Sunday, August 19, 2018

One Millionth Blog View!! Don't Make This Swim Start Mistake

First off, THANK YOU!!

This week I'll have my ONE MILLIONTH BLOG VIEW and without you the athletes, it would never have occurred.  So a big handshake of thanks to each of you.

                  The Proper Way to Weigh a Triathlete

No self respecting triathlete approaches the weekly weigh-in nonchalantly.  No sirree Bob, this is a solemn occasion.  The numbers displayed on the desperate racer's scale can make or break the unsuspecting athlete who, following a partial overdose on Thursday night at Hal's Hot dog Hideaway where it was three-for-the-price-of-one chili cheese dog night.  He's hoping the scale takes little notice of his...uh... indiscretion.

The first step in this complex task is to close the bathroom door so there are no witnesses.  Disrobe completely.  Yes even those tighty-whities.  Head for the toilet evacuating both bowel and bladder, pausing if need be for those last couple of drops to hit the water.  Do not shower.  I heard tell that it sticks in your pores and your weight goes up."  Maybe?

With a sense of purpose in your stride, approach the scale and step aboard.  Exhale (you never know.)  Note reading and step off.  Repeat, getting three quotes.  Accept lowest one.  Did you remember to exhale?

Know that this is all said in jest and each of you does what's right for YOU.  Know that there is a sub set of triathletes who flat refuse to weigh themselves saying their friends go overboard at a "half pound one way or the other."  Sadly, we both have friends like that and maybe lean that way ourselves.  Weight these days is a very private number.  You know your friends ages, alcohol habits, even salaries in some cases but unless they're ultra close buddies, you don't ask their weight.

Some say we should focus more on body fat percentage as it more closely aligns with overall health.  While in the big picture that may be correct, that dividing line is around 25% for men and 35% for women, not the typical range seen in this sport.  It's more descriptive of visceral fat, belly fat, that kind of thing.

That said I side with the people who preach that if you measure something you can affect change in it.  You can choose daily weight, calorie intake, a food diary, something where you are conscious on a daily basis of what goes in your mouth.  This gives you those little hints in daily life of what to put on your plate and lunch, dinner and in between.  Science has shown this to be a more effective to maintain/control our weight.  Select whichever method fits best into your life and do it every day.  Well, almost.  You're more likely to get the results you want of you do. 


Point to La Pointe Swim Lake Superior 2018

I was in an open water 2.1 mile swim last month in Lake Superior, Bayfield, WI to Madeline Island that pretty much parallels the ferry route between the two. (Or as the locals like to point out, "parallels the ice road" since the lake is frozen solid much of the year and they make the journey by car or truck.  They don't call them Great Lakes for nothing.  

The race was billed as having 500 mandatorily wetsuited swimmers, men starting at 7:20, women 7:28.  At 7:15, with 250 men standing ankle deep in 60 degree water, the call “5 minutes” came out.  Two minutes later, “3 minutes,) and at 7:20 a loud airhorn signaled SWIM!

The women then quickly gathered in the same place, same sequence, “5 minutes,” but here’s where things took an odd turn.  A ferry was coincidentally returning to Bayfield at that exact same moment.  Just before the 3 minute call, the ferry blew it’s horn, and guess what – about half the women thought it was the starting airhorn and took off swimming!  The locals and more experienced women who were familiar with the hourly ferry toots stood still.  No one had any idea how to bring the errant swimmers back so they just let them go and sounded the race airhorn at 7:28.  I don't know how they scored the timing for the women, probably just one more unknown in being a race director.


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