Triathlete.com http://triathlon.competitor.com Triathlon Training, Gear, Nutrition, Photos, Race Results & Calendars Fri, 29 Jul 2016 20:48:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.2 Pros Racing Saturday In Historic Ironman Vineman http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/news/pros-racing-saturday-historic-ironman-vineman_134859 Fri, 29 Jul 2016 19:47:24 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=134859

This is the first year the race will be an Ironman event. Photo: Photo: Jeff Kapic

The classic race takes place in the scenic Sonoma County wine country in Northern California.

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While Vineman is the oldest iron-distance event in the continental U.S. (dating back to 1990), this will be the first year it’s branded as an Ironman race. The classic race takes place in the scenic Sonoma County wine country in Northern California, and this year it will feature a $50,000 professional prize purse and 40 age-group qualifying slots for October’s Ironman World Championship.

The course features beautiful wine country scenery set in cool mornings and warm days. The 2.4-mile swim starts from Johnson’s Beach in the Russian River, and the 112-mile bike course is a mix of terrain that takes athletes through multiple grape growing regions with almost 4000 feet of climbing. The two-loop marathon course traverses scenic country roads within Sonoma County.

In the pro race, previous Full Vineman (non-Ironman-branded) champion Max Biessman tops the list with the most experience on this course. But he’ll face tough competition from veteran pro and Aussie Richie Cunningham, who has a slew of Ironman 70.3 titles to his name and was the runner-up at the 2014 Ironman Boulder. Four-time Ironman Louisville champion Chris McDonald of Australia, a very experienced Ironman, will also be vying for a podium spot, as well as Ironman Lake Placid champion and age-group Ironman world champion Kyle Buckingham of South Africa.

In the women’s race, American Sarah Piampiano will be looking for her first Ironman title of 2016 after a stellar 2015 season—she finished the year with a seventh place in Kona and her first Ironman title in Western Australia. While she’s fine in the Kona Points Rankings, she’s likely looking for a little more Ironman experience before the October world championship. She’ll be facing tough competition from Aussie Kate Bevilaqua, a multiple Ironman champion, speedy swimmer and American Amanda Stevens and Brazilian Ariane Monticeli, who burst onto the Ironman scene with a win at the 2015 Ironman South American Championships.

RELATED PHOTOS: 2016 Ironman 70.3 Vineman

Pro men
Max Biessman (USA)
Chris McDonald (AUS)
Richie Cunningham (AUS)
Kyle Buckingham (RSA)
Barrett Brandon (USA)
Thomas Gerlach (USA)
Pedro Gomes (POR)
Guy Crawford (NZL)
Rafael Goncalves (BRA)
Nicholas Granet (FRA)
Andrew Langfield (USA)
Colin Laughery (USA)
Jim Lubinski (USA)
Doug Maclean (USA)
Sergio Quezada Ruiz (MEX)
Jonathan Shearon (USA)
Jesse Vondracek (USA)
Dantley Young (USA)

Pro women
Sarah Piampiano (USA)
Kate Bevilaqua (AUS)
Amanda Stevens (USA)
Ariane Monticeli (BRA)
Katy Cargiulo (USA)
Terry Casey (USA)
Kendra Goffredo (USA)
Monica Juhart (AUS)
Jocelyn McCauley (USA)
Ashley Paulson (USA)
Darbi Roberts (USA)
Jessica Smith (USA)
Kyra Wiens (USA)

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How To Plan An Ironman Nutrition Strategy http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/nutrition/planning-an-ironman-nutrition-strategy_81738 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/nutrition/planning-an-ironman-nutrition-strategy_81738#respond Fri, 29 Jul 2016 19:10:08 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=81738

Photo: Kurt Hoy

Q: I rode with a buddy last weekend who recommended a new nutrition strategy—a mixture of two new (to me) sports drinks. Should I try it?

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Q: I’m training for my first Ironman, which is in a month. I have been using a sports drink and eating energy bars and sandwiches on the bike, but I rode with a buddy last weekend who recommended a new nutrition strategy—a mixture of two new (to me) sports drinks. Should I try it?

A: Unless you have been experiencing repeated G.I. distress (gas, bloating, nausea or diarrhea) during or after training sessions with your current nutrition strategy, then no!

I recommend sports drinks that contain both dextrose and sucrose, and extra sodium. The mixture of carbohydrates is important, as dextrose requires no digestion. Although both sugars provide rapidly available energy, they are taken up by the G.I. tract differently, which helps deliver more carbs to your working muscles, and helps maintain energy, pace and performance. Extra salt is crucial to endurance athletes, as we sweat 0.5 to 2-plus liters per hour during exercise, and 500 to 1,500-plus milligrams of sodium per liter of sweat! It’s also a good idea to use a mixture of liquid calories (sports drink) and solid calories (bars and sandwiches).

RELATED: Simple Half-Ironman Nutrition Advice

Most triathletes I work with do better, feel better and experience less G.I. distress during an Ironman event when they take in solid as well as liquid calories on the bike. Thirty to 50 percent of your calories consumed on the bike should come from solid foods. What you can still do at this point in your Ironman prep is to calculate your current intake of fluid, carbs and sodium per hour, and adjust, if necessary, as you fine-tune your race-day Ironman fueling strategy.

RELATED: Dirk Bockel’s Hawaii Ironman Nutrition Plan

Lauren Antonucci, R.D., is a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics, three-time Ironman and founding director of Nutrition Energy in NYC.

If you’d like to have your nutrition questions answered in Triathlete magazine, send an email to fuel@competitorgroup.com

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Australian Pro To Receive 4-Year Ban For Doping http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/news/australian-pro-receive-4-year-ban-doping_134854 Fri, 29 Jul 2016 16:11:39 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=134854

Lisa Marangon of Australia. Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images for Challenge

Multi-time 70.3 winner Lisa Marangon makes official statement prior to receiving maximum penalty from ASADA for testing positive for banned

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Multi-time 70.3 winner Lisa Marangon makes official statement prior to receiving maximum penalty from ASADA for testing positive for banned PED.

Nearly five months after being notified she had tested positive for the banned performance enhancing drug (PED), Ostarine, following her fifth-place finish at Challenge Melbourne in January, Australian pro triathlete Lisa Marangon has issued a precursory statement to Triathlete prior to what is expected to be a maximum ban (four years) issued by the Australian Sports Anti-doping Authority (ASADA) within the next 48 hours (Australian Eastern Standard Time – AEST).

The 36-year-old Sydney native was first contacted on March 9 regarding her positive A-sample, and then again in May after her B-sample also came back positive.

According to Marangon, who denies any intentional wrongdoing or knowledge of the drug in question, her water bottle was maliciously tampered with during a 30-minute window while her race nutrition was left unattended prior to the half-iron distance race start. Marangon told Triathlete during an exclusive interview set to be published next week, she was offered two reduced sentences by ASADA if she would provide the agency an admission of guilt—the first, a one-year sentence following the initial findings, and a subsequent two-year ban after the second urine sample proved conclusive.

The multi-time Ironman 70.3 winner and former top-ranked ITU Long Distance female (2009) refused to plea bargain as she adamantly proclaims her innocence as read in her official statement sent to Triathlete on Friday.

Lisa Marangon’s official statement:

“It is with a heavy heart that I wish to announce that in January of this year I tested positive for a banned substance, called ‘Ostarine.’ As will be evident over the coming period of time, I maintain that I did not knowingly take this substance and that I am the victim of tampering and or sabotage at the hands of person/s who wish to cause me harm. 

“I will continue to protest my innocence, regardless of the findings and sanctions which are in the process of being handed down against me. Whilst I am devastated that this will likely bring about the end of my professional triathlon career, I would like to state clearly that I have been completely honest and fully cooperative with ASADA during the investigative process, and hold no ill will toward that agency, the race or the sport. 

“As stated above, I will continue to try to clear my name and hopefully also serve as an example to others to be more careful in the future.” – Lisa Marangon, Friday, July 29, 2016

Also known as MK-2866, Ostarine is a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM). The drug binds to an athlete’s muscle receptors and enhances steroid-like muscle growth. Independent testing showed Marangon had 25mg of the PED in her system on race day.

Triathlete sent an email request on Monday to Triathlon Australia for a comment on the matter, and the national governing body replied stating: “the matter falls under the direction of ASADA and as such we are unable to make comment at this stage.”

In March, U.S. triathlete Ashley Paulson, 34, of Pleasant Grove, Utah, accepted a six-month ban for testing positive for the same drug in an out-of-competition urine sample test in September 2015.

The recently turned pro was taking a supplement that was subsequently examined, tested and found to be contaminated with the drug.

Her period of ineligibility began on Oct. 16, 2015. She has been disqualified from all competitive results, medals, points and prizes obtained on or after Sept. 14, the date the sample was collected.

Marangon’s last win came in December at the inaugural T3X Endurance Triathlon (4km swim/120km bike/30km run) six weeks prior to Challenge Melbourne (Jan. 31). Her last three races since include seventh-place finish at Ironman 70.3 Geelong (Feb. 7), fourth-place at the Husky ‘Long Course’ (Feb. 21) and a DNF at Ironman New Zealand (March 5).

Aaron S. Lee is a pro triathlon and cycling columnist for Eurosport, and contributor to Triathlete and Velonews.

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Quick Set Friday: 4×100 Best Average http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/training/quick-set-friday-4x100-best-average_99018 Fri, 29 Jul 2016 15:10:52 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=99018

Photo: Shutterstock.com

A new swim workout from Triathlete contributor and swimming all-star Sara McLarty.

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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, Flor. 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:
400 choice warm up
8×25 @ :30 (build to FAST!)
4×100 @ 1:30 (best average!)
400 (50 kick/50 swim)
4×100 @ 1:25 (best average!)
400 (50 non-free/50 free)
4×100 @ 1:20 (best average!)
400 pull (3/5 breathing by 100)
8×50 @ :60 (ALL FAST!)
400 cool down (100 IM/100 free, repeat)
*4200 total*

RELATED – Ask Coach Sara: Getting Comfortable In The Water

B:
300 choice warm up
8×25 @ :40 (build to FAST!)
4×100 @ 2:00 (best average!)
400 (50 kick/50 swim)
4×100 @ 1:55 (best average!)
400 (50 non-free/50 free)
4×100 @ 1:50 (best average!)
400 pull (3/5 breathing by 100)
200 cool-down
*3500 total*

RELATED – Ask Coach Sara: The Optimal Strokes Per Breath

C:
300 choice warm-up
4×25 w/ :20 rest (build to FAST!)
4×100 w/ :30 rest (descend 1-4)
300 (50 kick/50 swim)
4×100 w/ :30 rest (descend 1-4)
300 (50 non-free/50 free)
400 pull (3/5 breathing by 50)
200 cool-down
*2400 total*

More swim workouts from Sara McLarty.

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Suit Up! 9 Wetsuit Reviews http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/swim/suit-9-wetsuit-reviews_134840 Fri, 29 Jul 2016 15:10:10 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=134840

Aqua Sphere Racer
Photo by Oliver Baker

No matter your budget or swimming experience, there’s a wetsuit to fit your unique needs.

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No matter your budget or swimming experience, there’s a wetsuit to fit your unique needs. We tested nine of the latest models to help you find the perfect match for your next race.

Aqua Sphere Racer

$500, Aquasphereswim.com

Best for: Core stability and cold-water swims

Aqua Sphere updated its entire lineup of wetsuits in 2016 and the new Racer has a striking aesthetic with some trickle-down features from the range-topping Phantom, but at this price, we would like more flexibility through the shoulders. The 2mm panels on the shoulders and sleeves are thicker than similarly priced wetsuits and that additional thickness provides some extra warmth. The lower body also benefits from buoyancy, and the quick release ankle panels make the suit easy to stomp off.

RELATED – 2016 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Wetsuits

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A Look At Finis’ New Edge Fins http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/gear-tech/look-finis-new-edge-fins_134826 Thu, 28 Jul 2016 21:22:30 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=134826

Photo by Oliver Baker

Propulsive power meets a natural feel in these new fins from Finis.

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Propulsive power meets a natural feel in these new fins from Finis. 

Choosing the right pair of fins can mean deciding between too much propulsion or an unnatural kick, but Finis’ new Edge fins strike the right balance. The ergonomic silicone fins are propulsive enough to power you through kick sets while still challenging your key kicking muscles needed for an efficient freestyle stroke.

  • While a lot of fins hold your foot in with a full heel cup, the Edge simply straps around the back of your ankle for a comfy, flexible fit.
  • Finis conducted extensive testing to determine the right blade angle that wouldn’t interfere with the kick, and this design feels incredibly natural in the water.
  • Vents direct water flow in a streamlined way to avoid drag while propelling you across the pool.
  • We loved the open toe design that doesn’t suffocate your feet or impede on any potential blisters from running.
  • Just because the fins assist with propulsion doesn’t mean you’re not working hard—you can feel your glutes and hamstrings working on the up-kick, making the fins an effective strengthening tool.

$55, Finisinc.com 

RELATED: The Stories Behind Triathlon’s Unique Brand Names

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Recipe Of The Week: Yellowtail Tacos http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/nutrition/recipe-week-yellowtail-tacos_134823 Thu, 28 Jul 2016 21:04:29 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=134823

A simple (and tasty!) recipe for preparing this fresh fish.

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When you have an ingredient as fresh as yellowtail or ahi tuna, it’s best to keep it simple and let it speak for itself. Fresh cilantro, a schmear of avocado, and an easy slaw are all you need for a light summer’s meal.

Ingredients

Serves 4
8 thick corn tortillas*
20-24 oz fresh yellowtail or ahi tuna steaks
½ cup shredded green cabbage
½ cup shredded red cabbage
½ cup shredded/grated jicama
2 TBSP gourmet mayonnaise**
2 TBSP fresh lime juice
2 small avocados
1 heaping cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly torn
canola oil, salt, pepper (for cooking the tuna)

*Look for specialty brand or locally made tortillas for a more authentic flavor.
**Check your specialty grocer for gourmet-homemade mayonnaise brand. You won’t go back to a mass-produced brands… ever.

RELATED RECIPE: Napa Cabbage, Grapefruit And Avocado Salad With Seared Tuna

Preparation

1. In a bowl, toss together the cabbages, jicama, mayonnaise and lime juice. Set aside.
2. Using a gas stove, heat two burners to medium-high and toast the tortillas over the open flame until slightly charred on each side. Alternatively, heat oven to Hi Broil and char on the top shelf 30-60 seconds per side. Wrap in a towel on a plate to keep warm.
3. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Toss the tuna with a small amount of canola oil, salt and pepper. Sear for 30-45 seconds per side, remove and let rest on a cutting board.
4. To assemble the tacos, thinly slice the tuna. Schmear ¼ of an avocado on each tortilla. Divide the slaw over the avocado. Lay the tuna over the top of the avocado and scatter the cilantro over the top.

More recipes from Jessica Cerra

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

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4 Treadmill Sessions For Triathletes http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/training/4-treadmill-sessions-for-triathletes_117030 Thu, 28 Jul 2016 14:16:43 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=117030

Photo: iStock

Four purposeful workouts to help you use the treadmill to your training advantage.

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Four purposeful workouts to help you use the treadmill to your training advantage.

Whether you’re waiting for cooler weather to arrive or simply need more of a focus indoors, the treadmill is a useful tool to maximize your run training. Coach Brad Seng of D3 Multisport in Boulder, Colo., designed these quality sessions to keep the fun factor intact for when the treadmill gets daunting or mentally stale.

Buffer Buffs Hill Reps

Warm-up
15’ easy jogging with 4×20’’ bursts and 40’’ easy for recovery at the end

Main set
Repeat the following pattern 3–4 times. Do the strength exercises off to the side of the treadmill.
45’’ hard Zone 3–4/5K effort at 4–6% grade
5 squat jumps
15’’ sprint Zone 5 at 4–6% grade.
20 high knee skips
45’’ moderate Zone 2–3/half-marathon effort at 4–6% grade
10 push-ups
45’’ fast uphill Zone 3/10K effort at 4–6% grade
10 split squat jumps
45’’ moderate Zone 2–3/half-marathon effort at 1% grade
10 double leg hops
1:30 fast Zone 3/10K effort at 1% grade
Walk 2–3’ or stand on edge of treadmill to recover

Cool-down
10’ easy jogging with final 2–3’ walking

Key: ’ = minutes | ” = seconds

RELATED: The Benefits Of Treadmill Training

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Aquabike To Debut At ITU Multisport World Champs In Penticton http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/news/aquabike-debut-itu-multisport-world-champs-penticton_134818 Thu, 28 Jul 2016 14:16:09 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=134818

Photo: Shutterstock.com

For the first time ever, Aquabike will be contested at the ITU World Championship level next August.

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For the first time ever, Aquabike will be contested at the ITU World Championship level next August in Penticton at the 2017 ITU Multisport World Championships.

Read the news from Triathlon.org below:

A race that combines long distance swimming and biking, adding Aquabike to the festival lineup offers age group athletes the opportunity to earn another world title at one World Championship event in the picturesque city of Penticton August 18-27, 2017.

“The multisport world continues to grow at an incredible rate,” said ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado. “Offering multisport races like Aquabike promotes the growth of triathlon worldwide, as it makes the sport accessible to everyone of all ages and abilities no matter where they are.”

“We are thrilled to be adding Aquabike World Championships to the docket at ITU Multisport World Championships in Penticton next August. The addition of Aquabike means the Multisport World Championships is truly complete, with five World Championship events,” said race executive director Michael Brown.

Aquabike joins the World Championship event in addition to Duathlon, Aquathlon, Cross Triathlon and Long Distance Triathlon. The Aquabike race will see athletes swim 3km followed by a 120 km bike, mirroring the length of the Long Distance Triathlon. The finish line will be right after the second transition, with athletes racking their bikes at a second transition, and then sprinting to cross the finish line.

The 10-day Multisport World Championships is expected to see more than 7,000 age groupers race in the heart of the city, with the epicenter being along the beachfront of Okanagan Lake and Okanagan Lake Park. The spectator friendly courses will feature a variety of terrain and include some of the area’s many vistas, wineries and landmarks, as well as the downtown area.

All participants and visitors will enjoy a full week of triathlon action, as well as concerts, street dance, race expo, parade of nations, kids races and awards presentations.

For more information on ITU Multisport World Championship Festival, check Penticton2017.com.

RELATED: ITU Confirms Dates For Penticton 2017 Multisport World Champs

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7 Awkward (But Useful!) Swim Drills http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/swim/7-awkward-useful-swim-drills_134815 Thu, 28 Jul 2016 14:02:54 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=134815

Photo: iStock

Improving your freestyle demands that you embrace the unnatural.

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Improving your freestyle demands that you embrace the unnatural.  

If swimming technique felt like second nature, we’d all be gold medalists by now! Some swim drills can make you feel like you’re awkwardly floundering in the water, but with practice can really have an impact on how you swim. Add these tricky but purposeful drills to your swim repertoire and reap the stroke-enhancing benefits.

1. Shark drill

How to: Hold a kickboard between your thighs. Swim freestyle with no kick. At the finish of each stroke reach a bit further and tap the part of the kickboard that is sticking out of the water (your “fin”).

Purpose: Ensures that you finish each stroke past your hip, and also encourages the torso to rotate without the hips and legs, as well as a quick arm recovery.

Variation: Use a pull buoy instead of a kickboard.

2. Fist drill

How to: Ball your hands into fists and swim freestyle.

Purpose: To feel how the forearm and upper arm are a part of your “paddle,” and to help increase stroke turnover.

Variation: Hold a tennis (or similarly sized) ball in both hands to prevent cheating and boost the lack of resistance on the palm.

3. Tarzan

How to: Swim freestyle while holding your head out of the water and looking towards the end of the pool.

Purpose: This drill builds neck strength and body awareness for open water sighting. It also serves as a way to check if you cross the centerline when your hands enter the water.

Variation: Try to keep your head lifted out of the water while keeping the arms underwater during the recovery portion of the stroke for a version of the doggie paddle.

RELATED: In Defense Of Swim Drills

4. Three Wide

How to: Swim an entire set with two other people (of similar ability) in your lane. Push off every wall at the same time. Switch positions within the lane on a regular basis.

Purpose: To get used to swimming in very tight spaces. Learn how to get aggressive for your patch of water and reduce the fear of being touched, pushed, hit and kicked.

Variation: Push off at the same time for the first lap and then drop into a pace line (similar to cycling) to practice drafting.

5. Uncoor

How to: Stroke with the right arm only, keep the left arm at your side, and breathe only to the left side. Switch arms and breathing sides every 25 or 50.

Purpose: This uncoordinated movement helps to work on breath timing, stroke coordination and body rotation by forcing you into an awkward stroke pattern.

6. Vertical kicking

How to: Position yourself vertically in the deep end of the pool (must be at least 1 foot deeper than your height). Clasp your hands around your waist to prevent using them. Keep your head above the water by freestyle kicking.

Purpose: Improve freestyle kick technique and strength.

Variation: Slowly raise your fingers, hands, wrists and forearms above the water to observe the change in balance.

7. Open and shut

How to: Swim freestyle with one hand closed in a fist and the other hand palm open. Switch hands every 25 or 50 yards.

Purpose: Helps develop a feel for the water; work on balance and gain awareness of how important a flat palm is to propulsion.

Variation: Take this drill up a notch by holding a tennis ball in one hand and a paddle in the other hand. Swap hand objects every 50 yards.

RELATED: Diversify Your Swim Drills

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DIY Open Water Swim Lesson http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/training/diy-open-water-lesson_134812 Wed, 27 Jul 2016 16:55:50 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=134812

Photo: iStock

Can’t bring a coach along to your next ocean swim? Have no fear. Follow this step-by-step guide from coach Bryan Mineo.

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Can’t bring a coach along to your next ocean swim? Have no fear. Follow this step-by-step guide from coach Bryan Mineo.

The open water can either be an inviting place or a necessary evil to compete in triathlon, depending on your outlook. The key to making your navigation in the ocean (or lake or river) easier and more enjoyable is learning as much as you can about the dynamics of the water. To help create a safe, positive experience the next time you’re in open water, follow these steps, which I outline for my athletes during swims in the Pacific.

Check conditions

Standing on the shore, look out into the water, taking notice of the movement. In the ocean, each hour brings about different conditions. The better read you have on the water, the more prepared you will be to anticipate and work with its movement while swimming. Pay close attention to where the waves are breaking relative to shore. This will generally tell you where you need to dive under a wave, which could potentially be right away if the tide is deep enough. The tempo of the waves is also important to note before entering. Count the number of seconds between the break of each wave. In some cases, the frequency can be as often as every 3 or 4 seconds, and other times the waves can have a 10-second lull between them. When you get into the water, you’ll know how often to expect a wave to break so you can avoid getting blindsided and pounded on by the water.

Take note of landmarks

Take a glance around the shoreline and pick a couple of notable landmarks (in different areas) that stand out, such as a cell phone tower, a brightly colored building or a large tree. If you only rely on a race course’s buoys, the waves, other swimmers and foggy goggles could potentially interfere with visibility. The tall fixed objects you choose on land will help keep you on course at all times, regardless of the conditions in the water and other variables.

Get in tune with your breath on land

Before you begin swimming, listen to your breath for a minute. The relaxed, rhythmic nature of your breath on land is precisely what you want to replicate as you enter the water and begin navigating the waves. The importance of maintaining a conscious, smooth breath is to allow you to keep unwanted tension out of your body, as well as to set the cadence and effort of your stroke. You’ll hear me consistently saying, “Focus on your breath!” to my athletes while they’re in the water. This is my way of reminding them to use their breath as feedback. If your breathing is shallow and quick with moderate effort, something isn’t right. Always go back to the smooth breathing pattern you have on land by relaxing and setting your tempo with the rise and fall of the breath.

Investigate the bottom

Inch your way into the water until it’s over your head. From shore, it’s tough to know what the sea floor is like and where it gets deeper. It’s different everywhere. Some places are rocky; others have smooth sand bars or quick drop-offs. This is relevant to knowing how to best approach the swim entry. You wouldn’t want to sprint into the waves and dive into 12-inch deep water only to break your nose!

Navigate the surf

As you’re making your way out and coming back in, it’s imperative to keep sight of the waves. Don’t hesitate when navigating through the waves. As you begin swimming out past the breakers, make a decision as to whether you will dive under the wave or continue freestyle when the wave is 20 feet away from you. This distance will give you enough time to assess the phase of the wave and act accordingly. If the wave is cresting and about to break, dive deep before the wave reaches you to avoid getting pushed back by the momentum. Otherwise, allow the smooth swell to lift you up as you continue your stroke without hesitation. This all takes practice, and the more you do it, the better you will be able to understand and work with the water.

Learn to hit reset

Being able to press the “reset button” when needed is incredibly comforting in the open water. Going to a negative or anxious mind space is avoidable by focusing on the rhythm of your breath and allowing it to dictate the effort of your swimming. If you ever feel particularly fatigued or panicked, I recommend floating on your belly with your head raised, facing the movement of the water. Lightly sculling your hands back and forth will keep you in position to immediately begin freestyle once you’ve reset. When you’re calm and focused, continue swimming for your planned duration, allowing yourself to take a break if you need a moment to collect yourself.

Practice your shore approach

When you head back to shore, breath into your shoulder with each breath so that you can see the waves forming behind you. If a wave is breaking behind you, remember to dive deep with the wave to avoid its turbulence. Continue your freestyle until your hands are grabbing sand multiple strokes in a row. Only then are you ready to stand up and run with high knees onto shore. If you stand upright in waist-deep water, you’re likely to feel the push and pull of the waves slowing down your progress.

RELATED: Triathlon Swim Tips For All Levels

Open Water Skills

Sighting: Sight often! Sync your sighting with your exhale. After inhaling on the left side, while your face is returning to the water with your left arm recovering forward, extend your head and neck forward to sight. Practice sighting in the pool at least once every 50 yards. This will help integrate sighting mechanics into your stroke so that they will be engrained when you get into the open water.

Tempo: Rhythm is everything in open water. The dynamic movement of the water makes it difficult to maintain the same momentum as in the pool. Practice using a water metronome (like a Finis Tempo Trainer) to create a smooth, balanced turnover in both the pool and open water. The goal is to sync the initiation of your pull with each beep of the metronome. Not only will it help balance your stroke mechanics from side to side, but it will instill proper timing of your pull (where your power comes from).

Drafting: Buddy up and practice swimming in close quarters, simulating a race scenario. Drafting can save significant energy, so it’s always wise to identify a draft buddy. Practice swimming in a line about one foot behind the other person’s feet. You should feel a steady flow of bubbles on your face from the swimmer’s kick if you’re within the correct range. A second option is to draft by swimming in line with another athlete’s hip. You can’t trust that another swimmer will lead you in the right direction, so be sure to maintain regular sighting even while drafting.

Entries and exits: The start and finish of an open water swim can be the most challenging parts. To get comfortable navigating the surf, practice circuits of swimming out past the surf and back into shore and onto the beach. It can be disorienting trying to stand up quickly to run on shore after swimming your race distance. A simple trick to help acclimate quickly is to flex your ankles in all directions a bit during your last stretch of swimming into shore. The more time you spend mastering these skills, the better you will handle conditions on race day.

RELATED: 3 Ways To Improve Your Swim Posture

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A Look At The Triathletes Headed To The Rio Olympics http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/news/look-triathletes-headed-rio-olympics_134807 Wed, 27 Jul 2016 16:04:31 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=134807

Photo: Wagner Araujo/Triathlon.org

Until now, it has been difficult to get a clear picture of what the Rio Olympic triathlon competition will look like.

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With each National Federation holding its own set of qualification rules and announcement dates, it has been difficult to get a clear picture of what the Rio Olympic triathlon competition will look like. Thanks to Triathlon.org, we’re sharing a comprehensive list of Rio-bound triathletes.

These are only the athletes that have been officially announced by their National Federations, pending confirmation by National Olympic Committees, and is not an official entry list for the Olympics. The men will compete in Rio on Aug. 18, followed by the women on Aug. 20.

RELATED PHOTOS: Rio Olympic Test Event

Argentina – Men
Luciano Taccone
Gonzalo Raul Tellechea

Australia – Men
Aaron Royle
Ryan Bailie
Ryan Fisher

Australia – Women 
Emma Moffatt
Erin Densham
Ashleigh Gentle

Austria – Women 
Lisa Perterer
Sara Vilic

Austria – Men 
Thomas Springer

Azerbaijan – Men 
Rostyslav Pevtsov

Barbados – Men 
Jason Wilson

Belgium – Women
Claire Michel
Katrien Verstuyft

Belgium – Men 
Marten Van Riel
Jelle Geens

Bermuda – Women
Flora Duffy

Brazil – Women
Pamella Oliveira

Brazil – Men 
Diogo Sclebin

Canada – Women
Sarah-Anne Brault
Amelie Kretz
Kirsten Sweetland

Canada – Men
Tyler Mislawchuk
Andrew Yorke

Chile – Women
Barbara Riveros

China – Men
Faquan Bai

China – Women

Lianyuan Wang

Costa Rica – Men
Leonardo Chacon

Czech Republic – Women
Vendula Frintova

Denmark – Men

Andreas Schilling

Ecuador – Women
Elizabeth Bravo

Estonia – Women
Kaidi Kivioja

France – Women 
Cassandre Beaugrand
Audrey Merle

France – Men
Vincent Luis
Dorian Coninx
Pierre Le Corre

Germany – Women
Anne Haug
Laura Lindemann

Great Britain – Women
Non Stanford
Vicky Holland
Helen Jenkins

Great Britain – Men
Alistair Brownlee
Jonathan Brownlee
Gordon Benson

Hungary – Women
Margit Vanek
Zsofia Kovacs

Hungary – Men
Gabor Faldum
Tamas Toth

Ireland – Women 
Aileen Reid

Ireland – Men
Bryan Keane

Israel – Men
Ron Darmon

Italy – Women 
Annamaria Mazzetti
Charlotte Bonin

Italy – Men
Alessandro Fabian
Davide Uccellari

Japan – Women
Ai Ueda
Yurie Kato
Yuka Sato

Japan – Men
Hirokatsu Tayama

Jordan – Men
Lawrence Fanous

Mauritius – Women
Fabienne St. Louis

Mexico – Men
Crisanto Grajales
Irving Pérez Pineda
Rodrigo González López

Mexico – Women
Claudia Rivas Vega
Cecilia Gabriela Perez Flores

Netherlands – Women
Rachel Klamer

New Zealand – Women 
Andrea Hewitt
Nicky Samuels

New Zealand – Men
Ryan Sissons
Tony Dodds

Poland – Women
Agnieszka Jerzyk

Portugal – Men
João Pereira
João Silva
Miguel Arraiolos

Puerto Rico – Men
Manuel Huerta

Russia – Men
Alexander Bryukhankov
Dmitry Polyanskiy
Igor Polyanskiy

Russia – Women
Anastasia Abrosimova
Alexandra Razarenova
Mariia Shorets

Slovakia – Men
Richard Varga

Slovenia – Women
Mateja Simic

South Africa – Men
Richard Murray
Henri Schoeman

South Africa – Women
Mari Rabie
Gillian Sanders

Spain – Men 
Mario Mola
Fernando Alarza
Vicente Hernández

Spain – Women 
Ainhoa Murua
Carolina Routier
Miriam Casillas Garcia

Sweden – Women 
Lisa Norden

Switzerland – Women 
Nicola Spirig
Jolanda Annen

Switzerland – Men 
Sven Riederer
Andrea Salvisberg

Ukraine – Men
Ivan Ivanov

Ukraine – Women
Yuliya Yelistratova

USA – Men
Joe Maloy
Greg Billington
Ben Kanute

USA – Women
Gwen Jorgensen
Sarah True
Katie Zaferes

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Should My Pre-Race Meal Differ From What I Eat In Training? http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/nutrition/134803_134803 Tue, 26 Jul 2016 23:43:59 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=134803

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Whether it is the “A” race or a big training day, your sports nutrition practice and routines are critical for improving your

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The food you eat from five minutes up to four hours before activity helps refuel your muscles and brain, which are depleted overnight—on average, athletes can lose up to 25 percent of their glycogen stores by morning. Whether it is the “A” race or a big training day, your sports nutrition practice and routines are critical for improving your performance. Pre-event meals should emulate those on training days.

Pre-activity meals should consist primarily of carbohydrates and fluids. Aim for 100–150 grams of easy-to-digest carbohydrates in the 2–3 hours leading up to an event, allowing enough time for digestion and absorption. A sample meal would be a bagel (salted if a hot day) with nut butter and honey plus 20–24 ounces of sports drink. My go-to is a smoothie made with protein powder (10–20 grams maximum, only used for blood sugar regulation) and fruit, with an English muffin with almond butter and honey. Be mindful that as the amount of food and fat (nut butters or nuts) consumed increases, so does the time needed for digestion.

RELATED: Your Nutritional Game For A Successful Away Race

A nervous stomach or an early start can make it uncomfortable to eat much. One alternative is a liquid meal (smoothie), or lighter snacks like toast, fruit or yogurt. Typically, you cannot replace the fluids lost as sweat during exercise. If you’re planning for a hot day, try pre-loading your body with sodium and hydrating well. Drinks with electrolytes and carbohydrates are very beneficial before, during and after the race.

“Normal” glycogen levels last for 90 minutes of continuous activity. If you don’t refuel glycogen levels, you will likely reach exhaustion and not be able to maintain normal exercise intensity after 90 minutes. If your pre-event is less than perfect, make up for it by refueling during the event.

In addition, consider individual preferences. If you believe that a specific food will improve performance, then the psychological effect of consuming that food may result in enhanced performance. We all may have some “lucky” food or regimen. A single pre-event meal will not compensate for a poor training diet. Practice “race” day on your training days … that is the best sports nutrition possible!

RELATED: What Do I Eat The Night Before A Race?

There are three main goals when eating prior to exercise:
1. Prevent weakness and fatigue as a result of low blood sugar levels or inadequate muscle glycogen stores.
2. Ward off feelings of hunger yet minimize gastrointestinal distress.
3. Guarantee optimal hydration, especially if you’re battling hot temps!

Jill Whisler, MS, RDN is a wellness dietitian and a three-time ITU World Championship Short Course competitor.

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USAT Youth And Junior National Championships Set For This Weekend http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/news/usat-youth-junior-national-championships-set-weekend_134800 Tue, 26 Jul 2016 22:44:04 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=134800

Taylor Knibb is the defending Junior Elite National Champion and a Junior Worlds silver medalist. Photo: Erik Schelkun/USA Triathlon

Nearly 900 young triathletes ages 7-19 will return to West Chester, Ohio for the USA Triathlon Youth & Junior National Championships.

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For the fifth straight year, nearly 900 young triathletes ages 7-19 will return to West Chester, Ohio, and Voice of America Park this Saturday and Sunday for the USA Triathlon Youth & Junior National Championships.

Read the preview from USA Triathlon below:

Swim, bike, run action begins on Saturday, July 30, at 8 a.m. ET with the draft-legal championship races for junior elite (ages 16-19) and youth elite (ages 13-15). Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.), the 2015 ITU Junior World Championships silver medalist and defending women’s Junior Elite National Champion, and Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.), the defending men’s Junior Elite National Champion, highlight the nine Youth and Junior Elite Nationals medalists from 2015 who will compete this weekend in search of more hardware.
Competing on a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run course, the returning medalists include Page Lester (Washington, D.C.), 2015 Junior Elite Nationals bronze medalist; Darr Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) and Chase McQueen (Columbus, Ind.), who finished second and third last year behind Rider; and Youth Elite National Champion Kira Stanley (Acworth, Ga.) and Youth Elite Nationals silver medalist Thomas Oates (Chelsea, Mich.), who both aged up to the junior elite level this year.
Youth Elite Nationals will cover a 375m swim, 10k bike and 2.5k run course, and last year’s champion Zach Wilson (Carmel, Ind.) looks to repeat his winning performance. Both Junior Elite and Youth Elite Nationals races feature the draft-legal format contested in the Olympic Games next month, and athletes competing for national titles in those races on Saturday may one day represent the U.S. at the Games, following in the footsteps of former Junior Elite National Champions and 2016 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team members Greg Billington and Ben Kanute.
Nearly all of last year’s 18 age-group champions are also on the start list for West Chester this weekend, with most set to compete on Sunday, July 31, beginning at 10:40 a.m. ET. Julen Lujambio (Wallingford, Conn.), who won the boys 14-year-old division last year, will compete in the boys Youth Elite Nationals on Saturday, while 14 athletes hope to win national titles in their respective age groups again this year: Hazel Wells (9, Richmond, Va.), Xavier Garriques (9, Lake Forest, Ill.), Clara James-Heer (10, Coopersville, Mich.), Jack Diemar (10, Eagle, Colo.), Ava Birchmier (11, Ankeny, Iowa), Braxton Legg (11, Tampa, Fla.), Courtney Diemar (12, Eagle, Colo.), Lawson McLeod (12, Port St. Lucie, Fla.), Cassidy Hickey (13, Parker, Colo.), Nicolas Raffinengo (13, Boynton Beach, Fla.), Heather Welsch (14, Alvin, Texas) and McKenzie Hogue (15, Alabaster, Ala.). Garriques, James-Heer, J. Diemar, McLeod, Hickey and Raffinengo also won their age groups in 2014.
The competitive distances for Youth Nationals competitors are age-based and range from a 100m swim, 5k bike and a 1k run for ages 7-10 to a 200m swim, 10k bike and 2k run for athletes ages 11-15.
In addition to the in the individual events, many of the athletes ages 13-19 will also form the 55 relay teams expected in the Mixed Team Relay event at 7:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, July 31. The draft-legal team relay features four competitors (two male, two female) per team, each of whom will complete a 250m swim, a 5k bike and a 1.2k run.

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Pedal Pusher: Finding The Right Pedals For You http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/gear-tech/pedal-pusher-finding-right-pedals_134794 Tue, 26 Jul 2016 22:10:01 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=134794

Make the right decision about your most important contact point.

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Make the right decision about your most important contact point. 

Few gear choices come with higher levels of partisanship for experienced cyclists and triathletes than pedals. Perhaps the most important contact point you have with your bike, pedals have the critical role of transferring power from your legs to your drivetrain. Which system is most efficient is a hotly debated topic, but figuring out the best option for your needs should come down to a few key features: float, ease of entry and exit, weight and price. Here’s an overview of the three most popular pedal brands among triathletes: Shimano, Speedplay and Look.

Shimano

Benefits: Secure standby, trickle-down performance

Shimano is the market leader in pedals and cleats. Their pedals are known for their extra-wide platforms and they also have trickled down carbon pedal bodies from Dura-Ace to Ultegra and 105 models. Different cleat options offer varying amounts of float, which is how much your foot can rotate around the center of the pedal before unclipping. You can purchase cleats that allow zero, two or six degrees of float. The amount of tension required to clip in and out of the pedal is also adjustable.

Pictured: Shimano PD-5800 SPD-SL 105 Pedals

$145, Shimano.com

Key feature: Value-driven performance

With a carbon composite body, Shimano’s 105 pedals offer the same key design features as the Ultegra and Dura-Ace models with only a slight weight penalty.

Tension: Adjustable
Cleat float: Zero, two or six degrees
Weight: 275 grams

RELATED – TriWorkbench: Removing Bike Pedals

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Swim Vocabulary 101 http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/training/swim-vocabulary-101_94570 Tue, 26 Jul 2016 17:37:40 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=94570

A Master's swim session. Photo: Nils Nilsen

Feeling lost during your Masters workout? Brush up on common pool workout terms with our glossary.

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Feeling lost during your Masters workout? Brush up on common pool workout terms with our glossary.

Descend
(ex: “4×100 on 2:00, descend 1–4”): The goal of this set is to decrease the time it takes to swim each 100. Swim the first 100 at a conservative effort, No. 2 a bit faster, the third even faster and No. 4 your fastest. This type of set is best for learning how to control pace so you finish strong.

Build
(ex: “8×50 on :60, build each 50”): This term refers to effort and means to build from an easy effort at the beginning of each 50 to a strong effort by the end of the 50. Typically, this term is found in a warm-up set to gradually increase your heart rate to prepare for the main set.

Breathing Pattern
(ex: “5×150 on 3:00, 3/5/7 breathing pattern by 50”): This set instructs you to swim the first 50 breathing every third stroke, the second 50 breathing every fifth stroke, and the final 50 of each 150 breathing every seventh stroke.

RELATED: Learn To Love The Pool (Really!)

TT
(ex: “500 TT”): Time trial. This means you’ll do a timed effort of a prescribed distance, going as fast as you can for that interval. These are good opportunities to test your fitness to compare to past and future sets of similar length.

Easy/Recovery
Swim as easily as possible during this type of set to get your heart rate and breathing to return to normal and allow your body to recover fully. There are no winners or records to be set during a recovery swim.

Negative Split
(ex: “500 pull, negative split”): Swim the second half faster than the first half. In this example, the second 250 should be faster than the first. This type of interval teaches pace control and finishing strong.

Base
(ex: “4×100 base”): Your “base pace” is the pace you can comfortably hold for multiple 100s in a row with a few seconds to spare at a moderate effort. So, if you can swim 10x100s comfortably hitting 1:35–1:37 every time, you belong in the 1:40 or 1:45 lane. Some workouts are prescribed off of base, so you may be assigned 100 on base, 200 on base +:05, etc.

RELATED: How To Choose The Right Masters Lane

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One-Hour Workouts: 7 Track Sessions To Try http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/training/one-hour-workouts-7-track-sessions-try_134779 Tue, 26 Jul 2016 16:29:01 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=134779

Top coaches from around the country share their favorite speedwork sessions for the track.

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Every Tuesday we feature a different coach’s workout you can complete in 60 mins (or less!), and this week we’re compiling seven of our favorite track sessions. See the complete collection of one-hour workouts—there are 175 total—here.

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How I Fuel: Off-Road Racing http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/nutrition/fuel-off-road-racing_134757 Mon, 25 Jul 2016 23:02:34 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=134757

Photo: XTERRA/Jesse Peters

The USAT Off-Road Triathlete of the Year shares how he fuels for the unique demands of the trails.

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The USAT Off-Road Triathlete of the Year shares how he fuels for the unique demands of the trails.

Cole Bunn, 20

Location
Boulder, Colo. 

Occupation
Student, midshipman third class in the University of Colorado’s Naval ROTC program

Course cred
2015 USAT Off-Road Triathlete of the Year, first overall amateur at 2015 XTERRA National Championship, second overall amateur at the 2015 XTERRA Southeast Championship 

Backstory
An athletic child, Bunn discovered a passion specifically for competitive swimming in elementary school. His grandfather (“my hero while growing up”) introduced him to his first kids’ triathlon after a few years of swimming. During high school, Bunn participated in both cross-country and swimming, and looking for a new challenge between his sophomore and junior years, he came across XTERRA. He believes his first XTERRA, Sugar Bottom, was the most painful experience of his life, but the pain and challenge were also what hooked him.

RELATED: New To XTERRA? Take These Tips From A World Champ

For off-road triathlons, particularly on the bike, there are often no aid stations because it’s difficult to find spots on the trail to set them up and even harder to transport everything to those spots. This requires you to be more self-reliant and more in tune with your body to know exactly what you’ll need during the race.

You need to be more strategic and decide ahead of time where you want to drink and eat because if you try to take your bottle out of its cage and drink from it during a technical section of singletrack, you could be in for a bad day.

At XTERRA Nationals, on the bike I carried two bottles of First Endurance EFS and a flask of EFS Liquid Shot, which I also took with me on the run. I sweat a lot, and the high electrolyte content of First Endurance products works well for me. Aid stations are more frequent on the run course, and I make sure I grab water or sports drink from each one, even if I just end up putting it in my mouth then spitting it out.

During training, especially on longer rides, I’m in the “real food” camp, and I usually eat small bits of sweet potato brownies and rice balls; however, during races, I stick with electrolyte drink mixes and gels because I find them easier to carry, handle and consume.

The night before a race I’ll eat pizza and some spinach, and drink beet juice. The morning of a race, I have a bagel with peanut butter and honey, a banana, Ensure and some more beet juice. About 45 minutes before race start, I sip on 6 ounces of EFS mixed with a little bit of Liquid Shot and First Endurance Pre-Race powder.

RELATED – How I Fuel: Race Morning

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Photos: 2016 Ironman Switzerland http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/ironman/photos-2016-ironman-switzerland_134724 Mon, 25 Jul 2016 22:50:16 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=134724

Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Daniela Ryf earned the victory one week after dominating Challenge Roth.

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Defending Ironman world champion Daniela Ryf simply needed to get across the finish line—in any position—at Sunday’s Ironman Switzerland to validate her spot on Kona’s start line, but she did much more than that. She was strong all day in front of the women’s race to take the victory in an impressive time of 8:53:49, putting together a 55:16 swim, a 4:46:31 bike and a 3:07:31 marathon. She did all of that one week after earning her first Challenge Roth crown in 8:22:04. In the men’s professional race, Switzerland’s Ronnie Schildknecht earned the win in 8:17:04. Read the recap here

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Master The Bike With Chris Lieto: Tire Pressure Tips http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/07/video/master-bike-chris-lieto-tire-pressure-tips_134721 Mon, 25 Jul 2016 21:36:01 +0000 http://triathlon.competitor.com/?p=134721

Lieto shares his tips for finding the right tire pressure for various riding conditions.

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Ironman champion Chris Lieto, one of the greatest cyclists triathlon has seen, has created a series of training videos with the goal of giving you a simplified approach to getting the most out of your bike training. Here, Lieto shares his tips for finding the right tire pressure for various riding conditions. Sign up for more free tips from Chris on the Master the Bike website.

RELATED – Master The Bike With Chris Lieto: Bike Fit

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