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How to Measure Your Swim Threshold in Triathlon Training

Most technically savvy triathletes are familiar with terms like “functional threshold power” on the bike or “lactate threshold for their run.” These are measurements of your pace based on your sustained threshold ability for a given amount of time; usually one hour. In other words, what is the maximum pace you can hold for an all out one-hour effort? However, few triathletes know their functional threshold in the swim or even know how to obtain it. Knowing your threshold ability in all disciplines is essential. In essence, there are two types of triathlon training: aerobic and anaerobic. Any kind of effortful training below your threshold is aerobic. Anything above is anaerobic. Now in actuality, triathlon training zones are much more…
TriDot_090817_Blog

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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Triathlon Cycling: Pedaling Technique – Part I

Toe Down vs. Heel Down Pedal efficiency is a cycling nerd subject. We all know how to ride a bike but the triathlete who’s really dedicated really wants to know how to ride a bike. Really. Pedaling technique is an argument over how to be more efficient. Should you ride toe down? Heel down? Or somewhere in between? Through my research and experience, great cyclists and triathletes have accompanied all forms of pedaling techniques. The legends have run the full gambit of toe down, heel down, and average. So it only stands to reason that this kind of pedal technique is not necessarily indicative of your cycling prowess. Thus, I suppose we could technically just stop here and say it…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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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5 Rules About Buying and Wearing Triathlon Running Shoes – Part 1

Decided you want to make a more informed decision about purchasing and wearing your next pair of triathlon running shoes? Look no further! Here are five rules to consider before lacing up: 1. Support Your Local Running Shop Yes, you can buy shoes cheaper online. Unfortunately, this fact is killing (in my opinion) a very necessary industry. Your local running/triathlon store provides important services that the browser window simply cannot deliver. You can try on the shoes. Local stores, with people who care about running, may have the ability to analyze your gait. You have access to sample the more running-focused shoe models big box companies might not be stocking. Local stores can be a central hub for the running…

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