Last weekend I completed my first ever Sprint Triathlon, and I want to share my experience with you all.
First off, you're probably asking what is a Sprint Triathlon? It is half of the olympic triathlon distance of swimming, then biking, then running. Here is the breakdown:
- 500-750 meter swim
- 20K biking (12.4 miles)
- 5K run (3.1 miles)
Secondly, I got asked a lot, why are you doing this race? Well, I sat down one day at the beginning of August and set goals for the rest of 2017. I felt unmotivated in certain areas of my life after enjoying (a little too much) this summer. I set personal goals, career goals and health/fitness goals. This Sprint Tri falls under two personal/fitness goals:
(1) to complete a new race
(2) to teach my body something new
I chose a Sprint Tri because of these goals. I have completed running races like 5ks, 10ks, and a half marathon, and I sure as hell wasn't going to start training for the marathon just 8 weeks out. And earlier this year I did a strength race called the Super Spartan Race. So, what was different than these?-- swimming, biking, then running! I also have never swam laps as a workout, so my body was about to be taught something very new.
So, how did I train? First and foremost, I had to buy a fitness bike! Divvying around the city doesn't quite cut it... After buying a Trek fitness bike the next day and getting over my fears of biking alongside cars downtown, I looked up 6-week training plans. I didn't follow anything specific, but it gave me a good idea of what to do. I began going on 10-15 mile bike rides along Lake Michigan, and followed the bike rides up with a run. The first time the run lasted only 5 minutes, and then I slowly increased it to the 3.1 miles. The swimming is where it gets interesting. I didn't even know where to begin with it! Instead of trying to be a hero and teach myself, I asked for help. I talked to another Equinox Personal Trainer who does triathlons regularly, and we swam in the pool together a couple times. I learned some drills, techniques, and pool workouts to do on my own 3 days a week.
And, how did it go???? I can't quite quantify my experience in a couple words, but to sum it up, it was nerve-racking, exhilarating, tiring, challenging, and lots of fun! The swim in Lake Michigan was very rough, as I only did one swim in the lake beforehand, and that's without 25 other people splashing and kicking around you. I had no idea if I was swimming straight, or if I was about to kick someone or get kicked, or get swallowed up by a wave. I managed to push through it (sometimes doggy paddling) and finished in 12 minutes. Then we transitioned to biking. Biking was by-far the hardest part for me; even though I just said the swim was terrifying and rough, it was only 12 minutes, whereas the biking was 3.5X that. I can only explain it as I felt like I was full-on sprinting for 40 minutes. I was already gassed after the biking, but then I had to transition again to the run. My legs were jello and I felt like I was barely running. However, I was actually running at a solid 8:30min/mile pace and kept it for the whole run. The finish was all mental.
I finished 3rd in my age group of Women 20-24 years old, so that was pretty cool!
Finally, would I do another one? Yes, definitely! I now know exactly what it entails and I will be better prepared for the next one. I will do many more lake swims, go on faster and timed bike rides, and try to increase my running mile time. I am already excited to figure out what races I'll be doing in 2018. Stay tuned!
If you want to go out of your comfort zone physically, I 100% recommend doing a Sprint Triathlon. Everyone, regardless of age, or fitness and skill level, is capable of doing it. Email me with any questions regarding the race, training, or anything else!
About this Section
This section highlights any type of noteworthy experience I've had with food. It also covers some of my traveling adventures! I am an avid traveler and love trying out new cuisines and local foods wherever I go. I will give any and all the details of the food I've tasted around the world.