First came the running, then came triathlon. It was an idea that simmered in the back of my mind for over a year as I heard some of my fellow grad students talk about their training and experiences. I went to one of their races and got to see it happen. To actually watch so many people as they complete each leg of a triathlon is quite moving. It's like you can see the challenges they've had to overcome in their facial expressions. I got the same feeling watching the Boston Marathon this year-- I'm a sap, I teared up!
As I began to realize my limits with running, the sport of triathlon really appealed to me. What can I say, I enjoy competition :) Without any commitments, I began to take some spinning classes at the gym, and tried swimming at the pool. I am NOT a swimmer, so it took awhile for me to feel even remotely comfortable in the water. When it came to biking outside, I had some issues, as the bike from my past was too small and hurt my knees (proper fit is important!). But each day things got easier.
A year went by, me thinking about doing a tri, worrying about my knees, wondering if I could do it. Now I feel like this was a year wasted, but I'm not going to lie--I was apprehensive! Finally it started to come together and I decided to give it a tri (haha). These articles from Runner's World and Womens Health Magazine provided alot of helpful information and gave me guidelines for my own training. It is a commitment to train for swimming, biking, and running, but it doesn't have to consume all of your free time!
The first race? I chose a women's-only sprint tri in Philly, appropriately called SheROX. (They have now teamed with Danskin to run events in multiple cities, check the website for one near you!) A sprint distance tri ranges anywhere from 1/4-1/2 mi swim, 10-16mi bike, and 2-3.1mi, depending on the course. I would definitely recommend a women's only race for a first event--not only did they have a mentor program for first-timers, but the support on race day was unbelievable. I loved every minute of it and was so thrilled by the new experience!! So... what are you waiting for??
Ok, well, this post is turning out to be longer than anticipated, so I will try to compile the helpful tips I got along the way into another post. In the mean time, what questions do you have??? Is anyone else training for a tri right now? (I'm signed up for the Danskin New England at the end of July, looking for some more races) What is your biggest worry? I know I had quite a few! Would you be interested in seeing what I actually did for my training? In the mean time you can check out what college student and pro triathlete Jen Perez has to say in her interviews by Jenn, Ashley, Caitlin, and Meghann!