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Swim, Bike, Run

Posted Jul 08 2009 12:00am

triathlon123I am not one to exercise for exercise’s sake. Never have been. I needed some sort of motivation other than “It’s good for you.” So I signed up for a triathlon. When I could barely walk a mile, I set my sights on triathlon. The reason? In my vast weight loss knowledge (cause I’ve lost and gained so many pounds so many times before), I know it’s better to vary the exercise routine because it works different muscles, you don’t get bored, etc., etc.

So since I needed something to train for that would give me the motivation to do more than one type of exercise, I picked this multi-sport. Did I mention I’m not really fond of exercise? I figured I can swim, I can bike, and well, even though I couldn’t run at the time, how hard could it be? Boy was I in for a rude awakening.

And my brother is a triathlete, so I had someone to turn to for information.

As I get ready for my first triathlon (I raced back in April but it became a duathlon because of pool problems), I’m so excited to see how far I’ve come. I can actually run two miles  now. I couldn’t in April (not on the road anyway) and I can bike the six and swim the 400 meter distance. I realized though, I’ve been lax in my training up to this point. While I’ve been practicing all three disciplines, I haven’t been doing them enough together, mostly because of time constraints. I can tell you from my first experience, running after a six-mile bike ride is a whole lot more difficult than just running for running’s sake. I don’t care how slow you go. Off the bike, jello legs tend to make that first half mile of a run a doozy.

So for the next three and a half weeks (the time before my next race on August 1st, I will be training all three segments close together through the week, with bricks (bike and run together, swim and bike together, you get the idea) on the weekends where I have more time. Last night I ran, despite all kinds of delays (didn’t actually get out on the road until 7:45 pm). I had biked the night before and I was determined to run to work those muscles in succession.

This morning, I swam. Tonight I bike. Tomorrow morning, I run. Tomorrow night, I collapse. It’s the way the race goes. Swim. Bike. Run. Collapse.

By themselves, I extend my distances because someday soon, I’d like to do longer races, but the plan is to get the muscles working in the right order. It’s much easier to get in a pool and swim after a run than the other way around.

I’m glad I chose triathlons as a place to start. I know they aren’t for everyone. But even if I never competed in a race, it pushed me to train in several different exercises, I think giving me a good balance and helping to prevent injuries. Besides, after this 5Ks may feel easy.

My first race is the Mini Mighty Man Sprint in Eisenhower Park, East Meadow, NY, August 1. It’s powered by if you’re interested in something like this. They offer a bunch of different races at all levels.

This starter tri is a 400-meter swim, 6-mile bike, 2-mile run. Wish me luck. I’ll need it!

By the way, I don’t look nearly as fierce as the triathletes in the picture!

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