Three Key Points to Consider in Your First IRONMAN Triathlon

Triathlon is a daunting sport.  There’s no denying this fact. As you’re probably already aware, a perfunctory search of triathlon memes on the Internet will yield a common definition of the wordtriathlete so eloquently dictated as “a person who doesn’t understand that one sport is hard enough.”  This comedic gesture is in vogue without exposition.  Those of us who have taken the proverbial dive all know why the magnetic T-R-I word comes with both a wonderful sense of excitement coupled with equal amounts dread. Throw the enigmatic proper noun IRONMAN into the mix and emotions amplify into a whirlwind of potential broken dreams, glory, misery, ecstasy and camaraderie all simmering in a pot of countless hours sacrificed. If you are about to be…

Are Power Meters Worth the Investment?

That depends on whom you ask: I'm pretty sure your financial planner will advise against it, but your triathlon coach will likely give a resounding endorsement. A power meter is an investment in yourself. While other big-ticket items such as high-end bike frames and aero wheels will produce marginally faster splits, they do nothing to improve the cyclist turning the pedals. Conversely, adding a power meter will serve as a tool to make you a stronger, more efficient and a more educated rider. Prior to power meters, heart rate monitors were the best tool available to prescribe, monitor and track intensity in training and racing. While heart rate monitors do offer a quantification of effort level, the results can be…

Go Open or Long in Triathlon Swim Training

I understand the comfort of your indoor 25 yard short course pool.  Your times are familiar.  Compared to what I’m about to talk about, they’re fast.  And that short way to the other side is the oh so forgiving wall. Now if you’re a Master’s swimmer who is only going to compete at meets in a short course pool for the rest of your life … ignore this post.  However, if you’re a triathlete (and if you’re on this site more than likely you are), then you might want to hear me out. You need to be open water swimming or swimming in a long course pool, preferably 50 meters.  Here’s why: 1.    Better Stamina Building Whether you’re a professional at flip-turns or…

Three Simple Steps to Calming Race Day Nerves

The morning of your triathlon you may experience nerves, fear, excitement, an indescribable queasiness or all the above as you make your way to T1. Regardless, it's important to recognize and manage your feelings so you don't end up short-circuiting the goal or goals you've put in front of you.  There are three key points to consider on triathlon race day to keep your feelings in check and use the naturally accelerated rush of adrenaline to your advantage. 1. Race Morning Nutrition & Plan Execution When it comes to triathlon, a plan is always a good thing. This extends to your gear set-up and nutrition the morning of the race. Always have your race gear ready to go the evening before the race. The last thing you want to be doing in the morning…

Stop Collecting Junk Miles.

“A junk mile is only junk if it doesn’t have a purpose in your training.” – Mario Fraioli of Competitor Magazine. Once upon a time, I thought to myself, “I got this whole running thing figured out. The more I do it, the faster I go.”  This bold claim strikes a contradictory chord with the often used and incredibly astute quote: “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know” – Albert Einstein. It was in the hot summer days of Missouri (Read: Misery) between my Junior and Senior years of college running that I reconsidered my initial assertion.  It was during this time that I pursued 100+ miles a week of running with seemingly no purpose or reasoning…

Power Versus Stamina in Triathlon Training

Being an endurance athlete for over half of my life, I can safely say I’ve trained the majority of those years the wrong way. I thought, ”I’m an endurance runner so I need solid endurance.”  What I had no knowledge of was the need for stamina … and even more importantly … the need for power. Don’t confuse stamina with endurance.   Endurance is the ability to go as long as possible at whatever pace necessary to achieve said longevity. Stamina, on the other hand, is the percentage of threshold power you can maintain during your expected race time.   For example, if your goal for a half ironman is to complete the bike leg in two and half hours, stamina would be the…

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