Eavesdropping on triathletes

IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
edited July 2012 in General Discussion
Just did a triathlete-organized 4K swim outside Dallas, TX, this weekend. It was a fun little swim (I'll write a race report on my blog soon). What I really enjoyed were all the comments by the triathletes before the race started.

In the transition area, I stood around a bunch of thin, muscled dudes and dudettes, most with IronMan tattoos somewhere on their bodies. Discussions ranged from what they'd be doing after the swim to how they felt after the last tri. (The guy in my age group that beat me went on a 10 mile run.)

Pretty much all-around were comments about the 4K being such a "long" swim. (Being a big believer in karma, Murphy's law, whatever, I made no comment.) Most complained about having to do 4 laps. Many had on speed suits (tops and bottoms) and even one guy was putting on a wetsuit. The water temp was 86. Air temp in the upper 90's. (Thankfully, during the race brief, the director said no wetsuits, because the water temp was over 84.)

The most interesting exchange was two guys talking while we're waiting for the in-water start. "I'm going to try to do 3 laps." "Yeah, 3 laps isn't too bad, I'll do 3 also."

Now, I have no idea if these guys only did 3 laps, but at least one guy did fewer than the required 4 laps. The results were posted prior to the awards ceremony, and one guy "swam" the 4K in 27:30. ;) Surprisingly, it wasn't caught by any of the triathlete-organizers until the race director, bullhorn in hand, was announcing the men's overall winner.

Despite my first experience swimming with triathletes (e.g. being beat by someone who swam with a pull buoy), this race really was well run. It's just listening to the triathletes that is so much fun.

And I didn't even mention the small sandbar that they all walked on between buoy 1 and 2. ;)

We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams


  • bobswimsbobswims Santa Barbara CACharter Member
    Probably what you didn't know was that a bunch of them paid a boat to dump all of the sand in the night before to create a rest stop in the middle of the swim.
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    A lot of the folks in the masters club I train with are triathletes. They were astonished that Swim Across the Sound wasn't wetsuit legal for solo swimmers. Especially when I told them the water would be between 68-74. I understand that it gets (very) hot in South Louisiana, but yeah, there are a lot of things triathletes don't get...

    And if you ever want to hear a derisive opinion, ask a cyclist about triathletes.
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    In case anyone cares, or is having trouble sleeping, insomnia cure here: http://mtheads.typepad.com/10kmarathonswim/2012/08/4k-open-water-swim-challenge.html

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Mem​ber
    This seems like a good place to bring up this old favorite, in case some of you haven't seen it:


  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    Not quite a triathlete story, but similar backwards logic...A guy who works on my hall was trying to convince me about this awesome training program he had read about. Training for a marathon (run), this training program had no runs longer than 10 miles, most runs about 5 miles, and you just built the rest of your power and endurance through CrossFit.
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    Crossfit folks are like cultists. They really believe CF is the answer for everything. I am generalizing here.

    Granted, I've started doing CF! But pretty much only because it is free at the base I work on. First CF WOD: 3 reps of (20 x muscle-ups in the deep end, 75 pull, 20 x push-ups, 75 pull). Did it in 18:11 and hurt like the hell the next day!

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    In the spirit of this thread, here's something recently "overheard."

    This is from the forums of my triathlon club that I coach for. (The swimming program of this club is a USMS registered masters club.)

    Question in the forum had to do with water temp at this weekend's Nation's Tri. I, of course, poo-poo'd them for hoping that the water would hit below 78 degrees so they could wear their wetsuits.

    Below is the funny part of the thread. It made me recall my getting passed by a swimmer with a pull buoy!
    RE: Nations Tri: Wetsuit or not to Wetsuit?
    POSTED: 9/06/13 10:52 AM

    Is it legal to just swim with a pair of DeSoto Speedtubes? ie: just the bottoms of a 2 piece suit?

    RE: Nations Tri: Wetsuit or not to Wetsuit?
    POSTED: 9/06/13 1:46 PM

    I think so. Note the word think. I have seen lots of things at Nations in my one year doing it. I saw a guy towing a noodle, "just in case". I've seen a forward facing snorkel. I bet your tubes are allowed. Absolute worst case you wouldn't be eligible for AG awards.

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • sylmarinosylmarino San FranciscoMember
    edited September 2013
    Adding to the "overheard..." I went to a pool workout last week and after the workout two slender/thin ladies in their workout bikinis were talking about an upcoming Ironman, this tri, that tri and one noted - "well, you can really tell the tri people from the [San Francisco] Bay people (note Bay was said like a dirty word). The tri people are the skinny ones."

    It made me want to grab my extra-buoyant butt and yell "yeah, well I'm loving having this on me after my 1 mile warm-up for the next 4 miles while you're freezing in your wetsuit in the first 15 minutes."

    I kept my mouth shut and left. And I'm happy that I blew past them on every part of the workout. Yeah, we poor Bay people.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Fat-hating meets heroic fatness. :)
  • lakespraylakespray Senior Member
    Many years ago I was part of a locker room conversation where two triathletes were discussing what the idea body fat percentage was for a triathlete, where they were (very low) and the diet they were on. This was when the Survivor Reality TV show first started and some how the conversation turned that they probably wouldn’t last long on survivor as they had no fat reserves. This is when I chimed in and said I hope I never get stranded in the wilderness with them and no food, as I’d have to sleep with one eye open ;-)
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    A group of triathletes I briefly coached refused to believe I was a channel swimmer as I wasn't fat enough.


  • JBirrrdJBirrrd MarylandSenior Member
    Is there such a thing as temporary fat envy?
    I get it whenever I swim outside.
  • I'm glad we can be a source of entertainment for you all.....lol.....I'm new here and I have no qualms admitting we triathletes are a bit obsessed with water temps. You guys seem like you would bring a hammer along to break the ice if needed. I'm enjoying reading all the race reports and the lively discussion going on about DN. It's enlightening to say the least. ps I swam in the ocean for 45 minutes the other day with a sleeveless wet suit. Don't make yourself sick laughing....;)
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    @Jimeboy - a warm welcome to the MSF. Appreciate your posts over on that other forum :)
  • bobswimsbobswims Santa Barbara CACharter Member
    A group of triathlete's standing at the start of a race in wetsuits:

    "I came here to 2 days ago for a training swim and I got ice cream headaches."

    Water temperature: 67°. That's pretty warm ice cream.
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    Welcome @Jimeboy. I've kidded triathletes on my blog, all in good fun. The only time I ever get mad is when I actually have a chance to place, but get "beat" by a triathlete swimming by me with a pull buoy btwn his legs. ;)

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

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