Trip to Collegiate Triathlon Mecca: Z3 at USAT Collegiate Nationals

For the past two years USAT Collegiate Nationals has been hosted on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. More than 100 collegiate teams compete and over 1200 athletes are part of the event.

This year’s theme was “Mustachionals” as in – all the guys (and some of the gals) were decked out in mustaches. Nationals features a draft-legal event on the first day, followed by an Olympic distance non draft-legal event and mixed team relay the next. Everyone converged for a post race awards banquet.

“This past weekend’s experience at Collegiate Nationals was awesome! So much energy and passion rolled into one race. The competition was fierce and it felt great to be apart of such a talented field of athletes. It feels great to be back in the sport of triathlon again, I’m looking forward to this upcoming summer of racing and learning even more about this unique and continuously growing sport.” ~ Brian Gorman (@briangorman1650)

“My favorite part of collegiate nationals would have to be the Mixed Team Relay. Being the final event, it was a great send-off for an already incredible weekend in Tempe, AZ. Toeing the line with so many great athletes, I couldn’t help but feel the intensity and excitement from the fans and teammates cheering everyone on. It was an amazing experience I will never forget!” ~ Connor Dilger (@Connor_Dilger)

“I loved the excitement in the atmosphere. So many different schools coming together to do what we love.” ~ Erin Paradis (@Erin_Paradis)

It was fun. It was exciting. Lot’s of cheers. Weird costumes. Mucho swim, bike and run! It’s something every athlete should attend. Take a look at some photos from Z3 athletes who competed – Erin Paradis (Colorado State), Brian Gorman (University of Minnesota) and Connor Dilger (University of Iowa).

A Few Words with Tamara Gorman

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March 21, 2014

We had a chance to visit with Tamara Gorman, Rapid City Stevens senior and Z3 athlete, about her recent experiences racing in Florida. Take a look…

Z3: Over the past two weekends you’ve competed in your first Elite (Pro) triathlons. How did they go?

TG: Clermont and Sarasota were my first Pro events ever and I was so excited to compete coming off a long winter. Clermont was a complete mess. I’ve never really raced this early in the year. I just think I put to much pressure on myself and it ended badly.

Z3: What do you mean you put too much pressure on yourself?

TG: In Clermont, it was weird for me to see my past competitors racing in a totally different race than I was in. Honestly, I didn’t think I realized who I was going to be competing against. Racing against past Olympian Sarah Haskins was an honor to me. (I was actually thinking about maybe getting a picture with her before the race in the athlete lounge… but I didn’t want to bother her so I kept to myself. LOL!) Read more

Get Your High Octane On!

z3octanebarsI guess it was probably six years ago now (maybe more) I was looking for a simple and power-packed bar I could share with athletes. Mind you, that long ago there were a few nutrition bars on the grocery shelf (not nearly as many as the aisle that exists now), but none really had the calorie count, density, flavor and non-preservative make-up I was looking for.

So, one afternoon I whipped up what is now known as Z3 Bars.

It really was an “everything-AND-the-kitchen-sink” sort of concoction. A little honey, some peanut butter, chocolate chip chunks, chia, flax, oats, more chocolate chips. Boom! It was quick. It was tasty. It was simple.

Through the years I’ve shared the recipe with others, including with Hy-Vee Seasons magazine. Today if you search Z3 High Octane Bars you’ll find lots of posts about them including some imposters like “Coach So-and-So’s High Octane Bars”, “Simple Energy Bars”, “Energy Bon Bons”. It’s funny! It’s flattering I suppose. And, awesome that so many people like them.

I wanted to share the recipe with you. They’re just too good to keep a secret!

>>Get the recipe here.

>>Wanna Learn More About Athlete Nutrtion?

Contributor: Coach Jenny Weber, RD, LD

Photo Credit: Hy-Vee Seasons Magazine

If You Build It…

I can’t remember when we started dreaming about a “triathlon farm” after we started Z3 (I don’t remember that it was too far down the road). Today it’s hard to realize the hammering, and dust, and activity between 5th and 6th on Grand Avenue is that dream.

TriMidwest will serve as an Olympic-caliber triathlon skills development and training center for athletes from across the World. And, for Z3 athletes too! It will be powered by the same Z3 staff you’ve come to know and love. And, it’s combined with an amazing facility – 50 meter pool, separate testing and training center, and much, much more.

Read more

“Despite the obstacles to come, NCAA status will be a boon for the U.S. Olympic triathlon team in the future. While its impact might not show in 2016 or 2020, the appeal of  scholarships and other institutional benefits associated with NCAA athletics will help attract talented young endurance athletes and develop them into elite ITU racers. Expect the level of American female ITU triathletes to rise.”

~ Source: triathlon.competitor.com

Bike Maintenance: Your Bike Chain

A clean chain is a happy chain ,and a faster more efficient bike. Chains should be cleaned and lubed every 100 miles or after a wet ride(dry it first). The great thing is that chain lube is a solvent so it acts as a cleaner. If you follow the 100 mile rule, you will not have to deep clean it with chain a specific chain cleaner.

  1. My preference is a chain oil that is yellow, almost clear. That way you can easily see when the chain Is dirty. Dark lubes make the chain appear dirty, and waxy lubes attract more dirt and get gunky.
  2. Put your chain in the big ring and small cog combo. Pedal backward to apply lube and to wipe clean. Most bikes will take 3 pedal rotations to go through the whole chain.
  3. Apply the lube to the where the flat pates meet the middle rollers. The lube is needed inside where the chain links pivot. Not on the outside. It is easiest to apply it right over the rear cog. Make sure spin the chain backwards  slowly for a minute or 2 after you apply the oil. This helps it work in between the plates and rollers. Let sit for a few minutes, then spin again before wiping off.
  4. You can never wipe your chain too much. Take a rag and grab the chain below the derailleur pulleys. Pedal backwards running the chain through the rag. Shift to a clean spot non the rag often, and grip the chain in several positions to get all sides wiped off.
  5. For a super clean chain, take the rag and grab the chain on the big ring where you can grab it better and wipe each section of links ,before pedaling to the next set.
  6. Finally  - floss the rear cog with a rag to clean the rings, wipe down the small ring on the crank then shift the chain to small ring, big cog so you can clean the last cogs and the big ring.

Contributor: Coach Matt Paradis

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We believe it's important that youth and young adult athletes are connected with coaches and trainers who understand the physiology of the young athlete. Whether you're a Z3 athlete, or considering becoming a member of the team, our coaches and trainers are dialed in to exactly what youth athletes need to improve.

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