Entries Tagged as 'Professional Triathlete's'

If Wildflower is Vanilla, Then Treasure Island is Definitely Strawberry

Professional Triathlete's , SF Triathlon at Treasure Island , Training Tips No Comments »

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 have been.

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!”

Last Minute Reminders for Wildflower Triathlete's

Professional Triathlete's , Training Tips , Wildflower No Comments »

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 the necessities.

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 ideal situation.

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!

Remember to stay BALANCED

Professional Triathlete's , Training Tips , Video No Comments »

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.

Can you train in the snow?? YES YOU CAN!

Professional Triathlete's , Training Tips , Wildflower 1 Comment »

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:


Wildflower Course Tips Part Three: 5 Critical Race Tips For The Wildflower Olympic Distance

Professional Triathlete's , Training Tips , Wildflower No Comments »

By: Ben Greenfield

Welcome to the third episode of Wildflower Course Tips, from triathlon coach Ben Greenfield! Here's what you're going to get in this three-part series that will be released over the next three weeks:
Part 3: 5 Critical Race Tips For The Wildflower Olympic Distance

So let's jump right in (and be sure to check out the end of this article, where you'll learn how to get a free video entitled "6 Wildflower Race Day Domination Secrets").

1. Don't Eat Lots Of Fat or Protein For Breakfast. Compared to a Half-Ironman, where you're going slower and may be able to handle fats and proteins digesting in your stomach, an Olympic distance triathlon involves higher intensities, more blood flow to working muscles, and less blood flow to the stomach. Go for 400-600 calories of an easily digested carb, like a couple baked potatoes with honey and salt, 2-3 hours prior to the race.

2. Cadence Counts. To swim a fast 1500 meters you need to have a fast turnover. A pretty glide isn't going to get you much speed. Instead, try counting to 5, 10 or 20 as you swim to keep your stroke count high. Be sure to still reach and stretch with each stroke, but don't focus on "holding" a glide - instead, focus on forward momentum and force.

3. Eat More During the First Half Of The Bike. You don't want to be running your 10K with a belly full of fuel, so halfway through the 40K bike distance, you should have finished more than half of your calories and water. For most guys, it should be around 250 calories going out and 100 calories coming back, and for girls, closer to 175 calories going out and 75 calories coming back. Also, try to choose a fuel that includes electrolytes, or add salt capsules into the equation.

4. Don't Dilly Dally in Transition. If you're aiming for a fast race split, don't waste time in transition. You don't really need to bring anything to eat, as you can simply grab a gel and sip of water as you pass by aid stations. So all you need are: shoes, hat, race belt. Socks are optional, and the hat and race belt you can put on while you're running. Transitioning is one thing that you should be able to do as fast as the pros - no "superior" fitness required!

5. No Need To Look Pretty Running Downhill. You've got a long and steep descent to finish this race. Forget about "form" and "90 degree arm bend". Instead, let your legs stride out and go as fast as you feel safely possible. It's going to hurt (running downhill almost always does), but heck, you don't plan on running the day after the race anyways, do you? For another tip on running those hills, check out the video I reference below.

If you found this article helpful, then you must check out Wildflower on Facebook, where I will be releasing a video to Wildflower Facebook fans only, entitled "6 Wildflower Race Day Domination Secrets". The video will be released in just a few days, so make sure to get over to Wildflower on Facebook now!

About The Author:
Ben Greenfield (pictured right) is a sports nutritionist and triathlon coach. Check out his helpful websites below, and look for Ben in the Athlete's Lounge at the expo from 2-3pm Thursday through Sunday!