Cycling Contemplations


edge n
Vigor or energy especially of body.
Keenness or intensity of desire or enjoyment.
A favorable margin.
edge v
To move or force gradually.
To defeat by a small margin.

I’m a mediocre age grouper. Lower-mediocre perhaps, considering my track record to date. But I’m working on getting better, faster, stronger, and sharing these experiences along the way.

How did I get into triathlon?

In primary school I was the second-last guy selected for teams in physical education classes. Slow, slightly overweight, clumsy. Funny thing is, the last guy today is running marathons and I’m doing half-IronMan distance triathlons, while many of the top guys from the old days walk around with beer bellies. Things change.

I signed up for my first triathlon, a sprint-distance relay race, on one Saturday afternoon. The three of us—me, my wife and sister in law—completed a fun physical challenge earlier in the day and were still endorphin-driven, when my wife proposed we sign up for this triathlon her company was sponsoring. We did the relay. The next year we did the sprint individually, then just kept racing.

What happened between my sports-deficient childhood and my early thirties was I met my wife, who turned me onto healthy eating, living, poked me into joining a gym, building some muscles, getting fit. By the time she proposed we sign up for that first race, I was ready for it.

What am I aiming for?

Fun. First and foremost. I came to love physical activity and I adore the atmosphere around triathlon races—the people who normally train in solitude or small groups, coming together, often with families. It’s a massively supportive sport—if I’m feeling weak on the course there will always be other athletes cheering me on, helping out. There’s a strong sense of community here.

Yes, I want to have better results. Be a little faster with each race—that’s what the trainings are for. But it’s most important for me that I finish a race in good shape, so that I can enjoy every moment of it, and the celebrations afterwards.

Why am I blogging about it?

Writing is a great way to clarify thinking. It’s linear (unlike the brain’s workings), and in order for a piece of text to make sense, I need to get my train of thought in order. Find gaps, inconsistencies and remove them. It helps me reason analyze my triathlon experience, draw better conclusions and, hopefully, get better results.

Publishing my writing carries a slim chance of someone knowledgeable contributing—answering some of the questions I’m raising, proposing better ways of training and competing. I’m not expecting much of an audience here, but I’ll welcome any comments and corrections.

Lastly, I’ve seen enough people get into triathlon, or other sports, or just getting more active, after they’ve seen others like them do it. By publishing here I may be able to inspire someone to get off their buttocks and get in shape.

What am I going to blog about?

Whatever I consider meaningful for the sport and a general audience. My heart rate in one specific training is not meaningful, but an analysis of my performance throughout a month or quarter could be. A book review, considerations in choosing gear, race plans, results, conclusions, etc.