Trying 3 new things for my first tri

It’s been a while since I posted.  I can’t remember what the last post was about but I’m going to write about my move into triathlon training. I’ve also tried three new things because of the tri training which I’ll recommend any new triathlon athletes do the same. 

As an intro, I was kinda persuaded to do a triathlon by a colleague and I have to say that it wasn’t on my radar of something that I wanted to do.  I guess the reason for that is probably the swimming part. 

I’ve never been a strong swimmer or a good swimmer at that. I’ve been able to swim though for most of my life and had training when I was a kid.  This was lifeguard training rather than any specific speed sessions. I hated swimming really as I was always uncomfortable and I can’t explain why. 

So I entered a sprint triathlon and I knew the first thing I had to do was to get swimming.  My first jaunt in the pool didn’t exactly go well.  I think I wrote about it.  I was all over the place.  Now a few months has passed and I am doing OK. I’m much more confident in the water. I have started lessons and also joined a tri club.  This makes me swim twice a week and this is good motivation.  

I did my first 750m non-stop swim the other day and it felt good.  I managed 14:49s which isn’t apparently all too bad, to which I’ve been accused of hustling.  But in reality I think I just had no clue of my ability. 

The lessons are good, although I’ve only had one.  Breathing, head position and kicking are all areas that I need to work on and I’ve been given the tips and drills to practice that will help those areas. 

The second new thing I’ve done is buy a road bike. I got a second hand road bike and I’m really pleased with it so far (only had it 3 days).  I went on a 60km ride yesterday with the Tri club, first real outing on a road bike and it felt good, though sore back and sore neck.  I can see that the speed I get from using that compared to the hybrid I cycle to work on is going to improve my cycling times. 

The third new thing is buying a tri suit.  Not the most flattering item of clothing but it does help me in the swim I have noticed it seems easier to swim in and I wore it on the bike ride and felt good.  The real test will be the run. 

So if you are new to triathlons I’d say get swim lessons if you’re not a good swimmer, get a road bike as they hybrids will make you slower and get a tri suit as this will mean less changing and maybe a faster swim.


2 responses to “Trying 3 new things for my first tri

  1. I am new to triathlons, but I come from a swimming background. Instead of a triathlon suit, you’d be better off spending that money on a pair of bolt-on aerobars or a used indoor trainer. Unless you have become a very competitive age grouper, where the few extra seconds may actually matter, you can swim, ride, and run in padded triathlon shorts and just put on a dry shirt and go. The technical fabrics of specialized tri suites are not “suited” to frequent use and exposure to chlorine. Plus you might get some odd looks if you are wearing a tri suit in the pool, even if you were smokin’ your 100’s at a 1:00 pace.
    The tri bars are an inexpensive addition to a road bike tht adds a little weight, but gets you down and rests your weight on your forearms instead of your wrists. You can also use your road bike in groups rides with the local club whereas they frown on tri bikes in a group because it is not safe to be in the aerobars while drafting close to others. Incidentally, I prefer the ride of my Colnago road bike with aeros over my tri bike. It just feels better.
    The indoor trainer is pretty obvious. You can ride in the evening and watch tv or whatever and get some time in the saddle when it is convenient for you or when the weather is bad. All told time in the saddle, and the aerodynamic advantage of the aerobars will improve your time way more that a tri suit. Just an opinion. Cheers.

    • Thanks for the advice. I guess I bought the suit as it was only a little more than a pair of shorts. Plus most of the guys in my tri club wear them. I personally felt better than just shorts.

      Interesting about tri bars. I think I’ll try just the drops as its only a sprint tri. Good luck in your race.

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