Forget Triathlons. It’s Time for Aquabike.

From the Wall Street Journal

For triathletes who hate the running part, there’s a new sport that offers a path to glory

Kathleen A. Hughes competed in the ITU Aquabike World Championships earlier this year in Penticton, British Columbia. Photo: FinisherPix.com

When I proudly told friends that I had qualified for the world championships in aquabike this past August, at age 60, I faced blank stares and concerned questions.

“How does the bike move in the water?”

“Do you practice on a stationary bike in the pool?” my brother-in-law asked.

The answer is that aquabike is a relatively new sport in triathlon, a race that normally includes a swim, bike and run. In aquabike, you get to skip the run.

While races vary, the most common distance is a 1.2-mile swim and a 56-mile bike ride. “Swim, bike, done,” enthusiasts say.

While the number of participants in triathlons has declined in the past few years, aquabike is growing rapidly, partly by appealing to older athletes with running injuries.

“It’s growing like a weed,” says Chuck Graziano, a director of USA Triathlon who has a titanium knee and competes in aquabike. “It doesn’t include the pounding of running. It can be age-related, injury-related, or people who just prefer not to run.”

Indeed, the number of aquabike races sanctioned by USA Triathlon, the sport’s governing body, has more than doubled in five years to 562 races with 5,160 aquabikers last year.

Read the full article

Weekend Preview: Team Colorado and IMAZ

Triathlon Events

Saturday November 18th

 

IRONMAN Team Colorado Training Event

Louisville


Sunday November 19th

 

IRONMAN Arizona

Tempe, Az



Cycling Events

Friday November 17th

 

Winter Bike Expo

Littleton

Join pedal of Littleton for the 1st Annual Winter Bike Expo.  Two days of  great deals, demos, swag and clinics.  Including Pearl Izumi, Salsa Cycles, Flippin’ Flapjacks, Shimano 45NRTH, Surly Bikes and more.

Meet Salsa Cycles sponsored athletes Jay Petervary and  Neil Beltchenko


Saturday November 18th

 

Winter Bike Expo

Littleton

Join pedal of Littleton for the 1st Annual Winter Bike Expo.  Two days of  great deals, demos, swag and clinics.  Including Pearl Izumi, Salsa Cycles, Flippin’ Flapjacks, Shimano 45NRTH, Surly Bikes and more.

Meet Salsa Cycles sponsored athletes Jay Petervary and  Neil Beltchenko


Shimano CX Series: Salisbury

Parker


Sunday November 19th

 

Salty Treads CX

Fruita

Colorado Mesa is first NCAA Triathlon Program – 303Radio gets the scoop from Head Coach Hanson

Geoff Hanson – Colorado Mesa University is the first NCAA Triathlon program in the State of Colorado. We caught up with head coach Geoff Hanson to learn about their first season and this foundation-building year. Coach Hanson shares insights into the team’s training regimen and how they qualified for the NCAA Championship in Tempe, AZ. Read the previously published article here.

IRONMAN Arizona

Tempe, Az

The inaugural IRONMAN Arizona was held on April 9, 2005, in cooperation with the City of Tempe and the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community. With its fast course around Tempe Beach Park and Tempe Town Lake, and spectator-friendly atmosphere, the race quickly gained popularity. Given the desert heat, the race was moved to a much cooler November race date in 2008, where it attracts a wide range of triathletes who’ve had the whole summer to train.

IRONMAN Arizona kicks off with a single-loop swim in Tempe Town Lake, followed by a challenging three-loop bike course through the Sonoran Desert. It finishes with a spectator-friendly run around Tempe Town Lake and Papago Park.

The course will remain a one-loop swim and follow a clockwise flow, with athletes exiting the same stairs that they entered from. Athletes will enter the water in a continuous stream through a controlled access point at the stair entrance as they enter the water, similar to how running road races are started. An athlete’s time will start when they cross timing mats at the stairs. Athletes will be directed to self-seed on race morning based on their projected swim time. Volunteers and staff will be in the staging area with signs and will assist with this process. Self-seeding will not be mandatory, but will be encouraged.

The professional men’s field will start their day at 6:40 a.m., and the professional women will start at 6:45 a.m.  Age group athletes will follow at 6:50 a.m.  We anticipate that all athletes will be in the water by 7:20 a.m. All athletes will still be given the 2 hour 20 minute time limit to complete the swim portion of the race; however, the current overall cut-off times for both the bike and run course, as well as any intermediate cut-offs, will remain in place.

The 2017 IRONMAN Arizona offers 40 qualifying slots for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

 

 

 

Event details here

Mark on Monday: Wildflower – A Beginner’s Story

By Mark Cathcart

If you’ve read Alison Freeman‘s overview of the Wildflower festival here on 303 Triathlon, this is hopefully a natural follow-on. If not, Alision provides the “Wildflower 411”.

Wildflower is both the story of how I got into triathlon, it’s was also one of my most fun adventures.When I heard it was coming back in 2018, I signed Kate and I up to race, and late one evening we had a discussion about the race, and how it had gone last time I raced it, back in 2003.

MARK: Why don’t you ask me how I got into triathlon, and what this Wildflower thing is you’ve signed up for?

KATE: Hey Mark how did you get triathlon, and what the hell is this Wildflower thing you’ve signed us up for?

MARK: Well Kate, it’s interesting you should ask. Back in 1998, I was travelling on business to Australia, it had been a 26-some-odd-hour flight from San Francisco, and when I arrived at Melbourne airport, a limo’ driver was there with three names on the board. The Driver said, you’ll have to wait a few minutes, another woman is already here and she’s gone to pick something up from oversize luggage. A few minutes later the woman came walking across the arrivals hall dragging a big box behind her. Her name was Peggy, and in the box, was her titanium triathlon bike. Turns out she was training for Wildflower triathlon. She’d got her whole trip planned out, she knew where she could swim; she’d got the local cycling club to come on Sunday to the hotel and take her out on a ride; and she took a bus to the beach to run along the sea front.I was totally in awe, I was just a workaholic, email geek. By the end of the week she’d got me convinced that Triathlon was this great thing, and she was doing this race called Wildflower, which was the “Woodstock” of Triathlon. To be honest, at that point I don’t think I’d ever heard of Triathlon. They didn’t show the Ironman World Championships on the TV on a Saturday afternoon in December in the UK back then. I’d always wanted to have a go at an Aventura race, so I thought doing a triathlon might be a good way to lose weight and get fit for adventure racing. At that point I was 41-years old, and weighed 280lbs. When I got back to the UK, I did some research on triathlon, and it turned out there was a pool based sprint triathlon race in my home town, St Albans, in late August. I signed up and began a nearly 20-year journey. Back then in the UK there were only 3-long distance triathlons, Bala, Ironbridge, and the Longest Day. There were NO Ironman races at all. The first one didn’t come until 2001, and I was a race volunteer Captain for half Ironman UK 2001. I managed to squeeze an entry into both the 2001 and 2002 ITU World Championships, and as good as those races were, they were really nothing like the Wildflower race Peggy had described.

KATE: So, What about Wildflower?

MARK: By late 2002 I was the Chairman/President of my local Triathlon club, Tri-Force (Herts), and when entries opened up in December 2002 for Wildflower, I managed to get 9-other people to sign-up for Wildflower 2003. TRAVEL EXTRAVAGANZA. Our drawback? We were in the UK, except Martin Barrett, he was in Switzerland. When it came to planning the trip, the logistics were more challenging than the race. At least that’s what I thought at the time. The main problem is that flights from Europe to San Francisco pretty much all arrive late afternoon or early evening in San Francisco. That makes it impossible to arrive, collect your luggage and bikes, and then go rent an RV the same day. Anyone who has flown with a bike knows that dragging a bike box around is no fun, trying to do that with 9-people… yeah. No! What we did was, the Monday before race weekend, Martin and I flew to San Francisco with our gear and bikes. We checked into an airport hotel, and after breakfast headed off in a taxi for our RV familiarization and training session. By lunchtime we were back at the hotel loading up luggage and bikes and then heading back to SFO to collect the others. We hadn’t given 2nd thoughts to pulling up at SFO arrivals with an RV in the post 9/11 era, and only having driven about 10-miles total. It was a mess at best. We picked up Jo Parker, and saw some of the others. It was made all the harder by the fact that even back then few people had cell phones that worked internationally. Eventually we were on the way to lake San Antonio, 2x RV’s and a Jeep. We were all jetlagged from the 8-hour time difference, and we didn’t make it far. We stopped overnight in a Wal-Mart parking lot. We’d been told that you needed to be at Lake San Antonio by lunchtime on the Wednesday or you wouldn’t get a full hook-up for the RV. Next morning, we had a full court press to get there. We arrived around 2:30pm and sure enough all the full hook-ups were gone.

KATE: What happened at the race?

MARK: LEGENDS. The following couple of days were great. I met many legends of the sport, including Dan Empfield, Emil De Soto and 2003 was the year John Cobbs Bicycles Sports made a big launch at Wildflower. The only problem, it started to rain and never stopped for almost 24-hours before the race. RACE DAY. We were “British”, rain wasn’t going to stop us. There were over 9,000 people racing over the weekend. Come the Saturday morning, race day for the Long Course, it was also very cold. Rumor had it that some people were going to ride the bike course in their wetsuits. While waiting for my wave to start and trying to keep warm, I bent over to stretch, and the seam on the back of my wetsuit split, no time to find tape or glue. After the swim, I headed out on the bike dressed as best I could, red arm warmers, white tri top, and blue Team GB shorts. Yep I looked like a flag. About mile-10 on the bike, it had rained, we’d had hail, and as I plodded along, my front wheel broke two spokes. I don’t know if it was related to how I’d packed and shipped the bike, but I had to stop, loosen my front brake to so the wheel would work but no front brake. I made it up “Nasty grade” aka Heart Rate Hill on the bike, made a right turn, and there at the aid station was Martin. He was riding tubeless tires and had punctured twice. Meaning without a spare wheel or tub, he was out. I offered my back wheel, fearing I wouldn’t finish anyway due to my warped front wheel. Martin shrugged, grinned and pointed. There through the misty rain was a college aged woman, wearing a transparent rain poncho, and just her panties. Completely topless. Martin said he was happy to wait for the SAG Wagon, I pushed on. The rest of the bike was uneventful except the downhill into triathlon which I took pretty much with my back brake full on, with no front brake. The good news, it had stopped raining and was warming up. WHAT RUN COURSE? The mountain bike triathlon had finished, but the rain and the fact that the mountain bike course used part of the trail the run course for the long course race, and had cut it up so badly it was unusable. That meant using the Olympic distance run course. My reaction, no big deal, same distance, twice the fun. Then the realization it meant going up Beach Hill out of transition on the run course not once, but twice. I’ve never been a good runner, back in those days I wasn’t even using a a built-up shoe to compensate for my 2-inch leg length difference. By the time I headed out on the run I was already wasted, come the 2nd loop, it took me 30-minutes to walk up the hill. This wasn’t going to end well. I finished, it was a great race, but boy was it hard. I was 87th in the 45-49 age group, Dan Empfield was 4th. Later that afternoon we hung out in the expo village, it turned into everything Peggy had said. Bands, a stage, great food, just hanging out. The next day while the Olympic distance race, and the Collegiate championships were going on, we hung out; waited for Hanna, and Jo to finish; got massage; eat, laughed, took in more music bands. The whole race experience was fantastic. It was that race that convinced me to stick with triathlon rather than switch to adventure racing. On the Monday morning, we had to set off back to San Francisco and home to the UK. We went back via Pacific Coast Highway. Did the tour around Hearst Castle and drove back to SFO hard, which given the hills and curves on US-1 was pretty epic. We dropped all the luggage and bikes at departures, finally taking the RV back to the rental. The one thing the rental guy had told us was “don’t leave the awning open overnight”.  Due to the rain, we had, to keep the bikes dry while we are sleeping. Yep, it ripped, there went a $500 deposit. I took a cab back to SFO and the Wildflower adventure was over.

[at this point I looked over and Kate was asleep, the question I wanted Kate to ask was]

KATE: So what is your objective for next years Wildflower?

MARK: To have as much fun, with none of the drama, and to beat my 2003 times. 1.2-mile swim: 40:48, T1: 5:3956-mile, bike: 3:38, T2: 3:45, 13.1-mile run: 2:54, TOTAL: 7:22:57


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

Outdoor Diva Women’s Triathlon

Longmont

 

The 11th annual Outdoor Divas on July 29th, awarded best women’s event in Colorado by Competitor Magazine, is the all women’s triathlon you’ve been waiting for!  We intentionally keep the race cap low at 600 women to create a fun, festive, yet intimate racing environment.  Great goodie bags, one of our biggest expos of the year, a ton of raffles, and a completely closed race course are just some of the highlights.  Due to the low cap we’ve sold out the past 10 years.  In 2017 we reached capacity on June 11th so please take advantage of the early registration.

“This was my first triathlon in five years since my professional racing career ended. I had no idea what to expect and the last thing I wanted to experience was insecurity in terms of the course and safety. Thanks to Without Limits and Outdoor DIVAS, I was able to put my best foot forward on race day, with incredible support along the way. It was a blast to mix it up with a great group of inspired women  I’m so happy that Skirt Sports chose the Outdoor DIVAS Triathlon as our first-ever Team Triathlon. We’ll definitely be back next year!”   Nicole DeBoom

Event details and registration here

TriBella Women’s Triathlon

Cherry Creek Reservoir

 

The TriBella Women’s Triathlon, presented by Coeur Sports, is the perfect all women’s triathlon for first time triathletes looking to try the sport out, or seasoned veterans looking for a fun season opener to compete alongside friends and family! We’ll be offering two distances; the traditional sprint distance (1/2m Swim, 10m Bike, 3.1m Run), plus a super sprint distance (/14m Swim, 8m Bike, 2m Run).  Women’s cut technical t-shirts, great goodie bags, one of our biggest expos of the year, a ton of raffles are just some of the highlights.  This race is capped at 450 athletes to maintain a fun, yet lively, and laid back feel.

Due to the low cap we expect to be sold out by Mid May!  This race will be held at the Smoky Hill Beach (East Side) of Cherry Creek Reservoir!

 

To get set up for the season please be sure to visit the TriBella Retail Store in Denver.  TriBella can take care of all your triathlon needs; wetsuits, bicycle fitting, bicycle repairs and tune-ups, and so much more!  1060 Bannock St. Denver, CO 80204

Event details and registration here

Oktoberfest Sprint

Longmont

The 11th annual Oktoberfest Triathlon, presented by Lorissa’s Kitchen, on September 23rd, 2018,  is the party of the season and also a 2018 Mountain Collegiate Conference Race!  As the leaves change color this race will officially end the Colorado Triathlon Season!  It’s been a long fun season but before the snow begins to fall let’s get one more triathlon celebration in.  

The Oktoberfest Triathlon is about friends and teammates, smiling and cheering.  Men’s or woman’s cut technical t-shirts are back.  Great goodie bags, one of our biggest expos of the year, a ton of raffles, and a closed race course are just some of the highlights.  This race is capped at 600 athletes to maintain a fun, yet lively, and laid back feel.  Due to the low cap we’ve sold out the past 10 years so be be sure to take advantage of early registration.  Every year we pick a different Lander (province) in Germany as a theme for the event t-shirts!   2016 was Baden-Wurttemberg (Navy Blue), 2017 was Hessen (Light Blue), and the 2018 theme will be Sachsen-Anhalt (Green)

 

Event details and registration here

Steamboat Sprint & Olympic

Steamboat Springs

 

Sprint Distance Triathlon, Olympic Distance Triathlon, Olympic Distance Aquabike, & NEW Olympic Distance Duathlon

The Steamboat Triathlon features a sprint distance, olympic distance, and aquabike.  The swim starts off in the picturesque Lake Catamount.  Triathletes will then quickly transition to the bike course with amazing views of the Yampa Valley and River!  The olympic distance course will take athletes out to the historic Howelsen, while the sprint distance will feature a brand new single loop course.  The run course hugs Lake Catamount for a flat and fast route which finishes back at the Lake! 

NEW FOR 2018:  This season the Steamboat Triathlon will feature an Olympic distance duathlon option (5k run, 40k bike, 10k run)!

Hang out post race in the grassy lawns and enjoy great prizes, raffles, awards, and food from our local sponsors of Steamboat!  Race is capped at 500 participants for all the event combined, please join us for one of Colorado’s most intimate destination events! 

 

Event details and registration here

How to increase your triathlon endurance

 

How to Increase Your Triathlon Endurance

Contributed by Vanessa Davis

If you’ve never been much of a sports’ aficionado, then just the word triathlon can make you sweat. To people who haven’t spent much time in these waters, cycling 40km, followed by 1500m of swimming and finally running 10 km sounds almost impossible, not to mention painful. However, for those who have taken this discipline into their lives, triathlon is a lifestyle, they live and breathe by it and constantly strive to be better. The mentality that is needed for completing a triathlon is the one of discipline, perseverance, and strength, all working in perfect sync. If you skimp on one, your body, as well as your results will suffer. If you’re training for your first triathlon experience, and you’re constantly on the lookout for useful tips, here are some general rules on how to increase your triathlon endurance.

Know Your Body

If you want to be a successful triathlon athlete, one of the very first things to do is to know what you can expect from your body. You can listen to advice, opinions and little cheats that your senior colleagues will share with you, but knowing how you react to exhaustion, injury and how well you manage under pressure is something that no one can tell you so you have to find out on your own. How do your joints react to longer runs? Is there an old injury that could present a problem as preparations move forward? Do you know enough to get you started on your preparations in the first place? There are all very general questions, but it is important to ask them because triathlon is a serious exertion for both the body and the mind, and you have to know what you’re getting yourself into. If you’ve never run a half-marathon and you want to dive headfirst into triathlon workouts, you might be in over your head. This doesn’t mean that you should give up, just slow down and let your body get accustomed to a rigorous regime you’ve got in store by going into it gradually.

You Need the Right Equipment

Getting ready for a triathlon won’t be the cheapest endeavor equipment-wise, but you can bet that it will be worth it in on the track and in the water. It all trickles down to one and the same – if you want to achieve maximum endurance, be explosive or steady whenever you need it and not think about whether your equipment will survive the day, you will need to spend a bit more. Let’s start with the running shoes. Here’s the deal – most running shoes worth their salt will be comfortable, but if you’re training for a triathlon, you’ll need far more than that – you will need a shoe that fits just right. To find a perfect shoe fit might be a bit of a hassle, depending on your body type and your running style but the difference you’ll see in your endurance and cadence will not be negligible. When it comes to swimming, same rules apply – you will need a good-quality wetsuit that will give you lightness of movement, buoyancy and won’t restrict you in any way. You’ll want the wetsuit to fit you tightly so that there isn’t any loose material that could slow you down. The material should also be elastic, flexible and soft and it will help you feel like a fish in the water, allowing you to swim to your best ability without any hindrance.

Recovery Is Vital

Triathlon workouts are tough, that is no secret, and once you get hooked up on chasing your goal time, it’s difficult to give yourself a break. Maybe you’ve never been too enthused about exercising but once you feel the adrenaline of the need to be better every day, the struggle to let your body recover is real. If you’re training hard for five days a week, then you better have enough sleep throughout the week, so that your body has the time to restore and replenish. It’s important to do your best to get good shuteye, and that means getting rid of any nuisances that could disrupt your sleep, which in most cases is snoring, as well as not being able to sleep due to surrounding sounds. Invest in solid earplugs, and if you have a problem with snoring or sleep apnea, then get a good snoring aid that will help you eradicate all the breathing problems you might be facing. Even if you’re not familiar with what could help you, read trustworthy reviews like Theravent review to find your best fit. Allowing your body to replenish through good sleep is absolutely vital in your triathlon preparations, so take your sleeping routine seriously and constantly work on improving it.

Have a day or two of active recovery, during which you can do yoga or stretching to keep your muscles flexible and in optimal shape. Of course you’re trying to do your best, but it will not be achieved by overworking yourself and you can be sure that the endurance on the track and in the water will suffer, as well as your entire body. It’s true that our minds sometimes stop us from getting to our full physical potential and you should certainly push your limits, but it’s also true that you should know when to stop.

Facing the Shortcomings

Among the three disciplines you’ll be competing in, there is always one that will give you more grief than others, one that will require more work that you don’t really want to do. Though it might not be a joy to commit your entire workout to swimming when you’d much rather cycle, it is essential to face the shortcomings you’re facing in your performance and find ways to overcome them. You’ll never be able to compensate the poor swimming time with your running skills, so hone and work on your weaknesses, the payout will be manifold.

Being a triathlete will be one of the most demanding physical challenges you will face and once you pull it off, you will feel like Atlas. Constantly expanding your boundaries and pushing yourself to be better will prove beneficial in every aspect of your life and if you have any doubt, just give triathlon a chance.

Vanessa Davis is a 32-year-old fitness enthusiast, mother of two and content writer at www.diet.st. She’s originally from Long Island, New York, and when she isn’t cooking up some new health and fitness article, she enjoys doing yoga and figuring out new, delicious organic recipes for herself and her kids.