At 35 years old I fell in love with the sport of cycling. Since then I have raced Mountain bikes in cross country, downhill, Super-D and time trial competitions. I've even crossed over to BMX racing but it wasn't until very recently that I paid attention to another sport that shares the same spirit as cycling but adds the benefit of developing a more complete athlete.
The sport I'm talking about is Triathlon. Now when I pictured Triathlon, my mind filled with images of runners and swimmers traversing incredible distances in crazy short times. What I forgot was that the cycling portion of these races would now be my strength. Most everyone who tries Triathlon comes into it with at least one strength so I'd be no different.
So what about the other two parts of the race? Most recently I competed in a 5K race and completed it in a reasonable time despite an almost total absence of training. It's a start I can easily build upon. The big challenge for me would be the swimming.
I didn't learn how to swim until I got into high school. There I only learned the basics which would allow me to enjoy the water and stay alive. I never learned proper stroke technique, training methods or even breathing. This would be a huge weakness in what is considered the mother of all race types.
Out of curiosity I looked up the distances and times of my local race - the Englewood Triathlon. This race takes place once a year during the summer and is what's known as a Sprint Triathlon. A Sprint is the shortest type with a 400 meter swim, a 13 mile time trial and a 5K run.
Suddenly my eyes were opened wide. I can do a 5K run in 30 minutes flat, I can do a 13 mile Time Trial in about 45 minutes but the swim? Here is where the doubts creep in. Luckily I live close to the beautiful Oyster Creek public pool where I can practice under the watchful eye of well trained lifeguards. So, now came the question of motivation - how bad do I want this?
When the Revolution 3 Triathlon came to Venice, Florida on Oct 28th I gave it a walk through. Just visiting the Expo and seeing the finish line, the gear, the timing systems and especially the athletes made me feel those stirrings of wanting to be a part of it. I came home and starting marking my calendar with a steady training system appropriate for next year's Englewood Triathlon.
I have an idea of just how hard this is going to be. I'm reading all the articles online and reviewing books by Andy Holgate and Chris McCormack. I'm hitting the pool twice a week, riding my bike in the Time Trial style and planning out my 5K runs. I have 8 months to train but my wheels are already turning. This is my next great goal.