Happy Friday and welcome to the Friday Five! This week I am sharing 5 lessons learned over the past 5 years of participating in triathlons. It occurred to me after I completed the Timberman 70.3 event that I have been doing triathlons for over five years! After this realization, I had to step back and reflect on what I have I learned during that time period. Most of the time I feel like a seasoned triathlete, but other times I feel like a beginner. Participating in 3 different sports all in one event certainly lends itself to mistakes even for people who have done dozens of triathlons. The grueling nature of the some of the longer distance triathlons can also provide some excellent (sometimes harsh) life lessons.
Here are my top 5 take-aways:
1. You Can’t Be Good At Everything All the Time: Ok, well some people can be…*sigh*…but for the most part it is hard to be able to excel at all 3 sports at the same time. Many triathletes come from a background that they are strong in one of the disciplines. One person may have been a collegiate swimmer, but have not ever ridden a road bike. Another person may be a seasoned runner, but have a hard time swimming 100 yards in the pool. We all start from somewhere and many triathletes have their favorite part of the race and their dreaded leg of the race. Oddly, I think this is what I love so much about triathlon, as it forces me to try and find a balance with everything. It also helps keep injuries down, as triathletes are always cross-training!
2. Worry About Yourself: I say this with love! It is easy to get caught up in how other people are training or what their times are in events, but that can really take the joy out of your experience. It can also be nerve wracking at a race. When I was checking in at registration for Ironman Mont Tremblant, there was a person in front of me asking everyone around her how long they thought it would take them to do the race. The anxiety and excitement in the room was already palpable, and people were nervously and reluctantly answering her. When she asked me, I told her my goal was to cross the finish line.
3. Time Management: Training for triathlons of varying distances has really helped me learn how to manage my time efficiently. Coordinating swimming, biking, and running workouts 5-6 days a week takes time, but with good planning, it does not have to take over your life. My #1 priority is to make sure to get all of my long workouts in each week while training. My workouts are in Training Peaks, but I take the long ones and put it into my personal schedule and treat them as an appointment that can’t be missed!
4. Organization is Essential: Let’s face it, there is a lot of equipment involved in this sport. I have become a much more organized person since I started doing triathlons as it is essential to train and to race. Pictured above are different ways I have organized. The first image is of my gear bags at Ironman Mont Tremblant, which are provided for you at an Ironman event. The second image is organizing my swim gear the night before an open water swim (wetsuit, swim safe buoy, tri slide, goggles, cap, and swim socks). The third image is my setup the night before Challenge Quassy 70.3, I had everything layed out before packing it into my bag. The last picture is all of my nutrition that I had prepared the night before an 80 mile ride/5 mile run.
5. Never Ever Give Up: This is a big one for me! I have had some tough things thrown in my way during training and participating in triathlons. They have ranged from accidents, injury, and major bike mechanical issues. However, I have learned to never ever give up!
What lessons have you learned from triathlon? What is your favorite distance? Have you ever forgot anything at a race? Do you have any big races you are currently training for?
Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by! 🙂