I am afforded a pretty unique perspective at many races. I'm at the finish or transition, watching the whole race unfold as the announcer. I get to see stuff. Some of it is inspiring. Some of it is funny. Some of it causes me to squirm in discomfort.

But one thing strikes me again and again:

* Triathletes will spend limitless money on this sport to get faster and will undo all of their efforts with simple mistakes and technical errors that waste tons of time.

With that in mind, here is my Top 10 list of ways you can get faster without working any harder and with minimal additional cost (no, you do not need to go buy a carbon Kuotoa, Zipp 404's or a new wetsuit. Keep reading.) This list is in roughly chronological order of how you might approach the race.

10. Warm-up: I notice that some folks either don't warm up at all or their warm up is minimal. In a race as short as a sprint or Oly, you need to hit the race warm. I used to think that using a bike trainer for warm up was a wanker move but a few years of bike racing has taught me the value of getting your legs warm. Even 15 mins. on your trainer before getting to transition will make a difference

Cost: $0

9. Swim prep: Get in the water BEFORE your race. You need to know the temperature, the bottom conditions, the current direction and the power of the current and swell. Do not start your race dry.

Cost: $0

8. Swim technique: Take a lesson. I'm not kidding. Spend the money and take a lesson. 90% of the swim issues out there are technical. Not the kind of goggles, not the brand of your wetsuit, not even (generally) your fitness. 1 hour in a pool with a coach will save big time in the race.

Cost: $60-$80/hour

7. Ocean swims: Do them. Regularly. That's where we race. You gotta practice like you play.

Cost: $2 for parking

6. T1/T2: Do you know how hard you would have to work to go 2 minutes faster in your run? Your bike? Your swim? The amount of training needed to go that much faster in a 5K or 10K run is stunning. Do you know how much harder you have to work to shave minutes off your transitions? ZERO. Nada. Zilch. You just need to prepare and execute.

It doesn't take more muscle, more fitness, or an increased VO2 max. It just takes a plan and execution. One LATC'er who shall remain nameless (ok, it was Ian Murray) had the fastest T1 *and* the fastest T2 at Strawberry
Fields. His T1 was 1:56 inclusive of the beach run. The average was around 3:45. T2 was a mind boggling :38 seconds. The average for all participants was about 1:20.

His total advantage over the average racer was about 2:20. In a race that lasted just over an hour. He was 3.5% "faster" without spending one additional calorie or heart beat. Now THAT is how you win your age group. Right Ian?

Cost: $0 for LATC sponsored transition clinic

5. Bike gearing: Mashing is for potatoes. Not for pedal cadence. Gear down to an easier gear and spin at 90 RPM. I passed a lot of racers from earlier waves and couldn't believe how many people were below 70 RPM cadence in their big ring/small cog combo. Ease off, let your legs spin, go faster and be ready for the run.

Cost: $0 ($30 for cheap bike computer than reads cadence)

4. Bike equipment: You don't need to spend big bucks to have an impact on your bike speed. The biggest culprit is aerodynamics. Not frictional resistance from your bearings (though ceramic bearings are helpful) nor the weight of your bike (unless there are big hills). For most flat triathlons like SFT, Breath of Life, and Los Angeles, the struggle is aerodynamics.

Here are three cheap things you can do to save time:

* Get aero bars! Why are we even having this discussion? If you don't have them, get them. Now.

Cost: Less than $100 for clip-on aerobars

* Aero wheels. You do NOT need to buy deep dish carbon rims or a disc unless you are swimming in money and have nothing better to spend it on. Try this: Go to www.wheelbuilder.com. Buy the disc cover. For less than $100, turn your normal spoked wheel into a low profile disc. $100 vs. over $1500 for a lower end carbon disc. Unreal value!

Cost: ~$100

* Aero helmet. OK, I'll admit, they look ridiculous and I haven't been able to bring myself to getting one. But they work and aren't too horribly expensive. If you skip this reco, I'm cool with it.

Cost: ~$150 (look for great deals from LATC on Rudy Project aero helmets)

3. Run intervals: Most people tend to go out and run. No objective, no differentiation in pace or terrain. They run. Try running timed variable paced intervals. Take your HR up above your threshold, come back down, recover and do it again. See what happens.

Cost: $0

2. Get a coach: Even a little guidance goes a long way in the sport. Don't want to shell out for monthly coaching. How about a one-time consult? A written, templated program? OK, I'm obviously biased but I've gotten a ton of value from written programs and the guidance of my many friends who are coaches. Think you don't need one? Funny, the pros at Kona do. So do our Olympians. If the best of the best can benefit, maybe you can, too.

Cost: Variable from cheap to pricey

1. Get a bike fit: This is, in my mind, the #1 place that you can save time and enjoy this sport more. Have your body fit to your bike by a certified, experienced, professional bike fitter. Not simply a seat height adjustment, I'm talking 1 hours with a pro who will, at the very least:

* Determine your ideal hip angle and knee angle which will allow him/her to

* Ensure your seat height is proper

* Ensure your seat's fore/aft position is proper

* Ensure your seat's tilt is proper

* Determine your ideal "reach" and adjust stem length accordingly

* Determine your ideal "drop" and adjust stack height accordingly

* Ensure that you are minimizing the risk of repetitive use injury by creating a natural, ergonomic pedaling motion

* And ultimately this will all result in a fit that is comfortable, aerodynamic and efficient.

If you don't know what a goniometer is and how to use one, or if you are still trying to figure out what I meant by "stack height", or if you are just uncomfortable on your bike and getting rubbed in the wrong places you
may be a great candidate for a bike fit.

Judging by the craziness I see at EVERY race I go to (Examples: Superman position, reach and RISE, hips rocking like Elvis, sore necks, sore bootys, injured knees), nearly everyone needs a fit.

Cost: ~$100-$150

So there you have it. 10 low cost, low effort ways to get faster without working harder.

Or keep doing the things you are doing and get the same results.
Konrad Ribeiro

2009 Swim, Stride & Suds

The laid back, un-official workout of the everyman. And everywoman. And everyone

Here’s the deal

  • Who – EVERONE

  • What – An excuse to cut out of work a bit early once in a while and enjoy the reason we live in SoCal.

  • When – , Wednesday evenings, twice monthly starting May 6th. See LATC Calendar for specific dates.

  • Where – Ocean Park Beach http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1773243

    • Same location as the Weds. AM Ocean Speed Circuit

  • Why – Because training doesn’t need to be boring, solo, hard, or boring. Oh. I said that.

Focus is not on quantity. Or even quality. It is on getting together with friends, getting to the beach, and remembering why we love triathlon and living in this crazy jungle.

Hope to see you there.


2009 Wednesday Morning Ocean Speed Circuit

presented by Triathletix


You don't need to be speedy to be a part of the best weekly ocean swim in the greater Ocean Park area. You just have to want to be a better ocean swimmer. We have athletes ranging from total beginners to Kona-bound professionals and everything in-between. We average about 100 to 120 swimmers per week at our peak. So you do NOT need to email me asking if you can come. Just show up. Seriously.

Here's what you need to know.

Who – Anyone who is comfortable in the ocean environment and capable of swimming about 500 yards non-stop. You do NOT need to be fast. Because these are loops, you won’t get left behind…you’re just wayyyyyy ahead of the people catching you ;^)

o If you do NOT meet those criteria, please keep your eyes peeled for Tim Bomba's equally ballyhooed Ocean 101 series starting in early-May

When – Every Wednesday at 6:30A starting April 21st and ending in late-September. BE PROMPT. We start at 6:30A so be there early to plug the meter, put on your wetsuit and chat with friends. There WILL be a line at the meter so do not show up at 6:28A and expect to be with us at the start.

· Where Ocean Park, Santa Monica, where Ocean Park Blvd. meets Barnard Way. Here’s a map link that shows where we park, walk out to the water’s edge and then swim our circuits: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1773243

o Directly adjacent to the parking area towards the beach are two concrete restroom structures. Between then is a wooden boardwalk that leads out to the sand. Directly out from that boardwalk is Lifeguard Tower 26. That’s where we start. Or just look for 100 people in wetsuits.

What the hell are we doing, anyway? – The Ocean Speed Circuit, now in its fifth year of providing the joys of swimming in the “cleanish” water of Santa Monica Bay. It is a circuit swim. Rather than run way down the beach and swim back, we do loops around a buoy.

o We put two cones in the sand. We start at one cone, swim out to a buoy roughly 250 yards from shore, round the buoy, and then swim in to shore. Run up the beach to the second cone, and head back to the starting cone. That completes the triangle. Participants do between one and five loops depending on their speed and desired length of workout. What does it look like? Here’s a few ways to see –

o On a map: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1773243

o On Google Earth (thank you Paul Impellezzeri who swam with a GPS transponder in his cap. Nice!) http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=6ftx1s&s=3

o From a traffic helicopter: http://youtube.com/watch?v=YA6cbXsXGSk

Additional FAQ type of stuff:

How long is this workout? – Most people wrap it up in about 45 minutes. If you only have 30 minutes, you can still come. Here's a helpful hint: Get out in 30 minutes. If you only have 20 minutes, get out in 20 minutes. You get the idea.

Bonus runs - Many people also run afterwards. Two main options:

o 4-mile run afterwards, 2 miles out-n-back to the end of the Venice Pier http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1860981

o 5-mile run, 2.5 out-n-back to Ocean & San Vicente http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1860985

Why do this swim?- Because your swimming could use some work. Seriously. I’m not even kidding. I was watching you.


Water temp - ranges from below 60 in mid-April to low-70's in mid-summer. Check www.watchthewater.org for current conditions.

Surf - ranges from flat as a lake to big & beefy. Check www.wetsand.com for surf reports.

Parking - You have a few parking options. Parking is $2/hour at the parking lot starting at when it opens. Or you can park for free at the meters on

Ocean Park Ave.
about 200 yards away.

That's it. If you have a question, please re-read EVERYTHING written above (and yes, click on the links) before emailing me. If you email me a question like "What time does it start?" I will post that question, along with your name and email address, to the entire club in my monthly "Bewildering Email Recap" (No, Zac, you don't need to bring your own salt - The ocean already has salt in it) and you'll be ridiculed. I respectfully disagree with your 3rd grade teacher: There *are* dumb questions.

Hope to see you there.

Email or call with questions: konrad@triathletix.com 310-430-5626


Interested in getting stronger, faster and having a better Tri-year than ever? Well, we can help. Time to secure your camper slot at LA Tri Club's 2009 Spring Training Camp! Location: Lake San Antonio, where the Wildflower Triathlons take place.

Coaches from TriAthletix will tailor a daily training schedule for participants. You'll meet new training buddies.... This camp is open to Adults at ALL LEVELS. Veteran triathletes will be challenged, while newbies will have as much support and hands-on attention as they desire.

Thurs., March 19, cabins open at 6:00 PM - Sunday, March 22nd, CABINS CLOSE AT 11:30 AM

Members + Guests are welcome to attend. Space is Limited for the Cabin stay - Package One. Package Two has unlimited space.

SLOTS: LA Tri Club members please reserve your slot in our RSVP/Polls. ++ NON-MEMBERS ++ Please reserve your slot at Active.com

Package One includes:
+ Group Training for swim, bike & run
+ Group streach/yoga sessions (weather permitting)
+ Sag support for longer training effots on bike & run
+ Coaching tips, guidance and route slips before training activities
+ Coaching by TriAthletix.com
+ Cabin stay accomodations (shared)
+ All meals prepared for you by resident Chef, Stella Tong
+ Snacks provided
+ All beverages (both adult & hydration)
+ Swag giveaways & raffles
+ All clinics
+ Car pass into the park
+ More!

Package Two includes:
+ Group Training for swim, bike & run
+ Group streach/yoga sessions (weather permitting)
+ Sag support for longer training effots on bike & run
+ Coaching tips, guidance and route slips before training activities
+ Coaching by TriAthletix.com
+ Select clinics

Camp attendance and activities are at your own risk.

All participants will need to fill out a participant form prior to the camp. The forms will be available a little closer to the event-weekend (this will be sent to you).

What to bring:
+ swim / bike / run gear
+ personal items
+ your favorite pillow (although pillows are provided, you may want to bring one from home)
+ extra towels for swim & bath
+ yoga mat
+ your ENERGY for a hard training effort weekend!
+ a favorite board game
+ your camping chair


Liz Oakes, liz@latriclub.com
Ian Murray, ian@triathletix.com

Location: Lake San Antonio, Paso Robles.

Maps & Directions will be provided.

We've booked Craig Alexander to kick off our 2009 season. To have him headline our club's first meeting really solidifies what this club is all about....
...like a comedian getting welcomed to the couch by Carson,
...like a Super Bowl quarterback "going to Disney World",
...like a freshly shorn pop singer making it on to TMZ -
this club is THE place for the newly crowned World Triathlon Champions to get their ticket punched.

So few clubs are able to draw such names and this club seems to do it with great consistency. You'll be able to sit down, have dinner and ask Craig Alexander. We may ask...

*Which feels better being 70.3 World Champ or Ironman World Champ?
*Does being Australian make beer taste better after winning big races?
*If an aero helmet can take up to 6 min off an IM time, how'd you beat the other top 15 guys, all of whom wore one when you didn't?
*Why Crowie for nickname?
*Of the 22 sponsors listed on your website the only one that doesn't have a live link is "SSHM"-- is that some super secret heartrate mechanism?
*Explain to us Yanks what is means to be nominated for an SHM award in Aussie land.
*Did your daughter really climb into bed with you the morning after winning Kona and say "Mummy and I are so proud of you for doing that whole big race all by yourself."?

WHEN >>>>>
Monday, Feb. 2nd

TICKETS >>>> Open to Everyone! Members: Visit our RSVP/Polls. Non-Members: Click through to Active.com

6:00 pm Doors Open, Cash-bar open, Expo Begins
6:30 pm Buffet Opens
7:15 pm LATC announcements begin
7:30 pm CRAIG is introduced by BOB BABBITT, who will conduct an interview style Q&A with Craig.
8:30 pm The event will wrap up/pack-up

WHERE >>>>>
The Proud Bird Restaurant (near LAX airport)
11022 Aviation Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045
Free Parking.

We’ve got some BIG events on the calendar for the first 5-weeks of the Year... You aren't going to want to miss these, so please save the date and get your tickets soon.

YEP: the Year End Party & Awards Banquet ~ Jan 24th.

For the first time, held in January and at the Marriott Marina del Rey. Doors open at 7:30 pm.

---> Plated dinner, don’t be late!
---> Member-Awards
---> Payouts for Podium Program
---> Payouts for Race Rewards
---> Member Appreciation certificates presentation
---> Year End Videos/Slideshows (FILM FEST)
---> Post-video viewing, dance-dance-dance / DJ
---> dress = cocktail attire
---> No-host bar
---> Valet parking at the Marriott for our event: $10
---> Under-18 Welcome

Get your tickets in our RSVP/Polls!

4th Annual Ride to San Diego ~ Jan 31st
Sure, it's getting chilly outside... but, keep riding... so, you can join your clubmates for the annual ride to San Diego before the Endurance Sports Awards on Sat., Jan 31.
Options include the whole 90+ miles from the Irvine train station to San Diego... or, you can just ride from our start to past Camp Pendleton for about 45-miles, total, or Solana Beach for 70 miles...and take the train north (back to Irvine) or south (to join us for the ESAs!). Details in our polls. Plan ahead.

2008 Ironman World Champion: Craig Alexander Meeting ~ Feb. 2nd

6:00 pm Doors Open, Cash-bar open, Expo Begins
6:30 pm Buffet Opens
7:15 pm LATC announcements begin
7:30 pm CRAIG is introduced by BOB BABBITT, who will conduct an interview style Q&A with Craig.
8:30 pm The event will wrap up/pack-up

WHERE >>>>>
The Proud Bird Restaurant (near LAX airport), 11022 Aviation Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045
Free Parking.

Get your tickets in our RSVP/Polls!

Have questions about any of these events? Let Liz know.

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