Slowtwitch O2 session with Sarah Haskins


O2 Session with Sarah Haskins

Written by: Greg Kopecky
Added: Thu Aug 02 2012

There’s no arguing: Sarah Haskins is one of the most successful female triathletes of all time. With countless wins to her name and a very consistent record, we sometimes just assume that it is easy for her. Call it the “Champion’s Curse”. As we witnessed on one July day, however, it takes an incredible amount of consistent planning, organization, and hard work. That kind of success doesn’t happen on its own.

While Sarah is a very dedicated athlete, she’s the first to tell you that it wouldn’t be possible without her husband, Nathan Kortuem. He acts as her coach, mechanic, manager, travel Sherpa, power-file-analyzer, and much more. Known by his friends as simply “Nate”, he is a former professional triathlete, student of the sport, and all-around nice guy.

This specific workout session took place on Tuesday, July 31st, 2012, at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. Sarah and Nate spend their winters in Clermont, FL for the warm weather, and the summers in Colorado for the altitude training. They’ve come to find over time, however, that Sarah still benefits from some sea-level training throughout the year. That’s not possible in Colorado Springs, so they use supplemental oxygen for these key sessions.

While other Colorado Springs-based athletes use supplemental oxygen, they are often at the mercy of their ITU points standing (which determines their eligibility for O2, massage, monthly stipends, and other various forms of support). Sarah and Nate are no longer residents at the OTC, so they’ve essentially gone fully independent. In order to have consistent access to O2, they purchase their own tanks, which get stored at the OTC.

Sarah’s session this day was about an hour, with a main set of five minute intervals and two-and-a-half minutes rest. The ride was followed by a ten mile trail run, with Nate on his mountain bike. This is all part of her late-season peaking phase, for big races such as the Chicago triathlon and Hy-Vee. She rode her Fuji D6 bike equipped with Shimano Di2, a Rotor-Quarq crankset (172.5mm), Zipp 303 clincher wheels, Oval Concepts bars, ISM saddle, and Sampson pedals. Resistance was provided by a Computrainer, but they use the Quarq system for power measurement. Output was measured on three devices:

1. Garmin headunit on Sarah’s stem for basic power metrics (power, lap power, cadence, lap time)

2. An iPhone with Wahoo Fitness ANT+ receiver, placed on a table in front of Sarah (for heart rate metrics)

3. A second Garmin for Nate to track the data and record output on a clip board

You can follow Sarah at her website and on twitter @sarahhaskinstri.

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