February 24, 2018

Why Do You Race Triathlons?

Have you ever thought about WHY you race triathlons? That question
really perplexes people until they’ve actually done one, then the
answers start to fly. And those that have “braved” the Iron-distance
triathlons have an additional set of reasons.

Here are some we’ve heard:

  • The training helps keep me in shape.
  • I feel better about myself.
  • I like working out for a purpose rather than just stay in shape.
  • It’s fun!
  • I like trying to better my time from the last race.
  • I look forward to the race.
  • To feed my competitive spirit.
  • I don’t necessarily like to race but it feels good when I stop!
  • The races help push me to new limits.
  • The race itself is a test of my fitness.
  • I race to be at my best.
  • It’s something most people don’t do.
  • Because I like people to think I’m crazy!
  • I race because I can’t stop!
  • I enjoy the fellowship.

Post Your reason below . . .

The Triathica Academy is giving away a FREE set of running AND cycling
audio workouts
for the most creative reason from YOU!

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An Open Letter to the Worldwide Triathlon and Endurance Communities

From Mark Allen and Dave Scott

We’re writing this because we believe that the soon-to-be-published book from VeloPress, entitled Iron War, inaccurately and inappropriately portrays us. As an example, in the advance copy sent to the media for review, the author stated, “In a sober, clinical sense of the term, Dave and Mark are both somewhat psychologically unbalanced.” We have never been diagnosed as “psychologically unbalanced” by any medical or mental health professional.Photo Credit Rich Cruise

And there’s a lot more where that came from – too much more for us to simply look the other way. Indeed, Iron War author Matt Fitzgerald has written an endless stream of inaccurate and defamatory assertions about our lives, our thoughts, our motivations and what drove us to such a high level of athletic excellence in what he spitefully and negatively describes as “the showdown that left one battling his inner demons to emerge victorious and one devastated on the pavement and unable to forgive his loss.” In fact, the massive degree of inaccuracy in the advanced reading copy has necessitated that we file a lawsuit against VeloPress and Fitzgerald in response to the defamation and privacy issues that were breached.

As most of you know, our intense racing rivalry in the 1980s was prime fuel for countless debates each October when triathletes around the globe gathered to predict who would become the next Ironman Champion. And perhaps the greatest race to ever come out of our rivalry was the 1989 Ironman World Championship – the so-called Iron War – during which we raced toe to toe for close to eight hours, never separated by more than a few scant seconds.

That rivalry, which was built on a great mutual respect for each other as athletes and as individuals, ended long ago, and we are now united in expressing our deep concern over the portrayal of our individual journeys to become such tenacious competitors in Fitzgerald’s Iron War.

While some might applaud Fitzgerald for his creative writing, we must express our deep disappointment over the many falsehoods and errors in his book. He has very little respect for journalistic integrity, the essence of which is truth. Fitzgerald also shows no respect for our privacy by disclosing and discussing very personal information that has nothing to do with our rivalry or accomplishments as triathletes. His goal appears to be to embarrass and discredit us. We also have to wonder, what’s the point? . . . other than book sales for VeloPress, of course!

You should know that we were asked by Fitzgerald to provide in-depth background information about our personal lives and to deliver the exhaustive detail necessary to understand what made us tick as athletes. This time-consuming request, however, was made without any offer to share the benefits that would be considered normal when one is asked to divulge a lifetime of detail.

But more importantly, by his refusal to have us be cooperative partners in the book, we had overwhelming concern that our stories, if told to him, would not be recounted with accuracy and, in the end, we did not participate in the project. The result of that decision: Fitzgerald has created an endless string of seemingly personal anecdotes that because of his deceptive writing style leave the reader with the perception that they came directly from our mouths.

Unfortunately, Fitzgerald and VeloPress have reduced our 1989 test of wills on the Big Island to a flawed and sadly shaded depiction of its protagonists. Our hope is that you, as intelligent and discerning athletes, will know and remember our battle in 1989 for its grit, and use that as inspiration to explore and break through your own limits to find greatness in both your racing and in your personal lives. And if you do decide to read Iron War be prepared to wade through fiction, fantasy and fabrication.

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The Art of the Ice Bath

We’ve all heard about the ice bath but very few of us have tried it. Just the sound of it congers up images of Houdini practicing for his famous escape from underneath the frozen Detroit River.

Great movie by the way! Houdini spends hours in an ice bath to prepare himself for another of his great escapes. They cut a hole in the ice in the Detroit River and they handcuff him and seal him in a box and dump it in the river. The unfortunate thing is that Houdini didn’t figure on the current dragging him and the box downstream. He barely escapes by breathing little air pockets beneath the ice.

Cryotherapy (ice bath) can really help you recover from your long and hard bike and run efforts. So much so that you may be able to eliminate going for the jar of your favorite nsaids (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) in the middle of the night!

It is said that ice baths reduce swelling, decrease muscle breakdown and help flush out metabolic debris.

Anyway, your ice bath needn’t be quite so dramatic but there are a few “tricks” I can give you to make it tolerable.

1. Fill your tub with cold water (duh!).

2. Fill it enough so you can stretch out your legs and that you’ll be submerged to just above your thighs.

3. Use ice cubes if possible. It’s a pain to run down to the 7-11 every time but your typical ice trays won’t yield enough ice to make the water cold enough. Therefore, you can make and store enough ice or do what I do which is I freeze blocks of ice in some large Tupperware containers. Admittedly this is not the best because the blocks take longer to melt. I break them up so they melt quicker.

4. I like to wear my swimsuit – don’t know why, I just do (hide the shrinkage?). On top it’s not a bad idea to wear a sweatshirt or jacket. Personally, I don’t because I keep getting it all wet. Maybe you’ll have better success.

5. Get a stop watch so you can see how long you’ve been in the water.

6. Get something to read.

7. Get something hot to drink.

8. Take the plunge! I jump right in rather than “inch” in. As soon as I do I hit my stop watch. I usually stay in for 15 minutes but 20 may be better if you really beat yourself up.

9. It’ll take your breath away if you’ve made the water cold enough but the numbness comes on pretty quickly and it becomes tolerable.

10. The cold water will constrict your blood vessels and reduce the swelling.

11. Now take a hot shower to warm up as well as dilate the blood vessels.

Good luck with your ice bath. You’ll hate me for it now, but love me for it later!

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OC Tri Club Annual Auction Benefiting CAF

What: Auction benefiting Challenged Athletes Foundation
When: Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011, 6:30 PM until 9:30 PM
Where: First American Title Company
1 First American Way
Santa Ana, CA 92707

Join the OC Tri Club for for an exciting evening and help support a great cause. Every year OCTC holds a charity dinner and auction to support the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). CAF provides opportunities and support to people with physical disabilities so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. CAF believes that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life.

There are many reasons to attend OCTC auction and dinner. Check out these amazing auction items!!!

1. Personal training with pros Julie Swail Ertel, and Beth Hibbard
2. Triathlon entries to the Los Angeles Triathlon, Mountain Man International and Half ironman Triathlons, Orangeman Triathlon, Turkey Tri, Desert Spring sprint and international triathlons, Big Rock Triathlon, Catalina Triathlon, Wildflower Triathlon
3. Race entries to the Long Beach Marathon, Palm Springs Half marathon, Irvine Half Marathon,
4. Wet suits from club sponsor One Tri
5. Restaurant gift certificates to Plums, and TGIF Fridays
6. Bike Shoes from Shimano and running shoes from Road Runner Sports and Fleet Feet
7. Bike gear and fishing gear from Shimano including a $1200 pair of wheels.
8. Gift cards from Nordstroms ($500), Target ($250)
9. Travel packages to Hawaii, New York, New Orleans
10. This is the best reason of all… because you care about this important cause.

This year we are holding our 12th annual event at the beautiful headquarters of the First American Title Company. The mission of CAF is to provide training, inspiration and equipment to allow challenged athletes to become active. If you need inspiration check out this video:

CAF Transformational Moments

You can register for our event at our web site calendar by following this link:
Auction Registration

This event is the club highlight of the year. Last year OCTC raised over $30,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation and sent 7 teams to participate in the San Diego Triathlon Challenge. The event will be hosted by Larry Davidson outdoors at the fabulous facilities of First American Title Company. Please join us a for a great night and a wonderful cause. You can get more information at the CAF Home page tab on OCTC’s web site.


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The Hottest Women in Ironman

Have you been wondering why we have never done a “swimsuit issue”? So have we, but we’re doing it a little differently. We’re calling them “The Hottest Women in Ironman.”

Naturally, we’ve got a ton of women in triathlon that have amazing bodies. How could you not have an amazing body if you work out 30 – 40 hours a week, right? However, a hot body isn’t enough for you to make it on our list of the 10 hottest Ironwomen.

10. Sian Welch: Sian is the wife of triathlon legend Greg Welch. She certainly wasn’t at her best in 1997 when she and co-Iron-hottie Wendy Ingram crawled across the finish line in Kona.

9. Michellie Jones: I just saw Michellie at the Carlsbad triathlon and for a 40-year old woman, she is still hot! She’s got that cute Aussie face but part of what makes her so hot is how she carries herself.

8. Heather Fuhr: I see Heather around occasionally as well. She, Michellie and Joanna Zeiger compete regularly at various running races around here. Heather still looks great.

7. Julie Moss: Julie has the “girl next door” sort of look. She is one of those rare women that actually gets better looking with age. Of course we’ve all seen her look better than her 1982 crawl across the finish line at Kona.

6. Lori Bowden: Lori was once married to Ironman legend Peter Reid. Must have broken his heart to break up with such a “hottie.”

5. Desiree Ficker: I’ve seen Desiree a number of times at various Ironman events and believe me, she is hot! She has the shape of a woman, not an endurance athlete.

4. Mirinda Carfrae: Must be something about Australian women – we really dig Mirinda. While she definitely does have the body of an endurance athlete there is something about her that exudes sex!

3. Amanda Lovato: Amanda is an amazing triathlete and wife to Ironman stud Michael Lovato. You should have seen her at the Kona Ironman Underpants run!

2. Wendy Ingraham: They call her “Wingnut” we just call her sexy. Wendy was a Kona contender for many years. Those long, tan legs always mesmerized . . .

1. Fernanda Keller: Our all-time hottest Ironwoman is Fernanda Keller of Brazil. Fernanda never won at Kona but she did take 3rd place a total of six times! Fernanda is not only a great athlete but has the hottest body and a great face as well. She could easily make it to the pages of Playboy (or Triathlete Mag) and sell it out!

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Book Review: I’m Here to Win by Chris McCormack

I think it was 2002 when Chris McCormack came to the Orange County Triathlon Club meeting. The thing that strikes you about him is his friendly presence and his cockiness.

I didn’t know much about him when he paid his visit but I had heard of him before. Chris spends a lot of time in Southern California and does a lot of the local races.

As he ran down his race resume you can’t help but be impressed. He’d won races against the world’s best in every distance. The only thing left to add to his resume is a win at the Ironman World Championships in Kona – which he was confident, would come.

We now know it didn’t come as easily for him as he, or anyone else, expected. His new book “I’m Here to Win” is an accounting of his career including his greatest accomplishments and his lowest lows.

The book gets very personal including passages about his mother and his best friend from Australia Sean Maroney, his early training mate.

It’s an interesting journey he takes you on as he describes his accomplishments and his frustrations. He goes on to describe some of his training secrets and actually puts his training plan in the book – one I challenge ANYONE to duplicate.

There’s a lot in this book that a seasoned triathlete knows but it’s always good to have reinforcement. For example, he talks about really understanding your strengths and weaknesses, and being honest with yourself. We’ve all got them and he states the obvious solution: concentrate on your weaknesses and make them your strengths.

It’s funny, but when I saw Chris at the Pacific Coast Triathlon in 2010 I just sensed that he was going to win Kona again. I think he and I were the only two on the planet that picked him to win, and he did.

I enjoyed the book immensely and recommend it to anyone interested in triathlon. It might be of interest to those outside of the sport, but I wouldn’t waste my money if they weren’t.


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Finding Your Race Pace

Go out too hard and you blow up. Go out too slow and you’re one of those people smiling at the finish line (hate that).

My goal for EVERY race is to go as hard as I can and literally have nothing left at the end of the race. Now, that doesn’t mean your goals have to be the same as mine; that’s just what I do.

Of course, the trick is finding out exactly how hard you can go. This takes a bit of calculation, experience and guess-work. Naturally, the shorter the race, the harder you can go.

So here’s what I do . . .

Sprint Distance

There are many variations on the sprint distance unlike the Olympic, 70.3 and Ironman distances, which are always the same. Therefore, you may have to make a few modifications for certain races. For example, the Redondo Beach triathlon has a disproportionately long swim compared to most other sprints (good for the strong swimmer).

For the sprint distance I know I’m going to have to go about 95% of my maximum effort for the entire race. Of course, that’s a subjective figure, but it gives you a place to start. It also doesn’t give you a lot of room for error.
My swim pace is going to be at about what I can do 200 yard/meter repeats at. In other words, it’s going to be a very fast pace.

Now, unlike a lot of other people I ‘m not of the school that says you can lose your race in the swim leg of the race. I’m totally opposite in that I think that far too many people go too slowly in the swim. After all, your exertion is based on your heart rate, and since your body is supported by water, your heart rate won’t run as high given the same effort as in cycling and running.

The cycling leg is another leg of the race where too many people go easy. The thought is that “I’m going to save it for the run.” The problem with this theory is that if you go too easy on the bike you’ll lose too much ground and never be able to make it up on the run . . . no matter how fast you go.

Therefore, the cycling leg should be about the pace you can go for a 10-mile time trial – at about 95% of my maximum effort. It’s helpful if you have a watt meter but if not you can use your heart rate as a barometer.
The run is where you need to let it all hang out. If you’ve done well in pacing up to this point you’ll still have some good legs, albeit certainly not fresh.

Your run goal is to go at your 5K pace although you definitely won’t be able to hold that pace. More than likely you’ll only be able to go at about your 10K pace. That’s a fine effort after the swim and bike. Basically, you’re at the “let it rip” speed.

Try to start the run at a good pace and build as you go along. Ideally, your last mile should be your fastest.

Olympic Distance

This is a great racing distance because you have to go hard but still have some patience because you can definitely blow up if you go too hard.

A week ago I did the final Olympic distance race in the series out at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, California. The Bonelli races are a great series all on a nice lake on a bike and run course with some hills. I highly recommend them!

This race was basically a “catered training day” for me, which simply means the race wasn’t important . . . like a “C” race. And even though the race wasn’t important for me it didn’t mean I was going to go easy.

I had completed the Ironman Hawaii 70.3 just one week before and still was recovering from my effort there so my goal was just to “think quick.”

My goal for the swim was to start hard and then ease into a manageable pace. I start out hard so I can get in front of most of the other racers. However, keep in mind that I’m a “good” swimmer. Slower swimmers should not use this strategy because you’ll find yourself getting run over by faster swimmers that didn’t lay it all out there in the first 200 yards.

In practice I swim hard for 100 right-hand strokes and then back off the pace. So that’s exactly what I did in this race. I literally counted my strokes on my right side and went hard for 100. Then, I backed off and settled into a comfortable pace.

Your pace here might be around your best 500 pace. Notice that my race paces are faster than my pace for the distance I’m swimming? That’s because it’s a “race” not “practice.” Therefore I’m going to go a bit harder and count on the fact that I’ve got the speed in me.

My cycling pace is going to be brisk. I don’t want to ever be riding “comfortably.” 40K is about 25 miles and should be a distance you can hold a strong pace at. Naturally, it won’t be as fast as your 25-mile time-trial pace would be, but it’s fast – like 90% of your maximum effort.

If you’ve gone hard this far it’s going to take a little time to get your running legs. Don’t worry, they’ll be there. Like the sprint distance race, start out a little slower than your pace you hope to end up with – like your marathon pace. Then, after about a mile, pick up the pace and watch your breathing. You’ll be amazed that you can hold such a high heart rate for so long. Your pace will untimely be about your ½ marathon pace.

70.3 Distance

This is my favorite race distance because I think I’ve got this one dialed in.

The swim in the 70.3 isn’t all that much longer than the swim in the Olympic distance race. The Olympic is about .9 miles and 70.3 is 1.2 miles. Therefore, I employ the exact same swim strategy for both.

The cycling strategy is quite different, however, because I’m going farther than twice the distance. This is where I really rely on my wattage and heart rate. Again, if you don’t have a watt meter you’ll have to rely on your heart rate. No worries.

Your practice and previous racing experience will really help here. Unlike the sprint and Olympic distance races your nutritional strategy will be critical. Do what’s worked for you in practice.

The bike portion should hurt in the 70.3 – in other words, this is not a casual pace. I really rely on my heart rate to tell me what pace I can sustain. Therefore, you should be monitoring your heart rate closely in your practice. You will be anaerobic all day.

I’m going at about 85% of my maximum effort.

You have to be careful with the run not to settle into too slow of a pace. You’re tired so you won’t feel like going fast but if you settle into too slow of a pace you may find it more difficult to speed up later.

Your goal here should be to run at about your stand-alone marathon pace. However, you may want to “test” a slightly faster pace to see if you can settle into it.

Ironman Distance

This is the tough one. No matter who you are, this is going to be a very long day. The trick is to avoid going anaerobic during the day.

Your pace here should be one that would allow you to carry on a conversation with someone with. It’s tough to go this slow but you can get yourself into very deep trouble if you’re overzealous.

In all of my Ironman attempts I’ve found a good pace on the swim that I found to be very comfortable, but fast (after some disastrous starts).

Since you’ll primarily be using your legs for the rest of the day don’t be shy about the swim. It’s more than “surviving,” you want to swim at a controlled pace.

The bike portion, in my estimation, is the most critical leg of the entire race. I find it really tough to contain my effort on the bike. This is where it is really critical to watch my watts and heart rate.

For example, at Kona last year I started out at a pace that felt very comfortable but found out at about mile 10 that I was pushing 240 watts – way over my head! So be sure you watch your effort when you start out on the bike.

You may have quite literally, hundreds of people pass you on the bike. Try not to get caught up in somebody else’s race and mind your own pace.

In preparation you should have completed several 100+ mile rides. While racing and riding are two different things you’ll want to maintain a pace that feels well under where you feel like going. 70% – 80% max.

The tough part of any Ironman is the run. Ideally, you will have stayed within yourself on the bike in order to actually “run” the marathon instead of walking. How you did nutritionally will become very apparent on the run so be sure to test, and retest, this in practice.

Your Ironman run pace is probably going to be about 15% – 20% slower than your open marathon pace. That means if you can run an open marathon in four hours your Ironman marathon pace will be about 4.5 – 5.0 hours.

Keep these tips in mind at your next race and “leave it all on the course.”


Ron Saetermoe


Discover the secrets to improving your swim technique, avoiding painful injuries, and shaving minutes off your best triathlon times to date! Are You Ready To Make A Change In Your Athletic Life?

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Sooner or later . . .

If you’ve been doing triathlons or cycling a while you’re very familiar with the adage “There are two kinds of cyclists, those that have crashed and those that will.” Guess what, it was my turn again . . . and worse, Aida Wasilewski’s as well.

Wednesday, April 27th I shot an email off to Kona hopeful, Aida, to see if she wanted to do a ride/run with me the next day. Aida is an amazing athlete and someone I am very proud to be coaching. While she didn’t have a great race at Ironman California 70.3 her sites were set on Ironman Nice as her next Kona qualifier. Knowing what I know about her, I know she’s got a really good chance of qualifying.

Aida was up for the workout – a 3:30 ride and a :40 transition run – so we met down in Dana Point Harbor at 6:30 a.m.

It was cool and clear that morning. We were up for a great ride. I was just nine days away from Ironman St. George so I was in full-on taper mode and feeling great!

The ride was totally uneventful as we headed south toward the gate at Camp Pendleton. As a matter of fact, we had just talked about how we really appreciated the “uneventful” rides; the ones without any drama. And as coincidence would have it, we also were just talking about our encounters with bees while riding.

I related my story at Ironman Hawaii where I got stung by a bee that went down my shirt and another time just a couple weeks before when a bee got stuck in my helmet.

As I said, as luck would have it, we rode directly into a swarm of bees on the road just north of Camp Pendleton. I was just ahead of Aida and swerved as I batted away the bees. Unfortunately, when I swerved Aida’s front tire was in the way.

We both went down . . . hard. All I could hear was Aida’s scream as she went down. Then, expecting to hear a moan I heard a distinctly different scream.

Normally when someone goes down there’s the first shock of the incident followed by a cuss word or moan or some other reaction; Aida’s reaction wasn’t what I expected.

I assessed my own condition and couldn’t find anything significantly wrong with me but Aida was in pain – big pain! At that moment I had the same sick feeling as when I was a kid and took my younger sister for a tumble down a steep hill in a go-cart I made with a neighbor. I was freaking out (but not showing it).
Aida went down hard on her left side. I told her not to move as we assessed the damage. I could immediately see her left hand and elbow were bleeding and she was complaining about her hip and head.
She layed there for a few minutes as we tried to figure things out. Several male cyclists came by and asked if they could help. I can’t believe one guy actually scolded us to get out of the road and that Aida should get back on her bike and start riding (what a jackass!).

It took us a while but Aida wanted to try to ride. We were probably a mile from the Camp Pendleton guard shack and several miles south from any point a car could get to.

We tried to get her on her bike but it just wasn’t possible. So, should we walk to the guard shack, call 911, should I ride to the guard shack to get help? Lots of options.

Looking to our left I noticed a scenic turnout off the I-5 south. Aida pulled up Google Maps on her phone and it seemed like our best option. She called her daughter to pick her up and we slowly walked over.
Every step she took was painful. I was in pain for her.

Like a trooper, she balanced herself with her bike as we slowly walked what seemed like 10 miles but was probably more like ½ mile. The kicker would be a steep, but short hill up to the scenic turnout parking lot.

We made it up to the top of the hill and waited for Aida’s daughter. Aida made the smart move of not telling her daughter exactly what kind of trouble she was in. I’m sure she would have freaked out along with the rest of us.

Aida’s daughter picked her up and took her to the hospital. She didn’t want to go at first but because of her hip and head I told her that she really should.

Aida has friends at Mission Hospital so she got some additional advice on her next move.

The damages: abrasions on the hand and hip. Seven stitches in the elbow and a broken pelvis. Yep, it snapped. SHIT!!!

I was so bummed for her. Just a couple months out from a Kona qualifier where she had a very legitimate chance. She on the other hand took it completely in stride. An amazingly classy gal.

Aida is recovering nicely now. Sick of her crutches which she is confined to for eight weeks. She vows to get in the pool soon and has already signed up for Ironman Cozumel.

Crashes happen. I’ve had two pretty good ones before. A Honda cut me off on a steep downhill and I slid sideways with the big chainring gouging out a series of gashes in my right leg. The second was a hard fall that resulted in two broken ribs just five weeks before Ironman Coeur d’ Alene.

It’s going to happen if you ride long enough. Stay alert, be careful and maybe, just maybe you’ll be the first to avoid a crash.

Ron Saetermoe

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Anatomy Of 70.3 PR

Okay, so how did I do it? How did I manage to put together the race of my life? Piece of cake!

Training Volume

A key ingredient to race performance is how much you train, and how much you train in each segment. Most people don’t need to worry about training too much but some do. You know the A++ personality.
Primarily two things dictate your training volume: the distance you’re going to race and your age.

The longer the race, the more you’re going to have to train. The younger you are, the more you’re going to have to train. In my mind those are just the facts.

Now my good friend Russ Jones is about to embark on a career in triathlon training and his philosophy is “less is more.” I totally agree with this but race distance and age have a lot to do with it. So I guess if I could modify his philosophy a bit I’d say “Train as little as you have to, to win.” Not as catchy!

Concentrate On Your Weaknesses

I’m a strong believer in training harder on your weaknesses, but relative to your race distances. This generally isn’t appealing because you’re typically strongest at the thing you like to train at the best. For most triathletes that means they lack in their swimming and excel either in cycling or running.

But remember, I said relative to your race distances. In general, the swim comprises 20% of the overall time in sprint and Olympic distance races but only 10% in 70.3 and full Ironman races. So, if you’re not a swimmer, work on it, but not to the detriment of your cycling and running.

Concentrate on your weaknesses. For me that has always been my cycling. Here’s what I did this season: dropped one of my swim workouts (my strength) and picked up another cycling workout.

I now do three CompuTrainer workouts and one long ride each week. This really helps me because the bike portion of the race, no matter what the distance, is generally 50% of your overall time. That means I had a lot of room for improvement.

Training Consistency

Why does everyone think that it’s easier for the top athletes to crawl out of bed at 4:30 in the morning than for everyone else? It’s not! It’s a pain in the ass for all of us.

My typical week has me training seven days a week with a total of 11 distinct workouts (two-a-days on Monday – Thursday).

Don’t get lazy and blow your workouts off. Even if you can’t squeeze your full workout in, do something.

Strength Training

By far I think this is the thing that allowed me to still have legs after pushing so hard on the bike. Yes, I’ve been training really hard on the bike but the weight training has made a huge difference.
We harp on this all the time (especially Jarrett) but I believe it’s true. Naturally, if I have to miss a workout during the week it’s going to be strength session but I haven’t missed many.

Mental Toughness

I never got really competitive in my age group until a few years ago. My athletics were always about trying to stay in shape and hanging out with people that inspire me.

Within the last few years I’ve worked a lot harder at my racing, which has moved me up in the ranks. As a result, when I race I’m more confident.

It also helps that prior to the California 70.3 I had won my age group in the last three races. Granted, they were all small races but it does boost your confidence.


I hate to admit this, but it does get better with age. There were 62 finishers in my age group (M55-59). There were 338 in the M40-44.

Hang around this sport long enough and you’ll eventually qualify for Kona.


Nutrition is critically important to the top triathlete. Oh hell, who am I kidding? I eat like crap. I hate to admit it but I went into this race seven pounds heavier than my ideal race weight and I eat junk food and ice cream on a regular basis.

Does that mean nutrition is overrated? Probably not, but I just don’t pay that much attention to it.
Now, since Ironman Arizona is my “A” race this year I will drop the weight and start eating better. While I’m not sure how much it matters I figure it’s got to be better for me and it’s cheap insurance.

Cheap Insurance

Speaking of cheap insurance, there are a lot of things you can do to help your race, especially your “A” races. Here are a few:

Get new goggles and use defogger. If you can’t see where you’re going on the swim you’ll probably cover a much longer distance.

Have your bike checked. Little things like new tires a new chain or new brakes can make or break a race.
Run in good shoes. One injury and you could be out of commission for an entire season.

See the doc. Dr. Sam Sunshine is my doctor. He’s a family and sports doctor in Foothill Ranch. He’s also a really good triathlete. Sam put me back on track with my Achilles problem and got my body chemistry back in balance.

Check out EFX Performance (www.efxusa.com). Now I’m really not a believer in this kind of stuff but I won the Desert Triathlon and came in 2nd at California with mine on. Does it work? Don’t know, but it’s cheap insurance.

That’s all I can think of at this time. There’s no magic here just hard work, common sense and a little voodoo.



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CPR Training

One of the really great things I have to do as a USA Triathlon coach is go through CPR training. I’ve just completed my recertification and I’m glad I did – there have been some really big changes.

Here are the steps as they are now prescribed by the Red Cross:

1. Shake and shout at the victim.

2. Call 911 (or have someone else call for you is even better).

3. A = check airway (meaning tilt the head back and hold the jaw up).

4. B = check breathing (hold your ear near their mouth and look at their chest to see if they’re breathing – do this for about 10 seconds).

5. C = check cardio (hold your index and middle finger on their carotid artery on either side of their trachea and check for a pulse).

6. If they are not breathing or if they don’t have a heartbeat start compressions (100 per minute).

Note that we DO NOT attempt to breathe for the victim anymore – only chest compressions! The only time you’d attempt breathing is IF you have two people available and one of them has a rescue breather.

Of course there’s more to it than this but this is the gist of it.

My good pal and fellow triathlete, Vince Tjelmeland, was swimming a couple years ago at Corona del Mar and swam right into a floating body. That’s right; the guy for all intents and purposes was dead!

Vince immediately started rescue breathing for him about 200 yards from shore! Another friend of mine Rhonda Hanley helped out and got him to shore. Coincidently, there were some paramedics practicing right in the beach parking lot and fully resuscitated him.

If it weren’t for the efforts of everyone there that day that dude would have been dead.

Thinking about getting certified in CPR now? Great, please do. Because if I ever have an incident and you’re around, I’d like to think that you know what you’re doing!

Red Cross CPR Training


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