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Escape from Alcatraz


Even if you have watched the movie The Rock it’s really not possible for an inmate to escape Alcatraz but can elite athletes concur the trail.  This is one of the best races in the country.  World champions and amateurs from 40 countries and every state in the US descend on San Francisco every June. To compete you will have a 1.5 mile swim, 8 mile run and and 18 miles on bike. The killer aspect of this race is that SanFran is cold in June caused by article waters that work their way down the pacific.  This is an elite athlete race in order to qualify you need to have entered in the past or win a lottery. Trust me when I say if your going to head to California in June you are better off in a San Diego Day Spa getting some pampering.

One Of The Dangerous Sports

Though triathlon is now considered a very popular sport, it seems that science is about to spoil the fun for triathletes. One study has recently indicated that triathlons increases risk of death twice as much as that of marathons. The said study was headed by Dr. Kevin Harris of the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

Statistics showed that for 4 to 8 people die with very one million participants of a 26.2-mile marathon. However, in the abovementioned study, the number of rate is higher at 15 for every one million.

The data used in the study included records on 922,810 athletes who participated in 284 USA Triathlon-sanctioned events between January 2006 and September 2008.

In the study, possible causes of triathlon-related deaths included carelessness of triathlete or negligence of the sport.

Harris commented that people usually do not think twice when signing up for a triathlon event. Moreover, most do not realize that training in pools is entirely differing in swimming in lakes and rivers. However, some people would comment that triathletes recognize that swimming in the pool is not enough training for triathlon.

Another doctor said that swimming with hundreds of people can be frightening but during triathlon events, swimmers may employ techniques to avail some rest, and there are also officials on canoes who tasked to provide aid when necessary.

Meanwhile, Consumer Reports indicated that accidents linked to recreational sports normally require emergency-room treatment. For instance, fishing and soccer account for 80,000 and 150,000, respectively, emergency room visits. On the other hand, basketball can be considered the most dangerous sport, with more than 600,000 reported emergency room visits. Football, skiing and snow-boarding, vehicle racing, and hockey are also considered dangerous sports.

In Harris’ study, 14 deaths were linked to triathlon, and 13 of them occurred during swimming. Examination of six of those deaths indicated that four victims had underlying health problems. Meanwhile, the other possibly suffered from heart rhythm problem.

Thus, for triathletes, they should take the necessary precautions to avoid being caught in any death-related incident during their competition. To prepare for their safety, they are advised to do the following:


Triathlon is an endurance sport and requires participants to be strong. Thus, those with pre-existing medical condition may put themselves at risk should they engage in triathlon. Though there is no law that forbids them from participating in such events, they must still take the necessary precautions and adjustments to accommodate their health conditions.


Triathlete events will not be canceled just because of disturbances in water levels or presence of rain. However, weather may affect the swim course of participants. In some cases, participants are allowed to do a duathlon instead when extreme weather conditions prove to be dangerous for swimming.


Participants should decide whether they are fully capable of swimming during triathlon. They must assess whether their bodies can handle the current weather or water conditions.


Beginners and inexperienced swimmers should think twice before they participate in difficult swims.


Triathletes can become better swimmers if they try the following suggestions.


Swimming is more about efficiency and proper techniques. Athletes are advised to seek professional continuation regarding their swim stroke.


A number of triathletes are not fond of swimming in open waters. Thus, they are more commonly seen training in pools. However, learning in open waters will greatly aid them in developing their swimming capacities.


Knowing more about strokes and rest measures allows triathletes to face potential problems in water with more efficiency.


Swimming in high waves can be very difficult, but triathletes are advised to avoid giving in to what their brain dictates. Instead of trying to raise their heads and shoulders up, they should not fight the waves but just keep on taking side breaths just like in freestyle. Swimming in high waves may feel different but triathletes will eventually get the hang of it after thorough training.

Triathlons Are For Elite Athletes

Triathlon is the perfect activity for those who want to upgrade their sports or become fitter as athletes. In the past 5 years, this sport has become more popular than ever, with increase of 30% in the United States. Around 500,000 Americans are expected to go on swimming, ride their bikes, then go on running in one of the triathlon events this year.

Most triathletes are runners who want try new routines. Most discover that triathlon makes them better runner. For example, underachiever runners usually find themselves passing standards that seem unachievable before they decide to participate in triathlon. A number of triathletes also end up breaking their previous records.

Most runners are hesitant when taking up another sport. Moreover, when it comes to triathlon, they must first have the proper equipment for biking and swimming. Thus, for runners who are just about to begin their journey as triathlete, it is important to know some notable tips that can help them in the other two components of triathlon: swimming and cycling.


Swimming is an entirely different activity from running. The stresses that it puts on the body can be considered to be the opposite of those posed by running. As swimming is important in stretching muscles, running is known for compressive stresses. In addition, running is a high impact sport and is more focused on the lower body, whereas swimming is non-impact and involves full-body activity.

Training for swimming is more centered on efficiency. In this case, triathletes aim at spending less energy by improving their swim strokes.


A number of strokes can be applied to swimming. Normally, most triathletes will prefer freestyle than butterfly. However, they should still ask a professional swim coach about how they can better improve on their strokes.

Beginners should not focus too much on speed but on efficiency and economy of their swim. They should not aim for swimming across the pool faster but reducing their strokes.

Performing drills is one way of enhancing swimming techniques. Such type of exercises allows swimmers to analyze their strokes one at a time.

Newbies on triathlon should at least try cross-training in the pool. They can do swimming laps for a specific period of time. Lap swimming also allows for active recovery after running. On the other hand, swim intervals teach triathletes to vary their swim space. Swim intervals may start with some warmup laps followed by some drills.

Triathletes should also prepare themselves in swimming in open waters and with a large crowd. Swimming in triathlon events feels entirely different than swimming in a pool. In relation to this, triathletes should develop their confidence and learn to swim with other people in close distances.

Training in open water is also a great way to prepare for triathlon. This way, triathletes become more confident in swimming in open waters and its related conditions.


Cycling is similar with swimming in that this activity provides the body with significant cardiovascular workout without posing much impact. However, it also bears similarity with running as it is more focused on the lower body. During cycling, quads and calves are extremely worked out compared with running. Thus, runners should also take up cycling in order to develop such muscles.

Notably, cycling benefits running. Runners who engage in cycling discover that they become better at running over time. As a result, triathletes and runners also do cycling when preparing for a race or triathlon events.

Obviously, the most important equipment in cycling is the bike. Beginners in triathlon may start with moderate bike cross-training using any bike that is available for them. However, as soon as they got the hang of it or started to like the biking, they should consider purchasing a road bike.

For those who are using their old bike models, they should ensure that their bikes can accommodate their needs. When athletes are not compatible with their bikes, their training becomes less effective, and they are placing themselves at risk of injuries. Thus, cyclists or triathletes should have their bikes checkout by professionals to ensure that they their equipment fit them.


Cycling is not merely pedaling to get the bike running, it also requires mastery of some skills. The most common mistakes by beginners is focusing all their efforts on pedaling down the bike. They do not realize that they should also actively pull the pedal upward during the second half of pedal stroke.

The second error is using bigger gears with slow cadence. If people cannot pedal at least 80 revolutions per minute on flat terrains, then they should shift their gear to an easier one.


Triathletes should make adjustments to their running schedule should they decide to train for swimming and cycling. The changes must focus on maintaining or developing strength in running even when mileage is lowered.

Thus, triathletes should engage more in tempo runs, interval workouts, and long runs to boost their fitness. After a hard run, swim and bike work outs aid in recovery of the body.

Weekly runs depend on swim and bike workouts. One swim and one bike workout can be partnered with four runs on a week for cross-training. However, for triathlon training, athletes should engage in more mix of those three activities.


Those who engage in triathlon must learn the transition between biking and running. Running after a bike ride will feel different because the legs becomes rubbery. Thus, runners-turned-triathletes must train thoroughly to get used to such sensation.

Transition run is the training run that comes after a training ride. This activity can be as short as 10 minutes. Transition run may also serve as running activity for runners who are just starting with triathlon.

Longer transition runs benefit those who cross-train with swimming and cycling because it limits the impact on the body caused by running.

How To Train

For newbies, training for triathlon seems to be an impossible thing to achieve. However, triathlon training is not that hard. Though they may have zero training for such event, aspiring triathletes can still undergo full training in just matter of 12 weeks. Moreover, the good thing is they do not have to give up a lot of things nor shed so much money just to fund their passion.

To train for triathlon, people must focus on several important things:


Some of the essential equipment needed for triathlon training include swimsuit, goggles, and swimming cap.

Bicycle is also necessary. Athletes may use a road bike, mountain bike, or a hybrid. Some prefer time trial bikes when available.

Cycling shorts are important for riding comfortably and preventing saddle sores.

Newbies may avail of clipless pedals and cycling shoes though they are not that necessary yet.

Athletes should always carry a water bottle especially during long bike rides.

Proper running shoes are necessary though they need not be that expensive. Athletes should just make sure that what they are wearing fit their feet and are specifically made for running.


Twelve weeks is an optimum training period for those who still have to get in shape and to also reduce the chances of suffering from injuries. This period is enough for athletes to condition their tendons, ligaments, and endurance; these factors are all important for athletes to enjoy their race. Trainees should attempt to train for 5 days a week or around 2.5–4 h w week to allow their bodies to get in shape.

During days, workouts should be around 30 to 45 min; weekends can be allowed for endurance training. The longest workout should be the bike and should only last for 30 min to 1 h.

Two of the weekly workouts should be allotted for swimming. Athletes may consult certain swimming plans to improve their swimming endurance.

Two workouts should include run-to-bike combination workouts for endurance built-up and reduction of risk for injuries.

During triathlon training, athletes may try some combination workouts during their first week;

  • COMBO 1

(1 min run, 1 min walk) x 5; bike ride for 30 min at easy conversational intensity.

  • COMBO 2

(1 min run, 1 min walk) x 7 or 8; bike ride for 30 min.

During 5th and last workout of the first week, easy bike ride should last for 45 minutes. Afterward, athletes can form their own plan or strategies for their training.

Newbies may also train for sprint triathlon, they can try the different workout combinations available on Active Trainer.

In training, athletes should recognize the importance of adding recovery days and reduced volume rest weeks though they may feel like they can do more. These rest days are important for recovery of the body and building up its strength.

Pro Tips

Pre-season is the time when athletes focus their energy on training for the coming race season. In this period, athletes must be sure to spend their time wisely. With regard to this, there are some notable tips that they can do to prepare adequately for the upcoming race season.

  1. Prepare/search for adequate bike fit-aerodynamic. The suit should be able to allow a person to maximize the use of his power and potential. Athletes are advised to follow this step as early as possible so that they can start their pre-season training right away.

  2. Grab the best pair of running shoes. When buying a new pair, athletes should make sure that the shoes fit their feet properly and they will be able to train with them for long periods of time without incurring any injuries.

  3. Make an appointment to the doctor. General check-up, including blood work, is important to determine whether athletes are physically fit to train during the pre-season.

  4. Engaging in strength programs is also good way to complement trainings. However, before undergoing any strength program, athletes should ensure that every part of the body can more perfectly. They should also follow diligently the movement-training plan that will be provided to them. Strength programs are a great way to initiate pre-season trainings while aiming to build up strength for swimming, biking and running.

After the preparation, athletes can then proceed with training proper.

  1. During pre-seasons, athletes should focus on improving their endurance for each discipline. They should engage in drills that will further practice them regarding their techniques.

  2. As mentioned, developing strength is an important aspect of pre-season training. Some strength-building trainings include using paddles in pools, biking hills, or adding more resistance to equipment. Other people prefer running hills during long runs.

  3. Always be motivated. Though the weather is cold and most people may want to stay indoors, athletes should ensure that they remain active and within their aerobic zones. If necessary, they change their pace efforts from low-end to high-end aerobic zone. This practice will greatly benefit in stimulating the body.

  4. Athletes should also take into consideration their hydration and nutrition during pre-season training. They should select foods that will enable them to preserve energy during long swims, bikes, and runs. There are also specific food products which can help them recover much of their energy. Thus, pre-season is a perfect time to try various nutritional sources for athletes.





Triathlon is a multi-stage competition which normally include swimming, cycling, and running. The winner is determined by fast overall course completion time. During competitions, a transition area allows triathletes to change gear for different segments of the race. Thus, they are seen switching from swimming to cycling then cycling to running.

History of triathlon can be traced back to France in 1920s. The sport is said to be based on race called “Les trois sports”, “La Course des Débrouillards”, and “La course des Touche à Tout.”

The earliest tri-sport event was possibly an event in 1902. This race included running, cycling, canoeing. Afterward, other related events were documented from the 1920s until 190s.

The first event to be called “triathlon” took place at Mission Bay, San Diego, California on September 25, 1974. This even was headed by Jack Johnstone and Don Shanaham.

In 1989, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) was established. The organization was put up with aim of including triathlon on the Olympic program. ITU is also in charge in organizing the World Cup and World Triathlon Series and implements the necessary sanctions. In these events, recognition is given to elite pro-triathletes, junior pro-triathletes, and age-group athletes.

On the other hand, the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) is a private organization which is in charge of Ironman and Ironman 70.3 races every year. People join the Ironman race to qualify for annual World Championships, which is held annually in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Meanwhile, Ironman 70.3 is held in a different location each year.

International Ultra-Triathlon Association (IUTA) is in charge of Ultratriathlon, an event that covers longer distances compared with the usual iron-distance races.

Triathlon made it to the Olympic program at the Sydney Games in 2000, whereas Paratriathlon debuted at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ultra-triathlons included triathlons that cover longer distances. However, distances may vary depending on the choice of race organizers and their goal to meet various distance constraints.

The standard Olympic distance is 1.5/40/10 km, which was created by the triathlon race director, Jim Curl. Meanwhile, newer distances include the 111 and 222 events. In 111 distance, triathletes must cover 1 km while swimming, 100 km bicycling, and 10 km running. The 222 distance involves twice the distances covered in 111 event.

Triathletes join triathlon events for improvement and maintenance of their physical fitness. Each event in triathlon provides remarkable cardiovascular events. Participation in such events require intense training that should be able to improve endurance sports performance. In relation to this, triathletes are also known for participating in other activities, including yoga, pilates, and weight training.

In swimming, triathletes are more careful when using their legs. They use different swim strokes to compensate for turbulent, aerated water and to conserved their energy. Triathletes also employ different techniques to take advantages of water movements and waves of the sea.

Meanwhile, cycling may allow drafting or formation of pelotons. In organizing the cycling event of triathlon, running performance of participants is considered. Triathletes also normally use triathlon bicycles, which are customized with special handlebars, called aero-bars or tri-bars, aerodynamic wheels, and other accessories to improve aerodynamics. Even the seat is customized not only to improve aerodynamics but to preserve some muscles that are used for running.

During running, most muscles of participants are already tired from performing two equally exhausting physical activities. Beginners may suffer from weakness and muscle pain caused by lactate accumulation. Thus, intense training is required before any qualified athlete can join a triathlon event.