Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Truth about Triathlon

I finished the series! This morning I did my third triathlon in three months and it was, well, terrible :) I guess I should clarify; overall, I did well. I had a drama-free swim, a solid bike ride that didn't feel so long (and I made it up the hill at the end with my best technique yet), but compared to my previous performances, it was pretty pathetic. However, considering that I was on vacation for almost 4 weeks leading up to the race, it was a miracle I was able to even finish. My triathlete sister-in-law said to me that usually the middle race is the peak because the first one is practice, the second one you feel motivated to improve on and the third you just do to get it over with. My feelings exactly! So I came in 8th place today, with a total time of 1:10:06- almost my time for the first one. My run time was the worst it has ever been, but I think I had about 3 hours of sleep last night and I really was dragging like never before. I am proud of myself for finishing all three, it definitely was tough. And major props to my friend and tri partner, Davina, who came in 3rd for her age group. She is an amazing athlete. And thanks to a bike malfunction we got to start the bike part together and it was way more fun to have a partner on the ride. Of course, then she got off the bike and I had to eat her dust on the run, but for the bike part at least, it was nice :)

So if you are considering doing triathlon or think to yourself, "I could never do that" I have to tell you, Yes you can- and here is why:
1. If you think that people who do triathlon are out of your league, you are right- sort of. Meaning, the true triathlon elites race in their own "elite" division. So for the most part, you aren't racing against future olympians. You are divided into age groups that are made up of of people pretty much like you. And you would be surprised at how many people say "This is my first triathlon" when you talk to them. There is a novice or first-time division usually as well.
2. You don't have to be skinny or look like you are "in shape". Swimming, biking and running is much more about cardio than muscle. Case in point: At the triathlon today there were a bunch of those beefcake gym rats- you know, the guys who are tan, ripped and oozing with muscles? And do you know how many of those people I saw walking the run? TONS of them. So don't be intimidated by all the super fit athletes- appearance means nothing. If you have conditioned yourself to run, you are golden- no matter what you weigh.
3. All the fancy gear, outfits and attitude is nothing to be intimidated by. Again, some of those people that have the most expensive bikes, the nicest tri suits and the expensive gizmos come in last. Work with whatever you have.
4. Ultimately, triathlon is about competing with yourself, and no one else. Most everyone there was not focused on winning a medal at all, they only wanted to see if they improved their time. So don't compare yourself to anyone else and their time. It's really only about YOU.

So that is my two cents on triathlon. I love it. It's challenging, it's good for your health, and who doesn't love saying, "Yeah, I do triathlons." I am taking some time off to focus on weight training for a little while, but maybe by October I will feel ready for another dose of three sport goodness.

No comments: