Tips for Adults Learning to Swim PDF Print E-mail


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.

Last Updated on Sunday, 16 February 2014 13:07
How to - Triathlon Transition Set Up PDF Print E-mail

It’s been said, a good swim will not guarantee you to win a race, 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 a plan. Here are a few tips to help organize and practice for good transitions.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 August 2013 11:43
Buying Speed; Aero Helmet vs. Aero Wheels PDF Print E-mail

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.

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 May 2013 19:35
Crank Length PDF Print E-mail

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%.

Last Updated on Saturday, 20 April 2013 20:19
Training With a Cold PDF Print E-mail

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.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 October 2012 20:06
Sodium: A Closer Look PDF Print E-mail

What exactly does sodium do in the body? Should I supplement with sodium when I exercise? I've heard of hyponatremia, but why is it so dangerous? This article will provide you with a better understanding of sodium as a critical electrolyte required for proper body function. Athletes have higher sodium needs compared to the general population because sodium loss escalates when one sweats. Sodium also is required for optimal hydration before, during, and after exercise; however, the specific amount is highly individual and must be practiced in training to determine appropriate supplementation. Through proper practice and planning, athletes can maintain balanced hydration and avoid many of the pitfalls of improper sodium supplementation, particularly the life-threatening condition of hyponatremia.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 September 2012 20:27
WTC; Friend or Foe? PDF Print E-mail

World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), owners of Iroman Hawaii and many other Ironman and Half Ironman events, has come under fire lately for diluting the sport, shortening events, and most recently suspending registration. WTC claims registration “suspension” of 2013 Ironman New York was in response to “listening” to their customers about “quality” issues. Was the suspension really about the quality? Or was it a reaction to the poor response of the outrageous $1200 entry fee which was $300 more than 2012’s hard to swallow $900 fee? Perception appears to be leaning in the direction that WTC pays more attention to its profits than its customers. Do you still get what you pay for with WTC like you once did with North America Sports?

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 05:46
Mental Strength for Your Triathlon Swim PDF Print E-mail


Swimming is probably the most common reason many procrastinate participating in triathlon or hesitate moving to longer distances. Unless you grew up swimming competitively or playing water sports, swimming can be a lot like learning a new language; if you don’t practice often you won’t become fluent. Unlike riding and running, more power does not translate to better or faster swimming. And, since we are land mammals, swimming may cause added levels of anxiety further diminishing your desire to improve this discipline. For these reasons, progressing beyond the mental challenges associated with swimming is sometimes more difficult than the physical challenges. Mental strength training your swim can help reduce reservations, build confidence, and improve your ability to progress faster. Here are few suggestions to help strengthen your mind and build confidence with your swimming.

Last Updated on Friday, 10 August 2012 19:09
Shin Splints PDF Print E-mail

Shin splints are one of two (possibly more) injuries that require triathletes and runners to stop running altogether to properly heal; Plantar Fasciitis being the other. There are various unofficial definitions making the healing approach confusing. When I had shin splints, the doctor told me they are hairline fractures. Another story I heard was it was the tearing of the muscle away from the bone (sounded extreme). Regardless of the definition, your interest in tis article is either to avoid or heal it.

Shin splints cause dull, aching pain in the front of the lower leg. Some people feel it only during exercise; others, when they've stopped exercising. Sometimes, the pain is constant. Depending on the exact cause, the pain may be located along either side of the shinbone or in the muscles. The area may be painful to the touch. Swollen muscles can sometimes irritate the nerves in the feet, causing them to feel weak or numb. To diagnose shin splints, visit your doctor to get a thorough physical exam. You may also need X-rays or bone scans to look for fractures.

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 May 2012 20:50
Plantar Fasciitis PDF Print E-mail

Plantar Fasciitis is an acute form of inflammation of the band of tissue running across the bottom of your foot. Plantar Fasciitis is a common injury that can persist for years unless treatment is properly addressed. Every time you flex your foot, the tendons, ligaments, and tissue move and when inflamed, every movement hurts. Once the tissue is injured, it becomes very difficult to recover because it’s in constant use. It is almost impossible to keep from re-straining the area. Even when the pain is gone, you still are not fully healed. It is an injury requiring athletes to completely stop running for a period of 4-6 weeks or more in order to recover. The most common mistake athletes make in treating Plantar Fasciitis is returning to training as soon as the pain is gone. We continually reinjure the area through our daily activities and prolong recovery further by layering on training.

Constant reinjury needs to be avoided at all costs. Obviously, it delays the healing process, but what's worse is that every reinjury and additional healing cycle increases the amount of scar tissue that builds up in your foot. Scar tissue is hard, inflexible, and tough to remove. The more scar tissue that develops, the more you lose range of motion and the more likely you are to develop chronic pain or arthritis. Scar tissue may prohibit you from performing as well as you once did and/or make reinjury easier. If you have inflammation in your heel or plantar, it's very important to begin healing immediately (which translates to no running) and continue the healing process completely (beyond pain elimination). You must also avoid the build up of scar tissue. The quicker and stronger you heal your plantar, the less chance there is for reinjury. Untreated plantar fasciitis leads to the development of bone spurs; something you want to avoid.

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 May 2012 20:29
Keys to Athletic Nutrition PDF Print E-mail


The most popular questions coaches receive from athletes, whether casual athlete or competitive, are nutrition related inquiries. It’s usually because athletes are either looking to loose weight or improve performance. Common mistakes include eating at the wrong times, choosing the wrong balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat, drinking too little fluids, and consuming inadequate amounts of supplements. Training aside, nutrition is the key to performing better. “I need help with my nutrition.” Sound familiar? There are several key factors to consider that will help guide you in the right direction.

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 July 2011 07:44
Race Day Nutrition Tips PDF Print E-mail


Nutrition is a key component of any good endurance event performance. While our bodies can burn upwards of 750+ calories per hour, we can only digest 200-250 per hour. We cannot replace calories spent at the same rate they are burned. The digestive system cannot keep up. How do we sustain energy levels that support our finish time goals; a puzzle many of us struggle with. Training our digestive system is as important as training our muscles. This article brings to light various factors that should be considered when planning your next endurance event.

We all want the answer to the question; “what do I eat or drink, how often, and at what quantities.” Bottle the answer to this question and you will be a rich person. There is no single correct answer. What works for one race may not work for the next. Why? There are various factors contributing to a good nutritional performance. To improve your nutrition during long events, understand each of the below factors, plan accordingly, practice your plan, and, adapt as needed during races.

Last Updated on Monday, 30 April 2012 20:51
Wetsuit 101 PDF Print E-mail


There are many types of wetsuits, each with its own purpose. Diving, surfing, body gliding, and our favorite, triathlon wetsuits are all constructed differently. Why and how do we choose a triathlon wetsuit? Triathlon wetsuits are designed for swimming and provide warmth. They are made to be flexible enough for you to swim in because they are tailored to support our swimming movements. They are also buoyant enabling us to swim faster with less effort. The buoyancy helps you float to the surface reducing drag in the water.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 July 2011 17:55
Wetsuit 101 PDF Print E-mail


There are many types of wetsuits, each with its own purpose. Diving, surfing, body gliding, and our favorite, triathlon wetsuits are all constructed differently. Why and how do we choose a triathlon wetsuit? Triathlon wetsuits are designed for swimming and provide warmth. They are made to be flexible enough for you to swim in because they are tailored to support our swimming movements. They are also buoyant enabling us to swim faster with less effort. The buoyancy helps you float to the surface reducing drag in the water.

Last Updated on Sunday, 10 July 2011 15:46
BMI vs BMR PDF Print E-mail


Athletes are always looking for an edge to improve their performance. In triathlon, performance in 2 of the 3 events are greatly influenced by strength to weight ratio. In other words, the more efficient muscles work and the less they carry, the better you should perform. The goal is not to minimize fat but to optimize it by reaching an efficient Body Mass Index (BMI). Understanding your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) can help you reach your target BMI.

BMI is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 years. BMI can be used to indicate whether you are overweight, obese, underweight or normal. A healthy BMI score is between 20 and 25. A score below 20 indicates that you may be underweight; a value above 25 indicates that you may be overweight. You can calculate your BMI by using free on-line BMI Calculators like the one on

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 06:18
A Day in the Life of an Ironman PDF Print E-mail


There are many questions about Ironman and its preparation but the most popular question seems to be "what's it like." What is it like to be out there 10, 12, 14+ hours and how do you survive? What do you go through and what can I expect? Why do you do it? For those of you who have completed an Ironman, you know the reward is grand; something difficult to explain in words yet radiates in your smile and demeanor from the time you cross the finish line and for the rest of your life. And so this article is a futile attempt to explain a day in the life of becoming Ironman. Futile because Ironman is a personal journey and achievement; something you need to experience to understand the glow behind the smile.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 June 2011 21:35
Braking PDF Print E-mail

Conventional wisdom says to use both brakes at the same time. This is probably good advice for beginners, who have not yet learned to use their brakes skillfully, but if you don't graduate past this stage, you will never be able to stop as quickly as a cyclist who has learned to use the front brake as the primary stopping brake. In an emergency, the fastest you can stop any bike of normal wheelbase is to apply the front brake so hard the rear wheel is just about to lift off the ground. In this situation, the rear wheel is unable to contribute stopping power because it has no traction. In a non emergency, the front brake should be used (primarily) for stopping while the rear brake is used for control.

Last Updated on Monday, 09 May 2011 20:50
Swim School - Step 1 Body Position PDF Print E-mail

Swimming is not easy and those who do it well make it look impossible. So stop paying attention to them and start learning how to swim. This week we held our first swim class session and I was very encouraged by the turnout and the progress everyone made. CT Swim School is designed for you to learn each step in the freestyle swim stroke at your own pace. We start with body position and progress through each step in the swim stoke process. You should not proceed to the next step until the previous step is mastered. This is the first in a series of articles to help you progress through each step in the freestyle process.

Last Updated on Saturday, 15 January 2011 14:07
Plan Your Race Season PDF Print E-mail

Planning for your first triathlon will insure you come back for another. Planning your year of events will also help you continue to experience both growth and satisfaction in the sport of triathlon. Whether part of a new year’s resolution or not, planning is a contributing factor to a successful season and a popular subject this time of year.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 December 2010 22:26
Zone Definitions PDF Print E-mail

Training tools have matured to a point that makes training methods more science than sport. Universal terminologies like zone-training, power meter training (Watts), heart rate (HR), or "perceived rate of exertion" (RPE or PE) are used by many training programs. While all of these approaches have great advantages, they can become confusing, overwhelming, and discouraging if not understood or used properly. This article provides an overview of the "zone training" terminology used by many athletes and coaches.

Your car’s dashboard displays various gauges including; speedometer, tachometer, oil pressure, etc…All of these instruments provide the driver with information. Think of the heart rate monitor, power meter, and other like tools in the same concept but as they apply to you and not your car. Zone training is Heart Rate Training.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 December 2010 22:21
Tips to Improve Your Running PDF Print E-mail

Have you ever wondered how some people make running look easy? Do you wonder if these athletes were born with cheetah genes? Very few people run fast based on there DNA. Most have put in the hard work it takes to run fast and/or far. In addition to hard work, they usually have a plan. Here are a few running tips to help you become a stronger runner.

Quality Runs
Limit junk miles! Run with an objective. Every run should have a purpose. Improving your run requires a mix of endurance, speed, strength, tempo and other type of runs. It’s like going to the gym for your legs. Exercising your legs in different ways builds run fitness in both your legs and cardiovascular system. Social running is great but has its place with respect to your overall training program. It’s great for recovery or when you need extra miles. If you are looking to improve, you must run with a purpose. At the end of the week when you tally up your run miles, junk miles should be 0- 5% of your total weekly mileage.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 January 2013 17:16
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