Monday, March 29, 2010

Five Early Season Triathlon Mistakes

By: Sweet

#1 Racing too much too early or not racing at all. Let’s look at the first part of the equation: racing too much too early. When the days start to get longer and warmer we northern state triathletes emerge pale-skinned from our basements and health clubs and venture back into the great outdoors. There is often a tendency to overdo early season racing. All races, whether A, B, or C priority, should be strategic parts of a comprehensive season plan.

What constitutes too much? I would say 3 or more races per month this time of year is too often for most athletes. What about racing too little? Another group of triathletes can’t really believe the off-season is over and triathlon race season will be in full-swing in 2 more months. The early season is a great time to do some sport-specific racing.

So, rather than seeking out a super-sprint indoor tri, think instead about doing some blocks of single-sport training and racing. If swimming is your weakness, dedicate most of a month to improving in the pool and maybe go outside of your comfort zone by entering a masters swim meet. If you want to get better at cycling consider doing some group rides with the local roadies or participating in some time trials.

#2 Adding volume too quickly. Many triathletes hate, loathe, and detest indoor training. When the snow disappears from the roads, many in this group will get spring fever and overdo their training. If your winter running regimen consisted of 3 hours per week on the treadmill, it is not a good idea to do six hours of running the first nice week of spring.

You have to be the most careful with adding running volume. A good rule of thumb is to add no more than 5-10% per week then maintain that level the next week. Schedule a recovery week every 3 or 4 weeks. Swimming and cycling are lower impact, so you can ramp up volume a little more aggressively, but the recovery week applies to all 3 sports equally.

#3 Failure to plan (is planning to fail). Whether or not you work with a coach, everyone should have a written plan for their season. The plan should outline goal races and the steps you will take to prepare for these races. Basic periodization should be the foundation of a season plan. When are you focusing on endurance (long, slow miles)? When are you building speed and power? When are you tapering?

#4 Lack of bike maintenance. Did you hammer out the miles on your bike last year, finish that big race and then just put it in the garage (or on the trainer) for the winter? To make sure you are safe and ready for the season you should inspect the following:

Tires: Are there any large cuts or cracks? Are there tiny bits of glass and rocks imbedded in the tread? Are the sidewalls starting to get worn out? Did you ride on the trainer all winter and wear out the tread on your rear tire?

Brake pads: These have grooves built into them that help determine wear. If you can’t see the grooves any longer it is time for a new set. Also check pads for imbedded pieces of rock or metal.

Cables: Brake and derailleur cables should be replaced at least every other season. If you often ride in the rain or more than 5,000 miles a year, then replace cables yearly.

Chain: The chain should be replaced every 5,000 miles or every other year.

#5 Improper nutrition periodization. The concept of nutrition periodization basically states that what we eat needs to change along with our training periodization. During the off-season your calorie and carbohydrate needs are significantly lower than during the build or race phase of your season. Make sure that you are sufficiently fueling your workouts and recovery as you begin to add training volume to your week.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Straight Talk

By Rural Girl:

You know about the contest. You know about the prizes. You know the fine print.

If you're like me, you find yourself asking, "what is the catch?" This is too good to be true. Let me be the first to say, "it is too good to be true!" I have been exactly in your position. In the short time it took me to decide whether or not to apply when it was my time around, I quickly realized I had absolutely nothing to lose and so much to gain.

What I wanted to provide in this brief review are a few of the intangibles that I have experienced since becoming a member of Team Evotri.

1) Knowledge. The training, equipment, and nutrition involved with triathlon can be daunting. I came to the team with 2 years of tri experience and little-to-no other athletic background to back it up. Things like a CycleOps power meter were mere blips on my radar screen. I had read about them but had no idea what benefit such a tool could be to a beginner like myself. Another example was the thought of an actual coach. That used to make me laugh. I felt like only really "good" athletes had a coach. Ha! Little did I know that it is people just like me who benefit most from a coach. A compact crank and gear ratios? What are those? Well, now I know. And the list could go on. Had I been out there on my own, I probably would have figured it out but it would have taken a lot longer and been a lot more painful of a process!

2) Places and Races. Where have I been and what have I done? I have been able to experience places and races I know I never would have had it not been for my involvement with the team. I've been to Boulder, CO for a bike fitting! Crazy, eh? I've experienced Temecula, CA for a training camp with Floyd Landis, Melanie McQuaid and CycleOps. I'll never forget the beautiful countryside, orange groves, fallen avocados lining the roadways and killer bike rides. I've been to Benton Harbor, MI for the Steelhead 70.3 race. That was the first time I looked at a lake (Lake Michigan) and felt a bit afraid! I went to Clearwater, FL to participate in the 70.3 World Championship race. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would find myself there! Last year we traveled as a team to New Orleans to race the inaugural New Orleans 70.3. A long van ride and an awesome weekend in an historic house with my teammates made for some great stories!

3) People I've Met. Because I've had the chance to get around, I've met a lot of folks. Notice I say met! I'm pretty quiet until I get to know someone. So, really, these are people with whom I have had the opportunity to shake hands and not much else! However, had I not been hooked up with the team this would not have been possible. Here goes: Floyd Landis, Allen Lim, Melanie McQuaid, Tyler Stewart, Desiree Ficker, Jessi Stensland, TJ Tollakson, Linsey Corbin, Heather Gollnick, Robby Ventura, Becky Lavelle, and Chris McDonald.

4) Friends. My teammates are my friends. We are all so different. We span the age range from 40's to 20's. We are in different life stages; singles to married parents with infants on up to college-bound young adults. We live scattered about the states and even outside of the states. We are also different in speed and long-term athletic goals, but there are a few obvious things we have in step, and those are our appreciation and love for triathlon. Looking back on these past years, I am proud to say these people are my friends.

5) Personal Growth. All of the above things can probably be summarized under the heading of personal growth. I am not the same person that I was before becoming involved with Team Evotri. I am more well-rounded. I'm a bit more of a risk taker and willing to step outside of myself to think about what may be possible. Yes, I've pushed myself to more levels of physical pain than I ever thought possible. But, that comes with the territory. On the flip side, I've also derived more personal satisfaction from accomplishments born out of this perseverance, hard work, and belief in myself.

That about does it. Now it's your turn. Get moving on the video footage and show us what you're all about! We'll be waiting!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Making the Team: 2010!

"Making the Team"
March 15, 2010
Madison, WI

Now in its third year of giving back to the endurance community, Team Evotri once again wants you to be part of the journey.

This spring, the team will be adding another teammate from the endurance sport community. Along with joining the family, the new recruit will be awarded a prize package from the Team Evotri sponsors: SRAM, Robbie Ventura’s Vision Quest Coaching, CycleOps Power, Zipp Speed Weaponry, 2XU, Headsweats, and new sponsor for the 2010 season, Specialized Bicycles!

Over the next few months the team and sponsors will be looking for an individual who embraces the spirit of triathlon: someone positive, enthusiastic, and dedicated to giving back to the community. Triathlon experience is not a deciding factor in choosing a winner, but passion is. Do you have what it takes to make the team?

Winners can rest assured their performance will undoubtedly be taken to the next level with the following prize package:

Trusted by world champions like Chris McCormack and Melanie McQuaid, the veteran racing professionals at Specialized will provide the winner with an unbelievable race package. Be prepared to light up the course with none other than the fiercely designed and wickedly fast Transition Pro Time Trial bike, technical helmet, and racing shoes.

Ever innovative CycleOps Power will provide the winner with a cutting edge Joule wireless Powertap SL+.

The endurance experts at Vision Quest Coaching will take the winner to the next level with a dynamic professional coaching package.

SRAM will outfit the Transition Pros with world-class Force drivetrains, engineered for top performance.

The velocity doctors at Zipp Speed Weaponry will provide 606 wheelsets, cranks and bars for the excellence in endurance sport trifecta.

The winner of the 2010 Team Evotri slot will receive a wetsuit and race gear from 2XU, the industry experts in state-of-the-art style.

To top off this incredible package, the 2010 team slot winner will also receive a collection of custom racing hats and visors from the industry leader in endurance accessories: Headsweats.

Team Evotri and their sponsors invite you to submit a video conveying why you are the best pick for the team in 2010.

Making the Team: 2010: Contest Guidelines:

Endurance sport enthusiasts, do you have what it takes to make the team? Tell us how and why in a video submission no longer than five minutes, and be sure to recruit your friends to help you out! Videos will be evaluated by Team Evotri and their sponsors for creativity, quality, and how well they address the following questions:

1. How will you benefit the team if you're chosen? What are your personal attributes?

2. How have you, and how do you plan to give back to the endurance sport community? Nothing is too insignificant, list it all.

3. What are your future plans regarding triathlon and endurance sport?

*Upload all videos to You Tube and send the link to by May 3, 2010.

*Contestants should provide contact information along with his/her link submission. Team Evotri and their sponsors will announce the winner in May, 2010.

*Videos not within the time constraints will not be considered.

*By sending a video link to, candidates grant contest affiliates permission to use said video for promotional purposes affiliated with Team Evotri and the Making the Team: 2010 contest.

*The winner of the team slot forfeits all awards if he/she is unable to continue as a team member for any reason.

*The winner of the team slot agrees to contribute to the Team Evotri web site for as long as he/she is a member of Team Evotri.

*The winner of the team slot agrees to attend the WIBA training weekend in Madison, Wisconsin in July, 2010 and race the Rev3 Cedar Point Half-Ironman in September, 2010.

Transition Pros provided by Specialized, an industry leader committed to excellence in both performance and design. Visit for their full line of men's and women's road and mountain bikes.

CycleOps Powertaps and trainers are provided by the Madison, Wisconsin-based Saris Cycling Group; makers of industry leading power meters, racks and indoor trainers, as well as home to the top minds in performance science. Visit for an up close and personal education.

Professional coaching provided by Vision Quest: a dynamic, hands on, fully involved coaching program designed to provide direct interaction between the athletes and the coach for triathletes and cyclists. Please find more information on the diverse and flexible programs at

Wheels of Team EvoTri provided by Zipp Speed Weaponry, flawless craftsmanship makes these wheels, aerobars and cranks the industry leaders in speed and aerodynamic efficiency. For more information, and for a complete product catalog, visit

Drivetrain components provided by SRAM, manufacturers of world-class bicycle parts including the new Double Tap & Exact Actuation technologies designed for faster Tri, Road & CX machines. See & learn more at http:/

Cutting-edge and sleek, 2XU will assure teammates maximize their potential with the industry's most revolutionary wetsuits and race gear. Visit for the latest innovations.

Headsweats custom racing gear surpasses all others in absorption and comfort when its needed most. All seasons, all conditions, Headsweats goes the distance. Check out http:/ to see the entire 2010 line.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

JP Interviews Kevin Collington!

Day in the life at the Olympic Training Center.

Kevin Collington is back. He has, through great personal risk to himself, given us an inside look at the Olympic Training Center. Here it is! Thanks, Kevin.

What is it like being a resident triathlete at the Olympic training center? That is what I, Kevin Collington, a member of USA Triathlon’s Project 2012 National Team and OTC resident athlete, am telling you about today. I know what you’re thinking: “Hmm, this could be an interesting topic. I’ll read on and see exactly what goes on in the life of an aspiring Olympian.” It’s true – training for the Olympics as an OTC resident athlete is a wonderful opportunity that I am lucky to have. But I must warn you now – I have more habits than the average octogenarian nursing home resident! Read on at your own risk!

A typical day starts out at 7:00 AM. I wake up in my dorm room on the third floor of the east resident wing, grab a snack and a water bottle, and head down to the aquatics building. Swimming is offered Monday through Saturday at 7:30AM but since everyone has his or her own coach it is never mandatory. With such a great group of athletes training at the OTC, including 3 time Olympian Hunter Kemper, and Beijing Olympian Sarah Haskins, it’s always better to swim with the group if only for the fact that we challenge each other. Our swim coach Mike Doane usually gives us 4500 to 5500 meters total with a 1500-2500 meter main set.

The pool.

Brian Fleischmann, Hunter Kemper, Ben Collins and Joe Umphenour getting ready to swim.

After swim there is only one thing on my mind: breakfast! The dining hall at the OTC is an amazing place – the food tastes good and is healthy (although as with any dining hall some choices are healthier than others). It opens at 7:00 AM and closes at 8:30 PM everyday, closing down for only two 15 minute windows to switch meals (10:45 to change over to lunch and 3:45 to change to dinner).

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day at the OTC. After swimming I make the 200 meter walk from the aquatics building to the dining hall and head straight for the grill. The grill is where it’s at: fresh made omelettes! Two eggs with onions, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach is my favorite. Sometimes I ask the grill chef if they have any fresh avocados in the back. Luckily today they do. Here is the finished product:


After breakfast I generally relax for awhile – this is a good time to get some work done. It’s amazing how much work is involved in being a professional triathlete outside of training. I use this post-swimming time everyday to trim the weeds of my inbox, i.e. emailing sponsors, booking flights, analyzing training sessions. After an hour or so my breakfast is digested, my inbox is under control, and it’s time to go run.

Since it’s still winter as I write this, I’m not doing very much fast running. In fact today I will be lucky to break nine minutes per mile! I hop in my car and drive to my favorite running destination in Colorado Springs – Palmer Park! Palmer Park is best described as a sheer cliff face that rises quite unexpectedly out of suburban Colorado Springs. After a rocky, steep climb I make my way to the Templeton Trail. Palmer Park rates its many trails as either ‘green,’ ‘blue,’ or ‘black.’ Templeton is a black trail – the most difficult. In fact it runs right along the edge of the cliff face, twisting and turning over boulders and steep, rocky climbs. The first time I ran out here I averaged 10:05/mile. After two months of training here on a bi-weekly basis a combination of increased trail running skill, increased running fitness and memorizing the trail has greatly decreased my pace. Today was my fastest day in Palmer Park at 8:27/mile. It’s not fast but it is great non-rhythm running – you can never just zone out and get into a groove in Palmer Park.

Palmer Park. The trail is up on that cliff face.

After running, I head back to the training center and it’s time for lunch. There’s nothing special today so I eat and get out quick so I can start my last workout of the day – a bike ride. It has only been two hours since my run but the weather has taken a turn for the worst. Snow! Colorado is the definition of unpredictable weather patterns. This means I will be riding inside but I’m prepared. I grab my bike and head down to the basement of my dorm building where the USAT training room is. I throw my bike into one of the eight waiting Computrainers and warm up. Again, it’s still winter so my ride isn’t challenging. After a 45 minute warm up I get into the main set of three rounds of ten minutes at a zone two wattage, keeping my cadence under 50. It’s a definite strength set – simulating the mountains I would be climbing had I been able to get outside. For entertainment I turn on some NCAA basketball and hook my iPod up to the stereo system. Having these entertainment options makes winter indoor riding a lot more bearable.

Riding in the USAT training room.

At this point the swim is done, the run is done, and I just finished my bike. So I’m done for the day, right? Wrong – it’s time for some recovery. Tonight I have a massage scheduled in the recovery center. Each resident athlete gets 90 minutes of massage per week. I usually break my time down into a 30 minute session and a 60 minute session. We have the choice of several massage therapists but I always choose Robby Dolby. He is certainly the best massage therapist I have ever worked with. After a session with him I’ll definitely be ready for tomorrow.

Robby Dolby – the best massage therapist I know!

On the few nights a week where I don’t have a massage I will still find time to use the NormaTec MVP for 30 minutes. The NormaTec is a compression device that goes over your legs and fills with air to your desired pressure – I usually choose 80mm Hg. Once it fills up I look like I’m wearing hockey goalie pants. However, despite looking a bit odd these things really work!

The NormaTec.

After yet another glorious trip to the dining hall for dinner I usually start to wind down for the day. I try not to do anything stressful like answer emails or the like after dinner – sleeping at altitude is not always the best so for the few hours after dinner I do my best to completely relax. I’ll usually watch whatever movie I recently got from Netflix. Alternately anything on the Food Network is usually good. After that a couple of chapters in whatever book I’m reading (currently the Twilight series) will get me ready for bed and each night at 10:30 I call it a day.

So that is a day at the training center. Yes, it is very predictable. In fact after 72 days straight (the length of my latest altitude training block) I would even describe it as boring! But the truth is that this is what is required of me to be the best I can be – complete and total dedication to training. The best part is knowing that next week I will hop on a plane to Australia where I will open up the season at the Mooloolaba World Cup and then the first race in the World Championship Series in Sydney. There is nothing predictable about those trips and if I get a good result I know all of my training will be worth it!

Good Luck, Kevin! We are pumped to see you tear it up on the ITU circuit this year. Keep gunning for London.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Evotri: 2010!

Welcome to the new season here on!

We have some big news for the upcoming season and hope you're ready for the ride.

It's been a long winter, and many of us have had plenty going on, garnering congratulations all around. A few of us have recent additions to our families, with both Trisaratops and RobbyB adding a future Kona Kid to their rosters. JP has been our resident world-traveling teacher, enjoying nary a hint of snow down in South America, while Sweet and his wife have launched their coaching company AND have moved into a new house with an attic to rival many a training facility within a several mile radius.

TriCajun and his lovely family just finished the Mardi Gras marathon this past February, landing a Boston spot for both he and his wife, while Simply Stu has been heating up the airwaves with the endurance elite, all the while paving the way for the wickedest Evotri season ever to hit the books. Rural Girl has been snowshoeing her way to that Kona slot all winter long, while Iron Wil has been cleared to jump back in the game after an achilles injury last summer. Suffice it to say, Team Evotri is chomping at the bit for their best season yet!

We have a few surprises for everyone this year - a new sponsor perhaps? Or even a new member of the team?? Stay tuned to for all the exciting news over the weeks to come, and start thinking spring!

Monday, March 1, 2010

One on One with Trevor Wurtele!

By: JP Severin

We’re here with Trevor Wurtele, a wicked fast triathlete with numerous top 10’s in the Ironman and 70.3 distance and some ridiculously quick times. He and his wife Heather are full time professional triathletes. They sold their home back about a year ago and bought an RV with the idea of committing fully to becoming world class. Let’s find out what life is like for the other half of Team Wurtele.

JP: Trevor, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. First, can you tell us when and how you got started in Triathlon?

TW: I had raced road bikes for a handful of years through my teens. Then for 4 years I simply enjoyed a variety of sports from run races, mtn bike races, and adventure racing. By 2004, I wanted to try something new and had always wondered about triathlon. My complete inability to swim kept me away. But, thankfully Heather got me going in the water that winter and I managed to enter my first race as a triathlete. Later that year I did Ironman Canada by grabbing a spot through a local qualifier. 11hrs later I knew I needed to go faster.

JP: It seems like you have your eyes on Ironman with a smattering of 70.3’s. Have you thought about having a crack at short course racing?

TW: I focus on the Ironman and IM 70.3 stuff for sure. My swim is getting better, but it's definitely not in the league of being able to compete in anything draft legal. With Ironman you've got to have some speed, but it really comes down to strength. On the run, if you can hold a 6:40 mile pace for 26 miles off the bike you'll be in contention. I can see that coming my way in a few years, but a 31 min 10k in short course is another matter.

JP: Can you walk us through the decision that you and Heather made to commit to being full-time professional triathletes?

TW: It was definitely something we thought about for a few years. We got very lucky with the way things worked out on the sale of our condo, the incredible deal we found on a livable RV, and of course our mutual desire to turn our lives upside down. Really, that was the only way to do what we wanted to do. Had we had to pay a mortgage or even rent somewhere it would have been impossible financially. Actually, it still is nearly impossible financially but we get by.

JP: How have things changed in terms of your training since going full-time?

TW: The first couple years as an age grouper (2004-2006) I had one speed in training - hard. Hard in the pool, hard on the bike, hard on the run. Even on long 30km runs I would aim to break old records every time I went out. Painful way to train and injuries followed.
Slowly I started reading about Mark Allen and Peter Reid's approach and their use of a lot of slower aerobic work - especially running. I stayed in that vein for 2 more years as an age grouper with great results. Now, as a full time athlete the biggest change is overall volume, as well as the difference between a hard day and an easy day. Hard is hard, easy is 'why am I doing this' - it's a difficult thing for me get used to, I often find myself going too hard on the easy days.
JP: Where would you say your biggest improvement has come over the past year?

TW: 2009 was a year of adaptation and learning, but I saw gains across all three sports at various times through the year. Those gains just never really came out all at the same time during a race! I've now sorted out a lot of issues so hopefully 2010 is the year to lay down a complete race.

JP: Could you describe a basic week for us?

TW: Like everyone, it's always different. January, February, and March always have the biggest weekly volume - around 30 hours for me. As the race season approaches we get a little bit more specific and throw out the extra grey zone volume. Making the weeks feel harder, but the volume edges down closer to 25 hrs. You really have to listen to your own body and can't just pound out miles for the sake of trying to get to 30 hrs for the week. Prime example - this past week I had to take 2 days totally off because things were falling apart. That was not in 'the plan'. It makes the week on paper look horrible, but it really was the best thing for next block of training.

JP: Your RV gives you tons of flexibility in training. Where is your favorite place to train?

TW: I would love to explore Flagstaff a bit more. We've really only ever put in long training blocks in Solvang, California and up in our home of the Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada. Out of the two I prefer the Okanagan Valley, however, if Solvang had a lake that was swimmable I would rate it higher because of the general lack of vehicles on the beautiful (yet very rough) roads. I also like to run off road a fair bit - Solvang doesn't have much to choose from on that end. I think we'll try Tucson next winter, I'd also like to see why everyone loves Boulder so much.

JP: Moving forward into 2010, what are your goals as a developing pro?

TW: Definitely putting together a little bit more consistency and some higher placings. I had a decent 6th place finish at Ironman Coeur d'Alene last year and I want to step that up for 2010 to include some solid results inside the top 5. But, I don't rule out having one of those freaky days where you shatter all expectations.

JP: Which races are you targeting in 2010 and why?

TW: Ironman St. George and Ironman Canada are the two biggies. Ironman St. George because it's close to our winter training area. I hear it's a hilly course and that suits me as well. Especially after training down south for the winter. We'll most likely drive the RV to the race site a few weeks before hand to make sure we know the course well.
Ironman Canada because the timing works great if you do an early season Ironman, and it's close to our home base for the summer. I love that course too. After that we'll see what happens, perhaps a 3rd Ironman later in the year, but if not I'll keep racing shorter distances through November.

JP: Excellent… Time for the lightning round!

Favorite Candy? Trader Joes Peanut Butter Cups
Favorite Movie? Kill Bill II
Favorite Meal? Sushi -but that never fills me up, so I'd need to top it off with a Burrito.
Favorite Workout? Anything with a long climb. Be it running or riding, I love going up big hills. Hopefully one day I can go back to France and ride the epic climbs.

JP: How are things in terms of sponsorship?

TW: Heather and I are both really happy with the companies we're working with. Our newest sponsor is First Endurance - considering some of the past issues I've had with severe dehydration during long races I am extremely excited to be using their products this year. I've really made some great nutritional changes for race day.
Blue Competition Cycles - Started with them in 2008 and have loved every bike we've been on.
AVIA -was the first sponsor we ever had, they actually managed to get a jersey and shoes on Heather before she won IM coeur d'Alene in 2008, two weeks after joining their crew.

JP: Trevor, thanks for taking the time. Before we go, what is your best tip for the age group athlete out there?

TW: Set goals -small attainable goals on your way to where you want to go. Without them your training and racing won't give you the same satisfaction.