I have been asked and often asked questions related to endurance sports, and my appearance (yes I look like a star 😉 ). So let me take a stab in no particular order at the various questions..
But before that a quickie about the sport of Triathlon – Triathlon as the name says, is some sort of a marathon in three different disciplines. Yes, the one that I do, and in general involves, swimming, cycling, and running, in the same order.
Q 1 What is the length of each discipline ?
Full distance Or Iron-distance race is 140.6 miles total. Comprising of 2.4 miles of swim, 112 miles of biking, and 26.2 miles of run. Half distance or Half-Iron distance is 70.3 miles total, and each discipline is exactly half the distance in full.
Q 2 How many days do you have to complete all three (swim, bike and run) ?
Q 3 How much rest do you get in between swimming ?
There is no rest, the transition between the two disciplines does not stop the clock from ticking. So you need to switch fast :).
Q 4 What time do you start and how long does it take you ?
Start times are generally 6 or 7 am in the morning. It takes me under 6 hours to complete the Half-iron distance, and my only full distance till now took me over 14 hours. Again, this is dependent on various factors.
It all depends on the athletic ability, experience, and race day weather conditions, and body conditions. Pro’s take close to 4 hrs, and 8hrs respectively for half and full distances.
Q 6 What do you eat when you are swimming, cycling or running ?
Well, I don’t eat when I am swimming. I eat a PBJ or a sweet-potato patty before swim, eat the same stuff on the bike, and eat a little during the run. I also see what suits me for the food at the aid stations. And I take in a 2-3 salt tablets during the entire course.
Q 7 What do you do, if you get tired ?
You keep moving. You have trained yourself, not to get tired :).
Q 8 How can you live with just PBJ and patties for 6-7 hours ?
I can :). I have trained myself.
Q 9 What do you eat a day before ?
Usual stuff, minus fibre, and minus simple carb. To simplify, I keep my digestive system easy.
Q 10 How much do you train ?
I train 14-16 hours in a week in all three disciplines. Twice a day generally. Sometimes I also need to bump it to 20 hours in a week.
Q 11 How long do you bike and run in your training ?
I generally do indoor bike training, based on time, and a 3-5 mile run after the bike training. On weekends, I do the bike ride outside, and a post bike run. Run distance is dependent on what I want to achieve from the training, distance or pace or strength.
Q 12 When do you swim then ?
Early morning, pre work.
Q 13 Do you lift weights ?
Yes I do weight training in the gym. I love doing squats and olympic lifts, following a core workout.
Q 14 How do you get time from a full time job ?
I get time :). My wife is awesomely supportive, and I just make time for my workouts. Bike to work is a good way to get your legs spinning.
On my Appearance
Q 15 How do you wear the bike helmet over your turban ?
I don’t. I remove my turban, and wear a helmet.
Q 16 Don’t you feel hot inside your turban ?
I am as much used to it, as you are used to wearing clothes :). During my workouts, I wear a bandana, and that isn’t a thick piece of cloth. My hairs just help me keep my discipline. Google about ‘Sikh faith’
Q 17 That beard must keep you warm during the swim ?
Yes it does give me a little advantage in the swim, but not much if the water is really cold.
Q 18 Do you feel hot with that beard ?
No I surprisingly don’t. Trick is to pour water on the beard, and let it air-dry.
Q 19 Don’t you get air drag/resistance from beard ?
No I don’t. I prefer keeping my faith closer, as that keeps me stronger and motivated.
Q 20 I love your beard !! That is one hell of a cool beard !! (not a question, but a compliment)
I love you too !!
Q 21 If you shave, you will be super fast, why don’t you shave ?
Then you won’t find me that cool !! And you won’t be able to identify me easily at the next event. 🙂
Q 22 Are you gonna match that (pointing to my turban) with your tri-suit ?
I wish they allowed turbans in cycling. I will wear a bandana instead of a turban.
Do you have more questions ? go ahead and ask..