Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Triathlon Training Begins

It's official. I'll be competing in my first triathlon next September! Registration opened this morning for a popular woman's triathlon that is held every year in New Jersey and I'm in!

The triathlon is a sprint event, so the distances for each part of the tri are short with a 1/2 mile swim [0.8 km], 12 mile bike [19.3 km] and 5 K run [3.1 mile].

I'm really excited about this, but also a little nervous. I'm doing the triathlon solely to challenge myself, do my best and feel great, but I still get a little nervous if I think about race day. A little fear of the unknown, a little fear of being disappointed in my performance, and I admit it, a little fear of all those other women trying to pass me! I guess that's all normal. I'll have to work on those mental issues so that I can be calm on race day. 

Of the three components to the tri, the swimming is currently my biggest weakness. I'm definitely going to have to work on this component from the bottom up, starting with my stroke technique and building up to swimming a full 1/2 mile without stopping. A half mile is 16 laps or 32 lengths in an Olympic sized pool. Oh shit.

The biking is definitely going to be my strongest event since I already regularly ride 12-20 miles with hills at a decent pace and the race is only 12 miles on a flat course. I'll work on my speed and endurance so that I can maintain an average speed of 17-19 mph for 12 miles.

The running doesn't worry me too much either since I started running last fall. I now run at a 10 minute mile pace and my typical runs are between 2 and 4 miles, so running the 3.1 miles for the tri should be a comfortable distance for me. The fact that the running is the last event of the tri, however, means I'll need to work on maintaining a good pace when fatigued from the other events.

I already have a great support network set up for training and race day. My husband and daughters, as always, are great at listening to my near daily reports of my workouts, set backs and accomplishments constantly giving me encouragement. They're going to be so proud of me for doing this, I just know it. Then I have a small group of four friends from the gym with whom I already work out and who also signed up this morning for the triathlon. I'm sure we'll compare training strategies and even do some training workouts together as the race gets closer.

The triathlon is a long 11 months away, so for now my training will be to simply continue my regular cross training workouts, start doing laps in the pool one day a week and maybe bribe my friend Sharon to give me some free swim lessons so I can learn proper freestyle stroke technique.

Wish me luck!

Have you ever participated in a triathlon? 

Do you have any tips or strategies  to share?


  1. You Go Girl! I am so excited for you. I think you have more than enough time to train and kick butt (err do you best) in the race. I've been a swimmer and a cross country runner, but I have never learned how to ride a bike. Hey, I grew up on roller skates! Just remember to keep your hands cupped (fingers together) while you are swimming. It will give you a stronger push against the water. You want to push the water behind you, not let it slip between your fingers. I'm rooting for ya!

  2. Wow, good for you! I hope you share the journey with us.

  3. firepages... Oh I definitely plan on kicking some butt in this triathlon.... MY OWN! ^_^

    Fingers closed, hands cupped. Check! Thanks so much for the swimming tip. Keep 'em coming!

    Linda...Yes, I do plan on sharing my tri journey with you. Probably more next spring and summer, but maybe sooner if I actually get my butt in the pool when I say I will. LOL!

  4. I know you can do it and training for the triathlon will be hard, but you're over halfway there. You're reaction to the length you'll have to swim cracked me up! You are WAY braver than I am! You Go Christine! WOOT!

  5. Hi Christine!

    I found your blog because you commented on mine.

    I am actually planning on doing thie Danskin in NJ too. I have only done the Aflac Iron Girl tri and am looking to branch out a bit.

    If you do a search of my blog -, you will find my reviews of the Iron Girl triathlons I have done. There may be some tips in there for you.

  6. Brandy... Thanks so much for the vote of confidence! You could do a tri like this one, too. How about a vote of confidence for yourself!

    Me... Hey! Thanks for the return visit! ;)
    Registration for the next Danskin in NJ opened today. If you think you want to do the one in 2011, I suggest registering asap before it closes. Here's the link:

    Let me know if you register!

    I'll be returning to read your Iron Girl posts. :)

  7. YEAH go you!!!! OMG that's such a huge thing. I'm proud of you for taking the leap and doing it!

    I've been wanting to do the local tri here in KC but I've managed to miss it every year (darn!) But the girls at work are convinced that I will in fact be doing it this year LOL. So I guess that means I need to get it in gear.

    Actually I could use some tips for riding of everything that will be my weakness since I haven't ridden in over 15 years. YIKES!

  8. @Chrsitine - yes, I regstered a few moments ago! Excited to see my event schedule for 2011 get going.

  9. Way to go!! I say kudos to you, that's good stuff. :P

  10. Christine - you are my inspiration! You're amazing! And I love that fact you have training partners in crime :) Sounds like you have allowed yourself a solid amount of time to prepare - am sure you will do well!

  11. Sarai.. Thank you! I remember you saying you were going to be training for a tri a while ago! What happened? Did you miss registration? Get out their and google another race. You live so close (in?) a major city, there's got to be something on the calendar next spring or summer!

    The first step for riding would be to get a bike. :P Genius, right? LOL! Seriously, though... do you already own a bike? Don't get a mountain bike--too heavy. A hybrid bike is a popular choice because you can use it for fitness and leisure, but if you really just want to bike for fitness-- a road bike is the best. They are expensive, though, so if funds are limited, you may want to look into buying a used one through a local bike shop or craigslist. You can email me for more info if you like.

    Me... SWEET!!! We can share training stories, count down the days till race day together, and definitely meet up on race day, if not before! :)

    ames... Thank you for the cheers!!! I SO appreciate the encouragement! : )

    orannia... Thank you!! YOU are my inspiration, too, you know. Your weight loss success several months ago had a lot to do with my determination to do it, too!

    Having training partners in crime already set in place really gave me the confidence to just sign up in the first place! LOL!

    By the way... I seem to recall you saying something about doing a triathlon too... and we were going to train side by side from opposite sides of the world? Hmmm....

  12. YOU GO, GIRL! I'm so proud of you for taking up this challenge! I KNOW you will keep up your enthusiasm and motivation - I'll be rooting for you every step of the way.

  13. WOW Christine...this is great. I'm happy that you made up your mind and give this Triathlon a try. I know you can do it, you have the spirit and the will power. You have my support too! good luck.

  14. Good for you Christine! I've never done a triathlon so I can't offer any tips but it sounds like your very organized and have given yourself plenty of time to train. :)

  15. I'm so impressed with you! Your commitment to being healthy is definitely an inspiration. Go you!!

  16. Wooohooo, go Christine! I'm sure you're going to be ready and do well :) You have 11 months to train... and seriously, look where you're at with your running and biking! :P

    My only advice is that once you're able to swim the 0.5 mile in a pool, try the river/lake... cos the current will be different and it might be more difficult.

  17. Am honoured to have been your inspiration...I think I need to use your example now as my inspiration as I have fallen off the wagon :(

    Ah....was hoping you had forgotten about that :) But, yes, that's what I said. And I like to honour my promises. Hmmm. I might have a look online over the weekend for some training ideas and potential comps. I will have less time to prepare though (unless I allow myself 15 months) as most of the triathlons here happen in February/March.

    I also need a bike... I haven't ridden in years! Not since university! A road bike you think?

    *feeling petrified but also inspired*

  18. First of all... holy cow, woman, you got guts--can you hear me cheering all the way from Florida?


    Your family has every right to be proud of you every day as it is--this? the icing on the cake!

    Congratulations on daring to challenge yourself!

  19. Hey, C!!
    I saw your email this evening when I went in there & saw 22000+ inboxes. wth!
    Was about to delete when i saw that post you did on the spammer. sheesh.

    Anyway, I'm mostly on FB now. Ummm... I promised I've been reading some books, but for the life of me I don't know if i could backtrack in list them all! :(

    Anyway, so very proud of you! I'll cheer you on!!!

    *pom poms in hand*
    Go, C! Go, C! GO! GO! GO!

  20. Wow! Go you!

    I'd love to be a runner. I might even give it a shot next spring when I'm not attached to the baby all the time and it's not winter in South Dakota. I figure winter is not a motivating time to start.

  21. You Go Christine!!

    What an awesome endeavour, just take it slow and increase your endurance each day and week. I'm sure the sponsors have a training program mapped out for participants!!

    Congratulations and Good Luck!!


  22. You Go Christine!!

    What an awesome endeavour, just take it slow and increase your endurance each day and week. I'm sure the sponsors have a training program mapped out for participants!!

    Congratulations and Good Luck!!


  23. Hello friends. My apologies for not responding sooner to your comments. I've had a lot going on in the last couple of days and my head is still spinning!


    Thank you for the cheers! I'm so excited about this fitness challenge!

    Thanks for the support! :)

    Thanks! Yes, plenty of time to train... too much time to "over-think" everything. LOL!

    Thanks, but don't be too impressed until I actually do the race. LOL!

    You're right! I've made HUGE strides in my fitness from where I was this time last year ... eleven months from now I'll be even further!

    Great advice about getting out of the pool and into the ocean once I can do the 0.5 mile in the pool. They suggest that in the training guide at the triathlon website, so I'll definitely do that a couple of times next summer.

    I was mostly teasing you! Gently reminding you that you may have been interested in doing a triathlon at one time. You should do a triathlon ONLY if YOU want to. No other reason. Definitely not because we talked about it one day!

    Road bikes--even basic, "low-end" ones--can be very expensive, so don't invest in one unless you're committed to riding regularly. Hybrid bikes are more practical if you plan on using a bike for transportation as well, but they're obviously not built for speed.

    Thank you!!!! I guess it did take some guts to sign up for this thing. LOL. It'll take way more guts to do it in September. Eeep!

    Hey you! So good to 'see' you! And thanks for the cheer. Can I see a backflip? And a split? ;p

    You already are a runner... running around taking care of two young energetic little boys and a bouncing baby girl! Although maybe once in a while you do want to run away... LOL!

    Yeah... I don't think I'd be picking up running in South Dakota in the winter... Although I have to say that I ran more last winter with snow on the ground than I did this summer in the heat.

    Thank you! There IS a training program on the triathlon website, but it wasn't very specific. I'll figure it out... and follow the lead of my friends who have done these races before.

    Thanks everyone!!! You guys are AWESOME cheerleaders!!! xoxo

  24. Thank you Christine. Hmmm. I will investigate - bikes that is - because I would like to attempt one (a triathlon :) For me it's finding the time to train, but...I have printed off the beginner's training program (it's online :)

  25. Nice! I've done the Danskin with a team. I did the biking portion. It was my first bike race and my first triathlon. The hardest part was biking with so many other people and trying not to crash into anyone! I think the swimming part would be the hardest. I've just started getting back in shape after the baby. I'm training for a 5K.

    Good luck!

  26. orannia, many women use a hybrid bike for triathlons, but I know road bikes are lighter and more aerodynamic and therefore more efficient for the rider and therefore faster. But you have to consider the expense and practicality if you want to have the bike for recreation and transportation as well as fitness... then maybe a hybrid is best for you.

    Ciara, I remember when you did the Danskin! Training for a 5K is a perfect fitness goal after having a baby. You can totally do that!


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