Friday, June 25, 2010

Decided to TRI

Since my injury, I have had to do a lot more biking and swimming to keep my fitness level up. And now that I can finally run again I have still been keeping up with the bike and swimming so I finally decided to go for a Triathlon.

I have always wanted to do a TRI but fear the swim. I am not a strong swimmer and have never had any professional lessons. So all I have been doing to train is jump into my pool most afternoons and try to swim as much as I can. I am for the first time in my life feeling a little confidant in my swimming. Now I am not fast and I don’t think I even look like a real swimmer, but I am able to swim a couple hundred yards no problem.

I have been planning a trip down to Miami, Florida to visit my family for a couple weeks and decided that I will do my TRI there. I made this decision for a couple reasons, the first being that it is FLAT. No hills for the bike or run which is a huge plus. The second reason is because I am so nervous about this having a big cheering crowd for just me will be helpful and I have a lot of family and friend there to cheer me on.

So now I have 2 more weeks to train before I leave for Miami, then I will have one week there before the big race. Holy Moly that is not a lot of time. I have never done an open water swim and this Tri starts in the ocean, so I guess this is a great way to break me in right? It was suggested that when I get down there I should go for a swim in the ocean and see how it is, but to tell you the truth I think it will scare me even more. If I just wait till race day, I will be nervous anyway and then really have no choice but to do it. Maybe not the best plan but the best plan for me I think.

These next couple of weeks are going to be filled with a TON of training, I need to swim or bike 6 days a week and run every other day (still recovering so can’t push it). And then on race day I will just have to hope that it was enough. This is a Sprint Tri so it is a ¼ mile swim, 10mile bike, and a 3.1 mile run.

I would love to hear any advice you have for my first TRI. What gear should I bring? What do you tell yourself when you feel like running back to the car instead of in to the ocean for the swim? How do you handle the first time you get kicked in the face during the swim? What fuel do you bring? It is going to be hot so is a wearing a camel pack with water okay for the bike or too much?

Please share your knowledge, I know nothing and need all the help I can get… YIKES am I really doing this?



Janice said...

I think I could write a book on getting ready for triathlon, but I'll keep it to a few tips. First, don't use a camel back. Use water bottles and practice drinking while riding. In a race that long, you won't need a ton of water, but you'll need a bottle. Second, get in the water and practice open water swimming. Fear can cripple you. If you're not a strong swimmer, you need to have at least experienced open water before the race. Exposure is the best way to overcome fear. Get yourself in open water every day if you can. I can't emphasize this enough! Third, do some bike rides followed by a short run. Your body needs to know what to expect when you go from biking to running. It's hard, but the more you do it the better off you are. I almost always follow my bike with a mile run. Once a week I try to do a full run, but every time you get off the bike, try and make your body run. Even if it's just down the block. the whole thing in your swim suit. Use body glide or equivalent around your saddle area & you'll find it very comfortable on the bike & in the run. It's also faster.

Good luck. Triathlon is fun! People are very supportive and I love it!

Tracey Kite said...

Thank you so much Janice!! I really appreciate all your tips; I guess I need to start practicing drinking from a bottle on the bike, and running after the bike. I have been doing my runs after my swims but guess I need to switch it up.
I think I might have given the wrong impression about the swim though. I am not scared of the open water; I grew up in the ocean pretty much. I am scared of being kicked and beaten up by other swimmers. There is also no way I can practice in the open water since the Tri in Miami and I am living in Kansas now :( But thanks for all the advice I really appreciate it!!!