Soles Inspired on Facebook Soles Inspired on YoutTube
background img
Triathlon Training Minneapolis
HOME
ABOUT
COACHES
CONTACT
BLOG
TRI CLUB

Unofficial Spectator and Athlete Guide for Ironman Arizona

Any athlete looking to bag an Ironman PR should go to Arizona.  It is really that simple.  Yet just because the course is relatively easy (for a 140.6 mile race) and predictable, it doesn’t mean it there aren’t some quirks and challenges for you and your Iron Sherpas.  Here are 15 things you hopefully already thought about in your plan for IMAZ.

1) Hotels within walking distance to Ironman Athlete Village double their prices and require a three night stay.  Remember that ASU is largely a commuter university and the race is adjacent to a major business district.  This means that within 2 miles of the start of the race are tens of thousands of parking spaces.  Bottom line:  Rent a cheaper hotel on the other side of town and commute in for the race.

2)  Speaking of parking… Spectators should park on or south of University Drive if they plan to come and go during the day.  Much of the through roads north and east of Tempe Town “Lake” area closed because of the bike, and to some degree run, courses.

3)  This race is late in the year.  Have a contingency plan for your last few weeks of training.  What will you do if you absolutely need to – physically or mentally – crush that final century ride the first weekend of November and it is 45 degrees and rainy?

4) The swim entry is a mess.  Triathletes – all 2,200 of you – have to enter a narrow dock then jump down from said dock into the water.  From Madison to Lanzarote, every water start race struggles getting swimmers in the water on time.  The whole dock situation makes it worse at IMAZ.  Do not wait until the last minute to get in the water.  If you hear the cannon boom for the pro start and you’re not already in the water, you better hurry up.  Did I mention that you have to swim about 250 meters to the start once you get in the water?

5)  Once you jump of the dock you need to expect cold water.  Really cold water.  Desert nights get really cold so don’t be fooled by the reported water temps in September or day time air temps in October.  Phoenix is in the desert.  Nights get cold.  Cold nights make cold water.  So, have a strategy for cold water on race day and be sure to push your fall OWS season longer than you usually would.

Coach Bees at Ironman AZ 2010 assisting athlete Sam T. in T1

Coach Bees at Ironman AZ 2010 assisting athlete Sam T. in T1

6)  As mentioned above the swim start is in water.  If you’ve done an in water start before, then skip to #7.  If you haven’t done a water start you need to know that every swimmer will go from treading water in a vertical plane taking up about 2 square feet each before the gun to horizontal swimming taking up 14 square feet after the gun.  If you are not comfortable with full-contact swimming, now is not the time to come to terms with it.  Stay in back and stay wide (i.e. to the right).

7)  In danger of not making cut off on the swim?  Little known fact:  In addition to the 2:20:00 swim cut off there is a 2:35:00 T1 exit cut off and athletes racing in Physically Challenged division are not given an exemption to either.  This was the case through 2012 at IMAZ, though I cannot find reference to the T1 exit cut off on the official Ironman Arizona website. (pictured left, Sam and I narrowly making the 15 minute T1 cut off)

8)  The first hour or two on the bike might be really cold from a combo of hypothermic water conditions and cold, dry, morning air.  The average lows on race week are around 50 degrees.  That means there is a reasonable chance you exit the water in 40-something degree air.  Plan on riding in sleeves/cap/gloves for an hour or so.  Then plan on discarding them as it often quickly hits the average high of 75 degrees and sunny.

9)  The bike course is flat as flat can be.  While this might seem like a blessing for those of us who train in the mountains, it can be really taxing on the back and other body parts not used to being in the saddle for that long.  If you live in the Midwest you need to train your back for being in aero for 6 hours by riding through every pancake flat farming town with good roads your can find.  If you’re in the mountains by me, you better get out to the Sierraville Valley or Davis and do the same.  And if you’re my client, plan on a good bit of planking, dynamic warrior repeats, scap depressions, and other lumbar and thoracic spine exercises during pre-season training.

10)  The sun goes down early but is really intense when it is out.  If you’re one of those people that have been training at 5am, plan on loading up on the sunblock.

11)  Don’t rely on speed as an accurate measure of effort.  This is a topic I’ve written about at length in the past.  Though the roads are flat, a head-/tailwind will really impact your speed.   Focus on your goal power or heart rate and settle in.  Its a three time out and back course, so what you lose on the out, you’ll make up for on the back or vice versa.

12) Some athletes experience a bit of intimidation with the out and back course as they see faster athletes nearly a full lap ahead of them.  Find inspiration in this, not defeat.

13)  Sunset is around 5:25 p.m. on race day.  When that sun goes below the mountains the temps drop pretty quickly.  Use your Run Special Needs bag to include a skull cap, light jacket, and extra liquid calories (your stomach won’t want solids at this point).  Just trust me on this one.  You might not need the calories or  clothing.  If you do it could save your run.

14) Stick to your goal heart rate on the run!  This is the most spectator friendly run in all of Ironman.  The good news is that this means you will have ample crowd support.  The bad news comes if you let the adrenaline get the best of you and nuke the first 10k to 13.1 miles then slowly blow up.  Also, generic Ironman run advice:  On the last mile of the run, don’t speed up.  Slow down, pull your tri top down, wipe the crusty sweat off your face, adjust your visor.  You might not think so now, but you’re going to pay $40 for that finishers photo.  Might as well make it look pretty.

14b)  Note to all Physically Challenged athletes racing “Tri 1″ PC classification:  For the last several years there has been a very short stretch of the run that is not paved.  It is part hard-packed dirt and, some years, pea gravel.  Other runners will help push you through without penalty, but don’t plan on getting through it in your racing chair.

15)  After the race you need calories.  For a quick sugar hit, Palettas Betty on Mill & 5th is open until 11:00 p.m. and serves, well, pallettas of course, which is a Mexican popsicle that they often make savory and naturally sweetened.  If you need something more substantial go for a ‘za at Mellow Mushroom (also on Mill St.), a pizza chain that does gluten free and vegan pizzas and has a lot of microbrew beer options if you can stomach it.

Posted in Triathlon | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Yoga Workshop for Triathletes and Runners at Fit Culture Studio in Nevada City

 

Sore muscles?  We understand.  During peak training your hard working body deserves all the help you can give it to aid recovery.  You can spend hundreds on recovery powders and pills, massages, compression gear, and even special “recovery sandals.”  Or you can come out to our free presentation next week to learn how a short yoga practice done in your own home can further the healing process to get you back on track and trail quicker.

Free Yoga for Triathletes and Runners Workshop on Tuesday, August 25 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Fit Culture Studio in Nevada City

 

The root cause of most athletic injury can be summarized by one word:  imbalance.  Certain muscles are stronger than others and some muscles are more flexible than others.  The repetitive, and unconscious, use of the stronger muscles leads to further over-/under-development.  And like a pothole on a dirt road, the problem will only get worse when left untreated.  The physical aspect of yoga helps to identify and correct those imbalances.

 

Additionally, the mental aspects of the meditative side of yoga teach athletes to turn their focus inward.  This aspect of yoga not only helps triathletes “tune in” to otherwise unobserved issues in their body, it can help improve your performance.  Go ahead, read that last sentence again – we said yoga improves performance.   Come out to Fit Culture Studio on Tuesday, August 25th and we will explain how.

This event is co-hosted by Coach Scott Beesley of Soles Inspired Triathlon Club in Grass Valley.  The workshop will be a mix of formal presentation and asana (the physical aspect of yoga).  Come in comfortable clothes, though don’t expect to sweat as this will be a short and very very gentle slow moving yoga practice. This class is suitable for all levels of athletes and yogis.

Posted in Yoga | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Triathlon 101 Clinic at South Yuba Club

Coach Bees will be hosting a Triathlon 101 Clinic at South Yuba Club at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 23.  Meet in the Personal Training Center – it’s the first building on the right at the Nevada City location (not Grass Valley).   This clinic is open to the public.

 

This clinic is designed to help relative newbies to the sport navigate race day so that there are no surprises.  Although the discussion will be focused around the Barbara Schmidt Millar (BSM) “A Celebration of Life” Triathlon, many of the concepts discussed will apply to universally to all races.    Topics include:

 

Training:  How much do you really need to train to finish a sprint triathlon?

Gear:  Do you need a fancy road bike?  Do you swim in bike shorts or bike in your swimsuit? And how do you put socks on when you’re dripping wet from the swim?

Injury Prevention:  How safe is it to train on Pasquale?  What will you do during the swim, bike, and run to make sure your training and race leave you feeling better, not worse?

Nutrition:  What should you eat the morning of and during the race?

 

Bring any other questions you have next Wednesday as there will be ample time for Q&A.

 

Coach Scott Beesley has safely led over 100 athletes to their first finish line.  He is Western Nevada County’s only USA Triathlon certified coach and currently splits his time between his duties as Head Coach of the Soles Inspired Tri Club in Grass Valley and as Fitness Director of South Yuba Club in Nevada City.  He can be reached at (248) 877-5338 or coachbees@solesinspired.com

 

Posted in Inspiration, Triathlon | Leave a comment

Triathlon Club Training for BSM Tri

The tri club at Scott's Flat earlier this May.

The tri club at Scott’s Flat earlier this May.

 

 

There will be an information session for all those interested in joining a training group for the 2014 BSM “Celebration of Life” Women’s Triathlon.  The session will be at the South Yuba Clubhouse (aka The Personal Training Center) at their Nevada City gym next Tuesday, June 10.  The talk will begin at 6:30 p.m. and last for approximately 45 minutes.

 

 

 

 

girls post raceThe Soles Inspired Tri Club will be hosting the event and providing coaching for all athletes interested in joining the club.  The club practices three times per week in Grass Valley and Nevada City for those who want a group to train with and provides detailed training plans for those who wish to train on their own.  The club is headed up by coach Scott Beesley who has helped over 100 first-timers finish their first tri.

And don’t leave the men in your life behind!  The guys will be training for a yet-to-be-determined fall race.

Posted in Triathlon | Leave a comment

Foam Rolling and Lax Ball Self-Massage Clinic at NOW Bike

Post-ride powders and pills  …compression socks …sleep aids …recovery boots  …yoga for athletes.  The list goes on.  The “recovery” segment of the triathlon world is quickly becoming an industry of its own.  This time of year, during peak training, it is important to know your recovery options and avoid wasting time and money on over-hyped products.

 

Join us at 6:30 pm next Thursday, May 22 at NOW Bike & Tri in Arden Hills (not their St. Paul store!) for free clinic geared toward recovery methods during peak training.  One of the most simple and effective tools to help relax those sore muscles is a $3 lacrosse ball.  This clinic will use stretching and both foam rollers and a lax ball to help you self-massage sore muscles.  Clinic will be a mix of presentation on the science behind foam rolling/self-massage and actual hands on technique work.  So, bring your foam roller if you have one.  Lacrosse balls will be provided.

Get ready Mpls!

Get ready Mpls!

This event is a co-production of Scott Beesley of Soles Inspired and Suzie Fox of Fox Endurance.  foxes

Posted in Triathlon | Leave a comment

Performance Nutrition Basics

 The content of the video below was originally intended for the Soles Inspired Tri Club of Grass Valley, California in preparation for their race in the Folsom Sprint Triathlon and Folsom International Distance Triathlon this summer. 

 

There is difference between everyday eating, dieting to lose weight, and eating to perform as a triathlete.  Each strategy is unique.  When eating to perform you must be properly fueled and not overly restrict caloric intake.  The more important thing is to know your body and listen to it.  What works for one athlete on the bike and run might cause another triathlete to completely fall apart and bonk (or spend half their race in the port-o-john).  This means you need to experiment with the right amount of calories, sodium, and water early in the season so that your fueling and hydration strategy is dialed in by race day.

 

 

Posted in Nutrition | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Bike Maintenance Clinic at Tour of Nevada City Bike Shop

Think of this.   …It’s race day.  You’re well trained.  You’re feeling good.  You’re rocking an awesome neon green Soles Inspired Tri Club suit that makes you look like you’ve done this a hundred times before  ….the swim goes better than you thought  …you transition to bike quicker than you thought  …the first half of the bike ride goes great  …and then, it happens.  You get a flat tire.  It’s your rear tire too.  What do you do?

 

Yeah.  That's that's what we'd do too.

Yeah. That’s that’s what we’d do too.

If the answer to the above question is anything other than, “Take out the tools from under my bike seat and fix the flat in under five minutes,” then you need to join us next Tuesday, April 29 at 6:30 p.m. at Tour of Nevada City Bike Shop for a Bike Maintenance Clinic.  You will learn how to fix a flat tire and some other very basic bike maintenance tips. You’ll also have the chance to purchase all the tool necessary to do that job that will be required gear at all future bike practices.  This clinic will take place of the normally scheduled Soles Inspired Tri Club practice for next Tuesday.

Posted in Cycling | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How to Periodize Your Yoga as a Triathlete

The following article originally appeared in a 2011 Coach Fitter series on Yoga for Triathletes.  

 

Have you ever crushed it on the squat rack the night before a big race?  What about switch your training focus away from swim, bike, run to a recreational team sport during peak training?  Of course you haven’t.  Why?  Because we use a concept called periodization to focus on different disciplines at different intensities during different times of the year and different days of the week.   This concept should be applied to your yoga practice so it can remain in your triathlon program year round.

Of course, as yoga instructors, we don’t make that easy for you.  It’s hard to decipher what each class is all about given the mix of Sanskrit and cutesy names use.  Here is what to look for during the different phases of your training.

 

Off Season/Pre Season

The Goal:  This is the time of year where yoga can be used, more or less, in place of a normal strength training session.  Ninety percent of all yoga classes at chain gyms offer a fitness-focused version of yoga that fits the bill here.

The Class Names:  Fitness Yoga, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Yoga, PiYo, most Baptiste classes or any hybrid class with the word “power” in it.

Questions to Ask The Teacher Before Going:  Will I sweat in this class?  How intense is the practice?  If the answers are “yes” and “moderate” or more then you are in the right place.

 

Peak Training

The Goal:  To work the body gently with less intensity than the physical demands required in some of the classes listed above so you have the energy to focus on swim, bike and run.

The Class Names:  Slow Flow, Beginner Vinyasa, Yin-Yang, or most classes designated as Level I.

Questions to Ask:  How much of the class will be spent moving versus holding gentle postures?  Will this class be a difficult physical workout?  They answer to the first should be a mix of each and the answer to the second should be a resounding “no.”

 

Recovery

Note that this could be a full post-triathlon recovery phase or simply an easy day following a hard training day.

The Goal:  Relax and repair muscles by opening up the hips.

The Class Names:  Restorative Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Yin Yoga.

Questions to Ask:  Will this class be mostly on the mat and not standing?  The answer should be “yes.”

Here’s one of our Restorative Yoga for Triathletes videos…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQqbt-oUhV4

 

Heat Adaptation

This is specific to athletes whose coach is putting them through a phase of heat adaptation in prep for racing in hot conditions.

The Goal:  There is some science out there pointing to evidence that exercise at even low intensities can help the body perform well at threshold in the heat.  In theory, yoga could be the exercise modality to accomplish this.

The Class Names:  Bikram Yoga, Moksha and any class with the name “hot” in it

Questions to Ask:  Is the room heated?  Is the class accessible to beginners?  The answers should quite obviously be “yes.”  The second question is particularly important because many heated classes can be very intense.

 

Yoga can be accessible to every triathlete during every phase of training.  The key is finding the right class and making the commitment.

 

Scott Beesley is a full-time triathlon coach and yoga instructor, currently based in Grass Valley, California.  If you email him your zip code and training goals at coachbees@solesinspired.com, he will find a yoga class in your area.  More free advice at www.solesinspired.com, www.facebook.com/solesinspired, www.youtube.com/solesinspired

 

Posted in Yoga | Tagged , , | Leave a comment