FUELING YOUR RACES
Last week, 3,329 of you completed our survey about race day nutrition. Thank you!
Keep in mind that 74.7% of TriathlonWire readers are prioritizing a 70.3 or full-distance race this year. Here’s what you told us:
- Within 30 minutes prior to the swim, 45.9% of you consume a gel to top the tank (20.6% chug a sports drink, and 8.2% eat an energy bar).
- During the bike, 44.8% of you prefer a sports drink for your calories (while 20.6% choose a gel and 15.3% a bar).
- On the run, nearly half (48.0%) of you reach for a gel (32.4% a sports drink and just 1.8% an energy bar).
Do you want to know the specific sports nutrition products being served at your key race? Tell us more by answering 2 additional questions (it’ll only take you 30 seconds!)
YOUR PERFECT HALF
Referring to a 70.3 IRONMAN as a “half” can be misleading because it suggests a short event. But a race that takes between 4 to 8 hours to complete is anything but short!
That’s why properly pacing an IRONMAN 70.3 can be so difficult. In this article the founder of MyProCoach Phil Mosley shares his method for guiding athletes to optimal performance.
His secret is to base the effort of each phase of the race on intensity and, more specifically, as a percentage of threshold power or heart rate. Other than the first 300m of the swim, your aim is to perform at a steady, consistent effort throughout. Here’s how he does it.
By sensibly pacing your 70.3 from the beginning, you avoid going into the “red zone” and set yourself up for running to your potential for a fast finish (which, for most triathletes, will be similar to your full marathon pace).
FASTER AT 40
Many triathletes find that getting older is both a blessing and a curse. They finally have more time to devote to triathlon, but their aging bodies ache, creak and take longer to recover.
Pro Sara Piampiano insists that older does not mean slower!
Check out her 6 tips to ensure continued progress and faster racing… even after 40. Her advice reinforces that — although older — you can be a wiser, more efficient and faster triathlete.
DOES VO2 MAX MATTER?
VO2Max is the maximum amount of oxygen the body can use during exercise. With proper training, we can teach our bodies to use oxygen more efficiently and, presumably, to race faster.
Many consider VO2Max to be the best representation of fitness… But is it, really?
In this Ultimate Guide to VO2Max, the gurus at RunnersConnect present everything you want to know about this sometimes-confusing metric.
They outline the ranges typically found in athletes, and explain why a higher VO2Max doesn’t necessarily mean a faster performance. Most fascinating of all, they reveal the one measure that might be more important than VO2Max (which you can also train to significantly improve).
FINIS understands the unique needs of triathletes, and has a line of innovative products that will make you a confident, faster and more efficient triathlon swimmer.
If you’re stuck indoors, then check out their Slide Dryland Trainer stretch cords. Its clever design provides constant (not variable) resistance throughout the swim stroke cycle. Use it to maintain freestyle tone now, then take it with you for pre-event warmup when we finally get back to racing.
FINIS created the center-mount snorkel in 1995 and their newest iteration – the Speed Stability Snorkel – is comfortable and stable. Triathletes can use a snorkel with fins to focus on body position and pull technique.
Best of all, TriathlonWire readers get a 20% discount by using the coupon code TRIWIRE20 at checkout.
BUST OUT OF YOUR SWIM RUT
If you’ve been in triathlon long enough, you’re going to experience the dreaded swim rut. Often these plateaus in swimming are caused by doing the same workouts over and over… So let’s change things up!
Of course, you can’t improve indefinitely. But usually you can modify a few elements of your training to eke out additional incremental improvements.
Coach Debbie Graham agrees, and offers 15 ways to shake-up your freestyle training. Her comprehensive article will surely provide some ideas that you can apply to your next session to freshen up your routine and uncover some new speed.
SO YOU WANT TO BE A PRO
Have you ever dreamt about what it might be like to lead the privileged life of a pro triathlete? The free high-tech gear, the exotic travel, and having time to devote your life to the sport in order to achieve peak fitness… It sounds wonderful.
But a recent exposé by Jordan Blanco on Witsup.com suggests that the realities of being a pro are not so glamorous. In fact after constantly chasing sponsorships, federation funding, prize money and side hustles, it’s a wonder the pros perform as well as they actually do.
The painful economic realities of being a pro in a minority sport are further confirmed in the analysis by TriRating.com. Pandemic or not, triathlon’s elite competitors are not earning big paydays.
What’s clear is that the best in our sport are not in it for the riches; which is why we all might consider thanking them for the inspiration and entertainment they provide to us in their pursuit of excellence.
- Here’s the Catch
In this tutorial, we watch a swimmer’s threshold pace improve by 6 seconds after some adjustments to his hand entry, catch and pull through. This video by the folks at Effortless Swimming helps us better visualize what we want to achieve at the front of our stroke.
- Such a Deal
The price threshold for many top-of-the-line tri bikes is now at an eye-watering $14,000. However, that’s chump change compared to the rig ridden by Sebastian Kienle and Alistair Brownlee.
- Spiking Heart Rates
Well, it had to happen: there’s now a dating app for triathletes. Created by Joel Larson and Canadian pro Angela Naeth, TriathlonDating.com employs a proprietary algorithm to match potential partners by considering a combination of performance metrics and personal lifestyle preferences. Imagine a significant other who will actually wants to hear you talk about your heart rate… Magic!