Monthly Archives: April 2015

  • Trans Iowa v11: Sarah Cooper's Report

    by Sarah Cooper, Ultracyclist

    Trans Iowa v11
    Grinnell, Iowa
    April 25–26, 2015

    When Katherine and I were talking about Trans Iowa in the last few days before the race, she wanted hashtag ideas for tweeting during the race. The days of me sneaking off to a race and telling people about it after appear to be over for the short term. I don’t speak hashtag, I rarely tweet, and I am a silent observer on Twitter. The only idea I had, but did not share with her until the day before the race was #TIV11#weareallDOOMED. No one appreciates a pessimist, or even a realist in the face of what was certain to be a really hard day, so I kept my doubts mostly to myself and a few friends. I continued to plan, and contemplate what I would need to do to complete all 331 miles, but as the weather forecast continued to disintegrate, it was hard not to think about the possibility of my first real DNF.

    The extended weather forecast looked good, but it also did last year for TIV10. In the last three days preceding that race, the rain chances and wind speed were dialed up significantly. The same thing happened this year; the forecast went from sunny to progressively more rain and higher winds. One of my last texts to Katherine Friday night before I finally tried to sleep was “I hear thunder.” Grinnell ended up seeing more rain than was predicted for both Friday and Saturday, with 20–25 mph winds and gusts over 30 mph. I didn’t really expect good weather, but this was atrocious weather for riding, and would turn the course into a mushy, muddy mess.

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  • Heart of the South 500: Sarah Cooper's Report

    by Sarah Cooper, Ultracyclist

    Sarah did well at Heart of the SouthHeart of the South 500
    Birmingham, Alabama
    April 3–6, 2015

    This last year has entirely changed my perception of difficult, and what I thought I knew about my own personal limits. What I thought I could do and what I have accomplished are surprisingly similar, but the how has been more challenging than I ever imagined, and painful in ways I could not have anticipated. I’m not prone to drama, nor do I participate in the celebration of suffering as do many cyclists. Having seen true human suffering, I have a hard time categorizing anything I do on a bike for fun as suffering. But the unique combination of weather conditions and terrain at Heart of the South 500 put me as close to the edge of what I can do physically as I think I have ever been, and I reached a state of misery that really defies explanation. Yet still as I sit here to begin writing this less than 48 hours after finishing, I am eager to ride again and well on the way to physical recovery. The human body is an amazing thing.

    Heart of the South (HOTS) 500 is 517 miles over, around, and back over the Appalachian mountains in Alabama and Georgia. You are either riding up or down the entire event, with very few sections of road that you could call flat. There is everything from rolling hills to miles of continuous climbing and 38,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain. The pavement varies from good to bad, with chip seal and wheel eating potholes in a few sections. The race begins in Birmingham, Alabama at 8 p.m. on a Friday evening. The night time start is essentially to avoid Birmingham city traffic, but only adds to the difficulty as racers are awake for a much longer period of time before the start and the need for sleep will likely hit everyone before the race is over. Continue reading

  • Triathlon Swim Bundles Buying Guide

    by Katherine A. Roccasecca and Tami Ritchie

    Use a triathlon swim bundle to get ahead in your trainingWe are excited about our triathlon swim bundles because they provide options for both athletes new to triathlon and all levels of athletes.

    Many triathletes come from a biking or running background, with limited swim experience and no swim gear lying around. Our bundles include all the necessary tools to train for the swimming leg of a triathlon. This guide will help you choose the right bundle for you get the most out of those tools.

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  • Why Protein for Endurance Athletes

    by Eric Bockelman, Dietitian

    Why Protein for Endurance AthletesWhether you are a swimmer, cyclist, or runner, endurance- and cardio-oriented athletes typically fuel their bodies with carbs and skip over one of the most important building blocks in an athlete’s diet: protein. Whether you are a bodybuilder or a marathoner, it is important to integrate adequate amounts of amino acids/protein into your diet. These nutrients are necessary not only for muscle formation but for muscle repair.

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