Written by Coach Chris White
Here’s two fun facts that come from spending lots of time training with teaching and medical professionals:
- Urine and sweat essentially contain the same chemicals, but in different concentrations. Same, same but different.
- Margarine and plastic are remarkably similar in their molecular structure, only separated by one extra molecule. Same, same but different.
So what the hell has this got to do with triathlon?
Well... as a sport that is originally made up from three sports, the individual ‘molecules’ are similar, but when looking at entire molecular structure of triathlon, it becomes its own unique and entirely different thing.
With that in mind, it seems only appropriate that we coach triathletes as whole triathletes, not as the separate 'molecules' made up of runners, swimmers or cyclists. Of course there are cross-overs and learnings to be gained from three older, more established sports, but it is also true that there are learnings to be found in areas like horse racing, financial investing or skiing which can equally be brought into our triathlon coaching.
Coaching triathletes involves thinking of the unique demands of the sport and the particular version of the sport that is being undertaken. For example, the swim in a triathlon is followed by the comparatively long bike and run sections, which rely heavily on your legs. Fatiguing your legs by over-kicking in the swim, therefore doesn't make sense. A pure-swimmer would never have to consider the bike and run factors into their training and therefore will approach kicking and potentially entire training regime differently.
If we go back to our two fun facts and put it this way... You wouldn't want to get plastic, if you were looking for butter and you certainly wouldn't want to get urine if you were looking for sweat! That's why at MEC we emphasise and use triathlon specific coaching techniques and methodologies that address the unique 'molecular structure' of our wonderful sport of triathlon.