Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Two New Lessons from Triathlons (And One Repeat)

As of Saturday I could not longer be considered a beginner triathlete. In most triathlons there are several categories. There is age group, in which the vast majority of people fall in. There's Clydesdale for men over 200 lbs. There's Athena for women over 150 lbs. And there's beginner for those that have participate in less than 3 triathlons. I participated in my fourth triathlon Saturday, the Cedars of Lebanon Triathlon.

It was a great race. This was easily my best time in each of the three disciplines. Although I fell in terms of my place inside my age group, I finished 9 minutes faster than I finished the same race a year ago. As I have thought about what made me faster this time, I think there are three main things that really helped me along the way.

Familiarity is a great help - the more familiar we are with our surroundings and our situation the better off we'll be. I had been on this course before. I knew what to expect in each of the three areas.

Timing is crucial - In a race in which you are competing for an extended period of time many people need some type of nutritional supplement or energy boost. I have tried several different types, but I have found that more than what you take, when you take it makes a huge difference. I didn't wait until I was hungry or feeling as though I was hitting a wall, but I also didn't take it before I needed to. This allowed my energy to stay up the entire race.

Encouragement along the way - I know I said this in my last post about lessons from my triathlon, but I really think this is the biggest factor for me. First of all, Allison does a great job of maneuvering herself around the course in order to get pictures as well as cheer me on at different stages. She is the biggest help of all. I fully believe that I finish races faster because she is there cheering me on. In this race, however, I had multiple participants give me encouragement as well. With about 1/2 mile to go I stumbled and twisted my ankle. There was at least one person that called me by my number and said something like, "less than 1/2 mile to go. You got it." That was a great help.

What "lessons" have you been learning lately?


MamaToTyAndTodd said...

Just thought you'd like to know that someone notices when you don't post on your Tuesday/Thursday schedule. (Please know that I am NOT complaining.... I can't ever get a post on my blog! Just thought you'd like to know you have at least one reader!)

J Bussell said...

Thanks for noticing Sharon. Last week I got too busy and yesterday's post was undermined by the stomach bug that smacked us around. I plan to post tomorrow and then get back on track next week. Thanks again for reading and noticing!