Triathlon Thoughts

Edinburgh holds a New Year’s Day triathlon every year. It’s a 400 metre swim (8 lengths of the Commie Pool), a 10-ish mile bike ride (three times round Arthur’s Seat) and a 1.5 mile run (once round Arthur’s Seat). My Lovely Boyfriend and I went to watch a bit of it on Tuesday – we watched a lot of the swimming and some of the cycling.

We noticed a couple of things about the swimmers. The first thing we noticed was a lot of the swimmers had very very poor techniques. Most did front crawl, some did breast stroke, and one or two did backstroke, and there were huge variations in technique. Interestingly, some of the fastest people had poor technique, and some of the people with good technique were slow. The other thing we noticed was – well, it wasn’t a thing, it was a person. The swimmers set off in groups of a couple of dozen or so at once, with ten minutes between each group. In one of the later groups, by the end of the first length a man and a woman were in the lead for that group. By the end of the last length, she was at least 40 metres ahead of him. The difference was that she did a tumbleturn at the end of every length and slipped under the divider into the next lane as she pushed off. She easily gained 4-5 metres over the man with every tumbleturn.

I saw @cyclingsurgeon there (saw him about my hip before I saw the hip surgeon). He was there as part of a triathlon relay team; he was doing the cycling part while two other people did the swimming and the running. I hadn’t realised you could do triathlons as a team effort. My Lovely Boyfriend and I had a chat about it and we are thinking that we might enter next year, if we can find a runner. He could easily do the cycling part, but we need to find a runner. A friend who runs says she might do it. So we shall see. Of course, we might have forgotten all about it by the time it’s time to register, but maybe not.

When I saw the surgeon yesterday, the nurse who was chaperoning the clinic was the person who’d been the swimmer in the Infirmary relay team. Her time for the 400m was 17 minutes – she says she can do faster but she panicked in the water surrounded by so many people. I can do 500m in 15 minutes and with any luck I’ll be faster this time next year. Not being a triathlete or any kind of competitive sports person, I have no idea what sort of times people achieve, so it was good to hear I’m already somewhere in the zone and wouldn’t make a complete arse of myself. As I was leaving clinic she showed me out and said “see you on New Year’s Day” – I said “yeah, and I’ll beat you!” 🙂


2 thoughts on “Triathlon Thoughts

  1. Tri athletes are notoriously bad swimmers, they mostly focus on the running or the cycling. I was surprised, when I was taking photos of the cycling, by the number of competitor racing around Arthur’s Seat on MTBs with knobbly tyres! A great way to put your self at competitive disadvantage on the road. The running was probably the most equal part of the race.

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