Should I Tri This?

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I’ve been thinking about obsessing over triathlon for a while now. Watching the Ironman World Championship Kona (over and over). Reading books. Stopping strangers on the trail to talk about Ironman.

^ Totally did that. Saw a girl with an Ironman tattoo on my long run last weekend and as she was about to pass me, I picked up the pace and ran with her for about five miles, asking all sorts of ridiculous questions:

– Do you strip naked when you change out of your swim stuff into bike/ run gear?
– Do the transition areas have little changing rooms for men/women?
– How many hours a week do you train?
– How many months for an Ironman?
– How long did it take you to do a 1/2?
– The full?
That long? How did you go potty?

(Kudos: If she was supremely and rightfully annoyed, she didn’t show it!)

So when I saw this in my gym the other day, I knew immediately what I’d be doing Saturday afternoon:

It was fun! Two super nice coaches and about 10 people showed up; all of us tri virgins, but quite enthusiastic!

We did introductions (while spinning<-- is this the correct word for "pedaling a spin bike"? so clueless...); then a quick fitness assessment:

  • a mini-spin session (about 10 minutes) that got me sweating and panting like… er… that got me sweating and panting;
  • a minute of sit-ups (31) and pushups (20);
  • run 1.5 miles (12:03);
  • swim 8 laps.

And then they handed out a training schedule. It started like this.

SWIM: 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.

STOP right there!

I don’t know, guys. A 5 a.m. wakeup call every Monday… doesn’t sound appealing.

The coach reasoned, “This way you get it out of the way first thing in the morning!” Which totally makes sense. But let’s get real. Waking up at 5 a.m. to train sounds healthy and righteous and all that, and then we know how it ends.

The alarm goes off.
“Race today?”
“Er… no, it’s Monday.”
“Mmmmm. OK. Back to sleep!”

I’ve got all day Sunday to think it over, obsess, talk my friends’ ears off, and decide.

What should I do?


The chiro said it’s OK to start running again, but take it easy. Go shorter (did that!) and go slower (eh, next time…).

Tomorrow morning, as scheduled: 15 miles!

7 thoughts on “Should I Tri This?

  • February 21, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    I have been thinking of doing a Tri myself. Though I haven’t swam since last year and have ridden my bike once this year. lol. I wonder if a Tri Club would be good to join. . . .

    • February 21, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      You are one step ahead of me already, I don’t even own a bike yet! LOL. But I’m planning to do my first Tri in June! Tri Clubs are great because you have a coach (or several coaches, for each discipline), who will work with you on improving your form. Plus: extra incentive to get to the pool at 5:30 a.m. when you have your whole club there. I’m loving it so far!

  • Pingback: Sleeping In Before a 5:30 a.m. Gym Class | Confessions of a Caffeinated Mother Runner

  • February 11, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Yeah, that Mermaid one is the same day as the SJR 1/2. I’m not swimming in Almaden lake either, ha!

    I’m thinking about this one now: — it’s an Olympic Distance one; June 30. Plenty of time! My biggest concern is the bike part, I just suck at biking. And would need to buy a bike… šŸ™‚

  • February 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Hi Aleks: The Mermaid should have two Tris. One in Capitola in Oct and one in Alameda in June but I just looked at your schedule and it may be the same date as the See Jane Run Half Marathon you have listed. (Also this is Sprint distance whereas Capitola offers Olympic and Sprint). Anyway here is the link!__alameda . And then every year at Lake Almaden is the Olympic distance San Jose Tri (I forgot offiicial name) Looks like it is in April. We happened to be at the park one year and it was a blast watching everyone come in and go through transition! I think this is it:—2013 Course yuo couldnt get me swimming in Lake Almaden šŸ™‚ Oh and last, the Mermaid ones offer great clinics like a couple weeks before the race where they walk you through how to setup your transition area and everything you need.

    Hope you can get one in! I am fascinated by the sport and hope one day when my youngest is older I can find time to train for the swim too and do a proper one. (I’d also be open to one of the short womens one this year if we did get a team togehter) – Tiffany

  • February 9, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Hi Aleks: This is Tiffany from MRTT. First I meant to comment that your review of Chrissie Wellington’s book got me to go out and get it on my Kindle!! I have been loving the part about the mental training aspect to it as that is what I struggle with, whether it’s the final mile of a Half Marathon or the final mile of a 5K. Book was great.

    You should totally go out and do a Tri! This one is probably too easy for you given your current fitness level but the Mermaid Triathlons are great ways to try one out. Short distance, all women, really welcoming atmosphere and FUN! I only did one as my swimming sucks (I can whip out a 20 mile bike ride no prob) but you seem to have all 3 disciplines down so go for it!

    Also you know what helped me? I searched on YouTube for videos on triathlon transitions. There are a TON of how-tos. Really really helpful. Also have some experienced Tri friends.

    I also didn’t want to deal with the headaches of getting used to and in/out of a wetsuit so I chose a Tri that had warm enough water that I wouldn’t need one (lake)

    I am hoping to do a Duathlon (sprint distance) this year. Have to make use of the Tri suit I invested in šŸ˜‰


    • February 10, 2013 at 7:39 am

      Hey Tiffany! Wow, this is so helpful, thanks! I didn’t even think to search for videos of transition on YouTube. (Does that mean that participants are secretly recording those on their phones? Yikes :))

      I’ve actually looked at the Mermaid series, but their Tri this year is on the same day (in Oct) as the San Jose Rock ‘n Roll! I registered for that already (do it every year)… Now considering the See Jane Run Tri in September, though it’s really really short… I kind of want to do an Olympic distance to start (1500m; 24.9 m; 6.2 m) and then just start training for a 1/2 Ironman.

      But if we can put together an MRTT group to do the SJR Tri, I’m all for it!


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