5 Rules of Triathlon Training

As the days begin to get shorter and fall closes in, the number of people training on the roads increases. I always find it interesting watching people train on the roads and trails. I love seeing people out there bettering themselves, but there are also a few people that forget there are other people around them. Here are my top 5 tips for being a pleasant triathlete in training!


A few days ago while out riding I was stopped at a 4 way stop sign waiting for traffic to cross in front from either side. Both cars were forced to come to a stop mid way through the intersection after a fellow cyclist came screaming through the intersection from behind me without stopping or looking to see what was coming. Firstly, this is extremely unsafe. Secondly,  I think any cyclist would agree that we would all prefer to be treated fairly and courteously by drivers. For this to happen it is up to us to show the same respect by following the road rules. THIS INCLUDES WEARING A HELMET!

If you are unsure on road rules for cycling check http://www.ohiobike.org/bicycle-law-digest.html or search for the cycling rules in the areas you will be training.

2. Practice defensive cycling.

On top of following the road rules when riding your bike, it should be common practice to assume everyone out driving doesn’t know what they are doing and they don’t see you. I have had many close calls while out riding that could have easily resulted in me being hit by a car had I not assumed the driver was going to do something silly. Even if you have the right of way make sure you give yourself enough time to stop if the car pulls out. When I first started training on my bike I placed a lot of importance on doing all of my intervals exactly as they are written. If you are doing an interval and are in an unsafe position, sit up and wait until it is safe to continue. As my coach Brian told me early on- it’s better safe than T-boned.

3.Keep to the right while walking, running or riding on a trail.

This is pretty self explanatory. Stay to the right to allow others to pass.

4. Be a courteous swimmer.

There are a variety of ways to be a courteous swimmer. Firstly, be kind to the life guards. You never know when you might need their help. Secondly, swim in lanes that are available for lap swimming and don’t jump into lanes that are closed. If in doubt, ask! Finally, if you see someone waiting on a lane and have one to yourself, offer to split your lane. If someone asks to jump in with you, be glad they chose you!

5. Wave and smile as you pass other people on the trails!

Everyone loves a nice wave and smile when they are out there. Let your friend know they aren’t slugging it out alone!

Why You Should Clean Up With Every Man Jack Products

This year I have been lucky enough to work with Every Man Jack, a company that specializes in men’s hair, body, skin and shave. One of the few negatives of being a professional triathlete is the constant battle to get the energy to jump in the shower at the end of a long day. Thankfully, for those that know me well, Every Man Jack makes it that little bit easier. Here are a few reasons why Every Man Jack products are awesome!

Made from naturally derived ingredients.

No parabens, no phthalates, no dyes and no sodium lauryl sulfate.

NEVER tested on animals.

Products for every skin and hair type.


Finding shampoo and conditioner for my fine hair is often a problem. Problem solved with EMJ!

Awesome scents


Whoever came up with the idea of a mint scent for hair and body is a genius!


Affordable price (Compared to other high end grooming companies, EMJ is highly affordable).

Highly involved in endurance sports community- Check out the EMJ shower post Ironman 70.3 Vineman! It’s always great to support companies that give back to your interests.

Awesome EMJ kits make travel a breeze.


A triathletes dream

-Even the most interesting man in the world uses EMJ products

emj shower

Of all these positives, using EMJ throughout the year has only led me to be disappointed in one thing.

***Traveling as a pro athlete and saving money with 4 people in a hotel room means 3 other people desperate to use my EMJ products. This results in less shampoo, face wash and body wash for me.

Grab some product and see for yourself! Every Man Jack products are available at the following locations

emj stores

or online at www.everymanjack.com






#TTF2014 Toronto ITU By The Numbers

# miles to race site- 289 (462km).

# triathletes sharing 1 hotel room- 4.

# Days since completing my first triathlon- 727 (almost exactly 2 years)

# Previous draft legal triathlons completed-1

# Previous ITU triathlons completed-0

Race distance- Olympic (1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run).

Field size: 45

Swim: 20:25
T1: 1.03
Bike: 59:38
T2: 0:22
Run: 31:49

TOTAL: 1:53:16

Overall place- 16.

# times goggles were ripped off during the swim- 2

# times punched, kicked and pulled under the water during the swim- too many.

On a scale of 1-10 how much my swim time reflects my swim fitness- 3

Position out of the water- 32.

# of lessons learned on the bike- 1000.

# of things I would have done differently on the bike- a few.

# watts averaged for first 3 laps- 311W (PM died shortly after)

Position off the bike- 23.

On a scale of 1-10 how happy I was with my bike leg- 6.

Run pace- 5.07/mile, 3:11/km.

Run split in the field- 5th fastest.

On a scale of 1-10 how happy I was with my run leg- 9.

# thanks needed to give Jason West for pulling me along through most of the run leg- a lot.

# ITU ranking points before the start of the day- 0.

# ITU rankings points at the end of the day- 62.11.

On a scale of 1-10 how good the ice bath felt at the finish- 11.

Photo courtesy of Triathlon Magazine Canada

Photo courtesy of Triathlon Magazine Canada

Here are a few reasons why I had a successful trip to Toronto.

Accelerate 3‘s coaching has improved all 3 disciplines so much that despite a terrible swim leg I was able to ride and run my way back into the race.

I opened a fresh pair of Saucony A6s the week before the race. If you are looking for a light racing flat that is easy on your feet when running without socks give the A6 a try.

After nearly forgetting to drink my nutrition on the bike my GU brew went down easily in the last few laps.

I had the sexiest and fastest bike at the race thanks to Specialized and Enve wheels.


Every Man Jack kept me clean and smelling so fresh that not one person complained about the smell on the whole trip back to Toledo following the race. EMJ also only uses naturally derived ingredients and NEVER tests on animals. You can’t beat that!

If you haven’t done so, don’t forget to like my new facebook page and share it around. Lets get this thing out there! www.facebook.com/jamesthorptriathlete

Until next time, stay happy, stay healthy.





Relationships and Triathlon- Tips for Being in a Relationship With Someone Other Than Your Bike

My first year racing as a professional athlete has enabled me to be surrounded by some incredible athletes. These athletes share a lot of similar qualities. They are passionate, dedicated, motivated and committed. They also dedicate a lot of time and effort to being successful athletes. These are not only the qualities that are necessary in order to be successful in triathlon, they are also the same qualities that are needed to be successful in a relationship. For this reason, it’s inevitable that at times there will be a clash between your two loves- your bike and your significant other.


In 3.5 years I progressed from being a slightly overweight party animal to having a (what I would consider) successful rookie season as a professional triathlete. Being in the same relationship throughout taught me a lot of important lessons in how to make things work while training and racing. Some things I learned through having great times and some through making mistakes. That’s life. You live, learn and get better. Here are some things I have learned.

1. Support your partner’s interests just as you would like them to support your triathlon.

If your significant other isn’t a triathlete, sitting around waiting to see you come past once or twice a race may not be the most exciting thing in the world. Supporting can be just as stressful as racing at times. After you are done with the race/awards etc it is time for you to repay the favor and do something for your partner.

2. Work together with your partner to plan your season.

Going away to exotic places to race can be fun, but it can also be very stressful. Talk through your plans and goals with your partner at the start of the season so you are both on the same page. If you are able to travel together for races keep your partners interests in mind and maybe add a day on the end to do something they enjoy. If you have to travel alone then cut the traveling down as much as possible. While you are away traveling take a step away from the buzz and hype of the race site to call home and see how things are going.

3. Work together to establish your training for the week.

Triathletes are extremely organized people. If you know you have a long hard ride coming up on Sunday morning you may not want to go out that Saturday. Discuss this with your partner and maybe you can rearrange to have a night out on Friday instead.

4. Consider how you discuss triathlon.

There are some things about triathlon you should share. Results, goals and ambitions as well as your training and racing schedule are all things that are great to discuss. It takes a special person to listen to a conversation about how many watts you saved by changing the angle of your drink bottle. I have been in the room with people that love cycling and often even they can’t stand it. When these topics come up too often be mindful and change it to something you can both enjoy talking about.

5.Care for your partner more than you care for your bike.

Having three in the bed is too many. Especially when one of them is a bike. Pay your partner greater love and affection than your bike. Don’t spend all your money on aero drink bottles you are never going to use. Instead spend it taking your loved one out to a movie and dinner.

In my two years in the sport I have come to realize that triathletes are great people. Some of the most ambitious and free people I have met are triathletes. The qualities shared by these athletes are the same qualities needed for a successful relationship. The important piece of the puzzle just becomes fitting your love of triathlon in with the love of your life, not the other way around.