Now, back in the day, I used to be a pretty good triathlete. In an olympic distance event, I was consistently finishing in under 2 hours. However, that was over 20 years and I’m not quite sure how many extra pounds ago.
So, one Spring, I started training, and I kept it up throughout the summer. As summer turned to fall, I signed up for my first triathlon in years, but what could I expect? Based on my training, I came up with the following goals. 25 minutes for the swim, one hour five minutes for the bike, 50 minutes for the run, and a minute for each transition. So, how did I do? Well, I missed my goal time by about 8 minutes, but let’s look closer at each discipline.
First, the swim. I finished in just under 27 minutes. My wave wasn’t very crowded, which I was thankful for. The top swimmer finished in just over 24 minutes, so I’m thinking the swim might have been a little long. Nonetheless, my training was focused more on finishing the swim rather than on racing the swim. I didn’t do much in the way of interval work, and I felt it on the bike. My old wetsuit, which I didn’t try on until just a few days before the race, was a bit too tight, and I had trouble sighting at times.
On the bike, I missed my goal time, but I really can’t complain. While I had done bike/run/bike workouts during the summer, I hadn’t done any bike/swim/bike workouts, and I’ll be honest, the first time I got out of the saddle to climb my legs felt like jelly. While at times it was tough to get on top of my larger gears, overall I felt pretty good.
The run leg was probably my biggest concern. During training, running consistently without encountering various aches, pains, and pulls was my biggest challenge. Ultimately, my legs felt better than my stomach. Even when I was younger, I’d often reach a point during the run, where I’d have to back off due to nausea. So, I’ll have to do more research into feeding and hydrating.
As for the transitions, frankly, I needed the rest. It often seems like the better shape you are in, the faster you are in transition. I don’t ever recall sitting down in the transition area when I was younger, and evidently I need a lot of practice buckling my number belt. Ridiculous.
Looking towards next year, there’s room for improvement. On the swim, better quality workouts in addition to a few extra yards wouldn’t hurt. Plus, I either need to lose a bit more weight or get a new wetsuit.
For the bike, incorporating some bike/swim/bike workouts would be helpful, and finding a local time trial series to practice going hard with the aero bars would also be beneficial.
To improve on the run, I need to continue working on losing some weight, and explore different feeding and hydration options. Oh… yeah… and practice putting on this stupid belt.