Well I have finally decided on my next major fitness goal to work toward: I just signed up for the Iron Girl triathlon in August 2011. This is an all-women sprint triathlon that is held in several locations around the country; I am registered for the event in Maryland.
I know never say never, but I really have no interest in training for a marathon or other long distance races. I scarcely have the patience to do any one thing for 4+ hours, so why would I want to put myself through the torture of RUNNING for that long? :) But breaking a long race into three separate sections is something my short attention span can handle. I think.
I still have numerous questions bouncing around in my head. For one, I am most comfortable with the swim portion (though am inexperienced with open water swimming). So that begs the question, do I concentrate on the swim in order to get a better time, since it is my strongest suit, or do I spend less time on it since I will need more training in the other events? My cheapness about paying the pool admission fee also comes into play here…
The bike portion is what worries me the most. It is a hilly course and my bike is this big, honking hybrid that is NOT good on hills! I purchased it only a few years ago for commuting on poorly maintained trails. It made sense for me then. But now I wish I’d had the foresight to choose a bike more appropriate for racing. But again, I am cheap, and I hate to splurge on a fancy new road bike when I can’t be sure this is a hobby I’ll continue for years to come. How much of a difference does the type of bike really make? I hear mixed opinions on this. For now I think I will stick with my hybrid, be sure to include a lot of hills in my training, and see how things go.
In general I tend to be a minimalist when it comes to accumulating fitness gear — or at least I try to be — my growing collection of activewear would speak otherwise! I do use my phone to track my mileage through the GPS, and I also think it is crucial to have a properly fitting pair of shoes. So far, however, I’ve avoided the temptation of expensive GPS trackers, heart rate monitors, $100 compression tights, etc. But it seems that signing up for this triathlon might test that. There is an absolutely overwhelming array of clothing, equipment and accessories specific to triathlons and it’s hard to know what is essential and what I can do without.
Oh my. Good thing I have nine months to get ready for this. Unless I decide to add additional races into my schedule — there are just so many out there around here and they all sound so fun! If there are any seasoned triathletes out there reading this, I’d love to hear your advice!