Friday, July 15, 2011

Goals for triathlon number 2!

On Sunday, I will be doing my second triathlon, but some of the experiences will be a first. The major, defining difference is that this one will have an open water swim, rather then a pool swim.

In my opinion, this dramatically changes the swim, bike, and to a certain extent, transition aspects.

The reason it changes the swim is obvious: I'm not swimming in a pool. There are no lines on the bottom. No walls to push off of. I'll be wearing a wetsuit. I can't touch bottom. I have swam in my wetsuit, in open water - twice. Limited experience, no doubt, but I'm feeling cautiously confident regardless.

It also changes the bike. There will be a lot more people starting around the same time. Sure, the swim spreads people out some, but with everyone starting the swim at the same time, we'll be a lot closer together entering the bike then in a pool swim where a person starts every minute or so. This means significantly more passing and getting passed. In my first tri, I think I was passed twice and passed three people. In this one, I expect it will be in the dozens. For those of you not familiar, drafting is illegal in triathlons (aside from short distance pros, which I won't be competing in).

It also changes transition a little bit. I ran right past my transition spot both times at Vulcan. That was with a minimal number of people in transition. I only imagine it will be that much more confusing with lots of people there. Plus, I've got an added step in needing to remove my wetsuit.

As I've stated before, this is an "experience" triathlon for me, so my goals are experience related rather then time related.

Without further ado, my goals:

1. Don't drown and come out of the water smiling.

2. Find my transition spot the first time I go towards it. Execute smooth transitions.

3. Push myself on the bike.

4. Finish with a smile on my face.

I'm not concerned about being able to do the distance. I'm training for an Olympic right now, and have trained beyond the sprint distances already. It is slightly longer then my last one with a 750m swim rather then 500m and a 23 km bike (I assume it's the loop distance that worked with the roads) rather then 15km. The run is the same, at 5km.

My first triathlon, I had a stellar run following an easy bike. Now, I know that you shouldn't go too hard on the bike because you need to be able to run after. Having said that, I think it's worth pushing a bit harder on the bike. It's not a Sunday bike ride after all. (Actually, I guess it is a "Sunday" ride, but I digress.) It might backfire on me and I'll be burnt out on the run, or I might discover that I still have enough in the tank. Either way, sometimes it's worth taking risks to see where it takes you.

With two days to go, I'm still eerily calm about this triathlon. The first one, I was a nervous wreck for a full week leading up to it. I expected to feel that way with this one purely because of the swim difference. Not complaining, just commenting.

Bring it on!


  1. Good luck!! And have fun :)

  2. I just know you're going to do GREAT!!

    My coach (who does IMs and wins HIMs) puts a HUGE red ladybug pillow on top of his bike so he can easily find his transition area. I think this is funny because A) he's a guy and B) he takes triathlon very seriously...

    ...but I guess his little friend helps him find his bike that much faster!

    Do you have anything big and bright you could mark your area with? I used my superman towel this year. Threw it right over my bike so I knew where to go. I personally think Superman is more appropriate than a ladybug...but to each his own :D

  3. I'm sure you will excel. If you have any jitters or want some hints and tricks, feel free to email me.

  4. I Love Julie's idea about the towel. I could not find my bike at this last tri even though I was in the right row. That could help. I also had a problem finding it after the bike...not enough paying attention (short on time before the tri) to do a walk through.

    You are going to do fabulous! I can't wait for your report!

  5. Only problem with the towel idea is that the wind might blow it off, or someone might move it. Plus it becomes one more thing to deal with. Before the race I take off my glasses and walk through transition from the water to my bike, noting landmarks that won't change. Porta-potties, fence changes, advertising, trees, anything at all can work. Have fun!