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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tri, Tri Again Triathlon

If you are wondering if you could do a triathlon, I'm here to tell you that you can. If you know how to swim, bike, and run, you can do a triathlon. If you don't know how to do those things, there are ways to learn. In fact, I helped my neighbor learn to swim so she could do her first triathlon, with an open-water swim, with me. She was amazing...but, that's a story for another post.

I've done about seven sprint triathlons in my life and I'm by no means super fit. I love the thrill of pushing my body to new personal records and the energy of race day is addictive.

Right before the very last tri I did in 2010. It was the hardest tri I've ever done and, clearly, I had no idea what I was in for at the point this photo was taken. 
Last year, though, my doctor advised me to take some time off from any sort of physically strenuous activity. He told me I had adrenal fatigue and I ended up taking nearly a year off. If you want to know more about how I got better, read this post.

Now that my health has returned, I'm itchin' and ready to get back into triathlon training. In many ways I feel like a novice. Slowly, over the summer, I have been conditioning to get back into running, swimming, and biking shape. Now I remember why I don't like taking too much time off from working out (especially from running). The pain of getting back in shape has been daunting and I still have a ways to go. But, I love the feeling I get when I accomplish a goal.

My current goal is to complete Triathamom, a sprint triathlon on August 18, 2012 at the Kearns Oquirrh Park Fitness Center. The event is called a sprint triathlon because each event is a short distance, not because you sprint the whole thing. Egads! Can you imagine? Sprint triathlons are completely manageable for the novice. This one has a 300 meter swim, a 12 mile bike, and a 5K (which is 3.1 miles). I'm not worried about my time, I just want to finish knowing I did my best.

Here are some of the things I've learned as I've been training that might be helpful if you're planning on doing a triathlon any time soon. (I'd love to see you on race day if you're doing Triathamom!) If you have any other tips to add to this brief list, I'd love to read them.

  1. Balance between training and resting. If you think that the harder you push yourself, the better you'll get, you're wrong. Rest is just as important as training. Make sure you give yourself at least two days off each week from hard workouts. If you're too exhausted to work out hard, take a break. 
  2. Practice two events back to back. This is called a brick. I'm guessing that they call it that because your body might feel like a brick when you get off your bike and start to run or get out of the pool and start running. Oof! Take it slow at first. 
  3. Eat! When you're burning loads of calories, you need to fuel up with good food. Get a good balance of protein, carbs, and fat. Plus, drink plenty of water. I keep track of the food I'm eating and the exercise I get with apps on my iPhone. My favorites are My Fitness Pal and a calories burned app. The best thing about working out hard is all the food you can eat! 
  4. Avoid injury by stretching out. Warmed muscles are ideal for stretching. I find that doing yoga several times a week helps me stay loose, injury free and happy. Stretching your muscles after a hard workout is absolutely necessary if you want to prevent injuries.
I'll post more about my training as the weeks go by...right now, I need to change my inner tube on my bike so I can ride it. 

Good luck and stay healthy!

1 comment:

  1. Glad you are feeling better and can get back into triathlon training!


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