Friday, January 22, 2021

So it’s official...

(You are retired?)

Yeah, right. No, I’m sad to say, Ironman Canada will not take place this year due to the Coronavirus.

(So, you are taking the year off from racing?)

Hardly. I’m still training. I’m just, kinda...


Searching for an event.

(Has the entire race season been cancelled?)

On the east coast, race season tends to start in May and end in September.

(If internationally, there’s a race every weekend, why does our season only last five months?)

Have you ever been to the beach in April? The water is freezing cold. Beach water is warmer in September than it is in July.


(Why is that?)

What am I, a meteorologist?

(Do what the kids do...)

“Alexa, why is the beach water warmer at the end of the summer?”

“Surface water is warmer because it is less dense.”

And that is why the beach water is freezing in the June sun.

(Speaking of June…)

While June’s Escape from Alcatraz triathlon has been rescheduled for 2021, there are still a handful of other triathlons left.

(Will you lose your entry fee?)

No. Both Escape from Alcatraz and Ironman Canada have rolled my race slot into 2021.

(So, more time to train?)

Precisely. As long as things continue to get better, there’s the New Jersey State Tri in July.

(Hey that rhymes.)

Thank you.

(Is there a race that rhymes with August?)

Stop that!


No problem. Now where was I?

(Races that are still taking place.)

Half Ironman Maine 70.3, August.

Half Ironman Atlantic City 70.3, September.

Half Ironman Arizona 70.3, October.

(Why do they have the numbers 70.3?)

That’s the distance of the race in miles.

(Do two halves equal a whole Ironman?)


(Why not?)

Well, for one, a full (140.6 miles) is twice as long as a half. We are not dealing with money or rolls of toilet paper. We are dealing with the human body. The longer you are in motion, the greater the need to rest becomes.

(But you refuel with food and drink.)

If you have ever stayed up for more than 24 hours, you have seen at some point your body starts to experience negative returns on your investment. You cannot replace rest with calories or caffeine. It is draining to race for seven straight hours, but it is nowhere as grueling as traveling 140.6 miles in 15 or 16 hours.

It is both physically and psychologically draining to be in motion for that long. So no, two halves do not make a whole.

(Will it be hard to get ready for those halves?)

No, I’m already biking the 56 miles and running the 13.1 miles in training.

(You didn’t mention the 1.2 mile swim?)

Oh, that’s the other problem.

I haven’t been in a pool in eight weeks.

(Too busy biking and running at 3 a.m.?)

No, the coronavirus has caused all of the health clubs to close their pools.

(You can’t contract the virus in the water.)

Precisely, but you can contract it in the locker room next to the water.

(So how are you going to prepare for a triathlon when there are no pools open?)

Ocean swims. Lots of ocean swims.

(So...no bathtub swims?)

Definitely not.

(Then, I’d say you are off to a good start.)

I have believed for some time that in triathlon, the aerobic fitness of cycling trickles down to running and swimming.

(Do you have any data on this?)

No, but I will once we all return to the pools.

(But you swam in the ocean last week.)

Twenty minutes in 47o water does not a triathlete make.

(So, this will be the year of half Ironman Triathlons?)

It will. Unless I can find another Ironman race to replace Ironman Canada.

David Roher is a USAT certified marathon and triathlon coach. He is a multi-Ironman finisher and a veteran special education teacher. He can be reached at: [email protected]