“Training has to match the event itself…”
It’s a rallying cry. Actually, it’s Ric’s rallying cry, as he rips the unfortunate youth from their slumber again.
“Long swims, bikes and runs, often bolted together over a 5-7 hour session…”, he continues, somehow managing both to ramble and to remonstrate at the same time, to a still comatose audience.
But this is what Ric, Si and George did last (bank holiday) weekend. Some 14 hrs of training, with about 7k in Lake 32 at Ashton Keynes, 240k on the bike across Gloucestershire, Wilts and Oxon, and 29k running… It was probably the best training weekend of the program so far… with one notable incident, as per the title above.
Because you see, for all energy that’s expended, from the energy gels, bars, bananas and cooked breakfasts consumed, not every ounce gets used up... and the body needs to expel some waste. And during a race as long as Roth (11 hrs, more or less) something has to give….
Race organisers have clocked this, so normally there are porta-loos dotted along the run and bike course and in transitions. Also, over such a long distance, most courses pass through open country, where there are strategically situated bushes or hedges… though as Paula Radcliffe will attest, a #2 on an urban course can be a rather public experience…
Some experienced triathletes manage to empty their bladders whilst on the bike, an interesting concept which Ric claims never to have tried… odd, considering that incremental gain is his game. And a #1 in a wetsuit is relatively common, and of course discreet. So to sum up, #1s are not normally an issue whether running, swimming or biking, and #2s generally manageable whilst biking or running. Except when the urge takes you whilst running down the Mall with crowds 10 deep either side…
The nightmare scenario, on the other hand, is being taken short for a #2 whilst wearing a wetsuit and in the middle of a large lake.
This particular “marriage made in hell” befell one of valiant triathletes (identity not to be disclosed… for now) last Saturday. He realised he was past the point of no return and swam gingerly, nervously… to the nearest shore which, unfortunately for him, was populated by walkers and fishermen and had no adequate cover. He pretended to hide behind the largest of a number of small bushes, (literally) ripped off his wetsuit and… well, don’t picture the scene, but you can probably hear it… Quite an embarrassing experience altogether, made worse by the need afterwards to approach one of the traumatised fisherman and get him to zip the miscreant back into his wetsuit. Whereupon he got out of there as fast as he could, and continued his 3.8k swim.
So urgent was the action that the aforementioned wetsuit (one of Ric’s hand-me-downs) suffered several rips in the process, though you’ll be glad to hear it was otherwise unblemished...
So the moral of this story is… What doesn’t kill you - can still embarrass the hell out of you.