I can officially call myself a “Triathlete”, though I’m sure my time/numbers are nothing to brag about. It was a PR!
The swim was BRUTAL and I wasn’t prepared for that at all… It’s done and it was a good experience, but I was definitely not in “triathlon shape”.
I signed up for this triathlon in mid-July assuming that 3-4 weeks would be plenty of time to prepare. I only need to include some swimming, biking and running into my training schedule. I scaled back my strength training to 3 days/week and trained for the triathlon the other 3 days, taking Sunday’s off.
When training for a triathlon, you don’t just go out a complete a full triathlon each day, but you should focus on a couple of the segments included in the event. Most days, I would bike 10-12 miles and follow that up with a run that was a little over 1 mile in distance. The first time you bike for that kind of distance and then hop off the bike to try and run for any kind of distance is humbling…Your legs simple do not want to work and feel like lead anchors.
For the swim training, I used our community pool. The pool was no where near the conditions that I faced for the actual event. It was only roughly 25 meters in length and not subject to the choppy conditions that typically occur on an open water lake. As I mentioned above, I was woefully unprepared for that 400 meter swim…
A Father/Son Challenge
This event was a bit unique. It was being hosted in the town (Culver, IN) that I lived in for several years and attended high school. I was very familiar with the course – the previously mentioned lake, the ride around the lake and the run through the town, so I thought that this would be a great way to experience my first triathlon!
This event also offered a chance for kids, ages 5-11, to experience a triathlon, albeit at shorter distances (75 m swim, 1 mile bike, 1 mile run). My son, Grant, decided that he wanted to give it a shot as well. While the distances weren’t as challenging as the adult course, he still needed to put in some training in order to be abel to swim for that distance and complete the 1 mile run. We were able to training together in the pool, on the bike and with a few laps around the track/community, so it was a great father/son bonding environment that I’ll never forget.
Oh yeah…Grant actually kicked some serious butt, being the top finisher in his age group! It was definitely a proud dad moment.
There are a lot of thoughts that go through your mind during a triathlon.
Here are just a few that I can recall…
Swim (400 meters):
- Oooh the water is pretty warm.
- That first buoy doesn’t look to far.
- Just breathe.
- Damn…this guy next to me keeps hitting me.
- Crap…I’m never going to make it to the first buoy.
- Ok, something just grabbed my leg.
- I really should have trained for this swim.
- I. Am. Going. To. Die.
- There is no way this only 400 meters.
- Pretty sure I am drinking more and more water on every stroke.
- Fuck…I’m pretty sure this is what it feels like right before you drown.
- Where is the lifeguard guy…seriously!
- Well no one else is around me, maybe I’m in the lead?
- Longest. Swim. Ever.
- No way I am running to the transition area.
Bike (11 miles):
- Why aren’t my legs working?
- Another hill? Crap!
- No way I am letting this 12 year old on the Huffy beat me.
- Sweet, the other side of the hill!
- 10 mph…really?
- Hey, I used to mow that lawn.
- Why can’t the entire course be downhill?
- Not setting any records today.
- Man this is going to suck.
- Oh sweet, Powerade
- I would be so much faster on a flat surface.
- I used to mow that lawn too.
- Ok, I need to walk a few breaths.
- Man, I drank too much Powerade.
- 2 miles huh?
- I think I can catch that guy.
- My Fitbit is full of crap!
- Oh hey, the finish line.
- Really, that guy beat me?
- I’m never doing this again!
159/227 – overall
15/18 – age group
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- Swim – 16:31
- Bike – 42:08 – 16.4 mph rate
- Run – 29:31 – 9:31 pace
- Total: 1:32:20
15/46 – overall
1/18 – age group – top finisher!!!
- Swim – 3:58
- Bike – 5:12 – 23.1 mph rate
- Run – 6:28 – 6:28 pace
- Total: 17:45
While I don’t have any plans to attempt another triathlon any time soon, this was certainly an eye opener to the type of training that is necessary for an event like this. The distances of this sprint triathlon were nowhere near what they are for a full triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) let alone a half (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) and it only confirms my appreciation for those that can complete this type of an event.
If I plan to do another triathlon in the future, I will definitely have to train differently and give myself more than 3-4 weeks to prepare…