Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday Morning Coffee Tri Reads


This week I was encouraged to read two pieces -- The first, from the Washington Post, is "Why I'm not angry at Lance Armstrong" by Sally Jenkins (December 15, 2012). She co-wrote two books with Lance Armstrong and takes the defensive position on his behalf. Then Dan Empfield of Slowtwitch offered a post entitled "Sally Jenkins' Omission" (December 17, 2012) in which he describes cycling and triathlon as lifestyles, industries, ways of life, and cultural institutions. He goes on to state that Lance (and others I'm sure, but this is only about Lance), "abused his place as custodian of the sports that earned him his living and gave him his opportunity."

The reason I'm putting this out there is Mr. Empfield's piece seemed a cautionary tale for triathlon. We are each custodians of the sport and have a duty to leave it a little better than we found it. The core values of USA Triathlon include safety, fairness, motivation and achievement in competition and fitness and health through exercise, the spirit of competitiveness and the pursuit of excellence - the multisport lifestyle. It may be an individual sport, but what is not described, and what makes triathlon unique is the fellowship and community that results. We need to remain vigilant to protect it. Let's do one better and leave it better than we found it.


These are two not-new race reports that left a big impression -- and left me just shaking my head, for different reasons. Both are honest, humorous bloggers I follow. Incidentally, Andy's second book, Can't Sleep, Can't Train, Can't Stop: More Misadventures in Triathlon just came out on Kindle and is soon to be released in book form. It's a sequel to his first book, Can't Swim, Can't Ride, Can't Run: From Common Man to Ironman.
  • A pain in the @rse by Andy "IronHolgs" Holgate (August 25, 2011) - In this account, IronHolgs deals with, let's just say, a MAJOR mechanical issue.
  • Potomac River Run: Jo Makes Her Debut - Kelly Agnew (May 6, 2012) - An ultrarunner 'helps' his spouse run her first marathon. (warning: a few expletives contained within)

* The author of the syndicated Frazz comic is a triathlete. I met him at a race in 2010 and he autographed his book, Trizophrenia, for me, pretty cool!



Cardboard helmet passes safety tests By Peter Suciu (, December 17, 2012) - Great potential for low-cost helmets and bike rental places! I can see a "bike helmet" kit that ships flat and requires assembly giving some jigsaw puzzle fun!

Footstrike 101: How Should Your Foot Hit the Ground by Brian Metzler (Competitor, December 13, 2012). A published expert on gait analysis, Jay Dicharry suggests that "Where your foot contacts the ground is much more important than how it contacts the ground." Forefoot, midfoot, heel -- what matters is that your foot lands under you which is dictated by stride length and cadence.


The Data on Stroke Rate and Efficiency, by Paul (Swim Smooth, December 14, 2012) - this reviews a 2010 study that suggests that we can bump up our "natural" swim cadence without significant changes in physiological measures or perceived exertion. However, the opposite is true when we slow that cadence and lengthen the stroke. This is a good, quick, non-technical read.

Have a great holiday weekend, folks!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!