I’ll admit it. I’m a bit Type A. Okay, maybe more than just a bit. I like being in charge, and I certainly don’t like asking for help.
So, in typical Type-A fashion, when I entered my first “big” triathlon, Ironman Austin 70.3 a few years back, I felt I had covered all the bases and was ready for a great race. How wrong I was.
Still new to the sport, I self-trained as best I knew how, toed the starting line, and dove in. Before the end of the race, however, I learned to appreciate asking for help. I experienced near panic during the swim start, followed by a serious bonk on the bike, and overcompensating for a poor nutrition strategy, I suffered serious GI issues that left me staggering toward the finish line at a pace we won’t speak of here. Only after I finally crossed the finish line did I notice the pain in my feet from blisters caused by my tight-fitting shoes.
If you’re laughing at this point, then you probably know someone like me who didn’t seek out proper advice before heading out on a grand adventure.
My point in writing this less-than-glowing review of my first triathlon outing is that the sport of triathlon (and like it, all other endurance sports) is supposed to be enjoyable. Whether you want to run your first 5K or you are an experienced ultra-marathoner, your enjoyment will be maximized if you seek the help that is readily available to you. Your local running store will be happy to help you make the right selection of running shoes for your event. Your local bike store will be happy to help “fit” you onto your bike correctly. And any number of local coaches will help you design a proper nutrition strategy and training plan for the race.
Learn from my mistakes. It’s okay to raise your hand and ask for help. You’ll be glad you did.
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