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I've never had enough energy to do as much exercise as I wanted to, all this changed in Feb 2012 and I started to believe that completing a triathlon wasn't impossible.

My first Triathlon

NotANinjaby NotANinjaJun 25th 2012
Yesterday I took part in my first ever triathlon (City of Bath Sprint). I'd heard that you were supposed to rest for a week before the race so I'd managed to force my self to not exercise up until Friday when I realised the lack of endorphins was making me miserable. So I went for a 3k run on Friday, a 30min bike ride on Sat and 2 3k runs to the train station and back as I went to register for the race.

I couldn't sleep very well the night before I was full of excitement and nerves. When we got to Bath I started to feel calmer. The racking up of the bike was much less frantic than I thought it would be. Once I got to the pool side I was told that our wave was running 20mins behind because a swimmer doing the Olympic distance was taking longer than expected, he looked exhausted when he finally finished, I hope he managed to complete the race.

The first 3 lengths were awful I couldn't get my body to work properly, I'm not sure what the problem was but it could have been all the adrenalin pumping through me beforehand. Anyway, when I got to length 4 I felt much better and started to overtake some swimmers. There was one guy I ended up going the same pace as and we swapped positions a couple of times before we finished. Getting out of the pool was ridiculous, The ledge was so far away, a Marshall and the guy who had been swimming at the same pace as me had to help me out! Something to practise for next time. Managed the swim in 20.41 secs, which is pretty much my fastest time in training.

T1 was a bit of a faff, I wasn't very focused but eventually got my stuff together and started the cycle ride. I had heard the route was going to be hilly but it was worse than I expected. There were 3? Hills that I had to drop down to my lowest gear and just grit my teeth and keep pedalling for about 15 mins each. I saw someone ahead of me get off her bike and push for a bit and I was so close to having to do that, but managed to finish the entire ride without getting off. My hydration system worked quite well and I could take mouthfulls of drink as I cycled. I typically had to break on the downhill stretches as I'm still uncomfortable with the speed after falling off last year. In a way, I'm glad the cycle ride was hilly because it was much more satisfying to have completed it. Everyone was very friendly and people overtaking me were very encouraging and helped motivate me onwards. Cycle took 1 hour and 21 mins. I've managed the distance in 1hour 10mins before on the flat and from fresh, so I was quite pleased by that.

When I got back to Bath Uni, my team of supporters (Mum, Tris, Sally and Kate) were all standing by the turning waving at me, it was lovely. As soon as I dismounted my legs felt like jelly, T2 was much quicker, just racked the bike and glugged some fluids and I was off. I was very wobbly, but having practiced this a few times I knew it would get better. I didn't manage to stay running the entire time but the amount of run to walk increased as I got further round the course and my legs started behaving. We finished on the athletics track, which was weirdly springy and I managed to keep running the final few 100 m and even pulled out a sprint finish! The run took me 35mins, which is quicker than a month ago during my practice by about 2mins.

Things to do for the next race:
Aim for a shorter transition, especially T1
Take a waterproof box to put everything in.

Longer term:
Learn the crawl so I can ultimately swim faster
Train to run 10k without stopping so the 5k run time can be improved
practice more cycle/runs
get some drop handlebars
get some clip in pedals and shoes
get a wetsuit and some open water experience.
My first Triathlon
Bishmanby member: Bishman, Jun 25th 2012 22:13
Fantastic, well done! It's great that you had a group of family and friends to support you as well. Good report but you missed the most important thing - what you can learn from this and how you'll improve on it next time!
Also, I think a week is quite long to taper for a shorter race. I would just lower the training level the week before and then stop completely on the Thursday or Friday (assuming the race is Sunday). That way you can time that feeling you had of needing to exercise so that it appears on race day instead of a few days before.
sarahleonardby member: sarahleonard, Jun 26th 2012 13:09
First one down and sounds like it went really well, Bath has some very tough hills!
NotANinjaby blog author: NotANinja, Jun 26th 2012 21:49
Thanks both, I've edited my post as suggested and found my next race :)
 
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