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 Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
May 12, 2017
The Knoxville Open Water Swimmers (KOWS) have only been swimming the lakes and rivers of East Tennessee for a little over a year, and they're already organizing a race.
The inaugural Bridges to Bluffs 10K and 10K Relay swims will take place September 17th, 2017 in downtown Knoxville. The race starts by jumping off the Star of Knoxville riverboat, and continues along the downtown waterfront under several historic bridges, finishing downstream opposite several hundred foot bluffs in the Sequoyah Hills neighborhood.
Race organizers Jack McAfee, Blaik Ogle and Jessi Ringer talk about some of the unique features of the race, the process of getting certified by US Masters Swimming, and talk about a special offer for the first 50 signups.
Bridges to Bluffs takes place four weeks before the infamous "Swim the Suck" in Chattanooga, a 10-mile event hosted by the Chattanooga Open Water Swimmers (COWS..hmm wonder where the KOWS got the idea).
Check out the Bridges to Bluffs Facebook page for updates throughout the summer!
May 5, 2017
Alicia DiFabio didn't dive head-first into triathlon at the first opportunity. In fact, she figured she would be the last one to succumb to the triathlon craze. A combination of the professional curiosity and perhaps a little peer pressure from the 900-woman strong Mullica Hills Tri Club got her across the first finish line.
In her book "Women Who Tri: A Reluctant Athlete's Journey Into the Heart of America’s Newest Obsession," DiFabio explores the explosion of popularity that triathlon has had, particularly among women. She investigates the influence of triathlon being a sport that was open to women from its founding, as opposed to many Olympic sports and marathons that discouraged or outright banned female participation.
Between investigating the history, present and future of women in triathlon, DiFabio also profiles over a dozen women of all backgrounds and levels who have used triathlon to improve their lives and the lives of others.
Check out Alicia's website and follow her adventures of being a special needs mother at her blog "Lost in Holland." You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter as well.
Where to Buy
April 28, 2017
Meredith Dolhare goes big in everything she does.
From the couch to an Ironman in a matter of months, to Ultraman, to some of the most challenging ultra running races in the world, including Badwater 135, the more audacious the goal, the more motivated she gets.
Meredith has tackled challenges beyond the grueling demands of racing and training at an elite level. She has broken each foot three times a piece, her dreams of pro tennis career ended with a shoulder injury, and she suffered a spinal rupture during Ironman Kona in 2011. She also battled addiction to drugs and alcohol after the birth of her second child and has faced the challenges of recovery.
The at-times difficult path she has followed has given her an incredible mental toughness and perspective that she brings to her not-for-profit "Running Works," a Charlotte, NC-based organization that uses running as a vehicle to help homeless adults and children in unstable housing situations overcome challenges in their own lives.
We had a great time talking to Meredith, and you can't help but catch her enthusiasm for encouraging others to use sport as a method for improving their lives.
Follow Meredith and Running Works
Intro: "Road that Burned Our Boots" - Jazzhar
Transition 1: "Max Flashback" - Lee Rosevere
Transition 2: "Run" - Double Helix
Close: "Epic Song" - Boxcat Games
April 21, 2017
Now that we're seeing 80+ temps in parts of the U.S., we thought it was time to revisit the triathlete's nautical nemesis--open water swimming.
You may have seen Jay Peluso at a Rev3 Triathlon race before (he's usually the one giving the race briefing), but he's also a two-time All-American swimmer, seven time New England Swimming Champion and a member of the the Rhode Island Aquatics Hall of Fame.
He runs Peluso Open Water, where he coaches triathletes and open water swimmers and organizes the Swim RVA Open H20 Race Series in Richhmond, VA.
We talked about:
- His background in competitive swimming, and how some unique skills from water polo helped his triathlon swim
- How to introduce a new swimmer to open water
- The differences between technique and tactics in pool swimming versus open water (including stroke length and utilization of kick)
- (Almost) Everything you ever wanted to know about wetsuits (no....we didn't ask about peeing in them)
- How often triathletes should swim, and what do those sessions look like?
- Benefits of open water swim races for triathletes
April 8, 2017
Al Hennigan is the Southeast Regional Officials Coordinator, and has been a certified USAT and USA Cycling official for many years.
We talked about many topics, including:
- How do people become USAT offiicials?
- What do officials get paid? Are there any benefits?
- What are the most commonly violated rules?
- What rules are hardest to enforce?
- An official rides by me on the bike course and writes something down. Am I in trouble?
- How does the overtaking rule relate to the drafting rule?
- Does one athlete giving another athlete something on course (a tube, extra water, CO2 cannister) violate the "outside assistance" rule?
Reading the rules is always helpful. While officials review the most important rules before the race, you may not catch all of them or may just have your mind elsewhere. Go to usatriathlon.org/rules.
To contact Al with any questions, including how to become an official, go to
Intro - “Roads that Burned Our Boots” - Jazzhar
Transition - “Glass Android” -Lee Rosevere
Close - “Epic Song” - Boxcat Games