Things in Threes

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By Bob Byard
Certified USA-Triathlon Coach and Fitness Trainer

Perhaps like some of you, I get some of my best ideas and think up the neatest things during my long workouts. They aren’t distracting, and help the time pass and hopefully are mentally constructive at the same time. Anyway, something that has been popping into my head is the subject of this month’s article.

Ever notice how a lot of things come in threes in sports?

A triathlon is 3 events; a duathlon is two sports, BUT you do 3 parts. I’ve also read where the basics of getting the most benefit from any sport or workout require you to do three activities: stretch, lift, and move.

To be successful in sports, you need to have three things, each with three subsets:

  1. Goals—that are measurable, challenging, and satisfying
  2. Passion—for enjoyment, commitment, and sharing
  3. A Plan—that has variety, purpose, and flexibility

Every workout focuses on one of three objectives:

  1. Intensity
  2. Time, and/or
  3. Distance

To gauge athletic progress and fulfill the purpose of a specific workout, each of us (knowingly or otherwise) uses some combination of three tools (which serve three purposes):

  1. Heartrate Monitor—to control intensity, act as a training partner, assess progress
  2. Cadence—swim stroke for distance, bike pedal RPM for speed and endurance, and running leg turnover for efficiency and form
  3. Computer—to measure time, speed, and average Km/Mph

The three facets of training most ignored are nutrition, strength training, and stretching.

In the three sports of swimming, cycling, and running, each one is best trained in one or more of the following three varieties of workout focus:

  1. Swimming: doing drills, using the clock, or laps or the lake
  2. Cycling: doing hills, time trials/sprints, or pace rides
  3. Running: doing fartleks, intervals, tempo effort

Lastly, the three athletic rewards sought or achieved by you in your training or racing are—well, you fill in the blanks: a)_________________ b)_________________ and c)__________.

Maybe the comments above are my way of putting the pieces of multisports in perspective and showing order in what may appear chaotic to non-athletes….. And ironically, everything I’ve mentioned in the preceding has been covered over the last three years of my writings for the newsletter…

See? Threes! By the way, there are three unused lines of text left below. Stay safe and train smart.

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