I can’t swim! Wait that’s not true, I can swim. I can’t float! Sadly if I get into water and try to float, my body immediately sinks below the surface. Some would say it’s all in my head but it’s not. When I was a teen staff member at summer cadet camp in Penhold, Lt. Stange asked me if I would act as a sinker. I asked him “Why me?” “Because your body type is known to sink”. Gee thanks.
The first leg of a triathlon would be a rough go for me. My inability to float makes me a person that has to work harder than your average bear to swim lengths in a pool. With that in mind the other two legs of a triathlon — biking and running, seem like climbing Mount Everest. So I can’t fathom why anyone would want to do it.
“People that do it. They’re like everywhere. They’re stay at home mom or professionals. Anyone and everyone at any age,” said Teresa Richer, of the Red Deer Triathlon club, who trains all kinds of athletes. And she said the type of person that partakes in a triathlon is not what I would define as, nuts. No, she said they’re normal people looking for all kinds of results.
“Some are in it for fitness, trying to lose weight. Some are in it for the social activity.”
Triathletes are a close knit bunch. They have a lot in common and see each other at these meets all the time. Hmm, I think there could be some business in triathlete matchmaker. That’s my idea don’t steal it.
Richer coaches all kinds how to run a triathlon. She can take a guy who admires an eating machine like Man vs. Food’s Adam Richman. (Let’s face it the guy is so impressive!) And can turn around and have them Sprint Triathlon ready, in 12 weeks! Not bad. It’s like going from Geek to Chic on the Jenny Jones show. (If you don’t know who Jenny Jones is, then don’t pick “bad 90’s talk shows” the next time you’re on Jeopardy).
Before you get to the triathlon you first must take care of your nutrition. Leading up to an event you have to be sure your nutrition is right. Pizza and beer the night before is out. You have to be hydrated and it may sound silly but bring your gear. “When you get up in the morning make sure you have all your stuff.”
Essentially your race starts the second you wake up. Once you’re at the pool there are things to consider. “Think about how the day is going to go.”
Now that swim is 750m (Sprint Triathlon). Depending on the size of the pool, will determine the amount of lengths you have to do. For example, a 25m pool will force you to do 30 lengths (I currently max out at two).
Before your swim is over, “You already want to be thinking about what you’re going to do in transition to make it as smooth as possible.” Richer says the same goes for before you get off the bike (20kms). “You’re always thinking about what you’re going to do when you get off the bike. Make sure you rehearse it.”
The run section (5kms) is physical but it’s your mental side that will carry you through if you hit the wall.
“You have to have a really good purpose why you’re there.”
Whatever the reason, it will be the one thing that keeps you going.
To register with the Red Deer Triathlon club go to www.reddeertriathlonclub.com and fill out an application. They’re always accepting new members.
“Really all you need is swim goggles, a bike, a helmet and some running shoes.”
The ability to float doesn’t hurt either.