Beginner Thoughts: Sprint Tri Training

author : RaytownPete
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”Dang! That water’s cold!” immediately hit me. In these first few seconds, my triathlon goal sunk quicker than my legs and torso had. I now knew this was going to be a lot harder than I imagined.

I’m very new to this and have caveman-like coordination, so I don’t have a lot of great advice or tips. I run only when chased, the last time I swam I was yelling Marco Polo, and I had a beehive lodged in my hybrid bike, so the idea of doing a sprint triathlon seemed a bit farfetched. So far the training has been enjoyable and it has been rewarding to see the changes in myself. My event is about five weeks away, and currently I would not be able to finish it, but my daily progress tells me I’ll get there.

 

My genetic makeup has a very strong procrastination gene so I’m used to not being ready until the end, which gives me some consolation in my progress to date. Light years ago I finished a marathon and did a 500 mile bike ride, so I'm not too worried about the last two thirds of the sprint-- it’s the swim leg that is letting doubt creep in. A 6’6” man who currently tips the scales at 243 pounds is probably not the ideal shape to be pulling through water, but I’m doing what I can to reduce the weight drag (over 20 pounds to date). And good swimmers look tall on TV, so maybe the height is a good thing.

I’m Swimming! I’m Swimming!
There’s a scene in the movie What About Bob, where Bill Murray is tied to a sailboat and he yelling with exuberance, “I’m sailing, I’m sailing!” Well that’s pretty much sums up my swimming. Yes I have shorts on, I’m in the pool, splashing and moving , but calling it swimming at this point is a disservice to the others in pool who are actually swimming. Seriously, I couldn’t even find the pool on the first morning, since my local Y decided on a simplistic locker room including no signs. Yes, I knew where the pool was, but I just couldn’t get to it. Finally, after opening the seventh door, I found the pool.

 

Upon entering the pool for the first time, a mix of bad swim class memories (same exact pool 27 years ago) and a feeling of ”Dang! That water’s cold!” immediately hit me. Trying to fit in, I pushed of the wall right away, dropped my head, and proceeded to flap my arms and suck up pool water like a feeding whale. I quickly reverted to the breaststroke so I could get out of the deep end. In these first few seconds, my triathlon goal sunk quicker than my legs and torso had. I now knew this was going to be a lot harder than I imagined.

Since then, I’ve been doing a mix of breaststroke and freestyle to get my training yardage in, and have used neighbor’s pools to try out tips from the web. Once I start swimming, instead of thinking what I should be doing, I will probably be better off.

That costs how much?
With the arrival of our first baby in February, a single income and everyday living, the disposable income fund seems a little smaller. My “new fad” (as my supportive wife calls it) doesn’t rank too high on the list. I did have the bike tuned up, beehive removed, and splurged on entry level clipless pedals, shoes, and a bike computer. I still use a pair of baggy swim trunks, but did buy earplugs and goggles. I am wearing bike shorts from seven years ago, and workout gear from the past five years from when I was “going to get in shape” and needed to look good doing it. A heart monitor is on my wish list, along with some tri shorts, but I know I can get through the sprint without them.

My blog title is in reference to our son, Cole. I take him in my head every day I train. The sense of accomplishment and achievement will be great but, more importantly, I want to achieve a higher level of health and fitness so that I will always be there for my son and so that is why “I tri for Cole”.

 

 

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date: October 9, 2007

RaytownPete

Chicago Bears Football,Downhill Skiiing, Cornhole or other beer drinking sports, Yardglass Chugging, Wasting time in the garage, Using my 1/2 year of art schooling

avatarRaytownPete

Chicago Bears Football,Downhill Skiiing, Cornhole or other beer drinking sports, Yardglass Chugging, Wasting time in the garage, Using my 1/2 year of art schooling

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