Category Archives: Triathlon

First triathlon

Completed my first triathlon today – yay! I came a miserable 144th out of 166. Pish, eh? However, there’s lots of room for improvement.

I managed to do the swim without stopping, however I was still 8th slowest out of 166. I followed this up with the 2nd slowest first transition out of the entire field – holy crap. This left me 3rd last overall after the swim and T1.

The cycle went much better. I overtook loads of people, especially at the start, and lost count how many I went past in total, and got to the end without being overtaken myself. Granted, the really fast cyclists would have also been much faster in the pool and thus in a much later heat, but still… So after the cycle, I’d made up 16 places. T2 wasn’t quite so bad, although I still took almost 2 minutes, and from looking at other people, it seems I could have knocked off at least 30 seconds here quite easily.

The run… didn’t go so well. Turns out it was a cross country run, and my ankles don’t cope with such territory at all well and thus it took me far longer than I thought it was going to take. I still made up a half dozen places, but it was disappointing.

So plenty of lessons to learn from it:

  1. Get a trisuit. That will save vast time in transitions, and also make me look less pathetic when going to the start line
  2. Get quicker during transitions in general. This merely means being more organised. I was in total chaos and time flew by.
  3. Keep up the running training. I started far too late, concentrating mainly on swimming with some biking. My run was terrible.
  4. Get better at swimming. Work in progress.
  5. Get better at cycling too! I need to start doing shorter faster cycles. My cycle averaged 16.1mph, so I really need to get that higher

Swimming just got easier

This week has seen a significant breakthrough in terms of swimming. Before Wednesday, the most I had ever swum without stopping was 300 metres, and when I finished that I was absolutely exhausted. Then, on Wednesday, I decided that my aim was to try to swim while breathing left. This I managed with relative ease, so had a bit of a practice of that for a few lengths, and then just kept on swimming. I realised I hadn’t been counting the lengths I had swum, which I usually do, because I had been concentrating on the different breathing technique, but I also realised that I didn’t feel tired or out of breath, which is very strange, because I usually start running out of breath after about 8 lengths. I eventually decided to stop so I could see how many lengths I had gone – 16. So, 400 metres. A new PB. It was amazing.

Today, I thought I’d try the same thing again, although this time to actually count the lengths I was doing. Now, normally I’d have done something different, such as sets of 4 lengths to improve my speed, but I wanted to see whether what happened on Wednesday was a fluke, or whether I could repeat it… because swimming actually felt easy for the first time in my life.

What do I mean by easy? Well, I can describe it fairly simply. “Not dying” has been my only tactic up to this point. I have never been able to swim with any level of confidence (or skill), and merely breathing has always been the major issue, in terms of not managing to get enough oxygen into my lungs. But on Wednesday, I seemed to be able to do it without any problem.

Therefore, today I got in the pool to see if I could hit 16 lengths, and I managed it again with ease, so kept going. By the time I was on length 22, I knew I was able to get to my ultimate goal of 30 lengths, which is what I need to do so that I can enter a sprint triathlon, leaving me merely to then get fast enough to do it inside 20 minutes. And guess what – I managed it in 19:33. Winner.

Needless to say, I’ve entered the next available triathlon, which is in April. Looks like I’ll need to get my running shoes out again :)

This week also saw a good number of miles, mainly on the bike, with a solid 117 added on to the year’s total:

miles-comparison