Category Archive: News

Live Like a Local: Things to Do in Miami

In just a few days, triathletes will be taking over Margaret Pace Park for our annual Escape to Miami Triathlon. Beginning at Escape Island where athletes leap into Biscayne Bay and swim their hearts out towards the shoreline, this event makes for a memorable race day. If you want to make your time in Miami even more special, check out our list of hotspots to hit up for the ultimate racecation!


Panther Coffee is located in the hip and funky Wynwood district, close to our race site. As a Miami-based specialty roaster, retailer and wholesaler, they specialize in the small-batch roasting of coffee beans and crafting of deliciously caffeinated beverages. You can also check out local musicians playing in their space, as well as attend their public cupping events where coffee educators prepare delicious roasts while sharing industry coffee knowledge!



Look no further than Grown, a new restaurant that has a fresh, organic take on fast food. With their motto being “real food, cooked slow, for fast people,” their main focus is providing nutritious, convenient and affordable food. Grab a smoothie or cold-pressed juice to start your morning off right. We also recommend building your own bowl, where you choose your protein, vegetables, grains and sauce for a healthy and filling lunch or dinner.

Live Like a Local in Miami


After swimming, biking and running your way through Miami, you deserve to treat yo’ self. And whether you want to indulge in something delicious, unique or classically Miami, there are endless options that surround you. If you’re looking to kick back with your friends and family post-race, we recommend The Butcher Shop Beer Garden as a place to post up. Order their chicken fried steak or a classic burger featuring organic and quality meat, paired with a Miami Pale Ale from Biscayne Bay Brewing Company.

If seafood is what you’re craving, the oysters from Monty’s Raw Bar are a must have. With two convenient locations in South Beach and Coconut Grove, you’ll enjoy some of the most delicious and quality seafood South Florida has to offer.

Finally, you can’t leave Miami without trying some Cuban food. Dubbed “The World’s Most Famous Cuban Restaurant,” Versailles it opened it’s doors in 1971 and has been a Miami institution ever since. With weekly specials featuring classic Cuban dishes like “Vaca Frita de Pollo” and “Pulpeta,” you’ll leave feeling like you’ve been to the island itself.



The pathway around Brickell Key is the perfect one-mile waterfront loop. Whether you’re looking to get a jog or bike ride in, or simply want a scenic stroll, this is the the perfect spot. It also features a nice grassy area for circuit training, sprints or ab work, and is frequented by local celebrity trainers like Julie Wiesman.



For your last minute race-day needs, Mack Cycle and Fitness is without a doubt the top spot. Located off Sunset Drive, you will find everything from triathlon apparel and accessories to a variety of bikes, helmets and more. This year, the Mack Cycle experts will be bringing their mechanical skills to our event, so keep an eye out throughout the race site if your bike needs some tuning up!


With one of the most epic courses featured in the sport, Escape to Miami is South Florida’s premier triathlon event. We wish all of our athletes the best of luck, and thank National Sponsorship Account Coordinator and former Miami resident Sean Sweeny for helping us put together this ultimate list!

Women For Tri Announces Fall 2016 Triathlon Club Grant and Collegiate Scholarship Recipients

Women For Tri 2016 Triathlon Club Grant Program

The Triathlon Club Grant Program was established to support local triathlon clubs as they develop programming and activities to increase female participation in triathlon. Twenty-four clubs received grants during the first funding cycle in 2016, hosting all-female swim clinics, bike clinics, educational programs and more.

In its second funding cycle, Women for Tri awarded fourteen grants with an average grant of $2,500 per club. Five clubs were awarded grants for a second round to continue the outstanding efforts they achieved in the first half of 2016. Participating clubs will utilize funds to provide specific training for women triathletes with a focus on removing barriers to participation; educational programs for women triathletes; and networking and social gatherings with a focus on recruiting and engaging women to participate in triathlon. Below is the full list of TriClub Grant Recipients.

Women For Tri 2016 Triathlon Club Grant Program

Women For Tri Fall 2016 Collegiate Scholarship Program

The Collegiate Scholarship program is designed to assist female collegiate triathletes as they develop within the sport. For the 2016 fall semester, Women For Tri awarded five $5,000 grants to full-time undergraduate or graduate students who are active members of their respective collegiate triathlon team. Awardees were chosen based on their commitment to sport, leadership, and triathlon potential and ability. The scholarships will be utilized by the student athletes to purchase gear, books for coursework, hire a private coach, and/or offset tuition or school fees. The fall 2016 awardees are:

Women For Tri Fall 2016 Collegiate Scholarship Program

Throughout the spring of 2016, Women For Tri has raised funds for these programs through merchandise sales, board member fundraising, IRONMAN World Championship slot fundraising, and financial matches from the IRONMAN Foundation and Life Time. In total, more than $200,000 has been raised to support programs which are focused on bringing women into the sport of triathlon.

To continue funding for these grants and scholarships, exclusive Women For Tri merchandise is available at, with 100% of all net proceeds dedicated to funding these programs.

5-Ingredient Triathlon Nutrition: Quick and Easy Dinners

No recipe? No problem. Here are three solid options for winging tonight’s dinner – without wrecking your triathlon nutrition goals.


One-Pot Mediterranean Turkey


  1. Ground turkey (protein, fat)
  2. Kalamata olives (fat)
  3. Marinated artichoke hearts (fiber)
  4. Sautéed spinach (fiber)
  5. Feta cheese (fat, protein)


  1. Cook ground turkey in a large saucepan.
  2. Add spinach leaves to wilt.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in artichoke hearts, olives and feta. Boom!


Mexican Shrimp Bowl 


  1. Shrimp (protein)
  2. Cabbage (fiber)
  3. Black beans (fiber, protein)
  4. Guacamole (fat)
  5. Salsa (fiber)


  1. Cook shrimp.
  2. Add beans to warm.
  3. Toss all ingredients together in a bowl and enjoy!


Italian Edamame Pasta Bowl


  1. Edamame pasta (fiber, protein)
  2. Pesto (fat)
  3. Walnuts (fat, protein)
  4. Grated Parmesan (fat)
  5. Sautéed kale (fiber)


  1. Cook pasta, drain, and return to pot.
  2. Add kale to wilt (or sauté separately while pasta is cooking).
  3. Remove from heat and stir in pesto, walnuts and Parmesan cheese.


Dietitian’s Note

If you don’t have time to prepare every component of the meal from scratch, don’t fret. There are a lot of great store-bought sauces/dressings available. Just be sure to double-check all ingredient lists to make sure you are okay with everything in there. Also take advantage of pre-washed, pre-chopped vegetables that save a good amount time. It’s better to spend an extra buck and than to have no veggies at all!


Brooke Schohl, MS, RD, CSSD, METS Level II is a Registered Sports Dietitian and the owner of Fuel to the Finish Endurance Nutrition Coaching in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is a competitive age-group triathlete and loves racing all distances, including IRONMAN. She develops customized Metabolic Efficiency Training (MET) fuel plans for her clients, and trains them to tap into the body’s abundant fat stores and become less reliant on dietary carbohydrates. Brooke and her husband, John, own Destination Kona Triathlon Store in south Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information on services and offerings, visit her website

The Best Late-Night Snack for Triathletes

Don’t think you’re special — most of us get the munchies when home at night. Work is done. You are sitting around the house after dinner and the sugar cravings come. “DESSERT!” your brain screams. You need it. You must have it. A little late-night snack is A-OK in my book — just be smart about what that is. A gallon of ice cream? Not smart. The following dessert? Very smart.

Try this:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 T nut butter
  • 1 T coconut shreds
  • 1 T cacao nibs

Mix together and enjoy, knowing that you’re satisfying your snacking urge with a nice balance of macronutrients and no refined sugar.


Brooke Schohl, MS, RD, CSSD, METS Level II is a registered sports dietitian and the owner of Fuel to the Finish Endurance Nutrition Coaching in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is an avid triathlete, having completed many triathlons of all distances, including three IRONMAN races. She integrates that personal experience and knowledge into developing customized, sport-specific, metabolically efficient fueling plans for her clients. Brooke and her husband, John, own Destination Kona Triathlon Store in South Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information on services and offerings, visit her website.

How to Get (Less Sugary) Calories on the Bike

A long bike ride requires hundreds and hundreds of sugar calories, right? WRONG! You do need carbohydrate for longer rides, but in general, proper triathlete nutrition on the bike means including some protein and/or fat as well.

Carbs alone spike blood sugar and cause fluctuations in energy. They are quickly metabolized and therefore not very filling. Protein and fat provide satiety and can be consumed with carbs to keep you feeling happy as you plug away at those miles.

Here are some good options:

  • Justin’s Nut Butter packets — try one with honey added for carbs
  • Fuel for Fire — fruit puree with 10 grams of whey protein
  • Quality bars with very few and very recognizable ingredients like RXBARs and Lara Bars
  • Coconut or pecan-rolled dates
  • UCAN — stabilizes blood sugar while providing carb replenishment

Train the body to utilize fat stores during training/racing instead of being a slave to dietary carb sources!


Brooke Schohl, MS, RD, CSSD, METS Level II is a registered sports dietitian and the owner of Fuel to the Finish Endurance Nutrition Coaching in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is an avid triathlete, having completed many triathlons of all distances, including three IRONMAN races. She integrates that personal experience and knowledge into developing customized, sport-specific, metabolically efficient fueling plans for her clients. Brooke and her husband, John, own Destination Kona Triathlon Store in South Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information on services and offerings, visit her website.

Live Like a Local: Things to Do in Austin

Traveling to Austin, Texas for our 2016 Life Time Tri CapTex? We’ve gathered a list of the best Austin triathlete hotspots so you can have your most memorable racecation yet.

The must-stop coffee shop. Juan Pelota Café, located inside of the famous Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop is known for serving “high-fives and awesome coffee.” Here you’ll find every type of cyclist and triathlete, and it’s the perfect stop for pre- or post-ride caffeine.

Quick, reliably healthy eats. While eating at Whole Foods may be a no-brainer to some, Whole Foods Austin is a whole other experience — the company’s flagship store features every kind of healthy cuisine imaginable. Post up at the Bowie BBQ counter for some classic Texas barbecue, enjoy fresh seafood from their 5th Street Seafood menu, or even swing by their Tartinette Test Kitchen food truck to taste the latest and greatest in food trends and seasonal flavors!

Where to get outside. Austin is known for being an active city, which provides lots of options for those looking to head outdoors and work up a sweat. Hit the Parmer bike trails for a popular out-and-back ride featuring beautiful rolling hills, or go for a run around Zilker Park. If water sports are more your speed, try kayaking or SUP-ing down the Colorado River and Lady Bird Lake.

Your local tri shop. Austin Tri Cyclist is one of the country’s oldest and largest specialty bike shops that caters to the triathlete community. Here, you can count on the knowledgeable staff to help you find last-minute race gear, or swing by to talk shop and get great recommendations on where to ride!

It’s not too late to register for Life Time Tri CapTex! Join us on Memorial Day and kick off summer in the heart of Austin.

My Journey to Boulder Peak: Q&A with New Triathlete, Adam Ragsdale

Adam Ragsdale, longtime runner and Brand Manager for Athlinks (part of Life Time Fitness) is taking on a new challenge in 2016: Life Time Tri Boulder Peak presented by Voler on July 10. We sat down with him to discuss training, the triathlon community and how he manages to work full-time, raise a 2 ½-year-old and be a new triathlete.

Life Time Tri: What motivated you to take on a triathlon after participating in running events for years?
Adam Ragsdale: I’ve been a passionate runner for 10 years and have participated in a handful of half marathons, my first being the ING Georgia Half Marathon in Atlanta.

While training to do my first full marathon, I broke my foot on my second 20-mile training run, and coincidentally, my physical therapist strongly suggested cycling as a form of cross-training, which was my first entrance into the cycling world. This was about the same time I started working for Life Time Fitness, and was surrounded by a community of cyclists and triathletes that made the transition into sport appealing.

From there, I volunteered at the Life Time Tri Boulder Peak in 2015 and recognized that I was already regularly running and biking, so all I needed to do to take on a fun, new challenge was to incorporate swimming.

LTT: How do you fit in training while working full time and raising a 2 ½-year-old?
AR: First and foremost, I have a really supportive wife who appreciates my lowered stress levels that come with staying active and training throughout the week [laughs]. I’m also very lucky to work in an environment where fitting in personal fitness and training into your workday is not only accepted, but encouraged.

On top of that, I have a lot of access to things at the office like stationary bikes and treadmills, showers, which are a lifesaver after a long lunch run, and incredible trails to run and ride on right outside the doors.

Lastly, for the first time in my life I have become a real planner — each night I’m packing my meals and snacks for the next day, as well as my training clothes. Then all I have to do is wake up in the morning and head to the pool before work to get a swim workout in.

My goal is to do two swims, two bikes and two runs per week, yet of course there are times when you miss a workout. Just move on from it, if you can get two workouts in the next day, great; if not, it’s not the end of the world. And I’ve definitely been that dad who runs with the stroller and tows my son behind my bike on rides, which hopefully will prove to be a good training technique come race day.

LTT: Which discipline do you like the most?
AR: It’s a toss up between the swim and the bike right now because they’re both new to me and I can track my progress and see myself improving week to week.

That being said, I’ve fallen in love with the swim workouts. I’ve never swam before except for fun, and while I’ve always felt very comfortable in the water, I had never strapped on a pair of goggles and a swim cap until deciding to do a triathlon. I’ve found the process of starting my day off with a swim to be really meditative.

On the other hand, I’ve really been enjoying the bike, as I have a lot of friends and co-workers who ride, so it’s become a fun, group thing to do on the weekends that brings about a sense of community.

LTT: What’s your average swim workout?
AR: Honestly, I kind of make them up as I go along. This morning I started with a warm up of 200-300 meters of a freestyle swim, then did 8×250 meters with 30 seconds of rest in between. My goal is to work up to the endurance level required for the full 2,000 meter swim so, come race day, I won’t be surprised.

LTT: What surprised you in training for your first tri?
AR: I haven’t come across too many surprises, as I’m fortunate enough to work with and have friends who are all experienced triathletes, so I’ve had a lot of guidance along the way.

LTT: Do you have a goal for race day?
AR: Not yet. I will absolutely have a time goal come race day, even though that probably goes against people’s advice for a beginner triathlete. It’s not enough for me to just finish, in all honesty, so I’ll have a pretty specific time goal dialed in by the time race day hits. I may share it, I may not [smiles].

LTT: What general tips would you give to those interested in trying a tri?
AR: Some valuable advice that I haven’t fully taken on myself is to probably seek out some kind of professional coaching. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve been surrounded by friends/amateur coaches who have filled that space for me, but it’s not enough to try and take on this new training regime totally alone. I’ve been thinking pretty seriously about getting a swim coach to help me work on my mechanics before I develop bad habits.

Next, just go get in the pool or hop on a bike. Triathlon tends to have this incredibly intense reputation because of IRONMAN, but not all triathlons are that intimidating.

A sprint or Olympic distance tri is attainable, and it’s really, really empowering when you start to believe in yourself and see that you can actually do it. There really is so much information out there and the triathlon community as a whole is a really welcoming one.

I would also highly recommend doing the Indoor Triathlon Hour, which I did in January. It’s a huge confidence booster and a really reasonable amount of time. The 10-minute swim, 30-minute bike and 20-minute run sets you up really well to experience what the transition from sport to sport looks and feels like.

Lastly, seek out all the resources you can. Whether it’s through Life Time Tri training clinics, talking to different experienced coaches or friends or even researching online, you’ll be able to find the training path that works for you.

Learn more about Adam’s first tri, Life Time Tri Boulder Peak, and consider joining him! Individual and relay team options are available.

7 Ways to Eat More Mindfully

by Heidi Wachter

Strategies for learning how to eat with awareness.

Each of us makes more than 200 daily decisions about eating most of them unconsciously, according to behavior scientist Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and author of Mindless Eating and Slim By Design. Clueing in to these decisions can help make them work for you rather than against you. Increase your mindfulness factor with these strategies:

Snack wisely before shopping. Grab an apple or some veggies before grocery shopping. Wansink found that healthy noshing primes you to buy healthy: Study participants bought 25 percent more fruits and vegetables than those who didn’t eat such a snack beforehand.

Don’t supersize it. Keep smaller dishes — like appetizer plates and juice glasses — front and center in your cupboard. Researchers discovered that diners at a Chinese buffet piled 52 percent more food onto large plates and ate 45 percent more than those who used smaller ones.

Make healthy food visible. Wansink’s research found that people who wrapped healthy leftovers in plastic wrap were more likely to see them and eat them than those who used foil. On the flip side, people ate 2.2 more pieces of candy a day out of a clear bowl than an opaque one.

Keep a clean kitchen. In a Cornell study, people ate 44 percent more snacks in a cluttered kitchen than they did in a clean one. “If your environment is out of control, you may feel that you don’t need to be in control of your eating either,” says Wansink.

Put food away. Researchers discovered that women who kept a box of cereal on the counter weighed 20 pounds more, on average, than those who put it in the cupboard. Keeping food out of immediate sight and reach helps reduce temptation triggers.

Plate it up. Even if you just want a snack, put it on a plate: Plating food increases your awareness of portion size. “Dishing out a ration makes you see exactly how much you are eating,” Wansink explains.

Minimize distraction. People who dine while watching TV, reading, or working have a harder time keeping track of what they consume — and routinely eat more.

Distracted eating is a problem for two reasons: “First, you don’t pay attention to whether you’ve had 14 or 40 potato chips,” Wansink says. “Secondly, you often won’t stop eating until the end of the show, regardless of whether you’re full or not.”

Such eating patterns become mutually reinforcing, meaning it becomes hard to watch TV without eating, he explains.

Heidi Wachter is the staff writer at Experience Life. This article originally appeared in Experience Life, the no gimmicks no-hype health and fitness magazine. Learn more at

Charity Entries for the Sold Out 2016 NYC Tri Up For Grabs via Women For Tri

Five charity entry slots for the sold out 2016 Panasonic New York City Triathlon on July 24 are up for grabs via Women For Tri fundraising efforts.

As part of an ongoing effort to increase awareness, raise funds and support women in the sport of triathlon, Women For Tri, an initiative founded by IRONMAN® and Life TimeSM – The Healthy Way of Life Company, announces five slots—three individual and two relay—up for grabs to the sold out 2016 Panasonic New York City Triathlon.

Applications for the fundraising slots are available now through May 11. Any woman who is able and willing to complete the New York City Triathlon is invited to apply. Primary consideration will be given to the applicant’s demonstration of commitment to triathlon and her compelling story of personal and life experiences that have impacted her participation in triathlon. Applicants must also commit to fundraise or donate a minimum of $2,500 per individual entry, or $3,600 per relay entry to Women for Tri.

The objective of offering these Women for Tri charity slots at the New York City Triathlon is two-fold. First, to highlight female triathletes who support and embody the spirit of Women for Tri at the event. And second, to raise funds for various Women For Tri programs that support its mission to identify and diminish barriers to entry, and mobilize triathlon advocates to encourage and engage female athletes across all distances and representing all athletic abilities.

Click here for more information regarding the Panasonic New York City Triathlon slots.

Athlete Requirements/Eligibility
Athletes must commit to personal athletic preparation in order to safely compete in the 2016 Panasonic New York City Triathlon, and agree to individual fundraising minimums: $2,500 for individual and $3,600 for relay teams. Additionally, athletes must demonstrate a commitment to the values and spirit of Women for Tri. Please see our detailed athlete requirements.

Applications must be submitted on or prior to May 11, 2016. Applicants will be notified by May 23, 2016.


Information on the 2016 Panasonic New York City Triathlon can be found at

Triathlon Strong in 6 Weeks

by Andrew Heffernan

Gearing up for a big tri event? This quick, effective, six-week strength training program will improve your overall fitness, help you avoid injury and have you crossing the finish in record time.

If you’re preparing for a triathlon, it probably seems like the last thing you need is more exercise. With all those swimming, biking and running workouts packed into your schedule, the only elements you’re tempted to add to your routine may be a cold drink and a long nap. But by sliding just two 30-minute strength-training workouts into your weekly regimen, you’ll not only make your pending race easier and more enjoyable, you’ll also guard against injury and become a leaner, stronger and more athletic competitor. You might even improve your finish time.

“Triathlon training develops plenty of endurance, but lacks some crucial components for developing muscular strength and balance,” explains Troy Jacobson, director of endurance training for Life Time Fitness and coauthor of Triathlon Anatomy (Human Kinetics, 2012). Typical tri-training programs also underemphasize some muscle groups while overstressing others, he adds. Over time this can lead to functional imbalances — and, ultimately, to pain and injury. Not a great payoff for all your hard work.

The solution? Get stronger. Just a little bit of resistance training on top of your cardio work can develop the hamstrings, upper back and other areas that are often neglected during endurance training. The resulting strength can help guard against some of the more common triathlon-related overuse injuries in the hips, knees, lower back and shoulders.

More head-to-toe strength and muscle mass will also help you burn fat around the clock — whether you’re on the bike or on the couch. And strength work ensures that you’ll maintain a broad base of fitness even as your training becomes more triathlon-specific.

What you won’t do with these tri-prep workouts is build huge amounts of bulk. “The program isn’t designed to pack on muscular size or weight,” Jacobson says, so there’s no need to worry about extra mass slowing you down. On the contrary, you’ll be building the kind of sleek and shapely physique that puts you across the finish line faster.

Jacobson recommends scheduling your strength training around your regular triathlon workouts. If this means you’ll need to do strength and endurance workouts on certain days, make sure you do your endurance or sport-specific training first. The following plan is designed to start six weeks before your race, so you peak as your race approaches, and involves two lifting sessions — “A” and “B” — on nonconsecutive days. Warm up with at least five minutes of dynamic stretching, easy jogging, cycling or rowing. Unless otherwise noted, rest 60 to 90 seconds between sets.

The last two weeks before your race, you’ll see that you actually do fewer sets and reps of each move. That’s by design. “The quickest results from any training program come after four to six weeks of consistent training, depending on the individual,” explains Jacobson. “Then you’ll want to deload, or taper down, your strength training so you’re as fresh as possible on race day.”

1) Speed Pushups


  •  Assume the standard pushup position: hands slightly wider than shoulder width, balls of feet on the floor, body in a straight line from your heels to the crown of your head.
  • Without letting your hips or head sag toward the floor, bend your arms, pull your shoulder blades together, and lower your body, keeping your elbows at about a 45-degree angle to your torso.
  • When your chest is a few inches from the floor, quickly push yourself back up to the starting position.

Easier version: Perform the exercise with your hands on an elevated surface like a bench or countertop: the higher the surface, the easier the move.

Harder version: Perform the exercise with your feet elevated.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Improves upper-body pushing power; useful for the swim start and steep climbing on the bike.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of as many reps as possible in 20 seconds
  • Week Two: three sets of as many reps as possible in 20 seconds
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of as many reps as possible in 30 seconds
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of as many reps as possible in 20 seconds; slow down these weeks and focus on perfect form.

2) Chin-Ups


  • Take an underhand, shoulder-width grip on a chin-up bar with your palms facing toward you.
  • Lift your feet from the floor and allow your arms to straighten fully.
  • Pull your shoulder blades down and back, bend your arms, and pull yourself up until your chin is slightly above the bar.
  • Lower yourself slowly back to the starting position.

Easier version: Perform the same exercise using an assisted chin-up machine, or have a partner give you a boost as you perform the move.

Harder version: If you can bang out 12 to 15 reps of body-weight chin-ups with no problem, try the same exercise while squeezing a dumbbell between your legs.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Develops the upper-back musculature necessary for a strong swimming stroke and for maintaining good posture throughout the run.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 12 to 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: one or two sets of 10 reps

Can’t do a Chin-Up? No Problem! See

3) Alternating Dynamic Lunges


  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, then step your left foot forward about a stride-and-a-half, allowing the heel of your right foot to lift an inch or two off the floor.
  • Keeping your back straight and your eyes looking ahead, slowly bend both legs until your right knee lightly touches the floor.
  • Reverse the movement, stepping your left foot back, and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.

Easier Version: Lower your back knee only halfway down to the floor on each rep before coming back up.

Harder Version: Hold dumbbells at your sides.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Keeps the hip flexors limber and develops the glutes, helping to prevent lower-back pain and injury that can sometimes result from too much time in the saddle.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: three sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 12 to 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

4) Stability-Ball Speed “Olympic Diver” Crunches


  • Sit on a stability ball, walk your feet forward, and lie back on the ball until your torso is parallel to the floor.
  • Extend your arms overhead, interlace your fingers, and squeeze your upper arms close to your ears.
  • Keeping your arms in this position, blow out forcefully, contract your abdominal muscles, and squeeze the bottom of your rib cage toward your pelvis.
  • Return to horizontal position.

Easier Version: Perform the movement sitting toward the front of the ball so the ball supports your back, and your hands are higher than your knees in the starting position.

Harder Version: Hold a light dumbbell in your hands.

Why it’s good for triathletes:
Unlike conventional crunches, this stricter version keeps your spine long as you work the core, which translates into better form on the run and a more streamlined shape in the water.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of as many as possible in 20 seconds
  • Week Two: two sets of as many as possible in 30 seconds
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of as many as possible in 30 seconds
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 to 15 reps, focusing on form

1) Stability-Ball Dumbbell Overhead Presses 


  • Sit upright on a stability ball, holding two moderately heavy dumbbells at shoulder height, palms roughly parallel.
  • Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, smoothly press the dumbbells upward until your arms are fully extended overhead and your upper arms are close to your ears.
  • Slowly reverse the movement and repeat for the appropriate reps.

Easier Version/Harder Version: Adjust the weight accordingly.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Improves shoulder stability and strength — both invaluable during the swim and bike stages.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

2) Seated Cable Rows 


  • Attach a parallel-grip handle to the low pulley cable at a seated row station and set the pin at a moderately heavy weight.
  • Sit on the seat, place your feet against the platform, and take hold of the handles.
  • Sit up straight, arching your lower back and lifting your chest slightly.
  • Without allowing your head to push forward, bend your arms and strongly retract your shoulder blades, pulling the handle back until it nearly touches your abdomen.
  • Slowly extend your arms and return to the starting position.

Easier Version/Harder Version: Adjust the resistance accordingly.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Protects against “swimmer’s shoulder” and other issues caused by overuse of the shoulder joint.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

3) Dumbbell Front Squats


  • Holding two moderately heavy dumbbells, stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and your toes pointed slightly outward.
  • Lift the dumbbells to shoulder height and rest them on the fronts of your shoulders throughout the movement.
  • Keeping your feet flat on the floor, your eyes looking ahead and your lower back in its natural arch, slowly squat down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor.
  • With your weight on your heels, return to standing, keeping your chest up throughout the exercise.

Easier Version: Use body weight only, and, if necessary, only squat halfway down.

Harder Version: Use heavier dumbbells and squat as deeply as you can while keeping your lower back in its natural arch.

Why it’s good for triathletes: Builds strength in the lower body — especially useful for sprinting and climbing during the bike and the run.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

4) Knee-Ups


  • Take an overhand, shoulder-width grip on a chin-up bar, palms facing away from you, allowing your legs to hang straight down toward the floor.
  • Keeping your feet together, lift your knees as high as possible.
  • Pause for a moment in the contracted position, slowly lower your knees back to the starting position, and repeat for the appropriate number of reps.

Easier Version: Perform the same movement using a pair of slings, which attach to a chin-up bar and loop around your upper arms so you don’t have to grip the bar. Then lift your knees just halfway up.

Harder Version: Perform the same movement with your legs straight, touching your toes to the bar.

Why it’s good for triathletes:
Improves hip mobility, hip-flexor strength and core stability, for better strength and more efficient positioning during the run.

Sets and Reps

  • Week One: two sets of 12 reps
  • Week Two: two sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Three and Four: three sets of 15 reps
  • Weeks Five and Six: two sets of 12 reps

Andrew Heffernan, CSCS, is a contributing editor for Experience Life. This article originally appeared in Experience Life, the no gimmicks no-hype health and fitness magazine. Learn more at