Josiah Middaugh

Middaugh, Garrard XTERRA Mountain Champs Favorites

The mountain men are out in full force for tomorrow’s XTERRA Mountain Championship, led by Josiah Middaugh and a strong contingent of Colorado’s finest elite triathletes.

The top five from this race last year were all from Colorado, and all five are back on the start list.  Middaugh, who won it for the second-time in three years last season, is a hometown favorite who helped design the course for the inaugural championship race at Beaver Creek Resort back in 2009.

Branden Rakita, who was 2nd last year, has been in the top five four times in five years at this race.  Ben Hoffman, known more for his exploits on the road, grew up mountain biking in Western Colorado and feels right at home on the trails.  He’s finished 3rd in each of the last two years here.

Cody Waite, XTERRA’s in-house training tips guru, was fourth last year and in the top five here four times since 2009.  Ryan Ignatz, who was fifth last year, is always a threat.

In addition to those guys Middaugh says to watch out for young gun Mauricio Mendez from Mexico.  Mendez won the XTERRA amateur World Championship title last year and this year, in his first season as a pro, has finished 3rd, 4th, and 6th in the first three regionals and posted jaw-dropping swim-and-run splits in the process.

“Excited to see how he’ll do because I think this is a really good course for him,” said Middaugh.  “He shouldn’t have any problems with the altitude as he lives in Mexico City which is at the same elevation and he’s a good climber.”

Other racers to keep an eye on include Ryan Petry, a rookie pro from Arizona who just recently graduated from college and moved to Boulder; and rookie pro Alex Modestou from Washington DC who was ninth overall (top amateur) here last year and has been in town for a month training and preparing for the race.

In the women’s chase Emma Garrard, perhaps for the first-time in her career, is considered the favorite to take the title.

“I don’t know if I’d call myself the favorite but this course does suit my strengths pretty well,” said Garrard, a 32-year-old from Park City, Utah who has been the fastest American in the sport since the USA Championship last year.  Garrard finished 2nd to only Flora Duffy at the first three regional championship races this season, but Flora won’t be on the start line Saturday.

“It’s an honor to be seen as a favorite after a lot of years racing XTERRA, and it’s exciting to think about potentially winning, it would mean a lot, but there are a lot of strong women to compete against.”

Indeed the field is stacked with the top five from last year’s race back including the defending and four-time winner on this course Shonny Vanlandingham, the 2012 Mtn Champ Danelle Kabush (2nd last year), Kelley Cullen (3rd last year), Suzie Snyder (4th last year), Sara Schuler (four times in top 4 here including runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2012), Canadians Chantell Widney and Christine Jeffrey and a wealth of fast Coloradoans.

“This race is hard.  It’s got a lot of climbing but not too technical. I think it’s a good course for me as climbing on the bike & run are my strengths but it will still kick my butt!” exclaimed Garrard.

Middaugh, who has been coaching Garrard, said “I don’t want to say this could be a breakout race for Emma because she’s had great performances before, but it’s certainly a great chance for her to be on top of the podium.  Her background in Nordic skiing is perfect for XTERRA racing, especially on a mountain course like this. She’s always had the engine and it’s really been starting to show.”

XTERRA MOUNTAIN CHAMPIONSHIP ELITES

Elite start list for the XTERRA Mountain Championship. Rank denotes current standing in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series after three events.  Pros count their best 3-of-4 scores in the regionals plus whatever they get at the USA Championship race to determine Series winners.

Rank – Name – Age, Hometown
1 – Josiah Middaugh – 35, Vail-Eagle, CO
5 – Mauricio Mendez – 18, Mexico City, Mexico
6 – Branden Rakita – 33, Colorado Springs, CO
7 – Chris Ganter – 35, Boise, ID
8 – Jeff Smith – 31, Portland, OR
9 – Ryan Ignatz – 35, Boulder, CO
12 – Ryan Petry – 23, Boulder, CO
17 – Alex Modestou – 27, Washington, D.C.
NR – Gavin Anderson – 35, Boulder, CO
NR – Joshua Merrick – 32, Alamosa, CO
NR – Thomas Spannring – 38, Longmont, CO
NR – Louis Tafuto – 26, Colorado Springs, CO
NR – Patrick Valentine – 28, Colorado Springs, CO
NR – Cody Waite – 35, Lakewood, CO
NR – Brad Zoller – 36, Palatine, IL
NR – Alex Libin – 23, Colorado Springs, CO
NR – John O’Neill – 24, Edwards, CO
NR – Ben Hoffman – 30, Boulder, CO

Rank – Name – Age, Hometown
2 – Emma Garrard – 32, Park City, UT
3 – Suzie Snyder – 32, Fredericksburg, VA
4 – Shonny Vanlandingham – 45, Durango, CO
5 – Kara LaPoint – 26, Truckee, CA
6 – Christine Jeffrey – 41, Tucson, AZ (Canada)
7 – Amelia McCracken – 30, Philadelphia, PA
8 – Chantell Widney – 34, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
9 – Danelle Kabush – 39, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
10 – Debby Sullivan – 32, Rocklin, CA
11 – Jaime Brede – 37, Breckenridge, CO
12 – Caroline Colonna – 50, Taos, NM
13 – Rebecca Blatt – 34, Lakewood, CO
NR – Kim Baugh – 34, Colorado Springs, CO
NR – Rachel Challis – 38, Carlsbad, CA (NZL)
NR – Maia Ignatz – 34, Boulder, CO
NR – Kelley Cullen – 33, New Castle, CO
NR – Heidi Rentz – 30, Moab, UT
NR – Sara Schuler – 33, Boulder, CO

Beaver Creek

Beaver Creek’s Beauty and the Beast

Colorado’s high country during the summer time is something to behold with its big blue skies, white aspens, majestic mountain ranges and cool, fresh air.  It’s simply beautiful and Beaver Creek Resort in Avon, host to the XTERRA Mountain Championship since 2009, enhances the experience with world-class facilities and people.

Then there is the course itself, which is an absolute beast.

It starts with a mile swim in the cold 64-degree waters of Nottingham Lake situated at 7,400-feet elevation. Nottingham is just big enough to get a full mile swim with 2 laps, and Buck Creek flows into the reservoir so even though the lake is small, the water temp rarely tops 70 degrees.

The next step involves roughly 15 miles of mountain biking that climbs 3,500-feet into the thin air of the Rockies.

“I just threw up in my mouth a little remembering that climb,” exclaimed Ben Hoffman, one of America’s greatest all-around triathletes, after seeing a picture from last year of Branden Rakita, Josiah Middaugh, and himself three miles into the first climb on the bike that gains 2,000 vertical feet in five miles.

The bike course peaks out at above 9,400 feet above the Arrowhead and Bachelor Gulch ski slopes, then turns into some well-maintained single track that switches through the aspen trees and works its way to the village-to-village trail and down to Beaver Creek Village.

The final piece of resistance is a calf-burning, six-mile trail run which breaks down into essentially two challenging climbs that each have over 500 vertical feet of climbing (1,300 for the course).

Appropriately, America’s best XTERRA athlete Josiah “Beast Mode” Middaugh calls this place home, and has won two of the last three races here.

“Love having XTERRA here and the opportunity to showcase my backyard,” said Middaugh, the reigning XTERRA U.S. Pro Series Champion and winner of five of the last six regional championship races. “The whole reason I do XTERRA is because of the training grounds I have access to, 90% of which are right out my front door and up Beaver Creek.  To me this place is what XTERRA is all about, the mountain lifestyle.”

As an athlete and coach Middaugh has personally exposed that lifestyle to a whole new generation of athletes in the valley and says he can see it taking hold.

“I think having XTERRA here has created a triathlon community, which is really cool for me to see. Kids are getting into it, adults are getting into it.  We have a lot of swim teams, and open water swims in Nottingham Lake, which didn’t use to happen before.  It’s the perfect place for it.”

So much so that Men’s Journal Magazine recently named it “one of nine scenic triathlons that are worth the trip.” Also of note, the International Ski Federation picked Beaver Creek Resort to host its 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.

Helena Erbenova

Currie, Erbenova win XTERRA Sweden

July 13, 2014 (Stockholm, Sweden) –Braden Currie of New Zealand and Helena Erbenova of the Czech Republic captured the inaugural XTERRA Sweden Championship at Hellasgarden Park in Stockholm today.  It’s the second major for both, as Currie also won at XTERRA Motatapu and Erbenova won at XTERRA Spain.

XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas was on-site to bring us this report…

For the second week in a row the weatherman promised rain and the Hawaiian Gods brought none.  The first XTERRA Sweden started under leaden skies but as the day progressed it got brighter and brighter…and so did the competition.

Another battle royal among the men as Dan Hugo and Braden Currie staged an epic fight from the swim to the end of the bike.  Benny Allen shadowed the duo and kept in a position where if either faltered he was there.

Hugo came out of T1 first with Braden right behind – but the Kiwi could not find his shoe and nearly stopped.  Ben Allen was right behind and made a great zig to miss Currie and they were off.  We had a few local competitors that we knew could threaten.  Jonas Djurback is an Ironman competitor of note having done some 8:11’s; Eskild Ebbeson is a 3-time Olympic medal winner, but in rowing.  Both men had that sly glimmer as race time approached.

The bike is a technical but fast marvel.  Everyone loves it – and it provided everything one could ask for.  While no extended hills, there were plenty of short and very steep and technical climbs that challenged everyone.  First it was Dan leading Braden – then it was Braden leading Dan and always Ben sitting about a minute or so back.

“I could see them often and I just felt like I could catch them but it never happened,” said Allen.

Behind the lead three there was another fight between Jan Pyott, young Scot Rory Downie, and Jonas.  Yeray Luxem, usually in the middle of the fight, was having a bad day on the bike, saying “I could never get my rhythm.”

Without the two fast swimmers, the women came out in a fairly tight pack.  The always improving Brigitta Poor leading by a bit from Carina Wasle, Louise Fox and Helena Erbenova.  Renata Bucher did not have a good swim and came out over a full minute back.  “For two years I was the queen” smiled the Czech Champion “but this year not so good”.

What this courageous woman doesn’t say is she has not been 100%.  Her father, who travels to all the races, made her rest and stay home from France and she looked much more like herself today.  About 2/3 of the way through the first lap she led Carina by about 30 seconds.  Renata had taken 3rd away from Brigitta but was a long way back from the lead duo.

On the second lap it was more of the same.  Dan leads Braden, Braden leads Dan and Ben Allen just behind but not close enough to challenge.  That all ended at the start of the run.  Currie took off like he owed a lot of money and never looked back.  Dan knew he was not going to catch the New Zealander and ran a smart race.  He worried about Ben and every lap asked what the gap was.  I kept giving him the gap to Braden and after the race he said “I knew where he was and wanted to know how far behind Ben was” he laughed.  “I wasn’t going to catch Braden but did not want to get caught”.

That’s the way it ended.  The top 3 were the top 3 all race.  But behind things were getting mixed up.  Young Rory crashed hard and Jan and Jonas got away.  Jonas is a runner and left out of T2 passing Jan – Yeray might have had a bad bike but he posted the fastest run to pass Downie and Pyott to take a very nice 5th.  Our Olympic rower was having a great day.  We had a young age group phenom in France and now a 40-44 phenom in Sweden.  Eskild was 8th overall and says he is coming to Maui.  That will be a treat.

Erbenova hooked a pedal on a gate post on the 2d lap and came off in a big way.  She broke the pedal and could not clip in for the entire second lap, but still continued to lead.  After the race she spent a bit of time in the medics tent and went to the podium with her jacket on to cover the bandages and trail rash.  Carina had a tough run this week but had no trouble holding onto 2d.  For the second week in a row our Swiss Miss finished 3rd but only by a few seconds.  Brigitta was having another fine race and nearly caught Renata finishing just 23 seconds behind.

So the first XTERRA Sweden is in the books and a great job by the Nordic team and their local crew.  This has to be one of the most ideal locations on tour.  Only 15 minutes from the old town of Stockholm, inexpensive cabins for athletes to stay in at the park, lots of hotels, shopping and services within minutes, two airports within 30 minutes and simply fabulous cycling and running and a clear, warm lake to swim in.

Photo Gallery / Complete Results

Pl First name Last name Time Swim Bike Run
1 Braden Currie 02:13:47 00:19:44.19 1:10:27 0:42:54
2 Dan Hugo 02:18:16 00:19:43.00 1:10:28 0:47:17
3 Ben Allen 02:19:07 00:19:43.47 1:12:52 0:45:43
4 Jonas Djurback 02:23:47 00:19:49.23 1:16:33 0:46:17
5 Yeray Luxem 02:25:24 00:21:11.68 1:17:35 0:45:27
6 Jan Pyott 02:25:46 00:21:07.61 1:15:25 0:48:27
7 Rory Downie 02:28:24 00:19:46.10 1:18:14 0:49:25
8 Markus Benesch 02:33:32 00:21:45.84 1:19:24 0:51:09
9 Michal Bucek 02:52:50 00:22:43.92 1:26:23 1:01:38
10 Fredrik Ahlinder 02:58:47 00:19:41.89 1:39:12 0:58:48
Pl First name Last name Time Swim Bike Run
1 Helena Erbenová 02:37:48 00:24:43.92 1:22:32 0:49:12
2 Carina Wasle 02:46:17 00:24:23.86 1:24:54 0:55:42
3 Renata Bucher 02:52:03 00:25:48.25 1:25:33 0:59:30
4 Poór Brigitta 02:52:26 00:24:21.65 1:31:06 0:55:30
5 Louise Fox 03:01:40 00:24:28.69 1:34:47 1:00:28
6 Belinda Hadden 03:17:42 00:26:57.34 1:45:41 1:03:27
7 Ladina Buss 03:18:43 00:25:44.04 1:33:00 1:18:17

RUZAFA, MUELLER STILL LEAD XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR STANDINGS

Despite not racing Ruben Ruzafa and Kathrin Mueller both held on to their XTERRA European Tour leads after six events.  Pros count their best six of 11 races through the course of the season to determine their final point totals.  Races still to come include XTERRA Italy (July 26), XTERRA Czech (Aug 9), XTERRA Germany (Aug. 16), XTERRA England (Aug. 24), and XTERRA Denmark (Aug. 31).

Pl Name ESP POR GRE SUI FRA SWE TOT
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 100 100 x 100 100 x 400
2 Yeray Luxem, BEL x 82 x 69 75 69 295
3 Braden Currie, NZL x x x 90 90 100 280
t4 Albert Soley, ESP 90 x 82 49 x x 221
t4 Francois Carloni, FRA x 90 100 x 31 x 221
Pl Name ESP POR GRE SUI FRA SWE TOT
1 Kathrin Müller, GER 90 x 100 100 100 x 391
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 100 x 90 63 x 100 355
3 Carina Wasle, AUT x x x 69 90 90 252
4 Renata Bucher, SUI x x x 75 82 82 243
5 Sandra Koblmueller, AUT x 90 x 58 69 x 222

 

2014 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING EVENTS

XTERRA Sweden was the 25th of 36 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the globe could qualify to race at the 19th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on October 26, 2014.

Date Race Location / Pro Winners
23-Feb XTERRA South Africa Dan Hugo / Flora Duffy
8-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Braden Currie / Nicky Samuels
15-Mar XTERRA Philippines Championship Dan Hugo / Renata Bucher
29-Mar XTERRA Guam Championship Dan Hugo / Renata Bucher
29-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica Leonardo Chacon / Shonny Vanlandingham
30-Mar XTERRA Great Ocean Road
Ben Allen / Jacqui Slack
5-Apr XTERRA Saipan Championship Ben Allen / Carina Wasle
12-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship Conrad Stoltz / Barbara Riveros
13-Apr XTERRA West Championship Josiah Middaugh / Flora Duffy
26-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Dan Hugo / Flora Duffy
3-May XTERRA Malaysia Dan Hugo / Jacqui Slack
17-May XTERRA Southeast Championship Josiah Middaugh / Flora Duffy
24-May XTERRA Mauritius Sam Gardner / Karyn Southgate
24-May XTERRA Spain Championship Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
1-Jun XTERRA Portugal Ruben Ruzafa / Coralie Redelsperger
8-Jun XTERRA Brazil Championship Felipe Moletta / Sabrina Gobbo
15-Jun XTERRA East Championship Dan Hugo / Flora Duffy
21-Jun XTERRA Greece Francois Carloni / Kathrin Mueller
28-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller
29-Jun XTERRA Norway Dan Hugo / Cecilie Overbye
5-Jul XTERRA Ontario Sean Bechtel / Heather Pady
6-Jul XTERRA France Championship Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller
6-Jul XTERRA Victoria Brent McMahon / Melanie McQuaid
6-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest Sergio Florian / Laurel Dudley
13-Jul XTERRA Sweden Braden Currie / Helena Erbenova
19-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship Beaver Creek Resort, Avon, Colorado
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship Abruzzo, Scanno
2-Aug XTERRA Mexico Championship Tapalpa, Jalisco
9-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship Prachatice
16-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship Zittau
17-Aug XTERRA Canmore Alberta, Canada
24-Aug XTERRA England Cranleigh, Surrey
31-Aug XTERRA Denmark Tisvilde
31-Aug XTERRA Quebec Lac Delage, Quebec, Canada
7-Sep XTERRA Sleeping Giant Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
20-Sep XTERRA USA Championship Ogden/Snowbasin, UT
26-Oct XTERRA World Championship Maui, Hawaii


About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA

TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988.  It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2014 will offer more than 300 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 25+ countries worldwide. In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 300 adventure television shows resulting in three Emmy’s and 42 Telly Awards for production excellence since 1990.  View samples at www.xterra.tv, and learn more at xterraplanet.com and xterratrailrun.com.

Beaver-Creek

XTERRA Mountain Championship Back at Beaver Creek Resort this July 19-20

The XTERRA Mountain Championship triathlon and accompanying off-road sports festival returns to Beaver Creek Resort in Avon, Colorado for the sixth straight year on July 19-20.

Several hundred competitors from across the country will gather at Beaver Creek to take part in the various races.  The main event, an off-road triathlon comprised of a one-mile swim in Nottingham Lake, a 16-mile mountain bike and 6-mile trail, awards $15,000 in prize money and attracts some of the world’s best athletes.

As the last of four regional championships in the nationwide XTERRA America Tour that features 70 races in 38 states, the Mountain Championship on Saturday, July 19 awards 46 qualifying slots into the XTERRA World Championship to the top amateur finishers in each age group.

In addition to the main event a half-distance off-road triathlon dubbed the “XTERRA Sprint race”, and 5km, 10km, and 20km trail runs will be offered. The best Paul Mitchell stylists in Colorado will be onsite giving haircuts in exchange for a $15 donation to the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and there are free kids races too.

“Of the plethora of endurance events on this state’s summer sports calendar, perhaps none screams “Colorado” as much as the XTERRA Mountain Championship triathlon,” wrote Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post.  “You know, just a quick dip in a mountain lake, a mountain bike ride up a ski hill — with 3,600 feet of climbing — and nearly six miles of running on dirt trails through aspen and pine trees.”

Here’s a look at the tentative elite field assembling for the big race:

Rank – Name – Age, Hometown
1 – Josiah Middaugh – 35, Vail-Eagle, CO
5 – Mauricio Mendez – 18, Mexico City, Mexico
6 – Branden Rakita – 33, Colorado Springs, CO
7 – Chris Ganter – 35, Boise, ID
8 – Jeff Smith – 31, Portland, OR
9 – Ryan Ignatz – 35, Boulder, CO
12 – Ryan Petry – 23, Boulder, CO
17 – Alex Modestou – 27, Washington, D.C.
NR – Gavin Anderson – 35, Boulder, CO
NR – Joshua Merrick – 32, Alamosa, CO
NR – Thomas Spannring – 38, Longmont, CO
NR – Louis Tafuto – 26, Colorado Springs, CO
NR – Patrick Valentine – 28, Colorado Springs, CO
NR – Cody Waite – 35, Lakewood, CO
NR – Brad Zoller – 36, Palatine, IL
Rank – Name – Age, Hometown
2 – Emma Garrard – 32, Park City, UT
3 – Suzie Snyder – 32, Fredericksburg, VA
4 – Shonny Vanlandingham – 45, Durango, CO
5 – Kara LaPoint – 26, Truckee, CA
6 – Christine Jeffrey – 41, Tucson, AZ (Canada)
7 – Amelia McCracken – 30, Philadelphia, PA
8 – Chantell Widney – 34, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
9 – Danelle Kabush – 39, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
10 – Debby Sullivan – 32, Rocklin, CA
11 – Jaime Brede – 37, Breckenridge, CO
13 – Rebecca Blatt – 34, Lakewood, CO
NR – Kim Baugh – 34, Colorado Springs, CO
NR – Rachel Challis – 38, Carlsbad, CA (NZL)
NR – Julie Dibens – 39, Boulder, CO (GBR)
NR – Tamara Donelson – 37, Edwards, CO (AUS)
NR – Maia Ignatz – 34, Boulder, CO
NR – Kelley Cullen – 33, New Castle, CO
NR – Heidi Rentz – 30, Moab, UT
NR – Sara Schuler – 33, Boulder, CO

Learn more at www.xterrabeavercreek.com

Highlight Video from 2013

Stockholm Lake

Inaugural XTERRA Sweden Championship Sunday

The XTERRA World Tour flies into Stockholm for the inaugural XTERRA Sweden Championship at Hellasgarden Park on Sunday.  South Africa’s Dan Hugo, fresh off a win at the XTERRA Pezula duathlon in South Africa on Thursday, will join a staple of the European Tour regulars for race No. 6 of 11 in the Series this Sunday.

XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas is on-site and brings us this report…

What a wonderful surprise taking in the terrain and trails of the first XTERRA Sweden.  The course is no more than 30 minutes from the center of the Old Town part of Stockholm and even closer to the newer suburb of Nacka.

Stockholm is separated by huge bays and inlets and a lot of residents actually take ferries from one part of town where they live to another where they work.  Buses everywhere and a very nice underground.  Combine that with hundreds of folks on bikes and for a city of millions we have not seen traffic jams.

The park at Hellasgarden is a gem.  Totally in nature yet so close to population.  A big, clear freshwater lake surrounded by pine and hardwood forests and huge outcrops of rocks (mostly granite).  “The bike course is awesome” agree pros Ben Allen, Rory Downie, Carina Wasle and Louise Fox.  A great combination of climbs, rocks and roots, quite technical but fun all over.  The bike is two laps and comes back through the main compound.

I did the run today and it is also fantastic.  The run starts flat and fast around the lake but turns uphill after about 1K.  Then things get interesting as one has to scramble over the huge rocks jutting out of the hills.  Think an uphill dry-way from Richmond.  The climbs are not long but they are technical and you’ll need confidence and some strength left in your legs to literally leap from one to the other to make fast times.  The trails go from totally open rock faces to very slim and technical (roots and rocks every inch to twist your ankles) trails then back to more climbing and finally to coming back down to lake level to start your second lap.  The views at the top are spectacular and the smells inside the forest from the pines and woods is perfume to any XTERRA racer.

The pro field is filling up and I will have a better handle on it tomorrow. As the race is on Sunday some did not arrive until today.  We do know that Dan Hugo is making an appearance as is the return of Helena Erbenova.  Jacqui Slack had commitments in England this weekend so Ben is here alone.  Kathrin Mueller had raced four straight weekends and is taking this one off as a well-deserved rest.

The best part has to be the weather.  Sunny and in the low 80’s, beautiful sky blue/pink sunsets.  The weatherman predicts 60% chance of rain for Sunday, but in this part of the world weather is not an exact science.

Nationals Downhill Running

EPC Tips – Downhill Running Intervals

If you’re racing a hilly course, don’t forget to include some downhill running intervals in your schedule.

Downhill running requires a different kind of strength than what we think of when we think hill strength; eccentric vs. concentric muscular contractions. Most endurance athletes include some form of ‘hill repeats’ in their training schedule, typically performed as hard uphill, easy downhill. A surprise to many is how muscularly fatiguing extended downhills can be in their race!

Don’t get caught off guard and lose valuable time in your next hilly race, by incorporating some fast downhill running in your program.

Here is a favorite of mine when preparing for the hilly XTERRA races of the Mountain Championships, USA Championships, and World Championship (for more XTERRA USA & World Champs training ideas click HERE)…

WARM-UP:
– 5:00 dynamic warm-up drills
– 5:00 easy running
– 5:00 building effort

MAIN SET: Performed on a 1 mile off-road hill climb, gaining about 600 feet elevation. If you don’t have large hills to run, you can run multiple shorter repeats.

2-4 rounds of:
– Run uphill hard (appx. 10:00)
– Rest 1:00 at the top
– Run downhill fast!  (appx. 6:00)
– Rest 1:00 at the bottom

Repeat

Goal is to maintain pace (interval times remain similar without dropping off more than 15-20 seconds from the first rep). If paces drop, you likely ran too fast on the first one.

WARM-DOWN:
– 10:00 easy run
– 5:00 walk
– Total time is 60-90 minutes.

The ‘Workouts of the Week’ are brought to you by coach, Cody Waite. You can find this workout, and others like it for the swim, bike and run, by joining his Group Coaching programs for 2014.

Josiah Middaugh

EPC Tips – Include Longer Rides Mid-Season

Include some longer rides in your mid-season program to maintain your aerobic base for late-season success.

Typically off-season and early season training includes plenty of longer endurance based riding in most people’s programs as they begin to build up for the upcoming race season. Then once fully immersed in the race season, the longer endurance based sessions often get put on the back burner as racers focus on shorter high intensity training sessions. As a result your aerobic endurance gradually erodes as your race season progresses. Over the course of a long race season you may find yourself lacking the endurance needed for your end-of-season races. To prevent this loss of endurance from occurring, be sure to include some longer aerobic sessions within your race season training program.

A favorite strategy of mine is to find a weekend where you can get away for 2-3 back to back long rides.

This mini-block of endurance riding can really give you a boost to help maintain, or even improve, your endurance and strength on the bike. Here’s how to implement…

  • This works best the week after a race, or toward the end of a ‘recovery week’. Take the first several days of the week to recover and rest from your race effort.
  • Map out routes to ride. It works best if the ride is different from your regular riding routes.
  • Think BIG! The idea is to really challenge yourself with distance and elevation gain, two or even three days in a row.
  • Try planning an ‘overnighter’ where you ride to a far away destination town, stay the night in a hotel, and ride home the next day. This works with a small backpack for extra clothes (or have some meet you at your destination).
  • Gather some friends to ride with (for safety and enjoyment).
  • Enjoy the ride! With no intervals or specific objectives, other than getting from point A to point B and back again, you can simply ride. Ride a comfortable pace all day just cruise.

Implementing these mini-blocks of big riding in the middle of your race season will help preserve your aerobic endurance as well as give you something fun to look forward to other than racing. If your racing season is really long, you should consider implementing a dedicated endurance training block after a mid-season break (see previous post) to ensure you rebuild your base for the second half of your season.

The ‘Workouts of the Week’ are brought to you by coach, Cody Waite. Racing XTERRA USA and/or World Championships this Fall? Then checkout his XTERRA Championship specific Group Coaching Program for a complete XTERRA specific program leading up to the BIG races!

XTERRA England

TEAM Unlimited Takes on England

TEAM Unlimited, the Hawaii-based owners of the XTERRA brand and worldwide series of off-road triathlon and trail running races, has taken ownership of the XTERRA England Championship to be held August 24, 2014 at Vachary Estate in the Surrey Hills near Cranleigh.

It marks the first-time TEAM Unlimited has taken production of an XTERRA European Tour Championship race in-house.

“We’re excited to establish our own production in Europe where the sport is growing by leaps and bounds,” said XTERRA Managing Director Dave Nicholas.  “We feel England can become one of the premier destinations for XTERRA.  By organizing this event we’re putting the England race in a position to make that dream come true.”

The XTERRA England Championship is the tenth of 11 events on the European Tour, which awards points and prize money to professionals as well as points and qualifying spots into the XTERRA World Championship for amateurs.  The main event consists of a 1.5km swim, 30km bike ride, and 10km trail run.  There is also a shorter distance Sprint race on offer (750m swim / 15km bike / 5km trail run) and both races can be contested as part of a relay team.

The race will be held just one week after the XTERRA Germany Championship race which is doubling as the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships, enticing international elites and amateurs to extend their stay and race in both events.  In addition, the XTERRA Denmark Championship will be held a week later in Tisvilde, offering another appealing two-race vacation travel opportunity.

The location for the event is noteworthy; secreted away in the beautiful ancient wooded countryside of the Surrey Hills at a private family home steeped in history.

“It’s a great course in the south of England just about an hour from Heathrow airport and 30 minutes from Gatwick,” explained Nicholas.  “In the heart of Surrey and West Sussex this area is a postcard of England.  Great pubs and B&B’s everywhere, country estates, small villages and even golf courses.  Be prepared for typical British weather.  Not cold but not warm, a bit of rain here and there and the friendliest folks you will find anywhere.  It’s an absolute classic British experience and one to be planned for.”

Learn more at www.xterraengland.com

About the Vachery Estate

Secreted away in the beautiful ancient wooded countryside of the Surrey Hills; an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is the Vachery Estate, a private family home and stunning location for this unique sporting weekend.

History: There was a manor house in Vachery in 1296. Henry III granted John, son of Geoffrey, to stock his park of Vachery (cows) and his son John obtained a grant of a weekly market and an annual fair at nearby Cranleigh, self-proclaimed the largest village in England. The village name is popularly believed to come from the large crane breeding grounds that were supposed to have been historically located at Vachery pond.

One of Surrey’s best kept secrets; surrounded by woods this strictly private spring fed pond is almost 900m long, 3.1 kilometers around and covers an area of almost 50 acres.

A fish-pond is mentioned at Vachery in the 13th century. That original pond was connected with the moat for the manor house and, later, Vachery ironworks, a 16th century iron forge, Nearby Cranleigh village was a great seat of the iron industry.

More recently the enlarged lake covering over 50 acres was used as a reservoir for the Wey and Arun Canal, which opened in 1816 and connected the Thames to the English Channel at Littlehampton. The canal’s traffic was attracted to the Horsham to Guildford railway which opened in 1865 and was closed by Dr. Beeching in 1965 and that disused railway line now forms part of the Downs Link, a long-distance path opened in 1984 linking St. Martha’s Hill, near Guildford, to Shoreham on the south coast.

Heather Pady

Bechtel, Pady win Mine Over Matter

Photo: www.jrichardson.ws

Sean Bechtel and Heather Pady defended their 2013 National crowns in style and the top 3 men had a massive dog fight to finish within 100m of each other at the XTERRA Mine over Matter off-road triathlon in Milton, Ontario, Canada on Saturday.

In the men’s race Bechtel led right from the start.  Karsten Madsen had the bike of all bikes as he made up a ton of time after a lack-luster swim to get within a hand full of seconds of Bechtel coming out of T2.

“Bechtel was able to gain some seconds back by having quicker transitions and in the end that was a major factor in his win,” said race director James Kowalewski.

In third place from Quebec, Jean-Phillipe Thibodeau had a great swim exiting second to Bechtel, and the days fastest run, however lost position on the bike.

The women’s race played out in similar fashion to the men’s as Heather Pady had a great swim and was able to defend her lead throughout while Nadine Meuller from Canmore, Alberta closed the gap on the bike and on the run, but ran out of real-estate to provide Heather the overall women’s win by just over a minute.  Molly Hurford from USA rounded out the top 3.

Results / Photos