Friday, January 25, 2008


Full disclosure. My own feeble abilities give me absolutely no right to criticize anyone else when it comes to triathlon results. However, since Al Gore forgot to include any editorial control when he invented the Internet, here goes........

OK, why doesn't the USA dominate triathlon? We invented the sport. We have a lot of people with spare cash to buy the best equipment and enough free time on their hands to train like they are getting ready for the Navy SEAL tryouts. We have access to all the right food (and most of the bad foods) along with every supplement you could want. We have coaches, doctors, and drugs (legal and probably at least some folks using illegal ones). We have a lot more races in the USA to earn slots to Kona. So what's up?

2000 Sydney Olympics
USA men. Shut out from the podium
USA women. Shut out from the podium

2004 Athens Olympics
USA men. Shut out from the podium
USA women. One third place medal

2007 ITU Worlds in Hamburg, Germany
USA Pro men. No one in the top-5
USA Pro Women. One third place medal
USA Age Group men. 4 x Gold medals (Only one less than 60 years old)
USA Age Group women. 4 x Gold medals (Only one less than 70 years old)

Kona 2007
USA Pro men. 4th, 6th, and 9th place
USA Pro women. 7th place
USA Age Group men. 5 x Gold medals (Only one less than 50 years old, and three of them were over 60 years old)
USA Age Group women. A welcome change! A near sweep of the age groups, only missing out on the 18-24 age group.

With the exception of the USA Age Group women at Kona this year, these are pretty slim pickings. Does this bother me? Not really. I don't live and die based on the results of any team or individual. It's just one more thing to ponder during a 5-hour bike ride/2-hour run/1-hour swim. What do they have in Australia, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand, Spain, and Portugal that we don't have? I can understand why Norway has better cross country skiers, and how would you expect the USA to start producing star sumo wrestlers, but our relative lack of recent success in triathlon gives me something to think about.

So, if you're reading this, why aren't you out there training!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's A Great Time To Buy

What are you willing to spend money on? I thought about this when I heard that people were spending at least $700 for one Super Bowl ticket. OK, I'm not a huge football fan. I don't even watch the Super Bowl on TV most years. But it made me wonder, what kind of person would do this? Assuming you were going to buy at least two tickets (who would go by themselves), you are talking about some serious money. Look around, do your kids have shoes? What's your credit card balance? What did you give to the United Way last year? What are you going to get for your money by going to the Super Bowl? Guys on steroids spending most of their time standing around waiting for a play to start? Officials calling penalties seemingly at random? A seat in a stadium that has less room than the airlines give you in coach? A second tier/over-the-hill entertainer and some fireworks during the half-time show? The chance to pay $10 for a tepid beer, $8 for a shriveled hot dog, and $50 for the official program? Good grief, there must be a lot of suckers born every day.

Wait a minute. What about getting involved in triathlons instead? Let's see, bike, helmet, bike shoes, running shoes, jersey/shorts, goggles, sun glasses, chamois creme, spare tires/tubes, gels, electrolyte drinks, technical socks, etc..........
And you haven't even tried to sign up for a race yet! USAT membership, entry fee, gas money, hotel room, and meal money. Ratchet the costs up a bit more if you go out of the "local area" where you have to figure in airline tickets, a bike carrier, and then the airlines' "oversize luggage surcharge". If you want to get into an "M-dot" Ironman race, your entry fee is almost the same as the aforementioned Super Bowl ticket cost.
Beyond the money, what about the time? If I spent as much time practicing the piano as I do training for races, traveling to and from races, and doing races, I'd be playing a Carnegie Hall.

Thank goodness, when you go to a triathlon (as opposed to the Super Bowl) you always get a nice T-shirt for free!


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Statistics and Lies

Myles always has some interesting stuff on his blog. He recently listed his 2006 and 2007 swim/bike/run miles and hours.

Myles compared the percentage of time spent on the three events. I don't track hours, but I do track miles and events. My stats for the past two years are as follows.


Swim - 122.4 miles = 2.4%
Bike - 4258.7 miles = 82.3%
Run - 792.9 miles = 15.3 %

Swim - 123 Events = 29.6%
Bike - 150 Events = 36.1%
Run - 143 Events = 34.4%

Averaged 8.00 Events/Week


Swim - 134.2 miles = 2.6%
Bike - 4292.3 miles = 82.1%
Run - 800.4 miles = 15.3 %

Swim - 134 Events = 30.6%
Bike - 157 Events = 35.8%
Run - 147 Events = 33.6%

Averaged 8.42 Events/Week

I don't know that these numbers say anything. They are pretty consistent from year to year, but that is mostly a result of how much time I have available and the races that I did rather than a conscious effort to do a certain amount of training. I did log a bit more swimming this year, but that was because I logged some extra miles in December for the USAT National Challenge Competition.

I'm concentrating on the BSLT 70.3 and the Silverman this year, so I'm guessing I'll get in more bike and run miles in 2008. Then again, it will depend on how much time is available.

Have a great 2008!