PD Triathlon is about 11days away. Already, I am feeling the pressure. Not the usual kind of "pre-race jitters" that I often encounter with marathon races. Rather, it is a question of whether or not I could actually finish this event in one piece come 24 July 2011.
When I signed on the PD Tri (a couple of weeks before SCKLM in June), I told myself that I would devote my entire month to training on the bike and swimming part of the race. That, I kept true to myself. With just a day of rest after SCKLM, I started my swim routine. 2 days after that my bike training.
Just to clarify some points. First of all, this is my very first triathlon. And I have "foolishly" registered for the Olympic Distance: 1.5km swim, 40km bike and 10km run. At first glance it seemed doable. Therefore, ignorantly, (with the Bo-Kia-See Gungho) I thought: Just go and try it out. Can't be so bad, right?
Then, a few training sessions later, it dawned on me that I really don't know much about Triathlon AT ALL. And I have arrogantly underestimated it. Particularly the cycling part. I have never in my life cycled beyond 20km. And this very first bike experience was a mere 21km and I finished that in 45 minutes! (That is snail speed if you ask a real cyclist) And I couldn't even walk right (with an extremely sore bum) for the rest of the day. Oops, what have I got myself into?
My swimming was not much to shout about either. I can swim the distance but unfortunately, speed is pretty slow. My 1.5km is about 40 minutes. Strong swimmers could do that in half the time!
But, as I found out, the thing about Triathlon is not so much the issue of the individual events. It's the combination of all three races consecutively. Therefore, the tough part is changing from one event to another, maintaining the flow and enduring the fatigue. This is when brick training helps. It's so named because when you are through with one event, the muscles would feel like brick when you move on to the next stage. Therefore, I have incorporated brick training into my routine. And I found out that it is twice (or thrice) as hard when you transition from one event to the next. Although the theory is that you are using different sets of muscles for all three events. However, when lactate builds up, the muscles fatigue so rapidly. I find myself gasping most of the way through. My running stamina doesn't seem to apply here.
Well, suffice to say that I have been humbled by this triathlon thing. I have underestimated the event and overestimated my ability. And there is simply not enough time to really train well for it given that I only have one month to work on my bike and swimming. (I was focusing on SCKLM before that). So, I cannot realistically expect any good result from this. I seriously just want to finish it. In one piece.
However, it is not all gloom. I actually quite enjoy training for my first Tri. Although it is physically demanding and mentally challenging, but at the end of it, it is quite exhilarating. Nothing like a full body work out. Totally exhausted but totally refreshed at the same time. (Doesn't make sense, does it?) I guess it must be the endorphin talking.
Nevertheless, I am sure I would enjoy it more if I have more time to train for it.
Well, I will find out soon in 11 days.