##Outline After a couple of long bicycle rides in the same week on a rather nice bike in Majorca, I decided that, since I’m not a bad runner, it might be worth having a go at a triathlon. The fact that I go swimming barely once a year and sink like a brick was a minor footnote on the decision, so, as always, I jumped head-on into my new ‘grand idea’ without any real training. Here’s what happened.

+– {.section} Testing the water ==== I decided I ought to go for a practice swim a few days before I planned to do the triathlon. The pool was closed, so I went for a run instead. That covers the entirety of the swimming training, and the 10 km run was my first (and only) one before the full triathlon, with a final time of 44:50. =–

+– {.section} The main event, 4th Sept. 2012 ========== The triathlon (olympic distance) features a 1.5 km swim, a 40 km cycle and 10 km run.

##Swim I got to the pool bright and early (for me anyway), ready to swim at 9am. Unfortunately, the pool manager is an idiot and decided to revert back to ‘term time schedule’ from ‘holiday schedule’, even though kids weren’t all back at school. Only swim schools had access to the pool for the next three hours, and I don’t think they had a single user. Idiots.

I went back at 12 noon, highly caffeinated and twitching with excitement. I nailed the swim (breast stroke) in 39 minutes, which is probably a personal best, in the way that the first time you properly time yourself doing something always is.

##Poor transition The actual transition time from pool to being ready for the next component was 8 minutes, which itself is slow, but I then had to drive from Bourne to Morton (3 miles) to pick up the bike I was doing the cycling component on. As such, this transition ended up being 19 minutes! Ouch!

##Cycle The cycling route can be found on my page (username smurfmeister) and was chosen to be very flat. I didn’t check road smoothness beforehand, so I got pot-luck with that, and aside from short sections of loose chippings it wasn’t too bad. Being mostly open fen roads, I did suffer some headwind, which although its a circular route, isn’t quite made up for by tailwind (for mathematical reasons… feel free to ask!). The total time for the 40-km ride was 1h29min, thus averaging 27 km/h (approx. 17 mph). I am indebted to Jonny Palmer for lending me his road bike; thanks Jonny!

##Run The run was a simple out-and-back, again on flat fen roads (my trial on slightly hilly routes left my dodgy knees in pain, so I scrapped that route). My transition from the bicycle to the running only involved a quick pit-stop and locking the bike up, taking just a couple of minutes. The run began after exactly 2h30m. Five minutes later the Sun came out and I wasn’t getting much cooling off the breeze. The final 5 km were agonising, and I was severely dehydrated. Total run time was 49:24, only five minutes slower than the trial run, which was done fresh!

Total time: 3:19:24

+– {.section} Statistics ======= Swim: 1.5 km in 0:39:00
Swim-to-bike transition: 0:19:00 (see text)
Cycle: 40 km in 1:29:10 – averaging 16.7 mph.
Cycle-to-run transition: 0:02:50
Run: 10 km in 0:49:24 – averaging just under 8-minute miles.

Total time: 3:19:24
Total exercise time: 2:57:34
Total transition time: 0:21:50