Blog: La Marmotte – my heat preparation strategy

Written by Lee Ager (PhD student)

La Marmotte Granfondo Alpes (aka “the Marmotte”) is considered one of the most prestigious and challenging Granfondo events in Europe. Held annually in June in the French Alps, it is a bucket list event for many cyclists attracting close to 5000 riders from around the world. The route typically requires riders to traverse the legendary mountain passes of the Col de la Croix de Fer, Col du Télégraphe, Col du Galibier and Alpe d’Huez, which frequently feature in the Tour de France. A late route change meant the 2023 edition was set to be even longer and tougher than usual, with the addition of the Col du Mollard. This resulted in a 186km route packed with over 5500m of elevation gain and topping out at a maximum altitude of 2650m (Col du Galibier).

Figure 6: Metrics of core temperature Tc* (°C) = green, ambient temperature (°C) recorded via my Garmin head unit = blue, heart rate (bpm) = red, and elevation (m) = grey, across the race duration. *Core temperature was estimated via a CORE wearable device.

Click the link below to read more about La Marmotte and how I prepared for the event with a tailored heat preparation strategy

Read more here….

Blog: Why is the Kona IronMan World Champs so hard for the pros?

Hawaii is the birth place of the IronMan triathlon where in 1978 Judy and John Collins challenged individuals to swim bike and run 140.6 miles and joked they would call the winner an “Iron man”. The event now sees 1000s of athletes test themselves in IronMan races all over the globe, including myself. But Kona, home to the Ironman World Championships which begins today (6th October 2022), holds something special for all triathletes. The history of the race is full of epic tails of survival (see the story of Julie Moss or Sian Welsh & Wendy Ingraham) and infamous battles such as the Iron War (between Dave Scott and Mark Allen). The weather is generally consistent and therefore predictable in Kona in October: sunny, windy and humid. However, while the air temperatures are generally around 30 oC which are not necessarily remarkable, it is the humidity “swamp-like” conditions that really challenge athlete’s thermoregulatory capacity when competing in the Ironman World Championships.

So why is Kona so hard? Read more here ……..

Written by Owen Jeffries