Does a “Reverse Triathlon” require athletes to run, bike and swim BACKWARDS ?!!? No, just the order of the events is revered, with multisport athletes crossing a mat at the end of the swim. Joint Forces base at Los Alamitos California was the scene or number of races Sunday, including the famous reverse triathlon “Race on the Base.” In this event, competitors started out with a 5 Km road run, followed by a 13.1 mile bike ride over the runways, and finally a 200 meter swim in the heated, long course outdoor pool.
Feeling that this would be an excellent test of his winter “off season” fitness, Herndon sports injury lawyer Doug Landau signed up and arranged to borrow a bicycle. Lawyer Landau was coming off an easy week after last week’s USAT&F Masters 8km Road Racing National Championships. The Virginia triathlete felt ready to challenge California triathletes for a spot on the podium, as was the case at the Hermosa Beach Sprint Triathlon when he was in South California last Fall.
However, even before the race began, Landau noticed something was wrong. His lower legs were not working, and in fact his calf and soleus muscles were painful whenever he tried to go up on his toes. Usually his “bread-and-butter muscles, “his calves would not be able to help him this morning.
Instead, he planned to increase his stride rate and reduce his stride length so as to reduce impact, and avoid having to use his lower legs. Landau was going to run the 5km “flat-footed,” with a very rapid turnover. This strategy worked well enough for him to average 6:58 per mile for the 5Km ! Landau hopped on his bike and was able to average about 20 miles an hour, with a range from 16 to 30 miles an hour, due to the severe winds on the base’s runways.
Then heading back to the bike racks, Landau expected to pass many triathletes due to his usually swift transitions. However, he could barely hobble from his bike to the pool. His right lower leg was completely useless and he hopped the quarter mile to the pool. Herndon Virginia’s best triathlon trial lawyer was passed on all sides by flip-flop wearing South Californians. Expecting to easily break an hour and finish on the podium, Landau instead finished in 58:07, well down in the listings. This placed him 4th in the 50-54 age group and 40th out of 1,000 athletes. While his time would have easily won the 55-59 age group, this race did not adhere to the USAT “age up rules.” Full results here.
Landau looks forward to another easy week, hydrotherapy, massage as well as stretching. Hopefully a fortnight of reduced training volume and intensity will enable him to get back to the heavy training for the World Championships this Fall. Stay tuned…