Updated: Nov 3, 2019
Let me start off by saying that when I was 25 years old nor 45 years old, did I ever think I would not only sign up for a Triathlon, let alone complete one but I did last Sunday August 6, 2019!
I turned the big 5-0 towards the end of June, but back in February I was dared to begin training for one! What!? I know, I know. I couldn’t believe it either but I did #daretobegin
I would love to take the credit for a real Triathlon, but I can’t. Yet! The "First-Triathlon" is a shorter distance then the Olympic or even the Sprint triathlons but they are always a start to something cool. Swimming for the first tri is ¼ of a mile. And bike is 14 miles and then a 5k run. So if you’re considering signing up for a First-Triathlon here are 6 steps that helped me along the way!
1. Sign up! Do your research on which one you want to participate in and sign up! Don’t second guess your end result! The first step is to sign up! See when my friends and I were first chatting about it, I was thinking, "Well, I can sign up later." But I also know me best; and if I hadn’t signed up when I said I was going to then there could be that chance of not doing it at all. When you sign up, you will have marked your calendar for the day of the event and you will have a sense of commitment!
2. Find your tribe! This is a very important tip! Because these are the folks that will show up when you’re not wanting to, and they will hold you accountable. But where do you find your tribe? The event you signed up will likely have a Facebook page of training events. Facebook groups are a great way to find your Tribe. Swimmers, bikers, running groups or ladies’ fitness groups. Another place would be your local gym or YMCA. My tribe was found on www.meetup.com and I love it!
3. Tell EVERYONE! There’s nothing like disappointing a small nation of people. I told my co-workers, family, friends and anyone that would really listen. I would say I’m training for a Triathlon and yes you’re going to get your nay-sayers but I got a lot of support! I didn’t want to disappoint them either!
4. Plan for it! Put your training in your planner and stick with your plan. My Google calendar would show me every day what I needed to do and thank god! I also have a written planner that I mark all up using one color per sport. So blue was water workouts, red was biking events, and green was for running. Find a system that works for you!
5. I was advised of this tip from a friend that has participated in 6 triathlons! I took her advice and will pass on to you: out of the 3 activities, pick your weakest link and work on that first. For me it was swimming, so I signed up for a swim stroke improvement class and was able to get a little more comfortable each time I entered the water. What I had feared of open swimming never came true.
6. Celebrate: Everything! It’s not only about the coming across the finish line. It’s also about the little small non scale victories that I encourage you to celebrate! Everyone loves a celebration. I celebrated my first swim lesson, my first mile, and that I survived my first bike ride! Those little steps will keep your eyes on the prize of crossing the finish line!
These tips can be for any age; however, I wrote them from my personal experience and hope that you will stay out of your own head and know that you too can do it! I was 35 lbs heavier than I would have liked to been, but all of me crossed that finish line.
The emotions of each event were high. I came out of the water in tears that I did it and I didn’t drown. Then I moved on to the bike and still couldn’t believe I was actually doing this. I rode 14 miles seeing countryside I wouldn’t of experienced. Just starting my run as others had already come across the finish line, yet the community of athletes were so encouraging and made me feel like a champion already. So when I crossed the finish line, having my tribe there cheering me on? It was one of the greatest accomplishments I ever felt.
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Cheers to you and your Victory!
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