Your First Open Water Swim, St. Louis Style

Of the three disciplines, for those of us in our region it tends to be the swim, and especially the open water swim (OWS), that seems the most foreign to us. I think there are a couple of reasons for this. One is simply that around here there seem to be more people with running backgrounds than cycling backgrounds, and more with cycling backgrounds than swimming backgrounds. And, let’s face it, there are not a lot of open water swimming opportunities around here, i.e., not a lot of lakes with public swimming facilities. We have rivers, but not generally the kind that one would swim in (the Mississippi and the Missouri in particular cannot be safely navigated by humans). For many of us, the last time we may have swam in the open water was church or youth camp – and we probably weren’t getting ready for a race. Continue reading

My Ideal RoadID Triathlon Quotes

One of the disadvantages of being on the more “chronologically achieved” side is that you use up all of the lines on your Road ID™ bracelet with actual medical info instead of having a line left for inspirational quotes.

But if I did have room, I think I would need a different bracelet for each of the three segments of triathlon. (I’ll assume for the moment that I can get through the two transitions relatively unscathed, but nothing is a given.) Since the bracelet doesn’t really do much for you until things go bad, I think these would be good instructions to leave:

  1. For the run: “Pause my Garmin”. I know that’s an old one but I can’t think of anything better.
  2. For the bike: “Is my bike OK?” It’s all about priorities, after all.
  3. For the swim: “Tip the recovery diver.” ‘nough said.

Why is this man wearing tri shorts in a running race?

Man running.

This is a half marathon and those are tri shorts.

Runner’s World recently posted a list of the top ten running fashion faux pas that one can commit. As you can see from the accompanying photograph, I have been known to violate Rule # 3, “Tri-Suit in a Single-Sport Race” (I’m guessing Rule #11 would be “Over-Use of Hy-phens”). Continue reading

10 things I wish knew – or was GLAD I knew – before my first triathlon

It’s now spring and traditionally this is the time when mentoring begins for another crop of excited new triathletes heading into their first season. The Saint Louis Triathlon Club Mentoring Program recently asked the members for “what do you wish you knew before your first triathlon”. Here is my list, which is expanded to include the important things that I was fortunate to actually have known beforehand (see #1)! Continue reading