Anthony S Casey

Businessman, Triathlete, Dad

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Category: Triathlons

5 Epic Triathlons for Serious Competitors

escape from Alcatraz Anthony S Casey SingaporeAny triathlon is pretty epic in itself. Through combining swimming, running, and cycling, only the fittest will finish. But what makes some races more “epic” than others? Through intensity and location, these five triathlons will challenge any expert triathlete.

  1. New York City Triathlon

This famous race attracts triathletes from around the world. In this iconic Olympic-distance race, there is 1500m swim, a 40K cycle ride, and a 10k run. First, competitors brave the waters of the chilly early morning Hudson, then bike along Manhattan’s West Side highway, and end with a run in the famous Central Park. It’s held annually in the middle of the summer.

2. Idaho Ironman

Are you an Ironman? The Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is a serious physical test, despite its bucolic settings. In the epic Ironman race, triathletes start off with a 2.4-mile swim in Lake Coeur d’Alene, followed with a 112 mile bike race through rural northern Idaho, finishing with a full marathon along the shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene for two steep loops.  Every August.

3. Kona Ironman

Now this is the Ironman of Ironmans. Kona is every triathlete’s dream, achilles heel, etc. It’s what everyone dreams about. It’s the epitome of triathlon racing. Steve Anderson won last year’s Kona race. He speaks about the physical stress of racing, “Whatever you have is left completely rinsed from your being – both physically and mentally – after you cross the line.” An athlete burns so many calories while competing, that you have to eat throughout the race; Anderson eats Cliff Bars.

4. New Zealand Ironman

This race is popular due to its rich scenery and fresh swimming water. It is also the second-longest running Ironman, having celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 2014. It’s a beautiful race.  The 2.4-mile swim takes place in the clear waters of Lake Taupo.  After a 400-meter run to transition, athletes begin the two-lap, 112-mile bike that travels through the forest and farmland surrounding Taupo. Spectators lining the lakefront as bikers make their way around. The three-lap marathon has great views of the lake and friends and family cheer on the athletes.

5. Escape from Alcatraz

Who knew that one day we’d be swimming laps around a prison, for leisure? Swimming in the freezing San Francisco Bay has become almost a right of passage for triathlon competitors. Since 1981, it’s no wonder this race is popular. With a fabulous vantage point of the Golden Gate Bridge, the brutally difficult Sand Ladder; this race is popular because finishing comes with bragging rights.

This iconic race starts off at the San Francisco Belle ferry near Alcatraz Island to swim 1.5 miles back to shore, often in choppy and chilly conditions. At Marina Green Beach, athletes transition for an 18-mile bike ride around hilly San Francisco, before finishing with an 8-mile run through the Golden Gate Park and climbing 400 steps up the the Equinox Sand Ladder.

 

Running for Singapore Charities

Anthony S Casey loves to run for Singapore-based charities.

He is a member of the Little Sisters Fund, an organization that works toward brining life-changing educational services to young girls in underprivileged regions of Asia. Through volunteer efforts and donations, Little Sisters fund provides long-term support. They aspire to end Child Marriage, forced Child Labor, and Child Trafficking.

In the ISP, Little Sisters write to their sponsor. A monthly fund of $3,500 covers complete education costs, including ten years of tuition, books, uniforms, and school supplies.

Anthony S Casey supports the efforts of the Little Sisters Fund by running in triathlons.

Check out the Triathlon Association of Singapore to consider running for a great cause. These events are a great way to commit to a cause; physically, too!

Anthony S Casey’s advice for engaging in triathlons?

Start slow.

Everybody likes to comes into the sport enthusiastically. But the biggest mistake people can make is rushing into it.

A 140.6-mile event (2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of cycling and 26.2 miles of running) is much more than a first-time triathletes should even think about attempting as a first-timer.

Triathlons are physically demanding. Don’t forget that. Take time to train. Customize your own training plan. You can start training for a sprint triathlon by just doing an hour of specialized exercise per day.

One event unique to Singapore is the TRI-Factor Series. This event is a four-part series of sporting events engineered for beginners, with the intention of helping athletes finish their very first triathlon.

The best part about marathons and triathlons is that most runners raise money and find sponsors, with the proceeds going to wonderful charities and organizations.

Here are some awesome tips for first-timers:

Ten Tips for First Time Triathletes

13 Tips for Sprint Triathlon Rookie

How Do I Train for My First Triathlon?

BeginnerTriathlete.com

RunForCharity.com

How Do I Raise Money for Charity While Training for a Race?

 

79 or 85, Athletes Will Be Athletes

Lansing’s 9th annual Hawk Island Triathlon saw over 600 participants this year, including one very special 79-year-old athlete. At 79, William Swords was the oldest racer to attend. According to Mr. Swords, he has been participating in the Hawk Island Triathlon for the past 9 years and will continue to do so until he no longer can. As the only member in the 75 to 79-year-old age group, his racing philosophy is the following: “You don’t have to be fast; You just have to outlive them.” The Lansing State Journal states that even Swords’ December injury of a fractured pelvis didn’t deter him from entering the race. The Lansing Triathlon is the largest sprint triathlon in Michigan.

Anthony-S-Casey-Triathlon-OldAlthough amazing, William Swords is hardly the oldest to take on a physical fitness challenge. 85-year-old Lew Hollander completed at the 2015 Ironman 70.3 Boise. Out of approximately 1,200 racers, Hollander remained the only participant in the 85 to 89 age bracket. A lifelong athlete, Lew Hollander picked up triathlon racing at the age of 55 and has been racing ever since. He believes that life is something you either use or lose. And to prevent losing it, he continues to use it. While he will continue to do shorter races, the 2015 Ironman will be his last. If you’re an older athlete, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Although your athletic potential declines, you ability to maximize on the potential you have does not. You can still operate at high efficiency even though the maximum is gradually declining. In most cases, athletic decline does not become noticeable until the late 40s and early 50s.
  2. Don’t worry about getting older. You can’t change it so you may as well embrace it. If your run times are slower due to age, focus on your technique and complete your race in the amount of time you need. Not in comparison so a 20-something athlete.
  3. Your wisdom will guide your through. Younger athletes may be quicker, yet their inexperience may hinder them in the long run. Focus on your strengths, techniques, and expertise. Through this, your athleticism will shine.
  4. Participate while you can. Life is short and unpredictable and health is taken for granted until it begins to decline. Much aligned with Lew Hollander’s thinking, you have to use your life before you lose it.

Remember, age is only a number! So get out there and get active.

More Training Tips

Training for a triathlon, or just in general, requires a great deal of motivation, discipline and hard work. You need to continually apply your self in order to improve. However, many athletes fall victim to many of the same training mistakes which hinders their progress and holds them from reaching their full potential. It is important to understand a few fundamentals of training in order to truly achieve the progress that is desired.

Anthony S Casey Singapore

(photo: Getty Images)

Most importantly, athletes need to train progressively. This involves continually challenging your body in slightly different ways and pushing yourself to outperform your previous accomplishments. This prevents your body from becoming used to a particular routine. Many triathletes will do more or less the same workout every week, with minimal progression aside from increasing volume. If you are looking for consistent, long-term improvement then it is essential to evolve your workout from week to week. However, it is important to not just vary your training haphazardly. It is important to still have a plan for your workout such as breaking your training into three stages: base, build and peak. In the base stage, you should be focused on building general endurance and fine tuning your technique. In the build phase, you should work on intensity workouts that improve your body’s ability to buffer, clear away lactic acid and mentally handle suffering. Lastly, during the peak face, you should focus on race-specific workouts such as long internals and challenging long workouts.

Completing a triathlon is truly a game of energy efficiency. In order to complete a triathlon, you need to understand how to use your body efficiently, which means developing good technique. An athlete that exhibits good technique will be able to use less energy to perform each stage of the race. A great way to work on technique is to perform short, fast interval workouts. This is because we tend to be more efficient at higher speeds, but only when our body is not fatigued. For running, some useful technique drills include “high knees” and “bud kicks”. For cycling technique, try pedalling as fast as you can in the lowest gear or do one-legged pedaling on an indoor trainer. For swimming, drills such as the catch-up drill and the count stroke drill are very effective.

A common problem that many athletes have is that they are entirely focused on how much they train and not enough on how they train. While working hard is undoubtedly important, in order to see progress you need to train correctly and efficiently. If you find yourself in a rut, then try focusing more on your technique and challenging yourself in new ways. But remember to not push yourself too hard. Make a plan, build on your progress, work on your technique and weaknesses and make sure your body is getting time to properly recover.

Tips for Transitions

Triathlon is a dynamic and challenging sport. When one thinks broadly of the sport, what comes to mind is swimming, running and cycling — obviously. However, the transitions between each leg are very important parts of the competition. Effective transitions are paramount to a serious competitor’s success. It is the moments between legs that really separate the wheat from the chaff. Let’s take a look at some ways that triathletes can optimize their transitions.

Don’t Lose the Bike!

A common issue during the water to cycle transition (the first, known as T-1), is wasted time looking for the bike. When you emerge from the water, the last thing you want to do is spend extra time looking for your bike. Shifting from water to solid ground can be disorienting, but you don’t to compound any delays by wondering the row of cycles looking for yours.

The way to avoid this is to get to the race early and very consciously choose where you are going to place it. Let this position cement itself into your memory. As you step out of the water, you should already have your eyes on where your bike is. No one is going to move it, so be confidant about where you’ve placed in and you’ll have a smooth T-1.

The Little Things

Anthony S Casey Singapore

Notice the sunglasses perched atop the helmet.

There are few little tips that can shave some time off your first transition. These little tricks may not make a huge difference, but for elite level competitors, they can be helpful. For example, don’t put your sunglasses on until you’ve already mounted your bike. Once you are rolling, you can lower you sunglasses. Often, shades can be secured in the vent holes on your helmet, so sliding them down after you’re astride and on your way is easy. If your helmet and sunglasses aren’t compatible, you can secure the glasses to your bike frame with tape or velcro.

Also, try using elastic laces. Shoe laces can be tricky to tie, especially when your heart rate is up and adrenaline is flowing. Substitute your normal laces for elastic ones will allow you to slip your shoes on and off easily. To that same end, try and forgo socks. Not worrying about socks can help insure a quick transition from water to land.

These are just a few tips to expediting your transition times. Experiment with these and see if they make you feel faster!

Wearable Tech in Triathlons

Very cool product but too good to be true?

Recon Jet: The Ultimate Triathlon Device from Recon Instruments on Vimeo.

NCAA partners with USA Triathlon

The NCAA, the organization that presides over college athletics in the United States, is welcoming a partnership with USA Triathlon to help grow the sport among female student athletes. The NCAA has been looking for ways to lessen the disparity of female versus male student athletes. Currently, men make up 56.6% of NCAA student athletes. The NCAA has tried to further this initiative with team handball, archery, and synchronized swimming. The NCAA has requirements for new sports to gain “Championship” status, specifically that 40 Division 1 schools and 23 Division 2 and 3 schools must create varsity teams within 10 years. Failing to reach that benchmark is why the NCAA formally recommended the removal of equestrian as an official collegiate sport in 2012.

Anthony S Casey Singapore

USAT and NCAA partner to grow triathlon

To help make the inclusion of triathlons an enduring success, USA Triathlon is committing $2.6 million in grants to colleges and universities the form women’s triathlon teams. Schools will submit an application, and once approved they’ll receive up to $140,000 over four years to fund their program. The hope is that financial backing will ensure success. USA Triathlon is certainly a profitable organization, based in part on the demographics of triathletes. Adults with disposable income are willing to pay the commonly $100 entry fee for an event. Coupled with the growth of the professional circuit, USA Triathlon has money they can confidently reinvest in the sport.

USA Triathlon expects college events to benefit the triathlon community in immediate ways. When a college-level event is happening in an nearby area, you’ll be able to compete as well. The amateur participants will follow the competitors after an appropriate delay, similar to how the amateurs begin well after the professionals during the New York City Marathon. This model of open registration will help fund the expensive equipment associated with triathlon.

The endeavor will accomplish several important goals: provide more athletic opportunities for young women and help grow triathlons even more.

Training Methods

Training for an event as diverse and challenging as a triathlon can be a daunting task, especially for a beginner. There are many different ways that someone can increase their endurance, but to prepare for the triumvirate of swimming, running and cycling should be considered more conscientiously. It is important to keep in mind that what might be effective for one athlete may not be right for another. Some folks like to train in solitude, while others, especially newer athletes, would benefit from more one-on-one instructing and feedback. Coaching expenses can varying significantly as well. Let’s take a look at a few different training options and strategies.

Clubs

 

Antony S Casey

Training for your triathlon requires organization.

Many communities have triathlon clubs. A good feature of these clubs is a wide variety of intensity. Sometimes local clubs are just likeminded athletes looking for some new people to train with. They can operate in more social function than anything. There are also clubs that are far more serious and performance oriented. Those clubs can breed a healthy competitive element that drives everyone to be better. Also, rookie racers can benefit from a steeper learning curve.

Going Online

There are a lot of internet based training programs available. The world wide web gives you plenty of options, whether you want to find an talented athlete to model your training programme after, or if you want to collaborate with a world renowned coach. This choice is great for people preparing for specific goals, such as hitting a predetermined time or qualifying for an event. An online training regimen encourages more solo work outs, which can help build mental toughness and overall character.

The problem with online coaching is the lack of immediate feedback. A coach who is there in person can fix problems with form immediately, where an internet based programme is far more delayed. The more communication between an athlete and the their coach the better, so online training can be a bit of a drag in that sense.


 

As with anything, it is important to experiment and find what works best for you. More than likely, your perfect programme will be a combination of the strategies described above.

SWISSMAN Xtreme Triathlon

Here is a great short film about an extreme triathlon that happens in Switzerland every year. Enjoy!

SWISSMAN Xtreme Triathlon 2013 from Marc Håkan Paulsen on Vimeo.

History of Triathlons

Triathlons are among the most popular events for people looking to stay healthy and test their fitness. But where did triathlons start? Let’s take a look at the history of modern triathlons. But first, lets briefly look at the triathlon’s big brother, the marathon.

The history of marathons is a little more well known. According to legend, Pheidippides, a Greek messenger, fled the battle of Marathon to bring word to Athens that the Persians had been defeated. In the legend, Pheidippides, who had been fighting in the battle, ran straight to the capital without stopping, burst into the assembly, declared victory and then promptly died. As with most stories that toe the line between legend and history, the accuracy of the story is murky, as some writers give the messenger a different name, but the legacy lives. The distance between Marathon and Athens is, depending on the path one might take, 42.195 kilometres.

anthony s casey

Triathlons originated in France in the 1920s (photo: Getty Images)

The origins of the triathlon are far less sexy and ancient. Most accounts credit it’s origin to 1920s France. Triathlon historians and archivists hold that that the first triathlon was an event interchangeably called “Les trois sports” or “La course des Touche à Tout”. This event is held annually in Joinville-le-Pont, in north-central France. This event is the first documented combination of running, swimming and cycling. However, it is not the first 3-staged athletic competition.

In 1902, a French newspaper reported on a 3-stage race that featured running, cycling and canoeing. But, by all accounts, by 1920, organizers and participants made the choice to forgo the boat and get into the water bodily.

It wasn’t until the 1974 that the name “triathlon” was used to describe a ran, swam, and cycled race. In Mission Bay, San Diego, California, the San Diego Track Club organized what would be the first triathlon in America.

Modern triathlons are very popular and varied. There are several governing bodies organizing triathlons at various lengths. In 2000, triathlons became an Olympic event when the games where held in Sydney, Australia. The latest development in the world of triathlons is it’s coming inclusion in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Paratriathlons will be held in six different categories, according to the nature of physical impairment.

Though triathlons aren’t nearly as old as some other races or sports, they are growing in popularity every year.

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