In the last blog I mentioned that I would start by telling you about my first triathlon. There is a saying in business that poor preparation equals poor performance (the actual saying isn’t that polite, but I’m sure you’ll know what I mean). The same is true in triathlon.
I had always played sport so thought of myself as being reasonably fit. A football injury had persuaded me to stop playing contact sport – but I still thought of myself as being fit. A friend, who was a triathlete, persuaded me to do an end of season triathlon that included an open water swim.
He knew the perfect race. “The lake is shallow. You can stand up if you want” he assured me. When race day arrived I’d done very little preparation. I hadn’t swam for over 20 years, but it was only a 750 meter swim, a 20k bike ride, and a 5k run. I was sure I was fit enough to be able to cope with that.
Race morning came and as I stood at the lake side I was still full of confidence. Myself and my fellow novices waded into the lake and it became apparent the assurance that I would be able to stand up was not quite factually correct, as I disappeared below the surface. It became apparent that I would have to swim out to the start.
When the starting horn was sounded I swam front crawl with the leaders in my wave. About a minute later I realised how tired my arms were and quickly had to resort to breaststroke for the remainder of the swim apart from a small section where, after swallowing some water, I’d resorted to backstroke (I’ve since discovered that this is normally a sign for the rescue canoes that you need assistance). My supporters on the bank were screaming for some butterfly, for me to finish off my individual medley, but I was just glad to be climbing out of the water and getting to my bike.
The slowest ever transition took place as I had no idea how to get out of my wetsuit (why do they have the zip on the back?), but eventually I was off on my bike and away. As I passed some fellow competitors, and was passed by many more, there was always plenty of encouragement. This continued through the bike stage and onto the run. As I finished the race the feeling of pride far outweighed any tiredness that I had. I was hooked by the event, and the people involved in triathlon, and immediately decided that over the winter I would try and prepare to do some more races the following year.
Between now and the race I want to be able to help you prepare for your event and help you avoid the mistakes that I made. I will be giving you some training tips, providing you with some links to assist with some of the more technical areas such as transitions and giving you as much support as I possibly can. In triathlon, preparation equals performance.
I hope that all of your friends and colleagues appreciate the challenge that you are (or if you haven’t entered yet, will be) undertaking and agree to sponsor you, which in turn will allow Renewable World to continue the excellent work that it does.
If anyone would like any advice or encouragement please e-mail me.