Jul 16 2008
I finished my first Triathlon about 3 weeks ago. It was pretty much what I expected except the run, which was much harder than I thought it would be. I’ve had a few weeks now to mull over how I did. I was pleased with my overall effort and met some goals, exceeded some, and totally bombed others. I’m planning on doing another one in September so I thought I’d put down some thoughts from my first one that might help in the second.
Go harder. I think I held back a little too much trying to conserve when really I don’t need to conserve any upper body strength because it is really not used that much on bike and run. My legs were basically just chillin back there. Funny thing…I did backstroke for more than half of the swim! My backstroke is unusually quick, maybe even as quick as my freestyle. I was worried that I’d get off course, but I just made sure that the people behind me (who I could see very easily with just a quick lift of the head) were still headed in the same direction that I was.
Forget the jersey. It took me 2 min in the first transition. Too long. Much of that time was spent getting my tight fitting jersey over my wet body. I think next time I’ll just go bare-chested. I think I’m also going to try to already have my shoes in the clips. I have the SPD clips that are kind of hard to get clipped in. I’ve heard of guys using rubber bands to keep the shoes face up then just put your foot on top of the shoe and start pedaling. Once you get going fast slide your feet in and tighten them up.
Put my tri bars on. There’s not much to change here except to ride a little harder and put the tri bars on. I didn’t put them on for this one because I wasn’t sure of the benefit, but all of the die hards were using them so there’s got to be something to them. I think I could have pushed harder on the bike, but I’m not sure if that will kill my run, which was already pretty bad.
I was under a minute here. Felt pretty good about it. To be even faster though I can take my feet out of my shoes and just keep them on top until I get to the dismount line. That should save a few seconds.
Train harder for the run. I didn’t do over 3 miles in training for this. I think if I do longer runs, 6 or even 10 miles, it will help my stamina for the 5K. The only gel pack I did over the entire course was right when I got on the bike. I think I should probably do another one when I start running. I’ve also heard that increasing RPMs at the end of the ride helps flush out the legs just before running. Maybe I’ll give that a try too.