Triathlete.com http://triathlon.competitor.com Triathlon Training, Gear, Nutrition, Photos, Race Results & Calendars Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:38:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 5 Things We Like About Mark Allen’s New Book http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/features/5-things-like-mark-allens-new-book_108423 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/features/5-things-like-mark-allens-new-book_108423#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:38:09 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=108423

Six-time Ironman world champion Mark Allen released his new book, The Art of Competition, in August.

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After a successful campaign on Kickstarter.com, six-time Ironman world champion Mark Allen (this year marks the 25th anniversary of his “Iron War” race with Dave Scott) released his new book, The Art of Competition, in August. An intriguing juxtaposition of nature photographs and Allen’s philosophical musings, The Art of Competition addresses themes such as overcoming challenges, dealing with fear and embracing possibility in improbable moments.

“The book came out of years of racing triathlons, out of immense personal reflection, and addresses the simple premise that behind all great performances there is a personal or human element that is a great force we can all learn to embrace and harness for creating excellence,” Allen says. Here’s what we like about this new coffee table book.

1. The inspired quotes from a triathlon legend.

Allen came up with the idea while on a retreat with shaman Brant Secunda in Japan. “The day before we were going to do our pilgrimage to Mount Fuji, I was resting at the countryside hotel where we were staying. Just as I was about to fall asleep, a quote came to me that seemed to speak about the mindset that so many people had asked me to explain since I have retired from racing,” Allen says. “Then another quote came, and another! In about two days I had written down almost 50 quotes about competing that were more thought-provoking than I had ever been able to describe before, and I added another 40 over the next month.”

2. The epic nature photography

Each quote is paired with a gorgeous two-page photograph taken by photographer Nick Borelli of Santa Cruz, Calif. The two met while checking out a local surf break, and Allen later gave Borelli tips for an upcoming century ride. “Some months went by, and one night I got an email from Nick that he had completed his ride and that he wanted to thank me for the suggestions I gave him on how to train for it,” Allen recalls. “At the bottom of the email was his web address. I clicked on it assuming it would be a bunch of surf photos. But they were all incredible photos from nature. They captured the ‘feel’ of how you are affected when you immerse yourself in a natural setting; they were what I was searching for.”

3. It’s about life.

In fact, there isn’t a single triathlon race shot in the book. The themes Allen addresses are universal and can be applied in everyday life. “There is not one photo of a person, not one reference to a number in this book,” Allen says. “It addresses the human experience and ways we can all move toward really embracing that in any endeavor to experience life at its fullest.”

RELATED – Coached: Triathlon Tips From Mark Allen

4. It gives back.

Brant Secunda, a Huichol shaman and healer, was Allen’s mentor who helped him find the internal strength to become an Ironman champion.
“Secunda teaches a way of life that comes from the Huichol Indians in central Mexico,” Allen says. “And a huge part of that emphasis is to connect with nature to empower and enliven you as a human being.” The Huichol Foundation, founded by Secunda and his son Nico, will receive 10 percent of all profits from book sales. The foundation helps preserve the Huichol Indian culture and traditions in Mexico.

5. It was crowdfunded.

Allen may be long retired, but people have a hearty appetite for his wisdom and experience. His Kickstarter.com campaign was funded in 33 days. Depending on the pledge amount, supporters received one of 3,000 copies of the 10-inch-by-10-inch hardcover regular edition, or one of 600 limited-edition copies signed and numbered by Allen.

$50, Art-of-competition.com

RELATED: 3 Ways Mark Allen Has Changed Tim O’Donnell’s Training

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Life Time Tri Finale Set For Sunday In Oceanside http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/news/life-time-tri-finale-set-sunday-oceanside_108413 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/news/life-time-tri-finale-set-sunday-oceanside_108413#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:55:53 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=108413

Collins and Kaye won the 2014 Panasonic NYC Triathlon.

Americans Ben Collins and Alicia Kaye will look for the series' titles this weekend in Southern California.

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Collins and Kaye won the 2014 Panasonic NYC Triathlon.

Americans Ben Collins and Alicia Kaye will look for the series’ titles this weekend in Southern California.

The final event in the 2014 Life Time Tri Series will take place this Sunday, Oct. 26 at Oceanside Harbor near San Diego, the same venue used for the popular Ironman 70.3 California every spring. Nearly 1,000 athletes will be participating in the two distances: international/Olympic (1500-meter swim, 40K bike, 10K run) and sprint (400-meter swim, 15-mile bike, 3.1-mile run).

Professional athletes, who will be racing the Olympic-distance race will be competing for their share of a $450,000. This is the second year the final race of the Life Time Tri Series, presented by Toyota, will be held in Oceanside, and the race also serves as the final event in the Toyota Triple Crown Series. The individual race awards will total $200,000, while an additional $200,000 will be awarded to the overall series (male and female) champions this weekend. In addition, as part of the Toyota Triple Crown Series, the top female or male triathlete with the best overall time who competes in Life Time Tri Minneapolis, New York City Triathlon and Life Time Tri Oceanside will be awarded $50,000. (The winner will be declared at Oceanside using an “equalizer” time handicap format.)

RELATED PHOTOS: 2014 Ironman 70.3 California

The Course
The course will start with a swim in Oceanside Harbor before riding along the San Luis Rey Mission Expressway. The run course follows white, sandy beaches, allowing for a spectator-fueled finish adjacent to the historic Oceanside Pier.

The Pro Race
In the men’s race, topping the leaderboard in the series is American Ben Collins, whose season has included victories in New York City and Minneapolis and podium finishes in Chicago and Dallas. Second in the series is American Cam Dye, who has won the series the last two years. Known for his bike strength, Dye has had victories at Life Time Tri CapTex in Dallas and in South Beach this season. Outside of the race for the series, the battle for the Oceanside title will be competitive with ITU and 70.3 world champion Javier Gomez (ESP), 2013 Kona runner-up Luke McKenzie (AUS) and four-time Olympian Hunter Kemper (USA) all making the start. Other top racers this weekend will be Americans Tommy Zaferes, a retired Olympic trials swimmer who races mostly on the draft-legal ITU circuit, and Joe Maloy, who’s had two top-10 performances at ITU World Cup races over the past month, Barrett Brandon and Eric Lagerstrom.

In the women’s race, Canadian-turned-American Alicia Kaye tops the overall series rankings (men and women). The defending series champion and Toyota Triple Crown winner won in Chicago, New York and Minneapolis this season as well as podiumed at CapTex and South Beach. She was also the runner-up at the extremely competitive Hy-Vee 5150 Elite Cup this year. Ranked second is 2012 Olympian Radka Vodickova of the Czech Republic, who was the runner-up to Kaye in Chicago, New York and Minneapolis. Ranked third is American Jillian Petersen, who had podium finishes in New York and Minneapolis this season. Also look for two-time Life Time series champ Sarah Haskins to race well after battling an injury much of the season; for super-swimmer Sara McLarty to be first out of the water; and for 2012 Olympian and Canadian Paula Findlay, who’s coached by Siri Lindley, to nab a top spot. Other Americans to watch for include up-and-comer Katie Hursey and multiple Ironman winner Mary Beth Ellis.

RELATED PHOTOS: 2014 Life Time Tri Minneapolis

Pro Men
1 Cameron Dye
2 Javier Gomez
3 Ben Collins
4 Hunter Kemper
5 Luke McKenzie
7 Barrett Brandon
10 Eric Lagerstrom
11 Joe Maloy
13 Davide Giardini
14 Tom Eickelberg
15 Yu Hsiao
16 Chris Foster
17 Jim Lubinski
18 Felipe Guedes
19 Sam Holmes
20 Kyle Hughes
21 Daniel Meehan
22 Andrew Mueller
23 Matthew Organista
24 Jason Pedersen
25 Joel-Tyler Rodgers
26 Fernando Toldi
28 Alex Willis
29 Matthew Wisthoff
30 Tommy Zaferes
31 Dylan Bridges-Oliva

Pro Women
51 Alicia Kaye
52 Mary Beth Ellis
53 Sara McLarty
54 Jillian Petersen
55 Abby Geurink
56 Lauren Brandon
57 Radka Vodickova
58 Sarah Haskins
61 Emily Cocks
62 Paula Findlay
63 Beth Gerdes
64 Amanda Hahn
65 Katie Hursey
66 Elizabeth Noey

For more information, visit Lifetimetri.com.

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6 Quick Brick Tricks http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/training/quick-brick-tricks_63056 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/training/quick-brick-tricks_63056#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:41:37 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=63056

Craig Alexander running in Boulder, Colo. Photo: Nick Salazar

Try these tips from Lifesport coach Dan Smith during your next brick workout.

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Craig Alexander running in Boulder, Colo. Photo: Nick Salazar

Bike-to-run transitions require specificity—it takes time for the brain and spinal cord to adjust to the new neuromuscular patterns needed for running off the bike. With practice, efficiency increases, along with your ability to pace yourself better. Try these tips from Lifesport coach Dan Smith during your next brick workout.

Brick Training Tips:

- Use brick sessions to practice race nutrition at race-specific heart rates. Make sure you are fueled and hydrated.

- Finish off 1–2 rides per week with at least a short run off the bike.

- Have mental cues ready for the run, such as “quick feet,” “loose shoulders,” “open lungs.”

- Commit to the run, regardless of how you feel on the bike. Often a lack of energy can be attributed to low fuel. Have a gel 15–20 minutes before getting off the bike.

- The legs often feel heavy because they’re fatigued and now have to support the body as well as propel themselves forward. Leg fatigue is also related to how hard you pushed on the bike and how “cycling fit” you are. Process this heavy feeling as normal and aim to become more efficient while running post-ride.

- Try targeted pace work off the bike—it’s very effective for race preparation. These measured efforts are at a slightly faster pace than your personal best times for the distances.

More brick tricks and workouts:
- A Better Triathlon Brick Workout
- Triathlon-Specific Track Workout: The Poor Man’s Brick
- Key Session: The Braveheart Brick
- Power Boost Your Brick Runs With Plyos
- How Often Should You Run After Riding?
- Running Vs. Triathlon Running

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Great Floridian Triathlon Celebrates 25 In A Unique Way http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/news/great-floridian-triathlon-celebrates-25-unique-way_108411 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/news/great-floridian-triathlon-celebrates-25-unique-way_108411#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:20:18 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=108411

Photo: Mark E. Lepow

All official finishers of the full distance race, from 1991 to present, will receive a complimentary entry into the 2015 race.

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Photo: Mark E. Lepow

In celebration of the 25th running of the Great Floridian Triathlon (GFT) on Oct. 24, 2015, all official finishers of the full distance race, from 1991 to present, will receive a complimentary entry into the 2015 race. This special complimentary entry offer is available to all official individual finishers of the full, 140.6 mile course, from 1991-2014.

Also as part of this 25th birthday promotion, new entrants can enter the full distance race for only $250. That’s about one third of the cost of a typical iron-distance race. Both offers expire Nov. 12, 2014. “The Great Floridian Triathlon has always been the peoples race,” race founder and director Fred Sommer said in the announcement. “In appreciation of the tremendous support offered by age group athletes over the past 24 years we felt it would be great if we gave something back to the athletes. At the same time we are hoping the excitement associated with the 25th birthday celebration will expose the GFT to new triathletes who may only be aware of the corporate run, branded full-distance races.”

Learn more and sign up at Sommersports.com.

RELATED: Think Outside The M-Dot

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Quick Set Friday: Some IM And Speed Bursts http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/training/quick-set-friday-some-im-and-speed-bursts_71329 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/training/quick-set-friday-some-im-and-speed-bursts_71329#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:30:51 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=71329

Photo: Shutterstock.com

A new swim workout 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:
600 warm up (200 swim/100 kick/200 swim/100 drill)
8×50 on :60 (easy swim, kick hard on wall until next interval)
4×200 pull on 2:50 (descend 1-4)
4×150 on 2:30 (fly/free/back/free/breast/free by 25)
4×100 w/fins on 1:30 (50 dolphin kick on back/50 swim free)
4×50 w/ fins on :60 (kick as FAST as possible!)
50 easy swim
20×25 swim (1 FAST/1 ez/2 FAST/1 ez/3 FAST/etc. Fast on :20/easy on :30)
600 snake cool down swim
*4150 total*

RELATED – Ask Coach Sara: The Optimal Strokes Per Breath

B:
600 warm up (200 swim/100 kick/200 swim/100 drill)
6×50 on 1:10 (easy swim, kick hard on wall until next interval)
3×200 pull on 3:30 (descend 1-3)
3×150 on 3:00 (50 non-free/50 free/50 non-free)
3×100 w/fins on 1:45 (50 dolphin kick on back/50 swim free)
3×50 w/fins on :60 (kick as FAST as possible!)
50 easy swim
16×25 swim (3 FAST on :30/1 easy on :45)
400 snake cool down swim
*3250 total*

RELATED – Ask Coach Sara: Fear Of Being Trampled

C:
500 warm up (200 swim/100 kick/200 swim)
4×50 w/ :10 rest (easy swim, kick hard on wall for :10 seconds)
3×200 pull w/ :20 rest (descend 1-3)
3×150 w/ :20 rest (50 free/50 non-free/50 free)
3×100 w/ fins w/ :15 rest (50 dolphin kick on back/50 swim free)
3×50 w/ fins on :60 (kick as FAST as possible!)
300 snake cool down swim
*2500 total*

Snake:
Start in the far left lane of your pool (or of the space that is available to swim in). Swim ONE length of the pool in the first lane. When you reach the far side of the pool, move one lane to the right. Swim ONE length of the pool in the second lane. When you reach the other side of the pool, move to the next lane and continue swimming ONE length in each lane. When you reach the other side of the pool (or the other side of the available area), get out of the pool, walk to the first lane, and repeat the SNAKE!

More “Quick Set Friday” workouts.

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Triathlife With Jesse Thomas: Trioracle, At Your Service http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/features/triathlife-jesse-thomas-trioracle-service_108405 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/features/triathlife-jesse-thomas-trioracle-service_108405#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:30:40 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=108405

Illustration by Matt Collins.

Everything you ever wanted to know about triathlon in one article!

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Illustration by Matt Collins.

Everything you ever wanted to know about triathlon in one article!

Believe it or not, after writing 30 “Triathlife” articles, sometimes I struggle to find something to write about. And when I’m stuck, I usually reach out to my dozens of readers on Twitter and Facebook for ideas. Sometimes, you guys give me pure gold—an idea or question that sparks a debate-provoking piece that lights the entire triathlon world on fire, like “how to take your best race photo.” But a lot of times, I get the same short-answer questions that even my tangential-wandering imagination and verbose writing style couldn’t stretch to an 1,100-word column. For example, “Do you lift weights?”

OK, yeah, I might be able to make that a full column, but you wouldn’t want to read it (soooo many cutoff T-shirt references). But it is an important question, and one that a lot of people ask me. So this month, I decided to appease my rabid, inquisitive readers by ditching the long-winded story and simply answering as many of your questions as quickly as possible. This month, quantity is king. So without wasting one more word on the intro, here is everything you ever wanted to know, in just one article!

“What do you eat on race day?” —@chanlea

Oatmeal and a Picky Bar (Smooth Caffeinator) before the race. I eat a Picky Bar (Need for Seed) and Clif Bloks on the bike, and Clif Bloks on the run. I drink Osmo on the bike and Red Bull and water on the run.

“What was the #1 thing that helped you transition from a ‘runner’ to a ‘triathlete’?” —Hezekiah Monmouth

Swimming with a swim team.

“How many hours a week do you train?” —Every person ever

12–30, but typically 15–20: 4–6 swims, 3–5 rides, 2–4 runs, two weight sessions. Most days are doubles, sometimes triples, sometimes quadruples. I never do quintuples—that’s just weird. I prefer a light spin or swim to a full day off. Check out my Strava page to see all of my training.

“How do you recover on the second half of the race if you blew your nutrition intake the first half?” —Casey-Hazel Borden

You don’t. Slow down and take in nutrition/hydration. Carry extra if you can’t rely on aid stations. I always ride with an extra bottle—way more important than extra weight.

“Do you even lift, bro?” —Tough guys

Yes. Two times a week for an hour, 8–10 reps per exercise, a mix of upper-body, lower-body and core exercises. I do it year-round and I always wear a cutoff T-shirt.

“How long before a race do you cut out the booze?” —@dmk1986

I don’t typically drink the week of a race, but in peak racing season, I don’t drink too much anyway. Just a beer or two or three if it’s really good.

“Why cover saddles with plastic at bike check-in? Aren’t they going to get wet anyway since the racer is coming from the swim?” —@bellis311

Yes. Always wondered this as well.

“Appropriate etiquette after you’ve (accidentally) kicked/punched your fellow triathlete during the swim?” —@atlrun

Keep swimming. Sucks, but it happens.

“How do you eat when on the road for a race?” —@m_reese

I eat at Chipotle a lot. Jordan Rapp has a magic card that gets him Chipotle for free, so I usually pick races he’s going to be at and wait in line until he shows up.

“Would you ever rock a sick mustache for a race?” —Corey A Johnson

Yes—see Menoftriathlon.com.

“Is there a super secret trick/workout to make less clunky quads the first 10 minutes off the bike?” —Colleen Wedin

It’s important to do bricks (run immediately off the bike) 1–2 times a week if you can. Will always suck, but makes it a little better.

RELATED: Triathlife With Jesse Thomas: I Eat A Lot, And That’s OK

“How much do you weigh?” —Dudes on Strava

174–181 pounds. Depends on what I ate for dinner.

“Who is your daddy, and what does he do?” —Matthew Radniecki

Her name is Lauren Fleshman, she’s a professional distance runner, my wife and definitely the boss.

“Do you ever talk trash to people as you blow by them?” —Steve Schnell

No. I’ve heard that being nice to people lowers their testosterone levels, making them less likely to beat you. I also heard if you wear pink, it lowers their testosterone levels, but I haven’t tried that one yet.

“What is the magic pill to kill the pain in the legs?” —James Wilson

Training

“How do you shave your legs? Oh how it burns!” —Jason Dyck

With a razor and shaving cream in the shower. Are you sure you aren’t trying to wax them?

Your bike fitting and aerobars are unique. What’s your secret there?” —Paul Stahlke

When I got tested in the Specialized Win(d) Tunnel, my “praying mantis” position made me faster (5–8 watts). According to Mark Cote at Specialized, it works for some people and doesn’t work for others. To be honest, I’m not really sure why.

“How do you taper and eat the week before a race?” —Tim Heinzemann

I eat as “normally” as possible, stuff I’d regularly eat during any training week. If I race on Sunday, usually Monday is very easy, Tuesday and Wednesday have some intervals (still strong, but about half as many), Thursday and Friday are travel and/or shakeouts, Saturday is short but includes some building efforts to “turn the engine on.”

“How rough is the swim in the pro field? I’ve heard rumors that guys will throw punches or unzip wetsuits?” —Jason Dyck

Yep.

What kind of aviators do you wear when you race?” —Chris Reynolds

Mostly drugstore and gas station varieties. But sometimes they’re from the grocery store or airport. It depends on where I was when I needed a pair.

“Do you have any tips for drinking during the run and not wasting 9/10 of the cup covering me and my race kit?” —Tim Heinzemann

Yes. Slow down. I walk through aid stations if necessary. That 4–5 seconds you lose can save you minutes down the road.

“Pre-race/pre-morning training #2 strategies?” —Michael Wolber

Nervousness usually takes care of it for me. If not, just a touch of caffeine right when you wake up (see previous Smooth Caffeinator reference).

“How to beat you?” —Tom Monica

Not sure, maybe ask Sebastian Kienle, Craig Alexander or Andy Potts. They’re all on the list of guys I’ve raced and never beaten.

“Best way to warm up when you can’t get into the water race morning?” —Elizabeth Betsy Tesi

I always jog 10–20 minutes (depending on how hot it is), and do some strides before I put on my swim stuff. If I remember rubber cords, I do some arm exercises.

“What is the one thing that a triathlete should invest in to become better?” —Sabrina Bri Hamilton Adams

A good coach.

“Where do babies come from?” —Troy Seaborne

Wrong magazine.

RELATED – Triathlife With Jesse Thomas: Are You A Tri-Dork?

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

More “Triathlife” with Jesse Thomas.

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Video: Sunny Garcia To Race XTERRA Worlds http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/video/video-sunny-garcia-race-xterra-worlds_108395 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/video/video-sunny-garcia-race-xterra-worlds_108395#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:48:05 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=108395

Surfing world champion Sunny Garcia will take on the XTERRA World Championships this weekend in Maui.

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Surfing world champion Sunny Garcia will take on the XTERRA World Championships this weekend in Maui.

RELATED: XTERRA World Championships Set For Sunday

RELATED – Video: Chris Lieto Interviews Sunny Garcia

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Is The Yelp Of Triathlon Here? http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/news/yelp-triathlon_108392 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/news/yelp-triathlon_108392#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:41:05 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=108392

Although it’s in its early stages (it was launched in late May), Competehub.com may become the definitive database for endurance races.

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The sport of triathlon is not hurting for races—in fact, according to USA Triathlon, the number of events has tripled in the past seven years—but it has always lacked a truly comprehensive list. Although it’s in its early stages (it was launched in late May), Competehub.com may become the definitive database for endurance races.

Co-founders Mike Bestvina and Philip De Smedt both come from tech backgrounds, which shows when you log on to the site—the interface is clean, organized and functional. “We love data,” Bestvina says. “This market is full of data junkies—people who love talking about wattage and GPS—and yet the event information is scattered and not well-maintained, so that’s the problem we’re solving.”

Athlete race reviews give the site a Yelp-like feel, and you can see who is also registered to compete. Compete Hub’s goal is to work closely with race organizers so that they can maintain their own up-to-date data and provide details on their events, including everything from course profiles to where the nearest airport is located to whether or not there’s overnight bike racking to what you can expect the water temperature to be.

A mobile app will be available soon. Competehub.com

RELATED: Triathlete.com’s Race Radar

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Dispatch: Daniela Ryf’s Rookie Kona Experience http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/athletes/daniela-ryfs-rookie-kona-experience_108389 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/athletes/daniela-ryfs-rookie-kona-experience_108389#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:24:51 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=108389

Daniela Ryf (SUI) finished second at the Ironman World Championship earlier this month. Photo: John David Becker

The 70.3 world champ and Kona runner-up chats about her whirlwind year.

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Daniela Ryf (SUI) finished second at the Ironman World Championship earlier this month. Photo: John David Becker

Two-time Olympian Daniela Ryf was well-known on the ITU circuit, but a relative unknown in long-course triathlon until she set the professional circuit abuzz this season with a slew of standout successes. Ryf won her debut Ironman in Switzerland, one day after claiming victory at the 5150 European Championship in Zurich. She was equally successful in her second iron-distance, conquering Ironman Copenhagen. She also racked up two Ironman 70.3 wins (Switzerland and Wiesbaden) before earning the Ironman 70.3 World Championship title in Mont-Tremblant. And in her first Kona appearance, Ryf gave none other than now three-time Ironman world champion Mirinda Carfrae a run for her money, holding off the hard-charging Aussie until the final miles of the marathon and ultimately finishing second, just two minutes back. Following the race I had a chance to catch up with Ryf to talk about her rookie Kona experience and learn more about this up-and-coming long-course talent.

Triathlete.com: I’m sure you received many, many messages of congratulations following your race in Kona. Which one was the most meaningful to you, and why?

Ryf: The one from my coach Brett Sutton. He was one of the only ones who knew what I was capable of and to make him proud was a great achievement. We put out there our race plan before the start and I was very happy to be able to perform it almost like we planned it.

Triathlete.com: What’s something that surprised you about your first Kona experience?

Ryf: I really didn’t know there were that many hills in Kona. I always thought it was totally flat. So for me, it was a great surprise on the bike, but then when I bonked at kilometer 30 on the run, the little hill out of the Energy Lab was one of the not so fun surprises!

Triathlete.com: You said that you were confident coming into Kona–in a way that did not at all sound arrogant, but rather just as an honest confidence in yourself and your ability. Where do you think you get that confidence, and have you always been that self-assured?

Ryf: Brett Sutton helped me a lot this year to get my confidence back. I had good confidence in my good years of racing ITU, but after my biggest win at World Triathlon Championship Seoul in 2010, I had a few really hard years where I lost the trust in my body and my abilities. As an emotional person, lows like this can really give you some doubts. So I had to find a balance between these highs and lows again. For sure next to my highs I also had lows, like every athlete goes through.

Brett helped me get back to basics and just do what I like–train hard and not think too far ahead. In the beginning of the year I was just focusing on training and not thinking about racing too much. The way Brett believed in me was very motivating. He almost had to force me to race Kona, as I didn’t want to race in the beginning. Then I realized how great this opportunity was and I knew he would not send me to Kona if I wasn’t ready. Having raced quite a lot in July and August definitely gave me a lot of confidence, too.

Coming into Kona I knew I had done everything possible in training with the time I had before the race. I had a lot of respect for the race, but mainly just wanted to go out there and go as hard as I could. The bike split of Chrissie Wellington–4:52–was my target. That’s all I thought about when I thought about the bike. I knew if I could ride somewhere around there, I could have a chance to win. And that was my goal–to give it a try and put everything out there.

RELATED PHOTOS: 2014 Ironman World Championship Women’s Race

Triathlete.com: Do you feel that you’ve truly found your calling with half and full Ironman distance racing?

Ryf: Yes, I definitely have. I love the 70.3 races, as you can go all out from start until end. I still have to build for the Ironman races, as I’m not fit enough yet to go hard from the start. By this time next year I hope I’ll be able to race all out from the start. I see it as a challenge–testing your body how long it holds it together. This year in Kona it was a great experience and I came to my limit on the run, where I have not been before in the other two Ironman races I did this year.

Triathlete.com: What do you love and what do you hate about Ironman racing?

Ryf: To see how fast I can go is what drives me to push hard. I love pushing hard on the bike in Ironman and then seeing if I can hold it together in the run. I don’t have a hate moment yet in Ironman, but the early wake-up definitely isn’t my favorite part of the day!

Triathlete.com: As a newcomer to Kona and in general to long-course racing, people are curious to know more about you. What were you like as a little girl?

Ryf: I always liked sports. We went hiking or skiing with the family. I started swimming when I was eight and athletics when I was 10. Already then I liked competing, although my mam had to sometimes give me a little push to go out there. I did lots of running races, which I loved.

Triathlete.com: Your mother was in Kona to support you. In what ways does she help you and in what ways does she inspire you? Who else is in your key inner circle?

Ryf: Yes, it meant a lot to me that my mam was there to support me, as I know how much she hates flying. It was great to have her there with me. We shared an apartment and some nice wine two days before the race! Thanks to her I started with sports when I was very little. She always supported me with what I wanted to achieve and also taught me how be strong.

Jim Felt was there, too, which meant a lot to me, as he has become a good friend over the last few years. His support was amazing, as my bike arrived one day too late. Also Robbie and Susie Haywood, who helped me find my way around the race site. I met them last year through Brett in training camp. Robbie was the reason why I ended up doing my first Ironman in Zurich, as Brett was fed up with always telling me that I am made to race long distance. They were a huge help to me for this race.

There are also my girls at home, who I haven’t seen for ages. We all met at school around eight years ago and still keep close contact. They are the reason why I always love to come home.

Triathlete.com: Imagine your life 10 years down the road. What does it look like?

Ryf: Hmm, that’s a long time to go. I have no idea. I hope I have finished my masters in Food Science and Management and have a job somewhere in the food industry for product development or marketing. I hope to still be active, but most likely not racing anymore. I may have a family and hopefully a very big house. The big house in Switzerland might be the biggest challenge–it’s very, very expensive!

Triathlete.com: Do you have any unusual personal quirks?

Ryf: Oh I guess I have plenty of this. I’m not quite normal, even I wish I was!

RELATED – Daniela Ryf: My Goal Was To Win

More “Dispatch.”

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Look Back: 2013 Xterra World Championships http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/photos/photos-2013-xterra-world-championships_88699 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/photos/photos-2013-xterra-world-championships_88699#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:25:46 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=88699

Spain's Ruben Ruzafa earned his second Xterra world title, while New Zealand's Nicky Samuels surprised everyone with a convincing win.

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Photos: Nils Nilsen/Xterra

Spain’s Ruben Ruzafa earned his second Xterra world title, while New Zealand’s Nicky Samuels surprised the women’s field with a convincing win. Check back to Triathlete.com this weekend for coverage from the 2014 XTERRA World Championships.

Read the race recap.
Watch a video recap.

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XTERRA World Championships Set For Sunday http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/news/xterra-world-championships-set-sunday_108382 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/news/xterra-world-championships-set-sunday_108382#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:54:50 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=108382

Ruzafa will return to defend his world title. Photo: XTERRA

More than 80 elites will line up this Sunday in Maui for the 2014 XTERRA World Championships.

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Ruzafa will return to defend his world title. Photo: XTERRA

More than 80 elites will line up this Sunday in Maui for the 2014 XTERRA World Championships, with defending champions Ruben Ruzafa and Nicky Samuels highlighting the start lists.

Men’s Preview
Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz (RSA) lines up as the sport’s most successful racer ever with an unprecedented 51 championship wins and four XTERRA world titles to go with his three ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships. He’s also an XTERRA icon and fan favorite, looming larger than life when he walks through the athlete village. The Caveman is 41, but shows no signs of slowing downand you need look no further than his back-to-back wins at XTERRA England and XTERRA Denmark in August as proof.

He’ll face off against the man of the moment, Ruben Ruzafa. The reigning and two-time world champion from Spain is undefeated since winning Worlds last year as he swept through the European Tour with seven straight victories, then took down American legend Josiah “Beast Mode” Middaugh at the USA Championship last month.

Dan Hugo (RSA) will also line up and has been brilliant all year, winning seven majors including the prestigious XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship. Word is Hugo has geared his entire season around this world championship race and will be looking for the title. Asa Shaw (FRA) and Ben Allen (AUS) finished second and third, respectively, and will be back to try to return to the podium. 2013 XTERRA U.S. Champion Leo Chacon (CRC) will return to Maui, along with other former ITU athletes Brent McMahon (CAN) and Brendan Sexton (AUS). Brad Weiss (USA) has been top four at everything the last two years, and Michael Weiss (AUT) won this race the last time he was here.

One youngster to watch will be Mauricio Mendezthe 18-year-old sensation from Mexico has captured the hearts of the XTERRA Tribe and inspires one-and-all with his smile and youthful exuberance.

See the complete pro men’s pro start list below.

Women’s Preview
In the women’s race, the battle for the title will likely come down to defending champion Nicky Samuels (NZL) and 2014 XTERRA standout Fora Duffy (BER). Samuels dominated the 2013 race, while Duffy has been stellar, winning every event she’s entered except one.

The one woman who has beaten Duffy this year is European Tour Champ Kathrin Mueller, and she’ll also be in the mix in Maui on Sunday.

Those three should put on quite a show, but you’ve also got Chilean rock-star Barbara Riveros, American greats Emma Garrard and Shonny Vanlandingham, past Euro Tour champ Helena Erbenova, Canadians Chantell Widney and three-time XTERRA World Champ Melanie McQuaid, and Brit Jacqui Slack.

Noticeably absent from the start list is two-time XTERRA world champ Lesley Paterson. The “Scottish Rocket” is once again dealing with the effects of the Lyme Disease that she has battled throughout the 2014 season.

“My Lyme Disease kicked up a notch after the race so I’ve decided to focus on getting it into remission so I can get back to form next year,” said Paterson. “As gutted as I am to miss it, I’ll be cheering on everyone from afar!”

See the complete women’s pro start list below.

RELATED PHOTOS: 2013 XTERRA World Championships

The Field

Overall there will be 816 athletes competing, with 592 men and 224 women making up the start list. There will be 41 countries and 40 of the United States represented on Sunday. Lewis Ryan (NZL) and Rachel Anders (USA) are the youngest competitors at 16. Ron Hill (USA) at 77 and Charlotte Mahan (USA) at 69 are the oldest male and female, respectively.

Pro Men Start List
(place at last year’s WC) – Name – Age, Hometown
(1) – Ruben Ruzafa – 30, Malaga, Spain
(2) – Asa Shaw – 30, Frejus, France
(3) – Ben Allen – 30, North Wollongong, Australia
(4) – Josiah Middaugh – 36, Vail, Colorado
(6) – Conrad Stoltz – 41, Stellenbosch, South Africa
(9) – Leonardo Chacon – 30, Dulce Nombre, Costa Rica
(10) – Brice Daubord – 29, Orleans, France
(11) – Francois Carloni – 29, Frejus, France
(14) – Dan Hugo – 29, Stellenbosch, South Africa
(15) – Romaric Delépine – 38, Metz, France
(16) – Jan Kubicek – 35, Chodov, Czech Republic
(17) – Ryan Ignatz – 36, Boulder, Colorado
(27) – Branden Rakita – 34, Colorado Springs, Colorado
(28) – Chris Ganter – 36, Boise, Idaho
(34) – Jim Thijs – 34, Overijse, Belgium
Bart Aernouts – 30, Merksem, Belgium
Rom Akerson – 30, Paquer,a Costa Rica
Matt Dewis – 22, Loughborough, United Kingdom
Rory Downie – 25, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Arthur Forissier – 20, Saint Etienne, France
Jon Heasman – 39, Claygate, United Kingdom
Nicolas Hemet – 37, Saint Etienne du Rouvray, France
Llewellyn Holmes – 33, Bristol, United Kingdom
Grayson Keppler – 27, Dallas, Texas
Tomas Kubek – 24, Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Cedric Lassonde – 38, London, France
Yeray Luxem – 29, Merksem, Belgium
Brent McMahon – 34, Victoria, Canada
Mauricio Mendez – 19, Mexico City, Mexico
Joshua Merrick – 33, Alamosa, Colorado
Joseph Miller – 35, Cebu City, Philippines
Felipe Moletta – 29, São José dos Pinhais, Brazil
Nick Moore – 30, Gold Coast, Australia
Takahiro Ogasawara – 34, Mathida, Japan
Ryan Petry – 23, Boulder, Colorado
Jan Pyott – 33, Oberägeri, Switzerland
Roger Serrano – 23, Barcelona, Spain
Brendan Sexton – 29, Wollongong, Australia

Pro Women Start List
(1) Nicky Samuels – 31, Wanaka, New Zealand
(3) Flora Duffy – 27, Devonshire, Bermuda
(4) Barbara Riveros – 27, La Pintana, Chile
(5) Emma Garrard – 33, Park City, Utah
(6) Chantell Widney – 34, Edmonton, Canada
(7) Helena Erbenová – 35, Jablonec, Czech Republic
(8) Shonny Vanlandingham – 45, Durango, Colorado
(9) Jacqui Slack – 31, Stoke-On-Trent, United Kingdom
(10) Suzie Snyder – 32, Fredericksburg, Virginia
(11) Carina Wasle – 30, Kundl, Austria
(13) Kathrin Müller – 30, Freiburg, Germany
(14) Renata Bucher – 37, Lucerne, Switzerland
(16) Danelle Kabush – 39, Victoria, Canada
(17) Melanie McQuaid – 41, Victoria, Canada
(18) Caroline Colonna – 50, Taos, New Mexico
(19) Sarah Backler – 32, Tauranga, New Zealand
(26) Mieko Carey – 36, Tumon, Guam
Dimity-Lee Duke – 30, Roelands, Australia
Genevieve Evans – 41, Carnelian Bay, California
Louise Fox – 34, Reading, United Kingdom
Maud Golsteyn – 34, Nieuwstadt, Netherlands
Belinda Hadden – 36, Wandana Heights, Australia
Penny Hosken – 27, Ringwood, Australia
Maia Ignatz – 34, Boulder, Colorado
Sandra Koblmueller – 24, Rohrbach, Austria
Kara LaPoint – 27, Truckee, California
Charlotte McShane – 24, Mount Taylor, Australia
Lizzie Orchard – 28, Epsom, New Zealand
Sara Schuler – 33, Boulder, Colorado
Susan Sloan – 33, Benoni, South Africa
Debby Sullivan – 33, Rocklin, California
Judy Vandenberg – 42, Doesburg, Netherlands

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Recipe: Cranberry, Pear, Apple And Gingerbread Crumble http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/nutrition/recipe-cranberry-pear-apple-gingerbread-crumble_108376 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/nutrition/recipe-cranberry-pear-apple-gingerbread-crumble_108376#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:40:38 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=108376

Find all the holiday dessert flavors you crave baked into this crumble.

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Find all the holiday dessert flavors you crave baked into this crumble. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla gelato, or top with yogurt for a great pre training session breakfast.

Ingredients

2 Bartlett pears, sliced
2 small honey crisp apples, sliced
1 cup whole fresh cranberries, plus ¼ cup agave, OR ½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup white wine
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups ginger snaps (gluten-free snaps also work well)
1 cup pecans
½ cup coconut oil (softened but not melted)

RELATED – Recipe Of The Week: Cranberry Oat And Nut Bars

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a large pie dish or deep tart pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the white wine, corn starch, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. If using whole cranberries, also whisk the agave into this mixture.
3. Toss the pears, apples and dried cranberries into this mixture and stir until well coated.
4. Transfer this mixture to the pie or tart pan.
5. Put the ginger snaps, pecans and coconut oil in a food processor. Pulse until into small crumbles (do not over process to fine powder).
6. Sprinkle the crumbles over the fruit mixture and tent with foil.
7. Bake for 15 minutes, remove foil and bake 15 minutes longer. Let cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

RELATED: Healthy Holiday Menu

Jess Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif. Jess recently launched Harmony Bar, and all natural gluten-and soy free bar designed to tasted like a soft baked cookie. She is an ex-professional XTERRA triathlete and mountain biker, and current elite amateur road cyclist for the SPY GIANT RIDE p/b MRI Endurance team. Follow Jess’ recipes on her “Fit Food by Jess” Facebook page, as well as the “Harmony Bar” Facebook page. Also on Twitter @fitfoodbyjess and @harmonybars.

More recipes from Jessica Cerra.

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Improve Your Run In Between Seasons http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/training/tips-on-improving-your-run-in-between-seasons_6427 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/training/tips-on-improving-your-run-in-between-seasons_6427#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 13:02:56 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=6427

Photo: Shutterstock.com

A handful of insights from seasoned triathletes on what you can do this off-season to make yourself a better runner next year.

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Photo: Shutterstock.com


A handful of insights from seasoned triathletes on what you can do this off-season to make yourself a better runner next year.

If you’re a bit fatigued from a long season of training and racing, maybe it’s time to put up your feet and relax, or to go on a vacation that doesn’t include swimming, cycling or running.

Taking a break after a long season of training and racing is crucial, especially from a running perspective. It can help your body get over nagging injuries that are accentuated by the high-impact pounding of long runs and speed workouts. It can give your body a clean slate to start retooling for next year, especially when it comes to rebuilding your aerobic base. And, perhaps best of all, it can help you clear your mind of any excess baggage from your recently completed season so that you can focus on new goals for next year.

Here are a handful of insights from seasoned triathletes on what you can do this off-season to make yourself a better runner next year.

RELATED: Running Vs. Triathlon Running

Take Time

Taking time to unwind and stop training (and stop thinking about training) is important. Most coaches recommend a period of at least three weeks after your last race to hang up your superhero costume and live life like a regular (non-triathlete) person. It’s that not you should be a complete slacker and fall into bad habits, but it’s a perfect chance to make up for the everything you missed during your busy season of training and racing such as going to the movies, cleaning out your garage, reading a good book or spending time with your significant other or family.

But that doesn’t mean you should be a total veg when it comes to exercising. Use this time to be healthy in a comfortable, non-obsessive way. Stay active, but don’t think about workouts. Just do what you feel like. That might mean jogging three miles with a friend from work. Or simply running around a local park for 15 to 20 minutes. But don’t wear a watch or keep a training log.

RELATED: Three Running Workouts For The Treadmill

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Dedicate Your Saturday Workout To Rebuild Homes http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/news/dedicate-saturday-workout-rebuild-homes_108345 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/news/dedicate-saturday-workout-rebuild-homes_108345#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:35:13 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=108345 Race2Rebuild holds first “Run, Ride, Rebuild” event to recover Hurricane Sandy-damaged homes.

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Race2Rebuild holds first “Run, Ride, Rebuild” event to recover Hurricane Sandy-damaged homes.

Since Hurricane Sandy hit two years ago, the Race2Rebuild organization has been working to support rebuilding projects after disaster through racing. This Saturday (Oct. 25), Race2Rebuild is launching a “Run, Ride, Rebuild” event, where athletes can do a 5K run/walk, 8-mile run or 20-mile bike and then volunteer with Rebuilding Together NYC to rebuild one of 10 homes damaged by Sandy. Or, if you’re not in the New York area, you can join the offsite team—where you simply pay $25 to dedicate your Saturday workout to the efforts, and you’ll receive a Race2Rebuild shirt.

Race2Rebuild plans to continue the Run, Ride, Rebuild series in other disaster areas in 2015, including an event in Long Beach, N.Y.

Learn more about the event here: http://www.race2rebuild.org/2014-events/

RELATED: Charitable Pros

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Triathlon Wetsuit Quick Fit Guide http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/gear-tech/wetsuit-quick-fit-guide_108347 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/gear-tech/wetsuit-quick-fit-guide_108347#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:24:23 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=108347

Photo: John David Becker

How to choose the right suit and wear it correctly.

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Photo: John David Becker

How to choose the right suit and wear it correctly.

If you’re new to wearing a wetsuit, you’ll be pleasantly surprised—the thick layer of neoprene acts as a full-body buoy in the water. There is no shortage of wetsuit options, with manufacturers now designing and marketing to different levels of swimmers as well as varying body types and comfort preferences.

Fit is by far the most important aspect of choosing a wetsuit. Don’t be shy about trying on multiple suits, taking advantage of demo swims, and studying the size charts and customer reviews. The right suit is not the most expensive one you can afford—even a $1,000 wetsuit will not help you swim faster if it makes you feel uncomfortable and restricted. Although it’s one of the pricier triathlon gear purchases you’ll make, with proper care, the right suit can last multiple race seasons.

RELATED – 2014 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Wetsuits

Put on your wetsuit in 3 steps

Step 1
Start by sliding on the legs and pulling the crotch of the suit as high as possible. Many people use a plastic bag on their feet and hands to make the “sliding” part smoother.

Step 2

Put on the sleeves and draw the excess material up to your shoulders so you have full range of movement.

Step 3
Finally, do not over-tighten when cinching the rear neck strap. What feels comfortable on dry land is very different from what feels comfortable while you are breathing hard in the middle of a long swim.

RELATED: What Is A Wetsuit Made Of?

How should it fit?

The perfect suit will be snug but not constricting. A suit that is too small will pull down on your shoulders, while one that is too big will hang loose between your legs.

A small amount of water should get inside your suit while you swim; it is necessary for the suit to do its job. The wetsuit is designed to hold a small layer of water against your skin. Your body warms up this water and the suit keeps it from escaping. A suit that is too big will let water flow in and out, preventing you from staying warm in cold swims.

RELATED: Should You Always Race In A Wetsuit?

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Training And Racing With Whole Foods http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/nutrition/training-and-racing-with-whole-foods_67013 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/nutrition/training-and-racing-with-whole-foods_67013#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:30:03 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=67013

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Are there good whole-food alternatives that work as well as the processed options?

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Photo: Shutterstock.com

Is that a banana in your jersey?

Many triathletes generally avoid the junk—no processed foods, no simple sugars, just good whole foods—in their daily diets. But all of this tends to end on race day where gels, protein bars and sport drinks fuel athletes toward the finish line. For many the combination works, but for others the gels and sports drinks just don’t fit as a part of a lifestyle aimed at health. The question becomes: Are there good whole-food alternatives that work as well as the processed options?

New research gives some hope to those wanting to fuel with whole foods. A recent study compared a 6 percent carbohydrate sports drink to whole bananas consumed by trained cyclists over a 75K time trial. The result? There was no difference in performance or recovery between the cyclists who ate bananas and those who consumed the sports drink. But how practical is it to stuff a bunch of bananas in your tri kit pocket during a race?

Six-time Ironman world champ Dave Scott would know. In the early days of Ironman he raced Kona with a load of bananas in his jersey pocket. “It was a catastrophe,” he says. “With five bananas in my jersey in the Kona sun sloshing around, they became a mess quickly.” As a coach, even though he wouldn’t recommend a jersey full of bananas, Scott thinks whole foods still have a place. “I have athletes who can’t handle much sugar on the run and use coconut water for hydration and electrolytes,” Scott says. He knows other athletes who have successfully used baked potatoes in races. “The key with whole foods is to eat more frequently with less volume,” Scott says, noting that most athletes nosh too much, too soon in a race.

One athlete who has found success with whole-food fueling is Diane Isaacs, a top age-grouper who has claimed fourth in her age group at Kona. While racing, Isaacs relies on sprouted seeds, small avocados, soaked nuts and goji berries to fuel her body. “Sprouting and soaking helps makes seeds and nuts more easily digestible during a race,” Isaacs says.

Ultra endurance athlete Rich Roll, the author of Finding Ultra, says he eats lightly baked yams and bananas on rides, but he believes that processed carbs can have their place during a race—especially products with complex carbs rather than simple sugars. The goal though, says Roll, should be to “get back to basics—as close to the natural state as possible.”

For some, simplicity may mean that gels and sports drinks will stay in their race-day diet. But for those who don’t want to consume heavily processed products even on race day, there are alternatives that are working for competitive athletes. Whole-food fueling might just take a little more planning and a lot of experimentation to find what works for you.

RELATED: Whole Foods For Recovery

Try it: Whole-Food Swaps

To train with whole foods is akin to changing from gasoline to diesel—you must train your body to adapt to the new fuel. If you’re used to gels, bars and blocks, here are a few alternatives you should try as you make the change.

» Gels 
Try half a cup of mashed banana with a dash of lemon juice and just enough water to make it squeeze through a gel flask. Half a cup of banana has the equivalent calories and carbs of a Gu gel.

» Chews 
Try dried pineapple. Two pieces actually have more calories and carbs than two blocks.

» Bars
Blend almonds and goji berries for a flavorful, calorie-rich snack perfect for long bike rides. You can add coconut oil to make balls that will easily fit in a bento box.

» Sports drinks
Mix coconut water (high in electrolytes) with cherry juice (high in sugar and vitamins) for a cocktail that doesn’t taste bad, even when hot.

RELATED: Navigating The Health Food Aisle

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Specialized S-Works Evade Helmet Review http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/gear-tech/specialized-s-works-evade-helmet-review_108341 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/gear-tech/specialized-s-works-evade-helmet-review_108341#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:23:30 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=108341

The Specialized S-Works Evade. Photo: John David Becker

This semi-aero helmet strikes a perfect balance between speed and comfort.

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The Specialized S-Works Evade. Photo: John David Becker

This semi-aero helmet strikes a perfect balance between speed and comfort.

Specialized S-Works Evade

$250, Specialized.com

Finding balance is one of the biggest challenges of triathlon—among three sports, between training and other life commitments and even between speed and comfort—and usually leads to some kind of compromise. But you don’t have to choose between fast and comfortably functional with the Specialized Evade helmet. It fits just as well as a road helmet, blows cooling air over the rider and still cuts aero drag. Wind tunnel testing on this semi-aero helmet (conducted by Specialized and others) demonstrated that many riders are nearly as fast in this helmet as in a full-blown aero option. The biggest difference is in comfort. In hot conditions, the Evade provides a significant perceived cooling effect compared to many dedicated aero helmets.

RELATED – 2014 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Aero Helmets

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Racing Weight: Are You Sitting Too Much? http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/training/racing-weight-are-you-sitting-too-much_41900 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/training/racing-weight-are-you-sitting-too-much_41900#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:05:35 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=41900

Unless you sit less than the average person, you may still have a hard time reaching your ideal weight and optimizing your overall health.

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As a triathlete, you move more than most people. But unless you also sit less than the average person, you may still have a hard time reaching your ideal weight and optimizing your overall health. If you’re like most triathletes, when you’re not swimming, cycling or running, you’re probably sitting. That may need to change—at least a little.

According to conventional wisdom, if you exercise enough, it doesn’t matter how much time you spend sitting. But recent studies suggest that excessive time spent sitting promotes weight gain and compromises overall health independently of the amount of exercise you do.

In 2010, researchers at the University of Montreal published a study that looked at changes in calorie intake, activity level and obesity rates in Canada between 1972 and 2004. They found that while people were eating slightly less and were slightly more active in 2004, the obesity rate was also 10 percent higher. The authors speculated that people got fatter despite eating less and exercising more because of a shift toward more sedentary jobs over that 22-year period—in other words, because people were sitting more.

More focused studies have provided further evidence that the negative effects of sitting on body weight and metabolism may offset the positive effects of exercise. For example, a 2009 study at Pennington Biomedical Research Center found that the more time people spent sitting daily, the greater their risk was for dying of cardiovascular disease, regardless of how much they exercised.

Some scientists have speculated that one of the reasons exercise is seldom as effective for weight loss in practice as it is in theory is that people tend to unconsciously compensate for increases in exercise activity by moving less outside of workouts. A number of stories have explored this possibility, and the emerging consensus is that such compensation typically occurs only among the elderly. Nevertheless, it’s something to be mindful of, even if you’re young.

Experts are increasingly advising people to make daily efforts to reduce sitting time and increase daily activity outside of exercise. While this advice is based on research that has included few triathletes, who tend to work out a lot more than the average exerciser, the recommendation to sit less and move more can’t hurt and may help you get more out of your training.

RELATED: Sit Up Straight To Improve Triathlon Performance

Here are three simple ideas to try:

- Set a daily TV watching limit. How much television do you watch in a typical day? Two hours? Try setting a limit of 90 minutes a day.

- Don’t sit for more than 30 minutes at a time. At work, get up from your desk every 30 minutes and walk over to the water cooler or visit a friend’s desk for at least one minute.

- Find ways to walk more. Treat the family dog to longer walks, schedule walking meetings with co-workers and start practicing that old trick of parking at the far end of the lot at the office or grocery store.

More “Racing Weight.”

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How To Combat Negative Self-Talk http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/training/combat-negative-self-talk_108336 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/training/combat-negative-self-talk_108336#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:56:36 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=108336

Five ways to approach common psychological pitfalls.

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Burst the negative thought bubbles by focusing on the positives.

“An athlete’s view of struggles, challenges, setbacks and adversity has a lot to do with performance outcomes,” says Karen Quigley of True Form Coaching. As a sport psychology consultant, Quigley works with athletes to thwart the negative self-talk that can derail training and racing performance. Here she offers ways to approach common psychological pitfalls.

I hate riding in the wind.

Don’t make yourself a victim. External factors—choppy waves on the swim, wind on the bike or a hot run—are not out to personally bully you. What’s more, you’re not the only one suffering out there. All racers are at a disadvantage in poor conditions, but you can get a leg up on the competition with the right mindset.
Say: “The wind bothers my competitors more than it bothers me.”

RELATED: Julie Dibens’ Top Tips For Biking In The Wind

I suck at hills. It’s going to take me forever to get to the top.

Put-downs do not usually generate motivation. Rather, they perpetuate the problem by shining a spotlight on the issue. The longer you focus on the problem, the more time, energy and effort you waste getting back into the race.
Say: “Relentless forward progress—I can do it!” or “It’s just one mile. I can do anything for one mile.”

RELATED: Run For the Hills And Become A Better Runner

That was a crappy workout.

Bad days happen. Unless you have a time machine, you can’t do anything about it. Make a note of what happened (good and bad) and what could have been done differently, then turn your focus on applying the lessons learned to the next workout.
Say: “I get stronger each day I’m in the pool—even the bad days.” Or “I will remember to eat before my workouts from now on.”

RELATED: How To Avoid Negative Thinking On The Swim

I can’t run on trails.

“Many triathletes I work with hold onto self-limiting beliefs,” Quigley says. “I see a lot of harsh labels—lazy, sloppy—and it often keeps triathletes from working on their weaknesses.” People who are “not good at open-water swimming,” for example, avoid that element of training when that’s exactly what they should be doing in order to get better.
Say: “Running on trails gives me an opportunity to build strength and practice better form.”

RELATED: Lesley Paterson’s 12 Trail Running Tips

I’ll never be as fast as…

“The problem with comparison is that it’s never apples to apples,” Quigley says. “Even if you’re in the same age group and have similar physical proportions, do you have the same genetics? Do you have the same life circumstances? Do you get the exact amount of sleep each night or fuel your body the same way? Likely not.”
Say: “I have improved so much from where I was a year ago. I will work to continue my improvement.”

RELATED: Sports Psychology Tips For Triathletes

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USA Triathlon Announces 2015 National Championships Schedule http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/news/usa-triathlon-announces-2015-national-championship-schedule_108331 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/news/usa-triathlon-announces-2015-national-championship-schedule_108331#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:58:23 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=108331

Thirteen events comprise the 2015 USA Triathlon National Championships schedule. Photo: Paul Phillips/USA Triathlon

USA Triathlon today announced the dates and locations for 13 events that comprise the 2015 National Championships schedule.

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Thirteen events comprise the 2015 USA Triathlon National Championships schedule. Photo: Paul Phillips/USA Triathlon

USA Triathlon today announced the dates and locations for 13 events that comprise the 2015 National Championships schedule, giving top amateur athletes from across the United States the opportunity to earn official designation as a national champion in a number of multisport disciplines.

Date – National Championship – Location

Feb. 28 – Winter Triathlon National Championships – Boise, Idaho
April 24-25 – Collegiate Club National Championships – Clemson, S.C.
May 16 – Off-Road National Championships – Birmingham, Ala.
June 6 – Duathlon National Championships – St. Paul, Minn.
June 14 – Clydesdale and Athena National Championships – Grand Rapids, Mich.
Aug. 1-2 – Youth & Junior National Championships – West Chester, Ohio
Aug. 8 -  Olympic-Distance National Championships – Milwaukee, Wis.
Aug. 9 – Sprint National Championships – Milwaukee, Wis.
Sept. 12 – Club National Championships – Innsbrook, Mo.
Sept. 13 – Aquabike National Championships – Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.
Sept. 26 – Long Course Triathlon National Championships – Oklahoma City, Okla.
Oct. 4 – Aquathlon National Championships – El Reno, Okla.
Nov. 15 – Long Course Duathlon National Championships – Fort Worth, Texas

Learn more about the national championships at USAtriathlon.org.

RELATED PHOTOS: 2014 USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals

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