After the marathon, I was so cheesed off with running, but it never occurred to me to consider a triathlon for 2 reasons: 1) I used to be a really good swimmer – that’s my thing, but over the years I’ve lost my technique and confidence and 2) I have the cycling skills of a 5-year-old.
After a lesson with Olympic swimmer Adam Whitehead in April at the Swim Tour in Oxford (places are still available for Southampton, Stockport, Belfast and Surrey if you fancy being trained by Olympians), I realised that with a few very minor tweaks, some new kit (hand paddles and a snorkel, which allows you to focus on technique without worrying about breathing), and some new-found confidence, my swimming is actually pretty damn solid. This made me realise that if I could JUST get over my fears about cycling (falling off, hurting myself, looking like an idiot and getting run over, etc.) maybe, just maybe, I could have a go at a triathlon.
So, over the last few weeks, I’ve dragged by over-developed thigh muscles out on the bike and do you know what, I’ve become mildly obsessed with it. I’m now frantically checking the weather forecast and calculating the hours of daylight left to see if I can get a cheeky bike ride in of an evening. Years of chronic overstriking and huge quads have given me an innate ability to cycle. I knew my chunky thighs would come in useful for something! I’m still getting to grips with the gears, but I’m sure that will come in time. I’m not going for any world speed records after all.
You know what’s coming right? Yes that’s right folks – I have signed up for my first triathlon on 7th September. I chose the tri for life triathlon as it looks perfect for beginners, it takes place in the stunning grounds of Woburn Abbey, and, as it happens, it’s organised by a small friendly team of people. It’s also a charity triathlon. It’s been ages since I’ve done anything for charity because running is something I just do it seems rude to ask for sponsorship. This, however, is a major challenge for me. I’ll be raising money for charities such as Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity, Rays of Sunshine and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
I’m doing the short distance (which is long enough frankly) –
- 400m swim
- 20k cycle
- 5k run
My goals are simple:
- Have fun
- Try not to look like too much of an idiot
- Not fall off the bike
You can follow my training over the next few weeks through my training updates, plans and Q&As.
Fancy having a go yourself at your first triathlon? The lovely people at tri for life have very kindly given me two free spots to give away to two very, very lucky people.
How to enter
- To enter, all you need to do is blog about why you want to do your first triathlon or why you love triathlons (linking to dashing-divas.com and triforlife.co.uk in your post).
- Or, tweet the following: ‘I want to win a place on @triforlifeuk triathlon with @dashing_divasuk http://tinyurl.com/ndxfqt8’
- Qualifying posts must link back to dashing-divas.com and triforlife.co.uk.
- Winners must agree to blog/tweet about their training (linking to dashing-divas.com and triforlife.com and @triforlifeuk and @dashing_divasuk, respectvely).
- Winners must also pledge to raise a minimum of £200 for tri for life – it’s for charidee people!
- Winners will be chosen at random on Friday 13th June at 8pm UK time.
Good luck everyone! x