“It’s been a game changer.” Meet HOTSHOT’s newest athlete, IRONMAN 70.3 Champion Tim Reed and hear how he’s taking his racing intensity to a new level in 2017.
By: Tim Reed
I’m a very ‘twitchy’, ‘crampy’ sort of guy. I seem to be far more prone to cramping than most people. I have tried everything: better muscle conditioning, maintaining a better electrolyte balance, fascial release and much more with occasional improvements, but definitely no breakthrough results.
Up to this point in my career, winning the Ironman 70.3 World Championships was my ultimate triathlon ambition. In 2013, I had a breakthrough year, finishing in 5th place. People assumed I would be ecstatic with the result but I was left wondering ‘what if?’ The run was three loops of a gradual uphill and then back down. Every time I started the ascent, my leg muscles would twitch and I would have to back off my pace to avoid a full-on bout of cramping. Aerobically, I knew I had more to give but cramps were holding me back.
In 2014, I was better trained than in 2013, especially on the bike and rode my way into contention over the 90km scenic bike course of Canada’s Mt. Tremblant. Over the first 5kms on the run, I moved into second place, thinking that this was going to be my day to really push for a podium finish. Then, BAM, the adductor cramps struck hard and again I had to lower my pace to avoid race-destroying cramps. I finished in 7th place again wondering what I could have done to prevent the cramping.
The 2015 Ironman 70.3 World Championships was by far my worst assault on the championship distance to date. I was cramping during the warmup swim, and then suffered cramps persistently throughout the ride. It was one of those races where it took all of my mental energy to even stay in the race.
I had come to accept that cramping was just something I would always have to deal with. Some people had other limiting factors such as their biomechanics, sweat rate, aerobic capacity or being injury prone. My thing was cramping. So when Craig Alexander, 3X Ironman and 2X Ironman 70.3 World Champion recommended I try HOTSHOT, I did. If Craig was convinced of HOTSHOT’s efficacy in cramp prevention and treatment, I couldn’t ignore his advice! Despite his optimism that it would work for me, deep down I remained skeptical that my level of cramping could be helped. Thankfully, I was astonished with the results.
In 2016, cramping was no longer my most feared competitor. I had a way of settling down the over-excited nerves that would regularly have a negative impact on my results. Aside from when I ran out of HOTSHOT very late into the marathon at Ironman Australia, I had raced cramp-free in every event leading up to my main event, the Ironman 70.3 World Championships.
I went into the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in a unique state of mind. Instead of worrying about racing conservatively enough to avoid cramping, I knew I could take a lot more risks and race more aggressively. I swam without any sign of that familiar calf cramp, exiting with the top competitors. I rode without any sign of my typical adductor cramps, starting the run at the front of the race with only a few other contenders. I ran, again cramp-free, relaxed and at a much higher level of my aerobic capacity than I had previously experienced. With 1km to go, side-by-side next to 3X World Champion Sebastian Kienle, I could turn my leg speed up as high as my lungs would allow and crossed the line two seconds in front to win the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championships. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that HOTSHOT contributed enormously to my best ever year of racing in 2016.
I’m so excited to partner with HOTSHOT to promote a product I so whole heartedly believe in and genuinely use for all my tougher training sessions.
MORE ON THE HOTSHOT BLOG
8 Questions with Olympic Marathoner Amy Cragg: Fuel, training partners and more.
How Olympian Shalane Flanagan trains for the marathon: Don’t miss these tips.
IRONMAN Champion Crowie Alexander: Reflections on an amazing career.