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Elizabeth James: From Preseason Project to Kona Qualifer

This week, we’re proud to celebrate TriDot coach and athlete, Elizabeth James!  Elizabeth joined TriDot in 2015 as a Preseason Project athlete. Like all new athletes, she spoke to training advisor, Cindy Reeves, who matched her with Coach John Mayfield. “It was supposed to be a 30 minute call,” she remembers, “but John and I talked for almost two hours. I felt so supported and encouraged after that call. I knew TriDot was the right fit for my first Ironman journey. ” In September 2015, the Dallas-based school teacher crossed the finish line at Ironman Wisconsin in an incredible time of 13:35. “I wanted to finish my first Ironman with a smile and I totally did,” she recalls. “I also knew…
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Why Triathlon Training Should be Fast Before Far and Strong Before Long – Part 2

In yesterday’s blog, we discussed two key reasons why “fast before far and strong before long” is a wiser, more productive training strategy: It emphasizes stamina over endurance and recovery over merely logging miles. Here are two more crucial benefits: 1. Fast Before Far and Strong Before Long emphasizes proper form Perhaps the greatest casualty in the “first far then fast” mentality is it often produces poor athletic form. As the body overstresses and is exhausted by the overreached distance, it starts to break down and lose form. The result is poor body mechanics, as the body isn’t as fresh, alert, and responsive as it should be. TriDot Co-Founder and four-time IRONMAN Jeff Booher cautions athletes to avoid “having too…
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Why Triathlon Training Should be Fast Before Far and Strong Before Long – Part 1

Traditional training principles and workouts in distance events often preach the theory that one must first conquer the desired distance and then work toward increasing speed and strength. This may at first sound good and seem to make sense. But it can be short-sighted, self-defeating, and possibly even injury-inducing. It can also result in meaningless and even harmful “junk miles” and increased training time. The better strategy is “fast before far and strong before long.” It’s one of TriDot’s fundamental beliefs which focuses first on developing strength and speed, and then emphasizes distance.  Here are two of four primary reasons this belief makes good sense and produces better results: 1. Fast Before Far and Strong Before Long emphasizes stamina, not…
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Why Core Strength is so Important for Triathlon

They’re not just for looks, guys and gals. Your abdominal section, or better yet your entire core, is the proverbial backbone of triathlon’s three disciplines – excuse the confusing anatomical metaphor. Many triathletes might assume strengthening their arms and legs will generate the most benefits since these are the extremities that directly impact your movement in the swim, bike, and run. However, putting all of your focus there would be a mistake. The core may arguably be the most important muscle group to strengthen in triathlon. But why is core strength so essential for your progress as a successful triathlete? The short answer is posture and form. Core Strength for your Swim Swimming requires a stable trunk and streamlined position…
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How Many Hours of Triathlon Training Do You Need?

There’s a saying by successful businessman and syndicated columnist, Harvey Mackay, “Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.” Truer words have never been spoken for the triathlete. Every hour is a precious commodity, which always seems to be in short supply. Yet every bit of time’s small stock is absolutely necessary to achieve any sort of triathlon-related goal. As any seasoned triathlete is aware of by now, successful triathlon training requires a significant quantity of hours of work per week in order to mean something. The real question is, how much is enough?…
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How to Handle the Heat when Triathlon Training

For most triathletes, training in the heat is brutal. Not only is the heat and humidity physically draining; it’s mentally demoralizing. In fact, as a triathlete in training, you may even be struggling with the mere reality of garnering enough courage to train outside during these few intense months. However, with the proper planning and the correct mindset, you can master triathlon training in the heat. Here’s how: Hydrate Early Hydrating during your triathlon workout is pointless if you’re starting without the proper amount of liquid to utilize. And hydration to battle severe heat doesn’t start 15 minutes before your workout either. You need to be hydrated many hours or the night before. You’ll need the time for your body…
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Triathlon Cycling: Pedaling Technique – Part II

In Part I of our post on triathlon cycling: pedaling technique, I discussed the differences between toe down and heel down and, with all other things being equal, the lack of advantage one has over the other. Today we’ll look at the implementation of toe down or heel down when cycling on flats vs. climbs as well as the pedaling technique known as ‘ankling.’ First, it’s important to note that you will pedal differently depending on your cadence. It’s widely known that the faster your cadence is, the less likely you’ll be able to control any sort of pedaling technique. This makes sense. High cadence usually equates to high effort. And as Steve Hogg illustrates from "Pedaling Technique – Which…
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How to Motivate for Triathlon Training

When you’re not “in it,” finding the motivation to train is a difficult hurdle to climb. The desire to train doesn’t usually spark out of thin air. It’s developed by positioning yourself within the right mental and physical circumstances. So if you’re having trouble staying motivated in your triathlon training then here’s some advice on how to buck that trend. Create Goals Training just to train is a difficult task to take on. When there’s no urgency or event on the horizon it’s easy to ask yourself why you’re even doing anything triathlon related in the first place. Therefore, a triathlete always needs a goal to be shooting for. The misconception, however, is that this goal always needs to be…
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Misconceptions about Carb Loading in Triathlon

At some point over the past four decades or so athletes created a picture in their mind of what carb loading looks like. And that image became a big bowl of pasta the night before a race. In reality, effective carb loading for any endurance event, much less triathlon, is much more involved than this. First of all, why do we “load” carbs prior to a race? The reason is because of glycogen. Glycogen is the most accessible store of energy in the body. Glycogen is what you’ll be burning as fuel during a triathlon. When you eat something like pizza, most of the carbohydrates from that pizza get stored as glycogen in your body. Thus, eat pizza the day…
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What do New Running-Watch Metrics Really Mean to Triathletes? (Part 2)

Last time we started a post-series talking about running-watch running dynamics and what part cadence plays as a metric for triathletes. Today we’ll be covering two other metrics that new running-watches are capable of tracking and discuss why you should be paying attention to them. Ground Contact Time In all honesty, the remaining metrics are really only derivatives to that of run cadence. However, these are still great data values to track and are very representative of where you are in your running form. Ground contact time (GCT) is literally the amount of time your foot is in contact with the ground upon each step. This metric is measured in milliseconds. Naturally, as speed increases your ground contact time decreases.…

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