YOUR 2021 RACING PLANS
What will it take for you to register for a triathlon in 2021? Will you require a COVID-19 vaccine? Please take our 3-question survey. We’ll report the results next week.
FAST IN FLORIDA
Last Saturday in Panama City Mike Reilly welcomed over 1,500 triathletes (1,250 in the full-distance event and 300 in the 70.3) to their return to racing in the 21st annual IRONMAN Florida, the first full-distance US IRONMAN of 2020.
Despite the locked-down season, the racing was fast! 3 women finished under 9:00 hours, led by course recordsetter Katrina Matthews in a blistering 8:40:50. On the men’s side 5 pros broke the 8:00 hour barrier, led by winner Chris Leiferman.
Most impressive of all, organizers again demonstrated they have procedures in place to keep athletes, volunteers and staff safe during this era of the pandemic. We can’t wait for more events to come back to life in the coming months!
For triathletes who might be avoiding strength training, remember this: greater strength is never a liability, especially in the pool.
First, let’s debunk the myths about strength training, and understand how your dryland strength work can best support your swimming.
Then, check out the 5 swim-specific exercises favored by coach Jen Rulon, including explanations as to why they’re relevant for triathletes.
Finally, if you really want to go deep (sorry!), you’ll want to study this article on how to improve a swimmer’s most critical movement — the high elbow catch — even when you can’t get to the pool.
RAMP IT UP
Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is the yardstick by which your improvement on the bike can best be measured. FTP refers to the average watts you can sustain for 1 hour and is the most accurate basis for establishing our cycling training zones and workout intensities.
(BTW, FTP is not your lactate threshold. You can learn the difference between the two here.)
While extremely useful, FTP tests are painful (and can be difficult to properly execute). That’s why we like the Ramp Test outlined by our friends at TrainerRoad. It hurts less, eliminates worries about proper pacing, and takes less time. Testing your FTP every 4 to 6 weeks ensures that your training is on track and your zones are dialed-in… and the Ramp Test might be your best choice.
YOUR BEST RECOVERY TOOL
You know that full, deep sleep is critical for athletic recovery.
The science is clear: cooler temperatures at night significantly improve the quality of your sleep and effectiveness of your recovery from workouts.
Professional athletes, Olympians, and champion age group triathletes swear by Chili Technology’s sleep cooling products.
If you’re serious about your training, then optimize your recovery by investing in your rest. TriathlonWire readers get an incredible 25% off by using CHILIPAD25 at checkout.
When we think about speedwork in our training, we often imagine sprints and high intensity intervals. That’s misguided, according to coach Woody Woodward.
In fact, you’re better off referring to “speedwork” as any training that’s faster than race pace.
By including modest, controlled boosts of pace into your training, you gain the benefits of speedwork while minimizing the risk of injury. Consistently including elements of slightly faster pace every week will help your body become more efficient at faster efforts and unlock better performances on race day.
CREATINE FOR ENDURANCE
Creatine aids in the formation of ATP, a key fuel for muscle contraction. Supplementation with creatine monohydrate has been proven to increase strength and sprint speed during short, high intensity efforts.
But is creatine useful for triathletes? An increasing number of studies suggest that — yes — it is.
While it offers few direct benefits to low intensity endurance exercise, creatine does improve performance of sprints, high intensity intervals, and strength training… all useful for those mid-race surges and race-finishing kicks.
How much do you need? A dose of 3-5 gm per day will provide the desired benefits while avoiding the typical weight gain associated with regimens that call for a creatine “loading” phase.
This off-season, consider experimenting with creatine; it’s a supplement that should not be overlooked by triathletes.
- Get Offroad
The 2021 XTERRA World Tour schedule has just been announced and offers 40 events worldwide. Now in its 25th season, XTERRA’s offroad races are the ideal solution for those seeking a socially-distanced and fun triathlon.
- Surf’s Up
Super League Triathlon just purchased the Malibu Triathlon, marking its entry into the USA. Held on world-famous Zuma Beach, the event has attracted Hollywood stars since 1986, and will be the ideal platform for SLT’s exciting format of pro racing.
- But You Knew This
Researchers at the University of Calgary recently discovered that — after just 6 months of consistent aerobic exercise — brain function increased by almost 6%. So, are triathletes smarter? We think you know the answer…