If you haven't been on the forum yet, you will have missed a couple of recent questions asked by your fellow triathletes. There are replies on the forum but let's try to answer them here as well.
Q. What's the deal with the divisions? Are they based on the number of athletes competing, or the total number of athletes in my club?
A. The second one. If your club has 1,000 members you'll be competing in Division 1 even if only 25 club members are smart enough, cool enough, and good-looking enough to sign up for the National Challenge Competition. If that's the case, get on the blower and convince those other slackers to sign up. It's a long winter, but it will go a lot quicker if they spend more time training and logging miles for your club and the NCC.
Q. How many yards in a mile? Seriously, I'm a swimmer and we sometimes count a mile as 1650 yards.
A. There are 1,760 yards in one mile. The NCC does not use 'pool miles' (something I had not heard of until today, so I guess I can't be much of a swimmer) so please make sure you count your miles correctly.
Q. My club uses indoor trainers for winter cycling, but they don't have computers. Can we estimate our mileage based on time?
A. Sorry, but that would not be a fair or accurate way to log bike miles since everyone rides at different power outputs and rates of speed. Also, there is no way to make sure that all stationary bikes and trainers are set up to provide the same resistance. Please ensure that if you are riding an indoor trainer your computer is accurately calibrated, and that you actually have a computer in the first place.
Q. Shouldn't swim miles count for more than bike miles? They are harder to accumulate, after all, and warm weather clubs have an advantage since they can ride outdoors where it's easier to pile up the bike mileage.
A. In theory, the southern clubs have an edge. In practice, however... not so much. Take a look at the top 10 clubs right now (December 14) based on total mileage and you'll see two of three Alaska teams, one from Buffalo (where they get more snow than Alaska) one from Michigan and another from Boulder. That's not bad for clubs where the riding isn't so good in December.
Still have questions? Submit them here in the comments field, or better yet sign up for the forum and ask them there. Racetracker and USAT staff monitor both locations every day.
Happy training, everyone.