Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Real World Application of Triathlon Training

High volume with the addition of speed work, tempo work, and bricks are the core of most triathlon program. Personally, I also spend a good deal of time, especially during my first season setting up transition and running through the costume changes I need to make. Once I had the hang of it I integrated it into every brick workout that I do.

Yesterday I was able to use these skills in a less than typical manner for the average triathlete. As a member SWAT I maintain proficiency with pistol, shotgun, and the M4 assault rifle. Yesterday was my monthly training day and the afternoon portion of the training was with the M4. We did a standard qualification course shooting 50 rounds into a silhouette from a variety of distances and positions. I scored 100% as did over 3/4ths of my team mates.  

After this was completed we went on to another drill. For this drill we would be firing at a paper plate from fifty meters. A paper plate is usually used to practice keeping tight grouping or to simulate taking head shots. The distance adds even more difficulty to it. To add to the difficultly we were told that we would not be allowed to shoot until we returned from a 1/2 mile run, up a hilly gravel road and back. This is called a stress course. The purpose was to change our breathing and fatigue level similar to having to shoot when you are involved in a building entry or other line of duty incident. As some one who tracks escapees, it not improbable to have to take a shot after running through the woods after someone.

Everyone on the team became nervously anxious. This changes things. I drank the cool aid at first and was nervous too. I made a comment about I would be happy if I hit one. Then, just before the whistle sounded I thought about it. I need to run and then shoot; how is this any different from running my bike in and then sliding on shoes, visor, Garmin, and race number belt? With the exception of one involving a high power lethal weapon with a high capacity magazine they are basically the same. They both employee the use of fine motor skills while exhausted. With that realization I decided to just think of it like transition, focus and control my breathing.

I was in the last group to go. Prior to my group 48 others had shot and the high score was 12 out of 15. using my triathlon focus I shot a new high score of 14 out of 15. Making me happy to out shoot the hunters and the military vets in the group (who weren't as happy about it). These group have more experience than I, yet fundamental shooting and knowing how to manage stress turned out to be more valuable. Making it even better was the mocking the ensued. I never said a word about my score, the cadre pointed out to some of the more loud mouthed members of the team (you know those guys in every group) that they were out shot by the team medic!


Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

That is a pretty awesome story dude! Triathlon: Making badasses even more badass.

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TriMOEngr said...

Super cool! Always nice when you can shake off nerves and get the job done.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Wow, that is pretty cool!!

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