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Ironman Threatens Litigation Over Ironman Ireland Tragedy

And when should you replace your run shoes?

Good morning everyone,

A big thanks to everyone who completed our survey. We’ll have more news about that next week so stay tuned! Without giving anything away, we’ve got got some big ideas that we can’t wait to share.

In today’s edition:

  • ⚖️ Ironman threatens litigation over contested timeline.

  •  👟 When should you replace your run shoes?

  • 🥓 And are you making the four most common nutrition mistakes?

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 Threatens legal action over Triathlon Ireland


The row between Ironman and Triathlon Ireland looks to be nowhere near the finish line. In fact, lawyers may be about to enter the fray…

What happened: After conflicting stories over who notified who after the deaths of two triathletes at Ironman Cork, Ironman International has threatened legal action against Triathlon Ireland unless they withdraw their statement over the timeline of events, according to the Irish Times.

Back it up: The conflict stems from Triathlon Ireland’s contention that they told Ironman before the race began that they couldn’t sanction the race. Ironman asserts they did not do this.

  • It matters because a non-sanctioned race is not covered by insurance.

Where it stands: In response, Ironman made clear that Triathlon Ireland’s officials continued to perform their job, even after the alleged discussion with Ironman. Insiders speaking to the Irish Times say they believe litigation is imminent. Triathlon Ireland has not responded to questions by the publication.

Other lawsuits: Back in 2021, U.S. District Judge ruled in favor of Ironman against a class action lawsuit over canceled races. The judge ruled the no refund clause was legal, and athletes would not get a refund for the canceled event, according to Triathlete.com


👟 New shoes who dis: You’ve been training in your shoes for a while now and they just don’t have that “pop” like they used to. So, when should you replace them? There are a few factors to consider beyond just mileage. [Triathlete]

🗣️ Sanders speaks: Professional triathlete Lionel Sanders suffered a controversial disqualification at the recent Ironman 70.3 World Championships. And now we’re hearing his full take on the experience. It’s full Lionel, which is the only way we’ll have him. [Lionel Sanders]

🛏️ Recovery reality: Bed rest can feel like a brutal setback for a highly motivated endurance athlete. However, surgery, illness, and other ailments can lead to a prolonged period in bed. So how long does it take to lose fitness? And are there ways to counteract the ensuing muscular and cardiovascular losses? Absolutely. [Outside]


Do You Need a Coach?

One of the more interesting discussions over at the triathlon subreddit is about whether you need a coach. One from 2016 gets even more in-depth into the topic.

Here’s what some people think about whether you need a coach or not.

Reader: At 70.3, if you want podiums and WC spots, get a coach. Although, if it's a WC spot in a place that's not popular (or far away), a finish might do (like Australian races for Finland spots).

If you want to do IM, get a coach, there is a delicate balance between enough training and too much training, then balancing it with workloads at the office and home.

If you want to KQ, get a coach. If it's Nice, you might find a finish might do, the Nice spots went to the floor here in OZ. 🤣

Reader: Some people need/want a coach to motivate them, hold them accountable, and make sure they get all their workouts in. For them a coach can be worth it.

Some people are very busy, and don't have time to plan their workouts. They have no trouble with getting their workouts in consistently, but they just don't have the time to sit down and plan their week/season/year and structure their training with the big picture in mind. They don't have the time to review all of their training data to see if they're progressing/plateauing/overtraining/in need of new stimulus. So they outsource this work to a coach and just do the training they're given. For these people, coaching can definitely be worth the money.

Reader: I think the biggest jump in pricing comes from the in person coaching vs. follow ups on workouts. You can find a good coach who will write you specific workouts and discuss any issues you have for around $100 a month. While this person will have a good dialogue with you, they won't be there to physically train with you or watch your technique. You would be paying more for the in-person training. So it comes down to what you want from it. I would go a cheaper route initially and decide if you want more from coaching after this season.

Dig deeper: The team over at GTN broke down how to choose a good triathlon coach. Their answer? Think about whether you want linear coaching — general coaching with plans not specifically tailored to you — or dynamic coaching, where you have a coach who designs workouts specifically for you.

Tempo’s take: Coaches are an incredible asset for an athlete. They’ll be able to guide you on your triathlon journey no matter what stage you’re in.

  • If you’re a new athlete they’ll help you with the triathlon onboarding process (and save you loads of frustration).

And if you’re a seasoned veteran, they’ll support you and be a sounding board for your “interesting” training suggestions. Most importantly, they’re someone whom you can share an incredible journey with!


How to do triathlon on a budget? Some really great tips in here!


📆 Open season: Ironman has officially announced its Summer 2024 race lineup for Europe, North America, and Canada. The races are now available for general registration. [Ironman]

🏁 Upton racing: Worcestershire triathletes are invited to register for the 2024 edition of the Upton Triathlon. The event will feature a triathlon, duathlon, and kids races on Saturday, July 14th, 2024.

🏃 Bilbao action: Only one month till the kickoff of the 2023 Bilbao triathlon. Athletes will be treated to an incredible race that takes place in the heart of the city. [Triatletas en red]


Here is what readers said about whether they think Ironman rules are clear and consistently enforced.

Reader: We have all been in situations where we know we have violated a rule but it was not caught by an official often due to an insufficient number of officials on course. In a high profile race like the worlds. you can expect they are calling it tight. In this case, the rule was not brought up pre-race. Lionel should appeal!

Reader: There are some small problems with rules in itself. But, main issue is the way they are enforced. One needs to look no further than drafting violations and the way they are "handled". Other examples are there as well.

Reader: Especially for us age groupers. So many drafting pelotons during IM events, that sometimes it’s hard to get by them, and no one to break them up.

Reader: I pulled out to pass during a race on a road that wasn't closed to traffic, I heard a motor vehicle approaching quickly from behind and decided to to drop back in and not get hit. Turns out it was a motorcycle ref and I got a penalty for not completing the pass 🤷‍♂️. While technically correct really wrong. Those motorcycles flying around the course are dangerous.


Four Common Nutrition Mistakes Triathletes Make

1) Following fad diets

Maybe it’s intermittent fasting, going keto, or any other restrictive eating pattern, but none of them work on a long-term basis. Sure, you likely follow an athlete on social media who is doing crazy training sessions while following some fad diet, but if it is true, they’re an outlier.

For the majority of endurance athletes, restrictive eating of any kind will only lead to decreased performance, injury, or worse. Training for triathlon puts a lot of strain on your body, so you need to provide your body with the building blocks it needs to repair and strengthen itself, which means food.

To optimize performance and long-term health, focus on the basics;

  • 🏋️ Healthy protein (animal or plant, or both!),

  • 🥦 Lots of vegetables and starch at each meal,

  • Eating healthy doesn’t need to be complicated; it’s like training; consistency pays off!


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