Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bill Bell still goin' strong

The elder (or more appropriately, the eldest) statesman of triathlon, Mr. Bill Bell, is still going strong at age 85 years old. If you're not familiar with Mr Bell, he's one of the oldest competitors to complete Ironman and manages to remind me that I should just hope to be as active as him when I reach age 55 or 65, much less halfway through my 80's!

Bill Bell was at the Encinitas Sprint Triathlon this morning and took home the 1st place in the "Over 75" Mens Division.

Its never too late to start, and according to Bill, its never time to stop...

See you out there Bill!

Friday, May 9, 2008

New York Times

The New York Times posted an article (linked here) discussing how the balancing of three sports versus just one sport may prevent triathletes from reaching their maximum potential in all three at the same time.

Not that this is surprising in and of itself, but surprising someone would take the time to write an article about it...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Coastal Sports and Wellness to start Exercise Science Lecture

Coastal Sports and Wellness Medical Center in San Diego will be starting a monthly free Sports Science lectures beginning on Monday May 5th at Coastal Sports & Wellness.

John M. Martinez, M.D., the Medical Director for Coastal Sports & Wellness, as well as a sports medicine physician with USA Triathlon's TEAM USA will be explaining the basics of exercise physiology and how it applies to endurance athletes such as triathletes, cyclists, and runners. The importance of VO2 max and lactate threshold, as well as the need to test adn train these components will be discussed.

Seating is limited, so sign up here for this free sports medicine lecture.

Future lectures will focus upon other topics such as sports injury prevention and treatment, cycling and running biomechanics and sports nutrition.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Shark Attack takes life of triathlete

It's been a sad weekend here in San Diego due to the tragic death of local triathlete, husband, father and retired Solana Beach veternarian Dave Martin.

Dave was swimming about 150 yards off the coast with 9 or 10 other members of the San Diego Triathlon Club, where he has reportedly attacked by a shark. Despite the best (and heroic) efforts of his fellow swimmers, as well as lifeguards and emergency responders, he died shortly after from his injuries.

Our hearts and sympathies go out to his family and friends.

Its something this this random event that should make us stop and appreciate what we have in this life and remind us of the tenuous connection that binds us to this world.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

US Olympics Trials - Men's Triathlon

Matty "Boom Boom" Reed pulled away on the bike and increased his lead on the run yesterday to win the elite men's Olympic Trials triathlon in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Reed was able to hold off Andy Potts and Hunter Kemper to take the second men's spot for the 2008 US Olympic Triathlon team.

Top three male finishers:
Matty Reed - 1:52:15
Andy Potts - 1:52:35
Hunter Kemper 1:52:39

Slowtwitch was on-site and provided a great report of the race here.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lance Armstrong does Ironman?!?

Triathlon Olympic Trials Results

Triathlon hotbed Tuscaloosa, Alabama was home to the 2008 USA Triathlon Olympic Trials today. The elite women's race featured a tight competition, with the top three finishers separated by just over 30 seconds between first and third.

Elite Women's Results

1. Julie Swail Ertel - 2:02:21
2. Sarah Haskins - 2:02:50
3. Sarah Groff - 2:02:59

The top three women all came out of the water together at 19:21 just behind swim leader Sara McLarty at 19:09. The 40k bike also saw the eventual top three turning in almost similar bike splits (1:06:39 to 1:06:43).

Julie Swail Ertel was able to pull away on the run with a 35:19 10km run split (about a 5:40 min/mile) while Sarah Haskins clocked a 35:42 and Sarah Groff went from the Bike-Run transition to the finish line with a 35:51 run.

Due to her first place finish, Julie Ertel joins Laura Bennett on the US Women's Olympic Triathlon team. The third and final spot for the women's team will be determined at the Hy-Vee Triathlon in Des Moines, Iowa on June 22nd. The final spot is awarded to the triathlete with the best results in 2 out of the three US Olympic team qualifier races.

Want to see the bike course? USA Triathlon has a YouTube video of the bike course:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Julie Moss and Ironman Triathlon

Like most triathlete, watching ABC's Wide World of Sports video of Julie Moss in the 1982 Hawaii Ironman Triathlon was one of the reasons I decided to get into triathlons. Of course anyone who watches Julie collapse several times, get passed by the eventual female winner Kathleen McCartney, and actually thinks "Gee, someday I want to do that...", deserves to be a triathlete.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ironman Arizona Race Results

Ironman Arizona (the final April Edition) brought more of the Arizona heat and wind to a starting field of over 2,000 triathletes.

Josef Major was able to pass TJ Tollakson in the final mile of the run to take first place in the male pro division by 18 seconds!

Erika Csomor continued her early season race form, holding off Michelle Jones and last year's female pro winner, Heather Gollnick.

Full results from the race can be found at the Ironman Arizona website.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Triathlete Occupations...

One past-time is scanning through the participants list for races and looking to see what Ironman triathletes have put down for their occupation, since Ironman Triathlon race commentator Mike Reilly and staff usually will announce the finishing triathlete's name, hometown and occupation.

One triathlete we know (Woody Freese), always seemed to take great interest in his occupation listing, and probably spent more time thinking up creative job titles than his actual training for the race. (Ed. note - Woody still beat me at Ironman Lake Placid, so he's still fast for a big guy.) Woody had such notable occupations as "Naked ballerina" and this year he's racing Lake Placid IM in his new profession as a "Lion Tamer". I think he's currently director of resident life at a major university, so there probably is some crossover.

This year's Ironman Arizona Ironman Triathlon appears to be no different. Below are some of the occupations listed by the triathlon competitors...
  1. My wife is going to leave me when she sees I signed up again...
  2. Not not Chief, I'm in the zone.
  3. The American Peter Reid - listed by Peter Reid, from Louisville, Ky
  4. Triathlete...and recreational dentist - ummhh, I need to cancel my appointment for Monday
  5. President, Mike Reilly Fan Club
  6. Elephant Sex Therapist - (Roasted peanuts, the elephant Viagra)
  7. Cat herder
  8. Elevator music composer
  9. Apprentice to Kurt Elgi, the Goat Herder
  10. High School Teacher/Animal Trainier" (Have kids gotten THAT bad?)
  11. Circus Monkey Bather
  12. Mid-life Crisis Management (Mine)
  13. Bagpipe Instructor
  14. Chief Bottle Washer and Tester 37
  15. Monkey Do
  16. Off Road Burro Racer
  17. Theoretical Manager and Semi-conscious Engineer
  18. The Red Power Ranger 
  19. She-Ra, Princess of Power
  20. Goofball

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ironman Lottery Spots on TV this weekend

Only 5 more days (April 15th) until 200 "lucky" triathletes find out that they won a lottery spot into the Ironman Triathlon World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. We use the term "lucky" since the winners still have to complete at least a half-Ironman to validate their lottery spot on the Big Island in October.

Were you the kid that always peaked early at Christmas or birthday gifts before the big day? You can get a sneak preview of the lottery winners by watching the 2007 Ironman 70.3 World Championship television show this weekend on your local NBC station. Rumor is that they will be showing a partial list of the lottery winners during the broadcast...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ironman 70.3 World Championship on NBC

Need to get your Ironman 70.3 triathlon fix this weekend?

Check out your local NBC station for a one hour program on the Ford Ironman 70.3 World Championship. The East Coast can see it at 5pm.

YouTube has a 3 min promo clip. Warning - Willy Nelson tunes are used for the sound track.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Ironman Arizona Weather

Ironman Arizona is this weekend and the weather reports seem to be pointing to conditions worthy of Kona or Buffalo Springs Triathlon in Lubbock, Texas.

Current predicted highs are for 92 degrees on Saturday and a possible 95 degrees on Sunday (race day).

So for a lot of triathletes, it comes down to proper hydration, keeping the body cool, and dosing their effort based on the weather conditions. 

Fluid replacement is key, as the dry heat won't seem as uncomfortable as the humidity of Kona, but fluid loss and sweat rate will still be pretty high. We usually advise our athletes to try to match their fluid loss on the bike and the first portion of the run. The rate limiting factor is their gut's ability to absorb the fluid. As the heart rate increases, the intestine's ability to absorb fluid will decrease, so riding the bike portion with a lower heart rate is important in the overall race strategy.

Personally, I'm a fan of any clothing that helps keep me cool. Lately, I've been using the DeSoto Arm Cooler sleeves. Basically a pair of white arm sleeves that you wear on the bike. DeSoto has released a new product called Coolwings that is basically the Arm Coolers connected with a piece of fabric that stretches across the back. has a review of them here.
Or you can check them out at the DeSoto website.

I've used the Arm Cooler sleeves in some pretty hot conditions (113 degrees F riding around the Salton Sea on a June afternoon...) and if you keep them wet, or shove ice down them, they can help to keep the core body temperature a little lower.