Getting Ready for GNT Training!

Wow.  It just hit me that in about 8 weeks, I’m going to be a triathlete!  That is something that I honestly never thought I’d be, and it feels so weird to say it!  Since signing up for the Gold Nugget Triathlon on a whim last week, I’ve been through a few stages of post-race feelings:

1. Crazy excitement right after I got the confirmation email!
2.  Fun the next day when I get to tell people I’ve signed up for the race.
3.  Disbelief a few days later as I realize that I have no idea what I’m doing.
4.  Frantic googling of 8 week triathlon training plans and local swim lessons.
5.  Fear as I realize I have no clue what gear I need and that my cheap mountain bike is going to make me look like a total newbie.
6.  Determination to come up with a training plan that works for me, even though I don’t know how to swim, can’t bike outside on the ice, and can’t run right now with my injury.


I know that this race is so beginner friendly that people walk almost the whole thing, and that anyone from 10 year olds to 80+ year olds will be doing it.  And most people there will have the most basic gear possible.  I don’t need a fancy bike, and I don’t need a wet suit to swim in the Bartlett High pool.  So I really just need to make sure that I’m comfortable with each leg of the race – at my own skill level and pace – and that I know what to expect throughout the race.  My best bet is just to read as much information about getting ready for my first triathlon as I can, and come up with something that works for me.  Here’s a list of some resources that I loved:

  • Why Not Tri?  by Runner’s World – this is so detailed and has great tips for runners who want to dabble in the world of triathlons
  • How Do I Train For My First Triathlon? by Triathlete – I love the basic tips that are specific to first timers.  They emphasize not getting overwhelmed by all the hardcore training tips around the internet when you’re just trying to get over your first finish line.
  • How To Train for a Sprint Triathlon by Active – I like the intro tips for each specific part of the race.  I know I’ll need these tips once I get started with training!
  • Beginner’s Triathlon Gear List by Active – I was so relieved reading this!
  • Why Anyone (Yes, Anyone) Can Do A Triathlon by Divine Caroline – Even though I’m at super newbie status right now, this post made me feel like I can definitely do this!

As I looked for training plans, I realized that I’m not going to be able to train like a “normal” triathlete because I need swim lessons, I can’t ride my bike outside on the ice until it all melts, and I can’t exactly run with this injury right now.  So I’m coming up with my own super-newbie plan for myself!  From here until the race, I plan on doing the following activities each week: two days of swimming, two days of spinning/biking, and two days of walking (and hopefully running soon!).  I’m planning on signing up for twice-a-week swim lessons at Alaska Pacific University if they still have space in class because my first time in the pool was very…interesting.  I’ve also got two spin classes that I love going to each week, and that leaves me three days each week to choose from for my two days of running/walking/hiking.  I can tell that this is not going to be easy, but if I don’t put any pressure on myself I’m going to have lots of fun training and racing in my very first tri!  If you have any advice or resources for first timers please let me know!

gnt logo

Have you ever done a triathlon?  Where did you learn how to do everything?!  Do you have a basic level, tried and true training plan?


24 thoughts on “Getting Ready for GNT Training!

  1. I never did a triathlon and never will, purely because I don’t really like cycling and I can’t be bothered to swim for longer than 10 minutes.
    My training at the moment are shorter runs during the week, a 7k at Saturdays and a 20 – 30k on Sundays.
    3 days ago in a moment of madness I signed up for a 60 miler in September and later in bed I got doubts. But I presume doubts are normal and I just have to make it over the finish line!!!

  2. It sounds like you’ve done a lot of research to come up with a great plan that fits your needs! Definitely just try to remember to have fun and race your own race. Enjoy every moment both while training and on race day and you’ll be great. You can totally do this!

    1. This is how I handle training when I have no clue what I’m doing! 🙂 My only goal is to have fun at this point!

    1. Haha I wish you could help me out! I just signed up for swim lessons today so at least I’m on the right track.

  3. That is so exciting! I admire you girl! I am not sure I could ever do one. I don’t ride a bike for fun and I am not a strong swimmer, I would need floaties! 😉 Can’t wait to hear more!!

    1. I’m sure if I can either, but we’ll see what happens! I’m definitely excited about swim lessons so I have a better idea of how to swim on race day.

  4. Hooray!! I am so excited for you!! The world of triathlon is a crazy, exciting, and addictive one 😉

    I was in the same boat as you when I started out two years ago and had NO IDEA how to swim. I took some basic adult swimming lessons and picked up front crawl enough to get myself from point A to point B. It was in the open water which was a little more intimidating, but my tri this past weekend was in a pool and had people of all shapes and sizes and ages and abilities – there were quite a few people who just walked through the shallow ends and dog-paddled through the deeper parts!

    Don’t worry about looking like a “noob” – I had the same feelings as well, but there is always time to upgrade your gear if you enjoy it and want to continue on with it (which I’m sure you will!).

    My recommendation for you would be to practice a few speedwalks or runs (depending how your injury is doing) straight off the bike. It’s a very weird feeling running on bike legs!

    Congrats to you for taking this step! I can’t wait to read about your training and how it goes! I wrote a post after my first triathlon about lessons I learned – if you’re interested let me know and I’ll send you the link!

    1. Thank you so much for all this advice! I love the idea of speed walking through my brick workouts – I definitely want to speed walk if I can’t run, and I need to get used to that weird leg feeling for sure! I’d love the link if you’re able to share it!

  5. My first triathlon was a ladies only and it was a great experience – so supportive and I never felt like I stuck out as a new triathlete. You seen all sorts of gear out there so I think as long as you feel comfortable in your swim/bike/run gear it will work out fine.

    I’m also training for an early season triathlon (and coming off a knee injury) and I’ve just been following a simple plan of swim, bike and run 2x a week each plus some cross-training (walking/hiking/skiing). I love the Triathlete’s Training Bible and Swim Workouts for Triathletes as resources.

    Good luck with the training!

    1. That’s awesome! I’m so glad you had a similar experience for your first! I’m also glad we have a similar training plan, at least I know I’m on the right track!

  6. Um, I have a baby tri in 3 weeks!!! I have NOT trained well for this and am seriously freaking out, lol! It’s beginner friendly like yours, but it’s still scary. Thank your the links–I’m def going to be looking at all of them as I last minute prep for this ajaja!

    1. No way! I had no idea you were doing one too! From what it sounds like, we can both just do what we can to get through it and we’ll probably be fine. Good luck!

  7. A tri was on my list of stuff to do this year. Still might take one on. Just don’t know how I would mix that in with my other training (extra xt perhaps?)

    1. I totally hear you! That’s why I never did one. But if you plan on doing some biking and swimming as cross training you can probably pull off a sprint tri like mine!

  8. I’m so excited for you! Taking on a tri sounds like such a fun challenge and a great way to spice up your workouts. I’ve haven’t done one yet – the swim part kind of intimidates me based on what I’ve heard about some of the open water races. But I think one that uses a pool sounds perfect

    1. Swimming is the scariest part for me, but I’m feeling so much better about it knowing that it’s in a pool! I feel like I can do it because I can touch the bottom if I need to which is so helpful for my peace of mind. You should try to find a tri to do in a pool!

  9. Hey just found your blog and it looks like we are in a similar situation. I also just signed up for my first tri! Mine is at the beginning of June. I’m not too worried about the biking and running but have a lot of work to do with swimming! Good luck with the training!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s