Haley Koop

TriWaco Preview

It’s been a big few weeks for the BW Austin Racing Team, so let’s get caught up.

On Sunday, Pro Triathlete and Team Coach Paul ‘Barny’ Matthews took third at the Ironman 70.3 Ecuador. Two weeks earlier, BW colors were out in force in Texas and Idaho. Fellow Pro and Team Manager Natasha Van Der Merwe came in 12th at Ironman 70.3 Couer D’Alene. Haley Koop took the women’s overall win at Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon, a 70.3 race in Lubbock. It was her first ever win at the 70.3 distance, and she bested second place by more than 10 minutes in what the race director called the worst conditions in the race’s 29-year history with brutal winds and smoldering heat. I came in fourth in my age group. Padre Mora finished 8th in his division. And Todd Sapio was 12th in his age group.

We’ve got more racing in store this weekend, too, just up the road at TriWaco. Nearly everyone on the team is racing, so it’s sure to be an exciting couple of days on the Brazos. We hope you’ll come out and cheer at the BW Racing tent, or follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates on the day! More on the race later….

We hope you made it out to our last clinic on Saturday. Stacey Mattinson shared really useful information during her Fueling to Maximize Your Performance workshop. She talked about fad diets, protein demands for athletes, along with hydration and sodium needs, how many carbs per hour to take in while working out and so much more. No worries if you missed it in real time. We recorded it so you can watch while secretly downing a few chocolate chip cookies in your boxer shorts or PJs.

Now, back to racing. I know a bunch of folks who are doing TriWaco for the first time this year, including me. So, I asked all my teammates who have raced the course before to share some insights with us newbies. Below, you’ll find great tips and tricks from Natasha, Todd, CP Ross and Kate Braybrook to help you have the best race possible. Read, enjoy and go be the best version of you on Sunday!

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Start drinking plenty of water and taking in extra electrolytes on Friday and Saturday, so that you go into the race well hydrated.

In each leg of the race, build into the effort so that you hit your goal race pace about a quarter of the way into each discipline. That will help stave off heart rate spikes and manage your effort in the heat.

Hydration is key.

The sun glare on the water can be an issue because of the sunrise swim start, so bring mirrored goggles.

The water is warm and the air temperature will be even warmer once you get out on the bike and run. Hydrate well before the swim and take plenty with you on the bike. On the run, pour water over your head to keep cool.

Check the current of the river in the morning. The last few years, there has been a slight current. If you are swimming with the current, swim as close to the middle of the lake as you can. When swimming against the current, swim as close to the shore as possible.

The Brazos River

Check the current of the river in the morning. The last few years, there has been a slight current. If you are swimming with the current, swim as close to the middle of the lake as you can. When swimming against the current, swim as close to the shore as possible.

The importance of race day hydration cannot be overstated.

With 50 meters left in the swim, start kicking to send blood to your legs. You'll need it to run the 100 meters or so up the ramp to your bike.

Remember to hydrate and take in electrolytes.

The bike is flat and fast, but don't go too hard or you'll pay for it when heading up the “mountain,” the huge hill two miles into the run.

Did somebody say drink up? Water, water, water and Gatorade.

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About that “mountain,” keep your steps quick and short and maintain your heart rate.

Drink water early and often. Don’t skip aid stations. Grab some ice to throw in your tri kit against your skin to help keep you cool.

Pace the run, especially if you’re doing the olympic course. It’s hilly, and the heat will push that heart rate sky high. Be conservative on the first part and hammer the last section of the run, where it is down hill or flat.

Seriously, drink up.

At the end of the run, there are two bridges. The race ends at the second bridge, so don’t get your hopes up and break away for your big sprint finish too soon.

Take another drink.

Don’t dread the run. It’s actually not too bad if you focus on the positives:

  • Most of the course is shaded.

  • You’re running around a beautiful lake and through a park.

  • The aid stations are packed with awesome supporters.

  • Because it’s an out-and-back, you get to see your teammates and competitors in the hilly section. You’re not suffering alone.

  • Finishing on the suspension bridge is really cool.

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Keep drinking after the race, but make one of those drinks a beer, because you earned it.

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