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Are You An Iron-Man / Woman?

You know you're in pretty good shape, but you’ve had that nagging question in the back of your mind, wondering if you could handle the rigors of taking part in an Ironman competition. Well for starters lets see just what competing in an Ironman competition consists of.

According to Wikipedia: An Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run, raced in that order and without a break. It’s widely agreed that this one day race is one of the most difficult races a person can compete in.

Please keep in mind that getting your body in the proper condition to be able to take part in an Ironman Triathlon, takes about a 2- year course of commitment to train for it.  There are many places to search for what it takes to get your body ready to undertake this strenuous challenge,  And its also a great idea to either get the facts and details from someone who has actually participated in such a competition, or go to a reputable trainer to get the specifics on what and how you need to train yourself to be able to handle this grueling event.

Most Ironman events have a limited time of 17 hours to complete the race. The race typically starts at 7:00 a.m.; the mandatory swim cut off for the 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim is 9:20 a.m. (2 hours 20 minutes), the mandatory bike cut off time is 5:30 p.m. (8 hours 10 minutes), and the mandatory marathon cut off is midnight (6 hours 30 minutes). Any participant who manages to complete the triathlon within these time constraints is designated an Ironman.

Now that you know what it consists of, do you think you're up to the challenge? Most trainers will agree that training for this type of competitive event is not a 6-month endeavor. It takes a year at least to get your body in the physical and mental state to be able to complete the race in the allocated time-frame. Most trainers will also agree that in order to be emotionally and physically prepared its better to take part in the training for this event over a two-year period of time. The reason being that in order to train correctly, you need to be able to devote a specific amount of time each day in order to have your body conditioned so that it can stand the strain that you're going to ask of it.

Competitors have a total of 17 hours to accomplish this feat. Top male Ironmen can finish in eight-and-a-half hours, while female winners generally take just more than nine hours. But the Ironman isn't just a race for superhuman beings in the peak of physical health. People with physical disabilities have completed the Ironman, including amputees, people in wheelchairs and one man who carried or pushed his disabled son the entire way. People in their 70s and 80s enter Ironman races (and finish them)! The fact is that there is a vast majority of competitors, Non-Professionals who are amateurs, who fit their training schedules around work and personal life.

Each Ironman event begins with the swimming leg. That's a 2.4-mile swim. The water temperature varies depending on the location of the event. It's actually better for the swimmers if the water is colder because if it's below a certain temperature, the competitors can wear wetsuits. Wetsuits add buoyancy to a swimmer, which makes the swimming leg easier.

Upon completing the swim leg, competitors enter the transition area. This is where they switch from one leg to another. There's usually just one transition area because the cycle course is a loop, but in events where the cycle leg isn't a loop, a separate bike-to-run transition area is required. The swim-to-bike transition is known as T1. Racers must find their bike in rows of racks with hundreds of other bikes, put on whatever clothes and footwear they need for the bike leg, walk their bike to the start of the bike course and start riding. At some point, they also need to put on a helmet, grab a water or sport drink and possibly eat an energy bar.

Both the biking and running legs take place on paved roads. However, some Ironman courses have more hills than others, so the terrain can be an obstacle.

The transition from bike to run (T2) isn't as difficult, but some triathletes experience leg cramps when they start running. Ironman races have support crews along the run leg that provides water, sports drinks and sometimes food. The only thing after the run leg is the finish line and the post-race party. Hopefully, your going to be in good enough shape to be able to stand up for the acknowledgments that come with your crossing the finish line, after all, you’ve just Earned IT!

The above lays out what makes up an Ironman / Woman competition, we are going to go into the specific training detail portion in an upcoming post. For now, know that the above takes a solid commitment by you and possibly your family since a large portion of your time is going to be spent preparing your body to be able to achieve the demands you're going to be asking of it. That being said, you're going to need to track your performance daily, weekly and monthly. From swimming endless laps to biking the same distance in your practice sessions that might have taken you to the top of Everest, if you count miles vs miles. And then there is the running, running until you think your legs just won’t be able to support you anymore. Then you run some more and will continue to do so right up to the day of the Ironman.

In order to track all of these activities properly while also keeping a weathered eye on your heart-rate a functional, accurate smartwatch can monitor your daily stats and provide the necessary data to let you know where you need improvement and what aspect of your training you need to key in on so that you can excel in your chosen sport. One such watch is the Garmin Vivoactive 3 GPS Smart Activity Tracker  When you head outside, the built-in GPS lets the Vívoactive 3 track the details of your chosen activity, with no phone connection required. From snowboarding to swimming and at least a dozen other options in between, this watch is the perfect training coach, right at your wrist to keep track so YOU keep on track of your training so that you're ready for that important day. You can keep your workout schedule fresh and invigorating, after all, with all the training you're going to be doing you need to change up the routines a bit, so your not bored.

Create your own custom running, cycling, swimming, and cardio or strength workouts, and download them to your watch. Then, your Vívoactive smartwatch will keep track of the exercises, reps, sets and rest time for you. Having a tool like the Vivoactive 3 can provide you with that coach that is always looking over your shoulder, one to make sure you do enough, and with its built-in “Elevate” HeartRate Sensor it can let you know when your doing just a little too much so that you need to dial down the training for a day or so. This is one training device that you just don't want to be without. So, there you have it.

From your Ironmen and Ironwomen buddies here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com


 

Read more

You know you're in pretty good shape, but you’ve had that nagging question in the back of your mind, wondering if you could handle the rigors of taking part in an Ironman competition. Well for starters lets see just what competing in an Ironman competition consists of.

According to Wikipedia: An Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run, raced in that order and without a break. It’s widely agreed that this one day race is one of the most difficult races a person can compete in.

Please keep in mind that getting your body in the proper condition to be able to take part in an Ironman Triathlon, takes about a 2- year course of commitment to train for it.  There are many places to search for what it takes to get your body ready to undertake this strenuous challenge,  And its also a great idea to either get the facts and details from someone who has actually participated in such a competition, or go to a reputable trainer to get the specifics on what and how you need to train yourself to be able to handle this grueling event.

Most Ironman events have a limited time of 17 hours to complete the race. The race typically starts at 7:00 a.m.; the mandatory swim cut off for the 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim is 9:20 a.m. (2 hours 20 minutes), the mandatory bike cut off time is 5:30 p.m. (8 hours 10 minutes), and the mandatory marathon cut off is midnight (6 hours 30 minutes). Any participant who manages to complete the triathlon within these time constraints is designated an Ironman.

Now that you know what it consists of, do you think you're up to the challenge? Most trainers will agree that training for this type of competitive event is not a 6-month endeavor. It takes a year at least to get your body in the physical and mental state to be able to complete the race in the allocated time-frame. Most trainers will also agree that in order to be emotionally and physically prepared its better to take part in the training for this event over a two-year period of time. The reason being that in order to train correctly, you need to be able to devote a specific amount of time each day in order to have your body conditioned so that it can stand the strain that you're going to ask of it.

Competitors have a total of 17 hours to accomplish this feat. Top male Ironmen can finish in eight-and-a-half hours, while female winners generally take just more than nine hours. But the Ironman isn't just a race for superhuman beings in the peak of physical health. People with physical disabilities have completed the Ironman, including amputees, people in wheelchairs and one man who carried or pushed his disabled son the entire way. People in their 70s and 80s enter Ironman races (and finish them)! The fact is that there is a vast majority of competitors, Non-Professionals who are amateurs, who fit their training schedules around work and personal life.

Each Ironman event begins with the swimming leg. That's a 2.4-mile swim. The water temperature varies depending on the location of the event. It's actually better for the swimmers if the water is colder because if it's below a certain temperature, the competitors can wear wetsuits. Wetsuits add buoyancy to a swimmer, which makes the swimming leg easier.

Upon completing the swim leg, competitors enter the transition area. This is where they switch from one leg to another. There's usually just one transition area because the cycle course is a loop, but in events where the cycle leg isn't a loop, a separate bike-to-run transition area is required. The swim-to-bike transition is known as T1. Racers must find their bike in rows of racks with hundreds of other bikes, put on whatever clothes and footwear they need for the bike leg, walk their bike to the start of the bike course and start riding. At some point, they also need to put on a helmet, grab a water or sport drink and possibly eat an energy bar.

Both the biking and running legs take place on paved roads. However, some Ironman courses have more hills than others, so the terrain can be an obstacle.

The transition from bike to run (T2) isn't as difficult, but some triathletes experience leg cramps when they start running. Ironman races have support crews along the run leg that provides water, sports drinks and sometimes food. The only thing after the run leg is the finish line and the post-race party. Hopefully, your going to be in good enough shape to be able to stand up for the acknowledgments that come with your crossing the finish line, after all, you’ve just Earned IT!

The above lays out what makes up an Ironman / Woman competition, we are going to go into the specific training detail portion in an upcoming post. For now, know that the above takes a solid commitment by you and possibly your family since a large portion of your time is going to be spent preparing your body to be able to achieve the demands you're going to be asking of it. That being said, you're going to need to track your performance daily, weekly and monthly. From swimming endless laps to biking the same distance in your practice sessions that might have taken you to the top of Everest, if you count miles vs miles. And then there is the running, running until you think your legs just won’t be able to support you anymore. Then you run some more and will continue to do so right up to the day of the Ironman.

In order to track all of these activities properly while also keeping a weathered eye on your heart-rate a functional, accurate smartwatch can monitor your daily stats and provide the necessary data to let you know where you need improvement and what aspect of your training you need to key in on so that you can excel in your chosen sport. One such watch is the Garmin Vivoactive 3 GPS Smart Activity Tracker  When you head outside, the built-in GPS lets the Vívoactive 3 track the details of your chosen activity, with no phone connection required. From snowboarding to swimming and at least a dozen other options in between, this watch is the perfect training coach, right at your wrist to keep track so YOU keep on track of your training so that you're ready for that important day. You can keep your workout schedule fresh and invigorating, after all, with all the training you're going to be doing you need to change up the routines a bit, so your not bored.

Create your own custom running, cycling, swimming, and cardio or strength workouts, and download them to your watch. Then, your Vívoactive smartwatch will keep track of the exercises, reps, sets and rest time for you. Having a tool like the Vivoactive 3 can provide you with that coach that is always looking over your shoulder, one to make sure you do enough, and with its built-in “Elevate” HeartRate Sensor it can let you know when your doing just a little too much so that you need to dial down the training for a day or so. This is one training device that you just don't want to be without. So, there you have it.

From your Ironmen and Ironwomen buddies here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com


 

Read more

So Are You An Iron Man/Woman?

You’ve thought about it, and now that it’s the end of March and Springtime weather just can’t be that far off, at least in the northeast,-we hope! You’ve made up your mind to get yourself in shape to take on your first triathlon. You’ve done some quick internet checking and are frankly pretty amazed at just how many triathlons there are in the northeastern part of the U.S. and with a little help, your shooting for the month of June, which is about 12 weeks out. So, 3 months is not a lot of time to prepare for this “Bucket-List” goal, but it is achievable. Like we said above, with a little help.

And the training just might be a bit easier than you think, even if you're currently not in the best of shape, after spending most of the winter watching “Netflix” while sitting on the couch. But, we are here to help and listed below are a few of what we feel are the must-haves to help you compete in your first triathlon. And these recommendations, won’t cost you, your bank savings, or take all of your time away from those episodes of your favorite shows, well maybe a little time away, but you’ve got “TiVo” right??

The Essential Gear
You do need some basic equipment for your first triathlon. This equipment doesn't have to be expensive and it can be borrowed to save money:

Swimsuit, goggles, and I recommend a cap if you have long hair. Now, this depends on the course that you're signing up for. The earlier in the year, a swimsuit is a great idea. It will help to keep the cold at bay. However, if you're participating at a time of the year when the waters are already getting warm, you can probably skip this item. But I would recommend using the goggles to keep the water out of your eyes to be able to see where you’re going as your swimming the allotted course. This should also help you with your time in the water!

A bicycle that fits you and is in good working order. This can be a road bike, a mountain bike or a hybrid, really the sky's the limit, along with the size of your wallet. You can use a time trial bike if you have one, or have access to one, but a special triathlon or time trial bicycle is not necessary. Again, I have found it worthwhile to work with the local shops. First, they appreciate your business, and also, the staff working in these home-grown businesses, usually use what they sell. You should be able to get some good advice on how to properly fit you for the bike for your body structure. And you never know, they might offer you a discount if you wear one of their custom jerseys during the event to help market their shop!

Cycling shorts for training. A decent pair of cycling shorts, worn sans underwear, can make riding more comfortable, and they help prevent saddle sores.
You can use clipless pedals and cycling shoes, but these are not a "must have" item.
You also want to keep in mind how often you’re going to undertake these races. If your going to be doing a couple of them a year, then invest in the clipless pedals and shoes, in the long run, they can help you shave some time off your race.

A water bottle for use on your long bike rides. But regardless, it’s a good idea to have one with you, and filled with either water or for longer and tougher endurance triathlons one with an energy booster like Nuun Active Electrolyte Tablets  These energy laced tablets are loaded with electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals to help you stay properly hydrated throughout your race day, while your training or just going out to explore new trails!

Running Shoes, a good, fitted pair. You don't have to spend $200 to get a great pair of shoes, but you do need a pair of shoes that are made for running and that fit your feet. The best resource for shoes is a local running store. Make sure their staff is knowledgeable and can not only fit your foot for the proper size but have the ability to analyze your pressure points, preferably with an "In-Store" treadmill.  You may pay a bit more for this kind of specialized fitting, but in the long run (get the pun here?) it will be worth it!

How Much Time??
If your fitness has been dormant for quite a while, it's good to give yourself those 12 weeks to get in shape and minimize the chances of injury, this is really the minimum. These triathlon events really do take a lot out of you and you need to be back in condition to be able to tackle these events. In 12 weeks you can condition tendons, ligaments and your endurance so that you can enjoy the race. If you can commit to training five days per week—two and a half to four hours per week—that's plenty of time to get in shape.

Yes, that's right, no more than around four hours in the biggest training week.

Weekday workouts need only be 30 to 45 minutes and weekends can be used to build your endurance. Your longest workout, a bike ride, only needs to be between one and a half to two hours. Now again, these are really the minimums in order to get you to perform in a way that you’re not going to end up short come race day. That’s the last thing you want to have happened.

Out of the five weekly workouts, make two of them swim workouts. Now, this takes for granted that you’ve been in a pool before and have access to one to get you through your training for this event. If you haven’t been “Wet” for a while it’s a good idea to pace yourself through this 12-week course to get yourself built up to where you can, at the end of the 3 months be able to swim (10) 50 yards/meters, laps in the pool and be taking 20-30 second windbreaks in between each 50 yd. leg. In the beginning, you may need to rest for a full minute between each 50, and that’s ok, you’re going to be building yourself up so you can build up your endurance.

Make two more of the workouts run-to-bike combination workouts to build endurance and minimize injury risk.

Sample combination workouts
Combo Workout #1: (Run 1 minute, Walk 1 minute) x 5, then ride a bike for 30 minutes at an easy, conversational intensity. (Zone 1 to 2 for those with a heart rate monitor.) You can even do this workout at the gym.

And if you do have or are looking to get yourself a good Activity/Training watch. One with a “Heart Rate Monitor”. The one I like is the Garmin Forerunner 920XT Multisport GPS Watch 
This watch is water friendly, GPS to track your distance accurately and let you know where you are in relation to the course you’re on. It offers a high-resolution color display, with a flexible band that is easy to wear, and the activity tracking feature measures your steps, and even your sleep, when the training ends and you hit the sheets. This is a great Tri-Athletic training watch, as it will provide you with real-time data as you go about getting yourself ready for the big race day! Did I mention that it also provides a standard “Watch” mode so you can wear it all day long as well?

Plan to Rest
When learning how to train for a triathlon, it's tempting to add more and more circuits of training, but the body makes advances in fitness with a balance of stress and rest.

If you're planning your own training schedule, be sure to add recovery days and reduced volume rest weeks to allow your body to rebuild and get stronger. Remember, even a farmer left his plow-horse rest on Sundays, so they could benefit from a day of rest before they started their workload all over again!

Nutrition also plays a big part in providing the right combination of fuels to power your body through the vigorous demands you're going to be putting it through. For now, we’re going to leave that topic for another blog post, but eating the right balance of protein, good carbs and drinking enough fluids is important as you go through this training regimen of preparing your body for your first triathlon.

Get ready, Get Set, Train!

 

Read more

You’ve thought about it, and now that it’s the end of March and Springtime weather just can’t be that far off, at least in the northeast,-we hope! You’ve made up your mind to get yourself in shape to take on your first triathlon. You’ve done some quick internet checking and are frankly pretty amazed at just how many triathlons there are in the northeastern part of the U.S. and with a little help, your shooting for the month of June, which is about 12 weeks out. So, 3 months is not a lot of time to prepare for this “Bucket-List” goal, but it is achievable. Like we said above, with a little help.

And the training just might be a bit easier than you think, even if you're currently not in the best of shape, after spending most of the winter watching “Netflix” while sitting on the couch. But, we are here to help and listed below are a few of what we feel are the must-haves to help you compete in your first triathlon. And these recommendations, won’t cost you, your bank savings, or take all of your time away from those episodes of your favorite shows, well maybe a little time away, but you’ve got “TiVo” right??

The Essential Gear
You do need some basic equipment for your first triathlon. This equipment doesn't have to be expensive and it can be borrowed to save money:

Swimsuit, goggles, and I recommend a cap if you have long hair. Now, this depends on the course that you're signing up for. The earlier in the year, a swimsuit is a great idea. It will help to keep the cold at bay. However, if you're participating at a time of the year when the waters are already getting warm, you can probably skip this item. But I would recommend using the goggles to keep the water out of your eyes to be able to see where you’re going as your swimming the allotted course. This should also help you with your time in the water!

A bicycle that fits you and is in good working order. This can be a road bike, a mountain bike or a hybrid, really the sky's the limit, along with the size of your wallet. You can use a time trial bike if you have one, or have access to one, but a special triathlon or time trial bicycle is not necessary. Again, I have found it worthwhile to work with the local shops. First, they appreciate your business, and also, the staff working in these home-grown businesses, usually use what they sell. You should be able to get some good advice on how to properly fit you for the bike for your body structure. And you never know, they might offer you a discount if you wear one of their custom jerseys during the event to help market their shop!

Cycling shorts for training. A decent pair of cycling shorts, worn sans underwear, can make riding more comfortable, and they help prevent saddle sores.
You can use clipless pedals and cycling shoes, but these are not a "must have" item.
You also want to keep in mind how often you’re going to undertake these races. If your going to be doing a couple of them a year, then invest in the clipless pedals and shoes, in the long run, they can help you shave some time off your race.

A water bottle for use on your long bike rides. But regardless, it’s a good idea to have one with you, and filled with either water or for longer and tougher endurance triathlons one with an energy booster like Nuun Active Electrolyte Tablets  These energy laced tablets are loaded with electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals to help you stay properly hydrated throughout your race day, while your training or just going out to explore new trails!

Running Shoes, a good, fitted pair. You don't have to spend $200 to get a great pair of shoes, but you do need a pair of shoes that are made for running and that fit your feet. The best resource for shoes is a local running store. Make sure their staff is knowledgeable and can not only fit your foot for the proper size but have the ability to analyze your pressure points, preferably with an "In-Store" treadmill.  You may pay a bit more for this kind of specialized fitting, but in the long run (get the pun here?) it will be worth it!

How Much Time??
If your fitness has been dormant for quite a while, it's good to give yourself those 12 weeks to get in shape and minimize the chances of injury, this is really the minimum. These triathlon events really do take a lot out of you and you need to be back in condition to be able to tackle these events. In 12 weeks you can condition tendons, ligaments and your endurance so that you can enjoy the race. If you can commit to training five days per week—two and a half to four hours per week—that's plenty of time to get in shape.

Yes, that's right, no more than around four hours in the biggest training week.

Weekday workouts need only be 30 to 45 minutes and weekends can be used to build your endurance. Your longest workout, a bike ride, only needs to be between one and a half to two hours. Now again, these are really the minimums in order to get you to perform in a way that you’re not going to end up short come race day. That’s the last thing you want to have happened.

Out of the five weekly workouts, make two of them swim workouts. Now, this takes for granted that you’ve been in a pool before and have access to one to get you through your training for this event. If you haven’t been “Wet” for a while it’s a good idea to pace yourself through this 12-week course to get yourself built up to where you can, at the end of the 3 months be able to swim (10) 50 yards/meters, laps in the pool and be taking 20-30 second windbreaks in between each 50 yd. leg. In the beginning, you may need to rest for a full minute between each 50, and that’s ok, you’re going to be building yourself up so you can build up your endurance.

Make two more of the workouts run-to-bike combination workouts to build endurance and minimize injury risk.

Sample combination workouts
Combo Workout #1: (Run 1 minute, Walk 1 minute) x 5, then ride a bike for 30 minutes at an easy, conversational intensity. (Zone 1 to 2 for those with a heart rate monitor.) You can even do this workout at the gym.

And if you do have or are looking to get yourself a good Activity/Training watch. One with a “Heart Rate Monitor”. The one I like is the Garmin Forerunner 920XT Multisport GPS Watch 
This watch is water friendly, GPS to track your distance accurately and let you know where you are in relation to the course you’re on. It offers a high-resolution color display, with a flexible band that is easy to wear, and the activity tracking feature measures your steps, and even your sleep, when the training ends and you hit the sheets. This is a great Tri-Athletic training watch, as it will provide you with real-time data as you go about getting yourself ready for the big race day! Did I mention that it also provides a standard “Watch” mode so you can wear it all day long as well?

Plan to Rest
When learning how to train for a triathlon, it's tempting to add more and more circuits of training, but the body makes advances in fitness with a balance of stress and rest.

If you're planning your own training schedule, be sure to add recovery days and reduced volume rest weeks to allow your body to rebuild and get stronger. Remember, even a farmer left his plow-horse rest on Sundays, so they could benefit from a day of rest before they started their workload all over again!

Nutrition also plays a big part in providing the right combination of fuels to power your body through the vigorous demands you're going to be putting it through. For now, we’re going to leave that topic for another blog post, but eating the right balance of protein, good carbs and drinking enough fluids is important as you go through this training regimen of preparing your body for your first triathlon.

Get ready, Get Set, Train!

 

Read more

HRMUSA Exclusive – What’s so great about the Polar V800?

Competing in your first triathlon ever? Chances are that you’re training for this huge athletic event pretty rigorously, and it being your first one – you’re wondering if you’re doing it right. You’ve read all the running blogs on how to train, but you’re still unsure of if you’re doing enough. We have a secret […]
Read more
Competing in your first triathlon ever? Chances are that you’re training for this huge athletic event pretty rigorously, and it being your first one – you’re wondering if you’re doing it right. You’ve read all the running blogs on how to train, but you’re still unsure of if you’re doing enough. We have a secret […]
Read more

Runner’s Story: Triathlon @ 55

At Heart Rate Monitors USA, we love to see inspiring stories from runners who truly have a passion for the sport. One such runner is Mauricio Sanchez, the blogger behind Triathlon @ 55. We found Mauricio one day when we were looking at some different running resouces, and we have to say, he’s a great […]
Read more
At Heart Rate Monitors USA, we love to see inspiring stories from runners who truly have a passion for the sport. One such runner is Mauricio Sanchez, the blogger behind Triathlon @ 55. We found Mauricio one day when we were looking at some different running resouces, and we have to say, he’s a great […]
Read more