In 19 days time I will be competing in my first ever triathlon, and as I sit in a hotel bar in Leeds drinking a pint of Budweiser and waiting for my dinner, I am wondering to myself if I am as prepared as I could be.
The event on the 25th May is the Arundel Lido Triathlon, and I am competing in the standard distance. 800m swim (in a pool), 40k on the bike and then a 10k run. Firstly, lets see where I am with this.
- Can I swim 800m – Yes, with ease. Am off for a swim tomorrow after work just to double check 😉
- Can I ride a bike 40k – Yes, and I should be half decent over this distance I hope.
- Can I run 10k – Errrrr, hopefully. I have been seeing the physio for a while now, and have managed to run 3k twice without any shin pain, so fingers crossed this will be “alright on the night” as they say.
The $64,000 question is can I do all of these things consecutively? Of this, I have absolutely no idea. I can imagine that the transition from the swim to the bike should be simple enough, and as long as I hydrate fully during the ride and maybe take on a couple of energy gels then I should be in half reasonable condition for the run.
There is one major thing standing in my way though, and that is my competitive spirit (which is a part of my personality that I absolutely love, but can get me into trouble). A sensible man, competing in his first ever triathlon, would probably take it fairly easy on the swim, not go too hard on the bike and make sure to leave plenty in the tank for the run. This would be sensible, as all he really wants to do with his first Tri is complete it, learn about the transitions and what his body can do, and move forwards for future events. Now I would dearly love this to be me; however somehow I feel my race will go a bit more like this.
Arrive late for the event, have to set up in a rush then make my way to the pool. Swim 800m as fast as I possibly can. Be absolutely knackered upon leaving the pool, jump on the bike and ride 40k as fast as possible, paying absolutely no attention to hydration or taking on any fuel. Get to the run and try to emulate Sebastian Coe as I run as fast as my legs will carry me, running out of beans after 2k and staggering the rest of the way like a Friday night drunk. Cross the line, feel OK then 2 hours later feel like death and complain to Cat (my beautiful wife, who loves nothing more than talking about Triathlon) that I am getting too old.
Well at least that is my race plan sorted anyway. Hopefully I will be able to relax and hold back, concentrating on just finishing rather than beating any of the Brownlee Brother’s records on the first attempt.
Next I need to buy a Tri Suit. If you haven’t seen one of these before, they are a rather fetching all-in-one outfit, with a bit of padding between the legs to protect your gooch when you are riding. The sort of outfit that looks great on men with 3% body fat (see picture).
These wonderful pieces of lycra sell for around £100 a go, which seems a little bit steep to me, so I am scouring Ebay for a suitably cheap second hand alternative. If anybody makes Tri Suits for men with “a bit extra padding” then I feel this may well be the brand for nme.
Lastly I need to keep the training up. Now on this front I am doing OK. I rode almost 100k with Mike at the weekend, have been for a run tonight, swim tomorrow, gym the day after and then hopefully another ride on Friday evening.
All things being well and good I should get to my first triathlon in OK (ish) shape, and ready and raring to go.
To quote a great man “How hard can it be”.