Saturday, April 21, 2012

Having the Runs On the Run

I read with relish and delight 4-time, Ironman triathlon world-champion Chrissie Wellington’s biography ‘A Life Without Limits’. In particular, she highlights her tumultuous relationship with coach Brett Sutton; and her dramatic episodes of peeing and pooping on the run, literally.

Fellow athletes have teased me about taking a pee on the saddle during a race. They give me grief about nobody willing to buy my bike over (like I would!). The fact of the matter is, through my conversations with my coach and competitive age-group participants, I found out that they minimize down-time by taking a piss during the three disciplines. The trick is to do it with respect and discretion. While riding, preferably on the downhill, look behind you (so that you are far and away from the next rider) and then release your stream. It will trickle down one leg and, perhaps, into your shoe. That's about it, and you whip out a bidon of water and spray it over your groin, and rinse it off. When hydrated, your discharge should be relatively clear and free of pungent smells. It is also fair warning for an annoyingly close, drafting rider!

If you have a lead over your competitors and take time out to go into a porta-loo, you may loose valuable minutes. Efficiency is about minimizing wastage. However, if you have a bad stomach, you got to relieve the discomfort – so you whisk off and do the deed as quickly as you can. Then, it is back to the race with a lightened system.

So, Chrissie has relieved herself in a canoe, on the bike and behind the bush. You can’t fault a champion athlete for her absolute honesty and incredible speed. Make waste; I mean, make haste.

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