Run and Swim Winter Challenges

Slowtwitchers don’t hibernate. Winter is an opportunity.

During one of our weekly polls I asked you all what you intended to perfect this Winter. Of the 1400 of you who answered only 12 percent are taking the Winter off, essentially. Another 15 percent of you said you’ll simply continue on with all 3 of triathlon’s activities. A few, between 4 and 6 percent each, chose MTB or XC ski or some other activity.

About 6 in 10 of you will target improvement in a single activity, and for 4 out of every 10 Slowtwitchers that single activity is either the run or the swim. Accordingly we’re going to stand with you, arm-in-arm, commencing December, with our annual 100/100 Run Challenge (starting on the 15th of the month) and the Guppy Challenge (December 1).

100/100 Run Challenge

Loyal, longtime Slowtwitcher Devashish (Dev) Paul leads this. Dev takes part annually as well, but not this year. He’s battling a lower extremity nerve disorder (he’s piling up yards in the pool instead). I’ll be piling up the swim yards with him (we’ll get to that).

Signup for this year’s 100/100 is up and it is here, with the proviso that we are hoping to change over to a new training log imminently and, if things go as planned, the log will look a bit different at some point in the next couple of weeks.

The 100/100 is popular in odd places. Last week I visited a large bike company, by large I mean one of the top 6 or 7 in the world. I met the managing director for North America who greeted me by telling me, “Every year my wife and I take part in the 100/100.”

Here’s the thing to know about this Challenge, to forestall the inevitable, annual, complaints. The idea is not to die trying to run 100 times in 100 days. Rather, it’s to stick a goal out there and see how close you can come to it. Maybe it’s 80 run sessions in 100 days, maybe it’s 60. Either of which is better than zero.

Guppy Challenge

We’re going to commence our Winter 2016/17 Guppy Challenge on December 1st upcoming, expanding this to encompass swimmers of all abilities rather than simply the beginners among you. But beginners are welcome (they are our key demographic for this)! The goal is to increase your speed by decreasing your swim split by from 5 to 20 percent, the 5 percent happening at the pointy end of the swim (from a 1:02 Ironman split down to a 59min split) up to a 20 percent decrease at the blunt end (taking a 2hr swimmer down to a 1hr36min swimmer).

How are we going to measure this? By looking at the leave intervals you’re able to sustain. If after a couple of weeks you’re swimming sets repeating on the 2:20 base (for every 100 short course yards you swim you need 2min20sec to both swim the swim and rest up before commencing the next swim) we’ll want to cut that down to, say, 1:45 or 1:50 by the time we reach the end.

What is the end? This will be a 10-week Challenge. Every workout will be posted on the Reader Forum on Thursday for the week upcoming, which will begin either on Sunday or Monday, up to you.

Meaning that this Thursday, December 1, I’ll have the workouts for the upcoming week on the Reader Forum, with a few workouts I’ll provide to tide you over from Thurs to Sun/Mon.

Today is the best day to announce this, because it’s Cyber Monday! And that means buying paraphernalia cheaper today, at least theoretically.

Paraphernalia? The heck I say! What paraphernalia? Besides Speedos (aka one's kit, or budgie (budgy) smuggler) and goggles, what is there? See the accompanying paraphernalia article.