Big Kahuna Ironman – 7 Weeks
Another great week of training down. Last week saw us complete 6 straight days of hard training. Though exhausting, the improvements are noticeable. I am honestly starting to believe that training for a triathlon is one of the best ways to get into that svelte beach shape so many people want for themselves. Angela has even talked about wanting to train for triathlon all year round. We’ll see how that goes once the season ends.
While training this week and reading some advice columns on training I came across a great quote about the key to becoming a better triathlete:
You have to learn to become comfortable in the most uncomfortable situations.
I can’t remember the source at this time, but the quote is so true. Skin tight wet suits. Swimming in open water with hundreds of other people and through low visibility. Sitting on a stiff and high positioned bike for hours. And topping it all off with running in potentially hot conditions. At about the halfway point in our training I can say that we have grown use to discomfort and now have an understanding that complaining about it is a waste of time.
With just over half of our training time left there are a few lessons learned that I want to share. First, the sport of triathlon is very expensive. To do your first sprint you don’t have to buy anything special really, as most take place in pools or tiny lakes. However, as you move up in distances the costs go up. Expect to shell out hundreds on all of your supporting gear like a tri-bag, wetsuit, etc. Expect to spend thousands when you sum up all of the total costs, including a bike, any potential travel, race fees, and more (see above). The cost should not make triathlons out of reach for however. Much like with the training, don’t try to take it all on at once. You can borrow and upgrade equipment as you get better in the sport.
The other lesson learned I would share is that unless you are a champion swimmer; you should spend a great majority of your training time on swimming. So much of your success on race day can hinge on how your swim leg goes. The smoother you get through it, the better everything else seems to go. Not being afraid of the swim phase and getting through it quickly could not only make you more competitive at the sport but more likely to stick with it and race again and again. In fact, improving my swimming speed is one of the principal skills I hope to work on over the next 4-5 weeks myself. I also hope to become more efficient on the bike, which includes getting calories while on long bike rides and mastering the negative split on the run.