Who in their right mind would do anything like this? It may seem impressive to some people and to others it’s just plain punishment.
This is why I did it. Anne-Marie, a friend of my girlfriend Stephanie, asked if I would join her for her first Sprint Triathlon at the Ottawa River Triathlon in Westboro on June 11, 2016. Without hesitation, I said yes. I had done one other triathlon a few years back and it was such a great experience that I was ready to do it again.
I like triathlons because I enjoy the challenge of new activities, and when I move my body in different ways it makes me feel so good. So I decided I would swim, bike and run. More precisely swim 500 m, bike 20 km and run 5 km. Also, I get excited when I see others compete. They are competing against others but most importantly with themselves. I got a chance to see the faces of so many wonderful people especially my girlfriend Stephanie who cheered me on, Anne- Marie who was the driving force to having me register for the event, and her boyfriend Brian. The sense of community and enjoyment of getting to meet some very friendly and like minded people is something that words can not express. I was welcomed and treated with kindness, especially from a guy named Ahmad who did my body markings for the event where your race numbers are drawn on your body. Ahmad was well versed in triathlons and shared some of his stories of life, sport, and travelling.
My preparation for the event was very limited because I chose to invest only a small amount of time to training. I’m an avid and strong runner and I train at this on a weekly basis regardless of if I’m doing a triathlon. The biking I’m very familiar with and I feel confident in this area. Yet I did not train at this other than a few sessions on a spin bike at my studio, and few days out for a brief ride. I was thankful that I was able to borrow a great road bike from my friend Little Ray. This bike was impressive and it was so lightweight and seemed to glide with ease. I just wanted to get to know my bike so I didn’t bail with shoes and pedals on race day. That would not be very fun! Perhaps funny, but not fun.
I also was not well prepared for my swim. Swimming is a weak part for me because I lack proper technique. I decided I would go out and learn as much as I could from some You tube videos and practice a few times in a lake. It helped but I knew it was going to be my greatest challenge. I was okay with this and I was knowing that I was going out there to have a good time and not necessarily smash any records.
Training for a triathlon regardless of distances requires hard work and preparation. A triathlon is great cross training and it allows for three different disciplines to be trained simultaneously. I was in no way best prepared for the event, but it didn’t matter because I knew that I have enough foundation fitness to get me through it without any serious injuries. I strength train, run and take care of my health on a regular basis which really helped me out. I enjoyed the experience and would definitely do it again.
A triathlon is an endurance event. It is not for everyone. Some people like these events while others prefer to be active in more strength or speed events. I don’t think one is better than the other. They all offer something different. I find endurance exercises make me feel better mentally. It’s a way to clear my head of the junk that occupies my brain that is not serving me well. The feeling of breathing in air in the outdoors in this way is such a therapeutic process.
The triathlon taught me about perseverance, overcoming fears, and believing in myself. I feel confident that I’m working towards a better me, who is good enough regardless of what the outcome of the event. I finished the race in 1:20 and I found myself comparing myself to others and feeling I could have done better. After a few moments I put things in perspective and I was very proud that I completed a race and felt so alive.
If you are thinking of a triathlon for the first time and you don’t train regularly then really take your time to get prepared for this event. It will make it more enjoyable and most importantly you will be fit to complete it without injury. But remember if you do train don’t over do it and train smart with the help of a friend or coach who has experience.
I’m not a triathlon coach but I do enjoy endurance training. I’m a big believer that fitness is meant to be fun. With that said it’s not fun to be injured, so some prudence to developing a well conditioned mind and body will go a long way to feeling optimal health and performance.
Fitness training with an emphasis on strength, stability, flexibility, stamina and coordination will improve the movements in any sport and triathlons are no different.
If you would like more information on training and a program that would be right for you, please contact me:
I would be happy to answer any of your questions.
I operate Fast Track Fitness at Prime Personal Training, a private studio located at 429 St Laurent Blvd in Ottawa, Canada. My mission is to empower people to achieve a healthier mind and body through fun exercise, delicious meals, and a positive mindset. I will keep you on track with a variety of custom programs and ongoing support. I offer health programs that focus on weight/fat loss, and injury/disease prevention and rehabilitation. I have coached hundreds of clients to stellar results over the last 15 years and look forward to celebrating your success story.