Join BAM for the second Bare Bones Open Water Swims on Saturday August 18th. These events are held in the scenic Boulder reservoir surrounded by mountains and open space. Boulder’s altitude is 5430 feet so if you are coming from out of town do keep that in mind.
One, Two and Three Mile options
NO RACE DAY REGISTRATION
Online Registration Closes Friday August 17th at 7pm
I’m grieving. The race I had been training all summer for, Xterra Aspen Valley, was cancelled because of the horrendous fire and mudslides that have occurred in the Basalt area.
I scheduled time off from work and hoped to make a mini vacation with my wife, Cindy. I trained hard all summer and looked forward to this race. But like all triathlons, they are subject to Mother Nature and sometimes she doesn’t cooperate the way we want her to.
The first reaction most of us have when a race is cancelled is anger. After all, we put a lot of time and energy (and money) into this race. Our bodies are pumped and primed to race and when we can’t do what our bodies are yearning to do, it’s FRUSTRATING!
Some people get angry at the race director but this is futile. He or she has also put a lot of time and energy into planning the race and the last thing they want to do is cancel it. It’s not their fault. The reality is, it’s no one’s fault. It’s the risk we all take when we sign up for an outdoor event and we need to remember that from Day 1 of training.
The second reaction is sadness. No, this is not the grief you experience when you lose a loved one or for those people in Basalt, who lost their homes. But it is still grief and the sooner we recognize it as such, the sooner we can get on with life.
What can you do about it? Here are some options:
Look for another race to do. For Xterra athletes consider another Xterra race such as the IronLake Xterra in Spearfish, South Dakota, August 24th, or Desert’s Edge in Fruita. Refocus and adjust your training plan so that the new race becomes your A race.
Volunteer at a local triathlon or outdoor event to ease some of the pain.
Look for something totally different and noncompetitive, but strenuous, like going for a hike or climbing one of Colorado’s mountains, to use up all that pent up energy!
Most importantly, just let it go. Move on. It’s not the end of the world. Watch five minutes of the news and you’ll quickly realize how unimportant a cancelled race is, in the big scheme of things. Remember how lucky you are to even be training for an endurance race!
For me, Aspen Valley was at the end of the season so I have chosen to throttle down the intensity of training and just maintain fitness. I’ll probably do a few local running races but will focus on planning out next year’s races. As my kids would say, it’s time to take a chill pill!
All eyes were on Tim Don this past weekend as he made his return to triathlon at IRONMAN Hamburg. While he didn’t hit the podium this time, he finished top 10, and faught a good fight.
Sam Long took the scenic route to Whistler Canada, and after the long drive he seemed no worse for the wear finishing 4th just 2:28 behind Matt Russell.
Marinda Carfrae appears to be back in stellar condition, winning IRONMAN Santa Rosa 70.3. While the swim was scrapped, she finished a full 2 minutes ahead of Heather Wurtele, less than 12 months after the arrival of daughter Isabelle.
On the men’s side, Tyler Butterfield finished 3rd followed by Tim O’Donnell in 4th.
Congratulations to All!
Full results and commentary on last weekends races from IRONMAN here
Over the past few years, I have noticed a trend to get hyper-focused on training specifically for one event. To a fault, coaches get hired with the intent or goal of a season ending event like an ironman, half ironman or national or regional championship. Travel time and expenses of the event coupled with the pressure to produce a result by the athlete and sometimes the coach become the focus. The end-state or goal becomes singularly a place or a qualification or a time.
The proverbial journey should outweigh the destination. As a coach and athlete, I have seen the pitfalls of this kind of thinking. There ends up being so much pressure to produce that if the one event does not have achievement, the season is seen as failure. Development of the athlete as a whole should be the focus; results are a nice bonus and achievable if the proper development occurs.
I would implore both coaches and athletes to look to the local race calendar as a supplement to not only the training and skill development but also to have fun along the way. Quite often an athlete and coach get worried about how an additional race can take-away from focused training. However, when scheduled properly, even a local Dash N’ Dine 5k or Stroke n’ Stride can be shuffled into the overall development equation. These kinds of gatherings to be with like-minded people are the best part of our sport.
Goals can be shifted to individual sport effort, pacing, and skill development. A weekend local triathlon does not need to be done on rented race wheels or at peak condition. The athlete and coach can establish individual sport and skill goals that work to develop the athlete as a whole.
-Did the athlete best navigate the swim course?
-Given racing inspires better bike position- is a current fit comfortable?
-Did the athlete stay aero through particularly technical section of course?
-Were run race flats comfortable (without socks)? Was bike nutrition found to be sufficient for a good run?
Note that none of these focuses involved time or place and can be at least qualitatively measured. Plus, they are important for future events and overall athlete development.
Now, that I have made these recommendations, go look at the 303 Race Calendar and sign up for an upcoming triathlon or even swim or aquathon event and get it incorporated into the fun development journey of our sport.
Billy Edwards lives in Niwot and coaches the Collegiate National Champions, US Naval Academy Triathlon Team. Billy focuses on having performance development in sport complement life. USAT Level II and Youth and Junior Elite Coach, USAC Level II @billythekidtri or firstname.lastname@example.org or billythekidtriathlete.com
“Many people see Sam as simply a professional athlete. Many forget that he is still just 22 years old.
He has a bright future, the conversations we have are not about fitness, but execution of his training, racing and all the little details that make the difference when you are racing the top 1% of the sport. I can’t wait to see him in 5 years.”
-Eric Kenney Sam’s training advisor
Mauricio Mendez from Mexico and Lesley Paterson from Scotland captured the 10th annual XTERRA Beaver Creek off-road triathlon elite titles on a beautiful morning in the Rocky Mountains surrounding Avon, Colorado on Saturday, July 21, 2018.
It’s the third XTERRA win of the season for Mendez, the 2016 XTERRA World Champion, and the second for Paterson, who captured the ITU Cross Tri World Title just 11 days ago in Denmark.
MAU OF THE MOUNTAIN
The elite men’s race was one of the most exciting back-and-forth, all-out battles in XTERRA history. It all started with a one-mile swim in the 67-degree calm waters of Nottingham Lake. The air quality was good despite a light haze in the air from the wildfire smoke coming from the Lake Christine Fire still burning near Basalt, CO.
Brad Zoller was first out of the water in 17:55, followed closely by Mendez and Branden Rakita. The other key players on the day were roughly 1:40-to-2 minutes back with Sam Long (19:38), Ryan Petry (19:43), Kieran McPherson (19:59), and Josiah Middaugh (20:04) exiting the water in places 7th thru 10th.
At mile four on the bike Mendez, after nearly 2,000-feet of climbing, had 20-seconds on Rakita, 38-seconds on Long, :40 on Petry, and 1:10 on Middaugh.
“When we were on the bike I could tell this was going to be a super hard race,” said Mendez. “The whole race was hard because you didn’t know if it was about pacing or attacking, and I didn’t know how my body was going to respond.”
About one-mile later at the top of the climb (about 9,400-feet) Long passed Mendez for the lead.
“I just hammered the bike, I stayed on the gas the whole time,” said Long.
“He did,” replied Mendez. “Sam rode super hard, he was attacking, attacking, attacking the whole time.”
At mile 11 Long was still in the lead, Petry had moved into second 30-seconds behind with Mendez on his wheel, Middaugh was 50-seconds back, and Rakita was one-minute behind in fifth.
Throughout my career, I have had the privilege to travel the world and watch you share the joy of racing and an active healthy lifestyle with your families. Regularly, I am asked about how I balance training, racing, my coaching business, and family. I gotta say, it’s not easy but it pales in comparison to the juggling act most of you have to do. I have the luxury that I don’t have a job that involves commuting, a boss, or the daily management of people. I’m lucky that when I’m training, I am working. With that, here are a few tips I have picked up over the years that could benefit anyone trying to manage it all.
1. Have a routine but don’t let your routine stress you out
Training for a triathlon is time-consuming and mentally demanding. Add in juggling a schedule, work/life and the schedule of your family makes it tougher. I have found that you have a set schedule, there is one less thing that you have to think about and by getting into a weekly rhythm you can focus on your workout instead of juggling activities. If you know that you have certain time blocks everyday and specific dates for each workout, then it makes it easier to pack your bags, have everything you need and be ready to train. Further, it allows others(like your family), to plan as well.
2. Establish expectations and communicate regularly
Critical for any relationship and a family tri relationship is establishing expectations and communicating if you need to change your schedule or needs. When my wife knows that I won’t be around on specific days/times, she can plan her life and my kids’ life around that. Conversely, my wife can let me know her expectations and needs for me so that I can plan my training around that. The key is being clear and establishing a routine. In our house, my family knows I swim early. The expectation is that I won’t be there when they wake up but I will be there during breakfast to get everything ready for school and then get the kids to school while my wife heads off to the cupcake shop. Similarly, I also spend time with my kids explaining to them what I am doing in my training and why. This lets them understand why I am going out on a 4 hour bike ride or in my training cave for hours at a time instead of going with them to the park.
3. Be in the moment
A lot of folks try to do too much. Too much at work, too much with their family and too much training. What ends up happening is they ‘fail’ at everything or are always guilty that they aren’t living up to their expectations. What I try to do is really be in the moment for whatever I am doing. If I am training, I am singularly focused on training as I would be doing a disservice to myself and to my kids if I didn’t give 100% to my training. Similarly, when I am with my kids, I am not feeling guilty that I am not training- I am 100% dedicated to my time with them. It makes everything I do more impactful and I can provide a higher quality experience in everything I do, which is what matters in the end.
4. Brick/Combo workouts
The best way to get in multiple workouts in a day is to brick your workouts. The typical brick is bike/run but you can easily swim/bike or swim/run as well. The goal here is to minimize the prep time and clean up time. Instead of splitting workouts and having to prepare and clean up twice, you can save thirty to sixty minute by doing it once. Really want to get crazy, you can swim/bike/run most days like me :).
As endurance athletes we put in many long hours training for our goal events and one of the biggest concerns is that an injury will pop up or linger impacting our ability to compete. How do most injuries happen? The simple answer is, muscle imbalances! Where do most of these muscle imbalances originate? Our body’s core, which is comprised of many central muscles including transversus abdominus, multifidus, the diaphragm and the pelvic floor.
The core muscles provide your spinal and central muscle systems with stability and also coordinate movement to your extremities. Without a strong core, we will not be able to keep the body standing or moving in the correct aligned position which will put the spine, arms and legs out of position and in a vulnerable stability pattern for movement and the possibility of injury.
A muscle imbalance, which is undetectable with the naked eye, can become a more serious problem causing another muscle group to compensate and leading to injury over time. Injury prevention is not the only benefit of a strong core, it also creates the right pathways for the muscles to fire in the correct patterns and improved core strength and proper muscle firing patterns produce faster training and racing times. One of the biggest benefits to your training and racing will be that the stronger your core, the longer you can hold proper technique and form.
Below are a listing of some of the ideal core and hip stability exercises that every endurance athlete should incorporate into their training at least twice a week for a faster, injury free racing season and beyond. Remember while executing these exercises to remain tall, shoulder down and back, pull your belly button towards your spin and tuck your tailbone under you.
How to Perform:
Lie on your back on an exercise mat or on the floor, legs bent at the knee with feet flat on the floor.
Raise your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line.
Hold your bridge position for 30-60 seconds
Theraband Side Steps
How to Perform:
While standing with feet shoulder width apart, loop theraband around both legs resting at mid calf.
Bend at your knees slightly while stepping out to the side until the band is taut. Repeat with other leg.
Perform 10 steps to the left, before changing direction and performing 10 steps to the right.
How to Perform:
Lie on your side with legs out straight and feet together. Position elbow and forearm directly below shoulder.
Raise hips until your body is in a straight line from head to toe while resting top arm on your hip.
Hold your side plank for 15-30 seconds.
Theraband Monster Walk
How to Perform:
While standing with feet shoulder width apart in a partial squat position, loop theraband around both ankles.
In one motion step forward and then out to the side until the band is taut. Repeat with other leg.
Perform a total of 12 steps before repeating.
How to Perform:
While standing with feet shoulder width apart loop theraband around legs and position just above knees.
Bend at the knees while keeping your torso as upright as possible, as if you were going to sit on a chair.
As you lower keep the theraband taut, until thighs are almost parallel to floor. Complete 15.
How to Perform:
Position yourself face down on elbows and knees.
Keep elbows under shoulders with hands clasped together, press up on toes while extending legs out straight. 3. Lower hips until head, shoulders, hips and feet are in a straight line. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
Side Plank with Bent Leg
How to Perform:
Lie on your with knees touching and top leg out straight and bottom leg bent at 90 degrees.
Positions elbow and forearm directly over shoulder, raise hips keeping head, hips and knees aligned.
While keeping your body in this raised position, lift your top leg 45 degrees. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
How to Perform:
While standing tall with feet side by side, step backwards with one leg keeping torso upright.
With hands on hips, bend back leg at the knee, allowing front leg to follow. Front knee not to extend over toes.
Back knee will almost touch the floor. Repeat by lunge by alternating legs. Complete 15 on each side.
Opposite Arm & Leg Raise
How to Perform:
Position yourself on your hands and knees at 90 degrees under your body. your back straight.
While keeping head, shoulders, hips aligned raise your right arm and left leg out straight.
Hold each arm and leg raise for 10 seconds. Repeat with opposite arm and leg. Complete 15 on each side.
Thera-Band Hip Clams
How to Perform:
Lie down on your side with knees together and wrap theraband around both legs just above knees.
With knees bent to both feet together with your lower leg remaining on the floor.
Raise upper leg at the knee until the band is taut. Hold each for 5 seconds. Complete 12 on each side.
This film follows 6 triathletes from 4 countries (U.S., China, Germany, and Australia) and tells their stories of how they train and prepare for the world’s largest long distance triathlon race – the legendary CHALLENGE ROTH in Germany. The history of the early days of Ironman triathlon is also told by some of the Ironman legends.
Have you completed your first tri recently? Or maybe it’s still on the horizon … but you’re already thinking about the next one. When triathletes are thinking about their next race, it’s usually with an eye toward how they can improve upon the last one. In fact, I’m convinced that the elusive perfect race is what keeps triathletes coming back to the sport year after year.
As a newer entrant to the sport, one of the fastest ways to improve on race day is to improve your approach to training. For your first race, you may have simply focused on ensuring you were able to complete the full swim-bike-run distances. Which means that for this next race, “getting fancy” with your training regimen will surely yield improvement.
The five key workouts outlined below will build both endurance and speed, and set you up for great results come race day:
The Long, Endurance Workout
What It Is
This is your weekend long bike and long run, which build to at least 120% of race-day distance for sprint- and Olympic-distance triathlons, and is the the fundamental component of training. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you shouldn’t train at your endurance effort level because you’re going to be racing at a faster pace. The long, endurance workout is critical for building your aerobic engine, which is required regardless of race pace.
These workouts should be done at your endurance effort level – your all day, conversational pace. By conversational, I do literally mean that you can hold a conversation while running or cycling at this effort level. Often athletes run faster than their endurance pace on their endurance runs. If you can’t get out a full sentence (10+ words) without needing a break to breathe, then you’re running too fast. Don’t be discouraged if your pace feels unbearably slow at this effort level – it will increase over time with discipline and patience!
When To Use It
Every week, without fail. In fact 80% of your training each week should be done at endurance effort.
What They Are
Yup, these are just what they sound like: short but intense bursts of effort going up a hill, that you repeat several times.
FOR THE RUN: Start with a ten to fifteen minute endurance-effort warm up. Then hit the intervals: four to eight repeats of 30 seconds running hard up the hill, and recover by walking or jogging back to the bottom of the hill. You should just barely be able to maintain your pace for the entire 30 seconds, and for the entire set of four to eight repeats. (Yes, they should be that hard – lots of huffing and puffing involved in this one!) Finish the run with an endurance-effort cool down of five to fifteen minutes.
As you get stronger, you can lengthen the hill repeats up to 45 seconds, then a minute, 90 seconds, and even two minutes. Keep in mind that as the length of the hill increases, your sustainable pace will decrease; adjust your pace but follow the same principle that you should just barely be able to hold that pace to the top of the hill.
FOR THE BIKE: You can either find a short, relatively steep hill and repeat that four to eight times, or you can ride up a longer hill just once or twice, or you can ride a hilly route and work each and every hill you encounter. For any of those options, include a ten to fifteen minute endurance-effort warm up and cool down; ride the hills hard – as hard as you can sustain – and recover on the downhills.
When To Use Them
Hill repeats are great tools to develop strength and power early in your training, preparing you for the upcoming speed work. I recommend doing these workouts weekly, 8-12 weeks before your race.
What They Are
Threshold intervals should be done at your lactate threshold, which can be thought of as the pace that just barely keeps that burn from taking over your legs before the interval concludes.
For both bike and run threshold intervals, start with a ten to fifteen minute endurance-effort warm up. Then complete three to six 3-minute threshold intervals with 3-minute very, very easy recoveries; the effort level should be very challenging but repeatable. Finish the workout with an endurance-effort cool down of five to fifteen minutes.
Each week, either increase the number of repetitions, add a minute to the interval duration, or take a minute away from the recovery duration. Unlike with increasing durations for hill repeats, as these workout gets harder, your effort level should remain the same – or even get stronger as you adjust to the demands of the workout.
When To Use Them
Threshold intervals are the best way to build speed at all effort levels. I recommend doing these workouts weekly, 4-8 weeks before your race.
What They Are
Anaerobic intervals are executed at a similar effort level as hill repeats, but they’re about going fast versus building strength and power. Intervals at this effort level should produce a “burn” in your legs after the 3rd interval, but should be repeatable with sufficient rest.
For both bike and run anaerobic intervals, start with a ten to fifteen minute endurance-effort warm up. Then complete five to ten 30-second anaerobic intervals with 30-second very, very easy recoveries; the effort level should be extremely challenging but repeatable. Finish the workout with an endurance-effort cool down of five to fifteen minutes.
Each week, increase the total number of 30-second intervals up to twelve, or two sets of eight to ten. Alternatively, you can lengthen the intervals up to one minute, starting with four to six intervals. As with the threshold intervals, your effort level should remain the same as the workouts get harder.
When To Use Them
Anaerobic intervals serve to give a final nudge to your top speed. I recommend doing these workouts in the four weeks before your race.
Race Pace Tempo Intervals
What They Are
Race pace tempo intervals are singular, sustained intervals executed at your expected race pace. Your race pace is typically somewhere between your endurance effort and your lactate threshold, based on your fitness and the race distance. As you do these workouts, try to find an effort level that you can hold for the entire race duration.
For both bike and run, the single race pace intervals is bookended by an endurance effort warm up and cool down of ten to fifteen minutes. The race pace interval on the bike can range in duration from ten to thirty minutes; on the run, the duration can range from five to fifteen minutes.
Start with a duration on the lower end of the range, and increase it until two weeks before race day. After that, decrease the interval duration a bit or split it into two, shorter intervals.
When To Use Them
Race pace intervals help you identify and get accustomed to your desired race pace. I recommend doing these workouts in the four weeks before your race.
There’s a plethora of sports drinks on the market, and you’d have to be living under a rock not to know it. But are they really necessary? Do they deliver on what they promise? And is it possible to make your own sports drink for a lot less money?
Let’s take those questions one at a time. Are sports drinks necessary? For endurance athletes, yes.
For example, after prolonged exercise (longer than 60 minutes), sports drinks can help replenish electrolytes that the body loses through sweat. The predominant electrolyte we lose when we sweat is sodium, with its anion chloride coming in a close second. Sodium and chloride regulate the amount of fluids throughout your body, which affects blood pressure, blood volume, and cellular function. Thus, sodium chloride or “salt” is the most important ingredient in a sports drink.
If you’re a “salty sweater” – that is, someone with a high sweat rate – it’s especially important that you replenish sodium during and after intense activity. Fortunately, this is fairly easy to do with food as there are many sodium-containing foods in the typical American diet. However, it’s a bit harder to replace sodium while running because it’s hard to eat real food while running. This is where sport drinks come in handy as it’s easier to drink than eat and for events less than two hours, most athletes can get all the sodium they need from a good sports drink. For longer events, a combination of different products can be utilized to replace the sodium lost in sweat.
It’s also important to make sure the product contains sodium chloride, as chloride is essential for regulating fluid balance. Interestingly, there’s a product on the market called Nuun Active that touts itself as having the “optimal blend of electrolytes for athletic performance”, but upon closer inspection, one finds that Nuun Active contains a combination of sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate that react with citrate to form sodium citrate (instead of sodium chloride). Why is that a problem? Because the primary side effect of sodium citrate is “tetany” or intense muscle spasms. Who needs that during a race? Why not just use sodium chloride since chloride plays a major role in fluid regulation?
So, what about potassium, calcium, and magnesium? Losses of these electrolytes in sweat are negligible so they really don’t need replacing during exercise. But many sport drinks contain them anyway – probably to make you think that you need them – but adding them only drives up the cost of the product.
Complete article here and a recipe for your own sports drink here
About Coach Cindy
Cindy came from a running background as well. After finishing her 12th marathon, she realized that she needed some cross-training. At the age of 45, she learned how to swim in a pool and then a few years later, she took the plunge into open water swimming. Fast forward 8 years and she has completed dozens of sprint, Olympic, and 70.3 races, and 4 full Ironman races.
Cindy is a Registered Dietitian with a PhD in nutrition from Colorado State University. She is also a certified USAT triathlon coach and a certified intuitive eating counselor.