Ben Allen - XTERRA Wetsuits

XTERRA Wetsuits Australia Swim Prime

The top swimmers at the 2015 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race to be held April 18 at Callala Beach in Jervis Bay (New South Wales, Australia) will be rewarded with some of the most buoyant rubber on earth … and some cash.

As the official swim sponsor of the event XTERRA Wetsuits will award full suits as prizes to the top amateur male and female swimmers, and dish out $300 AUD in cash to the top male and female pros to hit the beach.

Guided by a commitment to comfort, speed, buoyancy and value, XTERRA Wetsuits has been producing tri-specific wetsuits since 2001.

Considering last year’s inaugural Asia-Pacific Championship was a wetsuit-optional race for amateurs, having an XTERRA wetsuit at the ready would be a good idea and rentals will be available.

Learn more at and sign-up today for the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Champs.

EPC Tips - Base Building

EPC Tips – Early Season Base Building

With January coming to an end in another week, most northern hemisphere athletes are polishing off their off-season training programs and transitioning into their early season base building programs.

As I discussed in a previous article (I. Aerobic Conditioning), it’s important for athletes not to fall into the trap of only long, slow, distance training during their base building phase of training. The goal during this pre-season time of training is to prepare the body for the demands of your Race Preparation phase of training that gets you into race fitness. You’ve hopefully come off your off-season training program with improved skills and general strength and conditioning, and now you’re ready to dig into the aerobic conditioning endurance athletes love to do.

For most endurance athletes this pre-season training should focus on sport specific strength and endurance along with appropriate amounts high intensity efforts to train speed and power over short, manageable distances.

The following session is a great one that can be easily adapted to a swim, bike or run sessions. The session targets both ends of the aerobic conditioning spectrum making it very time effective for athletes on a tight schedule. After a warm-up, you perform multiple sets of short, powerful intervals with adequate rest. You want to tap into some of your fastest speeds here, as they are broken up over very short repetitions, making the efforts achievable and not overly stressful. After the power sets, you transition to a strength set to develop sport specific strength and endurance.

The example that follows is for a run session intended to be done on a track near a hill.  You can also do this on a treadmill (by adjusting distance for time, and incline for hill) if a track and/or hill are not available.

5:00 Dynamic Warm-up exercises
5:00 Drill Progression (practice a specific drill you learned during the off season)
10:00 easy run
4:00 build to tempo effort
1:00 walk

Multiple Sets of the following:
4x[100m at 400m speed/pace, 300m easy jog]
800m easy run
Repeat 2-4 times

Run uphill for 5:00-15:00 at a moderate effort, with downhill recoveries
Repeat 2-3 times as desired to achieve 10:00-30:00 minutes of uphill running

5:00+ easy running
5:00 walk

Written by Cody Waite, professional XTERRA athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Endurance Performance Coaching. Check out EPC’s Personal Coaching, XTERRA Group Coaching, and Custom Training Plan options.

XTERRA Woolastook

Introducing XTERRA Woolastook

The footprint of XTERRA in Canada continues to grow and the hardy racers on the East Coast will be delighted to know of another opportunity to race off-road and qualify for XTERRA Worlds.

XTERRA Woolastook is the latest addition to the World Tour Schedule. The race will take place on September 13 in Woolastook Park near Fredericton, New Brunswick.

“Thrilled to join the XTERRA Tribe and bring a race to our backyard,” said race organizer Clifford Worden-Rogers, who is an XTERRA racer himself. “Athletes can expect a unique swim course that requires racers to navigate around a suspension bridge.  The mountain bike course is comprised of single and double track through mostly shaded wooded areas of the park, and runners can expect a rolling course of grass and dirt trails.”

Winners of every division (10 year age groups 20-29, 30-39, etc…) will earn a qualifying spot into XTERRA Worlds and prize money will be awarded to the top three overall men and women in both the long and short course races (1st – $150, 2nd – $100, 3rd – $75).

There will also be a duathlon on offer and relay team divisions for all events, plus a bbq party after the races.

For more info visit or write to

XTERRA Atlantic Series

XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series Garners Accolades

By Donald Quinn IV
XTERRA Trail Run Intern

Photo: Adventure Geeks Racing

XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series

The XTERRA Atlantic trail run series has been garnering a lot of well-deserved attention lately, including one of it’s races being named one of Competitor magazine’s “21 Must-Do Mid-Atlantic Races”.  Accolades are not the only unique thing about this thriving race series, however; their incredibly singular animal-totem pole T-shirts (one of which the author has earned after racing in this series) is just one of the things that helps to distinguish the Atlantic series from it’s competitors. When asked what makes their races unique, race directors Jefferson and Kristen Nicholson had this to say:

Both Kristen and I are runners and have years of experience as participants. This gives us the unique perspective of knowing what our participants want and expect. We are runners catering to other runners. We really want every single participant to feel like they are part of our XTERRA Atlantic family. We accomplish this through unique and thoughtful race gifts, friendly staff and volunteers, hand-picked courses, hand marked courses with enough signage that everyone can find their way, family friendly finish line production, and an a genuine excitement for being outdoors and encouraging all to run and have fun.

We all strive to keep costs down and encourage everyone to participate. We have special youth pricing, we run specials for reduced entry fees, when appropriate we dedicate our time and craft skills to making awards and race gifts, and we do all the timing and production ourselves.

Although it is not all that exciting or apparent to the participants, I think the fact that we handle everything from preparation, course marking, production, and timing ourselves makes our races unique. While it is a lot of work for us, it helps us keep the costs down for our participants, and it allows each race and the entire series to run as one smooth and coherent event. Results are posted quickly, questions are answered efficiently, and we always know exactly what is going on in every aspect of the event.”

I can attest from personal experience that Jefferson and Kristen’s races are very well organized. The courses are always well laid out, and the volunteers and staff are very efficient and friendly.

Even if you don’t like trail running you should race in the Atlantic series just to get one of their T-shirts. I have personally never seen a race shirt so decorative, so I asked Jefferson and Kristen how they came up the idea for the shirts.

We always try to incorporate the race venue’s history, landscape, and/or wildlife into the race’s logo and story. Each of last year’s XTERRA Atlantic Trail Running Series was represented by an animal which we then molded into a totem pole. The idea of this year’s race logos was inspired by European soccer team logos but we added a modern family crest twist to that approach. Each race has its own family crest with features that are unique to each venue. We plan to use this year’s logos in conjunction with the XTERRA brand to make our t-shirts, awards, and race gifts truly one of a kind.”

Of course, every race director knows races aren’t about the course, or the cool T-shirts. Races are about the runners, and the Atlantic series has a vibrant community of racers. When asked who were some of the racers who stand out to them, the Nicholsons had this to say:

Can I say all of them? We’ve made some amazing friends with our race participants the last two years. But a few that really stand out are Don Quinn and his whole family who not only raced with us at multiple events last year but they also came out to help set up, manage race’s, and then helped with post-race clean up. We have a small production crew so any extra help is definitely noticed and very much appreciated. (It’s ok, you can brag about yourself. We think you are all awesome!)”. (Author’s note: I didn’t solicit the shout-out; it was a pleasure to be part of the race series.)

“Steven Leibowitz has also been a huge part of our series the last two years. He’s a fierce competitor and a dedicated fan of the series who’s helped get the word out through his awesome running blog. Last year he and his wife had their first child and then dealt with a house fire (yes, they’re safe and sound), and he still ran most of the races in the series. That’s dedication! We also had one participant that ran all five of our races last year: Benjamin Hall. The running community is growing so rapidly, and that is great, but it means that on any given weekend you can have your pick of many races. For Ben to show up at every one of our races really gives us confidence in our series. For at least one person, our races are the place to be on a Saturday or Sunday morning. We appreciate his dedication, and hope he inspires many more repeat participants in 2015.

The Atlantic series certainly attracts an upbeat type of runner. The Nicholson’s describe their race series as “Fun, festive, and relaxed with support and encouragement for runners of all skill levels. Each race has its own unique course and local flair, to keep the series exciting from one race to the next. There is real value in participating in multiple events.”

If that sounds like you, the first race of the series is March 15th in Wilmington Delaware. I can tell you from personal experience, if you like well designed courses, great T-shirts, and a supportive racing environment, the XTERRA Atlantic series is the place to go.


EPC Tips

EPC Tips – Aerobic Conditioning

Last week EPC coach Cody Waite discussed the 6 Components of Endurance Sport Success.

“If you missed it, I encourage you to read it to get an idea of what we’re referring to as the ‘6 Components’ and where we will be going with this concept,” sais Waite.

This week Waite expands more on the first component: Aerobic Conditioning.

When most athletes think of endurance sports training, aerobic conditioning is typically where the mind goes. Building up the endurance to go the distance is a primary objective for those athletes newer to endurance sports and/or those training for ultra-distance endurance events. But training to go long is not the only piece of the aerobic conditioning puzzle to complete your metabolic masterpiece.

Aerobic conditioning can be thought of as two distinct elements: endurance and speed.

I like to think of these two elements in these defining ways: endurance is the ability to maintain pace while speed is the ability to create pace. To be successful in endurance sports you need to maximize both endurance and speed through creative training strategies that address both segments in effective quantities. The shorter your goal event, the greater an emphasis on speed will be required, while the longer your goal event, the greater an emphasis on endurance will be required. However, regardless of the distance of events you are training for, you need to train both elements to maximize your aerobic conditioning and endurance racing success.

Picture aerobic conditioning as a sliding scale. On one end you have the shortest duration, highest intensity output, the ‘alactate’ burst of maximum speed; on the other end you have the ‘all day’ maximum endurance effort. In between these two extremes you have the classic physiological energy systems of anaerobic power (30-seconds to 2-minute max output), Vo2 max (3-minute to 7-minute output), lactate threshold (30-minute to 60-minute output), aerobic threshold (1-hour to 3-hour output) and aerobic endurance (extended output). Training all six of these ‘zones’ of intensity is critical for all endurance athletes, regardless of the event for which they’re training. Balancing the amount of each level of intensity and at what point in their training year it is emphasized is what makes up an endurance athlete’s aerobic conditioning training program.

Aerobic conditioning is highly trainable, although it can take many years to fully maximize in human physiology.

Every human is born with an innate capacity to process oxygen, known as maximum oxygen uptake or, simply, Vo2 max. The more oxygen an athlete can take in and supply to their working muscles, the faster and/or longer they can go. Vo2max is trainable to a certain extent, but everyone has their genetic ceiling of maximum uptake. One of the primary goals with aerobic conditioning is to maximize the sustainable percentage of their Vo2max they can reach in training and racing. Improving one’s ability to perform at the highest sustainable percentage of their Vo2max can be achieved by training any of the above mentioned energy systems, but is most effective by training all of the energy systems through an effective training program.

Training longer durations at lower intensities has many identified benefits such as increased mitochondria and capillary density to improve oxygen delivery, maximizing the use of slow twitch muscle fibers, improved fuel utilization and carbohydrate storage, and an increase in the volume of blood your heart can move with each beat. Long, slow distance training has been a staple of endurance sport training for years. For athletes that are coming to endurance sports from a ‘speed based’ background, are relatively young, healthy, have the time, and have lofty goals of racing performance, high volume training can help them succeed. Although as valuable as the benefits of low-intensity training are, you must have the time to put into this method as it requires increasingly higher and higher volumes to create the stimulus needed for improved fitness. Most amateur athletes with a job and family to balance with their training schedule usually can only find time for limited amounts of high volume training, leading us to consider how else can we improve our aerobic conditioning?

Training the short, powerful, high intensity energy systems happens to also have many identified benefits, and these can often be achieved with much lower training volumes. Benefits of high intensity training include increased oxygen utilization, improved lactate tolerance/utilization, maximizing the recruitment of both slow and fast twitch muscle fibers, increased hormone production, reduced insulin dependency, and improved mechanical/movement efficiency. The benefits of high intensity training cannot be ignored, nor should the high intensity training in your training program. High intensity training definitely has its place in the endurance sport training program, with the amount and timing of it being a key part of the metabolic puzzle.

Every individual has their own genetically given strengths; some athletes are more powerful and faster over short distances, while others are built for the long haul and can maintain moderate outputs for extended periods of time. To maximize your endurance sports performance you must identify your strengths and weaknesses and then create a training program that will improve your weaknesses while maximizing your strengths. Put simply, by improving your short-term high intensity energy systems you can go faster for longer, and by improving your long-term low intensity energy systems you can extend your speed over longer periods. These opposing ends of the physiological energy system scale should come together at some point inline with your targeted race-day intensity level you plan to predominantly utilize during your goal events.

Regardless of your strengths and weaknesses, your objective should be to create your own aerobic training program to give you the right amount of training stress to minimize fatigue and maximize performance.

The goal within your training program should be to apply just the right amount of low intensity and high intensity training to create the perfect amount of stimulus for your body to adapt to. Too much stimulus (often the case with endurance athletes) and you get tired, sick or injured; not enough stimulus and you fail to continue improving and don’t reach your fullest potential. You also have to keep in mind when designing your training schedule that  your ‘training stress’ is just one part of the equation. You must also consider your ‘life stress’ when determining your overall training load. Those with busy lives, stressful jobs, and families typically cannot maintain as high a training load as say someone with minimal commitments, financial stress, and family obligations. Stress is stress, regardless if it is physical or mental stress. It affects how you think, feel, perform and recover. Mixing the right amount of training stress (intensity and volume) and life stress (job, family, finances) into an individual’s training program is the secret to maximizing aerobic fitness and is unique to every athlete.

Written by Cody Waite, professional XTERRA athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Endurance Performance Coaching. Check out EPC’s Personal Coaching, XTERRA Group Coaching, and Custom Training Plan options.

Flora Duffy

Flora Duffy Highlights Pro Field at XTERRA Philippines Championship

2014 XTERRA World Champion Flora Duffy will lead an all-star cast of elites into the shadows of the world’s most perfectly shaped volcano for the 5th annual XTERRA Philippines Championship race in Albay on February 8.

Other big names headed to the island of Luzon include three of the top ten elite men from Maui – Aussie Ben Allen (a two-time XTERRA Philippines Champ), Mexico’s Mauricio Mendez and South Africa’s Bradley Weiss, along with two-time women’s Philippines Champ Renata Bucher from Switzerland and XTERRA Malaysia champ Jacqui Slack from the UK. The tentative elite list also includes home grown hero Joe Miller, Charlie Epperson from Singapore, Fabrizio Bartoli and Simone Calamai from Italy, Dimity-Lee Duke and Brodie Gardner from Australia, Mieko Carey from Guam, and Daz Parker from England.

Mayon Volcano

The real star of the race, however, is sure to be the Mayon Volcano.   It’s one of the most active volcanoes on earth and certainly one of the most breathtaking to look at as well.

“I understand we’ll be climbing up the lower slopes of that volcano during the race so we’ll have a nice up-close look at it,” said Allen, who added that the Philippines is one of his favorite places in the world, “so to say I’m excited would be an understatement.”

The early race date adds intrigue to see just how fit everyone comes into it…

“I’ve been enjoying my time in South Africa, and slowly feeling like I am getting back into shape,” said Duffy, who has a busy year ahead of her defending XTERRA titles while chasing ITU points so she can race in her third Olympic games in Rio. “Quite a full race schedule so we’ll see how it goes! Luckily my ITU season ends early September which gives me enough time to properly prepare for Maui.”

For Ben and Jacqui the season never really ended, as the duo did a bunch of racing in their “off-season.”

“I’ll rest when I’m dead,” exclaimed Allen, while Slack elaborated a bit to say “We did a lot of racing during November and December but it was so much fun. It’s what we love doing.  We were able to compete in the races but also had the opportunity to relax and spend much more time than normal enjoying the culture of the places we went to. To be honest, I don’t have my race head on just yet, but I can’t bear missing out on all the fun. It’s no secret that Ben and I love the Philippines so I suppose you could say it’s a social catch up as well as a race.”

For the entire field just the chance to be part of a Sunrise Events production is reason-enough to race.

“It will be my 3rd visit to the Philippines and I have become great friends with Fred Uytengsu, Princess Galura, and the Sunrise Events crew,” said Weiss. “I am dead excited for the trip and the new location in Albay makes it an even more attractive race to start my international racing calendar.”

The thoughts are echoed by all who have had the pleasure to race XTERRA in the Philippines.

“Fred, Princess, and everyone involved at Sunrise events are some of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet,” said Allen. “Fred is an athlete himself and that allows him to understand the needs for all athletes. His passion, dedication and love for sport is infectious. So infectious, it brings the best out of me and we all come together after the race and cherish in the amazing memories we have had. Its one big family…”

“Fred is one of the kindest, most generous people I have ever met,” added Slack. “What he has done for triathlon in the Philippines is mind blowing.  Sunrise events go above and beyond to give competitors the whole package and that’s what destination racing should be about.”

Learn more at

Conrad Stoltz

Caveman to Start Season at Buffelspoort

XTERRA legend Conrad “The Caveman” Stoltz will kick-start his 15th season of XTERRA in his home country of South Africa in Buffelspoort (North West Province) when he toes the line at the much anticipated TOTALSPORTS XTERRA Full presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT on Saturday, January 24.

Stoltz started his XTERRA career in Richmond in 2001 when searching for a way to get motivated after the 2000 Olympics.  “I felt burnt out and had a hard time getting motivated for another four year slog to the next Olympic Games,” says Stoltz.  “My coach at the time said that I could do anything I wanted to get my mojo back.  Paging through a USA Triathlete Magazine, I saw a picture of Steve Larsen running his mountain bike through a knee deep stream.  This really appealed to my sense of adventure”.

“I made a few rookie mistakes at my first event including not knowing the course, borrowing a bike, riding with road pedals and road shoes to mention just a few,” continues Stoltz.  “For most new triathletes swimming is the biggest hurdle, but once you’ve learnt to swim it’s by far the easiest of the three disciplines. If you’re new to swimming, spend the time and money to get private lessons.  Swimming fitness is not a big deal.  It’s all about having a good stroke, being comfortable in open water and being able to swim straight without having to follow a black line on the bottom.  The XTERRA Buffelspoort mountain bike course is not exceptionally hilly or technical, but you need a decent level of fitness and skill to get through it in good shape. You’ll need some reserves for the run.  It is a tough run that starts out fun, scenic and technical, trail running at its best.  After about 5km, the trail points to the sky and you start climbing. It will probably be hot, you’ll definitely be tired and the hill is long, really long.  XTERRA is not easy, but I recommend it to all athletes because it is fun, it’s an adventure and you get to meet really cool people”.

Adventure enthusiasts that are not yet ready for the challenge of the Totalsports XTERRA Full, can enter the less daunting Totalsports XTERRA Lite.

Learn more at

Desantis Richmond

Richmond Date Changed to June 14

The 17th annual XTERRA East Championship in Richmond, Virginia is scheduled for Sunday, June 14 (It was previously listed as being held on the 7th, and those who had already signed-up are eligible for 100% refund if they can’t make the new date).

Sign-up now while early-bird rates rule…

From now until January 31 XTERRA is offering its best prices on registration rates for its regional championship races, XTERRA Utah, and the trail runs held at regional champ venues.

Rates are just $85 for the regional championships ($110 for teams), $55 for Sprint races ($75 for Sprint teams), $40 for 21km trail runs, $30 for 10km races, and $20 for 5km runs.

Follow the registration links below for more information:

April 25 – XTERRA West Championship – Lake Las Vegas, NV
May 16 – XTERRA Southeast Championship – Pelham, AL
June 14 – XTERRA East Championship – Richmond, VA
July 18 – XTERRA Mountain Championship – Beaver Creek, CO
Sep 19 – XTERRA Utah – Ogden/Snowbasin Resort, UT

XTERRA Malaysia

Malaysia to Host XTERRA Asian Tour Championship

New Five-stop Series in 2015 will award points and prize money to top triathletes in Region

Honolulu, HI – TEAM Unlimited, owners and producers of the XTERRA World Tour, has united its championship triathlons in Asia to create the XTERRA Asian Tour and will crown series champions at the season finale in Langkawi, Malaysia this May.

The five majors in the 2015 XTERRA Asian Tour are XTERRA Philippines on February 8 in Albay, XTERRA Saipan on March 28 in the Northern Marianas, XTERRA Guam on April 11 in Piti, the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship on April 18 in New South Wales, Australia, and XTERRA Malaysia – which will double as the XTERRA Asian Tour Championship race – on May 2 in Langkawi.  (Note: The XTERRA Japan Championship in Hokkaido on August 29 will serve as the first race of the 2016 XTERRA Asian Tour.)

The top 15 amateur, Asian-elite, and professional racers at each event will earn points, with double points being offered at the finale in Malaysia.  Racers will count their best three scores to determine champions in each division.

“Creating a point series for the XTERRA Asian Tour just like we’ve done in the U.S. and Europe provides us the opportunity to reward the amateur athletes in the region, and the international pros who travel to several events with more prize money and recognition,” said XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas.

The XTERRA Asian Tour will award a prize bonus of $10,000 USD to the top five pro men and women in the final standings ($2,000 for 1st, $1,500-2nd, $800-3rd, $400-4th, $300-5th).

In all, more than $100,000 in prize money for pros will be awarded on the XTERRA Asian Tour.  There are $15,000 USD payouts at the Philippines, Saipan, Guam, and Malaysia races, and $50,000 AUD awarded at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in Australia, plus the 10K bonus to the series’ top performers.

There is also a new athlete classification being introduced for the Tour – the “Asian elite” division – enabling fast age group athletes from the region to race against each other.

For further details on the 2015 XTERRA Asian Tour visit, and for more on the XTERRA Asian Tour Championship in Malaysia visit Supported by Malaysia Major Event.