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2024 IRONMAN Rule Updates - Hard on litter, soft on zipper

IRONMAN 2024 rules, magic muscle, and training on a Peloton bike

Good morning everyone,

Well after a month of posting about sunshine and outdoor rides, the weather karma well and truly came my way. About a foot of snow here in Boulder and it looks like I’ll be on the indoor trainer for a bit! Although I do have my first race of the season in about a month at IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside, so at least there’s a bit of extra motivation for the indoor miles.

  • Anyone else going to be there?

In today’s edition:

  • 👮 New IRONMAN rules crack down on aero fairings and athletes who litter.

  • 🍑 How one small hip muscle can help you unlock power and keep you injury-free!

  • 🚲 And can you train for a triathlon on a Peloton™️ bike?

Thanks for being here.

-Matt Sharpe, newsletter editor

Headshot of Matt Sharpe

Have a triathlete in your life who can't stop swimming, biking, or running? Fire this off to them. Forwarded from a friend? Sign-up for free. 


IRONMAN Updates 2024 Rules - Hard on Littering, Soft on Zippering

What is it: As the Northern Hemisphere triathlon season begins to crack on, so too has IRONMAN with its updated competition rules for 2024. Highlights include:

  • Updated language around where an athlete has finished an event.

  • Higher penalty emphasis on intentional or careless littering.

  • Clarification around whether additional equipment to reduce wind resistance, including bottles/hydration inserted into the front of the race suit are permitted - they’re not.

  • And a reduction of penalty for not adhering to the “zipper rule.”

Verbiage vibes: Most of the rule changes were simply amendments to the original language to provide more clarity. Although some rules may have been inspired by controversial race decisions.

Rule 2.05(a) which refers to when an athlete is judged to have finished the race may be referencing a high-powered sprint finish between Lionel Sanders (CAN) and Rudy Von Berg (USA) at 70.3 Oceanside in 2022.

  • Post-race it took an incredible amount of time to determine the winner between the two, with Sanders eventually being awarded second place. However, it is well known that the result was incredibly difficult to determine and was ultimately decided upon from shaky iPhone footage.

Tempo’s take: Well gang…we did it! For those who have joined the newsletter more recently, your newsletter editor just so happened to cause a bit of a stir in the triathlon world when crossing the finish line at IRONMAN 70.3 Maine last year with his race suit zipper totally unzipped!

This resulted in an instant disqualification at the finish line, a deluge of hot takes, and 15 minutes of niche sports fame 🤣

  • In the aftermath of #zippergate I was able to have a very productive and positive conversation with the head referee of IRONMAN, Jimmy Riccitello, and after a couple of hours of pleading my case I’d like to think I played a small role in getting unnecessarily large punishment reduced.

The aero fairings were starting to get a bit out of control, and IRONMAN was probably trying to nip future fairing related crashes in the bud.

The one eyebrow-raising rule change is in regards to the banning of adhesive tape to help reduce wind resistance. In a sport that isn’t exactly thrifty, the ability to rip up some duct tape and slap on a low-cost but high-value aerodynamic benefit felt like a folksy throwback to the sports innovative DNA.

What do you think about IRONMAN's new competition rules

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🍑 Magic muscle: The quads, gluteus maximus, and calves are often the muscle groups triathletes focus on the most. But this small, but critical, hip muscle could hold the key to unlocking power and keeping you injury-free. [Triathlon Magazine]

😦 Sports bra struggles: Could your sports bra be slowing you down? Yes! According to a study led by Olympian and PhD an ill-fitting sports bra can hinder breathing and interfere with respiratory function. [Feisty Media]

🏊‍♂️ Swimming plateau: Are you struggling to learn to swim? Or need some motivation to break through a swimming plateau? Check out this Reddit thread with thoughtful advice to level up your swim. [Reddit]

🚲 Peloton power: Can you train for a triathlon on a Peloton bike? Hell yes! But maybe get a normal bike to race with. As an aside, you can train and race on any bike you want for a triathlon, even a BMX!

🎤 Mike’s mic: He’s the iconic voice of IRONMAN finish lines around the world, and after hanging up the mic last season, Mike Reilly is back for another dance at this year’s IRONMAN Lake Placid. [Endurance Sportswire]


Ummmm wait…this guy did a full IRONMAN in flip flops?!? 😵‍💫


Triathlete troubles: Almost a year after her incredible Oscar-winning triumph, triathlete Lesley Paterson may be forced to sell her home to pay for medical bills. OUr thoughts are with her and her husband who is currently battling cancer. [Daily Mail]

Wasa Lake tri: Registration is now open for the long-running Wasa Lake Triathlon. Held at the picturesque Wasa Lake Provincial Park on June 9. [Kimberley Bulletin]

RIP Alice: Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of triathlete Alice Smith who tragically passed away after being hit by a car while out on a training ride. [BBC]

Kids tri success: The annual Turangi Junior Triathlon proved to be a runaway success with over 100 young athletes competing at Te Kapua Park this past Sunday. [NZ Herald]


Here’s what Tempo readers thought about the inaugural T100 race in Miami.

Reader: When are people going to stop with the “startup” excuse? It’s been 3 years as race organizers. Same issues over and over again, tracker wasn’t working well into the men’s bike, no leaderboards with time difference, the audio thing. Same feedback from last year and nothing was learned.

Reader: I loved it but the coverage can still be improved. On a lapped circuit why couldn't they show more of the race dynamics further back. They need to show no. of laps left/distance left on screen. It would also look better if there were spectators. BUT exciting racing and looking forward to the series.

Reader: Please note, this is just my opinion, I don't consider it to be true. Overall it was a somewhat boring. Which is to be expected since a lot of good athletes did not show up - Haug, Gentle, Gomez... And it is a first race so it is hard to put some value (or create narrative) on it from points perspective. Also, time splits should come more often, in order to make it more interesting to follow along.

Reader: I was very much looking forward to watching this race and was unfortunately very disappointed. I’d say 10 men and 10 women raced well (need a bigger field), the commentary team was pretty good and it looked like the volunteers were doing a great job. But unfortunately T100 failed to produce what they have been promising. I may not even watch Singapore.

Reader: The Pros: Jan Frodeno’s commentaries. Huge plus. He is the best in analyzing. The Cons: no data( HR, watts, run speed loops left, etc..) on screen, the Top 20 should be listed on the screen, awfully boring bike course, and run too. And for the women, also poor light( nightime), couldn’t see the athletes, no sound for a long time. Conclusion : amateurish telecast. PTO hasn’t learned anything since Samorin. Really disappointing because I am a huge PTO fan. Which is also why I am demanding.

Reader: The pitch black bike sections for the women were very sketchy but I think they handled it as well as they could. Hopefully everything continues to improve. The coverage is awesome!

Reader: The coverage did, however, only focus on the lead athletes, when there was a lot of action and place changes further back in the field. Some of the wildcards did really well and we just didn't hear about it.


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