Last Saturday saw me complete my first ever triathlon, and I’ve been beaming ever since!
I decided to dip my toe into the triathlon world with the Cheltenham Tri in the Park tipped to be a great event for first timers. This was a super sprint tri – 400m pool swim, 6 mile bike, and 2.5m run, set in the very sunny Pitville Park. I took along my friends and boyfriend for moral support and we had a fantastic day.
We arrived about an hour and a half early to check out the sports centre and for me to get my bearings of the course. I was ‘branded’ by the race organisers with a big black permanent marker on my arms and legs as number 5. My nerves were settled meeting several people beforehand who were also first timers. I was a little worried that my mountain bike would look a little out of place, but looking around setting up there were all sorts of different bikes!
When it came to my start time, I walked with the others in my start group into the pool where we had a supportive briefing. Luckily, I was in the first 5 so I go to start the swim with an entire lane to myself. The swim got off to a great start, but after a couple of lengths I had to take a few breathers to settle my nerves and get my breath back. From the pool, there was a short run outside to the transition area, where I got lots of cheers being the first lady out of the pool!
I’ve less than 3 weeks to go until my very first sprint triathlon at Cheltenham Tri in the park. This one is a 400m pool swim, 10Km bike ride and a 5K run, and will (hopefully) ease me in gently before the Cotswold Tri later on in the year. Training has been going really well, in fact I’m really enjoying myself – particularly with the recent good weather – it’s lovely being outside. Doing different things each evening rather than just going for a run, has given me an extra spurt of motivation, as it’s been rewarding seeing my progress over time.
For the last 4 weeks I’ve been going to a spin class on a Monday with a girlfriend to help build my speed and leg strength on the bike. It’s an absolute killer, but I’ve noticed my performance on the bike improve since. I’ve ditched driving to work and now cycle in every day with my boyfriend to get used to my bike. The journey is a 6 mile round trip with hills on the way in. Every other week I’ve stayed out for an hour to get a good session in.
Training before work has been a bit of a revelation for me, I used to find it really hard to get up and train – it always seemed like so much effort. But now, I find
A week on from the Trigirl Novice Triathlon Workshop I’m having loads of fun starting out as a triathlete. It’s been a manic week at work with two business trips scheduled in and early starts for my train journeys.
I spent Tuesday totally engrossed on the train in some Triathlete specific magazines only to find Kim featuring in one of them with some tips for novices! I’ve managed to squeeze in a run with a friend, plus I cycled to work on the days I was in the office.
I was thrilled when I found out that I’d won the Trigirl competition. I’d wanted to get into triathlon training for a while and didn’t really know where to start, so I was delighted to get the chance to go on the Trigirl Workshop as part of my competition prize. I felt a little bit daunted being a complete novice as to what to expect, but the workshop day was pitched just right for someone like me.
The group consisted of 6 ladies of varying ability, some were runners, we had an experienced swimmer, a couple of ladies that did duathlons and one lady that had completed a couple of sprint tri’s – a really good mixture. Our coach for the day was Kim Ingleby who really knew her stuff being a current competitor herself.
We covered all three of the disciplines starting with cycling. I hadn’t even considered certain aspects such as dismounting and mounting your bike, and how to change your tyre at the side of the road. Kim gave some great advice on choosing the right gear, I don’t have a tri bike just yet so it was reassuring to hear that there are people that compete without them to start with, and that I won’t look daft on a mountain bike! It was great fun to practice this with the other ladies. We went over the details around transition and had a practice at getting our gear ready with tips on how to lay it all out ready for action.