Astronaut completes triathlon in space, just because she could

Here's why we love NASA around here. The agency tends to hire those overachieving types that aren't just happy to command an International Space Station; they also complete the first triathlon in space while they're at it.

This past weekend, Astronaut Sunita Williams ran, cycled and used a special resistance training tool to simulate the swimming portion of the Nautica Malibu Marathon.

By the way, Williams was also part of the team that just completed two marathon space walks, and fixed a bolt on the ISS with a MacGyver'd toothbrush while orbiting 240 miles above Earth.

Though astronauts on long space missions must exercise up to two hours a day to prevent loss of muscle and bone density, completing the first triathlon in space kicked it up a notch. The running and cycling were easy as there is equipment already on board for that, which astronauts use while wearing harnesses to keep from floating away.

Since swimming was impossible in zero gravity, Williams worked with Mark Guilliams of NASA's astronaut strength, conditioning and rehabilitation group to create a modified type of bench press to simulate resistance for the swimming portion of the event.

Williams used the bench press to "swim" the equivalent of half a mile, cycled 18 miles on the stationary bike and ran four miles on the treadmill to complete the race.

If this accomplishment fails to impress you, Williams also ran the Boston Marathon while on the ISS back in 2007. She finished in four hours and 23 minutes.

So we can all rest easy knowing Astronaut Williams is up there commanding the ISS, completing triathlons and probably working with ground control on how to simulate a Mt. Everest climb, while building a robot from spare parts.

I don't know about you, but suddenly I'm feeling both personally inadequate, yet at the same time glad that Astronaut Sunita Williams is pushing such lofty boundaries.

Via Space.com, HuffingtonPost

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