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Ironman Arizona Race Tips

It’s almost here. Ironman Arizona. After all the hundreds of consumed GU’s and Gatorades, waking up feeling like a bull-dozer hit you every morning for 4-12 months, and having your drive, courage and heart tested day in and day out, it’s time to see what it was all worth. Let me start by saying Arizona Ironman 2011 was my first, and I know what everyone has gone through with training. I’ve had the days when I’ve collapsed in tears on runs wondering how I was going to piece it all together come ray day, absolutely terrified of failing. It probably didn’t help I was only 22 years old and felt a little bit over my head. However, the fear is what fueled my training, and ignited my hunger to eat this race alive. With all of this said, there’s a few tips I could have used, and want to share some golden advice so you too can have the race of your life. I’d also like to note that this is what worked for me, and by no means should anyone think these tips are the only way to go.

Pre-Race Week

Let’s start by the week leading up to the race…

Read On

FRS Soft Chews Review

FRS has come out with these tasty soft chews, which encompass a blend of vitamins and antioxidants aimed at giving you a nice boost during training or racing. Amongst the ingredients in the chews is a flavanoid called Quercetin, which is naturally occurring in nature. Quercetin is found in many vegetables and fruits, serving many benefits, (mos important in the case of training and racing) an anti-inflammatory effect, as well as extending your body’s natural adrenaline. Per FRS’ Website on Quercetin: “Its incredible benefits were first discovered by scientists searching for a way to give chemotherapy patients more energy. In further studies, Quercetin has been clinically proven to boost your immunity while raising your levels of focus, energy, and fitness. It works by triggering your cells’ ability to produce more real energy.”

In comparing antioxidant levels amongst berries vs FRS Chews:

Per 1 serving, there’s 2X the amount of antioxidants as  a serving of blueberries, 6x the amount of one serving of raspberries, and 7x the amount of a serving of apples.

The individually  wrapped chews (perfect for on the go travel) come in 4 tasty flavors: Pomegranite Blueberry (my favorite), Pinneapple Mango, Orange, and Lemon Lime.

Perfect on the go energy source! Get them at One Tri.

Zoot Conduit Wetsuit Review

I had the joy of swimming in the Conduit, (formerly known as the Synergy), last weekend in an ocean swim. Quite frankly, after experiencing superior range of motion and essentially feeling like Gumby, I came to the conslusion alongside my co-worker that there really shouldn’t be any other triathlon wetsuit on your radar. That’s a bold statement coming from somebody who comes from a strong swim background and has swum in some of the best wetsuits on the market.

Here are some factuals on the Conduit as to why I most likely came to this wetsuit conclusion:

The tri wetsuit is a combination of 5mm, 4mm, and 1.5mm. What importance is this? The 5mm in the body gives you supreme buoyancy while the 1.5mm in the arms and shoulder makes for unsurpassed flexibility. The grade of neoprene is c39 with scs nano coating, which is on the higher end grade of materials. GLIDEflex panels can be found around the center of the chest where the arms stem away from your sternum, as well as down the ribs and continuing down the side of the legs. This feature is specific to this wetsuit, and one of the reasons I felt like I could move so well. The paneling allows for easy stretch and give where the limbs branch out from the core, allowing for free flowing movment.

Zoot has won me over with this suit. Perfect solution to upgrading your entry level westuit.

Get it at OneTri.

SaltStick Review

With all the nutritional products on the market, we as triathletes are often left confused with what we really need. Between balancing carbohydrate consumption, calorie counting and protein intake, it’s easy to see why sodium can be an tricky monster. Not enough and you’re cramping, too much and you can easily end up in the medical tent.

Let’s look at when you really need additional salt and why SaltStick is clearly genious. Any time you’re racing or training longer than an hour you’re sending your body into some kind of (larger or smaller, depending) salt depletion. Longer than three hours, you’re at a definite depletion. So what’s in a SaltStick Capsule? Isn’t it just table salt? NO. Per Salt Stick’s webpage, it’s the combination of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride which all aide in assisting with crucial roles in muscle contraction, relaxation, and performance. Without them, our muscle function will be inhibited to function properly. So how much salt are you actually losing? A whopping 400-1,000 mg per hour (heat, humidity and body size considering). Salt Stick notes to take 1 capsule every 30-60 minutes. This is very dependent upon how much you sweat. If you find a white residue that seems to be dried on a lot on your training clothing you’re most likely a heavier sweater. Training in harsher weather conditions will most times often warrant needing a higher salt and sodium intake particularly due to heat stress.

I myself was having a very difficult time with fatigue and nausea, and found out I was a heavy sweater and was losing large amounts of salt during my long rides. Once you get up to the half ironman and full distance, SaltSticks are going to become a staple in your nutrition. Please be sure to follow all of their advice with consumption.

Nutrition Facts

De Soto Carrera Tri Short

Other than the obvious of the aesthetics of triathlon apparel, it all ends up coming down to how comfortable we are. Females in particular tend to be far more concerned with this, and when talking about a tri short, the Carrera Tri Short tends to be the favorite. Maybe I’m a little bit partial to the short, seeing as how it’s the only short I demand to wear for racing and training (even for the Ironman), but when it comes to the fit, it’s designed like no other short.

The primary feature of the short that separates itself is the wide-banded waist, which can either fit as low rise or right above the hip, depending on which model you choose. What makes this so important? The last thing you want with your triathlon short is for the waist band to be leaving awfully pretty indents in your stomach that dig into your waist. This isn’t an issue with the Carrera. The band is soft and wide enough to sit comfortably around your hips.

The actual fabric of the short (Carrera™ Skin ) is made up of a nylon/spandex make-up which is breathable, moisture-wicking, and lightweight. There aren’t any surprise seams that you’ll find in the short 30 or 40 miles into your ride, either. The pad (although thin) is seamless, and makes for a comfortable run when off the bike. The shorts come in various shades and lengths (inseams varying from about 5” to 8”). The Carrera is feminine, comfortable, and affordable…and to reiterate, my personal favorite.

Orca S3 Wetsuit Review

Out of any entry-level wetsuit that I help fit customers into in our shop, the Orca S3 tends to be the top choice. With the price alone drawing customers in at a low $198, the fit of the suit becomes a larger deciding factor. Many suits out there on the market come with a “performance-type fit”. Ask any woman (or man for that matter) that don’t seem to fall into one of the charted categories, or with a simply curvier figure, and they’ll tell you that most suits just don’t fit right. Orca, however, tends to fit varying body types.

Beginners, or those newly stepping into the neoprene as a swimmer, will benefit from the quality of materials found in the S3, of which often only found in mid-range wetsuits. The suit features 5mm in the core which aids in additional buoyancy as well as balance. It’s also designed with a 2mm Quadrastretch shoulder panel as well as 2mm QuadraFlex underarm panel help to aid in maximizing your range of motion while leaving your upper body feeling not too constrained (which tends to be a much heard complaint from triathletes).

Additional reasons this suit is a top seller:

• Full Smoothskin neoprene coverage across shoulders
• Excellent levels of buoyancy, flexibility and thermal protection
• [Lining] [Rest of body] Powerstretch
• Hydrolift Body Panel
• Hydrostroke Forearm Panels (Increases power in catch phase of stroke)
• Speed Transition Panels
• Flexiseal Neck (Tight enough to keep water out and not feel suffocating)

If you’re new to triathlon wetsuit world, and looking at your options, this is a suit that’s certainly worth another look. Price, fit, and flexibility. All three things that triathletes are concerned with. The Orca S3 boasts all three, and at first glance, would never appear in a class of entry-level.