Back in 2011, I completed my first and only triathlon. It was a sprint triathlon meaning the distances were short (and manageable, in my opinion!). Now, four years later as I have restarted my running journey and upped my game with working out, I’m happy to announce that I’ll be racing this same sprint triathlon again this summer! For all my St. Louis friends, it’s the 2015 Tour de Kirkwood Triathlon on Sunday, July 26th, and it’s a GREAT race! It’s perfect for first timers and seasoned athletes alike.
Why is this race so great for anybody who wants to tri? The distances and the swim.
The distances are as follows:
- Swim: 400 yards
- Bike: 10 miles
- Run: 3 miles
The swim is in a pool (serpentine style) which is a big deal as most triathlons are in open water which kind of terrifies me. Eventually I would like to get there, but as a triathlon newbie, the pool swim is very appealing!
Big Shark is a local bicycle company and is hosting the triathlon and sponsoring me. They have four locations in St. Louis and are a wealth of knowledge about all of your biking and triathlon needs. They hold classes and clinics and even have bikes, race wheels, travel cases, and wetsuits available to rent! Big Shark has bicycling and triathlon teams and truly are the go-to spot in St. Louis.
When I trained for this triathlon four years ago, I focused on swimming. I knew I could run and bike the distances, but swimming is one sport where I had never learned proper technique. I took swimming lessons to learn correct stroke and practiced several times a week. I was the least confident in swimming, but surprised myself with how I did. I dug up some photos from four years ago.
Getting all set up, not really knowing what I was in for!
Not going to lie, I felt pretty cool getting numbers written on me. It’s probably comparable to runners getting their first bib. Race official!
I wore a Reebok swim suit; the top was like a sports bra, so all I had to do was throw a tank top on. I’ll need to figure something else out for this year though since I’m post-baby and still nursing… Any race tops, tri suits, or swim suits you recommend?
Waiting in line for the swim:
Attractive outfit, eh? 😉 I bought a pair of triathlon shorts which have light padding in the butt for biking, but less bulky than straight biker shorts. They’re really hot.
Since the swim is serpentine style, you line up by what time you think you will finish. When I first started swimming lessons, I could literally barely make it one length of the pool without stopping. Swimming is HARD! I am proud to say that by the end, I could swim the entire 400 yards without stopping! Serpentine swimming means you swim up one side of the pool, then down the other, and continue moving lanes of the pool until you get to the other end. If you need to pass somebody, you simply touch their ankle and quickly pass. I passed quite a few people which made me happy since I had underestimated how fast (for me) I would be!
Preparing for the bike portion:
Since this was my first triathlon, I took my sweet time in transitions. Transitions are typically a time where you want to move as fast as possible to minimize time, but my goal for the event was merely to finish! From the swim, I threw on a tank top, socks, shoes, gloves, helmet, and glasses.
Off I go for the final leg of the course, the run:
Switched shoes and swapped my by helmet for a visor. Finished and I remembered thinking that I would definitely have to do it again. Four years later, and it’s finally happening! My goal for this triathlon is to simply meet my times from the first one.
My 2011 Sprint Triathlon Results:
- Swim Time: 11:16
- Swim Pace: 2:49
- Tran 1: (this was left blank – I don’t know why)
- Bike Time: 53:49
- Bike Rate: 13.4
- Tran 2: 2:33
- Run Time: 31:52
- Run Pace: 10:38
- Finish Time: 1:39:30
And I was still smiling at the end…
Have you ever done a triathlon? If yes, what tips can you give me for improvement? If not, do you have any desire to?