By: Brice Winkler
First, congratulations to all of the Avia Wildflower Triathlon
finishers! All three of these events (the Long Course, Mountain Bike,
and Olympic) are brutal in their own unique ways, and especially in this
year's long course event, mother nature didn't want to have any
cyclists finish the bike segment. What an incredible wind from miles
19-40! Wow! Up next: The San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island.
There is no need to worry about a long course option here, so your
training in the next few months should be focused more on quality,
sustained efforts lasting around 2-3 hours on the bike and around
45min-1hr on the run. I would recommend swimming as long as you normally
Having a few extra yards or meters in the bank is not a bad thing.
However, please keep in mind that you should throw in some sprint sets
to prepare for the shorter swim distances. In my last post about
Wildflower, I emphasized the importance of a “dress rehearsal”. That is,
knowing quite accurately how your race is going to go before it even
begins is essential. Please keep this idea in mind. As Andy Potts
once said in an interview, “Race how you train.”
How many calories are you going to consume in 24.8 miles on a very
technical and almost criterium-style bike course? Are the turns and
other technical aspects going to stand in the way of your nutrition? Are
your bike handling skills good, satisfactory, or do they need
improvement? These are a few of the questions I ask myself prior to
Treasure Island each year. Considering I've crashed hard twice in a
4-mile span during the sprint distance race, I would definitely take a
good solid look at how you handle your bike. I have a set of rollers
that I use religiously year round, and they have definitely helped how I
handle everything out on the road. Rollers help you be able to make
micro-adjustments that could very well keep you upright. I would
definitely recommend looking into purchasing a pair.
If rollers are not on your radar, I might recommend a local criterium
race just to get a feel for close contact with other riders and
technical courses. Wildflower has a whole different flavor than Treasure
Island: Big open roads and a cross country style run that weaves
through the countryside. If I
were to assign an ice cream flavor to Wildflower, it would definitely be
vanilla. Treasure Island, on the other hand, is a good strawberry ice
cream with multiple loops on the bike and multiple loops on the run.
Unlike Wildflower, it's really hard to get in the aero bars, keep your
cadence high, and find a good rhythm. At Treasure Island, keep those
hands in the drops, and be ready to brake hard if necessary. The course
is tight, and even if you know what you are doing, the athlete right
next to you may have trouble with a turn or may brake suddenly to get
through a difficult, technical section. See everything. Be careful, and
please do not crash like I did. However, it was very fun being invited
to so many Tegaderm fashion shows (just kidding)!
To summarize, “technical” is the key word for the Treasure Island
Triathlon. To do well in this event, you must have confidence in your
ability to handle your bike well, and you must be aware that sharp turns
are going to come up quickly and quite frankly, be a bit dangerous. I
crashed when I made a left-hand turn much too early near the start of my
second loop. I slid across the pavement and lost a lot of skin. Ouch!!
Please learn from my mistakes, and keep your eyes open for everything.
All that hard training should definitely not be interrupted by a fall. You are going to do great at Treasure Island! :)
Stay positive, stay focused, and please remember what I emphasized last time: “Race how you train!”
By: James Lubinski
The work is done. The hay is in the barn. You trained hard, ate right,
nursed saddle sores, missed parties, etc, all for the big day. Next
Saturday/Sunday is your day. Time to put the pen to paper and see what
you got. I’ll give you a few last reminders you will hopefully remember
and take to heart prior to, during, and post race.
Wildflower is exciting. The whole atmosphere is amped up with more
energy than you can imagine. Keep a steady head. You are there to have
fun, but you are also there to get work done. Keep your regiment, eat
what you normally eat. Bring the right food with you. There are stores
in Paso Robles if you need something, but know what YOU need. Come
with a plan for nutrition and stick to it. Sleep may be tough, so
earplugs are a must. Cars pull in at all hours of the night and
athletes wake up at 3:30a.m. race morning (for what reason I have no
idea). You don’t want to be bothered by these sleep distractions. EAR
PLUGS! A comfortable sleeping arrangement. Tents are good if you are
boozing all weekend, but when you have to perform, you need to upgrade
your tent. Get an air mattress from Walmart, it makes a world of
difference. Don’t forget to hydrate Friday. There is a lot of
commotion prior to the race and this could take your attention away from
Equipment-wise, you know what you have been training on, so don’t change
much. Bring an extra pair of goggles. Sunscreen, sunscreen,
sunscreen! Put Yanks! in your shoes (These are laces that allow you to
easily slip on your shoes out of T2). Don’t be a hero, wear a wetsuit,
that water is cold. If you make one change, RENT A PAIR OF WHEELS!
Raceday Wheels (www.Racedaywheels.com)
will be on site to rent you wheels for the race. If you can make one
upgrade it should be wheels. They make your bike more aerodynamic and
lighter. That reduction of weight adds up to a lot when you have to
climb up, up, and away. With Raceday Wheels, you don’t have to buy a
$1600 pair of wheels, you just rent them than give them back. It’s an
Just remember, pace yourself, check your ego, remember you nutrition,
stay focused, and party hard post race. You deserve it. Enjoy the
atmosphere, and when you see me up at the lake, stop and say HI!. I
look forward to meeting all of you. Good Luck, Be Safe, and RACE HARD!
By: Tenille Hoogland
How many times have I heard myself say to someone or someone say to me –
how do you find balance? Up until 1 year ago I tried to balance work,
being a pro-triathlete, relationships and life. Once I realized that I
was on the brink of exhaustion I made being a pro-triathlete my work and
my priority. The question remains though – have I achieved better
balance? To answer this question I have looked to the dictionary and
talked to several people. This is what I learned in my quest to
understand what it means to me.
Definition #1: An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady
To me this definition gets at the physical dimension of balance that
triathletes struggle to achieve in their quest to strengthen three
demanding sports. I, like many others, have not managed to stay
“upright” or “steady” in training or races due to injury, poor
mechanics, or nutrition. Lack of balance can be too much emphasis on
motor development at the detriment of skill development. It can be too
much time spent on one sport, leaving another to become the weak link.
It can also be missing the recovery needed to keep going at such
intensity, volume while meeting life demands. For me - there really is
only one solution. Get a coach. Zane has taught me so very very much
about the need to balance skill and motor development with recovery. He
constantly is finessing my training schedule to meet me where I am at
and where my body is at. Some say planning is the biggest job and
execution is the easy part… to keep me swimming, biking and running
healthily, I believe it.
Definition #2: A stable mental or psychological state; emotional stability
I had the incredible opportunity to listen and speak to Peter Reid at
the Specialized Training Camp I attended two weeks ago.
From the Pros- Reid and Rapp [Watch]
One thing that really struck me is how strongly he emphasized knowing
why you are doing something. Triathlon is no easy undertaking. For me
there are times when everything hurts, I am tired and that it takes
everything in me to step out the door to go for that second run. These
are the times that knowing why is critical. There are a million
different reasons why each of us undertakes the mission to complete a
triathlon. It is only your reason that matters though and that will
bring joy to the training day and to the race. Know it and breathe it –
it will bring stability just when you really really need it.
Definition #3: Something that is left over; a remainder.
I like this definition as it applies to life because it is often that we
are cramming in lots of life into the “remainder” time we have after
training, working, school, etc. Two friends of mine were talking about
what balance means over dinner and the suggestion was that balance is
meeting the must dos and being able to pursue the want to’s beyond that.
Important to this notion is accepting that you likely can’t do or
achieve all your want to’s.
Skot Campbell, BG bike fitter at Bicycle Sport Shop, said to me that
balance is something that we all aspire to but rarely attain because we
are, after all, asymmetrical. I loved this because it reminds me that
it is the pursuit of life that brings balance and that it is human to be
a little lop-sided.
Perhaps as we struggle to strike the right balance of work and play,
family and friends we need to fundamentally remember that life is in
balance when it is full of all those things that are important to
us—that we are meeting those things that we have set as priorities and
are enjoying once and awhile the nice to dos.
By: Adam Jensen
Living in Montana makes for a short time to train outdoors for Wildflower. Even though it's normally cold and snowy until mid-March, we have quite a crew of triathletes up here that make the winter bearable for training. We have to be creative and pack in as much back country and Nordic skiing as possible to keep the fitness up for riding and running. I used to be able to ride my trainer for hours on end and run inside on treadmills, but as I get older, I'm less and less motivated to train inside and need to get outside, even if it's -10F, post-holing in a foot of snow up a hillside attempting to run. Turns out running in deep snow uphill is a much better workout than anything I can do on a treadmill. Now that the snow has been melting, it has been easier to get outside, making training much more enjoyable. With Wildflower in mind, I like to do at least one hill repeat workout on the bike and the run per week, since Wildflower is far from flat.
As a full time dentist, working 40 hours/week, one has to be pretty creative with fitting in workouts during the week. I usually try to swim for 45 min. or run for an hour at 6 am before clocking in at 7:30. Now that daylight savings has hit, and the weather has warmed up, its easier to ride outside after work. Luckily I work 4x10's and take Wednesday off, so I can put in some bigger days 3 days a week. The weekends usually consist of a 3-5 hour ride with a short 30-45min. run after on Saturdays, and on Sundays, I have a solid crew for our mourning long runs, followed by a ride and/or swim in the afternoon to shake out the legs - more of an active recovery. All in all, I usually get about 15-20 hours in/week - not nearly enough to win Hawaii, but lets me pretend I can mix it up with some of the other pros out there. I'm also grateful to be on the Zoot Ultra team, getting to race and train in the most advanced clothes, wetsuit and shoes, and race on some of the best bike equipment (Ridley and Zipp) out there.
I'm looking forward to another crack at the Wildflower course, and am also looking forward to watching the University of Montana Team race on Sunday.
For more information on the University of Montana Team please visit: