July 31, 2019
July 31, 2019
Until this past year I had never really had a desire to train for a triathlon. But, whether it was landing the next jump in skating or running my first 5k, I’ve always found sports and fitness a great opportunity for chasing big goals. So once I had gotten pretty comfortable in the goals I had reached so far, I was looking for something new. Of course I could (and will) always aim to get faster at running, but as I was hitting a plateau and Al was recovering from an injury and unable to run with me, it felt like a perfect time to try something new. Enter, the Chicago Triathlon.
Conveniently, we had just moved to an apartment building with an indoor lap pool so I started swimming laps in the morning, which quickly became my favorite way to wake up. I’ve never been a competitive swimmer but have always loved being in the water, be it a lake or a pool. So the piece of the triathlon that seemed hardest for me was also the most fun to train for and work up to.
Once I decided to fully commit to the race, there was suddenly so much I felt I needed to learn. The most intimidating of which was probably all the gear you need, figuring out what that really entailed, and what was actually necessary. There’s such a tougher barrier to entry into triathlons than a running race, where you can simply throw on a pair of shorts and the provided T-shirt as a beginner. It’s easy to get really caught up in all the fancy gear you could get. I decided to go into this first race with only the absolute necessities and things I already own, rather than going out and buying a fancy bike or wetsuit.
The gear I’m using:
Another somewhat foreign concept I had to learn about, beyond the three sports involved, was the art of the transition. Since my goal is less time based and just focused on finishing, I don’t necessarily care too much about how long my transitions take. However, learning the organizational tips of transition I think will be very helpful in creating a sense of calm during the race, knowing exactly what you need for the next part of the race and where it is. A proper transition also helps you look less like a rookie 😉
With a month to go, I started kicking it into gear, practicing the parts of the race I was most nervous about (better late than never…). I started swimming in open water and doing brick workouts (bike + run).
Joining a triathlon team and attending clinics for open water swimming has definitely forced me out of my comfort zone. Being surrounded by others that seem way more experienced than I do has been a bit intimidating, but has made me feel more prepared than ever for the race. I’m excited to dive in even deeper in this last month so that race day will be a completely enjoyable experience.