Tag Archives: ironman

TT082: First Ironman, Husband & Wife Triathletes Balancing Triathlon & Family

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Elizabeth and Nate Sylves have been racing together as a couple for over a decade.  This year she did her first Ironman (Florida) and he did his first half ironman (North Carolina).  They combine training and racing with full time jobs while raising two young kids.

They started their season with the Duathlon National Championships in Bend, Oregon in June. Then Elizabeth did the Atlantic City 70.3 and in October Nate did Ironman North Carolina 70.3 and Elizabeth planned on doing Ironman North Carolina, but due to a hurricane that was changed to a shorter race.  That change was announced a few days before the race so she immediately bought a charity slot for Ironman Florida and raced that two weeks later.

In addition to working full time outside the home, Elizabeth coaches triathletes and teaches fitness classes.  Nate is a cameraman and works a non-standard schedule.  Because of their differing schedules and child care they are rarely able to train together.

Elizabeth once weighed 200 pounds but made significant lifestyle changes. A few years ago she changed to a fat-adapted diet due to health issues and has stuck with it.  her diet is 60% fat.  She recently did her half-ironman while consuming just 400 calories.

Have a listen and see how they make it work.

TT079: Hydration With Andy Blow (You’ll Definitely Learn Something New)

Former elite triathlete Andy Blow struggled in hot races.  He cramped and had to figure out a solution.  He retired from triathlons in 2006 but that problem led to his post-racing career.  He is the founder of Precision Hydration and has become an expert on hydration.   In addition to Andy Blow Transalpineendurance athletes he’s worked with NBA, NFL, and professional soccer teams.

Regardless of what you already know about hydration, you will learn more during this interview.

Topics discussed:

  • For most people drinking to thirst will work, but many athletes need to follow a plan to make sure they don’t forget to drink.  A range of 16-28 ounces of fluid replacement per hour is adequate in most cases, but some athletes have much higher sweat rates and will require more
  • Over-hydration before a race can negatively affect performance
  • The sodium concentration in your sweat is relatively static over many years and many different conditions
  • Your body reabsorbs some of the sodium lost through sweat before it reaches the skin
  • Caffeinated drinks don’t result in a net fluid loss
  • And way more than I included here

During the interview I didn’t ask Andy specifically how much fluid loss is allowable for half and full Ironman distance races, so I followed up via email and this was his response:

“the data I’ve seen suggests the fastest finishers of those kind of races can lose between 2 and 6% on average (which tallies with personal experience for me). There may be some people who suffer at that kind of level of loss, and others who can tolerate a bit more (e.g. Gebrselassie who lost 10% during some marathons) but my best guess is that around 2-6% is in the zone for most people if they start the event very well hydrated.

I don’t think the length of race matters so much as even in hot Olympic races people can lose considerable amounts of weight – it’s more how quickly you allow the weight loss to occur (i.e. in long races you have to drink more to mitigate the fluid lossses from earlier on).”

Links

PrecisionHydration.com 

Free online sweat test

Precistion Hydration Testing Centers

TT077: The Olympic Experience & Mental Toughness With Olympian Joanna Zeiger

Joanna Zeiger, the 4th place finisher at the 2000 Olympics, discusses the 2016 Olympic triathlon, her Olympic experience, her extensive racing career, triathlon income, drug use, statistical consulting, and more.

Joanna competed at the first ever Olympic triathlon for the USA.  Five weeks later she followed Joanna Zeigerthat with a 5th place finish at the Ironman Hawaii World Championships.  She’s also competed in the Olympic Trials for swimming and the marathon.

Her new book, The Champion Mindset, is scheduled for release in February 2017

 

Links

Joanna-Zeiger.com

RaceReadyCoaching.com

The Champion MIndset  – Joanna’s new book scheduled for Feb 14 2017 release

TT076: Justin Daerr Two Years After First Ironman Win

Boulder based professional triathlete Justin Daerr returns to the show two years after his firstProfessional Triathlete Justin DaerrIronman win at Ironman Boulder in 2014.

Since that time he’s had several top 5 Ironman finishes, including 2nd at Ironman Mount-Tremblant in 2015 and 4th at Ironman Canada in 2016.

At age 35 he’s started 36 Ironmans and finished 32.

 

 

TT068: Prison & Drugs To A 9:14 Ironman With Shane Niemeyer

Shane Niemeyer’s life was not headed in the right direction.  He committed crimes and used drugs and spent time in jail and prison.  He tried suicide.  While in prison he read an article about Dave Scott and triathlon became his new passion.

In his first year after release he did a half ironman and a full Ironman. In 2013 he recorded his fastest ever Ironman, going 9:14 and finishing 20th and Ironman Texas.

This is his story.

 

http://trueambitions.com/

His book, The Hurt Artist, details his story.

 

 

TT067: Don’t Make The Mistakes I Made/Career Triathlon Lessons

2004 Ironman WisconsinEpisode 67 includes a look back at the mistakes I made in my racing career.  I have mostly great memories of my racing career, but if I could have avoided the following mistakes I would have been more successful

  • Not having an optimal peer group when I was younger
  • Focusing on many types of racing: Ironman, duathlon, bike racing
  • Not having a coach
  • Poor nutrition
  • Not having a consistent riding group in the winter
  • Not stretching enough
  • Not taking proper rest
  • Not working enough on my swim
  • Not being organized well enough

I also answer a question about Ironman nutrition from a listener named Courtney.

TT064: Ironman Canada 2015 With Hilary Spires

First year triathlete Hilary Spires returns for an update on her first season.

Her first triathlon was early in 2015, then she did a 70.3 on June 14, and Ironman Canada July 26.  She was very well prepared. Her original goal was to break 14 hours, then she changed it do breaking 13 hours.  It was cold at Iromman Canada and she had to wear a garbage bag early in the bike to warmup up.  She liked the first year so much that she is signed up for Ironman Canada in 2016.  Did she make her 13 hour goal?  Have a listen to find out.

Check our her first appearance on the show in episode 53.

TT062: Hydration & Heat Prep From a Hot Ironman Lake Placid and Mont-Tremblant

Canadian Allan MacKenzie recently completed Ironman Lake Placid and Ironman Mont-Tremblant in hot conditions.  We talked about that experience and his heat and hydration questions following the race.  I answer his questions from my own knowledge, but I also add George Dallam’s answers.  

George, a guest on episodes 3, 4, and 25,  is a professor at Colorado State University in Pueblo.  He was the first USA Triathlon National Teams coach and he coached Olympic triathlete Hunter Kemper.  His answers were originally in response to my email, and he allowed me to publish his email here.

Each of Allan’s questions is listed below, and George’s answers follow.

  1. For someone who doesn’t have the opportunity to train much outdoors in high temperatures, what are the best ways to be prepared if race day ends up being really hot?

Acclimate – hot tub, sauna, indoors with heater/humidifier, any stationary training as well. It is all about producing a high sweat rate.

Here is the link to George’s two week hot tub protocol –http://triathletetraining.com/heat-acclimation-protocol/

  1.   How long does it take to get acclimatized/prepared to race in warmer than normal temperatures?

Even one session can help and you can probably maximize over as little as 2-3 weeks with daily sessions.

  1.    Other than adding more sodium to my diet, are there other things I can do with my diet to help get better acclimatizes to the heat?

I’m not an advocate of adding more sodium to the diet, just the opposite.  The currently in vogue notion that “salty sweaters” need more sodium ignores the underlying issue.  Salty sweaters are inevitably consuming more sodium than they realize so the body must constantly excrete the excess.  By reducing sodium in the diet your body will improve in its ability to preserve sodium over time..  Further by greatly increasing your sodium intake over normal in a given racing situation you probably increase the risk of heat stroke – sodium reduces our sweating capacity by holding water in the vascular and interstitial spaces.  The best approach to heat tolerance is appropriate acclimation and a low salt diet in my estimation.

  1.     What are your thoughts on using arm coolers and/or knee coolers to help to stay cool during races?

Pre cooling to lower the core temperature prior to a hot race is certainly very useful.  If you can create a cooling effect on the fly that is certainly useful as well.  However, to do so means carrying extra weight in most cases in the form of a cold solution or ice.  The idea that any clothing enhances cooling in comparison to what the bare skin can accomplish during periods of heavy sweating is misleading.  See this review.  http://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00007256-200333130-00001#page-1 Some fabrics are relatively more cooling than others (cotton versus wool for instance) but all limit cooling to some degree by  inhibiting the evaporative cooling process in some manner. Maximum skin exposure provides the greatest surface area for sweating and the resulting evaporative effect created as air moves past the body.  The thought with white reflective clothing is that you might avoid radiant heat gain, however the loss in evaporative cooling potential offsets that possible effect.   Of course wearing or not wearing clothing must also be considered in the need for limiting UV exposure and for creating both aero and aquadynamics.   Consider, however that shaved body parts are often nearly as aero/aquadynamic as fabrics designed for the purpose and shaving further increases the potential for evaporative heat loss.  Basically in the heat you should wear the minimal clothing necessary or required and it should be white or light colored.

Very likely your arms and legs have sufficiently keratinized  (tanned) through normal training exposure so that you shouldn’t need to cover them with clothing to prevent sun burn – doing so will reduce your evaporative cooling potential.

5.  And what is your opinion on salt tabs?

See above – this is a worst case scenario.

  1.      When I raced Ironman Mont Tremblant (MT) this year I didn’t pee during the bike portion at all.

That is an obvious indication to me that I was dehydrated. I’m don’t think it had a significant effect on my bike, but I feel it adversely effected my run. Usually I have a good gauge on this and am often guilty of drinking too much. What would you recommend to help prevent this from happening again?

Some relative dehydration can actually be beneficial to performance (although less than ideal when it comes to the possibility of thrombus formation) because you are simply lighter.  This might be true up to about 2% loss in body weight – possibly more if you train in those conditions.  The primary key to maintaining hydration is to drink fluids that are isotonic (similar salt concentration to your body fluids)  – this approach maximizes absorption at the gut and reduces the tendency for diuresis during the race (you’d really rather not pee if possible).    I would drink on schedule in small amounts if you want to prevent dehydration based on your typical weight loss (2 cups per pound). Something like traditional Gatorade cut in  half with water gets you there – most conventional “salty” drinks have way more salt than is present in the blood stream.  I would use Tim Noakes advice and drink to thirst if you want to allow for a little normal dehydration.   If you have had a reason to believe that you are at risk for thrombus formation I would take the first option and stay hydrated when training and racing.   You can also pre-hydrate pretty effectively using a glycerol solution if you have great concerns for dehydration.

  1.       I wore a visor in Lake Placid (LP), but opted for a hat during MT (so that I could put ice under my hat to try and stay cool). Which do you recommend for a really hot day?

Ice under the hat is effective on the fly cooling strategy – see above.

  1.       I have fair skin and usually need sunscreen to prevent getting a burn. In LP I applied it in the am before the swim and again in T2. I planned to do the same in MT, but I forgot to do so in T2 and I think this really played a role with my run time. Does a sun burn have a significant effect on my ability to stay hydrated?

Interesting question.   I’m not aware of any direct effect of sunburn and/or sun screens on evaporative cooling potential.  However, a quick search reveals the following studyhttp://search.proquest.com/openview/3ca96ce6df9654a03c18b6e0cb47d8bd/1?pq-origsite=gscholar which suggests no negative effect of wearing sunscreen and a possible type II statistical error – suggesting there may even be a small positive effect through an improved temperature gradient (core to skin temperature differential) which the study failed to find probably due to too few subjects or the fact that the difference were so small.  You might also experiment in training with sunscreens that are more water resistant – Bull Frog comes to mind – so you can avoid reapplication after the swim.

 

TT061: Journey From Beginner Triathlete to Professional

Brad Williams is a first-year pro triathlete living in the UK.  He did his first triathlon in 2008 while serving in the Air Force in Korea. He was soon hooked. He hired a coach in 2011 and continued to progress with solid results. He earned his first prize money paycheck this year with a 6th place finish at Ironman UK.  This episode chronicles his journey from beginner to professional.

Links:

Brad’s Website

@BW_Tri

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TT056: Eric’s Ironman Triathlon Experiences

This episode is all me (Eric).  I go over my lessons learned from 4 Ironmans: Ironman Hawaii in 1999, 2001, and 2003 and Ironman Wisconsin in 2004.  My times ranged from 9:19 to 10:43.

I took detailed notes from a few of those races and I have current day thoughts on the mistakes I made.

If you’re looking for other Ironman focused episodes check out 15, 16, 31, 39, 45, 49, and 51.