10 Most Memorable Moments in Triathlon 2011

Check out those 10 most memorable moments in triathlon 2011 according to Triathlete Europe. Do you agree? What moment are you missing? 1. Brownlees’ Brotherly Domination in Madrid Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee could have handily won the ITU World Championship … Continue reading

Stevens SLR – An Aero Road Bike Review

2 weeks, roughly 1000 Kilometers and different terrain ranging from city traffic to a 24 hour bike race with an overall of 4000 meters elevation gain – those are just some of the key factors for our test of the Stevens SLR – one of the first Aero Road Bikes on the market when it initially came out.

Our SLR came with slightly different specs to the bike shown above – Ultegra group set and and Easton EA90 wheels.

The first test ride after fitting the bike was a 24 hour team road bike event and we road the bike an overall of 207 Kilometer and over 4000 meters in elevation gain. The first impression after this ride was: ”Wholly snap – this bike is fast, responsive and yet super comfortable” It road really well through the turns, steady at high speeds and proved to be extremely responsive when a quick acceleration was required. Even after 8×26 kilometer laps the was still very comfortable to ride.

Following this experience we squeezed in some more serious mileage with some fast group rides and a ”400km in 2 days ride to the ocean and back” – this ride had anything from super flats, hilly terrain, uneven side streets, head wind and fast turns.

During those rides the Stevens SLR confirmed our first impression – no matter if you’re the one in the head wind making the speed, sitting at the back of the pack relaxing a little, the one starting the road sign sprint or you want to escape the rest of the group through the narrow turns of a small city – the SLR is your partner in crime to make it happen.

It was truly impressive to see how steady the bike rides at high speeds of close to 100km/h and how sportive a bike can be while maintaining such a high level of comfort. Especially in the downhills the aero shape proved to be superior to other frames by shaving seconds of your time while cutting through the wind.

The frame is very well produced and suggest high quality – nothing about this bike feels cheap, makes any noise (and trust me – a noisy bike where you can’t locate the origin of the noise can drive you totally nuts). Another great feature is that in addition to the Stevens Aero seat post you can set it up with their TT post and easily turn the bike into a triathlon bike for your next multisport adventure.

The design of the frame stands for understatement and might not be everybody’s favorite but with that – as we all know  – it comes down to personal preference.

The one thing where the SLR caught some minus points was in serious climbs – not the favorite bike for riding peaks in the Alpes but then again – is that really what you expect from an aero road frame? Yeah, we didn’t think so.

SUMMARY:

The Stevens SLR is the perfect bike for fast rides, crits and speedy descends. It is extremely responsive, quick to accelerate and yet maintains a high level of comfort even beyond the 150km mark. You can feel the forward energy with every pedal stroke and the aero shape road frame is clearly superior heading into the wind. With the Stevens SLR you don’t have to hide anymore – no matter if it comes to riding in the wind or sprinting to the next road sign. The SLR feels home on flat and rolling terrain, fast turns and long rides and you can easily get by on it when riding mountains for a couple of days. Just don’t ask of an aero frame to be a true climber!

Enjoy the ride and keep rocking!

For details and specs on the bike check out – Stevens Bikes

24hour Road Race Nurburgring – Impressions!

It was a fun day at the 24 hour road race on Nurburgring – a team of 2, each loop 25km and 500 meters elevation gain! Race report will follow. Here is the pics!

Simply click on one of the pics to get the full size gallery!

WORLD PREMIER Gear Review: The yogomat!

THE YOGOMAT

Many of us triathletes work out fifteen or more hours per week, spending tremendous amounts of time on rides, runs, and swim workouts. While yoga can have considerable benefit as we have discussed earlier on one of our cross training topics, fitting another workout into our schedule becomes nearly impossible if it requires carrying around a full-size yoga mat – UNTIL NOW. Enter the “yogomat”, made by a company of the same name, yogomats.

The yogomat was developed by Ryon Lane, CEO and Founder of yogomats, after he became frustrated with trying to run to yoga classes and back with a heavy, bulky yoga mat strapped to his back. After creating a few prototypes, Lane discovered that the yogomat has many more applications than initially thought. Because the yogomat folds up and secures with straps and locking snaps, and is no bigger than a folded newspaper or a large burrito, not only can it secure to the outside of any backpack, but it easily fits inside backpacks, purses and other bags.

WHY IT MATTERS

The implication to triathletes? If you want to fit yoga into your schedule (and beat the competition), you now can. The yogomat will fit in any running backpack or transition bag while still leaving plenty of room for your other gear.

Others who might seriously benefit from the yogomat (and cease lugging around a huge yoga mat) are anyone who:
– wants to go to a yoga class directly from their office (ladies, this means you can put it in your purse!)
– has always wanted to practice yoga at the top of a mountain, on a remote beach or in the jungle (use your imagination)
– wants to continue their yoga practice while traveling

THE GEAR

The first thing you notice about the yogomat is that it is really small. As in, smaller than a bottle of mineral water or a loaf of bread. Folded and secured, the yogomat measures 12″ long x 4″ wide x 3″ tall.

As you carry it in one hand, you can’t help but think, “there is no way this thing is going to unfold to the size of a yoga mat.” But then you pop the locking snaps open, and in one swift unfolding motion (like draping a tablecloth over a table), the yogomat unfolds to 24″ x 72″ – a full-sized yoga mat.

At 1.5mm thick, the yogomat initially looks a little thin for comfort, but even on hard floors and cement, it does a good job cushioning your tailbone, elbows, knees and even head. The yogomat has a very grippy surface textured for traction even when exposed to moisture.

The yogomat is made from biodegradable, recyclable, sustainably-harvested natural rubber. That sounds like a mouthful, but what that means is that the yogomat is made from materials that come from renewable resources (rubber trees) and won’t add to more garbage in landfills.

One of the best things about a yogomat? After you’re done practicing yoga, rather than having to clean the mat with rubbing alcohol (as most mats require), you can rinse it and hang it up to dry. By using the same straps that secure the yogomat when folded, you can hang it from your shower curtain (or a tree) after you’ve rinsed it with water in the shower (or a high mountain stream).

It seems that with yogomats, now you have no excuse not to do yoga!

Rock on!

Inov-8 Bare X Lite 150 – a barefoot shoe review

Zero mm Drop from heel to toe, anatomical last for improved biomechanics, unique synthetic rubber and EVA compound for superb grip and maximized cushion at a merely 7mm sole! Those are some of the key features of the new Inov-8 Bare X Lite 150 which will be out in a white and red color scheme in fall 2011 followed by 4 brighter colors such as blue and lime in spring 2012.

We took the blue and white version for a couple of test runs to get you a sneak peek before this new minimalist running rocket is hitting stores.

Before trying the 150 on we were already wearing another minimalist shoe all day – and it felt great – but when putting the 150 on we instantly relaxed even more. It was a real treat for our feet.

The first impression was:

– super cool look in the blue and white and it looks fast

– very breathable with a light mesh upper

– tongue less one piece upper with a stretch feature on top for perfect fit. This makes for a great fit and their is no tongue moving around all time

– so stitching or seams that could be in the way when wearing barefoot

– good hold in the mid foot section and plenty of space in the toe box but not too much so your toes would be moving left and right on uneven terrain

We were impressed with the first look and took the shoe for the first run the very next morning. We were very surprised by the amount of cushion this shoe offered with nothing more than a 7mm sole. The shoe fit like a glove even on challenging ground and our turnover instantly went up from about 150/per minute in other running shoes to almost 180/ per minute in the Bare X Lite. (180 turnover is about what you want to reach for most efficient running and reduced impact)

After about 30 minutes into the run we could tell that our feet really started working (which is a great thing as your feet tend to be dead meat in cushioned running shoes with lots of heel drop) but at the same time our whole body was extremely relaxed in comparison to other minimalist running shoes.

This overall great impression was confirmed during our further runs. It does take a careful approach to go from cushioned or supportive running shoes to a barefoot like running style but with the 150 we were able to put in way more miles than expected during the first couple of runs already. We are no scientists but this is something that we credit to the great biomechanics this shoes allows you to run with. In addition to that the outer sole offers great protection from stones, rocks and other sharp objects, we never had to use socks during our test runs, the shoes is extremely breathable and for a shoe weighing in a mere 170 grams in a UK8 it offers great last with an expected 300 miles! (almost 500 kilometer)

For everybody who is new to natural or barefoot running – Inov-8 offers a couple of versions with 9mm, 6mm and 3mm heel drop to help you adjust to the new form of running.

So far the Inov-8 Bare X Lite 150 is our favorite shoe when it comes to natural running with a little added comfort. We are very much looking forward to reviewing further Inov-8 products for you as they have a great line of zero mm drop and trail running shoes!

Stay tuned for more reviews and in the meanwhile – Rock on!

On-Running Cloudsurfer – a running shoe review

Those are 3 of the key selling points mentioned on the On-Running website. If you take a second to listen to their video you’ll some other factors they are bringing to the table are:

– Normal running shoes only minimize horizontal impact but not vertical impact which according to them is the one really causing the damage to ligaments and so on.

– On-Running’s Cloudtech Technology combines perfect shock reduction with a maximum energy output when pushing the foot off the ground

Well – companies can tell us a lot – we took the Cloudrunner to the test for the last 9 months to see what the buzz is all about.

The Cloudrunner is certainly an interesting shoe – especially when usually preferring a rather light running shoe with little cushion – two factors that most certainly do not account for the Cloudrunner. However, the first 300 meters wearing this shoe where sensational. The sensation of kicking your own butt with every step. It is truly amazing how your feet bounce of the road with every step thanks to their Cloudtech technology.

During our runs the Cloudrunner has proven to be especially beneficial during your first runs after a hard training session or a race. The tired legs and heavy impact an athlete tends to experience when getting back into running after a tough race practically did not exist. A fact that leads us to believe that their cushion system does indeed protect the ligaments more than other shoes might do.

On the long runs the shoe allowed for a good technique and sufficient stride beyond the point where our legs usually tend to get tired. The shoe certainly allowed to keep the pace up for a long time.

On the short runs the shoe really seems to help you speed up and put some serious pace onto the road.

Despite a lot of positive features such as: Great shoe to run barefoot in, thought through technology, allows for a very active run style even when getting tired, comfortable fit and so on we did not fall in love with the shoe. Which is mainly because of the heavy weight, the soft cushion (just way too soft for us – it takes away a lot from the athletic feel to a running shoe) and the high position you have in the shoe due to a thick mid-sole and cushion system. Fortunately those are the most subjective features in every running shoe test. Features a person has to decide for themselves.

There are testimonials on their website such as: It’s like running in clouds which we were unfortunately not able to proof or test…and we will never try to run on clouds! Promise!

We’ll keep and use the Cloudrunner as an added training tool – for the first longer runs after the winter break or an early training session after a tough race! On the other hand – the shoe could be the perfect shoe for anybody doing triathlons who has trouble maintaining a solid run stride throughout the final run. This is the area where we see the most benefit in running the Cloudrunner!

Rock on!

Challenge Kraichgau Rennbericht

Challenge Kraichgau – Road Trip!!!

Für alle die keine Zeit haben:  Hier die Kurzversion: GEIL WARS!

Für alle anderen: Ab hier die ausführliche Variante!

Schon früh im letzten Jahr stand fest – 2011 sind wir wieder dabei bei der Challenge Kraichgau! Für uns Südbadener zwar eigentlich schon Norddeutschland, aber immerhin doch Heimat! Was wir natürlich wieder verbaselt hatten war die Unterkunft und so sind wir spontan in den Genuss eines Road Trips gekommen!

Schnell noch ein Wohnmobil im Verein geliehen und ab dafür! Mit an Bord Caro und Andre Stuebs – von nun an offiziell als ‘Der Fast-Voll-Profi’ bekannt – der kurzerhand entschieden hatte zu starten da sein Rennen in Japan aus bekannten Gründen ausgefallen ist.

Gut gerüstet, bestens trainiert Dank Susa und dem PET und ein wenig ausgedörrt dank der stehenden Luft im Wohnmobil ging es nach 2 lustigen Nächten im Camper an den Start. Der Fakt, dass am Nachmittag vor dem Rennen erst die Schaltung gesponnen hat und den Mechaniker vor eine echte Herausforderung gestellt hat und ich dann auch noch einen Spontantrip ins Krankenhaus antrat, da Caro sich erfolglos, aber doch vehement versucht hatte den Finger zu spalten, haben nicht gerade geholfen, wurden aber sofort wieder von den anderen als Entschuldigung für einen möglichen Misserfolg am nächsten Tag abgelehnt. ( Schweinepriester!!!)

Die Ansage für das Rennen war ganz klar – zufällig war ich in der ersten Startgruppe 15 Minuten vor Lutz und der ca 50 Mann und Frau starken Resthorde der Hamburger Triabolos und ganz zufällig musste ich aufgrund einer etwas zu großen Klappe auch noch in pinken Kompressionssocken mit Strassbestickung starten, was Lutz spontan dazu veranlasst hat das Rennen unter das Motto ‘Jag den rosa Hasen’ zu stellen!

Pünktlich um 8:57 meiner Zeit gabs nen Riesenknall und als um mich herum der Whirlpool im Wasser losging dämmerte es mir auch. Das muss wohl der Startschuss gewesen sein. Dabei war ich doch gerade noch damit beschäftigt mit geschlossenen Augen im Wasser zu stehen und die Stimmung dank Hell’s Bells aus den Boxen zu geniessen. Während man sich vorne darin mass wer wem stärker vor die Schwimmbrille treten kann habe ich meine dann doch auch schnell mal angezogen und ab dafür. Schön links einreihen, da ist mit dem Nahkampf nicht ganz so ernst und immer schön drauf konzentrieren den Sink-Hintern aus dem Wasserstrom zu halten. Dachte ich mir! Aber nein: Plötzlich auch um mich rum wüste Schlägereien! ”Ja bin ich denn besoffen” gings mir durch den Kopf – alles schwimmt nach links nur ich augenscheinlich nacht rechts. Na gut, einfach mal 10 Watt mehr auf den linken Arm, Kurs aufnehmen und wieder weg von der Masse. Später habe ich dann erfahren, dass meine nicht ganz so herausragenden 37 Minuten Schwimmzeit nicht nur daran lagen, dass ich einfach nichts in den Armen habe, sondern dass die ganze Gruppe einen Riesenbogen nach Links geschwommen ist. Also kann ich mit dem guten Glauben leben, dass ich in 37 Minuten nicht 1.9 sondern 2.1 Kilometer geschwommen bin und dann passt es wieder. Beweist mir doch was anderes 🙂

Der Wechsel war entspannt und auf dem Rad hat’s dann auch gleich Spass gemacht. Locker angehen, schnellere 2. Hälfte war der Plan und immer lecker Gel tanken! Mit Dauergrinsen auf dem Gesicht gings in die ersten Hügel und ich musste feststellen – Mistekiste – das sind ja gar keine Hügel mehr, waren es doch aber früher und dann kam mir die Erleuchtung. Ich werde zum Fischkopp! 2.5 Jahre Hamburg und bergan geht nichts mehr aus heisser Luft und Zwiebackstaub! Egal, einfach weiter grinsen – Hauptsache Spass. Bei ca Kilometer 60 bin ich dann mit rasanten 18km/h am Ende eines Hügels am stehenden Norman Stadler förmlich vorbeigeflogen und in dem Moment war mir klar: Till 1 – Stadler 0 im internen Duell von dem Norman nichts weiss, aber auch egal! 🙂 (Später musste ich feststellen, dass er nicht aus Angst vor meinem enormen Raddruck oder meiner schier übermenschlichen 1:51 auf der Laufstrecke ausgestiegen ist, sondern das ein platter Reifen dran schuld war. Egal – vernascht!!)

In der Wechselzone 2 habe ich dann festellen müssen: Momentle mal, hier findet wohl ein Rennen statt! Da haben die Freiwilligen einen Druck gemacht und mittendrin ich: Erstmal Zehensocken anziehen. Soviel Zeit muss sein. Bei Kilometer 1 auf der Laufstrecke war das Rennen für mich dann mental gelaufen. Dicke Krämpfe über beiden Knien, nicht einmal gehen konnte ich mehr und eierte nun im Kurpark rum. Was tun? Klare Sache. 1. Anhalten, 2. Beine massieren, 3. zur nächsten Verpflegungsstelle humpeln, 4. schön was trinken und 5. dann einfach zurück zur Wechslezone spazieren und meinem Bruder beim finishen zuschauen, während ich Car einen dieser leckeren Schweiss-Gel-Sabber-Küsse aufdrücke. Gesagt getan: 1. Angehalten, 2. massiert, 3. MIST – Krämpfe weg. Arg, mein ganzer Plan im Eimer. Wer jetzt aber glaubt Caro ist dem liebevollen Schleimkuss entgangen: Nix da, die habe ich mir unterwegs gekrallt. Ich war wieder im Rennen und habe zu meinem großen Entsetzen genau das getan was der Coach wollte – progressive Runden gelaufen, von Kilometer zu Kilometer schneller geworden und am Ende sogar noch in Bestzeit gefinished! Nicht zuletzt Dank Ingo der am Strassenrand stand und gute Ratschläge parat hatte wie: Trink Cola, das hilft mit den Krämpfen und irgendwas in meinem Hirn hat sich gedacht: Der Ingo, der weiss was er sagt. Der hat ja geschätzte 4x soviel Lebenserfahrung wie ich. Also habe ich die nächsten 18 Kilometer nur noch Cola gesoffen! Ingo, danke Dir!

Tausend Dank auch an all die Freiwilligen, die Organisatoren und all die Zuschauer! Der Kraichgau war mal wieder eine geile Reise von der wir noch ne Weile erzählen werden ! Bis ins nächste Jahr wenn es wieder Ende Mai heisst: ”Ach Scheisse, hätte ich mein Zimmer früher buchen sollen?”

Rock on!

10 Nutrition Tips for Early Season Fitness

Hi gang, yesterday we talked about the 10 Winter Training Tips from our fellow athlete Ironbrandon and as promised in that article, today we will let you know about our 10 Nutrition Tips to get in shape for the early season, get the most out of your body during hard training sessions and discover energy you had no idea existed in your body.

Those 10 tips are the direct result of changing, testing, tweaking and adjusting our nutrition for years – on the one hand to improve performance on the other hand to fight the aftermath of glandular fever (Epstein Barr Virus). About a year and a half ago doctors wrote Till off – saying no more endurance sports for him – 3 months later he was putting in 15-20 hours a week at the Hannes Hawaii Tours Camps on Fuerteventura. All by simply turning around his nutrition.

This change in nutrition we are going to describe to you in a second is based on the more and more popular believe that our bodies need a more alkaline nutrition in order to process nutrients better, allow the inner organs to function perfectly and help your body to cleanse it self better. This change in nutrition will allow your body to cleanse itself without ever eating less, supplementing with any kind of cleanses, risking any down time by going through a cleansing program that is tough on your body. The only change really is what you eat.

So let’s get started:

1. Skip the white and the wheat flower. We all know that the polished white flour (in pasta, bread, tortillas, cakes, pastries, etc) has hardly any nutrients left and consists of nothing but empty carbs. When switching to whole flour still stay away from wheat and supplement with spelt, buckwheat or corn flower. It is easier for the body to process.

2. Skip any kind of cow products for 6 WEEKS. (no cow dairy, meat, chesse, etc) however, you can supplement with goats, sheep and soy products. The idea behind this is that the cow protein – not the lactose – is attacking the villi in your gut, thus destroying a lot of surface and making it harder for your body to absorb and deliver nutrients where they belong and also to rid itself of toxins. (This will help with bloating problems and once they recovered you’ll see that you have to eat less and still feel more energy flooding your body.) The common idea is that the villi recover after about 6 weeks without cow protein influence.

3. Stay away from industrial sugars (we know, a lot of people say stay away from any kind of sugars but we believe you should and can eat plenty of fruit, fruit smoothies, etc) and supplement with agave syrup or honey. You will soon see that you enjoy a constant level of energy throughout the day rather than having highs and lows as you usually do after eating, drinking sugary drinks,….

4. Add potatoes to your nutrition and a lot of them. They deliver a lot of nutrients and they work alkaline on your body – one of their most important features. Add them where every you can and eat instead of pasta and rice.

5. Add fresh fruit and vegetables to your daily nutrition. Vitamins, carbs and minerals contained in carbs and veggis are a must have for your body and can not be solely supplemented with vitamin pills. They are usually lacking the freshness and the micro nutrients. Fruit and vegetables are often also high in fiber – on of the key ‘cleaners’ of your body and organs.

6. Invest into a juicer and a blender. There is nothing like a freshly squeezed juice to get the day started or a blended berry smoothie after a tough workout. These are easy made powerhouses containing minerals, vitamins, proteins, carbs and anything your body and brain need to function properly.

7. Drink plenty of water a day (we try at least 2 liters) and whenever you can drink flat water instead of sparkling water. Sparkling water is ‘sour’ and intoxicating your body. Of course sparkling water is still better than any sugary drink or not drinking at all.

8. Reduce sodium (salt) in your nutrition – most ready to eat products contain a lot of sodium and our bodies have to fight with it every day. Help your body to restore to it’s full potential by adding more herbs, spices and lemon to your food rather than salt.

9. Cook at home as much as you can. It will take a little time to get used to it and it takes a little adjusting and thinking but you will quickly get used to it. Don’t get discouraged – the same way you wouldn’t give up on training / racing only cause you had one bad race in between.


10. Adjust your new nutrition slowly – again as it is in training you don’t want to ask too much of yourself from one day to another. Switch out the foods slowly, get used to cooking more at home, experiment with new ingredients such as corn, spelt, Quinoa, etc and find the right way for yourself to go more alkaline.

Alright – we know it’s been a lot to read but trust us – this can really change your life / energy levels. In the next couple of days we will introduce some of our favorite foods which are not all that well know yet, post some of our top ‘easy made’ recipes to help you out with some ideas!

If you have any question, need more background on things or simply want suggestions on recipes, books about alkaline eating,etc – comment away: we will reply!