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but you can do your first sprint triathlon on any bike—road bike

Time:2018-07-31 17:38Shoes websites Click:

your First Forward triathlon Keep

“What? I could never do a triathlon!” a mother of three said to me in the checkout line of the grocery store, eyeballing my race t-shirt with the swim, bike and run stick figures prancing across it.  In fact, I hear “YOU did a triathlon?” and “I could never do a triathlon!” a surprising amount.

I look like your average mom of two. I have a job, bills to pay and of course, all the stress that comes with these responsibilities. I’m a size 10 on a great day, a size 12 on the average day and a solid 14 during the holidays. There’s nothing overly athletic about me, and I certainly don’t look like a triathlete. But like a duck on the surface of the water, whats underneath, paddling, is not always easy to see, and is even easier to underestimate.

I am here to tell you that if your heart desires to do a triathlon, then yes you absolutely can.  Believe me, if I can, anyone can.

Many of you are already runners, so you’re 1/3 of the way there.  Also, a huge bonus of being a runner is the fact that you have some endurance training, some strength, mental toughness and discipline—you’re arguably another 2/3 of the way there, really.

We just need to make sure you can swim and ride a bike.  Two “small” but big things, I know.

When I decided to tackle a triathlon, I had two children under the age of two, worked full-time as an attorney and commuted 12 hours a week. Oh, and did I mention that I weighed about 250 pounds? Little by little, I kept working and I did, in fact, become a bona fide triathlete. I did my first short distance triathlon with very little skill, even less speed, but a whole lot of heart.

I have now completed dozens and dozens of triathlons, including the IRONMAN distance (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and a 26.2-mile marathon run). Truly, if I can become a triathlete, so can you.

So What Is A  Triathlon?

A triathlon is a race that consists of swimming, cycling and running—usually in that order: swim first, then bike, then run. The sprint or mini-sprint distance triathlon race is the shortest distance triathlon. A “sprint tri,” as they are frequently called usually encompass a 300-800 yard swim, a 10-15 mile bike and a 5k (3.1 mile) or less run. The race distances will vary depending on the event, but that is the general distance.

First Swim, Then Bike, Then Run?

Correct.  This is the typical order of a triathlon, which means you get out of the swim portion (usually in a river, lake or ocean) and hop on your bike—soaking wet. You have a space in between each event called “transition,” which is both a noun and a verb. The transition area (e.g., the noun) is the place where you put your bike and shoes, and smaller things like hats or towels. Then you “transition” (e.g., the verb), meaning you move from the swim to the bike (Transition 1), and then later, from the bike to the run (Transition 2).

So Here’s How A Triathlon Goes

The announcer blows the whistle, everyone gets in the water, swim swim swim, everyone leaves the water, heads to Transition 1 to put on bike shoes or sneakers and a helmet. You then roll your bike out of transition, get on at the designated “mount line,” ride off on your bike, pedal pedal pedal, come back to transition, get off your bike (at the designated “dismount line”), put your bike back in its place in transition, take off your helmet, and put on your running shoes. Follow the signs out of transition, run run run all the way to the finish.

How Do I Become A Triathlete?

Step one to becoming a triathlete—even if you can’t run for a mile right now, swim the length of a pool or ride your bike without swearing your rear end will break—is believing that you can, and knowing that you will.  Make the decision that you will become a triathlete, and the next step is to take some small, but consistent action toward that goal.

The Things You Need To “Tri”

Do you have a body, a bike and a pair of shoes? I’ll assume the body is a given. As for the shoes, I urge you to get fitted and buy proper shoes. The bike may seem like more of a challenge, but you can do your first sprint triathlon on any bike—road bike, mountain bike, hybrid, cheap, expensive—you don’t need a fancy bike. You should, however, have a quick tune-up on any bike that’s been gathering dust for more than a year, and even a very simple bike chat or fit with a bike specialist will make your experience much better.

Along with the bike, you need a bike bag that attaches to your bike to carry tire tubes (in case of a flat tire) and air cartridges or a small pump. It’s necessary to learn how to change a tire tube and the basics of bike maintenance (YouTube is a great resource). Additionally, access to an indoor bike/class or bike trainer is helpful, as are padded (called “chamois”) shorts (cycling or triathlon shorts), a water bottle cage on the bike and bottles. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes not just from the sun, but also from road debris and my personal nemesis, flying insects.

For swimming, you will need access to a lap pool (25 yard minimum length, ideally), goggles, a swim cap, a one-piece fitted swimsuit and potentially, a wetsuit.

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