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September/October 2021

Triathlete magazine is the leading triathlon publication, informing and inspiring athletes of all abilities with training and nutrition guidance,advice from the pros and top coaches and experts, athletes profiles, product reviews and all the information they need to fully enjoy the triathlon lifestyle.

United States
Pocket Outdoor Media, LLC

in this issue

3 min
what is it that makes kona kona?

THERE ARE OTHER TROPICAL ISLANDS, other hard courses, other historical places in the triathlon lexicon. Why is Kona so special? I had been involved with triathlon for 10 years before I ever even rolled into the town of Kailua-Kona. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I have to tell you, on a random Wednesday in September it looked just like every other Hawaiian town. There are cute shops and cafes along the water, plenty of beaches, a state-wide amazing public pool system, hotels, resorts, a Costco, and lots of traffic. That very first time I came into town I wanted to ride the full 112 miles of the bike course. OK, actually I skipped that little bit at the beginning in town, and just started out on the Queen K…

1 min
this month at triathlete.com

BEHIND THE PHOTO We give members the untold stories behind some of the sport’s most iconic—and attention-grabbing—shots, like this one of Tim O'Donnell on the deck of the USS Midway. MEMBER SPOTLIGHT LAUREN M. RACE: Age Group Sprint Nationals AGE GROUP: 25-29 "I loved getting to race in Age Group Nationals because it was only my second-ever triathlon, and I felt really honored and lucky to compete alongside and learn from the best triathletes!" GOLD-MEDAL INSIGHTS Members have access to expert commentary, exclusive workouts, and data analysis from the bike files of this year’s gold-medal winners, Flora Duffy and Kristian Blummenfelt. HOW FAST CAN THE FASTEST PROS RUN IN IRONMAN? As the science of physiology and the technology behind racing and training gear gets better, pros are fast, but are they getting faster? THE SCIENCE BEHIND LOW-CARB HIGH-FAT DIETS FOR TRI We…

5 min
tri here: maui

Maui is Hawaii’s second-largest island, and it sits poised as the best of all worlds. That might be why the home of the XTERRA World Championships has also become a triathlon go-to training spot. From mountains that stretch from the sea to the sky, to seemingly endless coves fringed in perfect sandy beaches, there’s plenty to do on the valley isle. Although some of the best swimming, running, and riding isn’t all concentrated in one place, if you happen to rent a quintessential Maui convertible, getting to the beach or trailhead is half the fun. SWIM Big Beach, also known as Oneloa or Makena Beach, is a favorite of swimmers and beachcombers alike. South of the condos and resorts of Kihei and Wailea, Big Beach is aptly named. It’s easy to knock…

3 min
be there without being there

EVERY YEAR ROUGHLY 20,000 TRIATHLETES, SUPPORTERS, and industry mucky mucks flock to the Big Island of Hawaii to be a (small) part of the (big) Ironman World Championship. It’s an honor to race the event, and it’s inspiring (and maybe a tad more enjoyable) to witness the race from the sidelines. But what’s a passionate triathlete to do if they didn’t qualify for Kona and don’t plan on making the trek to the lava fields? You’re in luck! You can still feel like you’re right there in the sweaty mix of things—from the comfort of your air-conditioned home. THE FAMOUS KONA HEAT Kona is hot! Temperatures on race day average 82-95 degrees F, with humidity as high as 80%. But that’s just the air temperature; the black asphalt athletes race on is often…

3 min

THIS YEAR’S IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WILL BE WEIRD. Of course, that was always going to be the case, but in addition to the weirdness we can see—face masks, COVID tests, adjustments to volunteers and changing tents—what will be weirdest is what (and whom) we don’t see. In a time when triathlon is increasingly becoming a global sport, when the world championship has gotten more and more diverse and more countries are represented every year, we will see less of that this October than we have in years. I got my first hint of this at Ironman Coeur d’Alene, watching the 21 Kona spots be handed out in the men’s 50-54 age group. And I had my suspicions confirmed when friends in Australia told me how athletes were turning down their slots because…

2 min
the other side of kona

LAVAMAN WHERE: Waikoloa Beach Resort, Big Island, Hawaii WHEN: Oct. 31, 2021 & April 3, 2022 WHAT: Since the late 90s, this iconic Olympic-distance race has been taking place on the grounds of the Hilton Waikoloa Resort just outside Kona. It started as a way for long-time race director, Gerry Rott, to honor her husband, who was killed when a car hit him during a bike ride. There were just 83 people at that first memorial event. But ever since it was labeled the “best party in triathlon” the race has grown to be a mega-popular event that sells out its 1,800 spots in two weeks. Lavaman’s popularity really took off after athletes came from far and wide, then went home and raved about it to friends. There’s a particularly large Alaskan contingent now,…