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2017 Transamerica Chicago Triathlon Athlete Guide Now Available

Welcome to the 35th Annual Transamerica Chicago Triathlon Weekend!

Downtown Chicago is preparing to host 9,500 athletes at the world’s greatest short course triathlon destination. This year’s event features a diverse set of athletes from more than 44 U.S States and 20 countries.

Race weekend hosts a variety of events and activities, starting with the Multisport & Fitness Expo. This year, the mandatory Athlete Briefings hosted at the Expo are now on a first-come, first-served basis (no RSVP required). Sessions begin approximately every 30 minutes, and span the duration of the Expo.

Also new this year is the inaugural Gildan Underwear Run – a fun, charitable shakeout run held Friday, August 25 at Queen’s Landing on the Chicago lakefront.

As always, the Kids’ and SuperSprint races launch Saturday morning, followed by Sunday’s signature International and Sprint races.

Before the big weekend is finally here, be sure to download the 2017 Athlete Guide. This 50+ page info source contains schedules, maps, race logistics and everything else guaranteed to help you find success over the weekend.

> 2017 Transamerica Chicago Triathlon Athlete Guide

Welcome to Chicago, 35 years in the making.
Best wishes for an incredible weekend!

Are You Pushing Yourself Over the Limit?

 

Sure, in the months leading up to today, the little voice in your head has been ever present but faint, gently motivating you to push forward with your training.

Now with less than 3 weeks left, the faint voice is shouting to the heavens with the ethereal candor of a full gospel choir. But is it for all of us? One common mistake that takes place towards the end of training leading up to the main event is, quite simply, overtraining.

There are many reasons why we overtrain, consciously and subconsciously. Below you will find some of the warning signs of overtraining along with tips to recover from the exertion.

 

Motivation Meltdown

One of the earliest and most common of warning signs concerning overtraining is lack of motivation. It is a common fact of our daily lives with many factors that filter into it. For beginners especially, adding a rigorous training plan to an already busy daily routine might have you grasping at straws towards the end of the day. As you’ve increased mileage and intensity, towards the final weeks of training you may feel yourself wanting to just give up or running on empty. As Scott DeFilippis mentions for Triathlete Magazine concerning overtraining: “If you find that at the end of the day, the last thing you want to do is get up and train again, then you are most likely overcooking yourself.”

TRAINING TIP: Hit the refresh button! If you’re feeling overdone, it is time to take a couple of days and REST. Yes, I can hear you mentally screaming – “We’re only weeks away, I can’t rest!” Well, you can and you must. Lack of motivation is your body telling you that it needs a break. Take a couple of days to catch up on sleep and rest. Make sure to keep hydrated and continue eating nutrient-rich foods (avocados, protein, nuts). Taking a step back does not mean indulging in burgers and beer. Your body is simply in recovery mode.

 

Plateau Pause

Hitting a plateau is often incorrectly bundled with lack of motivation but it is actually more harmful to your training regime. You know the one we’re talking about- the point in your training where you no longer find any excitement or challenge in your routine. Or even worse, where it seems that you are not making any progress whether its gains or losses.  You may feel that although you have been focusing on swimming extra laps or pushing extra miles on your run that you are not improving on your time/pace. This is completely normal. The body is like a machine. your muscles need to time to calibrate to the next level, despite the added exertion.

TRAINING TIP: Studies have shown that athletes often feel discouraged at this point- do not give up! our discouragement comes from not achieving the ‘X results’ we thought we would see by ‘X time’. Please remember that everyone is different and while Stacy from the gym was running at a 9:30 pace by Week 10, that doesn’t mean you will be too – and that’s perfectly ok. Focus on you. Take encouragement from your own personal victories. How far have you come in the past couple of weeks? Think of where you were when you started your training and where you are now. Reminding yourself of your own small victories will help clear the cloud of discouragement that overwhelms the spirit during a plateau.

 

0 to 100 Real Quick

Do you find yourself on an ever-shortening fuse? Are you snapping at friends and family or perhaps overreacting to small issues? Our emotional stability is also affected by overtraining. As athletes, we project all of our emotions on those around us. This is why we push people as they taper close to the finish line or congratulate anyone you see with a finisher medal post race. The athlete community is one of positivity and perseverance but when that cracks or we feel that we are not excelling, the projections can quickly turn negative. When you are overtraining, you run the risk of expending any excitement you may have for the main event. We’ve heard the stories dozens of times, athletes getting to race day and feeling exhausted or drained. This can lead to underperformance on race day or worse, pushing yourself to the brink of injury.

TRAINING TIP: Quality over quantity will help you get over this emotional hump. Lower your intensity and reps or lower your overall training hours for a week. Especially for triathletes, form over speed will always get your further. A fast swimmer with poor form will overexert themselves sooner and faster- leaving them drained. The same goes for the other legs of the event as well. As Mike Shultz, head coach of Highland Training, states for Ironman Online: “Remember that your level of fitness and experience will determine how much volume and intensity you can handle, as well as your ability to recover, but learning when you have reached your limit is key.” No amount of music or nutrition will give you the same caliber of a final push that your emotional stamina can provide; take care of it!

A.T.

DeFilippis, Scott. “How Do I Know If I’m Overtraining?” Web blog post. Triathlete Magazine. Competitor Group, 3 Aug. 2017. Web. 3 Aug. 2017.
Schultz, Mike. “Are you Overtraining?” Web blog post. Ironman Online. World Triathlon Corporation, 11 Sept, 2014. Web. 3 Aug. 2017.

Just Keep Swimming!


In 1926, Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim the 21 miles across the treacherous waters of the English Channel

Swimming is often recommended to runners as a great cross training cardio workout. As a triathlete, novice or pro, swimming is not a cross training option but a part of your training. Did you know that there are many great benefits to this aqueous pastime?

Fun Fact: Breaststroke is both the oldest and slowest stroke at the Olympics

High Water, Low Impact

Swimming is a full body exercise that works all of your muscles. Even more, it’s a workout that is no-impact and won’t beat up and tear down your body in the process! Oftentimes when training, we beat up a lot of our lower extremities such as our knees due to the harsh impact during our run and bike trials. According to swim coach Steven Tarpinian, “swimming allows the body to stretch out and elongate, whereas in other sports, we’re shortening the muscles and collapsing the skeletal system.” This makes sense due to our swimming posture and the stretch-grasp-pull technique of our strokes. Our legs should also mimic this motion and you should feel your legs elongate in a gentle yet firm kick as you glide your legs in and out of the water.

He also explains that when it comes to the recovery process for athletes, swimming is a key factor that should be worked into the routine. While swimming, the water pressure in the body of water forces the blood deeper into the muscles, which then in turn allows them to begin recovering. Swimming, being an aerobic exercise, relies heavily on lung and breathing control. This influx of air filters into your muscles which makes stretching after a swim an important facet.

Fun Fact: Kangaroos are excellent swimmers

Technique is Major Key

When it comes to swimming, however, it is important for athletes to practice in the correct way in order to get the most out of their workout. Remember that speed, while important, is no match to precision. Swimmers with clunky strokes that pummel instead of cutting the water are exerting more energy and minimizing their speed. The same goes for swimmers who do not keep a parallel angel to the water and allow their kicks to remain submerged. Dedicate a couple of swim days to perfecting your technique and you will see the difference it can make.

Fun Fact: In the 1300’s the first swimming goggles were made from tortoise shells

4 Tips for Swimming

  • Practice good technique- make sure you have a technique that will be beneficial to your cardio goals as well as your recovery needs.
  • Reduce drag- elongate your stroke and keep your body aligned while you are in the water
  • Breathe better- make sure you are completely exhaling in the water before you come up to the surface for another breath
  • Work with a coach- perfect for improving your technique and overall swim performance—they could see something you aren’t noticing!
Fun Fact: Benjamin Franklin invented swimming fins

Michael Phelps-ing It

Aside from being a great workout that builds upon the strength of your muscles in a low-impact way, swimming is also a great way to build up your endurance. Interval training while swimming will help you decrease your lap times. It allows people to keep their heart rates up without the added impact of stress on the muscles and on the body. Stroke technique will come into play here as you level out your endurance. Learn to breathe on both sides in order to truly capsize your stroke counts which will come into play as your train your body to push and hold longer with each training session. Swimming can also help to improve your flexibility due to your body stretching out and elongating during your swim.

Fun Fact: The first cruise ship with a swimming pool was the Titanic

Mental Woosah

Lastly, whether it’s floating down a river or chilling in your beach floaty, there is no denying the serenity that comes from being in the water. Swimming alleviates and reduces stress levels, allows you to exercise in a peaceful and relaxing way, and is a therapeutic way for your injuries to heal in a low-impact environment.

Whether you are a recreational or competitive swimmer, swimming has both physical and mental benefits that will be sure to improve your overall well-being.

 

2017 Chicago Triathletes: Feeling a bit uneasy about Lake Michigan? Not to worry! Our Swim Clinics start next week, Tuesday, 6/27! Make sure to register today!

CK & AT

Kelchner, Heidi. Experience Life. “The Benefits of Cross-Training in the Pool.”  https://experiencelife.com/article/cross-training-in-the-pool/
Better Health Channel. “Swimming- health benefits.” https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/swimming-health-benefits
Photo Credit: History Channel

These Three Women Define Strength

To recognize International Women’s Day, IRONMAN did a virtual sit-down with three of triathlon’s most inspiring women. Read on to find out their views on life and triathlon.

 

 

 

 

by Jennifer Ward


Christina Hopper: Mother of three and the first female African-American fighter pilot to face combat in a major war.

Has triathlon altered or affected how you see yourself as a woman? If so, how?

It has altered how I see myself as a person. I was an athlete when I was young, but after completing college, I didn’t really compete in sports anymore. When I took up triathlon three years ago, I rediscovered a part of myself that I thought had died. It has given me a renewed sense of confidence and vigor. It has given me renewed energy and helped me to see that age is a state of mind.

What has been one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced personally as a woman, an athlete, or both?

One of the biggest challenges I have faced as a triathlete is balancing life demands with all of the training and trying to reach my goals. In order to garner and maintain the support of my husband and family, I had to decide that my goal was not going to be “to be the best.” That goal would have required me to put my life on hold to train. Instead, I set the goal that I would “be the best that I could be within the time constraints of my life.” I set realistic goals within those constraints and feel good about what I was accomplishing both at home and in sport.

What are your tips for balancing training with a full life?

I think one of the most important things to remember is that triathlon is not your life, it’s just a part of your life. If you keep that in perspective, things fall into their proper place. You don’t need to fit someone else’s training plan into your life. Do what makes sense for your schedule. For me, that usually means getting up early and getting training in before my kids are up and before work.

What do you wish you’d known when you started triathlon? What’s your best tip for a first-time female triathlete?

I wish I would have known that it is better to go into a race slightly underprepared than it is to go in overtrained. There were so many times when I thought I just needed to get in a few extra miles or to go a little bit faster than planned and then I ended up injured. Now I live by the motto: “train smarter, not harder.” Being strategic in training and listening to your body when it tells you to back off or rest goes a long way toward longevity in the sport and success in reaching your goals.

As part at Women For Tri, we are doing a “Women for Tri Workout Wednesday” where we encourage women to celebrate the day by working out together, empowering each other, and sharing their photos. Is there anything you’d like to to say to all the women working out on that day?

I, too, have a group of friends I train with regularly. We call ourselves the Before Breakfast Club. Getting up early and training with them is therapy for me. I think it is wonderful to train with other women to share ideas, successes and failures, and encouragement. It is a natural forum to learn from each other and to celebrate the achievement of goals. Doing life together with others and building others up makes life worth living.


Shirin Gerami: The first woman to represent Iran in a triathlon.

Has triathlon altered or affected how you see yourself as a woman? If so, how?

It has definitely affected me as a human being. I feel it has given me a more positive outlook on life, and given me more confidence in working hard towards my goals.

What has been one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced personally as a woman, an athlete, or both?

The constant labelling, stereotyping, and boxing into how/what/who I ought to be, and the challenge of concentrating on who I am and the person I want to grow into, rather than binding myself to what other people expect and assume me to be. That has actually been a huge challenge.

What are your tips for balancing training with a full life?

I wish I had the answer! I’m still trying to figure that out myself.

What do you wish you’d known when you started triathlon? What’s your best tip for a first-time female triathlete?

I have loved the journey exactly as it has been. The thrill and curiosity of the unknown, the surprises, the growth, the ups, downs and up-side downs. Passing on what Paula Newby Fraser has always told me: “don’t overthink it.”


Turia Pitt: Inspirational Australian woman who suffered burns to 65% of her body in 2011. She completed two IRONMAN events in 2016.

Has triathlon altered or affected how you see yourself as a woman? If so, how?

It’s given me a lot more confidence and a lot more belief in my abilities, especially since I set the goal of doing an IRONMAN when I was in a hospital bed. I think just having that goal is something massive to work toward. As I got closer and closer to it, it made me believe in myself a lot more. I think having that self belief and self confidence that’s crucial for anyone in all stages of their lives.

What has been one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced personally as a woman, an athlete, or both?

As an athlete, it’s got to be my injuries. I’ve only got three fingers now which makes swimming more difficult, and it’s harder for me to use my bike like a normal person would. As a woman, we have a tendency to not back ourselves and not believe in ourselves and I think that’s a pretty big challenge. And also, because the sport of triathlon is fairly male dominated, even just finding training partners was really difficult for me. I guess I’m luckier than most because my partner was very fit so I’d do a lot of training with him. I still think if there were more women in the sport that would be really good for everyone.

What are your tips for balancing training with a full life?

I think my tip is that I had to learn to let myself off the hook. If I didn’t do very well in a training session or was really tired and didn’t go as hard as I would’ve liked or didn’t eat my recovery meals at the right time—I think you’ve just got to recognize that no one’s perfect and we’re all just doing the best we can. In the scheme of things if you miss a session or your day doesn’t go as planned it’s not the end of the world.

What do you wish you’d known when you started triathlon? What’s your best tip for a first-time female triathlete?

To not take it too seriously. It’s a sport that we all do because we love it, and I think you can forget about that and get really serious. That for me saps all the fun and enjoyment out of it.

As part at Women For Tri, we are doing a “Women for Tri Workout Wednesday” where we encourage women to celebrate the day by working out together, empowering each other, and sharing their photos. Is there anything you’d like to to say to all the women working out on that day?

I’d say dream big, believe in yourself, and know that if you put the work in, you’ll see results!

Originally from: http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/news/articles/2017/03/international-womens-day-round-table.aspx#ixzz4akIexN29

Give the Gift of Triathlon this Holiday Season

Looking for the perfect gift for the triathlete in your life? Order a Life Time Tri gift card!

We are now offering physical gift cards for the following Life Time Tri events:

  • South Beach Triathlon
  • Life Time Tri Marquee
  • Life Time Tri CapTex
  • Life Time Tri Minneapolis presented by Just Bare Chicken
  • Transamerica Chicago Triathlon Mack Cycle
  • Escape to Miami Triathlon presented by Voler

Order your gift cards by 12/20 12:00pm CST to receive them before the holidays!

Click here to ORDER NOW!

*Gift cards will come with unique code on the back for redemption.

Must be redeemed on the corresponding event website that it was originally purchased for.

If you have additional questions, please email us at chicagoregistration@lifetimefitness.com.

Registration Now Open for the 2017 Life Time Tri Series

We invite you to join us as we #CommitToTri in 2017!

Each event features an International distance course, which consists of a 1.5-kilometer swim, a 40-kilometer bike and a 10-kilometer run (distances may vary slightly by location). Select events also offer Sprint, SuperSprint and Kids Triathlon courses of shorter, varying distances.

 

2017 Life Time Tri Series Race Schedule

Event

Date

Register

Life Time Tri South Beach

April 2, 2017

Register Now

Life Time Tri Marquee

April 9, 2017

Register Now

Life Time Tri CapTex

May 29, 2017

Register Now

Life Time Tri Minneapolis

July 8, 2017

Register Now

New York City Triathlon

July 16, 2017

Register Now

Transamerica Chicago Triathlon

August 27, 2017

Register Now

Mack Cycle Escape to Miami Triathlon

September 24, 2017

Register Now

 

To register or learn more about any of the 2017 Life Time Tri events, visit www.LifeTimeTri.com. Stay updated with the latest information by following @LifeTimeTri on Twitter and the Life Time Tri Facebook page.

Live Like a Local Triathlete: Things to Do in Chicago

The time of year is once again upon us where triathletes from all over the world flock to Chicago, IL to compete in the one of the sport’s most iconic races — the Transamerica Chicago Triathlon. If you’re heading to the Windy City for a late summer racecation, we’ve got some go-to hotspots that will have you feeling like a local.

Food and Drink

The must-stop coffee shop.

Intelligentsia, styled like an Italian espresso bar, is known for its strong coffee and fair trade business practices. Stop by for an aromatic espresso to reenergize yourself while exploring the city. If you’re interested in the behind-the-scenes action, their West Fulton Street location offers public tours that include a live demonstration of the roasting process.

Quick, reliably healthy eats.

Yolk is the perfect breakfast spot to post up before a day of sight-seeing or after a final early morning training session. We recommend their Santa Fe Frittata for a healthy option with a kick of flavor. If you’re craving lunch, the kale salad tossed in a blueberry pomegranate dressing hits the spot.  

Best post-race celebration spot.

The Scout Waterhouse + Kitchen features a unique, global-inspired menu and full bar with nice patio seating and a spacious dining room for your whole entourage. They’re known for their signature foot-long grilled cheese offered in five different flavors — ‘nuff said. If signature Chicago-style deep dish pizza is calling your name, Lou Malnati’s is the best the city has to offer. Wrap up your perfect Chicago trip with some classic blues tunes at Buddy Guy’s Legends, where icons like B.B. King, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan have graced the stage.

Fitness Finds

Sneak in a workout.

Maggie Daley Park is the ideal if you’re traveling with kids, offering one of the city’s newest playgrounds and a 19,000-square foot rock climbing wall that’s sure to entertain and exhaust the whole family. Additionally, the paths and trails provide the perfect setting for a scenic run.

Your local tri shop.

Live Grit is your ultimate one-stop shop for all your triathlon needs and the best resource for any last-minute race day necessities. Their knowledgeable staff has seen its fair share of finishes at Chicago Tri and will be able to make the perfect recommendation so you have a successful swim, bike and run.

The Transamerica Chicago Triathlon has hosted triathletes on the shores of Lake Michigan for more than 30 years, and is one of the largest triathlons in the world. The action-packed race takes you through one of America’s signature metropolises and provides epic scenery along the city’s iconic Lake Shore Drive.

Many thanks to National Account Manager, Partnership Marketing and former Chi Town resident Colin Cybulski for helping us put this list together!

2016 Transamerica Chicago Triathlon Athlete Guide Now Available

Welcome to Tri Town! Make no mistake, the Second City may be the nation’s 3rd largest city, but Chicago stands proudly as the epicenter of the multisport movement. Since 1983, the Chicago Triathlon has welcomed more than 250,000 participants across the finish line. By our count, 40% of these finishers were first-timers, earning the coveted title of “triathlete” right here in our backyard. In 2016, we plan to add more than 2,500 newbies to that count.

As you journey through the Expo this weekend, as you rack your bike in Transition and as your toe the line at the Swim Start, know that you are an integral part of a 34 year tradition in this city. Your commitment and dedication to this sport is what defines the grit and strength of this incredible city. Chi-Town is Tri-Town. Make sure to check out the 2016 Athlete Guide for detailed schedules, course information and more.

> 2016 Transamerica Chicago Triathlon Athlete Guide

Cheers to an incredible weekend!

Transamerica Chicago Triathlon Athlete Tracker

Track your favorite athlete on race day! Use the Transamerica Athlete Tracker during the race to track participants as they cross various course checkpoints.  The tracking features an interactive map, live streams from official timing pads, estimated arrival times and more. Live tracking is sponsored by Transamerica is included with the Race App and at www.racemyrace.com/chicagotri.

We also invite you to check out our new Life Time Athletic Events App. Learn how you can check in, post photos and stay up-to-date with all things related to event weekend right from the palm of your hand.

App-Store     

2016 Chicago Triathlon Race Day Information

The 2016 Transamerica Chicago Triathlon is right around the corner! Check out all the information you need to know for race day. Good luck, athletes!

RACE DAY WAVE ASSIGNMENTS
With race day fast approaching, we are pleased to share our Chicago Triathlon weekend race day wave assignments:

  • Click HERE to view Sunday’s Chicago Triathlon wave assignments
  • Click HERE to view Saturday’s Kids Tri & SuperSprint wave assignments

In addition to these posted start times, the following course cut-off standards will be in effect for all Sunday participants:

SWIM COURSE

  • International Participants: Complete the 1.5k Swim Course by 10:15 a.m. (2 hours from the start of the final swim wave)
  • Sprint Participants: Complete the 750m Swim Course by 11:15 a.m. (1 hour from the start of the final swim wave)

Please note: These times were calculated in accordance with the Chicago Fire Department to encourage continuous, forward progress as well as applying water exposure and exertion factors. As listed, these cut-off times accommodate 99.8% of the previous participants’ swim times [average International swim split: 37 minutes; average Sprint swim split: 21 minutes]. Participants unable to complete the full swim course, or who exit the water early, will not be able to advance onto the Bike Course. For those concerned about swim times, we strongly encourage you to attend one of our final Swim Clinics on Tuesday, August 23.

BIKE COURSE

  • International Participants: Must reach the Lake Shore Drive exit (mile 14.5) by 10:45 a.m., enter the McCormick Place Busway (mile 18.8) by 11:05 a.m. and finish their entire bike course by 12:00 PM.
  • Sprint Participants: Complete their entire bike course (exit Lake Shore Drive) by 12:00 p.m.

RUN COURSE

  • All participants must clear the Run Course by 2:00 p.m.

As a reminder all registered participants will receive the official Athlete Guide via email on Monday, August 22. The is important packet will include the final schedules, wave assignments, spectator details and course maps.