HOTSHOT At Boulder 70.3: Tips To Stay In Control of Your Race

Crossing the finish line of Ironman Boulder 70.3 is an inspirational moment that validates hard work, perseverance and self-belief. Athletes swim in the waters of the Boulder Reservoir, transition to a multi-loop cycling course around Boulder County with stunning views of the Rocky Mountains and run through the well-known trails referred to as the “Flux Capacitor.” For months, triathletes train to endure over 5,000 feet of elevation gain and learn how to navigate the unexpected, but even the most meticulous athlete knows there’s one thing you can’t always prepare for: muscle cramps.

We’re proud to announce that HOTSHOT, our scientifically proven formulation for preventing and treating muscle cramps, will be having its inaugural event on the course of Boulder 70.3. Throughout the week, HOTSHOT will be painting the town red with product sampling along Pearl Street and at our local Boulder retailers, sharing information at the race EXPO and hosting a meet and greet Thursday, June 9th with our ambassador — World Champion Crowie Alexander. Not in Boulder? Follow us on Snapchat (TeamHOTSHOT), twitter and instagram for live coverage. 

To prep for the highly anticipated weekend, we connected with a few athletes and coaches from D3 Multisport who have previously raced Boulder 70.3 to hear their insight on how to best conquer the mountainous racecourse. With these tips and our 1.7 oz sports shot with a kick, you’ll be able to stay in control of your race. Check it out.

The Biggest Obstacle at Boulder 70.3
For me, it’s the dry air and altitude. It’s important to have a nutrition and hydration plan that works. Know your sweat rate before the race so you know how much fluid you need during the event. The course is very fast in the first few miles, so staying in control and realizing it’s a long day will help you hold back in the first hour of the bike.

Train for Success
I have my athletes train in the big gear on the bike and run lots of hills in order to build strength. Altitude tip – don’t go out too fast. The payback isn’t much fun!

Prevent and Treat Muscle Cramps
Any athlete I’ve coached that has used your sports shot has had great success! So, if you are worried about cramping for this race, use HOTSHOT and put your worries behind you!

My Favorite Ironman Course
My favorite course thus far has to be Ironman Lake Placid. It’s a beautiful setting, has Olympic history, is an unrelenting course with typically perfect weather!

I’ll be spectating and watching our 20+ athletes. Have a great day out there!

Prepare for the Heat
Ironman Boulder is in the earlier part of the year and usually presents people with a chilly swim and a blistering hot remainder of the day. If the cold water doesn’t cause you to cramp, the heat and altitude (which causes dehydration) will.

My Experience with Boulder
I’ve lived and trained on the Boulder 70.3 and Boulder Ironman course since their inception. Training is easy here… Advise for people not living and training at altitude? Hydrate often and sooner then you think necessary. Use electrolytes or salt tabs. Frequently! I start my races (since 2015 IMBoulder) with HOTSHOT, a gel and a couple of salt tabs. That typically gives me a burst of energy while preventing cramps during the swim.

HOTSHOT At Boulder
I carry an extra HOTSHOT in my pocket and stick one in my special needs bag just in case. That said, I’ve (fortunately) never needed a second one.

What are you looking forward to most at IMBoulder?
I did St. George and will do Boulder 70.3, Boulder full and then likely Louisville. Looking forward to having fun, racing hard and competing to the best of my ability.

What’s your favorite Ironman racecourse?
That’s too hard to call. They are all beautiful in their own way. Boulder is my “home base” so definitely the most fun on-course, but Cozumel, Switzerland and Lake Placid were incredibly beautiful. IM New York (the US Championship) was a blast, too, as NY is my true hometown. I’ve done Cabo a couple of times and love the area and the people there… I really can’t think of a single race that I didn’t have fun at and enjoy in one way or another.

We wish all athletes a successful race! If you’re in the Boulder area, be sure to stop by any of these Colorado retailers to pick up your own stash of HOTSHOT.

Prepare for High Altitude
For any athlete coming to race Boulder 70.3 from out of state, the higher altitude is something to consider. It will be most noticeable on the swim, so adjusting the effort and tempering back some, especially at the race start, will be helpful. Try to keep breathing controlled and be prepared to adjust typical race breathing patterns with more frequent breaths. This will help get oxygen to the working muscles. With any of the hills on the bike, just try and sustain a steady, consistent effort with some high cadence spinning to avoid going anaerobic. It’s very difficult to get breathing under control when racing at altitude if you over extend yourself. The run is completely exposed with no shade, so having a specific fueling plan and strategy to keep core temp cool while using the aid stations will be helpful.
My Favorite Ironman Racecourse
Ironman Lake Placid and Ironman Wisconsin.

Prepare and Train For Challenges
With the exception of a climb on the bike up Nelson Road, I think Boulder 70.3 is a race that many athletes will enjoy. Training for Boulder should be approached no differently than any other 70.3. However, this race has moderate hills. So, unless you can come to Boulder and train for many weeks leading up to the event to adjust to the altitude, aim to arrive no more than three days before the race to get your body acclimated.

Personally, I have raced all but one of my 19 Ironman without any calf cramping. It was during the swim at IMLosCabos where I first tried HOTSHOT (formally codenamed #ITSTHENERVE) before a race. While it’s not a 100% solution for me, it does appear to mitigate muscle cramps when I’m not able to slow down as much as I would like.

I will be racing in IM Boulder 70.3 and IM Boulder this year with a goal of qualification for Kona number 12. The best thing this year will be being one of the kids in my age group, 70-74!

My Favorite Ironman Course
So far, it has been Boulder in its varied iterations. There are just enough hills to make things interesting but not mentally crushing. There are great views of the Rockies that help take the focus off of the race itself. Most of the run is off pavement and it’s a fast course!


Are you racing this weekend? Keep in touch with us on social media as we live document the entire weekend. Twitter: @Team_HOTSHOT, Instagram @Team_HOTSHOT, Snapchat: @TeamHOTSHOT 



Crowie Alexander: The World Champion triathlete gets candid on racing, muscle cramps and post-finish line beers and pizza. Read his interview here

Buy HOTSHOT Now! Check out our full list of HOTSHOT retailers in Boston, Boulder and LA. 

HOTSHOT at ACSM: Check out the American Fitness Index and see where your city ranks.