January 23, 2018

Swim Clinic with 4-time Olympian Sheila Taormina

In the last 15 or so years, certain discoveries regarding stroke technique have moved the ball forward for triathletes who are looking to have an overall relaxed swim with energy left over to power through the rest of the race and improve their times.

But the next level of swimming is here- and it involves this concept of not only having that energy left over, but actually getting FASTER in the water and improving swim times by leaps and bounds!

We are kicking off the new year with an exciting 1-day clinic in Southern California at a fantastic price. To find out more, click on:

http://learntoswimfaster.com

The catch and the pull have been areas that are often overlooked when it comes to traditional triathlon swimming. Not anymore! Not only will we be covering some of the basics in this clinic, as well as doing video critiques of each swimmer’s stroke, we will be teaching the methodology that allowed 5’2 Sheila Taormina to compete at the Olympic level in freestyle against women an entire foot taller than her!

If you are doing lots of drills and even perfecting balance and swimming on your side, but not gaining speed in the water, this clinic is for you!

Find out how to leapfrog over the competition in 2011 by going to

http://learntoswimfaster.com

We are limiting participants to just 25, so if you are interested you will need to act on this quickly. Spots are filling up and we’re not sure when we will be offering the clinic again!

It will be a chance to start your year off right in the swim… and get to the next level with Olympic-caliber instruction!

We hope your season or off-season is going well, and I look forward to seeing you soon in California!

Kevin Koskella & Oguz Yildiz

P.S. We will be offering some take-aways with the clinic, so you can continue to review and improve throughout the year! To sign up go to
http://learntoswimfaster.com

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Recovery

Ironman ArizonaTriathletes have a really tough time with recovery . . . we simply don’t give it the respect it deserves.
You may not know it, but your muscles actually develop during rest, not exercise. That’s the time that the muscles repair themselves so they can come back stronger than before.

The trick with recovery is knowing how and when to apply it.

Here at Triathica we suggest a three-week training cycle for our athletes. The first week is a “Moderate” week which means it’s a hard week. The second week is called a “Maximum” week which, as the name suggests, is a very hard week. We then follow that up with a “Minimum” week which is designed to allow your body to absorb all of the hard work you’ve done.

In addition to the three-week cycle, you should also be allowing your body some recovery time every week. At times that may mean an entire day off or an easy workout (recovery workout). In any case your body needs this time to allow you to really put in a quality workout later in the week.

There are some signs that will tell you if you’re getting enough recovery time. For example, if you’re having trouble sleeping or have extremely low energy. If you’re having trouble motivating yourself to do a particular workout or an elevated heartrate.

In my case, after having done the Ironman World Championships I got a bad cold. The timing was terrible because I had Ironman Arizona just six weeks later.

Knowing that I needed to rest after my race anyway, and that it was best to try to get my cold out of the way, I took an entire week off from any form of exercise. The problem was that when I started back to exercising after that my heart rate was elevated. The way I know that is that I do certain workouts each week on my CompuTrainer and treadmill that I repeat (these are also referred to as “marker sets”) and when I did one workout my heart rate was 20 beats per minute faster than my heart rate just before Kona.

Clearly, I wasn’t recovered from my Ironman or my cold. To try to get ready for Ironman Arizona I knew I would have to get some quality training in but my elevated heart rate told me that would be difficult.

I did the best I could within those six weeks, trying to balance workouts and rest, but at 55 I didn’t succeed the way I would have liked to. If you read my IMAZ race report you’ll see that I had two major breakdowns: my cycling power and my running endurance.

At IM Kona I managed to maintain 200 watts on my bike the entire race whereas I was only able to maintain 164 on my bike at IMAZ. Sure, that was good enough for 8th, which isn’t bad, but I was shooting for 190 watts.

In addition, my goal for the marathon was a 3:45 or 8:35 per mile pace. Sure, this was aggressive but I felt 4:00 tops (9:00 pace) was reasonable. I was able to maintain a 9:00 pace for the first 11 miles but completely bonked afterwards. The run/walk ensued.

It was clear to me that I was not fully rested for IMAZ. My nutrition was good, my training leading up to the race was good, everything was good, except my recovery.

The moral of the story is that you should not underestimate the importance of proper recovery and listen to your body. If it’s telling you you’re not ready for a hard workout, back off.

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Ironman Arizona 2010 Race Report – Ron Saetermoe

Ironman ArizonaBackground
Ironman Arizona has been my “A” race all year. I’ve been training hard for it for a year and have had some great success in the run-up to the race. In April I took second at Ironman 70.3 California (half Ironman) only a little over a minute back from first place. Then in June I did the Ironman 70.3 Hawaii and earned a coveted slot to the Ironman World Championships in Kona.

Needless to say, my plans changed when I won my Kona slot. Now, all of a sudden, I needed to adjust my training to prepare for Kona, then to come back from that race and taper again for Ironman Arizona (IMAZ).

The problem is that when I got back from Kona I got sick. Nothing serious, just a nasty cold. Ordinarily no big deal but with only six weeks between these events this would make things a little more difficult.

I have several workouts I do on a regular basis and I monitor my heart rate during them. Generally speaking, if you can do the same workout and maintain a lower heart rate, you’re getting more fit. I watched my heart rate continue to drop pre-Kona but when I started working out again after Kona my heart rate was running 20 beats higher than pre-Kona! Okay Houston, we have a problem!
I adjusted my training as much as I dared but knew I wouldn’t be in the shape for IMAZ that I wanted to be in. Didn’t matter, I was going to give it everything I had on race day.

Pre-Event
There are two primary reasons for me selecting IMAZ again (third year in a row): it’s only a 5.5 hour ride from home and the bike and run courses are relatively flat. The only flatter course is Ironman Florida which I have no desire to do.
The drive out was uneventful and the hotel nice and cheap! Thursday night I had dinner at Kings Fish House with Dr. Scott Neubauer. Scott helped me work out some of my kinks prior to IM Kona. Scott is a two-time IM Kona qualifier and is a great chiropractor so if you’ve got some kinks, go see Scott. http://www.coastalhealthandfitness.com/

Friday I went for a short bike ride and transition run. The weather was perfect but was going to cool off for race day. I went down to the Expo and met Rene Rodarte, another OC guy in my age group and some of his friends. We got checked in and had our race numbers and age stamped on our bodies. They certainly didn’t have their stuff together because we waited in line over an hour. In Kona this took five minutes!

Later that night was the athlete’s welcome dinner. If you’ve been to one of these affairs you can certainly miss it but since we already paid for it, what the heck! Rene, Rob Hogan and Tim Kliegle (both in my age group too) and Tim’s friend, Laura sat together while we loaded on carbs. We all bolted prior to the “mandatory” athlete’s meeting. Again, nothing ever new in these speeches but if you’ve never been, you should go.

My goal Saturday was to stay off my feet as much as possible. Saturday was also the only day they would let us swim in Tempe Town Lake so I took advantage of it. I took my bike for a quick spin to make sure everything was still working correctly (thanks to Russ Jones for loaning me his race wheels once again), and checked it, and my bike transition and run transition stuff in.

After that Rene and I went for a quick swim and discussed race strategy. I decided to line up where the most traffic, and draft, would be – close to the buoys. While I don’t recommend this for newbies or weaker swimmers, I do believe if you can survive it you will get a better draft.

After our quick dip I went back to the hotel to relax. I napped and returned some emails.

Later that night Scott and another friend of mine, Roy Nesbitt, went back to Kings to finish filling the tank for race day. I was getting excited and was full of expectation.

Sunday morning was finally here. It’s funny when you sign up for these events a full year in advance it doesn’t ever seem like they’re going to get here, then all of a sudden . . .

I woke at 3:30 and took a quick shower. Ate my breakfast of cottage cheese with walnuts and blueberries, toast with peanut butter and OJ. Hit the rest room, finished packing and was on my way.

I arrived at the race site about 4:45. It was chilly. Much colder than it had been, and there was some wind. I’ve learned to over-dress race morning because it just isn’t any fun being cold before jumping into a 60 degree lake!

I made my way to the bike corral. I really want to thank Brad (another guy in my age-group and the only guy to beat me on the swim) for the use of his pump and actually helping me pump my tires up. Sounds silly that it takes two full-grown men to pump up a bicycle tire but you haven’t seen Russ’ tires.

As I finished setting up I noticed the guy at bike #2004. It was Miroslav Vrastil. I spoke to him briefly and he told me that IMAZ would be his 20th Ironman this year and would attempt to do two more! Now that’s an Ironman!

We all donned our wetsuits, dropped off our morning clothes and headed down to the race start. It was still dark.

The Swim
If you read my race report from IMAZ last year you’ll know I had some problems (to say the least). I wasn’t about to make the same mistakes this year. While they were allowing people to get into the water 20 minutes ahead of the start I waited until about 12 minutes before. Treading water at 6:45 a.m. in 60 degree water isn’t that much fun.

I made my way near the front of the group near the buoys as I’d planned. It got very crowded, very quickly. We were being held back by guys in kayaks so we wouldn’t screw up the pro start which was at 6:50.

The pro cannon went off and they were gone. It was just beginning to get light.
After the pros left we were allowed to move up to the start line. Now it was getting very congested and hard to tread water. It didn’t seem to take long and our cannon went off.

These mass swim starts are really something to behold . . . from the shore! When you’re in it you’re wondering how anyone survives! 2,800 people all starting at the same time. Basically, you’re swimming on top of people and they’re swimming on top of you.

You know it’s going to be rough for the first 500 yards or so, so you just hang in there and hope for some clear water. While I’m a “good” swimmer I’m not a “great” swimmer which means I’m not going to be in the lead pack. What it does mean is that there will be plenty of traffic around me for the entire swim.
The first 500 yards were tough with some getting kicked and punched. I took one really good shot to my left eye that nearly knocked my goggles all the way off (note to newbies: always put your goggles on BEFORE you put on your swim cap). I stopped and put them back on and continued.

It’s hard to get into any kind of rhythm when you’re being jostled but I managed to find a groove once I was able to break free of the box I was in. It’s funny what you think about when you’re actually doing one of these. I remember thinking about what a nice town Tempe was and how lucky I was to be there. A sort of calm.

The turns were effortless. We were going in a counter-clockwise loop with just two left turns.

There was good clear water on the return and I managed to catch a couple of short drafts off other swimmers. You think it would be easy to draft since there are so many people at these races but I seem to have a problem finding someone that’s going the exact speed I want to go. I can’t say as much for the person drafting off of me. They kept hitting my toes about ½ the way back. Well, good for them!

The swim exit is a little gnarly. They’ve got a nice set of stairs to help you get out of the lake but the problem is the first step is only two inches from the top of the water. In other words, you have to hike yourself up to the first step. There were people on the stairs to help you but it isn’t easy.

Once you get out of the water there is a long line of wetsuit strippers. Next time I volunteer I’m going to take this duty! I bypassed them because I actually think it takes longer if you have them do it.

Good swim. 1:02:38. 2nd place of 84 guys that started. 97 were registered but I guess 13 didn’t start.

Transition #1 (T-1)
I stripped my wetsuit down to my waist and ran, which seemed like ½ mile, to the area where the bike bags were lined up. The woman there had my bag waiting for me as I arrived.

From there you enter the changing tent. I was lucky because I got a VERY enthusiastic guy to help me. He popped open my bike bag and spilled everything on the floor and yanked my wetsuit off. I quickly put on my socks, my cycling shoes and helmet and I was off to my bike.

Generally, I’m one of the faster guys in transition and today wouldn’t be any different. 5:05. 2nd fastest of the day.

The Bike

Normally, because the bike course is relatively flat, this is an easy leg of the race. Not so today. It was windy all day and it rained heavily at one point.
My goal today was to maintain 190 watts on my bike. Watts are measured by a special computer you can buy that keeps track of your cadence, speed and the power you are actually applying to the pedals. I maintained 200 watts at Kona so I figured if I dialed that back to 190 I would have more success with the run.
I knew right away that 190 wouldn’t be possible. I’m not quite sure if that was because I wasn’t fully recovered or if my watt meter doesn’t account for the wind. Regardless, it was a tough bike ride.

As I was about to finish my first loop a tri buddy of mine Stu Lowndes was standing on the corner held up one finger (no, not that one!) and shouted that I was in first place. Cool, I was having a really good day!

I made the loop and saw Stu on the other side of the road now shouting out words of encouragement. It really means a lot to us athletes to have our friends and family there.

Off to the second loop. The roads were starting to get more crowded now because the course is three loops and some of the slower swimmers were coming on to the course. There was a little drafting but I only saw one guy get nailed and he was quite obvious.

The “out and back” course is uphill down the Beeline Highway and the wind was fierce. I predicted a finish time of 5:15 but that simply wasn’t going to be possible today.

I made the second loop still in first place but I was working hard. It was on this loop that the rain really came down. It came down so hard I had to lift the visor on my aero helmet so I could see. Fortunately, it didn’t last too long.
It was inevitable, I finally got passed by Miroslav – and he BLEW by me! I didn’t attempt to hang on.

On to loop three and Stu let me know that I was in fact in second place now but not far behind. I yelled out that I was losing ground on him and would just let him go.

The rest of the bike was hard but uneventful . . . other than my crotch was aching. Hey, you try riding a bike for 5+ hours!

Then, at mile 110 or so, I got passed again. This guy also blew by me but it took him 110 miles to catch me.

Okay, so I’m doing the math now. There are going to be just two Kona slots in my age group but Miroslav got his already at Ironman Wisconsin. That means if I can take second or third place I’m in. Okay, let’s have a good run.
Good bike for such a hard day. 5:37:27. 3rd overall and I’m in 3rd place.

T-2
If nothing else, I’m fast in transition. The “bike catchers” grabbed my bike and I ran to get my run bag. Again, the volunteers were totally on their game. I ran to the changing tent and got another very enthusiastic helper.

He dumped my bag on the floor and yanked off my helmet as I put my running shoes, hat and sunglasses on.

Good transition. 1:25 the fasted of all the racers. We call this “free speed” because you don’t have to elevate your heart rate to get faster at it. Just practice.

I actually caught the 2nd place guy and passed him out of transition. I’m now in 2nd place.

The Run
This is where the race gets tough for everyone.

My goal for the run was to start out at an 8:35 per mile pace and see if I could hold it. 8:35 would put me at a 3:45 marathon pace – good enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

My first mile? 8:35. My heart rate? 150. Perfect. Only 25.2 more to go!
The bad news is that the guy that passed me at mile 110 on the bike, passed me on the run.

I held my pace for another mile but it wasn’t going to hold because of the wind again. Running down one side of that lake you had the wind right in your face and it does slow you down. Oh well, so I wasn’t going to qualify for Boston here today. Bigger goals in mind now.

Most of the run course goes up and down Tempe Town Lake and is fairly flat. There are some hills when you come to bridges but there is really only one hill to speak of. When your legs are fresh none of the hills seem bad at all. When they’re not . . .

The run course is also three loops which is good, and bad. It’s good because you can see your friends. It’s bad because it gets kinda boring.
I saw Stu on the run course and he ran alongside me for a short time and told me I was in 3rd (he was looking all this up on his smart phone at www.ironmanlive.com) but that there was some dude coming strong from behind at a 7:40 pace. NO WAY!!!

Oh well, I was going as fast as I could and managed to hold on to 3rd place until mile 11. That’s when the wheels fell off! I used the porta potty and felt a little dizzy. I got out and started to walk a bit. I was toast!

From this point on my goal was to run as much as possible and walk the aid stations. The walks became progressively longer.

It’s very disheartening knowing your race is falling apart. The will was there, the cardio was there but the legs were not.

At this point you just have one goal in mind: to finish. That’s what I did. I give the guys that beat me a lot of credit. It was a very tough day. A really good day for me, for a while.

Disappointing run. 4:36:33. Good enough for 8th place and 8th place overall.

Post Race
I don’t know if I would have done anything different. I held back on the bike and only averaged 167 watts. Much lower than the 190 I was planning on.
I’m not sure if I was fully recovered from Kona or my cold or simply not fit enough to run a marathon that day. Don’t know.

Yes, I’m disappointed. The Kona slots went to William Ankele the guy that passed me on the bike at mile 110 (1st place) and Konstantin Preradovic (3rd place) that passed me on the run. Miroslav took second place but already had his Kona slot.

And while it is a disappointing finish for me, it only inspires me to double my efforts next time (after a couple Double-Doubles from In & Out Burger).
If you’re interested in what us anal-retentive types do to analyze our race results, drop me an email and I’ll send you my spreadsheet.

ron@triathica.com

Cheers!

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Compact Cranks

Compact CrankIn May of 2008 I went to a Multisports camp prior to Ironman Coeur d’Alene. It was a great experience and I got to meet Paul Huddle, Paula Newbie-Fraser and Michael Lovado.

I also got to meet Jimmy Riccatello. You may know that name because he used to ride with Lance Armstrong and is the head referee for Ironman North America.

Anyway, part of our camp included riding one loop of the Ironman course and as luck would have it, I rode with Jimmy. We had the opportunity to talk about a lot of stuff over the course of the ride including compact cranks.

I’d never heard the term before that camp but Jimmy was a very strong advocate of them so I paid attention. When I returned from my camp the idea was validated by Larry (Lar Dog) Davidson who already had them installed on his bike.

Essentially, compact cranks are a set of chainrings designed to help you maintain a higher cadence, much like a third chainring would do. Since the common thinking in today’s cycling is that higher cadence is better (around 90) than lower, compact cranks help you with that goal.
A typical crankset would have a 53-tooth outer chainring and 39-tooth inner chainring. A typical compact crankset has 50-tooth outer and 34 inner allowing you to maintain a higher cadence, particularly when climbing.

There are some other up- and down-sides to compact cranks but for the majority of triathletes the main issue is preserving your energy while climbing by maintaining a higher cadence.
We’ve addressed the topic of cadence before in Triathica Weekly so hopefully you’re on-board with the idea that higher cadence relates to faster speed while minimizing work. If you can save your legs on the bike you’ll have a better run.

Another consideration when going to compact cranks is whether your rear gear cassette needs to be changed. Because your cranks are smaller your cassette may need to be changed in order to allow you to maintain speed in the flats and not “spin out” of your gears going downhill. For example, if your cassette has 12-25 gears you may want to change it to an 11-23 so you’ll still have the ability to pedal, rather than coast, downhill.

Should you rush right out and get a set of compact cranks? In my opinion, yes. But don’t take my word for it. Go visit your favorite bike shop and ask them about it. Undoubtedly they’ll have an opinion on the subject and help decide on the brand, configuration and whether or not you need ceramic bearings as well.

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Post-Race/Season

Post SeasonLast week I wrote about race week and how to deal with all of the excitement and anxiety so I thought this week I’d write about the week after your race.

Hopefully, you had a great race and you’re basking in the glow of your brand new winner’s medal. No? Don’t worry, there are very few of us that win those darn things – they are truly elusive.

Depending on the length of your race and how often you race your feelings may be very different. For me, this has been a very long, but great, season. I hate to see it end, but I definitely need a break.

For those of you that do long-course triathlons (70.3 and Ironman) you’re going to need some down-time. For you short-course folks, you’ll still need a rest but just not as much. Here’s my rule of thumb:

Sprint: taper 4 days before and 4 days after
Olympic: taper one week before and one week after
70.3: taper two weeks before and two weeks after
Ironman: taper three weeks before and three weeks after

Of course, this is the ideal arrangement but sometimes you’ll have other races scheduled within those timeframes that don’t allow a full rest so you’ll have to improvise. That’s okay but be sure you prioritize your races so you don’t burn yourself out on your “B” race and can’t “race” your “A” race.

Since it’s the end of the season there are three, maybe four, primary things you’ll want to concentrate on:

1. Rest and repair
2. Cross-training
3. Strength training
4. Dieting

If you’ve had a big season with lots of racing you really need to give your body a rest. If you’ve been monitoring your resting heart rate daily you’ll see that after a big race it will be elevated. Mine was elevated for three entire weeks after Ironman Kona. Allow yourself a break.

Now is the perfect time to integrate some cross-training into your schedule. If you haven’t been doing any yoga or Pilates this would be a great time to do so. Hiking, skiing, roller blading, kayaking, etc. are all great forms of cross-training.

While you should be doing strength training all year, the off-season is a great time to start or increase these efforts. During the season if you trash yourself too much in the gym you may not be able to do quality swim, cycling and run workouts. In the off-season . . . trash away!
Your weight will go down if you train but if you eat more while in a period of training you may not lose weight, or may actually gain weight. It is also not advisable to lose too much weight while you’re training and racing because your performance may suffer. So if you’ve got a few pounds to lose, attempt to do so in the off-season.

Rest up and get ready for next season!

Cheers!

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Cycling Pace Line, Ron Saetermoe

If you ever cycle with other riders you should attempt to ride in a “pace line” for at least a portion of your ride. You’ve seen this in the Tour de France when the riders ride in a single file, closely following one-another.

Paceline
The benefit of riding in a pace line is that the rider(s) following the first rider don’t have to work as hard to maintain the same pace. It is estimated that you can save as much as 30% of your effort if you ride in a pace line.

Working in a pace line can also help weaker riders keep up with stronger riders. Generally riders take turns at the front of the pace line which is called “taking a pull.” However, weaker riders may take shorter pulls than stronger riders.

Prior to riding in a pace line you should discuss your plans with the other riders. For example, how hard are you going to ride, how long will your “pulls” be and which way will the lead rider drop off.

Riding in a pace line can be extremely dangerous, however, if not done properly. Here are some tips to help keep you and those around you safe:

• You’ll get the best draft the closer you are to the rider in front but it is critical that you don’t let your wheel overlap with theirs. This is called “half-wheeling” and if your wheels should touch you may go down.

• Keep your line at all times. You must maintain your concentration while in a pace line and ride in a straight line.

• Keep your speed steady at all times. Because you’ll be riding so closely together it is important not to drop off or speed up or you could cause a crash.

• Return to the end of the pace line when you pull off. There are exceptions to this rule, for example when there is a sufficient gap between riders that you can safely pull in.

• Use verbal and hand signals. If you’re dropping back, slowing or stopping be sure to give as much notice as possible to the other riders. Since the riders behind frequently can’t see out in front the lead rider must point out any obstacles or debris in the road. The signal when the leader wants to drop back is to raise the appropriate elbow while keeping the hands firmly on the handlebars.

• Consider counting pedal strokes. If you average a cadence of 90 then if you count 90 pedal strokes that will be about a minute. If you’ve agreed to one minute pulls just count 90 pedal turns rather than try to look at your watch.

Pace line riding is a blast if you’re with a group and everyone does it right. You’ll really be able to blaze down the road and get a great workout in as well.

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Modest Beginning to Becoming an Ironman – Episode 11

Sherry’s back this week and will fill us in on her fantastic race at the New York Marathon. We’re really proud of you Sherry.

iTunes Podcast In this edition of TriChatter Ron and Sherry also welcome special guest Ly Ly Ta. Ly Ly will be attempting her first Ironman on Sunday at Ironman Arizona. Ron has been coaching her all year and she is his star pupil. Ly Ly will tell us about her modest beginnings in triathlon and how she prepared for the BIG DANCE!

If you ever wanted to do a triathlon or want to become an Ironman, you should listen this episode. Ly Ly’s story is encouraging and it will make you get up and just do it.

Tune in weekly!

Cheers!

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Race Week

Bike Tire Pressure CheckRace week is always a nervous time. Whether you’re doing a sprint or an Ironman you’re still going to experience a case of the nerves this week – even if it isn’t your “A” race. I can relate because I’m only a week away from Ironman Arizona – my “A” race this season.

Yes, even us seasoned veterans get nervous about these races.

While it’s easy to tell you not to be nervous it won’t help but there are some things you can do to help your situation:

• Don’t second-guess your training. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done up to this point, it’s done. If you under-trained, over-trained or trained just right you’ll still want to question your training. Don’t! There’s nothing you can do now.

• If you’re travelling to an event enjoy yourself but try not to be on your feet too much. At an Ironman there’s no shortage of stuff to check out including the expo and local sights. All of this pre-race activity can wear you out!

• Be sure to check and recheck your gear. That means review your checklist (sample found HERE) to make sure you have everything, as well as your equipment to make sure it’s in working order. Things as simple as a broken shoe lace can wreck your race.

• Eat plenty of salt. Salt will allow your cells to retain more water and help you maintain your hydration during the race.

• Eat your pasta dinner TWO nights before your race. If you’re doing a short-course race such as a sprint or Olympic you really don’t need to carbo load.

• It’s hard to sleep well before an important race so be sure the night TWO nights before your race you get quality sleep.

• Check out the course if you can. This isn’t always possible but I try to drive the bike course and ride the run course.

• Workout this week but short, low-intensity workouts. You won’t gain fitness this week you just want to stay loose.

Always remember that no one is forcing you to do this . . . it’s all about staying healthy and having fun. Even if you’re a top age-grouper or trying for a Kona slot, try not to take it too seriously. I’ve found, in athletics, I always perform better when I’m not totally stressed out.

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Seven Pre-Race Musts

As your race approaches you probably get more nervous. Depending on the race, the nerves may start days, or even weeks, prior to your race. While I don’t think worrying about your race serves any productive purpose, you’re just going to have to deal with it.

The best advice I can give you is to just plan the best you can. The best planner I know (not for triathlon) is my mom. She will literally start packing for a trip weeks, or even months, before the actual trip.

Must 1: Get a good race checklist. You can find Triathica’s here: Simply having this list and making sure you’ve got everything will help settle the nerves. It seems like every race there’s someone that forgot his or her goggles, helmet or even their bike!

Must 2: Check out the course. If possible, go to the race site, along with the course map, if there is one, in advance. Actually ride, drive or run the course if possible. Again, if you know what to expect it will put you more at ease.

Porta Potty triathlon pre raceMust 3: Give yourself plenty of time race morning. You never know what can happen so give yourself lots of time. You may find that there are closed roads; long lines at the Porta Potties (If you are lucky, you may pee like a rock star) or you may get a flat on your bike. I’ve been first to arrive at more than one race in my career.

Must 4: Keep your transition area simple. If you don’t need it pack it in your backpack and get it out of the way. If you need it, lay it out neatly on your towel or mat. And by the way, you probably don’t need a bucket of water to rinse your feet off or a lounge chair to take a nap!

Must 5: Get warmed up and stretched. Follow your normal pre-workout routine – don’t try a new stretch you see someone else doing. Following your routines will also help settle your nerves.

Must 6: Get in the water prior to the race start if it’s possible. Some races it’s not possible so try not to get stressed about this. I like to swim easy for about 100 yards, then go hard for about 25, then repeat. I feel that this helps get you used to the water while getting you ready for a quick start.

Must 7: Breathe deep. Get in as relaxed of a state as possible (hard to do). Then, go!

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Pee Like a Rock Star

I have no words to describe this.

Porta Potty triathlon pre race

Brooks VIP Porta Potty for a Super-Deluxe Start

Brooks’ VIP Porta Potty is our way of thanking you for choosing Brooks and Moving Comfort gear, and rewarding you for all your hard work training for your Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon or 1/2 Marathon.

To get your race off to the best possible start, we’ll have comfortable, climate-controlled restroom trailers set up at the starting line. Running water, flushing toilets, and some Run Happy® surprises await.

Please note: To maximize your enjoyment, total admittance is capped. We strongly recommend arriving early because—trust us, it’s worth it!

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