The Ironworks Review: FINIS Ankle Pulling Band

Finis Ankle Pulling BandWithout a doubt, the training tool most neglected by triathletes is the ankle pulling band.  Most triathletes love their paddles, pull buoys, and fins, all training tools that make swimming easier and faster.  Ankle pulling bands make training harder, and as my old swim coach always used to say, the point of training is to make it harder, not easier.  They’ve been a favorite of Australian distance swimmers for years, and as anyone who follows swimming knows, Australia has produced some of the best distance swimmers in history.  The Aussies are also pretty good at this whole triathlon thing, as Chris McCormack, Craig Alexander, Mirinida Carfrae, and Pete Jacobs have shown the world for the past several years.

Ankle pulling bands are also about the simplest training tool you can find.  My coach used to make them for our whole team by cutting up old inner tubes, but you can buy a much more stylish and comfortable version made by the great folks at FINIS.  Ankle pulling bands are simply a rubber strap that slip around your ankles, requiring you to swim without any kick.  You think that you’re not using your legs when you’re swimming with a buoy, but the buoyancy of the buoy actually makes swimming easier.  In fact, I would recommend using a buoy when you first start swimming with ankle bands.  You’ll understand when you give it a try.

The main benefit of using an ankle pulling band in training is developing strength.  You have to have to produce a lot of force with your upper body and core to overcome the drag produced by pulling your legs through the water without kicking.  I also like the bands for developing feel for the water; if you have a dead spot in your pull it will become instantly apparent when you’re swimming with bands.

Triathlon swimming is more about strength than perfect form.  Think about powering through waves and chop, dealing with swimming in a pack of thrashing arms and legs, and you can see why strength trumps technique.  Include some swimming with the FINIS Ankle Band in your upcoming workouts and watch your swim splits improve!  Here’s a set to get you started:

100 with ankle bands, buoy, and paddles, 30″ RI                                                                     4×25 swim, 15″ RI                                                                                                                 100 with ankle bands and buoy, 30″ RI                                                                                     4×25 swim, 15″ RI                                                                                                                   100 with ankle bands, 30″ RI                                                                                                     4×25 swim, 15″ RI.

Give it a try, and be sure to come back to Ironworks Multisport and leave a comment to tell me how it goes!  Good luck, and happy training!

Beginner Triathlon Tips: Bike Training Tips From Ironworks Multisport

The second discipline of every triathlon, the bike, differs in a very important way from the swim and the run: your performance depends a great deal not just on your body, but on your equipment.  I’m going to try to narrow down some of the choices for you in this blog post, and offer you some beginner triathlon bike tips that will get you out on the road safely, economically, and most importantly, help you get from the swim to the run in the shortest amount of time possible!  Of course equipment plays a role in swimming and running too.  Your wetsuit or swim skin can have a significant impact on your times in the water, and getting the right running shoes and clothing is essential to a superlative run split.  But nowhere else will your choices of equipment have quite the same impact on your race as they will on the bike.  So what equipment will you need to get started?

Triathlon Tip #1: The Bike.  Of course, the most important piece of equipment that you are going to need is a bike.  That much is obvious, but deciding on which bike for you is not so easy.  There is an absolutely astounding array of bike equipment out there, and you probably already know that most of is also astoundingly expensive.  I bought my first triathlon bike right after I graduated from college.  Up until then, I’d gotten by borrowing rides from friends and friends of friends.  But after graduation, I took every bit of money I had (including the money my parents gave me for a class ring) and headed down to the local bike shop and told them I needed a bike, pedals, and a new pair of cycling shoes.  I was completely broke, but I could ride!  So this raises one of the most important issues when shopping for a bike: money.  You can easily spend $10,000 or more on a carbon fiber time machine these days, but there are a lot of decent bikes that start at about $1500.  Less than that, and you’re going to get something that will provide you with more frustration than pleasure.  When you start spending above $3000, you’re getting into pretty diminishing returns.  My triathlon bike tip is to stick to the $1500-$3000 price range.  You’ll get all the bike you need without having to take a second mortgage or sell a kidney.  Don’t forget that the most important part of the bike is the engine: You!  However, you and your bike will be spending a lot of time together, so do some research, make sure your bike fits, and pick the right one.

Triathlon Tip #2: The Helmet.  Without a doubt, the second most important piece of triathlon bike equipment that you can buy is a good helmet.  This is a major safety issue, so don’t go cheap!  My most important triathlon bike tip is to get a good helmet, and wear it every single time you get on your bike.  This is an issue I take seriously.  When I was eight years old I spent New Year’s Eve waiting on news about my sister from the emergency room after she’d fallen from a horse and fractured her skull.  She spent a couple of days in a coma, but thankfully made a full recovery.  Many people with head injuries aren’t so lucky, so even if you like the feeling of the hair blowing in the wind as you fly down the road, you’re going to need to get used to that helmet.

Triathlon Tip #3: Sunglasses.  They’re not just about looking cool!  Sunglasses help block the glare of the sun, and also debris that you’ll encounter on the road.  You’ll find out just how much dust, dirt, and pollen there are in the air during a long ride without eye protection, so get some decent shades and save some wear and tear on your eyes.  You may even look a little cooler on the bike, and the road will definitely look a lot cooler from your bike.  Just remember one simple rule: if you get some over the top Mario Cippolini-Style Italian rock star glasses, save them for the bike.  Unless you happen to actually be an Italian cycling super star, the further you get from your bike, the bigger the geek you’re going to look like.  Same rule applies to bike shorts.

Triathlon Tip #4: Shoes and Pedals.  If you’re getting serious about cycling, you’re going to need to invest in a good pair of clipless pedals and cycling shoes.  Somewhat confusingly, “clipless” pedals actually refer to the kind of pedals that your feet actually attach to, like with ski bindings.  Before clipless pedals, cycling pedals had straps that ran over the tops of the athletes shoes and attached their feet to the pedals.  The straps were called “toe clips”, hence shoes without these straps became known as “clipless”.  These days hardly anyone ever rides with toe clips, so when you talk about pedals, cyclists will understand that you’re talking about clipless pedals.  There is a definite advantage to being able to attach your feet to the pedals, that way you can apply pressure to the pedels through 360 degrees of the pedal stroke, not just as you’re pressing down.  They’re not cheap, but if you’re serious about cycling they’re the only way to go.

Triathlon Tip #5: GPS/Bike Computer:  Once you start logging some miles on the bike, you’re going to want to be able to track your progress.  You’ll want to know how far you’ve ridden, what your average speed was, and how long your ride took you, at the very least!  I still remember when I was about 13, one of my friends got a bike computer and we all thought it was the coolest thing ever.  I grew up out in the country, so whenever I got together with friends we usually ended up running, hiking through the woods, or riding bikes.  Once we got a computer to use, every weekend became a new challenge.  If we rode 30 miles one weekend, we had to ride 35 the next.  We got up to 50 mile rides, fueled by Coke and Snickers bars from the gas stations we passed.  And that was riding an old steel mountain bike that weighed about 35 pounds!  We had some great times though, and the lesson I learned from that was that tracking your training and constantly challenging yourself keeps things fun and interesting.  Tracking your training and recording your progress gives you constant motivation to get out the door to train, and the best way to measure your performance on the bike is getting a good cycling computer.  The new GPS options are more expensive, but work great and will most often enable you to upload workout data to your computer so that you can track it with a program like TrainingPeaks.

Triathlon Tip #6: Comfortable Cycling Clothes:  Notice I didn’t say “expensive cycling clothes”!  As with anything in triathlon, you can spend a fortune on clothes for the bike, a top of the line pair of cycling shorts can run well over $200 these days.  If you don’t happen to have a couple of grand lying around that you’re just dying to spend on looking awesome on the bike, don’t despair.  You can get plenty of good, functional clothes without spending a fortune.  The first pair of cycling shorts I got was also the cheapest pair, and I can still wear them.  They’ve outlasted many other pairs of shorts that cost twice as much.  And besides, the most important thing is how fast you ride the bike, not the labels on your clothes, you hardly need to read triathlon bike tips to know that!  But getting some decent cycling clothing for a variety of weather condition will make your rides much more comfortable and enjoyable, and if you shop smart it won’t break the bank.

Please visit again soon for more free triathlon tips, workouts, and information.  Thanks for reading!

Triathlon Tips – Top 10 Tips For Beginner Triathletes

Triathlon Tips - The Best Triathlon Advice From Land HeintzbererThinking of trying your first tri in 2012?  There might be more to it than you think! Triathlons are very different from just signing up for a local 5K.  There’s a lot of equipment involved, there are safety issues for those who aren’t strong swimmers, and there are transitions from swimming to cycling and cycling to running to navigate.  Feeling a little overwhelmed?  Here are a few triathlon tips from Land Heintzberger, former pro triathlete and USA Triathlon certified coach, to help you train smart, be healthy, and have fun reaching the finish line in your first race!


Triathlon Tips #1.Do your homework.  Sounds obvious, I know, but I’ve seen a lot of people show up for their first race completely unaware of what they need to do.  They don’t know about checking in, setting up their transition area, warming up, getting to the swim start on time.  Don’t know what I’m talking about here?  It’s not a bad idea to go watch a race or two before you take the plunge, or consider volunteering for a local event!  You can learn a lot about what to expect on your first big day.  Take the time to prepare and educate yourself a little and you’ll avoid potentially awkward pitfalls.  You’ll also help to ensure a fun and anxiety free race.

Triathlon Tips #2. Don’t cut corners.  You’ve signed up and committed yourself to your first race, you’ve put the training in to prepare yourself, now don’t sabotage your day by showing up with cheap equipment that will fail you.  I once bought a bargain bike on an internet close out sale, and I was thrilled with the price I paid.  But the first time I rode it the seat fell off 7 miles from home and I had to ride all the way back to my house standing up, with my seat jammed in my jersey pocket.  I took the same bike to a race a couple of weeks later, and the aerobars broke right in the middle of the race.  Both of these situations were dangerous and could have caused a serious crash.  If you’re going to give this sport a try, invest in safe and functional equipment. That doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands of dollars, but at the very least, get a good tri suit, a safe helmet, some good sunglasses, and a decent pair of running shoes.  And of course, take your bike to the shop and make sure it’s safe to ride.  Taking the time to get the right equipment isn’t just about looking cool, it’s also about protecting your health and safety.

Triathlon Tips #3. Respect your limitations.  Are you a former collegiate swimmer, or a high school football star?  Or do you just enjoy an occasional jog around your neighborhood?  Whatever your athletic background is, you need to take it into account when you select your first race.  If you’ve never swam outside of a pool, it isn’t wise to sign up for a half ironman with an open water swim.  Triathlons should be a fun challenge, not a life or death situation.  If you’re not a confident swimmer, consider a short sprint race with a pool swim.  If you’ve never ridden a bike more than 10 miles, don’t sign up for an Ironman.  Start with realistic, attainable goals, and then gradually challenge yourself to go faster, or go further.  Don’t set yourself up for failure by taking on a race that you won’t be able to finish.

Triathlon Tips #4. Set yourself up for success.  When you go to your first race, take the time to sit down and establish some goals.  Even in a short race, you’re going to hit a point where you’re tired and you’re going to ask yourself why you ever came up with this crazy idea in the first place!  Setting some goals will help you stay focused on what is motivating you to go out there and race.  Be sure to set not only objective goals, like how fast you want to go, or what place you’d like to come in, but also some subjective goals, like having fun, getting fitter, and experiencing something new.  That way you will have some different ways to define what success is, and how you will achieve it.

Triathlon Tips #5. Keep it fun!  One of the most important reasons to participate in any sport is because it’s fun.  I’ve always believed that fun can be defined in many ways, and while some people might think that spending hours and hours swimming, biking, and running would be uncomfortable and boring, I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend a day.  But it all depends on how you go about it.  If your training is all about just checking off another box on a list of things to do, then it’s going to feel more like a relief than a joy to complete your workouts.  But if your training is creative and challenging, and if your goals are affirming and inspiring, than you’re going to be looking forward to getting out the door for every single workout.  One of the best ways to keep training fun is by training with friends or joining a club or group.  Try to find a good local ride, join a masters swim club, or look for a good local running group.  These are available in almost all communities, and there’s nothing like a great group of fellow athletes to keep your motivation high!

Triathlon Tips #6. Learn the value of rest.  Sounds strange at first, isn’t triathlon supposed to be all about super human endurance?  But the best triathletes all know that the best training means nothing unless you recover from it.  Think of it this way, your body is actually weaker immediately after a hard training session than before it.  Then, as you rest, your body recovers, repairs the damage and reacts to the stress that’s been placed upon it, and responds by rebuilding a little stronger than it was before.  Without sufficient rest and recovery time, your body is getting continually broken down, getting weaker and weaker, and eventually injured or sick.  So don’t overdo it.  Start with a manageable training load, and then never increase it by more than 10% per week.  You can help to speed your recovery by stretching, icing, getting massage, and getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night.

Triathlon Tips #7. Control your eating.  I’ve spent many years working as a personal trainer, so I’ve spent a lot of time in gyms.  Something that I’ve seen over and over is people who come in and drink a 32 ounce sports drink to “fuel up” before their workout, then they run 30 minutes, drink a recover shake, and hit the showers.  Their 30 minute run may have burned in the ballpark of 300 calories, but they probably took in 500 calories or more to meet their perceived caloric needs.  My point is this: most people overestimate the number of calories that they burn.  Our bodies are very efficient at using fuel for food, and most of us have enough fat stored up that we could run several marathons back to back.  Unless you’re training session is going to last over 60 minutes, you don’t need to take in any calories at all, and beyond 60 minutes, a good rule of thumb is one calorie per pound of body weight per hour.  A good way to track the calories you burn is using a site like TrainingPeaks in conjunction with a Garmin, that will give you a much better idea of how much your actually burning, which will help you estimate how much you need to take in.

Triathlon Tips #8. Get a decent bike.  I touched on this one earlier, but if you’re at all interested in becoming a triathlete, the best investment you can make is getting a bike you enjoy riding.  You don’t have to spend a fortune here, there are some great bikes out there at affordable prices.  Just get something that is functional, comfortable, and safe.  Riding a cheap, uncomfortable bike is not going to be fun, you won’t enjoy your training, and there’s nothing more frustrating than spending the entire bike leg of your first race watching people flying by on their shiny new machines.  Get something that you’ll be proud to show up to the group rides with, that’s comfortable to ride, fits well, and works for your budget.

Triathlon Tips #9. Find a coach. If you want to find someone who can help you put together a good training plan, guide you through all the confusing information about equipment and nutrition, and make sure you show up to your first race prepared for success, there are many qualified coaches out there to help.  I would highly recommend working with a coach who is certified by USA Triathlon, which is the gold standard of multisport coaching cerfifications.  USA Triathlon coaches have to meet strict standards of knowledge and professional behaviour, and they are prepared to help you deal with all the challenges of getting for your first race.

Triathlon Tips #10. Stay balanced.  The excitement of training for your first triathlon can be a bit overwhelming, and it’s easy to get consumed with your workout to the point where you can neglect other parts of your life.  Most triathletes tend to be type A, goal oriented people, and once they focus on an objective, they don’t like to be distracted.  But don’t let that focus get so intense that you show up to your race feeling burned out, or like you’ve ignored other important parts of your life to achieve triathlon success.  Keep your priorities clear, stay flexible with your training, and do the best that you can with what you’ve got each day.

I hope you enjoyed reading these triathlon tips for your first race, and that they may help you find success!  Good luck, and happy training.

We Guarantee You Will See Improvements when you stick to These Triathlon Tips

Triathlon Tips for Beginners

Beginner Triathlon Tips: Triathlon Swim Workouts and Drills for Winter Training

January is a great time to be a triathlete.  Athletes are beginning to plan their seasons and ramp up their training with triathlon tips and tricks, the whole year stretches out before us with new opportunities to challenge ourselves and to take steps towards reaching our goals and realizing our full potential.  For most athletes, the area in which they have the most room to improve is the swim, and this is the perfect time of year to get in the water and build the endurance that will help you to use the swim to position yourself for a strong performance on the bike and run.  In triathlon, your fitness in the first half of the race directly impacts your fitness in the second half of the race, meaning that no matter how fit you are for the run, you won’t be able to use that fitness effectively until you are strong enough to attack the swim and the bike without accumulating an excessive amount of fatigue.  Here are some swim sets that I’ve used over 15 years of coaching swimmers of all levels, from beginners, to age group champions, to Ironman triathletes.

1. 4×400 with a 1 minute rest interval.  Swim the first 400 with paddles, the second 400 with paddles and a buoy, the third 400 with just a buoy, and the fourth 400 with no equipment.  Depending on your fitness, you can alter the distance of the repeats to as short as 100 or as long as 800.  Switching the equipment up provides varity and also changes up the workload on your muscles.

2. 8×100 with a 15 second rest interval.  On the first 100, swim with a paddle on your right hand only, on the second 100 swim with a paddle on your left hand only, on the third 100 swim with paddles on both hands, on the forth 100 swim with no equipment.  Repeat this sequence twice.  For a longer swim, you can swim 200’s instead of 100’s.  You can also swim this set substituting fins instead of paddles.  This is a great way to improve your bio-mechanical awareness and your feel for the water.

3. 10×150 with a 20 second rest interval.  For each 150, kick with a kick board for the first 50, then swim the last 100.  For the kick, really go for it and kick hard!  Get your legs going and get your heart rate up, then cruise the 100 swims at a comfortable pace, concentrating on long strokes and perfect technique.  These swims help to simulate the feeling of triathlon swim starts, where your heart rate goes sky high and your way out of your comfort zone, and you need to settle into a steady pace while you swim.

4. 5×300 with a 45 second rest interval.  Swim the first 50 as right arm pull, the second 50 is left arm pull, the third 50 is catch up drill, then build over the last 150 (think of it as 50 easy, 50 medium, 50 fast).  This set was a favorite of my club coach, and I’ve been using it for years.  It starts you off with some drills to get you thinking about technique, then you have to go right into a progressive 150, so you’re also building speed and endurance.

5. 8×200 with a 30 second rest interval.  For each 200, swim the first 50 breathing every 2 strokes, the second 50 breathing every 3 strokes, the third 50 breathing every 4 strokes, and the forth 50 breathing every 5 strokes.  This one challenges your breath control and bilateral breathing skills.  Both of these are extremely important for triathletes!  When you’re in the open water being able to breath off both sides is a great asset when you’ve got a swimmer to one side of you who keeps splashing you in your face.  Also, having good breath control can help you to stay calm if you miss a breath when a wave hits you in the face right when you’re trying to breath.  It’s no big deal when you have the confidence to take another couple of strokes and get back into your rhythm.

Give these sets a try and have some fun!  Also, make sure to have the proper swimming gear when you train and race, check out my blog post on essential swim gear right here.  Thanks for reading, please come back soon for more of my beginner triathlon tips!

Triathlete Height to Weight Ratios for 2001-2010 Men’s Ironman Hawaii and ITU Olympic Distance World Champions

For some of you guys who have already been following my blog, you may have seen my highly unscientific survey of height to weight ratios of male and female elite triathletes.  Since those blogs posts took random samples from across the sport, I didn’t think they really said much about specific height to weight ratios for Ironman and Olympic Distance triathlon.  I thought a much more interesting survey would be to take the men’s and women’s champions from Hawaii over the past ten years, and compare them to the men’s and women’s ITU Olympic Distance World Champions.  So here are the men, and I think this does make a fairly interesting comparison.  Surprisingly, Ironman athletes appear to be slightly taller and heavier than their Olympic Distance counterparts.  I would love to have people comment on this and possibly share some viewpoints on why this is the case.  Also, it would appear that if you want to find your ideal Ironman weight (at least according to the height to weight ratio that on average has been most successful over the past decade), you’d need to multiply your height in inches by 2.25.  I’m 6’2″, so in my case I’d multiply that by 2.25 to find that my ideal Ironman weight should be about 166 pounds.  So, four pounds to go before the season begins, then!


Tim Deboom: 5’11”/155 lbs=2.18 pounds per inch of height

Peter Reid: 6’3”163 = 2.17

Normann Stadler: 5’11”/167=2.35

Faris al Sultan: 5’10”/158=2.26

Chris McCormack: 5’11”/171=2.41

Craig Alexander: 5’11”/150=2.11

Average: 2.25


Peter Robertson: 5’8”/132=1.94

Ivan Rana: 5’8”/135=1.99

Bevan Docherty: 6’2”/154=2.08

Tim Don: 5’8”/142=2.09

Daniel Unger:6’1”/165=2.32

Javier Gomez: 5’9”/151=2.19

Alistair Brownlee: 6’0”/154=2.20

Average: 2.12

*Please remember that this is for informational and entertainment use only!  All the information that I’ve listed here was found on the internet, which doesn’t necessarily guarantee its reliability.  I’ve only put this together as a fun project that I thought would be interesting to read about, please don’t go and do anything crazy to lose weight to get to your “ideal” height to weight ratio, as I don’t believe that there really is such a thing.  If you notice, there’s a pretty wide varience even between the pros.  Be smart, be healthy, and train happy.

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Beginner Triathlon Tips: Single Leg Drills for strength, balance, and stabilty.

Here are a few triathlon tips to make each run a little more productive.  By performing these simple drills, you can improve functional strength in your feet and ankles, and improve your stability. These drills also prepare your body and mind for the workout to come, and help make your workout more effective from the very first step! Here’s the routine:

Before your run, do two to three sets of the following drills:

  1. One Leg Hops: Balance on one leg, then hop 12 inches forwards and 12 inches backwards 10-15 times. Then on the same leg hop 12 inches right then 12 inches left another 10-15 times. Repeat the drill with the opposite leg. Take 30 seconds rest interval (RI) between sets.

  2. Square Hops: Balance on one leg, then hop 12 inches forward, 12 inches to the right, 12 inches backwards, and 12 inches to the left. Go around the square three times, then switch legs and perform the drill with the opposite leg. Take a 30 second RI between sets.

  3. Forwards and Backwards One Leg Hops: Balance on one foot, then take 10-15 hops forwards. Then, still facing the same direction, immediately take the same number of hops backwards. Do the same drill with the opposite leg. Take 30 seconds rest between sets.

Take a 2-3 minute RI between exercises. For all drills, strive to stay light on your feet (or foot, as it were). Your foot should strike the ground slightly behind the ball of your foot, and the ball of your foot should land directly beneath your knee. Try to let your foot stay on the ground only for the shortest amount of time possible, like you’re jumping on a scorching hot pool deck in the middle of summer. These drills are great for improving balance, foot and ankle strength, and secondary supportive muscles throughout your lower body. Include these before each run and your form and strength will be sure to improve!

Height and Weight for Elite Female Triathletes

Okay, so as promised here’s part two of the comparisons of height and weight for elite triathletes.  I’ve taken the old rule of thumb for runners that they should have two pounds of weight per inch of height, and in the last blog entry I calculated the height to weight ratio of some of the top male triathletes.  So here are the height to weight ratios of a few of the top female pros:

Chrissie Wellington:  5’8″, 133 lbs: 1.95 lbs. per inch.

Natasha Badmann:  5’6″, 115 lbs: 1.76 lbs. per inch.

Desiree Ficker:  5’7″, 125 lbs: 1.86 lbs. per inch.

Michelle Jones: 5’10”, 133 lbs: 1.90 lbs. per inch.

Mirinda Carfrae: 5’3″, 114 lbs: 1.81 lbs. per inch.

Yvonne Van Vlerken: 5’3″, 125 lbs: 1.98 lbs. per inch.

Emma Snowsill:  5’3″, 105 lbs: 1.66 lbs. per inch.

Vanessa Fernandez:  5’6″, 126 lbs.: 1.90 lbs. per inch.

Laura Bennett:  5’10”, 125 lbs.:  1.78 lbs. per inch.

Erin Densham:  5’6″, 112 lbs.:  1.72 lbs. per inch.

Michelle Dillon: 5’8″, 146 lbs.: 2.14 lbs. per inch.*

(After I posted this, it was brought to my attention [Thanks, Jackie!] that Michelle Dillon’s correct weight is 125 lbs, which puts her ratio at 1.83.  That’s a lot lower, but still very slightly higher than Laura Bennett, so I think that my comment below still has some validity).

Some interesting things that I noticed were that the lightest athletes weren’t necessarily the best runners.  And also, some of the lightest athletes were the best swimmers, for example Laura Bennett, one of the leading swimmers on the World Cup Circuit, has a height to weight ratio of 1.78 lbs. per inch, while Michelle Dillon, one of the leading runners on the World Cup Circuit, has a ratio of 2.14 lbs. per inch.  So I guess the conclusion that I would draw from this information (and please keep in mind that this is only based on information I found on the internet, which is in no way guaranteed to be completely accurate, at best this is a rough impression) is that there are many factors that are more important than weight as determiners of performance.  So rather than starting your new year with goals of weight loss, maybe a better way forward would be to consider improving your strength, perfecting your technique, and improving you mental skills.  I’ll be writing more about all that later!  Until then, be safe, be healthy, keep smiling, and above all, never give up on your dreams!  Train happy!


Height to Weight Ratios of Elite Male Triathletes

People often ask me what they should weigh to race their best.  I’ve never really had an exact answer to give, but the question got me thinking recently.  There are a lot of reasons to try to optimize your weight, and the off season is a good time to lose a few pounds in preparation for the upcoming season.  I’ve always found it much easier to lose weight when I don’t have to worry about staying fueled for my big workouts.  Why should you lose some weight?  Here are some of the best reasons:

1.Less weight means a higher VO2 max.  When you have less body mass, it’s easier for your body to transport oxygen to all your cells. 

2. Less weight also improves thermodynamic regulations, which means that your body can cool itself more efficiently in hot weather.

3. An old rule of thumbs says that you can improve your mile pace by 3-4 seconds per mile for every pound that you lose, so if you loose 10 pounds that means up to 30-40 seconds per mile (this is not a scientific rule, however, so don’t hold me to this one!).

So, what’s the best weight?  I’ve always heard that an ideal weight for runners is two pounds of body weight per inch of height, so I decided to do a little research to find the height to weight ratio of some top elite triathletes.  Here’s what I came up with:

Craig Alexander: 5’11”, 150 lbs.: 2.11 pounds per inch

Chris Lieto: 6’0″, 160 lbs.: 2.22 pounds per inch

Michael Lovato: 6’0″, 170 lbs: 2.36 pounds per inch

Andy Potts: 6’2″, 175 lbs.: 2.33 pounds per inch

Andreas Raelert: 6’0″, 159 lbs.: 2.20 pounds per inch

Michael Raelert: 6’2″, 163 lbs.: 2.20 pounds per inch

Matt Reed: 6’5″, 180 lbs.:  2.34 pounds per inch

Dave Scott: 6’0″, 162 lbs.: 2.25 pounds per inch

Average: 2.25125

So it appears pretty consistant that the height to weight ratio of the top male pros is about 2.25 pounds per inch of height.  Keep in mind that this is an informal survey and that I relied on information found on the internet, which is not guaranteed to be accurate, but I think it’s reasonably close.

So, now you can take a look at your own height to weight ratio and see if any improvements can be made!  Good luck!  And lest you think that I forgot all about women, check back next week and I’ll put together a list of some of the top female triathletes.

Happy Training!