Thursday, June 5, 2008

Technology and Triathlon

I was recently looking through my training log, and something really struck me. Looking through my various workouts, I noticed runs of 5.21 miles, 3.58 miles, 8.62 miles, 11.82 miles, etc. So I went back and looked at a log book I had from 1993 and scanning the pages, I saw runs of 6 miles, 9 miles, 15 miles. Not one run to even a single decimal point! Everything was nice and even. In a lot of cases even my time was in even increments as well. Yes, those were the days before Garmin. Actually back in 1993, I don’t even think I had a running watch. I can recall standing in the kitchen waiting for the digital clock to turn to the next minute and then dashing out for my run. When I got back there was no cool down until I made my way back into the house, looked at the time and then I would start a cool down.
My first running watch was a Timex watch and it was the coolest thing ever! It was also the size of a dinner plate and did nothing other than keep track of time and lap times. Still it was quite an amazing piece of technology.
As for measuring distances I would measure with the car most of the routes I would run. For others I knew my pace pretty good and would always just estimate the distance based on that. I’m not really saying those were the good old days, it just seems interesting how technology has impacted the sport. Now we have our Garmin GPS units and download all our information to our computers and analyze the data. What a bunch of geeks!
However, progress is a great thing and I couldn’t imagine life without sophisticated bike trainers, carbon fibre, iPods, etc. It certainly helps to make training more enjoyable and easier to track progress and trends.
Speaking of iPods, some of what I have put on it lately includes:
Lady Antebellum – country, but quite good
Aerosmith – Devil’s Got a New Disguise – basically another hits compilation but a couple of new songs
Airbourne – Runnin’ Wild – kind of sound like ACDC
Carolina Liar – Coming to Terms – Alternative – good upbeat stuff
As for reading, I have been ploughing through a book about Walt Disney, by Neal Gabler called Walt Disney, The Triumph of the American Imagination. It is a long book, over 630 pages, but it is interesting.
I also have a couple of running books on the go, Marathon, The Ultimate Training Guide, by Hal Higdon and Galloway’s Book on Running, by Jeff Galloway. I am reading these as a reminder more than anything. It’s not like I follow any specific rules with my running but it is good to know what I should be doing!
This week I have logged just over 6 hours of training. A couple of long bike rides, 3 swims, and a couple of shortish runs. The Achilles seems to be getting better but I am massaging it 2 to 3 times a day. I have also been really working on loosening up my calves as they are tight and more than likely a huge contributor to the other issues I am having.
Have a great day!

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