So in a new site feature, I am going to pull weekly questions from the most popular boards for all things Triathlon. These include:

  • Reddit Triathlon
  • Reddit Swimming
  • Reddit Running
  • Reddit Cycling

Each week I will try to pull the questions I see over the course of the week that will have the most impact on helping new Triathletes or those that get to high comment counts that I want to weigh in my two cents on.

So without further explanation on with the FIRST Triathlon Reddit Round-up

Reddit Triathlon

What type of pedals would be preferable in a triathlon?

This guy’s questions are common among cyclists and triathletes, I have seen this crop on Reddit Cycling a few times as well. So let’s address it here.

1)   Is there much of a performance difference between toe clipped and clipless?

Absolutely! The performance gained from using clipless pedals is huge! When I started out cycling back in this guide, I reference my stellar time of 12 mph. That was flat pedals. Just a bit of time in the saddle and swapping to clipless and I was easily getting 20 mph for much longer durations (1 hour plus rides). The toe is clipped into the pedal allows you to use both your quads and your hamstrings with your bike pedal and literally makes you one with your bike. There is a great experiment done on this here as well:

2)   Wouldn’t using clipless add a bunch of time on transition 2?

Short Answer No. All you have to do is change your shoes. Most cycling shoes you use with clipless pedals additionally are Velcro and I leave mine attached to my bike, don’t even unclip. Just un-velcro slide out your foot and move on!

Ketosis, How to find out how many carbs to eat during an Ironman

This question was so ridiculous I didn’t even entertain it at first. Then I waited a day and saw the comments stacking up on it and realized, holy crap this is a THING?! And then I saw another one on the running Reddit… I am currently on a keto diet for 2 months, will carb-loading before a race improve my run time? At this point, I knew this had to be addressed at a quick level and will do a full post on this in the near future! So Redding Running and Reddit Triathlon this is for you!

DO NOT DO THIS! Ketosis and Triathlon, or any endurance sport, should not be in the same sentence unless it is telling you things not to do. Ketosis is not something you should do period, it is a survival method your body has taken on for extreme circumstances and many Doctors state how unsafe this is, frequently!

For those that do not know Ketosis is a fat loss ‘trick’ to put your body in the mode of burning fat as a fuel source instead of carbs (carbohydrates). If you cannot instantly see why this is a bad idea let me help explain in a short blurb here and this might need to be its own post.

When doing a Triathlon your body needs fuel, especially at Ironman distances. So part of your training consists of getting used to consuming fuel during the race, so mid riding your bike you are eating, mid running a marathon you are eating.

With a standard Triathlete diet, you will consume what is handed out at aid stations or what you bring as fuel. Gatorade, Gels, Chews, and Bananas are common aid station items. The last time I checked a slab of fat was not on the menu.

So if you try these aid stations are out for you.

This means you need to carry FAT on you, in your pouch, or on your bike. I don’t know what you think you are snacking on but it’s not going to happen unless maybe you are squirting mayo packets which is disgusting.

Your body is not designed to burn fat like this, it does so as a survival tactic, and during Ironman as your carbs get low your body will use fat stores as EMERGENCY energy while you refuel. It DOES NOT work the other way around. You will not have stores of carbs you can tap when your fat runs out, you will just not have energy, not finish, and if you try and sustain this probably not live.

Ketosis is bad for you long-term period, this is exponentially so for Triathletes so DO NOT DO THIS!

Reddit Swimming

Why should I learn to breathe properly rather than use a snorkel and nose clips if I’m only looking for a workout?

If you took time to read my other blog post about learning to breathe in the water you know where this is already going!

“I … blow …. My … bu …..bbles !!!!”

This dude was a lifesaver to me learning to swim. So why do you want to learn to breathe in the water instead of just snorkeling?

Well, I suppose for short distances you don’t have to. If you are looking to do 400 to 800 meters and that is your workout and you are done, you should be fine snorkeling in the pool or ocean without issues. But if you plan to swim for extended periods of time and are looking to turn swimming into your workout weekly or daily, well then snorkeling will not only be uncomfortable on your face long term but can be dangerous.

When you snorkel a portion of the air you exhale does not make it out of the snorkel and thus you are breathing in more CO2 than you would be if you were doing proper breathing in the pool or ocean. So doing so over an extended period of time can cause you to get lightheaded or faint. Definitely, things you do not want happening in a pool or the open ocean.

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