My Olympics: day 11, triathlon (again)

In this blog series, I take inspiration from one of the day’s Olympic events. Today: triathlon.

Sort of! You see, I haven’t said anything about it on the blog but I’ve got a photoshoot tomorrow, so today I’m doing depletion workouts and playing around with carbohydrates and all that kind of thing. Plus, I have a lot of work to do (I do actually do paid work as well as blog and bodybuild, crazy as it might seem… !)

So, today’s blog post is less active and more informative. 😉

I know I’ve already covered triathlon (when the women’s race was on) but today, inspired by the men’s race (go Brownlee! and go Brownlee!) I thought I’d do a fun little jargon-buster, so those of you who are watching the race feel a bit more at home with some of the commentary.

The world of triathlon is full of confusing words, shiny kit and new jargon. Let this handy guide help you tell your transitions from your turbo sessions…

Olympic-distance: not just because it’s the one they’re doing in the Olympic Games. Olympic-distance is the name for the standard distance of triathlon (as opposed to Sprint, middle distance, long-distance at al). What is it? 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run.

Ironman: Chrissie Wellington is in the commentary box at the Beeb today. She’s an Ironman champion. Have you ever told people you’re doing a marathon, only to be asked “how long is that?” Ironman is a bit like that: Ironman is a brand which owns some long-distance triathlon races, but you can do an ‘ironman-distance race’ without taking part in an actual Ironman race.

Transition: the part of a triathlon race between the swim and bike, or bike and run. Used for changing kit, getting your bike (or putting it away again), grabbing a drink.

Racking: bikes are usually held on ‘racks’ in transition. Racking means putting your bike in transition before the race and is part of registration

Turbo sessions: a turbo trainer is like a treadmill for your bike. It holds your bike steady so that you can carry out bike training sessions in your garage (or front room!) if the weather’s bad or you want to do an intense session

Open water: triathlons always start with the swim, but some are held in a pool (pool-swims) and some in open water (open water, or OW swims). Open water can mean rivers, lakes, the sea or man-made bodies of water.

Buoyancy: the degree of extra floatation a good triathlon wetsuit will give you.

Zip cord: the long tie attached to your zip, which you grab in order to start undoing your wetsuit

Drafting: the technique of tucking yourself in behind someone else on the bike (can also be done on the swim) in order to conserve energy and therefore go faster. Pro triathletes are allowed to draft o the bike. Us mortals are not and it’s punishable by time-penalties or disqualification.

Aero: aero bars, aero position… what the what? Aero means getting into a tucked, aerodynamic position on the bike so you go faster. Aero bars (or tri bars) – the sticky outy bits on the front of the handlebars – help achieve this. Aero helmets help too. As does a good aero position.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten loads of bits of triathlon jargon! If anything is confusing you as you watch, ask and I’ll try to answer 🙂

How have the London 2012 Olympic Games inspired you today?

My Olympics: day 11, triathlon (again) is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

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