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MARCH 2017 ISSUE 24.3
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2013 Ironman World Champion: Frederik Van Lierde
CO N T E N T S
08 the rise of charlotte mcshane Noel McMahon talks to Australia’s highest ranked ITU female triathlete, Charlotte McShane, about her Aussie triathlon career, ITU racing, her most successful World Triathlon Series season and more.
18 Sarah Crowley
42 Product Spotlight
Megan Evoe speaks to Sarah about her triathlon roots, jump to full distance racing, what it’s like being a Kona rookie as a pro and her plans for 2017.
This month’s installment shines the spotlight on Oakley Radar Pace.
Dr Simon Sostaric shares his thougths on achieving optimal training-recovery balance.
72 Holistic Endurance
24 Kate Bevilaqua: The Newly Crowned Ultraman World Champion
44 Lessons From The Wind Tunnel Sam Betten shares his advice on how to achieve optimal aero dynamics to enhance race day performance.
Kate recounts her race at the Ultraman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. Read about how the event unfolded. MARCH 2017 Australian Triathlete
30 Destination: The Bellarine Peninsula
Disover what to do and see at The Bellarine Peninsula during the ‘triath-long weekend’ for race four of the Gatorade Triathlon Series.
CHARLOTTE MCSHANE - ON TRACK IN 2017
Issue 24.3 2017 AUS $9.95 inc GST
Cover: Charlotte McShane Photography: Korupt Vision
| Australian Triathlete
AT speaks to inspiring age-group triathlete, Alexandria Eves, about her tenacious drive to succeed and her Paralympic dreams.
46 Road Test: 2XU Propel Wetsuit Read about the new developments in the latest edition of 2XU wesuits - the 2XU Propel Wetsuit.
Sarah Grove shares her insight on how to know if triathlon is becoming an unhealthy obsession and what to do about it.
76 Coaches Corner Julie Tedde shares her five key run sessions to improve your running.
80 Youth & Junior
50 Road Test: Orca Women’s Alpha Wetsuit
Michelle Hemley gives her tips on decreasing the overwhelm at your child’s first triathlon.
Sarah Grove road tests the Orca Women’s Alpha Wetsuit.
53 Save, Spend, Splurge Whether you’re on a buget or have cash to burn, choose the right tri suit for you.
Sports Dietitian Alicia Edge shares her favourite Bircher Muesli recipe.
92 Dr Mitch Triathlon’s favourite doctor explores the ins and outs of ‘Adrenal Fatigue’.
A PUBLICITY PRESS PUBLICATION
Hello T his is the first edition we’ve hit the print button on since we dragged ourselves away from the beach and open roads and welcomed in 2017 - so HNY year to all! We hope you’ve had a stellar summer with all the swim, bike and run you could handle. This month we are so excited to have Charlotte McShane starring on our cover. A former Under-23 World Champion who showed amazing grit and grace throughout 2016 to cap off the year as our highest ranked ITU Female Athlete. Noel McMahon chatted with Charlotte about the year that was and what the track ahead looks like (page 8). We also talk to Sarah Crowley who had undoubtedly the best year of her career and looks set to shine on the Ironman scene in 2017 (Page 18). And speaking of shining – our latest Triathlon World Champion Kate Bevilaqua talks us through the three gruelling days that was the Ultraman World Championships in Kona and how she came out on top (page 24) The holiday and festive period, while the weather is perfect and the days long, is a time we can all experience a little bit of over-indulgence. Whether it is in the form of food and wine or perhaps even training. In this edition’s Training Toolbox our expert columnists look at this topic from all angles. Our new sports science writer Dr Simon Sostaric looks at the‘Training and Recovery Balancing Act’ on page 64,
PUBLISHER Ross Copeland EDITOR Aimee Johnsen deputy EDITOR Margaret Mielczarek ART DIRECTOR Andy Cumming Photo EDITOR Korupt Vision Advertising manager Aimee Johnsen Production, Administration
Sarah Grove gives you tips on spotting when triathlon has become an unhealthy obsession (page 72), and Dr Mitch breaks down the difference between suffering from fatigue and overtraining (page 91). We have all your tech needs covered with some of the latest and must-have Tri Products around (page 40), put the revolutionary Oakley Radar Pace sunglasses under the spotlight (page 42), while Sam Betten gives us some aero tips from his time in the wind tunnel (page44). We have a summer wetsuit special as we road test two of the best wetsuits around – The Test Lab put the 2XU Propel through its paces, while Sarah Grove went swimming in the Orca Women’s Alpha Wetsuit. It’s another jam-packed edition so grab your favourite recovery drink, hit the rollers and enjoy!
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NEWS AND Launches
SunSmart IRONMAN 70.3 Busselton Sunday 7 May 2017 The best in the west, the SunSmart Ironman 70.3 Busselton is fast approaching. Held in the picturesque southwest town of Busselton, it is the largest IRONMAN 70.3 event in the southern hemisphere, attracting elite and age group athletes from around the world. Starting in the pristine waters of Geographe Bay and with one of the fastest, flattest bike and run courses on the planet and big crowds of locals cheering you on, it’s a great race to go for that personal best. Five-time World Champion, Craig Alexander, will be back to defend his 2016 title and will be joined by local Olympian, Ryan Bailie, in his first foray into longer distance racing. The race is part of a weekend festival of triathlon that includes an open water swim, fun run and kids’ triathlon. With a great festival atmosphere and a scenic backdrop set to rival any other on the calendar, SunSmart IRONMAN 70.3 Busselton is not to be missed.
Only 100 individual entries left so register now at: www.busseltonfestivaloftriathlon.com.au.
Product Safety Recall
Felt Bicycles Model Year 2010 Model B12 and S22 Bicycles and B12 Frame sets Sold through Bicycle Retail stores from October 2009 Defects - Bicycle forks may crack at the steerer and become detached from the handlebars and bicycle Hazards - Detachment of the forks from handlebars and bicycle may result in injury. What to do - Consumers should stop riding the bicycle and return it to their place of purchase or their nearest Felt dealer to have the bicycle fork inspected and replaced if necessary. Contact Details - You can contact Customer Service at Southcott on 03 9770 8817 or 1800 805 024, firstname.lastname@example.org to find your nearest Felt retailer and to have your bike inspected.
See productsafety.gov.au for Australian product recall information
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The perfect progression into long course
or the first time, CHALLENGEMelbourne has been positioned at the end of the Gatorade Triathlon Series in April 2017. Not only is the weather perfect for triathlon at this time of year but it also gives triathletes the opportunity to build up their endurance progressively through the Gatorade Sprint and Olympic Series and finish the summer with a half iron distance triathlon. If this is on your bucket list of challenges for 2017 why not slot it in your training calendar now? If you don’t think you’ll be ready for the longer distance by April, we’ve got you covered with the CHALLENGEMelbourne Sprint event. This sorter distance event will be returning in 2017 and with such a great event kit included in your entry, CHALLENGEMelbourne Sprint works out to be amazing value. Keen to do CHALLENGEMelbourne with a friend or training partner? Then enter as a team of two or three, combining your swim, ride and run times for an overall team time. Teams must have a minimum of two and maximum of three persons competing. Not only does this allow you to split the entry fee but also all team members still get the full benefits of the CHALLENGEMelbourne entry kit. Plus, it’s a load of fun!
For all information please visit: www.challengemelbourne.com.au
E C A PL BLE D A E T I AIL M LI AV
GO WEST FOR THE BEST 5-7 MAY
AUSTRALIA’S BIGGEST & BEST IRONMAN 70.3 A big crowd of locals cheering you on, pristine beaches and one of the fastest, flattest courses on the planet in one of WA’s best holiday destinations - interested? Entries now open. Register at:
T R EG I S
NOW Australian Triathlete |
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© Korupt Vision
The Rise of
Charlotte Mcshane text by Noel McMahon | p h o t o g r a p h y b y K o r u p t v i s i o n a n d I TU m e d i a
© Korupt Vision
ooking for a change, in the form of a better lifestyle and improved weather, the triathlon-crazy McShane family left their home in Wick, in the north of Scotland, bound for Australia. Bringing with them their bikes and their youngest daughter, 15-year-old Charlotte, the family set up digs in 2005 in Victoria’s East Gippsland and embarked on a new life. Her older sisters and her dad were triathlon pioneers in Scotland, so as a kid Charlotte was always at triathlons and running races. It was only natural that when she was old enough, she would be following the family tradition. When the family settled in Bairnsdale, they found a very welcoming triathlon club that ran its own race series. The first thing on the agenda when they got off the plane was to unpack the bikes and join up. In fact, that weekend, they competed in their first race in Australia. Fast forward eleven years and that bonnie, wee lassie has just finished her
most successful World Triathlon Series (WTS) season and is now Australia’s highest ranked ITU female triathlete. “It is eleven years today that I moved over from Scotland. In some ways, it feels like I have always been here, but at the same time I can’t believe I have been here so long.” “There have been some very cool times, and I am very glad that I am racing for Australia. I have been under 23 World Champion, and that is kind of cool and now I have managed to podium in a WTS series race, which even a couple of years ago I probably wouldn’t have thought was possible.” Charlotte’s Aussie triathlon career started as part of the TriVic development program but being almost four hours from Melbourne she was on her own thing and started doing long course. But Aussie triathlon legend Craig Redman, who was in charge of the athlete pathway at the time, had other ideas. “When I was 18, Craig encouraged me and wanted me to have an opportunity to
have a crack at ITU. So he organised a little trial to see if Jamie Turner thought there was something there. I went up to Wollongong for three weeks and thankfully Jamie saw something he liked. It was a really big opportunity, so I took it.” “I moved to Wollongong in 2009, and at the time it was pretty difficult. I was moving to do a sport that I wasn’t even sure that I would be any good at. I didn’t know anyone in Wollongong, so it was a difficult thing to do and the first few months were tough.” “But when you are given an opportunity like that, and someone says to you they think you have some talent and maybe one day you could go to the Olympics, you would do anything for that. In the scheme of things that move doesn’t seem that bad.” The early years were pretty tough and results few and far between, but coach Jamie had longer term goals, and his primary focus was on improving Charlotte’s swim. “I was a terrible swimmer, so I had to pick it up to a reasonable standard. I also Australian Triathlete |
“You have to stay in the moment for every second of the two hours of the race. In the ITU, one second can change your whole race completely. Whether it is coming out of the swim or in transition and missing the group or riding in a bad position and crashing. It is just so intense all the time, and you really have to be on top of it the whole time.” “At the World Championship in London, everything went perfectly because I made it perfect. That was the biggest breakthrough. It wasn’t that it just happened by chance because I had made it my race. You have to have belief, and I had never had it before.” “Even when I won under 23s I had a lot to learn about my training. I felt like I was developing and I learned so much mentally. So I went into 2014 assuming I was going
Throughout 2013 the races I did were good, but there was always something that had gone wrong and cost me a few places. — Charlotte McShane
even whether I should continue. But in 2012, I had a few races where things started to come together, and I finished fourth in two World Cups.” “While it was frustrating to finish fourth it gave me hope that I might be able to do something. I was so close to a podium, and that was difficult at the time, but that is what kept me going. I was thinking ‘this isn’t too bad’.” While the pieces of the triathlon puzzle started to come together for Charlotte in 2013, the results she wanted still proved elusive. That was until she got it all together at the World Championships in London, where she picked up the under 23 title. “Throughout 2013 the races I did were good, but there was always something that had gone wrong and cost me a few places. I had done a lot of work with my sports psychologist, and it was instrumental in me getting my head around the fact that I could be a good athlete and have that belief in myself.”
| Australian Triathlete
to take another jump and I didn’t. So that was really tough,” she recalled. Surrounded by the supportive environment of the Wollongong Wizards and Team Jamie Turner, Charlotte went back to the drawing board and over the past two seasons she has undergone a methodical transformation. While the subtle makeover may have been missed by Australia’s blinkered Olympic team selectors before Rio, this one-time triathlon journey woman has evolved into a genuine world top ten with the potential and drive to be a force in Tokyo 2020. Fresh from her season finale, and totally out of her comfort zone fourth place in the Snowy Mountains 2016 Cross Triathlon World Championships, Charlotte is back home in Australia, chilling out and focusing on bringing her A-game to the next Olympiad. “It has been three years since I won the under 23s Worlds and I have had
© Korupt Vision
had to go from doing my own thing, to being in a squad and being told what to do and having to follow that.” “Getting my head around that was quite hard, and then I went overseas for six months in the first year, and I was exposed to some high-quality competition, which I wasn’t doing so well in.” “It is hard for any developing athlete when they first go away because you may not see any results and you are away from home, on your own without friends. So it can be difficult.” In her first year overseas Charlotte podiumed in a couple of Continental Cups and had the opportunity to race under 23 worlds to gain valuable experience but the following year was a real challenge. “It was just terrible in 2011 - it was just horrible, and I had to rethink everything,
Australian Triathlete |
improvement, but I guess it wasn’t as fast as I would have liked or as fast as a lot of other people were expecting. But I never really thought it would be. I always thought it was going to be more of a long-term thing.” “Last year I had some pretty good results, but I just didn’t have the consistency. Whereas I think this year the biggest difference has been, I have had that consistency. I had four or five top ten finishes in WTS, and of course, I got my first World Series podium.” While there has been a lot of emphasis on the podium finish in the WTS Grand Finale in Cozumel in September, Charlotte believes her race in May, in Yokohama was possibly more significant and career changing. “I had a pretty good race in Chicago last year, which was the Grand Finale, and I finished 13th, but the biggest thing from that was that I swam with the front group.” “Coming into this year, I knew I could run as a top ten athlete, and I had a lot more confidence in my swim. It was all
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about me starting to believe I belonged in the top ten.” “My confidence was up, and the best race I had was in Yokohama where I finished fifth. I was top five out of T1, and I had a really competitive run as well, and I was only nine seconds off the podium. So I think that in some ways that race was almost better than Cozumel, I just didn’t get the podium but that was the first time where I really started to put everything together, and I was strong over all three disciplines.”
Being able to swim with the first pack is so important in WTS racing and unlocking the swim has been a key factor in the emergence of Charlotte into the world top ten. “I have almost always been able to make the tail end of that front pack, and at the end of the day all you have to do is make the tail end. You don’t have to be first out of the water. “Jamie is a really great swim coach but at the same time I have had a lot more
© ITU/Janos M.Schmidt
Breakthroughs: Top: The World Championships in London, 2016 picking up the under 23 title. Left: Charlotte believed that this race in Yokohama, (albeit finishing in fifth place) was the career changer.
© Korupt Vision
Triathlon power couple: Right: Charlotte with her number one supporter, fiance Brendan Sexton.
Coming into this year, I knew I could run as a top ten athlete, and I had a lot more confidence in my swim. It was all about me starting to believe I belonged in the top ten. © ITU/Delly Carr
— Charlotte McShane
confidence in myself and I have been working on the mental side of it. I used to be so nervous on the start line before a race. All I would think about was my swim and I would be thinking negatively about it. And I would almost always have a bad swim.” “One of the things that I did this year was that I was in the water every day for four months. None of our groups swim on a Sunday, and normally I love having Sundays as my non-swim day, but I
started just using it as my recovery swim, which meant by the Monday I would be ready to go again.” “My normal routine was to have a day out of the water, and it took me another day to get back into the feel. It was just something that I added, which didn’t take much time but I think made a huge difference.” “I have been able to work on it with my psychologist and make my swim more positive. Also once you get into the habit
of it and you do start making those front groups, it is a lot easier to think positively about it. It becomes normal then.” Having a positive daily training environment of the Wollongong Wizards has been a huge help to Charlotte, but she said she cannot underestimate the value of training with the world’s best female athlete, Gwen Jorgensen, every day. “One of the biggest changes and reasons why I stepped up a few years ago was just having Gwen in the squad. She has been awesome. She is so encouraging and is always willing to help me out with advice or help me out in training. For example - I try to do all my runs with her, and if I am running beside her and I start to drop off, she will encourage me to stay with her.” Australian Triathlete |
“It is quite difficult to get training partners like that. A lot of people just get too competitive in training as opposed to trying to work out what is best for them. Gwen is awesome to have around. The standard she sets in how professional she is is amazing. Everything she does is about her sport and about performing on the day. That is something that I now try to do
| Australian Triathlete
and mimic because she is the absolute best in the world and a lot of that is down to her attitude,” she said. Watching her close friend win gold in Rio was a very special moment for Charlotte. “Gwen is so tough on herself. Even when she wins races, she comes away and thinks about ways she could
improve or anything that she did wrong. To see her cross the line in Rio, in tears with the emotion of it, you just knew that it was four years of hard work, with everything dedicated to it and she did it.” “I have seen exactly how much hard work she has put into it, and not just with her training. Just how professional she is outside her training, with her recovery and
One of the biggest changes and reasons why I stepped up a few years ago was just having Gwen in the squad. She has been awesome. — Charlotte McShane
© ITU/Janos M.Schmidt
Amongst the best: WTS Grand finale in Cozumel 2016, saw Charlotte finish behind World Champion Flora Duffy and Olympic Gold Medallist Jorgensen.
her nutrition. Absolutely everything. It is why she is so much better than everyone. She is an incredibly talented athlete but on top of that she does all these other things that not many other athletes would actually do.” Despite out performing the other Aussie females in the majority of the Olympic lead-up WTS races in Yokohama,
Leeds, Stockholm and Hamburg, Charlotte was not able to secure the final discretionary spot for Rio and join Jorgensen on the start line. Sidelined, she had to face the stark reality of watching the Olympics from afar. “To be honest, the whole Olympic thing hit me really hard and I struggled after that. I was still training, but I had a bit of
time where I didn’t put any pressure on myself. Even after that I was still training and racing, but I just lost a lot of motivation. I was more just going through the motions.” “At the end of the day I didn’t meet the automatic selection criteria, so I can’t really blame anyone but myself. I should have met that criteria and I wouldn’t have had to think about it. I learned a really big lesson there. I watched my two training partners Aaron and Ryan, and that is exactly what they did, and they didn’t have to worry about any other stresses once they made it.” While missing out on the team for Rio may have trashed her motivation temporarily, her maturity has seen her ultimately produce her best ever result, a podium in the WTS Grand Finale in Cozumel behind World Champion Flora Duffy and Olympic Gold Medallist Jorgensen. “After the Olympics, I had a bit of a low in my training, and I wasn’t in great shape Australian Triathlete |
charlotte mcshane © Korupt Vision
mentally until Cozumel, but thankfully I was still able to produce some pretty good results. In the past, I had to be in really top form and on the top of my game mentally as well, whereas now I am still able to get the job done despite being a bit underdone.” “A lot of people think that after Rio I wanted to prove a point or something, but it was never like that. I just wanted to do something good for myself. I didn’t want 2016 to be a waste because I had started to believe in myself.”
“I just wanted to end the season, walk away, be proud of what I had achieved, and tick off another goal which was to get a WTS podium. It was more about that than anything else.” As Charlotte faces up to a new WTS season and a new Olympiad, she has emerged as the fresh face of women’s triathlon in Australia. “Everyone says the next Olympics will be around before you know it and four years does seem like a long way away. But
Of course, I will want to improve on my result in the series. I want to get some more podiums because I have a real taste for it now. — Charlotte McShane 16
| Australian Triathlete
I will start thinking about 2017 once I get to Wollongong in January and then I will plan out my race calendar with Jamie. “The focus will be on the WTS, and we will have a selection race for the Commonwealth Games, which is in Australia. So I am excited to try and get selected for that. For me, that will be the main focus of the year.” “It is important that I automatically qualify and do it nice and early. Of course, I will want to improve on my result in the series. I want to get some more podiums because I have a real taste for it now,” she said.
swim with confidence: Charlotte’s extra training and focus on her swim has been a major factor for her success in 2016.
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Going the distance text by Megan Evoe | photography by Korupt vision and Getty Images
I was your average Aussie kid growing up. Having two older brothers, I was always dragged around as the spare fielder, front marker for a sprint, or my back was used to take AFL marks. I played just about everything but settled into swimming, running and softball at high school.
My interest in triathlon stemmed from a local aquathon I watched in my hometown of Adelaide. In 2003, when I was about 19 years old, I went out and watched the event, which was in honour of a local, Sam White at Glenelg Beach. It was an enduro format race, and I thought it was so exciting that I signed up at the club. I was out there the following day training! In the beginning, triathlon was all about fun for me. My first actual triathlon was an Olympic distance at West Lakes in Adelaide. It was tough, but I must have enjoyed it enough to get hooked. I was 20 years old, and I think I won my age group. However, with my background in sports, I improved quickly. By 2008, I was on the podium at the Noosa triathlon with Emma Snowsill and Emma Moffat. I was always a runner and loved going fast. Triathlon was a new challenge that offered constant improvement, variety from running, and the ability to race most weekends. I think I was hooked on the concept of getting quicker and trying to reach my potential. Triathlon presents challenges and trade-offs and mastering this was what got me coming back.
My favourite part of racing an Ironman is surviving the race while trying to go as fast as you can - that is — Sarah Crowley such a challenge. 18
| Australian Triathlete
© Getty Images/Ironman
or Aussie Sarah Crowley, Kona was not at the top of her race agenda in 2016. With a raw running talent, a successful ITU background, and her injuries buried in the past, Crowley knew it was finally time to jump up to the full distance race. What she didn’t know is how early she would find success in this new triathlon journey. The reigning Ironman 70.3 Middle East Champion Bahrain shot onto the scene with sparkling performances in her first two Ironman’s ever and has her sights set high as the New Year begins. Find out where Crowley donned her triathlon roots, what it was like being a Kona rookie as a pro, and what she has learned about herself as she prepares to dominate in the New Year.
When it came to triathlon, I looked up to Maria and Edi Kosztovits. They had raced the Accenture series and were the best around. Being in Adelaide, I wanted to train with them, so I joined the Meteors Triathlon Club. Leon Holme was the coach, and he had coincidentally coached Dean Luken to gold in the 1988 Olympics at weight lifting. He also had a raft of experience with cyclists and athletes. I felt lucky that this club was local.
Sarah crowley - a star on the rise
Championships on the Gold Coast in 2009 and the Oceania Champion. Following the Gold Coast race, I had achieved the relevant points and ranking standard to earn a spot at a World Series race. I had raced and won a Continental Cup in Asia earlier in the year and also snatched a couple of podiums. I was fortunate to have the chance to race Yokohama and London World Series in 2009. ÂŠ Getty Images/Ironman
I had read about Chrissie Wellington winning in Lausanne the year before and wanted to do the same. I decided to race ITU Worlds in Hamburg as an age-grouper in 2007. I was on track to win when I had a mishap in transition and ran an extra mile going the wrong way. It cost me. I had the quickest bike and run by far, but ended up fourth over the line. The next month I placed fourth in Noosa, and I felt like I was ready to race up a level.
I had all sorts of role models. I was a huge fan of Emma Snowsill because of her run. I loved Grant Hackett, Phil Rogers, and Kieren Perkins too. I admired runners Hicham El Guerrouj and Rob De Castella, but the most influential person to me was my coach, Leon Holme. I think the start of my progression in triathlon came in the World Series races. I was fourth at the ITU Oceania
In early 2010 I had an injury to my hip that we were struggling to diagnose and repair. After two and a half years out of the workforce, I decided to return to Deloitte Corporate Finance and spend the year getting my hip right. In 2011, I raced in the National Road Series cycling for a change of pace and decided to join Red Dog Triathlon Training to stay fit by training with the age-group squad. I still had not given up my professional license and decided to race the Port Macquarie half later that year. I was curious about what the longer distance would be like. After a few years of racing halves, I decided to give the Ironman Cairns a go [in 2015] since many of my mates all do Cairns regularly and I was keen to share the experience. Australian Triathlete |
Ironman Cairns 2016: Sarah Crowley made quite an impact at Ironman Cairns coming home with a third place podium finish.
I didn’t do a lot of specific training for my first half race in Port Macquarie. I was confident in my bike and knew I could rely on my run. The swim was not as quick as in ITU racing, but I hadn’t done a lot of training, so I remember being well off the back. I had a strong ride but didn’t consume much nutrition, which really hurt me on the run. I gunned it out of transition like an ITU race running 38 minutes for the first 10km. The lack of nutrition and poor pacing knocked me for six, and I ended up running the second half in 55 minutes, finishing off the podium in fourth. I didn’t race a half again until I resolved my race nutrition with Nick from Endura and sorted my pacing out. I won my second attempt at the half distance at Cairns in 2012. I continued to get good results in halves until I suffered an injury after getting fourth at the Ironman 70.3 Oceania champs in
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Auckland in January 2013. I had a flicking syndrome in my Plantaris tendon, causing friction on my Achilles. I had qualified for Des Moines and the Ironman 70.3 World champs in Las Vegas and just managed to get there in an unfit state following surgery in March 2013. From there, it took me a very long time to get my form back. My first Ironman experience was at Ironman Cairns , and it was fun! I had not had racing nerves for a long time, so it was rejuvenating getting edgy before the race. I guess the biggest change I made for this race was to focus on my nutrition and pacing. My biggest learning experience was that the race really only started in the last 10km of the run. However, I still really love non-drafting Olympic distance racing because I love running fast!
My third place at Ironman Cairns this year  proved to me that I could compete with the big girls. Kona was something that I shelved for most of my career. I have been in the sport a long time, but I didn’t want to try for Kona until I was stronger and had a lot of training in my legs. I didn’t just want to go and do iron distance and risk either burning out or injuring myself. I started getting some good results again toward the end of 2014 and decided that I would try Cairns 2015. I figured if I liked it, I would have a go at qualifying for Kona in 2016, which I did. We had only put qualifying for Kona as a ‘nice-to- have’ goal. We had set out to push hard at 70.3 worlds on the Sunshine Coast where I ended up in 13th on the day. For me, it was an OK result, but not a standout. We headed to Kona with a simple goal of following a race process
and seeing where I was really at when you throw everyone in the works. I have raced a lot of champions in my time, so I was really looking forward to going head-tohead with the best in the world. As a Kona professional rookie, the ‘talk’ about the race difficulty can sometimes throw people. I am lucky enough to have raced some very major races in my life and took the philosophy that, although the race deserves respect, it is just another race at the end of the day. Kona is known for extreme and erratic conditions of fierce winds, volcanic fog or “vog”, dense humidity, and furnace-like heat. However, I selected qualification Ironman races with similar conditions to build internal confidence in these conditions. I use an oldie, but a goodie, for my pre-race breakfast. I eat toast, banana and honey, followed by an Endura performance sports drink. I love music, but I don’t use it while I train. I struggle to concentrate on my effort if there is music, but I love listening to Moby as a prerace distraction. It is hard to believe that my nearly 10-hour race [at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii in 2016] could be hinged on such a small moment. I came out of the water in the second group and had a minor issue getting my helmet out of my gear bag. This one moment added just a fivesecond deficit between me and my group but meant I left the bike transition behind and had to fight to keep up from the start of the bike. Because of my loss of concentration for that brief moment, I was eventually dropped from that group on the bike and had to ride pretty much solo for 180km. I stuck to my race plan and was pleased to get off the bike with only a seven-minute deficit on the top 10 with an entire marathon to make up the ground.
It was important at this moment to realise that I did not need to make up the seven minutes in the first 10km off the bike. I shut out what others were doing and focused on my race strategy, which was steady running and to bring it home in the last 10km. I had had a very consistent run. Unfortunately, I just could not quite make up the gap by the end of the marathon, finishing in 15th. Strong trust in my plan and the resilience to stick with it meant that I ran past many capitulating athletes on my way to the finish line. My chances of top 10 in Kona were gone when I switched off for a bit at the start of the bike. Looking back, there were some things I would have done differently. First, I would have attacked T1 and the start of the bike. I was dispatched by a train and never recovered. Heather
Jackson was there, and she went on to podium. Second, I struggled with the time zone difference coming from a camp in Jeju, South Korea even though I gave it eight days. Next time, I will come to Kona a little earlier to help with the adjustments. On the surface, a top 15 result is fantastic, considering I was still at my desk just five months before. However, I feel as though I had something left at the end of the race. I took no risks and, I know that I had more to give. In hindsight, the race is not radically different from any other Ironman event in the world. The course and conditions are manageable. I’m convinced that success at Kona comes down to the execution of your personal race strategy. It was clear that with a world title on the line, it caused some of the world’s most accomplished athletes to come unravelled.
I had not had racing nerves for a long time, so it was rejuvenating getting — Sarah Crowley edgy before the race. © Korupt Images
© Korupt Images
Ironman World Championships, 2016: With a top 15 result in the bag, a few lessons were learnt along the way! Australian Triathlete |
learning how to pull stuff together. I am getting a drone this year and cannot wait to use it to document my travels. I also love hanging out with my mates, husband, and beagles at coffee shops.
© Korupt Images
I was surprised that Kona went so quickly. It felt like I was on the back end of the run before I knew it. I loved the atmosphere, as there are people from all over the world just to watch the race. I think it gets the best racing out of people. It equally amazed me at how some of the most experienced racers came unstuck. This year, I learned that I was not fit enough. There is another level. Although it’s considered a ‘taboo topic,’ I was well off my race weight from my ITU days that allowed me to knock out 16-minute 5kms with ease. It’s an extreme sport, and we need to tether a finer line with weight to unlock my run talent. Put simply - I need more time punching off consistent training to build up a depth of strength and resilience. I also need more chances to race the best to learn how the races evolve. There is a massive difference between picking and training for a race just to get a result versus picking a race that will push you to the next level.
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My favourite part of racing an Ironman is surviving the race while trying to go as fast as you can - that is such a challenge. If a had to put it simply, I would say the finish line is my favourite part of the race. Next year we are going to focus on racing big events. I am not going to race for the sake of racing, and we will come out swinging. I have a bucket list of races! I would love to do Roth, Escape from Alcatraz, and the Island House Triathlon. I just need a wealthy beneficiary to get me there! When I am not training, I like creating video footage. I have a YouTube channel, and I have been
I have the most amazing support crew! My husband Mike is amazing and does most of the washing and cooking for me. My coach Cameron Watt and I have a daily training environment from the Ferny Grove Pool in Brisbane. I have access to the best coach in the world, Brett Sutton and his support team in Robbie and Susie Langley and other coaches around the world when I travel. I have an amazing sports doctor in Jacqui Kelly, a dietitian in Ali Disher, massage team at No More Knots, bike fit specialist in Nick Formossa, a bike shop in Matty Hopper, and support crew from Red Dog Triathlon Training and Deloitte. Not only that - I have amazingly supportive sponsors in Scody, Flight Centre, Cervelo, Enve Composites, Rudy Project, SkinStrong, Brooks, Orca Australia, Bare Coffee Company, and the Valley Pool. All of these guys allow me to focus on performing at my best for every training session. I am more excited about the coming year than ever. There are so many areas that I can focus on improving. We have re-engineered my swim stroke, and I am getting quite close with the technique, but I just need to spend more time getting stronger. I had a feeling I would enjoy full distance racing because I love running. I figured that the run would be the most gruelling part and, since I like to run, I figured there would be a chance I would be good at it in the full distance.
I have a bucket list of races! I would love to do Roth, Escape from Alcatraz, and the Island House Triathlon. — Sarah Crowley
Sunday 9 April 2017, St Kilda
Challenge Sprint is back! 700m Swim | 30km Cycle | 7km Run Enjoy all the premium benefits of a Challenge Event Personalised Bib | Finishers Medal | Challenge Towel | Challenge Family Stein On course drink stations with Endura hydration and nutrition Access to the post race athlete recovery area including PhysioHealth rub down zone Full timing including transition times and bike and run splits
For more information and to enter visit:
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Australian Triathlete |
Kate Bevilaqua The Newly Crowned Ultraman World Champion t e x t b y K a t e b e v i l a q u a | p h o t o g r a p h y b y J Anin e K a y e
oday is the 1st of January 2017 as I sit down to write this. It has been five weeks since I crossed the finish line at the Ultraman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. I have had plenty of time to reflect on the ups and downs, the highs and lows of the three days of racing. The comparison of where my expectations were before the race to what actually happened. Guy and I arrived 10 days before the start of the event, which gave me a
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chance to get some more riding in on the course and in the infamous conditions of the Big Island. Plus, to be honest, it was freezing in Boise by then and, I was doing most of my cycle training indoors. It was great to be back in Kona and not having to put every layer of clothing I owned on. I was extremely lucky to have Ruth Chang (friend, physiotherapist, fellow GKE Coach) back to support me in Kona. Ruth knew what she was in for as she came to Canada with me in 2015. She
had some great new ideas that we would use over the three days in Kona to make the entire process a little bit easier - if that is at all possible! I was also fortunate to have Janine Kaye (friend, photographer, GKE Coach) who, even though she had no idea what she was in for, did not hesitate to jump on a plane to meet us. I know if you spoke to Janine personally now you would probably get a very different account to the one I am going to give you!
race report - Ultraman World Championship
Day 1 10km Swim/145km Bike The event in Hawaii is unique in that it is point-to-point. You circumnavigate the island over the three days, which means you have to travel with everything you need for the entire time. Sure you have access to shops if you need them, but to be honest, my crew was so busy leading into and throughout the event that we didn’t want to add anything more to the schedule. I woke up before my alarm on Friday the 25th of November. It had been a surprisingly restless sleep, and I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was nervous. This was it! For six years at this time of the year I had been following the Ultraman World Championships online, and for six years Guy had to put up with me saying: “One day I will do this!” That day was now! I was able to get my bagel and banana down before we all jumped in the minivan and drove to the pier. That’s when the chaos of the next three days began! The team knew what to do. Guy was off sorting out the kayak, setting it up and getting it in the water, while Ruth was checking in and finding out if there were any last minute instructions. Janine helped me get into my Blueseventy wetsuit and helped lather me up ready for 10km of ocean swimming. I was incredibly lucky to have my mum and dad make the trip with close family friends, Peter and Chris. They were going to be supporting along the way and would give me that extra boost when I hit those dark patches - I knew there would be a few of those! Even though we were swimming 10km, I still wanted to get in the water for a little warm up, roll the arms over, do a bit of backstroke - to just relax, take a deep breath and tell myself to be patient. I was able to do this, and to take in one last GU gel, just in time, before the start. To my
surprise, the pace was on for a little while at the beginning while athletes found their paddlers, their own space in the water and tried to pick a straight line - well as straight as possible anyway! I love having Guy paddle for me. He signs to me when I turn to breathe in his direction letting me know how far we have swum in blocks of 500 metres. He makes me relax and slow down when he can see I am going too hard and there is still 9km to go! He also pulls me over at regular intervals to have a drink or gel because once this swim is over, I have a tough 145km ride in front of me. Eventually, everyone sorted themselves out, and I was sitting in third position with two male athletes in front. Guy had positioned us in-between them both keeping his line towards the point. He kept me swimming steady, and I was focusing on one block at a time. About halfway through the swim, I noticed a sharp sting on my face and forehead, bugger! We had been warned about the stingers. Guy was onto it. He had the cream ready and lathered me up when I stopped and pulled over. Before long I was on my way!
I noticed a sharp sting on my face and forehead, bugger! We had been warned about the stingers. — Kate Bevilaqua
10km swim: Guy keeping a watchful eye on Kate as she completes the swim.
There is only one turning buoy on the entire swim course at, approximately the 9.5km mark. I made it there in second place and was excited to be able to see the shore and where I would exit in front of me. Ruth was waiting on the water’s edge and Janine at my bike with a change of clothes, sun cream, nutrition and anything else I may or may not need. My transition was smooth, and I was on my way pretty quickly. I was extremely happy with my 02:31:00 hour 10km swim, which turned out to be the second fastest swim next to super fish Hillary Biscay, and was enjoying being out of the water and on my bike. But I was also well aware of what I was in for! The day one bike ride is 145km with vertical climbs totaling 7,600 feet. The last 45km is all up from sea level to 4000 feet. I was going to have to be patient and on top of my nutrition right from the beginning, otherwise I would suffer towards the end. Australian Triathlete |
food for me, while Guy was unpacking the car and then it was time for a rub down from Ruth. After the rub down I got into my recovery boots for the next 60 minutes . As I sat there, I felt guilty that my crew were all so busy getting bottles and food ready for the next day, making dinner, checking maps and cleaning my bike. But my job was to recover as much as possible. As time went on I seemed to be having some issues with my medial quadriceps muscles (Vastus Medialis), but thankfully Ruth pulled out the needles and gave it some special treatment. I just had to cross my fingers and trust that I would wake up in the morning and everything would be okay.
bike: Kate conquering the climbs of the Ultraman bike.
The good news is I love to climb! I was enjoying the ride and even took the overall lead very briefly - I was just unable to keep up on the descents. I saw my crew every 5-7km, grabbing cold drinks and refueling with GU gels or Stroopwafels. I had a smile on my face and loving it! There is no denying my goal was to win. But I also knew that anything could happen over three days of racing. I remember competing against Tara Norton several times during her professional career. In fact, the last time was at Ironman Lanzarote and only a few minutes separated us, so I was well aware how strong she was, especially on the bike. But I had a six-minute lead on her after the swim. Guy and I were in Kona for the Ironman World Championships in October. The day before we left I rode the entire day one bike course and was confident I knew it well and what I was capable of riding. But as per normal, Madame Pele had other plans and about half way through the Ultraman the conditions changed considerably. I have ridden in strong winds before but, wow, this was unlike anything I have experienced in the past. My crew made the decision early to swap out my front wheel from a race-wheel to training-wheel, which made a huge difference, and I got some confidence back. I was still being pushed and shoved all over the road depending on the direction of the wind but I felt like I had a little more control. It was around this time my crew also informed me that Tara had now closed within two minutes. She was obviously dealing with the conditions much better than I was! At the 100km mark, the last long, 45km, climb began. It was still windy but not as strong as earlier. The temperature
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was starting to heat up, and I asked my crew to stop more frequently so that I was able to grab more cold GU Electrolyte, plus throw water over me. I had to remember it wasn’t just about today but about the next two days as well. I had to recover from day one ASAP and then load up to do it all again the next day! At this point, I was getting updates that I was starting to put some time back into Tara, which motivated me to keep pushing and to get the job done.
276km vertical climbs totaling 8,600 feet Unfortunately, the next morning I woke up feeling pretty rough - I had not slept well. The room we were in was located right next to the drain for the roof. Some part of it must have been loose, so with all the rain it was rattling on and off for most of the night. In between rain showers I was moving from the bedroom to the couch, and back again. Painful! On top of that, I could still feel some pain in my quadriceps muscles. Ruth to the rescue again. A rub
I was rugged up with my long sleeve Coeur Jersey on, knee warmers and a vest. Who would have thought it would be like this in Hawaii!! — Kate Bevilaqua
I finished the ride in 05:54:00 hours, which was surprisingly 20 minutes slower than when I had ridden it training in October. It just goes to show how hard the conditions were. With a total day one time of 08:26:00 hours, I was in third place overall and off to a great start. Mum, Dad, Peter and Chris were at the finish line to greet me, but there wasn’t a lot of time for chatting as Ruth was hard at work putting a GU Recovery drink straight into my hands and had a change of clothes, so I didn’t get cold! After a quick chat, we were off to our local rental to continue the recovery process and get ready for the next day. It then started to rain, and it didn’t stop. After arriving at the house, I had a quick shower. Janine was making more recovery
down and some more needles would hopefully do the trick. I had read reports from previous years about the beginning of day two being wet quite often. Today was not going to be any different. The first 40km of the bike is all slightly downhill as we ride from 4000 feet back to sea level. By the time we started, it was still quite dark and pouring with rain. I was having trouble seeing things on the road and trying to decide where the bumps and holes were. I also had in the back of my mind that in 2015 at ULTRA520 Canada I suffered badly on day two. I went out too fast, I ran out of energy and didn’t eat enough, and the last 50km was a real struggle. I didn’t want that to happen again. As a result, I was going to start out more
conservatively and just stick to my game plan. In hindsight, I should have trusted that I was in much better bike shape and more prepared this year and gone with some of the faster riders who had each other to pace off for 200km. But you just never know! I was rugged up with my long sleeve Coeur Jersey on, knee warmers and a vest. Who would have thought it would be like this in Hawaii!! Due to the nature of the descent and conditions at the beginning, this part of the course was a no feed zone, so I did not see my crew until approximately 45km into the ride. So far so good, I decided not to take any layers off. I was comfortable and could see some dark clouds up ahead. Knowing my luck, I would take them off then get wet and cold again! There was another no feed zone coming up which was approximately 30km long. I made a very quick stop to switch out my nutrition bottles, and Janine and Ruth replaced the food in my back pockets. It was a shame my support crew were not able to drive this section as it was one of the most scenic on the entire bike course. A number of times I allowed myself to look across and enjoy the view. By this point, I was on my way towards Hilo. Unfortunately, it was at this stage in the race with the combination of the recent rain and debris on the side of the road I noticed I had a flat front tire. I had two options - change it or swap it out. Lucky for me my crew went by not long after and Guy was out of the minivan with my spare front wheel, and we quickly changed it out. This was so much faster than having to change it myself! With this event, due to the sheer distance travelled there are no road closures. We must abide by all road rules, which includes stopping at all stop signs and red lights. Being Thanksgiving weekend and riding through Hilo, which has a population of 45,000, this was always going to be a challenge. There is a stretch of road with about six or seven sets of traffic lights and major intersections in a row. The chances of getting all green are pretty slim. I scored with the first couple but my luck run out after that. I just took advantage at each stop by having a drink or something to eat, reminding myself it was going to be the same for everyone. By then we were all well and truly strung out, and I could not see any bikes behind or in front of me - it was just me and my crew. There was, unfortunately, some road works before the climb to Waimea. Yep, the traffic light went red just as I arrived. That was probably the longest wait I had on day two. But after that, that’s when the hard work really began, with the
two biggest climbs left to go before the descent into Hawi. It was great to see my mum, dad, Peter and Chris during the last 100km. I was focused on staying aero and pushing my way to the top of the long climb to Waimea and the windy accent up the Kohala. I was excited because I felt so much better than I did during ULTRA520 Canada at this point of the ride. I had been constantly refueling and pacing myself, and it was paying off. Don’t get me wrong - it hadn’t been smooth sailing. I had to make a quick stop to change socks as I could only handle wet ones for so long and after 6 hours my feet were not happy. I also took a wrong turn, luckily not too far and my crew was only 1km behind and was able to get me back on course pretty quickly. I had climbed with confidence, but there was still the long, windy and gusty descent into Hawi to finish. I would much rather be going up than down. My crew followed behind and again watched as I was blown from one side of the road to the other. The wind gusts were the worst part. I was trying to predict them by looking at the vegetation on the side of the road. When the trees disappeared, or there was a gap, the wind came. I just had to tell myself: “The lower I get the better it will be!” I finished day two in 08:17:00 hours. I increased my lead in the female race and was proud of myself for sticking to my plan and getting the job done. Although I had had a good day, as we drove in the minivan to our accommodation in Waimea I was still “s**t scared” about having to run 84km the next day! The night time routine repeated itself with a recovery drink and food, massage,
recovery boots, unpacking, cleaning, repacking and dinner. My quad was still bothering me, so Ruth was working her magic while Janine and Guy were refilling water bottles and making sure everything was organised for the last day. Thankfully I was able to sleep much better than the first night - exhaustion probably had something to do with it!
Crew support: Kate’s crew provided her with much needed support during the race. Australian Triathlete |
race report - Ultraman World Championship
one kilometre at a time: The deceptively hilly 84km run was hot and windy.
Day 3 84km run Hawi was surprisingly calm for the start of the run. It was dark but the sun was slowly starting to rise. This was it - day three. Just a nice little run from Hawi back to Kona. Agh! I wish it were that simple! I had done the work. I was ready. I felt confident in my run. The first 5-6km I ran with fellow Australian Travis “Trout” Wayth. It was his second time competing in Ultraman Hawaii, and I could tell he had learnt so much from the year before. I already knew I would feel the same way and that experience on this Island plays such a big part. It is roughly 30km from Hawi to Kawaihae and although most people say: “It is all down hill”, let me tell you it is NOT! Yes, the first few km’s when you leave Hawi are predominantly downhill, but it is definitely rolling after that. My crew of Ruth, Janine and Guy stopped every mile and made sure I was drinking plenty as it was warming up and the Queen K is completely exposed. There is no hiding! My original plan was to try to run the first marathon on my own, and then have a member of my support crew join me after that. It would be a treat and something to look forward to. But I found myself struggling much earlier than I expected, so it wasn’t long after hitting the Queen K that I called on a crewmember to run with me. It was hot. There was a nasty headwind, and there was a long way to go! Hearing Steve Kings’ voice always gives me a boost - he was situated at the 42km
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(halfway) point of the run. I gave a quick smile and a wave as I went past. Just focusing on one kilometer at a time. A glance at my watch and I was slightly disappointed with my time - slower than expected, but I knew it was the best I had today. There was still a long way to go. I was still winning the women’s race. I had to be smart - keep eating and drinking and put one foot in front of the other. Mum, Dad, Peter and Chris appeared on the side of the road not far from Waikoloa and it meant so much to me having them there. I have said to so many people since the race that no words can describe the emotional rollercoaster and what you experience over the three days of an Ultraman event. You have to be there to feel it, and they were! I started seeing a couple of guys in front who were beginning to slow down. At the same time, some were also catching me from behind. But it was nice to have other runners around. A little further down the road and I was in that dark place, and I still had about 20km to go. My crew could tell and were on top of it, giving plenty of encouragement, stopping more frequently, upping the caffeine (Red Bull), and keeping me on track with my plan. I stopped looking at my pace by this point. My goal became all about covering a certain distance. Every climb I made I was hoping I would get to the top and be able to see the airport, but I was a little bit ahead of
myself! I had to make a quick stop to change my very wet socks. But it was worth it to feel comfortable again. There was a huge sense of relief when the airport control tower came into sight. I knew this lead to the energy lab, past the coffee shop, through multiple sets of lights before the right hand turn down to the finish line. I would do this! But man, those last 10km I would slow down to a walk as I went by my crew, Janine with Ice, Ruth with GU Electrolytes and water, Guy with a GU Gel. The hardest part was starting to run again. From my waist down my body just felt like it wanted to stop and shut down. There were a few enforced stops at red lights as we got closer to the finish line but by then I had given myself permission to smile because I was going to make it, and I was going to be the 2016 Ultraman World Champion! Running through the finish chute - it was important to me to have my entire crew there as well. Janine, Ruth and Guy. They had all made sacrifices to come and help me achieve my goal, and I know it wasn’t easy. Plus there was absolutely no way I could have done it without them. It was “our” victory! I enjoyed the celebrations with everyone at the finish including mum and dad, and I had a chance to chat with those who had recently crossed the line. We were sharing war stories of the last 84km. But what I was really looking forward to was getting back to the condo - to having a nice long shower, a good feed and relaxing because I didn’t have to do anything the next day! I have had plenty of time now to reflect on the race, go over each day from beginning to end, the good and the not so great. I am now asked constantly - will I do it again? The answer to that is: “Absolutely, yes. I will do it again.” Even though I won the race, I still feel I have unfinished business and am capable of a better performance on the Big Island. When will that be is the question I can’t answer right now. It will be when the mind and body are ready to do it again. Massive thanks to my amazing crew Janine Kaye, Ruth Chang and my fiancé Guy Crawford, and to Mum, Dad and Peter and Chris. Last but not least my incredible sponsors, they were all on board and supportive with my desire to take on the Ultraman Challenge. Rolf Prima Wheels, Ceepo, Coeur Sports, Profile Design, Blueseventy, ISM, Rotor, Ryders Eyewear, Mizuno, Challenge Tyres, Churchill Cycles, Tri Town Boise and Computrainer. Keeping me fuelled GU and recovery by Ruth Chang Physiotherapy and Recovery Boots. And a big thanks to Coach, Bella Bayliss!
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Treat yourself to a Triath-long weekend! t e x t b y AT | p h o t o g r a p h y b y v i s i o n s o f v i c t o r i a and Gatorade triathlon series
ust half an hour from Geelong town centre is the idyllic coastal town of Portarlington - a hidden gem on The Bellarine Peninsula. Nestled above Drysdale and Indented Head, the beachside destination is a quiet family friendly spot ideal for a long weekend away. Surrounded by vineyards and endless dining options, the picturesque views include that of the You Yangs and Melbourne on a clear day. There’s plenty to do during your stay at Portarlington. You can enjoy a wide selection of restaurants and bars, and popular local wineries. If you’re a foodie the legendary Australian Blue Mussels, which are grown in the waters of Port Phillip Bay, off Portarlington are a must-try and are featured on most restaurant menus. Not much of a foodie? That’s OK.
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The Bellarine Peninsula offers a range of activities to do during your stay. From farmers markets, art shows and exhibits, the National Wool Museum, to the Portarlington Miniature Railway and the world’s one and only Blues Train, there is a tonne to do and see during your stay.
Getting there Portarlington is approximately a 90-minute drive from Melbourne, and about 30 minutes from Geelong town centre. If you’d prefer to leave the car at home, you can take the V/Line. Alternatively, to get the full coastal experience, why not relax and travel on the ferry? Port Phillip Ferries run several services a day between Docklands and Portarlington.
Where to stay There is a range of options to choose from when deciding on your accommodation. From hotels and motels, self-contained apartments, bed and breakfasts to caravan parks and camping options – there is something to suit everyone.
Food and drink Well-known Jack Rabbit Vineyard offers guided tastings as well as the restaurant, which is open for lunch seven days a week and dinner Fridays and Saturdays. Complete with a kids menu it is the perfect post race recovery spot. Once you’ve had enough of sitting on the hill overlooking Geelong and the hills, there are four other wineries within five minutes of each other
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to keep you entertained, with plenty of room for the kids to run around. If you’re looking for somewhere to brunch before you hit the road on Monday there are plenty of cosy spots along the coast which offer breakfast and lunch all year around. Also known for its Australian Blue Mussels, St Leonard’s Hotel down the road is known for its three different flavour options. Otherwise, you could try your luck at one of Portarlington’s well-known fishing spots!
Sports Lovers – the Gatorade Triathlon Series Race 4
© Mark Chew / Visions of Victoria
Portarlington plays host to the Gatorade Triathlon Series Race four on Sunday the 12th March 2017. Coinciding with the Labour Day long weekend, it provides the perfect opportunity to bundle the kids and the dog into the car and explore the relaxing spot for the whole weekend. Complete with the Gatorade Sprint, Active Feet Fun Tri and Carman’s Tri Kids races, the entire family can be involved, and with full road closure and a new swim course, it’s one of the safest courses around. If you’re a Series competitor, this will be your last sprint distance before the Olympic Distance race in St Kilda on the 26th March 2017. Registration will be open until the week of the event, so you’ve still got time to choose between many of the Bellarine’s accommodations and decide whether you will visit a goats cheese farm, olive orchard, winery or go berry picking.
Relaxing and Family Fun © Gatorade Triathlon Series
If you feel like you need to shake out your legs from the race why not take a stroll through the You Yangs National Park and have a BBQ with the whole family? For the surfers, 13th Beach is just a stone’s throw away and will also be patrolled by Surf Life Savers from the club each day across the long weekend so the kids can swim with ease. Whatever you and your family decide to do in The Bellarine Peninsula, don’t forget to take the time to enjoy the beauty of your surroundings and the hidden gems the area has to offer.
© Gatorade Triathlon Series
Enter the Gatorade Triathlon series For all event details and to join up go to: www.gatoradetriathlonseries.com.au/race-4/
Australian Triathlete |
The Road less travelled Meet Alexandria Eves - a triathlete with a tenacious drive to succeed against all the odds. The catch? She achieves all things despite a permanent disability and significant physical, mental and emotional challenges incurred as a result of a major motor vehicle accident in 2016. This is her story. text by Margaret Mielczarek
On her sporting background I’ve always enjoyed participating in sports. I wasn’t particularly good at any one sport - I just really liked having a go at whatever was on offer. Growing up we lived close to the local swimming pool, which was great because I loved swimming. I was part of our local swim club and swam competitively from 11 - 14 years of age. At 17 I became an AUSTSWIM instructor. It was a great way to support myself while I was at university. I enjoyed working with both children and adults and seeing them achieve water confidence and learn to swim - especially the students who had no previous background in the water.
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By 22 I got caught up with work, university and partying too much. I wasn’t eating healthy foods or exercising. That was depressing for me because I felt and looked unhealthy and tired. Eventually, I decided to start swimming again. I joined a gym and started attending CrossFit classes, which improved not only my fitness but also my coordination, speed and power. The endorphin release I got from exercise was a great mood lifter too. I ran and walked to work when practical, instead of using public transport. It wasn’t an easy haul, but I kept at it and after a year I felt strong, healthy and life was much better.
In February 2015 I moved to Bourke, NSW to start a job in mental health. There was a gym in Bourke, but it wasn’t always open when I wanted to use it, so I ran to supplement gym workouts. I found running helped me relax from the demands of my job and kept me fit as well. I loved running, even in the heat.
On discovering triathlon I completed my first triathlon in February 2015, in Cobar NSW, a town 160kms from Bourke, where I had settled for work. A good friend of mine, Steph, was one of the organisers of the local tri competition in Cobar. She seemed to be having a lot of fun with the sport, so I thought I should check it out and signed up as part of a team - I did the bike leg. I got on a road bike two weeks before the race and road around Bourke. I wanted to learn how to ride the bike and to see if I could manage the distance. After a few stacks, I felt confident that I could handle both the bike and the ride. On the day of the triathlon, I gave it a go and loved it! I enjoyed the competitiveness, but meeting new people and being part of a community who shared a goal of keeping fit was the real motivator for me.
#INspO The major motor vehicle accident It was Friday the 19th of February 2016. I had decided to drive to Cobar after finishing work for the day in Bourke, as I wanted to compete in the Cobar triathlon that Sunday. On the way home I had a car accident. I wish I could tell you what happened but all I know is that I left Bourke, and the next thing I remember is waking up in ICU at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. That’s when mum told me I had had a car accident. I don’t remember anything about the accident or how/when I got to Sydney. I was told that I most likely hit an animal on the road, which pushed me into a tree. I remember being in the hospital bed feeling very confused and scared. I suffered posttraumatic stress and had little memory of anything for about two weeks.
Dealing with the physical, mental and emotional changes After the accident, I was in shock - I felt numb. I couldn’t get my head around being in Bourke one minute, excited about going
Scar: Alex broke her C1 cervical spine in the accident.
home and competing in the Cobar triathlon, and then the next minute being on a ventilator, trying to process that I wouldn’t be working for a long time into the future. I was very emotional. Being on a ventilator for 11 days was tough. I was semi-conscious most of the time - it was a real test of willpower not to pull the tube out in the last few days. I’m a talker, so not being able to communicate verbally was horrible. We managed with some sign language and the alphabet written on a piece of paper. I would give the thumbs up if the letter my mother or the nurse pointed to was in the word I wanted to spell out. This was slow, frustrating and tiring but I got my message across, sometimes. When the ventilator tube was finally removed, I had to wait another two days before I was allowed to transfer to a chair for a few minutes of sitting upright. This small movement was exhausting. I had deconditioned quickly and every time I moved I broke out in sweat. I was eventually moved to the neurology ward. I had to stay in bed all the time except if I wanted to use the bathroom. Going to the bathroom, meant having nursing staff with me, as I couldn’t sit up, stand or walk without assistance. I was totally dependent. My mind was racing, but my body was stiff - like a dead weight. Physically, the car accident had done some significant damage to my body. But it could have been a lot worse - I’m alive, and I can walk. I had some brain bleeds. These have affected my balance, reflexes, coordination, behaviour and short-term memory. Fatigue is also a real problem - I don’t have the stamina I used to have. I need to be careful to pace myself and rest every day. Otherwise, my emotions are up and down, and I can’t deal with my body pain as well as I can when I’m not tired. I broke my C1 cervical spine. Initially, treatment was going to be conservative. I was to wear a hard collar for three months with the goal being that the fracture would heal well enough that surgery would not be needed. This meant I would not lose neck mobility. However, I had a fall in the hospital within one day of being
moved to the neurology ward and the fracture widened - surgery was my only option. I had a skull C1, C2 fusion, which means I’ve lost approximately 50% mobility in my neck. I have right-side of body nerve damage. For the first month, my right hand was somewhat useless, but it is improving now. I still have right-side of body weakness and constant tingling that will never leave me - I will just get used to it. I use medication to alleviate the pain
Recovery: On a recumbent bike in rehab.
Physically, the car accident had done some significant damage to my body. But it could have been a — Alexandria Eves lot worse. Australian Triathlete |
Photo: © xxxxxxxx
On the road to recovery: Alex with family and friends.
and do exercises to stretch my body and get everything moving. Due to my prolonged intubation, my vocal cords are damaged. I’ve been doing speech therapy since May 2016 to assist with this. Things are improving slowly.
I’ve been working steadily on regaining my fitness. I want to get back as much of my old lifestyle as I can. I believe any limitations I have because of my accident can be overcome or manoeuvred around so I can have the life I want, instead of the life I will have if I don’t keep motivated to hit my goals.
Motivation, goals and the drive to continue
First run: Alex’s tentative steps back to running; 100m on the local Oval.
I am still having difficulty getting my head around how much my life has changed. Two weeks before my accident I was competing. I was fit, strong and healthy. Now everything I do is checked for safety - riding a bike is a no-go zone. But I’m determined to continue my recovery.
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I consistently set goals for myself, which motivates me to keep going even on the days I don’t feel good. Before the accident, if I had decided to do something, I did it regardless of the physical demand on me. Now I have to let some things go if they’re not good for me on the day. I’ve also got a better understanding of how mental fatigue impacts on chronic pain. I’m easier on myself and listen to my body. It’s taken me a while to get to this point, but I now follow quality instead of quantity in training. I have a lot of
limitations because of my permanent disability - I have to factor these into what exercise I do. But the disability has given me the opportunity to compete with other Para-athletes. Before the accident, it was always about beating my times and racing with friends. Now I’m looking at what I can do as a disabled athlete. I’m focusing on the options available to me. My long-term goal now is to compete in the Paralympics. Tokyo 2020 would be amazing small steps.
Personal growth and advice to other athletes I’ve learnt to use small steps to move forward instead of going for big goals that can set you up to fail. Positive psychology is a major component of recovery - stay positive as much as possible but allow yourself a bad day now and again, and just ride it out then get back into it the next day. Surround yourself with positive people, as good support is essential.
I’m determined to continue my recovery. I want to get back as much of my — Alexandria Eves old lifestyle as I can.
Victoria’s Premier Triathlon Series
Enjoy the Labour Day Long Weeked at...
Race 4 Portarlington Sunday 12 March 2017
Sprint - 800m, 26km, 8km | Active Feet Fun-Tri - 300m, 10km, 3km | Carman’s Tri Kids - 100m, 3km, 500m
Followed by Race 5 St Kilda 26 March
www.gatoradetriathlonseries.com.au Australian Triathlete |
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IMAGE OF THE
MONTH photo: Korupt vision
Australiaâ€™s Luke McKenzie rides through the lava fields of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
Australian Triathlete |
tech talk Tri Products
LIV TRILLIANT BAG This travel companion will get your essentials from race to race – with everything in one place! Ensure no important gear gets left behind on race day and show up to transition looking and feeling like a pro with the Liv Trilliant Bag.
HideMyBeLL 2.0 The HideMyBell is said to be the most versatile handlebar mount on the market.
Features include: -- Separate compartment for swim, bike, run -- Waterproof area for swimsuit or wetsuit -- Venting design -- Foam helmet protector -- Strap collector -- Exterior water bottle pocket
It has a discretely integrated bell and is designed for firmly holding: - A bike computer (Garmin, Mio, Polar, Sigma, Wahoo and Bryton) - A universal action camera or lamp adapter (optional) The handlebar mount is extremely stiff, thanks to a high-end polymer structure and 3D strength analyses. The bell is discretely hidden underneath the mount, doesn’t vibrate in rough terrain and rings loud and clear. The bolt for the handlebar clamp is completely integrated.
Highlights: Don’t waste time fishing around multiple bags for your gear on race day, the Trilliant’s smart design keeps everything organized so you can focus on what’s important - your race!
RRP: $59.95 www.hidemybell.cc/en/webshop
RRP: $129.95 www.liv-cycling.com/au/
Feedback sports Tool Kit 12pcs Ride Prep Fine-tune your bike before or after a ride with this set of essentials. Perfectly sized to keep on the bench or in the car. -----
12 bicycle tools / 16 functions Professional grade durability Over molded file tread grip for comfort and style TPU coated nylon case
RRP: $209.95 www.echelonsports.com.au
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Speedsleev Bag Smuggler Super light compact saddle pack made from water resistant ballistic nylon fabric. Extremely tight fit without contact to seat post. Designed specifically to carry the following: 1 – Light weight road inner tube 2 – 16 Gram Co2 canisters 1 – Small inflator head 1 – Small multi tool 1 – Small Tire Lever RRP: $49.95 www.echelonsports.com.au
FINIS Swimmer’s Snorkel FINIS Senior Swimmer’s Snorkel - advised for ages 12 and up, the FINIS Swimmers Snorkel is said to be a revolutionary snorkel that all swimmers can use to improve their technique. It allows the swimmer to glide through the water with no need to lift or turn the head. This is a quality product with elliptical shape, purge valve, flexible mouthpiece, adjustable strap and head bracket and can be used with a mask or swimming goggles. RRP: $44.00 www.aquashop.com.au
New Balance Run IQ: The Digital Sport Division, RunIQ, made by runners for runners Key features of RunIQ include: -- A built in GPS -- Heart rate monitor -- Lap button -- Interval capability -- Marathon distance battery life -- Ability to sync, store and listen to Google Play™ Music from an Android phone -- Waterproof up to 5 ATM RunIQ is available now for pre-order at; www.newbalance.com.au/featured/ collections/runiq/. RunIQ will be available to buy from February 1st at New Balance stores www.newbalance.com.au and selected specialty running stores. SRAM RED® eTap WiFLi™ Upgrade Kit Long cage allowing up to 32t rear cassette.
RRP: $2,796.14 www.echelonsports.com.au
Australian Triathlete |
tech talk Tri Products
Compressport Australia Compressport R2 Calf Guard The Compressport R2 was the number one calf guard worn at the Ironman World Championships in Kona 2010 and Kona 2011. The Compressport R2 calf guard boosts your venous return, reducing the accumulation of toxins while increasing oxygenation to the muscles. RRP: $59.95 sbr.bikeit.com.au
360 degrees Microfibre Towel Small The compact, fast drying and very absorbent 360Âş Degrees Microfibre Towel is ideal for all outdoor, sports, and travel use. -------
Super absorbent Microfibre. 80% Polyester/20% Nylon. Soft touch weave. Fast Drying. Machine washable. Small - 40 x 60cm
RRP: $12.95 www.trishack.com.au
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Lezyne Digital Pressure Drive Pump About Lezyne Digital Pressure Drive Pump The Lezyne Digital Pressure Drive is the next level of hand pump innovation and technology. Designed around one of our first and most popular hand pumps, we then integrated a super low-profile digital gauge into its sleek aluminum construction. This has created the best combination of quality and durability in a lightweight, compact system that features an accurate pressure gauge. Itâ€™s capable of producing up to 120 psi (8.3 bar) and features our Presta/Shrader compatible ABS Flex Hose. This is hands-down the ultimate high-pressure hand pump. RRP: $94.99 www.bikebug.com
ISM Adamo Road Saddle – Black The Road is a huge favorite at ISM – and the highest selling seat. The second introduction to Performance Short line, it features more padding than the firm Racing II, but less than the plush Typhoon. All of these seats work well on triathlon, time trial, and road bikes. Similar to the other Performance Short seats (Racing II, Time Trial, Typhoon), the Road is best for riders that prefer to stay in one position on the seat, without moving fore/aft very much. This makes it a top choice for triathletes and time trialists who ride in the aerobars, or for flat courses in which the athlete likes to ‘settle in’ to one position and go. Like all ISM saddles, the Road is nose-less and designed to remove pressure from soft tissue, ensuring maximum blood flow, no genital numbness, and a healthier, more enjoyable ride. ISM sponsored athletes Andy Potts and Hillary Biscay love the Road, and so will you. Specifications Category: Performance Short Length: 245mm Width: 135mm Padding: Foam and Gel Rails: Chromoly RRP: $184.99 www.bikebug.com
ultimate direction JUREK FKT VEST The SJ Ultra Vest 2.0 was the best-selling vest in the world and Scott Jurek’s new FKT Vest is even better. Features: -- Features the new FlexForm Bottles -- Reservoir hose routing for either over or under your shoulder, left or right side -- Trekking pole holders are up front for on-the-go accessibility -- Large front storage for water, phone, maps, glasses, or food -- Main compartment has bungee system for compressibility RRP: $139.95 ultimatedirection.com
orca Race Belt Purple To comfortably and securely hold your race number and gels in place so you are left to just concentrate on your performance. MATERIALS: Polyester/Plastic/Elastane TECHNICAL: Strategically placed toggles to hold race number and four elastic loops to hold gels SECURE: Adjustable centre back clasp buckle STYLISH: Features the striking Orca logo and design RRP: $19.99 www.orca-australia.com.au
orca Speed Laces Yellow To save time in transition - no pesky tying of laces required - just tighten and go!
Finis FINIS Edge Fin The FINIS Edge fins are said to be the ultimate speed training fins, engineered to do it all. Through extensive testing at the FINIS Stroke Lab, the Edge fins were designed to optimise training without interrupting a natural kick cycle or compromising on comfort. The combination of 100% silicone and trademarked Smart Fin™ Technology reinforces a proper kick at high speeds, builds cardiovascular endurance and activates key muscle groups for a propulsive up-kick.
MATERIALS Polyester Woven Fibre w/ Elastic Strands. PRACTICAL Give yourself an extra advantage in transition by doing away with having to tie up shoelaces. STYLISH A range of eye-catching colours available. RRP: $9.99 www.orca-australia.com.au
RRP: $69.00 www.aquashop.com.au
Australian Triathlete |
tech talk Product Spotlight
Product: Oakley Radar Pace Eyewear
TRACKS. COACHES. RESPONDS
Intel® Real Speech Powered by Intel, Radar Pace’s intuitive and natural conversational user interface allows athletes to receive real-time performancebased feedback
Wireless Connects to smartphones and ANT+™ , Bluetooth® and Bluetooth® Low Energy enabled external sensors
Oakley radar pace
Internal Sensors Senses when device is worn on head and is equipped with the following internal sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Pressure, Humidity and Proximity
RRP: $449.00 Made of two primary components: • Oakley eyewear with integrated earbuds and microphone • A mobile app for iOS and AndroidTM. The Radar Pace app is available for free download from the Apple® App Store® or on Google PlayTM.
ntroducing Oakley Radar Pace, a smart eyewear featuring a real-time voice activated coaching system. Radar Pace allows athletes of all types to not only train hard but also to train well by equipping them with rich information and real-time feedback. It’s said to be a truly innovative and personalised training tool for all athletes. Seeking to redefine the way athletes train, Radar Pace is the result of years of research and development between Luxottica’s Oakley brand and Intel. This revolutionary device creates dynamic and personalised training programs, tracks performance and coaches in real-time, and responds naturally to questions asked by the user. Radar Pace is a virtual coach that supports athletes during every step of
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their running and cycling training journey – interpreting data in real-time, providing personalised and actionable instruction and motivation during the course of a workout and holding athletes accountable to a structured and dynamic training program. With a hands-free conversational interface powered by Intel® Real Speech, Radar Pace helps athletes stay focused and maintain optimal training position, and the Bluetooth® audio headset allows athletes to place and receive calls and texts, and listen to music.
TRACKS With smart technology, external sensors and the Radar Pace app, the device collects and analyses personal performance data, including power output, heart rate, speed, cadence, time,
Water Resistant IPx5
Radar Pace App To use this smart eyewear, connect it wirelessly to your smartphone through the Radar Pace App - available on Apple® App Store® or Google Play™. Use the app to pair your device, set training goals, access performance metrics and view your training plan
pace and distance, and equips athletes with rich information and real-time audio coaching. The customised running or cycling programs calibrate based on performance, track performance compliance and adjust to make up for missed workouts. Instead of just giving athletes data, Radar Pace provides actionable feedback that is easy to digest, understand and implement.
Radar Pace is available at Oakley.com, at select Oakley stores and in select wholesale and Sunglass Hut locations.
LUXOTTICA AND INTEL LAUNCH SMART EYEWEAR: RADAR PACETM AN OAKLEY-BRANDED INNOVATION, RADAR PACE OFFERS A REAL-TIME VOICE ACTIVATED COACHING For more information, visit:SYSTEM THAT SEEKS TO TRANSFORM HOW ATHLETES TRACK AND UNDERSTAND PERFORMANCE:www.oakley.com/Radar-Pace AVAILABLE 10/3
PrizmTM Lens Technology A revolutionary lens technology from Oakley that dramatically enhances detail to improve performance and provides ultra-precise color tuning, designed for specific environments
Power An indicator light shows the status of remaining battery power, and highlights when Radar Pace is pairing with a Bluetooth-enabled device. Rechargeable through USB port. The power button is located on the inside of the left stem
Touch Pad Located on the left temple, use the pad to control functions with simple taps and swipes - adjust the volume, control music, answer calls, and sync with Siri® and Google Now™ from paired phones
Voice Control Microphone array allows athletes to ask Radar Pace questions in a live, hands-free way during workouts
Audio Removable and adjustable in-ear booms
COACHES Radar Pace is a reliable virtual coach that supports every step of the training journey. Similar to a human coach, it creates a training program for athletes of all types – knowing what was accomplished to date and setting the goal for the next task ahead. By interpreting data in real-time and providing personalised instruction and motivation based on performance, the eyewear holds athletes accountable to a structured and dynamic training program, seeking to transform how athletes track and understand performance. With feedback provided directly through the eyewear, Radar Pace helps athletes make real-time adjustments without fumbling with a phone or watch. Radar Pace helps athletes stay focused on their goals and performance.
RESPONDS Radar Pace’s natural voice interaction, powered by Intel® Real Speech, allows athletes to ask Radar Pace questions, receive real-time feedback and improve their understanding of the performance metrics tracked by the eyewear and external sensors. The device is intuitive, natural and hands-free so athletes can communicate with the system in a live, natural way during workouts.
improve performance by providing ultra-precise color tuning, designed for specific environments. The Prizm Road lens that comes with Radar Pace brightens whites and enhances yellows, greens and reds so runners and cyclists can see subtle changes in road texture and spot hazards more easily for a confident training experience.
LENS TECHNOLOGY Radar Pace features Oakley PrizmTM a revolutionary lens technology that dramatically enhances detail to help
Stay Tuned for our Road Test in next month’s edition.
Australian Triathlete |
tech talk Sound OFF
Lessons from the wind tunnel Finding Your ‘Aero’ Edge text by Sam betten | photography supplied
he term ‘aero’ must surely rank as one of the most used terminologies amongst triathletes. The discussions surrounding the ‘aeroness’ of a certain bike, wheel, helmet, gel or any other piece of bike equipment for that matter, can often result in a heated debate. I must admit that I can be slightly obsessive about aerodynamics too because, after all, #AeroIsEverything isn’t it? A few months ago I was given the opportunity to visit the Specialized ‘WIN’ tunnel in California to do some testing with the experts in aerodynamics. For readers who are expecting the rest of this article to feature overly complicated, specific numbers that will make you feel like you are in a university physics lecture, rest assured that this is not the case. The
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process of aerodynamic testing in the wind tunnel was enlightening in the sense that it opened my eyes to what triathletes should be focussing their attention on. Sure having a Ferrari of a bike which is set up in the most aggressive position possible might get you a few more likes on your next Instagram post but the reality on race day might tell a different tale. The most overlooked component of aerodynamics comes down to your bike fit. A lower and more aggressive bike fit may save you a few seconds or even minutes depending on your race distance. However, if you are uncomfortable and unable to stay on your aero-bars, then any aerodynamic savings immediately become irrelevant. The flow on effect of an aggressive and uncomfortable position may also mean that you are unable to run
well off the bike due to the increased stress on your body. Many people watch cyclists on their time trial bikes and believe that as triathletes, we need to copy this blueprint. However, pro cyclists do not need to be able to run off the bike, and their race TT distances are generally shorter than what we race in triathlon for half or full iron distances especially. The goal is to be able to spend the vast majority of your time in the aero position and feel comfortable while doing so. Comfort should always be your priority followed by aerodynamics. Once you have a bike fit which allows you to stay aero without placing a strain on the rest of your body, the second part of the equation is to practice! To help achieve this, it is imperative that you spend time training on your bike in the aero position.
Aero: Sam Betten gets to air his opinion at the Specialized WIN tunnel in California.
When it comes to aerodynamics, I believe that too many people are — Sam Betten missing the big picture. This concept of comfort before aerodynamics should also translate to your choice of wheels. Most triathletes want a deep section front wheel and rear disc wheel without really thinking about the true underlining advantages and disadvantages. If you are a lighter athlete and decide to ride the aforementioned wheel combination, then this may result in feeling unstable in the event of just a small amount of cross wind. This feeling
of instability may lead to tenseness in your upper body and may mean that you won’t even be able to stay on your aero-bars in fear of being blown off! The general rule is that in most situations, you want to choose a wheel combination that allows you to feel confident and relaxed while you are in the aero position no matter what the wind conditions throw at you. For lighter athletes, this may mean that you will ride a lot quicker with a shallower
wheel such as a Roval CLX40 versus a deeper wheel or even a rear disc. Without question one of the biggest mistakes that I have seen triathletes make when it comes to aerodynamics is how they decide to attach hydration, nutrition and mechanical spares to their bikes. The time savings that come with smart choices in this department can be truly staggering. Some of the biggest culprits are water bottles on your bikes down tube and energy gels strapped to the top tube. It may not seem like a big deal to most athletes, but all of these factors have been proven time and time again in the wind tunnel to cause significant aerodynamic drag. Moving your water bottle to behind your saddle or in between your aero bars, which are both areas of ‘negative drag’, results in absolutely no additional aerodynamic drag. Your nutritional items should also be strategically placed so that they are hidden away from the wind to avoid any aerodynamic losses. Many athletes commonly tape gels to their bike frames rather than hiding them away in integrated bike storage solutions such as the storage solution Specialized has with the Fuel Cell. When it comes to aerodynamics, I believe that too many people are missing the big picture. The more comfortable we are and the longer we can stay ‘aero’ for, the faster we will be on race day.
Sam Betten A professional triathlete from QLD
Australian Triathlete |
tech talk Road Test
Product Tested: 2XU Propel Wetsuit
© The Test Lab
2XU Propel Wetsuit
ack in 2005 2XU sprang to life and singlehandedly gave the triathlon apparel industry a kick up the butt. They brought to the table technical fabrics and body contoured panels in their trisuits. Pretty much every ITU athlete and many others were wearing them. Brad Kahlefeldt won the 2006 Commonwealth games wearing a 2XU suit after Adidas commissioned them to make the Australian team trisuits because, in their minds, the 2XU suits were the best out there. Having shaken up the apparel arena, 2XU quickly turned to the triathlon wetsuit market with similar effect. While other companies quickly improved, 2XU have continued to innovate and push ahead and to this day remain one of the industry leaders in both the apparel and wetsuit areas. Over the last month or so we have been putting one of 2XU’s latest wetsuits to the test, the ‘Propel’. As the most expensive wetsuit in the 2XU range, this
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truly is a ‘high end’ suit. The list of features alone makes you think that you’ll be able to keep pace with Jan Frodeno over any distance. Things like the forearm catch panels and ‘Velocity Strakes’ have become a visual identification of most 2XU suits and are designed to help catch the water and enhance the proprioception through each stroke. Forearm catch panels are pretty much industry standard nowadays with all brands having their own versions. However, the ‘Velocity Strakes’ have remained a 2XU only feature. What we really love though is the SCS coating [Specialty Coating System], the Intermediate Zone Stretch Panels and the extra thin neoprene in the arms and shoulders. The SCS coating is fantastic, as it not only adds to the suits buoyancy and creates a hydrodynamic coating (meaning it reduces drag and slips through the water better), but it makes getting the suit off a
breeze. It practically falls off when you need it to. ‘Intermediate Zone Stretch Panels’ is basically a fancy way of saying “this suit stretches in all the right places”. You just don’t feel trapped like you do in some wetsuits. While the thin neoprene through the seamless shoulder and arm panels really does give you unrestricted movement.
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 Other features such as the ‘Rollbar’, use of Yamamoto 39 Cell rubber and buoyancy inserts in the front panels are also great touches that help the suit excel. They all aid in maintaining better body position, core stability and buoyancy while swimming. The ‘Rollbar’ feels like it gives you a solid strong core, even for those of us who’ve managed to forgo every Pilates class we promised to attend. The front inserts, located in the legs, torso and chest areas, sit you just nicely near the surface of the water. Using the 39 Cell Rubber is a great choice in these areas as it is quite durable while being very buoyant too. Although not as buoyant as the Yamamoto 40 it will wear better as it’s not as prone to fingernail rips. One standout feature that we noticed was that the rear zipper on the Propel has also been improved on previous 2XU suits. It has been integrated into a floating panel which means there is almost no noticeable pull or restriction while swimming and is said to aid in a faster on and off process before you swim and in T1. So, how is it to wear and swim in? Let’s be honest here folks, getting into a wetsuit it one of the least fun things you can do. You have to roll the rubber onto your legs and slowly pull the suit on while trying desperately not to nick that precious black
The list of features alone makes you think that you’ll be able to keep pace with Jan Frodeno over any distance. — The Test Lab woMen’s stretchy material. Well, let me tell you, straight out of the box this suit took less than a minute to get on. Whether it was the zip design, the SCS coating or a combination of both it really doesn’t matter. All we know is there was no fight and other than needing someone to zip us Australian Triathlete |
tech talk Road Test
Product Tested: 2XU Propel Wetsuit
© The Test Lab
The Propel certainly helped to provide a more powerful and streamlined position and anything that improves efficiency is going to improve times. — The Test Lab
up it could even be a one person show if we weren’t so needy. Adding to the process are the nice little white 2XU gloves that come with the Propel to ensure you treat the rubber as well as your best friends wedding photo album. In the past, we’ve had a few issues with the neckline of 2XU suits, but even in the first swim, where we forgot the Body Glide, there was no chafing whatsoever. Now it’s one thing to have freedom of movement in the shoulders, but if there is
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not much stretch in the legs, then your suit is only really good for deep water starts. Straight off the bat, we hit a few beach start efforts, and there were no restrictions through the legs at all making this a very easy suit for running through the waves. Throughout the swims we did in the Propel, flexibility was never an issue, and the body position definitely helped for faster times compared with some of the other suits we have tested. For myself with a poor kick and feet that sink the Propel certainly helped to provide a more powerful and streamlined position and anything that improves efficiency is going to improve times. The next big test is how it performs in T1, the place where we think a triathlon wetsuit can really shine or potentially erode all of the good work it’s done in the
wet stuff. Unlike 2XU suits of old, where trimming the legs to create a larger hole to make pulling the legs off easier was the done thing, this suit practically falls off. Putting it on a par with the Aquaman wetsuits in this area. As we have stated in past reviews, the time/effort/anxiety savings of a suit that’s easy to remove is just as, and sometimes more important than marginal time savings in the water. This suit has both great in water and on land benefits that reduce any thought of losing time needlessly. Overall the Propel is a wetsuit with a stack of features that go well together and create a very quick piece of equipment. We have held up the Aquaman Cell Gold and ART suits as the gold standard for quite some time, and now we can add the 2XU Propel wetsuit alongside them.
SUNDAY, 11 JUNE 2017
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SUNDAY, 11 JUNE 2017
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tech talk Road Test
Product Tested: Orca Women’s Alpha Wetsuit
Women’s Alpha Wetsuit text by Sarah Grove | photography by Orca
hen I took up this sport eight years ago, my first wetsuit was an Orca. But over the years I’ve been in and out of other brands, testing my way through the various technologies and improvements. The brand Orca is renowned for its wetsuits, having been born in the sport of triathlon. So when the new Orca Alpha landed on my doorstep, I jumped at the opportunity to get back in an Orca and test out the improvements since my first wetsuit all those years ago.
Fit and Feel
One of the first things I noticed when I unwrapped the new Orca Alpha from its packaging was how super light it was. It would be interesting to compare the weight to the other Orca models, and its competitors, but it definitely felt super light. The weight is something that I certainly look out for in a suit. Along with flexibility and buoyancy - I want a suit that is light. I’m only 155cm and 50kg, so there’s nothing worse than running in a heavy wetsuit into transition!
I calculated my wetsuit size based on the Orca size chart range, and the wetsuit fit perfectly. Getting the wetsuit onto the legs and up the torso was no worries at all and felt super comfortable. Although, when I got to putting the arms on, that’s when I ran into trouble. The wetsuit boasts its revolutionary new technology – the super flexible 0.88Free material found in the arms of the suit. This material contains “the five layer construction combined with a patented heat reflective
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Titanium coating and is the secret behind the extraordinarily high insulation effect in such a lightweight material. This results in extreme stretch and flexibility, high buoyancy and insulation as well as low drag in the water.”1 Even though the suit boats ‘extreme stretch’ for swimming, this isn’t replicated when putting the wetsuit on! I found the 0.88 Free material was extremely tight, with limited stretch and due to the thinness of the material I found
Reviewed by: Sarah grove Sarah Grove is a triathlon performance coach with Holistic Endurance and competes competitively at all levels of triathlon. As a coach, Sarah works with athletes of all abilities from beginner to Ironman athletes, with a passion for developing, guiding and supporting athletes from the ground up to help them achieve their triathlon and lifestyle goals utilising holistic principles for optimal performance outcomes while maintaining a balanced, nourished and happy life. For more information, www.holisticendurance.com.au
myself having to be super careful getting it up my arms for fear of tearing it. To be honest, it took me a couple of times to get the arms up and fitted properly. But once it was on, it was on, and boy did it fit and feel good! I was slightly concerned that getting out of the wetsuit was going to cause me issues, but I needn’t have worried. The wetsuit was extremely easy to remove both from the arms and the legs, and I wasn’t using any body glide or other product to aid the process. Add this in a race, and you will have no concerns at all in transition!
Comfort: Super thin 2mm SCS coated neoprene collar provides the ultimate in comfort where you need it most.
Flexibility The Orca Alpha is one of the two top-tier wetsuits in the Orca range and is marketed as the most flexible, unrestricted wetsuit on the market. Does it live up to the claims?
Unquestionably yes! The main difference between this suit and other suits I have worn over the years is undoubtedly the revolutionary and super flexible 0.88Free neoprene arms - not just because of the electric blue colour! The material is well under 1mm thick (0.88mm to be exact), and this is the standout feature for me in the wetsuit. Flexibility in the arms is one of the key features that every triathlete should look for in a suit, and with this one you get it! So, if you are one of those triathlete’s who struggles in wetsuits as your arms feel restricted, or you get that ‘heavy’ feeling in the arms, do yourself a favour and test out the Orca Alpha. You will not be disappointed in its flexibility!
Flexibilty: 0.88 Free arms and underarm panel give you the ultimate flexibility to compliment your stroke.
Buoyancy As with most triathletes, one of the key benefits we receive from a wetsuit is buoyancy. More buoyancy means a higher body position in the water, creating less drag and therefore resulting in maximised performance potential. The Orca Alpha is the second tier wetsuit in the Orca range, and is designed and marketed to “compliment a good swimmers technique”. I had a look at the top-tier wetsuit, the Predator, and this is the wetsuit you would go for if looking for additional buoyancy benefits: “ For ultimate swim assistance, the Predator wetsuit will keep you streamlined even when you tire while
Buoyancy: Exo-cell Buoyancy Dots help with keeping you on top of the water. Australian Triathlete |
tech talk Road Test
Photo: © xxxxxxxx
also providing ultimate buoyancy, flexibility and feel for the water.”2 In saying that, to me, the Alpha still felt great in the water and assisted lifting my body position and felt super sleek in the water. So for others, this may be a personal preference and a case of determining what type of swimmer you are and what you are looking for most in a suit.
Added benefits I also loved that the wetsuit comes with a ‘wetsuit foot bag’ - booties to help get into the wetsuit with ease, along with cotton gloves to help reduce the chance of damage when putting on the wetsuit. Not needed by everyone, and I didn’t use them, but a nice little bonus regardless something you don’t have to go out and buy yourself. The wetsuit also comes with a waterproof backpack. A waterproof backpack is a great way to carry and protect your wetsuit to and from training and racing. You spend good money on wetsuits, so it is worth taking the time to look after them!
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Overall I loved the suit. Despite it taking a little longer to get on compared to other wetsuits I have used, once on, the suit felt amazing both in and out of the water and excelled in all aspects in what I look for in a suit. So, if you are looking for flexibility, functionality, buoyancy and technology in a wetsuit, then you have certainly found it in the Orca Alpha. And if the lack of flexibility is an issue with your current wetsuit, then I highly recommend you test out the Orca Alpha.
References: 1. www.orca.com/int-en/womens-alpha-wetsuit/ 2. www.orca.com/int-en/womens-predator-wetsuit/
Product Tested: Orca Women’s Alpha Wetsuit
tech talk save/spend/splurge
ORCA Women’s Core Race Suit -- All new lighter weight AquaStretch fabric dries faster and provides improved breathability. -- Next generation Vapour side panels. -- Built-in semi auto-lock Zip Front Tri Internal bra features a supportive AquaStretch front panel and a mesh back for breathability where you need it most. -- 6mm female-specific Italian Tri-Support chamois. -- Two (2) angled rear covered pockets positioned on either side of the lower back. -- Reflective print ensures you stay visible. -- UPF50+ sun protection rating/ Color: Blue/Dark Blue Sizes: Small (S), Medium (M), Large (L) www.orca.com/au-en
Product: Tri Suits
Pearl Izumi SELECT Tri Suit The SELECT Tri Suit features SELECT Transfer Dry fabric and delivers value, fit and durability for all levels of triathletes. The SELECT Tri Suit is equally at home for both short and long course events. SELECT Transfer Dry fabric sets the benchmark for compression and moisture transfer -- Direct-Vent panels provide superior ventilation -- Flatlock seams provide superior abrasion resistance -- 12” zipper for venting/Plush elastic silicone leg gripper -- One easy access envelope pocket/TRI quick-dry fleece chamois -- Reflective elements for low-light visibility/8” inseam (size – medium)
Project clothing Supersuit Bright Blue The Supersuit has been designed specifically for fast ITU racing, the suit fits smaller and more firm to streamline your swim. If you are on the cusp of the size, we recommend selecting the larger size.
Project clothing Supersuit Fuchsia The Supersuit has been designed specifically for fast ITU racing, the suit fits smaller and more firm to streamline your swim. If you are on the cusp of the size, we recommend selecting the larger size.
Splurge 2XU GHST Trisuit Built from 2XU’s ultra light and incredibly breathable TRI SKIN fabric, this garment boasts impressive speed through the water. Colour: Black/Gold
2XU Project X Trisuit Engineered with 105D/CK fabric, this leading 2XU Trisuit offers outstanding moisture management teamed with incredible muscle stabilisation for a dry, comfortable garment that enhances performance. Colour: Black/Desert Red www.2xu.com.au
$400.00 Australian Triathlete |
M US I N GS For the love of the sport t e x t b y Si r i Lin d l e y
sk yourself - why did you start doing triathlon? For me - I watched a friend compete in a triathlon in 1993. I thought it was the most awesome thing I had ever seen. People of all different shapes, sizes, ages, and fitness levels, out there pushing themselves to the limits, trying to be the best that they can be, in a challenge that exhilarates them. I had been a team sports athlete my whole life - field hockey, ice hockey and lacrosse. I loved these sports and thrived in an environment that pulsated excitement from sharing goals and dreams with your teammates. The one thing though is that you never know exactly how much of a role you played, when it is a team effort. Being part of a team is awesome - there is nothing more amazing than achieving shared dreams together. But, part of me was desperate to find out what I was made of, on my own. It would be up to me to see how fast I could go, how strong I could remain and if I could endure through a triathlon. This challenge motivated me more than anything else ever had. I wanted to find out what I was made of. Triathlon was the vehicle through which I would find this.
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| photography supplied
I had fallen madly in love with this sport, a sport, which inspired me at the deepest levels. That love, that enjoyment, that I felt every single day, led me to wanting to keep striving to make progress, see improvement, and continually be inspired by the tiny steps forward I was making. Everything about the sport inspired me. The challenge, the people, and the races - all the minutiae that go into every detail of trying to become proficient in this extremely complicated sport. That love carried me to all new levels of performance. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat? No, not at all. I was either winning or learning in my mind. Every single race was a chance to be better, get stronger, learn more about me, and take it to the next level.
When we win, we celebrate. We bask in the joy of the victory and celebrate the fruits of our labour. When we lose, we are not losing. We are simply, learning! Always. Our greatest lessons come from when we are challenged at the deepest levels, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. Where we have to find that little bit extra, or find a way to overcome, persist, and find a way. This is where we build muscle - where we become more than what we already are. The problem a lot of athletes have is they get stuck in their heads. They forget about the love they have for the sport, and focus instead on judging their performance or analysing where they are at in every moment. This living in the head does not connect you with what is true in
Let me tell you - passion is the most powerful ingredient for putting together your most amazing race. â€” Siri Lindley
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 your heart. The love for the sport. The love for the challenge. The heart is where all your power lies because it truly connects you to your passion. Whereas when we are in our heads we are connected to our judgements and our ideas of whether we are good, or bad, and how we feel - we analyse that in every moment. We are less powerful in this space as we are being limited by our judgements. Analysis leads to paralysis.
Being in the head lessens our power, and reduces our force of passion. Let me tell you - passion is the most powerful ingredient for putting together your most amazing race. Remember at all times to be in the moment! To live from your heart, race from your heart and celebrate every single moment you are out there, honoured to be given a chance to spread your wings and fly!
Live from the heart as often as possible, and you will live authentically. Free from judgement, free from so many negative forces that we create for ourselves in our minds. When we race, we must be firing on all cylinders to race to our utmost potential. That means doing the work, preparing in the very best possible ways, and never forgetting that our greatest resource of strength is within our hearts. So, stay there, race there, live there. You will create an extraordinary life, and you will see yourself performing better than you ever have! All the best, Siri :)
Australian Triathlete |
with Willy Dan Wilson
the silver in a sprint finish. Mercifully, we found the party this year and celebrated Brendan’s sliver well. There were pickled eggs involved. They do things strangely in Hamburg.
2008. My first Elite team in Vancouver. Decided to skip my last year in U/23s, and race with the big boys. It was a brutal race, in freezing conditions - we wore gloves, jackets and arm warmers during the race. It was the only time Starbucks has looked attractive to me - I considered pulling in mid-race to stick my freezing hands deep into the nearest percolator.
The Last Hurrah
reetings, friends! As I type this, I’m on the plane on my way back from Cozumel, Mexico, where I competed in the World Championships. It was a special one for me, as I had made the decision that it would be my last outing on the ITU circuit, an office in which I’ve plied my trade for over a decade now. It has been a long time since I was a young whippersnapper eagerly boarding the plane to Portugal in 2004 for my first junior team. So long ago in fact, that the iPod I bought from the airport on the way home was so new that people would stop me on the train to ask what it was and what it did. I told them it was a cool gimmick, but would probably never catch on. I’ve always been perceptive like that. Over the years, on every team I’ve made, I’ve learnt a bit more about training, racing, triathlon, and myself. I’ve always had a lot of fun travelling with the athletes and staff that make up the Elite Australian team. 2004. My first team was the junior team in Madeira, in what was the most unique bike course I’d ever seen. The bike course was 10km up a huge climb, and then we u-turned and headed back down. The bike pack blew to smithereens - I survived the carnage to get off in the front pack, and the escape sticks on the run earned me a slightly disappointing 10th, as I’d hoped to challenge for the podium. Probably one of my most distinctive memories is of AT
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[Australian Triathlete magazine] contributor Brendan Sexton swimming out post-race to jump off a rock so high it would make the Red Bull Divers edgy. 2005. Didn’t make the team in my first year in the U/23 category. We only took a team of two out of five available positions, and a few people thought I should have got a discretionary spot. In reality, I wasn’t up to standard, and stayed home, and trained hard to strengthen my weakness. 2006. My first U/23 team in Lausanne, and one of my most memorable races. Finished third, and stood on the podium with my good mate and fellow Queenslander Nathan Campbell, who came second. Attempted to celebrate the result later that night, but instead ended up completely lost, roaming the streets of Lausanne, searching in vein for the after-party, subsequently missing the last train home and getting kicked out of a hotel for trying to sleep in the lobby. 2007. My second U/23 team in Hamburg. I was hoping to go either one or two steps higher than Lausanne and based on my form I thought I’d be close to the mark. The lesson learnt for this year – some days, you just ain’t got it! Finished 14th, a subpar performance where absolutely nothing went wrong in my preparation or the race, I just didn’t perform. AT columnist Brendan had a ripper and got
2009. World champs on home soil on the Gold Coast. Unfortunately, my thinking at this stage of my career was that the only way I could achieve my goals was to train harder than anyone else was willing to train. By the time I got to the Gold Coast, I was so badly overcooked the junior girls were showing me up in swim training. I was last out of the water and got lapped out early into the bike. Not a race I remember fondly, and unfortunately, a lesson that didn’t stick straight away. 2010. In torrential rain in Budapest, I’ll remember this one as ‘the one that got away’. I was in good form, I had been fifth at the World Sprint champs a few weeks before, and won my first World Cup a few weeks after. Unfortunately, after a good swim, I got a flat tire in a bad position on the course, and by the time I’d got to the spares station, the race was gone. One of the more unusual after parties, organised by a bloke named Dirty Harry and held at a swimming pool. Predictably, there was a swimming race by the end of the night, although the beverages consumed by that point meant that the freestyle techniques on display had severely declined compared to earlier in the day.
© Delly Carr/ITU Media
2011. Missed worlds in Beijing, at the start of my ‘injury phase’. A bike crash at the start of the year had led to knee surgery, and a stress fracture just before the Olympic selection event. With the door still slightly open to qualifying for the Olympic team, I went home and swam and rode with a single-minded focus, and waited for my injuries to heal. 2012. Missed worlds in Auckland, and missed the Games in London. Two more stress fractures meant I wasn’t in contention for much, as and I sat on a plane back from Korea, at a race I had missed with my latest stressy, I enrolled to take psychology at uni and thought my days as a triathlete were over. 2013. Back on the team in London, and my proudest race ever, as well as one of my best performances across all three disciplines to end up 18th. Rebuilding my body and belief took all year, and having a great race in London remains my proudest performance of my career. 2014. Back to Canada, at the end of a big year abroad with the Commonwealth Games. I was ninth at the Commonwealth Games, and achieved my highest World champs position of 13th in Edmonton. Topped my tour off with three races on three different continents in three weeks, with a second at Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast, after which I entered a jetlagged hell. 2015. Missed worlds in Chicago, undergoing Achilles surgery for an injury picked up just before the Rio test event. Promptly broke my arm shortly into rehab for the Achilles, and promptly got a stress fracture shortly into rehab for the arm. If I didn’t have a year of uni to go, I would have applied for a job and hung up the bike.
Cozumel, Mexico 2016: Take a bow and a poke in the eye for good measure as Dan Wilson calls it a day on his ITU racing career.
2016. The last hurrah in Cozumel. Another long year of building form and self-belief, and a fittingly brutal race to finish with, in the hottest conditions I’ve experienced. The race packed more heat than an NRA convention. I was 22nd, and really got the chance to savour my last moments as an ITU athlete.
From here, it looks like I’ll be poking my nose into the wind a bit more than I’m used to. I’ll be seeing how my game transfers to non-drafting, Ironman 70.3 racing. It sure has been a wild ride as part of the ITU circuit - it has given me the opportunity to experience things I never thought possible. Thanks to those who played a part in my journey, no matter how big or small!
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. http://www.danwilson.com.au/ and Twitter: @ dan_wilson_
Australian Triathlete |
Quality vs.Quantity The intricate chisel and mighty hammer
major element of progression and success in triathlon, as in any endurance sport, or almost any refined skill, for that matter, is consistency. The daily grind of repetitive motion is the chisel and hammer that chips at a slab of marble and slowly creates a masterpiece. It is the act of swimming the same stroke, pedalling the same cycle and striding the same step thousands upon thousands of times for months, years and even decades that sees finite improvement and intricate awareness of the body’s movement. This process, taking such a huge chunk of time with a relatively small requirement for specific mental focus can often feel monotonous, mind numbing, mundane and utterly dull. Most triathletes I’ve come across in my time agree. it is part and parcel of this sport that you become quite accustomed to having the chorus tune of that given week’s jingliest pop song to be on constant repeat in your head over and over and over. Even more impressive is the triathlete’s freakish skill to remain sane and not ride headlong into oncoming traffic when said boppy beat is on a high internal rotation - they may not actually know all the lyrics resulting in a hybrid of humming and fabricated nonsensical words. Such is the triathlete’s commitment to the ‘chiselling of David’. What I so often hear from successful triathletes and triathlon coaches alike is
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that a key contributor to an athlete’s improvement over time is the attention to detail in training and racing. The opinion that chasing K’s and piling up the junk miles is wasting huge amounts of time and actually causing athletes to grow slower is an angle that I’ve seen cast, particularly in my time spent in the shorter version of our sport. So, is improvement in the quantity or the quality? I’m sure, anyone reading this, who has spent any time in triathlon, and who has attempted to make positive changes to their performance, will know that improvement in performance is made as
the result of accumulated, consistent training AND triathlon work that brings attention to the finer details of movement within that training. Of course somewhere in the middle of the mindless meandering kilometres and the precise measurement of the biomechanics scale is the “Goldilocks Zone” where most athletes will find improvement. But there are times when quality is king and other times when quantity should reign. There is an old Chinese story of a young boy dreaming of becoming a Shaolin monk who is set the task of repeatedly slapping water with his hands for the
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
duration of his first day at the monastery. He is then ordered to repeat this seemingly pointless exercise each day for a whole year. When a year is up, the young monk confronts his superiors who, again, command him to slap water. Frustrated, the boy slams his hand down on the thick stone table splitting it clean in two. Only then does he realise that the consistent and repetitive action that he had refined through countless quality movements gave him the strength he would not have achieved through thoughtless hitting of the stone itself. This story, for me, demonstrates the wonderful integration of quantity and quality. Quantity in the consistent and mundane repetition across a huge span of time is obvious. On the other hand, pun unintended, there is such quality involved in the slapping action as water is moving and variable – such detailed sensation and ‘feel’ for the water would be developed. The focus on consistent quantity and quality should constantly be shifting. When initiating a training program, many athletes will go for the LSD (Long Slow Distance) approach to begin with. As many theories suggest, starting out building an aerobic base will provide a foundation to then build more intense energy systems upon - I agree with this. An initial fitness building undertaking will require a lot of repetition. If fitness is lacking then, substantial high-intensity repetitions will not be possible, as fatigue will accumulate swiftly. By reducing quality in an intensity sense, physical conditioning will have a facility to flourish. What one should ask him or her self at this point is that when quality from an intensity perspective is less, does that mean all quality should be neglected with it? I bring to your attention the quality of technique. If an athlete is rebuilding base fitness, the assumption is that technique condition (how efficiently an athlete
moves in the water, on the bike or while running) is also as depleted as aerobic capacity. When an athlete’s technique is in question, the chances of injury are high, and the need to alter technique should at least be touched upon. Other aspects of quality monitoring that may too often be neglected such as nutrition, recovery and strength and conditioning (core strength, neural firing patterns, flexibility) jump to
“battler”, but there is a point where pushing beyond the body’s limits can do more harm than good. The quality of intensity is only as beneficial as the quality of the machine that it is being channelled through. Red lining in fifth in a Kombi still isn’t going to do much damage next to a dragster cruising in third. The approach athletes take leading into big events often cause their attention
There are times when quality is king and other times when quantity — Brendan Sexton should reign. mind when I think of a harmonious combination of quantity and quality. With or without a coach these aspects of training quality can frequently be reviewed by reading and watching expert material, working and speaking with experts in body and mind (physiotherapists, massage therapists, osteotherapists, nutritionists, etc.). Even filming a few swim strokes, cycling revolutions and run strides at regular intervals to compare and tweak is a powerful quality monitoring exercise. Once a foundation of fitness is laid down, and competition and events approach race specificity, training intensity will often increase. This is the period where “quality” work often happens and yet despite the intention of quality, the lesser-considered quality aspects may still be neglected. The old notion of “go till you blow” is as present as ever in triathlon and this can be a quality tipping point. I’m as much for some good old fashion teeth gritting and eye-popping work as the next
to drift to qualities they may not have spent much time developing already. At this point the number of quality aspects increase and the consistency of their major qualities reduce. This is where we see the quality vs. quantity aspect inversed. Obviously rolling out to swim your longest ever session the day before a big race is about as clever as fly screens on submarines. The quantity, in terms of training volume, will usually decrease as events draw near. But in the final stages before an athlete’s big race day the quality of actions and thought should be at an all-time high. The awareness of the body’s movement should be as sensitive as ever after much consistent quantity combined with a frequent attention to quality. Identifying that there are more qualities than just intensity and more quantities than just volume, the quality vs. quantity argument becomes null and void. If athletes embed one into the other, they will wield both a mighty hammer and an intricate chisel. Australian Triathlete |
Team Life text by jodie swallow | p h o t o g r a p h y b y D e l l y C a r r | B a h r a in En d u r a n c e 1 3
t face value, triathlon appears a sport for individuals. Even in ITU when country codes appear blazoned across the chest and back, it is rare that team tactics initiate any effective dynamic - unless your surname is Brownlee of course. As i write this, I am in Bahrain on a Bahrain Endurance Team camp. It is arguably the largest team, maintaining the highest concentration of sporting excellence under one name, of any sport in the world. Big claim that. Olympic teams, World Championship teams, F1 teams - there are only a few team scenarios in professional sport that can compete with the pedigree and abundance of talent currently here. The level of excellence and ambition is palatable, a high expectation is normal, winning is simply standard. Our team baseball caps remind us that we have won eight world titles between 2015 and 2016. I am pretty proud of my world title in 2016, but next to Javier Gomez’s World Series title and Daniela and Jan’s three World Championship titles - mine is somewhat ‘below par’. It is easy to feel inferior on this team. There is always someone who has done or could do better than you.
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I am not a person to feel intimidated in the company of champions. I learnt early on in this sport that being called a champion does not necessarily mean a person always acts like one. Through many years of sport I have met many successful sportspeople, legends actually, they are all different, and I have different levels of care for them. Some I love and aspire to, some I have felt disconnected from. It’s no different from any other society. There are kind people - there are mean people. Some I like. Some offend me. Being a champion of sport is about excellence and heroic feats but these characteristics, by themselves, don’t teach people to be heroes. Sometimes they actually require pretty uninspired, selfish practice. Are real life heroes humble? Probably not. What can never be disputed is the remarkable endeavour it requires to reach the top in any arena of a profession. Talent is not enough, nor is aptitude to work. It is the unique combination of their numerous attributes and their ‘opportunity grabs’ that these champions have nailed. That is always impressive. Champions are human, and like all humans, they are inevitably flawed.
They are, perhaps, even more unbalanced than the average person. Isn’t that too often what ‘success’ reflects? It rewards obsession, singlemindedness, and commitment. It requires extraordinary levels of these traits, unattainable by most, undesirable for others. This is why winning is so coveted the people who do it are different. In my privileged position, sitting amongst the current greats of triathlon,
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 aside from occasionally not being able to get a word in, I sit, and I observe a lot. Human dynamics - the most intriguing entertainment show on earth. But these are not edited, commercial, reality TV stars. These are some of the most highly motivated, competitive sports stars on Earth - the lessons come minute by minute. Our sport is pretty unique in it’s accessibility to the professionals of the sport. Surely it cannot be common to
share a lane with a multiple World Champion? Well actually I have seen multiple very elderly Catalonians do just that with Jan Frodeno this summer. Daniela, Gwen, Caroline - they all remain touchable, identifiable. They tweet their own tweets and answer their own emails, existing not only in the fantastical tiers of Laureus Sports Awards but living normal lives - eating, laughing, even struggling daily.
Sitting amongst the greats: The Bahrain Endurance Team.
Sitting and eating dinner with my team is fun. The current members are anything, but pretentious over meals and their daily schedule and most remain unaffected by their prowess and accolades. Take away their titles and 80% of them would not change one iota. They are engaging, honest and intelligent human beings, they truly are. Most are generally calm, considerate of opinion and retrospective - they are thinking athletes. In many, you can see sparks of the individual racing spirit they show on the field. In relaxation, just like in racing, the aloofness of the Frodeno image is intermittently interrupted by raucous laughing - the boyish charm that filters through the high professionalism and meticulousness. It is the best side of him. Ben Hoffman is understated but incredibly sharp. Much like his racing - low key until he attacks with outstandingly insightful rhetoric. In a recent interview here he announced himself as “Bahrain Ben”, and he could be the avenger of the Middle East if a comic career called him. Brent McMahon is funny - really funny. He has no ego - he is just freakishly fast. Fast and kind - my favourite type of quick. I say I don’t idolise sportspeople, but perhaps I lie. One Spanish legend is pretty up there for me. It is difficult not to acknowledge the credentials of a man such as Javier Gomez. I had breakfast with him for the first time yesterday. You know the way he races? Consistent, relaxed, composed. That is what it was like speaking to him. It is wholly him - he is engaging, intense, and considered but with kinder eyes than when he runs. The man could excel at any area of life he chose. He is remarkable. I feel like this piece is turning into a ‘love fest’ of Team Bahrain boys. That is not a true reflection of my observations and feelings this week. It is not all peachy, Australian Triathlete |
Common character traits: Aspiring towards personal challenge, self-fulfilment and improvement.
smooth sailing - it definitely is not. There are always undercurrents of hierarchy and competitiveness that are of course tiring to deal with. I have some stories, but I am not going to write them here. Who the hell am I to judge other people’s behaviour? I too have unsavoury moments. What I focus on instead is the similar branches of personality within this diverse bunch. What are the common character attributes that these successful professionals have? I ask them about motivations - what drives a person to pursue this career to endlessly seek the coveted and rare achievement of being better than anyone else in the world? Our answers are comprehensively the same. Personal challenge embellished in self-fulfilment and improvement. It isn’t a company line either - I asked independently and openly. The top professionals keep the same motivations as the aspiring age grouper despite the lure of prize money and fame that can result from their training.
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Intelligence is also a common attribute. While some sports could be accused of nurturing a ‘sports jock’ mentality, it becomes pretty apparent, hanging around this team, that triathlon is not one of these. These guys would annihilate stupidity within a heartbeat. There is a battalion of brains on this team. These are thinking professionals that conduct their lives as meticulously as they plan their training. Few are late; most are prepared, and all are well scripted in general conversation making and appropriate behaviour. That should be no surprise when considering the consistency of each individual’s career. But there is also some element of influence and expectation amongst the athletes. Excellence breeds excellence. Healthy eating is also a common behaviour. Water over wine and natural over processed, without a doubt. Everyone eats differently and probably also at different times in his or her racing schedule as well. But it is fairly clear to observe that everyone in the team enjoys food as a tool of his or her trade rather than a stress-relief
(like some elite running teams I have been on), or as an indulgence (like some elite swim teams I have been on). It reiterates the fact that to reach the top in triathlon, for any length of time, you must have a healthy relationship with food. It is the length of event that brings out the necessity. I am wholly glad to finally feel this about a sport in which I have suffered horrid body dysmorphia, wrong direction and subsequent eating troubles. I feel confidence in now believing and stating that triathlon is a sport for the strong and healthy to flourish. What do we talk about? Well, some talk a lot about themselves, about triathlon, but many also talk about politics, about global warming and sports development. Most of us veer away from of discussing any training or racing rhetoric - more experience and humour in extreme racing situations. I guess by the end of the year, by the end of the day and indeed by the end of the session we have all just had enough of talking office. Now I flag myself talking office, and it is time to cease. I hope that gives a little insight into the life of a professional triathlon team - the most successful triathlon racing team ever in fact. We live a crazy, crazy life but it is mad good and ultra privileged. We would be fools to take our opportunity for granted. We don’t. Today we had lunch with the King of Bahrain, who knows what tomorrow will bring.
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40 IRONMAN World Championship slots on offer
SUNDAY 7 MAY 2017
The Training and Recovery Balancing Act
t e x t b y d r . s im 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 im a g e s a n d s h u t t e r s t o c k . c o m
t some point in time, something caught your eye. Provoked a sense of inquisition. It enticed you. Made you think. You read inspirational excerpts on the greats, at the pointy end of the sport, and the not so greats - but with an equally enthralling story to tell. Consciously or subconsciously, these stories made you think and drew you in. You read more. You spoke to people. You watched carefully and listened intently. Finally, you took the plunge, invested in the necessary equipment, and started training for a triathlon. Before you know it, you have lined up for a smash fest like no other. You’re a glutton for punishment, so you keep coming back for more.
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For the majority, we reconcile early in the piece that training and competing in the sport of triathlon is not necessarily about winning world titles. Indeed, triathlon is a sport in which you will learn a lot about yourself. Just like the fundamentals of life itself, competing in the sport of triathlon is not so much about the end results - rather, it’s about the journey. That said the ultimate competition comes from within. Learning about where your physical and psychological ceiling is - how deep can you go? Extracting the best out of yourself. As a triathlete, the nature of the beast is such that you have plenty of time to think. Swimming, riding and running for
hours on end down the road less travelled. Liberating? Yes. Motivating? For sure. Clouded judgement? From time to time most certainly, you are human after all. Every now and then you hit the crossroads and need to make a decision. Which way do I go? Who do I seek advice from? Your friends say you are crazy. Your family only want the best for you. Your coach is dangling the carrot and encouraging you to persevere through thick and thin. By now, you fully appreciate that this is a thinking person’s sport. Ultimately, it’s up to you to make the decisions.
Training TOOLBOX © Getty Images/Ironman
Performance Do you have the work/train/compete/ family/life balance right? The modern era of life is dynamic and unpredictable. Therefore adaptability to changing and challenging life circumstances is a prerequisite to not only maintaining the status quo but also reaching new found levels of physical and mental prowess. Besides the obvious, an athlete’s organisational skill reflects forward thinking on managing training workloads and finding the right time to validate and utilise specific performance enhancing methods and tools that are unique to your individual needs. Organisation should also encompass embracing proactive monitoring methods that are in line with best practice when you are healthy and have everything under control - rather than adopting the all too common reactive approach to seeking assistance from a health professional when the proverbial bowel contents hit the fan. Clarity reflects the rationale behind your training and ancillary methods – your ability to see the forest for the trees.
A matter of perspective Having set your targets for 2017, there will be many questions that remain unanswered. Are you doing too much or too little training? Are you under or overdoing recovery? Are you adequately prepared for competing in the heat? Have you found the tapering methods that give you the right sensations during your race?
How do you juggle the time commitments across the primary training modes in order to build your strength and resilience to fatigue and injury? And on it goes. The principles of regular training are clear to most. Fundamentally, the principles of training are to develop resilience in the face of significant physical/mental challenges and to improve fitness. Indeed, the health benefits of regular training are also numerous and profound. However, when the training-recovery balance tips the wrong way for extended periods, athletes are exposed to a high incidence of systemic illness and soft tissue injuries.
Logical approach to enhancing recovery The world of sports performance is currently inundated with an overwhelming array of gadgets, treatments, pills and potions claiming to be an ‘essential ingredient’ to accelerating recovery and subsequently improving performance. For those looking for an edge, be wary of the magic bullet claims that seem too good to be true. There are many charlatan sales people out there that are happy to take your hard earned dollar, regardless of safety and efficacy. Triathlon training is dynamic - literally and figuratively. Therefore recovery practices, particularly those addressing muscle/immune system loads and energy requirements, should vary according to what periodisation stage you are undertaking.
Do you have the work/train/ compete/family/life balance right? — Dr. Simon Sostaric Planning for progress & success Many athletes are highly motivated to train long and hard. That’s the easy part. But how smart do they train, recover and compete? As a professional working in the field of sports performance for 20+ years, I have seen my fair share of triathletes take a turn for the worse. Invariably, most endurance athletes that I see in the first instance have come looking for solutions to a myriad of largely self-induced problems that adversely affect health and performance. The keys to consistency, sustainability and viability are organisation and clarity in your approach.
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Training TOOLBOX performance
Tips to kick-starting a simple yet effective and sustainable trainingrecovery balance
Too much of a good thing? Paradoxically, extenuating recovery modalities ad nauseum is counterproductive for progressive adaptation and performance. Carefully planned periods of ‘training low’ (i.e. in a partially glycogen depleted state) or periods of training when incompletely recovered will facilitate important physiological adaptations, not to mention resilience. The building phase of your training is the ideal setting for a minimalist approach to recovery interventions.
2. Wherever possible, focus on consuming whole, nutritious foods rather than supplements to meet your training and recovery needs. If you are unsure, seek assistance from a qualified accredited sports dietitian. 3. Ensure increments in training loads (volume and intensity) are gradual and sustainable
4. Respond to niggles quickly. Not necessarily a sign that you have to stop training, rather, modify your training loads and increase strength across the affected area. Refer to a physiotherapist. 5. Replenish with ~40-60g carbohydrate/~10g protein within 30-60min following glycogen-depleting training sessions (e.g. high-intensity interval training) to help with muscle responsiveness during your next training session. 6. Try to stabilise sleep patterns with consistent sleep/wake times. Sleep time (7-8hrs for most athletes) is the catalyst for regulating muscle repair, and hormonal, immune system and metabolic function. 7. Periodic whole body ice baths after hard training in summer to reduce body temperature and systemic inflammation. 11-14⁰C water temperature for 5min, building to 10min.
8. Athletes who want to reduce body fat are often vulnerable to fatigue and illness. Ensure you consult with a qualified sports dietitian or exercise physiologist to monitor changes in your body composition.
1. Monitor your training loads. There are numerous cloudbased training applications, such as Training Peaks (trainingpeaks.com) that are easy to access and operate and provide a valuable resource for your management of training loads and subsequent responses. A sports/health practitioner assisting you with injury or illness will always request precise information about your training background.
I’m looking forward to sharing with you a series of thought-provoking, logical and practical high performance and scientific perspectives throughout 2017. In the meantime, gather your thoughts, think carefully and clearly about your training and competition expectations, and map out an organisation chart that highlights your strengths, weaknesses and contingency pathways. In the next edition of Australian Triathlete Magazine we will focus our attention to understanding fatigue and over-training.
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
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Prepare for every session Pre swim/bike/run activations
text by kriss hendy | p h o t o g r a p h y b y G e t t y I m a g e s f o r I r o nm a n a n d k r i s s h e n d y
ime, as we all know, is a precious commodity. Once you have carefully and logistically planned your training around work, family, travel and daily life there is rarely a minute left over. I constantly hear athletes telling me that they know they need to start strength training but they simply don’t have the time. Well, in this article I am going to show you how you can start implementing some basic but highly effective exercises that can slot in nicely before you dive in the pool, jump on the bike or head out for a run.
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Prepping your body Activation is a key component within any training program. More often than not, thanks largely to modern day life, we find athletes with a lack of activation in the posterior chain - meaning the muscles at the back, such as hamstrings and glutes, are not working as well as they could be. As a result we find imbalances in running gait patterns and poor mechanics on the bike, which ultimately lead to sub-optimal performance or worse, injury. What you have to remember is that your body is very efficient - it will always
look to conduct given work in the easiest way possible, and by using the least amount of energy. This often leads us down a dangerous path. Activation of specific ‘dormant’ muscle groups is a learned skill and can take time. Athletes who have predominantly rely on certain muscles to do the majority of the work will find it difficult at the start to even feel these dormant muscle groups working. However, when the athlete recognises what it feels like to have the glutes firing on the bike and run, for example, this leads to an athlete feeling stronger and more stable.
Training TOOLBOX strength and conditioning
The Swim Before we get our feet wet we need to think about priming our bodies for the session to come. Most of us will go through some form of warm up routine made up of arm swings and limb shaking. But take lead from the best in the business. If you’ve ever seen a high performance swim squad train, they commonly have a ‘Swim Ergometer’ on pool deck for the swimmers to use before hitting the water. For most of us this isn’t even an option, but there are other ways we can effectively ‘switch things on’. Here are just two of the exercises we can use to increase our range of mobility and strength for a powerful swim stroke.
1 1. Resistance Band Pull Throughs A well-known exercise that can be performed anywhere with the aid of a resistance band and your swim paddles. Look at keeping your core stable throughout. Here you can see the athlete pulling both arms back together. It can also be modified to focus on the catch phase by moving one arm at a time. Try 3 sets of 20 reps to start with.
The (basic) Science These early strength gains are the result of increased motor unit synchronisation and activation - a motor unit consists of a neuron (motor nerve cell) and multiple muscle fibers. As an athlete trains, they are increasing the number of motor units firing within the muscle fiber. Imagine the muscle group you are training as a ‘light switchboard’. At present you are lighting up 50% of the lights, as a trainer our job is to light up or ‘activate’ the rest of the board. Now if you only manage to do these activation exercises pre-session you’re not going to be making monumental gains, compared to if you were doing 2-3 sessions a week, but ‘something is better than nothing’ is definitely my motto here, so get to it!
2. Pull Aparts Using light to moderate tension, pull the band apart while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Slowly return to start position. This exercise strengthens your rear shoulders and back, specifically your rear deltoids and rhomboids, two muscle groups that get weak when you spend the day at a desk or in the car. Start with 3 sets or 10-15 repetitions. Australian Triathlete |
The Bike As mentioned earlier, the majority of us will be frontal dominant and on the bike this means we are using our quadriceps more and not engaging our glutes. This can lead to all sorts of issues especially if you have to get off the bike and straight on to the run! By including a couple of pre-session exercises you are forcing the body to engage all of its available musculature instead of just the most dominant.
3. Split Squat This exercise builds and strengthens the glute and upper leg muscles, which also provide additional support for the back. Ensure to sit back into the squat and avoid leaning forward to engage more glute and hamstring activation. Do 3 sets x 8/10 repetitions, on each side, with 30seconds rest in between.
The Run Much like the bike most of us will be naturally using our quadriceps more than our glutes while running. By including these activation and strength exercises you will be improving the structural weaknesses in your body, whether they are in the muscles, joints or connective tissues. This is a great way to eliminate the source of most common niggles and injuries associated with running.
5 5. Single Leg Chair squats This single leg exercise will highlight any weaknesses regarding stability and strength in each leg and improve that â€˜all importantâ€™ power through the glutes. Remember to drive up through the heel to engage your posterior chain, avoid any weight through the toes. Do 3 sets x 8/10 repetitions, on each side, with 30seconds rest.
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6 6. Single Leg Sprint Holds This exercise helps to develop stability within the hip complex, as well as the knee and ankle joints, and the all-important proprioception needed for running. Success with this exercise should look smooth and effortless. Opposite arm to opposite leg, exaggerate the low to high body position. Do 3 sets x 8/10 repetitions, on each side, with 30seconds rest.
Training TOOLBOX strength and conditioning
Strength & Performance Coach
4 4. Glute Bridge A great exercises for activating and working the hamstrings and glutes. The distance your heels are placed away from you body will determine how much you target either muscle group. It can be done double or single legged, by lifting one foot and extending the leg straight out. Do 3 sets x 8/10 repetitions, 30seconds rest.
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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Is triathlon becoming an unhealthy obsession? text by Sarah Grove
riathlon as a sport requires a lot from you. It requires commitment, dedication and self-motivation. How else do you get through training for three different sports while holding down a full-time job, maintaining relationships, looking after and spending time with family and friends and generally ‘living life’? Triathlon is a goal driven sport and provides a challenge to those participating. But there is so much to love about triathlon, and that’s why we all do it. The amazing people you meet, the beautiful locations you get to visit, achieving goals you may have never thought possible. There is so much that I love about this sport, that it’s hard to even
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| p h o t o g r a p h y b y G e t t y im a g e s / i r o nm a n
put the words ‘unhealthy’ and ‘triathlon’ in the same sentence. In my years of coaching, I have seen the ‘other’ side of triathlon. The sport attracts A-type personalities, those that tend to be very competitive and at the same time self-critical. Those who strive towards goals, but at the same time have a high work involvement and the presence of life imbalance. It is these A-type personalities who are attracted to the sport who are also the most vulnerable. I have seen triathlon turn into an ‘unhealthy’ obsession, where athletes become compulsive trainers and without even realising it, fundamentally become addicted. It can often be a gradual shift
– you, or those around you, probably don’t even notice it. You start to depend on the exercise/training, your enjoyment of the sport may start to fade, and slowly but surely it starts to interfere with your life. Before you know it, you can’t go a day without training, your identity becomes being a ‘triathlete’ - you may feel guilty for taking an easier day, or have developed a fear of ‘missing out’. How do you know if your commitment to triathlon has become an unhealthy obsession/addiction? I’ve put together a list of questions you can ask yourself to help you become self-aware. Be honest with yourself about the answers!
Training TOOLBOX Holistic Endurance
Program training More training Secret training!!
Do you have a fear of missing out?
A friend/training partner asks you to join them on a ride. You look at your program and know that today is your recovery/easier day. But you go anyway. You don’t want to miss out on what they are doing – EVEN if it’s not in your own best interests. You listen to other athletes on what they are doing and compare it to what you are doing. You have a little moment and think you should be doing more because they are. So you do more. You find that you can’t help it. You don’t want to miss out. So even though the session may not be a great one, you do it anyway.
Do you do ‘secret’ training?
I remember chatting to an athlete a few years ago (being coached by someone else) and we were discussing what her training looked like, how she was feeling, etc. She then dropped something into the conversation that I had never thought of before: “I do secret training.” “What do you mean you do secret training?”, I had to quiz her. “Oh, I will add extra runs on top of my program, because I think I should be running more, but I delete it from my Garmin so my coach doesn’t know.” Of course, I had heard of the concept, and that ‘secret’ training was like going under the radar, so your competitors didn’t know what your training looked like - but NOT to hide it from your coach! Other signs of compulsive training are those who routinely exceed a pre-planned training session time/distance. For example, your coach asks you to ride for three hours, but you ride three and a half. More is better, right? Wrong! You should be doing the least amount possible to achieve the goals you are after.
Are you in control of your training? Or is your training in control of you?
I love the passion, commitment and willingness it takes to do this sport. I’m all for having lofting goals. For wanting to better yourself, improve each day, year on year. It’s a choice that each of us gets to make. However, obsessive triathletes will often feel compelled to stick to their training program or schedule. They may feel anxious if a session is missed, or be unable to rest when their body is telling them to, or take enough time off to heal injuries. Being unable to keep training out of your mind during ‘non-fitness/training’ engagements or events is also another sign of training controlling you. Athletes who start to lose control become too dependent on their programs/training and find themselves on the border of an unhealthy obsession. They start to confuse consistency with adaptability - their training starts to control them. When you find yourself in this place, often the love and enjoyment for the sport will fade too.
“I do secret training.” “What do you mean you do secret training?”, I had to quiz her. Australian Triathlete |
Is training your number ONE priority?
Lots of age group athletes make this mistake. It’s not like you set out to do it, but somewhere along the line it just happens. Before you know it, you are cancelling plans with friends, relationships start to break down, your work is dropping off, you miss key events in your life, freak out at the thought of missing a session and fail to listen to your body telling you to cool it! Yes, training should be a priority in life if health, fitness and goals are important to you – but it shouldn’t be your number one priority. After all, triathlon is just a sport. It’s important every now and then to take stock of where triathlon lies as a priority in your life. To have a harmonious balance and passion for triathlon means you can maintain your priorities outside of triathlon, while still ensuring triathlon remains a central part of your life if you choose. Remember – it’s all about balance.
Are you constantly feeling tired, run down, or unhappy?
Over training and under recovering is a real and prevalent thing in triathlon. Triathlon, just like many other sports or forms of exercise, undeniably has significant health benefits. Exercise has the ability to reduce stress, improves mood and ultimately make us feel better. It’s when these benefits are outweighed by feelings of exhaustion, loss of motivation, reoccurring
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injury or illness that an athlete may see themselves in an over training or under recovering state - obsessive triathletes are prone to falling into this trap. The key is knowing and understanding if this is you, and listening to the signs and signals to stop or change, instead of simply trying to ‘power on’, or train more because you feel like you are losing fitness or you have a fear of losing fitness. Stop check to see whether you feel like you have a healthy balance - you are enjoying your training and the sport. Remember – you are supposed to feel better doing what you love. Not worse.
Is being a triathlete WHO you are?
Every athlete I know who does triathlon calls himself or herself a triathlete. It doesn’t matter if you come first or last, a professional or age grouper. It’s what we do. We have medals, and finisher’s towels and t-shirts to prove it. But while being a triathlete for most of us is an integral part of who we are, it shouldn’t be all that we are. Triathlon is a sport, a lifestyle, a passion, and for some, it may also be a career. But it shouldn’t define you. Triathletes who manage to find a balance
Training TOOLBOX Holistic Endurance
between their sporting pursuits, their career and their social life will ensure they are happier and healthier and in the sport for a long time. So remember, triathlon is what you DO. It is not who you ARE.
coach, a trusted friend, mentor, or a sports psychologist. Talking to someone from the outside looking in is often the best way to gain perspective. Ultimately, triathlon should enhance your life, not become your life.
So, how do you take control back? While meeting some of the descriptions doesn’t immediately mean you are in the midst of a training addiction, it can, however, provide warning signs. There are a number of different ways you can get your healthy balance back. Take an honest look at your training behaviours and consider whether you are embracing a healthy, balanced training structure. Consider if you have healthy coping skills in all others areas of your life, such as stress and negative emotions, and that you are not using training as your coping mechanism. Set yourself boundaries on your training, and keep people in your life who are outside of the triathlon world these people are great at keeping you in check if your healthy balance starts to falter.
Always remember - triathlon is what you do, it’s not who you are. It shouldn’t define you. Triathlon shouldn’t compromise your happiness and nor should it stop you from doing what you want in other areas of your life. If you feel like your balance isn’t there or you are unsure if you are, a great place to start is to discuss this with a
Sarah Grove Sarah is a triathlon performance coach with Holistic Endurance and competes competitively at all levels of triathlon. As a coach, Sarah works with athletes of all abilities from beginner to Ironman athletes, with a passion for developing, guiding and supporting athletes from the ground up to help them achieve their triathlon and lifestyle goals utilising holistic principles for optimal performance outcomes while maintaining a balanced, nourished and happy life. For more information, www.holisticendurance.com.au
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key run sessions to improve your running text by Julie tedde | photography by shutterstock.com
hatever distance you race or participate in, for many the run is the most challenging. Not because they are not used to running, but it is more about not knowing how or why running off the bike is different to running fresh. Running is also the discipline that is most likely to cause you to become injured. Also, unless you can run well off the bike it is the final leg of the race, so even if you are happy with your swim
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and bike, from an event point of view, if the run does not go to plan the feeling of achieving your overall race goal wonâ€™t happen. How do we become a better runner and more importantly how do we become a better runner off the bike? Firstly being consistent not only from week to week but throughout the year is one of the key factors in working on becoming a better runner. It helps in maintaining good, overall, strength of the
muscle groups required for efficient running and therefore lowers the chances of becoming injured. You are more likely to see success making small changes in your training. Variation is critical if you are going to see continued improvement over a long period. Most athletes who have not been exposed to training and then start running will see improvement in their times, however, things then flat line or stagnate. They donâ€™t see any more improvement,
Training TOOLBOX COACHES CORNER
This can be established through a time trial (TT), for example. There are many TTs you can do in running to establish your threshold pace and heart rate. Once you have done the TT, it will give you a pacing guide that you can use in training. For example, establishing your 5km and 10km speed can then be used in your interval training. The following are five key run sessions that can be used to add some direction or purpose to your training.
The purpose is to add some speed into your training. If you hope to get faster, you need to run faster than you have before. You need to start with shorter time and distances, and progress to a longer time (never more than 90seconds). This type of training creates proprioceptive awareness to switch gears and tolerance to uncomfortable efforts in a manageable way. An example is the ‘Mona Fartlek’ 2x90sec, 4x60sec, 4x30sec, and 4x15sec with a slower tempo recovery of the same duration between each repetition.
5km speed session:
8x 400m effort200m float. The purpose is to have a session that you can repeat on a regular basis that establishes the baseline, and you can see how you are going. The 400m efforts are fast but then by completing a float for 200m (not a jog - keep some speed in there) it teaches the body to recover while still doing some work. Start with 4-6 and build to 8 reps.
and when asked what are they doing, they answer, “Well, the same as I always do.” The key is to include variety in the types of run training sessions done throughout the week. It’s also important to vary your sessions throughout the year as well - this will, of course, depend on what you are training for and when your races fall. Give your run training purpose. No matter where you are in your running progression, it is critical to establish this and what you need to work on.
© sportpoint / Shutterstock.com
The key to improvement is to include variety in the types of run training sessions done throughout — Julie Tedde the week. Australian Triathlete |
Training TOOLBOX COACHES CORNER
Short, sharp hill repeats
The purpose of hill repeats like this is to add some speed and muscular endurance to your running. It also means you need to be strong from your head to your toes - it develops good efficiency in your stride. Choose a hill around 60-100m. Sprint up the hill (not all out) for 50-60m, then walk down and recover completely before starting the next rep. the aim is to build to 10 of these but start with around 4-6. Beginner runners - be careful and increase gradually. This session would be incorporated into your aerobic run every 2-3 weeks. For example, 10-20mins easy and then do the repeats and then finish with 10-20mins easy.
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2-4x 1600m, 2-3mins jog between each, 5mins rest, then 2-4x 400m builds to fast-2mins rest between each. This session is a great endurance builder for running. Being able to sustain a pace for 10km or longer is something so important in a triathlon. The speed work at the end of such a session develops the bodyâ€™s ability to push hard at the end of the event, even when the body is starting to fatigue.
No matter what the distance you run you need to complete a longer aerobic run. There are many benefits with the major being increases in VO2max and aerobic efficiency, both of which are critical in endurance sports such as triathlon. Aim to run your long run at an easy conversational pace, at least 60-90 seconds slower than your target marathon pace or heart rate <80% heart rate max.
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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Decrease the overwhelm at your child’s first triathlon t e x t b y mi c h e l l e h e m l e y | p h o t o g r a p h y b y G e t t y im a g e s
o your child wants to try a triathlon? Now is the perfect time of year to get into it with the Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon’s in full swing across most states of Australia. Plus, many of the local race series’ these days include a junior race, appropriate for primary school aged children, as part of the schedule.
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While it’s very exciting for a young child to participate in their first ‘big’ triathlon, especially if they have spent their lifetime watching Mum or Dad compete, it can be overwhelming. When you think about it from a child’s perspective, it’s easy to see how they can feel intimidated by the large crowds of people, noise, fancy equipment everywhere and confusing transition layouts!
What can you do to ensure your child’s experience is a positive one that has them wanting to keep competing in our great sport for years to come? While children don’t necessarily need to be in ‘training’ to participate in a junior triathlon (although if they want to, there are plenty of great junior triathlon programs around!), you can practice some things at home that should have them
Training TOOLBOX Youth and Junior
Before Race Day
Make it a game and practice the swim to cycle (cap and goggles off, clothes and shoes on and tied up, helmet clipped up) and the cycle to run (helmet off and RUN!) transitions in the backyard or at the park. Time the kids on your phone, so they have a marker they need to improve on or have them race their friends or siblings. A popular game at our sessions is to have the participants set up a ‘transition’ of shoes and helmets. On ‘go’ they run from a starting point to the transition area, then shoes must be on, and helmet clipped up before they race back to the start. Practising transitions might sound like such a simple thing to do. However, we see first hand the struggle, frustration and tears that occur due to children not being able to put their shoes on quickly, or they can’t do their helmet up at our junior sessions - you would hate for this to happen to your child during a race! What is amazing is how quickly they improve. Give them a couple of weeks practice, and they’ll be completing lightning-fast transitions in no time. Practice makes perfect.
2 feeling more confident on race day. It’s all about being organised and prepared. Following are tips on what you can do to help your child avoid the overwhelm of their first triathlon.
Check that all equipment is in working order
Time and time again I’ve seen kids turn up to a junior triathlon with broken goggles, or a bike that has been sitting in the shed untouched for six months and the brakes have rusted, or a helmet that can no longer be done up. Several times I’ve witnessed children showing up with equipment so broken, they end up not being able to participate. Not fun for anyone! Even though a junior triathlon is a ‘participation’ event and they don’t need top notch equipment yet, you do need to make sure all their gear is in working order so they can get round the course safely and without too much stress. For bikes, have the local bike store look over your child’s bike and helmet before they race to check it is in line with safety regulations. Make regular servicing a habit if your child is going to be out on the bike regularly.
Go and watch a race or visit the race venue
Sometimes what a child believes a triathlon will be like (in their head) is very different to reality. If you can, try and watch a race before their first event, so they know what to expect. If you can’t watch a race in person, show them one on the Internet. Even better, if you can go to the venue of the triathlon before their race and have a practice swim, cycle and/or run this is ideal. Familiarity with the environment can make all the difference to your child’s confidence level on the day! Australian Triathlete |
Be prepared: Put yourself in their shoes. Your children will be nervous, so be super prepared and assist them with all areas of the race.
On Race Day
Arrive with plenty of time
Avoid as much stress as possible on race morning by arriving with plenty of time. If the race is not a ‘stand alone’ junior triathlon like the Weet-Bix event, then the kid’s races are often held right at the end of the program after the adult events. This means if you leave arriving at the last minute it’s
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crowded - there are massive lines for the toilet and limited car parking available. Be prepared with time up your sleeve. It may also help your child understand more about what they are doing if they can watch some of the action first, plus they can take their time setting up and walking through the transitions.
Walk through the transitions
Physically walk with your child from the swim exit, to where they will run into and out of transition for the bike and run legs. Show them and demonstrate by walking through the area pre-race. Walking through the transitions is much more effective for their understanding than simply a verbal
Training TOOLBOX Youth and Junior
explanation. Most importantly, make sure they know where their bike is and where to find it. The earlier people can learn this skill the better!
Bring spare equipment
With things such as goggles, hair ties and socks, you can never have enough spare items in your gear bag. There is nothing like a last minute freak out due to malfunctioning equipment! Yes, even adults are guilty of this, but it is somehow more socially acceptable to throw a tantrum when you are eight years old. So watch out if this happens to your child and you’re not prepared!
Conclusion Preparing a child for a triathlon is not too different from preparing an adult. To avoid the overwhelm and apprehension your child may feel, simply put yourself in their shoes, see the world through their eyes and help them prepare for that
environment as much as possible. Your child’s first triathlon can be nerve wracking and anything we can do to help keep these kids coming back for years to come will only benefit them and the sport. Good luck to all our young, budding triathletes out there!
Michelle Hemley ‘Michelle Hemley is a leading Exercise Professional and Swim, Run and Triathlon Coach. With over 15 years coaching experience, Michelle has successfully worked with hundreds of individuals of all ages from grassroots to high performance. Michelle is a passionate endurance and multisport athlete who has completed nine Ironman triathlons and she has tertiary qualifications in Sport Science, Physical Education, Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition’.
Our passion is to inspire people of all ages to find joy in a more active lifestyle and turn their sporting dreams into reality...
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tips & tricks Yoga for Triathletes Part1
Injury prevention: Nick incorporates Iyengar Yoga in his triathlon squad sessions.
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bout seven years ago I decided to give a weekly yoga class a go after speaking with advocates who were also athletes. I was quickly impressed with the results once I started to do the class consistently and when I completed additional key poses, which I found were good for me, through the week, at home. I now oversee a weekly yoga class within my coaching squads and make it part of a year-round program. It is a specific class that I was able to collaborate on, with a yoga instructor and is based on the needs of athletes, and more specifically, triathletes. We focus on lower and upper back, arms, shoulders, hips and glutes, and the backs of legs - hamstrings and calves. We do a lot of Downward-Facing Dog, which works wonders for those tight backs of legs. Downward-Facing Dog will be the best stretch you do all week and the meditative side also helps clear the mind and helps you refresh. For example, doing this on a Monday is a great way to start the week after racing or a solid weekend of training. Yoga done regularly (read: weekly), plus additional key poses done throughout the week that are relevant to your own needs, will assist with recovery and injury prevention. You will gain more flexibility, strength and balance. Mentally you will also benefit, as there is an element of having to hold a pose in, at times, a somewhat uncomfortable position. However, it is important not to go into intense pain for a pose. We are always being kept reminded of this by our experienced instructor. Yoga will help you focus on known weaknesses or trouble spots, such as tight hips - always an issue with cycling and running, especially as we age. It will also help you on other trouble spots like Periformis/glutes (deep into the butt) or ongoing calf issues. In my experience, the flow-on results from athletes that I have seen stick to a weekly routine helps to prolong racing days and become much less prone to injury caused from that tight region through hips and butt, and lower back.
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
In this two-part article, I will firstly gloss over the various types of yoga that are suited as a supplement to triathlon training, and, in addition to the above introduction, I’ll explain why it is a good move to incorporate into your training. Below is a brief description of each style of yoga that is likely to get a look in for athletes incorporating yoga into their week.
Hatha Yoga Considered an introduction to yoga. Includes basic poses and breathing techniques, which ease students to the postures. It helps to increase range of motion and flexibility.
Vinyasa Yoga This is a faster-paced yoga that uses salutations to flow more between each of the poses. There is more of a cardio element and great for core strength. Balance and flexibility are also a big part of Vinyasa and are quite popular with triathletes.
Bikram Yoga Known as ‘hot yoga’, Bikram is a series of 26 poses practised in a room at or around 38 degrees Celcius plus and 30 to 60 percent humidity. Flexibility is increased due to the hot environment and the series of poses certainly work you as though you have done a solid run in the heat. Some triathletes may find this style a bit too extreme for them if their training routine already incorporates some big training in the heat for longer events. In saying that if training for a hot event this session will certainly assist with racing in the heat on a number of levels.
Ashtanga Yoga This style progresses through a series of poses that are each more challenging than the previous. Focus is on Strength and breath awareness.
Iyengar Yoga This is the style I use with my squad each week and has an emphasis on alignment and form where you move within a pose only to correct alignment. This style uses props such as blocks, ropes and belts to derive the benefits from the postures without sacrificing the alignment of the pose. It is very good for injury prevention. Iyengar yoga places the body in various postures requiring stability and training of the neuromuscular system to respond appropriately.
In part two, I will take you through some key poses that focus on the areas that triathletes need to keep loose and strong for injury prevention, and ultimately better performance and wellbeing.
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ÂŠ Delly Carr/Ironman
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Training TOOLBOX nutrition
Cramping Your Style text by Alicia Edge | p h o t o g r a p h y b y d e l l y c a r r / i r o nm a n a n d s h u t t e r s t o c k . c o m
othing evokes conversation, opinions and remedies like muscle cramps. Most of us have had the ‘pleasure’ of feeling one of these in training or racing, or even just while resting quietly. In a flash, your racing goals can dissipate, and you are left looking for answers and preventions to avoid that pain next time. Cramping is something we have of course spoken about before, but after watching many succumb to the cramp at Ironman Western Australia (IMWA), we thought it might be a good time to give an update on where the research is currently at with cramps. Before we look at the evidence for nutrition in treating muscle cramps, we first need to understand that there are two types of cramps:
The theories include: • Dehydration due to heavy sweating (loss of sodium, potassium, magnesium or calcium) and inadequate fluid intake: The theory behind dehydration explaining EAMC’s started in the 1880’s with miners working in hot environments supplementing with salt to try to treat and avoid cramping. The hypothesis relates to the loss of fluids and electrolytes from sweat resulting in the contracting of the cell’s
• Extreme heat or cold stress: EAMC’s are often seen in extremely hot/humid or cold environments. Although environmental stressors may increase your risk of cramps, they are not proven to be a direct cause.
if those traditional nutritional factors do not seem to play the main role in cramping - what is the cause? Although the above theories may increase your risk of cramping, there is now increasing evidence to show EAMC’s may be due primarily to neuromuscular fatigue rather than electrolyte loss. This suggests that the two biggest risk factors for cramping are duration and intensity – oh why hello there, fellow triathletes! In fact, an observational study performed with Ironman athletes showed that the distinct risk factors for cramping that emerged were:
• Cramping of individual muscle groups. For example, cramping in just quads or calves. • Whole body cramping - fortunately this is relatively uncommon. When triathletes talk muscle cramps, we are usually referring to the individual muscle group cramps that come as we race or just after finishing. We refer to these as Exercise Associated Muscle Cramps (EAMC). Several theories have been put forward to explain the cause of EAMC’s, but considering 70% of triathletes have experienced them, the research is most certainly still not complete.
interstitial space (the fluid space between the cells), that then leads to cramping. However, studies have failed to show that dehydrated athletes are more at risk of cramping than those in a hydrated state. This lack of evidence is also the case for electrolyte shifts such as sodium or magnesium.
Cramp: Racing at a higher intensity or for a longer duration than you’re used to may increase your chances of cramping.
• Racing at a higher intensity or for a longer duration compared to what you normally train at. • Being too aggressive with pacing. • Doing an exercise discipline you are not trained for – think a cyclist doing an Ironman without adequate swim/run training. Australian Triathlete |
Pickles & Vinegar
• Prioritise adequate intake of carbohydrate in the days leading into your race and during your event. This may reduce your risk of cramping, and is at least known to help prevent premature muscle fatigue. • Consider your gear. if your muscle is working in a shortened position, your risk of cramping is increased. • Many athletes go from a supportive shoe in training to a racing flat for competition. Complete some sessions in the same shoes you plan to race in. • Take the time to get your bike set up properly for you. • Stretch vulnerable muscles on a regular basis.
Pickle Juice Cure? A study published in 2010 followed up on anecdotal evidence that drinking pickle juice helped treat cramps. The researchers found that ingesting pickle juice right at the onset of a cramp resolved the cramp 45% faster than just having water. This improvement could not be attributed to changes in hydration or electrolytes or increased thirst. Instead, it looks like it was effective due to the reflex triggered by the main ingredient in pickle juice – vinegar! The shock in the mouth from drinking this ‘delicious’ fluid then affects the nerves that send signals to the brain and muscles. As a strong stimulation of the nervous system can reduce the activity of other parts of the nervous system, it is suggested that stimulating the mouth receptors relaxes the nerves that control muscle fibres – hence putting an end to the cramp. There are now some shiny new products making the most of these latest findings, which you are sure to spot on the market soon if you haven’t already. However, these may not be any more effective than good old original pickle juice or another homemade concoction. Now what to do with all those leftover pickles?
A note on whole body cramps: Whole body cramps should be approached differently to EAMC’s. Whole body cramps are theorised to be related to electrolyte/hydration disturbances in the athlete. In this case, consuming adequate sodium and fluids in the lead up to an event plus consuming carbohydrate and electrolyte supplements during the event, will be beneficial both for prevention and treatment. Whole body cramps can be particularly painful and traumatic to the athlete, so ensuring adequate nutrition in the lead up to an event for all competitors should be a priority.
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It appears I have just written an article that didn’t have much to do with nutrition after all! Although hydration and electrolyte shifts are no longer thought to be the main contributor to EAMC’s, it is still a significant component in maximising performance. Optimising hydration and carbohydrate intake before and during a race helps to keep muscle fatigue at bay and allows you to better maintain your core body temperature. This reduced stress on the body then improves exercise capacity (performance) and reduces the risk of muscle fatigue, and hence cramping risk. Although science is yet to answer all the questions we have around cramps, the message is becoming clearer – welltrained, well-fuelled and hydrated athletes are at the least risk of cramping come race day.
References: Braulick KW, Miller KC, Albrecht JM, Tucker JM, Deal JE. Significant and serious dehydration does not affect skeletal muscle cramp threshold frequency. Br J Sports Med. 2013 Jul;47(11):710-4. Miller, KC. Rethinking the cause of exercise-associated muscle cramping: Moving beyond dehydration and electrolyte losses. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2015 Sep-Oct; 14(5): 353-4. Miller, KC, Mack GW, Knight KL, Hopkins, JT, Draper DO, Fields PJ, Hunter I. Reflex inhibition of electrically induced muscle cramps in hypohydrated humans. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010 May;42(5):953-61. Schwellnus, M.P., Drew, N., and Collins, M. Increased running speed and previous cramps rather than dehydration or serum sodium changes predict exercise-associated muscle cramping: a prospective cohort study in 210 Ironman Triathletes. Br J Sports Med published online December 9, 2010. Schwellnus MP. Cause of exercise associated muscle cramps (EAMC): altered neuromuscular control, dehydration or electrolyte depletion? Br J Sports Med. 2009;43;401-08. Schwellnus, MP., Allie, S., Derman, W., Collins, M. Increased running speed and pre-race muscle damage as risk factrs for exercise-associated muscle cramps in a 56km ultra-marathon: a prospective cohort study. Br J Sports Med. 2011 Mar 13.
Minimising Your Risk of EAMC: • Ensure that some of your training sessions leading into a race are at race intensity. • Put in some sessions that are similar length to your planned race. • Include brick sessions into your training to ensure you are trained to race with fatigued muscles.
Prep: Make sure you have done adequate training to minimise your risk of EAMC.
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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Bir c M u
r sli e h e
ur Bircher Muesli has been switched and swapped and perfected over many years! It remains one of our favourite breakfasts and has been made in preparation for many road trips, flights and crazy training days. We have designed this recipe to be completely flexible - so just switch things up depending on your personal preference! This breakfast is a higher carb option, so team it with a higher training load day or week for optimal refuelling and recovery. The oats are a beautiful slow release carbohydrate that provides a nice texture and flavour and are extremely budget friendly. With high training loads comes the risk of reduced immune function, so it is important to us to supplement with naturally antioxidant rich foods. These can be found in the berries, dried fruit and also in the humble apple. Natural antioxidants (those found in food) have been shown to enhance performance, improve immune function and may have a place in reducing muscle soreness.
Cinnamon is a common ingredient in so many of our recipes. We love the flavour, but also love its natural qualities that improve insulin sensitivity - and therefore could assist with muscle glycogen restoration and recovery. So much research is coming out on common spices now, and we just love the possible performance implications they may have. After all, they are super easy to add to any meals or snacks.
As this is often a recovery meal, we have boosted the protein via a high protein Greek yoghurt (such as plain Chobani) and left the option open for the addition of a protein powder supplement. For optimum recovery, it is ideal to aim for at least 15-25g of protein in your recovery meal/snack. We hope you enjoy this breakfast option as much as we have over the years!
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e ic o ch t s fa k ea r b ct fe er p e Th for busy Triathletes Ingredients:
• 2 cups of rolled oats
• Place all ingredients into a large bowl (except for berries & extra yoghurt)
• 1 cup of milk of your choice • ½ cup of 100% apple juice or puree • Juice from 1/2 - 1 lemon • 4 tbsp of Greek yoghurt • 2 tbsp chia seeds • 1-2 green apples, grated • 1tsp of honey
• Mix well to combine • Cover & place in the fridge overnight to soak • In the morning, serve your muesli with some defrosted or fresh berries & extra yoghurt
• 1tsp cinnamon • ½ cup dried fruit – E.g. sultanas, chopped dried apricots, cranberries • 6 dried dates, chopped • ¼ cup of slivered almonds • Optional: 40g Protein Powder (Vanilla) • 3 cups of frozen berries, defrosted (or fresh) • Greek yoghurt, to serve
Note: This recipe is perfect for a quick breakfast on the run. Simply place in a jar or airtight container, with the yoghurt and berries, to enjoy in that mad rush between training and work!
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ÂŠ Getty Images for Ironman
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Is it Fatigue or Overtraining? t e x t b y D r . M i t c h An d e r s o n | I l l us t r a t i o n b y s h u t t e r s t o c k . c o m
t’s not easy to discern fatigue from overtraining. There are some elements that can give you an indication, but very little in the way of concrete, gold standard tests. It’s a bit like asking someone if they slept well last night. They can give you an answer, but it’s a subjective response. Even a scientific sleep study is fraught with possible error, given the invasive nature of the testing. How can anyone possibly sleep well in a foreign bed with an electroencephalogram (EEG) plugged into your face and scalp? The trick with sleep is everyone has been doing it their whole life and has a wealth of experience in answering, discernably how it went. Training is something completely different. It’s not something that you have a lifetime
during overtraining but so too if you are fatigued. Confusing. Heart rate is not reliable as a variable to discern differences. What about blood markers? Recently (so the last couple of decades) ‘Adrenal fatigue’ has been cited as a bellwether for overtraining syndrome. Your adrenal glands are attached to your kidneys (‘ad-renal’) and form part of the system of stress response. Cortisol, a steroid hormone, plays an integral response during exercise, where there may be both stress and low blood glucose. Cortisol stimulates the production of glucose, aids the metabolism of fat/protein/carbohydrate while inhibiting the immune system. As an interesting aside, the synthetic form of cortisol is prednisone. Prednisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory drug that
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experience in doing and rating, and using objective tools can be somewhat flawed because the tools we do have are good at measuring what they intend to measure, but do their results reflect exactly what is going on? For starters, take heart rate. Yes, it measures reliably the rate at which your heart beats - when you train it goes up, and when you rest it goes down. But when you are fatigued, does it stay high or low for recovery? What about over-training? Does it stay higher during training or does it stay lower? Usually, the rate is less responsive
can be injected, taken orally or absorbed through a lotion applied to the skin or mucous membranes. Prednisone is widely abused in elite sports for both recovery and its metabolic effects. For instance, could you think of any benefits for a cyclist? It can have a lipolytic effect (breaks down fats) as well as catabolic effects on non-exercising muscles. That is more endurance and lighter arms. When combined with its powerful antiinflammatory effects, you can see why this may be a desirable substance to abuse. Unfortunately, abuse also leads to Australian Triathlete |
fluid retention, bone weakening and immuno-compromise. So, cortisol is an important part of exercise, why shouldn’t it be implicated in overtraining? If you train too much and wear out the adrenals surely cortisol release could be affected? It’s a good hypothesis but isn’t backed up by research. The implication has also been there for chronic fatigue - again, no firm data. The only way clinicians see reduced cortisol with any regularity is in people suffering from Addison’s disease or Hypocortisolism. And by regular, I mean 1:10 000 in the developed world. It’s rare. So rare I wouldn’t be attending a surgery anytime soon and asking the GP or sports doctor for a pathology slip for measuring plasma cortisol! Which brings us back to the tricky paradigm of overtraining syndrome versus fatigue (sometimes described as ‘over-reaching’). Overtraining is a chronic reduction in performance over weeks to months, which may take weeks to months to recover from. On the other hand, fatigue is a normal result of training and an important cog in both periodisation of training and overload/ recovery. Without fatigue, there can be no overload, which means no compensation or super-compensation from the training load, i.e., you don’t get better from any of your hard work without it! As you can see from the list of symptoms of overtraining, there is a strong overlap between fatigue and overtraining. So if it’s so confusing, how can we avoid the pitfalls of overtraining? Listening to your coaches, body and partners/peers are all important. The coach should provide structure to your week that incorporates adequate rest for the rigours of the training. You need to adhere to the
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loads as well as the recovery set - no matter how motivated you may be. And when you have friends, training partners or most importantly your life partner telling you to take a break, it’s probably for a good reason! The obvious may often be right in front of us, but impossible to see.
Symptoms of Overtraining* • • • • • • • • • • •
Underperformance Muscle weakness Chronic fatigue Sore muscles Increased perceived exertion during exercise Reduced motivation Sleep disturbance Increased early morning or sleeping heart rate Altered mood states Loss of appetite· Gastrointestinal disturbance Recurrent infection
simple as filling up a tank with petrol or replacing the oil and being good to go again. Providing fluid, substrate and rest are critical parts of any training program. It’s an art form that is only practised by the best in any sport. You can stray too far into ‘recovery mode’ and lose balance (eponymously known as Jacobism), but in the type A hurley burley of triathlon…the opposite is far more common. Consider the combined effects of your family time, job and even commute on recovery from training and racing. If you can successfully do this, race day will be a more successfully operation. Train and recover well.
*Biochemical and Immunological Markers of Over-Training Gleeson M J Sports Sci Med. 2002 Jun; 1(2): 31–41.
As a final piece of advice on what is an impossible topic to cover in a thousand words, consider yourself as a piece of biology, not as a machine. We are not as
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