What do New Running-Watch Metrics Really Mean to Triathletes? (Part I)

“Metrics” has been one of the fancier new buzzwords to grace the triathlon scene in recent years. Athletes want proof that the payment in suffering they’ve footed will recoup dividends in return. And why shouldn’t they? Visual evidence of improvement is a confidence booster and a predictive tool of what to expect come race day. For the triathlete focusing on his or her run training, an advanced running watch capable of providing advanced metrics makes a lot of sense. This is direct feedback related to the triathlete’s running form and provides confirmation as to whether or not the athlete is improving in technique or declining. But what do those metrics really mean? Over the next two posts we’ll look at…

Madden on Excellence: From Adversity to Excellence

As I child growing up in a dysfunctional home in an inner-city area, I learned about the realities of adversity. Adversity was all around me and overcoming challenges both at school and at home were a major part of my everyday world. To manage these uncertainties, I learned the importance of persistence and always striving to do my best in all endeavors no matter how bad things appeared. Athletics was the place that seemed to be my niche and where I was in my element. During practice and competition, my desire to reach a high level of performance became one of the character traits that allowed me to embrace “excellence.” Performing at a high level in the competitive arena was…

Stop Running Junk Miles in your Triathlon Training

If you’ve ever said, “I would never train for my triathlon by running miles that don’t have a purpose,” then you might need to do some honest evaluation of your training history. For instance, have you ever logged a workout, running or otherwise, for the sole purpose of adding volume to your triathlon training plan? Or have you ever gone out for a run and simply played whatever kind of run workout you would partake in by ear? In either case, if you’ve committed such an error – and most likely you have – then you’re guilty of running junk miles. If you’re running miles for the sake of running miles then you need to rethink what you’re doing. Every…

TriDot Check-In: Yu Hsiao – Part Two

What attracted you to TriDot? How did you first hear about it? I appreciated TriDot’s scientific approach to training. None of the training is left to guessing. I first heard about it through my coach, Nicholas Thompson, whose impressive career I’ve followed over the years. When I heard he was coaching for TriDot I contacted him. What is the uniqueness of TriDot from other training systems and technologies? No other coaching platform has the comprehensive software engine that generates a training plan based on countless data compiled over the years. TriDot’s training is driven by data and science, and is then adjusted by experienced coaches which I think makes for a perfect combination for high performance sports. How has TriDot…

TriDot Check-In: Yu Hsiao – Part One

What is your athletic background? I’ve dabbled in many sports, including soccer and aggressive inline, but I also swam, cycled, and ran throughout middle and high school. I also spent most of my childhood playing badminton and cycling with my dad.  I fell in love with cross country running during high school, where I ran the famous hills in Fremont Older of California. There was something magical and alluring about a long, 10-mile run out in the trails and hills by myself that I just couldn’t get enough of. With cross country, that led to cycling with my varsity teammates, doing century rides from Cupertino to San Francisco and other endless epic rides. In college, I combined my two favorite…

Why Stroke Rate Matters to Your Triathlon Swim – Part 2

In the last blog, we looked at the importance of not only knowing and maximizing the cadence rates of your bike and run but also that of your swim. In this blog, we’ll look at how to calculate your strokes per minute (SPM) and whether to slow down or speed up your rates to be as efficient and productive as possible. Slowing Down and Speeding Up First of all, you should discover for yourself what your actual SPM are. The easiest way to do this is to use Swim Smooth’s calculator and measure how long it takes you to perform 10 strokes. Follow this link to find the calculator and the pictured graph below. In fact, I will be referencing…

Why Stroke Rate Matters to Your Triathlon Swim – Part 1

Triathletes like to talk a lot about bike and run cadence. We’re always striving to hit our bike cadence somewhere in the 80 to 100 RPMs range and we’re constantly trying to elevate those running strides per minute up to that magic 180 number. And yet, (at least in my experience) we all seem to curiously leave swim stroke rate out of the conversation. This is an interesting blunder for reasons difficult to understand. After all, if we know that an ideal range of RPMs or strides per minute makes us better bikers and runners, then it would only stand to reason that the same principle applies to swimming. And it does. Much like a vehicle engine, if we’re putting…

Seven Easy Cheats for a Faster Triathlon

The best way to get faster in triathlon is to train hard. There’s no debate around that. But sometimes triathletes focus so much on their fitness that they forget to do the little things to make themselves faster on race day. Here are seven easy cheats for a faster triathlon. 1. Shave Everything Wind tunnel testing has shown that skin is slow. And hairy skin is even slower. (In fact, the studies have shown that hairy skin has far more of an impact than you might have thought. See: Secrets of the Wind Tunnel. This is why professional cyclists wear full, long-sleeved body suits when they compete in the time trial. However, full skin suits aren’t exactly practical for a…

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