ITU World Triathlon Stockholm 2013

In exactly 100 days I will participate in the ITU World Triathlon Stockholm but unfortunately I enjoy neither swimming nor running. I don’t enjoy swimming and running as regular sport activities I should say since I’m perfectly fine with a refreshing swim during summer and also fine with a quick run to the bus stop when I’m late in the morning (or a 10 kilometer race once in a while with the wife if she insists but that’s if she really insists).

Swimming in freezing water
Stockholm triathlon 2012 (or 2011, I can’t remember which summer it was so warm and we had so little ice)

Lucky for me there are such things as triathlon relays and people who actually do like swimming and running (weird but convenient)! “- Joel, wanna swim 1.5 kilometers? – Yes. – Jukka, wanna run 10 kilometers? – Yes. – Alright boys, I’ll bike, let’s go for the relay. – Sure. – Sure.” And so it is. Our it-took-less-than-one-minute-to-form team is on its way to its first triathlon.

I’m still not sure I’ll be able to get my hands on a proper racer for the day (I’m sure not going to buy one) so I just pretend I won’t and get ready for the 40 kilometer ride on my loyal single speed Kona Paddy Wagon (I’ll skip the fixed gear and go freewheel to get a chance to rest my legs if needed). The bike came with a 42T chainring and a 16T sprocket and the gear ratio – which is quite alright for relaxed commutes to work – would be way too small if I want to cover the distance in a decent time.

I now am on 46:16 and I will ride that for a month or so before I put on a smaller sprocket and so on. 46:16 is quite alright at the moment but I will need a bigger ratio to reach my objective: 1 hour 15 minutes and under (not sure I’ll manage but it’s more fun with a goal).

My main concern is the wind though: I ride the course almost weekly (at commuting speed) and it’s rather flat but it’s along the water and exposed. It’s around 6 kilometers one way and then back on the other side of the river (so the race will be 3 laps): with north to south winds it’ll be alright and means side winds the whole race but if it’s east to west winds then it’ll be harder with headwinds half the race.

As for the weather it does not really matter: it could be warm, cold, sunny, rainy or even snowy (it was 1°C for last year’s marathon in June so..) I embrace rule #9 and have a spare set of studded tires in stock. Our runner (Jukka) should be fine too but it might be a bit trickier for our swimmer (Joel) if he has to swim with an ice tool in each hand. But as long as we all have fun (Joel can always wear gloves) it does not really matter, we are the it-took-less-than-one-minute-to-form team on its way to its first triathlon and we’re going to smash our current record!

Joining the race too? Want to share your triathlon experience on one gear? Please don’t hesitate and leave a comment.

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Laurent Pignon

Born in 1980 in France. Got lost in Finland in 2002. Living in Sweden since 2005. Daily, year-round, rain snow or shine bicycle commuter since 2012. And yes, that's lots of dates.

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