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Emily's First Sprint Triathlon

Jul 28, 2014

Saturday, your FT trainer Emily completed her first sprint triathlon. We thought it would be fun to have a little Q and A with her regarding her experience. Perhaps it will motivate you to get up and do something you've never done before!

Q. What inspired you to sign up and train for a sprint triathlon?

Since my freshman year of college I have participated in one 10K and many 5Ks. 10K’s and 5K’s are very challenging don’t get me wrong, but I wanted to do something different that would really push me physically and mentally. Triathlons are brand new to me, requiring many different muscle groups and skills.

I also know a girl who won third place in a half ironman and so I talked to her a little bit about triathlons. Just hearing about how much she loved the sport made me want to give it a try myself. I then asked my family to join me, sure enough my cousin decided to sign up, and there was no turning back!

Q. How did you mentally prepare for the event?

To mentally prepare for the event I just visualized an easy swim, smooth bike ride, and my shoes crossing the finish line. I also told myself this is my first one so if I don’t do well all I have to do is figure out what worked/what didn’t work, and then begin training for the next one. The most important thing I wanted to remember was to have fun and don’t give up.

Q. How did you train your body to get ready?

I actually did not train as well as I should have for such a tough event. I had just started a new strength training program when my cousin decided we were definitely doing this; however, I continued with my program. I then added in a little bit of cardio each week, doing two mile runs twice a week, and swimming at the YMCA once a week. Until I had a bike to train with I would go to spin class twice a week for an hour long class.

Q. What was the most challenging part of the process?

The most challenging part was definitely the bike ride. There were several hills and times where I almost wanted to hop off the bike and just run up the hill with it but I kept on going. I knew that I would have been very disappointed in myself if I had given up. I also wasn’t very comfortable with the gears on the bike so that held me back quite a bit causing me to work harder than I needed to.

Q. What, if anything, would you do differently during the race?

I would have moved a bit faster in the water because the swim was very easy; however, I was trying to pace myself for the bike ride.

Q. How would you advise someone who's wanting to sign up for a similar event?

Give yourself plenty of time to train. Months of training for the event will help condition your body for the race and prevent injuries. Also, a Tri suit is a good investment. While my cousin and I were busy throwing on our shirts and shorts, those in Tri suits were hopping out of the pool and onto their bikes.

Q. How was your recovery following the event?

All I wanted was water and Gatorade following the event, food did not appeal to me. I also experienced a lot of cramping in my quads and calves. I stretched and foam rolled as soon as I could to help prevent any soreness the next day. I’m still having a lot of pain in my calves but I know that is a result of under training for the bike ride, which is why I suggest months of training before doing a sprint triathlon.

Even though it was a tough and challenging event I’m very glad I did it and can’t wait to do more!

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