This weekend I completed my first triathlon event, it was at the J Club, Mina A Salam Hotel and it was an indoor triathlon. I decided to sign up as part of my training for the super sprint I signed up for in November.

Sarah Barber – My First Triathlon

A couple of weeks ago, I completed my first triathlon event, it was at the J Club, Mina A Salam Hotel and it was an indoor triathlon. I decided to sign up as part of my training for the super sprint I signed up for in November. The indoor triathlon would provide me with an indication of where I am with my training and focus points for the November event. The indoor tri consisted of:

-Maximum distance swim in 10 mins

-Maximum distance bike in 30 mins

-Maximum distance run in 20 mins

-5 min transitions between.

I arrived at the venue super early and watched the second heat complete their run. As I looked at the athletes I asked myself what was I doing there, who am I kidding that I can do this, all the other ladies look athletic, slim, fast etc etc. It had crossed my mind to get my bag from the changing room and go home!

Then it was our turn, heat 3, as I approached the pool (the discipline I was dreading) they told me I was in lane 6, ok great until I looked and realized there were no steps, how will I get out, I will waste time getting to the steps, I can’t lift myself out of the pool etc etc. I also wasn’t sure how they would allow us to enter the pool, could I just sit on the edge and plop in or did we have to properly dive in (I hadn’t practiced that) but luckily we all had to start from within the pool as the pool depth is too shallow for diving in (phew!). Before I knew it the whistle blew and we were off, I went out far too hard and felt out of breath, out of rhythm, it was as though I was getting into the pool for the first time and had forgotten everything, adrenaline rush maybe!?!. After having a little word with myself and ignoring that there were other athletes around racing, I finally got into my rhythm. 10 minutes were done and out the pool we got, I managed to find the steps head back up to the bike, dry off, socks & trainers on, electrolytes and good to go with a few minutes to spare. The extra time was good as I needed to cool off, the swimming pool was quite warm. The bike was 30 mins and felt really steady, I was sat at an RPM of 90 which is a bit higher than I normally sit when cycling indoor but it felt fine. Had time to take on fluids and that was really it nothing major to report on this part of the event.

Then came the run, the other discipline I wasn’t too sure about. As I mentioned earlier when I looked around at all the other athletes, I was thinking I wont be able to run for 20 mins nonstop and that I will need to run and walk, will they let me run and walk etc. When we started the run, I decided to run at a slightly slower pace and I did so for the first 1km, as I looked around at the others several people were walking which made me feel better that I could walk and run if I needed. At the 1km I did stop to walk catch my breath take on some fluids then I started again. The run wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and I managed to get into a rhythm quickly – if only that had happened on the swim! This was the first time I had put all 3 disciplines together so I had no idea how I would feel in the run.

Before going to the event, I had written down my predictions for all disciplines based on my training so far but my final results were actually much better which I pleasantly surprised at.

10 min swim – I predicted 300m and completed 350

30 min bike – I predicted 14km and completed 16km

20 min run – I predicted 2km and completed 2.3km

The event was very well organized and I am glad I completed it despite the nerves at the beginning. I still need to work on my swim, especially in the open water which I am hoping to start in the next few weeks as the weather cools down in Dubai and the other area for me to work on is the run, pacing myself, reducing my pace if need and trying to reduce the walking.

I have a few months before the main event in November but the indoor triathlon has definitely given me a bit of a boost in confidence and helped me understand where I am with my training and also helped me practice transitions. The event was fun and I really enjoyed my first experience and despite all the comparing of myself to the other athletes, it is true what they say #anyonecantri!