I’ve been directly involved with only one triathlon, the Westchester Tri in 2007, in which I ran the running leg. It was fun and I have a lot of respect for those who did it. And I know a number of folks who do triathlons and enjoy them. As I just noted on my original post, the run leg was lengthened.
I’ve also commented on Competitors.com, which has great interviews with runners, cyclists, and triathletes. I found one with members of the US team — they do Olympic-distance tris particularly interesting because of their separation from those who do Ironman, and as I noted, “One of the hosts noted that lots of triathletes get into a comfort zone of doing Ironmans and don’t like the tempoish effort required for a half-Ironman, let alone the gut-wrenching encountered in an Olympic distance, which is about a 1K swim, 40K ride, and 10K run.”
I’ve recently listened to a couple of primo interviews by Bob Babbit with Crissie Wellington (a two-time, defending Kona champ (Kona being the big Ironman, in Hawaii)) and, with Paul Huddle, Dave Scott. These are must-listens to.
In Kona 2008 Wellington — she’s no. 101 and would run a 2:57:44 marathon — survived a flat, begging other riders for I don’t know what, in which she had to wait, and wait, and wait. And she was pissed. Check out Belinda Granger’s double take (No. 109) at 7:20:
I know what you’re thinking. Is he going over to the dark side? Not to worry. I really can’t swim so that’s no happening. I’ve been a decent cyclist, but I’ve not given serious thought to duathlons either. What’s the point?
It’s too easy to make fun of them, even easier than making fun of runners.
Here’s the thing. I don’t get it. How can they train to race? I’m not talking about the pros. Sure, if your objective is just to finish — no small accomplishment to be sure — then I guess it’s pretty simple. Put in the time, swim, ride, run, repeat. Do bricks (runs following a ride, for example).
If one assumes that the objective is to be the best athlete (racer/runner, competitor/completor) one can be, that objective requires lots of work for just the one sport. Six, seven runs a week. Long and short. Fast and not-so-fast. And a significant dose of recovery. Period I, period II, period III, period IV. Taper. Race. Rest. Six months for a single race if it’s the marathon you’re looking at.
In the Wellington interview, Babbit notes that one need not be a triathlete to do a triathlon and that it’s a big tent, etc. While that is great and all — the same can be said of marathoners of course — it’s an important distinction to make.
Here’s video of Scott v. Allen, discussed in detail in the interview with Scott:
NOTE: An interesting new comment and my response in the “One Foot In Front of the Other” post. In my response, I made a reference to a review of Netwons, in the context of the efficiency of forefoot striking. Brandon directed me to another Newton review, which I found useful. It says Newtons can make sense for certain runners, a sentiment with which I agree.