303Beginner Tri Project: Race Day 101

 

by Coach Alison Freeman

You’ve been training for weeks and weeks, and the big day is finally just around the corner! Here are some tips to help with race day … starting a few days ahead of time.

 

One Week Before the Race

– Stay on top of your hydration levels from now all the way until race day.

– Trust your training! You’ve worked hard to prepare for the race, and at this point you’re not going to add any fitness that will benefit you on race day. Resist the urge to squeeze in an extra / long workout and just rest up for race day.

– Check your bike over to ensure that key components – tires, brakes, and shifters in particular – are functioning properly. If you come upon some items in need of repair, or don’t feel comfortable doing the assessment yourself, your local bike shop is typically happy to help! They may need to keep your bike for a day or two, so make sure to head there earlier in the week rather than later.

– Review the USAT Race Day Checklist – download here – and confirm that you have everything you need for race day. If not, now’s the time to go get it!

 

Two Days Before the Race

– Don’t do anything too strenuous – no big hikes, re-landscaping your yard, cleaning out the basement, etc. Just rest!

– Get a good night’s sleep! This night is actually more important than the night before the race.

 

The Day Before the Race

– Stay off your feet and out of the sun as much as possible. Rest, rest, rest!

– If available, pick up your race packet today rather than waiting for race morning. Review everything in the packet and make sure you know what it’s all used for.

– Referencing the USAT Race Day Checklist, pack all your gear for race day – a duffel bag or milk crate works well for packing. If you have them, put your race numbers on your bike, helmet, and t-shirt / race belt. Lay out your clothing for race morning.

– Review the race course and other provided race information, particularly the race start time, swim waves, and when transition will close pre-race.

– Create a schedule for race morning (see below). Prep your breakfast ahead of time.

– Eat some good carbs throughout the day, but eat a moderate sized dinner.

– Pump up your tires.

– Go to sleep early, but don’t panic if you don’t sleep well. That’s normal! And why you got a good night’s sleep two nights before the race.

 

Race Morning

– Eat a nice breakfast, ideally 3 hours before race start: carbs and a little protein is perfect.

– Leave for the race in time to arrive at the race site approximately 90 minutes before race start. Even earlier if you need to search for parking and/or pick up your race packet.

– Park, grab all your gear and your bike, and head to transition. Get body marked – typically: race numbers sharpied on your arms and your USAT age (age as of 12/31) on your calf – as you enter transition (so cool!).

– Find your transition spot based on your race number, and set up transition – all the info on transition can be found here.

– Scope out the transition layout – find swim in, bike out, bike in, and run out (exactly what they sound like!), and locate your transition spot relative to these entry and exit points. For many races, you can mark your bike rack and/or transition spot with a helium balloon or sidewalk chalk.

– Visit the port o’ potty! For real, include this in your race morning timeline – you’ll need to hit the potty, and there’s usually a 10 minute line for them!

– Put on your wetsuit AFTER you’ve hit the port o’ potty. Allow about 15 minutes to get this done, it’s a workout in and of itself.

– If you’re able to get in the water, warm up for 5-15 minutes.

– Plan to be finished with your “race morning routine” 15 minutes before the race start. There is often a pre-race briefing that you’ll want to listen to.

 

Race Execution

THE SWIM

– Place yourself appropriately at the swim start based on your swim ability and comfort in open water. If you’re a strong swimmer, place yourself up front so you have a clear line to the first swim buoy. If you’re more moderately paced or uncomfortable in open water, I recommend an outside corner start location.

– The beginning of the swim usually involves a little contact! Try not to panic – tread water if you’re flustered, and look around for some open water where you can swim cleanly.

– You may start really fast due to excitement and quickly get out of breath. Again, don’t panic! Switch strokes for a bit if that’s helpful, focus on getting your breathing under control, and “just keep swimming.”

– The fastest way to finish the swim is to swim straight! Sight the next swim buoy every 8-10 strokes, and make sure you find the next buoy after completing each turn.

TRANSITION (T1)

– Stay focused and methodical: wetsuit, cap, and goggles off; helmet, sunglasses, shoes, and socks on. Grab your bike and go!

– Remember to place your discarded gear in your transition area. It’s a shared spaced, and fellow participants need room for their stuff too.

BIKE

– Woohoo! You finished the swim. Be proud!

– Remember to take in plenty of water, and potentially some fueling, on the bike. A reminder of hydration and fueling can be found here.

– Stay safe! Cars are present on many bike courses, and fellow participants appreciate a nice “on your left” when being passed.

– Aid stations can get a little congested – signal to your fellow participants if you’re slowing or stopping, and be mindful of others doing the same.

– Thank the volunteers! The race can’t happen without them.

– Save some energy for the run!

TRANSITION (T2)

– Once again, stay focused and methodical: rack your bike; helmet and bike shoes off; run shoes on. Grab your hat (and race belt if you’re using one) and go!

RUN

– Don’t start out too fast! This is one of the most common errors in race execution. Be very mindful of your pace for the first mile.

– Be sure to get some water or sports drink at each aid station.

– Don’t be shy about taking walk breaks if you need them. Aid stations are a great place for that.

– Thank some more volunteers!

– Encourage your fellow participants! You’ll get back twice the positive energy that you put out on the race course.

– And most of all, ENJOY THE FINISHER’S CHUTE! Smile, and celebrate what you’ve accomplished. You earned it!

Tim Don Documentary – Man with the Halo

A VALIANT “IRONMAN” HITS THE ROAD TO RECOVERY
FORMER TRIATHLON WORLD CHAMPION, TIM DON, EMBARKS ON A
JOURNEY OF FEARLESS OPTIMISM IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY

Documentary on the tragic and heroic story of “The Man with the Halo” to premiere at the Boulder Theater in Boulder, CO for the first time in the U.S. on June 7th, 2018.

BOULDER, COLORADO – The legendary three-time Olympian, former triathlon World Champion and Ironman World Record holder, Tim Don, can only be described as the embodiment of pure fortitude, strength and willpower, after surviving a near-fatal road accident that was feared to bring a sudden end to his esteemed career just days before heading to the Ironman World Championships in October last year.

For the first time since his catastrophic setback, the Swiss sportswear company, On, together with Emmy award-winning director, Andrew Hinton, are revealing Tim’s remarkable story in a compelling short form documentary that chronicles his courageous comeback journey along the road to recovery. The highly anticipated and inspirational film, entitled “The Man with the Halo,” is planned for worldwide release on May 28th at www.ManwiththeHalo.com. This release date also commemorates the 1-year Anniversary of Tim’s world record-breaking performance during the 2017 Ironman South American Championships in Florianopolis, Brazil. The film will premiere for the first time ever in the U.S. in Tim’s current hometown of Boulder, CO at the Boulder Theater on June 7 th, 2018.

In the beginning of 2018, following an excruciating three-month period of mental and physical recovery resulting from a severely broken neck, doctors ordered the removal of Tim’s medical halo – the circular metallic support structure fixed directly into his skull. This marked the start of an intense chapter of rehabilitation, fueled by a fierce determination to rebuild himself as the world’s preeminent Ironman. Tim set his sights on his first comeback race – competing at this year’s Boston Marathon in April. Almost six months to the day after the accident, Tim remarkably finished in 2 hours and 49 minutes, just five minutes more than the marathon leg of his record-setting race at the 2017 Ironman South American Championships in Brazil.

“At On, we take pride in sponsoring not just athletes, but their human spirit,” says Olivier Bernhard, cofounder of the Swiss sportswear company. “Tim’s unwavering optimism in the face of adversity is a natural extension of our brand values. Once his pursuit of the Ironman World Championship slipped away following the crash in 2017, we wanted to create an alternative platform of recognition for Tim.

We put together a world-class production team to chronicle his recovery, and reached out to our
network to generate as much groundswell as possible around his comeback race at the Boston
Marathon. Our short form documentary will arguably generate an equally momentous spotlight to suffice any World Championship title. We are delighted to commemorate the 1-year Anniversary of Tim’s world record-breaking performance with a compelling story of undisputable heroism.”

On May 28th, 2017, at the age of 39 years old, Tim Don became the fastest Ironman triathlete of all time after breaking the World Record (previously set by Lionel Sanders) by four minutes, at a time of 7:40:23, during the Ironman South American Championships in Brazil. Tim was in the best shape of his life and continued to train relentlessly for October’s Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, for which he was considered a favorite. While cycling during his final training preparations days before the event, Tim collided with a vehicle and broke a vertebra in his neck, forcing him to make an arduous decision about his future and the best method for long-term recovery. Due to the option of neck surgery giving extreme limitations to his eventual range of motion, Tim decided to wear a halo – the most torturous alternative – but one that would ensure complete recovery, enabling him to return to his 20-year career competing with the best in the world.

“After watching such a well produced documentary with my wife and reliving the ordeal we all went through, it’s evident how much stronger and resilient these gruelling experiences make you,” says Tim.

“Looking back on the last six months has made me realize that my injury was not just a career setback but a serious learning experience about the appreciation one can have towards such a nurturing and dedicated support structure during difficult times. I have been very fortunate and realize how the severity of my injury was shared between everyone around me and how we all carried an equal burden at one point or another. It was awesome to be back in the race environment at Boston, pinning the number on and being in the start corral with everyone. It’s what I worked so hard for over the last six months.”

Tim suffered for nearly four agonizing months at his home in Boulder, Colorado – not being able to shave, shower or dress himself. He became entirely dependent on his wife Kelly, who would often have to clean around the metal of the halo to prevent infection and reduce the swelling where the pins were screwed into his forehead. Tim was on a heavy dose of prescription painkillers that would often add to the problem with frequent vomiting. For three weeks he was upright in a chair in a corner of his living room, unable to sleep for more than 90 minutes at a time. The entire right side of his body became black from bruising and swelling with his ankles becoming swollen despite his compression socks.

As Tim slowly came off the painkillers, he was determined to move beyond the confines of his metal halo and fight for a competitive comeback. He called upon his physiotherapist, John Dennis, who had worked with Tim for over a decade during his competitive career. John was among the first to fly out from the UK to Colorado to supervise the rehabilitation program Tim was eager to start while still wearing the halo. With his upper body strength restricted by the device, John worked with Tim to regain mobility, strength and stability in his lower body. As the exercises became more intense, the screws in Tim’s halo would often come loose and have to be tightened. Eventually the halo was replaced with a large collar allowing for more variation during the workouts over time. Tim was focused and positive throughout the recovery process, which was helped by having goals such as the Boston Marathon and ultimately, a return to the World Championships in Kona.

On April 16th, six months after he was almost crippled for life, Tim took to the 2018 Boston Marathon. Despite the driving rain and temperatures close to freezing, Tim finished in under 2 hours and 50 minutes. A week before the marathon in April, Tim was up to 20 hours of training, compared to his typical 30 hours prior to the injury, although the race helped give him closure on a wound that nearly derailed his career indefinitely. The finish line in Boston marks the beginning of Tim’s long road to recovery. He plans to compete at the Ironman Triathlon European Championship in Hamburg on July 29th, before making a grand entrance as a returning frontrunner in October at the 2018 Ironman World Championships in Hawaii,

The new documentary entitled “The Man with the Halo,” chronicling Tim Don’s road to recovery, is produced by On, together with Emmy award-winning director, Andrew Hinton. The worldwide release date on May 28th marks the 1-year Anniversary of Tim Don’s world record-breaking performance during the Ironman South American Championships in Brazil. The documentary will be publicly available to watch on www.ManwiththeHalo.com.

Longmont Triathlon Story Bowl Stories

The Longmont Triathlon is just a few days away.  Colorado’s longest running triathlon has long been a favorite of locals, seasoned athletes, first time triathletes, kids and so many more.

Several years ago, local business owners and sponsors of the Longmont Triathlon wanted to showcase and honor more than just those who ‘won the race’ and ‘won their age groups’.  Everyone has a story that got them to the start line.  Here are a few of those stories.

 

Tiffany H., Most memorable/inspiring Longmont Triathlon experience

March 25, 2016 my (then) 10 year old son was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, medullo blastoma.  In the past 14 months he has endured 4 surgeries, 30 days of radiation and 9 cycles of chemo.

Running is my therapy and I wake in the dark and run the stress & anxiety away.  I haven’t been able to get to the pool except twice a month ago – there is always a drs appointment to get in the way.  

So, when I wanted to give up, I remember my son and the endurance and fortitude, persistence and tenacity . . .and just keep thinking one more stroke, one more lap, one more step.  As God has sustained him, He will sustain me.

For His Glory

#jammingforjamin

 

Marilyn B., Most memorable/inspiring Longmont Triathlon experience

I’ve done the Longmont Triathlon several times with my twin daughters (Kara & Dani). The 1st time or two we did it as a team ( I remember Kara nursing her 2 month old baby before she did the swim).  After we started doing it as individuals, we usually had more fun training than we did actually racing.  I’m not very fast, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve apparently outlived some of my competition because I’ve occasionally gotten awards. 

In 2012 I had back surgery and have used triathlon as a way to motivate myself to stay active.  This year is my first time back to this triathlon and my first time to do it without either daughter (one is in France, the other in Russia).  So, I will be hearing their voices, especially on the run, saying, ‘C’mon Mom, you can do it.’ And I will picture my grand-kids, 6 of them, cheering me from the playground equipment as I run by.  I’m just happy to be able to compete now that I’m ‘old’ (70).

 

Previous inspiring stories

May 17th

May 23rd

 

Tri Coach Tuesday: IRONMAN Boulder – 16 Tips for Race Day Success

by Dave Sheanin, D3 Multisport Coach

 

Boulder is the perfect place for an Ironman, of course!  It’s home to some of the fastest professional and age group triathletes in the world, and the 18x collegiate national champion CU Triathlon Team.  Who wouldn’t want to race here? Nobody. Of course, you want to race here. Following is a course preview that includes specific tips I have gleaned from my experience on the course both racing and training.

 

PRE RACE

  • Remember that Boulder is at 5,430 feet above sea level–even higher than Denver, the Mile High City.  The air is thin up here and if you’re coming in from out of town, be sure to stay up on your hydration and don’t forget the sunscreen.

  • A big change for 2018 is going from two separate transition areas–to a single transition area at the Rez.  You’ll still take a bus from the high school to get to the Rez on race morning. This is the only way to get to the race start.  Ironman has a ton of buses and there usually isn’t much of a wait, but my strong recommendation is to arrive at the high school first thing.  Better to have a little extra downtime out at the Rez than be standing at the high school waiting for a bus.

SWIM

  • This is one of the best IM swims on the circuit!  Not because the water is crystal clear (it’s not) and not because it’s an ultra-beautiful venue (we locals think it’s just fine).  No, what makes this an awesome swim is that you swim north, then west, then south–in a single loop. What’s the big deal? Let me remind you that the sun rises in the east.  You’re never swimming into the rising sun.

  • IM uses a rolling start in Boulder so you’ll self-seed by time per the normal procedure.  In the past, this race has been held in August and the Rez typically heats up to or above the wetsuit threshold temp, but in June, I would expect the Rez to be in the mid-60s and wetsuit legal.

  • The course is very well marked and only has two turns (both lefts).  You’ll exit on a boat ramp then make a right to pick up your T1 bag and a U-turn to head into the change tents.

  • Do not skip the sunscreen volunteers as you exit the change tent and head to your bike.  It only takes a couple of seconds to get fully slathered–you’ll want that protection in the Colorado sun.

Complete article here

Weekend Preview: How about a Swim?

Triathlon Events

Saturday May 25th

 

Grant Ranch OWS

Lakewood


Sunday May 26th

 

Grant Ranch OWS

Lakewood



Cycling Events

Saturday May 25th

 

Colorado Mesa Double Century

Fruita


Big Mountain Enduro Series: Sante Fe

Sante Fe


Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

Durango


The Original Growler

Gunnison


Sunday May 26th

 

Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

Durango


The Original Growler

Gunnison

 

Mark Plaatjes Is Getting Back in the Shoe Business

Co-founder of Boulder Running Company is getting back in the shoe game with new store

The man behind making the Boulder Running Company a popular player on the Front Range running scene is getting back into the shoe game after a four-year absence.

Photo by Marty Caivano/June 10, 2011

Mark Plaatjes, a physical therapist and former world champion in the marathon who co-founded BRC with Johnny Halberstadt in 1995, has confirmed rumors that he will open a new running store in Boulder this summer. It will be called In Motion Running.

Plaatjes’ PT practice is called In Motion Rehabilitation.

Plaatjes and Halberstadt sold the BRC stores to the Gart Companies in 2013. Plaatjes remained with BRC as an employee for a year after the sale but left the company in 2014. BRC was sold again last year.

Plaatjes this week said he misses selling shoes and the culture of running specialty stores.

“It was part of my life for 18 years,” Plaatjes said in his PT clinic Thursday. “I love the balance between physical therapy and the store. It’s totally different interactions. I miss helping people in a different way than I do here. And it was just a wonderful  way for me to be in touch with the whole running community. I miss it a lot.”

Plaatjes, a naturalized American from South Africa, won a gold medal in the marathon at the 1993 world championships. His PT clinic is on the second floor above the original BRC store on Pearl Street in Boulder. His new store will be located in Boulder at 30th and Walnut, and his PT practice will relocate there when the store opens. The target date for opening is Aug. 1.

Read the full article here.

Middaugh, Paterson win XTERRA Oak Mountain

Josiah Middaugh and Lesley Paterson captured the 13th annual XTERRA Oak Mountain off-road triathlon elite titles on a beautiful day at Oak Mountain State Park in Shelby County, Alabama this morning.

It’s the third straight year Middaugh has won this race and his fifth win in six years on this course.  For Paterson, it’s her fourth victory here since 2012, and for both, their first big XTERRA win of 2018.

In the men’s race Ian King was first man out of the water in 21:11, followed closely by Karsten Madsen, Branden Rakita, Rom Akerson, and Victor Arenas.  Middaugh came of the 1.5-kilometer swim in 23:56, nearly three-minutes behind the leaders, and quickly went to work on the bike.

“I had quite a deficit out of the swim and had to remind myself to just keep pushing all the time,” said the reigning XTERRA Pan Am Tour Champ, who posted the fastest 30km bike split of the day in 1:20:56.  “For me to get to the front, it’s max effort every chance I get.”

Middaugh was able to pass six of the eight guys ahead of him by the end of the bike, all but race leader Rom Akerson  and Karsten Madsen.

Complete event write up from XTERRA here

 

 

Longmont Triathlon Story Bowl: My First Triathlon

The Longmont Triathlon is the longest running triathlon in the state of Colorado.  One of the reasons it’s been around for so long is it’s appeal to beginners.  It’s a small event, it has a pool swim, is a sprint distance – now with a Try-a-Tri shorter distance, and has just about the best volunteers gratitude can buy.

Several years ago, three local event sponsors teamed together and created the Story Bowl.  It offers participants the opportunity to ‘tell their story’ because everyone has one.

Today we share stories from First Time triathlon participants.  Read on and get inspired.

Ron L, First Time Triathlete

I started competing in triathlon in 2011.  I’ve always loved healthy competition and triathlon were the next new challenge as I passed 50.  Competing makes me feel more healthy and I love the opportunity to experience all the different aspects of competitions.  But this one was different.

Earlier this year my younger sister was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, MS.  This hit my family hard and me especially.  So, when I registered for the Longmont Triathlon, it was with renewed purpose: I wanted to compete for her.   When I swim/bike today, I’m competing for my sister: when my team stands with me, they stand with her.  This experience is something that I want to do because she can’t.  I hope through the experience I can show support in my way for her fight.

 

Stephen D, First Time Triathlete

I started a spin/swim class here at Centennial Pool with the goal of improving my riding and learning proper swim strokes.  I had no intention of doing a triathlon but I got hooked on the training, in Jim’s class, and met lots of encouraging class mates.  At age 66, my first tri wont be the fastest but it will be my first, and a PR.

 

Colleen B, First Time Triathlete

My name is Colleen and today I did my first ever triathlon!

I was inspired to do this by my friend Erin.  She was supposed to be here today but had to have emergency surgery last week to take her appendix out.  So, I dedicate this to Erin A!  I was so worried about the swim but I survived!  My husband is a UFC fighter and is in phenomenal shape and he kept telling me ‘you have to challenge yourself to change yourself’.  I feel like I did that today! What an awesome feeling it is!! Right when I was done I Facetimed my husband and 3 kids and they’re SO proud of me!!

 

 

If you missed last week’s post on the Longmont Triathlon Story Bowl and it’s  history, check it out HERE

 

Tri Coach Tuesday: New to Nutrition?

by Coach Nicole Odell, NEO Endurance Sports & Fitness

 

6 NUTRITION TIPS FOR NEW ATHLETES

The endurance sports world likes to use the words fuel and nutrition a lot to refer to the mandatory task of eating. Makes sense, as we need to fuel our bodies with nutritious foods in order to achieve our best performance. But seeing all this can be a bit overwhelming for the new athlete. This post is geared toward the new athlete who might be getting off the couch and trying to become more fit and lose a few pounds while they are at it.

That being said, these tips will also help a seasoned athlete who maybe took a little too much time off in the off-season and is looking to get back to it.

If you are changing something about your life, like adding training to your daily routine, then you don’t want to change too much too soon. It takes about 3 weeks or so for a new routine to become habit, so if you change too much, there is a good chance to become overwhelmed and revert back to your old ways. My suggestion is to take the first month of your training and just get that comfortably into your schedule. And ease into that as well – if you haven’t gone to the gym in 3 years, then don’t try to go every day! Start 2-3 times per week and see how you do.

Once you’ve settled into your new structured training routine, then we can take a closer look at nutrition. Again, we’re going to ease into changes. First, keep a log for about 3-4 days (including a weekend day or your “off” day). Write down everything you eat. Everything. Do you grab three M&M’s? write it down. You can also include when you eat and any feelings you are experiencing while you eat.

This log will give you (and your coach if you have one) a good idea of your current eating habits. Without counting calories, there are some easy things to look for in your log. The goal will be to maximize your consumption of fruit, vegetables, lean meats and healthy fats. But first look at how many “snack” foods you are consuming.

One simple change is to replace a snack with a healthier option (fruit and some nuts, celery and peanut butter, yogurt with fruit). If you’ve been eating a Little Debbie snack cake in the afternoon for the last couple years, don’t go cold turkey either. Reduce your consumption (perhaps only every-other day, or only half a serving) until you prefer the healthier option over the Little Debbie. If you get the daily mocha or latte – do you really need a venti or grande? Would a tall satisfy the craving? Can black coffee suffice? Another thing to think about is if you are really hungry when you are eating. Ask yourself if you are truly hungry or if you are bored.

For your main meals, start adding an extra serving of vegetables…they are low in calories and will help fill you up. You’ll be surprised on how quickly you will feel better once you are eating more natural foods over processed foods.

One last tip – have your healthy meals and snacks prepared ahead of time. If you bring your lunch to work, bring snacks already measured out. The food companies already do this (snack size chips, cookies, etc) so do the same. You can put together a bunch of snacks over the weekend and then just grab them in the morning.

Just by making some simple replacements and no calorie counting, you can eat healthier and you will feel better and stronger.

In summary:

  1. Make gradual changes to your exercise and eating habits to improve success
  2. Keep a food journal for a few days to really understand your eating habits
  3. Slowly replace not so healthy food with healtier choices (lots of fruits and veggies!)
  4. If I am eating a treat, can I get a smaller portion and satisfy the craving?
  5. Am I really hungry when I eat?
  6. Prepare healthy snacks in ready-to-eat portions so they are easy to grab and go.

 

Hopefully these tips will help you start thinking about what you are eating.

 

Original article here

 

 

 

Open Water Swimming Is Here

The 2018 Triathlon has begun!

Folks are always looking for opportunities to get out of the pool and into the open water. It never seems like there is enough practice out side of races.

We thought it would be helpful if there was a ‘one stop shop’ so to speak where you can find open water swim opportunities.

Sponsored by Boulder Aquatic Masters, BAM, we have established a Swim Resource Tab on our home page.  On this tab are open water swims around the state.  It includes weekly swims hosted by BAM, SwimLabs, Avon Parks and Rec. and Team W and Nixie Waves.  There are also links to Boulder Stroke and Stride, Aquaman, Avon Dunk n Dash.

Lastly, there are links to some amazing open water swim competitive events hosted by Mountain Swim Series, Without Limits Productions, BAM and Horsetooth Swim