Triathlon Swimming: Drafting on the Swim


“Want to swim faster? Want to try drafting on the swim? Check out these Triathlon swimming tips now!”

Do you want to swim faster with less effort? Do you want to exit a triathlon swim fresh and ready for the bike? Do you want to focus less on navigating all over the course, and more on looking for fishies while you swim? If so, draft.

Drafting in a triathlon swim is something ALL the pros do, and almost none of the age groupers do. Its 100% legal, and makes a huge difference in your swim speed, and how cooked you are after the swim.
Just to reemphasize. Drafting in the swim is always legal. No passing zones, no time limits. Go crazy.

How do you draft effectively in the swim:

  1. Don’t try to draft for the first few minutes after the start- its too crazy, and you probably wont draft the right person
  2. Focus on drafting in draft friendly conditions- crowded swim courses, not too wavy, and with good visibility in the water so you can see everyone else.
  3. Go really hard for the first few minutes before drafting. Remember you will rest once drafting, and going extra hard at first makes sure the person you do draft is a good swimmer
  4. Once you are tired from going for say 5 minutes hard on your own, find the right person to draft
  5. You want someone from your swim wave (you can check their cap color) who preferably is making a lot of bubbles so you can keep track of them easily, and is swimming in the right direction and who looks like they know what they are doing enough that they wont grab the next buoy or swim way off course. Ideally a bigger swimmer is best, as they make for a bigger draft.

OK so now you Swim Draftingknow WHO to draft, but HOW do you draft?
“Behind Drafting” (this is the easiest)

    1. Swim right behind your draftee. Look to see their feet, and use their bubble trail to follow them. Feel for the swirl in the water that their kick makes with your hands
    2. Once close, get in the optimal position- you want your hands as they enter the water to go slightly to the outside of their feet, and at full fingertip extension you want to be either just behind them or have your hands wider and overlapping with their feet.
    3. Relax. You will suddenly have to ease way up on your effort, and go the same speed. It will feel like the swimmer in front of you slowed way down. They didnt. THis is the whole point of drafting- going really fast wtih no effort
    4. Every few minutes if you think your swimmer is slowing down, you can swim a bi to the side of the swimmer you are drafting to prove to yourself that they haven’t slowed down. You will feel the resistance go up suddenly. Once you have re-convinced yourself that the swimmer is going fast enough, get back in that draft
    5. Spend the rest of the swim leg in that spot. Relax. Mentally prepare for the bike. Focus not on swimming hard, but on swimming right in the proper spot.

More at Triathlon Swim Tips: How to Draft on the Swim

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Investing in Good Running Shoes

Investing in Good Running Shoes


“It’s always best to invest on good running shoes. Why? Read the reasons below!”

The best running shoes are shoes that will be kind and gentle on your feet throughout any running exercise. This benefit will reflect itself in its most striking way immediately after a workout, when the way your feet feel then is a good indication of whether you have the right pair of running shoes or not. A good number of people even today still do not realize–or underestimate–the importance of investing in a good pair of running shoes. These are the kinds of people who awkwardly show up for track and field events or even light running exercises in the bulkiest pair of basketball shoes that they can find. These kinds of people are also the ones who will have massive amounts of pain in their feet right after the running exercise.

Avoid Blisters and Other Pains
If you use any kind of shoes–even ones for other types of athletic purposes–when you run, you will end up with the most sore feet ever. A further taboo is picking the incorrect kind of socks to make matters even that much worse. In example, cotton socks are a big no-no when it comes to picking socks for running because of their tendency to cause friction against your skin. So if you are wearing unwieldy and inappropriate shoes–such as basketball shoes–and cotton socks that are thick, you should expect to see your feet in bad shape after your running exercise. It is noteworthy to point out that this adverse effect will happen quite quickly, too. So if you want to avoid blisters and the effects of sore feet and the front of your legs, invest in a good pair of running shoes.

Better Fit to Your Foot
Good running shoes will do one thing and provide one benefit first and foremost: a snug and well-shaped fit that is tailored to your foot as much as possible. A good pair of running shoes will also make your foot feel lighter as you run, and a reason for this is because of how well it takes to the shape of your foot. The problem that is caused by the rubbing of your heel against the wrong kind of shoe during running–which creates the onset of blisters–is also absent with the right pair of running shoes. You will not feel this nagging rubbing against your heel. These days, many athletic shoe stores provide in-store machine tests which show your foot type and, consequently, what type of running shoe best fits you.

Selecting Good Shoes
Selecting a good pair of running shoes comes down to pronation. This term simply refers to the degree your foot rotates toward the inside when you run. There are two kinds of runners: One who has too much pronation (whose foot rotates too much while running) and one who has insufficient pronation (whose foot barely rotates inward when running). The best way to get a pair that is right for you is by visiting a shoe store that emphasizes selling running shoes. These stores usually have a knowledgeable staff that will even let you try running around in the shoe. More at Why It’s Important to Invest in Good Running Shoes

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Must Know Bike Components

Bike Components: A Beginner’s Bike


“Many materials and technologies are used to build different types of bikes. Below is a beginner’s guide to bike components. Read it now”

Buying a new bike or accessories can often be bewildering to the novice; the folks working in the shop almost seem to be speaking a different language. It’s almost as bad as trying to pick out a personal computer.

From our perspective, sometimes it’s hard to tell when we’re using everyday language and when we’re slipping into technical jargon. We have to really ask questions to make sure we’re on the same page with a customer and really understand what they are looking for, and often it’s just a matter of making sure we agree on the meaning of the words we are using. For example, we sometimes get people asking for a “wheel,” when all they really need is a new tire. On the other hand, we’ve gotten really perplexed looks when we’ve handed somebody a “rim,” when they were really looking for an entire wheel.

So, breaking down the language barrier is an important step in productive relationships between bike shop customers and bike shop employees. To that end, here is a glossary providing a breakdown of the anatomy of the bicycle.

Bar ends – the angled extensions attached to the ends of some flat handlebars and riser handlebars that provide an alternate place to rest your hands.

Bottom bracket – the collection of ball bearings and spindle housed within the bottom bracket shell of the frame, which provides the “shaft” mechanism on which the crank arms turn.

Braze-ons – threaded sockets that may or may not be present on the bike frame that provide a place to attach accessories such as bottle cages, cargo racks, and fenders.

Cage – the preferred fancy name for water bottle holder.

Cassette – the collection of gears that is attached to the rear wheel on most modern bicycles (see “Freewheel”).

Chainrings – the gears that are attached to the right-hand crank arm nearer to the front of the bike. A bike with two chainrings is said to have a “double crank;” a bike with three chainrings is said to have a “triple crank.”

Cog – a single gear on a cassette or freewheel gear cluster, or the single rear gear on a fixed-gear bike.

Crank arms – the pedals screw into these; these bolt onto the bottom bracket spindle.

Cyclocomputer – the preferred fancy word for an electronic speedometer/odometer.

Derailer – the device that is bolted to the frame that handles the job of moving the chain from one gear to another when you shift gears. The front derailer handles the shifting on your chainrings and is usually controlled by your left-hand shifter. The rear derailer handles the shifting on your cassette or freewheel, and is usually controlled by your right-hand shifter.

Derailer hanger – a part of the frame where the rear derailleur is attached. It is usually an integrated part of the frame on steel and titanium bikes, but is a separate, replaceable piece on aluminum and carbon fiber bikes.

Drop bar – the type of handlebar found on road racing bikes, with the half-circle-shaped curved ends that extend below the top, flatter part of the bar.

Dropouts – the U-shaped notches at the rear of the bike frame, and at the bottom ends of the front fork legs, where the wheels are held in place. So-called because if you loosen the bolts holding a wheel in place, the wheel “drops out.”

Fixed gear – a type of bicycle that has a single gear and does not have a freewheel or cassette/freehub mechanism, so you are unable to coast. If the wheels are moving, you have to be pedaling. “Fixie” for short. More at TECH TALK: BIKE COMPONENTS FOR BEGINNERS

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Faster Triathlon Transition Tips

Triathlon Transition: Tips for a Faster Triathlon

“Simple tips to help you do a faster triathlon transition. Read them now!”


Whether this is your first triathlon or you’ve reached a point that your life is defined by your training and pursuit of the podium, making a fast transition is important. It is the one area where minutes can be shaved off your time and you can have the satisfaction that you’ve minimized the loafing time. With any event it is the after event thoughts that plague, “why didn’t I push it harder on the bike or the run? Could I have been faster in my transitions?”

Practice, practice, practice. A week before the race may not be the time to start practicing your transitions, but I suspect for the majority of folks that’s when it happens. When your training and doing bricks (run to bike or visa versa) set your self up a mini transition area and see what works for you.

Set your bike up and remember where you’ve parked it. Some folks have used balloons or luggage ties – something colorful to draw attention to your spot. If you are on asphalt colored chalk is a good way to mark where your bike is. Trim your bib number and then tape your bid number on your bike on the seat post to keep things aerodynamic and make sure you can ride without it flapping, rubbing, or annoying you.

Layout your towel – this really isn’t for drying off after the swim its for marking your territory and keeping your feet clean and comfy while you get your shoes on and off. Layout your helmet and glasses. Put your running shoes on top of your bib and racebelt so it doesn’t blow away. Have your socks, hat, and what ever race food you plan on taking with you in a neat and sequential order.

If you are running without socks, put body glide on the heals of both shoes to prevent any hotspots.

T1 – getting out of the swim a lot people are dizzy and wobbly so be cautious.

Getting out the wetsuit: before getting out of the water – pull the neck of your wetsuit and get a good gulp of water down the front, this will eliminate some of the vacuum and stickiness. Pull your zip, remove the arms in quick fashion and kick out your legs while keeping one leg on the wetsuit.

Always put your helmet on first, then glasses, bib number (turned around to the back) and shoes. For the serious folks have your shoes clipped in and ready to go and use a rubber band to keep them parallel for easy mounting and slide the shoes on while on the move – this takes some practice. More at MAKING FASTER TRIATHLON TRANSITIONS

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Ironman Training Rules

Ironman Training: Rules to Remember

“Getting ready for your Ironman training? Make sure you list down these rules to remember. Know what they are below!”

Ironman Training Rules

There’s an old saying that goes, all roads lead to Rome. In the triathlon world, all roads eventually and hopefully lead to Kona and the Ironman World Championships.

If you’ve been bitten by the triathlon bug chances are you’ll want to go long and race your first half- and full-distance IM.

Here are a few tips for any triathlete who wants to go long and step up to the half and full-IM distance.

It takes a minimum of 13 hours of training per week to get in shape for an Ironman race. That means you’ll be training almost every day of the week.

After all, you not only have to swim, bike and run during the race, but you have to beat the cutoff times.

Participants in competing in the half- or full-Ironman events will be pulled from the course if they’re unable to finish each leg of the event in the set amount of time.

To some small extent you can fake the training for both an Ironman and half IM race. In other words, you can finish both of these race distances without completely putting in the time to train, but you’ll hate the race.

There are few things more miserable in life than spending 17 hours on an Ironman course hating every painful swim stroke, bike pedal and running step. Sure, there are amateur athletes who’ve finished without putting in the hard work, but they just spent over $500 on the entry for a day of self-inflicted pain.

You probably know that a triathlon of any length consists of a swim, bike and run, but in order to succeed at the half- and full-Ironman distance you’ll have to learn a fourth discipline: nutrition.

Unlike the sprint or Olympic distance triathlon, the half and full IM becomes about how fast you can swim, bike and run, and just as importantly how you can take in enough calories to keep from bonking. More at The 4 Rules of Ironman Training

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Strength Training for Triathletes

Strength Training for Triathletes: Best Strength Exercises

“What’s the importance of strength training for triathletes? What are the best strength training exercises? Read this article to find out!”

Strength Training for Triathletes

Are you over 35 years of age? Do you have a limited amount of training time? Do you want to reverse—or at least slow down—as many aspects of the aging process as possible? Are you an endurance athlete looking for an extra edge? Do you want to boost power, reduce fatigue, guard against injury and increase your late-race energy reserves?

Well, who doesn’t? And strength training can be the tool to help you accomplish each of these universally sought-after benefits. In fact, strength, or resistance, training is one of the most commonly overlooked means to improve endurance athletic performance.

All too many triathletes sacrifice strength training in favor of additional swim, bike or run sessions. This is unwise. In fact, a well-executed strength-training program can allow you to carve up to 25 percent out of your swim, bike and run volume while improving performance and enjoying better race-day results.

I fought going to the gym for years until I reached my mid-30s. Suddenly, speed work started to look more like steady-state training, and I could no longer override a lack of power on climbs with desire. My race performances started to suffer. I could see that even with a huge volume of miles out on the roads, my fitness was not what it was in my 20s.

Adding resistance training was the next step, but I had a problem. I had no idea how to design and integrate a strength program into triathlon training. I was also intimidated by the gym because I felt like the scrawny weakling on the beach compared to the hulks pushing around weights that would crush me. So there I was, the Ironman champion, embarrassed to go into the gym.

But my desire to win was even stronger than my embarrassment. I was introduced to a top strength coach, a woman named Diane Buchta. She led me through an entire season of weights, focusing on building overall body strength and, eventually, muscular speed.

The results were dramatic. In the first full season I used the program described below, I won the Triple Crown of Triathlon: the Nice International Triathlon, the Zofingen duathlon and the Hawaii Ironman.

I have boiled the program down to what I consider the 12 key exercises to develop overall body fitness for a triathlete. The workout is done twice a week throughout the year, and each session takes about 45 minutes. Separate the two weekly strength sessions by at least one day. The exercises, their order, the muscle groups they work and their sport-specific benefits are as follows:

1. Lateral Pull-downs (upper back; improves pull phase of swim stroke)
Beginning position: Grasp bar with arms straight and slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Push chest forward; arch lower back
Ending position: Pull bar in front of head down to shoulder level

2. Leg Extensions (upper legs/quads; supports weight-catching phase of running and builds additional muscle mass necessary for half-marathon distances and up)
Beginning position: Sit on machine. Rest shin pad just above ankle. Line knee with pivot point of machine
Ending position: Extend both legs fully to straight line More at Mark Allen’s 12 Best Strength Exercises

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