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ii ISSUE 38




hhEmma Moffatt

One of six Australian triathletes going for Olympic gold











9 771837 909002

Zoggs, Speedo and more

ii New to Cyclocross and off-

road bikes? We test a beauty








MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR Jim Flynn FINANCIAL CONTROLLER Stuart Harle PRODUCTION MANAGER Ian Scott Distributed by Network Services Company in Australia and Netlink in NZ.

PUBLISHED BY Citrus Media PO Box 20154 World Square NSW 2002 (02) 9186 9186 © Citrus Media 2016. All rights reserved. No articles or images may be reproduced wholly or in part without prior written permission from the publisher. Citrus Media is a division of Media Factory Pty Ltd. This magazine is published under license from Origin Publishing Ltd in the UK. All rights in the licensed material belong to Origin Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without its prior written consent. The names “220Triathlon” and “220Triathlon Australia/NZ” are the property of Origin Publishing Ltd.


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While every care was taken during the preparation of this magazine, Citrus Media cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information or any consequence arising from it. All judgements are based on equipment available to Citrus Media at the time of review. ‘Value for money’ comments are based on prices at the time of publication. Citrus Media takes no responsibility for the content of external websites whose addresses are published.

his is a year of massive events, especially in Australia. It feels like every month my tri senses will be tingling. In September the Sunshine Coast is going to light up with the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, with our muddy friends close on its heels for the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in November. What a time it is to be an Aussie – the green and gold has already started flying here at the 220 offices. It’s our chance to show the world what we’ve got and share some of the drop-deadgorgeous landscapes we have on offer. Find out more about these events on page 26. Of course, while we’re all riding the tri hype train here on home soil, this year the Rio Olympics has become the all-consuming focus for triathlon fans worldwide. With a mix of veterans and Olympic newbies, our Aussie team is looking strong and ready to do us proud. The full Olympic team has now been announced and athletes Ashleigh Gentle, Erin Densham, Emma Moffatt, Aaron Royle, Ryan Bailie and Ryan Fisher are deep into their prep. All eyes might be on the pros, but that doesn’t mean our own training can slacken. It might be in the dark winter days of the year but, as Australians, it never gets so cold that training goes out the window. As you start prepping and planning your year ahead, we go tip crazy this issue to dump every bit of knowledge we can to work out those kinks. On page 33 we dive into 101 tips and tricks for race day and training, and on page 45 we get swim-specific with 10 key tips from some of the world’s leading swimmers to help you smash your swim this year. And as a little bonus, Mel Hauschildt also shares her more... well, practical swim tips – more in the vein of avoiding that dreaded chaffing. Tech heads can rejoice as we have pages and pages of gear news, bike reviews, and a massive grouptest. On page 86 we pit eight of the best goggles against each other in a battle royale for the top contender. Meanwhile, on page 84 we jump aboard the Norco Threshold 105, the bright orange cyclocross/off-road beast that we’ve been using to tear up the bush. As always, train hard, stay safe and settle in for the next six months of triathlon hitting you from every side. If you ever want to chat about all things tri, send me an email at Trent van der Jagt – Editor


This magazine can be recycled for use in newspapers and packaging. Please remove any gifts, samples or wrapping and dispose of it appropriately.

WHAT 220 MEANS The original method of estimating your training heart rate range was to find your theoretical maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.



The Australian Olympic team has settled into their training, ready to show the world what they’ve got.

triathlon tips feature – and we assure you, there’s as much quality as there is quantity.





Australia has become the battle ground for not just one World Championship, but two. We share more tips than you could dream of in our 101

We hit the bush, mud, sand – anything but bitumen – on the new Norca Threshold 105 to see how it fared.

Open your eyes to what’s hot and what’s not in our massive goggle grouptest. We test eight to find out which comes out on top.



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CONTENTS PLANET TRI 8 TRI SNAP SHOTS Catch up on all the thrills and spills from the world of triathlon

12 TRI NEWS A massive new Challenge event in Slovakia; and meet Australia’s Olympic team of six

16 ATHLETE Q&A Aussie/GBR ITU start Liz Blatchford answers your tri questions

18 WEEKEND WARRIOR Each issue we profile the best agegroup racers on the tri scene. This time round, it’s Sydney’s Ben Coventry

20 ELITE FOCUS Meet – if you haven’t already – 2016 Ironman Australia winner Beth Gerdes

22 MEL HAUSCHILDT First time taking on the open water? Mel has some sage wisdom for you with her top 10 open-water tips GROUPTEST








TEST CENTRE 78 TRI GEAR The biggest brands and newest gadgets tested by our expert team

84 BIKE TEST We get our cyclocross on with Canada’s Norco Threshold 105

86 GROUPTEST Eight goggles, one winner – although there were plenty that impressed



90 GEAR FOCUS We’re all about the tri suit in this one – here’s everything you need to know


FEATURES 26 BRAVE NEW WORLDS For the first time, Australia will host both the Ironman 70.3 and ITU World Cross Championships. We preview these exciting 2016 events...

33 THE ULTIMATE 101 TRAINING TIPS More wisdom than you can shake an energy bar at as six of the world’s best coaches share their critical advice for reaching your tri potential





Feeling the open-water terror? Conquer your fears and discover the secrets of the elites with our comprehensive guide

Raise lactate threshold and boost endurance with coach John Wood’s interval sessions



Ramp up the intensity with Nik Cook’s pyramid workout to build bike pace

54 PHYSIO FOCUS Resident physio Emma Deakin is back with her top tips for helping you to get the most out of the off-season

62 RUN Spencer Smith presents what he believes is the most important run session for triathletes

56 TRI RESEARCH The very latest research and discoveries from the world of sports science and triathlon

64 TRAINING PLAN We enter the build phases of our sixmonth off-season training plan



Our experts answer this issue’s batch of tri-related reader questions

A delicious and nutritious recipe for spiced red lentil dhal



Dietitian Nigel Mitchell on tailoring your intake for key workouts

Our resident dietitian looks at the diet of an age grouper and offers his sage advice





The Gold Coast-based English triathlon superstar answers your questions about everything from tackling your first tri to running through her toughest training day See page 16

The Ironman Australia winner has enjoyed one hell of a run in recent times. She sits down for a chat with us here, and talks us through her Ironman Australia race-day experience on page 94 See page 20

Our resident world champ is back again to share her tri knowledge with us mere mortals. This time round, she’s got her best bits of advice for surviving the open water See page 22





The Yokohama leg of the ITU World Series offers a duo of chances for reflection on the 40km bike leg. In the Paratriathlon event, Aussie Bill Chaffey cruises across the line in style.



News, views, columns, new gear and insider perspectives – your essential 16-page guide to the latest from the world of triathlon




There are picturesque races in the world, but there’s something magical about racing through the canals of Venice and exploring the crisp Italian countryside by bike.



“Ibiza without the attitude,” says the New York Times of the island of Florianopolis. The city hosted plenty of tri attitude in May, however, with Canada’s Brent McMahon recording the second-fastest Ironman time in history (7:46:10).





The 70.3 Barcelona event actually takes place some 50km out of the Catalonian capital, at Calella, where some 2,500 triathletes lined up at dawn on the shores of the Mediterranean.



Alistair Brownlee was a hometown hero after his Leeds win. The podium was rounded out by Jonathan Brownlee and Aussie favourite Aaron Royle taking the bronze.





Tim Van Berkel has been a man on a mission this year, powering forward to this massive win in Cairns. The tatted triathlete couldn’t contain his excitement at getting back on top. TRIATHLON220.COM.AU I 11


TRI NEWS The latest stories from the world of multisport, analysed and discussed

Sadly the water park isn’t part of ‘The Championship’, but the facilities at Slovakia’s X-Bionic Sphere will be a major draw for athletes


CHALLENGE CHAMPS Slovakia is set to host a brand new Championship middle-distance event in 2017. But will the new location work out for international racers? ith Ironman scooping up its race contracts, a failed tilt at the American tri market and a whole heap of bother in the Middle East, the year 2015 was a rocky one for the Challenge Family race organiser. The German-based outfit has come out all guns blazing in 2016, however, with tasty new races in Iceland, Brazil, several in Asia and more, confirmation that Jan Frodeno will attempt to break the iron-distance record at Challenge Roth near Nuremberg in July, and now the long-awaited announcement of The Championship event.




Announced at a major media launch in April, The Championship is a new half-distance (1.9km swim/90km bike/21.1km run) championship race that’ll take place at the X-Bionic Sphere in Šamorín, Slovakia, on June 3, 2017. The race will feature a swim in the Danube before a closed-road bike leg and then a run around the complex. The event will carry a minimum €150,000 (around $233,000) prize purse for pro racers, who can qualify through Challenge’s worldwide events. Creating a championship feel, the event will offer pro athletes who achieve a top-five spot at Rio

2016, a top three finish in the 2016 ITU World Triathlon Series endof-season rankings, the 2016 ITU Long Distance World Championship, the Ironman World Championship or Ironman 70.3 World Champs a place on the starting pontoon on the Danube in June 2017. “It’s been planned for three or four years, it’s one of the most common questions we get asked by race directors, the media and athletes,” said Zibi Szlufcik, the Challenge Family CEO, to 220 after the launch. “We wanted a real contribution to the triathlon world and didn’t want to rush the process. And what we’ve introduced is

exactly that, with a fantastic venue in the heart of Europe. It’s a great location from a hospitality and a race venue perspective.” The Central Europe location of Šamorín lies 25km south of Slovakia’s capital Bratislava and 70km from Vienna’s airport in Austria. Although Slovakia is far from a country dripping with triathlon history, the facilities at the X-Bionic Sphere will be the major draw for athletes, with the 100-hectare complex featuring a 50m outdoor pool and a 25m indoor pool, three children’s pools, a gym, an athletics stadium and much more. Šamorín will host the


46 Number of qualifying races worldwide

3/6/2017 2 1,000,000m Date of the debut The Championship

Size of the specially-constructed X-Bionic Sphere complex

$233,000 Number of Challenge races in AUS/NZ

Pro prize purse at The Championship

27 The number of Olympic sports that can train at the X-Bionic Sphere

800 Years, age of the town of Šamorín

Spectator capacity in the complex

The German-based brand is capable of organising the greatest triathlons on the planet 2017 and 2019 editions of the race, with the 2018 Championship set to take place outside Europe.

AG QUALIFYING Age-group athletes will be able to qualify with a top six age-group finish at any Challenge event worldwide from now until Challenge Rimini in Italy in May 2017, while the top three teams in the male, female and mixed categories in Challenge relay events will also qualify. With the Ironman 70.3 World Championship taking place in Mooloolaba, Queensland, in 2016 and Chattanooga, Tennessee,

in 2017 (and a post-Olympics year), The Championship will look to capitalise on European athletes not wanting to travel across the world for their middle-distance champs fixes. And top age-grouper Jane Hansom is upbeat about its prospects. “It’s about time there was an equivalent to the Ironman 70.3 World Champs,” says the age-grouper who has raced both the 70.3 and full Ironman Worlds. “The Championship will give Ironman a run for its money and provide some healthy competition. I’d race a Challenge Family overseas event just to qualify for

Slovakia – the facilities are amazing and the place looks like the bomb!”

BRAND REVIVAL The bomb or not, Challenge has much to do to restore its famed athlete-first reputation. Last year saw the brand announce a very late cancellation of its Challenge Bahrain to leave many athletes with air flights and no race to go to, and also revealed a similarly short-noticed removal of its professional prize purse from some of its new – and heavily promoted – American events in 2015, which have since returned to the Rev3 brand.

However, as anyone who has been fortunate enough to experience the 220,000-person strong atmosphere at Challenge Roth will testify, the Germanbased brand is capable of organising some of the greatest triathlons on the planet. With an intrigued local population, an extraordinary venue and the potential for the world’s best Olympic-, middle- and long-distance athletes to go head-to-head, The Championship could cement Challenge’s renaissance as a genuine rival to the Ironman hegemony – which can only be a good thing. Q 220 TRIATHLON220.COM.AU I 13



SIX STRONG HEADING TO RIO The team representing Australia at Rio has been announced and with some Olympic fresh meat joining Olympic vets, they’re looking in tip-top shape


ith two Olympic bronze medallists and a handful of fresh Olympic faces looking to make their debut, the Aussie team is looking strong, confident and pumped for Rio. Veterans Erin Densham and Emma Moffatt are all set to go down in the history books as they compete in their third Olympic Games apiece. With that kind of experience, they’ll no doubt feel right at home. Meanwhile, Ashleigh Gentle has been strong all year and we’re sure she’ll be in race form for Rio.

Ryan Bailie, Ryan Fisher and Aaron Royle round out the Olympic crew with plenty of youth, talent and enthusiasm. While the nerves are sure to hit the first-timers, they have proven themselves as seasoned athletes with some stunning results at the WTS Gold Coast. Both Royle and Bailie are team-mates training in Wollongong under world-class coach Jamie Turner, to whom the pair attribute much of their success, and both have started training in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain’s Basque country, to prepare for their debut.

The Aussie women have been able to secure a podium finish at every Olympic Games since the sport was first introduced in 2000, while the best male performance was a fourth from Greg Bennett in 2004. Royle, Bailie and Fisher are planning on showing the world what the Aussies have by blazing the tough course around Copacabana Beach and Ipanema in Rio. The final Olympic team for Australia will feature roughly 440 athletes with returning athletes and newcomers alike.



GOOS STABBED Belgian pro triathlete Sofie Goos is recovering in hospital after she was stabbed with a knife during a training run in Antwerp. “I was stabbed without any reason or motive,” said the BMC-Etixx team member after the incident. A 26-year-old man has been arrested in conjunction with the incident, and has been charged with attempted murder. BMC’s Bob de Wolf said Goos is “doing well” but said it was too early to predict when she’d be back racing.

PITT TAMES IRONMAN Burns-survivor Turia Pitt has competed in Ironman Australia. On September 4, 2011, during a 100km Ultramarathon in WA, Pitt was caught in a bushfire and suffered burns to 65% of her body. The now humanitarian author and motivational speaker made international news as she smashed her predicted time on race day with a time of 12:24:41 and producing a finish-line dance, a goal she’s been working hard to reach.

IN THE OFFICE… Funny y things g sent to 220 this issue


holmondeley, Thule, chipotle… there are just some words and brands we struggle to say at 220. And now added to this list are OOFOS shoes. With the potential to make Crocs look cool, OOFOS shoes/clogs/sandals are reportedly engineered to help your feet recover quicker after a long day or tough session than other footwear. Where normal run shoes aim to deliver rebound, energy return and forward

propulsion, OOfoam is said to do the opposite, ‘absorbing 37% more of the impact to reduce the stress on your feet, body and soul to help you recover’ say the Reno, Nevada, hailing brand. With plenty of grip for poolside walks, the OOriginal are pictured here ($69.95 at So why not, as OOFOS suggest, ‘slip into a pair and feel the OO’? Or feel the sound of your ‘friends’ sniggering behind your back. “An up my dressgrade to shoes!” TRENT V. 22 0 editor


ROTH ON THE RISE Challenge Roth has released some interesting pieces of data for their 15th anniversary. Now with 72 countries being represented, Roth has seen a growth across all countries, showing that there’s no slowing the behemoth down. Participation is up 80% by China, 71% by the US, 182% in the Israeli field and 76% by New Zealand.


BREAK AWAY FROM WHAT YOU EXPECT OF A GPS BIKE COMPUTER. In cycling, we’re coached to follow the rhythm of the group. But in every pack, you’ll find a rogue. Someone wanting to take the chance, bust ahead, beat the odds and reset what’s possible. Well, rogues, here’s your chance. Meet ELEMNT, a 100% wireless, fully-connected, smartphone leveraging, breakaway from the user-unfriendly peloton that’s been defining the gps bike computer experience for years. Simple. Powerful. Insanely cool. ELEMNT is what’s possible. Check it:




LIZ BLATCHFORD Do you have some tips for me on tackling my first Ironman? I’m a runner making the transition. MIKE KORFHAGE, VIA TWITTER

Spend some quality time training your swim and bike to the point that you over emphasise them compared to your run. You don’t want to get to the run too exhausted to access your run background. For any first timer, I also say to practise your nutrition in training to train your gut to take on a lot of calories while racing. Living in Boulder during the Australian winter, do you train with other pros? Or is there an element of secrecy between the elites? DAMIAN CAMERON, VIA EMAIL

“Post-tri I’m looking to teach science and PE at secondary school… it’d be good to impart some of my knowledge”

There are probably more pro triathletes in Boulder than the rest of the world combined! So yes, I train with a few when our programmes fit. I’m not secretive, so I’d much rather have company for a 6hr ride than do it alone. Last summer I spent some quality bike hours with Tim Don and Rachel Joyce. The masters swim squads are full of pros and it’s always a battle for the title of who’s the most tired after their session! What’s your toughest training day?

How has your nutritional intake changed since moving from ITU to Ironman? CHRISTIAN SAMWAYS, VIA EMAIL

Race-day nutrition couldn’t be more different. In ITU it was less than one bottle of electrolyte drink on the bike and maybe a gel on the run. For Ironman I consume upwards of 20 Etixx gels, loads of electrolyte and a lot of Coke. I sought out a nutritionist and worked out how many grams of carbs per hour I needed. After a few Ironmans we found my optimum level is upward of 90g per hour, which is high for my weight. What’s the highlight of your racing career? ERIC KANE, VIA EMAIL

Both of my Ironman Worlds podiums would have to be equal highlights. So much goes into racing well in Kona that, when it pays off, it’s so satisfying. You studied marine biology, will you return to that post-tri? JOHN GOAD, VIA EMAIL


Two weeks out from an Ironman, I’m usually close to exhaustion and I hit myself with one last big brick. It’s a 5hr ride with 4x20min TTs within the first 4hrs, then the last hour at


Ironman goal watts. I then run off the bike for 50-60mins at 3hr marathon pace or faster. No part of the session is crazy hard; it’s more about where it comes within the training block.

It’s still an interest but I can’t see it being a career. I’m looking to teach science and PE at secondary school. They’ve just added tri to some curriculums in Australia, so it’d be good to impart some of my knowledge.


The Auss e/GB ITU athlete-turned-Ironman star tackles your training, racing and post-tri teasers

November 25-27, 2016

$10,000 prize pool

5 Stages – 3 Days solo or teams

Register at Hosted in Conjunction with the ITU X-Tri World Championships Festival



BEN COVENTRY Ben Coventry has loved every second of his recent age-group success. Here he talks best tri memories, pushing past the pain and dropping down from 130kg

the pleasure of doing and having my best mate out on the Queen K loop of the marathon, coming down the finishing chute giving Dad a high five and seeing Mum, my sister and my girlfriend will be something that I’ll never forget. My bike is… Thanks to the legends at Titan Performance Group I’m lucky enough to ride a Cervelo P5 limited red. Not only does it look good but it’s hands down the best TT bike on the market. I love triathlon because… It hurts! There’s no better feeling in training or races than when everything is screaming “stop” and you push through to get the job done. Also being able to take your body to limits that you never thought you could reach before. Not to mention doing it with like-minded friends and travelling the world to amazing destinations while doing what you love. One piece of advice I’d give a newbie is… Enjoy every second and never lose sight of why you decided to start! I often have to look back to where I was before I took up the sport. Being 130kg wasn’t easy and this sport makes me extremely grateful for ever having started training for my first race. My ultimate goal is… To get back to Kona and finish in the top 10 in my age group. Kona will always be an ultimate goal no matter how many times I qualify. That island is infectious and when you’ve been once you have to go back for more.


I couldn’t do what I do without… My support network! Yes, it’s a huge help to have guys like Inspired Performance, Titan, Training Smart Online, Athletes Authority, Garmin, On and Symphony in my corner, but it’s the people behind the scenes like my girlfriend, Mum, Dad and sister that support me no matter what and stand on the side lines in every race. My last few races were… Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie in May this year. I’ve always loved this race as it was where I finished my first Ironman 70.3 and it was even better this year having it run on the same day at the full distance. I was happy with finishing 10th in the 25-29 age group, but even happier with another PB. And Ironman 70.3 Cairns in June this year. Cairns is the last planned race to top off a very long and testing season. I do however have my eyes set on qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships on the Sunshine Coast this year and hoping to get my slot in Cairns. My best performance was… Ironman Melbourne


2015, not only because that was where I secured my spot at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, but I was also very unfortunate to have my chain snap at 90km into the bike ride. Mentally it was hard to get over but I was able to move on 30mins later after fixing it and run a solid marathon to take myself from 6th into 3rd. My most fond memory of racing is… Without a doubt it would have to be crossing the line in Kona last year. I was fortunate enough to have my family, my girlfriend and my best mate there to share the experience with me and see me come over the line. It was one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had

When non-triathlon loving friends ask me why I do it, I always say… why not?! I’ve always said if it’s there, then why not give it a try! But when people don’t understand that logic I tell them that there’s no other feeling in this world that will match the feeling of running down that Ironman chute knowing what it has taken to get you to that point. Q 220 BEN COVENTRY Howntown: Sydney Nationality: Australian Age: 24 Best result: Ironman Melbourne 2015, 3rd Social: @ben_coventryip (Instagram) @coventryip (Twitter)

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Elite Focus

BETH GERDES Now one of the top Ironman contenders, Beth has been based in Noosa with Aussie tri fiance Luke McKenzie for the last six months. She checked in with 220 for a chat

220 Triathlon: Where are you now and how has your 2016 been? Beth Gerdes: Right now, I’m wrapping up an awesome six months in Australia. Luke (McKenzie) and I are based out of Noosa for the Australian summer and the first half of race season. The weather here has been unbelievable and the training grounds are some of the best in the world. My 2016 started a bit slowly with an 8th place at the Pan American 70.3 Championships in Panama and then 4th place at 70.3 Putrajaya. However, things picked up speed (literally and figuratively) and I won Ironman Australia in Port Macquarie on May 1. Following the race, I took three weeks very easy, and now I’m back into training for Ironman Switzerland. What have been your highlights this season? Aside from winning my second Ironman, my biggest highlight has been day-to-day long-term

BETH’S FACT FILE Hometown: Noosa and Encinitas, California

consistency. I was able to put together some really solid blocks of training with little to no interruption for illness or injury. Having that kind of consistency in Ironman training is so valuable and I’ve seen great gains, especially in my endurance and ability to stay strong late in a race. Tell me a little about IM Australia? What did the result mean to you? Ironman Australia was an incredible day and a great learning experience in patience and pacing for me. As an adult-onset swimmer, I’m likely never going to swim with the front women, but I had a solid swim for me and exited the water well under the hour mark. My bike ride wasn’t flashy, but I rode steadily from 5th place into 2nd place. At the start of the run, I was 13mins behind the race leader, Michelle Bremer, but I have confidence in my Ironman marathon, especially

the back end. So, I got to work and patiently chipped away at the minutes. I ended up passing Michelle at the 37km mark and finished with a 2:56:10 marathon for the win. So, yes, I’d say I was happy with the result! What are your race goals for 2016? Well, I wanted to win another Ironman, and I’ve done that, but I wouldn’t mind adding another one at Ironman Switzerland. After that, the focus is on Kona. After placing 15th last year, I saw where I could improve, and my goal this year is to crack the top 10. How did you first get into triathlon? I was in the “injured runner looking for exercise” category. That’s how most triathletes begin, isn’t it? I was actually a new runner as well, but I did too much too soon and ended up with a stress fracture when I was 28 years old. My dad wanted me to try something more moderate, so he bought me a road bike. The rest is history. Though I’m not sure racing three to four Ironmans per year is the type of moderation my dad had in mind!

Coach: Self Memorable results: 1st – 2016 Ironman Australia 4th – 2016 Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya 1st – 2015 Ironman Switzerland 2nd – 2015 Ironman 70.3 Philippines 3rd – 2015 Coral Coast 5150

“IT TOOK ME EIGHT YEARS OF YEAR-ROUND WORK TO BE A DECENT CYCLIST. I’M STILL WORKING ON BEING A DECENT SWIMMER!” What’s your secret to success? One: Be better at problem-solving than your competitors. Two: Chop wood. Carry water. (Ed – it’s from a Zen proverb, for those wondering!)


What’s your main approach to training and racing? Don’t overanalyse every workout. Get the work done. Be consistent. Embrace the easy days and go hard when it counts. On race day, stay patient, execute, and let the race come back to you. What advice would you give those who are just getting into triathlon? Embrace your weaknesses and put in the work to improve them. Improvement in triathlon often takes years to show up on race day, so be patient. It took me eight years of year-round work to become a decent cyclist. I’m still working on being a decent swimmer! Q 220



Mel Hauschildt

SINK OR SWIM There's plenty of swim advice to come in our Performance section, but first, Noosa local Mel shares her quick tips and tricks for open water first-timers

1. ANTI-CHAFE CREAM If you’ve ever worn a speed suit or wetsuit in your triathlon races there’s probably a good chance you’ve experienced some sort of chafing, especially if your race is in salt water. This is easy to avoid but many often forget on race morning. Anti-chafe cream is a wax-based cream you can apply to your neck or any area you feel might chafe during your race.

There's nothing worse than goggles fogging up early in the swim, says Mel

2. GOGGLES Make sure your race goggles are relatively new, clean and tight. And, if possible, choose the right goggles for the sunlight, buoy colour and time of day you will race. For example: clear goggles if it’s an overcast day, or tinted goggles if you know you’ll be tackling the sun head on. Certain companies like Roka also make several different coloured lenses that highlight certain colour buoys. Always tighten your goggles a little more in open water than you would in the pool. There are many other variables to factor in with open water, like waves or an elbow knocking your goggles off. There’s nothing worse than your goggles fogging up early in the swim. New goggles will help you to avoid this. If your goggles aren’t new, make sure they’re clean of scum, salt and chlorine. These all contribute to fogging. Try cleaning your goggles with spit or with a soft hand soap.

3. LEARN THE SWIM COURSE Don’t rely on your competitors knowing the swim course for you and don’t always trust that they’re swimming the straightest line. If you can swim the course prior to race day I'd recommend this, but if you can’t, make sure you at least sight it before diving in. Look for landmarks like big trees or houses you can sight during the race. When in the water you won’t always be able to sight off the buoys, so don’t rely solely on them.

4. FAST STARTS It’s important to get off to a fast start. If you don’t, you’re likely to get left behind or, worse still, swum over. Practise this in training by taking off very fast and then settling into your race pace. The more you practise in training, the easier it’ll be come race day. If your race is a beach/running start and you’re allowed in the water before the gun goes off I’d highly recommend incorporating some fast runs in and out of the water. Check the best line to get you the farthest distance on your feet before you have to begin swimming. No matter how fast a swimmer you are, running is


always going to be faster. Look out for sink holes, rocks, deeper water, shallow water, rips or currents. For deep-water starts it’s also very helpful to practise this prior to the gun sounding. Scull on the spot looking at the direction of the starter and then snap your feet together fast to quickly propel yourself forward. Try not to breath for your first four or more strokes so you can get off to the fastest possible start.

run but too shallow to begin swimming. This is where dolphin diving will be the fastest way to get you ahead. As soon as the water is too deep to keep running efficiently, dive in and then grab the sand with your fingers and pull yourself forward and then spring back up onto your feet and dive in again. Keep doing this until it’s no longer shallow enough. Dolphin diving is beneficial when coming back out of the water as well.



For beach starts it’s very helpful to be efficient at dolphin diving. Sometimes the water is too deep to

Most athletes hug the turn buoys to take the shortest line so if you don’t want to get bashed up


Learning to breathe on both sides is highly beneficial come race day

“THE MORE YOU LIFT YOUR HEAD, THE MORE TIRED YOU'LL GET – BUT THE LESS YOU SIGHT, THE GREATER THE CHANCE OF SWIMMING OFF COURSE” at every turn buoy, surge into and out of the buoys. This will avoid any congestion and hopefully give you a much smoother swim. Alternatively, take the turn wide to ease your worry of being caught in the congestion. The few seconds you lose by going wide will at least keep you relaxed and in control.

7. DRAFTING Drafting in swimming is legal so make the most of it. Most triathletes know drafting as sitting right behind another competitor so your fingertips are almost brushing their toes. This is drafting and will help you to swim faster with less effort, but an even better way to draft off another swimmer is to swim to their side between their hips and ankles. This is where you can essentially ride their bow wave. Like a moving boat creates a bow wave to either side, a swimmer also creates the same wave, albeit on a much smaller scale.

8. SIGHTING If you’re a fast pool swimmer but struggle with sighting in open water you could be losing a lot of time. To sight in open water you’ll need to lift your head and look forward, quickly trying to sight a landmark or buoy. This manoeuvre is best combined with the breathing action. Sight and

then breath to the side as you finish the stroke, all in one motion. Only lift your head out of the water to the bare minimum to see what you need to see. The higher you lift your head the more your hips will drop, which takes you out of your streamline position and therefore slows you down. So how often do you need to sight? You need to remember that the more you lift your head, the more tired you’ll get; but the less you sight, the greater the chance you’ll be swimming off course. A drill to do in the pool to help with sighting is to close your eyes and swim 8-10 strokes and then lift your head to sight above the water. Only then can you open your eyes. Maybe do this when you have your own lane until you get confident that you’re swimming in a straight line. Every athlete is different but try to work out before race day how often you need to sight to stay on track.

9. BILATERAL BREATHING Most triathletes have a preferred side that they’ll breath on. If this is you, start practising bilateral breathing – even just for your warm-up and/or cool-down until you’re more comfortable with it. Not only will bilateral breathing keep you more balanced, but there are also some big positives when it comes to open-water swimming. If you’re in a choppy ocean and you breath to the side of

the swell/waves, there’s a good chance you’re going to take a big mouthful of salty water every time you breath. If you breath only to your left and the sun is coming up on your left you’re going to be blinded with every breath. Another positive to bilateral breathing is if you’re swimming really close to another competitor. It’s best to breathe on the opposite side of the person next to you to avoid a hit to the face or losing your goggles.

10. OPEN-WATER SWIM RACES Finally, if there are any open-water swim races near you, enter them and practise everything. There’s no better open-water swimming practice than a race. You don’t need to taper for it; you don’t even need to “race” it if you’re in a heavy training block. Just use it as practice. Practise your starts or sighting, drafting, bilateral breathing or even your equipment – wetsuit, goggles, anti-chafe cream. Practise whatever it is you need to become a confident and competent open-water swimmer. Q 220 Mel Hauschildt is the current Australian and Asia Pacific Ironman Champion. She was also the 2013 (and 2011) Ironman 70.3 World Champion and 2013 ITU Long Distance World Champion. For more info on her amazing career, visit


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ustralia has always been a hotbed for triathlon, presenting some of the best races in the world and producing many of the best triathletes in the sport. On September 4, more than 3,000 athletes from over 70 countries around the world will descend on Mooloolaba, Queensland, along the scenic Sunshine Coast, to race the 2016 Ironman (IM) 70.3 World Championships. The historic event marks the first time the 70.3 Worlds will be hosted below the equator, which, according to Triathlon Australia CEO Miles Stewart, is an achievement that simply cannot be overlooked. “It’s enormously beneficial for triathlon in Australia to host a World Championship race of any kind,” Stewart told 220. “They provide our athletes the opportunity to contest a world championship at home and drive interest in participation as we increasingly compete with other entities. “We need to keep offering different outlets for all our athletes. On the other hand, when you have the biggest names in long distance racing competing for one of the most prestigious titles, it draws major media attention from a global and national perspective.


“This focus generates funding from state and local government, and the tourism sector, along with corporate sponsorship that Ironman needs to capitalise on to remain relevant as a brand and promoter of the sport.”

Sebastian Kienle in action during the 2015 70.3 Champs in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he came second

Stewart, himself an Olympic triathlete and former International Triathlon Union (ITU) world champion and world cup winner, fondly recalls his own experience racing for gold. “Personally, it was one of the highlights of my


IRONMAN 70.3 WORLD CHAMPIONS career to win a major title back in 1991 on the Gold Coast in from of a home crowd, and it’s why I’m passionate about supporting these events,” he explains. “Over the next two years Australia will host the 2016 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships, 2017 World Triathlon Series (WTS) Gold Coast, 2018 WTS Gold Coast World Championships and 2018 Commonwealth Games ... It’s an exciting time to be leading Triathlon Australia into the next development phase, and supporting major events forms part of that strategy.” Five-time world champion and fellow Aussie Craig ‘Crowie’ Alexander agrees with Stewart. “It’s a huge coup for the sport of triathlon in Australia to be hosting the 70.3 World Championships,” the two-time 70.3

world champion tells 220. “This is great exposure for the sport at home, but also for Australian triathletes, who usually have to race overseas.” Alexander, who captured the first 70.3 world title at Clearwater, Florida, USA in 2006, along with elite women’s winner Samantha McGlone (CAN), went on to win another in 2011 in Henderson, Nevada, USA. But Crowie isn’t the only elite triathlete from Down Under to find success at the 70.3 World Championships. Like Alexander, fellow three-time Ironman world champion Mirinda Carfrae also won a 70.3 world title in 2007, while Queensland steeplechaser-turned-triathlete and 220 columnist Melissa Hauschildt (nee Rollison) claimed crowns in both 2011 and 2013.

It’s great exposure for the sport at home, but also for Aussie triathletes, who usually have to race overseas

2015 – Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA Men: Jan Frodeno, GER Women: Daniela Ryf, SUI 2014 – Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada Men: Javier Gomez, ESP Women: Daniela Ryf, SUI 2013 – Henderson, Nevada, USA Men: Sebastian Kienle, GER Women: Melissa Hauschildt, AUS 2012 – Henderson, Nevada, USA Men: Sebastian Kienle, GER Women: Leanda Cave, GBR 2011 – Henderson, Nevada, USA Men: Craig Alexander, AUS Women: Melissa Hauschildt, AUS 2010 – Clearwater, Florida, USA Men: Michael Raelert, GER Women: Jodie Swallow, GBR 2009 – Clearwater, Florida, USA Men: Michael Raelert, GER Women: Julie Dibens, GBR 2008 – Clearwater, Florida, USA Men: Terenzo Bozzone, NZL Women: Joanna Zeiger, USA 2007 – Clearwater, Florida, USA Men: Andy Potts, USA Women: Mirinda Carfrae, AUS 2006 – Clearwater, Florida, USA Men: Craig Alexander, AUS Women: Samantha McGlone, CAN



The Sunshine Coast throws up plenty of sunny days; and (right) Jan Frodeno takes out last year’s event


I’ve always liked racing in Mooloolaba and I’m looking forward to returning. The course has a bit of everything – flats, undulations and steep climbs

New Zealand’s Terenzo Bozzone also claimed a title for the Oceania region with a world championship in 2008. Queensland already plays host to the Mooloolaba ITU World Cup in March, as well as the Sunshine Coast 70.3, last won by Caroline Steffen (SUI) and 2016 Ironman Cairns winner Tim van Berkel (AUS). While van Berkel’s camp told 220 he would not race the 70.3 Worlds in favour of the Asia-Pacific Champs and the Ironman World Championships, Steffen has decided the opposite and will forego Kona for Mooloolaba. Carfrae, for her part, told 220 she would also opt for Kona only in an attempt to win her fourth full-distance crown. For competitors willing to take their chances on the Sunshine Coast, athletes will start the swim, which consists of a one-lap, counter-clockwise 1,500-metre ocean swim along Mooloolaba’s spectacular surf beach. 28 II TRIATHLON220.COM.AU TRIATHLON220.COM.AU 28

Following the first transition, triathletes will embark on the bike leg, which features a challenging one-lap course that incorporates a fast, flat section on the Sunshine Motorway prior to an undulating lap through the hinterland. After exiting T2, runners will head north and onto the iconic Mooloolaba Esplanade towards the scenic Alexandra Headland hill. Competitors will follow the same route for the second lap along striking shores and a spectator-lined course before finishing in the heart of the township. “I’ve always loved racing in Mooloolaba – both ITU and Ironman 70.3 – and I’m looking forward to returning,” two-time Australian Olympian Brad Kahlefeldt tells 220. “I like the course. It has everything – flats, undulations and steep climbs. “Plus, I always love racing on home soil, especially a world championship. I live on the

Sunshine Coast now, so it would be a major goal of my season to perform at this race.” According to the organisers, the 70.3 Worlds fits perfectly into the ethos of Australia and the thousands of men and women who will organise, host and compete in one of the sport’s biggest events. “We’re delighted to bring the Ironman 70.3 World Championship to Australia,” says Andrew Messick, chief executive officer of Ironman. “Asia-Pacific is a rapidly expanding region for our sport, particularly the Sunshine Coast and Queensland, both hugely popular strongholds for the Ironman brand. “The region has a significant history in the sport of triathlon and is a popular destination that we know will deliver a world-class event while providing genuine warmth of hospitality.” Turn to page 30 for a preview of the 2016 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships!


ATHLETE WATCH FOR BOTH THE WOMEN’S AND MEN’S CATEGORIES, WE RUN THROUGH THE LOCAL FAVOURITES AND THE STARS TO WATCH CLOSELY AT THIS YEAR’S WORLD CHAMPS Sebastian Kienle will be looking to reclaim his title; and (right) Tim Reed is Australia’s best male hope

LOCAL FAVOURITE – ELITE MALE Tim Reed, AUS: While ‘Timbo’ may have just picked up his maiden Ironman victory at Port Macquarie (NSW) in May, half-iron distance is his specialty. Reed has raced the Ironman 70.3 World Championships every year since 2012, with his highest place being fifth in 2013. This year, Reed tells 220 he has changed his focus to take some of the pressure off and that could make him more dangerous than ever before. “Last year I threw absolutely everything into it,” says Reed, who has 14 wins and 43 podium finishes at the 70.3 distance. “I wanted it too much, under-ate, over-trained, under-slept, was overly anxious and forgot to keep triathlon fun. “Of course, getting the win would be a career high point, but I’ve never won races focusing on the win. I’ll be happy if I can look at my race and know I was fit, firing and had fun.” OTHER NAMES TO KNOW Jan Frodeno, GER: The 2008 Olympic gold medallist did the double last year by claiming both the 70.3 and Ironman World Championships. Oh, and he’s married to fellow Beijing Olympics gold medallist Emma Snowsill (AUS), which also gives him extra street cred! Sam Appleton, AUS: Any number of motivated elite Australian male triathletes could make this list, like Josh Amberger, Jake Montgomery, Joe Gambles and Brad Kahlefeldt. But last year, Appleton won six of eight races, including Austin 70.3. This year, he has continued that trend with a Buenos Aires 70.3 victory in March and an impressive secondplace finish to Sebastian Kienle (GER), who needed everything in his arsenal to take the victory from the young Australian.

Sebastian Kienle, GER: Two-time 70.3 world champ (2012 and 2013), who also won the Ironman World Championship in 2014, finished second to Frodeno at the 70.3 Worlds in Austria last year. Kienle won Chattanooga 70.3 in March and would like to lift the world title off Frodeno – as well as the moniker of ‘world’s best’.

“Winning a world title is always a very special thing but to win on home soil would be amazing. “Many of my friends and family have never even seen me race as the majority of my races are overseas, so it’ll be really cool to have them all here watching me race one of the biggest races in our sport.”

Michael Raelert, GER: Triathlon runs in the blood of the Raelert brothers, Michael and Andreas. While the latter has three Ironman World Championship silver medals and one 70.3 to his name, younger brother Michael (35) is a two-time 70.3 world champion and always a threat when he rocks up to the start.

OTHER NAMES TO KNOW Daniela Ryf, SUI: This two-time Swiss Olympian is the reigning Ironman world champion, and has won the last two 70.3 world titles in Hauschildt’s absence.

Javier Gómez, ESP: The 33-year-old Spaniard has literally almost done it all with five ITU World Championships, three ITU World Cups, an Olympic silver medal, an Xterra world title, and an Ironman 70.3 bronze medal last year after winning the world championship in 2014. As of press time, Gómez’s camp told 220 he’s still undecided about racing the 70.3 Worlds following the Rio Olympics, but if so, he’d be an odds-on favourite to take the win. LOCAL FAVOURITE – ELITE FEMALE Melissa Hauschildt, AUS: Any doubts about the two-time Ironman 70.3 world champion’s form were erased when she set new course records during her wins at both the Husky Long Course and IM 70.3 Geelong earlier this year. The former steeplechaser-turned-triathlete has fully recovered from a fractured sacrum that kept her out of last year’s race and a torn pectoral muscle that forced her to abandon the race in 2014. “I’m good, and I’m racing 70.3 Worlds,” the 2013 ITU long distance world champion tells 220.

Annabel Luxford, AUS: Aside from Hauschildt, Luxford could be Australia’s best hope for a win, and after blitzing Busselton 70.3 in May following her fifth-place Ironman debut in South Africa, she’s more than capable of taking the title. Heather Wurtele, CAN: Finished second at last year’s 70.3 Worlds a year after finishing third, so we can’t help but wonder if there’s a possible trend forming for this 36-year-old former adventure racer, who won the 2016 Ironman 70.3 North American Championship in May. Radka Vodickova, CZE: The Czech Olympian stepped to the podium for the fourth time this season after an impressive and speedy second place finish at IM 70.3 Vietnam. Her other 2016 70.3 results include a win at Putrajaya, a second at Subic Bay and a third at Geelong. Sarah Haskins, USA: The 2008 Olympian is off to a solid start in 2016 with two victories and two second places in her first four races, including wins at the IM 70.3 Pan American Pro Championships and IM 70.3 Texas. TRIATHLON220.COM.AU I 29



Ben Allen and Courtney Atkinson line up for the start of the TreX Oceania Championships 2015



he sport of off-road triathlon has enjoyed exponential growth in popularity for multisport athletes looking for something off the beaten path. Xterra kicked things off professionally in 1996, with its first world championship on the Hawaiian island of Maui. American Jimmy Riccitello and Australian Olympic medallist Michellie Jones were the first to take home the elite men’s and women’s crowns. It would take the International Triathlon Union (ITU) another 15 years to recognise the genre and christen its own ‘cross triathlon’ (X-tri) world championship event. In May of last year, the ITU granted NSW the 2016 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships to be hosted at scenic Lake Crackenback in the heart of the iconic Snowy Mountains range. The race will be held the weekend of November 18-20, 2016 and will feature a 1500-metre swim in crisp alpine waters, an undulating 30km mountain bike around the host community, and a 10km trail run amidst the wild, native bushland that attracts tourists from all over the world. “We’re very proud and excited to be hosting another major international championship race here in Australia, after the enormously successful ITU World Cup and World Triathlon Series races in Queensland earlier this year,” Triathlon Australia CEO Miles Stewart tells 220. “In six months we will host the ITU Cross Triathlon

World Championships, and I can’t imagine a better place for cross triathlon to be tested than the rugged mountain ranges of the Snowy Mountains. “We have big ambitions for our sport as part of our soon-to-be-released Strategic Plan to grow and strengthen triathlon at all levels, which includes creating a culture of success across all platforms.” Novotel Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa general manager, Anthony Cleary, said international athletes will receive a true taste of Australian culture when they compete in the Snowy Mountains. “The cross-country terrain around Lake Crackenback has a reputation as being among the most challenging in the world,” Cleary says. “We are confident that the athletes will be impressed with not only the competitive landscape but also the beauty of the region and the quality of the facilities at Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa. “We will be rolling out the red carpet for the athletes across all areas of the business, especially food and beverage, spa and wellbeing, as well as recreational activities.”

Tourism Snowy Mountains executive officer Neil Thew had similar words of eager anticipation. “The Snowy Mountains of NSW is excited to be announced as the host region for the 2016 World Cross Triathlon Championships to be held at beautiful Lake Crackenback,” he says. “What an incredible venue and amazing backdrop for the competing international and Australian athletes. Tourism Snowy Mountains will be extending a very warm welcome to all, and we look forward to showcasing the spectacular Snowy Mountains region as the premier adventure sports capital to a worldwide audience.”

Braden Currie and Courtney Atkinson are all smiles at last year’s TreX Oceania Championships

X-TRI WORLD CHAMPIONS 2015 – Sardegna, Italy Men: Ruben Ruzafa, ESP Women: Flora Duffy, BER


2014 – Zittau, Germany Men: Ruben Ruzafa, ESP Women: Kathrin Muller, GER 2013 – The Hague, Netherlands Men: Conrad Stoltz, RSA Women: Helena Erbenova, CZE 2012 – Shelby County, Alabama, USA Men: Conrad Stoltz, RSA Women: Lesley Paterson, GBR 2011 – Extremadura, Spain Men: Conrad Stoltz, RSA Women: Melanie McQuaid, CAN


The cross-country terrain around Lake Crackenback has a reputation as being among the most challenging in the world

WORLD CHAMPS This historic announcement marks the first time the event has been hosted in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as the 10-year anniversary of In2Adventure managing off-road and adventure events in Australia. Prior to In2Adventure being named as race organiser, the off-road event specialists used the course to host the Oceania Triathlon Union (OTU) Cross Triathlon Championships in February 2015. Aussie Olympians Courtney Atkinson and Erin Densham took top honours and their share of the $40,000 prize purse. “Cross triathlon is such an amazing sport, and for a long time it’s been sitting on the fringe of mainstream sport in Australia,” In2Adventure director Robyn Lazenby tells 220. “Hosting the Cross Triathlon World Championships in Australia is the achievement of a long-term goal that has significantly raised the profile of off-road triathlon within Australia.” Wollongong-based power couple and multi-time Xterra champions Ben Allen (AUS) and Jacqui Slack (GBR) were named event ambassadors and will be among the pre-race


favourites to take the elite titles, but the race does not strictly cater for the pros. The X-tri Worlds is also open to 100 U23 athletes, 100 U19s, 100 paratriathletes and 800 age groupers (400 men, 400 women), along with 25 mixed relay teams (one team per nation). However, only the elites, U23s and mixed relay teams will be competing for the US$45,000 (A$60,000) prize pool. “It’s so great to see more and more athletes are discovering that triathlon has a ‘dirty’ side that brings with it new and exciting challenges,” explains Lazenby. “Once athletes try it, for many, there’s no turning back. Each time you swim, run and ride each course it’s a new experience and your biggest competition is Mother Nature, who will throw everything at you to see just how tough you really are,” “In short, having the world championships taking place in Australia means we can showcase this amazing sport to all of Australia, as well as showcase this magnificent country to the world.” Q 220

Australia’s Ben Allen in action

HERE ARE ALL THE BIG NAMES AND LOCAL FAVOURITES TO KEEP AN EYE ON AT THE 2016 ITU CROSS TRIATHLON WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS LOCAL FAVOURITE – ELITE MALE Ben Allen, AUS: Fresh off reclaiming his Xterra Malaysia title in May, the 18-time Xterra champion is Australia’s best hope to defeat reigning back-to-back X-tri world champion Ruben Ruzafa (ESP). Allen shared the podium with the 31-year-old Spaniard in 2014, when he finished third in Maui. Since then, Allen has recorded six Xterra wins, one Ironman 70.3 (Tagaman) title and a second-place finish to two-time Olympian Courtney Atkinson (AUS) at the Oceania Cross Triathlon Championships last year. “I feel very confident about racing on the course,” Allen tells 220. “It’s my home turf, and I love the terrain. But it’s what happens on the day that matters. To win a world title, I need to be able to put it together and have the perfect race.” OTHER NAMES TO KNOW Ruben Razafa, ESP: Reigning back-to-back ITU X-tri world champion with three Xterra world titles, too... ‘nuff said! Francisco Serrano, MEX: The 2013 London ITU World Triathlon Grand Final age group (30-34 Male) winner, who came within 27secs of dethroning Razafa at the ITU X-tri Worlds last year. Braden Currie, NZL: The four-time Speights Coast to Coast World Multisport Championship winner and reigning Xterra Asia-Pacific champ can do it all – even Olympic distance and half-Ironman triathlon. Could also pose a threat at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. Brodie Gardner, AUS: The former TreX back-to-back champion and reigning TreX series

winner is coming off his best Xterra performance with a win at Saipan in March. Sam Osborne, NZL: Last year’s third-place finisher at the X-tri Worlds in Sardegna, Osborne backed up by winning the Xterra Sweden Championship this year, and took second at Xterra New Zealand. LOCAL FAVOURITE – ELITE FEMALE Jacqui Slack, GBR: Although she’s a Brit, this long-time Wollongong resident has been claimed as one of our own. Like her fiance Ben Allen, Slack is fresh off an Xterra Malaysia victory, as well as winning the 32Gi Eastbourne Tri in June – as did Allen. The win gave Slack the 10th Xterra win of her career. The 33-year-old also won two of the three TreX series races (Victoria and Queensland) and finished the 2015-16 TreX series atop the final standings. Slack is no stranger to the Lake Crackenback course, having finished second behind Renata Bucher (SUI) at the Australian Championships in February and behind Erin Densham at the Oceania Cross Triathlon Championships last year. “The course doesn’t suit my technical skills, but I’ll make sure I’ll know it better than anyone else to gain the home advantage,” Slack tells 220. “While technically not my home turf as I’ll be racing for Great Britain, it definitely feels like home. And I believe on any given day, you have to put yourself in it to win it. Anything can happen.” OTHER NAMES TO KNOW: Flora Duffy, BER: The benchmark for the elite women’s division, with back-to-back Xterra World Championships and an ITU Cross

Triathlon World Championship last year after finishing with silver 12 months earlier. Renata Bucher, SUI: Like Slack, this Swiss superstar and two-time European cross triathlon champion calls Australia home (when not in her native Lucerne). She’s a 2013 Xterra Great Ocean Road champion and is fresh off a win at the Australian X-tri Championships in February. Lesley Paterson, SCO: The diminutive Scot packs a lot of punch, and if last year’s ITU X-Tri Worlds silver medallist signs on in 2016, she’ll be bringing a wealth of experience that includes two Xterra world titles and an X-tri championship too. Elizabeth Orchard, NZL: May have only just cracked the top 10 at the X-tri Worlds in Sardegna last year, but this Kiwi will be motivated to race Down Under and could pull out the kind of form that won the X-Tri World Championship in 2012. Charlotte McShane, AUS: While this Scottish-born Australian resident is most known for her U23 ITU World Championship in 2013, she was also the U20 Xterra world champion in 2008. She has signed on to race the 2016 X-tri Worlds, and after competing at the Rio Olympics for Scotland, she may just have the form to take gold in the Snowies. TRIATHLON220.COM.AU I 31



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SWIM Joel Filliol Canadian coach Filliol guided Simon Whitfield to 2008 Olympic silver, and currently coaches some of the world’s top ITU athletes, including Richard Murray and Mario Mola.

BIKE Sergio Santos The Portuguese coach guided Vanessa Fernandes to 2008 Beijing Olympic silver and now coaches the Brazillian Olympic-distance triathlon team.

RUN Jamie Turner is the national coach for Canada but is best known for his ‘freelancing disciples’, who include two-time world champion Gwen Jorgensen.



Siri Lindley coaches a band of the world’s finest athletes including triple Ironman world champ Mirinda Carfrae. Siri also won the ITU World Championships in 2001.

Darren Smith became famous for delivering six athletes from his noted D-Squad to the 2012 Olympic Games in London including eventual silver medallist Lisa Norden.

NUTRITION Kevin Currell is head of performance nutrition at the English Institute of Sport, and was formerly British Triathlon’s lead nutritionist, working with the Brownlees.



THE SWIM Technique, breathing and wetsuit choice are just three hurdles for tri’s first discipline. But fear ye not loyal readership, here’s celebrated coach Joel Filliol’s surefire swim advice…


To improve propulsion, you want to keep your armpits open when your catch hand is pointing at the bottom. That helps with a high elbow.


Bands or inner tubes teach you to swim with a higher stroke rate. You can’t swim with a slow rate because pauses are too long between strokes. It’s a good training drill for open water because you don’t want long strokes associated with the pool.


Advanced triathletes can extend drill distance but beginners and improvers should keep them short


KEEP IT SIMPLE If you need to write your swim session down on the white board or paper, it’s too complicated. Keep it simple.



and sweet. Do 25m lengths and have a rest. This can still be taxing for some. If so, add a pull buoy to add flotation.


You can improve propulsion further by attaching a swim parachute to your waist. They create resistance through the water so build strength. But they’re also useful to improve body position, as well as making you aware of activating the correct catch technique. You could also drag along a sponge or wear drag shorts.



Tubing or therabands are a great way to practise front crawl. Just doing that on its own, or before and after swimming, 2mins every day, will create good technique. We do that, 5mins every day, for muscle patterning before diving into the pool.


Key to wetsuits are fit and flexibility. Hike it up from the bottom and give yourself a wedgy! There shouldn’t be huge swathes of excess material. When it’s dry, you should be able to put your arms over your head without any stretch whatsoever in your armpits.

Paddles are great for strength work but you should also use them for ingraining good technique. How? Take the wriststrap off so the paddle – which should be just larger than your hand – is only held on by your fingers. It requires you to keep pressure from the hand to paddle through the stroke. Finis Agility paddles work in the same way.

Make sure the neck fits properly. People’s neck shapes can be quite different, and you don’t want water coming in too easily. When purchased, this is also an area you should lube up to stop chafing.



Rotate swim tools for adaptation and interest. You might do bandwork in the warm-up and pull in the main set. Or some swim parachute in the warm-up, then your main set and then more parachute at the end.



It’s all too common that an age-grouper will lift their head too high, especially when breathing in open water. Head down means feet up. So keep your head low and just out of the water when breathing.

GET WET Wetsuits are meant to be wet on the inside, so you can only judge when swimming in one. Ideally, you should get in the water at a OW session before you buy your suit.


You won’t swim fast and be fresh off the bike if you rarely complete main sets with the same or higher volume and pace than you expect in the race. For Olympic-distance, you’re looking at around 2km; Ironman 4km or more. That said, you can break that 2km down into 20 x 100m.


It’s obvious but swim more often, even if it’s just an extra 20mins each week. Frequency is so powerful for swimming. When sessions are too far apart, you lose that day-to-day learning.


Maximise time by running to the pool and then swimming. Or swim and then head into the gym for a spin session. That said, don’t swim too much after other sessions as technique is initially learnt best when you’re not too fatigued.





... and don’t under think it. So be engaged with what you’re doing in the water, and use tools to help you establish a better feel for the water. But don’t over think every stroke, and suffer from paralysis by analysis. Swimming fast is about rhythm and flow, when good technique becomes automatic.

You must have good upper-body conditioning and you won’t get that by walking or running. Swimming and bodyweight exercises will add conditioning, which ultimately will help when training technique.


There are many ways to measure swim performance including a repeated set where you measure your time for a set distance. You can also measure stroke rate from a device called a Tempo Trainer Pro from swim brand Finis (, which secures beneath a swim cap and transmits an audible tempo beep.


Australia is blessed with great OW venues, so go along with a group. We do that with our triathletes, so they can practise open-water skills like swimming close to each other and drafting.


Learn how to swim with a light kick – a two-beat kick – to add balance and improve your rhythm. Short fins can help as they can provide awareness of the kick.


Every swimmer should have the ability to swim on both sides; it’s especially important if the sun is strong and there are big waves. That said, many find their best race rhythm comes from breathing to one side. Still, learn bilateral for sighting even if you predominantly breathe to one side.


Many athletes swim very first thing in the morning and won’t eat anything beforehand. That’s fine but have a coffee to keep up your focus and engagement. We also have athletes with a bottle on deck, sipping on a light carb solution.





Before you choose your bike, work out what your goal is. Are you looking to race long distance or Olympic? Do you need aerobars or not? Or will you race Xterra, so you’ll need a mountain or cyclocross bike?

Cadence, cranks and carbon. Follow Sergio Santos’s tri bike leg steps to increase your two-wheel competitiveness come the race season…


Whatever level you are, it’s mandatory to have a professional bike-fitting assessment. It’ll ensure you maximise every pedal stroke, be more comfortable and less prone to injury. It’s better to spend $1,500 on a bike and $300 on a bike fitting than $1,800 on a bike.


That goes for other bike gear, too. Don’t spend all of your budget on a shiny piece of carbon. Instead, make sure you have everything you need – clothing, turbo trainer – to ride in any condition, whether it’s cold, windy, wet or indoors.


TOOL UP As you build experience, you should think about cycling with a HR monitor and power meter.




There’s a tendency for age-groupers to copy pro triathletes from what they see in magazines, websites and the TV. That’s fine but remember they’re pro. A triathlete training, say, 3-4hrs a week might not need things like power meters and compression socks.


When you start off in tri, focus on your cadence (revolutions per minute, rpm). This is more important than any other skill. Aim for 90-100rpm. Your gear selection should work back from that range. If you can’t spin at 90rpm, drop down a gear until you can. You should aim for that figure when climbing, too.



Crank length is important and ties in with your bike fit. In general, there are three sizes available – 170mm, 172.5mm and 175mm – but there are smaller and larger options. These may be useful if you struggle to maintain an aero position, feeling cramped or find your knee is thrown out at the top of the pedal stroke.


Ensure you have the correct crankset for your ability and experience. That might mean you need bigger sprockets out back. So instead of 19, 20, 21-teeth cassettes, you should have 28, 32… Again, key is maintaining that cadence range.


Traffic, environmental impact, cost – there are numerous reasons why you shouldn’t commute by car. But, as triathletes, it means easy bike time. If commute distance allows, make this a staple of your tri training.


I advise younger triathletes to use a mountain bike instead of a road bike and I’d recommend the same for new age-groupers, especially for winter training. Not only will they avoid traffic, but they can also better hone technical skills like handling, braking, ascending and descending. Work on these skills before worrying too much about intensity of riding.


These will guide your session intensity, and will help you improve different parameters of fitness, which might be stamina, speed or power.


Group rides at the weekend are essential if you’re looking to stick to a training plan. Longer rides with friends are always more fun than going solo, and provide a competitive edge, meaning you’ll train harder.


Pure time-triallists can afford an extreme bike set-up because they don’t have to walk after. You need to run. Ensure your aero position doesn’t inhibit your run.


Many Iron athletes will spend a minimum of 5-6:30hrs on the 180km bike leg; more than 50% of total race time spent on the bike. That should be reflected in the proportion of training dedicated to the bike.


JUST RIDE If it’s your first year of triathlon, don’t get bogged down with aerodynamics or the flashiest gear – it’s all about riding.


While the Shimano Dura-Ace groupset is very good, save your money and buy their Ultegra version. In my opinion it shifts just as reliably and is only a few hundred grams heavier. Spend the saved cash on a set of deep-rim race wheels – you’ll shave more time there.


I’d advise riding a minimum of twice a week, which might mean once in the week and a longer ride at the weekend. That midweek ride might benefit from a turbo trainer. They’re not a big investment and will keep you cycling when it’s wet, cold and dark outside.

Normally, especially for tubulars, your tyre pressure might reach 120-140psi. That’s fine but, when it’s wet, drop that to around 90psi. It’ll increase grip and reduce your chances of crashing.





It’s great if you could also do spinning class once or twice a week, especially in winter. They’re great for building fitness, though don’t forget ‘real riding’. That’s where the technical stuff comes in.

Age-groupers with two or three seasons behind them, and who race regularly, should focus on training by intensity – after mastering bike skills and cadence. They’ll probably be at a stage where they’ll benefit from the input of an accredited coach, and a training plan.



Before you start training by numbers, undergo physiological testing to set different training zones.

There’s no set menu for the bike – some prefer all gels, some might want a ham sandwich if the ride is long – but key is that you fuel regularly, especially at Ironman. Not only will it fuel your bike but your run, too.

As you become more serious about your triathlon, it’s worth seeing a nutritionist. They’ll calculate exactly how many calories you need for your training and race goals, as well as the macronutrient split.


Practise drinking from your water bottle in training, as well as the simple action of grabbing from the cage and returning, to ingrain good technique.



THE RUN Jamie Turner is the run coach behind Gwen Jorgensen’s invincible form. So what can we learn from the Aussie about speed, stamina and stride rate? Let’s find out…


You must remember that triathlon running isn’t the same as running. It’s important to know in our game how well you run subsequent to the first two components of the game. So a brick session is ideal for meeting or exceeding demands of competition.


It’s good to model behaviour and teach the athlete the pace that they need to run at. You want to run 42mins for 10km. That breaks down as around 4:12mins/km. So run that but break it up so it’s manageable. That might mean running 10 x 1km at 4:12min pace with a 1min rest between. Or do it as 4 x 10:30mins with a 1min walk in-between.


Australia presents fantastic opportunities for running over a variety of terrain and conditions, especially open access to a lot of land, even if it’s in private hands! So try off-road running. It’ll increase what I term your running vocabulary (skills, fitness…). Extending your vocabulary and running across a number of platforms help you to reach your goals.


WATCHING YOU Have a biomechanist or physio observe your run action and then set about improving technique. Sometimes just reducing your knee angle on landing and having a faster turnover can improve your run.



I know a lot of coaches who use treadmills to develop cadence and cadence bandwidth. Why? As an analogy, it’s like moving pieces of firewood. If you’ve 1,000 pieces of firewood to move, you could do 10 reps of 100 but you might be smashed after the third 100. Or you might do 100 reps of 10 and find it easier. In tri it’s the same. If you have a good cadence range, it’ll come in handy when you’re fatigued. A treadmill is a good place to build this, to develop stride rate and have you working out a bandwidth that you can sustain fatigued or fresh.


You can measure stride rate in several ways. With a simple wristwatch, count how many strides you take in 15secs and multiply that by four. Or use an advanced training tool that measures cadence like those from Garmin and Polar.



bit slower than race pace; race pace; and faster than race pace. Ultimately, that LSD session is the most vital for age-groupers because we’re an endurance sport so ensure you have one LSD each week. The rest is up to you. You need the capacity to generate work over a sustained period of time.

Joining a club with good coaches will improve technique, too. It’s a matter of screening what you do, which could be as basic as a coach’s eye, or something more complex like a video device or iPad recording.



Consistency of running is key to success. I’ve been with Gwen for six years and, in that time, she hasn’t had one real injury. My analogy is that it doesn’t matter if you take the muffin to a cake-icing competition – it’s still a muffin. The secret is consistency and then icing on the cake. Staying injury-free can be as fundamental as looking after your soft tissue by massage.

Do your easy runs easy and your hard runs hard. Using Gwen as an example, she runs 16km easy on a Sunday. She’ll start out at 5:30min/km pace and increase speed to maybe 4:45min/km pace. For Gwen, that’s really easy. Remember: in a tri, she’s looking at around 16mins for 5km. But I know age-group guys who’ll run 22mins for a 5km sprint run and will be running much faster than Gwen on a Sunday morning… but they can’t change pace. Gwen’s bandwidth is huge.


Our sport isn’t one + one + one = three. It’s one + one + one = 55. The comparative stresses are exponential. Often people in individual sports might think they have the solution for you based on, say, their experience as a swim coach. But that’s measuring success by what they do, not what we do. Work with people who are working with triathletes.


I’m a big fan of a run-walk strategy at the start of an age-group session. Maybe do 9mins of running and 1min of walking just to reboot and refresh. It’ll prepare you for the set ahead.


Music’s a great tool for motivation and increasing stride rate. There are apps where you can listen to the beat you’re aspiring to, which might be 80spm (strides per minute). So an iPod is handy but don’t let it become a crutch as they’re banned for races.


OUTLOOK CHANGE Turn your run training around and focus on good technique instead of other fitness parameters.


If I throw a basketball at you and you’re unaware I’ve filled it with water, you’ll drop it because your brain is only tuned into catching an air-filled ball. It’s the same with a warm-up – you need to activate mind and muscle.


You should have a pair of shoes for longer distances and one for shorter efforts and racing. It’s hard to put a numerical value on how long those shoes will last, but understand that they compress and take time to return to their normal state. So have a couple pairs of longer [more cushioned] shoe if you’re running a lot.


As identified with Alistair Brownlee’s off-road work, having good proprioception really adds to your run performance. Don’t just look at how fast you’re running or what your heart rate is doing. Enjoy the process of noting where your feet land.


There should be four run sessions in your ‘run vocabulary’: long, slow distance (LSD); tempo, which is a


Be mindful of training load when increasing run volume as you still have two other disciplines to train for. That fatigue can build up, so take it slow to avoid injury.


Incorporating 30-60secs of walking every 5-10mins during longer runs can help you focus on key self-coaching points. You’ll get more out of less and likely have less fatigue the next day. As for walking, aim for around 60 stride cycles per minute as a starting point.


Your long run on a Sunday should be at a pace to prepare you for your hard run on the Tuesday. Don’t spend your ‘hard running money’ on Sunday as it’ll tire you too much and jeopardise the quality of your harder Tuesday effort.




I love the idea of the Brownlee brothers off-road racing, and that’s how it should be. One of my athletes, Sarah Haskins, won bronze in Athens after spending the winter snowshoeing instead of running. Physically it’s great, but it also refreshes your mind.


Pain tolerance is vital. When I was an athlete and worked with Brett Sutton, he kept saying I wasn’t going hard enough. So I opened my mind, dug deeper and it paid off. There’s a quote, ‘Everything great is just beyond your comfort zone.’ When you’re doing intervals, just try and hold a rep for 5-10secs longer than normal. See that pain as a friend.


Tools like Garmins are useful but only use 25% of the time as they’ll hold you back. I’ve tested my athletes and they’ve said they’d completed a great session and hit certain figures. So I’d say do it again but turn off the screen. Nearly every time the figures coming back are significantly higher. Sometimes, data can be a limiter.

TRI MINDSET Honing your tri mindset is an underrated – yet invaluable – tool for improving your swim/bike/run performance. Here are the world-beating athlete and coach Siri Lindley’s top psych tips…


Remember, your biggest competitor is yourself. If you’re in the pool and you’re the slowest in your lane, don’t hone in on that. Focus on the fact you’re 5secs faster than before. Your goal should be about being better than yesterday.







Demotivation can strike all abilities at any time. So keep things interesting. Instead of doing 2hrs on a turbo trainer, add in big-gear 15sec sprints. Bear in mind that it’ll pay off in six-months’ time at the races.

Often it’s good to follow the same bike and run routes so you have a measure of progress. But at this time of year, I’ll give my athletes a variety of different routes to keep things fresh. Tools like Google Maps can be invaluable here.

When you feel stale and let a lot of days and weeks go by, that can dissolve your passion for the sport. I’d rather you took two weeks off from the sport so you’re hungry to come back.


BODY AUDIT Have technical cues to ease the pain. Don’t think about tiredness, think shoulders back, quick feet, chest forward… Proactive thinking is as positive as positive thinking.



My athletes swear by positive mindset. When I was in pain, it was, ‘Great, I’m exactly where I need to be’. This is what it feels like to go fast. If I was in a race and I wasn’t hurting, I knew I was having a bad race.


Visualisation is good but don’t just focus on the perfect race. In the actual race, if something goes wrong you won’t be prepared. So visualise things like your goggles coming off or struggling to get out of your wetsuit… and visualise what you’ll do to overcome them.


Don’t beat yourself up if you’re ill and have to miss a week or two of activity – it happens. When returning to training, suppress your ego and don’t overdo it. Give yourself an easy week to regain that triathlon feeling.


STRENGTH & CONDITIONING S&C for age-groupers is about improving range of motion, says Darren Smith. So what can we take from the D-Squad maestro on strength sessions?


BUTTACHE When you finish running hill reps or big-gear work, your butt should be on fire. They’re the muscles we want working; they’re bigger muscles. a fair whack, which you’ll manage with quick-feet drills.




Close your eyes, stand on one foot and see how long you can avoid touching the ground. About 5secs? If you reach 60secs, you have good proprioception; your body understands it’s going off alignment and corrects itself. The best runners run with feet, knee and hips aligned – so practise this drill on each foot every day.

Swimming isn’t a pulling action so it’s not about lat pull-downs in the gym. Lats are involved but it’s more about holding while the body goes past. That’s key because 95% of age-groupers will pull. A stretch-cord helps here. They turn on the right muscles for swimming, which are the core for twisting and isometric contraction of the shoulder.



An advanced drill is to add cleaning your teeth with eyes closed at the same time. Then put the brush down and move onto jumping and landing on one foot.


Does Chris Froome look muscle bound? No. But he can ride up a massive hill pushing a massive chainring without wiggling. He has functional strength rather than brute force. Don’t focus on leg presses; instead, do big-gear work uphill.



A further advancement is to reach 60secs with eyes closed after a hard run. That makes you bulletproof and shows your technique will hold up off the bike.



To engage your core further, place one hand in the back pocket of your jersey, the other holding onto the bars and push a big gear. Do it to the point that you feel you’re going to fall off. It’s not good enough to get up the hill; you need to get up the hill looking neat.



The best runners aren’t soft on the ground, not fleet-footed like some portray them. Hit the ground with

We have a stretch-cord session before every swim and our athletes never injure their shoulders. The shoulder doesn’t move but the arm does, and they hold that for 10secs to begin with in each position of the stroke. And then step back further and hold in each position for another 10secs. There’ll be a point where you start shaking and that tells you that you’re not strong enough for that level.


The plank and bridge are good core exercises. As is a movement called the downward dog. Basically, it’s hands down, butt up and you slide through those positions using control of the shoulders.


Many of my athletes do yoga or pilates but it’ll be triathlon-specific. In San Diego last year I had a yoga teacher come in every Thursday for my group, so aim to find a weekly tri-specific yoga or pilates session.


Set up a circuit at home. Grab a ball, a stretch cord, brush your teeth and go through a routine where you’re focusing on tension and strength. A 15min session twice weekly will strengthen your performance.



NUTRITION Fitter, happier, enhanced performance. Follow these nutritional nuggets from Kevin Currell of the EIS to power your multisport in 2016…


Eat beetroot or add it to your smoothie. Research shows that there’s a positive performance effect for recreational athletes.


Always work back from protein as it repairs muscle and allows you to adapt and recover from training. It’s also satiating. Aim for around 0.3g/kg of protein. For a 70kg athlete, that’s around 20g, which is what you’ll find in a pint of milk.


You might be doing a long ride on the weekend, which is pretty steady. Maybe have an omelette before you ride and an electrolyte during to enhance fat metabolism. But when you’re doing your night track session, you need carbs. They’re king for intensity.


It’s preferable to have smaller, more frequent meals if you’re heavy training. When you have regular meals, the size of those meals often equates to smaller than having one large meal in the evening.

Split your plate into three: protein, veg and carbs. Fruit and veg deliver vitamins and minerals; carbs give you energy. Go for quality, unprocessed carbs like sweet potatoes. Or jumbo rolled oats instead of fine processed porridge.

If you’re living off wafer-thin processed ham, don’t. Visit your local butchers and buy quality meat. It’s better for your and your performance.



Good fats improve signalling in the body and make up cell walls, so add nuts and seeds to your porridge, as well as having oily fish, like salmon or mackerel, a couple of times a week. You could also split an avocado in half, take out the big stone and bake an egg in the middle of it for 10mins. It’s tasty and nutritious.



When it comes to fruit, I always say the closest to the tree, the more nutrients are going to be in it. So ideally shop local.



Something like a Nutribullet or similar blender is a great way to get a concentrated hit of fruit and veg. Have a smoothie alongside breakfast and use them to make a great recovery shake. Simply add milk, a banana and berries and you have a perfect recovery shake.


Vitamin-D is essential for calcium absorption and is linked with bone health. There’s also evidence that vitamin-D’s important for a strong immune system and muscle function. Predominantly you get vitamin-D from the sun so a supplement during the winter is good.


After a track session, it’s easier to have a recovery shake than a tuna sandwich, but both will do the same thing in terms of recovery.


More nutrients remain in vegetables if you steam or stir-fry. That said, if you boil and use the water to make gravy, you’ll still receive a nutrient hit.


2016 FUELLING You’ll hear more about low-carb training for aerobic adaptation this year. Hopefully what we’ll see are ways to make it more practical. Q 220


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he triathlon swim may be the shortest in both distance and time compared to the bike and run, but it’s the one that’s contributed most to sleepness nights, Did Not Starts and signing up for that duathlon instead. The mental energy consumed alone can scupper a good race’s plans, with many bike and run legs ruined by a disrupted pre-race morning and poorly-executed swim. Yet as daunting as they can be, the swim is often the most memorable, thrilling and rewarding part of any tri race. How

often do you find yourself in a beautiful lake or ocean with like-minded souls – and flanked by buoyant spectators – before the rest of the nation is awake, after all? So to help you conquer triathlon’s most worrisome discipline we’ve rounded up some of the best elite and age-group swimmers of tri to quash your race-day fears. How to sight, deal with the cold and battle currents are just a trio of the 15 tri swim scenarios soothed by our experts, and they’ll even show you how to get out of your wetsuit without looking like Madonna falling off that stage…








Meet our seven-strong panel of swim experts, whose water-based credentials span the length and breadth of top age-group, ITU, Ironman and Xterra racing. Livesey races pro on the IM circuit, podiuming twice in 2015 (UK and Lanza).

Former ITU athlete McNamee finshed at the 2015 Ironman Worlds in 11th.

Two-time Xterra world champ Duffy is also a top-five ITU WTS finisher.

CONQUERING FEARS Race-day fears come in all shapes and sizes. So the first thing to do is use positive visualisation; a powerful tool that all athletes, no matter what their ability, can use to overcome negative thoughts. For the swim, you need to think about what’s scaring you, so you can use the right approach to feel comfortable and improve your performance. Many people struggle with murky water – totally alien when you’re used to training in a pool – but this fear generally stems from unfamiliarity. You can get over this by practising in open water as much as possible before race day – and keep facing it until you’re desensitised. That way, what normally triggers your anxiety loses its power. Irrational fears (seriously, there are no sharks in that lake!) need to be dealt with. Practice can help here, but distraction tactics may actually work better for you. Focus on the moment – on the physical act of swimming and perhaps repeating a technique phrase over to yourself – and you should feel the anxiety fade. Taking your mind off your fears and engaging with the physical actions of swimming will help you to relax. Practise this in open water prior to the race so that it comes naturally on race day when your anxiety levels will be much higher. That way, you have the greatest chance of getting the best out of yourself on race day, and hopefully nailing that PB. CAROLINE LIVESEY, 2ND IRONMAN UK 2015

MASS SWIM START It’s not a secret; the start of a tri can be daunting at all levels. To avoid the mêlée, follow these suggestions: Q Start at the back. For those of you that are novice open-water swimmers, allow everyone to start and then start your swim. This should allow you to have clear water and navigate the swim course in peace. Q Try to minimise the amount of people immediately around you, so begin at the far sides of the start line. I always try to start at the far right or left (even if it’s a longer line to the first buoy) of the start line to reduce the washing machine effect. Q Breathe! If you start to get panicky during the swim then focus on your breathing. Try deep breaths in and out, emptying your lungs each time. If you do swallow water, or get knocked by another swimmer, use breaststroke to catch your breath, regain composure and then carry on with front crawl. FLORA DUFFY, 2 X XTERRA WORLD CHAMP




Former ITU athlete Wiltshire is now one of the fastest swimmers in Ironman racing.


A regular challenger to Richard Varga’s ‘fastest swimmer in the ITU’ title.



Pro athlete Lucy Charles clocked the fifth-fastest swim at the 2015 IM Worlds.

The Brownlees’ training buddy is rated as the fastest swimmer on the ITU circuit.

DEALING WITH THE COLD The first thing to remember is to never allow yourself to get cold before you enter the water. Do a warm-up jog with plenty of clothing on to raise your body temperature. Then put your well-fitted wetsuit on while also keeping warm socks and gloves on. If there’s a delay until you can enter the water then put a jacket on over the wetsuit and do a land-based warm-up like press ups, etc. Enter the water at a gradual pace – don’t just cannon ball in – but remember there’s also such a thing as going too slow. Finally, remember to always keep your body moving. DAVID MCNAMEE, IRONMAN UK WINNER 2015

“Never allow yourself to get too cold before you enter the water. Do a warm-up jog with plenty of clothing on to raise your body temperature” TRIATHLON220.COM.AU I 47


SWIMMING STRAIGHT As triathletes, we spend countless hours swimming up and down the black line in a pool. Come race day there’s no black line, only a couple of buoys in the distance. Once in the water, it’s difficult to see the buoys because of athletes in front or next to you splashing. So sight big and use a landmark behind the buoy, as in a building, a dock, mountain peak… that lines up with a buoy on the course. Sighting big will allow you to sight less, and stay on course much easier. To sight, lift your head as high as needed: In calm, flat conditions only lift your eyes out of the water; while in wavy conditions, you’ll need to lift your head out of the water – and

remember to do so at the top of the wave. Sighting at the top of the wave will allow the best visual of the buoy. In choppy and unpredictable conditions, sight two or three times in a row (every other stroke) as it’ll be hard to see the buoy. The first is to sight the buoy, the second to adjust direction and third time to ensure you’re going in the correct direction. Repeat every 20secs or so. Practice makes perfect. The next time you’re at the pool, incorporate sighting practice into your workout. For example, every fourth length sight every 5-6 strokes. Simple but effective. FLORA DUFFY, 2 X XTERRA WORLD CHAMPION

“Lift your head as high as needed: In calm, flat conditions only lift your eyes out of the water; while in wavy conditions, you’ll need to lift your head out of the water”

DEALING WITH CURRENTS Open-water swimming in different conditions is a technical and tactical skill. For me, it doesn’t mean the shortest way is logically the fastest way. So it’s very important to know the course before the race. Try to get as much as possible information from the internet and locals swimmers and, if possible, try to visit the course at the same time of day as your race will start before race day. It’s important to analyse how and where to swim. Always look which way the current goes and how strong it is. If the current goes from left to


right, my choice on the start line is from the left even if, optically, it’s longer. The current can then push you to the first buoy and you can swim with it. If you choose the right side, you’ll end up swimming against the current, which is slower and therefore the energy costs will be greater. My suggestion for currents in rivers is not to swim where the tide has the biggest power. Fighting against it is a losing battle. Avoid this by going to the side where the current has the lowest speed. RICHARD VARGA, 3 X ITU WORLD AQUATHLON CHAMP



RUNNING IN SHALLOW WATER This skill may sound straightforward but mastering it will save you valuable seconds and energy in a swim exit. In approaching the swim exit I prefer to swim as close to it as possible. When I can no longer get a full downward arm stroke I know it’s shallow enough to stand up. Place both hands on the floor and drive up and out of the water with the arms and legs. When running in the shallow water imagine you have a small hurdle under each foot. The extra lifting of the leg when running will help you gain speed without having to drag your legs through the shallow water. Attempting to run with your legs half submerged can be tiring before the bike leg. LUCY CHARLES, FIFTH FASTEST SWIM, 2015 IRONMAN WORLDS



BEING DUNKED OR KICKED Open-water races nearly always include mass starts. With so many people around you in a small space, swimming in every direction and at different paces, you’re bound to come in contact with some people during your swim. It’s a scary thing to be dunked or kicked in the swim. The best thing you can do is to not panic and remain calm. If you feel you need attention

and help, swing your arms in the air and this’ll signal for the lifeguards to assist you. If you feel a little claustrophobic, try starting on the sides or let the mad rush of the front athletes go ahead so you’re not caught-up in the middle of it. Don’t swim too close to the feet of someone else because they might decide to do a strong kick… and one could be in your face! HENRI SCHOEMAN, ITU RACING’S NEW SWIM SUPERSTAR


“Don’t swim too close to the feet of someone else because they might decide to kick… and one could be in your face!”

FACING CHOPPY WATER Dealing with choppy water can be daunting. The biggest issue is usually nerves, as soon as you tense up and the adrenalin starts pumping you stop focusing on what you’re doing. Panic attacks are surprisingly common, even among pros. The best way to deal with a new challenge is to get as much practice beforehand as


possible. Look out for open-water training days and lifeguard-patrolled beaches leading up to a race. There’s really no substitute for spending time getting used to the conditions and there are plenty of groups that are regularly getting in the open water. If you can relax and enjoy what you’re doing, then you’re most of the way there. When in the water, think about the rhythm of your stroke. You need to adapt your stroke rate to the waves so that you’re not recovering or

breathing just as a wave is falling on you or pulling on thin air as you come off a wave. Generally, a faster arm turnover is better in choppy conditions; it’s no use stretching and reaching for a long and relaxed pool stroke if the water is disappearing from underneath you. Having said that, you still need to make the most of the water you do catch. HARRY WILTSHIRE, 2012 OUTLAW TRIATHLON WINNER



Plan the exit of your swim. It could be dangerous if you swim to an unknown shore, for example. Also be aware of the different types of waves: spilling, surging and dumping waves. Spilling waves appear when the top of the wave falls down the front of itself, and these are the easiest to judge. Surging waves don’t break and can easily knock someone over, dragging them out to sea. Dumping waves break with great force in shallow water. They’re powerful, dangerous and normally occur at low tide. When you swim against the waves, don’t fight with them and aim to swim underneath the wave, trying to find the rhythm between your strokes and the waves. Swimming with a high cadence, good catch and a high body position is crucial. Another option is body surfing. This is an enormous advantage. You get to the shore much quicker and save energy costs for other disciplines. RICHARD VARGA, 3 X ITU WORLD AQUATHLON CHAMP

WETSUIT REMOVAL Q Unzip wetsuit. Once you’re running out of the water find your wetsuit zip cord and unzip. If you have one of the new Huub quick-release zips like me, by pulling the cord up and slightly to the left the whole wetsuit back opens instantly. Q Hat and goggles off and remove sleeves. I always take my hat and goggles off next for two reasons. One, to see where I’m running. Two, so when I take my arms out of the sleeves my hat and goggles get stuck inside one of the wetsuit arms. This frees up your hands for the next steps. Q With your wetsuit at your waist run to T1: This opens up your chest allowing you to replace much-needed oxygen after the swim and makes it easier to run. Q Step out of the wetsuit: Use you hands to pull the wetsuit down as far as you can. Then, with one foot, stand on the bottom part of the other leg’s wetsuit and pull your foot up and out. Repeat on the other side. Q Place wetsuit in designated area, box or bag: Make sure you put your wetsuit away in the correct place to avoid any penalties. For Ironman racing this is usually your blue T1 bag. LUCY CHARLES, FIFTH FASTEST SWIM, 2015 IRONMAN WORLDS

“With your wetsuit at your waist this opens up your chest and makes i easier to run to T1” 2 .C 22 CO

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PERFORMANCE Reach your tri potential with training advice for all levels

Parts 3-4 of our six-month training plan are on pages 64 and 66 r sp ctiv ly

Getting a flat on a sprint tri means it’s up to you – tri clinic can help you out on page 68


PHYSIO FOCUS Emma Deakin helps us plan the off-season


TRI RESEARCH The pick of the latest tri knowledge, all in one place


SWIM SESSION John Wood helps us up our lactate threshold


BIKE SESSION Pyramid sessions with the aim of building your speed


RUN SESSION Paced tempo sessions to get you race ready


TRAINING PLAN: BUILD PHAES Continue on our six-month training plan!


TRI CLINIC You ask – our team of experts answer


RECIPE Spiced red lentil dhal


DIET ANALYSIS Eat well, improve performance

A spiced red lentil dhal is the ultimate vegetarian energy booster on page 74



PLAN YOUR OFFSEASON RECOVERY Physio Emma Deakin explains how to make the most of the winter months so that you’re in the best possible shape for the start of the race season…


fter spending the summer racing and competing it’s time to sit back and reflect on what you’ve achieved over the past season. Maybe it didn’t go entirely to plan, or you didn’t get to tick off all the goals on your list. Alternatively, you may have already pre-qualified for events and be raring to go. Either way, the cooler months are valuable and shouldn’t be overlooked. First, I think it’s important to enjoy some well-deserved time off. I don’t need to tell you that triathlon is hard, both mentally and physically – it’s a sport that demands many hours of dedicated training. So when it comes to the off-season, don’t let guilt get the better of you. It’s okay to have a break from full-on training and to reduce the load. In fact, many elite athletes will take an off-season break of anything from three to five weeks, with a minimum of two weeks involving no training at all. Often, it’s necessary. In this article I’ve provided a few ideas for how you can spend your break to make sure you return to full training fresh and prepared for the year to come.

Use the off-season to plan weekly and longer schedules, including discipline-focused training blocks

REST AND RECOVER Allow enough time off to let your body recover fully. Recovery is vital so that the body and its physiological markers have time to show adaptation to training stimuli. Nutrition is a key part of any recovery strategy and is particularly important for those who train several times a day. Inadequate recovery has a number of potential consequences; it can lead to fatigue, illness, injury, missed training and poor performance. Carbohydrates and fluids containing electrolyte are useful for recovery; as are proteins, which help the body adapt. Assess your fuel intake and make sure that you’re putting in enough to power the best quality training.


PLAN AHEAD If you do just one thing in the off-season, this should be it. Planning is essential and should be split into a number of component parts: Plan each week. Liaise with your coach, if you have one, to schedule your training to best suit you and your lifestyle. Look at the key swim, bike and run sessions you need to complete, and make sure that you’ll hit these sessions as fresh as possible. Be sure to plan all of your gym, conditioning and injury-prevention work into


EXPERT TIPS Depending on where you live in Australia, conditions can vary a lot – especially in winter. Rain and windy weather can lead to bike crashes or falls, and as a result grazing or ‘road rash’ can be a common problem. It can be extremely painful, and scarring isn’t unusual. The best thing you can to do to protect your hands is to wear gloves. But the most important first step in treating road rash is to thoroughly clean the wound. Any gravel, dirt or residual strands of clothing left in the wound can lead to infection and delay healing. Follow these simple steps should you take a two-wheeled tumble:

Clean the wound using sterile saline (eyewash pods are convenient) and a clean sponge. Treat superficial grazes with a dry iodine spray. Dress the wound with a spray plaster then cover with a waterproof, breathable dressing. If the wound is deeper than a graze or you’re not able to fully clean the area, it’s well worth a trip to the local minor injuries unit or A&E. In some cases a course of antibiotics may be needed. If it’s getting more painful or has an expanding red area around it, or if you feel generally unwell, then you should consult your GP.


your week so that it becomes a part of your normal training regime. Plan training in blocks throughout the year – focusing on swim, bike, a specific run speed and so on. While you’re in a focused block of training adjust sessions for the other disciplines to avoid becoming overtrained and feeling flat. Finally, plan your race schedule. It’s important to know what you’re training for and when a peak in performance is required.

WORK ON YOUR WEAKNESSES The off-season is the perfect time to work on any weaknesses. Swimming: book a lesson or speak to a swim coach for more detailed stroke analysis. It may be helpful to swim regularly in order to practise drills and technique. Cycling: spinning classes provide a good way of keeping some bike focus in your programme and are more sociable in the off-season than a lonely turbo session.

Running: it’s important to reduce training load during the break to minimise injury risks, but running drills are a great way to work on any technique issues you’ve noticed during the season.

CROSS-TRAIN The break is an ideal time to try something different. Cross-training can be beneficial, maintaining your endurance levels while keeping you mentally fresh. Lots of different activities have benefits that will improve your overall fitness and help with components of fitness associated with triathlon. Yoga, rock climbing and pilates are three great examples.

DEAL WITH INJURIES If you’ve spent the back end of the race season struggling with injuries or training through a niggle – stop! Don’t try to start your winter training block with a pre-existing injury; it will only get worse. See a physiotherapist to get a diagnosis and treatment. Even if you feel fine, a full-body MOT is of value. A physiotherapist will be able to identify any area of muscle imbalance or tightness that you need to correct and monitor so you can stop it developing into a problem as the training ramps up. Hopefully these tips show how winter can be time well spent – and will lead to a successful, injury-free season. Q 220

PREPARE TO TRAIN Over the past couple of issues we’ve been looking at strength training for triathletes and the best exercises for conditioning your body. The off-season is a great time to get in the gym and start that work, making sure your body is strong enough to take the load of training.

This is the last article in the Physio Focus series from Emma, but don’t worry if you’ve missed any as you can find them all at And you can continue to send queries about injuries or requests for advice on strength and conditioning training to

Cross-training can be beneficial, maintaining your endurance levels while keeping you mentally fresh

In winter, spinning classes are a great way of maintaining bike fitness in a sociable environment



SPORT SCIENCE UNCOVERED James Witts trawls through the latest training, technology and nutrition journals to filter through what you can apply to your own performance After taking swabs and examining the seven genotypes, the researchers tallied up a total genotype score (TGS), which represents the percentage of ‘optimal’ alleles for a particular phenotype, in this case an endurance athlete. Firstly, they found that age-groupers in Hawaii really are the best in the world. Despite the heat, humidity and wind, mean finishing time came in at 11:44hrs with the fastest at 9:53hrs and slowest just making the 17hr cut-off (16:55hrs). And was this reflected in genotype? “It was but only the endurance combination for the AMPD1 gene,” says Griffiths. “It shows the importance of training and that much work needs to be done to identify further genes involved in endurance performance.” It might be an underwhelming conclusion but it does have connotations to performance…

Genetic research into Ironman age-group racing found little difference between the slowest and fastest athletes

Q Taking a DNA test may be a waste of money. “I don’t think we know enough about all the genes involved in performance yet and feel that, at present, DNA testing is too early,” says Griffiths.


Q The researchers also showed that highintensity training, was vital to improve muscle glycogen levels and increase mitochondrial capacity, both key to endurance performance. Q Research by Ironman has shown an average 15hrs-a-week training is the minimum needed to be a top age-group performer.

A new study by Australian researchers attempts to uncover whether there’s a perfect Ironman genotype…




0 92.86










Reference: Plos ONE, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145171, published 30 December 2015



“We examined the genetic profile of 196 men and women who raced the 2008 Ironman Worlds to distinguish whether there were significant genetic differences between the faster athletes and the slower ones,” explains professor Lyn Griffiths of Queensland University. “We did this by isolating seven genes that have favourable alleles that are important to endurance performance.” Alleles are different versions of the same gene and can be dominant or recessive. Griffiths focused on the following seven that, with the right allele combination, exhibit positive endurance traits: ACE – blood pressure; ACTN3 – anaerobic and aerobic energy production; AMPD1 – fatigue; CKMM – aerobic capacity; GDF8 – muscle-fibre strength; HFE – iron absorption; and PPARGC1A – energy availability.




hat it takes to be an elite athlete or top age-grouper is something coaches and sports scientists have been trying uncover for years, but it’s a complicated answer due to the myriad of interactions. There’s clearly the environmental factor, which includes training, nutrition and the gear you use; but then there’s what you were born with in the first place, namely your DNA. Your DNA provides a natural ceiling to your blood lactate threshold, maximal oxygen capacity, glucose and lipid metabolism, and muscular strength, all associated with how fast or slow you can race. And it’s your genetic side that a group of Australian researchers set about studying to see if there was the perfect genetic code geared towards excelling at Ironman racing.


Total genotype score The researchers showed that the average genotype score of the athletes didn’t skew toward six of the seven endurance genes tested


Barefoot running could be more economical at higher speeds… but buy shoes for racing

THE CUTTING EDGE The lab says it’s time to rethink your training and nutrition strategies WEIGHTS NOT SPRINTS




Time your gym exercises right, says Professor Kikuchi, who, along with his team, divided subjects into resistance and concurrent training groups. Both performed arm curls comprising 3 x 10 reps at 80% of one-rep max, three times a week, for eight weeks. The concurrent group also undertook sprint training – 4 x 30sec sprints with 30secs rest – on the same day. The resistance group showed significant strength gains over the concurrent group, suggesting you should only perform one workout on ‘weight’ days or keep the other workout very low intensity.

Just when you thought the barefoot movement was a distant memory… Professor Adam Berrones and his team examined variables like heart rate, blood lactate and rate of perceived exertion of 14 female subjects during three, sub-5min, sub-maximal run trials. The tests took place at 65%, 75% and 85% of VO2max. Though no differences were recorded at 65% and 75%, oxygen consumption reduced significantly at 85%. This not only suggests barefoot running is more economical at higher speeds, but also that lightweight run shoes are worth purchasing for race season.

As sports scientist Paul Laursen shows, there are several methods available to combat the effect of heat on endurance exercise. But one aspect Laursen didn’t cover was the use of tyrosine – a non-essential amino acid synthesised in the liver from phenylalanine. Elevated tyrosine levels result in a greater cerebral uptake of dopamine and noradrenaline. A meta-analysis by professor Lee Taylor showed that there’s evidence this tyrosinefuelled response helps maintain cognitive function in extreme environmental conditions.

Upped the training but still adding on unwanted kilos? You could be masticating too quickly. Researcher Jung Su Lee analysed the eating habits of 4,249 residents of a city in north-east Japan. While Su Lee observed that missing breakfast or eating late-evening meals didn’t increase the risk of adding weight, it did so in combination with eating too quickly. In fact, eating quickly was the most significant identifier of overweight subjects. But then this isn’t new information: an author from the 1800s suggested that if people chewed food until it liquefied, they would eat less of it.





PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE Curvy or flat – which is the most efficient freestyle hand movement…?


re you an ‘S’ stroker or an ‘I’ stroker? These two types of freestyle refer to your hand movement beneath the water. Those in the ‘S’ camp draw a curve from downsweep through to insweep and upsweep. Those who swim with an ‘I’ movement pull directly back from hand entry to upsweep. Recent research from Japan investigated the fluid mechanics of both methods to determine which is most effective. They discovered that the S-stroke is more suited for swimming middle and long distances where efficiency is required – down to the longer duration of the pull – while the I-stroke is better for short distances, which depend on speed over efficiency. However, there are a few caveats to the active triathlete. The first is that assessment took place in the controlled conditions of the pool rather than the battleground that is open-water swimming, where a fast arm turnover’s often more beneficial through the waves. Also, as Swim Smooth’s Paul Newsome says, the ‘S’ pull is a hard movement to master. Get it wrong and your hips will swing, leading to increased drag. Reference: Journal of Sports Sciences, December 2015, Epub ahead of print


1 Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, December 2015, Epub ahead of print; 2 1 Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, January 2016, Epub ahead of print; 3 Frontiers In Physiology, published online January 2016; 4 Eating Behaviors, volume 21, April 2016, pages 84-88



UP THE THRESHOLD, BUILD ENDURANCE Increase your lactate threshold with an intense swim session so that when race season rolls around again you’ll go faster for longer, says John Wood


ne of the best ways to improve your fitness is to increase your lactate threshold – similar to how you would for cycling and running. This will enable you to swim for longer periods at increased speed. Threshold work specifically teaches the body to produce less lactate at higher levels of effort, and also helps to speed the process of eliminating accumulated lactate when efforts exceed endurance pace. The main way to improve your threshold speed is to swim at a high intensity with minimal

recovery. This forces the body to use lactate as fuel or remove it from the muscles. If you haven’t done any sort of lactate threshold test before, or even if you have, you should be aiming to swim each set at around 8/10 intensity (using a scale on which 7.5 would be about the pace at which you feel the ‘burn’ in your muscles). If you did our 30min swim TT use the average pace you set in that session. Alternatively, critical swim speed (CSS) pace would equate to a similar effort. This pace can be scaled up to swim reps of 200m, 400m or even 800m repeats, again with

minimal recovery. Over a 50m set you might rest for only 5secs each time, or for about 20secs in a 400m set. The aim is to get used to swimming at a pace slightly above your comfort zone. If you haven’t tried this type of training before, start with very short sets and build up steadily – but apply the same principle, regardless of distance. As with all swim training, good form is key. Focus on actions that actually make you move forward faster, especially when you get tired, rather than throwing your arms around for not much return. Q 220

JARGON BUSTER LACTATE THRESHOLD The point at which lactate production and removal (it’s a useful fuel source) causes higher breathing rates and muscle pain. LACTATE The by-product of working above your aerobic ability. The fitter the athlete, the higher the heart rate before lactate build-up occurs. CRITICAL SWIM SPEED Approximately your lactate threshold pace – roughly race pace. Work it out with time trials over 400m and 100m.


SCULLING Drills that use your hands alone to propel you.

Swimming sets at a pace slightly above your comfort zone helps you maintain faster speeds for longer



60min threshold or CSS session



Keep control on your first rep; it will always feel easier than the rest!


WARM-UP 200m alternating 25m freestyle (F) with backstroke 200m alternating 25m sculling with swimming (or pull if you use a pull buoy) 4 x 50m as: start slow and build up to PE10*; 10secs rest


STREAMLINE Good streamlines off the wall will help hold your form under pressure and give you the speed to maintain it down the length.

6 x 100m at threshold pace/CSS at PE8; 10secs rest 2 x 100m at max effort; 20secs rest 100m easy recovery swim Repeat above three sets 4 x 50m choice of kick as: 25m easy, 25m hard; 15secs rest *PE = perceived exertion level 1 being no effort, 10 being max effort.

COOL-DOWN 200m mixed stroke, with at least 50m non-free

Adapt for beginners


Rather than swimming 100m reps, do them as 50m efforts. You can shorten parts of the warm-up and remove the kick super set at the finish.

As fatigue sets in, keep control of your stroke; remember what it is that makes you move faster.

For stronger or longer-distance swimmers, lengthen the reps and do 200s or 400s on threshold effort – or repeat the main set two more times.

Adapt for advanced


FEEL THE PRESSURE Sculling is an incredibly useful tool. It provides the building blocks for the four swim strokes, teaching you to feel pressure on the hands and forearms at all times – important throughout all parts of the stroke to propel you forward. It’s all about lateral movement (side to side), and about angling your hands to help press against the water.


TRY THREE POSITIONS You can scull at different parts of the stroke. Try it out in front, as you’d enter the water (see image 1): focus on getting hold of the water. At midpoint (2), with your elbows out to the side and forearms pointing down, focus on squeezing in and out with your forearms. Finally, do an exit-point scull (3), with hands by your sides.


INTEGRATE INTO YOUR STROKE Using a pull buoy or a gentle kick to keep your legs afloat, start integrating sculls into your stroke. Start a continuous scull at entry point. In small steps bring your hands back, sculling in and out all the time. Do this all the way back to the exit point – you should feel pressure against your hands and forearms from front to back.



PUSH YOUR LIMIT, BOOST BIKE PACE With the first races of the season creeping into our calendar, it’s time to increase the intensity of your training. Use Nik Cook’s threshold pyramid session to build your bike pace…



lthough the cooler months are upon us, those quality training blocks are always on the horizon. If you’re eyeing up some early time trials or the second chunk of the duathlon season, you could be toeing a startline even sooner. Hopefully you’re using winter well to put in some solid work and, at the very least, have established a decent endurance base. But it’s now time to increase the intensity of your workouts, put in some sustained race-pace efforts and start getting your body used to holding your race position. ‘Threshold’ is a key training and racing intensity, whether it’s functional threshold power (FTP – the highest average power or pace you can maintain for one hour) or functional threshold heart rate (FTHR). Sprint racers will be pushing just above threshold level, Olympic-distance athletes hovering just under it and, for middle- and long-course triathletes, it represents a rev-limit redline for their longer bike legs. Having an innate feel for your own threshold is essential for successful cycling and, by training at it, you can progressively raise it. As part of your winter training, you should have been testing your FTP/FTHR every 6-8 weeks to monitor your progress and ensure you have accurate training zones. If you’ve been skimping on your testing, or even your training, however, now’s the time to bite the bullet and find out exactly where you’re at. There’s no point in training blind so make scheduling in a test a priority. A good test protocol to follow can be found at but there are a number of other options. The classic threshold workout is 2 x 20mins and, although this is a great session, a solid 20min effort can be difficult to get your head around. A pyramid-style workout, which still logs a similar amount of time at threshold intensity, breaks it up into more manageable chunks. You should perform these efforts in your race position. That said, heading out on your race bike at this time of year isn’t always a wise idea, so you’re probably better off doing it on a turbo trainer, which, fortuitously, is exactly what I’ve prescribed on the next page. Q 220

Now’s the time to start getting your body used to holding your race position


Timing your eating for higher-intensity sessions can be tricky. Schedulee your session before breakfast and you’ll have nothing in the tank but iff you wait until after dinner, it can affect the quality of your sleep. A gel can be the answer. With a hefty 150mg caffeine hit and a genuine coffeee taste SIS’s Go Energy + Caffeine is an ideal pre-workout gel to give you a boost. It’s not sickly sweet and the consistency means you don’t have to down gallons of water with it.

Having an innate feel for your own threshold is essential for successful cycling 60 I TRIATHLON220.COM.AU

BIKE KEEP STILL Your upper body should stay still and relaxed. Any swaying or excessive head movement will increase drag.

73min threshold pyramid


WARM-UP 0-3mins easy spinning in zone 1 (Z1), 90rpm 3-4mins Z2, 95rpm 4-5mins Z1, 90rpm 5-6mins Z3, 100rpm 6-7mins Z1, 90rpm 7-9mins as: 5secs maximal sprint/55secs Z1, 90rpm 9-10mins Z1, 90rpm

MAIN SESSION* 1min high Z4 (as close to FTP/FTHR as possible, race cadence) 1min easy spin recovery 3mins high Z4 (as close to FTP/FTHR as possible, race cadence) 1min easy spin recovery 5mins high Z4 (as close to FTP/FTHR as possible, race cadence) 1min easy spin recovery 3mins high Z4 (as close to FTP/FTHR as possible, race cadence) 1min easy spin recovery 1min high Z4 (as close to FTP/FTHR as possible, race cadence) 1min easy spin recovery *Repeat three times in total

COOL-DOWN 9mins easy spinning STAY SMOOTH Keep your pedalling action smooth – don’t stomp just because you’re on a turbo.

Adapt for beginners If you struggle to complete the full workout, you can reduce the intensity of the efforts to Z3 and still get in a great session. Alternatively, just do one or two sets rather than three.

Adapt for Ironman If your FTP/FTHR is a genuine value, an extra repetition, for a total of four, should be just about doable but it’ll be tough. If you want longer intervals, you can double their length and go for twice through. Alternatively, for a real long-course session, drop the intensity to, mid Z3-mid Z4, double up the interval length and do the full three reps.

ROAD TEST Did you test FTP/ FTHR in your triathlon race position? It might differ from your normal road set-up.



RAISE THE TEMPO, INCREASE POWER By including paced tempo sessions now – one of the most important types of run for a triathlete – your body will be ready for the race season ahead, says Spencer Smith

Keep an open mind about what your body will allow you to do at this time of year



opefully by this point in the off-season the body has started to adapt nicely to the increased consistency and volume you’ve slowly inserted into your training regime. And even though there shouldn’t have been a total absence of intensity within your programme thus far, now is the perfect time not only to put the volume in place but to also carefully insert specific paced efforts (near race-pace efforts), to, as the name suggests, improve endurance at a specific, sustained pace. I truly believe that these are one of the most, if not the most, important types of run for a triathlete to do.

But, please be aware that this isn’t a green light for you to throw all your careful planning from the last few months out of the window with overexuberance. It’s important to integrate the intensity carefully and slowly let the body adapt. In other words, be patient. Whenever you have high volume and the inclusion of longer bouts of intensity within a training programme, the chances of picking up an injury are drastically increased. That’s why, even though you might have a specific pace that you believe or think you’re capable of, it’s very important to keep an open mind in terms of what your body will allow you to do. There’s a big

difference between the two. This is where the inclusion of some specific training races are important to help guide you with that constant battle between the two. Remember, these ‘training races’ (5/10km) are a guide. With the volume still being kept relatively high, you’ll go into these benchmark tests a little fatigued, so set your pace goals at a reasonable expectation, to start with at least. For the paced tempo session (see right), find a flat to rolling route and for the surface a mixture of road and softer trails (trails, bush, grass). Ideally complete it once a week to every 10 days, in addition to your other 3-4 runs a week. Q 220

Integrate the intensity carefully and slowly let the body adapt. In other words, be patient 62 I TRIATHLON220.COM.AU

RUN 40-60min paced tempo BUILD UP Try not to start the sesh too aggressively. Build into each rep and try to make the last one as good, or faster, than the first.


WARM-UP Slow build from a jog to PE 4-5* for approx 10-15mins. 3 x [20sec pick-ups @ PE 5-6, 40sec jog @PE 2].

MAIN SESSION 2-3 reps of 10-15mins (if you’re new to this type of session, always err on the side of caution. You can always increase later as the body adapts). Increase pace slightly within the 10-15mins. In your head, break down these longer continuous efforts into manageable 5min increments, with the first of the 5mins being the more conservative (PE 7-8) and then finish the next one or two 5mins (depending on whether you do 10 or 15mins) @ PE 8+ (not max effort) OR @ your specific target pace. Recovery between each 10 or 15min effort is a slow jog (PE 2-3 max) of 3-5mins. Don’t rush or push the recovery.

COOL-DOWN Walk or shuffle until heart rate is under control. Stretch out. * Perceived exertion: 1 being no effort, 10 being max effort. See our guide on p64.

Adapt for beginners Start at the lower end, approx 40mins.

Adapt for Ironman Increase up to approx 60mins.

STAY RELAXED The body should remain strong but controlled and relaxed throughout. Use your breathing to control rhythm and focus. PUSH-OFF Use the ground beneath you to push off. Remember, the ground doesn’t move, so use it to your advantage!




As we move through the year, it’s time to start the ‘Build Phase’ in prep for the summer season . Here’s Dermott Hayes with the next four-week Olympic-distance training block…


ur six-part training plan continues with the first four weeks of the Build Phase (following weeks 1-8 of the Base Phase), which sees the introduction of sessions close to race pace to increase endurance and speed, so there are tempo efforts in each discipline to establish current levels of ability. There’s also a gradual increase in the distance/volume and the intensity of the long steady workouts. These continue to have the

objective of improving aerobic efficiency. Longer bike (indoor and outdoor) and run sessions should include an increased amount of climbing, with some run sessions taking place on trails to improve technique and endurance. Interval sessions increase in difficulty by changing the structure and reducing recovery time. The plan is aimed at individuals training around four times a week for approx 7-8hrs. It targets athletes who’d place themselves at an

intermediate level in triathlon experience and ability and want a longer-term plan to help progression at Olympic-distance triathlon. We’ve also incorporated options for beginner and advanced athletes, whether you’re racing sprint, Olympic or long-course. The sessions here will often tie-in with the swim, bike and run sessions prescribed over the preceding pages. See page 66 for your four-week Build Phase 2 training plan… Q 220

PERCEIVED EXERTION CHART Follow the suggested ‘perceived exertion’ (PE) rating for each session to peg your training efforts correctly.

0 0.5 1.0 2 3 4 5 6 7


8 9 10





Session #1


Session #4




POOL • 1,950m @ PE 5-9 Warm-up • 200m various strokes Main Session • 1,650m as: 300m drill, 5 x 200m pull only @ PE 7, 100m @ PE 9, 5 x 50m @ PE 9. Take 20-30secs rest between sets. Cool-down • 100m your choice of stroke

ROAD • 55-60km @ PE 6-8. Your long ride of the week at a steady effort. Make the routes hilly and challenging. Combine climbing efforts both in and out of saddle. Include some ‘overgearing’ during climbing.

TREADMILL/TRACK • 50mins @ PE 5-9 Warm-up • 5mins @ PE 5-7, include short increases in speed Main Session • 5 x [1min @ PE 9 on 4% incline, 3mins recovery @ PE 6] 4 x [2mins @ PE 8 on 2% incline, 3mins recovery @ PE 6] Cool-down • 5mins @ PE 5

POOL • 2,400m @ PE 5-9 Warm-up • 200m various strokes Main Session • 300m drill [Choose a drill from p105] followed by 2 x [400m @ PE 7, 300m @ PE 8, 200m @ PE 9] Take 20secs rest between sets Cool-down • 100m your choice of stroke


BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Include an extra 20-30secs on the recovery time ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Increase the incline gradient

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Reduce the PE of each effort ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Include 4 x 50m @ PE 9 at end





POOL • 2,100m @ PE 5-9 Warm-up • 200m various strokes Main Session • 300m drill [Choose a drill from p105] followed by 15 x 100m @ PE 8-9. Take 20secs rest between sets. Aim to swim at a pace approx 5-10secs quicker than time-trial pace Cool-down • 100m your choice of stroke

ROAD/GYM • 50mins @ PE 5-9 Warm-up • 5mins @ PE 5-6 Main Session • 8 x [60-90secs in big gear holding 90-100rpm @ PE 8-9, 3mins 30secs recovery @ PE 6] Cool-down • 5mins @ PE 5

ROAD • 11-12km @ PE 6-8. A focus of this run is that it should be rolling with hills. Continue making the run off-road. Increase effort slightly for kms 3, 5, 7 & 9.

TREADMILL/ROAD • 8-10km @ PE 7-8. A tempo run at a consistent pace approx 10-15secs slower per km than race pace.

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Aim for 12 x 100m ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Aim for 18 x 100m

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Aim for the 60secs each time ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Aim for the 90secs each time

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Aim for 11km ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Aim for 12km and include some steep hills

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Aim for 8km and keep it flat ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Don’t choose a completely flat route





POOL • 2,350m @ PE 5-9 Warm-up • 200m various strokes Main Session • 300m drill [Choose a drill from p105] followed by 5 x [200m pull only @ PE 7, 100m @ PE 9]; 5 x 50m @ PE 9. Take 20-30secs rest between sets Cool-down • 100m your choice of stroke

ROAD • 60km @ PE 6-8. Your long ride of the week at a steady effort. Make the routes hilly and challenging. Combine climbing efforts both in and out of saddle. Include some ‘overgearing’ during climbing.

TREADMILL/RUN • 50mins @ PE 5-9 Warm-up • 5mins @ PE 5-7 include short increases in speed Main Session • 5 x [1min @ PE 9 on 4% incline, 3mins recovery @ PE 6] 4 x [2mins @ PE 8 on 2% incline, 3mins recovery @ PE 6] Cool-down • 5mins @ PE 5

GYM/ROAD • 50mins @ PE 5-9 Warm-up • 5mins @ PE 5-6 Main Session • 8 x [60-90secs in big gear holding 90100rpm @ PE 8-9, 3:30mins recovery @ PE 6] Cool-down • 5mins @ PE 5


BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Remove 5 x 50m from end ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Complete 8 x 50m @ PE 9 at end


Session #3


BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Remove 5 x 50m from end ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Complete 8 x 50m @ PE 9 at end


Session #2

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Include an extra 20-30secs on the recovery time ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Increase the incline gradient

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Aim for the 60secs each time ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Aim for the 90secs each time





POOL • 2,400m @ PE 5-9 Warm-up • 200m various strokes Main Session • 300m drill [Choose a drill from p105] followed by 2 x [400m @ PE 7, 300m @ PE 8, 200m @ PE 9]. Take 20secs rest between sets Cool-down • 100m your choice of stroke

GYM/ROAD • 50mins @ PE 5-9 Warm-up • 5mins @ PE 5-6 Main Session • 8 x [60-90secs in big gear holding 90100rpm @ PE 8-9, 3:30mins recovery @ PE 6] Cool-down • 5mins @ PE 5

TREADMILL/ROAD • 11-13km @ PE 6-8. A focus of this run is that it should be rolling with hills. Continue making the run off-road. Increase effort slightly for kms 3, 5, 7 & 9

TREADMILL/ROAD • 8-10km @ PE 7-8. A tempo run at a consistent pace approx 10-15secs slower per km than race pace.

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Reduce the RPE of each effort. ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Include 4 x 50m @ PE 9 at end.

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Aim for 11km ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Aim for 13km and include some steep hills

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Aim for 8km and keep it flat ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Don’t choose a completely flat route

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Aim for the 60secs each time ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Aim for the 90secs each time

KEY: RPM = Revs per minute (bike); Pull only = Pull buoy in between legs & arms only




The path to race-day success intensifies with a focus on building hill strength and efficiency. Over to Dermott Hayes for his next four-week Olympic-distance training block…



ur six-part training plan continues with the second four weeks of the Build Phase. At this time of year it’s important to focus on elements of the training plan that will have a direct effect on your race performance. This second Build Phase features an even larger amount of time spent working to develop greater strength through hill-climbing repetitions, either during interval sessions or


on your long, steady endurance sessions. An ability to become stronger and more efficient on hills will convert into speed on flat courses come race day. The swim sessions now become more intense and the distance in the workouts guarantees a high level of stamina in the water. You’ll also repeat the time trials from Base Phase 2, which should be executed in the same conditions; you should see some improvement. This is your

chance to set benchmarks for the racing season, so make it count. The plan is aimed at individuals training around four times a week for about 7-8hrs. It targets athletes at an intermediate level who want a longer-term plan to help them progress at Olympic triathlon, but we’ve also added options for beginner and advanced athletes. The sessions often tie in with the swim, bike and run sessions from the preceding pages. Q 220



Session #1

Session #2

Session #3

Session #4





POOL • 2,400m @ PE 5-9 Warm-up • 200m various strokes Main Session • 300m drill [adapt a drill from p105], 300m pull only @ PE 7, 6 x 100m @ PE 8-9, 300m pull only @ PE 7, 6 x 100m @ PE 8-9. Take 20-30secs rest between sets Cool-down • 100m your choice of stroke

ROAD • 60km @ PE 6-8. Your long ride of the week at a steady effort. Make the routes hilly and challenging. Combine climbing efforts both in and out of saddle. Include some ‘overgearing’ during climbing.

TREADMILL/ROAD • 12km @ PE 6-8. Your long run of the week at a steady effort. Include a 20min section of hill repeats, and sprint the hills at a high intensity with recovery on the way back down.

POOL • 1,500m time trial. A timed effort against the clock. Swim as hard as you can to achieve the best possible time. Do this in a controlled environment. Repeat from Base Phase 2 – if possible, in the same pool.

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Aim for 50km ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Increase the number of hills

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Aim for 11km ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Choose the toughest climbs possible

• Note: include a 200m warm-up prior to the TT and a cool-down afterwards


BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Reduce to 5 x 100m ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Increase to 400m pull





POOL • 2,400m @ PE 5-9 Warm-up • 200m various strokes Main Session • 300m drill [adapt a drill from p105], 3 x 300m @PE 8, 2 x 300m @PE 8-9, 3 x 100m @ PE 9. Aim to swim at time-trial pace. Take 20secs rest between sets Cool-down • 100m your choice of stroke

ROAD/GYM • 40km time trial. A timed effort against the clock. Ride as hard as you can to achieve the best possible time. Do this in a controlled environment. Repeat from Base Phase 2 – if possible, in the same location.

TREADMILL/ROAD • 50mins @ PE 5-9 Warm-up • 5mins @ PE 5-7; include short bursts of increased speed Main Session • 5 x [4mins @ PE 8 on 2% incline, 1min @ PE 9 on 1% incline, 3mins recovery @ PE 6] Cool-down • 5mins @ PE 5

ROAD • 60km @ PE 6-8. Your long ride of the week at a steady effort. Include a section of hill repeats and climb at a high intensity. Climb both in and out of saddle. Include some ‘overgearing’ during climbing.

• Note: include a 10min warm-up prior to the TT and a cool-down afterwards

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Include an extra 1min recovery ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Increase the incline gradient


BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Increase rest to 30secs ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Increase to 6 x 100m efforts





POOL • 2,400m @ PE 5-9 Warm-up • 200m various strokes Main Session • 300m drill [adapt a drill from p105] followed by 300m pull only @ PE 7, 6 x 100m @ PE 8-9, 300m pull only @ PE 7, 6 x 100m @ PE 8-9. Take 20-30secs rest between sets Cool-down • 100m your choice of stroke

ROAD • 60mins @ PE 5-9 Warm-up • 10mins @ PE 5-6 Main Session • 5 x [2mins seated climb @ 90-100rpm @ PE 8, 2mins standing climb @ 70-80rpm @ PE 8-9, 5mins steady @ PE 7] Cool-down • 5mins @ PE 5

TREADMILL/ROAD • 12km @ PE 6-8. Your long run of the week at a steady effort. Include a 20min section of hill repeats and sprint the hills at a high intensity with recovery on the way back down.

TREADMILL/ROAD • 10km TIME-TRIAL A timed effort against the clock. Run as hard as you can to achieve the best possible time. Do this in a controlled environment. Repeat from Base Phase 2 – if possible, in the same location.

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Remove 6 x 100m from end ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Complete 8 x 50m @ PE 9 at end


BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Aim for 50km ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Increase the number of hill reps

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Aim for 11km ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Choose the toughest climbs possible

• Note: include a 5-8min warm-up prior to the TT and a cool-down afterwards

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Reduce to 4 x main session ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Use highest possible gear





POOL • 2,400m @ PE 5-9 Warm-up • 200m various strokes Main Session • 300m drill [adapt a drill from p105] followed by 3 x 300m @ PE 8, 3 x 200m @ PE 8-9, 3 x 100m @ PE 9. Take 20secs rest between sets. Aim to swim at timetrial pace. Cool-down • 100m your choice of stroke

ROAD • 60km @ PE 6-8. Your long ride of the week at a steady effort. Include a section of hill repeats and climb at a high intensity. Climb both in and out of saddle. Include some ‘overgearing’ during climbing.

TREADMILL/ROAD • 50mins @ PE 5-9 Warm-up • 5mins @ PE 5-7; include short bursts of increased speed Main Session • 5 x [4mins @ PE 8 on 2% incline, 1min @ PE 9 on 1% incline, 3mins recovery @ PE 6] Cool-down • 5mins @ PE 5

GYM/ROAD • 60mins @ PE 5-9 Warm-up • 10mins @ PE 5-6 Main Session • 5 x [2mins seated climb @ 90-100rpm @ PE 8, 2mins standing climb @ 70-80rpm @ PE 8-9, 5mins steady @ PE 7] Cool-down • 5mins @ PE 5

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Increase rest to 30secs ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Increase to 6 x 100m efforts at end

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Aim for 50km ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Increase the number of hill reps

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Include an extra 1min recovery time ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Increase the incline gradient

BEGINNER ADAPTATION • Reduce to 4 x main session ADVANCED ADAPTATION • Use highest possible gear

KEY: RPM = Revs per minute (bike); Pull only = Pull buoy in between legs & use arms only



TRI CLINIC THIS MONTH: Coeliac diets ›› Training together›› Cramps ›› Punctures ›› Coaches MEET OUR EXPERTS HERE TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS NUTRITION



BIKE SEND US YOUR QUESTIONS… If you have a triathlon query, send us your question and we’ll try to answer it in the next available issue of 220 Triathlon. Include as much relevant info as you can.

Renee McGregor is a registered dietitian and sports nutritionist, and author of the bestselling book Training Food. She works with elite competitors and athletes across various sports.

Amanda McCracken is a writer, triathlete, and running and tri coach with 15 years’ experience. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Women’s Running and Glamour.

John Wood is an award-winning triathlon coach of 10 years and a former international swimmer. As well as coaching, he’s also competed in triathlon in all distances up to Ironman.

Mark Kleanthous is an athlete and coach who has completed more than 460 triathlons, including 38 Ironman events, plus many other races including the Marathon des Sables.

Buckwheat is a glutenfree alternative to wheat-based ingredients



I think I might have coeliac disease, so try to stick to a gluten-free diet. What foods should I eat to fuel 10+ hours of tri training each week? NIGEL LEICESTER, EMAIL First, you should seek professional medical advice to establish whether you do have coeliac disease, a serious, welldefined illness in which the body’s immune system attacks itself when gluten is eaten. This causes damage to the gut lining, so the body cannot


properly absorb nutrients. People with coeliac disease often suffer weight loss, iron-deficiency anaemia and extreme fatigue. Coeliac disease is not a food allergy or intolerance – it’s an autoimmune disease. Wheat allergy, in contrast, is a reaction to proteins found in wheat, triggered by the immune system, which usually occurs within seconds or minutes of eating food containing these proteins. The symptoms of non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), another separate condition, are similar to

those of coeliac disease, but there are no associated antibodies and no damage to the lining of the gut. However, there is currently no test to determine whether or not this condition actually exists. Though individuals often report feeling better when sticking to gluten-free (GF) food, it’s possible that this is a placebo effect. Foods containing gluten are on the list of high FODMAP foods (the unwieldy acronym stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols.) When managing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms it can be useful to remove foods on this list

Email to: info@triathlon220.

from the diet for a short period; they can then be reintroduced. Many people choose to go GF, having read reports of improved health and performance gains. There’s no scientific proof of these benefits, except of course in those with coeliac disease. Being diagnosed with an autoimmune condition such as coeliac disease can be life-changing, but with a bit of planning it shouldn’t be difficult to fuel your training. The key thing is to tailor your nutrition to your training sessions. Before high-intensity training sessions such as turbo, run intervals or threshold swims, you should fuel up with complex carbohydrates such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice or buckwheat noodles, all of which are naturally GF. Many GF alternatives such as pastas, crackers and bread are often heavily processed and high in fat, sugar and salt, so limit your intake of those. Remember to recover with a mix of carbohydrate and protein; good options include milkshakes, smoothies or Greek yoghurt with fruit, followed by a balanced meal such as chicken stir-fry with rice. If you take energy or protein bars before or during training, keep an eye on ingredients: these generally tend to contain gluten. Good GF options include Nakd and Bounce bars. Better still, make your own – experiment with ground almonds, rice flour or gram flour as alternatives to wheat. RM



Partners with different paces face challenges when running together – but you can combine training sessions


My partner and I want to go for runs together, but she’s just starting out, averaging 10min/mile, while I’ve been running for some time, pacing closer to 7min/mile on DVL[PLOHWUDLQLQJUXQ&DQZHWUDLQWRJHWKHUDQGEHQHoWHTXDOO\"DAN MORRIS, EMAIL You have to ask yourself two questions. First, does your partner want to get faster? And second, do you want her to get faster? If you can answer yes to both of those questions, then it’s ‘safe’ to run together. But if at any point you consider that running with her is an obligation, stop right there. She’ll sense it, and you’ll both end up miserable. You’ll begin to feel resentful that you’re sacrificing your time and workout potential. She’ll feel guilty that she’s slowing you down, or worry that you don’t actually want to be spending time with her (even if that’s not the case). She should also keep in mind the importance of not over-striding when trying to match your pace – that could result in injury. A three-minute gap in mile pace is rather large. However, if you aren’t training for

anything specific in terms of a race in the next couple of months, then it’s okay to run slower than your usual pace for your easy runs. But, in all honesty, I’d wait until the average mile pace was within two minutes before consistently planning runs together. Perhaps the best way to train together at your own pace is to run in the same vicinity. You could try these three sessions: Q Hit the track. Doing repeats at the track is a great way to spend time with each other and run your own pace. Consider doing a set of 800s in which you push her for the first lap (slower than your pace but faster for her). On the second lap she tries to maintain the pace with you while you speed up – for example, running 10secs faster than on the first lap.

Q Run hill repeats. Time the repeats so that she starts out a bit before you each time. For example, you run 90sec repeats while she runs 60sec repeats. The descent is recovery and you start at the bottom of the hill each time. Q Plan your easy run around a square neighbourhood grid or a large soccer field. Run in opposite directions and encourage each other as you pass. Speed up in approach and maintain that speed for 30secs after passing each other for a little fartlek. Training together doesn’t have to mean running side by side. Get creative with workouts. What’s important is to make sure you’re clear with yourself and with each other about your goals and hers. AM



Cramping up during long swims? Check your hydration and your kick technique

I often get cramp under my foot when swimming. Is there a technique to reduce the effects of this, and how can I prevent it in the first place? FRAN TREMEER, FORUM Cramps sneak up on you suddenly; though they’re usually over mercifully quickly, they can be excruciatingly painful while they’re afflicting you. Cramps bite when the nerve impulse fires to the muscle in an erratic way, causing it to spasm involuntarily. This happens because of a disruption in the flow of the nerve, caused by one of two factors. First, if your body is low on electrolytes the impulses can’t be transmitted down the nerves correctly. Before exercise, make sure that you’re well hydrated – not just with water, but with an electrolyte of some sort; even a pinch of salt in your drink can help. It can be especially easy to become dehydrated while swimming because you don’t notice yourself sweating. Second – and possibly more pertinent in this case – fatigue can be a contributing factor. If your muscles are fatigued they can overcontract and go into spasm, with your nerves not able to control the muscle fibres properly. When swimming, underfoot cramps tend



I’m doing my first sprint tri this year. What happens if I get a puncture on the bike leg? Am I out of the race? SAM MORGAN, EMAIL Triathlon rules state that each competitor is responsible for the repair of his or her machine during an event – and that includes repairing a flat tyre. If you do catch a flat, consider your best options before safely stopping. If it’s a slow puncture you may be able to use your mini-pump to inflate and carry on, which could be quicker than changing the inner tube or tubular. If the tyre is deflating fast you could use a tyre sealant – a pressurised aerosol can of latex foam that seals the majority of leaks and doesn’t require you to remove the wheel or the tyre. The most common and reliable method,


to result from kicking, particularly if your kick technique isn’t good. The legs use a lot of oxygen because they have relatively big muscles, so fatigue very quickly if not used efficiently, which can lead to cramping. Swimmers are always told to point the toes to get the most out of the kick – which is important. However, some people (and this would seem to be true in your case) point from the toes rather than from the ankles; as a result the toes curl over, stressing the small muscles under the foot

though, is to remove the wheel and the inner tube. Check the inside of the tyre for any foreign objects before replacing the tube and inflating with a CO2 cartridge or a mini-pump. If you get a puncture in the final mile it may be quicker to cycle (carefully!) in a seated position on a flat tyre rather than stopping to change it. Always carry two spares in case the worst happens. Even if you decide not to finish, at least you’ll be able to cycle back to transition. Note that discarding an inner tube on the course is a littering offence and can lead to a penalty or disqualification. Be sure to continue to the end of the bike section with everything you started with. Being able to fix a puncture is an essential skill for every triathlete, so learning that process should be part of your training. When it’s wet or cold outside and you don’t want to train, use the time wisely and practise removing each wheel, deflating the tyre and removing the

beyond the point of fatigue. This is what brings on cramp, particularly when you go to plant your foot to exit the water after an open-water race swim. Try kicking with fins, and also try to improve your ankle flexibility through stretching and mobilisation so that you feel your legs are long and loose rather than stiff and rigid. When you kick – when you work on your legs or when doing full stroke – focus on making your legs like elongated divers’ fins. They should be relatively straight, but not tensing and not straining. JW

QUICK Q&A Do I need to use a training wheel on my turbo trainer? BEN ROWLAND, TWITTER You don’t have to use one specifically built for turbo trainers, but using your standard wheel on the turbo will probably damage the rim. Cheap training wheels start at about $100, and should last a couple of winters with moderate usage. How can I motivate myself to start training before work? JOHN DOLAN, EMAIL Consider joining a morning group training session with a club or at a gym, in whichever discipline you find easiest in the morning – that way you’re obliged to turn up. When you don’t feel like training, being in a group environment means you can’t just duck out – sometimes peer pressure can be a good thing! Is there a fail-safe way to remember which way to turn the spanner to take off my pedals? STEVEN THOMAS, BY EMAIL On the drive side (with the chain), the pedal has a standard thread (lefty loosey, righty tighty); on the non-drive side it’s a reverse thread. So when facing the drivetrain, to get the pedals off turn the spanner anticlockwise from the three o’clock position. On the other side, put the spanner in the nine o’clock position, turn clockwise – et voila!

If you get a flat on a sprint tri it’s up to you to fix it – so make sure you know how

inner tube. Experiment with CO2 cartridges, mini pumps and tyre sealant. Always carry spares when on training rides so that you can

practise. When you see others experience a flat, you’ll feel far more confident in your own ability to deal with the problem. MK

TRI CLINIC A coach should continually assess your development, updating training schedules to suit your progress and lifestyle


I’m thinking of hiring a coach to help me prepare for my next Ironman. What should I look for in a coach, and how will I know if they’re getting the best out of me? RICHARD ELLIS, EMAIL


NICK DUNN is a personal trainer aand head coach at Tri Camp mp

Hiring a coach will be great not only for your performance but also to help you monitor your training and progression. A coach is someone you can bounce ideas off and discuss long- and shortterm goals with, that all-important person who will not only assist you physically but also mentally in the lead-up to the big day. A coach should… Q Be there to listen to you when things are going well, but also not so well. Training for an Ironman is a long road, so this support can be crucial in keeping you motivated and on track. Q Understand your lifestyle and plan with you to create a training schedule that excites you but is realistic and achievable.


Q Look at your training feedback regularly and use that to plan the

next block of sessions so you can both monitor improvement. Q Ideally have seen you training or racing, or seen footage, so they can analyse and offer technical advice. Picking a coach is a very individual choice. You might pick the most qualified person you can find, or the athlete who has done it all and can pass on that knowledge and experience. Chat to several coaches and find out what they think they can do for you and how they work. The right coach for one person won’t necessarily be right for another. Once you’ve started working with a coach, to know if they’re getting the best out of you talk to them about the numbers you’re achieving. Are you training well and feeling healthy? If not, question the reasons with your coach. A good coach will be monitoring you and/or setting short-term goals, so ask them regularly how you’re matching up against those. Make sure you’re always being challenged and happy with the training they have you doing.


E LUCY GOSSAGE is a multiple Ironman champion

Unlike the majority of pro athletes I’m mainly selfcoached. I have several trusted advisors who help me decide how to get the best out of myself and help pull together rough plans, but I structure my own training on a week-by-week basis. This gives me the flexibility to fit my training around friends’ days off (I always train better with company), to swim with a club, and to monitor my own fatigue and modify my training plan accordingly. So you can do pretty well without being formally coached! The most important thing is to find someone who knows what makes you tick, and who will adapt your schedule around your lifestyle, your family, your job, and how your body responds to different kinds of training. Anyone can write a generic training programme and sell it online, but a good coach will tailor your plan to your needs on a weekly

basis. Some people need to do tonnes of short, hard sessions, whereas others need longer, endurance-based sessions. Some need to run lots, while others can get by with lower volume. I wouldn’t even consider being coached by someone unless you’ve got to know them, ideally in person but at least on the phone, and are sure they will offer you regular contact and mutual feedback. It’s essential you find someone you trust unequivocally. Remember: a good coach doesn’t necessarily have to be a good athlete. How do you know whether a coach is getting the best out of you? If you’re enjoying working with them, trust them, find the training they set is challenging but fun, and are continuing to get faster, then you’ve probably got a good thing going. If you’re just being sent a generic plan that doesn’t take into account the rest of your life, perhaps you should think about saving your money and joining a tri club so that, with the help of like-minded friends, you can work out a plan that works for you.

Anyone can write a generic training programme, but a good coach will tailor your plan to your needs TRIATHLON220.COM.AU I 71


HOW TO PERIODISE YOUR NUTRITION you get the best out of your sessions. Nigel Mitchell shares the secrets…


s usual I’m writing this piece while travelling. I’ve just spent time at Teide National Park, Tenerife, at an altitude of 2,150m, working with my new team, Cannondale Pro Cycling, which was to help them prepare for the recent Giro d’Italia. Spending time with only thin air to breath has prompted me to share some of the latest thoughts on nutritional periodisation and training. Though these are not really new ideas, the information about their potential benefits are becoming better understood. The academic world is starting to catch up on the research that helps us better understand the nutrition training interplay. So what do we mean when we talk about nutritional periodisation? Well, put simply, it means you alter your nutrition to fit the goals of your training. And it’s something that people often get wrong, yet it’s so easy to get right.

FUEL AND TRAINING You’ll often find that we undereat on hard sessions and overeat on easy sessions. But one of the current trends is to train in a low carbohydrate state. Training fasted will increase fat oxidation and may improve your aerobic capacity – in other words, endurance. However, if this is all an athlete does, they just become a diesel engine – they keep going all day but with no real oomph. Most of you will also do a combination of training sessions – some long and steady, and some with more intensity. The idea of the higher-intensity training is that it prepares the body to perform at higher intensities, in effect functioning in a more anaerobic and carbohydrate-burning way. During these sessions, especially on the bike, the body burns a great deal of carbohydrate. If the athlete doesn’t have the carbohydrate in the body, it simply can’t do the work. One tool to check that you’re getting this right is to measure lactate levels after intensive exercise. Many athletes think that lactate is a bad thing, that it’s the cause of sore muscles. This is a complete myth. Without lactate we could not do any high-intensity exercise. If you’re trying to train hard but have low lactate levels, this suggests insufficient muscle glycogen stores, which will compromise training, because after hard exercise lactate is used as fuel for muscles, such as the heart.


SO HOW DO WE GET IT RIGHT? Fuel for the work that you’re doing. If you’re heading into a steady session aimed at promoting endurance, go for

TOP TIPS FOR PERIODISATION Here are Nigel’s best bits of advice on getting the most from your fuelling MATCH INTENSITY When doing lower-intensity training, reduce the amount of food you eat before and during sessions. The important thing is to make sure that you keep within the desired work zone.

EAT FIRST Don’t train completely fasted – an omelette is a great low-carb breakfast and very easy to prepare before training, or cook one the night before and eat it cold.

FUEL WELL When you need to work hard, make sure you give your body the fuel it needs. Porridge makes a great breakfast and again is very easy to prepare. MONITOR SESSIONS Consider using a power meter to better monitor your work and maximise your nutrition, plus a HRM to keep intensity right when running or swimming.

TOP UP CARBS Make sure you take on carbs doing high-intensity sessions. This will reduce the demand for fuel later on and help you to avoid a blowout.

a low-carbohydrate breakfast – for example, an omelette and an avocado. I don’t advise athletes undertake long training sessions fully fasted, because it can compromise the immune system and can also be difficult mentally. If the pros are doing a session lasting three hours or more, we’ll give them a bottle of protein. The contents don’t need to be carb-free, but should be low-carb and should supply about 20g of protein. This won’t flood the system with carbohydrate; however, some of the protein will be converted to carbohydrate, helping to maintain blood-sugar levels. When trying these sessions for the first time, it’s a good idea to start to eat after about 90 minutes – begin with something like a small banana, then continue to eat about every 20 minutes. On the flipside, if you’re planning a harder training session then eating carbohydrate beforehand is beneficial; good old porridge oats is a fine choice. Oats are the breakfast of choice for most pro cyclists, providing slow-release energy over several hours. Sprinkle some milled seeds on top of your porridge for extra-slow energy and healthy fats. TRAIN SMARTER Training intensities are so important. On the bike, the best way to monitor intensity of effort is to use a power meter such as the Garmin Vector, or one of those by Stages or Pioneer. Combining monitoring your power with improving your nutrition planning is one of the most effective ways to maximise training and racing. The same principles can be applied to swimming and running – but you need to work more on heart rate and effort. If you’re doing a steady swim or run, then you don’t need to take on fuel during the session. However, if you’re doing really hard sets and speedwork, taking on carbohydrate can really benefit the session. Gels and energy drinks are probably the easiest to use; I normally suggest taking about 20-60g during a 60-90min high-intensity training session. If you’re doing repeats of long intervals such as 4 x 10mins, taking a gel after the second set can really help. The one thing that all triathletes have in common is that there’s never enough time to do all the training you want. So the one takeaway tip from this issue’s page is to think about what you’re doing, and maximise it by planning your nutrition carefully. I o uc o you cons er y ra on en racing? Are you taking on too much, or too little liquid? Nigel Mitchell examines this subject in more detail...

Many think that lactate is a bad thing – that it’s the cause of sore muscles. This is a complete myth 72 I TRIATHLON220.COM.AU

BECOME ONE IN 2016 PICK A DESTINATION to complete your 2016-2017 race calendar.

12 NOVEMBER 2016

2017 IRONMAN World Championship Qualifying Slots >


2017 IRONMAN World Championship Qualifying Slots >



SPICED RED LENTIL DHAL Sustain energy and steady blood sugar levels with this vegetarian Indian staple. Plus, it’s super cheap to make and is bursting with quality protein. Over to our resident chef, Kate Percy…


heap, delicious and loaded with goodness, dhal is the dish that’s eaten daily in almost every Indian household; known as India’s basic survival meal, it provides a quality source of protein for vegetarians. The dhal is brought to life with a finishing touch – the tarka, which is a variety of aromatic spices and garlic tempered in hot oil and poured over the cooked lentils. Low in fat and high in cholesterol-reducing fibre, B-vitamins, protein, iron and magnesium, this comforting dhal recipe has an extremely low glycaemic index to help sustain energy and keep blood sugar levels steady.


INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6) 400g red lentils, rinsed until the water runs clear 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped 2 tsps turmeric 2cm piece of fresh ginger 1 cinnamon stick 2 tsps garam masala 1 large dried chilli 200g tin chopped tomatoes 1 tsp salt 2 fresh green chillies, seeds removed and finely sliced 25g fresh coriander


For the tarka 1 tbsp rapeseed oil 2 tsps cumin seeds ½ tsp black mustard seeds 2 bay leaves 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced PREPARATION Preparation time 5mins Cooking time 40mins Equipment needed 1 large saucepan with a lid Slotted spoon 1 small frying pan METHOD Place the lentils in the saucepan and cover with enough water to cover the lentils by about 6cm. Bring to the boil and then skim off any froth that appears on the surface with a slotted spoon. Reduce to a simmer. While still liquid, stir in the onion, turmeric, piece of ginger, cinnamon stick, garam masala, dried chilli and tomatoes and cover. Do NOT add salt at the stage, as this will prevent the lentils going soft. Simmer very gently, for about 30-40mins, until the lentils are soft. Once the lentils are

cooked, give them a good stir, and remove the piece of ginger. Now stir in a good tsp of salt and then remove from heat. Make the tarka: heat the oil in a small frying pan, add the cumin seeds, black mustard seeds and bay leaves. When the seeds start to sizzle, turn down the heat, add the garlic and fry very lightly until browned (try not to burn the garlic) Stir the tarka into the lentils, add most of the fresh coriander, and check for seasoning – you may need more salt. The consistency should be like a thick soup, especially if you make it in advance. Serve in bowls, sprinkle over the remaining coriander and the fresh green chilli slices. Eat with basmati rice, a roti or a chapatti, and a dollop of mango chutney. Q 220




It can be tempting to think you need plenty of calories to fuel double-training days, but as Ironman Steven Diffey found this leads to weight gain. Nigel Mitchell has the solutions…


NAME ii STEVEN DIFFEY AGE ii 33 HEIGHT ii 180CM WEIGHT ii 77KG PROFESSION ii PROJECT MANAGER ABOUT ii I’ve been a triathlete for six years, competing in various distances up to Ironman. My goal is the ITU World Championships 2016 but I’d like some nutrition advice to help me reach that. When winter arrived I aimed to consume the recommended 3,000 calories per day, plus whatever I burnt that day. My weight went up to a record 80kg (6-7kg more than my usual race weight). So my question is, should I continue at that level and assume that the increased training will burn it off, or should I work to a lower figure?

6am Pre-training: Greek-style yoghurt (125g), served with oats (100g) and a tablespoon of Agave honey 7am 1hr tempo run 8am Breakfast: Two poached eggs on top of two slices of granary toast with butter 10:30am Post-training: Banana 11:30 Snack: Handful of trail mix (41g) 1pm Lunch: Pad Thai red curry sauce chicken, served over mixed rice (brown rice, camargue red rice, wild rice), plus a side salad of green peas, edamame beans and shredded carrot 3pm Snack: Handful of trail mix (41g) 6pm Snack: Greek-style yoghurt (125g) served with oats (100g) and a tablespoon of Agave honey 6:30pm Snack: Sweet potato brownie (25g) 7pm 1hr high-intensity swim 8pm Post-training: Chocolate milkshake (376ml) 9pm Dinner: Salmon (135g), brocolli (125g) and two mashed sweet potatoes 550g

irst up, I’m not sure where Steven got the 3,000kcal recommendation, but gaining as much as 7kg (if this is fat) is a serious miscalculation in energy balance – in energy terms, 7kg of fat is equivalent to 49,000 kcal, or about 90 Big Macs. His extra training won’t burn all that off either. For example, to burn 100kcal he would need to run a mile, so to burn off 49,000kcal that’s an extra 490 miles! I don’t know the time period over which he gained the weight, so it’s difficult to estimate the daily mismatch between energy in and energy out. But to help address the imbalance I’d recommend a two-pronged approach and suggest Steven reduces energy intake and also increases workload. An effective weight loss would be about 0.5kg a week, so it will take about 12-14 weeks to get back down.

Looking at his diet he has a great meal pattern. Steven eats around his training and I can see no problems from an actual fuelling point of view. Looking at the types of foods he’s consuming they generally look good, but there are a few tweaks he can make that will bring down the total energy consumption but that at the same time won’t have a serious impact on energy levels and training. Overall, the quality of his diet is pretty good, as he’s also consuming a good balance of carbs, proteins and fats. The changes I’ve suggested below will reduce his intake by about 700kcals per day. This should at least help Steven to achieve a neutral energy balance, and then his increase in exercise xercise should then help him to achieve the rrequired negative energy balance and correesponding weight loss. Q 220

CUT KCALS, LO Easy tweaks to reduce the energy in ntake from the same diet… GO LOW Choose low fat Greek yoghurt or a strained low-fat natural yoghurt (straining makes it thicker and creamier). REDUCE EXTRAS Steven doesn’t need the chocolate milk after training as well as dinner. Cutting this out will save another 400kcals.

DITCH SUGAR Oats with yoghurt provide 70g of carbs, so Steven doesn’t need the Agave here as well. This will save 240kcals.

CUT QUANTITY Trail mix is a great source of nuts, but is very energy-dense. Cut portions by half and save 70kcals in each.




L N 20



3Replenish & restore 39 g whey protein isolate 3Vitamins & Minerals ETIXX RECOVERY SHAKE is a rich mix of whey protein isolate, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and creatine. After intensive exercise the glycogen in our muscles and liver is depleted and muscles get tired. Carbohydrate plus protein has been shown to restore performance capacity and aid recovery. We learn from the best to give you the chance to do the same. For your next training session or event, reach for Etixx. Give it your all.





TEST CENTRE The latest tri gear and bikes, tested to the max

GARMIN FORERUNNER 735XT Is this the ideal tri-specific sports watch? Turn overleaf to find out


THIS ISSUE 78 84 86

TRI GEAR New kit reviewed and rated



NORCO THRESHOLD 105 We put the cyclocross specialist to the test

GOGGLES GROUPTEST A battle royale between eight pairs of peepers All you need to know about this type of kit



We test more tri-specific gear than any other mag. 220’s team of expert independent testers puts each product through its paces in real-life training and racing situations. They report back honestly, rating the product on performance and value.

We rate out of 100%. The higher the score, the better the product


91% +













Quality performance matched by superb value for money


The outstanding piece of kit in grouptests


Unrivalled performance regardless of price




VECTOR PRO FULLSUIT $600 A few months back some of the 220 team took on their first ever off-road triathlon on a freezing, drizzling morning in Jervis Bay. In fact, the ocean was so hairy and full to the brim of sludgy seaweed, athletes were given the option to skip the swim and run on the sand instead. Fortunately for our guys they were decked out in the Xterra Vector Pro Fullsuit wetty and powered on ahead, with one of the team even coming out of the water first. Not a bad endorsement. We found the Vector Pro extremely comfortable throughout and felt as though we were slipping through the water. It’s anatomically designed arms, hydrophobic coating, and strategic paneling made for an all-in-all sweet build. The new design is based on the original Vector, worn in more Ironman and Ironman 92% 70.3 races than any other wetsuit in the world, where Vector Pro ›› VERDICT improves on the buoyancy and speed. As for transition, after a Comfy, warm and a breeze few practice runs we found it incredibly easy and forgiving in transition slipping this thing off in a jiffy.


ELEMNT $499 No, we haven’t made a typo, Wahoo – as they are known to do – has opted to drop a vowel from their bike computers’ name. Up against titans such as Garmin, Wahoo has always aimed to do things a little differently to stand out and so far we have been impressed with their path. Their focus with the Elemnt is the need for simplicity, a need for athletes to be able to set up their computer and be off in a flash. The Elemnt uses an app on your phone for intuitive set-up and updates rather than the computer itself, which helps capitalise on the second nature we have h nav i g phone apps. Combining Wi-Fi with the a cellent connectivity i cluding nifty functti ess route downloads from the net and the bility to record youur rides and bring them into the 88% DIC living room or garage to simulate on your ›› indoor trai l and inspired connectivity functions


PRO-SPORTS WATERPROOF $129 Along with stagnant water, cliff falls and yams, OverBoard bags have received plenty of recent exposure in The Island with Bear Grylls. So how does the 20-litre waterproof backpack fare in the world of tri, not telly? The seamless construction and materials make this truly waterproof, while the internal zipped pocket is a neat addition often missing in drybags, which can become bottomless pits of keys, food and soiled clothes. The ventilated back and straps are also of top quality, so as a bag for canoeing and open-water swim training it’s hard to fault. For tri, however, its lack of multisport specificity (there’s no helmet storage, seperate wetsuit compartment and only a limited volume for all your kit) becomes far too apparent when compared to a tri transition bag. 72% true ›› VERDICT With that in mind, we’ll be reviewing a Fine for canoeing, but we’d demand trio of tri bags in a more tri-friendliness for race day future issue.





FORERUNNER 735XT $699, This is one for those with tri on the mind, which we are hoping is all of you. The Forerunner 735XT combines all the best qualities of a GPS watch with functions for multisport athletes who want dialled-in data for their training. While sporting a huge watch face to see all the bells and whistles you’ll ever need, the band itself is slimmed down and light so it never feels like a brick strapped to your wrist. And for the social-media savvy, features like automatic uploads to Garmin Connect let you share your stats through social media. A triathlete’s routine is always all over the place, seemingly with neither rhyme nor reason (only you could understand your training schedule), so the 735XT lets you change things up with ease thanks to built-in activity profiles for running (indoor/outdoor), cycling (indoor/outdoor), swimming (pool/open water) and – for those athletes 85% really mixing it up – cross-country skiing, ›› VERDICT paddle sports, trail running, hiking and So so versatile and surprisingly strength training. light and compact




From $349.9 These glasses are much more than a left-field alternative to u uitous Oakley. T Half Blade from Swedish brand POC is as technically impr sive as is styl s and in this navy black frame with off-white logos and grippers, we thi exceptionally stylish. The fit is very secure, helped by the and the vented lens resists fogging even when climbing. A ear lens is includ i e h case and swapping them is easy, though not as qui as some glass fin rints on the lenses as you do so. Try the 1 s f



High style, high performance… and high price


MT-40 $90 This multi-tool will appeal if you’ve ever been stranded in the middle of nowhere with a broken chain. The addition of the chain tool, however, and also a handy CO2 cartridge adaptor makes it a chunky unit. It weighs a hefty 240g and fills the palm of an XL-gloved hand, so it’s more than many athletes would want to carry in training, let alone a race. The chain tool has just enough leverage to split a chain with some effort. The Allen keys include 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6mm, plus an 8mm sleeve over the 6 for pedals and a curiously effective ‘combination screwdriver’. There are two Torx bits – T30 and T25; the latter is fast becoming an industry standard and widely used by the likes of Zipp in aerobars. The quality is high – all the keys fit precisely and the forged alu body provides plenty of leverage, even for 80% ›› VERDICT pedals, but think whether you really need the built-in chain tool and CO2 High-quality multi-tool but large and adaptor or whether you’d be better off heavy owing to chain tool with a smaller and lighter model.




PURE CADENCE 5 $219.95 We’re already big fans of Brooks’ ST 5 and T7 Racer run shoes, both of which are aimed at fast-paced racing and have well served triathletes for several years. If you’re looking for a shoe that can double up as a tri shoe, then there’s a lot to like about the Pure Cadence 5 as well. Soft materials and a wide padded tongue make them comfy without socks, while the lack of seams and 3D fit removes potential chafing. The Cadence is designed to give support, with a rounded heel aimed at shifting weight forward and reducing impact. In practice, though, we found these shoes didn’t give us the confidence to pick up the speed and felt a little flat, plus when changing direction quickly we felt a little unstable in them. 73% Finally a note on fit – these felt ›› VERDICT quite narrow, causing pinching Nice design, fabrics and construction, on the widest part of the foot, but we didn’t feel sure-footed in them so consider sizing up. HW


EVZERO $199 It seems Oakley never takes a break from pumping out brand new shades each season. And the best part, they’ve mostly been stunners every iteration. Last summer’s Jawbreakers and Radar series were well-received across the board, so when you’re onto a good thing it’s best to keep the ball rolling. The EVZeros show a strong resemblance to their brethren but have been able to capitalise on the ever-changing tech. Using the same Prizm Road lenses as the Jawbreakers, they’re able to enhance bright light and shadows to make small changes in the road and textures more visible. EV stands for ‘Extended View’. The wider lens gives much better coverage, especially across the nose bridge and brow, as most riders spend a lot of time head down, looking up. While the clarity and quality of the lens is 85% top-notch, the style doesn’t seem to be ›› VERDICT as creative as usual, taking a minimal Simple, light and excellent clarity (but very light – 22g) approach.


COMPLETE BOOK OF TRIATHLON TRAINING $34.95 There are numerous triathlon guides around but few provide the ‘unique’ guidance imparted by near-500-triathlon finisher Mark Kleanthous. Here he offers traditional chapters like getting started in the sport and nutrition strategies, but it’s the more obscure advice that’s of greater interest. An example: “When on holiday, don’t run on the beach for more than five days as the heavy sand will put a strain on your Achilles tendon.” Kleanthous has even provided his own training points system to measure how stressed you are to prevent overtraining and illness. That said, advising a recreational triathlete to refrain from joining in pre-race cheering is perhaps losing sight of why people race triathlon – to have fun. As it’s the third edition of this book, it’d also benefit from signposting what’s revised 78% or updated and the look is a touch dated. ›› VERDICT Overall, though, a solid guide from a trusted tri stalwart, especially for Information-packed tri guide that’s of particular use to first-timers beginners to the sport.




SWEAT SALTS $13.99 (for 15 capsules) Prolonged exercise in warm conditions calls for the intake of not only water but also electrolyte minerals to replace those lost in sweat (excessive electrolyte loss is associated with an increased risk of muscle cramping). Precision Hydration’s Sweat Salts, which come in boxes of 15, provide two key electrolyte minerals – 250mg of sodium and 125mg of potassium – in easy-to-swallow capsule form, handy for those occasions when you don’t have access to electrolyte drinks. The capsules are blister packed, making them easy to carry without spoiling during long events. The recommended intake is 1-2 capsules per hour with a few decent swigs of water during sweaty exercise (but not exceeding 10 82% ›› VERDICT capsules per day). To get a more individualised electrolyte intake Not cheap, but a handy electrolyte boost strategy, complete Precision for when only fresh water is on hand Hydration’s online sweat test.


R1 GOGGLES From $45 Two years in R&D and with a substantial PR campaign, hopes were high for Roka’s R1s – and on our recent product testing trip they found themselves eagerly passed round three of the team for testing. The verdict? Well, somewhat surprisingly, none of us really got on with them. The tinted lenses aid visibility under the water but don’t offer enough protection from strong glare when sighting, while the ‘Rapidsight’ lens shape – designed to increase peripheral vision – didn’t seem to offer more than some others on the market (see the grouptest on page 84). On the plus side, they felt secure, but the frame nipped a bit on the delicate eye-socket tissue.



A stylish set of goggles, but performance didn’t really wow any of our testing crew


XTFREE $169.95 Possibly the most ‘down with the kids’ bit of kit we’ve owned since a pair of Adidas shell-toes made their way into our hands in the early 90s, these bluetooth headphones from Skullcandy nonetheless perform very well. They’re light, quick to charge and have brilliant functionality thanks to a three-button controller – plus there’s a microphone to enable you to take calls (if you like to chat as you run). The earbuds are sweat-resistant and stayed in place well via the little rubber ‘fins’ that bend into the curves of the ear, keeping them locked in place. One of our pet hates is headphones that constantly slip and need adjusting, so these got major brownie points. Sound quality is good, if a little tinny on some tracks, but certainly equal to other in-ear headphones at this price point. Whether you buy, however, will depend on whether you prefer to run with your phone, rather than an iPod. We don’t, so these ended up turbo-only.



Clever design kept these securely in place – good sound quality, too




GROOVE STEREO $119.95 With a name like a boy band, American portable hydration specialists Ultimate Direction are new to these pages. They count Ultra icon Scott Jurek among their users and have an exhaustive range of backpacks and running belts. You can mix and match on the waist bags, allowing you to pick what storage you require from a host of bladder and pocket options. On test here is the Groove Stereo with a duo of surprisingly voluminous 500ml bottles and a quartet of pockets. We’ve tried plenty of waist-mounted hydration systems from many of the big-hitters and none are as comfortable and with as much adjustment as this. Over a warm two-hour mixed terrain run in the Mendips, the belt’s movement – even when the bladders were full – was minimal, and this included carrying our iPhone, wallet and a cereal bar with us. Our only niggles came with the bladders, which had a habit of popping out when nearly empty (make sure you keep the nozzle tucked inside the rear pockets), and how they’re weren’t easy to dry once they’d been washed.


›› VERDICT A comfortable and well-crafted bumbag for extended runs


CARBON FIBRE 1 $154 Weighing in at a mere 22g, these sunnies from new performance eyewear company Naked:Runner definitely live up to their promise of being lightweight. Made from carbon fibre, they have a quality feel and finish. Once slipped on to the face you quickly forget they’re even there – helped in part by the flexible rubber nose pads, which can be moved to create the perfect fit. The wide shape kept dirt and bugs out of our eyes (although a ‘Carbon Fibre 2’ design is available for smaller faces) and the grey tinted lenses do a good job of cutting glare, even on the brightest of sunny days. What’s more, the glasses also come with a clear lens option for dull days, which is simple to slot in and out. Both lenses have an ‘anti-steam’ coating and, although we did experience a little fogging when taking a mid-run breather, it was by no means worse than we’ve experienced with much expensive glasses. 90% more ›› VERDICT You also get a soft bag/ l th plus l ah t cloth hardd case to Quality, lightweight sunnies at a price store them in. that offers good value for money


WHEY20 $47.99 (for 12) Consuming protein, particularly whey protein, has been shown to accelerate recovery after exercise. Requiring no refrigeration, SiS’s new Whey20 is designed to make this strategy simpler for athletes on the move. Delivering 20g of whey and milk protein, each 78ml sachet is rich in branched chain amino acids – a key component of muscle tissue – with virtually no fat or added sugar. Thickened with quark, the consistency is halfway between a gel and a paste (think toothpaste) and can be easily sucked through the tear-open top. With the milk quark base, the strawberry taste goes down better than the lemon. In both cases, however, the texture is rather chalky, which detracts from the overall experience. 83% The price premium over a ‘mix-your-own’ ›› VERDICT product could also be a drawback, too, but there’s An innovative and convenient way of plenty of innovation packed into each 78ml sachet. consuming post-exercise protein 8 I TRIATHLON22 0 C





Secret Discover an unknown classic deep in the Swiss Alps


NORCO THRESHOLD 105 Cyclocross races run year round and provide a great triathlon strength workout – but is it worth extending your bike flotilla with a Norco? WORDS JAMES WITTS IMAGES THESECRETSTUDIO.NET







1 The handling of the Norco is hugely impressive, and you’ll soon be savouring the corners on it 2 The internal cable routing keeps things tidy on the down tube and the top tube 3 Our test bike came with the reliable Shimano 105 groupset, but there are models available with Shimano Ultegra and Sora, as well as SRAM offerings


orco is a relatively new name for 220. Yet the Canadians have been making bikes since 1964 and they’re that country’s biggest exporter, with a range comprising more than 100 models including road, mountain, urban, kids’, BMX and – the flavour we got our hands on, in the shape of the Threshold – cyclocross. Norco makes big noise about testing its bikes in the rugged terrain of Canada’s Pacific coast. To that end, the Threshold’s skeleton is made with 6061 aluminium. Though there are alu derivatives more bulletproof than 6061 – 7005, for instance – its resistance to failure at over 43,000psi should stand up to the most debilitating cyclocross routes. A near-square, tapered top tube and equally bulbous down tube alleviate any residual concerns about durability, and the Threshold eases the load slightly with its Applied Road Compliance (ARC) technology. The goal is to maintain lateral stiffness without sacrificing comfort; physically, this means creating seatstays that are significantly thinner than the Threshold’s other tubing, as well as featuring a bow profile.

Hayes CX mechanical disc brakes, complete with 160mm rotors front and back, perform adequately, though stopping power could be sharper, especially for discs – unlike the shrill aural accompaniment to each pull of the brake levers, which never disappeared. We had concerns the wafer-thin clearance between the front fork and rotor is asking for stones to wedge themselves in it; that said, our bike remained grit-free for the test period.


All in all, it’s a fine bike for those new to cyclocross, though triathletes with more CX experience might prefer something with a little more oomph.



Solid performer and handles with exquisite precision – just lacks the ‘va va voom’ that many will desire


Size tested 58cm Overall weight 10.89kg (without pedals)

MIXED FEELINGS But does it deliver on its dual promises of comfort and power delivery? Mostly, yes. It’s certainly one of the most comfortable bikes we’ve ridden in a while, eating up uneven trails with ease. (As an aside, the top tube shape nestles on a single shoulder when the terrain calls for carrying rather than riding.) Power transfer’s not quite as efficient, though. It’s not laboured, but out-andout speed is lacking on long stretches, and is particularly noticeable during acceleration – not ideal during stop-start cyclocross. Still, the Threshold compensates for any time lost on the straights during technical turning sections – it handles like a dream. A shift of bodyweight and you’re heading in whichever direction you intended and, though getting up to speed out of corners isn’t Bolt-like, it’s helped by the 105 groupset, which shifts smoothly. That flowing neatness is matched by internal routing on the top tube and down tube. The Threshold eases around corners, too, and remains firmly on track thanks to grippy Schwalbe Racing Ralph tyres and a durable WTB SX19 29mm wheelset.

FRAME AND FORKS Sizes 45, 48, 50, 53, 55, 58, 60cm Frame Threshold X6 double-butted alu Forks Threshold mid-mod full carbon TRANSMISSION Chainset Shimano FC-RS500 46/36t Bottom bracket Shimano HollowTech Cassette Shimano 105 11-28t 11-speed Chain Shimano CN-HG600-11 11-spee Derailleurs Shimano 105 5800 Shifters Shimano 105 ST-5800

WHEELS Front & Rear WTB SX19 Tyres Schwalbe Ralph 700 x 33c COMPONENTS Stem Norco Bars Norco Compact Headset Angular sealed cartridge bearings – tapered Saddle Norco Cross Race Seatpost Norco 27.2mm Brakes Hayes CX Expert mechanical

DIMENSIONS 1 Head angle 72.5° 2 Seat angle 73.5° 3 Effective top tube 57.25cm 4 Seat tube 58cm 5 Standover 82.5cm 6 Chainstay 42.5cm 7 Bottom bracket 28.25m 8 Wheelbase 102.9cm 9 Head tube 16.5cm



OPEN-WATER GOGGLES Achieve the best visibility on race day with a set of goggles designed for open water. But which of these eight has our vote? 220 gets swimming… JARGON BUSTER POLARISED A type of lens that works to cut glare and increase clarity. These can be useful for reducing eye strain.



from polycarbonite, the lenses Usually made m water goggles come in a range of tints in open-w and can be b polarised or mirrored. Good ones an anti-fog coating. Some are will also feature will f curved orr faceted to increase visibility.

A soft, flexxible oval of silicone or rubberr that formss a seal on your face and stopss water ingress. i This can vary in depth between brands, rands sitting closer or furtherr away from the eyes.


PHOTOCHROMATIC Lenses that change colour according to the light conditions. Most will start clear and then darken to a tint within seconds of being exposed to brighter light – and vice versa.

Sits around the back of yourr head to keep th he goggles in n place. All 10 in ou ur test have a split (‘double’) strap, which h increases the area of hold and d makes them more secure..

ANTI-FOG Many goggles will have a coating applied, or added into the polycarbonite of the lenses, that works to eliminate or reduce fogging. Often this can be delicate, so protect it by avoiding rubbing your lenses roughly. HYGROPHOBIC Another coating that you might find applied to your goggle lenses. This encourages water to bead and run off, rather than sitting on the lenses and reducing vision.

NOSE BRIDGE E Some goggles come with an n adjustable nose bridge, or a choicee of bridges that can be swapped d.. Fixed ones are more common in n open-water goggles and featuree on all 10 in this testt.



hen you ask triathletes what concerns them most about the swim, they’ll often come up with the same answer: ‘Losing my goggles’. Now, for many of the pros, this isn’t such a concern. When Ali Brownlee lost his hat and goggles during the WTS Grand Final in 2014, he ploughed on regardless and maintained his third place in the swim, before going on to win the race. Equally Ironman Dave Scott often chose to race without goggles, claiming he preferred not to be distracted by any fogging or leaking. For us mere mortals, though, nothing can derail a PB faster than loss of sight during the swim – thanks either to a set of goggles with poor visibility


ADJUSTERS S The strap adjuster er mechanism mechanism i to tighten tiighten or lloosen oosen the fit. Could be a small button or lever on each side that allow you to adjust on the fly, or a simple plastic clip that has to be adjusted before you swim.

in bright glare, foggy conditions or murky water – or due to wearing a pair that just don’t fit correctly and are leaky or uncomfortable. Your goggles might be one of your less expensive kit purchases, but it’s worth spending a bit of time thinking about your needs before you buy. Will you be using them to try and nail your ‘A’-race? If so, what will the conditions be like? If you’re heading to somewhere warm, then you’ll need a set than can cope with glare, for example. If you’re targeting a range of races in a range of environments, however, a set that can cope with mixed conditions from bright sun to murky water and cloudy skies will be better.

HOW WE TESTED Goggles can be a very personal choice, so our eight sets were swum in by 220’s crack pot team of writers, and editor, to see how they suited different and male/female face shapes. Our testing took place where we had access to both the sea for our open-water testing and to the pool for a second test in neutral conditions. We swam in each pair in both bright sunlight and in cloudy conditions considering how well we could see while swimming and sighting. We also performed a ‘dive test’ in each pair to assess water ingress for those races with a dive start.








The 220 team have spent many happy hours racing in Kayennes and so donning them was like finding an old friend again. Featured here are the amber polarised version, although mirrored, smoked and clear versions are available. Aqua Sphere also offer a female-specific version, although in previous tests we’ve found that to be an odd fit. Stick with this larger unisex version, however, and you won’t be disappointed. That unique lens shape leads to excellent visibility, while the shape and grippy gaskets give a comfy fit and no water ingress. The wide double strap feels secure and is easily adjusted. The lenses in this pair are great in most lighting conditions, too, ›› VERDICT 88% leading to clear visibility throughout That unusual lens shape is a real winner our test swims (although one of our – and we like the overall fit, too testers isn’t keen on the amber hue).

The Vortech did well in last year’s grouptest and, in this smoke-coloured tint, is still a decent package. The curved lenses give a good range of visibility, although in terms of looks and overall quality you can’t help but think you’re getting a better deal with most others. The Vorgee don’t have the mirrored finish and, although the smoked lens does a good job of reducing glare, they make things a little murky when the sun goes in. Adjustment is via two round silver plastic buttons on each side that work okay, although it’s tricky to tell when you’ve pushed them enough to make the strap move, so a bit of trial and error is needed. The split strap is comfy, although it’s also the thinnest ›› VERDICT 75% on test so makes us question the Solid enough performance for the price, longevity. You do get a hard plastic but feel a little dated in the design case to keep them in, though.



KILLA 180°




Available in a clear or mirrored finish – as tested here – we were having a tough time deciding between these and the Vorgee goggles – then we realised that branding and colourway aside, they quality isn’t much different (although the Orcas do come with a hard plastic case). The low-profile curved lenses are the same size, shape and fit and both sets have the clever buckle-style adjusters and soft, well-fitting gaskets. Where they do differ is in the lens tint. Where the Marus add a smoke grey tone to everything, the Orcas give a violet/pink hue. They work equally well, though, so much will come down to what you prefer in the ›› VERDICT water, or whether you’re a brand 82% aficionado. Like their twins above, A comfy pair of goggles that look sharp though, the Orcas also picked up quite too and won’t break the bank a few surface scratches.

The Hydravision has been around for a while now and must be doing something right, as they’re available in five colour and lens variations. Anecdotally, too, various members of our tri club are big fans of these goggles. When pitted against the rest here, however, they just seemed to lack something. The polarised smoke lenses do a reasonable job of cutting out overall light, but aren’t as successful in strong glare. Sadly, the unisex fit didn’t suit our female tester very well, with some water ingress around the sides, and our other testers found the nosepiece and gaskets inflexible. Also, the finish and materials used felt ›› VERDICT basic and the logo on the nosepiece 70% easily wore off. Nice adjuster buttons, The quality of finish and fit let these though, and they do offer reasonable down – there’s better available visibility in murky waters.




CHOOSING THE RIGHT LENSES Tester Helen Webster talks you through tints and finishes...


SPECIAL OPS 2.0 POLARISED $45.90 Looking like something singer Joss Stone might wear if she were a triathlete and not a bare-footed chart, erm, ‘sensation’, thankfully these tie-dyed numbers from Tyr come in a wide selection of frame designs, as well as a smaller size option. These feel very well-made, too. The lens is quite dramatically curved towards the edge (similar to the Huubs opposite) and this gives good peripheral visibility, plus the ‘durafit’ gaskets are soft and create a good seal against the face. The polarised lenses do a good job of handling most lighting conditions, but like the Blueseventys, you wouldn’t want to catch the full glare of the sun. The ›› VERDICT straps are wide and secure, yet the 82% old-fashioned clips mean you can’t A solid set of goggles – even if we did adjust on the fly. Anti-fog treatment shrink in horror from the design! is also embedded in the lenses.

CLEAR LENSES IN open-water goggles are unusual, as the tint is designed to help you see in strong sunlight or murky conditions (the only exception in our test is the photochromatic Huubs, which appear clear when used indoors). If you want a pair to use in the pool as well as open water, look for a lighter tint. TINT COLOURS ARE designed for different conditions. Grey/smoked lenses work like sunglasses to reduce brighter light and glare, amber lenses are good for cutting some glare while also enhancing visibility, while pink/violet lenses reduce glare in moderate light. POLARISED LENSES ARE worth considering if you’re racing in strong sunlight. The same as polarised sunglasses, they cut out glare while also making everything look crisper – which is ideal if you want to see what’s happening underwater, too. PHOTOCHROMATIC LENSES WORK by adjusting to the light conditions and varying their tint accordingly, from clear to smoked. Ideal if you may face differing conditions on race day, or want goggles that have the versatility to be able to handle any conditions. MIRRORED LENSES AGAIN work to cut out glare. Plus, if you need another reason to try a pair, they look pretty cool and are great for psyching out your fellow competitors before the klaxon goes…



FUTURE BIOFUSE PRO POLARISED $54.99 Feeling lightweight and comfortable, both our male and female testers found this model to be a good fit, although a female-specific version is available. The size of these goggles means a good range of visibility and the lens shape is impressive. Our test version are anti-fog coated and polarised, and the smoked tint does a great job in strong glare. In cloudy conditions they’re one of the darker sets and made a murky ocean a whole lot murkier. The gasket isn’t as soft and flexible as others and this may have led to the water ingress we found in choppier waters. They also fail our ‘dive test’, as we just can’t ›› VERDICT 68% get them to stay in place. The double Not a bad set of goggles, but the dark adjuster buttons are the simplest to lenses and gasket aren’t our favourites operate with numb hands, though.




PREDATOR FLEX POLARISED $49.99 You can tell when a brand’s on to something good, because multiple variations become available (witness the several-hundred kinds of Kit Kat available worldwide…) and so it’s thus with the Zoggs Predator Flex goggles. Ranging from $40-$100, these come in unisex and female-specific fit as well as different colours and tints, polarised, mirrored, ‘ultra’ and reactive versions. Included in our test is the unisex Polarised option and all agree that these are an excellent design. That four-way flex technology across the nosepiece creates a great, secure, fit. Large, curved lenses give a good range of vision and the smoked tint cuts ›› VERDICT glare without making things too 94% gloomy in low light. The quality is high A design that feels top quality and with and, having swum in these for several good longevity. Loads of options, too months, they appear indestructible!



APHOTIC $59.95 Dig a little deeper into your piggy bank and you move into a whole different realm of quality and technology with Huub’s Aphotics. Their USP is those photochromatic lenses that start off clear, but darken according to the strength of sunlight, meaning that, when combined with those large, curved lenses, underwater clarity and vision is some of the best we’ve ever witnessed. It makes them perfect for races where the conditions are unpredictable, or which start in low light. They’re stylish as well, and we like the silver rims and the frames feel the best quality on test with soft rubber gaskets keeping them firmly in place. Adjustability is good and via small buttons on each side. Admittedly they aren’t the lightest or ›› VERDICT 92% lowest-profile on test, but this didn’t Stand-out design and quality frame bother us. Plus, you get a superb, – plus photochromatic lenses! zipped clamshell-style case.

FINAL VERDICT So which of these eight pairs delivers the best value, fit, clarity and overall performance? EVERY ONE OF the eight pairs on test is designed for open-water swimming, so although we did a test in the pool to ensure each was rated in neutral conditions, we haven’t allowed for that in the scores. In our mind, open-water goggles are for open water and pool goggles are for… well, you get the picture. AT THE BUDGET end of things, we have the $29 Vorgees, by far the most affordable, and actually better than some of their pricier competitors. They do have their faults, however, and we found the design to be a little dated. ONCE YOU GO above $40 there’s a whole host of options to choose from. Of these, much will come down to which pair suits your face shape and what lens tint you prefer. For us, it comes down to a clear choice between the Aqua Sphere Kayennes and Zoggs Predator Flex. THE ZOGGS just nailed the ‘Best on Test’ rosette for their superb fit and quality, plus our preference for a smoked rather than an amber lens – although you wouldn’t go far wrong with the Kayennes either, so try both if you can and go for the pair that fit you the best. STANDING ALONE IN the photochromatic category though – and winner of our Ed’s Choice badge – is Huub’s Aphotics. A superb set of peeper-protectors that will handle any race conditions and should last for years.




TRI-SUITS They may lack the shinyness of a pair of deep-rim wheels, but the increasingly techy tri-suit is the ultimate race-day purchase. Matt Baird charts their history and provides the answers to your zipper, leg gripper and chamois concerns… IMAGES THESECRETSTUDIO.NET



FIT IS KING Having a tri-suit that’s close-fitting but not restrictive is essential. Key for us is trying before you buy to gauge the fit options, a closer examination of the chamois size and an evaluation of the grippers and pocket distribution.

RISE OF THE RACE SUIT The growth of the tri-suit has been a long and steady one, but now we have a host of Spandex shapes, sizes and sleeve types to choose from. Let’s chart the elastane evolution...


ri-suits. Not as aerodynamic-enhancing as tri-bars, as flash as deep-rim wheels or as sleek as a tri wetsuit. But, in the opinion of many, is second only to the bike in the most important piece of tri kit you’ll ever buy… As the only piece of apparel that’ll be with you from the starting horn until the finishing chute, the increasingly techy Lycra construction will have a major bearing on your race; too tight, baggy, poorly made or slow to dry and you’ll be flirting with a DNF instead of reaching for a personal best. Unlike tri-specific wetsuits, bars and bikes, the evolution of tri-suits doesn’t have an oft-recalled backstory. In the early 1980s, early pro triathlete Mark Montgomery (who worked on Quintana Roo’s groundbreaking gear) asked Forte to produce a cycling-type sleeveless skinsuit and a lightweight cloth chamois. Forte obliged and, in 1982, one of the first tri-suits was created (US pro Dave Horning also wore a tri-suit at this time). A year later Zoot was created by Christal Nylin in Kona, who’d spotted that Ironman Hawaii

triathletes needed something more functional to race in. After sewing pads into run shorts, experimenting with swim fabrics and attaching run singlets to bike shorts, Nylin would create one of the earliest suits – the Zoot Racesuit – for triathletes racing at the sport’s pinnacle in Hawaii.

AQUABLADE OF GLORY A number of brands would experiment with the tri-suit in the following years, yet they didn’t become near mandatory race wear for another decade, with athletes preferring to race in a run singlet and shorts... or just a pair of tiny Speedos. Then Speedo created the Aquablade suit in 1996, which proved both hydrodynamic and quick-drying and changed the course of tri-suit history. A key advantage is that athletes saved plenty of time in transition; instead of changing from swim-to-bike-to-run clothing, athletes could breeze through T1 and T2. Cut to the present day and triathletes are spoilt for tri-suit options, with pockets for nutrition, leg

grippers, chamois suitable for both short- and long-course racing, and the choice of front or back zips. Most provide a hydro-phobic coating for aqua benefits, some are made of wool (hello Endurance Junkie) or contain carbon (over to you Arena), with plenty offering compressive benefits. In 2016, sleeved tri-suits are increasingly ubiquitous (two-pieces have also made a comeback), with many brands releasing suits with short sleeves to increase aerodynamics and UV protection. So how are today’s suits designed? “We first look at the athlete who’ll be using the product and design around their needs,” says Zoot’s global apparel director Shawn O’Shea. “When designing a short-sleeved suit we focus on speed and aerodynamics. We know this athlete is looking for speed on the bike and breathability on the run so we design/test around this. When designing a sleeveless tri-suit, we focus on an athlete for whom comfort is the number one priority. We look at seam and pocket placement for the most comfortable suit on the market.”



KEY TRI-SUIT FEATURES Zipper type, size of chamois, material composition and leg gripper options are just some things to consider when choosing your tri-suit. Just keep in mind your race type when choosing... ZIPPER Suits offer front and back zips, full length or shorter versions. Think about whether you’ll need added aero or hydro benefits that come with a rear zip, or the comfort provided by a front zip. We sound like a stuck record on this, but try to ensure that the top of the zip doesn’t rub into your chest come the midst of race day. Ideally a fabric buffer/garage between skin and the zip’s head will prevent this.

MATERIALS Ignoring the wool versions, tri-suits are usually an elastane/Lycra and polyester mix. Breathability, aero and hydrodynamics, fit, comfort and UV protection are all design considerations. Quick-drying, cold black technologies (designed to reflect heat away) and a hydrophobic coating that beads water can all be found on a variety of tri-suits at every price level.

VENTILATION A series of vents under the arms, occasionally the hips and mostly on the back purport to provide ventilation for athletes throughout the bike and run legs. Think about where you’ll be racing, as the downside of some ventilation panels are a lack of UV protection, so ensure you apply water-resistant sun cream lotion to help combat this.


The suit’s flexibility around the arms is important, especially during the swim leg

The chamois is arguably the most important part in the effectiveness of a tri-suit. Too big and it’ll soak up water from the swim before, proving cumbersome on the run; too small and your bum will feel sore on the bike. So think about whether you’re racing 20km or 180km on the bike, and how much padding your perineum requires.

LEG GRIPPERS The type of leg grippers utilised by your suit have long split the tri crowds, with silicone dots, rubber or just tight hems some of the options to hold your suit in place. Look for some that aren’t too tight to avoid a sausage-leg situation come your big race day.



DESIGN DEMANDS What do designers look at when constructing your race-day wonder? Let’s find out...


fter a number of years scoring cycle apparel success, Scottish brand Endura moved into the tri market in 2015 and gained instant dividends with their Drag2Zero QDC (Quick-Dry-Cool) tri-suit range. The short-sleeved releases were sported by top long-distance racers Rachel Joyce, Tim Don, Jodie Swallow and Joe Skipper throughout the 2015 season. So what went into the making of this groundbreaking, visually impressive collection? “Our main objective was to create the fastest tri-suits on the market, providing enhanced aerodynamics and significant efficiency increases on the bike leg,” says the Livingston-based brand manager Ian Young. “Alongside aerodynamics on the bike we’re constantly pushing to improve comfort and fit of the suits across all disciplines in terms of fabrics, panel design, construction and finishing details to enhance performance.” The suit has certainly had a long gestation period, with Tim Don sporting an early version back in January 2015 and age-groupers still not able to buy it until at least the spring of 2016. “We worked closely with Simon Smart of Smart Aero Technology, widely acknowledged as the world’s leading aerodynamicist in cycle sport and also an Ironman,” adds Young. “Over 70 different prototypes were developed and put through painstaking sessions at the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 wind tunnel, while also being tested by our group of top-level pros in training and races to ensure the suits perform in real world conditions, not just in the lab.”

THE END OF THE VEST? Given the acceleration in tri-suit technology this decade (the top-end QDC item boasts a $450 tag, after all), what will tri’s quintessential piece of race-day kit look like in 2025? And are sleeveless suits a thing of the past? “I don’t think so, some of our top pro athletes prefer to use the vested style, especially for warm weather. That’s why we’ve also developed a tri vest as well as an aero bike jersey,” states Young. And as for 2025? “It’s a one-piece with sleeves to the elbow. It doesn’t require a swimskin and dries almost instantly on exit from the water. It controls thermal regulation more than current suits in different conditions, potentially by sensing body and air temp, and applying variable air permeability as well as more advanced versions of current finishes such as ColdBlack. It’ll be the piece of kit that has the biggest impact on the race’s outcome.” Q 220



RACE SCENE Profiling the top races of Asia-Pacific and around the world An elated Beth crosses the finish line ahead of all challengers at Ironman Australia


May 1, 2016 was another cracking day on the calendar for triathletes: the big one, Ironman Australia, where Beth Gerdes secured her second win at the event. She shares her tales from race day...


y world exploded when I tried to fit Ironman Port Macquarie, a trip to Vietnam, and our wedding all into a period of less than two weeks (12 days, to be exact.) Fortunately, Ironman Australia played out nearly exactly how I had envisioned it could if I was to have my best day. Obviously, I’m not going to swim with the leaders. But to come out of the water in 00:56-something – solidly under one hour – set me up less than 5mins from Gina Crawford, who led the race out of the water. “But you were almost 13mins down after the bike? How is that


your best day?” you might ask. Look, in my world, that can be the reality. My job is to come prepared for it and run my brains out. Although Michelle Bremer rode faster than me, I had a fantastic ride that went about as well as a solo 180km can go. It replicated what I knew I could and should execute from my training sessions. I nailed my target power, I nailed my target nutrition and, in the end, I rode 2mins faster than my prediction. I had the second-fastest female bike split, which is huge for me. I didn’t really hit a low spot, kept my power

consistent on the second lap and came into the run strong. I finished fresh and ready to run my ass off. (P.s. It was rainy, blustery and chilly, but whatever.) All the race recaps from IMOZ say it was “all about the run” as both Tim Reed and I ran down significant deficits, but for me, it was all about the swim and bike. All day I stayed patient and strong and within myself in order to set myself up for that run. I rode from fifth place into second place during that ride, which is a big win for me. The swim miles and the bike miles I put in during training are what I

really feel deserve the credit for that 2:56:10 marathon – not any secret run sessions, or crazy run intensity or mileage. I got off the bike, heard the time gap, and got to work. My legs felt amazing; it was ridiculous. The weather was cool, my heart rate was low and my cadence was high. I got in the zone and clicked away. I knew I needed to take at least 3.5mins per lap out of Michelle in order to have a chance, but I didn’t want to rush it. I also knew Michelle was in excellent run form, having recently posted a personal best run in IM New Zealand (3:14). I knew


Over 1,000 athletes took part in the 2016 Ironman Australia event


that with the deficit I had, only a 3:00 marathon would give me a chance. Michelle had truly smashed the course, and in the end, she finished 25mins faster than her winning time from 2015, running 3:11. Cheers also to Dimity Lee Duke who rounded out the podium in third. I love racing with Dimity – she races hard and fair and is an awesome competitor. For me, I just had one of those days you dream about where going hard feels good. Not to be that annoying chick, but I really never had a low spot and my legs responded with ease (I feel I’m too often on team “Come on, legs!”). I ran by heart rate and was mostly trying to “keep it up”. All day long I kept thinking to myself, “DAMN, I nailed this taper!” I felt like Freddy McFresherson compared to my usual lagging self. In the end, with a time of 9:10:32, I broke the tape. Q 220

Tim Reed took top spot in the men’s with a time of 8:16:34



RACE CALENDAR Give your training purpose by planning out your race schedule



Known as The Best Old Race, Challenge Roth is on every triathlete’s bucket list. Not only is it one of the oldest races, but it’s also one of the fastest and largest races on the calendar. Over 3,500 athletes tear through the beautiful rolling German countryside as nearly 220,000 spectators cheer them on enthusiastically, pushing them up Solar Hill and then raising a glass to them through Beer Mile towards the finish line. If it’s not already on your bucket list, add it now – no doubt the 2017 iteration will be as amazing as ever.


Bike/10km Run) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Swim/20km Bike/5km Run) Mackay, QLD –

ITU World Triathlon Stockholm (1.5km Swim/40km Bike/10km Run) Stockholm, Sweden


Xterra Japan (1.5km Swim/28km MTB/10km Trail Run) Japan



Ironman Taiwan (3.8km Swim/180km Bike/42.2km Run) Penghu, Taiwan

ITU World Triathlon Hamburg (750m Swim/20km Bike/5km Run) Hamberg, Germany –

17 Challenge Roth (3.8km Swim/180km Bike/42.2km Run) Roth, Germany

23 Australian Triathlon, Endurance and Cycling Expo, Sydney, NSW

24 Sydney Duathlon (5km Run/19.5km Bike/2.5km Run) Sydney, NSW

AUGUST 5 Rio 2016 Olympics (1.5km Swim/40km


Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship (1.9km Swim/90km Bike/21.1km Run) Cebu, Philippines Yeppoon Triathlon Festival (1.5km Swim/40km Bike/10km Run or 750m Swim/20km Bike/5km Run) Yeppoon, QLD

19 Townsville Triathlon Festival (750m Swim/20km Bike/5km Run) Townsville, QLD

27 Xterra Korea (1.5km Swim/28km MTB/10km Trail Run) Wonju City, Korea

28 Airlie Beach Triathlon (750m Swim/20km Bike/5km Run or 300m Swim/10km Bike/2.5km Run) Airlie Beach, QLD –

2 Ironman 70.3 World Championship (1.9km Swim/90km Bike/21.1km Run) Mooloolaba, QLD –

15 9 ITU World Triathlon Edmonton (750m Swim/20km Bike/5km Run) Edmonton, Canada –

11 Challenge Vietnam (1.9km Swim/90km Bike/21.1km Run) Vietnam ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Cozumel (1.5km Swim/40km Bike/10km Run) Cozumel, Mexico

25 Mackay Triathlon Festival (1.5km Swim/40km Bike/10km Run or 750m

Forster Triathlon Festival (3.8km Swim/ 180km Bike/42.2km Run) Forster, NSW

23 Nepean Triathlon (1km Swim/30km Bike/10km Run) Penrith, NSW

30 Triathlon Pink Paramatta (100m Swim/3km Bike/1km Run or 200m Swim/6km Bike/2km Run or 300m Swim/9km Bike/3km Run) Paramatta, NSW – Noosa Triathlon Multi-Sport Festival (1.5km Swim/40km Bike/10km Run +


various events) Noosa, QLD

NOVEMBER 5 Rottnest Triathlon Festival Race (2km Swim/80km Bike/20km Run or 1.5km Swim/40 km Bike/10km Run or 500m Swim/20km Bike/5km Run) Rottnest Island, WA

12 Hamilton Island Triathlon (750m Swim/20km Bike/5km Run) Hamilton Island, QLD –


Challenge Shepparton (1.9km Swim/90km Bike/21.1km Run) Shepparton, VIC

OCTOBER 16, 2016 Forster has become a favourite holiday destination for so many Aussies come summertime, but it has also become something of a favourite for triathletes. Known as the home of Australian long-course triathlon, Forster acts as the perfect backdrop for a massive weekend of multisport. A quick dip in the crystal clear waters of Forster Keys Bay followed by a cycle and run through the town alongside 1,000 fellow athletes makes for a cracking Sunday. And in the down time, athletes and spectators can visit the Health and Lifestyle Expo running all weekend to gab and gawk at all the latest news and gadgets to stay fit.

19 2016 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships (1.5km Swim/30km Bike/10km Run) Crackenback, NSW

20 Triathlon Pink Perth (100m Swim/3km Bike/1km Run or 200m Swim/6km Bike/2km Run or 300m Swim/9km Bike/3km Run) Mt Claremont,WA –

27 Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney (1.9km Swim/90km Bike/21.1km Run) Penrith, NSW Ironman 70.3 Thailand (1.9km Swim/90km Bike/21.1km Run) Phuket, Thailand –

DECEMBER 4 Ironman Western Australia (3.8km Swim/180km Bike/42.2km Run) Busselton, WA –



Ironman 70.3 Taupo (1.9km Swim/90km Bike/21.1km Run) Taupo, NZ –

DECEMBER 4, 2016 Since 2004 Ironman Western Australia has seen an incredible growth making it one of the Aussie calendar’s biggest events. The event’s reputation has soared among athletes as one of the best and most beautiful courses to race and it always helps when the spectators and locals come out in full force. When the town is small and athletes have travelled far, you can always expect the local spirit to blow you away. Incorporating the iconic Busselton Jetty the race itself is a picture-perfect moment waiting to happen. And the athletes themselves can expect a PB as the bike and run course are some of the flattest around.

11 Ironman 70.3 Ballarat (1.9km Swim/90km Bike/21.1km Run) Ballarat, VIC



CHALLENGE SHEPPARTON In just its third year of existence, Challenge Shepparton will be the November 13, 2016 destination for many of Australia’s – and the world’s – best triathletes. Here’s why you shouldn’t miss it...



emote farmland, a fresh water lake and triathletes storming down the centre of town. Challenge Shepparton is Victoria’s little slice of Roth, transforming this regional village into one of Australia’s highlight races. Challenge Shepparton draws a lot of parallels to Challenge Roth in Germany. There’s no way we’re gonna get away with convincing you the spectators and the crowds are the same – that’s something solely reserved for the behemoth that is Roth – however, the local spirit, rural atmosphere and small-town, relaxed vibes hang in every corner of Shepparton when it’s in full swing. Challenge has always been synonymous with picking a sleepy part of a country and flooding it with as many diehard tri fans as they can, often helping show off areas to brand new crowds.

Shepparton in Victoria lies approximately two hours from Melbourne and gives a quick glimpse into some of the best countryside Victoria has on offer. Farms, bush, sleepy towns, you name it. So, what better area to blast with a bunch of excitable athletes? However, it’s more than just the area that has turned Challenge Shepparton into one of the highlights of the tri calendar. If you’re looking for a PB you’ll be happy to hear this is an extremely flat, fast course that we know has helped shatter a lot of records. And if the swim leg is your jam, the warm, fresh water Victoria Park Lake is regarded as one of the best water courses in Australia. In only its third year on the calendar, Challenge Shepparton is still just a pup. However, the long-course format has been around for 16 years, previously run by the

Shepparton Triathlon Club. As with many rural triathlons, locals come out in full force showing plenty of town spirit – always a welcome burst of energy as you’re dragging your feet into the finish chute. Last year Luke Bell and Rebekah Keat came away with crushing victories after smashing their way through on the bike. Exiting the swim into a stinking hot day with winds picking up didn’t deter Bell as he soldiered on through the fast bike leg. “It looks easy, but it was painful. But it’s always good to win from the front. Trying to hold 50kmh on the way back and 40kmh on the way out, I could see the guys looking at each other and it plays into your own hands I guess. It drives you to stay on the pedals and the gas,” said Bell post-race. “The course in town here is spectacular. It just never feels like you’re out there by yourself.”

Meanwhile, in the women’s race Rebekah Keat dominated the bike leg gaining 2mins 25secs on Radka Vodickova and Yvonne van Vlerken, the two closest to her tail. “I felt amazing on my bike. I’ve only been on my Cervelo for six months but it felt like a rocket today,” Keat said post-race. “I felt great on the run too. I wanted to negative split but felt a twinge in my calves with 2km to go. I popped some Nurofen and got through. I was racing so hard because Yvonne has won every single race this year.” It seems Shepparton brings the best out in competitive racers. A fast course, gorgeous landscape and a field of triathletes all raring to go has really helped to solidify this as one of Australia’s must-do races. Visit for more info on this year’s event, taking place on November 13. Q 220


220 Triathlon (Australia) issue 38 2016  

220 Triathlon (Australia) issue 38 2016 |104 pages