Everybody should Try A Tri!

By Skip

Do you live in South Florida?  Are you a seasoned triathlete?  Beginner? How about a “wanna-be” triathlete?  Heck if you like to swim, bike, or run, you need to check out the Try-A-Tri group.  They are a very organized group of enthusiasts that range from experienced to just starting.  They are friendly and encourage sharing knowledge with others, especially newbies. 

I have been participating in the “Open Water Madness” on Mondays where we get out in the ocean and get a real good workout in open water conditions… which can vary quite a bit but it also is great for experience and I highly recommend it before you do your first race just to get rid of the “ocean jitters.” 

Today I took advantage of one of their workout sessions called “Swim, bike, run, eat – Sunday tri training at John U Lloyd park.”  This is a great way to simulate racing conditions minus the transitions.  I think if you wanted to do that as well it would be fine, you just would not be with the group most of the time.  The way it works is that everybody gathers and waits for others to finish each discipline so we can all start the next one together.  It is also a safe place to ask questions and not feel dumb!  This group really cares about each other and having the knowledge to do your best in each sport. 

Starting off we hit the ocean for about a 400 meter swim.  On the website they list the workout in the following way: 

The swim is parallel to the beach for 200 m then back. You can turn around earlier or walk back if you can’t do the full 400 m swim. The water is very flat here. If you’re not a good swimmer please keep closer to the beach so that you can stand up if needed. There are no lifeguards on duty. Although we watch out for each other you’re ultimately responsible for yourself and swim at your own risk. If water conditions don’t allow us to swim (too cold, riptides etc.) then we substitute the swim with a 1.5 mile warm-up run. 

The swim was pretty easy.  I did not have accurate time on this as we did an out and back.  Once we got to the “out” part, we stopped and waited for everybody.  I felt good on this one, however, not spectacular.  It seems like when I get in the ocean I really lose all sense of form.  I tried working on my spotting…. That part was decent but not complex enough to train myself for, let’s say, Alcatraz or something like that. 

We finished the swim and walked to the parking lot to gather our ourselves and prep our bikes.  Once we were all ready, we headed out for two loops on the bike.  Here is the website description of this portion of the workout: 

The bike ride is 2 loops of 4.5 miles each on the road that runs through the park (normal pavement). Do just one loop if you want to. 

I was happy with my results on the bike today.  I was able to keep up with everybody and I really pushed myself to stay strong.  After all, this was my first time with the group and I needed to make an impressions with my mountain bike!  

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My strong point was the hill climbing.  It is not so much as hill as it is a “bump in the road.”  I think my body is just used to pushing 180+bpm when I call on it.  The only problem with pushing too hard on the hill is that when it is flat and I am recovering, everybody is passing me.  In any case, I was happy with the results. 

We got back to the parking lot and put our bikes away.  We then put on our running shoes and gathered together for our running “instructions.”  There were several options, which is AWESOME, depending on what your training day calls for and what your body feels up to.  Once again, here is the website description of this portion of the meet-up: 

For the run we have 3 alternative routes: a beach run of 1.7 miles (on the sand), a street run of 3 miles or a street run of 4.5 miles. We’ll discuss who wants to do which run and then split up into groups if needed. 

There was actually another option which was 2.5 miles.  But hey, if you are going to do 2.5, why not do a full 5k for the feeling of a real race?  Right?  So the person giving us the instructions said “Skip, that is the route choices, you can follow whichever group you want.”  A friend of mine that was there and actually is responsible for my tri addiction in addition to introducing me to the group stated to the the gathered group “Skip will be following nobody.  You will be following him.”  Talk about pressure, right?  I guess I needed to be on my “A” game and get my feet in motion. 

I hit the halfway point and I noticed my time was really decent.  The only thing that was “mentally” slowing me down was the heat.  I did not bring my fuel belt with me and the sun was really beating down on us.  You would think on the ocean you would get some breeze but there was really nothing on this morning. 

I got back to the starting point and noticed that it was exactly 3.0 miles so I ran a little extra so I could judge my 3.1 (5K) time.  My final 5K result was 20’48”  Not bad at all!  Only about 10-15 seconds off from my personal best!  I think I need to train in groups more often as I seem to be much more competitive and push myself harder……. I know, you are saying to yourself, “Skip?  Competitive?”  Yep! 

Click for larger view

They have one more activity that I did not take part in, the EATING part: 

After the training we’ll go for breakfast (for those who want to and still have time). Breakfast will be at Giorgio’s bakery on A1A in Hollywood ( http://www.giorgiosba… ) 

I have to say that this was an awesome workout and I highly recommend it to any triathlete in south Florida.  Heck, even if you just bike or just swim or just run, this is a great group to get together with and push yourself hard so you are ready for your next race.  The way they have it setup, you can enjoy any or all the disciplines.  

Hope to see you out there!

Filed in: 5K, Biking, Running, Sprint Training, Swimming, Triathlon • Sunday, September 26th, 2010

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January 4-5, 2013, Miami to Key West, FL
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Orlando, FL, 1/12/13
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2/17/13, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
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2/16/14, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Boston Marathon, Boston, MA
4/21/14, Boston, MA
Cellcom Green Bay Marathon
5/18/14, Green Bay, WI
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TBA, Pontevedra, Spain
Ironman Wisconsin, Madison, WI
September, 2014
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So if you have read any of the blog thus far you know a little bit about me… I can not be told what to do and I push myself about as far as I can be pushed!

But how did I get here and why? Well, that is what this page is about.

I was never really the athletic type. Sure, I played tennis in high school (and quite well, mind you) but running CERTAINLY was never my thing!

The start of 2009 was big for me as I came to the realization that I had put on too much weight over the past 10 years (read more...)