Tri This: Tri-angles

I wasn’t a huge fan of geometry and trigonometry in high school. My issue was with the proofs; whatever I was being asked to prove seemed obvious to me and hence a “waste of time”. I now recognize that the discipline and logic involved are indeed fine tools to have at one’s disposal.

Despite my adolescent disdain for proofs, I do have an affinity for geometry, for shapes, for symmetry, and the nature of the relationships involved. This comes up in my triathlon training. I often find myself considering the relationships between the different events in a triathlon. How do I relate the swimming, bicycling and running? Distance, time spent, effort involved?

Recently, I’ve been taking a time-based view. There’s the equilateral triangle: the same amount of time, say 30 minutes, spent on each event. I rather like this idea and am experimenting with this as a winter training entertainment, doing 1 or 2 of these each month, gradually progressing the amount of time on each leg.

Two Sundays ago, I ran my first experiment. I started with biking, and did one of my usual routes on the mesa, ending  back at the rec center. Took 36 minutes. Good enough. Then I ran, and this took just a hair under 35 minutes. So far so good. Time to swim. Yeah, I know this is not the usual order of events, but its the most practical as far as weather conditions and pool availability are concerned. Into the pool I went. Out in ten minutes, driven by leg cramps that kept recurring.

I spent the next 20 minutes in the steam room, stretching everything out, particularly my back, hips and legs. The cramping eased, and I’ve done fairly well since. Memo to self: perhaps a better warmup and more attention to hydration before doing three different events would be prudent. It will be interesting to see what happens the next time I do a triangle triathlon. And should I master the equilateral time based tri, the number of possible options to pursue appears to approach infinity!

8 thoughts on “Tri This: Tri-angles

  1. I love this approach and look forward to reading more about your experiments with it! Do you have a triathalon event lined up for 2018?

    I’ve been on my spin bike a lot more recently but am looking forward to getting back to my road bike in the spring – there’s a duathalon in my area in the early summer and was thinking about giving that a go. Thinking about chunking the training into equal segments is interesting to me! I may try that myself!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, Steph,
    1. You can also train like a box, with two sides bike, because most of us take twice as long to 🚴 bike, as to run or swim. (I don’t quite do this, as I want to compete in pure 🏃 running events, like the Bolder Boulder–one day each bike, swim, four run, one hike/XC ski. I am an oddly shaped geometric figure, a truncated triangle?)
    2. I recommended the Mini HaHa as your first tri, and suggest the Longmont tri next June as the second, as it has a 525 yard pool swim, 12 mile bike, 5k run. The Without Limits May 18 Union Reservoir beginners tri has an open water swim in cold, cold water, and would be too big a step??? I don’t know of other beginner’s tris in our area. I did Longmont maybe 10 times, until they cut off older racers (fear of lawsuits?), which is no longer the case, apparently.

    Sent from my iPad

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your input and support, Judy. I’m not sure what my next race will be. The jump to open water seems a big one, and in spring without practice opportunity for Union feels daunting, I agree. Maybe sometime. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to play with geometry and train. Triangles, rectangles, open figures, zig-zags. Who knows?


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