Tri Coach Tuesday: Tips on IM Boulder

Written by Dave Sheanin, D3 Multisport



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 are 16 specific tips I have gleaned from my experience on the course both racing and training.



  • 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.

  • There are two separate transition areas–T1 is at the reservoir and T2 is at the high school.  You’ll 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 down-time out at the Rez than be standing at the high school waiting on a bus.



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.  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.





Each year this race has been held, the bike course has been different.  2017 brings a new course which I expect will stick.  It’s a three-loop affair with two moderate climbs per loop.  If you ride by TSS, it’s pretty convenient to shoot for just under 100 points per lap.

Climb one is the first 5 miles straight out of transition.  It doesn’t really look like a climb when you’re on it–just a steady 2 percent (give or take) until you reach the edge of town.  It’s tempting to push too hard in these first few miles because the grade is deceiving and you may be thinking you’re going too slowly.  Mind your watts or RPE.  Because there are two more loops, you’ll repeat this section around miles 35+ and 105+.

Climb two looks a bit more significant as you head west on Nelson Road starting a bit after mile 15 (repeating at miles 50+ and 85+).  This climb has ruined a lot of triathlete’s days in Boulder.  The total distance is about 4 miles and there are a couple of little kicks, but it’s otherwise pretty steady.  Again, mind your watts and pay no attention to the folks who rush up this climb–especially on the first lap.  They’re either on their way to a really outstanding ride, or more likely, you’ll be seeing them later.  Note that the wind typically blows from the northwest so you’ll be going into it as you head to the mountains and getting a push as you ride away from them.  It’ll likely be pretty calm in the early hours, but if you’re not among the fastest riders, the afternoon winds can make the third loop an extra challenge.  This climb into the wind is not so fun.

At the end of the third lap, you’ll turn left instead of right as you exit the road from the Rez (51st) and head downtown to the high school for T2.



Although the run is completely on concrete (probably a good race for your Hokas), it is a pretty comfortable run as Ironman runs go.  There are no major hills, but nothing in Boulder is really flat.  The run is two loops.

You’ll exit transition and head east along the creek.  You are running downhill.  Your brain may not register this fact until you turn around at mile 7 (and 20) and head back to the west.  At that point you’ll notice the slight uphill.


At about mile 2 (and 15), there is an out-and-back that heads south.  Once you reach the “slinky” bridge at mile 4 (and 17), you’re on a long straightaway that becomes a zombie-walk late in the race.  Don’t let this be you!  Pacing is always critical on the bike in order to have a great run so do the right amount of work throughout the race and run past a lot of folks on this stretch.


Once you’re back on the creek path and at the eastern turnaround, you’ll head back up to the west.  You’ll run past the high school for a little more than a mile through Eben Fine Park to the western turnaround.  The steepest section of the run is as you exit the park.  It’s short, but be aware that it’s there.  You’ll head back to the east to complete the first lap and again for the finish.

The downtown central park area will be packed with spectators and is a good place for your friends and family to get a look at you as you power past them on the run.  It’s also the place where you’ll draw a lot of energy from the big crowds.  The areas at the ends of the course (south, east, and west) tend to be pretty quiet.

Stay up on your nutrition and hydration.  Although the new June date for this race won’t likely be as hot as the previous August races, the altitude is no joke–be smart about fuel and drink.


Good times in Boulder!


Coach Dave Sheanin approaches coaching from a holistic perspective. Adult age-group triathletes typically have substantial demands in their lives outside of training and racing. Looking at any individual component of an athlete’s training (or life) is a data point, but it rarely tells the full story. I make it a priority to understand what’s going on in an athlete’s life beyond triathlon in order to build a plan that is smart, fits their lifestyle, and builds toward appropriate goals.


Original article on D3 Multisport here

Tri Coach Tuesday: Valentine Splurge

by Megan Frobes, D3 Multisport


As holidays arise, there are plenty of ways to indulge without feeling guilty.  Here are a handful or things to incorporate to your special day on Tuesday.


  • Dark chocolate– contains plenty of antioxidants, in particular flavonoid compounds that lower blood pressure and improve glucose metabolism
  • Loving– this does not mean you need to be in a relationship, love comes in many forms and can even take part between two strangers making eye contact, holding the door for someone, or having an open heart while coming into contact with people throughout the day. Love and happiness changes our DNA and the way our cells behave for the better.
  • Red Wine– many antioxidants and heart healthy benefits, along with resveratrol which has many benefits including reducing inflammation
  • Giving– helps people more then receiving studies show. Giving evokes gratitude and reduces stress
  • Touch– increases endorphins, reduces cortisol, and enhances the immune system.


As these “indulgences” come up, know that you are also doing good for yourself while hopefully enjoying yourself.



Meg Forbes is a Certified Nutritionist who coaches with D3 Multisport.  Her knowledge and experience runs deep.


7 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know You Can Do With Your Garmin 920XT

By Alison Freeman, D3 Multisport

You’ve worn your Garmin for countless hours in the pool, on the road, and out on the trails. But you may not know that your Garmin can do a helluva lot more than just track your distance and pace. Here are seven of my favorite Garmin 920XT features, many of which I use week in and week out. Have a favorite that I didn’t mention? I’d love to hear about it.

Note: Many of these features require the Garmin Connect website, the Garmin Express desktop app, and/or the iPhone/Android/Windows phone Garmin Connect app.

Wireless / Bluetooth Sync

I’m really hoping that this is a super disappointing start to my list because you already know that you don’t have tophysically connect your Garmin to your computer in order to sync your workouts. You can sync wirelessly after setting up your home wireless network using Garmin Express, or you can sync to the Garmin Connect app on your phone using Bluetooth. Either way – no cords required.

More information about wireless setup can be found here

More information about pairing your phone with your Garmin can be found here

Phone Notifications

And just when you were thinking that my list was going to be a total bust … Did you know your Garmin can kinda be an iWatch? First you connect your Garmin to the iPhone/Android/Windows phone app on your phone. Then any time you open the app it will push phone notifications – like incoming texts and phone calls – to your Garmin. So, if you launch the app and head out on a ride with your phone in your jersey pocket (and, really, who doesn’t?), you can read your incoming texts and see who’s calling on your Garmin, while you’re riding, without ever touching your phone.

More information about pairing your phone with your Garmin can be found here

More information on phone notifications can be found here


OK, so let’s say today’s workout is a bunch of repeats of the same interval – not hard to remember, but you reallydon’t want to have to stare at your watch and hit your Lap button at the start/end of every interval. Plus: precision. No problem! Just go to “Training,” select “Intervals,” and set up your 10x 1/4-mile intervals with 90 seconds rest. Hit “Do Workout” and your Garmin will tell you when to go fast and when to rest. Voila!

More information about intervals can be found here

Structured Workouts

Maybe today’s workout includes some horribly complex set of run or bike intervals, and – unlike with the single interval repeats – there’s simply no way that you’re going to be able to remember them. Again, no problem! Your Garmin can still tell you exactly what to do and when to do it. Just set up the workout on the Garmin Connect website and send it to your watch using that nifty wireless sync feature we already covered. Then, when you’re ready to do the workout, go to “Training,” select “My Workouts,” select your workout for today and hit “Do Workout.” Voila again!

More information about structured workouts can be found hereNOTE: If your workout intervals are set up in TrainingPeaks’ new structured workout builder, you can send the workout from TrainingPeaks right over to your Garmin. See the TrainingPeaks help article on this here


Here’s one that I don’t use a lot, but when I do it’s mission-critical: if you’re running/riding a new route and youdon’t want to get lost, you can set up the route on the Garmin Connect website, send it to your watch using that nifty wireless sync feature, and then follow the route on your watch. (It’ll be hidden under “Navigation,” in “Courses.”) It does take some paying attention to follow the route because it’s a line without a map underneath, and so it helps to play with the scale to make sure you see the turn before you miss it. But once you get the hang of it, the course map will keep you from inadvertently adding several errant miles onto your day.

More information about routes (which Garmin calls courses) can be found here

Live Track

A “LiveTrack” is a website with a live feed of your ride (or run), which can be made available for 24 hours after yourride/run ends. This is a feature that I use EVERY SINGLE TIME that I ride outdoors. Why? Because if I don’t come back, then someone knows where to start looking. Also, if I run into mechanical issues, then it’s really easy to let my ride know where to find me. I’ve even used the LiveTrack + Phone Notifications to receive texts from my husband with weather updates based on where I am and where I’m heading. (“Turn around and ride fast! Storm heading straight for you.”) Within the Garmin Connect app on your phone, you simply go to “More” and “LiveTrack,” enter one or more email addresses, then hit “Start LiveTrack” to send the web link to your support crew.

Custom Alerts

The last of my favorite features is great for long rides and runs where you want to stay on schedule for your nutrition: You can set up custom alerts at specified intervals, with specified messages. On bike rides, my watch reminds me every fifteen minutes to “Drink!”. If you want to take salt tabs every 40 minutes, you can set an alert for that. If you want to tell yourself to suck it up every 1.75 miles, you can set an alert for that – just go to “Activity Settings” and “Alerts” and you’re in business. The possibilities are endless. (Just remember that alerts are specific to the activity, so if you set up an alert for Bike, it’ll stop reminding you when it’s time to Run.)

More information about custom alerts can be found here

Tri Coach Tuesday: Spacing Multiple Ironman Distance Events

by Simon Butterworth, D3 Multisport Coach

Anyone with too much time on their hands or with dreams of getting to Kona have been confronted with the question “how much time between each event”. I hope to convince you that for most people, with another life, i.e. not a professional triathlete, and a desire to do a few more races over the years, that the shortest time possible (between events) is the best. This initially may not seem logical and in some circumstances, it is not. However, I do think it is the right approach for many and the idea is not often considered. There are risks, however.

There is certainly a limit on how close if the goal is to race your best at both events. I don’t know what that is but can’t imagine that it is less than 3 weeks. Just about the minimum time needed to recover. It is probably closer to 5 weeks, enough time to recover and then regain fitness. And if I were coaching an athlete with a chance to get to Kona, and do their best there I would probably make the qualifier event at least 8 weeks. This gives time for recovery, one maybe two long Bricks and some threshold efforts over the last three weeks. Be sure to write up a race report for yourself and if coached your coach. Include all the details so you can maximize the learning.

A short gap also requires a realistic evaluation of the damage you have done to yourself in the first race. It would be counterproductive to what I am preaching here to go do the second race in 3-5 weeks with an obvious injury, from the first one, that could set you back months if not years. The objective is to minimize the stress on the body. So you need to be willing to not race number 2. Which of course is why I think 8 weeks is the minimum for a qualifier.

Simon Swim Course Cabo - 1From my own experience doing two IronMan events close together is it is not only possible but has worked very well for me. Twice I have found myself on the same plane heading to Cozumel with one of the top athletes from Colorado Ellen Hart having raced in Kona 6 weeks earlier. Both of us had the same idea. Use the fitness developed for Kona to attempt to gain another qualifying slot. It worked for both of us both times. I have done the same thing in Florida, when I was a lot younger, with only 3 weeks between races. The benefit, in this case, should be fairly obvious; we have reduced the necessary volume of training needed for the following year considerably.

There are two points I should make about this idea. Attempting to qualify for Kona make sense in races like Cozumel and others late in the year. They don’t all fill making a last minute decision, after looking at the competition, possible. Also, you may get lucky and find that the competition is not that strong or deep so that even if you don’t produce your best race it will be good enough (my case certainly when I all three times).

What actual difference it makes leads me to look at what I have done over the past 6 years. Here is what the years looked like comparing the number of weeks with more than 15 hrs of training.

2011: IM in May and October, 18 weeks
2012: IM in October and November, 15 weeks
2013: IM in October, 12 Weeks
2014: IM in August and October, 17 weeks
2015: IM in October, 12 weeks
2016: IM in August, October, and November, 20 weeks.

Baseline for training for one race was about 12 weeks of 15+ hrs of training, 2013. Spreading out the races got me to 18 in 2011. Adding a third race last year where they were all relatively close together and raised the number to only 20.

I am not fan of a sample of one, and unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of good examples comparing other athletes who have a mix of the same kind of race seasons. However, Training Peaks (which I use for myself and my coaching) has several ways of automatically and easily creating an Annual Training Plan. So I created three plans as another way to look at the question. I set them up as follows.

A. Races in May and October about a 20-week gap
B. Races in August and October 9 weeks apart
C. Two races at the end of the year in September and October 4 weeks apart

Input to the plan included 16.5 hrs per week average and assuming the athlete was already a strong (as defined by TP). TP and ran the plan from the end of October in the previous year thru the October race.

Simon in CaboIn these scenarios, Training Peaks had the following number of weeks over 15 hrs (my arbitrary definition of a big week), 24, 21, 18. I did make a manual adjustment to the ATP with 4 weeks separation. TP had the athlete doing two 16hr weeks right after the first IM in September, not realistic for most athletes, other than perhaps professionals.


The difference in the number of big weeks, between the 20 and 9-week gap is not that great, 3, weeks. But 6 weeks between the two extremes certainly is. The other thing to think about is that if you are in this sport for the long haul that 3-week gap is going to get more of your attention as time progresses. In 10 years that’s more than half a year of big weeks.

Besides the pounding, there is another thing most of us need to consider. You love the sport but you do have another life and taking a few weeks back to spend with the family seems like a good idea, assuming you are allowed to do more than one IM a year.

One last thing to add, a shout out to a friend and D3 athlete Steve Nabity. Steve made it to Kona this year, his first and got derailed by a stomach bug, 22 pit stops later he did finish late in the night. I sold him on a go in Cozumel. It did not work. One slot, finished second. He did have a great race, however, confirming that good races are possible close together. He was just not as lucky as I was with the competition. He is not giving up and I have a strong suspicion that he will be racing beside me again next October.

Life, the part not swimming, biking and running, will often dictate when and if you can do multiple IM events in one year. But if you are determined to do so do what you can to minimize the annual training volume to give Life as much time as possible. Summing up, here is what to think about:

+ At least 3 weeks between events. A bit more is better.
+ Make sure you recover properly, 2 weeks low-intensity training after 1st race.
+ As the gap gets bigger include one long Brick and some Threshold efforts.
+ If you are being coached, talk now before entering races.

Original post on D3 Multisport, here


Coach Simon has a great perspective on winning. Winning does not have to mean being first. It was never more clear to me than Hawaii 2009 when circumstances conspired to put me out on the run with many for whom winning was just finishing. Being first in a triathlon is great for the lucky ones. I have been lucky at times, but “winning” for whatever reason can be just as much fun and many times even more rewarding. So my goal for anyone I coach is to help them win!

Tri Coach Tuesday: Why You’re NOT Swimming Faster

by D3 Multisport Coach Dave Sheanin


Of the four legs of triathlon (yes, transitions count too), swimming is arguably the most technical. And, not surprisingly, it’s the leg that many athletes struggle with the most. I believe there’d be general agreement that the “easiest” way to become a great swimmer is to start when you’re young, have great coaches who help you hone excellent technique, and then put in lots of yards under watchful eyes through high school and eventually college. I’ll bet that any triathlete who followed this simple plan is one who leads the pack into T1 today.

That’s nice for the few, but what’s the right path for everyone else? I am absolutely certain that the right path is not what most people take. I see so many triathletes, in their quest to become faster swimmers, make every mistake they can make–all the while, believing that they’re doing what’s required to become faster. They are on a long, inevitable march toward disappointment (and slow swim splits).

If you have been frustrated by your improvement in the water, the key to getting on the right track is multifaceted. It is probably obvious that making technical corrections to your position and stroke is key–something that’s difficult to do on your own. Nothing beats having an experienced coach providing individualized and immediate feedback and using tools such as video to provide detailed analysis. That’s not a realistic plan for most folks on a daily

basis, but having these resources is the absolute key to improvement so work them into your training, even if only occasionally.

Many of us use to-do lists in our daily lives, but how many have a stop-doing list? Stop-doing lists are just as critical as to-do lists for success (in life and in swimming). Here are my recommendations for your swimming stop-doing list.

1. Stop doing what you’ve been doing! If you’re happy with the way you swim now, you should ignore this advice. But if you want to get faster and haven’t been able to do so up to this point, what makes you think that doing more of what you’ve been doing will work? Before you read the next item, pause for a moment and think about this. Really think about your commitment to improvement. If you aren’t willing to adhere to this piece of advice, there’s no need to read further.


2. Stop caring what other people think!

3. Stop swimming 3-4 times a week and striving for big yardage!

4. Stop “shopping” coaches for swimming advice!

5. Stop expecting immediate results!

6. Stop thinking toys are the key to improvement!


Now (the offseason) is the right time to be working on your stroke. Remember that it may take months (or even years) to dial in your new, faster, more-efficient, safer stroke. The pressure of going fast on race day is generally antithetical to improvement–give yourself as much runway as you can. Put the right effort in once and avoid a lifetime of frustration. It starts with your stop-doing list. Get started today.


Be sure to read Coach Dave’s full article on D3  here

D3 Elite Development Team

2017 Overview of D3 Elite Development Team

Passionate triathletes, passionate coaches … the D3 Elite Development Team brings the two together in Boulder, Colorado for a commitment of calculated workouts in order to achieve big-hairy-goals throughout a 10 month race season! This is our second season for the team and we have our goals set on peak performances once again.

Success Stories

As a result of their commitment to hard work during training, the 2016 team earned numerous top podium spots, achieved personal bests and contributed to the overall success of Team D3 (ranked 3rd globally for our division).

* Oly and Sprint National Champion, USAT AG Nats in 35-39 AG
* 3rd overall at IM CDA
* 3rd place 70.3 Boulder F25-29 AG
* 5th overall at Ironman Boulder
* 5th at IM Boulder F50-54 AG

Additionally, 3 of our 8 athletes in Kona ‘16 were from our Elite Team. Let’s move your racing torward to this level in 2017 (and future seasons)!

The D3 Elite Development Team is a good fit if you have:

* Your sites set on achieving a breakthrough for the 2017 race season.
* The discipline to follow a training plan crafted by a D3 coach aligned with your individual goals.
* The determination to commit to ten months of swim, bike and run workouts with a team who all bring-their-A-game to each workout.
* Race history that demonstrates your moxie.
* A desire to represent the team in the triathlon community by supporting other team members in achieving their goals, volunteering at 1 of 3 local races, sharing the mission of D3, engaging on social media and wearing the kit during races.

The Details

Why: It’s in the coaching and it’s in the camaraderie. This team is your opportunity to achieve something BIG! With coaches that are as driven as you are, and who have an eye on helping athletes develop skills, race plans and dreams, this team is unparalleled. Weekly access to coaches with credentials that have helped athletes exceed their expectations is why this is of high value to you. We understand your training time is precious, and each training session will be progress toward achieving your goals. Plus, you will be accountable to teammates who also want to see you succeed.

Who: While having high achieving athletes on the team is exciting, we are interested in working with athletes who have the desire, determination and discipline to take their game up a notch (or 5)! We are interested in developing the talent that lies within each athlete. Having the following baseline race results is a strong indicator of future success with our coaching:

Boulder, Colorado, USA – August 7, 2016: Gregory Lindquist finishes fifth overall at Ironman Boulder.

+ Ironman: Under 11:30 with a goal of 10:00 or better.
+ Half Ironman: Within 5:15 hours, with a goal of going 4:40 or better.
+ Oly: 2:20 or better
+ Sprint: 1:12 or better

+ Ironman: Under 12:30 with a goal of 11:00 or better.
+ Half Ironman: Within 5:35 hours, with a goal of going 5:00 or better.
+ Oly: 2:35 or better
+ Sprint: 1:20 or better


D3 2017 Elite Development Team Application

The training begins on Friday, January 6th. Application deadline is on Friday, December 30th. Applications received after that time will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


 Complete Details Here

Tri Coach Tuesday: Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated any time of the year is important.  Here are some tips from D3 Multisport coach Megan Forbes on how to make sure you’re getting enough fluids as well as some other nutritional tips.


Ideas to Increase Hydration in the Winter Months from D3 Multisport on Vimeo.


Original D3 Multipsort post here


Tri Coach Tuesday: It’s Time for Your Blood Test

by Will Murray, 303Triathlon ambassador and D3 Multisport Mental Skills Coach



Slowly but surely, performance enhancement technology becomes sufficiently available and affordable to amateur athletes, not just top professionals. Power meters for cycling, then power meters for running. Physiology tests such as lactic threshold and VO2max, then metabolic efficiency and sodium concentration of sweat. Blood tests for major elements, and now specific blood tests for everyday athletes, and not just the general medical population.

Athletes are not normal people. Yes, yes, I know, but I’m talking about physiologically, not so much in personality (that’s for another post). Blood tests are popping up like whack-a-mole, aimed at athletes, but not aimed for athletes. And blood tests that compare athletes to the general population are at best unhelpful and at worst misleading. Let me give you an example from another medical field—cardiology.



Once upon a time there was a professional basketball player who flunked his physical, rendering him unable to play for the team. It seems that the imagery that the cardiology team indicated that the basketball player had a low ejection fraction (the proportion of blood pumped out of the heart with each contraction of the ventricles) was low. Low, but compared to the general population. The team doctors flunked this player, and his career appeared to be over.

But wait. Further analysis showed that most members of the team also had low ejection fractions.

Now, these athletes are all tall, so maybe it was tall people who have low ejection fractions, so they then looked at runners and other types of athletes. Low ejection fractions again.

Aha. Athletes often have lower ejection fractions than people in the general population.
What’s that got to do with blood testing?

Well, athletes are different. Many commercial blood testing services, even those aimed at athletes, do their analyses of what’s within normal ranges compared to the general population. But athletes are not normal, so how relevant are those analyses?

The good news is that blood tests for athletes can be amazingly helpful. With the amount of training and racing stress athletes put their bodies through, they can experience imbalances in micronutrients, minerals and hormones. And those imbalances can impair conditioning, health, even moods.

Athletes who get sports-specific blood tests two or three times a year can identify and remedy deficiencies, often with solid results in training, racing, injury prevention and overall well being.

Josh Shadle, founder of Fuelary , a blood testing service specifically for athletes, says, “Athletes are more focused on their diet and supplement regimen, but how do you know if they’re working or how to improve it? Blood testing is like a look under the hood of your car and Fuelary is the garage to make it run better.”
When athletes do a blood test and find that their levels are indeed within normal ranges compared to other athletes, it gives them peace of mind, removes one more unknown and lets them focus on what they are doing right.

Mike Ricci, head coach at D3 Multisport has a relationship with Blueprint for Athletes. Ricci says, “”Get one baseline test now, then another one next quarter to see if we’ve fixed any trouble areas. The markers I would recommend are: Vitamin D, Iron, Ferritin, Hematocrit, and Testosterone (if male).”
Shadle of Fuelary sums it up: “You as an athlete need the ability to assess system health, not just one biomarker within or out of range is our biggest differentiator. We deliver an action plan that includes supplements and recipes to help you optimize your health and fitness goals.”

Shadle continues, “Athletes are all about tracking. They track weight, strength, speed, watts, time and more.  They really need to track their blood chemistry over time so that they can be educated and empowered enough to improve their own health and performance.”



It’s time for your blood test. It’s informative, useful, possibly the key to better performance and health, and now affordable and convenient. Just make sure that you get a sports-specific test by someone who can order the right test and interpret the results against an athlete pool. Because remember, you are not normal.

Tri Coach Tuesday: Off Season Warrior


by D3 Multisport Coach Martina Young


I have always struggled with the concept of the off-season because I believe that it is not physiologically economical to take a couple of months off training and lose the hard gained fitness. I absolutely understand the need to reboot, recharge and restart the fire needed for hard work in the main season. However, there are more efficient and productive ways to spend the time after a big season than to let oneself turn into a couch potato.


The off-season is a perfect time to draw the line under the big races and analyze the good, the bad and the ugly. While most athletes avoid facing the bad and the ugly I find the off-season a perfect time to address those issues. The bad and the ugly are typically weaknesses such as: poor mobility, muscle imbalance, poor strength and coordination. Endurance athletes in particular also tend to lack explosiveness that is needed to surge around a buoy, attack on the hill during the bike portion or to sprint for the finish line.


My favorite mainstream methods to correct poor mobility and muscle imbalances are yoga and pilates. For strength and explosiveness I would recommend CrossFit and kickboxing as well as group exercises that combine weight with cardio.



There are many kinds of yoga with different emphasis. “Vinyasa” is a kind of yoga that focuses on linking poses and as such represents a functional way to open up the body in the areas that are typically restricted in triathletes. Sun salutation, for example, lengthens the posterior chain (hamstrings and calves), opens the hip joint anteriorly and activates the scapular stabilizes throughout the movement sequence.


Pilates is also a good choice in the off-season because it was developed precisely to address chronic health issues stemming from core muscle weakness and muscle imbalances. Pilates was designed to teach proper muscle sequencing and activation as well as strength and control of the body. A strong core is essential for triathletes to generate power in all three sports and to prevent injuries.


Crossfit type classes
Cross fit and similarly structured classes are beneficial in the off season because they challenge the endurance athlete who is used to moving in one plane (forward) at 75% – 80% of capacity. These classes not only utilize their body as a whole through power lifting movements but they also force them to get out of their comfort zone and perform at close to maximal effort through an array of short burst workout routines.



Cross fit and traditional strength classes use free weights and other tools to build the body. Kickboxing is considered a hybrid martial art formed from the combination of elements of various traditional styles. Kickboxing is a great example of a sport that applies the components of a properly functioning neuromuscular system. Here is what I mean: a healthy athletic (in our case) body needs mobility, stability, strength and power in that sequence for maximum performance. For example, a strong kick cannot be delivered without stability on the stance side, mobility on the kick side and of course the strength and power itself to deliver the kick.


The off-season is the time to start tackling new goals with a more flexible, stronger and powerful body. Do not shy away from the array of fun alternatives to the swim, bike and run routines. Other sports and programs are beneficial in developing a more rounded athlete and an unbreakable warrior in the water and on the road. With some research find out what excites you and make it a challenge for yourself to tray something new this fall.


Original D3 Multisport article here


60 Seconds in Kona Day 8: D3 Multisport hits the road

Join Brian Lambert of D3 Multisport as he hits the hot Hawaiian pavement for one last training session…

Brian qualified at Ironman Coeur d’Alene. This will be his second IRONMAN World Championship.

Presented by: D3 MultiSport

Video by 303’s Kenny Withrow

Watch previous episodes:

60 Seconds in Kona – Day 7

60 Seconds in Kona – Day 6

60 Seconds in Kona – Day 5

60 Seconds in Kona – Day 4

60 Seconds in Kona – Day 3

60 Seconds in Kona – Day 2

60 Seconds in Kona – Day 1