My first lap swim was interesting. In my days as a swimmer I would compete in the 500 yard freestyle which is 20 lengths of the pool. So I thought, I’ll just swim a nice easy 500, of note is the fact that the swim portion of my first TRI was a 450 yard pool swim. After two, yes 2 lengths of the pool I was completely winded and thought how on earth did I EVER race a 500 free. I was concerned, if I couldn’t easily swim 50 yards how was I going to comfortably race 450 yards and then tack on a 12 mile bike ride and then run a 5K? Hello friends at Swim Labs (www.swimlabs.com), one 30 minute lesson to tune up my breathing and stroke technique and I was off and running…or rather swimming. Was I headed to the Olympic swim trials? Nope, but I could feel my groove again in the water.
Next challenge was running. First time on the treadmill I could not run a quarter mile, approximately 3 minutes, without being anaerobic. This isn’t just breathing hard but truly out of breath. Really, how could I be fit and not handle a short run? I soon realized that each of the different components of fitness and triathlon training require difference types of skill, technique and endurance. After a running lesson with Cary, I started to improve my ability to run for longer periods of time without feeling like I needed “the bucket”.
On to the bike, enter Zen, or actually “Zen Boy”, (doesn’t everyone name their bike?) my beautiful Giant Avail Advanced road bike. I shopped pretty extensively with the help and research efforts of #1 guy Keith. I looked at Cannondale, Trek, Orbea, Specialized and Giant road bikes. While I liked all the bikes, I fell in love with Giant. Plus the guys at Giant Cycling (http://giantdenver.com/) were great! Now this may sound stupid, but bikes have changed considerably since my old ten speed days so I needed help with the fundamentals. Like how to shift, break, plus there was the small matter of bike shoes. Talk about being patient, and thankfully NOT making me feel like a total doofus, Joe V at Giant Cycling coached me through shifting, breaking, clipping and unclipping on the in-store Cycleops trainer. Thank you Joe V!