Monday, April 23, 2012

How To Race Naked (Almost)

Sometimes you have to just unplug when you're exercising.

I wrote about this concept in the article "The Death Of Heart Rate Zones", in which I explain that a big component of exercise is a combination of playing and listening to your body.

Now don't get me wrong here. Many times your heart rate and speed is really important. Heck I'm on Team Timex, which is, among other things, kind of based around the concept of having some really cool tools to quantify your training.

Quantifying workouts becomes even more important for many situations, including:

A) beginning exercisers, who are just getting into working out or training more precisely, and thus need to really monitor how their muscles and breathing feel at specific heart rates, speed, power, etc.; 

B) people who have been assigned a workout by a coach, who want to share their workout data with their coach; 

C) a coach to be able to monitor an athlete's workouts and recovery without necessarily being there in-person;

D) an athlete to be able to compare one race to the next using more than simply race time splits (a bigger advantage in a race of nutritional or exhaustive attrition, such as a Half to Full Ironman).

But this weekend, I took off the heart rate monitor.

And the fancy triathlon suit.

And the swim skin.

And the sunscreen.

And I just raced, retaining a small shred of cloth around my loin to save onlookers and other racers from my pasty white buttocks.

I never glanced at my watch, and pretty much decided to just go hard until my body imploded or I crossed the finish line.

And while I'll have plenty of chances this year to quantify data during a race, such as in my upcoming Wildflower Half-Ironman, Hawaii 70.3 and Japan 70.3 races, this weekend's Grizzly Triathlon was just a chance to hang out with my friend Dave Erickson and do some almost naked Northwestern style training.

No wins for me this weekend (this race was "untapered" at the tail-end of a very tough training week), but my splits were:

-12:42 1000m swim, 30:20 12 mile bike, 19:40 5K run = total time: 1:02:42

-3rd division, 8th overall

Here are the videos, produced by my friend Dave Erickson, who also raced:

A big shout out to my sponsors, who I'll be highlighting in my final race report of this 4 week series of races I'm doing... up is Leadman - a ski, mountain bike, trail run race in Kellogg, Idaho!

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