womens-tri-headerI am very excited to have enrolled for my first ever Triathlon, the Annual Avanti Plus Womens Triathlon, to be held on Sunday 1st March 2009. This is a huge thing for me, and psychologically very significant as I leave my days of chronic fatigue behind me.

Three separate events are available:
– Mini Tri 150 metre swim, 5km cycle, 1.5km run
– Short Course Tri 300 metre swim, 7km cycle, 3km run
– Long Course 750 metre swim, 21km cycle, 5km run

I will be competing in the Mini Tri – due to the fact that I can’t swim! I am fine on the bike and OK at running, but my swimming really lets me down. For this reason, I decided to do the Mini Tri this year and see how I go. If I really love it I can work on my swimming with a view to doing the Short Course Tri in 2010.

This event provides a friendly non-intimidating environment that caters for women of all abilities and ages. In 2006 there were 720 competitors, 200 competing in a triathlon for the very first time. The oldest competitor was 72 and the youngest was 10. In both 2007 and 2008 the event sold out at 850 participants! To cater for more participants the event has moved to a new venue at Hillarys.

To prepare I am doing an 8-week training program at Challenge Stadium, consisting of three sessions per week (swimming, cycling and running) for women who have never done a triathlon before. My training program is:

Monday            Rest day! (usually I go for a long bike ride though)
Tuesday            Long run session, around Jane Brook, followed by strength exercises
Wednesday     Swim practice down at the local pool
Thursday         High intensity bike-run block, followed by strength exercises
Friday              Tri course run session 6.00 – 7.00 am
Saturday         Tri course cycle session 6.30 – 8.00 am
Sunday            Tri course swim session 3.00 – 4.00 pm

I’m 52 years old, which I see as a huge advantage, as there will not be so many in my age group. If I was in the 30-40 age group the competition would be stiff. At the training sessions I keep reminding myself that all those girls who overtake me on the run are half my age!

In future blogs I’ll give you a run down on how the training is progressing and a report on how it goes on the day – hopefully with pictures.

If anyone reading this has any tips or suggestions, please leave me a comment – I’m after all the help I can get!


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