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T L VanderWert

Triathlon Across the USA: State #20 – Alaska

Triathlon Across the USA: State #20 – Alaska

Chugiak, Alaska, June 1, 2014 – Eagle River Triathlon

About 30 minutes north of the Anchorage Airport along Glenn Highway is Chugiak High School, ground zero for our Alaska triathlon, the Eagle River Sprint Triathlon. 

While race day was rainy, the following week provided spectacular views of Mt. McKinley, a surprise visit to North Pole, and close-ups of glaciers, birds, and whales in Resurrection Bay.

A Family Connection for the Alaska Triathlon

During the summer of 2012, shortly after embarking on our Triathlon Across the USA adventure, Joy and I attended a wedding of her cousin Linda’s son.  During one of the reception speeches, we learned that he and his new bride would be living in Anchorage, Alaska.  He was enlisted in the US Air Force and they would be stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson for four years.

When we heard this, Joy and I looked at each other and in near unison mouthed the word ‘Alaska’.  Later that evening, we shared our idea about visiting Alaska during their tour with the newlyweds.  They agreed, probably sure that we would never follow through.

Little did they realize that we started almost immediately laying plans for the Alaska triathlon.

Fast forward two years and this young family had grown to include another member, their son.  On the Saturday before the triathlon, we were able to take the young family to lunch at Glacier Brewhouse in downtown Anchorage.

family-picture-at-Glacier-Brewhouse
The Eagle River Triathlon gave us opportunity to visit Joy’s cousin’s son, daughter-in-law, and 6-month old grandson in Anchorage.

Preparing for the Alaska Triathlon

We arrived in Anchorage a couple of days early in order to tour the city and to test out the bike that I rented for this race.   During these two days, we sampled the local cuisine (lots of seafood) of various restaurants, including Seward’s Folly Bar & Grill, Gwennies, Glacier Brewhouse, and Bridge.

We were soon reminded of the long periods of sunlight in Alaska during this time of year.  Throughout our stay, we occasionally woke at night to peek outside and realize that it was never darker than a Minnesota dusk.   Thank goodness for thick room darkening curtains.

The day before the race, we picked up the race packet at Chugiak High School.  We also picked up the Scott rental bike at Chain Reactions Cycles.  In between we met the couple whose wedding we had attended two years earlier.

Bridge-Restaurant-Anchorage-Alaska
Locals recommended that we sample the seafood at the Bridge restaurant. A good choice.

Eagle River Triathlon

I don’t think of Alaska as a hot spot for triathlon.  So, I was surprised to learn that the Eagle River Triathlon has been held every year except one (2003) since 1993, making 2014 the 21st running of the triathlon.

Headquarters for the Eagle River Triathlon was Chugiak High School.  The school is located about 25 miles northeast of downtown Anchorage just off Glenn Highway, also known as AK-1 (Alaska Highway 1).

Distances for the individual legs of this USAT-sanctioned sprint triathlon were:

  • Swim: 0.3 mile (500 m)
  • Bike: 12.4 mile (20 km)
  • Run: 3.1 mile (5 km)

Unique Transition Area

Somehow I missed the information on the Eagle River Triathlon’s Facebook page that race organizers did not provide racks for holding bicycles in the transition area.   Other racers brought their own means of supporting their bikes. Some of these were purchased while others were clearly homemade.

Since there was plenty of space in transition, I stood my road bike upside down.  (This would not have worked with my Trek SpeedConcept tri-bike.) 

As you can see in the picture below, other racers still gave me more space, probably fearing that my bike would tip over.

triathlon-transition-area-without-bike-racks
Racers of the Eagle River Sprint Triathlon were asked to provide their own bike stands, such as that used by the person whose bike was setup next to mine. I missed the information so was forced to improvise.

Swim

The swim leg occurred in the Chugiak High School Swimming pool.  The 500-meter swim consisted of 10 laps (20 lengths) of the 25-meter long pool, all within the same lane.  Swimmers started according to bib number with about 100 swimmers completing the swim each hour.  The result was that the entire field of triathletes was spread out over nearly four hours.

Bike

On race morning, the temperature was just under 50ºF (10ºC).  By the time I had completed the swim and headed out onto the bike course, a light drizzle had begun to fall.  The combined temperature and rain made the ride chilly, bordering on just plain cold.

The course left the transition area in the Chugiak High School parking lot, turned north following Birchwood Lane to the first turnaround.  From here, we returned on the same route past the transition area to a second turnaround about two and one-half miles past the school.  From the second turnaround, we rode back to transition.

I had used a rented bicycle in a previous triathlon, the Hilton Head Sprint Triathlon.  However, the bike rented for the Alaska triathlon did not fit me nearly as well.  The time to complete this leg of the triathlon showed it.

The lesson? Next time I rent a bike, I will pay closer attention to the fit.

Run

The run course followed a single loop, out-and-back course.  The course followed a paved trail that left the transition area, passed under Glenn Highway, and then turned left to follow another paved trail that paralleled the highway.  Upon reaching the halfway mark, we turned around and returned to the red inflatable Finish Line (shown behind me in the picture below).

triathlon-run
Heading out of transition for the run at the Eagle River Triathlon. There was no worry about becoming overheated on this day.

A Small World Story from the Alaska Triathlon

While chatting with other triathletes before the race, Joy and I struck up a conversation with a young lady and her parents.  We learned that while she and her husband were living in Fairbanks, her parents were from Hutchinson, Minnesota, a rural community about 1-1/2 hours drive west of our home, also in Minnesota. That was interesting.

However, as we continued talking with the young lady, we learned that she had not only grown up in Hutchinson but that she had also swam in high school with our daughter-in-law.  Now that made the world seem just a little smaller.

Here we were more than 3,000 miles from home. We not only met, but raced in a triathlon with, a person who had swam with our daughter-in-law. 

Besides, this young lady represented Minnesota well. She was the first overall female finisher for the Eagle River Triathlon.

Results

Finishing third in the Male 60-64 age group earned me a ceramic plague.  You can see it listed third in “5 Unique Triathlon Medals; They are No Longer Just Metal”.

Exploring Alaska

Joy and I took the next week to put on a bunch of miles in the rental car, first driving to Fairbanks.  Enroute, we spent one night in Talkeetna from where we took an air tour of Mt. McKinley and surrounding mountains and glaciers, and one night at the Mt. McKinley Princess Lodge.

Mount-McKinley-and-Resurrection-Bay
After the triathlon, we traveled to Fairbanks staying in Talkeetna and at the Mt. McKinley Princess Lodge along the way (upper two pictures). It was then on to Seward and Resurrection Bay (lower picture). The tail of a whale is visible near the center of the lower picture.

After a quick tour of Fairbanks and North Pole, we returned back to Anchorage and onto Seward for two days.  On one of these days, we joined Kenai Fjord Tours Aichik of Resurrection Bay for whale watching and glacier viewing.

Race Firsts

  • There were no common bike racks in the transition area, a triathlon-first for me.
  • First race in which I was #1 in both T1 and T2 time for my age group.
  • First race in which the swim start was spread over several hours.

Have You Done a Triathlon in Alaska?

Have you done a triathlon in Alaska? If so, let us here about it in the comments below.

Triathlon Across the USA: State #17 – Colorado

Triathlon Across the USA: State #17 – Colorado

Englewood, Colorado, September 8, 2013 – Inverness Triathlon

Adding Colorado to the 2013 Triathlon Season

We decided that 2013 was the year to share my love for triathlon with my parents.  Since they were living in the south Denver suburb of Parker, it was a matter of finding Colorado triathlons that fit our schedule.  We decided on the one closest to Parker.

As long as we were making the trip, Joy and I decided to add a few days and a couple of extra stops to check in on family in South Dakota and Nebraska and to visit friends in Colorado Springs.

An Indirect Route to the Colorado Triathlon

The path from Minneapolis to Denver was anything but direct.  We started the six-day, six-state trip on Wednesday morning by heading to Rapid City, South Dakota for a visit with Joy’s aunt Evelyn.

The next day, we reached our friends Steve and Lori in Colorado Springs for a visit with them.  Then, on Friday, we made the hour and a half drive from Colorado Springs to my parent’s house in Parker.

Terry with parents at IHOP before the Colorado triathlon
Enjoying ice cream and good conversation with my parents. Photo courtesy of Joy.

Last Minute Equipment Problem

While on a short bike ride around my parent’s neighborhood on Friday afternoon, I noticed that the seat kept sliding down, not just a little but almost a foot within a few blocks.  While I could still ride the bike, it took more effort to keep moving at a normal pace than it did with the seat at its correct height.

Not wanting to over tighten (over torque) the seat post clamp and risk cracking the carbon fiber frame of the Trek SpeedConcept 7.5, I called the Trek bike shop in Parker for ideas on how to solve the problem.

We agreed that I would bring the bike into the shop on Saturday.

The people working at bike shops are among the most generous I know.  The guys at the Parker store of Treads (the local Trek dealer at the time) were no exception.

They spent several hours trying to solve the mystery of the sinking seat.  Much of the time was spent with the bike on a trainer so I could test ride the bike after they implemented what they believed would be a fix for the problem.

The final solution appeared to be applying a grit filled, sticky/greasy substance to the seat post.  This material was designed to create additional friction between the seat post and clamp to keep the post from moving.

In the end, they did not ask for anything.  I decided to purchase a tube of the grit filled material in case I needed more in the future.

When I left the bike shop, I was convinced hey had solved the problem. I headed into the race confident in my equipment.

Inverness Triathlon

The Inverness Triathlon, held at the Colorado Athletic Club in Englewood, included individual and relay sprint triathlon and aqua-bike events.

Distances for the individual legs of the USAT-sanctioned Inverness triathlon were:

  • Swim: 0.3 mile (574 yd or 525 m)
  • Bike: 12 mile (19.3 km)
  • Run: 3 mile (4.8 km)

The aqua-bike race was available for those who did not want to or were unable to run the three mile distance of the triathlon.  For example, one of the guys who swam in the same group as me competed in the aqua-bike.  He explained that he chose this event because of a chronic knee problem that prevented him from running.

The aqua-bike included the swim and bike distances of the triathlon with only short walk or jog to the finish line from the transition area.

Later, while chatting before the race, he told me that, from his perspective, the bike course for this race was ‘quite flat’.  When we later met on the course, I shared with him that flat from the perspective of a Minnesotan is clearly different from that of one from Colorado.

Swim

The triathlon began with the slowest swimmers (those who reported the longest expected swim times) starting first.  Five swimmers occupied each lane and started about 10 seconds apart from each other. This is commonly referred to as a ‘time trial start’.

There was also one lane for the fastest swimmers, those who expected to swim the 525 m in 7 minutes 30 seconds or less.

Since I was in neither camp – neither among the slowest nor the fastest, I waited and eventually found a group of five other swimmers who expected to complete the swim in a similar time as me.

The swim involved 21 lengths of the 25 m pool, all within the same lane shared by the five swimmers.  The odd number of lengths meant that we exited the pool at the end of the swim leg at the end opposite from that at which we entered the pool.

From the exit of the pool, it was a short walk/jog to the transition area just outside the pool area.

Bike

The bike course took us through a business area in the south Denver suburb of Englewood. The course had the feel of a labyrinth of side streets lined with modern office buildings and the occasional green space.  The altitude was between 5,720 and 5,900 ft – a little over one mile high.

The bike course was a bit hillier than typical venues, though not especially difficult.  After a 120 foot descent over the first 2-1/2 miles, the course ascended 180 feet over the next 8 miles.

Late in the bike leg, it became clear that the gritty material applied to the seat post at the bike shop the day before was not doing its job.  In fact, by the time I finished the bike leg, the seat post had dropped about a foot.  At least it had taken longer for this to happen than it had on Friday.

While the bike was still working fine, I was not generating the same amount of power with each stroke of the pedal as with the seat at the correct height.  The result: it was taking longer to get through the course.

What should I have done differently? The guys at the bike shop in Parker had done everything that they knew to do.

In hindsight, I should have taken the bike for a ride a week before leaving home for Colorado. This would have at least provided more time to diagnose and solve the problem.

Another lesson learned.

Triathlon Lesson: A triathlon is a microcosm of life.  The unexpected often occurs during a race.  It is best to accept whatever comes along and learn from it.

St. Paul to the Romans (Romans 5:3-4)

Run

The run was partially on a combined walking and running trail and partially on city sidewalks, all behind the fitness center.  Even though the run course was relatively flat, my run was actually a mix of running and walking.

I expected the run to be a challenge with the difference in altitude between my Minnesota home and Colorado.   Running near my parent’s home during several previous visits had taught me that running at the higher altitude was more difficult.

Results

Despite the challenges with the bike and run legs of this race, I ended up finishing 50th of 200 overall and second within my 60-64 year men’s age group.  For me, that was respectable.

Receiving award at Inverness Triathlon, Englewood, Colorado triathlon.
Receiving the award for a second place age group finish at the Inverness Triathlon, Englewood, Colorado.

Reflections on the Colorado Triathlon

Other than for the swimming portion, triathlon is not much of a spectator sport.  Nevertheless, my parents stayed for the entire race and even seemed to enjoy all of the activity around the event.

We were glad that we made the trip.  This weekend was among the last times that we spent time with my parents. Within a few years, both had passed away.

After the award’s ceremony, we headed back to Minneapolis with an overnight stop in Omaha, Nebraska to see our son Ben, daughter-in-law Lindsey, and granddaughter Mari (Anna Joy was not yet born).   More precious time with family.

Fixing the Bike Seat

A week or so after returning home, I took the bike into my local bike shop, Maple Grove Cycling .  After explaining the problem, I learned that Trek had very recently announced a recall of the seat post clamp.   A Maple Grove Cycling technician installed the new and improved clamp.

I no longer needed the grit-filled material for the seat post.

Race Firsts

  • First race at over one mile altitude
  • First triathlon involving a problem that affected the bike fit
  • This was the first (and only) triathlon attended by my parents

Triathlon Across the USA: State #13 – Hawaii

Triathlon Across the USA: State #13 – Hawaii

Kailua (Honolulu), Hawaii; April 21, 2013 – BOCA Hawaii Lanikai Sprint Triathlon

The Hawaii triathlon was the perfect opportunity to introduce my aunt, a resident of the island of Oahu, to triathlon.  It also led to several firsts in the “Triathlon Across the USA” adventure.

 

Planning the Hawaii Triathlon

Joy and I are fortunate to have a close relationship with my aunt Nelda, who lives 10 minutes by walking from Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii. For the past several years, we have visited her during the heart of the Minnesota winter.  In turn, we welcome her to our home during the summer, of course.

Planning an April trip to Hawaii for the BOCA Hawaii triathlon seemed almost a waste.   After all, why make the long flight to visit Hawaii at a time when the weather in Minnesota is typically spring-like.  April in Minnesota generally means spring flowers in bloom and trees beginning to bud and sprout green after the winter.

As it turned out, the 2013 winter in Minnesota was longer than usual.  It snowed on and off at home throughout our time in Hawaii.

 

Before the Race

Joy and I – and my Trek SpeedConcept triathlon bike – arrived in Hawaii a little more than a week before the triathlon. After re-assembling the bike, I took a short ride to make sure that I had put it together properly.  I had planned to get in some serious biking before race day.  However, this didn’t happen.

Why? Biking in Honolulu was challenging and even dangerous.  Traffic is congested and there are many distracted tourists driving on streets they do not know.  To top if off, there are few designated bike lanes on the city streets and roads.

By January 2018, this condition had improved due to the more than 1,000 rental bicycles that are part of the Biki ride-sharing program involving more than 100 rental locations throughout the main tourist areas of Honolulu.

 

12th Annual BOCA Hawaii Lanikai Triathlon

The BOCA Hawaii Lanikai Triathlon, managed by the multi-sport training and racing company BOCA Hawaii, started and ended in Kailua Beach Park on the eastern side of the island of Oahu.

Distances for the individual legs of the USAT-sanctioned race were:

  • Swim: 0.3 mile (550 yd or 500 m)
  • Bike: 10.7 mile (17.1 km)
  • Run: 3.6 mile (5.7 km)

This race had the distinction of including part of the bike course on Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH).  For reference, MCBH was formerly known as Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay and originally called Naval Air Station Kaneohe Bay. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Corps_Base_Hawaii.)

 

Swim

The more than 350 competitors ran or walked into Kailua Bay together with the sounding of the air horn that signaled the start of the triathlon.  The 500 meter (550 yard) swim in the calm, clear, and comfortably warm waters of Kailua Bay took me a little over 11 minutes.  Given the water temperature, wetsuits were not allowed by USAT rules.

Swim start at BOCA Hawaii Lanikai Sprint Triathlon

The open water swim in Kailua Bay (with Mokulua Island in the background) was my first triathlon involving a swim in the Pacific Ocean. The darker section of the water near the center of the picture (between kayaks) is created by the swimmers.  I am in there somewhere.

Bike

The bike leg took us from the transition area in Kailua Beach Park onto city streets parallel to the Bay.  We eventually entered MCBH.

The course was flat except for one nasty hill that ended with a turnaround in a neighborhood of base housing. To put things in perspective, the hill leading to the turnaround was the kind that causes you to wonder if you are going to fall over from going so slowly even though you are in the lowest possible gear and giving it your all.

We all know that whatever goes up must come down.  This day, coming down meant extreme attention (and braking) to avoid ending up in Kailua Bay while navigating the near right angle turn near the base of the hill.

Bike turnaround on Marine Corp Base Hawaii

The swim took place in Kailua Bay between land (left) and the small, flat island near the center of the picture. The bike turnaround occurred on Marine Corps Base Hawaii (upper section of the picture). The run took place in the Lanikai neighborhood in the lower section of the picture. This view is from Pillbox hiking trail.

 

This was the first race applying a strategy on the bike of using a gear that allowed me to maintain a cadence (pedal revolution) of 90 rpm.  The one exception was on the aforementioned hill. This approach seemed to work as hoped.  While I was not always biking as fast as I could have, the higher cadence saved my legs for run.

 

Transition

Transition occurs between the individual legs of a triathlon and typically involves a change of gear and shoes.  The time to complete the two transitions (from swim to bike, called T1, and from bike to run, called T2) is included in the overall time for completing the triathlon. Time spent in transition is just as important as time spent in each of the legs – see “How to Minimize Transition Time”.

The video clip illustrates one way to minimize time spent in transition, that is, through multitasking.

VIDEO: Connecting the race number belt while running out of the transition area is one way to minimize transition time.

 

Triathlon Tip: Reduce your transition time by completing certain tasks together.  I connect my race number belt while running out of transition.  If the triathlon involves a wetsuit, I wear the race number under the wetsuit from the beginning of the race.

 

Run

Most of the 3.6 mile run was on the hilly streets of the Lanikai neighborhood.

The run course of the BOCA Hawaii Lanikai Sprint Triathlon took us through the Lanikai neighborhood (with Mokulua and Moko iki Islands in the background).

The run course of the BOCA Hawaii Lanikai Sprint Triathlon took us through the Lanikai neighborhood.  Mokulua and Moko Iki Islands are visible in the background.

The last six-tenths of a mile was on the beach, on sand packed by waves washing ashore.  However, the sand in the last few yards soft and deep making the sprint to the finish line more difficult.

 

Results

There was no award for me this time. I finished 4th of seven in my age group – not even close to the guy who finished third.  While I was ‘in the hunt’ after the swim and bike legs, the three guys in my age group who finished ahead of me were much stronger runners.

My aunt and me in her condo overlooking the Ala Wai canal near Waikiki

Thanking my aunt Nelda for giving Joy and me a place to stay while in Hawaii and for making the early morning trek across the island to cheer me on during the race.

 

Race Firsts

  • Part of the race course was on a USA military base (Marine Corps Base Hawaii), a first.
  • This was my first triathlon with the swim in the Pacific Ocean.
  • First triathlon outside the continental USA

 

Let Us Know About Your Races in Hawaii?

I know some of you have raced in Kona-Kailua on the Big Island.   Others may have done different races like the one I did on Oahu.

What did you think about your Hawaiian races?

 

Book Review – Train to Tri: Your First Triathlon

Looking to complete your first triathlon? Want to inspire and motivate your children, grandchildren, parents, friends, or co-workers?

If so, Train To Tri: Your First Triathlon by Linda Cleveland and Kris Swarthout is for you.  This 246-page guide provides the essential information needed to prepare for your first triathlon.Cover of "Train to Tri - Your First Triathlon"

Authors: Linda Cleveland and Kris Swarthout, both USA Triathlon Level 2 coaches with lots of experience competing in triathlon and coaching triathletes.

Publisher: Human Kinetics

Who is this book for?

Train To Tri is written primarily for those considering or already committed to completing their first sprint or standard (formerly called Olympic) distance triathlon.

Even though it is aimed at first-timers, it is not just for those doing their first triathlon.  While I have completed over 40 sprint triathlons, I found several useful training tipsI have already put some of them to use.

 

What does the book cover?

The book opens with a 24-question Triathlon Readiness Assessment.  Results of the self-assessment help the future triathlete identify with one of three categories – bronze, silver, or gold – and select the training plan included later in the book.  This initial section also provides guidelines for choosing the specific race for your first triathlon.

I like the basic strategy of the first triathlon training plan laid out by the authors – to focus most of the training effort on your weakest leg.

You should focus the most time and effort on [your third strongest sport] to develop strength and endurance as well as improve technique. (page 9)

Gear

Once you decide to do a triathlon, you will quickly learn about the incredible amount of clothing and equipment (called ‘gear’ in the triathlon world) surrounding the sport.  Since not all the gear is necessary for your first triathlon, the authors distinguish between the ‘necessary’ and the ‘nice to have’ or ‘you can wait and decide after your first race’ gear.

 

Your Triathlon Support Group

Training with a group can provide the extra motivation needed to push through a training program and reap the rewards of completing your first triathlon.  A group can also help you to improve your technique more quickly.

In this chapter, the authors suggest ways to create a support network for your training in swimming, biking, and running that includes various clubs and your family, friends, and co-workers.

You may have various support group options.  For example, if you live in a retirement community, such as The Villages, Florida, you have a built-in support group in The Villages Triathlon Club.  Members train and race together with encouragement galore.

If you are working in an area without a triathlon training club in the area, you can create your own support group through a local fitness center, community pool, bike shop, and running store.  This provides flexibility to follow your specific training plan while enlisting the support of instructors and others with experience from which you can benefit.

Swim

The chapter on swimming covers the basic elements of an efficient stroke with illustrations for a proper freestyle technique.  I appreciated the suggestion for traveling and swimming, especially the advice for making use of the typical small hotel pool.

Interestingly, many triathletes find swimming to be their weakest sport.  If you are in that group, get comfortable being in the water and with swimming with other people as you will experience on race day.  Whether swimming in a pool or in open water, you will inevitably come close to, if not in contact with, other swimmers.  Staying calm is the key to finishing the swim.

If the race you choose includes an open water swim, you will want to practice swimming in open water to become familiar with ‘sighting’.   For safety reasons, I recommend adding the ISHOF Safe Swimmer (see also below) to your list of gear.

 

Bike

Most of us know how to ride a bicycle.  However, many have never ridden in a large group at speeds associated with a triathlon.

Therefore, the focus of this chapter is safety.  According to the authors, safety in biking begins with a review of the various components of the bicycle to make sure that they are each in good working order.   They also describe the most important cycling skills and suggestions on how to hone these, both individually and in group rides.

When riding on the road in traffic, you need to follow the rules of the road as if you were driving a car. (page 78)

Run

We all know how to run. Right?  Well, not necessarily in a way that is the most efficient or that minimizes the possibility for injuries.  About half of this chapter is dedicated to proper cadence (steps per minute) and body form.  The rest of the chapter introduces training with a heart rate monitor and training involving the three-run types included in the weekly training plans.

If you take one thing from this chapter, remember to progress slowly (the ‘10% per week’ rule) to minimize the likelihood of injury.  Unfortunately, we need to be reminded of this every so often.

 

Strength and Flexibility

Building strength and increasing flexibility are two keys to increasing your performance in triathlon.   For many of us who spend a lot of time sitting during their workday, lack of flexibility can be the major root cause of injury.   The authors show that a relatively small amount of time spent in strength training and stretching can lead to better performance and fewer injuries.  Plus, these are another way to ‘mix it up’ and keep the training interesting and fresh.

 

Nutrition and Rest

If we all know how to run, most of us are even better at fueling (aka eating).  The challenge is to eat properly.  It becomes even more complicated when we are exercising, burning more calories, trying to build muscle, and recovering from the stress of training.

Triathlon training can be a great way to shed pounds and improve your health.   Eating the right foods in the right amount and at the right time is the focus of this chapter.  The authors are clear: “Although your daily caloric burn will certainly increase based on your training volume, you don’t have a license to hit the buffet for every meal”.

The chapter begins by showing us how to calculate two important numbers related to exercise – resting metabolic rate (RMR) and caloric burn rate.  The authors discuss how to eat (or ‘fuel’ as they define it) throughout the day. This includes eating before, during, and after workouts.  Sample menus for triathlon training days help to illustrate the principles of proper fueling.

The chapter concludes with a discussion about the importance of rest within a process known as periodization.  The authors even provide a simple test to help us determine when our body is telling us to take a day of rest.

If you do not get adequate rest, the muscles will fatigue and eventually fail, resulting in injury. (page 139)

Training plans

It’s now time to put the information from the previous chapters together and begin to train for your first triathlon.   Sample 8-week training plans are provided for bronze-, silver-, and gold-level athletes for both sprint and standard distance triathlons.    I appreciate that the authors show readers how to tailor the plans to meet their particular strengths and weaknesses and their individual schedules.

 

Preparing to race

I love this section.  Here, the authors take the new triathlete down the ‘home stretch’ to completing their first race.

Filled with practical advice, the authors walk us through the two weeks leading up to the race.  With greater detail for race day, you can feel the thrill that begins upon waking and includes crossing the finish line and heading to the refreshment area for a cold drink and banana.

 

Why get this book?

Train To Tri is pragmatic and focused.  It includes essential information for each of the sports of triathlon.  The authors season the information with the nuances of practicing them within a triathlon.

You can trust the USAT-certified coaches with this ‘no-nonsense’ guide.

 

You may also be interested in these posts

 

Disclaimer: Please note that SeniorTriathletes.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.  This is an affiliate advertising program that provide a way for sites to earn advertising fees.  They do this by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.  As an affiliate, I will receive a small commission for any purchases of this product that you make through Amazon.

 

This post was originally published on January 21, 2018.  It was updated on September 20, 2019.

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