I don't know what got me thinking about this but...
...if you could only choose one of the three triathlon sports to continue for the rest of your life and you had to give up the other two, which would you choose?
I think you all know I'd give up swimming. That's easy. But the other two...not so easy.
I started out with cycling and love the sport. And it's my strength. So you'd think I'd pick that one hands down. But no.
I'd pick running. Here's why in no particular order:
1. Time. Most of my runs are at lunch and are 45 minutes. Long runs are usually around 2 hours, sometimes longer when an event is near. My bike rides range from 2 hours to 6 hours, with my typical ride being 3 hours for 50-60 miles (Tuesday and Thursday evenings). When I did my run focus I ran twice a day, but even that was only 90 minutes total usually. My Saturday long rides eat up a good part of the day, even if I get up early. But if I get up early and do my long run right away, I'm home by 9 am with the rest of the day ahead of me.
2. Cost. You can kit yourself out in top of the line running gear for about $200 - shoes, shorts and a shirt. You can spend money on gps watches and nice jackets, but you don't need to spend much money to get started. Cycling? Top of the line will cost about 10 grand, and even entry level is going to be about 2 grand. You have more gear you have to buy, and then there's maintenance costs. With running you only need new shoes every once in a while.
3. Travel. It's a whole lot easier to travel to a race when all you need is shorts, a t-shirt and running shoes. And you won't have to pay $300 to bring your bike on the plane.
4. You can't buy speed. Running races are all about who's fastest. In cycling, you can buy speed - time trial bikes, skinsuits, aero wheels, aero helmets, etc. If someone outruns you, you know it's because they were faster. Not because they dropped 4 grand on a set of wheels.
5. Winter. It's a whole lot easier to run in the winter and stay warm than bike. And even if you have to head indoors, you can get in better workouts in less time running. Being on the trainer for hours on end is horrible.
6. Mechanicals. You can have rides ruined by mechanical problems or flat tires. I suppose you can have an issue running, but it's going to be very rare that your equipment keeps you from finishing your run.
7. The running season is a lot longer so you can get in more races.
8. It's safer. I don't really worry about getting hit by a car while running, but I do on the bike.
Those are the main points I can think of. One big negative to running is injuries. Running is a lot harder on your body, and I think a lot more people get injured running than cycling.
Luckily, no one is making me choose so I still get to do all three sports. Speaking of that, it's time to start preparing for the Door County half ironman Sunday. My training has gone well the past couple of weeks so I'm looking forward to the race. There are still some unknowns with my run, but I think I've managed to get in enough volume recently to have a decent race.
Should be fun.