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Mastering the Triathlon T1: Part 1 – Water to Land

The two transition phases, T1 and T2, have been called the “fourth and fifth legs” of triathlon. Hardly considered or appreciated by most spectators – and even a few competitors – they’re crucial to the flow and success of a race. In fact, they can make the difference between being merely a participant and a serious contender for a podium spot.          The first transition between swimming and cycling, T1, is the most dynamic and drastic of the two transitions. To the amateur, it’s a way of merely getting from A to B. To the skilled triathlete, it’s a way to shave off valuable seconds, build confidence and momentum, and mentally focus for the rest of the race. T1 requires an…
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For the Record: April 2016 – Should IRONMAN Events Feature Separate Start Times for Men and Women?

YES: Coach Claudia Smith Yes, I think IRONMAN events should have separate starts for men and women. Why not? IRONMAN tested the separate starts this year at the World Championships with age group men starting at 6:50 a.m. (25 minutes after the pro women wave) and age group women starting at 7 a.m. I personally think the ideal start would be a rolling start for the men and then a rolling start for the women 10 to 15 minutes later. This will still put the strong female swimmers in the front and they will be able to legally draft off of other females. This also releases some of the congestion at the swim start which makes it easier for the lifeguards to…
TriDot_2016_0412_Blog

How to Legally Draft on the Bike in a Triathlon

To those most intimate with the sport, drafting on the bike in triathlon is language to be feared. Draft-legal races – meaning the ability to draft behind others on the bike leg without penalty – are few and far between in the triathlon world, especially in the United States. However, the non-draft triathlon is a bit of a misnomer. Drafting on the bike is still legally available to all, albeit to a much lesser degree. This is due to the nature of USAT and WTC non-drafting rules for age group athletes. The USAT rulebook upholds that “no participant shall permit his drafting zone to intersect with or remain intersected with the drafting zone of a leading cyclist or that of…
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Top 10 Checklist for a Smooth Triathlon Race Day

It’s Race Day! (Finally). You’ve trained for months in preparation for this event so you want everything to go smoothly. Use this checklist for race morning to ensure your race execution is flawless: 1. Check the Weather With today’s technology, you’ve probably checked the race day weather a couple of dozen times prior to race morning.  But double check it race morning. Weather changes (i.e. even fog) may require an adjustment in gear and nutrition. Don’t get caught unprepared. 2. Check Your Gear Most athletes use a gear checklist to make sure no items are forgotten.  Whether you’re racing at home or away, use your checklist to make sure ALL your gear gets transported to the race site. Last minute…
TriDot_2016_0317_Blog

5 Tips for Your Best Triathlon Start

We’ve heard it before – how you finish is more important than how you start. And triathlons often reflect this importance with crowds, cameras, and screams of encouragement. Truth be told, the not-so-spectacular start of a triathlon has just as much importance to the overall performance and psychological well-being of your race than you might imagine – and can impact how well you finish. Going out too fast or too slow, failing to familiarize yourself with the course, and not having a sure and steady race plan are all miscues that can cost you valuable time as well as create added physical and mental strain during your race. These five tips will give you an added edge at the triathlon…
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When Am I Ready for an IRONMAN?

Triathletes commonly ask how long is required to fully prepare for an IRONMAN race. My answer is simple: Everyone’s unique, so there’s no one answer. But everybody’s plan should ideally include both a developmental phase and race preparation phase. The developmental phase time will vary widely based on several factors including an athlete’s age, body composition, overall fitness, and time within the sport. It focuses on building speed, power, and efficiency to ensure the athlete has adequate fitness and skill in each discipline to take on the rigors of training for and racing in an IRONMAN. In addition to fitness, the athlete will need to achieve certain physiological adaptations in the developmental phase. These can include changes such as body composition, muscular and…
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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…

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…

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