My training has gone pretty well, as far as I can tell. Here's a brief recap of my hits and misses and hopefully I'll get some feedback from anyone out there in the blogosphere.
Running: I figured this would be my strongest event. I've been really inconsistent in my performance. I feel great some days, completing the training easily and without expending a lot of energy. The next time around I'll struggle on short runs. Two days later, I'll bust out my long run without a problem. I think I'm going to stick to the 5-minute run and 1-minute walk strategy for a couple of weeks.
Swimming: I'm surprised how my swimming has been since I began training. I missed the first few training sessions because I did not have access to a pool. I was feeling a bit nervous when I finally hit the pool. My brother, who competed in the Lavaman Tri in Hawaii last year, gave me a few pointers. I've managed to complete a 500 everytime I swim and I'm tired, but not totally fatigued.
Cycling: I have not put as much time into the cycling as I should. I've completed the training, but until this week it was on a stationary bike. I love cycling and am looking to forward to learning how to make my bike work for me. I'd appreciate any advice on proper shifting etc.
On New Year's Eve, I was shocked, surprised, elated. Anything else? Oh yeah, I think I may have cried. But before I start talking about my amazing bike given to me by my crafty husband, let's back up a bit.
My husband and I have talked about buying a bike for awhile and long before I decided to train for my first triathlon. Ultimately, we decided to wait. Or so I thought. Then came New Year's, the new bike sitting on our porch and the celebrating, tears etc. Two days later I was properly fitted and added clipless pedals (which actually means you're snapped into the pedals).
I was ready. I clipped in and took off. I started practicing clipping in and unclipping. I slowly began to brake, unclipped my right foot and came to stop. And then - for reasons I'm not entirely clear on - I attempted to step down with my left foot, which was still clipped in. Gravity won.
I love my bike. I'm going to have to work on my relationship with my pedals. My plan is to get on the bike everyday for a brief period of time just to practice clipping in and out and, of course, stopping safely.
Glad to see several of you posting about your experiences getting rolling on the training program. It's great that we have a group training for tri with diverse backgrounds. There are other people out there just like you. They will get inspiration from reading your blogs.
Mike - You are right-on about the structure of the training plan. The plan is indeed structured so you can be rested for key workouts. You are also discovering a cool thing about the human body and that is it adapts to stress with rest. You're recovering faster and in just a few weeks you'll easily be doing things that today you'd deem "hard". Nice!
Steve and Javier - The buddy-approach to training is a huge advantage for you. Not only do you have the support of the Active team, you have someone right there.
Thanks, Steve, for reminding people it is more comfortable to swim with goggles. You're right, it will be much more comfortable with the goggles. Keep us posted on fit and comfort of the ones you selected. The nerf war looks like it was really fun...
For swimming technique and breathing timing, it might be most expedient for you to ask the local pool if any of their instructors provide private swim lessons. Just one or two private lessons can help you minimize the energy you expend swimming. If both of you go together for a private lesson, you can remind each other of the tips the instructor gives.
Javier, clothing selection is entirely personal. We can talk about that more as the program gets rolling, but there is a wide variety of style from flashy to very modest. In the end, it's about comfort wearing the gear that makes you feel confident.
Maybe Giselle and Kirsten will give us an update soon.
Here is a thought for the day from the courage section:
Progress involves risks. You can't steal second and keep your foot on first. - Frederick Wilcox.