I don’t usually commit to races that I haven’t prepared for. For example, when we signed up for our first Warrior Dash (obstacle course mud run), we knew we could at least run a 5k. When we registered up for the half marathon, we found a training program online and stuck to it for 3 months, so we knew we could run the required 13.1 miles.
Our 2 year anniversary is coming up on October 5th, so we wanted to find something entertaining to do in celebration. What better way to spend an anniversary than to complete a sprint triathlon? Unfortunately, we didn’t think this through with enough time to actually train for it. So, I’m relying on my eclectic combination of regular (and unrelated) sports activities to help me finish the race (stand-up paddleboarding, running, outrigger canoe paddling, P90X, yoga, CrossSUP, etc.).
The first section of the triathlon is a half-mile swim in open water. Since I had no gauge on that distance, I went to the local pool about a month ago to swim 40 laps. Lesson learned: now I know I can swim 40 laps, which is a little further than 1/2 mile, so that is useful information. I went to the pool again a few weeks ago and swam 60 laps. I would hardly call 2 trips to a pool “training”, but at least I know I can complete the distance (no matter how slowly).
I own a bike, but the tires haven’t been inflated for over 2 years and it’s a mountain bike with hybrid tires (not exactly a speedy race bike). Biking is not my favorite activity, nor am I particularly comfortable with it. I was under the assumption that I could bike 13 miles, but that assumption was not based on experience. So, Eric and I took our bikes to Ft DeSoto this morning, inflated the tires, and biked about 10.5 miles. Lesson learned: we biked 10.5 miles, so we can probably bike 13.
We haven’t been running regularly throughout the summer, but we know we can definitely run a 5k, so that takes care of the final section of the sprint triathlon (although the 5k tri run will be on the beach). However, we are curious as to whether or not we can run 3.1 miles after a 0.5 mile swim and 13 mile bike…
So, in 3 weeks, we will embark on our first sprint triathlon, completely untrained and relying only on the random activities we do regularly. My goals for the Sharks Siesta Key Triathlon: not to finish last (despite our mountain bikes) and, more importantly, to HAVE FUN!
I would love to hear from other triathletes – anything from transitions to not getting kicked during the swim to not colliding with others during the bike to running with jello legs. Anything you think might be helpful – I’ll take it!