Beginner Triathlon Gear

Hello Friends! Its been a crazy week but I’m popping in to share my beginner triathlon gear. I’ve gotten lots of questions lately and want to have a place I can direct everyone. Please note that Triathlon gear can get very expensive, I recommend building your selection slowly and waiting for the right price and option for you! Also, any products listed are not sponsored.

Pre Swim Wetsuit SelfieSwim:Traditional One Piece, Sports Bra and Shorts, Tri Suit…

  • Wetsuit! I bought the Xterra sleeveless, make sure you check on availability before you purchase as I had a long wait for mine to ship.
  • Most transition areas are not private and if you chose to wear a wetsuit you will strip it off in front of everyone. I definitely saw women running (and biking) in one piece swim suits, but that seems painful to me.
  • I would recommend a sports bra and shorts for beginners, make sure you swim in them at least once to be sure they fit properly.
  • I love everything about my MooMotion Tri Suit. I won it through a giveway, but am purchasing a second pair of shorts as I love them and can’t find a decent pair of women’s tri shorts anywhere else.

Goggles: I haven’t experimented with goggles enough to give advice at this point. I bought non-tinted and have been loving them, until last week when I had trouble sighting in the afternoon sun. I just picked up a tinted pair and I’ll see how they differ.

Trek Road Bike SelfieBike: Mountain, Road, Hybrid, or Tri: For my first Duathlon I used my old mountain bike that my parents bought me when I was about 13. It worked just fine, although I did take it in for a tuneup.

  • If you are looking to buy a bike, first go to a bike shop and get a proper fit, learn what size you will be, then start searching Craigs list!
  • What kind of bike you buy depends on your goals. I think I will max out at a Half Ironman, so I purchased a road bike. If you want more freedom, pick a hybrid. If you want to be triathlon specific, then you can jump into those more expensive wheels.

Helmet: Most races require a helmet, at this moment I’m using an older one, but I will eventually upgrade to a newer model.

Sunglasses: Biking at high speed usually means bugs to the face. I have a pair of polarized sunglasses that I bought on super sale at Sunglass Hut. They have lots of rubber on the sides which mean they won’t slip.

Tri for a Cause SelfieRun: Shoes!

  • If you are already a runner or fairly active you probably already have a pair. The run portion of a sprint triathlon is usually under 5 miles, which means this is an easy spot to save some money, if you already have shoes, use what you have!

Do you have any gear recommendations for me?

Tri For A Cause 2014: Training

My first sprint triathlon Tri for a Cause, is coming up quick! Race day is July 19th and it should be an interesting event! I’ve been faithful to the Lakes Area Multisport Tuesday morning ride, other than the week my Grandma passed away. Unfortunately I have NOT been faithful to the Wednesday night open water swim. I’ve had great intentions, but it just hasn’t happened.

Tri For a Cause LogoSunday I was invited to join a few women for a trial of the Crosby course. I bought a wetsuit weeks ago, unfortunately the company is out of stock in my size. Hopefully it will come in next week! In the meantime, I’ve been loving my Moo Motion tri kit that I won through Katy‘s giveaway. I did what I could in the water, but I was really freaking out, the women I was swimming with are very strong swimmers, and I am not.

We got in the water a little after 7 am. I have no idea how far I swam, but I feel comfortable that as long as I hang in the back of the pack, I can finish. We were not timing our transitions, I did take a Gu at this point because I don’t have enough balance on my bike to take nutrition while holding speed.

Triathlon Transition 1 PracticeOur bike started good enough. Part of the course is on a very rough road, but thankfully everything is familiar to me, and there aren’t too many hills. One rider was having issues with her seat, we debated fixing it while on the road, but the clouds were moving in and we decided to get going.

With 3 miles to get back to the start, it started to downpour! At one point it felt like hail on my arms, but thankfully I didn’t see any lightening. We had planned to run after the bike, but I was not running in that weather. If it downpours during the race, yes I will run. But my body has been tired enough lately, and I don’t need to get sick.

Triathlon Transition 2 PracticeOnce home I had a great breakfast and realized that my body was not sore! Which means now I need to push harder on the bike, get into the water more, and get ready to really run for 4 miles!

Do you have any tips for me? Do you have any questions about triathlon training?



Peace Perspective XIII: Too Many Tabs

Please tell me there are others that connect with this pin!

Peace Perspective XIIIt’s been a crazy couple of weeks. I’m an organized person, but lately I haven’t been double checking things before I commit. Which has resulted in a lot of fun activities, but a little too much driving around.

Last weekend I was visiting friends in the twin cities and they said “didn’t we see a picture you posted at Zorbaz today?” Why yes you did. I went to spin, went on a run, ate pizza, showered, and then drove down here.

Its good to busy, its good to get out and see different groups of friends. But its not okay to over schedule and run yourself ragged.

I signed up for the TC Looney Challenge months ago, and last week I realized I didn’t have a friend’s wedding on my calendar, I knew it was in October, and not the last weekend, but the other three weekends were possible. I thought the bride had wanted the first weekend, but wasn’t sure if she was able to book the wedding for that weekend…

One quick text confirmed what I was afraid. Over-committed. Obviously the Wedding is 1,000x more important than the race, but now the question arises…What do I do with these races. So if you’re up for a challenge, I just might be willing to part with my packet. Let’s talk.

How many tabs do you have open? When do you realize its time to pull back a little?


Ironman March: Preparation Training

Well Folks, the Swim Sessions are officially completed. And with that I am on to the next portion of my triathlon journey.

I swam and ran on my own on Saturday afternoon. And the rest of Saturday afternoon/evening was spent on my butt watching movies, and tweeting with my good friend Diana about how our triathlon training is going.

Finally, I thought I would share what a typical week currently looks like for me. Its a lot, but with teaching 3 times a week, it has to be that way. I like to think of this as my preparation for training training plan. I think I will be adding another swim and spin session eventually. But for now this is all I can handle!

preparation training planDo you do the same thing each week? or Do you mix it up?

Swim Session 5: Like a Rock

Confession: I thought I had a swim workout post already scheduled. Turns out I didn’t!Hump Day SomeecardLast week when I met with my swim coach we discussed how I did at the extreme workout from the weekend. He said the lifeguard had mentioned to him that I looked good in the water, but my endurance wasn’t high enough. I’m not surprised by that, I’ve only been swimming for 5 stinking weeks!

However, that meant he had something to work on with me. We did a short warmup, and then I was told to swim a 50, 100, 150, 200. Working up and down this ladder will help me gain endurance but also learn race conditions.

At this point I know enough about my stroke that I can focus on different things while swimming. Sometimes I’ll focus on my hips rotating, other times I’ll focus on my pull, each body part can use a tweak.

Yesterday morning I went to the pull to get my own swim session in, I tried to follow the same workout. But I felt dead in the water. I had set my alarm a little later, but I think my body really could have benefited from skipping the workout. After half an hour I called it quits.

I also broke my running shoes to the gym and attempted a run to clear my head. But my legs were feeling like lead. It quite frankly was not my day for the gym. I did end up teaching an awesome sculpt class in the evening, so the day wasn’t a total waste.

Do you ever have off workouts? Do you attempt them again later in the day, or just call it quits?

Peace Perspective IV: Risks

I hope you slept in this morning! Because I didn’t. Today I’m attempting my first triathlon. I don’t think I mentioned it on the blog, because I wasn’t quite sure about it.

Amy Poehler QuoteMy swim sessions have been at the Brainerd YMCA and they are having 3 indoor triathlon this winter/spring. Its a 10 minute swim, 30 minute bike, and 20 minute run. I am very excited to see what happens. I’m also nervous. I have no idea if they will be timing transitions (the time it takes you to leave the pool and get on the bike) plus, I have no idea how to do a transition.

Thankfully I won’t be alone in my confusion, my brave wonderful friend Emily also is joining me in this indoor triathlon madness!

While this may sound like a weird tie-in for the Peace Prospective. I’m hoping that this indoor triathlon will help ease my fears when it comes to my first outdoor “real” triathlon. I’ve got 2 races on my calendar so far, and I don’t want to regret them, so the more practice I can get in the better.

I’ll give you a recap on Wednesday, but for now if you could give me some happy thoughts, that would be wonderful!

Swim Session 2

Just to recap: I had to cancel last week’s session. But I did manage to brave the winter winds and get my swim time in on Sunday. Swimming on my own is frustrating, but thankfully I always remember to pack everything!

swim bags

Here’s how I break it down!

Wear: swim suit, sweat pants, sweatshirt, uggs, hair in pony tail.

Pool Bag (Black “Wild Harvest” Bag): shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash (all travel size). Sandals, towel, swim cap, goggles.

Clothes Bag: underwear, socks, dress pants, bra, shirt, brush, hair dryer, extra hair binder.

The gym opens at 5:30 am, but the pool doesn’t open until 5:45 am. I keep taking the same locker and put away my boots, jacket, sweatshirt, sweat pants, and clothes bag. I wear my sandals and swimsuit, and bring my entire pool bag into the shower area, hanging it on one of the hooks provided. I wait as long as possible and then get in the shower. I don’t use my towel it stays in my pool bag in the shower area until I’m done swimming. Then I shiver and wait for the pool door to be unlocked.

Once the lifeguard lets us in, its time to swim! Sometimes I score my own lane, and other times I share. Most everyone is a regular, so we try to share with similar abilities. Meaning…. the fast people tend to share instead of going with slow, all over the place, me. We haven’t talked about sighting yet, I’m sure that will come a different week!

I swim as much as I can, and am really trying to lower my stroke count (more on that another day).

Once I’m done, I head back to the shower, this time getting my towel out and hanging it on a hook right by the shower stall curtain. I also get out my shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and face wash. I get in the shower (and am so thankful there is a curtain) take off my swim suit, go through the routine trying to soap up enough to not smell like chlorine the rest of the day. I towel off and bring my suit to the dryer basket, love that they have one, then go put on lotion, dress, and blow dry my hair.

I rarely wear makeup during the week, so I don’t bring any. Plenty of women bring their entire arsenal into the locker room. But since I’m going to work, I don’t feel the need to get dolled up.

I’m usually done with everything by 7:15 which gives me enough time to hop in the car and drive the 45 minutes back to my hometown to get to work.

I’ve read a lot of different blogs that touch on triathlons, but my new favorite is Tri Marni.  She has much more experience than me, and is a triathlon coach! I found her through her work with Caitlin from Healthy Tipping Point.

Do you bring all your makeup to put back on after a workout? Or do you like going bare-faced like me?

Food Friday

I used to do “Fast Fridays” where I would blog real quick on a Friday morning before work. I thought I’d do another one of those, and then realized my last one was in October! I guess I haven’t been doing them as often as I thought! (You can read read the old ones here, here, and here.)

So today let’s just call this “fresh friday” (and all acknowledge that I wrote this on Thursday afternoon while I was locked out of my work computer).

ANYWAYS! Thursday morning I swam, it was my second swim session with my coach, and you can read about my first swim session here! During our first swim session he told me I needed to swim again before we met up (what he really meant, is every week I need to be swimming other than just with him). I said I would swim either Sunday or Tuesday. Monday morning I had a text message asking if I had swam.

Ladies (and are there gentlemen who read my blog?) I have found a good coach. Apparently this is not a buddy who’s going to clap his hands and say nice work. Nope, I’ve got a real coach who’s going to push it. WHICH IS AWESOME!


nutritionI wanted to say….”Cheetos are out, but where are we on larabars?” This sounds like the beginning of a paleo diet, which I really haven’t looked into much.

Also, I’m going on a girls weekend tomorrow morning, so we’re just going to pretend that the ice cream I’ve been dreaming about while shopping is an approved food. Mmmkay?

Happy Friday Friends! If you go out to happy hour and have ketchup or bbq sauce with your app, think of me. hehe!

Swim Session 1

Well folks I survived. My first swim session is in the books and tomorrow I go for my second meetup. I’m very pleased with finding a swim buddy to help me through this process.

swimsess1(This is what I look like at 5:30 am, after getting up at 4:30 to drive to the pool.)

The reason I felt I needed to find someone to help me in the pool is because I didn’t know where to start with a swim workout. And while I can Google, I wasn’t familiar with the swim vocabulary. And even if I knew what they were saying to do, I don’t know the swim technique to know if I’m doing the correct stroke.

Sooo….Here’s a rough outline of what we did!

Warm Up:

(50 yards is going down and back at the pool I’m swimming at)

50 Yards:Right Side, right arm up by your ear, left arm glued to your left side. Kick from the hip, look up at the ceiling, one ear in the water.

50 Yards: Left Side, same thing (but opposite).

50 Yards: Front stroke

50 Yards: Back stroke


50 Yards: “stop stop” RSide, face in the water, stroke, LSide, face in the water, stroke.

50 Yards: “triple switch” (I haven’t really figured this one out, but it seems like a faster version of the “stop stop”.)

50 Yards: fingers in the water. (this helps ensure that you’re leading with your elbows).

50 Yards: kickboard under left hand work on your right stroke.

50 yards: opposite.

From then if you aren’t totally tired, try to see how few strokes you can have going down and back in the pool. Usually I’m wiped at this point so my form is all over the place. I get anywhere from 20-24 strokes per 25 yards. Ideally I want to be down in the 16-18 range…..Hopefully that will come with time!

Does this make sense to you guys? Or do you have other questions?


Forward Thinking

This morning it seems like everyone is posting about

  • Lorna Jane (I linked to Lee’s post, so you can see the discount offer!) Which I totally took advantage of by purchasing the 2014 diary.
  • Thinking Out Loud (I need to participate some day)
  • Christmas!

And I’m over here making plans for next year!

Just to recap from my last post, here’s my vision board for this winter.

Today I went through my bank account a bit and decided to bite the bullet with my first race registration! The TC Loony Challenge is happening! And once I posted about it, I found myself claiming a 2015 goal…

Who am I?!? I just nonchalantly claim a goal that I had never considered, but now it seems to make sense. Friends of mine are saying that they would like to do Grandma’s Marathon every year. And while I did love my experience, I’m not ready to say that yet. I don’t think 26.2 miles is necessarily my happy place. I love 13.1 it feels like a challenge, but I can still do something with my day afterwards.

However, I do like the idea of doing things that scare me (in a safe setting) so I am pretty sure a 2015 marathon will happen. I’m 99% sure I won’t attempt one before that.

Finally, it amazes me that while I make these goals…I can’t remember the last time I went on a run. I’m fairly certain I haven’t ran since the Monster Dash Half. And I am 100% okay with that.

I teach yoga 3 times a week, help at the high school dance team practices 3 days a week, and am trying to eat mindfully. I would like to get a run or walk in during the weekends and will start to prioritize that either on Sunday this week, or next weekend when I have a little more time.

Do you run in the winter? Have you ever found yourself agreeing to things that you hadn’t even considered?