimmers coming to triathlon, for example, tend to have weaker ankle and knee joints and are prone to lower-leg injuries. Runners and cyclists may lack the shoulder strength and flexibility to tolerate big miles in the pool. The key to ending the cycle of train, injury, rehab, retrain is to identify these patterns and address the underlying issues before they become a serious problem. Follow the 10 Percent Rule. The major cause of overuse injury is increasing training mileage and intensity too quickly, a common case among highly motivated athletes looking for fast improvement. The 10 percent rule is a good general guideline:


A foam roller (opt for the sturdy black rollers over the squishy white ones)

Trigger Point massage ball and rollers. (The ball is especially useful for travel. I sit on mine during long trips to relieve sore glutes and piriformis)

Yoga strap for stretching IT bands and hamstrings

Compression apparel to increase blood flow and circulation. I never travel anywhere without compression socks to reduce swelling (known charmingly as post-Ironman cankles)

A water bottle. Dehydration can cause brittleness in the tissue and muscle fibers




should not be more than 1:50. Time Stretching. Stretching is constantly debated in the athletic world, but timing is the most important consideration. Dynamic exercises such as arm swings, running drills or light yoga should be included at the beginning of the workout to prepare the muscles and joints for the range of motion required by the activity. Static stretches should be performed at the end of the workout, after a cool-down. Muscle contractions are most powerful at an optimal muscle fiber length, and pre-workout over-stretching can actually decrease performance if the fibers are lengthened past this point. Build Core Strength. Maintaining a strong core is probably the most effective weapon against overuse injuries, which usually occur in the smaller stabilizing muscles or in the tendons and ligaments that support the large, powerful muscles. Refer to the April issue of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ask a Proâ&#x20AC;? for links to an effective triathlete core routine. Rest and Recover. As I get older I am beginning to appreciate the importance of adequate recovery time between hard workouts. How often is it that during the last rep of a workout you feel a twinge signaling the onset of an injury? Pushing through the last few miles or forcing yourself to do a workout when you are feeling run-down can leave you with a longer-lasting injury. The biggest key to preventing overuse injuries is maintaining alignment and proper form. It helps to enlist the eyes of an expert. It is very difficult to self-correct technique, and any flaws are exacerbated under fatigue. Sessions with a professional coach, strength trainer, physiotherapist and bike fit specialist (RetĂźl is the favorite of many pro triathletes and bike teams) are worth the investment.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pushing through the last few miles or forcing yourself to do a workout when you are feeling run-down can leave you with a longer-lasting injury.â&#x20AC;? Never increase training volume by more than 10 percent per week. This applies to both total mileage as well as individual workouts. For example, if you are training 14 hours one week, the next week should not be more than 15.5 hours; if your previous long run is one hour 40 minutes, the next weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s long run

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1 1 on

With Matty Reed Nickname: Boom Boom Age: 35 Born: Palmerston g North, New Zealand Years Professional : 17 Style: Triathlon Team: Reed Favorite food: Thai and M ost memorable m steak the bike: Winning oment on my first US Profession al Championships and winning the 20 08 Olympic Trials. Toughest race/com pe to get the taper right, tition and why: Olympic Games… the emotions on the up against the best line and you are in the world on the day. I am a super fan of : Honest, down to ea rth people. Long climbs through the mountains and no cars on the road My kids laughter. Br . eaking the tape at ra ces. What are your ‘goto’ Maxxis tires?



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David Denman

Racing triathlon even beats a day at ‘The Office’ for this TV veteran By Jennifer Purdie FANS OF “THE OFFICE” will recognize David Denman

Running sites: Ballona Creek; Rose Bowl

Calorie replenisher: Cold Stone Post-race locale: At home on the couch. Asleep.

Swimming laps: Rose Bowl Aquatics Center

Workout playlist: Muse, PJ Harvey, Radiohead,

Biking trails: Ballona Creek bicycle path Coffee hot spot: Intelligentsia




Remy Zero


for his comedic run as Roy, Pam’s inattentive fiancé. The actor’s latest roles include starring on Fox’s “Traffic Light” and in the upcoming feature film “Let Go” with Ed Asner. His acting résumé includes an eclectic range of parts in feature films such as Tim Burton’s “Big Fish” to a lengthy list of gigs in some of television’s most popular shows, including “Bones,” “CSI: Miami” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” As a child, Denman loved the escapism of movies and wanted to provide that same enjoyment to others, which led him to the acting profession. He performed in theater during high school and then attended The Juilliard School to study classical theater, graduating with a BFA. Denman is now drawn to roles that offer new challenges—parts that are different than what he played in the past. He constantly likes to mix it up, which made triathlon a perfect complement to his approach to acting. In fact, it was through acting that Denman discovered triathlons. One of the camera operators on “The Office” suggested he give the sport a try. He signed up for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon, and between seasons two and three of the show, Denman started an eight-week training plan. He spent time swimming, biking and running around Los Angeles during the off-season, and

checking in

I’m a trIathlete

once shooting resumed, Denman had to work around some 12-hour workdays. “On ‘The Office’ I didn’t work every day, so I did have some downtime to train, which helped,” he says. Soon Denman crossed the finish line, having what he describes as “the biggest high of my life.” He has successfully finished six more triathlons, including four in Malibu, one in Hermosa Beach

“So much of triathlon is just mental. Each time I just say to myself, ‘I did this before, I know I can do it again,’ and that just keeps me going.” | July 2011


and, most recently, the 2011 Nautica South Beach Triathlon. Training for the Florida race was the most difficult with his long workdays on “Traffic Light.” “Miami was tough. I had to do as much on the weekends as possible and then train early and late at night,” Denman says. Plus the race itself was a challenge. “South Beach was hotter than I expected. The heat was pretty harsh on the run, but the course was beautiful. I’d never done a triathlon on the East Coast, and watching the sunrise over the beach was something else,” he says. Despite Denman’s film debut as a deaf tightend in the football comedy “The Replacements” with Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman, he was not an athlete in real life. Rather, Denman labeled himself a “good couch potato.” So taking to the swim/bike/run took stamina and mental strength. Swimming, fortunately, came quite easily, as Denman grew up on the beach and in pools. But the other two disciplines? Not so much. “I don’t think of myself as a triathlete,” he says. “I’m 6’4” and not physically built to do this. Running is brutal on my body. I always joke that people can walk faster than my run.” In fact, in his first triathlon, Denman walked most of the run leg. But the second time around, he worked hard to better his time and advance his running skills. “So much of triathlon is just mental. So each time I do one, I just say to myself, ‘I did this before, I know I can do it again,’ and that just keeps me going.” He feels accomplished finishing a race and enjoys seeing people completely out of their comfort zone doing triathlons. “I do these races because they are so much better than the training,” he says. “It’s really inspiring to be out there with thousands of people all collectively racing together.” He has also raised thousands for charity through these athletic pursuits. “Nautica has done a lot for children, such as with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” he says. He is also involved in an organization called Sunshine Kids, which provides activities and trips for young cancer patients. Denman plans to continue in the sport and riding that feeling of accomplishment. Despite the cliché, he says, “I am living proof that if I can do it, you can do it. Triathlons are a lot more fun and manageable than people realize.”



TEAM TBB / 1st 2010 IM Florida

Wearing the Vorttice helmet & Tri-Lite shoes. ÂŤThe lightest bike shoes I have worn, yet comfortable and with great power transfer! Add the ease of entry and you have the best light-weight race shoe I have worn!"



checking in

confessions of an age-grouper

I Want to Vomit by holly bennett

like many triathletes around the globe,

74 | July 2011

Julie added: I am disappointed Holly. Almost hurling doesn’t count. My reply: Dibs, the failure just made me even more steadfast in my #1 goal this season—to ultimately produce an effort that induces an Abu Dhabi-worthy puke-fest at the finish. Only then will I be satisfied. Because although I had not achieved the desired land-speed record in my race, I had gained something more significant: a goal for the season. I want to vomit. Truth be told, I’m a tough nut to crack when it comes to ralphing. Although I’ve been classified a “picky eater” by more than one boyfriend, and I lose my appetite at the slightest mention of wormy, squirmy things, my tummy regularly remains right side up. Sure, I spilled my cookies here and there as a child, but as an adult I can’t recall a single instance of upchuck. Even during a bad bout with food poisoning, the toxin’s exit route was not through my mouth. Not that I’m totally keen on dousing my Newtons with regurgitated race fuel, but I am hell-bent on pushing myself that hard. I came close today, a finish line belly-lurch signaling certain spew. But alas, my tummy’s twinge was a mere tease, almost a mockery of my less-than-all-out effort. This year, I’m determined to leave it all on the course (aside from the bit that hits my shoes). I vow to dig deeper than ever, to push my body to the far end of exertion until I’m happily heaving, unloosing a stream of electrolytes, retching with the regal glory of a seasoned pro. Then, and only then, will I feel worthy of pledging my devotion to the one known as the porcelain god.

hunter king

I was riveted to coverage of the second annual Abu Dhabi International Triathlon in March, the professional field being the fastest, fittest, throw-downingest crowd of elites ever assembled outside of Kona. I watched with special attention and pride as my pal Julie Dibens led the women’s field from start to finish, solidly backing up her 2010 victory. Having Julie as one of my Boulder home-girls is great—I heard the full behind-the-scenes race recap, including vivid details of her final push down the finish chute, highlighted by nonstop vomiting over the final 50 meters. Though a bit gross, the Technicolor drama was proof positive that Julie had laid it all out there under the shadow of the Emirates Palace, racing full-throttle and leaving nothing to chance. That girl is dang tough. I’m writing this column the evening following my own 2011 racing debut. The venue was not quite as exotic or challenging as the UAE, but rather a local 10K run. Yet I, too, had a title to defend. I was last year’s age-group champion, netting a nifty little trophy, as compared to Julie’s $50,000 prize. I felt compelled to toe the line. Prior to the race, I tweeted: Warming up for 1st race of season. Goal is to run hard enough to hurl (in honor of @juliedibens)! Later (sadly, much later than I had anticipated), I updated my Facebook status: Perhaps the slowest 10K of my life—and actually almost did hurl! My mind & spirit were competitive, but my body’s not there yet. Still had heaps of fun—and there’s nowhere to go but faster from here. To which


American Sarah Haskins, one of the best swim-bikers on the ITU circuit, claimed her first World Cup title at the 2011 Monterrey ITU Triathlon World Cup in Mexico. She built up her lead during the bike to more than a minute ahead of the chase pack and held off a surging Ai Ueda of Japan through the 10K run course. PHOTOGRAPH BY RICH CRUSE




Sara’s Slam! Sara McLarty vs. Greg Mueller What’s more beneficial: swimming alone or with a group? Sara: I am a strong proponent of swimming with other people as often as possible. My Masters swim group trains with four to five people in each short-course lane, and the pool gets a lot choppier to simulate race-day conditions. People get to practice drafting, sighting, passing and bumping other swimmers in the pool—I rarely have any athletes freak out when they do their first open-water swim.



Sara: The group dynamic of training is an easy way to work harder. There’s nothing like taking a breath to the side and seeing the guy in the next lane ahead by half a body length. Even if athletes come to practice tired, when they jump in the water with their peers, all their excuses are left behind and they just work hard. Greg: But anytime you put highly competitive athletes in close proximity to each other and “challenge” them, you get exactly what you described: hard swimming. Most triathletes lack simple aerobic fitness, bilateral breathing, bilateral strength and pacing skills. I don’t believe a group is the best atmosphere to foster proper swim development.

Sara: I strongly agree that technique is the most critical aspect of swim training for beginner triathletes. I work with countless swimmers in private sessions, clinics, etc. When they are ready to make the next step, I encourage them to attend group workouts. If it’s organized correctly, the newer swimmers will be grouped with people of similar ability, where they have an opportunity to practice their skills but also get the hang of swim “practice” and not just swim “laps.” Triathlete Final Thoughts: Most people swim harder in a group, similar to speed work for running. But if your technique could use some work, make sure you get in “you” time to focus on your stroke without outside pressure to keep up.


Greg: I feel strongly that most triathletes need to be less overwhelmed in swimming preparation so that they can focus on their stroke. By jamming people into a lane, I see many newer swimmers getting lost in the mix. I also think that the drafting effect can give false fitness confidence.

Swimming alone gives you the freedom to go your own speed and hone in on your weaknesses, while swimming with a group can help you push the pace. Which is better overall? We put our resident swim expert, Sara McLarty, up against Greg Mueller, a Level 3 USAT-certified coach and the owner of Innovative Endurance ( in South Bend, Ind.

photo: Larry Rosa

FUEL YOUR FIRE. Frigid and shark-infested waters. Not everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s idea of a swimming hole. Takes fire in the belly to meet all the prerequisites to get to the gun. We salute your efforts and in our small way support you with the rocket fuel that may just be the difference in getting you over the line ahead of schedule, ahead of your nemesis â&#x20AC;&#x201C; be that your inner demon or a demon incarnate. Roc on.



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Open-water Swims to Elevate Race Performance

Are you looking to break through in your swimming this season? Dialing in your open-water training is the key to taking your triathlon success to a new level. Including open-water swimming as part of your regular swimming routine allows for increased comfort in the water so that swimming with a wetsuit, sighting, drafting and tolerating salt/cloudiness/cold is easier on race day. Do a minimum of five to 10 open-water swims prior to your first race, and regular lake or ocean swimming throughout the season. Try these swim workouts in the open water to get race ready.

Set 1: Lactic Threshold Swim • 8–12 intervals of 2–3 minutes with 90 seconds recovery, treading water • Each interval should be slightly faster than your average race pace (105–110 percent) Tip: This is a good interval for trying to chase the faster feet of a couple of strong swimmers. Keep your head position low in the water—there is a tendency for swimmers to swim with their head too high, causing poor body position.



Set 3: Race Start Simulation • Perform your planned race-day warm-up • Run into water and swim fast for 100 meters and then continue for 200–400 meters (out around a marker and back to the start) at race pace. Run hard out of the water and continue for 20 meters up the beach to practice your swim exit • Repeat swim sequence 1–3 more times • End session with 3–5 minutes easy swimming, and take wetsuit off quickly as you would in transition Tip: Get to know a consistent warm-up routine. A better start finds you a faster drafting pack, which can knock minutes off your end time. There is a proven efficiency of up to 8 percent by swimming in the draft of another swimmer. //LANCE WATSON LifeSport head coach Lance Watson has coached a number of Ironman, Olympic and age-group champions. Visit

Start with a specialized warm-up that can also be used on race day: • Arm swings and stretching. • 5 minutes of easy swimming. • 3–4 sets of 20 strokes or drills that work best in open water: Close-fisted freestyle forces you to pull water with your forearms, not just your hands. You can’t feel the water with your forearms in a full-sleeve wetsuit, so it’s a good reminder of proper swim arm mechanics. Kicking on your side reminds you to rotate and glide long. Wetsuits tend to flatten athletes out because they feel restrictive, resulting in a shorter, less efficient stroke. • After the drills do some pick-ups to engage your muscles in a race-specific range of motion, and to increase blood flow. Increase your stroke rate and build up your speed over a certain number of strokes.


Set 2: Aerobic Power Set • 2–3 intervals of 10–15 minutes with 3 minutes recovery (standing or treading water) OR • 6–8 intervals of 5 minutes with 2 minutes recovery • Each interval should be slightly controlled in comparison to your race pace (85–90 percent) • Be sure that you spread your effort across the set so your last interval is as fast as your first Tip: This is a great opportunity to practice sustaining a strong stroke rate (arm cadence)

without the interruption of the turns in a pool. Sight less often than you think you should—for example, every eight strokes instead of four.

Open-water warm-up:

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training tips

Top Drills Every Triathlete Needs Get faster in 4 weeks with these smart swim workouts


Drill Sets for Every Swimmer

Commit to these drills every time you swim. Just remember that a drill is only as good as the freestyle you do after it.

Level 1: Just Getting Wet 4x100 as: • 25 Superman kick • 25 side-lying kick on the right • 25 side-lying kick on the left • 25 kick on your back • (20 sec rest after each 100)

this year hit the beach ready to ride

rather than thrilled to have survived. What gets you there isn’t doing every drill in the book. It’s focusing on the building blocks of a great swim. Conquer one of these and, like dominoes, you may just knock down a few other obstacles that are holding you back in the swim. To begin, figure out what your first domino is. It usually corresponds with where you are in your swimming career. Then do the recommended drills consistently for four weeks to knock that domino over. But don’t skip ahead. These drills build on each other, and even speed demons need to hit that first domino to swim well and swim fast.

82 | July 2011

Level 2: Comfortable, But Not Fast Do 50 percent of the Level 1 drill set and add these (explanations on page 84): • 100 as 25 one finger/25 two/25 three/25 swim • 75 as 25 spirit fingers/25 scull/25 swim • 50 as 25 scull/25 swim • 25 swim

Level 3: Your Swim Is Fine If You’re Comfortable But Not Fast ... What’s holding you back: You’re not effectively catching the water, so you can’t move through it. Think of the catch this way: When something is tossed to you, you don’t catch it with your hand flat and rigid. You let your hand move with it. Same with the water. If you’re not relaxed, you can’t hold it … and you can’t get anywhere. The drills you need: Sculling and fingertip awareness drills. These teach you to work with the Continued >> water and avoid yanking at it.

Do the Level 1 and Level 2 drill sets and add these: • 3x25 fly with 10 sec rest. Swim for length not speed. • 3x100 free with 5 sec rest. Swimming comfortably. • 3x25 breaststroke with 10 sec rest. Focus on the hands. • 3x100 free with 5 sec rest. Swim comfortably. • 3x25 backstroke with 10 sec rest. Focus on hip rotation. • 3x100 free with 5 sec rest.

Nils NilseN

If You’re Just Getting Wet ... What’s holding you back: You’re killing your momentum. Great swimmers don’t create forward momentum; they harness it. The drill you need: Side-lying kick. This helps you practice proper body and head position so you’re on your side and gliding through the water like you’re slipping through the eye of a needle.

Do it right: Start on your front and rotate to one side with one full stroke. Keep one arm extended and the other against your top hip. Belly button faces the far wall. Eyes scan the bottom of the pool a few feet in front of you, as if looking for a diamond ring you dropped. For extra credit: Lose the kickboard. In your kick workout, use side-lying kick to reinforce your streamlined position. Also do Superman kicks (kick on your front with your chin and chest pressed down until your head is 90 percent submerged), and kick on your back (no knees coming out of the water!) to improve the “fin” feel of your toes while kicking.

Test your newfound body position with fingertip drag. Is your stroke even and your arm relaxed? • 10x50 (15 sec rest after each 50) • 25 fingertip drag • 25 swim

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<< Continued from page 82

Do them right: 1, 2, 3 Fingers: Swim with one finger (as if pointing), two fingers (peace sign), three fingers (OK sign) and then a full hand. Spirit Fingers: As your hand enters the water, wiggle your fingers. It’s magic: Give your fingers something to do and suddenly you’re not yanking your hand back. Watch your fingers in the water: If you can see them, it means you’ve made it all the way through your rotation. Sculling: Extend your arms in front of you in the push-off position. Bend your arms so there’s a downward trend from your elbows to fingertips. With palms facing your feet and fingers pointing to the bottom of the pool, sweep your hands out toward the side and back in to move yourself forward. A steady, smooth rhythm is key to success. If You Think Your Swim is “Fine, thanks.” ... What’s holding you back: You’re too comfortable in the water. Learning causes discomfort, and if you haven’t had any of that lately, you need to challenge the way you move through the water. The drills you need: Other strokes. Remember breaststroke? Butterfly? Backstroke? Yes, you need to do them even though you’re just racing freestyle. Searching to find your way through the water in a different manner makes you more efficient when you swim the strokes you’re comfortable with. It’s about body awareness. The rotation from backstroke, anchoring from butterfly and catch in breaststroke all apply to the same functions in freestyle.



Do mirrored goggles actually cut down on glare?

Like it or not, just about every triathlon starts shortly after dawn. Other than interfering with your REM cycles, these senior-citizen-friendly hours mean that you will probably be swimming straight into the sun at some point during most races. Mirrored goggles are promoted for their ability to cut down on early morning glare. But do they really work? We used a photographic light meter to measure just how much sunlight makes its way through three differently tinted pairs of the Tyr Nestpro goggle.

Lens tint

Light blocked


0% 75% 87.5%

Smoke White Metallic

Based on this test, it seems mirrored goggles actually block more light! // AARON HERSH

How to… Fold your wetsuit for travel There’s no late-night infomercial selling a tool that cleanly folds your wetsuit (so far), so follow these steps to keep creases out of your suit when traveling to a race. Step 1: Lay the suit on its stomach and cross the arms over the back. Step 2: Bring the legs over the back so the ankles rest on the shoulders. Step 3: Fold the entire suit in half so the waist meets the shoulders. Step 4: Slide the suit into a bag so it stays properly stowed in transit.



Seeing the Light


â&#x20AC;&#x153;w  I   t MĐ°s ?â&#x20AC;? CHOOSING THE RIGHT LANE can be confus-

ing, especially in a new program. Do you swim with the faster group but barely make the interval, or go with the slower group and get more rest? The best answer is to choose an intensity that fits your current training plan. Maybe two days are at a higher intensity (go in the faster lane) and one is a recovery day (head to the slower lane). Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be afraid to change position with-

in your lane when applicable. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a strong kicker, be vocal before the kick set starts and ask to lead. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not the best sprinter, head to the back for all-out 50s. The same goes for catching a swimmer ahead of you; donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hesitate to ask if you can go in front. It will make both swimmers happier to not deal with tapping feet every other stroke. Literally test your feet in the water of

the faster group if you are considering moving up. Talk to the coach and choose a couple of sessions when the main set is not super fast. Start conservatively and pace yourself to make the whole workout at this new speed. You can also start in the faster lane and drop back halfway if the workout is too intense. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to get faster is to swim with faster people!

Ladder Sets for Every Distance The ladder steps can increase by as little as 25 yards (Rest the designated time between each repetition.) 6x25 (10 sec) 5x50 (15 sec) 4x75 (20 sec) 3x100 (25 sec) 2x125 (30 sec) 1x150 (35 sec) Total=1400 yards

This set climbs up and back down (Use a comfortable 100 pace to calculate the intervals for each â&#x20AC;&#x153;step.â&#x20AC;? Intervals are provided are for 1:30per-100 yards.) 1x400 at 6:00 2x300 at 4:30 3x200 at 3:00 4x100 at 1:30 3x200 at 3:00 2x300 at 4:30 1x400 at 6:00 Total=3600 yards

A steady interval decrease makes a great ladder set (Calculate your own starting interval by setting your fastest makable interval at the end and working backward by 5- or 10-second increments.) 1x100 at 2:00 2x100 at 1:55 3x100 at 1:50 4x100 at 1:45 5x100 at 1:40 Total=1500 yards // SARA McLARTY




A ladder set in the pool is a great way to prevent the monotony of long and repetitive sets. Every â&#x20AC;&#x153;stepâ&#x20AC;? of the ladder set can have a different goal or objective. For beginner swimmers focusing on technique, pay attention to a single phase of the swim stroke or kick during each step. Intermediate swimmers can use the increasing distances to practice maintaining and holding a steady pace. Advanced swimmers can use ladders as a tool to descend times and intervals as the set progresses. Here are a few simple ladder sets that can be modified to fit any training plan:


Kyle Leto. Pro triathlete. Oceanside 70.3, U.S.A. 7.02am. First out of the water in the new Helixâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;its debut race in the U.S.

Image courtesy of Tim Carlson.




Is a 2-Beat Kick Better Than a 6-Beat Kick?








Back Exercises to Improve Your Stroke

To be an efficient swimmer requires flexibility in the spine, shoulders and ankles. Good freedom of movement in the spine allows the shoulder to work through less resistance and subsequently increase propulsive force through the water. The cervical spine (neck) and thoracic spine (mid-back) have a direct influence on the shoulder’s ability to reach and pull through the water. If head turn is limited, shoulder/elbow entry position may be limited.

The following exercises can increase neck and mid-back mobility to achieve better shoulder biomechanics and a more efficient swim stroke: 1

Mid-back mobility with arms overhead over half-foam


90-90 spinal stretch with head rotation


Spinal extension or press-ups


Seated trunk rotation with dowel-rod (wooden pole) or golf club


Neck stretch to increase rotation // NATHAN KOCH P.T., A.T.C.


Coaches have tossed around these two phrases for years— I am not a fan of the terms “2-beat” and “6-beat” because they are very narrow terms for defining kicking rate, and no one actually kicks with exactly a 2- or 6-beat kick. (For example, my mid-race kick is probably something like 3.5 beats.) Instead, I would encourage you to think about your kick just like your arms—stroke rate—using “kick rate.” The 2-beat/6-beat number stands for how many kicks occur during one complete stroke cycle with both arms. Advanced swimmers can swim with various intensities of kicking because they use their legs solely for forward propulsion and do not rely on them to stay afloat—a great example of efficiency in the water. When trying to go fast, he or she will kick fast (6-beat kick or faster), and when swimming long or slow, he or she will usually employ a slower kicking rate (2-beat kick). Usually, an efficient swimmer is someone who is relaxed in the water and can easily employ a low kick rate, but the key in the water is always balance. Let the beat of your kick find a natural balance with the rhythm of your arms. Having an efficient kick with proper technique is much more important than focusing on the number of times your legs move up and down.



Performance monitor

Make Sense of Your Swim The new FINIS Swimsense Performance Monitor automatically captures your swim data. Check important stats while you swim then upload your data to the Swimsense Online Log™ or Training Peaks™. Kyle Leto, First Out of the Water at 70.3 Ironman World Championships SWIMSENSE™ PERFORMANCE MONITOR POWERED BY SPORTSENSE™

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Chris “Macca” McCormack 2-Time Ironman World Champion


Three-time Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington of Great Britain powers to yet another world record at SpecSavers Ironman South Africa. Not only did she break the bike course record, set by Natascha Badmann, and the run course record, but she also broke her own Ironman world record, finishing in 8:33:56, more than 30 minutes ahead of the runner-up female. PHOTOGRAPH BY KURT HOY




Save Your Workout!

Workarounds for Out-of-Control Days

Raining sideways on your only day to ride long? Business trip and no bike? When you can’t do the workout you’re supposed to, use these workarounds from Earl Walton, head coach at TriLife Coaching in New York City. Here’s how it works:

The Problem: Deadline hell. A five-hour ride is a fantasy. The Workaround: Break it up. “If you’re doing an aerobic workout, your goal is trying to get that amount of time in over a 24-hour period. So if you had a four-hour ride and you ride two hours one day and two the next, chances are you’re going to get close to the same benefit,” Walton says.

The Problem: You’re out of town on a hill workout day. The Workaround: Stairs. “If the purpose of your workout is muscular endurance and force, instead of doing 10-minute hill repeats [five up and five to recover back down], you can run stairs for the same amount of time,” Walton says.

The Problem: There’s a hurricane on your only day to ride long. The Workaround: “If the goal is to train your aerobic base, then you can accomplish that on your indoor trainer,” Walton says. Possibly even in less time than you can on the road. “There are no hills, no coasting and no braking, so you can cut back the amount of time in the saddle and still get the benefit,” he says. There’s no strict rule, he says, but has found this equation to be useful: 2 hours on the trainer = 2:30 outdoors. Keep the main set fairly intact and shorten the warm-up and cool-down. If your mind gets numb after two hours on the trainer—or other parts of you do—it’s reasonable to fill the time with an aerobic run. “You’re still working the same metabolic system,” says Walton.




The Problem: You’re traveling for two weeks. Your bike’s not. The Workaround: “The main thing you’re going to do is try to find a bike,” says Walton. “If that’s not possible, then you want to replicate and maintain the range of motion you have on your bike. Talk to a coach about the right exercises for you, but they can include walking lunges, squats and even the rowing machine.” Another approach when you can’t find a bike: Get over it. “A lack of time in one sport is an opportunity in the others,” he says. “Use the time to become a better runner and swimmer.” // MARTY MUNSON

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structural foundation—made with finer threads creates less resistance than one with thicker threads. This is also incorrect. What changes: Rolling resistance is arguably the most important characteristic of a triathlon race tire since it directly affects straight-line speed. To reduce resistance, Specialized removed material from the shoulder of the tires, changed the tread and rubber composition and reduced the casing rubber thickness. Through these changes, Specialized was able to reduce the rolling resistance of the S-Works Turbo by an astonishing 25 percent compared to the company’s top-flight tire from 2010.

Wheel Energy Independent tire testing facility helps Specialized advance its tire designs THE JOB OF A BIKE TIRE appears pretty

simple. It must hold air and prevent punctures. If it’s light, that’s a bonus. In reality, the tire casing and rubber each have a massive influence on ride comfort, dependability and even the straight-line speed of the entire bike. Wind tunnels have become an indispensible tool in the development of aerodynamic bike equipment. Instead of speculating about the aerodynamic characteristics



Rolling resistance How it’s tested: Wheel Energy presses a tire against a smooth, nearly cylindrical metal drum and turns the wheel with a specific amount of power, then measures the speed of the wheel. Measuring that speed allows them to calculate the coefficient of rolling resistance of various tires. What matters: It was long assumed that narrow tires have less rolling resistance, but Wheel Energy found that a 25c tire has 5 percent less rolling resistance than an identically constructed 23c tire. Many people also believe that a tire’s casing—the


Visit our Wheel Energy photo gallery by snapping the barcode on your smartphone or go to wheelenergy.


Instead of speculating about the aerodynamic characteristics of a component or frame, a wind tunnel can precisely measure its wind resistance. Mechanical laboratory tests can do the same for tire performance.

of a component or frame, a wind tunnel can precisely measure its wind resistance. Mechanical laboratory tests can do the same for tire performance. By simulating road conditions inside a lab, these tests can eliminate guesswork. Wheel Energy, a small lab located in the Finnish countryside about 75 miles outside Helsinki, has constructed a series of machines that do exactly that, and the cycling industry is taking advantage.

Puncture resistance How it’s tested: The second most important attribute of a race tire, in our opinion, is puncture protection. To measure puncture resistance, Wheel Energy presses a dowel into the tire with increasing force until it punches through and flats the tire, then records the force it required. What matters: Specialized was able to test various types of puncture-resistant layers to evaluate their effectiveness. These layers also tend to increase rolling resistance. Specialized found that casings with larger threads, meaning low TPI, tend to be more puncture-resistant than those built with thinner threads. What changes: The test reveals that tires with moderate TPI count are resistant to flats. The rolling resistance test shows that tires with such casing also have low coefficients of rolling resistance. The results of Specialized’s tests reveal that this style of tire, not those with ultra-high TPI, are best suited to the specific needs of triathletes.

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training tips

The Workouts get started with these two workouts that will help increase your max rpm. aim to have equal pressure for the entire 360 degrees of your pedal stroke, and don’t let your more powerful muscles (glutes) plus gravity create a “woosh” sound on the downstroke.

Pump Up the Leg Speed

These two workouts will improve your cadence and help you ride faster

A “magic number” may not truly exist, but there’s a wide consensus that a consistent cadence around 90 rpm can help you avoid leg fatigue and, in turn, run easier off the bike. Similar to race nutrition, bike cadence is a personal style and skill. “What works for Lance Armstrong (super high cadence) or Chrissie Wellington (low cadence) may or may not work for you,” says Jared Gell, the head coach of Competitive Instinct Multisport and director of retail at Pacific Swim Bike Run in Stamford, Conn. “But practicing riding at a higher than normal cadence does help your pedal stroke become more efficient. Ultimately, even if you continue to ride at 65 rpm, the increase in efficiency will allow you to ride faster using less energy.” //Jené Shaw

How to Measure Cadence

96 | July 2011

Advanced: Use a Computrainer combined with spinscan technology to show your output throughout a full pedal stroke.

#2: Quick Cadence Check Do this workout on its own or throw it in the middle of a longer ride to refresh your legs. warm-up: 10 min easy spinning, increasing to 95 rpm by the end main set: • 1 min 95 rpm • 1 min 120 rpm—back off if hips start to bounce • 30 sec easy spin recovery • 10 sec max cadence without bouncing (note rpm) • 1 min decrease to moderate pace repeat main set 3–5 times. cool-down: 10 min easy spinning –Graham Wilson, Wilson Coaching Group (

Nils NilseN

Basic: Count how many times your right knee comes up in 30 seconds. Double it.

Middle: Keep track with a simple bike computer that includes a cadence sensor.

#1: 60-Minute Indoor Boost warm-up: 10 min easy spinning Drill set: single leg intervals: 3x5 min • Minute 1: Right leg only • Minute 2: Left leg only • Minute 3: Both legs at as high a cadence as possible without bouncing • Minutes 4-5: Recover main set: progressive spin-ups: 2x10 min with 5 min recovery. start in a moderately hard gear with a comfortable cadence, around 75 rpm. Every 2 minutes, shift to an easier gear and increase rpm by 5. Keep the speed or power exactly the same as cadence increases (ex: 17 mph or 150 watts) • Minutes 0-2: 75 rpm • Minutes 3-4: 80 rpm • Minutes 5-6: 85 rpm • Minutes 7-8: 90 rpm • Minutes 9-10: 95 rpm cool-down: 10 min easy spinning –Jared Gell, Competitive Instinct Multisport (


“ I am a CTS athlete” I’ve been competing since I was 11. Basketball, pole-vaulting, snowshoe racing—I tried it all. I even won some championships. But I found out fast that triathlon requires more than just talent and training. You need a plan. You need motivation. My CTS coach Nick White is 100 percent committed to my cause. It’s simple: CTS gives me the tools to win. Success is in their DNA.



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QUICK TIP: Race without your watch


from a race (especially an Ironman) and say, “I had a great bike, but an awful run”; one is directly related to the other. It’s all about pacing. If you pace the swim and bike right, you’ll set yourself up for a better run and a stronger finish. Most age-groupers make the mistake of comparing their performance with other racers or a goal time instead of looking more closely at how they used their fitness throughout the race. Going into your next race, set a reasonably challenging goal that is based on the actual training you did, not the training you had hoped to do. Use recent field tests, time trials or practice races in order to clarify your realistic current fitness and then follow the tips below to smartly pace your race.



Over the last 5–10 minutes, back off a gear or two to allow your heart rate to settle down, and your legs to freshen up for the run. This is another reason not to be chasing a bike leg time or mph goal. You might achieve that minor goal but then most likely pay for it during the run. RUN Plan to run swiftly and efficiently between aid stations and then take a 30- to 45-second brisk walk break that you divide into thirds: • First 10–15 seconds: Enjoy your hard work since the last aid station. • Middle 10–15 seconds: Get down some calories and fluids while your breathing and heart rate are settling down. • Last 10–15 seconds: Commit to a productive form focus, such as a quick cadence or forward lean from the ankles and get the competitive juices flowing. Sign up for a “practice” race where you care a bit less about the results and try some of these tips. You may be pleasantly surprised when you allow yourself to look at the clock at the finish! // SCOTT FLIEGELMAN


SWIM Don’t worry about time. Triathletes can make the mistake of gauging swim success based on time, but courses are almost always short or long, so there is no sense in getting overly excited or dejected due to seemingly random buoy placement. Instead, base success on a smart start position, minimal contact and anxiety, skilled sighting and maintaining good technique from start to finish.

BIKE Ignore technology! That’s right, time is still a rather irrelevant piece of feedback, and the same goes for mph, thanks to wind, hills, etc. Start easy. Allow your body 5–10 minutes to adapt to an upright position before settling in at your goal effort. Commit to the effort you’d decided on before the race. Use a recent field test like a 20-minute “max effort” time trial, and then use a percentage of that effort to help guide you. (For help, use my free training and racing zones calculator at Stay in your bubble! Stay present and focused on what you need to do, keep your thoughts highly relevant and don’t give in to the temptation to ride the pace of anyone zooming by you. Every now and then, peek out of your bubble at that guy in the funny looking tri suit as he huffs and puffs to beat you up that climb—you’ll probably see him again on the run! Allow yourself no greater than a 10 percent effort increase on uphill sections and then aim to stay “on the gas” during the downhill until you reach 30-plus mph, when you can coast. Avoid hammering the uphills and then catching your breath on the downhill sections, as it will be faster and more efficient to keep a steady energy expenditure.

Limit your feedback tools to those that help you produce the effort for which you’ve trained (power meters, heart rate and cadence monitors). Watching your time can cause you to go too hard on windy or hilly sections of the course, leading to an eventual breakdown and poor overall results.

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Up for a challenge? Cycling events are a great way to get in training miles on a new route in a more competitive atmosphere than your typical Saturday workout. Check out one of these upcoming options:

Garrett County Gran Fondo: The “Diabolical Double” What: 125 miles, 16,000 feet of climbing When: June 25 Where: McHenry, Md. Why: It takes place on the same course as Savageman, the “toughest half-iron distance triathlon on the planet.”

Rider Assessment

On-bike Fit

From Fit Coordinates to a Bike

BikeFit System

Covers existing or prior injuries, the cyclist’s feelings, his or her level of proprioception (body awareness) and breaks down misguided notions about comfort on a bike. Basic static measurements are taken to set up the fit and initial cleatpedal interface. Does not measure: flexibility.

The fit is conducted on the client’s bike, using an adjustable stem to quickly alter the rider’s position. Cleat, pedal and shoe adjustments are employed to improve lower-body alignment. The side view posture and alignment is observed next, and changes are made to improve knee, hip and shoulder angles. Hand and saddle position adjustments are included throughout.

Setup is performed on cyclist’s bike, so the rider’s bike is ready when the fit is complete. The modifications are made directly to customer’s bike, and the position is recorded.

Fit Institute Slowtwitch (FIST)

Despite all the bike fit technologies on the market—from advanced technologies such as the Guru DFU to a basic tape measure—a fitter’s skill is still more important than the tools used. The process a fitter uses impacts the final bike fit, so it is essential to understand a fitter’s philosophies before deciding whom to go with. These are three of the most popular fit philosophies used by fitters across the country. // J.T. LYONS

Determines where to start the fit—closer to a road position or with a more triathlon-specific setup. FIST believes the tri-bike position requires slightly more athleticism and therefore is only suitable for about 75 percent of triathletes. A road bike is typically most appropriate for the other 25 percent. During the interview the fitter also starts to determine the components used that influence bike fit, including aerobars, saddle and crank length. Does not measure: flexibility.

FIST takes place on a fit-bike with a load generator. The FIST process begins by addressing the contact points of the saddle and bars to ensure comfort at these critical regions. The client’s fit is then “optimized” at three different potential seat tube angles, and the client selects his or her favorite based on perceived comfort. Does not address: cleat-pedal interface or knee tracking.

Final portion uses the fit coordinates with the stack and reach (frame dimensions) database on The stack and reach databases allow a client to match his or her fit coordinates to tri-bike frames on the market, or to set up an existing bike.

Determines body type, experience, goals, flexibility, range of motion, type of riding, history of and the areas that experience discomfort during a ride. Static measurements are taken of the client’s inseam, shoulder width and feet to initially set up the SICI Size Cycle fit-bike.

The SICI process takes place on a SICI Size Cycle. The initial setup is based on the measurements taken during the static and flexibility assessment. Tweaks are made to the saddle, bar position and foot-pedal interface, based on joint angle measurements, client feedback and SpinScan results.

Fit coordinates are taken from the Size Cycle and used to set up an existing bike, or design a custom bike. The SICI XY tool can be used to compare bikes in store to fit-bike final position.




Bob Cook Memorial Mount Evans Hill Climb What: 28-mile climb, ending at 14,264 feet When: July 24 Where: Mount Evans, Colo. Why: You may see mountain goats, sheep or a marmot along the climb to the top at this 49-year-old race. // JENÉ SHAW

Serotta International Cycling Institute (SICI)

3 Ways to a Bike Fit

Centurion Wisconsin What: 50- or 100-mile ride (2,725/6,000 feet of climbing) Sunday and/or time trial Friday When: Aug. 5–7 Where: Middleton, Wis. Why: The course includes parts of the proposed road cycling route from the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid.

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At the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series in Sydney, Australia, Tomoko Sakimoto of Japan (left), Paula Findlay of Canada and Barbara Riveros Diaz of Chile run stride for stride during the 10K run. Findlay pulled away in the final 200 meters to take the series opener. PHOTOGRAPH BY DELLY CARR / TRIATHLON.ORG



Shoe Geek Speak



Starter Guide to Going Sockless

Petroleum jelly: If powder alone can’t protect you from blisters, try putting Vaseline on any seams or contact points in your shoe. Under the tongue of your shoe, at the back of the heel and in the seam along the arch are three spots where a shoe can be irritating. Plus, your shoe will go on fast! You’ll want your elastic laces to be appropriately tight so you don’t end up losing a shoe somewhere out on the course. (This is particularly important if you are racing a muddy Xterra event.) Duct tape: I’ve seen pro athletes wrap their toes with duct tape when they get blisters on the undersides of their toes. Skip the main part of your foot because something as inflexible as duct tape would not facilitate good run mechanics. Cutting the shoe: This is a drastic measure that should only be used if you have a terrible blister already. A number of pros, myself included, have cut out a portion of the rear of their shoe to prevent rubbing on a raw spot on their foot. This will drastically reduce the life of your shoes, so use only as a last resort. Try a size down: If you are getting a lot of blisters racing it could be that your shoe is not form-fitting enough. I find that I like to race in a shoe a half-size smaller than what I would train in. Also, I train with socks, so this also affects what size I find comfortable for racing versus training. //MELANIE McQUAID



The fear of blistered and bruised feet often keeps even the most hardened pros from running out of transition without socks in their shoes. Here are some tricks of the trade if you want to try going sockless on the run. Talcum powder: Use any kind of talcum or foot powder to help absorb any moisture from the swim or the bike and protect it from chafing. Anything from drugstore-brand baby powder to fancy foot powder works equally well. The bonus is that your shoes are almost never smelly.


30-Second Stretch:


Can I wash my running shoes? “They’re not made of sugar. Running shoes can handle a cold-water wash. Watch that shoe laces don’t get tangled in parts, and never, ever put running shoes in the dryer—heat can melt the glues.” –Johanna Bjorken, shoe buyer for JackRabbit Sports in New York City

The Inchworm Stand with feet hip-width apart and bend down at the waist to touch the floor. Keep legs straight without locking the knees. Walk your hands out until your body is in a straight, pushup-like position with arms slightly out in front of your shoulders. Then walk feet in to meet hands. Optional: Pause at the bottom, lower body and arch back for a lower-back stretch. Do for a total of 30 seconds.


“For most gym rats, yes. Running shoes are good for a variety of activities, including lifting weights and using aerobic machines. But they don’t offer much lateral (side-to-side) support, and so are not ideal for activities such as tennis, squash or racquetball. Your foot may turn inside the shoe—leading to a turned ankle or sprain—and/ or you may wear out the upper, which isn’t designed for stress of that nature.”


Good for: Hamstrings, calves, lower back


Can I wear my running shoes to the gym?

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training tips

Electronic Addiction Why it’s good to give your GPS a day off Speed and diStance deviceS that track

106 | July 2011

ence. Beginning athletes tend to misjudge their maximum sustainable pace. Also, tolerance for suffering tends to increase with experience. Overreliance on devices to regulate running pace in training may slow this process of learning the art of pacing through experience. Your ability to pace yourself by your own perceptions is not only important in races and hard workouts, but it’s also important in all kinds of workouts, including recovery sessions. Recovery sessions tend to follow hard workouts, which means they are performed in a pre-fatigued state. Consequently, athletes tend to

Type of WorkouT recovery

feel lousier at familiar paces than they do when they’re fresh. You need to be willing to run as slowly as necessary to get what you need from them, no matter what your device says. The following table presents guidelines that will help you perform different types of workouts at appropriate intensities by feel instead of pace. Leave your device at home at least once a week to accelerate your learning of the art of pacing. And even when you are wearing your device, continue to let your body have the final say. //matt Fitzgerald

perceived efforT Guidelines Find a tempo that feels very comfortable, even relaxing.

Base Aerobic

Find a natural, almost automatic tempo that takes you through the designated duration efficiently but without any strain.


Find a tempo that, if held consistently, will become hard only in the last 20 percent or so of the designated duration.


sustain the fastest tempo possible with your breathing completely under control. the overall effort should feel “comfortably hard.”


Find the fastest pace you can sustain through the end of the last interval. For example, if you’re doing 12x1:00 with 2:00 recoveries, start interval no. 1 at the fastest pace you can sustain through the end of interval no. 12.

Nils NilseN

running pace in real time are pretty darn useful. Not only do they tell you how fast you’re running at any given moment, but they can also be used to establish appropriate target paces for different kinds of workouts and even races. However, they have important limitations. Suppose you use your speed and distance device to establish a goal pace for the 10K run leg of an Olympic-distance triathlon. But when you come out of T2 and start running at that pace, it feels really easy. What should you do? Now suppose your target pace feels much harder than expected. Again, what should you do? In both cases, you’d better listen to your body. Ultimately, every triathlete has to race by feel. No technology will ever be able to substitute for your own perceptual sense of your capabilities. That’s because perception of effort not only accurately reflects an athlete’s performance capacity but also determines performance limits. New research on the role of the brain during endurance exercise suggests that exhaustion occurs not when the muscles stop working, but instead when the level of suffering becomes intolerably high. Optimal pacing in races is therefore a matter of using perception of effort to feel one’s way to the maximum speed that can be sustained to the finish line without reaching that suffering limit first. Other research has demonstrated that the art of pacing improves with experi-

Gear BaG

CEP Clone CEP takes recovery to another level with the first custom-made compression tights for athletes

the idea behind clone is to maximize

compression by producing tights that match the intricacies and asymmetries of each wearer’s legs. Instead of pulling a pair of tights from a box based on weight or pant size, CEP uses the wearer’s specific lower-body dimensions to knit a custom garment for a precise fit. Some brands use height and weight to size their apparel while others use limb dimensions, but to take compression sizing to the next level of accuracy, CEP has borrowed technology from its parent company—medical equipment supplier Medi—to create individualized compression garments based upon 41 measurements of the wearer’s lower body. By sizing each segment of the tight for the athlete wearing the piece, CEP says it can guarantee an increase in pressure between 20 and 30 mmHg.

108 | July 2011

The garment The design of some compression tights is so focused on squeezing the wearer’s legs that comfort is neglected. Clone’s biggest advantage over other compression tights is comfort. Not only does it squeeze every segment of the wearer’s leg muscles, but it doesn’t squeeze the parts that are best left uncompressed. The compressive segment of the garment stretches from the arch of the foot up to the top of the thigh, and the portion covering the hips and waist is substantially looser. Its role is to hold the lower portion of the tights in place,

Clone is available as tights for $290 or thigh-highs for $240. Find out more at

not to compress, and it feels as comfortable as pajama pants. In addition to the improved comfort at the top of the tights, the segment that compresses the legs is constructed from a seamless and highly breathable circular knit material that prevents irritation while allowing for ample airflow on and around the legs. //aaron hersh

Nils NilseN

Fitting process Getting measured 41 ways lasts roughly 15 minutes. The shape of each wearer’s foot, shank, thigh and hips are taken with three circumferential and vertical measurements using a tape measure. These measurements allow the garment to expand at the larger regions of the wearer’s legs and taper for the slender sections to create graduated compression. This ability to match the wearer’s physique also allows Clone to adapt to asymmetries caused by injury. Clone is only sold by specialty cycling, running and triathlon retailers—no bigbox sports stores or physical therapy offices—so the tights are sized by a retailer specializing in endurance sports, not a

medical professional or a general sporting goods retailer. The hand measurement process also means that the quality of each Clone depends on the fitter’s skill. A s a war ning to people who need their personal space, in order to measure every section of the lower body, the fitter has to get a little close. He or she touches the subject’s legs in several places and passes the tape measure around the very top of the thigh. It’s not excessively invasive, but it does require a little physical contact.

CHAIN REACTION CYCLES - OFFICIAL ONLINE BICYCLE STORE SPONSOR of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series



Get a Killer Kick

Simon Whitfield, 2000 Sydney Olympics

THE 2000 OLYMPIC TRIATHLON men’s race in Sydney came down to a sprint between Canada’s Simon Whitfield and Germany’s Stephan Vuckovic. Whitfield had the stronger kick and walked away with the gold medal. Eight years later, the Olympic men’s triathlon again came down to a sprint involving Whitfield and a German rival, Jan Frodeno. This time, Whitfield was outkicked and had to settle for silver. Whitfield is living proof that the strength of a triathlete’s finishing kick can be the difference between winning and losing at the highest levels of competition. But is a strong closing sprint really so important for you? The answer to this question is a resounding “yes,” but the reason may

surprise you. Let’s face it: Even if you are a highly competitive age-group triathlete, the two or three seconds you might gain from improving your kick will seldom, if ever, determine whether you achieve or fall short of your race goals. However, the efforts you make to become a faster sprinter will also make you a faster runner in general, and that certainly will make a meaningful difference in your outcomes. A 2006 study by New Zealand researchers proves it. Twenty competitive runners were separated into two groups. One group continued to do their normal run training, while the other group replaced some of their running with workouts designed to improve their maximum sprint speed. All of the runners performed tests of maximum speed and 5K performance before the study started and again after six weeks. Compared to the runners who continued with their usual training, those who trained for a better kick increased their maximum sprint speed by 1.8 percent—and improved their 5K time by 1.2 percent. How does training for a better sprint improve distance running performance? Other research suggests that it works by improving running economy. Specifically, sprint training enhances a stride characteristic known as leg stiffness, which allows the legs to function as more efficient springs during running, even over long distances.

Training to improve your kick is simple and doesn’t require much time. In fact, it’s important not to spend too much time on this type of training because it’s fairly stressful and could cause injury or overtraining fatigue if overdone. The runners in the New Zealand study improved their kick by performing workouts combining explosive single-leg jumps and repeated, short, uphill sprints on a treadmill. As a triathlete who needs to swim and bike as well as run, you won’t want to do 30-minute sessions of jumps and sprints every four days, as the runners in this study did. You’ll find it more efficient and manageable to add jumps and short sprints to workouts you’re already doing. //MATT FITZGERALD

Workouts to improve your kick Strength Kick Workout: During a strength-training session, do one set of 20 explosive single-leg jumps per leg, working up to three sets. Hill Kick Workout: Do 3–4 uphill sprints lasting 10 seconds each once a week after completing an easy run, working up to 10 sprints. Recover after each sprint by walking back downhill. Long Run Kick Workout: End your next slow endurance run with 3–4 10-second strides with 20 seconds’ rest.

Getting sick of your run playlist? Pass the time with one of these podcasts instead (all available for free on iTunes):


IM Talk All things Ironman—from pro interviews to training tips—with two New Zealanders


NPR: Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! Laugh while testing your current-events knowledge

ESPN: The B.S. Report with Bill Simmons Sports + randomness like “top picks for rock-band draft”

NPR’s This American Life You’ll get hooked on the award-winning storytelling


The Moth Hilarious, shocking and touching real-life stories told to a live audience

112 | July 2011

2011 swimsuit issue

kona uncovered The season’s hottest swimsuits and race apparel are showcased on the fit bodies of our triathlete models, all shot in triathlon’s land of legend: Hawaii’s Big Island.

PhotograPhs by Damien noble anDrews Hair & makeup by marlena robbins

July 2011 | 113

CLAUDIA ABREU When Abreu found out she was the winner of this year’s Triathlete. com Swimsuit Model Search, she started dancing on her bed. “I was totally happy and honored,” she says. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, she moved to Miami when she was 12 and now lives with her husband in Park City, Utah. She had been a marathon runner before she found out she had thyroid cancer at age 27, at which point she thought, “I am going to beat this and do an Ironman.” Now cancer-free, she’s completed an Ironman, is training for Ironman Canada and qualified for the Boston Marathon. Her favorite thing about racing triathlon is, of course, crossing the finish line: “I feel so alive. I love that rush—it just really hits you.”

114 | JULY 2011



Previous page: Tyr Solid twopiece ($44,, shot at The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows. This page: Claudia in De Soto Women’s Micro Bra ($48) and Micro Tri Short ($56,, Smith Novella polarized sunglasses ($139,, shot at the Mauna Lani. Opposite page, clockwise from top left: Puma Check Golf Bermuda Shorts ($65,, Oakley Holbrook sunglasses ($120, Oakley. com); Zero:d Training one-piece ($69,; Speedo Splitsville Two-piece ($62,, Smith Fixture sunglasses ($119, Smithoptics. com); Tyr Challenger Trunk ($37,; Tyr Solid two-piece ($44); Jolyn Clothing Eco Vent Top ($25) and Eco Euro Bottom ($25,; 2XU Comp Tri Singlet ($80,; Jolyn Clothing Metallic Sunset one-piece ($65), Zero:d Stars & Stripes two-piece ($69), with Park Ranger J.J. at Kekaha Kai State Park.

July 2011 | 115

ANGI GREENE In addition to being a mom, actress and model in L.A., Greene is also an age-group triathlete. She grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and started racing triathlon two years ago. Along the way, she overcame her extreme fear of open water and competed in Escape From Alcatraz. “I had a baby with no drugs and I did Alcatraz,” she says. “If I never do anything else with my life, I did those two things.” Since then she’s raced a dozen triathlons, including the Challenge Lake Wanaka Half in New Zealand earlier this year, and it was triathlon that pulled her through some tough times. “I was trying to find something to give me purpose, get me motivated and to get me healthy,” she says. Now, Greene finds purpose in sharing the triathlon lifestyle with others, such as her son, Oli, who just raced his first IronKids triathlon.

116 | JULY 2011

Angi in Jolyn Clothing Triangle Top ($26) and Euro Bottom ($22,, shot at the spa of The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows

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For FREE training and nutrition tips, follow us at and Facebook logo is owned by Facebook Inc. © 2011.

118 | July 2011


Opposite page, clockwise from top left: Speedo Pixel Palm Triangle Top ($36) and Pixel Palm Adjustable Side Tie bottom ($36,; De Soto QTKini Top ($40) and QTKini Brief ($40,; De Soto Women’s Micro Bra ($48); Aqua Sphere La Paza two-piece ($79.95,; Jolyn Clothing Metallic Sunset onepiece ($65,; Aqua Sphere Recife one-piece ($79.95) and Smith Boardwalk sunglasses ($119, Smithoptics. com); Jolyn Clothing Metallic Peacock one-piece ($65); 2XU Comp Tri Short + Pockets ($85, This page: Dan in 2XU Comp Tri Short + Pockets ($85), shot at the Energy Lab.

This South African Xterra pro hails from Stellenbosch, home to the likes of Jan Frodeno, Conrad Stoltz, Tim Don and Simon Lessing. He started racing triathlon at age 10. Just before the shoot he won Xterra South Africa and recently placed 10th at the Avia Wildflower Triathlon. To get to Hawaii Hugo traveled from Cape Town, South Africa, through Frankfurt, via Chicago to San Diego for a night, and finally through San Francisco to arrive in Kona. “A week on Kona kicking about was a real treat and far, far removed from reality,” he says.

JULY 2011 | 119




A native of Maple Grove, Minn., Kurhajetz (pronounced kerHIGH-etz) was the editor’s pick in the Swimsuit Model Search. She’s a race director of the Maple Grove Triathlon: Dare to Tri, which is now in its second year and was named to the top five in the 2010 “Triathletes’ Choice Race of the Year” by Minnesota Tri News. “I found myself instantly addicted to triathlon after being a spectator and seeing the dynamic atmosphere of friends, family and volunteers who rally for their favorite athlete,” she says. “It sparked an energy in me that I never expected.” This summer, Dare to Tri will introduce the TriStar111 Minnesota race (a 1K swim, 100K bike and 10K run), with an expected 1,000 participants. “The Maple Grove community is very collaborative and supportive, making my job easier,” Kurhajetz says.

120 | TRIATHLETE.COM 120 JULY 2011

| June 2011

Lindsey in Speedo Splitsville Two-piece ($62,, shot at The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows.

LESLEY PATERSON This fiery, petite Scottish lass is a pro on the Trek/ K-Swiss Triathlon Team and races both Xterra and Ironman 70.3 races. She was runner-up at the 2010 Ironman 70.3 California, and placed second at the 2009 Xterra Triathlon World Championship. In addition to racing, she’s also a coach to 15–20 athletes at any given time and works in the film world—writing and producing films. She’s the ultimate multitasker—you’ll typically find her texting away on her Blackberry and juggling phone calls between workouts. “One of the perks about training so gosh darn hard for triathlon is that you can eat whatever you like and still keep a fit body!” she says. “It’s been fun strutting my stuff for this magazine shoot and I’ll happily go out to Hawaii to do it all again. It’s a tough life, eh?”

122 | JULY 2011

This page: Lesley in Jolyn Clothing Eco Vent Top ($25) and Eco Euro Bottom ($25,, shot at The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows. Opposite page, clockwise from top left: Tyr Groovy two-piece ($47,; 2XU Women’s Femme Tri Top ($60,; Zero:d Girlie one-piece ($69,; De Soto QTKini Top ($40) and QTKini Brief ($40,; Jolyn Clothing Metallic Sunset ($65); Jolyn Clothing Blue Scribble one-piece ($60); Jolyn Clothing Metallic Peacock ($65); 2XU Men’s Comp Tri Shorts + Pockets ($85).

July 2011 | July 2011 | 123 123

Claudia in Sporti Solid Y-Back Workout Bikini Top ($22) and Classic Workout Swim Bottom ($25,; Dan in Puma Check Golf Bermuda Shorts ($65,, shot at the spa of The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows.

124 | July 2011

Angi in Tyr Spectrum two-piece ($47, and Rudy Project Prestige sunglasses ($154.99,, shot in the lava fields of Kekaha Kai State Park.

126 | July 2011

Claudia in Zero:d Stars & Stripes two-piece ($69, Zerod. com), Dan in 2XU Comp Tri Singlet ($80) and Comp Tri Short + Pockets ($85,, shot in the lava fields of Kekaha Kai State Park.

128 | July 2011

Lesley in Betty Designs Signature Bikini ($99.99,, shot at The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows.

130 | July 2011

132 | July 2011

From left: Angi in Tyr Polynesian reversible one-piece ($74, Tyr. com), Dan in 2XU Comp Tri Short + Pockets ($85,, Claudia in Zero:d Training onepiece ($69,, Lesley in Aqua Sphere La Paza two-piece ($79.95, Aquasphereswim. com), Lindsey in De Soto QTKini Top($40) and QTKini Brief ($40,, shot at The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows.

July 2011 | 133

Lindsey in Tyr Groovy twopiece ($47,, Dan in Tyr Challenger Trunk ($37), shot at The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows.

134 | July 2011

Apr 10 Nautica South Beach Triathlon

May 30 Capital of Texas Triathlon

Jun 26

Jul 9

Aug 28

Sep 25

Oct 2

Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon

Life Time Minneapolis Triathlon

Life Time Chicago Triathlon

Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Triathlon

Series Championship Toyota U.S. Open Triathlon

SEVEN RACES. ZERO EXCUSES. The Race to the Toyota Cup is underway and each race represents a new chance for professionals and amateurs alike to earn their way into the 2011 Toyota U.S. Open! Professionals are racing for points in each event and the Top 10 age group amateurs will earn free entry* to compete in Dallas, TX on October 2, 2011. Register today for your opportunity to compete in one of the country’s premier international-distance triathlons. Current race standings can be found at RACETOTHETOYOTACUP.COM

*The Top 10 age groupers at each race receive a free entry into the Toyota U.S. Open Triathlon in Dallas, TX on October 2, 2011. The winner of each age group, both men and women, at the Toyota U.S. Open will be crowned the Age Group Toyota Cup National Champion. The prizes are a Toyota Cup trophy and Champion System Toyota Cup National Champion’s jersey.

©2011 LIFE TIME FITNESS, INC. All rights reserved.

Angi in Speedo Pixel Palm Triangle Top ($36) and Pixel Palm Adjustable Side Tie bottom ($36,, shot at the spa of The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows.

136 | July 2011

histoRic RichMond, ViRginia an incRedibLe pLace to tRi

Rocketts Landing tRiathLon & dUathLon JULy 24, 2011 • Usa tRiathLon Mid-atLantic Region cLUb chaMpionship triathlon (1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run) • duathlon (3.8k run, 40k bike and 10k run)

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Rocketts Landing Triathlon & Duathlon

Lesley in Jolyn Clothing Blue Scribble one-piece ($60,, shot at the Energy Lab.

138 | July 2011

Claudia in Zero:d Girlie onepiece ($69,, shot at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows.

140 | July 2011


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To reward our customers for their continued loyalty we are offering a free roundtrip transport to the event of your choice after your 5th* service with us. in addition, TriBike Transport partner sailfish wetsuits is offering a chance to earn up to 70% off your wetsuit, based on the number of times you transport. That’s two more reasons to make TriBike Transport your trusted source for hassle-free transport of your tri bike! Visit our website at for more information and rules as certain restrictions may apply.

To see more from the shoot including behind-the-scenes photos and videos, and interviews with each of the models, snap the barcode with the Tag Reader app on your smartphone or go to konauncovered.

Lindsey in 2XU Femme Tri Top ($60) and Femme Hipster Shorts ($75,, shot at the Energy Lab.

142 | JULY 2011

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swim 144


guide Everything you need to know to get faster, stronger and more confident in the water

146 Be a Fearless Swimmer 156 Wetsuit Reviews 164 Training Plan: Three Months to a Faster Swim Plus: Swim Gear Essentials


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How to Be a Fearless Swimmer By Ingrid Loos Miller

Fearless swimmers wish the swim were longer. They don’t suffer the typical open-water meltdown featuring disorientation, hyperventilation, dizziness and—the grand finale—backstroke. Nervous swimmers can become overwhelmed by the long list of fear factors they must overcome, but they don’t have to be. Focus on the essentials: breathing, being able to deal with murky water and knowing how to keep your wits about you. The skills below will teach you the essentials. Master them in the pool first, then take them to the open water so that the swim leg of your next race will be remarkably better.

Control your mind: Stay in the circle




What-if scenarios are counterproductive when you want to stay in control. Melon Dash, author of Conquer Your Fear of Water, created the Miracle Swimming Program to help people overcome lifelong water phobias. In her book, she uses five circles to illustrate the progression from calm to panic. When you are in control you are completely inside the circle, and you are “present.” In the context of swimming, this means you are aware of the sensations of the water and you are paying attention to where you place your hands with each stroke. You are in reality. If you start thinking about what will happen if you get too tired, your mind leaves the present and

goes somewhere else, and the circle starts moving up. The more the circle moves away from its original position, the more scared you become. Because it can happen quickly, you feel the sensation of speed when you are losing control. By the time you are in full panic mode, your mind is only attached to the circle by a thin line and you literally don’t know what you are doing. Dash teaches her students to head off anxiety by “staying in the circle.” That is, by focusing on immediate sensations, rather than bad things that might happen. This notion of staying present is a fundamental aspect of meditation, as well as an effective stress-management tool. In your mind’s eye, stop the progression of anxiety by focusing on the moment, repeating “I am OK” and pulling the circle down over your feet. Stay in the circle as you practice the open-water skills in this article.


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Smart breathing Belly breathing Diaphragmatic breathing (belly breathing) can prevent motion sickness, hyperventilation and panic attacks. Done right, it will take you out of alarm mode and make it easier to keep your thoughts in the circle. You must breathe slowly, about 12 times per minute. Inhale through your nose, into your belly rather than your chest and think, “Anxiety. Just breathe slowly.” Practice belly breathing in the car, at work and in the pool. The more you use it, the more confidence you will have in your ability to calm yourself.

Breathing breaks You’ve heard of taking walk breaks during long runs. How about taking breathing breaks during your open-water swims? You are used to pausing every 25 yards when you swim in the pool. It’s OK to pause in open water too. Use planned breathing breaks as a race strategy. Take them early and often as a countermeasure to keep your heart rate down and diffuse anxiety, especially in the first five to 10 minutes of the swim. Just make sure you swim off to the side so you don’t obstruct others. You can pause for a moment and sight, or you can pause long enough to get into belly breathing mode. Do what is necessary to stay in your circle. Don’t roll onto your back unless you take comfort in doing so. In time you will be able to shorten the pauses, then to eliminate them altogether.

Bilateral breathing Bilateral breathing is a fundamental



Fearless Swimming Toolbox

open-water skill. Aside from helping you swim straight, it allows you to breathe opportunistically in rough water. Breathe more often when it is choppy so you are not air-starved when you get splashed in the face. Make your mouth a smaller target by pursing your lips like you are going to whistle and don’t be afraid to make some noise. Exhale forcefully through your nose like a whale. If you find that you get lots of water in your mouth you are probably pulling your lead hand back too soon on the breathing stroke. Keep it extended forward an extra beat when you roll to take in air. There is no magic way to learn bilateral breathing. You just have to do it. Get comfortable with it in the pool before using it in open water.

Swim blind, swim straight Swimming in murky water triggers the fight-or-flight alarm for two reasons: You can’t see and you are suffering cold shock. Let’s deal with vision first. You rely heavily on sight to know where you are going and to gauge body position and speed. When you look into murky water, this input is snatched away and you get disoriented. You know this will happen on race day, so prepare for it. Teach yourself to swim without visual cues. A swim tether (see sidebar) will help you develop your ability to swim blind in the comfort of a heated pool. The tether will keep you from swimming into lane lines and other swimmers. Attach it around your waist and anchor it to a starting block or handrail. After a short warm-up, swim easily to get the feel of the tether, then close your eyes

• Ear plugs keep cold water out of your ears and reduce dizziness. Find the ones that fit you best. Tyr silicone molded ear plugs fit into the ear canal and also have a large flange that fits nicely against the outer ear for added protection against leakage. $3.50, • Don’t tolerate leaky goggles! Try various models and use Foggle anti-fog towelettes ($6.89 for six,—or plain ol’ spit—to keep them clear. • A swim mask that affords a sweeping 180-degree view like the Tyr Arc 180 ($26, will take you out of that dark claustrophobic tunnel. Single-lens masks afford a breathtakingly open field of vision. Get them with clear or lightly tinted lenses and a clear flange/ frame. • Tyr Stationary Swim Belt ($25, or AquaVee Portable Swim System ($79.90, is helpful when learning to swim blind and swim straight. It is an effective conditioning tool when used in moderation. • Aquaseal Wetsuit Glue ($6, can be used to repair tears, split seams and fingernail punctures in your wetsuit. • Tri-Slide ($16.20, or Body Glide body lubricant prevents chafing and aids wetsuit removal. • When you are practicing in open water, consider swimming with a portable Swim Safety Device ($29.95, made by the International Swimming Hall of Fame. It’s a construction orange, lightweight, inflatable device that visibly floats behind a swimmer in open bodies of water and can be used as a flotation device in emergencies.


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looking underwater, swim five strokes, then pause. Add strokes when you are comfortable. Return to a state of calm during each pause and try to stay there when you are swimming. Make this process part of your open-water warm-up. Eventually you will be able to swim the race distance in comfort, but it will take several open-water sessions to get there. Be patient and don’t rush the process.

Manage the dive response When cold water touches the thermal receptors around your nose and eyes, it causes a reflex known as “cold shock” or the “dive response.” The colder the water, the greater the response. You gasp. Your heart rate slows by about 25 percent and blood vessels constrict in the extremities to keep oxygenated blood in your vital organs. Trying to swim in this state places enormous stress on your cardiovascular system, and you will feel very anxious. Don’t start to swim until you have worked through the initial shock. Always splash your face and neck before you put your whole face in. Stay inside your circle. By planning ahead, you can also better prepare your body for cold shock by taking these steps: Submerge to

Three quick rules for the surf: 1. Dive under the waves sooner and go deeper than you think is necessary. Wetsuits add buoyancy, making it extra difficult to slip under waves. 2. Time your entry for the lull between a set of larger of waves and move quickly through the surf line. If the gun goes off, don’t go charging into the surf when a big one is rolling in. You will spend less time and energy waiting for a lull than fighting your way through a big set. 3. Danger comes from the sea, not the shore. As you round the final buoy and approach shore, look behind for any coming waves and act accordingly. NILS NILSEN

for a few strokes. Stay in your circle. It may be hard to keep your balance at first, but with practice you will adjust. Don’t proceed to the next step until you can comfortably swim for at least 30 strokes with your eyes closed. Next, position yourself over a fixed object on the bottom while still tethered. Swim 20–30 moderate strokes with your eyes closed. Now open them: Are you still in the same place or did you veer off? Which way did you turn? Swimmers tend to pull harder on the side they favor for breathing. Bilateral breathing can help you swim straighter, so try it. If that isn’t enough, try pulling extra hard with your left hand (if you favor your right) every 10 strokes and see if that keeps you on your mark. Experiment and keep practicing so you can stay on your mark with your eyes closed for at least 30 strokes. When you get into open water you will be dealing with cold water and limited visibility, so take it slow. Wear your goggles and start by looking underwater for a few seconds and staying in your mental circle. Then lift your head, take some belly breaths and when you feel calm, repeat. Slowly increase the amount of time you look underwater. When you feel entirely comfortable


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the neck in water that’s 60 degrees or colder. Don’t wear a wetsuit. Stay in the water for three minutes (a cold shower does not work). On race day, get in the water and swim for at least 10 minutes to warm up before your wave goes off. Swim long enough to get into your circle and find your swimming groove.

Sight effectively Lifting your head to sight makes your feet drop, which slows you down. Lifting your head quickly (aptly known as “heave” in nautical terms) can also make you seasick, so it is important to keep your head down as much as possible. To minimize heave, lift your eyes first and let your head follow. Let your eyes clear the water but not your mouth. Find your target, then turn your head to the side to breathe. There are visual points of reference everywhere above the water and below, to the side and behind you: paddlers, kayaks, shoreline and other swimmers. Use them all. When you must look forward, you need a target that you can find quickly. No matter how big and how orange the buoy is, it will be hard to find. A landmark works if there is one, but you need one for every change of direction on the course. The easiest thing to spot is the crowd of swimmers converging on the buoy. Let them do the sighting work. All you have to do is follow.

Love your wetsuit An inefficient swimmer in a poorly fitting wetsuit is a recipe for disaster. When a wetsuit vendor tells you the wetsuit will loosen up when you get into the water, don’t believe it. Even a properly fitted wetsuit feels more constrictive in the water than on land. Water



pushes against the air in your lungs, and you feel this pressure even more when you are in a wetsuit. So before you start swimming, take a few moments to get comfortable with this feeling. It is normal and OK. Do some belly breathing and stay inside your circle mentally. Give yourself ample time. Don’t start swimming until you feel relaxed and calm. On race day you will be breathing hard because of the excitement of the day, so practice some high-intensity sets in your wetsuit to get the feel of it. You don’t have to keep the wetsuit on for an entire workout. Wear it for your warmup or some intervals and be careful to avoid overheating. Wear your wetsuit often, so that by race day you know every nuance of how it should feel.

Enjoy the mayhem Mass starts are a physical challenge, but handling them well is more of a mental game. There is nothing you can do to change the behavior of others, so turn the negative into a positive by having fun with the rough-and-tumble. Yes, fun. Think of the crowd as a protective family group. Welcome every jab and kick as a reassuring pat on the back and let them energize you. Don’t be startled by body contact; expect it and roll with it, literally. Swimming with more body rotation makes it easier to slip between other swimmers and also it makes it harder for others to go directly over you. Be considerate of others and forgive their trespasses. In practice, cram your buddies together (the more the merrier) and swim in a tight group. Then hit the gas and take turns moving through, around and over each other to the front. If you have the right attitude it will be easy to stay in your circle. Have a good time. Mob swimming is fun in practice. Let it be fun on race day too.

Fearless Swimming Cold-water Tools • Neoprene booties such as Body Glove’s EX3 3mm ($35.99,, socks like Neosport’s 2mm Watersport ($12.75,, and neoprene caps are allowed at wetsuit-legal races. World Triathlon Corporation, the owner of Ironman races, allows these items if the water is below 65 degrees F. • A polypropylene rash guard/suit , such as those from O’Neill ( or Dakine ( can be worn as a thermal wetsuit liner or alone, and is excellent for athletes with neoprene allergies. • Inexpensive waterproof chemical hand warmers provide extra warmth in your wetsuit. • A neoprene swim cap, like De Soto’s ($28, retains body heat especially if pulled over the ears and worn under your race cap. • Neoprene paddling gloves, including the NRS Maverick ($39.95, make coldwater practice pleasant. • Bring a thermos with warm water to pour into your wetsuit before you get into the water.


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Finish last Setting a time goal for your next triathlon swim is counterproductive. It is harder to stay calm when you are working hard. Slow down. Triathletes being the competitive beasts they are, this is not as easy as it sounds. You know the platitudes about no one caring about your speed as much as you do. You are as anonymous as an ant out there in your goggles and cap, but still the pressure to perform looms large. Nonetheless, you must face the reality that anxiety is something you must tackle in order to continue successfully in this sport. You can’t buy confidence— you have to build it one race at a time. That means you have to be brave enough to create and execute race goals that free rather than bind you. Try, “I will finish no faster than____,” and fill in the blank with a really slow time. How about finishing last in your age group? Fearless swimmers think the swim is fun. What goal would make the swim fun for you? At your next race, do a good warmup. When the gun fires, wait half a minute before you walk (don’t run) into the water. Take breathing breaks according to your race plan and stay in the circle. Swim with ease and enjoy yourself.

Remember a few safety precautions



Ingrid Loos Miller is the author of Fearless Swimming for Triathletes and other Ironman series books. She is the founder of the Fearless Swimming Open Water Course for Triathletes and is a USAT Level 1 Coach in Irvine, Calif.

You can avoid the mass start altogether by choosing races that have time-trial starts.

It is a superior way to manage the swim, as well as reducing congestion on the bike course,” says Charlie Crawford, officials commissioner at USA Triathlon. “I’ve witnessed it used at events as large as 4,000 competitors.” Dozens of races use a timetrial start including Ironman Louisville, Memphis in May, the Pigman Triathlon in Iowa, Greeley Triathlon in Colorado, Belews Lake in Tennessee and races hosted by MultiRace in Florida. NILS NILSEN

Don’t sign up for a triathlon before you know that you can manage the swim course. If you are afraid of being in the middle of a large lake, pick a race in a smaller one. If you can’t move competently through a surf line under most conditions, find a flat-water race. No matter what, the decision to get into the

water on any given day must be your own. Don’t assume that the race director will keep you safe, or that his or her judgment is superior to yours. Be true to yourself and don’t go into the water if you feel the conditions or the race are beyond your personal abilities. New and nervous swimmers face a formidable challenge in the sport of triathlon. Forgive yourself for past mistakes and be patient as you make new ones, and you will. Practice these skills one at a time in a safe, unhurried environment, and add challenge as you progress. Eventually you will see that the swim really can be the easiest, most comfortable part of your race day.


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Suit Yourself Senior Tech Editor Aaron Hersh puts 7 high-end wetsuits to the test

Find your fit A person’s bike must match the position he or she finds most comfortable, and the same applies to wetsuits. Manufacturers’ sizing charts for these wetsuits are based upon body weight and height, but the suits are shaped to fit dramatically different physiques. To help make sense of these inconsistent sizing guidelines, we list the suits’ volume relative to their stated weight ranges. Suits with a low number are cut tightly, and those with a high number fit more generously.

Aqua Sphere Phantom Speed through resistance Fit: 5 $650,



Wetsuit fit tip: Always pull excess material from the limbs toward the torso. This will relieve tension on the suit’s limbs and make it feel more flexible.


The Phantom has a waist belt built inside the suit, dubbed the “core power system.” It seems like a gimmick—why does a wetsuit need a feature designed to prevent back problems? The real purpose of the belt immediately becomes clear once in the water—and it isn’t to support the lumbar. Strap it around the crest of the pelvic bones and the belt anchors the suit’s upper body to the swimmer’s hips. Instead of the suit sliding over the swimmer’s waist, the belt locks it in place and creates a little additional arm resistance during extension. Although increasing resistance seems counterproductive, the bond between the swimmer’s hips and arms takes the energy stored when the suit stretches during the extension phase of the stroke and injects it back into the pull phase of the swimmer’s stroke. As the swimmer rotates, his or her hips tug on the suit’s upper body to allow the force created by hip rotation to transfer straight to the arms. Proof of this concept comes when the belt is secured on the stomach. The bond between the arms and hips goes away and swimming in the Phantom feels ordinary. Move the belt back into place and that connection returns immediately. The waist belt is a true advancement in wetsuit design. The Phantom has several other add-ons, but they don’t command attention like the core power system. They do, however, make the Phantom moderately difficult to take off in transition, especially since the legs are susceptible to fingernail punctures.


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Wetsuit fit tip: Once your suit is on, get in the water and hold one wrist open while you punch that hand through the water. The sleeve will fill with water, which allows you to adjust its position on your arm to minimize tricep fatigue.

2XU V:2 Velocity

Effective buoyancy Fit: 6 $599, The V:2 Velocity dramatically improves body position in the water. Although the V:2 certainly has a substantial amount of neoprene on the chest, the thickest panels are located on the lower body, which helps swimmers of all abilities keep their hips high in the water. We found that our natural body position was very high in the V:2, even when our form suffered toward the end of a hard swim. This could also be attributed to thick patches of neoprene on the outside of the hips that dip into the water to further improve buoyancy when rotating from stroke to stroke. The V:2 is shaped for a thin swimmer with moderately broad shoulders. The upper arms and chest regions are bigger than average, but the hip and stomach areas are sized tightly. The shoulder and triceps joints both swing freely with minimal resistance. As for the many far-out features, such as the channels on the chest and blocks of plastic or neoprene on the forearm and shins, we don’t know if they make the suit faster or not, but the flexible upper body and buoyant lower body certainly do.

Orca 3.8

Shoulder freedom, chest lift Fit: 5 $650,




The 3.8 has an extremely buoyant upper body. The lower body also creates a lot of lift, but the chest is so buoyant that it can force the swimmer’s legs downward unless the swimmer actively presses his or her upper body into the water. With the torso deep in the drink, the 3.8 will prop you up to the surface and provide additional leverage during the early phase of each arm pull. This buoyancy layout does, however, provide less benefit for swimmers who struggle to keep their hips at the surface when swimming without a suit. The arms on the 3.8 are not only thin (1.5mm) and flexible, but they are also long. These extended arms allow the neoprene to bend with the swimmer’s elbow instead of forcing it to stretch simply to cover the swimmer’s arm. These intelligently cut arms are linked to equally flexible back panels. Constructed from the same materials as the arms, these two critical segments of the suit work cohesively to isolate the shoulders from the rest of the suit and allow them to move freely. The result is the most flexible arms and shoulders of any tight-fitting suit in this review.

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Wetsuit fit tip: After putting your suit on, take a scoop of water through the neck opening and allow the water to flow through the suit and out the ankles. This allows the suit to temporarily slide against your skin and reset itself into a more natural position.

BlueSeventy Helix

Bonded to the water Fit: 2 $640, The Helix has a well-deserved reputation for shoulder freedom. Like most of the suits in this review, its arms and back are constructed from thin swatches of flexible neoprene with very few seams. This results in almost uninhibited shoulder movement, although the sleeves do create a slight outward tug on the swimmer’s arms. Flexible shoulders have become standard for suits in the $600-plus stratosphere, and the Helix differentiates itself by creating an unmatched feel for the water. The forearm panels on the Helix aren’t designed to grip the water but rather to improve the swimmer’s feel for the water. They let a tiny bit of water seep onto the swimmer’s forearms, which increases the swimmer’s awareness of his or her arm position in the water. I find myself swimming with my forearm positioned closer to vertical in the Helix than in other suits. Although this feature does allow a slow trickle of water into the suit, the Helix is cut so tightly that there are no pockets between the swimmer and the suit for water to accumulate. Its form-fitting cut locks the suit into place without creating arm restriction, a truly impressive feat. It does, however, moderately constrict the chest and hips.

Tyr Category 5 Precise fit Fit: 4 $625,




The anatomical precision of the Category 5’s torso is blatantly obvious once in the water. Of all the suits reviewed, the Cat. 5 was the only one able to keep water out without creating pressure points. Since a swimmer wearing a wetsuit is positively buoyant, water that seeps in reduces buoyancy. Many suits are designed to fit tightly for that reason, but the Category 5 was the best at blocking water without squeezing the swimmer. Eliminating chest constriction also allows the swimmer to breathe easily without additional effort, which can help reduce the fear of open-water swimming. The suit’s flexible shoulders complement the feeling of freedom. The arm, shoulder and back panels are all exceptionally thin and have few seams. All three of these regions pull on each other during a stroke, and the combination of flexible materials and clever design frees the shoulders of restriction. There is no outward tug that some tight suits can create. The arms, however, do create slight resistance against the triceps. They are cut short, so slide the wrist opening up the arm as far as possible to relieve some of that tension.

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Wetsuit fit tip: When looking at sizing charts, focus more on the weight range rather than the height range. There is no replacement, however, for actually trying a suit on and swimming in it. Some brands and retailers host suit demos so prospective customers can try them on before buying one.

Zoot Prophet

Free of restriction Fit: 8 $650, The Prophet is the perfect suit for the triathlete who hates swimming in a full-sleeve wetsuit. It’s cut very loosely and built with thin, highly flexible paneling on the back and arms. The cut and materials combine to eliminate torso constriction and arm resistance. Of all the suits tested, the Prophet pulls least on the arms and shoulders. Not only do the arms stretch when stroking, but all four limbs can widen when taking the suit off, so it slides off very easily in transition. This incredible freedom of movement comes at a price, however. The Prophet’s ample shape and flexible arms allow more water into the suit than the others in this review. Water can sneak through the wrist and neck openings, and it accumulates in the low back. Extreme buoyancy is the Prophet’s other hallmark. Like some suits, it is constructed with aerated neoprene on the thighs and hips, but the Prophet also uses this ultra buoyant material on the chest. That added lift props the swimmer’s shoulders high in the water, which can force the feet to drop. But if the swimmer leans forcefully onto his or her chest, it can jack the entire body higher in the water.

Nineteen Frequency Second skin Fit: 3 $600,




The Frequency is designed to mimic the swimmer’s movements rather than to manipulate the stroke using add-ons and features. It simply stays out of the swimmer’s way. To accomplish this, the suit is built from the back on out. Two silver panels—made of ultra-flexible Yamamoto #40 neoprene cut 1.5mm thick—stretch over the swimmer’s lats and extend down to the waist. This seamless panel is able to flex and bend as the swimmer rotates and extends for each stroke. The body itself is cut to fit a sinewy figure, but the flexible back panels prevent the tightly cut body from pulling downward on the arms. We found the tight fit to be supportive, and to prevent the small trickle of water coming from the neck and arm openings from collecting in the suit. The sleeves are minimalistic. It has no catch panels or extra hydrodynamic features—just thin neoprene cut for a tight fit around the arm. The snug design prevents water from spilling into the suit, and the wrists are bolstered with small strips of plastic that keep them sealed while preserving enough flexibility for a hand to pull through effortlessly in T1.





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July 2011 |



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3 Months to a Faster Swim This training plan will have you swimming faster in 12 weeks or less by focusing on technique and swimming fitness. It’s designed for a beginner to intermediate swimmer preparing for a sprint- or Olympic-distance race and can easily be adjusted by lowering or raising the repeat numbers in the sets and distances of the long swim. If you are a beginner preparing for a sprint-distance race, simply cut everything in half.

Know before you go The workouts listed are the three key sessions. Ideally you should do them with a day off in between; however, back-to-back swim days are not a problem if your schedule requires it. If you have the time and energy to add another swim session, you can add a long swim or long intervals interspersed with some faster swimming (every 100 or 200 yards). There is no need to swim more than four times a week. Carefully integrate your run and bike training into your plan. Try to make the swim the first workout of the day and as early as possible. Be careful not to schedule your time trials and/or all your swim sessions on the same day or days following hard running. The dead legs can lead to cramps and overall body fatigue. Master the best drills to increase power and reduce drag. The essential technique drills include kick on side drill; kick on side with one stroke switch and then with threestroke switch; fist drill; and catch-up with thumb scrape. The min/max drill is the



best test of true efficiency in swimming: minimum number of strokes and maximum speed. But simply having a low stroke count is not enough—at the end of the day we need speed. To find your best stroke count per lap, do a series of 50s, count your strokes and time the 50. Add the two to get a good number to work on your efficiency that combines stroke count and speed. As you get faster, the number will decrease. Incorporate dry-land exercises to improve your pull. Using dry-land training with light resistance tubing to work on your underwater pull is a very helpful sports-specific exercise. Tie a 7-foot piece of mediumresistance tubing around a sturdy pole. Bend at the waist and do an underwater pull pattern. Get video footage of your stroke. This can come from a coach or friend who can videotape you swimming to analyze your form afterward. Have him or her do an above- and underwater clip from both the side and head-on/rear points of view.

By Steve Tarpinian

How to use this swim training plan The plan breaks down into three training blocks: Block 1 (Weeks 1–4): Technique and endurance Block 2 (Weeks 5–8): Technique, endurance and power Block 3 (Weeks 9–12): Fine-tuning and tapering The three tables contain the main sets and any additional technique work or dry-land training. What’s not in the tables are the warm-ups, technique (drills) and cooldowns that you should include with every swim session. All pool workouts should follow this four-part template: 1. Warm-up: 5–10 minutes, using a combination of freestyle or off-strokes 2. Technique: Use your own drills or the ones suggested 3. Main set(s) 4. Cool-down: Get your heart rate down and add in a few drills to end the session with perfect technique

Effort Levels 90-100%

All-out sprint for 25 or 50 (pace for 100-yard time trial)


Threshold effort (pace for 500-yard time trial)


Aerobic effort


Warm-up and cool-down

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Before you dive in, just remember: No matter how much pool swimming and open-water simulation you do, you should still get in several practices in the open water. Also, be flexible and realize you do not have to do the program exactly as written to get good results.

Block 1: Technique and Endurance

Block 2: Technique, Endurance and Power

Block 3: Fine-tuning and Tapering

Week 1

Week 5

Week 9

Workout 1

Workout 2

Workout 3

4–8 buildup 25s 500 time trial, 60 sec rest followed by easy 100 100 time trial Optional: video analysis

30 minutes drills 4x150 (50 easy, 50 medium, 50 fast), 10 sec rest

30 minutes drills 10x50 min/ max, 15–30 sec rest Dry-land tubing 3x10

Week 2 Workout 1 3x300 at 75–80%, 15 sec rest

Workout 2 30 minutes drills 10x50 alternating fast/easy, 10 sec rest Dry-land tubing 3x10

Workout 3 10 minutes drills 5x200 any effort, 15 sec rest 5x100 any effort, 10 sec rest Dry-land tubing 3x10

Workout 1

Workout 2

Workout 3

4–8 buildup 25s 500 time trial, 60 sec rest followed by easy 100 100 time trial Dry-land tubing 3x15 Optional: video analysis check-up

30 minutes drills 6x150 as 50 fast, 50 medium, 50 fast, 15 sec rest

30 minutes drills 10x50 min/ max, 15–30 sec rest Dry-land tubing 3x15

*3x400 (1: 85–90%, 2/3: 75–85%), 20 sec rest between 400s

Week 3 Workout 1 30 minutes drills 10x50 min/ max, 15–30 sec rest Dry-land tubing 3x15

Workout 2 3x400 at 75–80%, 15 sec rest

Workout 3 10 minutes drills 5x200 at 80%, 15 sec rest 5x100 at 85%, 10 sec rest Dry-land tubing 3x15

Week 4 Workout 1 30 minutes drills 10x50 min/ max, 15–30 sec rest Dry-land tubing 3x20

Workout 2

Workout 3

Downward ladder: 500, 400, 300, 200, 100 all at 75–80% effort and 20 sec rest between

10 minutes drills 20x50 alternating fast/ easy, 10 sec rest 5x100 as fast, easy, fast, easy, fast, 15 sec rest Dry-land tubing 3x20

30 minutes drills 10x50 min/ max, 15–30 sec rest Dry-land tubing 3x30

Workout 3

4–8 buildup 25s 500 time trial, 60 sec rest followed by easy 100 100 time trial Dry-land tubing 2x40

30 minutes drills 5x150 as 50 fast, 50 medium, 50 fast, 20 sec rest

30 minutes drills 10x50 min/ max, 15–30 sec rest Dry-land tubing 2x40

Workout 1

Workout 2 30 minutes drills 12x50 alternating fast/easy, 10 sec rest Dry-land tubing 3x25

Workout 3

3x400 (1: 80%, 2: 85%, 90+%), 30 sec rest

10 minutes drills 5x200 at 80%, 20 sec rest 5x100 at 85%, 15 sec rest Dry-land tubing 3x25

Week 7 Workout 1

Workout 2

Week 10

Week 6 Workout 1

Workout 1

Workout 2

Workout 3

3x500 descending (each one should be faster), 25 sec rest

10 minutes drills 5x200 negative split (second 100 faster than the first) 5x100 at 90%, 15 sec rest Dry-land tubing 3x30

Week 8 Workout 1

Workout 2

Workout 3

30 minutes drills 10x50 min/max, 15–30 sec rest Dry-land tubing 3x35

2,000 straight swim at 75–85%

10 minutes drills 20x50 alternating fast/ easy, 15 sec rest 5x100 as fast, easy, fast, easy, fast, 20 sec rest Dry-land tubing 3x35

Workout 2 30 minutes drills 10x50 alternating fast/easy 20 sec rest Dry-land tubing 2x30


10 minutes drills 5x200 5x100 Dry-land tubing 2x30

Week 11 Workout 1

Workout 2

Workout 3

30 minutes drills 10x50 min/ max, 15–30 sec rest Dry-land tubing 2x20

*3x500 (1: 90%, 2: 80%, 3: 85%), 40 sec rest

10 minutes drills 10x100 at 85%, 15 sec rest Dry-land tubing 2x20

Week 12 Workout 1 10 minutes drills 10x25 sprint, 20 sec rest 2x500 at 80%, 30 sec rest Dry-land tubing 1x10 for feel

Workout 2 3x100 as easy, fast, easy, 30 sec rest

Workout 3 Race Day

Steve Tarpinian is the author of The Triathlete’s Guide to Swim Training and creator of the SwimPower video series. *Sets are meant to be anaerobic


Workout 3

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July 2011 | 167 5/3/11 12:33 PM

in your skin


From Macca to Mirinda, Chrissie to Crowie, it seems as though you’re not a true triathlete without a tan. If you’re lucky—or blessed with good genes—that perma-tan will leave few long-term effects on your skin. But for most people, chronic sun exposure eventually leads to premature wrinkles, lines and weathered skin. We gathered top experts to offer advice on keeping your skin safe—plus a roundup of the best protective products for triathletes.

By Sarah Wassner Flynn

168 | July 2011

â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s   s: Participation in triathlon is hitting an all-time high. The bad news? So are rates of melanoma and other serious skin issues. Dr. Robert Nossa, the director of clinical research and laser services at The Dermatology Group of Northern New Jerseyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and an Ironman triathleteâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;says that he has seen a direct correlation between the growth of endurance sports and patients with skin damage from chronic sun exposure. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The irony is that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m seeing more patients who are incredibly active and fit, and completely focused on their aerobic health,â&#x20AC;? says Nossa. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But at the same time, there are more cases of people in their 30s and 40s with skin problems, like premature aging, basal cell carcinomas and sometimes melanoma. I attribute that to the movement toward endurance sports.â&#x20AC;? Of course, getting burned dur-


ing a race can adversely affect your performance as youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re more prone to becoming overheated and dehydrated. But there are simple steps to keeping your skin shielded from harmful rays, which all start with SPF.

sunscreen specifics

K Coones

It may be tempting to toss that SPF 100 into your cart. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The SPF numbers war is mostly a marketing tool,â&#x20AC;? says Dr. Robert Friedman, a dermatologic oncologist and a clinical professor at the NYU School of Medicine. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There really is not much difference between SPF 30 and SPF 80 when sunscreen is properly applied.â&#x20AC;? While youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re safe to go with any SPF over 30, make sure the product you pick offers broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, which will shield your skin from the two types of radiation that reach Earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surface. Other key components: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Go for water-resistant products that include ingredients like stabilized avobenzone, mexoryl, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide,â&#x20AC;? says Friedman. Try: Blue Lizard Sensitive.


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Shady Dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Daily Sun Protection Wipes SPF 30 $14 for 15 wipes,


Kinesys SPF 30 Fragrance Free Sunscreen Spray $18.99,

With hundreds of products promising to protect your skin, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tough to choose which to go for. If thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not hard enough, you then have to pick whether you want it in a cream, stick, spray or a wipe. So which type of sunscreen is best for triathletes? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really up to the individual,â&#x20AC;? says Nossa, who prefers the convenience of wipes (like Shady Dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Daily Sun Protection Wipes SPF 30) and sticks (try Mission Skincare Anti-Sting Sunscreen SPF 30+ Facestick, $8.99, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no mess, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quick, and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re small enough to put in your gear bag and saddle bag,â&#x20AC;? he says. Plus, the thicker texture of a stick sunblock is good for the face, since it wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t run in your eyes once you start to sweat. Friedman recommends mineral-based products, like Ultra Sport Stick ($16, by his own skincare company MDSolarSciences, which are less harsh on the sensitive skin on your face and around your eyes. Spray-on sunscreens are just as convenient, says Dr. Brooke Jackson, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of the Skin Wellness Center of Chicago. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sprays are so easy to apply, and the lighter texture is less likely to cause breakouts in those with acne-prone skin,â&#x20AC;? she says. We like Kiss My Face SPF 50 Sport Clear Spray ($16.99, and Kinesys SPF 30 Fragrance Free Sunscreen Spray.

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Whatever variety you go for, make sure to apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before heading outside, which gives your skin the chance to absorb the product so you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sweat it off right away. Then, you should reapply every two hours you are outdoors. Nossa suggests setting up sunscreen along with the rest of your gear in your transition area. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Before you grab your bike or as you run out of transition, you can quickly wipe down your body in areas that need the most protection, like your cheeks and nose,â&#x20AC;? says Nossa. And donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget your lips. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Statistically, men have a much higher rate of skin cancer on the lips because most women wear lipstick, which offers some form of protection,â&#x20AC;? says Jackson. As with the sunscreen, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll want to reapply your lip balm (try Jack Black Intense Therapy SPF 25, $7.50,, and Scape SPF 50+ Lip Balm, $3.50, every couple of hours or more if you feel your lips are drying up. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Worse case: Take whatever youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re using on your skin and put it on your lips. Just be careful you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ingest it,â&#x20AC;? says Jackson.

Tt It O

Remember that rule about never trying new gear on race day? Same goes for sunscreen. Pick a couple of products to try out while youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re training and go with the one that works best for you. Because the last thing you want is to get nauseous from the smell of coconuts seeping out of your pores.

extra coverage Headsweats Race Hat, $20,



Protecting your skin doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop at sunscreen. You can double your defense against the sun by keeping as much of your skin as covered as possible, especially if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re fair-skinned or prone to sunburn. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As tempting as it is to strip down while youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re training or racingâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and you probably have the body to do thatâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;keep your clothes on,â&#x20AC;? says Jackson. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A shirt has an SPF of approximately 8, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s better than nothing.â&#x20AC;?


Jersey Girl

War At the Shore

July 9th, 2011

August 7, 2011

September 11, 2011

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Come join us this summer at the real Jersey Shore for three of New Jerseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier multisport events (tri, du and aquavelo). Enjoy racing against the best athletes in the tristate area, spending a day at the Jersey Shore and helping support local charities such as: Jersey Shore Q Spot Second Life Bikes 180 - Turning Lives Around

NEWPORT BEACH . CA . 949.287.7299 July 2011 | BikeReligion_Transition_TriMag_0711.indd 1


5/6/11 5:36 PM

But-In Pn

Is your sunscreen toxic? According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), it may be. Each year, the environmental watchdog group releases its Sunscreen Study, which reviews the effectiveness of more than 500 products on the market, as well as the safety of the chemicals used in them. In 2010, the EWG claimed that up to 60 percent of sunscreens on the market contain potentially harmful ingredients that may accelerate skin cancer instead of preventing it. While the true effects of these ingredients still need to be further explored, Dr. Robert Friedman says itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s smart to avoid elements including oxybenzone, PABA, octinoxate, and parabens. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some of these substances may harm not only the individual, but the marine environment as well,â&#x20AC;? he says. Visit Ewg. org/skindeep to see how your sunscreen measures up.


You may love the way your favorite visor keeps the sun out of your face, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s doing nothing to keep your scalp from getting sun. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A hat made with moisture-wicking, breathable material is a better choice,â&#x20AC;? says Jackson. (Headsweatsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Race Hat provides a 40-plus Ultraviolet Protection Factor, $20, And if you just canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t part with your beloved visor? Jackson recommends rubbing sunscreen into your scalp before heading out, or you can wear a bandana underneath to keep this extra-sensitive area protected.

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Even if you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see the damage done, your eyes can get sunburned, which may lead to serious health issues and, in rare cases, ocular melanoma. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sunglasses are critical since bikers and runners have an increased risk of cataracts,â&#x20AC;? says Jackson. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They can also protect the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;crowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s feetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; area.â&#x20AC;? She suggests polarized glasses, like Oakleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Polarized Fast Jacket ($280, or Smithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pivlock V90 Max ($139, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Make sure theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re 96â&#x20AC;&#x201C;97 percent filtered,â&#x20AC;? says Jackson. And for all of those summertime swims in outdoor pools, you can purchase goggles that offer 100 percent UV protection like the Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 ($17.99,


saving your skin So now youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re all set to keep your skin safe from the sun. But maybe youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had one bad sunburn too many and are now noticing a new crop of moles and spots on your body. The first step is to see a board-certified dermatologist for a body check, says Nossa. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These should happen annually, and if you are a high-risk patient or have a history of skin cancer, go twice a year,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You should also do self-checks every three months with a hand-held mirror. If you see any suspicious spots or new moles, or a small wound that is not healing, have a dermatologist check it out. Skin cancer is treatable if detected early.â&#x20AC;? While your dermatologist is the best source for skin treatment recommendations, if you are more concerned with reducing wrinkles, lines or sunspots, make an appointment with an esthetician. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can discuss various approachesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;from anti-aging serums to more dramatic treatments, like chemical peels or Botox,â&#x20AC;? says RenĂŠe Rouleau, skincare expert, triathlete and founder of an eponymous skincare line. Above all, Rouleau stresses the importance of taking care of your skin just as you do the rest of your body. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A triathleteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lifestyle is extra hard on the skin and your body. Just as you make a commitment to training, you have to make a commitment to your skin.â&#x20AC;?



Many tri-focused retailers build UV protection into their fabrics, including Asics, Brooks, De Soto, K-Swiss, Mizuno, Pearl Izumi, CW-X, Salomon and Skins. As youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re selecting each item, make sure the knit of the fabric is tightly woven and has a snug fit to maximize its blocking ability, says Nossa. For biking and running, you can slip on arm sleeves, like those made by Tyr ($40, and SunnySleeveZ ($24.99,, which work to keep your skin from heating up on warm race days while also blocking rays.


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HEAT SHOCK With temperatures rising to 97 degrees, the pro field at the 2011 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon—maybe the best ever assembled outside of Kona—was put through the ultimate test of their endurance. BY AARON HERSH







The city’s structures alone are worth the trip, but triathletes came to the Middle East from all parts of the globe to race. About 1,500 athletes walked into the water to start the race in the shadow of the Emirates Palace, a $3 billion hotel that has 1,002 Swarovski crystal chandeliers hanging from its ceilings. After exiting the swim, the bike course heads for the city skyline along the coast of the Arabian Gulf. Even before leaving the city, the race claimed its first victim as pre-race favorite Rasmus Henning dropped out due to cramping. (It took hours until his muscles starting functioning normally again.) The course then rises over the city’s outskirts to reveal a forest of high-rise cranes pushing the city limits up and out on all sides. The swim divided the men’s race into two big packs that coalesced on the bike, separated by about 2:30. Both

packs contained at least one Ironman world champion. Bryan Rhodes made the first group and thought that the lead might allow his pack to “hold the chasers at bay” until the start of the run. After passing the cranes, the course enters sparse desert. Paved road and street lamps are the only signs of civilization for miles. Once the athletes made it to this desolate part of the course, racers started taking fliers off the front of the two groups of cyclists. Paul Matthews, a two-time 70.3 winner, fired to the front and pulled the lead group while Ironman champ Ben Hoffman dragged the chase group toward the leaders. As the rest of the contenders carefully metered their energy, Swedish bike specialist Bjorn Andersson pedaled to the front of the group and hit the gas. After the race, current Ironman World Champion Chris McCormack said,

BLOW BY BLOW Men’s pack splits into two groups. Craig Alexander is in the first; Macca and defending champ Eneko Llanos are in the second.

Rasmus Henning cramps violently and is forced to pull out.

Dibens exits swim leading all other contenders.



Caroline Steffen moves through the field into second place.

Two big packs form on the bike in the men’s race. 2:30 separates the groups.

Bjorn Andersson flies by the leaders. Macca later said, “Bjorn went absolutely bananas.”

The leading men’s pack stalls, and the second group catches up.

Andrew Starykowicz goes after Andersson.

The wind kicks up. Dirk Bockel says it “adds some spice to the battle, but it was fun no doubt!”

Dibens builds her lead on the rest of the women.

Macca drops out and rides through the city, straight back to the Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan hotel.


perplexed local stumbled upon the sun-baked Abu Dhabi International Triathlon run course as hundreds of Lycra-clad triathletes raced by. “There may be palm trees and big buildings, but [Abu Dhabi] is still a desert,” he deadpanned. Many of the world’s fittest triathletes learned that fact firsthand as they were pushed to the absolute limit to cover 223 kilometers of the Arabian Desert. Although the conditions during the inaugural race in 2010 were temperate, this year’s scorching 97-degree weather turned Saadiyat Highway—stretching from the center of Abu Dhabi to the Yas Marina Circuit Formula 1 track—into a pressure cooker and earned the race a reputation as one of the ultimate endurance tests in all of triathlon. Racers faced a 3K swim, a 200K bike and a 20K run through the Arabian Desert. Only 37 of the 58 professional triathletes made it to the finish. Champions Frederik Van Lierde and Julie Dibens managed the 97-degree temperatures better than anyone else and walked home with $50,000 each, but racing triathlon in the United Arab Emirates is an experience beyond simply crossing the finish line.

Even though it’s only 20K more than the Ironman distance, it seems exponentially worse as the race gets longer.”

“Bjorn went absolutely bananas,” as the Swede ripped away from the favorites to earn a seven-minute lead by the 75-mile mark. Andersson, who currently rides for Scott Bicycles, was without support from a bike company during the race, so he rode a Hotta—a fiberglass aero bike that was built in the last century. Down the road a few minutes, the lead pack was stalling out. “The first group included a lot of the good guys, but no one wanted to force the pace because we were of similar ability,” said Rhodes. As Andersson built his lead, the two big packs merged and most of the favorites were riding together. Andrew Starykowicz peeled off the front of the group to close the gap to Andersson. On the second lap, Andersson led the race through the Yas Marina Circuit, an F1

racetrack built around cided to drop out and a fully functional marode inland off the rina and hotel. The long course to avoid the course makes two full crowds and the inevilaps around this breathtable questions about taking racetrack—pros, why he didn’t finish, amateurs and media pedaling straight back were all giddy after ridto the Khalidiya Palace ing the same course as Rayhaan hotel where the world’s most adhe was staying. vanced race machines. While Starykowicz Although Starykowtried to ride away from icz never quite caught the men, Julie Dibens Andersson, the Swede had already estabeventually succumbed lished a substantial –Julie Dibens to the heat and dropped lead over second place out before the run. in the women’s race, Starykowicz assumed occupied by Caroline the lead as some of the athletes in the big Steffen. Dibens won the inaugural Abu group started to wither. McCormack deDhabi International, so she was familiar with the unique challenges of the 200K ride. “Even though it’s only 20K more than the Ironman distance, it seems exponentially worse as the race gets longer,” she said. “If you talk to most athletes that raced, the last 40K was pretty tough for everyone. Because of this, there is nowhere to hide, and the stronger riders can really open up a gap before the run.” Dibens did exactly that, and started the run with a lead of 8:28 over Steffen. The heat really started to grind on the pros once they were off the bike. “You got a lot hotter [on the bike] but you didn’t realize it because of the wind,” said Rhodes. “You didn’t know how hot your body had gotten Women’s winner Julie Dibens of Great Britain until you jumped off the bike. It made a big

Frederik Van Lierde, Marino Vanhoenacker, Dirk Bockel and Raynard Tissink go off the front and earn 2+ minutes on Craig Alexander.

Andersson drops out and Starykowicz assumes the lead.

Starykowicz starts the run in the lead, but overheats and blows up.

Crowie accelerates through the pack, but is slowed by cramps and never catches the leaders.

Catriona Morrison and Rachel Joyce duel for third place.

Defending champ Eneko Llanos succumbs to the heat and drops out.

Dirk Bockel “suffers from cramps for the first time ever” and loses the sprint for second to Marino Vanhoenacker.

Van Lierde moves to the front of the lead runners and opens a slight gap on the other three.

Van Lierde holds his lead and crosses the line in first.

Julie Dibens wins by a gigantic 5:22 margin over Caroline Steffen.

Rachael Paxton of Australia is the last pro to cross in 8:59. 58 pros started the race; only 37 made it to the finish.




Faris Al-Sultan



Abu Dhabi is known as an oasis in the middle of a desert, but the landscape outside the city limits bares no resemblance to the saguaro-spotted parks of the American Southwest. Endless sand dunes surround the city. Small rectangular buildings sprout from the unforgiving terrain. Construction insulates Abu Dhabi from the sand and wind, but fine, barely perceptible dust floats through the city and creates a strangely beautiful haze, especially at night. LED street lights that line the immaculate roads have a glowing halo. In stark contrast to the Arabian Desert, the grandeur of attractions such as the Grand Mosque, Emirates Palace and Ferrari World live up to Abu Dhabi’s lofty reputation for lavishness. Imagine the ornate décor of a Las Vegas hotel, except the attractions in Abu Dhabi don’t feel like they are a façade. The opulence is real and the buildings are palatial. Those sights are breathtaking, but many of the pros that toured the city after the race were most interested in the smaller-scale local cultural attractions. Bryan Rhodes was most affected by the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital. Dirk Bockel stayed an entire week to “enjoy the scenery” after the race. He went to the desert and rode a camel, and refilled his tank with elaborate brunches.


effect on the run.” Like Dibens, Starykowicz the course.” After having their finisher’s also took a substantial lead into T2, but medals presented by a sheikh, some of he was unable to keep his body cool, and the dazed pros stuck around to welcome eventually finished 10th before collapsing. the age-groupers who had just earned the A group of four runners separated from same, hard-fought finish. the rest of the field. Frederik Van Lierde, In the cab back to the Khalidiya Palace Dirk Bockel, Marino Vanhoenacker and Rayhaan hotel following the race, the driver Raynard Tissink emerged from the desert wanted to know where all these people fresher than anyone else and ran along were riding their bikes. When he heard the Corniche, Abu Dhabi’s scenic Gulfthe route, he started bouncing in his seat, side pathway and park, as a tight group. yelling, “Yas Marina, Yas Marina?” and These four traded blows throughout the laughing incredulously. The locals knew run along the turquoise-blue water, but it beforehand and the out-of-town racers no one was able to match Van Lierde’s learn after the 200K bike—12 miles longer final move. He won the race, but only 33 than an Ironman ride—and 20K run: Racing seconds separated the top four. through the Arabian Desert is laughably With Steffen and company far behind, difficult, even for the most hardened endurDibens started the run with the goal of ance athletes. By the time I arrived at the surviving the heat. At that point, “anyone hotel, several of the athletes who DNF’ed who hadn’t taken care of hydration and were already showered. If you fancy yournutrition early in the race started sufself a tough triathlete and want a race so fering,” said Dibens. “I was already havchallenging that it forced 12 Ironman wining some stomach issues, so I had been ners to drop out, Abu Dhabi will test your forced to slow down, which might have mettle. Afterward, the emirate’s opulent been a good thing in hindsight.” She used accommodations can pamper you back to this steady pace to earn a five-minutefull strength before you return home. plus victory. Dibens said she never actually overheated, but those behind her seemed to struggle more. Sixth-place finisher Leanda Cave had “some gut issues related to heat exhaustion, but [they were only] on the second half of the run, even though I did everything possible to stay cool,” she said. “There were plenty of opportunities to Andrew Starykowicz take on liquid and fuel on

YOUR BEST. EVERY SWIM. EVERY RIDE. EVERY RUN. EVERY TIME. Your heart knows you, and Polar knows your heart. The state of your body changes every day, especially when you’re in training. So adjusting the intensity levels of your sessions is essential to really maximize the benefits. But do you know how? We invented the RCX5 with the pioneering ZoneOptimizer to guide you. It listens to your body’s condition and adjusts your heart rate zones automatically, taking out the guesswork. So you train at the optimum level, every session – whether you are running, riding or swimming.

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South African pro Raynard Tissink takes in some Gu Chomps en route to an impressive victory—his third title, which broke his own course record (8:05:36)—at the Spec-Savers Ironman South Africa. PHOTOGRAPH BY KURT HOY





Q: W ν n    fi   ul?


where better choices can be made. But you need to be honest about portion sizes, and sometimes assumptions and estimates need to be made. Many trackers will also allow for exercise input, but donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t rely on the caloric budget generated by the appâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a lot more goes into caloric requirement than can be determined by even the smartest apps. Use it as a guide and a personal reference only.

Whether you want to gain or lose weight, change body composition or just eat more fruits and vegetables, diet trackers are a great accountability tool. The best apps will not only track the macronutrient content of your diet (fat, carbohydrate and protein) but will also show other valuable targets, including sodium, micronutrients, etc., indicating where you might be falling short and

Some of my favorites: Tap & Trackâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Calorie Tracker. Large database of common and brand/restaurant foods. Input options are fast and simple. Can be used offline and also has a Web interface you can sync with. (iPhone $3.99, also available for iPad $9.99)

Smartphones can be just that: smart. When the ability to track, monitor and educate is right at your fingertips, you are more likely to stick to resolutions and be more accountable for what you are eating. There are thousands of apps out there, and more being created every day.

Lose It! Streamlined, easy interface that allows you to quickly add foods and exercise details. You can e-mail or print reports and share your progress on Facebook or Twitter. Can also be used offline and has a Web interface. (iPhone, iPod touch and iPod, Free)

Android, BlackBerry $2.99. Lite version for iPhone is free.) SHOPPING , COOKING AND EATING OUT

The key to eating well is first shopping well. Apps are an incredible resource, especially when you are traveling. Search for local healthy food choices, look up the nearest farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; market, check out whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in season and what to do with it, or even compare best options from fast-food chains. Some of my favorites: Fooducate. Navigate food labels and ingredient listsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;simply scan a product and it will give you some of the highlights and lowlights. Will even alert you to food recalls. (iPhone, Free) Seafood Watch. Shop for and eat sustainable and healthy seafood no matter where you are or what the season is. (iPhone and Android, Free) Seasons. Locate farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; markets and what is in season locally. (iPhone $1.99) Whole Foods Market Recipes. Find the nearest Whole Foods market plus browse for healthy recipes including those for various dietary requirements. (iPhone and iPad, Free)

For more nutrition and training apps, scan the barcode with your smartphone or check out




Calorie Tracker by Livestrong. Big brand backing and possibly the most popular of the diet trackers. Search will bring up just about every possibility, plus you can input your own foods and meals for easy adds. (iPhone, iPad,


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SWEET TREATS Here are four tasty options when you need an extra shot of energy to keep you going on a long ride or run



Honey Stinger Waffles (vanilla) $1.39 Released earlier this year, the vanilla flavor of Honey Stinger Waffles is a delicious twist on the honey-based waffles, which look and taste almost exactly like stroopwafels sold in the streets of the Netherlands and popular among European cyclists. Originally suggested by Honey Stinger co-owner Lance Armstrong, these waffles are quickly becoming a favorite among triathletes looking for a quick 160 calories of organic energy.


Iron Girl Energy Bar $0.99 PowerBar and Iron Girl teamed up this spring to create the new Iron Girl Energy Bar, available at Target in cocoa crunch or strawberry and cranberry flavors. Inspired by the Iron Girl events, this bar is made specifically for women, containing calcium, B vitamins and iron. It’s soft and chewy, made with real fruit or cocoa, and contains 160 calories, 3 grams of protein and 29 grams of total carbs (in the strawberry and cranberry flavor).


Nutrilite Energy Bar $20.97 for box of 9 bars From Nutrilite’s line of sports nutrition products come these delicious energy bars, which contain 18 grams of carbohydrate, 14 grams of protein and 180 calories (vanilla pretzel flavor). Also available in chocolate nut roll (the most popular) and mixed berry smoothie, these bars have antioxidants and are chewy and not too sweet. The pretzels add a great crunch in the vanilla pretzel flavor.


Clif Bar (coconut chocolate chip) $1.39 Clif Bar just added coconut chocolate chip to its flavor lineup of the company’s original (and bestselling) energy bar. It has all-natural ingredients and is 70 percent organic, with an incredibly tasty yet light flavor. With 43 grams of carbs, 10 grams of protein, and 240 calories, it’ll give you a boost (plus a great aftertaste).








BREAK THROUGH YOUR PERFORMANCE PLATEAU If you’re an athlete like me, you’re competitive. You want to feel good and have fun. But it’s no fun when you feel terrible during your workout. Or when you can’t train because you’re still feeling tired and sore from your last workout. If you want to run faster and feel stronger while you exercise with less muscle fatigue and soreness afterwards … you have to increase your body’s ability to transport and use oxygen. It’s called your aerobic capacity, or VO2 max. When you maximize your aerobic capacity, you maximize your endurance. When you just can’t increase your endurance, it means your aerobic capacity has reached its limit. It’s that simple. Maybe you’ve tried caffeine-spiked sports drinks. Caffeine gives your central nervous system a temporary jolt. You’ll stay alert, but that’s all. Everything else stays the same. As a multisport athlete, I look for products using state of the art science to maximize endurance. One such product is VO2-BOOST (see Biomedical Research Laboratories, which makes the product, claims it has found a safe and highly effective way to maximize endurance . The science behind the claim. One of the BEST ways to improve your endurance is to increase your VO2 max. To make this happen, you need to increase your body’s ability to absorb and use more oxygen throughout your blood stream and your body … leading to more strength and endurance when you exercise. VO2-BOOST’s Endurance Complex™, a patentpending blend of six key ingredients, contains Rhodiola rosea, Echinacea purpurea, Cordyceps Sinesis, Green Tea Catechins, Beta-Alanine, and Quercetin. Each active ingredient has been the subject of multiple double-blind, placebo-

controlled studies on their ability to maximize aerobic capacity and endurance.1,2 These results indicate that VO2-BOOST could be the most powerful, effective sports product available for increasing your aerobic capacity. My experience with VO2-BOOST. I’d been running often but my speed wasn’t improving. My lungs never stopped burning. I was so tired and sore afterwards that I needed at least a day to recover. Then my coach told me about VO2-BOOST. I checked out the website,, and reviewed the clinical research. I decided to try it. After just two weeks I was running faster, my lungs weren’t burning, and I didn’t feel sore after my workout. The secret behind the formula. It seemed obvious that VO2-BOOST was working. I figured it was due to the six main ingredients. But then I spoke with exercise physiologist Dr. Geraldo Calandro, who has taught and worked in the fields of exercise, biomechanics and kinesiology since 1971. I told Dr. Calandro about the six main ingredients of the Endurance Complex™. He informed me that for the product to be successful, the formula would also have to contain iron, B complex vitamins, and folic acid. When I read all these ingredients off the label to Dr. Calandro, he stated, “It certainly would be working for you if all those ingredients are there. It’s exactly what’s needed to be effective.” So you’re getting a six-fold effect on your athletic endurance when you take VO2-BOOST. Although you may find one or two of these ingredients in other, more expensive products, VO2-BOOST is the only product I’ve found that brings them all together in one powerful, unique, reasonably priced formula.

The testimony of elite athletes using VO2BOOST indicates that VO2-BOOST’s efficacy goes far beyond just helping a regular athlete like me see results. Bob Cummings, a Category 2 cyclist stated “I have been using VO2-BOOST for 8 weeks now. I am amazed at the performance increase I have experienced … I genuinely feel that your product has had a major role in my success.” Mr. Cummings is not alone in his praise of VO2BOOST. Gilbert Kiptoo, a top marathon runner from Kenya stated “I have been using VO2-BOOST for several months and I have been winning many of my races. This product has really made a difference … It works great.” The product has appeared in several magazines and dozens of websites and blogs. My review of the scientific evidence, my own experience and the experience of elite athletes demonstrate that VO2-BOOST will enhance your athletic performance better than any other product available today. You’ll see and feel the results almost immediately. You’ll run faster, feel stronger, and experience less muscle fatigue and tiredness after you exercise. Your performance results will increase dramatically. You’ll enjoy your workouts more because you’ll feel better the whole time. I know I have. When’s your next event? You can try VO2BOOST now risk-free and see for yourself if the VO2 max enhancers work for you. You can order VO2-BOOST at or by calling 800-780-4331. If you order VO2-BOOST this month, you’ll be eligible for free enrollment into the Ultimate Athlete Club and save 25% off your purchase. Whitehead et al. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, 17 (2007): 378-9

1 2

Eichenberger et al. Int J Vitam Nutr Res, 79 (2009):24-33



New York chef Michael Siry, winner of Food Network’s “Chopped,” went from being a “little meatball” to an Ironman by bethany leach Mavis

reality cooking show fans might rec-

ognize Michael Siry, the New York Citybased chef with the Jersey accent and bubbly personality, as one of the winners on the show “Chopped.” He’s also been recognized as a 2010 Grey Poupon Chef of the Year. But before his recent professional recognition, it was through triathlon that he lost 125 pounds and took control of his life.

“Triathlon has really touched my life. It really has given me discipline. And the whole life of triathlon is just being dedicated to your health.”

186 | July 2011

improve on our menus,” he says. When asked about his culinary style, he sees himself as a “jack of all trades,” he says, because he knows a lot of different cuisines, which is critical to his job. Of the six restaurants, three are Big Daddy’s (family-style, retro restaurants with burgers, shakes, salads and sandwiches); two are Duke’s (roadhouse-style with ribs and Southern specialties); and one is City Crab (contemporary seafood). When he cooks for himself, he enjoys “mixing some international ingredients into American traditional techniques of

cooking,” he says. “I must have over 300 cookbooks, so I do get a lot of ideas from that, and from taking my own approach on fine cuisine, but using classical techniques and exotic ingredients.” He gets the chance to be really creative when he hosts dinner parties—to combine his culinary expertise with his “whimsical and classical training.” His culinary versatility can be traced back to his childhood. Born and raised in Englewood, N.J., he was always in the kitchen with his grandmothers. “One side of my family is Polish and Lithuanian, and the other side is Ecuadorian and Italian,”

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“Triathlon has really touched my life,” he says. “It really has given me discipline. And the whole life of triathlon is just being dedicated to your health.” Now in his 40s, Siry’s especially grateful for the lessons learned through triathlon, including the discipline to fit training into his demanding work schedule. As the executive corporate chef and head of culinary for Branded Restaurants, he usually spends one day a week at each of the company’s six New York City restaurant locations working directly with chefs. He’s essentially responsible for anything related to culinary operations—food, plating, recipes. “I’m always looking for something better, the newest craze, trying to always

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July 2011 |




he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;On my momâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sideâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the ItalianEcuadorian, I was canning tomatoes, making fresh pasta, stuff like that. And on the other side I was making pierogis and sausages and stuffed cabbages.â&#x20AC;? At age 13, he bought Joy of Cooking and cooked almost every recipe in it. He went to a vocational technical high school, Bergen Technical School in Hackensack, N.J., followed by the Culinary Institute of America in New York, where he graduated with honors. He briefly moved to Europe to help in restaurants before returning to New York to immediately begin work as a chef. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As I buried myself with working long hours into my 30s, I just started packing on the weight,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Before I knew it I was over 300 pounds. And Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m only 5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;6â&#x20AC;?. I was a little meatball.â&#x20AC;? The extra weight led to high blood pressure, dangerous blood sugar levels and a family who worried about him. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I had to make a changeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;I had to take a hard look at myself,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But I took control of my life.â&#x20AC;? After getting a Lap-Band in his mid-30s to jump-start the weight loss, Siry started running with his cousin, who brought up the idea of doing a triathlon. Siry subscribed to triathlon magazines, bought a bike, joined a pool and hired a swim instructor. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how to train,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I

N York S Siryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favorite â&#x20AC;Ś



surgery on it earlier this year, which removed 80 percent of it. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signed up for Ironman Cozumel this year and still plans to race (and walk the marathon) before having his meniscus replaced in 2012. In the meantime, he has the M-dot Ironman logo plastered on his chef jackets and hat as inspiration (he paid to have the traditional M-dot tattoo designed but couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stand the thought of needles). â&#x20AC;&#x153;I guess you have to have the passion for both of them,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The passion for the training and the lifestyle, and then passion for your job. And then the discipline to hold it all together."

Soba Noodle Salad with Poached Duck Egg Siry chose this light salad because he loves to play with different tastes, and he likes to make refreshing, energy-boosting foods. The dish includes protein from the duck eggs (slightly more than chicken eggs) and soba noodles, as well as carbohydrates from the soba noodles.

Ingredients 4 ounces soba noodles, cooked* 1 scallion, thinly sliced diagonally 1 carrot, cut into thin strips ½ red pepper cut into thin strips 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds 1 tablespoon honey 3 tablespoons soy sauce ½ teaspoon sesame oil 2 teaspoons olive oil 6 grinds of pepper Ingredients for poached duck egg: 2 duck eggs** 10 grinds of black pepper 4 coriander seeds, crushed 2 pinches of sea salt ½ teaspoon honey

Directions Make soba salad by combining all ingredients. Hold on the side at room temperature. For the poached duck egg, bring water to a simmer (180 degrees and 4 inches deep). Lay down two 8-inch x 8-inch sheets of plastic wrap. Brush plastic with honey and sprinkle the dry ingredients (black pepper, coriander seeds, sea salt) on top. Place the plastic wrap over two coffee cups. Drop one egg in each cup on top of the plastic. Twist the top of the plastic and drop in simmering water. Simmer for about four minutes or until white has set. Add to salad, as shown. *To cook the soba noodles, place them for four minutes in boiling, well-salted water. Drain and toss with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Let them air-dry on a sheet pan lightly covered with a moist towel. **Chicken eggs can be substituted.


Local races: Wyckoff-Franklin Lakes Triathlon in Wyckoff, N.J. (sprint distance); Westchester Triathlon (Olympic distance) Swim training spots: Asphalt Green; 92nd Street Y Bike training spots: For longer distances, he rides his favorite 30-mile loop that takes him to the West Side, over the George Washington Bridge and along the Hudson River. For shorter rides, he does laps around Central Park, a 6-mile loop. Run training spots: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Usually I run along the East Riverâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;along the water. And sometimes I run in Central Park.â&#x20AC;? Bike shop: Strictly Bicycles, owned by Nelson Gutierrez, in Fort Lee, N.J.

went out and biked and went out and ran.â&#x20AC;? He couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t join a triathlon team, though, because of his hectic work schedule. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I do all my training on my own because I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t commit to the hours that those guys do.â&#x20AC;? He completed some sprint-distance races his first season, finished an Olympic his second season as part of Team in Training, raced Ironman 70.3 Timberman for his first half-Ironman and then, in 2009, completed Ironman Lake Placid in 16:03:36. By then his weight was down to 195 pounds. In 2010, he was signed up for two more Ironmans but tore his meniscus and had

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Do you need to withdraw from daily coffee to reap caffeine performance benefits? BY GREGORY COX, R.D.

CAFFEINE IS AN ESSENTIAL daily ritual for many

ers consume either a measured caffeine dose of 3 mg per kilogram or a placebo (caffeine withdrawal) for four days before a 60-minute cycling time trial. On day five, the day of the time trial, subjects consumed either 3 mg per kilogram of caffeine or a placebo 90 minutes before starting, which created four groups: placebo-placebo, placebo-caffeine, caffeine-placebo, caffeine-caffeine. Performance time improved by 3 percent after acute caffeine ingested following a withdrawal and by 3.6 percent following no withdrawal. So Whether or not test subjects underwent whether or not subjects underwent a withdrawal period, they found that exercise a withdrawal, their performance performance was similarly improved by was similarly improved by the pre-time the pre-time trial caffeine dose. trial caffeine dose. The bottom line: It appears there is no need to “abstain” from caffeine in the But there’s still debate as to whether a daily coflead-up to your next race. Good news for all the fee dampens your potential for caffeine to improve coffee drinkers! exercise performance. Australian researchers recently investigated this in the Journal of Sports Gregory Cox is a registered dietitian and has a Sciences. They had well-trained, regular coffee drinkmaster’s degree in sports nutrition. triathletes. (There’s a reason training rides end at cafés and so many bike shops offer coffee!) And by now, there’s no denying the power of caffeine to boost performance in endurance athletes. This practice is well-supported with scientific studies showing that doses of 3–6 mg per kilogram (about 2–4 mg per pound) taken before or during endurance exercise makes you go faster.

Caff T Coffee, although it contains caffeine, does not appear to have the same performance-boosting effect as pure caffeine, probably due to other compounds it contains. So on race day or for key workouts, try a caffeinated gel or sports drink for the best effects. Experiment in training, and remember that more is not better when it comes to dosage. To mix into a sports drink, try First Endurance PreRace ($39.95 for 20 servings, 200 mg caffeine per serving, Firstendurance. com). For something a little more solid, try Clif Shot Turbo Double Expresso ($1.29, 100 mg caffeine per serving,




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July 2011 | 191 3/11/11 10:49 AM


healthful hints

Breakfast Made Faster

mornings a scramble? Don’t resort to the drive-through— there are plenty of quick, healthy options to get in the most important meal of the day Fast FooD at home

English muffins are quick and can be topped with a range of options. try egg; avocado; almond butter and banana; tomato and ricotta cheese; cottage cheese and honey.

Fast FooD to go

Smoothies: Great portable breakfasts that can change with season and mood. include protein either in the form of yogurt or some whey powder.


Get organized: Shop and prepare. Having a stocked fridge and pantry is more than half the challenge and will put you well on your way to easy and fast meals. Get things ready the night before and consider cooking in batches. Invest in some sealable portable containers and some Ziploc bags—even a small cooler lunch bag. This will keep food palatable and safe to eat. Make time, not excuses. Healthy food is an investment, not an inconvenience.

Quick ideas before you run out the door

Oatmeal: Microwave while you are doing other things. Or cook up a larger pot and reheat in portions. instant oatmeal is obviously quick—just beware of added sugar.

Soaked bircher muesli: soak oats with a little yogurt overnight. add some grated apple, sliced peaches or berries and a handful of raw nuts before eating. this can also be portable.

Fruit salad: Cut up the fruit the night before if necessary (squeeze a little lemon or lime juice on to stop browning and cover tightly). top with yogurt or cottage cheese and a handful of nuts.

Portable, post-training ideas Muffins: either savory or sweet. Whole grains, including oats and quinoa, can be incorporated to add nutrients and protein, and increase satiety. they also keep the muffins dense and moist. these can be made in larger batches and even kept frozen until needed. Just take out the night before and defrost in the fridge or reheat in the oven. Sliced apple, nuts and a slice of cheese. | July 2011

Breakfast wraps: fill and go. endless options (see english muffin toppings above). One-handed eating.

Mini frittatas: they are great cold or can be reheated and are also a really good way of getting more vegetables.


They are quicker than you think. Drop two slices of whole-grain bread into the toaster while you scramble two eggs. Throw in some baby spinach and halved cherry tomatoes—3 minutes tops.

jon davis;; markGiLLow; LauripattErson

Breakfast couscous or rice pudding: Cook grain (in a larger batch if you want) using a little apple juice mixed with water to add sweetness and some cinnamon to taste. top with yogurt and fruit, or stir in some sultanas. (Just keep the added sugar in check.) these spoon foods are not ideal for the car.



My DAy oN A PlATe

Each month, nutritionist and pro triathlete Pip Taylor digs into a reader’s food diary and offers advice for eating, performing and feeling your best

Leslie Cornick

Age: 46 Years in Triathlon: 14 Club: Alaska Tri Team. I train with Peak Center, Alaska in Anchorage. Triathlon goal: I did my first Ironman this past November in Arizona, and finished well over my 15-hour goal (16:20:55) after getting hypothermic on the swim. My goal is to get faster and more efficient. Nutrition goal: Drop four to five more pounds of body fat—from 22 percent to 18 percent.


TriAThleTe.Com | July 2011

My Day 6 a.m. Coffee with vanilla Coffee-mate, and a piece of honey wheat oat bread with a small amount of butter. 7 a.m. 40-minute recovery run on the treadmill. Hammer Gel before the run, then one bottle of water with one scoop of Hammer HeeD. I train with a great coach who does physiological-based training, and I aim to replace 50 percent of my carbohydrates during any given workout.

8 a.m. Smoothie with vanilla soy milk, ground flax seed, low-fat plain yogurt, cinnamon, whey protein powder (Hammer), banana and strawberries. 11 a.m. lunch is a salad of arugula, baby spinach, whole wheat penne, goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, Parmesan, pine nuts, and lemon juice. 12:30 p.m. 2,000 yards of speed drills in the pool 2 p.m. Trio bar and some water ASAP post-swim

3 p.m. At meeting with colleague, I have a 12-ounce nonfat mocha made with über dark chocolate, no whipped cream. I usually only have one cup of coffee a day, but was feeling a little tired this week. 6:30 p.m. Dinner of panseared halibut (which we caught ourselves—bonus of living in Alaska) with quinoa, and an arugula salad with roasted acorn squash, craisins, shallots and a sprinkle of Parmesan, with a dressing of olive oil and red wine vinegar. Two glasses of Chardonnay. 9:30 p.m. off to bed!

Pip’s Suggestions As a single-day snapshot, there are plenty of healthy aspects here (I am particularly envious of your self-caught wild fish). However, there is also a bit of reliance on sports foods (gels, drinks, recovery mixes and bars) for what is essentially a light/recovery day. You’re better off saving these types of foods for when you really need to get in convenient and condensed calories around intense workouts. Instead, focus on increasing nutritional content through real foods whenever possible. If your goal is to drop body fat, consider the following: Do morning recovery runs fasted—no breakfast. Take a sports drink or gel during the run if needed, but if it is an easy session, eat afterward. However if you are doing quality or intensity work, focus on being adequately fueled. Recovery nutrition immediately afterward needs to include both carbohydrate as well as protein. By 8 a.m. you’ve consumed a lot of liquid calories. These are often very easy to ingest and will not provide the same satiating effect as solid foods, even if they are equi-caloric.

Skip the artificial sweeteners and flavors in your coffee—try it black or with a dash of real milk. Also be wary of nonfat foods and drinks. Nonfat usually indicates that it is likely to be high in sugar and calories. Smaller portions of full-fat (and natural) products are better and much more satisfying. Sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and Parmesan make a tasty combo (and are nutritious in moderation) but they pack a caloric and high-fat punch, as do the dried fruits. I would suggest forgoing one or two of these ingredients and instead adding in some lean protein such as a small sliced steak or some poached chicken or an egg. This protein will help to keep you alert and satiated into the afternoon and stave off snacking temptations. Wine is an obvious and easy thing to cut to reduce calories quickly. This elimination alone would make a significant difference over time. The bottom line: Your training volume and intensity—and perhaps some strength training—will be key, along with good nutrition, for meeting your body composition and athletic goals. If you have more specific nutrition concerns, meet with a qualified sports nutrition professional.


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a Bad day


By Bob Babbitt it is November of 2009. More than 2,000

triathletes are about to jump into the chilly water of Tempe Town Lake for the start of Ford Ironman Arizona. The air temperature is see-your-breath cold, it’s still dark and you don’t have to go very far to see the look of terror in the eyes of brand-new Ironman hopefuls. The announcement comes that it’s time to toss the stocking caps and sweatshirts aside and take the plunge. One athlete at the back of the wetsuit-clad group stands out from the rest by being shorter than them all. Without his legs on, he’s barely 4 feet tall. He has long arms and an upper torso chiseled from swimming countless miles. He’s one of the most decorated Paralympians around, winning two golds in the 200 individual medley: one in Athens and one in Beijing. Six weeks earlier he had tried to become the first double above-knee amputee to finish Ironman Hawaii but missed the bike cutoff time by 15 minutes. It can be tough riding a regulation bike without quadriceps and hamstrings in the heat and wind of Hawaii. But nothing in 21-year-old Rudy Garcia-Tolson’s life has ever been easy. A birth defect left him with nonfunctioning legs. He had 15 operations before age 5 that did nothing to

help straighten his legs or allow him to be like the other kids. His options? Either live his life in a wheelchair or have both legs amputated above the knee. He chose the latter. Yep. At the age of 5 he made the choice and his parents and doctors followed his lead. He learned to swim and, along the way, formed a relationship with prosthetist Michael Davidson from Loma Linda University Medical Center in Southern California. When Sandy, the young man’s mother, asked when Rudy would start running after the amputation, Davidson thought she was joking. No double above-knee amputee had ever run, and very few were getting around without a walker. Davidson remembers his first meeting with 6-year-old Rudy Garcia-Tolson. “I walked in and Rudy was doing a handstand on the walker,” Davidson remembers. “I realized then that if he wanted to run, I’d better figure it out.” The two have been working together ever since to improve prosthetics. Rudy would break leg after leg until they were perfect. “One time Rudy was telling me there was a problem with his walking leg and when I turned it over, Tootsie Rolls fell out,” says Davidson, laughing. “I forgot that my collaborator was only 9 years old and was looking for a place to

200 | July 2011

hunter king

Bob Babbitt is the co-founder of Competitor magazine, the co-founder of the Challenged Athletes Foundation, the host of Competitor Radio and the 10th inductee into the Ironman Triathlon Hall of Fame. To hear his interviews with more than 500 endurance legends, visit

stash candy, just like any other kid.” At this moment in Arizona, Rudy is without legs and walking on plastic stubbies to the water’s edge. He makes his way through the crowd and the rumbling begins. “It’s Rudy!” someone yells. Chants of “Rudy” reverberate and the applause grows louder. For the first-timers, this day in the desert will be a serious leap of faith. They are scared—and with good reason. In a few minutes they will dive into cold, murky water and attempt to finish 140.6 miles before midnight. The tension that was so thick just moments before has all but disappeared. Fear and doubt have been replaced with calm. “If this young man thinks he can do this,” they say to themselves, “why can’t I?” Rudy brings hope, and they bring undying support. And at the end of the day? They will all be Ironmen.




















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The Transition Backpack is engineered for extreme accessibility, ensuring that you can find everything you need, right when you need it, allowing you to shave precious seconds off your time at each transition. With inner compartments tailored to all three disciplines, the Transition Backpack opens up like a tool kit so that all your gear is perfectly organized and laid out in front of you. There isn’t any other pack out there like it. That’s why there isn’t any pack that’s as fast as it.


2011-07 Triathlete  
2011-07 Triathlete