Tri Coach Tuesday: IRONMAN Boulder – 16 Tips for Race Day Success

by Dave Sheanin, D3 Multisport Coach

 

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 is a course preview that includes specific tips I have gleaned from my experience on the course both racing and training.

 

PRE RACE

  • 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.

  • A big change for 2018 is going from two separate transition areas–to a single transition area at the Rez.  You’ll still 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 downtime out at the Rez than be standing at the high school waiting for a bus.

SWIM

  • 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–in a single loop. 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.

Complete article here

Tri Coach Tuesday: Get Out the Door, You’ll be Happy You Did

It’s early in the season, but sometimes that motivation just wains.  Coach Alison helps ‘Fire Up Your Motivation’

 

The D3 Triathlon Minute, Episode 107, Fire Up your Motivation from D3 Multisport on Vimeo.

 

Tri Coach Tuesday: Get Ready for your Run

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.

Triathlon Minute, Episode 109 – 3 Run Activations from D3 Multisport on Vimeo.

Tri Coach Tuesday: Training with Power

By Tim Cusick, TrainingPeaks

 

For cyclists and triathletes, training with power is likely the most effective way to maximize results. Why? Power meters and the data they provide remove a lot of the guesswork from training by supplying precise, accurate information for accurate measurement of training intensity and load, unlike heart rate training or rate of perceived exertion (RPE) training.

Even when athletes recognize that power training offers significant benefits, many of them are apprehensive about jumping into the power-training game because they’ve heard it’s complex and they aren’t sure they have the knowledge or technical skills to get the most out of it.

I’d like to make it easier. Here are a few simple steps to get started with power training and how to better understand the entire power training process.

 

Step 1: Ride with power

The first thing your should do after you buy a new power meter is set up your head unit with some key metrics to track. I suggest setting power, heart rate, and speed to display on the screen.

And then just ride, observe and record. That’s all you should do for two to four weeks. Don’t change anything about your riding or training yet. Simply observe and begin to quantify your efforts.

Be sure to record all your workouts, no matter how small. It’s pretty simple to automate the recording and uploading process, and these records will become your data diary and will be highly useful in the future.

This first step gives you time to get a feeling for the relationship between power and effort, along with a basic understanding of the quantification of training. If you went up a short hill, did it feel hard? Your power meter now gives a number for “hard.” Hard for you might be 450 watts or 600 watts. Soft pedal down the other side of the hill and watch how many watts that generates.

 

Original post here

Tri Coach Tuesday: Pacing & Nutrition

by Jon (Mace) Mason, Head Coach MPMultisport

 

Long-Course Race Execution: All about Pacing and Nutrition

 

We’ve all witnessed the athlete that posts every workout on social media for months before their big Ironman. Epic days in the saddle over 140 miles, double and triple bricks taking up the entire weekend, runs that would make Alberto Salazar drool.   They approach the starting line looking like a Greek god, lean, strong, and ready to take on the world.  14 hours later they have been limited to the “Ironman Shuffle”, hours from their goal just happy to finish.  What happened?

 

Introducing the 4th and 5th disciplines: Pacing and Nutrition (not in any particular order)

Pacing or racing at a percentage of your threshold Heart Rate, Functional Threshold of Power (FTP), or pace/speed is absolutely imperative to crossing the finish line near the potential of your ability. If you don’t have a specific number in your head for the Bike and the Run as you read this it’s time to get evaluated.  You can ask any qualified coach or sports science institute to have your threshold tested and determined on the bike and run via Lactate Threshold (LT) testing or as simple as a testing protocol on the trainer or treadmill.  Besides LT testing, we have found great success nailing an athlete’s threshold level using the Wahoo Kickr™ trainers for the bike and a treadmill or the track for the run.  Your threshold level will also change as your progress in your training so they need to be reevaluated at least every 6 weeks.  Your pacing plan could be somewhere in the range of 75-88% of threshold for full-distance and 78-90% for half-distance but very individualized based on past race performance, training, and your discipline strengths.

With nutrition, there is no magic ingredient or formula for everyone attempting a long-course race.  Most of us get in the habit of reading Elite athlete blogs or a race report from somebody that just punched their ticket to Kona and adapt to their plan of number of calories, carbs, electrolytes, and funky colored stuff in the water bottle.  It is highly individual based on your body type, physiologically how your body processes and absorbs nutrients, race experience, training, and race day weather. What your coach or nutritionist should do is give you guidance to practice months out in the same environment of your race to develop a nutrition plan as important as a race plan and pacing plan.

  1. Avoid the gut rot of gels and chewables as much as possible by consuming solid “real” foods at least the first 75% of the bike. If you wouldn’t eat this stuff on a normal day in the office, why would you eat it during your most important race?  My favorites are energy balls, pancake sandwiches, broth, and portables.
  2. Don’t forget liquids.  Roughly one bottle of hydration (preferably electrolytes) per hour, more if the weather is hot or if you have a large stature or heavy sweater.
  3. Percentage of calories, carbs, and nutrients from liquids increases as you approach the run leg due to GI distress experienced by most athletes
  4. Percentages from liquids increase as weather heats up.  Your body absorbs and processes slower as temperature increases.
  5. Aim for 200-600 calories, 30-50g Carbs, 500-1000mg of Na PER HOUR from solid and liquid on the bike.
  6. On the run, highly individual to what you can get in.  The numbers above are reduced to the lower range.  Keep the nutrition plan together as long as you can, be flexible and listen to your body.  Sometimes Coca-Cola or a Red Bull is heaven’s nectar!

 

Original blog post here

Tri Coach Tuesday: Announcing the 303Triathlon Beginner Tri Project

 

Inspired by the USA Triathlon and IRONMAN “Time to Tri Initiative,” 303Triathlon is excited to launch the 303 Beginner Tri Project. As with the Time to Tri Initiative, the goal of the 303 Beginner Tri Project is to attract new athletes – and new people who don’t realize that they are athletes! – to the sport of triathlon.

Alison Freeman, 303 Triathlon Staff Writer and USAT Certified Coach with D3 Multisport, will publish regular columns specifically focused on information helpful to beginners, answering basic questions about equipment, training, and racing. Alison will also be moderating the new 303 Beginner Tri Facebook Group, a community where new triathletes can post questions, accomplishments, setbacks, and encouragement.

Within the 303 Beginner Tri Facebook Group, we will focus on a series of beginner-friendly triathlons throughout the season. Alison will post workout goals and key workouts leading into select races, and group members are encouraged to work together to accomplish those goals!

If you are interested in toeing the start line of your first triathlon, or know someone who is (or should be!), please join the 303 Beginner Tri Facebook Group and keep an eye on 303 Triathlon for our first beginner column next week.

Tri Coach Tuesday: No Gut Training, No Glory

from APEX Coaching

 

Avoiding gastric distress:  Gastrointestinal Distress: is most commonly defined as a reduction in gastrointestinal blood flow (circulation) due to a buildup of lactic acid in the blood. This buildup of lactic acid results in the inability of the digestive system to effectively breakdown and process food, absorb nutrients to be used as fuel and clear the bowel. Peristalsis (The wave like muscle contractions in the intestine that help clear the bowel) is greatly compromised during gastric distress and can even cease until blood lactic levels return to normal.  The onset of Gastric Distress differs for every athlete and this is why it is important to practice your nutrition in training and not on race day. In general, most athletes will start to develop GI distress at 120 -180 minutes into race pace training or racing. Symptoms include: nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps and pains, bloating and burping.  Almost all endurance athletes will experience gastric distress and women are more likely than men to experience GI distress.

Upper GI distress manifests as heartburn, vomiting, belching, bloating, nausea and/or stomach pain, inability to eat or keep down food

Lower GI distress includes cramping, gas, urgency and diarrhea, vomiting

As endurance athletes we tend to be a “picky” bunch. We spend hours picking out the perfect bike, getting the perfect aero position, devote time to finding just the right chamois for all those hours in the saddle for training, and let’s not forget time spent analyzing and comparing all that training data. We leave no stone unturned when it comes to our equipment and what works best for us, and yet, we will devote more time to filling our water bottles than we will to developing a solid nutrition plan and strategy for training and race day. Your nutrition can be the single source to win or lose your long course event. Proper fueling is not an accident it must be tried and tested before race day to make your body work best for you.  Let’s chat a little about what you can do to ensure a happy gut on race day.

How does Gastric Distress affect my training/ racing?

Most athletes have found themselves out on a training run or ride searching for a corner store to buy a Coke or begging a gel or bar off a training buddy deep in the fog of bonking or cramping and it was a very long ride or run home. As we all know, the training post a “bonk” is pretty much useless and leaves you pretty sore and tired afterwards. The fundamental goal for fueling as an endurance athlete is that we want to maintain the most consistent blood sugar levels as possible for maximum use of the muscles, circulation and power output. This principle is also used in avoiding gastric distress. As we train the body builds up lactic acid in the muscles and we are in a race against time to fuel our body with electrolytes and carbohydrates before our GI system shuts down due to lack of blood flow as the body continues to buildup lactic acid.  Most of your solid foods should be consumed in the first 120 minutes of a prolonged race or during training. This fueling should include carbohydrates and electrolytes for the body to use as long term fuel during the event.  Continued fueling past this point should include soft foods such as chews, gels and liquids

When training practice what and when you will be eating. Don’t forget pre-race nutrition starting the week before your goal event.  Glycogen stores, hydration and even the amount of sleep you get all impact your body many days out from your goal event.

Original posting HERE

 

Written By Simon Bennet

Simon Bennett is an elite road, track and multisport coach for APEX Coaching. As an Australian Level 1 Triathlon Coach and Silver Level Swimming Coach he had several of his athletes selected to compete at the Australian National Triathlon Championships, ITU Elite races and Swimming National Championships. Simon was a podium endurance coach for British Cycling during the last Olympic cycle with 6 of his athletes winning gold medals in Rio on the road and track. For more information on Simon, click HERE.

Tri Coach Tuesday: Winter Training

by Eric Kenney, EK Endurance Coaching

 

CONSISTENCY

Being consistent is so important. It is better to do 6 x 45-minute trainer rides before you do 1 x 5-hour ride and nothing else all week. Think of your weekly training as a set of intervals. You rarely go out to do a threshold workout as 1-hour, all-out effort. You break it up into 10- or 20-minute intervals. Same thing here. Plan ahead and “pay it forward” a bit by saving some energy (both physical and mental) on Wednesday so you can get in another session on Thursday or Friday. It’s not the training you do this week; rather it’s what you do for this 3-4 months.
Here, EK Endurance Coaching training pyramid shows you consistency is the foundation for EVERYTHING. This is not to say you have to train as long or as often as you might in spring or summer but you do need to find a manageable workload you can consistently complete.

 

STRUCTURED ENDURANCE TRAINING

Something many people don’t realize is that if you are working at your lactate threshold or below, you are getting the same adaptations as you do from doing long slow distance (LSD) training. What’s the catch? Well of course, the harder you ride the less time you can hold that effort for. But it’s winter and you are reading this because you don’t want to spend three hours on your trainer on Tuesday morning. So the old adage of “if you only have a short amount of time go hammer!” is sort of true in this case. However, do it with purpose and structure. Our Hour Of Power cycling workout library is designed for just this. Quality training that keeps you focused (distracted) while still having fun and getting your workout in.

WEAKNESS TRAINING

I have been talking about and practicing this in my coaching since I began working with athletes over a decade ago. If you want to improve, you must discover your weak areas and bring them up to par for your goals.

FLEXIBILITY AND REST

Rest is very important—maybe the most important part of your training. Just because you are not logging 3-hour rides doesn’t mean you don’t need off days, recovery rides and stretching. Often I see more tightness and injuries in winter than in summer. Why? I feel it’s because athletes don’t take the time to cool down as much and stretch/recover properly. When their last interval is done, all they can think is, “Please get me off this thing!”. They grab some water and food and then are off to wherever. Stretch! Cool down after hard sessions! That extra five minutes now will pay you back the next time you throw your leg over the bike.
Be flexible. If the weather turns nice, bag the structured trainer workout and get outside! Not feeling the mojo today? Save it for tomorrow’s session. Be dynamic and flexible this winter. Think long-term. It’s not the training you get in this week, it’s about the all the training you get in these 3-4 months.
The fact is that riding the trainer can be like getting out of bed. It’s rough! But the act of starting is often the worst part. Get on, warm up, just spin, and after a few minutes images of racing, working hard for teammates and making the winning break will soon fill your head. Do this over and over again, and you will be on your way to having the best season ever.
Read Coach Eric’s full bog here
Want to learn more about winter training?  Join Coach Eric at CMS this Thursday for more.
Details here