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Olympic Duathlon? Water Quality Woes Plague Paris

Water quality issues threaten Olympic Triathlon, a guide for performance enhancing caffeine, and glute activations

Good morning everyone,

Shoutout to my physio who helped my body feel like it is moving properly again 🙌 Last weekend’s half-ironman was a massive effort, and my body didn’t let me forget it! Not everyone feels the post-race fatigue the same way, but my quads were seriously tight.

Looking forward to feeling normal, so I can start hurting my body again in training! 🤔😵‍💫🤣 

In today’s edition:

  • 💩 Could poor water quality have Olympic athletes racing a duathlon?

  • ☕ A guide to improving your performance with caffeine.

  • 🍑 And glute activations to help power your next big workout!

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. 


Olympic Duathlon? Paris Organizers Unsure if Seine will be Suitable

World Triathlon

What is it: According to NBC News, the President of the Paris Olympic Organizing Committee has admitted that the swim portion of the Olympic triathlon could be canceled if pollution levels are still too high.

  • Paris 2024 president Tony Estaunguat did say that the organizers could postpone the event due to rainy conditions and that he was confident they could use the Seine for competition.

  • However, he mentioned that the international federation (World Triathlon) could ultimately decide whether the event is a triathlon, or changed to a duathlon due to pollution levels.

Extensive investments: Over $1.5 billion has been invested so far in cleaning up the notoriously dirty Seine. Infrastructure improvements include:

  • The $90 million Austerlitz basin which is designed to collect excess rainwater and sewage that would otherwise flow into the Seine.

  • Adding special treatment to sewage plants which can help cut fecal bacteria by over 100x.

  • And going door-to-door to fix thousands of residential pipes that for centuries have sent their sewage directly into the Seine.

Seinesanity: Thus far the massive investments have not been able to turn the tide on the water quality woes. Last summer saw a 10km open water Olympic test event canceled due to poor water quality, as well as the swim portion of the Para and mixed relay test races.

Terrible testing: And recent testing of the Seine by Surfrider Europe found that over 10 testing days from September 2023 to March 2024 only two days passed World Triathlon standards for fecal bacteria including e. coli.

  • Although this testing period was performed over the non-swimmable months that typically receive much more rain.

Tempo’s take: It’s getting into crunch time for Olympic organizers as the Seine was supposed to be the centerpiece of the games - even the opening ceremonies are slated to be held on the iconic river!

Athletes from across the world are currently in the most competitive and crucial phase of their Olympic qualifying. Having this kind of background noise won’t exactly lift their spirits.

You have to wonder where World Triathlon president Marisol Casado is at this time? Her sport is heading into its Superbowl, its one chance to enjoy a truly global audience and it is facing a potential disaster. And not a single comment from her addressing the issue and trying to get ahead of it!

  • We’ve heard from numerous sources that she is looking to succeed Thomas Bach to become head of the International Olympic Committee.

  • A bold statement that demonstrates her intent to find a solution for this looming catastrophe would definitely show leadership qualities worthy of leading the Olympic movement.

A quick search of “Paris Triathlon” shows a clearly swimmable venue a short hop from downtown. With so much on the line for World Triathlon, now isn’t the time to sit back and hope others take care of it…

However, at the end of the day, it could be a lot worse. A giant Shark could emerge in the Seine, requiring a marine scientist and a young activist to work together to prevent a bloodbath…

Will you be watching the Olympic Triathlon this summer?

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☕ Caffeine gains: Caffeine is a supplement that is proven to enhance your performance. But when should you be taking it? And, importantly, how much? This thorough caffeine guide is a great starting point for faster training and racing! [Precision Fuel and Hydration]

🍑 Glute activation success: Your glute muscles play an outsized role in healthy and rewarding training and racing. They help you produce power on the bike, stabilize your pelvis on the run, and so much more. Set your glutes up for success with these 11 excellent glute activation exercises. [Marathon Handbook]

🏊‍♀️ Swim breathing: Are you struggling to find your rhythm while swimming? Just feeling like you’re constantly out of breath? You might be breathing too much according to this video. An interesting take for sure, but the buildup of carbon dioxide is no joke! [Taren’s MoTTIV Method]

🥇 Sanders says: Lionel Sanders is probably the most popular triathlete in the world. He’s brought countless triathletes into the sport with his inspirational story of transformation from drug addict to IRONMAN champion. So when he won Oceanside 70.3 last weekend it was a win for the entire sport. He shares his thoughts on the big win here. [Lionel Sanders]


Ah…yeahhh I don’t think that’s going to happen! 😆😴


Here’s which races Tempo readers said they were most looking forward to this year!

Reader: Ironman 70.3 Tri Cities WA... brand new inaugural season. I'm looking forward to a PR since the swim is down the Columbia river... should be my fastest 1.2 mile swim ever! The bike course is just rolling hills and the run is flat in beautiful country. Should be a great race.

Reader: Worlds, Malaga Spain, Oct 17-20

Reader: Kona baby!

Reader: Cross / off-road age group world champs in Australia

Reader: IM 70.3 Victoria and then the 25th anniversary of IM Lake Placid promises to be special ... the first IM I ever saw was the first IM LP in 1999 when my dad competed in his first full distance.

Reader: Roth - the king of triathlon long distance

Reader: 70.3 European Championships in Tallinn! Should be a blast on a super-fast bike course!

Reader: I’m excited for my first off road gravel and trail triathlon Honeymoon Bay Half Triathlon in July! This is something new for me after 20yrs of triathlon racing.


T100 Triathlon World Tour -Singapore

The second stop in the T100 Triathlon Tour will take place in Singapore at the iconic Marina Bay Sands resort.

What we’ll be watching 👇

  • If perennial T100 race champion Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) will return to the top of the podium.

  • Whether Indie Lee (GBR) can repeat her magical win at the first event in Miami.

  • If Magnus Ditlev (DEN) can overcome a race-week broken wrist to compete for another T100 win.

  • Can Sam Long back up a strong podium in Oceanside last weekend and get his first T100 win.

  • Whether the race will actually happen? According to World Triathlon rules (that T100 follows) the weather may be above allowable racing limits. 

Watch live: Outside Watch, T100 Youtube, Eurosport, and the PTO+ app.

Supertri E World Championship

Formerly the Arena Games Triathlon, the mix of real and virtual racing is the first race after Supertri’s rebrand, and their disappointing loss of the Malibu Triathlon to the previous race director (who sold it to them).

What we’re watching 👇

  • A potential Olympic gold medal showdown between Beth Potter (GBR) and Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA). It will be the first head-to-head between them and an indicator of early season form.

  • Whether anyone will be affected by a technological error (poorly calibrated treadmill).

  • And if we’ll see more incredible Butterfly from Chase McQueen (USA).


New Brazil 70.3: A new IRONMAN 70.3 is coming to Brazil. 70.3 Aracaju–Sergipe is set to take place in November 2024. [Endurance Biz]

Race on the Base: The ever-popular Race on the Base will return to Los Alamitos this weekend. Athletes will have the opportunity to compete in sprint and “reverse sprint” races. [Event Newsenterprise]

ParaTriathlon Nationals: USA Triathlon has announced its 2024 Paratriathlon National Championships and USA Paratriathlon Development Race Series Dates and Locations.


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