As many of you already know, the 2009 Duathlon World Championships takes place in the United States, specifically Concord, North Carolina. This brings added importance to this country's Du Nationals, coming up less than three months from now, on April 26, in Richmond, Virginia, an easy 4-hour drive from the World's course.
As a U.S.-based Du World's is not an everyday occurence (it's the 3rd in the last 15 years) we thought it appropriate to add a little incentive—a little Slowtwitch oomph—to the occasion.
To that end, today we're announcing the Du Nats Challenge, hosted here on Slowtwitch, running from February 15 to April 15, two weeks from now.
What's a "challenge," you ask? A challenge Slowtwitch style is where we leverage our software development ability against your training ability, and the abilities of several hundred or thousand of your closest friends around the planet.
One such "challenge" (several are currently ongoing) is "100 runs in 100 days." The idea is to run as many sessions as you can during a 100-day span. A miniaturized snippet of this challenge is displayed above. At the halfway point of this challenge, which runs from Dec 15 of last year to the upcoming 24th of March, Slowtwitcher "JoeO" shares the lead with "_EH_"; each has run 75 times in 50 days. In all, 554 Slowtwitchers have "accepted the challenge, and every time one of them logs a run in our training log, that workout shows up as an entry on the challenge.
Today's new challenge, the Du Nats Challenge, adds a wrinkle. Yes, the idea is to create a "digital enclave." Because you are not a professional triathlete or bike racer in Tucson, or Australia's Gold Coast, or Mallorca, with 10 or 30 or 100 of your mates, you don't have the comeraderie and the peer pressure to get you out the door alongside your training partners.
These challenges are ways for likeminded swimmers, cyclists, runners, or multisporters to display their workouts alongside those of their peers.
For Duathlon Nationals, we've created a way for you to compare your training totals to those who, like you, are training across a variety of disciplines. It's based on "points" accrued while running and cycling. We'll count your swimming totals as well, and even your nordic skiing.
It works like this: every time you run a mile, you earn 4 points. Every time you cycle a mile, you earn 1 point. Every 100 meters of swimming earns you a point, and for you nordic skiers, a mile skated (or diagonaled) earns you 3 points.
If you take the same 100/100 run challenge and rank these folks by points, earned instead of by run sessions accrued, all of a sudden we have a different leader. It's well-known duathlete Mike Plumb, and if we click on his name we'll go to his training log on Slowtwitch and we can see why this is the case. His chart is below. If you look at recent activity, Mike's work is fairly balanced, that is, while a lot of those in the 100/100 run challenge have been running almost exclusively, Mike's been getting in a lot of rides and swims, and accruing "aerobic points." You can read more about our aerobic points system, which has now been in use for several decades, here.
All that explanation established, the Du Nats Challenge will feature as its ranking metric aerobic points. Below is a FAQ designed to answer most of your questions.
Is there a cost to enter this challenge?
No. It is free to enter.
Do I need to be entered in Du Nationals to participate in the challenge?
No. Many or most in the Du Nats Challenge will be entered, but you do not need to be entered in the race to participate in the challenge.
Must I be a USAT member to enter?
No. While many of us consider USAT membership a bonus, and a value, it is not a requirement to participate on the challenge.
I'm clicking on the images above, and I don't have "permission" to see the 100/100 run challenge, or any other challenge.
You must be a Slowtwitch.com user to participate, and to view, challenges. Should you establish an account—which is free, and takes about a minute—you'll join about 24,000 triathletes and growing (current growth rate = 900 a month) who comprise the Slowtwitch family of readers. A user account allows you to post on the Slowtwitch reader forum, advertise your for-sale items on the Slowtwitch classifieds, and use the Slowtwitch training log. Click to establish a Slowtwitch user account.
When is the challenge?
You have some time to prepare. It'll start on February 15, and run thru April 15. That's two months to accrue aerobic points, and to get yourself ready for this race (or if you're not able to race Du Nats, to get ready for whatever other early season race is on your calendar). The idea of a challenge like this is to prepare to race. As of this writing, you have two weeks to prepare to prepare.
I'm on the challenge page, and there is no Du Nats Challenge
Yes, that's true. We're announcing the challenge now. You have two weeks to prepare for this challenge. The challenge will "go live" as we approach Feb 15. In the meantime, you can view the crosstalk about this upcoming challenge on our reader forum. Click to view the forum discussion about the challenge.
I'd like to enter into discussions on the forum, and to start logging miles into my Slowtwitch online training log, but I can't.
Remember that to use many of these functions, you have to be logged in. It's not enough to have a user account. You must be logged into that account.