Monday, July 20, 2009

Tri Countdown

I've been pretty terrible about updating the Pigdog. That's not right. In that time, I've continued to train for my first triathlon, which is now just six days away. Overall, it's gone fine, although my training hasn't been very focused. Instead of following a strict regimen, I've aimed to run twice a week, bike twice a week and swim twice a week. Within those, I try to do a long ride and run once a week. Here's how I feel going into the race in each discipline:

Swim: This is the great unknown. I put in enough time in the pool, I think, doing about 2000 yards each workout, usually with sets of 100s, then 200s, with some 400s. Lately, I've concentrated on doing longer sets without sacrificing form. I'm a mediocre swimmer.

Cycling: The bike hasn't been as easy as I thought. I probably thought my running fitness would totally carry over, but it hasn't. I've been hampered by being clueless on the bike, not knowing much of anything about how it works, what to do when something goes wrong, etc. This is an area I need to work on. Biking 24 miles on a flat course doesn't seem so bad to me, though.

Running: I feel great here. My Achilles is finally getting healed. The last few runs I've done have been great. The half marathon went alright, considering how little I run, and I've had several good runs since then.

So that brings me to my worries. They're all around the unknown. The marathon is familiar to me, I know the rhythms of it, what to expect and what will happen. The tri is different altogether, with lots more to consider. If I could do it over, I'd have done a sprint race first. Alas, no going back now. My concerns:

Surviving the swim: I haven't done any open water swimming. This was pretty dumb. I'm going to the try out swimming in the lake the day before and morning of the race. My main goal is to stay relaxed. To that end, like any new triathlete, I worry about getting kicked in the head and freaking out.

Gear: Do I wear a wetsuit? (It's unclear what the water temp will be.) Do I clip my shoes onto my pedals? Do I bring a tire pump in case of a flat? Is my bike working OK?

What I'm not worried about:

Fitness: I could be humbled by the tri, but I feel like I have plenty of fitness to complete it without much drama. The one thing I noticed on a brick workout is my heart rate elevates when running after cycling. I'll have to watch that. Still, I'm in great cardio shape and getting stronger in both cycling and swimming. The other week, I went for a 42-mile bike ride, then ran 5.75 miles at 7:15 pace. It wasn't that bad, either. So long as I stay relaxed and feel my way through the swim, I know I'll be fine.

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