I love challenges… So much so, I wanted to do as much as possible before I am no longer on this planet. I tried many different jobs, experiences and sports. As a wee little guy, I wanted to be a race car driver. Then I wanted to be a police officer. Then I found computers cool and guess what, that is what stuck. Same for sports… I played baseball and kind of liked it, then I watched college basketball every morning before going to school and then realized even though I was tall, I could not hit a basket or slam dunk if my life depended on it. I then got into hockey but living in Arizona at the time, wasn’t really an option. I loved diving (swimming pool) and cycling as they were a ton of fun but BMX’ing and mountain biking became my “thing” for a long time. THEN I got a job and then sports took a back seat for a very long time.
I have tried a lot of things in my life and as much as I regret not jumping into the sport of Triathlon earlier in my life, I am glad I found it now. It goes well with me as each one is a challenge and even more so back-to-back-to-back. I also find being an introvert it is a sport I love hence the “Lone Wolf” signature. I don’t run will with packs as I don’t always agree and egos are not something I enjoy being around. I love the motivation and inspiration of sport but most people are driven by other means.
My goal in 5 years is to run a FULL Ironman (Preferably at the Ironman World Championships in KONA Hawaii – SEE YouTube videos below) and it will be a long road to get there. So here is how I deal with each of the 3 sports in this multi-sport called TRIATHLON. For this blog entry, I will focus on the Super Sprint, a great beginner course for anyone interested in getting into the sport. (My first is a Sprint distance – 750m/20km/5km as I am beefing up for an Ironman in 5 years)
As I said, I didn’t swim much as a kid or as an adult I just dove and I love to scuba/snorkel so open water doesn’t bother me but swimming at speed and in a race will be daunting. Talk about new muscles and new soreness O.M.G! Since I am starting out, I could opt for a Super Sprint distance (400m) but as I said I decided to go with a Sprint (750m) distance for my first race. Pool swimming is WAYYYYYYYY different than open water swimming for those who have not done open water. Open water, you have varying temperatures, currents, wind, waves and potential objects you have to navigate. So find your nearest lake or river or ocean and check it out.
Easy one right? Well keep in mind, at minimum, you need to go 10K/6.2 miles AFTER your swim in a Super Sprint distance. Then you have to save enough energy for your run. So as biking is a pretty simple thing to do leisurely, remember it is GO time and you will want to pedal non-stop as much as possible all whilst retaining energy. I carry water bottle to keep my body cool and take a swig here and there but know that nutrition (Energy gels, food, etc.) and water for longer distance will come more into play but most events have aid stations who have water and Gatorade. Many beginner triathlons have different age groups and classes. For example, I am a big dude and I could go for my age group alone or I could sign up for the Clydesdale/Athena class cause I am over a certain weight. You could pick a Mountain Bike division if you want to race with your mountain bike. but if you find you get serious with the sport, you will want to invest in a good TRI-Bike and possible a road bike for training purposes. ALL BIKES ARE NOT MADE EQUALLY! Geometry is critical especially when it deals with Triathlon as TRI-bikes are made for speed and take a bit of core strength and agility to manage one. So, get riding!
We all have that one sport we don’t like and this one by far is my least favorite. It is something I don’t enjoy doing… YET…. but I am learning to like it. As I lose more fat weight it will become a little easier but time will tell. For a Super Sprint you will be running a 2.5K/1.5Mile run which for most beginners is a good run to deal with. But this is the part of the race you want to give it your all. Run like crazy to cross that finish line. To train for running, get a Couch to 5K app or other running training app. Find a friend who is an avid runner and ask for advice. Check out YouTube for tips and techniques on running. Get a great pair of shoes and train in them. DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT buy a pair of shoes days before the race as you need to see if the shoes you get feel comfortable and don’t cause you unwanted/preventable pain. There is some pain we can avoid in a triathlon and this is one of them.
So in closing, multi-sports like Triathlon are very challenging but can be fun. There is a ton of venues coming up to support this sport. Research, train and go achieve something that you will never forget. Stay inspired and motivated from friends, family and some awesome YouTube videos like these I watch all the time. Remember, Before starting any new diet or exercise program, you should check with your physician and/or coach.
Thank you and remember… I LOVE YOU ALL!