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What's something the sport needs?
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Whats something triathlon needs??

Supplement, Nutrition, Gear, More coaches, Another Taren, etc....
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [ironmuffin] [ In reply to ]
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A really good Oly dist. series/scene (like the old Bud Light USTS), so it's not all about 70.3/IM.

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Re: What's something the sport needs? [Titanflexr] [ In reply to ]
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Titanflexr wrote:
A really good Oly dist. series/scene (like the old Bud Light USTS), so it's not all about 70.3/IM.

I second that.

Morten Falk Nielsen
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [ironmuffin] [ In reply to ]
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Some races would be a start...
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [MortenFalk] [ In reply to ]
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MortenFalk wrote:
Titanflexr wrote:
A really good Oly dist. series/scene (like the old Bud Light USTS), so it's not all about 70.3/IM.

I second that.

I third that. I hate to say it but a sprint distance series would probably be way more popular though. (like 5k road races)

I did a loosely run sprint series here is west Michigan a few years ago and it was quite popular. I enjoyed the races more than i thought I would and recovery was a breeze!
I say loosely run because the organizer used existing races for points and gave out prizes at the end of the season for all the age groups and overall. This series increased participation at the races so the race directors liked the series and most offered discounts to their races.
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [Shambolic] [ In reply to ]
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Shambolic wrote:
Some races would be a start...

Exactly. I think the future of tri and mass participation sports in general will be very, very different.


Pete Githens
Reading, PA
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [Titanflexr] [ In reply to ]
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Titanflexr wrote:
A really good Oly dist. series/scene (like the old Bud Light USTS), so it's not all about 70.3/IM.

Absolutely

More people like Peter Ackermann and Dianna Ineman who organise Triverest and Helveticman.
Clubs who organise "non competitive" informal Sprint, OD and 70.3 races. I helped to organise a Sprint and OD earlier this season and it was massive fun. Now organising a OD / 70.3 / whatever you want to do distance
Local races where you can arrive in the morning, finish in the early afternoon, rather than huge races that take 4 or 5 days travelling, registering, racing and travelling home
Races that are physically and mentally challenging (hopefully with beautiful scenery). I am enjoying not having the pressure to KQ or to do a sub xx:xx Ironman time
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [ironmuffin] [ In reply to ]
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ironmuffin wrote:
Whats something triathlon needs??

Supplement, Nutrition, Gear, More coaches, Another Taren, etc....

if anything, i think it needs less of the above. making tri less intimidating to newcomers would help.

i can't really think of a specific piece of kit that doesn't exist that should, but i can think of about $100 000 worth of 'upgrades' i'd need to do to get to my best, these days. add up carbon-plate shoes, a modern watch, a top-end tri bike, some recovery tech, and endless pool . . . well, there you go. who knows - maybe someday we'll have some AI that will be able to tailor the perfect individual training program for us. or nanotech that will immediately give us a HUD with real-time hydration and glucose and lactate data and stuff. much beyond that, i wonder what kind of 'modification' options will be available in the future. i'm thinking about getting laser surgery to fix my eyes. in 20 years, can i get gene therapy to 'fix' my mitochondria?

i think more frequent, local, low-stakes races are a great idea. when i was a kid the local running club put on running races in the park, last sunday of the month. different distances, popsicle-stick timing, maybe a dollar or two to enter. winner got a box of powerbars or something. simiarly, when i was in grad school there was a spring and fall cross-country series on wednesday nights. it was awesome! literally had olympians and first-timers sharing the course. run slow or fast, 2$ each and extra if you wanted a t-shirt. i loved that.

i wish more races could recapture the sense of adventure. that's what drew me to tri in the first place, and it's harder to find lately.

finally, and this might be hard in the midst of COVID, but i liked when races were social. when post-race parties were actual parties.

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Re: What's something the sport needs? [ironmuffin] [ In reply to ]
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I would love a lap race, (sort of sprint distance) 300m swim, 8k'ish bike, 3k'ish run, each loop. Done 3 times. On bike share bikes, bring your own helmet and goggles. sim suits, shorty wetsuits allowed.

Draw lots for which you start first (swim bike or run). By starting all three at the same time, it would be a over and done in a really short time and the venue would be small, cheap. Timing chips take care of everything.

:0)
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [Titanflexr] [ In reply to ]
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Titanflexr wrote:
A really good Oly dist. series/scene (like the old Bud Light USTS), so it's not all about 70.3/IM.

YES! The obsession with IM is really frusterating for athletes like myself that have no interest in long course. I wish there was a strong draft legal scene (the old bike racer in me would love this)
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [Titanflexr] [ In reply to ]
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+100%
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [ironmuffin] [ In reply to ]
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It's a broad statement but...

The sport needs fewer barriers to participation. A welcoming atmosphere (some races do this well already), equipment readily available for people to participate that don't have it, etc.

Generally if you're on this forum, you're at the pointy end of the participation spectrum. We would develop the sport well if we focus on the other end of the spectrum and find ways to enable anyone to participate, at their own level.
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [mdtrihard] [ In reply to ]
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mdtrihard wrote:
MortenFalk wrote:
Titanflexr wrote:
A really good Oly dist. series/scene (like the old Bud Light USTS), so it's not all about 70.3/IM.


I second that.


I third that. I hate to say it but a sprint distance series would probably be way more popular though. (like 5k road races)

I did a loosely run sprint series here is west Michigan a few years ago and it was quite popular. I enjoyed the races more than i thought I would and recovery was a breeze!
I say loosely run because the organizer used existing races for points and gave out prizes at the end of the season for all the age groups and overall. This series increased participation at the races so the race directors liked the series and most offered discounts to their races.
An Oly series would be great, but our local (West TX/NM) sprint series (with a couple of Oly's included) is a lot of fun too. Unfortunately, it was wiped out by COVID-19 this year. Here's hoping the races and the series survives and we can get back to racing next year (or at some point in the future).

"Human existence is based upon two pillars: Compassion and knowledge. Compassion without knowledge is ineffective; Knowledge without compassion is inhuman." Victor Weisskopf.
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [ironmuffin] [ In reply to ]
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to echo the folks above, more sprint/Oly promotion. people automatically associate triathlon with IM which can be really intimidating to newbies.


i think that better outreach would be good. give your old beater road bike to a kid in an underpriveleged neighborhood rather than hoarding it in the basement. have swim lessons for kids. get kids involved in it earlier and make sure that it is accessible and doesn't just become like hockey in the US where it's all wealthy white kids whose parents can buy the gear..
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [Durhamskier] [ In reply to ]
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Durhamskier wrote:
It's a broad statement but...

The sport needs fewer barriers to participation. A welcoming atmosphere (some races do this well already), equipment readily available for people to participate that don't have it, etc.

Generally if you're on this forum, you're at the pointy end of the participation spectrum. We would develop the sport well if we focus on the other end of the spectrum and find ways to enable anyone to participate, at their own level.

The lowest barriers to entry is the type of event that I am just running

1. No entry fee
2. Non competitive
3. Choose whether you swim 500m or 1900m
4. Choose whether you ride 90km, or 40km or 20km (for my wife who has just learned to ride a bike at the age of 50 having never sat one before)
5. Choose whether you run 5km, 10.5km or 21km

No closed roads, obey traffic regulations. Its just a social swim, a club ride and a club run

We will have around 20 - 30 people turining up, all will have fun.
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [ironmuffin] [ In reply to ]
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How about more events on Saturdays?

I'm not sure how Sundays became the day of races (bike, runs, tris, etc.), but personally because of religious reasons, Is Sunday popular because of less traffic? The first thing I do when searching for events (any type) is see what's on Saturday.

I was the race director for a 5k for 12 years. We always held it on Saturday and for the last five years we had more than 2,000 participants.

Since Saturdays are often "long" days (whether biking, running or brick bike/run), people are already setting aside plenty of time for an event.
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [mattsurf] [ In reply to ]
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mattsurf wrote:
The lowest barriers to entry is the type of event that I am just running

1. No entry fee
2. Non competitive
3. Choose whether you swim 500m or 1900m
4. Choose whether you ride 90km, or 40km or 20km (for my wife who has just learned to ride a bike at the age of 50 having never sat one before)
5. Choose whether you run 5km, 10.5km or 21km

No closed roads, obey traffic regulations. Its just a social swim, a club ride and a club run

We will have around 20 - 30 people turining up, all will have fun.

This is *exactly* what the sport needs, IMHO.

We don't need another piece of tech that offers marginal gains. Or another podcast that appeals to tri devotees, no matter who the host is or how entertaining. The sport as a whole needs more participants, which requires fewer barriers to entry. Make it less intimidating. Provide equipment if needed. Participation options that make it so that everyone can finish.

What you're organizing sounds like what tri needs. Chapeau!
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [ironmuffin] [ In reply to ]
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Time to reset the local /regional triathlon races.
The bubble has burst on the 70.3 &IM branded races, this is a opportunity to create a race system that is not too focused on IM full distance.
I have been doing triathlon for 20+ years and never attempted a half until I did about 10 years of sprint & oly .
It makes sense in crafting your skills and keeps people in the industry longer.
Too many people in recent years have started out right into the long distance maybe for a year then drop out, feeding the IM Corp, nothing wrong with the IM Corp they offer a service .
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [Titanflexr] [ In reply to ]
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Titanflexr wrote:
A really good Oly dist. series/scene (like the old Bud Light USTS), so it's not all about 70.3/IM.

fourth, and get rid of tri bikes. That will be more entry friendly, as the road bike is most popular type of bike people have.


http://www.coupleofathletes.com
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [ironmuffin] [ In reply to ]
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I like the discussion on a bottom up approach of increasing participation via grassroots methods. I’ll add a top down idea: start with improved broadcast coverage to increase viewership of pro races.

Perhaps super league already does this (I’ll admit I don’t really watch it), but there is so much athlete data that can be displayed during the race to draw people in and make it more interesting. The way the Tour de France displays time gaps and hypes up breakaways, or how Formula 1 has a heads up display with gear, speed, G-force, etc.

I think about the America’s Cup, which on its surface is a bunch of guys/gals in a boat turning cranks. But this coverage is beautiful, with huge overhead shots and digital overlays making it feel like a video game:



So that’s what I think. Make the events more exciting/accessible to watch>more people watching>more ad revenue>more appealing pro status>larger feeder systems (school and club participation)>more participation overall. Make it a cultural thing.

I see parallels with the early days of the NFL and MLB; journeyman pros riding buses around the country and making less than they would at a desk job. As the big 3 in the US (football, baseball, basketball) decline in participation, perhaps swim bike run can move in.
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [synthetic] [ In reply to ]
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synthetic wrote:
fourth, get rid of tri bikes. That will be more entry friendly, as the road bike is most popular type of bike people have.

Fifth, get rid of the swim. Lots of people can't swim that well.
Sixth, get rid of the run. Many folk don't like it.

Wait...
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [vonagut] [ In reply to ]
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As a bike person who tries duathlon: making the swim more accessible to the general public even outside of triathlon. Just general fitness wise.

The pool, IMO, is the single biggest barrier to participation. Adding in the non-pool swims of these events really kills it for a lot of people.

It is a part if tri being tri and not “du”, but I am a fan of pool swims and shorter swim legs altogether.

Almost anyone can run or ride a Huffy out their front door. Or do so in a gym. Pool not so much. Cost and availability to build swim fitness is my vote.
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [synthetic] [ In reply to ]
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synthetic wrote:
Titanflexr wrote:
A really good Oly dist. series/scene (like the old Bud Light USTS), so it's not all about 70.3/IM.

fourth, and get rid of tri bikes. That will be more entry friendly, as the road bike is most popular type of bike people have.

Last I checked a tri bike wasn’t required...so not sure how “getting rid of tri bikes” will make sport more entry friendly?
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [synthetic] [ In reply to ]
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What the sport needs

  • When racing DOES return - more rivalries at the pro level, all distances.
  • More big name big money sponsors for big races at all distances.
  • More big name triathletes interacting on ST. Of all nations.
  • More informal engagement from our various sanctioning bodies (Triathlon Canada, USA Triathlon) on places like ST and other places I don't know about.
  • A website called Slowtwitch PRO (or maybe just a tab on the main website) that accomplishes what I wrote above. Maybe there is something like this out there. I know the PTO is doing some good work in this area.
  • A more regional version of ST that has ink space to dedicate to the local scene.
  • Loosening the requirements for a pro to race at Kona.
  • More people willing to spend more bucks on more expensive local races to create more financial incentives for race directors of the future.
  • More racers turned volunteers at races to make it easier for race directors to put on events.
  • More duathlons. NO, make that more people who want to do duathlons.
  • More athletes that OK with non-standard s/b/r segments to honour the local geography.
  • More time for all of us to accomplish some of this stuff.

Finally, just some other thoughts. Even though I am a Canadian, I use ST as my main place to go to for a sense of triathlon community. The cumulative number of Slowtwitchers is massive. There is also a high degree of likemindedness which, of course is a double-edged sword. Commonality of values is great for community-building. But the resultant groupthink can be elitist and exclusionary. What is "the burden" of ST or FOR ST in the future.

http://www.fitspeek.com the Fraser Valley's fitness, wellness, and endurance sports podcast
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Re: What's something the sport needs? [ironmuffin] [ In reply to ]
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ironmuffin wrote:
Whats something triathlon needs??

Supplement, Nutrition, Gear, More coaches, Another Taren, etc....

Supplements, well the bodybuilding supp store has everything there. Most tri specific supps have a significantly smaller market and taste nasty. (I've started throwing out the sample I get)

Nutrition, the current gels on the market do it for me. But then you have the weirdos that eat potatoes or saran wrap banana bread to their top tube. Wouldn't mind a Gatorade Endurance ZERO since I tend to push towards gels for carbs.

On Taren, he's continued to be a snake oil salesmen. If anything Triathlon needs less of them. There's tons of snake oil salesmen trying to hawk their products to triathletes...and even pro triathletes as ambassadors for literal snake oil companies.

PHX has a decent Sprint and Olympic scene, I wish it had more Olympic distance races, maybe we have enough, idk. But I do think it could be better. There's clearly a few cities in the area that support the sport well and permits continue to be approved. I feel like the East side of the Maricopa Basin is losing sprints though.

On Clubs, under the previous way USAT classified clubs there were a few clubs here that had no membership dues. Tri Scottsdale, the largest club in Arizona didn't have a membership dues structure. I know that you can still participate in training sessions without being a "paid member" still though which is great.

I think one of the largest barriers to entry in the sport isn't the bike itself, I rode my first two tris on a borrowed mountain bike, I know people who decided to do tris on rentals here. They did all their "cycling" on spin bikes at the gym. One of the largest barriers out there is swimming. The amount of adults of all races that never learned to swim as kids is rather high, I think it's even higher than it used to be. Interestingly, where I went to college we had to take a semester long swim class for Phys Ed Requirements. And then there's people that did learn how to swim but haven't in years. I never swam competitively ever, but I did do swim lessons when I was a small child at the community pool. I would say that I only did laps for exercise...wow this dates me: 3rd grade I had this idea to swim in the pool in our complex. Then summer of my senior year in college for some reason, and then when I started Triathlon at 26. Then you have un-ass yourself and get to the pool, for me that's pretty easy because it's a 15 minute drive, but for most it's more than that. Then add that most city pools out there actually aren't open during the year for lap swimming.

The biggest hindrance to this sport's growth is folks motivation to train for it, specifically with the pool.

Hooker training for the Sport of Scrum-Halves [Triathlon]
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