Last month I wrote about getting renewed in our sport. As it turned out, that happened in the Pawling Triathlon, an unofficial race for me in which I only did the bike and the run (with the permission of the race director, Dan Honig). The goal was to get my feet wet for the season — without actually getting my feet wet. At any rate, I did get renewed, and so off I went to the USA Triathlon Duathlon National Championships in Bend, Oregon for my sixth Duathlon Nationals.
I started racing in triathlons in September 1983 at the second running of the Mighty Hamptons Triathlon, the first in Sag Harbor, New York. At age 79, this season is my 34th, and I have done a total of 243 triathlons and duathlons. Starting at the end of last season I was already looking forward to this one. Depending upon how I felt and the weather (last year I lost two planned races to bad weather, plus one to car trouble) perhaps I could make it to 250 this year, while at the same time qualifying for USA Triathlon’s Duathlon Century Club. (Back in 2012, I was a very happy member of the inaugural group for the USA Triathlon Century Club.
Last year we talked about the “Basic Eight of Regular Exercise.” In summary they are:
- The hard part of regular exercise is the regular, not the exercise.
- The best exercise routine for you is the exercise routine that is best for you.
- There are many reasons for exercising regularly, other than for race training. For example, there’s feeling better and feeling better about yourself and helping you organize other areas of your life.
Well, spring is here (in most parts of the country), and the tri/duathlete’s thoughts turn to a variety of things: the race schedule for the upcoming season, the training program that will get you ready for the races that you are planning to do, and yes, equipment. Race schedules and training programs are constants from season-to-season, of course. Thoughts on equipment vary, depending how long you have been in the sport, how much equipment you already have, what kind of shape it is in, and so on and so forth. This column is primarily aimed more at those who are new or relatively new to the sport, but there are a few words of advice that might help out some of the more experienced types as well.
Last month, I began Part I of this series by noting that some folks make New Year’s resolutions and some don’t. One reason that the “don’t do it” group doesn’t is that failure to keep has not been an uncommon experience. Last month’s column contained some general principles for resolution-making that in my experience can help you to succeed. This month we are turning to some particulars, particularly in the area of mobilizing motivation. As regular readers of my columns know, this is one of my favorite topics.
Some folks make New Year’s resolutions and some don’t. One reason that the “don’t do it” group doesn’t is that failure to keep has not been an uncommon experience. This column, Part I of a two-part series, contains some general principles for resolution-making that in my experience can help you to succeed. Next month we shall turn to some particulars, particularly in the area of mobilizing motivation.
Tri/duathletes sometimes wonder “why am I doing this?” This can happen on a hot day about halfway through the run, on a windy day when you’ve been riding into a stiff headwind for half an hour, or, let’s say, a third of the way into a rather cold-water swim. I’ve had all three experiences, more than once. At the end of my 33rd season in multisport, I thought to share some thoughts on the subject with you, as well as to bring into the discussion, my other sport, downhill skiing.
Winter takes on different weather characteristics in different parts of the Northern Hemisphere (and with climate change will be taking on even more varied aspects). But whatever yours looks like — white, green or in between — it's a good idea to take some down time this time of the year. It might be a week, two weeks or even a month if you’ve raced frequently or have an injury or two that can be healed completely with rest. And whether for injury reasons or not, that’s rest for both your body and your mind.
Periodically (and now is one of those periods), various claims arise from various quarters that regular exercise is a good way to help with weight loss. And further, it is claimed that it is so good a way to lose weight that a person perhaps need not be as concerned as they might be with precisely what they eat (or drink), if only they exercise regularly.
Just a bit over two years ago, I visited this subject on these pages. A recent editorial in another triathlon magazine made me want to return to it. The author was talking about drawing more women into the sport — certainly a laudatory goal — through a new organization. (Of course the USA Triathlon Women’s Committee has been on the case for many years, and my good and longtime friend and colleague Sally Edwards has been at it even longer, with Trek and Danskin, among others). But what struck me in particular about the column was its emphasis on IRONMAN races.
The USA Triathlon Century Club — for USAT members who have done 100 or more triathlons — was established in 2011. I was an inaugural member. The USAT Duathlon Century Club was established in 2014. When that notice came into my email inbox, I went to my detailed race record and counted up my duathlons. Being a non-athlete [except for downhill skiing] when I took up triathlon at age 46, I thought, “well, I indeed would like to keep track of my races.” I had no idea that I would get to the number I have reached so far — 240-plus — but since I have gotten there, it is nice to have that record.
Last month I shared with you a narrative of my experience at the USA Triathlon Duathlon Nationals in Saint Paul, Minnesota, this past June. It was, for me, a tough course. I was not concerned about my time, but I really did want to finish, “happily and healthily,” as I like to say. And I did, as I have done in most of the 240-plus races I have been fortunate to have competed in since I started multisport racing back in 1983.
Last year, at just about this time, my column focused on my experience at the USA Triathlon Sprint Duathlon National Championships that were held in St. Paul, Minnesota, as the frame for a presentation on five of my long-time “back-of-the-pack” thoughts. For indeed, last year, as is happening with increasing frequency as I get older and slower, I was dead last (which is just fine with me, as long as I finish). This year it was back once again to St. Paul, but this year’s column will focus on the race itself and my experience in it.
Last year, I published a column in this space on getting started as a regular exerciser. So how about getting started in multisport racing? In many parts of the country we are just now getting to outdoor temperatures and conditions that permit and/or encourage cycling out-of-doors. (Actually I just read that the day before I sat down to write this column on May 11, 2015, four inches of snow had to be cleared off Coors Field in Denver, Colorado, before a baseball game could be played there.)
Talking Tri-/Duathlon for Ordinary Mortals®: A Series, (No. 21, 2015, 4-13) by Dr. Steve Jonas
In many parts of the country we are still waiting for spring to arrive, although in certain other parts, summer seems to be here already. But whatever part we live in, as tri/duathletes, whatever we have done or not done over the winter, we are now getting back into regular exercise. We know that to be a successful tri- or duathlete at any level, we have to train/exercise regularly throughout the season. Many years ago, toward the beginning of my 30-plus years in multisport racing and as a writer on the subject I put together what I call the "Basic Eight of Regular Exercise." They certainly have helped me to keep on truckin', and given some thought, they might help you too.
Talking Tri-/Duathlon for Ordinary Mortals®: A Series, (No. 20, 2015, 3-3) by Dr. Steve Jonas
Spring is coming. Really? If you, like I do, live in a part of the country that has had a very rough winter, especially during the past month of February, you might not actually believe that. Actually, my part of the country, the New York Metropolitan region (I live in Port Jefferson on Long Island), has not had it nearly as bad as other parts, like New England, the Mid-West, and even much of the South. But yes, spring will eventually get here and where you live too, and we will be able to start racing again, first, perhaps in a Du or two, and then on to the Tri’s, or perhaps, like me, you will stay mainly with the Du’s for the season. And so what to do for the upcoming season, in light of the really miserable winter, in terms of the weather, that many of us have had.
February 9, 2015 by Steve Jonas
Talking Tri-/Duathlon for Ordinary Mortals®: A Series, (No. 19, 2015 - 2/2)
Are you (or a friend, child, parent, other loved one who you might refer to the USA Triathlon Blog) thinking about getting started in multisport racing? Or are you (or they) possibly a triathlete who is: getting tired of training in three sports; looking for shorter events that are still a challenge but not as demanding as the usual triathlon; weak in or not thrilled with swimming, desirous of doing multisport events that are less-demanding logistically than triathlon; most comfortable on the bike and perfectly happy to do the bulk of your training on it? Well, these are a bunch of reasons why it might be time to think duathlon.
January 14, 2015 by Dr. Steve Jonas
Talking Tri-/Duathlon for Ordinary Mortals®: A Series (No. 18, Jan. 2015)
This column, starting off the new year, is for those folks who might be thinking about getting into the sport. It’s also for those triathletes who would like some organized thinking about the subject to present to friends and family members who might be thinking about doing so too. To begin with, let’s go over some definitions.
November 17, 2014 by Steve Jonas
Talking Tri-/Duathlon for Ordinary Mortals®: A Series, (No. 17, 2014, 11/17) by Dr. Steve Jonas
Bad seasons come in different forms. One is that you set goals for one or more races and didn’t make them. Or it could be that you went to one or more qualifiers, let’s say for Kona, and didn’t make it. Or perhaps you had your heart set on doing a race that has a lottery for entries (i.e. the New York City Triathlon) and didn’t get in, which cast a pall over your season. Or you had a bad season because your training was interrupted for a variety of reasons, and you didn’t get to do nearly the number of races you had planned. The latter, with one bright spot, characterizes my 2014 season.
by Dr. Steve Jonas
Talking Tri-/Duathlon for Ordinary Mortals®: A Series (No. 16, 2014, 9/25)
I had the privilege of attending this conference and as a speaker as well. We had a top series of presenters (perhaps present company excluded) and I thought this month to share some of their thoughts about our sport, our coaches and coaching with you. For those of you who might not know, USA Triathlon certifies coaches for our sport at three levels with an ongoing certification and required continuing education program. We currently have about 2,200 coaches and everything you might want to learn about them can be found HERE.