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Tri-ing For Dummies: Guest Post from Tri-ing to be Athletic

Posted Feb 22 2013 9:21pm
I think it is no secret that I adore TriGirl from over at Tri-ing to be Athletic . So when I ran out of blog post ideas I decided to ask her to do a guest post on Running for Dummies, so you guys could love her as much as I do.  She wrote (and drew) an awesome post for us about being a tri-athlete (for dummies). Who knows, maybe she will motivate me to pick up a bike or jump in a pool!  Thanks Tri-Girl!

Tri-ing for Dummies

Hello everyone!  When Lea asked me if I wanted to guest post on her blog, it only took me about 0.2 seconds to say "Yes, please!"  I am a big fan of hers and so honoured that she asked me to write here today. I write my blog about training for triathlons and running races.  When (if) you think of triathletes, you might very well think of lean, mean, racing machines.  I may have named myself TriGirl, but it's really more for irony's sake.

That's me.
I started doing triathlons due to peer pressure from a co-worker.  The everyone-is-doing-it-so-you-should-too-come-on-it-will-totally-be-fun-don't-you-want-to-hang-with-the-cool-kids mentality is not the recommended reason for starting a sport.  Especially if you are not a sports person and don't know how to swim or bike.  Or run. My less than auspicious start with the triathlon (hypothermia and dehydration with a trip to the ER after the swim) made me question whether or not I should tuck tail and run, or buck up and train properly.  I went with the latter.
While there are those incredible Ironman races you see on TV, I do the "sprint" distance.  I should tell you this name is a misnomer.  There are people who finish the race in about an hour.  Me?  Not so much.
Make no mistake, I am going as fast as I can.  I'm just slow by nature.
But, that does not mean  there is no reason to tri (see what I did there?)  Anyone who wants to can do a triathlon. In order to swim in a triathlon if you are not a confident swimmer, I have one word for you:

A triathlon wetsuit, to be precise.  If I ever go on a cruise (which will be never) I think I will take my wetsuit with me.  It's warmer and more buoyant than a life jacket.  But, word to the wise, you should wear your wetsuit in the lake a few times before your race because it takes some getting used to.

Now that we've covered the swim--assuming, of course, that you're going to the pool at least a couple of times a week--let's move on to the bike. When buying a bike, do not be swayed by the salesperson who tries to sweet talk you into a sleek, fast road bike so that you can speed by all the other racers.  If you have not ridden a bike since you thought Barbie and G.I. Joe should get married and have lots of Skipper babies, then you should look for a bike that:  
A)  Fits you. B)  You can balance on. Just kidding.  You want to make sure you can just stay upright.
C)  You can stop on...without having to jump off. Jump, fall, whatevs. 
Granted, I may be in the minority on the biking issues, but my hybrid and I get along much better than my road bike and I did.  By the by, anyone need a road bike?  I'll give you a good price. You can take spin classes and put your bike on a trainer to get practice in the off season, but if you're like me and actually do forget how to ride a bike, grab a friend (or reluctant spouse) and hit the bike paths. Once you've gotten the bike part out of the way, you have the last leg of the race:  the run.  Or crawl walk.  You might have to weave through people going more slowly than you who are using those 3 miles to catch up on the latest about what Chandelier said to Salmonella on the Bachelor this week, but you just have to slink over the finish line at this point and grab that finisher's medal! And that's it!  You're done! So, if you have thought you could never do a triathlon, I am living proof that you absolutely can.  There are even indoor triathlons that use a pool, treadmill, and stationary bike so you can tri very safely.
Oh, one little, itty bitty thing I forgot to mention:  transitions.  A.K.A. how to get out of your wetsuit and onto your bike in a jiffy, and off your bike and into your run in a millisecond. But I think I'll save that for another day. Thanks so much, Lea, for letting me take over your blog today!

From Lea:
You can check out more of TriGirl here:

Twitter: @triingathlete
Facebook: Tri-ing to be Athletic
Pinterest: TriGirl
Instagram: TriGirl13
Zazzle: Tri-ing to be Athletic (Seriously, you need to buy her stuff, so cute.)

Keep Running,


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