When I decided to join the triathlon world, I’ll admit I was nervous. Aside from the bare basics—you swim, then bike, then run—but I had no idea how to swim in open water, how to ride a road bike, and how to run after completing two other sports. This summer, I immersed myself in the triathlon community, and thanks to knowledgeable mentors and friendly triathletes, I learned about the three disciplines, trained accordingly, and completed my first swim-bike-run event.
With distances similar to Sunday’s event—800-yd. swim (slightly shorter than 800m), 14-mile bike, and 3.0-mile run—this Skaneateles, NY-based race sounds like an ideal second tri. Fellow triathletes say the bike course is gorgeous, and the run route goes through a residential neighborhood, so there’s lots of fan support. I’m excited!
Cazenovia Triathlon Results Reviewed
Before creating my next triathlon training plan, I studied the official results, reviewed my old workout schedule, discovered how the two relate.
Swim – Although the OWS concerned me the most, I did OK (18:43) on Sunday. Based on my lap swims at the YMCA and open-water ones at home, I estimated 20 minutes for 800m, so I was pleasantly surprised when I finished in less time. (I was surprised to learn I placed second in my [female 20-25] age group.)
Bike – Ironically, I spent the least amount of time training for the bike when it’s the longest part—both in terms of distance and time—of a triathlon. (More on this later.) Prior to Sunday, I rode the course once, so I knew it would take me about an hour. Even though it was a hilly route, my time (54:15) was unsettling.
Run – This was my first post-half-marathon run—unless you count two walk/jogs with Zelda—I had no idea what to expect. Also, this was only my third bike-run brick. Even with these factors in mind, as a runner, I was still frustrated with my time (28:20).
Overall, T1 went relatively smoothly (1:58), but T2 (1:36) lacked efficiency, especially since it’s supposed to be much quicker than T1.
SkinnyMan Triathlon Training Goals
So, with these observations in mind, here are my SkinnyMan training goals.
Swim – My swim time was a pleasant surprise, but since I still feel the least comfortable in the water, I’m going to keep hitting the pool three days a week, in addition to doing at least one OWS per week. The major change I’m going to make is swimming for time rather than distance. This means I’ll swim for 30, 35, 40, or 45 minutes instead of stopping when I reach a certain distance. I still plan to keep track of how far I swim during the allotted time, though.
Bike – Looking back at my training schedule, I noticed biking got pushed to the backburner. I focused on my half-marathon training, and I also spent a lot of time swimming because it’s my Achilles’ heal; something had to give, which ended up being biking. It’s funny I spent the least amount of time on the saddle because the bike portion of a triathlon. Now that I’m cognizant of this deficit, my goal is to ride at least three times each week, and four outings would be ideal.
Run – The key to a successful triathlon run is being able to maintain an ideal cadence on tired legs. From a pure running standpoint, this means increasing the number of weekly speedwork sessions and tempo runs. Although my half-marathon training plan included one tempo run each week, it lacked consistent track workouts. Lacing up my sneakers is far from a chore, so I’d like to run four or five days a week and cycle between track work and tempo runs, plus maybe one long-/low-key run per week.
Transitions and Bricks – It’s common for triathletes to set up a makeshift transition area in their living room or backyard and practice putting on and taking off gear, so this is an idea to consider. In terms of brick workouts, I completed a lot of multisport days in preparation for the Cazenovia Triathlon, but very few progressed in actual tri order. Looking forward, I would like to complete at least two swim-bike and bike-run bricks each week (which would also give me an opportunity to practice transitions).
Let the training begin!