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Race Ready Swim Workout From Coach Jen Harrison

The following workout is a great swim for "race readiness" for triathletes! It was provided by Element Sponsored Coach Jen Harrison who is also a USA Triathlon Level 2 Certified Coach in the Chicagoland area. Jen wokrs with triathletes, swimmers, cyclists and runners of all levels to help them attain their goals. For more on Coach Jen, check out her website at www.jenharrison.com

Warmup:

300 easy swim with every 3rd length fist drill (keeping fist straight in water - do NOT run wrist).

4 x 75 off (rest) 15 seconds as: 25 easy/25 build effort/25 fast.

6 x 50 KICK with fins with 25 big splash free/25 easy free off 1:00.

Main Set:

4 x 300 as: 100 VERY HARD / 100 settle in but strong pace still /100 easy SUPER EASY.

Rest is 30" after each broken 300. Really get out there for that first 100 - like the start of a race. Be aggressive. Do this from a dive OR from a tread (how does your next race OW start? Practice that!).

500 easy pull w paddles with good form and engaging your lats. USE YOUR LATS - if you cannot feel your lats, you are not swimming right! Also, this pull/paddle work simulates open water the BEST - so include a lot of this in your swim training. Rest 45".

12 x 25 off :30 send off as -->

Odds: Start from a tread and go VERY hard for 8 strokes and then settle in easy.

Evens: Push off wall and go as far as you can kicking under water - then come up and finish hard.

200 Super easy cool down, stretch it out and re-group on your form.

Holiday Chocolate Rum Truffles

12/23/14 - by Christopher Vassiliades

With the holidays upon us I wanted to try to make something sweet that is still kind of healthy. So if you are trying to stay metabolicly efficient this holiday season this dessert is for you. I came across a blog that is all about clean, real food with a recipe for Chocolate Rum Truffles. This reminded me of a dessert that my mom used to make when I was a kid. She made these great Rum Balls that were a holiday staple. I'm sure my mom's version was NOT healthy at all. I decided to give this new recipe a try. I whipped up a batch and they were really good. The folks at the shop tested them out and they got great reviews. Brandon even went as far as saying “they taste like Christmas”. Boom, that’s what I was looking for. Of course I wanted to make some improvements. How could I make them even better? I thought why not use all organic ingredients to clean it up a little. I also figured that they could stand to be a little more chocolaty, because why not. So here it is. These little babies are super easy to make, loaded with healthy fats & antioxidants and are packed with chocolatey goodness. Give them a try for your holiday party.

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Ride Through This Off-Season on a Fat Bike!

11/25/2014 - by Christopher Vassiliades

Has this wonderful November mix of rain, snow, sleet, mud, wind, and occasional sunshine thrown your exercise routine or outdoor adventures for a loop?  If so, have no fear, fat biking is here!

What is a Fat Bike

It is a bicycle with oversized tires, typically 3.7" or larger and rims wider than 44mm, that are designed for riding on soft unstable terrain such as snow and sand. These bikes are built around frames with large forks and stays to accommodate the wide rims required to fit these tires. 

What is the appeal?

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Thursday Night All Weather and All Winter Path Group Ride

11/20/2014 - Glen Ellyn

Thursday nights in Glen Ellyn just got a whole lot cooler, and not just because its winter either. Head out every week at 7:00pm from our Glen Ellyn location to ride the Prarie Path, no matter the weather, all, winter, long. There is no bad weather, just bad gear is the motto of the winter rider. If you are not sure if you have the right gear for the ride, stop by and let our expert winter cyclists help you out. Then come out, and ride!

Time: 7:00pm

Start Location: Element Glen Ellyn - The Bike Shop of Glen Ellyn

Ride Location: Prarie Path

Ride Estimated End Time: 9:00pm

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Behind the Bench - Bicycle Mechanics Skills Workshops

11/19/2014 - Chicago, Oak Park, Glen Ellyn

Tonight we start Behind the Bench, our bicycle mechanics skills workshop taught from the Park Tool Big Blue Book of Bike Repair. During this 17 week series we will be spending one night per chapter in the book, with classes on topics such as internally geared hubs, bleeding disc brakes, on ride repair, and more. These classes will be taught on Wednesday nights at each of our locations.

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Introducing the all-new Trek Émonda

07/11/2014 - Chicago & Oak Park

The world's lightest production road line now available

After weeks of speculation, Trek is officially releasing the all-new Émonda, the world's lightest production road line ever, available at our Chicago and Oak Park locations. Ready to ride home today, every detail of the great-riding Émonda line, from frame design to each component choice on every model, serves the same audacious goal: to produce the lightest line of production road bikes ever offered. 

Not only did Trek set out to build the lightest production road line, but also the best riding road bike Trek has ever offered. For this, Trek called upon its portfolio of world-class athletes, the riders of Trek Factory Racing and other pros. For three years, numerous iterations of the Émonda were put to the pavement before the development team landed on the perfect formula.

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Wahoo Fitness Wahoo KICKR Power Trainer

10/16/2014 - Chicago, Oak Park, & Glen Ellyn

Don't let winter weather stop you from getting in quality cycling training. The Wahoo Kickr power trainer is your way to exciting winter training and will get you ready for next season. The Kickr features wireless connectivity via ANT+ and smart Bluetooth, making it compatible with iPhone and Android phones and tablets. Combined the Wahoo Fitness App and Kickr will give a complete system for indoor cycling training this winter.

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Metabolic Efficiency - Be lean, get faster.

10/15/2014 - Chicago, Oak Park, & Glen Ellyn

Adapt this lifestyle over the off season and be faster next year. 

It’s that time of the year when most of us are entering our off season and getting ready to enjoy a much needed recovery period. We can let the body recuperate and perhaps put on a couple of pounds enjoying some of the things we may have forgone during our peak racing period. Others, like myself, may have ended the season a little early and are now laying base work for next year. Regardless of where you are, it’s not too soon to discuss nutrition. Whether your plans for next year involve doing your first tri, a PR at the Chicago Marathon or earning one of those coveted Kona slots, I have a nutrition strategy that we need to discuss. 
It’s called Metabolic Efficiency. If you’ve been to the shop and have asked me about nutrition, then we’ve definitely talked about it. I’ve been training and racing with it since September, 2012, right after Ironman Wisconsin and if you know me, then you know that I dropped 50 pounds and have never raced faster in my life than I am right now. 

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