Coeur Sports Launches “Collective Beat” Community

Coeur Sports has announced they will launch the Collective Beat women’s triathlon community in 2018:

We created The Collective Beat so that we could expand our community beyond our team of ambassadors and professionals. The goal is to draw in more amazing women who are instinctively aligned with the Coeur mission of building a nation of encouraging, supportive, and positive endurance sports athletes.

Our goal is to help make connections that can last a lifetime.

There will be a nominal fee to join The Collective Beat and we wanted to share our thinking behind the program and also tell everyone about the benefits.

So, let’s start with the benefits. We set up the benefits so that members will receive much more in value than the cost of membership. First, members will receive a $200 clothing allowance that can be used to purchase some beautiful and exclusive apparel.

To see the full line, just go to the Collective Beat page on the Coeur Website

The gear will be designed specifically for TCB members and will be delivered around the first of April next year. Just as the North American Tri Season gets going.

Members will also receive a free women’s specific triathlon training plan that was developed by the ladies over at Hardcoeur coaching. These plans retail for up to $149.99 and we have a selection of distances that range from sprint to full iron distance.

We’ll also be giving members an an unlimited use, 20% discount code that is good all year long for Coeur Sports and Zele by Coeur products. You’ll be able to begin using your discount as soon as you join and it can be used on the new 2018 line that we just rolled out.

Plus, our amazing partners are also providing some incredible discounts. So if you’ve ever wanted to try something from great companies, like Barnanas, Zelios, Breakthrough Nutrition, Normatek, Inside Tracker and more, then this is your chance. Just sign up and do some shopping.

Finally, members will have access to a social site where they can cheer for each other and keep up with new benefits as they become available. In our heart of hearts, we believe that the social connection will be one of the most special benefits that members receive.

If this plays out the way we hope, people will know that if someone is wearing TCB gear, then there’s an extremely good chance that that individual is positive, encouraging, relatable, and approachable. We’ve said it time and again, that the first step (or pedal) into endurance sports can be a bit scary and we hope that Collective Beat members will be little beacons of encouragement all around the world.

All in all, we think this is a fantastic package of benefits that will more than cover the $250 cost of the program. We’ll be welcoming members until January 31, 2018 and then the membership will be valid until January 31, 2019.

Check out all the details

Tri Coach Tuesday: Improve Your Swim

By Peter S. Alfino

Owner and Founder Mile High Multisport www.milehighmultisport.com

During the off season we are faced with many choices on how to make improvements so that we are better prepared for the next season. Now is the perfect time of year to focus on improving your swim stroke. Over the years I have conducted many swim lessons and although I have seen many flaws, improper hand entry is one of the most common errors I see. If the hand doesn’t enter the water properly, you have significantly reduced your chances of catching the water up front.

Your hand should enter the water at the 11 and 1 o’clock position on a clock (imagine a railroad track in which the tracks run through your shoulders and alongside your body). The hand will enter the water somewhere between your elbow and rest. Finger tips enter the water first, followed by the wrist and elbow. It is important that you maintain the finger tip, wrist, elbow alignment throughout the entry and the front part of your stroke. Imagine a steel rod which extends from elbow to finger tips. The wrist does not flex.

The hand should enter through an imaginary mail slot, finger tips, wrist and elbow and the elbow should never drop below the wrist or finger tips. The hand sets up somewhere between 4-6 inches below the surface of the water. Since it is hard to gauge this in the water think about your hand setting up under your shoulder. The trajectory of the hand is forward. Think about running the hand along the imaginary rail road track.

A good drill to practice proper hand alignment is the pause drill. In this drill, the entry hand pauses about 3 inches before the surface of the water. As you pause, ask yourself, is my hand in the proper alignment (elbow above wrist and finger tip). The lead hand should still be up front. Once you pause the lead hand enters the water at the same time the stroke hand begins to pull.

When doing drills, I would encourage you to wear fins as they act as training wheels in the water. Once you have perfected the time of this then you can take the fins off until you have mastered the drill again. This drill is one of my favorite drills as it promotes property hand entry and front quadrant swimming.

Pause Drill from Mile High Multisport, LLC on Vimeo.

 

Original post and more training tips on milehighmultisport.com

Holiday Gift Guide: LumaGlo

by Khem Suthiwan

 

The LumaGlo Crossbelt is the next generation of wearable safety gear. Its multi-colored, moving patterns hold the ultimate attention-grabbing power in even the heaviest traffic and most inclement weather conditions.

Whether you commute on your bike or just looking for a simple way to make yourself visible during low-light conditions, the LumaGlo Crossbelt is a great solution. You can wear it as a belt or a sash. Lights illuminate in different colors, moving patterns, and its speed sensors even sync the lights to turn bright red when you stop, in order to alert others around you.

The LumaGlo Crossbelt is flexible, lightweight (135g) yet durable (rugged polyester blend), folds up easily for storage when not in use, and has a USB rechargeable battery. It is also available in two sizes (S/M and L/XL), giving users the flexibility to wear as a belt or while wearing a backpack.

As more and more cyclists take to the roads, and visibility to motorists and other cyclists becomes more important, the LumaGlo Crossbelt is a definite must-have for anyone trying to keep the rubber side down.

Holiday Gift Guide: Four Pillars of Triathlon

by Khem Suthiwan


Written by Colorado triathlon coaches Will Murray and Craig Howie, The Four Pillars of Triathlon features 26 specific, step-by-step techniques for mental conditioning to enhance your triathlon performance and enjoyment.

The Four Pillars include Imagination, Motivation, Discipline, and Recovery. All important facets to create optimal emotional states on demand, end limiting behaviors, and enhance your ability to recover from workouts and setbacks. Basically training the one thing that is a neglected weapon in every athlete’s arsenal – their minds.

 

According to Murray and Howie, “Succeeding at and enjoying triathlon takes four things: the imagination to picture your desires. The motivation to pursue them. The discipline to stick to it. And recovery, to make the most of your training efforts.”

Now is a great time to start the New Year and new racing season with another valuable tool in your shed – The Four Pillars of Triathlon!

 

Available on Amazon here

Holiday Gift Guide: OTTOLock

by Khem Suthiwan

Cable locks, U-locks, chains. So many ways to lock up a bike and thieves always manage to figure out how to get through them…until now.

Weighing in at 120g, the OTTOLock is an amazing lightweight and strong lock to compliment your current “bike security system.” Their patent-pending multi-layered steel and Kevlar® band design will keep your ride secured and safe from potential bike thieves. It is cut-resistant, even from bolt cutters!

 

 

Setting up the combination was super easy, no problem with fitting in your jersey pocket or saddle bag, and available in three different sizes (18”, 30”, and 60”) for various uses outside of bike security (think kayaks, coolers, and anything else you want to lock up!).

 

The OTTOLock is definitely worth the investment, giving you peace of mind that your ride doesn’t end up in someone else’s hands.

Women’s Wednesday: Colorado’s Sarah Thomas – the woman who swam a century and made history

Sarah Thomas © Ken Classen

 “…only three athletes active today have finished ‘current-neutral’ swims of 63 miles or more — all three of them women.”

Unnoticed and unfeted, a US swimmer is breaking the sport’s boundaries

From Financial Times

Last week Sarah Thomas got up at 5am and drove the 25 miles from her home to the swimming pool in Lakewood, Colorado, as she does most mornings. There she completed her 6,000-yard workout before heading to work as a healthcare recruiter. She was untroubled by autograph hunters; no TV crews stopped her to seek an interview.

And yet Thomas is, according to Steven Munatones, founder of the World Open Water Swimming Association, “an outlier, a once-in-a-generation athlete, and a motivator who is showing others how far they can push themselves”. In August she completed what must rank as one of 2017’s greatest achievements in endurance sport, swimming further than anyone — man or woman — has swum before without the assistance of currents: a scarcely believable 104 miles, nonstop, in three days and nights in the water.

“The record wasn’t really the big incentive for me,” Thomas tells me from her home in Denver. “It was about finding and pushing my personal limits.” What could be a weary trope coming from many athletes rings true from Thomas. She swims without sponsorship — fitting her training around her full-time job. Her achievements have received little media attention; her record-breaking swim has not, to date, even been mentioned in a national newspaper.

“Sarah herself doesn’t seek out publicity,” Ken Classen, her coach and training partner, tells me. “If it wasn’t for her friends and mother-in-law she’d probably have no publicity and quite frankly I don’t think she’d care either way.”

Last year Thomas swam a record 82 miles nonstop in Lake Powell but felt she could go further — the 100-mile barrier beckoned. In choosing the current-free Lake Champlain for her swim, Thomas was attempting something no one of either gender had previously done. “A few people have swum over 100 miles before,” explains Evan Morrison, co-founder of the Marathon Swimming Federation, that adjudicated Thomas’ swim, but only with the assistance of strong, predictable currents.

These include a 139.8-mile effort by the late Croatian swimmer, Veljko Rogosic, in the Adriatic. “His swim was very impressive, but it belongs in a separate category,” explains Morrison. According to his records, only three athletes active today have finished “current-neutral” swims of 63 miles or more — all three of them women.

Beat Knechtle, a Swiss doctor and endurance athlete who has studied female performance in open-water swimming, offers two possible explanations for this dominance. “Women have an advantage due to their higher body fat, which provides insulation against the cold and better buoyancy.” As wetsuits may not be worn for official open-water swims, this could be an important advantage. Then there is the mental side. “In open-water swimming women have learnt that they are able to beat men and therefore expect to compete at a higher level,” says Knechtle.

Thomas agrees. “Women have a long history of swimming: it’s been socially acceptable for us to be athletes in the pool and open water for much longer than in other sports. I think having that strong foundation has really helped women to compete and train at a high level.”

Read the full article

Holiday Gift Guide: Footbeat, A New Way to Recover

by Alison Freeman

 

If you’re like most of us – getting older but convinced you can get faster and beat the pants off your younger self – then you know how important recovery is to your training. Meet Footbeat: a pair of moccasins that house an insole that houses a little engine-driven bubble, which compresses your arch which then increases circulation and therefore removes metabolic waste – including lactate, which is also known as: the reason your legs feel like crap. Tiny little engine, big freakin’ deal.

 

The best part about Footbeat is how darn convenient the moccasins are to use. Finish up a run or a bike, shower (optional), and pop those things on while you eat a recovery meal, answer emails, do a little work, or analyze the data file from your workout. Plus they’re easy to tuck into a backpack and bring on a plane or long road trips – keep your legs fresh while you’re sitting for hours, and ensure your legs are ready the next day for a major bike ride or the big race of the season.

Holiday Gift Guide: The Last Gym Bag You’ll Ever Buy

by 303 Ambassador, Erin Trail

 

 

First and foremost, this bag does it ALL. I’m a triathlete and often, I do two gym workouts a day (before and after work. Before I got the Orange Mud Modular Gym Bag I had to cart my gear around in a few bags to haul all of my wet, bulky gear (and my work clothes) around. Now that I’ve found the Modular Gym Bag, my gear hauling system has been simplified down to just this one bag.

 

 

The Modular Gym Bag features 2 zippered storage bags that Velcro to the inside of the bag for easy organization. I use one to store my make-up/lotion/hair stuff. The storage bag makes it so I don’t have to hunt for things – the REAL benefit is that the bag is super easy to remove and then put in my bathroom vanity drawer. This means I don’t need multiple sets of expensive facial care and makeup. The other bag is smaller and I use it to hold snacks and other odds and ends. I like to use the shoe compartment to store my swimsuits and shower necessities – it’s nice and water resistant so the rest of my gear doesn’t get wet. And the main compartment is generous enough to store my work clothes/shoes and another full change of clothes + shoes for my evening workout. You could even purchase additional storage bags to further organize your gear. There’s also 4 smaller pockets on the outside of the bag (2 on each side) which make for handy storage of snacks, gym access cards, keys, and other smaller items.

Orange Mud’s mission is to create the “most efficient, well crafted, and super strong gear”. The Modular Gym Bag is the physical manifestation of this mission. From using super tough ballistic-grade nylon as the bag material, the clever use of removable storage bags for easy organization, to having the shoe compartment convert into a changing mat, they really have made this the last gym bag you’ll need purchase.

Holiday Gift Guide: Run with Stryd

by Rich Soares

 

I love running. When I’m finished with a run, I have that sense of accomplishment and satiation that comes from endorphins coursing through my brain. For all the satisfaction that comes with the run itself – I’m a data guy. A workout without data, metrics, charts and graphs is like witnessing a beautiful sunset on your dream vacation and not having the picture to show your relatives. For all the data that you can use to analyze and improve your running, I’ve learned in the past two weeks that there is nothing more powerful (all pun intended) than Stryd power. Here’s why.

For many runners, data comes from what is native to your GPS watch in terms of pace, distance, heart rate, grade and elevation. I’ve been intrigued with running with power and using that data in my training since running power meters first hit the market. Running with a power meter promised to have many of the same advantages as a cycling power meter. By knowing your run power, you could know your actual work and output during training. If you know your actual rate of work in training, it follows that you would know definitively what performance you can expect to perform on race day – exceed that work rate, and you risk of unraveling in a muscle-quivering mess walking from aid station to aid station.

Intrigued to put running with a power meter to the test, I recently had a chance to talk to coach Jim Vance, who literally wrote the book Run with Power. Jim advocated Stryd as the product leader in the space, so I was eager to get my hands on a Stryd foot pod and try it for myself. While it has no direct bearing on product performance, the out-of-the-box experience is an important first impression and speaks volumes about how much Stryd has thought about the user. Simplification is paramount. Stryd gets a high rating right from the start. The first thing I experienced when I flipped back the cardboard lid of the package was a simple black on white card with 3 steps comprised of 9 words of instruction.

 

Following the instructions to “get started here”, I opened my browser and navigated to stryd.com/get-started. The Set Up Stryd process is straight-forward and tech sexy. The wireless charging unit is sleek and has the look and feel of quality. The registration and profile setup are easy they warrant no further description and the integration to your other fitness applications is idiot proof. I had my Stryd configured to receive data from my Garmin and send data to TrainingPeaks as fast as I could read the text on the page. Installing the Stryd app on my iPhone was equally easy and the foot pod seamlessly interfaces with the phone app. One of my favorite features on the phone app is being able to check the battery charge level of the Stryd foot pod to monitor the progress to a full charge – another tech sexy point!

The Run with Stryd process is where you first start to interface Stryd with your GPS or other watch; in my case a Garmin 735XT. Stryd’s website is very intuitive and the instructions are simple. Select the type of watch you are pairing the Stryd with and then follow Stryd’s instructions. If you follow the instructions literally, you should have no problem completing the device connection and collecting data. Deviate at all from the instructions and you will potentially find yourself lost on in your watch’s menu. My advice, trust the Stryd instructions and not your belief in your confidence in tech adoption.

Stryd is compatible with Garmin, Suunto, Polar, iOS, Android, or you can use the Stryd by itself. In the case of Garmin, I downloaded the Stryd Power activity app and then installed it in the Garmin Express application from my laptop. On my watch, I set up a running activity screen with a single field for “power”. Once the setup was completed, I started a run activity and the power foot pod connected within 20 seconds. During my first run with Stryd I frequently checked my watch to take note of the power numbers in various terrain (uphill, flats and downhill), and was pleased to see the reading adjust instantly to the changes. Hit an uphill section and the number reading would instantly increase. Adjusting my pace on a constant grade, and again the display would immediately change in response. By contrast, pace and heart rate would like considerably behind the Stryd’s response time.
At the end of my run, I completed the activity, launched the app and with a single thumb press synced my power to Stryd, Garmin and TrainingPeaks. From the Stryd app, I could immediately see a summary of my power data from the run on my phone. Eager to see my complete power data analysis I turned to the last of the three easy “get started” steps – Learn From Stryd.

Navigating to Power Center on the Stryd website where you can begin to analyze your data. Again, first impressions are important and the Analyze view of Power Center presents a dashboard view with a summary of the workout including power, form power and cadence. I used the radio buttons to toggle between elapsed and moving data to filter out stop light stops. This is great if you capture elapsed time on your GPS and still want the option to just see moving time data.

It’s not been more than a week and I’ve collected Stryd data for six runs in that time. That has enabled me to explore some of the other features of Power Center, including the comparison feature to evaluate two workouts side by side and compare differences. Analysis is only the beginning of the features in Power Center. I wanted to begin exploring other features in the application, including Improve, Compete and Settings.

Settings is where I first completed my profile and data sync preferences. This is also where I would establish my power zones. Stryd provides 4 methods in the application for establishing your power zones. For this review, I chose the 5K estimation method. During this past week, I performed the Jim Vance 20-minute rFTPw test and ironically came up with similar FTP numbers using the 5K estimation method. I’ll likely experiment with the other methods, including the 3-9 test, which involves a 3-minute all out, followed by a short recovery, and then a 9-minute hard effort. With FTP known, I was able to establish my power training zones and experiment with training within specific power zone ranges.

The Improve screen of Power Center is designed to provide individual insights about your power data and running performance. The Runner Profile presents your relative strengths and weaknesses with respect to metabolic fitness, muscle power, and muscle endurance. The Training Optimizer suggests workouts that will help you focus areas where you have the most potential and areas for improvement. Having facts and data helps me be accountable to today’s performance and provides actionable information for setting goals and direction to my training. The Training Power Heat Map does a great job of illustrating where you are spending your training time compared to where you should be spending your time to reach your running goals.

The Stryd and Power Center has provided a whole new world of insights in the first week of usage. It has peaked my curiosity to learn more, and is channeling me to address my greatest opportunities for improvement and track my progress. It feels like I’ve just begun to understand the new possibilities these insights will provide and stirred up a sense of excitement about my training plan over the winter months and eager anticipation for my race season next year.

If you are looking to stir up some excitement for your tech-lover-athlete this holiday season, Stryd is more powerful than mistletoe. Cheers!