My first triathlon

15 Aug
Published by ballesterosdm

Although at that moment it seemed to be quite difficult, almost a year ago I told you that I was thinking about participating in a triathlon. Well, I finally did it... but let's not start this story from the end, many things have happened this year.

On 1st January I run Serpentine New Year's Day 10k. It was quite good, so I decided that it would be a good idea to participate in a half marathon (sadly, this thought was the beginning of my problems). While I was training for the half marathon I hurt my knee, it's been 7 months and I cannot run properly yet, I'm still doing recovery exercises (as you have probably guess, I couldn't do the race).

In the meanwhile, after realizing I wouldn't be able to run for a while, I focused on swimming and cycling. My first, and so far the only one, cycling challenge, was participating with my brother in Orbea Monegros Mountain Bike Half Marathon. The truth is that taking into account that I don't have a mountain bike, and I mainly prepared the race using a static spinning bike, the result was better than expected.

To prepare the swimming bit, apart from going to the pool thrice a week, I trained in Serpentine Lido as well (you know, trying to get used to swimming with my "not suitable for swimming" wetsuit). I also took part of Great Newham London Swim, with a very bad time which helped me to undertand how difficult is to get oriented in the open water and how tough is fighting with other swimmers (fighting as in punching and kicking!!).

Step by step and after visiting the physiotherapist, I prepared the running trying to not stress too much. I had decided to participate in the AJ Bell London Triathlon (apparently, the biggest triathlon in the world). I had decided to run the sprint distance (750m swimming + 20Km cycling + 5Km running). My target was an hour and a half, but even the day before the race I thought it was a too optimistic target. Anyway, once I started, I realized I could do it, in fact, I did it (despite of all problems I faced during the first transition).

I don't know yet whether I'm going to race in another triathlon, but so far I'm happy with the learned lessons:

  • Don't underestimate cycling: on paper it looks like the easiest discipline. After racing in Orbea Monegros, I didn't even prepare cycling for the triathlon... it turned out to be a really bad idea, it was the hardest stage and the one I can improve the most.
  • I should have trained the transitions a bit more.
  • Tri Suits, swimming wetsuits... I guess they help, but they are not required.
  • Swimming in a pool is totally different to open water swimming: the technique is different and orientation is... well, who needs orientation in a swimming pool??
  • He who perseveres, succeeds.