29 In Daily Run/ Running

To Tri or Not To Tri

Good morning!

Wow, who knew that a giant chocolate chip cookie would be so popular?! It’s funny how the littlest of things are what we all have in common πŸ™‚

I don’t have a lot to report today, but wanted to talk about something completely NEW to me, and get your input as well!

But first, let’s recap Tuesday night’s workout, and last night’s…not so workout.

I headed to the gym Tuesday night for a quick workout before Biggest Loser. Nothing too fancy, just a one mile sprint warm up, followed by lots of leg work and some abs. Just enough to work up a solid sweat and come home relaxed.


My husband can attest to this 100%.

working out at the gym

I probably should have taken it a bit more serious because yesterday I spontaneously signed up for a local 15K on Saturday! Oof! The longest I’ve run since the marathon has been 7 miles, so surely 9.3 shouldn’t be too difficult. The race is on pretty much the exact same paved route as part of the marathon was, so it will be encouraging to know that this time I’m not running 26.2! I still love the River Trail, and think it’s one of the prettiest paths there is.


The River Trail 15K starts at 9:00 am on Saturday, and fingers crossed for no rain! I have to do a long run on Saturday anyways, so may as well make a race out of it! My half is 4 weeks from this Sunday, so after this weekend’s 9.3, another 7-9 the following Saturday, then the Hot Chocolate 15K in Nashville the weekend after that, I should be good to go.

And sometime within the next 4 weeks, baby Pence may arrive!!! He’s due on March 4th, and I absolutely cannot wait to meet my precious nephew!! This next month is going to be fantastic!

Ok, now for today’s topic.

To Tri or Not To Tri

Did you watch the Biggest Loser this week? Did you LOVE that they did a triathlon?! Usually they do a marathon, which I’m kind of disappointed they didn’t do this season since now I can totally relate, but I was really encouraged watching the tri! I have always wanted to do one, and think it would be so much fun!! Maybe I’m crazy for thinking a triathlon would be fun, but I love to run, love to swim, and love riding my bike (that I haven’t ridden in…a long time) however, I think that I am fully capable of rocking a tri, but I literally know nothing about them! I think completing a tri would be a really cool accomplishment, and one more thing to check off my bucket list.


I want to do a Sprint triathlon, which is the smallest of the three. The one I’ve looked at is a 400 yard swim, a 13 mile bike ride, and a 3.1 run.

Seems doable, right?

I think my biggest concerns are:

1. What the heck do you wear for a triathlon??

2. Is my bike okay? I don’t have a fancy pants road bike, I just have a hybrid/city bike.

3. I want my first tri to have a pool swim, instead of an open water swim.

4. What about transition areas? Do you set them up that morning or the day before, and what if someone accidentally takes your stuff?

5. Is it weird biking and running in the same wet clothing you swam in?

So, what about you? Have you completed a triathlon? How was your first one? Do you have any tips to share? I’m all ears!


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  • Reply
    Anna @ Running On Plenty
    January 30, 2014 at 9:59 am

    UM TOTALLY DO-ABLE! Sprint tris are so much fun and you’ll be great at it. I did a post on what to wear for a sprint tri, how to set up your transition station (the morning of) and your bike is totally fine. You won’t feel great about yourself while you’re doing it (why? because the people you are ‘racing’ against are super fast and it’s not their first rodeo), but after you’re finished, it’s a HUGE feeling of accomplishment. Not everyone can do that!!! I’m so excited to see that you are thinking about doing this!!!
    Anna @ Running On Plenty recently posted…ReservedMy Profile

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama
    January 30, 2014 at 10:02 am

    You should definitely give triathlons a TRI! Before the girls were born, I did 2-3 triathlons a year. I did a Half Ironman the fall before I got pregnant and LOVED it. I would love to do a full some day, but it will have to wait until the girls are much older. The training time – especially on the bike – is INSANE.

    To answer your questions:

    1. You’ll see people wearing all sorts of stuff for triathlons. I wouldn’t spend a ton of money buying new gear for your first race. You’ll want to see if you like triathlons before you shell out the big bucks. However, if you can get a good deal on some tri shorts, they’re great because you can wear them for the swim, bike, and run. They’re like bike shorts with less padding. I have a pair, and I wear a sports-bra-like swim top with them (for warm water swims). Then I just throw a top over after the swim, and, voila, I’m set for the rest of the race. Everything dries out pretty quickly on the bike, and it’s nice not to have to worry about too many wardrobe changes, especially during a short race.

    2. Yes, your bike is FINE for your first tri, especially a sprint. You’ll see people on hybrids, mountain bikes, road bikes, and tri bikes. Again, no need to shell out big bucks for the first race.

    3. Open water swimming can be intimidating, so a pool swim is a good way to go for your first race. I actually prefer open water swimming for triathlons. Things can get pretty jammed up in the pool, especially at the walls.

    4. For a local sprint triathlon, you’ll probably just set up your transition area the day of the race. Each race is different, and they’ll give you instructions. I’ve never had a problem with my stuff moving or getting swiped.

    OK, longest reply ever! Hope it helps!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 10:04 am

    I saw that episode of the biggest lose this week too! I personally don’t think I would do a Tri because I am not a strong swimmer (although there is a tri event near my home where you have to row instead of swim, but I don’t think i’d be into. That either). If you think you want to do a tri, you definitely should!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    January 30, 2014 at 10:09 am

    I would personally love to do a tri, but my swimming skills are seriously lacking. I didn’t even know that it was possible to do a race where the swim portion was in the pool. That sounds MUCH more doable than swimming in the Hudson River or something.
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey recently posted…Raw BeautyMy Profile

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Hey Girl!

    So I am going to start out by saying I have not done a tri myself, but would love to someday. My boyfriend and his entire group of friends are obsessed (most of the group being 1st and 2nd time Ironmen). This being said, I have been to numerous events to support them and feel like I have a pretty good grasp of what is going on.

    Outfit: There are lots of options but they have “tri suits” that you can buy for women. You never have to change clothes- you swim, bike, AND run in the same suit. Personally, I dont think they are the most flattering for everyone’s figure, but if everyone is wearing them, I am sure you get over it quick! I think they can be pricy so you are also able to wear a swim suit and pull on a tri-top and bike shorts for the rest of it.

    Bike: Not 100% sure. This group prides themselves on saying they “have a lot of bike equity”….meaning they spend thousands of dollars on each bikes. I personally, would not want to do that.

    Pool Swim VS Open Water: Lots of tris have pool swims, you just have to “shop around” for them.

    Transition Areas: the races I have watched, the participants set up their area before the race (roughly a hour or so before the start). They are very strict about who can be in the transition area, only participants with a valid number are allowed in. Its fenced off and it is watched heavily by race officials. Obviously, theft can happen, but I think for the most part everyone is considerate of each other and their things.

    Wet Clothes: I believe the tri suits are water resistant and you will need a towel right after your swim to quickly dry off, but I don’t think it bothers you (I mean, it works for these women in Ironmen races…..and that is a heck of a long way!). The tri suits are suppose to be amazing.

    I hope some of this was helpful! I would also like to note, I will be asking my boyfriend his advice on wanting to train with me for one. I am feeling inspired by you! My IT Band is not loving me lately due to overuse and repetitive movement, maybe i need a change of pace.

  • Reply
    Mike @ FitFriend
    January 30, 2014 at 10:35 am

    What, you mean you’re worried about rain and not snow for your trail race? πŸ˜› Good luck for it – I love signing up for races on a whim! They quite often work out to be the most enjoyable ones.
    Mike @ FitFriend recently posted…So Cold In This CountryMy Profile

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Hooray!! I’m doing my first indoor triathlon on Sunday! And I plan on doing 2 outdoor sprints this summer.
    1. wear whatever works for you. Sunday I plan on wearing a one piece, bringing shorts and a tank top for the bike and run. But I’m actually joining a triathlon club, so this spring I will have tri shorts and racing tank.

    2. I did a duathlon last fall with my mountain bike. You will be fine on a hybrid. Don’t get discouraged, just enjoy the experience! Also, there is a difference between road bikes and tri bikes (so if you really get the bug, you may find yourself buying a new toy).

    3. There are different kinds of tris, the one I’m doing on sunday is all indoors and all timed, 10 min swim, 30 min bike, 20 min run. There’s another near me that is pool swim, then outdoor bike and run. And then there are ones all outdoors. Start googling triathlons, and you will find something. Also, I googled within facebook to find the triathlon club I’m joining.

    4. Some races are set up the day before, where you drop off, others are morning of. I highly doubt anyone would take your stuff on purpose or accident. it is best to be organized, in the transition area, lay everything out as you will need it, and during your brick workouts, practice transitions.

    5. I’m not sure about this…I will be posting a race recap on Wednesday!
    katie recently posted…Swim Session 2My Profile

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 11:00 am

    I’m in the same camp. I love all 3 sports so why not combine them! I want to “try” a Tri as well but like you know little to nothing so I’m anxious to see what feedback you get! A new girl just started in my office and informed me she does tri’s! Instantly my new best friend and she said she would have me doing one in no time! I’ll be picking her brain for all the deets!

  • Reply
    Anna @AnnaTheApple
    January 30, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Ooh I think we’re doing a half marathon on the same Sunday! πŸ™‚
    I have never been interested in a tri before. I hate swimming and I hate anything that takes time away from running hehe. But I can understand the appeal of the challenge.
    Anna @AnnaTheApple recently posted…BBQ chicken and weekly workoutsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Jillienne @ ChasingRaspberries
    January 30, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Girl! We should talk! I absolutely love triathlon! It’s my passion and I hope to get more girls involved because it’s a male dominated sport.

    To answer your questions:

    1. What the heck do you wear for a triathlon??

    You wear a tri suit or tri shorts/tank or a bathing suit. I’ve seen people do sprint triathlons in tri shorts and just a sports bra too.

    2. Is my bike okay? I don’t have a fancy pants road bike, I just have a hybrid/city bike.

    For your first triathlon, any bike will work except maybe a beach cruiser! If you decide to get more involved in triathlons you may want to invest in a road bike or triathlon bike. Then you will want to get yourself clipless shoes/pedals where you actually clip into the pedal. (Everyone falls their first time with clipless pedals!)

    3. I want my first tri to have a pool swim, instead of an open water swim.

    I started with a reverse triathlon where I finished in a pool, but this spring/summer I have 5 open water triathlons planned. Open water swimming isn’t as scary as it seems but the pool is a great place to start.

    4. What about transition areas? Do you set them up that morning or the day before, and what if someone accidentally takes your stuff?

    Normally I get to the triathlon 2 hours earlier than the start of the race to set up my transition zone. Nobody will take your stuff because only racers are allowed in the trans zone. Your race day check list should include: swim cap, goggles, anti fog spray for the goggles if it’s super cold, a towel, water bottle, fuel, shoes for the next sport if changing.

    5. Is it weird biking and running in the same wet clothing you swam in?

    It’s a little weird but you don’t even notice it after awhile. By the end of the race you may even find yourself completely dry!

    I am super excited you are interested in triathlon! Let me know if you have any other questions. I’m not an expert but I’m starting to learn little tricks here and there. πŸ™‚
    Jillienne @ ChasingRaspberries recently posted…Triathlon 101 with Matty ReedMy Profile

  • Reply
    jenn @ runnderlust
    January 30, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Biggest concern about not wanting to do a tri? Getting kicked in the face during the open swim.
    jenn @ runnderlust recently posted…Week 4 Recap RungramsMy Profile

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    You absolutely can do a triathlon! I did one last year on my Birthday!
    Wear clothing that you can wear to swim, bike and run. I wore the same outfit the entire time. Helps with your transition time.
    Bring baby powder for your socks. The worst thing is having wet feet and putting on socks. Just doesn’t go well. Also, body glide helps with chaffing. You probably know already after running half’s and full marathons!
    Bring a towel to lay on the ground so that you are able to spread out all your gear. Again, helps with transition times.
    Try to have your bike on the end, if possible. Gives you more room and space to grab your bike and go.
    I’d recommend training in a pool AND in the open water. It will help you. Pools don’t have waves typically.
    Hope these tips help!! πŸ™‚
    I cannot wait to do some Triathlons this year!

  • Reply
    Courtney @ RunningforCupcakes
    January 30, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I want to do a tri sooo bad but I am so intimidated by them! I have all of the same questions as you so please share if you get them answered πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food
    January 30, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    I like the idea of a triathlon, but I have issues in the water. I’m a terrible swimmer and super slow! I also don’t own a bike, soooo….guess that’s off the list for now haha.
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  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    I thought I was going to focus on Tri’s and Trail’s this year, but that hasn’t quite gone as planned. But I’ve been in a few relay Tri’s where I am always the runner. Those are always fun. But I’d like to do an Olympic one soon, maybe in 2015. However, I am trying to find a duathalon in my area, that seems feasible and I can delay my swimming training for awhile. I hope you do, do a Tri. They look fun and challenging, but I know you’d kill it!
    Ganeeban recently posted…Thinking Out LoudMy Profile

  • Reply
    Rebecca Hecker
    January 30, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    I think you should try a tri! I want to do one someday too! You should check out runladylike.com she does triathlons (mostly half ironmans) and has a ton of tips for training for them and what to expect.

  • Reply
    Ashley @ Brocblog
    January 30, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    I’ve been thinking about adventures in Tri land too! I have a duathlon coming up (run bike run) and after that I’ll see how I feel about this multisport business.
    Also I have a hybrid too and I think it will be okay for short distance but if I ever want to do anything longer Ill upgrade.
    Ashley @ Brocblog recently posted…My Thursday ThoughtsMy Profile

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    I always swore I would NEVER do a tri, but after watching them do it on the Biggest Loser (and finding out that tri’s come in more than one distance–I always thought the ironman distance was the only option), I kinda want to do it too πŸ™‚ I’d love to read about your training if you decide to go for it!

  • Reply
    Kristin @ A Mom on the Run
    January 30, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    One of my friends got into tri’s last year after a running injury and it has me thinking about trying one too.. but the open water swim terrifies me and I don’t think they’d let me do a tri on my beach cruiser with the kid seat on back.

    Clearly I need to do more research too! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Katelyn @ BIg Sky Multisport Coaching
    January 30, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Triathlons are so doable!! Anything is doable if you believe in yourself. πŸ™‚ As a triathlon coach, I’ve helped a bunch of people complete their first tris. You don’t need fancy clothes or a bike, just the basics to start. But, be careful because they are addictive and next thing you know you’ll be shelling out a lot of money for a new bike! There are definitely pool swim tris out there. Search around and you’ll find something. For clothing, during the swim wear spandex shorts (or buy a pair of tri shorts) with a sports bra and then in transition 1 (swim to bike) you can throw a shirt on. You’ll dry quickly on the bike so don’t worry about being wet throughout! At a local sprint tri you’ll see a wide range of bikes so don’t worry about your hybrid! Biggest thing to train for is the bike to run transition. Incoporate a few “brick” workouts, which are bike workouts immediately following with a short run to get your legs used to the feeling of running off the bike. Let me know if you ever have any questions! πŸ™‚
    Katelyn @ BIg Sky Multisport Coaching recently posted…Periodization Basics: Base TrainingMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kristen @ Glitter and Dust
    January 30, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    I JUST signed up for Ironman Boise 70.3 TODAY and am excited that you are thinking about doing a tri. I think you definitely should look into it. I had some of the same questions and concerns as you do, but the more you talk to people and learn about it, the more intriguing it sounds. I have actually gone to watch a couple triathlons to get a feel for the environment, what people wear, the set-up, equipment, etc.

    1) There are all kinds of options out there for tri clothing. Not necessarily cheap, but you only need one actual β€œtri” outfit.
    2) You will usually see people on all types of bikes for sprint distances. If you were to do Olympic or longer, that may be a different story. If you were interested in getting a road bike, you could always purchased used and get a feel for it.
    3) I completely know what you mean about the swim…
    4) It is very unlikely that someone will take your stuff in the transition area. These areas are highly secured and there is typically a code of respect among athletes.
    5) Often time people will wear a wetsuit over their clothing during the swim, unless you are partaking in a no-wetsuit event. I haven’t been there yet.

    I hope you consider doing one!
    Kristen @ Glitter and Dust recently posted…Ironman Boise 70.3 – Here I Come!My Profile

  • Reply
    Molly Rose
    January 30, 2014 at 8:42 pm


    I am considering a tri for this year too!! So let’s sign up, k?!

    I have the same concerns and more. ….
    –I don’t want to wear shoes that clip into the bike. That terrifies me
    –I’m not the best swimmer (like laps or whatever) so should I get a coach?!
    –What if I get kicked in the nose during the swim? I like my nose.

    I haven’t watched the BL triathlon yet but its recorded and on my to-watch over the weekend. I’m wild.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    I have thought about doing a sprint Tri, but after doing an open water swim, I changed my mind.
    Yes I can swim, ride and run. But I much rather do obstacle courses.
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  • Reply
    Nikki @ will run for pizza
    January 30, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    A tri is on my bucket list. I’ve wanted to do one forever! But I have all the same concerns as you. We should all do it together for our first time!
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  • Reply
    January 31, 2014 at 10:38 am

    I think a tri would be so fun too! But I don’t know the answers to any of the questions you asked, so I would love if you shared the answers that you get from people! I also really need to improve my swimming skills before I do a tri lol. πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    January 31, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    So I took the SUPER smart route and totally winged my first triathlon, which was an olympic distance πŸ˜‰ Ok, not so smart but here are my tips from the few that I did in college.

    First off, I just wore spandex shorts and a sports bra under my wetsuit. I did have a road bike but that was because my other option was a beach cruiser. I did see lots of people in that race using a regular bike, so you should be dandy on that front. Transition areas are set up before you start (that morning usually) and athletes are pretty classy people so they won’t take your stuff. Also, if this is your first tri, there are going to be people with oodles of more expensive gear (just saying that was the case with me) so I think they are probably more worried about you stealing theirs πŸ™‚ As for clothing, I did all three parts in the same clothes (except I threw on a top after swimming) so that’s normal! Most tri people wear these one piece suits they do all three parts in. I never got to be that cool πŸ™‚ Good luck!
    Kaitlin recently posted…So Long January!My Profile

  • Reply
    Patty @ Reach Your Peak
    January 31, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    I’m so glad you posted this because I am thinking about this too! just wrote up my own thoughts on my blog about “trying to tri.”

    I agree, no clue what to wear. But I also don’t have a bike. I’m not the best swimmer so I’d be afraid of ocean swimming BUT I could practice over the summer

    Hmmm…decisions decisions!
    Patty @ Reach Your Peak recently posted…Top Bodyweight ExercisesMy Profile

  • Reply
    January 31, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    I don’t think you are crazy at all.. I also want to do a TRI because I think it would be fun.. Not only FUN, but I want to do an Ironman.. Now THATS crazy especially since I cant even run 1 mile right now and Im terrified of open water swimming. In all of my time wishfully thinking about it, I know that I would have to get a new bike.. Nothing too fancy, just definitely NOT a mountain bike.. and I would wear something that I could swim, bike, and run in.. NOT a wetsuit.. Probably some sort of bike/compression pants and a fitted tech tank and bra.
    LifeAsAConvert recently posted…Rants from a ConvertMy Profile

  • Reply
    February 21, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Best of luck with the race. The first race can be the most daunting as you really have to figure things out as you go along. I can remember my first race. I threw every sports related thingy into a bag and headed to transition. I just watched what other people were doing and followed along. It really was a great experience and now I am totally hooked on the sport. Gear wise you don’t need too much for your first race. A bike, helmet, wetsuit, running suit or tri suit, runners, socks and a pair of goggles. As you get into the sport a bit more you will change things around and upgrade or invest in new gear.

    The main thing to do is enjoy the day and chat to others – you will be surprised how many first timers there are out there and they will be feeling the same way you will.
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