Athlete Guide

Measuring Performance

I often wonder if my training is doing any good.  Let me rephrase that. I often wonder if my training is working. Is that clearer? 
I didn’t think so.

Of the many reasons I compete, one is to improve my performance.  Any rational person would assume that I could accomplish such a goal through rigorous training.

This brings up two questions:
1. How do I define performance?
2. How do I measure changes in performance?

The first question is easy to answer.  I’ll measure performance using race times.  The second question is not so easy to answer.  There are so many factors affecting performance that comparing one race time to another is like comparing apples to oranges. And whoever came up with that cliche of a simile should be shot. Apples can, in fact be compared to oranges. 
But you know what I mean and that’s the important thing.
I’m working on an episode that addresses this very problem.  It involves a little math and a little faith.  Some fairy dust couldn’t hurt either.  It won’t be out next week, but maybe the week after.

Posted by LG on the run

Progress on Episode #5

I got an early start on filming the fifth episode of TriRiot.  In fact, most of it is already in the can.  However, my editing software (Adobe Premiere Pro CC) has been crashing every time I try to edit this particular episode.  It works fine when I open and edit other projects.

Is this a forewarning?  Is my video editor telling me that episode 5 sucks?  Can it be that prescient?  Nah!  If the software knew that, it would tell me so instead of,

“Sorry an unrecoverable error has occurred.  Adobe Premiere will attempt to save your work in its current state.  If unable to do so, you’re screwed.  Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for using Adobe Premiere.  BTW: your video sucks and you’ll be lucky to get five views on YouTube.”

OK.  So I added everything from “If unable…” to the end.  But that’s how I feel when I see that error.    I’m sure I will find a work around.


Intro to Triathlon and Transitions

Triathlon is, of course, a multi-sport event consisting of three disciplines: swimming, biking and running.  However, there are usually five recorded time components to a triathlon.  These include the three sports plus the two transitions between each sport.  Whenever I race, I aim to have the fastest transition times over all competitors; not just within my age group.  A fast transition doesn’t make up for my poor running or mediocre biking.  However, it does help me get closer to the podium than a slow transition.

So… what’s the difference between 6th place and 5th place?  After all, you still need binoculars to see the podium!  The difference is one place and the satisfaction of knowing that I did the best that I could.

Don’t get me wrong.  I still put quite a bit of effort into training for the swim, bike and run.  And if I place in the top 3, it’s only because my overall time was good.  On the other hand, I feel there’s no need to get complacent about the transition.  It is a race, right?

This week’s video was difficult for me.  There are so many little things I do to make the transitions fast.  To cover all of them would take an hour or more.  Maybe I’ll do that and put it on a DVD later this year.  But for today, I just put up the very basics of setting up my transition area.

Maybe in a couple of days I’ll put up a gag reel of bloopers and outtakes.  Notice I didn’t say comedy reel.  But I hope it will be funny.

Filming Episode Three

Today I’m working on the third episode of TriRiot.  It’s been fun. Mostly.  I forgot to turn on the audio recorder for the best take all day.  Many thoughts went through my mind at that point.  In fact,I almost decided to use the video and dub the audio. I know professionals do that. They call it looping.  There are two problems with that decision: 1) I’m not a professional and 2) the result would be worse than an old Godzilla movie dubbed into English (due to my skill, not the process).  So I reshot the scene. It actually turned out better than I had hoped.  Of course, I had Lori’s help  without which I would have pulled out all my hair.  I don’t have much to begin with. 
Thank you, Lori. 

Posted by LG on the run

Inside the Mind of the Triathlete

I’ve been working on episode three.    If it turns out the way I want, it should be an entertaining combination of humor, information, and eye candy.  Well, maybe not so much eye candy, but a little.  I hope

The Mind of the Triathlete is the name of a survey conducted by USA Triathlon, the governing and sanctioning body of all things triathlon in the good old US of A.   There are over 70 pages of easy reading in the report and episode three will focus on one tiny portion of it.

I have to say, though, that the survey is really meant to help businesses cater to triathletes and to expand their market.    That’s fine.  Everyone wants a competitive advantage: in a race or in business.  But my focus on the report is more in line with the mission of TriRiot:  to uncover the mysteries of why ordinary people want to be extraordinary athletes.

Episode 2 – The cold water hangover cure

I’ve discovered the cure for a New Year’s Day hangover.   It’s not a pill and it’s not a bowl of menudo.   In fact, it’s nothing to be ingested; not intentionally anyway.

Personally, I don’t suffer from hangovers.  I guess I’m just lucky that way.  I figured out a long time ago that if I limit my alcohol intake, my hangover incidence rate drops dramatically.  Keep in mind, that’s just anecdotal evidence so it may not apply to others.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I would be attending the New Year’s Day Dolphin Dip Extravaganza.   While I was there, my main question for TriRiot was, “Why do so many people come out in the cold and jump in the cold ocean water?”  Such behavior seems to go against everything normal.   The video below offers a couple of answers, but I think the real answer is that a dunk in 50 degree water is enough to snap anyone out of the worst New Year’s Day hangover.

Next Stop: Dolphin Dip

Think about the last time you went to the beach.

What was it like?  I bet it was warm, maybe even hot.  You stretched out on the warm sand and got lost in a good book or played in the surf.   Me too.

All that is changing tomorrow for a few hundred people in Surf City, NC.  Tomorrow is New Year’s Day and what better way to celebrate the new year than to run into the 50 degree Atlantic Ocean.  It’s all part of the annual Dolphin Dip Extravaganza.

It’s not a triathlon.  It’s not even an endurance event.  But episode 2 of TriRiot will be about this fun and wild event, because it holds the key to understanding why athletes push themselves to levels that most of us can only read about.

The participants at the Dolphin Dip are ordinary people like you and me.  Most are not athletes.  Many are not beach goers.  So what is it that causes them to leave the comfort zone and head straight for the thrill of a freezing cold plunge?

I plan to get plenty of good video for episode 2 and I hope you’ll join me next Monday when I post it to YouTube.

And yes, I will be getting wet.  If you’re there, look for me.  I’ll be wearing the tie… seriously.

January 1, 2015 11:00 AM

At the heart of the Dolphin Dip is my friend and fellow triathlete, Brian Moxey.  Each year he makes it bigger and better.   I can’t wait to see what entertainment Brian has put together for us this year.