January 23, 2013 on 8:50 am | In Nutrition Tips, Races | No Comments
What easy triathlon tips can you use to become a faster triathlete? What unusual triathlon tips do pro triathletes give to beginners? There are lots of lists of triathlon tips out there (eat your Wheaties, be sure to stay hydrated, take your bike helmet off for the run – don’t laugh, I’ve seen people forget that one), but most of those triathlon tips you can think of yourself, or are pretty obvious.
This is a list of triathlon tips I have assembled, focusing on actually useful tips to being a faster triathlete, but ones that I am confident you have not heard before. On each one of the triathlon tips you can click the links for more detail.
Added Bonus- There are actually 13 triathlon tips for the price of 10!
1.Carb-load properly the day before the race:
- This is one of those things that everyone thinks they know how to do but very few people get right
- The day before the race focus on eating a LOT of easy to digest (and pass through) carbohydrates!
- Eat them early in the day (pancakes and syrup?)
- Your target is 15 grams of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight- this is a LOT. Think ~2 lb of pasta.
- Eliminate non-carb foods the day before the race so you are not overwhelmed by calories
- You can read more details on how to carb load properly for a triathlon.
Swimming: Triathlon Tips for a Faster Swim
2. Learn how to draft on the swim!
- It’s not that hard to do, its 100% legal, and it saves a ton of energy.
- One great spot to draft while swimming is right behind someone- everyone knows this one.
- The secret great spot for drafting is next to the lead swimmer, but half a body length back.
- You can see a lot more detail on this triathlon tip here: draft while swimming in a triathlon.
Biking: Triathlon Tips for a Faster Bike
3. Ride faster in a triathlon by riding on the white line when you are riding alone.
- On bad pavement it will surprise you how much faster you can bike!
4. Ride on the fast pavement whenever you can!
- Sometimes just six inches to the left or right can be worth 1mph
- You can see details on this triathlon tip in this article: how to ride faster in a triathlon on the faster pavement without causing a crash.
5. Evaluate your triathlon bike fit
- If you can’t ride for the whole bike leg (however long it takes you to ride whatever distance you are training for) in your aero-bars, you need a better triathlon bike fit.
- It’s far more important to ride in your aero position for the entire bike leg than it is to buy an aero helmet or even to pedal really hard.
- You can do an online triathlon bike fit, or go to a good local tri shop,
- You can even do a DIY triathlon bike fit yourself with a video camera
6. Learn how to pass other triathletes on the bike efficiently via slingshot passing
- You will pass a ton of people out there- if you can save 1 second per pass by doing it smartly, it’s worth doing!
- Ride right up behind the athlete you are passing, then swing around at the last minute, having gotten a good rest while catching up behind the lead rider
- You have 15 seconds to go from 3 bike lengths behind to “your wheel passing the front wheel of the other athlete” -there is no reason not to use at least 10 of those 15 seconds!
7. Conversely, you should also learn how to be passed efficiently
- This is just a reverse slingshot pass
- Remember you have to drop out of the 3 bike length draft zone in 15 seconds
- But you might as well do it while directly behind the faster rider so you can rest while dropping back
8. Use the correct triathlon race tires to have a faster bike split with no added effort.
- While all tires may look the same (round? Check. Black? Check) there are huge differences.
- Some are crazy fast. Some are slow as riding in mud.
- A lot of research has been done on tires, and the result is a complete file of rolling resistance data (get it from the link below).
- There is a bit of a tradeoff with puncture resistance and tire speed, so read this article on how to choose the right triathlon tire for the specific race you are training for.
9. Use the correct tire sealant in your race tires so you can run fast (and slightly puncture prone) race tires without getting flats.
- There are a lot of good choices for tire sealants. My personal preference is “flat attack.”
- You can read an insane amount of detail about your tri tire sealant choices.
Running: Triathlon Tips for a Faster Run
10. Do most of your training runs SLOWER
- Most people do almost all of their runs “at the edge of discomfort.”
- This is too fast for your day-to-day run training.
- The much better method is to do almost all of your runs at a very easy, comfortable speed, and finish feeling like you could do a lot more.
- Then once a week, do a really hard speed workout.
- This will actually make you a lot faster for races, and GREATLY reduce your recovery time and risk of injury.
11. Aid station water is NOT for DRINKING
- Gatorade (or whatever with carbs and salt that they are handing out) is for drinking
- Water is for pouring on your head and keeping your hat, hair and clothes wet
- Water is not for drinking and is not for getting into your shoes (harder)
- Ice makes a huge difference, but its hard to figure out where to put it when running
- Wear one surgical/latex glove (yes you look kind of silly) and fill it with ice at the aid stations
13. Develop an efficient aid station routine
- There are 12 running aid stations in a half ironman.
- Save a few seconds at each one and it’s 4 minutes off your race time!
- Keep moving! If you stop moving you lose time and your legs get cramps. At least walk, or jog through it
- Develop a routine and stick to it- this way as you get dumb towards the end you don’t forget something
- The key thing to keep in mind is to do as little as possible in the aid station itself and to move on and do as much as you can while running.
- Here are suggestions on a routine that works,
About the author: Coach Noah is the head coach at T1 Triathlon LLC, a coaching company dedicated to meeting the needs of all triathletes, specifically including beginner triathletes, and often working with athletes training for their first Ironman. We had 3 first-time Ironman athletes this year, and one athlete race at Kona 18 months after starting triathlon. You can read about our success stories, and the services we offer.
- If you want to ask the coach a question, send him an email!
- This “Top 10 Tips” list was developed from our popular “Triathlon Tips of The Day” service
- You should also like us on facebook!
This blog entry was brought to you by coachfitter.com, a great service that helps athletes connect with the coaches they fit with in many different sports.
December 18, 2012 on 4:32 pm | In Nutrition Tips, Training, Uncategorized | No Comments
By: (guest blogger) Joanna Chodorowska via our friends at CoachFitter.com
No extra pounds around my middle, hips and thighs, or guilt from stuffing myself more than the turkey! Here are some tips on how to get your holiday treats while keeping it all in perspective And keeping you closer to race weight:
Eat your greens and vegetables. The phyto-nutrients in green veggies combat stress and free radicals caused by stress. The antioxidants in vegetables and fruits help counteract those free radicals. Dark green vegetables help with stress relief naturally because of the high calcium and magnesium content. Calcium and magnesium help muscles relax, so get your greens every day! They will also help keep the calories down.
Get your sleep during the holiday season. Every additional hour of sleep you lose each night will make you crave more sweets, treats and simple carbohydrates during the course of the following day. The blood sugar spikes cause more stress! Studies show you gain 4% more weight just with 1 less hour of sleep per night, so get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. You’ll feel lighter and less bloated and you won’t feel like those bike shorts or Speedo shrunk.
Make time for exercise! You may not be able to get your 3 hour ride in, or a 2 hour swim or run, but getting 30-60 minutes of high intensity interval training will help keep your stress levels down and your fitness intact. It will also help burn some of those calories you did or will consume. You can also consider hiring a coach who can help you manage fitting a training routine into your busy schedule. For more information on the right coach for you, check out CoachFitter.com.
Double-fist it for the holidays!! Drink one alcoholic beverage, then one glass of water (mineral or seltzer with lime works great!). You will keep yourself hydrated and you can wake up refreshed rather than tired, nauseous and irritable from that hangover. Have several parties? Choose to drink at only one of them. Training sucks when you are hung-over!
Do not skip meals to save up for the big feast! Skipping meals will just make you overeat at that next meal. Eat smaller and lighter meals throughout the day by limiting the starches and increase the vegetables. Don’t forget to save room for dessert! Do you try them all? Um, yes! Take only a bite size portion of each dessert onto your plate so you can try each one. Don’t worry, they won’t all go to your waist and hang over the bike shorts – promise!
You can’t avoid the Holidays, but you can learn to keep the weight gain to a minimum while still enjoying your family, treats and parties. For this and more sports nutrition tips you can live with, go to www.n-im.net or everydaynutritioninmotion.wordpress.com as well as CoachFitter.com
About the author: Joanna Chodorowska, Nutrition in Motion, LLC is triathlete and sports nutrition coach working with elite and endurance athletes improving their performance using real food principles and meal plans you can live with and do everyday.
You can also find Joanna Chodorowska listed in CoachFitter.com
December 7, 2012 on 2:01 pm | In Nutrition Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments
It’s time to start thinking about resolutions for next year. If yours have anything to do with nutrition or losing weight, you’ll appreciate this blog from Rick Cohen, M.D. of Core 4 Nutrition. Our friends at Coachfitter sent it our way. If your resolutions include finding a coach and improving your performance, you should definitely check them out!
One of the most powerful things you can do to maximize your long-term health and athletic performance gains is to become a metabolic fat burner.
When fat-adapted, your body’s metabolic engine begins to work more like a fire burning logs instead of twigs or paper. Fueled by fat, your energy system will run longer, stronger and cleaner; every system in your body will benefit from having a more consistent, reliable source of energy that is generated with a minimal amount of metabolic waste (similar to the ash created by burning paper). Less metabolic waste means lower levels of internal inflammation (the underlying cause of almost every modern, chronic disease), less recovery time, and an improved capacity for both physical and mental fitness.
How you can you tell if you’re a fat-burner?
Based on the metabolic analysis of hundreds of competitive athletes—the majority of whom were physically but not necessarily physiologically fit—we have created a brief questionnaire that should provide some insight into your body’s ability to burn fat for fuel.
1. Can I go four to five hours without eating, or does skipping a meal cause me to suffer from ravenous hunger, anxiety, headaches, brain fog or other common symptoms of low blood sugar?
2. Do I enjoy steady, even energy throughout the day, or do I experience peaks and valleys that leave me longing for a nap?
3. Can I exercise in a fasted state (in the morning prior to eating), or exercise for an hour or more without relying on the use of carbohydrate-based foods or drinks?
4. Am I relatively unconcerned about my body fat content, or do I need to maintain high and constant levels of exercise in order to stay lean?
5. Are my blood sugar, blood pressure and/or cholesterol levels within an optimal range, without the use of any medication?
If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, congratulations, your body is being fueled by fat! If you answered “no” to most of them, don’t despair. Your inner engine can become optimally fuel efficient by implementing some simple, dietary changes and taking a more strategic approach to nutritional supplementation. Having a solid training program is also essential for optimal metabolic health, if you have thought about looking for a coach and don’t know where to begin, check out Coachfitter.com.
Want to dig deeper?
Consider doing an at-home, metabolic assessment profile that will allow you to quantify your body’s metabolic proficiency. It can be repeated at regular intervals to scientifically monitor how your dietary and supplemental routines are contributing to your metabolic efficiency. All that’s required is a painless finger stick and a few drops of blood. From this small, serum sample, the four physiological factors contributing most significantly to your fat burning status can be accurately evaluated. These four factors include:
This marker is typically used to evaluate your risk of heart disease. It compares the levels of HDL (a protective lipoprotein) to those of triglycerides (a transitional fat made from excess sugars ear-marked for long-term storage) found in your blood.
The goal is to establish and maintain an HDL level higher than that of your triglycerides. Most fat burners have at least a 1:1 ratio of HDL to Triclycerides. Some fat burners have achieved an impressive 2:1 ratio, while that of the typical American is an unhealthy 1:3.
Insulin is an important hormone that regulates how efficiently your cells utilize glucose (sugar) for energy. A fat burner with healthy cells rich in vitamin D3 and omega 3 fatty acids will be very sensitive to insulin and, therefore, require very little of it. Higher levels of insulin are, of course, toxic to the body. They also promote the production and storage of excess body fat.
As a fat burner, your insulin level marker should be no greater than 3.0. Those with excellent fat burning engines often measure in at less than 2.0. The typical American, on the other hand, is frequently more than 5.0.
This is a marker of your average blood sugar levels over the past three months. As a fat burner, your goal is to score no higher than 5.3. Those who are completely fat adapted will be under 5.0 while the typical American is often over 5.7. Those with an average glycohemoglobin level of 6.0 are considered diabetic.
This is a marker of inflammation that is high for those who eat a carbohydrate-based diet and are low in vitamin D3 and omega3 fatty acids. Most fat burners have a C-reactive protein level of no more than 1.0. Those who have become completely fat adapted will be under 0.5. The typical American, over 5.0.
What are YOUR numbers?
Get this metabolic profile and find out! Order before December 31st and you’ll receive a $25.00 holiday discount. Just enter FatBurner25 during checkout.
Use your results to establish a metabolic baseline, then make a game-changing plan. With some dietary guidance and targeted, nutritional support from Core 4 Nutrition, you can become a lean, mean, fat-burning machine! You’ll enjoy more consistent energy, fewer swings in both mood and motivation, and a heightened sense of overall health and well-being. In the long run, you’ll become leaner (without dieting or counting calories), stronger, and look years younger than your age!
Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com.
January 9, 2012 on 11:48 am | In Nutrition Tips | 2 Comments
Walk down the drink aisle at any grocery store and you will notice basically two types of items, Drinks and Diet Drinks. Let’s face it; in today’s society there is a growing concern of becoming overweight and trying to watch your weight. Every corner you turn there is an advertisement for some sort of new diet pill, drug, book or drink. With the thousands of new diet products hitting the market I have little confidence that it is doing anything. It’s easy to see this proof year after year as more diet products come out and the amount of overweight people keeps going up; there is no end in sight. This brings me to my initial point I want to discuss on artificial sweeteners. Diet coke is the second highest selling drink in America, and its sweetener is aspartame. The two biggest artificial sweeteners used in manufacturing today are Aspartame (200 times sweeter than table sugar) and Sucralose (600 times sweeter than table sugar); both products cannot be broken down by our bodies so they do not yield any calories.
You are what you eat!
If you eat protein rich foods, they will allow your body to grow, heal and repair. If you eat carbohydrate rich foods, they will give you energy for just about any activity you encounter. Eating fats provides energy for low intensity activities and basal metabolic systems, as well as many vital bodily systems such as blood pressure regulation. Eating or drinking foods with artificial sweeteners will give no benefit. So why eat or drink foods with artificial sweeteners? We do this in hope to curve that craving for sweet foods so we can consume as much as we want and not gain a pound (I made that last statement laughing). In fact, consuming diet drinks that contain artificial sweeteners trick our bodies into eating more food. There are a number of reasons why; one of them is that by consuming an artificial sweetener you trick your body into thinking you have had something with sugar. When you eat or drink something with real sugar, your body is expecting that sweetness to pass into your blood and give a calorie and insulin boost. Because you have consumed a non-nutritive sweetener, however, your bloodstream does not receive that boost of calories and your body desires more calories throughout the day. This is a negative feedback loop. There are several more reasons why artificial sweeteners do not prevent weight gain and instead promote weight gain, but in the interest of time, I will leave it at this one reason.
What can I do?
Read food labels; this past weekend I picked up a can of sparkling water or fizzy water I like to call it. I took a drink and I noticed that this was the sweetest water I have ever tasted. I did not read the label and the drink contained Sucralose along with 25 other chemicals that were not H2O. I didn’t die but I also did not finish that drink. Be careful when you pick up products; read the label and pay attention to the ingredients. Don’t drink or eat foods that do not give any nutritional value. I stand by my belief that “there is no need to consume foods or drinks that don’t provide any benefit.” Do this and your body will thank you. If you desire something sweet, eat something sweet but don’t over consume.
What you need to know.
At TriSports.com I have tried my best to select nutrition products that only benefit your body. There are no products in our store that contain Aspartame or Sucralose. The products that we sell contain powerful ingredients that help you Swim, Bike, Run or whatever else you are doing. I promise.
November 22, 2011 on 11:10 am | In Nutrition Tips | No Comments
There is a lot of talk today about different types of diets that claim many desirable health benefits. The two most popular I hear about are the Paleo diet and gluten free diets today were talking only about gluten free diets. Before you go head over kilt into something, I feel it is best to understand what you are going into and for what reasons. You need to understand if you need to be gluten free? What being gluten free means? Why you would want to be Gluten Free? Also what are you going to be losing by going gluten free?
Gluten is everywhere?
Gluten is the major protein that is found in wheat products such as breads and pasta. The gluten protein is found in the wheat seed and is approximately 80% of the protein found in whole wheat products. The gluten protein has elastic properties that give the desired doughy texture to the products it is found in. The gluten protein can also be refined in a wheat mill and used as an additive in many manufactured food products because of its elasticity characteristics, availability, and low cost to refine.
Gluten Free or Not?
There are truly only 2 reasons why a person should be gluten free and hundreds of reasons why people actually choose to be gluten free. The first reason is Celiac disease. Celiac Disease effects about 1% of the population comprised predominantly of white American Women in their mid to late 30’s. Celiac disease is an autoimmunity disease that causes the intestines to inflame and inhibit all absorption of nutrients. Celiac disease if un-treated is a very serious disease that causes dramatic weight loss and needs to be diagnosed by a doctor. The second reason is gluten sensitivity. Gluten sensitivity affects about 10% of the population and is becoming more and more prevalent. The cause of Gluten Sensitivity is unknown but it is likely a cross of gluten allergies and some other unknown stress related problems. The symptoms of gluten sensitivity can range from extreme to mild discomfort, just to be safe this is something that needs to be discussed with your doctor.
Health Benefits of Gluten Free
If you lie outside of the 11% of the population that has been diagnosed with a gluten problem and you choose to be gluten free there are a number of health benefits. These health benefits include weight loss, and a leaner body composition. I personally do not believe that it is the removal of gluten from the diet that gives you these health benefits. The benefits of you are seeing come from decreasing the amount of processed foods you eat daily and from preparing food from home. If you are going to go gluten free you are making a life change that is going to cause you to be more conscious of what you are putting into your body. From an athletes perspective this is key to performance gains and life long health regardless if you remove gluten or not.
Health Benefits of Gluten
If you took the time to read the last paragraph then you understand now that the health benefits from being gluten free are not actually from being gluten free. The health benefits are from taking the time to see what you are eating, preparing foods from home and by limiting the amount of processed foods from the diet. Gluten is not bad for you, it does not make you fat or sick, heavily processed foods and inappropriate portion sizes are most likely the culprit.
Take Home Message
If you have a serious gluten problem that a doctor has diagnosed then always follow what they say. If you are the other 89% and are looking for performance and health gains you need to make the decision to go gluten free all together which is a difficult task and takes time to become efficient at. Or the other option is you can slow down daily, don’t eat out so much, take the time to prepare foods at home and limit the amount of processed foods in your diet. Option 2 is what I’ve chosen, and I think if you give it a good old college try you will find that it’s not all that hard to do. Slow down, and eat well!
October 26, 2011 on 12:28 pm | In Nutrition Tips | No Comments
In the world we live in today there is an increasing talk about carbohydrates. The truth is that carbohydrates really are the endurance athlete’s best friend, without them we could not swim, bike or run with any bit of enjoyment or proficiency. Without carbohydrates, our capacity for endurance would just about disappear. So the question on everyone’s mind is how many carbohydrates do I need? To answer this we first need to understand what carbohydrates are and what they do in our bodies.
What is a Carbohydrate?
To the endurance athlete, carbohydrates are basically either glucose, fructose or some combination of the two (there are more types of carbohydrates, but for this we are only going to talk about those two). Carbohydrates can be linked together to form different types of sugars or chemical structures such as sucrose (glucose linked with fructose), also know as table sugar. Carbohydrates can also be linked together to form more complex molecules like Amylose or Amylopectin which is basically a long string of glucose molecules linked together and are commonly found in plants. Carbohydrates are found in foods like fruit, bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, grains and sweets. Carbohydrates can be classified as either Simple, like in cookies and soda, or Complex, like in whole wheat bread or pasta.
How much do I need?
Now that you have the gist of what a carbohydrate is, we can discuss how much an endurance athlete needs. Typically an endurance athlete needs 50-65% of their diet from carbohydrates, with less than 10% of those carbohydrates coming from a simple form. Here is what I recommend:
Training time Carbohydrate grams/pound body weight
1 hour/day 2.7-3.2 g/lb
2 hours/day 3.6 g/lb
3 hours/day 4.5 g/lb
4 hours/day 5.4-5.9 g/lb
As an example, if I am a 180lb man and I am training 2 hours per day, 180lb x 3.6g/lb=648 grams of carbohydrates. I recommend splitting these up through each meal of the day, so for 5 meals that is 129g per meal. Since there are 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate, that is about 520 calories per meal from carbohydrates.
The beautiful human machine is complex and there is no owner’s manual, but hopefully this helps you understand how things work a little better. Now go out there, eat carbs and train hard!
September 27, 2011 on 11:31 am | In Nutrition Tips | 2 Comments
Let’s face it one of the many questions we have as triathletes and endurance athletes is how much protein do we need daily and am I getting enough of it? To answer this we need a little bit of insider knowledge of what protein is? And what it does inside the human body?
What are Proteins?
Proteins are compounds composed of many Amino Acids linked together like a Chain by forming a peptide bond. This Chain of Amino Acids is then wrapped around itself to form many different types of structures. These relatively larger structures are then pieced together like building blocks to form tissues in the body such as muscles, skin, bone, and many more critical body parts.
Proteins role in the body:
Protein is the second most abundant molecule in the human body and is absolutely essential for survival. As tissues in the body break down or get injured you need dietary protein to repair or regrow these tissues this is especially important to endurance athletes. Not only does the human body use protein to grow and repair it will also use proteins as a source of energy through a process known as gluconeogenesis although this is not a preferred source of energy.
How much protein do I need?
There is much debate on protein requirements I personally feel that we already consume too much protein in our diets so this is what I recommend depending on your activity level.
• Recreational Endurance .36g/lbs
• Resistance Training .36g/lbs
• Moderate Endurance .54g/lbs
• Elite Female Endurance .53-.63g/lbs
• Elite Male Endurance .72g/lbs
• Muscle Maintenance .36g/lbs-.54g/lbs
• g/lbs= Grams per Pound
If I am a 180lb man that is a moderate endurance athlete I need about 97g (180lbs X .54g/lbs) of protein per day. What I recommend for this is to break those 97 grams up into 4-5 meals, so for each meal 20-25g would be adequate on a daily basis. Remember that a piece of chicken the size of a deck of cards is 20-25g of protein.
There are many sources of protein and meat is not the only source you can also find it in Beans, Nuts, Whole Grains and many more. I encourage you to go out there any try many different types of protein my personal favorite is from Pepitas also known as pumpkin seeds. This is not all there is to Protein I would need much more of your time to tell you that story but if you are interested in finding out more check this out. Click Here.
September 13, 2011 on 9:58 am | In Nutrition Tips, Random Musings | No Comments
There is no greater impact you can make on physical performance than there is with hydration. Poor hydration can lead to disaster on the race course or in training as I’m sure many of you have found out the hard way. Let’s face it there are four basic nutrients that your body needs, carbohydrates, protein, fats and water. You can survive for many days without carbohydrates, proteins and fats but you will not last more than a day or two without water. It is 100% necessary for life as we know it.
Let’s take a look at what proper hydration does for your body from an athletic point of view. One of the most important roles hydration plays is in body temperature regulation. Water acts to cool the body down by absorbing heat and acting like an evaporative cooler via sweat on the skin. Another important role hydration plays is in maintaining proper blood volume. Since water makes up a large portion of blood if you are dehydrated your blood will become thicker like syrup making it harder for your heart to pump blood to the rest of your body. You become less efficient. Studies show that a 2% loss in body weight during prolonged endurance activities is enough to impact performance capacity. So if you weigh 150lbs that is only 3lbs lost!
- Drink early. Drink often.
- Pay attention to the color of urine. Darker the color the more dehydrated you are.
- Activities lasting more then 90 min use a sports drink that contains electrolytes
- Pay attention to weight loss in training. If you loose more than 2% body weight during activity drink more water.
- Carry a reusable bottle of water with you
- Practice hydration in training this will transfer to race day
Benefits of proper hydration:
- Improved athletic performance
- Cooler body temperature
- Faster recovery from training
- Improved circulation
Hydration plays an important role in athletics as well as in everyday life. Pay attention to how often you are drinking water and you may be surprised. So go ahead and have a glass… of water.