Here’s video from our recent April 5th open water swim at Saguaro Lake. Our next swim clinic is on Saturday April 26. Get more details on that here. We will also be doing a dryland clinic at the upcoming 4/10/14 Splash & Dash.
It’s absolutely beautiful weather in Arizona right now and a wonderful time of year to be spending your weekends outside riding and running. One of the perks of coaching people all over the country is we get sent some amazing photos from our athletes as they are out and about. We thought it would be fun to turn it into a contest so more of you would share the awesome views you’re enjoying each weekend.
So here is the scoop. From now until midnight, April 7th 2014, send your favorite shot from a training ride (or training run or even open water training swim) you’ve done so far in 2014 to [email protected]. We will post all the photos anonymously to an album on facebook. We’ll then have everyone vote on their favorite photo (by “liking” the photo) through midnight, April 14th 2014. The person who took the photo that gets the most “likes” will get a gift certificate for $25 worth of coaching services from WannaTri good for a year.
A few guidelines — One shot per person…make it your best! Also, no moving shots…safety first people. So get out there and explore. We can’t wait to see more photos!
Here’s video from our recent March 9th open water swim at Saguaro Lake. Our next swim clinic is on Saturday April 5. Get more details on that here.
If you’ve seen the movie, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, you’ll probably recognize the song — Step Out by José González.
It’s that time of year again. The weather on the occasional day is starting to get gorgeous and it’s time for an early season tri, but the local lakes and ocean are still a few degrees below comfortable. Below is our list of tips for handling a colder water swim. Also, take a minute and review our previous article on making your first swim of the season a successful one.
Take a warm-up jog prior to getting in your wetsuit. Besides relaxing you, this will also raise your core temperature and get the engine running. We recommend ten to fifteen minutes with a few faster striders at the end.
At most races you end up getting there early and standing around a lot prior to your event. If the air temperature is also colder, either stay in your dry clothes as long as possible or get into your wetsuit, cap, and zip up. Lying around in your black, sun-absorbing wetsuit can be a very energy conserving start to your race day. Standing around in just your trisuit using your energy to stay warm can impact your race later in the day.
You should be very cautious about the initial shock cold water can be to your system. Take your time and get in slowly, especially if you’re already anxious. The human body will slowly start shutting down blood flow to the extremities and pool heat in your core. As it does this, the water will seem warmer and warmer. You may actually have to get in and out a few times, incrementally going deeper before it seems tolerable, particularly when it’s time to get your head under. Most cold water races are now organized to give you time to get in slowly. Even if you’re facing time constraints with your wave start, do what you need to do to get comfortable on your time scale. Once you’re in, go.
See above. As the blood shunts to your core, the ice cream headache, aching hands, and aching feet will fade. Just like those days you step out the door to ride and run and wonder if you put enough clothing on, it’s better once you get moving. As you start exercising, you’ll begin generating heat to keep your core warm. If you’re nervous in open water, the cold can make you even more tense. If it’s an early morning start to your swim, most likely it’ll be dark with the sun just rising which also can increase your tension because the water is darker. Keep rolling your shoulders and neck. Stay loose.
There are three main areas from which humans leak heat when in cold water: their head, their armpits, and their groin area. You should have two, if not all three of these areas insulated if you’re swimming in colder water. A properly fitting wetsuit is a must. Many the experienced triathlete cringes at the thought of getting a fresh blast of cold water in their ears every time they roll your head to breathe. If you’re swimming in a sleeveless wetsuit, add a neoprene cap. If you’re in a full wetsuit, consider two swim caps, or earplugs. If neoprene caps make you claustrophobic (the chin strap bugs some people), try putting the strap right on your chin instead of under it. You don’t have any muscles in your feet or hands, so covering those doesn’t really provide that much protection and can cause chaffing and ruin your water feel. As always, try all new equipment during training prior to trying it in a race.
Because your body will limit the amount of blood to your extremities when you’re in colder water, it can throw off your hydration and electrolyte balance. As the blood pools in your core, your kidneys start to pump off the extra fluid hence needing to pee more frequently (another great way to warm up your wetsuit ;-)). Some people also have trouble with foot cramping in colder water. Make sure you’re hydrated (with the right proportion of electrolytes) when you get in and pay extra attention afterwards to get rehydrated (with the right proportion of electrolytes). Drinking warmer liquids before and after can also help raise your core temperature.
If it’s not just the water that’s cold, adding layers on the bike can help as well. Adding toe covers to prevent additional heat loss in the wind can help get your feet to not feel like two tiny blocks of ice in your cleats. Reheating your extremities may take the first few miles of the bike ride. Dry clothes (such as a wind breaker vest or arm warmers) can help alleviate the wind chill on the bike. Be prepared to either loose these items or wear them the whole ride. Your hands and feet may not quite work correctly in T1 so remember to be cautious over uneven ground and that slow is smooth, smooth is fast. At some races, by the time the end of the hot bike ride rolls around, you’re fondly looking back on your cold water swim that morning.
Those of you who know me, know I love to ride my bike. I’ve always loved to ride. Granted it has its challenges at times: traffic, flat tires, and inattentive drivers. Did you know three Arizona cities (Tempe, Scottsdale, and Tucson) are on Bicycling Magazine’s list of the Top 50 Bike Friendly Cities in the U.S, so it’s actually considered very safe to ride in those communities, compared to other cities in America.
Generally speaking if you ride as a smart and aware cyclist, it has TONS of advantages beyond the health benefits. But don’t just take my word for it. An infographic published recently by QuickenLoans details some incredibly positive statistics about the benefits of commuting by bike.
Remember: Ride safe, ride smart, and keep the rubber-side down. And to our driving friends: Keep your phone out of reach and your eyes on the road!
An infographic from the team at Quicken Loans.
We’re working with several athletes who are trekking to “Le Bois” — (the City of Trees) — this summer to test their mettle at Boise 70.3. Boise is a fantastic city, and the race course covers all areas of town. The bike course has a “hilly” reputation. While there are definitely some climbs on the course, the run is pancake flat and mostly in the shade along the Boise River.
Don’t you wish you could ride the course this fast?
Looking forward to toe-ing the line June 7.
In celebration of Coach Sarah and Coach Seth both receiving their USA Triathlon Level 2 Endurance Certification, we are offering a return to our 2012 prices for Training Plans for a limited time for athletes that are signed up for an Ironman in 2014. Instead of your custom Training Plan being $150 each 4 weeks, if you sign up through the end of January 2014, you will only pay $125 each 4 weeks for the duration of your coaching.
Train smarter with the knowledgeable coaches of WannaTri. We will prepare you to succeed at your Ironman using essential and proven principles of long course training without excessive, unnecessary workouts. Get custom, attentive coaching that makes sense for your schedule and your skills.
There are only approximately 200 Level 2 USAT coaches in the country. The additional Endurance Certification is brand new with only 10 coaches selected to participate. Coach Sarah was the first coach ever to receive this certification. The certification focuses specifically on training principles that produce results for long course athletes participating in the Half Ironman and Full Ironman distances.
Contact Us to take the next step on your Ironman Journey!
swim-bike-run | skills-growth-fun
One of the questions we get on a fairly regular basis from people training for their first running race or triathlon is: “Do I need a heart rate (HR) monitor / GPS watch?”
Beginner runners are especially curious as to the distance they cover on their runs, and how far and fast they are running. But, after looking at the price tag for a HR / GPS sports watch, they often get sticker shock. And for good reason, most high-tech watches that record heart rate and GPS cost several hundred dollars. Forking out your hard-earned cash for such a device might signal to your non-athlete friends that you’ve finally lost it.
But there is an option: the smartphone app! There are literally dozens of so-called fitness apps available for the iPhone, Android and other smartphones out there. I’ve investigated a few, but the one that seems to offer the majority of GPS related features that a higher-end HR / GPS watch offers is called Endomondo. I own a Samsung Galaxy S4, and have been running Endomondo on that.
Garmin devices for endurance training range in price from about $130 for a basic GPS tracker that does not monitor heart rate to the Garmin 910XT which costs $400. The 910XT offers GPS, heart-rate and has a ton of really cool features most endurance athletes love to track.
Compare that to Endomondo: this and most other phone sports apps are free. There is a pro version of Endomondo that is required if you want to track heart rate. A Bluetooth-enabled strap (The Wahoo strap is approximately $70) is also needed.
Virtually every adult I know owns a smartphone capable of running Endomondo. And it’s a less expensive option if you’re just starting out. But the truth is in the details. . .
Garmin 910XT versus Endomondo
Garmin 910XT versus Endomondo
Both devices will record your time, distance and pace for running and cycling. Both the sport watch and phone app offer a social component so you can share your workouts with friends and even compete against them. With either the GPS watch or Endomondo you can export your GPS file and use it in other applications. GPS watches come packaged with a heart rate monitor strap. Endomondo does have the ability to monitor heart rate, but, you have to purchase a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor strap.
The coolest feature Endomondo offers? You have the option to share your workouts in near real-time with your Facebook friends. This is cool if you have friends or family who think that all the running and cycling you do is crazy and extremely dangerous. They can click on your workout link, and get an idea of how far you have gone, and that you are in fact out riding your bike, and not a bar-stool at the neighborhood bar. But it’s probably not a feature you want to use if you have a fully public Facebook profile and your “friends” would be able to see when you aren’t home.
There is a social component to Garmin. Users can upload their workouts to Garmin Connect, and share workout data with friends via Facebook and other social networks.
The Garmin 910XT is waterproof — so you can wear it for an entire race. Coupled with an option to record your transition splits, it is an incredible tool for evaluating your race performance. Using Endomondo in a race would require you to mess with the device in situations where every second counts, and you probably would not want to risk getting your expensive phone wet. Plus, it has a ton of cool swim related features; the best being that the GPS tracking while the device is in water has been dramatically improved, and is much more accurate that the 310XT.
One big downside to Endomondo or any other running or cycling phone app: they are usually cell phone battery vampires. Because the app requires GPS to work, your battery has to work hard. Even with a fully charged battery, I have not gotten my phone to last longer than 4 hours when Endomondo is in use.
So if you are hooked on endurance sports and have plans to race and train for a long time, I highly recommend purchasing a GPS enabled sports watch. If you are still just starting out running and cycling, and are looking for an easy way to track your progress, Endomondo can’t be beat for the price or features!