Triathlete.com http://triathlon.competitor.com Triathlon Training, Gear, Nutrition, Photos, Race Results & Calendars Sat, 18 Apr 2015 16:04:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Currie, Duffy Win XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/news/currie-duffy-win-xterra-asia-pacific-championship_114991 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/news/currie-duffy-win-xterra-asia-pacific-championship_114991#comments Sat, 18 Apr 2015 16:04:36 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=114991

Flora Duffy has been unstoppable in XTERRA races. Photo: XTERRA

Braden Currie (NZL) and Flora Duffy (BER) took the titles in muddy conditions at Callala Beach Saturday afternoon.

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Flora Duffy has been unstoppable in XTERRA races. Photo: XTERRA

Braden Currie and Flora Duffy won the men’s and women’s elite titles at the second annual XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race at Callala Beach in Jervis Bay, New South Wales, Australia this afternoon.

Read the race recap from XTERRA below:

After a wet Friday that soaked pre-riders and runners, the clouds and rain gave way to bright sunshine Saturday morning and near-perfect racing conditions, except of course, for the slick roots and muddy trails that the rain left behind. It turned intermediate routes into technical tracts and clean racing kits into mud-splattered ensembles.

Men’s Race
In the men’s race the adverse conditions played right into the strengths of Braden Currie, one of the best adventure racers in the world.

“It was awesome, it was wet, it was muddy, it was actually quite technical because it was so loose but it’s stuff that you don’t get hurt on so you can hit it as hard as you can and if you crash you jump back up and go again,” said Currie.

The 28-year-old from Wanaka came out of the swim about the same time as Conrad Stoltz in 18:06, and trailed Courtney Atkinson and Ben Allen by about one-minute. Atkinson and Allen were up front on the bike early until the course got into some of the twisting tree lines.

“I knew it was going to be some pretty hard racing,” said Currie. “I caught Courtney on some of that single track and Ben sort of got stuck behind him and I made myself a bit of a gap and just extended that lead thru the end of the bike. I knew me and Courtney would have a pretty hard run battle if we were close, so I tried to put everything I could into that bike.”

The strategy paid off, and he posted the fastest bike split of the day in 1:24:03 (Stoltz was 1:24:23) which was more than six-minutes better than Atkinson. The way the two-time Olympian Atkinson can run, it was a necessary cushion.

“I knew when Braden was the first to catch me I was in trouble,” said Atkinson, who moved up from fifth off the bike to second by the finish by posting the fastest run split of the day (35:30) by two minutes. “Pretty cool to win the XTERRA Australian title for the third year in a row and ya know Braden, he’s not the world’s best adventurer for no reason. I came down twice on the bike today on some slippery stuff. It’s a challenge for me. There were times on the bike when I was thinking that I could get off and run faster than this, and much less dangerously. I know overseas they have sloppy, jungle XTERRA’s but this is probably the first time I’ve experienced this level of mud. I ran as quick as I could but the thing with XTERRA is the bike kills your legs. It was a tough day at the muddy office.”

For Stoltz, who was still pretty sick leading into race day, just being able to compete was a win.

“I wouldn’t have imagined a podium today,” said Stoltz, the four-time XTERRA World Champ who had to miss out on XTERRA South Africa in February and last weekend at XTERRA New Zealand due to illness. “Yesterday I didn’t think I was going to race but I woke up this morning feeling much, much better. I was just happy to be out there. Swimming felt alright but when I got out on the bike I felt pretty bad the first half. Every time I tried to push I just felt like there were insects crawling around on my head, it didn’t feel good at all, so I was losing time on Braden and the guys but I said to myself at least I’m participating which is better than watching. From there I just tried to stay steady so I could finish in the prize money but then all of a sudden in the last third of the ride I could see Ben and Courtney, and couldn’t figure out why I was making time on them. I was surprised to get off the bike in second, and on the run I knew I couldn’t push. The moment I started pushing I felt really bad so I tried to keep it steady and was second until just about 2k from the end when Courtney got by.”

“The Caveman” ultimately finished third, just ahead of Olly Shaw and Ben Allen, and had high praise for the guys in front of him.

“Two very honorable athletes in front of me, so no worries losing to those guys,” said Stoltz, who has 51 career titles of his own. “They are both real gentlemen and great athletes. Braden is very, very talented and I would say his biggest asset is his head. He’s very driven and his head is very strong. Plus, he’s a nice guy and down to earth. He’s the real deal.”

Shaw, the 23-year-old from Rotorua who was third last weekend at his hometown race, was thrilled to be in the mix and living the XTERRA lifestyle.

“Pretty happy, it’s an amazing field here. The highlight was catching Courtney on the bike. It’s my first season I’ve been up there and able to compete with these guys, and it’s just awesome,” said Shaw, who was third in New Zealand last weekend and will go on to race at XTERRA Tahiti next weekend. “Living a pretty good life, eh. I love training for it and really lucky to have these great events around the world to race at. The atmosphere is so awesome.”

Ben Allen, fresh off wins at XTERRA Saipan and XTERRA Guam, finished in fifth, with Josh Kenyon in sixth, Brodie Gardner seventh, Jarad Kohler, Kieran McPherson, and Mitchell Ginsberg rounding out the top 10.

Women’s Race
Flora Duffy took most of the drama right out of the women’s race right from the start with another dominating performance on her way to her 10th XTERRA Championship win in 11 tries since the start of the 2014 season.

The 27-year-old two-time Olympian from Devonshire, Bermuda had the fastest swim (almost two minutes over Barbara Riveros), the quickest bike (more than two minutes over Riveros) and the second-best run split (less than one-minute behind Riveros) to take the tape in 2:36:40, a full three-minutes in front of Riveros.

Of note, Riveros was also the runner-up to Duffy at last year’s XTERRA World Championship and the pair are amongst the very best on the highly competitive ITU World Triathlon Series.

“It was a tough day out there,” said Duffy.  “I really wanted to defend this title, and it’s a lot harder defending.  I seem to be the favorite no matter what.  I wanted to attack the swim and nail the bike, ride the technical bits as best I could.   I had a few issues out there, though, with a couple mechanicals and a little crash.  It was super muddy.  Then I just tried to run steady, and not push too hard. I’m really happy with how it went.”

Duffy, who was fifth at the ITU WTS race on the Gold Coast here in Australia last week, now heads back to her home-away-from-home in South Africa for next weekend’s ITU race.

“Flora is on fire, she’s very strong.  I knew it.  She’s racing good in ITU as well and I’m super happy for her,” said Riveros, who was in second the whole way but still had her share of misfortune.  “I fell in the mud puddles, didn’t realize it was so deep, and I couldn’t get out of there.  The guy behind was asking if I needed help getting out of there.  But it was great, a beautiful course, and I’m happy to have raced here and qualify for XTERRA Worlds.”

Behind Riveros Jacqui Slack was in third and in control, Suzie Snyder was fourth, and Lizzie Orchard ran her way into fifth.

“Mud!” said Jacqui Slack, as if the one word could describe the whole day.  “Wow, that’s a really tough course.  It’s awesome but you have to keep pedaling all the time, a real power course.  There’s no let up, you can’t rest and in the muddy sections you have to keep pushing all the time.  The competition was amazing here, and it was really close at the end for the third through fifth positions.”

Indeed it was, with just one-minute separating Slack, Snyder, and Orchard.  Carina Wasle finished sixth and covered in mud, Caroline Steffen was seventh in her XTERRA debut, Jessica Simpson placed eight and won the XTERRA Australia title for being the top Aussie, and Renata Bucher and Belinda Hadden rounded out the top 10.

Steffen, of Ironman fame, had a big smile and lots of stories to tell at the finish line.

“It’s awesome.  Lot of fun.  Bit muddy and dirty, but I really enjoyed it,” said Steffen.  “And, I’m happy to be at the finish line in one piece, my coach was so worried.   This is an awesome place, a great event with great organization.   I’ve never run on the beach before.   In Ironman we’re on the road three times longer, and we try to keep a steady heart rate, fast but steady.  Here it’s red-lining the whole time.  My body was screaming, like what are you doing to me.   That was quite painful.  Actually very proud of my performance.  I went off a few times but apparently that’s normal.  And in the forest it’s so green, I actually thought I was in the movie Lord of the Rings and was a bit scared being out there all alone.  There were puddles and mud everywhere, and the sun was coming in through the trees.  To be able to run through the forests was good fun, we don’t get that on the road.  It’s so different.  Swim, bike, and run but just so, so different.  I really enjoyed it.”

Steffen hinted at a possible run for the “Outrigger Double” – an award given to the top amateur and professional athletes with the best combined times at Ironman and XTERRA Worlds.

“Maybe after Kona I’ll go to Maui, why not!” exclaimed Steffen.  “It looks beautiful, and if my performance today was good enough I wouldn’t turn it down.”

XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship
Callala Beach in Jervis Bay, New South Wales, Australia – April 18, 2015
1.5km swim, 30km mountain bike, 10km trail run

Men
1. Braden Currie (NZL) 2:23:37
2. Courtney Aktinson (AUS) 2:26:23
3. Conrad Stoltz (RSA) 2:27:12
4. Olly Shaw (NZL) 2:27:50
5. Ben Allen (AUS) 2:30:54
6. Josh Kenyon (NZL) 2:34:08
7. Brodie Gardner (AUS) 2:39:25
8. Jarad Kohlar (AUS) 2:40:03
9. Kieran McPherson (NZL) 2:41:45
10. Mitchell Ginsbert (RSA) 2:41:53

Women
1. Flora Duffy (BER) 2:36:40
2. Barbara Riveros (CHI) 2:39:47
3. Jacqui Slack (GBR) 2:47:06
4. Suzie Snyder (USA) 2:47:53
5. Lizzie Orchard (NZL) 2:48:08
6. Carina Wasle (AUT) 2:52:36
7. Caroline Steffen (SUI) 2:56:52
8. Jessica Simpson (AUS) 2:57:17
9. Renata Bucher (SUI) 3:08:40
10. Belinda Hadden (AUS) 3:12:34

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Celebrities To Compete, Raise Funds At Life Time South Beach http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/news/celebrities-to-compete-raise-funds-at-life-time-south-beach_114988 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/news/celebrities-to-compete-raise-funds-at-life-time-south-beach_114988#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 22:40:29 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=114988

Photo: Nils Nilsen

Several celebrities along with hundreds of age-group triathletes, are signed up to compete this weekend at Life Time Tri South Beach.

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Photo: Nils Nilsen

Several celebrities along with hundreds of age-group triathletes, are signed up to compete this weekend at Life Time Tri South Beach to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Among the list of celebrities participating are actors, actresses and a retired NBA player. They’ll be joining about 2,500 triathletes racing the April 19 event in South Beach. Trough the partnership with St. Jude, now in its eighth year, individuals, relay teams and corporate teams are encouraged to raise funds for the world-renowned research hospital, which is working to understand, treat and cure childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Celebrities competing in the 2015 event:

–James Marsden, actor from The Notebook, X-Men, 30 Rock and upcoming Westworld

–Collin Egglesfield, actor from The Client List, Something Borrowed, Rizzoli & Isles

–Nathalia Ramos, actress from Bratz, House of Anubis, The Damned, Wildflower

–Josh Hopkins, actor from Cougar Town, Private Practice, Brothers & Sisters, The Perfect Storm

–Abigail Spencer, actress from Oz, The Great and Powerful, Rectify, and upcoming True Detective

–Jason Collins, former professional NBA player, listed on Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in 2014

–Josh Pence, actor from The Social Network, Draft Day, Revenge and upcoming White City

–Parker Young, actor from Enlisted, Suburgatory and upcoming Family Fortune

The Life Time Tri South Beach is the second race in the 2015 Life Time Tri Series of 13 triathlons scheduled across the country from April through October.

RELATED PHOTOS: Nautica South Beach Triathlon

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Meet The 6 USAT Hall Of Fame Inductees http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/news/meet-the-6-usat-hall-of-fame-inductees_114984 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/news/meet-the-6-usat-hall-of-fame-inductees_114984#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 20:30:51 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=114984

Tim DeBoom competes in Kona. Photo: John Segesta

The six inductees will be honored at a banquet on Saturday, April 18 at 5:30 p.m. ET at the Harvard Club in Boston.

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Tim DeBoom competes in Kona. Photo: John Segesta

Olympic bronze medalist Susan Williams, Ironman World Champion Tim DeBoom, multisport contributor Dan Empfield, age-group multisport stars Bill Bell and Karen McKeachie and paratriathlete pioneer Carlos Moleda make up the seventh induction class of the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame. The six inductees will be honored at a banquet on Saturday, April 18 at 5:30 p.m. ET at the Harvard Club in Boston, as part of a celebration of endurance sports for the Boston Marathon. Learn a little bit about each inductee below and see a quote from each of their interviews with fellow hall of famer Bob Babbitt. Listen to all of the podcasts here.

Bill Bell – Age Group Athlete (Palm Desert, Calif.)

At 92 years old, Bill Bell has done it all. He’s competed in over 300 triathlon events since 1982—including 32 Ironman races and 41 Ironman 70.3 races. Of his 32 Ironman finishes, 19 were in Kona where he won his age group in ’94-’97, and ’99. He still competes today.

“I tell this to people all the time: you don’t have to swim two miles, do don’t have to do a marathon, you don’t have to ride a bike a hundred miles, but do something active. Keep the body moving.”

Tim DeBoom – Elite Athlete (Boulder, Colo.)

Tim DeBoom is recognized as one of the greatest American triathletes of all time. He won the Ironman World Championship title back to back in 2001 and 2002, and was the top overall U.S. finisher in Kona for six years. DeBoom competed as a pro from 1995-2012, and now writes for Triathlete magazine and works with his sponsors as a consultant.

“[Kona] gives you a lot of humility, but then it brings you back up. Anytime you cross the finish line, whether it’s in first or last, it brings you back up.”

Dan Empfield – Contributor (Valyermo, Calif.)

Dan Empfield has been a major player in the triathlon world for decades. Both the founder of Quintana Roo and inventor of the tri-specific wetsuit, Empfield has pushed the the boundary for both triathlon gear and the sport itself. He hosted the U.S. Triathlon Series from ’97-’99, has been a large part of USA Triathlon’s election process and is the founder and owner of Slowtwitch.com.

“This is the beauty of multi-sport, if you have the skills to swim, bike and run, if you’re injured in something, you have other things to do to keep you fit, keep you energized, keep you going.”

Karen McKeachie – Age Group Athlete (Ann Arbor, Mich.)

Karen McKeachie has an impressive resume that includes six world age-group championships and 15 age-group national championships. At the 2011 Trek Women’s Triathlon in Howell, she also became the oldest woman to win an overall gender title. Not only was McKeachie an superb athlete, but she is a savvy businesswoman who co-founded Triathlon Today and created the first women’s-specific bike saddle.

“I think now, ‘Why am I still doing it?’, it’s because I love it, and people ask me when I’m going to retire, and I say ‘maybe when I don’t like it anymore.””

Carlos Moleda – Age Group Athlete (Bluffton, S.C.)

Synonymous with wheelchair racing, Carlos Moleda is viewed as a competitor who brought legitimacy to the sport. Moleda was paralyzed in 1989 in the line of duty, and eventually won the handcycle division in Kona four times. A seven-time national champion, he used his knowledge of the sport to help create rules for paratriathlon events.

“The handcycle evolved dramatically, especially in the past 10 years. We went from a sitting upright stance to a laid back position, very radical luge aerodynamic position, which increased the speed and the way the bike handles, there’s always a voice in my head saying ‘I wonder how fast I’d go in Kona if I had that bike?'”

Susan Williams – Elite Athlete (Littleton, Colo.)

Susan Williams has the credentials no other triathlete can claim: she is the only woman American triathlete to win a medal in the Olympics—a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Williams also won the 1996 ITU World Championships as an age-group triathlete before turing pro in 1997. She is now a triathlon coach, and is on the USAT committee for determining qualification criteria for the Olympics.

“[The medal] gave me the opportunity to share my story and encourage other people and teach them and maybe even some people I started coaching because they were lured by that too.”

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Quick Look: TYR’s Redesigned Hurricane http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/gear-tech/quick-look-tyrs-redesigned-hurricane_114981 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/gear-tech/quick-look-tyrs-redesigned-hurricane_114981#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 20:08:32 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=114981

TYR Hurricane Category 5 Wetsuit, $750, Tyr.com
Photo: John David Becker

This redesigned Hurricane incorporates high-end features without the high-end price.

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TYR Hurricane Category 5 Wetsuit, $750, Tyr.com
Photo: John David Becker

This redesigned Hurricane incorporates high-end features without the high-end price.

TYR revamped every wetsuit in its 2015 lineup with the exception of the range-topping Freak of Nature, which comes with a hefty $1,200 price tag. The Category 5 costs $450 less but has many of the same top-end features. The range of motion on the shoulders makes this suit flexible for an unencumbered glide phase of your stroke. Swimmers seeking extra buoyancy will benefit from the elevation panels on the chest, obliques, buttocks and thighs. The side panels serve the dual purpose of providing lift in the water in addition to keeping you streamlined and preventing fishtailing. Catch panels on the forearms are made of a thinner neoprene to provide an enhanced feel for the water.

RELATED – 2015 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Wetsuits

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TriathlEats: Recipes From Triathlete-Chefs http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/nutrition/triathleats-recipes-from-triathlete-chefs_114979 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/nutrition/triathleats-recipes-from-triathlete-chefs_114979#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 19:56:40 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=114979

Photo: David B. Moore

Triathlete-chefs from around the country share healthy recipes to help fuel your training.

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Photo: David B. Moore

Triathlete-chefs from around the country share healthy recipes to help fuel your training.

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Hydration Advice For Your Next Race http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/nutrition/dear-coach-what-advice-do-you-no-longer-give_59365 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/nutrition/dear-coach-what-advice-do-you-no-longer-give_59365#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 19:30:13 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=59365

Photo: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Coach Joel Friel talks about a change in philosophy regarding the amount of fluid you should drink during a race.

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Photo: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Coach Joe Friel talks about a change in philosophy regarding the amount of fluid you should drink during a race.

From the late ’70s through the ’90s, everyone, including me, believed athletes should drink as much as possible during a race, especially a hot one. Sport scientists and the American College of Sports Medicine supported the notion that any loss of weight due to dehydration caused endurance performance to decline. The old saw was that a 2 percent loss of body weight resulted in slowing down 2 percent.

The accumulating body of research in the past few years shows that drinking to maintain body weight was not beneficial to performance, and even dangerous. That advice has led to multiple exercise-related deaths in marathons in the past 20 years due to hyponatremia caused by diluting the body’s stores of sodium. Even drinking a product that contains sodium can still cause dilution. And symptoms in the early stages of hyponatremia, resulting from overdrinking, have also caused many a poor performance in long events such as Ironman triathlons, marathons and ultra-distance races. In fact, we now know that the most dehydrated person in a race is typically the winner—often experiencing as much as a 10 percent loss of body weight.

RELATED: Get Serious About Sodium

So I now advise athletes to drink when thirsty—not to some preconceived, artificial schedule which is as likely to be wrong as right. Thirst has worked quite well for our species for the past 2.6 million years. There’s no reason to believe that it has suddenly stopped being effective. Nor is there reason to believe that it is ever “too late” to start drinking. But it does require some changes in how an athlete thinks about fluids and how he or she trains. All workouts should, in part, be rehearsal sessions for paying attention to thirst. The same must then be done in races.

RELATED: Avoiding Hyponatremia

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Why Equal Representation Of Pro Women In Kona Is The Right Step http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/features/why-equal-representation-of-pro-women-in-kona-is-the-right-step_114964 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/features/why-equal-representation-of-pro-women-in-kona-is-the-right-step_114964#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 15:40:11 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=114964

The women's podium at the 2014 Ironman World Championship: Rachel Joyce (3rd), Mirinda Carfrae (1st) and Daniela Ryf (2nd). Photo: John David Becker

Editor-in-chief Julia Polloreno looks at both sides of the gender equality issue when it comes to professional slot allocation in Kona.

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The women's podium at the 2014 Ironman World Championship: Rachel Joyce (3rd), Mirinda Carfrae (1st) and Daniela Ryf (2nd). Photo: John David Becker

In an article written for Outsideonline.com, Triathlete Editor-in-Chief Julia Polloreno looks at both sides of the gender equality issue when it comes to professional slot allocation at the Ironman World Championship. 

Ironman is a pretty enlightened place when it comes to gender equality. Men and women have enjoyed equal prize purses at Ironman’s World Championship race in Kona since the event started offering cash to winners in 1986. And at each of the 100 Ironman races around the world, the pro men and women split winnings equally. But there’s one major sticking point: there are 15 more slots for pro male competitors at Ironman’s World Championship in Kona than there are for women. In a recent statement, the company stood its ground, defending the decision to not close the gap. But it’s time things evened up for our pros, for the greater good of the sport.

Throughout the event’s history, more male than female pros have toed the line at Kona. Before 2011, pro Kona slots totaled 10 percent of the total number of slots assigned to a particular race. If there were 100 total Kona slots awarded at the IM Wisconsin event, for example, 10 of those slots would go to pro athletes. The number of males and females who earned a spot was then allocated based on the percentage of male and female pros at that specific event. Say 100 pros raced, for example—60 men, 40 women. In that case, six men and four women would qualify. Because more men than women raced, more men earned a spot at Kona.

But in 2011, World Triathlon Corporation, the private equity-owned company that puts on the global Ironman series, instituted a more complicated points-system approach for pros. With an expanding global race portfolio—and each race offering Kona qualifying spots—WTC adjusted the pro qualifying process to get only the most competitive athletes on the Kona start line. With the new points system, the number of pro qualifiers shrank from a peak of 156 pros in 2008 (98 men, 58 women) to 89 pros last year, while the overall number of Kona competitors rose from 1,867 to 2,301. Now the top 50 pro men, as determined by the newer points-based ranking system, get to go to Kona. But only the top 35 women do. For a professional world championship event, the numbers seem arbitrary.

Read more: Outsideonline.com

RELATED PHOTOS – 2014 Ironman World Championship: Women’s Pro Race

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5 Little Ways To Shave Big Time In Your Next Triathlon http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/training/5-little-ways-to-shave-big-time-in-your-next-triathlon_76703 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/training/5-little-ways-to-shave-big-time-in-your-next-triathlon_76703#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 15:00:02 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=76703

Sometimes it’s the little things that help you break your own speed records. Try these moves to get ahead.

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Sometimes it’s the little things that help you break your own speed records. Try these moves to get ahead.

You put in as many miles as the next athlete and your bike is just as nice. So why did he pass you before the run? He might know some bike handling subtleties that you don’t … yet.

“Sometimes getting faster is about doing the easy things,” says pro cyclist Carmen Small. “I did a triathlon a while back and was surprised to see all of the places that people were giving up speed because they weren’t doing certain basics.”

Stop throwing away speed. Use these tips from roadies and track cyclists to come out ahead on race day:

Take a smarter turn. “I passed two or three people in a corner because I was carrying my speed and they weren’t,” Small says. Smooth cornering is about physics and practice. Start by figuring out a good, smooth line through a turn—try starting a little wide and cutting the corner—and do any braking before you get into it. Bring your inside leg up and shift your weight onto the outside pedal. At the same time, “countersteer” by applying a little pressure with the inside hand. Look where you’re going, be clear about it, carve your turn, and pedal out of it.

RELATED: Control Your Bike With Confidence

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Quick Set Friday: All Strong http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/training/quick-set-friday-strong_96267 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/training/quick-set-friday-strong_96267#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 13:25:41 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=96267

Photo: Shutterstock.com

A new swim workout from coach Sara McLarty to take to the pool this weekend.

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Photo: Shutterstock.com

Triathlete contributor and swimming all-star Sara McLarty has a blog with more than 500 creative workouts used in her Masters swim program in Clermont, Fla. We’ll feature a workout every Friday so you have new ideas to take to the pool. On her blog (Mastersswimworkoutsbysaramclarty.blogspot.com), you can pick a Monday set for a long distance focus, a Wednesday set for sprint training, or Friday for creative open water skills.

A:
300 swim/100 kick
6×50 @ :50 (IM switch)
6×100 pull @ 1:20 (all strong)
6×50 @ :45 (25 Tarzan drill/25 swim)
4×150 pull @ 2:00 (all strong)
6×50 @ :40 swim (25 FAST!/25 easy)
3×200 pull 2:40 (all strong)
6×50 @ :60 swim (all from a dive, FAST!)
2×300 @ 4:00 (all strong)
300 cool-down (50 kick/100 swim)
*4300 total*

RELATED – Ask Coach Sara: Drills To Help With Open-Water Swimming

B:
300 swim/100 kick
6×50 @ 1:10 (25 free/25 non-free)
6×100 pull @ 1:55 (all strong)
6×50 @ 1:05 (25 Tarzan drill/25 swim)
4×150 pull @ 2:50 (all strong)
6×50 @ :60 swim (25 FAST!/25 easy)
3×200 pull 3:45 (all strong)
300 cool-down (50 kick/100 swim)
*3400 total*

RELATED – Ask Coach Sara: What Is The Point Of Longer Sets?

C:
300 swim/100 kick
6×50 w/ :15 rest (25 free/25 non-free)
6×100 pull w/ :30 rest (all strong)
6×50 w/ :20 rest (25 Tarzan drill/25 swim)
4×150 pull w/ :30 rest (all strong)
300 cool-down (50 kick/100 swim)
*2500 total*

Tarzan Drill:
Swim freestyle with your head out of the water. Look forward as if you were sighting a buoy or landmark in open water. Keep your head out of the water for the entire 25 to strengthen your neck muscles for triathlon swimming!

For swimming advice from Sara McLarty, check out “Ask Coach Sara.”

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Video: Conrad Stoltz On What Makes Off-Road Tri Special http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/video/video-conrad-stoltz-on-what-makes-off-road-tri-special_114960 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/video/video-conrad-stoltz-on-what-makes-off-road-tri-special_114960#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 21:33:46 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=114960

The four-time XTERRA world champion chats about what to expect from this weekend's XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championships.

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Four-time XTERRA world champion Conrad Stoltz sits down in Australia to chat about the unique aspects of off-road triathlon and what to expect from this weekend’s XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championships.

RELATED: Flora Duffy Looking To Defend XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championships Crown

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Win An Entry (And VIP Hotel Stay) To The Turtle Crawl Triathlon! http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/news/win-a-race-entry-and-vip-hotel-stay-to-the-turtle-crawl-triathlon_114954 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/news/win-a-race-entry-and-vip-hotel-stay-to-the-turtle-crawl-triathlon_114954#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 21:13:34 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=114954

The 13th Annual Jekyll Island Turtle Crawl Triathlon, 5K and NestFest will take place on Georgia’s beautiful Jekyll Island on Saturday,

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It’s sea turtle nesting season! Which means the 13th Annual Jekyll Island Turtle Crawl Triathlon (with sprint or Olympic-distance options), 5K and NestFest will take place on Georgia’s beautiful Jekyll Island on Saturday, May 16. Go to our Facebook page for a chance to win an entry to the race, plus a three-night VIP stay at the brand new Westin Jekyll Island. The winner, who will be chosen on April 21, can choose to race the sprint or Olympic-distance triathlon or 5K. Flights and other travel are not included. Entries must be received by April 20, 2015 11:59 P.M. Pacific Time to be eligible to win

The all-day event kicks off the annual turtle nesting season in Georgia’s Golden Isles. As part of the weekend’s festivities, you can watch the Georgia Sea Turtle Center staff release a rehabilitated sea turtle back into the wild.

Because the island is home to research and rehabilitation centers for endangered turtles, a portion of the race proceeds will benefit conservation, preservation and education programs.

Weekend details:
Saturday, May 16, 2015

o   International distance triathlon, 7:00 a.m., Great Dunes Park
o   Sprint triathlon, 7:30 a.m., Great Dunes Park
o   5K run, 8:15 a.m., parking lot at Great Dunes park
o   NestFest, 4:00-6:00 p.m., new Jekyll Island Beach Village

For more information, visit jekyllisland.com/project/turtle-crawl-triathlon.

Race Registration Deadline: May 8, 2015

Race Registration Website: http://www.active.com/jekyll-island-ga/running/distance-running-races/turtle-crawl-triathlon-and-5k-2015

Read the complete rules and regulations before entering.

*Enter to win here.*

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Endurance House Opens 9th Franchise Store In Laguna Niguel http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/news/endurance-house-opens-9th-franchise-store-in-laguna-niguel_114947 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/news/endurance-house-opens-9th-franchise-store-in-laguna-niguel_114947#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 20:47:59 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=114947

Endurance House will open its ninth location this Friday, April 17 in Laguna Niguel, Calif.

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Endurance House will open its ninth location this Friday, April 17 in Laguna Niguel, Calif. Endurance House is a specialty retail store designed for endurance athletes, which promises to give customers the opportunity to learn, shop and be a part of a community.

To celebrate the grand opening, Endurance House will be hosting a weekend-long event through Sunday with hourly giveaways. Additionally, the store will donate 10 percent of the total weekend sales to the Special Olympics Southern California-Orange County.

“We are excited to bring Endurance House and its unwavering passion for endurance sports to Orange County,” Jeff Hubeli, owner of Endurance House Orange County, said in a press release. “Our grand opening weekend will be a great way for the community to see the depth of our product and group fitness offerings.”

Endurance House’s other locations include Oceanside, Calif., Westminster, Colo., Alpharetta, Ga., Fishers, Ind., Zionsville, Ind., Delafield, Wisc., Madison, Wisc., and Middleton, Wisc.

For more information, including grand opening hours, visit Endurancehouseorangecounty.com.

 

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Clean Your Bike In 10 Minutes http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/gear-tech/clean-your-bike-in-10-minutes_114939 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/gear-tech/clean-your-bike-in-10-minutes_114939#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 20:31:23 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=114939

Photo: John David Becker

Taking 10 minutes to clean your machine is critical to its performance and will help prolong the life of your components.

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Photo: John David Becker


Try to resist the urge to immediately flop onto the couch with your favorite recovery snack after getting home from a soggy ride—taking 10 minutes to clean your machine is critical to its performance and will help prolong the life of your components. 

Wash it off.

Remove the wheels for better access to your bike’s nooks and crannies and give your ride a light rinse to wash off road crud. Try to avoid spraying water directly into sealed components like the bottom bracket and headset.

RELATED: 5 Worthy Bike Investments

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Top Names Set To Compete At 2015 Ironman 70.3 New Orleans http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/news/top-names-set-to-compete-at-2015-ironman-70-3-new-orleans_114932 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/news/top-names-set-to-compete-at-2015-ironman-70-3-new-orleans_114932#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 18:31:04 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=114932

Potts finished second at Ironman 70.3 California last month. Photo: John David Becker

With the North American triathlon season picking up steam, several top pros are choosing to make the start at this Sunday's Ironman 70.3

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Potts finished second at Ironman 70.3 California last month. Photo: John David Becker

With the North American triathlon season picking up steam, several top pros are choosing to make the start at this Sunday’s Ironman 70.3 New Orleans. The race ranks low on the Kona Pro Ranking scale (it’s a P-500 level race that will hand out $30,000 of prize money), but serves as a good opportunity to compete in a historic city and sits on the ideal spot on the calendar ahead of next month’s lucrative Ironman 70.3 U.S. Championships in St. George (set for May 2). This event has dealt with serious weather issues in the past, and it looks like this year may be no different. Organizers have already moved the expo and registration indoors, and Sunday’s forecast calls for thunderstorms.

Men’s Race
There are a handful of men who could take the title on Sunday, with last year’s podium of Americans Andy Potts (1st) and Ben Hoffman (2nd), and Canadian Trevor Wurtele (3rd) all coming back to compete in 2015. Australia’s Tim Reed will likely mix up the podium this year. He’s already had a successful start to 2015, with an Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific title as the highlight. Other names to watch for include Drew Scott (USA), James Seear (AUS), Matt Chrabot (USA) and Eric Limkemann (USA).

Women’s Race
With defending champion Lauren Barnett (USA) not on the start list, 2013 winner Haley Chura (USA) wears the top number for the women. Americans Caitlin Snow, Lauren Goss and Sarah Piampiano are all capable of turning in top performances, but there are several up-and-comers on the start list who could mix up the podium.

See the complete start lists below.

RELATED: Ben Hoffman’s Race Week Bike Workout

Men
1 Andy Potts USA
2 Trevor Wurtele CAN
3 Ben Hoffman USA
4 Tim Reed AUS
5 James Seear AUS
6 Matt Chrabot USA
7 Drew Scott USA
8 Chris McDonald USA
9 Jordan Monnink CAN
10 Eric Limkemann USA
11 Dylan Gleeson CAN
12 Raul Furtado BRA
13 AJ Baucco USA
14 Evert Scheltinga NED
15 Dan Harris USA
16 Jeff Manson CAN
17 Keith Butsko USA
18 Brent McBurney USA
19 Mark Bowstead NZL
20 Sean Sullivan USA
21 Mike Hermanson USA
22 Henrique Oliveira BRA
23 Mark Saroni USA
24 Nat Glackin USA
25 Jonathan Shearon USA
26 Cody Beals CAN
27 Keith Kotar USA
28 Robert Wade IRL
29 Cédric Boily CAN
30 Joe Skipper GBR
31 Botond Racz HUN
32 Rodrigo Acevedo COL
33 Andreas Thissen GER

Women
41 Haley Chura USA
42 Sarah Piampiano USA
43 Caitlin Snow USA
44 Anna Cleaver NZL
45 Laura Siddall GBR
46 Lauren Goss USA
47 Brittany Pierce USA
48 Tami Ritchie USA
49 Danielle Mack USA
50 Molly Roohi USA
51 Jennifer Spieldenner USA
52 Ariane Monticeli BRA
53 Ashley Clifford USA
54 Lesley Smith USA
55 Natasha Mendez DOM
56 Sarah Cameto USA
57 Leslie LaMacchia USA
58 Alice Hector GBR
59 Kendra Goffredo USA
60 Tamara Kozulina UKR
61 Maggie Rusch USA
62 Katy Blakemore USA
63 Nicole Luse USA
64 Hallie Blunck USA
65 Dani Fischer USA
66 Alexandra Gordichuk CAN

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Recipe Of The Week: Thai Peanut Noodles And Veggie Slaw http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/nutrition/recipe-of-the-week-thai-peanut-noodles-and-veggie-slaw_114929 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/nutrition/recipe-of-the-week-thai-peanut-noodles-and-veggie-slaw_114929#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 17:22:47 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=114929

Thai peanut noodles and veggie saw, topped with salmon.

Top with your favorite protein to round out a meal packed with nutrition and flavor, ready to support your training schedule.

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Thai peanut noodles and veggie saw, topped with salmon.

Creamy peanut noodles meet bright notes of mint and cilantro in this crisp veggie slaw for the perfect pairing. Top with pan seared salmon, grilled chicken, steak or shrimp to round out a meal packed with nutrition and flavor, ready to support your training schedule.

Ingredients

Makes 4 servings (as pictured with salmon)

20-24 ounces salmon, cut into 4 portions, skin on
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp agave
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp fresh cracked pepper

8 ounces Pad Thai (thick rice) noodles
1/3 cup all-natural crunchy peanut butter
2 TBSP stir-fry seasoning (from package)
3 TBSP warm water
2 TBSP agave
Juice of 2 limes

1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, sliced into thin sticks
1 cup sugar snap peas, cut lengthwise
1 heaping cup mung bean sprouts
2 TBSP fresh chopped cilantro
2 TBSP fresh chopped mint
Juice of 1 lime

RELATED: Snap Pea And Scallion Stir-Fry Recipe

Preparation

1. To prepare the salmon, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Heat a large, oven-safe skillet over high heat.
2. Drizzle the salmon with the olive oil and agave, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sear salmon flesh side down for 1 minute, until a golden brown crust forms.
3. Flip the salmon and immediately transfer to the oven. Bake for approximately 5 minutes, or until the salmon is just underdone in the middle. Remove from the oven, transfer to a plate, and tent with foil.
4. To prepare the noodles, bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the noodles on a rolling boil for 5-6 minutes, until al dente. Transfer to a colander and rinse with cold water (to prevent noodles from sticking). Let sit in the colander so the water drains completely.
5. To make the peanut sauce, in large bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, stir-fry seasoning, water, agave and lime juice. Transfer the noodles to the bowl and toss until coated with the peanut sauce.
6. To make the slaw, toss the veggies, mint, cilantro and lime juice in a bowl.
7. To serve, top the noodles with the slaw and salmon.

More recipes from Jessica Cerra.

Jessica Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif., and the co-founder of Harmony Bar. A former professional XTERRA triathlete, Cerra now races for Twenty16 Women’s Professional Cycling Team.

Get the latest in triathlon training, gear, nutrition and news sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for Triathlete’s newsletter.

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Power2Max North America Lowers Power Meter Prices http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/news/power2max-north-america-lowers-prices_114925 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/news/power2max-north-america-lowers-prices_114925#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 16:53:18 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=114925

The Classic FSA Gossamer Megaexo will go to $599.

Power2Max announced today that prices for its range of power meters will be lowered by up to 21 percent for North American customers.

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The Classic FSA Gossamer Megaexo will go to $599.

As part of a growing trend of power meters becoming more affordable, Power2Max announced today that prices for its range of power meters will be lowered by up to 21 percent for North American customers.

The entry-level Power2Max Classic with FSA Gossamer Megaexo cranks is now available for $599—that’s for a full-featured power meter with cranks. The popular Type S power meter is now available starting at $899. The power meters are designed, engineered and manufactured in Germany and are used by pro triathletes Nils Frommhold and Tim Don.

“We are happy to pass the benefit of a strong dollar on to our customers,” said Nicolas Theopold, CEO of Power2Max North America, in a press release. “At $599, the Power2Max Classic with FSA Gossamer cranks offers unseen value for money to our customers and will enable even more cyclists to ride with [a] power meter.”

The price adjustment was facilitated by recent increases in the value of the U.S. dollar and is reflected across the entire range of Power2Max products. With models for 17 different crank sets and versions for road, MTB, and track, the company offers a wide selection of models.

As the power meter market gets flooded with more options, several other brands, such as PowerTap and Pioneer, have also been dramatically cutting prices of power meters since last season. In the first 10 years of power meters, most were in the range of $1,500 and up, but the recent price drops have made riding with power a possibility for more triathletes.

RELATED – 2015 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Computers And Power Meters

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Triathlife: Lessons In Making My Family My Top Priority http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/features/triathlife-lessons-in-making-my-family-my-top-priority_114920 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/features/triathlife-lessons-in-making-my-family-my-top-priority_114920#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:30:55 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=114920

Illustration by Matt Collins.

Pro Jesse Thomas writes about the realization that family balance needs to be just as important as the pursuit of triathlon.

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Illustration by Matt Collins.

Pro Jesse Thomas writes about the realization that family balance needs to be just as important as the pursuit of triathlon.

Three years ago, a very successful pro triathlete, whom I respect for his athletic and professional accomplishments, his sense of family and his down-to-earth personality, was about to race the last race of his long career in Kona. I’d gotten to know him a fair bit over my first year and a half in the sport. By chance, I saw him on Ali’i Drive an hour before one of his last spins before the race, and he invited me out to keep him company. I was excited to catch a glimpse of how he prepared to race on one of the biggest stages of the sport, and also for the last time of his career.

He was relaxed and, maybe not surprisingly, a little reflective. We talked about many aspects of his career and the sport.

On our way back into town, I finally asked him, “So what’s the one piece of advice you’d give to a new guy starting his pro career in the sport?”

He paused for a while, and looked down the Queen K. I waited for some amazing training secret, a sponsorship or business strategy, or some profound mental approach he’d taken to be so successful. And then, while still looking ahead, he surprised me by saying, “Protect your family.”

I paused, not really sure what he meant, or how to reply. After a few moments, he continued, “Of all the ups and downs and accomplishments and failures I’ve had in this sport, the main thing I wish I would have done a better job of was integrating my family into my career.”

He explained that when he started racing professionally he was single. The travel, the long hours, the dedication and sacrifice were expected and tolerable. Then he met the woman of his dreams, got married, and while it got more complicated, it was still manageable. He and his wife were independent and highly supportive of each other.

But when they had children, the balance became remarkably harder. They couldn’t just be co-independent anymore. He said, without realizing it, that he almost started living two lives—one in the sport and one at home. It was easier at first to let those lives exist separately, because wrapping them together was very difficult, required sacrifices to his independence and changes to his system that he didn’t necessarily want to make at the time. He was so used to the habits he built his success on that it scared him to change for fear of the effect it might have on his racing and success.

He said that, looking back, he could have made it better by trying harder initially to make his family a more habitual part of his triathlon routine, to integrate them into his racing life, and maybe to just pull back on some of the things that made the balance difficult. It would have been tougher at first, and might have affected his initial preparation, but it might have paid dividends down the road. Instead, as the years went by, the double-life divide deepened, and ultimately, it made his career and family life harder, creating a friction between the two that wore on him. And while there were many reasons for his retirement, part of it was his desire to close this divide.

I remember talking with my wife, Lauren, about the conversation. At the time, I was new to the sport, we were naïve and I admittedly underappreciated his thoughts. “It can’t be that hard,” I thought. We’re highly communicative, independent and have a deep mutual respect for each other. Plus, both of us are professional athletes, so we’ll have a better understanding of what it takes. We can make it work without much fuss.

RELATED: 7 Tips For Balancing Training With Life

Boy was I wrong. Three years later with a toddler, two professional careers—not to mention a co-owned business—it’s freaking hard. None of the characteristics that made our relationship a strong one—respect, independence, communication—have changed; we’re just living in a tougher environment.

Like most people experience with their careers, relationships and passions, it got a lot harder to balance everything with a child. Somewhat serendipitously, I broke my foot just weeks before our son was born. So for a maternity period, we got to experience (survive) those first few months without the strict responsibilities of professional careers.

But last year, as both Lauren and I dove fully back into competing, the reality of that conversation hit me for the first time. I was training a lot. I was traveling a lot. Lauren was doing the same. Picky Bars grew and had its own issues that needed our attention. Jude went from a 20-hours-of-sleep-a-day blob to a super fun tiny human that we needed to—and wanted to—spend lots of time with. We had too much to do.

And while we got through it, it was hard. Really hard. I realize in hindsight that the craziness of last year isn’t sustainable. In some ways, I began leading two different lives. And if I want my career in triathlon to be sustainable, and if I want myself and my family to be at its best, then something needs to give. I need to protect my family.

This column is called “Triathlife” because it’s about my constant balance of sport, work and family. Admittedly, most of my topics revolve around the sport/work side of the equation, but I believe that the best, most balanced pursuit of each results in the most success across all three. And I think that family is something that can (and easily does) get pushed to the subconscious when triathletes of any level pursue our sport with the dedication and passion that it elicits. It’s so easy to look at your schedule and slot in the time required for training, recovery, races, etc. It’s all at the forefront of your mind because it’s important to you. When you add work to the plate, it’s easy for family time to be small to non-existent. And it’s not because you don’t care—I think it’s just the result of trying to race a long ways across three different disciplines!

I clearly care about my family, but I still subconsciously fall into this trap. So this year, while I’ve still got big goals in the sport and for Picky Bars, I’ve also made family goals that I’ll pursue just as vigorously. Some involve better integrating Lauren and Jude into my triathlon routine, and some involve doing less of the things that keep me away from them, whether it be training, travel and/or work. I do this knowing that my family will benefit as a result, but also with the hope that that leads to better results in all aspects of my life.

I certainly don’t have all the answers, and figuring out exactly how and what to do will be an ongoing project that Lauren, Jude and I will pursue together. But it starts by coming to the realization that the family balance, time and consideration needs to be just as much in the forefront of my mind as my pursuit of triathlon. And hopefully, instead of finishing my career wishing I had tried harder to figure it out, I can tell the next up-and-coming pro all the tips I learned along the way about how best to make it all work.

Jesse Thomas (@jessemthomas) is a four-time Wildflower Long Course champion and the CEO of Picky Bars (Pickybars.com).

More “Triathlife” from Jesse Thomas.

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3 Portable Massage Tools http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/gear-tech/affordable-portable-massage-tools_114915 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/gear-tech/affordable-portable-massage-tools_114915#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 21:19:05 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=114915

A variety of small yet effective portable massage tools allow you to continue keeping the kinks out on the go—each for $25 or less.

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Can’t afford to invite your favorite massage therapist along on your vacation or to your destination race? Fear not. A variety of small yet effective portable massage tools allow you to continue keeping the kinks out on the go—each for $25 or less.

RAD Roller

$25, Radroller.com
Best for: Neck, back, glutes, arches of the foot

The size of twin tennis balls, the RAD Roller fits on either side of the vertebrae to relieve training (and travel) tension, and the density is ideal for relieving the tough fascia along the arch of the foot and hard-to-get glute muscles.

RELATED – Triathlete Gift Guide: $25 Or Less

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Flora Duffy Looking To Defend XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championships Crown http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/news/flora-duffy-looking-to-defend-xterra-asia-pacific-championships-crown_114909 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/news/flora-duffy-looking-to-defend-xterra-asia-pacific-championships-crown_114909#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 20:07:21 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=114909

Duffy is balancing an ITU and XTERRA schedule. Photo: XTERRA

Bermuda's Flora Duffy has been on a tear since winning the 2014 XTERRA world title and looks to keep pace on the road to Maui—and Rio.

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Duffy is balancing an ITU and XTERRA schedule. Photo: XTERRA

If reigning XTERRA world champion Flora Duffy (BER) is feeling any pressure to defend her XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, she’s not showing any signs ahead of the race on Saturday.

The 27-year-old Bermuda native was upbeat when talking to Triathlete.com on Wednesday afternoon from her temporary base in Wollongong, New South Walesjust four days removed from finishing fifth on Queensland’s Gold Coast in the third round of the ITU World Triathlon Series (WTS).

“I’m feeling surprisingly good,” Duffy told Triathlete.com. “You never really know how you’re going to come off a race until you start the next raceespecially when they’re a week apart.

“But I’ve spent the past few days maximizing recovery, while trying not to lose my edge and I think it’s paying off.”

This is not the first time this season Duffy, who will immediately fly back to her off-season training base of Stellenbosch, South Africa on Sunday morning before competing in the fourth round of the WTS in Cape Town the following week (April 25-26), has backed up.

Earlier in the year, Duffy started her season with a three races (XTERRA Philippines, Cape Town ATU Sprint Triathlon and XTERRA South Africa) in as many weekswinning all three in the processand prior to Gold Coast, she took third during the opening round of the WTS in Abu Dhabi in March.

“I’ve had a really good start to the season,” said Duffy. “I was very pleased with how the race played out on the Gold Coast and to have a small group away on the bike is my ideal situation. We had enough time on the chasing group so didn’t have to worry too much about all the strong runners running up.

“One of them caught me, but it was pretty much a solid day all around and I’m happy with fifth.”

With her sights clearly set on defending her world title in October, as well as becoming a three-time Olympian if she can make the top 55 on the Olympic simulation list, Duffy feels she is certainly “headed in the right direction.”

But first Duffy has to navigate through a red-hot field this weekend. With a $50,000 prize purse on offer, the world’s best have descended Down Under. The race starts on Callala Beach for the 1.5km ocean swim, followed by a 30km mountain bike and 10km trail run.

RELATED PHOTOS: 2014 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championships

Aside from an elite men’s lineup that includes Australians Courtney Atkinson and Ben Allen, along with Braden Currie (NZL) and Conrad Stoltz (RSA), the elite women’s start list includes five of the top 10 from last year’s world championships, including Duffy, Barbara Riveros (CHI), who finished second to Duffy in Maui, Suzie Snyder (USA), Jacqui Slack (GBR) and Carina Wasle (AUT).

Even Ironman champion Caroline Steffen (SUI) has signed on to race.

“Anytime there’s a lot of prize money up for grabs the pros will come,” admitted Duffy, who is currently ranked fifth in the world in the ITU rankings. “This race is a very strong field, especially with Barbara Riveros jumping in the at the last minute and she was second to me at worlds, and she’s probably my main competition.

“Then there’s the wild card, Caroline Steffen, who’s solid all around. Obviously, she’s won numerous Ironman races, but I’m very unsure about her abilities on the mountain bike.

“Then there’s Jacqui, and Suzie Snyder is looking pretty strong with her win last week in [XTERRA] New Zealand.”

Duffy blitzed the field last year, winning by more than three and a half minutes over her nearest rival across what she describes as a “fast, but challenging” course.

“It’s a fast course with lots of twisting and turning single track,” explained Duffy. “It’s not technical from a rocky standpoint, nor does it feature any crazy descents, but you have to be able to handle your bike through some tight turns at high speed.”

For Duffy, her race plan is simple.

“There’s really no surprises for me,” she admitted. “I need to have a solid swim and come out with the lead men and then just ride my bike as smooth as possible with as little braking and as much pedaling as possible.

“The mountain bike has been one of my strengths in XTERRA and I need to focus on that.

“I have a lot of confidence in my run at the moment and just need to put all three disciplines together and I should be in a pretty good spot.”

RELATED PHOTOS: 2014 XTERRA World Championships

Aaron S. Lee is a professional cycling and triathlon columnist for Eurosport and a guest contributor for Triathlete.com

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2015 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: T1/Swim Beginner Essentials http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/gear-tech/2015-triathlete-buyers-guide-t1swim-beginner-essentials-2_114907 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2015/04/gear-tech/2015-triathlete-buyers-guide-t1swim-beginner-essentials-2_114907#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 16:51:26 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=114907

New to triathlon? We take a look at key pieces of gear you'll need to get through the swim and T1.

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