Former Pro Cyclist Phil Gaimon’s “Worst Retirement Ever”

September 15, 2017

Late last year, Phil Gaimon made a decision. "I couldn't be the best at cycling, so I decided to be the worst at retirement."

The "Worst Retirement Ever" has Phil chasing Strava KOMs around the U.S. and the world as he provides a real-world answer to "what if an actual cycling pro tried this segment and didn't hold back?"

What started as an effort to displace a known doper from the top spot on the leaderboard for some iconic Los Angeles-area climbs became a popular YouTube series following Phil as he puts his recently-pro-level skills up against the reigning KOM champs. 

He's quick to point out that there's nothing particularly special about him, and that a lot of other pros could totally annihilate his records--they just have better things to do. The subtle message of the series to stop taking Strava way too seriously is conveyed by Phil taking KOM attempts to a patently ridiculous level (including wearing a speed suit, riding a custom Cannondale bicycle, and sometimes removing items like brakes to save a few grams). 

No discussion with Phil would be complete without a lengthy discussion of cookies. The moniker "Cookie Monster" was given to him during his pro career, and he makes finding a good cookie (worth spending calories on) a mission worthy of a ranked list on his website. 

The cookie craze has ballooned into Cookie Corners as races such as the Tour of California to promote his Cookie Fondo

Check out Phil's books:

Draft Animals: Living the Pro Cycling Dream (Once in a While) 
Releasing October 207. 

Ask a Pro

Pro Cycling on $10 a Day

 

Follow Phil 

Website
Youtube
Podcast

Facebook

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Flatline to Finish Line: IronHeart Foundation Founder David Watkins

August 18, 2017

As he was being wheeled into a tricky open-heat surgery, David Watkins wondered about the legacy he would leave to his daughters if he didn't make it. Seventeen hours (and a full five minutes without a functional heart beat) later, he began a road to recovery that would take him to the start line of a half marathon six months later and to an Ironman 13 months post-surgery. 

 

"The support from my family was amazing, but it also wasn't enough on its own," says Watkins, who set about connecting to a community of cardiac patients attempting athletic challenges.

The result was the founding of the IronHeart Foundation which has provided resources for athletes battling heart disease for well over a decade. During that time, they've helped people in over 40 states and 20 countries live heart-healthy, active lives. IronHeart provides a community of challenge and encouragement, as well as matching up athletes with sports cardiologists who will work with them to find safe ways to realize their athletic goals.

In the documentary, "Heart: Flatline to Finish Line," David Watkins shares the story of six triathletes with cardiac challenges, following them from the hospital through an Ironman race.  

In the show, we talk about his story, some common misconceptions of people with heart disease, the process behind creating the documentary, and ways the triathlon community can support athletes with cardiac issues. 

 

 

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Ideal Racing Weight with Matt Fitzgerald

August 4, 2017

Talking with nutritionist, author and coach Matt Fitzgerald about finding your ideal racing weight. We covered topics from Matt's 2013 Book "Racing Weight" (2nd Ed.), as well as his thoughts on training and his observations on racing psychology in his most recent book "How Bad Do You Want It?

Some Topics Covered:

  • Standard dieting versus "performance weight management"
  • The importance of diet quality versus traditional "calorie counting"
  • How much priority should be placed on macro nutrient balance?
  • Periodization of nutrition (during the day and during workouts)
  • The most importance metrics to monitor in diet, weight and body composition
  • How to trust your appetite (and make sure your appetite is trustworthy) 
  • High volume / low intensity training versus low volume / high intensity training

 

Follow Matt Fitzgerald at his website, Facebook and Twitter

 

 

Win a copy of "Racing Weight"

Enter on Facebook and/or Twitter before noon Eastern time on August 7th! 

 

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Jesse Thomas and the First-Year Pro Scholarship Program Winners

July 28, 2017

Six-time Wildflower Triathlon winner and Aviator-sporting Jesse Thomas remembers what it was like as a new pro triathlete. Nobody really tells you what to do, where to go, or how to make it work. As a late-comer to the sport (started at 29), some might have considered him too old to be starting a career in a sport not known for throwing large sums of cash at its pro athletes.

Combining some surprising early wins with an entrepreneurial streak and MBA know how, Jesse not only built a career, but a brand and a business. Last year, he announced on his site his desire to give back to young pros through a scholarship program.  After sifting through nearly 60 applications, he announced the winners last week.

Jesse's goal with the scholarships was not only to provide much-needed financial support, but also provide professional development in what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur and personal brand (more or less required to make a workable living as a pro triathlete). Jesse himself has several streams of income, including the business he and wife Lauren founded (Picky Bars), and Roka's version of the gas-station Aviators he wore to his first breakthrough triathlon win.

Follow Jesse at his websiteFacebookTwitterInstagram and Strava.

 

Allison Linnell

Allison Linnell is a former pro cyclist and who competed in triathlon as an age-group athlete and returned to the sport in late 2016 and placed 6th overall at her first pro race at Ironman 70.3 Cartagena.

Follow Allison on her websiteFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Alissa Doehla

Alissa Doehla is a former pro runner who raced her first ever triathlon just last year (an Olympic-distance race in Naples, FL, which she won despite coming off the bike 6 mins behind the leader).  She's placed on the podium in her last three 70.3 races.

Follow Alissa on her websiteFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Tony Smoragiewicz

Tony Smorgawicz  Smorcawigz ....."T-Smorz." Before his NCAA career running for the University of Michigan, Tony raced youth and junior elite triathlon in the U.S. and abroad, finishing third at the world championship in Beijing in 2011. He's aiming for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and building up points in Continental Cup races as he attempts to move up in the rankings to get on the start list for ITU races. 

Follow Tony at his websiteFacebookTwitter and Instagram. If you want to support Tony's Tokyo aspirations, check out his GoFundMe page

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Ironman World Record Holder Tim Don

July 21, 2017

Ironman Brazil in May 2017 may have only been British triathlete Tim Don's fifth full Ironman, but the racing savvy of twenty years as a professional, specialized training, favorable conditions, and a little bit of luck helped him take over four minutes off of the previous mark.  

At 39 years old, Don is certainly not done setting a high bar. Any thoughts of retirement are couched in terms of "maybe three or four years from now." Right now, his focus is on the 70.3 World Championships and placing well in Kona (where he finished 15 in 2015 and DNF'ed last year). 

Topics Covered

  • Training with cycling specialist Matt Bottrill and coach Julie Dibens
  • Customizing his Specialized Shiv to maintain the most efficient position
  • How he put together a record-setting performance on his fifth full Ironman
  • The course at Ironman Brazil 
  • Advantages of his smaller (5'8", 143lb) frame over taller athletes like Jan Frodeno (6'4") and Sebastian Kienle (5'11")
  • His mental approach toward the pressures of training and racing for a living
  • Advantages and disadvantages for a ITU athlete transitioning to 70.3 and Ironman triathlons 
  • We shamelessly asked about an old race in our back yard that he won (Rev3 Knoxville 2014). Tim proceed to regale us with rich detail about the race, the course and our city 
  • His philosophy of "Train Hard, Race Easy"
  • His coaching business "Dirty Fast Coaching" and how his experiences coaching inform his own training and racing. 
  • Speculation about post-retirement plans (bucket-list races, getting involved with a junior federation, coaching)
  • The best in Boulder (places to workout, places to eat). 
  • Previewing the 70.3 World Championships in Chattanooga this September. 
  • Balancing confidence with objectivity on his Kona chances after his 7:40 Ironman WR

 

Follow Tim on at his websiteFacebookTwitter and Instagram

 

It's National Triathlon Week!

Your chance to win a free lifetime membership from USAT. 

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Junior Elite Triathlete Addison Smith

July 14, 2017

When you start racing triathlon at the age where many kids are just learning to ride a bike, you certainly have a great head start. Addison Smith has been a fixture at races in East Tennessee for nearly a decade, and she's only 16! Over the past several years, she's climbed the ranks of USA Triathlon's Youth and Junior Elite programs and even finished third overall at USAT's Sprint National Championships in Omaha, NE last year (part of an all-Tennessean women's podium). 

 

On top of her elite triathlon schedule, Addison competes for Baylor School in Chattanooga, TN in swimming and cross-country and hopes to be competing for a prestigious D1 swim program in a couple years. 

We asked Addison about the challenges of being a year-round athlete at an academically-rigorous school, the triathlon camp she attended with Olympian's Gwen Jorgenson and Katie Zaferes, and her experiences racing with both the Health Shoppe and Z3 Triathlon teams. 

Steve Kelley from USAT's Junior Elite and Under 23 programs joined us to talk about what they are doing to develop young talent in the sport, resources available for youth and junior triathletes and what age group athletes and clubs can do to encourage youth participation in the sport. 

Follow USAT Juniors on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

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Cannondale-Drapac Cycling Head of Medicine Kevin Sprouse

June 30, 2017

Back for his third appearance on the Lost in Transition Podcast, fan-favorite Dr. Kevin Sprouse brings helpful info for age group athletes and provides a behind-the scenes look at life on the road with a UCI pro cycling team.

Some topics covered include:

  • The benefits of a 1-2 week mid-season break
  • Post workout and post race recovery myths and facts
  • Maintaining ideal rider race weight during the Tour de France
  • Sleep hygiene during cycling grand tours
  • How cycling teams eat during the Tour
  • How he manages to eat and stay active while on assignment at cycling events
  • What a typical day looks like for the staff and cyclists
  • What information he has access to during the race
  • Daily monitoring for age group athletes
  • Tracking cumulative fatigue (both simple and advanced methods)
  • Using tracking devices for health data (and why FitBit can be helpful even for more advanced athletes)
  • New developments in glucose monitoring for non-diabetic athletes and possible links to performance

When he's not on the road with Cannondale-Drapac, Dr. Sprouse sees pro and age group athletes at his Knoxville, TN-based practice, Podium Sports Medicine.

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Triathlete Turned Marathon Swimmer Jamie Ann Phillips

June 16, 2017

Jamie Ann Phillips started racing sprint triathlons back in 2009, and thanks triathlon's persistent peer pressure inspiration worked up to racing Ironman Florida in 2014.  A long-time recreational swimmer, Phillips was often first out of the water at local races, and specifically picked Ironman Florida over the hometown Ironman Chattanooga because of Florida's challenging swim versus the Chattanooga's downriver drift. 

Unfortunately, the sea did not agree to her plan, and the swim was cancelled, forcing a crowded time-trial bike start. She overcame her frustration at the change of plans and had a good race, and does not see any asterisk next to her Ironman accomplishment for not having done that particular swim. 

It may have helped that she had placed third overall in the 10-mile Swim the Suck just weeks before. The 2.4 mile Ironman swim would have been barely sufficient as warmup! 

Fully content to be a "one and done" Ironman, Jamie Ann turned her sights to open water swimming. She is currently in a build phase of training, reaching 37,000 yards (just over 21 mile) in recent weeks.  The goal on the horizon is the 28-mile "20 Bridges Swim" around Manhattan, which, along with the English Channel and Catalina Channel swims, is part of open water swimming's "Triple Crown. "

We talk training, her mindset during marathon swims, and some highlights from the last couple years of swimming (including a swim from Alcatraz in San Fransisco and a (totally legal) 25 km Border Buster swim into Canada. 

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The Brave Athlete with Dr. Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson

June 9, 2017

 

Dr. Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson are the dynamic duo behind Braveheart Coaching and the new book The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion (2017, VeloPress). 

Lesley is a three-time off road triathlon champion, Ironman champion, coach, actress and screenwriter. Simon is a PhD. and former professor at University of California at San Diego and San Diego State. He's written extensively and currently provides performance psychology support for the BMC Pro Cycling team.

 

The Show

Increasing mental performance is not just for the elite athlete--age groupers of any level can benefit greatly by harnessing the power of their mind. Conversely, they can suffer ill effects when certain parts of their brain use fear, anxiety, and poor self-image to sabotage their efforts. 

Simon and Lesley talk about some of their unique approaches, formed from plenty of formal education and research, and tested by the mentally demanding lifestyle of a professional athlete. Some topics include: 

  • "Textbook" approaches to mental performance that may not work as advertised
  • The importance of developing a mature athletic identity
  • The use of an "Alter Ego" to help athletes "fake it 'til they make it"
  • Why "Motivation Monday" social media posts are really not that motivational (and sometimes just plain suck)
  • How social media and comparing yourself to someone's idealized "presentation" can be very harmful to your self-image
  • Using triggers, rituals and rewards to create new positive habits 

 

 

Buy The Brave Athlete 

 

Follow Simon and Lesley

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Racing Blind: Elite Para-Triathlete Amy Dixon

May 26, 2017

Amy Dixon is a  elite para-triathlete, and motivational speaker. She’s the Vice President of Glaucoma Eyes International Organization, and serves as a coach and mentor to visually impaired athletes, eye disease and autoimmune disease patients. 

Amy lost 98% of her vision due to a rare form of Uveitis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the middle layer of tissue in the eye wall. Her remaining vision has both advantages and disadvantages in racing. While she can see some items in transition, the increased heart rate during races often leads to distracting white out or flashing conditions. 

Blind Athlete Amy Dixon and Guide Running

In addition to competing at an elite level on the ITU circuit, Amy coaches visually-impaired athletes and hosted a camp for blind and deaf-blind triathletes at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA last winter. 

We spoke with Amy about her career, training and how she interacts with guides during training and racing. The realities of racing as a blind triathlete can be challenging. Guides that are eligible and fast enough can be hard to find, almost every race requires international travel (with a tandem bike). Expenses add up quickly when you're paying for both yourself and a guide. (You can help Amy defray some expenses by donating here).  But the thrill of performing at a elite level and showing that the visually-impaired can not only participate in triathlons, but also be fast triathletes. 

We talked to Amy's guide for ITU Yokohama (and recent Lost in Transition guest) Kirsten Sass about her experience being a guide for an athlete she met just days before the race. 

If you are interested in learning more about being a guide or a visually-impaired athlete, these resources can help you get started.

 

You can learn more about Amy at her website, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

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