March 24, 2012

Multisport World Conference and Expo

Spent this morning at the Multisport World Conference and Expo in Bethesda; it was a collection of seminars, clinics, and a vendor expo covering the triathlon and multisport world. Non-running competition is pretty new to me, and I really went to just dip my toes into the triathlon pool…which is probably bad wording since I haven’t dipped my actual toes into a pool in years.

The conference and expo was held at Georgetown Prep school, so the event had great facilities, including a full indoor pool for some swimming and total immersion clinics.

My day started early with the 90-minute ‘First Time Triathlete Workshop’ led by the coach of TriTeamZ, a local tri training group and team. It covered everything from race distances and rules to gear and common rookie mistakes. A lot of it was a refresher from previous articles I’ve seen in Competitor and other magazines, but there were some good pieces of information that I’ll take away with me if I ultimately end up in a triathlon.

After that I sat through a couple 45-minute seminars; the first being on how injury is linked to body alignment and form. It was led by Positively Chiropractic, where I’ve been going for my hip injury battle, so it was good to get some more insight and see their team again. The second seminar was on natural running mechanics, something we all know but still struggle with at times. The presenter shared some good tips and tricks for body-weight exercises to build running muscles, a great seminar for me since I spend a lot of time in hotel rooms and can always use more exercises that don’t require a gym.

Finally I hit the vendor expo, which wasn’t really as good as I was hoping. There was a heavy focus on bikes, biking trainers, and indoor biking contests; so unless you were shopping for a $4,000 bike, there wasn’t too much for the newbies. But I hit a few tables and spoke with some local tri teams, gaining a little more knowledge and becoming aware of some local events that take place in the running “offseason” months of June through August.

In the end, it was a fantastic opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of triathlons and multisport events. I still don’t know where triathlon fits in my short term goals; I spend a lot of time in hotels for business travel and at random client sites when local, so finding a pool to swim in and a time to go will be an ongoing battle if I want to attempt triathlons as a break from running. With my current client and travel schedule, it doesn’t make sense to invest in monthly pool membership, so I’ll continue to slowly explore that sport; maybe I’ll become a “hotel triathlete,” training on the road in 10-yard kiddie pools around the country.