Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sprint Triathlon - or How NOT to train.

Part one... the training up to the event...  Part two...Race recap.

About 3 months ago,  I thought it would be fun to do a Sprint Triathlon.  I know most of you are saying what makes this "fun"? Lately I find that getting outside of my comfort zone is fun.  Because in my head,  I want to try a Half Iron man...and then if that went well ... a Full Iron Man.  This will take several years of work... so step 1.. a sprint Tri... or Baby Tri as I call it.  I can re-evaluate after that.

This particular one consisted of 1/2 mile swim,  12 mile bike,  3 mile run.    A half Iron man is a 1 mile swim,  56 mile bike,  13.1 mile run... so you can see a sprint is just a taste of what the real thing is like.   But heck you have to start somewhere.  Besides this was a woman's only event,  so it felt less intimidating.

12 weeks before the event..training begins.... I knew I would be okay on the run.  I run 2-3 times a week at least and I never do less than 3 miles,  so I really didn't worry about that.  I knew that would take care of itself.  

Bike.. I had been taking a spin class 1-2 times a week for over 9 months.  I know.. spinning is not really road cycling.  But it does get your legs in decent shape and more importantly.. your butt used to being in a bike saddle for an hour.  So,  in late May I thought,  I could start throwing in once a week ride on the road through out the summer and that would be enough.   Enter Mother Nature.....

June was the wettest on record,  July the hottest on record... and I did not head outside on a bike either month. I am a pussy so the result..in August I was feeling a little panicky.  My road work consisted of one 14 mile trip on the Loveland bike trail,  and one 8 mile trip to the local Farmers' market on a Saturday morning.   Not exactly what I was looking for...

And then there was the swim.   I started off swimming laps at LA Fitness.  First time out,  I could only do 8 without pausing... Okay... that is a problem.   1/2 mile swim is equal to 33-34 laps of LA's pool..  I had some work to do here.  So I worked in 2 swims a week ,  most weeks,  working on building my endurance.   2 weeks prior to the actual event,  I could do the laps in about 20 minutes time.   I was feeling better about the endurance,  but swimming in a pool is a whole different thing to swimming in a lake... with 200 + other people.    I did manage to make it up to Hueston Woods for a training swim hosted by the MOJO tri group here in the city.    That proved to be invaluable.   I learned about how to site so you swim straight,  and how to enter and exit the water.  Silly sounding,  but there are reasons why you do things a certain way,  and once you practice a few times,  it makes sense.   That one trip to a lake made me feel a little more confident and really doing one of these events is more mental than anything else.

Because at the end of the day,  I knew I had enough energy, and physical fitness to effectively work out for 2 hours ,  but would I let the little "you can't do this..."  demons get in my head.    They were there.. dancing on my shoulder and chanting in my ear... but I am learning more and more to ignore them.  Which is sometimes the hardest part of achieving anything at all.

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