First Triathlon Training 2016: Part 1

Pushing past the discomfort has been the hardest.

The Spark

Besides raising 4 wonderful children, my sister and her husband have been racing in marathons and triathlons in between their world travel. Marveling at their progress from afar, I decided to take on a new challenge when the invitation to fundraise for ScriptEd and participate in the NYC Triathlon came along.

I’ve committed to raising $2,000 by July 24th, 2016 to benefit ScriptEd

ScriptEd’s Mission
To equip students in under-resourced schools with the fundamental coding skills and professional experiences that together create access to careers in technology.

This mission is dear to my heart and follows in the next steps of solving the STEM pipeline, as we also try to spark creativity and collaboration through code at CoderDojo NYC.

My sister and brother-in-law suggested doing some research so I borrowed IronFit Triathlon Training for Women: Training Programs and Secrets for Success in all Triathlon Distances from my local library and dug in. There was a lot I hadn’t considered!

First Key Steps Towards Triathlon Training

1. Assess your fitness level

Can you swim? I thought I could, I was wrong! By swim I meant doggy paddle…

Can you bike? I was a late learner and knew I had a lot to catch up on!

Can you run? I regularly run during weekly soccer, but it’s different on varied terrain!

The book had some suggested training guides, but there are also lots of plans (through Googling) and online communities out there. I decided though to take it offline and check out triathlon clubs in the area. Some gyms also have training clubs or coaches as well.

Figure out what you want to work on and build up towards! I knew that swimming and biking would be the hardest for me so I started just doing swim training alone before adding in the rest.

2. Starting training gear checklist

After reading up in the book, I started doing some online digging and found some reasonably priced starter items:

Sports swimsuit — if you’re a woman you’ll definitely want one as a regular bikini doesn’t quite make the cut, so I grabbed a sport one-piece

Swim Cap — the chlorine will kill your hair! water still sneaks in but it also reduces drag

Goggles — unless you’re a sea creature you’re going to need these

Bike — a hybrid road bike was my starting choice so I can also use it for riding around, I grabbed mine on sale at a local chain bike shop

Bike accessories — water bottle cage, water bottle, bell purchased at my local bike shop to see if they fit

Amazon to the rescue: swimsuit, swim cap, goggles, wet bag, gym lock

I purchased these on a rolling basis when I realized what might work best for me.

3. Figure out your accountability style

Are you a solo exerciser? Find or build your own training plan!

Or are you kind of lazy like me…I personally found that for myself, a group class are the best way to make sure I have a dedicated amount of time to accomplish a good workout or training. I know others who have trained on their own with the help of friends.

I found a triathlon training club that had a mix of all the great things I wanted, accountability, community and giving back (it’s a 501(c)3 with a youth program!)

4. Track your progress

Whether it’s through a tracking app, fitness tracker, pen and paper it really helps to be able to see your progress. I’ve been using a Fitbit for years and bought myself the Alta for my birthday.

I thought I would never be able to bike and I managed to survive my first 8.4mi street cycling! Yay for digital tracking.

Fundraising has also been a great motivator as I have people cheering me online on and supporting ScriptEd in the process! To meet my goal of fundraising I’m going to be running a series of Personal Branding + Social Media workshops in NYC with all tax-deductible proceeds going to ScriptEd.

5. Preparation instead of exasperation

There have been mornings where I found I didn’t pack the equipment I needed (swim suit, yoga mat) and scrambled to get out the door leaving something behind (oops!).

Physically writing things down always helps me as well, as I start to also prepare more of my meals in advance and prioritized training with lots of calendar invites.

The triathlon training club I joined also has scheduled trainings which are now in my personal Google calendar and Passion Planner (list me as your reference if you grab one and someone in need gets one!)

Set The Goal for Something Bigger

I’m ready to be challenged physically, mentally and spiritually as I set course. Thanks ScriptEd for continuing to change lives through code!

Further Reading
The Lies Your Mind Tells You to Prevent Changes

IronFit Triathlon Training for Women: Training Programs and Secrets for Success in all Triathlon Distances