You Asked, They Answered!


Last week we asked you to submit any racing and training questions that you wanted our pros to answer. Javier Gomez, Jordan Rapp, Ben Hoffman, Kelly Williamson and Heather Jackson all took some time to help you start your season strong by answering your burning questions.

Here are the questions we chose with the Zoot Pros personal tips:


Question – NUTRITION:

I was wondering what your morning nutrition would be before an Olympic
  race and how long before the race do you eat, and also how do you
 warm up before the race. 
- RM

Javier Gomez’s response:

If the race is not too early I would eat rice with aumelette (2 eggs) and one banana 3 hours before the race . In terms of warm-up,  depending on the swim facilities, I would swim 20-30 min in the pool or at the race venue itself, personally I prefer to swim at the pool.

Ideally after the swim I would ride 30 min and finally 15 min soft running, adding some 1-2 min of progressive  race pace. However if  this routine is not possible, I would swim at the race course and I would eat some toast/sandwich trying to fill up with as much carbohydrate as  possible. hope it helps.



What’s your favorite track or tempo workout that you do leading up to races?
 – Jenny

Ben Hoffman’s response:

Here’s a quality session to get that last bit of speed work in, without tapping too deep into your reserves. Of course it depends a lot on what you have done leading in, and what distance you are racing, but I would do this kind of session on a Wednesday before a 70.3 race:

w/u 2-3 miles jog (20min.)
4x100m stride
4x800m @ 5k pace w/90sec. jog recovery
10 min. jog c/d

I like feeling the speed and knowing my mile pace is dialed in without doing the whole mile. You should feel fairly relaxed holding 5k pace for 800m.



When bike training how often do you ride on a Tri vs road bike? Why? 
- Jaclyn E.

Jordan Rapp’s response:

I would say that I do about 50% of my riding – in terms of number of rides – on each bike; in a typical week when preparing for an Ironman, I’ll ride four times and do two rides on each bike. But in terms of mileage, the split is probably more like 60-65% on the road bike and 35-40% on the tri bike.

A tri bike is a race bike. It’s meant to be ridden fast. And it’s meant to be ridden in the aerobars. From a biomechanical standpoint, anytime you are not in your aerobars, you are not in an optimized position. If you aren’t in your aerobars, you’d be better served by riding your road bike. A road bike on the hoods is a more similar position to the tribike in the aerobars than the tribike on the brake “hoods” is similar to the tribike in the aerobars. I realize that’s a bit of a mouthful, so it’s easiest to just say that a tribike isn’t very versatile. It’s meant to be ridden hard and fast and in the aerobars. That’s it. A road bike, on the other hand, is designed for climbing, and technical descending, and riding easy, and riding hard, and… So when you think about the fact that not a whole lot of your training is really hard and fast and in the aerobars, it’s perhaps not surprising that I train so much on my road bike.

The one thing I will say is that even though it’s not important to train a lot (or miles) on your tribike, it is important to do your quality miles on your tribike. And it’s also important to ride your tribike OFTEN. As long as you are getting in one quality (hard and fast and in the aerobars) ride per week all year, it’s not as important to do big volume on your tri bike.



How do I get re-inspired for my season of local sprints after spending all
of last year doing halfs/fulls?  Finding it hard to get back in the swing
of things. – Dan, 
Saint Peter, MN

Kelly Williamson’s response:

Hi Dan,

Good question. I guess it kind of comes down to perspective…think about the fact that you can now knock out your necessary training in half the time you did last year! That’s exciting.

Personally I get really excited for the shorter races; it is a chance to get to go hard, without pacing or holding back so much, and just have fun; less to worry about. Less ‘calculating’ and more just ‘going’. Also consider that if you are focusing more on speed, you can have fun with some training sessions; one that I love to do is 400s on a local trail in Austin. They are done as fartleks, but we get a time on them; so we just run them within a run and may do 8-10 of them; 400 as fast as you can, 400 jog, and repeat. That would be a great session specific for local sprints.

I find that while halfs and fulls are definitely fun and challenging they can also carry a bit more stress with them. So, I say set up a plan to focus on getting faster, and enjoy the laid back feel of the local scene for a season. I think the change will be really refreshing if you embrace it!

Good Luck. Now go get speedy. :)



For the Ironman Oceanside 70.3 race.
On the bike section of the race; is it best to have a consistent cadence through the 56 miles or divide the bike into to halves going out slower and finishing faster similar to a negative spilt on a run? 
- Spencer, 
San Marcos, CA

Heather Jackson’s response:

Hey Spencer,

Oceanside is a bit of a tougher course to decide how to approach it, as the terrain is varying throughout the entire 56miles but yes, I would still stick “somewhat” to negative splitting the O-Side course.

The first 5 miles or so have some super steep hills, some sharp cutbacks, some rough road with huge potholes once you go over the highway and down in behind the businesses right as you enter Camp Pendleton, then you make a left up another pretty good hill (short but steep)…this makes it tough to get into any sort of rhythm in those first 10-20 minutes of the ride. Also, a lot of people are adjusting from the swim, trying to get some nutrition in, etc. so therefore, this is when I will probably go all out right out of the water to get through this section. Just think of it as a 10-15minute effort like what you do in training. You will also pass the people that are messing around “getting adjusted.” This is why I said “somewhat” of a negative split.

After these first 5 miles or so, then I would get into the negative splitting mindset. The middle section of this course is definitely rolling but it’s still possible to get in a rhythm. So, from probably mile 5 to the big hill (mile 46?) I would settle in. Ride your pace or actually maybe right below your race pace…You should be going hard but still leave some in the tank for that negative split.

Then, when you hit the big climb, turn it ON. This is where you can negative split. Attack the climb (think of it as a 10minute effort or so) and then keep going.

The last 10miles of this course are the hardest because you are getting tired and want to be done but usually there is a major headwind in the final 5 miles or so before you make the turn back over the bridge heading out of Pendleton. So, just know that that section is going to be hard, but it is going to be hurting everyone… Since you haven’t burned everything, you will be stronger than everyone who left it out on the course in the first half. You knew the entire time you were riding that you had a final, hard 30-minute effort to end your ride so you are prepared for this section.

Then when you exit Pendleton, you still have that steep descent back near where the swim exit was, left over the harbor bridge and then down onto the beach road. Don’t forget to NOT get out of your shoes until you make the left up that final hill right before transition. You don’t want to be out of your shoes already and then turn left and see the steep hill you have to get up!

This is just how I would approach it … Hope it helps somewhat! Best of luck and see you out there!


2 Comments on “You Asked, They Answered!”

  1. 1 Zoot Sports Posts "Ask A Pro" Answers | THE RUNNER'S VIBE said at 8:10 pm on March 18th, 2013:

    […] Posted by Frank Field | 0 comments As you may have read a couple of weeks ago in The Runner’s Vibe, Zoot Sports asked for your training questions so they could have their sponsored pros answer them.  Well, the first answers are now online. […]

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