Consider yourself warned: this blog is about to change directions. I’ve committed to the Republic (Missouri) Tiger Triathlon on August 23, and this is probably what I’ll write about most of the summer. I’ve been considering this for a few weeks: researching triathlon training, testing the waters (literally), and discussing this with friends. Am I crazy? Well, that’s an entirely different blog post, but in the case of this triathlon, the answer is no:
- First, I’ve wanted to do a triathlon for a while, but in my original master plan, I did the marathon first and triathlon second. Now they’ve been transposed, and the marathon has tentatively been pushed to the end of December.
- Second, a triathlon sounds daunting, but I’m doing a sprint (300 yard swim, 12 mile bike, 3.1 mile run), and I can already do the cycling and running portions of the race. I really need to work on the swimming, but I have two-and-a-half months to make that happen.
- Third, now is as good a time as ever. I got into running for my future health, and training for a triathlon will also contribute to my future health. I want to finish a triathlon and a marathon before Chris and I start a family because I want to have a solid exercise base I can fall back on when I’m pregnant and a new mom. And who knows, maybe I’m not really a runner. Maybe I’m really a triathlete posing as a runner. If I never "tri," we’ll never know, will we?
You should know that I am a little crazy. Just like road races naturally progress from 5K to 10K to half-marathon to marathon, triathlons do, too:
- Sprint: .5 mile swim, 12.4 mile bike, 3.1 mile run
- Olympic: .93 mile swim, 24.8 mile bike, 6.2 mile run
- Half-Ironman: 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run
- Ironman: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run
Thus, I find myself thinking If I can do a sprint, I could do an Olympic. And I’ve run a half-marathon, so I could do a half-Ironman. And if I can do a half-Ironman, I could do a full. That’s when my chest warps into a knot and I start craving shots of Pepto Bismol. That’s where the insanity starts.
So what does triathlon training look like? Well, it’s less running, which I’m happy about because I hate running in the summer heat and humidity. In general, a beginning triathlete training program includes two days of swimming, two days of running, and two days of cycling every week. You can add another workout of your weakest area if you like. My general training will look like this:
- Monday: swim (30-45 min.) + run (3-5 miles)
- Tuesday: bike (40-60 min.) + strength training
- Wednesday: swim (30-45 min.) + run (3-5 miles)
- Thursday: bike (40-60 min.) + strength training
- Friday: swim (30-45 min.)
- Saturday: strength training
- Sunday: rest
I plan to post my workout results every weekend, and I’ll give you the scoop on particular issues I’m working through as we go along. Stay tuned!