WinforKCWed: 3... 2...1...

Wooooooooohoooooo! It's WinforKC triathlon week! Registration opens this Friday and will fill fast. I'll say it again: if you're thinking you might want to maybe possibly do the triathlon, DO IT.

The payoff for a few months of targeted workouts is something incredible — a whole new possible dimension of your life! YES, you can do this! I know. I was over 40, non-athletic, out of shape, and recovering from two and a half decades of eating disorder. I could hardly run or swim. I was scared to ride my bike.

Putting my name on the registration was one of the brave moves of my life. It wasn't, "I will try," or "We'll see how it goes," but "I am doing this." I didn't have to change every weakness to participate. Participating helped me be stronger.

The race starts when you put your name on that line. Race day is the icing on the cake, a day filled with strength and pride and shedding of anxiety. When you sign up Friday, your race starts.

Most of it will be you, alone, learning and working. You may find friends and kindred spirits. You may find that you are a better friend to yourself than you ever knew you could be. Your race to the finish line will be paced differently from anyone else's. It will take you places no one else's does.

You will move. You will move in the dark of the morning; in the summer evenings. You will move in water, on foot, on a bike. Your body will learn what it loves about movement! Sometimes you will move slowly; sometimes faster.

You will hurt sometimes. It's not easy to do a triathlon. But you will also feel incredible pleasure hormones and you will see yourself become more physically powerful.

You will be able to look in the eye the women and girls you know and say with the confidence of experience, "You can do what you set out to do." You will want them to know: Don't let anyone tell you you can't.

End of sermon. Sign up Friday! Meet back here next Wednesday. And now for something practical.

Getting Started: The Quick Version

I am cribbing this from Joe Friel, a multisport coach who knows as much or more about triathlon training as anyone. He says that the rule of thumb is take your training hours available and spend 50% on the bike, 30% on the run, and 20% on the swim. This seems about right in my experience.

If you have 6 hours of time and fitness during the week, that means 3 hours on the bike, about 2 hours running, and 1 hour swimming. What would that look like? One example: 1 long bike ride of an hour and a half, plus 2 bike rides of 45 minutes. Four runs of 30 minutes. 2 swim sessions of 30 minutes. Or maybe you have 3 hours of time and fitness to start with. That might look like 3 bike rides of 30 minutes, 3 run/walk sessions of 20 minutes, and 2 swims of 30 minutes. (Yes, I fudged that math a little bit.)

But, you say, can I really make progress in 30 minute sessions? Well, is it more than you are doing right now? Then yes. The key is to be consistent: lots of small, earnest efforts add up!

What's Coming Up: WinforKCWed Topics for February

  • But I'm Not a Swimmer
  • You Won't Want to Run With Me! I'm Slow
  • Cycling 101
  • Care and Feeding of Your Athlete's Body