Club's new Performance Enhancement Program (PEP)

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    Need to take this; missed the podium several times last year by just seconds, and this should help—

    “New Club Initiative, Performance Enhancement Program (PEP)

    In a followup to its successful New Triathlete (NTP) and Ironman training programs,, the DC Triathlon Club announces its newest initiative: the Performance Enhancement Program, or PEP.

    Making use of certified coaches and professional atheletes, PEP will provide the dedicated triathlete with a variety of techniques and products aimed at steadily increasing one’s speed during the swim, bike, run, and transition.

    A centerpiece of the program will involve instruction in the use of legal performance enhancing drugs, such as amino powders, co-enzyme Q10, and ginkgo biloa. Such substances are permitted under USAT (Unites States of America Triathlon), the sport’s governing body in the U.S. Further, instructors and nutrition experts will weigh in on the pros and cons of taking caffeine, and in what dosages. (That commonly used stimulant is normally recommended during a race, but less so afterwards, when it may interfer with recovery) (and before an event, especially is one is standing in line for a portapotty.)

    Along with injectable substances or those taken as food or as food supplements, PEP will examine innovative technologies and devices for enhancing performance. Since 1978, official Olympic records show that 92.5 percent of the medalists in long-distrance running and triathlons have trained at altitude. Working out in thin air, either natural, or artificially induced, is a proven way of attaining a race-day PR. Yet few of the “weekend warriors” in our club can afford training in Boulder, Colorado or St. Moritz for lengthy periods.

    Therefore, participants in the program should lease or purchase altitude tents that thin the oxygen breathed during sleep or when exercising on a treadmill or spin-session bicycle. Devices range in price from $50 for an altitude training mask to $9,000 for a state-of-the-art, hyperbaric oxygen chamber. Club discounts of 15% will be available for the purchase of such items with qualified merchant partners.

    Another innovation, perhaps limited to more affluent racers, is the purchase and use of surveillance drones, whose data collection on the progress of an event can be transmitted to one’s Garmin watch. Triathlon pros have begun in recent years to get live video feeds from drones flying high above the course regarding the location and speed of their opponents. Such “competitive intelligence” allows precise adjustments to pace based on the race-day performance of one’s closest competitors. To bring down the price of drones for members, the club is considering the possibility of a group purchase.

    A less costly means of improving performance–during the that bike ride is the perhaps the most critical leg of a triathlon–is the wearing of tapered, Giro “space helmets”. The program will advise the cyclist on the advantages (faster speed) and disadvantages (heating up) of such sports apparel. As well as the pluses (faster speeds) and minuses (added costs, and a higher incidence of back and neck injuries) of triathlon bikes versus traditional road bikes.

    Triathletes are notoriously competitive, so PEP will also offer seminars and lectures on techniques that, although not strictly USAT-sanctioned, can also be employed to improve race results. These include the installation of small, concealed motors on bicycles. Although the athlete may find the expense of such an enhancement outside one’s budget range, even with the club discount.

    The program will in addition examine the more controversial performance enhancing substances, such as erythropoietin, or EPO. A course will be offered on medically safe use of EPO, including proper storage of chemically enhanced blood supplies in one’s refrigerator or freezer. Athletes will also be coached on how to store swimming fins in their wetsuits, how to smoothly and efficiently put the fins on in open water, and how to stealthily discard them before the end of the swim leg.

    The PEP program will run from the start of April and through the Williamsburg goal race weekend. Registration starts today, April 1st, and costs $1,975.19, including the club discount. All participants will receive a free brochure on how to cut a running course, or avoid transition entirely, with a low risk of getting caught.

    Questions? Contact the club’s head of PEP, Rosa Armstrong Luis, through the club’s new Instagram account.”

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