303Beginner Tri Project – Training 101: Bare Essentials

by Alison Freeman

 

I firmly believe that ANYONE can do a sprint triathlon. And you don’t necessarily need a coach, a training plan, or 10 hours a week to prepare for it, either. But you’ll have a more enjoyable experience if you do some training prior to race day. Here are some general training guidelines that will set you up for success at a sprint triathlon:

 

– Whatever your starting point – the couch, the peak of fitness, or somewhere in between – start your training exactly there and build up your workout frequency and duration gradually. Jumping into a six-day-a-week training plan if your most recent marathon was Netflix-related is not the road to success as much as the road to getting injured.

 

– Endurance is built on consistent training, week after week, so build up to a training frequency that includes two swims, two bikes, and two runs each week.

 

– Increase your longest swim, bike, and run distances with the goal that your longest swim, bike, and run are at least 20% greater than the race distance. For a standard sprint triathlon, that means swimming 950 meters, biking 14.5 miles, and running (or walking or jogging) 3.75 miles.

 

 

– Make sure to include recovery in your plan! You need to give your body time to “absorb” the fitness that you’re building. Even when you’re firing on all cylinders, make sure to have one workout-free day each week. (And that does not mean go ahead and climb a 14er. That means sit on the couch.) Additionally, every 3-4 weeks should be a recovery week that has 20-30% less overall workout volume than the weeks prior.

 

– Give yourself several opportunities to run immediately after biking, even if it’s only for five or ten minutes. Your legs will not cooperate the first time you try this – which is why that should not be on race day. The more often you do it, the easier it will feel. (By the way, this type of workout is typically called a “brick,” which comes from BRC: bike and run in combination.)

 

– If you can find a good location for it, do a race simulation day – swim then bike then run – three weeks before the race. A metric version of your race distances (about 60% of the actual distances) is a good approach. This race day simulation will provide some good experience, like how it feels to bike when dripping wet, and will also give a great confidence boost before race day!

 

– Your biggest training week should be three weeks prior to the race (the week that concludes two weeks prior to race day). After that, you DO want to continue training so that you don’t lose all the fitness that you worked so hard to achieve! Two weeks prior to the race decrease your overall training volume by 40%. The week prior to the race, do a short swim (or two), bike, and run, and stay off your feet as much as possible.

– Be sure to incorporate training on terrain that is comparable to your race location. If your race swim is in a lake or reservoir, be sure to find some opportunities for open water swimming. If your bike and/or run courses are on trails or have some big hills, hit those up in training as well.

 

 

If reading all of that gave you a headache, and you now feel more confused about triathlon training than you were this morning – just swim, bike, and run. You’ll be fine!

 

Mark on Monday: Aero Do’s and Don’ts

by Mark Cathcart

The triathletes mantra is everything aero. We buy aero helmets, aero wheels, aero frames, wear tight clothes because they are aero, many of us even have aero drink bottles. We epitomize the Team Sky Race Director, Sir Dave Brailsfords’ now infamous “Marginal Gains”.

As I rode home the other day, I turned from CO52 onto 95th and got caught by the wind, it was blowing really hard from the west. Ahead of me were a couple of cyclists, you could see they were battling to stay upright as the wind blew across the fields and caught them square on.  Before we got to Lookout I’d passed both of them. They both could have helped themselves in the wind by being more aero.

Once on Lookout, heading east, with the wind to my back I could see another cyclist ahead, and soon doing 45MPH, I passed him too, and yes, he too could use some help even though he was going fast. So here are my bike aero do’s and don’ts.

 

 

DON’T: Ride with your elbows locked. There is almost never a good reason to ride with your elbows locked. If you do the road vibrations travel straight to your neck and upper back causing fatigue.

DO: Soften your elbows. Bending at the elbows reduces your height, and helps flatten out your back

DON’T: Ride with your palms on the brake hoods.

DO: Ride with your hands back from the hoods, soften your elbows, keep your head up

 

 

 

 

DON’T: Ride sitting up, elbows locked, just because the wind is at your back!

DO: Use your drops, or if you are comfortable, lean on your handlebars, again soften your elbows, and if you have a traditional long nose bike seat, shift forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DON’T: Let your limbs stick out. No matter which way the wind is blowing, or even if there is no wind, let your elbows and knees stick out.

DO: Soften your elbows, keep your arms tucked in, and keep your shoulders narrow.

 

 

 

 

 

DON’T: Attack hills from the bottom! There is nothing worse than “blowing-up” two thirds of the way up the hill.

DO: Pace yourself, nobody ever says I could have taken that hill faster! Use your gears wisely, don’t run out straight away.

DON’T: Battle up a hill in the same bike position.

DO: Make use of all the muscle groups. As a triathlete, you have to run off the bike. Again, traditional saddle? Slide back on the saddle, move your hand to the middle of the bars, don’t forget to soften the elbows.

 

Finally, use those gears. Remember, cycling is about motion, not muscle.

Tri the Rock

Castle Rock

 

It’s waiting for you… all you have to do is try!
Come for a day of fun, food prizes and sports. This annual youth triathlon is for young athletes ages 5 to 14.
From kids who have never even heard of a triathlon to seasoned competitive triathletes, Tri the Rock encourages kids to get out and give it a TRI.

 

Tri the Rock Give Back Program

Tri the Rock encourages kids to get active and try something new. To that end, a portion of every registration is donated back to each participants school or tri-club. Be sure to indicate your school or club during registration. And remember, the school with the most participants will get the honor of displaying the Tri the Rock trophy for the next year!

 

Event details and registration here

303Beginner Tri Project: If I Wanna Tri, What Do I Need? What DON’T I Need?

by Alison Freeman

 

If you, your friend, your sister, your neighbor, or your mom is thinking about doing their first triathlon, here’s everything you need and everything you don’t:

1. You DO need to pick a race! And you need to sign up. Don’t think; just do it.

The 303 Beginner Tri Project recommends five beginner-friendly races:

The Longmont Tri / Longmont Try-a-Tri on June 2nd/3rd (pool swim!)
The Lookout Mountain Tri on June 30th (pool swim!)
Tri Boulder
on July 21st

Bounder Sunset
on August 25th
The Oktoberfest Sprint on September 23rd (fair warning: this one can be chilly!)

2. You DO want to find a person or a community that you can turn to for encouragement, accountability, questions, and support.

Join the 303 Beginner Facebook Group ! The group is for those new to triathlon, and is a place to share encouragement, whining, setbacks, and accomplishments. Coach Alison Freeman of D3 Multisport will be providing training guidance for the races listed above and is available to answer questions and provide guidance along the way.

3. You DO need to know how to swim; you DON’T need to know how to swim freestyle. Any which way you want to get though the swim portion of the event is just fine: freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, sidestroke, doggie paddle, whatever. Sorry, those little arm floaties are not allowed (that’s why they make wetsuits – they’re practically flotation devices).

4. You DO need a swimsuit (for training) and goggles; you DON’T need a wetsuit … although it’s worth thinking through how much you enjoy cold water. If you’re not partial to it, your local multisport shop likely rents wetsuits, and there are bargains galore online for purchasing one if you don’t want to think about what the last person to rent the wetsuit might have done in it. (Don’t judge, though, everyone does it.)

5. You DO need a bike and a helmet; you DON’T need a “tri bike” or clip in shoes. Absolutely any bike will do: road bike, gravel bike, mountain bike, cyclocross bike, your standard cruiser with a basket and tassels, your kids’ bike, whatever. Just no e-bikes, cuz: really.

6. You DO want a way to carry water while on your bike, and you want to be comfortable taking sips of water while you’re riding.

7. You DO want to train so that you’re in shape enough to swim, bike, and then run or walk the designated distance. You DON’T need to be fast. (That should have been obvious when I said “run or walk.” Really, you can walk.)

8. You DO need something that you can wear from start to finish, cuz they don’t approve of public nudity in the transition area (that’s where you “transition” from swim to bike and then from bike to run); you DON’T need a fancy tri kit – an outfit that is specifically designed for swim-then-bike-then-run. You can swim in a bathing suit then pull bike shorts on top for the bike and trade for run shorts for the run. Or you can just wear the swimsuit. In which case you might want some bodyglide.

9. You DO want a bag or milk crate or duffel that will carry everything you need to the race start, and then home again after. Triathlon involves a lot of gear.

10. Finally, you DO want to enjoy it! All of it: the learning and the training and the nervousness and the excitement and – most of all – the finish line.

Splash, Mash, Dash

Highlands Ranch

 

The Splash Mash Dash Kids Triathlon is a non-timed race that is perfect for kiddos looking for a way to “TRI” the sport of Triathlon or tune-up their skills for a larger race. The race will offer kids a safe and fun environment for racing. All Splash Mash Dash Kids Triathlon participants will receive a t-shirt, finisher medal and donuts!

Event details and registration here

FoCo Kids Tri

Ft. Collins

 

Level One

50 yard swim

1.75 mile bike

1K run

 

Level Two

100 yard swim

3.5 mile bike

1K run

 

Level Three

150 yard swim

3.5 mile bike

2K run

 

Cost

$30 per individual (child or parent) – $35 raceday

Fee includes race, t-shirt for kids ages 6-14 (parent shirts are $5), entry for prizes, and spaghetti dinner the night before, and a pancake breakfast after the race!

 

Event details and registration here

 

Tri Club Tuesday – CU Tri Club – Silent Auction and MCTC Results

by Paisley Sheenan

The CU Triathlon Team’s inaugural auction was a great success! It was a fun night with some competitive bidding, a presentation and Q&A by professional triathlete Cam Dye, and a raffle. All of our items were sold and the money we raised will help us with our goal of taking more athletes to our national championship race in April.

We would like to thank everyone who attended, Cam Dye for speaking, all our sponsors and other companies for donating to the auction, and Colorado Multisport for being a phenomenal venue. We are still fundraising for our journey to nationals through our crowdfunding page: c-fund.us/exx. Our campaign will be open until April 27th, and every donation, big or small, helps our team.

The team had a very successful St. Patrick’s Day weekend at the Mountain Collegiate Triathlon Conference Championship race. This was our first race of the spring semester, and we had three men in the top 5 (Timmy Winslow 1st, Roy Madrid 2nd, and Jack Toland 4th), and two women in the top 5 (Paisley Sheehan 3rd, Cassidy Hemp 4th). Timmy also won the individual men’s conference omnium and Paisley came in second place in the individual women’s conference omnium. Both our men’s and women’s team won the race as well as the team conference omnium.

On top of the great results, the Havasu Triathlon is always a fun race for the team. We road trip 14 hours to Arizona, get cozy with seven teammates in a minivan, and always come back to Boulder with lots of adventures and stories. We camp at Crazy Horse Campground and befriend the retired spring breakers who are living in their campers with a lakeside view.

The Havasu Triathlon course is certainly a memorable one. The two standout segments on the bike course are the Neighborhood and the Box. The Neighborhood is a hilly out and back through – you guessed it – a neighborhood, and is a great place to see teammates zoom past. The Box is the most infamous segment of the race with several short but very steep hills. The run course is flat and fast but contains an infamous flight of stairs that are uneven and climb up about two stories to the London Bridge.

This year, a good portion of our men’s team took the theme of “Havastache” to heart, growing mustaches and racing with Pit Viper sunglasses. These guys turned the heads of racers and spectators alike with their unique fashion sense (though the word “fashion” is up for debate). While we are a team who loves to compete and succeed, we are proud of our team spirit and always look to have fun, especially while we are racing.

Now that we are back from Havasu, we are gearing up for Nationals in a month, starting with our annual Spring Break Training Camp. This year we’ll be holding a local camp, completing a vigorous set of workouts designed by our loving coaches to challenge us both mentally and physically. From there, we’ll be settling into race-specific preparation, doing our best to make sure the entire team is ready to take on the competition in Tuscaloosa!

IRONMAN Boulder Race Director Tim Brosious was on FB Live

On Thursday evening, IRONMAN Boulder RD Tim Brosious was on FB Live to talk about upcoming changes for the June 10 event. Most notable are the changes to the bike course and the point to point run course.

Watch, learn and prepare.

 

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.”

Read the full article