Triathlete.com http://triathlon.competitor.com Triathlon Training, Gear, Nutrition, Photos, Race Results & Calendars Wed, 01 Oct 2014 22:27:11 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.2 Apolo Ohno Takes On Triathlon: Countdown To Kona http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/ironman/apolo-ohno-takes-triathlon-countdown-kona_106908 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/ironman/apolo-ohno-takes-triathlon-countdown-kona_106908#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:40:08 +0000 Steve Godwin http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=106908

Apolo Ohno and his teammate Jen Ator reconnect in the final days of their journey to the Ironman World Championship in Kona.

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In the latest episode of Mission Apolo: Built with Chocolate Milk, eight-time world-champion short-track speedskater Apolo Ohno and his teammate Jen Ator, Women’s Health fitness director, reconnect in the final days of their journey to the Ironman World Championship in Kona.

RELATED: Apolo Ohno Set To Take On The Ironman World Championship

More “Mission Apolo.”

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Coach Brett Sutton’s Kona Predictions http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/ironman/coach-brett-suttons-kona-predictions_106904 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/ironman/coach-brett-suttons-kona-predictions_106904#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:27:21 +0000 Brett Sutton http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=106904

Coach Brett Sutton.

Legendary triathlon coach Brett Sutton offers his thoughts on the 2014 Ironman World Championship pro races.

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Coach Brett Sutton.

Legendary triathlon coach Brett Sutton offers his thoughts on the 2014 Ironman World Championship pro races. A version of this article originally appeared on trisutto.com

There is an inevitable hysteria that builds up around this time of year about Kona and the Ironman World Championship. Athletes trying to talk themselves into form, coaches trying to give athletes confidence through any means possible, and parents and friends good-naturedly asking their loved ones how they feel every time they see them.

October is triathlon’s crazy month. Each year I’m asked predictions about the Kona field, gossip about my own squad, and just about everything except of course for what really matters: Which athletes are hitting their numbers and who are ready to put in a great performance? Not a win, but a great performance. It’s always been my philosophy that you look after great performances and the wins look after themselves.

With that, as a coach who has had top pros involved in the big show for the last seven years consecutively, I won’t pretend that I’m a totally impartial observer of the Ironman World Championships. Here is my take on Kona 2014:

Men’s Race

In the men’s race former Olympic gold medalist, Jan Frodeno, and two-time Olympic medalist Bevan Docherty will both be on the start line and they bring serious athletic class. With solid swims they’ll be at the front of the group, and my pick is that anyone who can run them down from there will be called the winner of the race. To win Kona now you need a solid swim. Last year the Tidal Gods favored the slower swimmers in both the male and female race. If the tides correct themselves I still think the super bikers, such as Marino Vanhoenacker, will struggle during the end of the run. Also, some of the Ironman class acts have had their season interrupted with sickness and injury. Pete Jacobs succumbed to early season fatigue and battled through to qualify, a joke in itself made worse by the fact his efforts were then slammed by WTC CEO Andrew Messick. Sebastian Kienle has had injury woes, James Cunnama is coming back from a big bike crash. So the field is very open once again and ripe for the taking by one of the former short-course boys.

RELATED – ProFile: Jan Frodeno

Women’s Race

The women’s race is deep and has all the dynamics to be a cracker.  If Rinny is in good run form, she will a danger; especially if the swim currents are kind like last year, limiting any break away by the superior swimmers in the race. I have always believed that Xena (Caroline Steffen) would be a two-time winner if outside influences didn’t interfere in her races, and she continues to be a real force. Rachel Joyce is Miss Consistency, tough as teak and rarely puts in a bad performance. Jodie Swallow has shown she is in the best form of her last two years and will no doubt do what Jodie does best—lead from the front and try to improve her position.

My charge, Daniela Ryf, has never been to Kona and in February was quoted in a triathlon magazine as saying, “I’ll never do an Ironman.” Six months sure is a long time in the Sutton squad. As she started to lay down some pretty astounding numbers, we switched her plans from full focus on [Ironman 70.3] Mont-Tremblant and Hy-Vee Triathlon, to throwing her hat in the ring for the big one. Now as the current 70.3 world champion, I’m quietly confident that Ground Hog Day may just break on Kona with a first year Ironman rookie testing everybody’s theories about what you can and can’t do on debut. Regardless, my tip is this is the year to beat her, because next year we are going to see a monster racer of Chrissie Wellington proportions. Yes, she could be that good.

Best of luck to all participants. It’s certainly going to be an interesting race to watch. Game on.

RELATED: Olympians Take The Wins At Ironman 70.3 World Championship

More Kona coverage.

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Kona Trend: Men’s Winner Top Four The Previous Year http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/race-coverage/kona-trend-mens-winner-top-four-previous-year_106899 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/race-coverage/kona-trend-mens-winner-top-four-previous-year_106899#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:33:57 +0000 Bethany Mavis http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=106899

Van Lierde finished third in 2012 before winning in 2013. Photo: John David Becker

If history tells us anything, there are four men who have the best odds at taking the 2014 Kona crown.

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Van Lierde finished third in 2012 before winning in 2013. Photo: John David Becker

If history tells us anything, there are four men who have the best odds at taking the 2014 Kona crown.

Last year we wrote about a trend in the professional men’s race at the Ironman World Championship that we noticed, and it continues to hold true after the 2013 race. In 16 out of the last 17 years, the men’s winner at the Ironman World Championship finished in the top four the previous year. The only exception to that rule was when Germany’s Normann Stadler won in 2006 after a DNF in 2005 (the famous “too much glue” incident), but he had won the race in 2004. Eighteen years ago, in 1996, Belgian Luc Van Lierde came out of nowhere to win the race, setting the course record (which was later broken by Craig Alexander) in his Kona debut.

If history is any indication, the 2014 Ironman Hawaii men’s champion will likely come from the top four men in 2013: winner Frederik Van Lierde (BEL), runner-up Luke McKenzie (AUS), third-place finisher Sebastian Kienle (GER) or fourth-place finisher James Cunnama (RSA). Or perhaps we’ll see a previous champion, like Craig Alexander (AUS) or Pete Jacobs (AUS), break the mold and earn another crown.

RELATED PHOTOS: 2013 Hawaii Ironman Men’s Race

2013 winner: Frederik Van Lierde (BEL)
→ 2012 result: 3rd

2012 winner: Pete Jacobs (AUS)
→ 2011 result: 2nd

2011 winner: Craig Alexander (AUS)
→ 2010 result: 4th

2010 winner: Chris McCormack (AUS)
→ 2009 result: 4th

2009 winner: Craig Alexander (AUS)
→ 2008 result: 2nd

2008 winner: Craig Alexander (AUS)
→ 2007 result: 2nd

2007 winner: Chris McCormack (AUS)
→ 2006 result: 2nd

2006 winner: Normann Stadler (GER)
→ 2005 result: DNF (2004 result: 1st)

2005 winner: Faris Al-Sultan (GER)
→ 2004 result: 3rd

2004 winner: Normann Stadler (GER)
→ 2003 result: 4th

2003 winner: Peter Reid (CAN)
→ 2002 result: 2nd

2002 winner: Tim DeBoom (USA)
→ 2001 result: 1st

2001 winner: Tim DeBoom (USA)
→ 2000 result: 2nd

2000 winner: Peter Reid (CAN)
→ 1999 result: 2nd

1999 winner: Luc Van Lierde (BEL)
→ 1998 result: 2nd

1998 winner: Peter Reid (CAN)
→ 1997 result: 4th

1997 winner: Thomas Hellriegel (GER)
→ 1996 result: 2nd

1996 winner: Luc Van Lierde (BEL)
→ 1995 result: Did not race (1996 was his debut in Kona)

More from the Ironman World Championship.

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Strong Field To Race ITU World Cup Cozumel http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/news/strong-field-race-itu-cozumel-world-cup_106883 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/news/strong-field-race-itu-cozumel-world-cup_106883#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:03:42 +0000 Triathlete.com http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=106883

Photo: Larry Rosa/Triathlon.org

The race will see the return of Olympic gold and bronze medalists Nicola Spirig (SUI) and Erin Densham (AUS) on the women's side.

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Photo: Larry Rosa/Triathlon.org

With just three ITU World Cup races left in the 2014 season, action speeds up in hot and humid Cozumel, Mexico this weekend with a splash and dash sprint race. The race will see the return of Olympic gold and bronze medalists Nicola Spirig (SUI) and Erin Densham (AUS) on the women’s side, while breakout star Joao Pereira (POR) headline’s the men’s event.

Elite Women’s Race
Spirig and Densham make a return to ITU racing, but will face off with rising star Katie Hursey (USA) and the massively improved Claudia Rivas (MEX) and Carolina Routier (ESP). In a battle of veterans vs newbies, Ainhoa Murua (ESP) joins Spirig and Densham with experience while Lindsey Jerdonek lines up next to Hursey as a name to watch.

Elite Men’s Race
This year’s breakout star Pereira will put his powerful sprint skills on display yet again this weekend in Cozumel. Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS) will want to redeem himself this weekend after a disappointing result in Turkey last weekend. Sven Riederer (SUI) will be on a high after his win in Turkey & will challenge Pereira with his run speed. Wildcards include Brazil’s Reinaldo Colucci, who impressed in Edmonton in a three-man break on the bike, and France’s Aurélien Lescure, who led a four-man French press around the 10km run course in Alanya. David Hauss (FRA) also returns after a year derailed by an early season race crash.

Read the complete preview at Triathlon.org.

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Video: Kona’s Mumuku Winds http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/video/video-konas-mumuku-winds_46534 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/video/video-konas-mumuku-winds_46534#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:00:05 +0000 Steve Godwin http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=46534

Learn about the Big Island's legendary Mumuku winds, which often plague athletes at the Ironman World Championship.

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Learn about the Big Island’s legendary Mumuku winds, which often plague athletes at the Ironman World Championship.

This video feature was shot as part of Triathlete.com’s 2011 Kona coverage.

More from Kona.

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2013 Kona Podium Performances: Liz Blatchford (3rd) http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/photos/2013-kona-podium-performances-liz-blatchford-3rd_106872 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/photos/2013-kona-podium-performances-liz-blatchford-3rd_106872#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:45:32 +0000 Triathlete.com http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=106872

Liz Blatchford put together a 54:07 swim, a 4:57:40 bike and a 3:03:23 marathon to finish third in 9:03:35.

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With the 2014 Ironman World Championship taking place next Saturday, Oct. 11, we’re looking back at the top performances from the men and women’s pro fields. First up, recall Liz Blatchford’s third-place day.

RELATED – ProFile: Liz Blatchford

More from Kona.

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Inaugural Challenge Rancho Cordova Set For Sunday http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/news/inaugural-challenge-rancho-cordova-set-sunday_106869 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/news/inaugural-challenge-rancho-cordova-set-sunday_106869#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:29:53 +0000 Triathlete.com http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=106869

Jesse Thomas on his way to his fourth Wildflower title. Photo: Aaron Hersh

The inaugural Challenge Rancho Cordova will take place on the outskirts of California's state capital of Sacramento this Sunday, Oct. 5.

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Jesse Thomas on his way to his fourth Wildflower title. Photo: Aaron Hersh

The inaugural Challenge Rancho Cordova will take place on the outskirts of California’s state capital of Sacramento this Sunday, Oct. 5.

Read the preview from Challenge Family below:

The half-iron distance Challenge Rancho Cordova will start with a 1.2-mile swim that will take place at the Nimbus Dam and is fed by the American River with headwaters high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This is one of the cleanest bodies of water available for any triathlon swim in California and is calm and flat in all weather conditions. The single loop point-to-point 56-mile bike course offers glimpses of the Sierra Nevada Mountains while traversing farmland, vineyards, wooded hills and the historic Mather Field Air Force Base. The course has an overall elevation gain of 1200 feet. The 13.1-mile flat run course on city streets and trails starts and finishes in downtown Rancho Cordova.

Located 12 miles east of the California’s state capitol, Sacramento, Rancho Cordova and surrounding communities are rich in the history of California’s Gold Rush including the first 12 miles of railroad in California. In more modern times the City hosted a thriving military base and now is home to large aerospace, technology, healthcare and other corporations.

Challenge Family’s reputation for creating memorable race experiences has drawn one of the deepest Professional fields being hosted on U.S. soil in all of 2014. On the start list we have Ironman winners as well as short course specialists. The race promises to be exciting and unpredictable with several athletes in both the men’s and women’s races coming from collegiate swimming backgrounds as well as people that are famous for being able to run down the best in the sport! It will be a dynamic battle from start to finish and will no doubt be an exciting rice to follow!

The women’s field boasts several athletes with strong international results. Jillian Petersen made the shift to longer events recently after many successes on the ITU circuit and has already added great success with a third at Challenge New Albany. Charisa Wernick is on a roll with a stellar season including a second at Challenge St. Andrews and top-10 finish at Challenge Walchsee and Challenge Full Weymouth. Emma-Kate Lidbury has placed top-10 twice at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. Kate Bevilaqua finished third at the inaugural Challenge Taiwan and has numerous victories and podiums at the Half and Full distance. Other standouts in the field are Emily Cocks, Lauren Brandon, Jennifer Luebke and Jessica Smith.

On the men’s side, Jesse Thomas is one of the best runners in the sport and with four-consecutive wins at Wildflower Long Course clearly has the strength to face any competitor in the world. Todd Skipworth, Guy Crawford and Leon Griffin all have a handful of podiums from across the globe at the half and full distances. Joe Umphenour is another athlete with a long history of success on the ITU circuit and longtime member of the USAT National Team. There are also a number of athletes in the field who have the talent to break onto the podium including Matt Lieto, Andrew Bauer, Grant Burkwash, Jesse Vondracek and Pedro Gomez.

With a pro field of over 50 athletes, there are many others who will be in the mix on race day promising an exciting race. The press conference that will be live-streamed on Facebook on Saturday, Oct. 4 with a panel of top contenders live updates will be provided throughout race day at Challlenge-ranchocordova.com.

RELATED – Dispatch: Challenge Family And Rev3 Merge Forces

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Kona First-Timers Share Their Qualification Stories http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/features/kona-first-timers-share-qualification-stories_106857 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/features/kona-first-timers-share-qualification-stories_106857#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:07:01 +0000 Susan Lacke http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=106857

Brenda Bettencourt

Five athletes heading to Kona for the 2014 race share their stories of how they qualified for triathlon’s most prestigious event.

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Brenda Bettencourt


The road to Kona is different for every athlete. First-timers share the stories of their journey to the Ironman World Championship.

Depending on who you ask, you can get a spot in the Ironman World Championships with skill, dogged determination or simple luck. Five athletes heading to Kona for the 2014 race share their stories of how they qualified for triathlon’s most prestigious event.

Elizabeth Rich

Greenville, SC
Age: 29
Qualified at: Ironman Lake Tahoe
Qualifying time: 12:32

I wasn’t trying to qualify for Kona. Ironman Lake Tahoe was supposed to be my final Ironman after 10 years of racing. I showed up race weekend ready to enjoy my last Ironman experience before I retired.

Due to inclement weather, we weren’t sure if we would get to race and an already gnarly course became even tougher with the conditions we were dealt. I soaked it all up, every single bit of that course—from the snow capped mountains and ice covered sand at the start to the excitement and war stories at the finish. It wasn’t until roughly 90 minutes post-finish that I was reunited with my friends and phone where I learned I finished second in my age group. Until that point I was just so happy to have a good race. Everyone was telling me that meant Kona. I was dead set on retirement, but when I learned there were two Kona slots for my age group, I couldn’t turn it down, I just couldn’t. Ultimately, I feel incredibly lucky to get to finish off my Ironman life racing the World Championships with some of the fastest and toughest girls (and guys) around the world.

Kona excitement: My family and boyfriend get to watch me race an Ironman for the first time. Up until now, I’ve raced solo or with friends. I’m excited they get to experience my last Ironman with me!

RELATED: A Guide To Triathlon Championship Qualification

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Sponsored: Designed To Recover http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/features/sponsored-designed-recover_100137 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/10/features/sponsored-designed-recover_100137#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 12:00:09 +0000 Triathlete.com http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=100137

Fall racing season is in full swing. Understand how your body was designed to recover to unlock performance benefits.

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Fall racing season is in full swing. Understand how your body was designed to recover to unlock performance benefits.

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Terenzo Bozzone Returns To Kona http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/video/terenzo-bozzone-returns-kona_106845 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/video/terenzo-bozzone-returns-kona_106845#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 22:21:43 +0000 Triathlete.com http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=106845

After a four-year hiatus from the Ironman World Championship, Terenzo Bozzone says that he's hopeful this will be a big transition year.

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After a four-year hiatus from the Ironman World Championship, New Zealand’s Terenzo Bozzone says that he’s hopeful this will be a big transition year. Hear from the 2008 Ironman 70.3 world champion with this pre-Kona video feature. Video and production by Aether Films.

RELATED: 4 Pieces Of Advice From The Pro Ranks

More 2014 Ironman World Championship coverage.

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Challenge Family Announces New Race In Poland http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/news/challenge-family-announces-new-race-poland_106838 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/news/challenge-family-announces-new-race-poland_106838#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:48:35 +0000 Triathlete.com http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=106838

Photo: Malta Trybuny Poznań RB1/Wikimedia Commons

Challenge Family today arrived in Eastern Europe with the announcement of Challenge Poznań.

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Photo: Malta Trybuny Poznań RB1/Wikimedia Commons

Challenge Family today arrived in Eastern Europe with the announcement of Challenge Poznań, a half distance triathlon in Greater Poland’s historic capital, taking place on July 26, 2015.

See the announcement from Challenge Family below:

Poznań is a modern city of business, also abundant in green areas and the relics of the beginnings the Polish statehood. They include the historic old market square with the city hall, the emperor’s castle and the ninth century Arch-cathedral Basilica – the first cathedral in Poland.The hub of the event is located at the picturesque Maltańskie Lake, home to World and Europe Championships in canoeing, rowing and dragon boat races. While Challenge Poznań is the first edition of the event in the Challenge Family, it is third edition of the triathlon in Poznań, one of the largest triathlon events in Europe, attracting over 2,600 triathletes from all over the world. The course is flat and fast with memorable spectator support throughout the 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21km run.

Wojciech Kruczyński, director of Challenge Family’s Polish partners, Endusport, said the atmosphere of a Challenge event could be compared to the ENEA Poznań Triathlon, making the Challenge the perfect international brand for the race.

“The main ethos of Challenge Family is reflected by the slogan “We Are Triathlon!” which highlights the fact that all involved in triathlon are like one big family,” he said. “Challenge Family is the kind of triathlon event where good time and sports friendship is a priority. Organizers’ main aim is to establish strong interaction with contestants. Moreover they are trying to highlight the joy triathlon brings. Each and every Challenge event is about this special atmosphere where everybody (competitors, their families, supporters) can spend all day together with triathlon.”“Bringing Challenge Family to Poland not only will raise the prestige of the city of Poznań on the Polish triathlon map, but also will mark its position in the scale of Europe and the world,” said Ryszard Grobelny, Mayor of Poznań and also a triathlete. “This year’s event proved that triathlon has got strong potential here in Poznań. I am glad, that we will maintain it by becoming a part of the world series of triathlon events,” he added.Challenge Family CEO, Zibi Szlufcik, said partnering with ENEA Poznań Triathlon continued Challenge Family’s commitment to producing quality triathlon events with a strong focus on excellent athlete experience.

“Triathlon in the wonderful city of Poznan has enjoyed fantastic development over the last years becoming the triathlon destination in Poland. Wojciech Kruczynski and his team deliver nothing but the best. With the warm hospitality of Mayor Grobelny and the city of Poznan, Challenge Family is proud to become a global partner focusing 100% on quality and athlete experience,” he said. “For me personally, I was born in Poland and it’s a dream come true to have Challenge Poznan on the Challenge Family global schedule!”

Entries to Challenge Poznań open today at Challenge-poznan.pl.

RELATED: Challenge Family And Rev3 Merge Forces

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Two Astronauts To Race Ironman World Championship http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/news/two-astronauts-race-ironman-world-championship_106831 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/news/two-astronauts-race-ironman-world-championship_106831#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:20:25 +0000 Triathlete.com http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=106831

Photo provided by NASA.

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Luca Parmitano will head to Kona.

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Photo provided by NASA.

Having already conquered “the final frontier” many times over, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Luca Parmitano have accepted a new mission and will reach for the stars at the 2014 Ironman World Championship triathlon presented by GoPro on Oct. 11 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Read the announcement from Ironman below:

Cassidy and Parmitano will be among 2,000-plus top athletes from around the world competing in the iconic event’s 2.4-mile open water swim, 112-mile bicycle ride and 26.2-mile run.

Despite their millions of miles in space, the World Championship will be both Cassidy and Parmitano’s first attempt at the 140.6 mile Ironman triathlon.

“There are certainly parallels between preparing for a space mission and training for the Ironman World Championship,” said Cassidy, who served in the U.S. Navy SEALs for 10 years. “Both require a great deal of mental and physical tenacity. That said, I am sure there will be moments during the 140.6 mile race that my muscles will be begging for a bit of zero gravity.”

RELATED: Apolo Ohno Set To Take On The Ironman World Championship

Cassidy, who currently serves as lead of the Extravehicular Activity (spacewalking) Branch of the Astronaut Office, and Parmitano, who is a major in the Italian Air Force, began at NASA in May 2004 and ESA in May 2009, respectively. The two joined forces on Expedition 36 – a six-month stay on the International Space Station which traveled 2,656 orbits of earth totaling over 70 million miles.

“Chris and Luca are exceptionally accomplished professionals whose work has taken them on journeys most of us can’t even imagine,” said Ironman CEO Andrew Messick. “Although Ironman is a completely different kind of accomplishment, the road to becoming an Ironman incorporates many of the same skills that are required of Luca and Chris in their work as astronauts —discipline, passion, strength and determination. We’re honored to be a part of their ‘giant leap’ to realize new goals in endurance sports.”

RELATED: “I’m A Triathlete”

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Apolo Ohno Set To Take On The Ironman World Championship http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/features/apolo-ohno-set-take-ironman-world-championship_106824 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/features/apolo-ohno-set-take-ironman-world-championship_106824#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:07:29 +0000 Julia Polloreno http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=106824

Photo: John David Becker

Fitter than ever and fired up to tackle Kona, Apolo Ohno is realizing new athletic goals via the swim, bike and run.

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Photo: John David Becker

The Winter Olympics speed skating superstar has swapped his blades for a tri bike. Fitter than ever and fired up to tackle Kona, Ohno is realizing new athletic goals via the swim, bike and run. 

Apolo Ohno is best known as an eight-time Olympic medalist in speed skating and a “Dancing With the Stars” mirror ball trophy winner, but his competitive drive is narrowly focused on a new piece of hardware: the Ironman finisher’s medal. And not just any Ironman medal—Ohno has swapped the frozen track for the lava fields of Kailua-Kona.

“Nothing will ever replace what I did in short track—the 40 seconds of pure mayhem that I used to train for—but I love triathlon because I’m so out of my comfort zone,” says Ohno, 32, the most decorated American winter athlete of all time. “I couldn’t have asked for a more different sport to provide a challenge and require me to adapt and do things I never thought my body was designed to do, especially from an endurance perspective.”

Ohno follows football star Hines Ward as the celebrity athlete at the center of the Built With Chocolate Milk campaign, in which triathlon’s top professionals and coach Paula Newby-Fraser, an eight-time Ironman world champion, take a star athlete with no triathlon background and prep him for the prestigious and grueling Ironman World Championship.

Although Ohno swam competitively until he was 12, the cycling training—not to mention the puzzle of putting all three disciplines together—is completely new to him. “It’s been something that I’ve needed in my life since I retired four years ago,” says Ohno, who fits in training from his Southern California home base between international travels to places like Dubai and China. “Why triathlon? Because I have the chance to do three sports instead of just one. Why now? I’ve done other challenges but nothing that was so beyond what my sport was.” Ohno says he’s done his share of Crossfit and UFC training, but that he needed something that was going to push his body to the absolute limit. “Being able to have the opportunity to compete in the most coveted endurance race in the world is something you can’t pass up,” he says.

The idea of making the journey from multisport newbie to Kona finisher as cameras rolled was another draw. “Showing the transformation, how you feel, what it’s like—you’re humanizing it and showing that it’s possible for anybody,” Ohno says. “That’s the beauty of triathlon and the Ironman—the race is won during the preparation stage. It’s those days, weeks, months of preparing. There’s something really amazing about going out there and just flogging yourself at 100 percent, to be the best that you can be. It builds character and teaches life lessons.”

Ohno learned triathlon lessons the hard way at Ironman 70.3 Boise, his first triathlon, this past June when he ignored his coach’s carefully prescribed race plan. “Paula gave me parameters for the race, and told me to be focused on my own race and not worry about anyone else,” recalls Ohno. “But as soon as I got in the water that all went out the window. I swam as hard as I possibly could, zigzagged my way through the swim, then flogged myself on the bike so when I got to the run there was nothing left. It was a big lesson learned.” Still he managed a very respectable sub-five-hour half-Ironman (4:59:27).

The other lesson learned: He needed to lose weight. “I’ve put on my retirement pounds—I love food, but to perform at the level of Kona the fat tire’s gotta go!” says Ohno, who targeted a weight loss goal of 15–20 pounds. “I love it because it’s forcing me to get back in awesome shape, and I know that I’ll show up in Kona fit and ready to race.”

RELATED VIDEO: Apolo Ohno Races Ironman 70.3 Boise

When Ohno first started triathlon training he was eating whatever he wanted in whatever quantities he wanted, but those habits quickly changed. “Now I’m much more conscious of what I’m actually eating and the timing of what I’m getting in my body,” he explains. “As any triathlete will tell you, recovery is the most important part of your training. You can’t train hard the next day if you’re not fully recovered. Chocolate milk has been a big component and partner, and we always have that on hand. I also try to eat foods that are anti-inflammatory and alkaline- and pH-balancing, and also give the right blend of carbohydrate, protein and fat that I need to perform athletically.”

Years of explosive speedwork training as a sprinter in short track has helped him find his bicycling legs, says Ohno. “My leg strength from short track definitely helps on the bike, but the issue there is that I’m very powerful for a short amount of time, and I’m used to receiving a lot more rest before I do another round,” he says. “Being an endurance athlete, you don’t get a rest! You keep going in a painful state. But [my athletic experience] allows me to have the same tenacity, focus, drive and mentality I need to consistently put in strong training work day after day.”

He also gets a little help from his new friends and mentors: pro Luke McKenzie and three-time Ironman world champion Craig “Crowie” Alexander. “Before Boise, Crowie said to me, ‘It’s going to tickle a little bit.’ I told him, ‘I don’t know if “tickle” is the appropriate word to describe it!’ But I’m really enjoying it. I’ve always had respect for triathletes because I was around them at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. I saw the volume of training, the consistency and was just in awe of what they did. Now I have even more respect for triathletes.”

Newby-Fraser sends Ohno a schedule each week, outlining the goals and initiatives of each workout. When his schedule permits, he travels to San Diego to train near his coach, and he hopes to fit in at least one training camp in Hawaii before the October race. His two main training focuses are the run—what he feels is his weakest discipline (although he’s run a 3:25 marathon, at the 2011 New York City Marathon)—and acclimating to hot and humid conditions. “I spend a lot of time in SoCal—it’s 75, dry and breezy, not exactly Kona weather.”

Ohno doesn’t plan on dismissing his triathlon dreams after crossing the Ali’i Drive finish line. In fact, he says he can’t imagine not living the multisport lifestyle.

“The community of triathletes is amazing—everyone has been so welcoming,” he says. “It’s really refreshing to see, and I’d like to do more triathlons after Kona.”

Call it an itch—or even a tickle—we understand just what he means.

Follow Ohno’s journey to the Big Island in “Mission Apolo.”

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One-Hour Workout: Jacob’s Ladder Swim Workout http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/training/one-hour-workout-jacobs-ladder-swim-workout_70101 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/training/one-hour-workout-jacobs-ladder-swim-workout_70101#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:00:51 +0000 Jené Shaw http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=70101

Photo: Shutterstock.com

This week’s one-hour workout is a swim set from Atlanta-based coach Andrew Shanks.

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Photo: Shutterstock.com

Every Tuesday we’ll feature a different coach’s workout you can complete in 60 minutes (or less!).

This week’s swim workout comes from Atlanta-based coach Andrew Shanks, who is pursuing his Masters in Exercise Science at George State and works for Dynamo Multisport. Dynamomultisport.com Shanks gave two options for swimmers of different speeds.

Jacob’s Ladder: 2600 swim workout

Warmup
200 swim
200 streamline kick w/ fins
200 pull
2×50 drill of choice

Main Set
Do three rounds of the following, with 10 secs rest between each interval, 40 secs between each round. All freestyle (minus the noted 100 kick at the end of each round) with a hard but clean effort.

25 / 50 / 75 / 100 / 100 / 75 / 50 / 25 / 100 kick

Cooldown
100 easy

RELATED – One-Hour Workout: All 50s Swim Workout

Jacob’s Ladder extended: 3100 swim

Warmup
200 swim
12×75 w/ fins as 50 drill/25 swim
#1-4: Fly kick with freestyle stroke
#5-8: Straight Arm Recovery
#9-12: Single Arm by 25s

Main Set
3×300 pull w/ 30 sec rest. Push every third 25, otherwise steady effort.

Two rounds of the following, with 10 sec rest between interval and 40 sec rest between rounds. All freestyle with a hard but clean effort.

25 / 50 / 75 / 100 / 100 / 75 / 50 / 25

Cooldown
100 choice

More one-hour workouts.

For more swimming workouts, check out our “Quick Set Friday” section.

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Photos: 2014 Ironman Chattanooga http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/photos/photos-2014-ironman-chattanooga_106783 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/photos/photos-2014-ironman-chattanooga_106783#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 21:00:20 +0000 Triathlete.com http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=106783

Matt Hanson (USA) and Angela Naeth (CAN) took home the titles at the inaugural Little Debbie Ironman Chattanooga.

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Photos: Nick Morales

In front of a spectacular crowd Matt Hanson (USA) and Angela Naeth (CAN) took home the title at the inaugural Little Debbie Ironman Chattanooga to Benefit Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America triathlon. Hanson and Naeth both earned their first career Ironman victories with times of 8:12:32 and 8:54:55, respectively.
Read the recap.

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TriathlEats: Marinated Flank Steak http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/nutrition/triathleats-marinated-flank-steak_106728 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/nutrition/triathleats-marinated-flank-steak_106728#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 19:30:32 +0000 Bethany Mavis http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=106728

Marinated Flank Steak with Kale and Quinoa Salad. Photo: Renée Comet

Zest up your fall menu with this protein-packed dish from triathlete-chef Eric Hollandsworth.

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Marinated Flank Steak with Kale and Quinoa Salad. Photo: Renée Comet


Zest up your fall menu with this protein-packed dish from triathlete-chef Eric Hollandsworth.

Ingredients

For beef flank steak:
1–2-pound flank steak
1¼ cup orange juice
½ cup lemon juice
1/3 cup lime juice
¼ cup soy sauce
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium yellow onion, sliced

For chipotle vinaigrette:
3 T red wine vinegar
2½ T honey
¼ tsp ground cumin
1 chipotle chili in adobo
¼ tsp black pepper
¾ tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove

For kale quinoa salad:
4 cups kale, de-ribbed and sliced into ½-inch pieces
1 cup quinoa, cooked
½ cup red pepper, julienned
½ cup carrots, julienned
½ cup black beans
½ cup grape tomatoes, halved
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, cut into ¼-inch cubes

Directions

To prepare the flank steak, combine all marinade ingredients and pour over steak. Let marinate for 12 hours. Remove from marinade, dry and grill over medium-high heat for 3–4 minutes per side, or until desired doneness. Remove meat from grill and allow to rest for five minutes. Slice meat against the grain into ¼-inch slices. Place all chipotle vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth. Toss all salad ingredients except for avocado in large mixing bowl with ¼ cup vinaigrette and mix well. Top salad with slices of flank steak and avocado.

Chef Eric Hollandsworth likes to eat this dish as a pre-race meal not only for its great flavor, but because it’s also well-balanced—it contains high-quality protein from the steak, carbs and protein from the quinoa plus antioxidant vitamins from superfood kale.

RELATED RECIPE: Grilled Sirloin And Avocado Tacos

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Linsey Corbin: What I’m Made Of – Part 2 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/video/linsey-corbin-im-made-part-2_106739 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/video/linsey-corbin-im-made-part-2_106739#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 17:11:27 +0000 Triathlete.com http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=106739

Corbin shares how she's stayed healthy this year, talks about life in Bend and reveals her Kona bike.

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Months of Ironman training, marked by soaring highs and crushing lows, culminate in one day—October 11, 2014—the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona. It’s the ultimate opportunity and challenge to push through comfort zones, beyond screaming legs and a rebelling psyche. A time to gain a new understanding of your own limits. To see what you’re made of.

In the second installment of this 4-part series, Corbin shares how she’s stayed healthy this year, talks about life in Bend and reveals her Kona bike. Watch part 1 here and check back for part 3 next Monday, Oct. 6.

RELATED: Inside Linsey Corbin’s Pain Cave

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Evolve Your Training For Your 40s, 50s And 60s http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/training/evolve-your-training-for-your-40s-50s-and-60s_39888 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/training/evolve-your-training-for-your-40s-50s-and-60s_39888#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:00:08 +0000 Lance Watson http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=39888

Photo: Paul Phillips

With some adjustments to your annual plan, you can stay fit and fast into your 60s and beyond.

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Photo: Paul Phillips


While triathlon is a fountain of youth for many, it’s important that the maturing triathlete doesn’t reapply the same training strategy year after year, decade after decade. With some adjustments to your annual plan, you can stay fit and fast into your 60s and beyond.

40s

Many athletes can replicate the threshold training they did in their mid-30s through their early 40s. The biggest change is recovery time. The good news for the long-term athlete is that muscle memory—muscle familiarity that comes from repeating a motion—does not disappear with age, so experienced athletes can be more efficient than their younger counterparts with fewer lifetime training miles. Athletes can attain previous fitness levels with less threshold work so long as they can perform consistent, strong aerobic efforts.

Recovery weeks should take place every third week, and they need to provide a really good recharge. Increased focus on body maintenance through massage and stretching can also prolong an athlete’s high performance window.

RELATED: Why Are So Many Professional Triathletes Racing Into Their 40s?

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Confessions Of An Age-Grouper: Let The Good Times Roll http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/features/confessions-age-grouper-let-good-times-roll_106721 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/features/confessions-age-grouper-let-good-times-roll_106721#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:00:30 +0000 Holly Bennett http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=106721

Illustration by Hunter King.

The best race memories aren’t always about athletic execution on any given day. They’re about the people who populate the journey.

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Illustration by Hunter King.

The best race memories aren’t always about athletic execution on any given day. They’re about the people who populate the journey to the finish line.

My first Ironman was in 2005 in Taupo, New Zealand. When I dig deep into my memory bank, I recall the actual race details—like the constant, painful rat-a-tat-tat of six-plus hours cycling chip-sealed roads and how I was convinced my ribs were cracked by the time I started the run. I remember the challenge of trying to get comfortable enough to pee on the bike—and the nightmare of eventually ducking into an all-day-sunbaked Porta-Potty on the run.

I remember lying in bed that night, my body feeling destroyed, wondering how the pain compared, for example, to being rolled over by a semi-truck. And sure, I remember my race time.

But when I think about my rookie experience Down Under, those are not the immediate memories that rise up. What comes to mind first are the lighter, brighter moments, like the group of drunk Kiwi guys that my then-boyfriend’s mom organized into a frat-style cheer squad for me as I exited T2. I remember the carload of locals driving up and down the run course, urging me (and a few hundred other athletes) on by name. It was my first race with a customized bib, so I was a bit taken aback that they really seemed to know me. And I recall the paradisiacal appeal of another local’s backyard barbecue, where a fun-seeming group of friends were set up to spectate and swig margaritas, and even invited me to join.

Since then I’ve raced a handful of iron-distance events, with varying degrees of success. The memories that stick? At Ironman Coeur d’Alene it was an anonymous note of encouragement on the electronic message board. To this day I have no idea who it was from, but it did the trick and lifted my spirits at exactly the right moment. I actually thought that note cosmically and coincidentally popped up just as I ran past; it wasn’t until lap two on the marathon that I noticed the timing mat which obviously triggered the message. Still, it was no less magical or meaningful.

At Ironman Australia it was a young girl, maybe 7 years old, running alongside my bike as I pedaled up a climb. “Where are you from? What’s the hardest part of the Ironman? Would you do it again? Do you like Australia? Will you come back next year?” she asked, showering her curiosity over me. I could barely breathe from my effort on the bike, but I did my best to answer, wanting so badly to encourage her interest. The kids on the run course at that race were also unforgettable—a trio of young friends who, in the final few kilometers from the finish, sprinted ahead of me repeatedly, leapfrogging one another and trying to high-five me as often as they could. The energy of their 5- and 6-year-old hand slaps nearly knocked me over, but I wasn’t about to deny one of their uplifted palms.

RELATED- Confessions Of An Age-Grouper: More Ways Than One

At last year’s Challenge Penticton, I could have sworn I saw Jackie Onassis spectating—a sophisticated woman in white, a sort of half-ghost, half-goddess who appeared at least a half-dozen times along the bike and run course, always with a smile of deep admiration across her face. I didn’t know her, but she seemed to stand proxy for my own mother and grandmother and aunties (plus one of America’s greatest icons)—and I sure wanted to make her proud!

Four months after the fact, it’s not standing on the podium at Challenge Taiwan as the age-group champion that is my favorite memory from that race—it’s the hug I received from my dear friend Belinda Granger as she handed me my award, and as we celebrated her own 50th iron-distance race and incredible career. (That, and a few fun but slightly fuzzy memories from the after-party dance floor that shall remain under wraps.)

Reading this, you might think I’m the “all for the experience” sort. But I’m actually as competitive as they come. I want desperately to PR, to wallop the women in my age group, to beat my best of friends, to chick as many guys as possible, to get on the podium and to bring home some hardware. I want to win—and sometimes I do. And believe me, for a few days post-race I’ll talk your ear off if you’ll let me. I’ll tell you the nitty gritty details of my day, what went right, what went wrong, and how my splits compared to my prior performances.

But soon enough, those details will dim, and the forever memories will come into focus. These are the snippets of joy that have nothing to do with a finish time, or a bike or run split. My absolute best race memories—my count-my-lucky-stars moments—are not at all about my athletic execution on any given day. Rather, they’re about the people—be they random strangers or BFF’s—who populate the journey. They’re about the friends, family members, volunteers and spectators who have seen me through, whether with perfectly timed messages of motivation and kindness, or simply with taunts of tequila or a helluva good laugh.

And so, in the interest of finding your happy place in the sport, let me suggest something. Next time you’re worried about how fast you might go in a race, lighten up and look around. Smile at a stranger. Make a few friends out there. Accept the warmth that comes your way—and the post-race cocktails. And remember, the longer you’re out there, the more memories you’ll make that will truly last a lifetime. Rather than stress, slow it down—and let the good times roll, on and on and on.

RELATED – Confessions Of An Age-Grouper: Lucky Stars

For more from Holly Bennett, check out her “Dispatch” column.

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Top 5 Nutrition Mistakes Made By Smart Triathletes http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/nutrition/top-5-nutrition-mistakes-made-by-smart-triathletes_55990 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2014/09/nutrition/top-5-nutrition-mistakes-made-by-smart-triathletes_55990#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:54:42 +0000 Lauren Antonucci http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=55990

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Even the most well-meaning, self-sacrificing, smart triathletes can make nutrition mistakes that prevent them from reaching their goals.

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Photo: Shutterstock.com


You are a smart triathlete: You wake up at 5 a.m., routinely decline a second round of drinks, watch what you eat and are aware of the latest trends in sports nutrition and bike technology. But even the most well-meaning, self-sacrificing, smart triathletes can make nutrition mistakes that prevent them from reaching their body composition and performance goals. Avoid the following nutrition traps and your 2014 season will be better than you imagined.

Mistake #1: Not knowing your sweat rate.

You know you should be conducting periodic “sweat tests” in training, right? Studies consistently show that even small (less than 2 percent) decreases in body weight due to fluid loss adversely affect performance. Don’t let dehydration slow you down!

At least 2–3 times per training climate change (winter, spring, summer, fall), weigh yourself nude before and after a one-hour training session. Drink as usual and note intake. Multiply fluid weight loss by 16 (ounces/pound), and aim to drink that total number of fluid ounces/hour during future training sessions.

Sweat rate example: If you weigh 160 pounds pre-workout and 158.5 pounds post-workout, you lost 1.5 pounds from sweat. Multiply 1.5 by 16 to get 24 ounces lost. Add, say, 10 ounces for fluid intake during your training session and you get 34 ounces/hour sweat rate.

RELATED: Tips For Training In Hot Weather

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