Mark on Monday: Making Triathlon Easier

Photo: Vox Efx on Flickr

By Mark Cathcart

With the race season well underway, and hopefully a few more races ahead this year, you’ll have gained a lot more experience. No doubt you’ll have had a chance to put to the test some of the tips you’ve heard from other triathletes, and read here on 303 Triathlon.

In this month’s Pragmatic triathlete, I’ll pass on five less well traveled tips aimed at making the remaining races of this season, and your training a little easier.

MAKE IT EASIER… on your head
No more chaffing! After a couple of months of sweating your helmet straps will start to get stiff. The best and easiest way to clean your straps is simply to get a bowl or dish that is narrower than the width of your helmet. Fill the bowl with hot (not boiling) water and add a tablespoon of vinegar. Sit your helmet on the bowl, allowing the straps to hang in the water. Leave it there overnight; capillary action will draw the water up the straps. Next morning throw the water away, rinse the straps under the cold tap, dry the straps with a towel and leave to dry. Then give a light coating with olive oil or similar, making sure you include the plastic retainers etc. which will aid in stopping them from cracking.

MAKE IT EASIER… on your feet
Clean shoes, clean mind! Many people regularly throw their running shoes in the washing machine with a load of towels to get them clean(1). You probably shouldn’t do the same with cycling shoes; even though these days few cycling shoes are leather, they have lots of other components and screws for cleats that you wouldn’t want to submerge in water and soak with soap.

You can overhaul them in a more traditional way with shoe cleaners and polish, but this can be tricky. One of the simpler ways to protect and clean cycling shoes is to get them a wipe down with a wet cloth, then a light spray with WD40. Once you’ve sprayed them, give them a wipe down with a soft dry cloth (old non-tech race t-shirt?)

This will both revive fading and grubby leather/pleather; it will also polish up and help protect any synthetic pieces and give the shoes a coating that will help protect them.

MAKE IT EASY… on your back
Core strength! Now your cycling and running are up to speed, doesn’t your lower back feel stiff from time to time? Try some specific stretches for your hamstrings, shoulders and lower back. The lower and upper halves of your body and anchored in your lower back and the more flexible and strong it is, the more fluid you will be.

Learn to love a foam roller, Boulder Bodyworker has some videos to help you get started.

MAKE IT EASIER… on the bike
Less rattle, more roll! You don’t need any special mechanic skills to keep your bike chain clean and lubricated. Even if you only use your race bike in the summer, when it’s dry, your chain will still pickup dirt and dust from the road which will make you less efficient. You should probably give your chain a quick clean weekly, and definitely after any ride where there was a lot of dry dust.

Serious cyclists will recommend buying expensive chain specific tools and brushes, and even removing the chain. You can do a basic job with it still on the bike. Use an old toothbrush or other stiff brush; use an old rag doused with some white spirit to remove old oil and dirt. I use bleach wipes for simplicity and speed; change the rag, drip oil around the chain and then gently remove any excess oil. The real trick is NOT to oil a dirty chain, it will make things worse, any dirt will just stick to the oil.

Don’t use WD40! Specialist oils are best, but if you don’t have any, you can use almost anything, baby oil, cooking oil, olive oil, just don’t over apply, wipe off the excess, and make sure you clean it thoroughly next time.

MAKE IT EASIER… in transition
Less stuff, more speed! Over recent years there has been a huge increase in the amount of “stuff” people take into transition. Athletes regularly tote huge plastic boxes into transition full of stuff, most of which they won’t need. To me this just says, “Novice: lacks confidence in race plan.” Take only the minimal stuff you actually need and will use during the race(2). Arrive early, set-up transition, and take everything else back to the car. With less mess, you’ll be faster in transition, no matter how orderly your stuff is, it will become a mess, it takes up valuable space and will slow down decisions.

Enjoy your upcoming races, next time I’ll take a look at some challenges to change things up.

1) Both cycling and running shoes will benefit from having their insoles removed and washed, especially running shoes, which will potentially have grit and talc after races. Pay attention to wear and tear of insoles, you can replace them, but they are also a good indication of the overall condition of the shoes themselves.
2) When you are out on the bike, the only things left in transition are swim googles, wetsuit and cap; and the equipment you’ll use on the run.

Mark Cathcart took up triathlon in the late 90’s to get fit for adventure racing, which to this day he has never done, and has since taken part in 170+ events. His pragmatic approach to training, racing, and life have lead in from being the Chairman of one of the bigger UK Triathlon clubs 15-years ago; British Triathlon volunteer of the year; a sometime race organizer; The organizer and ride leader for Austin Texas award winning Jack and Adams triathlon shop; doing sometime Sports Management for development and professional triathletes; he has attended all the Triathlon Business International, and Triathlon America conferences, where he usually asks the questions others won’t; moved to Colorado in 2016 and is a co-owner of Boulder Bodyworker

Mile High Endurance IRONMAN Boulder recap, pro interviews, and cycling safety, fatal auto & cyclist accidents

Mile High Endurance is your weekly connection to coaches, experts and pro athletes to help you reach your endurance and triathlon goals.  In this episode, Rich Soares offers an Ironman Boulder recap and 303Triathlon race day interviews including Rachel Joyce, Timothy O’Donnell, Mike Reilly and more.  Also, this week’s feature interview is with Todd Plymale-Mallory on cycling safety and how to avoid getting hit.  Check out the Cycling Magazine article This Has Got To Stop on fatal auto & cyclist accidents.

Highest Tri in the World – 106 West – “still has faint heartbeat”

Early this morning, various news sources, including 9News and the Summit Daily, reported this year’s 106 West Triathlon had  been cancelled.

Human Movement, owned by Powder Corp (sic), decided to cancel the race and focus on events closer to Copper Mountain, 9News reported.

However, 303’s Bill Plock pulled out his reporter’s notebook and asked some questions, revealing there is more to the story…

By Bill Plock

For ten years Jeff Suffolk, president of Louisville’s Human Movement, worked on bringing the 106Degree Triathlon to life in 2016. It was an epic event. (Full review below.) From being the first time humans could legally swim in Dillon Reservoir to being the highest altitude triathlon in the world, the 106 offered something unique.

But, according to Jeff, it’s not dead yet: “It has a faint heartbeat,” he told me this afternoon. The realities are a few very vocal people influenced officials to want to reroute the bike course and confine it to the Reservoir roads and trails.  Jeff said, “Yes, we could’ve had a three loop bike course, but that would simply take all the ‘epic-ness’ out of it.” Jeff went on to praise local officials who last year went out of their way to make the bike course very free of any traffic and with plenty of room for racers.

Human Movement was purchased in 2015 by Powdr, the owners of Copper Mountain and many other resort properties. The strategic vision is for Human Movement to focus on races and events that enhance the experience of their resorts. Events such as obstacle mud races and ninja courses, the kinds of events Human Movement also produces.

The 106 being in Summit county surely had some reach into the Copper Mountain community, but with its indirect impact, the race really needed to remain epic to afford the expense of keeping it going, and when the bike loop was dramatically changed it made it hard to continue with the same model.

Jeff said they could still pull it off this year, but because it looks bleak, he decided to refund money to athletes so they could shore up the race schedules and not be left in limbo wondering. “If it does indeed happen, it will probably be sort of last minute from a training perspective, and I just didn’t think that was fair,” says Jeff.

So stay tuned, crazier things have happened, the highest triathlon in the world may happen again someday!

106 Degree West Tri: Highest Tri in the World Recap

 

 

Primal Colorado Bike Expo

The Primal Colorado Bike Expo is the annual kickoff event for cycling in the state of Colorado! In its third year the expo will bring together all things cycling and Colorado; pairing industry professionals, recreational riders, biking enthusiasts and utilitarian’s with the latest products, consumer trends, screaming deals, organized rides, clubs & teams, advocacy groups and cycling destinations.

The two day festival and consumer show will also include BMX flatland and aerial stunts, a kid zone, adult big wheel races, learn to ride clinics, strider course, sprint competitions, demo area, antique bicycle display, a fashion show, incredible programming, live entertainment, beer garden, food trucks and more!

A portion of the event proceeds will go to support the Colorado High School Cycling League, Trips for Kids Denver Metro and Wish for Wheels.

 

Saturday Events Include:

Club & Team Social Rides (start and/or finish); Rider Hub featuring Skratch Hydration Station, Bikes Together Wrench Station, Wish for Wheels Bike Valet and BRAC Club & Team Tent

Kid Zone
Demos & Test Rides
Adult Big Wheel Races
Spin-Off Competitions hosted by Inspired Training Center
Bicycles for Humanity Bike Drive
(donate your gently used bike)

  • Early Morning Yoga, open to public; Colorado Classic Community Tent (mats will be provided, while inventory lasts)
  • Learn to Ride Clinics provided by City of Longmont
  • Colorado Bike Expo Fashion Show presented by MyGoFlight & Poppy Sports; Colorado Classic Community Tent
  • Beer Garden & Food Trucks brought to you by Planet Cyclery
  • Bamboo Framebuilding Demo by Russ Hopkins, Container Collective; Colorado Classic Community Tent
  • Nowear BMX Flatland & Aerial Stunts; Demo Area
  • The Wheelmen – High Roller Engagement; Demo & Exhibitor Area
  • Magic & Mayhem Urban Races brought to you by DMM Solutions & Events
  • Live Music by Antonio Lopez – first set; Colorado Classic Community Tent
  • How to Buy a Used Bike by Bikes Together; Colorado Classic Community Tent
  • Live Music by Antonio Lopez – second set; Colorado Classic Community Tent
  • Nowear BMX Flatland & Aerial Stunts; Demo Area
  • Pros vs. Amos Returns; Women Who Rock, Women Who Roll featuring pro cyclist Katie Compton; Colorado Classic Community Tent

Primal Colorado Bike Expo

The Primal Colorado Bike Expo is the annual kickoff event for cycling in the state of Colorado! In its third year the expo will bring together all things cycling and Colorado; pairing industry professionals, recreational riders, biking enthusiasts and utilitarian’s with the latest products, consumer trends, screaming deals, organized rides, clubs & teams, advocacy groups and cycling destinations.

The two day festival and consumer show will also include BMX flatland and aerial stunts, a kid zone, adult big wheel races, learn to ride clinics, strider course, sprint competitions, demo area, antique bicycle display, a fashion show, incredible programming, live entertainment, beer garden, food trucks and more!

A portion of the event proceeds will go to support the Colorado High School Cycling League, Trips for Kids Denver Metro and Wish for Wheels.

 

Friday Events Include:

2:00 P.M.

SHOW OPENS *Early Bird BONUS – Prizes for first 50 visitors; Colorado Classic Community Tent

2 – 8:30 P.M.

Kid Zone
Demos & Test Rides
Adult Big Wheel Races
Spin-Off Competitions hosted by Inspired Training Center
Beer Garden & Food Trucks brought to you by Planet Cyclery
Bicycles for Humanity Bike Drive (donate your gently used bike)

  • Feedback Omnium Warm-Up / Cool-Down Tent; Lot G
  • Nowear BMX Flatland & Aerial Stunts; Demo Area
  • Bikepacking & Bike Touring by Bob Williams of Beer & Bike Tours; Colorado Classic Community Tent
  • Basics of Bike Care by Bikes Together; Colorado Classic
    Community Tent
  • White Line Cycling Events presents Friday Night Lights at Mile High Stadium – Criterium Race & Street Sprints (racing begins on both courses simultaneously at 3:00 PM)
  • How to Fix a Flat Tire by Katie Macarelli of Feedback Sports and Shelley Hartman of Liv Bikes; Colorado Classic Community Tent
  • Nowear BMX Flatland & Aerial Stunts; Demo Area
  • The Wheelmen – High Roller Engagement; Demo & Exhibitor Area

Ladies Night Out Campus Cycles

Denver

An evening to celebrate Heels on Wheels: Ladies Night at Campus Cycles Denver

6pm Clinics
– Fix a Flat
– How to Dress for Cycling

6:30pm Meet & Greet & Shop – sit down, share a drink & some snacks with some leaders in the Metro Denver cycling community – learn how they started, what they wish they knew then and advice for you.

Jennifer Barbour, Team Evergreen, Executive Dir of largest cycling club in the state, Mountain Bike

Rachael Bronson , City of Denver Bicycle Planner, Commuter, Advocate and passionate recreational rider

Randi Polidori – Founder of Eyecycle, former Colorado District Court Judge, Women’s 60+ record holder on Mt. Evans Hill Climb

Tracy Yates, Scientist, craft beer brewer and kick butt cyclocross racer

Check out some local events and activities that may be of interest
Bob Cook Memorial / Mt. Evans Hill Climb
Denver Century Ride
Tour de Ladies
Triple Bypass
Wacky Ride

And shop at Campus Cycles with a discount!

7:45 pm Fashion Show with fashion for all! We will highlight Bikes, apparel, accessories for all types of riders

9pm Giveaway time! You want to win some great items

Oh, and food & beverage!

This is a great evening for women that are interested in starting to ride as well as women that already ride. It is a great evening for women that love mountain bikes or women that like racing or women that commute or women that are recreational riders. This is an evening about women and bicycles. Heels on Wheels!

FREE but we need you to RSVP at 303-698-2811

Event details here

2017 KHMTT Series

Cherry Creek State Park

The 2017 Series consists of seven (7) individual time trials on consecutive Wednesday evenings.

Permitted by USA Cycling – Permit:  2017-545

First racer starts at 4:30 pm, final racer at approximately 7:20 pm

In the event that a race is cancelled due to inclement weather the make-up date will be May 24th.

The race series KHMTT is a fundraiser for BRAC and the Cancer Fitness Institute in memory of Karen Hornbostel.

In  2016 the KHMTT took a giant leap of faith and provided full series registration racers the ability to purchase an Colorado State Parks Annual pass with the Water Basin fee at a discounted cost. For us to break even, we had to sell at least 50 passes, otherwise we would lose a fair amount of money.   We sold 170 passes, making it very successful!  Yes, we plan on offering the passes in 2017, at the same discounted price of $58.00.  (Normally $73.00)

2017 KHMTT Series

Cherry Creek State Park

The 2017 Series consists of seven (7) individual time trials on consecutive Wednesday evenings.

Permitted by USA Cycling – Permit:  2017-545

First racer starts at 4:30 pm, final racer at approximately 7:20 pm

In the event that a race is cancelled due to inclement weather the make-up date will be May 24th.

The race series KHMTT is a fundraiser for BRAC and the Cancer Fitness Institute in memory of Karen Hornbostel.

In  2016 the KHMTT took a giant leap of faith and provided full series registration racers the ability to purchase an Colorado State Parks Annual pass with the Water Basin fee at a discounted cost. For us to break even, we had to sell at least 50 passes, otherwise we would lose a fair amount of money.   We sold 170 passes, making it very successful!  Yes, we plan on offering the passes in 2017, at the same discounted price of $58.00.  (Normally $73.00)

2017 KHMTT Series

Cherry Creek State Park

The 2017 Series consists of seven (7) individual time trials on consecutive Wednesday evenings.

Permitted by USA Cycling – Permit:  2017-545

First racer starts at 4:30 pm, final racer at approximately 7:20 pm

In the event that a race is cancelled due to inclement weather the make-up date will be May 24th.

The race series KHMTT is a fundraiser for BRAC and the Cancer Fitness Institute in memory of Karen Hornbostel.

In  2016 the KHMTT took a giant leap of faith and provided full series registration racers the ability to purchase an Colorado State Parks Annual pass with the Water Basin fee at a discounted cost. For us to break even, we had to sell at least 50 passes, otherwise we would lose a fair amount of money.   We sold 170 passes, making it very successful!  Yes, we plan on offering the passes in 2017, at the same discounted price of $58.00.  (Normally $73.00)

2017 KHMTT Series

Cherry Creek State Park

The 2017 Series consists of seven (7) individual time trials on consecutive Wednesday evenings.

Permitted by USA Cycling – Permit:  2017-545

First racer starts at 4:30 pm, final racer at approximately 7:20 pm

In the event that a race is cancelled due to inclement weather the make-up date will be May 24th.

The race series KHMTT is a fundraiser for BRAC and the Cancer Fitness Institute in memory of Karen Hornbostel.

In  2016 the KHMTT took a giant leap of faith and provided full series registration racers the ability to purchase an Colorado State Parks Annual pass with the Water Basin fee at a discounted cost. For us to break even, we had to sell at least 50 passes, otherwise we would lose a fair amount of money.   We sold 170 passes, making it very successful!  Yes, we plan on offering the passes in 2017, at the same discounted price of $58.00.  (Normally $73.00)