jake Montgomery Rise of the phoenix
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CON T EN T S
08 Jake montgomery the rise of the phoenix The rising long-course star chats to AT’s Aimee Johnsen about his rise in triathlon, his prefered race distance, the accident that almost ended it all, his recovery and more.
MAy 2017 Australian Triathlete
22 Labour Day: 12-Hour World Record Ride
38 Tri Products
66 Teamwork makes the Dream Work
AT’s Dr Mitch talks about how his epic, record breaking ride unfolded.
28 Lionel Sanders: An Inspirational Climb to the Top Megan Evoe talks to Lionel about his issues with booze and drug addiciton in the early years, how discovering triathlon turned his life around, his rise in the sport, and more.
Issue 24.5 May 2017
34 New Race Formats
Jake montgomery - RIse of The phoenIx
jake Montgomery Rise of the phoenix
Issue 24.5 2017 AUS $9.95 inc GST
Cover: Jake Montgomery Photography: Korupt Vision
| Australian Triathlete
We look at the latest, must-have products on the market.
42 Product Spotlight
Triathlon is not entirely an individual sport. Pro triathlete, Sam Betten shares his thoughts on building your triathlon team.
This month’s installment shines the light on Bont cycling shoes.
44 Recovery Tools AT’s Margaret Mielczarek road tests some of the latest recovery tools and gadgets on the market. Now everyone can recover like a pro!
50 Road Test: Suomy GT-R TT Helmet
Jordan Blanco discusses the new race formats that are helping to make triathlon a more spectator friendly sport.
The Test Lab road test the latest product on the market - the Suomy GT-R TT Helmet.
60 Sexton’s Scribble
Whether you’re on a budget or have cash to burn, choose from the right bike bag for you and your bike. Protecting your bike on your next tri adventure doesn’t have to blow the budget.
Brendan Sexton encourages us to make triathlon fun again by channeling our youth - it’s time to play.
53 Save, Spend, Splurge
Dr Simon Sostaric provides his advice on improving economy and doing more for less.
72 What’s SUP! AT’s Margaret Mielczarek discovers the world of SUP’ing and learns about its cross-training benefits for triathletes.
84 Coaches Corner Julie Tedde continues to coach us through building a strong bike leg to improve overall race day performance.
90 Nutrition Sports dietitian, Alicia Edge, gives us insider tips on how to put together a race day nutrition plan.
A PUBLICITY PRESS PUBLICATION PUBLISHER Ross Copeland EDITOR Aimee Johnsen deputy EDITOR Margaret Mielczarek
HELLO O ne thing I truly love about the sport of triathlon is the people. I may be bias here but I think there are very few sports that can rival the people that our sport has in it. Every corner you turn there are great athletes, doing great things - all of different levels, strengths and abilities, not to mention age. And by greatness I don’t mean purely winning World Championships or breaking records, but just getting out their and competing. Overcoming adversities to even have a crack at this crazy 3-in-1 sport is absolute greatness! Everyone has it in them and it comes in different forms for different people. In this month’s edition we feature some of those great people and stories I talk about. Our latest cover star Jake Montgomery who at just 22-years-old has overcome two very serious bike crashes that could have easily ended his life on either occasion, let alone ended his triathlon career. But he’s back - back racing, fit, healthy and loving life. Jake is a great reminder to us all of not only what can happen on the roads but most importantly to not let it stop you doing what you love. You can read all about Jake from page 12.
ART DIRECTOR Andy Cumming Photo EDITOR Korupt Vision Advertising manager Aimee Johnsen Production, Administration & subscriptions Gina Copeland
AT’s very own Dr Mitch Anderson is no stranger to receiving accolades. As one of the best professional athletes to represent our country in the past, Mitch is no stranger to receiving the praise and cheers from a crowed. But his latest feat surely tops all else. Mitch gives us the lowdown on how he prepped, and then achieved the new 12-hour World Record (page 8). And while he may not be a household name here in Australia yet, Lionel Sanders is definitely a name you should remember. The Canadian powerhouse athlete has overcome serious drug addiction to become one of the world’s most promising stars and he has his eyes firmly set on Ironman 70.3 World Championship glory (see page 26). Tech Talk (from page 38) is packed with all your techy goodness, and our experts are all back in the Training Toolbox (from page 66) with their tips, tricks and advice to help you be the athlete you want to be. Enjoy!
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NEWS AND Launches
NEW CHALLENGE FAMILY RACE NEAR THE CITY OF BANGKOK After the great success in organising CHALLENGEKANCHANABURI, Tab Agency, the official Challenge Family right holder in Thailand, has announced a new race in Thailand. In corporate with The Armed Force Academies Preparatory School CHALLENGENAKHO-NAYOK will be on June 25, 2017. Zibi Szlufcik, CEO CHALLENGEFAMILY, said: “Thailand is one of fastest growing triathlon destinations in the world and we are enjoying an amazing development of
Challenge Family with our partner, the Tab Agency. The new Challenge Nakhon Nayok is close to the capital city Bangkok, which has surely become quickly a “must do” destination for athletes from all over the world. The scenic surrounding, easy logistics, beautiful course and the friendly hospitality are ready for athletes, media and the industry to share this experience.”
The 2017 Noosa Triathlon sold out in a matter of hours – and we’ve got some exciting news for those who missed out. There’s 50 free entries now available for the 5 November event, thanks to IRONMAN Australia and Make-A-Wish® Australia. So, how can you get your hands on one of these sought after places? Register your interest at http://wish.makeawish.org.au/ Noosa-Triathlon, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 032 260 and agree to fundraise a minimum of $1,500 for Make-A-Wish. Make-A-Wish will help you through every step of the way. What could be better than competing in the Noosa Tri for free, knowing that you’re helping to make wishes come true for children facing life-threatening illness. Wishes are vital for really sick kids and teens – giving them hope for the future, strength to keep fighting, and joy from their incredible wish experience. This is a truly amazing opportunity, and these spots are sure to be snapped up quickly.
For more details please visit: www.challenge-thailand.com
IRONMAN SET TO RETURN TO LANGKAWI WITH TWO RACES
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IRONMAN announced on March 13, 2017 that Langkawi Island, the Jewel of Kedah, would continue to host IRONMAN Malaysia in 2017. The tropical paradise island will also be the venue of an additional race in 2017 IRONMA 70.3 Langkawi. Both races are scheduled to take place on November 11, 2017. With the introduction of IRONMAN 70.3 Langkawi, IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya will be discontinued in 2017. 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 Langkawi will be an age group race only offering 30 qualifying slots for the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa.
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jake Montgomery Rise of the phoenix With a strong background in state level swimming, cross-country and athletics, rising long-course star, Jake Montgomery had a dream start to triathlon. But just when it seemed like everything was falling into place, his world came crashing down. AT’s editor, Aimee Johnsen, chats with Jake about his rise in triathlon, his preferred race distance, the World Championships, the accident that almost ended it all, his recovery and comeback, and more.
photography by Korupt vision
Where it all began I understand you were a state level swimmer as a youngster (as well as cross country and athletics!) and it was your swim coach who encouraged you to give triathlon a go, did you know what triathlon was at that stage? I had never heard of triathlon and wasn’t sure what it consisted of. He [my swim coach] mentioned that there was a swim and run time trial to get into the squad and that they would look after me from there. Having a strong swim and run background, I jumped at the opportunity to try this out. I was fortunate enough to make the times and to gain a position in the squad. Triathlon being three sports now required me to get on a road bike. I had always ridden a BMX and a mountain
bike as a youngster but [I didn’t have a road bike]. So, I was really lucky that the head coach let me borrow one of his old bikes to get me started. I still remember some of the first sessions on the road bike, it was completely different to what I was used to and will never forget the day I first used clipless pedals. I was taught all the basics and skills through the first couple of years, and cycling has since become my favourite part of a triathlon. Tell us about your first triathlon experience - when/where was it, do you remember the distances and what was your first impression of triathlon? Were you hooked immediately or has your
love for the sport grown over time? My first race that stands out was the Enticer race (125m/5km/1.25km) at the Nepean Triathlon in Penrith, NSW. I was 13-years-old and really enjoyed it. I took the win in my race and still have the photo of the guy I still look up to today handing me my medal - Craig Alexander. I definitely enjoyed it at the time and spent the next few years travelling around Australia, but it wasn’t until my first long course race that I actually found my place and love for the sport. Since then my love for triathlon has grown more and more. This was the format I had been eyeing off for years, but thought it was much further down the track - I’m so happy I had made the switch when I did. Australian Triathlete |
a great Talent: Jake’s swim coach noticed his talent for triathlon and encouraged him to give the sport a go.
Ok, so you’re 13-years-old and have just done your first triathlon - you must have shown some great talent at that point as you went on to trial, and got selected for the Sydney Junior Triathlon Academy in the same year. That’s pretty impressive. How did that opportunity come about, was anyone working with you at this point helping with your pathway? Those time trials I first attended was for the Academy, and this is where it all started. Mick Delamotte was the head coach of this squad, and it was one of his bikes I was able to borrow to get me started. I spent my first couple of years training under him at Sutherland, NSW but the more I trained, the more the travel piled up. I decided to start working locally
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with a coach based out of Wollongong, NSW, which shortened the travel time and I was able to get more contact hours with coach Mark Scott. Your first pro tour race was in Forster, NSW where you competed in the U23 elite category at just 14 – how did you go? From memory, I had a lot of fun at this race. Forster is such a great location for a race having an ocean swim, and this was a completely different format - an Enduro. The race involved a 300m swim/8km bike/3km run x2 continuous. The field was very competitive and being one of my first draft legal races it was really tough - I still remember jumping in the water for the
second time feeling absolutely wrecked and could barely swim. I did a few Enduro format races during my early years in triathlon and enjoyed these more than just the one straight out race. It’s good to see a similar format coming back with the Super League Triathlon series - it will be a very interesting few days for the athletes and will be a great race to watch for the spectators. The next year (2009) you were getting attention from the right people in triathlon development - Triathlon NSW and the NSW Institute of Sport. You were asked to race at the 2XU National Talent Identification weekend and to attend a National Development Camp with 50 of the best U/19 athletes in the
Cover story Talk us through the next couple of years, juggling HSC [High School Certificate] and an aspiring triathlon career. Where were things at for you in that period? Were you balancing major competitions with your schooling or did tri take a back seat while you finished your education? I had completed year 12 and scored high enough marks to gain entry into university for my desired degree. There were to be some tough decisions made during my first year of study. I was enjoying uni life, but my triathlon was really picking up under the guidance of Jamie Turner. He brought about the conversation of a trip to Europe to do some racing with the Australian squad. While study was going well, there was no way I could turn this opportunity down, so I jumped at the chance. You went overseas to race in 2013 - you raced elite ITU Continental Cups and also raced in the French Grand Prix series. Racing the elites on the world stage, was that a big step in your career? After completing one year of university, it was time to head off to Europe for three months. As I left a little later than the rest of the squad, I had to travel alone from Sydney, Australia to a small little town in
big decisions pay off: Jake put uni on hold to pursue a triathlon career.
the North of Spain, Vitoria-Gasteiz. This was a big step in itself with multiple flights across the world and arriving in a foreign country trying to get the local buses to meet with Jamie. I was a little nervous, although the travel couldn’t have gone smoother and I got there a lot easier and quicker than I first expected. Training with the Australian squad in Vitoria was an experience I’ll never forget and enjoyed every day of it. I was very lucky to race for a French team while I was over there, Issy-Les-Moulineaux. While travelling into and out of France for each race, and the one still being my favourite race in San Sebastien, Spain, I also travelled to the UK, Italy and Hungry. This trip provided an invaluable experience, and my future was determined - triathlon was what I wanted to pursue.
When I found my love for 70.3 racing, my previous goal of attending the Olympics left my mind. — Jake Montgomery
country at the end of that year. You must have known then you were heading in the right direction in this sport? I went to the Super Sprint weekend a few times, and they have definitely been one of the hardest weekends of racing I ever had. The best juniors in Australia all attended this race weekend. The format is extremely tough with swim, bike and run time trials on the first day, three mini triathlons on the next day and one further enticer distance race on the Sunday. I was very fortunate around this time to be introduced to Jamie Turner, Triathlon Australia High-Performance coach and it was him who took me under his wing to take my racing to the next level and introduced me to overseas competition. Australian Triathlete |
2014 – you had an injury setback that cost you six months of racing, which resulted in a cancelled European race season. It would also be your final year racing ITU. Talk us through the decision to move away from the short stuff and go long. If it wasn’t for that stress fracture in my foot, I’m not sure where I would be today. I had already booked for Europe prior to the injury so rather than cancel it, I checked the surfboard on the plane instead of the bike and spent the next four months travelling Europe on a holiday. This gave me a lot of time to think and re-evaluate my triathlon career - wondering whether I continue racing ITU, quit or move to long course. Long course racing had always been in the back of my mind, so quitting [the sport] was out of the picture pretty quickly. ITU was good, and I gained a lot of experience from it, but my strengths didn’t help me achieve the results I was looking for. This made me turn my thoughts to long course, non-drafting triathlon. I still remember the first race back from injury and the one that got me hooked. It was where it all started - Nepean Triathlon in Penrith, but this time I was racing the standard distance (1km/30km/10km), non-drafting. This required me to get a TT
| Australian Triathlete
My goals quickly changed and [I now] have my eyes set on something — Jake Montgomery bigger for me. bike. I was lucky enough that one of my good mates from Wollongong lent me his bike to use in the lead-up and on race day. I instantly loved the TT bike, and after racing on it, I was sold on the non-drafting scene and was keen to train up for the long course distance. On your blog, you list your goal was to represent Australia in the Olympics. How hard was it to let that go? The Olympics were a goal of mine since year one - at that stage, it was the pinnacle of triathlon for me, and everything from training to racing had my sights set on that. When I found my love for 70.3 racing, my previous goal of attending the Olympics left my mind straight away and didn’t faze me one bit. As I learnt more about Ironman and what it has to offer, my goals quickly changed and [I now] have my eyes set on something bigger for me.
Moving Long Huskisson Long Course Triathlon in February 2015 was your first crack at the longer distance, and you waked away in seventh place, which is a great effort on debut. What were your first impressions of racing long? Huskisson was such a great race to have my first crack at long course. I had done a lot of draft legal racing here - it was close to home, and it’s an awesome spot. The race is known for being a stacked Australian field and the year I raced was no different. I didn’t mind that as it gave me a good insight into how good the best guys are and how they race. The race was a great experience, and this was where I found my love for the sport. The longer distances and non-drafting format really suited me. But, while I was fine through the swim and bike, I still think that run was one of the hardest I have ever done. One thing that stood out the most was nutrition intake throughout the race.
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PH. R URNATO
DRIVO: MADE TO MEASURE
I struggled with this a lot through my first few races as it took a lot of practice knowing what and when to take it. After that race, though, I couldn’t have been keener to do more, and it wasn’t long until I was lining up at my next long course. What are some of the key differences you like about racing the longer distance over ITU racing? Do you prefer it or do you think you are simply more suited to it? The biggest is non-drafting. It allows it to be a more individual race and I am able to use my strengths to my advantage. You have to be strong all round to be a contender. I have used the bike leg to get my best results - this is where you can
have the biggest impact on the race due to the duration of the leg. Definitely both - I prefer it and am better suited to it. I prefer it a lot more to ITU, and my racing style, and strengths are a lot better suited [to long course]. I have had a lot of people say I am too young but because I wasn’t progressing in ITU, it was either quit triathlon or move to long course. Let’s wrap up your first season for half iron-distance racing: 2 x 2nd place finish (70.3 Mandurah and Western Sydney) 2 x 5th place finish (70.3 Port Macquarie and Challenge Williamsburg) 1 x 6th place finish (Challenge Batemans Bay) 2 x 7th place finish (Huskisson Long Course and 70.3 Timberman) 2 x 8th place finish (70.3 Vineman and 70.3 Raleigh) WOW! They are some big results and big races. You must have had confidence after 2015 that you had absolutely made the right decision? Now that I think of it, it was a little risky and hopeful, going to race in the US so early in my long course career. After spending three months over there, I couldn’t be happier with my trip and results in all the races. It was this trip that confirmed I had
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made the right decision and made me so much more confident heading into my races back in Australia, and it showed. Ironman 70.3 Mandurah was a breakthrough race for me - I still remember it very well. Coming out of the water with a substantial gap, I went all out on the bike and didn’t think once about waiting or looking back. Coming off the bike with an even bigger lead, unfortunately, I was run down in the last three kilometres but was still blown away to get my first podium and 70.3. I took the exact same tactic into 70.3 Western Sydney but again, I was run down in the last kilometre to finish second. That one was too close, and I won’t let that happen again. You start 2016 off on a big high, earning your maiden Ironman 70.3 title in Geelong, but then get hit by a garbage truck a month later while riding home from the beach. You wrote ‘there was nowhere to go except under his wheels’… that must have been so scary? You hurt your ankle and hip badly – so bad that it cold have been over? That was the best day [winning Ironman 70.3 Geelong] in my sporting career - I had finally got those two seconds off my back and put together the perfect race to hold onto the win. Those next few weeks were hectic, filled with emails and interest. I
couldn’t have been in a better place, and this looked to be the start of a great year. Unfortunately, I still remember going under those rear wheels and the pain, at the time it felt like my leg had snapped in half. I was taken to the hospital, scanned and had completely ruptured two ligaments in my ankle along with a heap of bone bruising. After seeing the doc, running was a possibility but not certain as the ligaments may have never healed properly to take the impact of running. I started hydrotherapy using JT5 Aquabuoys and was very lucky to make such a good recovery - I found myself headed back to the US two months later. You recover and head overseas to the US for 70.3 Boulder and 70.3 Vineman – a 10th and seventh place respectively, which qualifies you for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, at home in Mooloolaba, your first crack at the 70.3 World Championship. Can you tell us about your prep leading into the race, how excited you were and what you genuinely thought you could achieve on race day? While I had a few hiccups in those races, I was just happy to be back out there racing after my accident. I had completed the best two months of training I have
working on his run: Jake knew he had to execute a good run at Ironman 70.3 Geelong to take the win.
ever done, and the fitness was at an all time high leading into 70.3 worlds. To be honest, those three weeks prior to worlds was so bad I didn’t even decide to race until the Friday before. I suffered a little niggle in my knee that prevented me from swimming, riding and running, so I wasn’t doing any training and was still too sore to even think about racing. I was never able to diagnose it, but after a few sessions with the local acupuncturist,
it miraculously came good on Thursday morning. I got two sessions in, no problem, so I packed the gear on Friday and headed up to worlds first thing Saturday morning. Although the prep was a little shaky, I was still carrying confidence heading into the race. I had high expectations of myself prior to my knee injury so I was still aiming for a top 10 finish on the day.
Australian Triathlete |
The Accident The accident you don’t remember… What do you know now about the crash that nearly ended it all? I tell myself I am very lucky I have no memory of the crash, the hospital or the first week at home. I think that if I did, I might have never ridden a bike again. The police rang dad to explain the accident - it was my last ride before the race [the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Mooloolaba] just to make sure the bike was ready - 30minutes was all I had planned. It happened at 20minutes according to my Garmin when the speed drops from 40km/h to zero. It happened out the front of a fruit shop where a driver travelling the opposite way had turned into the shop driveway causing a head on collision – I collided with the bonnet/windscreen of the car. The car impact was all on my right side, which is where all my fractures and muscle tears were, but it was me going over the top of the car and landing straight onto the left side of my head that had caused the real damage. I suffered brain bleeding and swelling in three different spots, which left me pretty messed up for the next month.
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What did your doctors and surgeons tell you about your recovery – how long would it be, would you ever race again, was there long term concerns for you as a person, not just as an athlete? It wasn’t until I heard from them that I realised how serious it was and I wasn’t out of the clear yet. Racing again was a very slim chance with the doctors - the head injuries were so serious they were actually surprised I was still able to talk to them properly. The doctors stressed to me that with brain injuries the side effects could last for years or might not even get better. Fracture and tear-wise that was just the standard six weeks but they went into more detail about the brain injuries and
told me it would take at least three to four months before I could attempt my first run. The neurologist stressed to me the importance of keeping a low intensity for months, as there was a high risk of seizures. All this really scared me, and I went through a bit of a rough patch. You wrote in your blog that being told you couldn’t run for four months left you in a “state of depression and considering life” – that must have been some very dark times for you? What helped get you through it all? That first two months I was in all sorts. Going from two to three sessions every day, surfing and being pain-free to sitting on the couch all day, making lunch being the most I
I tell myself I am very lucky I have no memory of the crash, the hospital or the first week at home. — Jake Montgomery
Crash Photos: ©Jake Montgomery
head on collision: Jake collided, head on, with a car on the eve of the Ironman 70.3 World Championships.
could do, left me wondering. I must admit I was in a deep state of depression there for a few weeks and had some pretty bad thoughts on life and whether it was still worth it. It happened at the worst time, and the doctors weren’t confident in my recovery. Family, friends, sponsors and my love for the sport were not going to stop me. I can’t thank everyone enough for their support and messages throughout this time. I really appreciated every one of them - it made me more determined to make a full return. I listened to my body and took things slowly. Once I started back doing small things like walking and easy spins on the trainer that’s all I needed to bring my head back in the game and tell myself there is still hope.
At what point did you decide you would have a crack at getting back to racing? What did your parents say? And the doctors? I got my first couple of weeks running done just before Christmas and made the call very early in the New Year to sign up for a local sprint distance. Both my parents were super keen to see me back out there, but in the back of their minds, they were still worried about the risks. They have watched me every day through this recovery and were confident about me racing - we were all just concerned about the possible unknowns. The doctors had told me to be very cautious at all times as it can take the slightest thing to trigger a seizure but I got the all clear to progress intensity and duration after that first run. Australian Triathlete |
The comeback: Finishing Ironman 70.3 Geelong has made Jake keen for the year ahead and his next race.
Talk us through this journey, how hard has it been to be back training. Has your body and mind been 100% on the ride with you or have there been some setbacks that made you question the comeback? Everyone and everything has proved to me that this comeback was the right decision. It has gone a lot smoother than expected. I knew it was going to take a while to get the body back up to speed but to see how close I am to my usual numbers after such a long break, I’m a little surprised. I am enjoying every session more than ever when I’m out there training, and when it gets hard, all I have to do is tell myself that I may have never been able to do this again and how lucky I am to still be breathing air.
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Ironman 70.3 Geelong 2017 – the big comeback. How was that whole experience, before, during and now on reflection? I couldn’t have asked for a better race to come back to. Some people had said it’s too early, but I knew the body was ready. The week leading into it was probably the most stressful time of my life - it felt like I had never done a triathlon before and I had to remember every little thing in the lead-up, for travel and to be race ready that would normally be a force of habit. It wasn’t until I woke up race morning that the stress disappeared and the excitement kicked in. Nerves didn’t seem to exist for this race, something that is normally me before every race - I was just so keen to get back racing.
The race was the toughest conditions I’ve raced in - coming from a very hot and humid Queensland to chilly, wet and windy Geelong conditions was a bit of a shock to the body. I was a little off the initial race start pace in the swim but found my rhythm not too long after and found myself swimming comfortably in second. I felt great on the bike initially and was mixing it up at the front with Amberger and Appleton. On the way back into town I started to struggle a bit with the headwind and lost sight of the guys. My legs were hurting, but once I went through town to head out for the second lap, I had bridged back up, but that didn’t last long. My legs popped around 90minutes, and I was wondering if I was going to get to that finish line. The lack of
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Australian Triathlete |
That last kilometre when I knew I had secured fifth was such a great feeling, and that smile I had coming down the finish chute, I’ll never forget. — Jake Montgomery
kilometres on the bike really kicked in and found myself creeping for the last 25kilometres. I got onto the run, and it was a whole different game. Those muscles I cooked in the bike weren’t affecting my run at all, and I felt great. I was running really strong. I had Wilson and Viennot pass me around half way but was just so happy to have good legs on the run. That last kilometre when I knew I had secured fifth was such a great feeling, and that smile I had coming down the finish chute, I’ll never forget.
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Ticking that one off really meant a lot. That felt like the end of the recovery phase, and now my journey begins. Finishing Geelong made me keener than ever for the year ahead and my next race. You have some super supportive parents, friends and sponsors - you must be very grateful for all they do for you? Without them all, I’d hate to think where I would be today if I did make it. My parents were there every minute for me - I was very lucky to catch up with my mates early
on and to receive messages from the sponsors just checking in, which meant a lot. I was even fortunate enough to have signed with some new companies that have been long time favourites of mine, and couldn’t be more excited to have had partnered with them at this time. Having Glenn from Korupt Vision take an interest in me early on really motivated me to pursue this recovery the best I could and make it worthwhile for the both of us. Him being there for a lot of my training through the early stages was great - I think he spurred me on a lot to go that little bit further and progress as quick as I could. What’s next for Jake Montgomery? The goal now is to get back to the States. Boulder, CO has become like a second home to me - I absolutely love it there. The people are great, the lifestyle is awesome, and the training is incredible. I’ve made a few friends over there, and can’t wait to get back and catch up with them. I’m looking forward to following another summer. I have a few races planned while I am over there, with the ultimate goal being to qualify for the 70.3 World Championships in Chattanooga. Having already missed half the qualifying period it’s going to be hard, but I am confident with the amount of racing I have planned that I will be able to pick up enough points. All going well and I have a good block of training in Boulder, I should be back to my usual self by then and ready to mix it up with the world’s best.
“The Vengey is the most flexible wetsuit I’ve ever worn.” Jake Montgomery Professional Triathlete
Twelve Hour World Record Ride text by Dr Mitch Anderson
| photography by korupt vision
here was loneliness, too, as the sun set, but only rarely now did doubts return. I knew that this would give way to total absorption to the task at hand. But at times I wondered if I had not come a long way to find that what I really sought was something I had left behind.” Tom Hornbein: Everest: The West Ridge. For a period of time in my early twenties, summiting Everest fascinated me, and I read every book I could get my
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hands on. The physiology of altitude and its stressors are incredible. The similarities with endurance triathlon are undeniable, and I think that’s what drew me to the subject. Unfortunately being a great mountaineer and an outstanding author are not mutually inclusive, but there are exceptions. I stumbled on this fantastic book by anaesthetist and mountaineer Tom Hornbein. He and Willi Unsoeld were the first to ascend Mt Everest by the difficult West Ridge. It’s generally
accepted as one of the greatest feats in mountaineering. So I wrote my favourite quote down and kept it firstly in a black leather Filofax, then had it written by my desk, and now it’s Blu-tacked to my desktop screen. It resonates with me now more than ever. And by now, I mean it’s 4am, and my pregnant wife is happily snuffling and puffing away in a warm bed, but my mind is racing. Navigating turns and avoiding collisions. Holding the lines. Pedalling.
Had I known how much suffering I would experience in the last four hours, I don’t think I could honestly say that I would have even started. — Dr Mitch Anderson
Pedalling. Pedalling. Body aching. But that was 72-hours ago! The Hornbein quote was always the succinct reminder that I needed to ground my endurance efforts as part, but not the sole purpose of my life. Training for 30 Ironman races in my 20s and 30s necessitated a lot of loneliness but an immensely satisfying total absorption to the task at hand. And every time I was off training, I had left behind a loved one, my studies and social life. But I loved the challenge of the preparation for a climb. Mountaineering never escaped my imagination, but it was confined there as a hypothetical. My thrall was swimming, pedalling and running - preparing for a mountain called Kona. So, when I retired from triathlon two years ago, I didn’t have a physical goal. I had seen five different psychologists over five years, trying to get over the damage of
an abusive marriage and resultant depression. I was seeing a psychiatrist, doing CBT and trying to avoid taking anti-depressants. I had given Craig Percival (I have permission to discuss his medical details here) strict advice to get back on medication for his depressive illness, but I didn’t have the insight to do likewise. My doctor convinced me that it was necessary (along with therapy) and my life light bulb switched back to full wattage! I was fertile ground again in all aspects of my life, and the seed for this attempt was sown and germinated in response to watching multiple rowing Olympic gold medallist, Drew Ginn attempt the world 24-hour record of 897km, currently held by Austrian Christoph Strasser. With the catalyst of Drew ripping lap after lap of Brunswick velodrome ad infinitum, I thought I should do my due diligence by shooting for the less prestigious 12-hour record to see if I had the temperament, motor and desire to tackle this new mode of riding. The record of 458km seemed low hanging fruit, compared to the monument of 897km for 24-hours. So, Danger (Damien Angus) and I work-shopped it on the Saturday rides. Mothers Meeting at 40km per hour! He
and I have built such a combined depth of physiology, medicine, nutrition, game theory and race experience, that neither of us would have succeeded nearly as much in sport (and life!), had we never met. Craig and Lindell Percival and I were having similar chats about his epic 8in8in8 plan and how they would execute in March. Danger and I agreed that a nine-hour trial on a Sunday in May 2016, on the South Melbourne criterium circuit (1km loop) would be a good start. I am no track cyclist, so it would be road time
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trialling for me. Luke Bell and I also spent every Monday dialling strength and endurance (body and mind). Giant was supportive (as always) and gave me an extra TT bike, so I could play with the position. So, with some help from mates wearing Hi Vis and using a stop/ slow sign for the most dangerous corner, I covered 358km in nine hours at 258 watts. It was a freezing (7C), but beautiful day. I was wrecked but had enjoyed it. Aithne (wife, most tolerant woman on the planet) was confused as ever by all this cycling zeal, but drove me home and fed my happy face. Craig Percival (still recovering from 8in8in8) had come down for four hours and sat on the back corner in the gutter with his laptop, cheering and clapping every 90 seconds as I flashed past. Selfless, as always. Fast forward to November and Craig’s tragedy sharpened my focus - it became a natural fit to not only raise awareness about depression but to also set up a trust to financially support his beleaguered and bereaved family. I set about training for a March attempt - the weather is most stable in Melbourne during this period (as I write this 72 hours post, there is thunder, rain and lightning). Saturdays became longer (200-250km) and harder (sorry lads). I quit swimming and trotting, executed intervals every week (John
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Hawley special 8*5min at 380-400 watts with 1minute rest) plus strength endurance efforts (8*5minutes at 340 watts 60-65rpm) both on the Velotron trainer. I filed the paperwork with the governing body (www.ultracycling.com) and gathered a team. The team consisted of: Aithne Anderson (chief sponsor); Julie O’Brien (Ma Julie); three officials: Simon Johnson (Snowy), Chris Papakostas (Boobs) and Laurence Basell (Bear); Darren Rutherford (beneficent leader), Craig Jansen (Giant South Yarra), Jason Stewart (one of Craig’s athletes/my patients) and Lindell Percival (head worrier). Plus a heap of vollies from No Limits Endurance (Amanda Meggison, Zac Anstey et al.) and other friends/family/patients and
randoms. I also contacted sponsors, new and old. Shimano sent a disc and tri-spoke, Rapha provided event day clothing, Ceramic Speed through Endurance SD dialled down bike resistance and Melbourne Cycling League offered to do social media. The Melbourne Orthopaedic Group tipped in money to the trust for a place on the jersey! Given the council demurred road closures when I applied for an event permit (fair enough- I am only one person, and the road is for everyone), I decided to go ahead with the spectre of little traffic on the Labour Day public holiday, but have some friends on the corners. A little on the naughty side using Hi Vis vests and stop/ slow signs, but I’m for rule bending, not breaking. There didn’t seem to be too
From eight hours, I just wanted to stop. — Dr Mitch Anderson
much harm in the odd car being slowed at an intersection for three seconds every two minutes or so. The by-laws officers from Port Phillip Council thought differently and did not make life easy, trying to stop me from starting my day at 7am. One official (thuggish in attitude) all but pushed me off my rollers (unsteady at the best of times) by serving up the first of $3000 worth of fines for my ‘non-permit holding event’ at 0645. The police attended after I had started looping around the 1m 53s circuit (+/- 2 s), reinforcing to the council officers that there wasn’t anything illegal about a cyclist riding around a loop as fast as humanly possible for 12 hours! It felt like they were there for an eternity and would take my concentration away from the task at hand.
The longer I am involved in endurance sports, the more I realise the extent of the mind’s contribution to performance. I could never have achieved an effort like Mondays when I was 20 or even 30 years old, even though physically I may have been capable. Without accumulating all the experience over the last twenty years in racing and training, I might have folded under the weight of the physical and mental strain. Twelve hours of even paced effort requires patience, discipline, even temperament, lateral thinking, cognitive association/dissociation skills, nutritional strategies, power, strength, cornering and general handling skills and defensive cycling - just to name a few! And I never could have imagined that I would be setting personal bests in my 40s (I am just shy of 42)! I bet Cam Brown, Craig Alexander and Jason Shortis know what I mean. Despite this delightful discovery, nothing could have prepared me for the discomfort of the day. Had I known how much suffering I would experience in the last four hours, I don’t think I could honestly say that I would have even started. I had neglected lubricating the undercarriage in the hurly-burly of the council negotiations, so I had to call for papaya ointment at the two-hour mark for some ulceration. My left lower back started to burn after four hours; my right quad (outside leg on every corner) felt like it might tear from the six-hour mark. I
allowed myself a break out of the aero position every five kilometres with the tail wind after corner two to break the posture, which had minimal effect on my top speed. From eight hours, I just wanted to stop. I had ridden ~360km, and everything was cactus. I had realised that my two consecutive 180km Ironman splits were 4:15 and 4:19 and I still had 140km to ride to reach my goal of 500km.
So, the 12-hour summary is: Start/finish line 1) 100m, left turn aero position power 300w+ 2) 100m left turn aero position, 300w+ 3) 700m power and cadence 250w and 95 4) left turn aero position, 300w+ 5) 100m, left turn aero position, power 300w+ 6) 400m power+cadence 250w
*Special instructions: Look out for cars/ car doors, aero always into the headwind; into corners, dump one gear while maintaining aero position; eye contact with volunteers for safety; try to smile. Oh, and repeat 385 times! I wanted it to be an out of body experience, but I was very much having ‘feelings’ in the moment. I had already used my caffeine at hour six (500mg), and it was wearing off. I had taken some Australian Triathlete |
Delight: A moment to reflect, a new world record achieved and a well earned sit down, in a chair not saddle for the Doc!
panadol. There was no escape. There was no stopping. I was fully committed to finishing, and I reinforced that if I could crack 500km, I would never have to do this again. I tried in vain to look to ‘Craig’s corner’ and rub some mojo into my psyche. Luke Bell was in the follow vehicle and suggested Aithne give me ice for the back of my neck and mandated three gels per hour. This helped. I drifted in and out of full consciousness. That place where you have a thousand-yard stare and have no thoughts. Like waiting for your food to finish heating in the microwave when you are really hungry. I passed the old record with 45minutes left to ride, and I had no feelings as the crowd whooped delight. I was empty. An automaton with spinning legs on a bike. Cornering by remote control. Tunnel vision. I was drinking Coke for the sugar, but it was a deeper fatigue than simply my brain being denied sugar. My cadence had dropped (mid 80’s) and I was spending valuable calories on grimacing. I tried to
imagine my face as that of a Parkinsonian mask. Feeling almost drunk, without associated pleasure. I passed 500km and had some spark of life. Bing! And then my friend Mr Barwood waved his chequered flag! Last lap. I stayed aero and finished to rapturous applause. I sat and gave a short, unexpected and unprepared speech. I wanted to go to the hospital. I didn’t have the energy to cry. The irony is not lost on me, that I undertook a ridiculous endurance event to raise money for someone who (indirectly) lost their life to a sporting injury from a ridiculous endurance event. But cycling makes me happy. As my friend Mr Rice often quotes Mulga Bill’s Bicycle by Banjo Patterson: “Riding is my special gift, my chiefest, sole delight.” It is a delight. Indeed, I also used the opportunity to study the effect of this type of effort on my body and to make sure I did not incur lasting damage. Dr Andre La Gerche and the team at the Baker IDI have measured every nook of my heart and blood before
Check out the Doc’s Strava file
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and after the Labour Day with the intent to publish as a case study. Stay tuned. Even before his death, Craig’s injuries had put the frighteners on a 24-hour world record attempt. And in that context, it’s too early to talk next goals. Never say, never! Right now, I want to enjoy this success. Give away the task-oriented absorption and look after what I left behind. I want to support my wife and our growing bump. Enjoy my family and friends. Tear the legs off my mates on Saturday mornings and have Mothers Meetings with Danger. And with the deepest respect for my patient and friend Craig, support his family Lindell, Sam and Sienna Percival. Please donate to the www.craigpercivalmemorialtrust.com Get in contact with Dr Mitch: firstname.lastname@example.org or handle @drmitcha Suggested reading to complement your endurance: A.B. Paterson. Mulga Bill’s Bicycle Thomas Horbein. Everest: The West Ridge Albert Lansing: Endurance, Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage.
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An Inspirational Climb to
the Top text by Megan Evoe | photography by Korupt vision
ometimes it takes some free falling down the complicated and rocky road called life, to help you find your true self, happiness, and talents. After a serious drug addiction and hitting rock bottom, Canadian Lionel Sanders is no stranger to not just overcoming adversity, but in beating both his inner demons and nearly every athlete in the sport of triathlon. After shattering the fastest-ever Ironman time in Arizona last winter, Sanders now has his sights set on an Ironman 70.3 World Championship. With incredible bike strength and a lightning fast run to follow, all eyes will be watching this phenomenon, who claims that triathlon was his ultimate life raft. Growing up I played every sport available to me. Baseball, volleyball, basketball, hockey, and track and field were the ones that occupied most of my time. I excelled pretty quickly at track and field, and cross-country, so that became my main focus for much of grade school and high school. My favourite sport was basketball, which I spent most of my free time playing. I also discovered the BMX bike pretty early on and used cycling as my main mode of transportation for nearly twenty years.
Growing up, I never really liked running. I more or less did it because I was good at it, but I especially hated track and field. I didn’t mind cross-country, though. I enjoyed the hills and the often challenging conditions and courses. When I got into high school, I discovered the steeplechase, and I found this to be a lot more like cross-country. This renewed a slight interest in track and field for me, but once again, I never really gave myself to the sport. I started partying more and more as high school went on. When I moved away to university, things really began to accelerate. I got into harder drugs, and my mental state started to deteriorate very quickly. I dropped out of university and quit all sports, and I continued down this path for another couple years.
In my rock bottom state, I was having auditory and visual hallucinations. I was intensely social-phobic and paranoid, and I didn’t see much purpose in going on living. I would stay awake all night and sleep all day, and if I had to leave the house to go shopping or to the bank, I would be the first person in, wouldn’t look anyone in the eyes, and be the first person out. I was deeply ashamed of myself, and the person I had become. I had a sort of out-of-body experience in early November 2009. I got a good glimpse into what I looked like and what I was doing to myself. I decided to go for a run on November 5, 2009. I ran every day for a month and still felt terrible. I felt like I needed something more. It was at that time that the idea to do an Ironman triathlon popped into my head. I had to Google it to see what the distances were of each discipline. Triathlon seemed insanely hard, and I was unsure if it would be possible for me to do it. I called my mum and told her my plan and asked if she would give me her credit card number to sign up. She was sceptical but lent me the money. I devoted myself to training for that race for the next 10 months. It gave me an excuse, not to party and changed every aspect of my life for the better. When I finished the race, I was an entirely different person. I feel that triathlon saved my life. I was headed down a dangerous path very quickly. I had woken up in a detox facility on several occasions and didn’t know how I got there. I saw guys in there who were just like me, but further down the path. I am just very grateful that I saw the light and was able to get out before I ended up in jail or dead. I didn’t have any money whatsoever, so I did all of my training for my first Ironman on my own. I was working online on a site called e-Lance, so I was able to train whenever I wanted. I would alter my
I was deeply ashamed of myself, and the person I had become. — Lionel Sanders
Australian Triathlete |
Kona 2016: Lionel discovered you must respect the course and distance in Kona.
I stayed awake and went to the gym in the middle of the night to avoid — Lionel Sanders contact with people. work hours based on need. When it go to the point where I needed a bike, I worked hard and saved up $1000 in a month, and used this to purchase my first TT bike. For the most part, I worked enough to buy food, pay my rent, and pay for my gym membership. I had no idea what I was doing and probably trained more then than I do now! Training for my first Ironman was actually quite scary. I was deeply social-phobic at that time. It was challenging going to the gym to sign up for a membership and then having to be around people while there. In fact, for the first four months or so of my Ironman training, I stayed awake and went to the gym in the middle of the night to avoid contact with people. As I became more secure with myself, this started to wear off, and I eventually started training during the day.
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My first Ironman was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life up until that point. It was in Louisville, Kentucky in August and it [the temperature] was record highs on the day. Even at mile 20 of the run, I was still unsure if I’d be able to finish. When I did cross the line, I told my dad: “That was the stupidest thing I have ever done in my life.” I was pretty dehydrated and low on calories. Once I got some food and liquids in me and started to reflect back on what I had accomplished, I started to feel like I could do anything. This lit a spark in me that I have been riding ever since. At Ironman Louisville I got lapped by Australian pro, Paul Ambrose on the two-loop run. I was completely amazed that someone could be moving that fast, that late into the race. I think that was where the seed was planted to pursue triathlon to the highest level. For the next
three years, I worked hard core on my swim and then continued to learn how to train better, and push myself further on the bike and run. In June 2013, I did a local sprint tri where I only came out one minute down to a guy who was a very good domestic pro. I did the math and figured this meant I would be between three and four minutes down out of the water in a 70.3. It was at that time that I applied to Triathlon Canada for my pro card and then signed up for my first pro race in Muskoka, Ontario in September 2013. Admittedly, I did have high expectations for my first pro race. In the two months leading into the race, I visualised myself winning the whole thing. Two weeks before the race, the start list was released and Andreas Raelert was on the top. My heart sank. My dad asked me the night before the race if I was going to win - I was so nervous I could not form a response. The race really couldn’t have gone any better. I had a good swim, leaving me only three minutes down from the front. I held my power goal dead steady from start to finish and came off the bike a
little over a minute down to Tom Davison. Then I entered the lead on the run a little after hitting two kilometres. It wasn’t until my next couple of races that I realised how lucky I had gotten in that race, having done the right training, choosing the right nutrition, and having no mechanical malfunctions. The biggest race difference as a pro was the swim. As an age-grouper, there were lots of people around my ability level, so I was always swimming in a pack, which was likely pulling me to faster times than I would swim on my own. In the pro field, I would immediately get dropped and swim the rest of the race solo. I was improving in the pool, but I was actually seeing larger deficits than ever before to the front of the race. My turning point race was Ironman 70.3 worlds in 2014. I finished fourth there behind Javier Gomez, Jan Frodeno and Tim Don. I had a poster of Jan Frodeno up on my wall for the first three years of my training. When I crossed the line, I was completely speechless. I was actually duking it out with my heroes! It was at that point that I truly believed that I had what it takes to compete with the very best.
Very early on I discovered the BMX bike. We practised tricks for hours on end, and I used it as my sole mode of transportation. Looking back, I probably rode my bike 10-20 kilometres per day between the ages of 10 and 18. I lived in the country, and all of the places I frequented were a good five kilometres apart. I would imagine this played a role in my current biking. Initially, riding the trainer frequently was due to fear of death. I got hit by a car four times in four years of riding. One time I was hit by a snow plough and I woke up in the back of an ambulance, strapped to a board, front teeth knocked out and not remembering who I was or where I lived. Once I started training indoors, I realised the quality was just as good, if not better, than outside, so I have stuck with it ever since.
LIONEL AND ERIN: The cute couple plan to marry at the end of November.
I average eight to 10 hours of biking per week. Each week I do a Vo2Max workout, a mid-range to high-end threshold workout, and a low-end threshold workout. These three workouts are very hard. In fact, last week was the first time in my career where I did not do a single interval under 400 watts for the entire week’s training.
My mum is a good runner, so I probably owe her most of the credit, but I do train very hard though. Triathlon is a deeply personal and meaningful pursuit for me, and this allows me to push myself very far in training and racing. Training is also an end in itself for me. I absolutely love training. I think when you truly love to train, this allows for some very hard sessions.
I have a “bread and butter” set for my 70.3 bike training. One of my favourite workouts to hit the low-end threshold is 60 minutes of self-selected intervals with an allowable recovery of up to 12 minutes. In all honesty, I love all of the triathlon disciplines equally. I couldn’t pick one over the other. Running I find to be the most therapeutic, though, and so if I was going to pick one to do recreationally, it would probably be running.
I really enjoy logging and analysing everything. Over time, this has allowed me to streamline the training process and sessions, which has allowed me to push the hard sessions that much harder. I definitely believed the polarised approach to training is the best way to go about it. Make the hard sessions really hard and make sure the easy sessions are very easy.
I need to make the second pack of the swim in Kona in order to be competitive. I will not go to Kona again until I am 95% sure I can do this. The biggest thing I learned over the last two years is to respect the distance and the race. I went there last year having not done the appropriate training to race the distance. I thought I could “wing it” because I was in good 70.3-shape. I had a very humbling day and walk-jogged 22 kilometres of the marathon. I will never go to Kona again having not respected the race and the distance! Ironman 70.3 worlds is definitely my main focus for the year. I had a poor experience there last year and will be looking to avenge myself. My goal for this year is to improve my swim markedly. Not a day goes by that I do not think about that race. Australian Triathlete |
I try and eat as balanced as possible. One of my favourite meals is a sort of Tex-Mex bowl made up of refried beans, brown rice, lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado and salsa. I could eat that for dinner every day. During racing, I take a super concentrate of my Infinit Nutrition, which has been custom blended to the electrolytes and carbohydrates I need. I just take swigs from my bottle and then only take water from the course during races. It has been a three-year wedding engagement for us. I asked Erin the question a couple days after Ironman Florida in 2014. At times, the planning has been stressful, but everything is finally all worked out, and we are to be married at the end of November.
IRONMAN 70.3 OCEANSIDE: This is the highlight of Lionel’s career so far.
I don’t think there is such a thing as a distance specialist. If you are good at the 70.3 distance, there is no reason why you can’t be good at the Ironman. I do think there have been guys who decide they are going to do lots of long and slow training and thus are, by default, forced to be “Ironman specialists”. I do not believe there is any physiological underpinning to this. I think to get in the best Ironman shape possible - you should be focusing on getting in the best 70.3-shape possible for most of the year. The highlight of my career was running side by side with Jan Frodeno in Ironman 70.3 Oceanside in 2015. As I said earlier, I had a poster of him up on the wall for many years. To be bumping shoulders with him for five kilometres on the run was the coolest thing I have ever done. To make it even better, he dropped me like a bad habit, and I blew up hard core. I have been training every day since to have a second shot at that battle. My biggest career low was after Ironman 70.3 St. George in 2014. I thought I had what it takes to compete with the best of the world, and then I finished in 18th place, 10 minutes behind winner Jan Frodeno. I was miserable and not a fun person to be around for the next couple of days. Eventually, I had an epiphany and realised I had lost my way.
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I got into triathlon to improve myself and become the best person I can be. I vowed from then on that I would only do triathlon for fun and that the end result was not of any relevance. The internal experience was what was relevant, and I was only going to play the cards I am dealt with the best of my ability. Flat tire, bad swim, body doesn’t feel great? Doesn’t matter! Those are the cards you are dealt and you must play them, and make the best of them. The biggest thing I got back from triathlon has been peace of mind. I was in a terrible headspace when I started, and through the training, racing, and community, I was given a renewed outlook on life. Even if I stopped triathlon today, what I have learned can never be taken away from me, and I will be able to apply these lessons anywhere in life. My dad has had a huge influence on my career. He is a weight lifter, and when I was growing up, he would do very heavy squats with grunts and groans, to the point of puking a couple of times. That is where I learned what hard work looks like. Inside of the sport, Jan Frodeno has and continues to be, what drives me on a daily basis. Everything I always do is compared to Jan. I have actually nicknamed one of the kids in the swim squad Jan because he swims 55 seconds for the 100m free. I would imagine this is right around where Jan is, so I pretty much swim two lanes over from Jan Frodeno every day. That’ll keep you honest.
Enjoy the process and the journey of triathlon. All of the external stuff is irrelevant if you don’t have the right orientation inside. If you are not having fun and enjoy the pursuit, then what is the point? If you have a good solid underpinning for the “why” behind what you are doing, you will be able to go further and push yourself way harder than you could ever fathom before. I love the mind game of triathlon. The mind comes up with so many excuses to not train or push yourself. I love playing that game and, teasing apart, when the body actually needs a break or when it is just the mind being lazy. In racing, it’s the game of limits. The mind imposes limits on the body, but they only exist in the mind. The game is to find ways to overcome those mental barriers.
Fun Facts 1. My favourite post-race meal is… A burger and fries 2. If I wasn’t a pro triathlete, I would be a… Pro cross fitter 3. A bucket list race for me is… Challenge Roth 4. Before every race, I … Put on new tires 5. My ultimate career goal is... To have a Mark Allan, Dave Scott Iron War-type experience
Photo: Zo Mendoza
Lionel Sanders is a Canadian professional triathlete. He is a ďŹ fteen-time IRONMAN 70.3 Champion and a three-time IRONMAN 140.6 Champion. Sanders has publicly detailed his experience as a recovered drug addict and is an inspiration for those battling addictions. Lionel is well-known for his strength on the bike and tenacity in training and competition. On November 20, 2016, hard work paid off when Lionel destroyed his own record on the bike course at IRONMAN Arizona, on his way to breaking the IRONMAN World Record in 7:44:29. #liveyourdream
© Nils Nilsen
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How to make swim, bike and run more spectator friendly t e x t b y J o r da n B l a n c o
| p h o t o g r a p h y b y n i l s Ni l s e n
riathlon’s inclusion in the Olympic Games in 2000 was expected, or at least hoped, to draw greater media attention and develop triathlon further as a spectator sport. Fast-forward 17 years and five Olympic Games, and triathlon appears to be faltering in attempts to broaden its worldwide appeal. To evolve the sport, the International Triathlon Union (“ITU”) is pushing to get a mixed team relay event added to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, as well as considering shortening the individual event to sprint-distance from its current Olympic distance of 1.5km swim, 40km bike and 10km run. In addition to efforts by the sport’s governing body to reinvigorate triathlon, several entrepreneurs are also experimenting with innovative race formats to attract more fans to the sport and make triathlon more media friendly and draw a larger audience.
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Above: The Island House Invitational triathlon takes place in Nassau, Bahamas
Island House Invitational Triathlon The most established of these events is the Island House Invitational Triathlon, which will take place for the third year running this coming November. Eight-time Ironman Champion, Luke McKenzie, is the brainchild behind the Bahamas-based race. He grew up watching the televised Australian Grand Prix series in the 1990s. “I was lucky enough to race the last few years of the series,” recounts McKenzie, “before triathlon’s introduction into the Olympics and race standardisation prompted the end of Grand Prix style racing in Australia.” McKenzie also participated on the French Grand Prix circuit, and his goal with the Island House race was to bring together some of the best aspects of those events. The 2016 edition of the Island House took place over three days with the first day comprising individual times trials in each of swim, bike
and run, followed the next day by an enduro format that played with the order of events. The grand finale on day three was a traditional sprint distance race where athletes started at their accumulated deficit to the leader over the first two days of racing. The first over the line for both men and women, Richard Murray and Gwen Jorgensen, were crowned the Island House Invitational Champions earning the largest share of the US$500,000 prize purse. “I have always thought there was room for a different format in triathlon,” says McKenzie, “by mixing up the order and the distances, it creates a sense of vulnerability even for the best athletes!” He adds, “the racing each day is shorter, harder, faster and arguably more painful, so it creates a lot of drama that is exciting to watch.”
© Nils Nilsen
Super league triathlon Another Australian that grew up watching and racing the Australian Grand Prix circuit is two-time Ironman World Champion, Chris McCormack. He is the main protagonist behind the recently announced Super League Triathlon whose first race takes place in March on Hamilton Island. “Super League was a product of timing, desire and frustration to implement change at the professional level of triathlon”, explains McCormack. “To inspire youth, you need stars, and you need media to showcase that talent…
and while media channels are looking for content, conventional triathlon does not currently fit in that structure.” McCormack points to examples from sports such as cricket and winter biathlon, where rule changes and new formats that are more media-friendly have not only transformed their watchability but also the fortunes of each sports’ stars. The faster, shorter Twenty20 version of cricket that was created in 2003 has transformed the game: “that’s now some of the most valuable cricket in the world,” says McCormack, “and it has changed the professional fortunes of cricketers from all over the world.” The first Super League Triathlon event features 25 of the world’s best male triathletes, racing over three days and a
variety of formats with names like “Triple Mix”, “Equalizer and “Terminator.” If those names evoke images of Ninja Warrior or Ultimate Fighting Championship (“UFC”), it’s by design. In McCormack’s words, “it is repackaging and delivering the sport to appeal to a broader audience… the UFC model is a very good one to look at this evolution on how they grew the sport in this space.” The comparisons to other successful and highly lucrative sports continue when McCormack describes the “closed league” structure for the planned Super League series. The goal is for the series to control the athletes, media assets and TV distribution and create greater sponsor marketing and TV opportunities within triathlon, similar to what you see in Formula 1, UFC and even tennis. While details are not yet available for future races, including the introduction of a women’s series, the intention is to create a dual series with a “championship series of five events and a qualification series to get into the championship series,” according to McCormack. Like McKenzie’s Island House race, one of the biggest lures of Super League Triathlon for athletes will be the significant prize purse with US$100,000 going to the winner of the Hamilton Island race. This was another critical component for McCormack and Super League Triathlon’s goal to transform the sport: “it’s important to establish a benchmark of prize money at the top level and grow from there.” While the races offer attractive payouts to the podium, the prize money falls off dramatically outside the top three placings. McCormack explains the podium-heavy purse in terms of attitude: “Super League is about being the best. The best should be rewarded the biggest accolades. It is that simple.”
© Super League Triathlon Australian Triathlete |
Major league triathlon In the US, Major League Triathlon is looking to team events and mixed relays as the way forward for triathlon as a spectator sport. Daniel Cassidy, the League’s founder, recognised the need to change up the sport of triathlon after spending a day watching his wife complete a triathlon for the first time. Having competed in over 60 races personally, this was his first experience on the other side as a spectator, and it was a miserable one comprising of a long day with little action and lots of waiting around. It was a wake-up call to be on the other side of the fence, so he decided to do something about it. Approximating the super sprint distances that the ITU has proposed for the Tokyo Olympic Games, Major League Triathlon’s four race series features teams of triathletes – two men and two women
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– each tackling a 300-meter swim, 6-mile bike (9.6km) and 1-mile run (1.6km). In its second year of operation, Major League has just completed its draft for the 2017 season and has attracted several high profile athletes as team captains, including Australian Olympic bronze medalist Erin Densham, who heads up the Atlantic City Waves, and US Olympian Ben Kanute to lead the Indy Cats. All races will take place over short circuits in downtown city centres to maximise on-site crowd support and also make the races television friendly. For the time being, television contracts have not been signed, but the goal is to bring live online video coverage. The mixed relay format has seen some success on media channels in Europe and Major League Triathlon is looking to emulate that in the US. Acceptance of mixed relay racing into
the Olympic Games would further support their cause and could prove valuable for the US athletes competing in the league, gaining valuable experience in the super sprint relay competitions.
The Collins Cup The Collins Cup is the sport’s attempt to make long-course triathlon more dynamic and media friendly. Developed by athletes themselves under the umbrella of the Professional Triathletes Organisation (“PTO”), the first race is set to take place in 2018 with three teams - USA, Europe and “Internationals” – of six athletes competing over the standard ITU long course distance of 4km swim, 120km bike and 30km run. The president of the PTO, Charles Adamo, explains the rationale to stick with long-course, non-drafting
Triathlon race formats
No one can accuse triathlon of being content with the status quo with so many organisations looking to attract greater media buzz. Rac
ats m r e Fo
racing: “we want to stay relatable to what the typical age grouper does, which is you start and finish a certain distance.” Just like Super League Triathlon, the organisers of the Collins Cup, (named after triathlon’s creators, John and Judy Collins) have looked beyond triathlon for inspiration to develop an enticing triathlon spectacle for viewers. Golf’s Ryder Cup, provides the template for the team-based competition, layering head-to-head match races with a nationalistic element, as fans cheer for athletes from their country as
— Jordan Blanco
they take on athletes from the other regions. Adamo explains further: “the Collins Cup maintains the understandable and relatable experience [for age groupers] but adds to it an element of a one-on-one-on-one match race, so there is an identifiable person to beat… on top of this is a patriotic element that raises the passions.” The PTO has contracted with Wasserman, a US-based sports and media agency, to act as sole agent and exclusive producer of the Collins Cup. Wasserman is taking the lead on seeking sponsorship partners, handling all media and TV rights for the event as well as event production. “In replicating a team format that is well known in the sporting world like the Ryder Cup in golf,” says Adamo, “we can introduce triathlon to the general enthusiastic sports fan, so as to
break out a bit from the pure niche [triathlon] audience.” It will be interesting to watch how these new races and formats penetrate audiences beyond existing fans over the next couple of years. One thing is for certain - no one can accuse triathlon of being content with the status quo with so many organisations looking to attract greater media buzz, inspire the next generation and also boost the financial prospects for professional triathlon.
Jordan Blanco Jordan Blanco is a member of the race organisation for the Island House Invitational Triathlon.
Australian Triathlete |
tech talk Tri Products
Xterra Lava shorts LAVA SHORTS are a must for swimmers and triathletes of all levels. LAVA Shorts lift your hips to simulate the same body position of a wetsuit. LAVA Shorts create proper technique and allow you to focus on speed. BEGINNERS - Consider our LAVA PANTS (below the knee) which will provide more buoyancy in your lower body. INTERMEDIATE - LAVA SHORTS are designed for shorter speed and technique sets as well as cool-down. The shorts are above the knee thereby allowing for natural flip turns. For long swim sets, or for recovery swims, consider the LAVA PANTS which provide additional buoyancy.
ADVANCED - LAVA SHORTS can be used for both speed and recovery swims. For speed sets, LAVA Shorts will allow you to train at faster interval paces. For recovery sets, you will be able to focus on correct swimming form without exerting too much energy. RRP: $199.00 www.titanperformancegroup. com.au
2XU SUB Cycle bib short Engineered with SBR POWER fabric, the 2XU SUB Cycle bib short offers optimal durability and strength for endurance. Available in desert red/navy or white/black for the men and black/cherry pink or black/sunburst orange for the women. RRP: $200.00 www.2xu.com/au
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XLAB Stealth pocket 100c Sleek, element-deflecting material withstands wear, perspiration and electrolyte drinks. -----
Top-tube mounted storage optimized to increase aerodynamics for bikes with standard stems Sleek, element-deflecting material stands tough against perspiration and electrolyte drinks Stay stocked for the ride: Storage comfortably fits up to 1 bar and 3 gels Highly visible, silver colored interior makes it easy to see contents and stay focused on the road
RRP: $54.95 www.echelonsports.com.au/ xlab-usa.com
Lifeproof NÜÜD for iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus With a screenless design and sleek profile, LifeProof NÜÜD has become the choice of iPhone fans seeking the ultimate in protection without sacrificing the streamlined look and feel of their device. Now available for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, LifeProof uncovers the latest innovations in iPhone protection with an enhanced NÜÜD design that brings the best of iPhone to life. The redesigned NÜÜD case showcases slim styling, yet remains waterproof to 2 metres, drop proof to 2 metres, dirt proof and snow proof. NÜÜD leaves the screen uncovered for direct display access while adding minimal size and weight to the phone. Every device feature remains accessible and fully functional. Available in a range of colours including, Asphalt Black, Base Camp Blue to Ember Red and Sunset Bay teal. iPhone 7 RRP: $129.95 iPhone 7 Plus RRP: $139.95 www.lifeproof.com
Xlab Duo Pod Keep small items separate for easy access. With a quick twist, the store-all DUO POD opens up two waterproof compartments (600mL and 83mL) each ideally sized for keeping both large and small items neatly organised.
2XU SUB Cycle jersey - Men & Women Engineered with HIGH FIL SUB fabric for ultimate moisture management and rear AERO MESH X panelling for unmatched breathability. Available in desert red/navy or white/black for the men and cherry pink or sunburst orange for the women.
RRP: $23.95 www.echelonsports.com.au/ xlab-usa.com
RRP: $170.00 www.2xu.com/au
Australian Triathlete |
tech talk Tri Products
Paleo Pure Paleo Muesli - BERRIES & CINNAMON 100% ORGANIC The original and the most popular of all blends in the Paleo Pure range, the Berries & Cinnamon is ---------
100% grain free hand made gluten free no added sugar organic delicious dairy free vegan friendly
Muesli makes the perfect accompaniment to berries, yoghurt or sprinkled on top of just about anything. Using carefully chosen nuts & seeds, Paleo Pure then lightly oven bake it, giving it a crunchy texture. RRP: $2495 www.paleopure.com.au
ELITE DRIVO +/- 1% Power Accuracy Perfection has finally become a reality. The Drivo hometrainer measures power output with extreme accuracy. The Drivoâ€™s precision is unprecedented making it unique among hometrainers. Features -- Interactive direct transmission home trainer with integrated power measurement system and electronically managed magnetic resistance, which adjusts based on type of training or the course chosen -- 24-point power measuring system, with a +/- 1% accuracy, for each pedal stroke. -- High power output: 2000 watts at 35km/h. Ideal for training sessions based on cadence, power and sprints. -- Compatible with ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart wireless communication protocols -- The home trainer accurately simulates slopes up to 24% by providing high power outputs at lower speeds for extended periods -- Very easy to use: foldable frame and integrated handle -- The installed freehub is compatible with standard Shimano/ SRAM 9/10/11 speed cassettes. Campagnolo compatible 9/10/11 speed cassette freehub are available $1999.95 www.cassons.com.au
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Coros Walkie Talkie unit In issue 24.1 of the magazine (the Dec/Jan 2017 edition) we put the Coros Frontier smart cycling helmet through its paces in our Tech Talk Road Test feature. But we weren’t able to test the Walkie Talkie feature, which wasn’t available at the time. Fast-forward a few months and the Walk Talkie feature is here.
NIXON The Mission androidwear The Mission can withstand the elements so you can take it with you anywhere: in the water, on the hill, off road and beyond. Featuring real-time surf and snow shred alerts powered by Surfline® and Snocountry. FEATURES Include 10 ATM WATER RESISTANCE With groundbreaking water resistant capabilities, The Mission has the highest waterproof rating of any smartwatch on the market. SHOCK RESISTANT Super durable 48mm polycarbonate case. ROLL CAGE BEZEL 316L surgical grade stainless steel raised bezel protects the touch screen and improves durability. Features a hard-wearing orange Cerakote™ finish, a state-of-the-art ceramic coating. HEAVY DUTY CRYSTAL Ultra-tough Corning® Gorilla® Glass built to resist the elements.
Coros Walkie Talkie unit is designed to help partners, group mates, cycling club members and bike tour participants to communicate each other smoothly while they are riding together and create a whole new experience of group riding for them. With Coros Walkie Talkie unit, you and your riding group members can have a chat by simply pressing a button on the smart remote mounted on the handlebar. It can bring much more fun to your group riding. For instance, you can organise a surprise attack on one of your mates who always jumps early. It will create a lot of fun there for your group-ride. And is a great coaching tool if a whole group is rolling with the Coros helmet. RRP: $59.00 www.iico.com.au
RRP: $599.99 (US) www.nixon.com/au
Australian Triathlete |
Product: Bont cycling shoes
BONT shoes $149.95
ont cycling is an Australian company founded by husband and wife duo Inze and Sara Bont in the mid 1970s. As keen ice speed skaters, Inze and Sara saw a need to redesign the traditional skate shoe using fibreglass and technologies never used in the development of skate shoes previously, including the now trademark one piece construction method, which to this day remains the basis of all construction for both skates and cycling shoes at Bont. In 2007 Bont officially branched out to cycling shoes, namely after a request by one Sir Chris Hoy to develop him a cycling shoe! Bont is now globally considered one of the most sought after cycling shoes on the market with the likes of Jan Frodeno riding to Ironman championship glory with their shoes on his feet. The cycling range has increased considerably under the direction of CEO Steven Nemeth with options for road, track, off-road and triathlon and even a custom line in the stable, there is an option for all. The following three models the Riot TR, the Zero+ and the Yaypor S would be perfect for any triathlete. To find a dealer near you, head to www.echelonsports.com.au or bontcycling.com for more.
Overview The Bont Riot TR, the worlds first carbon composite heatmoldable entry level triathlon shoe. The Riot TR combines Bont’s pro series technical features including our power transfer platform and anatomical shaping with competition grade materials to create the most technically advanced entry leveltriathlon shoe. Other features incude: • Microfiber Upper • Ventilation • Carbon Composite Construction • Heat Moulding • Retention System
Specifications Model Material Stack Height
Carbon composite construction with microfiber upper 4.8 mm Ventilations holes through upper and mesh inserts
Sole Guards Cleat Mounting Fit Customization Closing Options Color Options
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• Last Design • Anatomical Heel Cup • Medial Longitudinal Arch Support • Lateral Forefoot Support • Anatomical Forefoot Shape
Replaceable 3 hole look configuration Fully heat moldable chassis utilizing epoxy thermoset resin Independent double velcro closure Standard White, Neon Yellow
Overview Lighter, Stronger, Faster. No model typifies the Bont brand premise more perfectly than the 2017 Zero+. With an improved anatomical last for even greater power transfer and support, full uni-directional carbon chassis and the new Durolite upper dimpled for improved aerodynamics, the 2017 Bont Zero+ is truly Lighter, Stronger & Faster. Other features incude:
Designed for speed and comfort. The Vaypor S once again redefines the standards of pro level roadcycling shoes. Our latest flagship shoe has been further refined to improve on our already industry leading standards. Wether you are a pro racer or simply a rider who demands the finest, the Vaypor S will provide the most anatomically and biomechanically correct platform with the most efficient power transfer platform currently available. Other features incude:
• • • • • • • •
Durolite Outer Skin Ventilation Retention System TPU Toe Protector Unidirectional Carbon Anti Stretch Padding Last Design
• Carbon Fiber • Medial Longitudinal Arch Support • Heat Moulding • Anatomical Forefoot Shape • Anatomical Heel Cup • Lateral Forefoot Support
Material Stack Height
Zero+ Unidirectional carbon monocoque chassis with Durolite upper and liner 3.6 mm
Frontal area air vents and air gills in arch area
Sole Guards Cleat Mounting Fit Customization Closing Options Sizing Options Color Options
• • • •
Anti Stretch Last Design Padding Medial Longitudinal Arch Support • Lateral Forefoot Support • Anatomical Forefoot Shape • Anatomical Heel Cup
• Durolite Outer Skin • Retention System • Unidirectional Carbon and Micro Grid • Ventilation • Toe And Heel Protection • Carbon Fiber • TPU Toe Protector • Heat Moulding
Replaceable MM grid plus grip / 3 hole look configuration Fully heat moldable chassis utilizing epoxy thermoset resin Dual dial retention system with Kevlar wiring Stock, Wide & Narrow Fit, Full Custom White, Black
Model Material Stack Height Air Vents Innersole Sole Guards Cleat Mounting Fit Customization Closing Options Sizing Options Color Options
Vaypor S Unidirectional carbon monocoque chassis with Durolite upper and faux seude leather liner 3.6 mm Frontal area air vents and air gills in arch area EVA thermo-moldable Replaceable heel guard MM grid plus grip / 3 Hole Look C Fully heat moldable chassis utilizing epoxy thermoset resin Dual dial retention system with Kevlar wiring Stock, Wide & Narrow Fit, Full Custom White, Black, Black/White, Black/Neon Yellow, Black/ Gamma Blue, White/Gold, Metallic Silver/Neon Green, Pearl White/Gamma Blue
Australian Triathlete |
Recover Like A Pro text by Margaret Mielczarek
ecovery is just as important, if not more important, than training. In fact, it can be said that recovery is the fourth leg in triathlon – swim, bike, run … recover! Optimising recovery and looking after your body allows success and longevity in the sport. On the other hand, neglecting recovery often results in excessive fatigue, illness and injury. In the worst-case scenario, neglecting recovery will land you on the sidelines. These days your recovery options are more than simply your foam roller, a massage, an ice bath or a protein shake. The recovery industry is growing rapidly, and with new research comes new-and-improved recovery tools and gadgets. The best bit is they are accessible to all athletes. Now everyone can recover like a pro. In this article we explore the latest recovery tools on the market
1 1. NormaTec PULSE recovery systems What is it and how does it work? No time for a regular massage in-between all the swimming, biking and running? Recovery systems like NormaTec PULSE could be your answer. NormaTec PULSE recovery systems are dynamic compression devices designed for recovery and rehab. The systems use NormaTec’s patented PULSE technology and come with a control unit and three attachments - for legs (e.g. NormaTec boots), hips and arms.
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The systems use compressed air to massage your limbs, mobilise fluid and speed up recovery using the patented NormaTec PULSE Massage Pattern. When you use the NormaTec PULSE recovery systems, you experience a pre-inflate cycle, which is when the connected attachments mould to your exact body shape. The session begins by compressing your feet, hands, or upper quad (depending on which attachment you are using). Similar to a massage, each segment of the attachment will first compress in a pulsing manner - to more effectively mimic leg and arm muscle pumps, greatly enhancing the movement
of fluid and metabolites out the of the limbs after intense training - and then release. This will repeat for each section as the compression pattern works its way up your limb.
Why would you do it? The benefits of NormaTec compression are said to be: • Faster recovery time • Reduced muscle soreness • Provides a massage • Mimics the natural muscle pump, so it helps to drain fluid and assists with lymphatic drainage
When would you do it? Aim for 30-minute to 60-minute sessions after training and competition. KOA Recovery founder and director Shaun Button says, “The NormaTec is entirely dependent on the intensity of training and competition. NormaTec is designed to give the athlete fresh legs as fast as possible to allow them to back up a good training session or competition if their legs are fatigued. Therefore, we recommend 30 to 60 minutes use after a competition and in between training sessions, to allow the athlete to back up [training] in the following days, without having the limitations of sore legs.”
Where can you try it/ Can you buy it? To purchase your own set of NormaTec PULSE, visit www.normatecrecovery.com. Prices for NormaTec PULSE range from US$1595 for the PULSE leg recovery system, to US$2749 for the PULSE full body recovery system.
N.B.: As of 1 April 2017, NormaTec will be lowering the price of their leg recovery system from US$1595 down to US$1495.
While NormaTec PULSE (particularly the boots) is probably the better-known recovery systems brand among triathletes, there are, in fact, several brands on the market. For example Recovery Pump,
which, similar to NormaTec, offers attachments for arms, legs and core, and a recovery pants and jacket. Prices of the Recovery Pump systems range from around $400-2000 depending on the attachment you’re after. For more information, visit www.clubwarehouse. com.au. Alternatively, if you’re in Sydney, visit the recovery lounge at KOA Recovery to try the NormaTec PULSE leg recovery system (the boots). Cost for a NormaTec session is $30 for 30minutes and $50 for 60minutes. For more information, visit www.koarecovery.com.au
weeks, and when we do go for a massage our legs are in excellent condition. They aren’t cheap, but we both consider they were one of the best investments we’ve made for some time. The best thing about the newer model is that it is light and compact enough to fit in a backpack as carry-on luggage. As I write this I am sitting in them in New Zealand, getting my last massage in before my Ironman.” Jo Coombe, long-course triathlete, Melbourne
What do athletes say? “I first trialled the NormaTec boots when I raced Kona in 2015. A friend had a pair and told me she was using them after all her sessions with great results. I came close to buying a pair at the expo, but both my husband and I didn’t feel we could justify the cost. How wrong we were! I then strained my calf in the lead up to the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in 2016 and another friend lent me his boots every day. It seemed to work, and saved a lot of time and money I could have spent seeing a physiotherapist. So we took the plunge and bought a pair in Kona last year. We couldn’t be happier. We get in them for at least 15 minutes every day, and up to an hour on weekends after long sessions. What we both noticed was that we didn’t feel like our legs had the same build up of tightness and fatigue during big training
2. Float Therapy What is it and how does it work? Float Therapy involves lying in a soundproof and lightproof pod that contains a highly concentrated Epsom salt solution (magnesium sulphate). It creates buoyancy, enabling you to float effortlessly. The water is heated to skin
temperature, which creates a feeling of weightlessness – a sensation of your body dissolving into the water. The purpose of the pod being sound and light proof is to give your brain the chance to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. This, in turn, enhances your ability to be mindful and introspective. It can help you to visualise your performance, sporting technique Australian Triathlete |
© Simon Shiff
and upcoming competition. For example, you can visualise your transitions or how you’re going to swim, ride or run, while in the pod. The Epsom salt contains essential minerals to leave you feeling deeply relaxed and vibrant. Tension vanishes and you are left feeling energised.
Why would you do it? Benefits of Float Therapy are said to be: • Improve athletic performance • Decreased cortisol and adrenaline levels • Relieve muscle tension, pain and inflammation • Prevent injury • Eliminate fatigue • Speed up rehabilitation and recovery post training session or injury • Improve sleep and manage insomnia • Boost immune function • Assist with chronic pain management, including arthritis, fibromyalgia ` and gout • Reduce blood pressure, pulse and heart rate • Help regulate blood sugar levels
When would you do it? Floating up to twice a week or fortnightly is recommended to gain the most benefit. For triathletes, adding an hour of floating to your weekly routine during your recovery or taper weeks will help with physical and mental performance. Floating after a major event, like an Ironman, is also recommended as it helps with fluid, fatigue and soreness. KOA Recovery founder and director Shaun Button, says, “You can’t float too much. Regular float sessions are suggested to maintain ongoing benefits. However, the actual frequency depends on the athletes programming. Ideally, we would recommend one to two sessions per week when in race season.”
Where can you try it? • Melbourne - www.gravityfloat.com.au • Sydney - www.koarecovery.com.au • Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane - www. beyondrest.com.au • Adelaide - www.thefloatroom.com.au The cost for a 60minute float therapy session ranges from $70-$80.
What do athletes say? In researching this article, I tried Float Therapy firsthand. I’ll admit I was a little sceptical. The idea of lying in a dark pod for an hour made me a little uncomfortable and even claustrophobic. But from the moment I walked through the doors at Gravity
| Australian Triathlete
Floating after a major event, like an Ironman, is also recommended as it helps with fluid, fatigue and soreness. — KOA Recovery
Floatation Centre in Armadale (Melbourne), it was one of the most comfortable and relaxing experiences I’ve had. Before getting into the pod I was instructed to shower, including washing my hair, and to use earplugs. I was also told to avoid touching my eyes in the pod, as the “600kg worth of Epsom salt would sting” - there was a spray bottle with fresh water within reach in case of mishaps. To alleviate any claustrophobic feelings, I was shown where the emergency and light buttons were – all within reach - and just how easy it is to open the lid. Excellent – I can escape if need be! Then it was time to get in. Float Therapy is like lying in salt water on crack! In the privacy and darkness of the pod, you float, completely nude. It was
strange at first but I quickly relaxed and got used to the experience – I let my body completely “sink” into the water. It was almost like sinking into a beanbag – I felt completely weightless. Soon I was drifting in and out of sleep and, in the darkness and silence, I was oblivious to what was going on in the outside world. Although, there were moments, about halfway through my hour, where my brain just would not switch off. But for the most part, this was one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve had – I didn’t feel uncomfortable or claustrophobic at all. Another great thing was my skin felt amazing, and my post-training sore, tight muscles felt much better. I would highly recommend Float Therapy to all athletes. I’ll be going back.
3. Alter G Treadmill What is it and how does it work? Tired of pounding on the pavement? Try an Alter G Treadmill. Developed by NASA, the Alter G Treadmill is a revolutionary medical rehab treadmill that provides accurate, safe and comfortable partial weight-bearing therapy, while promoting normal gait patterns. This state-of-the-art treadmill uses “unweighting” at anywhere between 20-100% of your body weight to allow you to walk or run. This technology allows your physiotherapist or exercise physiologist to specifically select the amount of your body weight you will run or walk with. It can be used to provide both strength and conditioning without impacting joints.
Who can benefit from using the Alter G Treadmill? • • • •
Athletes General population Can assist with rehab post injury or surgery Perfect for those with lower extremity injury e.g. ACL reconstruction, hip or foot and ankle injury • Non-injured athletes can also benefit – athletes have found ways to utilise the Alter-G before and after endurance events e.g. runners might consider it to log a few extra km’s without the impact on joints before a marathon. Runners have also been known to use it as active recovery (without joint impact) post event
float therapy: Lie in a pod filled with salt water to help you relax and recover after training or racing.
Why would you use it?
• Build confidence and achieve quick and full recovery • Maintain and develop cardiovascular fitness during rehab • Prolong a career by giving athletes a way to build and maintain endurance and leg strength without the usual pounding and impact • Reduce the risk of developing bad habits and maintain normal gait pattern during rehab • Run longer and recover faster with less pain • Gradually progress and easily adjust the intensity of workouts • Work on technique in a safe environment
When would you do it? • As needed • Sessions range from 15-60minute sessions
Where can you do it? • • • • • •
Melbourne - www.recoversportsmed.com.au Sydney - www.moonrunners.com.au Perth - www.evolvedphysio.com.au Adelaide - www.podiatryfirstsports.com.au Brisbane - www.btphysiotherapy.com.au The cost for a 60minute Alter G Treadmill session ranges from $50-$100.
alter g treadmill: Build or maintain strength and endurance without pounding the pavement. Australian Triathlete |
© Griffin Simm
4. Whole Body Cryotherapy What is it and how does it work? Cryo-what? Developed in Japan by Dr Toshima Yamaguchi in 1978, Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) is a cold treatment that stimulates the body to heal. WBC is a dry process to enable much colder temperatures than would otherwise be possible. WBC involves exposing the entire body to sub-zero temperatures by either standing in a tank where you are sprayed with freezing air using an advanced spray nozzle system, or by standing in an industrial freezer-like room where you are coated with freezing air for up to three minutes. The chamber or room includes a purpose-built, integrated software and monitoring system to ensure your safety. It is said to be more effective than traditional ice-baths. Traditional ice-baths cause the body to warm blood in its core, ready for transport to dilated blood vessels in the outer tissues. This forces the body to overexert itself. In WBC cold air is used instead of cold water. This causes the body to respond, triggering cold sensors in the skin’s surface instead of the deeply penetrating cold of an ice-bath. During WBC your body is ‘tricked’ into applying the healing mechanisms without the penetrating cold, resulting in more comfortable healing.
Why would you do it? The benefits of WBC for triathletes are said to be: • Faster recovery • Reduced inflammation • Increased range of motion and flexibility • Muscle and joint repair • Faster soft tissue repair • Pain relief • Boosts the immune system • Improves quality of sleep • Said to increase metabolism and thereby assist with weight loss
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When would you do it? Multiple consecutive sessions provide the greatest benefits for WBC as it has a cumulative effect. Typically, seven to 10 sessions are suggested initially, then one to two sessions per week for overall health. For sports recovery, 10-15 sessions are recommended initially, and then after this, it’s recommended to have treatment following intense exercise or training – so basically using WBC in place of a post-training ice-bath. Cryotherapy can be used before competitions, to optimise performance once people are familiar with the treatment.
Where can you do it? • • • • •
Melbourne - www.gravityfloat.com.au Sydney - www.koarecovery.com.au Perth - www.perthcryoclinic.com Adelaide - www.minus110.com.au Brisbane - www.thefloatspace.com.au/ brisbane-prices/cryo-therapy/
The cost for a Cryotherapy session ranges from $75-$80.
What do athletes say? I tried Cryotherapy at Gravity Floatation Centre in South Yarra (Melbourne). I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had experienced ice-baths after hard training sessions, so I knew it would be cold, but I didn’t realise just how cold it would be. I also thought three minutes would be a piece of cake to get through. With my therapist watching on - she was there to monitor the session in case something went wrong - gloves, earmuffs, face mask, woollen socks and shoes on, I was ready to step into the first “industrial freezer”. This first room was set at a temperature slightly warmer than the next room and was intended to help me acclimatise to the cold. After about 30 seconds in the first room, I was instructed to move into the main room.
Wow! I have never been so cold in my life. I couldn’t catch my breath, and after a few moments, my skin started to sting and burn – like frostbite I imagine. It was intense. I had to concentrate to stay calm and not panic. At one point I looked over at my therapist and motioned for the time. I was just over a minute in and was ready to get out. I’m so glad the whole experience lasted only three minutes – any longer and I would have tapped out. After the session and once I warmed up, I did feel refreshed and energised, so it was awesome. I was told that for athletes, Cryotherapy is used in place of ice-baths. I have to say, I handle ice-baths better – although, apparently after a few sessions, I would get used to Cryotherapy.
5. Compex Muscle Stimulators – Awaken Your Potential What is it and how does it work? Muscle stimulators, such as Compex (a Swiss brand), use electrostimulation (EMS) – electrical impulses – that are generated by the system’s stimulators, to achieve muscle contraction. The electrical impulses are provided to the muscle through conductive electrodes placed on the body. The impulses are perfectly biphasic and symmetric, with the duration of each contraction depending on the muscle fibre type being stimulated – fast, slow, intermediate. Compex muscle stimulators include Muscle Intelligence (MI), which means that the system adapts to each of your muscles to provide the most effective muscle stimulation possible – it allows the system to adapt to the physiology of the user - while offering greater comfort and better performance. The main aim of muscle stimulators is to speed recovery, optimise strength and endurance while helping to avoid injury and treat pain. While the sporting applications include strength and power training, increasing endurance, muscle hypertrophy, faster recovery and more. Compex muscle stimulator products include the sports and fitness ranges.
The Sports Range The models available in the sports collection range from the older model, Compex SP 2.0, to the latest version, Compex SP 8.0. The main difference between the older models and the latest offering, Compex SP 8.0 is that the newest version is wireless – it is said to be the top of the range from wireless EMS. It features four separate stimulation modules and includes the MI-Autorange feature that enables your Compex module to
5 automatically determine the most appropriate level of stimulation. Compex SP 8.0 comes with 40 pre-set training programs, four stimulation channels, a two-hour battery time and a three-year warranty. Categories and programs include: • Conditioning – endurance, resistance, strength, core stabilisation, hypertrophy, warm-up and more • Recovery/Massage – training and competition recovery, massage, reduces soreness, revives tired muscles • Pain management – pain management TENS, reduces muscle tension, prevents cramps and more • Rehabilitation – muscle atrophy, reinforcement • Fitness – firm and tone your stomach, arms, shoulders, thighs, buttocks and abs
The Fitness Range
Why would you do it?
The models available in the fitness collection range from the older model, Compex FIT 1.0, to the latest version, Compex FIT 5.0. The fitness range is also designed for people who workouts daily and, just like in the sports range; the latest product in the fitness range includes Compex wireless technology. Categories and programs included in Compex FIT 5.0 are: • Fitness – firm and tone your arms, thighs, biceps, shoulders, abs, buttocks, and more • Recovery/Massage – training recovery, relaxing or reviving massage, reduce muscle soreness • Pain management – pain management TENS, reduce muscle tension and pain, reduce neck and back pain, cramp prevention, and more • Rehabilitation – muscle atrophy, reinforcement
Compex can be used to enhance recovery, athletic performance and assist with pain management without causing nervous fatigue and by protecting your joints with no side effects.
Sydney’s Premier Athlete Recovery Lounge Bringing leading recovery technology and facilities from across the globe to enhance your recovery, athletic performance, health and wellbeing. • Cryotherapy • Float therapy • NormaTec • Compex
When would you do it? • For triathletes - as needed after training and competition to assist with recovery
Where can you do it/Can you buy it? To purchase your own Compex muscle stimulator, visit – www.au.compexstore.com Cost ranges from $349 to $1725 depending on the range and model you are after. Alternatively, if you’re in Sydney, you can book in for a 60minute Compex recovery session at KOA Recovery for $50. Visit www.koarecovery.com.au for more information.
Shop 1 143-159 Botany rd Waterloo NSW 2017 (O2) 806 826 15
Australian Triathlete |
tech talk Road Test
Suomy GT-R Time Trial Helmet t e x t b y T h e t e s t l ab | p h o t o g r a p h y b y S u o m y a n d t h e t e s t l ab
uomy isn’t a brand that many in the triathlon scene have probably even heard of, let alone thought of for their next helmet purchase. Suomy is a relatively new company, having been founded back in 1997, starting out predominantly as a motorcycle helmet manufacturer. The founder of the company, having worked for Yamaha for many years decided to commit to producing his own Italianmade brand of helmets. Along with his two brothers, one a motocross racer and the other a nuclear engineer came Suomy, pronounced Su-oh-mee (a rather Japanese sounding name), that quickly grew in various sports, with its fluorescent red “dot” becoming unmistakable on its riders heads. After starting in motocross and then taking the superbike market by storm, being worn on the heads of superstars including Troy Bayliss, Max Biaggi and Loris Capirossi, the company took off on
| Australian Triathlete
the world stage. Suomy also had their share of other sports keen to utilise the protective equipment, including fencing, jet skiing, speedboat racing and even a fashion line with its own fragrance! Can you get any more Italian? Having realised that there was a decline starting within motorcycling, the founders knew they needed to diversify, and Eco-friendly sports such as cycling were targeted. With such a strong reputation in motorcycling, when Suomy stepped into the cycling arena in 2013, you would expect some pretty safe helmets. What you also get are some pretty unique looking helmets. With three road helmets and one time-trial helmet to choose from, there is something for all triathletes. In this case, the Suomy GT-R time-trial helmet is what we are looking at and, as we mentioned, it is quite a unique looking helmet. Straight out of the box the Suomy GT-R is quite striking. In a world where most brands have gone down the
Product Tested: Suomy GT-R Time Trial Helmet
mono-colour route, Suomy are quite the opposite, with more colour and flair that reflects their Italian heritage. The model we trialled, while predominately white, had swirling black graphics and a bright fluoro red/orange tail, and a rather prominent Suomy logo on either side of the helmet. As with many time-trial helmets these days, the GT-R is a short-tailed helmet, although not quite as short as two of our favourites in the Kask Bambino and Giant Rivet TT helmets, and as such doesn’t sit up into the wind that much when you look down. This is particularly important for triathletes because, on the whole, we are racing in longer events than time trial cyclists and have a habit of moving our heads around, and up and down a lot more.
© The Test Lab
Reviewed by: The Test Lab Craig McKenzie and Patrick Legge are The Test Lab. Two guys with an obsession for trialling all things related to swimming, riding and running and telling anyone who will listen what they think. Having 20 years each in the sport, they’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly, but always loved the innovation triathlon brings to the world stage. Craig raced as a professional triathlete, winning 4 National Duathlon titles, and has worked as an exercise physiologist, osteopath and coach, while Pat has built a career running a personal training, massage and coaching business, working with State, Australian and World Champions, including Australian Olympic and Commonwealth squads whilst competing himself.
@thetestlab © The Test Lab
The GT-R comes with a few specific features that make it a really attractive helmet for triathletes. First up are the nine vents and six channels throughout the helmet, which are designed to keep air flowing through the helmet and to eject warm air from your head, keeping you cool. Secondly, to the visor, which we tend to think can make or break the riding experience. Made well, they are really useful, as they mean you don’t need to fumble around trying to get sunglasses on with a tight fitting helmet. The one that came with our test helmet was clear, but
other tints such as smoke are available. The one caveat being the need for ventilation holes in the visor to help prevent fogging. The visor on the GT-R not only comes with the aforementioned ventilation holes but an anti-scratch and anti-fog finish. The last feature is the matte finish to the helmet, and while you would be forgiven for thinking it was a style feature, it is actually an important design feature. According to Suomy, the matte finish is actually more slippery than a gloss finish, thus making it a faster helmet, and we all know that free speed is good speed.
So how does the GT-R perform? We took it to the racetrack and velodrome to find out. Getting a TT helmet on in the heat of a race can be difficult at the best of times but with the GT-R being a bit wider than some others it slips on very easily (as a side note the visor doesn’t interfere with the process in any way), and clips up quickly. Unlike the Kask and Giant
The GT-R comes with a few specific features that make it a really attractive helmet for triathletes. — The Test Lab Australian Triathlete |
tech talk Road Test
Product Tested: Suomy GT-R Time Trial Helmet
© The Test Lab
Photo: © xxxxxxxx
helmets we mentioned earlier you don’t need to bend the ear flaps out to get this helmet on and while this doesn’t necessarily make it faster to put on, it does give you some peace of mind that you are not damaging the helmet. On the road, the GT-R doesn’t seem to heat up at all and is very comfortable. When looking down, or to the left or right there is very little wind catch, in fact, you quickly forget you are using a TT helmet at all. The adjustment dial is easy to use, although trying to get it as close to right before the race would be the best option. However, should you need to adjust the sizing during the race, rest assured you can do it. One other benefit of using the visor is how quiet the helmet is. It’s like being in your own little bubble. Having said that
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now seems like the right time to say that we would recommend only using this helmet with a visor. It really does appear to complete the sphere like shape allowing it to be very slippery in the wind. Without the visor, the helmet feels like it would catch a lot more wind and not be the as effective as helmets designed to work with no visor, such as the Giant Rivet TT helmet. So, if there is a reason you need to wear sunnies, such as prescription sunglasses, either use the clear visor or maybe look at another helmet. At $379 the Suomy GT-R is a really neat product, and amongst time-trial helmets, this puts it in the mid-range for pricing. It comes with the visor, soft bag for protection and replacement padding, but only comes in the one size, 54-61. The
helmet weighs 385g and despite this low weight, feels very sturdy. Overall, once we embraced the graphics and large logos - the visor, fit and ventilation alone made this one of the best time-trial helmets we have tested, and would highly recommend it to anyone. In fact, we might try and hold onto this one until the end of the season to see what impact it has on our racing.
tech talk save/spend/splurge Save
Product: Bike Bags
RIDESPORTZ Padded Bike Bag The Ridesportz bike travel bag provides an economical solution for bike transport by road, train or air. The advantage of a bike bag over a bike travel case or bike pod is that it folds down to a small size, in this case about 110cm x 10cm x 30cm, when not in use.
Scicon Travel Plus Triathlon Bicycle Bag The Scicon Travel Plus Triathlon Bicycle Bag offers an easy, compact method of transportation for your triathlon bike. Padded walls along with separate compartments for your wheels and frame protect from scratches while a removable solid base keeps the structure of the bag. Designed to be packed away into a compact size when not in use and comes with it own carry case. Perfect for when transporting your bike to triathlons.
Tioga Hard Case Bike Bag The new Tioga bike case is the result of lots of R and D and hours of anguish suffered at baggage collection points when you discover your prized machine looks like it has been steam rolled. At first glance you can see immediately that this is no ordinary bike case. It has been moulded to protect the frame and the wheels not only from external impact but also from each other. Keep your ride in top condition so when you get to your destination you don’t get any nasty surprises and instead pull it from your case and hit the track, trails or road as soon as possible.
RIDESPORTZ LITE BIKE CASE RIDESPORTZ LITE EVA Bicycle Box is the lightest bike case on the market. Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) has high impact strength, good tear and abrasion resistance but its main advantage is its lightness! Ridesportz EVA Lite bike cases weigh approximately 7 kg and when packed with a race bike weighs well under 20kg! The bike pod is moulded to fit most road, touring and mountain bikes. Its clam shell design enables it to be fully opened for ease of packing.
Evoc Bike Bag The award-winning EVOC BIKE TRAVEL BAG has been tested extensively. You can pack and store any type of bike securely within minutes – ready for travelling. All you need to remove are the handlebar, pedals and wheels. This makes our bike bag the mobile alternative to any bike box - with maximum protection for bike frame, wheels and other components. The BIKE TRAVEL BAG is the perfect transport case, whether for bike shipping, flying with a plane, going on other cycling trips. Fits: road bike, triathlon bike, XC-, FR-, downhill, 29“ bikes.
SCICON Aero Comfort Triathlon Travel Case Get your bike, wheels and gear to the next race safely with SCICON’s Aero Comfort Triathlon Travel Case. The world’s leading bike bag, now available for triathlon bikes! The world’s first bike bag with integrated metal structure for increased protection and ultimate comfort specifically designed around the whole geometry of triathlon bikes with special attention to seat post and handlebar extensions, adding further comfort, functionality and protection. www.bikebug.com
Australian Triathlete |
M US I N GS Change your story change your life t e x t b y Si r i Li n d l e y
f you are a parent, what kind of stories are you reading to your children at night? Certainly not stories where the main character is working their butt off, and devoting all their time and energy to making their dreams come true, only to give up when the race doesn’t start off well, they make a mistake or fall behind slightly. Then they say to themselves, “I will never be good enough. I suck. I should just give up and do something else.” What kind of an effect would these stories have on your children? First of all, by listening to these stories, your kids will be less inclined to take on something that really challenges them less inclined to keep pushing when the going gets tough. They won’t realise that, at that point, success is possible. When the options are so black and white, and there is no variance of success in the middle, where is the fun? Where is the growth? Where is the process? The ‘story’ or belief that, if you are not performing up to standard in the beginning, and perhaps, losing, or falling way below expectations - that this is only going to get worse. It’s over. You failed. Ugh - I have a massive pit in my stomach writing this.
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| photography Shutterstock.com
This story would not inspire your children to believe in themselves. It would not inspire them to be relentless and to keep fighting - to continue to give it all they have, knowing that things can always turn around in their favour. It certainly wouldn’t lead them to being strong finishers - to keep fighting to the bitter end, regardless of the circumstances. What is the fun and inspiring part of that story? “Work Hard. Give everything you have every single day. But if things aren’t going your way, stop. Cut your losses. Back off the gas and save your energy for the next opportunity to have that perfect race.” “If you are losing half way in - you will lose in the end. So, just assume it’s over, and give in.” I know you would never read a story like this to your kids. Never! So, if you would never consider reading your children a story like this, why are you OK with living this story within yourself? Now, I’m not saying that you are, but I know there are a lot of people out there that do follow this script inside their mind. This script is a huge limiter to any athlete’s personal growth. It will see that the
athlete achieves so much less than what they are truly capable of. The mind is a brilliant, but also a very dangerous place. It will often lead you astray by giving you thoughts that are irrational, and that sabotage your path to success. It’s much better to lead from the heart - your most powerful energy centre. The place where all great things are created through love and passion! So, if you are someone who tends to sabotage your efforts with your own thinking, look at it this way in regards to that story you would never tell your kids. Why is it okay for you to punish yourself with self-doubt, unfair critiques and impossible challenges, when you are giving your best, doing your best, and trying hard to achieve your goals? This seems counterintuitive to me. Sure, maybe it will motivate you to work harder and to try harder in training, in the hope that this will bring you closer to that perfect race. But where is the growth in this? Growth comes from being pushed out of your comfort zone, being challenged and finding a way through, not around. The process is the meat of the journey - the place where all
Siri Lindley A world champion athlete herself and now one of the most revered triathlon coaches in the world, Siri enables athletes to become the champions and the people they were born to be. With an ability to see things in people they cannot see in themselves, Siri is driven by a unrivalled passion for triathlon and the people within. http://siri-lindley.com
Siri Lindley the memories deep inside our souls are created. Yes, victory is amazing and achieving your goal is undeniably euphoric. But change your definition of victory to giving everything you have from start to finish, and your chances of experiencing it are so much greater. Not only that, but your growth will be exponentially higher through the process. Think how much more effective it would be if you changed the story you continually tell yourself? Change it to an entirely different theme: “I will work my butt off and give everything I have to make my dreams come true. There is no doubt that if I do this, I will make progress.”
“Progress will mean that I am getting closer and closer to my dream. Any progress is a victory. One that I need to recognise - this will help fuel me in the work I continue to do to make my dreams come true.” “I will make mistakes and I will falter often. This is all a part of the process of becoming great! This is where we learn the most - this is where we grow. Growing is the key to moving forward and ultimately the necessary ingredient to reach my goals.” This story is far more inspiring, motivating and effective. The hard part letting go of a thought process that you have lived by for a lifetime. Have the courage to change the language in your head, and choose to be
If you fight to the finish line, never, ever give up, ANYTHING — Mirinda Carfrae is possible.
© Delly Carr
kind and encouraging to yourself, rather than punitive and critical. Change the language to be proactive, not defeatist. This year, in the USA, we witnessed the most epic NFL Super Bowl - a game that will go down as one of the best title games in NFL history. The New England Patriots overcame a 25-point, thirdquarter deficit to knock off the Atlanta Falcons 34-28. Some have called it the ultimate choke job by the Dirty Birds - others think it’s the greatest comeback in recent memory. This Super Bowl displayed the most unbelievable comeback in the history of the game. The New England Patriots were down 25-0 in the fourth quarter. Everyone watching pretty much assumed the game was over and that the Patriots had failed miserably. Not Tom Brady, the Patriots quaterback. Tom Brady is someone whose beliefs have been shaped by the stories that he tells himself and that he has chosen to live by. That it isn’t over until it’s over - it is never over until it is over. Therefore, no matter the circumstances, keep fighting, stay focused, execute and do the best that you can. During the game, I’m sure that he had to continually remind the rest of the team that this is the story they must have in their minds. Not the story that, if you are down by that much, that late in the game, it’s over. Had they had that story, the game would indeed have been over and probably would have gotten even worse before the final whistle blew. With the belief Tom Brady had, and the belief that he shared with his team, even when down by over 20 points, the team was able to exhibit the patience, poise and discipline to, surgically, pick apart the Falcon’s defence. It was a brilliant display of never, ever, ever, giving up. More importantly, it taught us all never to assume that if things are Australian Triathlete |
© Korupt Vision
be relentless: Run your heart out and never give up.
going badly, they will end badly too. No, if things are going badly, refocus, tap into your resilience and your fighting spirit, and persevere. Persevere fuelled by the belief that anything is possible if you continue to give it everything you have - with a proactive attitude and a winning mindset. Think of Mirinda Carfrae in the 2014 Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. She was 14:30 minutes down on the leader, after the bike. Everyone thought there was no chance she would make the podium, given her deficit heading into the run. But Rinny is one of the MOST relentless athletes in the sport. I knew that she would get out there, and run her heart out. I knew she would give it everything she had in every single moment, to finish as close to the front as possible. Her belief is, that if you fight to the finish line, never, give up, anything is possible. Just like Tom Brady, she executed one of the greatest comebacks in the history of our sport. It was the most inspiring displays of relentlessness. I never had a perfect race in my career as a triathlete. My greatest performances, or biggest wins, came after either a dismal start or after overcoming a number of obstacles. What happened was, I never removed myself from the moment -
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I firmly planted myself in each moment. I lived there. I was determined to do everything in my power to make each moment, the best one I could. In doing so, I could make a mistake but could quickly leave it behind, and throw myself into the mindset of, “What can I do now to make this the best moment I possibly can?” It was never over until I crossed the line. I had no control over what anyone else was doing. I just had to focus on myself and doing the best that I could. When I did this, I knew that I would cross the line happy because I never gave up. I proved that things don’t have to go perfectly to have a successful day. Embrace the tough moments - these are the moments that strengthen us and help us grow. Embrace them - they will make you better. When things go wrong, don’t back away. Stay strong. Be relentless and fight your way to the finish. Persevere with the mindset, the story, that no matter what, give it your best effort, in as many moments as possible, and you will cross the line victorious. Victorious because you will feel satisfied that you did everything in your power to make it the best day possible. Victorious because you know you are a finisher. Victorious because you know that
you will have grown from that race learned more, stretched more. You will have proven to yourself that you are a gladiator and that no matter what - you will always light it up all the way to the finish line. This makes you a winner. Think about the stories you tell yourself on a daily basis. Think about whether or not they serve you well. Do they give you every opportunity to make great things happen in your life? Or do they put limits on the stuff you can achieve? Your beliefs shape your destiny. Make sure that what you believe is what you want in your life. Where focus goes, energy flows. You want to be successful, believe that you can be. You don’t want to fail? Then don’t constantly tell yourself that you will. Inevitably, if you keep telling yourself that, you will believe it so much that it will make it hard to convince your body and mind to do anything else. So, train your beliefs like you train your body. Be the best that you can be, and allow success to happen - mind, body, and spirit. Embrace this incredible journey and create the extraordinary life you deserve!
@siri.lindley.3 @SELTS @sirilindley
SUNDAY, 11 JUNE 2017
CAIRNS AIRPORT ADVENTURE FESTIVAL, FEATURING CAIRNS AIRPORT IRONMAN ASIA-PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIP CAIRNS
Register online www.ironmancairns.com
with Willy Dan Wilson
s triathletes, we’re purveyors of pain. It’s the nature of the beast that is triathlon. Bakers deal in flour, builders in wood and stone, and some less salubrious consorts of society deal in drugs. Triathletes - we deal in pain. Our training is hard. The sort of hard that gives one permission (I feel!) to sneer derisively and make snide comments when hearing details of the ‘training’ of sprinters. From what I can gather, most of the work of a sprinter gets put into working on their tan (I’m banking on the postulation that no sprinters read Aus Tri to avoid the muchdeserved backlash on that outrageous statement…) Triathlon, however, is a
nonstop apprenticeship, a veritable PhD in pain education. Given the word count, I feel I could write an extensive thesis on the different types of pain. However, here is a tasting platter of my favourite (correct word?)/most frequently endured types of pain…
The Alarm Clock Pain
It’s the first pain that one experiences every day. That cruel, cruel sound that drags you kicking and screaming from the sleep that is eternally n – 1 hours on what you would actually like, regardless of the time spent insentient in the crib. The pain of leaving that sanctuary of peace, into the cruel, cruel world, where lactic awaits. Niggles are rife, muscles are sore, and joints are stiffer than the collar of that fancy shirt you only wear once a year to black tie functions. Typically accompanied by groans, mutterings, and a bevvy of choice expletives. Hitting the snooze, in my experience, leads to permanent dismissal of the days Alarm Clock Pain, and instead leads to sleep ins, as well as other sensations, largely of guilt and remorse.
Typically comes following doing something different. Our bodies are fussy little buggers. You can run a million kilometres at 3:10 pace, but you try and do a session at 3:05 pace, and it’ll let you know about it in 24-48 hours. It’s the physiological equivalent of your mother being right about that bad decision you made that she warned you about, and letting you know about it in a passive aggressive way. “You remember that run session you did? That one I said you might want to not try to go way faster than you did last week? Hmm…” Typically accompanied by aching muscles, funny walking styles, and regret at being so flippant about the session of 48 hours ago.
The Feeling Good Pain
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As rare as hen’s teeth. For me anyway. After months of tedious wading through the monotonous swamps of fatigue, suddenly, the ground underneath you gets firm, the clouds part, and the oppressing weight of lethargy lifts off your shoulders. All of a sudden you feel charged, you feel alive. All of a sudden, you can push again, and push hard! The pain is there, but it’s different, instead of being all encompassing and weighing you down, it’s alongside you, watching on, merely a minor sensation as you’re free to stretch yourself to the utmost and extract every last ounce of performance out of yourself. Cash in on these days like they are free burgers, you never know how long it’s gonna be before they come again… Typically accompanied by PB’s, back pats, and copious endorphins.
© Delly Carr
The ‘I’ve Bonked’ Pain The session begins a lot like the ‘Feeling Good’ pain. “Hurrah”, you think, “Time to cash in - free burgers await!” Then come the warning signs, like a tap on the shoulder from the teacher indicating that you’ve been talking a lot, quite loudly in class, and she’s just about had enough. Heed the warning signs, and the session may be salvageable. Ignore them, and a whole wave of pain is coming your way, like a surfer who has caught a rail at Pipeline. All of a sudden, the legs go, the heart rate skyrockets, the lactic hits, and the pace drops like my jaw when I read a tweet by Trump. If you’ve got a ripper poker face, you might be able to pull out of the session on the spot, and pretend it was premeditated – “That was all my coach prescribed…” If you’re like me and have a grimace that can be seen from the moon, you might just have to take a hit to the ego… Typically accompanied by positive splits, unfinished sessions, and future adherence to more realistic pacing strategies.
high octane pain: Dan Wilson pushes through the pain as he sprints to the finish line.
The High Octane Pain Probably not a regular for the long distance cognoscenti reading the parchments of Aus Tri. Comes with shorter, pure speed sessions that usually look ridiculously easy on paper, e.g. 10 x 50m freestyle on 3 minutes. When done properly, it’s a kind of pain that hits you hard, like an uppercut from Connor McGregor. Typically accompanied by churning stomachs, buckets by the side of the pool, and a future bias towards more aerobic sets when given the option. Pain. It’s the ballast that underpins triathlon. Embrace it, and you’ll prosper. Try to run from it, and you may as well break out the tanning oil and deck chairs…
Pain. It’s the ballast that underpins triathlon. Embrace it, and — Dan Wilson you’ll prosper. About Dan Biomechanically denied his dream of becoming an NBA superstar, Dan Wilson has been racing the ITU circuit for over seven years representing Australia at Junior, U/23 and Elite level. His results have ranged from winning a World Cup to finishing only with the aid of glow sticks. When not “at work” training three times a day, he incompetently plays the guitar, competently sips short blacks, and fervently studies the underground metal scene. Website: www.danwilson.com.au Twitter: @dan_wilson_
Australian Triathlete |
Act Your Shoe Size Rediscover Triathlon By Channelling Youth
here’s something undeniably stirring watching kids participate in triathlon. Whether you’re a kid-person or not, I am adamant that no single human with an intact soul could witness a six-yearold clambering over a poolside, goggles askew, cap more flap than cranium, in an oversized, third-round hand-me-down rash shirt and togs, gather their balance and realign their bearings, before tearing across the grass of said public pool, legs spinning wildly on a miniature bike (complete with training wheels, front basket and bell), and not unabashedly grin from ear to ear. I’m sure watching ankle-biters set to work at any given sport would cheer the heart of any adult, but having had the privilege to see the youngins take to our three-discipline sport often biases me to believe that kid triathletes are the fiercest, and most inspiring athletes I know. Such a huge range of emotion, across a relatively short distance, and within such compact vessels. There’s intensity in competition, excitement in being a part of the event, fear in the vastness of the distances ahead, and pure joy in crossing the finish line amid cheers and parent’s tears. The aspect of
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these kids taking part in something I’ve done hundreds of times myself that really has an impact on me, is how they take to it without any precedence. The raw emotion I witness is a product of the energetic packages experiencing something completely new that stimulates possibly untouched excitement – excitement that comes untainted from expectation or external pressure. Watching this innocent exploration of the personality of these kids through triathlon makes me wonder if it’s possible for us as adults, as seasoned triathletes with rigid personalities and specific expectations, to channel our adolescent selves and experience something new all over again in a sport we think we know so well. I believe that having a slightly more childlike approach to triathlon – or at least injecting stimulation into our triathlon lives that may seem, dare I say it, childish – can only enhance our triathlon experiences. My theory is twofold. On one prong of this plastic cartoon themed fork is, that we can still tap into the raw emotive excitement the kids I watch are experiencing, but more on that later. The second benefit of de-maturing our tri-athletic lives is that by slightly loosening the tightly bounded
Brendan Sexton regiment that we set ourselves to day-in-day-out, we may find we have room to expand our skill set. So much of triathlon training is about the constant repetition of the limited movements we use in swimming, riding and running. The exact same stroke, pedal and stride over, and over in almost robotic alliteration. Don’t get me wrong - I completely understand that endurance sport requires bulk repetition for physical conditioning and that repeated movements enhance finite motor control. But what is that repeated movement in contrast to? General running and run drills in triathlon require our bodies to move in solely a medial direction. Most coaches will instruct movement of legs and arms to be up, down, forward and back. Quite rightly, an efficient runner in a triathlon will utilise these movements only. But who is to say that developing lateral strength and coordination will inhibit running performance? My opinion is that developing movement abilities beyond the usual, limited realm can only support and fortify the muscle systems that are doing the bulk of the work. Of course, just plain running won’t engage or enhance these systems - but play will. Squash, netball, touch football, tag with the kids or even a bit of dance floor destruction (my personal favourite lateral past time) will give those underused muscles and balances a retouch. Even throwing in an old fashion scissor leap over the park gate, rather than walking around it can help expand our physical range beyond the droid movements we’ve wired into ourselves - not to mention, impress your training partners, granted you pull it off! Triathletes like to ride long - triathletes like to ride fast. Again, I agree, improvement in our sport is deeply dependent on developing our body’s endurance system. A great deal of our
Brendan Sexton As a youngster, Brendan’s life ambition was to be the fifth Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. That didn’t quite pan out. But triathlon did. A decade on, he’s still at it. www.brendansexton.com.au @kung_fu_sexton
racing on the bike involves holding one position and riding hard for extended periods of time. But there are points in a race when we are not in that position and the ability to move forward as fast as possible will depend on the cyclist’s ability to handle the bike rather than just push the pedals. Kids like to ride around short, intricate circuits (e.g., from the living room down the hallway dodging dogs and laundry baskets to the kitchen), they like to ride off the ground, and to ride with one hand, no hands and in close proximity to other kids attempting similar feats. True, many kids do have a complete lack of fear and sense of self-preservation. Also true, these kids will more likely end up being the nutters that jump off radio towers with nothing but a wing suit and a bloodstream coursing with irrational amounts of caffeine. But remember - I am suggesting slight injections of youthfulness into our triathlon, not completely boycotting adulthood and demanding the crust be cut from our sandwiches. Try your luck in a
criterium bike race in the offseason, borrow a mountain bike, and get amongst the trees and dirt for a change. Challenge your bike skills like a kid, and your triathlon will be better off for it - even if this means riding on the grass, next to your training buddy or practising to lean against each other while moving forward, to build some confidence in your ability to remain rubber side down. In the pool? Come on, if you can’t remember how to bomb or front flip off the diving block were you ever even a kid? And it doesn’t have to be horse(y) play you can still be serious about swimming improvement and have a good laugh: underwater races, kick races, relays, and streamline competitions are all ways to enhance swimming skills just as those endless laps on the same old time cycles. Side note: a favourite of mine is the old thumbs in armpits chicken wing drill. Not completely sure what the benefit is of this one is, apart from brilliant entertainment for any onlookers. © 2016 Getty Images
I mentioned tapping into the raw emotion of a child participating in a triathlon for the first time. The obvious difference between these kids, and those of us who’ve done between one and countless triathlon events, is that we know what to expect. There’s no way to experience the new emotion of a frequented event - or is there? I put it to you that the emotions these kids are feeling - the fear, the anticipation, the thrill and the ecstatic feeling of conquest are because these kids know they’re up against a challenge. Sure, they don’t know exactly what the challenge will entail or feel like, but they are fronting up to (or being nudged up to, as the case may be) a real task in their life’s journey. And therein lies the answer. We do know what the event will feel like…physically. How it will feel emotionally is in fact up for discussion. That discussion is about what you want out of the event. Treat it as just another tri and go through the motions the resulting emotion will be as it always is. However, standing on the start line regarding the impending event as a genuine challenge, putting yourself in a circumstance that you’ve never been in before, and you are in the same boat as any six-year-old standing, shivering on the shoreline of a beach contemplating the vast 30m wade ahead of them. In saying all this, I do understand (more and more) that we sometimes just aren’t made to do what the tackers are able to, on a physical level, anymore. But that shouldn’t restrict us in testing those boundaries every now and then. Pull off a decent ‘horsey’ into the pool next swim squad, and I guarantee you’ll swim with that little bit extra zip for the rest of the session. And don’t forget that our sport was invented by a couple of mates with too much energy, who constantly one-upped each other. Not so dissimilar to a bunch of kids egging each other on to climb that one branch higher in a tree. Australian Triathlete |
Champion Mothers t e x t b y j o di e s w a l l o w | p h o t o g r a p h y b y I t u m e dia
he Chinese Zodiac says that 2016 was the year of the monkey. Judging by recent announcements, it sure seemed to be more likely the year of the rabbit. Perhaps it was the infusion of Latino spirit - maybe something in the water, but it seems that Rio started something special, or rather ‘someone’ special. The New Age sports-mothers are planning to have it all. Monkeys or rabbits? Chance or careful planning? Either way, 2017 is the year of the ‘Champion Mother’. Olympic cycles are known to dictate the long-term plans of athletes. The year post-Olympic Games often sees athletes change disciplines, maybe retire, or go on ‘strictly’ - all sorts of changes. Increasingly for female athletes, this is perhaps the most viable time to conceive a child with the possibility of continuing a sporting career and competing in the next Olympic cycle. Olympic qualification procedures and squad selections now begin at least two years in advance of the Games. Nine months of pregnancy, maternity leave, and you are well into the Tokyo cycle, albeit with a mini-human along for the ride. For generations, working mums have had to deal with the inevitably challenging work/home balance that motherhood brings. Childbearing years clash with prime career years. Many women still feel reticent to sacrifice time out from work to
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take maternity leave, despite strict legal legislation to prevent discrimination against working women. In elite sport, the fear of displacement is even higher than in the ‘normal workplace’. Aside from the specific, elite physicality that is essential to sports performance, time on the sidelines often means championships missed and even further limitations on the opportunities to win medals. Sports careers are short and fickle. It’s a brave decision to suspend racing due to an injury or illness let alone to voluntarily stand back and prioritise having a family over sporting success. In the past, a hiatus from competition in a sport like triathlon was not an economic feasibility for women. To pause racing for a pregnancy meant zero prize money won. It meant terminated sponsorship contracts, in an industry where it was already difficult to secure and maintain funding.
The growth of the elite sport, its acceptance into the Olympics, the equality of gender provision - the professionnalisation of sponsors and an increasing number of pioneer champion mothers, are helping to clear a pathway for would-be mother athletes to return to competition. In 2012, Nicola Spirig won the Olympic Games. In April the following year, she unapologetically gave birth to the focus of her forward life - a beautiful baby boy and nursed him while re-embarking progressively into full training. I worked in the same squad as Nicola during this time and witnessed her master the art of balancing intensive, limited, training time with breastfeeding and nurturing her son. She flourished. Being a mother both challenged her and balanced her life. About a year on from conception she won a World Cup in Cozumel. In 2014, she targeted the marathon, qualifying for the European Championships. She won an Ironman, reasserting her pedigree as a major contender for Rio, where she went on to win a silver medal. If prospective athlete mothers needed a role model to look to, Nicola proved that you really could ‘have it all’. Nicola announced her second pregnancy shortly after the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. She still hopes to further her lengthy career and return to her fifth Olympic Games in 2020 - two children and two Olympic medals in tow. The Spirig-Hug babies will be joined in the triathlon crèche by baby Lemieux.
If prospective athlete mothers needed a role model to look to, Nicola proved that you really could — Jodie Swallow ‘have it all’.
Jodie Swallow Jodie Swallow is a world champion, Ironman champion and Olympian. Not one to shy away from an uncomfortable but necessary conversation, Jodie Swallow is guaranteed to keep you thinking. Follow her at www.ifollowtheswallow.co.uk
Jodie Swallow © ITU/Delly Carr
Silver in Rio: Nicola announced her second pregnancy shortly after the Rio Olympic Games.
The current Olympic champion Gwen Jorgensen is due only a month or so after Nicola. More classmates? Two-time Olympian Yuliya Yelistratova, Kiwi Nicky Samuels and the double World Champion Helen Jenkins are also expecting. That’s 1,2,13,19 and 38th at the Games. Liz Blatchford, Sarah Haskins, Gina Crawford and Beth Gerdes of long distance racing success are all pregnant - the majority of these women expressing (no pun intended) their dedication to return to racing after birth. Perhaps more astonishingly (maybe not), Laura Kenny four-time Olympic Track Cyclist Champion and her husband Jason Kenny announced their imminent arrival.
Baby bumps and Lycra are everywhere. In a male dominated arena (the sports media, sponsorship and majority participation is male), it is expected, (while wholly not acceptable), that pregnancy has long since been seen as a disruption to performance, and jeopardy to an onward career. The responses of sponsors, coaches and the media may suggest these negative times may be changing. Companies, or at least the ones associated with these champion triathletes, are finally acknowledging that pregnancy is not a career-ending prospect, not unprofessional and not grounds for dismissal. While maternity leave and job security are a given for most career women in the
Western world, that insurance does not stretch to sporting sponsorship contracts. In theory, if you are out of action for more than three months, more often than not, a contract can legally cease. With positive reinforcement, honesty and professional integrity athletes like Gwen and Nicola, and their willingness to assert their career intention and family growth, the position on athlete pregnancy is being challenged. These examples may watermark the way in which female athletes in the future view their pregnancy prospects. “I used to be afraid to publicly say I wanted to get pregnant and have a child as an athlete. I was scared of needing to take a year off and having sponsors drop me. But my passion to be a mum outweighs all else,” says Gwen Jorgenson. “I wanted to tell my sponsors as soon as possible. I would feel uncomfortable accepting payments when I knew I wouldn’t be racing more in 2016. For my own comfort level, I decided to tell my sponsors before I was out of the first trimester. My worries about letting sponsors down were needless. Without exception, all of my sponsors were delighted at our news and have been very supportive. Thank-you, Cervelo, Endura, ROKA, Team Bravo, ENVE, PowerBar, Oakley, ON, The Island House, ISM and Ceramic Speed,” says Rachel Joyce. Triathlon sponsors are being forced to look beyond the short-term focus of a year out of the competition to accommodate their athlete’s personal interests and invest in a longer-term performance plan. Different viewpoints mature. Careers that allow for family growth are lengthened. The relevance of a pregnant elite athlete discovered as potential marketing revenue for triathlon is a sport where a large percentage of its participants will, or have, parented children. Australian Triathlete |
“I am very grateful for my team, BMC-Etixx Pro Triathlon Team powered by Uplace, who will be supporting me through pregnancy and beyond. The team managers and many of the other athletes have families themselves, so when I told them our news they were nothing but supportive and happy for us,” says Liz Blatchford. In Gwen’s case, the format of the actual contract development sited her sponsors support for her impending pregnancy: “Specialized acknowledges and supports Athlete #39’s intent to become pregnant and give birth during the term.”
By challenging the errors in the assumption that pregnancy puts an end to athletic performance or is a betrayal of a sponsor relationship, these women are succeeding in changing the forecast for women in sport - the more women that succeed, the better the prospects. If mothers in their 30s like Paula Radcliffe and Kara Goucher can run 2:23hour marathons; if Jessica Ennis-Hill can win the World Heptathlon Championships a year after having a child, then why do we fret a year of sabbatical that could so easily happen due to illness or injury. What is the timeout equivalent?
Jodie Swallow without affecting the course, or outcome, of pregnancy. Some ladies seem to be faster in comeback than they were before their babies. That should be a very ominous prospect for the women set to race Jorgensen and Spirig in Tokyo 2020. The triathlon community salutes its ‘Champion Mothers’. We acknowledge the
I used to be afraid to publicly say I wanted to get pregnant and have a child as an athlete. I was scared of needing to take a year off and having — Gwen Jorgenson sponsors drop me. support: Liz has a very supportive team behind her during her pregnancy.
Not all in the industry would or will embrace pregnancy with such enthusiasm and support. Like in all professions, some people will never understand why a female may choose to conceive at the peak of her sports career. With improvements in sports science, health technology and the heightened professionalism that women’s sport is experiencing, career longevity is increasing. If female athletes can excel in to their 40s, there comes an undeniable crossover between their optimum fertility and performance period. Should women have to make a choice between earning a living in their chosen profession and the goal to start a family? I personally applaud the women in our sport who are prioritising their own life goals in the midst of the excitement and momentum of very successful careers.
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A muscle tear? A stress fracture? African ladies have been making pregnancy comebacks for decades - Vivian Cheruiyot gave birth in October 2013 and in August 2015 she won the World Marathon Championship. In February 2011 Mary Keitany, 34, shattered the half marathon world record after giving birth to her son one year before. In 2009, a year after giving birth, Florence Kiplagat won the 10,000m World Championships. These feats cast aspersions on the myths and prior assumptions that training during pregnancy may negatively affect a pregnancy. While there are guidelines that recommend the type, intensity, duration and frequency of exercise, as more research is conducted in the relatively under-researched area of prenatal training, evidence confirms that healthy pregnant women can participate in sports
recognition and provision that they are establishing for our gender opportunity in sport. Sponsors and the wider media should also be applauded for finally recognising the power of sporting females. A woman who champions her gender, and dedicates her life to sport and races to win is the finest example of a role model that either gender can see.
@jodie.swallow @jodieswallow @jodiestar
7 1 0 2 Y L U J H T 0 3
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Teamwork Makes The Dream Work Building Your Triathlon Team t e x t b y Sam b e t t e n | p h o t o g r a p h y R e b e c c a O h l w e i n
f I think back to when I first started in the sport of triathlon during my early teens, there was one overriding element that I found to be alluring about the sport. Having come from playing team sports, the idea that my results were determined by me, and only me, and that I didnâ€™t need to rely on teammates, was very attractive. I believe that there are many others who have had a similar train of thought and enjoy this sport because of the solo nature and the sense of ownership that you have with regards to your performance. At the end of the day, it is up to you whether you want to get up at 4am for a 5am swim session or hit the snooze button on your alarm. Those who commit to the pursuit of excellence and put in the work day after day are the same athletes who you see on the steps of the podium. The longer I have been involved in triathlon, which is over a decade and a half, the more I realise that while this is an individual sport, there also needs to be a
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strong team and network behind you if you are to truly reach your potential. Seeing professional athletes thanking sponsors, family, friends, etc. on social media you get a sense of the network behind these athletes helping them to work harder, faster and smarter. Think about it in terms of any successful business - they outsource, delegate and work with experts in various fields in order to reach a new level of success.
Family For most athletes, one of the more important members of your team will be your family. Those people who will support you no matter what the situation or race performance. Without question, I can say that in my own triathlon journey, my family and partner have been the major support network. The environment that you live in, day-to-day, affects your energy levels, emotions and stress levels, and so itâ€™s important that you maintain a high level of communication and life balance.
Coach Having a coach is one of the single greatest investments that you can make, whether it is from triathlon, another sport, or simply a mentor who has experienced success in an area of life that you wish to be successful in. Living in the triathlon bubble, and going about your training and racing it can be hard at times to see the bigger picture. By working with a coach, you can objectively bounce ideas, questions and much more, off them with the goal of working together to achieve a set list of goals.
Training Partners Having a group of like-minded people all set on achieving a similar goal can be a hugely powerful force. By training with other motivated and positive athletes, it can really help to lift you to a new level on the good days and help push you on the tough days.
Teamwork: You need a team of people around you to be successful.
Work Colleagues For the majority of triathletes, you have a 9-5 job, which is spent working with people who might refer to you as, â€œthat guy/girl who does that weird sport where you swim, bike and run in lycra.â€? One of the best things that you can do is get your work colleagues and boss emotionally invested in your triathlon journey. If you can get these people to believe that they play a part in your achievements, then this
can be a very powerful thing, and even help to lift your own training and racing performances knowing that you have the support of those who you work with. For example, if you need to take time off to attend a major race, if your colleagues are supportive you are much likely to have the flexibility to take additional time off in order to travel to and compete in these races.
Sports Therapists Massage therapists, physiotherapists and sports doctors should all form part of your team, which means regular visits and keeping them up to date with any potential issues, and getting their advice when appropriate. Having experts in the field of sports therapy can really go a long way in making sure you stay healthy and uninjured.
While triathlon, on the surface, can look like a selfish and individual sport the reality is quite different. During my own personal triathlon journey, I have worked with so many people who have all been valuable in helping me to improve and who I hope have been positively affected by our relationship. Having a strong team around you who share in your achievements, as well as working to assist you through the injuries and hard times, can make your triathlon journey a much more rewarding one for all invested. I like to think that if athletes are able to build a strong team around them, then they can inspire and motivate others on their own journey towards achieving success.
Others People such as your preferred bike fit specialists, bike shop mechanics, any of your sponsors, nutritionists, just to name a few, all play important parts in making you a better triathlete and should not be overlooked when creating your triathlon team.
Sam Betten A professional triathlete from QLD
Australian Triathlete |
Doing more for less
Economy t e x t b y D r Sim o n S o s t a r i c | p h o t o g r a p h y b y G e t t y ima g e s / i r o n ma n
n athlete performance parlance the term “economy” gets bandied around regularly, and with good reason. Running, cycling and swimming economy – individually and collectively - are critical determinants of energy expense, the magnitude of fatigue, and ultimately performance outcomes. Just like fuel economy in your car improves its performance and reduces cost, improvements in one or all modes that make up triathlon reflects a reduction in energy expense, a reduced level of heat production, and an increased level of vitality and performance.
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What is economy and how is it measured? The gold-standard method of evaluating ‘exercise economy’ involves measuring oxygen consumption while running on a treadmill, or cycling on a high precision ergometer, which can be done in a well-equipped clinic or laboratory. Seeking the same principle measures in the pool is substantially more challenging, but not impossible - there are very few swimming flumes around the globe. Oxygen consumption at sub-maximal speeds or power outputs (e.g., 10km/hr
for a novice runner to 16km/hr for an elite runner; 150W for a novice cyclist to 350W for an elite cyclist) enables energy demands to be calculated. As economy improves, less oxygen is consumed at the same speeds or power outputs. Data acquired in the lab correlates with a number of variables that can be monitored in the ‘real world’, such as heart rate and power output. Reductions in steady-state heart rate and power output are typical responses to improved economy. Power output devices have been popularised within the cycling fraternity for about 30 years, and are a mainstay in training and racing monitoring. Recently, a number of power output devices have become available for runners see www.stryd.com.
Training TOOLBOX Performance
NEW STRIDES: A slight increase in stride rate will make a difference.
You will move across the ground and through the water with less effort — Dr Simon Sostaric and more power. Factors that affect swimming, cycling and running economy include the following: 1.
2. Environment – the wind, ambient temperature, relative 3. Previous training history 4. Body composition 5. Physiology – integration between muscle, heart, circulation, nervous system, metabolism and heat regulation 6. Biomechanics – foot strike patterns, stride rate, swimming stroke parameters (stroke rate, index, length), pedal cadence
HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE YOUR ECONOMY? 1. Include high-intensity training – regardless of your pet distance A healthy perspective to embrace when planning your training and racing schedule is to include room and time for training methods that induce specific economy adaptations. For example, high-intensity training is a wellestablished stimulus for improving muscle power and subsequently improving economy. Indeed, a study by Garcia-Pinillos and colleagues (2017) investigated the effects of a modified running plan on sprint distance triathlete performance. Thirteen triathletes were split into two groups - experimental (E)
and control (C). Baseline measures of sprint distance triathlon performance and a series of vertical jump tests (leg power) were undertaken by both groups, with no significant differences between groups prior to intervention. The C group maintained their accustomed training routines for the next five weeks, whereas the E group modified their running to unaccustomed high-intensity intervals while maintaining their regular swim and cycle training routines. After five weeks, the E group improved jumping (power), and triathlon performance by six to nine per cent. However, all performance parameters remained unchanged in the C group. This study demonstrates that combining low-volume, high-intensity running, with ‘normal’ volumes of swim and cycle training improved sprint distance performance via an apparent muscle power and work economy adaptation.
2. Skip strength training at your peril Changes in metabolic economy are also partially dictated by neuromuscular function - strength-training effects on neuromuscular function are well documented. Vikmoen and colleagues (2015) investigated a plethora of physiological responses to 11-weeks of maximal and heavy strength training, including cycling economy, in 19 female road cyclists. The control and experimental groups both underwent regular cycling endurance training; however, in addition to this, the experimental group also completed an 11-week period of heavy strength training. The results were compelling for the Australian Triathlete |
Training TOOLBOX Performance
experimental (strength + endurance) group, which showed significant improvements in cycling economy, 1RM-leg press, mean power output for 40min TT, fractional utilisation of VO2max, and increased Type 2A muscle fibres. It appears that increased quadriceps cross-sectional area and shifts to greater up regulation of Type 2A muscle fibres are the primary mechanisms driving the strength-induced adaptation to the improved economy and co-existing physiological factors. Furthermore, muscle power characteristics play a similar role in endurance runner adaptive responses to leg strength training (Barnes & Kilding, 2015).
Triathletes of all abilities can improve economy key points to consider: • The timing of training - undertaking some of your training in a fasted state (in the morning, before breakfast), and reducing sugar in your diet contributes to improvements in ‘fat adaptation’. Start with low intensity/ short duration sessions. • Less is more - minimise the use of gels or sports drinks during training under two hours, particularly during low/moderate intensity. • It’s in the tempo – complete selective training sessions at subthreshold (~70-80% intensity), or at 13-14 on the 6-20 point rating of perceived exertion BORG scale (not too hard, but not too easy!) pace, 1-2x per week during your primary conditioning phase of training. Start with 5min in the middle of a steadystate session - gradually build to 15-20min if you are training for a short distance event, and 30-45min for long distance triathletes. • New strides – a slight increase in running stride rate can make a difference - ideally, aim for 81-84 strides or 162-168 steps per minute at sub-maximal intensity training. • Force production - strength training has a significant effect on muscle, tendon and neural pathways. For novices, start with simple body weighted exercises (squats, calf
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Force production: As novices, start with body weighted exercises then progress to include weights the stronger you become.
raises, lunges, step-ups, small hops, etc.), and progress gradually to training with heavy weights (squats, deadlifts, leg press, calf raises, etc.) and plyometric exercises (skipping, box jumps, hops, etc.). While you’re at it, don’t ignore your upper body and core stability exercises.
With a gradual, sustained approach, and consistency, you will move across the ground and through the water with less effort, and more power you will feel more robust and get from A to B quicker. In the next edition, we will focus our attention on evaluating and managing muscle soreness and damage.
References: • Turn up the heat – reducing the rise in core temperature also improves exercise economy, via heat acclimation induced cardiovascular stability. By default, training in the summer heat provides a kick-start to fundamental thermal adaptations. However, the most pronounced heat acclimation advantages come from training in high heat with little or no breeze, and permissive dehydration during heat sessions – best achieved with strategic indoor artificial heat exposure. Please consult with an experienced exercise physiologist prior to embarking on heat acclimation intervention. • Even if you are training for an iron-distance event, make room in your schedule for strategic and carefully planned strength/power training, and high-intensity intervals. Time is precious when it comes training and competing. When push comes to shove, I would certainly suggest forgoing some of your lower intensity training (by cutting back the sub-maximal run, cycle, swim volume) in order to make the strength/power training fit into your schedule.
García-Pinillos et al. (J Strength Cond Res, 2017). A High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)-Based Running Plan Improves Athletic Performance by Improving Muscle Power. J Strength Cond Res. Jan;31(1):146-153 Vikmoen et al. (Scand J Sp Med, 2015). Strength training improves cycling performance, fractional utilisation of VO2max and cycling economy in female cyclists Barnes & Kilding, (Sports Medicine, 2015) Running economy: measurement, norms and determining factors.
Dr Simon Sostaric PhD.,BAppSc.,AEP.,AES Exercise Physiologist / Sport Scientist Dr Simon Sostaric is a distinguished exercise physiologist, sports scientist, researcher and author. Simon holds a physiology doctorate (Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia), in electrolyte regulation and skeletal muscle fatigue. He is the founder and director of Melbourne Sports & Allied Health Clinic (www.msahc.com.au), with 25 years’ experience in professional sport, clinical practice and academia. For more information, Twitter: @DrSimonSostaric Facebook: @melbournesports andalliedhealthclinic
40 IRONMAN World Championship slots on offer
SUNDAY 7 MAY 2017
! P sU
text by MArgaret Mielczarek | photography by At
ith roots in ancient Polynesia, Stand Up Paddle Boarding/ Surfing, or SUP’ing, as it’s affectionately known, has been around for thousands of years. It’s a form of surfing where the rider stands on a large, oversized surfing-style board and uses a paddle to move through the water. It wasn’t until the 1960s in Hawaii when the popularity of modern-day SUP’ing started to take off. “The Waikiki Beach Boys (surf instructors) would stand on their long boards and paddle out with outrigger paddles to take pictures of tourists learning to surf,” explains Nick King of Sunny King Stand Up Paddle Boards Australia. “It allowed them to have better visibility over their group of surfing instructors and enabled them to call the sets easier as their
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upright position meant they could see the swell before the prone surfers.” But this wasn’t to last. Soon after, through surfing’s post-Gidget boom and with board designs and fashions changing, SUP’ing was almost lost to history. “A few surfers continued to SUP, but they were very much the minority,” says Nick. Enter the early 2000s. Discovering the cross-training benefits of SUP’ing legendary Hawaiian surfers Dave Kalama, Brain Keaulana, Archie Kalepa and Laird Hamilton started to SUP as another way to keep fit, to add a new dimension to their skills and to continue to train when the surf was down –you don’t need a wave to SUP. From then, the popularity of SUP’ing has continued to grow. Today SUP’ing attracts surfers and non-surfers alike. From Hollywood
A-listers Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey and Tom Brady, to pro triathletes Liz Blatchford, Luke Bell, Callum Millward, Belinda Granger and more, it seems everyone is catching the SUP’ing craze.
SUP’ing with the SUP King Being a wannabe-Gidget, I love the ocean. I love the sand, sun and surf and being out on the water. There’s something adventurous, almost dangerous and yet strangely cathartic about being out in the surf. But even though growing up I spent every summer weekend at Gunnamatta (a surf beach in Victoria) with my family, I never learnt to surf. So, when the opportunity came up to try SUP’ing for the magazine, I jumped at the chance.
Training TOOLBOX Stand up paddle boarding
ANDy FOOT PLACEMENT: Incorrect placement of the left foot created imbalance and weakness in the right ankle. “As I tried to compensate for this I eventually fell off,” says Andy.
TECHNIQUE: Margs took to SUP’ing like a duck to water.
Making the most of the last days of summer, we (the AT team) made our way to Elwood, in Melbourne, where we met passionate SUP guru, Nick King from Sunny King Stand Up Paddle Boards Australia. Nick took Andy (our Art Director) and I through the SUP’ing ropes. The conditions were perfect for a SUP that day – sunshine, blue skies and flat, not-quite-crystal waters. Before we got in the water, Nick taught us how to get up and stand on the board, how to hold the paddle and pull through the water. Then it was time to put what we learnt into practice – it was time get in. Out on the water was the perfect chance to pick Nick’s brain about SUP’ing. Australian Triathlete: What is your background in the sport? Nick King: I’ve been designing stand up paddleboards since 2007 and named our core brand after my first-born son ‘Sunny King’. Three years later, I developed a women’s series SUP when my daughter ‘Stevie King’ was born.
I’ve been surfing since I was four or fiveyears-old, and have competed in Ironman triathlons over the last 15 years around the globe. My love for the ocean was mixed with the fantastic cross-training benefits and lifestyle advantages of riding stand up paddleboards – this lead to the creation of what is now ‘Sunny King Paddle Boards’. I discovered SUP around 12 years ago and found that it ticked so many boxes. From surfing, general fitness, flat water, racing, white-water, SUP yoga or even just floating down the local waterway enjoying the view – you don’t have to be a certain type of person to paddle. Getting fit and healthy is the key! AT: It seems like it’s becoming increasingly popular. Tell us more about that. NK: SUP is the fastest growing water sport in the world. It was voted the most popular “Land and Sea Recreational Activity” in America throughout 2014-15. It is without a doubt one of the best forms of cross training as it works the core, legs and upper body all at the same time - plus it’s tonnes of fun! Everyone is benefiting from this unbelievable and exciting new water-based sport. The growth of Stand Up Paddle Boarding is truly endless in Australia. I’m excited to be a part of the SUP evolution – join us on the water!
AT: What are the benefits of SUP’ing from a health/training perspective? What are the cross-training benefits to triathletes? NK: SUP’ing is an amazing workout from head to toe. Your brain, plus all of the finite muscles of the ankles, knees and hips are always firing and yelling to each other to keep you upright on the board. Your upper body gets a super workout, as you need to initiate the power of your strokes from way down deep in your core (lower back, abs, pelvic muscles). The lower muscles of your body (hips, thighs, glutes and hamstrings) are always working, helping you stand upright on your board.
SUP workouts: • Are low impact and provide a full cardiovascular workout • Target arms, abs, thighs and butts - all at once • Improve balance and coordination - perfect for improving your board skills • Build confidence in and out of the water • Improve muscle strength, posture and tone • Increase aerobic ability and energy levels • Reduce stress levels • Focus on improving your core strength and muscular tone
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burpees: Add SUP’ing to your weekly training schedule. It’s a great way mix up your strength and core training.
We can burn 1,200 Calories an hour paddle boarding! There are plenty of triathletes who like to mix SUP’ing in with their training. Many ‘tri geeks’ are now purchasing paddle boards and fitting in a few SUP workouts to their weekly routine. It’s a perfect way to escape, get another session in, flush out some lactic acid from those weary legs and recharge the mind and muscles. Athlete’s feel the workout in many places that they don’t when participating in many other sports such as running, football, basketball, tennis, etc. SUP is a ‘non-weight bearing’ activity and gives the body a rest from all those high impact sports. As it predominately works the core based muscle groups, it’s perfect for endurance athletes, as this is the first part of our body that will break down over longer distances. AT: What are your tips on getting started with SUP’ing? NK: Our advice would be to go straight to a company that specialises in stand up paddleboards, like SUP Warehouse (www.supwarehouse.com.au). Their sole focus is getting their customers on to the best paddle board gear available for a long term purchase, but without the hefty retail mark-ups found in most outlets that possibly might have limited knowledge of correct equipment to buy, or might only have one to two paddle boards to choose from in their range. At Sunny King Paddle Boards, we have 39 different SUP’s in store to suit all types of paddlers, conditions and terrains.
AT: What equipment do you need to start? What is the range of material available (types of boards/paddles etc.)? NK: It’s simple - you can be on the water within minutes. All you need is a SUP, a paddle and a leash, and you’re on the water ready to go. At Sunny King Paddle Boards, we have a huge range of handmade epoxy and carbon SUP’s, inflatable SUP’s, and we even make polypropylene composite boards for heavy usage, rentals and even white-water paddling. AT: What’s the process involved in selecting the right board? What would you recommend to someone starting out? NK: The optimum length and width of a SUP will depend on a SUP rider’s height and weight. SUPs are a small vessel that you’re standing on, so the larger the ‘volume’, the more it helps to float. The bigger the board, the easier it will ‘glide’ through the water and will also be more stable. Smaller paddlers (55-75kgs) would look at a 10’6”x 30” board. Bigger riders (75-90Kgs) would look at 11’6”x 30” boards. Two things to remember are storage and manageability. Riders must feel comfortable carrying a SUP to the beach by themselves. Boards are relatively lightweight, weighing between 9.510.5kgs. If the board is too big and heavy, you simply won’t use it. You also have to have enough room for storage. For those that have limited storage, we also manufacture iSUP’s, which are inflatable paddle boards that pack away into a compact backpack - perfect for people with boats, travelling overseas, or who have limited storage at home.
AT: What are some safety tips for people starting out in SUP’ing? NK: Always wear a leash, even in flat water. Paddle boards are lightweight and if you fall off it will float away quickly even if its only 5 knots. Try to paddle with a friend or social group. Find some protected waterways, which are best to start in with minimal wind, swell, etc. Check the weather conditions before you leave the house – you don’t want to be paddling in high winds, lightning, storms, etc. If you’re more than 400 meters offshore, a Level 1 PFD (bum bag type) is also required in most states – check this with local paddler’s or ask your local Marine Authority for further clarification. AT: Is SUP’ing a year-round sport or only something done in the summer months? NK: It’s definitely is a year-round sport. Some of the best paddling conditions we have are during winter in Melbourne. Yes, it’s cold, but the wind drops. You will rapidly increase your skill set and will not fall into the water if you pick the right conditions to paddle in the cooler months. Just wear your regular gym gear, a top you can unzip and put around your waist, throw on a beanie and some booties and you’re ready to go! AT: Where are the best places to go SUP’ing? NK: Anywhere there’s water. Whether it’s out in the surf, rivers or inland waterways - all you need is nine inches of water, so you don’t catch your fins on rocks, riverbeds or sandy beaches. There are endless possibilities. I’ve been involved with the guys from ‘Global Paddler’ who make Paddling Books for each state listing the top places to paddle kayaks, SUP’s, etc. It’s worth getting a copy for your local area to explore your best waterways.
SUNNY KING FITNESS: Sunny King Paddle Boards offer a range of boards, including fitness boards. Now you can do your strength and core workouts on the water.
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What do the pro’s think? When did you take up Stand-up Paddleboarding? Callum Millward: I started in 2012 in Boulder, CO. A friend of my homestay had a SUP and suggested we try it in the Boulder reservoir. It was a lot of fun, and relatively easy on a flat body of water.
AT: What are the services that you provide? Lessons/equipment hire/corporate events/ triathlon squad events etc. What is the cost involved? NK: We do it all! We can customise SUP gear to your needs - like we did for Ironman Melbourne. We Hire out SUP’s from our SUP Warehouse in Mordialloc starting from $30 per hour. We do group lessons ($60 per hour) and individual lessons ($80 per hour). We provide all the gear you need. We also have free social paddling groups that people can join on Facebook to come paddle anytime and get involved in the sport. Email email@example.com for the links. We also do Women’s Fitness Days, SUP Yoga Days and Retreats. Sunny King Paddle Boards has a large fleet of SUP’s for corporate ‘team building’ days, kids parties, hen’s days, AFL team preseason camps, triathlon club boot camps and more. We cater to everyone’s fitness needs and goals. AT: Great, thanks Nick. Where can people contact you if they would like more information? NK: If you’d like more information on all things SUP, feel free to contact me, Nick King anytime: Mobile: 0415 228 026 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.supwarehouse.com.au
SUP! So, how did the AT team go paddle boarding? I loved it! I was a little wobbly at the start, but once I got the hang of it and got going, I wanted to go further and faster. I think I may have found my new sport or at least a fun way to incorporate strength and core into tri training. Andy loved it too - “It was a lot of fun. I thought it was going to be harder than it was, so I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I got the hang of it. But it did highlight some instability and weakness in my ankles and knees. So, while it’s a great activity for core and strength training, it’s also a great tool for athletes to learn about their bodies, in particular, their weaknesses or areas they need to work on.”
Liz Blatchford: About three years ago - I first went with a friend who has a couple of boards. It was growing ever popular, and I thought I’d better give it a go for myself. Not long after that first try, I ended up purchasing one for myself. I bought a hybrid that works well on both flat water and in the surf. Luke Bell: Five years ago through the influence of my wife Lucy who is an avid “SUPer” and the current Victorian State Champion at both ‘Surf’ and ‘Technical SUP Race event’. I like to split my time between prone paddling and SUP paddling, each of which has different benefits. Now we seem to have more SUP/Prone/Surfboards at our place than I do bikes.
What are the benefits to triathletes? Callum: The obvious benefits of SUP’ing would be the great core workout. A large part of SUP’ing is balance, which requires most muscles in your body to fire at one point or another while paddling. Besides the cross training benefits, its also a nice mental stimulus to do an activity outside of swim, bike or running. Liz: Probably all the standard things you have heard - core stability, arm strength and bit of balance are commonly know benefits. An added benefit I find is it really works my feet and lower legs. Given I’ve had a lot of trouble with my feet recently, anything that strengthens them I feel is good for me. On very flat calm water it is also a very relaxing activity. Luke: SUP/Paddling is a great alternative [to training]. I am not saying it is a complete substitute for swimming, biking or running, as you need to be “specific” to your needs as an athlete to improve. However, doing something alternative to the ‘normal’ is great for the body both mentally and physically. While out on the water your body is using muscles not always engaged while training. Think of about keeping balance on a base that is always moving (water) beneath you. You are using muscles from your toes, perineal muscles through to you major muscles groups of quads, hamstrings, core chest and shoulders to stay upright, stable and moving. The mental benefit is being about to get out of the pool and take in the surroundings out on the water. Standing up provides you with an entirely different perspective view while being able to cover more distance.
Tips for beginners – Callum: Everything is always better with friends, so I would encourage you to find a friend, perhaps rent a SUP for the first few times to see whether it’s for you. It’s always a good laugh to see the panic in your mate’s eyes moments before toppling into the water. Liz: Go for flat, calm water to begin with. Paddling upwind can be a bugger on a SUP so paddle in a sheltered place or on a calm day, to start with, and always pay attention to what the wind is doing and the fact you may need to tackle it to get back to where you started. As far as equipment goes, hire or borrow a few before you purchase. They are pretty easy to get the hang of. Start with something wide and stable, and if you feel totally comfortable on that, then you can consider going narrower for a faster paddling SUP. The narrow, faster SUPs may not be suitable for taking in the waves to surf, so that is something to consider if/when buying one. Also get the paddle fitted correctly, so you aren’t over reaching and risking shoulder damage. Some basic guidance on paddling technique from a hire shop wouldn’t go astray too. Luke: For the first timer always remember to have huge respect for the ocean and weather. Be weary of wind conditions as you can get into trouble quite quickly. To begin with stay close to shore and within your comfort zone and always have respect and be wary for other watercrafts out there. Before you take your SUP into the surf take a few lessons and learn from others to ensure you are aware of the surf etiquette and have a positive first experience.
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Strength training - isn’t a “one size fits all” affair text by kriss hendy | photography by Shutterstock.com
e all have our preferences when it comes to our triathlon training - indoors vs. outdoors, treadmill vs. trails, and group sessions vs. going solo. But whose place is it to judge what is right or wrong? The same goes for strength training - one size does not fit all! In this two-part series, we will look into a few of the different options you have for incorporating strength training into your weekly routine.
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We are all motivated differently. We need to remember that, yes, sometimes we need to do the sessions that we don’t enjoy so much, but generally speaking we need to make sure training is effective and completed with quality - what works for a friend may not work for you. The majority of us do this sport to enrich our lives, to challenge ourselves and enjoy the journey along the way. As notoriously ‘time poor’ athletes, we need
to be as efficient and as realistic as we can be, this way, training will fit in with life and family, rather than ruling it. What we must remember is that when choosing a strength training approach, however different the method, we should all be aiming for a similar goal – to develop stronger and healthier bodies for everyday health, as well as performance.
Training TOOLBOX strength and conditioning
Key points to ensure a quality strength and conditioning program: • Initially, establish and confirm a range of basic health and fitness standards through a range of exercises and tests. For instance, ensure a full range of motion and motor control with a number of simple household movements, such as squatting, bending over, crouching low, reaching up overhead and maintaining an upright posture. • The programming should look to consistently challenge both your strength and fitness components this includes all the variables that are associated with fitness, such as balance, coordination, flexibility, etc.
Strength training: Incorporate strength into your training to develop strong and healthy bodies.
Whether your strength work finds you in the gym, at home or outdoors, all have their benefits. — Kriss Hendy
• The work should look to test your motor control and skill level under a wide variety of intensities, and differing situations that will transfer to the unpredictable environments and situations that we find ourselves in. It’s sometimes hard to understand whether your program encompasses these key points. If you’re unsure, discuss them with your strength trainer/coach to make sure you are getting the most out of your sessions.
Gym Do you need to be training in a gym to adhere to a strength program? This question is similar to asking whether having a home office is the most productive workspace. For some, we simply need a separate place of work to get business done. The benefit of training in a purpose built facility is that of structure and purpose, as well as a wide provision of equipment. However, for gym training to be effective, you need to stay on track. The gym can provide a great social environment and the opportunity to train with others, but focus is essential if you want to gain anything from the workouts. Intensity, rest intervals, technique and structure, need to be prioritised over sending Snapchats or checking Facebook. Ideally, when you head to the gym, you need to walk in, get the work done and get out so you can recover properly through rest and nutrition. Australian Triathlete |
I believe you should train in the same environment you race in, to be — Jarryd Bates accustomed to it.
Home Training at home can often risk being pushed aside for other more pressing matters like housework, napping or, commonly, watching TV. But for those with enough self-discipline training at home can be the best way to implement strength work into an already hectic lifestyle. For triathletes who are short of time, work long hours and have little mouths to feed, the ‘home gym’ has become a realistic and convenient option. The work can be done effectively and efficiently with a surprisingly small amount of equipment as experienced Physio and triathlon coach Alex Price explains: “Setting up something at home is great because strength work needs to be done regularly and consistently, and for most, the travel to and from a gym just isn’t possible. So, the ability to do it at home, after dinner, half an hour here or there, without having to travel away from their family, is ideal.” “When a ‘time poor’ triathlete normally wouldn’t be able to fit it in, from a consistency standpoint it can be of real benefit. For some having it at home doesn’t always work as they like to have training separate but that’s just the mental side of things. From a practical perspective, in my opinion, you really don’t need many fancy tools to get a strength and conditioning workout done. This way is affordable. Even if it’s not the best equipment money can buy, doing something is better than nothing.”
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Outdoors Training outdoors provides an opportunity to be physically active in a constantly changing environment. The more challenging the environment, the harder the body is going to have to work to sustain an efficient work rate. And in a country that is blessed with good weather for the majority of the year, who doesn’t want to be outside making the most of it! Changing temperatures, altering surfaces and surrounding stimuli can
place both physical and mental demands on the athlete, which can help them enormously come race day. Getting out in the fresh air eliminates the common restrictions indoor training can have, i.e. space, other gym users and a costly monthly membership. Strength Coach, Jarryd Bates of Pro Movement is a strong advocate of training outdoors. “I believe you should train in the same environment you race in, to be accustomed to it.” “I think you gain more from being outside - there are no limitations at all, all exercises and areas of the body can be worked, if you know how to use your body. Training outside helps, as you are going to be competing outside - so it gives you the
Training TOOLBOX strength and conditioning opportunity to get your nutrition on point and to hydrate. Athletes who train inside and then compete outside (especially in this country) get a shock when they get out in the heat.” But Bates, who is accustomed to working with the likes of Jan Frodeno, agrees that extreme conditions need to be considered with the individual in mind. “Depending on whether you are doing the sport for health and fitness, or for your next contract, will determine how far you push your body - it needs to be done in a safe way. It’s so competitive out there - if you are willing to spend as much money as people do on new wheels for their bike, why wouldn’t you try to push yourself in your training environment.”
there are a variety of ways you can strength train to enhance movement, make you more resilient and prevent injury. So, act now before it’s too late. Stay tuned for Part 2 where we will look further into some different training methods and the equipment that you could use in your training.
Strength & Performance Coach
Thanks to our Strength for Endurance Trainers for their contribution to this article:
Summary Whether your strength work finds you in the gym, at home or outdoors, all have their benefits. This is a choice that you need to make, so discuss it with your coach and decide which option fits in with your lifestyle, and individual needs as an athlete. Money, equipment and time should not be an excuse for poor health -
Alex Price AP10 - www.ap10.com.au Based in Wollongong, NSW Jarryd Bates Pro Movement www.promovement.com.au Based in Noosa, QLD
Seeing the need for better athlete education and understanding with regards to Strength & Conditioning for the Endurance Athlete. Kriss works with a variety of athletes from Age Groupers to Professionals, developing programs that support and heighten their endurance performance. Kriss is based in Byron Bay with his wife (Professional Triathlete) Polly Hendy. He has both a local & International client base that use his Online Strength Training Packages. For further details or to contact Kriss: www.khstrengthandperformance.com Twitter: khendy3 Instagram: @kriss_hendy
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Benefits of attending a triathlon training camp
t e x t b y Sa r a h G r o v e p h o t o g r a p h y b y s h u t t e r s t o c k . c o m A N D S A R A H GROVE
raining camps aren’t new to the triathlon world. They have grown in popularity over recent years, and almost every triathlon club, squad or training group hold two to three camps a year to provide athletes with a spike in training as they lead into specific phases of the season. There are also an increased number of specialist facilities and training centres, such as Thanyapura, Phuket that are designed specifically for holding and running training camps. There are lots of options for athletes to gain the benefits of attending a training camp.
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Before you jump in and sign up for a camp, I’ve put together a list of the different types of training camps on offer, the benefits of attending training camps, and what to look for so you can ensure you get your best return on investment – both from your time and money.
What are Triathlon Training Camps? Triathlon training camps provide athletes with a dedicated and specific time to focus all their energy on training, learning and recovering, without the distractions of day-to-day life. Many training centres/
triathlon clubs market this as a way of experiencing the ‘pro’ life – essentially, not having to think about anything other than what time you have to be ready for your next session, what to wear, what to eat and how much recovery you can get in-between sessions. Sounds pretty good, right? What can differ though is the quality, the quantity and the benefits you can get from training camps. With camps ranging anywhere from $150-200 for two to three days, up to $1500+ for five to six days, there’s big variance and variety on offer. So, it’s important for an athlete to understand not only the benefits of attending training camps but also what value for money you are receiving.
Training TOOLBOX Holistic Endurance
What you can gain from a training camp: There are so many benefits for attending training camps aside from the physical training itself, including:
Training With Like-Minded People When you put a group of like-minded people together, they bring the best out in each other, and camps are fantastic for this!
The Training Benefit
Types of Triathlon Training Camps: Off-season training camps – focus on building base fitness, volume and strength. These include volume based sessions, often in hilly locations for strength and endurance.
Pre-season Training Camps – typically timed from four to eight weeks out from the start of the season or a key race, these camps are designed specifically to fine-tune athletes and give a final spike in training. Typically, sessions are more race specific, i.e., time-trials, pace and speed work, runs off the bike and open water swimming skills.
A training camp allows you to simply focus on training and recovery, leaving your regular routine behind for a few days, and train with no distractions. You will gain the benefits of a big spike in training load (training overload) a few weeks after you return from the camp as long, as you look after your recovery during and after the camp.
Challenging and Empowering Camps are a great way to push you both mentally and physically, and provide an environment that is encouraging and supportive. You will walk away with greater confidence, a positive mindset and increased motivation after achieving levels of training you didn’t think were possible!
A Learning Experience A training camp is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about all areas of triathlon. You will often find you learn something about yourself as an athlete and as a person also – there’s nothing like climbing a mountain or finishing a long ride that’s bigger or longer than you have done before.
In-season Training Camps – focus on race-specific sessions, focusing and challenging athletes as they build through their race season. These are excellent for spikes mid-season when athletes can find themselves in a little rut. Altitude Training Camps – you often see these over the summer break when the weather in alpine regions is favourable for summer sports training. The focus of these camps can differ, but generally, you will see time spent at altitude and long, strength-endurance sessions of hilly and challenging terrain.
Destination Training Camps – often chosen during a winter period to attend a location that’s warm and sunny. Think Queensland for those who live in colder climates, or how does Thailand sound in the middle of winter?
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What to expect at a training camp This is where camps can differ widely. In general, like most things in life, the more you pay, the more you get. But that’s not always necessarily the case. So, it’s worthwhile doing your research and due diligence to understand what it is you are going to receive at the camp and that these meet your expectations.
What to look for in a camp: 1. The Coach/s If you are attending a training camp that isn’t with your own coach, I recommend doing some research into the coaches/ coaching group running the camp. Find out what coaches will be on hand, what experience they have running camps, their coaching style and philosophy to ensure it matches with what you are looking for. Find out what the coach to athlete ratio is, as this can impact the amount of time you get to spend with coaches. A good number is around 1:8/10 - one couch to eight to 10 athletes. It is also important to understand the expectation of the amount of ‘coaching’ that will take place at the camp. Some camps have coaches on hand but lead sessions rather than coach (i.e., don’t provide technique feedback, etc.). So, it is important to understand this and know whether this meets your level of expectation and what you want to gain from the training camp.
Camp camaraderie: A big part of training camps is support from fellow athletes.
2. The Itinerary and Timing What does the camp itinerary look like? Does it challenge you and focus on areas you need? How much time is spent training? What is the volume of training in each discipline (along with the quality), and the recovery/downtime between sessions? It is important to remember, though, that most camps don’t have a lot of ‘down time’, so don’t expect loads of free time between sessions to head out for coffees and long naps! Also, ensure the timing of the camp works with your key race/s and the type of sessions specific to the time of year for you. You may find a great camp, with the perfect coaches but if the timing is wrong,
5. The Philosophy then it could mess up your training build. Remember: it’s not just what you do during the camp, but how you recover, adapt and grow afterwards where the gains are also made.
3. The Location and Weather Is the location appealing to you? How far is it to travel to? What costs are associated with the travel? What do you have access to when you arrive? (i.e., shops, cafes, public transport if you have to fly in, etc.) I also suggest checking what the weather is generally like at the time of year it is being held. Weather can play a big part on how much you enjoy a training camp!
4. The Level/Ability What level/ability is the camp catering to? Will there be other athletes of similar ability attending? How many athletes will be at the camp, and what type? A big part of camp is the camaraderie and support from fellow athletes, so this is an important one. Also, find out if there is flexibility around the itinerary if it doesn’t quite match your ability/skill/confidence level. Most coaches will adapt a camp to suit the needs of the athletes attending, but it’s always important to ask first!
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What is the coaching/training philosophy of the coaches/coaching group? What coaching methods/principles do they go by? A lot of the time this may not be clear, so ask the question. Also, find out what nutritional principles they go by if this is important to you. Ensuring you find the right coaching fit is important, so do your research and ask questions, and make sure you are comfortable with these.
6. Learning and Education Every training camp can be different in what it offers – not only on the training front but also in terms of education and learning. Personally, I believe the more you pay for a camp, the more education and learning you should be able to take away from it. So, find out how much you will learn as opposed to simply getting out there and training. There are some fantastic camps with great guest speakers covering all topics, such as nutrition for training and racing, physiology, psychology, recovery methods, mobility and activation techniques, swim, bike, run technique development – the list is endless. There is so much to learn about the sport that I highly recommend finding a camp that has a good mix of training, and learning and education.
Training TOOLBOX Holistic Endurance
Further questions to ask/find out: So, all this sounds fantastic to you, and you want to go out and lock yourself into the next training camp that comes up? If so, awesome because camps are an amazing experience! But here are a few final questions to ask, to make sure you find the right camp just for you.
What else is included in the package price? Is food included or do you have to bring your own?
If food is included, what and how much? This can be particularly important if you have any food sensitivities or intolerances, or if you follow a particular nutrition plan/ guideline. Expect at most camps the food to be carb-based – so if this is not part of your nutrition philosophy ask more questions or seek alternatives.
Is accommodation provided? Most camps do arrange the accommodation to make it simple, but some don’t. So ensure you find this out.
If accommodation is provided, what type is it? Shared houses? Apartment style? Lodges? Bunk rooms? This may or may not influence your decision, but it’s good to know whether you expect to get a double bed with ensuite, or sleeping bunkroom style with four other athletes. Accommodation is a big cost factor in the overall camp price. So, the more luxurious the accommodation, the higher the price point of the camp.
Are there any additional costs? Sometimes there are hidden additional costs to the camp so ask to find out if there are any – such as pool access, dinner outings, etc. It all forms the overall cost of your camp experience.
Sarah Grove Sarah Grove is a Triathlon Coach with Holistic Endurance. Sarah competes competitively at all levels of triathlon and has raced around the world including the Ironman World Championships. She shares her coaching knowledge, experience and education with athletes of all levels to help them achieve their optimal performance while living a balanced, happy and healthy life. More information: www.holisticendurance.com.au
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Key training sessions to improve your bike – Part Two t e x t b y j u l i e t e dd e | p h o t o g r a p h y b y I TU m e dia
n my last article, ‘Key Training Session To Improve Your Bike – Part 1’, published in magazine edition 24.4, we discussed the benefits of laying down a strong aerobic foundation. We talked about the need to build strength, to develop your skills and speed before you begin to put in greater amounts of higher intensity anaerobic training, which utilises the lactic acid system. Just as building anything it requires you to start with a solid foundation, so does building your fitness. We laid this foundation down in the last article, discussing aerobic endurance, muscular force (strength) and speed skills. It is better to build your fitness from the ground up, establishing a strong aerobic base before moving into serious, anaerobic work.
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The areas we will focus on in this article are: 1.
2. Anaerobic endurance 3. Muscular power
The training program will have increased amounts of these as you move to your build/competition phase of your year.
The purpose of doing training that develops muscular endurance is to experience less fatigue towards the end of an event, no matter what the distance. The efforts are moderate in terms of intensity and lead to greater aerobic leg strength and muscular endurance. This is the type of workout that prepares the athlete for a steady, longer effort required in the Sprint/Olympic/ Ironman 70.3/Ironman bike leg.
It is always better to build your fitness from the ground up, establishing a strong aerobic base before moving into serious anaerobic work. — Julie Tedde
ÂŠ Wagner Araujo/ITU
Anaerobic Endurance Technically anaerobic endurance training is kept for the build and competition phase of a training program, but there is nothing wrong with keeping a few of these types of efforts in your base period. Just remember to keep the time of efforts short, with plenty of recovery in between each effort. However, in the example program below, we will be talking about how to include this type of training into your build or pre-competition phase. These intervals have been shown to boost aerobic capacity (VO2max), and anaerobic threshold. They help you cope with the hills, help you push to get away from other athletes, and help you race and stay strong in the wind. These efforts are generally quite short - about two to four minutes with equal recovery but done at threshold or faster pace.
Muscular Power In part one of this two-part article series, we spoke about how to include strength training on the bike via hills and big gears. One of the benefits of the initial strength training is that we now have more force to work with, and can use to develop muscular power (the ability to produce force quickly). Despite muscular power not being critical in triathlon, it assists when required - to sprint past another competitor and cycling uphill.
Efforts are very short <20 seconds and are at maximum effort, with plenty of recovery in between efforts. When
Start of Build
2hr ride - 3mins every 15mins at
2hr ride - after warm up 5x2mins
1hr ride â€“ 10 sec flat out 3mins
85-87%MHR or sub threshold
hard or at 87%+MHR or threshold
at max. effort
power and heart rate or
power and heart rate/2min easy
6x 6mins efforts/90 sec recovery
10x 2mins at 87%+MHR or threshold
10x 5 sec max efforts on
spin. Efforts at 85-87%MHR or
power and heart rate/2min easy
the 30 sec
sub-threshold power and heart
10x 10 sec max efforts on
rate or moderately hard
the 60 sec
5x12mins efforts/90 sec recovery
8x4mins at 87%+MHR or threshold
Include 40mins in the ride as 20
spin. Efforts at 85-87%MHR or
power and heart rate/4min easy
sec max efforts on the 40mins
sub threshold power and heart rate or moderately hard
Note: From a combination of the aerobic and strength work done earlier in your preparation, the speed you generate from tapping into the anaerobic lactic acid system will allow you to make gains to improve your performance long term. Remember: it is always better to build your fitness from the ground up, establishing a strong aerobic base before moving into serious anaerobic work.
julie tedde Julie is Head Coach of TRG Triathlon and Multisport, with 20 years coaching experience working with Junior Development all the way through to Kona Ironman athletes.
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tips & tricks Guidelines for realising an Ironman on 12 Hours per week t e x t b y n i c k c r o f t | p h o t o g r a p h y b y G e t t y ima g e s
regularly get approached by athletes who have raced Olympic Distance and Sprint events for a few years, and who now have a desire to step up to do an Ironman. These athletes assume this means three hours training a day (more on weekends), and fear the lack of time they can commit to training just wonâ€™t allow them to get to the finish, while maintaining work and family, life and function. A weekly training volume in realistic, available and sustainable hours that gets spoken of is around the 12-hour mark, with the potential to step up to a ceiling of 15-hours per week from time to time. Most athletes embarking on an Ironman for the first time are not
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necessarily looking to win or to get to Kona, but want to tick the box and get to the finish in a healthy state to get the experience that only an Ironman knows. Although, you may be surprised that many age-groupers who perform very well are in the same boat, and put in some very impressive performances on what is perceived as limited training time for an Ironman. It is most definitely possible to finish an Ironman having 12-hours, or so, each week to train on average. The key to Ironman is to get as fit on the bike as you can with the time available â€“ so around 50% of your training time should be allocated to the bike, about 15% the swim and the remainder to the run. It is important to give yourself ample time to prepare for an Ironman. Choose an event that will allow you to do some Ironman 70.3 distance events along the way to get some longer race experience, and to test your training, your nutrition and, indeed, give you an indication where you may need to tweak your training program. Your long rides and runs are key, and would generally be done on the weekend if you work a regular five-day working week, Monday to Friday. In a 12-hour training week, allocate at least six hours a week to the bike. This could be broken
down to a four-hour longer ride on the weekend, and a couple of shorter mid-week rides, aiming to get close to the race distance on at least one occasion. The midweek rides could be 2 x 1-hour or 1 x 2-hour and done on a wind-trainer to maximise training time, and to eliminate distractions for constant pedalling. Swim at least twice per week (getting in at least 2.5-3 hours per week total) - if
Nick Croft Nick Croft is a former professional and Australian Triathlete of the year. A two- time Noosa Triathlon winner and coach for the last 22 years. Nick coaches athletes of all abilities in his home town of Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine coast and runs Noosa Tri Camps and online coaching through www.mscsport.com.au
Below are some key points to consider when training for an Ironman: Getting a professional bike set up is highly recommended when stepping up to Ironman. The bike becomes the focus point in both training, and on race day. Being weak or unfit on the bike will hurt your run, even if you are a strong runner.
Ironman: Whether you finish in the last hour or earlier in the day, have faith that 12 hours training per week is adequate to get you across the finish line
you can swim with a swim squad all the better. For the run: aim for three times a week (getting in a total of 3-3.5 hours per week), with up to two of those runs being off the bike. For the longer run build up to two hours, then add a handful of second runs on that same day, in the afternoon to get the total run volume up - with a few 25km runs, a 28km and one longer 30-32km around 4-5 weeks out from the target Ironman.
A coach can help provide some guidance in planning your training and can help you navigate the pathway, to maximise the limited time you have to train. Having someone to report back to each week also helps greatly. Pacing and nutrition on race day are key elements that will make or break your experience. Furthermore, doing your weekly training sessions at higher intensity can make up for some ‘lost volume’ also.
Race nutrition takes on a whole new importance. There are so many sports nutrition products on the market these days, and they all do the same thing as far as feed you carbohydrates. But the important thing is seeing what agrees with you in both taste and style of fuel delivery (gel, concentrated carb blend drink, energy bar, lollies and so on). This is a process that needs to be trialled in training, well before race day. The swim is not as important if you’re not trying to win the race. It takes up only 10% of the time spent on course, so to get to your absolute potential for quite a small return overall, you would need to swim two hours a day, five days a week, which is totally unrealistic. Australian Triathlete |
tips & tricks So, do 2-3 x 1-hour sessions per week, making sure to address your technique. Also, make sure that your swim sessions are specific to your goal event. For example, a wetsuit or non-wetsuit swim in the race does change the way you should train leading in. If your target race will be a wetsuit swim, incorporate the use of hand paddles and a pull buoy in your training, due to the strength aspect required to get the arms/shoulders ready for racing in a long sleeve suit. No early season longer rides – keep the intensity up and focus on strength. The last eight weeks of the prep is more important to get the endurance up with longer rides and runs. Develop speed (sub-threshold) earlier in the prep and go longer later. Bike more solo than with groups. For both your indoor training sessions and your outdoor rides, you should try to ride alone as much as possible as group rides include lots of drafting, socialising and changes of pace – all of which won’t be happening during your actual Ironman. So, ride solo and avoid groups during your cycling sessions. You’ll get much more return for your time invested. Indoor cycling generally offers better returns and allows you to train at odd hours. Cycling indoors can also help you maintain focus entirely on the effort. There are many age-group athletes, and pros alike, that spend the majority of bike time indoors, and there have never been more options to get an excellent smart trainer to ride to data and power, and simulate race specific terrain, and focus on where you need to improve, than now. Bike fitness crosses over well to running, so don’t discount the cross training benefit you can get by on with lower run volume, with cycling as part of your training.
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Gym work: Make sure you incorporate strength training.
So, 50% of your training time should be allocated to the bike, about 15% the swim and the remainder to — Nick Croft the run. No Runs over two hours in one single run in training. Running after two hours results in fatigue creeping in, and affects form. It is better to go for shorter, 90 minute runs and include some higher intensity intervals or hill repeats throughout, and to look at adding a second run over shorter distance later that day. For example, a second 20-40
minute semi-recovered run (as far and nutrition and hydration go), where you will still have some fatigue in the system but will essentially do the run with better form. Using Deep Water running and the Elliptical trainer in a gym can also add to running without overloading or stressing the system/joints, which can occur if trying to do more than three runs per week.
Add some specific gym work. Studies have shown that strength training can improve endurance performance by increasing neuromuscular recruitment, efficiency and economy – especially for cyclists and runners. Recovery – you may be only able to do a six-day training week schedule based on family commitments. This can work out well regards to recovery. You can go by feel and rest as body tells you, or work in set recovery periods – not necessarily days off but a very light swim session to move a bit. Total rest days though may be needed for any illness or extra work/family commitments. You’ll find that with this form of seemingly lower volume training, you will recover faster and will also get by on a minimal taper leading into the Ironman - where you just back it off the last week or so before your Ironman rather than a longer three week plus, lead-in. Australian Triathlete |
To maximise storage further, you should not have to eat too much more than normal. Instead, it is about adapting your macro’s a little to place greater priority on carbohydrate than usual. As a general guide, we aim for anywhere between 6-10g of carbohydrate per kilogram of bodyweight in the days leading up to race day. But the amount you need, individually, depends on your habitual intake, your fitness level and body composition. Let’s use breakfast as an example. Your typical recovery breakfast may look like eggs on toast with some avo, and coffee. In the days leading up to the race, you may want to switch this to a more carbohydrate-centric breakfast, such as Bircher Muesli topped with yoghurt, maple syrup, berries and a banana. The portion doesn’t need to be excessive. However, by switching to a more carbohydrate-centric breakfast, your carbohydrate intake has just doubled.
Long-Course Nutrition t e x t b y A l i c ia Ed g e p h o t o g r a p h y b y S h u t t e r s t o c k . c o m a n d g e t t y ima g e s
ave you ever had a bit of a nutrition fail during a race? I am talking anything from cramping, bonking, gut upset or just feeling lethargic. If you are one of the many athletes that have raised their hands to that question, let us step you through the essentials when it comes to race day nutrition planning. Triathlon nutrition holds the ability to either make or break your day. If you haven’t planned, practised and perfected your race nutrition before race day, it can all come crashing down (sometimes spectacularly) mid-race. As a sports dietitian, it hurts me to witness this suffering of others when I am out there racing or spectating. Too much time, money and commitment has been invested for it all to come down to forgetting one of the crucial components to successful racing.
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Step 1: The Pre-Race Prep Fuelling Carbohydrate (or ‘Carbo’) loading has got to be one of the most incorrectly performed sports nutrition strategies that I witness. This is not about overindulging or ingesting tonnes of sugar. Done incorrectly, you will be left feeling sluggish and fatigued come race day. The aim of carbohydrate loading is to maximise the storage of muscle glycogen. As your heart rate rises to race pace, carbohydrates become the key fuel source, so you want to be maximising the amount of carbohydrate you have available. As a long-course athlete, you have been fine-tuning your body’s ability to create and store glycogen in the muscle with all that training. So, with the taper of exercise in the lead up to the race, you will be doing a bit of carbohydrate loading without even trying.
Hydration To further maximise your carbohydrate intake, without increasing food load (or fibre!), and to assist with hydration, it is handy to incorporate some higher carbohydrate fluids into your day - fluids that you wouldn’t usually have. These could include juices, milk-based drinks or carbohydrate-containing sports drinks. To further maximise hydration, ensure you drink frequently over the day, and include water with each meal and snack. The natural electrolytes in foods will help your body maximise absorption.
Step 2: Race Day Breakfast Now, this is something you need to practice well before race day. Practice your planned race-day breakfast choices before a race simulation session or a practice race. This will ensure that you know that your breakfast of choice not only works for you but that you can tolerate it at ‘ridiculous-o’clock’. To give yourself plenty of time to digest your pre-race meal, aim to have it at least two hours before race start. What you choose will depend on what your individual preferences are, and what you can tolerate. Some of you may be able to eat right before a race with no issues (lucky things!), while others will need to space out your intake and be smart with your choices. If chowing down whole foods early in the morning is no drama, then options may include toast topped with the basics
Training TOOLBOX nutrition • Started their bike nutrition too late in the course; OR • Chosing the wrong sports nutrition products (or chose completely new options purchased at the expo!); OR • Having more carbohydrate per hour than you have trained the gut to cope with or that it can physically get through.
such as spreads, boiled eggs, fruit toast, crumpets, muesli or porridge. However, if the nerves have got to you, or you just cannot face food at that hour, there are some handy liquid options to try. Fluid options may include smoothies, and liquid meal replacements such as Sustagen Sport, Endura Optimiser, Energize Up & Go and Ensure (available from the chemist). These are convenient and energy-dense. You could also have a combination of food and fluids. It is all about getting in energy, protein and carbohydrates while minimising gut upset. Closer to race-start it is good to follow-up with a small, well-tolerated snack. About 30-60mins before that horn blares, try to get in something small and carbohydrate-based, such as a banana or sports drink, which usually sit well in the gut and are great options when you are on the go, setting up your transition area.
An example of a pre-race meal may look like: • 90-120mins pre-race: 200-300mL serve of Sustagen Sport and 1-2 x toast with your choice of spread, water/ sports drink • 30-60mins pre-race: 1/2-1 banana, water • 10-15mins pre-race: 1 x gel, water
Step 3: The Swim As you are not going to get much nutrition in the swim other than maybe a bit of electrolyte in the form of salt water, you need to maximise your intake before and after the swim. In long-course, it can be a significant amount of time between the start of the race and then refuelling again on the bike, so minimising the amount of nutrition catch-up should be a priority. To maximise intake, and to assist in reducing the risk of an insulin rebound at the start of the swim as adrenalin kicks in, you may like to add in a gel, or a sports drink about 10-15mins pre-race start. An isotonic based gel is a good option here because it doesn’t matter if you have access to water, and it tends to be better tolerated. After the swim, it is all about getting on that bike, rinsing the mouth out and starting the real race nutrition!
The maximum amount of glucose you can absorb per hour is 60g - this is capped no matter what your weight or gender. However, research shows that if we combine glucose with some fructose, we are able to absorb and tolerate anywhere from 60-90g of carbohydrate per hour, with enhanced performance. Start this intake early in the ride and find an intake pattern that works for you. Gaining nutrition from a range of sources is perfectly fine and may help with intake and tolerance. Options such as gels, gel chews, sports drink, water and whole foods are all perfect.
To achieve this, an hour example on the bike may look like: • 250-300mL of (carbohydrate containing) sports drink: 20-25g carbs • 1 x sports gel: 25g carbs • 1 x banana: 20g carbs • Sipping on water as able/needed • Total carbs per hour = 65-70g
The key to optimal nutrition on the bike is to start small and work your way up. As you incorporate nutrition in training, you are not only training your legs but also your gut. Ideally, start to consider race nutrition 6-8 weeks out from a key race, and build up from there. If you are limiting nutrition in your sessions to aid with weight loss, consider a different option. Although the concept of ‘training low’ may be advantageous at well-timed sessions, for key rides with intensity, it is best to fuel well to adapt and recover at your best.
© Getty Images
Step 4: The Bike Bike nutrition is where the magic happens. Optimal intake and hydration on the bike can make your race. It is where you are in the best physical position to tolerate and absorb your nutrition, so maximising timing and starting early is key. The most common mistakes witnessed when working with athletes in long-course are: Australian Triathlete |
Step 5: The Run We have made it to the business end of race day! You get off that bike with your jelly legs and hope that all that training and your awesome nutrition on the bike will get you through. Most athletes will find it difficult to tolerate the 60-90g carbohydrates per hour on the run. So, instead, a more reasonable 30-60g per hour is a good guide in what to aim for on the run.
This may look like: • 1 x sports gel every 40-60mins • Sip on sports drink/water/coke at aid stations as needed
© Getty Images
When we run at race pace, blood gets shunted to the muscles that need it most (‘shut up legs!’) and away from the gut. So, if you have too much fluid sitting in your gut when this happens (like if your bike nutrition and hydration was less than ideal), chances are it is going to want to empty at whichever end is easiest! No more graphics needed here, I’m sure. In working out your nutrition for the run, you need to decide: • What am I happy to carry during my run? • Am I ok to shove things in my suit? • Wear a fuel belt? • Carry things in my hands? • What’s available and what am I comfortable with using from the aid stations? • Do I only want to use the stations for water or will I also use their foods and the sports drink? These questions will help you sort the logistics of running with nutrition. If you plan on using the nutrition on course, please train with it to make sure it is right for you. Most athletes will rely more heavily on gels during the run leg than sports drink. This is mainly due to it being much easier to get down while on the move and easier on the gut than a big fluid load. Similar to the bike, you need to be trialling your planned run nutrition strategies in your race simulation sessions. This will help you work out at what intervals you can tolerate nutrition and hydration, and the logistics of what you will be able to comfortably carry.
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Step 6: The Extras Additional to fuelling, you may want to consider the extras that can play a part in performance and maximise your result. These require so much more detail than we have space for in this article, but are worth a brief look. Some of the most common inclusions you will come across are electrolyte replacements via salt capsules, caffeine supplementation and beetroot juice. These all come with their positives, but there are also risks, so it is worth doing your research and getting in touch with a sports dietitian who can help to nut out the perfect plan for you and your racing goals.
Step 7: Time to Recover! After a long-course event, most will have a decent amount of time to recover before the next training session or event. As such, although recovery post-race should be a priority, it doesn’t need to be rushed or stressed about as compared to an event with a short turnaround. If you can, aim to get a snack in that contains both carbohydrates and protein within an hour of finishing the race. If your appetite is suppressed, this can be achieved through fluids, such as milkshakes, smoothies, protein shakes made on milk or sports supplements that contain both carbohydrate and protein for recovery. After the initial recovery snack, try to eat something more substantial in the following hour. This doesn’t need to be fancy or
complex, it just needs to tick the boxes of the four R’s: Refuel (carbohydrate), Repair (protein), Rehydrate (fluid) and Revitalise (vitamins and minerals). Some options are all day breakfasts, lean meat and veggie pizzas, burgers or café meals such as wraps or sandwiches. Nutrition for a long-course triathlon can be complicated, with many variables. Sports dietitians are specifically trained in forming an individualised race program that integrates your individual needs, history and goals while minimising the risk of gut upset. They will adapt your plan as your training leads into race day, and have it perfected as much as possible by the time the big day rolls around. Think of it as one, amazing return on investment in minimising nutrition failure after all the training, time and financial commitment required to get to the start line.
Alicia Edge Alicia is an Advanced Sports Dietitian with an online sports nutrition business, Compeat Nutrition. She is also a mum and triathlete, so advice extends beyond the basics and is instead focused on providing effective and achievable nutrition for both training and racing.
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Fri e Ri c
O ÂŠ Shutterstock.com
ur Veggie Fried Rice is one of our favourite recipes to accompany a meal in the lead up to an event. Rice packs the perfect amount of carbohydrates and tends to sit in the stomach better than a big load of pasta for many athletes. The addition of the soy sauce also adds some handy salt to the meal to help with optimum hydration pre-race as well. We often team this up with a simple fillet of grilled chicken marinated in a combo of peanut butter, soy sauce, sweet chilli and garlic. Enjoy this fresh twist to an old classic!
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Prep Time: 10mins Cook Time: 20mins Difficulty: Easy
ng spin A healthier, more satisfyi on a favourite dish
Veggie fried Rice Ingredients:
• 3 eggs
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
Cook rice according to packet instructions (can be done in advance). Put aside to cool.
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
2. Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk to combine.
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
3. Heat the wok and oil over medium heat. Pour the egg mix into the pan and swirl evenly, wait for eggs to set. When set, roll eggs into a cylinder, slice and set aside.
• 1 onion, diced • 3 x lean rashers of bacon, diced (Optional) • 1 carrot, cut into strips • 1 can baby corn, drained and sliced • 1 cup sliced mushrooms • 1 cup of broccoli florets • 1 red capsicum, sliced • 1 cup frozen peas • 3 cups cold cooked rice (1 cup raw) • 2-3 tablespoon soy sauce OR Kecap Manis • 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce.
4. Heat sesame oil in the wok and add garlic, onion and bacon. Cook for 2 minutes, then add carrots, corn and mushrooms - cook for a further 2 minutes. Add broccoli, capsicum and peas and stir-fry vegetables until just cooked. Remove vegetables from the wok. 5. In the same wok, over high heat, stir-fry the cooked rice with the soy sauce and chilli sauce. Once heated, add the vegetable mixture and combine. Serve topped with the sliced egg roll.
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