Triathlon – How the Race Works

So check out a couple of videos on triathlons in the world cup series that are leading up to the Olympics if the thought of a triathlons is just interesting you can see the “crazies” performing. (ok they are actually called “elite”)

To watch the best woman one, the crazy women, check out the Tiszaujvaros link which is the city in Hungary and then click on the top video in the list which is the women link, the second one is the mens. It was hot that day. This course has some weird double transistions that have people running around barefoot after the bikes, I thought that was a bit strange. If you know nothing of triathlons, you might think it strange the way they do things in transitions, they always have a bunch of rules to keep injuries down, so you will see them only running their bikes in the transtition zone for example. You get disqualified for breaking the rules.

I want to be clear, this is not my class of performance. I would take two times longer to finish a race than these guys or even the gals. But, I guess the weird thing about me is that I would think it was fun to try.

So if you watched the video I suggested you would see that woman that was totally dehydrated and couldn’t but barely make it to the finish with a goofy gate that makes your stomach go queasy. That right there is why the swimming leg is first and not last. Much less likely to have to save people from a drowning.

Here is how the triathlon works:

First, you go swim, totally wearing yourself out, stumble to the bikes and get you shoes and gear. Now all the crazies work on these transitions to get them to seconds, but the one triathlon I did, I just took my time cause my fingers, toes, lips, head, arms, legs, and skin were blue and very cold from the lack of wetsuit and the cold water. I was prepared to go fast before, but when I was actually there I just wanted to get out of there so people would quit staring at the slow last guy and wonder what in the hell compelled this guy to race timing was not part of my cares. So after you stumble your bike out of the transition zone you hop on and go for it. Now bike racing is weird cause you need to ride in groups to cut down on energy spent due to wind drag. I did a mountain bike course and many times the race organizers just make this illegal to draft so they don’t have to worry about the injuries. I have a hybrid mountain bike so I won’t be doing anything special anyway. I figure I don’t deserve a nice new racing bike until I prove to myself that I can do this for more than one race every 5 years. They don’t use this no-draft rule with the crazies though so you wind up with everyone racing in groups like a real bike race in those videos. Next you get off the bike and run. The bike shoes racer’s use have the clips, so there is a change of shoes. But I don’t have this issue cause I don’t have clips on my bike. I just hop off, toss the helmet and start running, er sort of running anyway. You know the fastest version of foot transportation that I can muster might be considered a walking speed to the crazies.

Anyway, these videos were of a course that is much longer that mine, but I will have about the same finish time in mine. I will be swimming 500 yards, biking 12 miles, and running 3 miles. I could not hope for times in minutes better than 12, 45, and 40 plus 2-3 minutes for transitions. Therefore my goal that I cannot reach would be 1h 40m, so I hope to finish by 1h 45m as a realistic shot if all goes well. Which with a quick check of the early race this year would put me in , yeah thats right last place for the men, but only by seconds. So my goal is to not be the last guy. If that doesn’t work out I will have to beat some of the women, there were many more and the times were more spread out so I know can do this. I think women are more often just doing these races for fun, and the guys in them are mostly more competitive.

I need to get a good 3 mile time to see how close I am to the 40 minutes. Maybe new shoes are in order too, I love shopping for new super-light running shoes. Sometimes I wonder about myself, that is not supposed to be a guy trait I don’t think.



One Response to “Triathlon – How the Race Works”

  1. MizFit Says:

    kudos to you.

    oh that I possessed the coordination to do a tri.

    I dont.

    tri as I may 🙂 and Im all about fitness endeavors which make me feel good about myself 🙂

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