The original triathletes were amazing. Dave Scott and Mark Allen achieved incredible feats in triathlon long before technology took over the sport. They didn’t have the metrics we have today and they certainly didn’t have all the information-gathering capabilities we have. However, they set records and competed valiantly. Even Mark Allen still holds the marathon record at Kona to this day. Technology is a great friend to triathletes but has a downside.
So technology has taken over every part of triathlon. One of the most researched areas is the triathlon watch area. Every year there are new watches available for purchase that have ever-increasing sizes for triathletes. My personal favorite is the Garmin 910XT. This watch gives me heart rate, power (with power meter), pace (with optional foot pod), pace, cadence (with optional cadence sensor), distance traveled, yards in swimming, and more. Each of these measurements helps me in measuring my success or failure in every practice session and race.
Technology has made great strides in bicycles and wheel sets. The amount of research that goes into these two items in the world of triathlon is incredible. Every year there are new and exciting advances in aerodynamic speed in bicycles and wheel sets. Most of the time, this technology can take two very different points of view. This was most evident at the 2016 World Championships in Kona. Diamond Bikes launched their Andean bike which fills all the space between the front and rear tires with sturdy sections to allow the wind to pass through this area for aerodynamics. Another bike debuted at Kona this year with the opposite idea. The Ventum bike removes the bottom tire of the bike and creates an empty space between the front and rear tires with only the top tire remaining. These are two very different ideas about aerodynamics. This is one of the amazing things about technological progress and also one of its drawbacks.
Every piece of equipment in a triathlon undergoes constant technological advancement. Shoes, wetsuits, socks, nutrition, hats, sunglasses, helmets, racing gear and anything you can imagine. The tech world in this triathlon is not finished and will continue to push boundaries.
The technology in triathlons is amazing. These new items are exciting and make every year different. There are new advances that help triathletes run faster and longer. This new technology even helps amateur triathletes go faster. Just buying new wheels can mean the difference between being on or off the podium. The advancement of shoes has helped many athletes to avoid the injuries that bother so much like plantar fasciitis. Technology will continue to help sports get better and better.
The downside of technology is that amateur triathletes arrive at their local races already unable to win because someone else has the money to buy some of the latest technology. Biggest purchases like wheel sets and bicycles can be a deterrent to the average triathlete, but there are people who buy these items at an alarming price. Amateur triathletes can also feel overwhelmed by what to buy and what not to buy. Some tech items aren’t worth the extra cost as they don’t significantly reduce race time for what they cost. Now that this new technology has been out for a while, clones are starting to make stuff at a lower cost. It will be interesting to watch this flood of imitations hit the market and see how it affects the big kids of technology.
If you are a savvy amateur triathlete shop and don’t buy a new gadget just because it’s new. Make sure to invest in items that will actually get you going faster and not just a gimmick.