D3Multisport Coach Mike demonstrates three of his favorites exercises for activating your muscles prior to a run. This is an important step toward having a smooth, strong run.
by Will Murray for 303triathlon.com
March 31, 2017
Last week the Timex Multisport Team had its annual camp in Boulder. We caught up with team member and USA Triathlon Board Chair Barry Siff about the camp.
Q: You’ve been on the Timex Multisport Team for a long time. How did this annual camp rate for you?
Barry: The camp had a positive impact on me. I didn’t know where I was in terms of athleticism and my goals. I might have gone back to ultra-running or duathlon, but I got very motivated to get back into triathlon by being around all these terrific people.
At my age (60-64) my greatest opportunity to improve is in nutrition and strength and flexibility. I’m kicking my sugar habit—I have an excessive sugar habit. And I got enormously motivated by teammate Wendy Mader and tips she gave us on strength and conditioning. We had a class with Erin Carson at her awesome club RallySport and it blew my socks off.
Q: What is the purpose of the team?
Barry: To promote and support the Timex products and the products of the sponsoring partners. Trek, Shimano, Blue Seventy and Bolle. Castelli makes all of our clothing; it’s crazy good. Wiivv is a new partner that makes extremely sophisticated custom insoles for running shoes by taking a picture of your foot and computer driven manufacturing the insole. Simon Whitfield (Olympic gold medalist and investor in Wiivv) was at the camp, with Greg and Laura Bennett, also Olympians, who gave a great talk about achieving high performance.
Q: Where is Timex taking their products for multisport athletes?
Barry: The new $99 Timex Ironman GPS watch is aimed at the mid masses. It’s aimed at getting people into running and triathlon. It does have all that sophistication, but it has a simple appearance. The larger focus is getting people fit and moving. It does not have heart rate but easily and quickly gives you pace and distance, and it’s extremely light weight and good looking.
The new Timex IQ Plus is a good looking dress watch and an activity tracker that synchs to an app on your phone. It tracks your day as you walk and sleep. I walked over 2.5 miles on a rest day, just going about my day, and that was interesting to know that.
Q: Back to the team, what makes this such a special group?
Barry: I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s like going to summer camp when you are a kid, where everyone has a very common bond of athletic dedication. The Timex family put us together so well. These 45 athletes do so much more for the sport of triathlon. Sure there are several national and world champions, but they all do volunteer work and other things for the sport. They guide blind athletes, they help inspire young girls to pursue their dreams. Many coaches are in this group, just really good people who inspire other people. No nasty people in this group at all. We are all very active on social media. A constant connection, every day for most of us, keeping up and inspiring each other.
Q: That kind of camaraderie sounds really appealing. But, I’m not an uber triathlete or anybody special, so how do I find some kind of connection like you have in the Timex Multisport Team?
Barry: The Timex Multisport Team was getting more than 300 applications for five spots every year. So they started the Timex Factory Team to expand the availability of experience and about 350 athletes are on the Factory Team. They have similar benefits for partners on clothing and discounts. There is potential for some of those folks to get on to the Timex Multisport Team from the Factory Team. And for many Factory Team members, there is an opportunity to be associated with Timex and spread the word.
The biggest opportunity for most athletes is to get involved with a local club. In the US there are 1000 USA Triathlon-sanctioned clubs. In the 303 area code, the Rocky Mountain Triathlon Club, Castle Creek Triathlon Club and Boulder Triathlon Club all provide training opportunities as well as social activities—good times, good friends. They emphasize welcoming and helping people into the sport. We at USA Triathlon are growing the sport and we need to welcome athletes and provide that social connection. Even those athletes who are doing most of their training alone can enjoy the social opportunities.
Q: How was it for you to be back in Boulder for a few days since your move to Tucson?
Barry: The camp was very busy and I didn’t get around as much as I’d like, but with the Without Limits 5430 Sports triathlon series here in Boulder, I’ll be back a lot this summer and looking forward to spending time here and seeing lots of folks.
Information about Timex Multisport Team and Timex Factory Team here
The CB3P is a multi-sport, endurance race that spans the length of the Gunnison Valley, starting in Mt. Crested Butte, CO and finishing in Gunnison, CO. With an uphill/downhill ski leg, road bike leg, and kayak leg, the CB3P takes participants and spectators on an exciting tour that follows the valley’s spring runoff path.
Competitors start at Crested Butte Mountain Resort with an uphill/downhill ski race, then transition to bikes and ride south on highway 135. When competitors reach the banks of the Gunnison River at the North Bridge put-in, they transition to kayaks and paddle to the Gunnison Whitewater Park for a thrilling race finish.
Men and women can compete as individuals in ‘Race’ or ‘Fun’ categories, or on teams relay-style.
by Khem Suthiwan
What does a triathlete do when racing IRONMANs isn’t as exciting as it used to be? Try something different…way different. Couple of weekends ago I was one of the lucky few to participate in the inaugural Casco Bay Islands SwimRun race up in Portland, Maine. This was North America’s first ÖTILLÖ-style SwimRun – consisting of a series of swimming and running legs between several islands. In this particular race the approximate distance covered was 4 miles of swimming and 11 miles of running. The caveat – you have to carry and/or wear all your gear for the ENTIRE race. No transitions. No changing tents. No SAG support.
Sounds like fun, right? Well, hold your horses. Entry to this race was via merit or lottery applications. Merit entries required each 2-person team to submit a summary of past achievements. Lottery entries required proof of verifiable race results with swim splits under certain. 20 teams were selected by merit consideration and 80 by lottery. Teams could be same gendered or mixed and teammates had to stay within 3 meters of each other throughout the entire race, hence the use of tethers during the swim portion by some teams.
Was it easy? Not particularly. This course definitely favored stronger swimmers. From the very beginning, you had to overshoot your landing point because of the tidal currents in the water. Some sections there were 4-5 foot swells in addition to wake from nearby boats. As if that wasn’t already enough, there was seaweed…everywhere. At times an entire wig-full of seaweed would get caught on our tether. I would look back and see what appeared to be cousin It (from the Addams Family) getting dragged behind me.
Some of our water exits and entries were off sandy beaches, but more often than not we had to navigate through fields of thick seaweed and scramble over rocks. One island in particular was quite the challenge – Vaill Island. The approach took us through a bunch of seaweed, then scrambling over boulders around the entire island since the interior was covered with poison ivy. Once we made it around, we had to figure out a safe place to jump back in the water…and into the seaweeds.
The longest swim crossing measured just over 1,600 yards, and by far the toughest. Other teams we talked to after the race averaged about 1 hour for this crossing. The tide was going out when most of us reached this point in the race. Swimming against the current coupled by getting dragged down by seaweed made this section difficult both mentally and physically.
The one thing I was really worried about going into this race (blisters) really wasn’t an issue. But the chafing from swimming in the ocean for that distance – very unforgiving. My teammate and other fellow athletes learned the hard way.
A few lessons learned from our experience included:
- Use swim flippers in addition to paddles. Flippers are allowed (you just have to carry them on the run), and based on the difficulty of this course, it would’ve helped us A LOT.
- Ditch the tether in heavy seaweed areas.
- Carry extra body glide during the race.
- Overshoot your target by a lot, especially on the long channel crossing.
This race is definitely not for the faint of heart, the fair weathered athlete, or those worry about the water temperature. But if you are looking for an adventure where you can push your limits and go outside your comfort zone…AND know someone just as crazy and willing to do it with you, then SwimRun may be your next thing!
Big thank you to Jeff Cole and Lars Finanger for putting on such an awesome event and to New Wave Swim Buoys for providing each team with a swim buoy and the amazing drone videos from race day. Can’t wait to come back next year!