Signing up for my first triathlon!

Goooooooooooood morning!

Guess what I just did? Signed up for my very first triathlon! :)


I signed up for the Swim for Smiles Sprint Triathlon on July 24, 2011, right here in Chapel Hill! And guess what? Matt’s going to do it with me, too! :) I think it will be a great first triathlon to do because it’s super low pressure. It’s a “family” triathlon, so they offer a relay option in addition to the option to do the race as an individual, and it’s not meant to be super competitive, just fun! I told Matt I’d wait for him on the swimming portion if he waited for me on the bike :)

The triathlon will be composed of:

  • 250 m swim
  • 11.6 mile bike
  • 5 km run

Sweet! The swim is in a pool, not open water, which is kind of lame, but since this triathlon is right in Chapel Hill it’ll be super convenient and a great way to get used to the transitions before doing a more professional tri :) Plus, it’s for a great cause — the proceeds benefit the UNC Children’s Hospital! I figure we’ll see how it goes and maybe sign up for a more serious one later in the summer.

I was flying through the registration yesterday when I saw this:


Estimated 100 meter swim pace?! Yikes. If you’ve been reading for awhile you know I’ve mentioned that I was on swim teams for years when I was younger, but at this point I had NO clue how long it would take me to swim 100 meters.

Good thing I already had plans to go to the UNC pool this morning for an early swim before class! :)


I timed myself swimming 100 meters (4 laps in the 25 meter lanes) this morning and finished in about 1 minute and 35 or 40 seconds, so I decided to put 1:30 in the submission form in the hope that by that point I’ll have worked on my swimming endurance again and become faster :) My strokes and form are still good from my swim team days, and I can swim easily for a really long time, but when I’m pushing it and trying to go fast I get tired pretty quickly. Something to work on!

Our friends Tim and Lindsey are really into triathlons and might join us for the tri, too. We went out for a bike ride with them yesterday :)


We had PERFECT weather! I spent a few hours in the early afternoon working on a project with classmates and was SO excited to get outside when we were done.



We took Tim and Lindsey on our favorite 16 mile loop that goes by the Alpaca farm, but sadly the Alpaca’s weren’t outside today and there was a “for rent” sign at the farm… noooo! I guess they are leaving :(


At least we saw some cute cows :)


I heart biking. I will definitely be working on my biking endurance and speed before the triathlon! It will likely be my weakest of the three sports, but we’ll see. Either way, I’m really excited for this new challenge! As you know, I’ve done a ton of running races but no triathlons. It will be really fun to mix things up, especially since it will be crazy hot here in July and I won’t want to be running super long distances at that point :)

Any tips on what to wear for a tri? I’m nervous about the transitions! We don’t need wetsuits since it’s in a pool, so would tri shorts or something be the way to go?! What do I wear on top? Any advice would be much appreciated :)

As for training, my plan is to just keep doing what I’m currently doing! Running about 3 days a week (anywhere from 3 to 6 or 7 miles each time), swimming 1 day a week, biking 1 day a week, yoga 1 day a week, and 1 rest day. Once we get closer to the date I’ll probably incorporate a couple “brick” workouts where I bike and then run right afterwards, and drop one of the running days in favor of another bike or swim day, too. We’ll see! I want the tri to be fun and since it’s my first, anything will be an awesome time, so I just want to enjoy myself and not worry about time :)

I’m off to class — have a good one!


  1. 1

    Awesome! Look forward to hearing about your training (especially swimming with sexy goggle lines). I don’t have specific advice on what to wear, but do check out this place:

    I’ve never been anything but TOTALLY satisfied with what I’ve gotten there.

  2. 2

    How exciting! Let see I definitely recommend getting a tri top and bottom not a suit because it makes it hard to go to the bathroom when you need to! I would say if you can practice biking with a group of people that would be great because it can be a little scary being surrounded by other bikers on the course.

    Your training sounds great just make sure to focus on your weakness and not your strengths! I look forward to following your training and seeing how the race goes! :)

    • 3

      Great advice! Good call on practicing biking with people all around you – that will definitely freak me out. There’s a biking group that goes out from one of the biking stores here so maybe I’ll join them – I think they even have an “intro to group biking” type group for beginners! :)

  3. 4

    Very cool! :)

  4. 5

    I’m so excited for you! I’m likely signing up for my first tri, too! The swimming is also indoors, so I’m interested to hear what people tell you to wear. (It’s also the same weekend! :))

    • 6

      Well, mine is at an outdoor pool, not an indoor pool! But still a pool vs. super cold open water :) Exciting that you are signing up for one, too!! Wish we could do one together!

  5. 7

    So exciting Anne! I’ve never done a triathlon before but really want to. I can’t wait to hear how it goes for you!

  6. 8

    Mad props! Holla!!! :D

  7. 9

    Go Anne! I am signed up (and training) for my first triathlon in August! I am super nervous about the swim (it’s in a lake), so I’m already swim training to get myself used to the water. I am just hoping to not freak out and finish :)

  8. 11

    So exciting. I watched my Mom start her third tri season on Saturday leading up to her first half ironman. I was so enthralled that I signed up for my first tri on July 17, it’s a pool swim too, which is good up here because I won’t need a wetsuit.

  9. 13

    How exciting, Annie! I think that sounds like a lot of fun — especially if you’re doing it with Matt and sticking together without the super competitive part of it. Although I’m sure your time will still kick butt, let’s be honest. :P

  10. 14

    I LOVE my Danskin tri shorts & top…and they are cute enough to wear to the gym or running when you’re not doing a triathlon (some of the tri clothes = super ugly!). Good luck! So jealous of the pool – I hate swimming in open water with the fish and seaweed…eew. Have so much fun!!

  11. 15

    Sounds like fun. Looking forward to the post.

  12. 16

    That Tri sounds perfect! I have been wanting to sign up for a mini-tri too, but the swimming would be hardest for me! My goal this summer is to become a better swimmer.

  13. 18

    Congrats on signing up for your first triathlon! I’m sure you will do fabulous.

  14. 19

    Very exciting, Anne. Sounds like a great first one to do, too. Good plan to do some “brick” workouts. Running after biking is obviously a totally different experience. And 11.6 miles at a reasonable pace will take a toll on your legs, needless to say. Great that you’ve got a new focus, in any event. (But agree ahead of time that you won’t wait for Matt! :-) ) Gooc luck!

  15. 20

    I’m also doing my first tri this year, the Nation’s Tri (Olympic, distance) in September. Also signed up for a sprint relay in June, doing the biking segment.

    Good luck, looking forward to all your training posts!

  16. 22

    Fun! If you were still in DC I’d train for the swimming with you!

  17. 24

    I have not expanded into the “tri” world yet; the swimming part makes me nervous! I just might be motivated to sign up for one as I follow your training. The only suggestion I can make (from a non-tri standpoint) is to not relax on your running. You are a strong runner, so you can use that to your advantage in the race!!

    It’s nice that you have someone to train with, too!

    • 25

      Dominating on the running segment is definitely my plan ;) I think I should be fine on the swimming, too… it’s mostly the biking that I need to work on!

      Don’t be scared of swimming! It’s fun and relaxing :)

  18. 26

    YEAH — congrats! Another one joins the club.

    Here’s a post that might help you…I address the clothing, transition and other questions.

  19. 28

    I bought a tri-suit at citysports, which I felt was a better investment than buying tri-shorts plus a bike shirt. And this way you don’t have to worry about anything riding up.

  20. 29

    Good thing swimming is like riding a bike! You will get back your speedy pool ways in no time I am sure! I was on the swim team forever as a kid, but ended up getting way too burned out on it as a teen when it became more competitive and less “fun”

  21. 31

    How exciting!!!!!
    I just signed up for my first 5K this morning, not nearly as exciting as what you’re doing, but I’m excited :)

  22. 33
    Pat Elsberry says

    What, no stop at Maple Farms for some yogurt love??? :) :) :) I’ll be cheering you on from here! I have a few friends who love Triathalons and participate in 2 – 3 each year. In October we were in Kauai when the “big” one was going on! What better place to be when competing!

  23. 35

    Ha, that Brooks jersey is so ridiculously bright. Good call for biking in it, though – cars, beware! ;)

    I’m excited for you!! Fun new challenge…AND you’ll be racing on my birthday, which is obviously good luck.

  24. 36

    Awesome, Anne! Congrats. I’ll be psyched to hear about it.

  25. 37

    How exciting! Good luck with your training! I’m starting to train for a Tri as well! Too many long runs are beginning to take a toll on my knees so I decided it’s time to switch it up!

  26. 39

    How exciting! I would love to do a triathlon, but the whole swimming part it scary! Good luck!!!

  27. 40

    Woo! Excited for you. :)

  28. 41

    That sounds like a ton of fun! Good luck with your training :)

  29. 42

    How awesome! Good luck with your training! I’m sure this will be a fun adventure!

  30. 43

    Congrats! I need to sign up for one as well. My boyfriend has done them a lot in the past and has asked me to sign up for one with him this summer. I’m a little nervous about the swimming part though….

  31. 45

    Congrats on committing to your first tri! :) I usually wear tri shorts and a tri top. U can swim, bike and run in the same gear. You can always “add” clothing on top after your swim if the weather is cooler for your bike and run. In addition to what others have said, you may also want to practice swimming and getting knocked around a bit (depending on how the swim is…serpentine vs. each person has a lane, etc). Most importantly…have FUN!!!!

  32. 46

    That is so weird! Those alpacas just moved in a year ago!

  33. 47

    That’s awesome!!! You guys will do great.

  34. 48

    that’s so exciting that matt’s doing it with you! :)

  35. 49

    thats so exciting about the race!!!! Good luck to you both! Ya’ll will do wonderful!!!

  36. 50

    YEA FOR DOING A TRIATHLON! that is awesome!
    I did one last summer and it was a blast! I wore tri shorts and top. I found them kindof cheap online. Also, there are training programs online if that helps. And if you need with transitions.
    If you need any help or advice let me know!

  37. 51

    My brother does tris, so I know they’re a lot of work, but a lot of fun. You definitely need to do a handful of bricks before the race. You’ll even want to do your own mini-tri so there aren’t any surprises. As far as what to wear, tri shorts and a cycling jersey tank are the way to go. You probably already have them, but elastic yanks laces are the way to go for your shoes. And you’ll definitely want to practice your transitions. It’s easy to get flustered and end up taking longer if you don’t have a pre-determined method for changing.
    Most importantly, though, is enjoy the training. It’s a lot of fun being able to switch between sports.

  38. 52

    That is so awesome! It would be so cool to do a tri, but I’d definitely need to brush up (i.e., LEARN) how to swim. Other than the doggy paddle, of course. ;)

    Good for you! I can’t wait to read all about it. :D

  39. 53

    Congratulations Anne! You are truly inspiring!

  40. 54

    I totally want to try (tri? ha) one but the swimming scares me. I can swim…but most races down here would be in the Gulf…and there are sharks in the Gulf! Plus I have an irrational fear that in the craziness of the swim, someone will kick me in the face :(

    • 55

      Come up north and do a tri, hehe :)

      • 56

        That is a good idea for avoiding the sharks! Can’t wait to hear how it goes for you, especially the swim in the pool! Do you all go in at once or do you get your own lane? ‘Cause that would clear up my other fear of being kicked in the face!

        On an unrelated note, the Theta alumnae chapter in Tampa is having a fundraiser for CASA mid-May. We’re all bringing food, etc., and a bunch of the ladies chimed in at the planning meeting and asked me to bring more cinnamon almond raisin balls! Which they now affectionately refer to as “Theta CAR balls.” :)

        • 57

          That’s awesome! :) And I’m actually not sure how the swimming part will work… I assume we all go at once, but maybe in single file or something so it’s not super chaotic? We’ll see :)

  41. 58

    YAY! Welcome to the tri world! Warning: you may become addicted!!

  42. 59

    a tri suit is the way to go for sure. just make sure to try a few different brands on. they all fit differently. i found it super comfortable and it dried very quickly.

  43. 60

    How exciting!! I have only ever done a mini tri before it was a challenge but lots of fun. I would love to sign up and train for a sprint tri. I look forward to hearing about your training adventures & the race of course! :)

  44. 61

    So I just now saw this- this one’s on my list of “maybe” tris for this summer! Now that I backed out of the one I was doing in May I need another one to replace it…

  45. 63

    Right on! That’s on my bucket list, but gotta work on several things first, I am slow at just about everything involved…running-slow, swimming-slow, biking-umm, not sure if I am fast or slow (but with my track record so far I am just going to put slow! lol) Oh well, it is the “At least you did it!” right?!?! :-) Can’t wait to hear how you do!


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