By Scott Prater
The Schriever Lazyman triathlon’s name is a tad bit deceiving. Those who complete it can hardly be referred to as lazy.
In essence, they are completing an entire Ironman triathlon – running 26.2 miles, swimming 2.4 miles and cycling 112 miles. They’re just doing it in a longer time frame than the athletes who compete in Ironman events.
Lazyman participants have the entire month of February, albeit 28 days, to complete the entire triathlon.
This event marks the seventh consecutive February the fitness center has hosted the event, created by Schriever Fitness Center Director Seth Cannello. Most participants use Peterson Air Force Base pool for the swim portion and can choose their own locations for the cycling and running legs.
The idea is not only to provide Schriever athletes with a stringent workout, but also to provide participants with a new appreciation of what Ironman triathletes experience.
“We picked February as the month to host it because most people make their resolutions in January,” Cannello said. “They’ll typically stick with their resolutions for about a month and then kind of drop off after that. This just gives them something to shoot for and keeps them motivated while they are starting a new exercise.”
Cannello said 60 Schriever athletes signed up to complete the challenge by the end of February. He provided participants with a spreadsheet program so they could calculate and track their workouts.
1st Lt. Gary Goff typically works out five to six times a week, but the Lazyman still presented a huge challenge. He began on Feb. 2 and tackled the swimming and cycling portions first, cramming two-a-day training sessions in to complete those legs within a week.
“I’m not a strong cyclist and I had no idea how far 112 miles would be,” Lieutenant said. “It takes a long time to bike that far. I tried to keep my speed at 18 miles per hour, so I adjusted the resistance on the stationary bike to keep that happy pace.”
Things were going pretty well for Lieutenant Goff initially. Since he exercised frequently, he didn’t experience much soreness or unusual fatigue … during the swimming and cycling phases.
“This is an intense cardio workout, and you’re working hard,” he said. “You think you have 28 days, but you would be amazed how fast they go by.”
Lieutenant Goff valued the spreadsheet calculator during the process because it provided motivation during the event.
“I logged in my statistics every day and it really helped to see those numbers click down,” he said.
Cannello believes the spreadsheet calculator is especially beneficial for people.
“If you ever want to change your program, or you’re experiencing a plateau, you can actually go back and see what you did, versus what you think you did,” Cannello said. A lot of time people start a program and think they’re working out a lot, but then they go back and look at the calculator and see the reality.”
Lieutenant Goff started his second week with nothing but the run portion left to go, but he’s had to take breaks and really rest on rest days since the run has taken a heavy toll on his legs.
On Feb. 11 he had 13 miles left to run.
“I was hoping to complete this in less time,” he said. “If I had to do it again, I would have combined more running and biking.”
The workout has provided immediate results. Lieutenant Goff has noticed he’s burning fat, and he hopes to restart his resistance training following the triathlon in an effort to replace that fat with muscle.
One thing is for sure – he won’t be competing in any Ironman triathlons.
“Maybe I’ll do some sprint triathlons and things of that nature, but what I really wanted to do with this was prove to myself that I could do it and get a great workout,” Lieutenant Goff said.