My first tri too

Agree entirely with Hilly. What fun!

Registration at 6:10 am was definitely daunting, particularly as I had half an hour's cycle to get there! Arrived at first light, to meet up with a very cheerful woman some years my senior, I think, who was also doing her first tri. So we enjoyed it together.

Much more complicated than running races: having to find out how to put your kit out, what the rules of transition are, and so on.

Shivering on an early morning poolside is an experience which goes back to swimming lessons as a child in cold outdoor pools. I felt very small again. The pool was warm, the air cold, my goggles misted, visibility was nil, I swam into the wall, the lane markers, but happily only once into someone else, and he was going my way. I went faster than I intended to and got a bit out of breath. I was not the slowest swimmer.

The cycle was lovely, and the bike shop had done me proud in the overhaul of my bike. We in the first wave were definitely the lucky ones, as the wind got up later. I don't seem able make my legs go round fast enough to get out of breath. So I just enjoyed all of it.

On approaching the transition, I began to realize I was ominously numb, from sternum south to knees, and in my feet. Racked bike unsteadily, checking to see that feet were indeed in contact with ground, wobbled through to the run. I pannicked a bit, would have done better to go dead slow until I found my feet, but tried to run instead, got tense and out of breath. Calmed down after about 1k, but never really found my best stride.

Still I liked that bit. On the way out met most of the friendly members of my wave coming back, all grinning cheerfully. My newfound pal beat me home by a couple of minutes, but waited at the finish line for me. Recovered quite quickly, we sat amicably chomping and drinking and analysing the gait of others as they staggered off their bikes. Clearly far better athletes than I find it difficult.

OK folks, thanks for all your encouragement! Tri-guys, how to beat the numbness? How to beat tense shoulders in the cycling? Maybe I'll see if the local tri club can accomodate slowpokes.

What fun.


  • Marj,
    sounds like you had the time of your life! Are you hooked? Do you think you'll be able to return to the relative sanity of single discipline events?
  • Well done, Marj. Great report. And would you have believed it if someone had told you a year ago that you'd complete a triathlon today?
  • V-rap: ER, ah, no.

    MM: Yes definitely hooked. I will also run running races (am doing Saffron Waldon 10K with neighbours next week), but I shall definitely put tris on the calendar. I will also spend a bit of time studying cycling as well as swimming.
  • Excellent Marj,
    you sound as if you had as much fun as me. Well done!
  • Welcome to the tri club, ladies! Isn't is fun? To get your legs to run after the bike, practice makes perfect. John and I usually do a short transition run after going out on any bike training rides. Also - make sure you do take in fluids, even on a sprint tri, if you're dehydrated it does affect your performance. The more races you do, the easier the transitions become, but do practice changing shoes etc. (Actually on an Ironman tri a team of helpers in the changing tent assists in getting your wetsuit off and handing you items to put on).
    Some people leave their bike shoes clipped on to the pedals, and put their feet into the shoes while riding. In reverse, coming in to transition they loosen the shoes, pull their feet out and pedal on top of the shoes! That's something I don't have the balance or confidence to do. Every second saved is a boost,so do invest in some lace locks for your running shoes, saves a bunch of time tying the laces. Have fun, & happy tri-ing.
  • Well done Marj.

    I haven't found out how to beat the "someone else's legs" feeling either - I put it down to being part of the challenge!
  • Well done Marj :o)
    Glad the water wasn't too cold. And what is about tri's that they all start at some obscene hour in the morning (nothing like jumping into a lake at 6am to wake you up).

    Start training running straight from riding your bike, and you will see a lot of improvement.

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