My First Triathlon: Preparation and training

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain

So I have registered for a triathlon that will happen around 150km from Bangalore on 10 August 2014. Why? I’m not really sure myself. It is probably a combination of my desire to do something new and my continuous swimming at the pool with marked improvements. The triathlon is something that I found on my own, not a superficial interest brought on by a friends’ or relatives’ activity. I expect this interest to last longer than others I have had and hopefully will be with me for the rest of my life. I do not want to live the way that I see so many people living around me: a monotonous 9-5 job that saps all energy and passion within you and then coming home to eat and sleep. It is understandable that money is a very important factor that causes people to leave their interests, however I am determined to figure out a way to be happy without merely possessing a full bank account and a ‘secured’ life. I digress..

Coming back to the triathlon, I am pretty confident about the swim leg of the triathlon since I have been swimming consistently for over a year now. I just have to manage the confusion and madness that comes with any triathlon start. I will be doing the bike portion of the race on a mountain bike refitted with semi-slick tires. The Cannondale F7. Pretty cool bike for dirt, gravel and mud but in a triathlon with mostly paved roads? I am a mountain goat in a herd of sheep. I just have to wait and see what racing a triathlon on a mountain bike is going to feel like. I am also ashamed to admit that the maximum distance I have covered is 25km just 3 weeks before race day! The bike leg is what I am most concerned about since I have not actually ridden my bike for 40km as of Wednesday, 23 July.

Now, to the run. A few setbacks in my training like the stress reaction two weeks back have definitely made me change my original training plan. A mixture of over-ambition and stupidity made me run on all days of a week for 8km which resulted in a searing pain in my left foot that would resurface at the slightest pressure on the foot. Almost a week of no training! As the days went by, I could finally run again. I decided to take the risk and run a 10k after the aforementioned 25km bike. I am chuffed to say that I recovered excellently from that day. 10km in 00:57:25 after a 25km bike. Not bad.

This week I have some pretty big killer workouts lined up including a brick session of 40km bike ride followed by a 10km run. It will be interesting to see how my body responds to the nutrition and hydration during the bike ride. NICE Road is where I am headed and hopefully I can get some pretty good times in. The fact that I don’t know the actual race course concerns me. I really hope it’s not too undulating so that I can actually try to get to my goal of 00:25 swim, 1:45 bike and 1:00 run.

What really matters to me in the end is the experience of pushing myself to the limit and enduring pain. Along the way, if I find that I am good at the sport, there couldn’t be a better win-win situation! As of now, I am confident that I will finish the triathlon and find myself a place in the top 10. Thonnur Lake Triathlon, here I come!


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