First Triathlon Story
Thanks for all the helpful tips and suggestions this site has
provided. A lot of them were very helpful on my first sprint triathlon yesterday.
It was a half mile swim, 18 mile bike, and four and a half mile run. It was actually going to be my second tri, but due to cleanliness issues in the lake my first race was switched to a duathlon. So I was really excited for my first actual triathlon.
I got to the site just after the transition area opened up and was very glad I did. It was open bike racking so I got a real good spot near the bike exit and entrance. I also didn’t feel rushed to set up my spot and had plenty of time to scout the transition areas and take a walk down to the lake and get a view for the swim portion. After a nice warm up I was ready to go.
The water temp for the swim was in the low 80’s which actually made it a very nice swim considering I don’t have a wetsuit. I did find out I need to do more open water swimming mixed in with my pool workouts. Getting into the second half of the swim I stopped my freestyle stroke and flipped over to use a resting backstroke to catch my breathe. The wave behind me actually caught up and several of them passed me, but my goal was to do my best, have fun, and finish the race so I wasn’t to bothered by that. Getting out of the swim and onto my bike I also learned another good lesson. Make sure the cap to your bottle of gatorade is screwed on. One of my rack mates had accidentally kicked it over leaving my towel a nice friut punch red. Luckily there was still enough left to wash down a packet of engery gel.
I knew going in that the bike would be my strongest leg. Settling into the saddle I quickly found a good cadance. I even started passing people which made things quite fun. The nice weather and a tailwind on the return leg of the bike made it a very enjoyable ride. I drove the route the day before which really helped as there were some hills that I could then prep for.
Then came the run. I knew that the run would be a slower leg for me but I was determined to finish as best I could. The first mile and a half was tough though. Jelly legs hit me hard so I ended up walking a bit more than I would have liked to catch my breathe and try to ease my legs into running mode a bit more gradually. Once I finally felt relaxed I hit my stride and tried my best to keep it. However several uphill portions slowed me down to a walk again, but as soon as I caught my breathe I was back to my running pace. In which I learned another lesson, practice on hilly roads, not just flat roads. I passed several people on the run and was passed by others. The aid station crews were always a welcome site, especially the last aid station with the cooling water hose.
The final steach was a great site to see. A down hill run to the finish line was a great way to end the course. I always try to sprint as fast I can in my training runs and I wasn’t about to do anything less on my first tri. As soon as I hit the final straighaway to the finish I gave it everything I had. The feeling I get after a good training run sprint finish was nothing compared to the feeling I got with sprinting to the end of my first tri. I got into the post finish area knowing full well I had left everything on the course and had no regrets about my performance. I found out some areas for improvement to be sure, but I was thrilled with the way I had run my race.
I finished with a time of 2:23:11 and 342nd out of 440 finishers. I walked around afterwards to cool down and more than enjoyed the fruit, gatorade, and muffins the tri staff had set out. Checking out the priliminary times was great while talking to the other racers and sharing our experiences on the course. What made it more fun was that three people at the gym I work at also raced that day so it was great to share the experience with some friends. It was an awesome day and I still get a great feeling when I think to myself, “I’m a triathelete!” I had a ton of fun and I can’t wait till my next race in a few weeks.
Eric from Michigan
Thank you for emailing TriathaNewbie.com with your story and congratulations on becoming a triathlete!
We’re thrilled that we could be a part of helping you reach your triathlon goals, but you are the true hero and should be very proud of yourself for giving it your all and pushing yourself both mentally and physically.
It’s also great to hear that you were able to learn some lessons along the way too. The best teacher is experience and we’re sure that you will work on those areas you’ve identified below and find some new ones to improve upon after your next event. There’s always something new to learn at every turn!
Feel free to send us the story of your second triathlon, as we’re sure that this story is going to inspire other first-timers to give the sport of triathlon a try.
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