National Club Challenge: Great Divide FAQ

WOW!  The e-mail has been hoppin’ with interest in the National Club Challenge.  That’s fantastic!


I’m getting some of the same questions from folks, and I expect there are some out there who are wondering the same things but haven’t asked, so I’ll toss these out to try and assuage some concerns:


Q:    “I’d love to do this, but my mileages could be kinda low (not a strong swimmer/biker/runner).  Is this okay?”


A:  Absolutely!  The Challenge is about triathletes on a team getting together in the off season and laying the training foundations for a new racing year.  Each team member will be training for his or her races, per his or her training plan.  You’ll have your races/your goals/your training plan…and they’ll have theirs.  There aren’t any minimums, averages, or quotas to worry about.  You’re training for you (which you were going to do anyway, right?).  You get the benefit of the training…the team gets the benefit of your miles…and you get to train with friends – a total Win-Win…Win!



Q:  “Do miles on stationary equipment like bikes and treadmills count?”


A:  Are you breaking a sweat?  Well, then you BETTER count ‘em!   This time of year, a great many workouts will be indoors.  While it’s true you’re not going to get a precision measurement of distance from a machine – no matter how good they are – they’re close enough for our purposes.  So treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes are all fair game.


A personal note on elliptical and stationary bikes – and we’ll toss this out for Team approval to keep things consistent …

… as a general rule, if I’m using an elliptical or stationary/spin bike: I prefer to base my mileage on the time – not the display.  I’ve found that ellipticals are notoriously inaccurate on distance, but my heart rate and effort level tell me if I’m performing at training levels. So…since I know what my average TRAINING pace is for running (and I always take the low end of the range), I take the time spent on the elliptical, and compute my miles that way:  say my average training pace is an 8:20 mile, and I squeeze in a 30 minute elliptical workout, it comes out to about 3.6 miles.  Same for a spin bike:  if my average road bike  pace is 16 mph, and I grab a solid 45 minute spin workout over my lunch hour – I claim 12 miles;  in either case, I just make sure I’m pushing myself for the duration of the workout.  And if I have a less-than-stellar workout, I adjust the distance downward accordingly.


We also have a group who are getting together for trainer workouts.  The venues change based upon who wants to host them, but if you have a bike and a trainer, it’s another way to rack up some miles – on the equipment you’re going to use in your race(s).


The Challenge is entirely on the honor system…you’re in training for a future event…and you know how much effort you put in, and that’s the important part.  Oh sure, the figures could be padded, but it’s pointless if the training benefit isn’t there.  Yeah, we’re competing against other teams, but the Challenge is more about producing quality race-day performance, than just racking up miles.  But I know I’m preaching to the choir on this point, so we’ll move on.  J



Q:  “What’s the best way to go about joining Team Great Divide?”


A:  With the initial levels of response, I was hesitant to keep sending folks to Ann – she’s a busy lady with a lot on her plate.  But I visited with her and she said to keep doing what we were doing.  Sooo…to join Team Great Divide, e-mail Ann Seifert, and give her your name and e-mail address.  Then it’s just a matter of making arrangements to get your annual dues of $20 to her.  And again – TGD membership entitles you to Team discounts on select items at Great Divide Cycelry (including supplements), as well as partial race reimbursement for qualifying races.


Ann’s email: (and yes, that’s correct:  ‘’)


Hope this answers some nagging questions, and eliminates some trepidation.  Come on out – we’d love to have ya’!






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