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T Is for Technology in Triathlon Training
The original triathletes were amazing. Dave Scott and Mark Allen accomplished incredible feats in triathlon long before technology took over the sport. They didn’t have metrics like we have today and they certainly didn’t have all the information gathering capabilities that we have. Still, they set records and competed valiantly. In fact, Mark Allen still holds the marathon record in Kona to this day. Technology is a great friend to triathletes, but it has a downside.
Technology has therefore taken over every aspect of triathlon. One of the most studied areas is that of the triathlon watch. Each year new watches are available for purchase with ever increasing measurements for the triathlete. My favorite is the Garmin 910XT. This watch gives me heart rate, power (with power meter), pace (with optional accelerometer), speed, cadence (with optional cadence sensor), mileage, swim meters and more. Moreover. Each of these metrics helps me measure my success or failure in every training session and race.
Technology has made huge strides in bikes and wheel sets. The amount of research devoted to these two elements in the world of triathlon is incredible. Every year there are exciting new advances in aero speed in bikes and wheel sets. Most of the time, these technologies can take two very different viewpoints. This was most evident at the 2016 World Championships in Kona. Diamond Bikes has unveiled their Andean bike that fills all the space between the front tire and the rear tire with a solid piece to channel the wind through that area for aerodynamics. Another bike made its Kona debut this year with the exact opposite idea. The Ventum bike eliminated the downtube from the bike and created a vacant space between the front tire and rear tire with only the top tube remaining. These are two very different ideas about aerodynamics. This is one of the amazing things about the advancement of technology and one of the downsides as well.
Every piece of triathlon equipment undergoes constant technological advancements. Shoes, wetsuits, socks, nutrition, hats, sunglasses, helmets, race kits and anything else you can imagine. This world of technology in triathlon is not about to end and will continue to push the limits.
THE FRONT OF TECHNOLOGY
The technology in triathlon is amazing. These new items are exciting and make every year different. There are new advancements that help triathletes go faster and longer. These new technologies even help the amateur triathlete go faster. Just buying new wheels can be the difference between being on or off the podium. The advancement of shoes has helped many athletes avoid the injuries that plague so many, like plantar fasciitis. Technology will continue to help the sport get better and better.
THE DISADVANTAGES OF THE TECHNOLOGY
The downside of technology is that the amateur triathlete arrives at their local race already unable to win because someone else has the money to buy some of the latest technology. Larger purchases such as wheel sets and bikes can be prohibitively expensive for the average triathlete and yet there are individuals who are purchasing these items at alarming rates. The amateur triathlete may also feel overwhelmed with what to buy and what not to buy. Some tech items aren’t worth the extra cost because they don’t reduce run time enough for what they cost. Now that these new technologies have been out for a while, counterfeits have started making items for less. It will be interesting to watch the flood of these counterfeits in the market and see how it affects the big boys of technology.
If you’re an amateur triathlete, buy smart and don’t buy new gadgets just because they’re new. Be sure to invest in items that will truly make you faster and not just a gimmick.
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#Technology #Triathlon #Training