I’m all signed up for my first triathlon, the St. Anthony’s in St. Petersburg, FL on April 30th. That gives me roughly 8 weeks from signup to race day. I opted for the sprint distance because I have NO clue what I am doing and I don’t want to get in too far over my head with this swimming thing (no pun intended). I told you this was going to be a learning experience and I promise it is just that…
The goal for my first week of training was to gather as much information about the race and the sport in general…oh and learn how to swim. When I say “learn how to swim,” I don’t mean that I can’t swim. What I mean is that I am not that familiar with strokes and breathing techniques. I am more of a “swim for survival” girl…things like swimming to the side of the pool from a diving board and rescuing my children from the deep end. These tasks are certainly not considered a swimmer by any triathlon standards.
I used Day Zero (Prep Day) to meet a friend, who happens to be a swim instructor, at a local recreation center. She was amazing and gave me a quick 30 minute crash course in swimming. She gave me some pointers for race day, showed me how to breath while swimming, gave me a few drills to practice, and corrected some mistakes in my technique. I was also able to meet a woman at the pool that completed the St. Anthony’s Triathlon last year and soaked up as much information I could from her.
Next order of business was to find a pool that I could consistently use for training. I loved the recreation center in Clearwater, but it was a little pricey at $6 per drop-in and offered no child care option. I decided to call the nearest fitness club with a pool, which happened to be LA Fitness. They worked out a month-to-month option with a low initiation fee and no long-term commitment. This was perfect, I only need 2 months of a gym membership and I wasn’t looking to break the bank…I ended up paying $90 for 2 months and have access to child care as well!
Last on my list was figuring out the bike situation. This being my first triathlon, I am not in the market to buy any kind of bike. I have a bike at home, but it is more of a beach cruiser and not made for speed. I stopped by a couple local bike shops and asked tons of questions. This triathlon is extremely popular and rentals are pretty much out of the question at this point. The bike portion of my race is only 20 kilometers (12.43 miles), so a “triathlon” bike is not essential. Although I saw a beautiful road bike in the shop for about $3,000, I am going to survey my friends and family for a bike to borrow on this one!
Week 1 Training Recap…
Monday: 30 minute swim lesson and prep day
Tuesday: Indoor Cycle 30 minutes
Wednesday: 40 minute (walk/run)
Thursday: Pool Swim 400 yds (pace 4’05″/100yd)
Friday: Indoor Cycle 30 minutes
Saturday: Walk 30 minutes (out of town)
Sunday: Rest Day (out of town)
Important Takeaways from Week 1…
- Practice breathing bilaterally in the pool to prepare for open water swim because you never know which way the waves will be crashing during the race.
- Swimming is a mental sport, it’s MUCH easier when you relax.
- There is a difference between a cycling suit and a Tri suit.The main difference is padding and a cycling suit would NOT be comfortable for running!
- If you plan a destination race and/or don’t have a bike, rent early!
- There are tons of FREE training groups and meetups. Talk to local bike shops about events happening in your area, training is more fun in a group setting.
If you are interested in signing up for St. Anthony’s Triathlon, use code “SUNSHINE” for 10% off any registration. If I can do this, so can YOU!