The Half Ironman (IM), AKA 70.3, distance is popular because it’s a great half day workout not requiring extensive life altering sacrifices. The event market is flooded with races of this distance; many with hilly bike courses. Training for a hilly bike course requires routes similar or more difficult than race day routes. Respecting the course profile by training on race course like routes is absolutely the right thing to do. However, too many athletes make the mistake of heading to the hills too soon. Too often athletes get discourage and abandon hills altogether for more entertaining group rides. Here is a suggested approach to gradually adapting hill courses into your next Half IM program.
Learning to swim competitively as an adult is much like learning to speak a new language. If you don’t place yourself in an environment where you are forced to practice almost to the point of survival, successful adoption is mission difficult (but not impossible). Adults who swam as kids retain muscle memory, have better feel for the water, and have years of experience. As adults, swimming is too technical to easily identify where to begin or answer the often heard question “what should I concentrate on?" If you are learning to swim freestyle as an adult, here are a few things to should consider.
A good triathlon swim will not guarantee you win but a poor swim will help you loose it. In much the same way, a good transition will contribute to a positive race experience. The objective of the transition is to help you comfortably, quickly, and safely “transition” from one discipline to another. Too often, triathletes overlook the preparation and importance of a good transition. Whether your goal is to just finish or make the podium, a good transition starts with practice. Here are a few tips to help plan and practice for good transitions.
Triathlon equipment is expensive and therefore your investment should be warranted. Selecting the most appropriate equipment can provide quantifiable improvement in race performance. Prioritizing equipment can be a daunting task, especially given the hype surrounding aerodynamics. The primary resistance a cyclist must overcome is wind resistance. The fast you go the greater the resistance. The body accounts for the majority of the aerodynamic drag; usually about 70 percent. If the body is the primary source of aerodynamic drag, then making changes to the body position (ergo Bike Fit) can cause substantial reduction in drag. The conclusion is the most important use of your money is actually getting positioned properly on your bike.
One of the more popular questions recently seems to be “what is the proper crank length for my bike?” Google this subject and you will find many articles pointing to the same set of studies. These studies all state the same thing; crank length is small and significant only at the very extreme lengths. It's hard to quantify a difference in efficiency between cranks lengths regardless of a rider's height. The majority of riders will not benefit from adjusting crank length. Even for those who are extremely tall or short, cranks will compromise power of the tallest and shortest riders by at most 0.5%.
Should you train when sick? Many athletes have a problem stopping or tapering training to allow the body to recover from a cold. It’s difficult to hold back training especially when the virus hits during event specific training. So what is the rule? There is no exact rule but there are a few guidelines you should follow so that your return to good health and training is quick.