Triathlete Europe http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com Europe's leading source for triathlon news and information. Sat, 28 Mar 2015 10:00:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Challenge Dubai – Reflections and Report http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/28/challenge-dubai-reflections-and-report http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/28/challenge-dubai-reflections-and-report#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 10:00:50 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=49985

By now the triathlon world knows that New Zealand’s Terenzo Bozzone and Daniela Ryf from Switzerland won the inaugural Challenge Dubai ]]>

Challenge Triathlon DubaiBy now the triathlon world knows that New Zealand’s Terenzo Bozzone and Daniela Ryf from Switzerland won the inaugural Challenge Dubai held on February 27. This hotly fought race kicked off the Challenge Triple Crown series with $1 million up for grabs for any pro that manages to win all three events taking place throughout 2015. Challenge Omar and Challenge Bahrain make up the remaining two events, but what was the race like to take part in? Ian Osborne managed to pull himself round to bring you the low down.

Swim

Like any open water swim always expect the unexpected. Water temperatures were close to being non-wetsuit, and it was only called on race morning, so it’s always good to pack a swim skin and a wetsuit. The secluded bay had mirror like waters in the run up to the event, but race day kicked up high winds and made for a rough swim. The tough conditions and waves only added to the fun and made it a truly honest race. While it wasn’t my greatest swim performance, my work with Gerry Rodrigues from Tower26.com over the last 12 months paid dividends when it came to strength, endurance and confidence in the choppy water. That said, sighting was tough and I felt like a piece of driftwood being smashed around. I was pleased to exit the two-lap swim eighth in my age group and in good shape going on to the bike.

Bike

The bike course in Dubai is flat. It’s important to realise a flat course doesn’t make it an easy one. The flat winding Dubai course meant sitting in the aero position for the entire race, which in itself made it tough. Add to this warm temperatures, strong winds and sand storms and the bike was far from easy. Once again this made the event honest and I never saw any packs or groups like at some races. The course had plenty of aid stations that were well manned making for easy race nutrition. With far less bike training than usual this winter I knew I had to ride conservatively if I wanted to run the whole way. I passed a few people and a few people me but for most of the bike I was on my own. The first 60K were relatively easy but the last 30K all seemed to be into a headwind. This was mentally and physically challenging with my speed half of what it was in the early stages for more effort. I was happy to see T2.

Run

Dubai’s run course is a simple two-lap affair along the beautiful coastline. The wind made for hard work on the way out but took the edge off the soaring temperatures. I liked the course because it was easy to break up the race into manageable chunks. I was worried as to how I’d feel going out on the run having not ridden a time trial bike since September. The first few kilometres were rough with everything feeling tight and my back screaming. Luckily, things loosened up and I was able to keep running without any stops. For the first time in many years I wasn’t chasing position, splits, qualification or an overall time. My plan was to get through with a sensibly paced race, and most importantly, enjoy the experience. This I did finishing 13th in my age group. I have to thank Challenge for restoring my faith in triathlon after such a bad experience at the 70.3 worlds in Mont Tremblant last year with so much blatant drafting and cheating. The post-race pizza and telling of war stories with old mates finished off a great race experience. That evening Challenge threw down an impressive spread, like they had for the pre-race pasta party, for the awards ceremony.

Bling

The organisers looked after the athletes in a way we have come to expect from Challenge Family events. Not only did they dish out a beautiful falcon motif finishers medal but everyone was also given a bright red Challenge Dubai body warmer. This was on top of quality backpack, hydration system, polo shirt and Gu gels already handed out pre-race.

Accommodation

Dubai has places to stay to suit all pockets from the more modest Holiday Inn Express through to the official race hotel, the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, where the pro athletes were located. This high-end hotel overlooks the beach and Dubai’s sail-shaped Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel.

Dining

Dining out in Dubai is a wonderful experience with a varied and exciting restaurant scene to suit all budgets. Whether it’s local cuisine or a celebrity chef experience such as Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay, Dubai has is all. We recommend going for local cuisine with the Shasbestan offering a true Persian experience.

The Sights

Burj Khalifa: The world’s tallest building standing at 828m is a groundbreaking feat of engineering and architecture. There’s an observation deck on the 124th floor, but to enjoy the world’s tallest viewing platform you’ll have to pay extra to experience the views and hospitality from the 148th floor. Go online for the best prices.

Dubai Museum: This is located in the Al Fahidi desert fort that was built in 1799 and is the oldest building in Dubai. This is the place learn about Dubai’s history and how this once Bedouin village has risen to become a global centre of tourism, commerce and finance.

Dubai Mall: This is the world’s largest shopping mall that has 1,200 shops and 200 food and beverage outlets. The mall also features the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, KidZania, Sega Republic, a cinema megaplex, an Olympic-sized ice rink and the outdoor musical Dubai Fountain to keep the family entertained. 

Wild Wadi Water Park: Located near the Jumeirah Beach Hotel this is the ideal place to take the kids or relax post-race. With over a dozen interconnected rides, a big wave pool and white water rapids there’s plenty to do for the whole family

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Jesse Thomas blog: I’m not an Ironman (and that’s okay) http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/27/jesse-thomas-blog-im-not-an-ironman-and-thats-okay http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/27/jesse-thomas-blog-im-not-an-ironman-and-thats-okay#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:30:46 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=50059

Photo: Aaron Hersh

When I tell people that I’m a professional triathlete, the first question I usually get is: “Have you done THE IRONMAN?” Most people ]]>

Photo: Aaron Hersh

When I tell people that I’m a professional triathlete, the first question I usually get is: “Have you done THE IRONMAN?” Most people mean one of two things—either “an” Ironman, or “the” Ironman, the one they see on NBC from Kona that’s kind of a big deal.

Of course, my answer is no. As much as it may surprise my dozens of loyal readers, I haven’t done an Ironman. And while I’m a proud two-time finisher of the Kona Underpants Run, I’ve been unable to sell the rights to my hairy-chested tighty whities to NBC.

And answering “no” always saddens me a bit. Not because I haven’t done an Ironman, but because something in the question, or the tone or the look I get when I respond “no,” makes me feel like I need to justify why I haven’t done an Ironman.

I feel the need to give an explanation about being “new to the sport,” or “planning to do one next year,” or “but I still tri really hard I swear!” It’s like the many triathlons I’ve done, some over very hard courses at a fairly reasonable pace, simply just don’t matter until I’ve finished an Ironman.

So why have I gone five-plus years in the sport, four as a pro, without doing an Ironman? Well, why would I? If you look at it from a solely professional angle, there are some major disadvantages: more time training, higher risk of injury, less racing. Unless you are one of the top 3–5 guys at Kona, then it likely makes less financial sense as well. Most sponsor bonuses and prize money I’ve seen are 1.5 to two times more than the payout for a half-Ironman, but it’s a lot easier to race more than twice as many halfs in a season. When racing an Ironman, if something goes wrong, it’s harder to make it up with another race. Your season has less flexibility and it puts even more sponsorship/income pressure on a single performance on a single day. It’s a higher risk, less efficient use of time and money. (Please do not share this article with another pro or my entire strategy is blown!)

You could argue the same thing for age-groupers. If your goal is to stay healthy and fit, training and racing shorter distances is probably more likely to keep you consistently healthy and fit than an Ironman will. If you’re doing it for fun and happiness, it’s easy to argue that preparing for an Ironman can venture past the fun/happy side to borderline cray-cray. Whenever I imagine training for an Ironman, I think of that YouTube video with the robotic-voice dude who says, “This is fun for me,” in response to why he has to go to bed at 6 o’clock. Many of my age-grouper friends say that training for an Ironman is hard—not just hard physically, but hard on their families, on their jobs and friends. It seems easy for that natural happy balance of life to sway a little too far into training mode.

Then why do so many pros and age-groupers focus on Ironman? My guess is it’s partly because triathlon, for better and for worse, is dominated by the Ironman brand. No single organization has done more to promote and grow the sport than its owner, World Triathlon Corporation. In some ways, I probably have WTC to thank for the sponsorship interest and income opportunities that pay Jude’s diaper bills. But the power of that growth has made the sport feel Ironman-centric. And more and more, people seem to be joining the sport specifically for an M-dot experience, and counting their accomplishments solely in Ironman stats.

I think this affects the way people approach the sport. More people feel like they need to do an Ironman to legitimize their triathlon pursuit, the time and money they invest in it and the sacrifices they make—myself included.

I’ve seen this on the professional side as well. My sponsors are mostly comfortable and supportive of whatever plans I make, but there is general industry pressure to be on the road to Ironman, specifically on the road to Kona, because of the real or perceived increase in marketing value of being there.

But the pursuit of Ironman isn’t just due to good marketing or sponsors. There’s a challenge in Ironman that makes it uniquely appealing, and I get that. It’s a perfect triathlon distance that allows the majority of prepared participants to finish in a day. There’s also an appealing overlap with the well-known distance of the marathon. Technically, there are longer, harder triathlons out there, but they are multiple day events and more logistically challenging. These factors help Ironman remain as the most universally sought after premier accomplishment in the sport. I feel a pull to Ironman that has nothing to do with sponsors. It’s my own need as a competitive athlete to toe the line on the biggest stage and see what I’ve got. And for that reason alone, I’ll do an Ironman some day, and I’ll try to qualify for Kona, even if it means sacrificing income along the way.

I understand the allure, and there’s nothing wrong with choosing to make that one accomplishment your focus (I probably will one day). But I also think that there are many other ways to challenge yourself, whether it be tough courses, like my favorite, Wildflower, or races with unique conditions and distances like Escape from Alcatraz. Or it could be just challenging yourself to go faster, finish higher in your age group, or beat that brownnoser from sales in your local tri (sorry, sales guys).

So while an Ironman is an admirable and worthy goal, you shouldn’t feel like it has to be the goal. There is plenty of other triathlon out there that can both challenge you and provide you with the healthy balance you’re looking for.

As my friend and mentor Stuart Smalley, whom I quote often in my articles, might say while looking in a mirror: “I’m NOT an Ironman … and that’s OK.”

Jesse Thomas (@jessemthomas) is a four-time Wildflower Long Course champion and the CEO of Picky Bars (Pickybars.com).

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Boost your pain tolerance http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/27/boost-your-pain-tolerance http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/27/boost-your-pain-tolerance#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 12:15:23 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=50056

Compared to the general populace, multisport buffs are as tough as they come. There’s even research to back up that contention. To gain ]]>

Compared to the general populace, multisport buffs are as tough as they come. There’s even research to back up that contention. To gain an understanding of what accounts for that tenacity, a new study sought to examine the important link between pain and performance. Indeed, those who are able to push harder and longer are usually the ones who end up atop the podium on race day.

Published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers had a group of cyclists perform sprint interval tests on bikes, giving them either 1.5 grams of acetaminophen (pain reliever, aka generic Tylenol) or a placebo prior to exercise. They then monitored their power output and heart rate during each sprint, finding that when they took acetaminophen, the participants had a significantly greater mean power output.

This backed up related research that involved 13 trained male cyclists performing a 10-mile time trail after taking acetaminophen or a placebo. In similar findings, they discovered that the participants were able to cycle at higher mean power outputs and finish faster when they took the acetaminophen. They concluded that their findings “support the notion that exercise is regulated by pain perception, and increased pain tolerance can improve exercise capacity.”

Now this certainly doesn’t mean that triathletes should start popping pills before workouts and races. Researchers simply relied on acetaminophen as an easy and quick way to mask pain in lab conditions. In real life, taking medication to cover up pain is a recipe for injury and should be avoided in most cases. The important takeaway from these studies is that a higher pain tolerance and increased performance go hand in hand. Luckily, with a bit of hard work, you can naturally boost that tolerance—and thereby performance—without running to the medicine cabinet.

“Athlete perception of pain is definitely a factor in performance, but you have to always remember that it’s a moving target based on an athlete’s health and training status,” says Will Kirousis, a USA Triathlon and USA Cycling-certified coach who serves as the co-director of Tri-Hard Endurance Sports Coaching in Massachusetts.

By this, he means that through training and experience in the sport, you can actually train yourself to have a higher pain threshold. Keep in mind, however, that there is a big difference between the pain and discomfort associated with hard racing and training, and that related to actual injuries. When it comes to the latter, there is no benefit to enduring through the hurt.

Boost Your Pain Threshold
If you are healthy and looking to bump up your ability to withstand the discomfort associated with hard work, Kirousis emphasises the importance of three types of workouts. Most applicable to your preparation for a goal race is simply to schedule “practice” lead-up races early and mid-season to get your legs and lungs working harder than they might in regular workouts. “Doing a few specific training races in the build-up to your main event for the year is invaluable,” he says. “You get to practice in the atmosphere of the race and you raise the bar performance-wise to the highest level you can on that day.”

Another important way to build your pain tolerance is through high-intensity workouts like hard interval training. “These workouts are intense, have clear goals, and work great to stretch fatigue-based pain threshold, assuming they are done in a training environment that emphasises recovery and freshness overall,” Kirousis says.

While it may sound counterintuitive, it’s also vital to increase your pain tolerance during recovery. “If you aren’t fresh, you don’t have the emotional reserve to move your pain threshold during a race or workout,” he explained. “If you are focused on suffering all the time, you get tired and have no reserve, which lowers pain threshold.”

Put simply, to increase your tolerance for pain, you need to implement increasingly more difficult workouts. With that said, if you aren’t rested enough to withstand those tougher sessions, you’ll always be logging sub-optimal workouts, which won’t contribute to overall performance improvements. By following a smart training plan with strategically scheduled hard workouts and recovery days, you’ll notice over months (and years) you’re able to handle more than you perhaps ever thought possible.

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60 minute session: Deek’s Quarters http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/27/60-minute-session-deeks-quarters http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/27/60-minute-session-deeks-quarters#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 11:15:17 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=50054

Photo: Shutterstock

On paper, a session of 8 x 400-meter repeats gives the illusion of an easy workout; but executed properly, these one-lappers can be a real ]]>

Photo: Shutterstock

On paper, a session of 8 x 400-meter repeats gives the illusion of an easy workout; but executed properly, these one-lappers can be a real doozy.

The workout, made popular by former marathon world-record holder Rob De Castella of Australia, is as simple as it sounds: eight, one-lap repeats of the track. The pace: it varies (more on this in a bit). The recovery: a scant, but swift, 200-meter float.

De Castella would perform this session weekly throughout the year, regardless of whether he was training for a marathon or not. The pace of the workout would fluctuate “depending if Rob was recovering in the winter versus when he was in peak shape and flying,” recalled Derek Froude in Michael Sandrock’s Running With The Legends.

So how fast should you run your repeats? De Castella recommends anaerobic threshold pace, or your fastest maintainable speed. For most runners, this roughly translates to a speed that is slightly faster than your current 5K race pace. Doesn’t sound too difficult, right?

Here’s the catch. The recovery between each repeat is a 200-meter, or half a lap, “float”—not a walk or slow jog, but more of a brisk trot. The key to this session is that you never completely recover before starting the next 400-meter interval, and as the workout progresses you’ll be forced to work harder to maintain the same pace at which you started out. This is threshold training at its truest, simulates race surging and will teach your body to recover quickly while running fast.

“As you get fitter, your red line rises from about 80 percent of maximum heartrate to 90-95 percent,” writes world-renowned running coach and top exercise physiologist, Jack Daniels. “Physiologically, threshold training teaches muscle cells to use more oxygen–less lactate is produced. Your body also becomes better at clearing lactate: race-day red line speed rises.”

Beginner (Shorter) Version
Warmup: Run easily for 10-15 minutes; follow with 4 x 20-second strides.

Workout: 4-6 x 400 meters (one lap of the track) with a 200-meter “float” between intervals. Run the 400’s at 1-2 seconds per lap (4-8 seconds per mile) faster than your current 5K race pace and the 200’s at a pace that’s about a minute per mile slower than your 5K pace.

Cooldown: Run easily for 10-15 minutes, stretch, refuel.

Advanced (Longer) Version
Warmup: Run easily for 20-25 minutes; follow with 6 x 20-second strides.

Workout: 8 x 400 meters (one lap of the track) with a 200-meter “float” between intervals. Run the 400’s at 1-2 seconds per lap (4-8 seconds per mile) faster than your current 5K race pace and the 200’s at a pace that’s about a minute per mile slower than your 5K pace.

Cooldown: Run easily for 20-25 minutes, stretch, refuel.

When all is said and done, a full session of Deek’s Quarters yields two miles worth of faster intervals but totals three miles of total work since you’re not taking a full recovery between 400m intervals. This workout benefits a wide range of runners from weekend warriors hoping to improve their 5K time to serious marathoners looking to lop minutes off their personal best. De Castella used to perform this workout weekly, but for most runners, tackling such a session every other week or even once every third or fourth week is plenty. As you get fitter, your lap times—and your race times—will get faster.

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Tri Activ – Triathlon Training at Sands Beach http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/27/tri-activ-triathlon-training-at-sands-beach http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/27/tri-activ-triathlon-training-at-sands-beach#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 10:00:55 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=50047

Bella Bayliss is a 16-time iron-distance winner and ITU Long Distance world champion. She retired from racing in 2013 following her victory ]]>

Bella Bayliss is a 16-time iron-distance winner and ITU Long Distance world champion. She retired from racing in 2013 following her victory at Challenge Henley. We caught up with the Bella at her new home at the Sands Beach Resort in Lanzarote to hear about her new career as a coach and her work with Team Tri Active.

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Preview: Stellar field ready for ITU WTS Auckland http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/27/preview-stellar-field-ready-for-itu-wts-auckland http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/27/preview-stellar-field-ready-for-itu-wts-auckland#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 09:00:11 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=50052

© Delly Carr / Sportshoot

The second stop of the ITU World Triathlon Series touches down in Auckland this Sunday, which includes a star-studded roster of athletes ]]>

© Delly Carr / Sportshoot

The second stop of the ITU World Triathlon Series touches down in Auckland this Sunday, which includes a star-studded roster of athletes all vying to take home the next WTS title in the season’s first standard distance race of the year. The world’s finest will battle it out on a choppy two-lap harbour swim, hilly eight-lap bike and finish it off with a four-lap run course.

The Men’s Race
The men’s race will come with much anticipation as four of the top-ten ranked athletes are set to compete.

Mario Mola (ESP) will wear the No. 1 uniform on Sunday after an impressive and explosive start to the WTS circuit in Abu Dhabi. Holding steady in a three-man pack going into the final lap of the run, Mola recorded the fastest 5km run split time in the history of the WTS to break away and claim his second Series title.

Although he only saw a sixth-place finish in Abu Dhabi, the defending world-champion Javier Gomez Noya (ESP) will be back in Auckland looking to earn his first Series title of the season. He will also be stepping up to the New Zealand start line as the reigning WTS Auckland champion three years over.

He and Mola will have strong help from their compatriots, with the Spanish team featuring a full squad of six men on the starting line. Four of those six are also ranked in the top 10 making them a danger bunch of competitors.

Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) and Joao Silva (POR) are also set to headline the Auckland stop over. The Brit has finished second to Gomez on two occasions and his fifth-place in Abu Dhabi will have him gunning for gold.

Portugal’s Silva was back to stunning form in Abu Dhabi when he ran ahead of both Gomez and Brownlee at the end of the 5km sprint. He, like Mola, Gomez and Brownlee, is also a previous Auckland medallist having finished third in 2013.

The Women’s Race
With a blowout finish, the defending World Champion Gwen Jorgensen (USA) secured the first 2015 WTS win in Abu Dhabi. After being down nearly a minute, the top runner showcased her foot-to-pavement skills and made up the time to secure the gold-medal finish and reaffirm herself as the one to chase.

Jorgensen claimed success with the same strategy in Auckland in 2012 when she came from behind to run herself into silver medal position. But last year’s race told a different story when she got caught up in a bike crash and finished 12th – the only time she didn’t finish on the WTS podium last year.

The Americans are on a hot streak right now, having finished 1-2 in the rankings last year, and having started out the 2015 season in the same way. With Katie Zaferes and Sarah True on the start list, expect some red, white, and blue on the podium.

Joining the lineup is New Zealand’s own Andrea Hewitt, whose cycling skills will serve her well on this leg-burning course. While Hewitt has yet to step on the podium in Auckland at a WTS race, she picked up a win in the race when it was a World Cup in 2011. A strong cyclist well suited for the leg-burning course, Hewitt’s run appears more on point than ever after she posted the third-fastest run split of the day in Abu Dhabi.

But it’s Germany’s Anne Haug who knows true success in Auckland, having collected two gold and a silver medal here. Despite a disappointing 2014 season, as one of the strongest bikers on the Series, Haug knows how to handle the hilly bike course. Haug and Hewitt will have company on the bike with equally impressive riders Olympic silver medallist Lisa Norden and Flora Duffy toeing the line. If these ladies get away on the bike, it will be tough to reel them in.

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Video: How to choose your chainrings + cassette http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/26/video-how-to-choose-your-chainrings-cassette http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/26/video-how-to-choose-your-chainrings-cassette#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 13:30:33 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=50039

Your gear ratios are defined by the size of your chainrings and the ratios offered by your cassette. Your tyre width also affects this to a ]]>

Your gear ratios are defined by the size of your chainrings and the ratios offered by your cassette. Your tyre width also affects this to a certain extent, but by far the biggest influence us exerted by the chainrings and cassette.

On a road bike you have two choices of chainset. Standard, which is commonly 53×39 and compact, commonly 50×34. Cassettes generally offer gears in the range of 11-25 or 11-28.

In this video, Dan Lloyd from GCN explains how gear ratios are calculated and how you can use that knowledge to your benefit.

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Relearn proper swim strokes after a break http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/26/relearn-proper-swim-strokes-after-a-break http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/26/relearn-proper-swim-strokes-after-a-break#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 12:15:40 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=50036

Photo: iStock

If you’re an experienced swimmer and have ever given advice to a beginner, chances are you stressed the importance of stroke mechanics. ]]>

Photo: iStock

If you’re an experienced swimmer and have ever given advice to a beginner, chances are you stressed the importance of stroke mechanics. And you would have been right. But if you spent the winter avoiding the swimming pool, you should consider yourself a swim beginner all over again and heed your own advice. Restarting by ploughing through hard workouts will reinforce bad stroke habits that can haunt you all year. Masters swim and USAT-certified coach Tim Edwards recommends spending at least the first month back in the pool relearning good habits to set yourself up for a successful season.

Start slow.
Knocking out a 3,000-yard set with good technique may be doable mid-season, but you aren’t there yet. Your stroke will fall apart once fatigue sets in. “Start out with 1,000–1,600 yards and then build from there until hitting the volume you were used to in the previous year,” Edwards recommends. “If your form collapses and doesn’t return with a good rest period, the workout should come to an end.” Integrate non-freestyle strokes into your workout to get an aerobic workout without exhausting your freestyle muscles.

Use training aids—for specific purposes.
Put on a pair of short fins such as Finis Zoomers for drill sets. The additional propulsion will let you focus on the drill instead of moving across the pool. Always do part of your drill set without fins to keep from becoming dependent on the additional boost.

Swim with a snorkel to focus on rotation.
“Snorkels should be used to isolate the body roll and take the breathing out of the equation,” Edwards advises. “Using a snorkel allows you to keep form and focus on rotation and proper pull.”

Forget these poolside favourites.
Save the paddles until you’ve regained your stroke. “They should be used as a form of strength training,” Edwards says, not to get a feel for the water or boost speed. Plus, adding resistance before the stabiliser muscles in the shoulders have regained their strength can lead to injury. Kickboards are also better for building fitness than relearning your stroke. Edwards suggests doing kick sets on your back to refine your streamline position.

Do drills, drills and more drills.
As a reborn beginner, you need to relearn the fundamentals of a sound freestyle stroke. Do the Catch-up Drill (glide for a beat with both hands outstretched between strokes) to get feedback about hand position while streamlining. “If you hit your forearm with the recovering hand, you are crossing over,” Edwards says.

To rebuild a tight, powerful kick, wear short fins for several 20- to 30-second sets of high-cadence kicking. “If you’re kicking slowly, that means your amplitude is probably too high,” Edwards says.

Put on a pair of fins to do the Fist Drill. Swimming with a clenched fist reinforces a strong catch by quickly getting the forearm into a vertical position. This will translate to more power with an open hand.

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Three keys to finding the right run shoes http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/26/three-keys-to-finding-the-right-run-shoes http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/26/three-keys-to-finding-the-right-run-shoes#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:00:32 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=50042

Photo: Sandratsky Dmitriy / Shutterstock.com

Although bright colours and technological features catch the eye, finding a shoe that fits your needs is crucial. Start by visiting a ]]>

Photo: Sandratsky Dmitriy / Shutterstock.com

Although bright colours and technological features catch the eye, finding a shoe that fits your needs is crucial. Start by visiting a running specialty shop and try on several pairs. Here’s how to know which one will keep you smiling after a couple hundred miles.

Know Yourself
Do you want a softer, cushier experience or a firmer and responsive ride?

“Most runners need some level of cushioning and protection to run long distances,” says Henry Guzman, co-owner of Flatirons Running.

The old paradigm of neutral, guidance, stability and motion control is largely outdated, but if you excessively pronate, some stability is still essential. Generally speaking, opt for a shoe that’s less supportive over one that is more controlling.

Understand a Good Fit
While it’s important to get the correct length, the width and volume of a shoe are most important.

“Step-in comfort is great, but you need to see how they feel when your foot moves in them,” says Shane O’Hara, manager of Marathon Sports in Boston.

Shoes should fit snug in the heel and mid-foot with no slippage, irritation or awkward sensations. Keep in mind that brands fit slightly differently.

Find the Right Offset
The heel-toe offset is the height difference between a shoe’s heel and forefoot. Recent studies have shown that a lower offset can improve running posture and facilitate more efficient form. But be careful about dropping too far too fast, says physical therapist and leading gait analyst Jay Dicharry.

“You might feel soreness in your Achilles tendon and lower calf muscles, and might need an adjustment period,” he says. “If a more moderate heel-toe drop (4–8mm) works for you, stick with that.”

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Clarke & Guillaume to compete in Aspire Torch Staircase Run http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/26/clarke-guillaume-to-compete-in-aspire-torch-staircase-run http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2015/03/26/clarke-guillaume-to-compete-in-aspire-torch-staircase-run#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 10:00:22 +0000 http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/?p=50045

Uplace BMC Pro Triathlon Teammates Will Clarke and Romain Guillaume will test their mettle against one of the toughest challenges of its ]]>

Uplace BMC Pro Triathlon Teammates Will Clarke and Romain Guillaume will test their mettle against one of the toughest challenges of its kind this weekend at the Aspire Torch Staircase Run. Clarke and Guillaume have been invited by Aspire Zone to represent the triathlon community in the race up the 300 metre (1,304 steps) Torch Doha.

It’s not the first time triathletes have competed at events like this – in 2012 Chrissie Wellington came third in a race up the Empire State Building in New York.

More about the event:
For the Fourth time in a row, Aspire Zone Foundation is renewing the fantastic opportunity to race up the staircase of the iconic hotel, THE TORCH DOHA in “Aspire Torch Staircase Run, featuring Towerruning World championships 2015”.

The race is the only one of its kind to be organized officially in the Middle East.

Towerrunning competitions are held in 40 countries and elite athletes travel worldwide to climb iconic towers and to collect points for the World Cup series of the Towerrunning World Association.

What is Aspire Torch Staircase Run?
In 2014 Aspire Torch Staircase run was awarded official Grand Prix status and attracted a capacity field of 350 runners including some of the best international stair runners from Europe, USA and Australia. However, this year the event is taken to a higher level when the Towerrunning World Association (TWA) announced last year that Aspire Zone had won the privilege to host the inaugural TWA Towerrunning World Championships in 2015 at “THE TORCH DOHA”.

The Towerunning World Championships 2015 which is considered to be the highlight of the event as it is an opportunity for the community and for the best Tower runners from all over the world to compete on the sport’s first Global Champion

About the race
This one of-its-kind event in Qatar includes a two-day race programme with three heats comprising of different distances and competition modes. The grueling route will consist of 1,304 steps as runners will have to make their way to the top of the 300 meter tower on the 51st floor, dependent on the race stage.

The first race will take place on March 27th at 9:00 AM. The event is open to all public with minimum age of 18 of all abilities who have undergone an intensive training prior to the race. World Champion Staircase runners will be there so you can challenge yourself against the best.

Race (2) will consist of the top 30 men and 30 women from race 1 will then race again in the afternoon of the 27th Mar. This heat will be to floor 30 only, starting at intervals.

On March 28th, Race (3) “The World Championships Race” itself will then take place. In separate finals, the top 30 male and female athletes will line up in a start formation inspired by motor racing. The race will start from spine road into the stairwell, up to floor 30 – change stairwell on floor 30 and then finish on floor 50.

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