Ssshhhh … it’s triathlon!

Ssshhhh … it’s triathlon!

Rewind to 2012 and our first F.I.S.T. bike fitting course.  Dan Empfield, the Slowman of Slowtwitch, launched the discussion with the concept that in triathlon, specifically the bike section, the more successful athletes were essentially the ones who could

whisper the loudest

And whilst seasoned endurance athletes may well have embraced that idea, there are probably many swimmers, cyclists, runners, triathletes, duathletes – and not just the beginners – who haven’t even come across it.

It’s self-explanatory, but perhaps needs a little expansion for that ‘lightbulb moment’.

Whether the event goes from A to B, or starts at A and returns to A, and the distances in-between are far or take more than a couple of hours, then you’re in the

endurance arena

Welcome to our world 🙂

Let’s take long distance triathlon as the example, as the workload involved creates an appropriate perception of having to approach the event with the view to not attacking it at maximum effort from the starter klaxon!

You need to swim a long way, then cycle a very long way, then run a marathon.  Therefore the event is all about pacing, spreading your energy expenditure over the day (for all but pros or the fastest age-groupers) and being

efficient … in all the disciplines!

It’s no good being a fast but inefficient swimmer, getting out of the water in the front pack but dying half way through the bike …  because you’ve still got a marathon to get through.  It’s no good blasting the bike because ‘that’s your best discipline’ for the exact same reason.  And it’s not fun to walk the marathon (see video!).  So, whatever your ability, it’s about completing it as fast as you can (going too slow isn’t efficient either!) but

expending as little energy as possible … until the end is in your sights!

  • Never mind how fast you can swim – can you cover that same distance in a similar time but use up less energy?  Can you be more efficient?  Can you create less drag and be more streamlined?
  • Never mind how fast you can cycle – can you cover that same distance in a similar time but use up less energy?  Can you get more power to the pedal without muscling through and mashing the pedals in the process?
  • Never mind how fast you can run – can you cover that same distance in a similar time but use up less energy?  Can you waste less energy by spending less time in contact with the ground?

The principle applies just as much to single sport events as well as multi-sport.  And there’s a

common ‘efficiency denominator’ …  it’s called  the tummy button, and you’ve all got one

I challenge you to try it, and not be surprised at the results.  Next time you go out training, see if:

  • a bit of tummy button in the swim doesn’t get those hips up nicely & reduce drag, making swimming easier?
  • a bit of tummy button on the bike doesn’t take the pressure off your hands, wrists & shoulders and in addition, make pedalling easier?
  • a bit of tummy button on the run doesn’t lighten your feet so you can spend less time stuck to the ground and make running easier?

ssssshhhhhhhh … who can WHISPER the loudest?!

Is the light on yet? 🙂