On the last leg of the Ultimate TRI(photo courtesy of Martha Irene)
My love of triathlon started 5 years ago, I had run all sorts of distances and wanted a challenge. An ultra? Ok…31 miles on the rail trail was attempted and done with two BRF’s. I was not ready for a longer distance (my Galloway coach does 100 milers!). So what could I do? Well I had done biathlon’s before with the Marty Run/bike down in Nocatee. Could my next step be triathlons?! I knew what an Ironman was but that was for elite rich people. What triathlons are available to normal teacher poor people? Well, actually super sprints.
What is a super sprint you ask? Three athletic endeavors that are much much shorter than an Ironman and much more inexpensive. First of all, it’s a pool swim. 300m, compared to 2 miles in an ocean(Kona was the only Ironman I knew). 8 miles on a bike and a 5k. Easy! I had 2 out of 3 I could do. So I signed up for My First TRI and began to unlearn all my bad habits from not swimming for 30 years.
All you need is a swim cap, goggles, and a TRI suit(photo courtesy of Martha Irene)
My best advice for those of us who are not mermaids, don’t give up! Keep trying, hire a swim coach, read, and get in the pool. I was so proud when I first swam 100m nonstop and didn’t come up dying for air. Baby steps…I still have a hard time swimming a mile(no full Ironman’s for me-they’d laugh me out of the ocean). Get your breathing right and the battle is nearly won. So My First TRI was a bust, I got injured and Chris did it for me. Okay next year. Then along came the Ultimate TRI and boom! Another Super Sprint-yay!
I have done this TRI since it’s inaugural year when it was still April and the pool was warmer than the air temperature. The first time, I had the major panic attack of the water but survived. Remember there are lifeguards at the pool-no worries.
So when is it okay to move beyond the comfort of the super sprint? When you’re ready! YOU. It’s all about you and your comfort level. Don’t like the thought of jellyfish? Don’t like murky river bottoms? Then pick a sprint that you feel comfortable with. I was afraid of HOT down at Kingsley Lake because my husband said it was so hot down at Camp Blanding, people smelled crispy. So I opted for BFAST(an ocean swim , which terrified me-yes I did practice open water swims beforehand), and did it slow, slow, slow- not my best TRI. Finally did the HOT last year and loved it! Think gigantic pool-aaah lovely. Again, all based on comfort level.
So have you been kicking this idea around? Here are some things you’ll need.
Bathing suit(a swimmer’s suit not a Victoria Secret’s type)-I love my Nike ones, or a Tri suit. I like the two piece option. Easier to get out of when you need a potty break.
Running shoes(I do not clip in on my bike-my klutzy self knows better) and good running socks. I love My Soxy Feet(no hot spots even when wet).
Swim cap or 2. Find something comfy. Thank you Never Quit for providing two Navy Seals caps that have been durable.
A visor or running hat to keep the sun off your noggin. Headsweats are my go to hats.
Goggles. I’ve tried several pairs. Find what works for you. I like Speedo.
Helmet. Again find what works for you.
Road bike. If you’re just starting out, no reason to buy a thousand dollar bike(what if you hate it?!). Get fitted at the bike store. Good bike stores let you test drive them. And used/retro fitted bikes are just as good. Love my second hand bike! No, I have not named my bike.
Water bottle. Keep hydrated just like running.
Gear bag. For races. Some people like backpacks, some like gym bags. Find what you like.
A watch. It should be able to switch from swim, to bike, and run with no problems. I like my Garmin.
And there you are. You are ready! I believe in you. See you out there!
Remember it’s not about the destination it’s about the journey,