i've recently been toying with the idea of entering an off-road tri that takes place on april 6. the individual legs don't bother me so much, but what does give me some hesitation is the fact that this will be my first triathlon. i have done a little road/crit/TT racing, but no mtn bike racing at all. Ive never done any competitive running or swimming. In the last week or so i've been doing 2 a day workouts, swim/bike, bike/run, etc. should i do a three a day or two before the event? i realize that at this time there is little that i can do to improve my fitness by apr 6, but this isn't about that. i just need to get my feet wet.
i guess my main question would be this: what the hell do i do?
thanks for your patience in dealing with a total noob.
yeah... i guess including distances would have been a good idea. .5 mile swim, 15 mile ride, 3 mile trail run. i can swim up to a mile in a pool, the ride isn't a problem... the run... that's another issue. i just need to know the basics about transition. really basic stuff. i'm not going to go out and purchase tri shorts quite yet. i'll be renting a wetsuit. do i wear trunks under the wetsuit and ride/run in trunks? i'm so clueless, i don't even know what to ask!
or should i just shut my trap, quit worrying about it and swim, ride, run, get my t-shirt, go home and have a beer?
Relax, you're already there! Keep up your workouts and you'll be fine!
The only thing I would recommend is a couple of bike to run bricks (a brick is doing two disciplines during the same workout.) The only reason I recommend this is so that you can get some experience on how your legs will feel on a run immediately after a bike (hint: rubber!)
Other than that, your fitness level is already there!
first off i would like to thank you all for your advice and encouragement!
yesterday i rode half the ride portion at just under what i anticipate will be race intensity. dump the bike in the car, ditch the helmet, slip on the running shoes and i'm off. i was parked close to what will be the second transition area, so the run to the trailhead was about 50 yards on pavement. i started feeling jellylegs almost immediately.
then i hit the trail.
after 100 yards going UP, i felt like the trail was repeatedly hitting ME. tough stuff. very tough. today i will stay off the bike and just run. i still haven't even seen the whole run course, so i figure i'll run as much as i can, and walk the rest. i knew going into this that the run would be my weak point. i was more than correct. OUCH.
if i get addicted to this stuff i will blame you all.
damn that was fun! now if i hadn't gotten to bed at 4:30am to wake at 7:15 for an 8:15 start (i live nearly in sight of the hilltops that compromised most of the ride), i might have taken more than 25 minutes out of my best ride time during training.
you are right when you say that nothing really gets you prepared for an open-water swim like an open water swim. well, as open as puddingstone lake is on a still cool morning... i entered the water dead last. i slowly gained ground along the outside of the course. i think i exited the water at the last 1/3 of the group.
when i exited the water, i was confused and disoriented. i pulled the wrong way on my wetsuit zipper leash three times. the transition was slow and clumsy. my riding, exiting the transition, traced a large sine wave along the bike path. i had to laugh. i started my hrm. i got in the big ring for the first 1.5 miles of rolling paved bike path before taking the hard right onto a gradually inclining fire-road, joining riders i would eventually spend the majority of the ride with. we approached the hardest part of the day quickly: a 150 yard rocky stairstep hike followed by a teaser flat that takes a right to another hike. some rode it but not much faster that we were hiking it. easily the hardest part of the ride for some reason to me.
of the remaining 13 miles of riding, roughly 10 miles was off road, mostly fireroad some singletrack. two 7.5 mile loops, lots of climbing. lots of descending. no crashes around me. good times...
second transition was uneventful, and thusly, i will reserve comment on this rather mundane event.
now for the three mile trail run (with maybe 1/4 mile paved). again, lots of climbing, and descending...
all i could think was "i am so obviously not a person who runs a lot". the first 1/2 mile of run is a steep uphill death march of death and pain and suffering and piles of crushed souls, their former host bodies littering the trail, creating a sort of obstacle course both physically, and eventually, metaphysically... due to the whole soul thing.
i walked to the top of a ridge and began to run again, across a flat, then down a fire-road, to another steep climb, followed by an amazingly fun scatter down to a bike path. 200 yards of paved path then a massive fireroad climb that eased over to a singletrack stairstep climb that lasted for 100 yards. i just couldn't believe how hard this whole thing was! once we hit the foreroad at the top of the climb, i ran once again... walking up the last climb to a gravel parking lot and girls with water. gulp gulp im on my way down a paved road for 1/4 mile or so until hitting a downhill fireroad scatter followed by a flat then flat singletrack through lush green. i couldn't believe how cool this thing was now...
small uphill/downhill cross a road to a fireroad climb to the same section we ran the other way on before. undulating fireroad followed by slight downhill for 1/2 mile or so. run across the park (grass!!! yes!) to the bike path 100 yards to the finish.
give away the timing chip. breathe. avoid the hamstring cramp that began to tease me about halfway through the run. stretch... drink...
write about it. i had a blast. thanks if you read it all.
Cannondale Bad Boy / Mercian track / BOB trailer / Moulton recumbent project
"the first 1/2 mile of run is a steep uphill death march of death and pain and suffering and piles of crushed souls, their former host bodies littering the trail, creating a sort of obstacle course both physically, and eventually, metaphysically... due to the whole soul thing."
I'm doing New Forest again in a few weeks and there's a famous steep sand hill climb at the start of it that spanks everyone. I'm going to steal this and use it whenever anyone asks what to expect.