10 things I’ve Learned About TRI’ing

Posted: August 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

10. Triathlons are for everyone. I’ve competed alongside 17 year olds that could run circles around me all day, 45 year old woman who can pound a bike uphill harder than me, 300lb guys that refuse to give up till they cross the finish, and 60+year olds who make me question my physical fitness. Triathlons are not exclusive, newbies are welcome, and the varying skills and abilities make it more interesting.

9. You don’t burn 10,000 calories in a sprint triathlon. So honestly, its not necessary to eat 4 bananas, 3 soft pretzles, 2 pb&j sandwiches, and an extreme- super-monster-sport-protein-recovery-magic-bar after you finish.

8. Volunteers and spectators rock. Whizzing by at 30mph, its easy to miss them, but they sure are a welcome boost of energy when you are trying to climb that never-ending hill. Without all the volunteers and spectators, there wouldn’t be a race. So thank them when you see them.

7. Salt water is gross– get used to it. Yes, it’s a sad thing when you’ve resigned yourself to drinking murky salt water at a beach before the sun comes up. But its part of the sport, so just try not to ingest too many jellyfish while gasping for air.

8. You don’t need a $7,500 Cervelo to enter a race. Sure they are pretty, and make a seductive “whooosh” as they pass you by on the course, but unless you are pro, or semi-pro, they really aren’t necessary (this has nothing to do with my being jealous of those sweet, sweet, dynamic and efficient machines. okay it does. but just a little bit. okay, a lot bit).

6. The race is over once you get out of the water. Congrats, you did it. Because unless you’ve suffered terrible amnesia from the shock of plunging into frigid water at 6:30am, you won’t forget how to ride your bike or run to the finish. So pat yourself on the back when you emerge from the water, you’ve just finished the hard part.

5. The race begins once you get off your bike. I know, I know, this seems to contradict #6, but its true. Lots of people are fast swimmers, and there’s a good number of strong cyclist, but by the end of the bike, those differences have sorted themselves out. A fast runner who stuck with the main field for the rest of the event can easily leave everyone behind in the run while everyone else is out of gas.

4. Body tats rock. Who doesn’t like to feel like a little bit of a bad ass? Okay, maybe they are just numbers that reveal you are are racer number four hundred and forty two and you belong to the male 25-29 division, but once its on, good luck trying to convince yourself you didn’t just become a superstar.

3. You will get assaulted by your fellow athletes. Look, they don’t mean it, they just can’t help themselves. Once there are hundreds of wriggling bodies in the surf all trying to take the same inside line to the buoy, its inevitable that you are going to get smacked around a little bit. And probably kicked too. Just don’t take it personally.

2. Local is better. Traveling several hours to an event is tiring and messes with your routine. So even though I’m sure Louisville is a really nice place with a great venue, somewhere close to home will work just as well (no offense Kentucky- honest, I do enjoy and respect your fried chicken and biscuits).

1. Triathlon training is time consuming. If you can figure out how to work 40 hours a week, spend time with your partner, and swim, bike and run every week, well done. Just don’t get cocky because triathlon is a jealous lover and will find a way to have you as much as it wants.

-kd-

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