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!
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?