So you’ve signed up for a Triathlon, what the f*ck happens next?

By Samsays
January 13, 2019
6 min read

So I’ve signed up for a triathlon, one of my many (not-so-great) ideas. 

Bearing in mind I genuinely don’t remember the last time I swam, rode a bike or ran without regretting every single step I took. 

The thing is, the signing up was the easy part – we managed to find a super local Triathlon, the Morson Salford Triathlon, on a date that gave us plenty of time to prepare (cause we need it)…so we booked it. 

But once you’ve booked it, what the fuck do you do next and where do you start?

Some of the questions myself and my best mate were spouting out:

‘Where do we swim? Can I swim? Where do we get a bike from? How the f*ck do you train for a triathlon?’

So I took to social media, and managed to get a few corkers to get the ball rolling. 

I was recommended a female blogger who has tonnes of experience training for triathlons and marathon, Emily’s Journal – she’s a top lass and her posts are super useful. 

Emily’s Journal – worth a follow

From this, I managed to get a good idea of what I needed to get going, as well as finding an online coach who could help me with the training. 

Now you don’t need a coach, there’s plenty of stuff out there that you can follow and read up on but honestly I just want to get going and know what I’m doing is actually worth doing – so here comes coach Craig (knows his stuff) to the rescue. 

The first week was about getting in a few tests so I could see where I was at, and so Craig could see what on earth he’d let himself in for (poor bloke) – I’m excited for this.

First up, the swim – a timed 400m front crawl (I’ll be honest I had to google to double-check I knew what a front crawl was, just to be sure like).

A few things I needed before I got in the pool:

  • Swimming costume – bought a Speedo costume on sale at a local Sportsdirect.com
  • Swimming goggles – bought some anti-fog Speedo goggles (these were great by the way, much more comfortable than I expected) on sale at Sportsdirect.com
  • Swimming cap – Speedo cap bought from Sportsdirect.com
All the gear and no idea – good prices from Sportsdirect.com
Smiling now but I haven’t yet realised I can’t actually swim

Might sound daft, but I hadn’t even thought of buying goggles or a cap until Craig said (this is why I need help, this is new territory for me I’m telling you). The goggles SO YOU CAN FUCKING SEE UNDERWATER SAM (idiot) and the cap to protect my hair from the chlorine, to keep me streamlined and to make me look like a twat. 

I look like an egg

At the same time, I really don’t care – I kind of felt like a pro…

Until I got in the pool (I went to The Y Club, Manchester).

Around 20 minutes later I came out of the pool and sent this to Craig.

I want to be honest about this experience, so you can see that despite the fact that ‘I am fit’, or whatever you want to call it – does not mean I’m going to be amazing at this whole triathlon-lark. 

So, it’s official – I’m shit at swimming.

But that was the very first time I’ve actually tried to swim lengths probably since primary school (I’m not even kidding here), so I have hope and I’ve decided it’s probably a good idea to get a few swimming lessons under my belt – once I’ve nailed the technique, I’ll be good, I just genuinely don’t know how to breathe haha. 

After the swim, I was determined AF to make up for my incredibly poor start with the test run.

The run – a timed 5km.

Okay, I got this. 

I did this one on a treadmill, mainly because I wanted to get it done and the weather was awful (thank you Manchester).

Now I should be fairly good at running, I used to run Cross Country for Cheshire as well as competing at county level for multi-events – but that was some time ago. 

Last time I did a proper run was a year or so ago when I thought it was a good idea to run the Manchester half without doing any training (realised I needed trainers about 2 weeks before it).

This went fairly well, until about mile 7 when I had incredible pain going up the side of my knee – the rest of the run was torture and I vowed never to run again. 

But my competitiveness gave me a good time – 27.06 minutes, not bad.

Dying after a 5km run (I have 10km to run at the event)

Some data for Craig to go off. 

I’ve still not managed to test anything on a bike (couldn’t find a WATT bike) – however…

I’VE BOUGHT A BIKE. 

After reading up on a few blogs and asking around, if you’re a newbie, there’s not much point worrying about getting a super expensive bike – you just need to get one.

So I bought mine from eBay – £100…done.

About to go on my first ever bike ride as an adult

I was pretty chuffed though as it was a Victoria Pendleton (she rides bikes for a living so has to be a good one) road bike, perfect size and only a 50 minute drive away. 

I bagged myself a helmet and an accessory pack with all of the necessary shit I’ll need for cycling e.g. bike lock, reflective lights, bike pump for a decent price at Halfords (they currently have a sale on).

Bright AF helmet and cycle accessory pack from Halfords

And that’s that for now. 

There’s LOADS of shit I think you could go out and buy, but right now I just want the stuff I need to be able to train. 

I got super excited after picking up my bike today and was determined to get outside and give it a whirl. Safe to say it wasn’t the best time to go out and try a bike you didn’t know how to ride – it was windy AF, I got blown into a fence and thought it was best I go home and wait until I can ride with a mate (Jenny I need you). 

I start with a proper training plan from Craig tomorrow, (thank god as I’ve been ill for half of this week) I’ve got all the basics and I’m keen to put the work in but to think I only signed up to this a week ago, we’ve made a fair bit of progress.

So, a lot of work to do, plenty to experience and I’m sure a lot of emotions to endure but I have a good feeling about this, I have a good feeling it will be worth it.

Until next time.

#SamSaysTRI

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