Triathlete Europe http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com Europe's leading source for triathlon news and information. Fri, 29 Apr 2016 14:46:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.3.1 Ironman Announces 3 2018 70.3 World Championship Location Finalists http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/29/ironman-announces-3-2018-70-3-world-championship-location-finalists http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/29/ironman-announces-3-2018-70-3-world-championship-location-finalists#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2016 14:46:12 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=56412

Budapest, Hungary. Photo: Shutterstock.com

Ironman today announced the finalists for the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championship triathlon. Three cities, all of which currently host

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Budapest, Hungary. Photo: Shutterstock.com

Budapest, Hungary. Photo: Shutterstock.com

Budapest, Hungary. Photo: Shutterstock.com

Ironman today announced the finalists for the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championship triathlon. Three cities, all of which currently host Ironman or Ironman 70.3 races, have been named as the finalists in the selection processNice (France), Budapest (Hungary) and Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay (South Africa). The 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championship will be a two-day event, like the 2017 editionwith the professional women and age-group women racing on one day and the professional men and age-group men racing on the other.

“The Ironman 70.3 triathlon series has grown exponentially over the past few years, with the World Championship featuring the best athletes from around the world,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of Ironman in the press release. “We have been extremely pleased with the global rotation of the event and providing our athletes with an exceptional world-class race in fantastic locations. Nice, Budapest and Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay are all extraordinary hosts to current Ironman and Ironman 70.3 racesproviding beautiful and challenging courses and world-class hospitality for our athletes and families. Each city is well suited to host this pinnacle event.”

The Ironman 70.3 World Championship began an annual global rotation in 2014 in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada. The 2015 race was held in Europe for the first time, in Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand, Austria. This September, the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championship shifts to the Southern Hemisphere for the first timein Queensland, Australia’s Sunshine Coast with athletes representing over 70 countries and ranging in age from 18 to 75-plus. In 2017, the championship event moves to Chattanooga, Tenn. where it will be a two-day event for the first time.

Beginning in July 2017, athletes from around the world will earn the right to compete in the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championship by qualifying at any of the more than 100 Ironman 70.3 events globally.

Learn more about the finalists from Ironman below:
Nice, France – Nice, located in the Côte d’Azur area on the southeast coast of France, is the capital of the stunning French Riviera and is the fifth-largest city in France. Host to Ironman France since 2005, Nice incorporates a swim in the pristine waters of the Mediterranean Sea and a run course along Nice’s historic Promenade des Anglais waterfront. With one of the largest international airports in France located just minutes away from the city, Nice is easily accessible and welcomes over five million visitors every year. Beyond the beauty of the area, Nice also offers a rich culture built by some of the greatest painters, writers and musicians the world has known. With year-round sunshine, a scenic location, and outstanding cuisine and culture, Nice embodies all the benefits of a historic coastal city.

Budapest, Hungary – Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest is the largest city in Hungary and is also one of the biggest cities in the European Union. This beloved tourist destination hosts Ironman 70.3 Budapest, joining the circuit in 2014. The Danube River, which is the longest river in the European Union, runs through the center of the city and along the Buda hills and Palace District. Budapest is well known for its restorative thermal baths, some of which date back to the Middle Ages. With a history that dates back to the 1200’s, the city attracts about 4.4 million tourists a year, making it the 25th most popular city in the world. Downtown’s nightlife district brings both culinary excellence and the relaxed atmosphere of underground-style lounges.

Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa – The beachside community of Port Elizabeth within the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality is South Africa’s second oldest city and is the coastal and economic hub of the Eastern Cape. Athletes and spectators who travel to Port Elizabeth get the unique opportunity to visit one of the most widely beautiful and historically significant places in the world. Currently hosting the Standard Bank Ironman African Championship, the course in Nelson Mandela Bay and the city of Port Elizabeth has athletes utilizing the beautiful surroundings of Hobie, Humewood and Kings Beaches. While fishing, surfing, whale watching, scuba diving, snorkeling and sailing are enjoyed by tourists, Nelson Mandela Bay also prides itself on offering the ability to see lions, rhinos, buffalo, leopards, and elephants in wildlife reserves outside the metropolitan area.

 

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How Can I Make My Transitions Faster? http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/29/how-can-i-make-my-transitions-faster http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/29/how-can-i-make-my-transitions-faster#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2016 14:00:09 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=54667

Transition at Challenge Bahrain. Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Challenge Triathlon

Coach Kathleeen Johnson provides some basic tips for keeping your transition times to a minimum. Keep your transition area simple and

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Transition at Challenge Bahrain. Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Challenge Triathlon

Transition at Challenge Bahrain. Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Challenge Triathlon

Transition at Challenge Bahrain. Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Challenge Triathlon

Coach Kathleeen Johnson provides some basic tips for keeping your transition times to a minimum.

Keep your transition area simple and clutter-free. Only set out the gear you need to use, and stash everything else back in your transition bag. You should easily be able to set everything up in an area the size of a hand towel.

Organize your things in the order you will use them, with cycling gear in front of your running gear. Lay things out so it takes as few motions as possible to put them on.

Place your helmet upside down with the back end facing away from you on the ground beside your bike or balanced on your handlebars. Have the straps open and tangle free. Open your sunglasses and put them inside your upturned helmet.

Whether or not you do a flying mount, keep your cycling shoe straps open for quick entry, and ride without socks.

In T2 put on your run shoes, grab your race belt and cap and run toward the transition exit. Keep moving; don’t stand still to perform a task if it can be done on the go.

Before the start, acquaint yourself with the flow of transition and do a run-through. Go to the T1 entrance and run to your bike, noting landmarks such as trees, signposts or rack numbers that will help you locate your bike. Go through the motions for T1 then run to the bike exit. Next go to where you will enter the transition area after the bike, run to your rack again, noting landmarks to help you find your spot. Practice what you will do for T2, then run to the exit to start the run. This dress rehearsal will help you not get lost in transition once you’re in race mode.

Kathleen Johnson is a USAT-certified coach (Level II and youth/junior) from Franklin, Tenn., the owner of TriSuccess Multisport Coaching, head coach of the Southeast Junior High Performance Team, and the 2013 USAT and USOC Developmental Coach of the Year.

 

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Sessions To Supercharge Your 90-Minute Rides http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/29/supercharge-your-90-minute-rides http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/29/supercharge-your-90-minute-rides#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2016 13:00:42 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=25067

Want to get the heart pumping? These bang-for-your-buck workouts are perfect for your midweek ride or as part of your weekend long ride.

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Want to get the heart pumping? These bang-for-your-buck workouts are perfect for your midweek ride or as part of your weekend long ride.

3×16-Kilometre Descending Intervals
Pick a course that’s about eight kilometres in one direction without traffic lights or signals. You’ll use it as a 16-kilometre out- and-back.

Goal: To refine your pacing skills. You’ll chop your time with every16-kilometre interval. “Pacing is everything,” says coach Dave Pruetz. “If you go out too fast, you may fail to get progressively faster.”

The Workout
• First out-and-back: Ride at an average pace (Zone 2) and time yourself.
Rest 3–5 minutes.
• Second out-and-back: Pick up your pace (Zone 3) and beat your first time. The trick is to not beat yourself by too much because the third set will be the hardest.
Rest 3–5 minutes.
• Third out-and-back: Get your pace up even more (Zone 4 or time-trial pace) and beat your second time. Cool down by spinning easy for 10 minutes.

Toggle Session
Coach Greg Mueller uses this 3×20-minute workout to get his athletes “out of the groove.”

Goal: To hit several training concepts within one ride. “This offers some relief over steady efforts where you’re engaging the same muscles and cadence for long periods,” says Mueller.

The Workout
• Warm up for 15 minutes. Include single-leg drills and high-cadence spin-ups.

Main Set: Choose four zones you want to “toggle through,” such as easy, tempo, lactate threshold (LT) pace and VO2max. If you’re not familiar with these zones, choose four effort levels on a scale of 1–10.
• Three sets of (4-min LT pace, 5-min tempo, 1-min VO2max, 10 minutes easy).
• Cool down with a 20-minute easy spin. As you get closer to a race, do an easy spin into a transition run.

“The Joker” Aerobic Threshold Builder
Insert this workout into a ride of any length to add a little aerobic stress. Coach Suzanne Atkinson dubbed it “The Joker” because it can be flipped for a slightly different perspective—either a tempo or VO2max workout.

Goal: To improve aerobic threshold by working with both tempo (just below threshold) and VO2max (just above threshold) effort.

The Workout
Warm up for 15 minutes.

Main Set:
• 6 min tempo, 1 min VO2 max
• 5 min tempo, 1 min VO2 max
• 4 min tempo, 1 min VO2 max
• 3 min tempo, 1 min VO2 max
• 2 min tempo, 1 min VO2 max
• Cool down for 10 minutes.

Sample 50-kilometre “Joker” workout:
• Km0–10: Gradual warm-up, build to just below threshold heart rate. Include a 30- second hard effort once every three kilometres, with at least five minutes of spinning prior to the first set.
• Km11-24: Joker Set No.1
• Km25-29: Relaxed recovery
• Km30-44: Joker Set No.2
• Km45-50:Cool-down, easy spin

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Training By Feel http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/29/training-by-feel http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/29/training-by-feel#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2016 12:00:05 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=35110

Photo: Shutterstock

Every athlete knows that a great race cannot happen unless a fair amount of hard work and suffering precedes it. But how much suffering is

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Photo: Shutterstock

Every athlete knows that a great race cannot happen unless a fair amount of hard work and suffering precedes it. But how much suffering is the right amount?

Obviously, there is such a thing as too much suffering, just as there is such a thing as too little. Opinions on the proper definition of what we might call the “misery sweet spot” vary. Some coaches and runners believe one should train more or less according to Nietzsche’s dictum, “That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” In other words, the more you suffer in training without breaking, the better you will race. Others believe that runners should suffer in carefully measured doses and should feel good at most times in the training process.

Even most coaches and runners who have a philosophy of suffering in training hold their beliefs implicitly, however. They do not actually put much thought into the question of how a runner should feel as the training process unfolds, and while they recognize that this emotional-sensory dimension has some importance, they fall far short of believing that runners should train by feel, in the sense of intentionally steering the course of their training in ways that make them feel how they should feel. Instead, they view the emotional-sensory dimension of training as ancillary and focus on the physiological dimension.

Not I. Unlike most of my peers, I believe that runners should train by feel. The reason is that how a runner feels during runs and about his or her running generally at any given time is the most sensitive and reliable indicator of how well the training process is going. The mind and the body are deeply interconnected. Your mind receives a million times more relevant information about how your body is doing than some silly gadget like a heart rate monitor and is able to interpret it much more clearly and immediately. If you feel really strong during a hard tempo run, then you are fit and your body is responding well to your training. Period. It doesn’t matter what number your heart rate monitor spits out.

Quite simply, I believe that runners should plan their training with the intent of producing certain feelings as their top priority, and that runners should adjust their training as necessary along the way to maximize desired feelings and minimize undesirable feelings. So then, how should you feel during the training process? I recognize that some runners achieve great success with a grinding approach to training, where they heap on as much hard work as they can handle and feel kind of lousy most of the time until the very end. When they taper down, however, their legs spring back to life and race like superheroes. I think the best approach for most runners is to try to feel as good as possible at most times.

Now, having read this you might now be thinking, “Well, the best way to feel good in training is to not train very hard — and that’s not going to result in a great race!” Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Feeling good in running is about feeling fit. The fitter you are, the better you will feel generally. And the only way to get fit is to work hard and, yes, suffer. Paradoxical though it may seem, suffering is essential to feeling good in training as a runner.

The joy of feeling fit is different from other pleasures, like the pleasure of lounging on the couch in front of a good movie. The joy of feeling fit is the pleasure of hard work. If you’re like me, the most enjoyable runs you experience are not easy runs but very challenging ones that happen to fall on days when your body feels up to the challenge. In running, you can experience pleasure and suffering simultaneously. In fact, there is probably no better indicator of successful training than enjoying one’s hardest workouts — that is, maximizing both pleasure and pain in the same sessions.

There are two enemies of feeling good in training. The first, as I’ve already suggested, is lack of fitness. If you train too lightly to stimulate steady improvement in your fitness, you will not enjoy your training as much as you would if you worked harder, suffered more, and grew stronger for your pains. The second enemy of feeling good in training is fatigue. The more fatigue you carry into a workout, the lousier you will feel, regardless of your fitness level. Therefore, maximizing your enjoyment in training requires that you minimize fatigue.

Of course, fatigue and increased fitness both come from the same source: hard work. You cannot get the benefit of hard work and increased fitness without the cost of fatigue. However, there are a million different ways to apportion hard work in training, and each yields its own unique balance of fitness and fatigue. Some yield more fatigue than fitness, others more fitness than fatigue. The best way to train is in a way that maximizes the fitness/fatigue ratio in the output of your hard work.

And how is this done? The most effective way to optimize the fitness/fatigue balance is to pay careful and consistent attention to how you feel and steer the course of your training in the direction of feeling as good as possible as often as possible. Again, feeling good is the most sensitive and reliable sign that your fitness is improving and that your fatigue level is within manageable limits. When you don’t feel good, you must determine whether it’s because of lack of fitness or excessive fatigue. Lack of fitness is corrected by more hard work; excessive fatigue is corrected by more rest.

In addition to adjusting your training appropriately as you go, you can also maximize your enjoyment in training by planning it appropriately. It’s beyond the scope of this article to get into that, however. To learn more about the planning aspect of my feel-good training philosophy, check out my book, RUN: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel.

About The Author: Matt Fitzgerald is the author of numerous books, including Racing Weight: How To Get Lean For Peak Performance (VeloPress, 2012). He is also a Training Intelligence Specialist for PEAR Sports. To learn more about Matt visit www.mattfitzgerald.org.

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Open Water Swim Training In The Pool http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/29/open-water-swim-training-in-the-pool http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/29/open-water-swim-training-in-the-pool#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2016 11:00:21 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=35967

Professional triathlete Sara McLarty provides eight open-water swimming drills that can easily be practiced in a pool. I live in Lake

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Professional triathlete Sara McLarty provides eight open-water swimming drills that can easily be practiced in a pool.

I live in Lake County, Florida. That’s a dead giveaway for how easy it is for me to train in open water. I literally have a lake in my front yard, one in my backyard and one on each side of my house. I can find a friend, bring a kayak and pick a different lake to swim in each weekend.

However, most triathletes don’t have such easy access to open water for training. It could be because of cold winter temperatures and frozen water, polluted or unsafe conditions, heavy motorboat traffic or just a lack of nearby options for open-water training.

Instead of settling for being ill-prepared for race season or endangering yourself by trying to train in unsuitable waters, try some of these training tips during your next swim. You can practice all of these open-water swimming drills at your neighborhood pool:

Flip at the T: During a normal swim set, every wall is a chance to rest, relax and recover before the next lap. However, there are no walls every 25 or 50 meters in the open water. One way to prepare yourself is by doing a long swim (500 to 1000 meters) without touching the wall. Instead of turning at the wall and pushing off with your legs, flip at the T (at the end of the underwater lane marker), or five feet before the wall. You will lose all of your forward momentum and be forced to use your arms and legs to get moving again. Caution: This can be stressful on your shoulders, so be sure to also use your legs to accelerate after you flip. As with all activities, don’t overdo it.

Sight Your Coach: During my first few months as a swim coach, I discovered why coaches always pace along the pool deck. Usually it is to communicate with swimmers in other lanes, but sometimes it’s just to keep warm or for personal entertainment. Use this random movement to your advantage: Pretend your coach is a big, orange inflated buoy. Practice sighting for your coach during a drill set. Lift your head forward, scan the horizon for the coach/buoy, turn your head to the side for a breath and then continue swimming. Do this no more than five times per lap (25 yards).

Water Polo Drill: Water polo players never seem to have a hard time swimming with their heads out of the water—it’s part of the sport. So, let’s take a page out of their book and train with our heads out of the water. There are many reasons you might need to do this in a real open-water situation (cold temperatures, feet in your face, hard-to-find buoys, etc). Swim the entire lap with you head up (ex: 6x25m). Don’t turn your head to the side to breathe; that’s cheating! This is a great way to build strength in your neck and make you aware of how your lower body sinks when your head is raised. Performing this drill with small paddles on makes for a gruelling strength workout, but this puts a lot of stress on the rotator cuff, so don’t get carried away.

Dolphin Dive: Along with having access to more lakes than I know what to do with, I also train at a pool that has a zero-entry end. The bottom of the pool gradually slopes up to the deck, just like a beach. Here, I have the opportunity to practice dolphin diving. You can also use the shallow end or the kiddy pool. Caution: Make sure you are familiar with the depth of the whole area you are using, and always lead with your hands as you dive to the bottom to protect your head and neck.

Hypoxic Breathing: The importance of lung capacity is often overlooked. Open water can seem much less intimidating if you can hold your breath for a long period of time or are comfortable not taking in air every three strokes. Situations like cold-water shock, chop and splash, or dunking at the buoy are very common during an event. Working on a hypoxic breathing-pattern set, or gradually increasing the number of strokes you take between breaths, is a great way to prepare for some of these situations. An example is a 5x100m set in which you breathe every three strokes the first lap, every five strokes on the second, every seven strokes on the third and every nine strokes (or not at all) on the last lap.

Turn in the Middle: Rarely will a triathlon or open-water swim have a 180-degree turn on the course, as sending swimmers head-on toward competitors is not the best idea. Thus, 90-degree turns are the norm. Pretend there is a buoy in the middle of your lane, swim towards it and make a U-turn around it. You can use a teammate as a buoy, bring an inflated buoy, use a mark on the bottom of the pool, or just your imagination. The point is: Practice your turns! Do some 180-degree turns as well—it can’t hurt to be over-prepared!

Three Wide: Most swimming lanes are two to three meters wide. This is just enough space to cram you and a pair of teammates side by side. Do 6x25m sets fast, where you alternate which position each person starts in. The middle slot is the most fun and should be fought over.

Drafting: Here’s where the fun starts! Take advantage of a long set, like repeat 300s or 400s, and put swimmers of similar abilities in the same lanes. Each swimmer should start one second apart, basically one after another, and try to stay right on the leader’s feet. Don’t forget to alternate who leads the lane after each interval.

These fun and challenging drills can be incorporated into a regular swim practice. After a while, training in the pool can get a bit repetitive (especially after 20 years) and anything to mix up the tedium is a welcome change. Not only will these drills give you a little mental boost, they will also prepare you for your first, second or 100th triathlon. Be creative, original and inventive with your drills. These are just some guidelines to inspire your own training ideas. Combine multiple drills (like Three Wide and Water Polo) to make another day at the pool more enjoyable. Remember, the most important thing is to feel confident and prepared when you are on the starting line.

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Quick trick: Avoid fingernail tears in your wetsuit http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/29/quick-trick-avoid-fingernail-tears-in-your-wetsuit http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/29/quick-trick-avoid-fingernail-tears-in-your-wetsuit#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2016 10:00:16 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=51385

Illustration by Oliver Baker.

Avoid a dreaded fingernail tear with this trick from Jay Weber of XTERRA Wetsuits: “There is a little-known secret to avoiding a wetsuit

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Illustration by Oliver Baker.

Avoid a dreaded fingernail tear with this trick from Jay Weber of XTERRA Wetsuits: “There is a little-known secret to avoiding a wetsuit tear, which starts by having it inside out,” he explains. “With the rubber on the inside, and the neoprene sponge on the outside, you’ll be able to roll the suit on.”

1. With the suit inside out, ensure that you are looking at the chest, not the back zipper, as you hold it up.

2. Lay the suit on the ground in front of you and insert your feet through each opening. Begin to tug the suit up over your lower legs, working evenly and alternatively from leg to leg.

3. Once you have the suit up and over your chest, do one arm at a time in the same manner (with it inside out). This will avoid putting undue stress on the suit and ensure that the outside rubber coating keeps from getting fingernail tears.

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Tri’d And Tested: AMEO Powerbreather http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/29/trid-and-tested-ameo-powerbreather http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/29/trid-and-tested-ameo-powerbreather#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2016 09:00:03 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=56406

The training snorkel has been around for many years and the various options available have always used the same design with a single tube

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The training snorkel has been around for many years and the various options available have always used the same design with a single tube fixed centrally to your head. Simple and straight forward but many athletes don’t get on with a snorkel and it just lives in the bottom of the swim bag never to be used.

The AMEO Powerbreather is fundamentally different – and looks different as a consequence – in that there are two tubes through which air is inhaled and the head attachment uses an adjustable strap that incorporates a bike-helmet type screw lock to securely attach the Powerbreather. The side tube position is adjustable along with the tension which makes for a very comfortable fit once in place.

The conventional single tube snorkel actually reduces the oxygen content of the inhaled air as there will be a mixing of the exhaled air (containing carbon dioxide which we need to remove completely) with the inhaled air. For longer and more intense swim sessions this can therefore become a limiter as the snorkel becomes restrictive in terms of the supply of oxygen.

With the Powerbreather the two side tubes are each fitted with one-way valves so that air is breathed in through these tubes but exhalation occurs through another one-way valve at the mouth piece. Fresh air is always inhaled and all waste air/carbon dioxide is exhaled separately; very neat.

This one-way valve system also makes it easy to remove any water that does get into the tubes – simply breath normally and the water is exhaled through the one-way valve and replaced by fresh air in the next breath – no need to blow hard trying to purge the water back up the single tube.

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How Much Do You Drink On Race Day? http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/28/how-much-do-you-drink-on-race-day http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/28/how-much-do-you-drink-on-race-day#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 14:00:26 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=49478

Photo: Shutterstock

Ask any multisport competitor how much nutrition he or she consumes during a race, and you’ll likely get a classic Type-A triathlete

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Photo: Shutterstock

Ask any multisport competitor how much nutrition he or she consumes during a race, and you’ll likely get a classic Type-A triathlete answer: “X bottles of fluid for Y calories every Z minutes.”

That answer is probably inaccurate, says a new study out of the University of Minnesota. According to lead researcher Patrick Wilson, triathletes’ ability to gauge fluid intake during a race is fallible, which could lead to race-day complications such as dehydration, hypo- or hypernatremia, and insufficient calories to meet the body’s energy demands.

The study of 53 triathletes on the run leg of a half Ironman race found discrepancies in self-reported fluid intake compared to measured fluid intake.

“There were a number of individuals that were off by 10 to 20 ounces when comparing their self-reported intake to measured intake,” says Wilson.

Factors contributing to triathletes’ inaccurate recall include the number of aid stations, the duration of the event, the size and shape of the containers used, and the experience level of the athletes.

For athletes wanting to stay on top of a controlled fuelling schedule, Wilson suggests triathletes choose accurate methods for quantifying fluid intake, including:

Carry your own bottles on a fuel belt (or, in longer races, using Special Needs bags).

If fuelling on a schedule, program a watch to alert you of food/drink intervals.

Review course maps to determine the frequency of aid stations at your race. Adjust your fuelling plan accordingly.

Practice fuelling during training. Make note of how much, how often, and what effects certain foods/drinks have on your performance.

Get calories and electrolytes from food (such as gels and chews), which are portioned and measurable, rather than relying on fluids.

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Running Low: Iron Deficiency Anaemia Explained http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/28/running-low-iron-deficiency-anaemia-explained http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/28/running-low-iron-deficiency-anaemia-explained#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:00:14 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=56400

Learn how to keep this essential mineral in check throughout your season.   There’s one big bad threat to success that even the

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Learn how to keep this essential mineral in check throughout your season.

 

There’s one big bad threat to success that even the fittest, most well-prepared athlete will not be able to push past: A condition known as iron deficiency anaemia.

Defined as low blood iron levels, iron deficiency anaemia affects an estimated 20–50 percent of female athletes, while 4–50 percent of male athletes suffer from depleted iron stores, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) II. Left untreated, iron depletion can develop into iron deficiency aneamia (IDA), which impairs the body’s aerobic processes, brain and muscle metabolism, endurance performance, and normal immune response.

Iron—a key factor in aerobic capacity and directly linked to sports performance—is necessary for producing haemoglobin and myoglobin. And guess what haemoglobin does for you? It carries oxygen from every panting breath you take on the track to your hard-working tissues. It also holds and stores oxygen in the muscles to be put to use in whatever you’re doing—swimming, biking, running, or just picking up groceries. In short, when iron levels are too low, your ability to go hard—or go at all—suffers.

Signs and symptoms

Short of a medical test, how can triathletes tell if they might be suffering from low iron? When the body struggles to make haemoglobin through lack of iron, lactic acid builds up in the oxygen-deprived muscles. As lactic acid accumulates, an athlete becomes more likely to fatigue prematurely during exercise, and may experience muscle burning, shortness of breath, and decreased motivation to train.

Chronic fatigue is the most common symptom, but other symptoms, including increased rate of perceived exertion (RPE), nausea, frequent infections, respiratory illnesses, the inability to think clearly, and a pale, washed-out appearance, should not be ignored. Consistent training requires you to be healthy, resilient, and mentally strong, so don’t let a lack of iron derail you.

What causes low iron?

Though inadequate dietary iron intake is the most common cause of iron deficiency anaemia, several other factors impact an athlete’s iron stores.

  • Malnourishment: vegetarian, vegan, low-protein, fad, and unbalanced diets
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Injury, disease, or gastrointestinal trauma
  • Strenuous endurance training, which can increase iron loss through sweat, gastrointestinal bleeding, and decrease iron absorption
  • Frequent use of aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, causing increased GI blood loss
  • Foot strikes (in runners/triathletes) can develop broken red blood cells called haemolysis
  • Training at higher altitudes

Monitoring iron stores 

Chronic iron depletion is an indicator that the body is under extreme stress. High mileage and intensity, underfuelling, unbalanced/unhealthy eating habits, life stress, inadequate sleep, and too little recovery can all contribute to recurring iron depletion. Athletes who continue to push themselves while attempting to correct low ferritin levels are more prone to overtraining/underperformance syndrome.

If you think you may suffer from iron depletion and/or iron deficiency anaemia, contact your doctor. Periodic monitoring through blood work which includes a complete blood count (CBC), haemoglobin, haematocrit, serum ferritin, serum iron, transferrin saturation, total iron binding capacity, reticulocytes, and urine specific gravity (USG) will help detect suboptimal iron levels.Plan blood tests strategically during training, and be aware that serum ferritin (a marker of iron levels in the body), can be falsely elevated for up to 72 hours after a long, strenuous session, and if you are fighting an infection or experiencing inflammation.

Sports anaemia

Endurance training increases blood volume, which dilutes haemoglobin and haematocrit in the blood, making it appear artificially low when iron levels are in fact within normal limits. Sports anaemia is common when an athlete returns to training after a period of inactivity or when there is a sudden increase in training intensity. After the body has adjusted to the training load, haemoglobin and haematocrit will return to normal levels.

Boost your iron intake

Animal foods such as red meat, dark meat poultry, and seafood offer the most absorbable form of iron (heme). While plant foods provide non-heme iron, this form is more difficult for the body to absorb. However, consuming foods rich in vitamin C in the same meal can increase iron absorption from non-heme sources. If you have a spinach salad, add strawberries or mandarin oranges slices for an added dose of vitamin C. In addition, consider combining heme with non-heme iron sources such as bean chili with dark turkey or beef. Incorporate small amounts of red meat in casseroles, pasta sauces, soups, stir-frys, salads, and sandwiches. Cooking in a cast-iron skillet is also known to help boost iron consumption.

Additionally, it’s important to understand that that coffee, tannic acid in tea, and calcium-rich foods inhibit heme iron absorption. Bran or high-fibre cereals (containing phytates and oxalates) can also inhibit the absorption of non-heme iron.

How much iron is enough?

Here are the dietary reference intakes (DRI), as stated by the Institute of Medicine:

  • Males/females age 9-13: 8mg/day
  • Males age 14-18: 11mg/day
  • Females age 14-18: 15mg/day
  • Males age 18-50: 8mg/day
  • Females age 18-50: 18mg/day
  • Vegetarians (all ages): 1.8 x DRI

Supplementing iron

If your doctor has suggested an over-the-counter iron supplement, look for ferrous sulfate and ferrous gluconate as the iron source. These forms are widely available, time tested, and less expensive.

Be sure to do your research before increasing your iron regimen because iron supplements may cause side effects like constipation, diarrhoea, nausea, and dark stools. Make sure to follow recommended intake guidelines, as excess iron supplementation can have adverse health consequences.
To continue reading this article click on this link: Running Low: Iron Deficiency Anemia Explained

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Redefine Your Goals http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/28/redefine-your-goals http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2016/04/28/redefine-your-goals#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 12:00:27 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=45551

After crossing the finish line of a local sprint race last season, I was walking around congratulating fellow racers when one of them asked

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After crossing the finish line of a local sprint race last season, I was walking around congratulating fellow racers when one of them asked me about my race. I responded enthusiastically, “I was pleased to be able to race to my fitness.” Given the funny look I received, I clarified by explaining that I view the primary purpose of training as getting as fit and smart as possible, given real-life challenges such as family and work. My run preparation was weak and the time showed it, but that didn’t detract any from the effort I put forth and my feelings of satisfaction, pride and smiles. After all, that’s the main reason we race, right?

Having completed more than a hundred multisport races with finish-line scenes reminiscent of this one, I’ve unfortunately learned that many triathletes race for different reasons, and they often finish feeling disappointed and unsatisfied with their accomplishments.

Triathletes can do a better job of defining success. Goal-setting experts tell us we need to set “SMART” goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound). While this is generally excellent advice, most triathletes sadly choose to view these guidelines through the prism of outcome-based goals, instead of embracing the far more fulfilling process-oriented goals.

RELATED: Screw Your Weaknesses!

For example, when asked to list their top goals for an upcoming race, most triathletes will answer “finish in the top 10 in my age group,” “break 12 hours” or “average 20 mph on the bike.” Rarely do I hear “I want to meter out my energy optimally during the bike leg in order to have my best run, ” “I want to arrive early to the race site to avoid any anxiety,” or “I want to stay focused on a key element of my swim stroke.”

It is worth noting that many of these popular outcome-based goals can easily be compromised by race conditions such as heat and wind, poorly marked swim courses or the competition that day. Comparing your times from flat and fast 70.3 EagleMan to hot and hilly Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 is not likely to lead to feeling successful.

Defining success properly for yourself starts long before the gun goes off at your next race. Begin by establishing process goals for your training, such as:

– I will wake up 30 minutes earlier three days a week to do valuable core work.

– I’ll train with friends more often.

– I’ll avoid processed sweets on weekdays in order to help reach a more effective race weight.

Then, as you approach your next key race, make a realistic assessment of your fitness and race preparedness based upon the actual training you’ve achieved. Use recent time trials, practice races and previous race experience in order to craft a winning pacing strategy reflective of that fitness.

Stay in your own bubble and don’t let other racers distract you from your race plan. Unless you are competing for the overall win, age-group racing is essentially a really long solo time trial with the goal of completely exhausting your fitness at the finish line. If you do that, and execute your race plan with only a few minor hiccups along the way, then you will have had a very successful race. You may just be pleasantly surprised at the time on the clock and your age group placing as a result.

Scott Fliegelman is the owner and head coach of FastForward Sports (Fastforwardsports.net) in Boulder, Colo.

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