Archive for the ‘Race Information’ Category

Instory LabToo often, athletes show up late to a group workout and just jump in on the fast swimming, running or riding with no warm-up. Others are pinched for time, trying to squeeze a workout into a busy schedule, so they skip the warm-up figuring the main set of the workout is more important anyway.

Is a warm-up really necessary? What constitutes a “good” warm-up?

Enhanced Performance

A warm-up activity serves two major purposes—to enhance performance and prevent injury. Consequently, a warm-up is both physical and mental.

Relaxed, sitting in your chair and reading this column produces a relatively low 15- to 20-percent of blood flow to your skeletal muscles. Most of the small blood vessels (capillaries) within those muscles are closed. After 10 to 12 minutes of total body exercise, blood flow to the skeletal muscles increases to some 70 to 75 percent and the capillaries open.

Along with more blood flow comes an increase in muscle temperature. This is good because the hemoglobin in your blood releases oxygen more readily at a higher temperature. More blood going to the muscles, along with more oxygen available to the working muscles, means better performance.

An increase in temperature also contributes to faster muscle contraction and relaxation. Nerve transmission and muscle metabolism is increased, so the muscles work more efficiently.

Injury Prevention

Scientific studies on linking warming up with injury prevention are difficult to administer. Few athletes want to go through a muscle stress test to see what it takes to tear a muscle.

Old studies on animal subjects determined that injuring a muscle that has gone through a warm-up process required more force and more muscle length than a muscle with no warm-up. This study is in line with the anecdotal data that acute muscle tears occur more often when the muscles are cold or not warmed up.

There have been human studies on sudden, high-intensity exercise and the effects on the heart. One particular study had 44 men (free of overt symptoms of coronary artery disease) run on a treadmill at high intensity for 10 to 15 seconds without any warm-up. Electrocardiogram (ECG) data showed that 70 percent of the subjects displayed abnormal ECG changes that were attributed to low blood supply to the heart muscle. Yikes!

The abnormal changes were not related to age or fitness level.

To examine the benefit of a warm-up, 22 of the men with abnormal results did a jog-in-place at a moderate intensity for two minutes before getting on the treadmill for another test of high-intensity running. With that small two-minute warm-up, 10 of the men now showed normal ECG tracings and 10 showed improved tracings. Only two of the subjects still showed significant abnormalities.

It is not known if a more thorough warm-up of 10 to 20 minutes would have made more improvements. It would have been interesting to see the results if the scientists would have taken the experiment that additional step.

Mental Preparation

Part of a warm-up process includes getting your head ready for the upcoming activity. Mentally preparing for the upcoming workout, or event, is thought to improve technique, skill and coordination.

This mental warm-up also prepares athletes for the discomfort of tough intervals or a race. If the mind is ready to endure discomfort, the body can produce higher speeds. If the mind is unwilling to endure discomfort, physical performance will certainly be limited.

How Much Should I Warm Up?

There is no hard evidence as to how much warm-up is needed before a workout or a race. Most recommendations are in the 10- to 20-minute range, though some athletes have found they need more warm-up time.

Athletes with high levels of fitness typically need longer warm-up periods before doing high-intensity workouts or short races. Athletes with lower levels of fitness usually use a shorter warm-up time. However, athletes with low fitness levels also tend to produce lower speeds during workouts and races.

Athletes with dormant speed and currently low fitness levels need to be particularly cautious with workout and race intensities in order to minimize injury risk. This means if you were once fast, but you’re now out of shape, be patient with building your speed and fitness.

A general recommendation for warming up is to begin with low-intensity swimming, cycling or running. Keep it mostly aerobic or Zone 1 intensity at the beginning of the warm-up. Gradually increase intensity as you progress through the warm-up period. You can include short segments of gradually increasing intensity in the 30- to 60-second range, with long rest intervals as you get closer to the high-intensity segment of your workout.

In order to perform at your best and minimize the risk of hurting yourself, take time for an adequate warm-up.

Gale Bernhardt was the 2003 USA Triathlon Pan American Games and 2004 USA Triathlon Olympic coach for both the men’s and women’s teams. Her first Olympic experience was as a personal cycling coach at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Thousands of athletes have had successful training and racing experiences using Gale’s pre-built, easy-to-follow training plans. For more information, click here. Let Gale and Active Trainer help you succeed.

This article originally appeared on — your source for event information, training plans, expert advice, and everything you need to connect with the sport you love.


  1. Noakes, Lore of Running, Oxford University Press, 2003, pp. 773-774.
  2. McArdle, Katch, Katch, Exercise Physiology, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2001, pp. 574-575.
  3. Safran, et al, “Warm-up and muscular injury prevention. An update.”, Sports Med. 1989 Oct;8(4):239-49.
  4. Safran, et al, “The role of warmup in muscular injury prevention”, Am J Sports Med, 1988 Mar-Apr;16(2):123-9.
  5. Shephard & Astrand, Endurance in Sport, Blackwell Science Ltd, 2000, International Olympic Committee, pp. 474-475.

There is no suspense here – I really like the Zipp 303 tubular wheels.

If you try these you will have to have them.  The cool factor is very high, but comes at a fairly hefty price of $2,300 for the pair. However, these are perhaps the most versatile combination in Zipp’s arsenal.  They are light, responsive, climb well, accelerate rapidly, and are very durable.  You can ride them as the perfect training wheel on your road bike, race them on your time trial bike in any conditions, and outclass your competitors at cyclocross in the winter.  If I had the chance to buy just one super nice tubular wheelset, for all the types of riding, this would be my top choice.

The 303’s are similar to the rest of Zipp’s portfolio. They are laced with 18 radial front and 24 radial/1-cross rear SAPIM CX-Ray bladed spokes. External nipples make truing easy. The hubset is Zipp’s 88/188 combo, featuring fat, 17mm aluminum axles and threaded endcaps for easy bearing interface adjustment. These guys weigh in at only 1171 grams per pair.  This is light.

In total, I have ridden approximately 300 miles on these wheels over the spring and summer with Vittoria Corsa Evo KS tubulars. I used the 21mm, 290tpi with the puncture resistant belt.

The 303’s were installed on my road bike for the Paris Mountain Triathlon in the spring.  This course featured a 2.7 mile climb that is quite steep, while the rest of the course is hilly.  The Zipp 303’s are an ideal choice here as they climb very well and are far more aerodynamic than an ordinary lightweight climbing wheel.  They also made their way onto my time trial bike for several of the fast group rides.

Here is what I like:

They feel light and are fun to ride, especially when climbing and sprinting.

Acceleration is tremendous as the rear does not “load up”.  With many lightweight wheels, the applied rotational torque rotates the hub faster than the rim and you can actually feel this load as a softness or sluggishness in the rear until the rim catches up.

Zipp does not compromise on aerodynamics.  The 303’s have much less side/crosswind deflection to the point where there is no reason to consider potential crosswind when choosing wheels for the day.

These guys are solid.  It feels like they could handle the worst spring pothole riddled roadway.  The 303’s have stayed exceptionally true and require very little maintenance.

Since campy record hubs in the 70’s and 80’s, I have not been impressed with any hub for smoothness.  However, Zipp has built a seriously good hub.   They are  s a m o o o o t h.

They look sexy and fast.  The cool factor is seriously high.

Not as crazy about:

The price – they ain’t cheap, nor is there any compromise on quality.

The rear wheel is not as stiff as several other wheels I have ridden.  This would translate well, I believe, to comfort on long rides, but will zap a bit of efficiency along the way.

Switching back and forth with other wheels requires a bit of a rear brake adjustment, unless you are willing to run your rear brake just a tad loose.


I seriously like the Zipp 303’s.  They are light, snappy, and super comfortable. They’d make an outstanding one-wheelset solution for someone doing road racing, triathlons and cyclocross.  They are a bit pricey, but have fantastic all-around characteristics and are impressively versatile.

Related Videos:

How to install a tubular tire Part I

How to install a tubular tire Part II


Scottsdale – Tempe, AZ   –   November 7, 2010
Why Run the Women’s Half Marathon…
Red Rock fans get $10 off half marathon registration with coupon code REDROCKSAVE (all caps) when you register online. Offer expires August 31, 2010 – register today and save! This will be a fun race for the ladies. Sorry guys-but you can share the code with a special lady in your life and come out to cheer her on!

Check out the reasons why this race is unique:

1. 2-in-1 Medal & Charm
All half marathon finishers will receive a one-of-a-kind patent-pending medal with removable charm center. Show off your accomplishment every day by adding the center charm to any necklace or bracelet as a constant reminder of your achievement!

2. Ultimate Goodie Bag

All half marathon participants will receive the ultimate goodie bag-a reusable, recycled, designer tote bag!

3. Personalized Bibs
At the Women’s Half Marathon you are more than just a number. Register early to guarantee your personalized bib.

•    Post Race Party
•    Live Music     •    Cookie Cafe
•    Fashion Show     •    Walker Friendly Course
•    Women Specific Expo

Registration is now open!
The 2011 Quintiles Marathon at Wrightsville Beach opens registration, announces course improvements and welcomes arguably the greatest distance runner in American history!

Registration is now open for the 2011 Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon & Half Marathon presented by Landfall Realty.  The inaugural 2010 race sold out so sign up as soon as you can to ensure a your spot in the 2011 race (and before prices go up). Due to last year’s popularity, we have increased our cap to 2,500 runners (800 in the marathon and 1,700 in the Half Marathon).

Courtesy of the Wilmington Road Runners Club, the 2011 participants will also have the chance to meet four time Boston Marathon winner and former U.S. Marathon record holder Bill Rodgers. More information on this exciting addition to the event is below!

We are also excited to announce major course improvements for 2011! We’ve added additional miles on scenic Wrightsville Beach as this is truly the “Scenic Race that Sets the Pace!” We have also improved course logistics throughout Landfall and Mayfaire making the 2011 course smoother and faster.  The course will remain spectator friendly and has many additional perks designed to make your race experience the very best.

•        CLICK HERE to see the new marathon course map
•        CLICK HERE to see the new half marathon course map

For those who raced with us in 2010 we thank you for your participation in our inaugural year and hope to see you again in 2011! If this is your first year racing with us you are sure to have a wonderful experience and will quickly understand why the Quintiles Marathon is more than just a race!

Happy running!

The Quintiles Marathon Committee
Meet Former American Record Holder Bill Rodgers at the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon!

Every sport and athletic discipline has an iconic figure who exemplifies excellence – the NBA has Michael Jordan, swimming has Michael Phelps, and the NHL has Wayne Gretsky.  Bill Rodgers represents the same spirit of excellence in the discipline of running, and he is coming to Wilmington to speak at the 2011 Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon.

“I’m extremely impressed by the overwhelming success of the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon in its first year. The community support and excitement behind this race is extremely encouraging, and is a prime example of the dynamic future of running.”

Bill Rodgers won both the Boston and NYC Marathon four times, and he dominated road races in the 1970s and early 1980s.  He will be making an appearance at the Quintiles Marathon’s pasta dinner to inspire and motivate our athletes.  To read more about Bill Rodgers, CLICK HERE.


Register Now
Race Description

The Washington Half Distance Triathlon is the first half distance race for FS Series.  The Washington Park community has embraced the triathlon and are very excitied to welcome participants from all over the US.  The town has many wonderful restaurants, fine dining and variety of activites for families.  This race will be spectator friendly, with family and friends, having multiple chances to see you on the bike and run course.

The 1.2 mile triangular swim will be in the Pamlico River, a river off the Pamlico Sound.  The water is salty and has little current.  The great part about the swim is the transition area is less than 50 feet from the water.  The average April water temperature is 68 degrees.  The swim is sure to be wetsuit legal.

The bike course will be a flat ride through Beaufort County.  The 14 mile turnaround will also be the water bottle handoff.  The bike will consist of 2 Laps, with participants coming all the way back to the transition area.  Participants will receive a custom band to after there first lap and they must wear the band when entering the transition area after the bike.

The run course is an flat out and back 2 lap course in Washington Park and River Road. The course will have some shade and some areas will be exposed to the sun.  The surface will all be asphalt.  Participants will receive a custom race towel that will be the towel they use on the run course.  Aid stations are provided at each mile mark on the run course.  The aid stations will have a variety of products including hammer gels, heed, and water.  More information about the aid stations will be available as we get closer to the event.  The finish line is across the street from the transition area.

The race course revolves around a transition area next to Washington Park Waterfront. The same transition area will be used for all phases.  The transition area will open at 5am; ALL bikes need to be placed in position before the transition area closes at 6:45am.

Cut off times:

Swim     1 hour and 30 minutes
Bike        5 hours from your start time
Total       8 hours from your start time

Race officials reserve the rights to pull anyone of the course that will not meet the time requirements.

Pricing Information

Washington Half Pricing:

Before 10/01/2010
Individual: $120.00
Relay: $175.00

After 10/17/2010
Individual: $140.00
Relay: $195.00

The last day to register online for the Washington Half is Sunday, October 17, 2010. On-site registration may be available if this event is not full, but your best bet is to register online.

A $10.00 fee (for USAT race day insurance) will be added if you are not a USAT member.

There is no better investment to buying triathlon speed than an aero helmet. A corroboration of studies from Texas A&M University to M.I.T. has accurately quantified the benefit of tear drop shaped aerodynamic time trial helmets. The results vary as to the actual time savings, but the end results are unanimous: An aero helmet saves time. Conservative studies show time savings that range from as little as 30 seconds to as much as 2.5 minutes over 25 miles (an Olympic triathlon bike distance).

This equates to 2.5 to 12.5 minutes over an Ironman distance ride.  Thus reducing the 112 miles to an equivalent of 1o7 or less, in terms of watts used.  For me, getting off the bike at 107 sounds way better than 112.  As importantly, valuable energy is saved, which can be utilized in the run.  Some studies have indicated as much as a 6+ mile savings over 112 with an aero helmet.

Most podiums are separated by less than 3 minutes.  An aero helmet could get you in the photo or on to the top step.

The real value of this research becomes obvious to the middle of the pack triathlete when you start to compare dollars to time savings. Nothing saves more time for less money than an aero helmet.


Buy the fastest gear you can afford, but remember that comfort and power on the bike are paramount to anything you add to it.  For return on investment, make your purchases in the following order:

  • Aero helmet
  • Skinsuit
  • Front Wheel (deep dish – the front has a larger impact on aerodynamics than the rear but, the deeper the wheel the more difficult it is to control in the wind)
  • Rear Wheel (solid disk is best, but also more difficult to handle in the wind and the most expensive)

Watch the Video with Cid Cardoso, Jr. and Todd Spain discussing Aero Helmets

Read the Louis Garneau Rocket Product Review by Cid Cardoso, Jr.

The Rocket features a polycarbonate outer shell that extends back beyond a Styrofoam core to form a sharp, pointy tail. The outer shell also extends downward on the sides to cover the ears, further reducing air drag. It has four small vents in the front and it uses LG’s patented SpiderLock Elite system of adjusting, for a secure and perfect fit. It weights 14.8 ounces and it is available in sizes Small, Medium and Large, and in three colors, Blue, Fuel and Grey. LG offers and optional visor in Clear or Smoke for $30.

The thing to keep in mind when trying on an aero helmet in the store is that everyone looks like a dork with the helmet and plain clothes! With that being said, I was more interested on how it fit, how comfortable it was on a ride, and how much time savings it offered. The fit of the Rocket was good, especially with the fine tuning of the Spider Lock knob. It felt like any other helmet, except that you notice right away that other sounds are somewhat distorted by the tight fairings covering the ears. On a training ride it was as comfortable as any other helmet, although it was weird not feeling the wind on my ears. I did not try it on a hot day and during a really long ride, so I don’t yet know what effect the smaller and fewer vents can have on ventilation and thus over heating.

To get the full experience, I added the smoke visor, which was also easy to get used to. I did have a minor issue when my forehead started itching and I couldn’t scratch it. After loosening the front screw on each side (that are used to attach the visor), I was able to slide it up and down and thus have a little more access to my forehead.

After a positive experience in training, I decided to use it on a race, the White Lake Sprint. As before, the helmet worked great. In fact, I liked it even more since I wasn’t as self conscious and felt like I was just slicing through the air, especially on that flat course. Even getting the helmet on and off, which worried me a bit, was not an issue (note that I did practice the motion, since the helmet fit so snug on the sides that I was afraid I would slice my ears off if I wasn’t more careful than usual).

So how much time does an aero helmet such as this really save? I did not find much specific information, although most of the studies I saw showed at least some time gained due to drag reduction. John Cobbs suggests in an article on Slowtwich that an aero helmet can save a professional athlete approximately 5 minutes over 100 miles. Mark Cote, a researcher at the MIT Center for Sports Innovation tested helmets for Specialized at the university’s Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel Test and found that aero helmets can save a rider as much as two and a half minutes over a 40K time trial, when compared a regular helmet. *

The Rocket is a good investment if you are a competitive athlete looking for every possible edge, or if you want to look like Norman Stadler on your next race. For me, as long as it was not uncomfortable or slower to transition, then any time gained is a benefit, even if only a few seconds. At the price tag of $180, one has to decide if those precious seconds are worth the money. If you are looking at qualifying for Hawaii, a few minutes may be well worth the cost. At IM Arizona, most of the pros and several top age groupers were sporting aero helmets, such as the Rocket.

Watch the Video of Cid Cardoso, Jr. and Todd Spain discussing aero helmets.