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Major Start Lists Reveal Rival Series Battle for Talent

Start list drama, the importance of swimming's pull phase, and new protein science


Good morning everyone,

The other day I had a pretty hard run workout with some mile repeats. They were at a pretty full gas effort and I started to get nervous about how much it would hurt. But I’ve been in the tri game long enough to know that when serious injuries strike these are the kinds of workouts are the ones I dream of.

So instead of “having to do it,” I “had the opportunity to do it.” Of course, it still hurt like hell, but a bit of mental reframing helped put things in perspective.

In today’s edition:

  • ⚔️ Major start lists reveal rival series battle for talent.

  • 💪 How to get the most out of swimming’s critical pull phase.

  • 🍳 And your body’s capacity for protein intake is much higher than previously thought!

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. 


Major Start Lists Showcase Rival Series Battle for Talent


What is it: With the northern hemisphere race season getting underway, a battle of high-profile race series is brewing. The ammunition? Talent.

This week saw major start list reveals from three of the biggest pro triathlon entities in the world:

T100 turbulence: Two weeks ago the inaugural race of the venture capital-backed T100 series kicked off in Miami to mixed reviews. India Lee (GBR) and Magnus Ditlev (DEN) were two incredible champions, but the races were also marred by notable athlete absences, and coverage woes that included missing audio in the women’s race.

A glance at the start lists shows that once again high-profile and highly-paid T100 athletes will be skipping the next series race in Singapore. With some choosing instead to compete at IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside the week before.

  • Taylor Knibb (USA), Paula Findlay (CAN), Tamara Jewitt (CAN), and Emma Pallant-Browne (GBR) are all T100-contracted athletes who will be competing in Cali, and skipping out on Singapore.

IRONMAN incoming: With 70.3 Oceanside being the launch pad for IRONMAN’s brand new pro series, there will no doubt be comparisons of race dynamics, attending athletes, coverage, and overall quality between the IRONMAN and T100’s offerings.

  • It will be interesting to watch if T100-contracted athletes continue to skip out on series races for adjacent IRONMAN competitions.

Tempo’s take: The race season dominos are starting to fall into place as we see athletes begin to vote with their feet. These early Miami and Singapore absences are troubling for the T100 series. What does it say when athletes who are paid to be racing somewhere instead choose to pay to compete in a rival’s event?

Of course, these athletes have every right to do so as their contracts generally require them to compete in six of the eight T100 series races.

  • But for a series looking to “redefine triathlon,” the generous race carveouts seem miscalculated especially when early season momentum and buzz are critical.

With A-list athletes popping in and out of different race series, it might confuse those interested in following the upper echelons of triathlon. And with so many racing opportunities this year, will the athletes be totally gassed when the championship races come around?

  • Kona is in October, the T100 Grand Final in November, and the 70.3 World Championships in mid-December! 😲

The major triathlon players are now all in on the Formula 1 model of a season-long narrative. The consequences of which we will soon discover.

What is more compelling, a season-long narrative, or one massive championship race?

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A New Way To Approach Running Injuries

The most common injuries in Triathlon are (not surprisingly) caused by running. Exakt Health is a sports physical therapy app built for treating, and healing, the most common running injuries. Exakt Health simplifies access to professional and customized physical therapy without long waiting times and high costs!

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Pulling power: The pull phase of the swim stroke is critical for propulsion and ensuring you’re moving through the water quickly. This video goes through key principles, and in the first minute has a great example of how to quickly learn to pull effectively! [GTN]

Protein progress: It used to be believed that protein synthesis leveled out after about 20 grams. However interesting new science has discovered that the body is capable of synthesizing much more protein over a longer period. The TLDR: You can eat a lot of protein at once, and it wont go to waste! [My Sports Science]

Women-led: Are you looking to support multisport brands that are led by women? This list has a few great options! [Triathlete]

Training travesty: If you’ve ever had a disappointing race after a very successful” training period this article is for you. Turns out athletes often leave their best efforts in training, and the ego investment of proving yourself in practice can be devastating for your most important races. [Science of Running]

Champion CEO: Calvin McDonald is a high performer in the boardroom and on the race course. So how does the CEO of Lululemon manage a billion-dollar company and a strenuous triathlon training regime? By being deliberate with his time. [Men’s Health]


Could you spot the triathlete? 🤣🤣🤣


Here’s what Tempo readers said about if they were planning to compete in an IRONMAN-branded race.

Reader: I lost faith in Ironman’s focus on providing safe and athlete-centric race environments last year. I have decided to race other brands for now, including Challenge family of races.

Reader: Ironman 703 and other non branded races entered! Good mixture 😀

Reader: I know there's a lot of shade thrown Ironman's way, especially within the trail community, but having done all manner of races over the past 3 decades, NO ONE puts on a better race than Ironman... I have yet to do one and not felt like I got my money's worth (despite the ever-increasing cost of admission!)

Reader: I can't afford to do them every year, nor do I have that much vacation time, so I do an Ironman every 2 or 3 years as a "race-cation." Otherwise I stick to the many local Olympic distance triathlons within driving distance.

Reader: We have a 70.3 in our hometown (Des Moines), so it’s hard to resist. However, in past years I’ve done 2-3 Ironman events. This year, the cost has just outstripped my willingness to spend that much for multiple events. Dropping the cost to $300 for a 70.3 and $600 for a full would lead me to sign up for more events. Instead, I’m going to look for quality “local” races!

Reader: Local races provide much better experience for me, both as a volunteer and as a participant. Since I don't care about bragging rights like "hey, I did an Ironman", I only care about triathlon as a sport and community around it, I see no reason to enter IM events. They are too expensive, too crowded, and everything bad that comes with IM being a corporation.

Reader: I’m doing 1 x full ironman, the half at Outlaw Nottingham & a half at a small independent provider 👍


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]

Ultra champion: Michelle Vesterby, an IRONMAN champion, recently stepped up to the Ultraman distance and absolutely crushed it. [Triathlon Magazine]

Couch to IRONMAN: A study out of UBC Okanagan is looking for potential triathletes for a groundbreaking study on physiological responses to triathlon training. [Castanet]

Passing the torch: The founders of the successful IronMāori organization are handing the reins to a new generation of race organizers. [NZ Herald]

New race: Discussions are being held about potentially hosting a World Triathlon World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2025. [Azer News]


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