Friday, February 13, 2015

I Got The Power!

It seems like all the best cyclists & triathletes train with power meters on the bike.  It makes sense to use power as a tool for structuring workouts and a metric for measuring performance improvements because it's constant.  What I mean is, while speed, heart rate, and RPE are all subject to variables like wind, hills, heat, and residual fatigue, power is always power.  Therefore it's presumably a much more consistent and reliable way to configure interval workouts, maintain a steady effort during a race, and monitor gains.

I've never trained with power and have been wanting to purchase a power meter for quite a few years now.  But unfortunately, I've never been able to fit one into my budget.  Given that I just purchased a Felt IA, I still can't fit one into my budget!  However, TrySports Charlie clued me into another option; a poor man's power meter... let me explain...

It's called the Kurt Kinetic inRide and the MSRP is $170.  The inRide is compatible with Kurt Kinetic Fluid trainers and, lucky me, I just happen to have one of those!!!  Actually I have to put in a quick plug for Kurt Kinetic trainers right now.  I bought this thing back in 2004 and it still works perfectly and quietly!  It's got a lifetime warranty and I have had to submit two warranty claims for pieces that wore out, but it was as simple as filling out a form and the part showing up at my doorstep.  So I'm a BIG fan of Kurt Kinetic trainers and wouldn't hesistate to buy another one, except that I don't forsee ever having to buy another one ;)


Here's a little Q & A with myself about the inRide:

How does the inRide work?  
Ok, so it's actually not a power meter in that it doesn't directly measure watts.  It measures speed and cadence at the tire and uses an esablished fluid trainer power curve to translate that data into wattage.  All of the following data is displayed on your phone in real time as you ride:  power in watts, heart rate, cadence, speed, calories burned, and distance.  You can use the app to do a general ride, intervals, or an FTP test.  It saves your workouts and you can view your history in the app, or you can upload the workouts to other platforms like Training Peaks or Garmin Connect.

How accurate is it?
I don't have the means to personally compare the data output from my inRide to other power meters.  Thankfully, DC Rainmaker as already done that for me.  He compared the inRide vs. CycleOps PowerTap G3 vs. Power2Max.  His conclusion was that after completing the 10 minute warm up calibration period, "the power accuracy is pretty spot on" and "within a couple percent in most cases."  Here is a link to his blog with an in-depth review on the inRide & the analysis he did on the 3 different power meters.  From other reading, I think it's definitely safe to conclude that the inRide is reliable - that is, as long as you pump your tires to the same psi every time and tighten the resistance wheel the same amount every time you will get reproducible results.  This is great because it means that you can do an FTP, determine your power zones, and do power-based interval workouts on the trainer.  I've started doing this and I'm pretty excited because it gives me a real way to measure my effort during trainer rides and to track progress!!!

Can you use it outside?  
The only way you could use the inRide outside is if you set your trainer up in your back yard.  Since the sensor is connected to the trainer itself, I'm still not using power for my outdoor rides.  BUT, I don't have a huge problem with this b/c 1) I enjoy riding outside because I think riding bikes is fun.  If I was staring at a watt number the entire time I think it would start to suck some of the joy out of riding.  Chances are you know people like this.  2) If you wanted to determine zones for outside all you would have to do is note your heart rate on the trainer at different power outputs and base your outdoor rides on heart rate.  3) I like the approach of using this power meter as a tool for dialed in specific workouts a couple times per week; kind of like a session at the track.

How difficult is it to set up?  
It's really easy.  Here are the steps:

1.  Plug magnetic sensor into flywheel of Kurt Kinetic Fluid trainer.

2.  Adhere the inRide sensor to the base of the flywheel.


3.  Put on the inRide heart rate monitor (included in package).

4.  Download Kinetic inRide app (available for iphone 4s, 5, & 6, as well as the ipad 3 & 4, ipad mini, and ipod touch 5).

5.  Put your bike in the trainer & start riding.  Open the app and pair the HRM and sensors to the app.

6.  Enjoy the ride and pedal along to the snazzy beat this excellent 90's song while thinking "Oh Snap!  I got The Power!"







Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It's All About The Bike (My New Felt IA That Is)


As soon as I saw Felt's IA (Integrated Aero) triathlon bike I knew it had to be my next bike.  Kind of like this:


Sexy, aero, and hella fast, it leaves nothing to be desired.  Compared to other TT bikes on the market it's simply lighter. stiffer. better. faster.  It's also pretty cool that Rinny won her last Ironman World Championship on this bike!

I rode my IA for the first time last Sunday.  I went 65 miles, but it didn't take me that long to realize that we have good chemistry.  Whereas I always wanted to love my P2 but never fully did, I felt an instant bond w/ my IA.  I can tell that it fits me way better than the Cervelo ever did.  And I just cannot believe how smooth the ride is!!!!!  Granted I've been riding an aluminum frame for the last year, but it felt like I was riding on a perfectly smooth runway that had been freshly paved just for me.  I honestly wouldn't have been too surprised if I had actually taken off!  The bike sliced effortlessly through the wind without any turbulence.  The shifting was instantaneous and precise.  Oh and of course it was fast!  There's nothing that I don't like about it.  It's a decadent bike with a velvety ride.  It's pretty perfect :)

I have to give a HUGE shout out to TrySports Bike Technician, Charlie George!!!  I'm amazed at the depth of his knowledge and the degree of skill he has pertaining to all things on 2 wheels.  I've never known someone who knows more about bikes.  Thank you for your patience and guiding me through the intricate process of putting the entire bike together!  I learned a TON and am super happy with how everything came together; in fact, I'm a little incredulous that everything did come together, haha!  Seriously, you are a bike sage!








I can't wait to put a few more hundred thousand miles on my IA and get to know it more intimately.  I know we've got a lot of fun times and fast races ahead of us and I'm really looking forward to training and racing this year!




P.S. Felt Bikes are the bomb and for those interested in the finer things in life, here are the technical specs for my bike!

Frame:  Felt IA1

Finish:  Satin Carbon (Gloss Black, Shadow)

Size:  51

Fork:  Felt Dagger UHC Advanced carbon fiber

Headset:  FSA IS2 integrated

Stem:  Felt Dagger

Handlebar:  Felt Dagger UHC Ultimate + Nano base bar w/ Felt f-Bend 3-position extensions

Grips:  Salsa black gel cork tape

Shifters:  Shimano Dura-Ace bar end shifters

Front Derailleur:  Shimano Ultegra

Rear Derailleur:  Shimano Ultegra

Crankset:  Shimano Ultegra

Bottom Bracket:  FSA BB30 w/ 24 mm spindle reducers

Pedals:  Shimano Ultegra SPD-SL 6800 carbon pedals

Chain:  Shimano Ultegra 11-speed

Brake Levers:  Shimano Dura-Ace carbon TT brake levers

Brakes:  Felt Aero Brake System with integrated cover

Saddle:  Shimano Pro Aerofuel Tri Saddle, black

Seat Post:  Felt Vibration Reducing Aero Tri UHC Advanced carbon fiber

Seatpost Clamp:  Felt Internaloc integrated w/ titanium bolts

Wheels:  Shimano Dura-Ace WH-9000-C50-CL carbon clinchers, 50 mm

Tires:  Michelin Pro4 Endurance

Water Bottle Cage:  Shimano Pro carbon bottle cage

Aero Drink System:  Profile Design aero bottle (somewhat old school, but I still dig it)



Sunday, January 18, 2015

Beet Juice - Part Deux

Y'all know how much I love beet juice right?  Then you know how excited I am about the newest product from Biotta Juices (the makers of the best beet juice).  It's their new performance-specific Beet Performer Juice.  Check it out:


Here's why it's so great:

*Packaged in an easy-to use 8.4-oz portable can!  How awesome is that!  No more lugging around a big heavy glass bottle of beet juice in your tri bag!

*Tastes delicious just like Biotta beet juice always does

*Comes in 2 flavors:  Beet juice with B12 & Beet juice with passion fruit juice

*100% juice (no sugar added)

*Vegan & gluten-free

*It is a performance enhancer.  Subjects in studies involving beet juice have seen faster times in cycling time trials, ability to exercise longer before exhaustion, and increased speed & power at the end of endurance activities.  See my previous blog on beet juice for all the details on the research behind this magical drink.

I suggest drinking 8 oz beet juice per day (or 1 can) for a week prior to your race.  Then drink another  8 oz the morning of your event about 3 hours prior to race start.

Find out more about Beet Performer Juice on Facebook (Facebook.com/beetperformer) and follow them on Twitter @BeetPerformer for updates about their products and sponsored athletes.  I will be posting monthly discount codes on Facebook & twitter for the juice and if I can swing it just might be able to bring a Beet Performer night to TrySports :)



Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Best Diet for 2015

Are any of the following are among your New Years Resolutions?

*Lose weight
*Reduce body fat
*Improve athletic performance
*Increase energy levels
*Reverse chronic diseases
*Feel better
*Be happier

If so, my suggestion to you is to commit to adopting a healthy diet in 2015.  But what exactly is a healthy diet?  Through various media sources we are constantly bombarded with so much inaccurate and sometimes even harmful information (i.e. putting butter in coffee is good for you), that it can be hard to sift the bullshit from the bullcrap.  

If you are serious about making healthy dietary changes, here is a FREE 6-week plan for you to follow.  Each week you will incorporate new changes, while maintaining changes made in previous weeks.  If you already eat pretty well, feel free to jump in at week 3 or 4.  If you are a cold turkey kind of person there is absolutely nothing wrong with jumping all the way to week 6.  Following this type of eating style combined with regular exercise is the golden ticket to health, wellness, and peak athletic performance!

Week 1:
*Do not eat any fast food.
*Drink a glass of water when you wake up, with every meal, and in between meals.
TIP:  Don't skip meals.  Aim for 3 meals + 3 snacks per day.

Week 2:
*Do not eat any fried foods or added oils.
*Eat AT LEAST 3 pieces of fruit per day.  The more, the better.
TIP:  Oil is not a health food.  Avoid adding oil to cooking - use vegetable broth or water instead.  All oils are 100% fat and have been stripped of many of the healthful benefits of the whole food that they originated from.  

Week 3:
*Do not eat any dairy (this includes milk, yogurt, ice cream, & cheese).  
*Consume some form of leafy greens every single day (spinach, kale, bok choy, etc).  This may be as a salad, in a smoothie, or as a side - it doesn't matter just get your greens!
TIP:  In addition to greens, consume as many veggies as possible.

Week 4:
*Do not consume any added sugars (this includes sodas, table sugar, syrups, & agave nectar).
*Start consuming 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed per day for essential fatty acids.
TIP:  The more colors you have on your plate, the more nutrients you are consuming. 

Week 5:
*Do not eat any processed foods.  This is tough, but necessary. 
*Start consuming grains in whole-grain form only (oats, brown/black rice, barley, bulgur, quinoa, millet, teff, amaranth, etc).  Use these grains as side dishes & as the base for grain salads.
TIP:  Prepare large bulk meals ahead of time so it's easy to pack lunches for work and reheat    leftovers for dinner during the busy week days.

Week 6:
*Do not consume any animal products.
*Construct your diet on fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, & seeds.
TIP:  Listen to your body - eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied.  Visit  NutritionFacts.org for the newest most up-to-date nutrition information!

To give you some extra inspiration to make these changes, here are a few cooking demos that show you how to make some yummy grain salads and a couple tasty treats for after dinner or anytime.

Acai Bowl



Banana Ice Cream



Asian Quinoa Slaw



Fiesta Salad To-Go



2015 is your year to transform your diet, your body, and your health!  Set goals and commit to working hard.  Always think positively and do not let anyone or anything stop you from getting where you want to go.  When you put your mind to something there is nothing that you can't achieve. 



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

2015 Holiday Gift Guide For Endurance Athletes

Here's a little wish list for all the swimmers, bikers, runners, & triathletes on your Christmas shopping list this year!  And yes, we sell all of this stuff at TrySports :)

Triathletes
1.  Felt IA FRD

Duh.  This one's a no-brainer!  What triathlete wouldn't want the fastest and sexiest bike on the market, ridden by the ultimate bad-ass, Mirinda Carfrae, on her way to winning the title of Ironman World Champion in 2014!?!?  Equipped with UHC Ultimate + Textreme carbon fiber, 11-speed Shimano Di2 shifting, Dura Ace components, Zipp 404 front wheel, & Zipp 808 rear wheel, this bike is aero, light, stiff, comfortable and did I say aero?  My next bike is going to have an IA frame FOR SURE :-)

2.  Garmin Forerunner 920 XT
Sleeker than it's predecessor, this watch does it all:  speed, pace, time, distance, heart rate, cadence, vertical oscillation, ground contact time, VO2 max estimate, race predictor, recovery advisor, swim distance, swim pace, stroke count, drill logging, rest timers, quick release for easy transfer between your wrist & your bike, power meter compatibility, blue tooth compatibility with smart phone, automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, live tracking, social media sharing, etc. This is basically a triathlete's dream watch and with it's new design it doesn't feel like you're wearing a desktop on your wrist.

3.  Rudy Project Wingspan Aero Helmet


What's better than being aero?  Being aero AND fashionable.  This helmet delivers the best of both worlds.  It's light and fast and sleek and colorful!  Plus, with a shorter "tail" it's more comfortable on your neck muscles.

Stocking Stuffers for Triathletes
Yankz lock laces
Pearl Izumi toe booties
2XU compression socks
70.3/140.6 stickers and car magnets
Gift certificate for a bike tune up (since triathletes don't like to keep up w/ bike maintenance)
Hammer gel (if you like Nutella, try the new chocolate-hazelnut flavor!)

Runners
1.  Hoka One One's

If you haven't heard of Hoka's by now you've been living under a rock.  Hoka's are taking the running community by storm providing light-weight shoes with maximal cushioning.  They are perfect for long-runs, recovery runs, anyone working on their feet all day, and anyone who has had issues with plantar fascitis, back issues, or over-use injuries.  I've been wearing the Conquest to work and running in the Huaka's.  

2.  Mizuno Breath Thermo Clothing
OK, this stuff is pretty cool and I really hope someone buys me a piece from this collection for Christmas.  Mizuno Breath Thermo clothing is made from a fabric that literally heats up when it is exposed to moisture.  You start sweating and your shirt will reflect heat back to you!  How cool is that?!  A couple of pieces from this collection & you'll be set for winter. 

3.  2XU Recovery Compression Tights
Compression tights have been a staple of mine for a few years now.  I always throw them on after long runs or big races and my legs feel SOOO much better the day after!  I think they do just as good a job as inflatable recovery "boots."  I don't think I could make it through a season without these!

Stocking Stuffers for Runners
Garmin Forerunner 220
DeFeet reflective socks
Brooks Adapt Glove
Trigger Point foam roller
13.1/26.2 stickers and car magnets
Gu Chomps

Cyclists
1.  Felt AR FRD


The ultimate race bike!  Designed and developed in the wind tunnel, this bike is 31% faster than typical round tube road frames.  With UHC Ultimate + Textreme carbon fiber, 11-speed Shimano Di2 shifting, Dura Ace components, a black satin carbon finish, and Zipp 404's, what's not to like??

2.  Upgrade to Shimano Di2


If you're not quite ready to drop the big bucks on the AR FRD, why not treat yourself or your loved one to a component upgrade?  Electronic shifting is the wave of the future for bikes - never drop a chain again and get an instant shift every. single. time. period.  After experiencing the ease of use, customizability in placement of shifters, and the smoothest shifting ever the recipient of this gift will owe you big time!

3.  CycleOps Fluid Trainer Kit
A high quality trainer can be your best friend in the winter.  Your buddies might wimp out on riding with you on cold rainy days, but a trainer never will!  This fluid trainer is consistent, quiet, smooth, and offers progressive resistance.  Oh and it also happens to be the best selling trainer in the USA.  The trainer kit includes the fluid trainer, 2 climbing blocks, a training mat, and sweat guard to protect your precious steed.

Stocking Stuffers for Cyclists
Tubes & CO2 cartridges
Pearl Izumi arm & knee warmers
Pearl Izumi cold-weather cycling gloves
Pearl Izumi cold-weather beanie
Skratch sports drink

Swimmers
1.  Garmin Swim Watch

Garmin Swim is the most intuitive swim watch on the market.  It's slim, lightweight, and stylish, and waterproof up to 50 m.  It is designed for both use in a lap pool and open water.  It will automatically detect which stroke you are doing so there is no need to press any button when you change between butter, back, breast, & free.  Track metrics like stroke count and stroke efficiency, let the watch log your drills, and keep track of total laps, distance, and interval time.  Swimming is hard enough; let this watch simplify your workouts!

2.  Ironman Wetsuit
Open water swimming is a joy and some crazy folk do it year-round here in the Port City.  Clearly, a high-quality wetsuit is a necessity!  These suits fit like a glove, are highly flexible, and provide just the right amount of buoyancy to help you cut through the water easier than a hot knife through butter. 

3.  Set of Speedo Fins & Paddles
Using paddles & fins is a GREAT way to mix up your swim workouts.  They help build muscle and develop power throughout all phases of your swim stroke.  Use them during drills to help drill down on proper technique.  Fins & paddles make workouts more interesting.  And, if you are slow in the water like me, you can throw them on to keep up with faster swimmers ;)

Stocking Stuffers for Swimmers
Cap
Speedo mirrored googles
Nose clip
TrySports towel
Cliff Bars
Bonk Breakers



Monday, December 1, 2014

Try-ing Again

After taking a few weeks off from structured training, I'm really excited to start base training for my next big event - Ironman Chattanooga 2015!!!  I'm also just generally excited about returning to the sport of triathlon.  Focusing on running for the last year and half has been fun and rewarding, but to my surprise I have really missed swimming and biking.  I guess this shouldn't be so surprising, but I thought a big part of why I liked triathlon so much was because I had gotten to a highly competitive level and being a competitive person I enjoyed the success of being a top amateur.  Taking time away from the sport has made me realize that I truly love the sport itself (swimming, biking, running, transitioning, long training days, training variety, gear, triathletes themselves, races, blogs, you name it) and I don't think I would get the same fulfillment if I were to continue with a singular focus on running. 

Next season is going to be an interesting one, that is for sure.  I'm going to be slower, that is for sure.  And I don't like the thought of that and it's going to be super difficult not to want to compare times from previous years.  BUT, I've chosen to organize my 2015 season around Ironman Chattanooga.  I thought this would be a good idea because 1) it is a different goal for me vs. my previous goal of racing as a pro, 2) it's probably the one distance that I will actually be able to get a PR in next year, 3) a bunch of my training buddies are doing fulls next year, and 4) I'd like to get to Kona within a few years. 

So where to start!?  I think the answer is clear.  The swim for Chattanooga has a nice current and my run is in good shape right now.  Translation:  ITS ALL ABOUT THE BIKE BABY!  Unfortunately, I think I know I've lost a lot of cycling fitness due to leaning down and running so much, so I am going to need to spend some quality time in the saddle.  To kick start this, I am doing a December Bike Challenge, where my goal is to ride my bike every day for the entire month.  Any takers?  I think this will be a delightful way to get rehabituated to the wonderful world of cycling.

All I have to do now is make sure I'm stocked up on


to save my


Monday, November 17, 2014

Into The Off-Season ...

A week after running the Savannah RnR Marathon I find myself in an uncomfortable position - the off season. When I was a younger and less experienced triathlete I didn't think that an off-season was necessary. It didn't make sense to me at the time that taking a specific chunk of time off at the end of a year and resting the body could make you faster next year. I learned my lesson the hard way and after 3 years of not taking any real break I was burned out and completely unmotivated to continue training. In the long run this turned out to be a good thing because it forced me into an off-season and I actually had my best season of racing coming off of it! Funny how that works!

Now, I can totally appreciate and understand the importance of taking time off. First of all, it's allowing me to fully recover from the marathon. The only thing I did last week was ride my bike once for 40 minutes! I'm pretty sure most endurance athletes would be horrified if they only did one 40-minute easy workout over the duration of 7 days. BUT, I know it was good for me and I know that not working out for 6 days will not affect my racing one iota next year. Second, taking some time to relax is going to allow me to do a few other things I usually don't do, like fully indulge in the festivities of my dad's 60th birthday next weekend. Third, by the time I'm done with this break, I will be bursting at the seams with motivation to start training again. To tell you the truth I already want to start training again, but I'm forcing myself to take 2 more full weeks off, where the only working out I do is whatever I feel like doing, certainly nothing overly strenuous. Then in December I plan to start a big focus on (surprise, surprise), the bike!

In case you still don't think an off-season is for you, this article by Jeff Smith of TOPS Athletics (with a few quotes from me in the nutrition section) sums up the benefits nicely and just might may help you change your mind.

After months and months of hard training and racing, the body and the mind of the triathlete need more than just a week of rest and recovery. When following the principles of annual periodization, just as every training week has a rest day, and every training cycle, or block, has a rest week, every year should have an “off-season” for the body to recharge. This is the time to focus on rest & recovery, treating those nagging overuse injuries, developing muscular strength and a balanced body to enhance performance and prevent injury, and optimal whole foods nutrition to restore energy levels and achieve optimal body composition.

Most pro triathletes will incorporate a 12-week off-season mesocycle into their annual training plan. The first two weeks of this off-season period are literally spent resting. Two weeks is adequate time to reestablish normal hormonal homeostasis after a season of hard training & competition. Two weeks is enough time to make the triathlete begin to miss the structure of their training and begin to feel that mental charge to want to begin training again, but it’s not long enough to suffer any quantifiable loss in fitness. This is an excellent opportunity to focus on reconnecting with family, friends, reading, sleeping in, or simply walking the dog.

It’s no secret that triathletes are some of the most driven & focused individuals you’ll ever meet. It’s quite common for the competitive triathlete to train & compete through nagging aches & pains, which are often symptoms of the development of overuse injuries. If you are one of the ones who “trained through the pain”, then during the off-season, you MUST address these symptoms to determine the underlying cause and correct the issues. This includes anything from plantar fasciitis to patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner’s knee) to IT Band friction syndrome to hip pain to lower back pain to rotator cuff tendonitis (swimmer’s shoulder). Have a Sports Med professional, ie Athletic Trainer or Physical Therapist, conduct an Initial Evaluation to diagnose the root cause of the issues and develop a treatment plan to resolve these issues before beginning your pre-season training cycle. If you ignore these signs & symptoms, it’s not a matter of if, but when you will develop a debilitating, chronic overuse injury or sustain a serious, acute, season ending injury.

Developing and maintaining optimal muscular strength is a critical component of enhancing performance and preventing injury in the triathlete. This does not mean heavy barbell squats like an NFL running back or heavy barbell bench presses like WWF wrestler. It means following an appropriate, sport-specific, Strength & Conditioning program for off-season triathletes designed by a professional, ie Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). Laws of physics dictate that Power = Force x Velocity, but in the case of the triathlete, Power:Weight ratio is critical for optimal performance. This said, the competitive triathlete must maintain a lean & efficient physique while maximizing the mechanical strength of their skeletal muscle in order to maximize power output. This is achieved through the appropriate selection of sport-specific exercises, loads, rep & set schemes, rest periods, and weekly frequency. The professional Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialists will work as critical members of your coaching team with your Endurance Coaches and your Athletic Trainers or Physical Therapists to help keep you on the continuum of care during the off-season from injury treatment & rehabilitation to corrective exercise & strengthening to “return to play” status.

Considering the fact that many competitive triathletes have families & careers, between their personal & professional lives and the time demands imposed by training, optimal nutrition is often neglected. The off-season is the window of opportunity to step away from the gels and carb/electrolyte sports beverages and chews and focus on clean, whole foods nutrition. This is the perfect time for the triathlete to focus on body composition goals targeted towards that optimal Power:Weight ratio. “Many athletes talk about ‘getting to race weight’ during the season. The truth is, the bulk of weight loss should be accomplished during the off season when the athlete’s body is not under the same rigorous training/racing demands as in-season.” As mentioned above, the first 2 weeks of rest in the off-season allow the body ample time to return to normal hormonal balance, but optimal whole foods nutrition & hydration is key to this process. The appropriate quantities & ratios of macronutrients (carbs, fats, & proteins) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, & water) are also critical to support the body’s efforts in reducing inflammation and repairing damaged tissues resulting from overuse injuries. Adequate caloric & nutrient intake will also restore the body to optimal energy levels. “Endurance athletes benefit from foods that (1) improve the state of the cardiovascular system to enhance blood flow to working muscles, (2) that provide antioxidants and phytochemicals to speed recovery between workouts, and (3) are high in nutrient density such that they are satisfying without contributing excess calories & fat to the diet that could prevent an athlete from reaching an optimal body fat percent and racing weight.” Undergoing a Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) test and a Nutrient Analysis is a good place to start in developing an off-season whole foods nutrition plan.

For the competitive triathlete, the off-season is as critical of a period of time as your peak training blocks during your in-season training. It’s the time for your mind & body to rest & recharge, for you to treat the causes of those nagging aches & pains that you pushed through during training & competition, the time to focus on muscular strength & balance, and your opportunity to restore your body’s hormonal & immune system balance through optimal whole foods nutrition. So, as we approach the end of the competitive season, make sure to discuss your off-season goals and plans with your endurance coach to set yourself up for success in next season’s training & competition!


Jeff Smith, MS, CSCS, EIM1