Road to the Tri: Week 0
So this is it: I have officially started training for a triathlon as of yesterday.
The backstory on this is that I have been involved with fundraising through my own 5K for one of the Sandy Hook family foundations, the Chase Kowalski Foundation (CMAK now, actually). The parents both grew up in our town and ran my race, the Sprint for Monroe, as a family and with Chase up until the That Awful Thing happened (I honestly still can’t put it into words…). The family soon after founded a foundation to support kids in athletic activities that Chase enjoyed. That summer of 2012 he ran both our 5K and participated in a kids’ triathlon (he actually won his age division in the tri).
That summer afterwards, our kids’ race turned into a fundraiser for their foundation, and I got to know Becky and Steve, Chase’s parents. They seemed pleased with the partnership, and asked if I’d be interested in serving on the committee that was putting together their Kids Triathlon series. Last year they put on two: one here in my town (it was the first one they put on) and then another elsewhere in CT.
That day was indescribable. Watching these kids slog through the swimming, the biking, the running. I was so proud to be a part of watching their dream come to fruition….seeing Chase’s spirit alive in these kids as they took on these tasks. Even tiny kids pushing themselves to swim, bike and run. I was inspired. It was honestly one of the coolest things I’ve ever been a part of.
A group of us who worked with Becky that day all agreed that we would train together for a triathlon the following summer. And sure enough, a few months ago, we all got together for Becky’s birthday and made a pact (cemented by T shirts) that we would all do this thing as a group. We picked out our race, a “Sprint Triathlon”, for women only, set for August 30.
So it’s time to start the training. I’m actually two weeks behind when our group plan, put together by one of us who actually has done these sorts of things before. But I have been running and working out consistently so I am hopeful that ten weeks is enough time to get ready for this thing.
Our tri distances are:
1/2 mile swim
12 mile bike
3.1 mile run
I swim only occasionally for recreation and have biked exactly once in the last five years, so it is time. I went out this weekend and got my bike set up. I bought my swim cap, goggles and a bike helmet. I asked around to find the local pool with hours where I can swim. And today, another friend (one of the tri group) will be showing me a bike trail locally to practice on.
I’m not so much worried about each piece. Yesterday I went swimming for the first time and actually swam 3/4 of a mile. So I know I can do the distance. It’s not each piece. It’s putting the pieces together. So I think the first few weeks of the training will be about getting comfortable with biking and swimming (obviously I am fine with running) and then it will be about “bricking” the workouts and putting them together. I have no idea what to expect, but swimming yesterday took me 45 minutes; a slow 5K would be 40 or so minutes; if biking 12 miles takes me an hour (I’ll find out today how fast to expect that to be) I would imagine this will be 2:30-3:00 in duration. That’s what my half marathons were like, which means this is no joke.
So last week was really not truly Tri training other than the Monday, but I have to start somewhere. So here is what we had:
Tues: 2 miles of hill repeats on the treadmill (15:00 pace, ugh) plus 60 minutes of yoga
Wed: Rest Day
Thu: 2.7 miles @ 12:38 plus 45 minutes of HIIT class
Fri: 30 min TRX plus 60 minutes kickboxing class
Sat: 60 min yoga
Sun: Run for the Rock 5K @ 12:04 pace
Mon: 45 min swim (52 laps in 25 yard length pool = .74 mile)
Curious to see what this morning’s biking is like. I actually did like the swimming yesterday; I wasn’t sure about it. Once I got warmed up and in the groove I actually found it very calming and peaceful. I’ve never been great on a bike, though, and coordination is not my strong suit. Hoping I don’t embarrass myself too much in front of the friend that is showing me the ropes.