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From Spaceman to Ironman

Throughout his childhood in Italy, Luca Parmitano knew two things: he loved sports, and he wanted to be an astronaut. He spent his youth as an avid basketball player, swimmer, and runner, before relocating to California in 1995 as a foreign exchange student. Eventually, Luca returned home to Italy, graduating from the Italian Air Force Academy before making his way back to the U.S. once again to train with the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. During his career as a pilot, Luca achieved prestige by qualifying to fly more than 40 types of aircraft. In 2009, Luca fulfilled one of his childhood dreams-being selected an Astronaut for the European Space Agency. Luca and…
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From Preseason Project to the Big Island

In the early morning hours, before dawn breaks, 48-year-old Kit Allowitz is awake and grinding. The metrology development manager trains before the sun rises to ensure he can devote the remainder of his day to family and career responsibilities. Hours later in Colorado, Karen Cowles, a registered nurse working from home as a safety specialist with the FDA, is on the bike trainer, pushing through challenging intervals before her lunch break ends. Completing her workout during the day is key to keeping her evening hours open, where she will lead the track workout for her local training group.  In a Dallas Texas suburb, 30-year-old coach Elizabeth James wraps up her evening workout before settling into an orientation call with on-boarding…
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Top 5 Habits of Kona Qualifiers

It’s difficult to describe the opportunity to compete in Kona to a non-triathlete. It’s like describing the feeling of making it onto the field of the Super Bowl to someone who’s never experienced the joy of watching a football game. It is a unique opportunity to compete on the same day, and on the same course, as many of your idols. You get to live the dream of swimming in the beautiful but grueling Kailua Bay, to pedal against the unforgiving trade winds on the Queen K, and to endure the brutal, soul-burning heat flowing from the lava rock that flanks the Energy Lab. And to your left and right, there are your heroes, racing alongside you. At Kona, you…
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Madden on Excellence: Adding Excellence to Your “A” Race

As the 2017 season comes to a close it is essential to start reviewing your season highlights and challenges and start the necessary planning to build your next season around your “A” race. Your “A” race should be the pinnacle of your season. It is the one race that you really want to master and demonstrate a high level of excellence. It is the one race where you will bring your “A” game and get a huge return on your season investment. Furthermore, experiencing excellence during this race will be the litmus test of how well you followed your season training program, nutritional program, advice from your coach, and execution of your race strategy. What does it feel like to…
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New York City Triathlon Race Report

Racing the NYC Triathlon was quite an experience, as is anything in New York. Everything there is big and that included my race nerves. Although I was comfortable with my training (thank you Coach Kathy and TriDot), I was not comfortable with the logistics of moving around New York. This race required me not only to get to New York from Gainesville (Florida), but to drive into the city itself (a first in my 32 years of driving). I also had to ride my bike from Midtown to Transition on the West Side and back again. Luckily, this was an incredibly well organized event AND I had my NY guide and generous friend, Jonah, to lead me to transition and…
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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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Texas-sized Triathlon Success at IRONMAN Texas

Tell us about your experience at the 2017 Memorial Hermann IRONMAN North American Championship Texas in Houston? IRONMAN Texas was everything that I was hoping for in a race performance this season. When I first completed IRONMAN Wisconsin in 2015, I was very conservative. The distance intimidated me and my main goal was to cross the finish line with a smile on my face (I finished at 13:35:32). I accomplished that goal, but with too much “left in the tank.” At the Wisconsin finish line, I was proud to have finished my first IRONMAN event, but I knew that I didn’t race to my full potential. Going into IRONMAN Texas, I was looking not only for a personal best, but…
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Ten Things to Check on Triathlon Race Weekend

Preparing for a single disciplined sport is challenging enough. In triathlon, you’re tasked with the daunting expectation to compete in three sports in one day. Consequently, this ups the ante on how much goes into the preparation for your triathlon race weekend. When it comes to the big events like IRONMAN, there are a lot of things to check and be prepared for the day before and the morning of triathlon race day. Here are the ten things to check on triathlon race weekend.   1. Weather The weather on race day is perhaps the most integral check in order to effectively prepare for your race. Temperature and wind conditions will and should heavily dictate your mental expectations. If it’s…
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How to Build the Most Effective Triathlon Race Schedule

Being free creatures in a world governed by laws, we have the ability to partake in ambitious activities one might only classify as nonsensical. Or to be stated more bluntly—stupid. You might have started triathlon last week and quite possibly decided next month is the time to finish an Ironman. I might also decide next week that I’m going to race a rainbow on my skateboard. These are both things we can certainly attempt, but are they sensible plans of action? A triathlon race schedule, to be effective, must coincide sensibly with the laws of nature. It’s not a matter of what’s possible, but what has the highest probability of being “worth it.” And yet, well, I suppose it is…
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The Top 3 Points to Consider in Your Triathlon Race Strategy: Nutrition

Part 3 in a 3-part series. While pacing is the foundation of triathlon race strategy and swim strategy the starting point, let’s now move on to the final strategy that keeps everything in check: race nutrition. Nutrition Race nutrition as a triathlon race strategy means planning for the following: what you’re going to use as fuel, when to consume it, and how you’re going to consume it amidst constant movement. We won’t get into product specifics because nutrition is so highly dependent on the individual. However, there are a few takeaways for your triathlon race strategy, which apply to nearly everyone. First, what you consume needs to work for you based on how many calories you need per hour, what…

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