Category Archive: News

The Keys to a Faster Bike Split

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The saying “it’s just like riding a bike” applies to many situations, but ironically, trying to clock a faster bike split may not be as simple. The cycling segment is the longest of all three legs in triathlon, and it can contribute to a PR performance or a miserable and painful shuffle to the finish. Whether you’re trying to save precious energy for the run or you feel the need to unleash the speed, start implementing the below strategies regularly.

 

 Focus on Technique Before Intensity

Prior to developing a training strategy, it is wise to get a proper bike fit. Visit your local bike shop and make sure you and your two-wheeled friend are a perfect fit for each other. With your fit established, become more deliberate about implementing a proper technique to optimize your effort.

Understand the pedal stroke: Cycling faster isn’t just achieved by hammering down on the pedals with more force, so break down your pedal stroke into a four-step process and execute it within each of the quadrants.

  1. Step one comes most naturally. Simply push down on the pedal while keeping your foot level. Pointing your toes down can add unnecessary stress to the calves.
  2. With the pedal in down position, simply slide your foot front to back as if wiping something off the bottom of your shoe.
  3. With your foot level, pull up by engaging the hip flexor.
  4. Just like kicking a ball, flex the quad and extend the knee moving your foot forward.

Once you understand this fundamental breakdown, combine all four segments into one smooth and continuous movement. This slight shift in awareness and implementation will help boost your overall power and speed.

The position of your torso also matters: Improper posture can make your spine more vulnerable, increasing the risk of injury. Pull your shoulders back and engage the core, creating additional space between the ribs and the front of your hip bones to generate more power. This position also keeps the spine safe and vertebrae stabilized while exerting effort.

 

Ride with Purpose

The most important aspect of an effective workout is to stop just riding your bike. Plan your route to avoid interruptions like excessive stop lights, stop signs, or areas that promote coasting for extended periods of time. The quality of your training dictates the performance you’ll be able to execute on the day that counts most. Each session needs to have purpose and a specific agenda. Your shorter sessions may incorporate more high intensity segments, while portions of the long rides or brick workouts could be used for race-day simulations.

Below are few examples of how to add some oomph to your rides:

Intervals: For maximum results, establish a progression within your interval sessions. Early in the program, you may complete 10 high-effort intervals of 60 seconds. In the middle of the program you’ll take on 8 high-effort intervals of 3 minutes each. Finally, towards the end of the program, you may challenge yourself with 5 high-effort intervals of 6 minutes each. Follow every high-intensity interval with an easy 2-minute recovery spin. This example will vary based on your current fitness level and the distance you’re preparing for. It will also build gradually over a period of a couple months, but it illustrates how the progression can train your body to sustain higher intensity for longer durations.

Hills: If you don’t find the traditional intervals thrilling enough, challenge your endurance by taking your bike on a hilly ride. Replace the high-effort segment with a climb and allow your legs to recover as you descend. If your access to mountains is limited, find a small hill and repeat a single climb until your quads are flooded with lactic acid and a delightful burnout is achieved.

Long rides: Do more than just survive the distance. For example, at your next 30-mile ride, cycle the first 20 miles at a moderate intensity and pick up your effort for the last 10 miles to finish the session at race pace. Training to push yourself while fatigued will prepare you for a more realistic race scenario.

 

Fine-Tune Your Leg Strength off the Bike

Although most of your fitness will come from hours on the road or hitting your targets riding indoors, don’t underestimate the benefits of strength training. Squats can be a cyclist’s best friend as they strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Dynamic exercises like walking lunges and step-ups are also a great addition for those seeking to accelerate their bikes and maintain a higher speed and power for longer durations. Make time for a weekly workout with this fundamental part of training and you just might be the cause of bike-split envy at your next event.

 

 

How Triathlon Can Make You a Better Runner

 

Whether you love the competitive aspect of running events, run for mental clarity or enjoy accumulating miles to compensate for the choices of your inner-foodie, triathlon can take your run game to another level.

Seasoned runners are known to cross over to the Tri side. Why? Sometimes it’s pure curiosity, however they are often forced to make the switch due to an unforeseen injury. Whatever the reason is, many newcomers are surprised by how much their run fitness improves despite running fewer miles and introducing two additional disciplines into the mix.

 

Cause of Setbacks

Countless runners vary their training sessions in just a few ways, if any at all. Their weekend long runs progressively increase in distance and duration. They experience spikes in intensity while pushing themselves through their shorter tempo or interval runs, and may be exposed to some hill running on occasion. This common approach is an effective way to improve as a runner. Unfortunately, years of this type of training can lead to overuse injuries caused by running in a single plane and direction, applying a similar type of stress to the same muscle groups, joints, tendons and ligaments, repeatedly.

Below are a few ways explaining how triathlon can help:

 

Swim Your Way to an Easier Run

 Swimming provides a perfect opportunity to cross-train by challenging the athlete to strengthen their legs, core and entire upper body. The variety in strokes force the swimmers to recruit completely different muscles. Each stroke has its unique kick which challenges and strengthens the leg muscles in different areas. For example, the freestyle kick can teach the athlete to start firing the glutes, while the breast stroke will help develop the often-underused adductor and abductor muscles (inner and outer thighs). These kick variations can eliminate many deficiencies in leg strength and encourage a more powerful running stride while reducing the risk of injury.

Although swimming is usually the most intimidating of the three disciplines in triathlon, it’s also an ideal activity for runners to learn how to breathe correctly. Proper breathing is often overlooked while running, but it’s unavoidable in the pool. Swimming forces athletes to find a steady rhythm while timing each inhale and exhale with a specific stroke count. This not only translates to a well-paced and smooth activity, but it also increases lung capacity, benefitting the overall endurance.

 

Build Your Power on the Bike

Cycling continues to develop the stamina and strength even further, while minimizing the high-impact activity. Plus, you can ride for hours and recover quickly due to the low-impact demands. Implementing single-leg drills on a stationary bike or a trainer will not only strengthen the quads and calves, but also contribute to a major improvement in the development of the hamstrings and hip flexors. In addition to the physical benefits, a two- or three-hour ride can build the much-needed confidence in someone who’s been considering training for their first half or a full marathon. Cycling is clearly different from running, but once an athlete has completed a bike ride of few hours, suddenly, they believe that running for that duration is also possible.

 

 Bring Back the Passion

Unless you’re actively seeking ways to make it more exciting, running can become monotonous and with time it’s possible to lose your enthusiasm to lace up and get out the door. Pushing through these unenthusiastic sessions can certainly test the will and strengthen the resilience of those facing this challenge. But what if there is another way? What if it doesn’t always have to come down to forcing yourself to overcome the resistance and tricking your mind to stay motivated? Well, for many, triathlon is the answer!

The variety of the three disciplines constantly rotating keeps things fresh and exciting. If you’re feeling bored during your long run, the thought of hopping in the pool the following day can be encouraging. If the bike seat begins to numb your behind, you may look forward to shaking your legs out on the next trail run. The mind is always stimulated and body constantly challenged with completely different movement patterns.

As you alternate the three sports over the course of weeks and months, you’re always challenging your overall fitness and allowing your body to recover from the previous day’s effort. Your sessions might be more frequent than in traditional running programs, yet the combination of the three disciplines minimizes the risk of injury while elevating you to a fine-tuned endurance machine.

How to Build Momentum in the Off-Season

 

With the well-deserved off-season is upon us, the lack of structure can cause uncertainty about the amount of training that should be completed. Whether your last season was one you can’t stop bragging about or a total disappointment, the next one will provide a chance for redemption or building on your accomplishments. Wherever you stand, it’s crucial to establish a solid foundation now and plan for success in the months to come. Besides taking some much-needed rest, below are four other tips to help set up a great race season:

 

Get Your Lift On

Many triathletes get immersed in the three disciplines, fine-tuning their swim-bike-run skills and building endurance. Their race-day laser focus is admirable, but not when it comes at a cost of eliminating other important aspects of training. In the midst of the in-season chaos, strength training is often pushed aside, causing athletes’ bodies to weaken or become more prone to injury. Some eliminate strength training out of the fear of becoming too bulky, stressing the extra weight could slow them down. But the advantage you gain from just a few additional pounds of properly-trained muscle is far greater than the possibility of it slowing you down.

A season filled with pure endurance training can result in a slight loss of lean muscle tissue due to the body breaking it down in an attempt to help meet energy needs. Set aside at least two sessions per week where you solely focus on strengthening your muscles, tendons and ligaments. Whether you’re into pumping iron, resistance bands or suspension training, this is the best time to introduce a routine that will help rebuild your body and prepare you for a season filled with awesome results.

 

Fuel for Performance

The colder months can also lead to indulging in comfort foods. You certainly deserve some down time and delicious moments with friends and family, but don’t forget that mindless eating could set you back. Depending on your activity level, the rule of thumb is to reduce your daily intake by 500-1000 calories. But not all calories are created equal, so seek out nutrient-dense foods, rich in vitamins and minerals, that will truly nourish you rather than just fill your stomach. Utilize whole and unprocessed foods like leafy greens, fresh vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, plus hormone-free sources of lean meat. Good nutrition creates an additional opportunity to improve fitness even when you’re not training. Start treating your body like a high-performance machine, give it high quality fuel and you will be rewarded when the PRs start rolling in.

 

Know Your ABCs

There’s no better time than the off-season to plan your race schedule. Keep in mind that your fitness can truly peak once or twice in a single season, so be deliberate with goal setting. When prioritizing your events, be sure to identify your ‘A’ race early. This will be the single most important event of the year. It’s the one race where your taper is a key part of the equation and is scheduled in advance. Your ‘B’ race is usually a dress rehearsal for the main event and it’s considered a training day where you should not expect a PR performance. The ‘C’ race is typically a fun-run or a triathlon where you may not have results-focused goals. Identifying your races early will put your mind at ease and help prevent disappointment caused by unrealistic expectations.

 

 

Step Outside the Box  

 We do call it the off-season for a reason, so don’t forget to have some fun. Take this time to venture away from your normal, reflect on how far you’ve come, and get your family involved as you dabble in activities outside of your comfort zone. If you’re in a cold environment, consider taking on indoor activities like rock climbing, yoga, spin, or that bizarre group class that you’ve secretly always wanted to join. If the snow doesn’t intimidate you, snap on a pair of cross country skis or simply layer up and hit the trails for a slow yet rewarding run. The key is to keep active, but take a mental break from the usual grind. Enjoy some fun cross training and give yourself a chance to miss triathlon before the official training ramps up again.

 

Indoor Tri is the perfect way to train heading into tri season! Swim 10 min, bike 30 min, and run 20 min at over 30 Life Time locations across the country. Click here to learn more.

 

Photo courtesy Oklahoma Sports & Fitness.

The Metrics – January 2018

This Is The Year. 2018.

2018 is destined to represent the third boom across the sport of triathlon. A myriad of new industry collaboration and promotional initiatives, including #TimeToTri and our own #IfINeverTri campaigns, have launched in hopes of inspiring new triathletes into the lifestyle.

Growth in this sport comes when communities are engaged, when face-to-face conversations are held, when dreams are shared and when a framework for success is presented. It’s all heavy lifting, and it’s all necessary.

Collectively, our entire industry is focused on lowering the barriers to entry and providing more education for newcomers. Specifically, our new programming and enhancements (inclusive entry fees, more swim clinics, less competitive focus, scholarships, new officiating format, etc.) will now be put to the test.

So far, we’re optimistic. Here are a few interesting metrics to share:

Indoor Triathlons
Simply put, the first round of our 2018 Indoor Triathlon series was incredible! Hosted at 47 clubs across North America, these events attracted 4,200 participants and reached an unprecedented 89% capacity!  A majority, 59%, were female and 55% had zero outdoor tri experience.

Post event surveys concluded that 96% would recommend these events to friends and family, and 91% are interested in completing an outdoor triathlon during the 2018 season. It goes without saying that these events are critical to future growth of our sport. It gives participants, especially first-timers, the encouraging and supporting environment that is conducive to fostering confidence in the outdoor arena.

If you haven’t yet heard, a second round of Indoor Triathlons will be hosted at 25+ locations during the spring months. Click here for full details and to register. Watch for more events to be added for the fall and winter months.

New Triathletes
As of last week, demand from new triathletes has grown by 20% compared to this same point in 2017. The inclusion of non-intimating race experiences, primarily the new Recreational Waves, has been incredibly well-received. Nearly 30% of all series’ registrants have opted-into the Friends & Family, First-Timers’ or Early Bird race experiences (read more here). More compelling is the fact that 60% of all registered, first-time triathletes enlisted in one of these recreational waves. These metrics support the notion that customizing the typical race experience will drive more interest in the sport.

Veterans
While first-timers represent an enormous focus in 2018, we will never lose sight of our loyal, returning athletes, representing 50%+ of our customer base. We remain committed to providing the nation’s best short course race experiences in the heart of so many exciting destinations.

The new 2018 Life Time Tri Championship has renewed a bit of purpose for many of our loyal triathletes. For the first time ever, Life Time Tri is hosting a championship event for 250+ age groupers this summer in New York City. Life Time Tri welcomes nearly 25,000 collective athletes each season, yet fewer than 20% have ever experienced the NYC Tri. The special event allows us to showcase one of the greatest race venues on Earth to an entirely new audience. Have we gotten your attention? We still have two races left in our series that can qualify you for our Championship, South Beach Tri (4/15) and CapTex (5/28), with 350+ qualifying spots in these races combined.

Gender participation remains consistent (39% female), as do age group concentrations. The average age of our veteran athletes has interestingly risen to 42 years (vs. 40 in 2017).  In comparison, our first-timers have also aged a bit, from 32 to 35 years of age. We haven’t yet discovered any anomalies within our veteran demographics, but we will keep a keen eye on forthcoming registrations.

 

As always, we will continue to keep the athletes and their experience at the forefront of what we strive to do for not only the Life Time Tri series, but for the sport as a whole. We are excited to jump into our first race of the season in two months from now (South Beach Tri 4/15) and start this season off with a bang! We hope that you join us this year!

 

Four Easy Mind Shifts to Achieve Your Goals

A common misconception about triathlon is that you must be fit and athletic to commit to your first swim-bike-run event. When we look at who crosses the finish line first or pay attention to the popular social media accounts it begins to make sense why. We tend to compare ourselves to established athletes who have been competing for years, some even decided to race professionally. But we often forget to consider, they too were first-timers at one point.

Fit and athletic comes in many shapes and sizes. And depending on who you ask, there are numerous definition for those intimidating words. But committing to triathlon is just the beginning of a journey where you become a healthier and more athletic version of yourself. It’s an opportunity to pursue a thrilling goal, and improved fitness and endurance are just byproducts of the effort you put in to get to the start line.

Below are four tips to help you achieve your goal:

 

1) Strip It Down

When strategizing how to finally achieve your daunting goal, it’s important to make it less overwhelming by reducing it into small attainable steps. If your desired race is six months away, you want to break it down into monthly, weekly, even daily tasks that you will patiently execute. This applies to small improvements in nutrition, acquiring gear you will need on race day, and allowing yourself enough time to execute a proper training program.

 

2) Get After It

 New participants are often extremely diligent planners, attempting to predict and button-up every aspect of the process to the point of getting stuck in the strategizing mode. There are many moving parts in multi-discipline endurance events, and you may never cross the finish if you don’t begin moving towards your goal despite a couple unanswered questions. Select a race and you’ll be surprised how quickly you begin to evolve. Suddenly, the answers will surface along the way.

 

3)Find Your Flow

Getting initial traction and making forward progress is the hardest part. But if you remember that action precedes desire you will be successful. Action creates momentum, and momentum breeds desire that just keeps driving you forward past all blocks. The few initial workouts may feel forced and you will need to be disciplined to overcome the resistance. But once you get moving, it becomes your new normal and it’s just a matter of ticking off the daily tasks as you get closer to your goal. As time passes, you will notice physical changes and some workouts feeling easier than few weeks prior. As the momentum builds, your excitement will increase and you may even notice you’ve become an inspiration to those around you.

 

4) Win Daily

It’s important to realize that all humans are driven by the same thing- progress. Of course, progress is easier to identify on a macro scale. If couple months pass since you begin training you’re more likely to notice improvements in all three disciplines. Your growth may be less obvious on a micro scale, so how do you stay motivated from one day to the next? It’s crucial to stay open-minded and maintain a high level of awareness to identify small wins each day. You may not be able to measure improvements in fitness between Monday and Wednesday, but what about other aspects of the journey?

It’s possible you will feel more relaxed in the pool, maybe you’ll improve the efficiency of your morning routine and get out the door faster, or you’ll finally find comfort in learning to change a flat tire on your bike. Even minimal, but daily acknowledgment of progress produces confidence, and if your confidence increases you’re likely to see blocks as milestones you’re just eager to crush.

Genetics and an inborn gift of athleticism are not a factor when it comes to drive and discipline. It’s about having a clear vision and the patience for your own athletic evolution as you reach for the next level.

What to expect in the 2018 Life Time Tri Series

The 2018 Life Time Tri season is about to get interesting…

If you haven’t heard yet, we’re taking some bold steps next year, launching a myriad of new initiatives and innovations the industry hasn’t yet seen.

Our goal is to make the sport of triathlon a bit more friendly for new athletes, as well as enhance the experience of our seasoned veterans.

Why? It’s simple. We need to bring new life to short course triathlon.

Like any industry, if we’re to remain relevant to our existing marketplace, or even consider tapping into new audiences, we’ve got to adapt. We must find ways to convince veterans to have another go. We must invent opportunities for millennials to consider short course triathlon in their evoked set of personal activities.

While we’ll continue producing high-value events in iconic destinations, no longer can our incredible team label ourselves as “event producers.” Instead, we now consider ourselves to be in the Athlete Development business. Each of us are responsible for motivating, educating and physically preparing our customers for the challenge at hand. Make no mistake, this is all heavy lifting – and it’s needed.

After 12+ years in this sport, we continue to believe that short course triathlon still has its place in the endurance universe. We want to inspire and influence the multisport lifestyle for years to come, which is why our 2018 season will focus on these four initiatives:

  • We will simplify our approach.
  • We will increase accessibility to the party.
  • We will incorporate convenience into our sport.
  • We will rekindle the fun factor.

Allow me to explain…

Simplify
Let’s start with pricing. This year, all event prices include both registration fees and insurance. If you’ve ever attempted to explain the concept of secondary participant coverage fees to a non-triathlete, you understand.

Then, there’s the inclusion of both Coaches and Race Officials at each of our 2018 races. If you participated in our 2017 events, you likely observed the “Ask A Coach” booth at the Expo. This will be a standard next year, staffed by race-familiar experts whose duty is to offer complimentary, face to face guidance – from education to motivation, whatever it takes to reduce confusion and/or enhance the athlete experience.

Speaking of our Race Officials, you may notice something a bit different from them in 2018: actual athlete interaction. New penalty assessment is here. Gone are the days of being surprised with 2 or 4-minute additions to your finish times. Now, should an Official experience a rule infraction, they will automatically communicate with the offender – who will subsequently be directed to a penalty tent placed beyond T2. Much like Ironman and ITU, athletes will serve time penalties while on-course. Once they cross the finish line, there are no modifications to timing – which alleviates many historic awards ceremony issues. Stay tuned for full details on the 2018 rules.

Accessibility
Our goal is to make triathlon more diverse and more appealing to the masses. That means we need to be prepared to offset typical barriers to entry, often educational, physical training or financially-focused.

As for education, we will continue to offer free programs in every market, from Tri101 webinars, to fully-immersive first-timers’ programs. We will also offer physical training options, from online training plans to complimentary swim clinics to comprehensive (fee-based) in-club coached sessions. Of course, we’ll continue to support Women For Tri, local Para Tri organizations, inner-city development programs, and others looking to expand triathlon’s reach.

We’re also excited about our new scholarship program. We get it – triathlons are not cheap! To support those in financial need, Life Time Tri is proud to introduce a unique program to ease the possible financial burden. Twelve race entries will be donated across each of our events. Learn more.

Indoor Triathlons return on January 21, 2018. This national event series is the ultimate promotional opportunity for our sport. Last year, more than 6,000 individuals (the majority with zero triathlon experience) participated in the 10-minute swim, 30-minute bike and 20-minute run events. At only $30 each, these are hot commodities (and each limited to 100 participants). Like our outdoor races, registration opens November 1. Details here.

By the way, the 2018 2XU New York City Triathlon returns to general entry this year. Gone is the lottery process, which started back in 2010. With 4,000 slots up for grabs, and now accessible to a first-come, first-served audience, this race will quickly sell out.

Convenience
Simply put, triathlon is anything but convenient. Tons of gear. Early mornings. Long waits. This sport can test anyone’s patience. Where we can, we’ll expand the model in place at the Chicago Triathlon, with flexible transition access, allowing for late check-ins or early check-outs.

In 2018, we will offer beginner-friendly starts at all races. During registration, participants will notice a new set of “race divisions,” where they select from either Competitive or Recreational groups. These new divisions (e.g. First-Timers, Friends + Family) will begin at separate times from the often intense, veteran triathletes. Allowing athletes to start with, and participate alongside, others of their choosing is long overdue. Further, some events will feature “Early Bird” or “Late Owl” start options – scheduled at the extreme ends of the day. Because these individuals are taken out of typical Age Groups, they are designated as Recreational athletes, thus not eligible for competitive awards. Capacities will vary by event.

Another convenience we’re incorporating into select event is race day Packet Pick Up. Available to the first 25 individuals at South Beach, CapTex, Minneapolis and Tempe (more races to come), athletes will be able to skip the Expo and check-in on race morning – a huge convenience for those with busy weekend plans, or those hoping to avoid hotels. A $25 convenience fee will apply.

The Fun Factor
If we’re not having fun, what’s the point?  We’re taking a stand, rolling-up our sleeves and mandating that everyone enjoy themselves while participating in our events! Sure, it’s OK to be (a bit) serious, but in the end, we want to see your smiling faces at the finish line. Staff and volunteers will be there to greet you, and to properly “knight” you with some new hardware. Through our partners at Athlinks, we’ll eventually be able to celebrate first-timer finishes and PRs, too – right in the finish chute!

Last week, we debuted the 4-person Mixed Relay competition in San Diego – to rave reviews! In the near future, we plan to unveil more experimental race formats like this, offering unique iterations of the classic swim-bike-run format. Chicago’s Triple Challenge will certainly return in 2018, as well as a new “Double” format in select markets.

Finally, it doesn’t get more exciting that the 2018 Life Time Tri Championship event, held within the 2018 2XU NYC Tri on July 1. We’re recognizing and rewarding the fastest athletes across the Life Time Tri Series with a blowout in NYC! Free biking shipping, a $50K prize purse and VIP access is only the beginning. Two qualifying races remain: South Beach (with expanded qualification standards [6-deep] due to Escape to Miami’s cancellation) and CapTex in Austin.

So, that’s our plan. We realize this is a lot, but it’s all necessary. Necessity stimulates innovation. Innovation leads to growth. Or so we hope.

Over the next 13 days, and forthcoming weeks and months, we’ll continue to deep dive into each of these innovative programs, philosophies and opportunities. Meanwhile, mark your calendars for Wednesday, November 1 at noon when registration opens for all 2018 events.

Let’s do this!

Scott “Hootie” Hutmacher
Brand Manager, LIFE TIME Tri

Life Time Tri Series Launches Major Changes, Including NYC Championship Event

 

Additional athlete-friendly innovations expected to grow the sport of triathlon


LOUISVILLE, CO, July 10, 2017
– Continuing its commitment to grow the sport of triathlon, the Life Time Tri Series, produced by Life Time®, Healthy Way of Life, introduces new athlete-friendly innovations and format changes to make the sport simpler, more accessible and more exciting for new and veteran athletes.

Among the pioneering changes to the eight-race Life Time Tri Series will be the inaugural Life Time Tri New York City Championship, which will be held at the 2018 2XU New York City Triathlon. The Life Time Tri Championship will reward the fastest age group athletes, as well as those who race in multiple Life Time Tri events, with a VIP race experience in one of the most sought after endurance events set in one of the most iconic cities in the world. Combined, these enhancements are set to improve on an already best-in-class race experience and underscore Life Time Tri’s status as America’s premier, short-course triathlon series.

 

Triathlon Made Better

To make triathlons friendly and accessible to new triathletes and enhance the experience of seasoned athletes, the Life Time Tri Series will offer a range of initiatives designed to help take away some of the headaches and barriers to race travel, preparation and participation. Unlike anything currently available in short course triathlon, the enhancements (launching now through 2018) will include:

A Simpler Experience

  • No Hidden Fees: Finally, all-inclusive race registration pricing, which includes insurance and race registration fees – and no requirement for a USA Triathlon membership.
  • Coach Support: Expert coaches provide free, online training programs upon registration, as well as face to face race insights at every event.
  • New Officiating: No more surprises. Life Time Tri will utilize IRONMAN® and ITU rules assessment, including implementing penalty tents.

First-Timer Accessibility

  • Education and Training Programs: Free educational programs in every race market, from Tri101 webinars to first-timer programs (select markets), plus free to fee-based physical training programs in each market, from training guides, to open water swim clinics, to one-on-one coaching.
  • Scholarships: Life Time Tri will donate 12 slots at every 2018 Life Time Tri Series race through an opt-in scholarship program to make triathlon accessible for those that may not be able to afford it. Individuals may elect to nominate others, or themselves, by submitting a short, “why triathlon matters to me,” essay.
  • Beginner-Friendly Experiences: First timers may elect to start together, in non-competitive waves. Special bib identifiers will help drum-up support from crowds and race volunteers.
  • More Indoor Tris: The ultimate, intimidation-free way to get a taste of tri, hosted at 80 Life Time destinations this year, will expand in 2018.

More Convenience

  • Choose Your Start: Athletes will be able to select their own race experience, choosing from their own start time, competitive nature or even alongside friends and family.
  • Flexible Packet Pick Up: Select events will allow athletes to pick up their packets on race morning. Additional fees apply.
  • Transition Access: Select events will allow for flexible transition access, meaning more sleep for those racing later (or an earlier afternoon nap).

More Excitement

  • Real-Time Finish Recognition: New technology, powered by AthlinksSM, will recognize those who set a PR, or who finish their first triathlon – right there in the finish chute!
  • Experimental Race Formats: Select events will offer unique, limited iterations of the classic swim-bike-run formats, including Chicago’s Triple Challenge and Mixed Relays in San Diego.
  • A New Series Championship: As Life Time Tri events are now coast-to-coast, a competitive national structure is ready to be unveiled:

 

2018 Life Time Tri New York City Championship

The inaugural Life Time Tri Championship, recognizing and rewarding the fastest athletes across the Life Time Tri Series, kicked off this past weekend at the 2017 Life Time Tri Minneapolis. Qualifying races will be held in eight iconic U.S. race destinations, with top three finishers in each competitive class earning guaranteed entry into the first Life Time Tri New York City Championship in July 2018. The all-new 2018 Life Time Tri Championship qualifying race season includes:

 

DATE EVENT LOCATION
July 8, 2017 Life Time Tri Minneapolis Minneapolis, MN
July 16, 2017 2XU New York City Triathlon New York City
Aug 27, 2017 Transamerica Chicago Triathlon Chicago, IL
Sep 17, 2017 Life Time Tri Tempe Tempe, AZ
Sep 24, 2017 Escape to Miami Triathlon Miami, FL
Oct 15, 2017 Life Time Tri San Diego San Diego, CA
Apr 15, 2018 South Beach Triathlon Miami Beach, FL
May 27, 2018 Life Time Tri CapTex Austin, TX
July 1, 2018 Life Time Tri Championship New York, NY

 

Championship Perks

Life Time Tri will roll out the red carpet for all athletes who qualify for the 2018 Life Time Tri New York City Championship at the 2XU New York City Triathlon:

  • Prize Purse: More than $50,000 in cash and prizes are up for grabs.
  • Bike Shipping: Complimentary bike shipping will be offered to the first 50 registered qualifiers in each market.
  • NYC Experience: Qualifiers will receive special access to a Thursday evening pre-race celebration.
  • VIP Access: All qualifiers will receive Finish Line VIP Tent access for two on race day.
  • Discounted Hotels: Special host hotel room blocks are already held for qualifying participants.
  • Swag Bags: Get ready for freebies! Each athlete will receive a goodie-filled backpack.

 

To Qualify

To qualify for the 2018 Life Time Tri New York City Championship, International distance athletes must either place in the top three of their age group or competitive class, or cross a Life Time Tri finish line placing in the top half of their age group, in at least two separate regions during the qualifying race season, which concludes at the 2018 Life Time Tri CapTex Triathlon. Future Life Time Tri Championship seasons will follow a similar calendar. Non-qualifying age group athletes will still be able to race the iconic 2XU New York City Triathlon in 2018 through lottery and charity slots.

“We absolutely love triathlon, and are committed to growing the sport by providing a superior race experience for athletes of all ability levels,” says Scott “Hootie” Hutmacher, Brand Manager of Life Time Tri. “We have rebuilt the Life Time Tri Series to give competitors and aspiring amateurs access to the best short-course triathlons in the country, while removing many of the obstacles in getting to these races.”

To learn more about the Life Time Tri Series Championship, click here.

Just Keep Swimming

In 1926, Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim the 21 miles across the treacherous waters of the English Channel

Swimming is often recommended to runners as a great cross training cardio workout. As a triathlete, novice or pro, swimming is not a cross training option but a part of your training. Did you know that there are many great benefits to this aqueous pastime?

Fun Fact: Breaststroke is both the oldest and slowest stroke at the Olympics

High Water, Low Impact

Swimming is a full body exercise that works all of your muscles. Even more, it’s a workout that is no-impact and won’t beat up and tear down your body in the process! Oftentimes when training, we beat up a lot of our lower extremities such as our knees due to the harsh impact during our run and bike trials. According to swim coach Steven Tarpinian, “swimming allows the body to stretch out and elongate, whereas in other sports, we’re shortening the muscles and collapsing the skeletal system.” This makes sense due to our swimming posture and the stretch-grasp-pull technique of our strokes. Our legs should also mimic this motion and you should feel your legs elongate in a gentle yet firm kick as you glide your legs in and out of the water.

He also explains that when it comes to the recovery process for athletes, swimming is a key factor that should be worked into the routine. While swimming, the water pressure in the body of water forces the blood deeper into the muscles, which then in turn allows them to begin recovering. Swimming, being an aerobic exercise, relies heavily on lung and breathing control. This influx of air filters into your muscles which makes stretching after a swim an important facet.

Fun Fact: Kangaroos are excellent swimmers

Technique is Major Key

When it comes to swimming, however, it is important for athletes to practice in the correct way in order to get the most out of their workout. Remember that speed, while important, is no match to precision. Swimmers with clunky strokes that pummel instead of cutting the water are exerting more energy and minimizing their speed. The same goes for swimmers who do not keep a parallel angel to the water and allow their kicks to remain submerged. Dedicate a couple of swim days to perfecting your technique and you will see the difference it can make.

Fun Fact: In the 1300’s the first swimming goggles were made from tortoise shells

4 Tips for Swimming

  • Practice good technique- make sure you have a technique that will be beneficial to your cardio goals as well as your recovery needs.
  • Reduce drag- elongate your stroke and keep your body aligned while you are in the water
  • Breathe better- make sure you are completely exhaling in the water before you come up to the surface for another breath
  • Work with a coach- perfect for improving your technique and overall swim performance—they could see something you aren’t noticing!
Fun Fact: Benjamin Franklin invented swimming fins

Michael Phelps-ing It

Aside from being a great workout that builds upon the strength of your muscles in a low-impact way, swimming is also a great way to build up your endurance. Interval training while swimming will help you decrease your lap times. It allows people to keep their heart rates up without the added impact of stress on the muscles and on the body. Stroke technique will come into play here as you level out your endurance. Learn to breathe on both sides in order to truly capsize your stroke counts which will come into play as your train your body to push and hold longer with each training session. Swimming can also help to improve your flexibility due to your body stretching out and elongating during your swim.

Fun Fact: The first cruise ship with a swimming pool was the Titanic

Mental Woosah

Lastly, whether it’s floating down a river or chilling in your beach floaty, there is no denying the serenity that comes from being in the water. Swimming alleviates and reduces stress levels, allows you to exercise in a peaceful and relaxing way, and is a therapeutic way for your injuries to heal in a low-impact environment.

Whether you are a recreational or competitive swimmer, swimming has both physical and mental benefits that will be sure to improve your overall well-being.

CK & AT

Kelchner, Heidi. Experience Life. “The Benefits of Cross-Training in the Pool.”  https://experiencelife.com/article/cross-training-in-the-pool/
Better Health Channel. “Swimming- health benefits.” https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/swimming-health-benefits
Photo Credit: History Channel

The Life Time Tri Series Returns to Southern California

LOUISVILLE, CO, March 16, 2017The Life Time Tri Series, America’s Premier Triathlon Series, proudly announces its return to Southern California this 2017 season. The NEW Life Time Tri San Diego will be held on Sunday, October 15. The race provides an exciting short course experience at South Shores Park in Mission Bay – site of the first modern triathlon in 1974. This event is eighth and final race in the 2017 Life Time Tri Series.

 

This event, formerly known as Esprit de She (SheRox prior to that), was originally a women-only event. It now features a co-ed audience. “As we bring the Life Time Tri brand to life in San Diego, it’s also important that we honor the six-year history of this incredible event,” says Alexa Strobridge, Marketing Manager for the Life Time Tri Series. “We will continue to provide the same, female-only wave starts and non-competitive opportunities for which the original event became famous, while opening the race to all genders so everyone can enjoy the famous course.” says Strobridge. A special legacy program will remain intact as well. The progam will celebrate those who have raced each year since its 2011 inception.

 

The race features the Sprint Distance, a .46 mile swim, a 12.06 mile bike and a 3.08 mile run. The SuperSprint Distance features a .24 mile swim, 6.35 mile bike and 1.65 mile run. The swim course starts at the boat launch, east of Sea World, in the protected waters of Mission Bay. Once back ashore, athletes hit the bike course along Sea World Drive and around Fiesta Island. The run course takes athletes through South Shores Park toward the Fiesta Causeway and back. Riders will then enter the chute to a raucous Finish Festival.

 

In addition to the standard race, a special Double Sprint Tri will be available to a select field. This will allow individuals to complete a longer distance, multi-loop competition. This option will be open to the first 100 participants–50 women, 50 men.  Each enterant must qualify by showing proof of completing an International distance event within 2:45:00 or less. Strict cutoff times will apply. Prizes will be distributed to the top 5 overall finishers (by gender) using cumulative net finish times.

 

Registration for all 2017 Life Time Tri San Diego races will open Monday, March 20 at 12:00 p.m. PDT.  The new event is limited to the first 1,000 participants. More details can be found at www.trisandiego.com or www.lifetimetri.com.

 

 

Life Time Tri San Diego

Date: October 15, 2017

Venue: South Shores Park

City: San Diego, CA

Start: 7:00 AM

Distances: SuperSprint and Sprint

URL: www.trisandiego.com

 

 

Life Time® Healthy Way of Life

Life Time® is a privately held, comprehensive health and lifestyle company that offers a personalized and scientific approach to long-term health and wellness. Through its portfolio of distinctive resort-like destinations, athletic events and corporate health services, the Healthy Way of Life Company helps members achieve their goals everyday with the support of a team of dedicated professionals and an array of proprietary health assessments. As of March 2017 the company operates 122 centers in 26 states and 35 major markets under the LIFE TIME FITNESS® and LIFE TIME ATHLETIC® brands in the United States and Canada.

 

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These Three Women Define Strength

In recognition of International Women’s Day, IRONMAN did a virtual sit-down with three of triathlon’s most inspiring women. Read on to find out their views on life and triathlon.

 

 

 

 

by Jennifer Ward


Christina Hopper: Mother of three and the first female African-American fighter pilot to face combat in a major war.

Did triathalon alter or effect how you see yourself as a woman? If so, how?

It has altered how I see myself as a person. I was an athlete when I was young, but after completing college, I didn’t really compete in sports anymore. When I took up triathlon three years ago, I rediscovered a part of myself that I thought had died. I have a renewed sense of confidence and vigor. It gives me renewed energy and helped me to see that age is a state of mind.

What has been one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced personally as a woman, an athlete, or both?

One of the biggest challenges I have faced as a triathlete is balancing life demands with all of the training and trying to reach my goals. In order to garner and maintain the support of my husband and family, I decided that my goal was not going to be “to be the best.” That goal required me to put my life on hold to train. Instead, I set the goal that I would “be the best that I could be within the time constraints of my life.” I set realistic goals within those constraints and feel good about what I was accomplishing both at home and in sport.

What tipa do you have for balancing training with a full life?

I think one of the most important things to remember is that triathlon is not your life, it’s just a part of your life. If you keep that in perspective, things fall into their proper place. You don’t need to fit someone else’s training plan into your life. Do what makes sense for your schedule. For me, that usually means getting up early and getting training in before my kids are up and before work.

What do you wish you’d known when you started triathlon? What’s your best tip for a first-time female triathlete?

I wish I would have known that it is better to go into a race slightly underprepared than it is to go in overtrained. There were so many times when I thought I just needed to get in a few extra miles or to go a little bit faster than planned and then I ended up injured. Now I live by the motto: “train smarter, not harder.” Being strategic in training and listening to your body when it tells you to back off or rest goes a long way toward longevity in the sport and success in reaching your goals.

As part at Women For Tri, we are doing a “Women for Tri Workout Wednesday” where we encourage women to celebrate the day by working out together, empowering each other, and sharing their photos. Is there anything you’d like to to say to all the women working out on that day?

I, too, have a group of friends I train with regularly. We call ourselves the Before Breakfast Club. Getting up early and training with them is therapy for me. I think it is wonderful to train with other women to share ideas, successes and failures, and encouragement. It is a natural forum to learn from each other and to celebrate the achievement of goals. Doing life together with others and building others up makes life worth living.


Shirin Gerami: The first woman to represent Iran in a triathlon.

Did triathalon alter or effect how you see yourself as a woman? If so, how?

It has definitely affected me as a human being. I feel it has given me a more positive outlook on life, and given me more confidence in working hard towards my goals.

What has been one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced personally as a woman, an athlete, or both?

The constant labelling, stereotyping, and boxing into how/what/who I ought to be, and the challenge of concentrating on who I am and the person I want to grow into, rather than binding myself to what other people expect and assume me to be. That has actually been a huge challenge.

What tips do you have balancing training with a full life?

I wish I had the answer! I’m still trying to figure that out myself.

What do you wish you’d known when you started triathlon? What’s your best tip for a first-time female triathlete?

I love the journey exactly as it is. The thrill and curiosity of the unknown, the surprises, the growth, the ups, downs and up-side downs. Passing on what Paula Newby Fraser said to me: “don’t overthink it.”


Turia Pitt: Inspirational Australian woman who suffered burns to 65% of her body in 2011. She completed two IRONMAN events in 2016.

Did triathalon alter or effect how you see yourself as a woman? If so, how?

It’s given me a lot more confidence and a lot more belief in my abilities, especially since I set the goal of doing an IRONMAN when I was in a hospital bed. I think just having that goal is something massive to work toward. As I got closer and closer to it, it made me believe in myself a lot more. I think having that self belief and self confidence that’s crucial for anyone in all stages of their lives.

What has been one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced personally as a woman, an athlete, or both?

As an athlete, it’s got to be my injuries. I’ve only got three fingers now which makes swimming more difficult, and it’s harder for me to use my bike like a normal person would. As a woman, we have a tendency to not back ourselves and not believe in ourselves and I think that’s a pretty big challenge. And also, because tmen diminate the sport of triathalon, even just finding training partners was really difficult for me. I guess I’m luckier than most because my partner was very fit so I’d do a lot of training with him. I still think if there were more women in the sport that would be really good for everyone.

What tips do you have for balancing training with a full life?

I think my tip is that I had to learn to let myself off the hook. If I didn’t do very well in a training session or was really tired and didn’t go as hard as I would’ve liked or didn’t eat my recovery meals at the right time—I think you’ve just got to recognize that no one’s perfect and we’re all just doing the best we can. In the scheme of things if you miss a session or your day doesn’t go as planned it’s not the end of the world.

What do you wish you’d known when you started triathlon? What’s your best tip for a first-time female triathlete?

To not take it too seriously. It’s a sport that we all do because we love it, and I think you can forget about that and get really serious. That for me saps all the fun and enjoyment out of it.

As part at Women For Tri, we are doing a “Women for Tri Workout Wednesday” where we encourage women to celebrate the day by working out together, empowering each other, and sharing their photos. Is there anything you’d like to to say to all the women working out on that day?

I’d say dream big, believe in yourself, and know that if you put the work in, you’ll see results!

Originally from: http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/news/articles/2017/03/international-womens-day-round-table.aspx#ixzz4akIexN29