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Goin' Halvsies...Updated...

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Recently, a guy asked us to list the Top 10 fastest half Ironman times by amateur Minnesota men and women in the last three years. We were happy to oblige...

Sub-2:15s...

christina_age_1.pngYesterday we talked about the amateur Minnesota men who had distnguished themselves with sub-2-hour Olympic distance performances in the last two seasons. We discussed some of the reasons why there were significantly more sub-2s in 2015 than 2016.

Today we're looking at the amateur Minnesota women who posted sub-2:15 times at Olympic distance. As with the men, 2015 was a faster year than 2016. And as with the men, the tougher conditions at Omaha Nationals was partly to blame. Also, having Worlds close to home in 2015 had a major effect for the women.

What needs to be mentioned here is that, while fast Olympic times weren't as numerous last season, Minnesota's amateur women totally rocked at sprint--check out the Lake Waconia results!--and half IM. We'll be posting about that in the near future.

Sub-2s....

bennett_black.pngMinnesota's elite amateur men didn't rock in Olympic distance races in 2016 like they had in the previous half dozen years. Let's take a look at that.

As a rule of thumb, sub two hour times define elite amateur performances at this distance, which breaks down as follows: 1500m swim, 37-42K bike, 10K run.

How wide was the disparity in recent years? In 2015, Minnesota male amateurs receorded 21 sub-2-hour performances, with Bennett Isabella (photo L) leading the way with four. In 2016, only  nine such efforts were turned in, with Sean Cooley (photo below R) posting one-third of those.

What explains the disparity? Two explanations come to mind. First, several of our state's fastest guys--sub-2 guys--were injured or, for other reasons, did not race in 2016. At the top of this list was Isabella, followed by Devon Palmer, Brian Sames, Nick Nygaard and Larry Hosch.

Second, Nationals was contested in Omaha. Its courses were more challenging than those of the previous five years (Milwaukee and Burlington), and its weather was...

Become a Faster Runner (Without Running)...

Unknown.jpgBy Mark Eller (triathlete.com)

Endurance athletes are a hardworking lot, so the promise of “free speed” often strikes us as empty, and maybe even a touch offensive. However, once you get us talking about improvements we have made in training, gear or diets, we are usually eager to share the discoveries that have helped improve our performances. That’s the goal with this article—to share some well-documented techniques that could help you get faster on the run specifically, beyond the obvious (and undeniably effective) advice to run more miles and train harder.

Wear Lighter Shoes

Researchers have established that reducing the shoe weight by 100 grams typically yields about a 1 percent increase in performance. That’s a pretty big gain that could be...

Their Least Favorite Part of Triathlon...

020216_swim.pngBy WILL MURRAY | FEB. 02, 2016, teamusa.org
Their least favorite part of triathlon: how some athletes contemplate swimming in a lake, reservoir, river, bay or ocean. Just thinking about an open water swim can cause some athletes to sense shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, even sweating and tunnel vision. For others, their emotions around open water swimming run from minor dread to something just short of terror. Some athletes describe their feelings as a “panic attack.”

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are fast, easy, effective and durable techniques to help any athlete achieve comfort and enjoyment in big water. These techniques address both physical and psychological aspects of and many of them you can do by yourself in the privacy of your own mind....

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