My First Triathlon
4 minute read
This past weekend I raced in my first triathlon ever. I wanted to do a triathlon since the summer of 2022 when I started to do more cross training because of my chronic patellar tendinopathy and I've always been interested in triathlon as a discipline so there really was no better time to try it out.
My training, as usual, was not very organized. My focus is still on orienteering so much of my training focused on rehabilitating my running while maintaining decent cardiovascular shape. I found it decently hard to get myself to go swimming because I highly prefer biking as a form of cross training.
During my main training phase starting when I returned to Stanford in September 2022, I did around 6-10 hours of training per week which involved the following sessions:
- 3-5 sessions of running, not much speed work and mostly at a recovery pace
- 2-3 sessions of biking, usually 1 long session on the weekend of 2 hours and 1-2 shorter session on the stationary bike
- 1-2 sessions of swimming, usually 1-2km of freestyle but then I started doing more structured workouts with the swim club
- 1-3 session of strength training and PT - typically focusing on strengthening the muscles in the quad and loading the tendon to help recovery
I felt pretty good about my prerace preparations, despite confusing the actual date of the triathlon (I expected it to be a Saturday but it was actually on Sunday). So I got a pretty decent taper in beforehand, 3 super easy sessions in the days leading up to the event.
So the swim was unfortunately cancelled due to poor weather conditions which is a bit sad since I wanted to experience the entirety of a triathlon, but it was probably good for my overall performance since I was not very confident about my swimming abilities as it was my weakest discipline for sure.
Instead we just had a longer run up to the bike, it was about 1.2 kilometers I completed in 3:42 and by then I was only 18 seconds behind the leader in the top 20. I took a decent amount of time in the transition, but I was still one of the first bikers out so I was pretty happy with that.
This section went quite poorly, I realized when running into the transition that I forgot to take my bike lock off the bike. It was only attached to the frame so I didn't have to take it off but it was still unbelievably annoying to have this lock rattling around on the frame and I had to constantly adjust it so that it didn't hit my legs. I also started cramping about 3/4 of the way through but by the end it went away. I think I had a pretty respectable time all things considered, lost about 4 minutes to the leader coming out around 40-50th place.
I never felt so weird during a run as the first mile of this 5K. My legs were so freaked out from transitioning from a hard bike ride into a hard run that it felt like I was running at snail speed. After the first mile I warmed up and it felt okay, I still think that it felt like I was running faster than I actually was because my final time was 19:08 which is a decent pace, but I felt like I was running a lot harder.
Looking back at the paces, my first kilometer wasn't actually that slow it just felt bad because of coming off the bike, the pacing overall was solid I think I just didn't expect to get so exhausted from the bike ride and previous run.
That was super duper fun. I only raced on a bike once before and it was on Mount Diablo which was insanely fun but there were many more people around my speed during this race so it was much more fun (although a bit scary going so fast). I think I'll definitely do more triathlons in the future, planning on doing the half-ironman in Santa Cruz in September so hopefully I'll get a sprint triathlon in before then which actually has a swim.