Getting Unafraid of Open Water...

SWIM-ART.gifAdvice for avoiding panic attacks and other perceived perils of open-water swimming.

By Meredith Atwood (triathlon.competitor.com)

My first open-water training swim may have been one of the worst in the history of open-water swimming. The horrifying tale went something like this: 43 degrees outside, 62 degrees in the lake and my first time in a wetsuit. I knew the open water would be tough, but I was a good swimmer. I would be fine.

As I inched into the cold water, I noticed that my chest felt tight from the wetsuit, but I was hanging tough—until I put my face in the water. The shock of the cold floored me, and I immediately panicked and sucked in water. “I’m OK,” I said to myself. I put my face back into the water. More water in my lungs. I tried not to inhale the water, but the reaction was automatic. My coach at the time was gesturing: “We’re going to swim out to that first buoy and then take a left and swim past the four buoys and circle back.” I could not breathe. Swim? You want me to swim?  ...

Gender-Specific Diet Stuff...

woman-skinny-athletic-208x3.gifBy Brooke Schohl (usatriathlon.org)

When it comes to endurance sports, you know that fueling well is hugely important. The right fuel plan can increase energy levels, improve body composition and boost performance to the next level. Athletes who pay close attention to their intake, and strive to consume a clean diet of healthy, natural foods have a leg up on the competition.

There are some sex-specific fueling strategy differences between men and women, though. Which makes sense — we have unique anatomies, different nutrient requirements and diverse fueling habits.

Don’t be left in the dark, follow these women-specific guidelines for this year’s race season, ladies!

Ensure You Are Getting Enough Vitamins and Minerals

Female athletes like you are at higher risk for iron, calcium, B vitamin and zinc deficiencies. These nutrients are responsible for building bone and muscle, as well as being involved in energy production; all of which are essential to athletes. Iron insufficiencies occur commonly due to menstrual losses, and can lead to fatigue and low energy metabolism. Follow the philosophy of food first, supplements second when preventing or addressing nutrient deficiencies....

Is Peeing Penalizable?

pee-boy.gifIronman head referee Jimmy Riccitello answers your questions about the rules of the sport.

By Jimmy Riccitello (triathlon.competitor.com)

It depends on where and how you peed. If you relieve yourself while in a Porta-Potty or bathroom, you will not be penalized. Peeing outside of a bathroom, in plain view of others, however, should result in a penalty.

Let me start by saying that public urination is illegal in all 50 states. Extreme cases of public urination may even result in being charged with indecent exposure or public lewdness, which, in turn, may require the person to register as a sex offender. Even if an event or federation does not have a specific rule that prohibits peeing during a race, athletes who are witnessed by a race referee peeing in public may still be cited for public nudity (included in all triathlon rules that I’m aware of) or unsportsmanlike conduct.

The only sure way to avoid a penalty is to use one of the Porta-Potties along the course. If there are none, you should take major precautions to relieve yourself somewhere well off the beaten path and/or completely out of sight of any human being—especially a policeman, race referee and your fellow triathletes....

Stuff About People...

dani-V-run.gifRUTH BRENNAN MORREY - Ironman 70.3 Brasilia - Latin American Pro Championship is up next (April 5). Today (April 3.) I pitifully negotiated my way into a private athletic club to use their pool. It took a 30 minute interactive "Portuguese to English" and "English to Portuguese" computer translator with club security to make it happen, but I pulled out the 'professional athlete' card, and their strict policy was forgiven. They did require a short 'medical exam' to ensure that I was healthy enough to swim. True story. I passed.
Praying for a great race and praying that the back-up Easter Bunny has a sound game plan for Sunday. Detail fail on my part, but I think he can handle it. I will surely miss the fam on the best holiday of the year! (from Facebook)

Here's what Witsup.com had to say about Ruth:

Ruth Brennan Morrey will be looking to get her season back on track after a stalled start at Ironman 70.3 Monterrey a few weeks ago, where she unfortunately didn’t finish due to stomach issues. With a breakout year in 2014 , this mother of three, who also has a PhD, has been making even greater strides in her already fast run, which has the possibility to stir up the field in the later stages of the race. Morrey’s focus for this year is on qualifying for Kona, having only raced her full distance at the back of 2014, finishing second at Ironman Chattanooga with a 3.02 marathon split. FULL STORY

Nutritional "Ah Ha!" Moments...

salt-shaker2.gifhigh_fiber_foods1.gifbeer_pint.gifSmall tweaks to nutrition made a big difference for these pros.

By Susan Lacke (triathlon.competitor.com)

There’s a reason nutrition is known as the “fourth discipline” of triathlon—what an athlete eats in and out of training directly impacts swim, bike and run performance. Though some nutritional advice is obvious (drinking water, for example), many triathletes fail to see how certain foods (or lack thereof) limit athletic capacity—that is, until an “ah-ha!” moment takes place.

Some “ah-ha!” moments are subtle, gradual realizations, while others come in the form of a brick wall mid-race. Regardless, one common thread is clear: small changes to nutrition can yield big results in performance. Today, five pros share their nutritional “ah-ha!” moments with Triathlete, along with how you can benefit from their breakthroughs.....

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