Incredible Women's Ironman World Championships Start List Released
And are softer surfaces actually better for running?
Good morning everyone,
Well, I’m typing this a little later than I would like. I had one of those classic days where I think I can get a lot more done in the time I have. I think that’s actually a classic triathlete trait because you definitely have to be optimistic you can take on three challenging sports, all at once!
In today’s edition:
Absolute 🔥🔥🔥 start list revealed for Women’s Ironman World Championship.
Are softer surfaces actually better for running? The answer certainly surprised us.
And why did you decide to take on triathlon?
Thanks for being here.
-Matt Sharpe, newsletter editor
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.
Malibu Triathlon to go ahead after last-minute approval: After an incredibly long meeting (trust us, we watched a lot of it) the Malibu City Council voted 4-0 to grant a temporary use permit for the event this weekend.
The race made headlines for potentially being cancelled due to the discovery of an endangered species, the Tidewater Gobi on a critical section of the race course. [CBS News]
Kona start list announced: In two weeks, the women will be lining up in Kona for the first-ever women’s-only Ironman World Championship.
The start list is stacked with returning champion Chelsea Sodaro (USA), Anne Haug (GER), and short-course star Taylor Knibb (USA) all expected to battle for the podium. [Triathlon Magazine Canada]
Council continues sponsorship of Ironman Ireland triathlon: After the tragic death of two athletes, and the ensuing war of words between Triathlon Ireland and Ironman, it appeared as though the Ironman Ireland event may not be returning.
However, citing the significant economic benefits, the Cork County Council renewed its sponsorship for the 2024 event. [Irish Times]
Malaga officially awarded World Triathlon Championship final: The World Triathlon executive board has approved Malaga, Spain as the host of the 2024 Championship Finals.
The Andalusian city will see Elite, Under 23, Para Triathlon and Age Group Sprint and Standard distance World Championship titles awarded. [World Triathlon]
Australia’s oldest triathlon saved by new management: The Nepean Triathlon, Australia’s oldest race, was seemingly on the verge of collapse. However, thanks to Mark “Emo” Emerson and his team at Elite Energy Events, the race will continue into the future.
The next edition will be held on April 24th, 2024. [TriZone]
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Are Soft Surfaces Better for Running?
If you ask runners and triathletes whether soft surfaces like gravel trails are better than roads, many will say ‘of course!’ The reasoning is that a harder surface will, over time, put more wear and tear on your body.
But is it actually true?
In this article, Dr. Jeffrey Sankoff suggests that running on soft surfaces isn’t any better for your body and could actually lead to more injuries!
Consider leg stiffness: Leg stiffness is a measure of how well the muscles in your legs recycle the energy that is applied to the ground on each stride.
A study referenced in the article showed when runners transitioned from a soft surface to a hard surface, they decreased the stiffness in their legs by more than 25%.
So, on the softer surface, runners had more muscle tension and stiffer legs.
A stiffer limb has less ability to absorb force than a relaxed limb.
On the softer surface, there is impact absorption, but that may be offset by the stiffer limb that is required.
Which surface is best: Based on this information, it would seem like a harder surface is less demanding on your muscles than a softer surface. But there is a gradient in terms of soft surfaces. A beach run on sand is very different to a well-trodden country road.
Runners World has also done their own ranking of the best and worst running surfaces. Good ones include:
🌲 Woodland trails
👟 Synthetic track
Ones to avoid include:
Go deeper: Is there a relationship between leg stiffness and stress fractures? What about muscle injuries?
Do you have a preferred running surface?
Where is your favorite place to run?
🤩 Celebrathon: What do Diplo, Jesse Metcalfe, Trixie Mattel, and Timothy Olyphant have in common? They’ll be competing in the celebrity division at this weekend’s Malibu Triathlon. [ExtraTV]
🤗 Your reason: Why did you decide to take up a (kind of crazy) sport like triathlon? What is your reason? This question was taken on by Redditors, and the inspiring answers will be sure to fire you up for any training session. [Reddit]
🏋️ Diary of an Age Grouper: In this podcast, host Jamie speaks with strength and conditioning expert Kate Baldwin and she breaks down when the best time for strength training is, and her top three exercises for swimming, biking, and running. [Diary of an Age Grouper]
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Tempo Pro #1: Fueling a Busy Lifestyle
This is a preview of Tempo Pro deep dive. It’s a feature for Tempo Pro paying members. Consider joining today.
Key Concept: Energy Availability
The best pros and their sports science teams know that they won’t train and race at their best without fueling properly. They know about energy availability.
Energy availability means your body has the calories to perform your intense training, work, AND basic physiological functions like recovery and building muscle tissue.
When you’re body is in low energy availability:
You WILL NOT train at your potential.
You WILL NOT recover properly from training.
You WILL have excessive fatigue.
You WILL definitely be less enjoyable to be around for your loved ones!
This fact sheet from the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee might be one of the most important documents you can read as a high-performing individual.
Having sufficient energy availability is the foundational principle of World Champions.
Knees, back, shoulders…it all applies! 😆
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