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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Mark on Monday: Triathlon Season Prep – Spring Dos and Don’ts

Here are a few pre-season Dos and Don’ts from seasoned triathlete and Broomfield resident Mark Cathcart.
(you can tell from his vocabulary he’s originally from “across the pond!”)

Do wash your swim hat after every use. You know when you keep having to pull the swim hat down, if you don’t wash it that’s the oil off your skin/hair on the inside of the hat.

Do take the lane when approaching a traffic circle. Check behind you and move out, no matter which exit you are taking, act like a car, you’ll be much more visible.

Photo by 303cycling’s Cheri Felix

Don’t do what you’ve been doing all winter for training. Now is the time to mix it up. Going long? Do some track sessions and intervals. Challenge yourself to do 2/3 of your long run on the track as intervals.

Don’t forget to check your tires. Been riding on them for more than a year, are you a mileage junky? Next time you get a flat it might blow a hole in the tire too if they are thin.


Zwift National Championships – Will you Participate?

D3 coach Jim Hallberg has this to say about the upcoming Zwift National Championships:

The middle of winter is an unusual time for a national championship… but this virtual event is a good way to check your FTP and overall fitness.

Even if this race might feel out of your league, any Zwift race can really test your fitness and push your limits.

Although you likely don’t want to be in great shape in February, it shakes up some competitive bike juices. If you are a triathlete, one of the best ways to get faster is to do a bike race with roadies. What better way than in a Virtual Championship!

About the Race:

The biggest one-day race of 2018 is almost here!

Zwifters from across the globe will battle for a year’s worth of bragging rights and the right to wear the National Championship jersey for 12 months.

Zwifters in 15 countries will battle it out. There will be a men’s race and women’s race in each. Each race will have just one winner.

More Info

Tri Coach Tuesday: Rest, Re-set, Re-start

from Coach Eric Kenney, EK Endurance Coaching


At the end of the season, it’s important to take time off to fully rest and recover.  Today we share Coach Eric Kenney’s EK Minute series on taking time off to rest and recover and then how to re-start your training.

Don’t miss Coach Kenney’s upcoming clinic at CMS on Winter Training.  Details here


Part 1 – Rest and Detrain

Part 2 – Unstructured Training

Part 3 – How do you get back in to training?

Resolution Ready: The Slacker’s Guide to Creating New Habits (Like Running) and Breaking Sh*tty Ones

Longmont Uber runner Beth Risdon – author of the famous “Shut Up And Run” blog has this advice for starting – and cementing – new healthy habits. Remember, KISS.

My son, Sam, was home from college for the weekend. He likes to come home because he misses me so much. Or, maybe it’s because I feed him and provide him with a bed that has clean sheets (I think he told me has not yet changed his sheets on his college bed – I mean, it has only been three months since he got there so it’s not like they’re dirty or anything. It’s not like there’s B.O. and pieces of skin and drool all over them or anything).

Anyhow, I asked him if he was working out anymore. He used to go to the gym pretty regularly. He said, “No. It’s just so hard to get over the hump mentally to get started again.” And, I completely know what he means. The thing is, that’s precisely why I never take a significant break from running or exercise. Because I’m afraid if I’m gone too long and I get out of the habit, it will be that much harder to start up again.

What I’ve learned is that there are two things in life that are really tough (well, there are many more, but these are just two of them): breaking bad habits and starting new, healthier habits.

Take drinking wine, for example. I am very much in the habit of nightly wine drinking, for better or for worse. I know it’s become a habit – a way I reward myself. A glass while I cook dinner. A glass to accompany me when I watch “This Is Us” (although I probably get even more emotionally manipulated by that show when I’m drinking). I know I could stop my nightly drinking (but why would I want to?), but it’s the breaking of the habit that is so hard.

If you’re old enough, you remember that we didn’t used to wear seat belts. Like, not ever. Then it became the law and the norm that you had to wear a seat belt. Buzz kill. There go all of the cross country road trips where we would lay down in the back of the station wagon on the old plaid blanket from the garage. Anyway, at first putting on a seat belt was such a pain in the ass. You had to make a conscious effort to do and you felt so restricted. But, now that it has become a habit? I do it so automatically I don’t even know I do it. Bingo! That’s the point of this post!

Running has become that way for me. Just part of my life and my routine. Kind of like drinking wine and brushing my teeth (not at the same time). I don’t run everyday, but I do run about five days a week and don’t feel like myself if I don’t do it.

So, how do you create a new habit or break a bad one? (I’m going to use the example of someone who wants to start drinking more water every day because their pee should be the color of Crystal Light Lemonade and it looks like Guinness, but you could apply this to running more, drinking less wine, cutting back on coffee or not eating sweets). I call this the “The Slacker’s Guide” because it doesn’t require a ton of imagination or creativity. Even your college kid can do it….

Click here  to read the five key steps to making a new habit stick.

Resolution Ready: Surviving the Holidays: 5 Quick Tips for Healthy Eating

From TrainingPeaks

It’s that time of the year when friends and families get together in love and fellowship to enjoy the holiday season and to usher in the New Year. It’s a wonderful time that, unfortunately, can wreak havoc on our eating habits. But don’t despair! Here are five quick and simple tips for navigating the nutritional minefields we inevitably encounter around the holidays:

1. Don’t change your normal diet, especially if you already have good eating habits.

For example, don’t skip a meal in anticipation of a big holiday spread. This is a very common mistake. Eat your normal meals at their normal times and you will find that you eat less at the “event” meals (e.g., Thanksgiving dinner).

2. Eat prior to arriving at a family or social gathering.

With the large amounts of food available at most holiday gatherings, it is very easy to overeat. One way to minimize this is to eat a small meal prior to arriving at the event. Because if you are not hungry, you will be far less likely to overeat…

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How to Avoid Getting Sick While in Training

From TrainingPeaks

Winter is nearly upon us and as the air temperature drops, you can bet your bottom dollar that an increased number of us will be missing training sessions with coughs, colds, sore throats and the flu.

Understanding what you can do to minimize the chances of getting sick is a good idea so that you can avoid interruptions to your TrainingPeaks training plan over the off-season (or when your heavy training begins again).

But, just how susceptible are athletes to getting sick?

There’s a long standing and widely held (though not fully proven) belief that exercising has a “J” shaped effect on the immune system and, by extension, on your susceptibility to picking up infections and illnesses.

The graph below (taken from a 1994 paper on the subject) illustrates this idea nicely:

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Blood Flow Restriction device during training key to rapid injury recovery, anti-aging?


Another value is for older triathletes wanting to buffer age-related loss of lean muscle mass, in particular fast-twitch fibers that key to explosive power and speed. BFR has been described by its founder as a form of anti-aging medicine, and the research is backing the claim.

Just 40 days before the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, Todd Lodwick, an Olympic silver medalist in 2010 and one of the USA’s top Nordic skiers, suffered a crash, breaking several ribs and trashing a rotator cuff. First impressions were that his season was over. Yet when the U.S. team marched in the opening ceremonies, Lodwick was the flag bearer, even using his injured side to carry the flag. He raced in Sochi and finished his 6th Olympic Games.

The miraculous recovery was credited to the use of two-times-day blood flow restriction training overseen by Dr. Jim Stray-Gundersen, MD, a pioneer in BFR as well as high-low altitude training. The crash happened on a Friday and to prevent the wave of atrophy that injury immobilization traditional produces, Stray-Gundersen had Lodwick performing two BFR workouts a day. They monitored Lodwick’s progress through x-rays and watched the shoulder heal.

The origins of BFR suggest that Lodwick’s recovery shouldn’t have been a surprise. Developed in Japan about 50 years ago by Dr. Yoshiaki Sato, a Japanese sports scientist, BFR came about after Sato paid attention to the muscle fatigue he felt after sitting during a long funeral. He later reverse-engineered his observation and after he broke an ankle and injured a knee skiing, he experimented with bike tubes and judo belts to restrict blood flow to the muscles while he wore a cast. When he went in to have the cast changed—a ritual procedure because casts shrink the encased muscle via atrophy—Sato’s doctors were shocked to see a ready-to-go set of leg muscles at full size. . .

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Why Cyclocross is excellent off season training for Triathletes

From Training Peaks “Four Sports you should do in the off season


According to the website Cyclova, it is believed that cyclocross originated in the autumn, in the French countryside. Racers riding from one town to another would take shortcuts through farmer’s fields, jumping over fences with an eye on the church steeple marking the next town. During this time, the sport was called “steeple chasing.”

Long accepted as a way for road racers to stay fit in the off-season, cyclocross isn’t much of a cross training stretch for road racers. More recently, mountain bikers and triathletes can be found toeing the start line at a “cross” race.

The sport offers the challenge of riding a bike in mud, sand and grass. Combine that with obstacles and steep uphill sections that require bike carrying, this multi-lap sport is fun for racers and spectators alike.

Most races are some 30 to 60 minutes long, with the leg-searing intensity many racers savor. Fun, variety, challenge and bad weather conditions draw endurance junkies who don’t want to give up intensity in the off-season.

When participating in cross, it is best to leave any heavy weight training until after the season is over. Cut down the long rides that you’ve been doing all season and include these short, fast races instead.

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