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Day 45 – Triathlon Linguistics

129 days until IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga


Today I want to mention something that may seem a bit silly on the surface, but actually irritates some people to no end. How do you pronounce the word triathlon?

My friend and fellow triathlete, Charles, lives in the South of England, so being English and speaking with an English accent he is likely to be seen as an authority on the english language by most Americans. I’m sure he will deny such a position, but Americans have this thing about people with English accents. We Americans can be just as foolish as anyone.

Charles claims there is no letter A immediately before the L in triathlon. I would have to agree with him on that. However, some people pronounce our sport as tri-ath-A-lon and that irritates Charles to no end. It’s not only Charles that gets irritated so I can’t just call him crazy for this.

I’ve noticed this pronunciation with the second A is more noticeable by those with southern U.S. accents. But then again, Southerners have a way of adding syllables to words. Take the word shit for example: one word, one syllable. I have some friends with a beautiful southern drawl that extend this somewhat offensive word into shee-it: pure poetry.

Workout Summary

Swimming is my best of the three triathlon sports. Too bad it has the least impact on overall time.

Working out in the pool today was very strange, because there were more people there than I’ve ever seen at 5am. Until a month ago I never had to circle swim outside of a coached session. For the second time in a month I’ve had to circle swim with swimmers of different abilities and doing different workouts. For me that gets a little unnerving. Should I pass? Should I wait at the wall? I decided to cut the workout a bit short by about 400 yards.

The main focus today was form: fins and pull buoy (not at the same time, of course). Mixed in among the form focus were breathing exercises. I’m sure you’ve done those before: breath every 3, every 5, every 7, every 9, hold your breath for 30 minutes. I may be kidding about the 30 minutes, but breathing every 9 was one of the drills. That didn’t happen for this air loving human. I broke down at 8, but those exercises are a good way to test your form. If you can keep your form in an air deprived state you must be doing something right.

The stats are not quite accurate. My T-pace is 1:50/100y, but I think that has inaccurately predicted the TSS and IF numbers (they’re too high). That means my T-pace is probably faster than 1:50/100y. Either that or the TSS model on TrainingPeaks doesn’t accurately describe my physiology. That must mean I’m different from everyone else… well shee-it.

Until tomorrow…

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