The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Monday, October 17, 2005

Rest Damnit 

The Active Triathlete Newsletter appeared in my inbox this morning, and there are a couple good articles in it that really hit me. The first was on the importance of actually resting at the end of the season:

Sometimes our results during the season are not what we wanted, so we keep heading out to races, hoping for a result that will satisfy us. Hey, we have all been there, but sometimes it is best to take the time off and recharge -- then you can start the work toward next season.

The end-of-season break is extremely important, and it allows you to mentally and physically re-charge. Your body has just so many races in it in a season and only so many weeks that it can be pushed through hard training. I like to have my athletes take anywhere from two to three weeks off, during which they would do one week of nothing, one to two weeks of very light training and then another two to four weeks of unstructured, fun training.

Now, I admit that I did throw in an extra race I originally didn't plan on this year (the Green Bay Duathlon). But it ended up really well, and I'm very glad I did it. What I didn't do was stop training after that race. After that race, I gave myself a couple days, then started running again. Well, I tweaked my right knee somehow... I think I pulled a tendon. I did give myself about a week after that, but then things started feeling better so I went running again... and last Friday I tweaked it again... probably worse. It's still a little sore this morning. I'm kinda pissed at myself, by Friday was so gorgeous out that I couldn't help myself. I find myself now wishing for crappy weather to discourage me from training and hurting myself more. I really need to rest some more, and give myself a break after a long season. I also need to lay off running and give my knees a break, and do more biking for a while.

Another amusing article is this one called No Such Thing as a Sprint Triathlon. I found it interesting because I've done pretty much all sprints so far, and want to extend into longer distances next year. Whenever I end up talking about doing triathlons to someone who didn't know that I did them... the first thing that always comes up is "Wow, so you're doing like an Ironman?". Then I have to explain how Ironman is a specific distance (and an insane one of that), and how I've been doing "sprints". I always feel a little let down when I do this, because it actually makes what I do seem so piddly in comparison. So I found this article pretty funny, in that the author describes what a real sprint triathlon ought to be compared to what most people consider a "sprint". Just an FYI, an average sprint distance triathlon is a 1/4 mi swim, 15 mi bike, and a 5k run (3.1 mi):

If you think about it, there's no such thing as a sprint triathlon. Triathlon is an endurance sport -- one of the longest and hardest that tests an athlete's muscles, athletic abilities, mental toughness, strengths and weaknesses and most importantly, endurance.

However, if you could design true sprint triathlon, it might look something like this:

1. A 50-meter freestyle swim
2. One velodrome lap
3. A 100-meter dash

Now that would certainly be a triathlon where transitions matter. I haven't seen many velodromes with indoor pools around my neck of the woods, so I wonder if this true sprint triathlon would have a hard time catching on. In America, the founding home of triathlon, if there's a will (and there's money to be made) there certainly will be a way.

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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.


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