10 Things You Should Know If You Are A 30-Something Mom Competing in Your First Sprint Triathlon

1. The swim is scary at first. You won't be able to see more than a couple of inches in front of your face in the lake. There are flailing arms and feet everywhere and it is difficult to find space. Be prepared for that and if you can hang in there for 5 minutes or so, you will no longer feel like you are being drowned and it will start to open up. For those who aren't big fans of lake swimming (uh...me)...no worries. There are so many people and it is over so quickly...it really isn't bad at all.

2. Triathlon shorts are not flattering unless you are super fit (and I am not). They make your legs look like sausages and they are unkind to a mommy-tummy. I ended up wearing
tri shorts made by Louis Garneau that had a higher waist and I really liked them...very comfy. Tri shorts have a small pad, rather than a big diaper like biking shorts. They are much more comfortable for running.

3. For a sprint triathlon, you will see ALL types of equipment...so don't be afraid. From $150 mountain bikes to $1,000
tri bikes...it will be a mixture of everything. It is a short race and unless you are a serious competitor, the shoes you are wearing, your helmet, etc. are not going to make a huge difference.

4. If you thought swim caps were not a flattering look for you when you were a kid...well...you can imagine how you will look in one now...
almost three decades later...

5. If a course is said to be flat - it isn't...it will have more incline than you are expecting.
(The Lake
Lanier course had rolling hills for the bike...no huge climbs, but the first 1/2 of the run was uphill.)

6. The race officials will write your age on the back of your calf. This is both good and bad. Good, when you run past a 25-year old...bad when a 60-something grandma passes you. Mostly, it is just humiliating because unless your age starts with a 2 or less...do you really want it written in Sharpie on the back of your leg?

7. Many
tri jerseys have built-in bras. This will do nothing for you if you have any sort of chest (unless maybe your "girls" aren't real...no judgments here...just stating facts). I bought a jersey without a bra and wore two sports bras (yes...I always wear two bras when running). I was prepared for major chafing since the sports bras got wet during the swim, but with some Body Glide in the right places...I had no problems.

8. Plan for your transition time. It is easy to think you will move quickly, but it is amazing how those seconds become minutes tacked on to your final time.

9. Bike on the right unless you are passing...then pass quickly on the left (letting the other person know you are there) and move quickly back over to the right after you are a few lengths in front. It is amazing how many people don't know this and it can get dangerous.

10. Race your race. There will be a good mix of both "
competers" and "completers." Don't look around and compare yourself to others. It is wonderful just to be involved - regardless of the outcome. In a sprint tri, you will see all types...from super-fit to supper-jiggly. If you are over 30 and have children, simply finishing one of these races is a great accomplishment. Just enjoy the experience and be proud of yourself!

1 comment:

myfourgems said...

this is a great list! i would add "self-talk"...i am a self talker. things to include in your repetoire of self talk phrases: you can DO this!, come on keep moving!, you trained for this you know you can do it!, do not stop running you will be disappointed if you don't keep running!, you are strong, you have worked so hard, pull yourself together you can do this! :)