Well, week 2 of training is almost over, and it’s hard to believe that we are already only 10 weeks from event day. Plenty of work still to do. Check out week 1 update here…
Big swim day today. Even though the training plan had only one day of swimming included this week, I’ve been to the pool twice so far, and will be heading this afternoon as well. The first two days were totally technique based, and were spent working on efficiency in the water.
After last weeks training, I did a lot of research on triathlon swimming, and came upon a fellow named Terry Laughlin who teaches “Total Immersion” swimming. I won’t bore you with the details, but I have bought his book, and will be self-teaching/emulating his style. You can check out Total Immersion here, or you can do a search on YouTube.
Sarah talked a lot about gear last week, you can go back and see it here.
Since this is a first Tri, I am not planning to purchase a lot of gear. I do want to be comfortable, and I want to make sure I am not wasting energy (efficiency). My old adage says that Michael Jordan could beat me one one one barefoot, so $200 shoes probably won’t help me. (technique and repetition will.)
During the swim i’ll likely get a wetsuit. I know for many Tris, the event, or someplace will offer rental wetsuits. We’ll get to that when we get closer to the event. I did however invest ($25) in a european style swimsuit (Speedo like) for training. I found that swimming in a regular suit felt like a parachute was dragging behind me. I’m slow enough in the water as it is.
As for the bike, I have a $200 Schwinn I got from Walmart a few years ago that rides well, and will be my bike of choice. I did but some used aero-bars on eBay that will eventually replace the commuter style handlebar on the bike. I also will be wearing regular shoes with no clips or cages or anything on my bike. For the time it may gain me, it is not worth the investment. Also, It will save me time in changing on the transition from bike to run… I’ll wear the same shoes.
For the run, I’ve got my shoes and don’t need much more. I’ll have a nutrition sampling at T1 and T2 (Thanks StrideBox) that will be there when I transition, so I can pick up something if I want, or leave it. I like the option to carry something. I may also just down a gel and some water while in transition and that should carry me the final 3 miles.
I’m lucky as I chose a Tri that is in my local area, and I want to be smart and efficient, so I am training for the course. The river where the swim will take place is about 2 miles from my house, and because I have access, I will likely swim, bike, and run the actual course, although not necessarily at the same time. You can see the course here. Every event (the good ones at least) should have a page like this that will show all the course info for you before you arrive.
But if the course isn’t near you, check it out before you arrive. I know the swim is in a relatively calm area of the river, but will take the time to learn where the strong current runs. I know the first 6 miles of the bike has an elevation gain of 500+ feet, but the downhill is -500 feet, so I am training accordingly. The run is pretty flat, but also half paved, half flat dirt trail, so I will be training on both surfaces.
One thing that I have noticed is that I am very disoriented getting out of the pool after a training swim. Sarah told me to try earplugs during my swim to see if that helps. I really would hate to jump out of the swim on event day only to wander around like I would during a dizzy bat race. So I’ll give that a try next week.
Also, I am wondering a little about what to wear on event day. Is a wetsuit needed? The event is July 18, middle of summer, but the river is fed by snow melt, so will likely be in the 60 degree range. I also don’t want to restrict my movement, or take extra time getting out of a wetsuit at the transition. (Will my socks be wet the whole time?)
What about worst case scenarios? Say I get kicked in the head during the swim? Or what if I get a flat tire? What is someone steals my water bottle at t2? I’m sure Sarah will get into that at some point.
Also, tracking my trainings, what’s the best? What goals should I be hitting? Where should I expect my times to be? How slow will my run be compared to just running?
I’ve added a few things to my training bag as well, so maybe I’ll lay that out next week.
If you have any questions for us about my training, or Sarah’s plan, leave a comment below, or tag us on Twitter with #sTRIdeBox.
Until next week, Just Keep Running.