The Beginner Triathlon FAQs

Beginner guide for your 1st Triathlon.

Before I attempted a triathlon, I thought it was just an elite athletic event for those that did Olympic-level competitions. I had so many questions about the sport, and felt like I would not be athletic enough to do one. When my interest began growing in it, I was a regular gym-goer and aspiring fitness instructor. I usually only did cardio and lifted weights, and maybe added yoga into the mix. I started running, even though I used to hate running.

After finding out more about triathlon, I found the courage to try a tri. I learned along the way that triathletes are real people, and some of them have turned out to be in my biggest circle of friends!

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Peak week is over! 12 Days till Ironman Louisville! New site Launch! (Oh My!)

12days_to_go12 Days till Ironman Louisville!

The weeks that I looked forward to for so long with anxious anticipation have come. First came the peak weeks of training that seemed so daunting and nearly impossible when I was looking at training plans many months ago. Then, the taper started.  I’m in the taper. I want to eat, sleep, cry, and bounce up and down all in the same moment. I also want to buy all new gear and new running shoes, and maybe even a new tri kit. Well, because “taper crazy” does that to you.

peak weekend training

My peak weekend (after an already vigorous week of training sessions) began with a 100 mile bike ride last Saturday, followed by a 10 minute run straight off the bike.  Then, Sunday was a 20 mile run followed by a 4000 swim. I seriously never thought I’d be capable of that particular training weekend when I first started planning this spring. I did it! This is what I’ve trained for all summer, and I was physically prepared for this.

Version 2

The bike ride was great, I was able to ride the first 50 miles with my friend I’ve been training with all summer. The second half of the century ride was done solo because I wasn’t able to find anyone to ride with. I was actually ok with this, as I had a great route that I felt very comfortable with (and only encountered a couple aggressive drivers). Hubby actually came out to meet me part way through that second half and brought me some cold water and encouragement.

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Drumroll, Please! (Summer Recap Part II)

This post, as much as I’m excited about my experience, isn’t about me. It’s about you and everyone else who is out there holding on to a goal or a dream and not making it a reality. Maybe you want to take the step and try a tri. Or run a race. Maybe you want to do something completely different and unrelated. What matters is that it’s your dream, and that you are capable of doing it! Really. You are. I want to share this to inspire you, because I needed inspiration myself along the way so many times. I still do!
The Des Moines race was so meaningful to me this year, and really it always has been. It has become my favorite race, and a tradition for our family every Labor Day weekend. This race used to be the HyVee Triathlon, a huge draw for pro athletes, and was a part of the 5150 championship series. Two years ago, the 5150 series in the US fizzled, and HyVee announced they were no longer presenting the race.  It is now put on by the same race management company, it’s just known as the Des Moines Triathlon.
Going back a few years, in 2012 I toed the line at the HyVee Triathlon for my first Olympic distance race. I was 11 months postpartum, still nursing almost exclusively, holding on to a lot of baby weight, and just plain tired. I’d done a few sprint triathlons by that point (before and after baby), as well as a half marathon just a few months before. Still, I had huge doubts that I was capable of completing an Olympic distance tri and was overwhelmed and intimidated by this race. An Olympic distance is about twice the distance of most sprint triathlons, hence the anxiety I felt. A few weeks before that race, I did the Corporate Cup Bike challenge in Omaha—the 25 mile distance, which is the same bike distance for an Olympic tri. I came home and had more left in the tank, and felt like I could have done more. So I did what any crazy person would do. I signed up for the HyVee Tri. Then, I surprised myself—I really COULD do it. I finished it. That decision led to me continuing to challenge myself to new distances and harder races as years have gone by.
That first HyVee Tri Sept 2012