Why Endurance Athletes Should Watch a High Heart Rate

From TrainingPeaks
By George Ganoung

Last winter I was on a long base training ride, and I felt generally awful. At first, I blamed my much higher-than-normal heart rate on fatigue, or perhaps a dying HRM battery. But after a couple of days off the bike, and more closely monitoring my heart rate in general, I decided something still didn’t seem right.

A visit to my primary car doctor and a quick EKG resulted in a speedy referral to a cardiologist. Long story short, the diagnosis was Persistent Lone (or Idiopathic) Atrial Fibrillation or AFib. “Persistent” meaning my heart was in a state of AFib all the time; “Lone” or “Idiopathic” meaning that (with no commonly recognized risk factors) the cause was unknown.

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a heart condition characterized by an irregular and often rapid heart rate. It’s not lethal on its own, but it can increase your risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. The American Heart Association estimates that at least 2.7 million Americans are living with the disorder. Traditional risk factors include what most would expect for heart conditions: congenital defects, age, heart disease, excessive stress, and stimulant use. However recent evidence suggests that long-term endurance sports training might also be a significant factor.

I am not a doctor, and my intent is not to contribute to the debate around AFib and endurance athletes. The purpose of this article is instead to raise awareness, and to provide some lessons learned through my firsthand experience with AFib, in hopes of helping athletes better-identify and deal with the issue if it arises.

Know What’s Normal
In my case, the doctors cited my quick identification of a potential problem (and seeking of medical attention) as critical factors in what would ultimately be a successful correction procedure. Like many athletes, I have a good understanding of what I “should“ be seeing with my heart rate relative to power and perceived effort, and was able to quickly identify that something was wrong. For performance, monitoring HR is becoming less prevalent, but there is a lot of value in consistently using it for insights into your overall health. (Here’s how to get started with a Heart Rate Monitor).

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Tim Don IS going to Kona after all…

From Tri247.com

From tri247.com
By Josh Levison

‘The Don’ does qualify for Hawaii 2018

It’s not the first time that Tim Don has been written off!

After we (and indeed, Tim himself), assumed that his attempt to qualify for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship in Hawaii was over after his DNF at Sunday’s IRONMAN Copenhagen left him just outside the automatic qualifying slots in the Kona Pro Rankings (KPR), news here from Tim himself that the dream is still alive.

The past weekend represented the final weekend of qualifying, and from Tim’s Instagram post (below), with athletes ahead of him not taking up their option, he has indeed earned his place on the start line at Dig Me Beach on Saturday 13th October.

We expect the full details of the final Kona start list will be published relatively soon.

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Blind Triathletes to Attend 3 Day Camp at US Olympic Training Center

By USA Triathlon

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon and the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) have partnered to host the first-ever paratriathlon camp in Colorado Springs dedicated to athletes with visual impairments. Ten triathletes and ten guides from across the U.S. will travel to the U.S. Olympic Training Center to participate in the three-day camp, set for Thursday, August 23, through Saturday, August 25.

The camp will focus on the para-specific dynamics of swimming, biking and running, as well as other aspects of triathlon performance (basic nutrition, transitions, goal-setting, etc.). Coaches will include seven-time ITU Paratriathlon World Champion Aaron Scheidies (Seattle, Wash.), 2017 USA Paratriathlon Coach of the Year and Paralympic Head Coach for Team USA, Mark Sortino (Boise, Idaho), and USA Triathlon certified coach, tandem pilot and triathlete Amanda Leibovitz (Bellingham, Wash.).

Visual impairment is one of six paratriathlon categories recognized by the International Paralympic Committee and includes athletes who are totally blind and athletes who are partially sighted but legally blind. Triathletes with visual impairments compete alongside a guide. During the swim, the guide and athlete are tethered together — usually at the thigh or hip. The athlete then rides behind his or her guide, or pilot, on a tandem bike before finishing the race on foot with a tether connecting athlete and guide.

The following athletes, among others, will be available for media interviews:

Lindsay Ball (Benton, Maine) represented the U.S. at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in alpine skiing. She is a two-time U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing national champion and was the 2012 Winter Park IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup bronze medalist. Ball completed her first triathlon in 2010, and is now beginning to pursue the sport competitively.

Kyle Coon (Carbondale, Colo.) has been a triathlete since 2015. He has completed three long-course (IRONMAN 70.3) and two ultra-distance (IRONMAN) triathlons, in addition to several sprint and Olympic-distance events. Coon’s best long-course finish came at IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder last year, when he won the men’s physically challenged division covering the 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run in 5 hours, 11 minutes, 9 seconds.

Michael Somsan (Gilbert, Ariz.) is a retired U.S. Army First Lieutenant who lost his vision to a gunshot wound in 1995. Somsan was the top finisher in the men’s physically changed division at the 2016 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. He has also completed IRONMAN Arizona (2015), IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside (2016) and several sprint and Olympic-distance triathlons.

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES: 
Media representatives are invited to capture coverage of the camp and/or conduct interviews with participants to help raise awareness about the sporting opportunities available to individuals who are blind and visually impaired, and how these athletes’ lives are being positively impacted through sport.

A tentative list of opportunities is outlined below. Training sessions may be altered depending on weather and scheduling. Please contact Caryn Maconi (USA Triathlon) or Courtney Patterson (USABA) if you would like to attend any of the training sessions.

Thursday, Aug. 23:
4-6 p.m. Run Session (Roads TBD)

Friday, Aug. 24:
8-11 a.m. Bike Skills/Ride (Roads TBD)
1-3 p.m. Swim Session – Outdoor Pool at U.S. Olympic Training Center*

Saturday, Aug. 25:

8-11 a.m. Bike Skills/Ride (Roads TBD)
1-3 p.m. Swim Session – Outdoor Pool at U.S. Olympic Training Center*
3-4 p.m. Transition Skills (Roads/OTC)

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BRAVER BOLDER STRONGER. Triathlon workshops designed by women for women.

Join 303Triathlon‘s Bill Plock with Rachel Joyce and Dana Platin via Facebook Live from TriBella on Thursday, May 10th at 10:45am (MDT).

PRESS RELEASE – MAY 7, 2018
BRAVER BOLDER STRONGER. Triathlon workshops designed by women for women.

Boulder, Colorado USA: Rachel Joyce, professional triathlete; 2017 IRONMAN Boulder Champion, and Dana Platin, leadership coach and founder of The Warmi Project, are collaborating on an innovative local workshop series. Each workshop offers a unique blend of practical triathlon skills and mental tools designed to have an immediate benefit on performance. The series will take place at the University of Colorado, Boulder Recreation Center and single workshop registration is available:

Swim Braver Workshop: Sunday May 20 10:00am-3:00pm
Bike Bolder Workshop: Sunday June 3 10:00am-3:00pm
Run Stronger Workshop: Sunday June 24 10:00am-3:00pm

The Swim Braver session will develop the ability to squash the inner critic and lead with a BRAVER self-mentor both on and off the race course. The Bike Bolder session will progress the courage needed to push the comfort zone in order to fear less, take calculated risks, and move BOLDER through life. The Run Stronger session will explore the top three strategies to crush
goals to run STRONGER in life.

“Since transitioning from the corporate world to professional triathlon in 2005, I have learned a huge amount about swimming, biking and running,” said Rachel Joyce. “I understand how the development of everyday skills are essential to truly showcase fitness in the triathlon arena. I am excited to share my experiences through the Braver Bolder Stronger workshops and to be partnering with Dana Platin. Dana’s depth of knowledge and women’s leadership portfolio emphasizes the relevance of mental tools, which is often the missing piece of the jigsaw.”

“Human Interest Group is proud to support this engaging workshop series,” said Heather Nocickis, “Rachel and Dana have created a relevant, effective content program based on their respective paths to success. The result of their vision for women’s leadership is a blueprint that builds confidence and drives change, empowering others to break through barriers – in sport or in the corporate arena.”

“As a passionate, avid athlete, I use my participation in triathlons, cycling, and mountaineering as a way to set personal goals that push my limits beyond what I thought was possible,” says Dana Platin. “Personal triumphs and setbacks have taught me about gratitude, grit, and grace. My 20-years in leadership development, training, and program management are lessons learned for other women aspiring to crush their fear to accomplish their goals. I am thrilled to
partner with Rachel Joyce on this powerful experience that uses the journey of triathlon to tap into that braver, bolder, stronger version of ourselves.”

Each workshop will kick off with a challenging physical component. The swim/bike/run training sessions will be coached by Rachel, instructing on technique and key skills specific to triathlon, such as open water sighting and adapting swim strokes for different conditions; climbing and descending proficiency on the bike; and, finishing with a strong run in the final leg of a triathlon.

This will be followed by lunch and refreshments. Dana will advance discussion during the afternoon sessions, further examining potential barriers to empowerment and those tools and choices that contribute to success and define what braver, bolder, stronger means for women’s leadership and participation.

About Braver Bolder Stronger: Braver Bolder Stronger Workshops is a partnership between Rachel Joyce, Dana Platin and The Human Interest Group. For more details and event registration, click HERE.

Media Enquiries: The Human Interest Group
Heather Novickis email: heather@humaninterestgroup.org
Phone: 303.517.0624

Parking for Workshops
The workshops will take place at CU Student Recreation Center, located at 1855 Pleasant Street in Boulder, CO. We recommend parking at Lot 169 (free parking on weekends) or the Folsom Field Parking Garage (paid parking) as shown here.

Snacks, Naps, and Food Fights: 3 Ways to Treat Training Stress

From IRONMAN.com

Make post-workout nutrition a priority. (Photo by artursfoto)

Reverse the negative effects of exercise with this protocol even a 5-year-old could follow.
by Susan Kitchen

Endurance athletes such as runners and triathletes are the first to tout the benefits of exercise, or “training,” as the more serious among us call it. Surely, the purpose of training is to improve aerobic endurance, muscle adaptation, and strength, resulting not only in performance gains, but general health and well-being as well.

But like all medicines, training—especially at the level seen in long-course endurance sports—also puts stress on the body. This is knows as oxidative stress, or more colloquially, inflammation.

Inflammation is a bit of a buzz word in health these days, but put simply, it has to do with the effects of stress on the body. Exercise causes micro traumas to our muscles, connective tissue, joints, and bones (which allow our bodies to adapt and our fitness to improve), but also the release of cortisol, the most prominent stress hormone. All of these natural responses have their place, but without the proper recovery, sleep, and nutritional support, the inflammatory response can persist over time and lead to injury or illness.

The market is flooded with tools to combat inflammation, and it’s easy to throw money at the feel-good quick fixes. The most powerful antioxidants can be found right under our noses, however, and don’t cost a fortune. In fact, you probably have some laying around in your kitchen right now.

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SwimLabs Announces Grant Ranch Swim Schedule

Grant Ranch will offer swimmers an opportunity to train for their upcoming events or to simply practice their open water skills. There will be two courses available, 1/2 mile triangle or a 1.2 mile loop.  Grant Ranch is free of motorized boats, which allows for a very safe environment.

Grant Ranch Address: 
7255 West Grant Ranch Boulevard
Lakewood, CO 80123

Open Water Swim Days/Times:   
May 19th – September 9th

Tuesdays, May 22nd – Sept. 4th – 5:30AM – 7:00AM (Must be out of water by 6:50 AM
Thursdays, May 24th – Sept. 6th – 5:30AM – 7:00AM (Must be out of water by 6:50 AM)
Saturdays, May 19th – Sept. 8th – 7:00AM – 9:30AM (Must be out of water by 9:20 AM)
Sundays, May 20th – Sept. 9th – 5:30AM – 9:30AM (Must be out of water by 9:20 AM)


NO SWIMMING DATES (swim meets at Grant Ranch) – June 9th, July 7th and July 14th

 

Drop In, Punch Passes and Season Passes are available.

 

All the details and swim waiver can be found on the SwimLabs website HERE

Mark on Monday: Aero Do’s and Don’ts

by Mark Cathcart

The triathletes mantra is everything aero. We buy aero helmets, aero wheels, aero frames, wear tight clothes because they are aero, many of us even have aero drink bottles. We epitomize the Team Sky Race Director, Sir Dave Brailsfords’ now infamous “Marginal Gains”.

As I rode home the other day, I turned from CO52 onto 95th and got caught by the wind, it was blowing really hard from the west. Ahead of me were a couple of cyclists, you could see they were battling to stay upright as the wind blew across the fields and caught them square on.  Before we got to Lookout I’d passed both of them. They both could have helped themselves in the wind by being more aero.

Once on Lookout, heading east, with the wind to my back I could see another cyclist ahead, and soon doing 45MPH, I passed him too, and yes, he too could use some help even though he was going fast. So here are my bike aero do’s and don’ts.

 

 

DON’T: Ride with your elbows locked. There is almost never a good reason to ride with your elbows locked. If you do the road vibrations travel straight to your neck and upper back causing fatigue.

DO: Soften your elbows. Bending at the elbows reduces your height, and helps flatten out your back

DON’T: Ride with your palms on the brake hoods.

DO: Ride with your hands back from the hoods, soften your elbows, keep your head up

 

 

 

 

DON’T: Ride sitting up, elbows locked, just because the wind is at your back!

DO: Use your drops, or if you are comfortable, lean on your handlebars, again soften your elbows, and if you have a traditional long nose bike seat, shift forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DON’T: Let your limbs stick out. No matter which way the wind is blowing, or even if there is no wind, let your elbows and knees stick out.

DO: Soften your elbows, keep your arms tucked in, and keep your shoulders narrow.

 

 

 

 

 

DON’T: Attack hills from the bottom! There is nothing worse than “blowing-up” two thirds of the way up the hill.

DO: Pace yourself, nobody ever says I could have taken that hill faster! Use your gears wisely, don’t run out straight away.

DON’T: Battle up a hill in the same bike position.

DO: Make use of all the muscle groups. As a triathlete, you have to run off the bike. Again, traditional saddle? Slide back on the saddle, move your hand to the middle of the bars, don’t forget to soften the elbows.

 

Finally, use those gears. Remember, cycling is about motion, not muscle.

Triathlon Mental Training: 3 LESSONS I LEARNED WATCHING THE 2018 WINTER OLYMPICS

By Jim Hallberg of D3 Multisport

I really love watching the Olympics, I look past the politics and look at the essence of the sport and the sportsmanship. I look at what has allowed these amazing athletes to become so successful and what we can take from it.
Here are my three big takeaways from the Olympics.

LESSON 1 – STAY CALM NO MATTER WHAT
In the Men’s cross country skiathlon, Norway’s Simen Hegstad Kruger was a big favorite to win. In the first 250 yards, Kruger fell, got knocked in the head, and broke his pole. He was now in last place. Without any panic he got back up, grabbed a spare pole, composed himself and set out to rejoin the group. Rather than a huge effort to quickly get back, he worked his way up steadily to the group. With 8km to go he was in the group in fifth place. Then, he put in an early push and ended up crushing his competitors, taking the Gold medal with plenty of room behind him.

The takeaway for triathletes is that regardless of any mishaps during your event or even pre race, from your goggles coming off in the swim, a flat tire on the course, or you can’t find your bike in transition (I’m guilty of this one) don’t panic. Adapt to the mishap, adjust your strategy accordingly and most importantly stay positive. If Kruger has said to himself that his race was over after his crash, he never would have put on one of the best performances of the Games. So, if you haven’t had a major mishap, you will eventually. Make sure you keep you head about you and make smart decisions.

LESSON 2 – TRAIN WITH A TEAM
The downhill skiers from Norway, the ones who called themselves the Attacking Vikings, they seemed to know what they were doing. As it turns out, they train as a team, race as a team, and have a lot of fun along the way. This camraderie is not only good for having a good time, but it also creates accountability. Not only can they not skip workouts, they are pushed by their teammates.

So, in your training, the next opportunity you have to train with others, you should do it and do it often. It holds you accountable to attend and to work hard. If Masters Swim club is too early in the morning, make the adjustment to get to the pool for that practice. If there are group rides or runs in your area, especially ones with a group of other triathletes, make an effort to get to those rides. You may find that you push yourself harder in a group setting than you can on your own. You may also find yourself having more fun too. If you want to stay in this sport, it has to be fun.

LESSON 3 – DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN
Did you notice that the most successful athletes there also seemed to either deal with the pressure or simply didn’t have pressure? As one skier pointed out, if your not having fun, whats the point? Yes it’s hard work, but in some sense it is also playtime. Sure beats painting your living room, or doing your taxes.

So, from the smallest race to the World Championships, it’s not luck that got you there, and it won’t be luck getting you across the finish line in a triathlon or a marathon. It will have hard training across many months. In order to have the consistency it takes to be successful, you must have some fun along the way. Maybe it’s finding a group to train with (see Lesson 2), maybe it’s making your workouts an adventure (ride to that coffee shop in the next town over), or simply enjoy the wind in your face on your bike. Your goals will drive you, but enjoyment will keep you coming back.

Jim Hallberg is certified by both USA Triathlon, USA Cycling and TrainingPeaks. He works with athletes of all ages and abilities and believes in a balanced training program to solidify your strengths and bring up your weaknesses. Jim is also a highly competitive triathlete, having won USAT Nationals in 2007, 2010, and 2016.

The Best Kept Swim Secret for Training and Racing

Who knew? It’s simple, lightweight AND legal… and no, it’s not a safety device…

There is a tool that not only helps execute one of the most nerve-wracking disciplines of the sport but is also lightweight, inexpensive and legal to use in any USA Triathlon Sanctioned Race in the U.S. What is this magic device?

From USA Triathlon

No one chooses triathlon it for its simplicity. With so many moving parts and countless pieces of equipment and gear, it’s easy to overlook or simply disregard an argument for one more thing to add to your seemingly endless packing list. However, there is a tool that not only helps execute one of the most nerve-wracking disciplines of the sport but is also lightweight, inexpensive and legal to use in any USA Triathlon Sanctioned Race in the U.S. What is this magic device? A snorkel.

A little-known fact is the snorkel is completely legal to use without restriction and without penalty in USA Triathlon racing events in the United States. We reached out to Certified Official Tom Reilly for full disclosure:

“Snorkels are legal equipment for use by triathletes under the USA Triathlon competitive rules. USAT rules outline what you cannot do versus what you can do. Swimming conduct is covered under Article IV in the USA Triathlon competitive rules. Nowhere under Article IV is the use of a snorkel prohibited. Note that 4.9 Illegal Equipment under Article IV, several things that cannot be used are specified during the swim. The use of a snorkel is not one of them. However, keep in mind that this applies only to events using USAT competitive rules. Others such as ITU and WTC may not allow snorkels.”

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Just Keep Swimming

The best exercise you can do right now

From Readers Digest

It’s time to forgo your weekly gym session. And no, we’re not encouraging any bad couch potato habits. Your body will get major results if you jump in a pool, instead.

Surprised? Turns out, swimming has loads of science-backed health benefits. (Try even more workout plans that will give you major results.)

Lap swims combine the best of your cardio and strengthening workouts while protecting your body from injury. In fact, many injured athletes begin swimming for this precise reason; doing so allows them to recover without missing out on the strength and endurance perks from exercise.

“You can get any type of cardio workout that you need in the pool and have little or no impact on your joints,” Ian Rose, director of aquatics at East Bank Club in Chicago, told Healthline. “Other exercises come with a list of potential long-term negative effects.”

Your lungs could also benefit from a dip in the lap lane; swimmers tend to have stronger lungs than other athletes, according to a 2016 study. And let’s not forget the strengthening and toning powers of this full-body exercise. (By the way, this is the absolute best way to build muscle, according to science.)

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