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What a great way to spend a Sunday morning!
Mon May 12, 2014 2:03 pm jts
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Aka how not to prepare for your first tri

Some months ago my husband chided me something rotten by saying that I was not a proper triathlete as I had not actually completed a triathlon on my own. I didn’t have much grounds on which to rebut this, as it is true; I had not completed all three parts of a triathlon. He also said it would be good to leave the Peak District a triathlete.
So humbled I searched for a suitable triathlon and came up with Ashbourne 11th May, suitably far ahead I did not have to think about it for some time.
Roll on a few months my prep for this went something along the following lines:
• No individual training session lasts for >1 hour as I fit in all my training while waiting for little Jts (problem – sprint tri will take me ~2hours, um)
• Work gets hectic = lots of extra hours = fewer training sessions
• Relocation with work, but not actually sure of a job until ~6 months before you want to leave = stress / strained relationships
• Not getting a first choice school place and then apply for alternatives after the closing date (found a great school, probably better than original choice, but stressful all round)
• Finding out, after agreeing to move and signing away all redundancy rights, that your house isn’t good enough for the relocation scheme. Puts at risk new home, actual moving etc. Again really stressful
• Deciding that your current home needs considerable redecoration (I have now, inexpertly, plastered 3 walls in addition to painting almost all the other rooms in our house)
• Said decoration pulls back out 2 weeks before event.

So training prep for the race was non-existent. In the 4 weeks prior to race I think I managed 8 swims, 4 runs and 4 turbos. Oh hadn’t actually been on a real bike on a real road in the preceding 12 months.


I could have just pulled out given my lack of focus and prep, but I though the worst that could happen is I DNF (but at least tri’d) and I have done quite a bit over the past year and each of the individual sections should pose no problems, so turned up.

Swim: Waiting to start realized that they had removed the stairs = would have to get out of pool unaided. Another fail in the prep. This is going to be fun / inelegant / embarrassing.
Rather busy lanes, at least 3 lung fulls of water, about the time I had predicted. Didn’t enjoy the swim.

Bike. Managed to remember to leave my glasses in transition to wear for the bike leg and put on my helmet before mounting bike. About 2 miles in remembered how I changed gears, about halfway round remember what gears were for and by the time I had almost finished remember how to use gears and legs to get some power. I remembered how much I like my bike, it’s lovely, mental note to get out on it more as 1 per year is a little bad. Time – much better than the 60 mins I was expecting.

Run. Quick change but forgot to leave my glasses in transition. Been 4 years since I last did a brick session. Running off the bike legs felt rather weird. Couldn’t feel legs and certainly had no power. So was expecting a rather long and painful 5km, but was not either. Time – fastest 5km I’ve run this year (Ok not much but good for me)



Summing up: Despite having dreadful preparation for this event, it actually went really well. My overall time was *much* better than I had thought – was expecting to come in at about 2 hours, chip time was 1:30.33 Smile But given that my legs are not all achy today, one day on, I suspect I could go faster; just need to learn how to work my body harder.

I missed having my family around to cheer me on – little Jts had the regional chess finals so chief photographer (OH) was occupied doing that – can’t complain though as he managed to win his way into the next round, UK-North.

The future: Actually quite enjoyed the whole participation thing; I wasn’t last and I didn’t stand out particularly in any way (well perhaps how I got out of the pool Smile ). Family want to see me in a tri, so perhaps I’ll enter an open water one later in the season, once we’ve moved house. I do want to ride my bike more and I’d love to have the courage to run more / longer. Ah and learn how to exit a pool unaided Smile

Retrospection: I’ve come a long way. 4 years ago I could barely run 1 mile, and it took me a few months to build up to 5km. Yesterday I managed a sprint tri on very little specific training. I much prefer being that much fitter.
I’ve never going to win anything – not prepared to put to time in to see whether that would be possible. And my body is not the “ideal” shape for anything sporty; but I don’t care as I actually enjoy it. Yes I would like to be slimmer (note the resolution to eat less exercise more), but I’ll be happy with a body that can just do this sort of thing.

Happy Tri-ing Peeps!

Tue May 13, 2014 6:42 pm KP nut
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You kept that quiet!! Well done Cool
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Fri May 30, 2014 7:13 am Carlito
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Great stuff jts Smile
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