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Ollie Whistler Places 6th at Belgium Ironman 70.3 Triathlon and Talks about his Last Year and his Focus on becoming one of the Best

Up and coming Australian triathlete Ollie Whistler had a great race on July 24 at the Belgium 70.3 in Antwerp placing 6th overall in a time of 3:49:10, just under 4min behind first placed Bart Aernouts. In June Ollie raced in Switzerland in the Powerbar Ironman 70.3 and placed 22nd. This time in Belgium Ollie put together a much improved half marathon and announced his place amongst the leading 70.3 triathletes currently racing. Here Ollie talks about his last year, the race in Belgium and what he has changed to become a better triathlete.

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Up and coming Australian triathlete Ollie Whistler had a great race on July 24 at the Belgium 70.3 in Antwerp. Ollie placed 6th overall in a time of 3:49:10, 3:55 behind first placed Bart Aernouts. In June Ollie raced in Switzerland in the Powerbar Ironman 70.3 and placed 22nd. This time, in Belgium, Ollie put together a much improved half marathon and announced his place amongst the leading 70.3 triathletes currently racing.

Trizone asked Ollie to tell us about the race last week and his last year including moving to the Gold Coast after leaving his job at Clarence Street Cyclery in Sydney. On the Gold Coast Ollie bumped in to a couple of Australia’s leading triathletes and shortly after found himself training in Switzerland.

Over to you Ollie…

Testing the waters

The main reason I came over to Europe was because I know it’s the hardest racing in the world. There is nothing like racing against the Euros in their own country and it is just part of the process as I see it. You come here as a young professional aspiring to become a great in the future, race a lot, have your butt kicked, see where you’re at against the best in the world, learn from the racing experience, build contacts for future trips and learn how to really push yourself to the limits…. Physically and mentally! And not just whilst racing, but also trying to survive in foreign countries with nothing other than English and an empty wallet. It really makes you tough. If you can survive here, you can survive anywhere! There is nothing really that glamorous about being a professional triathlete and doing the apprenticeship, but this is what I love and will not stop until I reach my ultimate goals or I am forced to stop or find something else I am more passionate about.

Where I Have Been?

After leaving my full time work at Clarence St Cyclery and deciding to focus on Triathlon full time in August 2009, I moved to the Gold Coast to live with a family friend. I knew it was good training up there, but had very few contacts and nobody to train with initially. I took the punt though and sure enough it payed off… On one of my first rides I bumped into Brad Kahlefeldt, Emma Moffatt and Daniela Ryf and have since become good friends and training buddies with them. One thing lead to another and they suggested I join them firstly in Locarno Switzerland for two months of training. I am now based in Aix les Bains in France for another month of training with the AIS team. I originally wanted to get myself to Europe to race over the summer, but it wasn’t looking promising until I met these guys. I never really think anything is that big a deal in the end and the consequences of failure can be dealt with, but dealing with the consequences of failing to attempt cannot, so I made a decision to leave and two weeks later I departed. I sold my car, packed my bags and off I went. I didn’t think an offer to train, live and learn from athletes of such calibre and experience was an everyday occurrence and something to turn down. So I did everything possible to make it happen!

My Training

The biggest change to my training was my attitude and of course the hard work. Previously I had always been giving only 50% effort to it because I had other things to deal with like work, relationships etc. I realised if I was as serious about achieving my goals, as my goals were high, it would take a lot of sacrifices… So I cut all ties. There becomes a point when you realise being a professional is more than just the name and the hype attached of becoming a professional, and actually doing the hard work and the right things. Since then I have lived by five things. The first four are HARD WORK, CONSISTENCY, PATIENCE and TIME! This applies to anyone doing anything. You do the hard work (of course it must also be the right type of work), you get it done perfectly for one week, then you multiply this by one month, a year, and then five years. If you can manage to apply this theory to something you are 100% committed and passionate about, you can turn normal people into Champions… or at least try. I think the other thing that has helped me substantially though, was surrounding myself by athletes like Brad and Emma. There comes a point where your progression starts to slow when you are only training on your own or with people of a similar level and until you mix it with the best, you will continue falling short of the best. These guys live by the principles I have mentioned and have achieved the highest level following them. I think my latest result in Belgium was also the product of the following these processes since around May this year. It is enlightening to know that after only completing one micro-cycle of the short term plan, let alone the long term plan, that things have improved so much. The fifth is to BELIEVE… Even in my short career I have been thrown lots of curve balls that could have potentially stopped me from achieving the level I am at now. There will never be an easy way to get anywhere worth going, and there is always going to be obstacles waiting to knock you down. It is the belief you have within yourself and the belief you share with your support network that you will succeed, that will keep you going through these times. Like my race in Rapperswil 70.3, in the end it didn’t go to plan, but I knew the result I wanted was within me because of the hard work I had done in training. It is hard to be motivated after a performance is below what you know your capable of, but I didn’t loose belief and I found what I was after.

At this point I am also looking at the 1%’s. Once you reach a certain level of fitness you can start to slowly change the smaller aspects of your training, living, recovery, nutritional and sleep habits. If you try to do all this at once it will consume you and generally won’t be maintained. So keeping consistency as our main focus here, implementing these things gradually is better. I have worked with my Coach and Powerbar to help fine tune things like my nutritional requirements in training and racing. Also things like working on my bike position and the bike I ride with Clarence St Cyclery and Trek. Recovery methods are also a big focus… personally, I practically live in my Skins compression and use Trigger Point Therapy tools daily to help recover and maintain healthy, functional muscle fibers to get the best out of myself. Injury prevention is also key, like rotating your running shoes or keeping them fresh when doing mileage. I am Lucky to have The Running Company to make sure mine are always fresh!

Building belief within my support network and sponsors and having them help me to achieve my goals has also had major influence on my latest performances. Thank you to them all for giving me the opportunity to explore my potential and attempt to reach my ultimate goals and ambitions!

The Race

The race pretty much planned out exactly how I thought it would. I was without a doubt the fittest and strongest I had ever been, but it is still a little bit early to race with the likes of Marino Vanhoenacker, Dirk Bockel, Frederick Van Leirde etc. They all have at least 10 years of age, training, racing and experience on me, and it takes a super freak to be able to race as fast after only a couple of years in the sport. For me, it was about putting together the best performance I could on the day and it was about perfect. For someone who was once a very weak swimmer, losing 50 seconds to the breakaway pack and leading the chase pack was great. My time and feeling in the water was also great. The only thing that remains a ‘what if’ is if I had been able to respond to a surge around 1000m into the swim and stay on Bjorn Andersons feet, how would this have impacted my bike and consequently my run. I guess a few more weeks of quality swimming and I will have to wait until next time to find out.

The bike was very windy, cool, dead flat and open to the weather. I was never going to be able to ride back across to the powerhouses up in front, even with the advantage of Treks speed concept time trial bike (the fastest, most aero, and pimping bike on the market), but I did manage to catch some guys who were not able to hang onto the pace of Bjorn, Marino, Dirk and Frederick, and drop the guys who exited the water with me. So I found myself flying solo on the bike and just riding as fast as I could for 90km. Unfortunately about 90min into the bike, Rutger Beke caught me and dragged the guys I had originally dropped back across to me. We rode together for the remaining part with some guys hanging on for the ride until we both attacked and got away with about 5km to go.

Getting onto the run, I had my work cut out in front of me as Bjorn had blown the race to pieces and ridden 7minutes into the group including Marino, who had put a respectable 4mins into me. I had no Garmin, no time checks and no idea of where I was in relation to the front runners because of a 3 lap looped course so we never crossed paths. I had a lot of spectators cheering for me and I’m sure someone was giving me time splits in Flemish, but I had no idea, so I again set out at the fastest pace I felt I could maintain. It wasn’t until the final kilometre that I felt I had probably left too much in the tank unused, but it was too little too late. I ended up holding off the guys behind me and maintaining 6th position. Much to my disappointment, after crossing the line I found out Bjorn had hurt after a massive bike and only finished a couple of minutes up the road and only the top 5 get paid… gutted! Oh well, again there is always next time.

All on track and what is next

Overall, 6th position and my times actually exceeded my expectations a little and it is still early days. I managed a PB time of 3.55 on a tough day, and had PB times for every discipline. This European campaign is actually laying the foundations and base fitness for the Australian half Ironman series, so to be racing this well off high volume, short tapers and relative fatigue is setting me up for a season to be excited about in Oz! From here I have a few more 70.3 three races, including the European champs (Germany 70.3) on the 15th of August, and some shorter faster races in Spain before heading home on the 22nd of September. There is a slight possibility that I might make a short visit to the States on the way home for another 70.3 or non drafting Olympic distance race. First race back in Australia is going to be Gold Coast half Ironman, which I absolutely love and am going to give it a good crack!

 

Name: Ollie Whistler

Ollie’s Website

Follow @olliewhistler on Twitter

DOB: 19/12/1987

Age: 22

Lives: Home is Lord Howe Island but currently live on the Gold Coast. I am a Sydneysider though!

Coach: Chris Lang (Science of Sport)
Consults with:
Kristian Manietta (Trispecific),
Kev Poulton (cycling)

Years in sport: 4 years but turned professional September 2009.

View Ollie’s Results

Favourite thing about triathlon:
Provides the opportunity to push my ability and break self-imposed limits we sometimes attach to ourselves. Triathlon is a journey into self development and discovery of ones inner being. I also love the people I meet and hopefully inspire them to exceed their expectations.

Strongest discipline: I love all three… but my bike is naturally pretty solid.

Other interests: Fishing and boating, food and wine (eating/drinking and cooking), music, travelling and “adventure”. I am also very interested in personal development and learning as much as I can about the psychology and physiology behind what I do with my body…

 

Ollie’s Sponsors

Clarence St Cyclery – The ultimate bicycle shop

Powerbar – performance products

Trigger Point Performance Australia – Trigger Point Technologies

Skins – Skins compression

The Running Company – Bondi Beach

Blueseventy – The World is Swimming Faster in Blueseventy

 

Images Courtesy of Marathon Photos – Go to Marathon Photos to search and buy Triathlon Photos taken at events around the world.

 

 

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.

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Gear & Tech

Review: Suunto 3 Fitness. A Fitness Watch for Beginners

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The Suunto 3 Fitness is the latest release from Suunto, a brand well known to triathletes. Straight away you can tell by its sleek looks that Suunto wants you to be wearing this watch 24×7, in direct competition with the Apple watch and the latest Garmin. Its looks belay its price, and you will seriously struggle to tell that its a fitness watch at all once on.

To that end, I would say the Suunto 3 Fitness is more of a fitness companion for the fitness and wellness crowd (you know those people in activewear taking up valuable coffee shop spots) instead of a dedicated triathlon watch, and in this area, it does a reasonable job.  However, this is a triathlon specific website and content, so I’m going to review the watch from a triathletes perspective.

Suunto 3 Fitness is a cool looking watch for everyday use.

 

Top end features

First off the positives. The Suunto has a few surprising top-end features, given the price. The first is it has an integrated heart rate monitor, which for me when compared to my Garmin Fenix 5, was very accurate. During my runs, it seemed to capture my heart rate accurately, within a few beats of my Garmin heart rate strap.  It’s a pleasing feature, which means you can go strapInbuiltt of the time.

Inbuilt heart rate monitor with high-end features

Battery Life

This is where the Suunto shines. Suunto officially says that the watch will last 30 hours when connected to the phone for GPS and five days with standard health tracking and Bluetooth notifications etc.

My testing showed far better numbers with the watch lasting a good two weeks, packed full of full distance Ironman training. For those that hate charging this watch is a godsend.

Movescount is gone, tell your mates, when you can connect

Suunto took the opportunity to update their rather sparse Movescount platform with a new updated Suunto App. It’s indeed a huge step up and in my opinion visually better than Garmin Connect.

It measures the usual suspects, heart rate, calories etc., but also EPOC – which measures post-exercise oxygen consumption. An interesting stat that is based on the fact that your body uses more oxygen post-exercise than during (for a period of ~48 hours), therefore burns more calories than during the event. I can see this reasonably handy for exercise-induced asthmatics, to help regulate their use of medication.

One feature that I quite enjoyed was the ability to track pace and effort on the Google map of your run, which helps to explain to your coach why your pace dropped up the hills.

Track your performance using Google maps

Also, you have the option of posting your run’s Strava style within the app. Its a bit kitschy given we all use Strava, but it can help if you’re looking for local running buddies.

Ability to post publicly is a cool, albeit scary proposition

One major problem is that I struggled to connect the watch to the App, most of the time. It is an arduous process that I found would only work if I deleted and re-paired the watch – a fiddly workaround for sure.  To be fair though, the product is new, and I recall early Garmins having the same problem, so I’m sure it will sort itself out over time.

Peripheral connectivity

I’ve always struggled with Suunto’s decisions around limiting connectivity in their watches, and this is no different.  To use an external heart rate monitor or monitor cadence or speed on your bike, you need to buy yourself one of the Suunto Pods.

Now, this is in a similar vein to traditional fitness watches such as Apple or Samsung, however, as a triathlete, this closed system doesn’t cut it.  Personally, I have an ANT+ power meter, Bluetooth smart trainer, ANT+ and Bluetooth heart rate monitors, ANT+ bike head units, the list goes on, and I cannot connect any of these peripherals that I use day to day.

Now one can say that most triathletes tend to go overboard on gear, to which I can personally attest, however, all my equipment actually gives me an idea as to how to race and train, and not being able to talk to it is a big no-no to me.

Now the big hairy no-no. No inbuilt GPS

The watch pairs to your phone to leverage the inbuilt GPS of the phone and contains only an accelerometer in the watch. This, in my opinion, is a critical oversight, particularly for triathletes.

The first thing that I noticed was the huge discrepancy between the accelerometer and the GPS. The accelerometer was almost, 1min/km quicker, which had me on an easy run running 4min/km pace. While this is great for my ego, it’s terrible when trying to prepare for a race.

Pairing the watch to my phone didn’t give much better results with a 30-second difference. Given the watch uses my phone’s GPS, you’re always going to get vastly different results when compared to both Suunto’s and Garmin’s higher grade watches.

Secondly, as triathletes, for the most part, were not allowed to race with a phone, which effectively means you need to get a watch for training and one for racing. Inconceivable!

Overall

As I mentioned at the start of this review, the new Suunto 3 Fitness polarised me somewhat. On the one hand, its a pretty solid fitness watch packed full of top end features at an entry-level price.

But as a triathlete, its lack of GPS and dependency on the phone effectively eliminates it use during race day. So, unfortunately, it’s a big thumbs down from me. Save your pennies and get a Suunto Spartan, or even better choice a Garmin 935XT.

  • Price
  • Features
  • Applicability

Summary

Lack of GPS makes this a triathlon deal breaker

Pros
- Well priced
- Top end features given the price
- Better app

Cons
- Why no GPS?
- Suunto connectivity
- Connection drop outs

3.3
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News & Racing

Major League Triathlon Adds 3rd International Team

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Major League Triathlon, the first and only professional triathlon league in North America, has announced a 9th team (3rd International franchise) for the 2018 season. For the first time in the league’s history, a National team from Mexico will participate in MLT.

The new franchise, dubbed, Guardianes de Guadalajara (Guadalajara Guardians), will consist of many of the top Mexican National Team athletes. The team will include:

Pro Men

  • Crisanto Grajales
  • Irving Perez
  • Abraham Rodriguez
  • Aram Peñaflor
  • Leonardo Saucedo

Pro Women

  • Cecilia Perez
  • Vanesa de La Torre
  • Adriana Carreño
  • Andrea Gutierrez
  • Lizeth Rueda

“We are thrilled to welcome this team to Major League Triathlon.” Said Daniel Cassidy, CEO of Major League Triathlon. “Triathlon Mexico and their athletes have established themselves as one of the world’s top federations leading up to Tokyo 2020. We are extremely excited to continue to increase the level of competition and give our athletes the opportunity to race Mixed Team Relay at the highest level possible. “

Major League Triathlon will host nine professional teams and will host many of the World’s best elite triathletes including international teams from Australia, Canada, and Mexico. MLT will host four events, making stops in: Atlantic City, Vail Valley, Tempe and Charlotte. The third year league specializes in the Mixed Team Relay format of racing, which will make its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. At every event, each athlete will swim 300 meters, bike four miles and run one mile, one at a time, before tagging their next teammate. The first team to have all four athletes cross the finish line will win.

Guardianes de Guadalajara

Guardianes de Guadalajara is the only Mexican/Latin-American Team competing in Major League Triathlon. They represent the City of Guadalajara. The Guardianes de Guadalajara will feature experienced triathletes like Olympians: Crisanto Grajales (London 2012 and Rio 2016), Irving Pérez (Río 2016), Cecilia Pérez (Río 2016) and the future of the extremely strong Mexican National Team including: Junior and U23 triathletes like Vanesa de la Torre, Abraham Rodriguez and Aram Peñaflor.

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Training

How to Build Strength on the Bike

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Taking a break from triathlon over the winter months? Put this time to good use and learn how to build strength and power on the bike.

How do I build strength on the bike? This is probably the question I get asked the most as a coach, and it’s the toughest to answer – especially when dealing with time-poor athletes, as biking is so time-consuming and few of us have the time to tap out two-to-three hour rides in the hills each day to gain the necessary strength needed to improve our ironman or half-ironman bike time.

As a pro athlete, it’s quite easy to lay down a strength-specific bike block to top things up if needed, which generally takes four-to-five weeks of specific work, provided the athlete has a good five-year base behind them. As an age grouper though, a 600-kilometre strength-focused week is not realistic. So, how do you build strength from a 200-kilometre bike week?

This is a tough proposition, but here are a few tips to increase your strength and hopefully improve your bike time. I am not saying that you will be pushing a 58-tooth chainring and riding at 45km/ph, but even if we’re just squeezing a small amount of juice from the orange, we are still getting somewhere.

Hill reps

This is probably the best way to increase strength. It is the most used and the most uncomfortable – but generally, the sessions that you find the most uncomfortable are the most beneficial. I see hill reps as the paddles/band session you do in swimming converted to cycling. Both sessions add specific stress on certain muscle groups of the body that are critical to the areas that need to be worked.

Much like this swim session will add stress to the shoulders/back/core, strength sessions on the bike will increase the work on the glutes and hamstrings, which is where the main power on the bike comes from. In saying this, when doing strength efforts it’s important to stay seated and place the chain ring in a large gear (one that is hard to pedal). If you have a cadence meter on your bike computer you will want to see around 60-to-70 RPMs on it while you are in the saddle. A gradual climb of around two-to-three kilometres is perfect for this session and should be completed two-to-three times with a submaximal heart rate of around 70 percent of your maximum. This effort should not be a lung-busting torture test, as it’s not designed to stress the cardio system but to build the muscular and central nervous system.

Gym

Hit the gym for an extended period of time during a break in racing and focus on specific muscle groups like the glutes, hamstrings and lower back. Not only will this assist with the increase in power development but also, perhaps, more importantly, it will help in the prevention of injury through strengthening the associated tendons and connective tissue around the muscle groups. This type of program should only be attempted after a consultation with a qualified coach or PT who can guide you through these exercises and ensure they are done correctly. I am a big believer in the benefits of a well-constructed and consistent weights program periodised with a structured program within the training phases.

Trainer sessions

Most people refer to these as the Devil. They are widely detested, particularly by athletes with sadistic coaches who program two-to-three hour solo sessions on the machine. As for strength benefit, these sessions are great as strength endurance sessions and can be added in if you find it hard to get to the hills. Just drop the gear down, stay in the saddle, and get the heart rate into the zone that you need.

Generally, trainer sets are a strength session in and of themselves as there is no freewheeling, no traffic lights and no downhills so you are constantly placing power down in a consistent manner. So, if you are time poor, increase your trainer sets during the week for a short block of time to increase strength. Double bike days are a good way of increasing your kilometres without having to utilise a three-to-four hour block of time. If you are crazy enough to double down and do two sessions in a day, then go for it as the benefits will show in your riding.

Block it up

Talk to your coach if you have one, or if not, plan a bike-specific block into your schedule. The only downside to this is that you might have to drop a few swim and run sessions. This is fine as long as they don’t drop off completely as the fitness will still be there from the increased bike mileage. This type of block should be done in the offseason for a few months. Don’t go overboard as a small increase in training of a particular discipline will have other effects on the other two disciplines – so plan it well and do it smart.

Use a power meter

This relatively new tool is great for monitoring power in training and providing a realistic target to attain and race to in a long-distance competition. It can be used in training for gradual goal setting and to set targets that are attainable and realistic for the athlete. By setting incremental power targets over a longer period of time, you should be able to hit an increased and ‘visible’ goal.

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How To

How to Stay safe, Warm and Motivated During the Winter Months

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It’s always important to think about your safety on the road and now that daylight savings has come to an end, it’s important to ‘light up’ your bike.

With winter fast approaching, your early morning and/or evening rides will be done in the dark or with very little daylight, so you need to get some lights on your bike. My motto is that you can’t overdo it, and so as a minimum, you should always have a front light and back light. I also clip a red flashing light to the back of my helmet to help vehicles see me.

Find yourself some bike lights

There is a vast array of lights to choose from so head down to your local bike shop and see what you can find. If you are riding in complete darkness, you will need a front light that transmits a strong beam of light well ahead of your bike. You don’t want to put yourself in danger by not being able to see very far in front of you, especially if you are riding at high speed. Your reaction time will be somewhat reduced by the darkness, so ensure you have a light that allows you to see well up the road. Some lights will have rechargeable batteries that require recharging after each ride. Other lights will be fitted with either AA or AAA batteries, depending on the size of your lights. As a helpful tip, it’s cheaper to buy batteries in bulk and this way, you will always have some on hand if a battery runs dry.

I like to get extra flashing lights and secure these to the front forks and rear chain to help vehicles from side streets see me. There are tiny frog lights that come with a rubber band and simply stretch around any part of your bike. I always leave two of these clipped to my bike, so if I get caught out at dusk, I have some lighting to help vehicles see me on the road.

Choose your clothing wisely

Not only do you want to train in warm, lightweight, sweat wicking lycra, but by choosing a brighter or lighter colour for your winter training, you will increase your chances of being easily seen on the road. Try not to train in dark plain colours as you will more easily blend into the black tarmac and be difficult to see. A lot of cycling clothing, such as wind vests, rain jackets and arm warmers, are made with reflective fabric or reflective taping, which are great for night-time rides.

Your local bike shop will have a good selection of clothing to help you dress properly for winter training. Remember that for cycling, it is better to wear layers of clothing. After your warm up, you can remove some external clothing to do your training session, without overheating. Most cycling jerseys have back pockets to carry excess clothing and food. If the weather changes or you are cooling down, it’s easy to rug up again and not get cold.

How to get motivated

The triathlon season is coming to a close and it’s time to think about your winter training. This is a good time to plan some new goals. Write down your goals and keep them somewhere visible so you can read them. Remember to set realistic goals – there is no point hoping to become an elite level world champion if you work a 40-hour week, have a mortgage, three kids and you can only train eight hours per week. Perhaps a more realistic goal is to progress from finishing in the top 30 to finishing in the top 20. Maybe you would like to improve your bike time from last season.

By setting goals, you will have given yourself a purpose for training. For many people, getting fit or losing weight is their primary goal. Sometimes it helps to add to this goal by setting yourself targets in each discipline of the triathlon over the winter. For example – measure out a five-kilometre run course and time yourself. See if you can improve on this time each month. As your time improves, you will realise you’re getting fitter and stronger.

Finding inspiration

People find inspiration in many forms. Some watch Tour de France videos and get so inspired they could run out and ride in rain, hail or snow, as they try to emulate their hero. Other athletes imagine the person they want to beat next season, and this inspires them to train hard in all weather conditions. The trick is to find something, a poster of your favourite athlete, uplifting music or something else, that motivates you to train during winter.

Whatever inspires you to train over winter, you will benefit from enjoyment and better health and fitness through exercise.

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Gear & Tech

The Sufferfest Releases a New Range of Indoor and Outdoor Plans to Cover Just About Anyone

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The Sufferfest, a comprehensive training app for cyclists and triathletes, announced the release of 67 new training plans on TrainingPeaks, creating a library of over 100 free plans for a novice, intermediate, and advanced endurance athletes. The plans incorporate indoor sessions from The Sufferfest’s catalogue of structured workouts, technique drills, and outdoor weekend sessions to better accommodate year-round structured training. Integration with TrainingPeaks—the industry leader in digital training solutions—allows athletes to take advantage of advanced data analysis and performance management features.

Designed by elite coaches Mac Cassin and Neal Henderson at APEX Coaching, the new collection of training plans from The Sufferfest includes plans designed to prepare athletes for specific events like triathlons, time trials, metric centuries, full centuries, mountainous gran fondos, and sportives. The outdoor workouts are built using TrainingPeaks’ Workout Builder, allowing them to be easily exported to compatible cycling computers or fitness devices. Optional yoga and mental toughness sessions can be added to any plan, further cementing The Sufferfest as the only training platform to provide comprehensive training for an athlete’s body and mind. To access all 102 plans, all users need is a subscription to The Sufferfest and a free account with TrainingPeaks.

“Many athletes lose focus and structure when they transition to riding outside in the warmer months,” said Cassin. “The new event preparation and outdoor/indoor plans are perfect for athletes who don’t want the quality of their training to go out the window when they head out the door. And because the plans are designed around an athlete’s Four-Dimensional Power profile, they are much more effective than generic plans that don’t take a rider’s unique strengths and weaknesses into account. Once an athlete completes the Full Frontal fitness test in The Sufferfest app and gets their comprehensive power profile, they can choose a plan that is tailored to develop their overall fitness while driving improvements in the area they need it most—whether it’s sprinting, sustained efforts, VO2 efforts, or repeated efforts.

“A training plan is only as good as the coach who designed it,” said David McQuillen, CEO of The Sufferfest. “Our partnership with APEX Coaching gives every athlete with a subscription to The Sufferfest access to the same coaches who train the best cyclists and triathletes in the world. By adding these new training plans we’ve expanded the ability for endurance athletes to take advantage of the most innovative, cutting-edge sports science available, no matter what the weather or time of year.”

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News & Racing

Rudy Project Launches Project Podium for Age Group Athletes

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Rudy Project North America, the exclusive distributor of Italian-made endurance sports gear, and the most worn helmet at Kona 7 times in a row is launching Project Podium, an initiative that rewards North America’s fastest age group triathletes with award-winning performance Rudy Project eyewear and helmets. All age group racers that win their age group in any sanctioned long distance triathlon in the United States and Canada are eligible to receive a free, top-of-the-line Rudy Project Boost 01 road aero helmet and a pair of Tralyx sunglasses. Winners will also be featured on Rudy Project’s website and lauded on social media as the top long-distance age group triathletes on the continent.

“A full-distance, 140 miles plus race is nothing to sneeze at, and attempting one is a feat in of itself,” said Paul Craig, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Rudy Project North America. “To win your age group, to come out on top, is something exceptional, and we want to reward the best, with the best.”

The program is open to all age group triathletes that compete in a sanctioned long distance triathlon race, in Canada or the United States, that is included in Project Podium’s list of eligible races. Athletes must be legal residents of either Canada or the United States in order to be eligible to win. The prize pack being offered is worth up to $625 USD, and triathletes that win their age group can submit their results online for verification at www.rudyprojectna.com/pages/project-podium in order to redeem. Athletes will be able to choose from the entire Boost 01 road aero colour line up, which includes Stealth Black and eye-popping Pink Fluo. Rudy Project’s new road aero helmet is quickly becoming an athlete favourite, following wind tunnel testing by ProCycling Magazine that demonstrated the Boost 01 was faster than any competitor helmet tested. To complement their helmet, athletes can also select a frame from the entire award-winning Tralyx family, including the regular Tralyx, Tralyx XL for additional coverage, or the new Tralyx SLIM, designed specifically for athletes with narrower faces. That, coupled with customer-forward warranties like Rudy Project’s 6 Year Crash Replacement Guarantee and Lifetime Replacement Lens Guarantee, make this an unbeatable prize package for the age grouper at the top of their game.

“Rudy Project is simply the best,” said Paul Craig. “We’re choosing to celebrate athletes who power the sport – the age group athlete and rewarding those that get to the top, the pinnacle of success. It may seem too good to be true, but we’re serious. If you win your age group in one of our listed races, we want to give you a helmet and sunglasses. If that extra push is all it takes to motivate someone to train a little harder, run a little faster down the chute toward the finish line, then we’ve done our job.”

Winning athletes can submit their information and race results for verification online. Athletes that won their age group in any 2018 full distance triathlon prior to the announcement of the program are also eligible to redeem retroactively. Full terms and conditions of the initiative can be found online, as well as a full list of eligible races. The program will run until December 2018.

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