303 Team’s Takeaways from Kona

By Bill Plock

The 303 team kept busy all last week in Kona bringing you news and stories, here are few highlights.

 

People wonder why we send such a group to this race and the answer is not simple, but yet it is. Kona showcases the greatest triumphs. It celebrates athletes from around the world with 2,400 stories from over 50 countries. Colorado is everywhere. From third most represented state of athletes to having many companies and industry and media professionals present. At the USAT partner party, half of the people there were from Colorado. Colorado has a big impact on Kona.

 

 

1. Colorado rocks with 38 amateur athletes competing and five of them ending up on the podium:

– Nicholas Noon 2nd
– Kelly Phuah 3rd
– Diana Hassel 3rd
– Matthew Malone 4th, this was also a 45th place finish Overall
– Simon Butterworth 4th

2. Four Colorado based pro’s ended up in the top 10:

– Tim O’Donnell 4th
– Mirinda Carfrae 5th
– Kaisa Sali 7th
– Andy Potts 8th

 

3. Records were broken

– Fastest Male race: 7:52, Patrick Lange, first time finish was under 8 hours.
– Fastest Female race: 8:26, Daniela Ryf, broke her own record by 20 minutes!
– Fastest Male swim ever: 46:30 (amateur set the record)
– Fastest Female swim ever: 48:14 (Pro Lucy Charles, 4 min faster than the next pro)
– Fastest Female Bike Split, (Pro Daniela Ryf, 4:26, 18 min faster than previous)
– Oldest finisher, 86 year old Inada Hiromu of Japan

 

 

4. Presumably, the most weight loss finisher with Marcus Cook losing about 250 pounds and carrying a life size cut-out of himself at his most weight through the finish line that brought a massive roar from the crowd.

 

 

 

 

5. More people seem interested in what Khem was eating than almost anything else based on our Facebook post of her “guess what I am eating contest”.

 

 

 

 

 

6. Colorado has great industry representation: BASE Performance, Newton, BOCO Gear, Triathlete Magazine, Rudy Project, Ceramic Speed, Stryd, Scratch, Stages, and TrainingPeaks.

 

 

7. Simon Butterworth and Bob Babbitt do look like Elvis

 

8. The Pros have fun too: Patrick Lange proposed to his girlfriend right after he crossed the finish line saying it “was the best part of day”, after winning and breaking a record. Sarah True said, “I felt like I was just riding bikes with friends,” after finishing her first Kona.

 

9. Bill Plock Sleepwalks and tries to get out of a condo in the middle of the night.

 

10. The 303 team went through six bags of gummy bears, 2 tanks of gas, shot over 500 pics, conducted 8 live podcast interviews, swam to the coffee boat a few times, was up at 4am and back home at 1am covering the race from beginning to end.

The team was graciously sponsored by:

 

 

Infinit Nutrition

Coeur Sports

Base Performance

Blue Competition Cycles

Tri Hearter: Science In Your Life?

By Bill Plock

Culturally, we seem to pick and choose what parts of science are okay in our lives and what parts aren’t. A botox shot here, an implant there, a laser beam on this and a tanning bed on that seems perfectly fine, but where the line of science in our athletic lives is drawn seems to vary greatly and comes with way more than 50 shades of grey. It’s downright blurry and seems to have as many opinions as those on how to tackle the upcoming Boulder Ironman.

As I sat with a perfectly legal IV delivering vitamins and electrolytes into my blood prior to a big training weekend, I felt like I was on the cutting edge of endurance sports and maybe even feeling a little too much like Lance and the boys back in the day—especially sitting in a van down by a river in a parking lot with more weeds than cars surrounded by a chain link fence keeping exactly what in or out remains a mystery to me. But there I was, wondering if Chris Farley was about to pop out and try to motivate me, or worse, some USADA enforcement agent might blast through the door and confiscate my USAT membership. But why? All I was doing was injecting an expensive trip to Whole Foods into my arm letting my body organically absorb critical nutrients so I can have a better training day. What’s wrong with that right? It simply felt a little weird.

But, I had a great training weekend. There isn’t any way to know for certain if the IV drip from Onus , a local Denver company who offers mobile concierge services, worked, but I must say I felt pretty darn good. Here’s the thing, I didn’t go faster or further I just felt better while doing it which I suppose means I could’ve gone faster or further, or maybe I just had a good day, it’s hard to know—and that’s the crux of the dilemma—did it work? I think it did.

I believe the extra B vitamins, magnesium and calcium in my blood simply kept me better hydrated and “the fuel” had been directly absorbed and readily available to supply my muscles. In other words, I sort of shortcut a natural process and bought some extra fuel. We talk about buying speed with helmets and wheels, what’s the difference?

I guess we as triathletes are supposed to grit it out and despite using pro level coaches and training devices there remains a stigma about using pro level medical technology, especially if it involves a needle and blood. Yet for years people will belly up to an IV drip in Vegas to shake off hangovers, such a funny world we live in.

Kristy Anderson of Onus understands the double standard perception and she is determined to change it by taking only the highest of roads in safely and conscientiously administering nutrients intravenously.

Kristy offered, Responses vary, but providing your body with boosted energy levels through B vitamins and preventing muscle fatigue are especially beneficial. Particularly at high altitude or in severe heat, you are just providing yourself with a good offense against the elements.

I feel the medical testing world is exploding on the age group triathlon scene. For years, VO2 max and Lactate threshold tests seemed to benchmark training plans but now we are seeing more and more tests that tell us about the fuel we have in our bodies and how we burn it and what fuel we need to add and of course ways to add it.

Colorado Multisport in Boulder is now offering a sweat composition test that will help athletes determine the exact amount of sodium and other electrolytes they need to replenish. Owner Michael Stone says, we are very excited to offer this simple test that can make such a huge impact. Training has always been about balancing art and science, this test just gives us more science.

 

Karen Weatherby

Here, Colorado Multisport’s Ryan Ignatz tests Boulder triathlon coach Karen Weatherby and outlines a hydration plan to make sure she replenishes adequate sodium in the right amount of liquids to keep her body in balance as much as possible. This test keeps athletes from guessing, as our sodium loss rates vary greatly from athlete to athlete.

Matt Smith of MuscleSound

Add to this, is Matt Smith who works for MuscleSound . MuscleSound utilizes ultra sound technology and scans your muscles to determine how much glycogen (fuel) resides ready to burn. This is a real time test and he recently came to my indoor cycling class at the Denver Athletic Club and measured my stores of energy before and after my class. It was fascinating to know how much I burned and even more interesting to note some slight imbalances of how much my right leg burned compared to my left. I would love to have this test on a training day and measure glycogen throughout a long day and see how certain foods and liquids effect my energy stores and burn rate. This test taken over a period of time in various training stages can provide the athlete or their nutritionist’s with information vital to helping create a more effective day to day nutrition plan.

So our quiver of tests, technology and coaching are overflowing with choices and determining what is most valuable and worth the expense can be overwhelming. But with each test we should be able to minimize variables and if nothing else build more and more confidence.

A friend of mine asked me “what do I think Ironman Boulder will teach me?” My first reaction was what won’t it teach me. We have every resource imaginable to help us learn, I say take advantage of everything.