General Discussion Introduce Yourself!!! » Total Triathlon Virgin Rss Feed  
Moderators: IndoIronYanti, Ron Reply
2014-02-20 9:31 AM


Subject: Total Triathlon Virgin
Hello hello,

I am going to complete my first triathlon (sprint) in July. I have never even thought about doing a triathlon because I do not consider myself a strong swimmer, nor am I an experienced runner, NOR am I a cyclist! lol. So of course I should do a triathlon, right!?

Well... I have always wished I could do these things. Instead of wishing, I decided to set a goal. I love obstacle course running races and 5ks, so now I just need to work on swimming and cycling. I figure all I need is a good training plan and lots of determination.

I am very overweight, so my other motivation is obviously to lose weight, but what I am really after is body confidence. The kind of body confidence where I can trust my body to do things. Right now, I have very little body confidence. I still enjoy activities, but with lots of trepidation and doubt (if I go kayak, how hard will it be for me to lift my body out of the water and into the kayak, when I go horseback riding will there be some kind of ladder of stool that will help me lift myself on the horse, if I do this obstacle course, how will I possibly life myself over this wall)... You get my point.

Just to give you an idea of where I am starting from... Yesterday I took my "beach cruiser" style bike for a spin around my hilly neighborhood and about died completing not even 5 miles. The hills were killer and I admit to climbing off and walking a couple of times. Most of the time I powered up the hills, but with only one gear it was difficult. Earlier in the week, I went for a walk/run... I completed a very hilly 3.1 miles in about 45 minutes (can we say slloooowww?). And I have not swam since moving from Hawaii a few months ago, and my swimming history consists of treading water and swimming whatever way my body decides to. I have never had anyone teach me proper form. In the pool, I can swim a few laps before tiring out (and those laps are purdy short).

My fitness is currently "okay." I do crossfit 3x per week and I ride my bike around the neighborhood a few times a week on crossfit days. Three days a week I take a run around my hilly neighborhood. I do all this pushing and pulling around my very overweight body. I follow weight watchers too, but I eat only power foods (lean proteins, veggies, fruits, healthy fats) and whole grains.

So that is me! No better place to start than from the beginning!

2014-02-20 9:36 AM
in reply to: cridgley


Subject: RE: Total Triathlon Virgin

What are the distance differences between a mini Sprint and a Sprint? I see both training plans, but I have never heard of a mini sprint and now I am not sure what I am signed up for in July. I believe mine is 400 swim, 12 bike, 3 run.
2014-02-20 9:48 AM
in reply to: cridgley

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Midlothian, VA
Subject: RE: Total Triathlon Virgin

There is no standard for sprints or mini sprints.  Typically a sprint would be maybe .5mi/12mi/3mi or so with much variation. 

Your speeds and distances don't sound too bad for just starting out.  I got into the sport back in 2010 and have dropped from almost 230# to as little as 187#.  I'm  around 195# now, and haven't had much training volume this last year and in fact my knee started acting up last summer and my running almost stopped completely. Which is to say I'm a bit soft now, but even with minimal training I'm still in WAY better shape than a few years ago.

I did a 5k yesterday and my time was similar to yours, and in the past couple years I've done as much as 11 miles.  I'm fairly sure 5 miles would kick my butt on a single speed as well even though I've done 80 mile rides.

Short story, you're off and running.  (And will probably be wanting a multi-gear bike when you can swing it.)  Keep at it.  If in doubt regarding swimming take some lessons.


2014-02-20 9:52 AM
in reply to: faded_memories


Subject: RE: Total Triathlon Virgin
Yay! Thank you! That is encouraging to hear. I am looking for a 10-speed or something easier for me to ride. I love my beach cruiser (hello huge comfy seat!), but not on these hills!
2014-02-20 9:54 AM
in reply to: cridgley


Subject: RE: Total Triathlon Virgin
And to clarify... the 3.1 miles I completed... It took me 28 minutes to get 1.6 miles done. I only finished the rest by 45 because it was mostly downhill for the last half! lol I fly downhill!
2014-02-20 10:16 AM
in reply to: cridgley

Subject: RE: Total Triathlon Virgin
Yeah. First order of business is a multi-speed bike. That single speed would have kicked anyone's on hills. Spend $5 to $200 on a used bike at a yard sale or a used bike store and maybe replace the seat and tires, get a tune-up and off you go. Don't invest too much money because you might end up not liking biking or if you do like it, you will want to upgrade a year or so down the line no matter what you buy initially, so go cheap at first. I started off with a $5 1970's steel Schwinn that I could have easily raced in a sprint tri. A year later, upgraded to a $500 bike, then a $2k carbon bike.

Great job working hard!


2014-02-20 6:57 PM
in reply to: TonyO

Subject: RE: Total Triathlon Virgin
In Australia we have enticer triathlons, which would be perfect for you - 200m swim 7km ride and 2km run. A considerable amount of people that do these are out of shape, unfit and/or overweight, so you won't be coming last! Get a decent bike, but don't spend too much $$, get a reputable brand road bike, you should be able to get a cheap 2nd hand bike.
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With my new triathlon goal set, I had to find a pool, set a schedule, ramp up the cycling, and keep up the running.
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Already a cyclist and not a bad swimmer, I figured all I had to do was build up to running a few miles and I’d be ready to go. The challenge invigorated me, and I ran out to buy new running shoes.
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I was passing others who were saying, "Good job, 587" (that was my race number). People were cheering me on. These were the nicest people I have ever been around!
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Some would say there are easier ways to get in shape, and they are probably right. My first worry was being able to squeeze into a wetsuit by race day.
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Good memories are crucial to your success in the water. Trying to swim laps before you are comfortable in the water is likely to reinforce your anxiety, so avoid the white-knuckle approach.
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Kevin Koskella of gives his introduction on how he became a swim coach.